Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Back to the Well Again

On my most recent post, I blogged about my experience with opening a few hand-made re-packs from the local Goodwill thrift shop.  There were a few cards of note to be had within the cellophane packages and they were definitely a more intriguing rip than your standard pack of Topps Update or what have you.  All in all, I wouldn't have been opposed to pulling the trigger on another one if I got the chance.

Well, that chance came pretty quickly; although, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.

You see, my fiancee works in management for Goodwill and I had to pick her up from work yesterday evening.  Of course, I was just a tad bit early, so I wandered the aisles in search of some cool records, technical running gear and more cardboard treasures in order to kills some time.  While I struck out on the first two items on my list, I wasn't so unfortunate on bullet point number three:

Score! Another one of those re-packs and, from what I could see from the outside, it certainly appeared to be made up entirely of SSPC cards.  Hot damn - these don't turn up in my neck of the woods very often. 

Combine that incentive along with my fiancee's employee discount and the bonus 20% off that came with Customer Appreciation Day and I'd have been a fool not to take this item home with me.

Let's see what I got:

Okay - that Jim Colborn is an absolute classic; how have I not seen this one before?  That snarl, the bug eyes, the silent movie villain mustache, the seventies Brewers uniforms... this cardboard rectangle has everything!   Colborn came up with the Cubs in 1969 and spent three seasons on the North Side until being traded for Jose Cardenal (another man with funny follicles); thus, this phenomenal portrait will slide nicely into my Cubs of Another Color binder.


Beyond Colborn, there was nearly a complete collation of the Brewers team set from the 1975 SSPC checklist.  Also, from what I can see, there was a fair amount of overlap in men who played for both the Brewers and the Cubs in the mid-70's:

Two more to go along with Colborn into the Cubs of Different Color collection.

Here we have Bobby Darwin on the left and Pete Broberg on the right, sporting a sweet turtleneck and a garbage bag, respectively.  Okay - I know it's a windbreaker, but tell me it doesn't look like a garbage bag.  Anyway, Darwin, the former Twins outfielder, was on the downswing of his career and spent just the 1975 part of the '76 campaign in Milwaukee.  Eventually, he ended his MLB career with 11 games for the 1977 Cubs.  Meanwhile, Broberg was a journeyman reliever who was teammates with Bobby both during their Brewers stints and with those '77 Cubs.

Apparently, the SSPC photographer scheduled to work with the Brew Crew was late to the shoot or bad a scheduling, since all of these photos appear to take place at dusk or later.  They're so washed out by the flash.

There was one actual Cub card to fall out of the pack, this single George Mitterwald - back up catcher extraordinaire.  The most interesting thing about this card is the placement of the George's number in the middle of the C on his batting helmet.  I mean, of all the places to identify one's equipment, why there?

This too hails from the '75 SSPC set, as did the nearly complete assortment of Twins that were also included in the re-pack.  Unfortunately for me, my greatest SSPC need comes from the 1978 edition; so, if anyone happens to have an extra #251 of Cubs backstop Mike Gordon, which I need for my Cubs All-Time Roster Collection, let's talk trade.  Please?

At this point, I'd reached the end of the SSPC content of the Goodwill re-pack.  However, I wasn't too disappointed because the rest of the baggie was made up of another, similarly designed and equally as fascinating set:  TCMA's Baseball History Series - the 1950's from 1979:

Of course, these share a similar design largely because SSPC was a TCMA venture.  That said, the photography in the latter set is so much more fascinating and eye-catching.

Both of these men may be Dodgers in these beautiful spring training shots; but, both have Cubs connections as well.  Russ Meyer, better known as "Monk," debuted in the Majors with Chicago in 1948 before moving on to much greener pastures in Philadelphia and Brooklyn.  Additionally, Bobby Morgan spent a few years backing up Pee Wee Reese at shortstop before ending his career as the Cubs starter at second base in 1957.

On the left, we have Giants legend and Cubs after-thought Bobby Thomson taking some practice hacks before a spring contest.  Meanwhile, to the right, we have a much less known player by name the of James "Dusty" Rhodes.

Rhodes was a spare-part outfielder throughout the fifties for the Giants, even following them to San Francisco for his final year in 1959.  More importantly, at least to me anyway, Dusty's first experience in pro ball came courtesy of the Cubs, who signed him to his first contract in 1947.  However, he never spent any time on the Major League roster for Chicago.  On that note, this card will look quite nice in my Coulda Been a Cub binder.

That did it for the Cubs and Cubs-related content, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate some top-notch photography otherwise.  Here's just a small sample of the classic, posed photos used by TCMA for this retrospective set, as modeled by (clockwise from left) Jimmy Piersall, Jerry Priddy, Jack Banta and Bill Miller.  I'm especially fond of the old-school water tower in the background of that Pri

One might say that it makes for a "Priddy" background. ba dum tiss.

All in all, I'd say that this pack-ripping experience was just as good, if not better, than my last Goodwill raid.  After going through such a long gap without finding any trading cards on the thrift store shelves (let alone those worth the dinero), I'm now two-for-two.  So, that's pretty cool.

In summation, I ended up with a few new Cubs oddballs for my Cubs of Another Color collection, a new single for my Coulda Been a Cub binder and a whole mess of trade-fodder that's infinitely more eye-catching than the junk wax that re-packs normally produce.  Not to mention, it was just fun to rip and sift through.

Furthermore, after this last purchase, I also earned a free, five dollar coupon for use on any purchase.  Here's hoping the steady flow of cardboard gold continues to flow through the Orland Park Goodwill!


  1. Nice little find Tony! I've never gone into a thrift store unless donating clothes, will have to take a look sometime.

  2. Now I really have the urge to go to a thrift store.

  3. I would have made that purchase too. Broberg's hair is top notch

  4. That seems like it was a satisfying cheap pick-up, nice grab!

  5. I really need to expand my thrift store radius.

  6. You know what I see at any thrift store I've been in?


    You know what else I see?


  7. Ho-lee crap! Now THAT is a thrift store find!

    As for the uni # in the middle of the C on the helmet... it seems to have been standard operating procedure at the time: