Thursday, February 28, 2013

I guess this card has been sitting on my desk for a reason

I'll be looking for Don Cherry's "Coach's Corner" segment on Saturday night to see what he has to say about this guy...

Because after the game Nazem Kadri had this evening, Cherry will have a blast poking fun at the old regime.

Yes, I know not much of a post, but at least it included some kind of card!! 

Thanks for reading, Robert

Coming soon to an American League ball park near you

Call me crazy, but I would like to see these uniforms back full time, not just as a retro uniform worn for special occasions.

While you're at it, bring back Terry Puhl, Enos Cabell, Jose Cruz Sr., Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott, Alan Ashby, Bob Watson, and everyone else from those early to mid 80's teams. 

I don't think having the DH is going to help these guys out a whole lot this year. 

thanks for reading, Robert

Moving faster than the speed of sound

I'm not exactly sure why, but I somehow got a thought in my head (yep, it does happen once in a while) that putting the '75 Topps set together was going to be a difficult proposition.  I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that the Yount and Brett RCs were both very pricey cards and probably would take me some time to pickup a copy.

Well, my good fortune with pulling the Tony Gwynn autograph and turning the proceeds of that sale into both of those RCs has changed my thought process quite a bit.

I still have quite a few cards that are going to cost a pretty penny from the '75 set still to pickup, such as the Hank Aaron's (#'s 1 & 660), Pete Rose, Nolan Ryan, and the RCs of Jim Rice and Gary Carter.  The fact that I'm only 95 cards from completing one of the best sets of the 70's (or the best one if you ask a certain Owl) has really surprised me.

I was able to visit a card store that I'd never been to previously last weekend, and I will say this, I was impressed with the customer service.  One of the reasons I went in was to try and knock off a few cards from my want lists.  The '75 set took a nice hit, I was able to knock 35 cards off of my want list, including the following...

How about a trio of first basemen...

Love Hargrove's nickname  "the human rain delay".  Bill Buckner, for all the years he played, never struck out more than 39 times in a season.   With two seasons over 700 plate appearances to his credit, the fact that he struck out so rarely is even more amazing.  Dan Driessen was 3rd in Rookie of the year voting in 1973, finishing behind Gary Matthews and Steve Rogers.  I found it interesting that he's listed as a third baseman on his '75 card, until I looked up his '74 stats and found out that he played 125 games at the hot corner.  Pete Rose was moved to 3rd base in '75 for the Big Red Machine, and Driessen was a utility player for the next two seasons before finally claiming the 1st base job in '77 from Tony Perez(who had been traded to the Expos). 

How about a couple of airbrushed cards for your entertainment?

I was aware that Billy Williams had played with the A's at the end of his career, but I had no idea that Jim Northrup was a member of the Orioles.  It's funny to look at the Northrup card, because you can tell right away that he's wearing a Tigers jersey.  The Orioles cap, well it just doesn't look quite right. 

Now I was fortunate enough to knock one other Hall of Famer off of my want list, and that just happened to be the human vacuum cleaner, Brooks Robinson

So far, this is easily one of my favorite cards from the 1975 set, even though it looks as if someone stole the bill off of Brooks' batting helmet. 

This set will be one of the big hitters at the monthly card show this weekend.  I know for sure that I will not complete it, but if I can knock off a good portion of the commons that I need (probably about 50), then all that will remain will be the HOFers and RCs....

Those cards should slow down the process for sure.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


799.  That's how many cards out of the 1500 I have towards completing the SNI set.  It has definitely been a fun project since I started working on it 17 months ago.  I've had quite a few people set aside cards, buy cards at shows, and overall just enjoy the fact that they are helping me become a little more insane each day.

Brian at Play at the Plate is one of those who has taken the time to send me some great stuff for this set.  Brian is actually responsible for 21 of the 799 cards that I have, going back as far as 2002 Topps for a couple of them.  Brian's most recent envelope contained the 799th card for the set...some guy named Buster Posey

I don't have a pocket full of these
I've actually made a dent in the pile of serial #'d cards I need to post on the other blog.  Buster is now on the top of that pile.  If you have serial #'d parallels of Orioles, Astros or the Rockies, those are the 3 teams that are lagging behind and are wanted desperately.  Let me know!

Brian didn't want Buster to be lonely in that envelope he sent me, so he included some blue Blue Jays:

The blue, well it just works very well for these cards.  But for some reason, I believe the emerald green is more appealing.

They don't scan quite as well as they look in person, at least for me.  But I think in a 9 pocket sheet, these emerald parallels will look fantastic.  Maybe green should have been the official color of the "sea turtle set", what do you think?

I hope to have my Blue Jays want list completed by the end of this weekend, only 11 more years to list!!

Brian, thank you for the great envelope, it really was appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

OK, 5 days is long enough

I admit it, I've really been a slacker the past few days. There's been other things in my life that have been more important than posting.  Things such as:

  • Sleep.  Ever since I went out of town early on Friday morning (I was up at 4 am), my inner clock was messed up.  I went to bed on Friday and Saturday nights before 10pm.  Man I'm getting old.
  • Trying to get Comcast to figure out how to get me the Center Ice package.  I finally grew weak and resolved to follow my blue and white for the rest of the season.  Problem was, Comcast couldn't figure out how to bill me for the package.   Really.  It took them 3 days to figure out how to do it.  Oh, and by the way, when a Comcast phone representative tells you they are going to phone you back, don't believe them.  They are full of shit.
To be honest, I wasn't going to sit back down at the keyboard and write for another few days.  I'm off of work now until next Monday, and I was going to use the time to clean up the disaster area, get the Blue Jays want list up to date and generally recharge myself and my thoughts.  I have cards to scan, stories to tell and thoughts about cards in general to share, but I've been in such a blah mood over the past week that I just didn't care to share anything.

It's funny how one sentence can change things. 

I've never thought of myself as one who inspires.  In the card collecting blogosphere, I consider myself just one of the cogs.  Nobody special, just a guy who likes to write and bullshit a little bit about the hobby we all love. 

I decided to get off of my ass today and write a thank you email to Trevor over at the Supporting the Minnow blog for the cards he sent me last week.  Here was his one sentence response.

No problem. It was your blog and white whale that inspired me.

I've actually inspired someone.  It may be sad to you, but that made me feel pretty damn good.  Good enough to get me off of my ass and start writing this post.  Now, I just have one question for Trevor.  Which white whale??  (I figure I have enough white whales I need right now that they could be called a school)

Well, enough of the schmaltzy stuff, here's a few cards for you.  I decided to chase down the 2008 Upper Deck X die cuts set, largely because I like how the cards look, and at just 100 cards, it should be relatively easy to put together.

I won a lot of 15 of them on eBay last week for a whopping 99 cents plus shipping, so what the hell, I'll show them off to you...

 I already have one fifth of the set.  Can't beat that with a stick.

I'm toying with the idea of making some cosmetic changes to the blog, because just like everything else in my life, every year or two I crave a change.  At least with the blog, it doesn't cost me anything.

After 5 days, I'm back.  I'm sure that nobody noticed I was gone anyhow...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Safety first

Where I work, that is the mantra.  I sit in an office all day, taking phone calls and sending messages to our guys on the road.  I've been at this position for 3.5 years now, and I enjoy it more each day, because I get to promote safety on a daily basis.

Arrive alive.  That is one of my favorites.  I say it regularly to one young driver, and it always hits home.  No matter how far behind he may get on his deliveries, he remembers to arrive alive.

I thought quite a bit about safety today, while calling a lot of customers out in the state of Kansas, telling them that we would not be making their scheduled pickup today because of the storm that the state was receiving. It was surprising how many people I actually talked to today that were actually at work, which of course makes you wonder when some places were to receive a foot of snow.

Speaking of safety, I received a care package today from one of my north of the border blogging buddies, Trevor at Supporting the Minnow.  Trevor is well aware of the wants and needs of yours truly, and he never disappoints.  Trevor sent me a safety related team set of 30 Blue Jays from 2012, which was given away to the first 25,000 fans at the game vs. the Nationals last June 13th.

These cards are pretty sharp...

There's the "big 3" from last year's club, Bautista, Lawrie and Encarnacion.  Lawrie has quite a bit of ink on his arms. I hope that the artist used sterilized needles, since this is a safety first post.  Speaking of safety, opposing pitchers may have to be careful and not turn their necks around too quickly, because I have a feeling that these 3 are going to be responsible for close to 100 HRs this season.

The backs are nice as well, featuring career stats only along with a safety tip, and standard information about the player (height, weight, etc.)

What I really like about the 30 card set is that it included 5 of the Jays coaches, including previous manager John Farrell.

Brian Butterfield has been with the Jays for what seems an eternity.  Butterfield has certainly paid his dues in the minors, having achieved AAA ball for a grand total of 13 games in 1982.  What I didn't know about Butterfield is that he managed over 550 games at various levels in the minors for the Yankees.    Dwayne Murphy has been moved from hitting coach to first base coach (Chad Mottola is now the hitting coach).   Lovullo followed Farrell to Boston, and is now their bench coach.  Don Wakamatsu, former Mariners manager, is now a scout in the Yankees organization.

Yes, just in case you were wondering, Colby Rasmus is included in the set, and his picture does look as bad as all the others.   I'll spare you all the misery.  

Trevor also managed to include a few Sakic cards, which I'll save for a long overdue Sakic Sunday post.  Thank you very much for the cards Trevor, they are appreciated!

thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I never really was much into horse racing

I haven't seen the term used a lot recently, but for the longest time I saw the term "trifecta" used a lot on the blogs.  I thought to myself, "isn't that a horse racing term?".  Sure enough, thanks to Merriam Webster online, here's the definition. 

Trifecta:  noun   a variation of the perfecta in which a bettor wins by selecting the first three finishers of a race in the correct order of finish

Now unless there are cards of Secretariat out there that I've never seen, I can't see these two worlds meshing together.

OK...enough levity.   I know that there are quite a few bloggers out there have built some pretty nice trifectas.  One such blog is Drew's cards,  which if you follow the link shows off quite an impressive collection of trifectas.  

I really haven't done much in the way of collecting trifectas, but while cleaning up around the card room this evening, I came across a RC of Nikolai Kulemin of the Leafs.  I knew that I had already the other two pieces of his trifecta in place, so voila!  My first trifecta (at least the first one that gets shown on the blog)

Auto:  09-10 BAP  RC:  08-09 UD Series 2 Victory   Jersey: 11-12 Zenith

Nikolai Kulemin became one of my favorite players a couple of years back, his 30 goal season two years ago along with his excellent defensive work gave me hope that he would become a solid two way player for the Leafs for many years to come.  Nikolai was snake bitten last year offensively, only scoring 7 times.  That didn't dampen my enthusiasm as far as collecting his cards,  and while he has only 1 goal so far this season, he's still playing well in both ends of the rink to reaffirm my belief in him. 

It seems to be a lot easier for me to obtain relics/autos of Leafs/Jays, so that may be another angle for me to pursue while collecting the Blue & White.  I am pretty sure that I can feature at least a couple of other players here in the not too distant future.  

Now, if I could only get my hands on some rainbows....

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, February 18, 2013

Blue Jay Monday: One of the "lost" Blue Jays, Joey Hamilton

One of the positive things about starting to get my Blue Jays collection sorted and into binders is I've come across quite a few cards of Jays that I had even forgotten were part of the club.

Rick Leach.  Orlando Merced.  Juan Beniquez.  Jeff Burroughs.  I could go on and on.  I call them the "lost" Blue Jays, because you know these guys well from their careers with other major league clubs, and their time in Toronto just seems to be lost in the shuffle.

These are guys that had brief stays with the team, often times just for a pennant run.  Rickey Henderson in '93 is a prime example. 

Every once in a while, I'll dig up one of these cards and try to write a brief post on what kind of effect the player had on the team.  The card I found for you tonight is...

1999 Upper Deck #518, Joey Hamilton.  What made me select this card first?  The red cap of course.  It's amazing what a little thing like an off colored cap will do to trigger the memory. 

A former first round draft choice of the San Diego Padres in 1991, Joey Hamilton spent all of the 1999 & 2000 seasons with Toronto, and pitched until August of 2001 before finally being released.  Why do I say finally?  Let's just say that Joey's stats with the Blue Jays were less than stellar.

The Jays had acquired him from San Diego in December of 1998 to replace the soon to be departing Roger Clemens.  It didn't work out that well.  The '99 season was just brutal, with a 6.52 ERA in just 18 starts.  Little did the Jays know that they had a young kid who would be starting a great career, Roy Halladay.

The 2000 season was a total wash, with Joey only making 6 starts with a 2-1 record.  In 2001, his stats went right back to the mediocrity he showed in 1999.  A 5-8 record, 5.89 ERA and 1.700 WHIP (!) led the Jays to finally cut the cord and release Joey at the beginning of August.  Oh, and opponents were hitting .346 against him.  Yikes.

Joey went on to finish his career with Cincinnati, pitching from 2001-2003 with no more success than he had with the Blue Jays.  A lot of the problems that Joey had over the final 6 seasons of his career appear to have stemmed from him losing a lot of the zip off of his fastball. 

Meet the first of the "lost" Blue Jays, Joey Hamilton.

thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I've almost made it to the 21st century

To those of you team collectors out there who have updated want lists and organized binders/boxes, I'm just going to say this.

You have my respect. 

I've sorted so many damn cards, and typed out so many damn wants over the past couple weeks, that my eyes just might go blind. 

In the year and a half that I've been blogging, I have been blessed with a more than generous group of traders who have sent me every Blue Jays card imaginable, and some that I could have never imagined existed.  My problem all along has been that I've just lumped everything together, and never bothered to keep them in any sort of order.   What a mistake.

Lately I've been trying to fix that mistake, and have realized that I face a truly monumental task.  One of the blog pages that I've been working on consistently has been the Blue Jays wantlist.  I've been typing out the entire team set year by year, and then slowly removing all the cards that I already own, in order to give potential traders an idea of what I really need.  I finished 3 more years of cards today, and I'm now up to 1999.

I've almost made it to the 21st century.  After typing out 1997-1999 today, I'm not looking forward to it. 

What the hell went on at the end of the 90's?  I couldn't believe the staggering amount of sets that I had to enter.  I can only imagine the hell that I'm going to go through during the early 2000s as well.  Even the last few years should be crazy, even though Topps has had a monopoly on the MLB license. 

Oh well, what can you do but enjoy some more cards that a fellow blogger has sent you.  There's a newer blog out there that has hit the ground running, none other than Zach from the Underdog Card Collector.  Zach has set me a steady diet of Leafs and Jays, which are always welcome here.

Let's countdown the best of what Zach sent, 5-4-3-2-1 style.   Let's begin with 5 vintage Leafs:

The Gary Roberts was actually needed for the 2001-02 Upper Deck Vintage set I'm putting together.  The other 4 go straight into the Maple Leafs box.

Next up, 4 great goalie cards...

Love the over head shot of Potvin from the 94-95 Score Select set on the bottom.  Only a die hard Leaf fan will remember Marcel Cousineau on the upper right.  That's because he only appeared in 15 games for the Leafs in the mid 90's. 

How about 3 cards of one of the greatest Leafs of the past 20 years...Mats Sundin

One of these days I'm going to get some more of those Beehive cards (far right).  Definitely something different, and something I wish that Upper Deck would bring back.

Next up, 2 minis of a pitcher that I still have high hopes for when he comes back from Tommy John surgery, Kyle Drabek.

Even though they are minis, cards that I notoriously have a hard time handling, they still look great.

Finally, 1 serial numbered Blue Jay, one of the members of the Ring of Honor...Roberto Alomar

I've really grown fond of the Triple Threads set, largely because of the serial numbering.  I do like the brown borders on this card however, and even though this card number has already been spoken for, there are 36 other Triple Threads cards that are part of the SNI set. 

Zach, thank you again for the great cards, some more great stuff to add to my two main team collections!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, February 15, 2013

Before there were lockouts and strikes: Bob Gibson

There's a well loved Bob Gibson card for you from '75 Topps.  I'm sure that Bob also felt "well loved" by St. Louis Cardinals fans over a 17 year period between 1959-1975.

One of the most feared pitchers of all time, Dusty Baker was once warned by Hank Aaron not to dig in at the plate, because Bob "would knock down his own grandmother if she dared to challenge him".  Now that's tough.

I could easily go on and on about the dominance he showed over his career.  Striking out 250+ batters 4 different seasons, a modern day record low ERA of 1.12 in 1968, the "year of the pitcher".  In 1968, Bob started 34 times, and completed 28 of those 34 starts.  The other 6 starts that he did not complete, he was pinch hit for, meaning that Bob was never replaced during a game in the '68 season because of his pitching.  Incredible.

Scary stat:   As if there would be one particular stat or group of stats associated with Bob Gibson that weren't scary.  I would have to say that the '67 World Series may be the most statistically dominant performance from any starting pitcher ever.  3 wins, a 1.00 ERA, 3 complete games, only 14 hits and 5 walks given up while striking out 26.  Gibson received WS MVP honors, even though Lou Brock hit .414, and Roger Maris hit .385 while driving in a series high of 7 runs. 

Before there were lockouts and strikes, there was Bob Gibson

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Junk wax doesn't seem so junky to me anymore

I learn more and more about the hobby, and myself, as I continue to blog about cards.  Last weekend was a prime example of this.

I spent a good portion of my free time this weekend going through the piles of Blue Jays cards that hadn't been sorted/cataloged, a pile which had grown to about 400 cards.  In order to try and expedite the process somewhat, I've split the sorting into three "eras".  77-89, 90-99, and 2000 to present.  Most of the Blue Jays that I sorted on the weekend were from the first two eras.

While sorting, I started putting my Jays cards into sheets/binders, because I wanted my Jays cards to be a little more accessible than just sitting in a 3 row card box.

As I was doing this, and the Blue Jays team sets of '88 Donruss, '89 Topps, and '91 Fleer started to come together, I thought to myself  "I really like these cards".

While a lot of you out there probably think I'm mad for saying this, but this page of '91 Fleer Blue Jays really works for me:

'91 Fleer may be a very bright yellow that a lot of people believe should never have been used on a baseball card.  But now I have 2 pages + of Blue Jays from '91 Fleer.  To me, they look great.

Here's another example, '89 Topps

Again, for a lot of people it's probably not the most visually appealing set.  Nor will '89 Topps earn you that vacation house in the Hamptons.  In this context, '89 Topps works for me.  The time I took sorting through these Blue Jays team sets helped me realize one thing.

Junk wax doesn't seem so junky to me anymore.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How trying to clean off my desk turned into 5 packs of 2013 Series 1


So much for the "I won't be buying any packs of Series 1" mantra I was preaching.

I did last 11 days though!  Yes, big deal I know.

But the packs were bought with an alternative in mind.  You see, I am really in the middle of the mid-winter blahs right now.  Writing has been a little more difficult the past couple of weeks.  February has come and the number of bubble mailers that have hit my mailbox this month have dwindled to almost none. 

Understandable.  New product is out, everyone out there is buying up the latest and greatest.  I get it.

What happens to me you ask?  I go into a funk.  I went into one about this time last year I remember.  This year, I figured out what to do.  Start cleaning the disaster area I call my desk.  The biggest part of that is getting all the Jays logged on my spreadsheets.  I'm just 7 cards short of 3000 now, but with 2 large piles and the box of Ted still to go through, that number will leap at least a couple of hundred more before all is said and done. 

Part of getting things cleaned up is buying some sheets in order to put cards into binders.  Off to Wal-Mart I went (I didn't feel like driving an hour to a LCS).  Sunday was the first time I've been there since the new flagship was released.  I stood there, with two packs of sheets in my hands, and looked at the display, like an idiot, for about 10 minutes.

Back and forth.  Do I buy them.  Do I not buy them.  Is there anything else here that could steer me away from buying them  (there wasn't). 

Damn.  I couldn't resist the temptation.  But I did somewhat hold myself back, because instead of buying blasters and rack packs, I opted to buy just 5 looseys.  I figured there was less of a chance of being saddled with the blue parallels.  ( I didn't get any blues btw)

So, without further adieu, I'll give you a few "firsts" for me as far as Topps 2013 goes.

The first card:

There are certainly worse players that I could have pulled for my first card.  Topps was kind enough to mention Freddie's dry eye problem on the back of the card bio. 

The first insert:

I guess you could say that Cal is no longer chasing history, since he is the owner of the longest iron man streak.  Picky I guess....

The first Blue Jay:

Only 640 more Jays to go for 2013 Topps (you know, the 7 color parallels, the inserts, jerseys, autos, etc.)

The first parallel:


The camo parallel is question is, if the Padres are wearing their military tribute unis, will the player blend into the border and disappear altogether?

The first die-cut:

Guess it's my year to pull St. Louis Cardinal cards.

The first gold card that I can't use for the serial insanity set featuring a guy who calls himself Tony Plush:

I bought a bunch of update in 2012 hoping to get a bunch of cards towards the insanity set.  Most of the gold I received was numbered over 1500.  (whine)

My first gold card this year?  Good ol' Nyjer is #1854.  Secondary market it is!!

My honest opinion of the flagship?  The design of the base cards I like (I still can't get the sea turtle image out of my head, argh!) because it doesn't dominate the card. 

Maybe I'll just let everybody send me their unwanted doubles in trades and complete the set that way.  Wait before you do that, just until I decide how I want to approach the flagship. 

I could live with myself if I only bought 5 packs of the base set this year.  I could only guess how much money that would save me.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What's the easiest way to finish a set? Win a contest!

The prognosticator of prognosticators.  The seer of all things unseen.  I'll read your palms as well if you'd like.

OK, maybe all that was a little over the top, but it's not often that I get to say that I was right about something.

I managed to predict the winner of the Super Bowl 5 weeks before it happened.  I turned my ability to see into the future into a contest win over at CB's Collector's Crack blog.  (Note:  My head is swelling to a size that currently can't be measured by any type of afraid)

If you click the link, you'll see the spoils of my contest win.  CB also sent me an email later, asking me what else I would like.  Jays were naturally the spoils that I wished for, and CB took care of me as I knew he would.

For tonight, I'll show you just 2 cards...the first is my 1st card from 2013 Topps that I received from another blogger, a Target red parallel of a Blue Jay from the "sea turtle" set (yes, I've read the post, and I can't get the sea turtle out of my head)

Honestly, I do like the design of the set, and the red parallels really do work.  Well, at least this one does, for me.

Now, I'm sure you're wondering how a set got finished?  Well, '86 Topps is in the books my friends, the final card was sent to me as part of the prize package...

The puzzled look of Chuck Cottier is now in my possession, and another set is in the books.  This set is pretty much an accomplishment of the blog world, because I never bought a pack, bought a single online or at a card show.  The entire set was accumulated via trades. 

By the way, I'm not sure if you read close enough, but the Colby Rasmus isn't my first Topps 2013 card.  I'll post that shame tomorrow...

CB, thank you for the contest, and the great prize package!!  All of the cards were fantastic and much appreciated!

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blue Jay Monday: The box of Ted

It's finally official.  I will never catch up with all the Blue Jays cards that have arrived at my doorstep.

The box of Ted saw to that.  I've spent the last few days attempting to go through the pile of cards that I had before I received the box of greatness.  I managed to get another 100 cards added to the spreadsheet, as well as a couple of more years added to the Jays want list

Tonight, I promise I will not take up much of your time.   I just want to show you the goodies, since the box is full with about 400 random cards from over the years.  I just couldn't decide which ones to show.

I'll just show you the hits instead...

First, the Adam Lind collection:

Couple of autos, couple of jersey cards, great stuff!  This next card was even better...

What the 'L'?
2007 SP Authentic by the Letters Adam Lind, #'d 60/75.  Love it.  One of the top 3 cards in the box. 

What are the other 2?  Let me show you..

Both graphs are really nice

2004 Topps Retired Signature Edition cards of Dave Stieb and Jimmy Key!  Beautiful cards.  Love the old style Topps logo in the upper left hand corner.  My only wish is that the cards weren't slabbed, but beggars can't be choosers.

Now, on to putting another dent in this massive pile of cards...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Renewed interest in SNI

4 posts last week on the insanity blog! Boy it's been a while since I've pulled that off.  Like I mentioned recently, everything that I pull in going forward for the project will not be put into a binder until it has been posted over there.

Well, there is a 100 count plastic container on my desk that is almost full of cards.   Cards that I have to scan and write about before I can put them away.

Last week I got the ball rolling.  4 posts.  I plan 4 more for this week.  I know one guy who has been a big supporter of the project since the beginning will be looking on. 

number 20
Serial #'d 185/199, David Medina came to me courtesy of Brian over at Play at the Plate.  Brian has been a big supporter of the Serial Numbered project, to the tune of 20 cards being sent my way.   Fantastic.

Now the rest of this post is going to be a bit mushy and personal, so I will not be upset if you change the channel.

For those of you that stayed, let me first say this.   Brian's blog is one of the 2 that inspired me to start writing.  I don't know about the rest of you, but the guys that inspired me to create $30 a week habit will always be favorites, no matter what happens.  They are both around my age, and are very well spoken.

This last package that Brian sent to me with a stack of Blue Jays ( to be shown at a later date...) had a brief note thanking me for the support that I'd shown him over the past few months during his personal issues that he was having. 

Believe it or not Brian, I sympathized with you more than you know.  You see, what you thought was happening to you, actually happened to me.  It ended my 1st marriage in a big hurry.  Hence the extra support.  You had someone out there that understood what you were going through.


I had one fellow actually say that I should try and finish the SNI project this year!  Jeff, if I win this auction, I may have a chance to put a major dent into the set.   798 cards and counting.

By the way...Jeff....interested in this???

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Straying off the beaten path

I generally don't make it a habit (no pun intended) of posting on how my favorite sports teams are doing.  The fact that Toronto for the past several years has been the dictionary definition for the phrase "cellar dweller", there has been no reason for any type of boasting.

Maybe tonight (maybe...) is the beginning of change for my beloved Maple Leafs.  I'm sure that a lot of you have already said "Oh God" and moved on to another blog, and that's fine.  But like I said, I'm straying off the beaten path here a little bit, and showing a little faith in the blue and white crested Maple Leaf.

Hand biting aside (yea, I think Grabovski bit Pacioretty), the Leafs beat Montreal from pillar to post tonight, 6-0.  If they could only play the way they did for the last 3 games on the road at home, I might be able to see a little something this year that I haven't seen since I was in my 30's...

Playoff hockey.

These three guys played a helluva game...

Kessel with 3 points, 2nd goal in 2 games after going the first 10 without any.  Everyone in Toronto can start breathing again.  Phaneuf scored his 1st goal of the season tonight, albeit on a 5 on 3 power play with the score already 5-0.  Hopefully that gets him going.  Bozak scored his 4th and won 83% of his face offs. 

Maybe if the Toronto media left these guys alone and let them play a little hockey, we would get more results like we did tonight.

Oh, and there was this guy...

37 save shutout.  Got him in the fantasy league!!  Too bad the St. Louis goalies have gone to the shitter...

Finally, I was shocked that Anaheim let this guy go last year...

Back when he had more hair

It's becoming obvious that his influence on this team is starting to show.  Not a whole lot of 2nd chances tonight for the Canadiens, and with the Leafs in the top half of the league in GAA, there's lot to be hopeful for those of us who root for the blue and white.

Hey, once in a while I'm allowed to let my feelings show.....remember this post???

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Budget shmudget, it's the monthly card show!

It had been 3 months since I visited the monthly mall show.  I had to work on the weekend that it ran in December, and in January a little bit of poor planning on my part caused me to remember the show one week too late.

Eager to get to work on some of the vintage sets that I've been spouting about regularly, I went into the show with a purpose. 

The first table I always hit is the table that has a plastic tub full of cards, priced at 6/$5.  There is no rhyme or reason to what's in the tub, and I've told my wife that I call the process of going through the tub "dumpster diving".  You may recall the '57 Topps cards I showed on the blog back in late October.  Yes, that is the same table I'm talking about here.  I almost had some more '57s in my hand, but I decided on a few other cards instead.  I showed a '77 Topps Don Sutton the other day, which was one of the first 6.  These next three cards are in pretty good shape, and are all Yankees to boot.

Another set that I've dabbled in a bit, the '68 Topps is also growing on me.  I only own 15 of these cards so far, but it's another set that I have my eye on, even if finishing it is well on the horizon.

I spent the better part of 45 minutes at my next table, which is another dealer that actually drives down from western New York state (about 2.5-3 hrs) to do the show.  Boxes of cards, 50 cents apiece, a serial #'d junkie's dream.  I probably could have spent another hour there, but with the wife on this excursion, my time was somewhat at a premium.

The majority of the serial #'d cards that I was able to pickup will be shown on the SNI blog, but I did pick up a nice purple Ricky Romero refractor...

I figured, why not pick it up?  I only have 2,465, 718 more Blue Jays to go through, so what's one more!  By the way, another blog mission is to get the Blue Jays want list current.  I added the 1994 sets last night, which thankfully only took me about 20 minutes.  I'm hoping to keep adding a year at a time until my eyes pop out of my head....

There was also one more card at that table that I picked up for a fellow blogger that I really liked, and I have to be careful that it doesn't become an obsession of mine...

Pure evil
2008 UD Masterpieces Red Framed Short Print of Tom Terrific.  50 damn!  The colored parallels are becoming a disease that I really have to avoid like the plague...

Finally, it's off to the vintage table.  I showed off the '77s the other night, now let's have a look at the 2 other sets I put a small dent into.

The more I buy/receive cards from the '75 set, the more I appreciate the love that the Night Owl has for them.  I managed to pickup 2 pages worth...

The first scan features some stiffs like Garvey, John, McCovey and Bonds.  The checklist is unmarked, and all 18 cards are in really good shape. 

Ray, my vintage guy, knows me all too well.  After all the '77s/'75s, I was up to $35, and I had another $5 I wanted to spend.  Ray then says to me "I've added some '64s in the quarter box."

Well, OK then....20 commons from '64 it is!!

For a quarter apiece, 20 more cards found their way home with me.  All in all, I did quite well.  I spent 2 and a half weeks worth of my budget, which is not bad considering I didn't spend a lot out of pocket during the month of January.

I've also survived the first week of 2013 Topps without picking up a pack.  I almost talked myself into it today, reminding myself that I had a 20 dollar bill in my wallet that hadn't moved all week.

I'm weak....but so far I've held firm.  Just 27 days until Heritage is released.  I'm ready....

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Some trades are like a box of chocolates

In that you never know what you're going to get.  I was fortunate enough to get an email from Zach, one of the newest bloggers who writes over at The Underdog Card Collector

I don't know how Zach figured it out, but he knew right away that I liked teams that wear the Blue & White (yes, that is sarcasm)... once he had that information in hand, he fired off a package that arrived on my doorstep late last week.

First off, let's start with the requisite Blue Jays cards that came my way.  Some newer stuff that I don't think I have seen until now, 2009 UD signature stars.

100 card base set, so 3 per team seems to be par for the course.  If you're going to put the best 3 Jays into a set in 2009, Lind, Halladay and Wells certainly fit the bill. 

I don't think I ever collected Topps in 2002, and I certainly didn't remember that the set was gold bordered.

There were about a dozen unique cards from the set in the package, which I'm sure gets me fairly close to the entire team set for that year...

Not to be outdone, and just to make me do some research, Zach threw in some Maple Leafs cards that I'd never seen previously.

Now, if that was an actual Darryl Sittler RC on the left, I'd be a very happy camper right now.  Nevertheless, after doing a little digging, these are 3 cards from the 2001-02 Topps Archives set.  I was big into the "heritage" type sets in the early 2000's, but I sure as hell don't remember this one.  An 81 card set?  Yes, great for the simple fact that they would fit in 9 nine pocket pages, but it still seems weird to me. 

What would have made these even better??

These are 64-65 Topps reprints, so if they were actually the tall boy size, that would have been great!!!

Beggars can't be choosers though.  I know that all too well.  Zach, welcome to the blogosphere, and thank you very much for the trade!! 

I have one piece of advice for you brother......

Have fun!!

thanks for reading, Robert