Saturday, June 30, 2018

Minor 9er

To this day I still remember my first day of high school, nervous and sweaty.  Used to walk the halls going to my next class and hearing the upper classmen call us "Minor 9ers", hence the inspiration for this post.

Daniel at It's like having my own card shop recently celebrated his blog's 9th anniversary and challenged the blogosphere to write a post containing 9 cards.  Anything at all.

So I'm sneaking my contest entry in under the wire, and writing about 9 of my player collections.

Still not quite at 100 cards, the Brett Lawrie train has slowed down over the past year.  I'll probably pick it up again at some point, but I'm sure that I'll be able to find cards cheaper as time goes on.

The John Olerud PC is something I should have started a long time ago.  I have 48 of his cards now, no hits or autos yet so I scanned this '92 Topps gold winner card  to show.  This is a PC that will grow over time as well, no rush.

I started collecting Keith Tkachuk a long time ago, but stopped for a long time.  I have just 72 of his cards, no hits or autos on this PC as well. 

Felix Potvin I just added to the PC train a few months ago, but have never really sat down to find out how many of his cards I have.   Need to rectify that.  I do have some nice jersey cards, and a pair of Mask cards as well, so his collection is coming along nicely.

 I recently found about a dozen pages of his cards in a binder, so this PC should be well over 100 cards now.  As with any Leaf player, any time I find a blue jersey card it's going to be added quickly.

I have almost 120 Andrew McCutchen cards now, but this is the only jersey card of his that I own.  I've been too busy adding parallels to his PC recently to worry about "hits". 

I'm already closing in on 150 Larry Fitzgerald cards, and I'm going to say this.  I really don't give a shit that this is one of the manufactured patch cards, I really love this card.   It has become one of my favorite pieces of any of my PC's.

Some times posts such as this make you dig up cards you forgot you had.  Ultimate Collection Thome jersey #'d out of 25.  Doesn't matter that it's a Philadelphia patch on a White Sox card.   Love it.   Have over 500 Thome cards now, and about 15 jersey/bat cards.

This guy will always be my no. 1 PC.   Over 700 Sakic cards in my collection and counting, I will never get tired of adding cards of him to my collection.  Love the three colors on this jersey card, it is probably one of my top 3 Sakic jersey cards.   Still have a lot more of him to add.

I didn't include Ichiro in my PC countdown, largely because I had to stop at 9 and he became the odd man out.

Thanks for the contest Daniel!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Serial Saturday #19: The shameless pursuit of serial numbered Larry Fitzgerald cards

I had vowed a few years back to stop collecting football cards.   I had no desire to open packs and with all the baseball and hockey sets I want to put together, there just seemed to be no room.  With all the recent PC additions lately, there came a desire to find a football player to add.  

Then while watching Amazon's All or Nothing program that featured the Cardinals, my fascination for Larry Fitzgerald was reborn.   I had drafted him a few times for Fantasy Football teams early in his career, and was never disappointed with his results. 

So, I decided to hunt for some Fitzgerald card lots on ebay.   They were quite affordable.   Then Wes from the Area 40 blog chipped in and really gave my PC a shot in the arm.

Now I'm hooked.   My latest COMC order had quite a few LFitz cards in there, including a bunch of serial numbered cards that were surprisingly cheap.

Gold parallels, just like the baseball ones we all know.   Green Chrome refractors.  Triple Threads base cards.   All for under a buck apiece.   A very easy way to grow a new collection for sure

I'm sure that someone out there will set me straight, but I don't ever remember 1st Day issue cards from Stadium Club being serial numbered.  So when I saw this one for less than 75 cents, I jumped on it.   Bowman parallels are nothing new so I found one of the cheapest color (Blue #'d to 500) and paid 63 cents for it.  Hard to beat that....

Panini and Playoff cards are plentiful and also reasonably priced, so I grabbed a few of them as well.  The horizontal cards look great and scanned quite well.

The Cardinals logo has long been one of my favorites, and that goes back to the days when they had Jim Hart as their QB.  I already have a few cards that feature the logo, and will probably snap up any of them that I find.  This card is #'d 208/250, and I only had to spend 64 cents to bring this home.

$1.72 was all I paid for this Larry Fitzgerald jersey card, #'d 195/289.  I could have gone on and on with all the serial numbered cards I picked up in this order, but you can only bang that drum for so long before people start shouting at you.

This is likely going be a PC that I will gladly add to at a frequent pace.  I'm looking forward to Larry passing Terrell Owens in receiving yards to move into 2nd place all time (he needs just under 400 yards to do so).  Moving into 2nd place on the all time reception list will be a bit more difficult to accomplish this season, as he needs 91 catches to pass Tony Gonzalez. 

Needless to say I'll be keeping an eye out...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A few vintage want list removals

Most of the remainder of my COMC purchase was made before I had resolved to knock down the 76-77 OPC hockey set.  Today's post is only going to show off 10 cards, but it's a bit of vintage that I picked up while I was poking around.

I hadn't bought any 1962 Topps cards for quite a long time, and a couple of months ago I decided to try and find a few cards to knock off the want list on the cheap.   I bought these 4, and the 4th series checklist.   I have since removed the '62 Topps want list from my pages, as I don't believe I'm going to chase after this for a good long time.   Having it on there was just distracting me from the other sets that I'm more interested in putting together right now.

Back in the late 90's I started putting together the 83-84 OPC hockey set.  After a while I got interested in other pursuits, and moved most of these out of my collection.   I kind of regret that now that I'm pursuing it again.  I knocked a couple more of the Oilers off the want list; I believe that I have 3 or 4 Gretzky cards that I still need to pick up, and overall I have 113 cards to go.  This is another set I can't wait to show off when completed.

The final two cards are from the oldest hockey and baseball sets that I'm currently working on.  The 71-72 OPC hockey set still has a long way to go (it's not even 1/4 complete yet), but I love every card that I pick up from that set, and my appreciation for it keeps growing.  1959 Topps is down to 109 cards to go now, and I picked up a few more commons from a seller on COMC that had a 60% off sale recently.  I'm hoping to be below 100 to go for that set soon.

Lots of PC stuff still to show off from this order, I'll save that for another post.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Now this is how I like a want list to look


That's it folks, that's how I'd love all my want lists to be.   But, the crazy man in me that's trying to put together a million sets at one time just can't have it that way right now.

Those 15 numbers above are what my 76-77 OPC  want list consists of now, thanks to my recent delivery from COMC.  I have quite a few additions to show off over the next few days, but I did want to start with the one set that I'm concentrating on.

My scanner is driving me nuts right now, as I can't put an entire page worth of cards on the scanner bed.  The scanner is cutting off the top and bottom portions of cards when I try to scan 9, so I'm forced to piece meal scans together in the center of the scanner.  I'm hoping this weekend a new scanner will be purchased allowing me to get some decent scans out to you again.  

I'm to the point in this set where cards are costing me anywhere from $1-$3 bucks apiece, with any Canadiens and Leafs cards being sold at higher prices than other teams.

Having these cards in hand is fantastic though.  Two stars such as Lapointe and Robinson, even though they played for the blue, blanc et rouge at the time, will always be welcome here.  

For the most part I'm just showing off the star cards on this post to illustrate the legendary names that I'm buying up to complete this set.   Jean Ratelle and Billy Smith are a pair of great players from that era that wound up costing me a couple bucks apiece.  Even the PPG leaders card cost me a couple of dollars, but with all those great names on it, it's not surprising.

Even the record breakers cards are expensive.   Gotta have them!  It's funny, because now I hold the Trottier and Sittler cards together and I can easily see that the Sittler card has been trimmed a bit.  It's a shame what dealers will do to make a card look better.  

Just 15 to go to complete the set.  Big names like Ken Dryden and Lanny McDonald still need to be bought, along with the Tiger Williams RC.  

I'm hoping to have this set finished off soon so I don't have to worry about it at the National...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Try A Pack #14: 2018 Bowman

First off, just want to say Happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there, hope your day is filled with fun and family.

OK, I tried a pack of Bowman.  Yes, just 1 pack because that's all I could find around my neck of the woods.

As you can see, it's time for a new scanner as the latest driver download has cut off the edges of my scans.  The cards aren't bad, I like the design to be honest, but of course with just one pack I didn't get anything that provided the wow factor.

What surprised me is there weren't any rookies or Chrome cards at all.  I haven't bought a great deal of Bowman over the years, but I do remember multiple cards of Chrome in packs, and usually some kind of rookies in there as well.   Maybe I just got a defective pack.

If anybody wants any (or all) of these, just drop a quick comment and I'll send them out.  I'll even send the portions of the cards that the scanner ate.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Knocked a few off of the 76-77 want list

It took just under two weeks, but the ebay auction that I found for 11 of the cards that I needed for the 76-77 OPC set build finally arrived yesterday.  It felt great deleting these cards from the want list, and I'm hoping that by the time the National rolls around in 6 weeks, I'll have only a handful of cards left on the list.

These are the kinds of cards you end up with as you get towards the end of building a set.  Star power.  Brian Spencer wasn't a big star in the NHL, but he did have a decent career playing over 500 NHL games.  

The other three on the scan are the heavy hitters.  Bill Barber played 12 seasons in the NHL, scored 420 goals and won 2 Stanley Cups with the Flyers.   I was aware that Gerry Cheevers played for some time in the WHA, but what I learned today is that he actually walked out on the Cleveland Crusaders over financial issues, and returned to the Bruins 2 days after that during the 75-76 season. 
Guy Lafleur was the superstar for the Canadiens during the 70's, scoring 50+ goals for 6 straight seasons, 1st team all star each of those years, won the scoring title 3 times and the Stanley Cup 4 times during those 6 years. 

The team photos are what I enjoyed receiving the most.  Here's 3 members of the old Adams Division, the 4th member being the Maple Leafs. 

Interesting that the Black Hawks team card doesn't consist of a team photo, just 23 players/coaches in various poses.  I wonder why that happened.  Also interesting is that the Red Wings ice looks green, wonder if that's just the way the photo was, or if there was something wrong with the water back then in Detroit. 

Needless to say, I love these cards, and I'm glad that I've passed the 90% complete mark for the set.  Just 38 more to go, and about half of those are in my COMC cart just waiting to be shipped.  I can't wait to show the entire set off once it's in hand...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, June 14, 2018

On this date: June 14, 1975

  • Tom Griffin would pitch a 3 hit shutout as the Astros beat the Cardinals 9-0
  • This would be Griffin's 3rd, and last win of the season.  Tom would only make two more starts in 1975 before being shut down for the rest of the season.
  • Big Cliff Johnson would go 2 for 5 in the game with a homer and 4 RBI's.
  • This is Johnson's RC, and is located right beneath Steve Garvey's card in my binder.
  • Elsewhere, Johnny Bench would go 5 for 5 and drive in a run as the Reds beat the Cubs 11-3.
  • Interesting thought about the Reds batting order that day:  George Foster actually batted 8th that day.  All those years of big power and average numbers and I could never have imagined that he'd be batting before the pitcher....ever.

- Robert

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

I spent more on breakfast than I did at the monthly card show

Before you ask, I did not eat at one of those all you can eat buffet places, so rest assured my breakfast didn't cost much.

I was very excited to go to this month's card show, as they have relocated to a new venue, which is a little closer to my house (and closer to the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, which may not be a good thing).

The new hall was quite nice, a lot roomier and cleaner than the previous location.  Most of the vendors are still the same, so that familiarity was still there.

I sat down first at a table that had several boxes of cards (no price marked), mostly newer stuff.  Starting the Larry Fitzgerald PC allowed me to do something I hadn't done at a show in a long time, look through stacks of football cards.

Found half a dozen, not bad.   Fitz wasn't the only PC finds, as I found a card each for Thome and Ichiro in the boxes.

After that, it was all Toronto cards for me.   As I mentioned, a lot of newer stuff in the boxes, so I managed to put dents into several of this years Blue Jays team sets.

Gypsy Queen.  That might just be all of the Jays.  Love the red cap on Osuna.

How soon before we see a hundred billion of these on the market for a penny apiece? 

The Tulowitzki Museum Collection card is from last year's set, but I would have never known because I've never bought a pack, seen a pack or looked for a pack.  The Heritage cards are cool, probably about 1/2 the team set is featured here.

Lots of miscellaneous cards for the Jays as well.  Love the Bringer of Rain moniker card of Donruss from last year. 

Once I was done looking at baseball, I was surprised to see a big chunk of hockey cards in his boxes.  The first row of cards made an immediate liar out of me...

as I had mentioned last week when going over Doug's package that you never see Ice cards down here in the deep south.  Shocked, but pleased that I was able to pick these up.

Love SP Authentic cards, and was happy to add 4 of these to my collection.  Picking up early cards of Marner and Nylander for cheap was a very welcome relief to my wallet.

I've seen a few of these on the blogs, but never really knew much about the UD Full Force cards.  One day I'll have to look into what this set (or sets, I don't know) consist of.  Never the less, 3 more Leafs in the collection.

Happily, when I handed the vendor the stack of cards, all he asked for was $5.  I spent $6.25 on breakfast.

I walked around the show for a while longer, but just wasn't in the mood to pull the trigger on anything else. 

Maybe I'll head up to the West Palm Beach show this week and see if I can hit the $10 plateau...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, June 11, 2018

Going through the closet: 2011 Topps Chrome

A few years back, it was all about putting the sets together, and not really looking at what was inside them.   I whipped through this 220 card set and found that while the set looks nice because it's shiny, and it has a lot of rookies at the end of it, to me it was nothing spectacular.

Of course, there were a few cards that made me stop and look twice.  Wouldn't be much of a post if there weren't any....

I really didn't stop until I hit card #80, which is Joe Mauer ripping another baseball.   The card looks better in hand as you can see the crowd a little better.  Something about this card just screamed old school for me.  Not sure why, maybe it's the pinstripes.

The very next card in the set was Mat Latos, who has been on Twitter the past day or 2 for throwing a ball over a batter's head in the minors, triggering a bench clearing brawl.   Looking up his stats I see that he threw 3 starts in Toronto last year.   I missed all 3 of those, and now he's pitching in the CanAm league.  I remember when this card came out how he was one of the better starters in the NL; funny how things can change over time.

It's been a while since he was called Mike.  I prefer Giancarlo as he does.  Just seems to suit him more.  He only needs 18 more HRs to hit 300.  I think 500 is well within his reach, but I'm not sure that 600 is possible.  We'll see...

There's probably been a few people over the years that have shown this card on their blogs.  I may have even done so once.  The overhead shot with the ball on its way to the plate is a great photo.

Nice double dip shot for GCRL.  Elvis Andrus makes this look easy.  I believe that's Cody Ross who was with the Giants at the time that is getting forced at 2nd.

The last 50 cards are RC's, which I don't remember worrying about a whole lot back at the time I was putting the set together.  Freddie Freeman and Eric Hosmer are also among the rookie crop that includes Chris Sale shown above.   It surprises me, and then again it doesn't, that there isn't more action on Sale RC's; I guess collectors are into chasing the latest and greatest now and not proven veteran stars so much.

I don't recall having to chase this set very much when putting it together.  I'm sure that a few years ago that there were so many people buying these that trades were probably easy to come by.

This will probably be the only Chrome set I'll ever own.   Doesn't bother me in the least.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, June 10, 2018

On this date: June 10, 1973

  • Wayne Twitchell was the big man for the Phillies on this day, going 3 for 3 at the plate with 2 singles, a double, a run scored and a RBI to help the Phillies to an 11-0 whitewash of the Padres.
  • Oh yeah, he pitched a complete game shutout, allowing only 5 hits and a walk while striking out 8.  
  • Meanwhile, Boots Day hits a 2 out, 2 run single in the bottom of the eighth inning to put the Expos ahead for good, as they beat the Giants 7-6 at Parc Jarry in Montreal.
  • The winning pitcher for the Expos was reliever Mike Marshall, who would improve his record to 7-4.  Marshall would finish the season with a 14-11 record, appearing in 92 games, all in relief, finishing 73 games and saving 31.  Mike would also finish 2nd in Cy Young voting in '73, gaining 9 of the 24 first place votes.  Tom Seaver would win the award that season in the NL.
- Robert

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Serial Saturday #18: A great start to the Larry Fitzgerald PC

It's good to have connections in the hobby.  Especially when it's one that is very generous, such as Wes from the Willinghammer Rising blog.  I was fortunate to be one of the few that received one of his "trade retirement" packages recently.

Wes had asked me about my Larry Fitzgerald PC, and how many cards I was looking to have of him.  I hoped to eventually have 200 cards (hoped being the key term here), and Wes took that as a challenge.

I'm more than halfway there now.  Wes sent a 100 card count plastic case filled with Fitz cards.

He also knows my affinity for serial #'d cards, so there were half a dozen in there mixed in with all the base.

From the early returns on the Fitz lot, there is a ton of Panini product that I've missed over the years.  From what I've seen so far I really like what I've missed over the years, largely because it's very colorful (another weakness of mine). 

Flipped through the lot a 2nd time while writing this post and found a couple more serial #'d cards.  The Franchise card is # 155/499. 

So between my original buy of 35 cards, Wes' near 100 count lot, and 2 more purchases of lots on ebay, I'm guessing that the 200 goal has probably been reached already.

Not bad for 2 weeks worth, eh Captain?

Thank you Wes!  The cards are very much appreciated. 

Thanks for reading, Robert