Y’all. I’m doing it. This is the final overdue post – from January. But the only way to get caught up is to keep on trucking! This shipment came in from Randy (randylaw at TCDB). It was my first trade of the year, and also my first big unloading of cardboard: I sent around 320 cards to Randy, attacking his set needs left and right and even sprinkling a few couple football cards in there. In exchange, I picked up a 96 card package with a few Astros needs and even some non-baseball stuff.
I’ve actually had a copy of this 1981-82 card of Hall of Famer Calvin Murphy for at least 20 years now. I got it signed at a card show way back when. As you probably know I don’t pick up much basketball, but seeing this on Randy’s trade list made it a no-brainer.
Among the other basketball pickups were a pair of cards from the same ’81-82 set. You might have seen Birdsong on this blog before – he was an excellent collegiate player at the University of Houston and had signed for me TTM before, so I thought it would be fun to get another card of him. The card on the right features the legendary Darryl “Chocolate Thunder” Dawkins, he of the superb backboard-shattering dunks which made the NBA adopt breakaway rims. Getting a card of Dawkins dunking? Donezo.
The last pickup from the ’81-82 set was this Rockets team leaders card, featuring the other Hall of Famer on the team at the time, Moses Malone.
Here’s a quick look at the back, which tells you just how much of a force Malone was for the team. He made 270 more field goals than the next guy on the club. He made nearly 380 more free throws. His 1180 rebounds are double the next guy on the list, as are his 150 blocked shots. He put up 2222 points in the previous season. The next Rocket had 1301. Perhaps the most astonishing stats here are the three-pointers, which are listed in the bottom block of text. The ’80-81 Rockets attempted 108 three pointers. That’s like three games worth in today’s NBA. The only man on the team with more than 20 attempts was Rudy Tomjanovich at 51, and he only made 12 of those.
Speaking of Rudy T. – Randy’s trade list allowed me to pick up my first card of him as a player, as well as a swell Moses Malone, both from the ’78-79 set. Look at that handsome Rudy in the inset photo! That must have been taken before Kermit Washington decked him back in 1977.
Calvin Murphy wasn’t the only autograph hero from my childhood whose card I picked up: this Joe Theismann card from 1977 Topps was just screaming my name. I need to find the photo and scan it, but I met Joe at his restaurant when I was a kid. I’d been thinking about writing him, so I snagged this beauty as a possibility.
I also picked up a pair of Oilers cards with a mind toward sending them out for some signatures. I think I wound up keeping that ’87 Childress and sending him some other cards. The Pastorini is still in my “guys to write” pile, which continues to grow on my desk. These football designs from Topps (’79 and ’87) are both excellent.
Alright, on to the baseball things! Here’s a Classic pair of cards from 1991. Ok, sorry about the pun. It’s always fun to pick up some oddball Astros cards like these, though.
Some more early ’90s goodness was there as well. That’s a 1992 Topps Gold Winner parallel of Jeff Juden. 1993 Pinnacle is actually a rather nice design.
Mid-90’s greatness. These uniforms really were snazzy. I suppose if you had grown up with the team for decades they would have seemed like a radical change. As a kid, they seemed like a sleek update, dropping the red/orange and swapping gold in for yellow. The Eusebio is a Golden Rainbow parallel from ’94 Stadium Club.
Followed up by some Metal Universe madness! These two aces are from 1996 and 1999 editions. 1996 was much wackier, drawing from Fleer’s recent acquisition by Marvel, while the 1999 version went absolutely foil crazy and industrial. I prefer the comic book-ish 1996 set. It’s hard to see here, but Shane Reynolds’ arm has become bionic.
I found a couple new Biggio cards on Randy’s trade list as well. Both happened to be fielding shots, although the first one certainly appears to be from Spring Training or warmups, while the second is probably game action.
A couple of interesting photos on some Derek Bell cards. It looks like he Operation Shutdown-ed that ball on the Pacific card.
Hooray! A pair of Bagwell cards I needed from the short-lived Topps Ten set. Sure, it’s a bloated League Leaders set that doesn’t really need to exist, but I actually kind of dig it.
Oooh, some shiny Astros. I’m digging that Big Joe Musgrove from last year’s Bowman Platinum. The Berkman is from another short-lived set, Topps Pristine, and it looks really nice in hand. It’s like a better version of Finest, I suppose.
Now, onward to the other assorted baseball cards I picked up. I mean, it’s not like I could resist pouring over some of the oddballs and smaller releases that were in Randy’s trade list. This here is one of several cards from the 1978 TCMA The ’60s set I nabbed, future National League president Bill White!
A pair of oddball Tigers. Always down to pick up a Hostess card I didn’t have, and the Kuenn is from the neat 1982 Cramer Baseball Legends set.
I really like the ’81 Donruss set. It might be a weird, twisted love, but such is life. I nabbed a few including these Tigers: The Bird and new HOFer Alan Trammell, looking lean and spry.
Manny Sanguillen rounded out the ’81 Donruss pickups, and this shiny Larry Doby comes from the 2001 Topps Archives Reserve set.
Foooood Issues! God I love these. I still think of these Purina cards as dog food, even though they came in cereal boxes. The Bonilla is from a 1993 Kraft Pop-Up Action set. When you pull the tab, the action image on the back of the card stands up. I love the pop-up cards, like the old Donruss All-Star popups and even the old Topps ones from the 60’s. I don’t have any of those yet.
In my opinion, 1982 Donruss is a superb set. I couldn’t resist picking up these two Hall of Famers.
I also ran into a stack of these ’92 Action Packed cards. Here’s a pair of Sox, including a Minnie Minoso and a Billy Pierce that I’m sure CommishBob would appreciate.
I even netted a new Mazeroski! Among the others, I also picked up Le Grand Orange for this little PC I have of him.
That wasn’t the only legends set I hit up. There were several interesting cards I decided to request from the 1994 Ted Williams set. Here’s Monte Irvin in a Newark Eagles uniform. The Eagles would move to Houston in 1949 and play for two more years, but Irvin had been signed by the Giants before making any appearances here. He did move to Houston later in life, however.
I also grabbed a Spahn for my PC of the lefty who was my first old-timer autograph, and this Penguin with designs on probably getting it signed.
AAGPBL cards! Yes! I actually met these two ladies back in 1999 at the HOF induction weekend, and I have a pair of cards signed by them. I’m not sure if they are Fritsch cards or not, but they feature these same photos.
A couple more pickups for old-timer PCs, from the fantastic 2002 Fleer Greats of the Game set. I love adding well done cards of these two. I just realized that this set is actually based on the 1959 Fleer Ted Williams set design, one which I’d thought about making into customs recently.
There’s a Silver Signature Randy on Randy’s trade list? Yes please!
I picked up another Juan Gone as well, also a Silver Signature.
While there was plenty more I could show off, I’ll wrap up with this Hammerin’ Hank, from the 1991 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes inserts. Randy actually threw this card in as an apology for the miscuts on a couple of the early Donruss cards; he’d noticed it on my want list. While I really appreciate the gesture it was hardly needed. That’s what I love about trading, though – almost everyone I’ve traded with has been a great person and more than generous. So while this post may be 9 months overdue now, know that the cards were most appreciated Randy!