Monday, August 22, 2016

Elgin, IL

Regular contributor, Jim of Elgin, Il, sent this card, sticker, and stat sheet for some sort of "Strat-O-Matic" game (or that could be exactley what it is, I'm not an expert).  This particular sheet is for stolen base numbers for what appears to be the 1982 season based on the Expos roster.

Thanks for the effort Jim.  It's always appreciated.

Updated Total:

1987 Topps: 738

Thursday, August 18, 2016

"The Line"

I've had a fair number of occasions to discuss "the line," when it comes to my Wallach collection, and just memorabilia collecting in general.  When it comes out in conversations that I collect baseball cards, and specifically Tim Wallach cards, more often than not it leads to generalized discussions of cards and memorabilia.  I'm always interested in where people think "the line" is.  And by that I mean, when it stops being a collectable that anyone would want in their office or home, and more of an indictment of the person who wants it.  I like hearing other people's views on it, if for no other reason than I want be sure I never cross any perceived lines, and it's an easy topic for non-collector's to engage in.

In general terms, I wouldn't feel good about owning anything I think belongs in a museum, or that the player or their family would likely want for themselves.  A random game used Derek Jeter jersey is certainly cool.  Even one from a World Series game would be cool.  But say, the one he made his MLB debut in, or last one he ever wore is probably crossing that line for me.  Aaron's home run ball #713 would be an incredible souvenir, the next two don't really belong in some one's trophy case in an Atlanta suburb.  They belong on public display or with the Aaron family.

There's another "line" too.  The creepier one.  Relics from things that didn't happen between the foul poles.  I don't see examples of them very often, and am struggling to think of one off the top of my head, but everyone knows them when they see them.  Sandy Koufax prescription medicine bottles might be rare and historical in nature, but why would you want them?  There are exceptions of course, such as say a Babe Ruth paycheck from the Yankees.  Not really something from between the lines, but  I would still call it fair game.  I think the players fame, fairly or not, is also a factor.  I'm more inclined to say a Ted Williams birth certificate is probably ok (albeit not something I would ever want, and I would find to be more weird than cool), where as a Von Hayes birth certificate seems wildly inappropriate.

I've never really had occasion to question where the "line" is with my Wallach collection. But I was recently presented with my first hard line in the sand.  And I've decided to pass.  Someone is selling a high school year book from Wallach's junior year of high school.  No thanks.

Now, I'm not sure yearbooks are really out of bounds.  It's at least a gray area enough where I don't feel like a terrible person by mentioning it's existence (but I'm not  posting any pictures from the listing beyond the cover), so maybe I'm being a huge hypocrite, but I just can't imagine where something like this would fit in my collection.  On one side of the argument in favor of it, it does have a baseball team picture, but on the other side, this was never meant for public consumption.  If a player agrees to work with an author and wants to put things like old pictures out there, fine, but it's the player's call.  Not some random classmate's from the 70's.

My mother is a retired public school teacher.  She taught at a Junior High School in Phoenix for a few years, and one of the kids to pass through her classroom was a guy named Mike Bibby, who went on to have a pretty decent NBA career.  She doesn't really remember him, but the proof is right there in a year book back in her studio closet with all the other year books she amassed over the years.  I can't imagine trying to sell it, which helped me in my choice not to buy one of these.

I don't know where your "line" is, and I'm not going to judge you for it, but I think it's interesting conversation.  When it arises with my non-collector friends, I often cite the auction of a Michael Jordan student I.D. from UNC and an expired Driver's License as interesting dilemna's.  As a card collector, I think that's probably about as difficult a call as you could be presented with.  In a lot of ways they're like the ultimate low production card, but it also strikes me as a wildly invasive relic that is extremely personal in nature.

My "line" is still being established, but for now, high school year books fall on the wrong side of it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Landisville, PA

This nice assortment of 13 cards was sent by Kevin of Landisville, PA.  Kevin last sent cards in October of 2015.  So thank you very much for your continued support Kevin.

Included with the bunch, were two perfectly cut 1988 Fleer Box Bottom cards.  The '88 Fleer Box Bottoms are one of my all-time favorite Wallach cards.  I don't for sure where they would fall on the list, because I've never done one.  But it's on the horizon.  The tenative plan is to do my own subjective list of 375 or so different cards, then use that as the seeding for a 256 card bracket, that I'll let everyone else vote on.  I know it's going to consume a massive amount of my time to do, so I keep putting it off.  But it's coming at some point.

Updated Totals:

1987 Topps Sticker: 6
1988 Fleer Box Bottoms x2: 15
1988 Topps Glossy Send-In: 15
1988 Topps Mini: 30
1990 Topps Mini x3: 10
1992 Bowman: 48
1992 Bowman USA: 42
1995 Upper Deck: 33

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ebay lot

For about decade ebay was my primary source for Wallach cards.  But over the last five or six years, I've been gradually using it less and less, to the point where I rarely buy actual Wallach cards on it.  It's still a great source for odd-ball stuff, but as far as cards go, there are just a lot of other cheaper options available.  That's not say I don't use it at all however.  The 100 card lot pictured above is a recent example of an ebay purchase.  100 cards at six cents a card is a good deal anywhere.  So I pulled the trigger. 

When it arrived, I quickly discovered it to be one of the stranger lots of Wallach cards that I had ever bought.  It consisted of only 11 different cards, with very little in common.  They ran from the very ordinary such as Topps base set cards to the much less ordinary, such as a large amount of Fleer Glossy.  This lot more than doubled my '87 Fleer Glossy total, and doubled my '88 Fleer Glossy total.  It may not seem like that strange a grouping for normal people who haven't spent decades studying the patterns that emerge from hoarding Wallach cards, but from the perspective of someone who has, it's just an odd grouping for a 100 card lot.

Updated Totals:

1984 Topps x5: 214
1985 Topps x4: 269
1987 Fleer Glossy x13: 24
1988 Fleer Glossy x5: 10
1988 Topps x21: 581
1988 Topps AS x16: 562
1989 Donruss x16: 305
1989 Topps x16: 568
1989 Upper Deck x2: 172
1990 Fleer: 264
1990 Score: 175

Friday, August 12, 2016

Oceanside, NY

These two cards were sent by Bo of Oceanside, NY.  Bo last sent cards a year ago in July 2015.  Thanks again for the cards Bo.

Updated Totals:

1989 Topps: 552
1990 Leaf: 81

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

1991 Positive Proof Films

This was a bit of an impulse purchase several months ago.  Curiosity got the better of me, and I spent way too much on this thing.  I wasn't really sure what it was when I bought it, and when it arrived it was a little bit underwhelming.  So without even so much as opening it, I stuck it somewhere to deal with later.  Only, I forgot where I stuck it.  Which happens from time to time, but usually not with items this large.  After a few weeks of looking, I resigned myself to the fact that it had probably been thrown out by mistake along with the packaging it came in.  Then showed it up this weekend, in a perfectly logical location that should have been the first place I looked for it.

Upon taking it out of the bag, I discovered that it was actually more interesting than I initially thought.  I still overpaid, but it's not a complete disaster.  What it is, is four clear film sheets, layered to create the image.  I may actually end up having a print made and then framing it with the four sheets horizontally.  Though, I'm not in a huge hurry to do so.

I bought it long enough ago, that the original ebay listing is gone, but I found one for a Darryl Strawberry that's still up.  Here's how it reads: 

1991 Norman James Positive Proof Films...

This lot consists of a set of 1991 Norman James Positive Color Proof Films of Los Angeles Dodgers' Darryl Strawberry.  There are four films, yellow, blue (cyan), Red (magenta), and black, which when placed carefully on top of each other make a beautiful full color proof.  The end product was probably a full size poster, but this set measures 9 1/4"x10 3/4" and has a black outer border which leaves an 8x10 image, but does not have the league, MLB Players' Choice, or Norman James logos on the bottom, which as an officially licensed MLB supplier, they almost always have.    We're not sure what the actual year of issue was as it is undated. This is a specialist item and came from the pre-press package of the larger poster, and of course is a One-Only Item.

So, whatever, I guess.  It all sounds very fancy.  I'd be curious to see if there was ever actually a poster made of this print, and by "poster," I mean a 24x36 poster.  I've never actually come across a Wallach poster that size.  Something I spent the better part of my childhood wishing someone would produce.  Here are some more pictures showing how the films flip. They're just held in place by a couple staples that could easily be removed.



Sunday, July 31, 2016

Middlesex, NJ - A Sunday Edition Mail Day

This is the first Sunday Edition "Mail Day" that I've done.  The reason for it, is that the package sent was comprised primarily of cards related to a previous "Sunday Edition" post.  I received these cards from KO Rob in New Jersey nearly two months ago.  I knew I wanted to do them on a Sunday, I just haven't had a chance until now.  Which is a little embarrassing given how wildly generous KO Rob was with the cards that he sent.  On a side note, I don't know which blog is KO Rob's (or if he has one), though I found his name listed on a lot of other ones, so if someone does, please fill me in so I can link to it and scour his need list.

Rob started off with some Wallach's, shown above, which are always appreciated.  Then he went a little crazy.  Crazy to the tune of twenty two (22!) 1986 Fleer Basketball cards off of my need list.  Nearly all of them in pristine condition.  That may not seem like that big of a deal to those of you under thirty or so who don't dabble in basketball cards, but go ahead and try to find some commons from that set on your go to online sites.  They're hard to find, harder to find in decent shape, and demand a premium usually reserved for cards from 1950 Topps sets.  

The twenty two cards included some names to, such as Adrian Dantley, Alex English, Moses Malone,  and an Xavier McDaniel RC.  This huge haul trimmed down my need list to a very "manageable" ten cards.  I say "manageable" because one of them is the Jordan, a card that defies all common logic and the basic rules of economics.  Low grade copies demand nearly the same premium as copies in much better shape.  Case in point, take a look at this "PSA 1"  that just sold on ebay:

In contrast, a search of sold PSA 6 copies go in the $800-$1100 range.  That's a tiny degree of difference compared to pretty much every other card in existence.  Normally I'd have no problem picking up a raw copy, but unfortunately due to the sheer number of fakes floating around, I dare not buy anything but a slabbed card.   This is a pain on a couple of levels.  For one, it costs more, and two, those cases are a pain in the ass to crack open.  At this price though (a '52 Topps Willie Mays can be had for less and in better shape) it's a problem I won't be dealing with for awhile.

No, I fear I missed my chance to own a Jordan Rookie card.  I was one of the few children in Phoenix, or apparently anywhere, who bought packs of these cards in 1986.  I didn't buy a lot, but a handful.  There was a card I desperately wanted.  After opening a pack in my LCS (The Batter's Box next to Thunderbird High School), and voicing my disappointment, the dealer pulled some singles from behind the counter (this old school shop still had a wooden counter, no glass displays).  

The shop keeper suggested I go for a $2 rookie card of a kid named Jordan, it was a "pretty good investment" (or something along those lines).  As a seven year old in the mid-80's I was certainly very aware of the "importance" of good card "investments."  Even at that age I a strong portfolio of multiple '86 Fleer Cory Snyder's.  The dunking photo of Jordan also presented a strong temptation, but I instead opted for the $3 card, the most expensive card in the set, the coolest card in the set, and the one that was obviously the better "investment."  Even my mother, who rarely sprung for individual cards that cost more than a pack of 15 (the math didn't make sense to her) could see the appeal of this very special card laid out before us.  So I passed on the Jordan, picked up the Holy Grail of basketball cards to 1980's kids who cared about basketball cards and went home happy.

With the acquisition of this card, I stopped buying packs, after all, what was the point?  Basketball cards would never be worth what baseball cards were, and I already had the "good one."  It wasn't this well worn when I bought it, but it was subjected to a lot of handling, as everyone was interested in the Spud Webb dunking card.  And while the penny sleeve protected it to a degree on trips to school, and baseball practice, a card of this significance had to be handled in person, not in a sleeve.  I felt pretty good about it for a few years, until Mike S. bought the Jordan I had seen (or at least a Jordan) from the same card shop.  His father paid $200.  

As ridiculous as that number was at the time, it's going to take a lot more than that to knock off the last nine on;

 My need list for 1986-87 Fleer Basketball: 1, 4, 9, 26, 31, 53, 57, 99, 109, 130

In fairness, that Spud is still an epic looking card.

Updated Totals for the Wallach Cards sent:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

1986 Provigo Mini-Poster

This 1986 Provigo Poster is something that has been on my radar for more than a few years, but until recently had remained elusive.  Recently though, entire sets of these posters have been showing up on ebay with some regularity.  The price has varied wildly from the reasonable to the obscene.  Shortly after coming up short on a set that finished at a reasonable price, someone listed them all individually.  It may be a case of slimey profiteering, but I was finally able to get my hands on one of these as a result.

It measures 15 x 9, has perforated coupons on the bottom, and a blank back.  The card stock isn't as sturdy as a standard card, but is far from flimsy.  I actually like this much more than I thought I would.  If there's a guy in the set you've been on the fence about, I would recommend going ahead and picking one of these up.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

(Late) Sunday Edition

The two cards above arrived this week.  The Ryan base card on the left represents a huge "X" on my 1970 need list, which suddenly looks very managable and within reach.  Even in the shape it's in, it set me back a good bit of coin.  I think it was ultimately a steal at the price I paid, as I've been regularly tracking this card for nearly a year and picked it up for about half of what I was resigned to believing it was going to cost (even in shape like this one, or I assumed, worse).  The one on the right wasn't cheap either, especially given the type of card it is.

I'm not a Nolan Ryan fan.  I don't have any huge issues with him (and might reluctantly admit to kind of liking him in a Mets uniform), but I am by no means a fan.  And not being a fan, I never really understood the premeium his cards demand.  A lot of players see a spike in the price of their cards when they're in the midst of major accomplishments during their careers, but eventually come back down to earth.  Ryan seems to have a Mantle-esq demand around all his cards.  Which got me thinking, who are the most in demand players in the history of Topps cards?

I decided to take a very non-scientific and arbitrary approach to answering this question.  Using my most recent price guide (a 2013 becket I bought at an airport), I looked at every Topps base set from 1952 to 2005.  Looking only at base cards, I gave points for the Top 10 most expensive players.  Ten (10) points for the most expensive, nine for 2nd most, on down to one (1) for tenth.  I used traded/update cards only when the player wasn't in a base set.  I didn't include errors or subset cards.  Just the standard "base card."  I'm sure I made some errors, but here's what I came up with:

Most Collectable Players

                                                      Points - (Top 10's) (#1's)
46. Stan Musial ......................... 10.5  (4)
45. Mariano Rivera .................. 11  (2) (1)
45. Greg Maddux .....................  11 (2) (1)
45. Dwight Gooden ..................  11  (2)
42. Ryne Sandberg ...................  11.5  (2)
41. Dave Winfield .....................  11.8  (3)
40. Nomar Garciparra .............. 12  (2)
40. Bob Gibson ........................... 12  (3)
38. Willie McCovey .................... 13  (5)
37. Paul Konerko ........................ 13.5  (2)  (1)
37. Tony Gwynn .......................... 13.5  (2)  (1)
35. Darryl Strawberry ...............  14.5  (2)
34. Brooks Robinson ..................  15  (3)
33. Carl Yastrzemski .................. 15.8 (7)
32. Bo Jackson ............................. 16  (2)
32. Rod Carew ............................. 16 (3)
30. Thurman, Munson ................ 17 (2)
29. Robin Yount ........................... 17.5 (5)
28. Paul Molitor ........................... 18  (3)
27. Ernie Banks ............................ 18.8  (8)
26. Tom Seaver ............................. 21.8 (6)  (1)
25. Don Mattingly ........................ 22  (7) (1)
25. Ken Griffey Jr. ....................... 22  (4) (1)
23. Eddie Murray ......................... 22.5  (3) (1)
22. Yogi Berra ............................... 22.8  (10)
21. Roger Clemens ........................ 23.8  (6) 
20. Ozzie Smith .............................. 24.5  (4) (1)
19. Rickey Henderson ................... 26.5 (3) (2)
18. Jackie Robinson ...................... 27.5  (5)
17. Reggie Jackson ........................ 33.5 (12)
16. Johnny Bench .......................... 36  (10)
15. Derek Jeter ............................... 36.5  (8) (1)
14. Roger Maris ............................. 39  (7)
13. Mark McGwire ........................ 41.3  (12) (1)
12. Ted Williams ............................. 43  (5)
11. Mike Schmidt ............................ 43.5  (11) (1)
10. George Brett .............................. 53.8 (12) (1)
9. Barry Bonds ................................ 65.3 (13) (1)
8. Sandy Koufax .............................. 66  (13)
7. Cal Ripken Jr. .............................. 87.5 (15) (1)
6. Hank Aaron .................................. 123.3 (22) (1.5)
5. Pete Rose ....................................... 133.8 (23) (1)
4. Roberto Clemente ......................... 134 (18) (1.5)
3. Willie Mays ...................................  139.5 (22)
2. Mickey Mantle .............................  157 (15) (12)
1. Nolan Ryan ..................................  186.3 (27) (4.5)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Farmington, New York

These cards were sent by Dan of Farmington, NY.  From Farmington, NY to Farmington, NM.  Daniel runs the YouTube channel "Expos Classics."  There's a screen grab below.

Thanks for the cards Dan.

Updated Totals: 

1989 Topps: 551
1994 Score: 57


Friday, July 15, 2016

Fort Thomas, Kentucky

Jason of "The Writer's Journey" was nice enough to send me these two cards this week.  Included was a '91 Classic, a relatively rare card (only my 5th copy), but one I've received in the mail twice in the last two months after not picking up any for over two years.

Thanks for the cards Jason.

Updated Totals:

1991 Classic: 5
1994 Collector's Choice: 37

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Kansas City, Missouri

These three cards were sent by Evan of Kansas City, Missouri.  When I was in high school and into college, I was on a big P.J. O'Rourke kick (among others), and had in my head that I was going to write a book of loosely tied together satirical essays.  The working title for the piece was "Kansas City is in Missouri, and other Stupid Observations."  It never came to be.  In large part due to the huge amount of time it was taking and because my taste humor kept changing.  Material that I thought was solid gold as an eighteen year old, had morphed into unreadable trash by the time I was twenty one.  Somewhere in a closet I have a box full of notebooks filled with random essays and exercises from four years of creative writing courses in college.  I need to go back and look at them at some point, though I can only imagine how well they've aged over the last 15 years or so.  Probably about as well as fresh produce.  But who knows, "Kansas City is in Missouri, and other Stupid Observations," may someday yet find it's onto your Kindle (just like I intended back in the late 1990's).

Thank you for the cards Evan.

Updated Totals:

1988 Donruss: 685
1992 Topps: 171
1993 Topps: 98

Monday, July 4, 2016

4th of July

Tim Wallach played in 17 games on the Fourth of July over the course of his career.  With the Expos, not surprisingly, he saw a lot of road games.  The didn't seem to bother them though, as Wallach's Expos went 10-3 on the 4th over the course of Wallach's tenure.  For his career Wallach's teams went 11-6 on the 4th of July.  Below are his results from each.

Montreal Expos
1981: Strike - No Game
1982: @Pittsburgh, Expos 16, Pirates 6; 1/2 D, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB
          @Pittsburgh, Pirates 10, Expos 4; 1/4 T, 2 RBI, R
1983: @Chicago, Expos 6, Cubs 3; 1/4 T, BB
          @Chicago, Expos 4, Cubs 2; 0/3 R, BB
1984: @Atlanta, Expos 7, Braves 4; 0/4 BB
1985: @Houston, Expos 9, Astros 3; 1/6 HR, R, 3 RBI
1986: @Atlanta, Expos 11, Braves 5; 3/4 D, 3R
1987: Montreal, Expos 4, Padres 3; 1/3 T, RBI, BB
1988: @Houston, Expos 7, Astros 4; 3/5, 2 D, 3 RBI
1989: @Atlanta, Braves 9, Expos 3; 1/4
1990: Montreal, Expos 5, Reds 3; 1/4 R
1991: Montreal, Mets 5, Expos 1; 0/3
1992: @San Diego, Expos 3, Padres 2; 0/4

Los Angeles Dodgers
1993: @Montreal, Dodgers 1, Expos 0; 0/5
1994: Los Angeles, Expos 5, Dodgers 1; 1/3 R, BB
1995: @Atlanta, Braves 3, Dodgers 2; 1/3 HR, R, RBI, BB

California Angels
1996: @Oakland, Athletics 8, Angels 7; 0/3 RBI, BB

Wallach 4th of July Career Stats
17 games, .234 avg.  15 hits, 4 doubles, 3 triples, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 11 runs, 9 BB's, .484 slg, .329 obp

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Lahaina, Hawaii

These cards were sent by Gavin of "Baseball Card Breakdown."  Gavin's envelopes typically come from Oregon.  This one however arrived from Hawaii.  Which means I've now been sent cards from 41 different States.  Thanks for making that happen Gavin.

He included two more copies of the custom '85 Donruss Diamond King that he created.  These two are of far superior quality than the first ones he sent (which were by no means shabby).  Gavin appears to be perfecting his craft.  At some point I'm going to have to try to beg some instructions and tips off of him so I can try it out myself.

Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming are now the last nine States yet to send cards. 

Updated Totals:

1982 Topps: 1,133
1988 Topps: 559

Friday, July 1, 2016

Nova Scotia, Canada

There's not much mystery left when I find a brown envelope covered in blue "Par avion" stickers in my mailbox.  It's more cards (8) from the overly generous Ryan of Nova Scotia, who has now sent me cards on a dozen different occasions. 

Updated Totals:

1988 Donruss: 684
1988 Score: 224
1988 Topps: 558
1988 Topps AS: 545
1989 Upper Deck: 169
1991 Upper Deck: 222
1991 Upper Deck CL: 171
1992 Upper Deck: 240

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Elgin, IL

This is another mailing from Jim in Elgin, IL.  It contained just one Wallach, but Jim filled it out with some other cards (more than just what is pictured here).  At some point I mentioned on here that I didn't think I owned a single card from the '98 or '99 Topps sets.  Jim took it upon himself to correct that problem.  It'll likely be awhile before I get around to tackling the 1995-99 Topps sets.  For now I'm focused on the 1970's and though I've made steady progress towards completing that decade, I still have ways to go.  When I do get the 1990's, I'm leaning towards just knocking out the complete sets and sleeving them.  Where as each card acquired from a set prior to 1975 feels like a major accomplishment, and is the source of a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment, the idea of the late 90's sets just feels like work.  Albeit, work my OCD demands that I complete.

Thank you for the cards Jim.

Updated Totals:

1987 Topps: 737

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

1990 Collect the Stars Magnet #26

Card Review: 2.5  This magnet has spent the last two and a half years sitting atop my "Most Wanted List."  By no means did I believe it was the rarest card remaining on my Most Wanted List, which made it's elusiveness all the more frustrating.  These magnets are relatively easy to come by, but for some reason I could not track down a copy of the Wallach.  Then this comment was posted to my Most Wanted List:

Needless to say, this comment did not instill a whole lot of confidence in me as to the prospects of ever finding one.  I had more or less given up on it, and had actually considered removing it from my list with the assumption that they were never actually printed.  Then this showed up on ebay last week.  I did a quick double take, and immediately pulled the trigger.

As a "card" it's not much to get too excited about.  It's small, and for obvious reasons, has nothing on the back.  But it's got some things going for it.  For one, the random "Phoenix" written on the front is the kind of weird stuff that I really like.  That's the name of the company, but it could be confused as the "Phoenix Expos," which is kind of awesome.  Adding to the weirdness is that "Phoneix Ind." is actually located in Missouri (don't ask me, I have no idea).   I also like the back of the packaging with it's suggestions for use.  The front features a very strong photo.  At first glance the picture seems rather bland, but upon closer inspection, it's actually a very cool photo of a common shot.  The angle of the photo is different than the vast majority of Wallach cards with similar pictures.  For whatever reason, this particular photo stands out to me in a positive way.  It also gives a great look at the "Mims Band" on Wallach's left forearm.  It's a different color than the one I own, so now I have to go track down one of those. 

Further complicating things for me is that this "card" is still sealed in the package.  If I'm only going to have one, I prefer it be sealed like this, but now I want one to stick somewhere even more than I did before.  So the search will continue, even if it's now coming down off of the "Most Wanted List."

Number of cards in my collection: 1

FYI: A 2005 Topps Rookie Cup Rookie Reprint Gold Refractor #/1 (that's a mouthful) is now the number one card on my most wanted list.  I'm not very optimistic of ever finding it. I say "it" because there's only one.  Which is annoying.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Peoria, IL

Regular contributor Tom, of Peoria, IL sent these cards recently, and joined an exclusive club in doing so.  Tom joined the ranks of those who have sent me cards I didn't previously own.  These are my first two '93 Cardtoons "Wallach cards."  I've known about these Cardtoons for years but have never pulled the trigger on any.  The main reason is I forget about them.  My daily ebay search is for "Wallach."  "Tim Wallet" usually doesn't show up, and when it does, I've always told myself to make a note and pick a few up next time I order on Sportslot.  Likewise, they don't show up under "Wallach" and Sportlots either, and as such, I've never actually remembered to pick any up.

Additionally, I've always been on the fence as to whether or not they should count as "Wallach cards."  I was going to pick some up eventually, regardless of my ultimate decision on that issue, but it was another factor holding me back and delaying me.  Tom took care of it for me.  Now I have two, and in hand, it was a pretty easy call, they're "Wallach cards."

Thank you for the cards Tom.

Updated Totals:

1991 Fleer: 141
1993 Cardtoons: 2
1994 Flair: 7

Friday, June 17, 2016

1993 Cardtoons #89

Card Review: 3.8
I've had a long internal debate as to whether or not to count this as a Wallach card.  Ultimately, I've decided it counts.  As a card, it leaves a little to be desired.  The front is fine.  For what it is, it works, I guess.  This is the only card from this set that I've seen, so it may be unfair to judge the entire set, but the back leaves a lot to be desired.  It's just a stupid parody that has nothing to do with the player.  They should have made an effort to tie the back into the player on the card.  Even if it was stupid, and had no correlation to the actual player.  Give me a brief write-up on how the wallet effects or helps fielding.  It wouldn't make the card much better, but it'd at least be an improvement.  And there's plenty of room for improvement with this card.

And tempting as it may be, this will not replace my "wallet card," which has been an '82 Topps that I've carried around for the last 15 years or so.  I'm locked in at this point, as the card is now on about it's fourth wallet.

Number of this card in my collection: 2

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Elgin, IL

These cards were sent by Jim of Elgin, IL.  Jim sends me cards faster than I can post them.  I'm not complaining, I'm just making excuses for falling behind in my updates. 

Included with these cards was a Fleer Expos sticker.  I have good number of Fleer stickers in my own collection left over from my pack buying days as a kid.  However, I have very few older (pre-90) Fleer Expos stickers.  That's because when I pulled an Expos sticker it usually got stuck somewhere.  Notebooks, bikes, binders, etc.  I'm a huge fan of the older Fleer stickers, but they're not the sort of thing I think to buy, so it's cool to get them in the mail like this.  Even today, I'd much prefer a team sticker to 99% of the garabage Topps shoves in their packs that aren't base cards.  Though I don't think I'd be sticking them on things as often as I did thirty years ago, but who knows, the there are plenty of things in my garage may benefit from some.

Thank you very much Jim.

Updated totals:

1987 Donruss: 376
1987 Topps x3: 736

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Garvey, Cey, Russell, Lopes

These 22 cards were sent by retired blogger Jim, formerly of "Garvey, Cey, Russell, Lopes" fame.  I read the note before looking a the cards, and figured "lurker" meant cards lurking in his collection.  This lead to some confusion as to why he had sent me a handful of Jim Gott cards, until I flipped them over and saw Wallach "lurking" on the back.  I think I prefer the term "lurker" to "cameo," but haven't decided yet.  At somepoint I plan on doing a post on all the cards Wallach "lurks" or makes "cameos" on, and I figure I'll decide then.

Thanks for the cards Jim.

Updated totals:

1993 Flair: 31
1993 Triple Play x2: 28
1994 Collector's Choice x2: 36
1994 Donruss: 26
1994 Fleer: 30
1994 Pacific: 9
1994 Stadium Club: 29
1994 Topps: 84
1994 Triple Play: 26
1994 Upper Deck: 67
1995 Collector's Choice x2: 28
1995 Collector's Choice SE: 33
1995 Pinnacle: 30
1995 Stadium Club: 19
1995 Topps Embossed Golden Idol: 2
1995 Ultra x2: 36
1996 Donruss: 18
1996 Pinnacle: 40

Friday, June 3, 2016

Newburgh, IN

These 17 cards were sent by Dave of Newburgh, Indiana.  It's the 2nd time by my count that Dave has sent cards.  He previously made a contribution back in June of 2014, which was also 17 cards.  What makes this current group of cards really stand out is the five 1984 Donruss.  Since I started this blog, I had only previoulsy been sent a total of six '84 Donruss, this envelope nearly doubled that number.

Overall 1984 Donruss isn't particularly scarse, with 115 copies in my possession.  Of the 1980's base sets by Topps/Fleer/Donruss, there are several that have been more difficult for me to come by, here's a run down of the most difficult to find:

Most scarse 1980's base set cards
1. 1985 Fleer ......................67
2. 1985 Donurss .................71
3. 1982 Fleer ......................72
4. 1983 Donruss .................85
5. 1984 Fleer ......................99
6. 1983 Fleer .....................101
7. 1986 Fleer .....................107
8. 1984 Donruss ................115
9. 1986 Donruss ................117
10. 1982 Donruss ..............164 

Despite 1984 Donruss not being all that difficult to come by,  I think it still carries a reputation as being a set that was produced in lower numbers.  My own informal research efforts suggests that's simply not true, but sellers often demand more for '84 Donruss commons than they do other sets from the era.  I blame Don Mattingly, and the decade or so his 1984 Donruss rookie card spent as the most coveted card of a generation.  My point is, I think the perceived scarcity of '84 Donruss is just that, "perceived," and not an actual reality.

In any event, thank you very much for the cards Dave.

Updated Totals: 

1982 Topps: 1,132
1984 Donruss x5: 115
1986 Topps x3: 258
1988 Donruss: 683
1988 Fleer: 218
1988 Topps: 557
1988 Topps AS x2: 544
1992 Stadium Club: 34
1993 Upper Deck x2: 241

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Newark, DE

These cards were sent by Mark of Newark, Delaware.  Mark is also known as "Clubhouse Kaz" of "This Way to the Clubhouse."  This is the 8th time Mark has sent cards.  As always, thank you very much Mark.

The 2003 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites is one of my favorite Wallach cards.  It's a huge improvement over his original 1990 Topps, which featured a somewhat dark and drab photo.  It is by no means a horrible looking card, this 2003 variation is just better.  However, today it's hitting a bit of a sore spot.  Archives came out this week, and once again, I was disappointed to find that Wallach was not on the checklist.  Come on Topps, throw me a bone.

Updated Totals:

1994 SP: 32
1996 Collector's Choice Ser.II: 22
2003 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites: 13

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday Edition

Spine Cards - The 1980's

Last week I posted a run down of the cards I keep in my 1970's binders.  Much like majority of the sets from that decade, choosing the cards is a work in progress.  I'm four cards short of completing the run of sets from 1980-89, missing only three commons (9, 248, 495) and the Nolan Ryan from the 1980 set.  I'm also much more committed to my choice of spine cards, though they are far from set in stone.  Here's a run down of the current "spine card" selections:

1980 Lou Whitaker
Chance of staying: 35%
Lou's chances have more to do with my desire to swap out the '83 Reggie than anything to do with this card.  I've always been a big Lou Whitaker fan, and this has always been a card that I really liked.  However, Reggie is a guy that demands to be in a spine, and I'd like him to be in a Yankee uniform.  1980 or 1977 are the two most likely landing spots for him.

1981 Eddie Murray
Chance of Staying: 95%
This was a set I never thought I cared for.  Until I actually made the effort to put what I had (about 50% of it) into 9-page sleeves and a binder and get down to finding the rest.  In completing this set I picked up a new found appreciation for it.  There are a ton of great looking cards.  It's also a very affordable set to complete.  The Padres have particularly nice looking cards with the brown uniforms and red borders, which made Ozzie Smith and Dave Winfield tempting choices.  But the Winfield isn't the best picture and Ozzie belongs as a Cardinal.  Eddie Murray is 3000/500 guy and one of the more under-appreciated All-Time greats.  I love this dug out shot with the water cooler and sideburns.  It's staying.

1982 Rickey Henderson
Chance of Staying: 100%
There's no debate here.  This is on my short list of All-Time greatest baseball cards.  A guy that goes on my Mt. Rushmore of ball players doing what he does best.  Sure there are later cards of Rickey showing slides and dirt flying, but if you think about it, that wasn't where the excitement was.  The excitement of Rickey was in the suspense (or lack of) when he got on base.  Everybody in the Stadium knew he was going to go.  You can practically feel the nerves of all the unseen players radiating out of this card.

1983 Reggie Jackson
Chance of Staying: 1%
I love Reggie Jackson, and I love this card.  The sunglasses are perfect.  On top of that, it was the card used on the display box.  However, Reggie wasn't really an Angel, and the 80's aren't the decade he belongs in.  So he's moving.  Carlton Fisk is the clubhouse leader for this spot (yes, I think of him as a White Sox), and Fernando Valenzuela is another strong canidate.  Regggie will likely end up in the 1980 spot (I know it's the wrong decade, but it's a great looking card) or the 1977 spot.  But he won't be here.

1984 Tony Gwynn
Chance of Staying: 85%
I've really struggled with this card and set.  Gwynn, oddly, really does not have a wealth of great looking Topps base cards to choose from.  This is probably my favorite, but it's really early in his career.  That said, I think this card stays here for the forseeable future.

1985 Ryne Sandberg
Chance of Staying: 90%
I always thought 1985 Topps was one of my favorite sets, until I got around to completing it.  It's far from terrible, it just isn't as great as I thought it was in my head.  Too many posed torso/head shots of guys with grass or sky backgrounds.  This Sandberg stands out to me, and I'm satisfied with it being here.

1986 George Brett
Chance of Staying: 90%
This George Brett near the halfway point of his career and coming off his first World Series win.  There were actually a decent number of cards to choose from for '86, but this one works for me and why make thing more difficult than they need to be.

1987 Darryl Strawberry
Chance of Staying: 92%
Straw is going to have home in a spine, and there are no shortage of great looking Strawberry cards to choose from.  1987 Topps, depending on my mood, is my favorite Topps set.  So if I waiver on this card, it's due more of a feeling that the set deserves something epic.  Still, this card represents it well, the Mets were defending Champions and Strawberry was still at the top of his game.  Also the Mets logo and uniforms look great in the sun with the wood border.

1988 Tim Raines
Chance of Staying: 65%
There are probably 20 cards from this set that I would feel good about using.  For now it's Tim Raines in Shea.  Raines will always have a home in a spine, even if some shuffling has to occur, which it will, as my 1995-99 set building efforts linger between 50% to 0% complete (I literally have no Topps from '98 or '99)

1989 Don Mattingly
Chance of Staying: 47%
Mattingly is probably getting moved, it's just a question of where he goes, what card replaces this one, and when.  The player selection for this set is going to be heavily influenced by who ends up in the 90's spines, but given that I haven't even have binders for the second half of that decade, it could be awhile.