Wednesday, March 31, 2010

1961 Topps Baseball #5, Johnny Romano

Even in the modern game, a 20-homer catcher with sturdy, 100+ game knees can craft a lengthy career. Back in the 1960s, few guys could pull it off at all, let alone rock the black sleeve-and-cap look John Romano wears on today's #5.

Card front

"Honey" Romano caught at least 100 games six times and made 2 All-Star games, thanks to solid hitting and a decent eye. His 1959 White Sox team won the AL, but lost the Series to L.A.'s newly replanted Dodgers. Romano got but a single at-bat, as veteran Sherm Lollar held state behind the Chicago plate and started all 6 games.

Card back

Following that pennant-winning season, Cleveland extracted both Romano and Norm Cash from Chicago in a 7-player trade. After 5 good years as an Indian, the White Sox brought Romano back in another 7-player deal, this time involving both KC and CLE. (The latter included a young Tommy John and slugger Rocky Colavito.) Johnny eventually closed out his career backing up Tim McCarver in St. Louis.

Value: 1960s Topps "commons" cost 25 cents to $1, depending on condition. This one's miscut top-to-bottom, a frequent enough problem for almost any set printed prior to 1980.

Fake / Reprints: All-Star games aside, I doubt anyone could get rich reprinting Johnny Romanos!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Poll wrap-up: Do you collect big cards?

Thanks to voters in last week's poll! Many folks (OK, most everyone) go for any size, with a few specifying additional types. (Perhaps putting "anything" first would've changed the numbers around. :-)

My collection's largest "card" remains 1969 Topps Team Poster #5, Baltimore Orioles, at 16" x 20". Fortunately, it folds down to 9-card pocket size!

Friday, March 26, 2010

1927 E210 Type 1 Baseball #5, Gabby Hartnett

One of baseball's finest backstops of any era, this Cubs HOFer was also part of some very significant points in its history.
  • Catcher for Babe Ruth's called shot (wonder what pitch he called?)
  • Caught Carl Hubbell's consecutive Ks of Ruth, Gehrig, Foxx, Simmons, and Cronin in 1934 All-Star Game (see 1938 Wheaties #5 for more)
  • "Homer in the Gloamin," a game-winning shot that proved crucial to Chicago's 1938 NL pennant

Cooperstown's Hall of Fame also made Hartnett's catching gear their first acquisition, an honor for any sportsman. Chicago Daily News archives include a 1926 photo of Gabby and his gear.

York Caramel is one of several candy and ice cream companies that sponsored look-a-like baseball sets in the late 1920s (see F50 / W502 #5 for more).

There are 3 distinct E210 printings: Type 1, Type 2, and blank-backed. Orientation of the card backs distinguish Type 1 from Type 2. Put the front photo face-up and turn it over. Type 1 text faces "left" and Type 2 faces "right." There's no other difference that I know of, either in card text or number of cards. (Blank backs obviously distinguish themselves.)

Value: E210 in good shape cost quite a bit. This miscut (but otherwise EX) Hartnett recently fetched $175 on eBay. "Commons" are closer to $50.

Fake / Reprints: While we don't consider look-alike sets from other food companies "reprints," many of their authentic examples look like copies of an E210. In addition, people have tried to fake the most valuable players, making it tough on the typical collector. If you shop for E210s, be very particular who you buy from or get graded versions from a well-known company.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

1977 Kellogg's Baseball #5, John Montefusco

Here's a man with one of baseball's best nicknames: John "The Count" Montefusco. Not many jocks call unapologetically back to classic literature. (The Count of Monte Cristo is also one of the world's best revenge stories--and we all need a good revenge story sometimes.)

Montefusco won NL ROY honors in 1975 and pitched in the 1976 All-Star game. He allowed no runs over 2 innings of a 7-1 NL win and struck out Fred Lynn and Phil Garner.

Not crazy about the back's reused mug shot, as it seems lazy. Couldn't the team (or Kellogg's) get a second photo, especially since John's front pose is nothing to sing about?

1981 Topps #438, John Montefusco

OK, no further comment! Maybe they should've nicknamed him "Jaws."

Value: Kellogg's are readily available on eBay and Beckett Marketplace and "commons" cost a dollar or two. You can find the entire set for $50 or under, depending on condition.

Fakes / Reprints: It would be a lot of trouble to reprint Kellogg's plastic cards and I've never seen one in the market.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

1957 Ed-U-Cards Baseball Game #5, Double Play

This awesome action card arrived today, a surprise gift from a trading friend. It's part of a 36-card baseball game from the 1950s, intended for 2 friends playing on a paper diamond. (See several scans and the game board at

Card front

This set's just one of a vast parade of Ed-U-Cards issues covering TV characters, sports, and other subjects. None of the cards feature identifiable teams or players, just drawings of balls, strikes, hits, and outs.

Card back

Much like the Spanish "Cine Manual" set (#5 profile here), this card's tiny pitcher is actually part of a flip movie. Put all 36 cards in numerical order, flip the top edge, and he throws a fastball right at you.

Value: On eBay, complete boxed sets run from $15-20. Single cards should be cheap--if you can find them.

Fakes / Reprints: Never seen a faked Ed-U-Card and they're not probably not valuable enough to try.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

1971 Topps Baseball Tattoos #5, Al Kaline

Among the world's many schoolyard antics, spit-and-stick tattoos seemed so cool as a youngster. They made you instantly 10 years older, stayed in place for upwards of an hour or so, and used backwards text that reminded me of secret ciphers and decoder rings.

Tattoo strip (blank back)

Kaline's clearly the best player on this collection of floating heads, but let's not sell the other guys short.

  • Lee May hit 20+ homers in 11 consecutive seasons and totaled 354 for his career
  • Billy Grabarkewitz hit for a 134 OPS+ in 1970 and made the All-Star team, playing 156 games at 2B, SS, and 3B for the Dodgers
  • Manny Sanguillen played 12 great years in Pittsburgh, netting 3 All-Star appearances and 2 World Series rings
  • Vada Pinson did everything well and collected over 200 hits 4 times, en route to almost 2800 for his career

The other tattoo panels show team pennants and generic players. I like that they combined "guy signing autographs" with Kaline's autograph. (It's a faithful representation, too--check this "sweet spot" example.)

UPDATE: Tattoos are still with us! A Pack To Be Named Later busted a 2009 Fan Pak and it includes modern versions of the same stick-on stuff. Check it out at APTBNL.

Value: This high-grade strip cost $12 on eBay, about right for a scarce but unpopular Topps test issue.

Fake / Reprints: Another tough issue to fake, since you need perforated pages and ink that transfers when wet. Haven't seen any reprints on the market.

Monday, March 22, 2010

1975 Kellogg's Baseball #5, Greg Gross

Mr. Gross has exactly the kind of name 10 year-olds snicker over. "GREG IS SO GROOOOSSSS!" Sorry, man, the school playground is a kangaroo court of name-calling and hair-pulling.

XOGRAPH's 3D process makes Greg stand out from the card's background and its starry borders shimmer when tilted side-to-side. As mentioned on March 19, Kellogg's used pseudo-3D for every 1970-to-1983 baseball set with one exception, 1973 Kellogg's #5, Don Sutton.

Not many rookies get into 150+ games! Greg rewarded Houston with a .314 average, set a club for hits in a season, and finished 2nd to Bake McBride in ROY voting. The outfield of Gross, Cesar Cendeno, and Bob Watson--all with OPS+ of at least 120--proved the strength of an otherwise mediocre Astro squad.

UPDATE: Found this purported unopened Kellogg's Greg Gross on eBay. You might have to squint to pick out the details, but who'd lie about the contents of something on eBay? :-)

Value: Got Greg from a trading friend. "Common" Kellogg's cards run a dollar or two in good shape.

Fakes / Reprints: Haven't seen a Kellogg's reprint, fortunately! It'd be tough work, given the special plastic and 3D.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Box Break: 2010 Upper Deck Series 1

Grabbed Target's last 8-pack blaster of 2010 UD Series 1 on Saturday and shot a box break. This video's the edited version, so jumps from pack-to-pack quickly. It's about 6 minutes long and I added some notes along the way.

This blaster produced a few hits and a bunch of base cards. If you're working on the set, post a comment or send an email with your wantlist and I'll try to hit it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Poll: Do you collect big cards?

Most of today's cards use the iconic 2.5" x 3.5" size Topps established in 1957, but not everyone does that. Even modern sets sometimes juggle their dimensions and try to catch collectors with something unusual.

1988 Topps Big Baseball, 2.75" x 3.75"

Size and orientation makes a big difference to how a collection looks and displays. Topps from 1955, 1956, and 1960 use horizontals exclusively and they pop up occasionally into the 1970s.

1956 Topps, my favorite set, also 2.75" x 3.75"

A size upgrade means bigger pictures and more visual possibilities. This one shows Ted close-up and in-action, something not easily done on a smaller canvas. Check out how other sizes put their space to use.

1953 Red Man NL, 3.5" square

1967 Topps Posters, 5" x 7"

1969 Topps Posters, 16" x 20" (!)

Card storage is most convenient when everything fits in 9-pocket pages, but collecting isn't all about making it easy on ourselves. See the left sidebar for this week's poll: what sizes do you collect?

Friday, March 19, 2010

1970 Rold Gold Baseball #5, George Sisler

For me, middle school included bizarre amounts of snack food and ice cream. "Home cooking" meant recipes like this tasty dish.
4 slices toast
4 Tb butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tb cinnamon
1 paper bag
Butter both sides of toast slices and cut each into 3x3 grid. Pour sugar and cinnamon in bag and then add toast pieces. Shake until all pieces coated.

Another extremely common snack? Rold Gold pretzels. My group of friends ate so many, we still appear in sodium impact studies.

The blue border and stadium behind Mr. Sisler look weird because of their simulated 3-D printing process. The XOGRAPH company combined 2 slightly different photos to create the appearance of depth on a flat plastic card, a look Kellogg's (in the 70s) and Sportsflics (in the 80s) both became known for in baseball circles.

Rold Gold used XOGRAPH 3D for their only release, this 15-card set of "All-Time Baseball Greats." Kellogg's republished it through cereal boxes in 1972, using an identical design save for the copyright date (1970 vs. 1972). Topps test-printed 3D cards of their own in 1968, but the set never saw wide release.

Value: XOGRAPH cards don't cost much, so this HOF #5 ran less than $5. (More pricing details at an interest article on completing the whole set.)

Fakes / Reprints: Someone might try to fake one of the extremely rare (and valuable) 1968 Topps 3D cards, but I've never seen a reprinted Kellogg's or Rold Gold card.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Irish number fives for St. Patrick's Day

Pretty sure number 7's a luckier number over in the Emerald Isle, but I have profiled a couple of nice #5s of Irish extraction.

1941 Goudey #5, George McQuinn (1988 reprint shown)

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!

1934 Quaker "Ask Me" Baseball Trivia #5

"The Quaker guy" serves as one of America's most recognizable icons and he's practically the face of healthful food, given what we think of oatmeal and bran. With almost 150 years under his hat, I expect this Mona Lisa-like logo will be with us into the foreseeable future.

Evolution of Mr. Quaker

In 1934, the same year Quaker produced these trivia cards, slugger Jimmie Foxx appeared on a competing box of Wheaties, swinging his powerful stick. Unfortunately for Quaker, they aren't the brand that stuck to baseball in the public consciousness. No one complains they "shoulda eaten my Puffed Wheat" on the baseball diamond--folks say "someone ate their Wheaties today!" That successful advertising.

Card front

Card corners came pre-cut at an angle--like playing cards--so my worn #5 looks extra rounded. I couldn't find out much about the set, apart from the name, so will add a checklist or other info when available.

Card back

Quaker also made a Babe Ruth pin in 1934, which fans probably obtained by mail. The company clearly wanted to promote itself using baseball tie-ins, but an extensive use of player endorsements proved much more successful for Wheaties.

UPDATE: Quaker organized at least one mail-in offer in 1934, including a fan-written limerick contest. Thanks to eBay for this photo of the reply envelope, a picture of Babe, and note that non-winners received.

The note from Quaker VP of Advertising, in detail.

Congrats, 13 year-old Virginia Cox of Kansas City! That's pretty cool. (If still with us, she'd be about 93 today!)

Value: I bought the #5 trivia card for $9 and have seen a couple of graded examples on eBay, but not enough to estimate typical values.

Fakes / Reprints: While rare, trivia cards probably aren't valuable enough to reproduce. I definitely haven't seen any in the market.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

4 card contests over at Offy's Sports Site

Fellow blogger Offy is giving away four different Tristar Obak prizes this week, based on numerology, random comments, a Calvinball-like "secret contest," and general promotion. (I couldn't turn down a guy whose site logo shows Fenway's whole Green Monster, so that's what I'm doing here.)

Check the site to throw your cap in the ring for cards!

Got three more "food issue" posts lined up for the rest of this week: Quaker, Kellogg's, and Rold Gold. Mmm, fiber.

Monday, March 15, 2010

1935 Schutter-Johnson Baseball #5, Chick Hafey

This post could be about HOF outfielder Charles "Chick" Hafey, who won 2 titles with the Cardinals (more at Wikipedia), or publisher Schutter-Johnson, a 20th century candy company best known for Bit-O-Honey (more at Candyblog). With good coverage elsewhere, I'm most interested in the artist (and former MLB pitcher), Al Demaree.

Card front

Mr. Demaree pitched a total of 8 seasons for 4 teams from 1912 to 1919, finishing with 80 wins and an exactly league-average 100 ERA+. He made 20+ starts 5 straight years and pitched one (losing) World Series game for the 1913 Giants. (Career stats at

Most players move on to post-baseball careers without fanfare. Unless they stay "in the game" as a coach or manager, it's as if guys who "retire" (in their 30s!) vanish like a magician in a cloud of concealing smoke. Al broke that tradition by becoming a syndicated cartoonist, ultimately appearing in far more papers as an illustrator than a pitcher. The Sporting News used Al's work extensively and today's set includes 50 of his batting and position sketches. ( has a picture of the artist himself.)

Card back

The scan came out hazy, so here's its tip on playing the outfield.

No. 5, Get Jump on Fly Balls
To play the outfield successfully, a player must be more than merely a fly-chaser. He must make a study of all the batters in the particular league he is in and note where they generally hit the ball. If a certain batter is a right center hitter, he should play there for him. He should also know whether a curve or fast ball is being delivered to the batters so he can anticipate which way to move. "A batter is more likely to 'pull' a curve or change of pace than he is a fast ball and by this knowledge, the outfielder can get the 'jump' on fly balls and line drives he otherwise could not get his hands on," says Chick Hafey, of the Cincinnati Reds.
This is one of a Series of Fifty Cards. Get and Save the Complete Set to help play Major League Baseball.

One day, I hope to cover another of Al's sets, the extremely rare 1934 Demaree Die-Cuts (more info at Unfortunately, I've never even seen a #5 from that set, let alone had the chance to buy it. If you've seen one, or possess a scan, let me know!

UPDATE: Interesting coincidence! Morgan Ensberg blogged about defensive positioning today and its critical difference in a game against St. Louis.

Value: Schutter-Johnson cards cost $100 and up, due to rarity. I think the sketch style holds down demand somewhat, but there's no question you'll pay a lot, even for commons. (This SGC graded card cost about $175.)

Fake / Reprints: I haven't seen an "official" reprint set, but suspect people have faked the famous players, due to rarity and value. As always, stick with dealers (or grading companies) you trust when purchasing high-value cards!

Friday, March 12, 2010

1924 Willard's Chocolates Baseball #5, Babe Ruth

Willard's Chocolates of Canada printed this 56-card, multi-sport set at the midpoint of Ruth's career. It includes 3 baseball players (Eddie Collins, Ruth, and Ty Cobb); swimmers, rowers, rugby players, and sea vessels are just a few of the other subjects.

Card front (blank back)

I expect Babe Ruth appears on more reprinted cards than any other player. His popularity spurred so many unusual issues that it's hard to keep track of them all, let alone know how to distinguish "reals" from fakes.

To pick just one example, 1928 Fro-Joy reprints easily outnumber authentic versions available in the market. It's quick work in large shows to find cards in various colors or with blurry printing; all of them are fake. Some grading companies no longer grade Fro-Joys, to avoid the possibility of "authenticating" a reprint. (More details at my Fro-Joy post.)

Untrimmed version, courtesy of

The card's subtitle made me look it up--was Babe really the "Home Run Champion" at that point in his career? The answer is yes, and emphatically so. Counting 1924, he'd already led the league in homers 6 times. By the time he retired at age 40, Babe made it an even dozen.

For comparison, Hank Aaron led his league in homers 4 times. Barry Bonds did it just twice. Given how awesome they both were, imagine the fan impact of all this slugging following an era when entire teams would hit less than 10 round-trippers all year.

Value: This SGC "Authentic" Ruth cost $320, approximately 10% of the Near Mint price from SCD's 2010 price guide. This Heritage Auctions listing shows a bunch of other cards from the set. (You can find low-grade "commons" for well under $100.)

Fakes / Reprints: Willard's Chocolates don't carry a "99% fake" stigma like Fro-Joys, but it's rare and valuable enough that reprints definitely exist. (Graded versions will cost more for the "assurance" of their bona fides.)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Type Site: Emerald City Diamond Gems

New #5 type set follower Mariner1 does just what you might guess, collect lots and lots of Seattle Mariner cards. He's got (almost?) every regular and traded card from 1977 to 2010, a total of over 1000.

His Emerald City Diamond Gems blog just started in Feb, but already touched on two subjects close to my heart: Retro Mariners and the 1980 Topps set.

Don't remember if I started in 1979 or 1980 myself, but that J. R. Richard card stirs up some good memories. Here's a classy throwback from Seattle's early days.

Love the helmet!

See more of Mariner1's collection at Emerald City Diamond Gems.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

1967 Coca-Cola Orioles Baseball #5, Jim Palmer

Today's profile marks my 4th 1967 Coke cap and 2nd Hall-of-Fame pitcher, following the Dodger set's extremely young Don Sutton.

Aside from his memorable career in underwear (Google Image Search), Jim Palmer could pitch a little. In fact, he's the only moundsman to win championships in 3 decades, 1966, 1970, and 1983. (No coincidence that his career bridges 2 of the greatest Orioles hitters, Frank Robinson in 1960s and Cal Ripken in the 1980s.)

Cap inside

Wish I could say better things about Jim's condition, but the pockmarks and yellowing resemble both bad skin and jaundice. This cap liner aged poorly compared to the "ring" style used on some others, which leaves the player image untouched. (Compare the set scans at Philly Sports Cards.)

Cap top

In 1991, the year after his HOF induction, Palmer traveled to Orioles' spring training and worked on a big-league comeback. He pitched just a pair of "live" innings--giving up 5 hits and 2 runs--before electing to stay retired.

Value: In most Coke sets, mid-to-low grade caps cost as little as $1. (Team HOFers Palmer, Frank Robinson, and Brooks Robinson will cost several dollars more.)

Fake / Reprints: I'm pretty sure no one's faked a Coke cap. Let me know if you've seen otherwise!

More Jim Palmer posts:
More Coke caps:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Type Site: 1978, The Year It All Began

New #5 site follower MrMopar runs the blog, "1978, The Year It All Began," named for the year he started buying cards.

As a self-titled Steve Garvey supercollector, more than 50% of his blog posts feature the famous former Dodger and Padre. As a fellow Garvey collector--though not as super--me likey. Me likey a lot.

The Year It All Began often uses Garvey as a jumping-off point to delve into detailed scholarship. Check out these hard-hitting, investigative posts!

Given the blog's passion for Garvey esoterica, Seattle upbringing, and his 1978 kick-off, I have to wonder--were we separated at birth? Grown from matching tubes in the same secret government lab? The mystery grows with every post...

Monday, March 8, 2010

1979 Collectors Marketing Corp (CMC) Talking Baseball Cards #5, Babe Ruth

On April 27, 1947, New York hosted Babe Ruth day, when a fading Ruth addressed the stadium he helped build.

The card (roughly 7" across) includes a recording of what proved to be Babe's farewell speech.

I don't have a record player to test the quality, but assume it sounds very similar to that rendition.

Ruth loomed over New York like the Colossus of Rhodes in his 20s and 30s. By 52, Babe could barely speak and his faltering voice probably made it a bittersweet closure for fans and fellow Yankees.

It's tempting to imagine modern medicine would've given baseball fans many more years of Ruth, both to see and reminisce over. I expect most 21st century players can look forward to careers followed by decades of baseball and non-baseball life, if they choose to stay in the spotlight.

Collectors Marketing Corp (CMC) wrapped each 1979 record in a plastic sleeve and included a checklist on the back. I assume the "Playing Instructions" told kids to punch out the middle hole and play the record on 33 RPM. (If they were like me, though, you actually run it at 45 RPM to make Babe Ruth sound like a chipmunk.)

CMC started with these singly-packaged records and later expanded to player-specific issues like this 1989 Jose Canseco kit when baseball collectibles took off in the mid-80s.

Toys R Us sold a bunch of these, so you can readily find CMC products on eBay or elsewhere.

Value: This Babe Ruth cost $10 on eBay. It's part of a 12-record set, each replaying a famous baseball moment like Babe's farewell.

Fake / Reprints: Not sure how someone could reprint a record, so I assume the only ones out there are genuine.

Friday, March 5, 2010

1978 Laughlin Long Ago Black Stars Baseball #5, Leon Day

This is a card with real art, something that stands apart from "dude wearing hat" or "guy holding bat." Bob Laughlin puts Mr. Day at the ready, a whip ready to crack. Shadows obscure much of his face and right arm, but highlight the gripped ball. (Looks like a curve, and apparently Leon threw a good one.)

The Negro League Baseball Players Association site profiles most of its players. Day's includes this quote from multi-league star Monte Irvin.

"People don't know what a great pitcher Leon Day was. He was as good or better than Bob Gibson. He was a better fielder, a better hitter, could run like a deer. When he pitched against Satchel, Satchel didn't have an edge. You thought Don Newcombe could pitch. You should have seen Day! One of the best complete athletes I've ever seen."

Check out the full profile list, tagged for MLBers and HOFers: Negro League Baseball Players.

Leon remained active into the 1950s, well after Jackie Robinson took the field in Brooklyn, but couldn't catch "it" (meaning baseball integration). In other words, young bucks grabbed major league attention, but catch-all players like Day didn't get offers to fill what were probably very few MLB roster spots.

Value: Bob Laughlin printed a wide variety of oddball issues and sold them directly to collectors. Many current dealers only carry full sets, but I found this NM single for $10. That's about the most you'd pay for one card; Leon Day ranks as a "star" from this set, since he reached the HOF in 1995.

Fake / Reprints: Haven't seen any Laughlin reprints in the market and assume the demand's too low to be worthwhile.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

1974 Topps Deckle Baseball #5, Steve Carlton

Steve Carlton, arguably baseball's greatest lefty, won 241 games over 15 seasons for the Phillies. I thought he'd easily outdistance anyone else in franchise history, but it barely edges 1950s ace Robin Roberts by 7 wins. They also own nearly identical career ERA+ marks, at 115 for Carlton and 113 for Roberts. Of course, Lefty struck out almost 2000 more batters and won 4 Cy Young awards in Philly, so edge to him.

Card front

This card's crazy edging reminds me how many unusual issues Topps churned out in the 1960s and 70s. Stickers, stamps, stand-ups, "supers," rub-ons, posters, deckles, tattoos, and plastic busts all got their turn in a wax wrapper. At almost 3" x 5", 1974 Deckles hold the title of "biggest Topps card in the disco era." 

Card back

This 72-card, black-and-white set closely resembles collector postcards popular in Hollywood's golden era. Tying together the blue autograph, handwritten bio, and "torn" newspaper makes it look like a scrapbook page, which plenty of kids still put together. (This excellent Exhibit gallery includes lots of vintage cards in that style.)

While considered a regional test issue, deckles come in 3 print variations.

  • Grey backs
  • White backs, apparently rarer than grey
  • Straight-edge proofs, which probably were never packaged

My #5 scan is the white back.

Value: This Carlton cost me $59 on eBay. It's low-grade due to the missing paper on the back, but shows up so rarely I was willing to overpay the book value. Common players in this condition cost $5 to $15.

Fakes / Reprints: Haven't seen anyone reprint a deckle edge card. It would take special cutting tools and a lot of collector demand to make it worthwhile. Fortunately, I doubt that much interest exists.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Type Site: A Pack To Be Named Later

I think it's time for another follower profile, a.k.a., "Type Site."

Jacobmrley is one of the Fabulous Followers of this #5 blog and also a member of the entertaining site A Pack To Be Named Later. It's a great place to check if you want to know what the heck companies will put on a trading card. Their motto?

"We are ripping at least one pack of every card product ever made. What can I say, we're ambitious."

That's right, go ahead and try to stop them from opening card packs.

Here's a quick list of my favorite posts from APTBNL!

And never forget...the Ricky.

Monday, March 1, 2010

1967 Coca-Cola Yankees/Mets Baseball #5, Fred Talbot

Just last week--that's late Feb 2010--the Fleer Sticker Project blog did a great profile of Coke's various 1967 and 1968 baseball promotions. I'll link to those excellent articles after a quick look at their Yankee team set.

Bottle cap (inside)

This 35-cap set included both New York teams, with 18 Yankees and 17 Mets. Mickey Mantle's by far the biggest star and will probably cost five times the next-best player. The #5 features Fred "Bubby" Talbot, who spent 4 years in pinstripes as a back-end starter. (Full career stats.)

Bottle cap (top)

The license fee from this Coke set marked a tipping point in the future of the MLB Players Association. Make sure to read both Fleer Sticker Project posts for a great collection of product scans and historical perspective.

Value: I picked up this cap for a few dollars from Philly Sports Cards. Stars and HOFers cost a few times more, with nice ones topping out at $15 to $20. (Mantle might well cost more.)

Fakes / Reprints: It'd be really hard to fake a bottle cap, unless you could somehow take a real cap and change the photo inside to another player. Suffice to say that I've never seen a counterfeit in the marketplace.