Monday, January 7, 2013

Vida Blue is a Five Star Player

One of my 2013 collecting goals is spending some time and some of my budget on my player collections that are not Giants.  I have Vida Blue listed in this group even though he did spend time on the Giants as more of his cards are of the Oakland A's variety, especially his new issues. 

Vida's card checklist has followed a pretty interesting path.  He started with 2 cards released in 1970, his Topps and O-Pee-Chee rookie cards.  On that card he is paired with a pretty solid player in Gene Tenace.   He has the normal regular issue and team issue cards throughout his career and pops up on some oddball issues like Kellogg's, Hostess and the MSA Discs with various backs.  As he played into the 80s, we start seeing issues from Fleer and Donruss and a few stickers and stamps mixed in.  He even made appearences on some 1986 Sportslifcs cards as a Cy Young Winner, No-Hitter pitcher and one of the best pitchers of the 70s.  His last card issues from his playing career are from his second stint with the Giants in 1987.

Post retirement, Vida has been in and out of the hobby.  He has a few Senior League cards from right after his retirment then shows up on a few oddball cards in the 90s. In 2000, 2001 and 2002 he had a base card and auto card in Greats of the Game (one of my favorite sets of all time).  He had a nice stretch from 2002 to 2005 being featured in a number of releases peaking in 2004 with 62 cards, many of them were autographed reprints with both Donruss and Topps going down that path.

After 2005 Vida disappeared and didn't return to a new release until 2008 where Topps included him in Triple Threads.  He has the various base and parallel issues and printing plates along with a series of relics that include Reggie Jackson and Rollie Fingers from the A's peak in the early 70s.  I still need to get my hands on one of those relics.

Vida experienced another 3 year gap until 2011 when he was featured with 3 cards in the Limited cards set, one of which I featured in my first post about my Vida collection.  In 2012 Vida came back strong to my delight.  First he was an SP and had an auto in Topps Archives.  He has 2 different relics in Triple Threads and Topps included him in Five Star.  I haven't gotten my hands on any of the Panini Gold Age yet but it looks like he has a base, some mini parallels a relic and an auto - very cool!

I was able to pick up a couple of his Five Star cards that I thought I would share.  I think this is a pretty great way to jump start my Vida collection.  Here they are:

Vida has 7 different cards in Five Star including 2 books.  These are the 2 with the highest print runs and most likely the only ones I will be able to acquire.  The next highest print run is a Rainbow parallel of the top one /25 - maybe that one is a possibilty.  In my dreams I could get the booklet that has Dennis Eckersley, Reggie Jackson and Rickey Henderson but that would go quickly into my Rickey collection (and with only 10 out there and tons of Rickey collectors it has no chance of happening.

So what do I think of Five Star?  The cards are beautful. They are extremely think and of super high quality.  I really like the design.  I am pleased these two cards have different pictures of Vida on each and Topps doesn't overdo it on the gold foil.  The autos are on card which is awesome.  I really have no complaints about these two cards, I really like them and am very happy Vida was included.

As for the product itself, I couldn't fathom buying any of it.  I got these cards fairly inexpensively and even though I am a big Vida Blue fan, pulling his card from a product that costs as much as Five Star would be beyond disappointing - I am guessing some anger would creap in.  The highest priced product I ever bought was 2011 Museum Collection and got lucky with a Griffey redemption I sold for more that the box.  Considering myself very lucky, I will not dip my toe into the high end products unless I hit the lottery or something.

I am looking forward to picking up some of Vida's newer issues and also filling in the gaps on the releases during his playing days.  If you happen to pull a Vida, don't get too disappoint, check out my want list and hopefully we can make a trade.