Monday, March 3, 2014

This Card Has Gone On Some Trips

I had an outstanding mail day today, courtesy of my temporary home away from home. Although I have been hoping to pull a "buyback" from a pack, I must confess I purchased the sweet one pictured above. I love pondering where all this card has journeyed over the last four decades. A buyback is a well traveled baseball card - perfect, for this one.

It doesn't look good for me to ever pull one from a pack. Because that card came with a hand collated 2014 Series 1. Yes, I bought a set of baseball cards. My resistance to the idea is fading quickly.

The economics are inescapable. Buy cards in packs for 14¢ each and struggle with doubles/dupes of base cards you can hardly give away, perhaps make some trades for $2.07 in postage for a few dozen cards or 66¢ for 3 or 4 cards ... or just buy them all at once for just 6¢ each. Delivered.

I probably found a motivated seller I suppose. I even helped him out as much as I could, by purchasing a partial Series of 315 cards. But then I had already ripped into 150 or so of the cards from First New Baseball Cards Of The Year Day (if you are reading this blog, I know you celebrate that holiday right with me every year), among other recreational ripping the last few weeks. So I will probably need about 7 cards from the Series. I'm not too worried about scrounging up the two bucks that will likely cost me.

Why would I buy a partial hand collated Series? Because of that Ellis card. It was on offer from the seller as well. So, you know, to save on shipping, etc., I picked up my Series 1 for the year simultaneously.

But what a card! I have always loved the "In Action" cards. In fact I will be launching a new collecting project with this card. All of the 1972 In Action cards will be a nice way to ease into collecting the 72 set. I plan to do the same with the Hockey Stick In Action cards too. In other words, the 1982 varieties. I already have most of those, from my real collecting days - when I still rode a bicycle to purchase baseball cards.

I have always preferred Action cards. These 72s aren't the first such cards of course, though I believe they are the first to shout out their Action-ness. The 56 set has plenty of flyin-dirt action too. But though my career is keeping me happy, it isn't keeping me in enough extra happiness to start buying all the 1956 baseball cards I would like.

And again what a card! I did not know Dock had an "In Action" edition. It will also fit another new collecting project - a Dock Ellis PC. Hook me up. I need them all. Except this one.

Oh, that card! Primal red. A pleasing swoop and rounded corners all through the design. An image full of lines. Horizontal lines. One vertical line. Diagonal lines. And so apropos for a Dock Ellis edition, some loop-de-loop lookin' lines. 

And a base. I always like seeing a base on my baseball cards. Keeps me grounded. If you can just reach base, everything will be OK. 

We also get a perfect outfield lurker. Two twinkling little stars. How do I know they are twinkiling? Trust me on that one - they twinkle. Without even being short-printed. And then we have shadows. Dark shadows. Baseball, and contemplative journeys, are not all sweetness and light. Is there a second Dock Ellis lurking here too? The one from dimension #39? And what is happening in those stands above the distant outfieder? Is there a jungle starting to grow? What IS happening? Am I starting to hallucinate?

Could this card be from THAT game? How perfect would that be. Let's ask the back of the card.

Oh yes Topps, I am reliving a 1971 exciting moment, some 42.5 years later. A flashback? No, I missed it the first time around. My love of ... pop culture enlightened me.  But you are such a tease, Topps. I don't think 1972 Series 4 had a card for Dock's No-No that makes lots of Todd Snider fans all say Yes-Yes these days. Who's that you ask? Ask the Google. Type all four names in this post into their magic window. You'll be glad you did.

I wish my forensic baseball card photo skills could align the two twinkling little stars until they told me what game this was from, but it appears this is beyond the capabilities of my tricorder, err, my telephone, not to mention my completely lost memories of the back walls of early 70s baseball parks.

Oh well. The only thing that could make this card better, would be if it was perforated, and then arrived in a mailbox for me. Because I just love Ellis, D In Action.


  1. So the ever cold bright light of day, and a traffic jam brought on by delayed school starts, gave me the extra bit of free time to research this post. The Dock Ellis No-Hitter was in 1970. So I somewhat doubt a 1972 card would use a photo from it, and could only have been memorialized by a Highlights card in 1971.

    Sometimes, baseball cards are more exciting without all the facts.

  2. If you are ever in the Detroit area I know of a LCS that has a 25 cent box with a few of the in action cards. Or just let me know what you need and I can look for them. They are not in mint condition, but they are in ok shape.

  3. Thanks Chuck. I bought a concert ticket for an early June show in Detroit recently….that might work out. Hopefully the Tigers are home right then too…..

  4. The Tigers are home the 3rd through the 8th, and the 13th through the 18th of June in case you have not checked yet. The shop is A to Z cards on Ford rd. just east of Venoy. Their quarter boxes have cards from about 1969 through present. I have picked up quite a few Tigers for my team collections. The last time in I picked up a 73 Billy Martin, and a 73 Bill Freehan. Not bad for 50 cents.