Tuesday, January 28, 2014

1993 Diamond Marks Inserts Terry Smith Collection

Card Manufacturer: Colla Collection
Card Set: Diamond Marks - Bookmarkers by Terry Smith
Year: 1993
Card Number: NNO
Card Type: Base

These cards were inserted into packs of Diamond Marks Bookmarkers, And they fell one per 48 count box.  You might recognize the art work from the 1991 and 1992  Fleer Baseball Provisions insert.  The artist is Terry Smith, who produced a lot of art for Fleer sets in the 90's. You can see his website HERE.

The set consists of only 8 players and the Standard Catalog has these priced pretty high. The whole set books for about $50. Yeah I know, I don't put much value in book value, but it's just a guide folks. I guess falling one per box is a pretty decent hit.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

On the radar! 2014 Topps Series 1 Younts

Arg that's a terrible image. Oh well. Just a quick note for the fellow Yount collectors out there. 2014 Topps Series 1 officially drops this Wednesday, but retail is already on the shelves.  I've combed through the official checklist Topps released a few days ago and there are 3 new Younts to be had in the set.

Rookie Card Manufactured patch card. I do believe this is one of the retail blaster exclusives. RCP-10

Top 25 Rookie Card reprints RCF-10. I haven't seen any of these online yet I'm sure they are hobby only. Looks like there are different levels of this card I've seen ones up on ebay numbered to 199, 99, and 25 so far.

Trajectory Relic - TR-RY, The only new card not featuring a reprint of Robin's 1975 rookie card. And from the few I've seen for sale this looks to be a short print.

Of course all three will be featured when I get them in my hands.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

2013 Topps Five Star

Card Manufacturer: Topps
Card Set: Five Star
Year: 2013
Card Number: 43
Card Type: Base
Card Attributes: Serial Numbered
Serial Number: 62/75

Been posting about the old stuff for a while now I thought it was time for a modern card. As a matter of fact I just got this one in the mail today.  As soon as I saw Robin had a base card in this years Five Star I wanted to add one to the collection.  According to Topps' sell sheets the base cards for this issue were only going to be numbered to 60. But come product release time that number had been raised to 75. Still a pretty insanely low issue.  Besides the base cards which are numbered to 75 there are also two parallels numbered to 10 and 1.  

When this first hit the market Robin's card was going for over $20 a pop. I bidded my time and was finally able to pick up this bad boy for about $8 delivered. Thats a price I'm a little more comfortable with.  

A very nice card. These base cards are super thick, around 120 pt I think. The same size as most of the autos and relics in the set.  

Saturday, January 18, 2014

1977 Hostess Suzy Q's full box

Card Manufacturer: Hostess
Card Set: Hostess Baseball
Year: 1977
Card Number:34
Card Type: Full Box

The last of my complete Hostess boxes. Like my 1976 Twinkees box this one has been opened as well.  I've been looking for 78 and 79 boxes, not hard, but haven't found any. 

My 1975 box might feature Yount's rookie card, but this box has the best panel by far and probably the best panel out of the whole 1977 set. With this box you get two HOFer's and a guy that probably should be in the Hall of Fame.

I always  lump Robin Yount and George Brett together. They have so much in common. While George may have made the majors in 1973, both player's rookie cards are in the 1975 set, both players played for the same team their entire careers, both retired the same year, both were inducted into the Hall of Fame in the same year, and both continue to work with their old teams. Plus Brett is revered by Royals fans just as much as Robin is with Brewers fans.  And that Steve Garvey guy is pretty neat too.
Just a great box and panel set. Plus the box features Reggie Jackson and Jim Palmer too.

Here's a close up of the panel.

Friday, January 17, 2014

1976 Hostess Twinkies full box

Card Manufacturer: Hostess
Card Set:  Hostess Baseball
Card Number: 11
Card Type: Full Box

Unlike my 1975 Hostess King Dons box that was never used, this 1976 Twinkies boxes definitely was.  Who knows if this whole box was purchased and taken home or if it sat up by the counter at some convenience store to entice shoppers with an impulse buy. Since there is a box price on the box it was probably sold whole.  Luckily someone had the foresight to save the whole box.

Yount shares this box with Tony Olivia, who retired after the 1976 season, and Rick Manning, who would later join the Brewers team in 1983. Rick also happens to be a great TTMer if you're into that like me. 

Here's a close up of the panel. Other than the box having been opened, it's really not in bad shape and the cards are as close to mint as you can probably get.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

2001 Topps American Pie Wood Stock Game Used Bat card

Card Manufacturer: Topps
Card Set: American Pie
Year: 2001
Card Number: BBWM-RY
Card Type: Insert Relic
Insert Set: Woodstock
Relic Type: Bat

I've been featuring a lot of older Yount cards and I thought it was time to feature one a bit more modern. And what's more modern than a relic card.

Topps American Pie was one of the first issues to work in Baseball and other Americana. It was a front runner to similar issues brought out by Donruss and Upper Deck. I don't remember how well this product did, but Topps didn't issue another American Pie set for almost a decade and that set was exclusively entertainment based.  

The card design is a homage to the late 60's early 70's with it's retro lettering and design. Back in the early 2000's with relic cards took off these were easy to find and not really all that expensive. It makes me laugh what sellers are trying to get for these now.  The checklist is pretty good too. Willie Mays, Duke Snider, George Brett, and Reggie Jackson to name a few.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

1975 Hostess Twinkie Rookie Card

Card Manufacturer: Hostess
Card Set: Hostess Baseball
Year: 1975
Card Number: 80
Card Type: Twinkie Single

It's rookie card Wednesday here at the Yount Collector.  Don't worry there won't be too many of those.  And while Robin has more than just his 1975 Topps rookie card he doesn't have that many more. 

Of course his 1975 Hostess cards are classics and most clean versions you see hand cut come off of boxes, but there are also these version that were used as the backer for the Twinkies twin pack. I know that Hostess offered cards this was for at least 1975, 1976 and 1977.  Unfortunately you can see what having two Twinkies sitting on top of the card does.  

I have read that there are a number of these card that made it out of the factory without being used. I haven't seen one with my own eyes, but I'm sure they come with a premium price.

Another distinguishing feature of these cards other than the fact they are featured singly on an over sized piece of cardboard is the black stripe on the back of the card and of course the huge grease stain.  The card is otherwise exactly the same as the one featured in panels on the back of Hostess boxes.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

1992 Jimmy Dean Living Legends

Card Manufacturer: MSA
Card Set: Jimmy Dean Living Legends
Year: 1992
Card Number: 4
Card Type: Food Issue

Those of you who are a bit older may remember that Jimmy Dean was a country music star and actor. He founded his sausage company in 1969 with his brother and  the rest is history. The company was later bought by what would become Sara Lee Foods in 1984 and you can still buy Jimmy Dean sausage nation wide. Jimmy passed away a few years ago in 2010, he was 81.

But the brand offered a few sets of baseball cards from 1991 to 1995. I do believe most, if not all, were mail in sets.

According to the Standard Catalog this set was available if you sent in a proof of purchase and a dollar.
A small set with big names. Names that hold up. Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken Jr, Ozzie Smith, George Brett, and Carlton Fisk. 

The early 1990's saw the start of the use of foil on cards and of course this set makes full use of it. Printed by MSA (Michael Schechter Associates) and fully licensed by the MLBPA it looks surprising like a Panini baseball card today.

Monday, January 13, 2014

1993 Donruss Masters of the Game Postcard

Card Manufacturer: Donurss
Card Set: Masters of the Game
Year: 1993
Card Number: 15
Card Type: Postcard

I had previously talked about that I house my main collection in two, three row monster boxes. But I have lots of odd ball Yount items that I have to put in other locations.  I've been reorganizing and trying to get most of the oversized oddball stuff together and make sure it's been logged on my inventory spreadsheet and on my collections page here.  And then while digging I always seem to find a cool card that I forgot about. And while I may have forgotten about this card, I did have it inventoried.

According to the Standard Catalog these cards were retail exclusives available only at Wal-Mart in 1993. The set consists of 16 players and all the big names from 1993 are here. Ripken, Griffey, Thomas to name a few, and of course Robin.  I'm a huge fan of Dick Perez and I've slowly been trying to put together a set of Diamond Kings from 1982 forward.  These cards are standard postcard size of 3.5 x 5 inches and even have a place on the back to write a note and put a stamp. These remind me of the Action All-Stars from the 80's, but these look a lot better.  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

1989 Topps Baseball Talk Pack

Card Manufacturer: Topps
Card Set: Baseball Talk Collection
Year: 1989
Card Number: 56
Card Type: Record Card
Product: Unopened Pack

An interesting idea from Topps, just not executed very well.  
Plus you had to buy the player, which as it turns out was a hunk of crap. The checklist consisted of 164 cards, 4 that came with the player and 40 additional 4 player packs.
You can see Mr. Yount is featured on the front of Set 15.  I have yet to pick up the single card of Robin for this set.
According to the Wiki page about this set the Players use to retail for $24.99 and the set packs for about $4-5 bucks. But the quality of the players and sound was terrible. And this product was discontinued pretty quick.  There was suppose to be another MLB set and a NFL set, but both were cancelled. However you can find a few test NFL packs. There were 4 packs that made it out, but the set never went into full production.
I think I saw a post a while back over at the Chronicles of Fuji where he picked up the reader and some packs off of ebay.

Here's what the card looks like. I got this from Trading Card Database

Friday, January 10, 2014

1992 U.S. Oil Commemorative Pin #2

Card Manufacturer: U.S. Oil
Card Set: U.S. Oil Commorative Pin collection
Year: 1992
Card Number: NNO
Card Type: Premium giveaway?
Note: comes with pin and pin tab

Believe it or not I have quite a few Yount pins. And there are even more I don't own. 
A quick story on how I even know this one existed or that it was produced in 1992. In 2008 I was obsessed with trying to find or put together a Robin Yount checklist. I had found a few from days gone by, but nothing that had the old stuff and the more current issues. Then I found a guy on ebay selling checklists for cheap. I'm not sure exactly how he made them, I would assume he had a Beckett membership and was just downloading checklists and selling them on ebay, since he had tons to offer and even stated that if you didn't see what you were looking for he could make a checklist for any player.  Regardless, I have to say for the few dollars I spent the checklist was pretty comprehensive, at least up to 2008. And while I was hoping for a checklist that had every piece of Yount memorabilia in it, it did have just about every card.  And after combing through the spreadsheet I found an interesting one. This U.S. Oil pin card. hmmmm. I searched and really couldn't find anything about them, even on ebay I struck out.  But eventually one popped up for sale and I scooped it up.  

And after a recent short search on the internet I've discovered a few other things.  There were 4 pins offered in this set. This is Pin #2 commemorating Robin's two MVP awards. Pin #1 commemorated Paul Molitor's 39 game hitting streak, Pin #3 commemorated Juan Nieves 1987 no-hitter, and Pin #4 commemorated the Brewers 1982 American League Championship.

I'm not exactly sure how the pins were distributed. Most likely they were either available for purchase at U.S. Oil gas stations or were a give away with a fill up.  The pins came  fixed to a back with a player card in a zip loc bag. The bottom portion, which has the pin attached, has a perforated edge and you could remove it to just have the card.  Most of these I've seen for sale still come in their original bags and are pretty beat up.
The bottom potion of mine had come apart and as you can see has been reattached with tape.
Here's a close up of the pin.
A great odd ball item and the pin is of pretty decent quality.

Monday, January 6, 2014

1991 Sports Viewer

 Manufacturer: Sports View
 Set: Sports Viewer 
Year: 1991
Number: NNO
Product: Sealed Viewer

Here's a great little oddball collectible for you.  I picked this up a few years back and also got a Andy Van Slyke viewer. The Van Slyke has found a better home, but Mr. Yount's Sports Viewer rests comfortably in my collection.  The back says that there are two series, a team and superstar. And doing some searches on the internet, I've come across a few other viewers that are mounted on cards and others that are packaged in bags.  Which leads me to believe that the card backed viewers are possibly the Superstar series and the bagged views are team issues.  I know that for the Brewers there are also a BJ Surhoff, Paul Molitor, and Dave Parker. I've also read on the internet that some people bought these at stadiums, I'm sure some were also available at stores too.  

Along with the Yount and Van Slyke, I've also seen George Brett and  Ripken Bros. on cards and Will Clark, Ken Griffey Jr, Bo Jackson, Fernando Valenzuela, Jim Palmer, and the other Brewers listed above in bags. And I know there is also a Rickey Henderson viewer commemorating his stolen base record. It's also possible the card mounted viewers were issued in a different year than the bagged ones. Indeed from images I've found the Yount has a 1990 copyright date and the bagged ones are copyrighted in 1991 or at least some of them are.  I ended up starting a thread over at Freedom Cardboard to see if any other collectors knew more than me and got some nice response. Still some questions about the issue but you can read the witty banter HERE.  There are also a lot of other photos posted and if you have a viewer not on the checklist let us know.

Here's a view through the peep hole. If my Yount wasn't still mounted on the card I'd show you the slide which is removeable from the viewer. I tried to find a source image, but was unable to find anything online.

1992 Dad's Kid Tri Card

Card Manufacturer: Dad;s Kid
Card Set: 1991 Fleer
Year: 1992
Card Number: 601
Card Type: 3-D aftermarket product

Here's another great oddball item from the 90's.  I picked this up a few years back after seeing it on ebay and just scratching my head. At the time I had a hard time finding any information about this "card".  But after a recent online search I found a lot about this weird oddball.

There's a pretty decent thread on the Freedom Cardboard forums with an ongoing checklist.
You can check it out here if your looking for a player or have one of these and want to see if they've added it yet. Looks like Jose Canseco was the featured player with 5 versions.

First a little history before we get to the card. Dad's Kid put out these Tri Cards in 1992 and was promptly sued out of existence by the MLBPA and three of the big card companies at the time Score, Leaf (Donruss) and Upper Deck. I couldn't find any information on if Fleer ever sued. I do believe back in 1992 Fleer was owned by Marvel Entertainment Group and I wonder if they even cared.  

I found this court opinion on the Players Assn. case where they actually found in favor of Dad's Kid. Pretty much stating that the MLBPA actually benefited from this product since it takes 3 cards to make this one product and these cards were bought from a licensed sport card producer, so the MLBPA gets royalties on it. The judge also points out that cards get sold on the secondary market all the time and that cards are used to make unique plaques and player displays that are sold in trade publications, remember this is back before the internet.  You can read the whole brief HERE.

I couldn't find the outcome against the big three sportscard companies, but they had a little better legal standing than the MLBPA and from what I can tell they pretty much put Dad's Kid out of business.  

The company used cards from  1990, 1991, and a few 1992 Upper Deck, Fleer, Donruss, and Score to make this unique product. Topps never got into the fray simply because Dad's Kid never used any of there cards to make their product.  It is interesting to note that in the LA Times article that the company employed about 158 people at one time.  

Alright lets actually look at the product. The concept was actually pretty good. I didn't realize when I bought this that the company used other cards other than 91 Fleer.  The checklist on Freedom Cardboard lists over 50 different cards that were offered using a lot of different brands and it might possibly be more.  Originally each card was going to have a production run of 50,000. Which seems like a lot today, but back in the early nineties that was a short print run.  Each card was actually made up from three cards and the player was cut out and layered in a shadow box to give it a 3-D effect.  And it also looks like that 50,000 print run was for each player, not the type of card used, so the 5 Canseco variations all figure into that number.
When I bought this card on ebay it came with this photocopied document. Looks like my card was part of a completer set you could order with matching serial numbers.

Let me apologize for the picture quality. I still have mine in the original shirk wrap packaging and oddball stuff like this doesn't scan.

It's not clear how many of each player were actually made. Due to the lawsuit I know production was halted, but here we see that mine is number 1700, so we can probably assume that at least a few thousand got out. And it looks like these were originally sold through be big box toy stores, like Toys R Us, and Kaybee. It's also very possible that cases and cases of these were sold after the company was ordered to stop production to wholesalers.

I would love to actually pull this out and see what's going on it there, but the collector in me knows that I should keep it sealed. Maybe I'll find a cheap one that's been removed.

Until then....

Friday, January 3, 2014

1993 Diamond Marks

Card Manufacturer: Colla Collection
Card Set: Diamond Marks 
Year: 1993
Card Number: NNO
Card Type: Base

If you're like me, you like reading. And when you stop reading you need to mark your page. Sure you can dog ear a page or lay the book open, but most of us like using bookmarks. And what better way to mark you page than with a bookmark featuring a baseball star in 1993?  

Well Barry Colla made that possible with his Diamond Marks.  These were marketed as bookmarks not baseball cards, but lets be honest, they're baseball cards. Around the same time we saw the return of the tall boy format cards with Gameday Football and Basketball and widevision cards. These really were no different and we knew it.  I don't ever remember seeing these on the shelves and they only came out in 1993. They are sharp looking cards though. Great photography, book theme on the back.

There are 120 cards in the set and there are  Terry Smith Art card inserts falling about one per box. However none of the cards are numbered. So most checklists have these cards numbered how they fall alphabetically. Sometimes you see them grouped by team and numbered.  The Standard Catalog has this as number 93, COMC has it listed as 119.

Barry Colla put out other sets in the early nineties as well. The Standard Catalog list 13 other issues not counting the Diamond Marks, mainly postcards.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

1975 White Hen Pantry Milwaukee Brewers Team Ruler

 Manufacturer: Whie Hen Pantry
 Set: 1975 Milwaukee Brewers
Year: 1975
Type: Ruler

A great oddball item from 1975.  I hate calling this item a rookie item, simply because all Yount fans know that Robin broke into the majors in 1974, but he has no merchandise with his visage until 1975.  But since all Yount's rookie cards are in 1975 I guess we can lump this into the rookie catagory.

Alright enough nitpicking. What we have here is a 1975 White Hen Pantry Milwaukee Brewers Team ruler that features a very young Robin Yount.  It also has most of the team and of course the other big name on the ruler is Hank Aaron.  

White Hen Pantry was a chain of convenience stores that started in Des Plains, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. They also had a large number of stores in New England, mainly Massachusetts and New Hampshire and I'll assume that they also had a large number in southern Wisconsin, but I can't find any good information on that.  I would have also thought that since the company was based in Illinois that they might also have issued some Chicago team related stuff, but the only other ruler I found was the 1972-73 Milwaukee Bucks.  Alas, White Hen is no more, in 2010 all of it's stores were rebranded as 7-11's.

But this is still a pretty cool oddball item. And it's even useful. I don't have a 1972-73 Bucks ruler, but from images I've seen they appear to be a hard plastic rule. These 1975 Brewers rulers are made of thin plastic and flexible. I'm not sure if this was a stadium giveaway, which is likely, or these were sold or given away at stores in Wisconsin.  As to the rarity who knows. I'm sure some of these were used, others probably just thrown away, but they do appear on ebay from time to time usually in the $10 dollar range. I can't remember what I got these two rulers for, but I know it was well under that price.