Friday, May 22, 2015

A great way to start the long weekend

A while back the Night Owl commented on one of my infrequent posts that he was "scraping together" an envelope to send my way.  It arrived today, and I'll say that I don't think scraping together was the right phrase.

Except maybe for the first two cards.

I'm sure that these two cards couldn't leave his house fast enough.  Maybe not the prettiest set in the world, but these two Donruss cards are welcome additions to the Jays collection.

Yes, 2014 Topps series 2 still has a want list on my blog.  It's down to 4 cards now thanks to this trio that found its way into the envelope.  Have to do something about this want list, and soon.

A lot of envelopes that have arrived lately have allowed me to mark certain Blue Jays team sets as COMPLETE.   The Damaso Garcia in the middle from the '82 Donruss set makes the want list that much smaller.  The '91 Classic card on the left of Ernesto Rodriguez is as obscure as you're going to get as far as my Blue Jays collection.  2 years in the Jays system, 91 & 92, never made it past A ball.   That's it. 

I think that there should be a law written in the blog world that if you mention the Night Owl at all in a post, mini cards must be included somewhere in the post.

The Rasmus is an A&G back from the '13 A&G set.  The Halladay on the right is the mini black parallel.

Now that I've mentioned the minis, I can get to the grand finale,  a '64 Topps high number...

A holy shit moment to start the weekend.  Card #543 in the set, and something that I've seen at shows a few times, but found the card to be overpriced each and every time.

Now I don't have to worry about the price, because he's mine!!!  The Uecker cards brings me down to 61 cards remaining to complete the '64T set. 

The answer to the note inside the envelope is "no, and I don't have to anymore".

Thank you for the envelope Greg, great as always and very much appreciated!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, May 16, 2015

I wish I had more time

With only about 2 hours to spend at the show last night, I didn't have the time to go through all the tables as thoroughly as I would have liked.  With the sea of vintage that was at the show, I could have had a field day with more time, and money....

But in the end, I didn't fare too badly. 

'68T wasn't high on my priority list yesterday, but the first table I hit had these for a $1 apiece. 

I will admit that I didn't look long and hard for the 2014/2015 Topps needs on my list, but I only saw 1 table that had a decent display of modern cards.  What's worse, I only found 5 of the 8 cards I needed to finish the 2015 set, and didn't find any 2014's.  I guess it's time for Sportlots to finish the job.

At that same table, the dealer had a large amount of GQ on display as well, including a box of inserts and a box of minis.   When I saw "The Queens Throwbacks" cards that you see here, I was impressed.  If I had to complete one insert set this year, this would be it.  At a quarter apiece, I couldn't resist picking up a few of these. 

I did also pick up a few jersey cards here and there, but they are for other bloggers, so I'll keep them a surprise until they get sent out.

The main focus wound up being the '64 Topps set yesterday.  I knocked a dozen cards off of that want list, which was more than I expected.

I don't think I've ever seen the '64 Yankees team card before yesterday.   I knew that it was expensive, so when I saw this copy for $7, I snapped it up quickly.  The Pirates team card here in western PA is usually overpriced, so when I saw it priced at $3, I didn't think twice and added that to the pile.

An unmarked 7th series checklist and a Casey Stengel card for $2 apiece.  Easy pickins.

I found the Glen Hobbie and the Phillies Rookie Stars card at the first table for a $1 apiece, too bad I couldn't find any more high numbers at that price!!  The other 4 cards were $2 each.  For high numbers, I was happy to find them so cheap.

I listened to a lot of Tony Kubek in the early years of Blue Jays telecasts, and now I finally own one of his cards.  I picked up this copy for $5.

I spent a fair bit of time hunting for the 2 Yaz cards that I wanted ('64 and '73).  I didn't see any of the '73s, but this beauty came home with me for just $15. 

I'm down to just 62 cards to finish the '64 set, a very attainable number in my mind.  My goal is to finish this set by the end of 2015, but in order to do so, I will likely have to hit one more big show in order to find some good deals on the cards that I still need.

I'm guessing a trip to Chicago just might be in order...

thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Just a sampling of some things I'll be looking for tomorrow

I'm fortunate enough to be close to one of the bigger card shows in western PA this weekend.   The Robert Morris show is held each year in May and usually features a quality list of autograph signers.  Even better, I work less than a 15 minute drive from the main campus of Robert Morris University, so I'll be peeling out tomorrow at 4:30 and headed off to some cardboard fun!

For me, it'll be a chance to try and finish off a couple of sets, and continue working towards the completion of some others.

2015 Topps is a mere heartbeat away from completion, as I just need 8 cards to finish the set. 

Even closer to the finish line is 2014 Topps series 2, as I only need 7 cards to put this set to bed.  As I was writing this post, I had to take a closer look at the Wandy Rodriguez card.  Notice the player in the background.  It's none other than A.J. Burnett, who spent the 2014 season in Philadelphia.  Great photo, even if it was from some time in 2013.

Remember these?  Serial numbered parallels?  A little project known as SNI?  Well, Santiago Casilla here is serial # 1200, and brings the set up to 1381/1500.  I'm hoping to find a dealer at the show that may have a nice block of 2014 or 2015 golds so I can knock a few more off the want list.   If I can get the list below 100, that would be fantastic...

Just in case you're wondering, the cards above were part of a package sent to me by Jerold, better known in the blogosphere as Jafronius.  Thank you for the envelope Jerold, the cards are really appreciated!!

I'll also have my PC checklists handy, along with a vintage list to go through.  I'm hoping to accomplish a few things, such as:

  • Find both the '64 and '73 Yastrzemski cards as cheap as possible
  • Knock as many cards off of the '73 want list as possible
  • Try and pickup at least 5 other cards from the '64 want list
  • Pick up as much trade bait as I possibly can

I've also got a time constraint as well, since I'm limited to about 2 hours at the show because the wife and I have friends in for the weekend.   That will make it tough, but I'm thinking that the time crunch might make me focus more and stick to the plan.

I'll let you know how it goes...

thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I heard him, but I just didn't listen

Fellow Blue Jays collector Richard from the Toronto Blue Jays Collection blog wrote not too long ago about purging some of his collection, especially to other Blue Jays collectors.

I'm guessing that I was one of the ones he had in mind, because I received a great envelope of Blue Jays cards that had me writing the word "COMPLETE" on the Jays want list a few times.

Case in point:

1985 Fleer (Upshaw in the lower right) and Fleer Update (the rest) are no longer needed.

One card want lists also went by the wayside as well.  1994 Bowman, '91 Fleer Update and '81 Fleer were also victims of this random act of generosity.

You say you want to see a bigger checklist go down?  Sure thing, how about '93 Fleer?

I didn't bother scanning the 19th card, which was a Jack Morris league leaders card.   That '93 Fleer list, is no more.

Richard didn't finish '92 Bowman, but he did send me a bakers dozen from that set, including some forgotten names like Howard Battle, Jose Pett and Aaron Small. 

12 cards were also removed from the '91 Bowman list, including some high fashion shots featuring Doug Linton, Nigel Wilson, Howard Battle and Felipe Crespo.  At least the Crespo picture had something baseball related, instead of Wilson's shot of him holding up a stone arch. 

Finally, Richard sent me the entire 1988 Fire Safety cards, 36 in all:

These are approximately 4" x 6", and feature some good photography.  What I like about them is that they were all photographed at Exhibition Stadium, featuring the Jays in their home whites.  The backs all have fire safety tips, as well as the player's bio. 

These were all great, and quite unexpected.   Thank you very much Richard, the envelope is greatly appreciated!  (I'll keep my eye out for Joe Carter cards for you)

thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Lucky Seven

One of the 4 great envelopes that came in recently was from Doug at the Sportscards from the Dollar Store blog.   Doug emailed me not too long before the Spring Expo in Toronto asking me if I was going to be able to make the trip.  Sadly, I couldn't make it this time around, so Doug was kind enough to knock a few cards off of a couple of PC want lists while he was at the show. 

I needed all 4 of these Joe Sakic cards, and I was especially grateful to see the top two cards.  The top left card is the 2015 National Hockey Card day release from UD that was available in Canada.  The top right card is from a redemption pack that Panini released back in 2011-12.  I had never seen a Panini Select card, much less owned one until the 2013-14 Sakic version landed on my doorstep.  Finally, a card that I thought I owned already, the 06-07 Fleer Total 'O' insert rounds out the envelope.

Great stuff.

Doug also knocked off a couple of Brett Lawrie cards from the Top 30 most wanted list.  The two Gypsy Queen cards become #'s 3 and 4 off of the list, which has been updated (finally).

The 2013 Pinnacle was also something I needed, but taking a look at it made me wonder.  I know Panini doesn't have a license to show team logos, that I get.   Couldn't they at least show Lawrie's name on the back of the jersey?  Even while typing that last sentence, I also noticed that the number 13 isn't the standard numbering style (see the GQ card on the right).  Does the license/lack of license also restrict Panini from using names & styles specific to the team as well?

None the less, the cards are great, and I'm lucky to have these 7 in my collection now.

Thank you Doug, these cards are really appreciated!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, May 11, 2015

I don't even have to think this week

Maybe getting a few trade posts out for everyone in the blogosphere will break me out of the writing funk that I've demonstrated during 2015.  With all these envelopes coming in, I don't even have to think about a particular subject to write about.  These posts just sort of write themselves.

I've been fortunate to receive 4 bubble mailers since Saturday, each person demonstrating their own version of generosity.  All 4 versions were great, btw.

I decided to start with some vintage that was sent to me by the generosity of CommishBob, who has recently started writing about the 1960 Topps set in Horizontal Heroes.  It's only 6 posts in, but I'm looking forward to following it from start to finish.

Bob was kind enough to send me 10 cards from the '62 Topps set, one that I really like but will probably take me quite a long time to build.

You can see from the 9 cards in this scan the biggest problem that the '62 set has, the borders.  I like the wood grain look, but the centering is really all over the place.

The Billy Gardner card is probably the nicest card of the bunch, and with Yankee cards usually carrying a premium price, I am thankful that this card was generously sent my way by Bob.

I still have a very long way to go to complete the '62 set.   I'm at 180 cards now, not bad considering I've really taken my time picking up cards for this particular build.  It is definitely one of the projects that I plan to complete some day, it's just a matter of prioritizing it against all the other sets I am currently working on.

Bob, thank you so much for the cards!!  They are really appreciated!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, May 10, 2015

'59 Topps set build #17/572 Neil Chrisley

Neil's major league career was very short, only 5 seasons between 1957-1961.  More often than not, when players have that short a big league career, their minor league stats are quite extensive.  I found out that Chrisley played 2 seasons in my hometown as a member of the International League Toronto Maple Leafs.  Even more interesting was when I learned that the 2nd baseman for that team in 1962 & 1963 was "captain hook" himself, Sparky Anderson.

Card # 189:  Neil Chrisley

This card is in great shape, the centering isn't too bad and no creases or corner dings.

The back is also in really good shape, no real issues to speak of.  The cartoon kind of speaks to Neil's career, as the highlights unfortunately were made during his minor league playing days.  None the less, anytime a ball player hits 40 doubles in any season, that's quite an achievement.

How'd he fare in 1959?  Neil only appeared in 65 games for the Detroit Tigers in 1959, hitting a very modest .132 with 6 HRs and 11 RBI.  His limited playing time was largely due to the great outfield that the Tigers trotted out there everyday, namely Al Kaline in center (.327/27/94), Harvey Kuenn in right (.353/9/71) and Charlie Maxwell in left (.251/31/95).

  • His first hit in 1959 was a double on April 24th.  He didn't get another hit until July 1st, a homer.  His next two hits would also be HRs, and then his 5th hit would be a double.   
  • 9 of Neil's 14 hits during the '59 season were for extra bases.
  • Johnny Kucks would be the only pitcher to serve up more than one HR to Chrisley during his career; Chrisley hit 2 in the same game off of him in 1960, then hit a 3rd HR two weeks later.
  • Neil was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the 1960 expansion draft, but was returned back to the Tigers the same day.
  • His final big league season in 1961 with the Milwaukee Braves would see him only appear as a pinch hitter.  2 for 9 with a walk were his totals.  He never took the field for the Braves in '61.
Even though Chrisley didn't appear in the majors after '61, he had a card in the '62 Topps set (#308), depicting him as a member of the NY Mets.  He didn't appear for the Mets in '62 during the season, as he was returned back to the Braves at the beginning of April.  He would play in the minors until retiring after the 1964 season.    

Neil passed away at the age of 81 in 2013.

thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Maybe a bit of boredom has set in

I really haven't written a lot lately.  To be honest, I haven't been in the mood to write.  Naturally, I'm compelled to ensure that the blogosphere is aware that someone has generously sent me some Blue Jays or other various want list staples.  It's the right thing to do.

Card show scores have also been a writing staple over the past few months.  Vintage this and vintage that.  Those of you that follow me regularly know the increased love I've shown for anything old over the past couple of years.

However, it's not all about the vintage in my mind.  I'd like to dabble in more modern sets as well.  2015 Topps base is an absolute must finish this year.  But there's nothing else that really makes me jump out and want to run to the store.

Opening Day has never been something that I want to chase.  One version of the base set is enough.

Gypsy Queen is OK, but each time I go to grab it on the shelf, I think to myself that my $$ can be better spent on something that's more interesting. 

So, to pass some time until Series 2 comes out, I've dabbled here and there with Heritage.  Even after saying that I'd pass on it a few weeks ago, the boredom that has set in to my collecting lately has pushed me towards this year's Heritage release.

Poor scan, there is no damage to either of these cards...

My gain is also Tony L.'s gain, if he's so inclined...

The two scans above highlight the best cards from the 2 rack packs I bought on the weekend. 

What worries me about 2015 Heritage and my somewhat increasing desire to chase the set can be summed up in 3 quick bullet points.

  1. I still haven't finished 2011 Heritage yet.  I've needed 28 SPs for the better part of the past 18 months.
  2. 2 years ago, I passed on completing the entire homage to '64 Topps, opting instead to just pick up cards 1-425.  How can I consider completing this year's set when I couldn't even chase the set that pays tribute to the vintage set I've slaved over for 3+ years now.
  3. I didn't even bother with last years Heritage set, the '65 set being far superior in design.  Some kind of sense has to prevail.
There are times where I need to sit down and write posts like these, to help talk myself out of building sets such as 2015 Heritage.

It's not that 2015 Heritage is bad.   It's just that I don't need to collect it. 

LOL, not yet anyways....

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Half price you say? Well why not...

This weekend was the last monthly card show at the nearby mall until school starts up in September.   I usually only hit a couple of tables when I go, and today was no different.   After I bought a few bucks worth of cards from the first table (trade fodder), I stopped at my vintage table.   Ray didn't hesitate to tell me that his bargain stacks on the far right hand side of his table were 50% off, since he was looking to clear out some inventory before the summer began.

Had my budget been a lot larger, this post might have gone on for quite some time.  But since that isn't the case, I have just a half dozen half off cards that I want to show off.  I believe that these six are worth a bit of your time.

Let's start with a couple of 67's

Chatham, Ontario's Fergie Jenkins was one of the first cards I spotted.  For $1.50, this was an easy pickup.  The '67 Topps set isn't one that I've started getting serious about yet (I only had 86 cards before today), but if I can keep finding deals on cards like this one and the next one I'm going to show off, I may have to pick up the pace a little.

More and more I am enjoying the player combo cards from the late 50's and 60's, and this card is no exception.  Anytime you can find a card in nice condition featuring 2 Hall of Famers for $4, you just have to say yes.  (Cue the Daniel Bryan chant....)

I really didn't have any intention of picking up some expensive '59 Topps cards today, but these 4 1/2 price cards certainly didn't hurt the wallet...

An unmarked checklist for $2.  You betcha!!

A rookie card featuring one third of one of the most famous sets of brothers to ever play the game for $4.   Thank you very much!!

An off center card of Mr. Cub for $5?  You better believe I couldn't resist.  My sets don't have to be perfect, that takes up too much time, and money.   This is just fine and dandy for me.

Dinged?  Bottom right corner is a bit of a mess, yes indeed.  Top right corner, yea that is a bit of a soft spot as well.  But when you see a '59 Topps card that "books" for $100 or more on a table, and the asking price is $6, you're a fool if you don't grab it.  My mama didn't raise any fools. 

For a little over $20, I added 6 pieces to my collection today that I am very happy with.  Vintage can be found even if you're on a tight budget.   Although it's probably a little easier for me than some other collectors, because I'm not quite as condition sensitive when it comes to putting sets together.

Now if I could only find the '59 Mantle at these prices...

thanks for reading, Robert