Saturday, July 2, 2016

Ben Dover

That is a prank call name that Bart Simpson would be proud of.  I have the sense of humor of a 12 year old, I know - the post title will correlate, I assure you.

Besides terrible jokes, there are few things in life that bring as much joy as seeing an unannounced PWE in your mailbox, at least as far as mail goes.  A few days ago, my afternoon was considerably brightened when I found a surprise envelope filled chock-filled with baseball goodies, courtesy of the insurmountable Dimebox King, our very own Nick.  

Considering the rest of the mail was made up of bills, catalogs from companies that I question how they even got my address and a reminder that my cat is due for his yearly check up, Nick's envelope was undoubtedly the highlight of that days' mail delivery.

Allow me to show you the gems that Nick dug up, as only he can:

There was a healthy stash of these perforated, reprinted oddballs, from brands like Goudey (photos taken by prolific Chicago photographer George Brace, remember that for an upcoming post)...

... to Orbit Gum and Bowman.  These oddities were issued by the book in the late 70's/early 80's by a company known as Dover, containing multiple sheets of iconic baseball cards and card designs.  This is the kind of stuff I absolutely love because it allows me to pick up adequate substitutes of cards that I would, most likely, never own otherwise.

Not to mention, mid-century reprints usually contain an obscure player or two that I need for my Cubs All-Time Roster Collection.

Speaking of simulated vintage:

Nick also included a healthy helping of the Cubs portion of the 2016 Archives checklist...

...and what I'm pretty sure is my first single from LAST year's Gypsy Queen release.  Every and any Ernie Banks card is welcome in my collection; however, I think Topps might've run this photo through a few too many filters - Ernie Looks like the Crypt Keeper!

At any rate, Nick sent more than just faux-vintage too; he managed to slip a few of the real McCoy as well:

Okay - well, the buyback is TECHNICALLY a 2016 card, it was obviously originally printed in 1967.  Meanwhile, I think my favorite baseball card set of all-time is the 1959 edition of Topps, what with all of it's bright colors and KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) design.  Therefore, this Dale Long was a more than welcome slight and immediately slotted into my CATRC binder as a condition upgrade.

Now - Nick must be reading my blog diligently.  After all, I just did a big post about my "United Nations of Cardboard," which basically was just an excuse to show off my international baseball card hoard.  Just a few days later, these bilingual beauties show up:

Pacific was always a forward-thinking company, looking to do something to catch your attention.  In 1993, they decided to expand the culture of the baseball card collector by including Spanish on their checklist.  Meanwhile, this Moises Alou represents my very first acquisition from the Donruss Estrellas product.

Estrellas was a set of cards featuring Major League Baseball stars, printed entirely in Spanish and distributed in Mexico in order to generate some international intrigue.  It looks as though Moises will be joining my UNoC as a representative of our neighbors to the south.

I must admit, when I was first flipping through the envelope's contents, I didn't initially notice that there was anything special about the Alou.  Speaking of which, here's another card which might seem ordinary on first glance:

That might look like a standard base card of Jeff Samardzija from 2014.  However, that is in fact the mini version of "Shark," a product that was available exclusively online through the Topps website.  I know for certain that I don't have any of these at all!

Judging by the nature of their distribution, I can't imagine these pop up as singles too often and I know just how much Nick loves his mini cards.  Thus, I am exceptionally grateful that this pint-sized pitcher made it's way to my doorstep!

While that micro-machine of card might look unassuming at first, the envelope closed out with a couple of oddballs that are a little more obvious:

Cardtoons!  This parody set was a bone of contention between the MLBPA and it's creators, leading to a seven year long court battle, a case eventually won by Cardtoons.  Although, I'm sure that the hassle and expense that went into that struggle is the likely the reason that we haven't seen a similar product since.

Maybe it's my immature sense of humor, but I find these to be fairly chuckle-worthy; I especially appreciate the literal "holy cow" on the Harry "Scaray."  It's something different, at the very least.

With that, we've reached the end of Nick's A+ surprise PWE.  Thank you kindly for dropping some awesome cardboard in my mailbox and diluting the existential dread that comes along with opening bill after bill after credit card statement after bill.  If I were you, I'd look for something to come back your way in the near future. 

Also, maybe I should pay a few of those bill things - I'll let my fiancee take the cat to the vet...


  1. It's a good thing I collect baseball cards because checking the mail would be just plain depressing without them. I did have your "United Nations" post in mind when I put the Alou in your stack, but I completely forgot that '93 Pacific had Spanish on the back. A happy accident. Glad you enjoyed everything!

  2. When I hear the name Ben Dover I can only think of the parody baseball cards Dynamite magazine made when I was a kid. I may still have these somewhere. "Here is all the boring stuff that some kids like to memorize."

  3. Nick always sends out really nice packages.
    I'm looking forward to your Jeimer Candelario post!