Friday, January 31, 2020

Didn't Cost Me A Penny

Jon from A Penny Sleeve for your Thoughts sent over a PWE with some cards I requested from his first "Free Stuff Friday" post. I have a mini-collection of athletes on the phone, and this clipboard seemed like the low-tech alternative. Bob Griese looking like Clark Kent was too good to pass up.

Hall Of Fame Tackle Ron Yary, Pro Bowl Tight End Joe Senser, and 1976 Offensive Rookie of the Year Sammy White round out the envelope. Always fun to add a few Vikings on the eve of the "Big Game."

Thanks very much, Jon! I plan on taking this idea and paying it forward in 2020, and will be offering up Free Stuff Fridays as soon as next week!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Which 70s Set Should I Build? 1971 Topps edition

I've been trying to decide which 1970s set to start building for my next vintage set build, but I can't seem to make up my mind. So, I'm going to take a little closer look at what I already have in my collection and try to narrow it down.

I have a 1971 Wantlist, but it's not to complete the full set, it's just a list of cards I thought I'd like to add to my collection at some point.

1971:  9, 14, 59, 77, 125, 129, 132, 135, 167, 230, 248, 278, 290, 310, 355, 367, 380, 445, 459, 480, 508, 509, 513, 514, 523,  544, 554, 560, 590, 640, 655, 659, 664, 688, 709, 744, 745

The key rookies in the set beyond this Bert Blyleven? Dave Concepcion, Ted Simmons, Bobby Valentine, Bobby Grich, Steve Garvey, Greg Luzinski, Al Hrabosky, Dusty Baker/Don Baylor,

I only have about 60 cards out of 752, so I am a long long way from being close to completing this set.

Speaking of a long way away, these shots are all pretty far away from the subject! Action shots were still a fairly new concept for cardboard, so I bet it was pretty jarring to see cards like these for the first time.

Here's a page of my favorites from my collection. You can probably tell I wouldn't be a stickler for perfect edges or sharp corners, which would be one of the biggest hurdles for this set. Chipping and dings are very noticeable on 1971 Topps, I imagine a person could go crazy trying to build a NM set. It hadn't really occurred to me before, but the 71 set feels like a slightly better version of the 1970 set. In my opinion, the black border combined with the colorful nameplate just works. They went back to 1959 all lowercase jam, and the facsimile signatures are a nice touch. The introduction of action shots and the re-introduction of horizontal images makes it stand out to me.

The inserts? Coins and a Scratch Off game, I happen to not have any of either one at the moment to show.

What do you think are the Pros and Cons of the 1971 Set? I'd love to hear your opinion!

Monday, January 27, 2020

1995 Topps Rookie All-Star Outfielder Shawn Green

Shawn Green showed that you didn't have to be muscle-bound to be a powerful hitter. Green was 6'4" and 190 pounds soaking wet for his rookie season, but he still slugged .509 in that first exposure to major league pitching. He set a team record for extra-base hits as a Rookie, thanks to 31 doubles, 4 Triples, and 15 homers. He was a perfect fit for the 1995 Topps All-Star Rookie Team, combining the prestige of a 1st Round Pick and a solid production line at the plate.

The MLB draft can be a real minefield for franchises hoping to turn their fortunes around,  prospects that seem like they can't miss, often do. Such was not the case for Shawn Green, who fulfilled the promise from his prep career. In 1990, Green was the star of the U.S. team in the World Junior Championships, hitting .482 with a tournament high 17 hits, and stole 8 bases over the 9 games. 

Green was named to the 1991 All-County Baseball team for Orange County, CA by the LA Times, along with Aaron Boone and several of the Los Angeles area's top prep stars. At the time, Shawn Green was the County's all time hit leader, and was known for his great skill for making contact. His low strikeout totals were almost Joe Mauer-esque - he only whiffed twice as a senior, and just 20 times over all 4 years in high school combined. Green had a batting cage built in at his home, and painstakingly developed his bat to ball skills.

The Blue Jays drafted Green 16th Overall in the 1991 MLB Draft, and as much as they liked his contact ability, they also believed he would develop power. At first it seemed that the bet would not pay off - In his first professional season, Green slugged just .345 over 114 games in High-A. He did steal 22 bases, however, and still displayed 4 out of 5 tools with his trademark high rate of contact to go with some excellent work in field with his glove and his arm. Patience would pay off quickly, as his age 21 season featured the complete package. He slashed .344/.410/.509 with 13 homers and 19 stolen bases. He won the International League's batting title and his sweet lefty swing was drawing frequent comparisons to fellow Blue Jay John Olerud. He was ready to be called up to the big leagues for the 1995 season.

Over his 7 years in Toronto, Green saw his playing time increase as he had to prove his ability against tough lefties. By 1998, Green was ready to blossom. He crushed 35 homers and topped 100 RBI for the first time in his career. In 1999 he made his first All-Star squad and led the AL in doubles and total bases. He also took home a Sliver Slugger and a Gold Glove for the year.

The Dodgers and Blue Jays made a deal with Shawn Green returning to Southern California in exchange for Raul Mondesi. His first season in Los Angeles featured some big highlights and some rough times. He homered in 5 straight games, hit the 2nd most doubles in Dodger history to date, and played all 162 games. In 2001, he found himself in the headlines for a game he did not play. Despite having played in 415 consecutive games, Green honored his Jewish faith and sat out during Yom Kippur, ending the streak but making a statement for younger Jewish fans (and truly, fans of all faiths) to possibly emulate. He would set a team record with 49 Home runs that still stands today. Green would return to the All-Star game in 2002. That season, Green would also have one of the greatest single game hitting performances in MLB history, hitting 4 homers and setting an MLB record with 19 Total Bases against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Over parts of 2 seasons in Arizona, Green had 33 homers and drove in 124 runs. Green would play in 273 games with the D'Backs, and his speed of his early years was nearly gone, he still played a full season in the outfield without committing an error.

Shawn Green finished his pro career playing for the New York Mets - and though his power numbers faded, but he continued hit for a decent average and reached the 2,000 hit mark in 2007. He is a member of Jewish Sports Halls of Fame in Northern California, Southern California, as well as the National and International Jewish Sports Halls of Fame. He had 4 seasons of more than 100 runs Scored and 100 RBI, and was just the 10th player in MLB history (at the time of the feat) to hit 35+ homers and 35+ stolen bases in a single season.

Let's hear your Shawn Green stories!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

I Love the 80s ; 1981 Chicago Cubs

This is a series of posts on a 1980's Frankenset. Each page features a different team, with 9 of my personal favorite cards from that year's team. You might find players repeated, you'll definitely see brands repeated, but hopefully you'll agree that there are some interesting selections from the 1980s!

The Cubs were squarely in "Wait 'til Next Year" mode in 1980 and 1981, finishing 6th of 6 teams in the NL East in both years. They ever so slightly began to improve their fortunes in '81, with a second half finish good for 5th place, though they still sported the worst record overall that season, and narrowly avoided 100 losses in 1980. 

Lenny Randle was granted free agency in October of 1980. Bruce Sutter would be traded in December of 1980 in exchange for Leon "Bull" Durham from the Cardinals. Dennis Lamp was traded in March of '81 to the White Sox, Lynn McGlothen followed across town in August. Tim Blackwell became a free agent after the 1981 season. Bill Caudill was traded as a PTBNL in April 1982, so none of the players shown here made it to 1982 as a Chicago Cub. Given the team's record, a little roster turnover was probably a good thing. The Cubs drafted Billy Hatcher and Joe Carter in 1981, and shortly after 1982 began, made a franchise altering deal with Philly to acquire a light hitting shortstop named Ryne.

The Cards:
Donruss #551 Dick Tidrow - Tidrow was a pretty good middle reliever for the Cubs in 1980, and led the Club in appearances. He notched 6 saves and sported a 6-5 record with a 2.79 ERA to go with his imposing moustache.

Fleer #302 Lynn McGlothen - Lynn led the Cubbies pitching staff with 12 victories and 2 shutouts in 1980, but started just 6 games in 1981, relegated mostly to bullpen work before being traded to the ChiSox at the deadline. His best years came in his mid-twenties with the Cardinals. He went 44-40 with 9 shutouts over those 3 seasons in Saint Louis and was named the the All-Star team in 1974. He would finish his playing career with the Yankees in 1982. Tragically, McGlothen died in a fire at the age of 34 two years later.

Topps #692 Lenny Randle - Lenny speaks five languages, and in addition to being a baseball player, he was a recording artist and erstwhile stand-up comic. Randle was the primary 3rd baseman for the Cubs in 1980, while leading the Cubs in triples.

Donruss #559 Tim Blackwell - Tim is known for his bushy moustache, but he was a serviceable back-up catcher as well during his playing days. The switch hitting Blackwell was the #1 catcher for the Cubs in 1980, hitting 5 homers and driving in 30 runs over 103 games. All of those were career highs, and following his playing days he became a long-time coach and manager throughout the minor and independent leagues. 

Topps #590 Bruce Sutter - The Hall of Fame closer saved 28 games for the Cubs in 1980, which led the league for the second straight year. He was the NL Cy Young winner in '79, after saving 37 games for the Cubs with a very good 2.22 ERA. He would be named to his 3rd of 6 All-Star squads in 1980 as well. He was a top 10 MVP vote-getter 5 times. 

Fleer Star Stickers #80 Bruce Sutter - Over his career, Sutter notched exactly 300 saves, which seems low to the modern crowd but was among the highest all-time when he retired. His 1979 Cy Young still stands out as an oddity for a relief pitcher, but he finished in the top ten of voting for the award 4 other times. His second full season with the Cubs probably deserved more attention than it received. He saved 31 games and struck out 129 batters in 107 innings that year, 1977. His 1.34 ERA was tiny, but his ERA+ was a staggering 328, meaning he blew his competition out of the water. He finished 6th in the voting behind 5 20 game winners. 

Topps #574 Bill Caudill -  Bill led the Cubs in ERA in 1980 with a 2.19 mark over 127 innings pitched. He had a rocky 1981 season, with an ERA north of 5, and would find himself trying to rebuild his resume in Seattle. He had a very good season in 1982 with the Mariners, and once he was converted to full time relief, even made an All-Star team as a member of the Athletics. 

Fleer #301 Lenny Randle - Lenny was known for his speed, and was a 2 sport athlete in college, playing both baseball and football. Randle found a home in Italy after his final MLB season, and hit a staggering .477 for his Italian League team in 1983. Randle had over 1,000 MLB hits, but his most famous blow came as a member of the Mariners, when he tried to make a slow rolling ball go foul with some "wind-aided" assistance. 

Topps # 331 Dennis Lamp - Along with Tidrow, Sutter, Bill Buckner and Tim Blackwell, the 1980 Cubs may have been the league leaders in soup strainers. Lamp tossed the only other Cubs shutout besides the 2 from McGlothen in 1980, though the rest of his starts that year ended up surrendering more runs than any other National League pitcher. Lamp would find greater success out of the bullpen, particularly in 1985 with Toronto, when he had a perfect 11-0 record in 53 regular season appearances, and 3 scoreless appearances in the '85 ALCS against the Royals. While KC ultimately prevailed, Lamp was able to turn out the lights on their offense each time he took the mound.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Which 70s Set Should I Build? 1970 Topps edition

I've been trying to decide which 1970s set to start building for my next vintage set build, but I can't seem to make up my mind. So, I'm going to take a little closer look at what I already have in my collection and try to narrow it down.

I have a 1970 Wantlist, but it's not to complete the full set, it's just a list of cards I thought I'd like to add to my collection at some point.

1970: 140, 160, 380, 470, 537, 599, 654, 668, 670, 683, 706, 713

I picked up a small lot of 1970 Topps recently, about 60 cards.

Here were the rookies I picked up. The other key rookies in the set include: Vida Blue/Gene Tenace, Thurman Munson, Bill Lee, Larry Bowa, Darrell Evans, and Oscar Gamble

The All-Star subset has a cartoon on the back of each card, which I generally like more than dislike.

The Insert Set to chase from 1970 is this group of "The ____ Story" booklets

Here's a page of my favorite 1970 Topps cards, the set is heavy with bat rack cards! Over the years, I've gone back and forth on the simple gray borders and vibrantly yellow and blue backs. This makes the good photos stand out, and the photos that are just basic headshots or 3/4 shots can seem boring or uninspired. With that lot I purchased, I have about 125 of the 720 cards in the set. I'd have a pretty long way to go, but you have to start somewhere!

What do you think are the Pros and Cons of the 1970 Set? I'd love to hear your opinion!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Break Out the Canadian Tuxedos!

Really a great day! I'm a big fan of Larry Walker, and finding out that he's been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his 10th and final year of eligibility is just awesome. Walker himself was humble in the hours leading up to the announcement, thanking fans and his many advocates for their kind words and support. 

Young Larry was hoping to be a Goalie in the NHL, but baseball called to him instead. Growing up in Canada, baseball was an afterthought to many. The harsh, long winters limited opportunities and interest in the sport for many. Walker would later recall that before joining the Expos' minor league system, he'd never seen anyone throw a forkball, or slider, or even a decent curveball. He was a dead red fastball hitter, but lacked plate discipline and struggled mightily to hit anything else. Working first with Ken Brett, then Ralph Rowe, Walker became a great hitter through a tireless work ethic. He would return every year to the Florida Instructional League, even taking residence in the area to continue to fine tune his swing and approach at the plate.

What Walker didn't have to learn on the job was athleticism. He was rangy in right field and dangerous on the bases. Over his career he'd steal 230 bases and win 7 Gold Gloves.

His career in Montreal ended following the 1994 season. He led the NL in doubles that season, and hit a then career-high .322 with a .382 OBP. He had a perfect mix of power and speed, hitting 99 homers and stealing 98 bases with the Expos over 6 seasons, earning 2 Gold Gloves and appearing in his first All-Star game.

Walker would really take off in Colorado. His first full season in Colorado he was the NL leader in Outfield Assists, and finished 7th in the MVP voting. People will point to Colorado as an extreme hitter's park, and note that Walker's numbers started going up right when he arrived in the Rockies. I would agree that Coors Field can inflate numbers, but Walker was just hitting his prime (1995 was his age 28 season) and he hit very well on the road as well.

Walker had ridiculous numbers in Colorado, ran away with the MVP award in 1997 with a triple slash of .366/.452/.720. He slugged .720! He was the first player to slug over .700 and steal 30 bases in a season. He led the NL with 49 Homers, and 409 Total bases. He won another Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger, and made his 2nd All-Star team. He'd win the NL batting title 3 of the next 4 seasons. In 1999, he was the Triple Slash Triple Crown winner, leading the league in batting average, OBP, and Slugging. Over his 10 seasons with Colorado, he slugged .610.

He would finally play in a World Series with the Cardinals in 2004. Now away from Coors, he still posted an OPS+ of 134 in his final 2 seasons. His career Road OPS is higher than Roberto Clemente,  Ken Griffey, Jr. along with many others he will be joining in the Hall.

Congratulations to Larry Walker, the 2nd Canadian player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame!

Monday, January 20, 2020

1995 Topps All-Star Rookie Catcher Charles Johnson

 Image courtesy Gavin from Baseball Card Breakdown- used with permission.

Charles Johnson famously did not sign with Topps to appear on their cards, in solidarity with other 1991 Team USA players like Jason Varitek. Even so, Charles Johnson was still the obvious choice to be the 1995 Topps All-Star Rookie Catcher. He was just the 4th rookie to win a Gold Glove as a catcher, along with all-time greats like Johnny Bench and Carlton Fisk, and phenom Sandy Alomar, Jr. Those three were also Topps All-Star Rookies, just sayin'. 
Image courtesy Gavin from Baseball Card Breakdown- used with permission.

The fact that he didn't sign meant that he wasn't in the 1996 Topps Set, but that didn't stop me from tracking down a custom "card that never was." It was no surprise to me that Gavin had put one together, and he graciously allowed me to share it in this blog post. If you're a regular reader of my blog, but haven't read Gavin's, (first of all, really?) you're gonna love it

Charles Johnson was drafted in the first round in 1989 by the Montréal Expos, but opted to attend the University of Miami instead. after appearing with Team USA and playing for the Hurricanes, the Florida Marlins made him their 1st Round selection in 1992. Johnson spent 1993 with the Kane County Cougars. He hit .275 with 19 homers and 94 RBI. He would also hit well in 1994 with the Portland (Maine) Sea Dogs, blasting 28 homers for the AA squad. The hitting was a bonus, he was drafted for his defense and ability to call a game behind the plate, so any hitting would be icing on the cake.

His first Marlins tenure included stellar defense, and hitting when it meant the most. He would win a Gold Glove in each of his first four major league campaigns, the longest streak to start a career at catcher, again, since Johnny Bench, who won a whopping 10 consecutive Gold Gloves. Johnson would also come through big in the 1997 World Series, leading the Marlins with 10 hits while hitting for a .357 average over the 7 game series. His defense during the regular season was superlative - he caught 123 games in 1997 and had zero errors.

Johnson was part of the 1997 championship and the 1998 Marlins fire sale as well. The Marlins sent Johnson and Bobby Bonilla, Jim Eisenreich, and Gary Sheffield to the Dodgers in a deal for Mike Piazza. Mike would be flipped soon after to the Mets as well. Johnson finished the 1998 season in LA, winning his fourth Gold Glove, the first Dodger Catcher to win one since 1966. He hit just .217 down the stretch for the Dodgers, but he did have 12 homers.

After the 1998 season, Johnson was traded twice, where he briefly became Mike Piazza's teammate in New York, then moved on to Baltimore in exchange for Armando Benitez. In Baltimore, Johnson caught 135 games his first season, finishing in the top 5 in putouts, caught stealing, assists, and first in double plays turned by a catcher. Now in the AL, Johnson's Gold Glove streak came to an end with Ivan Rodriguez as a competitor.  He would add major offense in 2000, hitting a career high 31 homers, 94 RBI and a .304 average.

Most of that offense came following a July trade to the Chicago White Sox. during his time on Southside, Johnson had a OPS+ of 135 and slugged .607. The Sox were in the playoff hunt, and despite losing in the first round to Seattle, Johnson did his part, hitting .333 and reaching base at a .455 clip over the 3 games. Johnson would have his first taste of free agency following the 2000 season.

So of course, Johnson came home from the Southside to South Beach. In his second tour with the Marlins, Johnson made his second All-Star appearance, and caught his 3rd No-hitter. He's caught half of the Marlins' 6 no-hitters all-time. Johnson's streak of catching 100+ games would come to an end in 2001, when he would play in just 83 games for the Marlins in a down year. He would be traded to the Rockies (with Preston Wilson, one of the players that came to Florida from the Mets in the Piazza trade) following the 2002 season. Johnson would just miss the second Marlins' title, but also their 2nd fire sale.

Johnson would have a pair of decent seasons for the Rockies, though he didn't appear to have quite the "Coors-effect" bump that some other Colorado transplants would have. He hit 33 homers over the two seasons, and he would finish out his MLB career with a brief return to Florida, this time for the Tampa Bay Rays. He remains a mainstay in Miami, both as a University of Miami Alum, and as a Florida/Miami Marlin original. He's been on the record as a supporter of the team even through the tough re-building period that began with the Derek Jeter ownership.

For his career, he ranked 2nd only to Ivan Rodriguez in throwing out potential base stealers. Only Jason Varitek and Carlos Ruiz have caught more no-hitters in their careers.

Let's hear your Charles Johnson stories!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

I Love the 80s : 1981 Oakland Athletics

This is a series of posts on a 1980's Frankenset. Each page features a different team, with 9 of my personal favorite cards from that year's team. You might find players repeated, you'll definitely see brands repeated, but hopefully you'll agree that there are some interesting selections from the 1980s!

This week we return Sunny California, and check out the Swingin' A's of Oakland. Here are the cards of the 1981 Oakland A's. The A's finished 2nd in the AL West in 1980, and built on that record to win the Division in 1981. They surged in the first half with a pre-strike record fourteen games above .500, only to slump after the break with a 27 - 2 record to close the season. They were in 1st place for the 1st half, then 2nd place for the 2nd half. They would face the Kansas City Royals in the Divisional playoffs, sweeping KC to play against the Yankees in the ALCS.

Similar to the White Sox, which were covered last week, the A's were a team going through new ownership in 1981. Long-time A's owner Charlie Finley, who moved the team to Oakland from Kansas City, sold his ownership stake to Walter A. Haas, Jr. The 1981 season was also known for the style of play that their manager demanded. It was the short-lived but very exciting era known as "Billyball."

The Cards:
Fleer #351 Rickey Henderson - Henderson was at the peak of his "Man of Steal" powers in 1980 and 81. In 1980 he scored 111 runs and stole 100 bases. In a strike shortened 1981, he managed "just" 56 steals, but in both seasons eclipsed .300 batting and .400 OBP. 

Granny Goose #21 Dwayne Murphy -  The A's had one of the few 1981 team issue sets outside of the big 3 of Topps, Donruss, and Fleer. Granny Goose had potato chips and Oakland A's baseball cards. Dwayne Murphy finished second on the team to Rickey for stolen bases and runs scored. Murphy would also take home the first of six consecutive gold gloves in 1980. 

Fleer #580 Mitchell Page - Born in Los Angeles, attending Compton Community College and Cal Poly university, Mitchell Page also spent all but 16 of his career MLB games in Oakland. Page was used primarily as a DH by the A's, and by 1980 this was his exclusive role as injuries had limited his mobility in the field. He would slump in the first half of 1981, and by the time games resumed, Page's role was handed over to Cliff Johnson. Page would spend the next couple years in AAA Tacoma. After his playing career, he would coach in Tacoma and elsewhere.

Topps #35 Mitchell Page - Page was 2nd in 1977's AL Rookie of the Year voting, and was also one of the California Angels players in the 1994 film "Angels in the Outfield." Sadly, Page passed away suddenly in 2011 at the age of 59. 

Fleer #581 Billy Martin - I just love a good manager card. Billy Martin was only the A's manager from 1980-1983, a gig between stints as the Yankees' on-again, off-again skipper. But 1981 was a magical year for the A's, who had been bitten by free agency in the late 70s, but still could boast a talented corps of young players. It would be Billy Martin's aggressive style was well-matched for Rickey Henderson and the rest of the A's.

Topps #629 Tony Armas - We've now looked at the entire starting outfield for Oakland in 1980 and '81. Tony Armas flourished in 1980, hitting 35 homers and driving in 109 runs. He'd follow it up by finishing 4th in the MVP vote in 1981 -leading the AL in home runs as the middle of the order thump for the division winning A's. He also led the AL in RF outfield assists in 1980 and topped the league in Range Factor both seasons. He was the big name going to Boston in return for Carney Lansford - a deal that would bear fruit for both franchises. 

Kellogg's 3-D Super Stars #33 Rickey Henderson - This was just a cool card. Henderson was just 21 in 1980, but may have been the best player in baseball. He didn't hit for power (yet), but he completely upended the game plan of the opposition. 

Topps #55 Mike Norris - Norris was a 20 game winner in 1980, going 22-9 overall with a 2.53 ERA. The 25 year old pitched 24 complete games in 1980, finished 2nd in Cy Young voting, won a Gold Glove, and led the AL in lowest H/9. In 1981, he tossed a pair of shutouts, but led the AL in wild pitches, and generally had a tougher time against the league than his superlative 1980 season. He did toss a shutout in the 1981 ALDS against the Royals. He struggled with addiction and was out of baseball by 1986, but made a comeback for the 1990 A's at the age of 35, tossing 27 innings in relief.

Fleer #588 Matt Keough - Keough was very stingy with allowing homers early in his career, and in fact led the AL with the lowest HR/9 in 1978. He allowed just 9 homers in 197 innings, and made his lone All-Star team. The opposite would be true in 1982, when he allowed a league high 133 runs scored, and 38 homers. 1980 was probably his best MLB season, going 16-13 with a 2.92 ERA. He would pitch for three different teams from 83-86, pitching for the Yankees, Cubs, Cardinals, and Astros. He was a tough luck loser in the 1981 ALCS to the Yankees, giving up 2 runs (just 1 earned) over 8.1 Innings. The A's were shutout 4-0 which completed the sweep by New York. 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

One More for the Road

A couple weeks ago I shared the various Japanese baseball cards I found of Kennys Vargas. When I made the post, I figured I would check the Japanese site Mint Mall one more time to see if there was anything new available. I found this insert card called "Fireworks".

The Card is numbered to 100 copies, so it was a just sheer dumb luck to find a copy of it available. I'm guessing there's a card of another Marines players with "EWO" at the top of the card, and a third with "RKS." 

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Thursday Trading Post - Johnny's Trading Spot

I always want to start a trade post from John of Johnny's Trading Spot with the disclaimer that what you are seeing is just a small fraction of the big stack of cards he ships all over. It would break my poor scanner to try to show you everything, but suffice it to say each of these scans are a category that could include 5 to 10 times the number of cards shown!

Easily my favorite Allen & Ginter design came in 2019 - I'm curious to see if they keep something similar for 2020.

I'd never seen any of these Upper Deck SP Authentic cards before - a new to me set for sure. Big fan of the the Denard Span Rookie Exclusives card.

I dunno about Topps Gallery - I feel like this set lacks variety at times. I don't want to take anything away from the artists, but I don't like photo-realistic painting styles - maybe what makes the old Dick Perez Diamond Kings so appealing? Something just a little different can be good.

There were full or close to full team sets of Topps 2000 Limited Edition, 2005 Topps 1st Day Issue, and Topps 2000 Home Team Advantage.

A big stack of minor leaguers came through as well -Skybox, Line Drive, Star, regional and local issues....

Just a ton of fun stuff!

There was this stack of Red Foley stickers, I didn't have these sticker books growing up.

There were plenty of bat rack and sunglasses cards as well.


Thanks so much, John! I'll probably never be able to catch up at this rate, but I'll get some cards back out to you again soon!