Month: October 2010

Set Collection: 1985 Topps Rack Pack Glossy Inserts

So let’s continue my stroll through a few oddball 80s sets. Starting in 1984, Topps would insert a single All-Star Glossy card in every rack pack. Each year, they would include 22 cards in the set. For each league, there would be a card for each of the nine starters, the manager and the honorary team captain. As best I can tell, Topps stopped inserting the cards after the 1990 set.

It’s hard to put over just how COOL these cards were, especially the first few years Topps started including them. For one thing, there just weren’t that many cards made on glossy stock. Plus, unlike today, there weren’t a dozen different insert sets that practically guarantee that you’ll get at least one card of a great player. (Oh sure, you could have been stuck with Paul Owens, but since the cards were on top in the rack pack, you could pick the card you want. Well, at least until 1990 when Topps started hiding the cards in the rack packs.)

I can’t remember Paul Owens managing the Phillies to the 1983 NL Pennant. I now know that he replaced Pat Corrales during the 83 season. When he took over, Philadelphia was a game over .500 and would go 17 games over the rest of the season. I still loved the Phillies in 1983, so why can’t I remember Paul Owens? If you had just asked me as a trivia question who managed the 83 Phillies to the NL pennant, I would have said Dallas Greene.

In an unrelated note, I turn 40 on Tuesday.

Of course, Schmidt wore the Phillies uniform his entire career, as did Tony Gwynn for the Padres. I know a lot of people don’t remember it, but the Wizard started his career with the Padres. I can still remember the trade that sent Garry Templeton to the Padres. I can still remember everybody thinking the Padres got the better end of the deal. I can still remember Oz becoming a better hitter seemingly every year, while Templeton’s career began an almost immediate regression.

I may be turning 40 but I can still remember some things.

I was a Little League catcher who grew up in Memphis, TN watching the Expos AA team play, and Gary Carter was for a long, long time my favorite baseball player. The guy who supplanted him was Dale Murphy.
I saw Gary Carter play for the Memphis Chicks. I saw Tim Raines play for the Memphis Chicks. Yes, I also saw Charlie Lea pitch for the Memphis Chicks. Lea looked to be headed to an excellent career before he was struck by arm and shoulder injuries.
Sweet Lou was my favorite of the those good Tiger teams. George Brett, as I will point out over and over again because I’m boring and have nothing of interest to say, is one of my least favorite players in the history of the game.
One of these does not belong.
Speaking of me mis-remembering the past, I could distinctly remember Dave Stieb winning a Cy Young award. Of course, he did not. Does anyone know what happened to his career during the 1991 season? It appears to have gone off the rails.
Despite only playing nine seasons in the big leagues, it’s hard not to consider the original Hammerin’ Hank one of the all time greats. I may be just turning 40 now, but sometimes, I wish I was older and had gotten to see guys like this play the game.

Glavine Collection: 1995 Sport Flix #114

No thanks. If this card was of anyone but a Brave … it might find its way accidentally into a shredder.
… featuring a comprehensive look at Glavine’s career. Not.

Maddux Collection: 1991 Topps #35

A card that exemplifies all of the Topps base sets of the period: solid. This is an especially good picture of Maddux landing after throwing a called strike on the inside corner.
Does anyone remember when I said there was nothing more useless than lefty / righty splits on the back of a card? Well, I was wrong. Monthly stats are equally worthless on a base set baseball card. Why?

Braves Collection: Edgar Renteria

2007 Fleer #305

Congratulations to Edgar Renteria for a great game 2 for the Giants last night. Even though his last name sounds a lot like an intestinal disease of some sort, I’ve always liked Edgar. He’s one of baseball’s true class acts.

This is the second of Upper Deck’s two Fleer designs and while I like it fine, and it certainly feels like a Fleer set, the 2006 cards felt more Fleer-like.

GA Mindset Gives Away Free Stuff!!!!

Do you want a chance to win a free box of 2010 Topps Chrome?

Head over to GA Mindset to get your chance.

Perhaps I should have a contest sometime? A free box? Not my style. I could offer a slew of 1981 Topps Bob Owchinko cards to the public though. On the other hand, do I really want to give up my Owchinko collection?

Glavine Collection: 2000 Topps HD #55

On this day in Braves history, the man pictured on the card above threw eight innings of one hit baseball in Game 6 of the 1995 World Series. The victory clinched the World Series and I would have to say, it is the biggest game in the history of the Atlanta Braves.
According to David O’Brien’s twitter feed, the game is airing RIGHT NOW on ESPN Classic. Unfortunately, I don’t get ESPN Classic. I’ll survive … I bought the game on iTunes last year. Still, if you have it, why not relive the day?

Maddux Collection: 2003 Donruss #237

I think team colors should always be incorporated into the design of a baseball card. 
Uh Donruss? Did you not notice all of that blank space on the back of the card?

Can Anyone Help With These Questions?

  1. I was out of the game for most of 2009. I spent a good portion of the year either out of work or billing substantially less than 40 hours a week. As you can imagine, I didn’t spend a lot on cards during the year. I’ve been looking for a cheap way to complete the Topps Series 1, 2 and Update sets. Here’s my question: why do all the major retailers still have so few boxes of 2009 Topps base products? Was there some story that caused the product to fly off the shelf that I either missed or forgot?
  2. Can anyone recommend a good vendor, an eBay seller is fine, where I can find numerous 1971 – 1973 Topps high number cards .. for prices that border on cheap? I’m not really concerned about condition .. in fact .. I would prefer the cards be in the Good – VG range rather than Ex Mt. Is this a pipe dream?
  3. What do most of you do with the myriad meaningless autographs you pull out of products like Bowman? I’m not talking about the major league prospects or even the guys who become AAAA players bouncing up and down from MLB to AAA, but rather the guys who never make it out of single A ball for a team you don’t even remotely care about?
  4. Is there any shame in throwing cards you don’t want into the garbage? Is there any other way for me to get rid of a stack of 1981 Topps Bob Owchinko cards?

Maddux Collection: 2003 Playoff Prestige #100

This doesn’t do much for me. I mean … I don’t hate it or anything, but does the bottom border really need to be that large?
The back of this card works for me. Yes … I always prefer career stats. Still, if you are going to with one year of stats, then make the picture big and don’t clutter up the back with dumb stats that no reasonable person would care about … at least not on the back of a baseball card.