Saturday, April 29, 2017

1585: Mike Joyce

I don't know if it is just plain thriftiness, or if it was principle, but the hunt for an "affordable copy" of the '64 T Mike Joyce card seemed like an endless one for me.

This is not Mike Joyce's rookie card.  That appeared in the '63 Topps set.  This is not part of the high number shorter print series.  It's in the 2nd to last series from '64. 

Mike never actually pitched in the majors for the Mets.  His career was done in 1965 at the age of 24.  He didn't die tragically or at a young age.

There's his complete major league history on the back of this card.  So it absolutely mystified me why I couldn't find a copy of this card for under $10 for the longest time. 

I finally was determined this past week to buy a copy of this card in order to get the '64 set done.  Amazingly, I found this copy for just over $7 shipped. 

Now that I finally have this in hand, I'm just waiting on the Luis Aparicio card to come my way.  Hopefully Monday or Tuesday that will be in, and I can scan and show off the set to everyone.

$1592-$7=$1585 left for 2017.  At this pace, I'll spend $1272 for 2017, so I'm still well ahead of my goal.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, April 28, 2017

30 Day baseball card challenge Day 3: A card from the first set that you tried to complete

I actually thought about this for a few minutes when my memory took me back to 1990.  I was in college at the time, and had really rediscovered card collecting at the time.   I missed the inaugural edition of Upper Deck baseball by just one year, but still got hooked on the 1990 Upper Deck set.  Remember those green foil packs?

I bought quite a few of them at the time, and spent the summer of 1990 trying to complete the set.  The final card in the set was a Blue Jay, believe or not, by the name of Greg Myers.  I went to a card show in the Leaside section of Toronto during that summer, and found a dealer who actually gave me the Myers card when I told him it was the last card I needed for the set.  In that era of dealers selling whatever they could for whatever they could get, having someone give me a card left a lasting impression on me.

Unfortunately I couldn't find a copy of the Greg Myers card, but here's something Blue Jays from that 1990 Upper Deck set...

The team checklists were artwork back at that time for Upper Deck, and Vernon Wells drew a lot of them if my memory serves me.   This George Bell card (#95 from the set) was a solid choice as the 2nd art card for the team, as Fred McGriff was the first choice in the '89 set.

Everyone out there may also remember the Reggie Jackson autograph cards from those packs; I remember seeing them with 3 digit price tags and thinking the world had gone mad.   It turned out to be just a foreshadowing of things to come...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

30 Day baseball card challenge Day 2: A card with more than one player on it

With so many vintage sets on the go right now, I have a lot of choices for this particular "day".  My hope this week is to take the time and finish off my '64 Topps set, so I decided to choose a card from the first '60s vintage set that I attempted to build.

I could have easily just shown the AL Bombers card that I picked up a couple of weeks ago, but in the end I wanted to show a card that I've had in the binder for a long time, and to me is a very undervalued and under appreciated card.

1964 Topps #9

How this card doesn't list for more than $30 is beyond me.  2 of the top 5 all time in homers in Aaron & Mays, McCovey still at #20, and Orlando Cepeda is at #79 all time.  All 4 are hall of famers.  I'm pretty sure I didn't pay $30 for this card; whatever I did pay is a bargain.

I want to round out this post with a quick thanks again to Tony from Off Hiatus Baseball for coming up with this idea.  I'm going to enjoy giving it some thought on what to post for each of the 30 days.  Hopefully I can find something for all of them...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, April 24, 2017

Inbound and down #12: Summer of '74

I had recently been sent some cards off of my '74 Topps want list when an email from Matt at the Summer of '74 blog arrived, stating that he had about 100 or so cards from my want list in varying degrees of condition.  (Matt has recently started writing on blogspot, so give him a follow!)

Needless to say, I wrote Matt back with my address and thanks for the email.  About a week later, a very fat envelope arrived in my mailbox, and shamefully I'm only getting around to writing about it today.

Matt did carve over 100 cards off of my '74 want list; '74 a set being one that I never really paid much attention to.  With this block of cards, my '74 set is now almost 2/3 complete.  Not bad for one purchase of $15 along with a few other people sending cards my way!

I grabbed the first 9 off the pile just to get started.  The middle card of '74 rookie infielders made me stop for a second, as I'd never heard Andre Thornton referred to as "Andy".  There's also some early cards of Bill Madlock and Frank Tanana there as well.  Great start...

I still remember Woodie Fryman as an Expo late in his career.  Love the Dave Concepcion card of him catching a ball right at 2nd base. 

Some big names on the All Star cards, including Pete Rose as a left fielder!  Reggie Jackson also pictured as his career as an A winds down.  Cesar Cedeno was an underappreciated player as I remember him, a great hitter who was also a proficient base stealer, swiping 50+ bases for 6 straight seasons in Houston.  Looking over Cesar's baseball reference page, I found out that he signed a contract with the Blue Jays during spring training of 1986, but never cracked the roster as he was released 10 days later.

1974 would be the last big season for Jim Perry, winning 17 games along with a sub 3 ERA.  You may know Jim as the brother of Gaylord Perry.  I'm sure that the Night Owl will concur, but the Ron Cey card is a great shot of the Penguin in mid swing.  The smile on Vida Blue's face is priceless, you don't see that kind of happiness on cards very often.

Some bigger names also found their way to my house.  Always loved the fumanchu mustache on Luis Tiant.  1974 would mark the 15th straight season that Brooks Robinson would win a gold glove at 3rd base. 

A few more big names were in the package as well.  Overall a fantastic package indeed.

Matt, thank you for the email and the cards, they were both very much appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, April 23, 2017

30-Day Baseball card challenge Day 1: Yes, I'm behind

I've been meaning to try and get my version of the 30 day baseball card challenge started for weeks now, but I've always found something else to post, or do, that kept me from it.  I remembered Tony's challenge again this evening, and scrambling to get a post out there, I decided to finally get this started.

Day 1 was an easy one for me, "A card from the current year with a photo you like."  It's the card that got me hooked on '17 Heritage.

This Addison Russell World Series card, #156 in the set, makes me think of what TV sets would have looked like in the 60's.  I don't have any memories of TV's from the 60's as I was born in 1967, and my first TV memory would have been the color TV we had when I was 5, which didn't look anything like the big boxes that were in living rooms back in the day...

Looking at Tony's list, I don't think that I'll have enough material to fill all 30 days (I know I won't), but it'll be good for me to do some digging to come up with cards to cover the different days.

Great idea Tony!  Sorry I'm nearly a month late, but that's the norm for me lately...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Serial Saturday #14: Cataract? More like a Yugo to me...

I'm back after taking a couple of days totally away from cards and the blogosphere.  I mentioned this on twitter earlier today, I had cataract surgery yesterday on my right eye, which had degenerated into a blurry mess.

It's amazing what a laser and less than 30 minutes of surgery can do for your vision in the modern world.  My right eye has already improved to 20/50 vision after just one day, and hopefully within a week I'll be close to the 20/25 vision I have in my left eye.

Maybe now that I can see the cards better I'll be able to catch things in the background or on the design that I missed in the past.

Ha ha, we'll see!  Anyhow, page 40 from the SNI is here for your viewing pleasure.

Card 352:  Carlos Santana, 2011 Topps Opening Day blue parallel #352/2011.  Cleveland card #15
Card 353:  Jay Bruce, 201 Topps gold #353/2014.  Cincinnati card #12
Card 354:  James Loney, 2010 Topps National Chicle #354/999.  LA Dodgers card #12

Card 355:  Carlos Santana, 2011 Bowman Green #355/450.  Cleveland card #16
Card 356:  Adrian Beltre, 2011 Topps Finest #356/549.  Texas card #12
Card 357:  Montreal Expos team card, 2002 Topps gold #357/2002.  Washington card #15

Card 358:  David Huff, 2009 Topps Heritage chrome #358/1960.  Cleveland card #17
Card 359:  Jake Pintar, 2013 Bowman blue parallel #359/500.  Baltimore card #12
Card 360:  Austin Jackson, 2011 Topps Chrome heritage #360/562.  Detroit card #4

Hard to believe that Detroit still has only 4 cards so far.   I would imagine that there will be more pages in the future with multiple Tigers cards on them

Carlos Santana appears twice on the same page, don't think you'll see that very often going forward.  3 Cleveland cards all down the same side is also another anomaly that probably will not happen a lot as well. 

Favorite card?  Why the Expos team card of course.  I wonder if there will really be support for a MLB team in Montreal if one ever decides to relocate.  The James Loney National Chicle card is a close second on the page...

With a couple of days off to recuperate coming up I'm hoping to get a few more pages written up. Hopefully that is something that will actually happen....

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

1592: A trio of products

I decided this past weekend to just buy some packs from Target.  I wanted to add a few cards to the Heritage and flagship piles, along with trying out some Gypsy Queen to see what it was like.

First up, the GQ.  For me, this is a resounding no this year.  For lack of a better word, the design is just too damn busy for me.  Even the green parallels don't do anything for me.  I'll find some folks to send those cards to.  At least I pulled a Josh Donaldson for my Jays collection.  If you have any Jays, including the green parallels, I'll be glad to add them.   Otherwise, this is probably the last money I'll spend on this set this year.

I bought a blaster of the flagship, and of course the "extra" pack is the one I opened first.  It appears that the definition of the term "patch" has become a little loose, as this was the patch that I pulled.  I would say that it looks more like a button than a patch of anything.  Someone out there may want it for their Tigers/Cabrera collection(s).  Let me know.

Pulled a couple of the '87 inserts, the Tulo goes right into the Jays collection, while the Sonny Gray is up for grabs.  I also pulled a boat load of the various inserts from Series 1, I'll start hunting for want lists that they may be on and get them on their way. 

Rant for the night.  Please, for all that is good in the world, could someone from Topps please tell me why "rediscover topps" cards are in Heritage? 

If I'm buying Heritage, I'm certainly in the know when it comes to Topps cards.  I sure as shit do not need to rediscover them.  It's going to be expensive enough as it is to build the set without having to throw out garbage such as this. 

Yes, I'm pissed.  Sorry, if it helps....

The Elvis Andrus is something else I don't get.  Were there mini parallels in the '68 set?  I don't believe that there were.   So why did this come out of a pack? 

I don't believe in bitching a lot when it comes to the blog.  I'd rather spin a positive message on the hobby we all love.

But sometimes, I just have to say something.   Because it's the right thing to do.

$1632 - $40 = $1592 left in 2017.  At this pace I'll spend about $1379 on cards this year, so I'm still in good shape.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, April 15, 2017

1632: A few additions from COMC

A few weeks back I added $75 in credit to my COMC account, in two pieces.  $25 of it wound up purchasing the remainder of the 2011 Heritage set I showed off the other day, and the other $50 went towards some contest prizes and a few things for me.  I still have just under $14 in my COMC account, so I didn't go too crazy...

My older hockey want lists are kind of like the kid that gets picked last for sports.  They're out there, but nobody (including myself) thinks to take a look at them until the end.  I grabbed a couple of 83-84 OPC highlight cards (dig the Cooperall pants on Blaine Stoughton) to make that want list a tiny bit smaller.  Still a couple hundred or so cards to go there.

As with any other shopping trip to COMC, Sakic and Thome cards came home.  I didn't pick up a whole lot of them, but knocking off a few more cards from those want lists is always a good thing.

I tend to go in spurts with my purchases.  One day I bought the PC cards, another day I bought 8 more cards for the SNI Hockey set. 

The main goal for purchasing the cards that I did was to knock off the final 7 teams that needed a serial #'d card below 100.  All but the Dino Ciccarelli card completed that task.  So now the focus is on finding the other 1000 serial #'s (approximately) in order to round out the set. 

Going to subtract the whole $75 now because it's a sunk cost.  $1707-$75=$1632.

At this pace, I will spend $1279 by the end of the year, so I'm still well ahead of my $2000 target.

thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The final five of the 2011 Topps Heritage Set

Sometimes, buying cards can just make you scream.  Or make your head spin.  It can even burn a hole in your wallet a lot deeper than you thought it would.

Case in point.

I recently posted some funds to my COMC account for various reasons ($$ post tomorrow).  One of the reasons was finally finishing off the 2011 Heritage set.  I've needed 5 cards for what seems like an eternity.  So a hunting I went.

A trio of Tigers that even Dennis would be proud of.  The Rick Porcello card was the only non-SP and cost me 58 cents.  For what seemed like an eternity, the Verlander SP was listed for $12 (!) and I waited and waited, and then waited some more.  Patience paid off, as $5.65 was what I wound up paying.  Miguel Cabrera was a little bit more than that, costing me $6.24.  Still haven't come to the most expensive card yet...

I get it.  Rookie cards.  Prospecting.  These guys aren't prospects any more though.  The card on the left cost me $3.70. 

I bought those 4 cards, and then came the last card.  The Rookie Parade Catchers card.  There's no household names on this card, correct?  For months, this card was listed at over $9, and it never budged.  Someone please tell me what I'm missing.  Even on ebay, sellers were charging $10 for the damn card.  

Finally, and begrudgingly, I offered the seller $8, which he accepted.  (thankfully)

So for a little over $24, I finally finished the 2011 Heritage set.  Just in time, because I'm sure that the 2017 Heritage set is probably going to cost more than my house did.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Inbound and Down #11: The Lost Collector

Have to say that AJ from The Lost Collector blog is becoming one of my biggest suppliers.  A few weeks back he sent me a PWE with 3 high number SPs from this year's Heritage set, and on Saturday I received my 2nd PWE from him in 2017 full of more Blue Jays goodness.

I see this card on the top of the pile and think "great, must be the last card I need for Fleer '91!  will be great to get that off the want list."   Turns out, I already have it.  Then I look and see the hair cut on Glenallen Hill.  So that's why he saw spiders in his sleep....

People can rip Donruss all they want.  I really like this design.  Not enough to collect the entire set, mind you, but for sure I'll chase the Jays from '17 Donruss. 

The Retro Variations are cool, featuring the '83 Donruss design.  Who says Heritage is the only release that can feature old sets?  I always thought the Career Stat Line parallels were numbered to the stat on the front.  In this case, the J.A. Happ card should have been #'d out of 1022.  Maybe it's hockey I'm thinking of where Panini numbers the stat line cards like that.

It's still going to take me a while to get over EE leaving town.  I don't think Kendrys Morales is going to have the same effect in the line up that Edwin did.  Or is it the parrot leaving on Edwin's arm that has me upset?

The JD heritage card goes right into the set I'm putting together.  Just another reminder that I have to get that want list up on the blog.

AJ, awesome as always and totally unexpected!!  Thank you very much, they are appreciated.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, April 10, 2017

1707: Just had to have this

Just set it and forget it.  That's what I did with this card in my ebay cart.  About 3 weeks ago I was hunting for the final 3 cards from the '64 Topps set I'm building.  I found all 3, but didn't care for the total price combined.  So I let them sit there.

The Luis Aparicio card sold.

The Mike Joyce card sold.

But last week, this beauty was still sitting there.

At $36, I was foolish to wait as long as I did, but thankfully I was able to buy the card and today it arrived.

A little off center, sure.  Top left corner is dinged a bit.  A bit of dirt on the back.  It's all good.

I just had to have this, and now that I do I'm just 2 cards from finishing off the set.

$1743 - $36 =$1707 left to spend in 2017.

I'll have another one of the budget posts this week.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, April 8, 2017


I've spent the past 7.5 months rooting for a team filled with kids.  A lot of them either A) barely able to shave, and B) cannot buy alcohol in the US of A.

But you know what, it doesn't matter that these are kids anymore.   The Maple Leafs are headed to the playoffs.

It's been such a struggle to get there for the past decade, I'm in a state of delirium.  This post is probably going to meander and not make a whole lot of sense to anyone who isn't a Leaf fan, but to be honest I don't care tonight....

These three were a line for a good portion of the season, until the coach took Nylander off the line and put him with Auston Matthews, now a 40 goal scorer in the NHL.

They're going to the playoffs.

These two have been linemates for quite a while now, the last few seasons with Phil Kessel, and this year with young phenom Mitch Marner.

They're going to the playoffs as well.  Looking to exorcise the demons of the 7 game playoff loss to the Bruins for years ago. 

These two are probably the best defensemen the Leafs have right now.  Rielly wasn't a Leaf yet when the Leafs lost to the Bruins in 2013.  Gardiner had arguably the best series of anyone on the Leaf blueline that year with 5 points in 6 games, and was almost the goat tonight when he accidentally kicked in the 3rd Penguins goal.

No matter, they're going to the playoffs.

Now this post would have been helped if I had cards of Matthews, Marner, Fredrik Andersen or any of the other dozen or so Leafs who helped get them to the playoffs this year.  Oh well.

The Blue Jays will have to take a back seat to the Leafs for a couple of more weeks, cause the Leafs going to the playoffs.  Can you tell I'm just a bit excited...

Heaven help me if they actually win a series.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Inbound and Down #10: Baseball Card Breakdown

I actually received this envelope last week from Gavin who runs the Baseball Card Breakdown blog.  I did show off the piece de resistance last week on the PC blog here, but actually took my time deciding whether I wanted to do one or two posts with the bounty I received.

One post won out...

A big winner so far for Topps has been the inclusion of past cards with the Rediscover Topps stamp on them.  Gavin was kind enough to send a couple my way, including the legendary '87 Topps Rance Mulliniks card on the left.

A little bit of vintage came way, totally unexpected!  The master of the unibrow and his high numbered '59 Topps card was a welcome find for sure, and the handful of '74 Topps cards put another dent into that want list.  I wonder if Bill Greif was any good.....

Pairs of Blue Jays cards came off of various want lists.  This also reminds me that I really need to update my Jays want lists for 2016 and 2017, as the Smoak and Cecil cards came from last year's flagship series 2 release, which I've never made a want list for.

Shiny stuff.  Don't know if the Jeff Hoffman cards are duplicates, or some kind of crazy variation that I don't know about. 

Donruss, another set that I've never bothered making want lists for.  Damn I'm behind on the time.  Love the retro variations though, which I see that Donruss brought back again this year. 

Some guys just don't like the fact that you brag about being in the warm weather all the time and have to throw a bunch of snow your way just to bring you back to earth.

 Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiissssssssssssssssss (registered trademark of the Night Owl, used with permission).

When you find success with a card, what do you do?  You print some more of it as part of a separate  release.  Why not, right?

Whomever said that Pompey was destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius better think again, as Gavin hit me up with quite a few of the young Canadian's cards.

Finally to top off the package, here's a '15 Heritage Chrome refractor card of Roberto Osuna, along with a '15 Archives Dalton Pompey auto!!  On card no less, great stuff!!

Gavin, thank you very much for the envelope, it's very much appreciated!!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Inbound and Down #9: All Trade Bait, All the Time

Not to be outdone, Oscar from the Dodger-centric All Trade Bait, All the Time blog sent me 5 cards to rival the 5 I sent his way during the 100 words contest.

Here's the vertical 3.  The '16 Osuna I already have, but the Benoit/Bautista pair I certainly need for the 2017 Blue Jays team set. Love Benoit rocking the old school Blue Jays cap.

Here's the horizontals.  Grilled cheese and the Blue Jays team card, if you please.  Two more cards off the Blue Jays '17 flagship want list, which hasn't even been created yet.

In hindsight, I could have used these cards to try and do another 100 word post.  But in the end, this post ends up short and sweet, just like a 5 card PWE should be.

Oscar, thank you very much, the cards are appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, April 2, 2017

1743: Adding 2 more sets to the want list

I completed a few errands yesterday morning and while doing so I decided to stop into Target a pick up a few packs of cards to see if I could pull something worthwhile for myself.

No such luck.

I grabbed two packs of '17 Heritage and these three cards were the "highlights":

I guess I don't remember seeing anybody pull any of the Rediscover Topps cards from Heritage, so I was quite disappointed (to say the least) that this '91 Jody Reed came out of a pack.   Why Topps, why?   The Anthony Rizzo HBP card looks pretty cool, but I'll have to find a Cubs fan who would enjoy it more than I.  The Trea Turner is a SP card, so now I have 6 of the SPs, and only need countless more.

4 packs purchased so far, just 3 doubles.  Not bad, but there's a long way to go.  

Despite my grumbling, I will pursue the '17 Heritage set.  Seeing as I finally picked up the final 3 cards for the '11 Heritage set I need to replace it with something....

I also picked up a couple of rack packs of '17 Topps flagship.  Did as well as could be expected.  Couple of first pitch and a couple of award winner cards here.  Available to whoever wants them.
The Scherzer is already a double...

I've pulled a few of the '87 inserts, Dansby Swanson being the latest.  The Shin-Soo Choo card in the middle is a rainbow foil parallel.  The George Springer card tells us that he wears #4 in honor of his parents and 2 siblings.   These 3 cards are also up for grabs. 

As far as duplicates go, my luck has been horrible.  I've bought 5 rack packs so far (36 cards in each), and have the equivalent of one of those packs as duplicates.  From where I sit, that's not too good.  But I'll still give this set a go anyhow, because I like the look of the design more this year than last. 

I'll have want lists up sometime this week, as long as the Leafs chase for the playoffs doesn't distract me horribly from my card pursuits.

What am I saying?  I didn't post last week.   I'm terribly distracted!!

The 4 packs cost me $23 total, so $1766-$23= $1743 left for 2017.   At this pace, I'll spend just $1019 on cards this year.  Maybe I should have given myself a raise a long time ago!

thanks for reading, Robert