Month: January 2018

Jose Herrera’s 8-Step Process to Land Exactly One Baseball Card Appearance

(Check out our other player card posts here.) How many times have you thought to yourself … “Self, my life would be just about perfect if I could get featured on just one Topps baseball card!”? It’s a dream for many, and yet it seems almost unattainable. Or completely unattainable. Snagging exactly one baseball card appearance? Impossible! Right? Just think about the guys who couldn’t accomplish the feat … Willie Mays … Barry Bonds … Pete Rose … Pete O’Brien … Brian Harper … Harper Lee … John Noriega (of the 1969 Cincinnati Reds). All were giants in their...

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How My Dad Saved Me from the Soul-Crushing Dreariness of the 1980 Topps Philadelphia Eagles

(If you like depressing sports cards, check out the story of the 1981 Topps Steve McCatty.) Baseball cards didn’t exist until 1981. Or, at least they didn’t exist for me. That’s when my mom brought home that first pack of brown Topps mush that I hated at first sight. But by that time, I was already a veteran football card collector of two seasons. My old shoe box was starting to fill up with the ribbon+football 1979s and the name-in-a-football 1980s. I didn’t love my football cards, but I understood them. These were the guys who muscled their way...

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Fleer Was Not Moved by Ron Guidry and His Louisiana Lightning

(Check out our other player card posts here.) For about a decade, there was no more magical pitcher in baseball than Ron Guidry. And, for the most part, his baseball cards did a great job of capturing his mound-bound majesty. Guidry first pushed his way onto the national scene in 1977, crafting a 16-7 record with a 2.82 ERA and 176 strikeouts as a rookie for the New York Yankees. “Gator” entered the 1978 season as a quiet ace ready to bloom, and his 1978 Topps card captured the power of his delivery: The reason that Guidry’s ascendance was...

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1984 Topps Rick Leach and the Pain of Timing

(Check out our other player card posts here.) There are moments in every life that change the course of history — on at least some scale. If that sounds dramatic, then consider the joint case of Rick Leach and the Detroit Tigers, and the day they had on March 24, 1984. It was a day that not only upheaved Leach’s world but also rendered his newly-minted 1984 Topps card obsolete before we could even toss it in the commons bin.     In case you don’t have your calendar handy, that day was a Saturday, just 10 days before...

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Memories in Brown Paper and Wax — Gregory Koutrouby’s Collecting Story is Wrapped in Family Ties

(Read all of our collector stories here. Want to share your own story? Let me know!) Baseball, more than any other sport, has a long and storied history of pulling families together across the generations. Fathers play catch with their sons, who coach their own kids’ Little League teams. And they all gather around the Hot Stove to talk about what has been and what will be … Will this be the year the New York Mets finally win another World Series?  Will Aaron Judge be as good as Mickey Mantle? As Dave Kingman? As Kevin Maas? When will...

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