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Thread: The Oddball Discovery Thread

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    Member mrmopar's Avatar
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    The Oddball Discovery Thread

    I'd like to try something and see if it catches on. If you are anything like me, a lot of these trading card sites have gotten extremely stale. New releases and the latest prospects are often dominating the discussions, toss in a scandal or a tragic death now and again, but otherwise it is more of the same. I also realize that everyone had different collecting interests, so the new releases and hot prospects may just be what floats just about everyone's boat, but there are enough members who just don't find anything about that interesting.

    That being said, I personally find the informative posts about cards or memorabilia to be the most interesting. If you have someone who likes to write and share, you can find yourself heavily absorbed into one of those "post a day" types, eagerly awaiting the next installment. Something that drives you to want to log on and check out the site. However, it is also hard to maintain that kind of production over time. We have seen guys doing favorite players, team autographs and a variety of other show and tell threads, but the best ones for me also add a little bit more detail. Why is this player's autograph so significant? How was this card issued and why might it be so hard to find? This item was issued in 7 different color variations and here is what you needed to do to get them all. Stuff like that.

    This has all built up to what I want to try here. I have been a lover of the unique for most of my collecting career. Everyone would buy the standard packs of cards each year, but fewer dug out the 3-D cards from cereal boxes or cut the panels from the bottom of Hostess snacks. How many mailed in for that wrapper redemption? Who went to the local fast food joint religiously to gather up the special issue they were giving out with purchase? How many went to a game just for the stadium Give Away (SGA)? Sometimes those were regionally driven, other times nationally distributed, but in the end, they were not considered mainstream issues. I am hoping that we can generate enough interest in this, as there is no set of rules as to what can be shared. I would only ask that we don't include pack pulled items, unless those packs were special in some way as well, such as a once per year store promotion, for example. At the same time, I want a small back story, not just a picture. Yes, here is a photo of an oddball item. Great, but how did you get it? When was it offered and where? Was it free or did you have to buy it? If you didn't get it originally, do you know the back story or did you just see something cool on ebay and you bought it?

    I will get it started and hope that others share as well and we can create a lasting and informative thread that might even get the elusive sticky!

  2. #2
    Member mrmopar's Avatar
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    After growing quite stale other than new releases each year, card makers started tapping into the retired base to jazz up their issues. It seems 1999 was what I saw to be the turning point, at least based on the post retirement checklist of Steve garvey cards available. Even oddball issues were sparse until 1999-2000, then it exploded!

    By 2003, we were nearing the height of an expansive amount of card issues. Donruss seemed to be leading the pack as any player collector in that era could probably tell you. You might have 100 or more cards of your favorite player to chase down, often many times more than that! This also bled into other issues as well and one such issue is the subject of my initial offering for the Oddball Discovery thread.

    I am known on a few card related sites to be one of a handful of Steve Garvey collectors, possibly the most serious or focused on them all. I don't say this as a challenge, but rather to show that I will add ANYTHING related to Garvey to my collection, as long as it is reasonable. This disclaimer must be added, because i won't pay any asking price and will walk away from bogus deals, even if I need the item. I have also seen a few items that were just a little too fringe, even for me. One that has popped up on ebay (at the same asking price, mind you) for several years now is a hideous painting that barely looks like Garvey and is just wierd too. I won't say too much, but it may not be hard to figure out either if you do a little searching.

    Anyway, back to the subject at hand. In 2003, I learned of the existance of a unique Garvey card, issued by Donruss, but only available via a special offer. The person who alerted me to this card is a rival garvey collector, but one who I have remained friendly with. I might add that this is a feat in itself, as it is hard to be fiercly competitive and still find common ground between collectors. The card in question was available only if you subscribed to the Dodgers team magazine for a period of time, I believe 1 year. I don't remember the exact price, but it was somewhere around $20-30 I believe for the subscription. Normally, I probably would not have purchased the garvey card for anywhere near that price, but in this case the magazine was a draw in itself, as I was and still am a Dodgers fan anyway. I quickly paid for my subscription and shortly thereafer, the prize card arrived. This card has one major negative trait for a majority of card collectors though, it is jumbo sized. The card is roughly 5"x7" and that can be the kiss of death for a collectible just because they are hard to store, take up more space and generally are just not welcomed by most collectors for some reason.

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    Now here is the somewhat strange part that I feel affects a lot of these oddball type collectibles. Due to their often fairly limited means of distribution and/or price tag associated with the issue or because in some cases they were given away freely, they all but seem to disappear from the collectible marketplace. I have noticed this with photos and cards that were offered as free giveaways during planned signing events especially. The people going to these events are either bringing their own items to have stetegically signed or they just don't care all that much, are in the right place at the right time and will keep the item as a keepsake to memorialize the event. In the case of this particular Garvey card, I believe I have only seen 1, maybe 2 copies offered for sale on ebay since I received mine. That is pretty hard to believe, considering it has been 15+ years since issue.

    I know there are not a lot of hardcore Garvey colelctors out there, but this is one card that those that do collect him may have never seen before. Unfortunately, many may not see one offered for a long time, if ever, based on history.
    Last edited by mrmopar; 07-20-2019 at 01:51 PM.

  3. #3
    Member mrmopar's Avatar
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    Going to try to prime the pump once more, so to speak, but my hope was that this thread could become a combined effort. A thread that allows us to share seldom seen items, but also to provide a little education as well. I would love to write a continuing series with daily enteries, but I know from past experience, I will eventually start missing days and once that starts, it is all over! I welcome anyone to share something oddball with a little bit of back story or history as well.

    This combo book/casette tape/bag was purchased on ebay a long time ago, maybe 15+ years back. I recall that it came with another one (Garvey) and maybe even a few other books. I only wanted the Garvey book bag at the time, but am glad I held on to the Reggie book as well. My original intention was to try to sell it to recoup original costs, but this doesn't work too well for me. I am a bit of a natural horder and the general ebay selling experience as I see it doesn't help matters.

    Unfortunately, I don't know a whole lot about this product. I am guessing here, but I suspect that this was probably available through the Scholoastic book programs at various Elementary Schools across the nation. I remember each year when the order forms were passed out and we had the opportunity to buy neat books. That joy is lost on kids these days, who wouldn't find much joy in a book sale now anyways. But for me, back in the late 70s/early 80s, this was the highlight of my year (aside from the day the books we bought actually arrived and we took possession!).

    The book was written by George Vass in 1979 and comes in a plastic carrying bag and also has a cassette tape. I have never tried to play the tape, so not sure if it is the book being read, a summary or something else. The books were short (under 50 pages), so I suspect that it is probably someone reading the book. The bag has "A book Bag" on it and the book was published/distributed by Chuldren's Press in Chicago. Although I was never actively looking for more, I can't say I have ever run into another copy of this combo set in all the years of nearly daily ebay searches for Garvey. I am thinking that copies like this may be hard to come by, although I might find that demand could mirror the supply if I ever tried to sell it.

    I wish I knew more about this wonderful oddball item, such as actually seeing and remembering it from a book order, but sadly I do not.

  4. #4
    Senior Member finestkind's Avatar
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    That book bag is pretty cool. I've never seen anything like it before. I bet most people wouldn't even know what a cassette tape is or even how to use one if the even had a case machine.
    I'm Dave ! Dave's not here man.

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    Senior Member MansGame's Avatar
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    Good idea for a thread. I will look through all my Albert Belle stuff to see what might be the most oddball item or just one-off item that I have. Very cool and can't wait to see what others have to say and share.
    The Albert Belle Collector
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    Accomplished my impossible quest for +90% in October 2016

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    Senior Member nevermore's Avatar
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    Cool idea for a thread. I enjoy picking up exclusive/promo cards for my Yankee team sets, anything from 1977 Burger King to 2019 Topps Utz. I am always trying to discover more.

    One such is from 2012. These cards look just like the base cards but are exclusive to a book released by Topps called "Yankee Greats." This book has reprinted images of 100 'classic' Yankee cards. Topps created similar books for the Star Wars sets from SW, ESB and ROTJ which had the entire set scanned page by page. The book has a dust jacket which has a wax wrapper feel to it, that was a nice touch! (BTW, you can look inside the book on Amazon).



    I discovered this book at Barnes & Noble retailing for $19.95. Wanted it, mostly for the cards, but not at that price. I figured I would keep a search for the card set, but guys were listing these individually for $4-5 which at that point made more sense simply to buy the book. After a while, I forgot about this, and fast forward to 2014, I found the book on Amazon $2.24 with free shipping!

    No-brainer! Was able to add these oddball for next to nothing. These have different images from the regular versions.
    https://www.tradingcarddb.com/Galler...ats-Book-Promo

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    Junior Member caster513's Avatar
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    I appreciate the oddball stuff as well and enjoy adding as much as I can to the Lofton collection. I thought this media guide was pretty cool, I picked it up a couple years back on ebay and have yet to see another. Kenny Lofton played point guard for the University of Arizona from '85-'89. He played backup to star player and coach Steve Kerr from '85-88 and started in '89. The team went to the Final Four in '88 and the Sweet Sixteen in '89.

    Fun Facts:
    -Lofton didn't start playing college baseball until his junior year at Arizona.
    -Lofton is 1 of only 2 players to play in both a Final Four and World Series, the other is Tim Stoddard.


    Last edited by caster513; 07-24-2019 at 05:30 PM.
    Buying Rare Autograph's & Insert's of Kenny Lofton.

    Website (work in progress): https://kennylofton.weebly.com/

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    Junior Member Kid4hof03's Avatar
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    I collected Reggie for years and never saw or heard of the book/tape/bag combo. I've got the book and see it often, but the rest, never. Very cool!

    That Arizona media guide is great, I forgot Lofton played on those Arizona teams.


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    Member Dilferules's Avatar
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    Love the stories and insight in this thread. I'm a team collector, but I organize my wantlist by player, so it's especially annoying when there is one oddball set that it's impossible to find and stops me from crossing the last card off my wantlist for multiple players.

    From this millennium, the most notable sets like this have been A's SGA (I think) team sets produced by Upper Deck between 2006 and 2008. These were sponsored by something different each year: 2006 was Dreyer's Dibs Ice Cream, 2007 was the San Jose Mercury News, and 2008 was Farmer's Insurance. I was lucky enough to find a complete 2007 set, so those are taken care of. I tried for years to track down a complete 2006 set, but ended up giving up and picking up almost all the cards as singles on COMC...still missing 4-5 cards from that one. I'm still trying to track down a 2008 set but that one seems like it might be the toughest; it's not even listed by Beckett.

    One of these real tough sets from the 90's is 1995 A's CHP (California Highway Patrol, for those not old enough to know who Erik Estrada is). Luckily it's only 8 cards, but I've only ever found a grand total of one: Todd Van Poppel. Picked it up ten or fifteen years ago and am happy to have it.



    The last one that sticks out in my head is 1994 A's POGs (sigh), the ones I do have I think I picked up from a board member several years back. I believe some of these were scheduled to be SGA's but the giveaway date was after the strike began, so they can be pretty tough to come by. I'm still missing 13 of them, and they are the only A's "card" I need of EIGHT different players (Mike Aldrete, John Briscoe, Scott Brosius, Scott Hemond, Troy Neel, Edwin Nunez, Carlos Reyes, and Bobby Witt). Truly the bane of my existence.


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    Senior Member Gwynn545's Avatar
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    Not trying to derail this thread, but I did want to add that we’ve started some great threads about this type of stuff before if anyone wants to check it out. Some of my favorite things are the rare, or strange collectible! Give me a bottle of Tony Gwynn Barbeque Sauce over some rare card any day!
    Hope these links work:
    Promos, Samples, Previews, Prototypes, Pre-Productions, Tests for Player Collectors
    Official Error and Variation Discussion Thread
    Player Collector Non-Card Thread: Post Pics & Talk About Unusual Collectibles
    Impossible Oddballs Player Collectors

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    Member mrmopar's Avatar
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    If this thread could become something like one of those you have shown, that would be great. Obviously on a site like this where anyone can start any kind of thread anytime, you get a lot of repetition, a fair amount of garbage and a few gems. I have seen most of those threads and may have even contributed to one or more at some point. Not all represent what I was going for here though. I also realize that when catagories are as basic as "baseball", you can only sticky so many threads so that they are remembered ans easily found. Each of those could be sticky worthy in just a generic baseball forum,

    I was thinking card related mostly when I got the ball rolling, but I posted the book/tape combo too, so I took it away from cards myself. I have actually learned about a few cool cards from someone sharing and actually sought out my own copy. Some I am still looking to find. My intention was more information, less just tossing up a scan or something. Maybe opening up the eyes of a few fellow collectors who never knew something existed and might never stumble upon it themselves due to a narrowed focus. There is so much stuff out there now and even with the amazing reach of ebay, searches can get lost in the massiveness.

    For example, I do know that Lofton is in several of the Arizona basketball sets. That is along the lines of the media guide shown. I once searched for those sets in hopes of landing the Lofton, but gave up after a while. I still don't have any and recently searched, but found no sets available. because it is not a routine search for me, I will forget again soon.

    I still can't seem to figure out why the early 2000s Dodgers police sets and so damn hard to find either and the latest Topps police cards that have come out in the last couple of years seem to be quite tough. Nothing like the late 70s - 80s where police sets must have been printed in the BILLIONS!

  12. #12
    Junior Member Kid4hof03's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of newspaper and magazine related items such as centerfold posters, special issues, etc. There are numerous "cards" that were printed in newspapers over the years, most famously probably being the Dayton News 1970 set and the 1980's Wichita Eagle Beacon Clip and Save set. I know that a lot of collectors look down on these but I really like the idea that most of them were not saved, the ephemera of it all appeals to be.

    A few years ago I was contacted by an advanced Tony Perez collector that he had found a lot of 1977 Burlington Free Press Expos newspaper cards and wanted to see if I was interested in the Gary Carter. I jumped at the change to buy it, actually bought 2 from him, I've seen a couple more over the years but they seem to be few and far between.
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  13. #13
    Member mrmopar's Avatar
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    I was able to grab a few of the dual player pieces myself, but nobody of substantial fame. I also love these types of issues.

  14. #14
    Member mrmopar's Avatar
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    Going to be a little lazy on this one and just post the link to my blog. This one finally got yjr update that I have been meaning to share for a while.

    https://1978theyearitallbegan.blogspo...ns-update.html

    1976 Jerry Jonas Productions. I located the son of Gerard Jonas and asked if his father was still alive, and he passed along my contact info to his dad. I was hoping to interview him, but he has not reached out to me yet. I am hoping he still does though.

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    Member banjar's Avatar
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    Thumbs up on this thread. I love me some oddballs, and especially stories behind them. Here's a couple from my PC, aka "that which consumes most of my disposable income".

    2003 Port St. Lucie News Mets. If you renewed your subscription to this newspaper for a year, you got a set of Mets cards. I had never seen even one card for sale, so I thought next time I visit my cousin who lives nearby in Florida, I would scour LCS's and see if I could dredge one up. But then a set appeared on ebay and even though it was spendy I jumped on it.

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    Probably many of you have heard of the Gummy Arts website, and the neat cards this guy draws. All of his illustration have kind of a sad, neurotic Woody Allen feel to them, but they are also clever and endearing. Last year he drew this one but who knows what became of it. It seems he just sells whatever he draws and that's it - if you don't get it right away it's gone forever. Would love to own this card someday but I'm not holding my breath...

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    This one is the oddest of the odd. I can't find any trace of it on the interwebs, but I do think it's a real baseball card. Albergue Olimpico is a major sports training center in Puerto Rico, and it's been around a long time. Sandy Sr was with the Yankees from 1974-76, and Robbie looks maybe 7 years old in the pic. So it seems around 1975 they decided to print up some promotional cards with the Alomar family, and I was lucky enough to stumble on a copy. If there's an earlier pre-rookie card of any MLB'er I'd love to see it!

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    Now some yogurt lids! This lot has been for sale on and off on ebay for a while now, but always overpriced (at least to me). If it was a 4-card rainbow lot of oddball cards from 1999 I'd have snagged it by now. But just can't get into yogurt lids. Still cool though.

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    Collecting Roberto Alomar. Over 4000 unique cards, but always looking for those I'm missing!

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