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Card stuff I discovered on the internet

This post was originally going to be called "stuff I discovered on the internet," but I figured that would leave too much to the imagination.

Before the internet came along, I discovered cards and card sets mostly through advertisements in the Sporting News or Baseball Digest, or through hobby catalogs that came to my house, like TCMA or Fritsch Cards. Later, I subscribed to Baseball Cards Magazine and found new-to-me sets in articles in that magazine.

But I missed so much through those methods. Outside of what was selling in wax or cello packs at the drug or grocery store, that was all I knew.

It wasn't until years and years later, when I ended up online like everyone else, that I discovered how much that I had missed.

Once I became aware of card blogs, the door was open wider than ever. There were so many sets -- so many sets and cards that often had been issued right under my nose -- that I never knew existed.

For example:

I had no idea there were so many box sets from Fleer (and Topps through various retail and food issues) released during the 1980s.

Sure, I knew all about the 1982 Kmart set that kicked off the boxed set craze. But as far as I was concerned that's where it ended. Much, much later, a handful of 1986 Fleer Limited Edition Superstars cards landed in my collection. But with no reference point, I figured they were just part of the main '86 Fleer set, which I never bought packs of anyway.

I had no idea that Fleer was issuing multiple box sets every year during the late '80s because I was in college in the late '80s and baseball card collecting wasn't even a thought. Could I find baseball cards in a bar? OK, then who cares?

The above 1987 Fleer League Leaders cards -- sent to me recently by Stealing Home of All Trade Bait, All The Time -- took decades to enter my consciousness, until one day I saw them displayed somewhere on the internet. And a whole new world opened up. Today, I have entire binders filled with boxed sets from the late 1980s.

Another example:

 This 1986 Sports Design Products card showing the great Robin Roberts bizarrely dressed in a Yankees uniform, popped up on the internet a number of years ago as I was wandering online.

"What a great card," I thought. I had known all about legends sets through reading the TCMA Advertiser and catching the ads from Renata Galasso and others. And I knew that sometimes those sets would copy old Topps designs and that was cool, too.

The '86 Sports Design Products set, though, escaped my knowledge, because -- see above, beer and girls and such -- but, wow, what good stuff. Roberts was sold to the Yankees after the 1961 season, but they released him before he pitched in a regular-season game. He later moved on to the Orioles and pitched with some success, which makes this Roberts-Yankees card even greater.

I've since become aware of the 1986 Sports Design Products/J.D. McCarthy set and have owned the Walter Alston card from that set for quite awhile. The Roberts card, which I obtained from A Cracked Bat's pick-pocket program, also spurred me on to grab the only other Dodger from this set, Sandy Koufax, which has eluded me too long. It should be arriving at my door very soon.


Here is another pick pocket card from Julie and another internet discovery.

Card blogs contain collectors of all ages and there are two ages that dominate online and have dominated for years. One are the collectors who grew up in the late 1980s (All Hail 1987 Topps). The other is collectors who grew up in the mid-to-late '90s.

Because of those late '90s collectors, I've seen all kinds of sets -- specifically from Collector's Choice, Upper Deck and Fleer, but others, too -- that show posed shots such as these. "Posing With Props," I call them. At first, I thought they were weird -- I had never seen them before. I didn't collect through much of the 1990s.

But after years of seeing people making them primary parts of their collections -- think Dime Boxes -- I've caved a little. Quite frankly, cards like this make for interesting posts and sometimes I wish I had a card of a player sitting in a sports car, or using a video camera, to illustrate a blog post. But my collection is very low on late '90s cards.

So I picked Julie's pockets for a card that I discovered on the internet: Kenny Lofton stealing bases.


This pick-pocket card I discovered before the internet. Seeing those 1980 SSPC Baseball Immortals cards advertised in Larry Fritsch's catalog was one of my favorite discoveries. I wanted those colorful cards so much.

It might be too much praise for some who consider Fritsch's prices inflated (I do, too, for the record), but Fritsch's catalog was the internet for me at the time. That's where I found cards that I never knew existed.


The internet and card blogs are the new advertising catalogs and hobby magazines, and as much as I love those old ways (and hope that some of them continue), I admit that my collection has grown exponentially better because of the online world. Who knows what stagnating state my collection would be in if I was never online?

I'd never be able to get an in-person autograph card like this Derrel Thomas here, sent to me by Stealing Home, because it was signed at Dodger Stadium and how am I going to get something like that without the internet?

Before the internet, it was out of mind, out of sight. What I didn't know never showed up in my collection.

But now, I see it all. And there is so much card stuff in my mind currently that sometimes it falls out of my brain.

Still, I wouldn't have it any other way. And I'm ready for the next card discovery.


I am still amazed that after collecting all of these years, that I still stumble across stuff I never knew existed.
It seems every time I bought one of those Fairfield repacks there was a card from another 80's Fleer boxed set I had no idea existed.
Old Cards said…
Very interesting card of Robin Roberts. His 62 Topps card is a close up with no cap and the team name on the card is the Yankees. Did not realize he had another card showing him on the Yankees, especially in a full uniform.
Nick said…
That zero-year Roberts is one of an infinite amount of cards I, too, would've never discovered without the internet. The 'net might have its faults, but fact is my card collection is about a hundred times better because of it.

Also, I used to think '98 Topps was the worst Flagship set ever, but that Lofton pretty much singlehandedly moved it a couple spots out of the cellar. I love that card so much.
BaseSetCalling said…
When I was young the Fritsch catalog was like sensory overload.
John Bateman said…
Fristch was tough, I loved the catalogue but once I sent a check for a set of hockey cards as soon as I received the catalogue and I got a reply from him a week later that the price for the set had gone up $25.00.

He was one shrewd dude.
Fuji said…
Overall the internet has made a positive impact on my life... especially in regards to collecting cards. But the whole "distance teaching" thing has me second guessing my opinion of it.
madding said…
There was a Newberry's store here that would always carry the various Fleer boxed sets that were available in the '80s. After reading a lot of paper publications in the late 80's/early 90's (pre-internet) I found out that there were even more boxed sets than I thought, since some were exclusive chain stores that were more regionally focused than others. In the days of the internet, it's been nice to pick up those "oddballs" that I was never able to see around here back then. (Those Topps Woolworth's sets, for example.)
Billy Kingsley said…
If you really want to go down the rabbit hole and find a lot of obscure stuff, browse the Dodgers listing on the Trading Card Database: 145,523 cards listed, 43,552 of them with scans.
bryan was here said…
I recently rediscovered the joy of the Fleer and Topps box sets. I jst finished the entire run, just waiting on the '86 Topps Woolworth set (the ones with the yellow borders in a '62 style), which should be in my hot little hands tomorrow or Tuesday.

That Robin Roberts actually was my first '86 card that year. My local card shop had got a bunch of those in and the owner always gave me a sample card because he knew I loved oddball stuff, even back then.

My favourite card I didn't even know existed is a 1985 ceramic Tom Seaver that I found at a card show about three years ago. I vaguely recall seeing an advertisement for them in Baseball Cards magazine, but never gave them any thought.
Jon said…
I miss the days of learning about things from non-internet sources. These days the blogs serve as my primary source of information.

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