Turning the corner

Recently I’ve written about my projects and even provided an update on how my Giants project is stabilizing. Yet it’s my Stanford project which has changed the most since I originally started working on it.

The original scope of my project was to stick to the “cards of record”—Topps and pre-monopoly Bowman—and try and assemble a collection of Stanford players as they’ve been represented there. That project has come along extremely well. Looking at my wantlist shows that I currently need 41 cards to complete this goal. Of those 41 cards, many should be easy but there are a few challenges remaining.

Some of those challenges are in the same rookies and high number realm that my Giants project is stabilizing around. Thankfully the only truly expensive card is the 1962 Doug Camilli rookie which runs over $100 because Bob Uecker is also on it. The rest of the rookie and high number cards I’m missing from 1964 to 1973 are all under $20 with most of them close to $5. Not a big deal but since all the cards I’ve been getting so far are in the 5¢ to $1 range* we’re talking about an order of magnitude increase in price.

*Most between 10¢ and 20¢ because many of the generous people who I’ve had nothing to respond with have had Sportlots storefronts with a decent number of 18¢ cards on my searchlist. If I can’t send a package back I’ll at least try to shop within the community.

Other challenges are cards which I’ve included as part of the greater Topps family but which aren’t actually from the Flaghip/Traded/Update family of releases. So sets like Major League Debut are often a challenge but the even harder ones are the Team Set releases since those are both regional and unlikely to be broken up.

Aside from the challenges, since there’s not much left in terms of the original scope of the project, I’ve gone ahead and added oddballs and Spanish-language cards to my search list. As I noted in my “about my projects” post I’m using my Stanford project as a way of focusing my other interests. Many of those are also reaches but they’ve allowed me to at least have semi-feasible cards for players like Bert Delmas, Jim Hibbs, Bob Kammeyer, or Rick Lundblade.

Which means that I’m also very close to also completing the goal of having one card for all the Stanford Baseball alumni. There are currently 18 guys on my list who I don’t have cards for. Five of them never had either a Major League card or a Minor League card which was released nationwide. Three of them are only on hard-to-find pre-war cards.* And four of them never made it to the Majors.

*I’ve added the pre-war cards to the searchlist mainly out of a sense of completeness. I do not plan to ever get them or even really look for them so these are as close to the White Whale school of card collecting that I’ll ever get. But it’s nice to know they exist and if a reprint is ever made of any of those releases I’ll be interested.

So that leaves six players—the four mentioned earlier plus Jason Middlebrook and Ron Witmeyer—for me to focus on adding to my binder as I turn the corner on this project and enter the filling-in-holes and expanding-the-scope stage.

The step after this is to take a good look at each player and see if I’ve properly covered his career. It’ll nice to have a card for each team he played for but that’s after I turn the next corner. And hopefully the oddball quest will have covered 90% of that already when I get there.

PC Madness

One of the side effects of this project is that it’s turned me into a bit of a multiple-PC (player collector) guy. I’m not trying to get every card ever made but things happen and yeah, I’ve got some semi-extensive PCs contained within this project.

Bob Boone leads the way with ~70 cards but he’s likely to be surpassed at some point by Mike Mussina who’s at ~60 cards and counting. That these two lead the pack is a testament to the length of their careers, the number of cards being released while they were playing, and the fact that they were both prominent players on their teams.

Other players whose counts in the binder have crossed the threshold into being PC-level collections are Jack McDowell (~50 cards), Jeffrey Hammonds (~45 cards), and Ed Sprague (~40 cards). Again, I’m not actively PCing anyone here but the nature of this beast is that cards show up in care packages and the like and eventually I just have a bunch of them. Especially when it’s a player who’s played a long time.


Since I mentioned a lot of lists and groups earlier I figure it’s a good idea to enumerate them as state-of-the-project sort of snapshot.

High Number, rookie, and other “spendy” Topps cards remaining:

  • Doug Camilli 1962 Topps #594
  • Bill Wakefield 1964 Topps #576
  • Jim Lonborg 1965 Topps #573
  • Doug Camilli 1966 Topps #593
  • Jim Lonborg 1967 Topps #371
  • Jim Lonborg 1968 Topps #460
  • Jim Lonborg 1970 Topps #665
  • Jim Lonborg 1971 Topps #577
  • Steve Dunning 1972 Topps #658
  • Steve Hovley 1972 Topps #683
  • Bob Boone 1973 Topps #613

Team set and other harder-to-find Topps releases remaining:

  • John Ramos 1992 Topps Gold/Winner #658
  • John Ramos 1992 Topps Debut #142
  • Ron Witmeyer 1992 Topps Debut #187
  • Donny Lucy 2004 Topps Draft Picks #2
  • John Hudgins 2005 Topps Factory Set #2
  • Jeffrey Hammonds 2005 Topps Washington Nationals #45
  • Erik Davis 2010 Topps Pro Debut #67
  • John Mayberry Jr 2010 Topps Philadelphia Phillies #PHI9

Players who are not represented in my binder:

  • Johnny Ash
  • Dave Baker
  • Jeremy Bleich
  • Steve Davis
  • Bert Delmas
  • John Elway
  • Jim Hibbs
  • Mark Jecmen
  • Bob Kammeyer
  • Rick Lundblade
  • Bill McGilvray
  • Jason Middlebrook
  • Cord Phelps
  • Tillie (Arthur) Shafer
  • Harvey Shank
  • Charlie Swindells
  • Zeb Terry
  • Ron Witmeyer

White Whale cards for this project:

  • Bert Delmas 1909–11 Obak T212
  • Bill McGilvray 1910 Old Mill Cigarettes T210 #550
  • Tillie (Arthur) Shafer 1912 General Baking D304
  • New York Giants (including Tillie Shafer) 1913 Fatima Teams T200
  • Zeb Terry 1917 Collins-McCarthy E135 #171
  • Zeb Terry 1917 Zeenut
  • Zeb Terry 1921 E121 American Caramel
  • Zeb Terry 1922 E121 American Caramel
  • Ernie Nevers 1929 Zeenut
  • Ernie Nevers 1930 Zeenut
  • Doug Camilli 1962 Topps #594


Author: Nick Vossbrink

Blogging about Photography, Museums, Printing, and Baseball Cards from both Princeton New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area. On Twitter as @vossbrink, WordPress at njwv.wordpress.com, and the web at vossbrink.net

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