Continuing from Part I, I had 2 good-sized boxes of various baseball cards in the front seat of my car, but what was in them, and what caused me to pull the trigger on a deal for them? The answer, my readers, can be summed up in one card...
Is it Jose, or is it Ozzie? Why does the A's uniform look so different from what I'm used to seeing? And, most importantly, what's with the dirt 'stache? We may never know the answers to these questions, but at least this card is here to ask them, and along with a bunch of other stuff, it's mine now!
Y'see, the first thing I noticed in the box of cards was a 200 count box that had what I was pretty sure was a complete 1986 Fleer Star Stickers set in it. Now, when I got home, I checked my want list, and bizarrely, this set wasn't listed, even though I've always loved it, have wanted to complete it for a little under 25 years now (and especially wanted the Canseco card, but could never find it at the right time for the right price), I'm pretty sure I checklisted it recently, and I was even watching a unopened wax box of the stuff on eBay for about a month recently, before it sold. So, truthfully, I would've paid $7 just for this set, which, as I found out immediately upon returning to the car, is indeed complete. I'll have a bunch of doubles on my trade list for you lot fairly soon.
A quick primer on the set: these "stickers" were more like cards, in standard 2 1/2" by 3 1/2" trading card size, with full stats on the back. The borders look a little corny, yet classy as hell in a strange sort of way. These were pretty hard to find in my area, and card stores usually gouged on them because ROOKIEMANIA had begun, so I was basically screwed out of them during their print run save for the occasional stash at Cumberland Farms. Cumberland Farms were almost always good for some Fleer products (I got my '86-'87 Fleer basketball packs at the one near me, to cite an example).
I can't just post one card of this childhood favorite set and move on, though, no matter how many other items there are to discuss, or how behind I am on trade posts right now. Here are a bunch of other '86 Fleer Star Stickers, chosen by me in the middle of the night as the best of the set!
It's Kong! He's got a totally different A's uniform on than Jose does! See?
'Sup, Gorman? Man, he looks pissed about being a Seattle Mariner here.
This is an AWESOME Oil Can Boyd card. Look at how happy he looks! Look at that green grass behind him! Everything about this card is AWESOME.
Hey, it's Darryl Strawberry holding a bunch of bats! Is it me, or did you guys like the blue Mets jerseys, too?
Can't mention Darryl without at least thinking about Doc, and this is one of my favorite Doc cards. It's another card from a time when the sky was the limit.
Here's a nice action shot of my Facebook pal Ron Kittle! I wonder what he had for breakfast this morning? If I hear back from him, I will update you all on this! Ha, mere moments later, he's responded with "whole wheat bagel-cream cheese..and V8 to start". Love that guy.
Here's a terrific shot of Kirby Puckett, again, when the sky was the limit.
Nice action shot of Pete here. This is the kind of card that people would refer to as "iconic" if Pete hadn't screwed himself, his fans and the game so much. Gambler and possible cheat or no, I still think he should be in the Hall (and as far away from a job with a baseball team as is humanly possible), but if you ask certain people, I think everyone should be in the Hall.
And another one from the "I would not want to be anywhere near where he's throwing that ball" files...
Great card of Bruce Sutter here, one of his best. I have a soft spot for cards of players signing autographs, though. Not enough to create a collection of them, but I do like 'em plenty. Now, Bruce Sutter's a case where, while he's probably a great guy (never heard a bad word about him), was a very good pitcher, and he did help define the modern closer role, I wouldn't have voted him into the Hall. Not with Lee Smith, Roy Face, Clem Labine, Mike Marshall and John Hiller on the outside, to name a few, and certainly not before Goose Gossage or Lee Smith got in (as I mentioned, Lee's still waiting). Still, nice card. The kid peeking in near the border looks so psyched to be getting an autograph.
Fernando was such a monster in the '80s.
Nice shot of Willie Wilson here. Insanely fast runner, and according to a piece I read on him somewhere in the '80s, he smoked. That blew me away as a kid, not just that ballplayers, who were supposed to be finely tuned machines by that point, smoked, but that he did it and could still haul ass like that.
"Look at me, everyone! I'm skiing!" This is another cool shot where you can see some fans on top of the dugout. I wonder where those folks are now, and if they know or knew that they were on this card.
This is a really unusual picture of Robin Yount. The composition of the shot is just weird. Looks like a flash on the camera, which you almost never see on baseball cards, and he's leaning on the dugout railing from the outside. All that, plus you've got what looks like Cecil Cooper taking up half the shot. I think Cecil's in a batting stance, with a weight still on the bat and his glove tucked under his arm, too! It's almost like a "Spot The Errors" card!
Finally, conjoined Doc and Dale send us home with the checklist card.
There's still a ton more for me to post from this find, but this set alone was worth the price of admission. So psyched to finally have it. Part III soon!