One of the players I have been collecting the longest is Vida Blue. If I recall correctly it all started with Rickey Henderson followed quickly by Willie McCovey. Next I started adding Dave Winfield cards to my collection which was then followed by Jim Rice and Vida Blue. Rice was abandoned a couple years later but my quest for Vida Blue cards has continued.
Vida's rookie card was in the 1970 Topps set and he had player era cards through 1987. I have most of those missing just a few postcards and rare oddball issues. Blue played in the Senior League and had a few cards from there in the early 90s and also appeared in some of the oddball sets put out throughout the 90s. Fleer and Topps included him in some of the sets celebrating Super Teams, Great of the Games and post season success in the early 2000s. He was included in some of those annoying (to player collectors) sets that featured stamped and autographed buy-backs for both Donruss and Topps. Again, I have most of these cards minus the 1/1s and ultra rare cards.
From 2006 to 2010 he only made 1 appearance in a major release in Topps Triple Treads, I have his base and all the parallels minus the Sapphire /25 and the Platinum 1/1 but have yet to pick up one of the relics he shared with Reggie Jackson and Rollie Fingers (this is something I should rectify). He popped up in Limited in 2011, an unlicensed release where he had a numbered base card, jersey card and relic - all of which I was able to secure.
2012 and 2013 were great years for a Vida collector as he appeared in Topps Archives, Five Star, Triple Threads, Ginter, Gypsy Queen, Museum Collection, Tier One and Tribute. There are some gaps in my collection here as many of the hits are low numbered but it was really nice to add to my Vida collection. Since then he has only appeared in 2016 Prime Cuts and has completely disappeared from Topps releases. Topps has seemed to focus mainly on Hall of Famers but I have been disappointed that he hasn't been included at all.
I have a daily eBay search of Vida cards that pops up in my email inbox daily looking to fill some of the gaps in my collection and I was pleasantly surprised to see this card pop up a couple weeks back:
Topps included Vida in a Throwback Thursday release this year. There are weekly releases you can purchase on Topps.com that feature new cards on old designs, this one being the 1971 Topps basketball design. I think this is a great looking card and I picked one up from a 3rd party seller on eBay. It was the first new Topps card of Blue since 2013 and one of my first adds in a while.
What was really cool about this beyond having a new Vida card was that it started a minor Blue Wave of new cards I was able to add to my collection:
In addition to the new Topps card I have been able to add 3 new items to my Vida collection in the last week or two.
First up is this postcard. This wasn't totally new to me as two of them have been listed on Ebay for quite some time. I had them saved as a possible future purchase but the price magically got lowered right at the time the Blue Wave started. These were put out in connect to Ted Williams, there are 2 versions of Vida but this is only one I have seen. It happens to be autographed which is nice but wasn't necessary. I recognize Vida's auto but just in case, a COA was included with the postcard:
Next up is the oddball card I have never seen and know nothing about:
It looks to be an oddball from 1999 put out by International Sports Marketing and licensed by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni but not MLB. The front references the Campbell Soup Company and a Legands of Baseball Tour. This is part of a 13 card set, I would like to see a checklist of this set. I am super happy to have this card in my collection - it is great to add new cards and even better when I didn't even know they existed.
Next up is an oddball item that looks to be perhaps a placemat:
As you can see from the first photo, these are fairly large in size. It was put out by Home Federal Savings bank as a promo in the early 80s. I hadn't heard of this item either so it was great to add it to my collection. Luckily it came as a lot with several other Giants:
The Bob Knepper and Jack Clark are also from Home Federal Savings and as mentioned I didn't even know HFS had put out a set of these.
Now I do have a release from Eureka Federal Saving on my checklist and even have a copy of the Willie McCovey in my collection. The EFS release came out in 1980 and I was able to pick up 4 of these in this lot:
I am aware of 8 of these in the EFS checklist and with the McCovey I now have 5 of the 8 only missing Al Holland, John "The Count" Montefusco and Johnnie LeMaster. I would love finish off that team set and figure out how big the Home Federal Savings set is and how many are part of that.
After picking up perhaps 3-4 new Vida Blue cards in the last couple years, it was pretty awesome to bring 4 new items into the collection in the last couple weeks.