Monday, March 29, 2021

Did that dog just pee on the field? - The Frankenset Recap (Page 14: Cards 119 to 127)

A couple of weeks ago, I revealed that my Frankenset was complete. I thought it would be fun to share the set page by page on this blog, and also provide some random commentary along with each page. More information on the Frankenset as well as links to the pages that have been revealed can be found here.

I'll also occasionally share miscellaneous information about the set in its entirety. This week, I'm revealing the players depicted most often in the Frankenset:

Player / Number of Appearances:

Jose Rijo - 5
Tom Glavine - 5
Jose Canseco - 5
Greg Maddux - 5
Dwight Gooden - 5
Steve Carlton - 4
Hideo Nomo - 4
19 Players - 3

Today, we'll look at page 14, cards 119 to 127.

1992 Leaf #119, Julio Franco

Come on, Julio, it's not the helmet's fault.

1992 Donruss #120, Carlos Baerga

Is Albert Belle is coming after him with a bat? I'd like to think so. 

1991 Score #121, Oddibe McDowell

MLB Limbo Champion, 1990.

1980 Topps #122, Dave Rosello

The Rosello 'Fro

1995 Collector's Choice #123, Randy Johnson

A 6'10" American League pitcher in the pre-interleague era tossing his bat at the ball. The definition of card perfection.

1993 Upper Deck #124, Andy Van Slyke

Upper Deck recognized Van Slyke's All-Star season in 1992 by showing him in the aftermath of being hit by a pitch. No idea why.

1992 Upper Deck Minors #125, Mark Anthony

I need to know, yeah, I need to know why Mark Anthony is making a fish lips face in this photo.

1996 Score #126, Benito Santiago

I'm sure Reds owner Marge Schott's St. Bernard (Schottzie) was a nice dog, but Marge wasn't and most people didn't like her. So the dog wasn't nearly as popular as he could have been. I read a biography of Schott and of the players said they hated the dog because Marge would let it just poop anywhere and not pick up after it. That sentiment is confirmed in this AP article from 1995, which provides more entertaining info on the dog saga.

1989 Fleer #127, Frank Viola

If Frank's face stayed like that, I hope he consulted a doctor.

Do you have a favorite from the page? I'd have to go with Randy Johnson #1, Van Slyke #2, and the Schottzie cameo at #3. If it wasn't Marge Schott's dog, that card would have shot up to #1. 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 21, 2021

The Moment You've Been Waiting For: The Frankenset Recap (Page 72: Cards 641 to 649)

A couple of weeks ago, I revealed that my Frankenset was complete. I thought it would be fun to share the set page by page on this blog, and also provide some random commentary along with each page. I'll also occasionally share miscellaneous information about the set in its entirety. So here's your first one of those, a list of the top 10 categories featured most often in the set (half points if more than one category was represented on the card). 

The random number generator chose page 72 to kick things off, cards 641 to 649. Enjoy! 

1991 Score #641, Dave Anderson

Swing and a miss. How embarrassing.

1991 Upper Deck #642, Kent Mercker

Wonder if this fan got Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, and Avery, too?

1984 Topps #643, Mike Brown

It's all about the shades.

1986 Topps #644, Mark Gubicza

GUBICZA looks like something you'd see on an eye chart. So maybe it's fitting this card is so blurry.

1991 Upper Deck #645, Alex Fernandez

This card is all about Ozzie Guillen's two hats. And the fact that the backwards one says "You Can't Touch This." 1990 was prime Hammer Time after all.

1979 Topps #646, Rick Sweet

Sweet mustache.

1992 Donruss #647, Jim Campanis Jr.

Jim Jr. never made the majors. His dad reached MLB, but didn't make much of a splash there. The most famous family member was grandfather Al, who only played 7 MLB games, but was the longtime General Manager of the Dodgers. 

2002 Upper Deck #648, Tino Martinez

Tino had two somewhat productive years in St. Louis, but his time with the Yankees and Mariners is more notable. 

1989 Donruss #649, Rod Nichols

Maybe Rod needed better glasses. He went 1-7 in 1988 with a 5.06 ERA. He somehow had three complete games, however.

Do you have a favorite from this page? I'm torn between the Rick Sweet mustache and the Ozzie MC Hammer hat. 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 15, 2021

The March to 1,000: New Additions

Since finishing my Frankenset, I have shifted my focus to my all-time Cubs player collection. Recent Cardbarrel and eBay orders and some card show pickups brought my total from 830 to 886. 

I compiled a list for my own reference of cards using the team page on Trading Card Database. This helped me find some cards from the 1995-present period that I had missed. I filled in some of those using Cardbarrel. We'll start with a group of guys I wouldn't have thought of in a million years without TCDB.

And a couple you might actually recognize:

Then, I focused on the late 40s / early 50s players, finding a seller on eBay offering some Bowman reprints of those players. Starting again with some randoms:

Maybe you thought, "Wait, I think I've heard of Dutch Leonard." You probably have heard of the other Dutch Leonard, though this guy actually had the better career.

A couple guys you're more likely to know:

I thought I had a good chance at getting some late 50s or early 60s cards from a vendor at a recent card show, and I was right. As I already have cards of the star players from pretty much every era, all of these are commons:

Art Schult looks sleepy.

Larry Jackson doesn't look thrilled to be joining the Cubs after 8 years with the Cardinals. St. Louis would go on to finish 2nd in the NL in 1963, while the Cubs ended up 7th. The Jack Curtis cards would fit well in my "blurry" card collection, but it is destined for the Cubs binder.

Also picked up some cards for my 2nd and 3rd tier player collections. The Mudcat Grant is well-loved. Liking the '79 Tiant signing autos and the Satchel Paige (does he have a bad card?). 

I've identified over 150 players on my master list who have a card that I think is fairly attainable. So that would put me over 1,000. I'm thinking when/if I get to 1,000, I would just focus on adding new players (though Topps Total is an online-only product now, I believe, meaning some players will be harder to come by at a reasonable price). 

Hoping to get some fun Frankenset facts out there in the coming weeks. Stay tuned. 

Monday, March 8, 2021

What Will I Do With All These Donruss Puzzle Pieces?

It's a question that many of us perhaps have struggled with over the years. You can't avoid them. You probably have a bunch laying around. Or maybe you toss them in the trash every time they come around. The Donruss puzzle pieces. 

I'm not sure when I came across the idea, but I thought it was a good one: Put the puzzles together and then put them in a frame. An intriguing thought, though I never really liked the look of framed puzzles generally. Well, whoever came up with this idea is a genius. Maybe it's because they are baseball-themed instead of some boring pastoral landscape, but I think they look fantastic. Fantastic enough that I have been working on putting together the entire series of puzzles that Donruss/Leaf released from 1982-1991. 

Here are the puzzles I've completed:

1986 - Hank Aaron

1987 - Roberto Clemente

1988 - Stan Musial

1990 - Carl Yastrzemski
1991 - Willie Stargell
1991 - Harmon Killebrew (Leaf)
1991 - Rod Carew (Studio)

I just received the final pieces of the Yogi Berra and Lou Gehrig puzzles, so I'm hoping to get those put together soon. I'll finish the Babe Ruth, Warren Spahn, and second Rod Carew puzzles as soon as I decided to have my orders shipped. If I had kept every piece I had ever accumulated of the Spahn puzzle over the years, I'm sure I could have put like 10 of them together by now. 

The next challenge will be finding a place for these new puzzles, since most of my real estate is taken with other 8x10s and a couple 3 x 5 foot Cubs flags. One of those 8 x 10s is a recent pickup, of the first person I'd put in the Hall of Fame if given the chance:

The legendary Buck O'Neil (from his time as a Cubs coach). 

If you're curious about the framing of the puzzle, it's easy enough and cheap enough to do in my opinion. You'll need a certificate-sized frame (easily found at the dollar store or big box stores). Assemble the puzzle face down, and then glue a piece of letter-size card stock to the back. It will overlap the sides but is pretty much flush top to bottom. For the Hank Aaron puzzle above, which is blue, I used my usual white card stock, but then colored in the margins left to right to make it blend in better. I'm sure these would display well in a binder, too, if space is an issue. Some of mine might end up there someday. The Clemente and Aaron are too awesome to not display, though, so they'll stay for sure.

There are four puzzles for which I have zero pieces:
1983 - Mickey Mantle
1983 - Ty Cobb
1984 - Duke Snider
1984 - Ted Williams

If you have any of these, I'd love to swing a trade. 

Which one player would you put in the Hall of Fame if given the chance?

Thanks for stopping by.