30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

One of Things Is Not Like the Other

About a month ago, I asked people for blog topic suggestions and Jeff at Wax Pack Wonders mentioned that the folks over at SABR's Baseball Cards Research Committee will write a post about their favorite common as a way of introducing themselves.

This topic might be simple for some, but for me... it was pretty challenging.  There are just way too many cool cards out there to choose from.

Ultimately... I decided to pick a card from one of my earliest collecting memories.  When I was a kid, my neighborhood friends and I would bring out our shoeboxes filled with cards and trade back and forth just like millions of other kids around the country.

It's been nearly forty-years since those trades took place and my memory isn't what it used to be.  However one card still stands out after all of these years.  Here's a hint, it's one of the cards above.  Here's another hint:

Did you figure it out?  You might have noticed that all of the 1981 Donruss Atlanta Braves cards feature a light blue border with the exception of this card:

1981 Donruss #550

As soon as one of us noticed this discrepancy, we all assumed it was some sort of rare error card and wanted it.  This card went back and forth between our collections during that brief moment of our lives when we traded cards on our front porches.

I honestly have no idea who ended up with the card, but if it was me... I got rid of it years ago.  The card you see above was purchased off of Sportlots a few weeks ago and has since been added to my Sports Card Smorgasbord binder.

I'm still not sure why Donruss decided to give The Mad Hungarian a purple border and as far as I know, they never made a card of him with a light blue border.  Regardless... this simple 18¢ card is my favorite common today.  But will it be my favorite next week?  Who knows.

Today's question of the day:

What is one of your favorite commons?

Don't stress over it.  Just type out the first card that popped into your head.  Okay... I've gotta get ready for this Nearpod webinar.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. First One that popped in my head was 1989 Pro Set update card 446 of Thomas Sanders. It was a low level action shot of him about to spike the football just crossing the goal line with Solider Field in the background. I had never saw a football card look like that up to that point.

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    1. There are so many! 2004 topps Doug mientkiewicz is definitely one of my favorites

  3. '75 Topps Steve Yeager. First Dodger I pulled out of a pack that I bought.

  4. I agree with gcrl, there are so many to choose from. Ask me again tomorrow and I'll probably have a different answer, but right now it is Turk Wendell's 1992 Upper Deck card where he's brushing his teeth.

  5. The first one that pops into my mind is the 1991 Topps Benny Santiago card. The first card I ever remember owning or seeing is a 1985 Topps Bob Baumhower, which I really want to add to my collection again despite the fact that it is a very boring card from a very boring football set.

  6. Maybe 1984 Fleer Jay Johnstone with the paper umbrella hat.

  7. The '91 Topps Carlton Fisk is usually among the first that come to mind.

  8. I did a post on my favorite commons last year. Mine has always been the '61 wes Covington. Just a beautiful card. Charley neal's '57 is up there as well.

  9. 2018 Topps Big League of Ketel Marte with Atros mascot Orbit on it. It was odd but funny at same time

  10. Mine probably has to be 1981 Topps Bob Davis, it was the last card I needed to finish my first set ever. My buddy held it for ransom and I ended up having to trade 7 or 8 cards to get it.

  11. Way too many to try and choose just one. I remember that all Mad Hungarian card all too well. I used to think it was some sort of a parallel (before such things existed). And was always on the look out for a correct blue border copy.

  12. 1987 Topps Larry McWilliams, because it captures him in the most distinct part of his pitching delivery. Not sure why that was the first common card that came to mind, but like you said, who knows what card I'd choose on another day.

  13. 1974 Topps Pedro Garcia and Eduardo Rodriguez. Two of the first cards I ever owned. ER is a full action shot, and Pedro is a kneeling posed picture with a big smile. I surmised that Pedro was the fun guy and Ed was the serious one. What did I know at about eight years old?

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  15. This might not be a common but I like 2008 Upper Deck Terrell Owens(Get Your Popcorn Ready).

  16. Super fun topic and I think this is definitely something I might do as I was recently re-acquainted with a card I knew I had, assumed I lost, but then found. I remember trading with friends and my twin brother back in the day, but I don't remember how we traded, or what we traded or anything. Which is frustrating as I wish I could remember some to provide examples.

  17. I don’t remember the year or brand, but shortly after I got into collecting a friend offered to trade me a card of Bo Diaz. I had no idea who that was, but my friend said Bo recently died and the card would be going up in value. I traded him a 1990 Topps Nolan Ryan Mets card. The crazy things we remember!

  18. Any Tino!

    But probably Yanks from ‘87 Topps, like Mike Easler.

  19. Topps 1987 Turn Back the Clock Maury Wills. Because it was on the top of my stack of Topps cards for years in a drawer as I was growing up so it's one I always associate with that set and memories of our family holiday in America in 1987. Tony Gwynn's all star card from that set is another common card I really like.

  20. When did Atlanta switch from a lower case a on the caps to a capital A?

  21. elliptical man - loved tyson back in the day. which card are you referring to? or are you referring to the cubs player?

    john bateman - just looked it up. that's a great looking card.

    gcrl - you know i enjoy my well cropped action shots. awesome photo selection

    night owl - very cool. i'd pay some serious money to remember the first a's card out of the first pack of baseball cards purchased.

    p-town tom - good hygiene is important. as for cool common cards... that binder of yours is loaded with them

    chris - the santiago was the first card i didn't need to look up. as for the baumhower, my 1985 topps football is limited to two 9 pocket pages and he wasn't one of the cards. best of luck in tracking a copy down though.

    wax pack wonders - the 2nd card i know without looking up. iconic card

    nick - fantastic card. 3rd card i didn't need to look up

    commishbob - that is a great card. you have a few nice commons on that page. sorry i missed that post the first time around

    rebel coyote - cool to see a player getting along with the opposing team's mascot

    arpsmith - seems like we all have a buddy who would do something like that. hope you didn't have to hand over 7 or 8 hall of famers

    johnnys trading spot - maybe it was their way of getting kids to buy more packs

    gregory - that's a great looking card. just another reason i really enjoy the 1987 topps set

    gca - very cool that you remember the first two cards you ever owned. do you still have them sitting in your collection?

    sg488 - pulled that owens out of a pack of cards when i returned to the hobby

    peter k steinberg - i hear ya. the hrabosky is really the only one that stands out for me. at least you can ask your brother. maybe he remembers

    flywheels - sad that bo diaz passed away at such a young age. i feel like he was the kind of player that was a fan favorite

    the lost collector - the 87t easler is a nice card. speaking of yanks, i love all of the 78t yankees cards. lots of great action shots in that set

    jongudmund - oh yeah... the card that never was. as for the braves question, it looks like they made the switch starting in 1981

  22. I pulled the topic up as an introductory topic not to force someone to pick a "favorite" but as a prompt for "pick a meaningful common and tell us about yourself." Without fail it's become a way for people to tell stories about their beginnings in the hobby and as fans and those are some of the most-fun posts to read.

  23. In the mid 1970s I picked up a 1956 Gil McDougald. It was my first "old card".
    I've loved 1956s since that time.