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Following up (again)

I need to tie off some loose ends about a few different topics, so I'll do that here and then I'll show you some cards from Fuji later. The cards he has been sending out have been all over the blogs lately so what I'll be offering isn't anything new.

So, some housekeeping:

1.  Thanks for your comments on the expansion post from last night. I do appreciate them and I know how fortunate I am to receive the amount of comments I do.

Sometimes, particularly after a very research-driven post that takes hours and hours over several days, if I receive a comment that says nothing but "you forgot this," it rubs the wrong way. That's what happened yesterday, a few times. I should have a thicker skin but I think I wore it off pulling all those cards out of binders and looking up web sites, and typing, typing, typing. I don't expect praise in every comment, but, you know, "yes and ..." is a little more helpful than "yes but ...".

So anyway, I'll try to be less snippy. I can use the excuse that I was having a bad day, because I was. But I should treat my commenters with respect. Many blogs wish they had this problem. Also, there are a number of people -- fellow bloggers even -- who don't comment at all (and what's their deal?). I should remember all of that.

One helpful commenter mentioned that there were actually cases of expansion team players being featured a year before the expansion team played a game in 1992. I had made the statement that the 1992 Donruss' Rockies and Marlins logos were the only on-card indications of the pending expansion in '92 and players weren't involved.

I never intended the post to be the be-all and end-all of expansion-teams-on-cards research (but that's why you shouldn't use words like "only," night owl!). But I think I do have an excuse. The above card claims to be an expansion team card from 1992. But we all know that is merely a horrible baseball card of some kid on a park bench.

He is listed with the Marlins though. So I guess it classifies. There are a couple examples of these in the Olin Mills Photo Shoot portion of 1992 Bowman.

Here is Nunez again in the 1992 Upper Deck set on something that says "Florida Marlins" a little more than the Bowman card.

Upper Deck wedged one Marlin (Nunez) and one Rockie (Ryan Turner) into its 1992 set in the 700-plus numbers (neither made the majors). There are also a couple of expansion players in Upper Deck's Minor Leagues set from that year, so those are your pre-1993 examples of Marlins and Rockies.

Trying to do card research that involves 1990s cards is just asking for trouble. Whenever my research wanders into the '90s my brain starts screaming "what are you DOING?!?! You can not win this battle!" I should listen to my brain.

2.  I believe I have sent all but one of my Bert Campaneris prize contest envelopes off in the mail.

Three of them went out today, including both envelopes headed for Canada. You'll be pleased to know that the guy waiting on me, after asking me to step aside to fill out the customs form, vanished while I was filling the form. He had forgotten about me. So I'm standing there while all the other customers in the post office were waited on and had left. Then the other two workers started checking out their registers and counting the cash and leaving. Finally, one of them found the guy who was waiting on me and told him, "you know that customer is still waiting for you." There were many apologies.

That leaves one last envelope, which is for Nine Pockets. Since I've procured his address, I will be filling that out and sending it sometime this weekend.

Thanks for playing along with me. And, as always, thanks for commenting. Sorry, again, that I forgot that yesterday.

3.  I'm done talking about and fiddling with the look of my blog.

One of the elements I was still questioning (this has been going on for as long as the blog has existed) is changing the blog look so it's black-on-white type instead of white-on-black. Then I looked at the Blogger app on my phone. Did you know that the app converts your blog to black-on-white type automatically no matter what configuration you have on your actual blog?

When I saw that, it signaled to me, I need to stop obsessing. I think I like what I've got enough to keep it for awhile so don't expect any big changes.

But do expect those Night Owl Cards logo business cards! I will be ordering those in the next few days.

No, they won't be purple.

4.  Many of you know that Topps Big League is out.

I haven't looked to see if my local stores have it. It takes every ounce of energy I have to enter a Target these days (and forget Walmart, maybe I'll go back in 2021). I actually have to make a day of it. And the way the card aisles are cleared out -- apparently some people don't have to make a day of it -- it would be very disappointing to get all gussied up and then encounter a ramshackled card wall.

Also, I'm trying to ignore current cards as much as possible this year. But I do like the look of Big League this year. I like it very, very much. This set reminds me so much of collecting cards in the '70s and '80s and that's why I will always appreciate Big League.

The 2020 Big League design also reminds me of something, too.

A couple of people have brought up that it looks like 2009 O-Pee-Chee and it does. It's one of the first sets I thought of when I saw the Big League design.

But then I thought of another set that I think looks even more like 2020 Big League.

1998 Upper Deck Retro is a pretty spot-on match for Big League.

I went ahead and ordered the Dodgers team set for Big League. This is my strategy for 2020 sets that I traditionally like. If I get all the Dodgers it will keep me from buying packs of the stuff. And that way I can concentrate on vintage and other card stuff I've been buying the last three months.

5. If you have been on Twitter for the last 48 hours, you've seen this card a time or two.

It is a variation short-print of Andrew McCutchen's Topps Series 2 card. It is tremendous and I'm sure Collecting Cutch already has 14 different variations of this variation in his clutches.

The card is so good that the official Twitter account of baseball legend Dick Allen called it "the coolest baseball card ever."

This is high praise. But I couldn't help but think it would be much cooler if this was a card you could reasonably expect to pull out of a pack, like any of the other non-short-printed cards. Wouldn't that be cool if, you know, all the base cards were as cool as this?

I would think that would cause a whole bunch of people to start collecting cards if the photos were this awesome, rather than all the repetitious batter batting, pitcher pitching, runner running, athlete-making- grunting-face-grunting cards we've seen so many times for so many years in Topps flagship sets.

Variation short-prints have been around a long time and chase cards have been around even longer, but I think the hobby did itself a disservice when the chase card/insert card/variation card/super short-print card became king. Topps and the other card companies -- most now gone -- when they did this, officially admitted, "hey everyone, most of the cards we're producing are boring. Our base set is boring. You don't want that. What you really want is this card that you'll have to open 12 boxes to get. That's what you want."

That is not the hobby I grew up in. I know many people did and have no idea what I'm saying, but not being able to pull this fantastic McCutchen card out of a pack and instead hunting for it online and hoping the price will go down and battling 53 other unseen McCutchen fans for that particular card is not progress.

All right, I'm getting crabby again ...

Let's wash that all away with Fuji's cards!

He managed to squeeze 15 Dodgers cards into a PWE. And, marvel of marvels, I actually needed one-third of the cards!

I know the Inland Empire 89ers card is technically not a Dodger card, but I do count those Pro Debut cards as Dodger cards in my collection and you can't convince me otherwise.

The Adrian Beltre Bazooka card, weirdly, I owned the mini version and the gold parallel version but not the base card.

Two other cards Fuji sent I have but I can reapportion elsewhere. The Beltre may find a spot in my night card binder (but it would have to boot out a Darin Erstad card I like a lot). The Jerry Reuss card will go toward my Someday 1982 Donruss Completion Bid. Date: Unannounced.

OK, so that's plenty for what is basically a housekeeping post. I will be taking Saturday off for a breather.

Obviously, I could use it.

(P.S.: I added the "again" to the blog title because I realized I've used "Following Up" as a housekeeping post not even two years ago!)


Bo said…
I've had the same thought about the variations - what is the point of making the best-looking cards so hard to get? You would think it would pull more people into the hobby if you could regularly get cards like that.
Lots of good points, as usual. If I ever make a comment that you feel like is a swipe at you, please disregard, because I wouldn't have meant it that way! I can tell how much effort you put in to your posts, and it is 10-20 times the amount I do!

Keep up the good work!
Elliptical Man said…
So the best card is a Phillie? Not surprised.
Yep those variations drive me nuts, especially considering how lame most of the base card photos are in the flagship art.
Jeremya1um said…
I guess I’ve just kind of assumed that new 2020 cards would be on hold for a while, so I was kind of surprised when not only Bowman, but also Big League, and now apparently Series 2 came out recently. Hopefully the Series 2 was made in enough quantity that they will keep the shelves full for a while.
Billy Kingsley said…
My Uniform History series takes about 7 hours per post to create and average three comments...

Love that Inland Empire logo. I'm fascinated by the road systems in the country, and since you mentioned they are the 89ers I'm guessing that's a reference to Route 66, which being on is something I considered one of the big three on my "bucket list"...I accomplished it last October, totally by accident (looking for a restroom, actually).

I am very happy with Vistaprint for business cards. My scale model club was so impressed with mine we had some printed up for the club, and I ended up getting a canvas tote bag with our logo too.
Fred Pike said…
Very interesting post and it is quite alright to be crabby.
Nick said…
I have, admittedly, spent a good amount of money on photo-variations on COMC and such over the years, but deep down I know they have absolutely no reason to exist. As you said, they're basically Topps admitting that the rest of their base cards are dull, but here's some other spectacular, rarer card you'll want!
Nachos Grande said…
You are right, the UD Retro set is a dead-ringer for this year's Big League Baseball. I'm glad you put that together since I've known that I liked the look of this year's BLB set but couldn't quite figure out why (I'm still working on collecting the 1998 Retro set so that's enough reason to sit out BLB despite liking the look of it).
Adam said…
I really like the look of this year's Big League set. However, like you, I'm not brave enough yet to go set foot in a Target or a Walmart looking for the stuff. Just going out right now with all the occupancy restrictions and regulations everywhere gives me all sorts of anxiety. My wife wants to go out to the giant international market near here tomorrow and I'm dreading every second of going in there.

Now, I did find out the other day that you can order blasters and/or hanger boxes from both Target and Walmart. Heck, if you have a Target Redcard you can get 5% off. I see a Target order in my future provided they have stuff I want and if I have any extra money.

Oh, one last thought ... 1992 Upper Deck, love that set and I had roughly ZERO clue that both a Marlins and a Rockies card snuck in there. Guess you learn something new every day.
Heheheeeeeehee. Yeah, but um..... JFK (just freakin kiddin). I've been taking a breather all week (except for a couple posts). You know what's really good for those cranky days???????? COOKIES. LOTS OF COOKIES.... :) I missed yesterday's pissy mood, as I didn't even turn on my puter, no I did but only for scanning.
Captain Canuck said…
Variations. Just once can we have a really cool variation or error card that's a good old fashioned accident? Not a carefully planned out take the fun out of building the base set kind?
I read the blog every day, but I don't always something to say. I do have that Cliff Floyd card signed.
Angus said…
Sorry that I don't comment as often as I should but I really enjoy almost everything you write.

Love the Konerko card.
bryan was here said…
Oh yeah, gotta go catch that Cutch card! Love those "Saturday Night Special" throwback unis the Phillies wore last season.
And anytime I see that blond mop of hair and bushy mustache under a Dodgers cap belonging to Jerry Reuss is guaranteed a smile from me every time.
As always, wonderful work.
madding said…
I immediately thought of those two '92 Upper Deck expansion cards, but I couldn't think of the names of either player... unsurprising considering how they panned out. David Nied didn't end up having much of a career, either.
gregory said…
Looking forward to your card package arriving in the mail, not to mention the final business card design!

Also, I agree with you on the whole short-print thing.

Also also, nice Olan Mills reference there ;-)
P-town Tom said…
Good for you on buying the Big League Dodgers team set and then bailing on 2020 cards. I found one blaster at my first WalMart/Target and then it took me seven more such stores before I found a second one. The card sections were all cleaned out for the most part, save some random packs of Series 1 or Opening Day here or there.
Odds are, you'd make a day of it, and you would have wasted your day because nothing would be there to purchase.
Fuji said…
A. I always admire and envy the amount of research you put into your posts... as well as some of the other bloggers out there who put in the extra time and effort. Personally... I've been heading in the opposite direction. My goal is to start writing 30 minute blog posts which are short and sweet.

B. Love the Olan Mills reference. Maybe one day I'll show off some of my 80's Olan Mills photos.

C. Can't wait to see these business cards.

D. Good call on UD Retro. I'm a fan of that product as well as 2009 OPC... which explains my interest in this year's Big League.

E. Glad you could use five of the cards. I'm always playing the odds, so I would have been happy had you only needed one. Five feels like I hit the jackpot.
I've been thinking about a new business card for my hobbies. I have to cross out too much outdated information on my old one, and then write in my blog address. Not fun.
bbcardz said…
Ooh Paul Konerko! What could have been if only the Dodgers had not dealt him the Jerry Reuss card too!
Mike Matson said…
Variations and parallels.. Hate them both..
It would be nice if Topps didn't save the interesting photography for short prints or Stadium Club.
Seeing the Reuss card brings me to the recent watching of the 1981 NLCS TSN showed recently. (or at least, three games of it)
2009 OPC!!!! It was driving me nuts where I recognized the 2020 Big League design from.

Thanks for mentioning me, but I actually don't have the card yet. It's too expensive and actually I have something a little cooler that no one else can claim to have regarding the look of that card.
The thing I hate most about short prints is that now not only do I have to look at the card number, I have to also look at the front of the card to see if I don't have it. I know I could just look at the code, but I haven't been able to read print that small in decades.
Mike said…
The Nunez/Turner cards from 1992 Upper Deck were a quick trip down memory lane. In a rare bit of youthful collecting savvy, I pulled both while at my local card shop and managed to trade them to the shop owner for his doubles box of 1992 UD - which was well over half of the set, including plenty of current and future stars. He surely sold that pair of cards for a nice haul given how absurd prices were for every new "star" (some things never change), so it likely worked out for everyone, but I'd say that nine-year-old me did pretty okay - especially given the combined 0 games of MLB experience accrued by Nunez and Turner.
Nick Vossbrink said…
LOL. Gotta love 1992 Bowman. I'm glad we only had that for one year so we can revel in its weirdness (though yeah 1991 Stadium Club and 1992 Topps get in on this action too)

Absolute agreement on the short print variants being total bullshit which only serves to call out how little Topps cares about the base set.
I love the Olan Mills reference. I am certain that the Braulio Castillo card in the 1992 Bowman set was taken at Olan Mills or Glamour Shots. He's not a prospect card in that set, but he is wearing a shirt that looks like the puffy shirt from Seinfeld on the card.

I have not been a fan of the Big League set the past few years, but really liked it this year. Got a blaster the other day, pulled an autograph of a Yankees reliever. I did not make the connection with the 2009 OPC set, but that was a favorite of mine back in the day. I have found the answer as to why I like this year's product.

It's interesting that you went back and found the Marlins cards in the Bowman and Upper Deck sets that were made before 1992. When I read the original post, I was actually reminded that several different Upper Deck and Pacific products made Buck Showalter cards with the Diamondbacks two years ahead of time. I sorted my cards by team at the time, and I remember feeling really annoyed that there were single Diamondback cards with no team set.
GCA said…
I'd still love to see what the relative sales figures are between things with SSPs and things like BUNT and Big League. My guess would be if they made cards like the Cutch plentiful, they'd sell more boxes, like has been mentioned here. Does anyone really buy extra blasters or hobby boxes once you get below 20% needs out of them? That's never made sense to me.