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Showing posts from May, 2018

C.A.: 1985 P.R.E. Pete Rose Set #102

(Hello on "Water a Flower Day," subtitled, "Things I Would Do If I Didn't Blog About Baseball Cards". It's time for Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 270th in a series):


The other day I came across a couple of Dodgers cards from 1988 that I didn't have or even knew existed.

I am always amazed when I find cards from the '80s that are brand new to me. The cards from that decade are so plentiful, so present, even to this day, that it seems I would have each set and card documented and numbered in my brain.

But, no, many years into this, I keep turning up stuff.

Like the P.R.E. Pete Rose set from 1985.

This was a set that the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards guesses was produced by something called Pete Rose Enterprises (the volume puts a question mark after "Enterprises"). It was distributed by the famed NYC dealer Renata Galasso, which is why it's referred to by her name in online listings. Those listings also mention Topps as a manu…

This is the 2018 Topps National League team set

While I was out getting some cards at Rite Aid yesterday, I also swung by Target and purchased Topps' National League team set that it puts out every year.

There is almost no point to this set -- and the accompanying American League team set -- and it's getting more and more pointless by the year. The only thing that made it stand out each year was the placement of the NL or AL logo on each card so you could distinguish it from the flagship card with the same photo.

Well, there's no NL or AL logo this year. Apparently there wasn't one last year either (I didn't bother getting the set). So to separate these cards in your brain from the other cards that look almost exactly the same, you'll have to turn the card over and check out the card number.

This may seem like a trivial topic for a blog post, but it gets a bit frustrating deciphering the cards available these days. Topps doesn't exactly go to acceptable lengths to get the word out. A couple of weeks ago…

So long, Rite Aid

Several of the Rite Aid chain drug stores in the area are closing, including the two right in town. Walgreens bought Rite Aid a few months ago and it was only a matter of time before the local Rite Aids would be shutting down.

This is not good news. I grew up buying baseball cards at the drug store. Some of the major card-buying moments and acquisitions from the first 20 years of my collecting career came from drug stores. I can see the insides of those various stores right now, where the card boxes were positioned, everything. When it comes to traditional card purchasing, you will never be able to convince me that big-box stores are the better way to go.

So, Rite Aid has carried that nostalgia for me, even though they haven't been an impressive source for cards over the years. A number of years ago, I snagged from Rite Aid some Chrome cards. That may have been the highlight. Much more recently, Rite Aid's been OK for repacks.

Upon hearing the news of Rite Aid's closing (…

What Porky Pig said

Later tonight I will kick off the Traded set portion of the 1985 Topps set over on my 1985 Topps blog.

After completing the 792-card flagship set the other day I realized that I've now written three set blogs from start to finish, with the 1975 Topps set first, followed by the 1971 Topps set and now the 1985 Topps set. I don't think anyone has done that before.

That would impress a few people back when blogs were king and set-blogging was fashionable. Nobody cares much anymore, or a lot less people do anyway.

That's not the reason why I'm going to stop doing set blogs once the '85 Traded set is done though. I'm just tired of running multiple blogs. I've been doing that for more than eight years now and it's time to move on to other interests.

Night Owl Cards isn't going anywhere, don't you worry. The need to write remains strong.

There is always the slight possibility that after I've wrapped up the '85 set and I'm working on one blo…

So close I can taste it

One of the great joys of set collecting is the completion of the task. The sense of accomplishment. The reward for a job well done. There aren't a lot of people out there telling you "good job," so set collecting fulfills the need.

As I get closer and closer to completing a set, the thrill and anxiety heightens. When will I finish it? Which card will be the last? How can I get that card and how soon?

I'm at that point with several sets. I need a mere 62 cards to complete the 1973 Topps set. I'm four cards from finishing the 2008 Stadium Club set. And I need to get off my butt and order that one common to complete the 1988 Fleer set.

Recently, Fuji sent me some cards that added to the thrill of completing two more sets, two of my favorites.


Add Wilbur Wood to Thurman, Brock and Reggie and you've got four needed cards from 2001 Upper Deck Decade the 1970s.


Here are four more (those Reggies are always the last ones).

That leaves just four more cards (120, 146, …

Brush with greatness: Donovan McNabb

I love these Press Pass Xs and Os cards from 1999.

When I was looking for a Donovan McNabb card to fill out my collection of Brush With Greatness topics (i.e.: athletes I've interviewed), I wanted just the right card. I don't really collect football so I wanted only one card of him.

Any card of McNabb with the Eagles wouldn't do. I didn't interview him then and that Eagles' color scheme makes for boring cards. I like the helmet with the wings, but all that dark green really dulls down a card. And forget about the Redskins or Vikings when McNabb was on his way out.

No, I wanted something from his Syracuse University days and something snazzy.

I covered McNabb at Syracuse during his first year on the football field (he red-shirted the 1994 season). It may be difficult to believe now, but at the time of McNabb's first spring practice on the roster, he was not a sure thing as the starting quarterback for SU.

The starting job was considered a toss up between McNabb…

Team MVPs: 1984 Fleer

I'm offering another apology to 1981 Topps.

I've promised twice now that the next set that I would profile in this Team MVPs series would be 1981 Topps. But I'm delaying that yet again, because I keep completing sets!

Since my last '81 Topps promise I have completed 1984 Fleer. Since I'm going back in time with this series I can't continue to go back to the past without taking care of more recent sets! This is my first chance to determine the best card for each team in a Fleer set.

I've noticed a benefit to Fleer right away. The cards are numbered by team, so each team's cards are grouped together. That allows me to review each team all at once instead of the piece-by-piece process I go through with Topps sets.

It's also a lot of fun to determine the "best" card in a mid-1980s Fleer set as many of the photos have so much character. However, you'd be surprised how many photos are also boring as all get-out. Entire teams are boring as a…