Remember the days when there were baseball card stores everywhere? Even in my hometown in West Texas with a population of 15,000 people, there was a card store for a brief period of time in the late 80s. It was terrible and didn’t last long, but the point is, card shops were everywhere. There was one store in Lubbock Texas that was my favorite place in the whole world: Faust Stamp and Coin. I think they are still in business today, although it’s been at least 15 years since I’ve been there after moving to Arkansas.
I remember how excited I was to go to this store as a slack jawed teenager in the mid 80s. And I even remember a couple of cards I picked up as I was starting my collection.
I particularly remember the guy working there selling me on a "Baseball Immortals" 60 card set with showcasing the photography of Charles Conlon.
The guy (who was not the owner, but was always there) must have had a real good sales pitch because he talked my mother into buying this set for me. I wasn’t that interested, but she wanted to get me something to help start my collection, and this was what he recommended. I remember him congratulating us on the purchase as he rang us up. Even then I thought that was a overdoing it a bit. But I’ve held on to them all this time and I came across these again the other day as I was organizing my collection. I doubt there is much demand for this set out there, but I really enjoyed looking over it and reading the backs. The photography is compelling, and the write ups on the backs are loaded with cheese. I am going to share each page, front and back, with you over the next week or so. If you want an excellent overview of Conlon and his work, check out this post from Ryan at This Card is Cool. Here is the first page from the 1986 Baseball Immortals set.
Sorry for any confusion of laying out one scan horizontally and the other vertically, but I wanted to make the backs easier to read. And these are riveting reads. I want to know who wrote this stuff. Just read the first card about Lou Gerhig. I don't even know where to begin on that one. It could be because it's late and my brain is not functioning at it's normal mediocre level, but that last sentence doesn't make sense to me. "His consecutive-game playing streak -2,130 games- may well have killed him (!!), but it was Gerhig's style- first class." What??? There's so much material to cover on these cards. Another gem: "Mickey (Cochrane) sweated like a pig.... and looked like a stripper... And he was one smart cookie, too." Who writes like that? I love it!