Thursday, December 28, 2023

Jell-O, My Name is...

[Note: I don't ever participate in the various end of the year blog voting things, but after coming up with today's title, I'm now wondering if it's too late/too early to write myself in for worst post title of the year 😆]

Posts about 1960's Post cards don't seem to be overly popular with the blog crowd, so I'm guessing that a post featuring a couple of 1963 Jell-O's won't be floating too many boats either.

From what I've been able to gather, in terms of price and scarcity, the 1963 Jell-O set seems to be on par with the 1963 Post set. For the most part, it appears that they shared similar production numbers, and prices in 2023 for commons and short prints are very comparable. Going by available lots on eBay, one might be inclined to say that the Jell-O set was a bit rarer, as lots don't come up as often, but I don't know if that would be a fair assessment as it's not uncommon at all to find '63 Jell-O's mixed in with lots that are advertised as '63 Post's.

Despite the similarities in price, and availability, I've had even less luck acquiring new '63 Jell-O's than I've had with '63 Post's. Maybe the Jell-O's are more popular at the moment, thus making them harder for someone like myself to get. I don't know. Or maybe I just haven't been looking for them with the same fervor as the Post's. That being said, a few have trickled down into the land of Sleeve's in recent months.

Card #1 doesn't carry the same premium with the Jell-O and Post sets like it does with some of their counterparts from Topps. I still think it's kind of neat to get #1 out of the way though. I enjoy being able to open a binder and see a card sitting in the first slot of set's first page. To me at least, it legitimizes the set build just a little bit more.

As mentioned above, you'll often find 1963 Jell-O's mixed in with lots of '63 Post. Such was the case with Vada here. I can understand how a person with just one Jell-O might confuse it for a Post, especially if they don't know about the shorter red line after the stats, but with their smaller size as well, one should be able to tell them apart from Post's if you have one of each side-by-side. Of course, I'm sure some sellers just don't care enough to list them separately either. I spotted this one in a small lot of six Post's a few months ago, and since I needed the other five Post's, this was just an extra bit of icing on the cake that was that purchase.

[Note #2: Apparently my scanner can't tell the Jell-O's and Post's apart either. Both scan just as shittily.]

It's always fun to get one of the players from the Telstar broadcast. I kind of started a mini collection a few years ago that focused on things that appeared in that broadcast, but gave up before I got too far with it.

Obviously Duke is the biggie amongst this quartet. I don't know the date of Duke's sale to the Mets, but it must've occurred after this card was produced; as he's clearly not a Met here, nor is there any mention of his leaving L.A. for green-less pastures.

With these four, I'm down to needing just 187 more to complete the set. Sigh...

Monday, December 25, 2023

Christmas cards from The Collector

[Alternate title: Chris-mas cards from The Collector]

After having not done so for the last few years, it feels a bit weird to be posting on Christmas again. I don't normally have much cause to do so anymore, so I don't. This year however, I do, so I am.

A number of bloggers go out of their way to send cards out for Christmas each year, and while I have been a recipient of some of those mailings in the past, I wasn't expecting to be included in any this year. With that in mind, I was a bit surprised a few weeks ago when an envelope showed up from the former collector of pedestrians, Chris, who most people now know as just The Collector. Inside of said envelope was an actual Christmas card, which is always appreciated, and four cards for four different player collections.

Joe Rudi's don't ever show up in the mail (unless I buy them), so this might be the most appreciated card of the four that were sent. Even though it hasn't been by design, I think I have more post-playing days of Joe than not, and here's another one! I do really like though that, despite his last game taking place the year before, all three of the card companies still gave Joe a card in their '83 sets. I never collected '83 Donruss as a kid, and have only ever owned 3-4 cards from it, at best. Because of that, the design always feels a bit foreign to me. I kind of like it, and don't like it, at the same time; if that's possible.

I can't say it with absolute certainty, but this feels like it might be the only new Stan Humphries that I got this year. With most of my attention being focused on sets for at least the last half of the year, a lot of my player collections have started collecting dust; Stan being one of the dustier. I've gotta figure out a way to balance the two a little better. As for the card, I don't remember Collector's Edge ever making any chunky cards, but this ones definitely got some chunk to it.

If I had bought this one myself, you would've never seen this scan. But, since someone sent it to me, you are. Despite the atrocious scan, I do like these old Skybox Thunder and Lightning cards. After seeing how the front turned out, I didn't even bother with the back; but the Lightning is Stevie Atwater. I'm a bit biased, but to me, this card features the sets best pairing. Since I collect both of these guys I had two copies on my want list. The Dennis Smith collection is much further along, so that's where this one will be headed.

I just mentioned a few posts back that I didn't get nearly as many new (to me) Bo's this year as I would've liked, and then as fate would have it, a new one shows up. This one is definitely new too. I'm sure I've seen a few cards from this particular set on the blogs, but my brain is telling me that I've never seen it before. It looks like there's some design element missing on the bottom part of the card. Panini doesn't usually leave so much empty white on their cards. It's another modern card with a bonkers amount of gloss as well. I'd really like to know how they do that. Nice photo though. The lack of logos aren't as noticeable here as I've seen on a lot of Panini's other products in recent years. I appreciate that.

Many thanks to Chris for thinking of me this holiday season. To everyone else that didn't, screw off Merry Christmas!😄

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Chilly Willie

After closing out last year with a trade that netted me nineteen new 1962 Canadian Post's, I foolishly thought that this year might be the year that I'd make some serious progress on that set. Silly me! 

Turns out that I couldn't have been more wrong if I tried. I started the year with 20 cards for the set, and I'm ending it with 21. That's right, despite my best attempts, I've managed to add all of one card to the set this year. Willie Davis here is that lone addition. 

1962 was Willie's third season in the bigs (second full-time), and he ended up setting what would be career bests in runs (103) and home runs (21) for a Dodgers team that won 102 games; but still finished one game back in the N.L.

It was a pretty disappointing year as far as this set was concerned, but thanks to Sportlots seller champion and the very reasonable price that he attached to this card, I didn't have to finish the year by laying an egg.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

White Envelope Wonders

I don't think that younger me would've ever been able to grasp the idea of collecting a set that I knew from the get-go could never be finished. Of course, younger me never collected anything from before my time. And even though the average collector didn't know how many were actually being produced at the time, cards of the late 80's and early 90's were always readily available in pack/box form, and therefor one never got the sense that any of the sets couldn't be completed. In fact, as the years progressed, sets from that era continued to feel easier and easier to complete. Heck, by the late 90's, five bucks would buy you a box of just about any product from ten years before, and said box would almost always produce a complete set. I could be misremembering, but even as a kid who didn't collect non-current cards, sets from ten years prior to my existence, or even ten years prior to the start of my collecting, never felt as easy to complete; though they never felt impossible to complete either.

These days on the other hand, unless one is flush with oodles of extra cash, many, many, sets (new and old) feel like they are near impossible to ever complete. And, unfortunately for older me, I seem to be continually drawn to such sets, especially those of the vintage variety (some of which you've seen for the last couple of Sunday's).

The 1955 Bowman baseball set is perfect example. I really like it, and have in theory begun to collect it, but I waited much too long to start; and as such, know that there's zero chance of me ever completing it. And yet, I'll still go through the motions, acquiring cards where I can. It's kind of annoying to think that I may've had a chance to complete it had I started fifteen years or so ago when I came back to cards, but not now. The boom is supposedly easing on modern cards, but I don't think I'll live long enough to see the bigger names from a set like this coming back down to Earth. People's desire to pay someone else to attach an arbitrary number to their cards has grown too much for reasonable prices to return on things like this anytime soon.

I think that as of this writing, my 1955 Bowman "set build" is made up of about 12 cards, more than half of which were once owned by noted author, and resident knower of all things 1955 Bowman, Jeff, from Wax Pack Wonders -- including this one, which he was kind enough to send earlier this year.

I'd be lying if I said I had been familiar with Joe Paparella prior to getting this card. Aside from a couple of NBA referees back in the 90's, I've never been one to notice or pay much attention to sports officials. Apparently Joe spent the entirety of his 20-year career in the American League. It's interesting to me that the back of this card notes that he was purchased from the American Association (that was AA ball) in 1945. Not hired, purchased. It makes it sound like umpires were indentured at the time.

This was my first ump card from the set, which was kind of neat, that's only part of the set that I remembered for a long time. I think I read an article in a price guide when I was younger, and the umpires were the only aspect of it that stuck with me. The card itself was slightly trimmed along the bottom edge at some point, which I would've avoided had I been purchasing it, but as a hand-me-down from a set like this, I won't complain.

I'm probably biased, but I feel like card bloggers are in a league of their own when it comes to sending PWE's, especially when speaking in terms of variety. I mean aside from being the same sport, these last two cards could not be more different from each other. Flair was a brand that was way out of my price range back when it was new, and I didn't own any until they started appearing in TRU repacks. Generally, I do like the various designs for them though. I also like their slight chunkiness. They've got beef, but not so much that you can't put them in a page.

I didn't add as many Bo's to the collection as I should've (or would've liked to) this year. I think that this was one of the better one's though.

Jeff seems to have the inside track on cards from this set as well. He already provided the Bo I needed from it last year, and then this year he provided this nifty Edgar, which had been a Top 10 want of mine. I watched a good portion of Edgar's career growing up, and have been a fan of his (as an athlete and a person) for decades now. This is a set that I wish I would've collected back when it was new. If I had, I might've actually tried to collect the silver and gold parallels too. It would've looked really good having three rainbows per page. And I hadn't noticed it until just now, but with the foil muted by the scan, the 'Special Edition' box where it is makes it look like Edgar's swinging an axe. Talk about slicing the ball!

This envelope did contain a fourth card, but it was another one for the Beavers collection, and therefor, will, hopefully, be appearing on that blog at some later date. There was other thing of note in here, and even though I don't think that was meant to be anything more than a packaging material, I was still enamoured by it enough to throw it on the old scanner...

Joe Paparella arrived in this sleeve (it's clear by the way, not black). Most folks who have collected during the internet age are familiar with Dean's Cards, at least in passing. I for one however, had never heard or seen anyone say that they had actually purchased something from Dean. I've been his site a few times, and remember when he used to list on COMC, but have never come across anything of his that I thought was affordable. Hopefully Jeff won't think that I'm "outing" him here, I just really thought that this sleeve was kind of neat... and did keep it. To me, it was almost as good as a fifth card.

It's been long enough now that I can remember if there was any impetus behind this envelope, or if it was just because Jeff is good people and likes to send folks cards when he can. Either way though, I'm grateful. The four cards were dispersed amongst four different collections. That's the sort of envelope I like. And if that wasn't enough, I also got an interesting penny sleeve for my non-existent penny sleeve collection 😏.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

A Post post (Part 2)

I don't know if it's because they were the last year that Post did them (in this form), or if just less quantities were produced, but it seems like the 1963 Post set is a lot less prevalent than those from the previous two years. No matter what the reason is though, prices are definitely higher on 63's than they are for it's previous predecessors.

I haven't been to a show now in a few years, but going by online prices, '63 commons are usually at least double the price of those from '61 and '62. Some of the bigger names are the same, if not more. And of course, then there's the short prints, which I'm not far enough along with my set build to be looking for yet; but I would imagine that they're are gonna be up there in there in price too. I'll concern myself with those later though, for now I'm more than content to keep picking up cheap commons where I can.

Not being very far along with the set, I've had some decent luck as of late with said cheap commons (and one cheap HOFer as well), so following up last Sunday's post, here's what I've been able to add to my '63 set since October (not counting the three that are currently sitting in my COMC account)...

I don't know the reasoning behind the change, but it's a bit interesting to me that Post led off the '61 and '62 sets with the Yankees, then switched it up for 1963 by giving Minnesota the nod (bumping the Yankees to second).

After a strong showing in '62, Jim struggled a bit in '63, finishing the season at 10-10. He'd bounce back the following year though with a 17-11 record. In fact, the next couple of years were really good for him, as he wouldn't end up having a losing record until the 1971 season.

I wonder when was the last time that someone named their child "Cloyd"? Seems like that should've been considered a form of child abuse.

Tom finished 11th in the A.L. MVP voting for 1963. Looking at some of the numbers for the guys behind him, I think 11th was awfully generous by the voters. Yankees bump?

As was the case with the Dick Groat in last weeks post, it was very difficult for me not to add this one to my Frank Lary collection.

Frank was very much on the downward trend by '63. So much so that the Yankees even got the better of their arch-nemesis by going 2-0 against him.

One can't help but wonder how much different Jim's career would've been had he not been stuck in the Dodgers farm system for as long as he was. In a different reality he may've spent a better part of the 50's chasing home run titles with the likes of Willie Mays and Duke Snider.

Speaking of guys whose careers were impacted by later starts in the majors. I have no doubt that Ed's name would be more familiar (to casual fans) had he been called up sooner.

I thought prior to this post that 61's scanned the worst (for me), but after this many cards in, I stand corrected, 63's scan much worse. Look what's been done to my nice Bob Friend!

1963 was Bob's last winning season (17-16) in the bigs, or anywhere else for that matter.

I have a small favor to ask... it's been bugging the shit out of me, but I swear that Carl looks like someone else in this photo, or someone else looks like Carl in this photo; but I can't think of who! Does anyone else see it? If so, please put me out of my misery.

Roger led the majors in losses in both '62 (24) and '63 (22). Not a category that one wants to lead in. 

And I don't know if it's just me, but getting the first and last numbers from a vintage set always feels like a minor accomplishment. I don't have #1 (Vic Power) yet, but at least I now have #200.

I suspect that this '63 set is gonna be a slow build. As of this typing, I'm sitting at a very unimpressive 22/200. I am doing a bit better on my '61 (70/200), and '62 (73/200) builds though. I keep thinking that I should be further along on those two, and by that I mean it feels like I've got some more around somewhere, but I've gone through all of my player collections twice in the last year or so, and there's no more Post's hiding anywhere. Must just be a weird mental thing. That not withstanding, I've been getting a lot of enjoyment from these sets the last couple of months, and feel that they're very responsible for my recently renewed card interest; which truth be told, had been lagging something fierce.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

A Post post (Part 1)

For someone whose generally as unfocused in all aspects of their life as I am, I've been surprisingly focused when it comes to card collecting the last few months.

I think I'm past the days of being distracted by shiny objects, and aside from a handful of guys, player collecting hasn't been doing much for me, so I'm pretty much left with just sets to focus on. And that's what I've been doing.

One of my primary focuses has been on the '61-63 Post sets. I've acquire maybe 30 across the three sets since October, and while most of them have just been commons, they've all been new to me, and even more importantly; each one of them is one card closer to completing their respective sets.

Not wanting to bombard folks with too many cards in one post (like I used to do), I thought I'd break the Post's into two posts, '61 and '62 today, and then, since there's more of them, give the 63's there own post next weekend.

Don Cardwell played on a lot of bad teams and more often than not, finished seasons with a losing record. In fact, all but three of his fourteen seasons were finished with a losing record. His first winning season would come in 1961 when he went 15-14 for a Cubs team that finished 64-90-2.

I generally strive for a bit better condition on my Post cards than this, but for less than two bucks I couldn't not get Saint Ron. Of course, one of the nicest things about Post cards is that they are one of the few types of cards that you can trim; and not be called all kinds of bad names my folks on the internet. And for the record, I did clean these edges up a bit before it went into the binder.

I've got a few more 61's sitting in my COMC account, but it'll be a while before I get those. I've done a bit better with the 62's though...

Usually overshadowed by brother Ken, Clete still had more than a respectable career; and one that most guys going into the pros would love to have. He also ended up with one more ring than his brother, though I'm sure playing for the Yankees played a bit of a part in that.

The good folks of Post wound up being a bit off with their prediction. Early finished the '62 season with a record of 7-15, which left him sitting at 299 wins. #300 would come the following season (his last). Between his gout and the mileage that he had incurred, those last two seasons sound like they were an absolute slog to get through. Of course, if he hadn't lost a few seasons to the war, he probably would've reached 300 a few years earlier, and most likely would've been retired before this set was released.

This card isn't a short print, but does tend to sell for a bit more than your average card in the set. Don't ask me why though. It's not a HOF bump, because there are a number of those from the set that sell for less. And to my knowledge, there aren't a lot of rabid Early Wynn collectors out there. I guess if anyone knows what's what, I'd love to hear about it.

After a poor start to the '62 season, Willie was traded to Cleveland after just 11 games. He put up serviceable numbers with the Indians, but still started the next season in the minors. He got called back up but struggled mightily during limited playing time, and would be done in the majors by seasons end.

1962 saw Albie set personal bests in games played (which naturally led to bests in plate appearances and at-bats), runs scored, doubles, and triples.

Harmon might just be the most common HOFer from this set, and is therefor often the cheapest. I probably could've held out for a nicer copy (I did clean this one up a bit though), but this one came in a small lot. I have no doubt a better one will probably be gotten in another lot (there's one in practically every '62 Post lot that ever shows up on eBay) at some point, and when it is, this one will be given away to whoever needs it.

Joe is one of only 18 players to hit four home runs in a single game, which he did against Brooklyn in 1954. I tend not to have a great memory when it comes to watched sporting events, but I do vividly recall watching Mike Cameron accomplish this feat back in '02. Of course, that game was also memorable because Seattle scored ten runs in the first inning, with four of those runs being a pair of back-to-back home runs by Bret Boone and Mike Cameron.

It's nice to have the both of the Boyer boys out of the way, at least for '62. I've noticed a big push in recent years for Ken to make the HOF. Admittedly, I'm terrible at figuring out who should and who shouldn't be enshrined, but with that being said, I've looked at his numbers on multiple occasions and am not seeing what the pro-Ken crowd is. I do see a really good player, just not one whose career screams HOF.

Despite my recent focus on set collecting, there are occasions where it's very difficult not to add certain cards to player collections instead. This is one of those instances. It's not terribly expensive, so I can get another one at some point, but the temptation to add it to Dick's pages was very strong.

I mentioned at the beginning of the post that I have some more Post's sitting in my COMC account, which were gotten during the recent Black Friday sales. I saw a number of a people lamenting online this year over the lack of deals during the sales, which is funny, I did quite well as far as finding things that I thought were good prices go. I'm not gonna try to bullshit anyone by saying that this years offerings were as good as they were ten years ago (those days are not coming back), but all-in-all I did pretty well. The lack of free shipping this year was kind of a letdown though. I was still gonna have my stuff shipped after the sales ended, but after thinking about it some, I figured I might as well wait until after the new year to do so. At least that way I'll be able to avoid the rush, and possibly be able to add a few more cheapies to the shipment in the meantime.