Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 Sportlots purchases: hey, Abbott!

I'm doing my best to take advantage of the holiday break off from work to get some card stuff done, and yes, that does include doing up at least a few posts!

Before I get to today's content I also wanted to make sure to give a shout out to Kin of I Feel Like a Collector Again for the PWE he sent me recently, the contents of which are posted on TMM this afternoon.  I'm not sure how many of you who read/follow this here blog venture over there as well so I'm at least giving you a heads up to credit Kin for his Christmastime generosity.

And now, the subject of tonight's post:  Jim Abbott.
Jim Abbott.

I had plenty of luck piling up some cards of Abbott as I was filling out my Sportlots cart, and that's no surprise since his career spanned part of the junk wax era into the 90s (remember when we still had choices of brands?), plus he was enough of a fan favorite to appear in some recent products too.

In the following scans you'll see a nice mix of base from the 80s to today, a few inserts, and plenty of oddball too!  Essentially if a seller with something in my cart had anything of Abbott for around $0.25 or under, in it went.

I hope you all enjoy this look at the history of Jim's cardboard!
This first scan starts way back in '88 when I was just five, and opens with Jim's Topps Traded base highlighting his Team USA membership.  I think that's been talked about a decent amount here (and elsewhere), but as a reminder he helped lead the US to the 1988 Olympic gold medal with baseball as a demonstration sport that year.

There's also plenty of boxed set/oddball-type stuff from Classic, Donruss, Score, and Topps, an early-ish Fleer insert, and an example from the previous incarnation of Sportflix (Sportflics in this case, and not "Sportsflics" as you see so often).  Dead center is Jim's 1990 Collect-a-Book, and I'll show that in more detail at the end of the post.
This next group is mostly mainstream stuff with base and inserts from '91 Stadium Club, and 1992 Bowman, Leaf, O-Pee-Chee Premier, and Pinnacle (a solid early insert effort), though it does include oddball stuff from Toys 'r Us/Topps and a Jimmy Dean food issue along with another boxed set item from Score.
We remain almost entirely in 1992 with this bunch, beginning with a Score boxed set card and an insert (and a very nice, if simple, one) from the same brand.  Studio's sophomore version follows, then a pair of the superfluous Topps Gold parallel along with the more interesting Gold Winner version.  An oddball-ish Topps Kids card and McDonald's/Topps pairing close out the year while another Classic Game card begins '93.
Now we stay in '93, the year I hit double-digits and Abbott started appearing on cards as a Yankee.  Again there's mostly mainstream stuff here with the exception being that second card from Duracell.  Jim's first Angels tenure ends with cards from Donruss, OPC Premier, and Topps Gold, then his New York career starts with Select, SP, Stadium Club, the Yankees Stadium Club team set, and Triple Play's Gallery of Stars, which was essentially Diamond Kings 2.0.  The trio in the middle is a nice look at how the quality of cards continued moving in the right direction.
Here we finish up with '93 and Jim's UD base plus a couple from the kid-oriented Fun Packs.  The start of 1994 includes Bowman, Collector's Choice, Donruss (Special Edition), Finest, Flair, and Leaf Limited.  I feel like Finest took a step back in its sophomore season before making a small improvement the following year and finally getting back on track in '96 (other than the protectors, which I could do without).  There's some nice pitching action shots here, and even a bonus background shot of Abbott hitting, a relative rarity before interleague play.
1994 continues with OPC, Pacific (and its old, terrible logo), a Score Gold Rush parallel, Sportflics, Stadium Club Team, and another food issue:  Tombstone Pizza.
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That never gets old.  Meanwhile, 1995 opens with the second offering of Collector's Choice, that brand's probably unnecessary Special Edition (Silver Signature), and the slightly improved third year of Finest (boo protectors!).  The Collector's Choice SE card does have a great example of Pitching Face, though.
Now we get into the meat of '95, when Jim signed as a free agent with the White Sox.  That year's weird Fleer design along with Pacific's Crown Collection and Upper Deck Series I (and its Electric Diamond parallel) featured Abbott with his old team while Leaf (still one of my favorite designs of theirs), SP, Stadium Club Series II (Super Team World Series), UD Series II, and UD Special Edition depicted him with his new team.  One cool thing I noticed about this group:  no borders!
Jim returned to the Angels in a midsummer deal in '95, and all three '96 cards above--Emotion-XL, SP, and Summit (Foil parallel) capture that.  That SP design remains one of my favorites from the product's whole run.

The '99 Upper Deck Victory base in the second row hails from his final season, before which he'd signed with the Brewers.  Then we get a nice bunch of retrospective cards:  2002 Topps American Pie, 2004 UD Yankees Classics, 2005 Donruss Greats and Topps Rookie Cup, and 2013 USA Baseball Champions Highlights.  We're not quite done with his post-career cards, though.
Despite the stupidity of the Toppsopoly, at least they've thought to include him in various recent products.  The final three regular-sized vertical cards hail from 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen's No Hitters insert, 2014 Topps' Upper Class (with a great photo of a very young Jim in the old-school uni), and 2015 Topps Update's Pride and Perseverance, an actual good idea from Topps!

Then we're off to the beginning of the horizontal stuff.  Upper Deck celebrated a nice little milestone with its Fifth Anniversary insert that spruced up some of its cooler issues from the original '89 version, such as this multi-exposure that was Abbott's RC in that iconic set.  Sticking with UD but moving up a year, we have a 100% hologram card from that year's Denny's set (note that they weren't always completely holograms).  Also from '94 is a Fleer Golden Moments insert (one they'd use again, fortunately) that includes Abbott and two other pitchers:  Chris Bosio and the late Darryl Kile.  All three tossed no-hitters the previous year, though Kile's was not of the shutout variety as he allowed an unearned run on a wild pitch.
This scan finishes up the horizontal stuff, beginning with 1994 Stadium Club (the label-maker set!) and Upper Deck Electric Diamond.  1995 is represented by the pair of Flair and Studio (and its credit card design).  Three more cards for the following year:  Pinnacle's high-end (at the time) Aficionado--the set that taught us a new word for "fan"--Stadium Club, and its Silver parallel.  And finally, from 20 years later we have another example of Stadium Club, and a very nice one at that.
Last up is the stuff that came in weird sizes.  That includes Panini Stickers from 1990 and '92 (I should check to see if I have these in my albums), a 2010 TRISTAR Obak Mini, and tiny Topps Micro cards from 1991, 1992 (two of them) and '93.

And finally, here are the scans from the Collect-a-Book for those of you who were curious:
Back and front
Inside #1
Inside #2
Inside #3

I hope you all had fun poring over a crazy 92 cards of Abbott for his PC, giving me an excellent new total of 247!

I don't know who'll be up next, but stay tuned.


  1. Nice collection of Abbotts! I especially like the 1990 Fleer Soaring Stars insert. Such a great looking card.