Sunday, July 12, 2020

Chad Wallach 2020 Topps #658

Card Review: Awesome

It took longer than it should have, but one of the Wallach kids finally has his own Topps Baseball card.  Before I get into critiquing this card, I feel the need to point out how exciting it is to finally see this happen.  Any of the nitpicking that is about to follow is just that, nitpicking.  Hopefully this won't be Chad's last appearance in the base set.

That said, and do love the fact that this card now exists, here are my issues with it.  First off, what in the world is going on with this stat line?

That'd be a fine way to handle Chad's stats, had 2020 been in a normal season, and Chad had made the roster coming out of Spring Training and made his Major League debut this year, earning himself a spot in the 2nd series of the Topps flagship set.  That happens every year.  However, this isn't Chad's first MLB rodeo.  When he checks into a game this season, it'll be the fourth Major League season he's played in.  This is is what is baseball reference shows for Wallach:

 Chad already had three seasons worth of MLB stats coming into the 2020 season.  Just because Topps was asleep at the wheel and didn't include him in the base set until now, doesn't mean those seasons didn't happen.  And sure, they don't reflect a ton of playing time, but as any kid who ever picked up a glove and didn't make it to the majors can attest to, every one of those 117 plate appearances counts.  He actually played five times as many games in the Majors last season as he did the minors, but some how Topps felt the need to show us a split minor league line of 4 games between two different farm clubs.  It's ridiculous.

My next issue is with the bio.  For one, it's wrong.  Take a look:

2019 wasn't Chad's first Opening Day roster.  Not only was he on the Opening Day roster in 2018, he was the Opening Day starter for the Marlins in an 8-4 loss to the Cubs.  Again, this just feels like someone at Topps trying to cover up the fact that they screwed up by not including Wallach in the set the last three years.  He certainly warranted inclusion in the Update sets.

The other odd thing about the bio is what's not there.  It's certainly nice to see a young players college listed on the back, or an extra stat like how many base runners they threw out, at least it is when there isn't anything more interesting to say about the guy.  Maybe I'm biased, but if a kid gets his first Topps card, and his father happened to be a 5x All-Star, or even just a coach on the team the kid plays for (let alone both), that's something I would have been interested in.

That said, I'm very happy this card finally exists.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Ebay Purchase

This is a lot of 27 1992 Diet Pepsi cards I recently purchased on eBay.  I'm not shy about my enthusiasm for "food product" cards, typical of the ones found in cereal boxes.  That said, I also don't mind acknowledging that this Diet Pepsi card isn't my favorite.  The design is fine, I just don't think the colors work well with the Expos white uniforms.  It'd probably be a better looking card if it was a photo using the road blues.  In any event, I went ahead and picked these up at a very reasonable price. 

Another common point I make on this blog is pointing out the occasions when I acquire more copies of a card than I previously had.  Such was the case here, as I previously only had 9 copies of this card.  On one hand, it's nice to pick up a large number of copies at once, on the other, it's evidence that someone was sitting around with more copies of a card than I had.  I will say that it rarely happens twice with the same card, but who knows.  Some Pepsi employee maybe sitting on a 1,000 sets of these stupid things.

Finally, I don't normally show the envelopes for purchases, I save that for cards sent by readers, but the Canadian postage stamp of NHL Hall of Famer and 3x Norris Trophy winner Pierre Pilote deserves to be seen, so here it is:

The photo may not show it, but the stamp is a solid 2 inches tall, it's about the size of the Topps Mini Leader cards.

Updated Total:

1992 Diet Pepsi: 36

Monday, June 15, 2020

eBay Pickup

This is a lot of forty-three 1982 Fleer Wallach's that I recently picked up on eBay.  They arrived shipped for less than 14 cents per card.  Typically I like to keep eBay lots at under 10 cents per card, but I'll occasionally make an exception for the right card, and in this case, '82 Fleer felt like the right card.

Updated Total:

1982 Fleer: 427

Friday, June 5, 2020

Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada)

These cards were sent by regular contributor Ryan, of "Nova Scotia."  Normally, Ryan's cards come in his signature brown envelope and have a return address of Dartmouth, NS.  These came in a padded envelope and had a return address of Halifax, NS.  Granted, the addresses appear to be less than five miles apart, but I'm not one to miss an opportunity to add a new city to my map, so Halifax has been added to the board.  So, it was a bit of an irregular mail day from a regular contributor.

Included in the 15 cards sent were two O-Pee-Chee's and a Leaf.  They just feel more authentic when they arrive from Canada.  Don't try to argue this point with me, I won't be swayed or reasonable about it.

Thanks for the cards Ryan.

Updated Totals:

1984 O-Pee-Chee: 43
1984 Topps: 415
1986 Leaf: 32
1986 Topps: 426
1986 Topps All-Star x2: 698
1987 O-Pee-Chee: 22
1987 Topps: 998
1988 Topps x2: 759
1988 Topps All-Star x3: 782
1989 Score: 205
1990 Score: 334

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Farmington, NM

If the title of this post, Farmington, NM, sounds vaguely familiar to you, then there is probably a decent chance that you have sent Tim Wallach cards to this blog at some point in the past.  The above assortment of 38 Wallach cards represent a first for this blog, as they were the first group of cards to ever be hand delivered to my office.  A young local collector by the name of "Boston" was nice enough to bring them by.

Thank you for the cards.

Here are the updated Totals:

1982 Topps: 1,228
1987 Sportflic Tri-Stars: 16
1987 Topps: 997
1988 Donruss Baseball's Best: 54
1988 Revco: 43
1988 Topps Big: 70
1989 Fleer: 408
1990 Donruss: 522
1990 Fleer: 473
1990 Topps: 565
1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier x3: 85
1991 Score: 268
1991 Score The Franchise x2: 232
1991 Stadium Club: 143
1991 Upper Deck x8: 341
1991 Upper Deck Checklist x13: 281

Boston was also nice enough to drop off the hefty stack of 1970's Topps pictured above.  Hopefully there will be a couple of set build needs in there.  With parental consent, Boston asked to be pictured in this post, so if any other Farmington area kids are looking to trade baseball cards with some one in the area, this is the guy you should be looking for.

Friday, April 17, 2020

McKinney, Texas

These 194 cards were sent by regular contributor, and fellow Wallach collector, Nick of McKinney, Texas.  At this point the number of cards Nick has sent my way is well into the 1,000's.  Probably in the 3-5K range.  Thankfully Nick is happy simply having one of each Wallach card, an effort I try to help him out on the rare occasion he doesn't have something.

Not much of anything I'd call "exotic" in this batch of cards, though there was a '93 Mother's Cookies and '95 Pacific, only my 3rd copies for each of those cards.  There was also a healthy does of 82-85's, my favorite period of Wallach cards.

As always, thanks for the cards Nick.

Updated Totals:

1982 Donruss x4: 229
1982 Fleer x2: 384
1983 Fleer x3: 172
1983 Topps x6: 367
1984 Topps: 414
1985 Fleer: 122
1985 Topps x2: 361
1986 Topps All-Star x2: 696
1987 Donruss: 446
1987 Sportflics Tr-Stars: 15
1987 Topps x2: 996
1988 Donruss x3: 933
1988 Fleer: 309
1988 Topps: 757
1988 Topps All-Star x2: 779
1988 Topps UK Mini: 94
1989 Donruss x2: 457
1989 Fleer: 407
1989 Topps: 819
1990 Donruss x2: 521
1990 Fleer x4: 472
1990 Score: 333
1990 Topps x3: 564
1990 Upper Deck x2: 347
1991 Donruss x2: 315
1991 Fleer: 205
1991 Fleer Ultra x5: 99
1991 Stadium Club x3: 142
1991 Studio: 84
1991 Topps x6: 307
1991 Upper Deck x8: 333
1991 Upper Deck Checklist x6: 268
1992 Donruss x8: 245
1992 Fleer x5: 184
1992 Fleer Ultra x2: 149

1992 Leaf x2: 122
1992 Stadium Club x11: 84
1992 Studio: 79
1992 Topps: 256
1992 Topps Gold Winner: 25
1992 Topps Kids: 45
1992 Triple Play: 110
1992 Upper Deck x5: 311
1993 Donruss x2: 129
1993 Flair x3: 43
1993 Fleer Final Edition: 17
1993 Fleer Ultra: 49
1993 Mother's Cookies: 3
1993 O-Pee-Chee Premier x2: 33
1993 Pinnacle: 45
1993 Stadium Club: 76
1993 Stadium Club Dodgers: 9
1993 Studio x2: 57
1993 Topps x6: 260
1993 Topps Gold: 38
1993 Upper Deck x5: 165
1994 Donruss x2: 43
1994 Flair: 14
1994 Fleer x2: 44
1994 Fleer Ultra: 42
1994 Leaf Limited: 21
1994 Pacific: 18
1994 Pinnacle: 39
1994 Score: 69
1994 Score Select x3: 33
1994 Topps: 134
1994 Topps Gold: 27
1994 Upper Deck: 81
1995 Collector's Choice: 40
1995 Collector's Choice SE: 49
1995 Donruss x3: 51
1995 Flair x2: 20
1995 Fleer: 21
1995 Pacific: 3
1995 Pinnacle: 33
1995 Score x2: 47
1995 Stadium Club: 28
1995 Topps x6: 79
1995 Topps D3 x3: 24
1995 Topps Finest: 15
1995 Upper Deck: 40
1996 Collector's Choice: 26
1996 Collector's Choice Silver: 8
1996 Collector's Choice Ser.II x2: 34
1996 Fleer Ultra: 12
1997 Collector's Choice: 29

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Canada, parts unknown

"PD" sent me this card several months back but I'm just posting it now,...I was "busy?"  I believe it was sent from Canada given the postage, but there is no return address or cancellation mark to confirm that.  "PD" included a nice note that referenced joining other Expos fans in Montreal for Opening Day when baseball finally returns there, so I don't feel I'm going too far out on a limb to label this as a card from Canada.

As it stands, this is only my second copy of this card.  I acquired my first one as a kid, buying the three pack with the Wallach that these were packaged in at the same time I bought the player to play them on.  For those of you unfamiliar with this set, the back of the card has what amounts to a little vynal record attached to it that plays an interview with the player.  The original post for this card has the audio embeded from youtube so you can listen to it there if you're interested.  To my knowledge this is the second of three cards Topps has produced using the 1989 design, and I don't have any hesitation in saying this is my favorite of the three, as far as photo selection.  Obviously the size is an issue.  Here's a side by side:

There's nothing wrong with the other two, and the '89 base set card has the distinction of being the first time Topps ever used a photo of Wallach fielding, but I like the colors on this baseball talk one the best.

Thanks for the card "PD."

Updated Total:

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Sarasota, FL

It may not look like it but there are 430 Tim Wallach cards in the photo above.  They were all sent by Joe of Sarasota, Florida,...way back in January.  Sorry for the delay Joe.  325 of those cards above are 1987 Indiana Blue Sox cards.  That marks a significant increase in the number of that card in my collection, as I previously had one copy.

Thats what 325 copies of a 1987 Indiana Blue Sox card looks like when they're sorted in groups of 25 and put in team bags.  I haven't gone back and looked, but I'm willing to bet 325 is the most copies of a single card I've ever been sent by a reader.

Believe it or not, 325 copies of an obscure card that I previously only had one copy of was not the most interesting thing about this box sent by Joe.  It was these 11 1989 Topps Stickers.  Don't roll your eyes, Joe included math with his package. 

Try to follow along, if your currently home schooling kids it should be easy for you.  Joe opened three cases of 1989 Topps stickers.  Each case contained 24 boxes of stickers.  Each box contained 48 packs of stickers, and each pack contained 5 stickers.  That's 5,760 stickers per case, times three cases, equals 17,280 stickers.  There are 189 Stickers in the set (two players or "cards" to a sticker).  Statistically Joe should have pulled 91 or 92 copies of the Wallach sticker.  He pulled 11.  In his note he informed me that it was the only sticker in the set that appeared to be a short-print.  The other 188 stickers in the set all showed up in similar numbers.  So thank you Joe for sending all 11 my way.

Also included in the box were 22 copies of 1984 Topps.  That's a pretty good number of that card to receive at once, and not something that happens very often.

Finally I just wanted to highlight a few of the less commonly seen cards in the box.  Those are two copies of the 1988 Fleer Box Bottom, one of my favorite cards from the 1980's.  Also a 1988 and 1990 Sportfilcs, which may not sound that exciting, but I just don't come across very many of them.  Finally there's a 1995 Stadium Club "Virtual Reality" variation and a 1995 APBA Baseball game card.

Thanks for the cards Joe, and I'll see what I can dig up as far as Chris Speier and Jorge Orta cards.  And if any of you readers have Chris Speier or Jorge Orta cards you want to send Joe's way he asked me to post his address (he can probably find some 1989 Topps Stickers to send in trade, just a guess).

Joe D.
4762 Woodward Place
Sarasota, Florida 34233

Updated Totals:

1984 Topps x22: 413
1986 Topps: 425
1987 Donruss Opening Day: 56
1987 Indiana Blue Sox x325: 326
1987 Topps x27: 994
1988 Donruss Baseball's Best: 53
1988 Fleer: 308
1988 Fleer Box Bottoms: 17
1988 Sportflics: 10
1988 Topps x7: 756
1988 Topps All-Star x8: 777
1988 Topps Big x2: 69
1988 Topps U.K. mini x3: 93
1989 Score: 204
1989 Topps x4: 818
1989 Topps Stickers x11: 16
1990 Donruss x2: 519
1990 Score: 332
1990 Sportflics: 11
1990 U.S. Playing Cards: 35
1991 Leaf: 180
1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier: 82
1991 Stadium Club: 139
1991 Topps x2: 301
1991 Upper Deck Checklist x3: 262
1992 Stadium Club: 73
1992 Topps x3: 255
1993 Leaf: 105
1993 Stadium Club: 75
1995 APBA: 1
1995 Stadium Club: 27
1995 Stadium Club Virtual Reality: 6

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Kitchener, Ontario (Canada)

Douglas sent these four cards from Kitchener, Ontario.  It's not the first time he's sent cards and they're always appreciated.  There's something sort of cool about receiving Leaf or O-Pee-Chee cards from Canada, like it makes them more "authentic" or something.  Douglas (I believe) runs the blog "Sportscards from the Dollar Store," which has to be one of the oldest card blogs around.

Included in this assortment of cards was one of those Topps Archives Signature Series autographed cards in the silly case sealed with a fancy sticker.  I'm going to be honest, I really have no idea how to classify the card and haven't looked into it yet.  At some point I'll do a post for it, and will make the effort to do so then.  That's not to say it wasn't really cool to find it in the envelope.  I've never bought one (they're readily available on eBay), but it's still cool to own one.  My inclination is to crack the case and put it in the binder where I keep one of each different Wallach card I own.  On the other hand, the only thing that makes the card even remotely interesting to me is the silly case.  Which is all to say, I don't know what I'm going to do with it.  At the end of the day, its a Topps Tim Wallach card that was printed in 1993, and then goosed up with some stamping and an autograph 25 years later and repackaged in an attempt to rip off collector's.  Still, I'm happy to have a sample in my collection.

Thanks for the cards Douglas.

Updated Totals:

1988 Leaf: 39
1989 Upper Deck: 216
1990 Upper Deck 345
2020/1993 Topps Thing: 1

My Photo

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Peoria, IL

There are two different Tom's from Peoria, Illinois that both regularly send me cards.  A few post back I showed off some cards that Tom with the Saints Prison Ministry sent my way from Peoria.  Not to be out done, "Tom O." of Peoria sent these eleven cards my way.  Thanks for the cards "Tom O."

There are three cards in this group that I feel like mentioning.  The 1992 Score has always been one of my favorite cards from that era.  Some people don't like the amount of dead space on the design, but it doesn't bother me, I think it works.  Unfortunately the color scheme on the back is just a horrific black and green.  The 1992 Topps Kids is another card that I've always really liked.  I'd probably build that set if Topps were to do something similar today.  Finally, 1989 Bowman merits some attention.  For decades I've more or less ignored that set.  But it's actually a really great looking card, with a very nice, clean, simple design.  It's just a shame they're so oddly sized.

Also, if you sent cards in the last 4-6 months, I probably have them and will be getting a post up soon.  I apologize for getting so far behind.

Updated Totals:

1986 Topps: 424
1989 Bowman: 173
1989 Topps x2: 814
1990 Donruss: 517
1990 Topps x2: 561
1991 Fleer Ultra: 94
1991 Topps: 299
1992 Score: 106
1992 Topps Kids: 44

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Keizer, Oregon

These 152 cards were generously sent by "Bo" of Keizer, Oregon.  The bulk of these Wallach's are 1988 to 1990 Donruss.  It's fun anytime I receive cards in the mail, but I'd be disingenuous if I said I didn't take a little extra thrill in picking up 20+ copies of the same card at once.  Not that 44 copies of 1988 Donruss really moves the needle for me, I'm just always curious where people are coming up with 44 copies of a 1988 Donruss baseball card at this point in human history.  What poor sap has been hoarding that many copies of a worthless card for the last three decades in the hopes that it one day becomes a valuable collectable?  (I'm assuming "Bo" came across them from somewhere else)

These cards helped me passed a notable milestone, with '88 Donruss crossing the 900 copy mark in my collection.  It's only the third Wallach card I've amassed 900+ copies of, joining the 1982 Topps (1,227 copies) and 1987 Topps (967 copies).  Perhaps of more significance, these 152 cards pushed my entire collection pass the 25,000 mark.  I'm not sure what to think or say about that, other than, cool?  It's all very weird, even to me.

Thanks for the card Bo.  Hope you're healthy and safe up there in Oregon.  That goes for the rest of you readers too, positive thoughts and vibes going out to all of you.

Updated Totals:

1982 Donruss: 225
1988 Donruss x44: 930
1988 Donruss All-Star: 50
1988 Kay Bee: 38
1988 Topps x2: 749
1988 Topps All-Star x2: 769
1989 Donruss x26: 455
1989 Donruss Baseball's Best x3: 26
1989 Fleer: 406
1990 Donruss x43: 516
1990 Donruss Baseball's Best: 13
1990 Fleer: 468
1990 Topps x2: 559
1991 Donruss: 313
1991 Score x2: 267
1991 Score The Franchise x2: 230
1991 Topps x7: 298
1991 Ultra: 93
1991 Upper Deck Checklist: 259
1992 Bowman USA: 73
1992 Donruss x3: 237
1992 Leaf: 120
1992 Triple Play: 109
1992 Upper Deck: 306
1993 Donruss: 127
1994 Score: 68
1994 Upper Deck: 80

Friday, March 27, 2020

St. Joseph, MI

These three cards were sent by Rob of St. Joseph, Michigan.  Rob has been a regular contributor the last few years.  That '87 is of the O-Pee-Chee variety.  I'm fan of all the 1980's O-Pee-Chee sets, but there's something about the white backs on the 87's that put them near the top of that list for me.

Thanks for the cards Rob.

Updated Totals:

1986 Topps: 423
1987 O-Pee-Chee: 21
1989 Topps: 812

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Peoria, IL

These 23 cards were sent by Tom of Peoria, Illinois.  Tom has become a pretty regular contributor.  That's a custom card of him that he included, done in the style of 1987 Topps above.  Tom's very involved with The Saints Prison Ministry, which is a good cause and you should definitely check out by clicking this link.  Thanks for the cards Tom, they're greatly appreciated.

Updated Totals:

1988 Kay Bee: 37
1988 Topps All-Star: 767
1989 Score: 203
1989 Topps x10: 811
1989 Upper Deck: 215
1990 Fleer: 467
1990 Score: 331
1990 Topps: 557
1991 Fleer: 204
1991 Topps: 291
1992 Score: 105
1992 Topps x2: 252
1993 Topps Gold: 37

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Libertyville, Iowa

These 21 cards were sent by "J.G." of Libertyville, Iowa.  They may have the most well packaged group of 21 cards I've ever received, packed inside a bubble mailer inside of a box, so thank you for all the care you put into sending these "J.G."

On a personal, note yesterday I learned that in times of State mandated stay at home orders (one was issued here in New Mexico), as an attorney, I am an "essential" employee and get to keep working, so I guess that's nice.  Better than citizens being detained and caged without the right to counsel, or formal charges, or hearings, etc., but we'll see how this develops. 

Updated Totals:

1984 Topps: 391
1987 Topps x3: 967
1988 Donruss x3: 896
1988 Topps: 747
1989 Fleer: 405
1990 Donruss x3: 473
1990 Score x7: 330
1990 Topps x2: 556

Monday, March 23, 2020

Houston, TX

These eight cards were sent by Marc, by way of Houston, Texas.  Most of you are probably familiar with Marc's card blog "Remember the Astro Dome."  Thanks for the cards Marc, and sorry for the delay in posting them.

Speaking of delays in posting, I mentioned in my last post that I have huge backlog of post to get to, and I suspect I'll have some free time to do so.  I'm not going to make the effort of trying to post the oldest mailings first, I'm just going to start throwing them up in whatever order I grab them from my "to do" box.

New Mexico is still relatively "normal."  At least compared to the science fiction looking scenes I see on the news in New York.  I'm still at work, and absent a suspension of Habeas Corpus, imagine I will continue to be at work in some capacity throughout whatever happens.  And if they do toss Habeas Corpus aside, we'll have more pressing concerns than baseball cards.  But it's looking like there's going to be a lot of telephonic appearances in my near future, and continuances of all domestic and civil matters, which means more free time to blog.

Updated Totals:

1987 Topps: 964
1989 Donurss: 429
1989 Score: 202
1989 Upper Deck x2: 214
1990 Score x2: 323
1992 Pinnacle: 122

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Grand Rapids, MI

This card was sent by Mathew of Grand Rapids, Michigan.  It's the second time Matthew (follow him on twitter @jmswyo) has sent cards by my count, with the first time coming last December.

That was also around the last time I updated this blog.  As you may have noticed, I haven't posted in over seven weeks.  I'm fine, nothing is wrong, I just hit a busy patch in life and this blog sort of had to take a back seat.  I've accumulated a large back log of some very generous submissions that I intend to start posting, and have also acquired a few odd ball Wallach items that I'm looking forward to doing post for.

Finally, during my little hiatus, I was unable to give regular updates on something pretty awesome that was going on down in the Grapefruit League.  Chad Wallach, projected to be the Marlins third catcher (which while still being on the 40-man roster, would land him in AAA), was doing all he could to make it a very difficult decision for the Marlins.  He led the Fish in RBI's this spring and was putting on a very impressive offensive showing.  Here are the Marlins stats sorted by RBI:

Thanks for the card Mathew, here is the updated total:

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Watertown, NY

These 19 cards were sent by the Nightowl.  Nightowl has turned Watertown, NY into a sort of airline hub of connecting envelopes of Dodger cards to various collector's all over the country.  I suspect his mailbox is likely responsible for the hiring of at least one extra part-time employee at the Watertown Post Office.

The Nightowl is always flush with Wallach cards from sets and years that are on relative short supply for me.  I have strong suspicion that there just weren't a lot of kids buying packs of Flair in the mid-90's, and as such, it's not often that I get envelopes with this sort of assortment.  If you check those numbers below, you'll see a lot of totals in the teens and twenties.  So it's always nice to be able to add to those totals, however gradual the process may be.

Thanks for the cards Greg.

Updated Totals:

1988 Fleer: 307
1993 Flair x2: 40
1993 O-Pee-Chee Premier x2: 31
1993 Stadium Club Dodgers: 8
1994 Flair: 12
1994 Leaf Limited: 20
1994 Pacific: 17
1994 Score Select: 30
1995 Collector's Choice: 39
1995 Collector's Choice SE: 48
1995 Flair x2: 18
1995 Pinnacle: 32
1995 Studio: 20
1995 Topps D3: 21
1995 Topps Finest: 14
1997 Collector's Choice: 29

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Ramsey, NJ

This group of six cards was sent by frequent contributor Max, of Ramsey, New Jersey.  Max ran "The Starting Nine," blog which I'm sure a lot of you are familiar with.  Included with this grouping was a 2019 Archives Autograph.  Unlike the 1988 Topps, those 2019 Expos Auto's are actually selling on eBay, so it's a very generous offering from Max.

Here are the updated totals:

1988 Topps: 746
1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier: 81
1991 Studio: 83
1992 Bowman USA: 72
1992 Leaf: 119
2019 Topps Archives Auto: 5

Check out Max's Blog Here:

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Pleasanton, CA

This card was sent by "Mr. Haverkamp" of Pleasanton, California.  I believe him to be the same individual that sent me cards back in 2017 as well.  If not, there are two people in very close proximity sending me cards.  This the first 1991 Post to cross my desk since 2018.

Thanks for the card.

Updated Total:

1991 Post: 15

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Pinehurst, NC

These cards (and few more that I'll be posting shortly) were actually post marked in 2019, but they're being tallied as 2020 additions.  I'm not sure anyone is even remotely concerned about that, but I just wanted to throw it out there.  These 15 cards arrived courtesy of Jay in Pinehurst, North Carolina.  Jay operates the blog "Cards My Mom Didn't Throw Out," which you can check out by clicking that link or the one at the bottom of this post.

Included with these cards was a trifecta of 1994 Pinnacle that covered all three variations.  The "Artist Proof" is actually just my second copy of that card, and the first time I've ever been sent one in the mail.

Thanks for the cards Jay.

Updated Totals:

1986 Fleer Mini x2: 40
1986 Topps All-Star x2: 694
1987 Topps x2: 963
1988 Topps All-Star x3: 766
1990 Donruss: 470
1993 Score: 39
1994 Leaf Limited: 19
1994 Pinnacle: 38
1994 Pinnacle Artist Proof: 2
1994 Pinnacle Museum Collection: 4

Monday, January 6, 2020

Sunday Edition - 2020 Goals

Looking Forward

It's been a few years since I've done one of these post.  I know I started one last year, but by the time the calendar turned to April and I still hadn't finished, I figured it was time to let it go.  Hopefully I hit publish on this one and someone is reading this.

Looking back at my previous "Goals for the New Year" posts, they strike me as pretty, or probably more aptly stated, overly, ambitious.  I don't think my desire to collect cards has waned in the slightest, I just think I've become more comfortable with the realities of my time, budget, and space.  I am content with what I'm doing, and still consider card collecting, "The Hobby," to be a positive aspect in my life.  So why mess with a good thing?

That said, it still doesn't hurt to have some outline of what I'm doing and where I'm going.  Here's what I hope to do in 2020:

1. Acquire More Tim Wallach's

This will always be my primary collecting objective.  2019 brought the total number of Wallach cards in my collection to 24,813 cards.  A target number I'd like to reach this year is 26,500 cards.  That would put 29,000 within reach by 2021.  I've had 29,000 set as a milestone in my head for a number of years now.  I don't know what I'll do to commemorate it, but it's starting to sneak up on me and it may be time to start thinking about it.  (Wallach wore #29 for all but 195 of his 2,212 games played)

So aside from sheer numbers, here's a few things I'd like to do with Wallach cards this year:

(1) Bring one card to extinction - This is an idea I've talked about for a few years now, but have never had the discipline to attempt.  The idea is, I want to pick a card (say '83 Fleer?), and buy it out online.  I'll purchase all the copies available on the major sites, Sportlots, COMC, JustCommons, etc, and maybe even ebay.  I want to make one card an endangered species more or less.  The problem is shipping cost.  I get on Sportlots, and load up a cart with all of the '85 Topps, and realize I could use that money to buy about 6x as many cards if I just of focused on sellers rather than a particular card.

(2) Variations - Anyone who pays attention as likely noticed the post on this blog have become pretty sporadic and less frequent over the last few years.  It's a combination of lack of time, and lack of material.  There just aren't a lot of new Wallach cards to post.  One thing I have wanted to chronicle on this blog are the variations that exists.  While I don't really care all that much about the minor differences that occur on the borders of various 1991 Donruss, the fact is that there are differences, and if this blog is going to be an index of Tim Wallach baseball cards, I should probably start pointing them out.

(3) Custom Cards - I've long wanted to mess around with custom Wallach cards.  There's the obvious option of making cards that were never made, but probably should have been, like '81, '96, and '97 Topps.  But perhaps more appealing to me, is creating sort of "Franken-Cards."  What I mean by this is swapping the photos from cards that were made, and putting them onto other set designs.  For instance, use the 1984 Topps Sticker photo, on all of the other 1984 sets from Fleer, Donruss, Topps, ect..  I don't know that I'll find time to do this (I'm also working on a CBGB's film documentary from footage I have from the time my old band played there), but it's an idea I'm playing with.

2. Continue to Complete Sets

2018 Topps was the only set I completed last year.  I did make significant progress on over a half dozen others, even believing I had purchased the final cards in a few sets, only to discover holes while sleeving them.
While I shouldn't have any issues knocking off a few of the modern sets this year, I would really like to polish off a couple of sets from the 1970's.  While it would be nice to say I'm going to finish off 1972, the reality is that would come at the expense of everything else.  So instead I'm going to focus on knocking off the non-series'd sets from the 70's that I still need complete.  That said, I'm sure I'll be filling out the lower series in '71, '72, and '73.  Here are my tentative Top Set priorities this year:

i. 1974 Topps: I've never made a much of an active effort to complete 1974 Topps, but somehow it sits near completion.  '74 Topps have always seemed to sort of fall into my lap, which is probably why it's never been a focus.  It's time to cross the set off my list.  Winfield, Ryan, Rose, and other would be pocket busters are already in hand, as well as the McCovey "Nat'l League" variant, so it's just a matter of sifting through a website at this point.

1974 Topps: 3, 29, 43, 50, 53, 80, 95, 125, 130, 153, 179, 229, 265, 280, 297, 323, 331, 333, 337, 461, 470, 473, 482, 500, 582, 596, 598, 600, 604, 605, 622, 637

ii. 1977 Topps: I don't anticipate this being too difficult a task, all of these cards are abundant and easy to find, and nothing in the set is going to break the bank.  Dawson and Murphy have long been in hand, and the Ryan isn't going to be the same obstacle it was in the 1970 set.  That said, I still need quite a few of them.  Here's what I'm looking for:

1977 Topps: 6, 8, 10, 34, 74, 100, 111, 113, 130, 167, 183, 208, 210, 230, 231, 232, 234, 265, 270, 276, 277, 285, 286, 287, 299, 320, 327, 355, 256, 387, 390, 412, 414, 418, 428, 430, 433, 434, 435, 437, 439, 445, 450, 467, 473, 476, 484, 494, 495, 498, 504, 516, 518, 522, 541, 546, 547, 560, 564, 571, 580, 597, 615, 621, 630, 632, 632, 634, 638, 647, 650, 655, 656

iii. 1976 Topps:  This would be the final single series Topps set I need to hammer out, and would give me a complete run from 1974 to 1992.  These sets aren't as much fun to build as the earlier set series (the thrill of finding a high number need at a great price is hard to match), but it's still very satisfying to finish them off.

1976: 17, 24, 45, 48, 55, 73, 78, 104, 118, 119, 128, 130, 147, 150, 160, 169, 172, 179, 192, 202, 205, 230, 300, 330, 341, 344, 345, 347, 348, 420, 421, 435, 480, 504, 531, 550, 581, 589, 590, 595, 596, 598, 606, 620, 643, 650

iv. Modern Topps: My need list for 2008, 2009, 2015, and 2019 are all four cards or less.  The only real headache here is the 2015 Kris Byrant card.  I know for a fact that I pulled at least one (I'm pretty sure more) of those from packs in 2015.  Somehow I lost it (or them).  I may have given one away to a friend with a kid who was a Cubs fan, but I really don't remember.  I just know I'm not much of a Cubs fan (that's a diplomatic way of saying it), I think Bryant is wildly overrated, and paying more than a buck or two for any base card printed as recently as 2015 seems like madness to me given the print runs.  Had I known the stupid thing was going demand $10 a few years later, I probably wouldn't have so quickly dismissed it in 2015.

v. 1988-89 Fleer Basketball: I'm working on all three of the Fleer sets from 1986-89, but Michel Jordan is causing problems for me in the first two sets.  So while I search for a Jordan that is in sufficiently terrible condition to put it in my price range for the first two sets, I'd like to go ahead and finish off this one.  Jordan is already in hand too.

1988-89 Fleer Basketball: 9, 16, 21, 25, 43, 57, 64, 85, 115, 123, 124, 125, 129

And the other two sets if you're interested:

1986-87: 9, 57

1987-88: 1, 3, 9, 11, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 27, 31, 33, 34, 35, 37, 41, 42, 48, 49, 54, 56, 59, 61, 63, 68, 69, 74, 75, 76, 77, 79, 80, 83, 85, 92, 95, 97, 98, 99, 106, 109, 118, 123

3. Single Cards

Rookie Cards, for many years as a kid, were my only collecting focus outside of Wallach cards.  While I've definitely shifted to a set builder, I still have a soft spot, or compulsive need, to collect the occasional single card.  I'm not sure a single marquee card crossed my desk in 2019.  I believe the 1980-81 Topps Magic Johnson/Larry Bird was my last "big" pickup, but that may have been in 2018.  That doesn't mean there aren't still a few coveted pieces of cardboard I wouldn't love to have in my collection.  Here's what I'm currently craving, albeit, I don't expect to acquire more than one or two of them this year, if any.  I have added self-handicapped "odds" as to the likelihood of picking each of these up.

2020 Most Wanted Cards
(images from random eBay listings)

i. 1953 Topps Willie Mays: While not listed above, I am currently working on a 1953 set build.  With a little progress, there's a good chance it'll sit at number one on my set list if I do this post next year.  Willie would certainly be "a little progress."  Through chance and circumstance, I've already acquired most of the big names in the set, however the Mays remains elusive.  He's also what qualifies as a short-print in the set.  While the '53 short prints, they don't demand anything close in price to what their '52 counterparts.

Odds I own one this time next year: 33%  Finding one of these, no matter how beat up it is, is tough to do for under $200, and I generally don't like paying anything close to that for cards.  Chances are I hold off picking this card up until it's the last, or close to the last, card I need for the set.

ii.  1987-88 Fleer Michael Jordan:  I passed on a chance to own fairly beat up copy of this card for under $25 last year.  I've sort of been kicking myself as a result, as I haven't seen one go for anything close to that since.  This sophomore Fleer set doesn't have the sort of rookie star power that the two sets it's sandwiched between do, and as result is often over looked.

Odds I own one this time next year: 75%  I'm currently tracking this card on an eBay watch list.  If one shows up in one piece for under $30, I'll probably bite. 

iii. 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky:  I more than dabble in hockey cards, and have slowly built up what I consider a half-way respectable collection of NHL cardboard.  This Gretzky would obviously be a crown jewel.  While I have no minimum standards for condition, I am stubborn when it comes to OPC vs Topps.  I want the OPC.  I wouldn't mind owning a Topps, but it wouldn't crack this list if it were 50 cards long.

Odds I own one this time next year: 5%  I have next to zero ambition of owning one of these this year.  I still sneak a peak at eBay listings from time to time, and if one showed up at the right price, I may bite, but I'm not counting on it.  It's a card for another day.

iv. 1962 Topps Joe Pepitone:  This is one of those horizontal multi-payer "Rookie Parade" cards in the last series of '62 Topps.  I met Pepitone once and he made a great impression (contrasted with the other ex-Yankee I spent all summer working with who didn't).  I've been a retro-active Pepitone fan ever since and would really like to own his rookie.  You could also substitute the '62 Bob Uecker or '62 Jim Bouton into this #4 spot and I'd be every bit as pleased.  I'm not listing all three in the interest of keeping this list diverse.

Odds I own one (or a Uecker or Bouton) this time next year: 20%  The sticker price on these is alarmingly high.  Once I complete the 70's Topps sets, I have my eye on '62 Topps as my next vintage effort.  Once that happens, I'll be more prepared to justify (stomach) the price tag and these cards and will likely pick them up in short order.  I just don't expect it to be in 2020.

v. 1982 Topps Traded Cal Ripken Jr.:  I consider this to be one of the most overrated cards in the history of The Hobby.  It drives me bonkers when anyone call's it a Ripken "rookie."  It's not his "rookie," it's not even his first Topps card.  By the time this card was printed, kids already had three different Cal Ripken cards to choose from.  So does having it on this list make me a hypocrite?  Probably.  But in my quest to complete the Topps set runs, I've started to track down the Traded Sets.  1982 Topps Traded can't be put in the books without this card.

Odds I own one this time next year: 10%  I will almost certainly pick up this card as part of the 1982 Traded Box Set.  Holding me back, beside the price, is I don't know what to do with the Traded Sets I have.  Most are still in the little colored boxes.  I'd like to page them and keep with with the sets in 3 ring binders, but the binders I have the sets in are too small, and I don't want to go to 4'' binders.  I may end up just doing "Traded Binders" with multiple Traded Sets to a binder.  But until I decide, this card isn't likely to find a place in my collection.

vi. 1962 Topps Football Jim Brown:  A couple of years back when I did this post, a 1962 Topps Football Ernie Davis was the #1 card on it.  I've since picked one up, and it's one of the only cards I keep prominently displayed in public view inside my house.  I was lucky enough to find a '58 Jim Brown a few years back, and tried displaying it next to the Ernie Davis.  It just didn't look right.  But I think the matching '62 Brown would look great next to the Ernie Davis, and hope to have the Syracuse legends side by side at some point.

Odds I own one this time next year: 55%  There's a decent chance this will end up being an impulse by some day when I'm feeling sorry for myself for not wanting to pay for a '53 Mays or the card below.

vii. 1963 Topps Pete Rose:  I've wanted this card since I was about five years old, following Rose's assault on Ty Cobb's record.  It should probably be higher on this list, but the reality is that it just isn't a priority right now, even if it's place in my subconscious warrants it.  This is sort of "The" baseball card in my mind.

Odds I own one this time next year: 1%  One day, I will own this card.  But for now it's sort of like the player to be named later.

viii. 1985 Topps WWF Hulk Hogan:  On the other end of the spectrum from the Rose is this Hogan.  I could have it delivered next week for less than the price of a 12-pack of Coors.  I just haven't found the motivation.  I also haven't watched WWF since Wrestlemania VII (and even then I was only checking in for the Wrestlemania, and not watching regularly anymore).  But I still have positive memories of the colorful late 1980's wrestlers.  Hogan wasn't my favorite by a long shot (I preferred Big Boss Man, Macho Man, and Andre the Giant), and I know he has older cards, but this is his first licensed by the WWF and it's made by Topps (and isn't stupid expensive).  I feel like my collection would be better with one of these in it.  The 1987 Macho Man is pretty awesome too.

Odds I own one this time next year: 15%  The issue with this card is that when it comes time to drop the $3-8 to buy and ship it, I start thinking about all the '77 Topps commons those same few bucks could purchase.

ix. Bill Murray Baseball Card: I don't really care which one, there are several to choose from.  I just know i want one.

Odds I own one this time next year: 10%  Periodically I'll see someone post one of these Murray cards on Twitter or a blog and I'll immediately take to eBay looking for one.  And just as quickly, I get scared away by the price.

x. 2002-03 Upper Deck Henrik Zetterberg: I have zero intention of paying the price this card currently demands, but I feel like it's due to drop.  Zetterberg was my guy in the NHL over the course of his career, and I'd like to own his marquee rookie.  It annoys me to no end to see the writting on that wall when comes to how Zetterberg's legacy is going to be remembered (people who clearly don't know hockey actually have the gall to debate his Hall of Fame merit), but on the flip side that may make it easier to pick up this card.

Odds I own one this time next year: 5%  As much as I'd love to own this card, I don't pay anything close to the price tag it carries for cards that came out much after around 1973. 

4. 2020 Topps Base Set

My first impression of 2020 Topps isn't,...isn't what I'd describe as "good."  It's a little too generic for my liking, with a bit of an internet fake-card type vibe too it.  That said, at least it's distinct.  After a long run of more or less indistinguishable white bordered designs from like 2009-14, at least this is different and unique.  I'd rather Topps try something "different" and create a terrible looking card (looking at you 2016), than pump out bland boring sets year after year.  Some of my favorite vintage sets today, are sets I could not stand 20 years ago.

So with regards to this set, I'll buy a few packs, see how it feels, then decide whether to go the cheaper factory set route, or do a build through packs.  If my first impression doesn't change once I have a few in hand, 2020 is going to be a factory set year.

Thanks for reading, and best of luck to all of you with your 2020 collecting goals.