Tag Archives: cardsfromattic

GPK for Mishmash

Where part one of my Garbage Pail Kids trade with Cards From the Attic was about vintage stuffs, part two is about the big box of junk wax Giants mishmash. It was big enough that it took me a few days to sort through and yes, there’s plenty of stuff in there for everyone in the family to share.

Two dozen pre-junk-wax cards including a bunch of 1984 Donruss* as well as a 1981 Donruss Jack Clark.** Despite being able to afford proper vintage cards I hope I never lose that smile I get when I come across anything before 1986 in a lot of repack mishmash. Those were cool when I was little and I’m happy that my kids can still find cards like them as affordable commons for their collections.

*A set I could never acquire samples from when I was a kid.

**A player who I never liked as a kid but have come to appreciate as the standard bearer on some bad Giants teams.

The dozen 1987 Topps cards meanwhile remind me of the first set I collected as a kid. My sons are going to be excited by both the Will Clark cards and the Atlee Hammaker cards since they’re already familiar with my stories. I meanwhile like the Kevin Mitchell Traded card since while I have the 1987 set I never got the Traded set and so never had this card when I was little.

More junk wax, this time 1987 to 1989. Three Aldretes for the Stanford album. A couple nice Will Clark oddballs from sets I’ve not seen before. A lot of appalling airbrushing on the 1988 Topps cards. And it’s always nice to find a Donell Nixon.

A big batch of 1990 cards. I need to remember to loupe 1990 Topps to see how they did the oversized halftone screen patterns. That 1990 Fleer Brett Butler is the only Giant I was missing from my team set for that year. And I really like the 1990 Upper Deck Don Robinson where he’s sliding into 3rd wearing the jacket that pitchers—and the rest of us—always had to wear at Candlestick.

A couple 1990 Bowmans and a bunch of 1991 cards. 1991 Topps is such a good-looking set. It was the first with horizontal cards in my consciousness and many of the photos are a massive improvement over the usual Topps fare in previous years. 1991 Fleer is one of those designs which could’ve been released and look just fine only a year or two later with white text and foil stamping on black instead of yellow. 1991 Upper Deck meanwhile is just one of those sets I’m really fond of.

The last few 1991s—including a wonderful Studio 91 card. One of these days I’ll make a run at that set. I loved it when it came out and I love it still since it remains distinct with its black and white portrait photos.

A bunch of 1992s. Where 1991 Stadium Club hasn’t aged well for me, I really like 1992’s design and photography. Topps upped its game big time in its second year of premium sets. 1992 Score is not a design I particularly like but I do enjoy all the turn back the clock uniforms on it. Though to be fair there are a lot of these uniforms in all the 1992 releases.

Where 1992 Donruss, Fleer, and Score have a bit of gradient madness, 1993 Donruss ushers us fully into the computer-aided design world of bevelled edges. I don’t like this design. I do like the increasingly large photo sizes though.

Some more 1993s. Triple play is another set I’d like to chase some day. 1993 Score is plain but I find myself liking this design more and more. 1993 Upper Deck is an all-time classic which I’m aping for my GiantsNow project. I really like that photo of Will Clark on 1993 Leaf. I couldn’t help but laugh at the super-foiled Steve Hosey prospect card.

Getting into 1994 and I don’t recognize many of the cards anymore. Stadium Club I do remember and that 1990s Dymo-labeler name design grows on me each time I see it. The draft picks? Not familiar at all. Although I do remember Jacob Cruz. Topps Finest? I don’t think I ever saw these as a kid. As with Flair they were out of my price range.

Speaking of Flair, there was a lot of it in this box. That stuff was super spendy 25 years ago but obviously hasn’t held up that way. I need to loupe these since I’ve seen some things suggesting that they were printed with 6 color process. I’ve louped some 1993 Flairs and can’t see anything different. But I’ll keep looking over as many as I can.

Speaking of louping cards, I also need to loupe the Score Gold Rush cards to see what they‘re doing in the non-foiled parts of the cards. Aside from the reflectivity differences, there’s clearly a white point on the players and I can even see the trap where the player silhouette and foil meet.*

*I need to do this on a lot of Topps Chrome and other silver/foil cards as well.

Finishing out the 1994s with a bunch more Score Gold Rush. I have no idea why Score went with such a crazy 1990s design for their Rookies and Traded set when the base 1994 set is so elegant in comparison. 1994 Score select is one of those crazy designs that has no business working as well as it does. 1994 Upper Deck is kind of a disaster but I really like Collectors Choice—especially the silver signature variants.

Nice to get some 1995 Topps since that set seems to be hard to find. I’m not so keen on the mid-late 90s Stadium Club designs but then I like my Stadium Club to be as simple as possible so the photos can sing. 1995 Donruss is a nice-looking set with an unreadable foil-on-foil nameplate. I’m digging the 1995 Leaf design with the rainbow foil effect. There’s a lot of mid-late 90s Leaf in this box and all of it is brand new to me.

LOL at the 1995 Fleer Strawberry. MORE Flair, this time with a gold foil background effect that is also asking to be louped. And a few 1995 Score and Score Gold Rush.

One last 1995 Score. This time a Platinum version. It’s awfully sparkly. I’ve never heard of Score Summit. I’ve not seen a lot of these mid-90s Pinnacle either. I really like that 1995 Pinnacle Rod Beck though.

1995 Upper Deck is a great-looking set with another fantastic Rod Beck card. The 1995 Upper Deck Minors cards are also pretty nice. I had to look up what the different foil colors on the Upper Deck SP cards meant. As someone who’s only learned about parallel madeness recently, I figured the blue ones were special. Nope. Turns out this is from the days when silver and gold parallels were still the special ones. Though that blue parallel Collectors Choice card suggests things are about to switch.

And some 1995 Pacific which showcases Pacific’s awkward year as it figures out what it wants to be. That super foil/refractor/prism/whatever you call it of William Van Landingham is something else though. It’s kind of wonderful in a hideous kind of way.

Between the Score Gold Rush and this special Pacific card I can see a lot of what counts as special cards today. No wonder people are tired of those concepts now. They’re clearly gimmicks which are interesting only as long as they’re new and novel.

On to 1996 and I can see that figuring out what the hell Bowman is doing is going to be required for every year of Bowman. I gather that this is probably the first year of Bowman Chrome—or what would become Chrome—as there’s a foil parallel set. I kind of like 1996 Donruss although that big foil box does seem to get in the way of a lot of the photos to the point where it often looks like it’s censoring someone pulling a Claude Raymond.

Those two 1996 Fleers are glossy instead of uncoated which means that they’re Tiffany cards. Fleer Ultra is a nice looking set. And I’ll one of these days I’ll figure out the method behind the madness with the bordered and full-bleed Collectors Choice cards.

Into 1997 now. I’m not feeling this Topps design but I like it more than the Stadium Club one. Bowman is Bowman. I really like that Russ Ortiz card. Not sure what’s going on with the gradient madness on the Leaf cards. So thank god for Fleer and its set of uncoated cards. They look kind of dull in comparison to the super glossy cards all around but I love the uncoated look and feel.

Continuing with 1997. I’ve mixed feelings on Fleer Ultra. There’s something very Baseball™ about that font and it looks exactly like what my son is trying to make his signature look like right now—which also means that it looks like something an 8-year-old would design.

There’s also a ton of gold foil now. Pinnacle is now like a third foil and Pacific is similarly as foil-centered a design as you can get. It is nice to get some duplicate McCartys for both the Giants and Stanford albums.

And finally some 1998 and 1999 cards. Something about the 1998 Ultra font doesn’t sit right with me at all. I don’t know if it reminds me of glamour shot photostudio stamping or something else but it feels off. In some ways I find that it feels like wannabe Pacific but by this time Pacific has gone off the deep end with all kinds of craziness.

Yeah.

Speaking of Pacific, those Invincibles are as horrid as the earlier Van Landingham refractor thing but don’t have any of the awkward charm. Very much not my thing. I’m sure my kids will love them.

All in all a very fun box to go through. I’ve got a huge stack of cards for my kids to divvy up. And I’ve got a decent stack for myself as well. We’re going to have a lot of fun this fall as I slowly distribute them over the months.

Oh, the bumper cards here didn’t get the photo treatment but it’s worth noting that they were mostly 1986 Topps and 1990 Upper Deck—AKA two sets I’m trying to build. Going through those filled a bunch of holes in my searchlist so that was a very pleasant surprise to go along with expected portion of the trade package.

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GPK for Vintage

This summer has been spent going through storage and getting rid of anything not worth keeping. It’s been a lot of work. And it’s been a lot of fun. For every pile of things that I dump, there’s a pile which is a joy to rediscover and see. Much of what I’m finding is baseball and sports ephemera—chiefly programs and scorecards. I’ll slowly migrate those into my current collection and eventually post about them.

This post though is about finding a cache of cards that I truly thought I’d tossed decades ago.

Yup. Back before I was into baseball cards I liked Garbage Pail Kids. I vividly remember Series 1 and 2 but this cache starts with Series 3. It’s possible that I tossed the peeled Series 1 and 2 card backs or it’s possible that I only started collecting myself with Series 3.

I don’t think I bought packs of these though. My parents weren’t big fans* and I didn’t have that kind of money anyway. I do remember getting a box from my uncle for Christmas. Based on the contents of that Topps box, it looks like I got multiple boxes over two Christmases.

*As a parent now I’m inclined to agree with them.

Where in 1986 I was only into Garbage Pail Kids and managed to accumulate complete sets of Series 3–6 (all peeled now) as well as a ~500 duplicates, by 1987 I was into baseball cards.* I peeled a complete set of Series 9 but there are two more complete sets and ~500 duplicates of just Series 9 alone. I had clearly moved on and had more fun with my complete set of 1987 Topps to the point that my memory had placed all my Garbage Pail Kids collecting as completely stopping in 1986.

*Finding these allowed me to better figure out my timeline of when I got organized collecting cards. Garbage Pail Kids obviously took up my shoebox phase as well as my rubber band and deface everything phase and definitely prevented me from having any major regrets with how I kept my baseball cards.

I went through, sorted the lot of 1000+, and pulled out a couple dozen cards that I either remembered fondly (Half Nelson for some reason is especially resonant) or which I enjoyed now (Mouth Phil and Tooth Les are the only baseball-themed ones in the batch). And began to wonder what the hell to do with the rest. That very day it turned out that Cards From the Attic was looking to acquire a bunch of vintage Garbage Pail Kids.

So we hashed out a trade. I sent off ~1000 Garbage pail kids and he sent me a bunch of vintage baseball cards and a big lot of Giants mish mash. This is the biggest trade I’ve done. It feels nice to clear stuff out and send it away. And it’s wonderful to get exciting things I want in return.

Oh, and I used my peeled-off cards as bumper cards for the package since I figured they’d be a fun joke to pass along. Boy was I right.

It was fun to watch a lot of the “OMG that brings back memories” responses. A lot of the collectors are my age as well and very clearly remember doing this. It’ll be fun to see how these peeled-off cards live on as they get forwarded to new people as bumper cards. And it’s always fun when the joke side of a package ends up generating more discussion than the real content.

Anyway, to what I received!

Four 1956 Topps. One of the best set designs Topps has ever made. I like it even though it has fake signatures. It’s always fun to get cards of New York Giants too. While 1950s cards are something that still gives me that “always wanted some of these when I was a kid” excitement,* collecting memorabilia from the New York Giants is an additional joy. I particularly like the low-angle action image on the Wayne Terwilliger card.

*Partly because I never got past 1960 in my 1-per-year project way back when.

Eight 1957 Topps. I’ve come to increasingly like this set. It’s still a little weird in the way it uses color but I enjoy the commitment to photography and the way it’s a super-minimal look that’s closer to the 1970s Calbees and a lot of modern Stadium Club than most anything else Topps has released in the past 60 years. It’s also fun to get to 18/25 complete on this team set and begin imagining what it would be like to complete this even while I recognize that three of the remaining cards do not run cheap.

Eleven 1958 Topps were especially fun to get this year as the Giants have been celebrating their arrival in San Francisco 60 years ago. This set is always weird to me since most of the Giants are depicted in the prototype caps that they never actually wore in San Francisco. As fun as it is to see cards of the first San Francisco Giants, there’s a weird mirrorverse feeling in seeing these caps. Only Paul Giel’s cap here is the one I’m familiar with.

I’ve also always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with the painted-out background in these cards. I like them when they involve baseball poses since the silhouettes give me a sense of baseballness and posing tropes—a connection I made when viewing Mike Mandel’s Baseball Photographer Trading Cards—but with the head shots I’m less enthusiastic.

There’s also the way that the Giants team set in 1959 is two-thirds red cards. With colorful sets like this one, one of the most-appealling things is seeing all the different colors on a page. That doesn’t happen with the Giants and, as much as the red backs remind of the classic Cracker Jack sets, I find myself wishing there was some more variety.*

*This complaint of mine also holds with 1954 Topps and how all the Giants cards in that set are yellow or white instead of any of the more vibrant colors.

1959 Topps is a better mix of colors though the Giants are pretty much limited to just cyan, yellow, and green. That the cyan and greens seem to come in two different shades livens things up. Also there’s something about the circle portrait and all-lower-case name font which livens these up and gives me a sense of “wake up, The 60s are coming.” As with 1956 I like the signatures on this design.

And a bunch of dummy cards for packing filler. No golf this time. The 1990-91 Pro Set soccer cards are a lot of fun—no Roy Wegerle but the Gary Lineker derp face is awesome. The 1980 and 1981 Topps beaters are pretty enjoyable too. I only ever had a pack each of those as a kid and, while I’ve gotten Giants team sets since then it’s nice to see samples from the rest of the league.

Cards From the Attic also sent me a big box of 80s/90s Giants mishmash. I’ve taken a quick look though and that’ll require a second post on here to describe it. I can say though that it looks to be enough cards and duplicates that my kids and I will all get plenty of enjoyment out of it. I’ve been creating stacks of Giants cards for each of them.* I intend to put those into multiple gift packs over the next year and it’s always great to find more to add to their piles.

*Much of Robby T’s mailday is here too.

All told, I’m super happy with converting over 1000 Garbage Pail kids into Giants cards. I’ve had a ton of fun sorting through this trade already and I know there’s literally hours of fun to come from it. Thanks Cards From the Attic!

#CardboardChaos

This past month Cards From the Attic has been running a bracket on Twitter pitting various baseball card sets against each other. As with many things on the web, it kind of morphed into its own thing and much of my Twitter feed was taken over with #CardboardChaos tweets.

It was interesting to see the tournament progress. Many of us on card twitter have feelings about what sets are better than others—sometimes it’s tied up with nostalgia to what sets we grew up collecting, other times it’s just a strong opinion about what we think a good card should look like. The early rounds in particular were a lot of fun both for voting and seeing everyone’s opinions about each match up.

As the later rounds progressed though things got a little weird. Upper Deck jumped in and started lobbying heavily for its single entry. And it seems like a lot of people’s voting started to be about which brand they liked or disliked rather than the sets at hand. By the time the final matchup between 1989 Upper Deck and 1956 Topps started, it felt more like a Twitter referendum on whether or not you approved of how Topps is managing the hobby.

It’s funny. I both enjoyed the polling more before the brands got involved but I also feel like this was a massive opportunity for the brands to interact with a lot of passionate collectors. I understand why Topps didn’t jump in. I also think that not jumping in demonstrates much of why so many collectors are dissatisfied with the company.

There’s an increasing sense that Topps doesn’t care about the casual collector—let alone the kids. Packs are increasingly hunts for variants or hits or parallels or inserts rather than set building.* If you’re not a fan of a big-market team there are decent odds you’ll have only a couple cards on a checklist. In short, Topps feels out-of-touch from what a lot of collectors seem to want.

*All those special cards ruin the hobby because they both raise prices and encourage pack searching.

So yeah, the final match was often about everything except the cards and there’s been a lot of dissappointing fall out from it as people seem either even more upset at Topps, annoyed at Upper Deck for spoiling things, or upset at @CardsFromAttic for how he ran the whole tournament. @CardsFromAttic hasn’t helped either with an overly-broad, offensively-worded subtweet at many of his critics which read like it was attacking many of the people who initially supported the tournament. This was no longer as much fun.

I wasn’t as upset as many people were. For months now I’ve had @CardsFromAttic over in that provocateur category where I don’t feel the urge to respond to everything he posts. Yes the R-word is no longer acceptable. But I agree with his general point about how people like to complain and complain about what Topps is doing but still spend a ton of money on product. I’m not going to carp on anyone who enjoys ripping new product but if you don’t seem to enjoy it but keep on buying? I question your decision making.

I’ve been less impressed at the discourse in response to @CardsFromAttic’s tweet though—especially in the way he’s been doubling down on driving many of his early supporters away when they call out the offensive language. I know I don’t agree politically with many people on card twitter but it’s especially disappointing to see the hypocritical rhetoric belittling safe spaces which only comes from people who can’t handle criticism.

Still despite the sour ending, for the most part I enjoyed this. Seeing which sets did well gave me a good sense about the sets other collectors have experience with and which sets have a certain aura about them.* And it also served to confirm that I’m not alone in my inexperience with 1950s Bowman cards—an area I intend to learn about and collect more than the handful of cards I currently own.

*This would be 1952 Topps but 1989 Upper Deck also fits this bill.

While the tournament was going on, @CardsFromAttic was running a number of giveaways to both increase participation and reward active participants. These ran the gamut from 1950s cards to brand-new boxes of Topps Heritage. I was lucky enough to win a prize pack of 40 cards from 1965–1978.

The 1960s cards were five each from 1965, 1968, and 1969. 1965 is a beautiful set which, while I’m not chasing or even considering chasing it, is one which I’d love to have a page or two worth of samples to just be able to see all the different colors together. This batch of five is nice in that it includes two cards which are relevant to my moves/expansion project. 1965 is the last year the Braves were in Milwaukee so I appreciate acquiring any samples of 1965 Braves. And it’s nice to pick up random Senators cards as well. That it also includes a White Sox and Cards card makes me think of my first SABR post as well.

1968 is a less-appealing set but it’s nice to have enough samples to have a full binder page now. Thankfully only two of this sample are Topps hatless specials.

The 1969s are a great batch. The Gene Mauch Expos card is another for the moves/expansion collection and the three Astros* cards are encouraging me to look for 1969 and 1970 cards of Ball Four guys.

*That the cards say “Houston” instead of Astros has been a subject of some debate on card twitter as there’s a bit of a legend about Monsanto (who, let’s face it, is always worth blaming for something) threatening to sue anyone who used the name “Astro” due to its association with Astroturf and there’s also some information out there suggesting that Houston itself was trying to charge Topps for the right to use the name—a revenue stream that MLB would only tap much later with it’s licensing.

Don Wilson only shows up in the epilogue of the book as a former teammate who Bouton mentions has died. Hector Torres meanwhile only appears once as a poor bastard who gets hit in the eye with a thrown helmet. Johnny Edwards though is a great card because he’s a featured lyric in Proud to be an Astro.

Now, Edwards is our catcher and he’s really No. 1,
Dave Bristol said he drinks too much and calls some long home runs,
But we think John will be all right,
If we keep him in his room at night,
It makes a fellow proud to be an Astro.

In fact I got TWO Johnny Edwards cards, one 1969 and one 1970. There’s also a 1970 Senators card in here of 1965 MVP Zoilo Versalles to go in the moves/expansion binder as well as a card of former Giants manager Bill Rigney.

The 1973s are a nice batch with no egregious airbrushing or bizarre action shots but the exciting batch is the 1975 minis. These are always welcome and always fun but the Vida Blue is an especially nice card and the Ted Simmons isn’t far behind. These go right into the oddballs binder.

The last batch in this set was ten 1978s. As I’m just over 50% complete with this set I was pleased that this batch included five cards I needed—and three others were upgrades on the cards I had.

So all in all a very fun batch of cards to receive and a big thank you to @CardsFromAttic for spending so much time on this all March. It’s a shame that it all took a turn for the worse in April.

Second complete project

While the best part of collecting projects is defining the scope and putting the checklist together, there’s an undeniable satisfaction in slipping that last card into the sheet and crossing it off the checklist. Sure my Old Timers project was only eleven cards that I could’ve purchased any time by just throwing money at them, but the slow search to do this on the cheap was a lot of fun.

Cards From the Attic was running a Vintage Set Collect offer for 1960s commons and I was very happy to see the Danny Cater rookie card listed among the commons. I’ve never understood why it got the rookie surcharge to the point where it usually priced out to be the most-expensive card in the project so it was great to get it for closer to a buck instead.

Anyway while I scanned the first seven cards I purchased for my first post and the surprise Bob Veale later, I haven’t scanned the other cards in the project yet.

The Joe Christopher high number is something I found on eBay for a couple bucks. This one again frequently lists for a lot more so I was pleased with the find. It’s also a very nice looking card with a great portrait photograph.

And the 1974 Bill Fahey is cheap common. The main thing here is that I had to figure out which Bill Fahey card to use since he wasn’t one of the 1964 old timers, I went with the 1974 card because I liked the photo and it was the oldest round-number anniversary card of his to go with the 25-year celebration of the 1964 Phillies.

So that takes us to the complete project looking like so.

Loose ends here involve Charlie Wagner and Hank Aaron. Wagner doesn’t fit the 1964 theme either and I really dislike the look of his 1970s TCMA cards. I’ll eventually get a card of some sort but he’s not a core member of the 1964 old timers. Aaron meanwhile is kind of the inspiration of this entire project and so I feel like including him would be nice. But he’s not a priority either and for my purposes I’m drawing a line under this project as being completed to my satisfaction.

Also, Orlando Cepeda is also relevant to this group since he did participate in the Old Timers ceremony. I have his 1964 card in my Giants album however. And I know there’s a program or poster from this game floating around ebay someplace. I don’t need it but it’s another cool bit of ephemera related to this project.

And yeah I’m very happy to have finished this and it’s been a fun way to revisit my beginnings in the hobby and reincorporate them into my current interests.

@CardsFromAttic’s Hank Aaron contest

Before Christmas @CardsFromAttic ran a Twitter contest which I took part in. Much to my surprise I won it. I never win these kind of things. Anyway last week my prize bubble mailer arrived and I received six Hank Aaron cards from the 1970s: 1970, two 1972 league leader cards, 1973 Career Home Run Leaders, 1973, and 1976.

The 1970 card is the standout with its unposed, caught by surprise photo which is a textbook example of how baseball card photography had made the switch from medium format to 35mm. It’s a wonderful example of photography which only existed on cards for a very brief period of time.

I also really like the 1973 Home Run Leaders card. It’s the first of a four-year run where Aaron featured on the first card of the set but this one is nice in how it  honors Willie Mays as well. Yes it’s weird to see Mays in a Mets cap just like that 1976 card of Aaron in Brewers uniform looks so wrong too.

So that’s six very cool cards which I’m happy to add to my collection. I think that brings my Hank Aaron vintage collection up to nine so maybe I should put these all together onto the same page.

Ship safe

@CardsFromAttic also runs a blog and is very vocal in trying to teach people how to ship safely. So I was also interested in seeing one of his packaging jobs in person. Aside from the bubble mailers and team bags, he uses extra cards for packaging on the outside of the shipped cards. As someone who usually only traffics in cheap cards, this degree of protection is one I rarely see.

Anyway the packaging cards turned out to not be 1987–1991 junk wax and were instead newer cards including a handful which deserve to be mentioned as well.

Like this Bowman die cut. I’ll readily admit that I don’t understand this from a design point of view. The shape and the locations of the cut outs makes no sense and the entire card feels like an exercise in throwing all kinds of “premium” features into a card so it feels fancy.

As a print geek this kind of thing intrigues me. As a design geek I’m kind of appalled. But it’s kind of nice to have a sample of these since it’s not something I’d go out of my way to acquire.

The rest of the backing cards included a few more Bowman and a bunch of ARod. I kind of like the World BaseballClassic one.

And there were a bunch of Golf cards which are kind of hilarious. I can’t believe these were a thing.