30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, February 20, 2021

TWiB: The Real Sam Malone, Coins & Stamps, Another 80's Variation, and my 1st 2021 Card

The news about people being stuck at home, the loss of power, numerous traffic accidents, and the impact of freezing temperatures around the country was heartbreaking.  It honestly put a lot of things into perspective for me.  That's why I thought I'd start things off by stating that I hope all of you are able to stay safe and reasonably warm.

Hopefully some trading cards and blog posts will help distract some of you who were impacted by Mother Nature personally this week.  So let's dive into This Week in Blogging...

#1Let's Celebrate

1991 Stadium Club #1

Figured I'd try to start off with some happy news and wish Dime Box Nick a happy 29th birthday!  He celebrated his special day by ranking his Top 5 Dave Stewart cardsStewart shares the same birthday as him and happens to be one of my favorite 80's pitchers.  If you want to see which cards made his list, click here.

1999 Pokemon Fossil #58
1999 Pokemon Fossil 1st Edition #58
1997 Pokemon Fossil #NNO

This week also marks the 10th anniversary of This Card is Cool, which is a blog that focuses on everything from Japanese baseball cards to Pokemon cardsHappy anniversary Ryan!

By the way... if you're interested in Pokemon cards, please check out Matt's latest post on Cards Over Coffee, which covers the McDonald's Happy Meal cards.

1995-96 Fleer Flair Hardwood Leader #9

Oh and I almost forgot... Billy over at Cardboard History just celebrated 25 years of being an NBA fanCongratulations Billy!  He mentioned that 1995-96 Fleer Series 2 was the first pack of basketball cards he opened, so I dug into my binders and this was the first card from that set I found.  Although... technically these Hardcourt Leaders inserts were in the Series 1 packs.

#2Factory Team Sets

On Monday, The Shlabotnik Report featured a great post breaking down the 2012 Topps New York Mets factory team set, which offered player photo variations and unique numbering.

2017 Topps Yankees Factory Team Set #NYY-16

I've purchased a few of these Topps factory teams sets over the years, because I enjoy the rookie card variations that are sometimes offered.

#3The Real Sam Malone

1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated Autograph Collection #NNO

On Monday, Matt over at Cards Over Coffee showed off the Ted Danson signed photo he recently acquired in a trade.  He talks about a few of the television shows and movies that Danson has appeared in over the years.  The one that stood out to me was Cheers, because it was one of those 80's television shows that I'd watch with my mom as a kid.

Sam Malone (Danson's character on Cheers) was inspired by a real MLB pitcher from the 60's and 70'sSam McDowell.  According to this article, McDowell struggled with alcoholism... but later turned things around and became a substance abuse counselor for a few MLB teams.

By the way... anyone else notice the error on the back of the McDowell card?  He never played for the Cincinnati Reds.  That being said... I've confused those old Cleveland hats with Cincinnati hats more than a few times myself.

#4Two Hobbies Unite

2003 Topps Gallery Currency Connection #CC-WM

In celebration of President's Day, Collecting Cutch showed off some fantastic coin cards on his blog.  I've always been fond of these collectibles that combine two popular hobbies into one.

2010 Panini Century Collection Souvenir Stamps #45

The same thing can be said for stamp cards.

#5The Big Hurt in Oakland

Peter K. Steinberg featured a sunset card of Frank Thomas over on Baseball Every Night earlier in the week.  I'm a huge fan of the guy and love it when I see him wearing Green & Gold.  Figured I'd share one of my cards as well:

2006 Flair Showcase Stitches #SS-FT

I'm always looking for an excuse to show off one of my Frank Thomas A's cards.

#6Check the Back

1987 Sportflics #31

If you own some 1987 Sportflics, you might want to flip them over and check out the copyright date.  If it says 1986, then you have a factory set version, while the ones with 1987 were pulled from packs.  Looks like the Gwynn sitting in my binder came from a pack:

By the way... I learned this little variation tidbit earlier in the week over at Kerry's blogCards on Cards.  

#7My 1st 2021 Gwynn

A lot of bloggers have written their 2021 Topps flagship reviews and check out my blaster posts.  I personally haven't seen or looked for any blasters myself, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I get my hands on some singles.

2021 Topps Blake Jamieson 1951 Topps #20

In the meantime, a post over on Wrigley Wax reminded me that I actually own a few 2021 Topps trading cards.  It's from the Blake Jamieson 1951 Topps online set that was released a few weeks ago.  I picked up the Week 2 box, because it included a bunch of players I collect including the Gwynn you see above.

#8Other Sports

As much as I enjoy collecting baseball cards, I actually enjoy reading non-baseball card related blog posts almost as much.

1996 SPx Tribute Autograph #T1

Paul over at Card Boarded  (a hockey card blog) announced earlier in the week that he's going to start collecting Jeff Gordon cards.

And Billy over at Cardboard History wrote a nice post about Jarome Iginla in honor of Black History Month.  He mentioned Iginla's interest in diabetes even though he doesn't suffer from it.

1994-95 SP #181

Anyways... seeing his name reminded me of the days of busting packs of 1994-95 SP searching for Sergei Samsonov rookie cards.  These packs also contained one of Iginla's rookie cards too.

#9Movie Mania

If you're into watching movies... then you should check out Elliptical Man's new blog seriesFilm Friday.  It's a series where he'll be giving his readers 100 movie recommendations.

Yesterday was the first post in the series and the topic was Books & Plays.

1991 Starline Hollywood Walk of Fame #143

It wasn't featured in his post, but the first movie that popped into my head was To Kill a Mockingbird which features Gregory Peck.

By the way, this week I opened up two boxes of 1991 Starline Hollywood Walk of Fame and combined with a stack of singles I purchased at the flea market... I was almost able to produce two starter sets.  I know this is a long shot, but if anyone has any singles from this product laying around here are the 35 cards I still need.  I have a ton of duplicates available for trade.  Collation was terrible.

That wraps up another This Week in Blogging post.  As much as I enjoy and appreciate the number of views each of these posts receive, I'm thinking about scaling them down.  Between the research, writing, and digging up cards from my collection... these posts end up taking up a large portion of my Saturdays.  And in this day and age... rest and relaxation is something my mind and body needs for mental health purposes.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!


  1. Dime Box Nick did that great series on Zero-Year cards, but this McDowell is a Zero-DAY card! He didn't just never play for the team, he was never even signed to it. I wonder how many cards like THAT there are? It is indeed strange that for a time the two Ohio teams were basically using the same cap logo. Still, someone at Fleer should have caught that. As I mentioned over at Nachos' the other day (on a post about the cards you sent him, no less), McDowell now serves on the board of the Baseball Assistance Team.

    To Kill A Mockingbird is a great movie. I wanted to see Aaron Sorkin's Broadway version of the book, but the pandemic kind of put the kibosh on that, at least for now.

  2. I didn't even know Sam Malone was based on a real person.

    We talk about the 'roid guys. But what about the non-juicers who played in that era? Should guys like Thomas and Griffey Jr. be considered more impressive than if they put up their numbers in a normal era?

    Gordon was cool because he was an outsider.

    Thanks for the plug.

  3. I'll check if I have the '86 Copyright Gwynn for you. Anyone else I should check for? These came from the factory set I won from Cracked Bat which I broke up.

  4. I look forward to these posts every week. I like how it's put together and it also helps me locate some new blogs to read

  5. Didn’t know that the Sam Malone character was based on Sudden Sam! I did notice the wrong Reds logo. That should have been caught in QC, but I too often confuse those old wishbone ‘C’s.

  6. Congrats on getting your first 2021 Gwynn! That's nice. And thank you for mentioning my Thomas blog post. Your Thomas card is pretty sweet. Thanks for letting us know---via Cards on Cards---about the Sportflics variations. I have to go check out my cards now!

  7. I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever get included in one of these, and now twice in one! Not being a baseball guy I figured I didn't have much chance.

  8. Oh I love seeing that Hardwood Leaders card! Great set!

  9. Great rundown Fuji! I certainly read and enjoy this breakdown each week, however I can also appreciate how much work it must be to compile these. I've scaled back the frequency of my own blogging lately for much the same reason. I'll always read your content however frequently you decide is right!

  10. brett alan - it was nice to hear that mcdowell was able to turn his life around and end up helping others. and i did read your comment on nachos blog. good to hear b.a.t. is still around. to kill a mockingbird was one of my favorite high school reads

    elliptical man - i discovered that piece on sam malone in a baseball digest article... or maybe it was a tuff stuff magazine.

    unknown - had to look up the meaning behind his nickname

    bo - wow. thanks for checking. i think the only other main pc guy from the mid 80's would be rickey.

    matt - thanks. appreciate you taking the time to read these posts

    cincicuse bill - i've made that mistake a few times over the years, so i won't harass fleer too much ;D

    peter k steinberg - seems like i learn about new variations all the time. nachos grande had a good post on 1988 topps stickers and their variations earlier in the week. but i forgot to include it in this post

    billy kingsley - i actually enjoy non-baseball card related posts a lot. but yeah... can't speak for anyone else.

    the lost collector - it's a great design. would be a fun and reasonable set build. i'm pretty sure jordan is the only expensive card.

    shoeboxlegends - thanks for the support. i'm kind of at a crossroads with the blog. not exactly sure which direction i'm going, but i'm gonna guess that cutbacks are coming.

  11. It definitely was a diverse week in blogging, no doubt. Definitely some neat sets you've highlighted this week from around the blogiverse. This is a cool series you are doing!

  12. The three Sportflics cards in my '87 binder are from the factory set. That actually makes me a little sad. I don't like the idea of a set being broken up. Same with the early gold-hologram UD cards.

  13. Those Fleer Sports Illustrated cards are great. I guess I'm a big Ted Danson fan. I saw all of "Cheers" in it's original run. I liked "Becker". "The Good Place" was mostly great. He was always good. His new show "Mayor" is very funny. Oh, he was in "Curb ..." too. Like his wife Mary Steenburgen as well. She's currently in the fanstastic "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist".

  14. Those Topps Team Sets are great. I especially like the sets that have cards depicting the stadium or the mascots that you just won't find in the flagship release.

  15. sumomenkoman - it's fun featuring everyone's blogs, but i'm going to tweak things a little starting this weekend.

    adam kaningher - if i ever stumbled across one of those gold hologram ud sets... now way would i ever break it up

    hackenbush - i'm a huge curb your enthusiasm fan. but other than cheers, i haven't seen any of the other shows you mentioned. Last show I watched with steenburgen was last man on earth.

    reds card collector - yeah... the best part of those team sets are when you get exclusive cards