So I got me some of them ’89 Upper Deck cards

3 08 2009

One of the tougher aspects of blogging without time is that you sometimes plan out a post, upload images, and get ready to talk about the cards and then find yourself forced to be doing something else instead. Then a week later you stumble back on the images and wonder what you were going to talk about in the first place.

For example, I’ve got some 1989 Upper Deck cards that I’ve scanned and added to a post, but have no idea why I chose some of the ones I did. I know the overall idea was to celebrate the fact that my 89 Upper Deck wantlists have gone from “inquire” (meaning I needed a heckuva lot) to an actual list. That’s gotta make things easier on you generous folks, right? And if you are working on your set, then maybe we could, you know, trade or something.

Here’s a few of my more recent acquisitions in the quest for 89 Upper Deck:


So young.  So small.  He really seemed to bulk up in the later years, didn’t he?


I like the look on Darrell’s face here.  One of quiet emotion.  One of a man who went from leading the league in home runs in 1985 to struggling to top .200 and prove he still deserves a chance to play in 1988.  One who’s just been told his only option for baseball in 1989 was the then lowly Atlanta Braves.


Why did I scan “the Kip?”  I have no earthly idea.  Seems like a waste not to include it now.


This obviously would give me reason to mention Rickey’s HOF speech.  Instead I’ll mention how jealous of my brother I was back in the 80’s when he had a Rickey rookie and I didn’t.  And when I think 1981 Topps, his card is the first image that springs to mind.  That was a great looking card.


If you don’t have a Dale Murphy reverse negative card, you can write a letter to Richard McWilliam and he may print one up for you.  And if you haven’t read the book Card Sharks, you probably should.  The chapter on Bob Eubanks is classic.


Two cards that show players at the height of exertion.  I had no idea Yount was so ripped.  Yount is also the answer to the trivia question “Who is the first player elected to the hall in a Brewer’s uniform?”  If you win a free drink with that, poor a little out for me.


And finally, one of my favorites of the whole set, Orlando Mercado.  A man so busy playing 18 games in 1988 that Upper Deck only had one shot to capture his image on film, so they had two photographers snap two different angle shots of him at the same time.  Or perhaps they got a wax statue of the guy instead.  Wikipedia says Mercado, “became a local star for his play in the Portland Beavers Triple-A franchise in the late 1980s,”  but doesn’t back that claim up.  Anyone know why?

So there you have a few too many ’89 Upper Deck cards.  If you need a few more, send me your wantlists and I’ll be happy to look.


Which Juan would you choose?

28 05 2009


Based on memory alone, the currently fantasy relevant Juan Rivera is the only player I pulled from my first two packs of both Upper Deck and Topps.  I’m not blown away by either of them, but I think I’m giving the edge to Topps on the picture alone.  Upper Deck gets partial credit for not damaging this one in the factory before putting it in the pack, though.

So, which Juan would you choose?

Nicest card nominee, 1979 division

3 05 2009


At some point, I’ll stop posting on 1979 Topps, but that’s all I seem to win these days.  But really, would you want to miss out on this card?

The ’79 Topps set isn’t known for it’s grand photography or great design.  It’s mostly known as the home of the Ozzie Smith rookie card and I associate it with the blue garbage bag like backgrounds on a lot of the Pittsburgh Pirates cards.   But this Blanks card hits on all levels. The blue sky.  The awkward pose.  The banner that matches his uniform color.  The fact that his facial expression casts a stare that matches his last name.  Pure cardboard poetry.

And to think it could have never been.  By the time this card came out, Larvell had already been traded to the Texas Rangers along with Jim Kern for Bobby Bonds and Len Barker.  I’m going to give the edge to Cleveland on that one.

Had Topps gone airbrush happy, or had Larvell been a better player, this card may have never been.  Who knows if Topps could have matched it’s beauty with Larvell in Rangers blue.  I for one am glad I don’t live in that world.

Long Hit?

24 04 2009

In a recent fit of spare time, I managed another eBay win of 1979 Topps cards.  I believe this lot pushed me over the halfway mark to completion, and I should have a nice lot or two to sell on eBay when all is said and done.


I’ll have to figure out why my scanner skews pictures so much.

Anyway, Fred is one of the first Reds I’ve gotten in a 1979 Topps lot that doesn’t have bent up corners.  I’m pretty sure it’s just because I want the Reds cards to all be nice, being a Reds fan, but I also know I have about 4 Tom Hume cards with bad corners and I don’t think I have a nice one for my set.

Fred was a pretty good pitcher for the Reds in the seventies, and I hate to shaft him, but I’m more curious about the back of Fred’s card.


Over there, under the “Baseball Dates” heading (which could have been a gossip column about who baseball players date, right?).  It says that on September 5th, 1921, Cleveland’s Earl Smith got his 7th consecutive Long Hit of the season.

Long Hit?  Am I the only one who’s never heard of this?  And is it really a proper noun in need of capitalization?

I’m assuming a “Long Hit” is an extra base hit, but I can’t seem to find reference to Earl Smith and 7 consecutive anythings online. I did find reference to Elmer Smith having seven consecutive extra-base hits in 1922, matched later by Earl Sheely of the White Sox in 1926, which could mean an error or typo on Topps’ part.  But I’m convinced that my Google’s on the fritz and that there’s a better explanation for this.


*UPDATE*  It’s gotta be Elmer Smith.  I’ve found two Earl Smiths that played in 1921, and neither played for Cleveland.

Name that leader!

20 04 2009

I’m taking a quick break from cleaning house for a post…

Name!  That!  Leader!


Without looking, who appears next to Ron Guidry on this 1979 Topps ERA Leaders card?

This was part of a larger lot “near mint ++” lot that I won on eBay that was more like EX++. The seller and I did work something out, so I get to keep them at a pretty reasonable price.  I’ll post more of them, time permitting, later.

Until then, good luck Naming that Leader!  Remember, no cheating!

*UPDATE*  Here’s a hint:


*UPDATE*  Good work night owl and gcrl.  Dodger’s fans must have a special place in their heart for Craig Swan.


Red Turkey Red

2 04 2009


So as I email back and forth with the seller to resolve the damaged card issue (it sounds like it’s going nowhere, btw), I thought I’d show off a few of them.  I only had time to scan one on the way out the door to work, but that’s okay.  Joey Votto deserves a post of his own.  Some would even argue he deserves his own blog.

I’ll admit I post about this guy often, but he’s my favorite current Red especially now that Corey Patterson is gone.  And look how majestic he is, hitting rocks out in shallow left field at cars in the parking lot.  It’s a yearly initiation to all new Reds.  Ramon Hernandez is going to be pissed.

Of course I’m kidding.  Votto, from what I understand, is a pretty laid back fella who’s more likely to be the victim of a prank than the perpetrator.  He’s just a good Canadian boy who likes to play baseball.  Hit 20 HRs.  Maybe steal a few bases while he’s at it.  And hit for average, too. 

If Yonder Alonso is the hitter everyone says he is, though, Votto’s going to have to start practicing his LF, because everything I’ve read says Alonso’s all or nothing at 1B.  Maybe that’s why Topps has him standing there on the card.  He just brought his bat instead of his glove.

Set Completion – 2009 Toppstown

26 03 2009



Nachos Grande sent a secondary package to our original trade that I received today.  Inside was this Hamilton card which not only the last Toppstown card I need for my set, but also one of my favorites.  I wasn’t going to spend a lot of time on this set, and thanks to Nachos, I don’t have to.

There were a few more Topps Dark cards for my set and this Turkey Red:


Wikipedia tells me that Kinsler once autographed a diaper, a neck brace, a yarmulke, and a kid’s arm (which I assume was still attached). I’m keeping my eyes peeled for the autographed diaper on eBay from here on out.

Thanks again, Nachos!  The rest of your cards should arrive soon.