Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Hard Nut to Crack

"Your want list is a hard nut to crack." Those were the words printed on the sticky note attached to the package of cards I received in the mail today. Mark, from Stats-on-the-Back, took a comb to my want list and culled out quite a selection of doozies for my collection!

Before I get started, I want to explain a little bit regarding how "The CardCollector" software works. See, they employ people to enter the information into the database. One of the fields for each card is the team that is represented on the card. For the most part, those data-entry folks get it right. Sometimes, however, the assign the wrong team to a player/card. That is, the picture on the card does not match the team they had selected for that card. You will see this as an object lesson later in the post. So, here is one of the ways I devised my "want list:" I open the database, choose a manufacturer, year and 'model' (Say Topps, 2008, Allen and Ginter), then I filter the cards to show only those that have "Cleveland" marked as the team for the card. Once that is done, I check the "WANT" box if I do not already have it.

What's nice about this procedure is that I can whip through sets and sets of cards, searching only for Indians, then mark those I do not have as "WANT!" Well, invariably, this leads to my putting cards on my WANT list that I did not even know existed (because I am not always paying attention to the actual brand, just the fact they are Cleveland). And that is where we start things off tonight!

Mark dug deep into somewhere and came up with three of the coolest cards I've seen from the late 80's: They are 1989 Topps LJN Toys Baseball Talk. They are large cards with mini records on the back. For those too young to know, records came before CD's, cassettes, and 8-tracks... Wait, if you don't know records, you sure as shootin' aren't going to know 8-tracks. Look, it's VINYL... You know, wikiwiki-scratchscratch and all? Anyway, I assume the record on the back plays something about the player on the front. I just may have to free one of the records from the card and hunt down a turntable somewhere... Other cards in this first section include a mini Andy Marte (as opposed to an Andy mini-mart), Topps Chrome Anderson, a Hostess/Post/something Bob Wilson, and others:

Mark also wrote, "Here's hoping ALL of these find their way into your personal Tribe collection." I can say that MOST of them will! Some of them were on the WANT list, but through the generosity of fellow bloggers and readers, I have knocked off some of the ones included in this package. That's okay! I love gettin' Tribe cards! I can tell you that there are a lot of great items in here. I am a big fan of the Omega cards and oddballs like the Ames 20/20 are always a hit:

It always amazes me when I see cards that I need. Especially ones that I was pretty sure I already had, like many of the ones in this next grouping. Then again, as I have said, many of the base cards are missing from my collection because of my time away from collecting. And, before I got serious about cataloging, I always assumed (I know, bad...) that I had the base cards, so I would toss them into my dupes piles (er, boxes). One of the other problems I have is the whole "Tiffany" thing. I have Traded cards, but it took me a while to understand that Tiffany meant clean, bright backs as opposed to the dull regular backs. So, many Tiffany cards got booted in my younger days along with regular cards since I showed I already had 125T, etc. I have learned a lot, and still have lots to learn:

I love playing card-themed items. I have no idea where that comes from. Maybe since my Dad played poker a lot when I was a kid. Who knows. But, my other "problem" area is error cards. Looking through checklists, I have to figure out if I have the "error" version or the "corrected" version. I think that is the case with the Swindell card, if memory serves. I'll have to look, but I think there are two versions of the MVP card. I think the blue Donruss cards are very cool! I don't even know what that set is, but obviously my database does since I had them on my want list. :-) And, some of the cards (like the Pinnacle Hill) I am almost certain I have, but for whatever reason they still appear on my want list. Okay, we all know the reason is mostly my fault for not UNchecking the WANT box... :-) But, I'll double check the card against my database just to be sure. I have learned not to take ANY card for granted:

Holy cow, check out Atherton... Those specs with the shadow paint under his eyes... OY... Now, talk about vintage! A couple of 1972 Topps in AWESOME condition and a1970 Topps in excellent shape. Add to that a Phil Niekro and this is one smokin grouping! The 1970 series cards always make me stop and think of Alvin Dark. Dark was the first 1970 card I ever bought. Weird how things like that stick out in your mind, eh:

And now, we come to the part where the data entry folks obviously did not LOOK at the card(s) to see which team was featured... Noles, Franco, and Armstrong all played for the Tribe close to the respective years of the cards in the database, but these ones were mismarked as Indians! Oh well, I sure appreciate Mark's effort. I'm sure he was scratching his head when he saw these going into the package. And then we have Strawberry. I have no earthly idea how *HE* ended up on my want lists! I mean, how on earth does ANYONE who knows ANYTHING about baseball put Strawberry in a Tribe uniform!? These must have REALLY thrown Mark for a loop - at least the first set of guys actually PLAYED for the Tribe! Well, for what it's worth, I have a pretty good idea who will be getting the Strawberry cards if he needs them:

Once again, THANK YOU, Mark! I know these will make a HUGE crack in the nut that is my Indians collection!


  1. I have two of those Talk cards -- Jose Canseco and Nolan Ryan. I actually featured Jose on my blog when posting on Wax Heaven's anniversary. I haven't tried to play them either. I'd have to dig the phonograph (look it up in the dictionary, kids) out of the attic.

  2. My first '71 was a Joe Morgan. It was the oldest card in my collection for quite a while.

  3. I have the Talking Baseball Player. I take it out and listen to Benito Santiago and Rickey Henderson every few years. Those interviews are hilarious. I almost kept the Atherton, just to blog about it.

    More Indians (that you don't need) will be on their way soon. You saved then from the trash heap.

  4. I had the player for those cards (and it indeed, as the previous comment says, was a special player, not just a regular phonograph turntable) but my mother got rid of it when I was away at school. To be honest, it wasn't until right now that I really missed the thing--I could have sent it off in a trade. XD

  5. Thanks for the name drop/link! I actually only have the Baseball's Best card you pictured.... and believe me, I'm doing my best to collate all my Tribe cards, though I'll admit, I haven't yet had a chance to sort through your want list...