Friday, December 6, 2013

Flip it over

I first saw reference to the Just Commons site back in March on the Wallach blog.  I've ordered a couple of times, working on player collections  (Tony Gwynn, Nolan Ryan, Lou Whitaker, Bobby Grich, Brian Downing, Kole Calhoun, and of course Rod Carew), set needs  (1979 Topps, last 3 cards for 1982 Fleer, 1978 Topps).

I just received my fourth order.  This time I just wanted some vintage Angels cards.  I trolled the lower end of the price ranges and got some


I know the design is simple, but I like it.  Probably because its simple.  Although, green nameplate for the Angels?

I've read alot of opinions about the burlap border, but again, I like it.  Except that not all the borders are the same.  Mincher's burlap is much bigger than everyone else's tightnit pattern.

Again, simple.  I like simple.  For a long time, my 1969 Topps Rod Carew was the oldest card in my collection as a kid.  Maybe its just nostalgia for me...

Another set that I don't think gets the love it deserves.  Maybe the grey border is uninspired, but its clean.  And the backs are actually rather attractive.   I like the blue/yellow combination they used.

Speaking of backs of cards, you can learn alot on the backs of cards.  I don't know about anybody else, but I usually flip a card almost immediately when I get one.  I like looking at the stats, reading the commentary, seeing the minor league cities if they're listed.  And this batch of cards reveals some good information.

For instance, I solved the mystery of Tom Egan's hat:
It seems that the Angels couldn't find him a hat with a logo in 1967, and they still couldn't afford one in 1969.  Well, now I know why:
Look at all the "huge bonus"es the Angels were handing out in the 60's.  Forget hats, we'll throw money at amateur players.

I also learned why the Angels weren't winning on the field:
Too busy perfecting their skills in the pool halls.

But they were good in high school:
I guess that's why they were throwing around all those bonuses....

We can also learn how one player "led the club in batting", while his teammate "paced the Angels with a .276 mark"
Nice Topps.  Confusing kids.

Here we learn how a major league career ends:
When the only thing a bio writer has to say about your career is that you were assigned to the minor leagues...not good.  This card serves as a sunset card though.

Here we can learn about ballplaying relatives:
I knew about Spencer's grandfather.  McGlothlin's brother is new to me though.  Good stuff

A little cross-promotion:
Brunet is the answer to the trivia question on Rojas' card, and Rojas is the answer on Brunet's card.  I'm probably the only one who finds that interesting.

I think we collectors spend alot of time admiring the fronts of cards, or critiquing card designs and photos.  But see how much fun is on the backs of cards?


  1. I absolutely agree. There is (or used to be for some card sets) more to appreciate of the back than on the front.

  2. Two things:

    1. Tom Egan was wearing an Angels' cap from the LA Angels days (pre-66), so it was airbrushed.
    2. In 1968, all the 1st-series cards have a coarser-grain burlap pattern, that was changed starting with series 2. (Since checklist #2 was issued with both the 1st and 2nd series, there are 2 varieties.)

    1. Sarcasm gets lost in print sometimes. The Angels played in Dodger Stadium through 1965, then moved to Anaheim in 1966. So the picture was from 1965 at the latest. Yet they used it in 1967 and 1969.

  3. By the way, the 1967 set has EIGHT Angels outfielders!