Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Time for Night Owl's least favorite day of the year: 2012 Topps Posts A-Go-Go!

Yep, got mine, 3 hanger boxes at Target because I'm nuts.


Let's get down to it, boppers! Lotsa Cards in these cards! Really like the throwback uni on this one, though.

Token Mantle. #7 looks like he's about to take a #2 here. Wouldn't it be funny if they 'Shopped Jeter in the dugout and Obama in the seats? The latter part would be almost as popular as that Ascent of Man subset was in Ginter last year. Notice how they're doing a Bible subset in this year's? Nice job placating folks, Topps! OK, moving on...

Jesus! (OK, maybe I haven't quite moved on yet...)

...and his trade counterpart, who will undoubtedly be nicknamed "Satan" if he has a slow April in The Bronx.

You know, when I first started getting serious about collecting again, I strongly considered collecting Billy Butler's stuff but never really got to it. This card may get me there. Seriously, what a great card. What a happy looking guy. "Lookit me, ma! I'm on a bubble gum card!"

2012 Topps: you will believe that a Panda can fly.

Speaking of flying, jeez, paging Tippi Hedren! Those birds are trying to make off with that guy's johnson! Er, they're trying to make off with that guy Johnson!

"What do you need that for, Dude?"

This one will annoy the Owl more than he already is from seeing the whole set splattered across his Google Reader list, but I'm sending him some crazy stuff later in the week, so I'm allowed.

I've seen it posted elsewhere, and we'll all see it a billion times for the rest of our days, but this has my early vote for Card of the Year.

And, to finish off the base cards, how about a little BASTARDO? I just like saying and typing BASTARDO. I'm going to do it again now. BASTARDO.
What do I think of the base cards? I can deal. The design's unobtrusive, and the photography, MV-PED Ryan Braun's card aside (what were Topps thinking, not only going with that pic for the card, but using it as their teaser image?) is actually pretty spectacular.

As I said, I got 3 hanger boxes (those $10 numbers), because I'm nuts. I wasn't super-impressed by the collation, as there were doubles immediately after the inserts in 2 out of the 3 boxes. They might wanna work on that.

Oh, wait. There are inserts, aren't there? As I said before the set came out, I'm not in love with the subset designs for the most part, and while I don't hate them in person, I probably won't be collecting them as seriously as I did last year, with one exception:

These things are AWESOME. Seriously, look at the backs!

Way better than the '75 Mini backs in Lineage (which would've been fantastic had they had '75-ish cardboard stock backs, rather than just novel). If you've got spares or unwanteds from this set, send 'em my way!

My want list (of course I have it done already):
2012 Topps (Have 179/330): 2, 6, 8, 10-12, 14-16, 18, 23, 28, 30-31, 35, 37, 40, 43-45, 51-52, 54, 56-57, 63-64, 66, 68-70, 72-74, 76, 78, 80, 82-83, 88-89, 91-92, 96-97, 99, 104-106, 112, 118-121, 123-125, 127, 129-130, 133-141, 143, 148, 151-154, 158-159, 162-163, 165, 171, 174, 179-181, 184, 188, 193, 195-196, 199, 202-204, 206, 211, 213-214, 221-222, 227-228, 234-235, 237, 239-240, 244, 247-249, 253, 255, 257, 261-262, 265, 268-270, 272-273, 275, 277, 279-282, 284, 289-291, 293, 295-296, 298-299, 302, 307, 310-311, 316, 318, 321-322, 324-328, 330

2012 Topps '87 Minis: 1-5, 7-13, 15-27, 29, 31-34, 36-50

My trade list:

25 55 116 145 149 166 173 189 210 229 236 242 250 256 294
...and this:

I'm hanging onto Dustin Ackley and Brandon Morrow for now, but Lohse? Nah, I'll pass. All yours, Cards fans!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Scored one of these over the weekend...

Yep, the original magazine.

(Apologies to whoever scanned this, as I do own a copy, but I don't own a huge-ass scanner bed so I had to gank your jpeg.)

It's got a photo essay inside on Teddy Ballgame's batting stance, step by step.

I will use this to learn how to bat .400.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

I can totally live with this...

Obviously, not an ideal grade for anything, but totally reasonable (look carefully at the bottom corners; knew that going in, not surprised by the grade). Mostly, I just wanted the card authenticated (so, despite my knowing what a real '86 Fleer Jordan looks and feels like from the experience of owning one years ago, I don't hear "Is it real?" for the rest of my days).

MOAR TRADE BAITS:Prime 9 Edition

Apologies for the crooked-ass scan, but you ever try to get these suckers to lay flat on a scanner bed?

I've only got one each on Jackie and Johnny Bench, more on the others. No Jeters or Mantles, sorry, I live in Jersey. Make offers!

Edit: I got another Jackie (I was out), another Bench (I was out of this too), another Koufax (I have a lot) and another Aaron (I was down to 1 there, now I've got 2) if anyone needs 'em.


Click the images for better looks at these, y0.

And in the center square today...

Make offers, if any of this stuff interests you!

Smed: The Trade!

A while back, I put the word out that I had a lot of cards to trade. Smed gave a holler, and some stuff went in various directions up and down the east coast. Along with a big honkin' pile of shiny that included the spare Chrome Harper in my last post, here's some of the cooler items I got from him.

Have you heard?

I don't have enough Crown Royale cards. They're very silly. I approve of them. So, regardless of who's on them (for the most part; you Braves fans can have the Chipper cards), I'm always happy to see one.

Roger Maris, even in an awkward photograph like this one, is always welcome here...

...as are other Topps short prints of all shapes and sizes, even if this sour puss is on 'em.

This was a really nice surprise. If you're not really familiar (and I wasn't, beyond that I'd heard the name and I knew he was Bob's dad), Max Lanier was a solid big league pitcher who left for the Mexican League, tried to come back, got a five year suspension and a whole ration of shit from commissioner Happy Chandler for leaving in the first place, and filed a suit challenging the Reserve Clause a whole two decades before Curt Flood because of this whole mess. It settled out of court, which is part of why you don't hear people trumpeting Max Lanier's name instead of Curt's, but still, Max did fight back and forced Major League Baseball's hand (they lifted the suspensions on Lanier and the other players who jumped ship) years before the events that led to free agency. This postcard is a nice little piece of artwork, apparently released by some concern related to Ted Williams (his son had him tied up in all sorts of businesses that eventually failed), and it is indeed signed in blue Sharpie as you can see. Very cool.

And now, for the most unlikely best card in the trade, here's a Classic Rob Deer card. I don't collect Rob Deer stuff (though, really, this might make me start). I don't collect Classic cards. And yet, something about this out of left field card won me over in a big, big way. Maybe it's the way he's lumbering along on the basepaths checking either the 3rd base coach's signs or that broad in the 5th row (more likely the latter). Maybe it's the yellow border (yes, I like sets with yellow borders). Maybe it was just in the right place at the right time. Whatever the case, it's awesome, and is now a treasured part of my collection, despite having no monetary value and almost no relation in context with the rest of my collection! Viva Rob Deer, and thanks again for the trade, Smed! Let me know when the flat rate box I overstuffed gets to you!

The first of many trade bait posts...

Send offers, or I'll try to pawn them off at the next Dr. Wax card show on the 12th.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Bittersweet Joy Of A Completed Set

See this? 

This Tom Veryzer card ended a 32 year long odyssey. 

It's the last card I needed to complete my 1980 Topps set.

I got it a couple of months ago, along with this Bob Shirley and this Gene Richards card...

I'd placed a Sportlots order some months prior, which I thought had finished off my '80 set, but when I went through it, after getting the last few cards I thought I was missing, I couldn't find Tom, Bob or Gene. So, eventually, I ended up at Monmouth Stamp And Coin (which is actually experiencing something of a renaissance thanks to Bill, their new card guy; worth a visit if you're in or near Red Bank, NJ, but call ahead to see if Bill's going to be there), and I bought all 3 of these cards.

After I bought them, in part because of everything else I've had going on lately, in part because I didn't want to sort them in, go through the set, and find something else missing, and in part because I'm not sure I was ready, I hadn't put the cards away or scanned them until yesterday. Finally, as I've been on an organization binge this week, I got them scanned, and just now, I worked on making the '80 set complete.

Just to be sure, I went through the set quickly and counted each card, mostly just checking names and numbers. Topps' numbering system was such back then that all the "stars" were on the fives and the tens, so this went fairly quickly. Tom Veryzer was indeed missing from spot #276, so I put the card in its proper place. However, as I continued onward, I did come across a card in the wrong place...

This is the same scan as the one above, but it was a second copy of the card. I thought it'd be a little sillier than this already is if I scanned 2 different 1980 Topps Bob Shirley cards to make a point. But no, my mind hadn't played tricks on me when ordering, on at least this card. Apparently, it'd just played tricks on me as I was sorting the remaining cards in, perhaps as I said earlier because on some level, I didn't want this set to be done for some reason. Maybe the set wasn't ready to be done with me, I don't know. 

Now, if that sounds like psychobabble to you, check out what showed up about 100 cards later, also in the wrong spot...

(Again, I didn't scan two different copies of the card. I think you'll live.)

I've no idea why those two cards ended up in the wrong spot, beyond my "the set wasn't ready to be finished, or I wasn't ready to be finished with it" theories. Why didn't I get a Tom Veryzer, if I got the other two? Was Sportlots out at the time? (There's actually no record of me ordering any of these three cards from them. Maybe I got Shirley and Richards from Bo when he bombed me out with '80s.) Perhaps the Padres were revolting. (There's a school of thought that suggests that their 1979 uniforms certainly were.) I don't know. Weird stuff. Dennis Eckersley and Rick Miller went missing on me at some point too, but I got those and they were in the set when I just went through it, so that's settled, at least. 

However, there was still one card I didn't have with the rest of my 1980 Topps, because I had it in a screwdown for the longest time. It was time for that card to come home.

As I'm pretty sure I've mentioned on here before, I'm reasonably sure this very well-loved Rickey Henderson rookie was in the first pack of cards I ever bought (Dwight Evans was in there too, maybe the first card in the pack). I've never owned another one that I can remember (though, as I got my '80s when I was 6, a lot of my '80s got trashed so anything's possible). It's one of the material possessions I've owned the longest, and it's been through a lot with me. I even went through a period in the early '90s, after that gaudy stop-the-game ceremony when Rickey set the stolen base record, when I was kinda mad at this card for a while. I wouldn't trade it for the world now, or "upgrade" it unless you bought me a '52 Mantle or something to do it. Even then, I'd probably sell the Mantle when you weren't looking and sneak my old Rickey back into my set. I've got this attitude about a number of the cards I can tell were "original" to my collection. You can spot them in this set by how well-worn they are. I was going to upgrade a bunch at one point, but I brought the stack of '80s home and didn't have the heart to swap most of them in.

Anyway, I took it out of the screwdown, scanned it, and then sat in my chair for a while, looking at it and thinking about what putting it in the set meant, since, while I hadn't put the Gene Richards card in its proper spot yet, I knew I had it. 32 years is a long time to take to finish anything in this life. This was always kind of a "someday" proposition for me, this set, and here I was, finishing it. I don't "finish" a lot of things in this life. It's not something I'm wired for, usually. It took time, patience, and effort to do (surprisingly enough, not that much money in the grand scheme of things, as I bought all the keys on either end of lukewarm markets), and while it's "just stuff", I am really proud of myself for doing this, in a "have some perspective, but enjoy what you did" kinda way.

After I put Rickey in the box and Gene Richards in the box, along with the rest of the cards that I'd taken out to count and look at, I closed the box up and, I am unashamed to say, I hugged it for a few seconds. Again, weird feeling, kinda gaudy at a time when I'm finding myself at odds with materialism despite a lifelong collector mentality, but like I said, this was essentially a lifetime coming.

What will I do with it now? I'm weighing my options. On one hand, I don't want a set that I've spent a lifetime building to sit in a nondescript white box in the back of my closet until I die and never see sunlight again, but on the other, I still haven't made peace with the idea of putting full Topps issues (not the smaller sets, but the flagship set) in binders. I might make an exception for this one, though, as these cards are old friends and I will want to visit them and introduce them to new people who've never seen a Rickey Henderson rookie card and have no idea who Bob Shirley, Gene Richards and Tom Veryzer are.

Where do I go from here, from a collecting point of view? Well, there are always more cards, I'm finding. I've been working on the '70s lately, and I'm within spitting distance of '75, '78 and '79 already, with pretty strong '70, '71 (you'll see how strong I am on '71 on a post soon) and '77 sets. The only '70s set I'm under 300 cards on right now is '72, and that set has been known to ruin lives and damn souls.

And as for life? Well, as Tom Veryzer told me tonight, if you're patient, you stick to your guns, you endure some disappointment and you put the time in, eventually, you can complete things. Thanks for that, Tom, wherever you are.

Some other stuff that turned up when I sandblasted my desk...

This might be a '52 Wheaties Roy Campanella card in very good shape. Or, it might be a fake. Found about about the counterfeits after the fact, but thankfully, it didn't cost much. Now, it looks a little different than the card pictured in the article I just linked to, in terms of card stock and otherwise. Thing is, a commenter mentioned that, to check on the the card's authenticity, smelling it is actually a good idea, and let me tell you, this card smells like wet dog from 1952. So, thoughts? Any experts in the audience on the fake/real Wheaties cards? Did the counterfeiters invest in wet dog from 1952 perfume or something? Definitely curious...

This beautiful bastard of a '52, on the other hand, is as real as they come! Cal Abrams here waltzed into my local right before Christmas, and somehow, it didn't make it onto the site until now! Shame on me!

I got two of these ancient TCMA Black Sox cards in a deal with a friend of mine offline.

Check out how primitive the backs are...

Weird that this stuff was so thrown together when the SSPC set looked so good. Of course, these had stats on them, but that's another story.

Part of what makes this year's Elite Extra Edition and the crop of prospects featured in it so awesome: the names. Rookie Davis! Kolten Wong! And, ladies and gentlemen...

...Miles Head.

Speaking of guys who got miles of head, anyone need one of these badass Steve Garvey McGregor tags? It turns out that I actually have a spare one of these! Owl, we've got something brewing already, so you get first crack, but otherwise, I know there are some Dodger fans in the audience who'd love to get their McGregors on!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I've been really slack-ass about trade posts lately.

Gonna try to fix that soon, but as you've all seen, I've been buried alive by stuff. Getting said stuff organized is my first priority, for sanity's sake. You know those times when you realize that you inadvertently slept in the same bed as an 800 box filled with pre-1980 Topps cards the other night? I'm having one.

If I don't do a full post about a recent deal we've made, sincere apologies, but I will do my best to put one up for our next deal. This goes for you, Stubby, Smed, Ted, Bo, Mark Z., Anton, and anyone else I'm blanking on at the 19 hour of being awake mark after a long night of scanning, sorting and being The Great Cornholio after drinking too much coffee. To the rest of you, if you've never dealt with the people I just named, get in touch with them, as they're all terrific traders.

Reason #2 Why You Shouldn't Dismiss That Flea Market Box Of Mostly 2010 Topps

So, as I said here, there was a hidden treasure in a bin of recent Topps that I got a couple of months ago. I almost didn't get the bin at all, though! What made me decide to spring for it? Well, as I was rummaging through it, looking to see how many cards were there, what condition they were in, and how many little albums were in the bin (once I noticed that they were there; even they were kinda buried), I felt something out of place in a pile of new cards, resting inconspicuously in the bottom of the bin. I took a slightly closer look, and saw this...

Yeah, that was the clincher on the purchase.

Near as I can tell, it's a team issue photo from 1954 or 1955. How do I know the year from one picture? Well, because there was more than one...

Pretty awesome, right? All of these guys were on the '54 World Champion Giants roster, so I figure these were released around that time. It may not be a complete set of the photos, as a some key players (3B Hank Thompson, as well as pitchers Hoyt Wilhelm Marv Grissom and Johnny Antonelli, to name a few) are not part of the pile I got. There's no mention of them that I can find in the Standard Catalog, though there are mentions of several similar issues. The pictures measure 6" x 9", and as you can see, they're pretty ratty (the Durocher and Irvin each have pretty bad tears in them, there's dirt, stains and whatnot all over the pictures, some dogearing, and Don Mueller has a bootprint on 'em), but lovably so.

So, yeah, if you see cards somewhere in the wild like a flea market or a garage sale, and they're not ridiculously common (though I'm sure I missed out on at least one '52 Mantle stuffed in an '88 Donruss factory box somewhere along the line), don't be lazy! Dig in there! You never know what'll turn up.