Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Lofty Heights

Yeah, I think you could say I've got the itch back.  As you may (or may not) know from reading my blog that I'm a bit of a numbers guy.  Numbers possess my mind to no end. 

This post tonight is my 20th post for the month of May.   There are those out there who will say that it's no big deal, they do 20+ posts in a month while standing on their heads.

I used to be one of those bloggers, a few years back.  But hitting 20 posts in a month hasn't happened to me in quite a while, since February 2015 to be exact.

Lofty heights indeed. 

I'm much happier with my collection right now; both the Maple Leafs and Blue Jays collections nearing the finish line as far as being sorted and put away.

But I still have some nice looking cards to get into their rightful place.

Serial #'d 138/150

Lots of Carlos Delgado cards need to find a proper spot in the Jays collection.  Not all of them are as shiny as this 2006 Bowman's Best card, but they are Jays cards none the less.

Flipping through some other pages in the binder I came across some Roy Halladay cards.  I remembered Roy because yesterday was the 8th anniversary of his perfect game against the Marlins, which happened just about 30 miles south of where I live now.

I came across a great read while flipping through some articles, it was a tribute to Roy written by A.J. Burnett.   If you haven't read it yet, click here and take a few minutes to read what A.J. had to say about Roy as a teammate.

Last night's post is a prime example of why I like writing.  I was able to take a frustration of mine, lay it out on the blog, and got some great comments from other bloggers who sympathized with me and shared their own views in a couple of quick sentences.  To those who commented last night and this morning, thank you as your words were appreciated.

Let's see if I can 20 or more posts two months in a row.   If that happens, then I can say I'm a serious blogger again.  Only time will tell.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Feeling a little overwhelmed

I think I've bitten off a little more than I can chew right now.   I am working on what has to be a couple dozen baseball sets, and I want to complete nearly a dozen hockey sets. 

Yeah, it's a lot.

I also love grabbing cards for the players I collect.  I've added a few more players during the past year.  They're all big names (Ichiro, Larry Fitzgerald, Andrew McCutchen) so there's a lot of cards for each of them as well.

I've done some thinking about all this the past few days.  And I know what my problem is.

I just can't focus on one thing.  If I could just say "I want to finish xxx set next" and focus solely on that, that might help ease the overwhelmed feeling. 

But it's tough.   All those cards out there to buy. 

There are guys that I follow on twitter that are set builders.   They seem to have no problem focusing on a task and completing it.  Mind you, they have a bigger following than I do (most people and putting want lists out there goes a long way for them. 

So maybe it's time I made a decision.  

76-77 OPC.  This is a set that I should have finished a long time ago.  My start on this was thanks to Dave at the Wax Stain Rookie blog, as he offered up a starter lot of these cards on his blog and I jumped at the chance.  How long ago you may ask?  I've been in Florida almost 3 years now, and I got these before I moved here. 

I have 49 cards left, 3 of them are already in my cart at COMC.  Let's see if focusing on finishing this set over the next few weeks helps ease the burden. 

Maybe I should think positive and start thinking about what's next...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, May 28, 2018

Four by Ten

Sometimes on the spur of the moment I'll decide to hit Sportlots up for a quick card order.  My latest purchase from that website had me looking for a new seller to try out.

At the time, I was also looking to enhance a few of my player PCs.  I had just finished listing a couple of older collections (Mats Sundin and Keith Tkachuk) onto the TCDB website and decided to see if I could add a few more cards to those.

Well, I wound up adding 10 cards to each of those two collections but that just wasn't enough.  So I decided to grab 10 more for another PC, Jim Thome.

What's surprising to me is that even though my Thome count is over 500 in hand, I can still manage to purchase base card needs for the Sportlots minimum of 18 cents. 

Now the one card I have a question about is the Upper Deck Predictor card in the lower left corner.  I've seen most of the Collector's Choice versions of the Predictor card, where the date that the player is supposed to hit a homer is right on the card.  I can't say that I've ever seen a predictor card that's a scratch off before.  Now there's no way I'm going to scratch the card but I'd love to know if anyone out there did and if so what was underneath the bats.

Now to finish off my order, I decided to see if this seller had any of my set needs.  Sure enough, I found 10 cards off of my 1984 Topps want list in a hurry.

The only card I didn't scan was the Twins team checklist/leaders card.  So now I've got 10 fewer cards on that want list, and as an added bonus, he threw in an extra '78 Topps card that I needed for that set...

1978 Topps #208

Seeing this card got me thinking, how often is it that the Stolen Base leaders of both leagues are full time infielders.  You think of stolen base kings over the past 40 years, most of them are outfielders.  I found three years since '77 where full time infielders led both leagues in steals, 2014-15 when Dee Gordon and Jose Altuve led their leagues and 2002 when Luis Castillo and Alfonso Soriano (before he moved to the outfield) were the steal kings. 

So, I've found myself another go to seller on Sportlots, user ID is kommking.  I received the order in less than a week, and the nice '78 Topps bonus card was a plus.  Plus the 10% loot credit he gives is a nice bonus if I decide to place multiple orders over time.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Try A Pack #13: 2017-18 Upper Deck Series 2

So I head out to my local Target yesterday to see what all the hub bub is about these Bowman Mega Boxes.  First spot I head over to is the card aisle.  

Bowman?  What's that?   I should have taken a picture while I was there (didn't think of it then) but there was not a single sign that Bowman even existed in the store.  No matter, I wanted something else anyhow.

I decided to buy a half dozen packs of Series 2 hockey, 3 for myself to open yesterday, and 3 to put away for later on.

Same as always, some great photography.  I don't remember the last time I pulled a triple exposure card from UD, but the Josh Gibson card looks great. 

I can't say whether or not I like that the OPC high number cards are inserted into UD packs, but I was happy that I pulled a Patrick Marleau Leafs card in the first pack so I guess that my objections are a bit muted...

Pack #2 features some great goalie shots, including the Jonathan Bernier head shot which I decided to put right in the middle of the scan.  Not that the Cory Schneider and Ben Bishop cards are slouches, but there's something about head shots featuring great goalie mask art that always draws me in.

BTW, the Ben Bishop Tron inspired glow in the dark masks have been a favorite of mine since he introduced them a couple of years ago, and I'd love it if he made more designs based on this concept. 

How about Dylan Ferguson, who I think was 4th on the Vegas goalie depth chart getting a Young Guns card!!  Not bad for only playing 9 minutes in one NHL game back in November against the Oilers. 

Speaking of great shots, I love the Nick Bonino card; shows the intense concentration that these guys possess when taking face-offs. 
I saw the Scott Hartnell card and wondered if this might have been his last run at the Cup.  He's 35 and has 17 NHL seasons under his belt (I was surprised that it had been that many!). 
Pulled another OPC high number card, this time of Giovanni Fiore, who I hadn't heard of at all.   I looked him up, and he's similar to Dylan Ferguson; he played one game this year for the Ducks with no points and a minus 1. 

I would love to some day collect a run of modern Upper Deck sets, but the Young Guns concept, while very popular, leads to some very expensive Rookie Cards (McDavid, Matthews to name two). 

But for now I'll be happy with buying a couple packs here and there and hopefully pull something great....

I probably have a better shot a hitting the lottery.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Inbound and Down #41: Waiting 'til Next Year

With the Cubs finally winning their long awaited World Series ring a couple of years ago, it might be time for Tom at the Waiting 'til Next Year blog to rename his blog. 

Maybe "no more waiting 'til next year"?

Anyhow, let's get onto the bulk of the box that Tom sent me this week.  33 cards from the 1990 Leaf set were inside, here's 9 of them...

What I'm really loving about putting these older sets together (OK '90 Leaf isn't "older") is that I'm seeing players in uniforms that I'd totally forgotten about.  Case in point, Gary Carter in a Giants uniform.  I remember the Expos, sure.  Mets, his world series ring.  The Giants in 1990, not so much.  Looked up his stats and saw that he played for the Dodgers the next year.   I don't remember that either.   I must be getting old.

Tom had mentioned in his email to me that he had some '80 Topps set help.  That turned out to be 48 great cards to knock off the want list.  Lots to love on these old uniforms, the small handwritten a on the Braves caps, the red TC on the Twins hats, and the old style Pirates cap are three things that I really like on these 2 scans.  We were still a year or 2 away from losing the black caps/uniforms that the White Sox sported in the late 70's.

As I mentioned yesterday, the bulk of the box was a big chunk of '78 needs.  This is the one set that I really didn't have a lot of until the other day.  A few things I noticed on some of these cards.

  1. I have a lot of Cliff Johnson cards.  He looks pretty tame on this one compared to most of the others.
  2. I would love to see the Indians sport the old red tops on a throwback night in Cleveland.   Love the old "Indians" lettering.
  3. Powder blue was certainly the in thing at that time, 5 cards featuring players on 5 different teams with the baby blues...
  4.  Had to check, but yes that is an airbrush job on the Bill Bonham card (he was with the Cubs in '77).
  5. Rico Carty would start the '78 season in Toronto as he was traded by the Tribe in spring training.
  6. Clean checklists are always good. 
All totaled Tom sent me about 1/6th of the '78 set, which is absolutely fantastic.  He also saved me from hunting down starter sets on ebay which I had been doing earlier in the week.

Tom, the cards are much appreciated, thank you!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Starting the migration

Received a fabulous box (yes, box) in the mail today from Tom at the Waiting till Next Year blog.  Tom was pruning his collection quite a bit, and was extremely kind enough to send me some much needed set help.

Tonight's post is a quick one, and focuses on one of the smaller piles of set help he sent, from '79 Topps.

Tom sent me 33 cards I could use towards my '79 set.  It also helped me get off my ass and start migrating this set over to the "well under way" want list, as this set is now over 30% complete.  I need to do the same thing with my '81 set build which is also well under way.

I didn't bother scanning them all, but I had to show off at least a page worth of cards so everyone could see the greatness that has landed at my doorstep. 

Tom also saved me from myself, as I've been hunting the past few days for a good starter set of '78 Topps on ebay.  That has been handled, as I now have approximately 100 less cards to pick up for the '78 set, which I will show off either tomorrow or Friday.

By the way, if you're looking to get in on some of Tom's bounty, there are still some teams unclaimed if you want to go here and leave a comment.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, May 21, 2018

Worth the price of a stamp

I'm going to try and not drone on incessantly about a 1 for 1 card trade, but there were just a couple of quick things I wanted to mention about this card below.

What I'm enjoying so far about the Trading Card Database is the network of people on there that want to trade.   I had a gentleman propose a 1 for 1 card trade in the middle of last week.  He had this Joe Sakic card that I needed, and I sent him a serial numbered Aaron Rowand card.

Yes, it's the French version of the base card, something I've needed for over a quarter of a century.

For the price of a stamp, it's mine now.  I probably could have bought it online a long time ago, but sometimes you don't want to buy a particular card for $2 when you know you can get it for much less.

I've finally got my entire Joe Sakic collection on the TCDB, all 711 cards in total.  After I finish this post tonight I'll be working on finishing the want list and hopefully finding a few more trade partners to get some more cards in.  I also have almost 1000 cards listed on my trade portion of the collection, so take a look and see if you can find something in there you're looking for.

Secondly, and more important, the speed of this trade really surprised me.  The trade was proposed and agreed to on Wednesday of last week.  We both shipped Friday, and we both received our cards today in the mail.  

My trade partner is in California.   Not too shabby for the USPS.

Thanks to 49ants for my 3rd of what hopefully is a lot of trades on the site.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Feeling a little bit empty

Now, before I get into my observational post today, I just want to make the following points clear...

This is not a rant.

I am not bitching (I actually chuckled while writing that sentence).

This is merely an observation about an envelope of cards that I received on Thursday.

The envelope was my Larry Fitzgerald PC starter kit.  Yes, I know another player collection.  But I've followed Fitz since his college days at Pitt, and enjoy watching him any chance I get on Sundays.

I've been watching the Amazon Prime show All or Nothing the past few weeks; the 1st season was based on the Arizona Cardinals 2015 season.  Watching this has been really enjoyable, and it kind of spurred me towards collecting a football player, and Fitz was an easy choice...

But I digress.

What I'm getting to is this.  I've read over the past several weeks on Twitter about poor packaging and a lot of disrespect that sellers have to their customers.  I totally get that, and I've seen many reasons why people have had a right to be upset.

But here's another thing that bothered me a little bit when I opened the envelope.

There was no note inside.  Now this may seem totally insignificant to a lot of you out there, but I know when I sold cards (or other items) on ebay, I always included some kind of note thanking the buyer for their bid.  Standard practice.

Again, don't get me wrong here.  Cards were packed perfectly.  The auction was very reasonably priced ($7 shipped for 35 cards) and got to my house lightning fast (won on Sunday, received on Thursday).

Now I wouldn't go so far as to leave negative/neutral feedback here, that's not the point.  This guy has 100% feedback and a score of over 6500 which I wouldn't tarnish.

Maybe I'm just old fashioned, I don't know.  But not seeing some type of acknowledgement in the envelope with the cards left me just a bit empty.

For me, a little common courtesy goes a long way.

That's just my 2 cents.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Inbound and Down #40: Too Many Verlanders

I've had quite a few great contributors to the Serial Numbered Insanity projects; one of those would be Dennis from the Too Many Grandersons/Verlanders blog. 

Dennis surprised me by sending an unexpected bubble mailer full of serial #'d cards for the hockey project.  I actually received this last week, but am finally getting around to showing off the contents for everyone. 

I decided to start with the horizontal cards, most of them from the 2002/03 Pacific Atomic set.  What's good about these cards is that the serial numbers are easy to see; some other Pacific releases have very tiny printing (Crown Royale) and getting the magnifying glass out to see them is a bit of a pain. 

I'll be damned if I can remember UD releasing the Play Makers set back in 2001-02, but it appears that this 145 card set was serial #'d to 1250 and the final 45 cards of the set were all rookie cards.  Even if the names aren't all well known, they all will hold a place in the set.

I always loved the SP Authentic sets, even if I couldn't afford to bust any packs.  I'm excited about adding a Hall of Famer such as Teemu Selanne to the set.  Dennis sent me quite a few goalies in this package, some for the goalie mask set, but the bottom 3 cards on this scan are going right in the SNI binders.  Love the Bryzgalov mask with the tiger art, it looks fantastic!

What surprised me the most in the envelope were two serial numbered Stadium Club cards (Erik Cole and Pavol Demitra on the bottom row).  I had no idea that serial numbered cards were ever a part of any Stadium Club set.  A little research and I learned that they were "proofs" and limited to just 250 copies of each card.  Works for me!

While writing this post I noticed that the majority of the cards are from the 2000-2003 time frame.  I know that there were a lot of sets that had serial #'d cards back then (thank you Pacific), but it makes me wonder who was hoarding these cards for the better part of 15 years! 

I also had to look and see how far the SNI hockey set has come along; it's just over 25% complete as there were 310 cards on the spreadsheet before writing this post.  It really doesn't seem like that many have been scanned and posted, but the numbers don't lie.

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

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Try a Pack #12: 2018 Donruss Baseball

Yes, I have weakened a bit over the past couple of weeks and bought some new product.  I was very curious about Donruss baseball since I really hadn't seen any on the blogs (that I've noticed).  So while at Target on the weekend, I stopped at the card aisle and grabbed a hanger box of this years product, largely because of the "5 Exclusive Holo Green Parallels" boast on the front of the box.

I have to say that I don't mind this product.   I don't love it, but for me it's not a throwaway either.

First the base set.  It's OK.  I'd maybe rate it a 6 out of 10.  Nothing flashy here but I did find a couple of interesting things...

Two different versions of the Reggie Jackson card; I especially like the one on the right with the sleeveless uniform top.  I did a quick search on TCDB, and it appears that the one on the right is a SP.  Interesting that I found both copies in the same pack. 

Speaking of SP's, I found a couple of others.   Both of them a couple of names you might recognize...

So, that's 3 SPs in the box so far.  Makes me wonder already how short printed these cards are.

Remember when Diamond Kings were cards that featured great artistic renderings of your favorite players?   Not here.  These I would say were a big disappointment for me. 

I managed to pull 2 of the 20 Rated Rookie cards out of the box.  Devers I know, Crawford, not so much. 

I did manage to pull one teal bordered parallel #'d to 199.  I'm sure that this will fit in someone's collection.  I had no idea Clayton Kershaw was known as The Humanitarian.  I guess that tells me how far behind I am on baseball nicknames.

Now these I like.  The '84 Retro parallels look really good to me.  I would love to have the Blue Jays versions of these for myself.  I'm sure that most of these cards will fit in other people's collections rather than mine.   It was also a shame to hear about Robinson Cano and his positive test.  How big a dent does that put in his potential HOF chances down the road?

I did manage to snag one good card for myself, the Holo Green '84 Retro Andrew McCutchen card.  This goes right into the binder.  The scanner doesn't do the Holo Green any justice, as the borders have a nice shine in hand.

The other 4 guys?  I'm sure that someone out there wouldn't mind having any or all of these for their collection.  I did a quick ebay search of the Aaron Judge card, and thankfully it's not going for some astronomical price (yet) so it wouldn't be the worst thing if a Yankees fan comes calling for it, or the '84 retro version above.

I kind of like this set, it isn't anything flashy, and my luck at pulling some pretty cool cards might tempt me to go and buy another hanger box this weekend. 

But don't expect me to put together this set anytime soon. 

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Strike a pose

I hadn't gotten around to posting my PC additions from my last COMC order, they just sat there on my desk staring at me for the past week or so.  I'd found other topics to talk about until today, when going through the cards I came across this beauty...

I love the line on the bottom of the card "An icon of consistency".  This pose that the photographer captured on this card could be called iconic (a word that does get thrown out too often in today's vernacular), Ichiro pulling up his right sleeve while holding his bat out toward the pitcher.

It also got me to thinking; I'm sure that there are collectors out there who collect cards like this.  Batters in unusual poses, pitchers hitting/bunting, etc.   Someone with the time and money could probably put together a good collection of Ichiro in this particular pose (I'm not that someone by the way).

Would love to hear about your unique collection, poses, catches, shots, etc.   Let me know in the comments.

To continue with the PC pickups from my last COMC order, there weren't a whole lot of them to show off, just about 10 in total.

Yes, Felix Potvin is still on my collecting radar.  He still stands as my favorite Leaf goalie, and the cat mask and equipment design doesn't hurt the appeal either.  Picking up cards from his stints with the Islanders, Kings and Bruins also won't hurt as he used variations of the cat mask with those teams, much like Ed Belfour did with his famous eagle mask.

I'm sure that there's a few people out there yawning right now saying "jersey cards, boring", but for me I still get a bit of a kick when I get them.  It's even better when I can get them for a couple of bucks apiece, such as I did with these Beehive and Black Diamond cards.  The blue swatches didn't hurt the cause as well.

The final 4 cards to show off feature one Sakic card, an Ichiro parallel (less than a buck, was excited to get that card at that price!) and a pair of John Olerud cards.  Yes, I've started an Olerud PC, as his sweet swing and calm demeanor made him one of my favorite baseball players.  Cleaning up my Blue Jays PC allowed me to find about 40 doubles to get the PC started, and I grabbed a couple of cards off COMC that feature him from his time with the Mets and Mariners. 

Maybe a bat on shoulder pose could be another idea for a PC?  I've seen quite a few of those over the years...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Getting somewhat serious about 59 Topps

So I hit the monthly card show today for the first time in a couple of months, and the first table I hit was the vintage dealer that I've hit several times in the past.

For some reason, I felt the need to knock off some more '59 Topps cards off the want list.  Alas, it's also to the point in the set where the majority of the $2 and under cards have already been purchased.  So today it was more of the 3 and 4 dollar variety cards.  Thankfully, the cards from him are always in really nice shape.

Part of the reason for having to buy more expensive cards?  Yankees and Dodgers.  Yep, picked up some of those today. 

The cards are really sharp, almost to the point where it makes you wonder if they're legit.  I love Ed Fitzgerald's giant catchers mitt, something you really don't see much anymore.

Glen Hobbie's card was the only one that I paid $1 for; as I mentioned everything else was a bit more pricey.  Vic Wertz's card was the only one that was numbered in the 500's; his is #500 in the set.  I shudder to think what the last 42 cards numbered 500 or higher that I need are going to cost me. 

$6, not bad for a couple of good pitchers on the same card

These 12 cards brought me over the 80% completion mark for the set.  I'm starting to get the same feeling that I got when putting the '64 set together; the anticipation is starting to grow as the number of cards I need grows smaller. 

I'm pretty sure when I get below 100 cards on my want list that feeling will kick up a notch...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, May 10, 2018

On this date: May 10, 1984

  • Blowout of the night:  Tony Gwynn goes 2 for 4 on the day after his 24th birthday.   Unfortunately, the rest of the Padres only managed 3 hits as the Padres were shut out 7-0 in St. Louis.  Joaquin Andjuar threw the complete game for the Cards, striking out 4.
  • Elsewhere, Toronto beat the Orioles in 10 innings 4-3, blowing a 3-0 lead in the eighth.  Blowing leads late was a common problem for Toronto in the mid 80's and the starter Dave Stieb was a victim of blown leads many times.
  • Finally, Bob Welch of the Dodgers also threw a complete game on this day, scattering 7 hits and allowing only 1 run while Pedro Guerrero went 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored as the Dodgers beat the Cubs in Wrigley 5-1.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Plenty of pages

The past couple of times I added cards from COMC, I was able to complete a page or two from various sets.  I enjoy when I complete pages of cards from vintage sets, and I usually end up posting them on twitter for my card collecting friends to see.

I posted a couple of '59 pages last night on twitter and got quite a response (as least as far as my world goes) with 12 likes.  Yes I know that most of the more popular bloggers have tweets that get several times that amount, but for me this is tremendous.

I wound up completing 10 '59 Topps pages from this past order, and so I don't make last night's tweet a tease, here's all 10 completed pages...

I am well aware that there isn't a whole lot of substance to this post (is there ever on this blog?), and it mostly serves to celebrate a very small achievement of mine. 

To be honest, I'm really just happy to show off 10 pages from a great set.  I hope that everyone out there enjoys them.

I'm hoping to show more of them in the near future...

Thanks for reading, Robert