Monday, November 20, 2017

Fernando and friends

Fernando Valenzuela is currently part of Topps' stable of retired stars that it trots out for a variety of products each year. There is no shortage of new Fernando cards lately, because Topps and Valenzuela apparently patched up whatever rift they had several years ago that prompted him to do this.

Although seeing the same retired stars in my current sets has been annoying for so long that I would be annoying if I complained about it again, I'm happy in Fernando's case. Because it spurred me to go on a brief Fernando card-buying binge recently.

I am constantly amazed over how many cards I don't have of my favorite players from the 1980s. My brain thinks I should have all of these already. My brain doesn't know how wrong it is.

I discovered this on a brief tour through COMC:

I thought I owned this Fernando already. How can you miss him in all of '85 Donruss' black-bordered glory? But there are TWO Valenzuela cards in the Highlights set, because Valenzuela was Pitcher of the Month in both April and July in 1985.

A classic need from the '80s is Classic cards, this one from 1987.

You think you have all the Topps glossy goodness from the 1980s and then Fernando gives you that forlorn look. "What about me?"

Can you believe it? I needed a 1987 Fleer card and had no idea. I'm stunned that I haven't been sent this card 15 times in the last 10 years. Almost as stunned as how young everyone looks on this.

Box-bottom greatness. I didn't know there were 1991 Fleer box bottoms until very recently. I think this is the first card I put in the shopping cart.

I made one modern-day exception. This is the bronze version.

Late 1980s Drake cards are one of the peskiest kinds of oddballs. This is from 1987 and I'm so pleased I own this that I plan to go out and buy a stash of Devil Dogs to consume all at once.

Yup, this is a sticker. Normally I don't go out of my way to buy stickers. But I couldn't resist this 1984 Topps item because of all the inappropriate stretching.

Any star player from the late 1980s likely has his own Star set, meaning card after card after card of the player in various scenes and poses, many of which should have hit the cutting room floor. You can go broke chasing a complete set down. So I just nabbed two.

I wanted this one because Valenzuela was known for his hitting and there are so few cards of him doing so. The back mentions his best hitting came against the Giants and the Braves. Fernando was awesome.

And of course I had to get the family photo! This is fantastic. Valenzuela is here with his wife, Linda, and his two sons, Fernando Jr. and Ricky (he also has two daughters).

The Valenzuela cards came with some friends because I can never stay focused when buying cards. There's no way I could commit to FERNANDO VALENZUELA CARDS AND FERNANDO VALENZUELA CARDS ONLY!

So I grabbed a couple of randoms that caught my fancy.

Not sure how this popped on my screen, but the instant I saw it, I knew I needed it. Paul Konerko is being devoured by man-eating pennants.

This card is for the 1977 TCMA Galasso Glossy Greats set quest that will someday take over all of my card thoughts. You may see a want list sometime next year, although right now it would include just about every card in the set.

Recently, Commish Bob showed off his TCMA 1960s set, which is absolutely beautiful and another set I need to chase someday. For now, though, Ron Fairly needed to be mine.

Finally, this card finally reached my abode.

I've seen several collectors pick up this 2017 Archives autographed card of Wally Moon and I've been jealous every time. It's a wonderful card, as colorful as it should be (although the letter placement for a 1960-motif is all off) and correctly features Moon's unibrow most prominently. Also, it ain't no sticker.

This is my final online card purchase before the holidays hit. I always have to go on hiatus until January because other people I know want gifts at this time of year and, shockingly, they don't want baseball cards.

But that's OK. The feeling of knocking off all those Fernando Valenzuela cards will keep the card cravings down for awhile.


  1. Some fantastic Fernando cards here. Him, Spahn, Nomo just seem to have an abundance of terrific cards. A lot has to do with their memorable pitching motions but there's more to it than that.

    BTW...when you get a list together I can probably help you with some of those Galassos.

  2. I'm all set to place my first COMC order sometime within the next week or two. I'll have to see if I can find any of those outside-the-box Star oddballs to add to my cart.

  3. A. Did you ever find out the story behind him crossing out the Topps logo?
    B. 86T was a great choice for a TTM. If I ever send a ttm to him, I'd send him my copy.
    C. Box bottoms are awesome! Gonna need to add that 91F to my collection at some point.