Friday, February 15, 2008

Card Spotlight: 2-15-08

1994 Conlon TSN Burgundy #1309 - Larry Rosenthal

I got this in a recent trade with Patricia and Lucy. It was one of my favorite cards in the package that they sent. I believe that every player on a team should have a few cards. There are a few cards of Larry Rosenthal out there, so the "First Card" monicker is a little misleading.

For the most part, these cards from Conlon offer the first ever cards for many players. I like the idea of that. I'm a sucker for oddball cards and cards of players in rarely seen uniforms. I enjoyed seeing Joe DiMaggio in a Seals uniform in last year's Topps subset. I would love to see a card of Babe Ruth on the Baltimore Orioles, his first professional team. I doubt it will happen, but I'd love to see it. I sleep better at night knowing there's one card of Greg Walker on the Orioles. He played a whopping 14 games in Baltimore to end his major league career in 1990.

I know it sounds weird, but I enjoy the hidden history of baseball. It's cards like these that make me more knowledgable about the history of the game. I would love to see a card of Pete Rose on the Macon Peaches. I was bored last year and researched where players spent time in the minors. I came up with a 100 card set I called Beginnings. It showed 100 different players past and present on professional teams other than the major league teams.

This is the kind of thing I do for fun when I have nothing better to do. Who wouldn't want to see Carl Yastrzemski on the Raleigh Capitals? Or Roberto Clemente on the Montreal Royals? How about Carlton Fisk on the Waterloo Hawks? I'd love to see all of these images. Common players from years ago don't get the card love that they should. Plus superstars are always stuck in their famous uniforms. It's nice to see them in something unfamiliar.

Today's players get tons of cards when they are rookies and pre-rookies. If they don't make it to a star player, then they are lucky to get one card a year. This is wrong. It can't be all about superstars and rookies. There are hundreds of other players out there. A team consisting of only superstars and rookies will not get very far. The common players need to fill in the gaps.

I will always have a soft spot for the Conlon cards because they show the players that don't get the recognition and the respect that they deserve. If a player played in a major league game, they should get a few different cards featuring them. If a player switches teams, they should get a few cards of that player on his new team. Cards should not only be about collecting your favorite players or your favorite team. They should be about documenting history with photographic evidence, not just a stat on the back of a piece of cardboard.

Maybe someday I will share with you my listing for the 100 card set called Beginnings. Until then, it's stuck in a Word document. Maybe I will find all the images I am looking for. Maybe I'll find a card design that will be appropriate for such an important project. Until then, I'm satisfied with the Conlon cards.


Kevin said...


Excellent post. That's one of my collecting quirks as well - I like to have cards of each player on as many teams as possible. This is one of the positives of card collecting since the mid-90s: with players in their new uniforms in Series 2 or Update releases, you occasionally get a card of somebody who's only on a team for half a season. (Incidentally, I have the Greg Walker card I think you're referring to, in the great Crown/Coca-Cola All Time Orioles set.)

I posted a Ted Williams Card Co. card in my blog last week. They had a "Goin' North" subset with minor league photos of players: Willie Mays with the Minneapolis Millers, Boog Powell with the Rochester Red Wings, etc. You should try to get some of those.

White Sox Cards said...

That is the Greg Walker card I was talking about. I figured that you would know it. I just learned of its existence yesterday.

I haven't run into many of the Ted Williams Co. cards in person, but they sounds very cool. Especially that "Goin' North" subset.

Thanks for the great comment!

NMboxer said...

This is very informative--thanks for a great post. And we're glad you like that card.

Bubba said...

Is there a card of George Foster with the White Sox? He finished his career in Chicago in 1986, 15 games. I've poked around the web a little, but haven't been able to uncover anything yet.

White Sox Cards said...

I haven't run across anything yet, but I'm still hopeful.

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