Tuesday, February 28, 2012

baseball cards around the world- part 4 (of 4)

I apologize for this series taking as long as it has and I really had no intention of dragging it out this long but lets finish it up shall we?

These cards I ran across at the local shop in a hidden away binder. I thought they were really cool so the owner gave them to me real cheap and they inspired these set of posts and the purchasing of the packs that had been in the first three posts.

These are from BBM bur from 1993:
They are really cool but look a little familiar...

Like 1990 Pro Set Football. There I said it. Actually I think the design works pretty well for baseball and have always wondered what a 1990 Pro Set Baseball set would have looked like. Seem that 1993 BBM is the closest I'll get. These cards are actually a slight bit smaller than standard cards.

Cool stuff.

An update on those who claimed 2011s from me. I am almost done packaging and pulling cards for you. I should have them out pretty soon but I want it all to be done, as I only want to make one trip to the post office.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

2012 gold rush

Here was the contents of my 2012 Topps Gold Rush redemption pack. I actually got it about a week ago and even more crazy is that I mailed the wrappers to Topps and the pack came maybe 5 days later. Insanity! I was very pleased with the Mays and the Ethier is great too. I'm already tired of Koufax (I would have preferred a Mantle!), so pulling him isn't thrilling what so ever.

As Ryan pointed out, there are some questionable names on the checklist but maybe Topps is doing this for series 2 as well? Who knows the reasoning behind their weird logic. Shutting the Blue Jays out of the set I can see (they aren't packed with stars here, nor is their legacy) but to shut out the Orioles, a team that has many many Hall of Fame players, world championships and pennants, is almost a crime. Shame on you Topps, shame on you.

Friday, February 24, 2012

few words needed

Cost me a whopping $0.00 (LCS trade) and puts me one card closer to completion (20 left).

Nuff said!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

updates (no highlights though)

I've gone through most all the requests for 2011 cards and I should have them out on Saturday. It's actually led to some great trades as well. Again, I do apologize that I am limiting it to set builders, as I did have a couple requests for teams but like I mentioned, I plan on doing something for you team guys soon. Once the dust clears from this operation and I go through everything, pick out what is going, I'll split it up into teams and determine what to do next. Depending on how much is left of course.

Secondly remember the show I went to last Saturday? And how I mentioned that I picked up a boatload of 1973 Topps towards my set? Well, that dealer gave me his email address and said he may have a 73 binder at home and that I should email him and he would check.

I did email him. On Monday. I included my list of what I needed and he said he would see what he could find. Later that night he got back to me, with a list of cards that he did, in fact, find. It almost looked like the whole list I sent him! It wasn't but it sure looked like it with the number of cards he found.

After the show was over, I needed a total of 81 to finish the set, plus 10 blue checklists. He found 60 (no checklists). 60! Meaning I'm now at needing only 21 (+10) cards to finish off 1973 Topps. He found the cards Monday night, we talked how much it would cost and he gave me the option to have them sent to my house or I can wait until the next show. Being that I'm impatient and shows are never a certainty with me, I opted for delivery. They came today. Man oh man was it sweet putting them into the binder. Pages being filled up quite nicely. The majority of the cards were high numbers (528-660), including the checklist, card 588, which goes easy on eBay for $25+. Sure this one is marked but I really don't care. It's there and I no longer have to chase it. He gave me a wicked fair price on them just like he did at the show, which I was quite happy with.

I'm going full steam on trying to finish now. I have to get the Schmidt rookie from the local shop and hopefully I'll be able to trade for it or at least knock a chunk of it off so I don't have to pay as much in cash. Plus with nothing new on the horizon that I need to dive head first into (I'm not doing Heritage this year remember), it should be easy to wrap up this great set. I really like looking through it, so many odd pictures and so many great shots too. Topps really stepped up their photo quality in terms of action shots that year. Maybe thats why its a fan favorite. That and the sheer amount of Hall of Famers is staggering. Final cards for Clemente, Mays, almost Aaron. The Bench card is classic in itself.

The question now is, what year do I chase after this is done?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

last call on 2011s (update, please read!)


I am busy chipping away at the lists some of you have provided and in some cases already packaged up! Thanks for the quick and numerous responses. I do however, need to mention that right now, I am only filling set needs for those that need to finish up their 2011 sets. I do apologize for the confusion but since the cards are all numerical, its not as easy to search through for specific players/teams. I will do something for the team collectors in the near future but for right now I have to leave it at set building. Again, I apologize for the confusion and any inconvenience.

***Original Post:***

With the 2012 card collecting year in full swing, I need to make room for the oncoming assault of new sets. In order to do this I need to make room in my boxes by clearing out last years stuff. I did this in early 2011 as well, clearing out some of the 2010s.

I have two choices;

1) I can donate the cards to my local shop

2) I can send them to you guys if you have set needs.

Personally I'm all for choice number two. I'm already helping out two collectors and would like to help more.

If you need anything from the following sets, please don't hesitate to let me know.


Series 1
Series 2
Allen & Ginter (no short prints left)
Topps Chrome

Thats the bulk of it but I also have some (meaning less than 50 or so left) of the following:

Gypsy Queen
Bowman Chrome
Heritage Minor League

Again, if you need ANYTHING from any of these let me know and I'll see what I can do for you. There isn't any need to send anything back in return but if you feel obligated, I am collecting 2012 Topps parallels. Any color, any team, any number will do.

I can't help fill those want lists if you don't tell me!

Monday, February 20, 2012

shopkeep trading

Remember the now infamous Babe Ruth "bat" card I pulled from Tier One?

This one:
Well, the local shop owner wanted me to bring it by so he could scan it and put it on Facebook. What he likes to do is post up big hits that were pulled in the store. It's cool to see what people get in their boxes and packs.

I strolled on down yesterday afternoon with the card and gave it to him to scan. Then he went on to show me this huge autograph collection he had just picked up a few days ago. Filled with good stuff too. Some Yankees that will do great (Jeter, Posada, Rivera), some rookies and stars (Verlander, Ryan Howard, Lincecum) and some other neat stuff.

I decided to pull some stuff out and see what he would want for them. He looked through what I grabbed and asked if I brought anything to trade (he loves to trade). I said no, unless he wanted the Ruth. He was very interested, so for the Ruth and a little cash, here is what I got:
The Molitor pin is obviously from 2012 and he had just traded for it the day before, with me in mind. I didn't even know there was a Jay included, although I should have guessed, I mean they did win two World Series after all. The pins are fantastic and are the best manu-relic set from this year, or even the past few years, in my opinion.

On to the autos though. The Tulos make number 4 and 5 for me. Great to add a Markakis and Ethier to my budding young superstar auto collection. The Aaron Hill is my second (or third, I forget), Reed Johnson and Accardo make up the final two Jays autos.

Hey, if his customers want to take the relic at face value, then I'm all for it. It was the second Ruth I pulled in my collecting so I didn't mind letting it go for the goodness above.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

card show saturday dime finds

Yesterday I showed the best of the 73's I picked up from the show. Today I'll highlight the best of the dime box finds, since all I did was grab 73's and rummage through some dime boxes. No table cards, no relics, no nothin'. I did pick up a few packs of 1991 and 1992 Leaf just for fun, because they were 3 for a buck. I got 9 packs total. Nothing fancy, I just never really ripped Leaf much growing up so it was a little treat.

Anyway, on to the dime box finds. First are 9 cards of guys I collect:
Ted Williams and Babe Ruth in dime boxes? In the North East? Are we in the Bizarro World? Mel Ott's are always a good find. I've never seen the set the Honus is from and finding not one but two Mordecai Brown cards is fantastic, even if I already have the T206 one.

Some more guys I collect:
Mathewson, Robinson and Johnson are three big player collections for me. This is just my second King Kelly card and the Buck Leonard card is great. 2001 Topps had a Negro Leaguers subset that I only have one other card from. I also love the casual Ted Williams shot too.

Some guys I don't collect but were too cool to pass up:
I've been gaining a lot of Kiner cards as of late and the Connie Mack is fun too. Hack Wilson and "Home Run" Baker are two names you rarely see. The Woodling comes from an insert set from 2002 Topps that commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the 1952 World Series (played by the Yankees and Dodgers). The Ichiro and Matt Williams were interesting and the Mattingly is water damaged but it's a second year Mattingly. For ten cents.

More guys I don't collect:
The Sweet Spots are nice and I've also never seen them before (I got a Joe Carter too for the Jays collection) and a Duke Snider card is never bad. I had to grab the two Carters and the Bench, no way could I leave them in that box. Joe Black is a name that rarely comes up either. I grabbed the Biggio because its weird to see him as a catcher and the McGwire was just a random grab from 1999 Fleer Ultra.

So there you have it. I've added some great cards to my personal collections and am starting a "retired guys I don't collect" box for all my older players that aren't in the PC.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

card show saturday!

I haven't been to a show in just about forever. Two shows are held every month. The first and third Saturday of each month, both in different towns but both towns are next to mine. Today's show wasn't listed in the Beckett show calendar like it usually is but I took the chance that it was being held but wasn't on the Beckett site. Thankfully I was right and the show was indeed held.

Good thing I went too.

I made my 1973 Topps needs list last night. Also good that I did that too.

I knocked a whopping 88 cards off my list, leaving me with many many complete pages and about 88 cards left to finish off the set (plus 10 of the blue checklists). You can see what I need in my want list page on the right there. Here are the best of the bunch:
The best deal of the bunch? How about the Kaline for a buck? All because someone wrote 'Tigers' on the back of it. I'll take it. These knock out pretty much every star player in the whole set, save for Tom Seaver, Thurman Munson and the Schmidt rookie. Other than those, it's a lot of high numbers, including the checklist (card 588), which goes for about $20 or more regularly on eBay.

Other than the 73's I aimed for dime boxes and boy did I find some real winners.

I really beefed up my Griffey, Ripken and Frank Thomas collections, some great rookies (2 Josh Hamiltons, 2 Lance Berkmans, a Tulowitzki and a James Loney), some great legends players I collect like Mel Ott, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Satchel Paige, Honus Wagner, the list goes on. Some Blue Jays too, although there was only a handful. Some other cards of players I don't collect either but will probably end up in some of your hands.

I spent the majority of the time going through one guys dime boxes and came away with 120 cards. The last times I went to shows, I would look exclusively for Blue Jays in the boxes, namely to build up the Jays box. Now that the box is full and I have a new insight on the greatness inside these dime boxes, I came away with a whole new experience and a huge batch of cards I may have overlooked before.

A very very successful day at the show for both my 1973 set and my various Player collections.

Friday, February 17, 2012

the game used conspiracy

I know I've tackled this subject before but lets examine it a bit closer shall we?

Relics. What does it mean to pull a relic? Elation? Money? Sadness? New trade bait?

What ever your feeling or motive (selling for the money), pulling relics from packs always elicit some sort of emotion. It's pretty cool...or is it?

Before I discuss further, lets look at some companies and their relics past.

First is Donruss:
From 2004 Leaf Certified Cuts, this Vernon Wells patch is really nice. What's it say on the back about the relic piece:

"The enclosed piece of jersey was cut from an Authentic Jersey worn by Vernon Wells in an official Major League Baseball game. The authentic Game-Worn Jersey was obtained and is guaranteed by Donruss Playoff Inc."

Very straightforward and to the point. There isn't really any questioning what it is you are holding.

Lets try Fleer next:
From 2004 Fleer Authentix Baseball. Since it's got an auto, let's see what Fleer has to say about their cards:

"You have received an autographed game-worn jersey card. This card contains an autograph and a piece of game-worn jersey, worn by Vernon Well, Outfielder for the Toronto Blue Jays"

And the little text under that:

"This certificate expressly warrants the authenticity of both the depicted athlete's signature and piece of game-worn jersey"

Well, if the first part wasn't clear enough, the second added part does the rest. Again, no real questioning what's in the card here.

How about Upper Deck:
2009 Ballpark Collection auto relic of Adam Lind. What's on that back?

"You have received a trading card with game-used MLB memorabilia and an autograph of Adam Lind. The memorabilia has been certified to us as having been used in an official Major League Baseball game and the autograph was signed in the presence of a company representative or sent from, and certified as to its authenticity by, Adam Lind. We hope you enjoy this piece of MLB history, as we continue to keep you as close as you can get! Enjoy your memorabilia card!"

A little long winded but certainly casts out all doubt about the auto and the piece. They are even telling me to enjoy it, how nice of them. Even if these three companies had gotten their memorabilia in nefarious ways, which is rumored that Upper Deck had, they are still laying their company reputations on the line. Even if these are fake or what have you, I'm still better convinced with the wording on the backs of them that they aren't.

What about Topps though? It wasn't always like it is now:
From 2008 retail blasters is this nice blue Vernon Wells relic, how about that back?

"You have received an authentic Game-Worn Uniform Relic Card from 2008 Topps Baseball Series 2. The piece of authentic uniform embedded in this card was worn by Vernon Wells in an official MLB game."

And on the bottom of the card is the now infamous "The relic contained on this card is not from any specific game, event or reason". I get it. You don't want to have to tie a relic to a specific timeframe, so you can use older relics from current players. Seriously, I agree with this but at least the card is telling me that Vernon did in fact, wear this uniform. Go Topps, actually telling us what's in our cards.

This is what we get now:
Notice on the front, under the serial number. That scary, ambiguous "game used memorabilia", which could mean anything. The scan under the front of the card is all we get on the back. That dreaded sentence about it not being from a specific yadda yadda.

Look, I get that relics aren't cheap to get, produce and pack out but how about a little trust huh? Really, look at the Ruth card. That piece of wood can be anything Topps has had certified to be "game-used". They have already gone on record to say that some of the relics from 2009 Tribute were stadium seating along with bat pieces.

Now, this is where it gets tricky. Since Topps has lawyer'd up their ambiguous "Game-Used Memorabilia", it obviously saves their butt. What about that Matt Kemp jersey you pulled from 2012 Topps series 1, who's to say it's actually Kemp's jersey? There is nothing indicating on the card that it is actually his. What if the jersey is leftover from Chris Shelton? Technically it's still game used but since there is NOTHING on the backs stating whose it is, we as the consumer, just assume it's Matt Kemp's. Honestly, I would find it hard to believe that the John Axford relic I pulled isn't Axford's jersey, as is the same with any current player but you just never know now.

What about Ruth there though? Do they really want me to believe that there are 399 Ruth bat pieces floating around? Plus the parallels of this card with two and three pieces? I know Topps wants everyone to own a Ruth or Mantle relic but you're really destroying the legacy and the value by placing crap in your cards. Never mind your reputation. Tier One is a high end bust at $90 a pack. There should be NO doubting what you get in your cards. Why does Ruth need 399? Why not actually have a Ruth bat piece and make it rare? Like 25 copies? THAT is special and worthy of the chase. Don't think I'm not appreciative of Topps or this very Ruth card. If the book wants to say its a $100 card, I'll take it. I just have to question what's in it for conspiracy's sake. I tend to lean that way.

Question the answers people.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

tradin' some old timers

I just completed a trade with Nick from the excellent Dime Boxes blog. You can see my end of the trade here.

He posted up some vintage cards that were available and I said I'd find something to trade him. I found a couple set needs and some other cards I figured he would like and sent them on over. His cards arrived today.

He has mentioned that we have similar collecting interests and the cards he sent showed just that. A bunch of old timers, some Conlons from the 1994 series that I don't own yet. The Swell cards are....swell. Really, I like them a lot and there were more too! I highlighted the players I actively collect above along with the Roush that I really like the sepia on. The Wilhelm was the oldest of the bunch and since Nick collects him, I assume this is a double. There were two of the Upper Deck cards in here and it really shows me that I have to get off my butt and get that set. I love the look of the Bauer above. The Action Packed card is great too, I've never owned any of them. Everything in the package was great.

Nick, thanks for the fantastic trade and I'm sure since we collect a lot of the same things I'm sure we'll trade again soon!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

baseball cards around the world- part 3 (of 4)

Part three of my 'Baseball cards around the world' series of posts.

If you missed the first two parts they are here (1) and here (2).

This set also comes from Japan. It's a commemorative set put out by BBM showcasing the 2006 Central League Champions, the Chunichi Dragons. It is a 45 card set and appears to have every player on the team included.

1 Manager
17 Pitchers
2 Catchers
10 Infielders
6 Outfielders
9 Season Highlights Cards

Lets take a look at what they look like:
The base cards. Nice design, fairly simple. Backs follow suit as well. These are the same quality as the 2002 BBMs I showed in post two. A few familiar names I picked out to showcase here.

One of the season highlights cards. It appears they highlight significant games on their road to the championship.

There is this too:
Apparently you have some odds on getting a game used jersey card in one of these boxes. I got a dummy card plus this faux dummy card of what they jersey cards should look like. What a tease!

The final portion of the posts will highlight the cards that led to the purchase of these cards and the inspiration that lead to me wanting to post about them.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

trade with greg

I was recently contacted by reader Greg (I apologize, I'm not sure if you have a blog Greg) about some Jays cards he had in his collection. I was interested so I checked out his wantlists and found him some stuff. I sent that out yesterday along with everything else. His cards also came yesterday and what a bundle of goodness it contained.

I don't have much UD Vintage, from any year, let alone the 1971 Topps rip year but this card easily takes the cake as the best photo in the box. It's a checklist card too!

Here are some other highlights from some of the more 'out there' sets from the 90's:
I remember these EX Fleer cards from when I worked at the comic shop, still pretty sharp cards if you ask me. I have no idea where the top right card comes from, except that it's a Fleer but the border is really nice and makes the card look classy. The bottom row left and middle are some loud 90's parallels/inserts that caught my eye and on the right is a super sweet, super shiny Halladay rookie from Fleer Brilliants.

Speaking of weird and 90's, this Fleer Metal set is pretty puzzling. I know you can't tell from the scan but I assure you that Carlos Delgado is hitting baseballs on top of Mount Everest, Kelvim Escobar is hurling balls in a nearby forest, Shannon Stewart is on Mars and Pat Hentgen is pitching from atop a crane. Why he would be doing this, I am unsure but clearly these people are doing these things. Why else would they be on the cards like this?

Here is probably the most interesting of the bunch. I've never seen these late Pinnacle coin cards, so its pretty neat to get one.

This though. I've run into this set while sorting through boxes at the local shop and I can say in full confidence that this is one of the worst sets I have ever seen. I can't get over how busy and awful this Circa 1997 set is. So bad in so many 90's ways but of course since we all hate 2012 Topps now, shouldn't this be what we're all collecting now? Yeah, anyone still hating on 2012 Topps needs to get over the drama. It's not hip to hate anymore.

Anyway, thanks for the trade Greg! There was a ton of cards in the box and this small sample only represents some of the weirder stuff in there. Otherwise it was a fantastic mix of cards from 1982 to about 2007. Great stuff and I'm not even done filing it all away yet! Thanks again!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

uh-oh, not 2012 topps again...

Yes, again.

In the few short weeks that 2012 Topps series one has been out, there has been polarizing opinions about Topps, the hobby and the set in general. Either you love the set or you hate it.

Two VERY excellent reads about 2012 Topps are here and here.

The first if from JayBee and the second is from Cardboard Icons. Both are actually responses to those who feel that Topps has gone off the deep end and to those who have sworn off collecting either it or all together.

On a personal level, I have grown very fond of this years set and the more I look through the cards, the more I like them. The 'surfboard design' is fine by me and leaves so much room for the excellent photography.

Here is what I added to my personal collection from this year's series 1:

The Mantle- yeah, I sort of collect Mantle but it's only out of convenience and he was a hell of a player in the 50's

The Jays team set- at 7 cards deep, it's not much but the selection is good (Bautista, Lind, Arencibia and Morrow to name a few)

Player collections- Josh Hamilton, Chris Coghlan, Troy Tulowitzki and Danny Valencia all have cards present.

Guys from Connecticut- three new ones! Pavano of course but two rookies, Andrew Carignan and Jared Hughes join the CT fray!

Rookie cups- five new rookie cups for the ever growing collection.

Batting pitchers- this set has two "batting" pitchers. Really they aren't batting but they are in hitting mode and are two of the best shots in the set, see for yourself:
Yeah, we've all seen these to death by now but I can't help it.

While I am sure what I am buying less, my initial purchase of the jumbo box plus the complete sets of the base and 87 minis, haven't stopped me from picking up more. I've been grabbing hanger packs at the local Wal-Mart and Target. Again, I just can't help it, its a great bust. I have bought no blasters, rack packs or even single packs at retail. The hangers haven't been crazy either though, I think I'm up to six total (with Mrs. Wrappers surprising me with one of those!). I like both the red and blue bordered parallels and really like the golds.

So here is where you come in. If anyone has any of the gold, blue or red parallels, I will trade for them if you have any available. I'll even take those elusive purple ones from Toys 'R' Us as well (haven't seen them myself). If you have any of the parallels, shoot me a comment and we'll make a deal.

Also if anyone needs cards from 2011 still to finish up sets, let me know as well. I have a ton of Chrome, series 1, 2 and Update, some Ginter (no short-prints) and some other sets as well. Drop me a line!

One last thing, if we had been talking trades before this morning, I have sent out many packages today, some expected, some unexpected, so if we were in discussions about a trade, you'll soon have the cards from my end and if you weren't talking to me about trades a couple of you will have a little surprise as well.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

shrinking wantlists

Ahhh...it's finally done. I can now close the cover to my 2011 Sticker book. The final eight or so stickers came in the mail today, from an eBay auction. The auction let me pick 20 but I only needed 8 to finish up the book plus 1 Blue Jay for the Jays minis box.

If you've been checking my want lists, you've seen them shrink over the past few weeks. The Kimball Champions are down to TWO cards (95, 125) and if you can help with those two (Lou Gehrig and Nolan Ryan) PLEASE let me know. I will reward handsomely. A huge thanks to those that have helped out already on these. Oh sure I can buy them from eBay but what's the fun in that? Other than those two cards, I only need finish up American Pie. The only set that would be left after that is the 1973 Topps set, which I've seemed to come to a screeching halt on. Thats OK though, When I'm not being lazy I'll get a list up and go to a show and see what I can find. Grabbing lots on eBay have become sparse in terms of getting cards I need. I'd be getting a 40 card lot but only needing 4 of the cards for the set. Sometimes there are some upgrades in there and those are fine too but most lots seem to have the more common series' in them (1-3). We'll see what happens. Nothin' beats a completed set though.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

when junk wax is the furthest from it, part two (of two)

Welcome back to my two part feature on non-junk wax. In my previous post, I talked about a small boxed set called the Origins of Baseball. If you missed it, you can view it here.

Today, I'll feature a pretty much similar box set but this time based off of a source material:

1994 Upper Deck based on Ken Burns' Baseball.
This is an 80 card set that highlights some of the most popular topics within the enormous nine-part, 22 hour documentary. I watched the entire thing and loved every minute of it. Remember when I mentioned geeking out over reading those cards last post? Yeah, this documentary was about ten times geekier.

Let's take a look at some of the favorites in the set.

Here are two guys that definitely don't get enough respect in the card world: Fred Merkle and Addie Joss. Merkle being known namely for his error, costing his team the pennant. Joss is a Hall of Famer but had a very short career for someone in said Hall. A fantastic pitcher by any standard, he threw a perfect game in 1908. He contracted meningitis and died in 1911, only 9 years after his major league debut.

Women in baseball are also under-represented. The Ted Williams set had a small subset devoted to some of the women superstars. They had their own leagues but were never allowed to play alongside men and they still aren't.

I chose this because there just simply aren't enough Joe Jackson cards. A shame really because he was a bonafide star player and should be alongside his brethren in the Hall of Fame. Obviously the Black Sox scandal got him banned for life but like Pete Rose, I feel both these men should be exception due to their career numbers.

Don Larsen. A middle of the road pitcher by the numbers but on that fateful day in 1956, he was certainly in the groove, pitching the first and only perfect game in a World Series contest. I like the six shots shown on this card, showing him in obviously, rare form.

Simply put, I love this card. It's a fantastic picture of a moment we all know but from an entirely different angle. Usually we get that classic shot of Bill rounding third in full celebration but this is post hit but pre-home run. Easily my favorite in the set and it's easy to see why. I looked closely at the picture but I can't find the ball in the air. I love the scoreboard in the background showing the score. A classic moment for sure.

This set is chock full of great cards of great players. Some others are Moses Fleetwood Walker (the first African-American player), Rube Wadell, Lou Gehrig in his Minor League uniform, Lefty Grove, Josh Gibson, Carl Hubbell and Annabel Lee (who once pitched a perfect game and whose nephew is Bill "Spaceman" Lee). Those are just some of the names in this great set, each with a short bio on the back, describing why they're famous and stuff from the documentary.

Monday, February 6, 2012

super bowl trades!

So I'm not sure if I remember mentioning before that my local shop (the one I kind of work at) holds an annual Super Bowl trade party. If I haven't, I'm mentioning it now.

What he does is invites customers down to partake in some trading, wax busting and pizza eating. It's a great time and this is the second year I have gone. This year was MILES more successful in terms of cards. In fact, I may deem it the best day I've ever had regarding cards and collecting. I'll explain.

The party starts around noon and ends around five. He holds raffles and springs for pizza and even holds some box and pack specials. Its actually the busiest day in the shop all year, beating out Christmas time shopping. This year was no different, as he had about 40 people there. Lots of trading, some box busting (one guy got a Cam Newton quad relic that was autographed and numbered to 25, an easy $300 card). Another guy did a box (pack) of Tier One and ended up with a Tris Speaker relic and a Matt Kemp auto. Another box of Tier One was busted too but you'll have to keep reading...

Anyway, here is some of the stuff I walked out with after various trades throughout the day:
All that football busting really paid off. Football does HUGE in that store and I did real well in terms of trading pretty much only football for baseball. Yes those are rookie autos of Troy Tulowitzki, Nelson Cruz and Ryan Zimmerman. An Al Kaline auto is mighty fine too, especially on that Sweet Spot. The mini book relic was just interesting, as was the Felix Hernandez auto/relic. Oh and yes, that is a Roy Halladay laundry tag relic, numbered to 15. The biggest card of the day for sure. Remember, these are the highlights of what I picked up. Since we're in Yankee/Red Sox territory, no one collects Jays, so I had a field day. There were some non-Jays trades as well along with some higher end Jays cards (a brilliant Halladay card from Tribute a few years ago, which is a blue parallel, so sweet looking). A good day indeed but wasn't the end of it.

I was good all day and didn't spend a ton of money I didn't have. I decided to do the one box I avoided all year, which was 2011 Tier One. I wasn't too impressed with the boxes I had seen busted but decided to take a chance, namely due that it was one of the specials of the day.

Here are my base cards:
There was another card, Derek Jeter but he was traded away that day. Remember, you get three base, one parallel, two autos and a relic per box (pack).

The autos:
A good Yankee prospect and a Jay numbered to 25? Yes please! I couldn't believe the Cooper, what a pack I thought, until I saw what was behind it...

Base Ruth. Rest assured, I was the center of the shop when this was opened up and once the Ruth surfaced, it was a near explosion of "Oohhhhhh!"s. Crazy to open up something like that in front of so many Yankee fans. This also makes the second Ruth relic I've pulled. Last time it was the one from 2009 T206. I was the first one to bust something, because I kinda wanted to get the ball rolling around the shop. Other purchases followed from others.

Once the day came to a close and the raffle was over (final grand prize was a signed ball, by both Willie Mays and Willie McCovey) and the people shuffled out, a few of us stayed to talk about the day, how trades went and such. When it came down to me, the owner and another guy that works for him and we were about to leave, the owner threw us both a 2012 jumbo pack for the help we did that day. Here is what laid inside:
Unbelievable! What are the chances of getting the auto, let alone a player I've recently come to collect hardcore? A total GREAT cap to a GREAT day for collecting. Already looking forward to next year!

Friday, February 3, 2012

when junk wax is the furthest from it, part one (of two)

The junk wax era gets a bad rap. Sure most all the cards produced from 1981 (the start of the era, I for one believe) to 1996 or so (the decline of overproduced products) are virtually worthless save for some of the bigger rookies and scarce cards. In fact, I don't even like using the term 'junk wax' because its simply not junk, there's just a ton of it. There are certainly many gems mixed in with the 1988 Donruss, the 1989 Topps and the countless other sets from the era. Baseball card collecting was in its heyday, so its only natural that companies over produce their cards.

Anyone who reads this blog knows I'm a big geek for baseball history. History class in high school was the only subject I excelled in, everything else was average. So it's a natural fit that I take my love of history and add it to my hobby. It seemed that the overproduction era was the BEST time for baseball historians to get their fix on cardboard. The monstrous (in both size and popularity) Conlon Collection spanned five years (1991-1995) and spawned many sets. One of my favorite issues and I hope to complete it soon. I need the final two series of cards, 991 and up.

I did manage to pick up two smaller box sets from the same era and today I plan on showcasing one of them.

1994's Origins of Baseball set, put out by the American Archives Co.
At 100 cards, this set has a ton of information about baseball's lengthy history. As you can see from the scan of the box above (which is really nice by the way), it spans 1744 to 1899. So much history here and the backs are very lengthy so it's almost like a book in card form!

Check out some of the highlights I've picked out:
Connie Mack as a player! Every card is a sepia toned photo or drawing (for really early cards). In fact, I think some of these are the pictures used on some of these players Old Judge cards. If you are able, click on the picture check out the back of the card. Read the story about William Hoy, a deaf player, incredible.

Also team cards!
Team cards are everywhere in this set, I'd have to say about 25. Each with their own tale of how they came to be and their successes in championships and such.

But the reason I even found out about the set and my favorite card of the bunch:

I did a quick eBay search for some Brown cards and came across this one, complete with the picture of his hand. They never show that on any card I've seen before and really only adds to his fascinating story. I saw the card and saw that it had come from a small box set. A quick search and I found the whole set brand new for $18.95 with free shipping. A bargain if you ask me because I really can't wait to read all these card backs and really geek out over the vast amount of information here.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

the obligatory 2012 topps post

You didn't really think you'd get away with me not doing a 2012 post did you?

Well, if you remember a few days ago, I planned on busting two jumbo boxes to get my two sets and be done with series one for the most part right?

Well that changed.

Instead, I ended up picking up one jumbo box, four jumbo packs and three hobby packs. I also decided to buy the second set plus the 50 card 1987 Topps mini set off eBay. Allow me to explain.

I wanted two sets and the 1987 set. I figured instead of buying two jumbos and not finishing the 87 set, I'd go with one and buy the two sets on eBay so I spend less and so I'm also not stuck with cards I can't trade away. It seems that pretty much everyone is on the negative side of 2012 Topps as a whole. How will I trade cards if no one is actually collecting any of the insert sets aside from the 1987 minis? Thats also part of the reason I bought that set, due to the fact that it seems like that is the one insert set most are chasing (chalk it up to the age of a good chunk of the collectors around here), making it tougher to complete. I just saved myself the trouble and I now have some available for trade.

My feelings toward series one as a whole are both happy with it and underwhelmed. Here is why. The inserts do nothing for me. The more I looked at them in pack breaks by you guys, the more I saw stuff I didn't really care about. Golden this, greatest that. Whatever. Even the Classic Walk-Offs set, which initially I loved the idea of, came out disappointing to me. The cards are boring when they could have been fantastic. They didn't have to cater EVERY insert set to the relics and autos but they did. Walk-offs included. How very droll.

What I am happy with though is the base card photography. It is surely outstanding this year. A bunch of plays at the plate (including one of a pitcher Tom Gorzelanny!), double plays and fun around the park. So many great photos and I really think that this is one of the best years in recent memory for the pictures themselves. Tim Hudson's card is great too, which shows him watching a home run that he hit. Sweet! The design itself is not too bad and I'm sure will grow on me once series 2 hits in the summer. I'm also a huge fan of the gold parallels and am hugely a fan of them not being serial numbered. Speaking of numbers, I pulled two black bordered cards numbered to 61 and they use the foil stamping on the back as opposed to that awful cheap black stamping they've done for the past two years.

Now, on to what I got out of my packs/box. I won't show anything but the hits because I know you've seen your fair share of everything else.

My jumbo box included:
Decent but nothing outstanding. The rings card is gigantic thick. Fourteen base cards thick to be exact.

Out of the four jumbo packs:
Oh goody, a redemption. Well, better than nothing I suppose.

I'll grab some packs here and there but for the most part I too, believe I'm finished picking this set up.

You know, in a funny way, Topps DID create a game changer, they somehow got us all to buy less!