Friday, November 17, 2023

Vintage Frankenset Page 4

Back in 2020, I got the idea for a frankenset to give purpose to many of the random old cards that didn't really have a solid "home" in my collection. Plus it's a good way for me to check out neat old card designs that I'd otherwise not have much use for. The priority of the project eventually slid to the backburner, but I still occasionally fill empty slots and try to keep my streak alive of featuring one complete page on the blog each year. I showed off page 1 in 2020, page 2 in 2021, page 3 in 2022, and now we're up to page 4. 

My Vintage Frankenset has 3 rules for entry:
- Cards must have been released prior to 1981.
- Must fit in a standard top-loader. (I group them into "pages" but the project consists of toploaders in a box, not actual binder pages, in part to help deal with varying sizes.)
- No flagship Topps baseball allowed. (I have a different project for that.)

In theory there will be one card for each number up to 333. When pressed, no-number cards can be placeholders and move around in the frankenset, limit 1 per "page".

Ok, here's Page 4.

The horizontal cards shatter any illusion of this being a real page, but it's a not a bad selection of old cardboard. I usually strive for more variety; definitely baseball-heavy here, plus two tobacco cards from the same damn set. But oh well, nothing in my self-imposed rules says that's illegal, so we'll ride with it.

#28 1952 Bowman #28 Roy Hartsfield

Love the colors and background on this card. The tape stain nearly syncs up with the picture.

Roy Hartsfield never quite reached that future stardom, with 1952 being his final year in the majors. He stuck around in the minors for a few years before going into coaching, eventually becoming the first manager of the expansion Blue Jays.

#29 1965 Topps Embossed #29 Boog Powell

These things are pretty ugly, but hey, it's a vintage baseball card. And ya gotta love Boog, right?

Another reason these inserts aren't a favorite of mine are the lazy backs. There's a tinge of disappointment every time I flip a card over to reveal a lazy back. (The opposite is seeing a wall of tiny stats-- love that!)

#30 1970 Fleer Laughlin World Series #30 Mel Ott 1933

Laughlin cards are awesome. Nuff said.

#31 1935 Gallaher Shots from Famous Films #31 "I Was A Spy"

British tobacco cards like this are a great way to add pre-war cardboard to your collection for cheap. 

I Was a Spy is available to watch on YouTube (link). I skimmed it a little and think I found the scene in question at 24 minutes in.

The lady is a nurse in WWI who had been giving info to the British, and the dude there is a German officer who's starting to suspect she's up to something. Nice to have some context for this card I've owned for a few years now. I never really looked at it that well and assumed it was young lovers or something. I was way off! Based on the life of Marthe Cnockaert, misspelt on the card.

#32 1939 Player's Uniforms of the Territorial Army #32 5th BN., The Lancashire Fusiliers, 1915

There was once or two times a few years back where I was browsing COMC and basically just typed in old years, sorted by cheapest, and snagged a few pre-war tobacco cards I could find around the dollar mark. That's where most of my "f@g cards" come from (excuse the term, but that's what they were known as! It's what they call cigarettes over in England.)


#33 1955 Bowman #33 Nellie Fox

He doesn't seem to frequent my blog, but the blogger who likes to comment on blog posts about who "wins it" would probably agree with me that this Nellie Fox is the highlight of the page. Fun shot of a HOFer on a fun design, what's not to like?

I got this along with Bob Feller from the same set from a card show dollar bin, a favorite score from my days going to the monthly cardshow in the late 2010s. For that price, I'm totally cool with a bit of paper loss on the backs. (The Feller has the #134 slot in the frankenset, so maybe we'll get to that in a few years if I keep up this annual blog series. I could potentially do more than one page a year, sure.)

#34 1974-75 Topps #34 Jim Fox

Ha, I didn't realize I had back-to-back Foxes in the frankenset! Finally a sport besides baseball represented on the page. I like getting a look at old Topps designs that are less familiar to me. This isn't necessarily a great design, but still cool.

I believe this was a Sportlots throw-in a year or two back specifically to fill the vacant #34 slot.

Hang on-- For this next card coming up, I suggest you try to take your time scrolling to slowly reveal the card top-to-bottom. It's full of surprises if you do it that way.


#35 1939 Player's Uniforms of the Territorial Army #35 4th/5th BN., The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders), 1917

This one is way more interesting than the other "Uniforms of the Territorial Army" card we saw a few back. The guy is wearing a kilt, caked in mud up to his knees, and he's pulling the pin on a grenade. Yet all business above the belt. What a badass.

It's not a baseball card, but hey "Highlanders" makes it basically a Yankees card, right?

#36 1951 Bowman #36 Joe Dobson

Last one for this post. The page opened with a '52 Bowman and closes with a '51. This was probably another dollar box pickup (7 for $5, likely) or maybe from other COMC "cheapest/oldest" search. The surface wear muddles the pretty clouds in the background, but I'm always happy to include old Bowman cards in this project.

Joe Dobson was a solid pitcher for a few years. All-Star in '48. Pitched well for the Sox in a losing cause to St. Louis in the '46 World Series. There was a time when it seemed I was picking up cheap old Bowman cards at the show here and there at a steady pace.. you start to think, "hey, these sets aren't very big... Maybe I could take a run at it?" But yeah.. the Mantle and Mays.. forget it.

But the beauty of the vintage frankenset is I can get a sampling of various cool old stuff like this without commiting to the huge undertaking of a vintage setbuild.

As for page 6 on deck for a post in 2024, it's still not completed. I'll need to find cards to fill open slots at 42 and 45. (Well, I have a card entered in for 42, but I've misplaced it.. so I guess we'll see if it turns up in the next few months.)

I hope you enjoyed the post. Have a great weekend, everybody.


  1. Yeah, that Topps Embossed set is one of the least attractive card sets ever. I didn't know Boog Powell was ever anything but a first baseman!

  2. It has been awhile since you posted the last page. Looking forward to page 5

  3. Big fan of 50's Bowmans! Great looking cards.

  4. The Nellie Fox is a great card. But Roy Hartsfield wins it. Love the background on that one!

  5. That "I Was A Spy" card is clean! And '52 Bowman is a favorite of mine as well. I was curious about the ".262" some young collector added to the card - turns out it was Hartsfield's batting average in 1952. Just as I suspected.

  6. Nice page! look forward to the eventual page 5

  7. It's funny, I like the Embossed cards more than most collectors, and the Laughlin's less than most collectors.