Cards from Cards on Cards

Earlier this month Kerry over at Cards on Cards (@cardsoncards) hosted a small free mini break of a bunch of packs of 2019 Topps of the Class. These kind of weird little parallel sets are kind of my jam so I signed up for the Giants.

Unfortunately I got skunked. The break ended up being wildly unbalanced. Some teams got all kinds of duplicates while many were shut out. Very much how things used to be when I was a kid where I’d run into the same cards over and over and never see others.

Anyway, yesterday I found an envelope from Kerry in my mailbox and inside was one of the duplicate Joey Gallo cards. It doesn’t look like anyone even grabbed the Rangers in the break so I gather that Kerry was glad to get them sent out to anyone who’d take them.

This is a set of cards which my kids would’ve loved if they had a card store anywhere near where we lived. The idea is that you would bring your report card into a shop and get a pack of five cards. I wish they had this kind of thing when I was a kid and had access to like three different card shops.

If this was happening last year I’d’ve felt  a little weird about where these packs came from. But a year after the promotion means these were just sitting in a forgotten pile. Which is great since it reminds me of the 1990 Donruss Learning set that I never saw when I was a kid but would totally have been all over.

Kerry can fit six cards in an envelope so he packed a handful of Giants in for me. The Brandon Belt is a Diamond Anniversary Limited Edition stamped parallel of his base 2011 card. No idea what that means in terms of distribution but I definitely know I don’t have it already.

The Willie Mays is a Spring has Sprung insert from 2020 Opening Day—a set I’ve seen all of one card from to-date. I can’t tell if the border is trying to be old-looking or if it’s supposed to be a nice pastel yellow color. I’m hoping the latter since it triggers a bit of “mismatched white point dissonance” in my brain. Nice to add this one to the collection as well.

The 2009 Turkey Red of Bengie Molina is another card I don’t have. A lot of the Topps Turkey Reds have appalling artwork but this one’s pretty nice. I will never understand why Topps preferred to use the modern-looking shiny black jerseys on these vintage-looking cards though.

The 2019 Joe Panik is a pink Chrome parallel which will add a bit of color to the album. And the foil 2020 Donruss Mauricio Dubon—about as nice an unlicensed card as you can hope to see with the angle of the picture obscuring the logoless cap—makes this a nice 5 for 5 on getting Giants cards I don’t have yet. An impressive percentage for a random unlooked-for plain white envelope.

Very cool. Thanks Kerry!

April TTMs

A slowish month. As expected since I stopped sending things out in March. I did however start sending again mid-April. Partly because it seems like everyone was starting to look for things to do at home. And partly because mail volume was clearly dropping off and while I wasn’t able to buy more stamps, doing what I can to increase volume as a show of support for the Post Office was something I felt was good to do.

Don Sutton’s autograph arrived on his birthday. So that was cool. It was out for 31 days—not too long but with the pandemic going on but long enough to make me start to think that it wasn’t coming back. I was always fascinated by his cards when I was a kid since they were FULL of stats. This 1981 is the right intersection of junk wax but with the correct team. Plus it shows off his glorious hair.

Bobby Grich is one of those guys who was on the Hall of Fame bubble as a “good but not great” when I was little but, as our statistics have become better at describing the game, has become clearly recognized as one of the more underrated players ever. While I’m not 100% sold on the advanced stats, they are useful as a way of highlighting guys whose numbers were not served well by the traditional stats.

Grich clearly deserved better than to fall off the ballot after one year and I was very happy to get his card back in 41 days. Did it get mangled a little? Yes. Those are the risks you take in the TTM game. But it still presents okay.

This was a fun one because it’s become my oldest autographed card. My Junior High self would be super impressed at this. Where my childhood goal was to collect one card from each year, now I have at least one autographed card from 1960–1970 as well as one from 1957.

This 1957 came from Jason. Erskine is legendary in TTM circles because he truly loves connecting with baseball fans across generations. It’s awesome. I sent him a nice letter thanking him for being such a fan favorite and telling him about how I’ve been taking the boys around Nw York to see the old ballpark locations. We can’t wait to visit the Ebbets Field location. 11 days later I got his response.

I normally include only one index card as a stiffener. In this case I included two because I’ve found that a decent number of guys use the index cards to write notes back to me and Erskine has a reputation for writing notes. Instead I got two signed cards with inscriptions and a note written on the back of my return envelope.

The note is nice. It confirms that he read my letter and shows he understands how siblings work. And it demonstrates exactly why he’s a legend.

Two cards for two kids. Will this make them Dodgers fans? No. Were they happy to see that he no-hit the Giants? Also no. Were they excited to learn about Erskine and have a tactile reminder of the Brooklyn Dodgers? Absolutely yes.

On the topic of TTM legends, I also figured it was time to send to Bobby Shantz. This was a other fun letter to write since he’s one of the old timers I met back when I was 10 years old. Never hurts to say thanks again and it was very nice to add a signed card to that project six days later.

I also included some print-outs of one of my Viewmaster scans. This is just a two and a half inch square but it looks very neat signed. I guess this is counts as a custom even though it’s mostly just an enlargement.

He also signed an index card for me and included a ton of inscriptions and he thanked me for including extras of the Viewmaster even though he returned them unsigned. Maybe he goofed and put them in the envelope out of habit.

I got a seven-day return from Jack McDowell. I sent to him to get a custom signed and figured I might as well include an extra oddball. He kept one custom and sent two back. It’s nice to be making some progress on this Stanford customs project too.

An awesome seven-day return from the original Frank Thomas added another signed 1964 card to my old-timers project to go next to Bobby Shantz. As with Shantz, it was nice to write Thomas a thank you note for being cool to a 10-year-old. He sent a custom of his own as well as a huge letter.

I have no idea how he can write so small but he apparently sends these letters to everyone who writes him. My hand hurts just looking at this but I’m super impressed. A lot of these guys show a squirrelly hand when just signing their autographs and Frank Thomas is over here filling entire sheets of paper with miniscule but very nice cursive.

I think of Danny Darwin as an Astro but he was part of the 1997 Giants team that cured me of my strike malaise. It was nice to get a 10-day return from him and add another Mother’s Cookies card—even one of the later sets with a lousy design—to the album. I’m also low-key liking 1988 Topps as a set for getting signed.

Another Stanford custom. This time Mike Mussina came back in 11 days. I’m enjoying accumulating these customs and it’s always nice when the player keeps some of them as well. This takes me to nine total signed customs and now I get to think about whether I want to page them all together or leave them with each player.

And that’s it for April. Not a bad month all things considered. It’s been a nice break to write a couple letters every week or so. Plus it’s definitely fun to get something in the mail.

Signature Sleuth

A relatively new Twitter account which I’ve been following is Signature Sleuth (@SignatureSleuth). He’s kind of crazy and buys big lots of autographed baseballs. He then often posts photos of them on Twitter as both contests to guess who the player is or to figure things out if he’s unable to do so.

I don’t like the guess-the-player ones but when he posts team balls those turn into fun little puzzles. After a team ball is solved he sends a random autograph to one lucky participant, one of which ended up being me.

So my plain white envelope arrived earlier this week. Inside was this Jacob Cruz autograph which is exactly the kind of autograph I was expecting. There are so many “junk” autographs out there in the hobby now which have no appeal to anyone except a hard-core team collector. As such a collector though this is the kind of thing I enjoy.

Cruz never really lived up to the hype as a player but he was a guy I saw come through Sunken Diamond when he played for Arizona state. Always fun to see guys I watched in college make it to the show, especially when it’s for my team.

Thanks for the card and keep the team balls coming!

Totes jelly

Kind of funny. For the past month I’ve not gotten any mail on Saturdays. It’s weird when that happens since I keep thinking mail is arriving super late instead and end up checking every hour until it gets dark. I began to think that Saturdays were only for packages and that regular letters and junk mail would wait until Monday.

Then last Saturday I got a regular delivery. And then on Sunday I woke up to find another delivery in my box which suggests that I was both correct to check for late deliveries and that of course the one day I didn’t check for a late delivery is the day I left packages on my doorstep overnight.

Anyway one of those packages was a box from Marc Brubaker. Yeah, a box. I’ve gotten boxes from Marc before but between the complete absence of baseball and much-decreased access to product the past couple months have been all about surprise plain white envelopes—something at which Marc excels.

So I opened it up and found that it wasn’t a box of cards. Yes there were cards inside but also two rolls of film and a jar of loquat jelly from his recent bounty. Film is much appreciated though I haven’t had a chance to go out for a photowalk in a long time. Heck I’m still working my way through a roll of 220 from my last mailing of film. I’m pretty sure it’s Portra 400 and at this point I hope it is since I’m exposing it as if it is.

And the jelly will be great. We’ve been making lots of pancakes and it’s great to change things up with different toppings. As someone who grew up with loquat trees in his backyard this will be a great taste to introduce to the kids as well. I’d love to be able to find them out here in New Jersey but they don’t seem to be able to survive our winters.

And yes there was also a surprising amount of cards—three team bags worth—in the box. The usual assortment of Giants, Stanford, and randoms so let’s start with the Giants. I’m continuously amazed at how I can discover new sets that were released in the 1990s and 2000s.

With the 1980s at least the sets I’ve never heard of are regional releases. In the 1990s and 2000s though there are so many big releases that I just can’t keep track. The 2000 Metal cards here are one such set that I’d just never seen. Not as over-the-top as the earlier Metal cards which remain some of the craziest cards I’ve ever seen but still an interesting finish to the card surface which remains unlike anything being produced now.

A couple other cards to note are the Pinnacle Steve Hosey and Silver signature Barry Bonds which both fill holes in sets that I only ver purchased a single pack of as a kid. The 1992 John Patterson meanwhile fills a nice hole since I have that card in my autograph binder.

There was also a lot of Gypsy Queen. I’m happy other people buy this product and send me Giants because I will never spend money on these. Same goes with Gallery. They add a bit of variety to the binder but a little bit goes a long long way. And that the Brandon Belt card is one of those fancy framed variants that always interests me from a production point of view.

The super-sparkly (or whatever this is called) Tyler Beede is a similar addition. I don’t chase these cards either and kind of hate all the insert variants. But I do enjoy adding the splash of interest to a binder page.

I do like the Wilhelm Distinguished Service card. Military service is an interesting and different way to build a checklist. Where my parents’ generation grew up seeing military service listed in the statistics of many players, by the time I was a kid that was all a thing of the past.

The Pinnacle Tim Lincecum is kind of nice too. It’s weird. 2013 Panini had a bunch of one-year-wonder sets that are more interesting than most of what has become their standard releases. My understanding is that sets like Pinnacle and Hometown Heroes caused collectors to take Pinnacle seriously yet neither of those sets were ever released again.

To the 2020 cards. Marc’s been surprisingly active acquiring cards this year. We’ve got Heritage, Opening Day, Stickers, Flagship, and Donruss all represented. Meanwhile it’s been over two months since I even set foot in a store which stocks cards.

This completes my Heritage team set (well except for the Yastrzemski shortprint) and gives me my first taste of Opening Day, Stickers, and Donruss. I can see why people like this year’s Donruss set. Logolessness aside it’s come into its own and has a clean, generic 1990sish design. Still a little too reminiscent of the Donruss designs from 2014 to 2017 for me but it at least knows what it’s doing now.

A batch of Stanford guys which features some more 2000 Metal as well as a couple other cards I don’t have yet. Some of those, like the 1989 Score Traded Mike Aldrete, are sort of surprising omissions. Others such as the Appell, Hutchinson, and Mussina are the kind of things I never search for but love to add to the binder.

Marc also went ahead and attacked some of my smaller projects. A handful of Scott Erickson cards. Four 2014 Topps for the setbuild. Two Sportflics cards for the action binder. All quite welcome and evidence of someone clicking down through the searchlists.

And finally the last handful of cards Marc includes are always a bit of a puzzle for me. Stanford Jenning is clearly a joke. Yes I laughed.

The rest though I’m not so sure about. I thought at first that the Ruth was for my photographer binder but there’s no photographer credited. The two Muñoz cards though I’m genuinely confused by. I’ll keep thinking about it ad maybe it’ll come to me.

Thanks Marc! Stay safe out there.

Vandal PWE

This week brought another plain white envelope in my mail from Jason. This one was both pretty stiff and mysteriously marked with a big “open carefully” on the side. I did my usual thing and snipped an end off as if this were a policy envelope and was immediately very glad I did so.

Inside I found two super-thin, almost bible-paper quality that sticks together with static electricity, sheets of paper that had been cut out of a book. They’re in great condition but still feel incredibly fragile. Jason claims to have purchased a batch of clippings and denies being a book vandal so I had to do some research based on the back side of these.

The fronts are obviously John McGraw. On the left, a younger-looking McGraw in a starched, probably-detachable collar. On the right, McGraw as I’m used to seeing him as the Giants manager. In both cases his competitive nature is clearly visible despite the early halftone printing (which is actually very well done in gterms of keeping detail in both his dark suit and whte collar).

The backs suggest that the photo on the left is from 1911 (though I suspect it’s older than that) and the one on the right, 1913. In any case the backs are enough to date the book as being around 1914 or so.

Go I googled around and discovered that these are actually from two books. Or, well the same book but two different editions. The book in question is the Reach Official American League Base Ball Guide. The left page is from the 1912–1913 edition and I have pages 89 and 90. McGraw is actually on page 90 and so is technically on the back side of the sheet. The right page is from the 1914–1915 edition. I have pages 73 and 74 from this book and, being the same format, McGraw is again on the back of the sheet, this time occupying page 74.

I did not read the entire books but in flipping through to confirm I’d found the right ones I couldn’t help but notice that in each book the sheet before the McGraw sheet features a photo of the Giants president. 1912–13 depicts John T Brush, whose name remains on the only remaining part of the Polo Grounds, which was dedicated to him after his death in 1912. 1914–15 depicts the new president H.N. Hempstead.

Jason also included two cards in the envelope. Two very similar poses and lots of color but the similarities mostly stop there. The Stanley Hack is a 1935 National Chicle Diamond Stars card. I’ve long admired this set with its carefully drawn portraits placed in front of colorfully abstract backgrounds. The three Giants legends in it (Terry, Ott, and Hubbell) are on the top of my list of cards I’d love to get but never will.

This Hack has a nasty crease across the middle but presents really nicely since the crease never actually breaks the surface of the paper. It’s now one of only a half dozen baseball cards I have from before 1940* and is the only one with super-vibrant color.

I thought at first that Jason had gotten the wrong end of the stick when I mentioned that I was looking for a 1955 Doubleheader of Hack and Jack Shepard but it turns out that he’d just noticed me expressing my admiration for Diamond Stars and rueing the fact that I’d probably never acquire one.*

*I’m pretty much incapable of buying a card of a player who’s not a specific collection or team interest of mine.

The other card is a 1975/1976 SSPC Frank Robinson card. This one is notable because it’s the first card of an African American manager. Topps at this time was not releasing manager-specific cards so it’s a very good thing TCMA/SSPC’s wildcat release was around to commemorate the historic first season in cardboard form.

Thanks Jason! A small envelope but a good one. Always fun to be forced to do a bit of research to figure out what something is too.

Candlestick Pages

In the tradition of my Colorwheels project, I have another project I’m passively working on as a way to get a page from multiple sets without going down the rabbit hole of set building. In this case I’m looking at getting a page of cards which show Candlestick park in the background. I grew up with The Stick and seeing it in cards always reminds me of going to games as a kid.

This project only really starts in 1972. From what I’ve been able to figure out, there aren’t really any cards take at Candlestick before this season.* I have most of the Giants cards now and there’s maybe one taken there.** Starting in 1972 though most of the Giants cards are at The Stick and there are a bunch of other cards in the set as well.

*There are cards from the late 1950s and early 1960s that feature Seals Stadium.

**1971 Gaylord Perry

That 1972 is the first year that cards depict Candlestick is fun because many of these cards show all the construction work that went into expanding and enclosing the park for the 49ers. This expansion is what turns Candlestick into the park that I knew and marks another reason for me to only worry about cards starting in 1972.

Unlike the colorwheels project, while I would like to get a nice colorful page, I’m biasing my choices toward interesting photos and between that and the fact that there are only a handful of teams with photos taken in San Francisco I’m finding myself with a lot of repeat teams on each sheet.

1973 and 1974 I’m only getting started with. Nothing much to note here except that it’s nice to see the mix of action and posed images and that Denny Doyle represents one of the rare American League cards that will be in this collection.

1975 and 1976 I have complete pages for. These aren’t set in stone but I went for a nice mix of stadium views. I especially like seeing the 49ers press box and the pre-Jumbotron scoreboard. The switch to wide angle lenses for the portraits in these years also results in fantastic stadium perspectives.

1977 and 1978 demonstrate how certain road teams like the Braves tend to have a lot of Candlestick shots. I’d like more team variety for these pages but since 1978 is a set I’m building I’m stuck with duplicates I come across.

A lot more headshots in these years also means that I don’t see as much of the stadiums in the background.

1979 is very much continuing from 1977 and 1978. I’ve also started putting a page of Hostess cards together since I’ve noticed that a lot of the Hostess cards are shot at Candlestick as well. I think I’m just going to Frankenset a page of Hostess together though unless I come across a big cache of them. And yes the Braves dominance on these pages continues.

Moving into the 1980s and 1990s and I haven’t broken out individual pages yet since there are more sets to consider. When I come across cards I put them in. But I haven’t even done a concerted dig through my piles of junk wax yet to find the undoubtedly dozens of cards that are relevant.

I’m also not sure how far I’m going to take this in the 1990s. Part of me is inclined to stop at the strike. Part of me likes the idea of going all the way until 1999 when the last game was. Might even be fun to see if any photos crept into the 2000 set. But those are longer term goals for now. I’m still learning about what was going on in general in the hobby after 1995.

Mission Creep

So while we’ve all been locked down the boys and I have been getting our baseball fixes in where we can. We’ve watched movies like Field of Dreams. We’ve watched recorded games. We’ve done some Sporcle quizzes. And we’ve looked at our baseball cards.

Not just looking at cards, I think we’ve all taken it upon ourselves to give things a re-sort. For my part I looked at my Giants albums. I’ve had my team sets in alphabetical order by last name. This has been fine, especially as I build the team sets, but it’s never felt right.

One of the things I’ve liked about Mother’s Cookies is how the first sets were ordered by star power. I like the idea of the set telling a story about the team and while paging cards by something like WAR would be an interesting way to do this I decided instead to page them by lineup.

This idea is stolen from some guys on Twitter but the basic idea is that the first page is the main starters for the season, the second are the pitchers, and the rest of the pages are everybody else.

More-specifically, page one is organized like a field:

LF | CF | RF
---+----+---
SS |    | 2B
---+----+---
3B |  C | 1B

Center Square is either the Manager or the Team Card. I really like this because it gives me a sense of what the team actually looked like that season. Both good and bad. Is it fun to see the most valuable players first? Yes. But it’s also important for me to see the “who the hell is that” players to be reminded of the team’s weaknesses as well.

Page two meanwhile is the top nine pitchers on the team. First the four or five starters, then the closer and the relievers.  Page three is the rest of the bench ordered by number of at bats. And page four ends up being players who didn’t play, all stars, league leaders, etc.

I’m already enjoying looking through things more. Now, this kind of sorting isn’t without its problems—the main one is being what season do I choose to represent. Do I sort the cards based on the team that existed the year the cards came out or do I go based on the previous year which is represented in the last line of stats?

There’s no good answer here. Going by the card year means that new players aren’t in the team set. Going by the stats year opens you up to missing guys who were traded late in the season or who changed teams before press time.

I chose to go by the card year. When I look at cards from 1960 or 1970 I’m thinking they represent 1960 or 1970. Stats on the back show me what the guy did last year but the cards stand in for the current season.

This choice means I miss some rookies but more importantly opens up a bit of mission creep with regard to the trades and free agents. Like with my 1968 team set which is basically complete except for the Mays/Mantle/Killebrew card, there’s no second baseman in the team set. When I looked up who played that year I found out it was Ron Hunt who played in almost 150 games at second but whose 1968 card features him with the Dodgers.*

*Note, if I had gone with the previous year I’d be in even more trouble since there’s no Tito Fuentes card in the set at all.

So I’ve gone ahead and added Ron Hunt to my searchlist and done this with a bunch of other players as well. Not everyone who’s missing. But if there’s a position player who started the overwhelming majority of the games or a pitcher who made up a large part of the rotation I feel like I should add him.

Through the 1970s this wasn’t even two dozen cards. I’ll get up to the 1994 strike eventually but with Topps Traded existing plus the existence of multiple brands things are going to get more complicated. I should have coverage with more brands but do I want to mix them? Don’t know yet.

Anyway what I’m currently missing is as follows. Not going to update this the way I’m doing the Colorwheels post since these aren’t priorities. Most are commons and pretty cheap. A couple Hall of Famers or short prints though will definitely be more of a reach. Still it’s nice to see where things started.

1956 Topps 165	Red Schoendienst	St. Louis Cardinals
1956 Topps 247	Bill Sarni		St. Louis Cardinals
1957 Topps 68	Ray Crone		Milwaukee Braves
1957 Topps 218	Ray Jablonski		Chicago Cubs
1957 Topps 271	Danny O'Connell		Milwaukee Braves
1959 Topps 75	Sam Jones		St. Louis Cardinals
1961 Topps 418	Ed Bailey		Cincinnati Reds
1965 Topps 205	Warren Spahn		New York Mets
1965 Topps 218	Dick Schofield		Pittsburgh Pirates
1966 Topps 26	Ray Sadecki		St. Louis Cardinals
1967 Topps 86	Mike McCormick		Washington Senators
1968 Topps 15	Ron Hunt		Los Angeles Dodgers
1970 Topps 103	Frank Reberger		San Diego Padres
1975 Topps 162	Willie Montanez		Philadelphia Phillies
1975 Topps 547	Von Joshua		Los Angeles Dodgers
1976 Topps 81	Darrell Evans		Atlanta Braves
1976 Topps 177	Marty Perez		Atlanta Braves
1977 Topps 47	Lynn McGlothen		St. Louis Cardinals
1977 Topps 76	Tim Foli		Montreal Expos
1977 OPC 56	Bill Madlock		San Francisco Giants
1977 Topps 209	Rob Andrews		Houston Astros
1979 Topps 668	Bill North		Los Angeles Dodgers

Two notes. 1967 Mike McCormick actually lists him as a Giant on the back. And while the 1977 Topps Bill Madlock would be a contender, that there’s an O Pee Chee showing him with the Giants means that’s the better choice for the binder.

A couple PWEs

Not a lot of big trades going on but it’s been nice to receive random envelopes with just a couple of cards inside. I’ve also sent out a couple of these. I think we all like getting mail and maintaining some connection to the outside world.

The first envelope came from Jason who, after upgrading his 1957 Dodgers Team set found himself with an extra Carl Erskine card. Erskine is a legend in the TTM community and when I mentioned that I’ve been meaning to send to him Jason popped his extra Erskine into the ail for me. I sent it out before I could write this post so I had to wait for it to come back with ink.

Erskine, legend that he is, turned this around in 11 days and included a bunch more in his return. Those will be part of this month’s TTM round up since they has nothing to do with Jason’s mail.

Jason also included two Topps stickers. I don’t actively pursue these but they’re fun to add to the binder. The Dave Holland is particularly cool because his jacket is amazing with the Warriors Cable Car number graphic on the left sleeve.

Shane Katz has been making themed binder pages and is partially responsible for inspiring my colorwheels project. So it’s only fitting that he would be the first person to actively contribute to it. I was missing an orange 1967. Now I’m not.

The foil 2020 Brandon Belt is pretty nice. Scans badly but of all the shiny cards I think the foils are the only ones I like. Something about them still being printed on paper appeals to me.

Shane also included a couple Stanford guys. The Frank Duffy is his last pro card and it doesn’t surprise me that Shane, as a Red Sox collector would have duplicates here. The Mark Davis though is an obscure card of an obscure player who only has one MLB card that I’m aware of. Yes I have it (1992 Topps MLB Debut) but it’s very cool to add a second.

Thanks guys! Take care out there.

Colorwheels

So I mentioned this in my post about my mail day from Jeff Katz but it warrants a post of its own. I don’t have the time, money, or desire to build complete sets of Topps cards. At the same time, as a Giants collector, I often feel like I’m missing a lot of the experience of seeing a set. All the teams. All the different colors. There’s something about seeing the mix of cards that reminds me of the pleasure of thumbing through a random pack.

Anyway with the color-centric sets I’ve decided to take a quick look through the designs and list the different colors. One of the things I’ve been fascinated with is how Topps uses the same printer-simple colors over and over again. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Red, Green, and Purple aren’t the only colors but they’re the easiest to print and as such, represent Topps’s go-to palette year after year.

We’ll start with the 1967 page since it’s the one that Jeff gave me the kick in the pants to begin with. I’m only missing orange and yellow but I’d also like to replace the light blue with a vertical card.

My biggest problem here is that both teams with cyan names are teams that I’ve been putting in another binder. The 1967 Athletics are the last year in Kansas City . The 1967 Braves meanwhile are the first cards to really show the Atlanta uniforms. This will probably be a Brave but I’ll have to get more 67 Braves or some later-series 1966s which show the uniform first.

This page does really show the colorwheel concept off though. Going clockwise starting with Elston Howard we’ll have four cards of Yellow ink. Starting with Zoilo Versalles we have four cards of Cyan ink. And starting with Manny Mota we’ll have four cards of Magenta ink.

I also mentioned something similar to this project when Lanny sent me a bunch of 1954 Topps. 1954 only features six colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and white) and this is the state of the color page right now. I’d like to replace the Greengrass with something non-trimmed. The blue Lepcio got sent off to a Red Sox collector because I don’t need specific players I just want the color. And I don’t have any white cards that aren’t Giants (or Del Baker). So yeah I’m looking for yellow, green, blue, and white here.

I plan on doing with with other sets in the 1950s too. I don’t have any cards to even start a page for 1955 or 1958 though so I can’t show starter pages.

1955 features red, yellow, green, and blue backgrounds. I haven’t looked into the color combinations and whether there are a couple different ones per background but if there are that would suggest filling an 8-pocket page with two cards of each background color.

1958 features magenta, red, orange, yellow, light green, green, light blue, cyan, and black. Nine colors. Nine pockets. Black will clearly be in the center.


Getting to pages which I have at least one card for. I clearly don’t have a lot of 1959s. Aside from green and cyan (which I’d like to replace with a non-Giant) I need magenta, red, orange, yellow, light blue, light green, and black. The bright colors in this though make this a page I’m already looking forward to completing.

I don’t have a page for 1960 (no extra cards) nor have I even planned it out since there are so many combinations that I haven’t figured out what would be representative.

1961 isn’t really a color set (same reason why I don’t have 1957 in the project) and also features the color combination problem of 1960. I do have a bunch of these though so I may put a page together anyway.

1962 has no color at all though so it’s definitely not relevant for this project.


1963 is super colorful. At first I thought it was like 1960 and 1961 in that it has a ton of combinations but when I took a quick look though it ended up looking like there weren’t even enough to fill a page. These are the six I have. There’s also a green/yellow and green/blue designs I don’t have.

As usual I’d like to replace the Giants card but blue/orange doesn’t seem to be as commonly used. Also that Marty Keough is pretty rough even for my standards.

1964 is another set I don’t have any cards for and haven’t done the research into how many different colors and combinations are used.


1965 is another page that’s going to look great. Colors I’m missing: magenta, green, light green, cyan, and light cyan. There are also grey cards but those will be the odd man out since I already have black in the center.


1966 should also look good. I’m missing red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, purple, and grey. Not sure what color I’ll drop this time. Might be the light purple though since it doesn’t quite fit the wheel concept.


My 1968 page is complete. Would be nice to upgrade individual cards to be hatted photos so they’re better representations of the set. Also wouldn’t mind replacing the Bill Henry with a non-Giant.

I especially like how this one lays out on the page though. Left side is 100% magenta. Bottom row is 100% cyan. Top row and right side are 100% yellow.


1969, because of expansion, has a ton of colors. Where previous years have, at most, 10 colors, 1969 has 13. Colors I don’t have are light pink, red, orange, light orange, yellow, green, cyan, purple, light purple, brown, and grey. I’ll probably drop light purple, light orange, and brown. Not sure what the last color out will be though.

Do I plan on continuing this into the 70s and 80s? Yes. But those sets are tougher and I’ve got another project that I’m working on for those years.

Searchlist/Progress

This next section will be updated as I work on this project. Any color that’s been struck out is one I have. Any color in grey is one I have but wouldn’t mind trading out. Please let me know if I’ve missed anything.

1954: (2/6) red, orange, yellow, green, blue, white
1955: (0/4) yellow, red, blue, green
1956: not a color set
1957: not a color set
1958: (0/8) magenta, red, orange, green, light green, cyan, light blue, black
1959: (7/9) magenta, red, orange, yellow, green, light green, cyan, light blue, black
1960: not researched yet
1961: not researched yet
1962: not a color set
1963: (6/11) red/yellow, red/green, yellow/red, yellow/green, yellow/blue, green/red, green/orange, green/yellow, green/blue, blue/red, blue/orange
1964: not researched yet
1965: (4/10) pink, red, orange, green, light green, cyan, light blue, purpleblack, grey.
1966: (3/10) pink, red, orange, yellow, green, light green, cyan, purple, light purple, grey
1967: (8/9) pink, red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, light blue, purple, light purple
1968: (9/9) magenta, red, orange, yellow, green, light green, cyan, purplegrey
1969: (9/14) magenta, light pink, red, orange, light orange, yellow, green, light green, cyan, light blue, purple, light purple, brown, grey

Alchemy

One of the best things about Card Twitter is its ability to transform stuff that doesn’t interest me into stuff that does. In this case, my stack of 1967 Topps Football cards has been sitting in a box for months. I don’t really feel like selling things but I figured it was only a matter of time before I found someone building the set.

About a month ago Jeff Katz turned out to be that someone. I almost blew the trade by overthinking things* but I eventually realized that if I had a magic wand that could simply transform my football cards into baseball cards I’d be perfectly happy. So that’s what we ended up doing. After like 10 days of watching my package bounce between Pittsburgh and Jersey City it finally arrived yesterday.

*The downside of having a focused searchlist is that I can get hung up on just focusing on the list of what I “need.” 95% of the time this is a good instinct but this was an instance where it got in the way.

Two Hall of Famers in the stack. Stargell is a little beat up (I knew this before Jeff sent it) but the Drysdale is in good shape for my collecting grade that doesn’t care about softish corners, centering, or diamond cuts.*

*I won’t comment on the registration.

1967 is a design I’ve never really cared for since I don’t like facsimile signatures. I’ve come around to appreciating the photography though and the way it interacts with the design. This will be a larger post over on SABR some day but the short version of it here is that layering the text on top of the photo forced a looser crop that Topps usually does.

This is especially the case with the name and position text in the top of the frame. Mid-1960s portraits will be shot on, at smallest, medium format film and be composed in-camera with a lot of room for cropping downstream. That extra quarter inch of space at the top of the frame coupled with the extra half inch on the bottom results in a lot more background information than is typical for any other  Topps set from 1957 to 1969.*

*After 1969 we see 35mm photography, candids, and action shots start to creep into the mix so we really can’t compare those sets to the portraits that dominate the 1960s.

Another card in the batch gives a complete page of 1967 A’s cards. 1967 is the last year the A’s were in Kansas City and I’ve been trying to put a page together for each of the teams that moved. Not a major project just one I’ve enjoyed keeping an eye out for as I accumulate other cards.

Four horizontal cards including a pair of designs in the World Series and  Thumpers cards I’ve not encountered before. I also need to mention that the ERA Leaders card is one of the rare instances of a player showing up in a set which he doesn’t officially appear in due to retirement. In this case, Koufax retired after 1966, has no 1967 card, but does show up in a couple of the Leaders cards.

The rest of the 1967s give me a good start on completing my new colorwheel project. One of the things I’ve found myself missing as a team collector is seeing all the different colors of cards in a set. This is especially something I miss in the more colorful sets but even something as minimally designed as 1967 the colors jump out at me and my Giants pages look like an awful lot of green.

1967 features team names in cyan, magenta, yellow, light cyan, green, red, purple, orange, and light purple. With this batch I’m over halfway to putting them into a page. Current plan is to colorwheel around the outside of the page with whatever color doesn’t fit in the center. Since most of these colors are printer-simple solid process colors this will be a fun way to see how so many of Topp’s colors come up year after year.

Jeff also included a signed copy of his book (making this a Split Season 1981 from @splitseason1981 mailday). I’ve been meaning to read this for a while and what better time to do so than when I don’t plan on leaving the house for two weeks.

A couple more items include a beat-to-hell-and-back 1967 McCovey poster that’s going to turn into a four-panel puzzle if I breathe on it and a kids book from 1982 about the Giants.

I love the poster and its photography. Pretty sure McCovey never took a bad photo when it came to baseball cards. There’s also some of the “turn the background into cyan-only sky” effect going on with how much of the bating cage is being printed in just cyan ink.

The book is pretty great and the boys have already grabbed it to look through. I especially like the bright colorful cover with the baseball as tennis ball photo treatment.

Back to cards. Two 1971 Topps cards take my 1971 team set needs down to missing only one for completion. Unfortunately it’s the high-numbered Willie Mays card. I’ll get it eventually. I just need to be patient until one drops  into my price range.

Destined for the same binder as the 1967 Jim Nash card, here were five 1972 Rangers to take me to eight Rangers for my page of first-year Rangers cards. This is an ugly team set with most of the cards featuring the same up-the-nose photo coupled with blood-red airbrushed caps. Ted Kubiak is a nice change of pace as he gets the same hatless treatment that he got on his 1968 A’s card.

I should probably consider adding a page of 1973 Rangers (as well as 2nd year cards for the other new teams) just to show the new uniforms.

And finally, two Fleer Famous Feats and a panel of baseball stamps from back when it only cost 39¢ to mail a letter. I have yet to get into the Laughlin cards that Fleer released in the 1970s. I haven’t avoided them, I just haven’t gotten into them. I do like adding them to the binder though and they’ll keep Cy Young company.

Thanks Jeff. The hobby, and the community around it, is going to help me keep my sanity over these coming weeks. Stay safe and good luck completing your 1967 football build.