Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cards from the Cool Box: The frankenset

I've decided to pursue a lifelong collecting dream.

I'm going to build a "frankenset".

Okay, I'll admit it. I didn't even know what a frankenset was before I joined the blogosphere, so it's hard to call it a lifelong dream. But just stick with me here. (If you're in the dark as to what exactly a frankenset is, check out this link.)

As I've mentioned in the past, set building has never much captivated my interest. Still, something about the whole process left me at least a little intrigued. To me, building a frankenset seemed like the perfect fit.

I just wasn't sure what the overall theme of my set could be. I'd seen them cobbled from night cards, Heritage issues, and minis in the past, but I couldn't come up with a feasible concept of my own.

Then it hit me. The cool box!

Over the past year, I've been setting aside "cool" cards of guys who I haven't yet inducted into my binders. Some are mini-collection needs, while others are simply nifty cards that captured my fancy.

Since I didn't have enough pages to start a special "cool card" binder, I'd taken to simply tossing them into a box.  Given my past binder preachings, that never quite sat right with me.

So, in order to appreciate them to the fullest, I've decided to build a frankenset out of my miscellaneous "cool" cards. (I'm in the market for nine-pocket pages if anyone has some to spare.)

I've decided the checklist will run from card numbers 1-660. But, as a little preview for future frankenset posts, I'll be sharing my nine favorites with numbers 661 and up.

So, without further ado, let the frankenset begin!

The card: 1991 Upper Deck #666 Mickey Hatcher

Why it made the cut...

It's been well-documented that Upper Deck's founders were quite anti-Dodgers in their day.

As a result, card #666 in many of the brand's early checklists were awarded to a player sporting the "Dodger blue". Mickey Hatcher earned the dubious honor in UD's 1991 release.

Whether it be bats or gloves, I can't resist cards that feature gigantic pieces of baseball equipment. Plus, the back features Mr. Hatcher in "firefighter" mode as well.

While it won't be a part of the "official" frankenset due to its high number, it's one of the more fun cards I own.

Frankenset or not, it deserves to be recognized.

The card: 1991 Topps #672 Shane Mack

Why it made the cut...

As strange as it might sound, Mr. Mack here is probably one of the more underrated cards from the '91 Topps checklist.

With the legendary likes of Fisk, Weiss, and Santiago, it's easy to overlook some of the other tremendous photography Topps used for the set. I rarely see this one mentioned at all.

So, Shane Mack, here's your moment in the sun.

The card: 1982 Topps #678 Tom Paciorek

Why it made the cut...

Interview card!

And, if I had to guess, one of the oldest in cardboard history.

The card: 1992 Topps #697 Mike Felder

Why it made the cut...


Captured in the process of a game-winning suicide squeeze, at that.

The card: 1994 Stadium Club #713 Bobby Ayala

Why it made the cut...

Ninja alert.

Save yourselves!

The card: 1992 Upper Deck #780 Turk Wendell RC

Why it made the cut...

It's the most hygienic card ever released!

Plus, Turk Wendell was quite the character in his day.

The card: 1993 Upper Deck #800 Jim Eisenreich

Why it made the cut...

Get used to 1993 Upper Deck.

You're going to see it pop up a lot in future frankenset posts. In case you haven't heard, it's like, the greatest set ever!

As far as photography goes, you're not going to find a better all-around set than '93 UD. Just look at Mr. Eisenreich's masterpiece there.

What a perfectly framed photo. As you can probably tell, it's simply a beautiful action shot, complete with raindrops sprouting up from all around Eisenreich's feet.

Props to you, 1993 Upper Deck.

You're a frankenset All-Star.

The card: 2007 Upper Deck #999 Josh Towers

Why it made the cut...

Pitcher on the basepaths!

But, more than that, former Blue Jay hurler Josh Towers is an American League pitcher leading off third base. 

I'll bet you can count the number of those types of cards on one hand.

The card: 1995 Conlon Collection #1368 Tommy Leach

Why it made the cut...

At #1368, Mr. Leach here was easily the highest numbered card from my "cool box".

Part of Conlon Collection's charm is the amazingly large checklist it featured during its five-year run. Sadly, 1995 was the end of the line for the Conlon brand.

After all was said and done, their checklist easily ran into the thousands.

As a sucker for old-time photography, this Leach is a sheer masterpiece to me. I love that his Pirate teammates are simply lounging around behind the plate, only feet from the field of play.

Mr. Conlon had to be pretty darn close to the action as well in order to get such an in-your-face shot.

All in all, it's simply a jaw-dropping example of the dead ball era.

Well, there's a little frankenset preview for you. I'll be starting the "official" posts in the near future.

If you have any cards that you think would make for good additions, I'm always up for trades. They don't necessarily have to be hits to my mini-collection themes, either. Any "cool" cards will do.

And, of course, for my regular trading partners, keep sending the great cards you've been sending. They're exactly what I'm looking for with this little project.

And, again, if you have any pages to spare, I'm always in the market for those. I already have an empty frankenset binder set aside for the festivities.

Until then, I hope this post gave you a nice little preview of what's to come with these posts.

I can't wait to get in on the frankenset fun.


P-town Tom said...

Great idea for a FrankenSet! I'll be on the look out for "cool" cards for you!

buckstorecards said...

I pulled the Shane Mack from one of the 2 baseball repacks I got alongside the basketball one over the weekend. It's a real beauty, and will certainly be one that I showcase once I start posting them.

I've expressed my love for the Towers card previously, even researching to find out what game it was from, in this case, the 5th inning of the game on May 19, 2006.

Josh D. said...

Turk Wendell is my favorite. Even more than Mike Felder! :-) (and thanks for the shout-out)

hiflew said...

Nice I love frankensets. Most of the ones I have heard of revolve around Ginter or minis, neither of which fall into my wheelhouse. I toyed around with the idea of building a 792 card Mitchell Report frankenset and I have a checklist started. I still may build it someday assuming I ever get my $hit together. I look forward to reading the future posts.

Mark Kaz said...

Great idea, Nick! I find the allure of the Frankenset very strong also. I was kicking around the idea of doing a Mets Frankenset at one time. I still might. For someone with OCD like me, though, it's just!

Anyhow, I agree with ya on the Mack and Eisenreich cards! The latter especially; there aren't enough "rain" cards out there.

Michael Chase said...

Hey cool cards! I've tossed around the idea of a frankenset myself but never ever came to fruition. I'll definitely be curious as to how yours all unfolds!

Alex Stuarts said...

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Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

petethan said...

Love that Hatcher! Hell, love Hatcher, in general. Seems like he has more oddball-type cards than "straight" ones, which is appropriate.

Spankee said...

Just a suggestion...a 660 card set ends 3 cards in to the last page, but a 666 cards set ends at the end of a page...and then you could have the Hatcher as the perfect last card.