P-Town Tom’s Bomb, Part One

Friday’s post mentioned a trade package that came in from P-Town Tom of the fabulous Waiting ’til Next Year. When I joined this community a few weeks ago, Tom dashed off an email offering me a “welcome to the blogosphere” package, no strings attached. He noticed the sets on which I’m working, the Astros I’m collecting, and said, “you’d actually be doing me a favor by allowing me to clear out a little space in my boxes.”

“Awesome!” I thought, “some cards to help on these big sets, that’ll be great! Probably a few neat Astros as well!” I wanted to send something back to Tom, so I dug around and found a small stack to send his way as well.

Apparently I severely underestimated what Tom meant by clearing out “a little space in my boxes.” Thursday brought a box of about 300 cards my way, with about two-thirds of that tackling holes in four sets I’m building. There were half a dozen for the ’84 Topps set, a nice 28 ticks off my ’88 Donruss checklist, a chunk of 51 cards for ’87 Topps, and a whopping 112 ’89 Topps.

That doesn’t even get into the Astros he passed my way. We’ll talk about those later. Seriously, Tom. That was way above and beyond the call of duty, and I greatly appreciate it.

It’d be insane to post anywhere close to all the amazing cards Tom sent, but I wanted to share a few of my favorites. First, a trio from ’88 Donruss. Look at that huge hunk of chew in Mickey Tettleton’s cheek. It’s like a throwback to some of the old 60’s cards. Also, I really love the A’s jerseys, they just look classic.
Next, two sweet at-bats. First is the calm, focused demeanor of Brett Butler, who always seemed like a very precise, mechanical hitter. After that is Dave Winfield. Growing up, I generally only saw the big, smiling grin Winfield displayed so frequently on his late-career cards from the 90’s. Here he looks fully-loaded, powerful, and fear-inspiring.
Time for some ’87 Topps, one of my favorite issues. The wood panel throwback to 1962, the mostly-good photography, the back design, I like it all.

First, two HOFers in some sweet jerseys. Steve Carlton sports the iconic White Sox 80’s uni, complete with stirrups. It looks like he’s probably throwing some sort of warmup session, with some very bored, distracted fans in the background. Then Tony LaRussa shows off some more iconic A’s gear that I just love.

And now, a pair of scrappy guys. First is Kirk, “King Grit” Gibson. There’s just something about the way he’s applying that pine tar with such focus and determination. Then we have Davey Lopes and his glorious mustache. Lopes spent his last year and a half with the Astros, and managed to set a record for steals by a 40 year-old in 1986, one that would stand until Rickey Henderson turned 40 and then exceeded or met Lopes record total for four straight years, 1999-2002.

Finally, let’s have a look at some lovely ’89 Topps, shall we? ’89 was one of my favorite sets growing up, with that great team and player name banner. Here’s a pair of players I really enjoyed watching, with something else I like: doughnuts. I’m not the sort of collector who has binders of “type” cards, but if I were, I’d probably pick the following types – bunters, pitchers batting, and doughnuts. Well, maybe some grips too, but I think I’ve got plenty to focus on already.

A pair of Mets in strange positions, and pretty great captures of both I have to say. The shot of Leach is a really nice mid-delivery photo, and there’s just something about young Dykstra’s crew cut and smile.

We’ll end on some catchers with bats. This Macfarlane shot looks like a harbinger of ’91 Topps and its great portraits. As for LaVailliere, well I was just always fond of him. This one looks like a nice swing.

Ok, I’m exhausted already. Check back for part two of Tom’s Bomb, wherein I’ll highlight a bunch of the Astros he sent my way.

Thanks again, Tom!

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