Friday, July 29, 2011

Some more stuff from the June binge: Bums and other Dodgers!

Rejoice! Old guys in Dodger uniforms (both Brooklyn and L.A.) await!

I totally sniped Greg on this one. Sorry again for that! Yep, this is a '54 Bowman Roy Campanella with a crease to the right of his ear and some serious, serious border trimming. How serious?

Text missing from the back serious. Still, mighty cheap, and an awesome card.

I was trying for the combined shipping on this and a Hodges card. I lost the Hodges. I still got a '57 Clem Labine!

'53 Bowman Color Carl Furillo. Probably trimmed (though I think my scanner ate the bottom, rather than a pair of scissors). Definitely awesome.

More '53 love with this one-year wonder.

Now, for the first of two non-Bums. Hey, Maury Wills, what're you doing on that '60 Topps card without a card contract? This is kinda-sorta his rookie card. Kinda. $6 at the flea market from a card dealer there, in nice shape.

This Maury Wills, he did sign a contract for! It's my first 1963 Fleer card (and one of the pricier ones, if you go for a mint copy), and I got it for myself for my birthday for $9.70 shipped. This was an all-time want. Still trying to figure out what my deal is with Maury Wills, beyond that he seems to have singlehandedly invented or at least popularized "the National League style of baseball" as we know it today. Always did like dudes who stole a ton of bases, too. For some reason, getting all his obtainable playing-era cards has been something that's seriously interested me since I started seriously buying cards again. I'm actually pretty close, too. The '67 Topps (his first "official" Topps and a high number) is gonna be the toughest, but after that, it's just the '70, I think I still need the '72 In Action, and then the oddball stuff (the 2 Posts I don't have, team issues, etc.) I don't have from there.

Latest Topps Diamond Score

Over the course of about a month or two, I traded up from an '82 Vida Blue (which I got as part of a 23 card package for the '75 Yaz/Cepeda '67 MVP card) to this, solely by trading Vida Blue and Luis Tiant for each other. I actually netted this for a '77 Tiant on a lark, because I was getting stonewalled on the '75 Blue and there were no '76s available). The eventual goal was a '71 Blue, but 1. no one's got one on the site right now and 2. upon careful review of both cards, while the '71 is legendary, the '74 is at least as awesome if not even more.

Yep, barring a knockout offer, this is a keeper.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Second Trade Was Even Funner

Julie and I made a trade back in March, and she was entirely too good to me. When we finished the deal, she called dibs on my next hit from the players she collects. So, when I got one of those one-per-case '11 Topps Sparkle Variations of her man Ryan Zimmerman, I gave her a buzz, and, defeating the purpose of sending her a big hit, she was once again entirely too good to me. I did throw her a bunch of old Phils which she'll hopefully enjoy, and this year's Ginter Cliff Lee to go along with her Zimmerman, but yeah, way too good to me. Here are a few of the highlights:

Man, this card is cool. I don't collect cards of the Gaylord usually, but autograph + signed on leather=sign me up. Solid signature, even on shaky material.

Auto of the unspectacular-yet-rock-steady ace of both of my fantasy teams this year? Again, I'm in.

Is that a Greg Maddux bat card? Whoa.

Ichiro probably is climbing the walls by now, with the way the Mariners have been playing. Ah well, at least they finally won today, beating the Yanks to break a 17 game losing streak.

These framed Gypsy Queen cards are just plain nice. Also: yay, Roger Maris!

Little bit of Robin Yount action here...

...and Murph. I've got the bronze framed Murph, too. How many colors did these come in?

You don't often see post-career cards of Big Dave in an Angels uniform, so I had to highlight this one here. Kind of a forgotten part of his career.

J.P., who's survived today's Toronto trade barrage so far, was one of two cards I still needed for Series 2 (counting some that Ted has aside for me)...

...and to bring us full circle, non-sparkly Zim was the other, so I'm quasi-officially done with the '10 Topps set! (Until Update comes out in October, anyway.) Yep, for those who missed it, I got the 1-per-case variation of this card before I found the base one, and to make it even more interesting, this was Julie's only copy of it as of the time of this trade. Very generous of her! Folks, if you've got spares, send one her way!

On top of all this fun, there were a bunch of Series 2 inserts (Toppstown, 60, Kimball) I needed, a Heritage Freddie Freeman and a GQ Great Ones Yount in the package, but I figure you've probably seen a lot of this stuff already.

Julie, you spoil me! Thanks so much for everything in the package, and I'm still considering myself to be on the hook for Phillies, Nats, Drabek and Votto hits here!

The Return Of Platinum The Unscannable!

I stopped in at my local today to see what was out and say hi, and although there was no f00'ball to be had today (Grrrr...) I got the answer to the "Is Bowman Platinum on time?" question.

Yep, it's back, and only slightly less unscannable than last year's edition! Pretty cards, though, big step forward. I picked up a couple of singles, just for the heck of it. This is a base card of poor Ichiro...

...and here's a prospect card of Chris Archer, who KILLED in the Cubs system last year before the Garza trade landed him in Tampa Bay's minor league system, but who seems to be having less luck this year. Ah well, he's only 22, and given that the Rays are loaded with pitchers, he'll probably end up on another team before he breaks through anyway.

I don't see myself building this set (in a shocking turn of events after I...didn't build last year's either), but I'll probably pick up a handful of cards from it.

Did any of you get some Platinum today? Are you planning on building the set? Have you figured out how to scan these cards or last years? Let's hear about it in the comments!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Placeholder Sets

Quick question here: how many of you wrestle with whether or not to build or pick up a set you're not in love with, just because it'll make a run of years complete? I've been easing off of some (not all, but some) of my completist tendencies even as my collecting interest seems to be shifting toward sets rather than players, but there's still a few sets that I go back and forth on whether or not I should bother with. 

The big ones on my mind right now are '79 Topps and '85 Donruss.

'79's a year that I've just never been able to get into for some reason. I think it's because I got the key card in the set (Ozzie) early, and because in my mind, the Burger King Yankees always made me feel like I was complete on Yankees (even with some of the differences/omissions in the BK set), which would've been my other main hook in the set. I've had other sets from this era grow on me after a while, so I think I'm holding out for that to happen as I come across cards from it, but it's always been kind of a "meh" set for me to date. I'm not in love with '77 and '75 either on the late '70s Topps front (yeah, I know, blasphemy; I think with '75, it's because all the cards I come across from it look ratty), but '74 and '76 grew on me over time and I've always loved '78.

As for '85 Donruss, it was the first year that they used that horrible card stock they burdened collectors with from '85-'91. '81-'84 (yep, even '81; I have fond memories of getting packs while on vacation in Cape Cod as a kid), I range from like to love on, and am collecting. I've got an '86 set too (first factory set I ever bought, though it's far from factory condition now), so '85 keeps nagging at me as a "bridge" set. Plus, you've got some decent rookies (Puckett, Eric Davis, Clemens even if he's destroyed most of the goodwill in the world toward him), decent early-career cards (Mattingly, a great Strawberry and guys like Boggs, Gwynn, etc.) and an Expo Pete Rose, so those are at least a little interesting. That card stock, though...ugh.

Neither of these sets is like one of the late '80s/early '90s sets that you can just pick up for a fiver and be done with if you hit a decent size card show or a card shop that's saddled with a bunch of 'em. They both take a little commitment and a little money to finish (even with the Ozzie rookie out of the way, on the '79 side). Conventional wisdom would suggest that, if I'm not 100% into getting them, I shouldn't, because there's so much other cool stuff out there, but they keep popping back in my mind like the snakes in the pet shop.

(I know I've used this before, but it's too awesome not to use again and again. I should make a custom card of it.)

Will this be me in the end?

Does anyone else out there have a set or three that they're in the same boat with or were in the same boat with?

The Round-Up for 07/26/11: A bunch of June purchases and life issues

Just to give you all a head's up on why I'm as quiet as I've been, and why things (posts, trade packages, etc.) are happening as slowly as they have: I just went through a Major Life Event about 3 weeks ago, and have been suffering from some pretty serious exhaustion ever since. It's frustrating, because I've been like a zombie. Brain works, body doesn't. Working on getting rest and getting things back up to speed here and elsewhere, but in the meantime, if there's a delay in anything going on with me, this is why. Now, back to not-real-life with your host, baseball cards!

As some of you may know, I dealt with some of the lead-up to the Major Life Event by spending too much money (it adds up, even at a few bucks at a time) on cards. Stress + me seems to=buying cards. Definitely something to be careful of moving forward, even if cool stuff like this comes to me as a result. Got the baseball card world's first real exposure to Wally and his eyebrows what seems like ages ago. One of those last-minute, "How is this going for so low?" bids on eBay. Only my second '54. Fun stuff!

This, on the other hand, somehow survived a week on eBay without any bids. Yes, it's the '56 Topps Dodgers team card. Been through hell, creases for miles, but when I slept through the end of the auction (see?) and saw that it went without a bid, I did one of those on-the-sly, contact-the-seller deals and got it for about 2 hobby packs of Ginter. Huge card to check off my '56 Dodgers team. More Bums coming in a later post or two.

This auction ended at a buck, plus shipping. Can you see a damn thing wrong with this 1972 Topps Willie Mays card? Me neither. I was so psyched about it, that I took advantage of combined shipping and got the card right below it for another $2.75...

Yep, Cecil's got a big ol' crease above his head, lookin' like a lightning bolt, but the price was right and I don't have to think about getting this card again for my '72 set unless I want to.

Willie first showed up just prior to this pick-up in a 2 card lot of '68 Topps card game inserts that, again, was hobby-pack cheap. The other card?

This guy.

...who also showed up by himself here, dirt cheap. Love this card.

Last one for today. "Mom, the TV's got a crease in it!" Paid just a smidge more than I should have for this (Ever have one of those auctions where you go a bit more than you should, thinking you won't win, and do? Yeah, that...), but again, we're talking a hobby pack or two here. First playing-era Scooter card for me, and another '55 Bowman (only the second non-Bum for me so far).

On the news front, f00'ball's back, Topps f00'ball is out this week (curious how well the '11 design will translate to f00'ball in person; the '10 design looked way better on f00'ball than it did on baseball, but it didn't have a baseball incorporated as a primary design element initially), Bowman Platinum was due this week (Any word on that?), the National (which I will hopefully make it to next year) is this weekend, and Gintermania is in full swing. Done with the base set (as I mentioned, for the price of a blaster and shipping; Brent & Becca took really good care of me there), but if you're trading 'em, keep me in mind for your inserts. Yep, even those "blasphemous" ones. 

I've laid low since my Ginter set aside from a few trades that'll hopefully be getting posts sooner than later. No flea market last weekend. Actually been doing some pare-down work in my player collection boxes (which were turning into "anyone who was ever considered a star" boxes; I had a lot of Cliff Floyd cards), so the trade list will be filling back up again as soon as I feel like auditing and typing. 

I have been having a blast on the Topps Diamond Giveaway site, where my meager 14 codes have turned into 81 cards so far, 38 of them from 1980 and back. Still no huge stars in that stuff, but I've got a lot of Dock Ellis and Alex Johnson cards right now, I've turned an '82 Vida Blue into a '77 Luis Tiant just by trading Blue's cards for the previous year's Tiant and vice-versa, and I've turned an '86 checklist into a '78 checklist by doing the same with checklist cards. Most recent card, netted with a '74 Burt Hooton that I got along with a '74 Randy Hundley for a '72 Carlos May that'd been collecting dust for a few weeks?


Man, that's a pretty card.

I'll leave y'all with that for now. More from me soon, hopefully!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Another Trade With Ryan G.!

If there's a kind of post I can be behind on (eBay, flea market, trade, you name it), I'm behind on it. However, this beauty came in the mail today (along with a few Bowman's Best and some random Dodgers I needed) from reader and regular Player Of The Month sender-over Ryan G. who's one of a few people being very patient with my flakiness over the past week or two. The card is a 1950 Remar Bread Oakland Oaks card of future Brewers manager George Bamberger. As I've been just starting to scratch the surface of old stories about the pre-west coast MLB version of the Pacific Coast League, and also starting to spot these cards on eBay, I was definitely intrigued when Ryan posted one as trade bait. The card's about the same size as a Topps Ringside card, but is made of very thin, flimsy cardboard (that's obviously been through hell over the years too, but the card stock wasn't exactly what we'd call 2011 Heritage-level thick, either). Its fragility is really impressive stuff. I do love that about old cards sometimes, when they've really been through it and they're soft, fragile, frayed...

 What a great card back."Let's Be Friends". Sunbeam bread's still being made. George played in Roosevelt Stadium before hooking up with Oakland. The Dodgers played in Roosevelt Stadium a few times before moving west, too. My man Jersey Joe fought Ezzard Charles there, too, to tie this card into Ringside once again. (Should have a new Ringside card up for y'all soon.)

Ahhh, the days when you could have a 1.51 WHIP, only strike out 98 batters in 32 games and still pitch 13 Complete Games. Those are Rodrigo Lopez numbers, actually.

Thanks again for the card, the other, non-pictured cards and the trade, Ryan!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My weekend, in cards...

Friday: I found a $5 bill on the ground in the parking lot, as I was leaving the place where I had dinner. Then, I went to Target and did some of this:

w00, '11 Score f00'ball! This year, I won't finish the set AND there won't be a season! Got my man Suh, though, and I also got my man Knowshon.


I also did some of this:

BWAHAHAHAHAHA "The King Of Cornhole" OK I'll turn 6 now.

Hey, it's a Ginter Code card! I wonder how much I just cost eBay sellers by posting this.

This dude could've done double duty in the beard set.

Thanks to Bill & Ted, I seriously can't see a reference to this guy without thinking "Sigmund Frood".

Regardless of where you stand on the "Ascent Of Man" series (and no, we're not going to discuss where you stand here, thank you), you have to admit that these cards have some of the most gorgeous art ever seen on a Ginter card.

It's been said elsewhere, so hopefully I'm not too late, but: creationists in the audience who don't want the cards, save these for me!


Went out to the flea market. Really slow day there, not a lot of vendors, not a lot of customers, totally inexplicable as it was a gorgeous weather day that'd been forecasted in advance as such, and there was nothing else going on in the area that would've kept people away. Regardless, I managed to find some fun stuff there.

I love it when Kellogg's cards turn up. Padre Winfield has been making himself available more in the past 2 months than he had in the previous 31 years of my life, too.

Roadrunner! *meemeep*

'78 SSPC Yankees! These have been written about at length here and here, among other places. Got a bunch of these in various conditions, including a near-complete set (need a Paul Blair, #20), and will have some available for trade shortly. In the meantime, a couple more highlights:


Reggie! (I put Catfish between him and Thurman, just in case.)

James Rodney Richard! I only found 2 '81 Donruss cards this weekend (the other was an Andre Dawson), but I needed 'em both!

Check out Dusty. You know he's thinking "Someday, I'm gonna turn all those chump pitchers' arms into dust!" That's gotta be where the nickname comes from. Anyway, I got almost the full '76 Traded set (I had a few, and I'm missing 6 cards now if there's a checklist) in mostly well-loved condition. Sadly, no doubles of the Oscar Gamble or Dock Ellis cards were found. If anyone wants some doubles of the commons from this set in lousy condition, I can probably grab them next weekend.

Hey, a Drake's card of the angriest guy who ever lived, for a few minutes anyway! This one's from the '82 set. I'm strongly considering making runs at the Drake's, Purina and Quaker Oats cards from the '80s. Loved those cards. They were Topps cards, but not. Good stuff.

Some more f00'ball! Found a bunch of these Fleer Goudey joints, but I just grabbed Marcus here. (I think I'm a closet Marcus Allen collector.) Hopefully, there'll be some left where I found 'em next week.

Get out of Bo's way, Chiefs defender guy! '91 UD here, which you've seen recently if you saw the inserts in this year's UD f00'ball.

"Wait...what do you mean my Sea Monkeys died? Jeez, I ask you kids to do one thing while daddy's playing, and you screw it up!"

Do The Ickey Shuffle, y'all!

Then there was this. No, not an original. I'm still breathing, kinda. This is one of 226 '93 Topps Archives '53s I found, in sheets, for $5. This is an especially nice find for me, as I had Gerry Dvorak (who painted a bunch of these) as a cartooning teacher for a minute in about '85 or so (I feel like I've mentioned that on here a dozen times already). The first 9 pages were missing (So no Mantle, Jackie, Pee Wee, etc.), and 5 other cards were as well, but the heck with it! Satchel, Willie and a lot of other dudes (including most of the "we don't have Gerry's artwork for these, so we'll use pictures of Teddy Ballgame, Hank, etc.) were! Very cool.

So, that was the flea market, and my last $10. Or, was it? Read on! THE POWER OF LIEFIELD COMPELS YOU!

(This was in with some lot of cards I got at the market for a buck on Saturday. If you ever need to explain Rob Liefield to someone who's never heard of him, feel free to use this scan.)

Driving home from lunch later in the day, I saw the garage sale signs I was going to pass on because of money. After all, the only cash I had left was that $5 from the restaurant parking lot. Got a feeling, though, and after dropping off the missus at the house (she didn't feel like garage saling), I headed toward the first of the sales on the signs. I actually ended up at the second one I knew about first, and none of the rest.

When I parked and got out, I could see an opened '90 Topps factory set box from the street, so I knew there'd be something there. I walked up the driveway, and sure enough, boxes of cards. I took a look to see what was there. There were some '83 Fleers (no Big 3 rookies), some '87 Fleers rubber-banded by team (no Pirates), some late '80s Topps, and a box in the front that had some '80s Topps football cards, at first glance. A bunch of '85s, which I wish I would've been able to snag, since I'd like to build that one to complete my '84-'86 run, then a few '84s and some '86s. Looked through the '84s for Elway/Marino, but no dice outside of a beaten up Marino glossy and a Marino Instant Replay. Onto the '86s. About two/thirds of the way through...

Yep. It's a double, too (and available for trade or sale). As I was still looking, I did the best job possible keeping a poker face. Once I got past some '86s, I noticed a really familiar looking border color that you don't run into at garage sales very often, and kept going, ramping up my poker face a bit. The first card in that part of the box didn't have the border, though.

Nice! Dr. J sticker! As some of you probably know (and my mentioning the borders probably gave me away, too), this sticker insert's from the '86 Fleer basketball set, which I owned many moons ago, but had to sell for cash over something dumb. I pulled out the Dr. J and started looking through the small pile (probably 3 packs) of '86s.

OK, pretty good.

Nice! One of my big basketball wants!

One of the more hated guys in New York sports nowadays, but he was a solid player and part of those great Pistons teams in the late '80s which kinda get forgotten because Michael became MICHAEL.

You know. This guy.

Let's pause for a moment and catch our collective breath before proceeding, shall we? Better? OK.

Here's another guy from those Pistons teams that I loved. What a thug. His job on a court was to beat the holy hell out of the other players. You're not reading this because you're still looking at the Jordan rookie.

Nope, you're still not reading this, or if you are, you're yelling "Where's the Karl Malone rookie? Man, you paid $5 for that lot and you didn't get a Malone rookie? You got ripped off!"

In total, there were 36 '86 Fleers, that broke down as 24 singles, 2 sticker singles (the other sticker was Alex English), 9 doubles and 1 sticker double of Dr. J. I guess I'm building another set. I've got doubles of Ewing and Isiah in with those doubles. I'm obviously keeping the Jordan (and having it graded ASAP, just to get it safely in a slab and authenticated; I'm already sold on its authenticity, because I've handled a ton of '86s, but other people might crab about it). The corners aren't great by any means, but it's legit and even with bad corners, I'll take it. 

Amazingly, I'm not done yet.

Hey, it's Roger Murdock!

I mostly remember Rick Barry from the Spalding "Street Ball" ads on the back of comics.

Before there was Dirk, basketball had another big ugly white guy. His name was Bill Walton.

Mack Calvin. Photo by Sears Portrait Studio.

Because nothing says "peace" like BULLETS.

I love the cut and paste work on the background here.

Hey, any of you need a Jack Sikma rookie? I think Ben Henry used to collect old Sonics, didn't he?

(Incidentally, I didn't end up buying the 2 Marinos mentioned earlier in the post. Just forgot about 'em.)

So, that was the rest of my Saturday.

Sunday (There's actually a Sunday?):

Mostly scanning and bed rest (my lungs are being persnickety again today), but I woke up for a minute and grabbed this...

Pinhole in the nameplate, but for under $5 shipped, a nice-looking add to the Ringside collection. Hope I didn't snipe anyone, as I legitimately didn't wake up with time to check the bid history.

Opening the floor to your comments. Any of y'all have any cool finds this weekend?