Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Blue Jays Reorg #800: 2012 Bowman Chrome Eric Arce

Sometimes it's a bit depressing finding an older Bowman Chrome card of an unheralded player such as Eric Arce.  Eric was a 27th rd. pick of the Jays in 2010, and a 25th rd pick a year later.  He wound up playing parts of 3 seasons in the Jays system, not advancing above rookie ball.

After leaving the Jays system in 2013, he played in the Frontier League with the Normal CornBelters, getting into 10 games and hitting just .176 before leaving organized baseball. 

Now while I'm glad that Eric got to live a dream and play organized baseball for a couple of seasons, but on the other hand card companies could be a little more selective with their player choices for sets such as Bowman Chrome.  I'm sure that there are dozens more cards such as this one that fill  commons boxes all over the country though, so I guess I shouldn't complain too much...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Inbound and Down #21: Nolan's Dugout

I had posted my want list for the 2016 A&G set on a blog post a couple of weeks back, hoping that I'd get lucky.   Thankfully, Kyle from the Nolan's Dugout blog saw the post and offered up a few cards off the list.  The trade grew and eventually I got a nice stack of cards to knock a bunch of numbers off of 2 want lists.

Baseball players dominated the 19 A&G cards sent my way; the only two non-sports personalities were Colin Cowherd and Michele Steele (not pictured).  3 Hall of Famers came my way, along with 5 of the short prints. 

To go along with the A&G, Kyle sent 41 cards from the '90 Leaf set my way.  I decided to scan just a portion of them, it was accidental that the Jay Bell and Brett Butler bunting cards wound up side by side on one of the scans.  Seeing the Leaf cards brings back a lot of baseball memories, and the remainder of the cards had a bunch of great players such as Mark Langston, Doug Jones, Vince Coleman and Dave Parker to name a few.

I'm almost up to 150 cards from the '90 Leaf set, close to 30% complete.  I've enjoyed putting this set together so far; my memories of this set are from when it was released and how pricey it was.  Now the entire set lists for just $50, and the only RC from the set that lists for double digits is the Frank Thomas. 

Thanks for the trade Kyle, the cards are fantastic!  Looking forward to our next deal.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

An even bakers dozen

Still have quite a few goalie cards to show off, so I increased the number on tonight's post to 13.  I'm working my from the higher numbers to the lower ones, so it's easier for me to replace the cards back in the plastic case that I'm keeping them in temporarily. 

I tried to group the cards again this evening, it was a little tougher this time with the cards I wanted to show, but we'll see how I did...

The only horizontal card for today features the 03-04 Upper Deck card of Ron Tugnutt.  I looked up this mask last night and noticed that as Ron moved around later in his career, the "splash" design was common to each team he moved to.  I also noticed with this card is that quite a few of the goalie cards so far have also had pucks very close by.  Tugnutt's card is #307.

The first panel of 3 fit together for me because the masks are all blue.  I remember when Eric Fichaud on the right was going to be the next Leafs big goalie prospect.  But he wound up buried behind Felix Potvin at the time, and never played a regular season game in Toronto before being traded to the Islanders.  Love the whale on his mask though, as it was something you don't see very often. 
Damian Rhodes in the middle is another of the great head shots that I'm hoping to find more of. His 95-96 Upper Deck card shows him before he was traded to Ottawa that season and became a regular starter.
I always loved the white wolves on Jocelyn Thibault's Nordiques mask; it was probably one of the top 2 or 3 masks in the history of the team.

Thibault's card is #316, Rhodes is #337, while Fichaud is #338.

Tugnutt appears again on this panel, this time in a Canadiens uniform.  The "splash" theme didn't come in Montreal until the next season for Tugnutt, so for now we have his 94-95 Upper Deck card to use. 
Tommy Salo's mask I don't remember too well, but I believe that is a lighthouse on the one side, fitting for the Islanders.  Maybe I'll find something with a better photo than this 98-99 UD card.
Is it just me, or is JVB's mask on the right look like it's 3 sizes too big for his head?  The NY logo looks absolutely massive.  I prefer his Philly mask design, which I'm hoping to find later on.

Tugnutt is #321, Salo is #317 and Vanbiesbrouck is #339.

A trio of goalies from the old Southeastern division are on this panel.  Steve Shields' mask continued on with his Gerry Cheevers tribute mask that he wore as a Bruin.  I'd actually forgotten that Shields spent time here in South Florida.
Ondrej Pavelec spent his entire career with the Thrashers/Jets until he finally moved on this summer to the Rangers.  Hopefully there he'll get a bit more defensive support.  I always liked the old Thrashers logo, so this 07-08 Victory card may be the only one that features the old Atlanta squad.
What I've loved so far is doing some research on some of the designs, just to find out the inspiration.  Michal Neuvirth's mask is no exception.  Turns out that this is a tribute mask, it's a bit tough to see, but the left side has a portrait of Czech goalie legend Jiri Holecek, while the right side (not visible) has Olaf Kolzig painted on.  The eagle on the top of the mask for me is the icing on the cake.

Shields' card is #329.  Pavelec's card is # 334.  Neuvirth's card is #332

The last panel features goalies sporting Western Conference jerseys.  Dwayne Roloson on the left has a great wilderness design on his Minnesota Wild mask, featuring a bear on one side and a wolf on the other. 
Jose Theodor's Avalanche mask continues the gargoyle theme that I showed on last night's post.  The chin also matches the shoulder patch with the Bigfoot foot print. 
JS Giguere's mask is the half duck, half cyborg artwork that I don't remember.  Seeing these 3 masks makes me think I need to start watching some more western conference games this year.

Roloson's mask is #342.  Theodore's is #305, and Giguere is #319.

13 more cards off the list.  I'm loving this project so far...

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, August 28, 2017

2 by 2 by 2 by 2

Lots of goalie cards to show off this week.   All I need is the discipline to sit down and scan the cards that will make the scans somewhat interesting.

I decided to start off by increasing the number of cards on tonight's post to 8 (from 5 yesterday).  With a big influx of goalie cards (near 50!) from Mike from NABCB the other day that I still have to put together a post for, by the end of the week I hope to have shown over 100 goalie cards.

A couple of 2007-08 Upper Deck horizontal cards to start us off.  Lady Liberty has long been a part of Henrik Lundqvist's mask, and for me it doesn't get old.  I'm hoping to get a more recent shot of him with the glittery (for lack of a better word) mask that he wears.

Nittymaki had a couple of his Philadelphia masks feature portraits of gangsters on them.  That's part of the allure for me, finding out what goalies find interesting to them and seeing it put into art.

Lundqvist is card 364, while Nittymaki is card 380.

I've had a good bit of luck finding good shots from the 2007-08 Upper Deck set so far, and the Kevin Weekes card on the left is no different.  Kevin is an excellent analyst on the NHL Network, and has the knowledge from his well traveled years in the NHL.  The Black Panther mask is one of my favorites of his.

Jose Theodore's 2003-04 Upper Deck card shows his love of gargoyles (with thanks to Joesayfan and his blog for the info).   I would love to get a card featuring his Heritage Classic mask from the outdoor game in Edmonton back in the early 2000's (if there is one). 

Weekes card is #355, Theodore's card is #347.

Ilya Bryzgalov had a lot of different mask designs during his time with the Flyers, and this one with featuring Darth Vader and Yoda was one of his best.  The original light saber for Yoda was orange (Philly color as you can see), and the folks at Lucas Films requested that he change the color.  The 2013-14 O-Pee-Chee card you see here is #'d 384.

It's always a few games when goalies are traded mid-season before goalies can get a new mask/paint job, and the 94-95 Upper Deck set caught Craig Billington in that transition.  What's funny though is that Billington was traded in the off season of 1993, so over a year later, Billington hasn't spent the money to update his mask. Billington's card is #370.

For me, the two best cards of the post.  I love the close up head shots, which allow a good look at the mask.  Anyone who follows my Player Collection blog has seen a few cards of Felix Potvin's cat mask, which I hope to get one or 2 more of featuring either the Kings or Bruins colors.  The Potvin card is #367.

I don't ever remember Kirk McLean wearing a Scottish themed mask with the lion and the tartan on the top.  I love it though, and I will be hard pressed to ever remove it, even if someone does find a goalie card #'d 375.

Both of those cards come from the 97-98 Upper Deck set, which kept up with the previous years tradition of using some great head shots.

8 more down, I'm loving this set so far.  Can't wait to see if there's any good shots in this year's releases.

thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, August 27, 2017

A few more goalies for the frankenset

I already have a 150 count plastic case full of goalie cards so far, and I received a package of goalie cards this past week that I still need to write a post about.  So, with a need to get some posts out there on the blog, I'm going to try and post a handful (or more) masks for the next few days.  We're only about 3 weeks away from NHL training camps opening, so why not?

Jocelyn Thibault had some great masks during his NHL career, and the one he sported on this Pacific Complete set from 2002-03 is no different.  Even the "T-BO" on his chin looks great.  This is card #411.

I don't normally like to be harsh on athletes, but maybe the only thing that was good during Toskala's time in Toronto was his mask.  This video might be the defining moment.  Vesa lasted a couple more years in the league before returning to Finland to finish his career.  This 2007-08 Upper Deck card is number 397.

Sometimes you just never know where you're career will take you.  Niemi wins a Cup in Chicago in his first year, is traded to San Jose where he has 5 solid years, then ends up in Dallas and becomes a back up.  I remember picking up packs of 12-13 Score hockey at K-Mart like it was only yesterday, but this is already a 5 year old card.  Niemi is #392.

Most of the names you'll see in this frankenset you'll recognize, but even the most ardent hockey fan might be troubled to remember Pauli Jaks.  This photo was more than likely taken during his only NHL appearance, where he played 40 minutes and gave up 2 goals.  The mask represents his time in the IHL with the Phoenix Roadrunners.  This is card #387 in the set, and is part of one of my favorite UD sets, 94-95.

The Loch Nets Monster, Blaine Lacher, who lasted just two seasons in the NHL.  This might be one of the best mask shots that will appear in the set.  This is from the 95-96 UD Set, and is card # 385.
Love the claw grabbing the puck on the side of his mask.   Fantastic.

I thought that Jhonas Enroth was going to be the answer as a back up in Toronto this year.  Instead, this is the only base card from Upper Deck that Jhonas will appear on as a Maple Leaf.  Good shot though of the big Maple Leaf, ironically in front of a brick wall.  At least there's a goalie in spot #424 now.

There's another half a dozen spots off the list.   Still have a lot more ground to cover though, and I'm going to try and get through a bunch of cards this week.

thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Inbound and Down #20: This Way to the Clubhouse

He may not have been around and blogging on his blog since last October, but Mark from This Way to the Clubhouse and I have been in contact on Twitter during that time.

Mark was kind enough to ask me if I wanted the Andrew McCutchen card he pulled on National Baseball card day.  Absolutely!  Needless to say, the card wasn't alone in the envelope he sent.

Along with the Cutch, he found a 1997 Topps Stars card of Jim Thome that I needed for that PC as well.  Nice to mark that one off the list also.

To go along with those two PC cards, he threw in a few cards to knock down the '17 Heritage want list some. 

Not bad how one card turns into 13!! 

Mark, thank you for the cards, they are appreciated!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, August 21, 2017

1284: A couple of A&G packs, and an interesting realization

OK, maybe this realization will be more interesting to me than to everyone out there.  First off, I bought a couple of A&G 14 card packs on the weekend while at Wal Mart. 

While going through the packs, I did a little math in my head and did a comparison with Stadium Club.   More on that later, let's look at what I pulled first.

Pack 1:

I'm pretty sure I've seen this mentioned either on the blogs or on twitter; the fact that I pulled SPs that look off center is very off putting.  I really do like this set, and am looking to build it, but if the SPs are off the mark, then that's a little upsetting to say the least.

Reggie Jackson in an A's uniform might be the card of the set for me so far.  Kendrys Morales of the Jays does not look happy, maybe it's because his barber didn't shave his beard correctly.

For me, these are the "unusable" cards.  Not part of the set, and I don't chase the minis.  Although the "Dude" cards are interesting, they are of no value to me unless someone would like to trade for them.  I now have 3 (fisherman and conductor are the other dudes I have).   If anyone is looking for them, or the Denny Crane card (those who watched Boston Legal will know who Denny Crane is), let me know.

Pack 2:

Lance McCullers.  SP.  Off center.

Another legend in this pack, Nolan Ryan.  Would love to see him in one of the other uniforms he wore during his career.  Does anyone remember him in an Angels uniform on a card that was released after he retired?  Josh Bell seems destined to be the runner up in the NL ROY Voting this year.  He's had a bit of an up and down season, but 70+ RBI's is nothing to sneeze at in a line up that has at times struggled to score runs.

The "unusables".  Kimbrel is an A&G back.  Moustakas in the top 5 for AL home runs isn't something I would have predicted at the beginning of the year.  Neither would Justin Smoak of the Jays being in that group either.

Well, on to the realization, and the math I did.  When I looked at the cost of the cards, and the price per card of the cards that I can use, it works out to almost 50 cents per card.  That's similar to what I determined a few weeks ago was the price per card of the Stadium Club.  It made me wonder what the difference was in wanting/justifying the collection of either set.

Same price (in essence), both great sets.  I know you can't collect them all, but I may have to rethink what I collect when it comes to price....

Anyone that needs/wants the inserts, comment or emails are welcome.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Inbound and Down #19: Blog reader Scott

Got an email recently from Scott, who has traded on Zistle and with some other bloggers.  Scott was interested in some Marlins cards that I had recently displayed on the blog and he said that he had a few cards to send my way.

Scott didn't have any problem hitting a few of my want lists...

A dozen cards from the '89 Upper Deck read like a whos who from 80's baseball.  Canseco, Gibson, Buckner, Brett, Alomar, Mattingly, Raines and Gwynn are all big name stars and I'm happy to have them all in hand, knocking 12 cards off the list.

I was also able to knock off a couple of cards from the '90 Leaf and '80 Topps want lists.  Again, no cheapies here, lots of star power.  I so wanted one of those Astros uniforms from the 70's and 80's.  Maybe one day I'll find one for myself...

I also received 8 of my '82 Topps needs, and what I found interesting was that Scott sent a bunch of the Future Stars cards.  Need them all yes, but I didn't expect to get them as the main part of a trade envelope.  Not complaining at all though, and I still recognize a few of the more notable names on the cards, such as Von Hayes, Dave Henderson (RIP) and Tom Brunansky.  The single player cards were definitely cool to get, Harold Baines and George Bell were two of the better hitters from the 80's, combining for over 4500 hits during their careers. 

Finally, Scott sent 3 cards from the endless Blue Jays list, although the "97 Pinnacle Inside card of Roger Clemens has him disguised as a Red Sox.  This might be the last season we see Jose Bautista, as he's had a hard time keeping his average above .220 and his arm in right field isn't what it once was.

Scott, thank you for the trade, the cards are appreciated.  Don't hesitate to send me another email in the future!

thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

1296: A whole bunch of odds and ends + the monthly card show

The majority of my July purchases weren't documented in my posts that count down how much I have left to spend in 2017.  The lack of writing didn't hamper my purchasing of cards during the month, so I sat down today and figured out just what I spent in July that I didn't document.

  1. $7 on an ebay auction that knocked off about 90 1990 Leaf  and just over 100 1989 Upper Deck cards from my want list.   That $7 included shipping.  
  2. $25 was deposited in my COMC account.
  3. $13 was spent on 2 packs of Stadium Club
  4. $20 was spent on 2 3-packs of Allen & Ginter
  5. $30 was spent on a few series 2 packs, along with a jumbo pack of stickers and the 2017 album to go with them.
So, that's 95 bucks right there that wasn't mentioned at all during July.

This past weekend was the monthly card show, and I kept it cheap at the show by spending just $35.  I bought a chunk of singles to put a dent into my Series 1 flagship want list from 2017, I also bought a few miscellaneous singles of my player PCs.

Found a few goalie mask cards at a good price, I'll have to check and see that I need them all.

Bought 4 more serial numbered cards for the SNI Hockey set.  I love the Great Outdoors card of Patrice Bergeron, as I had never seen that insert set in the past.  I also had to have the George Parros card in the upper left; it was cool for me to see him stick handling with the puck on the card instead of what hockey fans know George does best, fighting.

Finally, I walked by one dealer's table twice before I finally decided to cave in and pick up a key card from the '90 Leaf set, the Frank Thomas RC.

It's amazing to see the difference a generation makes, as Thomas looks very svelte on this card.  Now he's a very big and solid man as he approaches 50 years of age.

Well, unless I win a nice chunk of money at the lottery, it doesn't appear that I'm going to spend my entire budget this year.  I dropped just below $1300 left with 4.5 months to go.  I'm trying hard to pay off medical bills related to my cataract surgery earlier this year, so maybe next year I'll be able to spend a bit more money.

Maybe $1000 should have been the target this year...

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, August 14, 2017

Inbound and Down #18: A Cracked Bat: Baseball Cards and a Hot Dog

It had been quite a while since I traded with Julie at the A Cracked Bat, etc etc blog.  Recently, I had the good fortune (for Julie anyhow) of pulling a few Tigers that were tradeable, and I contacted Julie to let her know I wanted to send them her way.

In that email, I did something that I've been doing quite a lot lately.  I made sure I had the correct address. 

Good thing I did.  Julie politely informed me that she moved 2 years ago(!) and was now up north, much closer to her beloved Tigers.  Over 2 years is a long time to go between card swaps, but the package that she sent me made up for the time lost (I hope hers did as well).

Let's start with some shiny cards....

Love the Aaron Sanchez gold parallel from the 2016 Update set.  Some folks have lamented their teams players being displayed in the Padres brown and gold, but Aaron looks good to me.  I've managed to obtain a couple of the Press Proof cards from past years Donruss products, but the J.A. Happ is the first from this year that I've received.  Another Dalton Pompey card also enters the fold, as the Donruss Preferred RC from 2015, #'d to 299 is now in my hands.

Another Dalton Pompey RC, this time from the 2015 Museum Collection set joins a Edwin Encarnacion card from 2015 Triple Threads.  I don't lament the Jays losing EE as much anymore since Justin Smoak has more than replaced him at first base stat wise. 

Finally, a double dose of 2015 Museum Collection Jose Bautista cards.  The copper on the left is not numbered, but the blue parallel on the right is limited to 99 cards.  I don't believe I have any copper or blue Museum Collection parallels in my collection, so these were a welcome sight as well. 

Julie mentioned in her note that she hoped that I enjoy these cards half as much as what I sent her way.  No chance of that, as I'm sure that I'll enjoy these 7 easily as much as she's enjoying her cards.

Maybe even more.

Thank you for the cards Julie, they are greatly appreciated!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Blue Jays Reorg #700: 2016 Opening Day Devon Travis

If he ever can stay healthy for an extended period of time, he'll definitely show that the Jays won the trade that saw Devon come from Detroit for Anthony Gose.  Gose has been converted to a pitcher and is in Rookie ball in Florida for the Tigers.

Devon's latest injury?  Knee cartilage surgery.  He's been out just over 2 months, and his timetable to return is by the end of August.  He's a better player all around than any of the substitutes the Jays have marched out to 2nd base during his absence (Goins, Barney, Refsnyder) and if they've gained any ground in the Wild Card race by the time he gets back, he might help them make a push for another post season birth.

The card really is true, Devon could be a future star for the Jays.  He grew up about a 30 minute drive north of where I live, in West Palm Beach, FL.  Devon then played college ball at Florida State before being drafted in the 13th rd by the Tigers in 2012. 

His first two seasons in Toronto were also injury plagued, but hitting over .300 in his limited time gave Jays fans some hope that Devon will be the answer at 2nd base for years to come.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, August 11, 2017

Some more goalies for the frankenset

I decided to show off a few more goalie cards tonight, and there's also another opportunity to vote for the card you want in the set!

First up, another card featuring Ollie the Goalie.

Last time out, it was a card from early in Olaf's career, now we have a 2008-09 Upper Deck card showing him in a Tampa Bay uniform, with the "Zilla" on the chin of his mask.  Also I love this card as it shows him fending off a puck with his blocker hand.  This is card #428

Next up, Anders Lindback, then of the Nashville Predators.  This is his 2012-13 Score card, #426 in the set.  I hunted around to find a better photo of his actual mask, but was unlucky.  Somewhere down the road someone may just find a #426 to replace this one.

This 2007-08 OPC card of Manny Legace features his veterans mask, with the United We Stand banner right above the cage.  A better shot of this cage can be found here, and once you see a closer shot you'll see why I like this card.  This is card #417.

Here's your vote for this week.  Both of these are card #430 in their respective sets.   Tim Cheveldae's 1990-91 OPC card is a great homage to the Wings and the motor city, while Cam Ward's 2007-08 Upper Deck card pays homage to Blackbeard the pirate, and is also a great mask as well.

I have made this image and poll my pinned tweet, and the poll will be up for the next week to allow people some time to vote. 

I'll keep adding cards each week to try and build this set over time.  For me, it's fun looking at some of these old cards and remembering masks from days gone by. 

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Inbound and Down #17: I feel like a Collector again

I received a generous envelope a few days ago from Kin at the I Feel Like A Collector Again blog, but finally got around tonight to digging a few cards out of the envelope to show off.

Kin had no problem with hitting several of my want lists, so I had a bit of a tough time at first deciding what to put on the post.  So I decided to dig up an old friend, and show the cards off 5-4-3-2-1 style.

My recently debuted goalie frankenset was a hit in this envelope, as a few goalie masks came my way, including Eddie the Eagle Belfour, part of Kin's favorite hockey team, the Blackhawks.  Belfour's mask is a classic design, which didn't waver over the years.  The only thing that changed on the mask as Eddie changed teams was the background color.  You'll see it a few more times for sure.

Minis!!  Any current Jays fan is familiar with Osuna, Sanchez and Tulowitzki, but I had to look up Jeff Hoffman who was featured in the Future of the Franchise insert from 2014 Bowman Chrome.  Jeff was the Jays 1st round pick, 9th overall in the 2009 draft, and was traded to the Rockies in 2015 as part of a package for the player on the right, Troy Tulowitzki.  Jeff is currently in the Rockies rotation with a 6-3 record so far this year.

These are 3 cards that I needed for my three main player PCs.  They'll be featured on my other blog before too long.

A pair of serial numbered parallels from a few years back.   Neither of these guys are still with the club, but I'm sure that both cards will find a spot in the Jays box. 

I don't know if I recall seeing gold holograms from the early 90's Upper Deck cards.  But here's proof that they exist, as Kin sent me a gold Blue Jays hologram from the '92 set.  Kin also sent a silver one as well. 

Great stuff!  Kin, thank you very much for the cards, they are much appreciated!!

thanks for reading, Robert