Monday, April 21, 2014

Diggin' the Oddball View From the Skybox

As if further proof were necessary to classify Chris (View From the Skybox) as "one of the good ones," allow me to submit Exhibit O (for oddballs).

When I participated in his recent Typhoon Haiyan Charity Group Break (aka, Exhibit A), I did quite well, netting a box stuffed with goodies, including some nice bonus extras from the man. I saw that some of the others who had participated received a few unopened packs of 1995 Phil Rizzuto's National Pastime cards by Comic Images, which is a set full of the kind of Random oddball gems that light up my Card Nights. My box had been a bit too stuffed to include any, but I asked Chris if he could set aside a pack or two for me for the next time we worked a trade.

1995 The National Pastime Phil Rizzuto's Baseball Adrian "Cap" Anson CHC #77

Instead, the man sent me a separate package stuffed with unopened packs. For me, this was high-grade addiction food. I love nothing more than busting packs of cards that are guaranteed to include a few surprises. And we'll look at a lot more of the wackiness when I've finished opening all of the packs. But for now, here are two cards that help to sum up what I love about these things.

I'm a player collector, above all. Which players? All of them. This set features mostly Random artwork, magazine covers, advertising, toys and games, etc., from the early years of baseball. But some of these feature identifiable players, such as the fabulously solemn and dignified plate sporting the visage of (the admittedly racist) baseball pioneer, Hall of Famer, Cap Anson. It was the first card I saw when I started busting these open, and a fine addition to my collection.

1995 The National Pastime Phil Rizzuto's Baseball Tobin Lithographers (Jack Glasscock IND) #38

And then there's this thing. Now this is friggin' fabulous! Slick-fielding Jack Glasscock (seriously!) was by most accounts the greatest shortstop of his era. And now he is represented in my collection by this absolute beaut of Randomocity. How sweet is that!?

But Chris didn't stop with the National Pastime packs. He also threw in three more Random packs for my oddball enjoyment. Though I was a little dubious of his intentions when I opened this pack of Leaf Baseball's Greatest Grossouts...

Grossout, indeed! When I opened this pack I found myself glancing at my closet, hoping I might somehow find a spare hazmat suit in there. I triple dog dare anyone to try chewing this gum! (I think I just threw up a little in my mouth...) You are looking at the first baseball card that I've ever thrown out. There would have been a bit of a moral dilemma if it had actually been a card of a player...

1988 Leaf Baseball's Greatest Grossouts Loony Lyle #78

Once I got past the crazy elephant and the bio-hazard gum, though, there was some fun to be had here, too. As soon as I saw Loony Lyle, I instantly recognized him. At least there was a player who came immediately to mind. How about you? Who do you see when you look at Loony Lyle? (Keep reading to compare your answer with mine.)

1993 Jimmy Dean Rookies Tim Salmon CAL #9

Chris sent some more conventional oddballs as well, including a little pack o' Jimmy Dean rookies from 1993. I'll bet Jimmy Dean would have prefered that the Angels' young stud went by Tim Sausage instead...

1986 Topps Mini League Leaders Cal Ripken BAL #2
1986 Topps Mini League Leaders Mike Schmidt PHI #55

Finally, there was a pack of 1986 Topps Mini League Leaders in Chris' package! Which was awesome because I have a ton from '87 through '89. But I'm pretty weak on '86, and these top-tier Hall of Famers were new to me. Thanks for the Random packs of kindness, Chris! You provided me with a ton of Card Night fun.

Okay, who was your Loony Lyle, people? Here's mine. Did anyone else come to the same conclusion?

1988 Leaf Baseball's Greatest Grossouts Loony Lyle #78
1979 Topps Greg Luzinski PHI #540

No offense meant to Mr. Luzinski. It was mostly the L on the cap, the powder blue uniform, and the muscular bulk that led me to the comparison. So if "The Bull" is out there somewhere and sees this, please don't hunt me down! You can do a lot of damage with those three bats and the crazy teeth. (Oh, wait... which one was Luzinski again...?)


  1. Hahaha, I knew the gum was rotted in some f these packs, but that's by far the worst I've ever seen! I almost puked just looking at it. WTF did they put in their gum? Glad you enjoyed the cards, I certainly enjoyed reading yout breakdown!