Tuesday, January 17, 2017


I've been in the doldrums lately, baseball cards included.

This isn't anything new. Winter is winter. While it makes sense that the majority of cards are released during the peak of the baseball season, I sometimes wish more sets would come out at right around this point in the year when there's no baseball around.

It'd go a long way in helping with the winter blahs, and it'd certainly keep me more invested in blogging. This is my first post in almost two weeks, and the truth is I haven't had much motivation to blog as of late. Though I should, because I still have a heck of a lot of trades to catch up on, including a pair of envelopes I received from Tony of "Wrigley Roster Jenga" fame during my hiatus.

Tony has shown himself to be a maestro of the PWE, especially when it comes to oddballs. Among the goods from his first batch was this oversized (tobacco reprint?) gem of Mickey Welch, one of baseball's lesser known 300-game winners.

Even more impressive is the fact that Welch's 307 career victories came over the course of just 13 seasons.

Tony's included a few of those Hot Button Baseball singles in his PWEs to me, which I assume to be some sort of mechanized baseball card game that completely flew under the radar of my adolescence.

Also present was a quirky add to my multiple-exposure mini-collection with the Recchia, a card I can say with near 100-percent certainty I would've never seen had it not been for Tony.

I believe I specifically requested both of these from Tony at one point.

I'm guessing the Boggs was designed with the intention of highlighting the star's famous batting eye, but it came out looking like something out of an awful B-level horror flick instead.

Here's another card I'm pretty sure I requested from Tony.

My Mike/Giancarlo Stanton collection is at over 200 unique cards now due to my seemingly uncanny ability to accumulate cards of the Marlins slugger.

More from the oddball files including the Terry Collins, a card that serves as a good reminder that managers too can spend a long time in the minors before getting a shot in the big leagues.

Collins had toiled as a skipper in the minors since the early '80s before being hired to lead the Astros in 1994, and he'd have to wait another couple decades to enjoy the kind of success he's found with the Mets over the past few years.

A couple more less-heralded members of the local Thunderbolts, though the O'Hara wouldn't even be the best bat-retrieving subject of this PWE.

That honor has to go to the Trenton Thunder's Bat Dog, Chase.

I have absolutely no idea how I didn't already know about this card. It's joyous on so many levels, the first being that Topps would even think to include something like this in their Heritage Minor League checklist (though I'm obviously glad they did so). It also doesn't hurt that Golden Retrievers happen to be my personal favorite breed of canine.

The real cherry on top is the "stat line" on the back of the card which can't help but make you smile, including Chase's weight of "Ruff Ruff," his birthplace of "Bark Ruff, Bark" and his N/A "Minor League Ruffs," among others.

If a card like that doesn't help with the doldrums, I don't know what will.


The Lost Collector said...

I'm pretty sure cards came out a lot earlier about 20 years ago. I'm certain I got a box of 1998 Ultra for Christmas in 1997.

Tony Burbs said...

Glad you liked the cards! Everyone loves the offbeat stuff, so I always try to cram some weird cards in every PWE. That Welch is a redemption card from Ars Longa art cards, which do modern re-imaginings of Dead Ball-era and 18th century baseball cards.

GCA said...

I'm always on the lookout for someone with a lot of 90's minor league cards, since I have a lot of player collection guys as managers in them.
OMG, I have to find one of those Chase cards...that is awesome.

Fuji said...

Golden retrievers are such amazing dogs. Top 5 dog for sure (in my book). Can't believe this card has been out for three years and I've never seen this at a show or on a blog anywhere.

Hackenbush said...

Here's a tribute video:

Julie Owens said...

the SWELL issues are some of my fave oddballs. bright yellow cards have a way into my collection. i can thank 91 Fleer for that I s'pose.