21 November 2015

Just the Commons, Ma'am 9: Rich 'Goose' Gossage Instant Player Collection

One thing I like to do to get a nice player collection started is go onto the Just Commons website, search for the player's name, and add everything that's reasonably priced to my cart. I did that with Mario Mendoza and a couple of times with Jon Singleton. They split out some of their sets by condition, and because I'm not a details guy I will wind up with duplicates like those 1980 Topps cards on the lower right of the scan. I basically just go down the search list and add anything under $0.50 or so. Anything higher than that will get a short glance and a decision one way or the other. This time I built a quick Rich 'Goose' Gossage collection. I even picked up his 1973 Topps rookie card, although it is not in great shape. It must have been cheap! Filling out this scan are a couple different sizes of 1975 Topps and what I think is a 1976 SSPC issue.

I'm not sure how that Nolan Ryan / J.R. Richard card got in there, but there it is. Like I said, I'm not a details guy when it comes to this process, so I got three different Rich Gossage / Rollie Fingers Leading Firemen cards from the 1979 Topps set. A contributor to the duplication problem is that the shopping cart on the site is a visual mess, so it is hard to see what exactly you've got in your cart and make adjustments. I'd rather order a couple extra cards and be out a dollar or two than sort through that mess.

Apparently duplication was a problem for me with the 1979 Topps set. Oh well. One of them might be a Burger King variation; maybe the one with the red banner. We still haven't reached the mustache years, but they are coming. I was going to say that 1981 Donruss card marks the first non-Topps card in this post, but the SSPC up above would make that a lie. It does mark the first year I was alive, though, but in all likelihood the set was released a few months before I actually entered the scene.

This is a colorful bunch of cards, with a couple of O-Pee-Chee cards sneaking into the mix. I do like that Super Veteran card in the bottom row.

I think these were all from an early-80's sticker set. They were a different size, so they got their own scan in this post. At first glance the one in the middle and the foil one look like they could be duplicate photos, but the pose is different.

This scan features a nice variety of cards with Gossage in a Padres uniform. He is probably most famous as a Yankee, but he had some pretty long stints with a couple of other teams. I especially like that 1986 Sportflics card, although it is the one that scans most poorly. The 1985 Donruss in the upper left is probably my second choice out of this batch. I never like the Classic brand cards. The ones I got for my basketball collection always seemed cheap and second-rate. They were usually damaged right out of the pack, with poorly-cut edges and bad corners, along with poor photo selection and design. Maybe other people had different experiences with them, but I didn't like Classic.

We're now approaching the cards I might have been aware of in my youth, as I really got my start with 1989 and 1990 Topps, but accumulated some cards from the surrounding years as well. The woodgrain 1987 Topps cards stand out as ones I definitely had a few of in my youth.

Posts like this usually sit in my queue for months because I have a hard time getting through so many paragraphs. I've been working most of the day on getting this post done, and I am making very slow progress without even really saying much. My kids have been off the wall all day and I've been running back and forth dealing with their issues. I love my kids, but they sure know how to make my Saturday disappear without anything to show for it but a bad attitude.

For whatever reason the set I most associate with the smell of baseball card gum is 1989 Topps. Something about that set just brings that smell and taste to mind right away. I don't have a particular memory to tie that sensation to, but it must be locked in there somewhere in my subconsciousness.

That card in the upper left commemorates 24 JUL 1991, when Nolan Ryan recorded his 308th win and Gossage his 308th save in the same game. That's a pretty cool moment, although it looks like Gossage had a pretty rough season overall. Ryan was still dealing pretty well in 1991, though. I also like that leaf card, with the baseball hanging out there in the foreground. 

The Leaf card in the previous scan started the rush of parallels, and there will be quite a few of them over the next couple of scans. This one features a Topps Gold Winners parallel and a Score Gold Rush parallel. It looks like the Gold Winners cards were part of some kind of redemption program. I don't know. I wasn't really aware of 1992 Topps at the time.

One set I really liked during the heyday of my collecting in the mid-90's was Upper Deck's Collector's Choice brand. The packs were pretty cheap and the photography was great, with a lot of fun shots. I wasn't really into baseball cards at that time, though. I was buying basketball cards. I always liked getting the Silver Signature cards, even though I never pulled anyone that was any good. I'd say that Collector's Choice is the brand from my youth that I miss the most. Probably the closest thing to it these days is Topps Opening Day, but that is too much of a reprint (pre-print?) of the base Topps set to really compare to the niche that Collector's Choice filled.

That card in the middle seems a lot like Upper Deck was trying to be Stadium Club. I guess you can't blame them. Stadium Club was a nice-looking set a lot of the time.

Here's all the newer stuff. That 1973 Topps in the middle row must be a reprint of some kind, maybe a Cards Your Mom Threw Out card? I still don't really know where the Obak cards came from. I'm sure they are a reprint of an earlier set, but I am not familiar with the early set or which company printed the new ones. I guess it'll remain a mystery until I go out and research it. There are a couple of Archives and Gypsy Queen cards in here, too.

And that's it for this batch. Outside of a break between ~1998 and ~2008 (I'm going by memory here, so the estimate might be off by a couple of years in either direction) this player collection runs from 1973 to 2015, or over 40 years of cardboard history. I'm sure there are Gossage cards from the missing time period, but I didn't collect during that time frame and Just Commons didn't have any cards available from that time. It makes sense that he would start getting cards printed again in the 2008 range, as he got inducted into the Hall of Fame and collector interest probably picked up a bit. This lot was a pretty good addition to the Gossage autograph I picked up earlier this year.


  1. Great collection. Love seeing Gossage as a Padre... but I'm still getting used to seeing him as an Athletic. Haven't bought anything on Sportlots in a while, but I buy pretty much the same way as you. My two biggest factors on that site is cheap and finding one or two sellers who have all of the cards I want.

  2. That certainly is a lot of Goose's. Or would it be Geese?