Thursday, May 21, 2015

Surprise, Arizona

These cards were sent by Dan from Surprise, Arizona.  Thank you for the cards Dan.  These cards are the first ones sent from Surprise and only the second from the State of Arizona.  Surprise is now represented on the map.

Speaking of "the map," Google recently made some "improvements" and my map has been all messed up ever since.  It used to be that when you clicked on the mailbox (in the right hand column of this page), it took you to the map of where cards have been sent from and it looked something like this:

However since Google implemented their "improvements," every time you click on a link to it, it appears like this:

You're forgiven if you can't tell, but that's an extreme close up of Nebraska.  I've tried setting the default view to no avail.  It keeps reverting back this shot of Nebraska.  If there any baseball card collector's out there who read this blog and also double has computer ne..,er, experts, I'd love some advice on fixing this problem.

In mean time, here are the updated totals for the cards Dan sent:

1988 Topps Super Star: 11
1991 Topps: 133
1992 Upper Deck: 167
1993 Topps: 98
1994 Ultra: 30

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Charleston, WV

These 12 cards (and one "cameo" card) were sent by Joe from Charleston, West Virginia.  That large rip in the envelope is not the result of me opening it.  It arrived in my mailbox that way.  Thankfully the cards were still intact and in one piece.  I receive a lot of plain white envelopes and this is only the second time I can recall one arriving in a compromised state.  The other one was a complete loss, arriving inside a separate post office envelope for damaged parcels and all the contents were missing.  All in all, the USPS has pretty good batting average and I've got no complaints.

The "cameo" card is a new one to me.  A reader recently sent me a list of a large number of cards Wallach makes cameo's on (the reader keeps track for everyone), and I have every intent of doing a post featuring them all at some point.  I'm just too lazy to dig them out of my stacks.

Thanks for the cards Joe.  Here are the updated totals:

1984 Topps: 189
1986 Sportflics: 9
1989 Topps: 407
1991 Donruss: 128
1992 Leaf: 50
1993 Topps Traded x2: 19
1993 Upper Deck: 64
1994 Pinnacle: 22
1994 Stadium Club: 27
1994 Studio: 15
1995 Leaf: 14

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sportlots Purchase

I picked up these 190 cards from a Sportlots seller.  I was actually on the site looking to fill in some gaps in my 1975 Topps set, but as is always the case, I couldn't make a purchase without also relieving the seller of his Wallach cards.

The packaging was a but unique.  Rather than use the standard white boxes to ship the cards, the seller wrapped them tightly in newspaper and book ended them with unopened packs of 1991 Donruss.  Is that really what it's come too?  Unopened packs of 1991 Donruss are more expendable than empty storage boxes?  I'm not complaining, the cards arrived safely, and I love vintage wax, but it certainly makes me raise an eyebrow.

With purchases I don't list all the updated totals, but do want to point out the following milestones:

*1983 Topps reaches 200+ cards
*1986 Topps reaches 400+ cards
*1988 Topps All-Star reaches 400+ cards


Friday, May 1, 2015

Glenn Falls, NY

These 14 cards were sent by Nolan in Glenn Falls, NY.  This is the second time Nolan has sent cards.  I suspect that the red contest cards were included primarily for packaging purposes, but I actually really like those old 80's contest and send in-offer inserts from Topps.  For whatever reason, they hold the smell of bubble gum much better than the actual cards.  The red ones above actually still had a light dusting of sugar on them, giving the whole envelope a very nice vintage smell.

It really gets under my skin that Topps doesn't include gum with their cards anymore.  You'd think the company responsible for Bazooka Joe, and whose baseball card empire was literally built on the premise that only they could include baseball cards with their gum or confection candy of any sort, would still include gum.  If for no other reason than just to be sentimental, or as a nod to their own tradition and history, or even just for those of us who like to smack gum as we read the backs of baseball cards.

I'll stop ranting about gum now.  This envelope arrived well over a month ago (sorry for the delay Nolan), and as it was another one I was planning to post over my Spring Training trip I updated the totals in my records awhile ago and now they're no longer accurate, so I won't be posting them.  I will point out however that at the time these cards arrived, that the 1987 Topps was my 600th copy of it, making it the first card I've reached 600 of.  I'm probably going to make a big deal about #792 when I get there, but I feel like 600 deserves some mention too.

Thank you for the cards Nolan, I have some Andy Van Slykes set aside for you.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

1986 Donruss All-Stars unopend pack

This the least presentable of the unopened packs I have that show a Wallach card inside.  It's the only one I have that features the Wallach on the back of the package, but it wouldn't make much difference if it were on the front given the Graig Nettles pop-up card obscurring what I'm pretty sure is a Jim Rice card.

I bought a lot of these packs as a kid, albeit, several years after the fact.  They showed up at my local card shop ("The Batter's Box") probably around 1988, and between the gimmick of pop-ups, over-sized cards, the discounted price, and Wallach's inclusion, I tore through a lot of them.

As with any mention of All-Star related things, I'll use this as an oppurtunity to gripe about player selection for a 30 year old exhibition game, as is my habit.  Graig Nettles batted .261 with 15 home runs and 61 RBI in 1985.  He was named the starter at 3B for the National League in the All-Star game and thus was included as a pop-up card in this set.  Wallach hit 22 home runs, drove in 71 runs, and also batted .260 in 1985.   He won the gold glove at 3B, and was also awarded the Silver Slugger.  Yet Nettles got the start, so there was no pop-up card made of Wallach.  It still annoys me.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Allen, TX

Of late, I've been very bad about getting mailings posted on this blog.  A combination of not having enough free time, and a lot of generous readers sending envelopes all at once.  I'm not complaining, at least not about the later.

These cards were sent by Nick in Allen, TX.  Nick is also a self-described Wallach fan, and of the handful of other "Wallach Fans" I've run into, the only one who also collects Wallach cards.  Thankfully he's not trying to "collect them all," and has been very generous in what he's sent my way.  The first time he sent cards, he sent over 100, and included some nice odd-ball items as well.

This envelope included 39 cards, one of which I didn't have.  In my excitement, I wasted no time in doing a post for the 1990 Donruss Aqueous Test, but then dragged my feet for a month in getting around to drafting this post.  Sorry Nick.

I received these cards shortly before I took off to Arizona for the last week of Spring Training.  I had planned on doing the post while down there, and somewhat predictably, didn't get around to it.  However, before I left, I updated all the totals, which have no been updated a handful of times since then.  So I won't be listing the totals below.

Thanks for the cards Nick.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cincinnati, OH

These cards were sent by J.B. of the "J.B. Trading Co. Baseball Card Blog."  They're the first cards to be sent from Cincinnati, or even the State of Ohio for that matter.  Thanks for the cards J.B., they're very much appreciated.

The best part about these cards is the smell.  The Topps cards included have a very strong gum odor to them.  One of the '87's has a very impressive gum/wax stain on the back as well.  It's really a shame kids today will grow up never knowing the stink of gum and wax on their cards.  But I guess the handful that are buying cards today can read about it somewhere else.

Updated Totals:

1987 Topps x3: 609
1988 Topps x3: 454
1989 Donruss: 224
1989 Topps x7: 402
1990 Donruss: 224
1990 Topps: 261
1990 Topps Coins: 6

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sportlots Purchase is the largest source of un-acquired Wallach cards still in existence.  Due to the sheer number of sellers and the manner in which shipping is calculated (it's not consolidated, each seller bills separately), it just isn't financially viable to take down the entire inventory (though I have significantly reduced it).

That doesn't mean I don't try though.  My current tactic, is to find a seller with a large quantity of an early 80's Topps Wallach, and then empty his entire stock.  This particular seller had forty five (45) 1982 Topps Wallach's, by far the most of any seller still offering them, so I went ahead and bought him out.  Not just of his '82 Topps Wallachs, of all of his Wallachs.

I feel it's an effective strategy.  It focuses on my favorite period of Wallach cards, isn't overwhelming in scope, and makes a decent dent in the availability of Wallach cards on Sportlots.  At somepoint there will be a very confused set collector wondering why he can't track down an '83 Topps Wallach.

 When your closing in on 500 of the same card, it doesn't take much to get you excited.  Above is one of the '82 Topps in in this purchase. It's likely the most off-centered '82 Topps Wallach that I have.  Below are two examples of '82 Topps included that have the pink spots in the upper right corner.  I've seen these pink spots before on '82 Topps Wallachs, but never this large or bright.

Also included in this lot, was what is probably the most off-centered example of '83 Topps Wallach that I have.  

Updated Totals:

1982 Topps x45: 475
1983 Donruss x4: 75
1983 Fleer x6: 90
1983 Topps x27: 197
1984 Nestle: 80
1985 Fleer x10: 58
1985 O-Pee-Chee x5: 19

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Chad Wallach 2014 Bowman Draft Scouts Breakouts #BSB-CW

Card Review: C-
Before I start complaining about all the technicalities about this card that upset the baseball card collecting dork side of me, I'd just like to point out that it's pretty cool that Bowman included Chad Wallach in this set.  He's the second Wallach kid to be included in one of these semi-main stream sets (Brett was in a couple, Matt only had minor league team set issued cards).  Hopefully, he'll be the first Wallach kid to be included in a Topps base set down the road.

That said, I have a lot of complaints about this card.  For one, it's ugly.  The colors, the way the player is cropped out of any background, the lack the stats, and the picture itself all upset me.  It's a weird photo of Chad that barely looks like him.  Worst of all, Chad isn't with the Marlins anymore, he was traded to the Reds.  I understand timing and lack of photos probably played into this, but it's still a bit annoying.

My final thought is on the back.  I think it's cool that it mentions Tim.  But I've always wondered what kids of major leaguers think.  On one hand, I'm sure being the child of successful major leaguer opens a lot of doors and gets you a lot of extra looks from scouts that others may not get.  But you still have to be able to play to reach this level.  At some point I imagine you'd want to escape that shadow.  I just question where that point is.  I think it's probably somewhere in between when people start saying "Did you know Barry's dad Bobby also played major league baseball?" instead of "Did you know Delino Desheilds kid made it to the majors?"  It's a tough spot.  Most guys that get so much as a single at-bat probably have a Little League field named after them somewhere.  As kid of a successful major leaguer, you're going to be held to some unfair higher standards.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Redwood City, CA

These 35 cards were generously sent by Michael in Redwood City, CA.  It's the second time Michael has sent cards, bringing his career total to 79 total cards sent.  Thank you very much for your ongoing support of this blog Michael, it's greatly appreciated.

Updated Totals:

1985 Topps x2: 233
1986 Leaf: 21
1986 Topps: 173
1986 Topps All-Star: 398
1987 Donruss: 342
1988 Donruss x2: 579
1988 Topps: 451
1989 Donruss Baseball's Best: 13
1989 Topps x5: 395
1990 Fleer: 203
1990 Score: 139
1991 Leaf x4: 60
1991 Score x2: 131
1991 Topps x4: 130
1991 Topps Cracker Jack: 7
1992 Score x5: 47
1992 Ultra: 91
1993 Stadium Club: 35

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Albany, NY

These cards were sent (awhile ago, sorry for the delay) from Albany, NY by "Branfalt."  It's a nice assortment which includes the '91 Stadium Club and '92 Upper Deck.  My opinion of those two cards has probably risen more than any other Wallach cards over the last five years.  The more I see of them the more I like them. 

These are the first cards to be sent from Albany, which is now on the map.  Thank you for the cards "Branfalt."

Updated Totals:

1990 Donruss: 223
1991 Donruss x3: 127
1991 Stadium Club: 47
1991 Topps: 126
1992 Upper Deck: 163
1993 Pinnacle: 24
1993 Topps: 88
1994 Topps: 60
1996 Collector's Choice Ser.II: 14
1997 Collector's Choice: 19

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Rivergrove, IL

These cards and 16 x 20 photo were sent by an Expos super collector in River Grove, IL.  "J" included a note explaining that he was given this photo for free, as the printer he used didn't think it was up to standards.  I don't have any problems with the printing quality, so those standards must be pretty high.

Thanks for the cards and photo.

If you have Expos collectables you can part with, contact "J" at MontrealExpos94 @ Outlook dot com

updated totals: 

1983 Fleer x3: 84
1984 Topps: 188
1986 Topps: 172
1990 Upper Deck: 154
1991 Studio: 45

Monday, April 6, 2015

Kenner, LA

An envelope from Kenner, LA with the familiar Seattle Mariners logo can only mean one thing, more cards from "The Junior Junkie."  T.J. has now hit double figures with ten envelopes of Wallach cards sent.  He's currently the clubhouse leader in that department.  As always, thank you T.J.

Included in this group of cards was a 2003 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Refractor.  That's the first one of those to ever be sent by a reader.  They're individually numbered to 299.  This one was #213.

Updated Totals:

1988 Fleer: 192
1988 Topps AS x3: 391
1990 Donruss: 222
1991 Donruss: 124
1991 Score Franchise x2: 88
1992 Donruss x3: 117
1992 Stadium Club: 20
2003 Topps Fan Favorites Refractor: 4

Friday, April 3, 2015

1984 Fleer Unopened Cello Pack

This is an unopened 1984 Fleer cello pack with Wallach showing through on the the front.  It's my 4th cello pack with a Wallach showing on top.  It's hard to argue with 28 cards and 2 stickers for 49¢.  I vividly remember buying  these packs as a kid.  The grocery store my mother went to back then sold these and I would usually come away with a pack of these, while my brother more often than not opted for a candy of some sort.  I have far more '85 Fleer that survived, so I'm guessing I wasn't buying these for very long, and given the year, this had to be right around the time I started asking for cards on my own rather than having family friends force them on me.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

1990 Donruss Aqueous Test #220

Card Review: 8.9  This card is identical to appearance to the standard 1990 Donruss but for the "Aqueous Test" printed across the back.  Aqueous is a reference to the gloss used on the front.  That seems to be a universally agreed upon element of these aqueous test cards.  There seems to be little consensus on much else about them.  Most people seem to agree that these were printed by Donruss in 1990 in effort to find a different coating for cards.  Depending on who you ask it was either an attempt to cut cost, improve duribility, improve appearance, differentiate from the standard set for a Canadian issue, just done in the name of science, or some combination of those factors.  Some collector's seem to be pretty invested in their respective theory, and willing to grossly over pay for a few of the Hall of Famers. 

Allegedly only 224 of the 660 cards in the base set were done in this aqueous test format.  How and why they were distrubted also seems to be a matter of some dispute, but I think it's safe to say they were leaked out the back door in the form of unopend packs (maybe cello packs) by a donruss employee and sold to private collectors.

I've seen this Wallach "Aqueous Test" pop up on ebay on and off for years.  Usually it had an asking price of $9.99 and a few times at $19.99.  I never bit, and always let it pass.  It just seemed like way too much.  My patience paid off, as this card was recently sent in by a very generous reader in Texas.  It's one of only a couple of cards that I obtained my first copy of in that manner.

Number of this card in my collection: 1

Friday, March 27, 2015

Houston, TX

These 41 cards were sent from Hal in Houston, Texas.  Hal runs "Junk Wax Cards."  Far and away my favorites from the package are the four '86 Topps cards.  They're extremely well worn.  I love beat cards.  I've said this numerous times, but I'll repeat it, I don't intentionally beat up cards, but when I very much enjoy coming across cards that have been "worn in" naturally by time.  The '86 Topps in this package appear to be just that.

Thank for the cards Hal.  I'll take a look at your want list and see what I can do.

Updated Totals:

1983 Donruss: 71
1986 Topps x2: 171
1986 Topps AS x2: 397
1987 Topps x6: 606
1988 Topps x2: 450
1988 Topps AS x3: 391
1988 Topps Sticker: 18
1989 Donruss x4: 223
1990 Donruss: 221
1990 Fleer: 202
1990 Topps x3: 260
1990 Upper Deck x3: 153
1991 Denny's: 13
1991 Fleer x6: 92
1991 Score: 129
1991 Score Franchise x2: 86
1992 Leaf Black Gold: 9
1992 Studio: 23
1992 Topps Micro: 8

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

2014 Leaf Memories Gold #/5

Card Review: 2.5  This is the 3rd year Leaf has done a self congratulatory set celebrating their own contribution to the junk wax era and driving children away from baseball card collecting.  I didn't like the 2012 set "honoring" the 1990 Leaf set, but I sort of understood it.  While I never liked the 1990 Leaf design, there is no denying that it caused a brief frenzy among collectors.  I actually kind of liked the 1991 Leaf design, but the 2013 tribute to it was even more of shameless marketing gimmick than the previous year.  With this 2014 incarnation, I don't know what they were thinking.  1992 Leaf was an ugly set, an inferior rip off of the 1991 design, and completely forgettable.  Nobody whines about the good old days of 1992 Leaf.  I'm really at a bit of a loss for words.  Why?  And who are you people that are buying this stuff?  I doubt that they are, but if the 1/1 variations are of the black gold variety, that could be this sets lone saving grace.

Number of this card in my collection: 1

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Highlands Ranch, CO

This very nice assortment of cards arrived from David in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.  After going five years with never receiving cards from Colorado, I've received two packages from there in the same month.  A spring blizzard of sorts.

 In addition to the healthy mix of early 80's Wallach's (my favorite period) he included an entire deck of the 1990 U.S. Playing cards.  The deck is a lot cooler than I thought it would be, and really should have picked one up years ago.  It won't be going in plastic or any display, it'll be going in a drawer as the go to deck of cards for once or twice a year I need a deck of cards in my house.  If your so inclined, I recommend picking up a deck of these on ebay.

Thank you for the cards and deck David.

Updated Totals:

1982 Fleer x2: 62
1982 Topps: 430
1983 Donruss: 70
1983 Fleer x2: 81
1983 Topps x3: 169
1986 Fleer: 94
1987 Donruss: 341
1989 Fleer x2: 185
1989 Topps: 390
1990 Donruss: 220
1990 Topps x2: 257
1990 U.S. Playing Cards: 24
1991 Donruss: 123
1991 Ultra: 44
1991 Upper Deck: 166
1991 Topps: 125
1992 Donruss: 114
1992 Leaf: 44
1992 Upper Deck: 162
1993 Donruss: 57
1993 Leaf x3: 42
1994 Donruss: 25
1994 Stadium Club x2: 26
1994 Stadium Club Rainbow: 11
1995 Upper Deck: 23

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015

Plainfield, IL

These cards were sent by Jeff of "2x3 Heroes."  I have been very bad about posting cards that have been sent, but hope to catch up by the end of next week.  I've received some really outrageously generous stuff in the mail, and really don't have a good excuse for the delay.  So if you sent something and haven't seen it, chances are I have it, and will get it up shortly. Jeff, thank you for the cards.  I have some '64 Topps I'll be sending your way.

"Do cameos count?" Jeff asks in his note.  Technically, no.  But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate them.  That Willie Randolph is incredible.  1992 Upper Deck is probably my single favorite UD set (I know it's not a popular choice), and Willie is one of my all-time favorite players.  I tend to go for great players who came up short for the Hall of Fame.  On top of that, it's a great action shot of Wallach sliding (not a lot of that on his cardboard).  Yet somehow, I had never seen this card.  Which I find somewhat amazing given the amount of 1992 UD I opened, and it was at a time when I was actively trading cards with probably about a dozen other kids.  Somehow this Randolph escaped my attention.  At some point, I'm going to do a post documenting all the known cameos.  Cards of the Wallach's kids don't count either, but I still try to collect one of each.  This is the first time anyone as sent a Brett Wallach.

I'll have a little extra time this weekend, as the tragically unjust exclusion of the Great Jim Boeheim and his Syracuse Orangemen from The College Basketball Tournament (I refuse to call it by that 4 letter acronym until they apologize to Coach Boeheim) has rendered it less than the matter of life and death importance it normally is to me.  However, I clear the first Thursday to Sunday of the Tournament from my calender months in advance every year, so I'll put the time to good use by catching up on post and way over do return mailings, and rooting against Georgetown.

If you want to help streamline my effors, if you've sent anything (ever), please email me your address and what you collect.  Otherwise, I'm just going through all the envelopes (maybe it's weird, but them save them) and checking return labels.

Updated Totals for cards sent:

1988 Topps All-Star: 385
1990 Topps: 253
1991 Upper Deck x2: 163
1991 Upper Deck Checklist: 107

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Brett Wallach 2010 Great Lakes Loons #32

Card Review: B+   If this card looks familiar, it's because it's the second time I've posted it.  The first one I came into possession of was autographed.  I wrote at the time when I posted it that I didn't know if they were all autographed, or just the one I had in hand.  It didn't seem like that outlandish of a thing to do for a minor league giveaway, to have the players autograph them all.   This card serves as confirmation that they were not all autographed. 

I prefer this one to the autographed one.  That's not a knock on Brett Wallach, I just don't like autographed cards, regardless of whose signature is on it.  I mean unless it's something really goofy, like a Pedro Martinez autograph on an old Don Zimmer card, or something like that.  But as far as autographs go, they don't do a lot for me.  When I was a kid, they were a huge deal, but it was also more about getting close enough to Will Clark to get the autograph and the player acknowledging your existence.  I don't get the current craze of autographed cards in packs, but who am I to judge.  I hoard Tim Wallach cards.

Monday, March 9, 2015

1989 Donruss Baseball's Best - Blue Test Proof

Review: Incomplete  This (allegedly) is a "blue test proof" from the 1989 Donruss Baseball's Best set.  It's printed on extremely thin paper.  I assume there was a whole sheet of these and someone took the time to cut them all out and list them on ebay.  But it's cut so well, that I wouldn't be shocked if Donruss actually did the cutting.  Of course the third option, given the low quality of the printer and paper, is that I've been dupped and some dude just printed these out in his basement and is calling them "test proofs."

In researching the 1984 Topps "encased" variants, I've discovered that there are a good number of people who get very worked up over the distinction between a "test" card and a "proof" card.  So I don't know what to make of this this "Test Proof."  I will say this, if your on the fence about buying one for your team or player collection, don't over pay.  I cannot begin to describe how under whelming this thing is in person.  For reference, I paid 99¢ plus shipping, and wouldn't do it again.  I'm just glad I never bit on it for the two plus years it kept being listed on ebay at $9.99.

Number of this "card" in my collection: 1