Housewarming from Night Owl

So the first mailday after moving arrived earlier this week. Unfortunately it went to the wrong house but we’re still swinging by to pick up things there.* Still. Very cool. Nothing like properly settling into a new home by getting cards in the mail.

*Such as an Amazon package we sent there because we’d forgotten to change our address on Amazon.

This package came from Greg/Night Owl who’s apparently got the hot hand when it comes to pulling Will Clark cards and wants those out of his house ASAP. But he also included a bunch of other cool things and yeah let’s start from the oldest (and best) and work forward in time.

This 1956 Al Dark is a beaut despite being beat up. Lots of small creases and things but none of them detract from the way the card looks for me. 1956 is one of Topps’s top three designs ever and every single card from that set I add to my binders makes things look better.

Dark also marks the last “easy” 1956 card on my searchlist. I’m now down to three missing cards for my team set: Willie Mays (hahahaha), Hoyt Wilhelm (could happen but Hall of Famers are Hall of Famers), and the Giants team card (I guess kids used to throw those out or something since they all seem to be scarce now).

Some more vintage including two guys who I’ve gotten TTM returns from recently. I got both Marshall and Hiatt on 1970 Topps cards already. I’m kind of tempted to send the 1969 to Marshall as well since he’s got a good-looking signature and that Rookie Cup makes for a good-looking card.

Joe Gibbon meanwhile just passed away in February. He’s pictured here on his last Giants card. He’d had a decent few years as a reliever but in 1969 returned to Pittsburgh.

To a couple cards from my collecting youth. It’s always nice to be reminded of the original San Jose Giants uniforms—especially the cap logo. I prefer the current version but these 1989 Star cards depict the first season San Jose was a Giants affiliate and that was a lot of fun to get in on the ground floor for. I can’t believe they’ve been there for 30 years now.

And the Will Clark Collect-A-Book is one of my favorite oddballs. I have the set of these but it’s great to have an extra to put in the Giants binder. I’ll probably binder it in a 4-pocket page too so that I can see more of the booklet.

To cards from this year! Two Opening Day cards. As a set which I don’t collect and refuse to purchase I very much appreciate getting singles in trade packages. I still don’t understand the purpose of this product unless it’s intended to undercut Flagship sales. If I were King of Topps this would one of the first things I’d chop.

And two Big League cards. I like this product. Am not particularly sold on the design. Pennant is nice. Woodgrain is always a good look—especially when it looks like an ash baseball bat rather than a 1970s TV. But the name has a lot going on (thankfully not the team name/city) and the layered photos where the image tiles from the top photo to the one underneath is a bit much.

Still, despite all my reservations, I like these as a reminder of how collecting used to be when I was a kid. You’d just get packs full of base cards and not worry about all the lottery ticket BS that comes with packs now. Lots of cards in a park. Lots of cards in a set. Lots of fun over all.

Finally, a Will Clark insert from god knows what product and a Buster Posey insert from Heritage. Both of these are great for trade packages if you can get them to team collectors but I can’t imagine anyone collecting a set of them. I like these cards. I also know why Greg got them out of his house.

Thanks Greg! I’v been putting lots of stuff away the past couple weeks. It’s about time to get a chance to relax when I do it.

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, and the web at

7 thoughts on “Housewarming from Night Owl”

  1. Putting those collect-a-books in a four-pocket page is a great idea. Think I’ll do that with my extras. (Hmmm, wonders what it looks like in a 3-pocket page).

    That Clark spring training insert is from this year’s flagship. Yeah, 2019, and that guy is still plaguing my packs.

    1. They’re not tri-folders otherwise they’d look great in 3-pockets. 4-pockets mean I have to choose which spread inside to show but it’s better than 9-pockets.

  2. I am the crazy collector that put together the insert set of the Cactus League cards from Series 1, I also put together the Grapefruit League cards. Both were retail inserts, not the easiest pulls and had 30 cards in each set.

  3. A fun package. I loved the Collect-A-Books and am actually working on the 2019 Scratchoffs. I bought and pulled so many that it was worth chasing – and the candy lids. I’m a sucker.

    The image tiling on Big League this year actually makes me HATE it. I think I saved like 3 non-Astros.

    Gotta ask, and maybe you’ve been over this and I missed it, but the top three for you are ‘56 and which others?

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