Monday, March 31, 2014

Time to get a grip

For me, it is time to get a grip.   This weekend was the second time in recent memory that someone has sent me a card for the SNI set, and as I began to put the card away, it turned out that I already had one in that spot.


I've tried hard to keep this set up to date and the want lists correct.  It drives me nuts when I duplicate cards, I guess it's the OCD in me. 

Still, there were some great cards in the envelope that Nick from Dime Boxes sent my way this past week.

Maybe if I had this Bowman Chrome card of R.A. Dickey sooner, I could have used it as a device to remember to get a grip on what I'm doing...

I love how this card catches R.A.'s knuckle ball grip.   I've tried throwing it when I was younger.  It isn't easy, that's for sure. 

Next up is Shawn Green showing today's baseball players that it's OK to sign for the fans.

The now "unofficial" count for the serial numbered insanity set sits at 1100, with these next two cards bringing the set to that magic number.

Serial Number 414

I will always love the purple refractors from Topps Chrome.  Yes, I know it's a sickness, but there's something about them that appeals to me.  The Hill is the 46th Blue Jay out of 50 towards the SNI set.

Serial Number 1169

I didn't know much about Archer until I read up a bit on him.   He finished 3rd in the AL ROY race last year, behind teammate Wil Myers and Jose Iglesias.  Guess I better start following the AL a little bit more closely this year.  Archer is the 42nd Tampa Bay Rays card out of the 50 needed. 

Nick, thank you for the envelope, the cards are appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I actually fared quite well at the card show

I've been showing little bits and pieces so far of the spoils from the card show I attended yesterday.

I did head to the show with the intention of getting as close as possible to completing my '73T set.  But when the first table you sit down at has a vintage box with cards priced at 50 cents - $1, sometimes those plans get sidetracked.

Especially when the box has a very nice selection of '64s.

Add to these the Berra and Killebrew cards I showed this morning, and I wound up coming home with 31 cards for the '64 set.  5 of these were numbered 550 or higher, and that includes the In Memoriam card for Cubs 2nd baseman Ken Hubbs who was killed in a plane crash in February of 1964.  I now have just under 3/4 of the set complete, needing only 149 cards to complete this beauty. 
There's still some heavy hitters to pick up, such as Aaron, Clemente, the AL Bombers card and the Phil Niekro RC.

Those weren't the only vintage I brought back with me, I did manage to grab some 68's as well.

This set wasn't a big focus, but the 15 that you see here put me over the 100 mark in terms of cards owned.  If I had been thinking, I would have grabbed the 7 more cards I need to get to the 20% goal I set for myself at the beginning of the year.  No matter, I should have those before too long.

Finally, I did manage to buy 19 of the cards I needed for the '73 Topps set.

The Walter Johnson card is just a little out of date....

Love the John Ellis card, it's not too often you see a card depicting a player arguing with an umpire.  I still need 47 cards to finish this set, but with some big names as Schmidt & Cey, Ryan, Clemente and Fisk to go, there's probably no timetable to finish this one.

Three sets that I have been working on for different amounts of time all had varying sizes of dents put into them.  For that I am grateful.

The show was packed, a good sign for the hobby.  I did overhear a couple of conversations between dealers and customers, both very optimistic about the hobby right now.

Considering that the show was advertised as a "vintage" show, and with the malaise that I see towards modern offerings, it's not really surprising that vintage shows are starting to pick up steam.

I'm already looking forward to the Robert Morris show in Pittsburgh in May.  If you're big into in person autographs, there's going to be a few big names there.  Steve Carlton, Maury Wills and Bryan Trottier are 3 names that you might recognize...

thanks for reading, Robert

Right now their chances are pretty good

Only 7 entries so far in my 1000th post contest.  Maybe I made it too hard?  Maybe I was a little too conceited in expecting congrats on that "milestone"?  Who knows?

If you're not sure what to do, check out this post.  If you need to still figure out which post is #1000, I'll give you a hint and tell you that this is post 1002.

And for those of you that have come here for the cards, I'll show you the pair of '64T cards that I showed off on twitter last night.

Not bad for $12 combined.  I'll show off the rest of the '64 stack tonight.

If you wanna see the best card I found at the show....take a look at this post.   Sometimes accidents are good.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, March 29, 2014

So you're saying there's a chance

Well, I woke up this morning feeling pretty good and will make the trek to Ohio for the big card show.  Part of the reason I would like to go now is the envelope that blog reader Mark Hoyle sent me.  It arrived yesterday, jammed full of '73 Topps greatness:

Instead of trying to write something witty or clever, I'll just let you bask in the glow of 44 '73 Topps cards.  It's the right thing to do.

This haul drops my want list to a meager 66 cards, including the Schmidt/Cey RC.   So there may be a chance that I finish this set in Ohio today. 

I've been very lucky with this set so far, because of a large amount of generous envelopes/boxes like this that have come my way. 

Mark, thank you very much for these cards, they are fantastic and very much appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, March 28, 2014

Week in review: On the cheap again

I spent a good portion of the week enjoying the great envelopes that came my way, with the majority of cards inside hitting the want lists over many different years and sets. 

To be honest, I really didn't have to spend any money this week if I didn't want to, but I decided to work on one of my hockey want lists, and purchased 5 of the final 6 cards that I needed from the 1999-00 Upper Deck MVP silver signature set.  I just purchased them on Wednesday, so I don't expect them to hit my doorstep until some time next week.   The only card I need to complete the set is Mike Richter, card #133. 

I still have quite a few cards to display from a trio of envelopes that came in this week, but I wanted to show one card in particular:

Thanks to Nick at the great Dime Boxes blog, I'm now one card closer to completing my '73 Topps set.  I'm debating whether I will head up to Strongsville, Ohio on Saturday to hit a card show.  It's about a 90 minute drive, but from what I've heard it's one of the better shows for vintage cards.  I already checked with my better half to see if she had any plans for me this weekend (luckily that was a no), so now I think it's going to be one of those times where I'll go if I feel up to it when I get up on Saturday. 

Total spent on cards this week:  $8.88

Yea, the 5 silver signature cards cost me that much because one of them is a Wayne Gretzky.  The shipper was cool and with the 5 auctions came free shipping, which I couldn't pass up.  I'll be sure to show them off on the hc blog when they arrive.

Thanks for reading, and happy Friday!   Robert

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Roger that

I know that there are a few people out there that actually read the drivel I put out on a semi-regular basis.   One of those would be Roger from the Sportscard Mask-a-Rade blog, who recently commented on the Blue Jays want list that I recently put up.  His efforts to put a minor dent into the list succeeded.

I haven't done a 5-4-3-2-1 countdown in a while, so in order to show off some of the loot, let's bring that back, shall we?

Let's start with 5 2013 Topps Chrome cards:

5 out of the 6 cards I needed to finish off the '13 Chrome Jays team set are featured here.  

Melky is missing.  Just Melky.

Next up is 4 Upper Deck cards from the 00's decade

My favorite of the 4?  The John McDonald card that gives a good look at the patch honoring long time announcer Tom Cheek.  Boy did I spend a lot of time listening to him growing up.

Next up:  3 cards from 2013 Allen & Ginter

I think that Roger grabbed these before I had updated the 2013-14 portion of the want list, because I only needed the Buehrle.  No matter, the cards look great and I have a thought about who might want a couple of them...

2 Bowman Chrome cards from 2011 are up next.

Will the Jays ever fill the void left at 2B when they traded Aaron Hill?   Not this season by the looks of things...

Finally, one single player from the 2008 Topps set, but it's a good one.

Still need 6 more from the 2008 Topps set.  It was nice to at least knock this one off.  I just might hit 5000 Blue Jays cards quicker than I thought with the way the cards have been flooding in lately.

Thank you for the cards Roger, they are very much appreciated.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I'm honored that Paul Molitor is thought of as a Blue Jay

(As promised, here is the third post about the cards that were sent to me by Alex at Chavez Ravining)

I'm sure that everyone has that moment when they open an envelope from a fellow blogger.  The anticipation of looking inside and seeing what goodies that your fellow man (or woman) has sent your way.  The thrill is even more intensified when you don't know what exactly you're getting.

You then open the envelope, leaf through the cards, and you get that moment where one card hits you and BAM!!  Damn...that's a great card!!

Mind you, in the envelope that Alex sent me, there was some pretty good stuff.   The serial #'d cards that you saw last night were just the start.

Let's start with some '93 Donruss, a six pack if you please:

OK, maybe not the greatest set ever produced, but for me this six pack is great because I need 6 fewer cards from this set.  The '93 Donruss base set want list is one of the biggest I have, so knocking that many off is great.

Outside of Topps base set releases from the past handful of years, I don't have a lot of parallels on the want list.  So when I get a couple more of them out of the blue, it's always great.

The Jose Reyes Finest refractor really scanned nicely, while the Rasmus X-fractor looks kind of blah.  Either way, both are quite welcome here in western PA.

Finally, this is the card that jumped right out at me.

Now I know what you're saying.  "Robert, you've said before that you don't care for unlicensed products".   This is true.  But this Red Prizm card of Paul Molitor just jumped out of the envelope for me.  Red always stands out, because that's just how red is.

I don't know about everybody out there in blog land, but for me, Molitor will always be thought of as a Brewer.  I still remember, and will never forget, during the 1993 season when Molitor returned to Milwaukee for the first time after signing with Toronto as a free agent.  I remember that a fan in the crowd had a sign that referenced "Judas", though I don't remember exactly what it said.

Harsh?  You betcha.  But it shows the pride that Brewers fans had in their players, and Molitor leaving certainly had to sting. 

Molitor had 15 great years in Milwaukee, and he also had 3 seasons in his home state of Minnesota.  Molitor recorded his 3000th hit as a member of the Twins.   Molitor's claim to fame in T.O. was being part of the World Series team in 1993.   Panini could have easily chosen to make this card about his career in Milwaukee or Minnesota and it wouldn't have bothered me in the least. 

Yes, I feel honored that Panini released this card and mentioned him as part of the Toronto baseball club.   Not that I'm a representative of the ball club, but it just feels good as a Jays fan to know that his time in Toronto wasn't an afterthought on his Hall of Fame career.  

Of course, the sarcastic ass in me has to point out that Paul never wore the #4 in Toronto.  He wore 19, because Alfredo Griffin had the 4 in 1993, and then Dick Schofield wore it for the Jays in 1994. 

Still, a great addition to the Jays collection.   Thank you Alex!!

thanks for reading, Robert

The latest page for the SNI set

There it is folks, the 10th page in the set.  Cards 82 through 90.  #90 of Russell Martin is probably my favorite on the page.

A big thanks to Martyn (Arbitrary Crap), Simon (7 hours from Tampa Bay), Alex (Chavez Ravining), Jim (GCRL), Dennis (Too Many Grandersons) and Erik (Sandlot Cards) for their contributions to this page.

Keep em coming everyone!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Orange birds & blue birds

It's not too often that 2 dozen cards can produce 3 posts, but that's what I'm going to get out of the great envelope that Alex from Chavez Ravining sent me last week.

With the slow down on the serial numbered insanity set lately, Alex got my interest piqued again with the 4 cards he sent me.  What was so great about these 4?  One was from my favorite team, and the other three were from the team I thought might never hit the halfway point.

Let's start with the 3 Orioles that he sent.

Serial # 84

This might be one of the best names in the 1500 card set!!  Chance Sisco, how awesome is that name.  Even better is the fact that this card is serial numbered 84, which brings the number of 2-digit serial numbered cards I need to 3  [EDIT:  A little updating and I actually need 4 double digit cards, which shows that when I trade a card, I need to remove it right away].  Chance is the 23rd card out of 50 for the Orioles.

Serial Number 912
For some reason, every time I see Jim Johnson's name, I automatically confuse him with Josh Johnson.  I kind of wish the Jays had this Johnson the past two seasons....101 saves!!  Great numbers with the Orioles, and now he finds himself in the wild west with the A's.

Johnson is the 24th card for the O's...

Serial # 1211

How often do you see two players on the same card whose last names end in "ino".  Every time I see a double play card I think of GCRL, it's almost ingrained in me now....

Andino finally gets the O's to the halfway mark!!  25 out of 50 is where they stand, only 1 card behind the Rockies.

Serial # 679

That's a beauty, eh!  Had to get a different bird on the board, and what better choice than Jose Reyes.  I'm praying he stays healthy this year (I hear he has either had an MRI, or going to have we go again).  Reyes is the 45th card out of 50 for the Jays in the set.

These 4 bring the total up to 1098 out of 1500, or 73.2% complete. 

Alex, thank you for the great additions to the insanity set, they are much appreciated!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, March 24, 2014

The deliberate attempt to single handedly destroy a want list

This is not a lie.  I considered myself caught up this weekend.   The Blue Jays want list has been updated right through the '14 Heritage set.   All the Blue Jays cards were off of my desk and cataloged.  The total amount of Blue Jays stood (notice past tense use...) at 4142 cards. 

I was beaming with pride!!  I stopped short of yelling a phrase that would have been along the lines of "F--- yeah I'm done!"  I prepared myself for a post that would have extolled the virtues of being done a week early. 




Then something happened.  Fellow Blue Jays blogger Richard decided that he had to rain on my parade.

Here's picture #1:

If only the words "small packet" were true

Damn.  OK maybe there's a big piece of cardboard or bubble wrap in there that makes the box only half full.

Here's picture #2:

I wish that the stacks of pancakes at my local eatery were that thick...

OK, I get it.  It's a blogger conspiracy.  Everyone lies in wait for Robert to get all giddy about finishing off his crazy pile of Blue Jays on his desk.   Everyone waits for Robert to have his massive want list all put together and for his declaration of such.

Then when he's relaxed and declared victory.....BAM!!!!!

The box of doom......

I am such a ham.  I warned Richard ahead of time via email that I was going to have a little fun about this box. 

It's blogger generosity such as this that had me behind in the first place.  A lot of bloggers out there have been very good to me.  I honestly wonder if people have purposely hoarded their Jays cards just waiting for me to come along.

Even better than all this?  There were 2 more envelopes in the mail today.  Two more stacks of Jays to go through.

It just doesn't get any better than this.

Richard, thank you very, very much for this large box of Jays goodness!!  It really is appreciated, even if it puts me behind again (lol).

thanks for reading, ......  (sound of needle scratching on a record...if you don't know what a record is, ask your parents)

Wait, there's more.

I mentioned early this month that I was going to hit 1000 posts this month.  I haven't hit it yet, but it will happen soon.  This week as a matter of fact.

So I've decided to celebrate and have a little contest.  What am I going to give away you ask?

Well, since I'm lousy at getting envelopes together for people, I'm going the lazy way.   I will give away a gift certificate to Dave & Adam's Card World.  Now you want to know how much.   I knew you were going to ask me that.

Well that depends on the blogosphere.   And, to be honest, I'm going to be selfish here.  If you didn't read last week, I've started a hockey card blog.   This is something I've wanted to do for quite a while.  I've only got one follower so far (thank you Al!).  So the size of the gift certificate is going to be equal to the number of followers I have on the new blog on April 1st at midnight.   If I have 25 followers, it'll be $25.  If I get 50 followers, $50, and so on.  See, selfish!!

How do you gain entries you ask?  Simple.

Congratulate me on my 1000th post.  

It has to be the actual 1000th post, not just any random post that you decide to comment on.   Yes, now you have to do the math, and figure out how many posts I've written, and then start counting posts when I do write this week.  

I didn't say it was going to be easy, did I?  

The first person who congratulates me on my 1000th post will receive an extra 2 entries.  If you follow me on both blogs, you will gain an extra entry.  

Get it, got it?   Good.

It's about time I gave back a little something to the blogosphere.

Tell your friends.  The more the merrier.

 Now I can say this...

thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, March 23, 2014

My top 5: 1975 Topps

It's finally done.  I have all 660 cards of the '75 Topps baseball set in my possession, and yes it's a very colorful and wonderful set. 

When going through the set to determine the top 5 cards (in my opinion), I look through the entire set twice.  If I were to look at the set only once, I would surely miss something that would merit consideration.  True to form, I did miss something and it actually shows up in this countdown. 

Another thing that I noticed about the set is that there aren't a lot of action shots.  The majority of the cards are posed shots, standard stuff you would see in spring training shots.  It kind of surprised me to be honest.

OK, enough chatter.   Here are my top 5 cards in the set. 

5.  #80 Carlton Fisk

Yes, this is your basic stand there with the bat in your hands and look like you're ready to hit pose.  What struck me is the background.  Tell me that isn't some random apartment/office building in Winter Haven, FL (that's where the Sox spent spring training in the 70's).   Were they taking photos at some playground/little league field back then?  The card is so off the wall it's cool, that's why it makes #5.

4:  # 30 Bert Blyleven

This is the card I almost missed the first time through the set.   It never fails, I always end up going too fast and miss something.  Who doesn't love a card with someone blowing a bubble on it?   I'm guessing that those are hooks on the wall in the dugout, and is that graffiti on the wall to the left?   The card also makes you wonder who he was planning on giving the hotfoot to next.

3.  # 6  '74 Highlights Mike Marshall

Why this card in the top 5?  Because the accomplishment is amazing.  A reliever pitching 2 out of every 3 days.  Marshall pitched 208.1 innings, all in relief, that season.  He finished 83 of those games.  Only 4 pitchers since then have appeared 90 times, and the only AL pitcher to do it since '74?  Yep, Mike Marshall himself with 90 games in 1979.  Only rubber armed Kent Tekulve has appeared in 90+ games in 3 seasons. 

Look at the death stare he's giving Walter Alston.  It's almost as if he's saying, "you're not taking me out of this game".  That's what makes this card even greater as far as I'm concerned.

2.  # 625   Boog Powell

You're right, on 99 out of 100 other people's lists, this card would easily be #1.  It is a great card, but I have my reasons for my choice.  The expression on Powell's face is priceless on this card, searching for the ball on what appears to be a very sunny day is great.  Powell actually played the '75 season in Cleveland, enjoying a bit of a renaissance with 27 HRs and a .297 average. 

1.  # 640  Harmon Killebrew

Love the old school light blue Twins jersey.  Love that he's signing a program for a fan, and there's something about players being photographed while taking time out for the fans that I really enjoy.  I've said that on this blog many times before, and will keep on saying it as long as I keep seeing these types of cards.  Even the brown on top, orange on the bottom color scheme is great.   Killebrew wound up spending his final season in '75 playing for the Royals, hitting 14 HRs.  The Twins actually retired his number during the '75 season, while he was still playing.  Now that's respect.

Honorable mention:  Ralph Garr, Joe Ferguson, Rollie Fingers, Rick Monday, Fergie Jenkins

And that's my top 5.  Love em or leave em.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Now that the '75T chase is complete

It's time to get to work on the '73 Topps set.  There's still one big fish in the set that I need to obtain, the Mike Schmidt/Ron Cey RC.  Otherwise, I'm doing all right so far with only 109 cards remaining to complete the set.  I do have 15 cards marked down as needing upgrades, which is a task that I'll work on once the set is complete. 

As far as recent '73 acquisitions go, I picked up some at last month's show, and blog reader Mark H. sent me a few goodies as well.

Let's start with the verticals...

I was glad to obtain card #1 in the set at the last show, the Ruth/Aaron/Mays all time HR leaders card.  The condition wasn't the greatest, but I wasn't going to fuss when the card was priced at $5.  The top row of this scan came to me courtesy of Mark, with the two legendary Giants players being a very nice surprise in my envelope.

I also have a scan of horizontal cards to show off as well.

Another great addition to the '73 set was the Willie Stargell card in the lower right hand column.  I haven't taken a good look at who is remaining out of the last 109 cards I need, but I'm sure that there are still quite a few star cards that I need.  The Clemente card is one that comes to mind. 

I'm already looking forward to putting another classic 70's set to bed sometime during 2014, and the help of readers such as Mark has made this set a lot easier to complete than I thought it would be.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, March 21, 2014

Week in review: It's all about the new

When I say new, I mean new Blue Jays cards.  At least they are new to me.   That's all that happened in my little corner of the world this week.   Included among the great stuff that came my way during the past 7 days was this Roy Halladay card:

Now I really couldn't tell you if this is Roy's rookie card or not.  Never the less, this card is great, and I'm glad that I own it.  I'm also hoping that Roy joins the Level of Excellence with other great Blue Jays players in the not too distant future.

To update, the Blue Jays want list is now about 95% finished.   All I have to do is update the 2013 and 2014 want lists by removing the cards I already own, and with any luck, that should happen this weekend.

Speaking of want lists, you may or may not have noticed that the hockey based want lists/PCs are no longer at the top of the blog.  You can now find them here.  I hope that you'll enjoy this new hockey (card) blog endeavor, because it's something that I have wanted to start for quite a while now.  

Total spent on the hobby this week:  $0.00 

I'm still recovering from the card show spending from a couple of weeks ago.  I doubt I'll be hitting the stores to pick up Heritage, but maybe a trip through Sportlots will be the ticket this weekend.

thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Getting the want list up has been well worth it

The Blue Jays want list was a lot of work.  But in the fortnight since I've had it active on the blog, it's presence has paid dividends.  I've already found a couple of sets that I failed to put on originally, and I'm sure that I'll find more as time goes on.

Another good thing has been the great cards that have come in to the house.   I received a great package this past Monday from Jeff at One Man's Junk (Wax), full of Blue Jays from many different sets. 

 I decided to divide the scans into those featuring Fleer...

Tom Henke was lethal when he dropped down to sidearm like pictured above.  Right handed batters suddenly were weak in the knees when the 6'5" giant came from the side.  

Yes folks, that's 5 different years of Fleer cards featured there, including the Yellow Monster that is the 1991 set.  I only need card #171 to finish the 1991 Jays team set (Pat Borders).

I also have a couple of scans of Bowman/OPC/Topps to show off:

All of a sudden I've started receiving the bigger '89 Bowman cards from other bloggers.  I'm now down to 2 cards to complete the '92 Stadium Club team set (372 Bob MacDonald and 555 Derek Bell). 

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the want list is decreasingly rapidly now that I have it up.   Maybe I should keep working and get more lists posted.   Who knows what might come my way?

Thank you for the cards Jeff!!  Great envelope, very much appreciated.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Another completed page for SNI

An actual high numbered page just got completed because of last night's post.

Behold, page #148, cards 1324-1332:

Only 3 of the 9 cards arrived on the doorstep courtesy of fellow bloggers:

1326:  Thomari Story-Harden is from This way to the Clubhouse
1328:  Gabe Kapler is from Play at the Plate
1331:  Rick Asadoorian is from Starting Nine

Also going through the set I accidentally had one number twice on the spreadsheet.   Geez.

The set stands exactly at 73% complete, 1095 out of 1500 are accounted for.

Keep em coming!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Six serial numbered cards, only five of them are crazy

I had to look twice.   I had to think twice.  Brian did this to me.  He sent me a card that fits two collections.  Ugh...

Serial #'d 442.  I need that.  Jim Thome 1998 Topps Stars  #132.  I need that for the Thome PC.

Unbelievably, the decision was easy.  There are thousands of other Topps cards with the serial #442, so this goes into the Thome PC.  Besides, Brian sent me 5 other cards that fit the SNI profile.

Serial # 1328
Not to be confused with the Sweathog teaching, poker playing Gabe Kaplan.  Kapler is the 39th out of 50 Red Sox cards to become part of the SNI set. 

Serial # 788
I'd forgotten that Dempster was a Red.  I'm sure that he'd like to forget those two years in Cincinnati.  8-12 with a 6.37 ERA.   Ouch.  This is the 37th Reds card out of the 50 needed.

Serial # 1309
Great looking horizontal card.  I need to follow baseball a little closer, because I'd never heard of this fellow until I saw this card.   Only 4 years in the bigs in the mid 00's I guess is the reason.  This card is the 26th out of 50 for the Rockies.

Serial # 505

I think I prefer this next Beckett a little more:

Yea, that's much better.

Serial # 494
Come on, somebody has to sign JP.  Only 6 more games to reach the magic 2000 number.  Beckett and Pierre are the 33rd and 34th Marlins to be part of SNI.

Just 405 more to go!   Thank you again Brian, great stuff!!

thanks for reading, Robert