|Card front (blank back)|
This colorful #5 shows Herrera as an 80s coach in Venezuela for Tigres de Aragua, but Francisco first appeared in my type collection 20 years earlier as Phillie slugger Frank Herrera. His SABR-written bio makes for fun reading; I'll link it at the end of this post.
|1960 Leaf #5, Frank Herrera|
Jump back in card history a little earlier and Francisco's the rare Topps error "Pancho Herrer." Some dismiss this one as just a printing ink goof, but many agree the error's significant. "Herrera" versions price as commons; this PSA 9 "Herrer" sold for $18K.
|1958 Topps #433, Pancho Herrera (Herrer)|
The 1980-81 winter league sticker set numbers to 288, organized by team for easier pasting into the aforementioned album. I couldn't put my hands on an actual album scan, so here's another of its jewels: an extremely youthful Andres Galarraga on one of his first card-like pieces of paper.
Andres successfully battled lymphoma twice during his career, winning the NL Comeback Player of the Year after each return and becoming the first to repeat such a feat.
As promised, here's the SABR bio for Juan Francisco Herrera Villavicencio! Don't forget his Leaf card, because it'll come up again when I cover Topps competition and innovations in the early 1960s.
Value: The 1980-81 Herrera sticker set me back $11 on eBay. Few dealers stock Venezuelan Winter League sets, so I paid more than expected due to a lack of alternatives. Thanks to Clyde's Stale Cards for helping ID this set, as it doesn't appear in many guides.
Fakes / reprints: "Cheap to make" means "cheap to copy," but I think only stars would be at risk for counterfeiting a recent oddball set. Galarraga might be faked. Herrera, probably not.