Skip to main content

Why I don't care that 2013 Topps comes out this week

OK, I do care. But I don't care RIGHT NOW.

This week you will be deluged with reports on 2013 Topps. There will be "golden ticket" alerts across the internet -- 2013 Topps has been spotted in a Target in Raleigh, N.C.!!!!!!! MOVE! MOVE! -- but I will be unfazed.

I expect to be in a Target this Friday. I will check then. But even if new cards aren't around yet, it still won't bother me, because I have mah new cards already. I just got back from a card show!

The January card show is an "every other year" proposition. There are no guarantees in this winter wonderland. But clear skies led me to more glorious cardboard and I couldn't be happier.

The show this time coincided with the Outdoor Expo going on in the same part of the fairgrounds. This annoys me to no end, because parking is a pain, especially with the behemoth vehicles Outdoor Expo types tend to drive. And they're in no hurry either, which doesn't coincide with my "NEED CARDS NOW!" state of mind.

But everyone got to their destination with nobody dying or getting arrested, so I don't know why I bring it up.

I paid my three bucks and entered the hall, pinching myself all the way.

But before I show what I got, I'll reveal my failures, since in the previous post I clued you all in to my goals, and I know you all have your checklists out waiting to see if I fulfilled every last one.

So ...


1. No Allen & Ginter minis: This pains me greatly. The show was very busy. I think strategically placing it between two NFL weekends worked well for dealers. Not so well for me. One guy parked himself in front of some discount boxes all freakin' afternoon. I never got to see if there was anything inside those (that's where I got my 1953s for a $1 the last time). The quarter-bin where I found minis last year had none. In their place was lots and lots and lots of Bowman. Ick. I am very upset about this. I really wanted minis.

2. No 1972 Topps: There is only so much cash to go around. Sorry again, 1972.

3. No oddballs. Stupid guy sitting in front of discount boxes all afternoon.

I also failed in finding any 1975 Topps mini-style pages at the Ultra Pro table. Not that I expected to find any. But I figured I should just voice my concern even though I know the guy behind the table would be powerless to do anything about it.

I told him that I've looked high and low for '75 Topps mini-style pages, that they used to make them, and that Topps is making cards that size again so it would be wise to make pages that size again.

It was easily the most vocal and animated that I was all day and the guy was somewhat amused by my distress, so I hope I made an impression on someone.

But just in case:


We'll see how much power this blog has.

OK, enough whining on a joyous occasion. You want to see cards. I'll get you cards.

I'll start with completing a set.

I came across a little card case with SPs from 2012 A&G and fortunately both cards I needed were in there (sorry, Jeff, there was no Howard card).

This marks five straight years of completing Allen & Ginter. The completion dates for all five:

2008: Nov. 20, 2008
2009: Dec. 10, 2009
2010: Nov. 22, 2010
2011: June 15, 2012
2012: Jan. 27, 2013

Five is a nice tidy sum and I don't intend to go for six straight. I suppose if I get really bored in the summer, I could change my mind, but I don't see that happening.

Let's see something more my speed these days on the completion side of things:

Those are two high-numbers from 1967 Topps.

They are the last two Dodgers I needed to finish off that set.

I got a little nervous when the dealer handed me his high number binder and said that he didn't have a lot of them left. But I turned to card #s 514 and 557 and both of them were there. I even got to choose the off-condition ones! Yay thrifty me!

I was so impressed with myself that I asked for the high numbers from 1966 Topps next.

I plucked out #449 first.

Then I nabbed #573.

"This is easy," I thought, and turned to the page that had Ron Perranoski.

Suddenly not so easy.


I left without Perranoski.

But I didn't leave 1966 totally behind. I found one Dodger that had eluded me somehow.

Look at all those teeth.

And then, the page fell open to the league leaders cards.

Have you seen the 1966 league leaders cards?

Sandy Koufax is on like every one of them. Even the batting leaders. Yup, home run leaders and RBI leaders. Everything. Somehow he managed to lead the league in every category for the 1965 season. His face is everywhere.

So I gulped and grabbed a couple.

This one is a classic, for Sandy, Gibby and Veale's glasses.

But this one has Koufax AND Drysdale. With Cloninger insinuating himself in the middle.

That ended my quest for '60s Dodgers. I wanted to do more damage, but those things cost some bucks and I wanted to save for other items. One day, I'll go to a card show with one set or one player in mind. But that's not happening for ages.

That left me my my next mission: attempting to finish off my 1977 Topps set.

I didn't end up doing that -- Pete Rose cost too much, I don't know why I traded that card away when I was 12 -- but I got awfully close. If my want list is to be believed (and once again it's not), I need 12 more cards to finish the set.

Here are some of the '77 goodies:

Reggie in his super smooth, super airbrushed Yankee helmet.

Joe Morgan back before I hated his guts.

Joe Kerrigan? Why Joe Kerrigan?

That's why Joe Kerrigan. I LEARNED stuff on the back of those baseball cards.

Yes. A damn checklist. I hate buying these things.

There's a few more. Some upgrades, some needs, some "well, I guess I had that one already" cards.

At this point, I went to the table where I found the A&G minis the last time. I found none, of course, but I didn't want to go through the quarter box without getting anything, so I grabbed a bunch of randomness.

Most of the cards are going to other people, but this one is staying with me. I am endlessly amused by this card. The Bo Sensation is a little lost on me as I was not a kid anymore when Jackson was doing his thing. I look at this card less from an awed perspective and more from a "this is over the top" perspective.

"Over the top" amuses me sometimes. Think Vegas Elvis. Think Engelbert Humperdink. Think Zubaz.


Action Packed cards are notorious for chipping, but I see a Drysdale I don't have and I see nothing else.

Pee Wee is a golden god.

I resolved myself, there on the very floor of the Horticultural Building, to collect more cards of Shoeless Joe Jackson. I share a birthday with one of the most famed and misfortunate players in the game. I should have more cards of his.

Ugh. We've reached the Bowman portion of the show. I'll try to move quickly.

This guy is named J.T. Wise.

No, I don't know.

This guy is named "Joc." I know you can't read that, and no, I'm not making it up.

If your name is "Joc," I guess you can't walk around with a pen in your pocket solving equations. You pretty much have to play sports.

This guy's name is O'Koyea.

Stop accusing me of making things up.

As usual, when I encounter Bowman, I pull cards blindly, hoping that I actually need them. I was very fortunate this time. Every Bowman Dodger card I pulled I needed. That will never happen again.

To cleanse myself of the Bowman experience, I returned to a vintage table and went straight to some 1956 Topps cards.

After leafing absent-mindedly through some, it occurred to me why I was there.

First I needed a card of Johnny Logan.

Logan is one of the more noted major league players to come from where I grew up. He's from Endicott, N.Y., which is where I lived for my high school years. The other famous baseball person from Endicott is former umpire Ron Luciano, the bane of Earl Weaver's existence.

After taking care of Logan, I moved on to much more important matters:

Righting last October's card show wrong.

What was wrong with me the last time?

By this point, I was really low on cash. I walked around the hall a few times, drooling only once or twice.

I grabbed some meaningless cards like these:

A pre-Dodger Kaz Ishii Japanese card from his time with the Yakult Swallows.

Delwyn Young looking really pissed to be a major leaguer.

And a card of Billy Buckner ...


By this point I was down to my final five dollars when I happened upon a box of with a sign that said "all cards 50 cents apiece."

Intrigued, I went through and found:

Some of these are going to others, some are staying with me.

Ten cards for a grand total of 5 bucks.

Actual inflated retail price?


With that, he pointed to a whole binder of Allen&Ginter relic cards, none more than $1.50. I almost cried. Why didn't I stop here first?

But I can't complain.

Even the Ultra Pro guy who I gave a piece of my mind snagged me for a buck as I bought five 8-pocket pages to house my growing collection of mid-1950s cards.

So, to recap, the show was pretty much a success. After hitting the '60s wants, 1977 wants and A&G cards, I kind of lost my way a little. I'll need more focus the next time.

But still, it's a lot better than sitting in your car, crumpled wrappers in the passenger seat, empty blaster box of 2013 Topps on the floor, thinking "What the hell did I buy THAT for?"

There is never "card show regret."


Nachos Grande said…
I'm jealous. I haven't been to a card show in about...oh....15 or more years. I was barely a kid then - and I didn't buy anything except a couple of 50 cent Barry Larkin cards. I would have found that Ginter relic binder and sat there for the next five hours probably. Thanks for letting us live out the card show vicariously through your experiences.
beefman said…
Some nice cards indeed! Every time I see a new 2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary card, I develop a greater appreciation of them. That Frank Robinson 'cognac' one is awesome!
Nick said…
Very nice finds! I picked up that same '77 Carter for fifty cents at a show a couple months ago, it might just be my favorite card from the entire set.

And I've really got to get my hands on a copy of that '77 Reggie one of these days.

Those '56s are beautiful as well, and I'd take that Frank Robinson "liquorfractor" for 50 cents all day long.

This post has me even more geared up for the card show I'll be attending in a few weeks, so thanks for that!
Scott Crawford said…
You done good. Welcome to the '56 Gil Hodges club.
Jealous...yea, I'm jealous. Thanks for the recap.
madding said…
Man, I should be slangin' ice cream.

I've definitely had card show regret, though. Probably about every other time I go to one.
Anonymous said…
Nice haul!

Three thoughts:
Either that's a bad photo, or John Werhas has a seriously large head. I wonder what his hat size is...

Joe Kerrigan's card might have a cool cartoon, but I'm thinking that most kids in 1977 (myself included) said "Who's Ty Cline?"

I just happen to have the current issue of Baseball America next to me, the one which has the Top Ten Prospects from every NL West team. Joc Pederson is the Dodgers' #4 prospect. They say he "Has the tools to be an above-average regular", so go out and buy another 100 Joc cards. BTW, the other two guys do not appear in the Top 10.
Anonymous said…
I thought I was finished, but I'm not:

I love the Ishii. Just being a Japanese card bumps up its coolness factor.

Joc Pederson's father, Stu, played in 8 games for the 1985 Dodgers.

According to, Joc is actually his name, it's not short for Jocuranniforth or anything like that.
JediJeff said…
Thanks for looking for me, N.O.

One day, I will hit a card show with a decent budget to make dents in things I would like dented. Or a least a decent side swipe, taking out the driver's side mirror in the process - you get what I mean.

It's amazing Topps took the time to find two different images of Koufax for the league leader card. Someone lost their job over that I am sure.
Captain Canuck said…
that Jonny Logan card was worth the price of admission right there.
Chipper was shiny, but that Logan.... wow.

and I think you got some other cards too, right?
Roy-Z said…
At the April show, I promise to rip the folding chair out from under that jackass who parked in front of the affordable vintage tables.

I swear, I was going to look for vintage this time. But I didn't.

Because of "that guy."

He had a terrible goatee, too.
It's painful to hear that you spent hard-earned money on a checklist.

I admire the way that you get lots of items from your list. I rarely accomplish anything but having fun and spending money.
Dennis said…
So much goodness here. Wow. Great cards.

Been too long since I've made it to a show. This post certainly makes me want to rectify that.

Popular posts from this blog

This guy was everywhere

It's interesting how athletes from the past are remembered and whether they remain in the public conscious or not.

Hall of Fame players usually survive in baseball conversations long after they've played because they've been immortalized in Cooperstown. Then there are players who didn't reach the Hall but were still very good and somehow, some way, are still remembered.

Players like Dick Allen, Rusty Staub, Vida Blue and Mickey Rivers live on decades later as younger generations pick up on their legacies. Then there are all-stars like Bert Campaneris, who almost never get discussed anymore.

There is just one memory of Campaneris that younger fans most assuredly know. I don't even need to mention it. You know what's coming, even if Lerrin LaGrow didn't.

But there was much more to Campaneris than one momentary loss of reason.

A couple of months ago, when watching old baseball games on youtube hadn't gotten old yet, I was watching a World Series game from…

Some of you have wandered into a giveaway

Thanks to all who voted in the comments for their favorite 1970s Topps card of Bert Campaneris.

I didn't know how this little project would go, since I wasn't installing a poll and, let's face it, the whole theme of the post is how Campaneris these days doesn't get the respect he once did. (Also, I was stunned by the amount of folks who never heard about the bat-throwing moment. Where am I hanging out that I see that mentioned at least every other month?)

A surprising 31 people voted for their favorite Campy and the one with the most votes was the one I saw first, the '75 Topps Campy card above.

The voting totals:

'75 Campy - 11 votes
'70 Campy - 4
'72 Campy - 4
'73 Campy - 4
'76 Campy - 4
'74 Campy - 3
'78 Campy - 1

My thanks to the readers who indulged me with their votes, or even if they didn't vote, their comments on that post. To show my appreciation -- for reading, for commenting, for joining in my card talk even if it might …

Return of the king

(If you haven't voted for your favorite Bert Campaneris '70s card in the last post, I invite you to do so).

So you've been away for a few years and want everyone to know that you're back.

How do you do that?

Do what The Diamond King did when he returned to card blogging last month: Bombard readers with contests and giveaways! Well, you've certainly gotten MY attention, sir!

I'll start with the giveaways first. Since he returned, the Diamond King has issued multiple "Diamond King 9" giveaways, straight out of the chute and rapid fire in the last month-plus. As I've said before, I am very slow to get to these "first come, first serve" giveaways. I used to think "I spend too much time on the computer" and now I realize "I don't spend enough time on the computer at all!"

But I was able to nab two cards out of the many giveaways.

I won this key 1981 Fleer Star Sticker of The Hawk. I have since acquired several more &#…