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A lot of my older cards are not as "mint" as they look. I am a graphic artist and I've scanned them in at high resolution and use PhotoShop to remove scanner dust and a crease here and there as well as "cleaning up" some borders and boosting the saturation. Some of my cards are near mint but no one really wants to see my beat up cards so I've "enhanced" some of them. They are all cards that I have. I hope they spark memories and you enjoy seeing them.
Even as a kid I had an idea of Clemente's greatness. I was aware that he was a major contributor to the Pirates World Championship in 1971. I'd seen his picture on some of my old Batting Leaders cards and I saw his stats on the back of his card and knew he had a lifetime batting average over .300. I remember him getting his 3000th hit and thinking, "Wow! Not that many players had done that before." Along with Aaron, Mays and McCovey, he was one of my favorite National League players. I remember coming down to breakfast on New Year's Day 1973 and my Mom was reading the Bangor Daily News and she told me a baseball player had been killed in a plane crash. I was 13 years old and I was shocked and went around for a couple of weeks telling everyone and anyone who would listen about Roberto Clemente. He's still one of my five favorite players to collect. As of this posting I have 372 different Beckett recognized cards of Roberto. Here are nine of them including some vintage, inserts and a couple oddities.

1957 Topps #76 Roberto Clemente
1965 Topps Embossed #19 Roberto Clemente
1968 Topps #374 Roberto Clemente AS

1968 Topps Game #6 Roberto Clemente
1969 Topps Deckle Edge #27 Roberto Clemente
1970 Kellogg's #27 Roberto Clemente

1971 Topps Coins #71 Roberto Clemente (Pack pulled.)
1972 Kellogg's #49 Roberto Clemente (From my cereal box to my collection.)
1972 O-Pee-Chee #310 Roberto Clemente IA (The reverse side of this promotes the coming of Series 5 & 6 in English and French.)
Here are nine of my cards from 1954. The Topps cards were all purchased from the same card shop and around the same time as my 1953 cards and so many of my other oldest cards.

1954 Bowman #58 Pee Wee Reese
1954 Bowman #90 Roy Campanella
1954 Scoop #41 Babe Ruth Sets Record
(My oldest Ruth card. I have the Feller from this multi-sport set too.)

1954 Topps #17 Phil Rizzuto
1954 Topps #20 Warren Spahn
1954 Topps #30 Eddie Mathews

1954 Topps #50 Yogi Berra
1954 Topps #70 Larry Doby
1954 Topps #239 Bill Skowron RC
When Roger Clemens appeared for the Red Sox in 1984 it was a breath of fresh air into a stale old franchise. We'd had good players but we hadn't seen a pitcher like Roger. He carried the hopes and dreams of the majority of New England on his right arm. I remember picking up his rookie cards in 1985 from a little shop called Downeast Coins and Collectibles and the proprietor telling me that Clemens was going to be good because he "had a good head on his shoulders". I picked up his cards all throughout his career thinking he would be a no doubt Hall of Famer. Then there were doubts. I couldn't abandon my collection. Personally I think he's a bit narcissistic and a jerk but I also think he should be a Hall of Famer. As of this posting I have 1917 different Beckett recognized cards of "The Rocket". Here are nine from my collection including an in-person auto (not obtained by me) and a handful of jersey cards.

1996 Score Dugout Collection Artist's Proofs #B58 Roger Clemens
1998 Pinnacle Plus #194 Roger Clemens NAT Autographed
1999 Sports Illustrated Diamond Dominators #2 Roger Clemens

2001 Fleer Premium Diamond Dominators Game Jersey #DD5 Roger Clemens
2001 Fleer Red Sox 100th Threads #2 Roger Clemens
2002 Donruss Originals Champions Materials #8 Roger Clemens/88

2003 Upper Deck Game Swatches #RJRC Roger Clemens
2006 Upper Deck Epic Materials Blue #RC3 Roger Clemens Jsy/99
2015 Topps Tribute Relics Green #TRRC Roger Clemens

Clemens legacy always seems more tarnished than the others from that era. Not sure if it was his general attitude/ego; Mindy McCready; PEDs; or the Piazza incident - but he just seems to have darker cloud over him, maybe 2nd only to Palmeiro.
Back to the grocery store today for some more food issues. All of these could be found in the bread aisle.

1984 Brewers Gardner's #13 Paul Molitor (These were regional issues from the Gardner Bakery Company in Wisconsin.)
1989 Nissen #20 Ted Williams (J.J. Nissen was a Maine-based bread company and in the late 1980s, Nissen breads were given a boost in star power in a slate of television and print advertisements featuring Boston Red Sox great Ted Williams and Bangor Daily News sports writer Bud Leavitt. I met Bud on several occasions and he was known to be a cantankerous sort not unlike his fishing buddy, Ted. This 20 card set was one quarter Red Sox featuring Boggs, Clemens, youngsters Ellis Burks and Mike Greenwell and of course Ted Williams. Other stars in the set were Mattingly, Canseco, Puckett, McGwire, Strawberry and the Mets' young wunderkind, Gregg Jefferies. The cards were packed loosely inside the loaves and could clearly be seen through the wrapper. I got the bright idea of going to the Nissen Thrift Store in town where they sold "day old" bread for a fraction of the price of a fresh loaf. I spent about $40 over the course of the promotion and bought close to 200 loaves there and put together many complete sets as well as grabbing every star card I could find. Pack searching 101! I donated most of the bread to the local homeless shelters and Rescue Missions and 30+ years later still have several complete sets of these cards to trade today.)
1990 Wonder Bread Stars #16 Nolan Ryan (The bread with the blue, red and yellow dots on the wrapper was the first to sell pre-sliced bread which led to the popular phrase "the greatest thing since sliced bread".)

1991 Tip Top 1947 Reprints #131 Johnny Mize (These cards were put out by the Ward Bakery Company, one of the largest commercial bakers in a territory covering the market from Chicago to Boston, New York and Pittsburgh. This is a 1991 reprint of the 1947 Mize card from that set.)
1992 Ben's Super Hitters Discs #10 Ken Griffey Jr. (These discs were inserted in packs of Holsum hamburger and hot dog buns produced by Ben's Bakery in New Brunswick, Canada.)
1993 Clemente City Pride #6 Roberto Clemente (This is from a 6 card set of Clemente cards produced by Pittsburgh's City Pride Bakery, "the bakery with a heart". I still have the original bread wrappers these cards came in and unlike the Nissen cards, these were contained in a sealed pocket incorporated into the bread wrapper so they never actually touched the product. The wrapper promoted details of how you could help erect a statue of Clemente.)

1993 Metz Baking #17 Cal Ripken (This was issued by the Metz Baking Company originally founded in Sioux City, Iowa with subsidiaries throughout the upper Midwest.)
1996 Reds '76 Klosterman #2 Johnny Bench (Produced by Cincinnati's Klosterman Baking Company and featuring that city's hometown team, the Reds.)
2013 Panini Golden Age Bread For Energy #9 Buck Leonard
This collection continues to be great to go through. I always enjoy looking at other collections. I remember when many posted their mail days and recent pickups - I always looked forward to those threads.
The next player I collect that came up in the randomizer is Steve Carlton. "Lefty" had more career strikeouts in history than any other southpaw until Randy Johnson eclipsed his record. There was a time when he was the all-time leader in strikeouts back between 1982 to 1984 until Nolan Ryan passed him for good. He was the first pitcher to win four Cy Young Awards and the last pitcher to throw more than 300 innings in a season. I think one of his most impressive feats is when he won 27 games for the 1972 Phillies, a team that only won 59 games. Carlton won almost half of their games that season! A true Hall of Famer, as of this posting I have 398 different Beckett recognized cards of Mr. Carlton. Here are nine from my collection including some vintage, some game used and a couple of autos.

1967 Topps #146 Steve Carlton
1968 Topps #408 Steve Carlton
1969 Topps #255 Steve Carlton

1971 Topps #55 Steve Carlton
1972 Topps #751 Steve Carlton TR
(One of Topps' first Traded cards.)
2004 SP Legendary Cuts Legendary Swatches #SC Steve Carlton Bat

2005 Leaf Certified Materials Cuts Material Red #12 Steve Carlton Pants/32
2005 Sweet Spot Classic Materials #CMSC Steve Carlton Pants
2006 SP Legendary Cuts Place in History Autographs #SC2 Steve Carlton/99

Back to the vintage for this post as I am featuring nine of my cards from 1955.

1955 Bowman #168 Yogi Berra
1955 Bowman #184 Willie Mays

1955 Topps #2 Ted Williams
1955 Topps #4 Al Kaline

1955 Topps #28 Ernie Banks
1955 Topps #50 Jackie Robinson

1955 Topps #123 Sandy Koufax RC
1955 Topps #124 Harmon Killebrew RC
1955 Topps Double Header #31 H.Pollet/E.Banks
(Ernie Banks and Howie Pollet sharing the same socks and shoes.)
Mark, as always, thanks for sharing. Those 55s are my favorites as well as the food issues. Back in the day the stains on the Wonder Bread cards were maddening. You can be proud of your collection.
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