Thursday, February 1, 2018

You've Got Mail #77: Off the Wall Cards (aka Secret Santa 2017)

Yes, I know it's February and only a few weeks out from Valentine's Day but last Christmas Matt at BWTP organized another wonderful blogger secret Santa extravaganza. In the draw, I ended up having to buy for Matt himself but the person who pulled my name was Shane over at Off the Wall Cards and someone who I've interacted with on Twitter quite a bit. 

Shane's package arrived just a few days before Christmas and was one of those large size USPS priority mail boxes stuffed to the gills with all kinds of stuff that hit pretty much every collection under the sun. I won't show everything because if I did, we'd be here until next Christmas 

There were these 1982 Topps Bengals cards to start with. While I'm not a big collector of modern football cards, I still enjoy getting older cards such as these, especially Bengals cards and these are a great addition to the Bengals collection.

I wanted to take a moment as well and show the back of the team leaders card. It's so cool that it shows the results of all the games from the 1981 season. It makes me want to go back and look up the records on some of these games. You'll see this card again in the future too for a "Multi-Player Mayhem" entry.

1982 Topps wasn't the only thing in the way of Bengals cards that were included. There was also this smattering of random Bengals.

But here's the most interesting item of the Bengals portion, this sticker/pocket schedule. I checked the front and the back for any info on who may have printed it and there's nothing but a quick gander over at COMC turned up the fact this is a 1982 Fleer Teams in Action sticker. The sticker itself is cool but it's really the schedule on the back that does it for me. Kind of makes me want to go back again and look up the results of those games.

Bengals cards weren't the only thing included. There were these WWF cards from the early 90s as well, including three Ultimate Warrior cards.

Some reprints of cards of defunct teams, from both the Topps 1952 reprint series and 2001 Topps Archives. I wonder if it would be feasible at some point to put together a 1952 Topps set using nothing but the reprints.

Here's something pretty cool, a 1970 Topps poster of Don Mincher, first baseman for the Seattle Pilots. One thing I really find interesting about 1970 Topps is that it features cards for the Pilots but by the time the season started, the Pilots had morphed into the Brewers. One of my collecting goals is to get every Pilots card from both the 1969 and 1970 sets. If you've got Pilots cards to send, feel free to let me know.

Here's a handful of 1984 Topps cards for the set build. This reminds me, I really need to update my want list for that.

I'm not sure if these are TTM autographs or in-person autographs but this is probably my second favorite batch of Indians cards in the package. I think the one I like the most has to be Dave Burba, who was kind of a forgotten about pitcher. He was pretty solid with the Reds in the mid-90s and was part of two major trades the Reds made. He was acquired by the Reds in 1995 as part of a July deal that also netted Mark Portugal and Darren Lewis from the Giants in exchange for Deion Sanders and a few other players. The Reds would then flip Burba to Cleveland on the eve of Opening Day 1998 for a young first baseman named Sean Casey. The rest, as they say, is history.

I always enjoy it when vintage cards are hidden in a trade package and this is no exception. First, there's a well loved 1955 Bowman card of George Strickland, then a 1962 Topps Woody Held, and a smattering of 1959 Topps cards, of which I had none until just now. 

This is a sampling of the 1983 Reds yearbook team set. I really like the card with the aerial shot of Riverfront Stadium and the Coliseum. I look at that picture and realize that 20 years after the fact the stadium would be gone and a new one would be built right between it and the Coliseum. As for how the Reds did in 1983, they finished 6th (aka last) in the NL West with a 71-91 record.

Pretty much this whole post has been about oddballs and stickers so here's more. This time some Star stickers made by Fleer in 1981 featuring the remnants of the Big Red Machine.

Here's more vintage, this time with cards from 1958, 1957, and 1963 respectively and all three of popular Reds players in that era. The Gus Bell card will go well with the Vada Pinson and Joe Nuxhall cards I already have from that set. We also have another well worn 1955 Bowman card, this time of Fred Baczewski, a man whose major league career spanned only three seasons and in 1955, the year this card was produced, pitched 1 inning of one game and amassed an 18.00 ERA.

Moving on to more modern territory, there was a nice selection of Barry Larkin cards, these four I know I didn't have previously. I really should inventory my Reds player collection cards sometime but that's a major project and something I don't have time to do currently.

To go along with the Indians autographs previously shown, here's a nice IP/TTM auto of the newest Reds Hall of Famer Adam Dunn, and it's on his rookie card.

I'm nearing the end of this massive mail day but just wanted to touch on a few more newer cards that were thrown in before I show the major cards. First, there were these minor league cards

And a bunch of newer cards, including a nice Adam Duvall Donruss card from last year. I've said it before and I'll say it again, even though Panini doesn't have an MLB license, I think they do pretty well with what they've got and Donruss has been one of my favorite products to buy the last few years. I think last year and the year before, they really started to hit their stride.

Now the two big ticket items of the package and two cards off my most wanted list. First, a card that been haunting me seeming forever, that being the 1984 Topps #8 Don Mattingly card. I've seen it for sale at numerous places but the price was always a bit more that I wanted to pay. Now a glaring hole in my 1984 Topps set is complete and I can focus on getting the rest of it whittled away.

Here's another card I placed on my most wanted list and quite honestly forgot it was on there, that being this 1969 Tony Perez. This is really a nice early career card of Perez and trying to find a card like this around here isn't cheap since local dealers then to jack up the price of early cards of Big Red Machine.

A big thank you goes out to Shane for his generosity and all the awesome stuff both pictured and not pictured. Some stuff I scanned in but ended up cutting due to space but believe me, there was a lot of stuff and things that'll take me a while to organize. I definitely recommend getting in on the Secret Santa deal, it's a ton of fun.


  1. Glad I could find some good stuff for you!!! Hope to trade some more stuff as I came across more Indians if you’d like.

  2. Great package. Those 1982 Bengals are awesome. I love those Ken Andersons, and the Anthony Munoz rookie sure is a nice card.

    1. Good eye Trevor! I'm so out of it on football cards, I'd forgotten that was the Munoz RC.

  3. Great package from Shane . Love that 1970 Mincher Poster. Shows Yaz as the batter in the action photo

  4. That 52 Topps reprint set is pricey. I'm trying to piece it together, going to take a lonnnnnnnnnnnnng time. Nice Christmas package. Reds and Indians choose your poison, I've got plenty to spare.