I didn't scan all the Braun cards that I added -- I'm now at 513 Ryan Braun cards/items. Braun has ascended rapidly up the numbers chart and is now my second largest collection behind Yount, and I think rightfully so. Even if the team were able to trade him at this point, his mark on the franchise is indelible at this point -- especially considering he's now #1 in franchise history for home runs with the team.
Still, if he were traded, I would not collect his non-Brewer cards. I guess it's the Brewers fan part of me. Really, I cringe when I add cards of Paul Molitor as a Blue Jay or a Twin to my Molitor collection. He should never have been allowed to leave Milwaukee -- Selig should have ponied up -- but, at the same time, perhaps in that counterfactual world he decides to quit playing 3 or 4 years and 500-800 hits earlier, thereby making his Hall of Fame candidacy less of a no-brainer. Who knows?
On the other hand, because I didn't grow up thinking of Eddie Mathews as one of "my" favorites, I'm more easily able to move my own biases aside and say, "hey, that card of Mathews with Detroit is pretty cool!"
Speaking of pretty cool, in the time that I have been back in the hobby -- just over 18 months now -- I have started a Mathews collection. Thanks to recent COMC purchases -- they're coming below -- I'm now up to 163 Eddie Mathews cards/items after starting with about 1 or 2 when I got back into collecting.
I promised an oddball wonderland, so here goes:
Not an oddball, but Mathews as the Atlanta Braves manager when former teammate Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run was pretty cool. Mathews angered some folks when he sat Hank one game in 1975 in Cincinnati to try to let Hank hit 715 in Atlanta. In fact, Mathews wanted to sit him for two games. Hank took an O-fer in the game he played, then teed off on Al Downing in Atlanta.
A 1980 SSPC Baseball Immortals card is next. I had it already but called it an SSPC HOF card on my list thanks to Trading Card Database. Oops. Guess the other one can go into the Milwaukee Braves team collection.
Another SSPC card. This one is from 1985, has no numbering, and has two sides that are perforated. Anyone have the story behind that?
A 1984 Sports Design Products "The Doug West Set Box Set" card is next. At least that is how COMC described this card. A quick Google search shows that Doug West did the artwork for this set, and that Sports Design Products was owned by a Mr. Charlie Mandel -- who may still be alive at the age of 98 in Miami. Or, perhaps he's not.
A tip of the hat to Wrigley Wax for providing the best back story for this 1986 Sports Design Products J.D. McCarthy set. McCarthy was a Detroit-area photographer who supplied the photos for the set.
More TCMA. I wish I'd paid closer attention to TCMA in the 1980s. I would have loved those cards. This one is from the 1987 set called TCMA Baseball's Greatest Teams 1957 Braves.
If it's an indistinguishable blob with a lenticular coating, then it must be Sportflics -- the 1986 "Decade Greats" card of Mathews, to be exact. You can see an "A" on his hat.
Let's close tonight's festivities with this Renata Galasso from 1984. As a kid, my mom ordered my sets each year from 1983 through 1988 from Renata Galasso. She did this because, frankly, Galasso had the best prices even with shipping costs of anyone.
I miss the days when dealers would issue sets on their own and no one would sue them and people would buy them. Those were great days.
Thanks for stopping by.