23. An oddball from the 50's.
This Exhibit card is one of two I have in my vintage player collections. I got this Keller at a National and that's the first time I had seen these oversize beauties. They seem fairly easy to find in general, but there are much bigger names that I'm sure command quite a bit more effort. Exhibits were produced over several years and have a great range of players. Keller was part of the group of cards I got for my work's former budget director who is Charlie's nephew. I got two of these and several other Keller cards at that convention, mostly in pairs so I could start my own batch. These are simple, but just great.
24. An oddball from the 60's.
Player collection strikes again with this cool regional Pirate issue. That's the fun part about player collections - the oddballs. These are big enough that they take four pocket sheets to store, but aren't tall enough to fill the whole slot. Nice 60's font for the sponsor, and large color photo. I added this scan to the TCDB on the fly too.
25. An oddball from the 70's.
Almost went with a Topps '71 Greatest Moments until I saw these in my vintage oddball binder. These are very thin, and must have been hand cut from something, as Tiant is significantly slimmer than the other five I have. Love the colors, the double MLB sponsorship (hence the team logos), and the drawings. The odd part is that the backs have blurbs about antique cars and sailing ships instead of baseball info. They are titled the "Pee-Wee Pocket Library" as you can see by the logo in the lower right. Put scans of all I had on TCDB too. I still need the Fisk.
26. An oddball from the 80's.
27. An oddball from the 90's or beyond.
I painstakingly waded through the TCDB and picked out all the minor league coaching cards they had listed for all my player collection guys. And of course, I keep finding out about more. Almost nobody has minor league singles for sale or trade, but I hold out hope. This is one I managed to find either on COMC or Sportlots or something, or it could have been Clio... Anyway, it's really cool to see your favorite players in coaching positions, sometimes for completely different teams than they played for.
28. A favorite relic or manu-relic.
Got this from a box of 2006 Artifacts along with a few other nice pieces when I bought a lot of boxes from an online dealer a while back. Since we're not talking autographs in this challenge (???), this is probably my best pull. I showed the back to illustrate how the text should be done. Recent legal issues with fraud and questionable sources have contributed to the rampant vagueness of relic disclaimers these days. Tell us who wore it, and whether it was in a real MLB game or not. That's all. Put an extra line if you have to that you may or may not be able to legally prove the previous statement, but you believe in good faith that it is true.
29. A favorite card from before 1950 that you don't necessarily own.
My white whale. 'Nuff said.
30. Your all-time favorite card in your collection.
Wow, this is the toughest one.
Is it the most valuable card I have? Don't think so. But Koufax's rookie IS nice.
Is it the shiniest, lowest-serial-numbered super rookie prospect MOJO HITZ hype card? No, 'cuz none of that appeals to me.
Is it the oldest card I have? My 1909 Giants team are some of the coolest, but they are only cool as far as old school vintage. What about fancy printing technology, or my hometown teams, or 70's oddballs, or 1990's variations? All that is just as appealing, without a lot of the prestige.
So is it the 1991 Topps Mark Whiten with his hand outside the border? No. 1990's, even if really rare, could never beat vintage or really any other era. They're from the 1990's.
So what is it? My entire player collections? The entire collection? The next card I don't have yet? Vintage cards with that fabulous musty smell? Almost. (I do love that.)
Maybe it's my 2008 Topps Heritage Red Ink auto of Bill Mazeroski. It's my favorite vintage design, plus a star player who's not really a hyped superstar (I like a lot of guys like that), and it's a rare pull that I don't often get.
That's got a few good things going for it, but it's not one of my favorite players or teams, and rare autos are way down on the list of priorities in my collecting. A nice bonus, but not something I get the most enjoyment from.
I guess I really don't have an absolute favorite. My collection is too vast and too varied to hone in on one single card that stands above all others. You guys that collect just one team or one (or only a few) players probably have no problem picking a favorite...
But if I was to pick a card that exemplifies what I like best about the hobby, it's gotta be my 1973 Topps Brooks Robinson. Not ANY '73 Brooks, but just the one I have.
It's a favorite team, and one of their legendary players. It's vintage. It's a cool action shot that looks like what I think of when someone says Brooks Robinson. And it's autographed to me personally. Brooks signed it and an 8 x 10 photo for me at a Crown gas station in my home town. I hadn't been collecting for very long, and it was before autos and jerseys were even imagined by card companies. Brooks was, and still is, just a really nice human being.
That's what the most important thing about this hobby is - the connections we make. The searching, finding, obtaining, cataloging, storing, admiring, and completing are all fun, but the trading, buying and selling, and discussing cards with other people, plus meeting the players depicted is the time to be valued most. That personal value of a card is what drives the hobby. It's not the dollar value, it's that it reminds you of a time with your Dad, or your friends, or witnessing a great ball game at the stadium, or home on TV. That real-life experience of family, friends, and heroes is the actual benefit of hoarding these little cardboard slices. They are merely colored and pressed paper, but what they can represent to an individual is a wide range of memories, feelings, and happiness. And there's no such thing as too much of that!