December 30, 2019

My players from Decatur (and Central Illinois) baseball card frame

For years I laughed at these baseball card frames, mainly because they are typically pretty expensive ($40 without a discount) and always had such garbage junk wax cards inside demonstrating how the frame worked. I wonder if they left the plastic cases blank if more people would be interested. Or better yet, get reprints of some of the most famous cards ever issued to inspire the collector inside everyone.

Also, you might notice that I have ditched the plastic cases that came with the frame because the cards have a tendency to slip around. As an alternative I have substituted vintage-size toploaders instead and although they move around a little more in the frame, the cards are much easier to switch out which I plan to do often. This isn't a finished piece but will change over time.

A 50 percent Michael's coupon brought this frame into my life this Christmas as a present to myself and I decided to make it a Decatur, Illinois-area focused piece of art.

Top row is Bill Madlock who graduated from Eisenhower High School here in the Soy City. It features his 1974 Topps rookie and some other favorites including a 1977 Topps cloth and his shared 1977 batting leaders card with George Brett.

Row two is St. Teresa graduate Del Unser who has a great rookie card in 1969 Topps and has some fun Canadian issued cards from his days with the Expos from 1976-1978.

Row three is Chuck Dressen who probably had the most memorable career of any athlete from Decatur. Dressen was a member of the Chicago Bears when they were still located in Decatur before the team moved to Chicago and he went on to manage the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1951-1953.

Row four includes Decatur-area players Walter Beck, Hobie Landrith, Roe Skidmore, and Brett Robinson, who didn't make it to the majors but had some great minor league cards while in the Cubs organization. Roe Skidmore is one of 10 players that has a perfect 1.000 career batting average after recording a hit in his one at-bat in a game during the 1970 season. 

October 30, 2019

1974 San Diego Padres/Washington Senators Needs List

Like my 1962 Topps green tint project, I've also always loved the San Diego Padres/Washington Senators errors included in the 1974 Topps set. As a sports writer, I know the temptation to print something you are sure is going to happen as a fact but can't be 100 percent sure about. If you take the chance, it could come back and bite you just as it did to Topps.

Here's the back story:

Original Padres owner C. Arnholt Smith conditionally sold the team to Joseph Danzansky who wanted to move the team to Washington D.C. One of the conditions of the sale was that the new owners had to figure out the stadium situation which meant breaking the 20-year lease the Padres had with San Diego Stadium.

Lawsuits ensued and as Padres fans were up in arms about the sale, McDonald's tycoon Ray Kroc was able to purchase the team our from under Danzansky for $12 million dollars instead (the Marlins were purchased for $1.3 billion dollars in 2018 by comparison). 

In the middle of all this, Topps was producing its 1974 Topps set and went ahead and used "Washington" and "Nat'l Lea." for the team and city for the Padres' players, most famously with Willie McCovey's card.  It made for another memorable set of Topps' error cards that reminds us that nobody's perfect.

1974 San Diego Padres/Washington Senators Needs List

Updated: 10-27-19

32a Johnny Grubb VAR: San Diego
32b Johnny Grubb VAR: Washington

53a Fred Kendall VAR: San Diego
53b Fred Kendall VAR: Washington

77a Rich Troedson VAR: San Diego
77b Rich Troedson VAR: Washington

102a Bill Greif VAR: San Diego
102b Bill Greif VAR: Washington

125a Nate Colbert VAR: San Diego
125b Nate Colbert VAR: Washington

148a Dave Hilton VAR: San Diego
148b Dave Hilton VAR: Washington

173a Randy Jones VAR: San Diego
173b Randy Jones VAR: Washington

197a Vicente Romo VAR: San Diego
197b Vicente Romo VAR: Washington

226a San Diego Padres VAR: San Diego
226b Washington "Nat'l Lea." VAR: Washington

241a Glenn Beckert VAR: San Diego
241b Glenn Beckert VAR: Washington

250a Willie McCovey VAR: San Diego
250b Willie McCovey VAR: Washington

309a Dave Roberts VAR: San Diego
309b Dave Roberts VAR: Washington

364a Clarence Gaston VAR: San Diego
364b Clarence Gaston VAR: Washington

387a Rich Morales VAR: San Diego
387b Rich Morales VAR: Washington

599a Rookie Pitchers - Ron Diorio / Dave Freisleben / Frank Riccelli / Greg Shanahan VAR: Washington
599b Rookie Pitchers - Ron Diorio / Dave Freisleben / Frank Riccelli / Greg Shanahan VAR: Large print
599c Rookie Pitchers - Ron Diorio / Dave Freisleben / Frank Riccelli / Greg Shanahan VAR: Small print

September 29, 2019

Joy of the Completed Insert Set: 2013 Topps Cut to the Chase Inserts

I really enjoyed the glow-in-the-dark inserts in Topps Opening Day from a few years ago but I think my favorite fairly recent insert set has been the 48 Cut to the Chase cards that were included in 2013 Topps Series 1 and 2. Each series got 24 cards of die-cut chromed goodness and they did a great job of including stars without too many misses (sorry Brett Lowrie).

I actually finished the set in March but didn't get them in pages until recently and realized that I had misplaced Paul Molitor's card No. 5. That was the first one of the set that I had and scanned it for my needs list post and since then it has vanished. A quick order later and I have a second Molitor to finally give me the Joy of the Completed Set! 

Here are all 48 cards: 

September 23, 2019

My card sorting buddy or my 2019 Topps Allen and Ginter Collectible Canines Minis Needs List

I always love the Allen and Ginter dog mini cards even though over the years the cards have gotten a little repetitive. This year I added my own Collectible Canine, my dog Scarlett who we got from a shelter in Georgia when my wife and I lived there. She's a little neurotic especially when the mail lady delivers the mail or she sees a squirrel in the back yard.

But I can always count on her to help me sort some cards, especially when I put the cards where she wants to sleep.

2019 Topps Allen and Ginter Collectible Canines Minis Needs List

Last updated: 8-18-19

CC-1 Beagle
CC-2 Boxer
CC-3 Vizsla
CC-4 German Shepherd
CC-5 Siberian Husky
CC-6 Golden Retriever
CC-7 Great Dane
CC-8 Borzoi
CC-9 Dachshund
CC-10 Black Labrador
CC-11 English Bulldog
CC-12 English Springer Spaniel
CC-13 Rhodesian Ridgeback
CC-14 Papillon
CC-15 Yellow Labrador
CC-16 Chihuahua
CC-17 French Bulldog
CC-18 Bernese Mountain Dog
CC-19 Corgi
CC-20 Bullmastiff
CC-21 Weimaraner
CC-22 Shih Tzu
CC-23 West Highland Terrier
CC-24 Boston Terrier
CC-25 Maltese

2018 Topps Allen and Ginter Baseball Equipment of the Ages Needs List

2018 Topps Allen and Ginter Baseball Equipment of the Ages Needs List

Updated: 9-23-19

BEA-1 Vintage Glove
BEA-2 "The Catch" Glove
BEA-3 Modern Glove
BEA-4 Vintage Bat
BEA-5 Modern Bat
BEA-6 Early Catcher's Mask
BEA-7 Modern Catcher's Mask
BEA-8 Batting Gloves
BEA-9 Vintage Catcher's Mitt
BEA-10 Modern Catcher's Mitt
BEA-11 Vintage Baseball
BEA-12 Modern Baseball
BEA-13 Catcher's Chest Protector
BEA-14 Flip-Up Sunglasses
BEA-15 Vintage Cleats
BEA-16 Modern Cleats
BEA-17 Baseball Donut
BEA-18 Fungo Bat
BEA-19 Pitch Counter
BEA-20 Rosin Bag
BEA-21 Batting Shin Guards
BEA-22 Catching Shin Guards
BEA-23 Modern Baseball Sunglasses
BEA-24 Baseball Hat
BEA-25 Batting Helmet
BEA-26 Radar Gun
BEA-27 Bases
BEA-28 Eye Black
BEA-29 Baseball Sweater
BEA-30 Vintage Uniform

September 22, 2019

My dream jacket or my 1977 Topps Cloth Stickers needs list

One question I have always had about the 1977 Topps Cloth Sticker set was that did anyone ever take a nice sports jacket and stick a whole bunch of stickers on it and create a memorable Topps artifact? 

Topps used to make promotional videos for their new releases with a party atmosphere (they were called Rip Parties) at a card shop in Florida. They are the first videos on the Topps Digital YouTube page and were hosted by The Rip Master (who is also the owner of the card shop that hosted the videos). 

The Rip Master's blue jacket had packs attached to it and so it is probably as close as I can get to my dream of a cloth sticker ensemble. 

The 1977 Topps Cloth stickers set is made up of 55 cards that are mostly similar to their 1977 Topps main set counterparts. Although take look at good old Yaz's card in each set and you'll notice some photo cropping differences and an adjusted signature. 
The backs are also very different including instructions on how to use the stickers at the bottom of the cloth cards.

The checklist includes 55 player cards and two nine-card puzzle collections that feature the 1976 National and American League All-Star teams.  

1977 Topps Cloth Stickers Needs List

Last updated: 10-27-19

1. Alan Ashby, Toronto Blue Jays
2. Buddy Bell, Cleveland Indians SP

3. Johnny Bench, Cincinnati Reds
4. Vida Blue, Oakland Athletics
5. Bert Blyleven, Texas Rangers
6. Steve Braun, Seattle Mariners SP
7. George Brett, Kansas City Royals
8. Lou Brock, St. Louis Cardinals
9. Jose Cardenal, Chicago Cubs
10. Rod Carew, Minnesota Twins SP
11. Steve Carlton, Philadelphia Phillies
12. Dave Cash, Montreal Expos
13. Cesar Cedeno, Houston Astros SP
14. Ron Cey, Los Angeles Dodgers
15. Mark Fidrych, Detroit Tigers
16. Dan Ford, Minnesota Twins
17. Wayne Garland, Cleveland Indians
18. Ralph Garr, Chicago White Sox
19. Steve Garvey, Los Angeles Dodgers
20. Mike Hargrove, Texas Rangers
21. Jim Hunter, New York Yankees
22. Reggie Jackson, New York Yankees
23. Randy Jones, San Diego Padres
24. Dave Kingman, New York Mets SP
25. Bill Madlock, Chicago Cubs
26. Lee May, Baltimore Orioles SP
27. John Mayberry, Kansas City Royals
28. John Messersmith, Atlanta Braves
29. Willie Montanez, Atlanta Braves
30. John Montefusco, San Francisco Giants SP
31. Joe Morgan, Cincinnati Reds
32. Thurman Munson, New York Yankees
33. Bobby Murcer, San Francisco Giants
34. Al Oliver, Pittsburgh Pirates SP
35. Dave Pagan, Seattle Mariners
36. Jim Palmer, Baltimore Orioles SP
37. Tony Perez, Cincinnati Reds
38. Pete Rose, Cincinnati Reds SP
39. Joe Rudi, California Angels
40. Nolan Ryan, California Angels SP
41. Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia Phillies
42. Tom Seaver, New York Mets
43. Ted Simmons, St. Louis Cardinals
44. Bill Singer, Toronto Blue Jays
45. Willie Stargell, Pittsburgh Pirates
46. Rusty Staub, Detroit Tigers
47. Don Sutton, Los Angeles Dodgers
48. Luis Tiant, Boston Red Sox
49. Bill Travers, Milwaukee Brewers
50. Claudell Washington, Oakland Athletics
51. Bob Watson, Houston Astros
52. Dave Winfield, San Diego Padres
53. Carl Yastrzemski, Boston Red Sox
54. Robin Yount, Milwaukee Brewers
55. Richie Zisk, Chicago White Sox

AL Puzzle Upper-Left
AL Puzzle Upper-Center
AL Puzzle Upper-Right
AL Puzzle Middle-Left
AL Puzzle Middle-Center
AL Puzzle Middle-Right
AL Puzzle Bottom-Left
AL Puzzle Bottom-Center
AL Puzzle Bottom-Right

NL Puzzle Upper-Left
NL Puzzle Upper-Center
NL Puzzle Upper-Right
NL Puzzle Middle-Left
NL Puzzle Middle-Center
NL Puzzle Middle-Right
NL Puzzle Bottom-Left
NL Puzzle Bottom-Center
NL Puzzle Bottom-Right