Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Yard Sale Cards: Oddballs

I swear, this yard sale collection is the gift that keeps on giving. I've shown the vintage cards and the junk wax but now, since that stuff is out of the way, I'll move on to the fun stuff ... oddballs! And let me tell you, there were some odd things that showed up.

First off, we have two interesting specimens ... Andre Dawson from the 1988 Topps Revco League Leaders set. Revco was a discount drug store chain throughout the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast but, like all drug store chains from that time, was eventually taken over by a bigger chain (Rite-Aid). This was the only set produced by Topps for Revco and was sold in complete 33-card sets throughout the chain. As for the other card pictured, a 1984 Topps Cereal Dale Murphy, I've never head of "Topps Cereal" but I'm guessing maybe they were distributed in cereal boxes? Not sure. The banner claims its the "1st Annual Collectors Edition" but there was never a second set.

The last time I walked into a K-Mart it was like going straight back in time. The outdated yellowing floor tiles, signage that hasn't been updated since the mid-90s, merchandise shelves with things scattered everywhere, walking up and down aisles of things that just feel "old" You know, everything you could imagine. I'd say the closest thing these days to a K-Mart would be a Big Lots or a Wal-Mart that isn't a super center (if those even still exist). Anyway, the 20th Anniversary cards I've always found pretty neat since they have the card from the players MVP year incorporated into the card itself. K-Mart came back with cards in 1987 and produced cards through 1990, pretty much the boom of the junk wax era. They did come back in 2008 as Topps made a 30-card set of gold cards, but they looked to be just a different version of cards from the base set.

This Rafael Landestoy card is from a regional set issued by Coca-Cola in 1982. The Reds and Red Sox were the only team to receive this treatment. The sets were 23 cards (including a no numbered title card) and the Reds set is notable for featuring the only card of Clint Hurdle in a Reds uniform, at least to my knowledge. Von Hayes is from the 1990 Post Cereal set, which was included in packs of three in Post branded cereal. Admittedly, I don't know much about Von Hayes but I would have to venture a guess he was probably included in this set because he made the 1989 All-Star team.

I remember having a subscription to SI for Kids in the 90s and eagerly anticipating the time of the month where I would get a new issue in the mail (is that even still a thing anymore?). Anyway, one of the highlights for me were the tear out cards that featured tons of different players and sports. It was probably the only way I would ever get a snowboarding or skiing card, not that I was really looking for them. Anyway, I'd kind of forgotten about these cards for a long time but when I found this Cal Ripken card in one of the boxes, I was like "wow, cool!" It's honestly not every day that you come across these at a flea market, yard sale, or even a card show for that matter.

These Swell Baseball Greats cards are from the 1991 issue, which was the final issue of Swell cards. For a set that is called "Baseball Greats" it's pretty interesting to see some of the people like Davey Johnson, Mudcat Grant, and Julio Cruz included with Enos Slaughter, Robin Roberts and the like.

There were a whole bunch of these Pacific Legends cards and most of them were from the 1989 issue.  The cool thing about these is that I got cards of players in unrecognizable uniforms such as Enos Slaughter and Johnny Mize with the Yankees. Also, there are cards of the old school, turn of the century players like Honus Wagner and Rogers Hornsby. The only problem with those cards, at least in my opinion, are that the drawings look a little creepy in person. I probably would've been better off with just maybe a black and white photo from their playing days but I can see why they did the colorized illustrations.

Now I'm going to start getting into some more obscure stuff, such as these. Upon first glance, these appear to be just a standard issue card from some second tier manufacturer. However, these are actually card from Long John Silvers of all places. I'm not sure how one would have acquired these cards back in 1990, maybe they came with the purchase of a value meal? Not sure. Regardless, these are the first fast food issues I have. 

The majority of the oddballs in the box were of the TCMA variety and when I say variety, I mean variety. So much variety that I'll just briefly hit on each bit. First there were these Play Ball reprints, which I think are pretty neat.

Then these, which are part of the TCMA "1960s" series from 1978 and 1981. I really thought it was cool to dig out two Hall of Famers in Al Kaline and Billy Williams.

I've never seen these cards before but apparently they also belong to TCMA and were part of the 1986 All-Time sets. I'm guessing that these were done in sets by team instead of an overall combined set. My favorite of these has to be the Rollie Fingers Padres card as I really don't have any cards of Fingers in a Padres uniform.

And the final batch of TCMA cards, on which I couldn't find much information on. Gathering what info I could from the back of the cards it looks like these are part of a set on each players career. 

There were a ton more oddball cards that I did take pictures of but didn't end up making the final cut here. As I mentioned earlier, there was definitely variety from Revco and K-Mart to random TCMA stuff. It just goes to show you never know what you'll find in a yard sale lot.


  1. No, there was no Topps cereal. In 1984 Topps produced a set for Ralston Purina which was given away in boxes of their cereals, such as Rice Chex. Like a lot of major food companies, Purina also manufactured some store-brand generic product. So the "Topps Cereal Series" cards were manufactured as a parallel set with the plan that they would test market store-brand cereal with free cards. According to Baseball Hobby News at the time, this plan fell through, and the "Cereal Series" cards were placed in Purina branded products in the end. Both versions seem to reasonably common--I'm guessing some were sold directly to dealers--so it's a relatively cost-effective way to acquire parallel oddballs from that era. I think they're nice cards.

    And, yes, Sports Illustrated for Kids still publishes, and still comes with cards.

    Some real nice TCMA stuff in there.

    1. Thanks for the info on the Cereal Series cards, Brett. It was a set I'd never heard and what I did find wasn't much help.

  2. Hmmm ive seen those Play Ball TCMA cards before, but not like that? Are they printed in standard size with extra white space or are my eyes decieving me?

    1. Yes, they're standard size cards with extra white space.

  3. Color me jealous over those TCMAs.

  4. I really like the Revco card mainly because I've never had one from that set before. Another set I should take a deeper look at is those Pacific Legends.

    As for SI For Kids, they still make them, if you look around the internet you can find a few sites that can get you free subscriptions, Recyclebank is a good one. The cards are a lot thinner these days, but they still have a good mix.