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Respect for real cardboard

If you were to send me at random a card from the '90s, or really any card from the last 30 years, there is a good chance it may not survive in my collection.
Setting aside those cards that pertain to the Dodgers or are associated with sets I'm collecting, I don't have a lot of respect for cards put out over the last 30 years. And much of it, when I think about it, comes down to the card stock.
I am still a "real cardboard" snob. Topps hasn't printed its cards on the stock it used from the early 1950s to the early 1990s for a long time. But for a lot of us, it's still what makes a baseball card. We still need that significance in our cardboard. I don't know the why and how behind the gray cardboard stock that was a staple of trading cards for 40 years -- perhaps it was an energy saving measure as so much was during my childhood -- but, dammit, it worked.
To this day, I have respect for "real cardboard" cards.
So while who knows what would happen to a random card from the last 30 years that arrives at my door, you can be sure that I would treat a random card printed from the '50s to the '80s with respect. Instead of being traded or stashed in a box or, mercy, being thrown out (always a chance if I'm getting something unrequested from, say, 1992), I will treat it with reverence, even if I'm not collecting the set.

For example, reader and great-sender-of-cards Jonathan recently graced me with a selection of cardboard greatness that spanned several different genres. Much of it was connected to vintage since both he and I know what's awesome. Jonathan is collecting Topps sets from the '60s. I am not, for the most part.
However ...

... I certainly am not stashing this stuff in a box. I'm definitely not throwing it out.

Greatness such as this, printed on real cardboard, deserves respect. And it will get it.

I am not collecting or attempting to complete any of these '60s sets. Out of all of the past decades, I have fewer cards from the '60s than any other, chiefly because of availability reasons coupled with me not caring.

But getting these cards randomly -- real cardboard cards from 50 years ago -- is very cool and I shall add these cards to my ever expanding binder that includes "Vintage That Isn't Part Of A Set Build". That binder is starting to look quite impressive.

Quite impressive.

Very impressive.

I will forever be faithful to those real cardboard cards. They make me stand up straight. They make me say, "Yes sir, Mr. Cardboard, sir." They make me want to be a better collector, someone who won't settle for stuff printed on flimsy notecard stock. They make me proud to be a collector.
Most of the rest of the cards that Jonathan sent are associated with stuff that are more my collecting focus. No coincidence, though, they're all printed on real cardboard.

I've long ignored my 1982 Fleer needs. Yes, I do respect 1982 Fleer. Printed on real cardboard, you know.


Two needs from 1970 Topps, including High Numbers Nyman. Look how hearty and wholesome those two cards are. Like a bowl of clam chowder on a January night.


Speaking of substance, those TVs back in the day deserved respect. You didn't want to drop one of those on your foot. The 1955 Bowman set paid respect to those televisions and this Don Zimmer card means I need just two more Dodgers to finish off that set.


Respect to everyone here -- Jonathan, 1950 and 1951 Bowman, Joe Hatten. What a great surprise.
But a good portion of the cards in this package were from one set that I knew was coming. And that doesn't mean it wasn't any less wonderful. In fact, it's the best part of the package, because it's big-time set needs from something straight from my childhood!

You can't see me right now, but I'm doing my happy owl dance.
This is getting me quite close to finishing the 1977 Topps football set, as you can tell by all the big-time '70s names. Please note the Danny White, punter-QB mention. I remember those days, when White couldn't even get a card with a number ending in "5" or "0". Now he's one of the last guys in everyone's set quest.

I saved this card for last because I loved it when I was a kid. Even before I could appreciate all of the stories about "The Snake," I knew he was something special. And I respected his cardboard card.

Jonathan added a few more items that I'll either save for a separate post or maybe use as trade bait (some of those '60s cards could be bait as well).

But even if I don't trade them, I know they will never leave my collection and always hold a place of honor.

Because they arrived on the cardboard that I grew up on and that is worth treating with respect.
As I was starting this post, the mail arrived and stashed inside the mailbox was a heavy rectangular package from Jonathan. Wow.

 I don't know what's in it yet. But I bet it's more real cardboard.

(P.S.: Thanks to gcrl for alerting me to the difference between "paragraph" mode -- which apparently is the default setting in new Blogger -- and "normal" mode. My breaks between grafs are much more "normal").
(P.P.S: RIP, Jay Johnstone. Soar into space Moon Man. A Dodger great forever. We Dodger fans will always remember this).


Ahhh.... one of the two "Ryne Duren" cards in the 1963 set. LOL
Mark Hoyle said…
Gotta love the green tint Conley from 62
I'm with you. They just don't make 'em like this anymore. I'm loving that Jack Meyer and the '55 Don Zimmer is classic.

So sad to see about the passing of Jay Johnstone.
John Bateman said…
It has been 29 years since the end of the old brown card stock (and Donruss and Fleer see light through card stock), I guess those days are never coming back.

Just love the Black All Pro banners on the front, I think the ALL PRO designation lasted until 1987 or 1988
I really like that Stabler card. Real cardboard ftw. Sad to hear about Johnstone. Read a couple of his books and enjoyed them.
Old Cards said…
I like the way you started this post with a great looking vintage card from the 60's,my favorite decade. Yes. Nothing like real cardboard.
Fuji said…
That Stabler is so cool. I'm tempted to find a copy for my father who loved him back in the day. As for "real cardboard", what's not to love? The feel and smell are directly tied to my childhood.
Nick said…
That's quite a haul of "real cardboard!" Always jealous of the stacks Jonathan sends you. Hard to beat a trade package with multiple cards from the '50s!
bryan was here said…
I love real cardboard too! And nothing beats '70s Topps football. Especially the '77 set.
Sean said…
I'm very much a cardboard only guy too. There must be some sort of sliding scale that can be used to measure "cardboardness". Like on the one extreme you have vintage Topps cards (all cardboard), and on the other you have pure plastic or whatever it is they make cards out of now (zero cardboard).

Most cards its obvious which side they fall on, but there are a lot that fall in a grey area between. Like the early Upper Deck sets I remember being confused by. They look and feel like plastic, but if you tear one in half its obviously cardboard.
sg488 said…
51 year off/on card collector really misses the "real cardboard".Norcal guy for the last 48 years love that Stabler card.
Nick Vossbrink said…
Hehe I'm glad to see I'm not the only one with a non-team/set-build vintage binder. I have all my cards up to 1981 in binders because there's something special about them. I miss uncoated backs printed in one or two colors only.
Billy Kingsley said…
I know this is way out there but my big takeaway is that there are two different guys who with a one letter change would be named turkey. I wish Ben Franklin had gotten his way.
CaptKirk42 said…
I'm pretty much and old fashioned "real cardboard" snob as well. For me the modern thinner "cardboard" stock is really just lightweight photo stock that is slightly thicker than wallet sized class photos. To me they don't "feel" like trading cards.
Bo said…
Jt seems to be there was a big change in the cardstock between the '70 and '71 sets.
Too bad about Johnstone.
Unknown said…
Love that 1966 Lum Harris card. My wife says it looks like he's watching Godzilla go through downtown Houston. Such a shocked look on his face.
Chris said…
So much great cardboard here. The '55 Bowman Don Zimmer is fantastic.

I'm finally starting to consider building a 1970s football card collection. I'm not quite committed yet, but every post like this brings me a little closer to building a wantlist.
Chris, the 1971 set is nice starting point. I had all but one card in 1971, and finished up with the Raiders' Charlie Smith a few years ago.

No pesky high numbers (like in the 1972 set), or occasional horizontal cards (also in the 1972 set) which messes up a 9-card-per-page binder display, IMO.

Each team had 10 cards, so I have 1 page per team, and all the quarterbacks together up front.

The Luman Harris card was the first of 2 Astros' manager cards in the 1966 set.

The narrative on the back says he was fired the previous December (not in a final sentence tacked onto the end, so Topps knew that from the start of the layout, so why not pull the card in favor of another?)

Grady Hatton had a manager card in a later series.

(And who fires a manager in December? They would have known by October 1st if they wanted him back. SMH)

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