Thursday, December 22, 2016

3 packages ina mailbox: variety from the source

Living in the US of A, we take variety for granted. Since the days when I was a kid, the variety of consumer goods and entertainment options has grown exponentially.

Yet, ungrateful bastards that we are, we forgot how good we have it ... and get bored and want something new. It happens to me sometimes.

Fortunately, I live very close to another country. It's not as exotic as if I lived next to Sri Lanka or Madagascar, but Canada does provide some unusual mind candy for a U.S. citizen living 20 miles from the Canadian border. I can watch curling on my TV any month of the winter and Coffee Crisp remains one of my favorite candy bars. (Sadly, thanks to stricter border regulations, it's been too long since I had a Montreal bagel or gone to a Swiss Chalet).

To me -- and I'm sure this is interesting to Canadian shoppers who come into our stores every day because of the sheer variety in America -- Canada is a source of variety. It has something interesting when I'm tired with whatever the U.S. is shoveling out.

So, it's no coincidence that Angus of Dawg Day Cards, who crossed that Canadian border to meet me in the U.S. for a card show a few months ago, stuffed a large envelope full of variety and sent it par avion to me.

He seems to find his share of card shows up there, and contrary to what you'd believe, they're not all filled with hockey cards.

An example:

This is what I believe to be a full set of 1994 Dodgers Police cards. There are no card numbers on these, but it's 30 cards and all the key ones are there. This dwarfs my previous '94 Police collection of three measly cards.

As usual, each card has a variation on the "don't do drugs" theme. The Henry Rodriguez card is the most jarring.

Angus demonstrated proper form when coming across Kellogg's 3-D cards. Send them to me! I've received my share of the Bill Madlock card through the years, but the others are new.

I am particularly partial to Kellogg's cards from 1970-83. This is my first 3-D Yankee card. I ain't complaining.

Angus stumbled across some sort of 1997 portal. He sent me several Leaf Limited Counterparts cards. These are those double-sided cards. The above three are Dodger cards new to my collection.

The other three were Dodgers I already had. So I just flipped them over, and -- pow! -- cards now new to my collection! See, I knew there was a reason for these Counterparts cards.

You can't read it, but it says "Double Team" at the top. It's another double-sided Leaf Limited card. Chan Ho Park is on the reverse -- and no, I'm not getting another card so I can feature Chan Ho Park in the binder. I'm not that weird.

This interesting little oddball has no background that I could find with a minimum of research. It's regulation card size, just a little flimsier, and there is nothing on it that identifies what it's from. No date either. All you people who have a Christmas break can dig up something on it for me. I'll be workin'.

Here is a Campy I've never seen. It's an insert from 2001 Fleer Tradition. The giant "242" is how many career home runs Campanella had. This is a 25-card insert set, in which there are only 23 cards. Two cards were never issued. How that happens as recently as 2001, is odd to me (although I'm sure it had something to do with licensing).

Have you ever received a refractor and oriented the card differently and received a better image? This happens with my latest scanner all the time. The above image is if I place the card on the scanner perpendicular with the edge of the scanner.

And here it is if I align the card parallel to the edge of the scanner:

That is pretty cool.

I get giddy when I receive etopps cards. Since the site has closed down, they seem more available. These are two Shawn Greens from his monster year of 2002. In fact the card on the right awesomely details his four-home run game with a painstaking list on the back of all the four-HR games and the leaders for total bases in one game.

(Unnecessary notification: I will be busting these out of their tombs).

Given all that talk about Canada above, I bet you know what these are. Those who are extra alert may have guessed simply looking at the fronts, which have always seemed more brightly colored to me than their Topps counterparts.

They are, of course, O-Pee-Chee '75s!!! I haven't done much pursuing of '75 OPC Dodgers. This gets me close to double-digits though. I should chase down the rest.

Angus also sent these three 1973 OPCs. You will note the identifying ragged edge feature on a couple of them.

Those are a few more random needs. The fantastic Eric Gagne card completes the Fleer Tradition Update series team set from that year. The Ernie Harwell threw me for a moment until I remembered that he started his MLB broadcasting career with the Dodgers! (The Dodgers actually traded a player to acquire him). What a cool throw-in!

Uh, oh. Angus has found my non-card weakness. Yearbooks and media guides rule. Media guides are a little more "just the facts" reading but also fascinating. In this particular media guide you can find a write-up on Stu Pederson, a former Dodger for a brief time, and Joc Pederson's dad.

Here is the 1987 media guide, when the Dodgers were recognizing the 25th anniversary of Dodger Stadium. It doesn't seem that long ago until you remember that the Dodgers celebrated the 50th anniversary of the stadium four years ago.

These two media guides arrived between two pennant years for the Dodgers (1985 and 1988). I remember the years of '86 and '87 as "the Mariano Duncan years". Not much to cheer about. But I'll get a kick out of reliving them with the guides.

Finally, here is something that was new to me. It's a 5 x 7 photo, similar to the team photos that the Dodgers issued later from the '60s onward.

Mark Hoyle tipped me off in the comments that it came from Jay Publishing, which produced photos of major leaguers during the late '50s and 1960s. There apparently is two different groups of photos, one from 1958-61 and another from 1962-65. I believe the Wills here is from the second group, based on the typeface used and this net54 forum.

The great thing about the photo is it is a reverse image. Check out Willis' cap and the backward "3" on his uniform. I love this.

So you can see that Angus just fulfilled all my ideas about Canada, that it's a variety-laden place, full of O-Pee-Chee and media guides and reverse-image photos of '60s stars.

And all of it looks better than poutine.

Up next: the last of the packages, from someone who may or may not be my Secret Santa.


  1. The older I get... the more I appreciate 70's and 80's OPC cards. Btw... don't get too comfortable thinking there aren't anymore packages for you to open. There's one coming from Cali. Happy holidays bud!

  2. and one from Florida eventually, just running (way) behind, so it will be after Christmas for sure.

  3. I wish I lived closer to Canada, I'd watch curling on TV.

    1. AMEN, BROTHER!!!!

      ...And I know I have a small sheet of cards similar to that Ebbets Field card, and I'm 97% sure that it's from a sheet inserted into Tuff Stuff magazine back in the 1990's. If it wasn't Tuff Stuff, it was some similar magazine.

    2. Glad you enjoyed the package! I was shocked to find the Police set in Ottawa, and the media guides came from a dealer that usually has magazines. I hadn't seen the media guides but figured they would be up your alley, if you didn't already have them.

      Oh, and if you're ever up in Ottawa in the winter, I'm sure I could arrange to get you on the ice to try some curling.

    3. I have those stadium cards. I knew it was a sheet from a magazine, but couldn't recall which one. You say Tuff Stuff. That works for me. It was right after someone brought the hammer down on player card inserts in magazines, so probably about the time Topps started publishing their own magazine.

  4. That's not noisy a normal Preacher that's a good bordered one, huh?

  5. Have you ever run across All-Dressed chips from Ruffles? My coworker brings them back from Toronto on occasion and they are amazing.