Saturday, September 28, 2019

O-Pee-Chee never gets old for me

I really like the OPC hockey sets, whether they are from the 70's/80's (the originals) or the modern era Upper Deck releases (from 06/07 to present).   They're a challenge to put together and with the exception of a few designs, most of the OPC sets are pleasing to look at.

This year's release is one that I like.  It's the same kind of back that you see every year, it has the same kind of cardboard look and feel that you get from the older sets

While the look and feel is great, the small print and the tons of extra space are a shame.  Would love to see Upper Deck harken back to the 70's OPC/Topps sets and put some biographical information in all that lost space.   Or, how about the old style cartoons like you'd find on cards like this Bernie Parent 76-77 OPC?

Love how the French text on the cartoon uses "Bernard"
The front of the cards are a different story.  I love this years design.

Position: Check  Name:  easy to read.  Team logo: doesn't take over the card.  Design:  minimal.  Don't need a bunch of flowery bells and whistles to sell me on a set that is 600 cards in size.  I want something that's pleasing to the eyes and hits all the categories.   This year's OPC set does it for me.

Retro parallels are back, 2 per rack pack

While I would love to chase these down, I still have a ton from last year's set to grab.  I'll probably just go after the Leafs in the retro style and call it a day...

SPs?  100 of them again this year, similar in pattern to last year

Rookies?  Gotta have them.  501-550 are all the Marquee Rookies, although right now there are no really huge names among the 50.  Next up, 31 team checklists, which I wholeheartedly approve of, as the Legends cards were getting kind of tired, and a lot of people tended to over price them on the secondary market.   The League Leaders and Season Highlight cards make up the final 19 cards of the 600 card set, and are also a solid addition, because what collector doesn't like an extra card of their favorite stars, right?

Something new this year is the "caramel minis"

There are 40 of these in the set, and they're not so much mini like the A&G minis, but they're just thinner, about half the width of a normal 2.5" card.  I like the look of these as well, it's always good to get something a little different.

Finally, what would a modern set be without colored parallels, right?

Blue is new this year, replacing last year's silver which was kind of so-so.   There are gold glossy parallels, the retros which I showed above and red bordered cards also. 

I'm going to have to try and get a few more packs in the next few weeks as they tend to disappear quite quickly when the base Upper Deck set gets released in November.  This will be a set that I'll chase again this year, because O-Pee-Chee really does never get old for me.

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, September 26, 2019

And then there were 5

With so many sets that I have want lists for, it's easy to forget at what point I'm at as far as a specific set is concerned.

When I received my COMC order a few days ago, and pulled these 4 cards out of the box, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I'm actually just 5 cards short of finishing the 76-77 OPC set.   This is one of the first sets I collected as a kid, and over 40 years later finally finishing this up is going to be a big source of pride.

My patience (read cheapness) finally led to getting these cards at a lower price.  The Canadiens team leaders card was just over $2, and the Bernie Parent was at $4.  Much, much better than I had seen over the past few months. 

I miss the days where forward lines spent more than a few weeks together.  The LCB line was a big force during the mid to late 70's, and finding this card for just under $2 was a big score for me. 

Finally, getting this card for less than $10 was a huge win.

I was pretty much resigned to having to pay $20 or more for this card, as I hadn't found any copies that were decent for less than that.   Then one Saturday morning, I hopped on the site, and saw this up for sale for $9.  Had to look at it twice to make sure that it was in as good condition as I hoped.  Then I get it out of the sleeve, and it was in even better shape than I thought.

An absolute steal for that price.  I'll smile each time I look at the set.

Now, I'm down to 5 cards to finish this off.   Ken Dryden, Lanny McDonald, Tiger Williams, and 2 checklists.  I know I'll get the McDonald for around $4-$5.

What the other 4 will cost, who knows?   Probably won't be cheap though...

Thanks for reading!!


Monday, September 23, 2019

More distractions

Last week I posted about a 9 count of 71-72 OPC that I picked up off of eBay.  Well, I received my COMC shipment today and I managed to double that total from last week!

When you see a seller offering cards from this set in nice shape for less than $1 apiece, you have to jump on them, because they don't come along at that price very often. 

My big check when looking at these cards on COMC is the back.  There are a lot of cards that have a fair bit of paper loss on the back, likely from kids taping the cards to a wall or a piece of Bristol board.  So that's the first thing I look at, and each one of the cards I bought are in really nice shape.

The fronts are all in good shape, no noticeable creases, just the usual rough edges here and there and the odd soft corner.

What's good about this set as well is I've heard a lot of the names.  I know the likes of Hodge, Koroll and Martin.  Plager, Wakely and Stanfield are other names that played well into the 1970's.  This group of 18 also don't suffer from what a lot of the other cards I've showed off, airbrushing.  Each of these guys is in their current team uniform.

I'm closing in on halfway complete, 16 cards short of the 132 card mark.  This set is going to end up much like 68-72 Topps baseball, taking quite a long time to finish.  Marathon, not sprint, right?

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, September 22, 2019

Almost an oops moment

One good thing about all this trading that I've done is that I'm getting more and more organized.  I've now got over 2000 cards on the baseball trade list, and I'm going through boxes of cards whenever I find a moment and adding more.

One card caught my eye recently, it was this one from the '76 Topps set:

I immediately recognized this as the Willie Randolph RC, and while adding other '76s to my trade bait, I checked to see if I had this one for the set.

Nope.  Here I was about to add it for trade fodder, and I still needed it.

This knocks the want list down to 42, and I have 2 on the way.  Still a lot of big names to acquire, but finding this brought a smile to my face....

Oops moment averted.  

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, September 21, 2019

A couple of small ones

I boasted in my last post about how I was into the 90+ trade count for this year.   Jon had sent praise in the comments, and then wondered if he could keep up with that kind of pace. 

He made me think for a couple of minutes about all the trades this year, and how I've actually kept up.  I'm going to do a stats pack probably late in the year about all of them, but the trades for the most part have been reasonably easy (PWE), and have come in spurts.

About the beginning of last week, I lamented to my better half that the trade market had dried up a bit; I'd actually gone roughly 2 weeks without a trade offer coming my way.  Then all of a sudden, the damn broke, and I've been on a hot spell ever since.

I'm showing off 2 more trades today, both of them coming in the mail yesterday.   First off is a quick 2 card mail day from everyone's favorite Royals blogger, Josh (TCDB ID: royals {what else would it be} ).  Josh had seen the many posts I've done showing the '19GQ green parallels, and he had one for me.  

He didn't want Josh Harrison to be alone in the envelope, so he threw in a '68 Topps Dodgers Rookie Stars card to go along with it!   Great stuff.   Hadn't added a '68 in quite a while, so this was great to see.

Next up is 7 cards from Bill (TCDB ID: billwill), that added a few more GQ Greens to the build:

To be honest, this set build was a bit of a lark when I first decided to put it together.   I thought that it would be similar to the MVP hockey silver signature set that took me 2 decades to finish, but that hasn't been the case.

With these in hand, I'm at 134 of the 300 needed, and there's another 10 on the way.  So within the next couple of weeks, I'll be near the 50% mark, very surprising to say the least.  Maybe this will only take me one decade to finish....

A couple of recent Andrew McCutchen cards were also part of the envelope, '19 GQ (maybe the only GQ card I'll own from this year that's not green), and the '18 Topps Fire.   My McCutchen collection is over 160 cards now, and it's one of those collections that I have where I don't pursue cards to add to it, but it doesn't hurt to have them come in trades or just fall into my lap at a card show.

Not all trades have to be big.   Thank you to Josh and Bill for the cards, they are appreciated!!

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, September 19, 2019

In the nineties

This has been one helluva year for me trade wise.   I received a couple of envelopes in the mail this week, bringing my trade count for 2019 to 92. 

I honestly thought that 100 trades would be a fight right to the bitter end of the calendar year for me, but with 8 currently on the go (and 1 on "lost" status), by the first week of October I'll have hit my goal.  


The first envelope was another USPS surprise, making it from Washington State to Florida in 2 days.  Jim (TCDB User ID:  jmkidd) snapped up a few Seattle Seahawks cards from me, and in return I got a bit of set help and a bit of help with 3 of my player collections.

First up, the set help.  Fred Lynn's card from the '81 Topps set was a nice one to grab, along with the Saves leaders card from '78 featuring Rollie Fingers and Bill Campbell.   Would love to see the term firemen come back to the game..

The '69 Topps Darrell Brandon reminds me that the '69 set is becoming similar to my 85-86 OPC hockey build.  1 card comes in at a time, slowly nibbling away at the set.  Only problem is, I still need about 460 cards to finish the set, and that's a lot of trades at 1 card at a time!

A pair of cards each for Olerud and Fitzgerald were nice additions.   I'm actually doing quite well adding Olerud cards featuring him in uniforms of the Mets and Mariners.  T. Y. Hilton's card brings him to a paltry 19 cards, but there's a ton of base cards on my want list on the TCDB site, so I'm sure eventually that number will start climbing.

Next up is a nice lot of cards from Edward (TCDB ID: kaline6), which hit want lists for a couple of sets I expect to finish by the end of the year, along with a few other goodies.

Both the '81 and '82 sets are winding their way to completion, I believe combined they are around 100 cards from being finished.  Still some star cards to pick up here and there, but it shouldn't be a major dent to my wallet to get these done.

Four more cards off of the '79 want list takes that set below 80 cards needed to complete.  Need both the Ozzie Smith RC and the Nolan Ryan cards on that group, so that's a big maybe to see this complete by the end of the year.  And yes, the George Foster card is quite a bit off center,  you're not seeing things.

The lone wolf from the '69 set, Joe Sparma of the Tigers.  Just 10 more cards to reach the 200 mark.   Not a big priority at the moment however.

Four more cards for the Olerud collection.  Every time I write one of these posts, and see all the Blue Jays cards that I've added to the sets and player collections, I often wonder if I should just have poached my Jays collection to reduce these lists.  I'm glad that I didn't...

Thank you to both Jim and Edward for the trades, the cards are really appreciated!!

Thanks for reading!


Monday, September 16, 2019

Easily distracted

I've been trying to focus on finishing sets lately, especially the ones that are closing in on completion.   Friday night I hit ebay and looked up one of my favorite sellers, The Battersbox.  I decided I was going to try and find some '76 Topps baseball singles to try and get a bit closer to completing the set. 

Well, within 10 minutes I found myself looking at a bunch of discounted 71-72 O-Pee-Chee hockey singles.  These looked like they were in great condition, and for $1 each, I couldn't pass them up.

For $9.43 shipped, these 9 beauties found their way to me today.  Closing in 100 cards out of the 264 card set in hand is something I didn't think I would be crowing about now.  With a big order from COMC on the way, I'll pass the 100 count mark within the next couple of weeks.   Hopefully the dozen or so cards in that order will satisfy my want to add to this set for a while.

When it comes to getting a good deal on cards from 71-72 OPC, I'm easily distracted.

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, September 15, 2019

A couple of nice card show pickups

Spent almost $50 at the monthly card show yesterday, probably the most I've spent there in several months.  In addition to the star cards that I plucked out of the 3 for a $1 bin for trade bait, I found a few cards to add to my McCutchen and T.Y. Hilton collections.

Hilton is really easy to buy for right now, as I only have about 20-25 cards in that PC.  I hadn't seen the die cut Playmakers insert anywhere before, so that was snapped up really quickly.  The McCutchen PC is a little harder, as that's nearing 200 cards, but I was pretty sure that I didn't have the Legends blue parallel, as well the Fire parallel was something I was OK with buying even though I may have had it.  

My thoughts over the past couple of years have also turned from being a Blue Jays collector (which has gotten way out of hand with all the baseball that is released now a days) to my other hometown team, the Maple Leafs.   There's nowhere near as much hockey product out there, and down here in the south, I can usually find it for cheaper than up north.

When I saw this Morgan Rielly "brick" for $6, I snapped it up...

It's hard to see but the card is #'d 31/49 from the SP Game Used Edition set from 2015-16, so adding that to the pile was also easy. 

But this next card was the biggest addition of the day, and almost half of what I spent.

This Eddie Murray RC was in the display case of the first table I sat down at, and was an easy buy at $22.  Now I just have to find a Molitor/Trammell RC to my liking, and then the other 134 cards needed to finish the '78 Topps set should fall into place.  Probably will not finish this in 2019; 1st half of 2020 is more realistic if I get some of the other sets I'm close to completing done.

Now it's time to get back to trading, and see if I can hit the 100 trade mark for the year by the end of September.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

One zero is all it takes to F--- things up

I didn't scan a lot of cards tonight, only 11 because I thought that the story behind this post was more entertaining (at least to me it is).

I received a nice package from 3 time trade partner Craig (TCDB ID: DukeyDevil) that contained a bunch of '78 Topps.  71 of them.

The cards are really just for show here, although I must say that the George Foster/Jim Rice Home Run Leaders card is really bad ass.

But the fun here, is the trip that my cards took.

Step by step, in bullet point form, just to make it easier to read, is the journey:

  • Package leaves MA on the 19th of August
  • Arrives in Miami on the 21st.  Not bad.
  • Makes it to a Ft. Lauderdale post office on the 21st.  Not the correct post office by the way, but it's in Ft. Lauderdale
  • Because the package is missing a 0 on my address, it sits in that post office.  For a week
  • On the 28th, the package is sent to the Opa Locka distribution center (N. Miami)
  • Opa Locka sends it back to the wrong post office on the 29th. 
  • It gets sent back to Opa Locka on the 30th. 
  • The package finally makes it to the correct post office on the 30th, and is delivered that day.
9 days to go 9 miles locally.   I work in the package delivery business.   I've had people on the phone scream at me for a lot less than this.

I've had lots of packages make it across the country in no time flat.

Funny how one zero can F--- things up.  Oh well.

Thanks for reading!


Monday, September 9, 2019

So excited to post it, I forgot the title

Sometimes the unexpected happens and it just blows you away.  Trade offers have kind of dried up the past couple of weeks on the TCDB for me, so I decided to see if I could get something going.

I found a person that was offering up 13 of the Gypsy Queen green parallels that I'm chasing after this year.  Standard trade M.O. is to see who it is I'd be trading with, check the feedback, then see if I have anything on their want list.

What I've encountered a lot lately is many new people to the TCDB site, and they've entered cards for trade, and have no want lists available.   The opposite is also true, many people have want lists, but nothing available for trade.   Most of these people have 0 feedback as well, so it's been a little frustrating, since I can be a bit leery when it comes to new trade partners at times...

Then I stumbled across these, and new trade partner Nathan (TCDB ID:nathanfrancy).

What's quite interesting about this trade is I sent the trade offer this past Saturday morning.   That's right, just 2 days ago.  Yes, the cards are in hand.   MO to FL, 2 days.

Cover your ears kids, but that's a holy shit moment right there.  I like to think that I'm fast when it comes to getting cards out to trade partners, but I can't beat this...

Sometimes you have to accentuate the positive, and this trade is about as positive as I can get.

Thank you for the cards Nathan, they are truly appreciated.

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, September 8, 2019

78 Topps is also in my sights

Following up on yesterday's post, Adam also sent a nice lot of '78 Topps cards, another set which until the past 2 weeks I thought I had no shot of finishing this year, but things have changed a bit recently. 

Now there's still 136 cards on the want list, and with the Eddie Murray RC part of that list, this may not happen in 2019, but with the way my luck has been recently with trades and generosity such as Adam's, who knows?

Oakland is heavily represented in the first 3 scans, as 5 of the green and gold warriors found their way here.  Maybe my favorite card of the first 27 is the Roy White card, a nice action shot of Roy just after contact.  Not sure but maybe that's Carlton Fisk behind the plate?

2nd scan.  Dick Pole.  Commence snickering....

Love the Al Oliver card, him sitting in the dugout with his elbow resting on his batting helmet, just waiting for his turn to pick up one of his 2743 hits. 

Had no idea that Donnie Moore was a Cub.  My memories of him were as a closer for the Angels, and the unfortunate circumstances of his death.  Interesting to note that while he spent pretty much his entire career as a reliever, he wasn't a bad hitter.  16 hits in 57 AB's, including 2 doubles and 2 triples!

I remember Len Barker as an Indian, throwing a perfect game against the Jays in '81.  Buck Martinez is still the play by play voice of Blue Jays TV broadcasts, it seems like he's been doing that for an eternity. 

Dwight Evans without a mustache just doesn't look the same to me...

I miss the days of light hitting, great glove middle infielders such as Fred Stanley and Denny Doyle.  Manny Sanguillen's only season away from Pittsburgh was 1977, when he played for the A's.  He actually led the A's in hits in '77.  I had no idea that he was traded to the A's for Chuck Tanner. 

To finish off the envelope, and continue the theme from yesterday, there were a couple of '83 checklists in there that I needed...

Adam, thank you very much for the cards, they are greatly appreciated!!   A link to his want lists for all just in case you may have something he needs...

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, September 7, 2019

'81 Topps is in the sights

I had mentioned in my post last Sunday about getting one card closer to the '81 Topps set, and the next day I received an email from long time blogger Adam who mentioned that he had a bunch of cards that he could send my way, along with some '78s as well.

This certainly was a fun envelope to go through, as you'll see in a few seconds.   There's 11 scans coming your way....

Apparently, most of the cards I had on my '81T want lists were checklists.  There's 3 already.  As you can see, it's not just commons he sent my way, there's some star power as well.

The middle of these 3 scans is the key one, featuring both the Gibson and Baines RCs!  Nothing cheap about this big batch of cards.  Oh, and checklist #4 as well. 

More checklists, although now we have the team variety.  A dozen of these arrived as well.  Interesting that they couldn't get the Cubs together for a team photo, so they all just got their heads on the card instead.

The last scan has both a bird and a hawk in it.  I'm guessing the Art Howe photo was taken during spring training, because home whites and outdoors back in 1980 weren't a thing for the Astros. 

Lots of black and white White Sox uniform shots on the scans.   Both different colors of the Pirates hat on display (black and gold).

When I took a quick glance at the Bobby Brown card, I thought the picture was of Dwight Gooden. 

Never knew that Bucky Dent made an All-Star team.  I thought he was famous only for his HR against the Red Sox.  Saw Don Baylor's card and was reminded that he left this Earth way too soon.

Don't remember Al Holland as a Giant.   Loved seeing cards of Tom Seaver, Pedro Guerrero and Ron Cey.  Ron LeFlore could run...455 stolen bases in just 9 seasons.  This was the only season that Topps released a card of him as an Expo (he actually had 3 in the 1981 set), while OPC had updated his 1980 card to show that he was on the Expos but featured him in his Tigers uniform.

This fantastic group of cards turned '81 Topps from a maybe I'll finish this year to a "better get it done this year" status.  Just 46 cards left to go to finish this up, and I bought 8 of those this morning on COMC.  

It'll happen.

Tomorrow, the other half of Adam's envelope...

Thanks for reading!