30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My "Lefty" Project

Steve Carlton and I have a lot of things in common.

#1 We're both southpaws.
#2 We both played baseball.
#3 We both have been to Candlestick Park with our baseball gloves.
#4 We both have trading cards.
#5 We both were born in the 20th Century.

I could go on and on, but let's be serious... you get the point.

So it shouldn't be a surprise that "Lefty" was one of my favorite pitchers growing up. I mentioned that I wanted to start collecting every regular issue Topps base card of Carlton a few times in the past and recently (...Joe) from The Sandlot offered me his 1967 Topps card.

Well... I jumped all over that trade and now I'm the proud owner of this beauty:

1967 Topps #146

From there... the ball just kept rolling and rolling. So far, I have either picked up or pulled the following cards:

1970 Topps #220

1971 Topps #55

1972 Topps #420

1976 Topps #355

1977 Topps #110

1978 Topps #540

1980 Topps #210

1981 Topps #630

1982 Topps #480

In addition to the cards above, I've purchased the following cards off of COMC's:

1968 Topps #408

1973 Topps #300

1974 Topps #95

1975 Topps #185

Which means, I'm down to his $200 1965 Topps rookie card, his 1969 Topps card #255 (books for $30), his 1979 Topps card #25 (books for $3), and the remaining 80's Topps cards, which runs through the 1987 set. Hopefully I'll be able to find these in some common bins at either the flea market or the next card show I attend.

I'm also considering going after his Topps Traded issues from the 1972 and 1987 sets, along with some of the more popular parallels such as his 1975 Topps Mini & of course his Topps Tiffany parallels from the 1984 thru 1987 sets.

In the meantime, I'm stoked to have these two cards in my collection.

1977 Topps Cloth Stickers #11

1983 Topps Traded Premiums #1

I have no aspirations of becoming a super collector. However, I am faced with the dilemma of deciding if I want to collect his autographs and memorabilia cards. As of now, I'm content with buying autographs if they're under $20, and memorabilia cards that are $2.50 and cheaper.

Right now, I have two or three of his signatures and possible five or six memorabilia cards. Unfortunately, they're sitting in a box at my parent's house.

Since this post contains a bunch of different Topps regular issue base card designs, I was wondering...

What's your favorite Topps design of all-time?

I have two: 1956 and 1983. The 1983 Topps set has been a favorite since I was a child, because I love the action shot, with the small portrait show in the bottom corner. This set also features the rookie card of Tony Gwynn, my all-time favorite player.

1983 Topps #482

1956 Topps #30

Over the years, I've grown to appreciate the 1956 Topps design as well, especially the Jackie Robinson card, which might be the centerpiece of my collection. Like the 1983 Topps set, it too features a portrait and action shot of the player.

On a completely separate note, I just received a phone call from my friend who informed me that Steve Jobs passed away. I've been a fan of Mr. Jobs and Apple products since around the time I started collecting cards in the early 80's, so this is sad news indeed. My thoughts go out to his friends and family.

Have a good evening and sayonara.


  1. the show I'm going to in November is charging $25 for Carlton items to get signed. I'm getting a 16x20 photo done, a card for my UD Masterpieces collection and a ball. Beautiful stuff, sir!

  2. Favorite design is most likely the '53.

  3. I like the '65 Topps. Don't have too many, but they're cool.

  4. that 72 season was one of the best of all time for a guy on a very bad team..

  5. You've hit two of the very best designs right on the head: '56 and '83. I'm partial to '75 and '72 because they're so over-the-top, but in a good way. Also love '71.

  6. schwant17 - awesome! i'd definitely pay $25 to have the opportunity to meet mr. carlton. good choice on the masterpieces card.

    ryan g - painted pictures ftw!

    the sewingmachineguy - 65 topps are in my top 10... probably around 8 or 9. i like the pennants.

    markz - i know... 27-10 record... the rest of the phillies staff: 32-87. insane!

    night owl - 75 is definitely in my top 5... and 72 is a sentimental favorite, so it's in my top 10.

  7. I am personally a fan of the 1962 set. 83 is great too, but I have never been a fan of the 56 set. I think it is the all horizontal look because I don't like 1955 or 1960 either. But they are better than modern sets which mix vertical and horizontal so a page always looks weird.