Friday, December 21, 2018

To cut or not to cut?

Blog reader Alex is a big fan of minor league cards, and from time to time reaches out to me via email with some excellent minor league card info. He is super knowledgeable about them and informs me of some cool Tino releases I may have missed.

He recently dropped me a line about an issue of Baseball Card Magazine with an uncut Tino Martinez minor league card in it, and graciously sent it along to me.

It got me thinking, that a guy like Tino would be a hot commodity as a prospect in 2018. He put up huge numbers in his minor league career, and was part of a young core the Mariners were brewing with Griffey, Buhner, Edgar, and Vizquel. I wouldn't have known at the time, but he was ranked by Baseball America as the #40 prospect prior to the 1990 season, and #18 prior to 1991.

Anyhow, I'm now left with a bit of conundrum. Do I cut the Tino, or leave it intact? A few have suggested an exact-o knife and then a paper cutter. Hmmm.

Regardless, it's very cool, and is one reason I preferred Tuff Stuff over Beckett as a kid...because a magazine about cards CAME with cards.

Baseball Card Magazine was a bit before my time. I didn't start reading card magazines until around 1994, so I really don't have much affinity for it simply because it wasn't required monthly reading for me. I'm sure I had an issue of it here and there, as I still have a 1988 with Gary Carter on it. But I don't have any recollection on how I got it.

It was amusing to flip through the pages and look at some of the old card values. In this particular issue, I found it to have far less interesting content and articles than a mid-90s Beckett would have. Right or wrong, it felt like it existed more for the classified ads versus card info. The classifieds were insane, listing cards individually from current releases. 1989 Topps Benito Santiago for $.12! I would have hated to buy cards like this via mail or 1-800 number. I'm sure it worked for many of the businesses, but oy. We're in a much better place now.

As someone who works in marketing, what I enjoyed most about this issue (other than Tino!), were the card company's print ads. Look at these!
I think it's safe to say that in retrospect, Collect-a-Books was not the dawn of a new era of collecting.
Reggie Jackson sitting on a sports car showing some Upper Decks? Weird. But awesome. I love Upper Deck's tagline here - "Nobody does baseball like Upper Deck." Probably pretty accurate after their 1989 release. Get 'em before Reggie does!


  1. First thing I would do, would be to find another issue (with the cards intact), get it. Then you could have one cut out and also have the uncut panel. Maybe a another mag to keep with the cards staying inside if they are attached in anyway. BTW, I preferred Tuff Stuff over Beckett too.

  2. Agreed with Jon. Do not cut, but keep this as a sheet and find another thats already been cut. I've regretted cutting sheets in the past, when I found single cards later.

  3. I never read BCM but it looks interesting. Might have to buy a cheap one just to look at it. Do not cut it unless you get a second copy. Unless you can't not cut it. I'd understand

  4. Baseball Card Magazine's content was outstanding in the early '80s, I can't speak to what it was in later years. As for Tuff Stuff, I was probably in bars or working or something when that was a thing.

    I'd keep Tino intact and find another copy to cut.

  5. For me it depends on the condition of the magazine. If it's in really nice condition, I keep it intact. If not... I cut them out.