Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Double digits is fine with me

I just happened to read Night Owl's post about the writing doldrums from yesterday, and it reminded me of part of the reason I don't write as much as I used to.

I just don't have the push to sit down and write longer blog posts like I used to.

I've been off the past 3 days this week, and this is the only post I'm going to write during that time.  My how times have changed.

I actually fired off a few tweets on Monday, including the Jose Bautista bat flip card that I pulled 2x from Opening Day packs I bought at Target.  What I enjoyed the most about the tweet was that I had 4 offers for the flagship Bautista card (even though I already had it) from that single tweet.  It appears that the card community on twitter is just a great as the one I've dealt with for nearly 5 years in the blog world!!

I also tweeted about the blue parallels from Opening Day.   To save characters I should have tweeted this:

Blue Parallel> Gold Parallel #parallelcrazy

I really do like the blue parallels in Opening Day.  I found that they were easier to spot than the golds from flagship.  The Pineda above is heading to The Lost Collector once I round up a few more Yankees cards to send his way. 

I also have the Stephen Strasburg blue parallel if anyone is interested.

I also tweeted about the mascot cards, nothing special really, but I got a re-tweet from Beckett, which was very surprising.  These are available by the way if anyone needs/wants them.

What I've ended up doing with this post is turning a minor post about 2016 Opening Day cards into a post about my lack of blogging over the past several months.

I'm happy with posting 10-15 times during a calendar month now.  I'm not putting pressure on myself to be creative like I used to.  My player PC blog is becoming a very good outlet at churning out posts.  3-4 lines about the card, or the player, or the value of the card is much easier and less time consuming.  With my PCs now approaching 1000 cards total, posting one card a day over there is going to keep me busy for quite a while. 

Maybe one day I'll get back to writing something of reasonable quality on this blog.  But right now, double digits is fine with me every month. 

thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A little taste of Heritage

Pretty much everyone likes the '67 set, right?   I hope to one day add it to the list of vintage sets I own for my collection.

Knowing this, I had to at least dip my toes in the water that we call Heritage.  I really don't mind the cards at all, I just don't think that this set will be on my collecting radar for this year.

I bought a rack pack and a hangar box (?) just to see, and the decision to buy the rack pack was made easy because I could see "Blue Jays" through the wrapper.  The Ben Revere card you see on the first scan here was the card that I found...

A nice start to the Heritage Jays team set with 3 of the base cards featured here.  There are 22 total cards for the Jays, including 3 SPs that all feature variations (ugh).  Kudos to Topps for making them the three stars of the team as well so that the cards will be easy to find on the cheap.

The Fielder is a refractor #'d 142/567.  The Frazier is the only SP that I pulled.  The then and now and new age performers inserts are back again, and I'm sure that there's someone out there that is interested in those.  The Schwarber pop up is an interesting pull, but that along with the other cards on this scan are up for trade.

I actually have 52 cards total for trade (including the 5 above).  I'll be hunting for people that are in need of base cards for their team collections or set builds.   If you have a want list up, let me know, I'll take a look and see what I have to send your way.

My favorite card so far?  Jeff Locke.   The look on his face in priceless...

Someone should do a caption this photo contest with this card...

Let's get these 52 cards out of here. 

TAN-KV, NAP-MSC, THC-433, Pop-Ups 13of15

thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, March 20, 2016


A few weeks back I sent off an envelope of Pirates cards to Matt at the Bob Walk the Plank blog simply because I thought they would be better off in his hands than mine.

One of the players that was in the envelope was this guy...

I had a few cards on my desk of his, and I had bandied about the idea of starting an Andrew McCutchen PC.  I thought about it and decided that it might get too expensive, so I sent the few cards that I had off to Matt.

Not a week later, I hit the monthly card show and a box of cards that were 20 for a dollar.  I sat down and took a long time going through these boxes, and sure enough, there was a stack of 22 McCutchen cards together.

It was as if someone was telling me something.

Finding cards like the Pastime's Pastimes insert from 2014 A&G for a nickel reminded me of what I really can do when I set my mind to it.

Be extremely cheap.

So after 2 weeks of sitting on this pile of 22 cards, I finally am making the commitment to adding Andrew McCutchen as my 4th player PC.

Why you ask?  One, he's a helluva player.  Two, he's a throw back.  He wants to stay in Pittsburgh.  He's always wanted to play for Pittsburgh.  He says and does the right things.  Most of all, he has fun while he's on the diamond.  My wife and I have enjoyed watching him since his initial call up in 2009.  Just because we've left the Pittsburgh area doesn't mean my wife and I will not be following the Pirates this year, and Andrew is a big reason why.

Now, onto my frugality. 

Because McCutchen is a big time star, there are a lot of jersey cards/auto cards out on the market.  That's a lot of $$ if you chase them all.  So I don't destroy my wallet, I've decided to make Andrew a BPI collection.

Base cards, Parallels, Inserts.  That's it.  Manageable.

When I start finishing the vintage sets I've been putting together, maybe that will change.  It's going to be a while before that happens, so keeping this PC on the cheap side will help.

Anyone else out there have PCs that they keep on the cheap?  Would love to hear how you do it...

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, March 19, 2016

'59 Topps set build #21/572 Batter Bafflers

I had scanned this card months ago in order to write about it, but it sat in the draft folder just collecting dust.  So it's time to find out about these two pitchers, deemed to be Batter Bafflers by the good folks at Topps.

Card #346: Batter Bafflers

The players listed are Tom Brewer (left) and Dave Sisler.  The card itself is in really good condition, well centered and no nicks or dings on the edges or corners.  Brewer had an 8 year major league career, all with the Red Sox, between 1954 and 1961,  Sisler's career was 1 season shorter, lasting from 1956-1962. 

The back is also in decent shape, the borders look a bit off line though. 

How'd they fare in 1959? Dave Sisler only lasted a month in a Red Sox uniform in 1959, as he was traded on May 2nd with Ted Lepcio to the Tigers for Billy Hoeft.  Sisler's days as a starter were over, and the final 4 years of his career were spent in the bullpens of Detroit, Washington and Cincinnati.
Tom Brewer had a decent '59 season with the Sox, completing his 6th straight season of double digit wins and earning a couple of saves as well.

Brewer's best start of the '59 season was his 2nd, against the Yankees on April 17th.  Tom pitched a 2 hit shutout, facing only 31 batters.

Dave Sisler's best relief appearance in '59 was his 2nd to last appearance of the season, coming in the game in the bottom of the 8th against the White Sox with the bases loaded.  Dave got out of that inning and the Tigers hung on to win 5-4 on September 20th. 

While the concept of the card was a good idea, results over the next couple of seasons didn't pan out for the Red Sox.

thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Still on a one per week pace

I had mentioned earlier this year that if I had picked up one card a week toward my 1964 Topps set, I could be done by the end of 2016.  Well, I did a little shopping on eBay over the weekend, and for $17 shipped, these 4 cards arrived yesterday.

The Chuck Schilling and Diego Segui cards are both from the 6th series, and the Don Mincher is from the higher numbered (and more expensive) 7th series.  $11 for the three cards was quite cheap, especially considering the condition of the Diego Segui card which is easily EX to EX-MT. 

For me, this Willie Stargell card was one that I've tried many times to get in auctions on the cheap, but failed.   I finally found one that I thought was in decent enough shape for a pretty good price ($6).  I grew up watching Stargell play 1st base for the Pirates, but he spent a good portion of the first decade of his career patrolling the outfield for the Bucs.  He must have been slimmer in those days.

Just 34 left.  There's more than 34 weeks left in the year.  So you're saying there's a chance....

thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Happy Accident

I spend some of my weekend mornings going through eBay looking over cards of my PCs that I can't have.  You know, wishing.

I came across on auction this past weekend for what I deemed to be a pretty sweet Joe Sakic card that was ending in a few hours.

It was at 99 cents when I bid, and I knew that if I saw this card at a show it would probably run $20-$30.  So, on a lark, I put an $8 bid on it.  This in my mind at least would help fetch a more reasonable price for the seller.  When I completed the bid, I was winning at $5.12 with about 8 hours to go.   I promptly forgot about it until I checked my email the next morning.

Winner winner, chicken dinner

Dual jersey patch card of Joe Sakic!  Emerald parallel #'d 20/25.  Just over $8 shipped and I have a great card for my collection.

This is definitely a happy accident.  

A few more of these wouldn't hurt...

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, March 14, 2016

Will we see something unique and low priced in the future?

"One of the card companies should be able to do something better than Triple Play as a low priced option."--Matt

This was a comment on my post from last Tuesday by Matt of Bob Walk the Plank fame.  Matt commented about the Jose Bautista card that was sent to me that was part of the Panini Triple Play release from 2012.

Not that I look a gift card in the mouth (thank you again Tony), but thinking about this card and other low priced sets like Topps Opening Day made me wonder...

Are we ever going to see anything similar to Collectors Choice that Upper Deck released in the mid 90's?

Collectors Choice was a great low priced set that offered something different for collectors young and old.  If I remember, it was just 99 cents a pack and the sets were big and worth putting together.

Panini Triple Play?  A little too cartoonish in my opinion.  Topps Opening Day?  Using the same photos as the flagship and adding a little opening day design just doesn't cut it for me. 

I'm no designer by any stretch of the imagination.  There is no way that I'm going to provide an answer for the question posted in the title.  But I truly believe that there is someone out there that can design a set that isn't that doesn't mimic another set or turn players into something that I used to watch on Saturday mornings. 

The question is, is there anyone out there that would want one?  Besides me of course...

thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

By the page: 2008 Heritage

Got to make some room in the Blue Jays box for the cards that came in from fellow bloggers over the past few weeks.  What better way to do it than to get some of the stragglers together in pages and into some binders.

I've had a few '59 Topps cards come my way this week, so when I started looking through the box and saw the group of 2008 Heritage cards, it only made sense to put them together for a post.

Top Row:  2nd, short and 3rd

I really don't miss this Jays logo, and none of these 3 really lasted that long in a Jays uniform to be missed as well.   Eckstein played 76 games and didn't last the entire 2008 season in Toronto.  Inglett just played 147 games in 3 seasons with the Jays, and Glaus played 2 seasons in Toronto before being traded for Scott Rolen before the 2008 season started.

Middle row:  A couple of 1st basemen and a checklist

Was 2007 the last time we'll see a team photo on the flagship Topps set?  That's the last time I remember one appearing anyhow.  Adam Lind looks quite a lot different now with the extended beard (which suits him), and we'll see how he and the beard does now that he has returned to the AL with the Mariners.  Almost half of Overbay's 1355 career hits came during his 5 year run in Toronto, and I can still remember that Lyle was a doubles machine, hitting over 50 of them during one season in Milwaukee.

Bottom row:  The pitchers

McGowan, Marcum and Banks.  Sounds like a law firm, doesn't it?  Picturing Josh Banks as a Jay was a bit of a stretch for Topps, as he only pitched in 3 games during 2007 and was claimed by San Diego on waivers in April of 2008.  Marcum was the player that the Jays traded in order to get Brett Lawrie.  I had no idea that McGowan was still kicking around the majors, but I see that he signed as a free agent with the Marlins over the winter. 

Not quite as good as a completed '59 Topps page, but it'll do since it gets 9 more cards out of the big box of Jays.  One of the color combinations I like in the '59 set is the green border with the white lettering, unfortunately none of these cards fits the bill.

thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Pick, pick, pick

I kind of feel bad when I see a note inside an envelope sent to me that apologizes for the fact that there weren't more cards.

The way I look at it is, somebody sent me cards!  There were 7 in the envelope I received today, but they all picked off a piece of a want list.

Let's have a look at what Tony from the Off Hiatus Blog sent me.

Knock off 2 cards from the '14 A&G want list.  I had to look twice at the Halladay card to make sure it was from 2014.  Dig the fact that he was pictured in the old style Jays uniform and hat.  No airbrushing here...

I think Upper Deck printed about 980 million cards in 1991, so I'm wondering how before today I still needed 2 cards to finish the Blue Jays team set from that year.  Kenny Williams, #89, is the only card remaining to finally put this team set to bed.

Kevin Pillar is the final card of my 2014 Topps Blue Jays want list to be removed.  Only 28 walks in 628 plate appearances is the one thing I'd like to see Kevin improve upon this year.   With his speed, I can see him stealing 40+ base with an increase in his OBP.

Not a whole lot can be said about Triple Play, but at least there's one more of these off the want list.

Now after a weekend of picking up some nice '59 Topps cards, these two remind me of how older cards normally look after 55+ years.  The Harvey Kuenn was a need, so that was picked off of the list.   I have to check and see if the Hitters Foes is an upgrade from my current copy.

Only 7 cards total, but they sure packed a punch.  Thank you very much for the cards Tony, they are appreciated!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, March 7, 2016

I now have more than I need

I hit the monthly card show on Saturday this time.  Backwards for me because I usually hit the show Friday night after work because the location is on my way home.  I decided to take my wife and our friends out Friday night for dinner instead. 

I also ran through the show on Saturday backwards as well.  I usually hit my vintage dealer first, grab the cards I want from him and take the rest of my money and look elsewhere.

This time, I hit the vintage dealer last.  I guess backwards worked for me, because for the first time since I started hitting this show a few months ago, he had '59 Topps commons, for a buck!

He always has stacks and stacks of cards for the '59 set, but they are usually $2 and up.   This time I figured would be no different than any other, so I started perusing the pile looking for maybe 10 cards for the '59 set.

So I start looking through the pile and find a couple of $1 commons and say to myself "score!".  Keep on looking, keep on finding dollar commons.   They're all in nice shape, no pen marks, nice condition all around for '59s.

In the end, I found 22 cards that were a buck apiece.   Best haul yet.  So much so, that I had no problem grabbing 6 of the rookie subset cards that I love so much.

Now I'm up to $35 worth of cards in my hands, so I figured I would grab one more semi star card, make the total around $40 or so, which I could certainly live with.

So I grab Mr. Kluszewski here for $6 and bring the pile over to him.   As always, he gives me a discount.   Instead of hearing $40 like I thought I would, he quoted $35!  Teddy K. wound up coming home basically for free, which you can't beat for anything.

The best part is, these 29 cards for the '59 Topps set means I'm a little more than halfway complete.  Yes, that's right, I now have 289 cards and only need 283 more.  I now have more than I need you could say.

I started the journey with this post back on September 26, 2014, and now just over 18 months later I'm halfway done.

With a boat load of star cards still to obtain, the other half of the set is going to probably take a little more than 18 months to complete.

Stay tuned....

thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Jimmying up the Jays collection a bit

I received an email from Jimmy a few weeks back following up on the 2016 Topps post that stated my desire to get rid of as many inserts/parallels as I could. 

Jimmy had a nice chunk of Blue Jays cards to send my way, and how can I say no to that?

A nice group of 4 1995 Donruss cards, which may be the first 4 '95 Donruss cards to come my way.  Still need 8 more Jays to finish off that particular want list. 

A trio of '95 Leaf cards came my way from my Jimmy, which reminded me a lot of the Donruss cards above (I actually thought all 7 came from the same set at first).  I only need 3 of these cards to finish off that particular Jays list...

Honestly, when I saw these I wondered if I actually needed them.  The 2009 Topps Blue Jays base set is something I thought I had completed long ago.  Turns out I still need 4 more of them.  

How can this be?

I still need quite a few of the 2015 base set Jays cards.   Goins knocked one of those out.  The other 4 finished off the base needs for the '15 update set.   The only cards left there are the sparkle/sabermetric variations.   No hurry on those.

I'm looking forward to a full season of Tulo and Donaldson on the left hand side of the Jays infield, which might be the best left hand side in all of baseball.  Hopefully they can stay healthy...

Jimmy, thank you for the trade, the cards are really appreciated!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Defining moments

The 2016 season is Toronto's 40th.  I am looking forward to this season more than I have any other in probably the past two decades.  Why you ask?

Because the city of Toronto, and Jays fans everywhere are going to find out if this team is really a contender, or a pretender.

Now, I've watched a lot of those games over the 40 years and I would say that there are a lot of defining moments that this franchise has had.   Good and bad.  

Carter's home run to win the '93 World Series.

Dave Stieb's no hitter.

The '85 AL East championship. (the first is always the sweetest)

Then there's this..

A bat flip for the ages.  I don't know if you could even really call it a flip, as Jose more or less threw the bat aside.  But that moment, in the bottom of the same inning that the Jays fell behind because of Russell Martin's errant throw, Jose hit a monster home run that sent the Dome into a frenzy.

Defining moment?  Indeed.

Which is why I had no problem buying 5 of these at once to make sure I had them for my Jays collection and for my series 1 set.  This card would look great enlarged on my wall once I buy a house and get settled in.

I have a couple of extra copies, anyone need one?

thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Just can't keep my trade partners straight

Last night when posting about the Blue Jays I received from Jon at the A Penny Sleeve for your thoughts blog, I mistakenly identified him as John from the Johnny's Trading Spot blog.  I guess this is what happens when you have multiple trade partners at one time, something that has been a rarity for this blogger for quite a while.  I honestly couldn't tell you when the last time I sent out 9 envelopes in a month.

No matter, these two envelopes were both great in their own ways, and John's had a nice selection of cards for my player PCs.

After removing the dupes, I was left with 4 Sakic's to add to the collection.

The card that elicited a chuckle from me is the 93-94 Parkhurst East West stars card in the upper left corner.  I laughed because I had recently bought the card on, but fortunately I hadn't had the card shipped to me as of yet, so I promptly put it back up on the site for sale.  I was surprised that I didn't have the 92-93 bloodlines card of Joe and his brother Brian in the binder.  No worries there anymore...

Another card in the pile that I couldn't believe I didn't own was the '94 Collectors Choice silver signature that you see in the upper left corner of this scan.  The '96 Score photo on the upper right is another good one, it features Thome sitting around the batting cage on a bucket. 

My favorite of the whole envelope was right on top.  The Christie Brinkley collection card of Thome on the top right features him with a pair of boxing gloves, which I didn't get at first until I read the back.

Now I'm sure that Pinnacle has a valid point when they say that Thome's great slugging percentage helps pack a punch to that awesome Tribe lineup.   But don't you guys think that the gloves should represent the fact that Christie is a knockout?

Maybe it's just me...

Thank you for the cards John, they are greatly appreciated!

thanks for reading, Robert