The 6-For-5 Bin: This Time It’s Personal
February 12th, 2010 by slangon

We’re finally finished with the first batch of cards that I got from the old 6-for-5 bin. This is the start of the second batch. One thing I noticed during this hunt was that there was a lot of cards that I know for a fact were not there the first couple of times. That’s good news for me since that would imply that the card shop dude replenishes the box every now and again.

Here we go.

1977 Topps #295 Gary Carter

It’s kind of interesting that the little biographical blurb on the back of Gary’s card says “Gary had distinction of registering final Putout in 1975 All-Star Game. Playing left-field, he caught fly as N.L. Stars prevailed, 6-3”. I had no idea that Gary had played any outfield in his career. I knew he played a couple of games at first later on, with the Dodgers and Giants. Another interesting thing I learned from looking all of this up on Baseball Reference was that he actually ended his career where he started it, in Montreal. So all the stuff you can learn by actually reading the back of a baseball card?

1971 Topps #550 Harmon Killebrew

This next batch of cards are some of my favorites out of this haul, mostly because of who the players are, but also because the week before I actually had time to look at every card in the box and I know for a fact that these weren’t in there. I don’t think that I need to point out that this card (and the next three for that matter) aren’t in the best condition, but as far as I understand it, the ’71 set is sort of prone to that, thanks to the black border. With that in mind, hey, it’s Harmon Killebrew. Am I supposed to not get it just because of a couple of dings and scratches and creases and pretty much any other defects that adversely affect a cards value?

1971 Topps #530 Carl Yastrzemski

See? And you thought the Killebrew was in rough shape. I seem to remember most of the other ’71 Topps cards that I own either having action shots or the ubiquitous side line, posed batting or field stance photos, as you can see in the Harmon Killebrew card above. I really like this tightly cropped, looking heroically off into the distance shot of Yaz. It seems to sum up perfectly his role in the Red Sox organization.

1971 Topps #700 Boog Powell SP

Does anyone else out there have a certain player that you seem to be inadvertently¬†building a collection of? Maybe it’s just my imagination, but I feel like I’ve been getting a lot of Boog Powell cards recently, which is fine with me. According to Beckett, this particular Boog is a short print. I’m still a little confused as to the role of short prints in Topps distribution over the years. I know that in a lot of their modern sets, there’s short prints that, to me, seem to be short printed just for the sake of having short prints. In the Ginter and Heritage sets from last year, for example, the last 50 or so cards in the checklist were short printed. I also know that many of their early sets were issued in series, and the series that were released closer to the end of the season were not printed in such great numbers, presumably because kids were beginning to look more towards football, thus causing the sale of baseball cards to drop off. I’m just confused as to when exactly Topps stopped the practice of releasing cards in series. I’m assuming since this Boog Powell is supposedly a short print that they were still doing it as of 1971, but when exactly did they stop? I do realize that in the time it took me to type all this, I could’ve just tried looking it up.

1971 Topps #525 Ernie Banks

This is another card that I particularly love. I don’t know all that much about Ernie Banks, but the photo on this card seems to capture him perfectly. It almost looks like he’s in the middle of saying “Let’s play two!” Banks was known for his extreme love for the game and this photo really expresses that, I think. Kudos to the Topps photo editor.

1974 Topps #173B Randy Jones

This is a very strange card that ended up enlightening me about an episode in the history of the Padres that I had absolutely no idea about before this. If I’m being perfectly honest, though, I don’t think I really thought about the history of the San Diego Padres at all before this. Regardless, when I came across this card, I was a bit stymied. I knew from my modest collection of League Leader cards that Randy Jones was a very good pitcher who played on the Padres. I also knew that there’s no other team that had a uniform that ugly unique looking. I further knew that 1974 Topps cards listed the teams city in the top banner and the team name in the bottom banner. So why is a member of the San Diego Padres being listed as a Washington “Nat’l Lea.”? Turns out that right before the ’74 season was set to get underway, the Padres were on the verge of being sold to a guy named Joseph Danzansky, who wanted to move the team to Washington D.C. Apparently, the impending sale was so close to happening that new uniforms were designed. Topps was also hedging its bets by printing 15 out of the 26 Padres in this set as both Washington Padres and San Diego Padres. Turns out that the team was instead sold to McDonalds co-founder Ray Kroc, who opted to keep the team in sunny San Diego. I’m not sure if the Washington versions were ever actually distributed in packs, but obviously this card somehow found its way into a 6-for-5 bin in a little New Jersey card shop. I’m also not sure if Topps printed the Washington versions first, and then added the San Diego version once the move looked like it wasn’t happening, or if they printed both just to be safe. The fact that there were 9 Padres that never had a Washington version would lead me to think the first option, but who knows. All I do know is that the Dave Winfield rookie sadly does not have a Washington variation.

So there you have it. 6 more vintage cards complete with a history lesson.

One Response to “The 6-For-5 Bin: This Time It’s Personal”

  1. Topps stopped issuing its sets in series in 1973 (although it’s since resumed the practice with a couple series each year).

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