Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hobie Is A Pepper Pot

Another day, another box of baseball cards to look through.  Look at me.  I've been going through these things for a couple months now and I am starting to get bored.  I think most of this is due to the fact that I keep finding more and more monotony of 1990s junk.  Don't get me wrong, it's still fun to look through the boxes.  I have just hit a rut.  I've tried mixing it up but my plan of looking through each and every box is becoming daunting.  I have started to take a few days off here and there and with the holiday coming up, I will probably take some extended time off from searching.  Maybe it's that I am still not viewing these as mine but rather someone's collection that I am holding for them.  I don't know.

Well that was until tonight when I found something that set me off.  I found these...

I'm going to guess that at this point you know where I am going with this.  Here we have four cards that upon first glance, look to be from the 1950s considering the photos, uniforms, and black & white style.  I have never seen cards from this time that looked like these so I assumed they were some limited food printed set or something of that nature.

Well, they aren't.  In fact, they aren't even cards.  Actually that is not entirely true.  They were cards at one time.  That is, until someone with a need to change the images on their cards got a hold of some newspaper clippings or magazine photos, some Elmer's glue and a pair of scissors.  I can't imagine why someone that wasn't the creator would keep these as they are abominations at worst and novelty "Frankencards" at best.

So what were these at one time?  Here's a hint...

Yes, my friends.  Those were perfectly good 1954 Bowman cards.  1954 Bowman cards that at some point in their 56 year existence, fell into the hands of someone with more interest in arts & crafts rather than collecting.  Even if they were less than enthused with the player selection here, why choose to mutilate these cards?  Why not find other pieces of cardboard to paste your favorite player photos to?  Why not just put the pictures up in your bedroom, or on your Trapper Keeper?  Why not just put the cards in your bike spokes like the rest of the idiot kids in the 1950s and 1960s that didn't realize the gold they had at the time but now force their kids and grand kids to listen to stories about how they had Mantle, Mays, Williams, Maris, and Clemente and sentenced them all to death by bike tire friction?  Whoa...calm down.

As you can see by two of the four former cards, someone had tried to "rescue" them by peeling off the stuck on pictures.  It wasn't me, I swear.  You can also see that attempt didn't work out too well.  Rather than center the photos on the card, you can see that they took the liberty of adjusting the margins a cutting the edges off to match the clippings!

So I guess to sum up, I found a 1954 Bowman Hobie Landrith #220, a 1954 Bowman Frank Baumholtz #221, a 1954 Bowman Bill Bruton #224, and a 1954 Bowman Pete Catiglione #174 (Version B)...all with the fronts doctored, with news clippings pasted to them, chopped up and trimmed down to fit some sort of sick fantasy.  Or, maybe this was the first Custom Card creator.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nonsport Hologram-y-ness

So as a change of pace, I thought I would show two random cards I found in a box of otherwise bland, boring 90s baseball.

First, is this...

This one is a little hard to see but is spectacular in person.  For those that can't make it out, it's a hologram (hololithogram to be exact) of Spiderman putting a boot to the solar plexis of Venom.  The image looks awesome in the right light.  If you hold it just right, it seems like Venom's shoulder and Spidey's head are coming out of the card.  Really, freakin' cool.

The back is completely black so all the information has to be obtained from the front.  This is from the 1993 Marvel set produced by Skybox.  It says Marvel Universe Series IV under the picture.  It is numbered H-IV.  I found four different "versions" of this card on the Bay.  There seems to be a Red, Orange (Gold), Green, and Blue version, with the Blue commanding a premium $120-130 asking price and the Red at about $100.  The others seem to be consistent at around $25-35.  Seems like a ton for this card but again, it's pretty freakin' good looking.

I found a completed auction for all 4 for $220.  Amazing!  I can't tell which one I have.  In certain light it looks Gold, in another Green, and if I turn it just the right way, it looks Red.  Who knows.

The second card...

This one you can see a little better.  It is a 1991 Impel 25th Anniversary Star Trek Hologram numbered H1.  The card is pretty self explanatory, featuring the Starship Enterprise flying over a planet (presumably Earth) and the logo on the bottom right.  On the back, it says "The Birth Of A Legend" and goes on to describe a brief history of the series, including the fact that it was the first program to show a Russian and American working together, the first interracial kiss, and helped in naming the first space shuttle.

This one was all over the board.  You can find this one from $1 up to $15 with no auctions that I could find with closing bids.  Even still, it is a pretty cool looking card...although not as good as the Spidey Holo.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Just for Kicks

Long before the 2010 World Cup took the collecting world by storm...Long before the most popular game in the world hooked many a blogger and regular old collector on World Cup Stickers and Soccer cards...Long before there were MLS teams and $250 Million contracts for players...there was Kyle Rote Jr's Superstar Soccer.

In case you were wondering, Kyle Rote Jr. is a former soccer player for the United States National team as well as the North American Soccer League.  He is in the Soccer Hall of Fame and apparently was pretty good.  I'm not writing a book report so if you want to find out more about him, Google it (I always wanted to say that).

At any rate, in 1976 a company called Bel-Art Adv., Inc. and their brand name Rainbo (Colonial), produced a 50-card set of soccer cards featuring the great Kyle Rote Jr.  The set, known as the Superstar Soccer set, was sponsored by the NASL.  Or at least mine were.  Apparently there are some other variations of this set that have different branding but are all essentially the same photos on the front and wording on the back.

The cards feature a yellow border around the cards and have the heading on the top that says "Kyle Rote, Jr. Says...'Try This'" or "Watch For".  They feature a sketch drawing featuring some soccer skill, move, or play and have a picture of Kyle floating on the top in a star.  On the bottom, there is a description describing what is going on in the picture.  The backs (which I have no scan) feature a write up about the play or trick that is being taught as well as a descriptive drawing panel showing the steps involved in the play.  They are definitely something different.

I don't really have much more to say about them other than I have never seen them before.  I am by no means an expert on cards outside the realm of the big 4 sports but I can't recall coming across these before.  I found cards going for a buck or two each and complete sets being offered from anywhere between $5 to $ I'm guessing a 10 spot would be the roundabout price on a set of 50.  Not bad for a set over 30 years old...if you like soccer.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different...The Queen's Envelopes

As I was thumbing through another box of random misses, and the occasional hit, I came across some envelopes that were laying flat underneath the stacks of cards.  Since they were upside down, I had no idea what was inside.  As I removed the random piles of 1980's era Philadelphia Eagles cards, I picked one up to notice this on the other side...

I don't fancy myself as a collector.  I had a relative back when I was 10-11 years old that decided that I liked stamps and got me a bunch of proof books from the post office to start my collection.  I'll admit, I went with it for a while and bought a few of those "bag-o-stamps" that HobbyTown used to sell back in the day.  I probably had a few thousand stamps from all over the world when suddenly, the idea of putting all of them into binders and sleeves with the aid of tweezers and little green pieces of tissue paper with glue on them just didn't keep me interested.  I can't figure out why.  Don't ask me where there are now though because I haven't the foggiest.  That interest was replaced by cardboard.
At any rate, there were a few of these envelopes in this box.  Including the one above, and this one that is a little dog-earred...

This one... 

And this one...

I have tried to find information about these but I really can't find anything specific.  I do know that Artcraft Engravings was a company that produced various First Day Issues of stamps for a variety of occasions.  Knowing that, I suppose these were made to commemorate some kind of trip that the H.M. Queen Elizabeth II was taking, or had taken.  One of them is stamped Royal Visit, which I suppose means the Queen must have paid a visit to Bermuda.

If anyone else is more high falootin than I, and would like to elaborate on the origin and species of these items, feel free to comment.  But for now, the "Queens Envelopes", as I will call them, are taking their place in the Garage.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Remember These?

I was always a fan of Collect-A-Books.  They were different.  Fun.  Not the ordinary baseball card that dominated a large part of the early 90s. 

I remember most of my friends at the time that I regularly traded with were more than happy to get rid of these because they didn't fit in toploaders and they were kind of thick to fit in pages too.  Of course, this was back before they made higher grade/thickness card protection supplies because there was no need back then.  There were no autograph cards unless you got them yourself.  There were also no Game Used memorabilia cards that were as thick as two, if not three normal cards.

You could get these in a box that was kind of like a deck of cards, or one of those KMart Special release sets.

Strangely enough, the Yount card was one that I never was able to get my hands on for some reason.  I think I recall having a Paul Molitor though but my memory isn't what it used to be.

But the biggest draw for me was the fact that they were just that, books.  Inside, you could find all sorts of interesting facts, stats, and information about the player pictured.  Let's take a look.

Personal data, just like the back of a regular card.  Wow!  Did you know Bo Jackson's nickname is Bo?  Interesting...

I remember watching the All-Star game they are referring to.  I must admit, I remember thinking that it was so cool that he lead off with a homer.  At that point, Bo was everywhere...TV, Commercials, Cereal, etc.  But "startled"?  I'm not sure if that is the correct verbiage.

I was a fan of Bo Jackson but he is one of those third person guys.  If there is one thing I can't stand, is a third person guy.  You know who you are.

And now the backs, for those of you that enjoy caricatures of baseball players.  Just check out the artist rendering of the guns on Ruben Sierra and Bo Jackson.  Now check out Orel. 

Collect-A-Books are now in the garage.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Judging by the title of this post, I'm sure most of you have already figured out who I found.  I think I may have even alluded to this being in there before on the regular blog but nonetheless, it's my latest addition to the Card Garage and the newest interesting card to be unearthed from the depths of cardboard purgatory.  And not only that, it's a card that I have always wanted to own but never could muster up enough guts (cabbage) to pick up.

 1976 Topps Walter Payton Rookie Card

What I considered for a long time to be the holy grail of football cards (next to Kordell Stewart's rookie, of course) was found residing amongst a pile of late 70's and early 80's Bears cards in a two row "shoebox".  There was Bob Avellini, Mike Hartenstine, Bo Rather, Robin Earl and Dan Peiffer.  There was Waymond Bryant, Noah Jackson, Alan Page and a Revie Sorey All-Pro.  Then there was this.  The only card in the pile protected from the elements by the revolutionary indestructible fortress known as a penny sleeve.  

Despite it's confines, tt was beautiful to see.  I have come across many of these over the years that have had any number of problems including centering, worn corners, color fading, gum stains, etc.  Most of the time, those defects have done little to reduce the asking prices by much more than a few percent.  But this specimen...oh, this one looked great.  It's a bit off center at first glance but nothing extremely bad.  No chipping to the borders or edges.  The corners are all sharp, real sharp.  If I didn't know better, I would have thought this came right out of a pack.

But alas, the victory was short lived.  As I removed it from it's chamber of despair that it had resided in for Lord knows how long, it hit the light just right, revealing several seriously pronounced creases in the top.  Most of them stretch from the edge all the way through his face.  They aren't significant enough to be seen on the back of the card but the damage, now that it has been revealed, is hard to miss. 

You know what though?  I don't care.  To me, any Walter Payton rookie card is welcome in my collection.  After all, he is only one of the greatest running backs of all time.  Oh, and the fact that he was one of the nicest human beings who has ever lived doesn't hurt either.  Sweetness has a place for sure in the Garage.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Now batting...

Do you know this boy?

Here is a hint...

 Give up yet?

Here's another hint...
 Still don't know?

Maybe you have heard of the other guy, Roy Rogers?

No, not Terry Moore. The other guy.

It's none other than the great hitter, the Big Jawn, Johnny Mize.  I will admit that I was never fully aware of Johnny Mize's accomplishments as a player.  He just isn't a guy that you hear mentioned all too often with the likes of the Mantle's, Ruth's and Mays's'es's.  But the sad part about that is that he should be. 

As for the cards, I had never seen such a thing before.  There are 12 of them that I found.  They aren't in the best condition because they are obviously not normal size.  They were kind of floating around on the bottom of a 5000 count box, not upright, but under the cards that were stacked above them.  I think they may have experienced some water damage a some point or another as well because many of them resemble a Ruffles potato chip.  There is no designation on the back showing year, production, numbering, printing...anything.  These were a little difficult to figure out but the internet is a wonderful thing.

In 1977, collector John A. Douglas took the initiative to right a wrong.  Mize had been retired as an active player for almost 25 years.  But despite his amazing stats, including being the only first basement to lead the NL in batting average for 7 years straight, he remained outside the hallowed halls of Cooperstown.  In fact, he was nearly left off the ballot each and every year by those who select new members for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. 
So Mr. Douglas set out on his campaign to fix this travesty.  Douglas decided to issue a 20-card set designed like a scrapbook that would feature all the qualifications that Mize had for enshrinement into the hall.  Each card is 3-1/8" by 3-7/8", has a black and white photo of Johnny in different phases of his career, and features a gold border.  The backs, as I stated, feature an all sorts of interesting facts about Big Jawn, including many statements by Johnny's contemporaries about him like Jackie Jensen, Ted Williams, Ken Keltner, James "Cool Papa" Bell, Allie Reynolds, and Ernie Lombardi.  Mize was finally elected in 1981.

Welcome to the card garage, Johnny Mize.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Garage Stalls - The First Entry

From time to time, I am going to be entering in some cards into their respective "Card Garage Stalls" located at the top of the page.  You will see multiple tabs for each sport and inside you will find a listing of cards by year for each sport that I have found some interesting specimens worthy of display.

For my first entry, I chose a card that I really paid no attention to when I first came across it in one of the boxes.  In fact, I almost tossed it into the trash when I believed it was just a clipping from an old newspaper.  I'm glad I didn't.  Going back through the box a second time, it occurred to me that this was more than newsprint.  As I flipped the card over, I noticed the name Hassan and immediately realized what it was.  Not being an expert on vintage cards, I wasn't aware of the year or classification but I new...It was a tobacco card!

1912 T202 Hassan Triple Folder Nap Lajoie

At first look, you are probably saying, "Wow!  That is in some bad shape."  You'd be right, although If I looked this good at 98 years old I'd be happy.  On the front it featured the great baseball legend Napoleon Lajoie, anxiously awaiting a pitch.  On the back it reads:

A Great Batsman
The chances are good that Lajoie, the man at bat in the picture will make the hit he is apparently laying for.  He is one of the most confident batters of all time, and rarely finds it necessary to sacrifice.  During the first ten years of American League history Lajoie was one of the three men to make 200 or more hits in a season (the others were George Stone and Ty Cobb).  In 1901, 1904, 1906, and 1910 he reached this record, and in the last year smashed all American League records to that time by pounding out 227 hits, seven more than in 1901, although in that year he made a percentage of .422.  In 1911 he had a batting average of .365.
 I will spare everyone the details of the history of Nap Lajoie and what he meant for baseball back in the early days.  There are plenty of people that have done that already and done it better than I could.  But I will talk a bit about the card.

This is a T-202 model card that was issued in 1912 by the Hassan Cigarette company.  Well known now in the antique industry as one of the most prolific issuer of pin back buttons (along with Tokio and Obak) as part of their promotions, many people forget they put out one of the most interesting (at least in my mind) cards of the early 20th century.  The card's measured 5 1/2" by 2 1/4" when fully intact.  That's right.  This is only "part" of the card.  Hassan took on the concept of a multi-player card one step further than the Mecca cigarette company had the year before.  The full size card would have the center panel as you see here but also two side panels that feature an individual player (usually not the one in the picture either).  The idea was that you could fold over the two panels to create a booklet.  Hence the term, "Triple Folder".

It worked like a charm and these quickly gained popularity, as they were the only cards that featured a somewhat, full write up on each player on the back.  Over time, the constant bending and folding of the side panels caused many of the cards to become detached from their full panel status.  Many people hung onto the player panels themselves as they were full color headshots but discarded the center black and white panel as it was larger in size and harder to keep stored.  You can, however, still find many of these available on Ebay or other places for a reasonable amount in their full state.

I have yet to find either of the two panels in any boxes but you never know.  I am just happy that I now own a piece of card collecting history.  Welcome to the Garage, Mr. Lajoie.

The Card Garage Is Open

What you say?  Another blog that I will pretend to keep up with but will slowly neglect as time goes on?  Probably.  But so what.  It's my party and I'll blog if I want to.  That's right, kids.  It's a new blog by me, the DFG, but it's a little different this time.

As many of you know, I had the opportunity to get my hands on a substantially large collection that was once the inventory of two, now defunct, card shops.  Since the collection consists of somewhere in the range of 1 Million cards, I obviously had to find a place to put them.  Enter, the Garage (and I can thank Sal from Puck Junk for the idea, sort of).  I fashioned a buffer zone between the endless stacks of 3000-5000 count boxes and the floor so as to prevent any potential water damage and I also utilized as much of the shelf storage as I could.  My garage now looks like those pictures you see on Ebay of the "estate" sale card collections that take up inordinate amounts of space and are being auctioned in lots.  You know what I'm talking about.

At any rate, this is going to be where I spend most of the time listing what I find as I go through the boxes, as well as showing the auctions I may post for the ones I'm most definitely not keeping.  My goal is actually to try and sell off the bulk of this collection, recoup any investment capital, and at the same time, increase and develop my own PC in the process.  I will also be listing any interesting finds that I wish to share with the world.  This should be an interesting ride.