Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Baseball Card Mystery – The late 1970s 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle conspiracy

You have heard of the Lincoln Conspiracy,  the JFK Conspiracy, the UFO conspiracy but have you ever heard of the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card conspiracy.

Let me take you back in hobby history to the late 1970s and early 1980s. At this time the Hobby was just beginning to reach national prominence. Baseball Card Magazine was just about to start, Sports Collectors Digest had been around a few years, there was also something called Trading Card News.

This was known as the time before Beckett.

The emergence of the trading card magazines gave birth to the trading card price guide. However there was no such thing as the internet, ebay, the Sports Card Blogroll or monthly price guides (there may have been a few yearly or quarterly price guides and a few card shows around).

At around this time something funny was happening out of New York, through mostly word of mouth reports that the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle (the Steven Strasberg or Bryce Harper of his day). cards were gathering sky rocketing high price sales.

Communication in the late 1970s and early 1980s was nothing like it was today. However, it was becoming known in the growing card collecting universe that the Topps Mickey Mantle card was selling for more than $500 dollars. (the earliest price guide I have is from the fall of 1982 and the Mantle is listed at $750)

Years later, here is what was rumored as to why the prices on the 1952 Mantle were skyrocketing.  In the late 1970s, a group of baseball card dealers in New York (may or may not have) manipulated the market price on the 52 Mantles.

Here is how it worked. In order to generate interest in the card, they began selling the card(s) among each other. For example:

Dealer A sells a Mantle Card  to Dealer B for $200. Dealer B then sells a Mantle Card to Dealer C for $300. Dealer C sells the Mantle card to Dealer D for $400. Dealer D sells the Mantle card to Dealer E for $500.

This process may have gone through a few more permutations or in a slightly different format. I understand, what I have written is a really a simplified version of what may or may not have happen.

Here are a few other points that impact the above scenario.

 A 1952 Mantle in the late 1970s may have been going for about $100-150(a guess).  From first sight it looks like Dealer E has been ripped off. Well consider this - what happens if Dealer E had six 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie cards before the deal was made.   Now instead of having six cards valued at $100-150 each he now has six cards valued at $500 each (and which he can try to sell). What happens if each of these dealers had a five or six 1952 Mantles (remember his card was a double print in the set). The value of their Mantle cards now go up in price. Thus, they are now holding $2500-$3000 worth of cards instead of $500-750.

Was this a partial reason why Mickey Mantle and his Topps cards would eventually became the Gold Standard for all baseball cards (i.e. the reported sales of high prices).  It was around this time that Mickey Mantle cards including his 1952 card, began to outdistance the cards of all other players. A previous post, I wrote, mentioned that in 1982 the 1952 Topps Mays was valued at 40% of the 52 Mantle. By 1986, the Mays card was valued at 16% of the Mantle.   

When he retired, Mantle was considered one the greatest players ever, however the aura around him was not much more than an Aaron, May or Musial etc… In fact he was not in the news much for those first 10 years after he retired (except for the Casino- Baseball Banishment that he shared with Mays). But then mysteriously his baseball cards (especially his Topps rookie) began to gather high sale prices. It was understandable to a certain degree why his card prices could be a little higher than the other great players (playing his whole career in New York and race possibly (Aaron and Mays had superior numbers to him) may have helped). However, what his cards are worth compared to everyone else is kind of crazy.

Did those early reports of the high sales in the late 1970s of his rookie card cause sort of a multiplier effect: 

High priced sales ® generated more interest ® which generated higher priced sales ® which generated more interest etc…… (think of Strasberg last year)

Did a few dealers in New York manipulate the card market in the late 1970s and inadvertently make the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card and his other cards the most iconic, sought after, high valued baseball cards of all time?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Iconic Series: 1979-80 Topps Kareem Abdul Jabbar

This card stands out in my mind more than any other Jabbar or Alcinder card. His 1976-77 card came close as he appears to be so big on that oversized card that it appears that he has to bend down just to fit in the photo.

However, this card captures him in that Laker purple and gold, doing what he was most famous for on the court. Shooting the Sky Hook. He makes 6’10 Mitch Kupchak look like a midget trying to block that shot. Mitch literally would have to jump about 2 and half feet to block that ball. The All-Star logo is a nice added touch to the card.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Iconic Series: 1983 Topps All Star Card Mike Schmidt

First off, I don’t like separate all-star cards. I yearn for the days of yesteryear when Topps would put the all-star designation on the players regular-issued card.

However, probably for the 1983 Topps set, the All-Star cards work the best (out of all the all-star subset in the last 30 years, 1983 Topps was the best.).

I have a minds eye of just about every Topps, Donruss and Fleer Mike Schmidt card until 1983 or 1984. I can think of a year and picture his card in my head from that year.

There is something about this card that stands out from any other Mike Schmidt baseball card. His rookie card suffers from too much Dave Hilton.  His MVP years were in a down design year ( Topps 1980) and an odd looking All-star banner (Topps 1981 -the green borders and banner did not go well with the Philly red). His 1983 Donruss card stands out for me because he was wearing someone else uniform while he was batting and Bill Conlin made a note of it in his baseball column.   However, I think this is his most iconic card

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dennis Lamp #619 (the mustache card)

This card rivals Cesar Geronimo for the largest mustache card in the 1982 Donruss set. Dennis it appears has trouble opening his eyes.

Back Facts: One of his hobbies is pantomine

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Iconic Series: 1969 Topps Harmon Killebrew

This card beats out his 1970 Topps dugout shot as his most iconic card. This card is from Harmon’s MVP year. I don’t own this card but I own the 1982 K-Mart 20th anniversary set of all MVPs from 1962 to 1981. This card comes to mind because of his of his MVP season.

The Topps design works well with the Twins uniform on this card. The blue and white color name circle goes well with the yellow Twins name. This is the first card that pops into my head when I think of Harmon Killebrew.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Johnny Bench and Tom Seaver #565

Both Donruss and Fleer had Bench and Seaver photos in their 1982 sets. While the front shows Seaver and Bench from left to right the names on the back are reversed on the Donruss card. The Fleer photo is probably more interesting, with Seaver holding an NBC microphone however, the Donruss card is a little more vibrant and colorful looking and stands out a tad more.

The back of the Donruss card had 19 lines of text, Not many cards ever had that many lines of text ever on the back of a card.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Steve Stone #357

He is one of the most famous Jewish players of all time. Steve had an unbelievable 1980 going 25 and 7 for the O’s. It looks like the photographer caught him a little unguarded and disheveled in this photo.

Back Facts: Led the majors in victories in ’81 (BACK FACT DONRUSS ERROR  - its should have said ’80).

Joaquin Andujar #607

This card give you a nice shot of the powder blue cardinal uniforms from the early 1980s. Not sure what is happening on this card but it appears Joaquin just threw a ball.

Back Facts: Won 5 games by 1 run in ‘76

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Baseball Card Mystery: 1987 Topps Dave Bergman

Possibly one of the greatest sports card mystery’s of all time. If you look at the front of this card, there appears to be nothing unusual about it. And there isn’t. If  you look at the back of the card you can see Bergman’s lifetime statistics. It is the statistics and the type of player that Bergman was that is part of the mystery. In 1986, Bergman hit 1 home run and had 9 Rbi’s. He hit .231 batting average. Up to this point into his career (and after) he was a decent backup outfielder/infielder/pinchhitter.

One part mystery about this card come is addressed above, the other part deals with Topps’s numbering system of baseball cards. Beginning in approximately 1959 and continuing until 1994 (and eventually later), Topps assigned players who were consider very good or a superstar a number that ended in 0 (10, 20, 140). For players that were really really good, the got double 00 or they were assigned the numbers 100, 200, 300, etc… card number in the set.

For example in 1967, the players that occupied those numbers in the Topps set were Frank Robinson (100), Willie Mays (200), Jim Kaat (300), Roberto Clemente (400), Juan Marichal (500) and Brooks Robinson (600). You have 5 Hall of Famers hitters and one really good pitcher who(Kaat) won 25 games in 1966. 

In 1977, you had Joe Morgan (100), Frank Tanana (200), Jerry Koosman (300), Steve Garvey (400), Dave Kingman (500), and Jim Palmer (600). Here you have 2 Hall of Famers and a couple of big time hitters and big time pitchers. What you don’t have is a guy who hit one home run and drove in nine runs.

In 1987, Dave Bergman got card number 700 in the Topps set.

In 1978, Topps started to issue sets that went more than 700 cards. Here is the list of players that got card number 700. Johnny Bench (1978), Reggie Jackson (1979), Rod Carew (1980), George Brett (1981), George Foster (1982), Keith Hernandez (1983), Mike Schmidt (1984), Eddie Murray (1985), Reggie Jackson (1986) and the years after Bergman – George Brett (1988), Don Mattingly (1989) and Kirby Puckett (1990).  Dave Bergman was the only Dave Bergman in that bunch.

Not all of those number (100, 200, 300 etc….) were assigned to Superstar players over the years because a few landed in subsets that Topps spliced into the sets.

For example, cards 200 in the 1970 and 1971 set were part of the Championship Series subset. In 1975 card 200 was part of the Topps MVP subset that featured the 1962 MVP’s Mantle and Willis (not shabby). In 1985, Odibbe McDowell got card 400 as part of the Olympic Team Subset.

In the Topps 1995 set, (a year after the baseball strike), Topps ended its practice of giving the card numbers to superstar players as Henry Rodriguez got number 300, and John Hudek got number 400 and Yorkis Perez got number 500. In the next few years a lot of superstars occupied those prime number (100, 200, 300 etc…) but some players like Damien Moss (1997-#200), Russ Johnson (2001-#600) and Andy Marte (2003-#300) snuck in there. However, at least from 2007 to 2009 it appears all very good players or superstars occupied those prime number.

So again, it is a mystery why Dave Bergman was assigned card 700 in the 1987 Topps set.   Did he know someone at Topps or did someone at Topps like him. Or was it just a big slipup.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Baseball Card Price Guide History: 1991 Bowman Jim Thome and 1990 Leaf Sammy Sosa

Who would have thought back in 1990 and 1991 that there would be 2 rookie cards produced of players that would hit 600 home runs and 20 years later those rookie cards would not amount to much more than a gallon of gas.

Well I guess that in 1991, we were getting a hint that the cards produced then would not be big value cards like the ones from the 1950s and 1960s but I would have never thought the cards would be practically worthless.

At the time in 1991, only 3 Players had hit 600 (Aaron, Ruth, Mays) I think steroids have played a little bit in the devaluation of these cards but this low….. (price and source)

1991 Bowman Jim Thome

10/1996 SportsCards                       $1.00
10/1998 SportsCards                       $1.50
2/2005 Beckett Baseball                  $2-5.00
3/2009 Beckett Baseball                  $1.50-4.00
Last week on ebay  Bowman Jim Thome $4.37 (74 sales with a slew of graded 10s)

There has been a slow attrition upward on Thome’s card,  maybe in about 600 years it should be worth around $600.00

1990 Leaf Sammy Sosa

10/1996 SportsCards                       $8.00
10/1998 SportsCards                       $25.00
2/2005 Beckett Baseball                  $15-40.00
3/2009 Beckett Baseball                  $5-12.00
Last week on ebay Leaf Sammy Sosa $5.16(55 sales)

1990 Leaf was supposed to be the first high end set (in Sports Cards 10/96 it had a list price of $240) but as time went on collectors realized that there was nothing high end about this set ($30-60 in 3/2009 Beckett Baseball)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

2011 Topps Lineage Tony Perez is a variation of his 1969 Topps card.

I saw a picture of Tony Perez’s Topps lineage card on Night Owl’s blog and realized that I saw this photo/card before or a slight variation of it. Compare the two, the Lineage card photo was taken seconds or minutes after or before the photo that appears on Tony Perez’s 1969 Topps card. You see the overhang of the upper deck (Crosley Field?) on both cards, though it is barely seen on the lineage card. Both have the batting cage in the background and the wheel for the photo is in the same exact position on both cards. There is also a couple Reds in the background but I can’t be sure if they were of the same player.

The cards are shot from a slightly different angles. I still glad that they used the photo that they did for the 1969 set. This lineage photo though is good for second place.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Iconic Series: 1979 Topps George Brett or How Donruss loved this card so much they remade it in 1982

In my mind, George Brett is forever linked to Robin Yount because both came out of that classic 1975 Topps Set. While I Believe  Robin’s 1975 Topps card is his most iconic, I don’t believe that 1975 Topps is Brett’s most iconic card. Nor do I believe that his 1980 Topps card during his MVP year is his most iconic.

I think it is this card. It is an odd angled photo showing Brett crouching at third base, just a wonder action shot for a late 1970s card. It also has that wonderful ALL-STAR banner that I wish Topps would bring back running along near the bottom of the card just above his name. In 1979, George was emerging as a dominant player as he had a great statistical year.

Also, this was the first single card I ever bought through the mail to help complete my baseball set back in 1979.

Also for Donruss in 1982, they loved this card so much that they remade it. There are few little things that are different as George has both feet on the ground and he is holding his glove up higher but it is almost like seeing double.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jenny From the Block is back on MTV

Back in 2002 or 2003, Jennifer Lopez made a music video with then beau Ben Affleck staring in it with her. A little bit later they broke up. In or around 2005, she married Mark Anthony. It was rumored that Anthony did not like seeing that video, so Jennifer Lopez either forbid and asked MTV not to play that video anymore as part of their music rotation.

Well about a month ago, I saw that Lopez and Anthony decided to end their marriage (I heard rumors that Anthony was very controlling) and guess what I saw on MTV the other day. Yes, Jenny From the Block is back on MTV.

Somehow, I get the feeling that Lopez probably requested that the video be played again on MTV. That is how those things go in break ups.

Keith Moreland #119

The player that he reminds me of today is his name sake Mitch Moreland. O don’t know if they are related but they could be. Keith is decked out the classic Phillies uniform. I always loved the P logo on their uniforms and caps.

Back Facts: Played football at U of Texas under Darrell Royal and was a third baseman on Longhorns baseball team.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Joe Rudi #586

I always remember Joe Rudi as the smooth centerfielder on those World Champion A’s from the mid 1970s. Because it was a  more pitching era, it has been forgotten how good of player, hitter, fielder that Rudi was. Here he is depicted as a Boston Red Sox (and looking very old even though he was about 35 at the time – he looks like he is in his 50’s).

Back Facts: Middle name is Oden…Leads all active players with 12 grand slam HR.            

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sports Card Mystery: Why has Topps accounted for over 99% of all airbrushing(photoshopping) on sports cards over the years.

I can recall very little airbrushing ever done by Fleer, Donruss, Upper Deck and Score over the years. In the 1980s, off hand I don’t recall any Fleer or Donruss Baseball cards that were airbrushed.  I used to own all major sports cards set (Hockey, Baseball, Football, Basketball)  from 1970 through 1991, and I can recall very little airbrushing (off the top of my head) by non Topps manufacturers.

(*Note this post is not about unlicensed manufacturers airbrushing logo’s off cards. Topps football airbrushed team logos from 1973-1981  This goes for the food issues also. )

I think Fleer basketball airbrushed Danny Ferry’s rookie card back in 1990, but for other manufacturers I don’t recall any airbrushing. Since 1991, there have been so many sets issued that I have not seen them all, but I don’t think any other company airbrushes besides Topps.

For example, In the 1977 baseball set, Topps virtually created uniforms for all players on the Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays and Oakland A’s. Toronto and Seattle were expansion  teams and Oakland’s whole roster basically changed because of  free agents. I love those cards. We got to see what the new uniforms and logos looked like for those sets in the first year they played. In the Fleer basketball sets of the late 1980s none of the expansion basketball teams were depicted in their actual or airbrush uniforms. In 1993 neither Fleer or Donruss  baseball depicted players in their actual (or airbrush) uniforms (except David Neid?) for the expansion teams.
Don’t get me wrong but “I Love Airbrushing!(photoshopping)”

I am glad Topps has done it through the years. I think they first started to airbrush in the early 1960s  but this was more aligned to head shots (as it was Topps practice to get a head shot of a player so they could airbrush team logo’s off the caps if the player changed teams). The 1977 set seem to take that one step farther. Heck Rick Jones (the Hulks buddy?), looks like a painting. See Below.

I like the fact that if you can’t get an updated photo, it puts transactional players in new uniforms. (sometimes before they actually wear the new uniforms).

Cards on Cards has been running a feature called airbrush Fridays for a long time (one day I am going to go back and look at every single post) which gives nice over view of Topps airbrushing through the years.

In the last 5 years or so they have become flawless (though some other bloggers may disagree) and have made Randy Moss a Raider, Jared Allen a Viking, Miguel Cabrera a Tiger, Carl Crawford a Red Sox before one down was played or one player picked up a bat.

I guess the real mystery here is why no other manufacturer does this. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Phil Garner #544

Probably the most famous error card from this set. This is the correct version. The error card had Garner throwing the other way. Also, this card fails to depict Garner in a Astro uniform, he had been acquired in Sept of 1981 for Johnny Ray. Ray appears in the set as a Pirate. Garner was airbrushed as a Astro in the Topps set and Fleer got him actually in an Astro uniform in a blurry oddly placed photo. Donruss correctly had his team designation on the front.

On the back of the card it only lists the Astro’s as the team he played for in 1981. I don’t think Donruss had much of an idea what to do with Garner’s card. They don’t seem to airbrush (see next post), and they did not have a photo of him in an Astro uniform, so maybe this confusion led to the error/variation front photo and the error back team listing.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Iconic Series: 1973 Topps Joe Namath

Probably the second coolest card ever made next to the 1972 Topps Clemente. Yes, Joe was overrated, Yes, he probably only had one or two great years but he does belong in the Hall of Fame.

Joe was not a player, not a man,  Joe Namath was more like a lifestyle. Joe Namath represents a time period, the late 1960s. Joe appeared in commercials with Farrah Fawcett (when she was at her hottest – not those Charlie Angel years or that bedroom poster Farrah) and on the iconic TV series The Brady Bunch. Joe was so cool that he lived in Alabama for about 4 years and picked up a southern accent that has never left his speech.


Look at this card, with him wearing that tussle cap (he was probably on the sideline injured as he was most of his career). You can see the J and you can see the O and well you know what the other letter is.

The Previous Post was more of a Dream (and just a little bit of speculation).

I was reading Stale Gum’s post quoting a Topps representative at the National that 2012 Topps was going to be a “Game Changer”. After, I read the post I fell asleep began dreaming.

The keys to identify that what I wrote was not based in factual reality but in a dream reality was identified by the 5 Celebrity autographs that I stated would be inserted into every other case.

1. Leonardo DiCaprio starred in Inception (a movie about a dream) and this is also a dig at an upcoming Topps football product.

2. Robin Williams starred in a movie called What Dreams May Come.

3. Judy Garland starred in the Wizard of Oz, in which the land of Oz takes place in her head.

4. Patrick Duffy appeared in the shower in a opening scene in a opening season of the TV series Dallas, which then explained that the whole freaking season prior was just a dream.

5. Bruce Willis was in the movie The Sixth Sense, he was not dreaming, he was dead but he did not know it until the end.   

I think what I wrote was all plausible and I think collectors would like it if that was the configuration of 2012 Topps.

What will 2012 Topps look like? I not sure but I think there maybe some of the items that I mentioned in my prior post that might be incorporated into the set.  I think there will be more series and different types of inserts (Bowman?) and removing of foil stamping which could reduce the cost per card per pack. Topps may (or should) make changes that puts the spotlight on the flagship base brand. All other Topps brands (even Bowman) should  revolve and bow down around the flagship set. That would be a Game Changer

Friday, August 5, 2011

Breaking News – Scoop from the National 2012 Topps baseball to be 7 series.

Yes, it appears that Topps is bringing back the 132 card set series. According to an anonymous source, there are plans to release 2012 Topps baseball cards in 7 series. The first six series(132 cards each) will be issued in each of the first 6 months of the year. This means series 1 will be released in January, series 2 in February and so on until series 6 is released in June. The first 6 series will total 792 cards.

The final series will be released well after the end of the season but this series will include more than 132 cards. This series may include 264 or 330 cards.

Also, an undetermined number of regular cards will have variations front photos. Along those lines, it does appear, at least, redemption autographs are back but with a twist. The redemption auto cards will have a variation front photo of the regular addition card. Thus, for example, a Chipper Jones will have a regular photo front and regular back, a variation photo front and regular back and a variation photo front and redemption autograph code back. (caveat  -It is not known if Chipper Jones is on the autograph list). It is not known if relics will be under the same system or if there will be on card/sticker autographs will be inserted into packs.   

There is more. First it appears that the number of cards per pack will reduced to 7 cards and get this, with a suggested 99 cent retail price.  The number of different inserts will be drastically reduced from the previous years. However, there will be one additional insert. The insert is designed to give collectors an incentive to collect all 7 series.

Yes, 2012 Bowman will be inserted into the Topps series. 2012 Bowman will be inserted at a rate of one card per pack. Tentatively, each Topps series will include a 40 card Bowman insert set. There will also be a Bowman prospect inserts set. Each Topps series will include a 15 card Bowman prospect insert set. Thus, the first 6 Topps series will yield a 240 card Bowman set and a 90 card Bowman prospect set. Tentatively, there will be Bowman redemption autographs under the same premise as Topps cards. The auto redemption cards will have a regular or variation photo front and you won’t know if got an autograph card unless you turn it over (So collectors make sure you look at the back of all your cards).

A 36 pack box (for each series) should easily yield a complete Topps set and a near complete Bowman set. There will probably be one other insert added to each series.

At this time it appears Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects will be included as an insert set in the seventh series of Topps baseball. As for all you chromies, there are no plans to include Bowman Chrome as an insert in the Topps set. Thus the Bowman Chrome set will stand on its own and it be the only place where you can get Bowman Chrome (which of course makes sense). It also appears Bowman Chrome will have a much larger checklist (veterans, rookies and prospects) and different pack configuration.

Finally, there will be a rare celebrity card autograph added to every other case. Some of the celebrities to be included, tentatively, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robin Williams, Judy Garland (cut), Patrick Duffy and Bruce Willis.

No photos at this time.

Big Head Cards

I decided to do one post on these cards because they all have something in common. The players head takes up about 80 percent or more of the card.

Jeff Burroughs leads off as the number one big head card. Heck, Jeff Burroughs chin almost touches the bottom of the photo and the top of his cap almost touches the top of the photo.  Darrell Porter comes in at number two. Garry Templeton comes in at number three.  

Jerry Royster and Bob Watson come in as number 4 and 5 and I would say their heads come in about 75 percent of the card. In fact,  Bob and Jerry were actually was able to get their bats into the photo.

Some interesting back facts: Burroughs was 1st player selected in June ’69 amateur draft and signed a reported $80,000 bonus with the old Washington Senators (Texas). Porter was only the 2nd catcher in AL history to get 100 RBI, runs and walks in same season. Templeton was the first player in history to get 100 hits from each side of the plate in the same season. Watson is only player in history to hit for the cycle in both leagues. On the back of Jerry Royster card was this quote “Still a man without a position”.

Edit Note: On second thought maybe Porter should be number 1.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Iconic Series: 1972 Topps Roberto Clemente

The three smoothest baseball players ever in my opinion are Joe DiMaggio, Derek Jeter and this guy.  And this card is probably one of the smoothest cards of all time. Here you have Roberto standing for his photo leisurely tossing a baseball a foot or two in the air. This card is smooth because what you have here is a posed shot that does not look like a posed shot. The photographer captured the ball just at the right spot, as you can see both stitches on the ball.  Clemente is not looking into the camera as he stands ever so slightly on an angle with one unseen knee slightly bent. This card easily is more iconic than his horizontal rookie card or any other card. This unique photo was somewhat recreated on 2008 Topps Chrome Clete Thomas (why Clete, I don’t know that just makes it bizarre).

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Iconic Series: 1976-77 Topps Bobby Clarke (airbrush teeth)

This card captures the essence of Clarke who was still near the top of his game. It shows that Clarke was a 1st Team  All-Star (this All-Star logo was one  of the best of all time for any Topps set). It is a great Topps design. This card is iconic for what it does not show, and that is Bobby Clarke’s teeth. If you look closely at the open mouth Clarke you can not see any teeth. If you know anything about Clarke, you know Topps did not airbrush his teeth.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tommy Davis #648 (Tommy v. Tom)

One of the cool things that the 982 Donruss baseball set had were coaches cards. Here on this card Tommy Davis is giving a stern look as he appears to be trying not to laugh.

His card gives you a double dose of the Mariner logo, and the stadium background is identifiable but I can’t remember which stadium featured the Phillips 76 logo that isprominent in the background.

Also, it is interesting that Tommy is referred to as Tommy as opposed to Tom. On the back of his card his name is listed as Tommy Davis. I guess the name Tommy is a name within itself. While Tom is short for Thomas.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Iconic Series: 1978-79 Topps Julius Erving

 Dr. J's rookie card showed him in a Virginia Squires uniform and not many people remember him playing for that team. This card just beat out his 1977-78 and 1981-82 Topps cards. This card stands out because it is different, it shows him warming up and shooting in a Philadelphia 76er practice jacket and there is a nice head shot showing Dr. J enormous a-fro that he was famous for in his younger days. It also has a decent All-Star banner acknowledgement at the bottom of the card.  It was just a beautiful  blending of  Dr. J’s past and future.

The Iconic Series: 1981 Topps Andre Dawson

I chose this card barely over the Hawk’s 1978 Topps second year card. Here is another player that shared his rookie card with other players thus diminishing his rookie card in iconic terms. The thing that stands out about this card is that Topps captured him in his full blue Expos uniform and it goes well with the green border design (as the Expos Caps logo in the bottom left hand corner really works) and green color background  makes this card really stand out.