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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.

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Fun Cards: 1988 Topps All-Star Kurt Stillwell

Continuing the theme of shortstops this week, Kurt Stillwell was a late addition to the American League All-Star roster in 1988, replacing Ozzie Guillen. When John Wathan told him that he would have to cancel his plans during the break in order to attend a workout, Stillwell was disappointed, not realizing that his manager meant he made the team.

Kurt Stillwell Kansas City Royals All-Star 1988 Cincinnati Reds Topps

It was Stillwell’s first return visit to Riverfront Stadium since the trade that sent him to Kansas City for pitcher Danny Jackson, who made the National League squad. Stillwell was the Reds’ first-round draft pick, second overall, from Thousand Oaks High School in the 1983 draft.

Stillwell

We’ll continue this series with another American League shortstop tomorrow, and since this is becoming a regular thing, I’ve created a new tag for them. If you want to see all the cards in the series so far without wading through all the Reds birthdays, click “TWJ ’88 All-Stars.”

Happy Reds birthday, Kurt Stillwell!

Stillwell

June 4, 1965

I staked my claim as a Kurt Stillwell fan at some point during the 1987 season. I don’t remember if he made a good play or hit a home run or why exactly I latched onto him, but he became my favorite player while he was in Cincinnati. After the season, however, the Reds traded Stillwell along with Ted Power to Kansas City for Danny Jackson and Angel Salazar. Stillwell returned to Cincinnati in 1988 as an All-Star reserve for the American League; it would be his only career All-Star nod. Meanwhile, the shortstop the Reds built their future around—Barry Larkin—made his first of 12 All-Star rosters. The pitcher Kansas City delivered to Cincinnati—Danny Jackson—was also named an All-Star in 1988. I’m still a Stillwell fan today, but looking back, it’s obvious Cincinnati made the right choice in keeping Larkin.

Goodbye, Ron Stillwell

(December 3, 1939 – January 25, 2016)

Stillwell

Former Washington Senators infielder and father of one of my favorite baseball players, Ron Stillwell passed away from cancer on Monday. He played 14 games over two seasons, 1961-1962, collecting eight hits in 38 at-bats. His son, Kurt Stillwell, played nine years in the big leagues.

The kindness of strangers

A reader named Mike contacted me several weeks ago, telling me of a Kurt Stillwell card that he had not seen on my blog. It was a self-issued “testimonial” card, autographed by the former shortstop/second baseman. He also offered a 1988 team-issued postcard, of which I was aware but had not yet obtained for my collection. I sent him a few Stillwell cards he was missing from his collection, and Mike sent these two cards:

Kurt Stillwell baseball cards

But Mike didn’t stop there. He included several other Reds cards, including an autographed Duane Walker 1983 Topps…

walker

…and nearly the entire set of 1990 Best “All-Decade” Cedar Rapids Reds, a set that includes Eric Davis, Chris Sabo, Paul O’Neill and several other stars of the 1980s and 1990s Reds teams!

cedarrapids

These cards were unexpected, but very much appreciated. Thank you Mike, for your kindness! I’m on the lookout for more Stillwell cards from your wantlist!

Christmas cards

A few days ago, I posted a picture of one of my most prized baseball cards, the 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey rookie card. But that’s not the only thing I purchased with my Christmas money…

Christmas cards

In those stacks, I have:

The Sabo, Dunston, Dascenzo, and Stillwell cards will all be displayed at some point on All-American Baseball Cards, which has not been updated since June (but that will change!). The Reds cards will be tucked away in my binders.

My Reds wantlists have been updated; my All-American wantlists should be updated shortly. I have a Diamond King wantlist as well, but I need to do some editing to make it prettier before I post it.

New cards in the mail

New to me, that is.

Stillwell

This assortment of Kurt Stillwell cards was purchased from Sportlots and Amazon. This knocks the total Stillwell cards that I need down to fourteen. You have no idea how stoked that makes me, even though I know the remaining cards will be somewhat difficult to track down at reasonable (to me) prices.

You can see my Stillwell collection in progress on All-American Baseball Cards. There is a wantlist posted there, and I’ve been posting a card a week for three weeks now. The frequency of posts will begin to pick up soon, and when I’m done with Stillwell, I’ll be focusing on this guy…

Dascenzo

Another one of my favorites from the late 80s/early 90s was Doug Dascenzo of the Chicago Cubs. I knew I didn’t have this Cubs Marathon card yet, so I decided to go ahead and purchase it along with the Stillwell cards above. I was a bit disappointed when it arrived and I saw it was bigger than the standard 2.5×3.5. Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to baseball cards. Talk about a storage nightmare.

I’ll be organizing my Dascenzo cards soon, as well as Shawon Dunston, Lou Piniella (player and manager), and Billy Martin (as a manager). Wantlists will be posted on All-American Baseball Cards when they are completed.

If you have any Stillwell cards laying around that I don’t already have, or Dascenzo or Dunston or Piniella or Martin, let me know. We might be able to work out a deal.

Another five bite the dust

I took advantage of the Black Friday free shipping deal on COMC last week and filled in five more slots in my Kurt Stillwell binder…

Starting Lineup Stillwell

1988 Starting Lineup Talking Baseball – I already had this card, but it’s in the Reds binder as a part of the team set. My rules are very easy for me to understand when deciding whether a card is counted toward my Reds binder or my Stillwell binder…if it’s a part of a team set, it goes in the Reds binder. Eventually, I plan to have two of every Stillwell card that shows him in a Reds uniform.

Royals Smokey cards

1988 Royals Smokey – This is one of those regional issues that I never thought I would own because the eBay prices are through-the-roof. I can’t remember what I paid for this, but it wasn’t the $5 that is often seen on eBay.

OPeeChee

1990 O-Pee-Chee – I was worried about this one. I was burnt on a Griffey a few years ago on eBay; I should have asked to see the reverse print. I did get a refund on that one. Fortunately, COMC shows you the front and back of the card, so I saw that there was a difference from the regular Topps issue. Now the question is, do I put it in the binder backwards?

Score Traded

1992 Score Rookie/Traded – One of the few “common” cards left on the list price-wise. I realize that none of the remaining cards will break the bank, but it’s still nice to find one that costs less than a quarter.

1994 minor league

1994 Fleer/Pro Cards – I had not realized Fleer got into the minor leagues until I put this list together. I still need Stillwell’s 1995 Fleer/Pro Cards issue; in fact, I’ve never even seen a picture of that particular card. But the 1994 card is now mine.

Here is my updated wantlist (only 20 to go!) for Kurt Stillwell cards:

  • 1987 Reds Kahn’s Kurt Stillwell 11
  • 1988 Royals Team Issue Kurt Stillwell 31
  • 1989 Cedar Rapids Reds All-Decade Best Kurt Stillwell 6
  • 1989 Kenner Starting Lineup Cards Kurt Stillwell 140 (figure and/or card)
  • 1989 Royals Tastee Discs Kurt Stillwell 8
  • 1989 Score Young Superstars II Kurt Stillwell 42
  • 1989 Topps Stickers Kurt Stillwell 266
  • 1990 MLBPA Baseball Buttons (Pins) Kurt Stillwell 106
  • 1990 Royals Postcards Kurt Stillwell 24
  • 1990 Topps Stickers Kurt Stillwell 269
  • 1991 Donruss Super DK’s Kurt Stillwell 24
  • 1991 O-Pee-Chee Kurt Stillwell 478
  • 1991 Red Foley Stickers Kurt Stillwell 91
  • 1992 Padres Mother’s Kurt Stillwell 5
  • 1992 Padres Police DARE Kurt Stillwell 23
  • 1992 Padres Smokey Kurt Stillwell 34
  • 1994 Topps Spanish Kurt Stillwell 198
  • 1995 Indianapolis Indians Fleer/ProCards Kurt Stillwell 104
  • 1996 Rangers Dr Pepper Kurt Stillwell 32
  • 1996 Rangers Mother’s Kurt Stillwell 22

New Kurt Stillwell cards in my collection

A websurfer recently stumbled across my Kurt Stillwell wantlist and e-mailed me, offering to fill some holes in my collection, including a parallel, an upgrade of a poor condition card, and a card I didn’t even know existed! I happily accepted the offer and six more Stillwell cards have found a good home:

1986 Texas Gold

1987 Broders Rookies

1988 Starting Lineup Talking Baseball

1991 Royals Police

1992 Carls Jr Padres

1997 Pacific light blue parallel

I love the Broders cards. I know that they are unlicensed and are frowned upon by many in the baseball card community, but to me they are just more cards to chase down and add to my collection. I had not been made aware of this particular Broders issue before it was offered to me. I am always on the lookout for more cards to add to the checklist, so if you know of other unlicensed issues featuring Stillwell, please let me know.

The regional Royals and Padres issues are the first of their kind in my collection. These cards will pop up from time to time on eBay, but I’m not willing to shell out the money usually requested for them (or the extravagant shipping prices). I have seen a few on other marketplace websites, and may eventually use those to further my collection.

While I am not generally a fan of parallel sets, and will not actively seek to add those cards to my collection, when the offer is right I may go ahead and say yes. The offer was right in this instance, and the 1997 Pinnacle Light Blue Parallel will be housed in the Stillwell binder right next to the base card.

Here is my updated wantlist (only 25 to go!) for Kurt Stillwell cards:

  • 1987 Reds Kahn’s Kurt Stillwell 11
  • 1988 Royals Smokey Kurt Stillwell 23
  • 1988 Royals Team Issue Kurt Stillwell 31
  • 1988 Starting Lineup Talking Baseball Reds Kurt Stillwell 18
  • 1989 Cedar Rapids Reds All-Decade Best Kurt Stillwell 6
  • 1989 Kenner Starting Lineup Cards Kurt Stillwell 140 (figure and/or card)
  • 1989 Royals Tastee Discs Kurt Stillwell 8
  • 1989 Score Young Superstars II Kurt Stillwell 42
  • 1989 Topps Stickers Kurt Stillwell 266
  • 1990 MLBPA Baseball Buttons (Pins) Kurt Stillwell 106
  • 1990 O-Pee-Chee Kurt Stillwell 222
  • 1990 Royals Postcards Kurt Stillwell 24
  • 1990 Topps Stickers Kurt Stillwell 269
  • 1991 Donruss Super DK’s Kurt Stillwell 24
  • 1991 O-Pee-Chee Kurt Stillwell 478
  • 1991 Red Foley Stickers Kurt Stillwell 91
  • 1992 Padres Mother’s Kurt Stillwell 5
  • 1992 Padres Police DARE Kurt Stillwell 23
  • 1992 Padres Smokey Kurt Stillwell 34
  • 1992 Score Rookie/Traded Kurt Stillwell 19T
  • 1994 Indianapolis Indians Fleer/ProCards Kurt Stillwell 1819
  • 1994 Topps Spanish Kurt Stillwell 198
  • 1995 Indianapolis Indians Fleer/ProCards Kurt Stillwell 104
  • 1996 Rangers Dr Pepper Kurt Stillwell 32
  • 1996 Rangers Mother’s Kurt Stillwell 22

I obviously need the most help with those regional cards in Kansas City, San Diego, and Arlington.

Fun Cards: 1985 Topps “Father-Son” Ron & Kurt Stillwell

It is no secret that I am a huge Kurt Stillwell fan. I have collected a good number of Stillwell’s cards from his career, and have even received a few autographs from friends. One card that I have not yet secured is his dad’s, Ron Stillwell. Ron only played a handful of games for the Washington Senators in the 1960s and was never included in the Topps sets of the day. In 1983 a baseball card set called “One Year Winners” was produced, and that is the card used for the father half below. I found the scan on Baseball Almanac. The Kurt Stillwell photo is from the 1987 Indiana Blue Sox “New Reds Machine” card set.

Ron  Stillwell Kurt Reds

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