This is the last of the dollar packs that I bought at the card show in Vermont last spring. I was supposed to post this over at A Pack To Be Named Later, but I'm trying to keep this blog going during a very busy and frantic month. I think it's called "self-blog preservation."
I saved this pack for last because it was the most interesting one to me. I've never opened anything from the Ted Williams Card Company's two years of sets. I'm pretty certain I didn't know the cards even existed until I started this blog.
A brief backstory for those also late to the party. The Ted Williams Card Company was created by Ted Williams' loopy son John Henry during the height of the card craze. They put out sets in 1993 and 1994 before going broke. The company didn't have a licensing agreement with the players' union so the set focused on retired greats, notables in their minor league uniforms, prospects, and a couple of groups that had been mostly ignored up to that point -- Negro League players and All-American Girls Professional Baseball League players.
It is such a diverse collection of players (even the greats span the list from Carlos May to Bob Watson to Gorman Thomas before finally getting to Ty Cobb and Ted Williams) that it appeals to both my love for variety and baseball history.
As you can see by the wrapper, this is a pack from the 1994 set, Series 1, with all the bells and whistles that existed in 1994 -- anti-counterfeit ink, spot UV coating (I don't really know what that is) and inserts!
I didn't pull any inserts in this pack. But as varied as the set is, it almost feels like every card is an insert.
#34 - Virgil Trucks, Tigers
The cards in the base set don't feature a name on the front. The name is referenced on the back by full name only, so "Virgil Trucks" is "Virgil Oliver Trucks" with his nickname of "Fire Trucks" listed below.
The stat listing is interesting as someone made a judgment about Trucks' five best seasons and put only those on the card.
#91 - Checklist
Lots of brown in the TWC cards. Not the most appealing color to incorporate with your cards, but that's really my only complaint.
#7 - Cy Young, Cleveland
There is no reference to "Cy" on the card. Just "Denton True Young." Also, his "five best seasons" are crazy. Thirty-win seasons every one.
#112 - Toni Stone, Negro Leagues subset
Fantastic card. My favorite one in the pack. So wild.
Toni Stone was one of the most success female players of all-time, competing for the Indianapolis Clowns and Kansas City Monarchs during the 1950s.
#69 - Connie Mack (or Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy), Athletics manager
This set is all over the map. The Mack card demonstrates some of the colorization involved. It makes the card look a bit dated, but it sure is bright!
#140 - Vada Pinson, Goin' North subset
This is another subset featuring superstars as minor leaguers. I've really enjoyed the few Dodgers that are in this subset.
#27 - Sam McDowell, Indians
Another great card.
#124 - Derek Jeter, The Campaign subset
Woooo! The costliest card in the entire set, outside of the autograph cards randomly inserted. Time to get in my time machine and fly back to the '90s so I can sell this for something completely unreasonable.
#16 - Gabby Hartnett (Charles Leo Harnett)
All the times I've ever used or read the word "gloamin'", he is in the sentence.
#98 - Alma Ziegler, Women of Baseball subset
One of the best players in the AAGPBL from its early days. She was known as a hard-nosed infielder.
#62 - Thurman Munson, Yankees
Game at Anaheim, apparently.
#106 - John "Bud" Fowler, Negro Leagues subset
Fowler goes way back as the first black player in the minor leagues in 1878, according to the back.
That is a pretty cool cross-section of baseball history there. The players on those cards span from 1878 (Fowler) to 2014 (Jeter). I can't name many sets that can do that.
The Ted Williams Company continued the tradition started by companies like Fleer and TCMA that has since been extended in modern times by Obak and Panini's Golden Age and Hometown Heroes, among others.
It's proof that you don't need licenses to make a collectible set. You just have to know how to do it.
I may have an extra Toni Stone card for trade or sale, if anyone saw it and loved it as much as the Owl and I do. Pretty sure I found one when I was sorting star cards last month.
There's a book about Toni called "Curveball" by Martha Ackmann that I'd really like to read. (The cover uses the same picture of her as the card does.) Hoping to have a comfortable reading chair and some free time (Don't we all?) in 2017, so I can whittle down the huge stack of books in the to-read pile, and pick that one up, along with "A Strong Right Arm" by Michelle Green, which is Mamie "Peanut" Johnson's biography.