Sunday, November 4, 2018

Yes Virginia, there are a lot of generous people out there

A very quick post today as the cards that I received yesterday only numbered two.

Imagine my surprise a week ago yesterday when I opened my email and got a trade proposal on the TCDB website.   I opened up the offer and these two cards were due to come my way, and on my return list all it said was "happy birthday".   Chuck (User ID:C2Cigars) out of complete generosity decided to send these 2 cards my way as a birthday present. 

It may not have been much, but the generosity that this transaction showed me proved that there are even more generous people in the card community than I could have imagined.

Thank you very much for the cards Chuck, they are really appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, November 1, 2018

How many Leaf related puns can you come up with?

I had so many post title ideas for this box of cards I received from Julie at the A Cracked Bat:  Baseball cards and a Hot Dog blog that my mind starting spinning out of control.

UnbeLeafable.   What a reLeaf.  I could go on and on, but I'll keep it under wraps for now. 

To get this all started, I go back to a tweet that I posted on the 7th of October, asking the Trading Card Database people if there was a problem with the site.   I mentioned that I had spent sometime entering my 1990 Leaf want list on to the site, but then after that I couldn't access it at all.   They assured me that nothing was wrong on their end and that I shouldn't have any issues.  Sure enough my wireless connection at home was just a bit overloaded...

Julie saw this and pounced (for lack of a better word).  She sent me a private message saying that she was long overdue in sending me something for my past generosity, and could pretty much take care of that want list.

She did just that.   The list that was around 270 cards at that time, is now down to 2.   Manageable.  Julie even sent the package via FedEx. 

Just.   Wow.

So, instead of scanning boat loads of cards which I don't have the patience for much lately, I decided to go through the pile and take out cards that interested me and scan them.

It will never get old for me showing Tony Fernandez cards on this blog.   One of my all time favorite Blue Jays, that sweet swing and graceful fielding will always have a spot burned into my brain. 

The bash brothers.   What struck me right away when putting these two cards side by side are the stances.  Not a whole lot of difference save for McGwire's front leg is bent inwards a bit.  That's a whole lot of power right there folks.

Speaking of power, Bo Jackson comes to mind.   I really don't have a whole lot of his cards, so showing this one off was easy.

I can almost see the bat becoming a pile of twigs as I write this....

A couple of shortstops names Ozzie.   Coincidence, I think not.  There's 4224 hits in those 2 bats you see, and I was surprised that Guillen only won 1 Gold Glove; I thought he might have won a couple more than that.  Mr. Smith has a bakers dozen of those...

Almost every Expo player that I came across in this set had a photo featuring them in the powder blues.  It was an easy choice to feature Tim Raines here.   Of course, you see Raines, you think stolen bases, so here's a couple of numbers for ya.   He led the NL in steals for 4 straight seasons (81-84), swiping 314 bags.   In the 85 and 86 seasons, he stole exactly 70 bases in those 2 seasons, but didn't lead the league.  Vince Coleman had over 100 in those 2 years, and in 86 Eric Davis also finished ahead of Raines with 80 steals. 

By the way, the major league leader this year had 45 steals.  Yea, I think I miss baseball the way it was played back then a lot.

Nice card, but when there's nothing written on a bat knob it loses a little bit of its luster.

Thank you very much Julie for the cards, they really were appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

Slow.   That is the one word that could be used to describe this transaction.  

On my end of course.

A very gracious blog reader Greg sent me an email with a laundry list of cards that were on several of my want lists.  I read the email on my phone while at work with the intention of replying that evening when I got home.

Well, I got home and promptly started a conversation with my wife which means, you guessed it, the email was forgotten.  I looked at it a few days later and did the same thing, forgot about it. 

Finally 2 weeks later, I managed to get around to replying to Greg, apologizing for my lack of attention to the email.   Greg was cordial and offered me the cards none the less, asking for very little from my trade lists ( I actually had to prod him to grab a few more cards just so I didn't feel so guilty).  Now, I've finally gotten around to scanning the cards that I received (portions of) for everyone's viewing pleasure.

A lot of times the little things bring one the greatest joy, and the 6 Blue Jays cards that were inside the box were the big things for me.

These were big for me because I have very little OPC Blue Jays from the mid 80's.  So little in fact that I didn't even hesitate to wonder if I had this half dozen, because I was positive I didn't.   Maybe one day I'll get around to filling in those OPC holes from the Jays first decade.

The rest of the box was pieces and parts of several different sets.   Great fun going through all the cards, starting with a handful of 1976 Topps.

The '76 set has really never been a big priority to complete; having said that these 5 cards bring my in hand count to 525, which is 3 cards short of being 80% finished with this set.  I would say that I'll have this done sometime in 2019 (which is just 2 months away....ugh).

A half dozen '78s also came my way, nothing spectacular save for the fact that I could cross 6 numbers off the want list which is still quite extensive.  This is a set where I'm divided about putting in a box or in a binder.  I think that '77 might be the cut off put for binders & pages for the Topps run here at the Mitchell household.

The '79 group of cards was the largest part of the package, 70 of them to be exact.  There was a bit of star power cards in there such as Seaver (bottom row center), Sutton, Carew and Trammell to name a few.  My favorite of the bunch is the League Leaders card right at the top, featuring Jim Rice and George Foster.  259 combined RBI's on that card (139 for Rice and 120 for Foster), and it also might be the first time that a Blue Jays player was mentioned on a league leader card; Rico Carty combined between Oakland and Toronto had 99 RBI's which tied for 5th in the AL in 1978.

'81 Topps was well represented in the box as 22 cards came my way.  The hats with the position/team on it still make this one of my favorite sets that I'm building.  I'll likely end up showing this one in its entirety on the blog when it's done.   That will not be anytime soon as I'm just short of halfway done with the set.

One of the first sets that prompted me to put the run of 68-86 Topps sets together was the '82 set.  It still surprises me that I don't see a lot of it out there (unless I want to buy 4000 commons on ebay, which I'll pass on thanks...).  I honestly thought that this set would be quickly completed, but it's lagging behind it's early 80's counterparts.

1983 Topps lags further behind '82 as I've only hit the 30% mark for this set.  Speaking of 30, that's how many cards were marked off of this want list, including the Royals double play combo of UL Washington and Frank White.  This is another set that I've had trouble finding decent starter lots on ebay for a decent price. 

Just because hockey needed a little representation in the package, these 2 cards from the 84-85 OPC set found their way here as well.   Still a very long way to go with this one, not to mention finding RC's of Steve Yzerman, Cam Neely and Chris Chelios for a decent price. 

All in all this was a great box of cards to go through, it had a little something for every want list I have in the late 70-s to early 80-s.

Thank you Greg, the cards are really appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Ice Breakers

I decided during my last COMC purchase to pick up a single card from a few 70's OPC sets from which I hadn't owned one.  Naturally, I went on the cheap route and grabbed a few cards for $1.50 or less.  No stars, just commons to get the sets started.

This was the most expensive card of the 5 at $1.53.  I had no idea who Joe Szura was when I bought the card, but I figured what better way to start the set than grabbing a player from the California Seals franchise.  A quick look at the Hockey Reference website shows that the 69-70 season was the last of 2 NHL seasons that Joe would play, totaling 90 games and 10 NHL goals.  Joe would be claimed by the Los Angeles Sharks of the WHA a couple of years later, and play for them in the 72-73 season.  The next year Joe would be a member of the WHA championship Houston Aeros team (the same one that had Gordie, Mark and Marty Howe) before finishing his career in the 74-75 season in the minors.

I knew of Dunc Wilson before I picked up this card, as he spent some time during his career with the Maple Leafs.  The only image I could find of Dunc's mask during his time in Vancouver was the old style pretzel mask.   Dunc's mask in Toronto was much better...

Dunc's career spanned the entire 1970's between 4 NHL clubs, with one game in the 69-70 season in Philly.   My copy of his 72-73 OPC card cost 60 cents.

I could probably count on one hand the number of 73-74 OPC cards I've seen with smooth borders and no chipping.  Putting this set together in anything better than VG-EX could be a time consuming and costly process.   I knew that Ed had finished his career with the Islanders, but what I did not know is that he was claimed by the Islanders in their expansion draft from the Bruins. 

Rey Comeau was a name I recognized quickly when I started looking through the 74-75 list on COMC.  He only played a handful of games during the 71-72 season for the Canadiens before being traded to the Flames for cash considerations.  He had a decent career for the Flames, playing there 6 seasons before moving to Colorado to finish out the decade with the Rockies. 

The 78-79 set is one that I remember buying a lot of as a youngster, but unfortunately those cards got thrown out by my mom, a fate I'm sure a lot of you are familiar with.  Nick Fotiu was a name I also recognized quickly, mostly from his days as a Ranger.   I didn't remember while looking up his stats that he played a couple of years in the WHA as a member of the Whalers, before signing as a free agent with the Broadway Blueshirts.  He would spend 3 years there before going back to the Whale for a season and a half.  He would be traded back to the Rangers and play 3 seasons there before moving on to Calgary, Philly and Edmonton to finish out his career.  Nick was a tough player to play against, having 150+ penalty minutes in 4 seasons and he scored 10 goals in a season just once during his 15 year career.

I still have a few OPC sets for my 20 year run that I don't own a card of yet, such as the famous blue border 79-80 set, and 75-76 which was the first set that I remember buying cards of.   Next COMC order I'll probably break the ice on those.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Ice Chips

A quick post tonight about my recent COMC shipment, particularly the hockey portion.  A bakers dozen worth of hockey cards knocks some more numbers off of a couple of want lists.

A trio of horizontal cards start the post off.  The actual Steve Larmer rookie card (or 1 of 2 anyway) is featured in the next scan.  I pulled a total of 8 cards from the 83-84 OPC want list.  A couple of Gretzky's headline the remaining 18 cards on the list, there's also a 2nd year Grant Fuhr and a Scott Stevens RC to acquire.

A nice airbrush job on the Richie Dunn card as he'd played in Calgary the year before.  It was only the second season for Richie that he played a full 80 game schedule.   The Murray Craven card looks like an airbrush, but it's the actual Wings jersey he wore as a rookie in the 82-83 season.  The Steve Ludzik card is the famous error card that features Hawks rookie Steve Larmer. 

Speaking of airbrushing, the Al Smith card features him in his Penguins jersey.  OPC didn't even bother trying to get rid of the blue sleeves or try to draw the winged wheel like you see on the Leon Rochefort card.  I'm still trying to pick these up for $1 or less, which is tough to do.  But these 5 cards put me over the 60 card mark and 5 shy of having 1/4 of the 71-72 set finished. 

If anyone out there watched Whose Line is it Anyway as religiously as I did, you'll know that Colin Mochrie while doing a Weird Newscasters skit (at the 19 second mark) mentioned that his name was Orland Kurtenbach.  Very cool tribute to his Canadian heritage.

Nothing big on this post, just a few chips in a couple sets to throw out there...

Thanks for reading, Robert