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Showing posts from November, 2011

'56 of the month: Murry Dickson

I subscribed to Baseball Digest last year. It was an offering in one of those magazine-drive things, and it had been years since a magazine came to my mailbox. Feeling nostalgic for both Baseball Digest and periodicals arriving on my porch, I took a chance.

It wasn't the same. Baseball Digest isn't a monthly anymore. It's bigger, but contains fewer pages. I also find that I'm just not interested in some of the Digest articles that are simple, extended recitations of a player's statistics. I didn't renew my subscription.

The best parts of the magazine remained the various lists throughout the magazine, and especially the fans' letters.  A lot of the letters are of the "baseball was better in my day" variety. But I appreciate those submissions from older folks because they cause me to investigate players that I know only by name.

The recent issue -- and my last issue of Baseball Digest -- brought up Murry Dickson, a pitcher for several teams during…

A public service announcement from 1985

Just wanted to let those interested know that I've created a blog for the 1985 Topps set. It's called, quite creatively, 1985 Topps.

I'm almost done with the look of it, and I'll take suggestions if anyone has any. No guarantee I'll go through with any of them. But there's always the potential for ideas out there that I'd be willing to steal.

Anyway, you can find it thusly.

The look of the blog is a tribute to the back of the '85 Topps cards.


I've often considered the card backs from '85 Topps to be among the more intimidating in terms of readability. The colors may be in keeping with the season, but red-on-green is nothing that an ophthalmologist is going to endorse.

However, the write-ups at the bottom of the cards are often quite interesting. So I'm looking forward to that. And I promise to keep the blog as legible as possible.

As for the tabs across the top of the blog, I fully plan to keep a running log of the various goings-on in 1985…

The want list is updated!

I know what you guys are doing to me. I finally get my massive want list updated. It takes me two months and I'm discovering sets and parallels that I never knew existed on a weekly basis. But I finally hit 2010 the other day, and it's finished, and I'm taking a break before I go BACK through it to include 2011 and everything I missed between 1950-80.

So what happens?

I get a package from Spiegel that contains cards from the 1977 Topps set.

He knows I'm collecting it, so it's totally a generous act on his part. But what he doesn't know is that while I was updating the want list, I went back and forth and back and forth about whether I wanted to put up a want list for '77 Topps.

I decided against it. Because I've really got to get '71 finished and then seriously start hitting '72s with an animal frenzy. A wide load of '77s would only derail the mission.

But I really agonized over it. I do love the '77s for many reasons and getting cards …

Awesome night card, pt. 131

Earlier today, there was some head-shaking over the news that Ken Griffey Jr., the star in the Upper Deck stable for years, had reached a signing deal with Topps for 2012.

It was another sign that Upper Deck is finished in the baseball world. The man whose face appeared on a card in 1989 that launched UD as the most innovative and anticipated card brand -- especially with a certain generation of card collector -- has vacated what's left of an apparently doomed organization.

The news doesn't mean much to me. Griffey's card arrival came when I was almost 25. Too late for me to see him as a revolutionary. In fact, I do not have nor have I ever had the desire to own Griffey's 1989 Upper Deck card. If I should stumble across it for a buck or less, I'll take it. But I will never feel as if my collection is incomplete without it. If I was going to collect ground-breaking cardboard, I'd be out there with all the others scrambling for a '52 Mantle.

Although I can c…

Sick scoreboard card, pt. 9

It's Monday. The Monday after an extended holiday break. I'm in need of a softball post. How 'bout you?

This is a card that won't get in the way of you figuring out which game is depicted on its front. In fact, you might have more difficulty figuring out the pitcher on the mound, given Topps' two-decade-long foil addiction.

But I'll go easy on you on that one, too. It's Jon Garland, the two-time Dodger pitcher slumming it with the Diamondbacks.

For the specific game information, we go to the broad scoreboard display behind our cardboard hero. It's immediately above the commercial for reblended tap water and the commercial that has ruined your viewing of the NCAA basketball tournament for most of the 2000s.

(Sorry, Black Friday tends to bring out my anti-corporate side).

It's obvious from the scoreboard that Garland is pitching in the middle of Interleague Season. Plus, since this is a card from the 2009 Topps Update set and Garland began pitching f…

OPC, eh?

I live close enough to the Canadian border that I know the Grey Cup is presented at this time every year.

The 99th version of the CFL title happens to be tonight, featuring the Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. the BC Lions.

I don't pretend to know anything else about the matchup or the league. I used to know a couple of people who were big followers of the CFL. But they've kind of faded away and so has my knowledge of that sport with the really wide field. (As an example of my stunted knowledge of the CFL, I still repeat the old Martin Short Roughriders joke about once a week).

However, today seems like an appropriate day to recognize another Canadian institution, even if it's not the same sport.

How about some OPC, baseball style???

I received a bunch of OPC Dodgers from 1967ers of Diamond Cuts and Wax Stains. Virtually all of them were from the '70s, which is my favorite collecting decade. So let's have a lookie, eh?


Here is the oldest card, from 1971. These cards are …

A belated thanks for the mmmmiiiinnnniiiiiiiiiiiiiiissssssss!!!!!!!!

I've been a little out of it the last few days. I'm one of those folks who has to transport the family hours away in order to celebrate Thanksgiving. So blog following has been a tedious and sporadic exercise recently. Posting has been reduced to what was available in the draft folder.

Fortunately, I didn't miss much. NBA closes in on a deal. Meh. College football plays some "big" games. Double meh. Cowboys beat the Dolphins. Meh, meh, meh, with a side of pumpkin meh.

What I did miss were my fellow bloggers. While I was away, someone said they like my blog best of all. I owe a thank you on this blog for that. Plenty of people churned out blog posts despite the holiday. Thanks to those posts, the boredom of the last few days could not consume my sanity.

But there are two folks I'd like to thank specifically.

As I was exiting the house for my trip, I saw the mail truck on my street. I had to fight every urge that I had to make up some excuse to remain home for…

Cardboard appreciation: 1973 Topps Frank Robinson

(Today is Black Friday. This day, since I stopped working in department stores, has meant only one thing to me -- stay away from any store at all costs. I will do my Christmas shopping on a random Tuesday morning, thank you. And stay sane while doing it. Here's to appreciating sanity. And baseball cards. It's Cardboard Appreciation time. This is the 126th in a series):


I finally decided this week to take this card out of my binder of random sets from the 1960s and '70s and place it in my Dodger binder with my other Dodger cards from 1973.

This is a big move for me. Because this card does not meet any of the criteria for gaining admittance in a Dodger binder.

Robinson is not listed as a Dodger. He is not wearing a uniform that advertises the Dodgers. According to words on the card, he is absolutely not a Dodger.

But we collectors know better. This card has been shown many times, mostly because it is one of the most blatant examples of a last-minute fix ever depicted on card…