Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hold the phone

Remember when card blogs were about quirky backgrounds and spotting outdated equipment? Remember when people read and learned stuff? Remember when it wasn't all about snapchatting cat selfies in Trump wigs?

But I'm here to tell you that keeping your radar tuned to unusual elements on baseball cards still comes in handy. Even if quite a bit of pain comes along with it.

My story:

I was paging through binders the other day, pulling cards for another post that may or may not ever happen. I casually picked up the binder housing my complete 1982 Topps set and began paging through it in a quest for key cards.

I had paged through 16 sheets when the sight stopped me cold:

Yes, I still double-bag my binders. There are other people in the house who have to live here, too. That's not the point.

So, do you see it?

How good were you at match game when you were a kid?

I noticed it right away because I know well that old-time communication device of the '60s, '70s and '80s, the colorized hanging wall phone.

I was stunned to discover two John Verhoevens on the page!!!!!!!!!



Oh, this was not good. Not good at all.

One Verhoeven was in its proper spot -- at page slot #281.

The other most definitely was not. And it more than likely meant that I had NOT completed the 1982 Topps set when I thought I did.

The day already ruined, I went about looking up who actually was supposed to be in the card #293 spot.

It turns out it is Rob Picciolo, a light-hitting infielder during the fire-sale/Billy Ball A's years. I was a little relieved that it wasn't some star player, not that the '82 set is filled with hard-to-find cards.

I definitely don't have the Picciolo card. But I believe Bo from Baseball Cards Come To Life is already lining one up for me.

As always, when something like this comes up, I wonder what other dupes are in my complete set binders disguised as long-ago finds. I don't even want to think about it. I'll get nightmares.

No doubt about a suddenly discovered missing card in my Trump wig cat selfie set.


  1. Yes this is similar to when Elias goes through all those ancient box scores to find out Ty Cobb had one more hit and we need to move the day that Pete Rose broke the record.

    Of course if you Fast forward 3 decades, Topps will just ignore old Pete anyway.

  2. Rob Picciolo played in 14 games for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1983. He did that while never once being sent to the minors or to the disabled list. Seriously -- 29 plate appearances all year as Robin Yount's backup. Interesting side note to that side note: Picciolo's OBP in 1983 was lower than his batting average thanks to never walking but having a sac fly.

    Then again, for his career of 1720 plate appearances, he only walked 25 times.

  3. You know, if you didn't double bag your cards you may have never noticed the error.
    I also double bag, but I'm on the fence about my Conlon set build. Half the fun is reading the backs!

  4. I've discovered something similar in my binders more times than I wish to admit as well.

  5. I thought at first this was going to be about collecting cards of guys on the phone. That was my first specialized collection.

  6. Yep, I mailed it out Monday. Let me know if you don't get it soon.

  7. I think I might have to start double bagging to condense space and to free up pages that can be used for more cards in the future.

  8. I heard card #191 is starting to become a little tougher to find.

  9. ACK! Been there done that, will probably still do that from time to time.

  10. One of the worst feelings in the world is when you're flipping through a binder of a completed set and you realize that it's not really complete. It then becomes a debate of whether or not it was actually a blessing to find the problem. As a collector are we happy to spot the problem, so we can fix it. Or is it better living our lives thinking the set is complete... but it really isn't. #cardcollectorproblems