Over the weekend I made a badly-needed visit to Al's Card Shop up in Perth. While I was there, I found that the pickings in terms of baseball boxes were slim. Apparently, about a week after I visited the last time, a couple of guys came in three times over the course of a week and pretty much cleaned them out of their hobby boxes. I was planning on buying an '08 Topps base, but I had to settle for '09 Bowman. I don't know if those people found out about Al's from my previous blog post or not, but the timing was kinda strange, because baseball cards aren't a big seller in Perth. If I threw some business their way by my free advertising, then I'm glad I did.
It wasn't a huge tragedy, because it allowed me instead to focus on the collection of singles at Al's. I picked up ten cards for various PCs that I am trying to get started, as well as some badly needed supplies. Here's the haul:
Let's start off with a couple of Hall of Famers, shall we? These cards are part of a ten-card set that Fleer produced for Sports Illustrated. They had some, but not all, of the cards in the set, so I just grabbed the two Orioles. If they had all ten, I probably would have bought them all. Maybe I'll go back and get the rest later.
It's a nice crisp design and I really like the poses. Both Frank and Brooksie look so youthful - seeing Frank in a Baltimore uni like that reminds me that Bill DeWitt traded him away from Cincinnati in part because he was "an old 30." As you know, he only went and won the Triple Crown that season. Grrr.
Another Brooks Robinson Hall of Fame card. Again, if there had been other Orioles (or Reds) available I would have snagged them. This is a Topps production, and the back of the card contains all of the text on Brooksie's plaque. I should make copies of this card and hand them out to all my infielders so they can see what "ready position" looks like. You can't have a better fielding instructor than Brooks Robinson, in my opinion.
Here's two 2008 Topps Co-Signers cards, Junior Griffey and Ichiro. I can't figure out if the Ichiro card is mis-cut or not. I suspect, looking at Junior's card, that it is. Regardless, I figured I'd get it, put it in the PC, and I can always replace it when I come across a better one.
By the way, we have now entered the Junior portion of the blog post. You have been warned.
Here's Junior's 2009 UD Spectrum base card. I mention this card for a very important reason - I have an official announcement to make. For a while, I have been kicking around the idea of doing something similar to Thorzul when he decided to collect all of C.C. Sabathia's Brewers cards. I have decided to do the same with Junior's White Sox cards. The situations between the two players are comparable, right down to the fact that both were traded for the 2008 stretch run.
Even though Junior's wearing a Reds uniform in this card, the White Sox logo makes this a Chicago card as far as I'm concerned. So this is the first card in the quest - every Ken Griffey Jr. White Sox card. Now, I just need to find a list of all those cards so I can check them off. Thorzul, where did you find your Sabathia list?
Oh yeah, we're not done with Spectrum. Hold that thought for a second...
Before Griffey was traded to the Sox, he was a Red, of course, and this is his final Upper Deck base card - 2008 Series 1 #239. It's sad that Junior rated such a non-descript card number, but I love that the card shows his trademark home-run swing. I hope that he didn't actually just rip a pitch foul.
Here's two different card companies' takes on the same event - Junior becoming the youngest player ever to hit 350 home runs (ah, those were the days, when Junior was a legitimate threat to break Hank Aaron's record). On the left, we have Skybox. On the right, Topps. The Topps effort is fairly staid, with a picture of Junior's batting stance and a chart on the back showing the youngest players to 250 (Griffey, Jimmie Foxx, Eddie Mathews, Mickey Mantle and Mel Ott, in case you were wondering. Hank Aaron was 6th). The fireworks in the front are a bit distracting, but overall, what you would expect from Topps, I would think.
Skybox, on the other hand, went with a different tact. Lots of gold leaf. Reflective chrome writing (which is a lot more readable in the scan than it is in person). And on the back, a breakdown of his 1998 home/road and day/night splits. But that's not all. Because the observant among you would have noticed that this is 1999 Skybox. And that means only one thing:
"What's up Junior Griff?" Ugh. The things I do for having a robust Griffey PC. Time for one more card to get the bad taste out of my mouth:
Why hello there, red parallel Felix Hernandez 2009 Spectrum that was misfiled in the 50-cent box with the Spectrum base cards. I believe you'll be coming home with me.
Not a bad trip to the card shop, I must say. I'm about halfway through the Bowman box and I haven't pulled anything earth-shattering, but I did get the Ichiro and King Felix base cards for my respective PCs. And a bunch of chrome cards that will be heading out to appropriate fans of other teams when the situation arises.