Friday, July 31, 2020

Getting ready for the first storm of 2020

With Isaias approaching the eastern coast of Florida in the next 24 hours, I've got some time to write a quick post (or 2) before tomorrow's day of preparation ahead of the first hurricane to hit south Florida this year. 

I've been holding these cards for a bit over a week now, my last purchase on eBay for probably another week at the least, maybe longer if I hold my grudge against the USPS.   I showed off the first card of the 5 card purchase earlier this week  with the Ryan/Seaver '74 Topps strikeout leaders card.

The only other baseball card I decided to purchase was part of my latest fascination, the '55 Bowman set. 

There's a couple of creases on the lower right corner which you can easily see, and the corners are well worn, but the back is clean with no ink marks, so this card is right up my alley.  Mike Garcia is the 5th card from the '55 Bowman set that I own, and while I do have a want list up on the TCDB, there's absolutely no hurry for me to chase this set.  330 cards is a great size for a mid 50's set for me, and what I think I'll have some fun going after are the umpire cards. 

The other 3 cards that I bought were also what I perceived to be great buys, all of them from early 70's OPC sets.

Back to the early days of the Buffalo Sabres for this 70-71 OPC card of Bill Inglis, whom I never heard of before purchasing this card for less than $2.  A quick look at the Hockey Reference page is in order!!

A quick look it was, as Bill only played 3 seasons in the NHL, managing just 36 games and 1 goal over that time.  Bill had one goal in the playoffs with the LA Kings in the 68-69 season.  Bill's best professional season would come in 1972-73 for the Cincinnati Swords of the AHL, scoring 40 goals and 97 points.   Seeing this I had to find an image of the team's logo, and here it is in case you were curious...

Next up is a pair of Phil Esposito cards, which I believe are quite underpriced from the early 70's when you're finding them for $2-$3

Up top is the Art Ross Trophy card from the '71-72 set that I'm working on, and for $3.25 it was in my cart in no time.   Even better is the Esposito/Clarke card scoring leaders card from 73-74 OPC which was just $2.  Esposito was the runaway scoring champion in the 72-73 season with 130 points, 26 more than Bobby Clarke.  Only 2 others hit the century mark, Bobby Orr at 101 and Rick MacLeish had 100. 

With the impeding storm coming up, we'll see how long it takes before the boredom kicks in and I start surfing online for more cards....

Enjoy the hobby and stay safe!


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Sometimes just talking about cards is a lot of fun

I need, maybe it's need  to get more involved in card discussions on Twitter.   I had probably one of my best experiences talking about cards on Sunday evening, and I didn't speak one word out of my mouth.

It started off with a tweet by everyone's favorite Night Owl, who inquired about people running a card blog and actively trading on the Trading Card Database website.   Well, I had to chime in on this one, because for the last year and a half the TCDB has been in my wheelhouse. 

How do I do both he asked.  If you've read this blog for the past 19 months, you'll know exactly how.

I've combined the two.   Using the trades I've made to keep the blog going.  The site has really helped me "focus" my collection, largely by helping me keep want lists up to date.  I did that relatively well over the years on the blog, but a lot of times I found that I wound up with cards I didn't need via blog trades because folks sent me stuff that I already had, but hadn't marked off on the want lists here.

That's pretty much been eliminated by using TCDB.

I tweeted with a couple of people that have had negative experiences on the site, either from rude traders (not everyone is good on any trade site, unfortunately), or from having difficulty navigating the site. 

 I've run into rude people on the site, it happens.  I try not to be that guy.

On the other hand, the navigation I've learned the hard way.  Trial and error.   Clicking and figuring out what happens when I do stuff on the site.  It's been fun at time.  I've cursed at my computer screen so loud sometimes that my wife asks me what's going on.

So far, using the website has helped me do something I thought would never happen.   Get my collection more organized.  It was a mess, a bloody mess.  It's still not totally together, but at least the several thousand cards I have for trade are in a place where I can find them easily.   That is a win for me.

The best part of this whole post was just relaying that I had a conversation (real or imagined) about the hobby I love, with several other collectors.  I don't get that very often, so when I do I enjoy it as much as possible.

Hence this evenings post....

Enjoy the hobby!!


Monday, July 27, 2020

Working on #10

As I mentioned yesterday, the final set of the first 10 I'm completing in 2020 is 1974 Topps.  With the latest postal slowdown, I might take my time on this one, as the post office is "playing games" with the packages that are heading my way. 

I have received 3 cards from the set over the past 10 days however, and the speed in which the want list is dwindling is just fine for me right now.

Jack Aker came to me via a trade with new trade partner Pete (TCDB ID: AirPete).  This was one of the larger trades I've done in quite a while, requiring me to spend some time in a post office line, which is always entertaining.  Why you may ask, because I get to see a good amount of people who know nothing about the postal system and the services they provide.   Entertaining because it's fun to watch people in frustration wait in line for 15-20 minutes, time that is much better spent elsewhere.

Maybe if the USPS would keep their automated kiosks running well on a regular basis, lines would be much shorter...

I sent James (TCDB ID: jlcre2003) a bunch of 2015 Topps Heritage to help in his set completion quest and this was the '74 T I received in return, a Billy Grabarkewitz card featuring him in a Phillies uniform.  I really hadn't heard of Billy before, so I looked up his career stats, and outside of the 1970 season where he hit .289 with 17HR, he didn't have much of a career stat wise to mention. 

Last up is the Strikeout leaders card featuring Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver.  Not a bad price for this on eBay, $7 with free shipping, something I always take advantage of when ordering from the Battersbox.  #2 on the strikeout list for the AL, Bert Blyleven, had 7 more K's than Seaver, but finished a distant 2nd (125 less) to Ryan's 383 strikeout total. 

I'm still kind of mulling whether I want to tone down my online card spending for the next few weeks until I see what goes on with the USPS slowdown.  It's already been frustrating to have 3 packages in the past 2 weeks get to the Opa Locka sorting center, which is just over 25 miles from my house, take 2 days to get a package from there to my post office, which is less than a mile from my house.  Yes, it's a bit of a rant, but it really is frustrating.  Kind of shows a lot of what's prevalent in today's world, businesses putting customer service behind the almighty dollar.

Enjoy the hobby!!


Sunday, July 26, 2020

9 out of 10: Speaking of 9

The day after the blog's 9th birthday (which was this past Thursday if you missed it), I received the final 6 cards of the 2013-14 OPC set to finish off the 9th of 10 sets that I started out the year to complete.   First off, I'm going to show the 3 cards I purchased on eBay to get to the final 6...

I've made purchases like this before on eBay, and usually come out pretty happy.  It was one of those deals where the seller sets a flat price, then in the listing has the actual prices of all the cards they have for sale.  For me, this worked out well, as some of the prices for these 3 cards (especially the Galchenyuk) border on the high side, even for talented players.  The cards cost me $12, as the dealer knocked a couple of dollars off the shipping cost which I thought was pretty decent.

The seller's name is duckshockeyfan and as you might have guessed deals strictly with hockey cards.  I'll certainly be heading back to them to finish up another set or two in the future.

The other 6 SPs from this set came from all the way up in Thunder Bay, ON as Rusty (TCDB ID:rustyk) was kind enough to send me these in a deal in which I messed up and surely forgot to send everything that was promised from my end.   I truly wonder if working from home and being a hermit as I am now is starting to mess with my brain a little.

To make up for my mistake I found a few extra cards to send his way, hopefully they get there in the next week or 2 with how the mail is going right now.

All right, just one set left on the New Years list, 1974 Topps.  It's down to 35 cards to go with a purchase and a trade or 2 that have come in recently.  The want list, in case you're curious, is so.


A couple of Hank Aaron specials at the beginning (1 and 4), Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and a few other stars are on the list, but I should be able to chop away at it and hopefully be done by labor day.

Then we start on the next batch of sets.   Nothing easy for this guy.

Enjoy the hobby!!


Saturday, July 25, 2020

Out of one, many

Many will know the common Latin phrase used on American currency e pluribus unum, translated means out of many, one.

Well, I received a trade in the past week that had me thinking just the opposite.  For one Wayne Gretzky card, I received many cards in return from new trade partner Charles (TCDB ID: CharlesD).  Charles helped me with a trio of hockey sets, and a card for a couple of player collections.

Likely to be one of the next 10 sets up for completion is the 18-19 OPC set, which after a strong couple of trade months is down to 70 cards, 20 base and 50 SPs.  16 of the 50 are the team checklists, so I'm hoping to get them for a reasonable price, along with a good chunk of the rookies that I have left, many of which haven't established themselves in the NHL yet.

Still moving along very slowly is the 85-86 build, with only 38 cards in hand.  Nice to get a trio of star cards out of this trade.  Still a long way to go and a lot of big names to acquire, but this is one set that I'm looking forward to the fun of the chase.

Not far behind my love for 85-86 is the 86-87 OPC set, a little further along with 72 cards in hand, or just over a quarter of the set.  Again, nothing but stars in this group which is always good.  Some guy by the name of Patrick Roy and his rookie card are what's going to slow this build down at the end.   Again, the fun of the chase, right?

More additions to to a pair of my hockey player collections; especially nice is the Mats Sundin jersey card from the 07/08 Black Diamond set, #'d out of 100!   It's kind of funny that I appreciate trades for hockey cards more in the summer time than I do in the winter.   Wonder why that is....

Thank you for the trade Charles, the cards are really appreciated.

Enjoy the hobby!!


Friday, July 24, 2020

How (Ole)rud

I took a little over a week off of posting, largely because I needed a bit of a break, and with the wife away visiting her sister I've decided to take some time for myself.  Not that posting isn't "me time", because it is, but I just wanted to do something else with my evenings for a few days.

Well, it's time to get back at it, and to start I'm going to give a quick show of a six pack of John Olerud cards I received in a recent TCDB trade with fellow Floridian Gary (TCDB ID: garychap).  Gary's putting together a bunch of A&G insert sets, so I sent him a half dozen of those and in return came these.

Very quietly over the past few months the Olerud collection has gained steam and with this trade has passed the 200 mark.  A few more cards and I'll hit the 10% mark for the entire collection, which is one of the smallest of all the players I collect at just over 2100 cards total. 

All 6 of the Olerud cards in this trade could be considered "shiny", however the e-X card on the left hand side of this scan likely could be an imposter.  Love that this trade didn't include one Blue Jays card, as I'm really lacking in the Mets, Mariners and other teams in the Olerud collection.

I'm now just 5 completed trades short of 300 on the TCDB site, not bad considering I started 2019 at just 37.  Will let you all know when I get there and I'll keep moving forward to 400!

Enjoy the hobby!!


Thursday, July 23, 2020

That's 9

I'm going to take it easy on today's post, it is the blog's birthday after all.  9 years ago today I announced that I had received my end of a trade from Kerry from the Cards on cards blog, and almost 2000 posts later, I'm still collecting, writing, and having fun with a hobby that I've enjoyed since I was a kid.

So, today as I'm wont to do sometimes, I'll show just one card.  It's one that I pulled from a pack last week when I was on a bit of a ripping frenzy on a rainy Saturday afternoon. 

What a photo, and what a catch!   As many of you know I'm not a big football collector, but sometimes there are cards no matter what sport that need to be shown off.   This is one of them.

This is from the 2018 Score set, All Hands Team insert featuring Paul Richardson.

Ok, that's all, now let's enjoy some cake....

Enjoy the hobby!!


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

No Gum stains on these cards

So I'm hunting around on Sportlots about 10 days ago for some cards to fill some set holes, and I decide I want to see if I can knock down the 2017 A&G want list that I have.

I'm looking at the list of sellers for the first card I pull up on the list, and I see a name I recognize but hadn't thought about in quite some time. 

Many will be familiar with Jon from the Community Gum blog, long one of the staples in the card blogging community.  Sadly, Jon hasn't posted for almost a year now (he's 11 days shy of that mark), but still is a recognizable name for me. 

Once, I saw his name, I knew I was going to pick up a few cards off of him.  It turned out to be 24 in total; there were no worries when it came to shipping because like the rest of us, Jon's a collector and knows what it's like to receive an envelope, let alone send one. 

Great care was taken in shipping the cards, each one of them individually sleeved, top loaders at both ends of 2 bricks of 12 cards, and both bricks inside team bags.  Fantastic!!  I can only remember one opportunity to trade with Jon previously, but I remember him to be a great trader and very friendly in emails.

These 24 cards dropped the list down to an even 60 cards, 18 of them SPs.  This set will be one of my "next 10" sets to fall under the completed category.   Not bad for a set that a couple of years ago had no thoughts or desires to finish...

Enjoy the hobby!


Saturday, July 11, 2020

Odds and adds

I'm looking through the eBay listings for Joe Sakic BIN's and I come across this listing for a Joe Sakic golf card  and I think that there's no way people should be bitching about how cards are today when there's a set of 100 cards of hockey players golfing.   This is from 2002-03 mind you, nearly 20 years ago.   I am sitting here at my computer chuckling about it while I type.

Having seen this I decide that I'll go ahead and write a bit about a couple of envelopes I received recently to boost up a couple of my collections.  Just to change my train of thought.

I'm still having fun trying to finish off my buddy Chris' 83 Topps football set.  I bought a bunch this week on Sportlots and knocked down his want list to just 13 cards.

A lot of names I remember from the early 80's such as Bradshaw, Brooks and Tony Hill, and a couple of lesser known names that I couldn't pick out of a lineup.  It's still been fun trying to finish this up, and the cards for the most part have been reasonably priced so there's that.

I can always rely on some regular trading partners from up north to bolster my hockey collections, and multiple time trade partner Andy (TCDB ID: AndyRoy) didn't disappoint again.  The majority of this trade as you can see was for Felix Potvin.   I'm going to have to go over my want list for Felix, because pretty much everything I have received recently has been from his days with the Leafs; not that I'm complaining but he spent a good portion of his careers with a few other teams (LA, NYI and Boston) and there's a good deal of those cards I'd like to track down as well.

The Potvin collection is up to 132 cards, but for some reason that seems light so I'll have to sit down and go through the binder and make sure it's up to date. 

Maybe when it rains again on a Saturday down here...

Enjoy the hobby!!


Friday, July 10, 2020

I'm not talking about the Topps Heritage you normally think of

I recently received my portion of my 2nd trade with Greg (TCDB ID: Gregory_Kyle) who both times has set me up with some great hockey cards for my various collections.  One card from the 8 I'm going to show you today really kind of hit home with me, and I'll discuss that in a bit.

Since I've upped my want lists for both Mats Sundin and Felix Potvin, the collections have really started to grow.   I especially like the Pinnacle Summit card as it displays the cat "set up" that Felix employed on his equipment, which a lot of goalies really didn't do back in the 90's.

The Mats Sundin card is one that I don't think I've ever seen, it's a 93-94 Upper Deck Hat Tricks insert, and it chronicles on the back his point production from the season before (114, his career high), and the lone hat trick he scored in a loss to the North Stars.  I can't even remember seeing the Hat Tricks card on COMC or on ebay before, so it's definitely most welcome.

I've had some interesting additions to the Joe Sakic PC recently, including some of his earlier cards, along with a couple of stickers.   The Topps Premier Gold card in the lower left falls under the "I thought I had this already category".  I remember distinctly having a deck of the 95-96 Hockey Aces cards that features Joe as the King of Clubs, but I'll be damned if I can remember where that deck of cards is now.  These 4 bring the Sakic PC up to 818 cards, and now that I've passed 800 the collection seems to be gaining some steam again.  Not bad for a PC that I've not really focused on for a few months!

I'm sure I've said this each time I've posted a card from the 2000-01 Topps Heritage hockey set, but I'm going to say it again anyhow.

I love this damn set.   I love how it looks.  Plain, simple.  Player and team names on simple bars at the bottom of the card.  Nice large team logo at the top which doesn't interfere with the player photo.  The back is sharp and mimics the original 54-55 Topps hockey set as the front does.  Between this and the 2002-03 Heritage set (the TV design), I can't decide which I like more (although it probably is this one).

My question right now is, where are all the cards?  I put this want list up a few months back, and I can only remember 2 or 3 cards from this set coming my way in trades.  I'd love to get this set completed, which I know will be a bit of a task because the rookies are numbered out of 1955, but even still I can't believe that there aren't a few people out there that have some of these up for trade. 

Good heavens, don't make me beg....

Enjoy the hobby!!


Thursday, July 9, 2020

8 out of 10 : 7&7

I took advantage of my eBay bucks bonus (just over $5, not bad), and purchased the final card in the 1976 Topps build, Thurman Munson.

For $7, the Yankees catcher finishes off the set, and I was kind of surprised that the price was about the norm for a decent copy of this card.  The seller is one that I've used before, oldbbcards, so I decided to look through his store and see if he had something else that I wanted.

Turns out, the other card that I bought also cost me $7

84-85 O-pee-Chee #382, featuring the Great One.  Anytime a Gretzky card from the early to mid 80's shows for less than $10, it's a win to me, so I grabbed this one up.   Still a long way to go to finish the 84-85 set; I'm just 3 cards past the halfway point.  

Just 2 sets to go, and the 10 set project is done.  38 cards for '74 Topps (1 on the way), 9 cards to go for 13-14 OPC hockey (6 on the way).  I'll have to say that the focus has been successful, so much so that I'm going to keep on going.

Enjoy the hobby!!


Sunday, July 5, 2020

Less than 50

Made some more strides in getting the first 10 sets finished over the past few days.  I just finalized a trade on TCDB to net me 6 of the 9 remaining SPs for the 2013-14 OPC hockey set.

This quarter's eBay bucks came in, and it was spent on the final card (Thurman Munson) for the '76 Topps set.  I hope to have that card in by the end of the week.

Last weekend I made what's become kind of a weekly purchase from my favorite eBay seller, the Battersbox.  I knocked off a couple names from the '74 Topps want list, taking that set below the 40 cards needed mark.

The #2 Hank Aaron special, and #20 Nolan Ryan are a couple of cards I'm glad to have off the list.  I paid $15 for the pair, which I don't think is too unreasonable at this stage.  I started looking around for the #1 Hank Aaron card, and most of the good copies I've seen are in the $20+ range, so I might wait a couple of weeks and look again, especially if eBay runs their bucks multiplier promotion sometime soon.

When I'm scouring for my weekly purchase from The Battersbox, I usually try to find a hockey card from a 70's set that's cheap and piques my interest.  This week I found a trophy card for under $2 that I decided to add to the order...

This is from the 74-75 O-pee-Chee set and I put it in the cart immediately when I saw it.  The Prince of Wales Trophy was awarded to the team that was the winner of the East Division at this time, and this was the 3rd time in 4 years that the Bruins had won the trophy.

The back of the card mentions that before the '67 expansion this trophy was awarded to the regular season champion, and that the Detroit Red Wings had won the title 7 years in a row.   Currently it is awarded to the winner of the Eastern Conference playoff.

It is with great sadness that I have to mention that my beloved Maple Leafs have only won this trophy twice in their existence.

Last up for this post is another '55 Bowman card, a set that I've become fascinated with adding cards on the cheap.  $1.65 brought this card home, even though I hadn't the foggiest idea who Dee Fondy was.  Let's learn, shall we?

Dee Fondy's major league career was relatively short, just 8 seasons from 1951-1958.  Dee played for 3 clubs, the Cubs, the Pirates and the Reds.  He was a decent hitter for average, finishing 3 times above .300 and a career average of .286 with 1000 total hits.  However, he wasn't the prototypical 1st baseman, as he hit just 69 homers over his career.  Interestingly, he was traded to the Reds for his final season for a slugging first baseman by the name of Ted Kluszewski.

I now have 4 cards from the '55 Bowman set, which I am enjoying enough to consider it a set to build one day.   The size is very manageable at 320 cards and it has all the big names of the era (Aaron, Mays and Mantle) so it will be fun to see how this goes over the long haul.

Having less than 50 cards combined for my final 3 sets of the 10 set project for this year is something that makes me happy, and I'll keep you posted as I get closer to the finish line.

Enjoy the hobby!!


Thursday, July 2, 2020

A couple of trades show a preview of "the Next 10"

I'm a set collecting guy.  That's what I do, it's what I like.  I think a lot of the reason I've posted a lot more in 2020 is I've finally found my collecting groove.  Building sets has been the predominant theme since January 1st, and now that I'm closing in on finishing the 10 sets I mentioned then, I'm ready to take a crack at finishing another 10.

Round numbers are so much easier.

My trading has slowed down a bit on the TCDB, nothing major to be worried about as I believe it's a by-product of me finishing some 70's and 80's baseball sets.  I'm still trying to find a Thurman Munson to finish my '76 Topps set, as the trade I was working on didn't pan out (it happens).  I did get in a couple of trades so far this week, and all but one of the cards you'll see will be part of "the Next 10" sets that I'm going to focus on once I finish the originals.

I received these cards yesterday from Sean (TCDB IB: that ID!), and these 3 beauties did two things for me.

John Olerud's '97 Pacific Crown Collection card leaves me just 2 shy of the 200 card plateau, a healthy portion of those coming as part of trades over the past several months.

The 2 GQ green parallels get that set to the 80% complete mark, which I still can't believe I've hit so quickly.  60 cards remaining for this set that I love ensures that '19 GQG (Gypsy Queen Green) will be part of the Next 10

Another set that's come a long way due to trading is the 2018-19 O-pee-Chee hockey set, and these 18 cards are courtesy of multiple time trade partner Justin (TCDB ID: Lightningfan7609).  Of course, a bunch of Lightning cards went his way in return for knocking my want list for this set down to 73 cards.  Fifty-two of those are the dreaded SPs, so it'll be interesting for me to see where I put this on the list.

I'm planning on doing the same process with the Next 10 sets, putting them in a specific order and doing my best to finish them in that order.  It didn't quite work out that way the first time, but hey, getting them done is the goal, correct?

Enjoy the hobby!!


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Maybe one day

First off, Happy Canada Day to all my friends reading north of the border!!  Canada's 153rd birthday today, hope all of you had fun celebrating however you could.

I decided to write a little bit about a group of cards that I've had in the collection for quite a while now, but really haven't been touched.  Kind of the lone wolf in the set build world for me.

1962 Topps.  I bought little bits here and there many years ago in the first few years of the blog, and received a couple of generous gifts from fellow bloggers (CommishBob, don't think I've forgotten your generosity), but since I've moved to the Sunshine State, the '62 set has been the cousin in the back of the photo that nobody ever paid attention to.

I've not added one card to the set in the past 5 years, and I could think for days and not come up with a reason why.  I have 3 '55 Bowmans (with a 4th on the way) and I'm more interested in putting that set together than the '62 set.

It's not like I don't have a good start; I have over 220 cards of a 598 card set, and I have a few star players and leader cards in hand already.

Even though it's creased, it's still Yogi Berra.  I like the look of it and wouldn't replace it even if I did start chasing the set.  This may have come from the Commish, although I don't recall anymore.

Indicative of how a lot of the cards I have so far are, these 3 league leaders cards have borders that are off, some slight creases, but are still well loved.  I looked really quick at the AL Batting leaders card, and saw Elston Howard's batting average in the .340s and thought that he was probably the least heralded of the Yankee Squad in that area.

Love the 4 bats that John Blanchard is easily carrying on his card.  I have the Walter Alston card which features him in front of the bat rack.  You can plainly see that this is well loved also.

When I think of baseball in Montreal, I think of Felipe Alou as the manager.  Yes Dick Williams was quite successful with Expos in the late 70's/early 80's, but Alou quietly and confidently managing the talent in the 90's always comes to mind.  The '94 team will always be the "what if" squad, 34 games above .500 when the season ended, and Felipe's son Moises having an MVP type season playing left field in the Big O.

Maybe one day I will get around to putting up a want list and trying to finish this set up.  But for years, I just haven't been feeling the love for it.

Starting up several other sets might be the cause of that.

Enjoy the hobby!