Since it was Sunday and I got there towards the middle of the afternoon, a lot of dealers were in pack-up mode so I didn't fare as well as I usually do, but then again, I didn't spend as much either! $39 and two purchases latter, I came away with 12 cards: two which will be trade bait, six which you'll see below, and four that can be found over on TMM in just a bit.
Here's what I picked up that's relevant to readers of this blog:
Cal Ripken Jr. 1995 Leaf Slide Show #4A
I don't normally chase inserts, especially 90s inserts, at shows anymore, but a pair of cool Ripkens caught my eye, and I decided it was about time that I added to that PC. These two scans show one of Cal's two '95 Leaf Slideshow inserts, unpeeled, then peeled. I didn't have any qualms about peeling that stupid "protective film" off, especially when I got the result you see above--the scanner really was able to make the colors pop on the slides! This is just a great example of those creative sets we were fortunate enough to be privy to in the 1990s before Topps came and ruined everyone's fun.
Cal Ripken Jr. 1998 Topps Hallbound
Here's another set that takes me back to my younger collecting days. I remember busting a couple boxes of the 1998 flagship set and really enjoying some of the inserts that year. The Hallbound set was no exception thanks to a very cool die-cut design that featured baseball's most revered building in the background--one I'm very familiar with thanks to my four pilgrimages to MLB's version of Mecca. Topps didn't exactly have to go out on a limb to place Ripken in this set, but I give them credit for the text on the back, which states that while his consecutive games played streak by itself would likely be enough, he was also statistically one of the game's great at his position.
Jim Rice 1975 Topps Mini RC
Next we move on to Cal's fellow Hall-of-Famer, Jim Rice. I had already picked up Rice's regular RC from the famed '75 set, where it can be revered along with the rest of my baseball RCs, but up until today I didn't have the Mini. Well, I can scratch that one off my list! This one's a bit off-center, but I nabbed it for a great price and don't tend to care very much about condition on my vintage cards anyway. Also, this is one of my favorite designs: the multi-player RC! That's a winner for my PC all day.
Al Kaline 1969 Topps
And now we transition right into Detroit Tigers vintage mode! My usual vintage guy unfortunately was without his 90% off boxes due to unforeseen circumstances, but I still got some value out of his 30% off box, which still had plenty of gems. One was this '69 Kaline, my seventh vintage pickup of Mr. Tiger, and my fourth of him from that decade alone, as you can see in my baseball vintage PC. I'm trying to make a concerted effort to pick up more of Kaline's regular issues from his career, and I may ultimately make a project out of it, keeping in mind that his RC will be a bit of a doozy. I can certainly appreciate his more recent issues, though, like this one, which features a great posed shot of a slugger with arms that DON'T look like tree trunks.
Chet Lemon 1976 Topps RC
For a buck, my next pickup was a RC of '84 World Series champ Chet Lemon. "Chester," as manager Sparky Anderson would often call him, was an Oakland first-rounder in 1972, but was sent to the White Sox in 1975, in plenty of time to be featured on this awesome multi-player RC while wearing Chicago's shitty red uniform. He then made his way to the Tigers in 1981, and he spent the majority of his career (nine of 16 seasons) in Detroit as a starting OF. One of his best seasons, 1984, coincided with the Tigers' most recent World Series title. Lemon hit .287 with 20 HR and 76 RBI, earning an All-Star nod for his efforts. He also hit .294 with a run knocked in and a pair of steals in the Fall Classic. Chet's tenure in Detroit earned him a well-loved place in team history and he'll always be remembered fondly in the Motor City.
Mark Fidrych 1977 Topps RC
And today we'll close things out with one of the more iconic cards of the 1970s. Mark "The Bird" Fidrych's exploits on the mound during his legendary 1976 season are common knowledge at this point, but his continuing popularity despite only one amazing season his brief career still makes him someone worth mentioning once in a while. His 19-9 record and A.L. leading 2.34 ERA earned him the A.L. Rookie of the Year Award, second place in the Cy Young voting, and a start in the All-Star game in what would be a whirlwind season for the eccentric pitcher, though sadly, his only effective one. Fidrych was the subject of further tragedy later in his life as he died in a farm accident in 2009 at age 54. But THE story of baseball in 1976 lives on in the memories of fans who still laugh at his antics while breathlessly recounting his pitching prowess that year. And it's about damned time I added his RC--especially one in such great shape!--to my collection!
Please check out TMM for a few Michigan-related pickups if that interests you at all.