Monday, February 29, 2016

A couple of penny sleeves worth of Blue Jays

A couple of mailers came in today with varying degrees of greatness.  The best part about both of them is they came from new trading partners.  It's always great to get some cards from some new people from the blogosphere.

Jon from a Penny Sleeve for your thoughts asked last week (maybe longer ago than that..) about the pair of buyback cards I pulled from the series 1 box from this year.  I was all too happy to send those to him, and in return he sent me a PWE with a nice helping of Blue Jays.

How about knocking off one entire set from my Blue Jays want list!  The 1983 Topps stickers set is suddenly gone thanks to Jon; these 8 stickers are in the books.  The one that made me look twice is in the lower right; the Jesse Barfield sticker photo almost doesn't look like him.  I was also very shocked a while ago when Jesse followed me on twitter (@JesseBarfield29).  I don't make it a habit of following a lot of pro athletes, so when Jesse followed me out of the blue, I quickly followed back.

The other penny sleeve in the envelope contained this '99 Black Diamond double diamond Roger Clemens card.  I had to look at the Blue Jays have list, because I didn't remember seeing any of these before today.  Sure enough, this is the first black diamond card I have.  Makes sense since there are only 2 Blue Jays featured in the set (Jose Cruz Jr. is the other).

For just a few pennies, some great cards made their way here.  Who says a penny can't get you anything anymore?

Thank you Jon!  The cards were greatly appreciated.

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Keep your eyes on your eyes

My days are spent in front of computers.  8 hours a day at work, and on days I'm blogging probably another 2-3 at home.  That's a lot of strain on the eyes.

The last two to three months, I've really had the desire to blog, but once I've sat down in front of the monitor in the evenings, I could feel the tiredness in my eyes.  The right one especially (which I can feel right now while I'm typing this), just hasn't been the same over the past few months.

One of the challenges of moving has been finding doctors that I like.  Today, I hit the eye doctor (who looks a lot like Bob Saget) and he told me flat out "I don't know how you've been managing lately".

My eyesight has really deteriorated, and my right eye is developing a cataract.  That diagnosis really explained a lot for me.  It's time to take better care of my eyes.

No more waiting 2 years for eye exams.  If I feel I'm tired in the evening, I'm not going to force myself in front of the computer to type. 

I can't afford to miss items like this when they come along. 

I'm also hoping that the cataract doesn't develop further to the point where I require surgery.  Maybe managing my time in front of the computer and protecting my eyes better while I'm in the sun will help that as well.

Yep, a little bit of a scare for my Saturday morning, but I'm better off now that I know what's going on.

Maybe it will help improve my blogging.....

thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, February 26, 2016

By the page: R.A. Dickey

Lost in all the pitching talk surrounding the Blue Jays in the off-season was R.A. Dickey.  With Buehrle retiring, Price moving to Boston, the J.A. Happ signing and all the talk about the younger pitchers, R.A. Dickey and his knuckleball come to spring training totally under the radar.

I'm hoping that he has one more good season left in his arm to help get the Jays to another post season this year.

I managed to find a page worth of cards to hopefully entertain you for a few minutes.

Top row:  Regular shiny

I thought about putting the Topps Tribute card in between the 2 Prizm cards, but in the end I believe the row looks better with the non-licensed cards together.

Hard to believe that 2016 is already going to be Dickey's 4th as a Blue Jay. 

Middle row:  Shiny with some color

Aligned the blue Tribute (#'d 8/99) with its mate above it, just because I thought it was best.  The Orange 2013 Chrome is the only horizontal card on the page, so I figured why not in the center?  I also just noticed that the Chrome photo of R.A. is different than the base.   A good thing!

Yes, I know that the Topps gold on the right isn't shiny...

Bottom row: The base cards

It's funny that I seem to notice things on cards more after I've scanned them and started writing.  The majority of cards featuring knuckleballers show them with the knuckleball grip.  Check out the Gypsy Queen on the right, that's definitely not a knuckleball grip. 

No jokes about Dickey being old enough to have actually been a part of the '57 set....

I thought after 3 seasons in Toronto I might have more R.A. Dickey cards, but I struggled to find 9 cards to fill a page. 

No doubt next week when I'm looking for someone else, I'll find a whole cache of R.A.'s cards.  That's just the way it is, right?

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Two swoops

Not one, but two PWE's arrived last week from one of the more frequent trade partners of mine over my blogging time, Brian from the Play at the Plate blog.  Brian decided he was going to knock out a bunch of my '16 Topps want list, and he came close to knocking them all off.

I thought that Brock Holt was going to be a player for the Pirates for a long time when they brought him up a couple of seasons ago.   It was disappointing to see him go to Boston, where he's become a solid utility player.  That shot of him has a good shot of going into my top 10 countdown when I finish the set (hopefully in the next week or two).

Nothing much to write home about on these cards, not a photo that stands out.  Scherzer getting coated in chocolate after his no-hitter could have been a great base or variation photo.  Now that I reside in south Florida it will be interesting to see how much I hear about Christian Yelich (bottom center) as part of what appears to be a great outfield for the Marlins.

I made two swoops, or passes if you will, through the cards I have for the '16 series 1 set to make sure that my want list was correct.  I've made so many mistakes in the past trying to complete sets that I kind of make this a rite of passage when the want list gets small.   It is correct now in case you were wondering.

Two swoops through the entire set I'll also make to pull out my top 10 cards in a week or 2, that Carlos Gomez horizontal card just might be one of the best. 

Thank you for the cards Brian, much appreciated!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

OK OK I'll do it

A fat envelope of cards arrived the other day courtesy of Nick of the Dime Box Heroes blog.  He dug deep for a lot of the cards that came out of this envelope for sure!  High number '15 Heritage on the bottom row featuring Pillar and Osuna.  Wal Mart Blue Steve Tolleson turning a double play.  There's even Jose Bautista and his upcoming $30 million a year contract in the middle row on the right.

I'm going to miss Jose in Toronto....

Love, love, love the Pastime's Pastimes A&G inserts.  It must be something about the 100 card inserts from A&G each year, because they seem to be the only inserts that I'll even consider putting together as a "set".  The Dave McKay buyback from the '79 Topps set was definitely an interesting add to the envelope. 

OK team set collectors, ? for you.  Write the Dave McKay in your spreadsheet as a 2016 or a 1979 card?  What would you do?

Chromey goodness is never lost on me, and the bottom row helped that even more.  I think the Martin is the first 2015 Topps Chrome Blue Jay I have.

A trio of '84 Topps Traded leaves that want list at just 1 card, not unlike a whole lot of other want lists on the Blue Jays page.  Speaking of #1, the Gold parallel of Scott Copeland is the first gold parallel from 2015 Topps that I own.  Man, am I behind...

Maybe that was a hint to make sure that my Blue Jays want list was up to date.  Get the 2016 team list on there, and decide what I'm going to chase after this year.

One Jays card that I don't have in my possession yet, and I'm going to need 2 of them, is the Jose Bautista bat flip.  Card #96 is going to be on two lists, hopefully I won't have to fork out a whole lot of $$ for them.  (NOTE: while writing this post, I found an auction for a lot of 5 of them for 3 bucks.  Problem solved)

So there you have it folks, a real lot of dime box cards from the master himself.

Thank you Nick, the cards were really appreciated!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Knocked a few Jays off the want list at the show

Modern technology is wonderful.  Typing out that massive Blue Jays want list on the blog was very time consuming, but this past weekend it came in very handy. 

That dime box marathon I put in at the card show helped knock quite a few cards off the Blue Jays want list, all without having to print a piece of paper, or carry a pen.  Just simply pull up the blog on my iPhone, and off I went...

Seeing these 2002 Topps base cards made me take a quick look at the want list.  I was amazed at how many Topps base cards from a lot of different years I still need.  I love the 2004 Studio cards with the picture of the Toronto skyline in the background.  Not your standard baseball card photo for sure, but as far as "different" goes, it's a winner for me. 

The Pacific Omega design on cards in spots 5,6 and 7 on this page reminds me of the Iron Throne on the Game of Thrones series.  Not sure if it's the greatest design on a baseball card.  The silver background on the SP cards in spots 8 and 9 is also something that isn't the greatest in my opinion.  The top row of Cruz, Jr., Mondesi and Delgado reminds me that the Jays offense in the early 2000's was also a solid attack.  Not as formidable as the current squad, but it still had some big names to drive the ball around the yard.

This page shows cards as simple as 1999 Upper Deck or 2002 Topps Chrome, or as wild as a couple of years of Pacific Revolution cards.  I never really noticed the backgrounds on these cards until I scanned them and looked at them on the post.  Yikes! 

I did manage to knock off 41 cards from the want list, a pretty good showing for an unexpected dime box haul. 

Speaking of dime boxes,  I have an envelope of his to go through now...

thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Better off for knowing the Dime Box Man

Not that he's dead or anything, it was sad to see that Nick from the Dime Box Heroes blog bid the blogosphere a fond farewell recently.  I still remember running into him on the Bench website, right as he decided to start blogging, and was asking opinions on how his fledgling blog looked.  

I loved that blog right from the start.

All the dime box digging he did amused not only himself, but the blogosphere as a whole.   While we all may not admit it, we're a bunch of cheap bastards when it comes to cards, and Nick just made it a little cooler to be that way.

I went to a card show in West Palm Beach today, and for the first time in who knows how long, I got to sit in front of a boat load of dime boxes.   Yes, you guessed it, I thought of Nick while doing it.   As the pile started to grow I thought to myself how many times Nick has done it over the years, and brought home piles of cardboard (some of it for me).  

He showed us pictures like this....

OK, maybe that's more my speed...

Maybe there were pics like this...

Now the 59's and the '71 checklist were a quarter apiece, but the 1980 Murphy and Trammell cards were both a dime, which I thought was outstanding.

I managed to add a dozen Thome's to my collection.  $1.20 was all they cost.  Doesn't get much better than that.

I did also pick up a big stack of Blue Jays cards, which I'm saving for my next post because there's so many to scan. 

But the final card I wanted to show off today is something that Nick would enjoy just a much, even though it cost me 100 dimes.

Same dealer, at the other end of his run of tables had a bunch of discount vintage, and seeing this was the cherry on this apple pie of a table.  I hadn't bought a '62 in quite a while, so this was a good way of putting that set back into my head, even if it was for a brief time.

For $18, I had a blast for over 2 hours, and finally learned first hand a bit of what Nick preached all along. 

You don't have to spend a fortune to have a good time at this...

Thank you Nick.  You taught this old dog a pretty good trick

- Robert

Sunday, February 14, 2016

I'm a little late to the party, but I have an excuse

Part of my monthly card show purchase a couple of weeks ago was something I hadn't bought in quite a while.  I splurged for a hobby box of 2016 Topps, for a couple of reasons.  First, I'm building the set, so instead of piecing it together with a shit load of retail packs, I thought I may as well get it over with (most of it anyhow) in one shot.   Second, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

First of all, the base set collation was good.  I only pulled one duplicate (Mark Melancon) which I can live with.  Second, I was very curious as to what I was going to pull when the dealer said "good luck" after I paid for the box.  Lottery, here I come!  I needed just 40 cards to complete Series 1 after opening the box, and that dropped to 30 after opening a couple of rack packs.  Manageable for sure.

I do not mind the base set, there are some good photos in there.  I like that Topps included World Series, team cards and cards like the Hollywood Production card (battery powered, a cute play on words).  

As it is every year, the inserts are just too damn tedious for me.  I don't care for them, and never will.

Nice pairs of teammates on these cards, but they just don't fit for me.  I'll never be a master set builder, so these are available. 

OK, I get it, these guys got to pitch.  Did any of them do it a few days after an appendectomy?  If not, then I would say that they were hardly "pressed into service".  Unless they did it just after their uniform was ironed.   Available to anyone who wants them.

Cards commemorating a ceremonial baseball toss.  Only Mo'ne Davis should be on one of these, the rest of them I'm sure didn't get their pitch to the plate.  Even better, Carrie Brownstein was in the box twice.   Anyone want any of these?

Perspecitves.  OK, some pretty good names and photography on these.  I'll call this the insert set of the year so far.  Still, not my cup of tea.  I also pulled Craig Biggio twice.   Up for grabs to anyone...

LOL!!  Berger's Best in my opinion is just a rehash of "Cards Your Mom Threw Out" a few years ago.  For me, it's a big fail.
The 100 years of Wrigley is a nice tribute to a stadium that I still have to visit someday.  All 4 of these cards are available.

Now, these 3 cards are truly a mixed bag of emotions for me.  One, they made me laugh.  Helping me enjoy my box break certainly helped.  Maybe these would have been better in the Opening Day release, which is more geared to the younger collector, in my opinion.  The kielbasa catchers mitt is my favorite of these...which are all available.

Another type of parallel set.  Foil.  Sorry kids, no comment on these.  They're available.

All of you who have read my blog over the years knows that I enjoy a good gold, pink, black, blue, green or yellow parallel.  But the borderless cards for 2016 really make these parallels disappointing for me.  I really liked pulling gold parallels from packs the past few years, because you could actually tell they were gold.  I actually missed the Gordon and Holliday cards until I looked at all the cards a 2nd time.   Not good.   These 5 are available.   Speak now.

I really haven't pulled any great hits from hobby boxes (outside of the Gwynn auto a few years back from A&G).  This Mauer jersey with a thin pinstripe isn't that bad though.  Joe does need a shave though.   It's available to any Twin or Mauer collectors in the blogosphere.

I didn't bother scanning the 2 buyback cards that I pulled, because to be honest I'm tired of the concept.   Would rather have had 2 base cards that I needed rather than a '74 Boots Day or a '84 Ron Oester with the special stamp on them.   You want them?  Let me know.

I'm no designer, so I will not comment too much on the design other than to say it's OK, but I do miss the borders.  Leave the full bleed to Stadium Club or the other higher end products is what I say.  Want to make me happy Topps?  Cut the number of inserts down, or failing that, quit reusing old ideas.

That's my $60 worth...

All of these cards are available....leave a comment, and if you only want 1 or 2 of these cards, let me know if a PWE works for you.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, February 7, 2016

My player collections have really begun to grow

Not only have I been knocking down the wantlists for the vintage sets I've been working on, I've been raiding both COMC and Sportlots trying to fill out my Lawrie, Thome and Sakic collections.  As you know with my past, I've being doing this as best as I can on the cheap.

Case in point, this 2014 Bowman Red Ice parallel of Brett Lawrie

I love how this looks in hand even more than how good it looks scanned.  It is just limited to 25 copies, and now one of them is off the market for just $3.25. 

Even cheaper was this 2014 Gypsy Queen black bordered mini, #29/199.  This came to me for just under a buck and a half. 

A lot of my Lawrie collection right now is parallels and variations, but hopefully as his career progresses I'll be able to grab more base cards.  Maybe being part of the White Sox will help that along.

2012-13 SP Authentic went all out featuring Joe Sakic; he appears on 6 cards in the base set alone.  Some of my favorite Sakic cards are ones that feature him in a Team Canada uniform, and add Mario Lemieux to the card and it's a real winner for me.  $1.38 brought both of these home.

A pair of Gold Medallion parallels from Fleer Ultra were also purchased.  I definitely prefer the one on the right, as most of the Gold Medallions over the years featured the full card's background in gold.  The 96-97 on the left looks as though Fleer got a little lazy and just added foil to the player and team names. 

Although the scan is kind of crappy, my favorite card from the recent Jim Thome binge on Sportlots is this 2001 Topps Heritage card.  The group of Sportlots cards that came my way extended from 1996-2004, and made me realize just how many sets were being pumped out from the card companies at that time.   Even though I've passed the 300 card mark for Thome, there is still a lot of base cards and parallels to gather to fill out this PC.

I've decided to start another blog (yeah, I know) dedicated to my 3 player PCs.  I've done well so far, 40 posts in and I'm still making sure that there's at least one card a day featuring a couple of lines about the card, or the player.  I've added a page for each player as well, making sort of a checklist for each card that is posted.  

If I'm lucky I'll even improve on the 1 follower that I already have...

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, February 6, 2016

2 by 2 by 2

A good week as far as cards coming into the house.  Between a Sportlots order, a COMC purchase, and a brief stay at the monthly card show, quite a few cards were knocked off of want lists.  It just so happened that there were three separate sets that had 2 cards removed.

One part of the COMC order (that I'd been putting together for a month) was these 2 high numbers from the '73 Topps set.  Dig the eyebrows on Andy Etchebarren, almost reminiscent of the Wally Moon cards from the early 60's.  The only one of the 3 pitchers in the Rookie Pitchers card that I had heard of was Mike Garman.  Mike had actually appeared for the Red Sox in parts of 3 seasons ('69, '71 and '72) before this card was released.  He was traded to the Cardinals after the '73 season and had a couple of very good seasons there before bouncing around the league with 3 other teams up until his major league career ended after the '79 season.

I found a couple of reasonably priced SPs on COMC for the 2011 Heritage set.  The Orioles team card reminds me of the high number battle I am facing with the '64 set, and the overpriced Dodgers high number team card.  Sorry, but I can't stomach paying $10 for a team card, high # or not...

It hurts a little to see a Roy Halladay card featuring him in a Phillie cap, but he did some things there that he never did in Toronto (make a ton of money, pitch in the playoffs, etc.) so that takes the sting off somewhat.  He's still one of the top 5 pitchers in Blue Jays history in my opinion.

It is extremely rare that I go to a card show and come home with only 2 single cards for myself.  But that happened yesterday because the dealer that I was really hoping to purchase a lot of cards from wasn't there.  So I ended up buying a pair of '59s featuring a couple of HOF players.  Can't say that I ever remember seeing that style of uniform that the Cubs Clubbers are wearing.

 I was also curious to see what kind of numbers that Banks and his teammates put up in the '59 season, and was quite shocked as the disparity.   Banks--.304/45HR/143/RBI.  Long--.236/14HR/37RBI.  Moryn--.234/14HR/48RBI.  Only one other Cub had more than 50 RBI's in the '59 season.  There was Banks with his 45 HR, and no other Cub had more than 14 (although 7 had more than 10).

These two cards bring the '59 set a little bit closer to the halfway mark, with just 29 more cards needed to hit 50%.

Believe it or not, the big purchase from the card show yesterday was a hobby box of 2016 Topps.  I haven't cracked a box of cards in quite a long time, so I'm eager to see what the fuss is all about.  You'll see a post soon about it for sure.

Thanks for reading, Robert