Last week was a pretty good mail week for me as my 2018 inserts and parallels have been trickling in from various trades and eBay purchases. Mixed in with all the newness, was an unexpected package courtesy of Night Owl.
I had sent him a couple of Holiday Dodgers a few weeks ago but because I collect Cubs cards and cards with Ivy in the background with no discernable want/need list, I wasn't really expecting anything in return. That makes me hard to trade with, something I'd love to change, so I'm working on getting organized.
The included note urged me to use them for one of my repack Sundays and there were 30 cards, the same as my last couple of repacks. So let's see what we have for some superlatives.
The oldest card in the pack, a 1981 Fleer Larry Bowa, has Cubs ties! And not just Cubs ties, but a Ryne Sandberg connection. In a notorious trade, Bowa came over from the Phillies with Sandberg in exchange for Ivan DeJesus.
The newest card in the pack, like the oldest, is pulling double duty as well. This time as an actual Cub! Here we have Jason Hammel's holiday card from 2016. Night Owl doesn't fight fire with fire, apparently he fights snow cards, with snow cards!
Speaking of 1981 Fleer and Cubs, I guess the Bowa ties with Lynn McGlothen and Lenny Randle for oldest. And 1989 NL Rookie of the Year runner-up Dwight Smith completes the Cubs quartet.
In another quartet, we have four Hall of Famers, others include Bobby Cox, Willie Stargell, Rickey Henderson and Enos Slaughter. I would love to see Turn Back the Clock cards make a return. Unfortunately if they ever did, Topps would probably have them as an insert instead of part of the regular set. With parallels.
Actually, Topps did make an attempt as part of their Throwback Thursday online sets last year, but turning it back to 2015 and 2016 doesn't do much for me. You have to go back at least five years. This subset came around in the prime of my youthful collecting career so maybe they're just nostalgic. I remember reading the blurbs and learned quite a bit of baseball history from them. Knowing all the mistakes Topps makes these days, I wonder how much false history I "know" about.
Enos Slaughter was the oldest player in the bunch, born in 1916.
But Jimmie Reese was the oldest person depicted on a card, born in 1904. This 1991 Bowman card has a 75 Years foil stamp to honor his 75 years in baseball, beginning with a stint as a batboy in 1917. I don't remember this card at all, but I didn't collect much Bowman back in the day. He was believed to be the oldest person to suit up for a game in an official capacity until Red Schoendienst did recently at the age of 95. He passed away in 1994.
*EDIT* - After a little more research, other sources claim he was born in 1901.
These cards depicted the most interesting plays. I've been thinking of starting a mini collection of players fully extended so this Nate McLouth will go into a little pile until I figure it out. And does the Carlos Ruiz card count as a play at the plate if there's noone else in the frame?
These cards would have been in my binder as a kid. Hall of Pretty Gooders, we have Bo Jackson, Darryl Strawberry and Eric Davis.
All in all, this was a pretty good repack. Thanks, Night Owl!
*ANOTHER EDIT* -
I initially missed this until I was putting the cards away, but the backside of the Bobby Cox checklist had the checklist for the Cubs from this set. This one makes the Cubs collection!