Tuesday, July 9, 2013

1993 Memphis Chicks Modern All-Stars #33

(Updated: No Longer Primary Post)
Card Review: N/A See Other Post  Until recently this card was one of the great White Whales in my hunt for every Wallach card in existence.  I wasn't even sure it was even a real card, as most of the online reference sites didn't include it.  Then this one appeared on ebay.  In all honesty it was kind of bitter-sweet.  I knew I had to have it and would pay whatever it took, but this card didn't originally come out of a pack (or whatever it was packaged in) autographed.  And as a card collector purest, that autograph (which I have no doubt is completely genuine) isn't much different than someone drawing a beard on the card with a black sharpie.  

Technically, I have this card now, but a clean copy will still sit high atop my yet to be published "want list."  Previously this card was in the number 2 spot on that list, a clean copy will drop a little but still be near the top.  I'm not real optimistic about finding one either.  The Memphis Chicks, a minor league team, gave sets of these out as a Stadium Give Away (SGA) in 1993.  It was a set of former players who went on to be Major League All-Stars.  Typically SGA's tend be given to the first 2,000 to 5,000 fans.  Often times it's towards the lower  number when the SGA is just for kids under a certain age.  Baseball cards usually fall into that category.  So there were maybe 2,000 sets to begin with.  25% of which likely didn't make it home from the ball park, another 50% that probably didn't survive the summer of '93 when mom's did back to school cleaning.  I think it's optimistic to think 500 or so of these ended up in the hands of fans who actually took the steps to save them.  There's a good chance this one only survived because it was autographed.  If 500 or so did survive the summer of '93, I'm sure that number has been thinned down over the last 20 years, and when guys dig through their childhood collections looking to cash in, Tim Wallach isn't exactly a name that rings out with ebay riches.  This card may have to do.

Fun Facts:
* This is the only minor league Wallach card in my collection, and to my knowledge the only one that exists.  
* In 1979 Memphis was the "AA" affiliate of the Montreal Expos.  It was Wallach's first minor league team after being drafted #1 by Montreal out of Cal-St. Fullerton
* Wallach batted .327 with 18 home runs and 51 RBI's in only 75 games with Memphis in '79.
* Tim Raines, Charlie Lea, and Bryn Smith also played for Memphis in '79.
* Wallach homered in his 1st professional at-bat with Memphis.  In 1980 he would homer in his 1st Major League at-bat as well.

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