Do you remember when card companies would put cards on the bottom of their boxes back in the 80's and 90's? I remember asking the manager at the local pharmacy if I could have his empty 1986 Topps baseball boxes. Can't remember exactly when the fad died off, but Topps produced this sweet box bottom back in 2005:
From what I can tell, they're almost identical to the pack issued cards except for the missing gold foil.
Kudos to whoever at Topps decided to create a Team Japan box bottom... although I find it interesting that they left Ichiro out. No biggie. At least they included Hideo.
Let's head back into the 90's. There were so many cool oddballs to collect during that decade. One of my favorites were promo and preview cards, like this Hideo Nomo:
1997 Bowman's Best International
This card is technically an insert card out of 1997 Bowman baseball, but is sometimes referred to as a preview card.
Another cool 90's oddball are Pinnacle Inside cans:
RC Cola produced some cans with baseball players on them in the 70's. Pinnacle borrowed their idea and replaced the soda with a pack of cards. They even produced gold parallel cans for collectors to chase.
The downside? These cool looking cans are awesome for player and team collectors, but unfortunately... they take up more space than a standard trading card.
Donruss also jumped in on the "metal" bandwagon and produced some very cool tins when they released Donruss Preferred back in the late 90's:
Not only were the tins metal... Donruss actually produced a limited amount of cards made from precious metals. I've never actually seen any of these in person, but they sell for a decent dime on eBay.
Another oddball issue I'd like to share with you are the oversized Donruss Studio cards:
When I say oversized, I'm not talking about 3x5's, 4x6's, or 5x7's. We're talking HUGE here. Each pack of these baseball, hockey, and football cards contained two 8x10's and are great for 'graphing.
Speaking of autographs...
1998 Studio Autographs #3
In 1998, Donruss created a special autographed insert set that included three young stars: Travis Lee, Todd Helton, and Ben Grieve.
And wrapping up this oddball post is another oversized set...
Upper Deck went through a phase where they were creating postcard sized box toppers, promotional cards, and specialty sets back in the 90's. This 1999 Gatorade set was one of them.
So, what about you...
Are you into oddballs? If so, what are some of your favorite issues?
A special shout out to Dennis over at Too Many Verlanders... who sent me a huge box of awesome sports memorabilia that spans several decades and goes well beyond your standard issue base card.
In addition to all of the oddballs you've seen in this post, he also included some inserts, parallels, and even a memorabilia card for a bunch of my collections:
2010 Topps Peak Performance Relics #KJ
Thank you Dennis for this amazing holiday care package! I have a special shoe box where I set aside any extra Detroit Tigers and Michigan Wolverine cards especially for you.
Happy holidays everyone... and sayonara!