A few more reader questions and comments as we sift through the Rich’s Ramblings inbox…
Mike Vesic wrote, saying he enjoyed the fun we had chronicling the cartoons on the back of the 1962 Topps baseball cards:
Being 13 at the time I tried to collect as many 62s as possible. As time passed the cards became hand me downs and my younger brothers sent the 62s to a landfill. My question to you is, who was the artist, or artists who cartooned the backs? Any input would be of great help.
Mike, there were several famed artists who created those drawings including Jack Davis who was still drawing very recently.
A reader who goes by ‘Rotten Ralph’ found my column from last January on the rare Pro Set Protoype cards, some of which were apparently used to pitch league executives on granting the company an official trading card license. I also mentioned a Pro Set Profiles set, produced in conjunction with a short-lived TV show the company was involved in back in the early 1990s. Ralph found that column online and tells us he’s been chasing these for years:
You were 100% correct when you said that someone had a stash of these rare cards…and that is me. I would venture to say NOBODY in the world has a stash of these cards like I do. I believe I have the only BGS 9.5 Pro Set Prototypes NBA set in the world. There are only 7 Michael Jordan BGS 9.5 cards ever graded. And 4 of those are mine.
I don’t know of anybody in the card world trying to complete the (Pro Set Profiles) set. It’s the toughest set in the world to complete. At least it is for me. I have 12 of the 13 card set. I’m lacking only the card of Anne Smith, the tennis player. (The other) cards in the set are machine autographed. Her card is the only one in the set that she personally autographed. I’ve found this out from my research. The card doesn’t book for much. But I’d pay an above book price, just to finish my set. I wonder if it may be sitting in a box somewhere in Dallas (Pro Set’s home base). Can you help me find that card?
When I finish my set, I’ll let you be the first to publish it. And then you get to hear the unbelievable story of how I got these cards. I’ll give you a hint…it all started in a church. How’s that for a teaser?
Ralph, it’s great to hear where some of those old pieces of trading card history are. We asked a couple of leading collectors who were in Dallas during the early 1990s and they had no idea where the signed Anne Smith cards are but maybe this will draw them out.
Incidentally, one thing we sometimes did at Beckett, especially on sets that were hard to track, was to raise the value to see if that would draw more copies into the marketplace so we could determine the actual level of interest. When we knew a card or set was difficult, doing that was one of many options to try to make those prices as accurate as possible.
A local collector named Curtis, who is always coming up with card-related trivia, shared this with me.
There’s a player who appeared on a four-player rookie card in the 1977 Topps set—then returned on another ‘Rookie Stars’ card in the 1978 set. On one of the cards, he and the three others pictured combined for 6,516 hits, more that the total for the foursome on Pete Rose’s rookie card.
On the other card, this player and the others pictured combined for only 1,180 hits.
Below is an alphabetical list of the seven players on the two cards. Without looking it up can you piece together those two cards?
We’ll let you all do the research or guess as to the correct answer. I did respond with my instinctive answer based on memory and was fortunate enough to be dead on with the response.
And to conclude, many of us former Baseball Hobby News writers/columnists recently enjoyed getting back in touch with each other via email and if anyone wants to forward some BHN or other writing memories, we’ll feature those in an upcoming Ramblings. We really hope the mysterious Rex King graces us with some great stories of his writing days for BHN.