Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Trading Post #67: Tim Wallach - An attempt to collect them all

Like most of us, anytime I run across a Tim Wallach duplicate, it goes in a very specific pile for trade to a particular lawyer down in New Mexico. He's probably the most famous of all of us, having been written up in Sports Illustrated and the Los Angeles Times for his collection of Tim Wallach cards. He's not just a supercollector, going after one of every card of that player. He's a super-super collector, going after every copy of every card.

While I'm sure he's aware of the futility of that mission, he's still racked up close to 17,000 cards thanks to us readers (and a few eBay purchases). My initial shipment put Colorado on his map for the first time, and I sent four more cards down a few months ago. Yes, I've done my part twice, and in return, Stack22, the writer of that world-famous Tim Wallach blog, returned the favor recently with a few Rockies cards.

2011 Topps ToppsTown #TT-44 Ubaldo Jimenez
Like Pacific Online cards, the website on ToppsTown cards no longer resolves. The URL on those Pacific cards at least has a redirect to the MLBPA, but just serves up a basic 404 page. The code on this card expired in early 2012 anyway, but I don't recall ever seeing the live site, or what you could really do there. Topps' digital efforts have since shifted to the BUNT app, but it would be nice to at least have an idea of what went on there. I haven't opened much 2016 product yet, but I hear that there are BUNT codes to be found in physical packs these days. Hopefully the app sticks around long enough not to make those cards obsolete in a few years.

ToppsTown cards are pretty easy to come by. They still turn up in discount boxes quite regularly, and though they look a bit plain except for the bright blue background, I have the complete 50-card insert set found in 2011 Topps Series 1 packs. In fact, Tulowitzki's card was an Eight Men Out card that was filled by two separate traders. Series 2 and Update each got their own 50-card sets that year, but I've only run across one or two from those later series. For some reason the Series 1 stuff seems to be everywhere.

1994 Topps Gold #135 David Nied
Also in this envelope was a ToppsGold parallel of David Nied, who remains the first player selected in the Expansion Draft. Though his career didn't pan out, he'll always have that fact to throw around.

One-per-pack inserts, like ToppsGold, were a fairly common fixture in the hobby by 1994, and that was also long before gold foil was played out. Even though it was the first factory set I ever owned, I still opened packs once in a while just to get these gold cards. And I wouldn't be opposed to doing that even today, although 1994 Topps is rather scarce in unopened form, quite unlike Stadium Club, Upper Deck, Leaf, and Fleer Ultra from just a year or two prior.

I'd know 1994 Topps in my sleep. I don't remember dreams that well, so for all I know, I literally have known it in my sleep. But I'll need some help identifying these next cards.

2015 <unknown> #NNO Corey Dickerson
I know Corey Dickerson was one of the members of the stacked Rockies outfield. I also know that he's on the Rays now. He's even on my Fantasy team, though I've benched him in recent weeks. But I don't recognize this card, nor is there really any way to identify it. No card numbers, no logo, no copyright. Just perforations on all sides, leading me to believe it is some sort of promotion or giveaway, and a small symbol in the lower left that looks vaguely like the Coors logo crossed with a stock chart.

2015 <unknown> #NNO Charlie Blackmon
Here's one of Charlie Blackmon, a current member of that strong outfield, in front of the right field scoreboard. Same logo, but no other identifying marks, but this scan shows the perforations better. Oddballs have always sort of been lost on me, and when I can't even identify them or figure out where they came from, I just end up puzzled.

Ideas, anyone?


  1. They were inserts in a Spring Traing program at Talking Stick.

  2. Mystery solved! Spring training oddballs, eh? I have to wonder if the Cubs ever did that.