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New Jersey native Monte Irvin starred for most of a decade in the Negro Leagues interrupted only by three years of military service before joining the New York Giants. He appeared in two World Series with the Giants winning a ring in 1954 and was a mentor to the young Willie Mays. I currently have 110 Beckett recognized cards of Monte in my collection including these nine.

1953 Topps #62 Monte Irvin DP
1955 Topps #100 Monte Irvin
1983 Topps 1952 Reprint #26 Monte Irvin

2003 Topps Gallery HOF Artist's Proofs #33B Monte Irvin White Sleeve
2004 Donruss Classics Significant Signatures Red #166 Monte Irvin LGD/100
2005 Upper Deck Hall of Fame Green #52 Monte Irvin

2011 Topps Update #US258B Monte Irvin SP
2019 Topps Archives Silver #234 Monte Irvin
2020 Topps Archives Purple #97 Monte Irvin
A 14-time All-star and two time NL MVP, Johnny Bench was the major cog in the Big Red Machine that dominated the game in the 1970s. He was a Rookie of the Year and a two-time World Champion who led the NL in Home Runs twice and RBI three times and was awarded 10 Gold Gloves. In his rookie year, Ted Williams was so impressed that he signed a ball for Bench and predicted that he would be a "Hall of Famer for sure." Many consider Bench to be the greatest catcher in MLB history. I currently have 487 different Beckett recognized cards of Johnny. Here are nine from my collection.

1969 Topps #430 Johnny Bench AS
1970 Topps #464 Johnny Bench AS
1971 Topps #250 Johnny Bench

1972 Topps #433 Johnny Bench
1973 Topps #380 Johnny Bench
1975 Topps #260 Johnny Bench

1978 Topps #700 Johnny Bench
2002 Greats of the Game Through the Years Level 1 #1 Johnny Bench Pants
2003 Flair Greats Classic Numbers Game Used #1 Johnny Bench Jsy
His T206 card just set another record for being the most paid for a baseball card at $6.6 Million! Honus Wagner was a star shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates and rumor has it that he refused to allow production of his card to continue because he didn't want kids buying cigarettes to obtain his card so the American Tobacco Company halted production on it leaving only between 50 to 200 of them in existence. Since then the card has been sold, re-sold, auctioned off, given away in a contest, bought and re-sold several times over and even altered. I don't have one. I checked. Wagner was one of the inaugural class of Hall of Famers inducted after a 21-year career that saw him win eight Batting Championships as well as leading the NL in RBI and Stolen Bases five times each. He won a World Championship with Pittsburgh in 1909 and is considered by many to be the greatest shortstop of all-time. I currently own 231 unique Beckett recognized cards of "The Flying Dutchman". Here are nine from my collection.

1960 Fleer #62 Honus Wagner
1961 Golden Press #32 Honus Wagner
1968 Sports Memorabilia All-Time Greats #14 Honus Wagner

1994 Ted Williams Locklear Collection #LC17 Honus Wagner (An insert found in the 1994 Ted Williams Card Company packs featuring the artwork of Gene Locklear.)
2001 Donruss Classics Stadium Stars #SS16 Honus Wagner (This card contains a piece of a stadium seat from Forbes Field. The actual seat is pictured on the back of this card.)
2002 Fleer Premium Legendary Dynasties #1 Honus Wagner

2002 Topps 206 Piedmont Black #307 Honus Wagner Blue REP
2009 Topps Update #UH98b Honus Wagner SP (A short print from 2009 Topps Update.)
2015 Topps Archives #311 Honus Wagner SP (A short print from 2015 Topps Archives given to me by a fellow trader in California.)
Back earlier in this thread I showcased nine of my favorite photos to appear on a card. Today I am featuring nine cards that have to do with photographers. No standard photogs employed by Topps or the other brands of the day. These are other photographer-related cards from my collection.


1986 Broder #34 Wade Boggs (We've all referred to unlicensed cards as "Broder" cards. This is an actual Broder card featuring the photography of Rob Broder. His unlicensed cards littered the card shops in the late 80s and early 90s and did indeed feature MLB logos. Surprisingly the thing that took his cards down was the one thing that they were supposed to promote . . . photography. His lackluster photos looked like anyone with a camera could have taken. MLB finally cracked down on him and production of his cards ceased in the mid-90s but for about a decade, they made quite an impact on our hobby.)
1986 Scott Cunningham Photography #NNO Cal Ripken Jr. (Scott Cunningham started as a sports photographer in the late 1970s and is still active today. He worked for the Associated Press and Getty Images and is currently on facebook.)
1989 Peoria Chiefs Team Issue #28 Golf With The Stars/Jeff Pico/Greg Maddux/Paul Kilgus (This card is co-sponsored by McDonald's Restaurant and Kodak film and features three baseball players on a golf course. The card was included in a team set of the Peoria Chiefs. I can't explain why the three of them are wearing sweaters on what appears to be a beautiful sunny day.)

1990 AGFA #1 Willie Mays (This set was issued by MSA for a promotion where three-card packs of these cards were given away with any purchase of a three-pack of AGFA film.)
1993 Colla All-Star Game #24 Mike Piazza (Issued by noted sports photographer Barry Colla, this 24-card boxed set was made available at the 1993 All-Star game in Baltimore and features 24 All-Stars from the National and American Leagues.)
1993 Upper Deck Iooss Collection #WI19 Nolan Ryan
(Upper Deck included a 27-card insert set featuring the work of famous sports photographer Walter Iooss Jr. in 1993 foil packs.)

1996 Pinnacle Christie Brinkley Collection #14 Jim Thome (Supermodel Christie Brinkley is known more for being on the other side of the lens but in 1995 she took several posed shots of World Series participants and Pinnacle released them as an insert set the following year. The backs of the cards picture a selfie of Brinkley with the featured player and a short write up of why she had them pose the way she did. Thome dons the gloves because he was a powerful left-handed slugger in the Cleveland lineup.)
1996 Upper Deck V.J. Lovero Showcase #VJ4 Barry Bonds (Griffey: "Hey Barry, turn your cap around backwards like me and you'll come across as fun loving and likeable." Bonds: "Ok Ken, hey wait, get that f***n' camera out of my face!" V.J. Lovero snapped this pic that was used in another Upper Deck insert set.)
1997 Score Pitcher Perfect #3 Alex Rodriguez/Cal Ripken (The photos in this Score insert set were taken by Randy Johnson, then pitcher for the Seattle Mariners. and feature his contemporaries in unique poses.)
Jim Thome is another player that I was late to collect. I sort of saw him as a slugging strikeout machine. He did wind up just 49 strikeouts short of the all-time record but the five-time All-star did accumulate more than 600 career home runs. He was known for pointing his bat toward right field during his batting stance after seeing Roy Hobbs do that in The Natural. He is the all-time leader in career walk-off home runs. As he approached 600 home runs, I decided I'd better get busy on a Thome collection because he was probably going to the Hall. Since then I have accumulated 726 different Beckett recognized cards of him. Here are nine of them.

1991 Bowman #68 Jim Thome RC
1991 Upper Deck Final Edition #17F Jim Thome RC (Interesting that Upper Deck is using a photo obviously from the same photo session as Bowman.)
1993 Triple A All-Stars Fleer/ProCards #38 Jim Thome

1997 Upper Deck Run Producers #RP21 Jim Thome
2000 Metal Emerald #41 Jim Thome
2003 Fleer Showcase Thunder Sticks Game Bat #JT Jim Thome/799

2004 Playoff Prestige Players Collection Jersey #41 Jim Thome
2004 Sweet Spot Sweet Threads #STSJT Jim Thome
2008 SP Legendary Cuts Destined for History Memorabilia #JT Jim Thome
Another player that I was late to the party on was John Smoltz. I knew Maddux was going to the Hall and eventually realized Glavine was going too but wasn't sure Smoltzie was on his way. Obviously he was. He was an 8-time All-star, World Champion and Cy Young Award Winner that led the NL in Victories and Strikeouts twice each and once in Saves. He was signed by the Detroit Tigers and traded to the Braves for Doyle Alexander when he was 20 years old. Alexander went 9-0 for the Bengals in 1987 and was out of baseball by 1989. Smoltz went on to team up with fellow rookie Tom Glavine and later Maddux to create the most feared rotation in MLB. He even had a brief stint with the Red Sox. His good friend Tiger Woods once proclaimed him as the best golfer not on the PGA tour although he did qualify for the 2018 U.S. Senior Open. Now he works as an analyst for MLB Network. As of this posting, I have 555 unique Beckett recognized cards of John including these nine from my collection.

1989 Upper Deck #17 John Smoltz RC
1991 Studio #149 John Smoltz Autographed
(An in-person autograph not obtained by me.)
1994 Finest Pre-Production #100P John Smoltz

2001 Topps Fusion Feature #F3 John Smoltz Bat
2002 Playoff Piece of the Game Materials #38A John Smoltz Jsy
2007 Ultra Feel the Game Materials #JS John Smoltz

2009 UD A Piece of History Timeless Moments Jersey #TMSM John Smoltz
2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Gold Jersey #8 John Smoltz Jsy
2014 Topps Update Fond Farewells Relics #FFRJS John Smoltz
I doubt if kids these day play marbles like I did when I was a kid. My schoolmates and I would gather at recess and dig a small hole with the heel of our shoe and then shoot marbles toward it and then "boot" them in. Winner won all the marbles in the game. I kept mine in a little tin Bandaid can and you could hear me coming down the hall with those marbles rattling around inside that can. The big marbles were called "boulders" and the small ones were called "pee wees" and that brings me to today's featured player. Harold Peter Henry "Pee Wee" Reese's nickname originated from his childhood as he was a marbles champion. Considered too small to be a ballplayer, he was discovered playing in a church league and was eventually signed by the Boston Red Sox. Manager/Shortstop Joe Cronin was sent out to scout him and upon realizing he was scouting his own replacement, did not speak favorably of Reese and so he was traded to Brooklyn. He would become a ten-time All-star and two-time World Champion with the Dodgers and is recognized as being a strong supporter and good friend of Jackie Robinson when he broke the color barrier. I currently have 137 different Beckett recognized cards of Pee Wee. Here are nine from my collection.

1957 Topps #30 Pee Wee Reese
1958 Topps #375 Pee Wee Reese
1983 Topps 1952 Reprint #333 Pee Wee Reese

2002 SP Legendary Cuts Game Bat #BPWE Pee Wee Reese DP
2003 Flair Greats Home Team Cuts Game Used #12 P.Reese Pants SP/75
2003 SP Legendary Cuts #98 Pee Wee Reese/1299

2006 SP Legendary Cuts Baseball Chronology Materials #PW Pee Wee Reese Bat
2010 Topps #549B Pee Wee Reese SP
2011 Topps #435B Pee Wee Reese SP
My oldest memorabilia card is an Upper Deck Greg Maddux jersey card from 1999. The first memorabilia card I ever owned was a 2001 SP Game Used bat card of Randy Johnson. Since then I have accumulated about 1500 memorabilia cards. I've shown you cards with swatches of bats, benches, bases, jerseys, pants, jackets, seats, caps and even on base circles throughout this thread. For today's post I am showing nine cards that feature nine different items embedded into the card.

2000 Aurora Dugout View Net Fusions #17 Tony Gwynn (Once again I'll give a shout out to Pacific for their innovative designs. This Gwynn card actually has a piece of netting embedded into the card.)
2001 Absolute Memorabilia Tools of the Trade #TT13 Greg Maddux Jsy (I probably have more jersey cards than any other memorabilia cards and this one features a swatch of The Professor's jersey.)
2001 Donruss Classics Benchmarks #BM4 Barry Bonds
(This Bonds card claims to contain an authentic game-used home dugout bench from Three Rivers Stadium. The bench is pictured on the back of the card.)

2001 E-X Wall of Fame #5 Nomar Garciaparra (This card is game-dated to one of Nomar's multi-home run games in 1997 and features an authentic piece of an outfield wall from a Major League stadium.)
2001 Fleer Red Sox 100th Splendid Splinters Game Bat #2 Dwight Evans (Here's a chip from one of Dewey's bats.)
2002 Fleer Tradition Update This Day In History Game Used #12 Derek Jeter Pants
(This Jeter card proclaims to have a swatch of Jeter's britches. I wonder if they wash these before they slice them up.)

2002 Topps Super Teams A View To A Thrill Relics #VTFR Frank Robinson 2 (This card has a piece of a seat from Baltimore's Memorial Stadium.)
2003 Upper Deck MVP Dual Aces Game Base #CL Roger Clemens/Al Leiter
(Here's a couple swatches cut from some Major League bases.)
2004 Leather and Lumber Leather Cuts Glove #1 Adam Dunn/192 
(This card contains a piece of leather that is not game-used but the Big Donkey wrote his name across it so that makes it pretty cool.)
"Hammerin' Harmon" Killebrew was nicknamed "The Killer" because of what he could do to a baseball with his bat. At the time of his retirement, only Babe Ruth had hit more home runs in the AL. He hit 40 or more home runs in a season eight times and led the league six times. He also led the AL in RBI three times and was a 13-time All-star. His autograph is one of the most attractive autos in my collection and I've shown you four of them throughout this thread. As of today, I have 324 unique Beckett recognized cards of Harmon in my collection. Here are nine of them.

1958 Topps #288 Harmon Killebrew
1959 Topps #515 Harmon Killebrew
1960 Topps #210 Harmon Killebrew

1961 Topps #80 Harmon Killebrew
1962 Topps #70 Harmon Killebrew
1965 Topps #3 AL Home Run Leaders/Harmon Killebrew/Mickey Mantle/Boog Powell (Pictured with a couple other league-leading sluggers of the day.)

1965 Topps #400 Harmon Killebrew
1969 Topps #375 Harmon Killebrew
1971 Topps #550 Harmon Killebrew
Stan "The Man" Musial spent his entire 22-year career raking for the Cardinals. Widely considered to be one of the greatest and most consistent hitters in MLB history, Stan set NL records for most hits, RBI, games played, runs scored and doubles. He was a seven-time Batting Champion, three-time MVP and a member of three World Championship teams and his 24 All-star appearances is tied with Aaron and Mays for the all-time record. I currently have 403 different Beckett recognized cards of Musial. Here are nine.

1958 Topps #476 Stan Musial AS TP
1959 Topps #470 Stan Musial BT/3000 Hits
1960 Topps #250 Stan Musial

1962 Topps #50 Stan Musial
1962 Topps #317 Stan Musial IA
1963 Topps #138 Pride of NL/Willie Mays/Stan Musial (Stan shares this card with fellow perennial all-star Willie Mays.)

2001 Bowman Chrome Rookie Reprints Refractors #3 Stan Musial
2004 SP Legendary Cuts Ultimate Swatches #SM Stan Musial Jsy
2005 SP Legendary Cuts Lasting Legends Material #SM Stan Musial Jsy