Friday, September 18, 2020

GIO - 1970s Series 2 With a Side of Contest Results

Three weeks ago, I showed off Gio's 70s Baseball Series One release. These are some of my favorite cards from 2020. It's been a tough year for baseball in general. Retail shelves have remained mostly empty. Hobby boxes are scooped up too, almost as quickly. But these! They may be somewhat limited but not impossible to score. And maybe this series should be called Score but for the fact Score didn't give us baseball cards in the 70s. 

Feast upon these 15 beauties and what could have been:

Gio included another 'super' star with young Bench. It's my favorite card in the pack, with Mantle and Munson vying for second place. 

As you well know by now, there is no second place in the Ballot Box contest. There is only one winner. Round four was hard on the Junk Candidates. At times, they seemed to muster some love but 1993 Donruss wasn't having any of that. Pushing Elite-ism, voters bought into its better-than-junk platform. But is it really any better?  Sixteen voters said yes while eight had pity on the Topps/Score ticket. 

Round four winner: Candidate B

If you read my first Gio 70s Series post, then you know I added a few cards to Pick Pockets. This time I'm parting with them here to my trade pals. Six cards are available -one per person. You will see seven but the Dodgers card is already set aside for Night Owl. If he declines, then it's up for grabs. Night Owl, let us know if you want to keep or pass on this card. 

Please, only choose a card if you will keep it in your collection. These little fellas belong in a caring home.  Thank you for supporting this blog! Without further delay...

Sunday, September 13, 2020

A Wise Owl Who Gives a Hoot

 I don't trade often with Strigiformes but when I do, it's Night Owl. Most owls are nocturnal raptors. Our writer/collector friend is likely not descended from a feathered family but I haven't seen him. My guess is no.  If he were, I wouldn't cast judgement.  I loved the movie "Ladyhawke" as a teen.  Mr. Owl sent a fine cardboard assortment this summer, clearing cards off my wantlist. Set help, vintage and wax cartoons; all are equally appreciated!

Chipping away at 2010 History of the World Series:

This could be blasphemy to some hardcore A&G collectors -  I am not a Ginter fan. Collective gasp. I haven't purchased more than a few blasters ever, never a hobby box and nothing in the past three years. There is however, an insert set most every year that appeals to me and I always enjoy player minis. These were all on my list: 2010 Cobb gold mini, 2017 What-a-Days and 2019 Ginter Greats.

Hey kiddos! Which one doesn't belong? Not that he wasn't great in his day, Orel was needed to fill a binder spot in my 1995 SP Championship October Legends subset.  Greats has bats which sucked me right in.  The WADs checklist is broad and design uber colorful. I likes 'em!  I like vintage too - hoot doesn't?

1967, 1975 and 1956.  The team card is outstanding!! Mickey and A-Rod are clean and colorful! Purple and pink are my fave color combo from 75 Topps.

1979 Cartoons! Is it any wonder LeFlore stole 68 bases? Ron's led a difficult life. It would appear his struggles continue.  When I read the first cartoon, the horrible person in me said "the ball is dead and so is Rusty."  Rusty owned a couple of Manhattan restaurants later in life. The 73rd Street location held an annual rib-eating contest won in 1980 by this young actress.

I was a shy, naive young teen in 79. Collecting then would have soothed my troubled soul. Introverted and afraid of the world, I had no idea baseball cards existed. This may be difficult for any lifetime collector to believe. It's never too late to have fun so here I am! 

Thanks Night Owl! Oooo, you DO have feathers!



Who among you loves 80s nostalgia? Who among you ever said their favorite sets of 1989 were Topps and Score? WHO?  I'm honestly not sure where these sets land in popular majority. 

Candidate A is a shared ticket. Each suffers poor self-esteem, all these years later. Together, running mates Topps and Score hope to win your vote. They bring you warm memories of the Bash Brothers and Nolan Ryan. Topps' checklist is 792 cards long.  Score 660 cards!  Who wouldn't want to own a Nelson Santovenia rookie card?

CANDIDATE A  two boxes of wax pack glory:



Before you allow thoughts of sweet-smelling Topps gum to take over your senses and sweep you back to 1989, you may want to stop in 1993 for a look around. Donruss came to the game with white borders and sweet inserts. As years passed, base cards were buried in nickel boxes and inserts forgotten; replaced with shiny, prizm-y, refractory, fancy colored foils. Well people, 1993 is back.  If the simply designed base cards don't tickle you in the right places, maybe a  look at the inserts will. Diamond Kings, Spirit of the Game and Elites are all possibilities. 

CANDIDATE B needs no running mate.  Series One:

One tough card! I no longer own Alomar but it took a full case to pull!

Diamond Kings need no introduction:

Spirit of the Game themed front/back:

Traditional rules recap:

Review the rules, make your choice and vote!

1977 - Video Cheese

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Bo Stuffs the Ballot Box

It's hard to avoid election talk. Concerns over absentee ballots and currently slowed mail service have a lot of us voicing our opinions.  I'm here to tell you, someone is out there stuffing the ballot box. I've been the recipient of several bribe attempts recently, with three of these stuffed envelopes coming from our own Bo Rozny, Baseball Cards Come to Life!

With three elections rounds and three envelopes, Bo is leading with six votes. Voting is about to ramp up too because I have stuff to move. I don't foresee Bo missing an opportunity to cast his A or B vote!

I'm not a difficult bribe either. Card from my wantlist are like cash. Here are a few of the bills I found in these envelopes.  Set help for 2011 Lineage and 2013 Topps 72 Minis! These were listed on my Send Help tab. Bo pays attention!  In case I wasn't aware Bo was hitting up my wantlist, he included the Ripken as a big fat hint.

Three of my favorite HOFers!  While I'm not actively pursuing cards for these PCs, new additions to their collections are always welcome! 1995 Stadium Club and 1993 SP were two of my favorite rips in the 90s.  SP was one of my first set builds. I still think it's one of the more beautiful sets from that decade.

2002 Upper Deck World Series Heroes - I love the red white and blueness of the design and the generous use of foil. Backs feature a World Series game stat. Hard to beat the checklist too. With 180 cards, it would appear I have a looong way to go. These three bring my total to 27 cards.  I'm only interested in the first 90 so it's nearly 1/3 complete!

I'm also dabbling in subsets. You would think some much easier to complete than others. I've been battling to find 1991 Score Dream Team cards. Score!?!?  I still need the Alomar, card 887.  All 90s Score Dream Teams and Studio Heritage are going into a small binder together. I can't begin to guess how many of  the DTs I gave away in Salvation Army donations.

I like the overall design of 76 & 79 Topps but only want a few special cards from each year. These include The Sporting News All-Time All Stars  and All-Time Record Holders subsets. Is this too much to ask? Bo didn't think so.  As I'm writing this, Lou Brock has just passed at 81 years of age. Rest in Peace, Lou. Thank you for the memories of a wild 1968 World Series!

Cards near and dear to my heart - OKC 89ers!

A sweet vintage Blackhawk from 76-77 Topps! I like this design. The team name is bold and bright against the white background. WHITE.  Topps just can't let a good thing be.

Bo, thank you for the mail-in votes!!  It's fun adding these totals to my spreadsheet! Good luck on Election Day!

Folks, remember your name will be added to the Great Randomizer equivalent to the number of times you voted. Every vote counts.


Our most recent candidates A) 2019 Optic and B) Contenders Draft Picks were not the match I'd hoped. Shiny Optic won this round 12-6. What this means is only 18 people voted.  Hate to see folks missing opportunities but it does increase the odds that a regular reader will take home the Ballot Box!

I'm gathering new candidates for the next round. Do I hear the sound of ripping in a winner's future?

Sunday, August 23, 2020

GIO Has Something Topps Doesn't....

No question about it. Just ask him. He's even put it on a bumper sticker. Ok. It wouldn't fill a spot on the bumper but would cover a door ding.

And it's possible I have something you don't... a 70s Baseball, Series One 15 card pack.  If this picture from his post is telling, there were 11 packs. Were - because I now have three. One for my GIO stash, one for a friend, and one for busting. A few of these like Mays, Yaz, Mantle and the Bird will look nice in the PCs.

The card backs have an authentic feel to them. Fronts are glossy with bright color. All are based on customs Gio has shared on his blog. I have my favorites but forced to pick one two, it's Fidrych and Yaz! 1972 has become my favorite set of the 70s.  I'd bite hard on a Nickname series based solely on the 72 design.

Gio included a fine assortment of players. Some of these photo choices truly standout, like Williams and Mantle. There's that Rickey stare in the mix and a 'super' styled Carew insert too!

I have a thing for Gio's creations. So far, I've been able to scoop up a copy of every set he's offered. Most have featured Deadball stars who are a small but sweet spot in my collection.  I don't really know how many 70s packs are available. If you are hesitant to pick up one for yourself, I invite you to sample a card - in hand. I busted a pack to sort among my PCs. That leaves six cards up for grabs. Trade pals have a chance at the end of this post to get one. But first, we have an important election opportunity!

It's time to get out the vote - or get your vote on. We have special candidates for this round. All others will be baseball/baseball related but not everyone likes our National Pastime. Offered today are two nearly complete football sets. Even if you don't collect football, it's likely many of your pals do!

A) Coming at you with super-shiny attitude is 2019 OPTIC! Not photogenic but attractive in-hand. 200 cards in the complete base set. Optic wants you to know that while it's missing 21 cards, it could still fill your binder or trade needs. Perhaps you'd like to pursue these?  You may review this candidate on TCDB.


B) The challenger comes from a humbler background. No shine here but lots of color - 2020 Panini Contenders Draft Picks! Explore this candidate's qualifications here.  A 100 card base set missing only five cards. This set would get my vote.  It's colorful with lots college flair and includes retired players like Sanders, Favre, Marino, Rice and more. Sorted by college, this set would show well in a binder.


Before voting, please review our rules:

Regarding those Gio customs, these six cards will be available to trade pals via a special edition of Pick Pockets live Sunday evening, August 30th. *** Time has changed due to unexpected travel.

Pockets will be loaded with inserts, shiny cards plus these six Gio's customs. If you and I have ever traded, you are invited to pick. Even if it's been a long while, let's get back to trading! Only one custom per picker, nine cards total for this round. The cards will be a little thicker, filling those pockets quickly.

Before signing off, there's a card I want to share - a gift from a close friend.

They are both one of one's in my book but don't make me choose between them.   🤣

Friday, August 14, 2020

Negro Leagues Legends Baseball Cards

Many of us are fans of Negro League history, filled with characters and talent, overlooked and ignored. Racism kept some of the greatest players from the game. We were fortunate to have Satchel join major league baseball near the end of his long and storied career. Aaron, Mays, Doby, Irvin, Newcombe and Robinson came to our game from the Negro Leagues. The player list is long. Can you imagine MLB history without them, without their contributions to the game?

February 13 marked the centennial of Negro League Baseball's beginnings in the Paseo YMCA, Kansas City, Missouri. For the collector, this is a baseball card opportunity! A complete 184 card set based on the work of celebrated sports artist Graig Kreindler is available for purchase through Negro Leagues History, limited to 5000 sets, numbered on the box.


I wasted zero time hitting the paypal button. Within two days, I had this complete set in my hands. Overall I'm pleased with these cards. They will present well in a binder, one card per pocket.  Some of the cards are dark, perhaps in keeping true to the original painting.

There are three women featured within the set. Each has a bobble head. I love Peanut Johnson's bobble. It's on my holiday wish-list. I do not need but WANT it, having always been drawn to the Clowns uniform. Can't imagine why...

There are many other bobbles available, as well. The Negro Leagues Museum is offering an array of items too, sweet varsity jackets and t-shirts.  But if you want baseball cards, the Negro Leagues History site has them.

If I had to choose a favorite NLBM player, it's easily Buck O'Neil. I discovered him as many did - within Ken Burns' baseball series. I read Buck's 'The Soul of Baseball' and found it hard to put down, hearing his voice all the way through to the last page. It's time to put this man in Cooperstown. His contributions to Negro League history are immeasurable with his efforts to establish the museum in Kansas City and his push to seat Negro Leaguers in the Hall.  He was overlooked for entry but remained humble. Buck's words:

   God's been good to me. They didn't think Buck was good enough to be in the Hall of Fame. 
   That's the way they thought about it and that's the way it is, so we're going to live with that. 
   Now, if I'm a Hall of Famer for you, that's all right with me. Just keep loving old Buck. 
   Don't weep for Buck. No, man, be happy, be thankful.

I love you, Buck.