Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Team collecting isn't what it used to be

On the previous card show post, I accidentally inserted one of those page breaks into the story. If you didn't click on the "read more" link, you may have missed all the vintage that I showed from the card show. It's fixed now, so check that out if you're interested.

Now onto tonight's post.

We are a long way from how I collected cards of my team when I was young.

As a kid, I'd wait to pull the team card with the checklist on the back, note the 24 or 25 individuals listed for the Dodgers, curse out the one Dodger included on a four-player rookie card, and then get to work.

When I was finished -- if I even did finish -- there were 24 or 25 dudes in Dodger uniforms, plus the team photo card, in my complete team collection.

But that was a long time ago.

With the advent of inserts, team collecting includes a lot more than it once did. No longer restricted to Dodger players or a manager, now sitting in my team binders are cards of stadiums, players who retired long before the year in which they're featured, players from other teams that share space with a Dodger, and TV and movie actors.

And now there's something called a Jabbawockeez in there.

I'm not going to pretend I'm familiar with the Jabbawockeez. I'm a white dude from the '70s. I looked them up so I know their main things are dance, hip-hop and masks -- what a coincidence, three things I try to avoid.

The card actually made me reconsider for a moment my rules for making the team binders. It's pretty inclusive right now: Anything that shows the Dodgers logo or references the Dodgers on the front. I'm assuming that some team collectors dismiss cards like these immediately, keeping it to players on the field. I can respect that.

But when I see a card of Aubrey Plaza in a Dodgers uniform, you're not going to be able to keep that out of my team binder. No way. So, what's fair is fair, Jabbawockeez, and those male actor dudes I don't know who threw out a first pitch at Dodger Stadium will go in the team binder, too.

I received the Jabbawockeez card from reader Dave, who searched out a few different items off my want lists (Dave, do you still need a 1971 Dick Williams? I've got an extra).

Here are a couple of actual Dodgers on inserts from last year. The Piazza is my first look at that MVP insert. The number of inserts are growing and I can't keep up.

Finally, some base cards. I'm two steps closer to finishing 1988 Fleer. Just three cards to go. I think just about every reader of this blog has cards 82, 155 or 440 stashed in the back of his or her closet, long forgotten by time. Brave the back of that closet and send them to me!

Far and away the best cards in this package. You don't see 1973 Topps in such snazzy shape everyday!

The '73s come from the good ol' days of knowing a team set was complete when all the boxes on the back of the team checklist were crossed off.

I sometimes wonder what my reaction would have been back then if I pulled this card. My guess is it would be the height of hilarity as I tried to trade the card out of my sight, hopefully to my youngest brother.

I'm a bit more mature than that. So in the binder it goes.


  1. I'm not even sure what being a team collector means anymore. Last year there were over 7,000 different Pirate cards released. In 2007 there were a little under 3,000. In 1987 there were about 300. But '87 does a better job of covering the 25 man roster than today. Heck, most years our whole starting rotation doesn't even get a card, let alone the pen or bench guys.

    But at least I can sleep well knowing I don't have to worry about any Jabbawockeez in my collection. If you had asked me ten minutes ago, I would have assumed that was a Star Wars creature.

    1. I'm right there with you Mark. The Braves had 8,642 cards last year, and this year already 1461. In 1987 they had 500 cards, and that included the minor leagues.

      Greg, I keep my base cards separate from the Braves inserts. It is impossible to ever complete the inserts 100% so I no longer stress on them and if someone sends them to me great otherwise I just have to wait to dig em out of dime boxes, lol.

  2. I've seen Jabbawockeez's dance moves and they are impressive. 2009-Zippy is extremely glad that they're on cardboard now. 2018-Zippy is wondering why MLB doesn't have half naked ladies throw first pitches like NPB does a lot of the time.

  3. I'm familiar with the Jabbawockeez... because I had some students dress up like them years ago for Halloween. Like you... I looked them up on the internet. A day, a week, a month, or a year later... I saw Shaq dancing with them. That's when I knew that these guys had officially made it.

    As for collecting cards like this. The 12 year old collector and the 45 year old collector would both accepted this card into my collection if it were an A's card. But I collect almost everything.

  4. Their dance moves are pretty awesome and I would probably seek out a first pitch card like this if the Pirates had anyone notable throw out a first pitch once in awhile. I agree with everything Mark said though about the sheer number of cards and parallels produced. So far this year I already have 72 unique Cutch cards and that's only through Flagship Topps, Opening Day, Heritage, Gypsy Queen, and Donruss. 5 sets and 72 unique cards for one player....That's crazy sauce Sir.

    1. You better get cranking cuz he has 217 cards released so far.

  5. Night Owl - your memory astonishes me. Yes, I could use a '71 Dick Williams but you don't owe me anything. It was just a little thank you package for the awesome blog!