Friday, March 24, 2017

Inbound and Down #8: The Lost Collector

I've been lucky a few times on twitter.  Following enough collectors on the site has led to me acquiring some great cards for my collection.  This post represents a quick tweet from A.J. at the Lost Collector blog, offering up a trio of cards from the '17 Heritage set.   I was lucky enough to be the first one to raise my hand and snap them up.

Needless to say, A.J. added a few other Blue Jays goodies to the envelope for me.


These 3 were the only ones that were already part of my collection; I had to check on the top two to make sure, but the Rocket name plate on the bottom I instantly recognized as a past pickup.


Yes, I needed this card for my Jays collection.  No, I didn't need to see "Blue Jays" written in the 80's Padre style (my apologies to Padre fans, especially Marcus who is a long suffering friar follower).


This was a welcome sight though!  Jesse Barfield was one of my favorite Jays from the 80's and this '84 OPC was nice to cross off the want list.


I've become used to Kevin Pillar cards featuring him diving full out.  Those usually demonstrate his outfield skills.  This one showing him diving into home is something new, and a great shot.  The Big 4 on the Jays card is a great shot, although EE will be missed (a regular theme here the last few weeks).  Hopefully Kendrys Morales can pick up some of the slack.


J.A. Happ should be donating some of his salary to Ray Searage.  Ray helped turn his career around, and quickly while he was with the Pirates.  Never noticed the tattoo on Pillar's arm.  Neat.


Here's the original reason for this post.  A.J. offered up these three SPs from this year's Heritage set.  Just 95 to go (ugh, why Topps why!!!).

A.J. thank you for the envelope, it is really appreciated!   Hope you're feeling better!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Page by page

Trying harder lately to avoid not posting on the blog for 4 or 5 days straight.  In the past, I would chastise myself if I went a day without posting.  Now, it's become easier to go a few days without posting and not think twice.  With there being plenty of pages to post for the SNI set, this is a good enough reason to get the lead out and write a quick post about the next page.

This page has one of the best cards from the 2010's on it (in my opinion).  Hard to believe that it's been 11 years since Kirby Puckett passed away at a very young 46 years of age....


Here's page 37 for your perusal:



Card 325:  Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2011 Topps Chrome Purple refractor #325/499.  Minnesota card #9
Card 326:  Ozzie Guillen, 2006 Topps gold #326/2006.  Chicago White Sox card #9
Card 327:  Jason Bay, 2013 Topps Gold #327/2013.  Seattle card #6

Card 328:  Freddie Freeman, 2010 Topps Minors #328/369.  Atlanta card #16
Card 329:  Torii Hunter, 2009 Topps Unique #329/1199.  LA Angels card #18
Card 330:  Minnesota Twins, 2010 Topps Gold #330/2010.  Minnesota card #10

Card 331:  Ricky Ledee, 1998 Bowmans Best #331/400.  NY Yankees card #12
Card 332:  Brandon Webb, 2007 Topps Triple Threads #332/559.  Arizona card #10
Card 333:  Koji Uehara, 2009 Topps Unique card #333/2699.  Baltimore card #10

Best card:  Yep, the Minnesota Twins team card by a long shot.
Easiest pull:  Don't recall having a card with as many copies as the 2699 that Uehara has of his card from '09 Unique
Oldie but a goodie:  Ricky Ledee from '98 Bowmans Best is one of only 15 pre 2000 cards that I own for the set. 
It also appears as if Ozzie Guillen is signing for the fans, a type of card that I always enjoy seeing.

I have well over 100 more pages to show.  I somehow have to convince myself that this post wasn't so difficult and start to get more of these done.

Shouldn't be too difficult...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, March 20, 2017

Contest results--100 word post contest



As I said in the video, a thank you to all who participated in the contest.  There were some great entries.  I will be in contact with the winners shortly to discuss what they might like for their prize.

One card rule:


This is one of the cards from Max's envelope from last week that I didn't show on the post.   Appropriate to show tonight as William scored the Leafs 3rd goal in a big 4-2 win over the Bruins.  11 games to go in the season, and Toronto still is in the driver's seat for a playoff spot.  Here's hoping they can hold on...

Thanks for watching/reading, Robert

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Inbound and Down #7: Bubba's Bangin' Batch of Baseball Bits

Sometimes you bite off more than you can chew.  I pronounced at the beginning of the year that I was going to finish the 2016 A&G set without buying another pack.  If you remember from the video, I had about, what, 30 cards in hand?  Maybe a few more?

First, the Night Owl divests himself of his spare A&G parts, and knocks off about 30 cards off my want list.   Glimmer of hope starts to develop.

Then Dime Box Nick hits me for another 40+.  I have over 100 cards now, and I'm thinking


But it's been about 2 or 3 weeks since that post, and nary a thought was brought to the A&G want list, which I certainly would be more than I can handle.

Then Matt comes along and asks if my A&G want list is up to date.  I tell him it is.

He must secretly say to himself then "wait til you see what's next".


A little tough to read, but look at the top.   Guaranteed Blue Jays HOT BOX! 

What Matt did, to me anyways, was most incredible.  He put together a box of 20 packs that a pack searcher would be proud to call his own.  In addition, I didn't get the standard A&G minis and inserts that come with any normal pack.  My inserts were all Blue Jays.


Into the darkness came 9 rays of light....


Who needs more A&G when you can send all kind of Topps Blue Jays?  Green Batista, Bowman RC flashback of John Olerud.  Love it!


Bautista X-fractor!  More darkness.  Rasmus Gold.


Sean Nolin autograph!  Another addition to the Just the Hits page.


I always loved the A&G framed relics.  Even though this isn't a relic card, this instantly became my favorite "insert" from the box.  It is an A&G back to boot. 

Now, the base cards in the packs numbered 7 in each, so there were 140 base cards.

Matt painstakingly took the time to find 140 base cards that I needed, inserted them into packs in numerical order no less, and knocked off 40% of my want list with one priority box.

Yes, that feat definitely deserves a HOLY SHIT!

I've been the recipient of blogger generosity many times, but this takes the cake.  Way above and beyond generous. 

Matt, thank you very much for the package.  Very much appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Serial Saturday #12: Overdue

Haven't written a post about the SNI baseball set in a few weeks, so it's time to get going and write up some pages (yes, you've heard this before...).

This is also a reminder to the 20 people that I sent PWE's to that tomorrow is the last day for your 100 words post submission.  At my last count, there were 7 that hadn't written posts yet.

On to page 35 and 36 of the SNI set:


Card 307:  Didi Gregorius, 2013 Topps Update Gold #307/2013.  Arizona card #9
Card 308:  Todd Helton, 2008 Topps Triple Threads #308/1350.  Colorado card #10
Card 309:  Alfredo Aceves, 2011 Topps Gold #309/2011.  Boston card #10

Card 310:  James Russell, 2011 Topps Gold #310/2011.  Chicago Cubs card #9
Card 311:  Matt Garza, 2009 Topps Gold #311/2009.  Tampa Bay card #13
Card 312:  Dontrelle Willis, 2005 Bowmans Best #312/899.  Miami card #11

Card 313:  Casey Lawrence, 2012 Bowman Blue #313/500.  Toronto card #18
Card 314:  Dale Murphy, 2011 Gypsy Queen brown frame #314/999.  Atlanta card #13
Card 315:  Sam LeCure, 2011 Topps Gold #315/2011. Cincinnati card #10

Favorite card on this page would have to be the Dale Murphy GQ card.  Love that Topps started including some stars from the 70's and 80's in sets, and Murph in the powder blue Braves uniform is a great looking card for me.  I was responsible for 6 of the 9 cards on this page, the first two coming from two separate National Conventions.


Card 316:  Dexter Fowler, 2009 Topps Unique #316/1199.  Colorado card #11
Card 317:  Jason Marquis, 2003 Topps Chrome gold #317/449.  Atlanta card #14
Card 318:  Edgar Renteria, 2011 Topps Update Gold #318/2011.  Cincinnati card #11

Card 319:  Brian Fuentes, 2008 Topps Triple Threads #319/1350.  Colorado card #12
Card 320:  Joe Mauer, 2011 Topps Chrome Heritage #320/1962.  Minnesota card #8
Card 321:  Adrian Gonzalez, 2008 Topps Co-Signers #321/400.  San Diego card #13

Card 322:  Tim Hudson, 2013 Topps gold #322/2013.  Atlanta card #15
Card 323:  Will Venable, 2012 Topps gold #323/2012.  San Diego card #14
Card 324:  Jordan Walden, 2012 Bowman blue #324/500.  LA Angels card #17

Not a great group of cards to choose a favorite from, but if I had to, it would be the Renteria card.  I like how the throwing from the knees looks, even though it's hard to see because of the border.

This page only has 2 cards (Fowler and Walden) that came from purchases I made.  The other 7 cards came from 6 different bloggers, with the only person accounting for 2 is Dennis from Too Many Verlanders.

Detroit and Pittsburgh still lagging far behind the pack so far with only 3 & 4 cards shown respectively.  Hopefully soon we'll start seeing cards from those 2 teams.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Inbound and Down #6: Starting Nine

Once again, the blogger world outdoes themselves.  I came home from the late shift today to find a bubble mailer in the mailbox, but a priority mail box on my recliner!  We're going to go over the bubble mailer tonight, courtesy of friend Max from the Staring Nine blog.  Max has gone through a tough time health wise over the past year, so when he posted for the first time a few weeks ago, it was a good thing to see.

It also seems that Max was stockpiling a few cards for me over the past several months, and decided to send them my way after I had sent him a PWE as part of the contest I've been running (may be the longest contest ever....).

When looking over the contents, I decided that a 5-4-3-2-1 post would be in order, since I haven't broken down an incoming envelope in this manner in quite a while.


5 pieces of 1980's Blue Jays goodness starts us off.  I believe that I already have the Jesse Barfield '88 Topps All Star set card in the upper left, but the others I don't remember having. Did not know that Cliff Johnson is the brother in law of Mike Easler, another former major league outfielder. 


4 pieces of shiny cardboard are up next.  Max remembers that I'm a huge Leaf fan and manages to get a few of the Blue and White in every package sent my way.   Speaking of the Blue and White....


3 cards from the 1973-74 Topps set!  Including a classic 70's airbrush job on goalie Ed Johnston.  The artist was smart enough not to even try and draw the top of the Leafs logo on Ed's card. 


The best swing ever in my opinion.  John Olerud's .363 average in '93 will be a summer that I'll never forget, and getting these 2 cards to add to my collection were absolutely priceless.  One day I may just have to PC Olerud....


I can't remember if I have any Blue Jays from the Kellogg's releases, but no matter because I now have #1 Bob Bailor in my collection.  It's amazing what a scanner can do, as I never noticed the crease in the upper right hand corner of the card until the scan came on the screen.  No matter, I'll surely keep this card as part of my Jays collection.

Max, as always a great envelope.  Thank you very much, I really do appreciate the cards!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, March 13, 2017

Inbound and Down #5: The Commish

I was pleasantly surprised to come home today and find a bubble mailer in the mailbox from Commish Bob, curator of the Five Tool Collector blog. 

As always, Bob didn't disappoint.   He was one of the 20 bloggers that I sent cards to a few weeks back, and he had recently mentioned that he had a '17 Heritage Jose Abreu SP for me.


1 SP down, 74 to go.  No hurry for those, because hey, I'm still working on '11 Heritage you know!

Bob is more known for his vintage collecting, and his envelopes never disappoint when it comes to  beautiful old cards.


Like an old shirt that is comfortable, and has a few holes for natural air conditioning, the '62 Topps set is just that for me.  I hadn't thought about it, or bought cards for it, in quite a while.   Lo and behold, a sextet of great wood grain bordered cards show up.  Ozzie Virgil's dad is there on the lower left, and while I know his son as a long time MLB catcher, I was unaware of the utilityman that the elder Virgil was.  His career lasted parts of 9 seasons over 13 years between 1956-1969.

One thing you see on the older cards as well are players wearing helmets in their photo.  The card that caught my attention is the Larry Burright in the lower center, wearing his helmet while in the field.  The background of the picture reminds me of an oil field for some reason.

These 6 cards bring me to 187 total for the set.   A loooooong way to go....


It just wouldn't be an envelope from Bob without 59's in it (at least for me).  The cartoon on the back of Russ Heman's card is entertaining, it states that he's trouble with wildness at times, and it pictures a catcher standing up taking a ball off of the face mask.


I don't know why, but the team checklists from the '59 set are by far my favorite.  Don't ask me why that is, but for some reason the photos just appeal to me more than any of the checklists from the 60's.

6 more 59's bring my total up to 339 cards out of the 572 for the set.  Almost 60% complete.

As usual Bob, a great envelope!  Thank you for the cards, they really are appreciated! 

Thank you for reading, Robert

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The horizontal mambo

Get your mind out of the gutter, this post isn't about that....

All I've bought so far for 2017 Topps flagship is two rack packs.. Tom from the Eamus Catuli blog provided me with a hangar box to start the year, and I almost don't want to buy any more.  Why you ask?

Because I only have 3 doubles so far.  Addison Russell, Jimmy Nelson and Archie Bradley.  All of them horizontal cards.

I've noticed a distinct uptick in the number of horizontal cards so far in this years set.   I have 129 cards out of the 350 in series 1.  102 vertical, and 27 horizontal.


With a lot of the photos that Topps chose for this years set, the horizontal layout is a good choice.  Howie Kendrick is a good example of that.  Vertically, that card probably would have lost half of Howie's body...


The team cards also work with the horizontal layout.  The Marlins and Angels do a fine job of making my point.   Ryan Braun's card also works, the photo and layout allows the entire swing to be shown. 


Logan Morrison's card is also a good example of a card where the shot is worthy of the horizontal layout.  There's a lot going on in that photo, and a lot of people to be shown.  Vertical just wouldn't have worked here.  Robbie Grossman's card is another good example; vertically we just wouldn't have been able to see enough of what's happening during that shot.   Yulieski Gurriel is even better, the full extension still doesn't seem to be enough for him to catch the ball.  Don't think you get that with a vertical shot.


These 3 cards may not be good examples, as all we have out of the ordinary here is Adam Lind playing basketball with his helmet.  I wonder if he hit the shot...

I'll be interested to see if the 1:4 ratio of horizontal to vertical cards holds out as I build series 1.  The reason it struck me is that I don't remember this many horizontal shots on cards over the past few seasons.

It may just be the way that the cards are being packaged.  The box/packs that I've opened so far have had the horizontal cards grouped together, which made them stand out to me. 

Anyone else notice the uptick in horizontal cards?  Or am I seeing things?

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, March 6, 2017

That's not why I did this

I'm currently about 4 months shy of writing this blog for 6 years, and the single most amazing thing I've noticed (and tried to emulate) about the guys and gals in the blogosphere is the incredible amount of generosity that is out there.

I've had people email me out of the blue...."Hey Robert, I've got some cards for you, send me your address and I'll get them in the mail".   Days later, cards are in my mailbox.  Free.  Gratis.  Gratuit.  Vapaa.  You name it in any language, free has made it's way to my door many dozens of times.

This little project was my way of giving back a bit to the blogging community.  And also torturing some of you by making you write 100 word posts.

What's even more amazing is that people have written me back saying "I've got stuff for you", or "is there anything you'd like me to send".

That's not why I did this.  If I don't get one envelope back, I will not be the least bit upset.  I'm so far behind the rest of the world, this was my way of starting to get caught up.   I also learned a lot about what others are collecting.  There are some very interesting set builders out there to say the least. 

Maybe instead of sending me some cards, you can have a little bit of fun and tell me why Mike Beard doesn't have one.

Have some fun and tell me why Mike doesn't have a beard
Two things to wrap up this post:

  1. 100 words contestants, reminder that you have until the 19th of March to post.  Otherwise I will hunt you down and ....well....I guess I can't do anything to you, can I?   I will be running that contest draw on the 20th.
  2. Amazingly, after all this time, I'm only 4 followers away from 200!  If I get there by the end of March, I'll give away something for that milestone as well.  I promise you will not have to write anything, except maybe a comment on a post.   Tell your friends.
thanks for reading, Robert


Sunday, March 5, 2017

1766: 100 words posts

There have already been a few bloggers that have written their 100 word challenge posts.   Such as here, here, here, here and here.  I'm sure that most of the envelopes have arrived (save for Canada, which might take up to another week).  So, if you're down with writing the 100 words post for the cards I sent your way, I'll go to the 19th (2 weeks today) for submissions.

Those who write will get entered into a draw and I'll send a couple of lucky writers something more...

And to those who have written already, well done!!  I especially liked the haiku from Jon, I never would have thought to do that!

Onward.

I haven't bought any packs recently, and had the itch yesterday while I was out running errands with my better half.   With '17 Heritage recently released, I decided to grab a trio of rack packs to see what is up with the set this year.


Flashbacks have returned, and though a fair amount of people enjoy these and collect them, they're not for me, so if you need this, just let me know.


While Kennedy was the pack #1 insert, the Posey is a much more pleasing bonus card that I pulled in pack #2.  I'm sure that there is a Giant fan or 2 that may want this much more than I do.  It is serial #356/999.


I believe that there may be one or two people out there that would consider this card blasphemous, mixing Giants and Dodgers pitchers just shouldn't happen, right?  There may be someone out there though that isn't worried about that and will want this anyway.   Let me know if you're that someone.

I was kind of on the fence about collecting this set until I pulled this card.


I guess it was the black and white photo and the TV set kind of feel that hooked me.   Plus I'm a fan of the '68 set, so I've decided to give '17 Heritage a go this year.  I was fortunate to see a tweet from AJ who had 3 SPs that he didn't need, so those will be my first 3 this year since I wasn't lucky enough to pull any from my 3 packs.

I also grabbed a couple of the Topps fat packs as well, and did about as well as could be expected.


Almost didn't spot the gold Cameron Maybin parallel when I opened the pack. (side note, I just looked at the hangar box that I won from Tom, and found a Daniel Descalso gold card.)   They really are hard to spot for me.  None the less, these 4 cards are available to those who may want them.


A tribute/memorial card to Jose Fernandez might have been more appropriate a pull rather than the comeback player of the year card shown above.  But then again, I'm not the one with the license to print money either.

All 3 of those inserts are available as well.

I'm going to give both sets a go this year, as it seems that I have quite a bit of spending left to do for 2017.

These 5 packs cost me $26 (including tax) so

$1792 - $26 = $1766 left for the year.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Inbound and Down #4: Dime Boxes pt. 2

So you thought that yesterday's A&G haul was it, huh?   Not by a long shot.  Nick sent me a great assortment of Blue Jays to make sure that the envelope was full.

But before I get to the Jays cards, Nick also made sure that a little bit of vintage was in there as well...


I've really never made it a point to go out and say "I'm actively pushing to get the '72 and '74 Topps sets completed".  But I did put want lists for these on the blog a while ago, and Nick is the first to put a little hit on them.  Even back in '74, Oscar Gamble's fro was legendary.   Add in the sideburns that were popular at the time and you've got a great card.  The Lee May card from '72 is only the 46th card I have from that set, a long way from where the Night Owl is in his quest to finish it off. 


No delay it appears in getting the Blue Jays series 1 flagship team set done.  Here's 6 of the 9 cards that Nick sent, the other three were horizontals (of which there seem to be quite a bit this year).


2016 Heritage four pack here.  Seeing Edwin Encarnacion hurts.  Damn you Blue Jays management, you should have pushed harder to resign him.   You'll see a pattern of this commentary this year as EE smokes another 40 homers for the damn Indians...


80's oddballs.  Love the powder blues that Barfield is wearing, the Jays brought those back for a game or two a few years ago.

 
Shiny and see through.  How can you go wrong there.   There's Edwin again....


Mr. Olerud may own the best swing that will ever be seen in a Blue Jays uniform.  I would have loved to see him remain a Jay his entire career, but with power hitters at 1st base in the pipeline behind him, I could understand the Jays decision to trade him.  His 33 intentional walks in 1993 still stands as a Blue Jays record.  So does the .363 average from that same season. 


This scan just hurts.   I'm going to name EE's invisible parrot Franklin, just because of that card....

Nick, what a great envelope, thank you very much!  The cards are really appreciated!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Inbound and Down #4: Dime boxes pt. 1

You gotta love the emails that come your way saying "I haven't sent you anything in a while, so there's an envelope on your way."  When that email comes from Nick at the Dime Boxes blog, you know that some of the mega piles that he brings home from shows (how does he find all that swag anyhow??) is coming at you. 

Nick was the 2nd person (the Night Owl before him) who watched the video from a few weeks ago and decided the 2016 A&G wasn't going to be as big a task as I made it out to be.  Nick sent me 34 cards from the base set (almost 10%...damn) and a couple of the Numbers Game inserts as well.


Lot of guys holding bats on this scan, including former Blue Jay Edwin Encarnacion.  Hated to see him go to the Indians...


I like the pics in the upper right corner of cards that don't depict baseball players.  Sometimes it really does help me with who the person is.  I did know who Steve Kerr was without the help.

When I first looked at the Jen Welter card (upper left), I thought the picture in the corner was a gun.  Made me think she was an Olympian that participates in one of those rifle events.  Wrong


McBeth=Shakespeare, right?  Will always remember the Dee Gordon at bat in the first game after Jose Fernandez's passing last summer.   The two numbers game inserts are great, a couple of Hall of Fame pitchers to knock off the want list.

I'll likely move this want list over to the "well under way" page in the next couple of days, as these 34 cards from the base set will have me well past the 25% mark.  The Starting Points list will stay where it is, since I only have 8 of those. 

The other half of this post will feature a boat load of Blue Jays and a few cards from my early 70's want lists.

Thanks for reading, Robert