Tuesday, September 30, 2014

One more test run

After some comments from last night's post, I decided to try another post in preparation for the '59 set build.

This time, I decided to grab a rookie cup card from the '62 Topps set to feature.

1962 Topps #154  Lee Thomas

Career beginnings:

Signed as a free agent by the New York Yankees in 1954, the Angels acquired Thomas in a five player trade on 5/8/61 (according to baseball reference).  The back of Thomas' card states that the trade was a 6 player trade.

Awards/League Leaders/Titles:

  • finished 3rd in rookie of the year voting in 1961
  • was an All Star in 1962; also received MVP votes in both '61 and '62
  • did not lead in any offensive statistical category during his 8 year career
  • Thomas was director of player development for the Cardinals during their success in the 80's, and was part of their World Series championship management team in 1987.
  • Voted Sporting News executive of the year in '93 as a member of the Phillies organization.

Military service:  None that I could find.

Career Line:  .255 average, 847 hits, 106 HR, 428 RBI in 8 seasons

Loved to face:  Ralph Terry (20/48, .417 average, 4HR, 11 RBI)
Hated to face:  Jim Kaat  (6/45, .133 average, 14 Ks)

How did he do in 1962

  • .290 average, 26 HR, 104 RBI.   All 3 categories were career highs for a season.  The Angels were 86-76 that year, 76-70 in games that he started.
  • Had a 5 hit game on 5/6/62, driving in 4 runs and scoring twice during a 15-7 win over the Orioles.
  • His longest hitting streak was 13 games, and his longest on base streak was 34 games.
  • Had a home batting average of .330
Lee had the nickname "Mad Dog", because of his temper.  He was the GM of the Phillies during their '93 World Series loss to the Blue Jays (yes, I had to get that in), but this story that I found shows that he could foresee the future.  During game 6 of the Series, the Phillies were up 6-5, and Lee Thomas turned to his wife and told her he wanted to leave.   She was confused as to why.  Lee knew what was coming, and couldn't bear to watch as Joe Carter hit a 3 run HR to win the series. 

To be honest, I had no idea who Lee Thomas was before today.   A little bit of research, and a baseball card, and I learned quite a bit.

I think I'm going to enjoy this....

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, September 29, 2014

A practice run

In an attempt to start getting ready for my '59 Topps set build, I decided to do a test run today.   But instead of using a card from the '59 set, I decided to take a quick look at one of the '72 Topps cards I received today from Marcus at the all the way to the backstop blog.   The '72 set is something I want to put together, but right now is behind a few other sets that I am working on.

I plan on using this post as a way to generate ideas for the '59 Topps posts.  A practice run if you will.

Let's see how this goes....

1972 Topps Clay Kirby # 173

Career beginnings:  Drafted in the 3rd round of the 1966 amateur draft.  The Padres made him their 12th pick in the 1968 expansion draft.

Awards/League Leader/Titles
  • Clay won no individual awards during his 7 year career.  
  • He led the NL with 20 losses in 1969.   
  • Clay was also one of 6 starters on the 1975 Cincinnati Reds team that won the World Series; however he did not appear in either the NLCS against the Pirates, or the World Series against the Red Sox.

Clay Kirby passed away in 1991 at the age of 43 from a heart attack.

The Padres lost his no hitter in the 9th, and the game, 3-1.

Career Line:  75-104, 3.84 ERA, 1.384 WHIP

Loved to face (career, min 20PA):  Garry Maddox--2 for 26 with 7 K's (.077)
Hated to face (career, min 20PA):  Davey Lopes--12 for 26 (.462)

How did he fare in 1972?  
  • 12-14 with a 3.13 ERA for a Padres team that went 58-95.  
  • On June 7th, Clay pitched the 2nd game of a doubleheader against the Pirates, going 13 innings (imagine that happening in today's game!!), and lost 1-0. That start was one of 4 (!) times that he pitched 10 innings or more during the '72 season.  My arm started to hurt just thinking about that. 

I found this auction on eBay; the cheapest card up for sale was $1.25 including shipping.

After previewing this post, I can see that some tweaks need to be made.  I'm pretty sure that the length of these posts will also vary, based on the player (star players like Mantle will have longer posts, while guys that didn't play as much will likely be a much quicker read...).

I welcome suggestions from anyone out there.  I'm sure that others may want to see things that I may not have thought about here, and those who have experience writing about sets likely will have thoughts that will be beneficial to me.

Marcus, thank you for the PWE that you sent today, the cards were really appreciated!

thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, September 28, 2014

By the page: Roberto Alomar

Today is the final day of the regular season (scheduled anyhow), and I thought that I would do a page of one of the greatest Blue Jays, Roberto Alomar.

Robbie is going to be one of those players that will end up with multiple pages over time; playing for the Jays in the early 90's will do that for a lot of players.

With a lot to choose from, I decided on these 9 cards to start off the Alomar pages...

Top row:  Bunting

Alomar is probably the one Jays player that I could put an entire page of bunting photos together.  Robbie was a very skilled bunter and it shows, the Donruss card on the left shows him using the drag bunt for a base hit, while the Collectors Choice card in the middle appears to have captured Robbie in the middle of a sacrifice.

Middle row:  Shots you don't see every day.

Close up shots like the '93 Upper Deck #125 on the left are great.  Safe or out?  Hard to tell.  I don't have a lot of batting cage cards in my collection, but the '94 UD #455 in the center is a favorite of mine.  Not sure if the white portion on the sweet spot of the bat is tape, or if the bat is just sanded down....

The '94 SP #ER1 on the far right sent me off to check on baseball reference to see if Alomar had ever pitched in a ball game (he didn't).  It looked like a pitching pose to me, so I thought it kind of fit in this group of 3.

Bottom row:  Nothing but the blues

I've said it before and I'll say it again.   The Blue Jays dark blue jerseys are my favorite.  So much so that the Jays jersey that I own is of the dark blue variety (13  Lawrie, just in case you're wondering who is on the back). 

Not a bad effort for the first Alomar page.  I'll certainly have plenty of opportunities to create better pages for Mr. Alomar.   That brings the total # of cards out of the box to 220.   I'm going to have to start churning out a bunch of pages here very soon, due to the great number of cards that came in recently from my fellow Blue Jays bloggers.

thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fifty Nine

Today's post is brought to you by the number 11.

The "What's next?" tournament has concluded, and the winning set earned 11 votes in each of its 4 wins. 

This set won by scores of 11-9, 11-10, 11-5, and finally this week defeated the Cinderella story that was 1974 Topps by a very close 11-10 margin.

1959 Topps, in all its circular multicolored splendor, is the winner. It will be the next vintage set that I will put together and display for everyone in the blogosphere (at least those who read my blog anyhow) to see.

10 cards down, 562 left to go.  I'm sure that the '59 posts that I generate won't be to the level of the Commish, but I hope at least that I can learn a thing or two along the way. 

Let the journey begin.   Thank you everyone for your votes!

thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The forgotten

I'm going to turn the tables a bit tonight.  I got another unexpected (but most certainly welcome) box of Blue Jays cards in the mail today, this time from another fellow Jays card blogger, Richard, who writes at the Toronto Blue Jays Collection.

You've seen me write over and over about all the great players that the Jays have had during their existence.   Carter, Alomar, Halladay, Stieb, Delgado, the list goes on and on.   Going through this box I saw players that I barely remembered were Blue Jays.  I'm guessing that most of these cards that I'm going to show off tonight are of players that played one season in Toronto, two at the most.

These guys are the forgotten...

Darrin Jackson had a 12 year major league career, playing for 7 different teams.  The Jays acquired him just before the start of the '93 season for Derek Bell.  Darrin didn't even make it through the entire '93 campaign before being traded to the Mets in June for Tony Fernandez.  Back in the early 90's, 1/2 a season with a team enabled you to get a card pictured in their uniform, as this '93 Fleer Ultra #642 proves.

I took one look at this card and did a double take.   I remembered the name Dave Geisel, but probably haven't heard it in 30 years.  It had been so long that I didn't think that Geisel lasted very long in Toronto.  He actually pitched for two seasons (82-83) before moving to Seattle in the Rule 5 draft.  Geisel has a grand total of 12 cards in the Trading Card Database, with no cards of him being released in 83, even though he pitched in 16 games for the Jays in 82.

Another name I hadn't heard in quite a long time, Randy Moffitt played in Toronto during the '83 season.  He actually fared quite well, winning 6 games and saving 10 others in 46 appearances.  Alas, this '84 Donruss card would be a sunset card as Moffitt didn't make it back to the major leagues after the '83 season.  You may know his older sister, Billie Jean King.  I did not know before today that they were related....you do learn something new every day!

Wow, another name that I barely remembered.   Paul Kilgus pitched in a total of 11 games for Toronto during the '90 season, earning him this 1990 Bowman card.  I found a blog post on The Greatest 21 days that features Kilgus on a card during his time with the Syracuse Chiefs, then the AAA affiliate for the Jays. 

Tom Lawless rounds out the list.  Tom played for the Jays for a season and a half; he was released by the Jays in 1990.  Tom is currently the interim manager of the Houston Astros, a job I'd love to see him retain, if only so he can teach his players how to do a bat flip during the World Series.

At least these 6 players I'd heard of, there were other cards in the box of guys I didn't even know (Jerry Schunk, 1991 Bowman!). 

See, it's not always about the stars, the headliners, the guys at the top.

Just like these guys filled out rosters at one point, they also filled out the box I received today.

Thank you Richard for the cards, they will not be forgotten...

thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hit Parade

[Another shout out for the what's next? tournament final.  1959 has a slim 11-10 lead right now, so every vote counts!  If you haven't voted yet, head here and make your voice heard.]

On the desk, off to the left hand side, is a long neglected pile of "hits'.  Cards I've received from other bloggers, cards I picked up at the National, etc.  Instead of showing some of those, I decided to add to the pile and take the time to show off some of the cards that I received quite a while back from the uber generous Wes from the Jaybarkerfan's Junk blog.

Anyone ever notice that the envelopes that Wes sends have anything but junk?  The one I received was overflowing with hits and serial numbered parallels.

It was really hard to take...

This 2008 Upper Deck Jersey actually had stats on the back, although the 2007 stats that B.J. Ryan incurred weren't too flattering.  Still, the jersey piece was a solid gray, which for me is still better than white.  I'd love to see card companies match the jersey in the photo with the color swatch that they use.  I guess that would be asking too much....

I panned Fleer the other night about their choice of sets to honor in their Fleer Premium brand.  I'll make up for that a bit here.   I like the International Pride jersey subset that they employed back in 2002.  I have a soft spot for cards that feature flags, however the only thing that I might have changed here is to use the Puerto Rico flag as the entire background for the card.  Still a good effort from Fleer on this card.

2006 Topps Chrome red border Troy Glaus, serial #'d 49/90.  Fantastic.   The red border really makes the card stand out.  I really don't have a whole lot of Chrome cards from that year (the decade of 00's is pretty slim in my collection), and seeing this makes me want to start chasing the red parallels from '06. 

Josh Phelps is a guy I see a lot in card packages.  Check out the arms he has on this photo.  A lot of talent at the plate makes me wonder why his career didn't last a long time.  My best guess is that he just didn't have a position to play in the field.  Josh spent most of his time in Toronto as a DH, and when he was signed by a NL club, he really didn't end up in the field a lot. 

Now that patch is old school Blue Jays!  It may say 1988 Toronto Blue Jays at the top of the card, but that logo takes any Jays fan right back to day 1 in 1977.  Get me a photo of John Mayberry or Bob Bailor back in the early 80's, and this card would have been perfect.   Even still, anything with VW as a Jay is still a cool card.

Wes, thank you so much for that envelope!!  Fantastic stuff, and truly appreciated...

thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Real Estate

[If you haven't noticed, the final week of my what's next? tournament is running now.  If you'd like to vote, please click here] 

There's hope yet.  I've actually cleaned a couple of piles of cards off of my desk.  Now the cynic in me would just say "well that's just more space to put newly acquired cards".   True as that is, my goal right now is to get this desk cleaned off. 

Tasks like that only get tougher when I receive a box of cards in the mail from the newest Blue Jay blogger in the land, Kevin from the Card Papoy.   This box was full with around 200 Jays cards for me to go through.

It would probably take me the better part of a day to scan everything to show to you, so I decided to show about a dozen cards instead that I found interesting. 

Let's start off with a card that allowed me to mark another early 80's set as COMPLETE on the Jays want list.

I don't know if anyone would consider this an error card, as I knew Mr. Petralli during his time with the Jays as "Geno" and not "Gene".  But I guess since his first name is Eugene, we'll let it slide this time.  As I crossed off the last '83 Fleer from the list, I noticed that there are a lot of 80's sets that only need one or two cards.   Hopefully when I get through the pile on my desk that is starting to grow again, I will be able to knock off some more of those sets...

Why am I showing off 5 cards from '90 Leaf?  For me, this set was one of my favorites from the early 90's.  I still remember all the hype when it came out, and the $3 a pack price tag (at least where I lived that was the price) created a lot of buzz for this product.  That hype soon died down quickly and prices dropped, but there were some rookie cards in that set that stood the test of time (Thomas, Sosa and Walker).

A couple more early 90's Upper Deck get added to my collection.  I always like the Silver Slugger inserts from the '91 UD set, and the Kelly Gruber card highlights his career season from 1990.
There should be some kind of law that outlaws baby face photos on cards.  Take for example the Shawn Green card on the right side.   Is the guy old enough to shave?  The stats line on the back only says "played high school baseball".   Ugh.  Kids.   At least UD got this right, as Green turned out to be a pretty solid player during his 15 year career.

This was an insert of Roberto Alomar that I hadn't seen in the past.   Why am I showing this off here?  Take a look at the medallion in the lower right. 

"Roberto Alomar  A.L. Top Glove"  For a set that featured a lot of gold over the years, why didn't they just say A.L. Gold Glove?   I wonder if they were restricted from putting that on the card.

I don't mind companies paying homage to past releases....Topps Heritage comes to mind right away.  But when Fleer rewound back to their late 80's sets, they probably should have used another moniker rather than Fleer Platinum.  To me, platinum means pricey or expensive looking, which is not how I would associate their late 80's releases.   Fleer Rewind maybe?

Finally, before I say goodbye, Orlando Merced wants to say goodbye.

I've shown many cards in the past depicting outfielders making leaping catches at the wall, robbing hitters of what they thought were sure homers.

This may be the only card that I know of that shows an outfielders vain attempt to retrieve a home run ball.  The only card that might be better than this?  One that shows the ball that hit Jose Canseco in the head and went over the fence.   Now I would pay to have that card!!

Now that card I would pay for....

Kevin, thank you for the great box of cards!!  They are really appreciated...

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, September 20, 2014

What's next?: The Finals (3) 1974 Topps vs (8) 1959 Topps

If you had asked me at the beginning of the tournament about the chances of these two sets making it to the final, I probably would have said that '59 has a good shot of making it, but '74 probably wouldn't be able to weed its way through the great sets of the '60s.

Well, here we are, 1974 has made it through and takes on 1959 this week.

This is the first time that I've shown the backs of both sets (which may have been a mistake on my part).  Both sets have great looking backs, with bios and cartoons to read and have fun with when I post the cards on the blog.

In the past rounds, I've had 2 or 3 sections of additional information on each set.  For the finals, I'm just going to answer one question:

Why I want 1974 Topps to win:

All along, this tournament has been about what set I would build next.  The cheapo in me would prefer 1974 because of the lower price tag, along with the fact that I own 40% of the set already.  I'm sure that player recognition would also help, as I know a lot more of the players from this set as compared to 1959.

Why I want 1959 Topps to win: 

Yes, putting the 1959 set together would be an uphill climb for me, as I only own 10 cards out of the 572 card set.  This set has one large advantage over 1974 in my opinion, it's beauty.   Yeah, you heard me say it, the 1959 Topps set is a beautiful looking set.  It's colorful, the backs are great, and even though it's going to cost me a pretty penny to build, the '59 set would probably teach me a lot about the history of the game. 

There you have it friends.   Now it's time for you to decide what set I'm going to build next.  Spread the word if you can, I'm hoping for lots of votes in the final.

Thank you for reading, Robert

Friday, September 19, 2014

Who needs the 60's anyway?

The public has spoken.   Every set from the 60's has been eliminated, as the Cinderella run of 1974 continues.  By the slimmest of margins, 1974 Topps defeated 1963 by a count of 8-7 in the 2nd semi final match, and moves on to face 1959 in the final starting tomorrow. 

Can '74 defeat one more giant and become the set that I'm going to complete next?  Only you can decide that.....

thanks for reading, and voting, Robert

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Any excuse for a post

Yes, that's right, I'll do anything to generate another post.  I spent a portion of Tuesday evening working on the Blue Jay piles on my desk, trying to get some cards onto the spreadsheet and off of the want list.

As I was going through the box of cards I received from Kevin at The Card Papoy blog, I noticed that I was creeping towards a "milestone" of sorts. 

The Blue Jays spreadsheet that I maintain has 4 tabs.  One for cards from 77-89, one for 90-99, one for 00-09, and one for 2010-now.

The 77-89 tab has been the slowest to grow over the past few months, but finally on Tuesday I hit the 1000 card mark for that time period.  What monumental card brought me to 1000 you ask?

Yes, I know it's not one of the elite Toronto players from that decade.  It's still #1000, and with the number of cards that are still available from that time period starting to dwindle, I've got to celebrate sometime, right?

Hey, it could have been worse.   I could have put NSFW in the title and made you want to look...

thank you for the cards Kevin, there's another post to come for the box you sent me!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Just in case you've forgotten

Serial numbers 199-207
Here's 5 more pages of serial numbered insanity to remind you that there are 246 cards still needed to complete the set.  The Orioles Sean McAdams was the final card needed to complete this page.  Serial contributor Max from the Starting Nine blog is the only person responsible for multiple cards on this page.

Serial numbers 415-423
It's been rare that I've been responsible for at least 4 cards on a page, but the page above is one of those occasions.  Brian from PATP comes in with a couple of contributions in this group of nine. 

Serial numbers 91-99
This page of double digit numbers leaves me with just 2 of them left to complete.  Both Max and Brian were responsible for 2 cards each on this page....

Serial numbers 379-387
Nobody was responsible for providing more than one card on this page; however there are a few retired/inactive bloggers responsible for cards on this page, so if you guys are out there still reading this, thank you again!!

Serial numbers 289-297
Finally, 3 of the 9 cards on this page came from across the big pond.  Simon from the 7 hours from Tampa Bay blog provided two of these, while Jeroen the Dutch Card Guy chipped in as well.   Greatly appreciated guys, thank you!!

I haven't even updated the spreadsheet with a new card since the end of August, one of the quietest periods I've had for this set in a long time.

I guess everyone is just giving me time to catch up on the mega piles of cards that litter my desk right now.  

Also remember, if you're looking out for serial numbers for this set, the Yankees, Mets and Angels are all completed.

thanks for reading, Robert

By the page: 1988 Score

As I went through the box of Blue Jays and came across more and more of the '88 Score version, it just seemed that there was an easy way of putting together a page for this.

By color.

It was so simple, even I could put together a page quick and easy....

Top row:  Purple

Even though 1987 was Fred McGriff's first full season in the majors, this '88 Score was released 2 years after his RC ('86 Donruss).

Middle row:  Blue

Bottom row:  Red

I bet that I could have come up with one more card to make this a row of "faces obscured" cards.  At least you can see half of Mulliniks' face...

I wonder why Score used the white box inside the border for this set, kind of looks weird huh?

This brings the total up to 211 cards out of the box now.  With the massive influx of cards that have come in lately, I'm going to have to buy a bigger box.  I just can't keep the 3 row shoe box empty.

If you haven't voted on this week's semi final match up yet, you can head here and cast your ballot.  '74 currently has a slight lead on '63....

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cards from an envelope not autographed by Tommy John

I'm sure that the few people out there who read my blog regularly are well aware of the Night Owl's meeting with Tommy John at the post office last week.  (If not, click the link to either read the post, or to refresh your memory)

I received a tweet on Friday from Greg that kind of perplexed me until I read his blog later that evening:

No worries here though.  I was just happy to be getting an envelope of cards that I had requested.  Since I started the blog Greg has come through with many great packages that have enhanced my collection.

When Greg offered everyone a chance to dig into his massive piles of Dodgers duplicates, I dove in and asked for a few cards from the 78-80 Topps set.   Greg was more than happy to oblige (at least I think he was).

13 great cards from the '78 set are now in my inventory.  It's been a long time since I've seen any players wear batting helmets without the ear flaps.  Seeing those takes me back to simpler times...

I'm 100% positive that he may have been slightly mad when he packed up this envelope, because I found a couple of Ron Cey cards inside.   My best guess is that they were probably octuples, because there's no way that the top drawer versions of Mr. Cey would find their way here to my house.

A total of 21 1980 Topps cards found their way here as well.  It was pretty cool to look through all the cards and see some of the great names that played for the Dodgers in that era. 

The primary reason that I asked for these cards is that I intend to build these 3 sets over time.  I figured if I could get some cards on the cheap to get me started, why not?  Hopefully, I put a dent in the massive Dodger doubles inventory that Greg possesses. 

I guess it's time to start adding a few more checklists to the spreadsheet. 

Only 2127 cards left to finish these 3 sets...

Thank you for the cards Greg, they really are appreciated!! 

thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Trading for some people is as easy as ACB

It's great when new card blogs start up.   It gives us a fresh new perspective on what we love to do, drown ourselves in cardboard images of overpaid (modern) or underpaid (vintage) athletes. 

Naturally, when anyone new comes aboard, you are provided another opportunity to begin another trading relationship.  I was afforded this opportunity by Julie at the newly minted A Cracked Bat: Baseball Cards and a Hot Dog blog.

Julie offered up a bunch of Blue Jays cards for the promise of the return of some Tigers her way in the (hopefully) not too distant future, and of course I can't resist that kind of deal.  When I received an envelope earlier this week with the return name of A.C.B. in the upper left corner, the fog rolled into my brain and I wondered who was sending me an envelope.  Once I realized the initials stood for A Cracked Bat, the fog lifted and I began to dig through the goodies.

A lot of cards were in the envelope, putting a dent into some of my want lists.   It would take me a long time to scan them all, much less go through them in any kind of detail, so I decided her envelope would get the 5-4-3-2-1 treatment.

I wasn't sure if I had any '94 Donruss Triple Play in the Jays collection, so I had to refer to the spreadsheet to see if there were any (I had 2).  I like the idea of the name being transparent to allow a little more of the photo to come through.  There were 7 of these in the envelope, reducing the want list for this set down to a couple.

I decided to throw 4 pitchers on the same scan for the '94 Pinnacle cards.  There were quite a few of these inside, 15 to be exact. Once I update the want list for this set, there should only be one or two cards left.   I saw the Paul Spoljaric card, and decided to take a look at his stats.  Paul didn't have a spectacular career, only 6 years in the bigs, finishing his career in 2000 with Kansas City.  It's always great to take a quick look at a Canadian who made the bigs and played for a Canadian team.   Paul's career was likely cut short because of his control, 5.3 walks per 9 innings makes it difficult to stay on a roster.

I had to take a look to see if I had any of these '95 SP Championship Series cards in my collection.  I didn't, so these are new to me as well.  I like these cards; without the standard SP logo cutting off a portion of the card, the photos are that much better.  I would say I prefer these over any of the other SP releases (except for maybe 1993).

'98 Leaf Rookies & Stars.   Again, similar to the '94 Triple Play above, the bottom stripe is see through so you can see all of the picture.  I'm slowing working my way towards a Jose Canseco page to show off, not bad considering he only spent one season north of the border.

Man, I missed a lot of fun stuff when I stopped collecting in the 90's.  I had to do a little research when I saw this to see where it came from.   Upper Deck created fun packs in 1994 and these scratch off games were in them.  I even found a Blue Jays scratch off card on eBay, PSA graded no less!!  I even like that the order of the players on the card resembles an actual Jays lineup from that year.

A great envelope indeed, thank you very much Julie for the cards, they really are appreciated!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, September 13, 2014

What's next? Semi-final #2: (7) 1963 Topps vs (3) 1974 Topps

How they got this far:

1963 defeated 1972 and 1960 Topps, gaining 12 votes in both rounds.
1974 defeated 1961 with 16 votes, and then 1969 with 15 votes.

To sum up the first two rounds:

I'm not surprised to see that '63 made it this far.  It is a colorful set and a favorite of mine.  '63 had a tougher road to get to the semi-finals, defeating two very good releases in both '72 & '60.  If it wins the tournament I believe that I would enjoy putting it together, as it will make a nice contrast to the much more plain '64 set that I am coming closer to completing. 

If there is one set that I didn't think would make it this far, it certainly would have to be the '74 set.  I would have to say that the luck of the draw helped '74 in the tourney, as '61 and '69 Topps aren't particular favorites of a lot of collectors (although the back of the '69 Topps cards are arguably my favorite of the '60s sets...).  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying '74 is a bad set, in my opinion it just doesn't compare to a lot of the '60s sets that were eliminated earlier. 

What I think will happen in this round: 

I am predicting that the final will have a pair of sets that have circles on the front, as I believe that '63 will move on to the final, and end the surprising run of '74 Topps. 

Is everyone going to prove me wrong two weeks in a row?  Will '74 Topps pull off another win and advance to the finals?

You tell me.   Voting starts.....................


thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, September 12, 2014

The first finalist is in place

By a count of 11-5, '59 Topps becomes one of the finalists.  This week was the lowest total number of votes in the tournament so far, and that's likely because of the time off in between matches.

No matter.  Tomorrow the tourney moves on to the 2nd semi-final, with 1963 Topps facing off against 1974 Topps.   Let's see if I can be successful in picking the losing set again this week, since I did a great job saying that '67 was going to defeat '59.

thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

By the page: 2013 Topps Wal Mart blue parallel

Yes, even with that mini marathon of by the page posts a week ago Sunday, I still have quite a few cards on the desk that need to be placed into pages and shown off.

This is the first time that I've put a parallel set up on one of these posts.  I'd love to be able to do this for some of the other colors that Topps has delved into over the past few seasons, alas the well has seemed to dry up on these.  I may have to start chasing some of these on my own I guess...

Top row:  Gone!

It's kind of surprising that I could put a row together of 3 players that are already no longer with the club.  Well, considering the way teams change players in the majors now, I guess this isn't as surprising as I first thought.

Middle row:  left, right, left

Both Perez and Lyon could fit into the "looking for a job" role right now, as both are unsigned free agents.  It'll be interesting to see if the Jays pick up the $6.7M option on J.A. Happ after the season.  His ERA has improved slightly each of the 3 seasons he's been in Toronto, and his 9 wins are the 3rd highest season total of his career.

Bottom row:  more of the throwing position

Barring any more injuries, these three guys are the exact opposite of the top row.  They should all be on the roster for the 2015 season.

The Rajai Davis card may be the best Blue Jay card of this decade to date.  I don't remember anything else that comes close to it.  I'm up to 202 cards out of the box.   Still a lot more to go...

thanks for reading, Robert