Tuesday, November 26, 2013
A day at the card show, Pt. 2: Oddball-a-palooza
I'll say this now.
If you're not a fan of oddballs, then you might be best served by skipping this post. It will indeed be one big oddball-a-palooza.
Ah, who am I kidding?
Everybody likes oddballs!
Now, if you're as big of an oddball nut as I am, one of two things is going to probably happen as you read through this post.
You'll either be in awe and appreciative of all the great oddballs I picked up, or you might be jealous and hate me for all the great oddballs I picked up. That part is up to you.
I'm absolutely certain that this is the best oddball haul I've ever unearthed at a card show, though. It's lightyears ahead of any other oddball experience I've ever had.
Near the end of the show, I found the '81 Drake's Carlton Fisk you see above (featured in a Night Owl post recently) in a 12/$1 box.
While it was a terrific score, I'd already had a huge stack of oddballs amongst the day's finds at that point.
Oddly enough, I found not one, but two spectacular Pee Wee Reese oddities on Saturday.
On the right is one of my better dime box finds of the day. After a little research, I found that it actually comes from the obscure 1994 Signature Rookies release. I find it odd that Pee Wee Reese was included in a set like that.
The card on the left came from a dollar box that I'll discuss more in a little bit. I'm not sure on the specifics, but it appears to hail from some sort of hybrid Coca-Cola/Valvoline "Don't Do Drugs" campaign.
The fact that I rarely pay a dollar for anything non-vintage should tell you how highly I think of that one.
Speaking of Coca-Cola...
The Bowa is just my second single from the '81 Coca-Cola oddball release.
I'm not sure how, but a 24 year-old pocket schedule wound up in a stack of other cardboard during one of my digs. While I wouldn't consider myself a Tigers fan, I couldn't let that one go.
As you might guess, both of these were indeed dime finds.
I go into every show with hopes of finding '70s oddballs.
It was the same story at the National this past summer. While that show was great for a variety of the reasons, the lack of '70s oddballs was one of its few downsides.
I found absolutely nothing from the likes of Hostess there. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
At this show, though, they seemed to be flowing like wine.
One particular dollar box (the same one that netted me the aforementioned Reese) had quite a few scattered amongst its reaches.
While they might not be in the greatest shape, I couldn't resist shelling out a buck for such cool Hostess oddballs of guys like "Mr. October".
The same goes for Tom Seaver and Dave Kingman.
A dollar was a small price to pay for such oddball greatness.
These were also among my dollar box finds.
While it doesn't make that much of a difference to me, I can appreciate the fact that these two Hall of Famers are cut a little better than the other Hostess singles I've shown so far.
I guess at least one kid knew how to properly use a pair of scissors in the 1970's.
I'm really surprised I haven't seen more people try to build these old Hostess sets.
Then again, a quick peek through the checklists seemed to suggest why it's such a rarity. Many '70s Hostess sets seem to feature a bunch of short-prints.
Both Nolan Ryan and Carlton Fisk are indeed SPs in the '76 Hostess release. In fact, they were probably the two biggest names out of all the short-prints that year.
That made it all the more surprising to find them in a dollar box.
Last, but surely not least, in my Hostess recap is this terrific Rod Carew.
Like the others, it came in that same dollar box I've been raving about. Plus, it's the rare instance of an action shot featured on a Hostess card.
Had those been my only oddball finds of the day, I would've been more than satisfied.
But they weren't.
The hallowed Kellogg's oddballs made a few appearances on Saturday as well. They're the other side of the eternal Hostess vs. Kellogg's debate. My choice seems to constantly switch with each passing day.
There's little doubt that Kellogg's is right up there with Hostess at the top of the oddball mountain, though. My dad vividly remembers pestering his mom (my grandma) at the grocery store for both types of cards back in the day.
Kellogg's, obviously, features a neat 3-D quality that Hostess never had. They also lasted a bit longer than their sugar-toothed brothers, as the first incarnation of Kellogg's cards made it up until 1983. (Hostess died out in '79.)
Mr. Lynn there comes from that final year of Kellogg's in '83. As you might know if you've ever seen one, these are much more narrow than your standard baseball card.
Shockingly, I found it in a 3/$1 box.
These came from that Hostess-dominated dollar box.
Seeing as how most cardboard from his playing days seems to carry a super premium, I was quite surprised to find the Munson for a mere dollar.
That piece of the late Yankee backstop comes from the '76 Kellogg's checklist, while the McCovey is from 1978.
I don't quite have the individual Kellogg's designs paired up to a specific year in my memory just yet.
I think that's because I haven't seen all that many in my lifetime.
That certainly changed on Saturday.
Remember that guy I talked about yesterday who had the dime binders on display?
Well, just off to the side of those was a solitary quarter binder. And, as I gleefully found, about three-quarters of it was absolutely packed with '70s Kellogg's singles.
It was one of the better discoveries of my card show career. I'm not exaggerating about that, either.
Most of the Kellogg's cards I've found have been sporadic. One here, a couple there, another one there. I'd never seen anywhere near this many Kellogg's singles in one place before.
As my dad can attest, I was quoted as noting that I'd be "selective" in going through that binder. Quarter cards can add up after a while. But, as I soon found out, I couldn't help myself. I picked and picked and picked until I couldn't pick any more from that binder.
In the end, I walked away with north of 50 new Kellogg's singles for my collection. So, if you'll indulge me, I'd like to take you into the Kellogg's time machine for the remainder of this post.
The batch you see above come from the 1982 Kellogg's checklist.
They proved to be the most recent cards from the oddball set in the quarter binder.
These come from the year prior, 1981.
I'd almost never seen anything from the '81 Kellogg's checklist in-person before Saturday. Yet, amazingly, there I was going through a few full pages of them.
My personal favorite of this lot has to be the Henderson.
Not only is it one of his earliest cards, but those loud A's jerseys work perfectly with the yellow borders.
These hail from the 1980 Kellogg's set.
From "Knucksie" to "The Penguin" to "Pudge", I couldn't believe some of the names I found for mere quarters.
I didn't own a single card from the '79 Kellogg's checklist before Saturday.
Thanks to this quarter binder, though, I now have a little more than a dozen in my possession.
One thing I really enjoy about these '70s oddball sets are the sheer variety of players they featured. Sure, they had big names like Rice and McCovey, but there was still room for more under-the-surface stars like Rick Monday and Larry Bowa as well.
Today's insert sets could take a page from the '70s in that regard.
If I had to pick, I'd probably choose 1977 as my favorite design in the Kellogg's catalog.
To me, they scream "1970's!!" more than any other design in the cereal-based set's hallowed history.
The guy didn't have a ton of these in his quarter binder, but I still found a few to my liking.
I'll never be able to pass up anything of Dock Ellis at that price, much less one of his Kellogg's cards.
These hail from '74 Kellogg's, another chapter in the brand's blue-themed early history.
Mr. DH himself, Ron Blomberg, did indeed come from the quarter binder.
I should note how well-conditioned all of these quarter Kellogg's singles were. While I don't mind it all that much, most of the Kellogg's cards I'd previously found had cracks like Wilbur Wood there.
The man with the old-timey name actually came with the '83 Lynn in the aforementioned 3/$1 box.
This was also a 3/$1 bin find.
As you might have guessed, I'm a huge Wilbur Wood fan. Much like Oscar Gamble and the Alou brothers, he's one of those older fan favorite-type guys that I love to collect.
At first, I didn't even know this was a Kellogg's card. But as I found, 1973 was the lone year Kellogg's decided to stray away from the 3-D technology.
Why they did such a thing, I'll never know.
I mean, the whole 3-D thing is what makes these so awesome.
This is a tough-to-find single from the '71 Kellogg's checklist. It set me back a whole two dollars, but I didn't even have to think twice on the price.
Manny Sanguillen is definitely one of those Wilbur Wood-esque fan favorites that make for some of the best parts of my collection.
From what I hear, he's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.
Closing things out is a single from the very first Kellogg's release in 1970.
Thanks to a slight crack in its surface, I was able to snag this Santo from the reaches of that quarter binder.
Normally, I close out a post with my favorite find from the particular batch of cards I happen to be discussing that evening.
Yes, the Santo is my favorite. But so are the Wilbur Woods. And the Charlie Hough. And the Keith Hernandez. And the Rickey Hendersons. As are the "Yaz" and Seaver Hostess cards. And the Fisk Drake's issue.
When we're talking oddballs, they're all my favorite.