Monday, November 30, 2015

Onwards and Upwards

The Black Friday weekend was a productive one for me, collection wise.   I took some time and money to make some purchases on both COMC and eBay.  Not only did I knock off some more base cards for my 3 player PC's, I grabbed a few cards off of a couple of vintage want lists.

Not only did I buy cards, but I actually took some time to think about the "final five".  My final five are the last 5 vintage sets that I will actively pursue in the near future.  Before I talk briefly about those sets, let me confirm that those 5 sets will not feature sets that I'm close to finishing, such as....

1964 Topps.  This is my baby, the original vintage set that I've spent the most time working on.  Going into the holiday weekend I was 60 cards away from completion, a number that was reduced with a couple of eBay purchases that feature some stars and some high numbered cards.  I'm already anticipating their arrival.

Another set that I'm close to completing is this classic...

1973 Topps.  Coming into the weekend, I was 16 cards away from completion (not including upgrades).  That number was cut in half during the holiday, and of the 8 cards that remain, only the Schmidt/Cey RC would be considered pricey.  The hunt will be on this weekend at the card show to find a decent copy at a decent price.

Finally, the 3rd set that I'm not including in the final five is the one that the blogosphere mandated I complete...1959 Topps

I also took some time during the weekend to get the '59 cards I own into a binder.  That little exercise made me realize that this is a wonderful looking set, and picking up the remaining 60% will be very enjoyable. 

Two of the final five sets have been on my want list for quite a while, so they aren't a mystery.  Two others are sets I really like from the 60's.  The fifth set is where I'm stuck; I have a couple of starter sets, but neither really jump out at me.  I'm hoping that a trip to the monthly card show on Friday will inspire me to find the final piece of the puzzle.

I'm sure that some card at the vintage table will pop out at me and say "this is the set".  Once that happens, it'll be onwards and upwards.  I'm hoping it does.....

thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, November 27, 2015

Building A&G is helping me get back into the swing of things

Even though I was late to the party, starting to build this years Allen & Ginter set has got me into the swing of things as far as trading.

My regular readers know that I have never been a big fan of inserts, and I usually will scour the blogosphere looking for people that do enjoy putting insert sets together.  A&G has always had a large following, and there are plenty out there who collect most, if not all of insert sets that it contains.

One of those so inclined is a trading partner from the past that I am ashamed to say is someone that I hadn't contacted in a long time for a trade.   That would be Colbey from the Cardboard Collections blog.  I had quite a few inserts that he was looking for, along with some of the base set, and he was able to knock off a nice chunk of my base set and Starting Points want lists.

What I just noticed, which is very surprising, is the 22 cards from the base set that Colbey sent consist of 21 baseball players.  A&G is famous for the entertainment/other sport personalities that take up a decent part of the set.  Guess I was just lucky in this case to be able to show off a great lot of baseball players.

The Night Owl had already sent his envelope by the time I had completed my trade with Colbey, so I wound up with a couple of duplicate Starting Points cards.  No matter, I still knocked off 16 cards from that want list.  The one card from this lot of 16 that hit home for me was the Starling Marte card.   His starting point in 2012 was a HR on the first pitch he saw as a big leaguer against the Astros.  I remember watching that game on TV up in Pennsylvania, and the hype surrounding the Marte call up was quite heavy.  I remember Tim Neverett's call of the HR, which was hit off of 2015 AL Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel.  Another card that was interesting (for me) was the Pablo Sandoval card.  I did not remember that his first game in the majors was played behind the plate.  I could only ever remember him as a 3rd baseman, so reading that was great for me.

Colbey, thank you very much for the trade, it really is appreciated!!  We shouldn't go so long between trades in the future.

thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A little here, a little there

Was I so desperate for posts that I broke up an envelope of about 20 cards over 3 days?  Absolutely.

It's great though that Greg's envelope hit a lot of different lists.  The final post consists of cards that hit 3 sets and one of my PC's.  First, this years A&G receives a dent with these 5 cards coming off of the 2 lists.

The Evan Gattis may or may not be short printed, depending on who or what you believe.  The 4 starting points cards bring the total I have to over 1/3 of the 100 card set.  Sometime soon I'll be receiving another envelope full of A&G cards from another recently completed trade, which will knock both of those want lists down even more. 

Most of the envelopes that Greg and I have sent back and forth have contained at least one vintage card, if not more.   This time, 2 of the vintage sets on my want list were reduced by one card each.

I had no idea that Maury Wills played for the Pirates.  I learned today that he spent the '67 and '68 seasons in Pittsburgh, hitting a combined .290 over the 2 seasons and stealing 81 bases.  After his 2 years in Pittsburgh he was part of the Montreal Expos original roster, as he was selected 21st in the expansion draft by the Expos in 1968. 

Another card from the '59 set is off the books.  The condition of the Frank Malzone card is right up my alley, corners are nice and soft and rounded, and there's a crease in the lower left hand corner, right through the Red Sox logo.  I have 231 of the 572 cards now towards the '59 set.  I'm a lot farther along than I ever thought I would be with this set.

Seeing the '68 and '59 cards made me think some more about the vintage collection that I've been building over the past few years.   I've decided to really concentrate on a handful of sets once I finish of the '64 and '73 sets that I've been putting together.   I'm going to go over the 5 sets that I really want to finish over a few posts coming soon.

Lastly, the highlight of the envelope  for me was a Brett Lawrie card, #'d out of 99.

This 2011 Bowman Chrome card is easily the rarest card of my burgeoning Brett Lawrie PC. 

Working through the Thome and Sakic cards that I've purchased over the past few months really has made me want to work on my player PCs more.  In order to do this, I really would like to finish some of the sets that I've been working on for a long time so I have less on my plate.

I have varying portions of most of the '60s and '70s sets up to and including 1976.  I'm probably going to take the cards from the sets that I don't plan to build and use them in trades or sell them off to concentrate more on the final 5 vintage sets that I've decided on.   

Recently, I've purchased a few '73s on COMC, and over the holiday weekend I'll try and find a few more in order to get closer to finishing.  The '64 set will be next; now that I'm down to just 60 cards to go, I'll start knocking those off one by one.

Not only did this envelope help me whittle down  some want lists, it helped me prioritize what I want to do with my collection in the near future.  

Greg, thank you for the cards, they are greatly appreciated!! 

thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It's always nice to get a little boost from the master

I'm sure that over the time that I've been blogging that the number of packages that Greg from the Night Owl Cards blog and I have sent back and forth to each other has to be in the double digits.  I can count on at least 2-3 a year from him, and it's always quality and quantity in combination.

Today's post features the Blue Jays portion of the envelope, which was about 60% of the cards he sent.  Greg always manages to send me something Blue Jays related that I haven't seen or heard of before.

Case in point, here's a '93 Donruss card of Blue Jays lefty Bob MacDonald

I thought to myself as I looked at the '93 Donruss portion of the want list "I already have the complete team set for this".  Then I looked again.  Look above the Jays logo.   This is from the '93 Donruss commemorative set to celebrate the '92 Jays World Series championship!!  Never have I seen these, until now.  Fantastic.

Over the past couple of decades, my thoughts when you said "SP Authentic" always focused on hockey.  Upper Deck always did a great job with the SP Authentic set, creating a great chase by numbering the rookies to 1999.  This 2002 Mike Smith card may be the first SPA card that I have that features a serial #'d  Jays rookie.  I had no idea that Mike actually pitched for the Jays (2002).

The top 2 I already have.   The Seaver/Halladay card, I'm not so sure about.   I'll be getting my computer (and the remainder of my Jays collection) down here in about 2-3 weeks, so I'll check then and see.

Greg also sent me gold:

I'll have to figure out why I don't have a checklist for the '93 Topps gold parallels, I'm sure I don't have them all.   The Thames and McDonald were both knocked off the '11 Update gold parallel list.

There were a couple of cognac parallels in the mix:

The cognac effect really scanned well here, especially with John Buck card, which features one of my all time favorite catchers masks.

And finally the 2011 Blue Jays retrospective wouldn't be complete without a diamond parallel, right?

Another scan that turned out really well.  The Davis is #'d 56/60 and is a great addition to the Jays PC.

Not only did the cards give my collection a boost, but I noticed that my page hits yesterday took quite a boost.   No, it wasn't the bi-annual bot parade to my blog, Greg also posted about the cards I sent him yesterday.  Yes, I do consider NOC the master when it comes to card blogging, because it's true.  He's the reason I started this blog, and it will be a sad day for me if he ever leaves the blogosphere.

Part 3 comes tomorrow...some older, some newer, and a very nice addition to the Lawrie PC.

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, November 23, 2015

Now this is pretty cool

Over my time as a blogger, I've seen quite a few unique items that people have added to their collections.  I can't say that I've ever seen one of these. 

It's from the 2000 National, which was held in Anaheim that year.  I'm guessing that this was a VIP reward from Fleer, and lucky me it's a Jim Thome Fleer Tradition card, which made its way into my hands today courtesy of Greg of the great Night Owl Cards blog. 

Now that I'm a little more comfortable here in my new home, I got around to sending out a trio of envelopes over the past 10 days, including a few cards that headed Greg's way.   In return I got this and quite a few other cards that will hit a few want lists (always a great thing).

I debated whether I should open this plastic container and get the card out (I'm a very hands on person when it comes to cards), but I decided against it.  It's survived 15 years so far, so who am I to end such a good run?  I'll find a single pocket page at the next card show and place this in the Thome binder for eternity.

Naturally this wasn't the only card in the envelope, but I've decided to save the rest for another post or 2.

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, November 16, 2015

A pocket full of cards for a Posey

I was fortunate enough on my days off last week to receive an email from Jim, also known around the blogosphere as "Mr. Haverkamp".  Jim was interested in making a trade for the Buster Posey A&G relic card that I posted about last week.

Jim and I hammered out a quick trade (actually he made an offer I couldn't say no to), and today I received my first package down here in the south.  Between his envelope and the one I sent to the Night Owl last week, it was nice to get the first two envelopes on their way from my new location.   It was good just to find a couple of post offices!

Jim managed to hit a few different portions of my want list, starting with a page worth of Starting Points from this year's A&G.

These 9 cards bring me to just a hair under 1/3 of the 100 card set; 32 of these are off of the list.

Next up was a few Blue Jays to add to the collection:

It was hard to believe that it's been 4.5 months since I removed any Blue Jays from the want list, but it makes sense since I really have put this portion of my collection on the back burner until I get all my cards down to the new home.  By the way, the top row of cards aren't that off center, my scanning skills just weren't up to par on this effort.

I was also surprised that I didn't have the '87 Fleer Update card of Fred McGriff.  Glad I have it now, because that is another set that becomes part of the list of completed sets.  One day I will have to get around to updating the 2015 sets.

A trio of '59s were also part of the envelope, bringing the amount that I have now over 40%.   Still a long way to go to complete this classic set, but I'm still well ahead of where I thought I'd be. 

Finally, Jim added a Ron Fairly card from the '64  Topps set.  It had been quite a while since I featured a '64 card on the blog, so this was a welcome sight.   Doesn't matter that it's off center and the corners are soft, it's still a welcome sight for this collector's sore eyes.  The '64 set is finally down to 60 cards to go.  Maybe a card or 2 is in line before Christmas comes (39 days away...yikes!!).

All in all, a great package for my first deal with Jim.   Thank you for the cards Jim, they are greatly appreciated!!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A fine A&G blaster if I do say so

I'm off for a few days, so the better part of my midday today was spent running some errands.  One of those errands was to return an item to Wal Mart that would net me $40 of fun money.

Naturally, cards came to mind with said fun money.  With UD Series 1 hockey still a pipe dream down here in the south, I turned to an A&G blaster to continue my quest for the set.

I did OK with this particular blaster...I knocked off 3 of the Starting Points inserts from my want list

I was also able to shave 18 cards off of my base set want list...still a long way to go there, but it's improving.

I pulled a jersey card of Buster Posey that is available to the masses (Update: Mr. Haverkamp has already claimed the Posey jersey card).

And this final pull told me that I need to be careful when dismissing the minis.   Case in point, card # 163 of Zach Lowe, sportswriter.

Thought nothing of it at first, then I just happened to flip it over to see if it was an A&G back (of which I have quite the growing pile), and I saw something that I hadn't seen yet...

A hand numbered A&G flag back card!!  #'d 10/25. (UPDATE:  This card has also been claimed)  Not a bad pull for a guy who doesn't get to enjoy very many limited # pulls out of retail packs.  I figure I'll wait a few days and see if there's anyone out there in the blogosphere that is interested in the card, then if I don't hear anything I'll put it on eBay.

Maybe I need to have a few more days off

thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Someone from the American League had to win

Wilson sporting goods released their defensive players of the year list today, and the majority of the players were National League members.   The one exception was a 32nd round pick in the 2011 draft, and as little as 3 years ago spent the entire season in A and high A ball.

Who is he you ask?

The lone AL player was none other than the Blue Jays CF, Kevin Pillar.  Although it was his bat that caused him to rise through the Jays minor league system rapidly (hitting above .300 at 4 different levels, then .299 in AAA Buffalo before his call up in 2003), it was his glove that earned him an every day spot in the Jays outfield this year.  The outfield spots not covered by Jose Bautista over the past few years in Toronto have been a bit of a revolving door, but it looks as if the center field spot is now Kevin's to lose.

I found this Topps Pro Debut card from 2013, serial numbered 42 out of 50, and thought that a gold card would be appropriate for an award similar to a gold glove.

Congratulations Kevin on the award!

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, November 9, 2015

The haul was small--quantity wise

The remainder of the cards that I'm going to show from the card show is quite small, only 8 in total.  To start off, in the same hockey pile that housed the Jacques Plante card from Saturday's post was this card...

I love the Parkhurst hockey sets from the 50's and 60's, and even though the card features a Montreal player, I think it looks great.  The front is in great condition, and the back doesn't look too bad as well, even with the large stain.

$4 took this card home.  Every once in a while when I see hockey cards from this era, I just have to have them.   This Wayne Conolly card is a good example.

One thing I love about card shows and buying off of dealers that you've bought off of in the past is that they are more willing (usually) to give you discounts.  The pile of cards that I had for purchase totaled $45, and when adding them up, the dealer stopped at $40.   Sweet.  For me, that $5 landed me this card...

Another vintage card in great shape.  Getting the Gaylord Perry for free was in my eyes a great bonus.  This was the only '68 I picked up yesterday, and now I'm just 6 cards shy of 200 towards the set.  No hurry here.

Finally, the '59s were represented, with a half dozen coming home with me, including a Ron Fairly RC

The '59 set is coming along nicely.  These 6 cards bring the total I own to 227, or just under 40% of the set. 

What I really like about this dealer is the condition of his cards.  The cards have been in great shape, usually around EX condition.  This is tremendous for me, even though I'm not as picky as a lot of other people when it comes to the condition of vintage cards.  You could say that although the quantity of the cards I picked up this month was small, the quality was solid. 

LOL..don't get used to it

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, November 7, 2015

You know when you see that one card at a show that you just have to have no matter what.

So far, the South Florida show is becoming like the old mall show I frequented in western PA.   I'm only hitting a couple of tables, and buying off of just one.  

But unlike the guy I frequented up north, this dealer in the south has hockey.  Go figure.   While going through his loose cards in the hockey "piles", I came across this card that I've had my eye on for a while on eBay and COMC, but just hadn't pulled the trigger.

But for $15, I bit on this card.   It's one of the greatest goalie of all time (in my opinion), and he's in a Leafs sweater...

I love the 71-72 OPC set, and I've always wanted to own a card of the great Jacques Plante.  The cards from the 50's and 60's are a little more pricey, so thankfully this card came along to satisfy that want.

I just had to have this card.  No matter how many times I would have tried to put it down to try and find something else at that table, I would have picked it right back up again.  This will definitely be part of my collection for a long time.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, November 5, 2015

No plan

Tomorrow will be the day that I hit the monthly card show.  With the show still kind of new to me, I've decided for the 2nd straight month to go without a specific plan of action.  I may get there and decide to focus on these...

or these...

or even chase a few of these...

I could also take some time and chase some A&G, Leafs/Blue Jays, or try and snag a few hockey cards from the 80's (another portion of my collection that I want to augment). 

Unlike the show up north where I knew what dealers I was going to hit, and thus what lists to bring, this new show for me is still a learning experience.  I probably will not have the time to hit all the tables again this time, but I'm hoping to find a few more dealers that I can become comfortable with.  There's certainly enough tables there to at least find more than just 1 or 2 to frequent on a regular basis.

After all, there has to be more than 1 dealer there that has these...right?

Helping reduce a want list or two might become part of the no plan plan.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

You don't see much of this anymore

The writing bug is back (somewhat).  While flipping through some Blue Jays binders looking for a little inspiration, I came across a couple of early 80's cards that featured Bob Davis...

1981 Topps #221


1981 Fleer # 428

The one thing that struck me right away about both photos is the fact that Bob has a healthy (or unhealthy as the case may be) wad of chewing tobacco prominently featured in his right cheek.  Fast forward 35 years, and I don't even recall seeing cards of players with a mouth full of seeds or bubble gum.

I took a quick look through a few more pages of Jays cards from that area, and I found one more card that I could positively identify as having a wad of chew in the cheek.

1978 Topps # 196

Another Bob, this time Bob Bailor is featured with a nice wad in his left cheek. Not sure if this was just a Bob thing on the Blue Jays back in the early days...

I'm sure that there are plenty of other cards from back in the day that featured players with a big hunk of chew tucked delicately into their cheek, and I'm sure that you have probably seen other bloggers write about this topic (leave a link to the post in the comments if you so desire, I'd love to see what other people's take on this was).

At least in a couple of photos there was some semblance of a smile on their faces.

Someone should teach Mr. Strasburg that skill.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Removing 3 and then adding 200 (or more)

There's the three, a trio of 2011 Topps Heritage SPs.  Down to 16 of them left to finish off the set.  I've said it many times, but I will be very happy once this one is done and off the books.

So what did I do to add 200 to the baseball want list page?  2015 A&G is on the books now.  I have just under 40% in my possession, so I figured that I would take a few minutes and type out the want list.  Going one further for this set, I decided to collect one of the inserts that I really like, Starting Points.

for the World Series champion fans out there
I really do like this insert set, the back reads as if someone is reading the teleprompter at an evening sports show.  The Hosmer back reads "Hosmer walks twice and swipes a bag in his MLB debut.  In other action, Jaime Garcia's (Cardinals) perfect game goes by the boards in the eighth inning, but he completes a two hit shutout...Cliff Lee (Phillies) loses despite whiffing 16 men in seven innings."  Very cool.

If anyone out there is looking for some cards from any of the other insert sets (Ancient Armory, Keys to the City, Great Scott, etc. etc.) just let me know as I have just over 20 of them for trade.  Send me an email or leave a comment pointing me to your want list and I'll see what I have for you.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, November 2, 2015

I guess I don't know what I was expecting

I forgot how dark Chrome cards scan
I had a few extra dollars burning a hole in my pocket on the weekend, so in addition to the A&G blaster that I bought, I decided to pick up a blaster of 2014/15 OPC Platinum.

Now I really didn't have any idea what to expect when I opened the packs (6 packs, 4 cards in each), but to say I was surprised/disappointed when the cards turned out to be chrome would be accurate.

To be honest, I don't know what I really expected.  6 packs for $20. With 4 cards in each, I thought this would be different.  Live and learn I guess. 

The only card that wasn't a base card was the Luke Schenn rainbow parallel I pulled, #155/199.  Would have been better if he was still with the Leafs, but hey what can you do?

It's kind of weird, but lately I've had more of an itch to collect hockey.  I'm not sure why, but the last few weeks I've really wanted to find some good hockey products down here in S. Florida.  Maybe that's the reason I bought the blaster of OPC Platinum.

Maybe the release of Upper Deck Series 1 hockey this week will help get rid of the itch.   Another reason to get to the card show this weekend!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Heritage got this one right

Over the years, we've all seen the rookie stars cards feature multiple players that just end up fizzling out.  Guys that don't even play for the teams that they're pictured in, or guys that end up playing a year or two with a few ABs, leaving nothing to speak of.

But this card of Kevin Pillar/Ryan Goins I am very hopeful for.  I started calling Pillar "the human highlight reel" (yes, I know it's been used for many players in the past) because of the many great catches that he made this season.  The 12HR, 25 steals and .278 average in his first everyday season reminds me of Lloyd Moseby during his time with the Jays in the 80's. 

While Goins may not be the offensive dynamo at shortstop that Troy Tulowitzki is, he hit .250 while providing solid defense at 2B and SS during the season.  For my money, he will be a solid backup for Tulowitzki and should play the utility infielder role with Devon Travis coming back.

Two solid pieces of the Jays lineup (hopefully) for years to come.

Thanks for reading, Robert

'59 Topps set build #19/572 Marv Throneberry

Great shot of Marvelous Marv with the lights of Yankee Stadium in the background.  In an effort to get myself into a posting rhythm again, I'm striving to do one of these posts on the weekends.  We'll see how long that lasts.

Card # 326:  Marv Throneberry

Marv was signed by the Yankees in 1952 as a free agent.

The front of the card is in decent shape, with the "W" not really distracting from the picture itself.  The corners aren't in bad shape, and the edges are smooth with no rough spots.l

Great cartoon on the back of the card, noting that Marv's brother Faye was also a baseball player (Faye will be the next post in this series).  What's been interesting about the backs of the cards so far is the various minor leagues that were around at that time.

The I.I.I. league, also known as the 3I league, was a minor league that played in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana.  Marv played as you can see on the back of the card  in the league for the 52 and 53 seasons, winning a championship with the Quincy Gems in 53.

How'd he fare in 1959?  Marv was a part time player for the Yankees in the 59 season, playing in 80 games.  He hit .240 with 8 HR and 22 RBI. 

  • Marv started and completed a game only 36 times in 1959.  In 9 of those games, he had 2 or more hits, including 3 3-hit games.  
  • He was part of the big off season trade in December of 59 that saw Hank Bauer, Don Larsen, Norm Siebern and Marv shipped off to the KC Athletics for 3 players, including Roger Maris.  
  • Marv had one career post season AB in 1958, but it was enough to get him a World Series ring as the Yankees beat the Milwaukee Braves in 7 games
On a side note, I found out that there is a band named "Throneberry", named for the marvelous one.

Marv passed away from cancer in 1993 at the age of 60.

Thanks for reading, Robert