Shlabotnik Surprise

Last week I found a surprise envelope from Shlabotnik Report in my mailbox. Inside were a pair of cards and some newsprint clippings.

Let’s start with the cards, in particular the classic 1985 Topps Gary Pettis error which features his younger brother. As with the 1984 Fleer Glenn Hubbard, this is one of those noteworthy cards from my youth that for whatever reason never made it into my collection.  The story behind it is pretty fun and includes the information that Pettis refuses to sign the card.

This one isn’t as obvious a keeper as the Hubbard but collectors my age all know about it and know why it’s special so I’m very happy to add it to my binder after all these years.

The other card was an extra Goggomobile that he had mistakenly ordered form COMC and which he felt would look good next to the Ferrari card I grabbed earlier. Such a weird set with super-sporty Ferraris that people still admire and whatever this with a silly name, is but if I assemble a 6-pocket page of them it’ll definitely be a fun one to look at.

I’m glad Shlabotnik included a note about how the newsprint wasn’t just packaging since it was a good read. I didn’t scan them since they came from the current Sports Collectors Digest and you can just read the article online.

Shlabotnik thought of me because the article contained printing information about the 1960s Post sets.

Rotogravure printing was accomplished by Post’s graphic designers creating 150 percent scale mockups of each box, including the back panel. The group of mockups for each cereal brand and size were then arranged in the way they would be printed. A photograph was made and used to etch six color rotogravure cylinder plates. Each set of plates printed the boxes for one particular cereal.

Rotogravure makes sense since it’s ideal for single-sided packaging. This prompted me to loupe my Post cards and I can see how the text and linework isn’t as crisp as I’d expect it to be with offset. It’s still solid but all the edges have a slight dot screen aspect to them. The real interesting thing is the 6-color information but I suspect it’s really just CMYK process plus corporate logo spot colors.

Very cool stuff. Thanks Shlabotnik report!

Pre-War Christmas Cards

A couple of late-arriving Christmas cards both showed up last Wednesday. One of those weird kismet things where both mailings worked really well together as pre-war grab bags.

The first mailing came from Anson at Pre-war Cards* and featured three cards that are perfectly tailored to my interests. The first two are a pair of aviators best known for their work with lighter-than-air flight—in part because they both lost their lives through lighter than air flight disasters.

*According to Anson it’s been en route for weeks so it must have just been waiting for just the right moment.

I’ve actually mentioned both before on this blog so this will be fast. S. A. Andrée was previously covered in my Polar Exploration post. Since this Felix Potin card dates to 1898–1908, it was printed after he and his balloon expedition had disappeared into the Arctic and entered the realm of myth and legend. Quite an amazing story to read about and a lot of fun to have a portrait of the man to go with my card of his balloon.

It is worth noting though that the Felix Potin cards appear to be photographic prints. Not cabinet cards or cartes de visite but the same mass-produced photographs that the 3D Cavanders cards are. Unlike the Cavanders though the Felix Potin has a blank back (which I’m assuming is standard rather than this being a skinned card).

Admiral Moffett is a card I actually have already. As per that previous post, I have a special attachment to him having grown up in the shadow of his eponymous naval air base. His card was printed in 1934, the year after he perished in the USS Akron crash—basically ending the United States’ lighter-than-air program and makes a fitting pair to the Andrée card as memorials of a sort.

The third card was a 1927–1932 Die Welt in Bildern card featuring a Josetti Bilder back. It’s a great image of a California Sequoia with a tunnel carved trough it. I’ve gone ahead and just included a screenshot of the Google Translate back since it seems like a straightforward translation. I’m now wondering what other cards are in this series (is it trees, USA, California?) and it kind of amazes me how there are so many sets out there with checklists that aren’t online.

The other mailing came from Marc Brubaker who stumbled into a weird cache of cards at a local store last week and proceeded to do his usual thing where when I receive one envelope from him there’s a 50% chance another is arriving very soon. He posted a photo of these in the Discord “look what I just got” channel and I immediately recognized them as being “like” the 1934 Hints on Association Football set.

Turns out they’re more than like and are in fact the same set only also released in 1934 only in China by the British American Tobacco Company. So no text and Chinese backs both otherwise basically the same aside from the decision to omit the final two cards in the British set (#49 Receiving a Penalty and #50 Goalkeeper Narrowing the Goal) and turn the Chinese set into a 48-card set.

When I looked closer though I realized that they hadn’t just removed the text, they’d modified the artwork so that all the soccer players were Chinese with rounder facial features and blacker hair. I’ve gone ahead and inserted scans of the same cards in the British set for comparison purposes. Yes here are other changes to the uniform colors and the softness of the artwork but the big change is the racial one.

No much to say about the backs except to note that there’s no obvious branding and the overall design is super simple. Just text surrounded by a border with a simple card number in one corner.

Google Translate doesn’t do well here but it does enough to suggest that the text is trying to translate from the original English. So I’ve gone ahead and included the English backs along with the screenshots. I’m mainly interested here in how Google Translate handles the top-to-bottom, right-to-left text flow by just rotating the English text so it flows the same direction as the Chinese.

Very cool stuff and I get to add another country to my Around the World post now too. Thanks Anson and Marc and have a Happy New Year of collecting.

More Holiday Mail

A couple more holiday mailings trickled in after my last post so it’s time for another roundup post. These both warranted further comments so this post took a while to get up.

Gavin over at Baseball Card Breakdown is one of the custom card makers who I really enjoy. He’s been playing with intentionally fading 1991 Fleer and sent out a bunch of his experiments as a Christmas surprise to various card bloggers.

A lot of bloggers were writing about theres in the week before Christmas and I figured that I just hadn’t made the cut. I don’t trade very much and it’s been years since I traded with Gavin in particular.* It turned out that Gavin still had my old address and had sent my card to my previous apartment. I was dropping off Christmas cards locally and when I swung by my old place Gavin’s card was there waiting for me (along with a few other Christmas cards).

*Though I did inspire a couple GIFs.

The Christmas overlay is as fun as expected but I really just love the faded yellow card by itself. I’ve never hated on 1991 Fleer as much as other people do since the only problem is the yellow. Design and photographywise it’s actually a nice card and toning the yellow down eliminates the only questionable design decision.

I’ve gone ahead and included a scan of the unfaded card as a way of showing the difference. Gavin’s clearly doing more than just leaving a card out in the sun since the image isn’t faded at all.

I’ve gone ahead and put a gif together of the faded and non-faded cards. My unfaded card is actually more yellow across the board but it’s clear that Gavin has masked the image so that it didn’t get hit by the UV from the sun.* Since UV breaks down yellow pigment first.** The orange signs and yellow foul pole are both mostly untouched while the border is almost all gone.

*A discerning eye will also note the slightest of differences in the cropping and logo placement.

**Also magenta but yellow is clearly the most reactive. A combination of UV susceptibility as well as basic color physics in how blue light is higher energy and while blue pigment reflects blue light, the other colors absorb the higher energy wavelengths. 

It’s a transformative way of looking at 1991 Fleer and making the design itself more apparent. I want to try it myself once we have sun again as well as think about other junk wax sets or cards that might benefit from the same approach.

The cards will have to feature a design with prominent red or yellow elements. 1990 Donruss came to mind first but the white lettering for the player name may not work. The 1988 Topps All Star cards on the other hand might be perfect (though cutting the mask for the head will be difficult*). And heck maybe even 1987 Topps could be interesting. Plenty of time to think about it since we won’t have proper sun for a while.

*Hehe so Gavin was doing exactly this while I was drafting my post.

Plenty of time to also think about doing fun things with the mask as well as changing reds to magenta or greens to cyans. I’m interested to see what else Gavin cooks up

I also got a nice bubble mailer from Marc consisting of a combination of cards from a childhood pile he’d inherited and some unwanted cards from various boxes he’s ripped. This firs batch of Giants is clearly form the collection with a bunch of late-90s/early 00s cards. I have some of these but need to check my notes since I also don’t have many of them.

It’s interesting to see the 1981 Fleer design get remade using higher-quality graphics and how the better quality makes the cards look even more amateur. As a 1981 design I love it. As a ~2001 design it falls into the uncanny valley. I also enjoy the Pacific cards. They’re sadly no longer in Spanish but it’s always nice to see Pacific‘s unique take on cards. Also the foil stamping on the JT Snow Bowman is massively misregistered to the point where it almost changes the card design. I’m not sure if I love the mistake or if it gives me hives. Or both.

The rest of the Giants includes a pair of Rich Aurilias from set I’ve never seen before and an always-welcome Kenny Lofton card. Lofton, like Eric Davis in the first photo, only played for the Giants for one season but it’s nice to have had a chance to root for a player I always admired.

The 2022 cards are all from various product rips Marc’s had. Nice to get a Chrome colored parallel as well as a pair of Holiday cards. Also nice to be able to slide my first Ginters into the binder.

A few Stanford cards. Total is always appeciated. As is Donruss. Since I focus on Topps Flagship for this PC the other brands/products only make it in as I come across them. The Shawn Greens are nice too (almost all caught up on his Topps run now) and these are the firs 2023 Ginter and Chrome to make it into the Stanford album.

And finally a handful of other cards. I’m pretty sure this is one of Scott Erickson’s last cards and comes from a set that’s not well represented in the binder. And Marc sent me the three New Jersey™ cards in this year‘s Ginter set. TWO Pork Roll cards suggests that there’s a heavy New Jersey contingent working there and I’ve loved seeing how many people have zero idea WTF Pork Roll is.

Thanks so much guys! Happy New Year!

Holiday PWEs

Every holiday season I’m surprised by a few PWEs from other card bloggers and people out there. Sometimes these can be kind of amazing but most of the time they’re assorted randomness which consists of people getting surplus cards out of their house and into the hands of people who’ll appreciate them. This year’s examples fall into that category.

The first PWE was nine John Elway cards from Johnny’s Trading Spot—basically the Elway version of the Giants I got in my first batch. I have a few Elway cards in the Stanford binder but it’s a pretty random selection or whatever was cheapest. These don’t make it less random but do flesh things out a bit. I especially like the Pinnacle Idols card as well as the 2013 Topps Archives using the 1976 design.

My two favorite cards though were the Spanish Pro Set card and the Game Dated highlight. I love Spanish-language cards released in the United States. They’re one of the things I collect casually and it’s great to add them to the Stanford album. I also just like the wider-angle horizontal photo on the highlight card. I’m not used to seeing images like this on cards and it’s a nice change of pace.

I also got a pair of 1989 Donruss cards from HayMay who’s no longer on Twitter but is part of our Discord “Card Twitter in Exile” community. As one of those sets where I’m at the point where buying lots makes zero sense (due to duplication issues) and buying singles makes even less sense (due to just not being worth it financially), every bit of progress toward set completion is fully appreciated.

The Bo is admittedly a bit weird. A bit larger than it’s supposed to be and for whatever reason it wasn’t trimmed fully on the bottom so the corners got torn off. The Eck is nice though. Always fun when the A’s cards are in the team color gradient too.

And finally a Christmas trade with Clearush, a new trading partner who’s also on the Discord. He had a bunch of off-grade 1953 Bowmans including one I needed. I had a handful of 1974 Topps cards he needed for his set build. PWEs were dispatched on the weekend and by the following Wednesday I had card #1 Davey Williams in hand.

Yes there’s some tape. And yes I was advised of this beforehand. It doesn’t matter though. A lot of the Williams cards I’ve seen are misregistered and this one is sharp. Plus most of my 1953s have some kind of major damage whether it’s tape, creasing, or a hole punch. It takes a lot to detract from the quality of this set though. Only two more left for the team set now!*

*Leo Durocher and Whitey Lockman (plus Bill Rigney and Hoyt Wilhelm for the Black and White set)

Thanks guys and Happy Holidays! It’s always fun to get this kind of Christmas card instead.

Dimebox Anniversary PWE

First off. A big congratulations to Dimebox Nick for making it to eleven years blogging. He celebrated by offering a bunch of cards to pick from from his website. Usually I only see these offers by the time they’re thoroughly picked over but when I read his post I was pleased to discover that a couple of cards I wanted hadn’t been grabbed yet. So I had a claim and a week or so later I found a PWE stuffed with stuff in my mailbox.

These were the two cards I wanted. For some reason I was able to put together the three cards in Mother’s Cookies 1991 Father & Son set which featured Ken Griffey Jr. but never tracked down the card featuring Senior by himself (well Junior is in the background). Very happy to finally finish that set 30 years later. The Nomo meanwhile is a fantastic action image which captures a bit of his tornado windup. I may not root for the Dodgers but Nomo was indeed something else to watch.

I also grabbed a few other oddballs of guys who represented the best of the best when I was a kid. Eric Davis in 1988 was arguably the top player in the game* and Dave Stewart in 1990 was definitely one of the top pitchers. Rickey of course was Rickey and remains probably the most exciting player I’ve ever seen play. Lots of fun to have cards of all of them from sets which I didn’t have in my oddballs binder.** And it’s nice that each of these oddballs designs works reasonably well with the team colors.

*A few years ago my eldest received a pack of 1987 Topps which he proceeded to hand to me after he opened it because “there was no one good inside.” Only the top card was Eric Davis so I had to do a bit of explaining that day. 

**In the Giants binder? Absolutely. 

Nick managed to stuff another half-dozen cards into that envelope though. While I had the two Heritage cards, having a duplicate Krizan is nice so I can send to him next spring. For once Topps did something clearly good by getting him a few proper cards after 11 years in the minors.

The other four cards I did not have. I somehow didn’t hit any of those Stars of MLB cards on my breaks and Chrome and Archives are both sets I don’t buy. As always I very much appreciate getting samples of those sets in the mail. It’s impossible and impractical to stay on top of every Topps release but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy having some of the variety in the binder.

Thanks Nick! Congrats again on eleven years blogging.

Thanksgiving Zapping

I haven’t been doing a lot of trading recently. The thing with trading is that you need to be acquiring product which has things that you don’t need or want. And I’m barely acquiring product anymore at all let alone anything which produces the kind of bycatch needed to trade nicely.

Which means that it’s always a surprise and please when I do find a package in my mailbox. Thanksgiving weekend one such surprise package arrived from Kenny. It was a large, suspiciously-light box which turned out to be mostly packed with boxes and toploaders as Kenny is rehoming his excess storage supplies. But there was also a decent stack of cards in there too.

I went through quickly and pulled out everything that looked relevant to my collecting interests. The Jack McDowell is a new card for the Stanford album and reminds me that I don’t have a lot of 1996 Score. Matt Cain is a Giants card I didn’t have though I still have no idea what ToppsTown was.

It’s not a primary project but I’ve been slipping cards of Hall of Famers into their own album for a while now. While I don’t picture Kaat, Smith, or Pudge as Yankees it’s always nice to add cards to that album.

I’m also putting a small collection together of guys who I’ve see play at Trenton or Somerset. While this is mostly focused on Major Leaguers I’ll totally add Bowman or Panini cards if I come across them. Is very nice to get Rookie Cards of Abreu and Deivi as well.

Two African-American cards are great to have. I wish Topps had Negro League players in Allen & Ginter every year but I’ll never turn down a Moses Fleetwood Walker card. It’s also always fun to get a Japanese card—in this case a nice foil Hideki Matsui.

And finally a few 1980s oddballs from toy stores. I remember the Toys R Us cards but never saw the Kay Bee ones. A bit funny to see who was considered a “young superstar” back then.

Most of the cards though was various assorted Yankees from multiple sets. I do have to admit though that I’ll never turn down the chance to add more cards from before I began collecting. I’m mostly thin on any set before 1986.* With this batch I now have almost a page each of 1972s (all Yankees), 1973s, and 1974s. The 1972 Kekich makes me want to get a 1972 Fritz Peterson to pair with it and the 1973 Blomberg is a fun on for first DH reasons.**

*Exceptions are 1975–1979 due to an 800-count box that I found on ebay for $10 that was labeled and listed at 1991 Donruss but was actually stuffed with commons from 1975–1979 Topps. This is why I ended up building 1978.

**I TTM’d him the 1974 card which lists him as DH.

The 1980–1985 cards are also welcome as I only ever got a pack’s worth of those cards as a kid. I have more now of a few of those sets* but it’s always nice to flesh those out a bit. There’s something about those sets from before my childhood which still scratch a collecting itch.

*A decent number of 1984 and 1985 Topps.

The 1986–1988s here though are cards from when I was accumulating a lot of things. They go in the duplicate/TTM pile or might become trade packages for someone else. Yes even that 1988 Traded Jay Buhner which looks so wrong as a Yankees card.

More of the same for a lot of these cards. Though it’s worth mentioning that the 1989 Donruss cards are the Traded set and that the Deion Sanders The Rookies is one I missed as being for my oddball album. This also goes with the Melido Perez Pacific card which belongs in my Spanish-language album.

Kenny also included a bunch of Minor League cards which are starting to slip into the stream in this photo. The 1993 Pulaski Yankees design is a super-basic Minor League set whereas Classic was a more nationally-distributed production.

Into the 2000s with a bunch of cards I don’t have much to say about. Andy Brown must’ve been someone who was getting prospected a bit though. There are also three guys who I remember form the Giants here. Kenny Lofton of course needs no introduction as he’s one of those criminally-underrated players who deserved serious Hall of Fame consideration but dropped off the ballot in only a year. Brett Tomko wasn’t bad either but the less said about Sidney Ponson the better.

Late 2000s to early 2010s with more of a grab bag but it is worth commenting on the two stacks of 2011 Topps and 2011 Topps Update. A few fun cards in there and definitely nice to have a representative stack to look through from that year. I enjoy getting Thairo cards as he’s become a bit of a fan favorite in San Francisco. No idea why there are two different sizes of Bowman minis. And I do like 2014 Allen & Ginter.

Also I did not open the 2014 Staten Island Yankees team set but it appears that there are Thairo Estrada, Jordan Montgomery, and Luis Torrens cards inside.

To the last batch which is increasingly a Minor League grab bag. The random Topps Archives cards are fun and I’ll have to be on alert with the Hudson Valley teams set next season in Somerset.

The main point of interest here are the Stars and Stripes USA cards. I’m a bit weirded out that cards of kids who are on the under 15 team exist. Especially since my kids are approaching this age. I did a quick look through and most of the names are completely unknown to me. There was however one card of Charlie Saum who was a freshman at Sanford last year so I guess that’s going into that album too.

And finally Kenny’s calling cards. I have sent him a Torrens custom before so getting his “you’ve been Zippy Zapped” custom back makes perfect sense. And the Power Puff and anime girls are also on brand.

Very cool. That was a fun way to unwind after hosting Thanksgiving. Thanks Kenny!

Brodie PWE

About a week ago I found a PWE from Mark Hoyle in my mailbox. Mark’s been selling a bit on Twitter over the past month or so* and he’d had a card that no one was claiming but which I had been tempted to claim many times. When I finally claimed the card he told more me not to worry about it and sent it to me anyway.

*Presumably to both finance something amazing and to clear up some space. I’d previously gotten the McCovey Stand Up from him.

The card I’d claimed was actually another standup, this time John Brodie from 1968 Topps Football. Brodie is part of the massive mission creep on my Stanford project and, while I’m not trying to get all his cards, it’s a lot of fun to get the weird ones as I build a type collection of sorts of vintage football and basketball cards.

Mark tossed in the 1971 Topps card as well even though I didn’t claim it. I only had one card from that set and it’s nice to add a two-color border version of the design to the all-blue Gary Pettigrew that I had.

This takes me to eleven John Brodie cards. The Stand Up goes really well with the Topps Game card from 1970. Most of the base designs that aren’t present here are in other parts of the binder (Chris Burford, Steve Thurlow, and Gene Washington) but Brodie could cover almost all of them just by himself. He even has 1961 Post and Fleer cards which would be fun to add for variety’s sake too.

Brodie’s an interesting player to learn about too. He’s kind of forgotten despite having played the most games as a 49er quarterback but I suspect he’s overshadowed by the guys on both ends of his career since YA Tittle and Joe Montana are both big name QBs.

Brodie is also one of four Stanford guys to quarterback for the Niners. He and Frankie Albert were both the starters for many many years, Jim Plunkett had the job for a couple of years, and Steve Stenstrom had a few starts in 1999. I didn’t think of him much Sanfordwise either but that’s a combination of Plunkett and Elway becoming the big names as well as how, for me, I didn’t really learn any football history which pre-dated the Super Bowl when I was a kid.

Anyway thanks a lot Mark!

Johnny’s Trading Spot

Johnny’s Trading Spot has been one of those fun bogs to follow for many years now. I was never able to commit to being available to his Big Fun Game series* that he was running every Friday but I enjoyed reading the recaps. He also manages to both collect really a interesting range of items so I frequently see things I’ve not seen elsewhere.

*basically a mini Secret Santa slash White Elephant sort of game of picking a freebie or stealing someone else’s freebie.

Recently he’s been giving 9 cards away to a random reader who comments on the day’s post before midnight. Since my blog reader often doesn’t catch new posts until like 12 hours after the post I often miss the midnight deadline.* Plus I only comment when I have something to say so sometimes I don’t even enter even if I do see the post in time.

*This happens with most contests and giveaways in the card blogosphere. This is a little frustrating but I also am not in this just to be a prize hound.

Anyway, a couple weeks ago I not only commented in time but also won the random drawing so earlier this week I found a PWE with 9 cards inside.

A fun mix of cards. Six Giants and another three stars. The middle row are all cards which count as “needs” of which the Fleer Cloth Sticker is the most interesting to me. First off, I totally mis-identified it as being an early 1990s insert since I was completely unaware  of Fleer releasing these from the late 1960s to early 1970s.* But it’s in really good shape and I didn’t catch that it was missing the ® or ™ symbols that such logos would have in the 1990s. Anyway it’s I really like it since it’s one of those things that was completely off my radar and those are always fun to be surprised by.

*The Fleer Sticker Project blog of course is the go-to here with posts about the 1972 and 1974 uncut sheets as well as a comparison of different Giants stickers.

The 2004 Donruss Barry Bonds is the first 2004 base Donruss card I have. I have a few Super Estrellas Spanish-language cards which look very similar but yeah none of the base flagship sets. It’s a nice-looking design even if not particularly memorable. Very cool to add a new set and especially cool to have the Bonds as my first sample.

The 2008 Heritage Lincecum is the last new one for me. It’s always nice to see the 1959 design in use even though Topps kind of messed things up by using photos which use clearly-modern materials. This is another set which I have very few samples of so a Giants card featuring one of the key players from those teams is always welcome.

Of the other cards the Donruss Learning Series Kevin Mitchell does deserve special comment. It’s one of those things which perfectly demonstrates how embedded baseball cards were in everyday life when I was a kid. I’m kind of annoyed that I never saw these when I was in school—how cool would that have been—but it’s great to have them now.

Thanks Johnny!

¡Por Fin!

A quick roundup of a few mailings that I haven’t posted about yet but which I did not receive while I was on vacation. The first one came from Mike Sommer before I left. Mike blogs over at Wax Pack Hero and is one of the few guys who are big into the selling side of the hobby who I can stand.

There are a lot of guys on Twitter who sell cards and claim to be collectors but who are really just flippers looking to make a quick buck without offering anything of value themselves. Mike though specializes in the long tail and is willing to put the work in to turn large lots of cards into organized 18¢ singles on his Sportlots.

While I’d love to dig through big unsorted boxes of cards like he does, I’d much rather pay him 18¢ a card just for the cards I want rather than spending 100 times as much and having to deal with sorting and storing everything.

Anyway a couple months ago he was sorting through some 1984 Fleer and tweeted that he’d come across the legendary Glenn Hubbard card. I responded that I still hadn’t purchased one  for my collection and he just offered to send this one to me. Which means that at least one gaping hole in my 1980s and 1990s iconic card photos* is now filled.

*Still need Jay Johnstone, Billy Ripken, Bo Jackson, Gary Pettis, and Mike Perez.

This is such a weird card in how it’s both a common and not. No one wants to spend a ton of money on a Glenn Hubbard card just because it has a silly photo. At the same time, everyone wants one of these and holds on to them. They‘re frequently not available on any of the card purchasing sites which is an astounding thing to say about any card from the junk wax era.

Thanks Mike! I’m super happy to finally have this one in the photography binder.

On the topic of photography, a couple weeks ago Shlabotnik Report saw me mention my appreciation for the goofiness on 1976 SSPC and promptly filled up a PWE to send me a few. Only three SSPCs but they definitely fit the bill—especially the Jim Colborn card.

He managed to fit a dozen cards into the PWE though and managed to hit with most of them. Lots of Willie Mays inserts which I didn’t have. A shiny Kris Bryant insert.* A fun Joe Panik card from San José Giants. And of course a SPAM card** for the Python collection.

*Interesting to see Panini trying to keep Donruss Elite a thing still. As if the hobby would go bananas about a /10,000 “limited edition” card nowadays.

**Oh lord is it dangerous to know that SPAM cards exist. One of these days someone out there is going to send a whole mailer of SPAM cards. Also I should definitely consider converting a 1980s/90s food oddball to be a SPAM oddball for a se of Hawaiian-born players. 

Awesome stuff, thanks Joe Shlabotnik!

Vacation PWEs

While I was on vacation, in addition to the sixteen TTM returns I was also pleasantly surprised to find a handful of PWE trade packages waiting for me as well. Always nice when it’s not just bills and junk mail waiting.

The first package is from Greg/Night Owl and includes a page’s worth of fun. I missed out on his giveaway* and apparently these are the only remaining 1985 Fleers he had to get rid of. I’ll gladly take them though and remind myself to put a need list together.**

*Relying on an RSS reader means I miss out on any timed contests.

**Though I also don’t have enough cards to feel like a needlist is necessary yet. Who puts a set needlist up with over 600 cards?

The two 2009 O Pee Chee black borders are great. The more I look at the last 25 years of baseball cards the more sets like this one stand out for being distinct in both feeling like a traditional set while also not directly copying an old design. It would’ve been nice to see what Upper Deck did with this brand had Topps not grabbed an exclusive license in 2010.

Not much to say about the rest of the cards though I do appreciate the 2022 2021 Big League Crawford since I’m not hitting that set hard at all. Also I’m super curious how Greg, as a Dodgers fan who doesn’t go for all the fancy shmancy new stuff, ended up with a 2019 Montgomery Club Giants team card.

A PWE from Jeff Katz almost works as a TTM return. Years ago I was playing around with photoshop and throwing together some Ginter-like cards. Jeff was one of the first I ran through the Ginterizer since his moment wearing the Mayor Quimby sash for the Simpsons day was brilliant. Yeah I couldn’t get all of “Mayor” to fit without making Jeff look like Kingpin.

When Marc printed these all up he sent them to everyone. I got my copies but when Jeff got his I asked for a signed one. He signed small so it would fit on the paper. I’m curious how a silver sharpie would’ve worked instead but not everyone has those lying around.

Another PWE had two packs of John Racanelli’s Literal Cards. This has been an ongoing thing on Twitter where John posts often awful but also often hilarious tweaks on existing cards. I never expected him to actually produce these but I’m glad he did.

There’s something about making them real cards that takes the joke to the next level. My kids also enjoyed them—especially Les Rohr and Willie Mays—which surprised me a little because they always groan when I make these kinds of jokes.

And finally a mini-zapping from Kenny who came into a nice lot of Card Gens and generously decided to spread the wealth. These are always welcome in part because it gives me an excuse to link to Kenny’s You Tube video again but because the actual use of these cards is so far outside how we’ve thought of using cards in the US.

The few Card Gens I have have all come from Kenny and to-date, have been from the 2010 set. This is the first 2012 I have and the fact that it’s a Giant is even cooler. I still hold out hope that I’ll run into the 2012 Sam Fuld on of these days since it’s the only card he got that year.

Very cool guys and thanks for livening up my post-vacation mail pile.