“Most Wanted” baseball cards & Want List overhauled

More fun with baseball cards continues with the announcement of my top Most Wanted cards for my collection.

Inspired by seeing a list from my friend Beau (@onemillioncubs), I, too, will embark on putting together a list. But haven’t I already? That Want List from a couple of years ago has changed so many times that I’ve completely lost track of what to document anymore. I keep changing my requirements for the Want List in who and what I want to collect, that it’s become time consuming to edit it all of the time.

But I did find time to put together my Top 25 Most Wanted!

Many of these cards are available online, I’m sure, but the thrill upon stumbling across any of these personally makes for a better experience. I’d like to stick to that method as much as I can.

I have broken down my Want Lists in four categories: “Top 25 Most Wanted,” pre-junk-era wants, and junk-era and beyond wants, and “Top 20 Non-Major League” wants. The last two lists are not in any order of rank.

So here they are: Cody’s WANT LISTS …


**TOP 25**

1) 1964 Topps Venezuelan issue, Gary Kolb rookie card

This is my “White Whale.”

I already have two Gary Kolb rookies from the original 1964 Topps set. The Venezuelan card differs from the standard issue because it has a black-colored back instead of an orange-colored back of the original set. The Venezuelan cards were only issued in Latin America. Some have made it to the States, most have not. The superstars in this set go for thousands of dollars. The Kolb card, despite it’s rarity, only is $20. Just gotta find it!

Why Gary Kolb? He’s a 1958 graduate of Rock Falls High School, in the co-hometown I grew up in. His claim to fame is that he pinch-ran for Stan Musial in his final at-bat at the end of the 1963 season.

Pictured at the top of this post is Kolb’s 1965 Topps card from when he was an Atlanta Brave. Currently, I only have cards from Kolb’s rookie year. There is a list of Kolb cards linked HERE that I am looking for otherwise. They are among my pre-junk-era wants.

(Read my news story on Kolb’s 2019 passing HERE)

2) 1915 Cracker Jack, Ward Miller
To put it succinctly:
• Born in Mount Carroll, died and buried in Dixon
• Would be the only Federal League card I’d have
• It’s a common, so the price is lower than star cards
• The only pre-WW2 card (and pre-WW1, too) that I am interested in

3) 1976 Quad City Angels TCMA, Steve Eddy: Eddy is a Sterling native and a United Township alum who had a brief cup of coffee in the majors, and a pitching teammate of Nolan Ryan’s on the 1979 Angels. What makes this card tough to get is that this set has become very popular in recent years because of the Joe Maddon card. When collectors want the card, they most likely want the whole set with it, so it’s hard to find the Eddy card all by its lonesome. Carney Lansford is also in this set.

4) 1976 SSPC, Harmon Killebrew: This is Killebrew’s ONLY card from his time as a Kansas City Royal. This set is particularly interesting in that future broadcaster Keith Olbermann wrote the information on each card in the set.

5) 1993 Dodgers Police, Lance Parrish: 300+ home run slugger Parrish never played a game for the Dodgers, but suited up during spring training for the club.

6) 1975 Expos Postcards, Dave McNally: The name Andy Messersmith rings a bell not just because of his low ERA, but for his role in ushering in free agency. Dave McNally, former 20-game winner for the Orioles, was the other player along with Messersmith who was involved in such a deal at the time. McNally landed on the Expos, but this is his only Expos card. Also the only real oblong card I’m seeking.

7) 1976 Chicago Greats, Bill Veeck: From the eccentric owner’s second stint in charge of the Pale Hose.

8) 1976 disc card of Reggie Jackson: There are a few varieties of discs out there, but the ones from 1976 are of Jackson as a Baltimore Oriole.

9) 1961 Fleer, Stan Hack: One of the rare cards of someone who was retired as the set came out, this one is wanted for the reference to his then-home at the time of Dixon. Actually, he lived in Grand Detour (with a Dixon ZIP code) and ran a tavern there before his death. Hack is buried in Grand Detour.

10) 1983 Renata Galasso Cracker Jack, Ward Miller: If I can’t find my #1, this is the closest I’ll come to it.

11) 1963 Post, Early Wynn

12) 1975 Topps, Harmon Killebrew

13) 1974 Topps, Al Kaline

14) 1984 Donruss, Joe Carter

15) 1977 Pirates Post-Gazette Portraits Goose Gossage

16) 1989 Giants Mother’s Cookies, Goose Gossage

17) 1980 O-Pee-Chee, Ralph Garr

18) 1977 Yankees Burger King, Mike Torrez

19) 1987 Classic Red, Phil Niekro

20) 1988 Donruss Yankees Team Set, Jose Cruz

21) 1999 Fleer Update, Dan Kolb

22) 1960 Topps White Sox team card

23) 1976 Topps, Lyman Bostock

24) 2002 Topps, Jose Canseco (Expos)

25) 2002 Topps, Roberto Alomar (Devil Rays)

Former Top 25 cards now in my collection:

• 1975 Topps Mini, Herb Washington


PRE-JUNK ERA

These cards are of players who played a large part of their careers before the cards became REALLY cheap in 1986. It’s a fitting year to cut off (actually, it’s easier. I was born in 1986).

This list does NOT include very expensive cards of more than $50. These cards will be put together on another list later in life when I actually have a lot of money to spend. So you won’t find any Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra or Warren Spahn yet, among others.

This list will be updated from time to time as I may already have some of these cards, OR discover that I would like more cards.

I hacked off a good chunk of my initial list on Oct. 17, 2021 at a card show in Orland Park. Here’s what’s left for me to find:

Doyle Alexander: Any 1982 base card (Giants)

Dick Allen: Cardinals, Dodgers (the 1971 Topps and OPC cards are quite rare)

Bobby Bonds: 1979 Topps (Rangers) & 1980 Topps (Indians)

Ron Cey: 1987 Topps Traded (Athletics)

Rico Carty: 1973 Topps (Rangers)

Tony Conigliaro: 1971 Topps (Angels)

Rick Dempsey: Yankees years and Twins rookie card

Dave Duncan: 1977 Topps (White Sox) [He actually never played for them!]

Curt Flood: 1970 Topps (Phillies)

Carl Furillo: 1960 Topps (Dodgers)

Oscar Gamble: Cubs, Indians, White Sox and Rangers years

Phil Garner: any Dodgers or Giants card

Whitey Herzog: any Rangers, Angels or Royals manager cards

Larry Hisle: 1972 Topps (Dodgers) [He actually never played for them!]

Gil Hodges: any original Dodgers (Brooklyn or LA); Senators and Mets manager cards

Dave Kingman: 1978 Topps (Cubs)

Gary Kolb: see “White Whale” above

Ted Kluszewski: any White Sox or Angels cards

Gary Matthews: any Giants cards

Billy Martin: 1969 Topps (Twins)

Tim McCarver: 1975 Topps (Red Sox)

Denny McLain: 1972 Topps (Rangers)

Dave McNally: Orioles, as well as the rare 1975 Expos Postcards in my “Top 20”

Andy Messersmith: 1975 Topps (Dodgers), 1976 Topps (Braves)

Al Oliver: Giants and Dodgers (both are in traded/update sets)

Amos Otis: any Pirates card (also in a traded/update set)

Graig Nettles: any Twins and Indians

Gaylord Perry: any Giants cards

Jerry Reuss: 1973 Topps (Astros)

Willie Randolph: 1976 Topps (Pirates)

Rick Reuschel: any 1982 base card (Yankees)

Frank Robinson: any Indians card

Luis Tiant: 1982 Topps (Pirates)

Zoilo Versalles: 1969 Topps (Padres)

Dick Williams: any Athletics card as a manager

Richie Zisk: 1977 White Sox 


JUNK ERA and BEYOND

I started collecting seriously in the mid-1990s. In the 10 years that went by, it’s hard for me to admit that there were cards of players on certain teams that I missed, but it happens. Then again, I wasn’t collecting to satisfy any want list. I, like many collectors, thought quantity meant money. Nope.

I have a specific degree of pickiness when it comes to players on this list. Any player that debuted after 2000 isn’t on here, with two notable exceptions. I’ve decided not to get in the business of high-cost autographs, patches, variants, press plates, etc.

This list will be quite fluid. I put together a short list a while ago, but there may be an instance where I overlooked the card in my collection, or find out I didn’t document a missing card.

Key:
[Name]: [at least one card of that player on that team]

1986 Fleer: Trying to complete a set. Seeking #s 105 (Ken Griffey), 175 (Eric Davis), 246 (Andre Dawson), 345 (Roger Clemens), 401 (Kirby Puckett), 450 (Mike Schmidt), 628 (Pete Rose hits record),

Jim Abbott: Brewers, White Sox

Roberto Alomar: Diamondbacks

Moises Alou: Marlins, Mets

Bob Abreu: Yankees, Angels, Mets

Brady Anderson: Indians

Harold Baines: Indians

Don Baylor: Twins

Bobby Bonilla: Braves

Adrian Beltre: Red Sox

Bruce Bochy: Giants manager

Kevin Brown: Orioles, Padres, Yankees

Bartolo Colon: Red Sox, Yankees, Athletics, Mets, Braves, Twins

Vinny Castilla: Astros, Padres

Mike Cameron: Padres, Red Sox, Marlins

Ken Caminitti: Rangers, Braves

Chili Davis: Royals

Johnny Damon: Athletics, Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, Rays, Indians

Adam Dunn: Diamondbacks, Athletics

Jim Edmonds: Padres, Cubs, Brewers, Reds

Chuck Finley: Indians, Cardinals

Julio Franco: Brewers, Rays, Mets

Terry Francona: Reds, Indians manager

Steve Finley: Dodgers, Angels, Giants, Rockies

Cecil Fielder: Indians

John Franco: Astros

Shawn Green: Mets

Adrian Gonzalez: Dodgers

Dwight Gooden: Astros, Rays

Luis Gonzalez: Tigers, Dodgers

Troy Glaus: Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Braves

Joe Giardi: Cardinals

Jason Giambi: Rockies, Indians

Kirk Gibson: Pirates

Gary Gaetti: Red Sox

Ron Gant: Angels, Rockies, Athletics, Padres

Andres Galarraga: Angels

Matt Holliday: Athletics, Yankees

Tim Hudson: Giants

Orel Hershiser: Mets

Ichiro Suzuki: Yankees

Raul Ibanez: Royals, Yankees

Andruw Jones: Dodgers, Rangers, Yankees

Howard Johnson: Rockies, Cubs

Wally Joyner: Braves

Jeff Kent: Indians

Eric Karros: Cubs, Athletics

Ryan Klesko: Giants

DAN KOLB: One card for each year he played professional baseball, major or minor. Click HERE for a checklist

Kenny Lofton: Giants, Cubs, Yankees, Phillies, Dodgers, Rangers

Ray Lankford: Padres

Jim Leyland: Marlins, Tigers

Carlos Lee: Rangers, Astros, Marlins

Tony La Russa: Cardinals

Javy Lopez: Orioles, Red Sox

Randy Myers: Blue Jays, Padres

Jaime Moyer: Orioles, Red Sox, Phillies, Rockies

Tino Martinez: Devil Rays

Kevin Mitchell: Athletics

Willie McGee: Red Sox

Hal Morris: Tigers

Magglio Ordonez: Tigers

Hideo Nomo: Royals

Andy Pettite: Astros

Lou Piniella: Cubs manager card

Kenny Rogers: Mets, Tigers

Tim Raines: Athletics, Orioles

Jose Reyes: Marlins, Rockies

Reggie Sanders: Padres, Giants, Royals

Bret Saberhagen: Rockies

Ruben Sierra: Blue Jays, White Sox, Twins

Richie Sexson: Diamondbacks, Yankees

BJ Surhoff: Braves

CC Sabathia: Yankees, Brewers

Miguel Tejada: Astros, Padres, Giants, Royals

Joe Torre: Dodgers manager card

Frank Viola: Reds, Blue Jays

Omar Visquel: White Sox, Blue Jays

Greg Vaughn: Rockies

Fernando Valenzuela: Cardinals

Devon White: Dodgers

David Wells: Red Sox, Dodgers

Billy Wagner: Red Sox, Braves

Vernon Wells: Angels, Yankees

Todd Zeile: Phillies, Orioles, Dodgers, Marlins, Rangers, Mets, Yankees, Expos


Top 20 Non-Major League Most Wanted

**Does not include the aforementioned 1976 Quad City Angels Steve Eddy, and both Gary and Dan Kolb

1950 Indianapolis Indians, Al Lopez

1953 Exhibits Canadian, Walt Alston

1973 Wichita Aeros, Tony La Russa

1975 TCMA Quad City Angels, Willie Aikens

1976 TCMA Quad City Angels, Joe Maddon

1976 TCMA Quad City Angels, Carney Lansford

1989 Quad City Angels Best, or Grand Slam, Jim Edmonds

1991 Quad City Angels Best, Garret Anderson

1994 Quad City River Bandits Classic, or Fleer/ProCards, Richard Hidalgo

1997 Quad City River Bandits Best, Jose Rijo

1988 Clinton Giants ProCards, Rod Beck

1976 Dubuque Packers, Bruce Bochy

1993 Rockford Royals Classic/Best, or Fleer/ProCards, Johnny Damon

1993 Helena Brewers Fleer/ProCards, Eduardo Acosta

1990 Grand Slam Midwest League All-Stars, Danny Matznick

2007 Traverse City Beach Bums, Nick Pepper

2008 Traverse City Beach Bums, Nick Pepper

2008 Choice Cotuit Kettleers, Seth Blair

2010 Appalachian League Prospects, Mike Foltynewicz

2012 Burlington Royals Grandstand, Jakob Junis

— In addition, one card from each year of the following minor league players:

Danny Matznick (1990-91)

Seth Blair (2008-2014)

Jakob Junis (2017-present)

Mike Foltynewicz (2010-present)


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