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

Want Lists are located here. NPB Baseball Want List is located here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Idiosyncratic Routine: Clyde's Stale Cards

I've been writing This Card Is Cool for over four years now. Still just a toddler, but like a child growing up, things have changed.

As a beginning blogger, I was a big part of group breaks and I did a lot of trading. My card purchasing habits were different then too - I bought plenty of packs at the local big box stores and card shops and hit up as many card shows as I could. I had a lot of trade bait, though rarely did I have anything great.

This involvement with mainstream products brought me mainstream followers and friends. And many of you still follow me today, which I really appreciate, given the offbeat subject matter that usually makes up my posts. My circle was full of player, team, and set collectors.

As the blog reached its first anniversary, I moved across the Pacific and while I didn't abandon cards I actually didn't really write much. I was back to being a solo collector, save a few meetups with Kenny (Zippy Zappy). My exposure to a whole other league of baseball cards has changed my purchasing habits, too, focusing mostly on Japanese singles.

Of course, I returned to blogging, though I'm still not mentally able to post every day like I want to (teaching itty bitties - preschoolers - is draining but fun). I still don't get much trade bait - cards here just cost a lot more to begin with.

And as my collecting focus has shifted from mainstream to cards most people probably haven't even heard of, so has my "circle" of traders. Yes, some of you still bear with me as I try to find good cards for people who have no interest in NPB. But now the people I correspond with most are those who follow this oft-ignored side of the hobby.

As far as I know, the ultimate expert when it comes to inglorious cardboard is Jason of Clyde's Stale Cards. The guy has an amazing collection of, well, everything. And he's been really kind to me in trades, including the assemblage of cardboard below!
 The first thing to be scanned is this group of four cards from a 2012 release of a small European professional team - Diving Ducks. You can see the front and back above.
 Packs have five cards each but I can only fit three across. You can read more about this set in Jason's post. There's no way on earth I'd probably ever find these cards on my own!
 Let's get into the rest of the package, shall we?
 The card in the middle is actually a little sticker, and the Griffey Jr. is from a Barry Colla set.
These might be the most mainstream cards in the group. The McDonald is a rack pack insert from 1991 (how did I not have one of those already?) and the Jean is your run of the mill insert. What's so special about the Swift card? It's an Update card! Again, how do I miss these things in my type collection?
 Yankees Wiz! Heh. That's fun to say.
 Jason has a lot of minor league stuff. This package had a bunch of Classic singles. Really, Minor League cards are where my type collection is really seriously lacking - I have something like 6% of all minor league team sets represented, and I'd guess that Jason is responsible for at least half of those cards,
 Hmm. Make a puzzle, win a group of eight autographs. Why aren't there competitions like this in packs today?
 Dave Winfield playing basketball. That's pretty cool.
 I got mini-Bipped? Mother's cards are another subgroup that is surprising hard to build, probably due to their local issuance usually as (nearly) complete sets.
 Team playing cards - I've shown Aces playing cards before but only recently have I learned that there are several of these sets.
 Odd. Ball. 'Nuff said.
 I don't remember exactly now, but I think this was a sticker. As was the Phillies "card".
 A more-recent Mother's Cookies issue. As I recall, Mother's Cookies didn't really taste that great. Nothing like my mother's cookies, that's for sure. I prefer larger, softer cookies.
It's time to cue up your favorite song about circles, discs, or other round things. How about Belinda Carlisle's Circle in the Sand. Remember that song?
 The pink disc here and the Kitty Clover disc above have the same photo. All of these discs were food inserts in different products.
 MSA was the leader in disc "cards" but eventually teamed up with Score for this one.
 After living in Japan for four years, I don't think I've come across one of these cards. Calbee has issued a few "Fan Service Card" sets for the Giants and Carp. I haven't been exactly vigilant in locating any but I don't come across them.
 Here's another ABL card for my type collection, after NPB Card Guy loaded me up with a bunch of full sets.
 Some more stickers... unlicensed by MLB Properties, so you get that wonderful airbrushed blank cap look. Remember when blank ball caps were cool? And everyone wore them? No, neither do I.
 I do see plenty of older Japanese guys wearing trucker hats with random stuff on them though, and then there's the proliferation of hip hop culture with younger folks.
 So remember how I mentioned that many of my minor league singles came from Jason?
 Yup. Here we go.
 And yes, that is an Israel Baseball League card. I guess that's a minor league. How cool would it be to have a jersey or hat from that league?
 That Yankees card at the end looks lonely.
 More oddballs...
 Peel Here. Fuji recently had a discussion about the Leaf Candy City Team set - I have had the full set for a couple years now but didn't have a single in my type collection.
 I believe all these cards are TCMA. It's been a while since I entered them in inventory and I can't see the backs. And if I'm remembering right, they usually focus on a certain year for that team.
 And again I say, a company needs to come around like TCMA to make sets like these which review the history of America's Pastime.
 There are some great thematic sets out there already, but they could be revisited. And there are other options still available!
 See what I mean? 1969 Mets.
 Did you know that Steve Ellsworth didn't appear in the 1988 Donruss set? He did appear in the Rookies set, but this has a Red Sox logo, not the special Rookies logo Donruss used on that set. This card is from the Red Sox Team Book. Five team books were issued that year, and the cards were attached to the book - this card must have been carefully cut.
 Cue that "Magic" song. You know the one:
Two Wizards of Waverly Place references in one week. I'm good.
 Now it's time for the old dude. Charlie Hough is one of only a few players I collect 100%, meaning I'd like to have one of every card ever issued for him. I've got a ton of them already, thanks to Sportlots, COMC, Just Commons, and now Jason.
 Why Charlie? Well, if you didn't read that post but are reading this, watching an old guy toss balls up to the plate in the Marlins 1993 opening game was somehow inspiring.
 Oh yeah, there were Taiwanese cards too. So... much... awesomeness...
 I forgot what that Richie Allen card was. But doesn't it remind you of a certain Topps set?
 I think Jose Canseco played on that 1985 Huntsville Stars team.
 Samuel August in the month of August. And I love Japanese curry. But I know nothing about Steve Curry.
 Buddy Groom reminds me that I need to get a haircut. Yes, that's all I can think about saying with all these minor league cards.
 Jose Cano is just happy to be here.
 I got nothing. Guys standing in fields. Wearing uninspired jerseys.
 It never rains, but what it pours. Choose your favorite pun:

  1. Mike Dyer? I've never even met 'er!
  2. Of course you haven't had the pleasure of the Scott service.
  3. I am Gary Borg. You will be assimilated.

 Enlarge that Tom O'Malley card. Take a look at that giant ad on the right side. Yup.
 Speek now or forever hold your peace.
There were a lot of minor league cards in this lot! There were a lot of cards, period! This was a lot of fun to sort through and figure out while I was inventorying! It's like going to a really awesome card show and sifting through a really awesome dime box! Thanks a ton, again, Jason, for all you've provided for me!

Jason writes Clyde's Stale Cards, a blog about oddballs and international issues. He always manages to come across something I've never even heard of, and quite often I find myself saying "me want! me want!".


  1. Jose Cano is Robinson's father, who pitched to Robbie in the HR Derby a few yeas back. He didn't do much in the US, but had an all-star career in the CPBL. It almost seems like Tom O'Malley is purposefully making room for that sign.

    Unless I can finally land some of those Italian cards I've seen images of, it might be awhile before I can hit you with another assortment this diverse. Let me know if you need help with any IDs. Cool to see them all lined up like this.

  2. Oddball overload. That was awesome!

  3. Jason: I figured them all out at the time, thanks! Even if there aren't crazy international issues, you always send me some pretty cool stuff.

    Fuji: I know, right!