One man’s bycatch

A while back I got a message from Jeff saying that he was looking into getting a big eBay lot of Giants cards that had some some cards he wanted and if I’d be interested in his bycatch. I took a look and saw that the lot was mostly stuff I didn’t have either so gave him the go ahead to send whatever he didn’t want to me.

Most of the lot was 1970s and 1980s stuff but there were a handful of older cards in there which looked interesting. I figured Jeff would hold on to most of the old stuff but was curious what might come through as outside of his collection interests.

Two such old cards were this pair of Diamond Matchbooks covers. The Vergez is from 1934 and the Koenig is from 1935/36. I’ve seen people pick these up across the cardblog world but have never really looked for any myself.

They’re pretty neat little objects that hail from an era when we hadn’t yet nailed down what is, and isn’t a trading card.  I’m always amazed at how many of these have survived in decent shape when they were basically meant to be disposable.

Another old card was this 1946–49 W603 Sports Exchange “card” of Travis Jackson. This is big—more like 7″×9.5″—with a nice portrait and blank lines for fans to fill in information. It’s not a playing-years card of a Giants Hall of Famer who’s been somewhat forgotten today but it predates the modern baseball card era and that makes it very cool.

On the topic of large items, there were a handful of truly oversize items in the mailing. These two are a 1958 panel featuring Paul Giel and an M114 Baseball Magazine Premium of Johnny Mize. There’s no copyright on the Mize photo so I can only assume it’s from the 1940s when he played with the Giants.

The Giel is a kind of a wonderful sample of the era with its design and the copy. It looks like something that was intended to be displayed in a high school guidance counselor’s office although I’m not sure how much of a household name Paul Giel was back then.

The Mize premium is great. The Baseball Magazine premiums is a huge set of photos/posters that I suspect isn’t collected as much due to their size making them something that’s generally unbinderable. I may need to look into a Itoya portfolio for these and some of my other oversize items.

Two other oversized items include a 1954 Whitey Lockman poster from the same manufacturer (©Edward A. Kotite) as the 1958 Giel and a Carl Hubbell poster of unknown age. If the Giel poster is for a guidance councelor, the Lockman poster is for Gym. I suspect kids then found “promotes waste elimination” to be as funny as I find it today.

The Hubbell has a 1983 Pahala Elementary School* stamp on the back of it but feels like it should be a bit older than that both in the way it’s printed and because I’m not sure what relevance a photo of Carl Hubbell would have to early-80s elementary school kids in Hawai‘i.

*Uphill from Punalu‘u. We actually drove past it on the way to a coffee plantation.

It’s kind of amazing that I don’t have any Hall of Fame postcards yet. I should have one for Mussina as well as the rest of the Giants but I’ve just not gotten around to pulling the trigger. If/when I finally get to visit the Hall of Fame I’ll definitely correct that.

In any case, that makes this Carl Hubbel postcard the first such postcard in my collection. That this is a 1965–1978 Curteichcolor version is extra cool since it predates the design and manufacturing of the modern run.

Another old Hubbell item in the batch was this 1967–73 Equitable Life Assurance Sports Hall of Fame card. This is about the same size as the W603 and includes a nice drawing of Hubbell with his hand in a clear screwball follow-through position.

Two blue-backed 1968 Laughlin World Series cards are the last older cards in the batch. This is a set I don’t collect but which I’ve been intrigued by for a while. The artwork is fun and reminds me of the cartoons that used to be on the backs of cards.

Moving into the 1070s brings a bunch of TCMA cards. In this batch we’ve got two 1972 TCMA reprints of 1928 W461 Exhibit cards of Hugh McQuillan and Virgil Barnes, two 1974 TCMA The 1940’s League Leaders postcards of Larry Jansen and Bill Voiselle, a 1973/75* TCMA All-Time Greats Postcard of Carl Hubbell, and two 1975 TCMA 1951 New York Giants cards of Bobby Thomson and Monte Irvin.

*Depending on whether you use the front copyright or the back one.

There are also a couple 1974 Fleer Wildest Days and Plays cards which havin similar artwork from R.G. Laughlin and one 1975 Sport Hobbyist postcard of Johnny Mize which I really like.

Into the back half of the 1970s and here are actually no TCMA-branded cards here although some of these, such as the Galasso Glossy Greats, were produced by them anyway.

I kind of love the 1976–77 HRT/RES 1947 Bowman cards. This thing where companies in the 1970s and 1980s imagined what vintage cards would look like if they existed a couple years outside of a production run is my jam. These two use the same design as 1948 Bowman but feature crisp, high contrast head shots and nice printing.

The two Bob Parker cartoon cards are a lot of fun. Something wonderfully 1970s about this kind of artwork right down to the brown ink and orange paper. Reminds me of the ephemera I grew up with and makes me wonder what happened to all those artists when tastes changed in the 1980s.

The Sports Challenge disc/record is super cool. I’m pretty sure I know what’s recorded on it but it’s a shame that no one’s put a video up on YouTube. No I don’t plan on punching it and playing it.

The Sportscaster card is kind of funny since it it shows Thomson as a Cub on the front but the card text is all about the Shot Heard Round the World. Seems pretty clear that whoever put the card together had no idea what teams were involved.

Two 1978 Grand Slam cards of Carl Hubbell and Bobby Thomson and a 1978 Halsey Hall Recalls card of Hoyt Wilhelm round out this group. The Grand Slams are coarsely printed and pretty bare bones. No idea how they were distributed and why. The Halsey Hall card on the other hand is a set of Minneapolis Millers players with a fun checklist and interesting two-color artwork.

A 1979 Galasson Great and 1979 TCMA 1950s card of Bobby Thomson start off this next group. The 1979 Card Collectors 1953 Bowman Black & White Extension of Monte Irvin is another extended-set “card that never was” although Irvin did have a card in 1953 Bowman color so this is more of a “have photo, use photo” card.

The 1979 CMC Talking Baseball Card probably has very similar audio to the Sport Challenge one. Neither of those discs has as nice artwork as the Auravision records but they’re fun to have even if I never play them.

Another Laughlin card, this time a 1980 Famous Feats of George Burns will liven up the binder. And two 1980–87 SSPC Hall of Fame cards are great to add since I somehow avoided getting any before this. Yes this means I did my custom of Mike Aronstein without having a real card for reference in hand.

Three 1981 Topps Thirst Break comics remind me of my days of chewing Bazooka and reading the comics from there. I’d snark about saving these except that I just found a big stack of Bazooka comics in my childhood boxes.

Finally, the three Official Hall of Fame Metallic Plaques are kind of cool but also feel like the kind of thing I shouldn’t put in a binder page. First off they feel like they’ll bend really easily. Second, the corners are a little dinged and are thus, kind of sharp. If I don’t binder them though I need to figure out something else to do with them.

Getting into the 1980s brings me cards from sets like the 1982 TCMA Baseball’s Greatest Hitters or the Cramer Baseball Legends that I did have as a kid. Nice to have extras for the Giants album though. I also had some of TCMA’s Play Ball extensions (but neither of these) though I do not remember if they were part of the 1942 or 1947 set concepts.

The two Carl Hubbell Galasso Greats have different numbers despite the same photo. No idea why this is the case. The two larger cards are TCMA releases with the 1952 Giants pitchers being part of a 1984 set and the great photo of Ralph BRanca and Bobby Thomson being part of a 1985 set.

The other two cards up here are a 1982 G.S. Gallery All-Time Greats card of Bobby Thomson and a 1982–83 Diamond Classics card of Waite Hoyt. Both of these got the extra mile and do a great job with the artwork. Not just a cheap photo colorization these actually have a decent vintage feel of the cards they’re emulating.

Last photo of the batch are cards from my collecting heyday, starting off with a bunch of 1987 Hygrade All-Time Greats. These remind me of the cards I got with my Baseball Card Collecting kit back when I first started off in the hobby.

Some 1988 and 1990 Pacific Legends cards are always welcome additions. Similarly, the 1989, 1990, and 1991 Swell cards are always fun to add to the binder too. I miss these kind of old player sets since they represented a great way to get cards of players whose real cards I could not afford. I love that I grew up in an era with so many of these sets too since it made it easy and fun to learn about the game.

I do wonder about the photo of Bobby Thomson in a San Francisco uniform since he never played in San Francisco. Presumably it’s from 1958 Spring Training before he was traded to the Cubs.

The five small cards are 1989 and 1990 Hall of Fame Sticker Book stickers. I’ve not seen the book these come with but I’m kind of curious now.

And the last card of the batch is actually from after Is topped collecting. It’s a 1997 Grolier Encyclopedia card which functions very much like the Sportscaster cards of the late-1970s. A least this one has the correct photo on the front.

Very cool stuff Jeff. I can only imagine how cool the stuff you kept must’ve been if this is the stuff that didn’t pass muster. Thanks!

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

4 thoughts on “One man’s bycatch”

  1. Lots of great stuff here. Love that Bobby Thompson disc. My best friend’s family is from the Big Island. I’ll have to see if she’s heard of Pahala Elementary School.

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