Tuesday, December 31, 2019

1992-1993 Cartwrights Aces

Uh. Normally Aces are pitchers. But Cartwrights 1992-1993 Aces card didn't seem to take that into consideration.

The set features just twelve cards. And they got it right by having Darryl Strawberry be Card No 1. He's clearly the best of the lot: Nolan Ryan, Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey, Jr., Tom Glavine, Cal Ripken, Jr., Roger Clemens, Ryan Sandberg, Tony Gwynn, Kirby Puckett, Mark McGwire, and Deion Sanders.

Er. Actually, looking at all those Hall of Famers he's probably only better than Sanders and McGwire. Clemens should be in.

I'm not entirely sure what Cartwrights was. I'm not entirely sure I even care. This is a wonderful card. Google seems to insist it's a department store in a Hallmark movie.

Thanks all for stopping by! Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

2019 Topps 1984 Topps All-Stars

This is another one of my 2019 Darryl Strawberry card acquisitions. It's the 2019 Topps 1984 Topps All-Stars.  I've said many times before that I don't always like seeing modern players on old card designs, but contradictory (kind of) I don't mind seeing different images of player that did have historical cards. 

The thing I like about this card is almost everything. I don't know if this picture was from 1984, doesn't look like it. But it would have been really neat if it was. The 1984 set of course featured 1983 All-Stars so even though DS made the team that summer, he didn't have a card for his efforts.

But Topps over did it. As usual. I thought that they were issuing sleek looking new cards of all the players that played in the 1984 summer classic, but, silly me... One look at the checklist will show you that there are fewer actual 1984 All-Stars (starters, pitchers, reserves) than other players.

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Friday, December 20, 2019

John Kruk 1988 Score Young Superstars and Sportflics

John Kruk was included as a "Young Superstar" on this 1988 Score card. Not all the guys on this checklist went on to have super careers, but it's always interesting to see card companies attempt to prospect, be they Young Superstars, Rated Rookies, or Future Stars.

The card back image looks remarkably like that on the 1988 Sportflics card below and I'm curious if it was from the same game & photographer. I think this is from ye olde Jack Murphy Stadium.

The 1988 Sportflics card is a bit trippy with all the "images" somewhat visible. These cards, both of them, continue to "free" spirit and swing narrative that accompanied Kruk in his first years in the bigs.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

2019 Topps Series 2 SP "Legend"

2019 was a strange year for me; I moved after 20 years in Massachusetts and lived most of it with my in-laws. And their terrible dogs. I drank a lot. But happily now I'm in my own house which is great. 

I bought very few packs of baseball cards, and spent some of that disposable cash in a package of tickets to go to every Phillies home game. It was great until Segura got McCutchen hurt. The rest of the season was lost. My only non-Phillies game was at Nationals Park and it's been scientifically proven that my attendance that swelteringly hot July 4th day that my attendance led to their winning the World Series. 

I'm not sure if there are any "Card of the Year" contests out there, but that doesn't mean that we can't all have a card that we favor! I have just give 2019 cards and my favorite is this Legend card from Topps, Series 2. It's a short print card and I think it's pretty amazing. 

So... I've shown you mine. Now you show me yours. (By "yours" I mean your favorite card of the year.) Do a blog post and link here in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 13, 2019

2 1988 John Kruk Fleer cards

By 1988 when these two John Kruk cards were produced, Fleer was in it pretty thick with small, supplementary sets for collectors.

They had Star Stickers, All-Stars, Headliners, as well as wax box bottoms. Oh, and

Fleer Award Winners
Fleer Baseball All-Stars
Fleer Baseball MVP's
Fleer Baseball's Best Sluggers vs Pitchers
Fleer Exciting Stars
Fleer Hottest Stars
Fleer Kay Bee Team Leaders
Fleer League Leaders
Fleer Mini
Fleer Record Setters
Fleer SuperStars

Ridiculous. But at least there was Topps, Donruss, Sportflics, Classic,  and Score that year, too, to give some diversity. Topps out-producers all these sets, in a current year, by mid-February. And I thought monopolies were supposed to be illegal or something?

Here we have 1988 Fleer Star Stickers and Fleer Superstars for Kruk. 

I bet they don't make cleats like that any longer.

Check out that physique.

Thanks for stopping by. And stuff.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Ohohoh oh oh... Hangin' Tuff

So. Another Darryl Strawberry as a Dodgers. I don't know how many more of these I have to show off from a relatively recent spree. But there are a couple. If you can't beat 'em, for God's sake don't join 'em. Thank goodness there are some Mets cards in this batch.

But this is the the 1991 Tuff Stuff magazine card for Darryl Dynamic. It came in the October 1991 issue of the magazine in which he was also the cover dude.  

Pretty basic card front design. The back has standard vitals and information. Straw definitely filled out in eight years in the bigs.

Darryl's rookie year was far more impressive than the most recent ROY to don a Mets uniform.

Look at that leg kick.

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Friday, December 6, 2019

It's Friday I'm in Kruk

This is the 1988 Fleer mini John Kruk card. What I love about this card and set is that it features different images than on the base set. Yet has the same bright, beautiful reds, whites, and blues.

It is not commonly know, but the Cure's original title for their 1992 song "Friday I'm in Love" was "Friday I'm in Kruk". They first met Kruk in Philadelphia in on Thursday September 21, 1989 when they played a concert at the old Spectrum. Kruk and the Phillies were playing a day game in Chicago against the Cubs. He went 0-4 in part because he had tickets for the concert. He flew to see them play, which impressed Robert Smith. They hung out into the wee hours of the morning (Friday morning), and then Kruk later flew to St. Louis for the weekend series. This is true because Kruk wasn't in the lineup (as punishment) on the Friday game. Smith wrote "Friday I'm in Kruk" the next day on the bus up to Mansfield, Mass.

I've worked with the famous Kruk-Cure archive and found the original lyrics:

I don't care if Kruk gets fat
It might help him when at bat
What do you all think of that
It's Friday I'm in Kruk.

Monday you can travel far
By bus or train or even car
I'll be waiting in the bar
It's Friday I'm in Kruk.

Just a sec, wait
John is stepping up to the plate
And John Kruk never hesitate...

And so on...

All of this is true.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

1991 Sports Educational

By 1991 when this Darryl Strawberry card was issued, he had left the right coast to go to the wrong coast. His uniform is lacking a certain something -- a certain je ne sais orange, as the French might say. I'm on a Darryl-as-Dodgers binge at the moment which is unhealthy.

This is his "Sports Educational" card. His what?

According to this Amazon.com description <accessed 2 December 2019>, it "Includes 2 pages of Baseball trading cards. This workbook takes the child through the experience of owning and building a major league baseball franchise."

The magazine also has cards from other sports but who cares about those? Baseball was first. Followed by football and hockey. It rightly didn't count basketball as a sport.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Does Chernobyl explain 1995 Fleer?

1988 Fleer is one of their best designs of all time. It's bright; and the red, white, and blue color scheme is as American as it gets. The ghosted fogginess at the top of the player image and just below the name/position/team name labels is a technique Topps would use, that same year, on it's Major League Leaders Mini  set, as well as team leaders in the base (full size) set. It's interesting to see what the hot technology trends looked like in any given year, or in successive years (Score's colorful sets I think influenced Topps 1990 design). That still doesn't really explain 1995 fucking Fleer. 

Nothing does. Maybe, actually, it was Chernobyl?  

I think it was. It is the only explanation.

Anyway, I like the design of the set, but many of the images are really boring. Steve Carlton was confounded.

This is the 1988 Fleer Glossy card for Kruk and I appreciate the very helpful help of several people on Twitter for helping me see the difference between it and the base card. I love the ball where it is as it captures a moment you see quite regularly in any given game.

I suppose Fleer Glossy is much like Topps Tiffany and that these both were kind of what lead us to where we are now with umpteen different color parallels.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

1992 Sports Card Price Guide

Another Darryl Strawberry card in a bizarre uniform (why do I bother collecting these?). This is from the 1992 Sports Card Price Guide. 

This set features 80 cards across baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. The checklist seems to be predominantly baseball, which is right because it's the best sport. Will Clark is card Number 1.

The card featured in the bottom right of the back is Darryl's 1990 Score card (#200).

I wonder if his card still accounts for 80% of the value of the 1983 Topps Traded set? On Trading Card DB, he is priced at $25.00. Tom Seaver's the next highest price at $1.70. Even Billy Martin's manager card is $1.35!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 23, 2019

John Kruk!!!! cards

I recently went on a little binge of John Kruk cards. The majority of my collection has come from generous traders or gift givers. So buying cards hasn't been as much of a necessity. And I'm grateful for that.

But as I literally have sent off all my extra and unwanted cards to others.... trade packages have dried up. So the other day I bought 31 cards and this is the first post looking at them. We have four here.

The first is 1986 Sportflics Rookies. What is it that makes the Sportflics kind of "break", in that they don't really change images as well as they used to? Or, were they always this kind of clunky? The text on the back of Kruk's card is voluminous, but a good read nonetheless. He was called a "free spirit", which I love, and we were told he ate a pizza a day. Which kind of explains a lot.

This 1987 Donruss card is actually the variant with the back of the card being flipped. Our bible the Trading Card Database says that "Factory Set version: Back bottom matches with front left." Here he's using batting gloves...

And below he is not! Kruk can do it all... This is the base of John Kruk's 1987 Fleer. I needed it, having previously gotten the Glossy. That's going about things backwards, right?

And then the gloriousness of 1987 Topps. Made brighter by this being the Tiffany version. Scrumptious.

I wonder if anyone out there collects the cards that are referenced on the backs of cards? And then stores them side-by-side in a 9 pocket page? That would be a kind of a fun project. In this instance, the card next to Kruk would be 1968 Topps George Culver, #319.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

1990 Team Mets Tropicana

Apparently Tropicana sponsored cards, too. This Darryl Strawberry is from 1990. It's the Team Mets Club issue featuring a checklist of nine players. Cone, Elster, Fernandez, Gooden, Jeffries, Johnson, Miller, Strawberry, and Viola.  It's an attractive card, I really like the orange and blue curvy border. 

This card was clearly cut from a sheet or some other product but I don't mind.

Not that orange juice is weird... But, what's the weirdest food product you can think of that issued baseball cards?

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 15, 2019

1991 Classic I: Friendly Foes

This is a card I got back in September; part of a little spree to get mail to me at my new address. It's from the 1991 Classic set. It features former teammates Dwight Gooden (left wearing the Mets uniform) and Darryl Strawberry (right wearing some atrocious jersey with some heinous unintelligible word on it). I know the directions and descriptions I've listed are helpful. You're welcome.

In 1991, there was the Classic Game (200 cards) and then three additional series (numbered I [99 cards], II [100 cards], and III [100 cards]). Strawberry was in the Game, I, and II series.

Classic was a "game" apparently but I don't remember playing it. I don't remember how to play it. Do you?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Custom Nick

Nick V (website) made some custom cards which highlights his remarkable talent and creativity. He sent me two from the batch that he made of my two PCs: John Kruk and Darryl Strawberry. Both in my wheelhouse; and both welcome additions. I have some hand drawn customs of both from Mark M, too. So I guess at this point I'm happily building a subset of customs. 

The first is a screen shot from a film called The Fan which starred Kruk along side some no name actors called Robert DeNiro and Wesley Snipes. I don't think I ever knew about the film, but how Kruk was snubbed the Best Actor in the Oscars that year is offensive, frankly.

Goodness is that man beautiful!

Next we get a very happy looking Darryl Strawberry. This card & design is so attractive I could scream.

The white outline around the head & shoulders shot in the bottom right corner is exquisite. It makes the card pop. This is simple, elegant, beautiful, and is pants down finer than most designs I've seen in recent years by the big card makers.

The card back is brilliant too as it shows complete career stats---which I really like. An absolute joy of a baseball card.

Thanks Nick!

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Friday, November 8, 2019

Two 1989 Baseball's Best Two

I got these two Broder-like cards a while ago but never pimped them on the blog. They are from 1989. They are unlicensed. There seems to have been a lot of unlicensed cards in this era. They look and feel rather cheap; and the information on the cards is minimalist. There is very little effort put into it, but perhaps I'm just spoiled by the hand-drawn and thoughtfully creative customs I've received of late?

Sometimes I really see Curtis Granderson in Strawberry and this card of him in the batting cage really kind of reminds me of the Grandyman.

Do you collect unlicensed cards? I go back and forth between coveting them and being angry at going after them (mostly because it seems I cannot get a handle on which ones I have, how many there are. They all look the freakin' same).

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Kindness of Night Owl

Several weeks ago, everyone's favorite nocturnal owl sent me the below two Darryl Strawberry items. Both are very awesome additions to my PC. 

The first is a 1992 Scholastic Sport Shots Collector's Book. Never knew this kind of thing existed? Did you? Other books included Barry Bonds, John Olerud, Roger Clemens, Cal Ripken, Jr., Don Mattingly, Nolan Ryan, Bobby Bonilla, and Ken Griffey, Jr., to name several. They did older, retired people too like Willie Mays and Jackie Robinson. Neat. They also made them for other sports. But, who cares about them?

Probably one of the few books I can safely say I read in less than one day. It's cute, too. At 44 pages it matches Strawberry's number for the Dodgers. I wonder if Ripken, Jr.'s, was only 8 pages?

The card Greg included was the base Stadium Club card for 2019. Another generous collector previously sent me the red parallel. But having the base was kind of something I really wanted. And, voila, Night Owl read my mind!

Thanks Night Owl!

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

1989 Action Superstars

Contrary to the words on the back of the card, Darryl Strawberry does not look like much of an Action Superstar in this 1989 baseball bard. He's just hanging around with a stick and a donut.

They don't really make wrist sweatbands like that anymore! (Though I see Under Armour makes them.) Maybe I should say, they don't wear wrist sweatbands like that anymore. Which might account for all the batting glove adjustments that these guys make which adds minutes to games.

Rounded corner cards are good but they suck to crop.

Thanks for stopping by!