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One last pack

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.


Mark Hoyle said…
I hadnt seen an unopened pack before didn't know what they looked like. I've put together the Negro League subset.
Jamie Meyers said…
Virgil Trucks was one of the all-time nicest guys in the baseball world. Have to give him a shout out here. That pack overall is more interesting than any current offering I've seen busted online.
Metallattorney said…
I used to have this full set. I think I still have a bunch of them, but probably not the bigger names. The Jeter for example is long gone. I loved the set though. Great Red Sox selection (which is all I really care about) including Bernie Carbo, Rico Petrocelli, and Johnny Pesky.
zman40 said…
It looks like the names on the front are on right border in gold. Fun, and varied, set though.
Commishbob said…
When it comes to off-the-wall sets the Teddy Ballgame sets are up there at the top. I didn't appreciate these when they were 'live' (I was about done with collecting then) but over the last few years I've collected some. Like Mark I've got the Negro League subset and scattered others. I need to find the Sam McDowell. Saw him pitch at Yankee Stadium several times. He was a fun guy to watch. And that's a great card of him.
night owl said…
So they are. Wow, that's hard to read.
Scott Crawford said…
For all of the well-deserved heat Ted's late son John Henry Williams took, he shouldn't have taken any for making these. I love (and completed) both of these sets. (Don't have all the inserts, though. At some point, I should look at those checklists and see if they're attainable or as interesting as the base sets.) They may have tanked at retail, but they are an absolute labor of love, with great checklists, tons of info on the players, cool pictures, and designs that I'm pretty happy with.

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.
Nick said…
I have very fond memories of this set. Every year or two, my dad would take a trip down to Memphis with some of his buddies. There was a card shop down there with an array of unopened packs from the early '90s. My dad would bring home a big bag of cards for me every time, and I could always count on there being a few packs of Ted Williams in the mix. I opened dozens and dozens of them over the years. This set probably shaped my current love for old-timers on cards more than any other.
Dan said…
I was a big fan of the debut set. I don't know how many boxes I bought, but I was able to build a complete set, which I still have. I don't have very many from the '94 set, maybe a pack or two. I don't know if they were just more expensive or harder to find back then.
Angus said…
They also put out one NFL set in 1994, and I love the Hall of Fame Browns in the set. Also it had a Chuck Noll card in a Browns uniform. So cool!
Adam Kaningher said…
You don't see these too often. This was a real trip down memory lane. I've had that Fowler card in my collection for over 20 years now!
Anonymous said…
One thing I appreciated about these sets is that the subsets are 9 or 18 cards, and the sets are numbered so that they fit perfectly into one or two pages. Imagine, a company thinking how its set would look in a binder.
Anonymous said…
I have the whole set. any serious collectors interested to buy. e-mail me