Tuesday, January 31, 2012

freaking photo variations

Sigh. Freaking photo variations.

Apparently instead of continuing with the legends variations, Topps has included 20 or so photo variations of various cards in both series one and two in 2012 Series One. The rally squirrel is one of them. Eric Hosmer has two (one of him and team mates on the bench and one of him getting drenched in Gatorade). Pablo Sandoval has two. Ryan Braun has one. The list goes on.

I suppose I should be thankful though, this will get me to buy less not having to chase the legends, 'cuz there aren't any.

One thing is certain though; Check your base cards!

EDIT; Here is a page with all the info right here, complete with photos.

Monday, January 30, 2012

baseball cards around the world- part 2 (of 4)

Welcome back to my sporadically updated 'Cards from around the world' posts. Today we'll look at cards from Japan. In case you missed part one, check it out here.

This set is from 2002 and put out by BBM. I believe BBM is the "Topps" over there, as they seem to be the most abundantly found cards. At least from what I can tell anyway. If I'm wrong, please correct me.
Here is a base card or a parallel of a base card. Fukudome is one of the recognizable players out of the two packs I got. This is a really cool card due to it's silver signature, which I have to assume is a parallel because they all aren't like this.

More base cards:
They split up the set into the Pacific League (above) and the Central League (below).
The backs are pretty basic and unreadable to me (Ryan G will soon be able to read them though!). The base cards are nice though and you can see a second signed card above. They were one per pack, maybe it's like the old Collector's Choice, with a one per pack signature parallel. Team logos are on the bottom left and the team name is also running down the left side.

Team card!
A team checklist on the back. This was the only team card I got, so I don't know if they all are posed like this, would be cool though.

The cards are on a nice stock. It's thinner but not flimsy. Hard to explain but makes for nice cards. Both of the next two posts (parts three and four) also feature Japanese cards but are different in a bunch of ways. You'll see once I post them. Stay tuned!

I also received two trade packages in the mail today, one from Potch and one from Matt (from Card Anathema). Both included some Kimball Champions that I needed for my set, bringing me ever closer to finishing it up! Thanks guys and I actually just sent out both of your packages today, so look for them soon! Only six Kimballs left!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

trades and thanks and stuff

First off, I want to thank everyone for their comments and reading my previous post about the 2012 phenomena. At nearly 100 views, its one of my most read posts ever. Funny, the past three posts I've done were very highly read. Seem thats when I get topical about the hobby, people actually read what I write. Now, I mentioned in that post that I had gotten some trade mails, so here they are.

First up is my first trade with Baseball Dad from All Tribe Baseball. I sent him some wrappers, Indians and some 2011 Stickers he needed. In return he sent:
Some Jays and even some checklists (some good oddball stuff at that). He also sent along a few Stickers for my book, which is slowly creeping on being complete. Thanks and I'll be sure to save some of my wrappers from now on!

A little while back, the Cardboard Don himself, Wicked, had contacted me about trading off his Adam Lind collection. I showed him some stuff I had available and soon a trade was born. You can see what I sent him here. He is notorious around the blogg-o-sphere for being an awesome trader. This time was no different:
So. Much. Lind.

Seriously, I've become an Adam Lind supercollector overnight! Many autos and relics and even some with both! Awesome stuff all around and a HUGE thanks to Wicked, you never disappoint man!

I also received two more envelopes from Julie at Things Are Funner Here and Robert over at $30 a Week Habit. Both were in response to stuff I had previously sent out to them and they were saying their thanks. Julie sent some Jays parallels from 2011, some Triple Threads from 2009 for my player collections (Mize and Speaker). Robert sent along an Adam Lind auto, the very same one above in the first picture from Wicked, the Solo Shot from Topps Unique. Having two is no biggie for me, the more the merrier! Thanks guys!

I'm making great headway on the Kimballs and the Stickers, so please if you have some, let me know! I'll trade huge for them! Let's finish those suckers up!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

please...help me to understand

Alright, I got three trade packages in the mail today but they're going to have to wait until tomorrow.

Everywhere I look there is a ton of hate for 2012 Topps Series 1. Blogs, forums, comments on Beckett.com, whatever be the medium, it seems that everyone is hating on it. I can't see why. So Topps didn't deliver on what we presumed a 'game changer' would be. So they've resorted to using the same formula they have since 2006. So they have more short prints and gimmicks. Let's see if I can get to the bottom of this.

See, this is what people tend to forget. Baseball cards are the gimmick!

Ever since the dawn of baseball cards in the late 1800's, they've been a vehicle to sell things. Cigarettes, candy, caramel, gum, pizza, ice cream, dog food, etc. They were inserted one per pack of cigarettes until around World War I. Various candies until around the Korean War. Then Topps comes around in the fifties and oh look, they want to sell gum so they package them up with baseball cards. The gimmick to sell the gum was the cards. It wasn't until the 70's that people really started to collect and save them. Baseball cards are the gimmick.

What about 1992, when Topps added in the Topps Gold? Wasn't that a gimmick in itself, getting people to buy more packs to get the gold cards of their favorite players and teams? Aren't insert cards themselves gimmicks? A card that is rarer than a base card, thereby getting people to buy more packs in order to get them? Didn't Fleer have insert cards in the 80's? In 2001 Topps introduces the Heritage line and load the back end of the set with short prints, a tradition that continues to this day. No one complains, they still collect the set. Same thing with Allen & Ginter, another set that is widely loved and collected. 2007 saw the first short print in the flagship set, the Derek Jeter with Mantle and Bush photoshopped in. 2008 saw the Rudy Giuliani card with him celebrating with the Red Sox. 2009 saw the Obama card and CC Sabathia in a Yankees uniform. Plus the Legends short prints. 2010 followed with Granderson in a Yankee uniform plus more legends. 2011 followed suit with Crawford and Gonzalez in Sox unis. Short prints have been de facto in the base set since 2007 (2006's Alex Gordon was not a short print, his card was pulled due to him not being able to be on the card before his MLB debut, as per then new MLB rules for cards).

Another thing people forget is that Topps is a company, in their business to make money. That's why businesses exist, to produce a product or service and make money from it. They don't cater to collectors. Never have and never will. Being a company they are only in it for the money, why would they start listening to collectors when people still gobble up all their stuff? They loaded 2010 with Strasburg stuff, people scooped it up, no one complains. They load 2011 with future scrub Bryce Harper and people scoop it up, no one complains (I call them Harpersuckers).

So the 2012 base set has more short prints. So what. Let the Harpersuckers have them. If you don't like them, don't collect them. See, the great thing about this hobby is that we have the ability to collect how ever much or little we want. Want to just collect your favorite team? Do it. Want to get the 330 card set? Do it. Those two short prints don't count towards the set.

I'll be busting my two jumbo boxes come the first. I can't wait. What I plan on doing is selling off the Golden Giveaway codes plus the wrappers. Let them deal with them, plus it'll go towards my cost of the boxes. I'll ahve my two sets and that's all I'll need. See, collecting what I want out of it.

I get that Topps should have changed their game plan, even just a little. They didn't, oh well. Why though, would this year be the year that everyone hates on Topps flagship, when gimmickry has been around in the hobby since the beginning?

Again, please help me to understand!

Monday, January 23, 2012

sorry but it's time to go... (we hope you enjoyed your stay)

Don't worry, your favorite blog isn't going anywhere...

...and neither is this one.

I've been thinking the past few days about blogging in general. Most of all though, I've thought of the blogs that have come and the blogs that have gone (and the few that have come AND gone) in the time that I've been around the 'sphere. I've been reading for almost two years and writing myself for about a year and a half. I've seen many blogs cease posting since I've started up and you can't help but wonder where they went. Sure, life happens. Reality is much more important than cards or blogging will ever be. I've seen this community grow quite a bit since I started reading in April (or so) of 2010. Some blogs that have been around for years just simply vanish, without a trace of what happened to their owner. I've even seen a few start up, then just stop after a few months. Do they still read our stuff? Are they still in the hobby? Did something major happen and they can't do it anymore? We hope the first two and not the last one.

We've all helped build up this great little community and one way or another have let these others into our lives. Sure we're still at the basic core of it, strangers but based on reading some of the blogs out there, I feel I know some bloggers fairly well. Sometimes we get personal and its good to know that we're not just card sharks but real people behind each one of these screens.

Which brought me to my latest thought.

Wouldn't it be simple courtesy to let everyone know that you're leaving? I know we owe no one anything around here but knowing that many people would be wondering where you went or what happened to another blogger that left the community for what ever reason, would be reason enough to let everyone know with a final post. Even if life gets so hectic, all one has to do is just pop on and jot down a quick explanation of what's going on. Not even a need for detail just a "Hey, see you all later, I've got life to take care of right now" type of thing. We would all wish them well I'm sure. Just a thought.

Now that all that is out of the way, I have a box to give away. I have some mail to send out tomorrow and I'll fill a 400 count box up with cards and ship it to the first person who wants it. Inside will be the most random assortment of cards. All brands, styles, colors and types. Baseball only, one commenter only. After you comment, shoot me an email with your address and I'll have it out.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


There's been some talk lately about trades gone wrong. Trading is one of the best aspects of blogging, well for me anyway. You can walk into any card shop and see boxes upon boxes of base cards, left discarded in lieu of the hits from the box. Most people I've run into at the local shop could care less about anything that doesn't have a signature or a piece of something in it. Thats what makes this community great, we all seem to care about the cards themselves. players or teams we like, or even the odd stuff like guys who won awards in their careers, guys from our hometowns or even something as silly as a pitcher holding a bat. I've always felt that we're the true collectors. The ones that appreciate the effort that goes into making a card set. Not just who signed what or what piece is in what low numbered card. Those are great too but surely not our focus. Where am I going with this?

There are no rules persay about trading here. Though we do all follow an unwritten 'code' of sorts that maintains an order of balance in the blogging world. More or less it's just morals and knowing that if someone send you something, usually you send something in return. It's just good manners. About the part above though, no where else that I've been to, can I send someone a stack of base cards and that person be completely happy with what they have found in their mail box. Cards they may have needed for a set or simply just their favorite team, filling in team sets or player collections. It's incredible really and truly is an example of "one man's trash is another man's (or woman's) treasure. Not that base cards are trash. In fact any set put out by Topps before 1995 is nothing BUT base cards and we were all happy with that. I'm merely referring to the guys who think base cards are a "waste of their time" and leave them in a box to rot at that local shop.

Back to the trading front though, I've run off on a tangent for too long here and I hope you're still with me.

Community. That's what it all boils down to. Trading is a wonderful experience and again, the best part of blogging. I haven't been burned in a trade and I do feel for those that have. I would like anyone who has ever felt that they have gotten the short end of the stick by me in a trade to please let me know. I'll do what I can to make it right. That or if you were expecting a package from me and it never came, I'd also like to know that as well. I've sent everything out that I've promised but sometimes things do get lost in the mail, you just never know. This is an open letter for anyone who may have felt wrongly about a trade we've done either recently or the past. I love blogging and love trading even more, so I'd really hate to risk any wrongdoing of fellow traders by sending an inadequate package of cards. There is obviously a certain level of trust associated with trading with essentially, strangers. Thankfully I don't feel anyone is out to screw anyone over around here but sometimes trades just go wrong.

Friday, January 20, 2012

mail day- trade winds and completion

A couple of trades in the mail today.

The first comes from Sam over at The Daily Dimwit. He had expressed interest in collecting the Hollywood manu-relics from American Pie. He and his wife are completing the word "Hollywood" out of them, no matter the person on the card. They had two 'O's but needed a third, which I had. He recently held a Chrome group break and pulled a refractor Drabek auto, which I expressed interest in:
He also posted a regular, which I also expressed interest in and a trade was born. I found some cards from his want lists plus some Astros to send over his way. Sam, I haven't been to the post office yet but I will be and you should have your cards fairly soon! Thanks!

Speaking of Drabek, these autos mark my 13th and 14th of his:

4 regular Chrome
1 refractor Chrome 123/499
1 gold Chrome 25/50
4 Triple Threads auto/relics 60/99, 23/75, 66/75, 37/50
1 Bowman Chrome
1 Topps 60 (from series 2)
1 Topps Next 60 (from Update)
1 in person auto (from eBay, looks legit though)

I'm no prospector but he is the only Blue Jay with a ton of affordable autos in recent products. If you have any, I am definitely interested, especially Chrome colors I don't yet have.

The second trade comes from Brian over at Play at the Plate. He wanted an American Pie relic for his wife. Seems that the American Pie set is a favorite of the wives eh? In return he sent these:
Kimballs!! I did only need one but it's one closer to finishing.

Some sweet parallels from the Pie. The Hendrix is especially awesome, due to the refractor quality mixing well with the colorful 60's era. Gary Cooper is numbered to 76 but I have no idea who he is, save for the reference in that 'Puttin on the Ritz' song from the 80's.

A Vincent Pastore relic. I have never watched The Sopranos, even though I know I should. Someday I will then I'll be able to fully appreciate this card.

The best part! I got his now (in)famous UPC card from American Pie. Card of the year!

Like Sam's cards, I haven't been to the post office yet but I will be soon and you'll have your cards shortly! Thanks for the trade!

The final piece of mail contained this:
The Roberto Alomar short print variation from Update. Why is it significant? Well, it just so happens to complete my Legends Variation set from Update, meaning I now have all 74 from 2011. It joins 2010 as being fully complete and I may now start on 2009 fully. Well, until two weeks from now when 2012 comes out...

Speaking of 2011 variations, should I scan them and show them like I did 2010? I seemed to have a positive response to the 2010s but that could be that no one really saw those. 2011s seemed pretty familiar to all of us, seeing as how they were everywhere in Update and we all bought a ton of 2011 flagship. Let me know if you want to see them and I'll post them in the future.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

waiting it out (or when redemptions don't work)

The dreaded redemption card. The bane of many collector in search of some sweet hits from their hard spent cash on wax. I understand why they happen. Athletes have busy schedules, especially during the active season so it's not always the easiest thing to do by getting them to sign 1500 stickers. But eventually they find the time to sign and collectors get their cards a few weeks after release.

Only sometimes they don't.

This is my first experience with not getting a redemption when they suggest that it will be mailed. If you see the above picture, it shows every redemption I'm waiting on. Eight total. Four from Topps, four from Panini. I have gotten some from Topps before and were filled in a decent amount of time. These are the first from Panini, so we'll see how they do. Let's take a look at the middle one again:
From Allen & Ginter. That means I've been sitting on this since early July. As you can surely read, it is an autograph of Ron Turcotte. I had no idea who he was until I Wikipedia'd him. Turns out he is one of the most famous horse racing jockeys and rode the horse Secretariat to the Triple Crown in 1973. A unique autograph indeed. I was notified in November (11/16) that this card was past it's projected date of shipping. I've emailed Topps and asked them what the status was in late December (12/26) and got the usual automated response the next day:

"Thank you for contacting Topps Customer Service. Your question has been received and you should expect a response from us within 2 business days. For more information regarding our products, please review our FAQs at www.topps.com/contactus/faq.aspx. For assistance with finding our products or a hobby store near you, try our new Store Locator at www.topps.com/StoreLocator/stores.aspx. We thank you for your patronage, and hope you continue to enjoy Topps products! Sincerely, Customer Service Team"

I didn't get a response until today. Now they want me to either wait it out or switch my card for something else of equal Beckett value (about $25).

It's just how it worked out. Unfortunately Ron was in a racing related accident in 1976 that left him a paraplegic, so fault is definitely not placed on him. Oh and he lives in Canada. I suppose fault would lie with Topps for attempting to add him to the set, even if he would make for a cool card. It just seems like Ron has bigger and way more important things to do than sign some mini baseball cards and Topps should have probably figured this beforehand.

I would really like for this to be filled, in fact I was kind of counting on it. My wife's uncle is a huge horse racing fan and I know he would absolutely love this card. I hoped that the card would be here before Christmas but I suppose I'll have to wait a little longer.

I don't know maybe Topps and Panini need to get on the ball with the autos and not make promises on things that seem too difficult to accomplish. Or maybe I'm just being cynical. It happens.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Another day, another trade. This time the cards come from Jeff over at My Sports Obsession. I sent Jeff some 1973 Topps towards his set that he has recently started, along with some Michigan alums, some Colts and some White Sox. Here is the best of what he sent along:
The Romero relic is actually the second I've gotten in about two weeks. No complaints here though. The Diamond King relic is cool as well. I have only one of these dual relics from this set, that being of Vernon Wells. The Mize and Griffey are for the Player Collections and the Romero rookie is for the rookie binder (I already had it in the Jays box). The Griffey is a great addition due to me not buying any Topps Unique ever. I have only a couple of Jays from the set and a Vernon Wells patch and thats it. I've seen so little of this set, so when I get one it excites me just a little. He also sent some random Jays, and a few other players for the PC, especially Frank Thomas which makes sense, seeing as how Jeff is a Sox fan. Thanks Jeff, you cards should be there any day now!

Monday, January 16, 2012

some stuff

A few things I've been meaning to talk about on the ol' blog here, so let's get to it.

Ok, so my previous post was just a good excuse to show my new Old Judge card but it actually turned into good debate about what makes a card vintage. I'm glad it did too because its a pretty debatable topic due to it not being clearly defined but then again nor should it. A ten year old may consider 1994 vintage but anyone born in the early 80's (or earlier for that matter) would understand but also look at them like they're crazy. Either way, it's up to the collector to define what they consider a vintage card or set. A good topic for debate indeed.

I recently completed a trade from Tony over at The (Common) Card Man, aka the Milwaukee Southpaw. Tony helped out with the final card I needed for Update, some Stickers and some Kimball Champions, totally helping me along with finishing up those two sets. Thanks Tony!


Two new blogs on the 'sphere here that deserve some attention.

First is Dime Boxes -- The Low-End Baseball Card Collector's Journey. He focuses on, you guessed it, dime box cards but looking at them in a new light that most collectors wouldn't; the stories behind them. Most sellers or collectors see a 5000 count box full of commons, he sees countless stories of baseball history and has a vast knowledge of said history as well. He and I have many of the same collecting interests, which is what drew me to his blog in the first place but his writing is a million times better than anything you'll read on this blog here. Check him out, you won't be disappointed.

Secondly, a blog I just stumbled upon the other day, Condition Sensitive. The focus here being the legendary 1971 Topps set and the Colorado Rockies. He talks about the various errors and variations that are abound in the 71 set and makes up his own custom cards too but with a twist. He'll take designs of other cards or sports and makes them into baseball cards. Great idea and I can't wait to see more of them (especially the baseball guys on the football designs)!

I went a little nuts last week and went on a bender to finish my 2011 Update legends variations set. I kind of neglected it and figured I should finish it up before 2012 hits. I got them wicked cheap too, many for $3.99 and free shipping to boot. The most I paid I think was $7.99 for the Babe Ruth. I'll take it. Guess it was a good thing I waited.

On the flip side though I have COMPLETELY ignored 2009. I really want to finish up that year but some of the cards from series 1 and 2 are becoming scarce. The Update cards are easy enough but searches on eBay for some S1&2 proved to be vapor. Nada for many of them. I did find a Babe Ruth card 1 variation, but was selling for $35. Way more than what I would like to pay. I'll find 'em someday.

That about does it. It's just a few things I had bouncing around my head and needed to get down here. One last note, if anyone has any Kimball Champions I need PLEASE let me know! I'll trade big for them! I want the set done as soon as possible!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

what makes a card old? you be the judge.

What makes something old? Is it something beyond our years, or merely our perception on when something was created?

Take baseball cards. What do we consider vintage? Is it sets that were released before we were born, or is there a cut off point that we all pretty much agree on?

Personally I think vintage, I think of anything before 1980. No particular reason but it seems like a good point to draw the line.

Back when I was younger, my collection had a lot of this:
We all know them well. Of course I was collecting in the overproduction era, as any child of the 80's was. I had 87s for days and I think even more 88s. My collecting really hit my stride in 1991, when I started to purchase packs myself on a more frequent basis.

Back in 1988 though, it was a different story. 1987 was the oldest I had seen, rarely ever did I see these:
To me these were old, even if they were only two years older, my six year old mind thought they were. Look at them! They just look old! Or what ever I would have said at that age. I had maybe two packs worth of 1986 Topps back then.

And even rarer were these:
Somehow a couple of these found their way into my budding collection and I treasured them. I have no idea which cards they were. It didn't matter, I had 85s. Did they even make cards older than that? Are these baseball cards a new thing? Of course not but try telling that to a six year old, who had never seen a card older than three years ago.

Then in around 1993, I went into collecting football. I had a much more vast knowledge that yes, they did make old cards. Much older. I went to an antique show with my mother one weekend and one dealer had some old cards for sale. I'm foggy on what he had for sale but I did pick up this:
This is a 1966 Philadelphia Viking team card. Now we're talking. I think it was just a buck too. The oldest card I think I had ever held at that point would be a big deal for me until I stopped collecting sports cards altogether. This isn't my card, I've no idea where it ended up but I assume it would have been tossed, much like the rest of my cards. I was careless and didn't keep track of them or even keep them in a box. Just thrown about the closet and one day that closet got cleaned out. Yep, everything.

When I got back into collecting in early 2010, I was new to the game once again but only because I had missed so much. Jerseys, autographs, serial numbered parallels? What is the meaning of this? Wow, I guess I missed a lot but I adapted and I obviously never forgot about the vintage. It was shortly after that when I started to pick up some older stuff. Namely for my Topps history binder, in which I dedicated a page to each year of Topps from 1952 to now. I did aim my sights higher though and acquired my first:
Finally! A true vintage card and about 100 years old to boot. It was fascinating and I picked up more. I still am too, in fact you may remember it as one of my goals to complete that T206 page.

What I didn't tell you though is that I did have another goal in mind but I wasn't sure if it would have ever happened.

Well, it did. I aimed and took the shot:

My newest vintage addition and certainly the centerpiece of my collection. I had been looking for an Old Judge ever since I knew about them. I've never come across one being all that affordable and I've even tried bidding on a few here and there. I lost, obviously, otherwise you'd have seen it by now. I really can't get much older than this even if I tried. I wanted an original Ginter but there are very few baseball players in the set and they are all $1000+ cards. I remember bidding on one thinking it might end around $200. Nope, ended at $900. John M. Ward was the card. Surely, this will be the oldest item of anything I'll ever own. Oh and if you'll notice, he is a pitcher holding a bat. Dual purpose card!

So again, what makes a card old? Obviously something from 1887 is damn near ancient but what I consider old is actually pre-1976 cards. Anything after that is usually cheap and easily attainable. Of course perspective is changed dependent on the age of the collector, as anyone collecting 1975 Topps when it was new probably might not consider it old. For now though, we'll leave the cut off at that 1979 mark.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

trade winds blowin' again

Jeff from over at Cardboard Catastrophes and I initiated a trade a little while back, revolving around the 1973 Topps set. He is chasing the set as well and I let on that I had a bunch of duplicates. He was interested but didn't have any 1973's to send back. It was perfectly alright though as he offered up some other goodies that were of interest. Take a look:
The Clemente is a '73 and he somehow ended up with two. This one is in way better shape than the one I already have, even with the pen marks on the back. A nice smattering of Kimballs towards my set (down to 19 needed!) and a few Update cards too (down to one!). I have some more Update on the way from another trade so that will be finished soon! The Burnett and Romero relics are good too, as I have neither. In fact the Romero is my first 'keeper' relic from Lineage that I got. I do have the Burnett but it's a bat relic, so I consider this a different card. The Gibson Diamond is cool too, as are any. I decided to scan in the Gallery Jays as opposed to the few other he sent due to the fact that I don't see them that often. I have very little Gallery from ANY year, so when I get it, I'm always appreciative. Seems like a nice couple of sets but I wasn't collecting back then so I had no idea about them until recently. There was also a Tom Seaver short print variation from Update along with a few other Legend Variation parallels in there too. It was all great Jeff, thanks a ton! You'll have the rest of your Update set and a nice healthy stack of 73's plus some other stuff on the way to you soon!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

trade winds blow for the first time in 2012

Three times in fact. I received three trade packages in the mail today, all great. I do plan on doing more trade posts like these this year. It's something I've neglected to do al lot last year due to my impatience of having cards sit around. I want them filed away where they go as soon as I get them. Not this year though, I won't be so lazy not to scan and write about them when I get them.

First is a trade from Napkin Doon. Recently he took delivery of all his eTopps cards. Apparently they aren't going to be producing new cards anymore. I'm a little confused as to why I can't take delivery of the three cards I have in my portfolio. I bought them and want them but I can't have them. Frustrating.

Anyway, back to the trade:
He posted up his first haul and I asked him if he would part with the shiny Mathewson you see here. Well, he did and here it is next to my original T206 version of the card, which is why I wanted it. I thought it would make a good complimentary piece to the original. I think it does, being the same picture (he had three different cards in that 1909 set). Napkin, your cards are sitting here all pulled and will be on their way soon!

Next up is a trade from reader Brad. He let me know that he busted a case of this years Chrome and that he had cards to finish my set. He certainly did. Chrome is finished thanks to Brad! He also sent a Kyle Drabek base auto from the set and a few other assorted Jays. I'm hugely thankful that the set is now finished. Brad's brother is Dan from The Other World and doesn't have a blog of his own (yet...) but hopes to soon. A box of Phillies and other assorted goodies will be on their way soon.

Lastly but certainly not least is a monster of a trade from Scott over at Scott Crawford on Cards. Scott and I have exchanged cards on a few occasions and is always a good trade. This one though, took the cake. He sent over a big old box of cards, loaded with cards from pretty much every one of my player collections, along with other collections as well. Here are my favorites:
Love love love the Pilots team card. It's a high number, which explains why I've never seen it. He also included the entire Prime 9 set minus the Jeter, with Hank being my favorite there. The beat Mays is sweet too. Definitely some character to Willie's final card. The Giants Mize card is fuzzy (what a weird set) and the Clemente is really cool too. I hope to one day own the original. The Tulo and Hamilton rookies are just icing on the already sweet cake. There's a ton more in the box too, with a few cards towards the Update set as well.

A big thanks to all three of you for the great cards, they'll go nicely in my collection. 2011 Chrome is the second set I finished this week, let alone this year. Hopefully Update will be finished soon too.

On a final note, this is post number 400 for me on the old blog here. Hard to believe I've had that much to say and you guys to read it (even if a bunch of posts are dedicated to draft breaks). A huge thanks for reading, commenting, trading and all the other facets of collecting to you guys for allowing it to happen! Here's to 400 more!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

retail fun

I had to run to Target today after work for some kitty food. Of course, no Target trip is complete without a trip to the card isle. I picked up one of the 100 card repacks for five bucks. We've all seen them. Some of us have even dared to buy them. I think they're fun, you never know what you'll get inside.

Let's see how I did.

Pete Rose with that helmet and helmet-hair. This is from the 1987 All-Star set.

Tom Tresh Pacific Baseball Legends. I have this set so he isn't much use to me but at least its not 1989 Topps. There were a couple of those.

This nice diamond cut 1987 Donruss Fred Lynn. Yep. We're in repack country.

This set was a super premium set back in 1993. We know that Derek Jeter's most valuable rookie comes from this set (books at about $150) but rarely do you see these in a repack. Sure they're worthless now but in 1993 they were huge.

They were also nice enough to give me three, count 'em THREE Randy Myers rookies from Fleer Update. Should I get them graded?

This was the best. I am all for getting 1990 Leaf. It's a set I never bought as a young'n but really appreciate now. I like it's design and it was a premium set for the day. I surely don't need five of these bad boys though.

It wasn't a total bust though. I did end up with some cards for the PC, like two Blue Jays, a batting pitcher, a guy from Connecticut and a Rookie Cup of Larry Walker from 1991 Topps (I think I have it though). There were also five vintage cards! Well, three depending on if you count 1981 Topps vintage. If not, then three;

1976-221 Jim Todd
1977-559 Alan Bannister
1979-654 Rick Miller

See? Never know what you'll get. Sure I had to wade through 1987, 88 and 89 Topps and 1991 Upper Deck, 1989 Donruss but with stuff like this who's complaining?

Monday, January 9, 2012

guys from connecticut, pt 2

Lets have another look at the local guys.

Today I'm going to feature players that are from the very town I am living in, Southington:
Here is where we are in the darker red part. The lighter red is all of Hartford County and its many towns included within it.

Carl Pavano. Carl started his career with the Expos but was drafted to the Red Sox. From there he went down to Florida to join the Marlins, then to New York for a few (very short) seasons. He played 21 games with the Indians in 09 (which I had no idea until I'm looking at the back of his 2011 card. He is now with the Twins and had a pretty good past few seasons. I had a teacher in high school who mentioned a few times throughout the year that she had Carl in a class of hers.
Oh sure, this card may say New Britain but this is what matters:
See? Home is Southington. Chances are he lived here his whole life. Here is the thing, I was born in New Britain too. If you are from Southington and you have a baby, the closest big hospital for births is New Britain. We do have a hospital here but New Britain General Hospital is the place to have the kids! He is probably right up the street from me as we speak! Well, probably not...

Ah Rob Dibble. Who can forget his fiery fastball and temper. I remember on our main street (Queen Street) there used to be signs on telephone polls stating that Southington was 'The home of Rob Dibble!'. Pretty funny actually.
Originally from Bridgeport, I'm not sure on when he moved here and I'm sure he is gone now but he was here for a little while.

Chris Denorfia. Chris bounced around teams for a little bit. Drafted to the Reds originally, played with them in '05 and '06, then went to the Athletics in 2008. He now plays for the Padres, as you can see on his 2011 card.
Originally from Bristol, the home of ESPN and the next town over. I'm not sure when he came to town but I did graduate with his younger brother. Chris was born in 1980, I was 1982, so I imagine his brother was '82 as well. There was actually just a big article in one of our town papers about him. Talking about his career and journey and such. It was pretty good and I regret not keeping it.

Also in the Connecticut collection I have these:
This is probably the best Skybox baseball card ever. Beehive field is literally 8 minutes away and where the Rock Cats currently play. They built a new stadium for them but its in the same area. Plus I think this field pictured is still there.
I have zero idea where this comes from but its pretty cool. Not much else to say about it other than being a big logo.

Originally I was going to do one player per post but I think I like the town theme better so I'll be sticking with that. Stay tuned for more!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

first one down

The first set completion of 2012 has happened. Today I picked up the last two pieces to the 2011 Bowman Platinum set I've been haphazardly working on. The final card?

Yep. A card I already owned. The other was Troy Tulowizki but since he is card 91 and Drabek is 95, Drabek is last. Both cards I actually owned but were in my personal collections.

Usually when working on a set I have a motto I go by, "the set comes first". What that means is even though there are cards I add to my PCs, they go towards the set first then pick up a second copy for said PC. This time though the set was an afterthought and I guess I really wasn't all that intent on finishing it. After grabbing a box and some packs and hitting that Harper auto, that pretty much paid for what I spent on the initial purchases. Even if the Harper did sell for less than it should have (as determined by the market). Oh well. The set is done and in the box put away. I have some trades coming in and hopefully that'll put an end to some of the sets on my want list.

Speaking of want lists, I do intend to have a 1973 Topps list up at some point soon. I do want to thank those that did trade me some of the Platinums towards the set, I'm glad it's finished!

Friday, January 6, 2012

1973 progress

Is anyone collecting this set? Seems like a few of us are. I haven't spoken of it in a little bit so I figured I would update my progress.

According to my calculations, I should be at 488/684. I get the number 684 due to the blue bordered checklists for each team (24 of them). I picked up a few lots on eBay and have been keeping track of everything. Cost per lot, per card, how many cards I received and how many I needed. The cost per card is tallied by what I need.

For example;

I picked up a lot of 190 cards. Needed 118. I paid $29.95 (including shipping), so my cost per card needed was about 25 cents. Not bad. I've been hovering in the 18 to 30 cent range per card needed for most of the lots. I'm getting higher numbers in these too (anything after 528 is the final, fifth series). Not a whole lot of high numbers mind you but a good number.

I want to see what it costs to put it together. I've never done this with a set before but I am also taking a different approach with this set. As opposed to buying it outright I plan to hit shows, buy lots and do some trading.

Speaking of trading, like I mentioned above, is anyone chasing this set? I have a 400 count box full of doubles now and they are all available. Hopefully we can work something out. Or if anyone has any of those blue checklists and aren't chasing them, please let me know, I need 12 more.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

top five from the pie

Another late to the party post. Sigh, I guess thats what I get for being lazy.

Anyway, Topps American Pie was released a few weeks ago and I think its a fun little document of American history and pop culture in the past 70 years. Today I will highlight my five favorites in the set, all involving music. In no order except chronological, here we are:

Miles Davis is a fantastic artist. Admittedly, I haven't heard much from him but what I have I really liked. Kind of Blue is a masterpiece in the Jazz medium. A guy I definitely need to hear more of.

The Beatles. What hasn't already been said about them? One of my favorite bands of all time, The Beatles playing Shea Stadium was a monumental event in popular music. Ed Sullivan may have broke them into American homes but this show catapulted them into the stratosphere in popularity. Shortly after this show, they stopped playing live altogether, due to their dislike of not being able to be heard over screaming teenage girls. A point they hated about playing Shea. I think it worked out for the better because after they stopped touring they were able to focus on the music and came out with defining moments in rock and roll with albums such as Rubber Soul, Revolver and the epic Sgt. Peppers.

Hendrix was a master in his art. Tragically lasting only a scant five years in the spotlight, the impact he made remains one of the biggest in music. From his startling American debut at the Monterey Pop Festival (where he smashed his guitar then proceeded to light it on fire, much to the horror of the audience) to his electric performance at Woodstock and the albums in between plus his guitar mastery and studio experimentation. A legend in music, certainly.

This was the card that made me want this set in the first place. I saw the Ramones card and got totally excited and needed to obtain it. The Ramones are another favorite of mine, especially the first four albums (Ramones, Leave Home, Rocket to Russia and Road to Ruin). Sure the songs were simple but they harken back to a fun era in the 50's and 60's pop music, just faster. More legends in their own right.

Nirvana is and always has been one of my favorite bands ever. I don't like how this card focuses on his suicide and would rather them focus on the band instead. Either way, I'm glad this card made it in the set. I still remember hearing about it and being pretty upset. I was 12 after all and this band was huge to me at the time. A definite tragedy for such a young talent (him, not me).

That wraps up the American Pie. I'm almost done with the set and can't wait to finish it off and start reading those cards!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

baseball cards around the world- part 1 (of 4)

I spent a lot of time at the card shop last week. The owner went on vacation and had three of his friends/customers watch the store for him. I was one of them and worked about 22 hours over there during the week. It helped that my real job had Monday off, so I was at the shop all day. I went through boxes upon boxes of cards. Namely to see if there was anything good for him to sell, pull any Yankees/Red Sox and rookies. While doing that I'm able to see if there is anything I'm interested in and put it aside. I came across a binder that had a big mish-mash of cards from the early to mid 90's but three cards I put aside (I'll show them in a different post) inspired me to grab a few things off eBay.

I'll call this limited feature 'Baseball Cards Around the World'. Although I am only tackling two countries, I feel they deserve their own posts. Today I'll feature a pack from Australia:
Australian Baseball League Collector Cards from 1993-1994. Apparently this set is put out by a company called Futera. At 131 total cards, this is a small set. The pack tells me to look for Gold Prospect subset collection cards and redemption cards good for a rare picture card of David Nilsson or Mark Ettles. I am sure excited.

A little background, as stolen from Wikipedia; Apparently the Australian Baseball League lasted from 1989 to 1999 and had anywhere from 6 to 9 teams playing in a season. Weird. Seasons were 42 to 62 games depending on how many teams were playing that year. Players also used aluminum bats and they use the designated hitter rule down there. Neat.

Lets see some cards.

Here are the base cards. They look pretty 90's to me. Name going vertical? Check. They are a nice quality though. Not flimsy, nice gloss on the front. Some nice cards here. Check out the backs:
Seems pretty basic, kind of reminds me of a Fleer product. One line of career stats and a little blurb about the guy. Not bad but not great.

This is an awards subset for best of the year guys. Here we have manager and reliever of the year.

Yes, this single pack of nine cards netted me two checklists, crazy. They do break it up by team though, as Fleer did in their sets.

Here is one of the all star cards. With both gold AND silver foil on the front (impressive!) and a full bleed picture, this is easily the best card in the pack. Although, if you notice the background of Mr. Jelks card here, you'll see NO ONE in the stands. Maybe thats why they only lasted ten seasons...

The final three parts will come from the same country but as I said I feel they deserve their own posts. This won't be an every Wednesday sort of thing, so watch for parts 2 through 4 in the future.