Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

This is NOT a baseball card: The Hardest Button To Button

If there's one thing I like finding, it's random souvenir items. Cards with sound, figurines, actual game used items (not cards); even a frieze has found its way into my collection. One category of collectibles I don't have much of is buttons. I find that odd, because there have been so many buttons released over the years. Players, teams, stadiums, and events all end up stuck to a piece of metal wrapped around a safety pin. I have a couple team pins that came from fan packs, and a few late-80s player pins in a box somewhere. Wait a minute, I think I have a picture of some of them...
Jose Canseco: 1990 MLBPA Baseball Buttons
Dwight Gooden: most likely also 1990 MLBPA
Kevin Mitchell: stadium giveaway
It's kind of odd how the fonts change between the Canseco and Gooden. Also, there's no MLBPA logo on the Gooden but there is a logo on the Canseco.

I think you've just seen at least half of my collection of player buttons. But back to this one:
Steve Garvey looks pretty happy here. The text at the bottom reads: Sports Photo Assoc., Hawthorne, N.J. (c) 1978. The buttons were sold as late as 1981 (see this post about distribution methods). The above image is my scan, but I had to steal this one:
If you follow the link, you'll understand.

I have a feeling SPA sold their photos to Fleer, and must have been looking to distribute buttons for a few years. What better way to sell off a bunch of buttons than making a package deal with the company that wanted your photos?


  1. For what it's worth, the Gooden pin is from 1986. I've been trying to compile the Sports Photo Assoc. 3" pin checklist for a few years now, and so far I've accounted for (actually seen photos) 162 pins. The highest numbered pin, so far, is #363, of Pete Rose in his last run with the Reds, meaning the set ran from 1978 to 1984 or 1985.

  2. Thanks for the details. You'd think there would be a decent list already with such a "modern" set but then again...