Monday, January 16, 2012

Last to the party

I thought that I'd already found all the best baseball card sets of the last few years.

I was wrong.

It all started when Ted from "Crinkly Wrappers" commented on a post of mine from a few days ago. I mentioned that I'd always wanted a card of the one-armed major leaguer, Pete Gray.

Ted mentioned that there was a card of Gray in the Tristar Obak sets from the past few years. While the prices on the Gray were a tad steep for some reason (couldn't find one lower than $2, still need one if anyone has an extra copy!), I did some more investigating into the Obak series.

I had a few from previous purchases, but I didn't think there were many others I needed. The 2009 edition had a card featuring Yankees minor league "switch-pitcher" Pat Venditte (at the top of the post), featuring both angles of his deliveries.

Since Obak is an unlicensed set, they're not allowed to use big-league logos. Nevertheless, they managed to make great cards of past stars. The "thunderous" background behind Hank Greenberg fits him well.

After a little searching, I also found that there was a card of shortstop Ray Chapman in one of the Obak sets, who passed away after being hit in the head by a pitch in 1920. I bought that one, modestly priced at a quarter plus shipping.

Soon after purchasing the Chapman, I was pouring over the checklists of the 2009-2011 Obak sets.

I quickly realized that there was still a ton of cards I needed from the set.

The thing that originally drew me away from the Obak sets was that I'd heard that it's mostly minor league-themed. I'm not a huge fan of minor league cards.

What I didn't know was that most of the minor league cards were of past stars, like this Johnny Vander Meer card I already owned. All would be neat additions to my HOF and retired players collection.

What's more, there's even cards of the Black Sox in the set.

I found this Eddie Cicotte card in a dime box earlier this year. Apparently, there's cards of Chick Gandil and Buck Weaver in the 2010 set that I don't own (yet).

I've had this card for a long time. I'm surprised I didn't look more into the Obak set after I got it, as this is one of my favorite cards from the last few years.

Former Orioles farmhand Steve Dalkowski was a hard thrower. A real hard thrower. Although his pitches were never officially timed, people say that he threw as hard as 110 MPH. He once tore off a batter's earlobe with a pitch.

Dalkowski had no control, though. And I mean no control. He once pitched a no-hitter, striking out 20 and walking 18. He finished his minor league career with 1396 strikeouts and 1354 walks in 995 innings.

Nuke LaLoosh from Bull Durham is said to be based off Dalkowski.

I'm still looking for a lot of base cards from the 2009-11 Obak sets if any of my readers happen to have any extras lying around.

This just goes to show you what can be missed if you don't look closely in the world of baseball cards.

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