Tag Archives: marcbrubaker


Late last week I discovered a small envelope in my mailbox with a few stragglers that didn’t make it into Marc’s original package. I gather that this is one of those instances when you mail something out and immediately discover that you forgot to put a few items in.*

*I do this a lot too but usually I just forget to include a note.

First off, this 1999 Topps Traded Ed Sprague finishes off my run of his “cards of record.”* Even more exciting about it is that takes my searchlist for all Stanford guys to being down to ten from the Topps/Bowman Flagship (and related) sets. Or well ten until Update releases later this year and adds a few more to the searchlist.

*Something I’ve tended to call Topps Flagship though in the late 90s–00s I’ve had to supplement with other brands since the checklists were often small and didn’t include more fringe players. For example, in Sprague’s case, Topps has no cards of him with the A’s.

It’s nice to have this project basically finish building mode and become something that just needs to be sustained. Where before I’ve mentioned turning the corner, and evolving the scope of what I’m searching for, the original scope will always exist as a goal to be completed.

The ten cards I’m missing fall into two categories.

Things I haven’t purchased because of price reasons:

  • Doug Camilli 1962 Topps
  • Doug Camilli 1966 Topps
  • Jim Lonborg 1965 Topps
  • Jim Lonborg 1968 Topps
  • Jim Lonborg 1970 Topps
  • Bill Wakefield 1964 Topps

Things that just haven’t turned up whenever I go searching:

  • Rick Helling 2002 Topps Traded
  • John Mayberry Jr. 2010 Topps Phillies Team Set
  • Mike Mussina 2009 Topps
  • Brian Sackinsky 1995 Topps

The price ones may never ever get completed. Most aren’t too bad but the 1962 Camilli rookie will always be beyond what I want to spend. The ones that haven’t turned up through searching are a more interesting bunch. The Mayberry Jr. Phillies card will likely be hard to track down. The other three though are a pretty random reflection of how certain things can just be not available.

The 1997 Finest Ed Sprague is one of the few cards I have from this set. I don’t really get the Finest ethos. It’s nice thick stock and super shiny; it just doesn’t move me. I’m tempted to peel the protective film layer off except I don’t trust it to not ruin the card after decades of being affixed.

The most interesting thing about this for me is how the back of the card notes that this is a “common.” I know, I know, Topps used to do this all the time with how it numbered sets and gave star players the “hero numbers” ending in 0 or 00. But there’s something about writing “common” on the card itself that really bothers me in that it feels incredibly artificial.

And my first sample of Topps Fire. Like Finest, this is another set I’ve had an immediate “not for me” response to even though I’m happy to get samples here and there so I can inspect them.

Fire actually looks much much better in person that it does in images. There’s more depth in the colors and printing than what comes across on screen and the card itself feels more consistent in its design than the trainwreck feel I get looking at images online.

Am I going to go go out and try to get more of these? No. The idea of looking through a binder of these kind of gives me hives. But Fire and Finest both work in small doses to add a little variety to the binder and I very much appreciate that.

Thanks Marc! These were worth waiting for.

Mailday from Marc

When it rains it pours. I’ve been back in New Jersey for a few weeks now. Acclimating to the horrendous weather. Getting the kids up and running for school. Re-stocking the house after having emptied the larder before vacation. It’s been a lot of work. This week though I got some help in the mail in the form of multiple bubble mailers containing cardboard therapy.

The first is from Marc Brubaker who’s managed to reload with a huge, interesting mailday before I’ve been able to put together a viable return to his many previous maildays. Heck I’ve not even finished a roll of film yet (three more frames left!).

I didn’t photo this but wrapped around the cards was a handful of 20-pocket tobacco-card pages. I’d mentioned offhand on Twitter that I needed to get a few of them so I could page my Kings and Queens of England set and well as some random other minis. Marc noticed and duly sent them my way. Very cool. Very Nice. Things look much better in pages now.

To the cards! We’ll start with the Giants cards and just go in chronological order. That 1987 Opening Day checklist is the epitome of a card I’d never buy but which I’m happy to slide into a binder sheet. The idea of spending money on a checklist card just feels wrong to me. But then I think I’ve been permanently scarred by checklists since I pulled a lot of them when I was a kid. Did I ever get any of the big hit cards? Of course not. But I sure could pull a checklist. Looking through my childhood collection and the number of checklists I pulled in even oddball sets like Donruss Action All Stars or Topps Mini Leaders still surprises me.

The highlight in this batch though is the 1994 Stadium Club. I had a few packs of these in a box of un-paged cards that I’d dropped after the strike pushed me out of the hobby. I know that I wasn’t particularly struck by the design back then. I kind of love it now. Peak 1990s nostalgia with its pseudo dymo labler and ripped paper aesthetic. The backs are even better.

And the photography. Where 1991 Stadium Club looks kind of disappointing now, by 1994 Topps knew what it was doing and photos like the Will Clark or Rod Beck cards still look good. The Kirt Manwaring on the other hand is at a whole different level as it’s possibly the best card of a very good career of baseball cards. Plus the multiple exposure things satisfies my action-card mini collection as well.

Moving into the 1990s that I missed. The 1995 Score Gold Rush is very cool. The Mark Carreon card in particular shows how Score was using opaque white ink to make the player pop out from his surroundings. 1996 Stadium Club is not a set I react to nearly as well as 1994 but it’s nice enough and the Royce Clayton card where he’s diving into the bag is fantastic. I’m glad Marc pointed out that some of these are silver parallels. I never would’ve noticed a difference.

1997 Score meanwhile is a set which I like the look of. Nice photo-centric design and the white border really frames the image well. I only have three cards though so these four parallels now outnumber them in my binder. It’s a bit weird to me that Premium Stock and Hobby Reserve are basically the same pack-inserted parallel just in different series of the product release.

The 1999 Fleer Brilliants Barry Bonds is an interesting card in its super-premium way. And the 1999 Fleer Warning Track parallels are like the Score parallels and basically double the number of cards I have from that set. I do enjoy the JT Snow photo with his kid (same with the Rod Beck photo here as well) and can think of a number of photos from the 1990s which featured ballplayers with their children.

On to the 200s. The 2003 Upper Deck 40 Man card of Game 1 of the 2002 World Series means I’m only missing the game 4 card now. I do not have, nor do I want the cards from games 1, 3, 6, and 7 (I know I know, one of you sick bastards is totally going to send me the game 6 card now). The 2002 World Series isn’t as traumatic as it once was. But I still can’t bear to watch highlights from it.

2004 Topps Opening Day cracks me up, I still have no base 2004 cards but am somehow getting cards from the other sets which use the same design. That Fleer card is nice even though it’s clearly an Upper Deck design and totally signifies the deathknell of the Fleer brand. And I think the 1972 mini is from 2013 Archives.

The last bit of 2018 cards includes my first real sampling of Topps Archives this year. This is a product I want to like but the caliber of the design mimicry is the kind of thing that drives me crazy*. Things like the uncentered name font on the 1959 design or using the wrong colors (and not in a way that improves anything) on the 1977 design just bug me. Which is a shame there’s a huge potential in this line to just have fun. Anyway, since it’s not a product I’ll ever buy it’s always fun to get a sampling.

*Heritage is close to this problem too but is a mostly better-constucted set.

This batch also includes my first Donruss/Optic card for this year. As with Archives, Optic is not a set that I’ll ever buy so it’s fun to have a sample to take a proper look at. That shiny stuff isn’t my thing except for my interest in how it’s actually made.

Marc is also one of the few guys who send me Stanford cards. I’m always impressed. It’s a lot of work for me to keep all those names in mind so I never have any expectations for anyone else to do it. Sure, it helps that there are a decent number of Stanford guys who have been associated with the Astros* but even then it’s a lot of thinking about my collecting goals.

*Mark Appel, Erik Bruntlett, Jason Castro, AJ Hinch, Jed Lowie, and Al Osuna as well as more obscure players like Johnny Ash and Brandt Walker.

And it’s not just Astros here. Marc filled a lot of holes. Or, well, not holes exactly but many of these cards I don’t have and have been plenty happy sorting them in to my Stanford album. The Stadium Clubs—especially that Jack McDowell Members Choice card. The Score Gold Rush. The Upper Deck SP. All of them have a place in the binder and help jazz things up with examples from sets that are underrepresented.

Mike Mussina is the one Stanford player that people do tend to remember. MArc included Lots of his cards that I don”t have. The Score parallels are great. Donruss Team Heroes is one of god knows how many Donruss sets from this time period. It’s always nice to get a new Heritage card although the image quality on this one is pretty dire. Someone upscaled a small image a bit too far.

The Al Osuna O Pee Chee is great. I don’t have many of those in any binders. The Stephen Piscotty first Bowman is also fantastic. I’m not a Chrome guy but it’s nice to have a few around. His Archives card is also the first from that set in the Stanford binder as well.

And finally there are a bunch of Ed Spragues I didn’t have from the 1992 Upper Deck, yet another wonderful 1994 Stadium Club, to those fantastic Silver Signature parallels in Collectors Choice. Plus another sample from 1997 Score to top things off.

Marc’s thoughtfulness goes even beyond remembering the Stanford guys though. He’s also been hitting cards from my mini collections. In addition to the 1994 Manwaring card I mentioned earlier, there are another half-dozen action-related cards. Some, like the always-enjoyable Sportflics cards and multiple-exposure Upper Deck cards are things I know about. Others, like the Omar Vizquel 1994 Stadium Club with six different images are complete surprises. I also had no idea that Score even jumped on this bandwagon in 1995.

The other mini collection here is my Photographer collection. Conlon cards are always appreciated in this area.

And finally comes a selection of cards that I’m not collecting but have mentioned maybe a couple times as thinking about starting a collection of. Specifically Hawai‘i and putting together a collection of guys who were from there. El Sid is one of the first names on that list.*

*Along with Benny Agbayani, Ron Darling, Charlie Hough, Len Sakata, Kurt Suzuki, Shane Victorino, and Justin Wayne.

Any Duke card is also great. This is a set I’m unfamiliar with so I’ve looked up the checklist and added Bob Mathias to my searchlist now as well.

Holy moly that was a lot to go through. Marc hit five different areas I’m collecting. That’s the kind of thing which really sets a trader apart and yeah super duper impressive since I get the sense he’s doing this with a bunch of other guys on Twitter too. Thanks so much!

Refrigerate after opening

A couple weeks ago Marc sent me a cryptic note on Twitter that I should be expecting a package in a few days and that I shouldn’t leave it in my mailbox. I’d said something that inspired him earlier this summer but had no idea what to expect. Marc’s packages are frequently surprising but one which could spoil? I was so clueless that I couldn’t even begin to guess.

When I opened the package a week ago, it all made sense. Marc and I, in addition to being into cards, are also photographers. Much in the same way that Robby and I talk shop with cards and printing, Marc and I discuss cards and photography—and sometimes just photography itself.

That I’ve been shooting film and posting my on-the-go contact sheet scans* this summer means I’m the recipient of some of Marc’s over-stocked freezer. Everything here is expired—often long so. But that’s not stopped me in the past.

*Why yes I do have a post about the workflow.

It’s been a long time since I had bunch of random expired film to try. Keeble has been shuttered for a few years and even before then the bargains had dried up. This looks like a lot of fun. Four emulsions I’ve never tried plus one that I’ve not shot in eight years*

*And looking through my notes suggests I may actually have shot Portra 160VC, not Portra 400VC.

Two of these rolls look perfect for toy cameras. The ORWO looks to be all kinds of nutso since it’s the only one that’s not from Marc’s freezer. I’m currently thinking that I’ll run it through the flipped lens camera but obviously things might change. The TMax100 meanwhile is calling for me to start shooting my Pony again—though putting the 105mm lens on my Nikomat is also a possibility.

The slide film is also all kinds of exciting. Even my good cameras are kind of junk in that I don’t exactly trust the shutter speeds anymore. They’re fine for color negative film. They’re totally fine for Tri-X. But I’ve wanted to try slides for a long time. Especially 120 slides.

I’ve already loaded the Provia in my Yashicamat and am working my way through that roll. Hopefully I’ll get it done before I go back to New Jersey since I have no idea where to get it developed in New Jersey.

The Ektachrome? I don’t know yet. It’s tungsten balanced so it’s already going to be kind of wack since I have literally no tungsten lights around me anymore. Part of me wants to shoot it straight and embrace the blues. Part of me wants to take it out at night with a tripod. Part of me wants to cross-process it so I don’t have to worry about finding a place that processes E6.

Anyway this is good. I’ve been in a bit of a photography rut for the past five years. A lot of this is just not getting Princeton. When I’m in California in the summers I see photos everywhere. I’ve yet to reach that way of seeing things in New Jersey. Some of this is because things are just too pretty and picturesque. I’ve taken all those photos to get them out of my system but haven’t felt many of them. But I’ve also just gotten out of the habit of going out and taking photos.

I used to go shooting as part of my lunch break. Get out of the office. Clear my head. Go outside. Now I’m often trying to get as much done before the kids get back and I need a bit of kick in the pants to go out. Trying new gear or film has always been one such kick for me. Those years when I was always trying out some new junk camera or expired film were a lot of fun.

While the gimmick of the new gear was often not the winning shot, getting outside and looking for photos was the recipe that worked. I’m excited to have an excuse to get back to that.

Oh, and of course there were cards in there as well. Lots of these are for the kiddos as they represent junk wax that I have already but which they will happily add to their “old cards” binder. Yes, that’s what they call all their cards from the 1980s and 1990s. Yes it makes me feel really really old.

I’ll probably hang onto that Trevor Wilson card though. And I need to fogure out what to do with the Tom Herr card since it’s technically a Cardinals card even though it features a Giant and was shot at Candlestick. Also that photo is the kind of thing which made my jaw drop when I opened my first pack of Score back in 1988.

Marc managed to fill a hole in one of my searchlists with that Roger Craig Glossy All Star. Where in 1990 I bought a ton of packs of Topps even though I’d been getting a factory set for Christmas each year since 1987, in 1991 I saved my money and bought no packs of Topps. Unfortunately that meant I missed out on all four Giants in the Glossy All Stars set. It’s nice to have all four of them now.

The rest of these 1991 cards are also likely to end up in the “old cards” binder. Though I’m pretty sure that I never had those 1991 Fleers since I did not buy many packs of those back in the day.

The last of the junk wax cards includes a fantastic Topps Stadium Club Ultra Pro Barry Bonds oddball. I was unaware of this set. I’m not sure if I should be glad or mad about finding out about it.

And a handful pf 2015 Topps cards. Some of which I need. Some of which I don’t. It’s nice to slowly work backwards and backfill team sets from the 2010s since this team is very much one that’s close to my heart.

Marc also sent a wonderful sample of 2018 cards. The handful of Series 2 Giants is especially appreciated. The pair of Stadium Clubs are beautiful. And I’m really digging the handful of Big League. For a modern release it just feels like cards from when I was kid. Not physically, but the photography and backs are closer to what things used to be like. Things aren’t as aggressively cropped. Action images don’t emphasize exertion. Borders give everything a chance to breathe. Substantial stats on the back are great (although I wish they were complete instead of cutting off at 15 years).

these are also the first Gypsy Queen and Allen & Ginter cards I’ve seen this year. I’m still not a convert to either of these sets. Gypsy Queen still gives me the HDR hives although this year’s set is doing some interesting things printwise in terms of its GCR handling. Ginter meanwhile continues to be Ginter. I like the non-sport cards (most of the time) and am very happy to have representative samples of the baseball cards. It’s just not my thing.

On to the weirder stuff. First some early Mother’s Cookies cards. The 1985s in particular are brand new to me. It really weirds me out to see so much action photography. I’m used to the more-sedate posed photos which the 1986s feature here (I love that Greg Minton pose) and which they never moved away from until the mid 90s.

By the mid-90s the Mother’s Cookies poses were tighter head and shoulders images like these. I don’t enjoy them as much or the change to having borders. The 1986 Topps and 1990 Fleer cards are for my set builds and are much appreciated. It’s always fun to get a Sportflics card. I only have four from 1987 too so this one is doubly awesome. That Swell set sure is yellow. I already know that my kids are going to be ecstatic receiving Willie Mays and Christy Mathewson cards.

Holy moly how great is that 1975 SSPC Roger Craig. He looks the same in 1962, 1975, and 1989. The handful of Stanford guys is also great. I know I don’t have three of them and the other two are part of sets which are in binders in a box on a shelf in my parents’ converted garage. In other words, having duplicates that I can actually put in my Stanford albums is super useful.

Thanks Marc! I’ll post again when I get my film back and scanned. And it looks like I’m going to have to write about my kids’ reactions to getting huge stacks of Giants cards.

Mailday from Bru!

So it seems like the end of the school year is peak mailday season. The same week I got packages from Mark, Otto, and Tim, I found a package from Marc (@marcbrubaker) in my mailbox. This package was very similar in composition to his previous package in that it was mostly Giants odds and ends but also a dozen Stanford guys.

We’ll go in the opposite order this time and start with the Stanford guys. Well. Stanford guys and Jay Bell who’s not a Stanford guy but now that I have an autographed card of him milking a cow I guess I’ve been marked as a Jay Bell collector. That Classic 4-Sport of Andrew Lorraine is a card and set I’ve never seen before. I don’t go out of my way to get cards in Stanford uniforms but it’s certainly fun to have a couple of them in my album.

And it’s not surprising that I get a lot of Stanford Astros. Al Osuna, being from peak junk wax years has a ton of cards that I’m sure just multiply in Marc’s boxes. I’m especially digging the 93 Ultra card even though for a moment I thought it was a 92 Ultra card that I already had.*

*92 and 93 Ultra as well as 93 Donruss correspond to the “we just got computers so check out these computer-generated bevelled edges” school of early-90s card design. This is not to be confused with the “we just got computers so check out these computer-generated rock textures,” the “we just got computers so check out these computer-generated gradients” or the “we just got computers so check out these computer-generated drop shadows” schools. Those years when any ray-tracing was amazing just because a computer could do it are important to remember at how we were so easily overawed by the esthetics of technology.

1990s Giants. Some junk wax but a lot of post-strike stuff as well as a few samples from sets I liked but never acquired a lot of. I’m looking at 1993 Studio here since I really like the design with the cap logo background and the foil signature. Looking at those also makes me wistful for those old Giants caps with the flat-stitched cap logos.

Believe it or not this is my first 1997 Topps Giants card. I’ve been super negligent on filling in post-strike holes so almost everything here 1994-on is new to me. That 1995 Score design is wonderfully 1990s and totally brings me back to high school.

And most of these names are all names I remember from my youth. Yes even Rikkert Faneyte. Kirt Manwaring never had a bad baseball card. Royce Clayton and Jose Uribe are sentimental favorites. Greg Litton was briefly relevant again for being the most-recent Giants position player to pitch before Pablo Sandoval did it this season.

A batch of early-2000s cards (plus some 1999s that didn’t fit in the previous photo). That these are mostly Jeff Kent makes me sense a Texas connection. The Pacific Omega is a brand new set to me. As is that 1980s-feeling Fleer Platinum (which I kind of dig) and that weird Upper Deck Play Ball card (which just weirds me out).

A big batch of 2015 and 2016 cards. The 2015 set is seriously growing on me. It gave me big time HDR vibes when I first saw them but compared to the sets which have followed it, I’m loving it more and more each day. That’s also a nice sample of players with Scutaro being a Giants legend based on the 2012 playoffs and Petit and Vogelsong being heroes of the 2014 playoff run.

Those Panini/Donruss cards are my first examples of that set. Non-licensing is weird and while I like the references to classic Donruss these feel like a super-glossy oddball release rather than a real set. Opening Day is nice to have since I never buy it. Same with Archives though I do love that 1991 design. I wish Heritage avoided the colored jerseys* since this would otherwise look pretty sharp. I also just noticed that—and am really confused at how—Topps didn’t print a keyline around the photo on the Fence Busters card.

*Something Topps finally figured out this year.

Moving on to a few cards of special interest. Metal Universe is a set I’ve seen pictures of but was thoroughly confused by. I’m kind of happy to have one in person to confirm that the photos were mostly accurate. Mostly because they fail to demonstrate how rainbowy and shiny this card is in person. But other than that they do capture the general WTFness of this set.

I have no idea WTF is going on with this card. It’s so bad that it’s good and I can see how people want more of them even while the rational part of my brain recoils at the thought.

The MLB Showdown collectible card game card really interests me as a concept. In many ways this is what should’ve become the Living Set as a set of cards that’s released like Pokémon and intended to either be played or collected as part of a never-ending set of new releases.

In reality it appears that this game was released each year as a new set. The card backs are different from year to year and as a result, the idea of being able to put a multi-year deck together isn’t something this product does. In other words, it’s more like a set of baseball cards than a set of game cards. Una lástima.

I’m including the 2014 Allen & Ginter card here because, while I don’t care too much for Ginter in general, I do find myself liking this particular set. I’ve finally figured out that it’s because of the gold spot ink that Topps used for the detailing. In most of the Ginter sets, Topps does the text and linework with process inks—this works mostly well with stochastic screening, very much less well with traditional—so it’s nice to see them do it right with a spot ink. Using the gold ink is just a nice extra touch.

My first 2016 Stadium Clubs. Yeah this is a nice set. The cards just feel so much nicer than anything else aside from perhaps the Panini Diamond Kings. The photography is nice too although based on these samples, 2017 looks to be extraordinarily good even among Stadium Club releases.

The main thing I like here is that Topps adjusted the design to be somewhat centered (actually just a half-inch left-hand margin) on vertical cards and aligned left on horizontal cards. While I’m not one of those guys who hates mixed-orientation sets, I do like it when the difference in the layouts feels considered rather than an awkward attempt to make the vertical design work in a different layout.

Also I do like it when cards are willing to show the player in positions where we can’t see his face. The Duffy card doesn’t work as well as the Crawford card here but the variety is a nice change of pace from the standard baseball card look.

And last but not least, a few 2018 Bowmans including two of the newest Giants. Neither McCutchen or Longoria made it into the flagship set as Giants. Longoria has shown up in a few sets since but this is Cutch‘s first official Giants card from Topps. He’s definitely found his footing in San Francisco and I can see how he was a fan favorite in Pittsburgh.

Thanks Bru! This was a fun way to end the school year and start my summer.

Surprise mailday from Bru

It’s always fun to check the mail and find a surprise bubble mailer. Last weekend one such mailer arrived from Marc (@marcbrubaker) and it was stuffed with all kinds of Giants goodness.

First off. Junk wax! Especially Fleer. Especially 1991 Fleer which I’m sure Marc was glad to clear out of his house. Whatever ones of these I already have will go into piles for my kids. They’ve got their own binders for cards now and each of them has a section for just Giants cards as well.

It warms my heart to see that they’ve chosen to do this. I certainly didn’t push it on them although it’s clear they‘re following my lead. At the same time, it’s also kind of heartbreaking that it’s much easier for them to assemble pages of the junk wax guys I followed than it is for them to acquire pages of current players.

Of special note in this batch. Atlee! A great Will Clark and Kevin Mitchell card that I’m a bit sad to see labeled as “The Dynamic Duo” instead of “The Pacific Sock Exchange,”* And a fun Rod Beck card.

*Note to myself, see if I can find the Pacific Sock Exchange poster that we used to have.

It seems weird to cut off “more recent needs” at 1994 but that’a an accurate reflection of how my collecting just stopped on August 12 that year. I found a couple boxes of unpaged 1994 cards last summer* and yeah I gave up on everything after the strike.

*I used to accumulate everything in boxes and then binder and page everything at the end of the year once I knew I’d stop buying packs.

It’s also nice to see so many members of the World Series teams in this batch. I wasn’t collecting cards those years so I’m only now catching up on cards of all those guys.

Topps Big should technically be part of the previous photo discussion but either way it deserves special mention. 1988 and 1989 in particular are two of my favorite sets and I love how they update the classic 1956 design to a peak 1980s/90s look.

The Cecil Fielder Iooss collection card meanwhile fills in a hole in that subset. As a photography guy I’m especially interested in cards which as as much about the photographer as the player depicted. The Iooss subset in particular is a great collection of photos by one of the giants in the profession and I’m happy to add another to my collection.

Marc also included a bunch of Stanford guys.* The Stadium Club Al Osuna card is part of a set I’ve never even seen before so that’s very cool. And I had completely forgotten all about Pete Stanicek so I didn’t have any cards of him in my Stanford binder.

*Marc’s an Astros collector so I suspect that most of these are duplicates from his main collection.

I had marked him as complete when I first put this project together because I have his 1988 and 1989 Topps cards in my childhood sets which still reside at my parents’ house. In other instances like this I’ve tried to get a non-Topps card to hold his place in the Stanford binder so I’m very glad Marc was able to fix my small mistake.

The last four cards in the envelope were initially a mystery to me. Marc suggested that I could figure out what the theme is by studying them and I believe the answer is Mexican-born players who first played in the Liga Mexicana before signing with a Major League team. Due to my interest in Spanish-language cards* I can see how this would be an extension of that interest—especially as it relates to cards issued for the Liga Mexicana or any of the other baseball leagues in Latin Ameerica.

*I’ve been writing a series of posts on SABR about Spanish-language cards released in the United States. The first post is an introduction and should have pingbacks in the comments to my subsequent posts on the site. Or you can just search for “barajitas.”

Thankfully for my wallet, my interests so far lie only with cards issued in the United States unless there’s something distinctly interesting about the foreign cards. The Venezuelan Topps cards with their translated versions of the flagship Topps designs are one such case—as are, to a certain extent, the dual-language O-Pee-Chee releases. The 1970s Calbee cards fit my photography interests. 1971 O-Pee-Chee meanwhile is especially noteworthy for the design change on the backs.

Regarding player-origen cards. I haven’t gone down that rabbit hole yet either. I have to admit that I have considered doing cards for players from Hawai‘i. And I’ve also been tempted to do an Asian-American project. But both of those are just ideas that have occurred to me and are not even close to being proper projects at this time.

But yes. Lots of fun stuff to look through and a wonderful way to recover from a week of snow days. Thanks Marc!

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.

Thanksgiving Surprise

Well this was a pleasant surprise. I was away for Thanksgiving weekend and returned home to find a plain white envelope from Marc Brubaker. Inside were a handful of cards and a mysterious object wrapped with blue painters tape. We’ll get to the cards later.

I dutifully started unwrapping. Maildays are always a fun surprise and since my Giants fandom is pretty well known now they usually consist of random Giants cards—sometimes from my wantlist but more-usually from all the sets that have released in the past couple decades. Anyway I was primed to expect something featuring the Giants and was not at all expecting to find what was in there.

Holy shit. Marc had read my Old Timers post and he both had a duplicate of Bob Veale and was determined to send it to me. I’ve been slowly adding to that project but had yet to find the Veale card at a price I was willing to pay. It’s not expensive like the Danny Cater rookie but I like my card purchases to be maybe a couple bucks max for now.

Anyway this card looks great and it’s much more fun to be surprised by like this.


Only two cards left now on this project (Joe Christopher and Bill Fahey are also new additions since the previous post). The Danny Cater rookie is expensive so I’ll keep looking to see if anything cheap pops up. And the Charlie Wagner will likely be the most difficult addition since I don’t like the one mid-1970s TCMA card I’ve been able to find of his.

Anyway the rest of the envelope had six more Giants cards. I kind of dig the one of Bonds climbing the wall even though I suspect he’s watching a home run sail out of the park. Also the scan doesn’t show the way that the card is embossed with baseball stitches. The mid 1990s were a weird age for trying all kinds of funky stuff with printing as a way of trying to prove “quality.”

The pair of 1995 Donruss cards is also noteworthy since while Topps and Fleer’s 1995 designs are both so awful—Marc sent me some 1995 Fleer last time—the Donruss design is actually pretty nice and is one of the better picture-in-picture designs I’ve seen.

And these three 1983 Fleer stickers finished out the envelope. I don’t actively search for these stickers but they’re fun. I enjoy that these ones have a semblance of card information on the backs. Many stickers I’ve seen don’t waste their time on that stuff since the backs are disposable waste. Also as someone who’s probably* working on an Atlee Hammaker personal collection it’s nice to add some weird stuff to the checklist.

*It’s not official but yeah I should admit as much to myself and just put the want/checklist together.

So thanks Marc! This was unexpected on multiple levels and I’ve got to get something put together to send back. The good news is that since he’s a big through-the-mail (TTM) autograph collector that I don’t have to worry too much about sending him Astros cards that he may already have. TTM is one of those things that I’d love to try again but it works best if you assume the card is never coming back.