Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Orioles Magic via eBay

I've purchased a few cards in the past week or two. I really need to stop, since my hard earned money should be going into savings, to pay for our wedding/potential home down payment, but I just can't seem to. It's not like I'm dropping $100/per card or anything, but eventually, all the little stuff that adds up.

That's not to say I don't absolutely love every card I acquired last week, because I surely do. Just look at them (not yet!), how could you NOT love these cards?!?

We'll start off with 2 vintage Topps cards. These were sold together, and even though I'm not entirely sure why, it doesn't get much better than 2 cards of Hall of Famers for less than $8 delivered.

1969 Topps Brooks Robinson

1969 Topps Al Kaline

Pretty sweet, huh? I might be biased, but it seems like every Topps design from the 50's & 60's is awesome. This design isn't drastically different from the 1968 design, with the colored circle prominently featured yet again. I happen to like this better than the '68 design, with it's dingy burlap background. I wonder if people accused Topps of "mailing it in" in the summer of '69?

When I opened the bubble mailer, after inspecting the front of each card, I flipped them both over to have a look at their backsides. This is what I found:

Hmmm... they don't match! A quick google search proved to be fruitless, but I've got a feeling that this is standard operating procedure for 1969 Topps, and I KNOW someone out there knows for sure, and will leave a comment telling me not to fret over it. I already asked Night Owl, who seems to know a lot about vintage cards, but he was just as clueless.

Next up is an oddball steal of a deal. Can you believe I was able to add a second Brooks Robinson certified autograph card to my collection for $2.22? I've never seen one of these before, and they were apparently only available through a mail in redemption program. Enough of my vagueness, here it is:

1996 Big League Chew Brooks Robinson autograph
How cool is this card? Can you believe this is from 1996? I would have guessed it was released at least 10 years earlier. It's not the best of designs, and the lack of logos definitely makes it look cheap-ish, but that scribble of blue sharpie makes these facts insignificant. As a 12-year old first baseman, a pouch of grape flavored Big League Chew could almost always be found in the back left pocket of my uniform pants. This fact seems insignificant on the surface, but really does add a nice bit of nostalgia, and deepens my connection to this card.

I mentioned earlier that this was indeed a certified autograph. It is, but just barely. I could reproduce this COA in about 20 mins with Photoshop.

That concludes the vintage portion of this post, and it's time to move on to some present day Orioles (as painful as that may be). The next card you will be seeing is one of the few from Goodwin Champions that I had to have. Hard-signed Nick Markakis autographs are fairly few & far between. Ironically enough, 2 of the most recent ones were released by Upper Deck (Goudey & Goodwin), who likes to use sticker autos even in "high-end" products (Exquisite, Black, Premier, etc.). When I saw Markakis was included on the Goodwin auto checklist, I knew this would be the card I'd be chasing after. Finally, after a month or so of watching them sell for more than I was willing to pay, I managed to score one for a decent price.

2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Nick Markakis autograph
Reading over that last paragraph, it hardly seems fair that I singled out Upper Deck for using sticker autographs. Topps is equally as guilty. If any company reps happen upon this humble little blog, please take note. Sticker autographs suck, and they should not be used, under any circumstances, on a product that carries a price tag of $60 or higher per box. It's ridiculous that we've tolerated it for this long. Please cease and desist immediately.

Well that was fun. There's one more card left to be featured, and it's just as cool as the rest. I wasn't really saving it for last, as that was determined by Blogger's upload tool. As my Markakis collection grows, the need to have it showcased, or at least listed out somewhere is becoming imperative. I think next week is the week I officially go Zistle on the Markakii.

Here it is, the last card in this post.

2007 Topps Allen & Ginter's Nick Markakis no number mini
These seem a lot more special with the hand numbering they added to this year's release. That's ok though, you and I both know this card is only limited to 50 copies.


  1. OK, now that I've seen the back of the Robinson '69 card, I know what you're talking about, and it's what I thought it was.

    For players with long careers by 1969, they didn't have room for a cartoon and the format that was used for all other cards, so they went with what you see on the Kaline card. It's like that for any player with a long career.

  2. I'm sure night owl is on top of it, but something seems wrong. I just went through all of the 1969 scans that are on Zistle and only found 11 players with the "Kaline" back. All of those players have rookie years from 1954 and earlier--except one. Ken Boyer of the Dodgers (#379) was a rookie in 1955. That opens a can of worms, because so was our friend Brooks up above. Same with Roberto Clemente, and neither of them have the special back. I'm going through the list now to see if I can find a common thread.

  3. Ebay is the devil, isn't it? Great scores!

  4. But Ken Boyer had two lines of stats for both 1967 and 1968 because he played for two different teams each year (Mets and White Sox in '67 and White Sox and Dodgers in '68). So that lengthened the stat box, causing them to go without the cartoon even though Boyer's career started in 1955, like Robinson.

    I don't have the Clemente card (traded it away like a fool when I was in high school), so I don't know why he doesn't have the cartoon back -- unless they included minor league stats or something.

  5. Oh, good call. The Boyer scan was really small so I couldn't see the two '67 stats! That all makes perfect sense then, Clemente DOES have the cartoon (like Brooks Robinson), so he fits the mold too.

  6. Thanks guys, I knew you'd come through with an answer.