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Stick to sports!

I think I'm the only card blogger who gets hassled in the comments when they stray from sports.

I've yet to see anyone actually say "Stick to Sports!", the common exclamation that helped bring down many an ESPN employee -- this is a blog and nobody is paying for content. But the sentiment is there periodically and I suppose it's testament to the readership size here that people come to the blog with certain expectations.

I would think that if people didn't like what I was writing, they would just move on. I know that's what most readers do. There are some bloggers who used to comment on this blog all the time that I haven't seen comment here in months or even years. I just assume they're not interested in the content.

But as I've said many times, my hobby interests are varied and sometimes they stray into the blog. They definitely stray into how I collect cards. There's a reason why I like Allen & Ginter and Wacky Packages, especially the non-baseball items in those brands.

But don't you worry your little head over this post, we're going to get to some baseball -- ha! -- eventually.

That's because I received a nice, healthy box in the mail from John, aka raiderjoe_FO, recently, filled with a variety of collectible paper products! He understands what I collect and isn't afraid to humor me. This isn't my mom ("baseball is good for you, you'll get only baseball"), he gets that I likes what I likes.

And so:

Stickers of dead camels telling you in no uncertain terms to knock off the smoking or you'll die!!!! This is what I like and IT'S NOT SPORTS! It's jerkish!

Haha, that is great.

I believe this is a Wacky Package sticker from practically the beginning. Series 1, 1973! That is so cool!

As you know, I love the WPs from the mid-1970s and pick them up here and there and more often as well. The Toad sticker at the top of the post is from the 1980 Wacky Package reissue as that sticker was originally from 1975 (this is why WPs are exceedingly confusing and why I will never be a full-fledged WP collector).


This is also a 1980 reissue of a 1975 sticker (notice the '75 Topps baseball card wrapper theme). My goodness, it looks like that scary ape is throwing a coronavirus ball!


This is my all-time favorite Wacky Package sticker. It's got everything I need. The popular apes from the Planet Of The Apes craze, the baseball card wrapper tribute (to 1973), an original sticker from 1973 (Series 3 I believe) and the hilarity of getting hit in the cranium with a baseball!

Already this box that John sent is a hit.

The rest of the box featured 100 percent sports. But we're still not at baseball yet. I know John primarily as a football guy. Along with the box, he sent a couple of football articles he's written, including a thoroughly researched report on all of the touchdown-less games in pro football history. It's quite interesting.

A whole bunch of football cards came along for the ride, especially Buffalo Bills, so many Bills that I couldn't scan them all. But here are some very modern cards of current Bills, who I know because I've actually been paying attention to them for the last couple of years:

Sparkly, shiny AND colorful, sometimes all on one card.

A handful of fancy cards of stars from when I was covering the team. Believe me, there was a lot more of this in the box.

But we need to get to the vintage stuff, specifically my favorite vintage football stuff, '70s football stuff!!

As I've said, '70s football cards, year after year, just have a look to me that says "This Is What Football Cards Should Be". That look travels all the way into the early 1980s.

And I don't even think it's because Topps isn't showing logos in the pictures, it has more to do with the designs of the '70s and early '80s cards.

I didn't even collect football cards in 1981. Never even knew what the design was for that year until decades later. But it still has that football card feel from the '70s to me.

Here. This feels different to me. Definitely not that fuzzy feeling I get from the '70s and '80s football. This is the '87 football design. It may seem similar to you. Same cardboard. Same flags and such. Even no logos, although Topps could use logos by this point. But there's a cut-off for me. It ends at the wonderful 1983 set (perhaps it is the logos as I believe team logos arrived in Topps sets in 1984?).

John sent PLENTY of 1977 Topps football. I'm fairly advanced in my quest to complete this set so I needed only these four, plus a couple of upgrades. It's nice to get that Clyde Powers card. I remember that from when I was a kid collecting '77s and thought it was so cool.

OK, that's enough waxing about vintage football cards, I'm sure those who wanted to see baseball cards are practically having a coronary by now.

Don't worry, there was plenty of Dodger baseball that was new to me in the box, too.


OK, yeah, it's mostly '90s stuff. I can get only so excited about that. But it's stuff I NEEEEEEED!!!!

These are both parallels of a Leaf Nomo card from 1998. I needed each of them. Yeah, I know the scanner makes them look the same. That's the scanner's commentary on the ridiculousness of '90s parallels. But in the binders they go!

There is some more modern Dodgers stuff. The vast majority are inserts and parallels. But it feels good to finally get the Adrian Beltre Donruss card and the Kershaw GQ fortune teller card, both long-time members of the want list.

BAM! BELLINGERS! Needed all of these. Got to get them before the player collectors sweep them up! All Dodgers are equal to me, but I know other people don't think that way.

I just love it when O-Pee-Chee Dodgers come my way and slip neatly into empty slots. Lanceurs and Voltigeurs, welcome!

Now look at that! An Orel Hershiser from the junk wax era that I didn't have. This is super appreciated.

This, too! Nobody is sending me 1980 Albuquerque Dukes cards no matter how much I want them. I have to do all the leg work myself on sets like this. But that's John for you, he's got your back.

Final card I'll show. It's one of those wacky combo cards from early 1980s Fleer with some juvenile word play. I wonder what these two -- both rather notorious for having little tolerance for convention -- thought of this card when it hit packs.

So there you are, a little baseball, a little football and a little nonsports and nobody got hurt.

Believe me, I'm not interested in everything that other card bloggers write about. When they discuss basketball or their vacation photos or pro wrestling cards, I just move on without a peep.

These are blogs. It's about the only place in the world where we get to say exactly what we want about what we want without getting (too much) flak for it. I should be able to write about needlepoint for two straight weeks if I want. Yeah, readership would go down to negative numbers but I'd be writing about what I loved.

That's the way it should always be.


Elliptical Man said…
You def got some good cards here: Papale, Kelly, Reed, Hershiser, and the two Carltons stand out to me.

Adam Kaningher said…
Love Archives Reserve!
I don't know if I'm in the minority or the majority here, but I'll say it again. Some of my favorite NOC posts have been when you've written about music or life in general. To me it's a reminder of yet another reason why I love baseball -- because it weaves so seamlessly through so many other aspects of life. (And the '77 football and vintage Wacky Packages also take me back to my youth.)
You'll not here stank from me when it comes to Wacky's. BTW, You didn't say anything about last Wednesday's stickers.
Old Cards said…
I do read other blogs,but you have the most interesting blog on the internet. It's not just your content, but like you said,it's your following and your readership size. You have a way of eliciting comments and I find the comments very entertaining. Your posts on older baseball cards are usually so good, I am disappointed when you post something different. However, as you have stated very well, your interests are varied and as a result so is your blog. I respect that and will continue to come back.
Zippy Zappy said…
Some of my favorite posts from our corner of the blogosphere have been P-Town Tom dealing with rodents or you (Night Owl) having to deal with upstate New York weather/snow. I'm fine with not sticking to sports. Keep being you man.
Fuji said…
Those Wacky Packages are awesome! I totally want to add the Beastball and Beanball stickers to my collection at some point. In fact they're my favorite cards in this post. Although I gotta say... the 82F Steve & Carlton comes in a close second.
Johngy said…
Wacky Packs!!!
GCA said…
I feel like I bore people with so many loot posts and complaints about current sets or practices. My most popular posts (according to comments) are the ones about what I was doing in 1982 including school, playing neighborhood sports, watching the pros, going to arcades, building models, and collecting cards.

You do you. We still like it.
Bo said…
I'll be honest, I skimmed over this, I rarely read the music posts. But it would not even occur to me to suggest you don't write about them. (And just so I don't sound too negative, this is one of my favorite blogs, including some of the non-baseball-card things you have written about.)

Everyone's tastes are different. I'm doing more and more non-sports stuff on my blog. I'm sure I lose readers on those days. We all not only have eclectic tastes, but grow and change over time. My collecting interests have changed a lot since I started blogging over a decade ago, and I am sure yours have too.
RunForeKelloggs said…
I enjoy posts that go in different directions. Since I have more time on my hands I might be heading that way. Wacky Packages will always get my attention. Great stuff.
arpsmith said…
Great stuff, I am fan of the 70s football designs too and working on 3 different sets.

Love the Wacky Packages cards and I have never gotten or pursued those from the 70s and 80s. The more I see them, the more I want to add some to my collection.
AdamE said…
Been a busy few weeks at work. I'm catching up on blog posts now.

It's funny how you stay away from Garbage pail kids but like Wacky Stickers. I saw Garbage Pail Kids as funny and Wacky Stickers as Gross. Basically the opposite of you.

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