Saturday, September 1, 2007

1997 - Score confuses the world...(or maybe just me)

In 1997, Score produced several sets (including parallels) containing the Indians. For today's discussion, I am focusing on only eight (yes, 8!) of the sets. Now, to be fair, I am talking about only three base sets, believe it or not. Those are: Score Regular, Score Indians, and Score Indians Team.

The Score Regular contain 26 player cards (checklist below). The cards show the player and have the scripted "S" logo on the front. They are pretty generic-looking cards, to me, which may explain why Score created two parallel sets of this style...
In addition to the regular issue, Score decided to make a version that was only available to hobby shops. In 1997, I have a feeling some of the large store chains (or one in particular) was muscling in on the local hobby seller's turf, so as to appease the local shop guy, Score created this parallel set: Hobby Reserve. Notice the difference between "HR" cards and the regular ones? Score added a gold foil seal that reads "Hobby Reserve by Score" and has a monogram-looking "hSr" in the middle.
Before the Hobby Reserve, Score decided they needed yet ANOTHER version of the same cards, and issued the "Premium Stock" variety. Note that this set changes the border (and card stock) to a "grey" color. Most of the folks I see selling these refer to the color as "silver." I think that's wrong. Silver is metallic (as will be seen in other cards in the Score line for 1997). At any rate, in addition to heavier cardboard and a new background color, the gold foil seal reads "PS." These cards were also only available to hobby shops.
Now, if that were the end of it, we'd be done. But, NO! Score had a brain-child to create a set of cards called the "Score Team Set Collection." These cards featured different poses and a different look to the card. The cards were sold in boxes of 32 packs, with 5 cards in each pack. Mainly, in place of the Score logo on the front, Indians cards have a red triangle with the logo and the team name embossed. I assume the 'triangle' is actually supposed to be a 'mountain,' since Pinnacle was the parent company of Score at the time... On the back, in gold-ish lettering, the words, "Team Collection" are watermarked across the player's stats. At any rate, the Team Set Collection set featured 15 player cards.
Once again, Score couldn't leave well-enough alone, so they created TWO parallel sets of these cards, too! One set (the more common) features a silver foil backing that is very iridescent when light reflects off it and the words "Platinum Team" watermarked across the stats on the back. These cards were placed in 1 of every 6 packs, so in a box of 32 "regular, Team Collection" cards, you would find 5 or 6 of the silvery "Platinum Team" cards. Like their counterparts, there are 15 players featured in this parallel set.
And, because good things come in threes, I guess, Score decided to make a parallel to the parallel of the "Team Collection" series. These 15 player cards featured gold iridescent fronts with the words, "Premier Club" watermarked on the back. These were inserted at a rate of 1 in every 31 packs. So, in a box of 32, you were essentially guaranteed to get one Premier card. In my first-hand experience, I had a box that had a sealed pack with only four cards in it, instead of the five that were "supposed" to come in the pack. It turns out that box also had NO Premier cards! Somewhere, a card-collating mathematician is having a good laugh...
Finally, we come to the 1997 Score Indians. I don't know about other Tribe collectors out there, but this set's existence has made it rather frustrating to collect the "Team Set Collection" because sellers are not always sure which "version" of Indians-specific cards they are selling (in boxes, packs). These cards look like the regular 1997 Score cards, but they have a red foil Indians logo embossed on the front. Also, the included players are not all the same. For example, card number 1 in this set is Matt Williams, whereas in the Team Collection, it is Albert Belle. The backs of these cards have no special writing at all.
And, of course, Score has to make a parallel of THIS set, too! At least the backs of these say, "Tribe Collection" and they are metallic silver. One other difference between the Team Set/Tribe Collection and the Team Collection/Platinum/Premier sets is the existence of checklists for this last mentioned set. The checklist is regular Score card stock and has no special embossing or coloring at all.

In my attempt to collect all the Premier Club cards, I have contacted several dealers all over the U.S., and not all of them know what I want when I ask for it. Some do, and others send me the "Tribe Collection" variety instead of the "Premier Club" version. On Friday, I received a shipment of four (4) boxes of the "Team Collection" version (with Premier) and noticed that on the edge of the box is printed the "odds of finding..." Premier Club cards. So, at least now I can ask the hobby shop guy if the edge of the box mentions "Premier Club" or not... :-) At least I see I am not the only one confused by these sets and parallels!

And, for your enjoyment, we have checklists! :-)

1997 Score Regular, Premium Stock, and Hobby Reserve

173 Sandy Alomar Jr.

12 Albert Belle

211 Mark Carreon

462 Tony Fernandez

139 Julio Franco

309 Brian Giles

255 Danny Graves

334 Marquis Grissom

378 Orel Hershiser

442 Dave Justice

230 Jeff Kent

157 Kenny Lofton

377 Albie Lopez

115 Dennis Martinez

85 Jack McDowell

366 Kevin Mitchell

177 Charles Nagy

526 Charles Nagy

403 Chad Ogea

162 Manny Ramirez

496 Manny Ramirez

207 Kevin Seitzer

107 Jim Thome

514 Jim Thome

153 Omar Vizquel

361 Matt Williams

Indians Team Collection, Platinum Team, and Premier Club

1 Albert Belle

2 Jack McDowell

3 Jim Thome

4 Dennis Martinez

5 Julio Franco

6 Omar Vizquel

7 Kenny Lofton

8 Manny Ramirez

9 Sandy Alomar Jr.

10 Charles Nagy

11 Kevin Seitzer

12 Mark Carreon

13 Jeff Kent

14 Danny Graves

15 Brian Giles

Indians Team Set

1 Matt Williams

2 Jack McDowell

3 Jim Thome

4 Chad Ogea

5 Julio Franco

6 Omar Vizquel

7 Kenny Lofton

8 Manny Ramirez

9 Sandy Alomar Jr.

10 Charles Nagy

11 Kevin Seitzer

12 Orel Hershiser

13 Paul Assenmacher

14 Eric Plunk

15 Brian Giles

16 Checklist

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Comments - DUH

Okay, feel free to leave any comments... I had the goofy things turned off and didn't realize it.. No one accused me of being smart, ya know... :-)

1965 Topps

In 1965, Topps produced a base set with a few insert sets to go with it. The base set included cards with a white "pennant" shape eith the Indians team name in it. One of the insert sets was the gold embossed cards, which are blue with gold foil pictures and borders.

The first time I saw one of the embossed varieties, I had no idea what it was (other than the T.C.G. on the back). In fact, I am pretty sure that the 1965 Embossed was the reason I bought my first price guide. I didn't care about the "value" of the card, I wanted to know what it was! And, back in those days (somewhere in the early 80's), the World Wide Web was no where to be seen. With guide in hand, I found the matching picture and couldn't wait to get the rest of the Indians from that set!

I have since obtained each of the Indians cards of that set and now have all but 1 card (though, I believe I recently ordered it from the Beckett Marketplace) in the set.

The 1965 Topps have that nice "vintage" look to them, even in mint condition... There is something about the photos themselves and the general lighting on them which says, "Yes, I am 40+ years old. What about it!?" :-)


Embossed Inserts:
3 Max Alvis
31 Leon Wagner
60 Chuck Hinton
72 Jack Kralick
Regular (Base):
17 Johnny Romano
76 Sam McDowell
92 Dick Howser
96 Sonny Siebert
105 Chico Salmon
128 Vic Davalillo
145 Luis Tiant
166 Agee/Culver
185 Max Alvis
235 Chuck Hinton
262 Bud Daley
283 Fred Whitfield
301 Birdie Tebbetts
317 Don McMahon
332 Ted Abernathy
348 George Banks
367 Leon Wagner
380 Rocky Colavito
404 Stan Williams
406 Ralph Terry
424 Gary Bell
448 Lee Strange
468 Larry Brown
481 Indians Team
501 Gagliano/Rittwage
514 Joe Azcue
535 Jack Kralick
562 Billy Moran
578 Camilo Carreon

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Game-Used Materials

The first time I saw a game-used card, I was awestruck, as if I were a kid seeing a card for the first time. Being the sort who likes to take things apart and put them back together again, I understood the "how" of the game-used card. What got me was the fact that someone had even thought to include a piece of the actual bat used by one of the players I enjoyed watching! I am a H-U-G-E Jim Thome fan, and my first game-used card was the "Moments and Milestones" Bat card (shown). This was all of just a few years ago. I remember showing to my Dad, as if I were twelve years old.
Since that first card, I have added many game-used cards to my collection - jerseys, bats, even pants. The "problem" I have with game-used cards nowadays is that the novelty has worn off. Card companies started producing so many of them that, for me anyway, they have lost some of the luster, the awe, that they first generated in me.
Don't get wrong, some game-used cards still give me that same "12-year-old" feeling... Cards that have multiple items on them, maybe from different players. Or cards that have a multi-colored patch from a jersey. There is something cool about having part of the logo on the card for some reason... :-)
Regardless of what one may think or feel about the card companies putting clothing and other materials in (or on) cards, for me, it is like being one step closer to the game, to the players. I (and some serial-numbered of other folks) own a piece of this player's jersey (or bat, pants, glove, etc)!!

I will say that I am not a big fan of "dirt" cards and/or "base" cards. I guess if I had some connection (say, since I am originally from Pittsburgh, a card with Three-Rivers Stadium dirt), perhaps I would wax nostalgia and want a piece of the stadium, but for the life of me, I just can't find that place within myself. A piece of home plate? First base?? Or a stadium seat even? Nah, I guess I am missing that particular collector's gene that says, "collect anything and everything!"
Well, to a certain extent... After all, if someone offered me a Cleveland Municipal Stadium card with dirt, a base, or a seat in it, I'd happily accept it.... :-)

Monday, August 27, 2007

1957 Sohio Album Cards

The 1957 Sohio Cleveland Indians were issued in several 3-panel layouts. The photos themselves are basically 5x7 black-n-white. The photos were/are perforated so they could be separated and placed into the Sohio Indians Album. Find the still-in-tact panels is difficult, though a little poking around the Internet will yield the non-separated issues. If you're not that picky (as I am not!), then you'll enjoy the photos regardless of their 'completeness.'

(1957 Sohio Bob Lemon)

Here is a checklist for you:

Indians Album
Bob Avila
Jim Busby
Chico Carrasquel
Rocky Covalito
Mike Garcia
Jim Hegan
Bob Lemon
Roger Maris
Don Mossi
Ray Narleski
Russ Nixon
Herb Score
Al Smith
George Strickland
Bob Usher
Vic Wertz
Gene Wooding
Early Wynn