30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Unconditional Love

Last week I started watching an excellent series of YouTube videos showcasing collector's Bottom 5 PC Cards.  In other words, cards that collectors own... but don't necessarily love.

You know... those cards that reside in your collection because you're a team or player collector... however they make you wonder what the card manufacturers were thinking when they created them.

The videos inspired me to create my very own list, which I really enjoyed putting together.  It gave me an opportunity to sift through images and appreciate what a beautifully designed card looks like.

However... I'll save those cards for another post.

Today... it's all about cards that make you go hmmm:

1998 Stadium Club Co-Signers #CS14

I've had a love/hate relationship with this card since the late 90's.  Yes, it features my favorite player of all-time.  Yes, he actually held this card and signed it.  And yes, it even features a Montreal Expos' player... which happens to be another team I collect.

But I never understood why Topps decided to pair Gwynn with Grudzielanek.  They didn't play the same position.  Grudzielanek never played for the Padres.  They didn't go to the same college.  And even if there is a specific reason for having them on the same card that I'm not seeing... the fact is it's not a super obvious reason.  And that bothers me.

2012 Goodwin Champions Authentic Memorabilia #BB

Here's another card that's not too shabby on the surface.  I've always been a fan of Goodwin Champions and even though Bosworth was a tremendous bust for my beloved Seattle Seahawks... I still love the guy.

My problem is he's wearing a gi, instead of a jersey, yet the card supposedly features a piece of a game worn jersey.  Let me fill you in on a little secret.  I purchased this card for my Seahawks PC, not my Martial Arts PC.

Up next... the latest addition to my Steve Carlton PC:

2014 Topps Tier One #TOA-SC

When I first saw these on the internet, it was love at first sight.  It's made of acetate.  It features an on-card signature.  And the design allows the signature to jump off of the card.

Pretty sweet, right?  Wrong.

When I received the card in the mail and pulled it out of the top loader and penny sleeve, I noticed something to the left and right of Carlton's head.  At first I thought they were water stains, so I got a microfiber towel with a little water and started wiping.  When they didn't disappear, I took a closer look at the card and figured out that it's actually part of the design.  Topps intended the card to have sort of a "smoke-like" background, but it was poorly executed and collectors are left with cards that look like they have scratches on them.

Okay... let's leave baseball and look at a card from my San Jose Sharks PC.  I'm not sure if I have a hobby pet peeve that bugs me more than "sticker autographs" and "redemption cards", but the following issue is definitely in the running...

I wish card manufacturers spent more time pairing the photo used on a jersey card to the color/team of the swatch used.

2007-08 UD Artifacts Treasured Swatches #TSJT

But this card takes my pet peeve to the next level.  If Upper Deck still has game-used jerseys of Big Joe from his Bruins days... can't they use them for throwback themed cards?  Upon release of this product, Thornton had been with the Sharks for almost two full seasons.  That's plenty of time for Upper Deck to acquire a game-used Sharks jersey.

Finally... I saved the best (or should I say worst) for last.  Feast your eyes on this monstrosity:

2013 A Sign of History

Who came up with the idea of taking a certified autographed card... cutting it up... slabbing it... then labeling it a one of one?  The better question is... why did I purchase this card?

Survey says...

It's called "unconditional love" for cardboard... especially when the cards are for specific players, teams, or genres that you collect.

What's unconditional love?

Let's put this into context that even non-collectors can understand.  It's the love that Don Mossi's mom felt for her son:

1966 Topps #74

What about you?

Are there cards that reside in your collection, that sometimes leave you shaking your head?

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. I love the Co-Signers sets. There was an odd one with Tino and Robbie Alomar too. Grudzielanek had 201 in just his second ML season in 1996, so perhaps Topps thought pairing a young guy who eclipsed 200-hits so early in his career might have a Gwynn-like career? I don't know, I guess I'm reaching.

  2. I think the logic behind pairing Gwynn and Grudzielanek is obvious, their names both start with G.

    I sort of had this problem but one of the best aspects of collecting prospects (especially under the radar guys) is that the number of redundant cards necessary for a "complete" PC is pretty minimal. Plus I'm always trading away cards I think are important (but kind of know they aren't) onto unwilling trade partners like TLC who probably have more use for them than I do.

  3. Great list! You need to start making videos on YouTube! I say that and then I often feel overwhelmed by my blog, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook groups, etc. but I'd love to hear you talk about your collection.

  4. There are a bunch of those Stadium Club Co-Signers cards that make me go hmmmmm. Great post Fuji.

  5. haha.... I sure have a couple of those. My worst is a Leaf History of Baseball 2012 Cut Signature Edition Billy Pierce edition. I STILL don't know why I bought it. I posted it about a year ago.

  6. You have to check out the "You Got Boned!" segments from Baseball Card Theater on Youtube if you haven't seen them yet.

  7. The wrong jersey cards are a big peeve of mine. I don't mind it so much on recent tradees, but when someone has been on a team for several seasons, you can at least get a new jersey or use a plain white swatch.

    The most painful was the Ottawa Senators Team 8's card out of '13 Score. 8 players. Then they get to the final player - Craig Anderson - and an obvious Avalanche swatch.

    Argh! But at least that saved me $15 on COMC credit.

  8. I'm with you on the odd combinations for dual autos. I've featured several in which I really tried to find the connection and it just wasn't there.

  9. Wrong team swatch is on my list too. Maybe they have to pick the pictures before they get the jersey, so you might get away colors with a home picture. But at least get the team the same!! I've seen old Pacific jerseys that mention the team in the write-up, but they don't even do that any more.

    Which leads to the bigger pet peeve. Say at least that the swatsh is game used by the guy (or gal?) depicted on the card. Doesn't have to be where or when, but at least comfirm for us that you think it's THAT PLAYER's garment. The general disclaimer that the relic isn't "from any particular event, game, or season" or whatever is still WAY too vague, even if they don't want to get sued.

    And e--gad, those chopped auto cards inside other cards are ridiculous. That's the biggest hype vs. substance cards I've ever seen. Hey! get yer 1 of 1 Franken-card. Yeah, it's unique alright. The way each dumpster fire is unique - ugly and stinky.

    Lower on my list is the modern League Leader cards that look exactly like regular player cards as you're shuffling through. If you don't stop and squint at the foil lettering, you miss that it's the leader card.

    Lastly, I really wonder about who composes the insert cards at Topps sometimes. They put out stuff like "Topps 60" or "Diamond Duos" ro "Then and Now" sets that contain cards of guys that set TEAM records, or have won an award once, compared the the guy that did it seven times, or placed 5th on a leader list but the other four ahead of him aren't mentioned. Are they just starting with the list of guys under contract for cards and making up stats to feature them with? I imagine the top leaders in stat categories would become even more repetitive than Topps insert checklists already are, but geez, feature the significant achievements, willya?

    OK I'm done. I should write a whole article myself....

  10. i have a dodger coaches card from a keebler set that features jack clark on it. jack clark wearing a dodger hat. jack clark. jack friggin' clark.