Friday, August 30, 2013

1976 Topps Star Trek Cards

I'm not the world's biggest Star Trek fan, but I am a fan of all incarnations of the show, going back to the original series first aired in 1966.  I don't collect a lot of Trek memorabilia but will buy stuff that interests me when I come across it. Plus, anything Stat Trek is a good fallback for my family (especially my daughter) when birthdays and Father's Day rolls around.

I saw an article on 1976 Topps Star Trek cards on I'd never heard of them before.  I had to have a few so turned to eBay. Quite a lot of them are for sale and they are not real cheap. An unopened back goes for $40-$50.

I managed to find three cards from the same seller that looked interesting. Outside of the fact that all three of them are off-center, they are in good shape with nice hard corners and no markings.

"The Trouble With Tribbles" is one of the most popular shows from the original series. Here's Captain Kirk surrounded by dead tribbles. Scotty gets the last line in this episode when he tells Kirk that he transported all the remaining live tribbles to the Klingon ship "Where they'll be no tribble at all".

There are 88 cards in the set and there were 76 original episodes. I wonder if there is a card per show.  In this episode, Kirk finally gets the upper hand on the guy in the rubber lizard suit by mixing up a batch of gunpowder from stuff laying around on the ground. As a civilized man he refused to kill the Gorn even when goaded on by the Metron.

Another very popular episode, featuring the "evil" Spock from an alternative universe.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

250-card Farimont Cube

I mentioned the other day that I was going to get several posts from the 250-card Fairmont repack cube.  Here's # 3. First off, there were a lot of nice cards in this cube, and a lot of cards I didn't have. Of the 250 cards, about 150 are going into the collection.  In this post, I'm going to focus on some of the more odd-ball cards.

1986 Fleer Sluggers/Pitchers #17 Kent Hrbek
I had 2 cards from this 44-card set already (one of Mike Schmidt). This set was sold in a flip-top box in department stores. Fleer and Topps produced a lot of sets like this in the mid to late 1980s. Half the set were sluggers, the other half were pitchers.

1987 Nestle Dream Team #27 Roberto Clemento
This was a nice find. The 34-card (including a checklist card) set was produced by Topps. Cards could be found in Nestle candy and by a mail-in redemption. According to Beckett, the set was subdivided into 11-card subsets, depicting different eras in baseball. Im not sure when the Nestle "Modern Era" started considering that Clemente had been dead for 15 years when this set was issued.

1990 Topps Ames All Stars #28 Eric Davis
This is not an uncommon set to find in repacks. I've already got more than half the 33-card set from repacks. The card front has a heavy gloss. As you may have guessed these were available in Ames Department Stores. These stores were not located where I grew up in Philadelphia.

1990 Starline Long John Silver #6 Wade Boggs
You'd be hard-pressed to associate this set with the Long John's Silvers fast food chain since the store is not mentioned on the front or back. You could get a 5-card pack with the purchase of a food item at Long John Silver's. There are 40 cards in the set. I now have 3 of these and it looks like the National League cards are red and the AL cards are blue.

1995 Donruss Top of the Order #221 John Smiley
Yet another attempt to make a card game out of baseball cards. This was a 360-card set. It came in a 80-card  box with booster backs.

1997 UD3 #28 Ivan Rodriguez
I don't know to much about this 60-card set from Upper deck. I only have 3 cards from it, all acquired from repacks. Two of the cards I have look like this one with a gorgeous multi-colored foil finish. The other one has a sort of wood grain finish with a clear plastic insert.

1998 Pacific Online #275 Brian Hunder
By the first time I ever saw one of these cards, Pacific was defunct and so was the web site.

2007 Tristar Prospects Plus #97 Travis Snider
Not so much an odd-ball set as a minor-league set, I feature it here because Snider played for one of my favorite named minor league teams, the Lansing Lugnuts. I have a team cap I bought a few years on eBay.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Random Cards from My Collection #49

2008 Bowman Chrome Refractor #39 Tom Glavine
Comments on the card: The regular 2008 Bowman cards were the normal black borders with red highlights. I like that the chrome versions had white borders.  Still too much facsimile signature.
When acquired: October 2008
How acquired: Paid $1.00/card for a blaster box.
Player's season: 2008 was Glavine's last season and he finished with the Braves, where it all began. He was 2-4 in 13 starts but that hardly matters in a career where he was 305-203.

Card #6712
1991 Score Von Hayes #426
Comments on the card: This was a good design. Big photo on the front, simple colored borders (one of the colors was white) and nice photo and stat listing on the back.
When acquired: Don't know.
How acquired: Don't know.
Player's season: In June, Hayes got his arm broken by Tom Browning of the Reds. It ended his season. He was traded to the Angels at the end of the season but his career was also effectively over.

Card #4205
1997 Donruss #416 Brady Anderson

Comments on the card: This was a 25-card subset in 1997 Donruss, not an insert, featuring the top players with the top 25 batting averages in 1996. Reaching all the way down to #25, was Anderson at .257. Anderson actually hit .297 in 1996, so maybe this is career average?
When acquired: Don't know.
How acquired: Don't know.
Player's season: Anderson led the American League in being hit by a pitch in 1997, at 19. A little down from his league leading total of 22 in 1996.

Card #34054
2012 Topps Archives #161 Chase Utley

Comments on the card: This was a nice set (as is this year's) but are you getting a bit tired of recycled Topps designs?
When acquired: June 2012.
How acquired: Acquired during the Great 2012 Summer Clearance Trade.
Player's season: Chase missed most of the first half of the season, coming out of spring training with knee problems.

Card #3915
1980 Topps #526 Phillies Team Photo

Comments on the card: I love team photo cards. I wish Topps would bring them back.
When acquired: Don't know.
How acquired: Don't know.
Player's season: My favorite Phillies team of all time. They were 91-71 in 1980 and won the first World Series in franchise history.

Card #770
1990 Score Rising Stars #6 Todd Zeile
Comments on the card: This was a 100-card set sold as a complete set in a blister pack. It features up and coming rookies.
When acquired: August 2003.
How acquired: Paid $9.00 for the entire set on eBay.
Player's season: 1990 was Todd's first full season. He played 144 games for the Cardinals, hitting .244 with 15 home runs. Good enough to place 6th on the ROY voting.

Card #21941
2002 Upper Deck Vintage #236 Jimmy Rollins
Comments on the card: Upper Deck Vintage was an attempt by Upper Deck to mimic Topps success at recycling their past designs by recycling old Topps designs. I like cards featuring players signing autographs but Jimmy looks a bit distracted here.
When acquired: Don't know.
How acquired: Don't know.
Player's season: In his second full season, J-Roll lead the league in plate appearances with 637 and triples, with 10. He was also an All-Star.

Card #2731
1982 Donruss #585 Mike Schmidt/Pete Rose
Comments on the card: From Donruss' second year of production. They really loaded up on the popular players of the day.
When acquired: Don't know.
How acquired: Don't know.
Player's season: Pete and Mike were both All-Stars in 1982.

Card #40470
2001 Fleer Tradition #234 Eric Davis
Comments on the card: Here's Fleer pretty much doing the same thing as Upper Deck Vintage.
When acquired: 2001
How acquired: Don't know.
Player's season: Eric had hit .303 in 93 games for the Cardinals in 2000. He singed with the Giants in 2001 and only hit .205 in 74 games. And that was the end.

Card #22310
2004 Donruss Elite #130 Bob Abreu
Comments on the card: Mirror finished cards with multiple parallels. I never bought much of this product.
When acquired: Don't know.
How acquired: Don't know.
Player's season: Bobby hit .301 in 2004 and and went to his first All-Star game.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

1990's Leaf Cards

The other day I posted some 2012 Leaf Pete Rose cards. These had come in a Fairfield repack "cube" containing 250 cards. There were a lot of interesting cards in this box and I'm going to milk this for as many posts as possible.

First up, I want to share some Leaf cards from 1992, 1994 and 1997 Leaf. What I want to show is a design progression to make a point. First, 1992 Leaf.

Leaf had debuted in 1991, as a premium card set. Leaf also produced Donruss cards at this time and these were a step up from Donruss. Printed on thicker white card stock than Donruss, these featured nice photography on the front and a good sized color photo on the back. The cards were unfinished (meaning no gloss) and had no foil or other fancy stuff. The back also featured career stats and as much biography as would fit. I particularly like the framing on these two cards. There were 4 cards in the box and I didn't have any of them.

Lets jump to 1994 Leaf. I only got one of these in the box.
Two years later, the look and feel of the cards is completely different. Full bleed photography on the front and back. Gold foil on the front and holographic foil team logo on the back. The cards have a hard glossy coating. Stats on the back have been reduced to 1 year with no bio information, leaving room for more photographic elements on the back. The background features the player's home stadium and there's a close-up shot of the player on a facsimile ticket. And just as an aside, in 1992, Leaf published Donruss. In 1994, Donruss published Leaf. I bought a lot of this product in 1994 because I liked it.

Now 1997 Leaf
Again, a completely new look and feel. Still full bleed photography on the front but now with a soft focus background that fades out toward the edges of the card. A prominent Leaf logo in silver foil. The back features another photo with a soft focus background with the stats, still only a singe year, but in a box separate from the background. The cards had a semi-gloss coating. There were two of these, neither of which I had. I didn't buy much of this in 1997. I remember they were pricey and I can't claim I like the design a great deal.

So what's my point? It just wasn't Leaf doing this in the 1990's, I only used Leaf to illustrate because I had these cards handy. Everybody was doing it. Every major card brand, Bowman, Donruss, Fleer, Score, Pinnacle, Stadium Club, Topps, Ultra, and Upper Deck, made major changes to their design every year. Maybe you didn't like every design but opening up a pack of something you hadn't seen before was exciting.

Flash forward to today. Topps cards look pretty much the same from year to year. In 2012, Bowman made the first really big design change in over 10 years. Sure we love Allen and Ginter but the cards are basically the same from year to year. Gypsy Queen? A different version of A&G. What else to we have? Topps Heritage and Topps Archives. Nothing new there.