Wednesday, May 1, 2024

'twas another (Minis!) Baseball Card Christmas Eve

...and here and there on the old time Internet, the sentimental Baseball Card collectors with their solid touch of grey noggins were wistfully pondering that fateful year of 1975, all over again....

...because that year was not just the birth of the most gloriously colorful set of Baseball Cards ever made, but it was also the birth of:

kinda like this one:

Which is of course a selection from the 2011 Topps Lineage set.

It is the big year for the 1975 Topps Baseball set, and a celebration of it wouldn't be complete without a set of Minis! to go with. 

The last I-don't-know-how-many-years the Heritage set has included Minis! but I think in /100 editions in a set that is effectively a "High End" set when it comes to the limited print run cards, given the financial firepower of so many collectors with a strong interest in 50 year old Topps designs. I love all kinds of Topps designs, new and old, but I don't love buying pretty expensive Baseball Cards like all the baubles in each and every set of Heritage.

So I have never even seen one of those Heritage Minis! in three dimensional Life. The last time Topps made a decent sized run of 1975 style cards, the 2019 Archives set, there too the Minis! were printed in a very small amount so small I had zero ability to really consider collecting those, either.

This year, things are different for me, financially. I even had a job offer from a competitor just this very afternoon - I might soon need to hire Scott Boras to really get a couple three businesses into a bidding war, so I can finally blow tons of cash on ridiculously priced little pieces of cardboard. 

So to celebrate, come tomorrow morning, I am going to purchase some 1975 Topps Baseball Minis! !!

A fairly limited edition print run (16,000 boxes, I read) of the concept releases tomorrow as an almost-exclusive online sale, currently on offer via Lottery on the Fanatics website but also on the Topps website tomorrow morning at I believe Noon Eastern and 9am Pacific. Kinda easier than driving to Michigan (one main original home of the Minis!) on time to buy some cards, but also kinda not, in the 21st Century world of "bots."

Fortunately, there is one far more convenient backdoor into this product - some shops were offered small amounts of this product, and my (I-still-can't-believe-this-exists-in-my-little-Mayberry-town) Friendly Local Card Store will have a case, or maybe 2, available when they open in the morning.

I expect a Good Time. Ain't we lucky we got 'em? Minis!

As I write I'm not really sure what I will do with these Minis! Although the run of the yes, base set, will be obtainable enough, I expect the Short Prints in this might well be yet another example of my perpetual Baseball Card enemy - Unobtainium. As in, very expensive to complete those.

But perhaps, not impossible. We shall see.

One thing that might decidedly pull me into attempting this set is a key piece of technology that would be essential to owning it, in my opinion, and one that I luckily happen to already own. 

What's so special about a box of 9 pocket Baseball Card binder pages? This:

I never thought my usual lazy style of Baseball Card collecting would for once be a good thing. Usually I take too long on completing some colleting goal and while I dawdle along not buying the cards fast enough, they increase in price faster than I really want to pay those prices as some player involved starts getting promoted straight to Cooperstown in everyone's imagination.

I bought that box of binder pages a few years ago now, in anticipation of competing the Lineage 1975 Minis! 

And that hasn't happened yet. In the mean, meany time Ultra•Pro has quit making those Minis! pages once again, after Night Owl so helpfully showed them the Way several years ago now.

But I did realize this year will be 1975 all over again, and I had better get moving before too many other people just like me decide to go start collecting 1975 Minis! all over again. So I got in gear and started ponying up the cash necessary to get the 2011 set close to the goal line.

Six cards to go:

60 Reggie Jackson 

81 Andruw Jones (Yankees)

108 Hank Aaron

161 Luis Aparicio

171 Ryne Sandberg

200 Tom Seaver (Mets)

Though as I write tonight a bid is on the Ryne Sandberg card and I should have that one crossed off very soon. Five cards to go. Hank Aaron and Reggie Jackson however, oh boy.

That's where those Minis! pages might first come to the rescue - I will offer up a nice stack of them, maybe enough to hold a full 2024 Heritage 1975 Minis! set to anyone who can help me track down those 5 cards. I don't expect it will be easy, now that 1975 Minis! are a collecting item all over again this year. There are no copies of those for sale on the two obvious places to look (how long till they are just one place?) - eBay and COMC. 

But they are the type of cards that might show up at an LCS, or a Baseball Card show, the latter of which I have never seen and can only imagine the infinite riches on offer at such a fantastic event. Perhaps, including a 2011 Lineage 1975 Mini! of Reggie Jackson or Hank Aaron? Keep an eye out, for me, pretty please. I can also trade lots and lots of 2011 Minis! including a good amount of Hall of Famers if anyone else out there is working on this set.

A second thing that might lead me to attempting to complete tomorrow's new 2024 set of 1975 Minis! could be the backs. Ironically, they might turn out to be easier to read than regulation size 2024 Heritage 1975 Topps cards, which have card backs best described flatly as a: "disaster."

Could Topps have noticed that and fixed in the Minis!? Is possible. But I'm not holding my breath.

So I have a few other strategeries in mind for the - one box? two? - will there be a line down the sidewalk? - Minis! I will soon own. 

I am looking forward to seeing the parallels in this, which will be different than the Chrome cards in 2024 Heritage. Colors will be involved, and that could be kinda cool. I picked up my first 24 Heritage Chrome the other day at my LCS -

It's tough to notice in the scan, but this regular Heritage feature of the Purple Chrome card is actually an apropos '75-esque two-tone Purple card that I quite like, the more I look at it, in hand. 

I doubt I will collect those but do plan to assemble a 9 card page of representatives of the different Chromes and maybe some other 2024 Heritage oddities, like this one that caught my eye basically instantaneously:
Despite random guesses that the sad status of the Oakland Baseball Club precluded Topps from printing "A's" on the top of their brand new 1975 style Baseball Cards, this "white border" parallel illustrates that they well could have, if they tried. As far as I can tell this is the only card that says "A's" on the top, and only in this white border parallel, the /50 Black version, and a Red Target parallel (hopefully 2 tone).

But perhaps we will get authentic "A's" cards in these new Minis! tomorrow. Is possible.

The set will also include a range of serial numbered parallels based on colors, including a 1/1 Pink parallel. A double Pink 1975 Topps Baseball Card design. Boggles - I have to see one of those, in-hand. Wish me luck.

While I am on the subject of Minis! I want to pass along another trade request, one I have been able to arrange via the Baseball Card blogoshpere once before. A binder page trade.

If you need just a few Minis! pages for a Team Set or any ole collecting project, I need a couple binder pages for a different Minis! design, a "cigarette card" set I have fallen in love with -

These lovelies from 2022 Topps Rip! are slowly starting to accumulate here at Base Set HQ, and I need a binder page to keep them in. It will define this little collecting effort - yet another Nifty one page goal, though in this case, a 15 card page instead of a 9 card page. 

As illustrated by this slow motion collecting project, also from back in 2011:

I'm not too worried about filling in 4 more cards there; I just have to click-click-click on COMC for that one, some fine future day of Baseball Carding. However I don't really want to buy a box of those 15 card pages and I have fears that those pages too might be "out of print" perhaps, though I haven't checked. But if you have a couple of those pages you could trade for some 1975 sized pages, get in touch.

Now though, I have to try and get some sleep, with visions of Sugar Plums, err, Minis! dancing in my head. Good Luck!

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