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Showing posts from February, 2014

The opposite of a hobby box

(WARNING: This post will contain commentary about kitchen countertops, doughnuts and rock ballads from the '80s ... and the post writer will try to connect all three. Those with weak constitutions may want to click off now).

I was half paying attention to some 2014 Panini Donruss breaks yesterday on Twitter. Sure, I know some of you weren't even aware that there was a Panini Donruss set. But, trust me, the collectors who must have the latest and greatest NOW were aware.

I may be wrong in my perception -- because like I said, I was half paying attention -- but it didn't seem like the Donruss breakers were all that satisfied once all the wrappers were open. There were collation issues. And short-print issues. Lots of short-print issues (I have no idea why Panini baseball -- a company that can't even get half the collectors to give it the time of day -- is short-printing things).

It made me sad for just a brief moment for the box breakers. And I began to remember all the …

Scoring Score

We got hit with another surprise snowstorm today. One of those deals where you go to bed and all is clear and then suddenly they're releasing kiddies out of school early because nobody can see ANYTHING.

So I've got a card with palm trees on it to remind me that there are people playing baseball somewhere. It sounds totally preposterous, but that's what people are claiming.

The card is also the lead-in for the big voting session in which we select the year-to-year biggest bust and biggest improvement during Score's 11-year reign as a baseball card producing company.

As usual, opinions varied when I asked for comments. And you'll see sets that are considered both busts and improvements depending on who you ask. Yep, that world peace thing is a pipe dream.

Here are the candidates for both the biggest improvement and the biggest bust (and, yes, that joke has been made a number of times):


BIGGEST IMPROVEMENT


1989-90: Probably the "biggest improvement" candidate…

The alternate world of baseball card cartoons, take two

I enjoy looking at baseball card cartoons almost as much as anything else having to do with this hobby. That's why I can't for the life of me understand why cartoons don't show up on the back of baseball cards every stinking year. And don't come at me with Heritage. We all know they recycle the same 12 cartoon images each year.

As I've said many times, I learned a whole lot looking at the cartoons on the back of my cards while growing up in the '70s. I often wonder if kids who grew up with cards in the '80s learned as much because, wow, that was a decade barren of cartoon images.

One of the sets where you could learn the most was the 1976 Topps set. The cartoons may not have been as interesting in '76 as they were in 1974 or 1977, but they were packed with archaic facts. For example:


I knew this factoid before I even knew who Wes Parker, Jim Lefebvre, Maury Wills and Junior Gilliam were. And I have the 1976 set to thank.



That's a valuable piece of …

The decline of baseball cards in a single pack

Don't you love my overly dramatic post titles?

I'm afraid you'll be disappointed if you're expecting some great truth to be revealed here. I'm just cleaning stuff off my desk this week that's been sitting there too long. This is a pack that was sent to me by Shane at Shoebox Legends.

But the pack got me thinking. I have the entire 1991 Topps Traded set already. But I couldn't tell you how I got it. I probably bought the whole thing for 14 cents somewhere. And those three previous sentences, my friends, is a commentary on how far baseball cards have fallen in the eyes of its collectors.

The 1991 Topps Traded set was issued 23 years ago. And it's treated with a dismissive shrug by many collectors. I let this pack sit unopened for weeks.

But if you were to hand me cards from 23 years ago when I was, say, in high school, I would flip out. Cards from 1959? Are you kidding me? These are the most precious items in the world!

That, to me, sums up how far baseb…