Charm City Cards
November 27th, 2013 by slangon

Continuing with my effort to show off some cool cards that I’ve gotten in the last couple of months that have inspired me to get back on the blogging horse, here’s some random cards that I added to my collection in Baltimore of all places. Back in August, the wife and I took a long weekend trip there to celebrate out 10th anniversary. One of the spots we ended up at was Fell’s Point. While walking around there, occasionally ducking into the closest bar for a Natty Boh, we happened upon a whole street of antique shops. Having nothing better to do and not having kids in tow, we wandered into a few of them and to my surprise, many of them had cards. I think I ended up dropping around $10 in total and this is what I got.

1989 Topps Talking Baseball Pack 1

1989 Topps Talking Baseball Pack 2

1989 TOpps Talking Baseball Pack 3

That’s three packs of 1989 Topps Talking Baseball. I don’t think that those are something that I would normally pursue, but they were there, they were cheap, and they all had Mats cards in them. The first pack has the 1986 NLCS Game 6 and Gregg Jefferies. The second one has the 1969 World Series Game 5, when the Mets clinched their first World Series. The last one obviously has Doc Gooden. I was also psyched about the Ty Cobb card that it apparently contains. I say apparently because even though I got these 3 plus months ago, I’ve neglected to open any of the packs. That’s not because I’m trying to retain their value, mind you. It’s more because these suckers are big (5.25″ x 3.25″) and I have no idea what to do with them once they’re freed from their plastic constrains. I also have no idea what the “talking” part is about since you need a special player to make them talk. Anyone ever played these?

1966 Topps Juan Marichal

I also scored a well scored ’66 card of the Dominican Dandy. Couldn’t leave that one there all alone, no matter how beat up it was.

There was also a handful of ’56 Topps cards, of which I snagged two.

1956 Topps Jim Wilson


Not the most exciting ’56 I’ve set eyes on, but I thought it was appropriate to buy a vintage Baltimore Oriole while I was in Baltimore.

1956 Topps St. Louis Cardinals Team Card


The 1956 Topps set is one of my favorite sets. I happen to collect manager and team cards. I appreciate beat to hell vintage cards. This one was a no brainer. I also happen to really like that for a few years during the 50’s, Topps would include a key on team cards of who is who. Including the batboy and the trainer.

Lastly, and to me, most interestingly, I picked up a few of these:

1963 Topps Monster Laffs Midgees #82 front


1963 Topps Monster Laffs Midgees #82 back


When I first saw these, I had absolutely no clue what the hell they were. I just saw the “© T.C.G.” in the corner and decided for 25¢ a pop, why not? I do have a non-sport card collection going on, don’t I?

1963 Topps Monster Laffs Midgees #31 front


1963 Topps Monster Laffs Midgees #31 back


Once I got back from the trip and was able to hit the internets, I wasn’t too much clearer on what they were. Obviously they were produced by Topps and the name of the set is Monster Laffs. When you search the web for “Topps Monster Laffs” however, things get a little confusing. I got search results for 1961 Monster Laffs, 1963 Monster Laffs, 1966 Monster Laffs, 1967 Monster Laffs and 1968 Monster Laffs. To further confuse the subject, sometimes they’re referred to as midgee’s and sometimes not.

1963 Topps Monster Laffs Midgee #22 front


1963 Topps Monster Laffs Midgee #22 back


One of the few pages that I was able to track down that actually talked about the set rather than tried to sell it made things slightly clearer, although not crystal clear. According to that site, Topps released 2 different sets of Monster Laffs cards. In 1963, they put out what people refer to as either “Mini-Monster Laffs” or “Monster Laffs Midgges”. These were 1 9/16″ x 2 1/2″ (slightly bigger than tobacco size) cards that were issued in 3 card panels, separated by perforations. Then in 1967, as Topps was wont to do, they recycled the earlier set into a standard card size set. Basically they took the artwork they already had and slapped it onto a regular 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ card. I can only assume that the references to 1961, 1966 and 1968 in the search results were misdirected references to one of those two sets.

1963 Topps Monster Laffs Midgee #2 front


1963 Topps Monster Laffs Midgee #2 back


Going with that information, it’s pretty clear that the cards that I got are part of the earlier midgee set. They are indeed 1 9/16″ x 2 1/2″ and there’s clear signs of them having been ripped off a perforated sheet. Until someone tells me different, I’m going with that. Although, I don’t know that I could honestly say that I would’ve gone out of my way to track these down, or will try and add any more to my collection, I think they’re sort of neat. The jokes are positively groan inducing and who doesn’t love cheesy b-grade sci-fi and horror movies. Not bad for a quarter.

So that’s it for my Baltimore haul. As promised, I have one more batch of blog inspiring cards to show off before I have to figure out exactly what I’m trying to do with this blog. Stay tuned.

2 Responses to “Charm City Cards”

  1. Here’s someone else’s post that gives a good breakdown on this set and includes some of what the records sound like. One guy on youtube was posting all of the set but I think he has given up. I bought a set w/ the player on ebay for around 25 but the player is a very touchy thing. Plus, when you close the card in the player it actually indents into the card somewhat to hold it steady. Not that I care about their condition but I can tell which cards I played and which ones I didn’t.

  2. I still have the player from when I was a kid. Benito Santiago and Andres Galarraga were played over and over again by me and my brother.

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