Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Card #15: 1989 Topps #648b

YEAR: 1989
BRAND: Topps
SET: Topps
SUBSET: Future Stars
TEAM: San Diego Padres

This was an accident.  I did not intend to have two posts in a row dealing with this card, but that is how this worked out I guess.  As I mentioned previously, I had the variation with Alomar's cap touching the Future Star logo early on.  It was just yesterday that I added the variation to my collection.  This was my very first Alomar rookie card.  Topps was usually pretty hit-or-miss with the Future Stars logo.  I have some well-chronicled misses in my Red Sox collection (looking at you, Pat Dodson).  But one can certainly understand the reasoning with Alomar.  He was, after all, coming off of a season in which he won the Minor League Player of the Year, a feat he would repeat in 1989.  And for the most part, Topps was correct with this one.  Alomar would be a star, but he could have been much bigger if not for a seemingly endless series of nagging injuries.

Errors and Variations

I was doing some exhaustive research into Sandy Alomar Jr. cards and came across some mention of a previously unknown (to me anyway) variation in 1989 Topps that is apparently well-known enough to be mentioned in a number of places.  Look here:

Can you see it?

If not, I will point it out.  Alomar's hat in the first card is significantly farther away from his hat in the second card.  It is not a major variation, but it is apparently at least somewhat identifiable as many sites have it listed as a variation.  So upon seeing this, I decided to take a look at the card that I had previously, which turned out to be the second card, then consult my doubles box (yes I have a box of doubles of Sandy Alomar Jr. specifically) to see if the first version was in there.  Sure enough, it was.  So I added a new card to my collection without having to check the mailbox.

Card #14: 1991 Fleer #359

YEAR: 1991
BRAND: Fleer
SET: Fleer
TEAM: Cleveland Indians

I have mentioned so many times before that I like catchers that I don't see the point in mentioning it again.  But apparently I just did.  Catchers are unique.  They have different equipment.  They do different things.  So I love cards of catchers in their full gear.  Therefore I like this one, though I would like to know what has Alomar's attention in this picture.  Another note, I always liked 1991 Fleer.  They had some good photography and of course the striking yellow border.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

For the Yankees Fans

This has long been a card that I have sought.  It was one of Alomar's best autograph cards.  Of course Yankees fans will love the Andy Pettitte auto on the same card.  Alomar actually had a number of big moments against the Yankees, including a game-tying home run off of Mariano Rivera in the eighth inning of Game 4 of the ALDS in 1997, which the Indians went on to win, then beat the Yankees in Game 5.  Alomar hit .316/.316/.684 in that series with two home runs and five RBIs.

Card #13: 1990 Donruss #30

YEAR: 1990
BRAND: Donruss
SET: Donruss
SUBSET: Rated Rookies
TEAM: San Diego Padres

My second Padres card of Alomar also came from 1990, the second year he was getting Major League cards from the big name brands.  This red border is kind of atrocious but eye-catching.  The dots are even stranger and are in a different "pattern" depending on if you have the card from packs or the factory set.  I actually have both variations now, having recently gotten the factory set version (I think, I don't actually know if that was the one I received later but I assume that this was a pack-pulled card at some point).  I do like the Rated Rookies subsets quite a bit and Alomar was a Rated Rookie twice.  Kind of rare.

Petro Standup

This is a 3D Standup card.  I will probably provide a real picture of it standing when I provide pictures of some of my other non-card related stuff.  I actually have two of these, one to stand up and the other to go into my card binder.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Card #12: 1991 Donruss #13

YEAR: 1991
BRAND: Donruss
SET: Donruss
SUBSET: Diamond Kings
TEAM: Cleveland Indians

I have always liked the Diamond Kings subset.  This is Alomar's only appearance in it and it is a justified appearance.  He was just coming off a season in which he won the Rookie of the Year, started the All Star game as a rookie catcher, and won a Gold Glove.  So no arguments here.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Buyback Autographed Rookie

That's right, numbered out of just 25, this is Alomar's Donruss rookie card, bought back, autographed, stamped, and serial-numbered out of 25 and then released by Donruss in the 2004 Timelines set.  I previously showed my 1996 buyback auto, but this is the big one.  Plus it has the awesome Rated Rookie logo in the corner.  Damn cool card.

Card #11: 1991 Score #793

YEAR: 1991
BRAND: Score
SET: Score
TEAM: Cleveland Indians

Similar to the 1991 Topps card, this one also features Alomar going after a pop fly, but the action is not quite as prevalent.  This is apparently an uncorrected error card because "Indian's" should say "Indians'"  Yeah, big deal.  Anyway, Score always had a lot of great photography and this card is certainly no different.  It was the fourth 1991 Score card out of five that I have gotten.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Card #10: 1990 Score #577

YEAR: 1990
BRAND: Score
SET: Score
TEAM: San Diego Padres

My tenth Alomar card was my first Padres card.  I got the complete 1990 Score set for my birthday in 1992, which was a set I wanted because I still needed a lot of Red Sox from the set, as well as the Alomar.  Besides, it was pretty cheap.  I like the catcher's equipment on this card, it will be a little unusual in Padres cards of Alomar.  The shade is a little obnoxious though, you can barely see his face.  I do like the nice blue border, it fits the team color scheme reasonably well.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Card #9: 1991 Topps #165

YEAR: 1991
BRAND: Topps
SET: Topps
SUBSET: All Star Rookie
TEAM: Cleveland Indians

I remember getting this in a repack box I got for my birthday.  The Red Sox only had one card in the box I needed, a 1990 Topps Carlos Quintana, but this card came out.  I am sure that this card was the one that lead to me starting the single player collection of Alomar.  1991 Topps had a lot of terrific photography in the set, and this is no different.  Alomar is chasing a pop foul in a type of shot you just do not see too often.  Add to that the All Star Rookie trophy and this is an impressive card.

The Last Huge Mailday...For Awhile

Yes you read that title correctly.  I have been on a massive binge lately, buying several large lots, getting one much-appreciated trade with Baseball Dad, and buying up a bunch of commons from some online stores.  Now all of that must slow down.  To begin with, I now have most (not quite all) of Alomar's base cards, so all that would be left would be inserts, parallels, and minor league cards.  Alomar only has about 1200 or so cards out there and I now have nearly 500.  Yes there are still plenty out there and I will continue adding to my collection, but things need to slow a little bit or there won't be much left to chase.

So then, here is the latest huge batch of cards:
Some minor league sightings here, all three with the Las Vegas Stars, the AAA affiliate of the Padres at the time.  Alomar won the Minor League Player of the Year twice in a row.  I really like the Pinnacle parallels, so I had to have the 1994 card.
Here we have the first new card from my Top 10 wantlist, fourth card in the scan.  You can kind of tell that it is die-cut.  I would love to add one of the 1997 Flair Showcase Masterpiece 1/1s.
And the Bowman Heritage Chrome is another card from the Top 10.  The Prism base leaves me needing two parallels to complete that run.
The first two cards of this scan are also from my Top 10.  So a lot of stuff coming off that list with this stuff.  I love the Family Tree card showing Sandy in an Indians uniform but a White Sox logo and Roberto in a Mets uniform.  I have a lot of cards with both Alomars with the Padres and some with Indians/Blue Jays, but this is the first White Sox/Mets, probably the only one.

The Fleer Tradition is yet another that features a closeup of Alomar in his catcher's mask, that is a common shot for him for some reason.
I got the Atomic Refractor in a sale on a forum along with a nice Xander Bogaerts.  The autograph is the fifth card from my Top 10.

So maildays will be slower from now on.  This was a great package to go out on.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Card #8: 1991 Score #694

YEAR: 1991
BRAND: Score
SET: Score
SUBSET: Rifleman
TEAM: Cleveland Indians

Here is one of my first favorite cards of Alomar.  It is a very 1990's-looking card with the neon green explosion behind Alomar.  There were other similar subsets in this set, with the Rifleman set highlighting position players with strong throwing arms.  Alomar at this time was able to throw out base runners from his knees.  Rifleman indeed.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Largest Alomar Mailday Ever...

It was an epic mailday.  59 new cards today in four packages.  That is huge.  Well, one package was huge.  The others three were much smaller, but still important.
The first two cards were from a 1999 Starting Lineup Classic Doubles package which featured a card and figure of Alomar with the Indians and a card and figure with the Wichita Pilots, a minor league team formerly in the San Diego Padres system that Alomar played for in 1987.  The card is pretty clearly actually showing Alomar with the Indians, as can be told by the receding hairline and aged features, he actually looks younger on the Indians card, which is apparently a photo negative (note the backwards Indians logo on the hat).  Weird stuff.  I only need two more Alomar Starting Lineups, a One-on-One with Ken Griffey, Jr. and a 1990 Award Winners piece with Barry Bonds, Doug Drabek, Rickey Henderson, David Justice, and Bob Welch.

The Cracker Jack was the second package.  The next five Broder cards were the third package.  Finally the fourth package was a Just Commons order in which I picked up pretty much everything they had that I needed. 
The fifth card is the glossy parallel available only in complete sets.  I like the Ultra card with Roberto sitting with his older brother.  It is pretty clear just how much bigger Sandy was than Roberto.  He was several inches taller and significantly heavier.  The 2002 Fleer is the Gold Back version.  I love just about any card focusing on Sandy's amazing 1997 All Star Game.  The last card in the scan is one such card.
The third card is from 1991 O-Pee-Chee.   We have a nice action shot of Alomar sliding into third.  There are not a lot of cards that feature Alomar on the bases.  He was not exactly a burner.
The scan is bad but the one in the middle is the gold refractor version of 2002 Topps Traded. 
The Pinnacle Museum Collection is a post-play-at-the-plate featuring Ken Griffey Jr. 
Nice play-at-the-plate shots of Alomar with Paul Molitor on 1994 Score.  We also have Alomar diving for an errant thrown on 1994 Ultra.  Kind of an awkward picture, but interesting.  With the addition of the Tiffany card of Alomar's 1996 Fleer, I now have all of the variations of that card, except the regular base card.  Alomar looks annoyed in the 1996 Ultra card.
Finally, another picture of Alomar playing with a camera.  He is playing with a different camera on his 1997 New Pinnacle card.

Card #7: 1991 Stadium Club #61

YEAR: 1991
BRAND: Topps
SET: Stadium Club
TEAM: Cleveland Indians

Stadium Club seemed to me to be an incredibly high-end product in 1992.  I was just ten, going on eleven at the time and it was an ultra-premium brand.  So it was pretty rare for me to get any Stadium Club cards.  Packs seemed exorbitantly expensive, and even commons were fairly pricey.  Like with many of my early cards, I don't recall how I got this one, but I think I probably got it in a trade with my older brother, who mowed yards for people and had a little bit of spending money.  Enough likely to be able to buy packs of Stadium Club.  I do think I was definitely collecting Alomar at this time, though probably not as a single player collection yet.  I always liked the picture of the Topps rookie card on the back of the cards.  I knew which card I needed to find to have Alomar's rookie card this way.  It is a nice action shot, but definitely not one of the better pictures that the inaugural set became known for.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Shiny Happy Prism

Just one card today, and boy did it scan badly.  I had one of these for Carlos Quintana a long time ago, and still do obviously.  This is a nice addition to the Alomar collection.

Card #6: 1992 Fleer #103

YEAR: 1992
BRAND: Fleer
SET: Fleer
TEAM: Cleveland Indians

I am almost positive that I was collecting Alomar by this point, and it is even likely that I traded for this card.  I always kind of liked the color of this set.  It was certainly a surprise after the bright yellow of the 1991 set.  Alomar had a couple of cards in this set, the second one will come up later.  This was the base version and it was fairly typical, showing Alomar stepping into his swing.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A White Sox Triple Bat Card, Some Oddballs, and Some 90's Parallels

Some major stuff to show off that came in today.  I love it when my post office box is full of padded envelopes.
That first card is without a doubt one of my favorite cards in my player collection.  A triple bat card showing Alomar with the White Sox is just something that you don't see too often.  Frank Thomas and Magglio Ordonez are also on the card, but you know Alomar is my favorite here.

The Dodgers card came in a big trade that got me a lot of Red Sox.  This was the only new Alomar in the package, though it did have a couple of duplicates.  The 2006 Upper Deck is the only card showing him with the Dodgers, of course it has a large number of parallels as well.  This is my third variation of this card.

The rest of the cards from this scan are a variety of oddballs, including Broder cards.  I like the 1990 Donruss Learning Series.
The first eight cards came from one Beckett store where my intention was to add a bunch of 90's parallels.  I like the Prism cards in particular.  Unfortunately 1999 Prism did not have nearly as many parallels as 2000 Prism.  There are still three variations of this card I need.

The little card is a Humpty Dumpty oddball.  I did take it out of the packaging.

Card #5: 1992 Donruss #203

YEAR: 1991
BRAND: Donruss
SET: Donruss
TEAM: Cleveland Indians

I think it was around the time I got this card that I really started collecting Sandy Alomar Jr.  I could be wrong.  I know it was somewhere around this time though.  I actually like this picture.  It is not terribly unusual but the colors are striking and the photography is pretty sharp.  It is an interesting card.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Card #4: 1991 Score #851

YEAR: 1991
BRAND: Score
SET: Score
SUBSET: The Franchise
TEAM: Cleveland Indians

Ah, here we go.  This was the first card that really appealed to me.  1991 Score had five different Alomar cards in the set.  It was a set with a number of subsets: All Stars, The Franchise, Award Winners, Riflemen, and a number of others.  This is from The Franchise which had one important player per team.  Roger Clemens was the Red Sox representative.  Alomar was the Indians representative, which made sense since, at the time, he was probably the best player they had.  Carlos Baerga and Albert Belle would soon develop, but Alomar's 1990 season was very impressive.  He was also a catcher.  This card may have been one of the early ones to lead me to deciding to collect Alomar, though again, I have no memory of how I came to have this one.

Card #3: 1991 Donruss #489

YEAR: 1991
BRAND: Donruss
SET: Donruss
TEAM: Cleveland Indians

My first base card in the collection.  Once again, I have no idea how I came about getting this card.  The pose is pretty simple, a staged shot on the field prior to a game, most likely Spring Training.  Pretty boring really, but 1991 Donruss has a number of boring shots.  Nothing much to say about this one.  It is just kind of there.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


And another random oddball, one-card mailday.  This one from McDonald's and Score.  This is actually the same shot as is on his 1991 Score base card.

Friday, April 11, 2014

One Card Mailday

Just one card here.  I remember these glossy inserts but have no idea how they were acquired.  My older brother had a few and I got a bunch through random oddball boxes.  This is my second one for my Alomar collection.  Nothing terribly exciting, but not all maildays will be.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Card #2: 1991 Score #400

YEAR: 1991
BRAND: Score
SET: Score
SUBSET: All Star
TEAM: Cleveland Indians

Seriously, my first two Alomar cards were ugly.  Like my first card, I have no idea how I got this card.  Again, I assume that it came in a pack because I was not collecting him yet, but it may have been a trade.  I did like catchers right away, so I may have traded for a double belonging to my brother.  I don't usually like cartoon character versions of players and these with the giant heads were really bizarre.  Still, this one managed to be my second Sandy Alomar Jr. card.  Strange.  Very strange.

Die Cuts, Oddballs, and Coins?!

More stuff to show off.  I bought another lot off of Ebay, probably the last one I will need to buy.  It provided a number of cards, then I picked up a few random singles that looked like necessities.
The Gold Crown Die Cut and the In the Cage Die Cut are two of the reasons that I loved Pacific in the 1990's.  They had a ton of interesting die cut cards.  The In the Cage has a number of holes where the fencing is.  It is just a real cool-looking card.  I have a Nomar Garciaparra in my Red Sox collection that I spent a little money on, this one cost a couple of bucks.  By far one of my favorite buys in the collection.  
The Sportflics card is a little disappointing because Alomar has only a headshot, which you can kind of see through Gary Sheffield.  I am not sure what to think of the drawn card, other than that it is a 9 year old who drew it.  I like the SP Authentic card.  I really don't have a lot of serial-numbered cards in my Alomar collection.  The Showdown is another Rangers card, that's probably all of the Rangers Alomar cards that exist now.  And I now have two of the 90 different Tek variations.  Anyone have any others?  I would love to get all 90.
Alomar has a number of closeup cards of his face wearing the catcher's mask for some reason.  This is a Pre-Production Sample card.

Finally, the Starting Lineup card and figure also came with this coin:
I don't make these part of the card collection, but it is an interesting additional piece.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Card #1: 1991 Donruss #693

YEAR: 1991
SUBSET: Award Winner
TEAM: Cleveland Indians

Yes, THIS was my first Sandy Alomar Jr. card.  It's no small wonder then that this eventually became the focus of my player collection.  This is kind of an ugly card, as many other bloggers have pointed out.  It must be from a press conference, possibly the one in which Alomar won the Rookie of the Year Award.  But it is kind of out-of-focs and has a red tint to it.  It is just kind of odd-looking.  Plus, Alomar is wearing a suit.  Definitely an odd start to the collection.  I also do not totally remember how I got this one.  It is likely I got it in a pack because it is unlikely I would trade for this card prior to deciding to collect Alomar.  So it must have come in a pack.

Some Shininess and Some Oddballs

I definitely ran the gamut in the next several cards.  A very rare parallel from a 1990's perspective, one of the elusive and highly-desired 1993 Finest Refractors and a whole bunch of food-issue oddballs.  Things will eventually start to slow down, not yet though:
1.  1999 Finest Gold Refractor.  This is numbered out of 100 which was a low-numbered parallel in the 1990's.  I found this for sale on one of the forums and had to talk the member into selling it to me.  Apparently he was headed to a show in the Cleveland area and thought he could sell it there for $15.00.  So I overpaid a bit, but I got it.  Gotta be willing to do that with a single player collection on occasion.

2.  1993 Finest Refractor.  This is the second time I bought this card.  The first time I received the card and it was clearly not the refractor.  But this one definitely is.

3.  1991 Mootown Snackers Signature Series.  Classic food-issue oddball without an MLB license.

4.  1991 Jumbo Sunflower Seeds Autograph Series II.  Another oddball

5.  1993 Kraft Singles Superstar.  This is a pop-up card.  I am a little surprised Alomar got one in this set because he did not have a great 1992.

6.  1999 Topps Opening Day.

7.  1996 Leaf.

8.  1997 Ultra.

9.  1995 Score Gold Rush.
10.  1997 Upper Deck.

11.  1997 Fleer.

12.  1995 Fleer.

So a bunch more cards, thanks to another Ebay lot and some random singles.  Not bad.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Lots of Alomars With Some Big Thanks to Baseball Dad

Yikes, I have fallen behind.  I have been on a bit of a binge lately as you will soon see.  Here are the pickups with some random notes occasionally.

The first eight cards came from one seller, the last came in a trade:
1.  2002 Topps Traded SP.  All of the non-rookies from this set were short-printed.  Nice rare Rockies card here.

2.  1990 O-Pee-Chee.  I never really know what to do with these that have the "Now with..." label.  I don't really need to worry about that with this.

3.  2002 Topps Traded Gold.

4.  2003 Topps Heritage SP.  Another nice SP from Heritage.

5.  2005 Fleer Gray Back.

6.  2005 Topps Total Silver.  Rare Rangers sighting.

7.  2006 Upper Deck Special FX Green.  Rare Dodgers sighting.

8.  2005 Topps Rookie Cup Original Relics.  Wow, this is a nice card.  Numbered out of just three, it has a real nice trophy that you can actually feel.  

9.  1991 King-B Discs.  Kind of a strange oddball.

The next two were Ebay buys, followed by a trade focused on oddball cards:
10.  1998 Starting Lineup.  Alomar is the only non-Red Sox player for whom I bother with SLUs.

11.  2004 Donruss Timelines Recollection Autographs.  My first Alomar auto.

12.  1989 Panini.

13.  1989 Procards.  I figure the occasional minor league issue is acceptable with the single player collection.

14.  1989 Star.

15.  1991 Classic II.

16.  1991 Post Canadian.  I like food issues.  I wish they were still around.

17.  1992 Classic Game.

18.  1992 Panini.

The first four continued the trade and then after that you will see a massive trade from Jack of Baseball Dad.  I reached out to him when I picked this collection back up and asked about any spare Alomars he had.  He sent me a nice package full of stuff.  Your side is on the way.
19.  1992 Panini AS.

20.  1993 Topps Micro.

21.  1992 Topps Micro.

22.  1999 Topps.

23.  2003 Fleer Tradition Update.

24.  1997 New Pinnacle.  Interesting shot looking at a camera.  Alomar has a lot of weird, fun shots.

25.  1998 Bowman International.

26.  1998 Bowman's Best.

27.  1997 Collector's Choice CG.

28.  1998 Donruss.

More from Jack:
29.  1998 Pinnacle Performers.

30.  1999 Aurora.

31.  1999 Bowman.

32.  1999 Paramount.

33.  1999 Skybox Molten Metal.

34.  1999 Stadium Club.  He also has a ton of nice play-at-the-plate shots.  This is one of the best.

35.  1999 Victory.

36.  2000 Topps.

37.  2000 Victory.
38.  2001 Topps Opening Day.

39.  1996 Pacific Crown Collection.

40.  1996 Metal Universe Platinum.

41.  1991 Classic I.

42.  1993 Ultra.

43.  1994 Collector's Choice Silver Signature.

44.  1995 Fleer Revco.  I was surprised to see this was a Revco card, not a base card.

45.  1996 Circa.

46.  1996 Fleer Indians.  Another parallel, I have most of the Red Sox team set.

The first one is from Jack, the second is from a trade, and the last is one of the new crown pieces to my collection:
47.  1996 Metal Universe.  Thanks Jack for all the help!

48.  1994 Upper Deck Eletric Diamond.

49.  1998 Donruss Crusade Purple.  I don't even have a Red Sox crusade cards.  These were hard to find and expensive.