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Buying Baseball Cards

It’s been a while. I made a decision quite some time ago that I was going to stop buying packs because the prices are so high and the chances of pulling Reds so low. I’ll wait until the end of the year and just pick up the team sets and a few singles here and there. After making this decision though, I lost interest in cards. So I haven’t really bought many this year. Until today.

We stopped at the baseball card/coin store first. Not a lot of selection, and the single cards are pretty high at this particular store. But they did have 1991 Leaf packs for 50 cents a pack. I know, I wasn’t going to buy packs. But 50 cents, man. 50 cents. They only had 6 packs, but I figured with 15 cards per pack, surely I was going to pull a couple of Reds, right? Um, no. Instead, out of one Series 1 pack and five Series 2 packs, I pulled FOUR, yes FOUR Randy Johnson cards. It would be great if I was a Randy Johnson fan.

And THREE, yes THREE Curt Schilling cards. Too bad I don’t really like Curt Schilling.

And ZERO, yes ZERO Reds cards. Bummer.

But with my purchase I also got a pack of twenty Ring of Honor cards for free. They are all of the even #’d cards from 12-50. Jermaine Dye has already been offered to (and now packaged for) Steve, and I’m going to hang on to Clemente, Frank Robinson, and the two Reggie Jackson cards, but the rest are up for grabs.

After the card shop, we drove down the road and decided to check out the Florence Antique Mall. I will definitely be returning to the Antique Mall in the near future as there were several displays of baseball cards, very cool stuff, mostly reasonably priced. Among my purchases were:

Chico Cardenas 1960 Rookie Star

Don Gullett 1971 Topps (rookie!)

Cesar Geronimo 1979 O-Pee-Chee

George Foster 1980 Kellogg’s

Ted Kluszewski/Gil Hodges/Mickey Vernon 1986 Sportflics

I had to take a photo of this one, because when I scanned it Klu didn’t show up. It was the Dodger guy. And I don’t post Dodgers here. That’s someone else‘s job.

Eric Davis 1989 Topps Coin

Fun fact on the back of the coin: “Eric led NL with 21 Game-Winning RBI in 1988.” Of course, as we all know today, GWRBI is no longer an official stat. But wasn’t it one of the most fun stats in the 1980s?

Ken Griffey, Jr. 2009 Topps

I also rolled the dice with a couple of “surprise” packs for 25 cents. Hey, it’s 25 cents. One contained 6 or 7 All-Star stickers from 1981, including the late, great Tug McGraw.

The other 25-cent pack included 10 Pro Set MusiCards. In addition to Nelson, LL Cool J, and a few MC Hammers, I also got a promo card for Bill & Ted…

…and a Vanilla Ice card!!!

That reminds me, Vanilla is coming to Cincinnati soon. I’m still undecided on whether I will go to the show, but I just might go and try to get this card autographed!

In addition to all this, I got two packs of 1981 Donruss for a mere $1 each. Yeah, baby. Vintage cardboard. Gotta love it. 18 cards per pack…let’s rip in, shall we?

Pack #1
461 Larry Gura – Unfortunately the gum was stuck to the front of Gura’s card, and when I ripped the gum off part of the card came with it.

460 U L Washington
465 Bucky Dent – Why was this guy so popular? Was it his tough-nosed play, or his former career as Captain America’s sidekick?

463 Hal McRae – A former Red! But not in a Reds uniform, so who cares?

464 Jim Frey
350 Dave McKay
110 Mickey Klutts – Apparently he lived up to his name. The back of the card informs the collector, “1980 – Avoided the serious injuries that plagued his previous seasons and appeared in his most games ever.” That was, by the way, 75 games. Don’t be such a klutz, Klutts.

120 Mike Heath
238 Rick Langford
237 Wayne Gross
236 Benny Ayala
235 John Lowenstein
234 Mikw Flanagan
233 Dan Graham
232 Rich Dauer
231 Luis Tiant – I had no idea Tiant played for the Yankees. He’ll always be a Red Sox pitcher to me.

nno Checklist
360 Brian Kingman – The 20-game loser. What’s amazing is that his ERA was only 3.83 in 1980. Which means the A’s offense must have been terrible when he was pitching.

Pack 1 Team Count: 4 Royals, 2 Yankees, 6 A’s, 5 Orioles, and 1 Checklist. Wow, talk about terrible collation. (Is that even the word I’m looking for?)

Pack #2
582 Dave Stieb – Unfortunately Stieb suffered the same fate as Gura from the first pack.

581 Andy Hassler
580 Mark Littell
579 Greg Minton
224 Clint Hurdle
230 Jeff Cox
229 Oscar Gamble
228 Reggie Jackson – Until I got to this card, I thought, “Wow, these packs have definitely been searched and re-sealed. The collation is terrible, and there are no good players at all.” That all changed with this pack.

227 Ron Guidry – Yeah, big Ron was awesome.

226 Jim Spencer
470 Mike Davis
469 Bobby Brown – Prior to his days as a Top 40 Superstar, Bobby roamed the outfield for the Yanks. I did not know that.

468 Reggie Jackson – Wait, what? How great is this? Two Reggies in one pack! Awesome!

This is the card that commemorates reaching 400 home runs. Back when that number mattered.

467 Ron Davis
466 Dennis Werth
465 Bucky Dent
464 Jim Frey
463 Hal McRae
462 Rich Gale

Pack 2 Team Count: 1 each Blue Jays, Angels, Cardinals, Giants, 2 A’s, 4 Royals, 9 Yankees. NINE YANKEES??? Wow. Too bad I’m not a Yankees collector. Any Yankees fan want them? All but the Jacksons and Guidry I’m willing to part with. Leave a comment or e-mail me.

Driving music was provided today by Black Robot, featuring former members of Buckcherry. Black Robot is a rock band that has a 1970s vibe to it, with shades of The Who, Led Zeppelin, and Aerosmith. Of note are “Cocaine” (a rugged cover of the JJ Cale piece), “Love on a .45,” and “In My Car.” Hear song samples and find more information about Black Robot at myspace.com/blackrobot …if you think you’re cool enough.

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High school memories

I hated high school while I was in it. Absolutely hated it. Looking back now, I wish I could go back. No responsibility, no obligations, no bills! But while you’re there, you can’t imagine anything worse. However, there were some good things that happened in high school.

One of those things was the greatest era of pop music in my lifetime. I’ve said it before, hair metal is my absolute favorite genre. But the pop music of the late 1980s and early 1990s was just absolutely awesome. From Right Said Fred to Marky Mark, Milli Vanilli to Gerardo, Young MC to Bobby Brown. Speaking of Bobby, was there a better pop record than Don’t Be Cruel…ever?

And of course, who could forget ProSet’s 1991 “Super Stars MusiCards”?

Ice, Ice Baby.

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