I've been focusing more than usual lately on attempting to obtain all of Rickey's early Beckett listed cards, at least through 1995. I finally decided to go through my priority want list one by one, to see what I was still missing. One of the main reasons for this is that I had no idea what a few of these items were, so it was time to find out.
One of the first items I looked into was "1986 Baseball Star Buttons #55." I knew that Beckett has a tendency to number things on their own, but I had to find out what exactly these buttons looked like. After a little research, I found a thread on the Beckett Message boards, where someone had asked the same question about the Cal Ripken button last month. Someone posted a picture of the Ryne Sandberg button from the set, which looked relatively familiar, and lo-and behold...
I already had the Rickey button! The button is about 3" round and features a head shot of the player, along with the players name in all black capital letters in the button. On the side of the button it says "M.L.B.P.A. Baseball Buttons, Vincentown NJ 08088."
Included above are three other Vincentown buttons that I have, none of which are included in Beckett's master checklist. I've always been curious as to why some items are included, and others have not. I guess it will have to remain a mystery.
The button on the left is another 3" button that says "Baseball Buttons, Vincentown, NJ, O8088, 1990 MLB MLBPA." The two buttons on the right are only about 1 1/2" in size. The top button says on the front that it's from 1991, but the copyright on the side says "Baseball Buttons, 1990 MLB MLBPA." The bottom button, from 1992 and number 111 of 120 in the set, is marked "MLBPA Baseball Buttons, Vincentown NJ, 1991 MLB." Like the one before, the copyright year is one year before the year on the button. Also, note that these buttons all feature the same picture of Rickey, only cropped slightly different. Since these are all from the "Baseball Buttons" set, it seems odd that they are not recognized by Beckett.
To add even more to the mystery, in that same thread from the Beckett message boards, someone even posted a picture of the packs that the 1992 buttons came in, but they don't seem to look like the 1992 button that I have.
Now that I could check that button off of my list, I was now focused on the "1991 Baseball's Best Record Breakers #7." I had no idea what this card was, as it sounded like one of the Fleer boxed sets that were popular at the time, but I knew that couldn't be the case. After a little more research, I was able to find my answer. In 1991"Little Simon" produced a set of 4 different sticker books. Each book contained 24 pages and 18 giant stickers of various players. These sets included Baseball's Best...Aces of the Mound, Home Run Kings, Hit Men, and Record Breakers.
I had obtained what was identified to me as a 1991 Little Simon Sticker #7 in a large trade a few months ago, which I now realized was the exact sticker I was looking for!
On the left is the equally difficult to identify "1990 HOF Sticker Book #87," also produced by Little Simon. The 1991 Record Breakers sticker is on the right.
I not only had the sticker from 1991, but also the page from the book where it was suppose to go.
While researching these few items, I came across a couple of other interesting Rickey cards and variations, but those will have to wait for another post.