Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The Joy of a Completed Team Set - 1996 Flair Giants

Every so often I go on a streak of trying to pick up Giants base cards to fill in gaps in my collection.  I recently made a list of almost 700 base cards I need from 1990-2019 and decided if I could whittle down the list.  I used some of my Sportlots credit from May sales to buy some cards.  Singles there can be as low as 18 cents and many sellers offer free or very low shipping if you use their Box feature.  With Box, Sportlots collects all your orders and sends them at one time in a flat rate shipping box.  I have found this saves quite a bit on shipping and it is my default way to get lower valued singles.

In reviewing my want list of base cards, I noticed I needed 7 of the 13 Giants in the 1996 Flair set.  At this point in my Giants collecting journey, it is rare to need that high of a percentage of normal base cards from a fairly common set.  I did a search on Sportlots and found that there were under 10 cards of each Giant available and the only copy of the Bonds card was for sale for $100. 

I still needed the Bonds so Sportlot was no longer an option.  I hit up eBay and found a team set for a reasonable price and grabbed it.

Here is the Bonds, front and back:

 I really enjoy the design of these cards, each on features 4 photos, 2 each on the front and back.  The fronts are silver etched foil with the names in gold.  There are gold etched foil parallels with silver names as well - I think I have about half of each.  The stats are fairly hard to read depending on the photo on the background but these cards are all about the photos.

Here is the rest of the team set in all its glory:

The Flair set was put out from 1993-1996 so this completes my Giants run which is pretty cool.  In 1997 the switched to Flair Showcase which got a little complicated with different "rows" of cards that were parallels.  This went on through 1999.  I have all the Row 2 Giants cards which seem to be the base level but need a few of the other rows if I want the full Giants run there.  Flair was back from 2002-2005 (I have that Giants run as well), the back to Flair Showcase in 2006 then the brand ended.  I still need 4 of the 2006 variety to complete my Flair run and those are on my lengthy base card list.

Of that 700ish card list, I have picked up over 150 of my Giants needs so far.  I don't see the list going down to zero but it would be awesome to cut it in half by the end of 2020.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

7 Day Trading Card Challenge #4

Time to tackle Challenge #4 - my favorite basketball card in my collection.

As a reminder, Tim over at Cardpocalypse put together this 7 Day Trading Card Challenge and here is the whole list:


My basketball card collection is not as robust as my football card collection and is a small fraction of my baseball card collection.  I started collecting basketball cards in college, the height of the Shaq era and have quite a few sets from the early to mid 90s.  I picked up a couple vintage sets from the late 70s - early 80s and have a pipe dream to collect the 1980-81 Topps set (that is the one with the triple perforated cards and Magic Johnson RC/Dr. J/Larry Bird RC).

From a player collection standpoint I collect Charles Barkley & Patrick Ewing (stars from my peak hoops fandom), Chris Webber (my favorite Sacramento King), Harold Minor (my neighbor for a year while at USC) and Tiny Archibald (a relatively new PC after reading some NBA books on the 70s and knowing he played on the pre-Sac Kings).

From a team collection standpoint, I have a modest collection of former Trojans and I pick up Kings cards that tickle my fancy.

When embarking on this challenge, I thought through my collection and was tempted to pick a Harold Miner card due to the personal connection and he has some sweet cards in a USC uniform.   I have more Chris Webber cards than any other player collection and had no more fun as a fan than the Kings peak when they threatened for the title for a couple years.

Ultimately I went another direction and decided to pick a card that made me the most excited when I picked it up and is still a favorite today, a 1986-87 Fleer Charles Barkley rookie.

This set is famous for the Michael Jordan rookie but is stacked with amazing rookie cards.  There was a gap in mainstream basketball card production with the 1981-82 Topps set being the last one prior to this set.  That set, following up the Bird/Magic rookie year was highlighted by a Kevin McHale rookie card.  The 1986-87 set features rookies on 60 of its 132 cards and in addition to Jordan and Barkley showcases HOFers Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Joe Dumars, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Hakeem Olajuwon, Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins and James Worthy and other notable rookies like Manute Bol, Larry Nance  and Spud Webb.  What a set!

I bought a pack of this for a few dollars years and years ago that in hindsight was probably searched, my top card was a Tom Chambers rookie card.

So why this card as my favorite.  First, when I started collecting Sir Charles, I seriously thought this card was out of reach.  I really like the design of these cards with the red, white an blue borders and in Barkley's case an awesome action shot right after a slam dunk.  The backs are pretty simple and looks similar to Fleer baseball cards of the 80s.  Today this definitely fits the bill as my favorite hoops card.

Monday, June 8, 2020

McCovey Monday - 1980 Souvenir Scoresheet

I have been having fun trying to add new items to my Willie McCovey collection that are not cards.  His vintage cards that I need are either super rare (and if I can find them they are pretty costly) or parallels and hits from 2001 forward (I find it hard to pay good money for a cards /25 when I have the /100 and the /10 already).  The main thing I am looking for are vintage items with photos of Willie Mac, ideally pictures I haven't seen before.

I set up a search for magazines and publications on eBay and have picked up a few cool things that I plan to show in the coming weeks.  Today I thought I would start with a unique item, it was the first time I had ever seen it and when I purchased it there weren't any others on sale.

This is a scorecard from the Willie McCovey Old Timers Game played at Candlestick Park on 9/20/80.
This is the front of the scorecard and measures about 6 1/4" X 9 1/4".  It features an awesome photo of Seals Stadium, the original home of the SF Giants and a cool photo of Stretch in the follow through of his swing with his retired #44 and last name in full view.  He played his last game for the Giants on July 6th, 1980 so they must have rushed to put this together.

A quick side note, I saw Willie's 5th to the last game in person on June 29th at Candlestick.  He hit a pinch hit double against the Dodgers to drive in a walk off run in what would be his last extra base hit, his last 3rd to the last RBI and second to the last hit.  It was pretty wild.

The back shows the box score of a game on 7/30/59 which is Willie's famous debut against Robin Roberts where he went 4 for 4 with 2 triples.   There are also nice round photos of the Giants' starting lineup and manager circling a larger picture of McCovey.

The inside of the scorecard is pretty neat as well:

Not only does it have a place to keep score, the sides highlight players that I assume were playing in the Oldtimer's game.  It appears they were able to drum up the same starting lineup from his debut game in 1959 to play against some other former players including Robin Roberts.  I would have loved to see this game.

Stay tuned for some other vintage McCovey stuff.  While they are a little more challenging to scan/photo for the blog, they are super cool to collect and look at.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

The Joy of a Completed Vintage Oddball Set - 1961 Golden Press

Since I wasn't posting around the first of the year, I never listed my hobby goals on the blog, however one January day I did list out some 2020 Collection Focuses.  I like to do this because I have a bunch of different interests in my card collection and by making a list it gives me a reference to look back on when I am doing some shopping. 

I have a list of 8 sets I am hoping to finish in 2020.  Most of these had fairly small want lists and I have recently gotten the cards to finish off 3 of these sets.  Today I am going to share the 1961 Golden Press set.  The final card I needed to finish this off was card #3 Babe Ruth.

This is a 33-card set of standard card size. The 1961 Golden Press set features full color cards and all of the players are members of Baseball's Hall of Fame. The cards came in a booklet with perforations for punching the cards out of the book. The price of the full intact book is fairly pricey but overall I found this set to be pretty affordable. I tried to look for cards in pretty nice condition but as you will see I wasn't too picky.

I really enjoy oddball cards and this set has that going for it.  Additionally, I love the artwork on these cards, they are well done and very colorful.  Any set featuring Hall of Famers is great in my book.  The backs feature nice write ups about some career highlights and a listing of some key career stats.  I found this write up pretty timely as the following year the Ruth's "most famous record" would no longer exist.

Here is the set in all its glory:

Awesome looking set and pretty nice checklist, huh?

Friday, June 5, 2020

7 Day Trading Card Challenge #3

Time to get back on the horse and get a post up.

As a reminder, Tim over at Cardpocalypse put together this 7 Day Trading Card Challenge and here is the whole list:

I am up to #3, the favorite football card in my collection.  My collection is a majority baseball but I do have my fair share of football cards and football card pursuits.  As a graduate of USC, collecting former Trojan football players was my first team collection, a few years before starting my Giants collection in earnest.

I am have a solid number of sets in my football card collection.  I have decided to go after a lifetime Topps football card collection from my birth year of 1971 up through 2015 when Topps stopped producing football cards.  I am waiting for my last group of 1977 cards from COMC to finish off that set and that will leave me only lacking 1993 and 1994 for a run from 1977-2015.  I am also about 10 cards short of the 1971 set and under 20 cards from completing Series 1 & 2 of the 1972 set.  I haven't looked hard but it seems Series 3 in football is even worse than the high series of 72 Topps baseball.  The lowest priced complete set is about $3.5K on eBay and you can get the lower 2 series for under $400 so that high series will be a beast to collection. 

I have shared my 49er collection where I am looking to pick up all the Topps, Bowman, Fleer and Philadelphia base and insert cards.  I also collect a few non-USC players in Dwight Clark, Roger Craig and Fred Dean and a small collection of Kenny Stabler.  I share all this to illustrate that I have a lot of football cards to pick from to find my favorite.

I think my pick for this could differ depending on the day but when I was giving thought to which card to pick my mind went immediately to my Ronnie Lott collection.  Ronnie was a Trojan and a 49er and I had a chance to meet him in the mid-80s at the height of his Niner career during training camp in Rocklin, CA.  I had a few cards in mind but when I was flipping through my Lott binders I decided on this card:

I prefer on card autos and this isn't the cleanest Lott auto in my collection but I just love this card.  He isn't featured in his USC uniform on that many cards and I love the College Greats theme.  This card has a great SC logo on both sides and is low numbered to just 20 copies.  I hunted this card down and negotiated with the seller like crazy to add it to my collection and got what I thought at the time was a good deal.  I think the fun of the chase adds to my liking of this card and for today it is my favorite.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

7 Day Trading Card Challenge #2

Time to tackle Challenge #2, a card from 2020 with a unique photo.

As a reminder, Tim over at Cardpocalypse put together this 7 Day Trading Card Challenge and here is the whole list:


I haven't bought a ton of new cards this year, some retail Topps Series 1, a few packs of Donruss and a Topps Opening Day set with inserts.  Somewhat slim pickings, I wish that Stadium Club was out already as it always has great photo selections.  My mind instantly went to the Opening Day set I got last week and especially the Spring Has Sprung inserts.  However, I showed 5 of those cards in my post and while there were some other great photos in that set I decided to go in another direction.

This nice looking card is from a different Opening Day insert set, Team Traditions and Celebrations.  For some reason the Giants don't seem to get featured in too many of these sets, never a mascot card and rarely featured as a team in Opening Day inserts.  this year was different, they actually got 2 cards in this small set, this Mays statue card and one of a cable car at the stadium.

I picked this as my unique card as it brings back great memories for me.  This Willie Mays statue is right out front the main entrance of Oracle Park (I fondly remember it as Pac Bell Park, its first name upon opening).  This is always my meeting point when I connect with friends for a game.  Any while my favorite player of all time Willie McCovey also has a statue it is located out near McCovey Cove in right field.  It is always worth a walk to go see it but this Mays statue is iconic and it isn't every day that a statue is featured on a baseball card.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

7 Day Trading Card Challenge #1

Tim over at Cardpocalypse has laid down a 7 Day Trading Card Challenge and while I certainly won't cover it over 7 consecutive days, I think I am going to give it a go and hopefully get through all the steps.

Here are the 7 different challenges:


Today I have been challenged to share my favorite card acquired during the quarantine.

When I saw this topic, the first card that came to mind was this:

This is my first Topps Project 2020 art card.  When I saw the first few cards come out I wasn't sure they were going to be my cup of tea.  I wouldn't call myself an art connoisseur and the first one I saw that possibly would fit into my collection was an artistic rendering of a 1952 Willie Mays.  The card didn't excite or inspire me.  A few days later I saw this Rickey Henderson rookie rendition come up on and instantly liked it.  I am a Rickey collector and think his rookie card is one of the best in the history of the hobby and this one was close enough to the original (not all of these are) for me but different enough where I wanted a copy. 

However with all the craziness about these Project 2020 cards and the crazy prices they are going for won't allow me in good conscious to pick a card from this set as my favorite.  If you aren't familiar, this card that I got for under $20 delivered when it was released, is now for sale of $300+.  I also picked up the second one when it was released but I am done with these.

Let's look at my real favorite card pickup during quarantine:

This is a 1972 Topps Joe Morgan high number and it finished off my 1972 Topps set and therefore finished off my lifetime Topps run.  It was actually one of a lot of cards I got to finish off my set but this was the last card in the package and will ever be remembered as the card that finished my set.

I am still on cloud nine about finishing the set and suspect it will be my favorite hobby accomplishment of the year.

Time to dig into the few 2020 cards I have so far to find a card for Challenge #2.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Baseball Book Review - From Ghetto to Glory by Bob Gibson

I set a goal this year to read 52 books, one per week.  I have done this in past years with some success and some failure.  I noticed the last couple years I hadn't read too many books despite enjoying reading a lot.  To me it is a great way to take my mind off everything else that is going on in my life and around me and just immerse myself in a story.

I read all kinds of books.  I believe this is my 15th book review on the blog so obviously sports books are in the rotation.  I actually have a pretty nice sports book collection, maybe I will share it some day with a video or some photos.  I also like non-fiction books, with my favorites being biographies/autobiographies and historical fiction.  I have read quite a few presidential bios.  I also read quite a bit of fiction with Stephen King, John Grisham, Tom Clancy and Jonathan Kellerman being among my favorites.

This week I finished up my 14th book of the year - From Ghetto to Glory, The Story of Bob Gibson by Bob Gibson and Phil Pepe.  Since we are 21 weeks into the year my goal is probably not going to happen.  You would think the pandemic would have helped out but it actually cut into my reading quite a bit.  All work travel was cancelled and I typically read at airports, on airplanes and in hotel rooms.  My TV rarely gets turned on in a hotel, it is either a book or Netflix on the iPad.

I picked up From Ghetto to Glory at a garage sale last year.  While Royals fans are definitely the majority here in the KC area, the Cards have quite a few fans just playing across the state of Missouri from KC.  I didn't own a book on Gibson nor had a read one so when I saw it for $1 it was a pretty easy decision to pick it up.  I am glad I did, it was a really good read.

This book was written right after the Cardinals won the 1967 World Series which was also right before Bob Gibson's dominant 1968 season - some argue the best season ever.  A quick Amazon search shows he also wrote an autobiography in 1994 which obviously would cover all of his career and more of his life but I am very happy to have read this book.

Gibson shares some first hand accounts of what it was like to grow up in the era that he did as an African-American, sharing stories of hardships in his life.  I have heard accounts talking about his level of bitterness and some reviews show that may have come through in his more recent biography. I found his stories in From Ghetto to Glory informative, lacking anger and sharing some interesting context about how society existed in this time prior to my birth.  I learned and better understand what our country and baseball was like in the 1960s.

There is great baseball content in here as well.  He talks in detail about how he approached pitching and went through a pretty long list of NL hitters and shared how he approached them. It is cool to think that he had some much talent and confidence that he didn't care to outline his game plan in writing in the middle of his career.

The writing style is easy to read and at 200 pages it isn't a long one but it was very enjoyable.  Something else I really liked about this book were the photographs that were inserted throughout the book.  They are all in black and white and just really cool pictures.  I will share a few - my pictures aren't the best from my phone but you should still be able to see how nice they are.

Showing off how he grips different pitches

Celebrating a World Series Title

Facing Off Against Future Teammate Roger Maris in the World Series
I would strongly recommend this book if you can get your hands on a copy.  It is a pretty quick read, very entertaining and educational and the pictures are the icing on the cake. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

A Sign of Things to Come?

One of my annual traditions is buying a hobby box of Topps Opening Day, cracking it open and building the base and insert sets.  The box is cheap and I usually pull a full base set out of a box.  From there building the insert sets is generally pretty affordable, most of the cards can be picked up for 18 cents on Sportlots.  I sell on Sportlots and typically flip the money I make in sales on cards to add to my collection, an odd but effective way of trading.

This year with the lock down my LCS was closed when Opening Day was released.  They eventually started doing curbside pickups but I didn't think a box of Opening Day was worth the trip.  The first weekend they opened back up I made a trip hoping to pick up a box and they were sold out.  The owner indicated they were very hot this year and he didn't think he could get anymore in at a reasonable price.  This is the lowest of the low end, what is going on?

Fast forward a week to this past weekend and I decided I wanted to pick up some retail Bowman.  I knew that hobby prices were going crazy so a blaster or two of Bowman would scratch that pack ripping itch.  I stopped by my local Targets and Walmarts throughout the Memorial Day weekend and there were none to be found.  A little reading on Facebook led me to discover that people were buying up and buying out all the Bowman retail and reselling them at crazy prices.

I am not sure where this hobby will settle but right now it is a little too crazy for me.  New products are selling at ridiculous prices.  Trout rookies are worth more than vintage Mantle and Ruth cards.  Topps Online cards sell for $20 then 2 weeks later are reselling for hundreds.  I am going to refocus my buying habits on some of the things that aren't spiking out of control and hope some of the other stuff stabilizes at a reasonable level.

I shared in an earlier post that I was going to forego building a Topps flagship set this year but realized that my crazy retail purchasing got me to within 70 cards of the Series 1 set and that I had all the main rookies.  I made a post on Facebook to see if I could pick them up from someone and a guy offered me all 70 for the low low price of $40 delivered.  A quick look on eBay showed me I could get the entire set for about $25 delivered.  I had to pass.  (BTW, if you have Series 1 laying around check out my want list and let's make a trade). 

Let's circle back to the start of this post with 2020 Topps Opening Day.  Apparently there must be some chase cards that people are doing after because after my failed attempt at a hobby box I found a full set including the 5 insert sets for $34 delivered - about the price of a box.  It wasn't as fun as ripping packs and seeking out inserts through purchases and trades but it did fill a collection want for me and saved me a few bucks.

Here is an overview of all the cards I picked up in my purchase:

I decided not to share much of this set since it came out quite a ways back but I had to showcase the first 5 cards in the Spring Has Sprung insert set - the photos are awesome and ones I don't ever recall seeing.

I really hope this is a temporary shift in the hobby but I have a sneaking suspicion that
we will see some lasting changes.  Any thoughts on the state of the hobby?

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Topps Giant Vintage Pickups

I thought I was in my "new normal" but over the last couple weeks I have been in a little funk. 

My job has been very busy, in addition to my normal work (now being done virtually) I am also on my company's task force to help set up new guidelines on when and how we will emerge from this pandemic and start repopulating our physical offices.   I am grateful to be working but this task force work is requiring me to work until 6 or 7 PM a couple nights a week (the joy of working in the Midwest for a West Coast based company!).

It isn't unusual for me to work long hours, I am actually probably working a bit less when you take into account that I don't have to travel and be away from home.  The challenge has been the fact that I work all day in my basement room, the same room that I use for my card collecting and blogging.  Initially I enjoyed being surrounded in my collection all day but lately I don't want anything to do with my card room after work hours, hence little time with my hobby and no blogging.

I decided to take last Friday off to give myself a 4 day weekend to separate and recharge.  I also hoped to pound out a few blog posts and get back in the routine.  Good news, it was a great break from work and I feel recharged.  Bad news, stayed mostly away from the card room and no blog posts were crafted.

Today I got some cards in the mail (by the time you read this it will have been yesterday) and I immediately wanted to share them in a blog post.  Don't know why, it is nothing epic or earth-shattering.  I was just excited to share them.  Hopefully this starts a trend, we'll see.

I was checking out a couple of card collecting groups on Facebook and saw someone with a big stack of 1964 Topps Giant cards.  This is an insert set I recently started collecting by picking up a big lot from a different guy on Facebook.   I shot the guy a PM with my want list and he responded back quickly that I was down the line and he was going in the order that people contacted him.  I figured I was too late and forget about it.

A day or two later he hit me back up with a PM and a picture of 14 cards that I needed for my set.  I told him I was interested and he him me back with an offer of $60 delivered and I didn't even counter.  If you aren't familiar with the set, it is 60 cards in length.  The cards are pretty affordable with a couple exceptions.  There are 7 short prints and 2 of them are stars in Sandy Koufax and Willie Mays.  There are also Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente and Hank Aaron in the set.  Most of the other stars aren't too bad to pick up so my love of insert sets, vintage and affordability collided and this is now a set I am going after.

With these 14 cards that you see below, and 3 cards on their way from COMC, my want list is down to 12 cards including all 5 of the expensive cards I called out above.  I am sure I will slowly pick those off to complete the set and I already have these oversized cards sitting in a binder in 4-pocket pages waiting to be finished off. 

Here are the cards I just picked up:
A Pair of HOF Pitchers

A Pair of HOF Braves

Hoot and Killer

Cha-Cha and Yaz to finish off a HOF run

A Pair of Great and Underrated Hitters

The Friend is One of Seven SPs

Finishing it Off with 2 More SPs
I am very happy with these pick ups and happy to share them with you. Hope to be back with some more cards to share soon.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

An Epic Milestone

My collecting roots were founded in set collecting and even as I have expanded into player collections and team collections the mentality of a set collector followed.  I look to finish up team sets of different products and all the cards from particular sets for some of the players.  If I had to give a generalized summary of my collecting approach it would be "I collect card sets".

One of the goals I made quite a number of years ago was to collect all the Topps sets in my lifetime.  I started collecting in 1979 and had the sets from that point forward.  I had also completed the 1978 set when I was younger after buying a vending box of 500 cards for $40 to start it off.  My task was to complete the sets from 1971-1977 to finish my lifetime Topps run.

I bought the 1974 set in its entirety and got an almost full set of 1977.  I bought a big lot of 1976 and built the rest.  I had picked up a bunch of the star cards from 1975 as it was one of my favorite sets so it didn't take me too long to piece that one together.  When I was building the 1973 set my LCS broke up a nice set of 1970 Topps and offered me a great deal to pick up a ton of the high number and was nice enough to allow me to make payments over a few months to stay within my collecting budget.  While the 1970 set was prior to my birth, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to pick up the cards I did at the  price.

After finishing the 1973 set, I just needed 1971 and 1972 sets to finish my quest.  The 71 set didn't take all that long, especially since I wasn't too worried about the black edges and corners being pristine.  Some of the high numbers were a bit difficult and pricey but overall not too bad.

Then came the 1972 set.  If you aren't familiar, it is a beast.  There are 787 cards that were released in 6 different series.  The 5th series is somewhat tough but the last 131 cards form the last series and they are rare and pretty expensive.  While I have a pretty solid budget each month to spend on cards I do feel I am very cheap and seek out low prices on cards. 

With the 72 high numbers there are rarely low prices and at one point I actually gave up trying to complete the set.  For a couple years I set goals to knock of large portions of the set and I got down to only needing cards from the last series.  I wasn't willing to spend the time to seek out low priced cards and wasn't willing to spend the budget to pay higher prices so I threw my hands up and ended the quest.

I so enjoy set building and was so disenfranchised by the 1972 set that I built the entire 1969 Topps set and started the 1957 Topps set instead of going after those dreaded high numbers.

After a pretty long gap one day I just decided to put on my big boy pants and focus on completing the set.  I have slowly been picking up cards, some on COMC, some on eBay, a few at my LCS and a few at card shops when I traveled for work.  I started spending more time on Facebook and found some there as well.

Recently I received this last batch of cards and I can now say that I have completed the set!

Someone saw me respond to a Facebook post and sent me a message saying he thought he could finish off my set for me.  We worked out a price and he realized that one of the cards he had pulled had some hidden damage.  He was nice enough to seek out another copy and send me the cards.  It made it take a while longer but what would this set quest be without another twist.

I thought about holding off on posting this for a while because I technically don't possess all the cards.  I have 14 cards sitting in my COMC account.  Right as the pandemic was heating up I requested shipment of my cards but they have really been delayed on getting orders out.  COMC has been reliable for me and I decided to call this one complete.  I am so excited to have this full set!!!

So what is next for this set builder?  I am still working on 1957 Topps and have decided to go after the 1968 set.  I had quite a few 68s and picked up a couple lots so as of right now I only need 221 of the 598 cards in the set.  It doesn't have the same huge issues with high numbers so I hope to complete it sometime next year.  I don't know if I have it in me to go after the 1967 set with the high number issues there so we will have to see what is in store.

For now I will just celebrate my Lifetime Run of Topps Cards!

Friday, May 8, 2020

1958 Topps 49er Team Set

One of my plans when I decided to start collecting vintage 49ers was to chart and document my progress in this blog by sharing each team set as it was completed.  When I was on my blogging hiatus I made some pretty good progress and didn't get a chance to showcase some of the team sets I completed.  Slowly but surly I am hoping to catch up and share my team sets.

Today I decided to share the oldest set I have completed to date, 1958 Topps.  This is a set that is similar in design to the 1959 Topps baseball set with the player picture featured in an oval surrounded by a colorful border.  I have completed both the 1958 football and 1959 football sets but build these team sets separate from my complete sets.

The Niners set includes a team card and 10 player cards.  Three of the player cards feature rookies, R.C. Owens, Marv Matuzsak and Matt Hazeltine.  Of those players I would rate Owens as the top player, he was a halfback which was a receiver position back then.  He earned the nickname Alley Oop and was a top 10 receiver in 2 of his 7 seasons.

Here is a look at the 49er team set:

The 49ers had some star power on this team with a few HOFers: Tittle, Nomellini, Perry, and McElhenny.  They finished the 1957 season at 8-4 and made the playoffs and followed that up in 1958 with a 6-6 record in 1958.

You may wonder what the "S" and "R" are stamped on the back of some of those cards.  Those are cards that came from the collection my dad gave me from his youth.  My dad and uncle share the same first letter of their first name and my dad was called Smitty so I am guessing the "R" was for my uncle's cards and the "S" for my dad - neither of them remember.  I am assuming there was a lack of trust between them.  Unfortunately my set build has quite a few cards with these stamps including the Jim Brown RC card - oh well not planning on selling the set anyway.

I have a couple 60s sets to still share and a bunch of 70s as well.  I am within striking distance of a few more 50s sets needing 4 cards for the 55 Bowman team set, 2 for 56 Topps, 4 for 57 Topps and 4 for 59 Topps.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Complete Set Showcase - 1987 Conlon Set - Part 3 of 3

Time to finish this set off.  This is part 3 of a 3 part series going through this very cool 1987 Conlon set.  As a reminder, here is a brief write-up about the set from  The second series of 60 Charles Martin Conlon standard-size sepia toned photo cards was produced by World Wide Sports in conjunction with The Sporting News. Reportedly 12,000 sets were produced. The photos were selected and background information written by Paul MacFarlane of The Sporting News.

If you want to look back at the first part of the set, you can check it out here.

The second part can be found here.

I decided to break this into 3 different posts and include 4 cards in each scan.  To add a little more that just show the cards, I thought I would share one fact I found interesting from reading the backs.  I hope you enjoy.

Favorite Fact -The Koenig card back tells an alternate explanation for Babe's called shot, I hadn't heard this version of the story.

Favorite Fact -Back in the early 1900s players had thin skin and did something about it.  I can't believe a guy would go into the opposing team's dugout, mid-game and punch someone out.  Funny that it was the wrong guy.

Favorite Fact -A dude named Hub owned Babe Ruth.  30 times up with 15 strikeouts - I wouldn't have guessed someone did so well against the Babe.

Favorite Fact -The Ernie shore no-hitter/perfect game in relief of Babe Ruth is a great story but one I had heard before.  I like the fact that Amos Rusie was able to transition from the 50' mound to the 60'6" distance and still be a strong pitcher.

Favorite Fact -I had no idea the great George Sisler came up as a pitcher and certainly didn't know he outdueled the great Walter Johnson.  I looked up his pitching record and he pitched in 15 games during his first season and a total of 24 games throughout his career.

There you have it, the entire 60 card set.  When I picked these cards up it was definitely for the awesome Conlon photography on the front.  In the end, I got a lot more enjoyment from the backs.  The stories, the nicknames and most important (and impressive) the writing made these card backs a joy.  Hope you enjoyed a look through the set.