Thursday, January 19, 2023

2022 Year in Review


2022 Year in Review

There wasn't a lot of "Tim Wallach" related news in 2022.  No new cards were made of Wallach, and Topps even snubbed Chad Wallach from their 2022 sets, despite Chad once again spending a decent amount of time in the Majors with the Angels.

On a personal level, I finally made it to Dodger Stadium, taking in a pair of games during the Dodger's last home stand of the season on a Friday night and Saturday afternoon.  For Friday night I was able to find seats in the first row on the right field wall.  That's me above in the blue Expos jersey.  Below are a pair of pictures from my seats, one from the Friday night game and one from the Saturday afternoon game, a few rows further back.  Mookie Betts to his endless credit, tossed a ball to a kid between each inning Friday night (he took Saturday afternoon off).  For a Red Sock, or former Red Sock (do you ever really live that down?), I guess he's not a bad guy.




Dodger Stadium had long been at the top of my list of parks I'd never been to, but wanted to visit.  It didn't disappoint.  I'm not sure when I'll be able to make it out there again, but I would certainly jump at the opportunity to do so should it present itself.


On the card front this year, I added 4,120 new Tim Wallach cards.  Thats almost seven times as many as I added in 2021.  I wouldn't say I was much more active in my efforts to add Wallach's this year, it was more just a result of luck.  On eBay I found two lots that were abnormally huge that really boosted the numbers.  Both were of 800+ cards, one of all 1983 Fleer and another of all 1984 Topps.  Both of those surpass the 656 cards I added in all of 2021 by themselves.  I also received several very large mailings from readers of 200+ cards, which really doesn't happen that often.  One was actually over 700 cards.  Stack a few events like that in a single year, and you end up with over 4,000 new cards.

In total I received 30 mailings of Wallach cards from readers this year.  That's down quite a bit from the peak in 2015 when cards were showing up on a near daily basis as a result of some publicity this blog received, but still about 30 more than I feel like I should have any reasonable expectation of getting.  In 2022 I received a total of 2,248 cards in the mail from fifteen different States, and two Canadian Provinces.

Speaking of States, I received cards from Alaska for the first time in 2022.  Alaska marks the 45th different state I've been sent cards from.  For those wondering Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming seem to be the states where people hate baseball cards.  If those states ever get their act together and send me cards, I'm going to print out my map and frame it...it could be awhile.


 


Current cards in the Collection: 31,690 
Cards acquired in 2022: 4,120 
Collection grew by: 14.9%

Top Fifteen Most Abundant Cards in the Collection



1. 1984 Topps .................................. 1,255  
2. 1982 Topps ...................................1,251       
3. 1988 Donruss ...............................1,074
4. 1983 Fleer .....................................1,056
5. 1987 Topps ...................................1,045
6. 1989 Topps .............................. 960
7. 1988 Topps All-Star ....................... 931
8. 1988 Topps .............................. 874
9. 1986 Topps All-Star ....................... 772
10. 1990 Topps ................................... 704
11. 1990 Donruss ............................... 575
12. (tie) 1989 Donruss ....................... 549
12. (tie) 1990 Fleer ............................. 549
14. 1986 Topps ................................... 536
15. 1987 Donruss ............................... 510

For the first time since I started posting this list on annual basis back in 2015, 1982 Topps does not sit at the top of it.  After adding over 800 copies of of 1984 Topps this year, it's fallen to the number two spot.  1983 Fleer was the other big riser this year jumping up to the four spot.  As the numbers show, I now have over a 1,000 copies of five different Wallach cards, with a few more knocking on the door.  Back in 2015, 273 copies of 1989 Donruss was enough to crack the top ten, it takes nearly triple that figure now.  12 year old me back in 1992 would be much more impressed by the site of this many Wallach cards than they would be by the iphone I post this blog on.


Top 10 most added cards in 2022
  

1. 1983 Fleer ..................................... 832
2. 1984 Topps ................................... 812
3. 1991 Upper Deck ......................... 141
4. 1988 Topps All-Star ..................... 105
5. 1988 Donruss ................................ 97
6. 1989 Topps .................................... 96
7. 1991 Donruss MVP ....................... 93
8. 1988 Topps .................................... 76
9. 1991 Score .................................... 74
10. 1986 Topps ................................. 68
10. 1992 Donruss ............................. 68

These are some of the biggest numbers to appear on this list since I started posting it.  I can't say I ever expected 1983 Fleer to appear at the top of it, but I'm not complaining either.


Notable No-Shows, zero acquired  


When over 4,000 cards get added in a single year, you're going to cover a lot of ground.  Of the cards I didn't add any of this year, none of them are all the shocking.  1987 Leaf (with 58 copies in my collection) was the most abundant card not make an appearance in 2022.  Other "notable" no-shows include 1988 Donruss Baseball's Best (54 copies), 1994 Leaf (48), 1994 Collector's Choice (48), and 1993 Flair.  1983 Donruss nearly became the most surprising card to ever this make list, barely avoiding it with only a single copy added this past year.


Welcome Back

 




The 2003 Donruss Expos card was actually sent by a reader and is only my 2nd copy of that card.  I haven't added one since I picked up my first one back in 2003.  The same goes for the 1995 Stadium Club 1st Day issue, though I know I see those pop up for sale from time to time.  I suspect the production numbers on the 2003 Donruss Expos run were relatively low as I just never see them around

1st since 2013
1995 Stadium Club 1st Day Issue
2003 Donruss Expos

1st since 2014
1991 Fleer Canadian (Glossy)
1993 Panini

1st since 2015
1985 O-Pee-Chee Poster
1991 Petro
1991 O-Pee-Chee


Top 5 cards sent in 2022

  

Last year 1990 Donruss took the top spot on this list.  I received 9 copies of it.  1982 Donruss was fifth with 5 copies.  Needless to say, numbers were way up this year.

1. 1991 Upper Deck ........................ 140
2. 1987 Topps ................................. 112
3. 1988 Donruss .............................. 97
4. 1988 Topps All-Star .................... 94
5. 1989 Topps .................................. 83
6. 1991 Donruss MVP ..................... 78
7. 1988 Topps ................................. 76
8. 1991 Score ................................... 74
9. 1992 Donruss .............................. 68
10. 1991 Donruss ............................ 66



Top 15 All-Time Most Sent Cards




This list remains my favorite out of all the numbers I track.  I feel like it offers the best insights into the junk wax era and what people were buying, and to some extant the production numbers.  It's obviously not perfect, or all that scientific (as evidenced by the 1987 Blue Sox card that a reader was nice enough to send me 325 copies of a few years ago), but I still find it to be a useful tool, or at least, an interesting list to track.

1. 1989 Topps .................................. 328
2. 1987 Indiana Blue Sox ............... 325
3. 1987 Topps .................................. 308
4. 1988 Topps All-Star .................... 290
5. 1990 Donruss .............................. 289
6. 1988 Donruss............................... 284
7. 1988 Topps .................................. 253
8. 1990 Topps .................................. 250
9. 1990 Fleer ...…….....................…  211
10. 1989 Donruss............................. 209
11. 1991 Donruss ............................ 191
12. 1986 Topps ................................ 190
13. 1986 Topps All-Star .................. 179
14. 1991 Donurss MVP ................... 176
15. 1991 Topps ................................ 175


Finally, thank you to everyone who continues to send cards, or even just continues to occasionally check in on this blog.  It's lasted a longer than I expected.  






Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Portland, OR


 This card was sent by Gavin of "Baseball Card Breakdown."  The card isn't marked up with sharpie holiday decorations, that's a custom sheet inside the sleeve (like the old overhead projector notes my teachers used to use way back in the 1990's), but the card has been altered.  Gavin explained in a note that he exposed 1991 Fleer to a "lengthy, solar-powered process to modify the border color into a pleasant creamy tone."  Which if I understand correctly, is a fancy way of saying he left them out in the sun for a very long time.  Regardless, the effect is pretty cool.  Below are photos of the front and back of the card: 

  


You can see the back appears to be more or less unchanged.  I won't be counting this as a "unique" Wallach and will simply update the total number of 1991 Fleer by one in my collection.  However, this card has found a place in the back of the 3-ring binder where I keep one copy of each Wallach I have, along with a few other custom efforts people have been generous enough to send me over the years.

Thanks for the card Gavin!  It's very cool and I really appreciate it.

Updated Total: 

1991 Fleer: 244





Check out Gavin's Blog:




Minneapolis, MN


 These 8 cards were sent by the "Crocodile Sports Card Blog."  You can visit the blog by clicking that link or by the clicking the logo at the bottom of this post.  I'm missing a name and return address, so it's just going as being from a blog in the middle of Minneapolis on the map.  

Thanks for the cards Dundee.

Updated Totals:





Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Salem, OR

The above cards, and all of the cards below were sent by Sean, of Salem, Oregon.  All in all I counted 699 758 (found 59 nine more buried in the large box they were shipped in as I was tossing the packing paper and bubble wrap before throwing it out) Tim Wallach cards.  Also included was a relatively random assortment of Topps and Bowman's from the last 20 years or so.  If there was any rhyme or reason to those cards, I missed it.  I assume they were just used to help fill out the box the Wallach's were sent in for shipping purposes.  Thank you for the cards Sean, this is one of the larger mailings that I have ever received.  Please reach out on Twitter and let me know if I can send anything in return.






Friday, November 4, 2022

Ramsey, NJ



According to my Sportlots.com account history, I've placed 137 orders going back to 2011.  A recent one I placed in an effort to fill out some final holes in the 2013 Topps set resulted in a first for me.  The seller, unknown to me at the time, was regular contributor to the blog "Max" from New Jersey.  I don't have an exact count as to how many times Max has sent me cards, but I know he's been sending them since 2011, making him one of the oldest contributors of cards.  He recognized my name and address on the Sportlots order and threw in these four Wallach cards.  As such, I'm counting this as a mailing.

Check out Max's blog "The Starting Nine," it's from way back in the old school before we all moved most our activity over to Twitter.  Can't hurt, because we may all be retreating back to the blog comment sections down the road.

Thanks for the cards Max!

Updated Totals:



Saturday, October 22, 2022

Sportlots pickups

 



I've been very active on Sportlots of late.  It's a result of trying to fill in the few remaining gaps I still have in the Topps sets from 2008-2022.  It's been a successful effort, and I'm currently one 2014 #424 Jose Ramirez away from completing that run.  Sportlots can be a very cost effective way of purchasing cards for set builds, but you have to navigate the shipping rates.  A habit I developed years ago, is when I purchase a cards from a seller, I try to max out the number they ship at the same price.  So if they charge $1.75 for 5-10 cards and I'm buying 5 cards from 2013 Topps, I go and add 5 more Wallach cards (assuming they have some to add) to max out the shipping.  The above 227 Wallach cards are the result of the last two months of doing this.  Granted, about 75% of them came from one seller who had very reasonable rate up to 300 cards and I was buying a lot of set build needs from.  

Regardless of how I acquire these cards, they all count and go towards the total tally.

Updated Totals:



Thursday, October 20, 2022

Anchorage, Alaska



These 26 cards were sent by Mark of Anchorage, Alaska.  This is the first time Mark has sent cards.  In fact this is the first time anyone has ever sent cards from The State of Alaska.  With this mailing, Alaska becomes the 45th State from which I have received cards.  The only remaining States I haven't received cards from are Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, and Mississippi.  I guess there just aren't many card collector's in those States.

Thanks for the cards Mark!

Updated Totals:

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Ottawa, Ontario



The above assortment of 9 Wallach cards was sent by Angus of Ottawa, Ontario.  This is the second time this year and at least the fifth time total that Angus has sent cards.  His Canadian offerings often include O-Pee-Chee cards, and this envelope was no exception with an '82 and '83 O-Pee-Chee inside.  Also in the mix was a 1991 Post cereal Wallach, still sealed inside it's original wrapper fresh (or perhaps not so fresh after 3 decades) from the cereal box.  The rarest item included was a 1993 Donruss McDonald's Expos.  It's only my eleventh copy of this card and first one I've added since 2018.

Thanks for the cards Angus!

Updated Totals:

Monday, October 17, 2022

Vacaville, CA



These two "cards," or "coins" were sent by Mike of Vacaville, California.  This is the first time I've been sent cards from Vacaville, which sits about half way between Sacramento and San Francisco for you geography fans.  I haven't amassed a whole lot of these coins over the years, though I do like them.  They just present me with storage issues.

Thanks for the "cards" Mike!

Updated Totals:

1990 Topps Coins x2: 13



Monday, October 10, 2022

Sunday Edition

Vintage Pickups


The last few weeks I've been pretty consistent in bidding on cards from a seller on eBay whose low grade auctions end on Fridays (and occasionally I'll take a crack at cards that end earlier in the week and are in better shape).  This past Friday (cards not shown here as they haven't shipped yet) I had bids on over a 1,000 listings.  I won 16 of them.  I've developed a strategy that involves carpet bombing with very low bids and picking up whatever falls through the cracks.  

The cluster of 1954 Topps above are a few that fell through the cracks.  I'm currently two cards away from finishing the 1953 set, but that effort has come to a standstill due to my unwillingness to pay a grand plus for the Willie Mays (at some point I'll go ahead and indulge on a low grade copy at the right price, but that point isn't anytime soon), and my unwillingness to pay $50+ for a Harvey Haddix.  I am completely befuddled as to why Haddix demands the premiums he does compared to every other similarly printed high series card, but for some reason he does.  My point is, I don't really know what I'm doing next.  I'm about to finish off a run of Topps sets from 1970-1992 and am not really interested in filling in the gap from 1993-2007, or going back from 1970.  So for now, I'm amassing as many 1954, '55, and '56 as cheaply as I can.


1955 Topps tend to fall through the cracks with more regularity than 1954 Topps when I bid, and I bid a lower price point on these than I do the 54's.  This set seems to be the forgotten one among the '52-56 oversized Topps run.  I've come to kind of like it as I've amassed more and more of them, and they look nice in the binder pages.  I've also picked up a healthy stack of 1956 the last few months, but somehow seemed to have omitted taking their pictures yesterday before sleeving them.  While I'm not building that set, I'm starting to actually complete some 8 card pages in the binder, which is an early symptom of deciding to build a set.


In addition to taking a carpet bombing approach of low bidding on 1954-56 cards, I also do something similar with stars and subset cards from later sets.  My price point is case by case, but I rarely go above what I was paying for beers at Dodger Stadium last weekend.  That Koufax is now the oldest Koufax in my collection, and one of my favorite cards I've added this year, if not favorite.


1961 is a set I could see myself trying to complete one day.  Not today, or tomorrow, but I really like it.  I've discovered a handful of Hall of Famers from the 50/60's that tend to sell for what I deem to be low prices (at least lower than I think they should).  Luis Aparicio, Robin Roberts, and Nellie Fox often go for the price of more or less commons, and Don Drysdale and Whitey Ford typically demand far less than I feel that they should.  As such, I'm slowly building a nice little collection of those guys.  Ashburn and Killebrew on the other hand tend to demand more than I feel like they should, especially any Ashburn as a Phillie.


A quartet of 1966 Topps that didn't break the bank.  Ford and Drysdale again coming in at modest numbers.


As kid who started collecting cards in the early/mid 1980's Pete Rose will always be a cardboard heavy weight in my head.  His run on Ty Cobb's record is forever seared in my mind, along with his 1963 rookie card's status as the ultimate baseball card to own.  That '65 is his first card not as a quad/rookie or with a rookie trophy.  It's his first "regular" Topps card, not that anyone considers that to be a thing besides me.

Thanks for reading.