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Giving credit where credit is due…

That will teach me to rely on my faulty memory. I posted this earlier, attributing the awesome assortmant of Reds cards to @vossbrink, who is a pretty awesome person. He quickly pointed out that the cards did not come from him, so I checked my messages again. The cards actually came from another awesome person, @ShaneKatz73! Sorry about the confusion. What follows is the original post, slightly edited.

Reds

New friend @ShaneKatz73, who blogs at Off The Wall, impressed me with a box of Reds he recently sent my way. There was a little bit of everything in this package from the 1960s all the way to today. As a fan of oddball cards, I was not at all surprised to find several non-standard cards in the box. Here are a few of my favorites…

Cardenas

From 1967, a Topps poster insert. This puppy measures 5×7 and is a great addition to my collection. I’m a big fan of Leo Cardenas, and he’s a big fan of baseball fans. My oldest son and I ran into him once at the Reds Hall of Fame…not a scheduled event, he was just there hanging out. He took the time to shake our hands and gave my son, who was a soccer player at the time, a little advice: “Always eat your breakfast!”

Bonham

A beat-up 1979 Kellogg’s Bill Bonham, without its lenitcularness.

Bench

A 1982 Drake’s Big Hitters Johnny Bench. I have had the 1981 Drake’s set since I was a little kid, and was aware of other Drake’s sets, but don’t think I’ve ever seen one until recently. Shane sent over several different Drake’s samples for me.

Trillo

A 1989 Topps BIG Manny Trillo…Manny Trillo played for the Reds? Sure enough, Trillo finished his big league career with 17 games in Cincinnati in 1989.

Chapman

A 2012 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection Aroldis Chapman game-used jersey card. I’m not a relic or autograph chaser, to the point that I don’t even put them on my checklists. But I’m always happy to see them show up in blind trade packages.

Scooter

A 2018 Topps sticker Scooter Gennett. I love Topps stickers, and for the past three or four years I have liked the sticker designs better than the base card designs.

Shane also threw in a slew of Allen & Ginter and 1980s Fleer minis…

AG minis
minis

…and some Topps Heritage Minors and Topps Pro Debut, including three Billy Hamilton cards!

Hamilton

Overall, this was just a fantastic package and really fun to go through.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

Shane also dove into some of my not-yet-official-non-Reds-player-collections…

Bo Knows

A 1987? 1988? 1989? 1990 even? Bo Jackson unlicensed Broder-type card. I love these things, but they are so difficult to nail down exactly what they are or where they came from.

Buddy

A 1978 O-Pee-Chee Buddy Bell. I don’t think I even have the Topps version of this card yet, that’s how far behind I am on organizing these.

Cobra

A 1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier Dave Parker! A rare celestial Cobra from late in his storied career.

Jackson

…and a big stack of Reggie Jackson cards!

I really have to get some wantlists started for these non-Reds collections.

Thank you for the cards Shane, and sorry again for my earlier confusion! If anyone wants to dispose of any Red Sox cards, contact @ShaneKatz73 on Twitter!

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Blog Bat Around: My Card Collecting Projects

Blog Bat Around

I’m not sure if I have ever participated in a Blog Bat Around before, but this one might help me organize my thoughts on collecting. Thanks to Night Owl Cards for starting the topic. Here goes…

MY CARD COLLECTING PROJECTS

Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds: I know I will never own every Cincinnati Reds baseball card, but that doesn’t stop me from attempting to create a master checklist. It’s an ongoing project, as new sets are released every year and I discover older sets I never knew existed until some kind soul sends me a card from the set. I’m still working on crossing out my recent acquisitions, and I found a shoebox that had several other needs that have not been inventoried yet.

Stillwell

Kurt Stillwell: The former second-overall draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds has right around 100 cards. At one time, I had a good checklist and kept up with the collection. I was close to completion, and something went off the rails. I have several empty slots in the binder, and the checklist has disappeared, and I really have no idea which cards I still need. It’s not a huge project, and so close to finished, I really need to figure out where I’m at with it.

Shawon Dunston and Doug Dascenzo: As a baseball fan in the mid- to late-’80s and early ’90s, I saw a lot of Chicago Cubs baseball on WGN. I loved watching Dunston fire the ball to first base, nearly breaking Mark Grace‘s hand. I loved seeing Dascenzo hustle around the bases and take the mound on occasion. Both were fantastic “through the mail” signers to boot, so I have quite a few autographs of each. I would like to eventually acquire, at a minimum, all their Cubs cards from their playing days. Both moved on to other teams, and I do have some cards from those later years, but I remember them best as Cubs.

The Jacksons

Reggie and Bo Jackson: I think Reggie was my first favorite player. Or at least my first favorite non-Reds player. I don’t have a huge number of his cards, but one of my prized possessions since middle school has been his 1973 Topps card. I recently came into possession of his rookie card, which is now the pièce de résistance of my small Reggie collection. These are not organized at all, and I have no idea what I might be missing. Bo was an amazing athlete. For those who never saw him perform live—even if only on television—you truly missed out. Acquiring his cards from his playing days, even if including the football issues, seems a little more doable than Reggie.

Non-Reds cards of Eric Davis, Chris Sabo, Buddy Bell, and Dave Parker: Davis and Sabo had their best years in Reds uniforms, while Bell and Parker were better known for their time with other teams. I don’t have checklists available for these collecting goals yet, but I like to pick up cards I don’t think I already have occasionally.

Stars and Famers

Stars and Famers: I used to hoard cards of Hall of Famers. I didn’t care how many 1986 Topps Ozzie Smith cards I had, they were never available for trade. Until recently. The cards were just taking up so much space, and I didn’t ever look at them. A much more manageable project is to keep one or two favorite cards of these guys. The rest have been shipped off to team collectors. Likewise with the likes of Don Mattingly, Ken Boyer, Dale Murphy, and a few guys that aren’t really should-be Hall of Famers, but once seemed to be on the right track, like Darryl Strawberry and Will Clark. Same rule as HoFers: one or two favorite cards of each is enough for me.

Horror

Horror-related cards: “Cereal Killers” is one of my favorite horror sets of all-time. I only have a handful of other horror-related cards, such as Eddie Munster and Freddy Krueger.

Music

Music Cards: Pro Set Musicards, Yo! MTV Raps, Donruss KISS cards, and a very small selection of other brands. I have nearly the complete set of Musicards (missing only a handful of cards). Two of my favorite music cards came from Steve over a year ago, when he had Topps make custom cards of Vivian Campbell and John Sykes for me.

Miscellaneous: Here is the catch-all. If it’s something I like, I’ll collect it. Be it He-Man cards, Dukes of Hazzard cards, Star Wars cards, Superman cards, you name it. I may never chase the entire set, but I like to have a few cards of pop culture awesomeness in my possession. Come to think of it, I might be close on that He-Man set. No closer than I was 15 years ago when I first bought that wax box, mind you, but close still.

I look forward to reading all the other bloggers’ various card collecting projects.

#TBT at twjfuncards.tumblr.com

1938

This morning I posted 15 “fun cards” in the style of 1938 Goudey baseball cards that I drew 25 years ago at twjfuncards.tumblr.com. I have posted these here before, but the image links expired long ago, so I decided to re-upload them to tumblr for posterity.

I remember working on these at my desk in my bedroom, and a few nights ago I told my son to go find some index cards and colored pencils for me. But I am hesitant to try again. When I get up the courage to attempt a new drawing, I will post it here for everyone to laugh at. In the meantime, enjoy the 25-year old “fun cards.”

Take a closer look…1987 Bo Jackson vs. 2010 “Yo Mama” Bo

In 2010, Topps produced a special insert set called “Cards Your Mother Threw Out.” Those cards became affectionately known as “Yo Mama” cards to collectors everywhere. I loved pulling cards of older players that I watched growing up, including several Hall of Famers. One of my favorites was Bo Jackson, who didn’t make the Hall of Fame, but was one of the most entertaining athletes on the baseball diamond and the football gridiron.

But take a closer look, side-by-side, at Bo’s 1987 issue and the 2010 insert. Notice any differences?

side by side

First off, the photo quality on the reprint is downright awful. It looks like it has been printed by a low-quality laser printer. I suppose Topps no longer owns the negative? But beyond that, what are the other differences? Start in the upper left hand corner…

team logos

The team logo is different! According to Chris Creamer’s SportsLogos.net, the Royals used the logo on the left (the 1987 card) until 2001, and on the right (the 2010 insert) beginning in 2002. I have not looked at other reprints to see if their logos have been changed as well, but I imagine they have.

Now move down to the bottom left of the card…

Topps logos

The Topps logo is an iconic identifier, but in 2010 they partially covered it with the “Future Stars” banner. The original is on the right, with the circled (R), while the reprint is on the left, with no trademark or copyright symbol.

But there is a lot more going on at the bottom of the card…

photoshop that fence

The original is on top, the reprint on the bottom. Immediately one notices the slight color change in the nameplate, and the difference in the font thickness. The border is slightly different as well, with the star from the “Future Stars” extending further to the right. But look behind the “Future Stars”…notice anything missing? The bottom of the fence has been Photoshopped out of the picture! I’m not sure what the reasoning is behind that move, except to make Bo look closer to the fence than in the original.

Not only was the fence removed from the picture, the stripe on Bo’s leg is altered ever-so-slightly. Instead of curving to the right with his leg, it’s curving to the left. I found that rather odd.

I was quite surprised to see so many differences between the original and the so-called “reprint.” Do you see more? Have you noticed any of these things on other official Topps reprints?

Here are some reasons I don’t like Topps Heritage…

Topps posted a bunch of photos of 2014 Topps Heritage on their Facebook page yesterday. In general, I like Topps Heritage. But there are some things that I definitely don’t like.

Jeter

I like Derek Jeter. I don’t like that his card is a “high-numbered base card” in the 2014 Topps Heritage set. The same goes for Yasiel Puig, Miguel Cabrera, and Max Scherzer. Seriously, is there any reason to buy a pack if all of the superstars are in the high numbers?

SandbergI am glad that Heritage includes managers in the set. It’s neat to see Ryne Sandberg, Don Mattingly, John Farrell and other former big leaguers still involved in the game.

I don’t like that there are only seventeen managers who will get cards in the set. Where is Bryan Price? No, he never played major league baseball, and he has never had a baseball card. But he (and the other twelve non-card managers) still skippers a team and should have a card if seventeen other managers have a card.

PuigBack to Puig. He wasn’t an All-Star last year. Maybe he should have been, but he wasn’t. Maybe he will be this year, but we really don’t know yet.

I don’t like that Topps took it upon themselves to either correct last year’s manager or predict the future, whichever is the case here.

This isn’t the first time a non-All-Star has been called an All-Star by Topps. One of the most egregious examples is Tony Bernazard from the 1987 Topps set; Bernazard was not an All-Star in 1986, or 1987…or ever.

McCarver

First things first, I don’t like Tim McCarver. But this isn’t a post about Tim McCarver. This is a post about 2014 Topps Heritage. And I don’t like that they cut up a 1981 Fleer card and put it in a 2014 Topps set.

JacksonTopps used a Fleer product in their set.

Let that sink in.

First things first, I absolutely love Bo Jackson. He was one of the most exciting baseball players and one of the most exciting football players. He was an all-around athlete and was fascinating to watch. Jackson was born in 1962. His baseball career started in 1986 and ended in 1994. I don’t like that he is included in the 2014 Topps Heritage set, which is supposed to be an homage to the 1965 issue.

I like the concept of Topps Heritage. I don’t like the execution.

Don’t get a big head

The Junior Junkie just posted a 1990 Topps “Heads Up” he received featuring Ken Griffey Jr. I have a few as well, and they’re actually hanging on the wall in my basement…

Topps Heads Up

That is, from left to right, Craig Biggio, Tony Gwynn, John Franco (the only Red in the set), Bo Jackson, and Junior. I also had Dennis Eckersley and Mark McGwire at one point, but they weren’t worthy of inclusion on my Wall of Awesomeness.

This was a neat little set, and I wouldn’t mind picking up a few more for my wall if I found them on the cheap at a card show. Looking at the checklist the Junkie posted, I probably also wanted Gregg Olson and Jerome Walton back in the day. But alas, I never got them.

Fun Cards Submission: First pitches (part 5)

Bo knows neutrality

Bo Jackson decided not to wear a team hat or jersey when he threw out the first pitch before the Royals-White Sox game in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, but TWJ reader and Cards That Never Were blogger John thought he should have. With the magic of Photoshop (or a similar program…I didn’t ask), he grabbed a photo of Bo and Soxed it up. Thanks for the submission, John!

Fun Cards Submissions: First pitches (part 2)

Here’s a few more first pitch “fun cards” from TWJ contributor Patrick…

Geddy Lee first pitch

I love how he decided to use an O-Pee-Chee card for Canadian rock legend Geddy Lee.

There are a couple more after the jump…

Read the rest of this entry

The Ceremonial First Pitch

One of the neatest things baseball teams do is the “ceremonial first pitch,” often honoring past stars or community leaders. One of the highest honors someone can receive is to be asked to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day. Here is a run-down of some of yesterday’s ceremonial first pitch honorees:

Piniella
Lou Piniella took the mound before the Yankees-Red Sox game.

Rusty
Rusty Staub tossed the ball before the Mets opener.

Torre
Former big leaguer Joe Torre was asked to throw the first pitch before the Reds-Angels game. This one doesn’t make any sense to me since Torre has no connection to either organization.

Webb
Brandon Webb was honored by the Diamondbacks.


Bo knows first pitches…Bo Jackson did not wear a jersey when he threw out the first pitch before the White Sox-Royals game in Chicago.

Romesha
Medal of Honor recipient Army Staff Sgt. Clint Romesha was the Nationals’ choice to throw the first pitch in Washington.

Larry
Future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones returned to the field in Atlanta.

Koufax
My favorite, though, was Sandy Koufax for the Dodgers with Orel Hershiser catching. Watch the video below and prepare to smile.

Fun Cards: 2012 “Taco Bell Softball” Bo Jackson

Much like Night Owl, I have some fond memories of All-Star Games throughout the years. One of my most vivid memories is of Bo Jackson smashing a Rick Reuschel pitch for a home run in the first inning of the 1989 All-Star Game in Anaheim. I didn’t even remember that he won the MVP honors for that game until I looked it up, but I remember that towering blast.

Royals and Raiders legend Bo Jackson

Photo credit: AP

There has been a lot of speculation about how great Bo Jackson would have been had he not been injured playing football. Just for fun, I plugged some of his numbers into Bill James’ Favorite Toy to see where he might have ended up if he stayed healthy. I used his numbers from the 1987-1989 seasons.

Home runs: Based on his age, your player can be expected to play for 8 more years, at an average of 24.7 per year. At that rate, he will finish at 278 for his career.

Runs batted in: Based on his age, your player can be expected to play for 8 more years, at an average of 66.7 per year. At that rate, he will finish at 768 for his career.

Not really earth-shattering numbers. Perhaps if he had given up football to play on the diamond full-time he would have fared better (and lasted longer).

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