Friday, July 27, 2018

Return from Hiatus and Recent Acquisition: 1987 M&M's set

I've been away from the blog for some time now, but plan to get back to it (starting now!).  My June and July at work were incredibly busy, with 3 weeks spent in the Los Angeles area and one week in Taiwan.  I had hoped to be able to keep blogging every now then during this busy period, but that didn't work out.  But now, I'm back home in Pennsylvania and have gotten settled back in.  Work is still busy, but I have some time for cards again.  So, here we go, with a post about a set that arrived in the mail yesterday.
An add from the December, 1991 issue of Baseball Cards magazine.
Back in the late 80s/early 90s, I loved having a subscription to Baseball Cards magazine.  The articles and price guide were fine, but I really enjoyed ads like this, offering all sorts of odd sets.  Of course I bought my fair share of base set cards at the time, either factory sets or wax or cello boxes of the current products.  But I was always fascinated with all the odd little sets, and ads like this, offering Bazooka, Smokey the Bear, World Series, Topps UK, Long John Silvers, 5x7 Diamond Kings, and all sorts of other things I couldn't find anywhere else. 

At the time, I didn't buy it all of course (I was a teenager with a limited budget), but now I can find many of these same things on the internet, interestingly for about the same nominal price as back then.  The above ad lists the 1987 M&M's set for $9.95, and I paid just $6.35 for it, including shipping, on eBay just now.  Since I've restarted my collection I've struggled with the question of how much of this stuff I want to purchase now; it's obviously not worth anything to anyone, and I have a lot of 80s cards already, so how many more do I need?  But in the boxes I'm storing my collection I do have a little more room, so I've decided to pick up a few of the sets advertised in those old ads.  This M&M's set is one of 8 small sets from the late 70s through early 90s that I recently ordered off eBay, all for not very much money, like I said, and I'll be showing them all as they arrive.
Joyner, Pena, Schmidt, and Sandberg.
The cards came in two-card panels, all still attached.  I had some thought of separating them, but I think it won't be a problem to store them the way they were shipped to me, in a kind of large team bag taped up to fit the panels.  The first two panels/four cards feature two all-time favorites of mine, Tony Pena and Mike Schmidt.  I actually already have the Pena and Schmidt cards, separated rather than in panel form, in my player collections for them in my binder.
Boggs, Morris, Clemens, and Baines.
Another personal favorite is Harold Baines, and I did not yet have this card of him.  It won't join the binder because like I said, these will be stored as panels and as a set, but it's still good to have this card of him.  I'm glad that Jack Morris is making the Hall of Fame (this weekend!), although I do understand the case against him as well.  Still, being the winningest pitcher of the 80s and a four-time World Series champ counts for me, since that era coincided so much with the time that I watched baseball intensely.
Murphy, Canseco, Mattingly, and Carter.
It was inconceivable at the time that Don Mattingly wouldn't make the Hall of Fame, but looking back at his stats now, it turns out that he had a window of great performance that also coincided exactly with my period of intense interest in the game.  I always like Dale Murphy and was glad when the Phils picked him up, but it turns out by then his best days were already behind him.
Ripken, Brett, Puckett, and Carter.
George Brett was another favorite, because he was the opposing counterpart to Mike Schmidt in the 1980 World Series, forming the basis of my earliest baseball memories.  Another early memory was the first World Series I watched in my main period of collecting, seeing Kirby Puckett and the Twins take down the Cardinals in seven games.
Witt, Scott, Valenzuela, and Garvey.
I had a few baseball cards from the early 80s but didn't really start collecting in earnest until 1987, so I missed much of Fernando Valenzuela's greatness.  I do have some memories of Fernandomania, though.  Steve Garvey was just retiring as I was starting to watch closely.
Sax, Ryan, Gwynn, and Smith.
Tony Gwynn and Ozzie Smith were also favorites, although I can't say I followed them closely.  Had a lot of respect for them.  I was never someone who cared much for Nolan Ryan, but he was a huge deal with his 5000+ strikeouts in the early 90s.

So, that's it for now.  It's good to be back.  I'll be planning to pick up some of the regular features I let drop, and will be trying to post a few times a week.  Thanks for reading!

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