I'm not quite sure how this happened, but I stumbled upon yet another purchase from last years' National card show in Cleveland that, up until a couple days ago, I had completely forgotten about.
This isn't the first time something like this has happened. Just a couple of months ago, I spotted National exclusive sets that I hadn't remembered to show here on the blog.
This time, in what I believed to be a folder of papers and information from the show, I located some lost vintage oddballs that my Dad purchased while we were in Cleveland.
It was surprising enough that I had let myself temporarily misplace something for this long, but it was even more shocking to learn what the cards were. It's unusual for me to misplace vintage cards and yet it happened with this group of 1964 Topps Giants cards. They're about the size of a modern-day box topper, wider and much taller than a regular box topper.
By Dad took charge with a lot of the vintage at the show with a collective effort being put into 1961, 1972, and 1975 Topps. He picked up this nice-looking Frank Robinson card only for us to find, months later, that we already have one of them.
Luckily, it was the only double of the group so I can use it as an upgrade unless there's someone out there who wants to trade for it.
The next player whose oddball card was brought back from last summer's card show is Al Kaline, one of the best overall players of his time. Getting his autograph in-person while at The National was another major highlight from the thrilling experience.
As far as the design goes, it's as simple as you can get from a 1960s card product with the only detail being a Baseball at the bottom of the card. The entire card is taken up by a picture with very slim borders around it. Out of all the cards I picked up, Kaline's picture ranks as my #1 favorite.
If you do a quick search for Lou Piniella on COMC, you find that he was on 3 different rookie stars cards. I have no idea how something like this is possible, especially since the first was from 1964 and the 2nd from '68. That aside, let's talk about the next vintage oddball set my Dad picked up cards from; 1970 Topps Super.
He's not shown wearing any team jersey or cap on the front of the card, but Piniella was on the Royals for the 1970 season. The Topps Super cards are supposed to be much larger versions of the Topps base set with the card backs replicating the Flagship backs from the same year.
The only major difference is what's on the front of the card, a full-bleed image rather than a standard card in the specific years' Flagship design.
I was very pleased to see that my Dad picked up an oddball of Curt Flood among all the other Topps Giants and Topps Super oddballs. A 7-time Gold Glove award winner, Flood actively fought against Baseball's reserve clause and thought it unfair that a player could be traded to another team without their approval.
Although his lawsuit was unsuccessful, he inspired others to follow in his footsteps, one of the main reasons why he's one of my player collections today, although his cards are difficult to come by.
Similar to how the Kaline card was my favorite from the 1964 Topps Giants set, Willie Stargell's 1970 Topps Super card is easily the best from the trio that my Dad brought back.
In addition to the classic Pirates uniform and cap, I really like how the bright blue sky background looks on this full-bleed card. Something about just screams vintage, and it does enough to allow me to look past the facsimile signatures on all 3 Super cards.
And if we're talking about Pirates players from the 60s and 70s, one can not leave out Roberto Clemente, one of the greatest players of all-time, both on and off the field.
Clemente's 1964 Topps Super card is a classic looking card as well as an excellent addition to my collection of Clemente memorabilia and cards. He's wearing the same recognizable Pirates uniform from the 60s and early 70s before they became dominated by the color gold.
It's just a great piece overall, one that'll fit right in with everything else that I have of the 1966 NL MVP. It's cards like the one above that make vintage cards and products so well-loved by collectors and specifically bloggers.
My Dad always tells me to purchase vintage because it "won't be available forever." And with cards like the Clemente oddball above, I can easily see why.