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Showing posts from January, 2020

More than just black & white photos

Recently, I hopped online and purchased a few key items with some of my magazine-writing money and they're starting to arrive at my home now.

I'll probably lump the other purchases in together, but I wanted to reserve this one for a post of its own because of how much it means to me.

The 1977 Renata Galasso 45-card set -- what would become a full 270-card set and issued all the way into the mid-1980s -- may not look like much on its face.

The cards aren't valuable. The design takes its inspiration from 1960 Leaf, a rather unpopular set. All of the photos are black and white. And it wasn't issued by Topps or any other major card company.

None of this mattered to me when I first saw them advertised in the pages of Baseball Digest in 1978 (a subscription to Baseball Digest first started coming to our home in 1977 but I don't believe the ads started appearing until 1978 Topps hit the streets).

My only thought was "my goodness, these are cool. I NEED THEM NOW.&quo…

Five cards that sum up Larry Walker if I actually knew Larry Walker

I'm about seven major sports stories behind with this post, but, hey, I make the decisions around here. Sometimes I'm on top of the news and sometimes I ain't.

Plus it's Larry Walker Week in Colorado this week. (I knew I could make this timely).

Last week, Walker and that guy who will be clogging traffic all over the Mohawk Valley in late July were announced as the latest selections to the Baseball Hall of Fame. I'll be adding to my Most Hall of Famers set totals for Walker, Jeter and Ted Simmons at some future point, but I wanted to quickly address Walker first.

Walker has always been a fan favorite. He was so popular he should have been included in Topps' Fan Favorite series from 2003-05 even though he was still playing at the time.

I enjoyed his skill and personality and that's saying something because Walker played for the Dodgers' rivals (Expos, Rockies and Cardinals) and his most famous moment for St. Louis might have been the two home runs he hi…

The lone Ranger

Who is Nick Solak?

Glad you asked.

And thanks to cynicalbuddha for scanning his card into Trading Card Database.

Nick Solak is a former Yankees, former Rays prospect who appeared in 33 games for the Texas Rangers last year.

That, apparently, qualifies him for being the only Texas Ranger to appear in the 350-card base set for 2020 Topps Series 1, a checklist of which was released this morning.

That's right, the ONLY Texas Ranger.

I did the count and the Rangers, with Solak shouldering the entire load, come up a distant 30th behind the 29th-place Orioles, who have a more typical seven cards.

Here is the breakdown by team that I compiled earlier:

Dodgers - 17
Astros - 17
Nationals - 16
Cubs - 15
Athletics - 14
Brewers - 14
Indians - 14
White Sox - 14
Phillies - 13
Angels - 12
Blue Jays - 12
Braves - 12
Padres - 12
Red Sox - 12
Reds - 12
Twins - 12
Yankees - 12
Cardinals - 11
Giants - 11
Marlins - 11
Mets - 11
Diamondbacks - 10
Mariners - 10
Rays - 10
Tigers - 10
Royals - 9
Pirates -…

A friend indeed

This week has been the kind of week that only late January could produce.

Nothing particularly wrong or terrible happened. Mostly what I felt this week was a sense of spinning my wheels, of working hard without result (or with other people screwing it up), of trying to get things accomplished (while battling a sinus infection) only to have a car noise or a phone call knock me back to square one.

That feeling transferred over to the blog where I probably spent too much time uploading too many photos and conducting too much research and expecting too much in return.

But all of this is a phase. It's the January malaise. I'll snap out of it. It could be worse. I could be dealing with three feet of snow right now instead of the melting three inches that is out there.

And I could be struggling through this week without an envelope in the mail from "A Friend".


That's right, "A Friend".

That's how the return address appeared on the envelope. Just above th…