actually trying to organize mass burnings of them.
It is a problem we`ve faced for a while. Even in the early 90s when these things were still being belched out of printing presses millions at a time we knew it was a problem. We tried giving them to hospitals for sick kids to play with. Turned out sick kids in the hospital didn`t want stacks of 1991 Donruss commons anymore than we did.
I can`t say that I`ve found a solution to this problem, but I have resolved to do my part - starting with a stack of 1997 Score cards that fell into my hands. I have never really liked Score sets much. They were a bit innovative with their first set in 1988, being one of the first to put color photos on the back of their cards, but that was about it. Bland designs were their forte. Even during the worst Fleer and Donruss years (1988-1991) you could always count on Score to make a set that somehow looked worse (except maybe the 1990 one).
The 1997 set seems to have continued this tradition - massive white borders with the player and team name written in tiny, hard to read letters on the top and bottom. I had drifted away from baseball cards in 1997 so I don`t remember this set from the year of its original release, but even if I had still been in the hobby that year I probably would have forgotten all about this set. It is just so bland and generic and awful that its almost impossible to remember.
Anyway, enough about how bad Score cards are. I need to divert the narrative of this post slightly in order to introduce a piece of minor biographical information about myself. In addition to collecting baseball cards one of my other hobbies is model railroads. I have been working on an N-scale layout of a Japanese city for a few years now, this is what it looks like:
The centrepiece of the layout (in name only, its actually on the left side rather than the centre) is a baseball stadium that I am slowly constructing entirely from scratch. If you have never built a 1:150 scale baseball stadium from scratch be forewarned: it is something you will likely need at least a year`s worth of weekends to make happen. It doesn`t look like much, but this is what I have so far:
I have four main sources of building material for this project:
1) Matchsticks (for the bleacher seats)
2) Balsa wood (for the outfield and infield walls and some other bits)
3) Random leftover bits from other plastic model kits
4) 1997 Score baseball cards
This is a 1997 Score Jose Rosado that will be an external wall on the stadium. 1997 Score cards are pretty good at being walls, the gloss on them is lightly applied and takes a layer of model paint like a champ.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Sunday, August 3, 2014
The other thing I like about them is how cheap they are. For example, I just picked up a set issued by Wills called Historic Events off of Ebay. It has 50 cards (mine in about vg-ex condition) featuring some epically beautiful scenes, like the capture of Gibraltar (pictured above) or Napoleon on the Bellerephon (the ship that carried him to captivity after Waterloo).
That is pretty crazy cheap and explains why I don`t collect baseball tobacco cards: they are ridiculously overpriced. 15$ won`t even get you a poor condition common from the T-206 set, which was issued about the same time and is equally common.
This is one of those odd things about baseball tobacco cards. They straddle two hobbies with completely different markets. Tobacco card collecting hasn`t gone through anywhere near the type of bubble that baseball cards have, so all of them except the ones featuring baseball players are incredibly cheap. Even the cool ones featuring movie stars:
It is kind of an odd thing, given that as cultural icons baseball players don`t have much more command over our imaginations than most of the other subject featured on other tobacco card sets (with a few exceptions like the set entitled `garden hints`). It can only be explained by the fact that baseball card collecting took off after the war while merchant ship card collecting didn`t. So old baseball tobacco cards follow the baseball card market rules while everything else follows the much more sensible, and accessible, tobacco card market rules. I much prefer the latter, despite being a massive baseball fan.