Wednesday, April 3, 2019

vintage paper n' plastic

The great Lou Brock here was a nice one to knock off my slow-going 1964 Topps setbuild recently. Its PSA 4 grade ties for my highest in the set with Hank Aaron and Pete Rose (the only other graded card in my set is a 1.5 Koufax). The Brock is well centered and has a clean front, looking to be in pretty good shape for only being graded 4 out of 10.

The back isn't terrible, but somewhat justifies the score by being noticeably off-center to the left and having a dinged bottom left corner (that I feel could be improved by grazing the paper to the outside with your fingernail a little, but I guess that's on the person who submitted it for grading for not employing that age-old trick).
Anyways, this is Lou's last Topps card as a Cub, as Chicago foolishly traded him away in June of that year, to join St. Louis and the likes off...

Bob Gibson! Scored this raw '64 last week for single-digits shipped, which I thought was a pretty good deal, even though it's a bit miscut.

Brock and Gibson would bring home rings in '64 and '67 before meeting up in Cooperstown.

My '64 set is now at 71.48% complete with 168 cards left to go. I'll keep at it and hopefully put it to bed within the next 2 or 3 years.

But the vintage set that I consider my top priority is...

1957 Topps! Here's a "free card" I snagged the other day. eBay did a quick promotion where you could get $3 off anything over $3. I searched for '57 Topps cards in that price range and ultimately found this Bill Sarni need for $3.06 buy-it-now with free shipping. I used the $3-off discount code, plus I got 6¢ eBay Bucks (a.k.a. store credit rebate) to bring me back to neutral. I tend to stick to around a buck per common for my '57 set (at card shows or on COMC where shipping cost is less of a factor), but I "splurged" a little thanks to the promotion.

Reading up on him, Sarni had a heart attack during spring training of 1957 that ended his playing career, so this is a sunset card featuring complete career stats. He went onto coach for a little while then became a businessman.

My '57 Topps chase is neck-and-neck with my '64, currently at 71.46% complete with '57 (verses 71.48% for '64), though '57 has less cards left to go with only 119 (verses 168 for '64).

And the "plastic" mentioned in the post title wasn't just referring to the Lou Brock slab, but also this vintage baseball toy I picked up...

This is a Richie (Dick) Allen 1969 Transogram figure. I first became aware of these things because they originally came with a yellow card you could cut out from the back of the box, which was paid tribute to in 2018 Heritage (You remember those super-yellow Heritage inserts last year, right? Those things.). While "new in box" versions are out of my price range, I scored just the loose toy for under a blaster shipped. Still would like to score an accompanying card one of these days.

Normally I try to keep my player collections "cards only", but Allen is one of my top-tier guys (been a fan ever since I got a ball signed by him in-person as a kid in the early 90s), so I make an exception for him. (I also have a Dick Allen marble that Mark Hoyle gave me.) You can move the figure around at the neck, waste, and arms, but seeing as this is a 50-year old toy, I'll try not to fiddle with it too much lest I break it. But yeah, neat little item.

For scale, here's the figure along with another recent PC add-- the /99 black (or "charcoal" if you ask me) parallel from 2004 Topps Retired.

That's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.


  1. You can find the transogram cards pretty reasonably. The D.Allen marble is a 68 Creative Creations piece

    1. Well heck, if you spot a Richie Allen pick it up for me! I've been keeping an eye out and haven't had much luck. The only original Transogram on COMC right now is a Nolan Ryan for $100+ in poor condition.

    2. I’ll keep an eye out. I recently picked up a Ken Harrelson complete box with figure for 40 bucks. There’s a bunch listed on eBay. No Allen’s though

  2. That figure is awesome! Never seen those.

  3. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who uncurls folded corners.

  4. Did that Transogram figure come with a base of some sort? Those pegs under his feet must be designed to prop him up on something. Very cool, regardless!

    1. Yeah, there's supposed to be a green base with it. Maybe I'll upgrade someday if I find one with a base at a good price. You can see other figures on eBay.

  5. That Transogram figure is really cool. It's nice to know that I'm still stumbling across pieces of sports memorabilia I've never seen before. Thanks for sharing these. I'm off to see if there's an A's figure out there.

  6. Pretty cool! havent ever seen one of those figures