Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Box Bottom Bummer

I've mentioned before that 1989 Topps is my all-time favorite Topps set.  I was born in 1980, so I wasn't exactly privy to all the classic set designs of yesteryear.  And while '89 Topps is but a banal blip on the radar for many long-time collectors, for me it's as beautiful as can be.  When I look at a given card from the '89 set it brings all those warm fuzzy feelings of boyhood rushing back.  You know, the kind of sensations and memories that you gather as a nine year old and never quite let go of.

So why am I spewing forth all this mush?  Well, my recent eBay explorations brought me upon an auction for a complete 16-card collection of hand-cut box bottoms from '89 Topps wax boxes.  I bid and I won (.99, not counting shipping) and I celebrated.  After all, a chance to get all these things at one time doesn't come around too often.  And by the look of the photo, all 16 cards seemed to be in pretty decent shape.

My beloved '89 Topps design with 16 all-new (to me) photos.  Can you beat that?

I've been (im)patiently waiting for the package bearing the cards to arrive for over a week and, finally, it showed up with today's mail.  I resisted the urge to rip open the bubble mailer immediately; I wanted to savor the moment for a while more.  Plus, well, I'm something of a pessimist and I fully expected to be disappointed in the condition of the cards or the shoddy fashion in which they were cut.  After all, you can only judge so much from a digital photo posted on eBay.

Well, I had some dinner this evening and, thereafter, finally sat down to open the mailer and reveal my prize. Upon first inspection I was pretty relieved and impressed at once.  The cards appear to have been neatly cut with one of those big straight-edge paper cutters.  They weren't perfect, but they were as good as you can get without going into Adrian Monk-mode.  Condition wise, the surfaces were barely -- if at all-- corroded or stained or crusted.  And only one of the cards had a wrinkle, and a minor one at that.

A happy man was made, hooray!

Having counted off 16 cards, my next move was to put the buggers in sequential order.  Rather than a number, each card gets a letter designation from A to P.

I found card A, the George Brett beauty at the top of the post.  My unquestioned favorite of the group.

Card B was there, too, Bill Buckner (the card that unfortunately has a minor wrinkle near the bottom).

And then we have Darrell Evans, card C.

Wait, I see two card Cs.

Oh Lord, here we go.  Okay, don't panic, you got duplicates of Darrell Evans.  So what?  Just relax.

But, wait, I already counted 16 cards, which means...

Damn it.

Someone was missing, but who?  I quickly referred to the eBay listing, which had a broad photo of all 16 cards. In the photo there was but one Evans card.  So, I reshuffled through the cards while referring to the online photo, finally coming about my answer.

Michael Jack Schmidt.  M.I.A.  Card L.  L for "lost" I suppose.


So, I contacted the seller a little while ago with an email and opened a case via eBay services.  We'll see what happens.  I guess the worst case scenario is I find a copy of the Schmidt elsewhere on eBay and overpay to obtain it and complete the set.  [Ed. Note: Yuck.]

Anyways, I'll post an update when one becomes available.



  1. That sucks.
    I checked to see if I had one to send you, but no luck. Hope that ebay seller makes it right for ya.

  2. I know a guy who digs Tigers and would take the extra Evans off your hands, I am sure I have some lousy Mets around here somewhere.

    1. I've heard of that Tigers guy, and he is welcome to that Evans! (As long as I don't have to send it back to the eBay seller as ransom to release my Schmidt card, I'll PWE it to ya.)