30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Friday, December 11, 2015

Journey Back in Time

Today we're going on a journey back in time.  Along the way, we'll be making pit stops and checking out sports memorabilia from five different decades.

Our adventure begins sometime in the 1950's, when this tiny pin was sold to an excited baseball fan...

Unfortunately... I wasn't able to find any useful information online about the history of this pin.  However... according to some eBay dealers it's called a PM10 Stadium Pin.  Regardless of what they were called, it's a nice piece of Athletics memorabilia from their days in Philadelphia.

If you're a fan of oddball issues, then you would have enjoyed the 80's.  All three major card manufactures offered something outside of the flagship issues to collectors.

Fleer released a plethora of forty-four card box sets during the latter half of the decade...

In 1987, Donruss released it's first and last Opening Day baseball set.

The 272 card set is comprised of players who were in their teams' starting lineups on Opening Day.  I've always wanted to own this set, because it contains early issue cards of Barry Bonds, Bo Jackson, and Barry Larkin.

From 1983 to 1985 Donruss also released a series of cards known as Action All-Stars.  These cards were larger than your standard size trading cards and as you would expect... the checklist contained some of the bigger names in the game.

Here's a look at two packs from the 1983 set with a pair of baseball legends showing on top.  I'll be busting these in a future Flash(p)ack Friday post.  Hopefully I end up pulling the last Mickey Mantle puzzle piece I need.

Rounding out the 80's is Topps.  In 1989, they released an ultra-rare test issue product called Heads Up.  They were huge die-cut heads with a suction cup attached, so collectors could hang their favorite players on their windows.  I've never actually owned one of the 89's... but here's a Will Clark from the 1990 set:

Topps also released sticker yearbooks throughout the 80's.  Although I never actually completed any of them as a kid, they were definitely fun to collect.  Here's the yearbook from 1985 with rookie phenom, Dwight Gooden gracing the cover:

Time to switch decades again.  Let's return to the present and check out another guy known for his heater...

Darvish was sidelined in 2015... but hopefully he'll bounce back and return where he left off. Okay... let's get out of here and dive into the 60's:

1968 was four years before I entered this world... and Orlando Cepeda was coming off of his MVP season.  Too bad he had one of the worst seasons of his career that year and was eventually traded to Atlanta the following season.  Still... it would have been pretty cool to pull either of these two cards back in the day.

Let's start heading back.  Only two stops left.  The first being another visit to the 80's.  This time we'll be looking at some media guides instead of cards...

The 1982 Oakland Athletics and 1983 San Diego Padres combined for 175 losses.  Yikes.  Sadly... that's better than the 2015 Oakland Athletics and 2015 San Diego Padres.  Together they lost a total of 182 games this year.  Some things never change.

Last stop.  The 90's.

When it comes to this decade, I kinda feel like collectors either love it or hate it.  Personally... I try to focus on the ingenuity that blossomed in terms of our hobby, instead of the number of collectors who abandoned it during this time period.

Holograms emerged and I for one... embraced them.

Parallels also became very popular during this decade... and are still a huge part of our hobby today.  Sadly... the arrival of new cardboard technologies meant something had to give and items like these Topps Stand Ups and other oddball issues slowly began to fade away.

Although... every now and then they'd reemerge in our hobby.  Companies like Pinnacle began issuing cards in cans, producing cards within cards (Zenith's Dare to Tear), and tried once again to bring coin collectors into our hobby with their Pinnacle Mint products...

Kinda makes me want to go out and buy a box of this stuff... to relive the good old days.  Well... there you have it.  I hope you enjoyed our little journey back in time.

A huge thank you goes out to Tony over at Off Hiatus Baseball.  Everything featured in today's post came out of this box...

which happened to come from Tony.  Back in October, he had a contest and I was fortunate enough to have Random.org select my name.  The prize?  $10 worth of card show loot.

Thanks for the memories.  If you were able to buy all of these items for $10 at your local card show... then I'm planning on adding a visit to it to my bucket list.

Happy Flashback Friday... and sayonara!


  1. Apparently $10 goes pretty far in Atlanta. That Pin is a real beauty.

  2. I have an unhealthy attachment to '80s Fleer boxed sets. I always buy them if I see them on the cheap.

  3. So, the Opening Day set was $5. The Cepedas were both just a quarter each. The Pinnacle coin was $0.50 I think. The Darvish, the hologram Big Frank, and the Gwynn (along with a few other things in the box) filled out the $10. Then, I just filled out the box with some things I had here that I knew you'd appreciate more than I would.

    Glad you liked your winnings!

  4. Wow that is an awesome box. Love that pin

  5. That head is freaking me out!!

  6. Jon, Jeff, and Mark - That pin is a HUGE addition to my A's PC. Love... love... love it.

    Nick - Me too. I'd buy them all day... everyday if they're cheap. I've actually considered researching all of those sets and chasing down a master collection.

    Tony - That box was awesome! Thanks again for the contest and the very generous prize package.

    Daniel - Agree

    B Man - Lol. They don't call them oddball issues for nothing.

  7. I've got tons of the '83 Donruss Action All-Stars to trade.