Wednesday, December 29, 2010

so much mail!!

The mail came today, as it does every non-holiday, with around five small envelopes/packages. There was also one yesterday. I'll start with that one:

1956 Hank Aaron and 1963 Bill Mazeroski. Its a damn crime that I snagged the Maz for 99 cents, but the Hank came at $30. Still a great price. The seller had these and some other vintage stuff, including some 54s that I had wanted the most. I lost on the 54s but no one touched these two.

Up next are from two different sellers:

The bottom and the one on the top numbered 240, I got from the same seller, for a total of $2.55. The other one numbered 155, I got for a buck. Under four bucks for three Vernon autos? Yes please.

Speaking of autos:

Mr. 'almost-perfect-game', Armando Galarraga from 2008 Topps Chrome. Another card I got for 99 cents. It "books" at $20, but we all know what that means. I watched that game, well the end of it at least, and it was definitely some history there.


Some '54 Cubs for the set. In pretty good shape for the $4.78 I got them for.

The final package was from Julie over at Things Are Funner Here. It was a package filled with Jays goodness, in response to my sending over some extra Halladays. I haven't had a chance to go through them to see what I need yet, but it is all greatly appreciated and looks like its a great stack of stuff I don't have for the Jays box. Thanks a bunch!

(and thanks to eBay, or rather, thanks to the bidders who ignored all these great auctions and allowed me to win them for cheap)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

the gangs all here!

I braved the snow yesterday and ventured out to get the mail. We only had one small brown envelope, containing this:

1954s Yogi. With this card the 'big 16' is finished! Take a look:

I apologize for the sideways scans. I had to scan them that way so it would fit the whole page and I rotated them in my picture program on the computer here, but they uploaded to blogger here sideways. Don't know why but they are all here. With these (hopefully) the rest of the set will just fall into my 8 pocket pages. I have a few lots of commons coming in from eBay with the gold Strasburg money plus I sold a set of 2010 Topps (series 1, 2 and Update) also. It had sold for less than what I'd like, but its less cards around here, and more 54s for me. That's all for now.

Monday, December 27, 2010

its 'snow' fun

As some of you in the south and in New York have experienced, I am currently snowed in. Lots of wind, snow and unplowed roads...oh, and no work. Only because the boss said not to worry about it today due to us not being behind in our printing. The other back story to this post is while I am at shows, I'll pick up some random old packs just to save for a rainy (snowy) day. Well, here we are. Let the wax fly! Here is what I picked today, something I have never opened before:

1981 Donruss. Have I ever mentioned how bad this set is photography-wise? The actual card design isn't horrible, but the photos sure are. Blurry action shots, blurry close-ups. Every card looks as if it was taken with a Kodak instant camera. Well, here is what I got:

Some good names there; Gary Carter, Carl Yastrzemski (twice, two different cards), Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, Dennis Eckersley. Had I opened this pack in '81, I would have been the big kid on the block....maybe. If you notice, the pack only held Red Sox and Expos. Weird collation, but not for Donruss, who are notorious for weird collation. I got a pack of 1988 Donruss once and it was 15 cards in numerical order. Oh yeah, there was one more card in the pack, but unfortunately he didn't make it out alive:

Too bad too, Dwight Evans is a solid 1981 pull. Silly gum, maybe thats why they went with puzzles. I have seen 1981 Donruss before but have never had the 'thrill' of opening up a pack and overall I guess I can't be too disappointed due to the names I grabbed but its a pretty lame set.

Friday, December 24, 2010

some holiday generosity

Fellow blogger Don from over at Tiger Sportscards and Other Ramblings, had sent me an email about some 1954 Topps he had. He had mentioned that they were a bit roughed up but that he was willing to send them over, no strings attached. Well, I could never turn down some 54's but I told him that I had to send him something in return. I am currently working on his pile to send over. Going over his wantlists and such. Here are the 54's:

Are they rough? Yes, very, but each one has character. I love cards with character. How did this get bent? Why are there scratches here? How is there paper loss on the back? I can only imagine the things these cards have seen over the past 56 years. The games the kids played with them back then, flipping them, putting them in the spokes of their bikes, etc. Stuff my dad said he did with his cards in his youth. While these are far from perfect, they will make great set fillers for the 54 project. Thanks a million to Don for the contribution and like I had mentioned, your pile is being constructed and will be sent out soon!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

two more for the pile

Look who decided to show up to the party:

Larry Doby, I feel, is very under appreciated in the baseball community. While Jackie certainly did everything first, Larry was an excellent player, who's stats rival Mr. Robinson himself. Larry being the second African-American player in the MLB, and the first in the American League. He even went on to play in Japan for a year in 1962, becoming only the third player to do so around that time. Its not that people forget Larry's very important contribution to baseball and America as a whole, but he definitely lives in Robinson's shadow.

Then there is this guy:

This is the second 'bookend' to the 1954 set. Very interesting that Topps did this for Williams, and was a very nice 'thanks' to Ted, for signing on board to Topps products. I love the classic swing in the black and white shot of him here, so timeless.

I doubt I'll have any time to post over the next few days, so I just wanted to say Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone reading out there. Some of you have also emailed me about getting your Topps boxes in the mail. Here is a collective 'you're very welcome' to everyone and a huge thanks for the great support for what I'm doing over here.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

topps heritage

With all this talk of Topps Heritage as of late, I took a stroll through my Heritage of years previous. I feel that Topps has the right idea with this line as a whole. Its photography is one of the things I appreciate most. Just looking at the above picture shows three (I feel) classic baseball card pictures. Posing is all they did in the early days of Topps cards, so I feel its really justified as to using almost nothing but posed shots for these sets. Topps base should have action shots and almost nothing but. They have done pretty well in that area (they still aren't Upper Deck, but baby steps need to be taken first), with the exception of all the recycled images. Topps isn't without its faults in the Heritage line though. Short prints suck. Hard. However, I do understand what they are doing with the idea, as pretty much every set released before 1973 has short printed cards. I just with Heritage sets were a little easier to complete. I don't mind the chromed versions of the cards, but do we really need THREE versions of each chrome? The autos and relics are good and not all that overdone....yet. The seat relic debacle from a few years ago seems to be a sour taste in many collector's mouths, so hopefully an idea like that won't be returning. Well, maybe the stamps or coins in the 2011 will be next years seat relics. Oh goody. On the plus side though, if the sell sheets and rumors on the interwebs are true, then 2011 Heritage will see autos of such names as Sandy Koufax, Al Kaline, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, and Ernie Banks. What a line-up, and supposedly all on-card. Those names alone make me want to buy a case of the stuff, even though I'll never see any of these names written on any of my cards, I can certainly hope. Until March 17th!

Monday, December 20, 2010

something interesting

My father gave me a plain brown envelope a few years back. He had said that he got it from his father. The envelope was beat up, the flap was nearly falling off. It felt kind of thick, like there were multiple pieces of paper in there. Well, there a way. There was a piece of cardboard that was about the size of this:

This photo of Babe Ruth and his wife at the time, Claire Merritt Hodgson (Ruth then). The photo has some small writing on the left side, indicating that the photo was taken in Yankee Stadium, __-23-1942 (I can't make out the month). I'm also not sure who the signature is made out to, looks to me like Julius Burs but I'm probably wrong on that. The signatures are facsimile, so its value isn't anything more than sentimental. I have no idea when my father or grandfather picked this up but regardless, I now have it. Even if its not really signed by them, it remains one of my favorite baseball related pieces in my collection.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

we fare thee well

So after 5 seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, Lyle Overbay has signed on with the Pittsburgh Pirates for the 2011 season. Not sure who is going to be his replacement at first, maybe Adam Lind? He has played there before, amongst playing outfield and designated hitter. Overbay isn't new to switching teams, having played on the Diamondbacks for three seasons and the Brewers for two. I had a feeling he was going to be a guy who left the roster after this season. As far as collecting him goes, I really kinda don't want to anymore. I mean, I'll still collect his Jays years cards, but I won't go out of my way for them, like I would current Jays. Has that happened to anyone else? A player you like to collect on your favorite team, switches teams and you lose interest? Or do you follow him no matter where he goes? I know there are a few Carl Crawford fans/collectors out there and I can only think that Overbay leaving is the closest I'll come to that situation (although Carl is way more popular and was a Ray for far longer, so the impact is greater). Let me know what you think.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

2009 o-pee-chee

While out finishing up my Christmas shopping, I stopped by the other card shop. The one I don't usually frequent. This one has more Yankees/Red Sox/Mets sporting goods than cards. Its been there for quite some time, as I went there in the mid 90's. I saw some of these 2009 UD O-Pee-Chee blasters for ten bucks, so I picked one up. I like this set a lot, very colorful with a great mix of action and posed shots as seen above. The set has a black bordered parallel, which come one per pack. There is also a mini black bordered set too, which seem more difficult to come by because I only got one. I also really like the team checklist cards (see Dodgers card above), which show really nice wide angle stadium shots. The blaster also yielded a seriously colorful triple relic of boring white swatches but of three pretty decent players. I like the set enough to consider completing it but it may have to wait a while during the 1954 project.

I mentioned going to a show today but I didn't end up making it due to it seeming like it wasn't going to be held. Usually this show is on the third Thursday of the month at a local VFW. The show is also listed on a show calendar I found online and it wasn't listed under the months of December and January but is for February. I may just have to wait until then for some more 54 goodness (but hopefully not).

Friday, December 17, 2010


I have a question for you Cubs fans out there. Check this card out:

I pulled this from a box of 2009 UD Legendary Cuts yesterday. The thing I can't (or the shop owner) couldn't figure out, is when the Cubs wore these type of uniforms. The swatch is a baby blue with a white stripe. When did they wear these? I know someone must know, as I know there are more than a few Cubs fans out in bloggyland. I don't know much as far as their history goes, so any help would be appreciated. The card is not for trade at this point in time, but it may be in the near future.

This is where the additions come in:

The Banks is the big one I spoke of a few posts ago. Tommy was picked up for a pretty good price too. Both are solid additions to the 54 project, and with these two, I'm only missing 2 of the 'big 16'. I plan on hitting up a show tomorrow (if it is being held) for some of the commons of the 54 set. We'll see how many I can get.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

what is going on?

Alright, so a couple of things to discuss today. First, I just want to apologize but the TOPPS BOXES HAVE FINALLY SHIPPED! I am apologizing because it has taken me much longer than I wanted to send these out. However, working 60+ hours and going to the post office during the busiest time of the year do not mix well. Regardless, they have shipped and you should have them in your hands quite soon.

The next topic is that I have fallen off of the wagon, per say. I picked up one of those "The Best of 2010 Topps Chrome" boxes from Target today. The damn shininess could not be avoided. Inside were the 2 Million Card Giveaways (got nothin'), 5 Topps Chrome packs, and 5 Bowman Chrome packs (also nothin' in all 10). The 5 exclusive refractors are nice, and I was very pleased to get the Jackie Robinson, which I didn't know was included in that 5 card set. Also was Jason Heyward, Starlin Castro, Mickey Mantle and the new Mantle, Stephen Strasburg. You know, Topps' new go-to guy for making collectors buy more product? I really wish him the best and a long and healthy career, and its not his fault Topps is shoving him down our collective throats. He did, however show up again in the Bowman Platinum pack:

A gold refractor parallel, numbered 301/539. This card is already up on eBay. I checked for hahas and found there has only been one up so far, and it ended at $66. I figured I would try my luck...and to do it while he is still hot and on everyone's collecting list. Well, THOSE collectors maybe. Doesn't seem like many bloggers care for him much, but again, that may just be result of Topps over doing it again. Here is a link in case you want to watch the auction and see how it goes. Stephen is going to get me that second Teddy! (hopefully, or at least close)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

stuff you may have missed (part2)

Here is the second installment of stuff you may have missed. As stated yesterday, Topps added a few exclusive cards to their factory sets this year. Lets see what we have today, shall we?

Here are cards numbered RC1-RC5:

Here are cards numbered RC6-RC10:

The rookies, or at least the most popular rookies of this season. My reason for showing these off are simple; maybe you haven't seen them. I know some of you guys collect Braves, Orioles, Marlins, Tigers, etc. and in your quest of collecting these teams and players, you may not have come across these cards before and maybe you want to add them to your collection. These are not for trade, but I assure you that they can be found relatively cheap. Plus its another Strasburg! Don't we all collect him? Or is that just what Topps wants us to do? I forget. They did have three more exclusive sets that I haven't gotten my hands on yet. Those being 5 card sets for the following teams: Phillies, Red Sox and Yankees. Each team got an exclusive themed box and a 5 card pack of variations. I think I'll get them eventually.

A 54 came today too!

a Rookie of the Moose! His birthday is in three days too as it states on the back of the card. Though a quick Wikipedia look-up suggests that his birth year was 1930, when the card says 1928. I wonder who is right.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

stuff you may have missed (part1)

Topps added some cards to their factory sets this year. I know this is nothing new, they add gimmicks to their sets all the time. Be it a Mantle manu-patch like 2009, or the Mantle relics of 2007, there is always something extra. I thought I would take the time to show you guys some of the cards they did add to the factory sets this year, in case you missed them.

This set came in the All Star game edition of the factory set. It is only Angels cards numbered AS1-AS5. All horizontal and great in game shots makes for some great cards for Angels collectors (there has to be some of you....right?)

This next set of five are the veteran variations, numbered RS1-RS5. Just different shots of some of the star players in either series. I'm not exact on which factory set these came in but I'll guess retail until I find out otherwise.

You can find these cards individually or by the set on eBay as I did, and for relatively cheap too. I think the Angels set ran me 5 bucks and the Veterans ran me 10. I believe it was the hobby sets that came with the red bordered, numbered to 299 parallels but I am not positive if they came with any sort of variation set. As the title mentions, this is part 1. I will be posting up the second part tomorrow.

Monday, December 13, 2010

the other four red hots

Here are the four other Red Hot Rookies that I was set to receive. They all came in the mail today, in four individual packages. Amusingly enough, my wife had to sign for the Strasburg, as it was sent Certified Mail. Just him though. The envelope was the same, and I had no idea why she had to sign for it until I opened it. I found it very amusing. Like I had mentioned, I have two of the Tabata card. He was number 2, and somehow I pulled two of the redemptions.

Two more 54's came today too:

The guy I won the Ford from I also won a McGwire 1985 Topps rookie for $1.04. Not too shabby.

Also an update on the Update set, the guy finally sent me the missing cards from the master set I had bought from him, thus completing my 2010 Update set. Thats about it for now. Anyone else get their Red Hot Rookies yet?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

s'more 54s ('say hey' edition)

More towards the set. This is actually a couple of different auctions all put together, but they all came in today. The Mays is obviously the big one here and is my first card of his playing days. The Hodges came at a very fair ten dollars. Both have been freed of their cardboard prisons since I scanned this. The Snider from the other day has been too. The razor in the plastic case sides worked very well. I was quite careful and the cards are cookies. Now, there is another big one on the way, hopefully it'll get here soon. No, I am not printing money in my basement to pay for these awesome vintage cards. I am however working some long-ass overtime hours and have sworn off buying new cards while I am buying this stuff up, so it all works out pretty well. Vintage doesn't disappoint me like modern packs have as of late. I know just what I'm getting.

Friday, December 10, 2010

new 54s and a question

This 1954 Topps set project is coming along very well. In the issue of Beckett I have from May of this year, it lists a total of 24 cards in the 1954 Topps section. Essentially they list anything that is over fifty bucks. Of those 24, 16 of them book at over 100. My aim was to finish off those 16 as soon as possible, because the sooner those are taken care of, the commons will just fall into place. There are no short printed series in this set, so nothing is impossible to come across. Now, I don't really care what Beckett says for pricing, because the market is what determines the price. The price on the Aaron rookie is $1800. That's near mint. Obviously the one I have is not even close to near mint, but regardless, its a Hank Aaron rookie. I assure you I am quite pleased with what I paid for it. For the most part, I have been getting those 'big 16' cards at a tenth of what the Beckett says. None of them mint, but all of them good enough for me. I've turned down on buying some cards due to their rough shape and have waited for a good one to appear. It just seems like good ones have popped up a lot in the last week or so. Out of those 16, I have 9, with 4 more on the way. Only 3 'big guys' left to get. Here are three of them:

I know everyone likes to hate on the Yankees but these two cards are pretty nice. The Kaline, while kinda rough, is still a great buy. Yes, another card at a tenth of book value. Could be better, but I certainly won't complain about it.

Oh, right. That question. What can $14 bucks buy you on eBay?

Duke Snider, one of the 16. This is also one of the graded cards I asked how to free the other day. I can safely say that it seems like it is going to be easier than I had thought to open him up and free him of his holding cell of cardboard doom. Once the other cards come, I'll be sure to post them up here. Bring on the commons!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

from yesterday...

'Nuff said!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

they're hot!

Has anyone else gotten their Red Hot Rookies yet? I got this one in the mail today, the first of five. I actually have another of this guy coming, sometime in the future when Topps decided to mail me the rest. I haven't checked eBay yet to see if there are people selling them, but I can only assume that there are. I guess they look pretty good. The Rookie Card logo is blackened on this one for some reason. I also have no idea why these take so long to get into our hands.

On another note, I mentioned that I was getting some graded cards in the mail and asked how to open them up. Thanks for the advice, and when they get here I'll try some methods and let everyone know how it turned out. I just checked and saw that they are 2 PSAs and 1 SGC. Hopefully they are easy to bust out.

The last thing is that I got a card in the mail today that I will post tomorrow. I have no words to describe it and it surely adds some fantastic quality to my budding collection. Feel free to speculate as to what it is. Check back tomorrow to see what I'm talking about!

Monday, December 6, 2010

making the grade?

Ok, so as I posted the other day, I am full on in attacking this 1954 Topps set. I did go a little crazy this weekend and bought a few of the "big guys" off of eBay. You will see them when I see them in my grubby little hands. A few of them are CRIMINALLY cheap, and I almost feel that I ripped the seller off (you'll see who I'm talking about when it gets here) but some others I felt were at a really great price so I nabbed 'em. One question though:

Has anyone pried open a graded card before? Obviously opening up this card would be a crime, but as far as some of these 1954s go, I don't want them graded. Personally I could care less about graded cards and the only reason I bought them was because of the cheap-o price I got them for. I don't have any graded cards, nor do I look at them at shows, so I really have no idea how they are trapped in there (I assume glue), but it immediately makes me think of this:

Let them out I say! I really am going to get those cards out of there, crazy or not. They do not fit into the binder, 8 pocket pages when graded. I am going to doubt that anyone has really tried this before, but I may be surprised. If you do have some experience in this, please let me know. Call me crazy!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

just can't help myself

I don't know what it is about 1954 Topps that I just can't get away from. Topps' fourth baseball set ever, all vertical design is just really appealing to me.

Its been imitated:

Its been 'Heritage-ized':

Nothing comes close to the original though:

I only have around 35 cards so far, but I think I'm going to go all out and try to actually finish the set off. I can't do it immediately, like I like to do modern sets. Modern sets I need finished as soon as possible, it bothers me knowing that there is a card missing from something so easily obtainable. This is different though. This is a quest of epic proportions that I just can't get around anymore. I was on the fence before about putting this set together due to cost and scarcity. A couple of things appealing about this set are:

a) its awesome vintage
b) its small at 250 cards

(and this is the best part)


Yes 1954 was missing Mickey Mantle. Meaning that this set isn't an overblown pricing nightmare like say, 1953. This set is a reasonable set for almost the average collector to actually finish. Any set before 1964 that has a Mantle in it is just almost unreachable by regular people. That is also the sad part about this set though, is the guys that it is actually missing. Mickey Mantle, Roy Campanella, Stan Musial, just to name a few. It does have 2 Ted Williams, Ernie Banks and Henry Aaron rookies, Willie Mays and Duke Snider. So its definitely not shorted as far as superstars go. Speaking of the Banks and Aaron rookies, those are the two cards that will hurt the wallet the most. Everything else I have seen (or gotten) at reasonable prices. Now is the time, now that there isn't anything to collect until February, it seems like the right time to go for it. We'll see how far I can get.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

topps would say d'oh!

More errors? Topps doesn't make errors. Ever.

....sure. Just ask Frank Thomas. Anyway, this years Topps set (series 2 and Update) included some cards I really liked called Vintage Legends. We've all seen them. Babe Ruth on a 1975 card, Mel Ott on a 1968, etc. Well, while going through the ones from Update today, I noticed an error on Topps' part. Maybe someone at Topps doesn't know their stuff, or maybe it was Tibor's day to work the photoshopping machine. See if you can spot the error on Mr. McCovey here:

What year is this, 1988 Topps right? Ok, got it. Check the back:

...did you see it? Vintage Legends are supposed to depict a great player out of his era. The front of the card is supposed to show what year they put him into for the blurb on the back. Well it looks like Willie got the Delorean stuck in junk wax hell that is 1988 on his way to 2004. The front shows 1988, the back says 2004. I know you all know what 2004 Topps looks like, but here is a refresher:

See? The only thing 88 and 04 Topps have in common is the big team name at the top. Oh and a white border. Other than that the designs are quite different. While the card still gets its point across but in a flawed manner. Oh well, just a goof on Topps' part there. I severely doubt that it will be corrected but an interesting error to say the least.