Sunday, January 28, 2018

Inbound and Down #35: Summer of '74

I have almost 200 cards from the '80 and '81 Topps sets to put away, courtesy of Matt from the Summer of '74 blog.  Yesterday I showed the '78s he sent, a manageable number of 16 cards.

I wondered how to show off the remainder.   I wasn't going to scan all 200, that just takes up a lot of time and energy.  I also decided to show any of the '81s, since I've already shown quite a few of those lately on the blog.

So I finally decided to go through the '80s and see what I can put together as far as a post.

I started seeing star pitchers and star hitters, so I figured I would put a few together and see who was better against the other.   How about Jim Palmer vs. Reggie Jackson?  122 plate appearances for Reggie and he didn't fare too badly, 30 hits with a .286 average, 6 doubles, 5 HR and 11 RBI.  He also walked 11 times while striking out 16.

Carlton Fisk against Doyle Alexander was another match-up that intrigued me.  (Note: look up Doyle's stats on Baseball Reference dot com and you'll see he's wearing a Blue Jays cap that has the logo reversed).  Not as many appearances as Palmer V. Jackson, but kind of similar offensive numbers if you pro rate them.
.286 average, 19 hits, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR and 14 RBI.  9 K's and 7 walks. 

Fergie spent a lot of years with the Cubs, so that made me curious about this match up.   (I told you Fergie was following me around.)
The batting average was a bit lower, but still a good amount of hits for Johnny...
.265 average, 18 hits, 3 2B, 2 HR and 11 RBI while striking out 12 times and walking just 3.

These 3 cards were close to each other in the pile.   Think of the speed in this outfield if the three of them were together.   78 steals for LeFlore.  16 for Collins in less than 400 ABs (Collins would steal 60 bases a few seasons down the road for the Jays).  Wilson led the AL with 83 steals. 

I found a pretty solid infield as well.  No Angels in the outfield this time.

Here's a couple of guys that I wish I could have watched more during their careers.  I got to see Al Oliver during his final season as a Blue Jay in 1985.  I surfed around on Al's website a couple of weeks ago and there's some interesting stuff on there.  

I knew that Yaz had played a long time in the bigs, but I was not aware that he is 2nd all time in games played at 3308, only trailing Pete Rose who played in 3562.  I wish I could remember more of him during his playing days...

That's just 15 cards from a great stack, but they brought me back to my early days of baseball memories with a lot of legendary names.  

Thank you for the cards Matt!!

thanks for reading, Robert

It's a start

One thing that I've done a bit of during the month of January is adding some Jays and Leafs cards to the TCDB collection.  What I like so much about the site is it helps me sort the cards in order once I've added them. 

What the site doesn't do is write about the cards for me.  I guess you can't have everything....

Well, I have a couple of piles of cards that I recently added, and a few of the Leafs cards caught my eye so I figured I'd say a few words about them.

1970-71 Topps #111

Brit Selby is no longer the answer to the trivia question "Who is the last Leaf player to win the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year".   The Leafs went a half century before Auston Matthews came along last year and scored 40 goals to win ROY.  In comparison, Brit scored 14 during his rookie season in 65-66.

Brit played parts of 6 seasons in the Blue and White, appearing in 169 games and scoring 29 goals.  He was selected by the Flyers in the expansion draft, and then traded back to the Leafs towards the end of the 68-69 season.  Brit would end up finishing his career in the WHA, ending up back where he started in Toronto with the Toros. 

1981-82 Topps #25

The other 99.   Wilf Paiement wound up in Toronto via a trade with the Colorado Rockies that saw fan favorite Lanny McDonald shipped out.  Wilf arrived in Toronto during a very contentious time with the club, star players being traded and the team slowly sinking to the bottom of the standings.

Wilf would actually record a 40 goal season with the club in 1980-81, but would end up being traded the next year for Miroslav Frycer and a 7th rd pick. 

1991-92 Score American #173
I saw this card and it reminded me how much I enjoy listening to Dave's analysis on the NHL Network.  By the time this card hit the shelves, Dave was already a former Leaf, having signed with the Boston Bruins as a free agent.

Dave had scored 15 goals the previous season in Toronto, including a league leading 8 short handed goals.  Dave had a long career in the NHL, playing 961 games and scoring 165 goals.  Dave won a Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in the 98-99 season, and he finished his career 2 years later winning another Cup with the Avalanche.

1986-87 Topps #149

One of these days, I'll have to complete the entire run of 80's hockey sets and do a best of the 80's countdown.  This card would be right up there for me.  That look on Wendel's face kind of exemplifies his time in Toronto, the "don't mess with me look".  Wendel may have played in Quebec, Detroit, Chicago and Long Island, but he somehow always wound up back in Toronto, and always returned to a heroes welcome.

Maybe his most memorable game as a Leaf came in game 6 of the conference final against the LA Kings, in which he scored a hat trick, including the tying goal with 1:21 to play.  The Leafs would end up losing the game on a controversial goal by Wayne Gretzky who had clearly high sticked the Leafs Doug Gilmour, but did not receive a penalty.

I only have 91 Leaf cards entered so far into the database, but there's 4 of them for you to see.  My Leaf collection isn't anywhere near as big as the Jays is, so it shouldn't be difficult to get them entered. 

It's just a matter of getting started...

thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, January 26, 2018

So far, it's been easy

One of the biggest goals that I set for myself at the beginning of January was to stay away from new product for the first 90 days of 2018.

So far, it's been easy.  Nothing new has come out that I want, and I haven't been to Target or Wal Mart at all since Christmas.  Lead us not into temptation....

What I've enjoyed doing so far is knocking down my want lists.  I've knocked off over 1000 cards so far since the beginning of the month, picking up lots here and there, and having some generous bloggers send me some great cards.

The biggest lot of all so far was from Matt at the Summer of '74 blog.  Matt was very generous and sent me a big stack of cards (mostly from '80 and '81 which I'll chronicle on my next post), which included a few handfuls of '78 Topps.

Seeing these cards brings back memories of running up to the corner stores and buying packs of cards for a quarter.  I can recall getting frustrated with the amount of doubles I got back then as well.  I love the look on Darrell Evans' face as he's staring at what appears to be a pitch that has hit the Pirate catcher's glove. 

For a little while I had Nolan Ryan following me around, now over the past few weeks it seems to be Fergie Jenkins who I'm running into frequently.  I had to take a quick look at the back of Steve Rogers' card, and it reminded me of how much the game has changed over the past 40 years.   Steve led the Expos staff in 1977 in complete games, with 17!  The top 4 pitchers in the AL combined this past season for 14 complete games.  

The only card I didn't show of the 16 was the Blue Jays checklist, which was horizontal and I was too lazy to scan another card....

I'm not quite to 10% of the set so far, but I've been eyeing a couple of lots on ebay that would easily help me surpass that mark.

Matt, thank you for the cards, they are appreciated!!  All I have to do now is come up with another post for the other 200 cards...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Kirby for 80 cents

You just never know what you'll find at a card show.  I decided to head up to the West Palm Beach card show this morning to try and knock down some more of my want lists. 

I walked into the hall, hoping to see the same dealer I saw there last month; I had scored quite a few '90 Leaf and '89 UD cards, and was hoping to get another good deal this month.

Disappointment.  I walked in and his tables were empty.

There are 20 other tables at the show, so I figured I'd take a look around.  The 2nd table inside the door looked intriguing, as it had dime boxes.  So I sat down and started digging.

20 Heritage singles from '17:

A couple of '80 Topps cards

My 1981 want list saw 7 cards removed

Finally, I pulled 23 1982 Topps cards, with a few decent names mixed in.

So, there's $5.20 so far.  I didn't find anything else I wanted in the dime boxes, so I looked at the rest of his table.  Looking for something to maybe get me closer to $10.

I found this card.

Kirby Puckett RC.  I'm putting the 1985 Topps set together, I needed this card, so I figured it would round out my purchase nicely.

I handed the dealer the cards, he asked me what I had and I rang it off for him.  32 dime box cards, 20 Heritage singles and the Puckett RC.

I pulled a $20 bill out of my wallet expecting maybe 5 or 6 bucks in change.

The dealer says to me, "Six bucks".   Two months in a row, I find a great deal at the WPB show.   I did a lap of the other tables, but just couldn't bring myself to take a good look.  I joked to my wife when I got home that I probably spent more on gas getting there and back than I did at the show itself.

Eighty cents for a Kirby Puckett '85 Topps RC.  


Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Inbound and Down #34: @NHLCardSale

I actually follow quite a few card sellers on twitter.  Most of them end up finding me, either because of the blog, or because one of you follow me on twitter and the seller follows me through your want list.   You get it...

I finally decided to take a splash when I spotted Kenny who runs the @NHLCardSale handle. He posted that he had a few Felix Potvin cards for $8, and since I hadn't added anything to my Felix PC in quite a while, I told him that they were sold.

A pair of jersey cards and a serial #'d card from Pacific Atomic in all their purple and black splendor.  I love how well the Purple on Felix's mask shows on the cards.

A couple of base cards round out the 5 cards for the Potvin PC.  I especially love the vintage style Leafs jersey that is on the 2013-14 Fleer Showcase card on the right.

I spent just over $20 in total with Kenny, so he threw in free shipping and a bunch of Leafs base cards.  The scary thing is, it's as if he could see a want list that I haven't even finished yet, because all the cards that he sent were ones that I needed.  Love the Retro OPC's on the bottom of Polak and Devereaux. 

I also hadn't seen any of Upper Deck Portfolio before this envelope came as well, and I really like the look of the set with the dark brown borders.  I may have to try and pick some more of that up in the future.

I like the look of the Monochromatic jersey cards from SPx. I decided to add a few of these to my trade bait.  There's a Nazem Kadri version for the Leaf lover in me that I'm going to have to find.  I'm sure that the blue will look great in my collection.

Thank you Kenny for the great cards, they are appreciated!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


For the longest time while attending card shows, it seemed as if I was going for cards/dealers that were selling cards for dollar/two dollar amounts.  I knocked a lot of cards off of my older set want lists, but there were times I came home with a bit of an empty feeling.  I'd spend 50-60 bucks, and end up with 20-30 cards. 

Last month was some great success in nickel boxes, this month was cards that cost a quarter.

I showed 10 cards last night from 1968-1970, and there's a bunch more I have to show today. 

All for 25 cents.

7 cards from the '79 Topps set.  If there is one card from my youth that is instantly recognizable, it's the 79T Goose Gossage card.  I pulled so many of those out of packs back in the day (all sadly gone), but that off balance follow through photo is stuck vividly in my head.

Three nice clean checklists for a quarter are a good find in my opinion.   Still a very long way to go to finish this set though.

Not much from the '78 set, but 3 decent star names and another clean checklist.   A dollar's worth of quarters.

Bits and pieces from 80, 81, 82 and 85.  Another Nolan Ryan card, I think that's the 3rd straight month I've brought home from a card show.  I also got some joy out of seeing a future stars card of Dan Quisenberry of the Royals. 

But, the big find for me at the show is the next couple of groups of cards.

First, 18 '72 Topps cards, each for a quarter.  I made one mistake, picking up the Royals rookie stars card when I already had it, but still this is a nice, unexpected dent to make in this set from quarter boxes.  Robert Barone's favorite player is a part of the '72 set as well, and he is pictured above. 

27 cards from my '74 Topps want list round out the group.  I managed to pull a couple of cards of players that became managers later on in their careers (Gaston and Alou), another who was a long time pitching coach (Stottlemyre), and another who was a long time broadcaster (Hutton).   Seeing Al Oliver's card made me do a Google search on his, and I found this website.  It was a very interesting read, and I learned something I didn't know about Al, that his father passed away the day he was called up to the majors. 

I just may hit the West Palm Beach show this weekend.   Gotta see if I can keep my run of card show frugality going...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, January 15, 2018

Some postal woe, and a little bit from the show

I've been blogging for almost 6.5 years now, and have shipped cards for a couple of years more on top of that.  I've never really had much to grouse about when it comes to the post office and the service that they've provided me over the years.

Until now.

I work in the package delivery business, and have been doing so for almost 19 years.  I've seen what happens to packages at times.  I know that they get lost, or barcodes rip/tear/get destroyed.   Believe me, I get it.   But seeing what I've seen with a package I'm expecting is just a little crazy.

My package leaves Philadelphia, PA, and gets to West Palm Beach, FL (about 1130 miles) in 22 hours.  Not bad at all.  The West Palm Beach postal sorting plant is about 50 miles from my house, but is not my local plant. 

The package then goes from West Palm to Opa Locka, FL.  A little over 60 miles, the journey takes 2 hours, which is not bad since the scans show the package moving during the morning rush on the 11th.  That's Thursday.

The package doesn't move for 4 days.  Nothing.   Opa Locka is 30 miles from my house.  I get notice today that the package is now in transit again.  On a federal holiday.   I can't wait to see what kind of scan happens tomorrow....

OK...rant over.  On to some card show goodness.

I went el cheapo again this month.  Only spent $20.   At one table.   I dug through several quarter boxes and made a dent into some want lists.

These were the only 3 60's cards left in the boxes.  Thankfully, I needed them all and at a quarter apiece, I was pleased at the condition.

A trio of catchers, love the big catchers mitts!

I'm making this a quick post for tonight and finishing up with 7 cards from the '70 Topps set, which is a set that I never started out intending to build, but as I've gone along I've found some good deals at shows on singles (such as these at a quarter apiece).  So much so that I now have over 200 cards towards the set.  Not bad for never planning to put the set together...

Tomorrow I'll finish up the show post with some cards from 72, 74, 78 and 79 Topps.   Maybe I'll even have an update on the travels of my package.

For all I know it could be headed to Cuba....

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Knocking down the want list a bit

In my quest during the first 90 days of the year to stay away from new product, my goal is to try and win some lots on ebay to put a dent in the larger want lists from the early 80's that I now possess.

I found a couple of 100 card lots from a seller who combined shipping (getting 200 cards shipped for $3.99 these days is good), and I had some fun going through a bunch of cards from the '81 and '85 Topps sets.

Gary Woods had been traded to the Astros by the Jays in December of '78, and had played in 19 games for Houston in 1980, but it appears that Topps still needed to airbrush a helmet onto his head. 

I would not be upset in the least to see the Padres bring back the yellow and brown uniforms that they wore back then.   I had forgotten about the 'locked' SD version of the yellow jersey, but no matter.  They still look great, bring them back San Diego!

The photo might be blurry, but you get the idea.  "Who needs a hat to pitch?" says John Pacella of the Mets. 

Seeing this Glenn Borgmann card made me wonder about the uniforms with the collar that the White Sox sported.  I had thought that they had already made the move to these....

by the time that the '81 season had rolled around.  While the black and white uniforms had that quaint old school feel, I preferred the brighter and more colorful version that Julio Cruz is sporting here on his '85 Topps card.

I had forgotten that the '85 Topps set contained the US Olympic Baseball team members.  It was a surprise to see a half dozen of them in the lot.  The only one of these 6 that I remember is Scott Bankhead, who had a 10 year big league career with 5 teams.  Of course seeing these sent me the reminder that I will eventually have to look for the Mark McGwire USA baseball card, and hopefully not pay too much for it.

I did fairly well with the lots overall, with a little over 20 doubles from the 200 cards.  Not a big deal, as I can use them for traders later on. 

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Inbound and Down #33: Torren Up Cards

I recently completed a twitter trade with Kenny (better known as Zippy Zappy) of Torren' Up Cards fame.  I had some cards he needed for his Series 1 UD Hockey build he's working on, and in return he sent me a couple of "packs" of cards (a great idea BTW, thank you Kenny).

Both of the packs had hits, which never happens to me, so I may have to buy some more product from Kenny in the future...

Let's look at the packs, shall we?

Pack 1:

Keeping true to form with real life packs, these are doubles.  Nothing wrong with Blue Jays doubles though, especially when one of them features John Buck's cool Jays mask.

Some early 90's hockey featuring a couple of Leafs defensemen.  I know that I have the Ellett, but I'm not sure about the Pro Set Iafrate AS card.  Will have to hunt to see if I had it already ( I really don't think I do).

One of my favorite hockey sets to rip, MVP is always welcome here.  The Tyler Bozak is the silver signature version, and I'm pretty sure I needed all 3 of these.  Nice!

Some more Jays to round out the pack, including an auto of Jays 2014 draft pick Sean Reid-Foley!  Love getting autos, especially when it's a player that I need to research.   Foley pitched in AA New Hampshire for the Jays last year, winning 10 games with an ERA just above 5.   He's still only 22, so there's still time for him to develop.

What I also loved, and purposely scanned, is the penny sleeve with the price of the card in Japanese Yen (I'm assuming that was the price).  I did the conversion, 150 Japanese Yen is $1.35.  Give it a few years, that may be a steal!!

Pack 2:

More true to life form....doubles

More Leaf needs, including 3 cards from this year's Series 1 UD.  Blue and white never gets old....

I had not seen this card until I pulled it out of the pack.   Love it, one of Bill Barilko's classic photos from the early 50's.  Sadly, a life taken way too young....

Finally, a couple of Auston Matthews cards rounded out pack #2

The UD series 1 Shining Stars insert, and its red parallel brother!!!   I am sadly lacking in Matthews cards, so seeing these brought an instant smile to my face.  I don't plan on moving these anytime soon.

Fantastic envelope Kenny, thank you very much!!  Love the packs idea as well, it was fun getting to open a couple of "packs" while I'm on my 90 day hiatus.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Serial Saturday #17: Pacific? I'm an east coast guy...

Finally getting around to the 2nd part of the great envelope that Dennis from Too Many Verlanders sent my way a week or 2 ago.  With all the serial #'d cards in the envelope to feature, I figured it was a good time to revive the Serial Saturday concept after a 6 month hiatus.

How about a little 2000-01 Crown Royale to start off.  It was pretty difficult to find, and then see the serial #'s on these cards.  If you look very closely, you'll see the serial numbers just above the name plate on the far right side.  The Scott Fankhouser card will count for the Jets as they were originally the Atlanta Thrashers. 

Dennis sent two copies of the Matt Stajan card in the middle, so 1 went to the serial #'d set, and the other goes in the Leafs collection. I think the last time I saw as many players on a card was back in the early 70's, but the Todd Marchant card on the bottom featuring some high traffic in front of the net is a beauty.  It's also hard to see, but the card is a retail ltd. parallel, limited to just 149 copies, and the Marchant version knocks #3 off of the list.

Goalies!!  If anyone asks you at a party what goalie holds the NHL record for the longest shutout streak in history, you can tell them that one of these 4 goalies holds the record.  It's the goalie wearing the winged P, as Brian Boucher holds the modern record at 332 minutes and 1 second (just over 5.5 games for you non-hockey readers). 

Dennis cornered the market on Holo-Gold parallels from the 1999-00 Pacific Paramount set, sending 7 of them my way.  Valery Kamensky is probably the biggest name of the forwards, and it was good to see Sergei Gonchar get a Stanley Cup ring with the Penguins in 08-09, and I don't know about anyone else out there that follows hockey, but I think he merits some consideration for the Hall of Fame.

Finally, a bunch of Pacific Revolution cards from back in 2000-01, featuring one player that is still playing in the NHL 17 years later, that would be Patrick Marleau who is now in Toronto.  I don't know about you, but those Revolution cards are LOUD! 

I counted 32 cards gone from the checklist, which is fantastic.   Thank you very much Dennis, I need to send some Red Wings your way!!

Thanks for reading, Robert