Monday, December 3, 2018

Special delivery

Just to set the scene, there is no one in my neighborhood, not on my street, not on the streets nearby, not on the streets a mile-and-a-half from me that knows I collect cards.

So when I found a box with no writing on it on my porch a couple weeks ago, a box that is just the kind that would house cards, I was a bit perplexed. What could it be? And if this is cards, who in the world around here knows that I collect cards?

The mystery didn't last long though. I had been conversing in emails with Jeff (who goes by turrdog on the blogs) about a trade. I also knew that Jeff has relatives up my way and often comes to my deserted outpost at this time of year to hunt.

This is a popular reason for people making trips to where I live. Probably the top reason. In order it is to:

1. Hunt
2. Fish
3. Boat
4. Hike

I think that's the whole list. Since I don't do any of those things, why in the world am I here? I don't know. I've been asking myself that question for more than 25 years.

But thank goodness a card collector does some of those things because I received a little care package on my front porch, not delivered by a mail carrier who gets paid or anything. It was actual to-your-door service. It was like a tin of Christmas cookies but even better!

The box of cards covered a range of my collecting interests. A decent swath were oddball Dodgers from the 1980s. This is well-known territory for me. Plenty of fun, but I have a lot of them. Fortunately, Jeff sent a bunch so a few things stuck. One is the '83 Topps glossy send-in card of Fernando up top. That will go to my '83 glossy completion project, officially announced right here today.

These were the other odd needs. Somehow that '87 Pedro Guerrero Sportflics card has snuck past me all these years. The Fernando looks a lot like another oddball issued in 1987, but that one doesn't feature a True Value logo.

How about this pesky overproduction era set?

Jeff sent all but a couple of the 1993 Stadium Club Team Set Dodgers cards, something that doesn't come along often in trade packages. One of the cards he didn't send that I have already is the Mike Piazza card. I had to look up the now one lone missing card. Of course, it's Pedro. (No, not Astacio, silly).

Here are two final-series 1973 Topps needs from the box on my porch!

That Del Crandall card has a lot of problems, but I don't care in the least. It's crossed off the list!

And so are these!

Most of these have boxes filled on the back, which I would replace in other sets, but not for 1973 Topps. It's not a set I ever collected as a kid. Those marked backs work just fine. The real attraction to these cards are all the signatures on the front! William Joseph Buckner!!!!

The rest of the box -- a little more than half in fact -- contained my main football card mission and that is 1977 Topps.

I love getting these cards.

This assortment was chock full of some of the great football looks from this time period. I don't think any sport beats football for plain bizarre appearances on vintage cards. Take a peak at a few of these.

This one is well-known. Try to picture this getting past today's cardboard quality-control sensors. Billy's had a few during the photoshoot!

Topps smartly cropped out the bodies of the two dead hitchhikers he is dragging behind him.

The football parallel to the Topps baseball Doyle Alexander card issued the same year.

I am highly entertained.

Yes, 1970s football cards are great fun.

I often separate football eras into the old, old days and then the more modern era. The modern era for me starts around 1976, the first year I can remember buying football cards. The old, old days is just about anything before that. Garo Yepremian stumbling around trying to throw a football in that Super Bowl game is definitely the old, old days. Yet, here he is on a '77 Topps football card!! What the heck? Does this mean I'm old???

The team checklist cards back then featured the checklist on the front and the team leaders on the back, which if you ask me is backward.

Also, there's quite a disparity in terms of teams sets from back then, This Dolphins set features 23 players.

The Seahawks get just 10. I know they were an expansion team back then, but I believe they were required to play with the same number of players as every other team!

There were lots and lots of '77 football in that specially delivered box. All the great NFL names. Vern Den Herder!

Dominating defenders of the past like Jack Gregory.

More late '70s greatness.

Because of the 1977 Topps set, I was a Cowboys fan more than anything else that year.


I thought the red-and-yellow looked sharp. The names were familiar because the Cowboys were in the Super Bowl often at the time. So for this year only, I held those Cowboys cards above all others.

The following year I'd become an Oilers fan and then several years later, a Bills fan for good.

This was a great box of cards full of stuff I love. But Jeff wasn't finished. He followed up the special delivery with a one-card mailing the customary way.

This Maury Wills Greats of the Game bat relic will go very nicely with my Wills Greats of the Game jersey relic.


  1. Those football cards are just awesome!

  2. Thanks to a Twitter conversation yesterday I now recognize that Del Crandell card as featuring two of the handful of 10x (or more) All Stars who didn't make it to the HoF

  3. I will be sending more '77 football. This month they will arrive.

  4. "Garo Yepremian stumbling around trying to throw a football in that Super Bowl game is definitely the old, old days."

    Lol, thanks for officially declaring me "old, old", Greg. It just so happens I was at that Super Bowl game at the LA Coliseum (my dad was a Rams season ticket holder and I still have my ticket stub). Those '77 football cards sure are sweet and are a reminder of yet another bunch of my football cards that I need to inventory. Of course those Dodger cards are really nice too! And fwiw I don't hunt, fish, boat or hike. Those things would take time away from the hobby, right?

  5. The 77T football design is pretty awesome! Best of luck with that set.

    P.S. I'm so glad you're no longer a Cowboys fan ;)

  6. The Seahawks got 2 defensive players. The Dolphins got 6. Then again, the Dolphins got 2 QBs and 3 RB and almost their whole offensive line.

  7. Hunt, fish, boat, you live somewhere just South of Heaven I presume.

  8. Who says logoless cards aren't interesting? There sure are some strange photos in '77 Topps. I seem to recall the Dan Fouts card has a station wagon parked on the field (just checked this and it's not quite on the field, but still..)

    Also, the name Dwight Maness sounded familiar to me so I checked that as well. I must have seem him play a time or two when he was with the double-A New Haven Ravens.

  9. 70s Topps football cards are my wheelhouse!! I love them all. So many hidden gems. The 77 set includes Mr Invincible himself, Vince Papale of the Eagles.