Saturday, February 28, 2015

Down to 125, SNI creeps a little closer

Piece by piece, the Serial Numbered Insanity set is taking shape.  With the latest generous donation from Dennis at the Too Many Verlanders blog, the set is down to just 125 cards to go.  Dennis has now contributed 69 cards towards the set, for which I am very grateful.

Some of the cards in the next picture are a little warped, so don't adjust your screens...

The 2011 Heritage Chrome cards aren't too badly warped, but the Bowman Chrome Brad Correll purple parallel in the upper left is doing it's best impression of a banana. 

The 2 Indians cards get them closer to completion, they now have 47 out of the 50 cards required for this set.

Topps Triple Threads from various years have been a strong contributor to the set recently, and are featured 102 times so far in the set.  I think the Brad Penny card also appears more than once as well.

What would this set be without the flagship?  Less than 1/2 complete.   More than 750 cards so far are from the flagship/flagship update sets, with these 4 cards adding to the insanity.

I stopped and thought for a moment while writing this post.   When this set is complete, there's going to be a pretty big hole in my collecting world.  Yes, I have some vintage sets that I'm chasing, but the SNI set has been a pretty significant part of the blog since it started.  I wonder what I'll do for an encore...

Dennis, thank you very much for the great cards!  Taking a big chunk out of the set at this point is no mean feat, and is very much appreciated!!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, February 27, 2015

A little added bonus

A little over a week ago I posted about a trade package I had received from Tony from the Off Hiatus Baseball Cards blog.   Tony remembered not too long afterward that he had neglected to send me a pair of cards that I had asked for quite a while ago on his blog.

So, the other day I got those 2 cards....

Any time I can knock a Pirate off of one of my want lists for nothing, it's good.   Living in western PA causes them to go for quite a premium, so the '72 Pops for the price of begging on Tony's blog was worth it.

The shiny EE from '14 Finest reminds me that I have to update the Blue Jays want list a little more.  I have the 2015 Jays wants listed (along with 2015 series 1 complete set needs listed here). 

I'm not sure if Tony thought I deserved a little added bonus for forgetting to send these two, because he added a pretty cool 3rd card...

The way that '59 Topps cards have been coming my way (another post on that tomorrow), a set that I thought might take me a while to complete is quickly approaching the 200 card mark.

Thank you again Tony!  The cards, and the bonus within, are greatly appreciated. 

thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, February 26, 2015

By the page: Some more minis

It's been nice to get a few of the minis out of the Jays box.   Unlike the A&G minis that I showed off last Saturday, this page features three different sets of minis.  And, I didn't have to use up a 15 pocket page for these, as they fit fairly well inside a 9 pocket page.

Top Row:  2011 Topps Lineage

I rather enjoyed collecting this set when it came out a few years ago.  I enjoyed the fact that it was colorful and had a variety of parallels, including the minis you see here.  Getting a Roberto Alomar in the set didn't hurt the cause either...

Middle Row: 1988 Topps

I debated a bit about putting these in the center vs. the Goudeys you'll see below.  I decided that I rather enjoyed having a link to the glory years front and center.  George Bell was one of my favorites from the 80's teams, so having him in the middle was an easy choice.  I'll always enjoy any shot of Exhibition Stadium on 80's Jays cards, and the Henke doesn't disappoint. 

Bottom Row:  2007 Goudey

The only reason I positioned these three the way I did is because Vernon Wells is a red back, and the other two have green backs.   Scientific, no?

Not a bad page.  There were other potential suitors that could have fit in the bottom row instead of the Goudey cards, but the issue was I only had 2 each of the other minis (such as 87 Topps).   Maybe one day I'll change it up when more minis wander in.

thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


It only took 2 days and 2 envelopes to go from 2 cards short of 90% to hitting the milestone.

Thanks to Steve D. for sending me the card that brought the SNI set to its final 10%, Don Kelly of the Pittsburgh Pirates

Don is serial #'d 1065, and brings the Pirates' total number of cards to 39.  There are only 4 teams out of the 20 that still need cards that are below 40, and the Pirates are one of them.  Hopefully before too long I'll be able to fix that problem...

Thank you for another great trade Steve, it is appreciated!

thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, February 22, 2015

That's enough for me

Had to hit the local Wal Mart today, so I figured I would take one last trip down the card aisle looking for a series 1 blaster.   I picked that up along with a rack pack and declared myself done as far as series 1 purchases go. 

I'm going to work on sorting what I have over the next few days and getting a want list up so people can start getting rid of their dupes (grin).  I did pull quite a few more inserts to show off, in the hopes that there are people out there that will take them off of my hands.

So speak now, or forever hold your peace...

I have 4 other highlight of the year cards, Jose Canseco (88), Cal Ripken Jr. (01), Mike Schmidt (76), New York Giants (51).  All of them are available.

I also have the Mark McGwire archetypes card as well.   All are available...

I like the Robbed in left, center, and right idea, but there's one thing missing on the Michael Morse card.   The ball.   I like the look of the Hammerin' Hank card, but I'm sure that there's someone else out there that is more interested in it than I am. 

This is also not a bad idea.   I also have the Alex Rodriguez and Mike Piazza cards for this insert set available.

Foil parallels.   I'm looking for the Blue Jays foil parallels as well if anyone ever comes across them in their journeys. 

The Alexi Ogando was the only gold parallel I pulled today.  It's the only card spoken for, as it's headed to PATP in Texas (unless he doesn't want it...).  The Pennant Chase card was the first one that I've seen so far and I like the idea.   It reminds me of the old Upper Deck predictors cards back in the 90's. 

As far as the Free Agent cards go, I also have David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez (pictured in Rangers uniform) available.

If there are any Blue Jays in this manufactured relic set, I'm interested in those.  If anyone would like the Harper, please let me know and hopefully we can work something out.

Drop a comment if there's something that you wish to have....hopefully this post will not take 3 hours to appear in the blog rolls like yesterday's did.  

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, February 21, 2015

By the page: Allen & Ginter minis

I was just so glad to be able to get a bunch of the Allen & Ginter minis into pages (finally, thank you Greg!), that I couldn't wait to show them off.   Not that these are something that hasn't been seen in the blogosphere a hundred times before. 

I must admit, I was a little surprised at how good they look in pages.   Don't know why I was surprised, but I guess I didn't know what to expect until I put this page together.

Top row:  2011 Allen & Ginter

It's kind of weird showing a row of 5 cards.  Yes, there are 2 Brandon Morrow cards, one of them is an A&G back.

Middle row:   I thought I had 5 black parallels

I originally had an all black row.  Turns out that the Sergio Santos black parallel that I own is from Gypsy Queen.  So I had to improvise, and found a B.J. Ryan 2008 to go along with the 2007 version.

The solid black borders look much better in my opinion.

Bottom row:  Again I was one short

I'm not too fussy about the 2012 design, and when you put it side by side with a 2008, there's really no comparison, is there?

Not a perfect page by any stretch of the imagination, but I was just happy to be able to get these out of the Jays box and get them better protected.

I'm still a few cards short of a Gypsy Queen minis page ( I need 4 ) but being able to get the minis out of the box has prompted a few ideas for pages, which is a good thing.

thanks for reading, Robert

The first addition to SNI from 2015 Topps

Thank you to the generous Pat at Hot Corner Cards for sending me a PWE with the first 2015 Topps entry to the set.

The World Series MVP is serial numbered 1103, and the Giants now stand at 42 out of 50 towards the set.

Just 151 more to go....

Thank you Pat!  The 2015 Blue Jays are also appreciated as well...

thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, February 20, 2015

There's above & beyond, then there's Greg

One of my 2015 resolutions should have been to get better at keeping up with trade partners.   There are times when I just fail to follow through, and when people are polite enough to give me a swift kick in the ass, I feel sheepish.

Greg A. is a great example of this.   I mentioned on the blog a while back about the Blue Jay minis I have that are taking up space, and Greg fired off a quick comment/email asking me if I needed any 15 pocket  pages.  I responded with a non-committal answer, and quickly forgot about it.

Greg followed up with me last week asking me how many minis pages I needed, so I quickly thumbed through what I have and asked for a dozen pages.   Greg gave me a price including shipping, and said he would throw in a few extra cards as a bonus.   I figured since he was sending a few cards (I figured Blue Jays and maybe some modern set wants, nothing firm was discussed), I'd add a couple of extra bucks (literally) towards shipping.

I got the pages today.   And yes, there were some cards in there....2014 Topps to start us off.

That want list is down to 16, and is long overdue to be wiped off the face of the earth.

But when I looked at the next page of cards Greg included, well let's just say my jaw still hurts from hitting the floor.



Totally unexpected.  I think I inherited someone else's guilt by only adding a couple of dollars to Greg's coffers.  If the '59s were only commons, it would have been great, but seeing names like Schoendienst, Newcombe and Virgil only intensified my joy.

This is, indeed, blogger generosity at its finest.  Yes, Greg doesn't run a blog (that I'm aware of), but for me, this counts.  How can you not enjoy the blogosphere when guys help you build vintage sets purely out of the goodness of their hearts. 

Greg, thank you very much!!  This envelope was really appreciated!

thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Whittling away

If there's one thing that I feel pretty confident about, it's that I'm going to finish the Serial Numbered Insanity project sometime in 2015.  With so many people sending me anywhere from a single card to multiple dozens over time, this is one project that I can proudly say has been a community effort.

One of the many community members has been Doug from the Sportscards from the Dollar Store blog, who was gracious enough to send me 4 more cards that I was able to put into the set (Venable was numbered 928 Doug, a number I already had and don't know how I missed it...).

A pair of 2009 Triple Threads, along with a pair of Ohio based 2014 Topps gold cards knock 4 numbers off of the list, bringing the set down to 152 needed to complete the set of 1500. 

  • Peavy brings the Padres up to 48 cards
  • Carlos Lee sees the Astros rise up to 41 out of 50
  • Chris Perez and his flowing locks get the Indians to 45
  • Jay Bruuuuuuce's card has the Reds sitting at 46
Not only did Doug knock those 4 off of the SNI want list, he became the first to knock off a Brett Lawrie card from the top 30 list as well.

I think I'm going to enjoy pursuing Lawrie's cards, since I didn't wait as long to start his PC (not like Sakic and Thome).  I don't have a whole lot of Lawrie so far, but I think that will change quickly.

I have a feeling that I'm going to be busy with a lot of trades this summer.   Not sure why I feel that way, but I really hope I'm right!

Doug, another awesome envelope, thank you very much!   The cards are really appreciated.

thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A parallel kind of post

Tony knows how to knock down a want list.  Yea, you know Tony from Off Hiatus Baseball Cards.  I sent him a few cards a couple of weeks ago, nothing serious, just some stuff I thought he might like.

In return, Tony did his best to put a hurting on my Jays want list.  What I noticed quickly were the parallels Tony sent my way.  Some of the larger lists of cards on the Blue Jay want lists are the multitude of colored parallels that Topps is responsible for.

Yes, I know that Opening Day is a set unto itself.  For the past few years I've known it as the poor mans cousin to the flagship.  In 2008, Topps put a little color into the border, which is something that is fantastic to me.  I love the red border, and would be OK if Topps incorporated something similar to that in a future release.

4 cards, 4 colors.  I really don't see a whole lot of the yellow parallels from the '14 set out there, and the Janssen is just the 2nd one that I own (DeRosa is the other).  The blue opening day parallels from the past couple of years are some of my favorite parallels, and the EE knocks that list down to just 2 to complete the blue parallel set.

I have mixed feelings about how the chrome parallels turned out in the 2008 Heritage set.  I don't think that the chrome did anything to help the pink cards, such as the Alex Rios.   The emerald green from the '13 Topps set on the other hand is something that I really liked.  What I didn't like is Melky heading to the south side of Chicago, but I can't blame him for the $$ they offered.   Both of these parallel sets still have quite a large want list remaining, even with these two now removed.

I guess I don't get the attraction of Topps Tek.  Multiple photos on the same design, serial numbered to 2000.  I do like how the cards look, it reminds me of the Upper Deck Ice hockey cards from back in the day.  Wanna have some fun?  When I typed John Sneed into the baseball reference website, I pulled up this player.

Hey Tony, did you know that there was a Milwaukee Brewers baseball team in the late 1800's?  They finished 21-15 in the American Association in 1891.  I could get lost for hours looking at those old standings....

Needless to say the highlight were the gold parallels.  All the gold parallels over the past half dozen years have a larger space on my Jays want list, which is a little lighter thanks to these 5. 

Maybe the flyer that the Dodgers took on Sergio Santos might pay off for them in the short term, with Kenley Jansen sidelined for 8-12 weeks. The Dodgers will want the 2013 version, pictured above, rather than what the Jays suffered with last year. 

There were dozens of other cards in the package, including some Turkey Reds that I hadn't seen in the past.

Yes, I know that they aren't parallels, but I thought they were great enough to show off here.

Tony, thank you for the great cards, they really are appreciated!!  Congrats on the Bip Award for blog ROY, it was well deserved!

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A new trade partner hits quite a few want lists

I received an email from a blog reader about 10 days ago, requesting a trade.  Charles wished to have all the Cleveland Indians cards off of my trade list (a devoted fan, no doubt), and in return he had a specific list of cards to send my way.

I took one look at the list and quickly agreed, and a new trade partner emerged.

Charles became the first person to knock a card off my 30 most wanted list , and it was a great card for my Jim Thome PC.

It's good to finally get the Thome Bowman RC into my collection.  That was number one on the list.

Most of the cards that are on the 30 most wanted lists are just base cards, so I'm hoping that I can get through them rather swiftly and grow the PC's a little.

2014 Topps series 2 still sadly has a want list, but 4 more cards were removed via this trade.

Still 26 more to go.  Ugh.

Charles also put a dent in a few of the Blue Jays want lists.  He completed a couple team sets:

Pushed a trio of sets to the brink of completion:

How have I not finished Donruss 91 yet?

And knocked on the door of a few others...

The piece de resistance in this trade for me was 3 more '59 Topps cards

Great cards to add to the collection!  I'm already up to 155 so far, and even though I really didn't set a goal as to how much I wanted to have by the end of the year, the halfway point of 286 cards is a thought right now. 

This was definitely a great first trade Charles, thank you very much!   I hope to carry out some more trades in the future with you.

thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

By the page: 2009 Topps Heritage

The past couple of weekends I've been able to find an hour or so of time to go through the giant box of Blue Jays.  Trying to find enough cards to put together pages of either players or sets can be very time consuming.   Maybe one day I'll be smart enough and just sort the entire damn box so my life will be easier!

The time was well spent, don't get me wrong.  I managed to put together another 15 pages of cards, meaning there's 135 cards that I don't have to continually sort through in the future.   While I was able to put together player pages of Halladay, Bautista, Overbay, Shannon Stewart, John Olerud along with a handful of early 80's Donruss and Fleer pages, the 2009 Topps Heritage page that I'm going to show off is the one that caught my eye.

I pondered for a moment how I would show off the set, since it's a completely horizontal release.   I didn't think too long before figuring out what to do...

Top row:  Tall isn't the only common thread

Looking these 3 up on baseball reference to see what their current status is was an eye opener, not because of where they are, but because of their size.  Rios is the shortest (6'3"), while the other two  stand 6'5".  By happy accident, it turns out that all 3 are first round picks of the Jays as well, Rios in '99, McGowan was the 33rd pick in 2000, and Purcey was a first rounder in 2004.

None of the three are with the Jays now...

Middle row:  No links here

2009 would be the final season of Millar's career, with the highlight being part of the 2004 world champion Red Sox team.  I also learned that Millar was never drafted, he was signed as a free agent by the Florida Marlins in 1993 and worked his way up through the Marlins system until he made the team full time in 1999. 

Scott Downs in my opinion, is going to be one of those lefty pitchers that pitches into his mid 40's, finding a new job on a new team each season.  He's on a tryout in 2015 with the Indians. 

Shaun Marcum is also with the Indians.  Marcum didn't throw a pitch for the Jays in 2009, due to arm troubles, which have plagued him throughout his career. 

Both Marcum and Downs were drafted in the third round (another happy accident).

Third row:  Sprinkle in a couple of rookies

Love the Brett Cecil pre-glasses picture.  2009 was his rookie season with the Jays, and it saw him struggle as a starter.  His ERA was quite bloated while the Jays kept him as a starter during his first 4 seasons.  The last two years he's been in the pen, and very effective.  Cecil looks so different here than on some of his more recent Topps issues, which show off some great tattoos along with his trademark glasses.

2009 was also Brad Mills rookie season, but he didn't fare anywhere near as well as Cecil.  Mills is in the A's system right now, but unless something improves it appears that he's going to end up as a AAA/fringe starter. 

I remembered reading about Jesse Litsch last summer, he had retired after having some very serious health problems over the previous 3 years.   The 2007 & 08 seasons were very good for Jesse, but Tommy John surgery in 2009 unfortunately started the arm problems that would eventually cost him his career.

Topps in my opinion did a nice job replicating the 1960 set with the 2009 Heritage release.   There are those out there who don't like it because it's completely horizontal, which does make it tough to look at cards in pages unless you turn the binder sideways.  I like the different colored backgrounds in the secondary photo on the front. 

I wondered while writing this post how far I was from completing the Jays team set for '09 Heritage.   Turns out I still need 9 cards, which include the SPs of Halladay, Rolen and Romero.  Maybe one day I'll hunt them down and knock another team set off the want list.

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, February 9, 2015

So far, February is off to a good start

For the first time in 2015, I was able to get some packages in the mail today.   Not as many as I would have liked (only 3), however, since I'm working the late shift again on Tuesday, I'll be able to get some more packages out the door.

It's funny how the blog/trade/card lethargy that I experienced in January has done a complete 180 so far in February.  I should have at least 3 more bubble mailers on the way tomorrow, and this is the 8th post so far this month.  Compared to the 12 posts in January, which I think is my all time low, February is off to a rocking start.

Part of the great start this month was the card show that I attended this past Saturday.  The quest for the '64 set was my starting point at the show, and I was able to knock off half a dozen high numbered cards at a reasonable price...

I'm now below 80 cards needed to finish the set, 79 to be exact.  Even though there's still a lot of high dollar cards left on my want list, it feels pretty good to get closer to finishing this set.  I've tried collecting vintage sets in the past (before I started blogging), and wound up giving up on them quickly because I got frustrated at the speed, or lack thereof, that the sets were progressing. Finishing the '64 set will be quite an accomplishment for me, and I can't wait to show it all off to everyone.

I also picked up cards for other 60's sets as well.  I'm feeling the love more and more for the '67 set, but completing it is well down on the list.   I did pick up one team card on the cheap....

Quick question for anyone out there, did Don Larsen ever smile on any of his cards?

He just never seems to be a happy camper.  His card was the first '62T that I've picked up in a while, as I've kind of set this set aside in pursuit of others.

The biggest haul of the show was a nice dent I put into the '68 T want list.   29 cards were removed, several of them at a quarter apiece! 

I also managed to pick up about 20 1959 Topps cards as I had wanted to.  I did get a couple of star cards to go with a bunch of commons...

Finding cards such as Mazeroski in western PA, in this condition, at the price I paid ($3.50) is rare, so for me that was a win.  The Aparicio is well loved, but for $2 it was an easy sell. 

I was able to stick to the game plan, hitting almost every one of my want lists, except for the Serial Numbered Insanity set.  I do have a few of those on the way, so it hasn't been totally ignored.

Yes, February is off to a good start so far, I just have to keep the ball rolling.

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Yea, 2015 Topps is a lot better

For the price of a Wal-Mart blaster, I wound up grabbing 12 hobby packs of 2015 Topps at the monthly card show today.

I didn't pull a whole lot of parallels, which is probably a good thing.

I showed these off on twitter already, but there are those who don't follow me over there, so I figured I'd show them here as well.   The Byrd is already headed Dime Box Nick's way, and the black Porcello is headed to Dennis at the Too Many Verlanders blog, since he's already got a small fortune invested in SNI cards that are headed my way.  The gold Mitchell is headed to AJ at the Lost Collector blog, so right away my parallels are out the door.

I pulled the Andre Ethier out of my first pack, and although it didn't scan very well, it is a foil parallel of some sort.   There's no indication on the back that it is some kind of variation, so it's a mystery to me.   It's going to end up with the Night Owl anyhow, like most of my Dodger cards do.

Topps is doing the buyback promotion again this year, and I pulled 2 of them, out of consecutive packs no less.

Blue Jays base cards.   Fabulous!   I especially like the team card, celebrating a win in Fenway Park!!
I'm going to be looking for the parallels and base of all the Jays from this years set, so if you spot any please let me know.

The inserts, as always, do nothing for me.   Unless it's a Blue Jay player featured, I have never really had any use for the inserts.

If anyone wants any of the inserts from the last 2 scans, please let me know.  They are up for grabs.

I concur with most of the blogosphere, this years Topps effort is much better.  If they could only cut the number of insert sets, which in my opinion has gotten out of hand, this would be an A+ release in my eyes.

I'll be putting this one together, for sure....

thanks for reading, Robert