Friday, January 31, 2014

Week in review: 44 dollars made me holler

My goal to bring back the weekly review was kind of derailed the past couple of Fridays.   Last Friday, it was because I was driving towards the frozen Canadian tundra.  Two weeks ago, my Friday evening was consumed by work, and by the time I arrived home I had no desire to write a post.

Both of those posts likely would have been dull anyhow, because the amount that I spent on cards during each of those weeks was the same.


To be honest there was nothing I really wanted to pick up.  Series 1 didn't come out until this week, and with no card shows around there was no ready vintage for me to buy.

This brings me to last Saturday.  While sitting inside my friends house in the frozen north, I decided to hit eBay.  With a couple of weeks worth of my budget available to use, I decided to hunt for something that I needed for my '64 Topps set.

After about 20 minutes, I found this...

No, it's not a reprint.  Here's the back...

Yes, it's off center on the back.

The front has a couple of creases, and the corners aren't the greatest. 

After using the $20 in my Paypal account and shelling out $44 more, this card is now mine, and I couldn't be happier.

All my qualms at the beginning of my pursuit of the '64 Topps set are pretty much gone.  Seeing cards that list for hundreds of dollars in the magazine come my way for a fraction of the listed prices proved to me that if you're not incredibly fussy about condition, a vintage set can be completed if you're patient.

And yes, I did let out a bit of a yell when I pulled this out of the envelope.  How could I not?

It's the Mick.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Filling in some holes

A couple of weeks back I received an email from Weston over at the Fantastic Catch blog, offering up some cards for the SNI set.  A few emails back and forth, a few more cards added to each side, and about a week later a trade was born.

There was a lot of great stuff in the envelope that arrived yesterday.   Let's start with some miscellaneous Jays

A couple of cards towards the Blue Jays version of the Biography behemoth, a couple more golden Jays that I didn't have, and one UD insert.   All fit in just nicely.

There were a couple of Roy Halladay's that I needed...that list is shrinking by the trade it seems.

I really like the Upper Deck Portraits card on the right.  The Halladay is the 3rd Jay I own from that set.

Weston also sent some Chrome refractor love my way....regular and orange flavored.

Joey Bats scanned really well.

Of course, the 4 insanity cards filled some holes as well.

Serial number 1356

Matt is only the 29th Tiger I have so far for the set.  If you think I'm going to try and type his last name again and again, you're crazy.

Serial Number 1401

Lohse is a little easier to type.  The Brewers now stand at 32 out of 50.  What's the first thing I notice on this card you ask?   The tattoo of course!!  Not sure what it is, but looks kind of cool to me.

Serial Number 570

Weston has put the Yankees on the edge.  Only one more card left to go and the Yankees are done! 

Serial Number 1450
Mr. Nolasco brings the Fish up to 32 cards out of 50.  I am still having a hard time deciding whether I like the new Marlins logo or not.   I like the colors, then I don't like the colors.  It's a good thing I don't root for them full time...

The SNI set now stands at 1085 cards, only 415 to go.  Guys, I appreciate everyone looking out for cards for this crazy project of mine.  I'm looking forward to including the first 2014 Topps serial numbered card for the set, hopefully that comes soon.

Weston, thank you very much for the fantastic trade!!  The cards are very much appreciated!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I have my own (healthy) obsession

I was fortunate recently to be able to complete a trade with one of the better bloggers out there, Adam from the great ARPSmith's Sportscard Obsession.  I had a couple of gold/emerald Giant parallels that he was looking for, and we quickly agreed to a small PWE swap. 

In the mail yesterday arrived my PWE, and inside was a nice dose of insanity.  4 more serial numbered cards towards the goal of 1500.  The total is now 1081, or just over 72 percent of the set is now in hand.


Serial Number 608
A much needed Astro starts us off.  Morgan Ensberg is the 27th Astro card towards the set, keeping the Astros 3rd from the bottom as far as numbers go.  Only the Rockies and Orioles remain below the 27 card mark.

Serial Number 1405
This post is all 2004 or 2005 Topps cards.  Both of these sets are starting to grow on me a bit, largely because I haven't been really exposed to them that much, and seeing more of the cards is giving me some appreciation of the mid 00's sets.  The Wakefield is the 37th Red Sox card so far.

Serial Number 1027
Gabe Kapler becomes the 38th Red Sox card in the set.  I found it interesting that while looking up Gabe's career stats, the 2007 season was missing.   Injured?  Nope, instead he was managing a A level team for the Red Sox.  I'm sure that there aren't too many 31 year old managers anywhere in baseball.

Serial Number 1239
This is the 2nd Carl Everett card in the set, the other being the popular (with me anyhow) Expos card where he's pointing his finger right to the camera, a la Uncle Sam in the Army recruiting posters.  This card represents the 33rd card out of 50 for the White Sox.

Thank you for the trade Adam, hopefully there are more in our future!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Short signs

Part of the big package I received from JT at the end of last week was this autograph card from the 2012 Panini Signature Series release:

Now I'm pretty sure that the surface that Anthony Gose had to write on wasn't the best, but this signature....well let's just say that it wasn't the greatest effort. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to have the card as part of my Blue Jays collection.  However, the signature makes Gose look like he's been in the big leagues for decades and no longer has the time to provide a complete name. 

What are you gonna do?   Beggars can't be choosers.   Thank you JT!

Thanks for looking, Robert

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Moving past the century mark

I took the last two days off of posting while driving through the frozen wilderness that is western PA/western NY/southern Ontario.  As I get older, this drive "back home" to visit friends and family is becoming more of a white knuckle affair, and honestly it's getting old....

Enough of the bitching!!  Got the start of some great cards to show off this week tonight!!

I decided to single out this jersey card of Jim Thome that I received from blog reader JT (great coincidence, JT's initials could stand for Jim Thome for all I know).   This card is part of a boat load of Blue Jays/Jim Thome cards that JT sent my way, and the Thome's that he sent put me over the 100 card mark for this particular PC.   Nice!!

This is now the 4th "hit" that I own of Jim Thome, and as usual I had to do some research on the card to find out what particular set it came from.   Turns out that this is from the base 2003 Upper Deck set, but there are 2 different Leading Swatches jersey cards.   This one is the Home Run version, commemorating the 52 HRs that Jim hit the year previous.  The other is the Slugging Pct. version, highlighting what would turn out to be his career high slugging pct of .677.

I'm not sure if 2 versions of the same jersey card were necessary back in 2003, but coming from a guy who has a myriad of colored parallels of all kinds of cards, it may be an empty question. 

This card is part of a boat load of Blue Jays/Jim Thome cards that blog reader JT sent my way, and the Thome's that he sent put me over the 100 card mark for this particular PC.   Nice!!

Even still, it's a great card to have and I have to thank JT for sending it my way!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, January 23, 2014

An older kid with a new kid sends some cardboard goodness

In contrast to this morning's post where I was fortunate enough to introduce a new blog, the evening post introduces me to some new cards from an older kid with a new kid, specifically Mark from This Way to the Clubhouse.

I decided to celebrate the recent addition to Mark's family by sending some cardboard his way, and totally unexpected (and unnecessary...) I received some great stuff in return.

How about some green and Blue Jays to start?

I had to check, but I did already obtain the Delabar recently, but the Joey Bats and the Kyle Drabek Heritage Chrome cards were both needed.  I took a quick look to see if the serial number on the Drabek would fit into the SNI set.   It didn't.   But the next two cards did.

Serial Number:244  31st card for the Twins

I decided to cheat and scan both of the cards that did fit the serial insanity set and include them into the post.

Serial Number:1319  45th card for the Halos
The Kole Calhoun is a pretty sharp card, I like that you can make out a little bit of the gold jersey of one of the A's catchers (that's what I'm guessing, don't know any other teams that wear yellow/gold).
Calhoun brings the set to 1077 cards, only 423 to go.

Knowing my love for hockey, Mark sent me a couple of interesting cards from the SI for Kids magazine.

The Brian Bellows is from the '92 SI for Kids set, while the MacInnis is from the initial set released in 1989.  I know that these releases featured stars from the major sports, but beyond that I don't know a whole lot about those sets.

Last but not least, Mark hit another part of my collection, the Jim Thome PC.

Yea, it's pretty bright, but the Show Stoppers insert from the Fleer Authentix 2005 set is an instant favorite of mine.  Also from 2005, the mini card from the Cracker Jack set is more my speed as far as minis go.  For me, these minis are a lot easier to handle (and read), and this card feels like an older piece of cardboard as well.

Great stuff Mark, thank you very much!!  Very much appreciated (thank you Gabriel as well)!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

The new kid in town

Well, he's new to me anyhow.  I received a comment the other day from Marc at Remember the Astrodome, a brand new blog to the blogosphere. 

Marc only has a handful of posts so far, but he's got some pretty good PCs going by the looks of things, so check him out if you have a moment or three.

You guys remember the Astros, right?

They used to be these guys....

Take a look at Marc's blog if you can...

Thanks for looking, Robert

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Serial Insanity cards 1071-1075

These 5 cards are courtesy of Daniel at the great It's Like Having my Own Card Shop blog.  Daniel responded to one of my posts last week when I showed off some emerald Diamondbacks cards, and a trade was born.

5 closer to the 1500 mark, and the 2 New York teams hit the 48 out of 50 plateau in this post.


Card #1071: Ron Coomer

Serial Number:  1366
47th card out of 50 for the Yankees

I'll admit it, I had a tough time remember Ron Coomer when I saw this card.  It hit me why I couldn't remember him when I looked up his stats; he spent the better part of his career as a Twin in the mid to late 90's.  Ron had a decent big league career, 911 games played, hitting .274 with 92 HRs.  Also made the '99 All Star team in the AL.

Card #1072:  Paul Konerko

Serial Number:  569
32nd card out of 50 for the White Sox

Does Konerko need to hit 500 HRs to have a legitimate shot at the HOF?  It doesn't appear as though he'll reach 3000 hits; he will be 38 by the time opening day rolls around and he needs 703 more hits.  Paul needs 66 more HRs to reach 500, so unless he has a bit of a comeback year in 2014, and lands one more contract after that, 500 looks to be out of reach.

Card #1073:  Carlos Beltran

Serial Number:  1228
48th card out of 50 for the Mets

Probably a good thing that Carlos signed in the AL, because he can rest his knees more as a DH and still keep his bat in the lineup.  Carlos would probably like to see Kyle Lohse come to the AL, as he's had quite a bit of success against him (25/51 6 doubles, 4HR and 12 RBI).

Card #1074:  Nelson Cruz

Serial Number:  1257
45th card out of 50 for the Rangers

It's kind of interesting that he's still a free agent.  I'm sure that there are a lot of teams out there that can use a power hitting corner outfielder.   Nelson has more career home runs against Toronto (14) than any other non AL West team. 

Card #1075:  Alex Rodriguez

Serial Number:  303
48th card out of 50 for the Yankees

The way he's going right now, we might see a card in 2016 that reads "A-Rod Oldest to 700 Home Runs".

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It's been a while

Yes, it has been a while since I've showed off a complete page of '64 Topps.  One of the reasons for that is because I've taken my own sweet time putting away the spoils of the previous 2 months card shows.

Now that I'm catching up, here is card #154-162

The Dick Tracewski in the upper left is the final card I needed to complete this page.  The Duke Snider card in the top center brought back some memories.  I remembered posting about the Duke a while ago, so I decided to try and find the post to see how long it's been.

March of 2012 is when I picked up the Duke, so it's been almost 2 years since I started the pursuit of the '64 Topps set.  In the past, if I'd spent 2 years or more on a set, it would have either been put in the back of the closet, or up for sale on eBay.

I still have  1/3 of the set still to collect, but chasing after this set has probably been one of the most rewarding pursuits I've had as a collector.  I'm pretty sure that this is one set that will not end up in the back of the closet.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, January 20, 2014

I'm retail free in 2014

So far, so good.  We're 20 days into 2014, and I've yet to buckle to temptation (better known as "the itch") and make a card related purchase at one of the big box stores.   It also helps that I've only made one trip to the big blue store so far in January.

2 out of the 3 weeks so far this year I've failed to make a card related purchase, so I'm actually building up a nice little reserve; hopefully I'll figure out what to do with that extra cash without making some kind of boneheaded purchase.

Meanwhile, I'm still doing my diligence, working on getting the Blue Jays want list up to date.  In addition, the massive pile of Blue Jay cards on my desk is starting to shrink a bit.  I managed to add a dozen or so cards to the spreadsheet last night, including a couple of trios.

First off, 3 cards that I was able to mark off the behemoth that is the 2008 UD Documentary set.

I've received 27 cards out of the 162 card monster that is the 2008 Blue Jays season.   If there's anyone out there that was "crazy" enough to go after this entire set, I tip my cap to you.  I can only imagine what the final product is going to look like.

One set that I don't see get a lot of love on the blogs is 2003 Topps...

I like the blue borders, and I think it's about time that Topps try using a colored border again on one of their base sets.  That might be a little tough now that I think about it, what with red/blue/pink/black/gold/you name the color parallels being the norm in today's sets. 

Maybe we can bring back the yellow that '91 Fleer used??  That might be the only color left.

Until Series 1 is released, it's probably going to be Jays related posts for the foreseeable future.  With a few trades due in over the next couple of weeks, there should be some more blue bird related cardboard to talk about.

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, January 18, 2014


It's cold here today in western PA, with the thermometer only hitting 15 degrees.  Luckily, I received an envelope of Blue Jays from Daniel at It's Like Having My Own Card Shop to warm my heart (or so to speak).

Daniel responded to one of my posts last week that featured a trio of emerald Diamondback cards that he was interested, and before too long a trade was born. 

First, I think Daniel now holds the distinction of having sent me the smallest cards I've ever seen or owned.

I would say that these cards are roughly 1" by 1.25" inches (I couldn't find a ruler), and the backs are very difficult for me to read without a magnifying glass.  Nevertheless, they're home now.

Every envelope that I receive in the mail seems to bring with it something that I've never seen before, and these MVP Scouts Choice inserts are no different.

Funny how this off season has brought the careers of these two cornerstones of the Jays early 2000's teams into perspective.  Halladay retires a hero.  Wells gets released by the Yankees and his career could be at an end, but unlike Halladay his contract and performance is vilified by the media. 

More new stuff, well new to me anyhow.  I thought to myself after seeing these 2002 SPx cards "gee, maybe I'll pick up a few packs of SPx this year".  Then I remembered it's an Upper Deck product.  By the way, Eric Hinske is the only player that will appear in both envelopes, as I sent Daniel a Hinske parallel from 2013 Topps featuring him as a Diamondback.

As a lover of all things parallel (a sickness, I know), this Gold Leaf parallel from '92 was cool to get.  It is the first Jays gold parallel from this set that I have, only 18 more to go!

Finally, the card that was the coolest was this 2010 Topps 206 Polar Bear back mini of Travis Snider.  I know that I've never seen one of these before (yes I do lead a sheltered life), so this was another great card to find in the package.

Daniel, thank you for the great package of cards, much appreciated!!

Stay warm everyone, and thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Serial Insanity cards 1066-1070

Only 430 cards left to go!  Yes, there's still a lot of cards to pick up to complete this craziness, but there's a lot of people out there looking out for me.

Enjoy the next 5:

Card #1066:  Felix Hernandez

Serial Number:  1473
32nd card out of 50 for the Mariners.

Bold yet crazy prediction.  We are way overdue for a 25 game winner in the major leagues.  King Felix will be the next pitcher to hit that mark. 

Card #1067:  Andre Ethier

Serial Number:  1498
32nd card out of 50 for the Dodgers

A candidate for replacement in the future...believe it or not I have the exact same card already in the set (SN 277).  Maybe there's a Dodger fan out there in need of this card?

Card #1068:  Mike Wright

Serial Number:  386
44th card out of 50 for the Nationals/Expos

Made the mistake when trying to find this guy on baseball reference of looking at his height/weight to see if it was the same guy.  He's grown another inch and added 20 lbs to his frame since this card was released in 2011.  Mike got his first taste of AAA in 2013, 6 innings of shutout ball in September for Norfolk.

Card #1069:  Collin Balester

Serial Number:  369
45th card out of 50 for the Nationals

Using a spreadsheet to record all the cards I have for this set saves me a lot of typing.  Excel is great for recognizing names that are already on the sheet.  Boy was I surprised when Balester's name popped up!    Drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 4th rd of the 2004 draft, Balester is now property of the Pirates.  I wonder if he's going to be another of Ray Searage's "projects".   

Card #1070:  Jorge Cantu

Serial Number:  1435
41st card out of 50 for the Padres

31 HR in 300 AB in the Mexican League in 2013.  Turns 32 later this month and is a free agent.  Who knows, maybe somebody needing a bat with some pop may sign this guy on a lark....

thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Just because I'm not here, doesn't mean I'm not around

I took a night off of posting last night.  But I didn't take a night off of working on the blog.  I actually spent some time working on the Blue Jays want list.  I've made it as far as 2006, so only 7 years to go (plus whatever comes out in 2014 by the time I finish the list).

I also saw some weird, wild and wonderful things happen in the world over the past 36 hours.

  • The Cubs have a mascot.  Clark is his name.  Sorry Cubs fans.  Though the Clark GRIZZWOLD tweet I saw yesterday was quite humorous.
  • The Leafs exorcised some of the demons from last May's devastating game 7 loss to the Bruins last night.  I happily listened to the boys in blue hang on (this time) to beat the B's.
  • I saw a player get a contract today that almost pays him $1,000,000 per start.  Think about that one kids...a million bucks for approximately 2-2.5 hours of work.   Makes me realize that I should have listened to my coach when I played organized baseball at the age of 10.
I also feel more involved in the blogosphere so far in 2014, likely because I've been a part of more trades with fellow bloggers.  I'm pretty sure with the 6 envelopes I sent last weekend, combined with the 2 I'm going to have out by this weekend, that I've sent more so far this year than I did for a good portion of 2013.

I'm also happy with what appears to be a new found focus that I've had so far this year.   Not only have I done well with the fitness portion of my life (I'm closing in on 25 minutes on the elliptical), but my focus on anything card related has also been much better.

The "2013 Robert" would have completely taken last night off and not done anything.  But adding 2006's Blue Jay wants to the list is a step in the right direction for me.

It's going to be even better when I can start crossing cards like this off of the list.

now THIS is what a Gold Medallion parallel should look like

These will be more great cards to cross off the list as well.

The stack of Jays that I have to go through is still quite high (maybe 250-300) on the desk, but for some reason it doesn't look quite as daunting as well.

I know that something is different for me in 2014, I just can't quite put my finger on it.

Stay tuned...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, January 13, 2014

Survival of the fattest

This post is a thinly veiled disguise to show 5 more cards for the Serial Insanity set.  I received a great envelope today from Doug at Sportscards From The Dollar Store.  How great was this envelope you ask?

I don't think I've ever received a PWE with 10 cards inside.  Talk about staying power, check it out!!

That envelope had a nice tear, taped (mummified might be a better word) from head to toe, and yet the cards inside were as nice as the day they were ripped from a pack.

Here's 5 of them for you, all from the 1998 Topps Stars set...

Two sons of major leaguers in the top row flank the 47th card for the Mets.   They are the first team to be just 3 cards away from being "complete". 

There were also 4 more SNI cards inside, which I'll save for the next serial numbered post.  The 10th card was one for the Joe Sakic PC, from the 2012-13 Artifacts set.

Great cards all around. Thank you for the PWE Doug, much appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Tunnel Vision

Since the beginning of 2014, I could probably be described as having tunnel vision.  This condition may or may not be a bad thing for me.  Keeping focused on certain goals is good for me, since I have a tendency to wander off and start purchasing cards that really don't fit what I'm trying to do with my collection.

On the other hand, tunnel vision has caused me to forget about a trio of great 70's sets that I had started a few months back. 

One of those sets is the '74 Topps set.

This is a pair of cards from a great starter lot that I bought several months back.  I have 40% of the set already.  Since I bought this, nothing.   I hadn't even thought about it until I started searching for something else this evening. 

How about a couple of cards from '76 Topps?

Love the Tito Fuentes hat!!  Don't know if I've ever seen another card of a player who had his name on his hat.  The Dwight Evans card was interesting to me as well, for a couple of reasons.  First, I don't ever remember seeing Evans without a mustache; he looks like a totally different person without one.  Second, in the background, is that the A's on the field?  I don't recall seeing a posed shot (although I'm sure some of you out there have) where another team is in the background.
This set is over half done, but I haven't even looked at buying any singles in quite a while.

Finally, how about a great mid 70's hockey set?  76-77 OPC anyone...

I fawned over these cards when I first received a lot from Dave over at Wax Stain Rookie a while ago.  I bought a few singles to get closer to the set a long time ago at the Hockey Expo in Toronto.  Then after that, nothing.   Totally forgot about it.  I would really love to see the team photos, such as these two, return to modern hockey sets.  We'll probably never see them again, but here's one guy that wouldn't be upset to see them return.

I was wondering what I was going to do if I started hitting some of my 2014 goals a little bit early.  I guess all I had to do was look around at what I had hidden....

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Doing my part to help the USPS

Got the first envelopes of 2014 in the mail today.

Bubble mailers headed to:


PWE's headed to:

48895 (2)

I still have a bunch of parallels, etc. that need to find good homes.  For example:

As you can see I've had better luck pulling west coast teams as far as inserts/parallels go.   Maybe that will change in 2014.

If you need any of these, just let me know.  

Thanks for looking, Robert