Friday, September 7, 2018

Digging through the avalanche

This year seems to be the year of "send a flat-rate box to night owl".

I don't want to sound like I'm complaining because all of those flat-rate boxes contain cards. Also, in some of the cases (not all) I asked for them.

But night owl's eyes (you've seen an owl's eyes, right?) are bigger than his card space and even more importantly, they are bigger than the amount of time it takes to process cards coming in at that rate.

I mean look at this:

Who has time for this?

I received this box of goodies from Chris at The Collector as prize winnings for participating in his Sports Cities Tour series, which was quite the captivating collection of posts.

Among the prize possibilities was a selection of Renata Galasso Greats from the late '70s -- just about nothing interests me more that is not already in my collection. I was about to add that to my "haves" when Fuji swooped in at the last second and nabbed it.

Oh, well, So what's left?

Chris was offering a medium flat rate box of baseball cards, containing around 3,000 items from 1980-2018. I kind of winced at the idea of having more 1990 Donruss, but I'm always a bit insecure about my trade bait so maybe this would boost it a little bit.

I am now dealing with that decision.

I wanted to go through the whole box to get a full idea of what was in it for a proper post. But at the rate I'm going, I wouldn't be able to make the post until December. The process of going through the cards entails determining what I have and don't have, and then determining whether anything can be upgrades. Do you know how long that takes when a bunch of the cards are 1991 Score and you already have a bunch of 1991 Score?

Pack a few lunches.

So, instead, I went quickly through the cards and grabbed some ones that seemed interesting to me. I may make another post once I've gone through the full box, but this is what I've unearthed for now.

Let's start with one of my all-time favorite sets from the edge of the junk wax era, 1993 Select. There is a smattering of this set in the box, which will go nicely with the smattering of '93 Select cards I already own.

Oh, yes, there's quite a bit of 1993 Donruss. Not my favorite set but I throw this card out to anyone who thinks that the cards created today are better than ever. If that is so, then how come you would never see this on a modern card? Not only does the MLB license not allow Topps to show anything that could be considered "negative" on a card anymore, but Topps can't even show umps on cards!

Not much in the box from the early '80s, but what was there is a treat. I know for a fact that I didn't own these two 1982 Fleer cards until opening that box. 1982 Fleer want list here I come.

Cards from the 1990s come in a distant third behind cards from the '70s and the '80s, but the Pinnacle sets from 1992-94, before Pinnacle got all weird with its base set, throwing gold pyramids randomly onto photos, are kinda awesome.

I particularly like 1994 Pinnacle, which is much cleaner than most of Pinnacle's sets (you can even make out MLB's desire to have you smoke and drink!). I need to have more of these cards.

Much more.

For whatever reason, I've come across a lot of Jim Deshaies cards in this box. I don't think Chris knows that I live near Deshaies' hometown and have talked to him several times.

Most people know Deshaies as a Cubs broadcaster. I know the reason why he's a Cubs broadcaster. The guy is a good interview.

I've  uncovered a few mid-1990s Finest cards in this box. All of them still feature their coating. I'll probably keep them that way, although I usually remove it so the card can breathe.

Chris shipped both parts of the Classic Best classic error cards featuring Gerald Williams and Todd Williams.

On the back of Gerald Williams' card is Todd Williams' stats (and team logos). And on the back of Todd Williams' card is Gerald Williams' stats.

Probably the most plentiful set in the box is 1991 Score, which I don't mind at all (it's much more useful to me than 1992 Score or 1992 Donruss -- don't ask me what I'll do with those cards).

The '91 Score set is fun for its monstrous size and its subsets. The photos are fairly straightforward but Score can surprise you sometimes by showing an outfielder pitching.

P.S.: This box will make me determine once and for all whether I will try to complete '91 Score.

Another Score set in good supply in the box is 1994 Score. The design is one of Score's best although it's awkward shuffling through the cards because they're so slick. Remind me to never buy a box of this.

I don't think of 1994 as that long ago but each of the stadiums shown are no longer MLB stadiums. Yes, I know 1994 is almost 25 years ago. You just shut up.

Look, it's a future Dodgers manager.

Hey, it's a future Phillies manager.

This must be the most 1990s card of all-time. In a list of the top 10 most '90s cards, this is numbers 1 through 5.

Another one of my favorite '90s sets represented in this box is the 1994 Upper Deck Heroes set, full of floating heads galore. I had to show the checklist because a Floating Flying Dutchman head is too much fun.

I know Goose Gossage's limited Oakland days are all over junk wax cardboard, but it still looks bizarre to me.

More '90s stuff, from the fun to the bizarre to the downright shameful.

Speaking of which, someone thought this would make a good card. Not only do I not know where to look, I don't even know which way to move my head.

Make cards like this Topps. I'm begging ya.

Anyway, that's a sampling I guess of what's in that avalanche of cardboard. When I get through the whole thing -- if I get through it -- maybe I'll come up with some numbers on what was in there, what I need, what I will chase, etc.

Going through all this stuff is great fun. It's just that life let's me open only a pack at a time.

(P.S.: Another flat-rate box showed up on my porch on Monday).


  1. Love the Stadium Cards.
    I'm still actually trying to put 91 Score together.. I have a bunch of dupes from that set as well.. a box full, actually lol.

  2. That Pinnacle Stan Javier in the Oakland Oaks throwback at Candlestick Park is a beaut of a wide-angle shot which must've been taken before one of the Bay Bridge Series last spring training games of the season.

    1. Good eyes Nick!

      P.S. I've apologized before... and I'll apologize again. Sorry N.O.

  3. Oh man, if you need '91 Score help, I'm your man. I've got plenty of it. Also, that '94 All-Time Heroes set is fabulous. I'm really thinking about going after it.

  4. I remember 1993 Donruss well. The major controversy with this set was that there wasn't a factory set. You had to put it together through packs and it was a large set (792 cards, I believe, the same number as Topps?)

    The set itself has aged pretty well. There are many interesting photos like Mr. Owl has said, the design isn't bad and the backs had this cool watermark. And don't forget, this came on the heels of two Donruss "Ishtar" sets -- 1991 and 1992.

    One final thought: I wish 93 Donruss had Diamond Kings in the actual set and not as an SP insert set. That also would have boosted the set.

  5. '93 is a fine set from Donruss. Great images, clean design.

  6. A contest prize like this one would've been right up my alley. '90s oddities galore!

  7. Whitaker sliding in safe on Parrish - heckuva great Cameo card every Tigers collector would want. And a Tigers Stadium card - did not know such a thing existed, thanks for posting both of those.

    I always keep "Future Manager" cards when I buy $1 piles of junk wax. And regular Manager cards too.

  8. I've got lots of '93 Select to trade if you ever go down that route. And '91 Score of course.

  9. I've got fond memories of 1994 Score, as 1994 was the first year my Dad got me baseball cards. In fact I recognize most of that 90s stuff (the 95 Topps, the 98 Fleer Tradition reboot, the 2001 Stadium Club with BASEBALLS!)