Sunday, June 9, 2013
From My Archives: A borrowed idea
This was a Sunday well spent.
For the first time in about a month and a half, I found myself back at the local flea market, digging through tons and tons of glorious discount cardboard.
And, believe me, I came home with quite a haul, which you'll see around here in due time. Trouble is, walking through a flea market on a hot, muggy day in Chicago (or around Chicago) doesn't leave you with much energy to do anything else.
After spending the rest of my afternoon sorting and sifting through the day's finds, I simply didn't have the energy to come up with a post idea of my own for tonight. So, as a result, I'm borrowing a terrific idea from another blogger.
Marcus over at the superb blog "All the Way to the Backstop..." recently started a new mini-series entitled "From My Archives".
In honor of the newly-released Topps Archives set, he's been featuring some of his personal favorite non-Padre cardboard from 1972, 1982, 1985, and 1990, the four sets honored in this year's Archives base checklist.
Tonight, I'll be doing the same with a few cards from my collection, although full credit goes to Marcus for the terrific post idea. Just for kicks, we'll be moving from 1990 and back in this write-up.
Personally, I've never had much of an attachment to 1990 Topps. I'm not a huge fan of the design, and I wasn't even born yet when the set was released.
Still, I think it would've been neat if Topps devoted a Pro Debut-like insert set to some of today's rookies in this year's Archives, much like the above Jim Abbott piece. The likes of Cespedes, Harper, and Darvish would've made for a nice selection.
But, in thinking of a regular ol' base card from the 1990 Topps checklist...
...my mind instantly shot to this one.
Lee Mazzilli is one of the more obscure player collections I have going right now. And, yes, this is his Topps "sunset" card. To top it all off, he only spent a half-season with the Blue Jays franchise.
Yet, the real reason I chose this one is because of the photo itself.
Am I the only one who thinks Mr. Mazzilli looks a little like some sort of demented mannequin in that shot?
Since Marcus runs a largely Padre-based blog, I figured I might as well feature a Friar card in this post.
Mr. Gwynn here earns the honor. In fact, I've had this card in my possession for about, oh, five hours now.
It was one of my many dime box flea market finds this afternoon. And, unfortunately, it didn't make the cut for the "official" flea market posts I'll be composing throughout the week.
Still, that says more about how good my finds were this time around, rather than something negative against Mr. Gwynn here.
While I've never been a gigantic fan of the set as a whole, this shade-tastic '85 Topps piece is one stellar piece of cardboard. If you look closely, I'm pretty sure you can see the photographer in the reflection of Gwynn's lenses.
It's one of the better Padre cards I've picked up in a long time.
All in all, I'm not crazy about '82 Topps, either.
The "hockey stick" design just doesn't do it for me. And Topps probably could've done without the whole facsimile autograph thing for this release, in my opinion.
Nevertheless, this particular Gaylord Perry card holds a pretty special personal memory. It's the one that showed me how awesome my local flea market really was. And, with that, it helped ease me out of the whole "memorabilia" aspect of the hobby.
My family and I used to take sporadic trips up to the flea market every year. It never became a real "thing" in my life until one sunny weekend about three or four summers ago.
At this point, I was still kind of drifting between the whole "dime box" and "game-used" modes of collecting. I hadn't fully committed to either.
But, as I soon came to see, the flea market was discount card paradise. I distinctly remember a huge 25/$1 box filled with 1980's cardboard, as well as dime boxes as far as the eye could see.
More than anything, I remember this very Gaylord Perry piece staring at me, right at the forefront of a few glorious rows of 12/$1 cards. It was my very first card of him as an Atlanta Brave. I thought...
"This card is in a 12/$1 box?! I love this place!"
From there, I began to devote more and more time to discount cardboard. Eventually, I molded into the very collector you see today.
I have the flea market to thank for that.
I'd be remiss if I didn't show a card from my Cubs collection this post.
Luckily, one of my absolute favorite '72s lies inside that very binder with Mr. Pepitone here. And, although they're doing their best to overdo it, Topps hasn't killed the awesome 1972 design for me just yet.
Just look at that nifty pink-yellow border combination. Only a set like '72 Topps could get away with that oddly-pleasing color pairing.
Pepitone is what I like to call a low-end collecting "All-Star". He's a fairly well-known name around baseball circles, yet most of his cards go for next to nothing. I've found many of his cards on the cheap over the years.
This wildly miscut '72 Topps piece has been in my collection for as long as I can remember. It had to be one of my very first vintage cards.
Even during my big and ill-advised memorabilia-crazed years, this Pepitone has stuck with me through thick and thin.
That'll always make it special in my eyes.
Then again, that's the case with all these precious archives from my collection.