Friday, February 2, 2018

I want my baby beck, baby beck, baby beck. I want my baby beck, baby beck, baby beck

Been on a minor league card kick of late, specifically from the 80s and early 90s. That used to be a favorite part of my collection as a kid, but since returning to the hobby, I've only dabbled a little bit. But now I'm dabbling a bit more.

Today I'm featuring Rod Beck cards, in his "pre-rookie" days, or "Baby Beck" as I call 'em. He's one of my favorite players to collect, and somewhat under the radar since he wasn't a huge star. But with his career starting in the overproduction era, and lasting into the rise of parallel mania, it's not like I could ever dream of supercollecting up a master collection of the guy. But along with my standard player-collecting goal of obtaining 100 different cards, tracking down all his minor league cards might be more feasible of a goal. I already owned 3 or 4, and now here are a bunch more.

Here's my new oldest Beck, 1988 Clinton Giants ProCards #695. Oh wait, I just remembered I have another '88 card of his too. Well, it's tied for my oldest Beck card, at least.

A couple things I hadn't realized (or perhaps knew but forgot), he was originally property of the A's, traded to the other Bay Area team for a pitcher named Charlie Corbell who never made it out of AAA. Unfortunately I don't think Rod got any cards from his two early years in Medford. That would have made for a neat "zero year/short-term stop"-type card to see him suited up in green.. eh, Nick?

The other interesting thing is he was a starting pitcher in the minors. He had 99 starts in the minors, and not one in the majors. I suppose that isn't uncommon for MLB relievers.

JUST SAY "YES" TO BOOKS! I love corny stuff like that on oddballs and minor league cards.

Here's a new design not previously in my collection. 1989 San Jose Giants Cal League Cards #209. Sort of a black parallel take on 1966 Topps. In this picture, Rod reminds me of my co-worker Ben (who is a skinny nerd, I say with all due respect as he's a good dude).

1989 San Jose Giants Star #1. This halloweeny team-set card is very similar to the his card in the larger minor league set Star put out that year with a yellow border. I already had that one and posted it in a Rod Beck PC post a couple years back.

I really love this wooden plaque design from 1990 ProCards. I should whip up a custom template with it sometime.. could make for some nice-looking TTM customs. I ripped a lot of that product back then, though don't think I ever pulled this one. Were the wax packs technically a different product than the team sets? I'm still a little confused by that set and it's mammoth 2445-card checklist all these years later. I should ask that Greatest 21 Days blogger who specializes in this set (Here's his post on this card). 1990 Shreveport Captains ProCards #1435.

Here's another Star card. 1990 Shreveport Captains Star #2. Don't see a lot of purple sets.

1991 Phoenix Firebirds ProCards #59. I never had much from this spiral-notepad design set, but it's pretty memorable, I'll give it that. Seems to be a nod to scouting. I wonder if scouts ever collect cards. It'd probably be a good way to get familiar with players.

Last one. 1991 Line Drive AAA #378. This was Shooter's final stint in the minors (at least until later in his career when he hit a rough patch and had to re-prove himself). I ripped a lot of this product back in the day, but again, don't recall pulling this one. I believe AAA cards have red text, and AA have blue. I have made a template for this design, cranking out 2 or 3 customs with it, most recently a Jeter.

Checking out the Beck checklist on Beckett (try saying that 5 times fast) just now, I believe I've completed my Baby Beck miniplayercollection! Hooray! The only other minor league card I found that I'm missing is from his later-career stint with the Iowa Cubs in 2003. Now my next focus will be trying to get all his Padres cards. I don't think he has many, probably only a small handful I don't already have, but there are likely tough parallels to trip me up. We'll see. (*looks it up* Yep, the 2004 Topps Total Press Plates will prevent that miniplayercollection from ever being 100% completed. Oh well, I'll still try for all the non-1/1 cards of him in a Padres uniform.)

Thanks for reading, Nick, maybe the other Nick, and the other 2 or 3 guys who read this post, and have a great weekend, everybody!


  1. Am I one of the Nicks you're talking about? Anyway it's a nice blast from the past to see the old school San Jose cap logo. I'm not PCing Shooter but as a Giants collector I still miss him tremendously. Also the next card I buy is going to be his 1992 Topps Gold pseudo-rookie (what do you call it when a rookie card only exists on a parallel?)

    1. Ha, yes, you are the other Nick! (..with Dimebox Nick challenging me for the title of the cardsphere's top Shooter collector.)

    2. Hahaha that rules. This is at least the second time I've been "other Nick" in a blog community.

  2. Fun to see all the early Becks.

    - One of the Non-Nicks

  3. I completely forgot that Beck was originally drafted by the A's as well until I flipped over one of his cards recently. Sadly, I don't think any cardboard exists of his time in the Oakland chain. Love the Baby Becks! It's odd (but great) seeing such a hulking, larger-than-life figure like Shooter during his days as a no-name minor leaguer.

  4. It's great to see San Jose Municipal Stadium on baseball cards. Grew up watching the Missions, Bees, and Giants play there. Anyways... I can't begin to imagine stepping into the batter's box against Beck. His stare was downright scary.