Saturday, December 30, 2017

Inbound and Down #32: Too Many Verlanders

Those of you who follow Dennis' Too Many Verlanders blog know that he sent out a boat load of packages just before Christmas time.   The other day I was fortunate enough to become one of the lucky recipients, as a large priority envelope jammed my mailbox!!

By the way, I'm just curious, now that Justin Verlander is in Houston, will the blog become Too Many Cabreras?  Inquiring minds want to know...

The big portion of the envelope is what you see in the photo above.  Dennis is thinning out his Beckett magazine collection, and sent me 5 that featured Blue Jays covers from back in the 90's!  While I loved getting them (and have display ideas already, thanks to my better half), it was quite depressing looking at the prices of vintage sets 20 years ago.  Oh if I only had the forethought (and the $$) back then, my collecting process would be a lot different today.

Needless to say, the Beckett's weren't the only item in the envelope.  There were a trio of Joe Sakic cards, unfortunately I already own two of them.   The third one I have already posted on my other blog, and it was a good one (Donruss Press Proof, limited to 2000 copies!). 

The big chunk of the card goodness is a boat load of serial numbered cards for the SNIH set.  Dennis was a great contributor to the baseball version, and the hockey side became a lot bigger thanks to this super lot of cards.

Today, I'm going to show off the cards that did not come from Pacific brands...

What's great about this group of 9 is that I've heard of every one of these players.  A lot of the serial #'d cards so far that I've picked up is of rookies that never got more than a cup of coffee in the league, so seeing some more established players is great. 

I think Dennis found a vein of serial #'d cards somewhere as I have over 20 more to show off, which I'll do in the next post. 

Thank you very much Dennis for the very generous envelope, it is really appreciated!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Cards

I love my wife.  I had to start this post with that sentence, because she has supported my insane love for collecting cards the entire time that we've been together.

She's shown appreciation for the older stuff that I've brought into the house (especially the 64's and 59's) and never complains when I hit the card aisle at Target or Wal-Mart when we go together.

But she's never ventured into buying cards for me at Christmas time (or any other time of the year).  She's admitted being nervous about getting the wrong thing for me, which is understandable.  She knows I'm picky at times.  But this year she took the plunge.  

My wife actually hit my trash can to check out the wrappers of packs of Upper Deck hockey to make sure she was buying something I wanted. 

In my stocking, there were two fat packs of this year's UD waiting.  She had better luck picking than I have had so far...

I've bought 3 fat packs, a blaster and a couple of single packs, but hadn't hit an Auston Matthews.   Bang, first pack there he is!!  The first pack also contained a David Pastrnak Shining Stars insert, which is available if any Bruins fans need it.

I pulled a couple of Young Guns in my blaster, but nothing in the other packs.   Sure enough, there is Nathan Walker's card in pack #2.  William Nylander has also been nowhere to be found until now; I love that photo from the Winter Classic warm up.

This last card I'm going to show is already a double, but is perfect for the goalie mask frankenset.

What a great photo!  I wish there were more cards like this for the set. 

I may have to ask her to pick packs for me in the future.  Her luck is better than mine...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The last of the COMC order...PC's please

First off, I hope that those of you out there who celebrate Christmas had a very merry one and spent it in the company of loved ones.

It just wouldn't be a COMC order without a dose of cards for my player collections.  Often inspiration for picking up a card of Sakic, Thome or McCutchen (and now Ichiro) comes from seeing cards on the site while I'm writing up posts on my other blog.   I end up finding parallels, or as you'll see in this post, serial #'d cards from sets that I don't purchase much of.

I did pretty well with my #1 PC, Joe Sakic, picking up 8 more base/parallel cards:

Love how well the emerald parallel for Pacific Dynagon scanned.  OK, that was a bit of sarcasm as the scan doesn't show half of the dark green that the card contains.  The bottom and top portions of the card, as well as the "starburst" lines are all emerald and the card looks fantastic in hand.
I'm becoming more and more intrigued with the Beehive cards from the mid 2000's.  I totally missed out on that set when it was released, and I'm picking up cards here and there at shows or online. 

It's also getting tougher to find Sakic cards under a dollar, as I'm now more into the parallel/serial #'d portion of the cards I need to collect.  Half of the cards on these 2 scans were in the $1 to $1.50 range; still not exorbitant but it starts to add up. 

I did a quick count of my Sakic cards, and was stoked to find that I'm up over the 700 card mark now on his PC, and I'm looking to hit 800 in the new year.

In what had to be a moment or two of insanity, I grabbed a handful of Moments and Milestones cards from 2008 for the Thome and Ichiro PCs.  Yes, they were all below a buck, and add more cards to the PCs.  I need to make sure that I don't get carried away with chasing all of these, because there are so many cards with variations that it's absolutely head spinning.  

Well, with the end of the PCs from that order, I can say now that I've hit the 1600 post mark for the blog.  Now while 1600 posts is nothing compared to a few other bloggers out there that have passed the 2000 mark a long time ago, for me each time I hit a "milestone" post such as this one, it makes me happy because I realize that I'm making an attempt to entertain people. 

Why do I do this?  Just because I enjoy cardboard, as all of you do.  

Here's to many more milestones....

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, December 24, 2017

It's not all about the baseball sets

I didn't do a whole lot for my other hockey sets (save for the SPs that I showed off yesterday) on the last COMC order, but I didn't totally neglect them.  I snagged some old and some new to knock some numbers off a trio of want lists.

One set that I've taken on is the 71-72 OPC set, and I'm finding that it's difficult to find cards on the cheap.  These were all around a buck a piece, and all some kind of flaw that is easily spotted.  I know that I'm never going to put together a NM copy of this set, it's not possible with the number of sets I'm tackling and the cost that a high grade set will be.

No matter, these are still great to look at and knocking off 4 cards from the set at a reasonable price is always a good thing.

One of the greatest nicknames in hockey, Ken "the Rat" Linseman was a vital part of the first Edmonton championship team.  He was traded that summer to the Bruins, and then traded again a few years later to the Flyers, but he never changed his game.  Ken was a tough competitor, great on face-offs and defensively. 

I've still got over 1/3 of the 83-84 OPC set to go, with a bunch of Gretzky cards to find.  Maybe 2018 will see this set completed (or hopefully close).

Serial #198

Finding numbered parallels from premium sets such as OPC Platinum at a decent price can be tough.  I was able to pick up this red prism of Jarome Iginla for under a buck. 

This guy is proof positive that you're never too small to play.  I could go on and on with his accomplishments, but I'll limit the commentary to the card that I'm happy to have as part of the SNI hockey set.   I've always liked the SP Authentic set, it's a good mid range set with a good selection of rookies.  This is the 12th Tampa Bay card for the set as it approaches the 300 card mark.

The last card of this post is the highest number I own in the set, another SP Authentic card featuring JS Giguere, then of the Maple Leafs.  I enjoyed being able to watch JS in Toronto for the 2 seasons he was there; sadly he was part of a couple of poor teams that didn't make the playoffs. 

Yeah, not a lot here to show, but it still knocks numbers off of want lists.   I wonder what I'll ever do if I don't have any want lists....

Perish the thought.

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, December 23, 2017

short print cinema

A big part of some of my want lists right now are short prints.   The dreaded high number cards that companies enjoy making in order to give set collectors nightmares. My recent COMC order knocked a few cards off of the Short Print hit list.

Sadly, I'm still working on O-Pee-Chee sets from 4 and 5 years ago.  The high numbers in those sets number 100 each, and thus it's been a slow go finding cheap enough cards to fill the bill.

O-Pee-Chee mixes legend cards in with the rookies in order to fill up the 100 cards #'d 501-600.  The first five cards from this scan are from the 2012-13 set.  Needless to say, they stretched the term rookie a little bit in order to fit Joe Sakic into that portion of the set, since it had been a quarter of a century since Sakic had been a rookie.  I do like the old time photo of Joe in his number 88 jersey which he only wore during his first season before switching to #19.  Sami Vatanen is the only 2013-14 card that I added on this order; this set is much further away from completion with 130 cards to go, 54 of those being SPs.

The 2017 Heritage set also is rife with SPs (as you well know).  I decided to make a more concerted effort to get this set done a little more quickly than the 2011 set which took me 5 years to finish.  My hunt was for SPs that cost less than a buck, and these 6 fit the bill.  There are some high prices on the high numbered cards, with the Kris Bryant card being the highest that I've seen on COMC; the cheapest Bryant card is currently $13.75, or about $13 more than I really want to pay.

I still have 80 of the SPs to go, so it may be a year or two before I make a real push to finish the set. 

Frugality always wins out...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Some low numbered vintage for your viewing pleasure

During my last purchase of cards from COMC, an endeavor that lasted a few weeks, I was already planning my New Year's Day 2018 blog post.  I'm shooting big next year and focusing a bit more on my vintage sets, but I don't want to give too much away now.

I never really bought a whole lot of vintage on COMC, as I've stuck mostly with newer cards for my PCs or some modern set building projects. 

The 15 cards I'm showing tonight showed me that you can get some decent stuff (not great, but decent) at reasonable prices on the site.

The majority of my '59 purchases have  been from card shows.  I'm certainly pleased with what showed up in my latest order online.

They are all in decent shape, right around VG which is what I'm looking for in my set.  I still need just over 200 more to complete the set, which is better than I ever imagined when I started putting it together.   The "moving on to other projects" guy in me has stuck with this set, largely because of it's beauty.  Maybe by 2020 I'll have it done and ready to show on the blog (yes, I'm planning to still blog then).

More cards numbered below 100, this time from the '68T set.  Everything you see on the blog tonight was less than a buck, with a few of them costing me less than 50 cents.

74 cents for this league leaders card wasn't too bad, even if my scan of the card is. 

The salmon backed '69T set is one that I've been hunting on ebay; I'm looking for a reasonably priced lot of cards to put a bit of a dent into the want list.  Most of the lots I find are over $100 in price, which is not what I'm willing to spend right now.  I'll keep hunting...

How many different colors of caps have the White Sox had over the years?

Boy I couldn't tell you when the last time I purchased a '70T card was.  Maybe early this year?  These were all less than 50 cents each, so that gave me an excuse to put the trio in my cart.

Maybe after seeing some of these scans tonight one of my resolutions should be to get a new scanner in 2018.  But that's a discussion better left to the sidelines...

I'm looking forward to next year, as I've already got a lot of ideas in mind for my collecting goals.  Sticking to those goals is always the issue.  Maybe now that I'm in my fifties something will change.


thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Close, but no cigar

One of the goals at the beginning of the year was to finish the 2016 A&G set that I'd only had a handful of cards from at the time.

Well, I came close.  I still only need card # 168 (Don Mattingly) & # 296 (Rickey Henderson) to finish the set.  I didn't feel like overpaying for them (my cheapness won out over my desire to complete a goal, go figure) and once the next Sportlots order is made, these two cards will be on it.

Looking at the names of the first 3, I was fortunate to pick them off of COMC for less than 75 cents apiece. 

Three of the 4 in this scan didn't have the star power that the other scan possess, however the Ryan Weber card was the most expensive of the bunch, right at 75 cents.  Those rookie cards will get you every time...

Well, I'll grade generously at the end of the year as far as set completion goes, and give myself an A-.

Maybe I'll put together a quick Sportlots order before the New Year to try and get that A. 

The next few posts will be devoted to my recent COMC order, as I hit a whole bunch of different want lists.   Some sets, and some PCs will be featured over the next few posts.  It'll be nice to show off some cards for a change.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Try A Pack #11: 2017-18 Upper Deck Hockey

Upper Deck hockey is one product that I regret not staying up with over the years.  Yes, I've bought a lot of packs here and there, but aside from the first 3 or 4 sets back in the early 90's, I've never bothered putting together the complete run of sets.  Maybe once I get my run of vintage baseball sets completed (more on this in the new year) I'll come back around to putting these sets together.

But for now, I'm down to buying a few packs once in a while to satisfy my thirst for some hockey cardboard. 

I bought 3 packs of 8 and 1 jumbo pack of 32.  Let's go easy and give you one of the 8 card packs.

As usual, the photography is top notch.  I'm pretty sure that the Patrik Berglund card was shot at the outdoor game last season against the Blackhawks.  Rasmus Ristolainen is the workhorse of the Sabres blueline, recently playing two games in which he appeared in over 31 minutes in one and 29 minutes the next.  Incredible. 

The design is nice.  The team logo is in silver foil, not my preference but it's fine. 

I love how Upper deck manages to get shots during all kinds of situations.  David Savard appears to be having a bit of fun during pre-game warm ups.

Fantastic shot of Jaden Schwartz getting ready to take a face off.  His concentration on the puck is in clear focus in this photo.

Check out the bald guy in the background of Adam Lowry's card.  He's quite focused on the play.  This was by accident, but on both of these cards there's a puck below the line where the player's name appears.  I didn't notice this until I scanned them and was looking on screen at both the cards.

Finishing up the pack, accidental coincidence here, with a couple of Broadway Blueshirts.  Again, the great photography is evident on Nick Holden's card as you see some game action against the Ottawa Senators. 

One thing I liked about the pack?  No inserts or parallels to be found!  Out of the 3 8-card packs, I only pulled one shining stars insert, and the jumbo 32 card pack had one UD Portrait card of PK Subban.  Sadly I didn't get any of the coveted Young Guns short prints, but that's usually the norm unless I buy a box.

One day I will get back into building these sets...but not just yet.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, December 15, 2017

Inbound and Down #31: This Way to the Clubhouse

It's funny, on my way home from work today, I thought to myself "I haven't received any cards at all in the mail this month."  Hadn't ordered anything in a couple of weeks online off of ebay or COMC (though the latter is in the process of sending me a few cards now). 

I pull in the driveway, head to the mailbox and what do you know, a PWE from long time trading partner Mark of the dark but not forgotten blog This Way to the Clubhouse.

It was only one card, but sometimes those are the best, especially when you're not expecting them.

2017 Bowman Platinum base card of Andrew McCutchen.  Didn't own the 31 copies of this card as Kaz predicted in his note, or even 1. 

I originally thought that I might stop the McCutchen collection when I hit the 100 card mark, but I've been fortunate to nab some new cards as very cheap prices, so the climb to 200 cards for Cutch's PC marches on.

Thank you for the PWE Mark, it is appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, December 11, 2017

You know you're going to have good luck when...

I mentioned yesterday about the group of '59 Topps cards I picked up at the monthly show.  That was only part of the group of cards I picked up from the first table I hit.

That dealer had a sea of 2 row shoe boxes of cards on the back wall of the stage.  The original allure for me was that they were all dime boxes.  So I started digging in, and after a few minutes of pulling cards I heard the dealer tell a dad and his boys "everything in all these boxes is a nickel"!!

Well hot damn, time to really dig in. 

Before I had heard that, I pulled a small brick of hockey cards out of the first box I sat down in front of.  I recognized them immediately as 84-85 cards, and turned them over immediately expecting to see the Topps logo in the bottom corner.

Nope!!  OPC they were, and 14 cards were added to the have list. 

Over the past few months, I've found bits and pieces from sets ranging from '78 through '85.  I've stockpiled a few cards from each set here and there, but finding a bunch of nickel cards for a lot of those sets finally prompted me to get some lists up for several sets.  Phil "Scrap Iron" Garner is the card that I'm showing on the '78 set.

I only picked up a couple of '79s but I now have a list up featuring Jeff Newman of the A's.

The '83 Topps list is now up thanks to finding this nickel card of the Hawk, Andre Dawson. Don't have many of them so far (only 12), but it's a start.

I found this All-Star card of Ozzie Smith in the nickel boxes, and he is part of the '84 Topps build, 16 cards strong so far.

The biggest group of early 80's cards was a 15 card bunch of '85 Topps.   John Lowenstein was the coolest card of the bunch with those shades, so he's the poster boy to start.  I only have 27 of those so far.

The most surprising find of the bunch was these 7 cards from the '74 Topps set, along with a couple of '72s (which I didn't scan). 

I even found an entire Maple Leafs set from the 2002-03 Pacific release in the boxes.   All totaled just over 100 cards for the collection, to go along with the 59's from yesterday, and a couple of 68's and other more expensive 74's.

All in all not a bad haul from the first table, just over $23 worth putting a dent into some want lists, along with getting me motivated to get some want lists put up on the blog.

Have to see if I get just as lucky with next week's show.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A bit of neglect

It had been quite a while since I went to a card show and tried to put a dent into the '59 Topps want list.  Honestly, my focus lately has been on other wants from the many want lists that I possess.  When I hit the monthly card show yesterday the first dealer that I went to had dollar boxes with a sign "buy 2 get one free".  It was time to knock a few cards off of the list...

It was great to see the Don Zimmer card in there, I'd seen it at other shows in the past for around $8 so getting it for a buck was great.  The cards were in OK condition, but for a $1 I wasn't expecting anything earth shattering.

The Robin Roberts was actually in a $2.50 box which had the same buy 2 get 1 deal.  That card is in really nice shape, so that was also an easy pick up.  Now I had never heard or seen a card of Whammy Douglas before, so naturally it elicited a little chuckle when I pulled it out of the box. 

Vada Pinson was another name that I was happy to get for a buck.  It lists for $12 as an uncorrected error (birthday is wrong), but who really pays attention to that in the end?

As you can plainly see, someone took a little bite out of the Ernie Banks card on the right.  But to get a $20 for a dollar is a big win in my books.

That's 16 cards off of the list for just under $14.  Fantastic for '59 Topps.  With 212 cards to go, I need to find some more of those deals.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Unstuck, at least for one day

I haven't written a post on this blog in 10 days.   Largely because I haven't had any inspiration to do so.

Then I looked at the pile of cards to my left on my desk, and this card was on top of the pile.

Stadium Club gold parallel of Matt Duffy.  Nothing inspiring about that, right?   Well what created the inspiration for this post is what's on the padding just to his left on the photo.  

I've never been big on congratulating teams and their fan base when they celebrate championships, but I feel that I do owe a few words for the Astros and their fans.

First, I do want to say that I'm glad that the two best teams in baseball this year made it to the Series.  I honestly thought that the Dodgers were going to steamroll their way to a Series title, but as usual I was wrong (sorry to Greg, Oscar and the other Dodger bloggers, I probably jinxed it for you).

But one thing happened during the summer that really made me wonder about fans these days. 

The July 31st trade deadline came and went, and the Astros didn't make a significant trade to bolster their club.  The lynch mob rose in great numbers and wanted the management team run out of town.

Then at the end of August, the Astros pulled off the biggest coup of all.   They added Justin Verlander for 3 minor leagues.  Detroit is even going to pay $8 million of Justin's salary each of the next two years.  Verlander promptly goes 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA and a 0.647 WHIP in September, and then add in a 4-1 postseason and you may have one of the best acquisitions ever for a pennant/championship run.

The guy I was happiest for through all this was Jose Altuve....

I'm putting my vote in for Altuve as the best player in the game offensively over the past 4 years.

  • .334 combined average with 845 hits
  • averaging 39 steals a year
  • 4 silver slugger awards
  • Averages 156 games a year, so no DL stints 
Chicks may dig the long ball, but I get a charge out of guys who have 1250 hits in their first 6.5 seasons in MLB, play every day and do it in the relative obscurity that is the southeast coast of Texas.  If he's in Chicago, LA or NY, he's a rock star.

It's time to give this guy some love, seriously.

To the folks of Houston, after seeing what you went through with Hurricane Harvey, I am glad that your team won the Series.  But there are a lot of fans out there that should let the management team run things.

Looking at the season that the 'stros just had, I think they've got an idea what they're doing.

Just my opinion though....

Thanks for reading, Robert