Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Back to the Minors

As I get deeper and deeper into the giant pile of yard sale cards I purchased, there are all kinds of things that keep showing up at completely random. So far I've uncovered junk wax, a handful of vintage, oddballs from baseball and pro wrestling, but some of the most interesting cards I've come across are minor league cards.

I'm no expert on minor league cards and never really was a big collector of them. Sure, here and there, maybe a pack of Heritage Minors or Pro Debut to scratch a pack busting itch, but most of the minor league cards I currently have are from various repacks I've opened over the years (most of which have been covered right in this very space). The cards I found in this stash though are quite interesting and date back further than any other minor league cards I currently have in my possession.

TCMA did a fair bit of minor league cards back in the 70s and while looking this up, it appears that they did 38 different team sets in 1979 ranging from well known teams such as the Toledo Mud Hens and Buffalo Bisons to lesser knowns such as the Holyoke Millers and Appleton Foxes. The Kelvin Chapman is my favorite though mainly because of the background of the picture with the giant radio tower and the rolling hills.

Here are two samples from the 1981 edition with Michael Cole (not the WWE announcer) and former White Sox and Expos outfielder Ivan Calderon, of who I only know because I had multiple cards of his 1992 Topps card at one time.

I had a whole glut of card from the late 80s and early 90s so these were the better two of the 1990 cards that I could find, even though I've never heard of either of these guys.

The one thing I do like about most of these cards is that the backs tell which major league team they're affiliated with. That sure makes sorting a heck of a lot easier.

And finally some cards from 1991, including a few names I actually know, which kind of surprises me. Anyway, that's a pile of minor league cards from the 80s and 90s. The older ones seem like they have a little bit of charm to them and they look a little rough around the edges. The 90s ones almost seem too slick for minor league cards. Some of these will land in my collection, some will wind up in trade boxes, and the rest of them will probably wind-up in the donation bag to Goodwill.


  1. The late '70s/early '80s minor league cards are among my favorite cards ever.

    1. Agreed. There's a certain charm about them.