Monday, July 15, 2013

Variation....not my thang

Here we are again, two plus months after my last rendition.  I hope nobody has been on pins and needles waiting for the pining of a random collector.  Aside from the constant time consumers of kids, new job, travel, honey-do lists, etc, there are few things that give me peace when I have time to myself as do baseball cards.  With this post, I thought I'd switch things up a bit.  I've written about trades with fellow collectors that continue to this day, what I'd like to collect and finish and the "keeper" collection in my few posts.  I figured let's get into something that I have but don't need or a better term want in my collection. 

As I may have mentioned previously, I have a obsessive compulsive problem with my collection.  Or at least, so I'm told.  I don't stray into jerseys, bats, balls, or other memorabilia as there is only so much room I can dedicate to this hobby.  I'm fortunate enough to currently have a 12'x25' room where I store all of the stuff I've collected over the past 4+ decades.  Two eight foot tables filled on top with the unsorted and out going items; underneath the 100,000 card hockey collection that has collected nothing but dust for a decade.  Then there is the three wall shelving that holds the ever growing baseball card collection.  As I look to the future, I see some room for growth in the last couple of shelves.  Part of this space is filled with the random cards and other things that I really should look to pass on to someone that has an interest in such things.  I have over 5,000 of such cards filling space so if you have any desire for these, feel free to reach out and I can spend an hour going through them for some specific player or team.  This post is dedicated to those types of cards.

Let's start with the Say Hey Kid himself.  A card from the long ago decade of the 80's.  Card #24 of "The Willie Mays Story" first printing, mind you, from some company that goes by RGI.  They were so kind to include the names of the others pictured.  Whitey Ford and Tom Thresh of the NY Yankees from 1962.  Yes, it says Thresh.  Apparently, editors were too much for this company so they went about their business with reckless abandon.
Next up....the Wizard.  This 2"x2" piece of cardboard is from our friends at Fantastic Sam's.  There is an entry form to the superstar sweepstakes that has a grand prize of 4 tickets to a 1988 championship game.  It doesn't really say in what sport.  Maybe a 1988 high school wrestling championship within 20 miles of the winners home.  Not that there's anything wrong with wrestling.  What I find even more humorous is first prize.  Win a Pro player for a day.  Yes, your very own pro player for a day.  Again, I'm sure the word "Pro" is used liberally in this contest so one never knows who you would win.  But in any form or fashion, you have them for the entire day.  Maybe you could have used them to help with the laundry or mow the lawn. 
Now joining the parade, Mr October.  Nothing better than the than the thought of a Quaker Chewy Granola Bar and Reggie.  This was a few years past the REGGIE bar craze, but still...a granola bar?  The late 80's brought out anyone willing to buy some paper and plaster a picture of a baseball player on it to make a buck.  It only made sense as everything produced in those years were somehow tied to baseball cards.  You can't go 50 feet in any direction and not find a late 80's baseball card, can you?  And speaking of an 80's baseball card from those that really speak to the baseball world.....
Yes, the "You look Mahvelous"....ooops sorry, wrong Fernando.  But a True Value, it surely is.  I love the MLB logo and name of the Los Angeles Dodgers but please, don't use the logo on the hat.  That's just not acceptable.  Let's just make it airbrush blue.  He does look marvelous though, doesn't he?  Just for the sake of time and space, here are a few more gems from the magical era of the 80's; pre-steroids of course.  No MLB logo to be found, but the team emblems are there for all to see.  I wonder if any lawsuits came of this?  I'm not talking about the Clemens posterior injection kind either. 

I did go back a few years for this next one.  But still I wonder what market they really thought would buy their product for the cards.
Lefty as we knew and loved him, just squeaking in his 300th win to finish the 1983 season.  He also squeaked in his 200th loss, in case you're not paying attention at home.  Ralston Purina???  Pure marketing genius.  Puppy Chow and baseball cards.  It just rolls off the tongue.  Hand in hand.  Laurel and Hardy, Batman and Robin, Lennon and McCartney.  At least Topps had their name sprawled across the front of this one to give some credence.
As we wind down, at least we're getting back into the realm of baseball.  Bazooka, yes thank you.  Baseball and bubble gum.  George "Pine Tar" Brett.  He was a hitting machine back in the day and he did chew gum for a good portion of his career.  Maybe had we not moved into the tobacco era, things would have been different.  Yeah, probably not.  I guy can dream can't he?  And now....drum-roll please.....the finale.....
Did you notice the name of this blog?  This is the name sake of the little guy in the picture with me.  No collection would be complete without the Ryan Express.  However, Donruss tried to join in with the Coca-Cola company in 1992 with a set 26 cards that highlighted the career of this legendary player.  Problem was, he was still on the mound.  Did I miss the update version set of 4 that completed the 30 card set?  Didn't think so.

For what it's worth, these are a snippet of what I have that to me are quality cards that have accumulated over the years of buying massive lots.  But I am a completionist for the mainstream sets not the oddball card just to fill space.  Do some of these get set aside for the personal collection, of course.  There are some Ryan Express and Mr Jeter cards that will have their own place.  But the thousands that sit in one of three dark 3200 count boxes, are just waiting to be appreciated more than they have been.  Bring them into the light and give them some air.  They can be a fine addition to any collection.