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

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

2014 Dodgers Post Season Game Worn Road Jersey

Last week I posted about the game worn 2014 Dodgers Post Season home jersey I picked up from  I did a little more damage than that.  I also bought Wallach's 2014 Dodgers Post Season road jersey.  Like the home jersey, this appeared on the auction page (I was tipped off to both listings by a reader).  And the like the home jersey, I opted not to bid on the jersey, deciding it would be irresponsible and a bit frivoulous to blow money on a jersey I don't really need (I'm a card collector after all).

But after this listing (like the listing for the home jersey) ended without anyone placing a bid, and I had a couple of days to dwell on it, "Want" won out over "Need" and when I contacted MLB I inquired if I could buy both jersey's.  They were willing to take my money.

This one was actually a little bit cheaper.  I presume that's because it lacks the "Post Season" patch on the sleeve.  Which begs two questions, (1) did all the Dodgers road jersey's lack the "Post Season" patch, and (2) was this the jersey Wallach wore during the regular season as well?  I can't imagine he went through too many jersey's as bench coach, and if MLB wasn't going to add the patch, why incur the expense of a whole new jersey?  In any event, it's a very nice jersey (the cool base thing is no gimmick, it's awesome material) and one I plan to wear on the rare occasion I wear a jersey.

Here are some more pictures of the jersey:


I snooped around a little bit about the missing "Post Season" patch on the sleeve, and feel confident in the information that has been provided to me.  It's rare but by no means unheard of.  Here's a link to the answer provided to me on the subject.

Also below is a picture of Clayton Kershaw in the road jersey with the patch clearly visible on the sleeve.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

2014 Dodgers Post Season Game Worn Home Jersey

This is Tim Wallach's jersey from the 2014 National League Divisional Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.  I picked it up from auctions.  Sort of.  I actually didn't bid on it.  I deemed the opening bid to be too much.  Apparantly everyone else did too, because nobody bid on.  But after about a day of making rationalizations in my head after the auction ended, I emailed to see if they would still sell it to me.  Obviously they did, and that's it above.

The reasoning that finally won over my frugal hesitations was that I don't have a #29 Wallach Dodgers jersey.  I have a home and away #26, but not #29.  This jersey was actually cheaper than buying an authentic one off of the shop.  Assuming of course, they would even allow me to custom order one, which they don't.  When one tries to do so, they are met with a message about former players not being available for purchase due to a contract of some sort.  I feel like coaches should be in the drop down bar the way current players are on the MLB Shop, but rather than argue this point I just went ahead an purchased this one.

The big revelation for me with this jersey is the tagging MLB uses in the neck now.  It's one of those square bar codes with the the players name, number, size, and the year printed on it as well.  I much prefer the old method of the stiching a mini name-plate in the neck.  When you scan the bar code you get a very generic message.  I included a screen shot below.  If it linked to something a little more exciting, I might be more accepting of this new modern tagging.  But it doesn't, and I'm not.

In all likely hood, this will be a walking around jersey for me.  I know collector's of game used stuff see this as some sort of unforgivable sin, to which I have a couple of retorts.  I need, or least want, a #29 Wallach Dodger jersey to wear to games and the like, and MLB won't sell me one.  Framing is wildly expensive, and I have a finite number of walls in my house.  And finally, shut up.  If I want to wear it to a ball game, I'm going to wear it.  Were not talking about Abner Doubleday's first ball being used for a game of beer pong at a undergrad rugby social.  We're talking about a jersey worn but a bench coach for two games nearly two decades after he last played in a Major League game.  It's not like I'm defacing centuries old priceless art (no disrespect to Coach Wallach).

If anyone has any photo matches from the series with the Cardinals last year, please share them.

Here are some more pictures of the jersey:

Friday, February 20, 2015

Mansfield, TX

The above lot of 13 cards was sent by Tom in Mansfield, Texas.  Tom's become a regular contributor to the cause.

The big score from this batch are the two 1990 Fleer League Leaders card.  It's a tough card to come by (I only had four previously), and one my favorite Wallach cards.  I like any card with the red batting practice jersey, and between the blue borders and nearly perfect looking Florida spring training weather, it's just a great looking card.  It's also about the closest thing Wallach has to a full on "batting cage" shot on a card.  Topps used to commonly use pictures of players standing next to the batting net in the 60's and 70's and they're some of my favorite vintage cards.  For whatever reason they went away from that style of shot and haven't really gone back.

Thanks for the cards Tom.

Updated Totals: 

1984 Topps: 187
1988 Fleer: 191
1988 Score: 190
1988 Topps x2: 446
1989 Topps: 388
1990 Fleer League Leaders x2: 6
1991 Score: 126
1992 Donruss: 111
1992 Fleer x2: 66
1993 Upper Deck: 62

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Peoria, IL

This is the kind of random stuff that I really get a kick out of with this blog.  The cards above were sent from "Tom" in Peoria, IL.  The handful of you who read this regularly may notice the last cards were also sent by a "Tom" in Peoria.  Two different Toms.  What are the odds of that?

From Tom's yellow sticky note above, I assume what he means is that before checking out on, he used the search "shopping cart" sellers function on the site to see if any of the dealers he was buying from also had Tim Wallach cards to sell.  Smart thinking Tom.  I appreciate it.

It's a function I use a lot as well.  Generally on Sportlots, once you commit to buying cards, your on the hook for a couple of bucks in shipping.  So it's a lot more practical to pay a little more for a card or two if it means paying for fewer sellers to ship.  I'm sure I'm not telling anyone anything they don't already know, but I am certainly suggesting that you start searching for "Wallach" before checking out.  Thanks for the cards Tom.

Updated Totals:

1988 Revco: 36
1989 K-Mart: 31
1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier x3: 33

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Peoria, IL

These 75 cards were sent by Tom in Peoria, IL.  There are actually two different Tom's from Peoria who have sent cards, these were sent by Tom of the "Saints Prison Ministries" softball team.  He sent cards last year too.  This year they included a custom '72 Topps style card.  Last year I said I was going to make a donation and never did (my bad), but I'm pleased to say I was able to send something back there way this year.  They're over 100 Wallach cards deep, so I sort of had to do something.

Check out the Saints Prison Ministry web page.

Thanks for the cards guys, and best luck with everything.

Updated Totals:

1982 Topps: 427
1985 Topps: 230
1986 Donruss: 105
1986 Fleer Mini: 30
1986 Sportflics: 8
1986 Topps x3: 167
1986 Topps AS: 393
1986 Topps Tatoo: 2
1987: Donruss x2: 340
1987 Fleer x3: 141
1987 Sportflics: 38
1987 Sportflics Tri-Stars: 6
1987 Topps x4: 592
1988 Donruss x5: 577
1988 Donruss AS x2: 31
1988 Fleer: 190
1988 Fleer MVP: 9
1988 Kay Bee: 24
1988 Topps x2: 444
1988 Topps Big x2: 40
1989: Bowman: 114
1989 Donruss: 215
1989 Upper Deck x3:139
1990 Bowman x3: 54
1990 Donruss x2: 216
1990 Score x6: 137
1990 Upper Deck: 146
1991 Donruss: 122
1991 Fleer Ultra x2: 42
1991 Score x6: 125
1991 Score Franchise: 82
1991 Topps: 123
1991 Upper Deck x2: 161
1991 Upper Deck CL: 106
1992 Donruss x3: 110
1992 Leaf: 43
1992 Pinnacle: 58
1992 Score x4: 42
1995 Topps: 30

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Norton, MA

These cards arrived from Mark, in Norton, MA.  It's the 4th time that Mark has sent cards, and upped his all-time total to 27 cards sent.  Thank you very much Mark.

These also happen to be two of my favorite Wallach cards.  If the 1986 Donruss All-Star were standard size, instead of being huge, it would almost certainly rank in my top 5 favorite Wallach cards.  The '91 MVP has also always been one of my favorites since the moment I first pulled one from a pack 24 years ago.  Donruss had egregiously passed over Wallach for the Expos "MVP" on numerous previous occasions, so there was a great sense of satisfaction when they finally got it right.  It also has the NL MVP voting on the back which is a nice touch.

Updated Totals: 

1986 Donruss All-Star: 11
1992 Donruss MVP: 100

Monday, February 9, 2015

1979 College World Series Ticket Stub (Semi-Final vs. Pepperdine)

This is a ticket stub from the 1979 College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.  It's is my first legitimate "collectable" for Wallach's time at Fullerton.  I've come across some photographs (few and far between), and have some throwback Titan's hats purchased from the Fullerton Bookstore, but this is the first item I've acquired actually from that time.

It's rather shocking to me how little there is available from the 1979 World Series.  When I started looking, I figured, at a minimum, programs and scorecards would be very easy to come by, with shirts, pins, etc being pretty easy to find as well.  They aren't.  I've even go so far as to write the University and ask if they have photo's or anything else, and received no reply.  So this ticket was really a nice find, and will very shortly be making it's way into a frame as one of the center pieces of my collection.

"Session No. 9" was what you could loosely call a "semi-final" game between Cal-St. Fullerton and Pepperdine.  Given the double elimination format used in Omaha, it's not a true bracket with two semi's, Arkansas had already secured a spot in the Championship game and this game was for the right to play them.  Fullerton beat Pepperdine 8-5 in the game this ticket stub is from, and went on to beat Arkansas 2-1 to win the National Title in only their 5th year as a Division 1  program.  Wallach was named to the All-Tournament Team.

This is great, short little video on the 1979 Series:

Here's  picture of the ticket to give you a better idea of it's size

Friday, February 6, 2015

1990 Baseball Magazine Interview


I recently purchased this on ebay.  I had it as a kid, and somewhere along the way it got lost.  There are couple of items that I can think of like that.  Items that I know I had at one point, but over the decades they were misplaced.  This and a drinking glass are the two that ring out in my mind as far as Wallach items, and now this has been replaced.

It's just a small magazine clipping on low quality paper.  I kept mine in the back of the three ring binder that I kept all my Wallach cards in, back when my collection was at a point where all my Wallach cards would fit in one three ring binder.

This particular magazine clipping was something I kept for well over a decade.  I even remember how I obtained my first one.  A friend gave it to me at the Shaw Butte Little League fields in 1990, which would have made me nine years old.  I know I kept it through at least high school.  It was really the only one of two interviews (the baseball talk card being the other) that I ever read or heard of Wallach until recently.

I had these answers memorized as a kid.  I remember after moving to Cooperstown, the year the Dodgers were going to be playing in the Hall of Fame Game, my father wanted to write to Wallach and invite him to the house for Mexican food as we lived just a couple of blocks down from Doubleday Field.  I convinced him not to, as at the time I thought it was far too outlandish and embarrassing of a proposition.  

Today I find the answers to "Players I'd pay to watch play" answer most interesting as it includes Don Mattingly.

Below is another picture with a card to give you some perspective on it's size.

Friday, January 30, 2015

1982 Topps un-cut sheet

I've always wanted one of these uncut sheets.  This is my first one, and it happens to include the Wallach rookie card.  I could be wrong, but I remember these things being wildly expensive as a kid. I picked this one up for less than $20 shipped.  Granted, it's pretty beat up, but that still struck me as very cheap.  However that seemed to be around the going rate for these.

Framing it isn't going to be as inexpensive.  My early estimates indicate that this thing will never see the inside of a frame, and even if I did one day splurge, it's far too big (about 43 x 29) to get the ever important stamp of approval from my wife to be hung on a wall in the house.  And it's not all on her, I have an area, but it's pretty full already and I don't really think I can make space for this.  It could be destined for a spot in the garage with my childhood NHL posters, thumbtacked to a wall.

Some of cool cards on the sheet are below.  Including the Expo killer Rick Monday two slots below Wallach, and some poor kid listed as the Future Star third baseman on the Expos rookie card between Terry Francona and Bryn Smith.