Monday, January 21, 2013

Gems from yet another Fairfield Repack

This was one of those with 300 loose cards in the package. I bought this back in October and am just getting around to seeing what I got. There is the usual mix of lousy cards (I swear if I pull another 1988 Donruss card from one of these...). But there is always a nice scattering of gems. 

1981 Fleer #202 George Foster
George Foster was the real deal in 1981, so much so that Fleer included two cards of him in the set, I already had the other. In the 4 years prior to 1981 he'd hit 147 home runs with 460 rbis, while hitting in the neighborhood of .300. By 1981 however, he'd passed the peak of his career.

1981 Fleer #230 Don Zimmer
And who doesn't love The Gerbil?

1981 Fleer #536 Jim Kaat
Kitty had a 25 year career. I'm mostly familiar with the 3 years he spent with the Phillies in the 1970s.
A note about these scans. These cards look great, don't then? I like to color correct the scans which tends to remove the yellowing with age, so in person, these cards actually look like 32 year-old-pieces of cardboard.

1983 Topps #789 Bryan Clark
Two photos of this guy on the card and this was the best they could do?

1988 Donruss #429 Ray Searage
Here's one of those 1988 Donruss cards. Sorry, couldn't resist the 'stach. A real soup-strainer.

1990 Fleer #265 Todd Zeile
1990 wasn't a great year for card design but there were still players I collect in those sets. Individual cards from these sets are hard to come by so I'm always happy to pull a Player I Collect from a repack, especially if I didn't already have the card, like this one.  Rookie card no less.

1991 Topps 1953 Archives #326 Dizzy Dean/Al Simmons
Before there was Topps Heritage and and many attempts by Topps to mine its own past, there was 1991 Topps 1953 Archives. There were 280 cards in the original 1953 Topps set, while there are 330 cards in the Archives set. The extra 50 cards are labeled on the back "The Cards That Never Were". This is one of them. Dean and Simmons had been inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1953. Dean played for the Cardinals and the Cubs. He appears to be wearing a Senators cap in this picture.

1992 Upper Deck College POY #1 Dave McCarty
These full bleed holographic cards were inserts in 1992 Upper Deck. I could be wrong but I think these were the first full holographic cards in a main stream set. There are only 3 cards in this set. I've got two now, the other came from a repack as well. POY means Player of the Year, in this case, minor league POY.

1995 Collector’s Choice Special Edition #211 Jeff Montgomery
There's nothing special about this set except for the concept. Upper Deck introduced the "Collector's Choice" set in 1994 as a cheaper (aimed at kids) alternative to their main set. With the 1994 set, Upper Deck helped introduce the concept of the parallel set. In addition to the base cards, there were Gold and Silver signature cards inserted randomly into the packs. The signature cards were identical to the base cards except they had facsimile signatures in either gold or silver foil. In 1995, Upper Deck introduced Collector's Choice Special Edition. An entire other set with the same design as Collector's Choice but with blue borders and a blue foil logo. At least the cards had a different checklist. But it also had silver and gold signature versions. Would card collectors really fall for this? Of course we did and parallel cards are going strong more than 20 years later.

1999 Upper Deck MVP Silver Script #159 Bob Abreu
Here's the same concept as the Collector's Choice silver and gold signature cards carried forward to 1999. I didn't buy much of this product in 1999 and only had one of these Silver Script parallels, and it wasn't a Phillie.

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