Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Certain checklists....I like

I'm a few days behind in creating this trade post, but it's not because of the cards I received.   Not at all.

I recently sent a couple of handfuls of Bowman cards to help out P-town Tom over at the Waiting til next year blog, and he promised me some cards in return, the kicker being he would acquire them while he was out of town.

Not too long after, I received an envelope in the mail with a 50 count case full of cards.  What was interesting was the cards that were on the top and bottom of the case...

I was always a color inside the box kind of guy when marking my checklists...
Now a half dozen checklists, mostly from the junk wax era, doesn't inspire a whole lot of confidence when it comes to opening a 50 count plastic card case.  However, much like a sandwich, the middle of the case certainly made my day.

There are only 5 cards that I can show you now, and you'll see why when I show you the other checklist in a minute.

The first 3 cards help out my 70 & 73 Topps want lists...

Paul Popovich I had never heard of before, turns out he had a 11 year career as a utility infielder with the Cubs, Dodgers and Pirates.  The other two cards are a couple of great black and white shots from the '69 World Series, featuring those Amazin' Mets!

Tom also sent a couple of Black Gold Blue Jays from the '94 Topps set:

I'd seen Black Gold cards from earlier seasons, but this design I like the best of them all.  It doesn't hurt that Olerud and Molitor are the 2 guys featured here, two of my favorite Jays...

Now the other 2 dozen cards, you're going to see post to post over time.  Check out this checklist...

A serial insanity checklist!  Hot damn!!

Packages like this are what have made the serial insanity project so rewarding for me.  Guys out there, taking the time to look out for cards such as this, and sending them my way.   Sometimes as part of a trade, sometimes out of sheer generosity.

It's packages like this that are making 1100 serial numbered cards by the end of the calendar year a possibility.

Tom, thank you very much for the time you took to send me these!  Very much appreciated...

thanks for reading, Robert

Serial Insanity cards 896-900

The 60% milestone has been reached.  900 cards are on the spreadsheet, and there are already a bunch more waiting in the wings to be shown.

Here's the final five of the first 900...

Card # 896:  Cliff Lee

Serial Number:  342
Team:  Philadelphia Phillies, card # 26 out of 50

There's an old saying that "numbers don't lie", but in 2012 Cliff's numbers told a lot of half truths.  Cliff led the NL in BB/9 (1.2) and SO/BB ratio (7.39).  Cliff also had an ERA of 3.16 and a WHIP of 1.114.  You'd think with those numbers 15-18 wins?  Unbelievably, only 6 wins for Cliff last year.  

Card # 897:  Nick Blackburn

Serial Number:  601
Team:  Minnesota Twins, card # 26 out of 50

Maybe the end of the line for Blackburn?  Has spent the entire 2013 season in the minors after off season surgery to remove a bone chip, and the numbers aren't looking good.  Hopefully he can turn it around and get back to the bigs...

Card # 898:  Juan Francisco

Serial Number:  543
Team:  Atlanta Braves, card # 32 out of 50

Juan was traded by the Reds to Atlanta for JJ Hoover, who has pitched very well for Cincinnati the past two seasons.  Francisco is now toiling as a back up 1st/3rd baseman in Milwaukee. 

Card # 899:  Vinny Castilla

Serial Number:  1088
Team: Colorado Rockies, card # 23 out of 50

It's been a long time since a card from the 20th century was featured as part of the set.  This card came to me as part of a trade, and kind of has a camouflage look to it.  Vinny had a great 5 year run in the thin air in Colorado, hitting 191 homers between 1995-1999.

Card # 900:  Derek Norris

Serial Number:  1489
Team:  Oakland A's, card # 41 out of 50

Has anyone figured out who the little guy in the middle is yet?

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, July 29, 2013

Blue and White Monday: Duff sent me some stuff

It's been a while since I did a Blue and White Monday post.  What made my life easier today was an envelope of cards from Duff at the Bleeding Brown and Gold blog.   Duff has been at it for about 4 months now, and is part of a growing legion of Padres bloggers (who knew?). 

Anyhow, Duff sent me a quick email asking for my address so he could send some cardboard goodness my way, and this post is going to show you the spoils.  Speaking of something I haven't done in a while as well, let's count down the cards 5-4-3-2-1 style.

Let's start with 5 different colored/sparkly parallels.

I wonder if the Johnny Mac is part of GCRL's double play collection.  I just found out that Kyle Drabek has been back pitching for a month after his 2nd Tommy John surgery.  The way the pitching staff is going for the Jays right now, Drabek might be a big boost.

Next up 4 serial numbered parallels (how did he know?)

Those black framed Diamond Kings cards are pure evil.  Beautiful looking cards indeed.  Scutaro had 300 hits in 2 seasons in Toronto.  Never understood why they let him walk.

Up next, how about 3 2003 Topps Chrome cards.

The blue borders from the 2003 set really work well with the Blue Jays unis.  I'd forgotten that Bordick finished his career with the Jays in 2003, hitting .274 with 54 RBI's. 

We'll go a little off track in the 2 spot, with a couple of 2013 Heritage cards from my want list.

Read a rumor about a Joe Nathan for Andre Ethier trade today on Yahoo! sports.  Not sure if I want to do that if I'm the Dodgers, what with their outfield resembling a hospital ward with Kemp and Crawford. 

Finally, I'll finish the list off with 1 Hall of Famer, Dave Winfield.

Stadium Club cards were always great, and this card is no different.

I have to get my mind off of beer now every time I deal with Duff....

Just think of how many of these Homer has drank over 2 decades.....

Duff, thank you for the cards, they are much appreciated!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Serial Insanity cards 891-895

Full speed ahead with the insanity.   5 more cards brings the total to 895, with plenty more on the horizon to show.

1100 by the end of the year may be a possibility...

Card # 891:  Scott Diamond

Serial Number:  737
Team:  Minnesota Twins, card # 25 out of 50.

The Twins become the 25th team out of 30 to reach the halfway point.  By the way, is there a better name for a baseball player than "Diamond"?   Other than Rusty Kuntz of course...

Card # 892:  Brett Wallace

Serial Number:  468
Team:  Houston Astros, card # 20 out of 50

Mr. Wallace's card confirms that the Baltimore Orioles are the last team that will reach the 20 card mark.  This former 1st rounder is already on his 4th team, and at the age of 26 that means trouble.  The Astros, in a complete rebuild, felt the need to sign Carlos Pena to play first base.  Speaks volumes....

Card # 893:  Josh Hamilton

Serial Number:  225
Team:  Texas Rangers, card # 35 out of 50

I will never get tired of the GQ framed cards when it comes to the SNI project.  They look great (to me) and there still seems to be an abundance of them out there to be had for cheap. 

Card # 894:  Johnny Giavotella

Serial Number:  384
Team:  Kansas City Royals, card # 28 out of 50

Johnny might be part of the lightest hitting trio of 2nd basemen a team has ever had.  Starter Chris Getz (.211), Elliot Johnson (.201) and Giavotella (.206) are all flirting with the dreaded Mendoza line.  Thankfully, the defense is good, the 3 of them have combined for 4 errors.

Card # 895:  Eric Thames:

Serial Number:  274
Team:  Toronto Blue Jays, card # 41 out of 50.

The Jays are now tied with LA Angels, both teams having 41 cards towards the 50 card limit.  In case you were wondering, the Jays traded him to Seattle, and all they acquired was this years AL write in all-star, Steve Delabar.  Well done, AA. 

Next up, SNI reaches 60%...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A follow up to a Joe Shlabotnik post

One of the best posts I've read lately was written on the blog known as the Shlabotnik report.  I've not had the opportunity to trade or even converse with the writer of the blog, but his blog in my opinion is one of best blogs out there.   It is really well written, and he has some great custom cards as well (see here as an example). 

If you don't read that particular blog, take a minute and read the post I linked above.  "Joe" relates an unfortunate incident he had at a card show, referring to a young teenager crowding him out of discount boxes that he was perusing.  (When you're done, start following his blog as well, you will not regret it.)

I'm sure that there have been a lot of you out there that have had some kind of similar experience.   I am fortunate enough to say that I haven't had that happen to me, but in fact there have been a couple of instances where I've had the complete opposite happen.

One of those times was at the card show last weekend in Canton.  There was a dealer in the back corner who had a ton of discount boxes, with varying degrees of discounts.   Needless to say, his table was jammed.

I finally was able to pull up a chair after about 20 minutes of standing and going through boxes at one end of the table.  After another 15 minutes of perusing through a few of the boxes that were under the table, I heard a conversation going on behind me about basketball cards.   There were 3 guys, all I'd say in their early 20's referencing a couple of boxes of basketball cards that were in a box that I was sitting directly in front of. 

Once I finally clued in, I asked the guys if they would like the box passed to them.  They were very polite and said that would be great.  They even said "thank you, sir" when I did pass the box. (the gray in the goatee is very prominent now, I guess I better get used to being called "sir").  There were also several other guys at the table, and not one discourteous word was heard.  Guys were asking if people were looking for anything in particular, and a good time was being had by all.

I even managed to score a few cards as well.

I will not bore you with a ton of them, but I do have 4 that I want to show...

How about a couple of mid 80's cards of sniper Mike Bossy:

I would have loved to have seen what this guy's career goal totals would have been had his back not given out on him at the age of 30.  Mike finished with 573 goals, and with many players playing into their late 30's normally, who knows what kind of totals he could have finished with?  These 2 cards were an easy purchase.   I will own both of those sets one day because they are 2 of my favorite hockey sets from the 80's.  The Mario Lemieux (85-86 OPC design on the left), and Patrick Roy (86-87 OPC design on the right) RCs from these two sets will be the major hindrances to completing both sets. 

I haven't shown off a vintage Maple Leaf card lately, so how about a 71-72 Mike Pelyk?

1971-72 Topps # 92

The early 70's hockey sets are another long term goal for my collection.  They look really great, and are still somewhat affordable, even with the plethora of legendary HOF RCs that the sets contain. 

I was even lucky enough to score a '57 Topps card for a buck...

That's the 9th card I've picked up from the '57 set.  Another one that will be completed way down the road, but it's fun for now just to pick up a card here and there.

Remember your fellow collector/blogger the next time you're at a card show.  The guy that you're crowding out of a box of 10 cent cards may not be as kind to you with his post as JS was with that teenager...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Serial Insanity cards 886-890

I have 4 days left to get the 900th card of this set posted and out there for all to see.   Before I get there, I do have to show some others that are part of the 1500 card craziness.

Enjoy the next 5...

Card #886:  Edwin Encarnacion

Serial Number:  451
Team:  Toronto Blue Jays, card # 40 out of 50

Edwin's 2013 Topps Heritage Chrome card makes the Blue Jays the 4th team to reach the 40 card plateau.  That means I'm going to have to work harder to get teams that are suffering (Baltimore, Milwaukee, Houston to name 3) built up. 
Oh, by the way if Edwin hits 13 more homers this year, he'll reach the 200 mark.

Card # 887:  Mike Baxter

Serial Number:  702
Team:  New York Mets, card # 32 out of 50

At the age of 28, it appears that Baxter is going to be no more than a 4th/5th outfielder for the Mets.  2012 saw a career high of 179 ABs for Mike, which is about the only highlight I can find...

Card # 888:  Clayton Richard

Serial Number:  523
Team:  San Diego Padres, card # 34 out of 50

Out for the year with shoulder surgery, Richard will have some time to get healthy so he can return to his 2012 form in which he won 14 for the Friars.  The one stat that jumped out at me was only 42 walks in 218.2 innings last year.  You need stats like that when you lead the league in hits allowed (228).

Card #889:  Justin Ruggiano

Serial Number:  1477
Team:  Miami Marlins, card # 29 out of 50

Man, that looks cold!!    Justin earned himself a shot at every day playing time with a great half season in 2012.  Unfortunately, he followed that up with a dreadful first half in 2013, hitting only .201 in 283 ABs.  Such is the life in south Florida I guess..

Card # 890:  Chris Carter

Serial Number:  908
Team:  Houston Astros, card # 19 out of 50

Not to be confused with the Cris Carter of Minnesota Vikings fame, Chris' first every day job in the bigs is looking like Rob Deer type numbers.  Chris is leading the AL in strikeouts with 133, but also has 18 HRs to complement that (if complement is the right word....). 

Thanks for reading, Robert

Contest results

I wondered to myself as the first few guesses of the contest came in a couple of things:

a) these guesses are really low, have I earned a reputation as a big skin flint?
b) did I really overpay for this card?

Then the last couple of guesses came in from Nick and Chris, who guessed $21 and $23 respectively, and I felt a little better.

Those two guesses actually surrounded the price, take a look:

$22 for the Mays was the price I paid.  Since nobody guessed it exactly, I'll put the names through the randomizer 3 times, as is per the usual.
Congratulations to Marcus at the All the way to the backstop blog for being selected by the randomizer...

Marcus, I'll be sure to get a prize pack to you as soon as possible, it might take a while to dig up some Padres cards for you...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Will the real '64s please stand up!

It's the final night of my road trip, and I'm starting to get a little road weary.  I guess that's what happens when you go several months in between business trips.

Now, I was very excited to see the amount of vintage at last weekend's card show that I saw.  There was not a great deal of new stuff in the display cases, which meant it was going to be easy to shop around and find bargains.  (Speaking of bargains, you still have about 30 hours to guess how much I spent on a '64 Willie Mays here..)

The scan proves what happens when you're trying to do things quickly, the right hand side of the scan got a little cut off.  But for the most part, the cards are in nice shape for '64s.

I was happy to get the Don Zimmer card for a buck as well.   There were a grand total of 22 '64s that I brought home on the weekend, including the Mays.

What made me the most happy is that I 'm now over halfway to completing the set.   I have 308 out of the 587 cards that make up the set, which translates to about 52.5% completion.  My goal at the beginning of the year was to be at the 60% mark for this set, that means I still need to pick up 44 more cards to hit that goal.

I like my chances, especially if I keep finding bargains like I did last weekend.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Good grief

This is what happens when you can't believe your luck at a card show.

I had had good luck earlier in the show with picking up '64 Topps cards, and the 2nd to last table I visited was no exception.

Then I noticed this on Monday evening...

Doh!  Oh well, I can always replace it later.  Damn waste of a really nice vintage card.

The real McCoy's are coming up next post...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Serial Insanity cards 881-885

On the road again...I'm actually writing this post a little over 300 miles from home.  I'm spending a couple of nights in eastern PA on business, but thanks to a busy Monday evening on the scanner, I was able to draft a few posts to write up while I was away.

These 5 cards bring the set to 59 per cent complete.  Enjoy..

Card 881:  Justin Verlander

Serial Number:  188
Team:  Detroit Tigers, card # 22 out of 50

I was fortunate enough to watch JV a couple of times last year.  I marveled at his ability to start the game with a fast ball in the low 90's, and 7 or 8 innings later he was throwing high 90's and a couple of times 100mph.  134 wins at age 30, any chance of 300?

Card 882:  Jim Palmer

Serial Number:  489
Team:  Baltimore Orioles, card # 19 out of 50

Garnered a HOF vote of 92.5 percent in 1990.   8 years out of 9 with 20 wins or more will do that for you.  Almost won a 4th Cy Young at the age of 36 in 1982, unfortunately he finished 2nd in the voting to Pete Vuckovich.

Card 883:  Zack Greinke

Serial Number:  916
Team:  Milwaukee Brewers, card # 25 out of 50

The next win for Greinke will be #100 for his career.  I'm wondering if the Dodgers set the bar a little too high when they signed him to that mega contract.  Wait until Kershaw needs to be signed....

Card 884: Starlin Castro 

Serial Number:  367
Team:  Chicago Cubs, card # 31 out of 50.

Finished 5th in ROY voting behind a couple of guys named Posey and Heyward.  The Cubs need to stick with this guy, because if he stays healthy, he could be the next guy to get 3000 hits.  He's already at 630 hits at just age 23...

Card 885:  Ryan Braun

Serial Number:  948
Team:  Milwaukee Brewers, card # 26 out of 50.

See you next year

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, July 22, 2013

Down into the teens

Getting closer now to completing the '75 Topps set.  I still need a couple of Hank Aaron cards, along with a pair of solid RCs in Jim Rice and Gary Carter.

I picked up 8 more cards that I needed at the card show, including 6 horizontal cards!

The Yankees team card is a bit beat up, but the MVP cards are all in decent condition.  I was happy to finally be able to grab the Mantle/Aaron '57 MVP card, thankfully it only set me back $4.

The two vertical cards were also pretty decent pickups as well...

The Winfield is in excellent shape, and also a bargain at $4 as well.

With only 17 cards left to go, I think it's high time to start digging and find the two big RC's, and then chop away at the rest.

My cheapness has come through in a big way before when putting together this set, I can only hope that it succeeds again.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, July 21, 2013

It was worth the drive to Canton

I've been itching to hit a card show since the last mall show back in May.  Outside of the base Topps set from this year, there's been nothing released that really interests me.

So, I decided to do a little hunting.  I pulled the latest copy of the magazine that I own, and found that there was a card show in Canton today.  I took the time the other day to plot out the route, and found it was about a 90 minute drive from my house to the show.  When I saw that, I knew I was going to go.

I bought a lot of great cards for my collections (and a few for a couple of others) but the one card that caught my eye as I was leaving the show was the card that absolutely made my day.

My '64 set has one less white whale to catch:

I just caught the card out of the corner of my eye as I was ready to leave, thinking that what I had already acquired earlier was going to be sufficient enough.

Then I spotted the Mays, and the price tag, and instantly the money came out of my wallet.

It's not a perfect card by any means, take a look at the back to see what I mean:

I'm not sure why someone wrote the number 3, but for me, it was no matter.  The card is great, and it is in my possession.

It also inspired an idea.   A contest idea!!   It's been a while since I ran a contest on the blog, and I figured this was as good a time as any.

What do you have to do?  It's simple.

Guess how much this card cost me.   

Leave a comment with your guess, and I'll keep the contest open until Friday at midnight.  I spent $75 at the show today, so that is a hint for you. 

To help you a little more, here's another Mays card that I snagged at the show today, for a paltry $3

A little beat up, but it gets me a little closer to the '73 set at a fraction of the alleged "book value". 

Just so you know, those weren't the only two cards I bought today (duh).  I nabbed quite a few cards from such Topps sets as 75,70,64,62 and 57. 

Let the guesses begin!

You'll see more of the cards I picked up during the week, so stay tuned.  It was definitely worth the drive to Canton.

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, July 20, 2013

That damn number 7 gets me every time

Maybe one day, I will learn.  Today is the first day of year 3 here at $30 a week habit, and I can honestly say that I've learned a lot so far.  But there are things that I've learned that I just do not retain.

Case in point...

I was fortunate to receive a great envelope from the Night Owl yesterday, and as usual he did not disappoint.

There wasn't a giant stack of cards in there, but what he sent helped out on a few fronts.

First, the Jays were well represented:

I've always had mixed feelings about players appearing on checklists.  I'm not saying it's a bad idea, I guess my preference is the old checklists such as this.  The Davis Heritage card leaves me with 3 cards remaining to complete the Jays Heritage team set.  If you have card #'s 34, 222 or 446 please let me know and hopefully we can work something out.

George Bell was fun to watch as a Blue Jay.  George loved the game, and I believe you could probably say he was passionate about it.  It was tough for me to watch him as both a Cub and a White Sock (is that what you call just one player from the south side?), because after 9 great years in Toronto he decided he wasn't as big a star as he should have been, so he moved on.  Looking up his career stats gave me a bit of a shock when I found out that he left the game at the rather young age of 33. 

A pair of 2013 Archives cards also found their way here, which is good because I'd sworn off buying any packs of that product.  Buying Archives last year made me realize that the set just does nothing for me.

Heritage was also represented in the envelope, 7 more cards towards the set.  I'm down to needing 13 more to finish the base set of 425.

Yes, there's 7 
I'm sorry Bud Norris, but your card just creeps me out.  Dan Haren isn't doing much for me either...

Greg also sent me 7 cards from this years flagship series 1...

Notice how the number 7 is a theme here?  Wait, there's more.  This is where my denseness comes in.

As I'm happily whittling down my want lists, I notice that I'm left with one card remaining for Series 1.

Card # 7.

Gee, I wonder who that could be?  Then I think really quickly (something new for me...) and realize that I'm a jack ass.

There is no #7 in series 1 this year.  Topps decided not to release it. 

I'm sure Greg was laughing at me while looking at my want lists.  The same way he probably did while advising me that I don't know how to spell "masterpieces". 

Greg, thank you for the cards, as always much appreciated!!

Welcome to year 3 my friends, the insanity continues....

thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, July 19, 2013

Serial insanity cards 876-880

The last post of my 2nd year on this blog is another serial insanity post.   I figured why not go out with a bang, since this is kind of my signature now (I guess)

880 cards total equals 58.67 % completion.  You'll see 60% by the end of July.

Card # 876:  Chris Young

Serial Number:  975
Team:  Oakland A's, card # 40 out of 50

No, this is the other Chris Young.  The one that spent 7 years in AZ.  Part of a 3 team trade last October, his offense has tailed off dramatically since his shift to the AL.  Hitting .190 isn't going to cut it, no matter where you are...

Card # 877:  Jay Bruce

Serial Number:  932
Team: Cincinnati Reds, card # 28 out of 50

He's only 26???   Seems to have been around forever....looks to be headed for a career season in most offensive categories.  Currently leads the NL in doubles with 28.

Card # 878:  Johan Santana

Serial Number:  842
Team:  New York Mets, card # 30 out of 50

Loved the fact that it was Johan who pitched the first no-hitter in Mets history last season.  A numbers freak like me enjoys seeing the amazing 3 year run he had between 2004-2006, where his WHIP was less than 1.000 each season, his lowest strikeout total was 238, and his highest ERA was 2.87

Get healthy soon Johan...

Card # 879:  Ruben Tejada

Serial Number:  1254
Team:  New York Mets, card # 31 out of 50

I like him already.  Ruben shares my birthday (October 27), but he's a few years (22) younger than I am.  The Mets 360 website graded Tejada's first half of 2013 with a big fat F.   I remember F's.....

Card # 880:  Fausto Carmona

Serial Number:  1306
Team:  Cleveland Indians, card # 29 out of 50

A big thanks to Max at the Starting Nine blog for sending me another great addition to the SNI project. 
It's too bad he doesn't exist anymore.

Thanks for reading, Robert