Named after the ZeeNut series of west coast baseball cards from the first half of the 20th century, someone has recently been creating new mini-sized cards featuring all sort of former baseball stars. I say "someone" because Google searches haven't really given me the maker who is creating these cards. And with the licensing issues that baseball cards frequently run into, I can understand why the maker might want to stay anonymous for as long as possible.
The backside of the cards are sparse but include interesting personalized highlights and the look of the Cubs jersey at the time of their first year with the team which for Pafko is the 1943 home jersey.
When I started building my Pafko collection, it took me a bit to realize that there were some extra cards that I wasn't considering in getting my needs lists together. Mainly I'm talking about the Braves team cards that feature Pafko but were never really attributed to him on the list of cards that he is featured on. Reader Mike D. was at it again and recently sent me the 1959 Topps Milwaukee Braves team card and you can find Pafko seated in the front row, the third person in from the right. And unless I'm mistaken, I think that is Hank Aaron sitting next to him on his left side.
You might expect to have team details and statistics on the back of the team card, but instead you get a checklist of the fifth series of the 1959 set. My copy has a nice clean untouched checklist.
As I have procured most of the low hanging fruit of the available Pafko cards, now I'm building multiple copies of each and one of my favorite cards to find is the sealed 1952 Topps reprint that was given away at a Cubs game in 2001.
These are numbered out of 30,000 copies and my new copy is number 10,810/30,000.
I was able to add three more Pafko retrofractors from the 2002 Topps Super Teams set. These were referred to as "retrofractors" in the set but many of the people listing them on eBay don't realize the subtle difference from "refractor" so after I adjusted my regular eBay searches to include both terms I've had a lot more success in coming across these allusive numbered Pafko cards.
I'm not sure how many times it took me to notice the error on the back of this card which states Pafko was born in Endicott, New York which rather than Boyceville, Wisconsin. Doing a little research, it looks like Pafko's biography was crossed with teammate Johnny Logan who was born in Endicott in 1926.
Thanks again Mike for the cards! And if you happen to have any Andy Pafko cards you would like to part with, just leave me a comment on the blog.