Friday, March 30, 2012

Expect the unexpected, part 2

As mentioned last night, I received 2 envelopes with unexpected surprises in them yesterday.

The 2nd envelope was from Tom over at The Angels, In order blog.  I had sent Tom some cards that I did not need when I saw that he was collecting John Olerud.  I didn't want or expect anything in return, it was just one of those things that I felt was right, and well I just sent him the cards. 

I got these in return, totally from 2 sets that I have been working on for a little while now.

First, '09 O Pee Chee

This group here represented 1/3 of my want list, for those who aren't quick at math I'm down now to 14 on my want list, which I went ahead and ordered from Sportlots yesterday.  It will be good to have that set off the books!

2nd, here come a few cards from the '77 Topps set:

What would a package from The Angels, In order be without a couple of Angels in it??  Bob Grich, and Bobby Bonds makes it even better!   Those 4 off of my list takes me down to 176 cards needed to complete the set.  Still a ways to go, but it's been fun working on this set and reliving the first set I ever collected as a kid.

Totally unexpected, and very much enjoyed.  Tom, thank you very much for the package, it really is appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Expect the Unexpected

Expect the Unexpected, that might have to become my mantra.   I posted about this the other day when boasting about a Vernon Wells relic that was sent my way by Ryan from the Ryan's Pitch blog.

Well, today I received a couple of envelopes in the mail, one of them I knew was coming, the other I had no idea it was headed my way.  As usual, both envelopes were from bloggers who are both in tune with what I'm chasing down.

This evening's post is the envelope I received from AJ over at The Lost Collector.  I had sent some Yankees over to AJ that I had set aside for him, and he was kind enough to send me an envelope full of Blue Jays goodness in return.

First was a selection of cards from various '12 Topps releases:

The first couple of hopefully many Sergio Santos cards featuring him as the Blue Jays closer are here, along with a cool insert from Opening Day of Jose Bautista.  I've seen a handful of Opening Day insert cards on various blogs, and they seem to have some decent ideas and good photography (it would have been cool to see the ball actually in Jose's glove, but beggars cannot be choosers).

This next card that AJ sent, well to me it was cool:

An autographed Jayson Nix card!  AJ had sent a few cards to Jayson to sign since he was a non-roster invitee to Yankee camp this year.

It doesn't matter that Jayson Nix is a journeyman utility player.  This was absolutely one of the coolest cards I have received from anyone since I've started blogging.

AJ, thank you very much!!  Expect the unexpected indeed....

Tomorrow the other unexpected envelope.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Hand collating sets with the help of hand collated

Hand Collated could easily have been the title of my blog.  I have never, nor likely will I ever, buy a complete set of cards.  It's just no damn fun that way.  The thrill of the hunt is the greatest aspect of putting sets together.

It doesn't even have to be a mainstream "set", such as 2012 Topps or 2008 Upper Deck.  It could be a made up set, like all the players that ever played for your favorite team whose last name starts with the same letter as your last name (mine would be Blue Jays that start with the letter "M", for example). 

For those of you who are set collectors, you know what I'm talking about.  The joy of finally completing a set that's taken you forever to finish, and when you finally find that last elusive piece of cardboard you shout "f--- yeah!!" (oh wait, that's just me...)

I had the good fortune of trading recently with another dedicated set collector, Scott from the Hand Collated blog.  Scott's post regarding our trade pointed out the fact that he's seen a few people who have completed 2012 Topps series 1, while he's still in need of cards from the '07 Topps set. By the way, the last 2 cards I need for '12 Topps series 1 are on their way (thank you Nick...), and the speed at which I've completed that set will be a post in the next few days.

Anyhow, Scott sent me some '12 Topps series 1 ( I won't bore you with those), however, I will show you some of the '08 Upper Deck he sent me.  4 years later, I still love the photos in this set, and I found a few in the cards he sent that I also like.

1st, we have Nomar Garciaparra near the end of his career with all eyes on the ball...

Royals fans will have to help me with the next one.  When did the Royals wear orange numbers on their jerseys??

John Buck has always had great art on his catchers masks, and the Royals mask he wore is no exception:

Somebody has to tell Chad Bradford that there must be a way to pitch that is easier on his back!!

Finally, it never gets old watching Jim Edmonds make another great catch.....

Scott, thank you for the trade, it is much appreciated!!  I look forward to our next trade.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Masterpieces Captured on Canvas: As easy as climbing Mt. Fuji

Since Mt. Fuji in Japan is 12,389  ft high, of course it's not going to be easy to climb!

I'm not sure how easy it's going to be to collect the entire 89 card set of the 2008 UD Masterpieces Captured on Canvas set, but with a little help from Mark over at The Chronicles of Fuji, I'm now 4 cards closer to completing the set.

Imagine my surprise when he sent me an email telling me he had a few, and the ones he had I needed!!

A couple of days of digging for me, and these 4 beauties were on their way to me:

I wish trades were always as easy as this.  By the way, you won't see me climbing Mt. Fuji anytime soon either.   But at least with the help of Fuji, I can say I'm one step closer to having all these beauties in my collection.

Mark, thank you very much for the trade, it really is appreciated!! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ryan's Pitch was defnitely a Home Run

One rule that I have to post somewhere in my computer/card room about trading with bloggers is:

"Expect the Unexpected"

 Ryan over at the new blog Ryan's Pitch was living proof of that for me today.  As Ryan chased my ass down a couple of times (I've been really slow lately for some those that I've affected with my slowness, I really do apologize), we hammered out our first trade.

I was able to send Ryan a bunch of 2012 Topps needs, inserts and base, and in return he was able to hit my 2012 Topps want list (down to 2 now, but that's being taken care of thanks to Nick over at Dime Boxes)

I also received an '11 Heritage SP that I was in need of, # 426 Brent Morel

Plus, I received a totally unexpected surprise inside.  #26 in the Blue Jays relic/auto collection:

2009 Vernon Wells UD Sweet spot jersey card.   Super looking card, which certainly will find a home here.  

Ryan, thank you very much, I do look forward to more trades with you in the future!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, March 25, 2012

2 more pages + 3 more cards

Well, as you may or may not have noticed at the top of the blog, I've done a little housekeeping.   I've added 2 more pages of want lists, one of which took me only a couple of minutes to complete, the other....well let's just say the hand cramps dissipated after a little while. 

After the recent successes with eBay auctions recently, I've decided to put up a list of the 2008 UD Masterpieces Captured on Canvas list.  I've listed in bold lettering the cards that I already have, which includes these two cards that were the final eBay purchase last week.

BJ Upton and Rich Harden are cards 15 & 16 towards the set, and yes, they both were obtained for 99 cents apiece. 

The other page that I added this weekend was truly insane.  I decided for those of you that didn't feel like going back and forth between the two blogs, that I would put a want list of the serial numbers that I need to complete the serial insanity set.  It was quite the task, but I completed it without inducing carpal tunnel syndrome, and I also divided the want list into groups of 100 for easier reading/searching.   Oh, and here's the latest entry for the set that I pulled from a blaster of Heritage today.

Ervin's card was serial # 1292/1963.  That gives me 511 unique serial #'d cards so far...989 to go!!
I'm going to be updating the 2012 Topps page right after I post this to add the Heritage cards I have for trade.  Take a look, see if there's anything you like and send me an email at rmitchell6700 AT yahoo if you need something.   I'm hoping to get a little closer to completing some sets by trading the Heritage, but I'm always open to offers.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Miscellaneous eBay wins, and what may be the worst cow lick on a baseball card

The beginning of this past week was very good for me in terms of cheapo eBay wins.  I was able to pickup a couple of $1.99 lots of vintage cards to add to the collection. 

The first lot is a group of 4 '64 Topps cards, including my first Yankee from the set:

The Pepitone is listed in the magazine for $12 in NM, and while this card is definitely not NM, for 50 cents it finds a welcome home here.

The other lot that I grabbed was from the same seller that I featured last night with the '77 Topps cards.  The 2nd lot was a pick 15 lot, with mixed years from the 60's and early 70's.  I picked up 4 '68 Topps:

All 4 guys hitting, but only the Senators players wearing rule maybe??

I also grabbed 8 '73 Topps cards:

The '73 set is another beauty, down the road this is another one that I'll put together.  Did the San Diego Padres uniforms really look like that back in '73? 

Finally, I grabbed 4 '62 Topps cards:

badly miscut the lot of them, but I have a soft spot for the wood grain set as well.  Later...much much later as far as collecting that set.

Oh wait, there is a 4th card from the '62s

A little dab would have done him
That was worth the price of the lot in itself.  I know when  my hair starts standing up on end like his that its time for the razor to come out and start a shavin!!

The vintage has been fun to dabble in recently, and it's something I'll definitely get back into when I start finishing up some of these modern sets that I've started.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Week 35 begins with 3 more Masterpieces

It took a little while, but another eBay auction finally arrived on Friday.  As you may have read, my fascination with the '08 UD Masterpieces Captured on Canvas jersey cards is a rare weakness for me as far as jersey cards go.

I've also said that I would try and get as many of these cards as I could for 99 cents or less.   Well, this auction I won I was able to pickup 3 of the cards for the paltry sum of $2.25.

That brings me up to 14 now....only 75 more to go!!

As with the vintage cards that you saw yesterday, and you'll see more of tonight, I'm going to do my best to lay off of these for a while in order to complete some of the partial sets that I have going. 

I mentioned the 4 sets that I'm close to completing last night, I have one other that I am going to start working on also, the '11 Heritage set.  I'm down to SPs now, I believe I still need 49 though (ouch!).

We'll see if I have any discipline over the course of the next few weeks.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, March 23, 2012

25 or 6 4 '77 (Topps)

OK, so it was a half hearted attempt to play on the classic Chicago song 25 or 6 to 4.  It actually had been a little while since I had picked up any '77 Topps singles.  I was able to win an eBay auction where you got to pick 25 cards for $2 plus shipping...not too shabby from this chair.   The seller even threw in an extra card...

A few decent players in the lot, such as John Mayberry, Lyman Bostock, Bert Campaneris and Jim Sundberg.  I still need 180 cards to complete the set, but so far it has been fun putting together this set, bringing back a lot of memories of when I really first started to follow MLB.

Speaking of sets nearing completion, I have 4 that are reasonably close to being completed:

  • 2012 Topps Series 1, I'm down to 4 cards
  • 2011 Topps Chrome, there's only 10 left to go.
  • 2009 OPC has 21 cards remaining to complete the set
  • 2008 Upper Deck Series 1 has 41 left.
Take a look at my wantlists if you get a chance, and hit me up with an email at rmitchell6700 AT yahoo etc etc if you think we can swing something...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Grand Plan? Was I supposed to have one of those?

I obviously attracted a lot of viewers to my blog the other day by putting the word vintage in the post title.  The post also garnered a lot of comments as well.  As always, I do thank you all for the comments, and especially the kind words as well regarding my 300th post.  I always read the comments, and do my best to reply to each one.  This one comment from Kev over at Bonus Cantos kind of stopped me in my tracks though:

congrats on 300, and i know what you mean on 2 fronts... i always dive in "all out" on a product, and lack the patience that old sets requires. I've also been grabbing old cards - all mets, really - on eBay lately... I'm not sure exactly what my "grand plan" is - but it is definitely something i am enjoying right now... except for the fact that the shipping adds so much percentage-wise to the price of the cards.
Grand Plan??  Is there such a thing as a Grand Plan for collecting?  It's funny how a comment from a fellow collector can make you think about the way you collect, or even what you collect.

If you've read my blog at all, you'll know that I started with working on some "older" sets that I had bought packs of while I was collecting casually over the past few years.  As the past several months have gone by, I've found other sets, developed some insane ideas and been tempted by cards that have been sent to me, via trade or blogger generosity.

Kev's comment really got me thinking.  Is there anyone out there that actually has a plan when it comes to collecting?   I'm sure that the organized and the devoted collectors do. 

Now you see, every time I sit down and say to myself that I've got to start focusing on finishing sets such as this:

or this:

But instead I end up seeing this:

Yes, I did get this for 99 cents in case you were wondering
or a bunch of these at such a ridiculously low price that I can't leave them there:

Still one of my favorites, thanks Nachos!
...or I just go completely "insane" and find some of these


I've discovered so damn much over the past months while blogging that I want to devour it all (think Cookie Monster again).  Maybe a grand plan is something I need to keep my focus?  I don't know, but it's funny how one comment can make you think, and come up with a blog post at the same time. 

Kev, thanks for the inspiration...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Title Town Poll

Not sure why you're seeing this post?....look at Too Many Verlanders post and you'll see...

Well, since my hometown is Toronto,'s my list of titles....(don't blink)

Toronto Blue Jays

2 World Series Titles 1992 & 1993
AL East division champs 3 other times 1985,1989 & 1991

Toronto Maple Leafs

Let's see, they last won a title 5 months before I was born (ahem, '67)
moving on...

Toronto Raptors

Nothing to see here

Toronto Argonauts (CFL)

5 Grey Cup Titles 83, 91, 96, 97, 04

Toronto FC (MLS)

No MLS titles as of yet

That was great fun putting that together, and also a little damn depressing as well...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Card Draft swag from west coast Greg

Well, a few weeks back I had the opportunity to get in a card draft over at Plaschke, thy Sweater is Argyle

Greg offered up a great selection of cards at a decent price, and I saw a couple of cards that were right up my alley, so I decided to jump in. 

First, some of the base/inserts that I grabbed...

The top row features a couple of cards that interested me because they are inserts that I like, but am only dabbling in here and there.   I haven't caught the Gypsy Queen fever, but the cards do look nice, and anytime you can add a HOFer to your collection, why not?  The Rafael Furcal is the die cut from '08 Upper Deck X (duh).  Again, another set that I never collected, but the X die cut cards are kind of intriguing to me, so I grabbed it.  On the bottom, as you can plainly see is an '84 Topps Tom Seaver.  The 80's for me were an absolute dark period for collecting, as I can honestly say I didn't purchase one pack of baseball cards during the entire decade, so again on a lark I grabbed this up as well.

I also picked up a couple of A&G national pride inserts....Manny Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez.  Much like the state inserts in A&G, this is another insert set that interests me as well, and may be collected down the line. 

Of course, there were other cards available...I tried to get a hold of some '59s, but was too late on those.
Naturally, the first few rounds of any card draft are when the relics/autos get snapped up, and this was no exception.  I figured I'd have my pick of the hockey that was available, and I was on the money...

First up is the current captain of Les Canadiens, Brian Gionta.  Would have preferred the team logo on the upper right match the sweater, but hey what can you do, right?  Still an excellent auto...

UD Trilogy relics are always pretty cool, and I snapped up future Hall of Famer Doug Weight with this one.  Again the only drawback is the Islanders logo with him pictured as a Duck.  Still two different colored swatches is pretty cool. 

Finally, this one is of a guy who may be top 5 in goal scoring by the time his career is done...

Ilya Kovalchuk just picked up his 400th career goal, and at age 28 he has lots of career left.  The top 20 is only 173 goals away, and another 100 goals on top of that gets him to the top 5.  Barring any major injuries, I think he's got a great shot at being right up there with the best of all time.

Greg, thanks for the draft, I had a lot of fun!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I was just Trolling one day...

When all of a sudden, I get a nice little package in my mailbox from everybody's favorite Troll.  This is part of the 5 package lot of goodies that was in my mailbox on Saturday when I came home from running errands.

As usual, there was a nice little assortment of goodies in the envelope.

Marck had mentioned that he had been quite the beneficiary of blogger generosity as far as 2012 Topps was concerned, so he decided to spread the wealth...

Now you know these had to be dupes, the Troll just doesn't send Rays away...

Next up, you guessed it, Blue Jays aplenty.

Let's see...Brett Cecil is a red bordered Target parallel...the Ricky Romero at the bottom center is a platinum parallel, the Mike McCoy in the lower left is a bronze parallel from 2010 Topps, lots of great variations here, some great stuff. 

Finally, I received an autographed card that I wasn't expecting, but was pretty cool none the less.

I had to think for quite a while about this card, until I remembered a post that Troll had made a while back detailing how he came about the autograph on this and a few other New England Patriots cards.  Cool beans!
This card goes next to the Eddie Murray '78 Topps on the shelf...two cards won in contests!!

The sad part is, when I commented on the post, I told him I would send some cards his way.  I can't even remember if I did. 

I guess I'll just have to send him some anyways...  Marck, thanks again for the Jays/Topps set help, it is much appreciated!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Vintage just seems to be the way to go

I see it on a lot of blogs right now.  Bloggers are getting into the vintage cards more and more.  Posts about current cards and personal collection pickups are slowly being replaced by posts about vintage cards.

I'm part of the crowd for sure.  You've seen the posts lately about 1964 Topps and the cards I've acquired. 

Am I following the crowd?  Yes and No. 

Yes, because outside of the '77 set that I've been pursuing for a few months now, I had never really developed a love for older cards, especially those from the 50's and 60's. This was largely due to the fact that I've never thought I could afford them.  I've seen a lot of bloggers pick up cards from older sets lately, and that has really piqued my interest.  One blog that I've enjoyed reading over the past several months is The Adventures of Napkin Doon, especially his tales of auction night at Cleve's.  Seeing Napkin pickup cards on the cheap, especially of some classic 50's sets is always a great read, and is a quiet reminder (to me anyways) that older sets will never be built 200-300 cards at a time like modern sets are.  A card here, two cards there is the way to approach building the older sets.  If bloggers my age can start a set during their teens and still be working on it now, why in the hell can't I? 

My problem lies in the fact that I'm always looking big.  When I go after something, I don't just dabble like a lot of you do.  I have to dive in head first.  Kind of like the Cookie Monster going after a plate of cookies (I'm sure you get the visual there...) 

Factor in that I'm doing my best to stay within my budget, and I have had the mindset that the older sets were just too far out of reach.  Well, that mindset is slowly changing.

Patience.  A word that my wife will tell you is not in my vocabulary.

Well, the '64 Topps set is going to be the test of my patience.  Especially since 8 of the cards are priced in the magazine at triple digits or more.  The cookie monster in me sadly is still scouring eBay and other places for cheapo auctions.

I came home after errands on Saturday to find 5 envelopes in my box....damn.  One of them had probably what will be the best buy that I will likely pickup during my quest to finish the '64 Topps set. 

eBay auction, (10) '64 Topps cards for $1.99.  I still can't believe it myself.  You can see on a couple of cards that they have creases, but other than that they're perfect for me.  That might be the biggest group of cards I will be able to grab at one time.

I enjoy this set more and more each time I pick up a card or two towards it.  The sheer simplicity of the set I believe is really what grabs me the most.  Plain white borders, team names in big block letters at the top, player name and position in a single colored stripe at the bottom of the card.  Nothing fancy, simple.

Seeing these cards reminds me....Anthony, I still owe you a Moe Drabowsky...I haven't forgotten you!

This was post #300 for me....a big thanks to all who read my insanity regularly, or once in a blue moon

- Robert

Sunday, March 18, 2012

How one Blue Jay turned into 13

I sent an envelope out a couple of weeks back in response to a Night Owl post about cards he was in need of to complete his '84 Donruss set.  One of those cards on the list was actually a card that I had in my collection for almost 20 years...

Card # 41 in that set was the Joe Carter RC.  I bought it around 1992 when the fever in Toronto was high, and this card was just starting to climb in price (I want to say I paid $20 for it back then).  Even though the card shows Joe in his Cubs uniform, (see here for a great 'vintage' post by Wrigley Wax of '80s Cubs uniforms) Joe always will be a Blue Jay first and foremost for me. 

As I've learned over the last few months, cards do belong in their rightful homes.  When I saw Greg's post stating that he was shy a few cards for the '84 set and that this was one of them, I did what I felt was the right thing and sent Greg an email asking if this copy was suitable enough for his set (you can see that it is off center).  Within about a week, Greg had the card, and in the mail last weekend, I received a package from him out of the Blue (Jay), with several cards that are most welcome here.

More great stuff.  The Alomar mini was mentioned on Greg's blog a few weeks back, it was actually a double for his set of Lineage mini's and was likely headed my way.  Lots of J.P. Arencibia here, the Gold Futures card from this years Topps set was most welcome.  The Gold Joey Bats card at the top was very cool to receive as well, and will fit in nicely with my Jays collection.

More Jays goodness abounds!  Paul Molitor KC mini, the Bautista Lineage is of the Venezuelan variety, two more Documentary cards to add the list (whoever decided to try and collect that set, all I have to say is God Bless You!), and a couple of Score cards from '91 that had eluded me previously.  Both of those cards are Rising Stars (or so they are labelled), although Myers would hardly have a truly solid season until 2003, and Willie Blair's 5.04 career ERA is ...a little bloated.

For me, that's how one Jay turned into 13. 

Great stuff all around....thank you very much Greg!! 

Thanks for reading, Robert

11-12 Upper Deck Hockey series 2

Along with the 6 packs of Heritage I busted yesterday, I picked up a jumbo pack of 11-12 Upper Deck Hockey Series 2.  There were a few cards that caught my eye.

You may remember me posting a while back about the Pascal Dupuis error card in Series 1.  Upper Deck strikes again!!  This error was spotted quickly as well, however this time it wasn't the stats that were incorrect:

I've never spelled Upshall with a G

Somehow they confused Scottie Upshall with defenseman Jason Garrison.  Now if you look at the back of the card, you'll see that Scottie doesn't even have a beard, he's as baby-faced as they come:

No whiskers here

At least they got the back right.  It's not too often that I catch errors on cards, but for me to catch one on both series, you know that Upper Deck made some pretty bad mistakes.   Anyhow, onwards...

The Canvas parallels are back for series 2, and I pulled a Jacob Markstrom out of the pack:

I love the feel of these cards, reminds me a bit of the way the Masterpieces cards are textured.  Good Stuff.
I also pulled a couple of inserts as well...

The Brad Park Hockey Heroes card on the left was cool, I loved that they used a black and white photo from the 60's.  The card on the right is a Mika Zibanejad O-Pee-Chee card, #612.  I love the design, which mimics the 33-34 OPC V304A set. 

I'm sure I'll be going after this set as well, I'll just end up mixing it in with all the other sets/projects I've got going on as well.   Keeps me out of trouble.

Thanks for reading, Robert