Friday, December 27, 2013

1989 Cleveland Indians Team Issue


The Indians issued a 28-card team set during the 1989 season. A bit larger than the standard card size, these measure approx. 2 3/4 by 4 1/2 inches. Fronts feature color photos, with the player's uniform number, name and position across the bottom. A large "Tribe" logo is found at the top left of each card. Backs have the Cleveland Indians name printed in red, with the player's minor/major league statistics and facsimile autograph printed in blue. The cards are not numbered. We are guessing that the cards were given away at a home game sometime during the 1989 season.

The most interesting thing (in my opinion) about the set is the large number of players playing their first year with the Indians. After a mediocre 1988 season where the club won 78 games and lost 84, a major overhaul was undertaken to make the '89 team more competitive. The new roster was unsuccessful, however, as the Indians took a step backwards and finished the 1989 season with just 73 wins versus 89 losses. 

The "big five" card companies would not picture these new players with Cleveland until the release of their update sets later in the year (if at all). We counted a whopping ten players in this team-issued set that were playing their first season with the Tribe.

This obscure issue isn't for everyone. There are no superstars to be found, with outfielder Joe Carter being the biggest star in the bunch, and the larger card size isn't a plus for some collectors. On the positive side, most of the photos are quite nice and the look of the set is simple and appealing. Sets of this nature tend to include at least a couple of obscure players, and this is no exception. Serious collectors will be happy to add a card of unknown infielder Pat Keedy, who played just nine games with the Indians in 1989. Young pitcher Joe Skalski tossed just 6.2 innings in 1989, enduring two losses in the process, and never pitched in the Majors again.

A bit of searching will uncover a set, which usually sells in the $4 to $6 range.

Click here to find Indians Team Issues on eBay

(6) Andy Allanson, C
(9) Pete O'Brien, 1B (from the Rangers)
(11) Doug Jones, RHP 
(13) Joel Skinner, C (from the Yankees)
(14) Jerry Browne, 2B (from the Rangers)
(16) Felix Fermin, SS (from the Pirates)
(20) Oddibe McDowell, OF (from the Rangers)
(21) Greg Swindell, LHP 
(22) Brad Havens, LHP
(23) Luis Aguayo, IF (from the Yankees)
(25) Dave Clark, OF
(26) Brook Jacoby, 3B
(27) Joe Skalski, RHP
(28) Cory Snyder, OF
(29) Luis Medina, OF
(30) Joe Carter, OF
(32) Doc Edwards, MGR
(33) Pat Keedy, IF (from the Astros)
(38) Keith Atherton, RHP (from the Twins)
(40) Bud Black, LHP 
(42) Rich Yett, RHP 
(43) Scott Bailes, LHP
(45) Brad Komminsk, OF (from the Brewers)
(47) Jesse Orosco, LHP (from the Dodgers)
(49) Tom Candiotti, RHP
(52) John Farrell, RHP
(54) Rod Nichols, RHP 
1989 Tribe Coaches

Thursday, December 26, 2013

1981 Drake's Big Hitters

Click here to find Big Hitters Sets on eBay

The card collecting "snowball" slowly began rolling downhill in the late 1970s, gradually increasing in size until running out of steam in the early 1990s. It was during this time, in the late 70s to early 80s, that speculators -- in numbers previously unseen by the collecting hobby -- began buying cards with the intention of holding and selling them for a future profit. One of the card issues purchased heavily by speculators of the day was the 1981 Drake's Big Hitters set.

Produced by the Topps Company for Drake's, there was much to like about these cards. They were packaged with Drake's cake products that were only sold in certain areas of the country. Putting a complete set together required purchasing numerous Drake's products, as the buyer never knew which cards would be included inside the packages. The player lineup was nothing short of fantastic, with 33 bona fide Major League stars being represented in the set (ten Hall of Famers, plus Pete Rose for good measure). Three players were
featured with their new teams, even before the 1981 Topps Traded Series was released -- Carlton Fisk of the White Sox, Fred Lynn of the Angels and Dave Kingman of the Mets.

Collectors and speculators far and wide purchased Drake's cakes by the case, and the cards were popular sellers in the hobby newspapers of the day. It was common to pay $20 or more for a set in 1981, if the dealer in question even had a set in stock.

The bubble burst on these card values near the end of the 1981 season, when the New York marketing firm handling the promotion found out about a major "leak" within the distribution process. Apparently, complete sets of the cards had made their way directly into the hobby and were selling for high prices. Of course, the cards purchased directly from this unknown source had never been packaged with baked goods and were in mint condition. Though the original plan had been to not release complete sets, Drake's decided to do so in light of the high prices collectors were paying for these leaked cards. The sudden availability of complete sets drove the value down, as planned by Drake's, in order to make sets affordable for collectors.

Drakes and Topps once again released a very similar set in 1982 (and others in 1983, 1984 and 1985), but speculators had learned their lessons. These future sets never gained the acclaim or hype initially given to the inaugural 1981 set.

Today, the 1981 Drake's issue suffers the same fate as the other sets that were overproduced during the 1980s. Over thirty years later a complete, mint set of the cards usually costs less than the $5 to $8 range it was selling for in 1982. How's that for a great investment?

Click here to find Big Hitters Sets on eBay

1. Carl Yastrzemski, Red Sox
2. Rod Carew, Angels
3. Pete Rose, Phillies
4.  Dave Parker, Pirates
5. George Brett, Royals
6. Eddie Murray, Orioles
7. Mike Schmidt, Phillies
8. Jim Rice, Red Sox
9. Fred Lynn, Angels
10. Reggie Jackson, Yankees
11. Steve Garvey, Dodgers
12. Ken Singleton, Orioles
13. Bill Buckner, Cubs
14. Dave Winfield, Yankees
15. Jack Clark, Giants
16. Cecil Cooper, Brewers
17. Bob Horner, Braves
18. George Foster, Reds
19. Dave Kingman, Mets
20. Cesar Cedeno, Astros
21. Joe Charboneau, Indians
22. George Hendrick, Cardinals
23. Gary Carter, Expos
24. Al Oliver, Rangers
25. Bruce Bochte, Mariners
26. Jerry Mumphrey, Padres
27. Steve Kemp, Tigers
28. Bob Watson, Yankees
29. John Castino, Twins
30. Tony Armas, Athletics
31. John Mayberry, Blue Jays
32. Carlton Fisk, White Sox
33. Lee Mazzilli, Mets

1987 San Diego Chargers Police

The San Diego Chargers were the subjects of two classic (and somewhat scarce) police sets released in 1981 and 1982. After a five year hiatus, they were back in 1987 with the release of their third police set, sponsored by the Chargers and Oscar Meyer. Though numbered on the card backs to number 22, there are only 21 cards in the set as card number 13 was pulled before distribution. 

Card fronts feature a large color photo with tri-colored borders. A Chargers helmet sits at the lower left, while the players' names, positions, uniform numbers and physical info are found across the remainder of the bottom. Backs are printed in black and feature short player bios, a "Chargers Tip," and the Oscar Meyer logo. Surprisingly, no police department is mentioned on the cards.

In addition to the phantom number 13 card, two others were pulled shortly after distribution began, making both shortprints the two most valuable cards in the set. The shortprinted cards feature kicker Rolf Benirschke, who retired before the season began, and cornerback Danny Walters, who was arrested on September 14 of that year for possession of cocaine and driving under the influence. These cards are considered a part of a complete set.

The set is loaded with star and superstar players, including Hall of Famers Dan Fouts and Kellen Winslow. We would love to get a hold of an uncut sheet and take a peek at who was pictured on the unreleased card number 13... Our guess would be Hall of Fame wide receiver Charlie Joiner, who retired well before the 1987 season began. Regarding value, the current price range for a complete 21-card set is $15 to $20. 

Click here to find Chargers Police Cards on eBay

1. Alex G. Spanos, Owner
2. Gary Anderson, Running Back
3. Rolf Benirschke, Kicker (Short Print)
4. Gill Byrd, Cornerback/Safety
5. Wes Chandler, Wide Receiver
6. Sam Claphan, Tackle
7. Jeff Dale, Safety
8. Pete Holohan, Tight End
9. Lionel James, Running Back/Wide Receiver
10. Jim Lachey, Tackle
11. Woodrow Lowe, Linebacker
12. Don Macek, Center
13. Unissued
14. Dan Fouts, Quarterback
15. Eric Sievers, Tight End
16. Billy Ray Smith, Linebacker
17. Danny Walters, Cornerback (Short Print)
18. Lee Williams, Defensive End
19. Kellen Winslow, Tight End
20. Al Saunders, Head Coach
21. Dennis McKnight, Guard
22. Chip Banks, Linebacker

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

1987 and 1988 New York Giants Police Sets

Click here to find Giants Police Cards on eBay

With a variety of NFL teams releasing local "police sets" as early as 1979, the New York Giants finally decided to release a few sets of their own, with the first two being in 1987 and 1988. Both sets feature twelve cards and measure approx. 4 1/8 by 2 3/4 inches in size. The year of issue is NOT mentioned on either set. We are mentioning both together due to their similarities, but when pictured side by side they are easy to differentiate.

The inaugural 1987 Giants Police set features color action photos on the fronts, with nothing above them but white border. All subject matter is found below the photos, to include the player's name, height, weight, position, college and a small Giants helmet near the middle. Head Coach Bill Parcells is featured on his first-ever card, pictured in a closeup studio portrait, with his name, title and small Giants helmet printed below the photo. Cards are not numbered. For reasons unknown, the photo used on running back Joe Morris' card is considerably smaller than those used on the other cards.

Here's a look at the front and back of Maurice Carthon's 1987 Giants Police card:

It is estimated that 10,000 of the 1987 sets were printed and distributed by the New Jersey State Police. The twelve-card roster features the majority of the stars found on those mid-1980's Giants powerhouse teams, with the exception of linebacker Lawrence Taylor. Here's the lineup, listed in order of uniform number:

(5) Sean Landeta, Punter
(11) Phil Simms, Quarterback
(20) Joe Morris, Running Back
(44) Maurice Carthon, Running Back
(53) Harry Carson, Linebacker
(58) Carl Banks, Linebacker
(60) Brad Benson, Tackle
(64) Jim Burt, Nose Tackle
(70) Leonard Marshall, Defensive End
(75) George Martin, Defensive End
(89) Mark Bavaro, Tight End
Bill Parcells, Head Coach

 The 1988 cards can be quickly identified on the fronts by locating two small Giants helmets and the "NEW YORK GIANTS" team name across the tops of the cards. The color photos are more centered towards the middle of the cards, and the player names, uniform numbers, height, position and weight are found on the bottoms. Coach Parcells and seven of his star players make another appearance in 1988, meaning only four "new" players are featured in the second set (center Bart Oates and wide receiver Phil McConkey being the most notable).

Here's a look at the front and back of Leonard Marshall's 1988 Giants Police card:

It is estimated once again that approx. 10,000 sets were printed and distributed by the New Jersey State Police. Lawrence Taylor is nowhere to be found, but the lineup is impressive nonetheless. The cards are listed by uniform number:

(11) Phil Simms, Quarterback
(20) Joe Morris, Running Back
(44) Maurice Carthon, Running Back
(53) Harry Carson, Linebacker
(63) Karl Nelson, Tackle
(64) Jim Burt, Nose Tackle
(65) Bart Oates, Center
(67) Bill Ard, Guard
(70) Leonard Marshall, Defensive End
(75) George Martin, Defensive End
(80) Phil McConkey, Wide Receiver
Bill Parcells, Head Coach

Both of these sets are somewhat difficult to find today, but I have noticed over the years that the 1987 set sells for more than the 1988 issue. The Bill Parcells "rookie card" in the '87 set is doubtlessly the main reason for this, with perhaps a bit of support from fan-favorites Sean Landeta and Mark Bavaro. We'd estimate the value of a complete 1987 set in the $40 to $50 range, and the value of the 1988 follow-up set closer to the $25 to $40 range.

Click here to find Giants Police Cards on eBay

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

1982 and 1983 Mother's Cookies Baseball Retailer Sheets

Mother's Cookies produced arguably the nicest baseball card team sets of the 1980s, and found a niche by distributing the cards only in the regions from which the teams were based. The company's first set of the decade featured the San Francisco Giants in 1983, then expanded to feature sets for the A's, Astros, Giants, Mariners and Padres in 1984.

1984 Mother's Cookies A's Bill Caudill

Mother's tried cross-promotions with Major League Baseball before issuing the cards. Of note are their "ticket promotions" which were conducted at MLB local-market retailers. Displays were set up in the stores to promote 1/2 priced reserved seat tickets for specific games. A while back we added a few promo sheets to our collection. These sheets were distributed to retailers to give details on the campaign, as well as a look at how the in-store displays would appear. Here's the 1982 Astros sheet, which explains the 1/2 ticket promotion for the Astros vs. Pirates game on July 18, 1982 (Bob Knepper pitched a complete game for a 4-2 hometown victory):

Here's the Dodgers version of the sheet, which detailed the 1/2 priced reserved seat tickets for the Dodgers vs. Phillies, played on July 25, 1982. Fans watched Phillies ace Steve Carlton pitch a complete game shutout against Dodgers hurler Jerry Reuss, who surrendered just a single run on a Manny Trillo RBI:

Seattle Mariners' fans were the beneficiaries of 1/2 priced reserved loge tickets for the contest versus the Royals on June 20, 1982. The aging Gaylord Perry could not hold off a bat-happy Royals club, with Willie Wilson, George Brett, U.L. Washington and Hal McRae each clubbing multiple hits (Quisenberry earned the save by pitching 2 2/3 innings):

Both the A's and Giants were featured on one promo sheet. Note that this promotion also included team poster giveaways, as well as multiple game dates. For the Giants, the game featured on the sheet was versus the Pirates on Aug. 28, 1982. Attendees were treated to a 4-2 Atlee Hammaker win and Greg Minton's 23rd save of the year (he would save 30 games by the end of the season). The game highlighted on this sheet for A's fan was the Aug. 22, 1982 contest that saw A's workhorse Rick Langford take a loss versus unknown hurler Brian Denman:

We also own two sheets for the 1983 season. Of special interest is the A's/Giants sheet, because it mentions the Giants baseball cards that were given out on August 7, 1983 (A's fans were once again given a team poster). The Giants hosted the Astros that day, with none other than Nolan Ryan pitching the complete-game 2-1 win over the Giants, snagging eight strikeouts along the way. The A's game was played on Aug. 14, 1983 against the Twins, with Davey Lopes, Mike Davis and Dwayne Murphy each smacking two RBIs for a 6-0 hometown win:

The last sheet in our collection is for the Dodgers' 1/2 price ticket promotion for the July 17, 1983 game versus the Cubs. The event was an unfortunate one for Dodgers fans, as Cubs hurler Dickie Noles pitched a complete-game shutout and enjoyed a 7-0 win:

These sheets may be of interest only to the die-hard Mother's collector, or perhaps the advanced team collector. With that being said, someone has to waste their day off updating their overdue blog, right?

Click here to find Oakland Mother's Sets on eBay

Saturday, June 22, 2013

1983 Dallas Cowboys Police

 The 1983 Cowboys police set consists of 28 cards; twenty-three players, Hall of Fame head coach Tom Landry and four cheerleaders. Fronts have game-day photos, with a Cowboys helmet and Kiwanis Club logo located at the bottom left and right. Card backs feature "Cowboys Tips" and a listing of the sponsors (Kiwanis Club, local law enforcement agency and the Dallas Cowboys Weekly). 

Notable cards include Hall of Famers Landry, running back Tony Dorsett and defensive tackle Randy White. The cards are not numbered except for the player's uniform numbers, and the year "1983" is not mentioned anywhere on the cards. Twenty-three of the photos were taken by photographer Ron Scribner.

 Die-hard 'Boys fans will be interested in four cards featuring players that never appeared on a regular Topps card, but played for Dallas multiple seasons -- safety Dextor Clinkscale (1980-85), guard Kurt Petersen (1980-85), guard Howard Richards (1981-86) and wide receiver Doug Donley (1981-84).

The 1983 set was apparently released in modest quantities, but anyone interested in finding the cards should find a steady trickle of them on eBay. A fair price for a NRMT complete set is in the $20 to $25 range.

Click here to hunt for Cowboys Police Sets Sets on eBay

(1) Rafael Septien, K
(11) Danny White, QB
(20) Ron Springs, FB
(24) Everson Walls, CB
(26) Michael Downs, S
(30) Timmy Newsome, RB
(32) Dennis Thurman, CB
(33) Tony Dorsett, RB
(47) Dextor Clinksdale, S
(53) Bob Breunig, LB
(54) Randy White, DT
(65) Kurt Petersen, G
(67) Pat Donovan, T
(70) Howard Richards, G/T
(72) Ed Jones, DE
(78) John Dutton, DT
(79) Harvey Martin, DE
(80) Tony Hill, WR
(83) Doug Donley, WR
(84) Doug Cosbie, TE
(86) Butch Johnson, WR
(88) Drew Pearson, WR
(89) Billy Joe DuPree, TE
Tom Landry, Head Coach
Melinda May, Cheerleader
Dana Presley, Chherleader
Judy Trammell, Cheerleader
Toni Washington, Cheerleader

Thursday, June 20, 2013

1980-81 Arizona Wildcats Basketball

The Wildcats basketball team were featured on their first police card issue during the 1980/81 season. A large color, borderless, posed photo dominates the front of each card, with a white stripe across the bottom stating the player's uniform number and name. Card backs feature a short player bio, a basketball term and safety tip. Sponsors are listed at the bottom: Golden Eagle Distributors, Mr. Bill Clements President and the Tucson Police Department. Cards are not numbered, with the exception of player uniform numbers.

Ten-year Wildcats head coach Fred Snowden is probably the best-known name in the set. Two cards (Greg Cook and David Mosebar) were pulled before distribution and are extremely scarce -- fortunately, we somehow grabbed examples of both for our collection, and I'll try to add scans of them when I dig them out. Because the two "short prints" were never officially distributed, many collectors consider the set complete at 17 cards.

The cards are not easy to find. A lack of big names keeps the value modest, probably in the $25 to $30 range for a set without the two short prints. A set with the short prints (19 cards) might sell in the $100 range, in the unlikely event that one comes up for sale.

It is interesting to note that the design of the Arizona sets (basketball, football and baseball) changed very little during their run of ten-plus years. To make matters worse, the first two basketball sets were printed without any mention of the year of issue. One way to distinguish the two years is by looking at the player's uniform number and name across the front bottom of the card. The 1981/82 set features a black circle between the number and name, while the inaugural 1980/81 set features nothing but a space. In addition, the backs of the 1981/82 set give the Golden Eagle business address at the bottom (705 E. Ajo Way).

Click here to find Wildcats Police Cards on eBay

(10) Russell Brown, G
(12) Ricky Walker, G
(14) John Smith, G
(15) Ron Davis, F
(21) Robbie Dosty, F
(24) Jeff Collins, G
(31) Frank Smith, F
(34) Harvey Thompson, G
(35) Donald Mellon, F
(41) Jack Magno, F
(52) Charles Miller, F
(55) John Belobraydic, F
Greg Cook (Short Print)
David Mosebar (Short Print)
Mike Frink, Asst. Coach
Len Gordy, Asst. Coach
Mike Green, Asst. Coach
Fred Snowden, Head Coach
Ernie Valenzuela, Equip. Mgr.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

1980 Houston Oilers Police

The Houston Oilers were the subject of just one police set, released in 1980 by several Houston-area police departments. New Oilers quarterback Ken Stabler is the key card here, and this is his only appearance in a police safety set. Linebacking great and snubbed Hall of Famer Robert Brazile can be found on one of several cards with outstanding action photos. Yet another card worth mentioning in this gem of a regional set is of legendary defensive lineman Curley Culp, whose last Topps card was issued in 1978 (making this 1980 specimen the last card issued during his playing career). Head Coach "Bum" Phillips appears on his only card as Head Coach of the Oilers. The set features action photos on the fronts, with the exception of Stabler and Phillips. A complete set consists of 14 cards, and the cards were sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, the Oilers and local law enforcement agencies.

While the set is somewhat hard to find, the absence of Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell has kept prices quite reasonable (I'm not sure why Campbell wasn't featured, but I'm guessing its probably a reason similar to why he wasn't on any Topps cards after 1979). 

When found online, a set will usually run in the $6 to $10 range.

Click here to find Oilers Police Cards on eBay

(00) Ken Burrough, WR
(12) Ken Stabler, QB
(14) Gifford Nielsen, QB
(18) Cliff Parsley, P
(26) Rob Carpenter, RB
(36) Carter Hartwig, DB
(47) Ronnie Coleman, RB
(52) Robert Brazile, LB
(54) Gregg Bingham, LB
(55) Carl Mauck, C
(78) Curley Culp, MG
(82) Mike Renfro, WR
(84) Billy Johnson, WR
Bum Phillips, Head Coach

Saturday, May 4, 2013

1982 ASA Mickey Mantle Story Set

The Authentic Sports Autograph Company released their first single-player set in 1982, featuring 72 cards of Yankee hero Mickey Mantle (several others were to follow, featuring retired star players). A total of 20,000 sets were produced according to the company, with 5,000 of the sets containing a hand-signed autograph by Mantle on card number one. The cards basically chronicle Mantle's life from his rookie year of 1951 through his appearance at the Yankees Old-Timers Game in 1981, and many of the photos used for the set were provided by Mantle himself. The original retail price for an autographed set was $24.99, while an unsigned set could be purchased for $12.99. 

Of the 20,000 total sets that were produced (according to the manufacturer), 5,000 of these sets featured a header card personally autographed by Mantle. Please note that ALL sets feature a facsimile Mantle autograph on card number 21, which looks like this:

All of the cards in an autographed Mantle set were printed with blue-colored card backs. The remaining fifteen-thousand unautographed sets were printed with red backs. In addition to the certified autograph sets having blue backs, they also include a serial-numbered card like this:

Like other 1980s sets that are somewhat hard to find today, prices vary when a set becomes available for sale or auction. We believe an unautographed set (red backs) has a fair market value of $35 to $40, while an autographed set (blue backs) can easily sell for $120 or higher. Given the continuing popularity of Mantle, and the large number of forged Mantle signatures that litter the hobby today, the autographed version of this 1982 A.S.A. set is highly prized by collectors.


OK now... After understanding that ASA produced 5,000 autographed Mantle sets with blue backs, and 15,000 unautographed sets with red backs, we have a startling revelation to make...

Mantle DID NOT autograph 5,000 sets! That's right kids, we have seen at least three examples of blue-backed sets that are not autographed -- as a matter of fact, we own one. See the certificate shown above for set number 4,136 of 5,000? It is tucked safely in our collection, in all it's autograph-free glory. Here's a front scan of card number one, the header card that should feature the signature:

The other examples of unautographed blue-backed sets were listed on a popular internet auction site and featured serial numbers 3,839 and 4,568 (we are not actively looking for more examples...) One does have to wonder though... How many sets did Mantle actually sign? 3,000? 4,000? 4,997? 

Click here to find ASA Mantle Sets on eBay

Thursday, April 18, 2013

1976 Pepsi Los Angeles Skyhawks

Looking at my blog stats, it seems that most people are coming here via Google to look up these obscure soccer sets. It makes sense, because so little has been published regarding these regional, oddball gems. While I am far from an authority on anything soccer, I have had the fortune of slowly adding several of these type sets to my collection over the years. Anyone with additional info is very welcome to comment!

The 1976 L.A. Skyhawks set was sponsored by Pepsi. Card fronts feature red borders and black and white player photos. An advertising slogan is featured at the bottom left/center ("Join the Pepsi People feelin' free!"), while the Pepsi Logo is located next to it at the bottom right. Card backs feature player biographies and the team logo. 

A complete set consists of 15 cards, which are not numbered except for player uniform numbers. Legendary Hall of Fame coach Ron Newman is included in the set, as well as Liverpool mainstay Ron Yeats.

It is difficult to give a value to this scarcely-traded set, but common singles might sell in the $3 to $5 each range.

(1) Brian Parkinson, Goalkeeper
(4) Mickey Cave, Midfield
(5) Ron Yeats, Defense
(6) Steve Ralbovsky, Midfield
(7) Jim Rolland, Forward
(8) Abraham Cohen, Midfield
(9) Jim Hinch, Forward
(10) Ane Mihailovich, Forward
(11) Tony Whelan, Forward
(12) Benny Binshtock, Defense
(13) Leif Werneid, Midfield
(14) Steve Cacciatore, Forward
(16) Marine Cano, Goalkeeper
(17) Javier Loza, Defense
Ron Newman, Head Coach

Monday, April 8, 2013

1976 Herfy's San Jose Earthquakes

This set of 18 red-bordered cards was distributed by Herfy's Restaurants in the San Jose area, and are roughly the same size as standard sports cards. Two cards per week were handed out at participating locations. The fronts consist of a large red border and black and white photo. Backs feature short bios and a special offer where cards could be exchanged for merchandise.

According to card backs, one complete set of cards could be exchanged for a Quakes T-Shirt, ten sets for a soccer ball, or eighty sets for a pair of goal nets. Many sets were undoubtedly exchanged for merchandise, as these sets are very difficult to find today. Several noted players appear in this issue, including Julie Veee, Laurie Calloway and Head Coach Gabbo Gavric, who was a kicker for the San Francisco 49ers in 1969.

Examples of this set are rarely found, and like the Herfy's 1975 issue, it is difficult to give the cards an accurate price range because the set rarely trades. We'd guess that $50 would be a good starting point.

1. Julie Vee
2. Buzz Demling
3. Laurie Calloway
4. Mark Demling
5. Gabbo Gavric (Head Coach)
6. Mani Hernandez
7. Art Welch
8. Johnny Moore
9. George Sorgic
10. Paul Child
11. Mark Liveric
12. Jim Zylker
13. Dave Kemp
14. Miro Pavlovic
15. Ilija Mitic
16. John Rowlands
17. Mike Hewitt
18. Mike Ivanow

Saturday, March 30, 2013

1989/90 Denver Nuggets Police

Twelve player cards comprise the 1989/90 Nuggets police set. Large game-action photos of the players in their white jerseys account for the majority of the card fronts. A vertical white bar on the right side of the front featured the player's name and uniform number, and three color sponsor logos are lined horizontally across the bottom (Denver Nuggets, Pepsi and 7-Eleven). Card backs contain a safety tip and contact info for the Denver Children's Hospital, all printed in blue. Cards are not numbered except for uniform numbers and the year of issue is not mentioned. Stars Alex English and Walter Davis are the key cards in the set.

The 1989/90 Nuggets police issue seems to be easier to find than the older Denver sets. A fair current value is in the $2 to $4 range.

(1) Eddie Hughes
(2) Alex English
(6) Walter Davis
(12) Lafayette Lever
(14) Michael Adams
(21) Todd Lichti
(23) T.R. Dunn
(24) Bill Hanzkik
(34) Dan Schayes
(35) Jerome Lane
(41) Blair Rasmussen
(45) Tim Kempton

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

1983 Minnesota Twins Postcard Set

The Twins released a 36-card postcard set in 1983 featuring players, coaches, the Metrodome, and combo cards. Park Press Inc. of Waite Park, Minnesota produced both the postcard set and a regular card-sized team issue for the Twins. Both of these sets contain the same exact lineup of players, coaches, combo cards and Metrodome card -- but the biggest difference (apart from the obvious large versus small size) is that different photos were used for most of cards. Most single player and coach cards in the postcard set have a facsimile autograph on the front, with the two exceptions being Tom Brunansky and Pete Filson. These postcards are not numbered.

Dodgers legend Johnny Podres, who is featured in the set, was the pitching coach for the Twins from 1981-85. He was the World Series MVP in 1955, the only year the Brooklyn Dodgers won the Series.

Sets originally retailed for $5 at the Metrodome and through the Twins mail order catalog, and came shrink-wrapped in clear plastic. Today, the set can usually be found in the $4 to $7 range.

Click here to find Twins Postcard Sets on eBay

(1) Tom Brunansky
(2) Randy Bush
(3) Bobby Castillo
(4) John Castino
(5) Ron Davis
(6) Jim Eisenreich
(7) Dave Engle
(8) Lenny Faedo
(9) Pete Filson
(10) Gary Gaetti
(11) Billy Gardner (Manager)
(12) Mickey Hatcher
(13) Brad Havens
(14) Kent Hrbek
(15) Tom Kelly (Coach)
(16) Tim Laudner
(17) Jim Lemon (Coach)
(18) Rick Lysander
(19) Bobby Mitchell
(20) Jack O'Connor
(21) Bryan Oelkers
(22) Johnny Podres (Coach)
(23) Ray Smith
(24) Rick Stelmaszek (Coach)
(25) Scott Ullger
(26) Frank Viola
(27) Gary Ward
(28) Ron Washington
(29) Len Whitehouse
(30) Al Williams
(31) Metrodome
(32) Twins Team Photo
(33) Twins Manager and Coaches
(Kelly, Stelmaszek, Gardner, Lemon, Podres)
(34) Twins Catchers
(Smith, Engle, Laudner)
(35) The Lumber Company
(Brunansky, Gaetti, Ward, Hrbek)
(36) Minnesota's Native Sons
(Laudner, Eisenreich, Hrbek)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

1986 Donruss Baseball Highlights

While the inaugural 1985 Donruss Highlights set is probably the most controversial set of the decade (too few sets were printed to fulfill dealer orders), the 1986 edition of the set was released in quantities abundant enough to make everyone happy. Once again consisting of 56 cards, the set has a design similar to the regular 1986 issue, with the biggest difference being gold/yellow borders instead of blue borders on card fronts. In addition, the year-end boxed set has a "Highlights" logo near the bottom left of each player card. Each set was issued in a blue box with gold foil stamping, and also includes a Hank Aaron puzzle the size of a standard card. Released near the end of 1986, the set sold in the $9 to $12 upon its release. Today, an unopened complete set can usually be found in the $2 to $4 range.

Click here to find Donruss Highlight Sets on eBay

Several players can be found on more than one card, with set-hog Roger Clemens appearing on five. Donruss capitalized on several hot rookies from the 1986 season, including Bo Jackson, Will Clark and Wally Joyner.

1. Will Clark, Giants
2. Jose Rijo, A's
3. George Brett, Royals
4. Mike Schmidt, Phillies
5. Roger Clemens, Red Sox
6. Roger Clemens, Red Sox
7. Kirby Puckett, Twins
8. Dwight Gooden, Mets
9. Johnny Ray, Pirates
10. Reggie Jackson, Angels
11. Wade Boggs, Red Sox
12. Don Aase, Orioles
13. Wade Boggs, Red Sox
14. Jeff Reardon, Expos
15. Hubie Brooks, Expos
16. Don Sutton, Angels
17. Roger Clemens, Red Sox
18. Roger Clemens, Red Sox
19. Kent Hrbek, Twins
20. Rick Rhoden, Pirates
21. Kevin Bass, Astros
22. Bob Horner, Braves
23. Wally Joyner, Angels
24. Darryl Strawberry, Mets
25. Fernando Valenzuela, Dodgers
26. Roger Clemens, Red Sox
27. Jack Morris, Tigers
28. Scott Fletcher, Rangers
29. Todd Worrell,Cardinals
30. Eric Davis, Reds
31. Bert Blyleven, Twins
32. Bobby Doerr, Red Sox
33. Ernie Lombardi, Reds
34. Willie McCovey, Giants
35. Steve Carlton, Giants
36. Mike Schmidt, Phillies
37. Juan Samuel, Phillies
38. Mike Witt, Angels
39. Doug DeCinces, Angels
40. Bill Gullickson, Reds
41. Dale Murphy, Braves
42. Joe Carter, Indians
43. Bo Jackson, Royals
44. Joe Cowley, White Sox
45. Jim Deshaies, Astros
46. Mike Scott, Astros
47. Bruce Hurst, Red Sox
48. Don Mattingly, Yankees
49. Mike Krukow, Giants
50. Steve Sax, Dodgers
51. John Cangelosi, White Sox
52. Dave Righetti, Yankees
53. Don Mattingly, Yankees
54. Todd Worrell, Cardinals
55. Jose Canseco, A's
56. Checklist

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

1980 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Police

If these don't seem to be the cards you're searching for, check out our post on the 1984 Buccaneers Police Set. The 1984 cards do NOT have Coca-Cola or Paradyne logos on the backs.

The 1980 Bucs police set was released in two versions -- one has Coke advertising on the back, while the other has an ad from the Paradyne Corporation. Both versions are complete at 56 cards, and the card fronts are similar for both. This set is considered to be the scarcest NFL police issue of the decade (regardless of the sponsor), but since the "Paradyne" version is much scarcer than the "Coke" one, the 1980 Bucs Paradyne police set is without a doubt the toughest football safety set of the 1980s to find. There are 44 players represented in the set, as well as several cheerleaders (Swash-Buc-Lers), the head coach, owner and mascot. Card backs feature "Tips from the Buccaneers" and list the sponsors; Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Law Enforcement Council, local law enforcement agencies, and either Coca-Cola or Paradyne. Many players in the set are featured on their only NFL card, including USFL standouts Mike Hawkins (Gamblers) and Chuck Fusina (Stars).

A complete set of Coke backs should be worth no less than $50, while the Paradyne backs should be worth at least $100 to the right buyer.

In the "Coke" version of the 1980 Bucs police set, 28 cards have the "Enjoy Coca-Cola" logo on the backs, while the other 28 have the "Have a Coke and a smile." campaign. Card backs are printed in red.

The "Paradyne" version of the 1980 Bucs police set is the scarcest NFL police issue of the decade. Backs were printed in a maroon hue, whereas the "Coke" version was printed in red. It is estimated that only 20% to 30% of the 1908 Bucs police cards were printed with the Paradyne backs.

(1) Ricky Bell, RB
(2) Rick Berns, RB
(3) Tom Blanchard, P
(4) Scott Brantley, LB
(5) Aaron Brown, LB
(6) Cedric Brown, DB
(7) Mark Cotney, DB
(8) Randy Crowder, DL
(9) Gary Davis, RB
(10) Johnny Davis, RB
(11) Tony Davis, RB
(12) Jerry Eckwood, RB
(13) Chuck Fusina, QB
(14) Jimmie Giles, TE
(15) Isaac Hagins, WR
(16) Charley Hannah, OT
(17) Andy Hawkins, LB
(18) Kevin House, WR
(19) Cecil Johnson, LB
(20) Gordon Jones, WR
(21) Curtis Jordan, DB
(22) Bill Kollar, DL
(23) Jim Leonard, C
(24) David Lewis, LB
(25) Reggie Lewis, DL
(26) David Logan, DL
(27) Larry Mucker, WR
(28) Jim O'Bradovich, TE
(29) Mike Rae, QB
(30) Dave Reavis, OT
(31) Danny Reece, DB
(32) Greg Roberts, OG
(33) Gene Sanders, OL
(34) Dewey Selmon, LB
(35) Lee Roy Selmon, DE
(36) Ray Snell, OG
(37) Dave Stalls, DE
(38) Norris Thomas, DB
(39) Mike Washington, DB
(40) Doug Williams, QB
(41) Steve Wilson, C
(42) Richard Wood, LB
(43) George Yarno, OG
(44) Garo Yepremian, PK
(45) 1980 T.B. Buccaneers (Team Photo)
(46) T.B. Buccaneers Logo Card
(47) Hugh Culverhouse, Owner
(48) John McKay, Head Coach
(49) Captain Crush, Mascot
(50) Swash-Buc-Lers (Group Photo)
(51) Swash-Buc-Ler (Buzz)
(52) Swash-Buc-Ler (Check with me)
(53) Swash-Buc-Ler (Gap-2)
(54) Swash-Buc-Ler (Gas)
(55) Swash-Buc-Ler (Pass Protection)
(56) Swash-Buc-Ler (Post Pattern)