Thursday, December 31, 2020

my favorite cards of the year - 1987 edition

i recently introduced my mini collection focusing on my favorite cards from each year that i've been a collector. the basic gist is that i wanted to create a space for the cards that i most appreciated having in my collection in the year that they were released. these were cards that i acquired in the year that they were issued, and that i considered to be my favorites at the time. i have disallowed (most) cards that are already in other mini collections in order to avoid having a mini collection consisting of more steve garvey, double plays, and dodger stadium cards.

i was still buying cards from all three major manufacturers in 1987 - donruss, fleer, and topps - but not in the same quantities as the past few years. i completed all three sets, but there weren't really any cards that i was too excited about. i remember being in the lcs at one point during the season (likely around the all-star break) and seeing mark mcgwire's 1987 topps card in the display case. i asked the owner where that card came from, and he told me it was in the regular set. i went home and found that i had three or four of them. they had not made an impression on me at all, and i hadn't really looked through my cards for a while.

at any rate, i did still have a couple of cards that i liked more than others, and here they are.

favorite non-dodger card: topps rickey henderson turn back the clock
i was pleased to see the 'turn back the clock' subset return for a second year in a row. back in 1978, when i found out that there had been 'tbtc' cards in the 1977 set, i was a bit disappointed that they weren't included in the '78 set.  anyway, i had billy ball fever in 1982, and seeing rickey's card from that year reprinted made me a bit nostalgic.  rickey, of course, was a yankee in the 1987 set, and seeing him in the a's uniform brought back good memories of his 130-steal campaign and getting to see him play in person for the first time.  

favorite dodger card: topps maury wills turn back the clock
dodger cards were particularly boring in 1987. they had no 'rated rookie' in the donruss set, and there were no big players that i looked forward to finding in the update and traded sets. bill russell had his final tributes, and i have those in my final tribute collection. and so it was that the card i liked the most was maury wills'. it had been five years since i first saw the 1962 topps wills card in the kmart mvp set, and just under five years since i discovered that it was a 'card that should have been' but never was. i appreciated the fact that topps used it again in this set, marking it the third time it had been included in a set (the 1975 topps mvp subset was the first occurrence). it afforded me another wills card to include in my flagship dodger team collection, and for that i was grateful.

tonight, the clock turns to a new year - i am so ready for 2021! happy new year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

cardpocalypse 7 day trading card challenge, day 7: what fresh hell is this?

so i finally made it to day 7 of the cardpocalypse 7 day trading card challenge. you remember that challenge? the one that everyone else finished months ago? i have not constrained myself to a strict interpretation of the timeline for the challenge, obviously. days in a biblical sense, perhaps. anyway, the day 7 topic was a favorite hobby trend that emerged this year - i am just getting this post in under the wire!

it's been over 9 months since i, like many others, began working at home, which was quite a change considering that i had been working out of a project office out of town three to four days a week for the prior fourteen months or so. i went from being home hardly at all to being home all of the time.  being home during this time has allowed me to spend more time with my collection as has been evidenced here through a higher and more consistent volume of posts. lucky you. so, my favorite hobby trend that has emerged this year is that i am still alive and collecting! 

actually, it's not, as there are a number of things that have been happening that i enjoy.  such as the free (and almost free) giveaways that popped up all over the place.  i am also happy about the renewed interest in the hobby, as i've been able to unload some junk wax michael jordan, sammy sosa, and mark mcgwire cards as a result, so that's been nice. it's also been great to see the returning bloggers, new bloggers, and even though it is not a trend, the veteran bloggers that make up this online community.  all of those trends have been written about extensively elsewhere, so i will write a bit about the topps turn back the clock cards that gave me a baseball fix during the first three months of the wfh situation when there were no games being played.

i thought it was dumb when a couple of websites started touting simulated games when it became clear that the baseball season would be postponed. i mean, i enjoyed playing seasons on tony larussa baseball as much as everyone else, but i didn't see the point in trying to get people excited about simulations. i did get excited, however, when topps brought us the online "turn back the clock" cards to fill the void of their regular "now" releases.  i have been a fan of the topps turn back the clock concept since i first saw the 1977 maury wills card 
in the late 1970's (it is strange that it has taken me a long time to pick up a spare copy to add to my dodger stadium binder, which i did earlier this year). this year, topps used the concept to remind us of events from seasons past, and so i looked forward to each day's release to see what events a topps now set might have recognized in previous seasons throughout baseball history. i even picked up the april 15 card
as it featured jackie robinson. sometimes, i tried to guess what the card subject might be for a given day, but i was always wrong. in fact, i was hugely disappointed when they did not choose shawn green's 4-homer game as their subject for may 23. they went for an albert pujols 5-hit game instead of the game that set the mlb record for total bases by one player in a single game. still, the series has produced a number of cool cards that i would like to add to my collection, but so far i only have the jackie above.

i also purchased three of the topps 2020 project cards:

mike trout (blake jamieson)
sandy koufax (tyson beck)
jackie robinson (efdot)
those first two were sort of novelty purchases at what might have been the peak of the project 2020 hype. the trout has one of the highest print runs of the whole checklist.  the jackie came out shortly after the trout and koufax, and i really liked the design. i wasn't the only one, as night owl did a good writeup of it.

now, i'm ready for 2020 to be over but i am curious if topps will bring the turn back the clock set back next year. i am much less interested in a potential project 2021, however.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

brooks robinson is in my hall of famer collection

the human vacuum cleaner, brooks robinson, represents both a peak and a valley in my collecting experience.  he is also a hall of fame third baseman, and is in my hall of famer collection, with this card as his entry:
that would be a 2001 topps golden anniversary great autograph card.  here's the back:
brooks was the reigning world series mvp when i was born, on his way to the last few of those 16 gold gloves mentioned on the back of the above card. i didn't know too much about all that as a new collector back in 1978, but i know i was confused that robinson was featured on a record breaker card, but not a regular card. i learned soon thereafter that al kaline had received the same treatment in 1975, so i thought maybe it was a thing that topps did.  then i realized that they did not even do this for hank aaron in 1977, and so i grew to resent topps for not giving robinson (or jim hunter in 1980) a proper send-off.  as i began to collect these cards, i was even more annoyed that there wasn't a card of robinson to add to my collection.  things haven't necessarily improved since then, as topps has been hit or miss with retiring greats. most recently, derek jeter and david ortiz were feted in 2015 and 2017, respectively, but david wright and joe mauer were left out of 2019 base sets, and adrian beltre, a sure-fire hall of fame third baseman was only featured in a smattering of base releases that year. sure, ichiro got a card in 2020 topps, but it was a short print legends variation.

as for the positive influence robinson had on my collecting, it was his 1971 topps world series card that my brother and i saw in the local card & comic store display case in 1977 that made us think of star wars. it looked to us like robinson was searching for droids on tatooine, and so the seeds of a future mini-collection were sown.

i wanted to be sure that the card i picked up for this collection featured old-man robinson, and this one works nicely as that photo on the back would have fit right in with the rest of the cards in 1978 topps that featured a yankee stadium backdrop with the "brut" billboard on display. it's a shame that he didn't get that true final tribute card.

i never saw brooks play in person, but he has definitely had an impact on my collection.

here's my hall of famer collection as its been documented so far:

babe ruth - 2003 topps tribute world series edition world series tribute relic 351/425

honus wagner - 2001 topps tribute relic

nap lajoie - 2002 topps tribute milestone materials relic

tris speaker - 2011 topps tribute dual relic green parallel 53/75

eddie collins - 2002 topps tribute milestone materials relic

george sisler - 2004 topps tribute hall of fame tribute relic

jimmie foxx - 2013 topps tribute retired remnants relic 91/99

mel ott - 2011 topps tribute quad relic 15/99

dizzy dean - 2001 topps tribute relic

hank greenberg - 2004 topps tribute hall of fame tribute relic

bob feller - 2001 topps archives certified autograph

jackie robinson - 2004 topps clubhouse collection clubhouse relic

ted williams - 1992 upper deck baseball heroes autograph 1067/2000

roy campanella - 2001 topps tribute relic

stan musial - 2002 topps team topps legends autograph

yogi berra - 1998 donruss signatures significant signatures 1640/2000

sandy koufax - 1998 donruss signatures significant signatures 1707/2000

roberto clemente - 2005 donruss greats hall of fame souvenirs relic

warren spahn - 1999 upper deck century legends epic signatures

mickey mantle - 2000 upper deck legends legendary game jerseys relic

ernie banks - 1999 upper deck century legends epic signatures

willie mays - 1997 topps willie mays reprints certified autograph

al kaline - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

duke snider - 2003 upper deck sp authentic chirography hall of famers 144/250

bob gibson - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

hank aaron - 2004 topps originals 1979 topps all-time record holders rbi 03/32

frank robinson - 1995 upper deck autograph

brooks robinson - 2001 topps golden anniversary great autograph

don drysdale - 1993 nabisco all-star autographs

harmon killebrew - 2000 upper deck legends legendary signatures

pee wee reese - 2001 topps tribute relic

lou brock - 2018 topps archives signature series 1989 buyback 53/61

ray dandridge - 2006 upper deck sp legendary cuts a place in history cut autograph 31/43

jim hunter - 1998 donruss signature series significant signatures 0736/2000

willie stargell - 2000 upper deck legends legendary signatures 

johnny bench - 2019 topps definitive collection legendary autograph 09/25

red schoendienst - 2012 panini cooperstown signatures 038/549

carl yastrzemski - 2000 fleer greats of the game autograph

jim palmer - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

rod carew - 2004 topps retired signature autograph

fergie jenkins - 2013 topps five star baseball autograph 154/333

gaylord perry - 2003 topps finest finest moments autograph

rollie fingers - 2018 topps archives signature series 1978 topps buyback 1/3

hal newhouser - 1993 front row premium all-time greats autograph

tom seaver - 2013 topps five star baseball autograph 44/50

reggie jackson - 2018 topps tier one tier one talent autograph 19/60

steve carlton - 2018 topps five star career year autograph 43/45

mike schmidt - 2002 topps archives autoproof 1980 topps buyback 048/147

phil niekro - 2017 panini donruss recollection collection 1983 donruss buyback autograph 13/33

don sutton - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

robin yount - 2001 upper deck ultimate collection ultimate signatures 112/150

carlton fisk - 1999 upper deck century legends epic signatures

tony perez - 2004 fleer national pastime 2002 fleer greats authentic autograph buyback 30/59

dave winfield - 2003 upper deck sp authentic chirography hall of famers 121/350

ozzie smith - 2019 topps finest finest origins autograph

gary carter - 1999 fleer sports illustrated greats of the game autograph collection

eddie murray - 2004 upper deck sp legendary cuts legendary sigs 45/50 

dennis eckersley - 2017 topps archives signature series 1984 topps buyback 47/99

paul molitor - 2016 topps museum collection archival autographs 021/125

wade boggs - 2005 upper deck baseball heroes autograph red parallel 30/49

ryne sandberg - 2016 topps five star autographs gold parallel 17/50

bruce sutter - 2003 topps all-time fan favorites certified autograph

tony gwynn - 1997 donruss signature series millennium marks autograph 0702/1000

cal ripken jr - 2018 topps high tek portraitek autograph 32/75

goose gossage - 2003 topps finest finest moments autograph

jim rice - 2005 upper deck past time pennants past time signatures

andre dawson - 2000 fleer greats of the game autograph

bert blyleven - 2004 upper deck legends timeless teams autograph

ron santo - 2004 topps retired signature autograph

greg maddux - 2018 topps luminaries masters of the mound autograph 13/15

pedro martinez - 2018 topps high tek portraitek autograph 09/60

ken griffey jr - 2003 upper deck game face autograph

mike piazza - 2014 topps five star autograph 35/50

tim raines - 2018 topps tribute tribute autograph green parallel 26/95

vladimir guerrero - 2000 upper deck legends legendary signatures

jack morris - 2004 donruss timelines recollection collection 1986 buyback autograph 23/45

alan trammell - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

roy halladay - 2017 topps archives signature series 2004 topps buyback 15/23

pete rose* - 2018 panini flawless legendary signatures 15/25

barry bonds* - 2001 bowman heritage autographs

roger clemens* - 1995 upper deck autograph
you can find the full list of hall of famers (and some not - yet) that i aim to include in this collection at my want list site.