Friday, September 30, 2016

7 packs of cards to scratch an itch

I had the day off today, and after taking care of the household items that needed taken care of, I decided to head over to Target, specifically to scratch the itch of breaking some packs of cards. 

Mostly, the packs I bought were to see how the products looked.  I don't have a desire to chase these sets, but I'm sure that there are some people in the blogosphere that are.  Or, there may be people that are just looking for specific teams or players.   That's OK too.

First up, is a fat pack of '16 Heritage High Numbers

To be honest, all I was really hoping for out of all this cardboard goodness was some Jays to add to the collection.  No luck with the first 9.

A couple of RCs of players I've never heard of.  I'm sure that team collectors will have heard of these guys.

Now these 3 cards are numbered starting with THC, which in the past I knew to be Topps Heritage Chrome.  These don't qualify by any stretch of the imagination as Chrome cards.  But hey, maybe somebody is chasing a black bordered set, or they're an Adam Wainwright fan? 

I always manage to get unpopular teams like the Mets or the Dodgers when I pull inserts.  I just don't know why.  Dumb luck I guess.  Maybe a good home can be found for these misguided cards...

Next up is a pair of Topps Chrome 3 packs.  I always seem to dabble in these each year, buying a few packs here and there to pique my curiosity.  They don't seem that bad to me this year either. 

Pack 1:  The Gardner is a refractor.  Can't complain about this pack, other than it's devoid of Jays.

Pack 2:  Another Jays free pack, but the Youth Impact Kyle Schwarber should find its way to a Cubs collector somewhere.   My question is, the Schwarber is an insert, how in the world does it have a RC tag on it?

Pack 3:  More cards from unpopular teams.  I hear that Corey Seager guy is kind of good.  The Carlos Martinez card is a refractor.

OK, the first 3 have yielded nothing but trade bait. Maybe the other trio of packs will have something that I want.

Pack 4:  Jackpot!! Marcus Stroman is one of the good guys who has finally found a home.  The Addison Russell doesn't say refractor on the back, but it's got kind of a green tinge in the background.  I'm guessing it's a Prism Refractor?

 Pack 5:  Perspectives comes back in the Chrome set, and Yadier Molina is captured at PNC Park.  The Bowser sign in the background is the giveaway for me.  No refractors in this pack.

Pack 6:  Pulled another Perspectives card, this time of Byron Buxton of the Twins.  Great stadium shot behind him.  I didn't like these in the base set, but they have grown on me a bit in Chrome.  Never the less, Buxton and the other cards are up for grabs.

Pink!!  Chrome used to have the bonus 3 packs of Orange refractors, this year it's pink.  I like the look of them, the Pink isn't overpowering.  Needless to say, I pulled some more of the unpopular teams like the White Sox and Rangers.  Horrible luck.

OK kids, if you're looking for any or all of these, speak now in the comments section.  If there's something you like, just say so.  We can work out a deal...

I promise.

thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Be safe

Seeing Dee Gordon running tearfully around the bases last night really brought things home for me on the Jose Fernandez tragedy that happened on the weekend.

A quarter of a century ago (almost) I was a beer soaked, crazy 24 year old who was flying through life at the seat of my pants.  I spent most of my 30's making up for this recklessness.

Now, as I'm older I see things a lot more clearly.  I see how my actions affect other people.

I work for a delivery company.  Safety is a big priority.  Tomorrow, as with every other Wednesday, I will be wearing a red shirt to promote safety.

I drive to card shows and other places in the greater Ft. Lauderdale area, and there are a lot of crazy people on the roads.  My wife and I have taken lately to saying "be safe" as the last thing we say to each other when we leave for work in the morning.

You just never know what's going to happen.  Jose Fernandez is proof that anything can happen.

Jose Fernandez's tragic passing affected me more than I thought at first.  It just took me a couple of days to put it all into perspective.

To all my friends in the blogosphere, and to all that may happen by this blog post over time, please be safe.

Money can be replaced, vehicles and possessions can be replaced.

You can't.

#RIPJF16  May God bless you Jose.

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, September 26, 2016

A six pack of six packs

I figured that the post title may just entice a few beer drinkers to stop by, even though there is no beer to be found at all.  (If you're wondering, Yuengling is my beer of choice...)

I took time a couple of weeks ago to go "want list hunting".  That is, I scoured the blogosphere's various want lists to see if I could come up with a potential trade partner.  I came across Kyle and the Nolan's Dugout blog and his comprehensive want list.  I found about 40 inserts to send him (gladly) and asked him to send back what he thought was fair.

Kyle's envelope came today, and as the last trade was a couple of years ago, this was full of Blue Jays.  Going through them initially, I saw a lot of cards from the 91-93 era, and I thought to myself "don't I have a lot of these already??"

Nope.  Just like last trade with Kyle, every card in the envelope was something that could be marked off the want list.  It doesn't get any better than that.

So now you're probably wondering why the six packs.  Well, last night's post contained the number 5, so I figured let's go one higher tonight.  So here's 36 cards from the envelope that I was able to mark off the Blue Jays list.

1992 Pinnacle and Bowman.  Now there were more of these inside, but these were the 3 from each set I picked.  I especially like the Juan Guzman card showing him waiting for the baseball while holding up his trademark blue glove.  I still remember all the hype there was in Toronto that Eddie Zosky was going to be the heir apparent to Tony Fernandez at short.  Ten years and 50 major league ABs later, it just wasn't meant to be. 

I put these two together just because there were 4 Leaf cards and 2 Studio.  Sometimes a puzzle just puts itself together.  For some reason, I couldn't get the cards to sit right on the scanner bed, which is the reason for this lousy looking scan.   Patience wasn't a virtue for me this evening.

1993 Score.  There were 8 cards from this set in the envelope, and I was intrigued by the World Series Highlights cards, thinking that they were inserts.   Surprise to me, they were part of the base set.  I knocked off these cards and still need 10 more to complete the team set.   Just how damn big was '93 Score?

1993 SP!!  Now the 8 cards from this set almost emptied this want list, which is down to just 2.  I found it interesting that in the 6 photos, there is only one that doesn't feature a player looking up or at the baseball.  Come on Pat, throw the ball already so you can start focusing on it...

1993 Score Select.  That's a lot of green, and a lot of geometry going on in the borders as well.  One of these days, I'm going to go through all of Devon White's cards as a Jay and figure out how many of them feature flying bats, helmets, etc.  There's a few of them to be sure.

The last picture features the 4 sets that Kyle managed to finish off, mercifully.  How did I not have all of the '91 UD, '92 Score or Donruss cards.  Weren't there like a billion printed of each to be distributed?  The George Bell DK is from 1986, and the drawing for me represents how I always thought of George.  That intense stare, the competitive fire that made him the heart of the Jays batting order during the mid to late 80's.  I did not know that he was traded from the North side of Chicago to the South side for Sammy Sosa.  George had one OK season with the Sox, but I would say that the Cubbies got the better of that deal.

Kyle, thank you very much for the trade, the cards are great and much appreciated!!

Now if you'll excuse me I have to go lay down.  This is my 13th post this month, the most since March.  I'm getting dizzy....

thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Just five more

I was going to post this last night, but got busy with things around the house and wound up too tired.  I wanted to show off 5 more serial numbered cards for the hockey version of SNI as a nightcap to the first Serial Saturday post.

So instead, you get these 5 today.  Hope you enjoy!

Ryan Close 2013-14 OPC black parallel #35/100.  Out of all the packs of OPC I've bought since it returned almost a decade ago, this is the only black parallel I've ever pulled.  Now, I have some use for it.

I've had this Guy Hebert 2000-01 Pacific Revolution Premier Date parallel in my collection forever, but for the life of me cannot remember how I came across it.  No matter, it too has a place now, and is serial #'d 37/60.

This Dan Hinote Sapphire parallel from the 2000-01 BAP Memorabilia set I remember quite well, pulled from a pack in the box I opened at the time.   I remember the box being truly disappointing.  This is serial #'d 49/100.

Ziggy Palffy was pulled from a pack of Black Diamond many years ago, and has sat in many a box over the past decade.  He too has a place now, and is serial #'d 997/2000.

His name is very hard to see, but this is Alexander Svitov of the Tampa Bay Lightning.  I bought a couple of retail boxes of 2002-03 Pacific Quest for the Cup about 2-3 years ago, and have found a cache of numbered cards that I pulled.  This card is numbered 923/950, and is the first of over a dozen of Quest for the Cup cards that you'll see as part of this set.

The Hockey version of SNI is coming along nicely, I have over 60 cards towards the 1200 card set already; all I have to do is sit down and get them posted.  I'll have to try a little harder to get some of these posted on Saturday's as well...

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Serial Saturday #1: Pages 14 & 15 of SNI

I've kind of avoided showing the SNI pages for the past couple of weeks, but I'm not sure why.  I'm hoping that devoting Saturday's to anything serial #'d will help get me in the mood to put more of these pages up. 

Because my record keeping skills aren't always 100% accurate, going through these pages will certainly help me find out exactly where I am, and what I need to finish the baseball SNI behemoth off. 

Without further adieu, let's get a couple of more pages out there for everyone to see.

Page 14:

Card 118:  Johnny Cueto, 2011 Bowman green #118/450.  Courtesy of Dennis from the Too Many Verlanders blog.  Cincinnati card #5
Card 119:  Mark Teahen, 2007 Topps Co-Signers #119/299.  Unknown as to how I acquired this card.  Kansas City card #3
Card 120:  Tony Armas Jr.  2005 Topps Chrome black refractor #120/225.  Courtesy of Dennis from the Too Many Verlanders blog.  Washington card #5

Card 121: Max Sapp, 2008 Bowman Orange #121/250.  Courtesy of Max from the Starting Nine blog.
Houston card #7 
Card 122:  Angelys Nina, 2012 Bowman blue #122/500.  Purchased at a card show in western PA.  Colorado card #6
Card 123:  Jayson Werth, 2011 Topps gold #123/2011.  Purchased on ebay.  Washington card #6

Card 124:  Troy Tulowitzki, 2011 Bowman  blue #124/500.  Courtesy of Max from the Starting Nine blog.  Colorado card #7
Card 125:  Hanley Ramirez, 2007 Topps Co-Signers #125/150.  Purchased at a card show in western PA.  Miami card #5
Card 126:  Brian Schmitt, 2001 Topps Reserve #126/1500.  Courtesy of fellow collector Brandon L.  Houston card #8

Topps Reserve (!) makes its one and only appearance on the SNI set with card #126.  Only a couple of players on this page who really didn't make a dent in the majors.  Also interesting is the team distribution on this page.  There are 30 major league teams (as you know), but somehow I managed to get 3 teams to have 2 cards apiece on this page.  I don't think that will happen very often.

Let's look at page 15, shall we?

Card 127:  Dave Winfield, 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen #127/999.  Purchased at a card show in western PA.  San Diego card #6
Card 128:  Mike Fontenot, 2011 Topps gold #128/2011.  Courtesy of fellow collector Jason Williams.  San Francisco card #3
Card 129:  Travis Hafner, 2003 Topps gold #129/2003.  Courtesy of Sandlot cards.  Cleveland card #5

Card 130:  Alfonso Soriano, 2011 Topps Chrome atomic #130/225.  Pulled from a pack of 2011 Chrome.  Chicago Cubs card #3
Card 131:  Aroldis Chapman, 2011 Topps Chrome purple #131/499.  Pulled from a pack of 2011 Chrome.  Cincinnati card #6
Card 132:  Jordan Walden, 2011 Topps Chrome #132/1962.  Courtesy of Kyle from the Just a Bit Outside blog (retired).  Los Angeles Angels card #5

Card 133:  Lance Berkman, 2009 Topps Triple Threads #133/525.  Purchased at the 2012 NSCC.  Houston card #9
Card 134:  Dee Brown, 2000 Topps Gallery #134/250.  Courtesy of Max from the Starting Nine blog.  Kansas City card #4
Card 135:  Vincente Padilla, 2005 Topps Chrome black refractor #135/225.  Courtesy of Dennis from the Too Many Verlanders blog.  Philadelphia card #5

2000 Topps Gallery also makes its one and only appearance on page 15 with the Dee Brown card.  I love the Winfield card in his San Diego uniform.  I actually remember buying it from the show at the mall that I frequented monthly back in PA.

The team distribution on page 15 is more what I expected, one card each for 9 different teams.

Dennis and Max both come up huge again on these two pages; they were fantastic contributors to the cause. 

I can only hope now that I stick with the serial #'d Saturday idea that I came up with.  I certainly have enough pages to go for the baseball set, and when I run out of those, there's always Blue Jays and the hockey SNI as well.  

Fingers crossed...

thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, September 23, 2016

My scanning arm is tired

I don't know if I've ever scanned as much for a post as I did with the 2nd half of the great envelope that Gavin from Baseball Card Breakdown sent me.

12 scans!  What was I thinking.   I might have to go on the DL with scanner's elbow...

All kidding aside, Gavin did a great job at knocking a bunch of Blue Jays off the want list.

A 6 pack of Heritage, including 3 high numbers!  There was actually 8 cards total in the Heritage portion, leaving me with just a couple more Bautista high number versions to go.

There were 7 '99 Bowman cards in the lot, Vernon Wells didn't make the cut because he appears later on.

There were just 5 2000 Bowman cards, so I threw in a 2000 Topps Chrome Tony Fernandez to make the scan a little more even. 

A couple of '85 Fleer Limited Editions that I thought I already had, but didn't.  The 9 of Spades represented by Tom Candiotti is also new to the collection.

Told you Vernon would show up later, as part of a duo of '06 Fleer Showcase cards.   This is just the start of the Roy Halladay cards.

2007 Heritage

 2005 Donruss.   Can't believe I still need a couple more of these.

A little Gold Label for you.  Sorry drinkers, no Red or Blue Labels here...

 Finish up the base cards with Billy Koch from Topps 2000 (yes, I still need some of these as well).  This segues into...

1998 Best Billy Koch autograph!  I believe it's the first minor league auto card of a Blue Jay that I own.  It's already on the Just the Hits--Blue Jays page.

This next one was even better..

2004 Topps Chrome Dave Stieb autograph!!  My favorite all time Blue Jays pitcher, I now have 2 copies of this card, and wouldn't mind owning more.  Shame on me for not adding the other one I had to the hits page before.

Last but certainly not least, Gavin sent me a couple cards that I really got a kick out of pulling from the envelope.

A couple of his customs.

A Vin Scully card!!  Can't beat that no way no how.  I am going to miss hearing his voice once he retires.  A true broadcasting legend, there will never be another like him.  The Josh Donaldson card was actually in the envelope  twice, so I have an extra one for any of my fellow Blue Jays bloggers/collectors if they want.

Gavin, a fantastic envelope, thank you very much!!!  Let's not wait a couple of years before the next trade, shall we?

thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Vintage Gavin

The title for the first half of this trade post was really easy.  It was good to hear from one of the most creative bloggers out there, Gavin from Baseball Card Breakdown, a couple of weeks back.  Gavin said he had a few cards to send my way, and asked if I had anything off of his want lists, including the 2011 Topps frankenset that he's working on.  I sent him a few little things, and in return today I received quite the bubble mailer.

Today is the vintage, or close to vintage.

Gavin promised a '82 Topps Padres team set.

Seeing the 21 card team set reminded me of how much I prefer the older Padres uniforms.   Honestly, I wish they would stop changing every few years and just go back to these. 

And yes, technically I know '82 wouldn't be considered vintage, but I needed something to fill out the post a little.  The 21 cards just about doubled my total for the '82 set; I now have a whopping 44 cards toward the 792 card quest.  748 left isn't that daunting a task, is it?

It's not too often that someone can say that they knocked off 20% of a want list, but Gavin succeeded with just 1 card

The '73 T want list is down to 4.  Fred Scherman is the final card in the set, #660.  Still need a checklist, the Bumbry/Dw. Evans RC, Schmidt and a rookie shortstops card.  Maybe by the end of 2016 I'll pick these 4 up.

Finally, Gavin sent a six pack of '68s.  No, they weren't 6 commons either...

Would you rather have this combo as your SS and C?

Not bad.   Or how about these 2?

There were 3 outfielders in the group of 6, definitely no Tom, Dick or Harry's here...

Wondering why Topps had to airbrush Rusty's helmet to pure black.  He hadn't played anywhere else during his time in the majors but Houston before '68.  Maybe somebody out there knows why this happened.

My '68 pursuit is now over 200 cards complete, 205 to be exact.  Not bad for a set that I never really intended to chase, and now I've been picking up cards so slowly that I might be 68 years old before I finish the set.   Hey, it's not a sprint, right?

Tomorrow, I'll show off the other half of the envelope, which has a couple of autos, a pair of homemade cards (one of which is a legend), and a boat load of Blue Jays.

My scanning arm hurts already...

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, September 19, 2016


Panic.  That's the one word that best describes my condition on Friday night.  As I have mentioned previously, I've taken to touching each card that I have in my collection, trying to thin out some cards that I don't want or need, and also to get some cards more organized and easier to find. 

Well, on Friday evening I started to clean piles of cards from my desk, because I'm making an attempt to have my desk a lot less cluttered than what it was up north.   About 11PM I came across a small pile that the Night Owl sent me a few weeks back, and I set about putting away the Blue Jays, etc.

I then came across this card...

I think to myself "boy, I haven't seen my '62 Topps cards, let alone my '68s since I moved in."

The search began. 

I tore through my entire card closet (yes, an entire closet devoted to cards).  Looked through every monster box, shoe box, and smaller set boxes.   Nothing.

Go to my bedroom, where there's an overflow of set boxes and other miscellany that I haven't gotten to yet. 

Shit, not there either.

I've gone through every box I can see, and I can't find them.  Now pure panic mode sets in, because I have about 200 from each set, and that would truly SUCK if I lost them in the move.

I go to bed about 1230 Friday night/Saturday morning a bit upset, thinking that these cards have just vanished. 

Move forward to Saturday afternoon.  I've done a couple of loads of laundry (yes, real men do laundry) and I start to hang some of my work clothes in my closet.  I move some of my shirts aside, and what do my eyes see, but several boxes of cards hiding behind those shirts that I hadn't looked through the night before. 

I open the first box, and these are the first cards I see...

My stash of 67's.  Along with '69, '72 and '74 Topps.  Not exactly what I'm looking for, but seeing these reminded me that I hadn't come across these in the previous nights search as well.

The very next box to it---


I recounted this very same story to my wife on Saturday, and naturally she comes up with one of her pearls of wisdom.

It's amazing what you find when you stop looking.  Truer words hadn't been spoken in front of me that day.

I can only imagine the heartbreak I would have encountered had I lost those 2 boxes of cards forever.  What would I have done?  It would have been too damn expensive and time consuming to start over.

I probably would have had to resort to something newer, like Topps Now.

If Tony L. endorses them, who am I to say no??

On 2nd thought...phew, am I ever glad I found them.

thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


This coming Friday it will be already 6 weeks since I moved into my new house.  More and more as the past couple of weeks have progressed, I feel comfortable in my new surroundings.  The wife and I are getting into a routine about the household chores, and making plans on how to furnish/decorate the new abode.

God bless her, the 3rd bedroom is going to be my den.  I have to figure out how to create a space in the house for her craft area in return (which I've pretty much figured out), but it's a small price to pay to have my own space.  It's nice to be able to "spread out" with my card collection and start posting again on a regular basis.

You may or may not have noticed that this will be my 5th straight day posting; I'm slowly getting back to the old days where I was posting on a regular basis about one crazy thing or another.  Today's post is a mish mash of cards that I've found recently that I thought semi interesting.

I bought this half a dozen Mike Schmidt cards many many years ago.  Right now, I think that someone else will likely give them a better home.  Do you want them?  Post in the comments, and we'll work something out.   Who knows?  Maybe I'll just send them to you.

I found this set of '85 Blue Jays fire safety cards while going through everything in my collection over the past few weeks.  The card stock is flimsy compared to the sets that were released in the 80's, but these were cool to find and reminded me that sometime soon I really need to go through my Blue Jays collection again and get them organized (a la Nachos Grande and his organizational project going on). 

I'm even comfortable in sneaking in the final 3 cards for the serial #'d hockey set that I bought off of COMC into this post.

I can see where the Artifacts sets are going to be my weakness for this frankenset.  Especially if they have colors such as the sapphire parallel of Corey Perry you see on the left.  Shameful, yes I know. 

I even found 5 more '90 Leaf cards towards that set, including a Dodger player you may have heard of...

This card brings images of the HR he hit off of Dennis Eckersley in the World Series.  It also reminds me of the contest going on right now at Night Owl Cards.  If you want to have a one in a million chance of winning something great (or close to a million for all the entries there are, lol), click the link and wish the Owl a happy 8th blogoversary.

That was a pretty comfortable post, wouldn't you agree?

thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I get by with a little help from my friends

I'm pretty sure that my latest serial numbered project will probably take just as long as it's baseball counterpart has.  To be honest, I'm not worried, because I know that I will enjoy putting the serial numbered hockey set together just as much, if not more, because of the variety of cards that will be coming in. 

You can take the boy out of Canada, but you can't take the Canada out of the boy...

Speaking of Canada, one of my favorite multi sport bloggers, Doug from the Sportscards from the Dollar Store blog instantly sent out a care package of serial numbered cards to get the set off to a flying start.  I have a feeling that he'll be a regular contributor to this set!  It took me a few minutes to figure out how I was going to scan 19 cards to show off.  A half dozen scans later, I have a post to put together.

I've been so out of touch with hockey products over the past decade that a lot of these cards that will come in will be brand new to me.  My favorite of this 4?  Nope, not the JS Giguere Crown Royale card in the upper right, it's the Tony Esposito SP Essentials in the lower right.  The card is from the 10-11 SP Authentic set, and I love the dual photo of Tony in his goalie gear on one side, with a faded head shot on the other.  Magnificent!  The Shane Doan Board Members card is actually an acetate card, which is the reason why it probably scanned so well.

You probably will not see a whole lot of Victory cards in this set, so the Martin Straka on the left will be a rare sight indeed.  What jumped out right away about the Dion Phaneuf card in the center was that he had the 'A' on his chest instead of the 'C' which he wore during most of his time in Toronto.  I figured the card was at least a few years old and sure enough it's a 2010-11 Certified Mirror Red.  Even though he's 23, Nick Cousins is still new on the NHL scene, only having played portions of the past 2 seasons in the black and orange.

There's a couple of young Washington Capitals stars on this scan, but the card that instantly caught my attention was the Nail Yakupov Panini card from the Toronto Expo.  I believe that there's still hope for Nail now that Edmonton has signed a couple of veterans and hopefully starting to turn the corner. 

There's the Coyotes captain again, this time featured on a 2015-16 Artifacts card, a product that will probably be seen quite a lot in this set.  I'm not too sure where Dana Tyrell is right now, I couldn't find any stats for him for the 2015-16 season.  He was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets the year before, and only found the lineup for 3 games.  On the other hand, Paul Martin is still going strong well into his 30's, coming within 2 wins of his first Stanley Cup last year in San Jose. 

I hadn't heard of Cody Kunyk until seeing his card in this lot, that's because he's appeared in just 1 NHL game, which was just enough to get him on a card.  Nate Guenin's NHL path has had a lot of twists and turns, and it wasn't until his age 31 season that he became a regular on a NHL roster in Colorado.  If you're wondering who the rookie on the Nashville Predators is, so was I!  Serious fail from Donruss here, not having put Ryan Thang's name on the front of his card.  He's of the same ilk as Cody, appeared in 1 NHL game earning him a rookie card the next season. 

Nikita Zadorov was part of the trade on draft day 2015 with Colorado that saw the Sabres pick up Ryan O'Reilly.  That trade will be tilted heavily in the Sabres favor for a long time unless Nikita and the others that Colorado picked up start to develop.  I thought the Patrick Marleau card was an insert, but actually it's part of the base set from 08-09 Artifacts.  I thought that Martin Gerber had a longer and more distinguished NHL career, but it turns out that during his 8 NHL seasons, he was the #1 starter for his team in only 2 of those, and won just 30 games in a season once.

The least I can do to thank Doug for his amazing generosity is give a link to his COMC store, maybe there's something there that you'll want or need?

Thank you Doug, your envelope was greatly appreciated!!

thanks for reading, Robert