Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz

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Card Show Pickup #15: 1963 Braves

For the longest time, I had stopped purchasing vintage cards. It just seemed like my dollar went a lot further on new cards. That's a bogus argument from the start, but in the world of gimmicked short prints driving up the price of a hobby box (before said box sits on a shelf for three months and the price crashes ... another story for another time), vintage seems like a better deal. Of course, I also doubt that cards of today will ever be considered classics in the same manner as the cards of the 50s and 60s. I'd love to just poo poo all over the cards of today and stop collecting them entirely, but I won't do that. I still love the game of baseball and I still want the base set, if for no other reason than to remind me of the state of the game in 2013. I'd love to want to "build" the base set, but I'll just stick to buying them for a little less than the price of a hobby box from a case breaker.

I've enjoyed the last few years of Topps designs, but once a year has passed, I tend to get confused what year is what. The cards just aren't the same today. Hell, even the cards of the junk wax era were better and more distinctive form year to year. Buying the handful of vintage cards I purchased from Roger at the card show, reminded me of just how amazing the designs of the 50s and 60s are. Nothing Topps has released since the 80s can even compare to these sets. There's a reason that 1953 Topps, 1953 Bowman Color, 1954 Topps, 1965 Topps and 1963 Topps are the gold standard in the hobby.

Those four sets are my favorites of all time, so it was a given that I would buy a few of the 1963 cards. The Uecker card is one that I’ve wanted for ages and ages. I became a massive fan of Uecker after reading “Catcher in the Wry” as a young kid. I loved his Miller Lite commercials. His appearances on the Tonight Show were worth staying up for, every night. He was great in Major League. Whenever he was working national baseball broadcasts, he was hilarious. I spent three years working a contract in Madison, and I got to listen to the modern Uecker call Brewers games on the radio. Turns out, even when he’s not playing the clown, he’s a damned great announcer. Entertaining, with great stories, and with a deep understanding of the game. The only play by play guy I’ve heard that’s better is Mr. Scully. I’m so happy I own this card.