Well, look what we have here! This place has been dormant for ten and a half months – what does it take to get someone to come crank up the post generator around here? Apparently the answer is just some new arrivals and a few weeks of leave. I’d better drive this momentum before I lose the urge and let this fizzle out. Let’s dig in, shall we?
Let’s start with the first card of 2022. I posted a few recent TCDB hauls on the tweet machine a couple weeks ago, including a Ken Griffey Jr. from the 1994 Collector’s Choice “Home Run All-Stars” inserts (which apparently were not inserts but an exchange set if TCDB is correct). That Griffey left me one shy of the full 8 card set – David Justice, and my lamentations were heard. The esteemed Matt (@mjp_mke) chimed in that he had a spare copy and it would be in the mail shortly. Many thanks, Matt, for helping me put a pin in this one! The holograms on these are rather nice. They’re not quite to the level of 1996 SPx, but certainly a step above the early Denny’s cards.
The second card to arrive this year was this dual rookie card of Nate Colbert and Greg Sims, a tortuous high number from the 1966 set. I haven’t dug into why the ’66 high numbers are so arduous in particular, but there are several “only Astros card of this player” in those high numbers, including Dave Nicholson, Felix Mantilla, Gary Kroll, and both Colbert and Sims here. If I had my way, I’d actually have three copies of it – one for the Astros binder and one for each to sign. Decent copies of this card seem to *start* at 20 bucks, so we’ll see if I ever snatch another. I got lucky on a best offer.
Speaking of Nate Colbert, one of his biggest fans in the blogosphere sent me some cards! These came in via Gavin of Baseball Card Breakdown. I’d sent a few new Padres his direction during a holiday mailday flurry, and he said he’d fire a few Astros back my way. These were all needed and much appreciated!
What wasn’t expected, thought, was a little batch of set help for some vintage sets I’m working on – 1965 and 1972. Along with 1975, those are the ones with real prospects of completion. I’ve got about 25% of the 65s, with several of the pricy rookies, and about 45% of a ’72 set so far – although I know the latter’s high numbers will be a long slog of a march as well. These were very cool to find in the envelope! I especially enjoy Stan Williams and his barely airbrushed Yankees hat, belied by his non-airbrushed uniform with most of a Yankees logo showing on it, as well as what appears to be minor leaguer Gil Downs‘ glove. The ’72 Niekro is the error with a | between the numbers of his height. The batting leaders is a pretty cool pickup to receive after Oliva was finally selected for the Hall of Fame.
The Colbert/Sims card came about because some Christmas money spurred a Sportlots order, with an initial focus of working on some lingering Astros flagship needs. That led to a sprawling cart with nearly 400 cards, which I’ve been whittling down significantly. In thinning the herd, I checked against eBay to see if I could get better prices on some of the rarer stuff – like that ’66 high number. One other item that followed this track was also from 1966: a Bob Bruce rub-off. This one was in great shape and came in for under 4 bucks, and I got to see what it looked like before I pulled the trigger. I figured that was better than 6 bucks and no real idea about condition.
Alright, I’m cheating on this one, as it’s technically a 2020 pickup. However, it’s another steal of an eBay pickup for an old oddball, and it arrived a couple weeks ago. This 1964 Wheaties Stamp of Hal Woodeshick gives me a complete set of Colt .45s from the series, as he’s the only one featured. It’s in fantastic shape, and I landed it for under five bucks. Hal’s not a household name, but even the forgotten players in this set seem to go for $10 to $15.
I’m quite excited about this next item, as it’s an old tobacco set called Romance of the Heavens from Wills Tobacco, issued in 1928. I’ve had this on my hit list ever since Nick V. acquired the set and posted about it a few years back. He wrote a nice post, so I won’t rehash too much of what he said, but rather I’ll just reiterate that these are gorgeous. He posted some individual scans, so I scanned a handful he didn’t select which I also particularly enjoyed.
Okay, but I have to share this first one, Earth As Seen From Moon, because not only is it stunning, but as Nick mentions in his post, this artistic rendering predates Earthrise* by 40 years, which is just astonishing. The Lunar Corona is lovely, the Milky Way is almost soothing, and I don’t know a soul who doesn’t enjoy constellations. My favorite has long been Orion, in part because it’s pretty easy to select in the night sky.
* Fun fact: Earthrise was taken on Christmas Eve!
One neat thing about finding Orion is that it means you can find Taurus and the Pleiades, as Orion is “pointing” at them. The meteor shower card is on par with the Halley’s Comet card Nick already posted, and the few cards depicting Saturn have absolutely astonishing tones. I also found this Imaginary Landscape on Mars card quite hilarious, as if Mars was marked with Nazca lines or riddled with highways.
The best part here is that along with my full set, I got a little pile of dupes! These are all extras, so consider them trade bait.
The big surprise on this set was the shipping – they arrived very quickly from Britain, three weeks ahead of their estimated arrival and they could have only sat in customs for a couple of days – during the holidays! What’s more, these were sent in a small bubble mailer – tossed in loose, so I’m grateful for their safe handling.
Alright, this next one is not a card, but a lovely 3.5″ x 5″ black and white photo of Wilbur “Bill” Brubaker, my third cousin twice removed who played for Pittsburgh in the 30s and 40s. There’s no listed photographer, but it’s a delightful Conlon-esque shot of him. I also scanned this at 1200 dpi so that I can use it for customs at some point. I have quite a few things in the customs queue at the moment, but you never know when something will grab hold of me and jump the line.
And finally, the last new arrival is yet another Brubaker. Remember that “few weeks of leave” I referenced waaaaaaayyy back at the beginning of this post? Yep, that’s parental leave, so that I can spend some time hanging out with our new daughter, Willa! She arrived on Tuesday night and is so precious. Mama did amazing, and everyone here is happy and healthy, including a delighted big sister.
I’ll have my hands full for a good while, so who knows if this is a stray post or a true revival. If I recall from my first go-round of this, I’ll be up late a fair bit, and there’ll be some good time to start drafts in the wee hours of watching this little bean. We’ll see soon, I suppose.
Y’all take care out there.