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Showing posts from November, 2014

C.A.: 1992 Donruss Triple Play Autographs

(Greetings. I've returned from a few days away. During those days, I didn't buy one thing or view one scintilla of college football. But I know I'm still an American citizen because I ate like the world was ending tomorrow. Now that I'm back, it's time for Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 217th in a series): Autographs. I value them, yet I can't be bothered to acquire them. Does that make sense? It does to me. Let's see if I can explain. I do enjoy an autographed card. I like the idea that a major league player spent a couple of seconds to sign a baseball card that I own. I feel a connection to the player -- no matter how slight -- because he signed my card. But I view those cards almost as an "extra" in my collection. They aren't the reason why I collect. Autographed cards are almost like the gimmick in my collection. If I were to give someone a tour through my cards, I'd go through all of my sets and then all of my Dodgers a

Checking it twice

It's officially Christmas season, I suppose. But I'm not black Friday shopping nor taking advantage of any online black Friday baseball card deals. You have to have money to do those things. So, what am I doing instead? Writing about checklists! Wait! Where ya going? This is important stuff here. If you're a team collector, one of the more annoying facets of 1960s cards are the checklists. Between 1967 and 1969, Topps printed a head shot with its checklist cards. That head shot was a star of the period and there was a different star player on each checklist card. The player is unnamed on the card, which often causes it to slip under the radar for team collectors. Some checklist guides don't even bother to mention the player pictured on  the card. It merely says something like "4th series checklist". So this is what happened with the above 1969 Topps 4th Series checklist, which pictures Don Drysdale. Long after I thought I had completed my 196

Feeling pretty good for November

I don't know about you, but for me No vember has been a weird month, both on the blog and elsewhere. For one, readership always goes down in November. Always. It's been that way since I first figured out you could calculate such things. I don't know why that is. The weather is almost always crap in November, you'd think people would focus on more sedentary activities. Second, a lot of people either stop talking about or paying attention to baseball cards in November, which might be the answer to the paragraph above. I'm a baseball guy, so I'll never stop talking about baseball cards just because the season's over. But I guess some people do. Third, I'm broke in November. Well, I'm broke a lot of other months out of the year these days, but no money in November has been a constant for the last six years. Finally, it gets odd for people in November. I don't know if people sense they're getting to the end of the year and they assess t

The games 1970s card collectors play

OK, 1970s fans, tell me what these nine cards have in common. If you collected in the '70s, this should be easy. OK, time's up. The answer is every one of these cards features a home run in the game that you could play on the back of the card! For those who never came across a card from 1978 Topps, it featured a game on the back called "Play Ball". Each player's card displayed a particular baseball play on the back: single, double, triple, strikeout, fly out, ground out, etc. We played this game many times in 1978 and I even played it once on the blog to answer the nagging question of what would the score be if you played a full nine-inning game from the beginning of the set? But as I mentioned in that post, there were many other questions that I had regarding the game. For instance, those cards above aren't the only cards with home runs on the back. But how many were in the set? Well, now I know. Because I counted them. There are 36.

Awesome night card, pt. 226: commonplace

A significant part of the charm of night cards from the mid-1980s and earlier is that there simply aren't many of them. Every night card from back then was and is a discovery. It's why I gravitated to them in the first place. While collecting them as a youngster, they stood out as a novelty. And through my love for everything dark and neon, a collection was born. For instance, this 1984 Topps Traded card of Tim Stoddard is one of the few night cards in all of '84 Topps. There are just a handful. Andre Robertson and Rick Cerone from the flagship set spring to mind. There can't be many more than that. But today? You can't turn around without falling over a night card in a current set. Whatever your collecting desire, there is a night card for that occasion: Home plate celebrations? Check. Return to home plate celebrations? Check. Return to the dugout celebrations? Check. Pitchers bunting? Check. Pitchers blasting off? Check.

Blank space

The first time I ever saw a blank-backed card -- that is, one that wasn't supposed to have a blank back -- was in 1987. I was buying rack packs of '87 Topps here and there, usually after classes, driving off campus and on my way to my grandmother's. It was then that I pulled a blank-backed card of Tom Nieto. Instead of saying "who the hell is this?", because after all it was Tom Nieto, I said " what the hell is?" because the back was blank. I didn't like it. I was deprived of the stats and factoids that make a card complete. It was especially important because I had no idea who Tom Nieto was and I wanted to learn. I had half a card here! I was promised a FULL card! Later -- and I can't remember if it was in the same rack pack or in a different one -- I pulled another blank back. It was another Montreal Expo named Tom.   Tom Foley was half a card. I was flustered. For years, I wanted to pull another '87 Tom Nieto and


This is a pack of baseball cards. Say what you want about the state of baseball-card collecting today, and I have, but this pack possesses something that is lacking these days: Mystery. We go out of our way to eliminate mystery from our lives. Think about it. Those of you who are old enough probably remember when radio was the only option. If there was a song you really liked, you either saved up enough money to buy the record or you waited until you heard it on the radio. But you could wait a reeaaaallllly long time. Through a whole bunch of songs you didn't want to hear. And through commercials, too. But when the song finally arrived -- days later sometimes -- it was glorious. There was mystery. You had no idea when you would hear it again. Today, we simply download the song online or use whatever device we have to skip past everything we don't want in order to get to what we do want. We do the same with cards. A lot of us are all about the singles and the guys