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

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge (Day 25)

Day 25: A favorite oddball card from the 1970s
"What is that?" you ask. "Is that a random small photo that somehow made its way onto COMC?
Well, kind of. Except the back identifies it as an actual trading card!

TCMA issued dozens of topical sets in the 1970s. And while people collect Topps because of its longevity, people look for TCMA sets for their history. TCMA is one of several brands that issued smaller sets featuring retired players who hadn't had a baseball card in years, or ever at all.

When I was a kid absorbing all he could learn about cards, I bought my first Beckett Almanac and studied all of the sets inside. I loved reading about the old tobacco and caramel sets, and dreamed of someday owning them. I knew that wasn't really possible, but a kid can dream, right?

And as I continued looking through the guide, I saw all of the sets issued by TCMA, Laughlin, Colla, and Fritsch. TCMA probably did it best, selling sets from around 1972-1987. The simple card you see above is "just" for my type collection, and is pretty simple and uninteresting on its own. But this card represents the beginning of the TCMA era, as it comes from their first set listed in my SCM guide.

I have type cards from most of TCMA's mini sets, and several of their issues have helped supply more-affordable cards of early stars for other parts of my collection. And I can see this particular set becoming very helpful for my one-of-every-player collection, too.

I think the simplicity of the card adds to its appeal. Many of TCMA's early issues have backs that appear to have been finished on a typewriter - the basic design might have been typeset with individual card information typed over a template. The most appealing of TCMA's sets are the 1952 Bowman "extension" and the other art cards they issued, mostly in the 1980s. But even with these relatively unappealing or simple designs, the other sets are great for player, team, or historical collectors.


  1. Seems like every year I come across a TCMA set I had never seen before. Cool card.

    1. I've worked really hard on the 1970s and 1980s portion of my type collection, so I've seen most, but there are some that I still haven't seen either. Eluding me right now are the last two series of Playball tributes TCMA issued in the 1980s.