Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

Slow.   That is the one word that could be used to describe this transaction.  

On my end of course.

A very gracious blog reader Greg sent me an email with a laundry list of cards that were on several of my want lists.  I read the email on my phone while at work with the intention of replying that evening when I got home.

Well, I got home and promptly started a conversation with my wife which means, you guessed it, the email was forgotten.  I looked at it a few days later and did the same thing, forgot about it. 

Finally 2 weeks later, I managed to get around to replying to Greg, apologizing for my lack of attention to the email.   Greg was cordial and offered me the cards none the less, asking for very little from my trade lists ( I actually had to prod him to grab a few more cards just so I didn't feel so guilty).  Now, I've finally gotten around to scanning the cards that I received (portions of) for everyone's viewing pleasure.

A lot of times the little things bring one the greatest joy, and the 6 Blue Jays cards that were inside the box were the big things for me.

These were big for me because I have very little OPC Blue Jays from the mid 80's.  So little in fact that I didn't even hesitate to wonder if I had this half dozen, because I was positive I didn't.   Maybe one day I'll get around to filling in those OPC holes from the Jays first decade.

The rest of the box was pieces and parts of several different sets.   Great fun going through all the cards, starting with a handful of 1976 Topps.

The '76 set has really never been a big priority to complete; having said that these 5 cards bring my in hand count to 525, which is 3 cards short of being 80% finished with this set.  I would say that I'll have this done sometime in 2019 (which is just 2 months away....ugh).

A half dozen '78s also came my way, nothing spectacular save for the fact that I could cross 6 numbers off the want list which is still quite extensive.  This is a set where I'm divided about putting in a box or in a binder.  I think that '77 might be the cut off put for binders & pages for the Topps run here at the Mitchell household.

The '79 group of cards was the largest part of the package, 70 of them to be exact.  There was a bit of star power cards in there such as Seaver (bottom row center), Sutton, Carew and Trammell to name a few.  My favorite of the bunch is the League Leaders card right at the top, featuring Jim Rice and George Foster.  259 combined RBI's on that card (139 for Rice and 120 for Foster), and it also might be the first time that a Blue Jays player was mentioned on a league leader card; Rico Carty combined between Oakland and Toronto had 99 RBI's which tied for 5th in the AL in 1978.

'81 Topps was well represented in the box as 22 cards came my way.  The hats with the position/team on it still make this one of my favorite sets that I'm building.  I'll likely end up showing this one in its entirety on the blog when it's done.   That will not be anytime soon as I'm just short of halfway done with the set.

One of the first sets that prompted me to put the run of 68-86 Topps sets together was the '82 set.  It still surprises me that I don't see a lot of it out there (unless I want to buy 4000 commons on ebay, which I'll pass on thanks...).  I honestly thought that this set would be quickly completed, but it's lagging behind it's early 80's counterparts.

1983 Topps lags further behind '82 as I've only hit the 30% mark for this set.  Speaking of 30, that's how many cards were marked off of this want list, including the Royals double play combo of UL Washington and Frank White.  This is another set that I've had trouble finding decent starter lots on ebay for a decent price. 

Just because hockey needed a little representation in the package, these 2 cards from the 84-85 OPC set found their way here as well.   Still a very long way to go with this one, not to mention finding RC's of Steve Yzerman, Cam Neely and Chris Chelios for a decent price. 

All in all this was a great box of cards to go through, it had a little something for every want list I have in the late 70-s to early 80-s.

Thank you Greg, the cards are really appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Ice Breakers

I decided during my last COMC purchase to pick up a single card from a few 70's OPC sets from which I hadn't owned one.  Naturally, I went on the cheap route and grabbed a few cards for $1.50 or less.  No stars, just commons to get the sets started.

This was the most expensive card of the 5 at $1.53.  I had no idea who Joe Szura was when I bought the card, but I figured what better way to start the set than grabbing a player from the California Seals franchise.  A quick look at the Hockey Reference website shows that the 69-70 season was the last of 2 NHL seasons that Joe would play, totaling 90 games and 10 NHL goals.  Joe would be claimed by the Los Angeles Sharks of the WHA a couple of years later, and play for them in the 72-73 season.  The next year Joe would be a member of the WHA championship Houston Aeros team (the same one that had Gordie, Mark and Marty Howe) before finishing his career in the 74-75 season in the minors.

I knew of Dunc Wilson before I picked up this card, as he spent some time during his career with the Maple Leafs.  The only image I could find of Dunc's mask during his time in Vancouver was the old style pretzel mask.   Dunc's mask in Toronto was much better...

Dunc's career spanned the entire 1970's between 4 NHL clubs, with one game in the 69-70 season in Philly.   My copy of his 72-73 OPC card cost 60 cents.

I could probably count on one hand the number of 73-74 OPC cards I've seen with smooth borders and no chipping.  Putting this set together in anything better than VG-EX could be a time consuming and costly process.   I knew that Ed had finished his career with the Islanders, but what I did not know is that he was claimed by the Islanders in their expansion draft from the Bruins. 

Rey Comeau was a name I recognized quickly when I started looking through the 74-75 list on COMC.  He only played a handful of games during the 71-72 season for the Canadiens before being traded to the Flames for cash considerations.  He had a decent career for the Flames, playing there 6 seasons before moving to Colorado to finish out the decade with the Rockies. 

The 78-79 set is one that I remember buying a lot of as a youngster, but unfortunately those cards got thrown out by my mom, a fate I'm sure a lot of you are familiar with.  Nick Fotiu was a name I also recognized quickly, mostly from his days as a Ranger.   I didn't remember while looking up his stats that he played a couple of years in the WHA as a member of the Whalers, before signing as a free agent with the Broadway Blueshirts.  He would spend 3 years there before going back to the Whale for a season and a half.  He would be traded back to the Rangers and play 3 seasons there before moving on to Calgary, Philly and Edmonton to finish out his career.  Nick was a tough player to play against, having 150+ penalty minutes in 4 seasons and he scored 10 goals in a season just once during his 15 year career.

I still have a few OPC sets for my 20 year run that I don't own a card of yet, such as the famous blue border 79-80 set, and 75-76 which was the first set that I remember buying cards of.   Next COMC order I'll probably break the ice on those.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Ice Chips

A quick post tonight about my recent COMC shipment, particularly the hockey portion.  A bakers dozen worth of hockey cards knocks some more numbers off of a couple of want lists.

A trio of horizontal cards start the post off.  The actual Steve Larmer rookie card (or 1 of 2 anyway) is featured in the next scan.  I pulled a total of 8 cards from the 83-84 OPC want list.  A couple of Gretzky's headline the remaining 18 cards on the list, there's also a 2nd year Grant Fuhr and a Scott Stevens RC to acquire.

A nice airbrush job on the Richie Dunn card as he'd played in Calgary the year before.  It was only the second season for Richie that he played a full 80 game schedule.   The Murray Craven card looks like an airbrush, but it's the actual Wings jersey he wore as a rookie in the 82-83 season.  The Steve Ludzik card is the famous error card that features Hawks rookie Steve Larmer. 

Speaking of airbrushing, the Al Smith card features him in his Penguins jersey.  OPC didn't even bother trying to get rid of the blue sleeves or try to draw the winged wheel like you see on the Leon Rochefort card.  I'm still trying to pick these up for $1 or less, which is tough to do.  But these 5 cards put me over the 60 card mark and 5 shy of having 1/4 of the 71-72 set finished. 

If anyone out there watched Whose Line is it Anyway as religiously as I did, you'll know that Colin Mochrie while doing a Weird Newscasters skit (at the 19 second mark) mentioned that his name was Orland Kurtenbach.  Very cool tribute to his Canadian heritage.

Nothing big on this post, just a few chips in a couple sets to throw out there...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Close no more

This is going to be a great week for me collection wise.  I received two boxes of cards yesterday, one from Julie at A Cracked Bat which I will share later on this week, and a second from COMC.  The COMC box is the one I want to start with this week because the order I placed helped finish not one, but two sets.

Yep, 2 sets off of the 68-86 Topps want list.  I'm down to 14 sets left to build, and outside of the '73 set which has been at 2 cards for over a year now, there really isn't anything close to being complete.

No matter, let's look at the cards that finished off the '85 Topps set first.

Yes, please ignore the Jim Rice at the bottom of the page, his was the "lone wolf" that I bought from the '84 set and I decided to scan him with the '85s.  Nothing was very expensive here, Hershiser's card was $1.25 and the rest were in the 60 to 99 cent range.  Finishing off this set was rather painless, and I now have them boxed and in the closet with the other complete sets.

Finishing off the '80 Topps was a little more costly, but as you'll see and read in a couple of minutes, the price tag was worth the cards that came with it.   These are the vertical cards, just 4 in total, and the Richard/Ryan card coming in at a very cheap 60 cents.

Nothing expensive here either, as these 4 all came home for less than $3 total.  A bit of a ding on the lower left corner of Graig Nettles, but that can get upgraded in the future.

Of the last 14, the Rickey Henderson RC cost the most (naturally), but I was still able to buy it for just under $10, a steal for that card.  I don't deny that I've been very lucky with building sets lately, as I've been able to find large $$ cards for cheap.  

I've been trying to do the same thing with the Mike Schmidt RC for over a year now, but I've had no luck.  It's been tough to find a nice copy of that card for a decent price.   Just imagine how patient I'll have to be when I start looking for the big name rookies in the 68 and 69 Topps sets...

For now, it's great to be able to say that these sets are done, instead of close to being done.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, October 20, 2018

A Go between

One of the most satisfying things about blogging lately have been the compliments I've received.  I don't fish for them, writing as often as I can has been it's own reward over the years.  I've had people write me emails that don't blog with cards from my want lists, wanting very little in return.  

As many of you have said over the years, card collectors are the best. 

I've posted a couple times within the past month about trades with Bill (TCDB ID minibbcards) and his appreciation for A&G minis.  I received an email recently regarding those posts from Jim, aka Mr. Haverkamp, asking for Bill's email address so he could initiate a swap.  (Hopefully that trade went well)

Once I provided the email address (with permission of course), Jim let me know that he had a few cards to send my way as well.

Right away, I was pretty sure that when I opened the envelope that all 6 cards were on want lists.  The 3 '05 Cracker Jack cards finished off that portion of the Blue Jays want list.  The Eduardo Escobar was needed, and is the first card I've marked off the 2017 Heritage want list in quite a while.  The Henderson and Brett from the '85 Topps list drop that down to 6, all of which are on their way from COMC as I write this.

Jim, thank you for the cards, they really are appreciated!!  Not too shabby for being a go between.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, October 19, 2018

Chipping away

Haven't had many big hits to the want lists lately, everything that has come my way has chipped away at different sets.   I pulled in two envelopes today, both of them hitting cards from three different want lists.

A few weeks back I had starting putting cards from the 83-84 OPC want list in my Sportlots cart, and then got sidetracked and forgot about them.   I went to the site on Sunday night and finished up a 14 card order for cheap.

A couple of rookie cards on this page, both costing me only 50 cents (Bellows and Ludwig).  Seeing the Ray Neufeld card reminded me that the Carolina Hurricanes are going to wear their vintage Whalers uniforms when they play in Boston this year.   If the NHL is smart, they will find a way to get some Whalers jerseys for sale on their site.  I'm pretty sure they will sell out quickly.

You'll see a total of 15 83-84 OPC cards in this post, because I was digging through my collection the other day and found the Guy Carbonneau RC you see in the upper left corner.   Saved me a few bucks!  Love seeing the old style Canucks uniform with the V; I wanted a black one back in the day but never did manage to get it. 

I believe the entire order consisted of cards that were either 25 or 50 cents, which for me was very reasonable.   I have 8 more of these coming in my next COMC order (due early next week), which will drop the want list below 20 cards, with several of those being Gretzky cards.   I'm hoping to have the set done before 2018 ends.

Next up is another TCDB trade, this time with John (User ID: herkojerko---I like that ID btw) who grabbed a few Philadelphia Phillies cards out of my trade pile in return for some 78's:

and some 79's:

My 79 set is nearing the halfway mark, needing only 46 more to get there.  My favorite card of this group is the Bud Harrelson; not only does he have the cool shades working, and he's also showing a nearly lost art by choking up on the bat for this photo.  John, I really appreciate the trade and hopefully we can do more in the future.

There's nothing wrong with chipping away at sets, I'm hoping that I can keep on doing this as my luck with finding cards/trading partners has been the best it has been in quite a long time.  I know of 3 more packages that are due my way next week which should put some more dents into my multitude of want lists. 

There may also be 1 or 2 lists that disappear altogether.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

It really is a sickness

Kind of tying this post into how I'm feeling at the moment, as I'm quite positive I'm heading towards a nice chest cold over the next few days.   My wife was sick last week, and I could feel myself slowing down a bit today.

So I'll sneak in a post showing off a few more cards from last week's card show haul.

I only hit the one table and spent probably close to an hour at the table digging through dime boxes, along with a handful of $1 boxes as well.   My serial #'d sickness was satisfied somewhat.

What kind of makes me wonder is I found these cards in the dollar box.   Kris Bryant #'d out of 99.  Kyle Seager gold Chrome #'d out of 50.  The peach colored Seager from Archives is #'d out of 199.  Wasn't that long ago that these would go for $5 or more, no?

These 3 were in the dime boxes.  Yes, Hamels, Kinsler and Scherzer, all #'d cards, for 10 cents apiece. 

I hadn't seen any Panini Spectra before this past weekend, but these 3 Josh Donaldson cards were in the dollar box.  The blue on the left is serial # 4/99.  The pink is # 3/75.  The green is # 48/49.  Again, not too long ago these cards likely would have been several dollars.  I can happily say I got these for $3 total.   I spent a total of $15 at his table, and pulled a nice stack of cards for several collections, and some for other collectors.

Maybe it's just me that thinks this is sick...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


October is breast cancer awareness month, but I'm sure that many of you(if not all) already know that.  If you read Collecting Cutch at all, he provides some of the breast reasons to be aware.

I actually have a couple of friends who have lost their breasts to cancer, so I am not only aware of it during the month of October, but year round I am reminded of what cancer can do.

Maybe unwittingly, maybe not, I found a table at the monthly card show on the weekly that had dime boxes, and I bought a few pink cards.

The Bryant was a buck, but the other 15 GQ pink cards were 10 cents apiece.  I'm sure I'll find good homes for them before too long.

I also found nearly 20 of the pink Optic cards, all for a dime apiece.  One has already been shipped off as part of a trade, one is a Marcus Stroman card that goes into the Blue Jays collection, and the others I'm sure will find a home. 

I tried keeping this under the 5 minute allotted time (that is a thing now, right?) but had no luck.

I tried to be cool, but when I think of cool I think of this guy...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, October 11, 2018

No comment

Everyone's favorite blogger the Night Owl recently ran a contest for people that had commented on his blog over a 3 month period.  He had quite the list as 112 different people were eligible for his contest.

Imagine my surprise when I didn't find my name as one of them.  It was actually quite the revelation, as that told me that I haven't been active enough reading and commenting on blogs.  Well last night I made up my mind to get active again.   I left a couple of comments on blogs yesterday and hope to keep doing so. 

One post tonight caught my eye, and that is Mark from the Chronicles of Fuji.   Mark mentioned that "as hard as he tries to avoid quarter and dime boxes", which struck me as amazing as they are a big reason for me lately to hit shows.  

I also spotted a post from the other day as Jon from A Penny Sleeve for your Thoughts wrote about possibly taking on a multi sport serial numbered frankenset.  I might have to find a few cards in my collection to send his way...

Lastly, I just found out today that Julie had some surgery recently on her elbow.  That post was from a couple of weeks ago.   Shame on me.

One card rule
It's time to get back in the game and start getting active with the comments.  It's funny how you find things out sometimes...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Mistaken identity

I received this ebay package last Friday, thinking that it was my end of the TCDB trade that I chronicled the other day.  The package was a lot larger than I expected, as I only ordered a Joe Sakic jersey card to go along with the Pacific Atomic card that I showed off a few days ago.

I expected only one card from this seller, but got quite a bit more than that.   The envelope was stuffed...

Half a dozen 2012-13 Leaf Certified cards.  Nice stuff, Zetterberg probably the biggest name of the bunch.   Free.

I didn't notice until I started writing this post, these 8 cards are about 1/2 of the Nashville Predators from the 2008-09 OPC set.  Don't need any of them though, as I have that set completed.   Free.

2013-14 Score.  I do believe that I have a bunch of these in one of my boxes in the card closet.  I like this design, nothing flashy but each card features the team colors which I like.  There's also a gold bordered Mark Giordano in the lot as well...

Oh, by the way there is the Joe Sakic card which was the actual purchase.

$2.99 + shipping.   I'll take these all day at that price.  If you feel like throwing in a couple of dozen extra hockey cards along with it, feel free.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Getting the hang of this trading thing

It was cool to get a repeat trader already on the TCDB website.   Bill (User ID: minibbcards) has helped me reduce my minis in hand (a good thing for me) and also decrease my want lists for vintage sets (also a good thing).

This time, I shipped off 15 minis that I had recently added to the site, and in return I received some 69 and 70 Topps cards

When I looked at the Joe Rudi and Sal Bando cards on the scan, I thought that my scanner had gone berserk.   I looked at the cards again in hand, and they are that blurry. Will have to check if there are upgrades to these cards out there. 

These 5 bring my '70 set build up to almost 40% done, not bad for a set I never intended to collect in the first place.

This was the bulk of the deal for me, 7 '69 Topps cards, along with an added card that I needed from this year's A&G set of Method Man.  I wondered for a moment about the airbrushing on the A's players hats/helmets, then I thought that maybe they had moved to Oakland and the KC needed to be removed.  Sure enough that was the case.  

I always remember Rick Monday as a Dodger, hitting that home run off of Steve Rogers in Game 5 of the 1981 NLCS.  What I didn't remember about that game was that the Expos had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the 9th after drawing 2 walks off of Fernando Valenzuela, the Dodgers brought in Bob Welch out of the bullpen to get the save.  Interesting that both sides used a starting pitcher as relievers in the 9th inning to finish the game. 

My '69 Topps set progress has been slow, but it's finally almost at a quarter complete.  Out of all the sets I'm working on at the moment, this one might be my favorite because the design is so simple and the pink backs look fantastic.  I guess the simple sets are the most appealing to me, as I thought the same thing about the '64 set while I was putting it together. 

Thank you for the trade Bill, looking forward to our next one!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, October 6, 2018

15 % off

I started posting last night about the great box of cards that Mark from The Chronicles of Fuji sent me.  The main purpose of this package was to put a dent into my 1982 Topps want list.

Mark had sent me the list of cards in an email, but for some reason I didn't mark them on my want list in bold stating that they were on their way.

I'm kind of glad that I didn't, because when I received the package the thrill of pulling all the cards out of their well protected packaging was sweeter than I could have imagined.

I could have had a field day scanning pages worth of cards to show off, but in the end I got a bit lazy and decided to only show a portion of what was sent.  (While writing that last sentence I felt a little guilty and added 2 more scans of cards.   Enjoy)

What has been one of my biggest pleasures in putting these early 80's sets together is seeing the old names that I remember from my youth.  Mario Mendoza, who had a line named after him.  Love the photo of Mookie Wilson, it looks as if his bat is about 7 feet long in that photo.  Brian Downing listed as a catcher when the most memories I have of him are patrolling left field in Anaheim.

A trio of Yankee All Stars, including Bucky Dent who I'm curious as to how me made the All Star team in '81 with an average of .241 in the first half of the season.  Maybe the SS position wasn't as strong back in the early 80's?

I originally looked at a good portion of these cards and thought that the "hockey sticks" were color coded to the team's uniform colors.   Wrong there as well.  I'm sure someone out there has broken down the colors and how they are distributed on a blog and I've just never seen it.

I've shown off just under half of the 118 cards that Mark was generous enough to send my way, just under 15% of the '82 set.  That's a 15% off deal I'll take any day.

Thank you for the cards Mark, they are really appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, October 5, 2018

A little bit unexpected

One of the most entertaining blogs out there for me is The Chronicles of Fuji, as Mark is one of the most open and honest writers there is out there.

Mark had sent me an email a couple of weeks back letting me know that he was sending a bunch of 1982 Topps cards my way.  Very much appreciated!  What I didn't know is that on the side, he had a trio of cards for me that brought a smile to my face also.

Instantly, I see the Adam Lind jersey card from '11 A&G and I think "don't I have this already?"  So I look at my Blue Jays hits page, and scrolling down a bit I do find the exact same card there, with the exact same gray swatch! It's been a while since I've looked at the page, so I take a minute to look and I realize that a good portion of my Jays "hit" collection features Adam Lind.  This A&G card becomes the 3rd item that I have a pair of for Adam. 

The Mike McCoy autograph is also a cool item, not only does it bear his signature, but it's serial #'d 2/499.   What better thing to send to a serial #'d junkie than a hit that feeds his addiction.  

One question for Mike if he ever reads this (which I'm sure he probably won't), how sore was your hand after 499 signatures?

This was also a great card, and very topical as Nazem Kadri started the season off right with a pair of assists in Toronto's opening night victory over the Canadiens.   It would be cool if my favorite team met Mark's favorite San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Final this year (I will admit the Sharks have a better chance to get there than Toronto does).  We'll have to wait a few months and see though.

Next up, the '82 Topps bounty that came my way....

Thanks for reading, Robert