Towards the beginning and middle of May, I struggled to find material for the blog, leading me to miss more posts than I would like during this time period, including 3 posts in a 1-week time frame.
Thankfully, I've since broken free of my temporary writer's block thanks to Monday's Memorial Day Baseball card show and my best 30 cards from all 30 teams series. While I'll pick up where I left off with the AL West tomorrow, today's post is reserved for the 54th page of my frankenset.
At this point in the frankenset series, I'm nearing the 3/4 mark of my custom-made set. This particular page includes a ton of Pirates cards, 4 to be exact, as well as another spectacular Conlon Collection photo.
As I mentioned, I'm nearing the 75% mark as far as these frankenset posts are concerned. Page #54 showcases cards 478-486 and includes cards spanning 4 different decades (1970s-2000s).
#478 1990 Fleer R.J. Reynolds
The initial card of the 54th page is also the first of 4 Pittsburgh Pirates cards on this on the page as well. Nonetheless, I wasn't too keen on showcasing this card, for it's far from my favorite one on the page.
I've never been a fan of the 1990 Fleer set, nor do I like the overly-bright shade of yellow utilized across the card. If that wasn't enough, the Pirates logo in the top right corner is one of my least favorite insignias of all-time.
While I realize that some collectors and fans cherish this logo, there's something about it that's simply not true to the Pittsburgh Pirates teams that I recognize and adore.
#479 1981 Donruss Billy Martin
One of the most profound characters in Baseball history, Billy Martin was one of the most outspoken managers in Baseball history along with Earl Weaver. This might not be my favorite Billy Martin card that I own, but the limited amount of gold jersey that is visible, nevertheless, stands out.
The inaugural Donruss set, like the Billy Martin card above, isn't a personal preference of mine. I definitely prefer the '82 and '83 sets, despite their similarity, and the black-bordered '85 design to the initial Donruss release.
#480 1971 Topps Manny Sanguillen
As someone who is thoroughly familiar with the 1971 Topps set and many of its cards, I can confidently declare that Manny Sanguillen's card above is one of the greatest of the entire black-bordered Flagship product.
'71 Topps is home to a surplus of iconic cards; Nolan Ryan, Thurmon Munson, and Willie Stargell all come to mind when I think about this product. However, Sanguillen's clipboard photo is right up there with the best of the best from this sensational set.
The helmet, the uniform, and, especially, the black-bordered design work brilliantly together. The result? A fabulous card of a key contributor on the dominant Pirates teams of the 1970s.
#481 2007 Topps Jim Thome
By the middle/end of the 2000s, the greatest years of Hall of Famer Jim Thome's MLB career spent with the Indians and Phillies were behind him. However, he remained a power threat up until the day he retired while playing for teams like the Twins, Dodgers, and White Sox.
Preceded by a card from the only other black-bordered Flagship set in Topps history, Thome's time in Chicago was, nevertheless, nothing to look down upon. He hit .265 with 134 home runs during 4 seasons on the South Side of Chicago.
#482 1990 Leaf Jack Morris
Similar to how we had back-to-back black-bordered Baseball card sets, cards #481 and #482 represent consecutive Hall of Famers in Jim Thome and Jack Morris, both of whom were members of the 2018 HOF class.
While I personally collect both of these retired superstars, it's much easier to find cards for the Thome player collection than it is for the Jack Morris PC. As of now, I have 75 total cards of Thome while Morris' PC is much lower at 22 cards.
#483 1992 The Sporting News Conlon Collection Red Faber
Because of the sheer number of packs of Conlon Collection that I've had the privilege of opening, I've been able to feature a surplus of these gorgeously-photographed cards in my frankenset, specifically over the last 10 or so pages.
This time, it's Chicago White Sox pitcher Red Faber's turn, featuring a photograph likely from 1917. Though he was not involved in the Black Sox Scandal, Faber was a member of the infamous 1919 White Sox team, though he'd go onto have a HOF career with Chicago.
#484 1982 Fleer Vance Law
Although having 4 different Pittsburgh Pirates cards on 1 frankenset page can be somewhat repetitive, I enjoy seeing the colorful and striking gold and black jerseys of the 1980s, just like the one worn by Vance Law in the card above.
I'm also fond of the flat hats worn by the Pirates throughout this time period as well. I'm not sure if any other MLB clubs wore these caps, but I love the way they look with the rest of Pittsburgh's uniform.
#485 1983 Topps Omar Moreno
When I initially created this frankenset page a couple of years ago, I had no intentions of featuring this many cards from the same team on 1 page, so there must've been a lack of options for at least a couple of these spots.
With that being said, seeing this page right now, I have no problems with the number of Pirates cards that I included. Granted, I'm not a huge fan of the 1990 Fleer card, but all of the others are true standouts.
#486 1992 Fleer Ultra Reggie Sanders
Last up, a card from another set that's been quite prevalent across the 54 frankenset pages thus far; 1992 Fleer Ultra. Like the 1990 Fleer card that commenced this page, I don't have much to say about the Reggie Sanders card above. I like the uniform and all, but there's not much else to talk about.
Truth be told, if I could find an exciting card that's #486 in a set, I wouldn't mind having a 5th Pirates card rather than the standard Fleer Ultra card above.