Card of the Day: Tim Flannery 1988 Fleer #582

Card of the Day: Shane Conlan 1988 Topps #232

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Flashback Product of the Week: 1988 Salt Lake City Trappers Team Issue

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Minor League Baseball sets issued by teams today don’t carry much weight when it comes to the collecting world.  They’re drastically overproduced, and the players most likely already have cards in more in-demand products such as BowmanBowman ChromeBowman Draft, Bowman’s BestPro Debut, and Heritage MiLB.  I’m not saying there isn’t a market for them.  Today’s collectors just have more options.

During the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s is where you’ll find some of the more popular team issued sets.  Guys like Ryne Sandberg, Cal Ripken, Jr., and even John Elway pictured in an Oneonta Yankees uniform all received Minor League Baseball cards predating their nationally issued rookies.  Depending on rarity and condition, these can be extremely valuable.

Baseball Cards Etc issued a team set in 1988 for the Salt Lake City Trappers.  Now they’re known as the Ogden Raptors.  At the time, actor Bill Murray owned five percent of the team.  It makes perfect sense that he received his own card.  His brother Brian is also featured on another card in the same set as well.  These two cards are literally the only reason why this set is continued to be talked about today.  None of the other players went on to have historic careers.

If you watched any of the World Series last year, you’d know what a huge baseball fan Bill Murray is.  He was rocking that t-shirt that said “I AIN’T AFRAID OF NO GOAT.”  The 1988 Salt Lake City Trappers team set is the first time Bill Murray was featured on cardboard.  It wouldn’t be his last though.  Over the years, other teams he’s been involved with have included him in their sets.  Here is a rundown of all the Bill Murray baseball cards you could add to your collection.

  • Bill Murray/Brian Murray 1988 Salt Lake City Trappers Team Issue #2
  • Bill Murray 1988 Salt Lake City Trappers Team Issue #29
  • Bill Murray 1989 Salt Lake City Trappers Team Issue #29
  • Bill Murray 1996 Butte Copper Kings Best #2
  • Bill Murray 1998 Charleston RiverDogs Grandstand #19
  • Bill Murray 2004 Brockton Rox #28
  • Bill Murray 2008 St. Paul Saints Team Issue #15
  • Bill Murray/Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Mayor 2012 Charleston RiverDogs Grandstand #36

Mr. Murray does have a handful of other cards from various entertainment products.  Leaf even made a cut signature of him in 2012 numbered to only (1).  Most collectors treat the card of him pictured alone from 1988 as his “rookie” card.  Three copies recently sold for $75 each.

I know one of these years we’re going to see Bill Murray show up in Allen & Ginter or Goodwin Champions.

Card of the Day: Kenny Easley 1988 Topps #145

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Flashback Product of the Week: 1988 Little Sun Minor League Legends

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At one time there was a small card company located in Monrovia, CA called Little Sun.  They pumped out mainly baseball card sets between 1988 and 1992.  Along with Upper Deck, Little Sun was one of the first manufacturers to include randomly inserted autographs within their products.  The first Little Sun autographed cards can be found in their 1991 High School Prospects set.  Shawn Estes, Cliff Floyd, Benji Gil, and Al Shirley all have autographs in there.  Each one is limited to (500) copies.  Of all the sets they issued, their final one gets the most attention.  The 1992 High School Prospects set not only includes a Derek Jeter base card, but an autograph as well.  Those two Derek Jeter cards are highly sought after.  Collectors are willing to spend big money for them.  Other autographs include Jason Kendall, Dave Landaker, and Chad Roper.  Each of these autographs has a (250) copy print run.  You could say that Little Sun went out with a bang with this set.  Derek Jeter is pretty much the only thing keeping the Little Sun name relevant these days.

Early on in Little Sun’s card making career, they came out with a minor league product.  The set is called 1988 Little Sun Minor League Legends.  It only features eleven cards – Checklist #1, Pete Gray #2, Ike Boone #3, Lou Novikoff #4, Luke Easter #5, Steve Bilko #6, Frank Shellenback #7, Smead Jolley #8, Jigger Statz #9, Joe Hauser #10, and Fidel Castro #11.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  Former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has a card in here.  Castro was a great athlete who enjoyed playing baseball.  The Washington Senators once held tryouts for Cuban players, but he wasn’t offered a contract.  After he came to power, Castro would occasionally pitch an exhibition game for the Barbudos.  Despite the opposing team always hitting strongly against him, nobody would dare pull Fidel Castro from the game.  Over the years, Castro has popped-up in various products.  Topps even made a few cut signatures of him.  While attending the National last summer, Iconic Auctions had a Fidel Castro signed baseball on display.

Like most of Little Sun’s sets, this one doesn’t hold much value.  You can easily find the cards for dirt cheap.  I like the artwork.  It reminds me of those Diamond Stars cards from the 1930’s.  National Chicle also comes to mind.  Artist Michael Guccione did all the artwork for these cards.

Card of the Day: Brian Bosworth 1988 Kenner Starting Lineup

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Card of the Day: Roberto Alomar 1988 Score Traded Glossy #105T

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