This box, very well-preserved (a little bit of creasing, but nothing to cry over), has cards 121-124 (Frank Robinson, Grover Alexander, Hoyt Wilhelm and ARKY FUCKING VAUGHAN) on the bottom of it. Seller on eBay actually kept the entire box rather than just the bottom panel or the individual cards, awesome work on their part.
If you weren't aware, these cards are pretty damn tough to get, or were in my experience, anyway. Your mileage may vary. Last one of these panels went for over $20 on eBay, so when this one showed up with a $10 Buy It Now, I pounced.
Next up, the Pacific sets (fairly common) and the Cramer Football Legends set (not so much).
As y'all know, I switch my player collecting priorities around fairly often. I just narrowed them down a bunch recently. I've adjusted that list a bit since then.
Carl Crawford: OK, I'll say it: I sorta bailed on Carl while he was in Boston, and I feel like a dick for it. I've been with Dontrelle through all his ups and downs (I'm actively considering a trip to Central Islip to see him and Vlad in a Ducks home game), but Carl, I lost my enthusiasm for. Not sure why. I need to get it together and support this guy through my acquisition of ridiculous amounts of his cards!
David Cone: Coney always ends up getting the short end of the stick when I'm putting together lists of players I like and players I collect, too, but he was SO much fun to watch as a player, even when he had a bad day. Wait, ESPECIALLY when he had a bad day. He was animated, he kept the crowd in games even when he couldn't keep his team in them, and in addition to being a damn good pitcher on his good days, he was a showman of the highest order. I've already got a trifecta of his cards and most of his Topps cards, but I doubt I'm anywhere near having all 1100+ of his cards.
Don Mattingly: when I was opening a Spring Fever pack about a week ago, I got one of his cards, and thought "Oh wait, I don't "collect" him at the moment" and felt dumb. Of course I collect Donnie's cards. Duh.
Denny McLain: he's the last 30 game winner, he's an international man of mystery, he's run afoul of the authorities on occasion, he recorded a live album in Vegas, he's one of my Facebook friends and he has great cardboard! What more can you ask?
Ron Cey: I feel like I'm Bogarting him from Night Owl. I've got his autograph, I've got almost all of his Topps cards (except that one...yeah, you know the one), I'm good for now.
Kolten Wong: Already have an auto and a fair amount of his cards before he's even hit the bigs. Not super-jazzed about collecting anyone on the Cards (except maybe Willie McGee someday). I'll give him a pass for now. Great name, though!
Yasiel Puig: wanted to try and get in on the ground floor with this one. I'm pretty sure I'm too late, even without the guy having a Topps or Bowman card yet. Maybe I'll revisit it later.
David Denson: this was a novelty, and really, kind of a "below the ground floor" thing. The kid's still in high school for another month or two! However, once again, the people who buy and resell Leaf product (I'm assuming they just flip it to each other in perpetuity) are already out of control on pricing, so it probably ain't happenin', at least not yet.
There are a few other players who are on the bubble, but not for lack of interest. There just aren't a ton of Bo Belinsky or Tony Horton cards out there, and I've got a good chunk of them already. Once I "finish" them, I'll give other players the spots.
From time to time, despite my best intentions of keeping some vague focus to my collecting habits, I'll come across a card that I really want to own, even if it doesn't "fit" in any of my collections. I'm sure it happens to y'all, too. Here are a few.
This is the most recent one I've purchased. It's the Wally Joyner card from the Topps Spring Fever redemption stuff. Now, I'm not building the set, though this card will make 11 out of 50 (not counting my Cepeda autograph, which I'll post about soon). I don't think I'm going to go for the set unless I find a deal on most or all of it (I have Trout already, but don't have Harper, and his card's one of the pricey ones, of course). I don't currently collect Joyner (though I've got a whole mess of his stuff, including his BYU cards and his Star set). I think I was just really glad to see him featured in a set like this. Made me feel young again or something.
I've been eyeballing this one lately, too. This isn't the 2006 version of the card. It's the Original Back version of the Cards Your Mom Threw Out reprint. Ever since I saw dayf's post about it a few years ago, I've idly considered picking one up, just to not have an empty #297 in my 2006 set and to STICK IT TO THE MAN. However, the last one that went on eBay actually went for $10.50 plus shipping. For a REPRINT. COME ON, MAN! So, I'll keep shopping.
This right here is a weird goddamn card. Produced in '76 by Topps, as Joe Garagiola's business card, a fair amount of 'em have ended up in circulation. I actually knew a kid growing up who had one. I think he got it from his dad. Now, I don't collect Joe Garagiola's cards. I never saw him play, and I wasn't crazy about his booth work, even WITH Vin Scully. However, this is too weird not to want. My '73 set is going to feel oddly incomplete without it.
So, what're some of your card wants/acquisitions like this?
Far less confusing redundancy in the design. The player collection section is no longer dizzying. I still need to finish the f00'ball and basketball player collection have lists, but otherwise, I believe this is a usable list!
Maybe someday, I'll get around to making a new trade list, too! So much easier to just go through other folks' want lists than to keep an up-to-the-minute accounting of tens of thousands of duplicate cards, though!
So, this morning, you may notice that my player collection lists in the sidebar are substantially shorter than they once were.
You may also notice that I've zapped a few team collections that were once listed.
This doesn't mean that I'm getting rid of anything, or that I'm running screaming from the card collecting hobby.
It just means that I'm working on zooming in on the things I really, really enjoy I'm in the process of doing this in all corners of my life, not just collecting.
It's still a pretty insane list, over here in card-land. We're still talking about me collecting the cards of 90 total individual players across all sports, not counting my teams (Brooklyn Dodgers, Seattle Pilots, New York Islanders and Lakewood BlueClaws):
Dr. Mike Marshall
However, the list for just baseball used to look like this:
Willie Mays Aikens
Ken Griffey Sr.
Wily Mo Pena
Pee Wee Reese
If you weren't counting, there are 249 names on that list. So, I think you'll agree that the new list is much more manageable, even knowing that some of you only collect one team or one player seriously.
I'd like to keep things at a maximum of 90 players, and retain a two-thirds baseball, one-thirds other sports balance if possible, interest in the other sports permitting. Yes, new players will enter all of these sports, but on the older players, I'll "finish" some collections (as if these things can ever really be finished), get bored of some others, decide that some "prospects" aren't quite prospects and so forth, so I think this is an achievable goal. And, given that I've got crazy set collections in progress, it isn't like I won't see plenty of cards of the players I don't collect actively.
If you're wondering how I decided which players I'm still collecting: it was, of course, an arbitrary process, but there was definitely some "process" to its arbitrary nature.
I tried to go, first and foremost, with players I've actually seen play a fair deal who I enjoy or have enjoyed watching. Some consideration was given to guys who are long-time members of my fantasy baseball squads. I definitely beefed up the "active player" department a bit, just so I'm not ripping wax and maybe pulling one card of a player I like per pack. I also kept Ike Davis on my list because I've been listening to Mets games a lot this year, and if I'm gonna keep doing that (and more than likely, I will, because I can always listen to Howie Rose and I need a big league team to care about at least a little within driving distance), I'm definitely going to need a rooting interest to stay in my card collection. I like the kid too, don't get me wrong, but if he played for the Rangers, he might not still be on the active collection list.
On the older, retired players, the ones I haven't seen a lot if at all, I went with the players who inspire the most wonder in me when I think about them. Sometimes that "wonder" is good (Ted Williams), and sometimes it doesn't come with the sunniest sets of thoughts (Lyman Bostock, Tony Horton, J.R. Richard, Mark Fidrych, Dock Ellis and the mostly-unfulfilled promise that Chance and Belinsky brought to the very early Los Angeles Angels teams; there's that O.J. guy in football, too), but either way, when I think about these players or happen upon an opportunity to see footage of them, it tends to leave me wanting more.
And finally, I went with some folks who were (or are) just as fun off the field as they were on it. You'll notice a lot of '70s football players who went on to do comedy, a couple of baseball players with consistently terrific mullets, some guys who had and have consistently great cards, and one who's allegedly on Twitter as of recently.
Like I said, kinda arbitrary, and a work in progress, but I needed to do something. My full want list won't reflect this immediately, as it needs some retooling and archiving. I'll probably do a version 4.0 want list soon (figure one version for every year I've been doing this site, though I'm getting to version 4 a few months early this time), and until then, the current list will stand and I'll still be happy to have cards from the old player collection lists.
If you've sent me stuff recently, thinking "Wow, he collects these guys! He'll be psyched!" and don't see those players on this list anymore, don't sweat it. I'm still psyched that I got those cards. I'm just trying to rein it in a little.
Thanks for bearing with me during all of this re-arranging and navel-gazing, and keep collecting what you dig.
...and in that deal with gcrl, I took the unusual (for me) step of saying "surprise me".
Yeah, I'd say this surprised me.
Look at this magnificent specimen of carddom! One, it's an amazing, rare shot of the late Mr. Bostock, Jr. (not a lot of cards of him, period). Two, my word, the hand-painted uniform touch-up job! I was actually so stunned by getting the card in the first place and how awesome Lyman looked here that I didn't even notice the Hostess artist switching him out of his Twins uni until I saw this baby blown up in the "compose post" window! This is very likely NOT an airbrush job. This looks like it was done completely by hand. Amazing stuff! HUGE thanks for this one, Jim!
Here are some more surprises!
Lineage '75 Mini O'Neill! I got the base variation in this deal, too, but as it's the exact same picture, we'll just show you the '75.
Fly Eli, during much happier days. Actually, I don't know if he's unhappy these days, but he sure does get in trouble often enough. Cool seeing the already-I-think-retired DC Nats jerseys and...wait a second...I just noticed something. OH MY GOD, BRYCE HARPER STOLE ELIJAH DUKES' UNIFORM NUMBER! Maybe he has Fly Eli's blessing or something. I wonder if Bryce is even aware of this. I should hit him up on teh Twitters.
Toward the end for Hawk. Still looks unbelievably badass, even in a Marlins uniform. I've gotten a few of the '95 Traded cards lately, which is kinda cool. I think I even have doubles of the Kruk now. The '95 Topps design's been growing on me, too. I mean, look at it! It's '90s Graphic Design, without going too far overboard like so many companies did when they first got Quark, Illustrator, Photoshop and so forth. Also: you can read the gold foil lettering, even in scans!
Nice and simple, from a set I don't have a ton of yet (at least not until Bo gets ahold of me).
EVEN MOAR ODDBALLS. Jim sent me a whole mess of these, covering a bunch of my player collections, but beyond that I'm pretty sure they're in the '83-'84 range (Bake on the Tribe, Vida Blue on the Royals), I'm not sure what they are. They're right around postcard size. Anyone?
There were a couple doubles in this surprise package, but you could do much worse than a double of '69 Bo Belinsky (even if I think this is my third). I'm pretty sure this is an upgrade over either of the other two. I mean, look at those corners! Even with the typical '69 centering issue, this is a beaut!
Last card from this deal. Now, some of you may recall that I went bonkers when I found out this existed, and that it was on my Top 25 for a while. Well, through the magic of eBay packages and trade packages crossing in the mail, I now have two of these! I think this one's the keeper, as I think the smudge on Rick's perm is just slightly smaller on this one than the one I got on eBay. Both in great shape, though. If you're in the market for one (they're pretty hard to get Stateside; if you remember, Rick's '77 Topps card is shared with some guy on the Barves by the name of Murphy, and he didn't get a solo card), let me know, as one's available. Otherwise, it'll be in the next Trade Bait Draft along with another '69 Bo and some other stuff I've picked up recently!
Thanks again for the deal, Jim! Great stuff all around!
First off, I know there's a few middle-of-a-trade situations that I'm in right now, and I will do my best to make it into my trade boxes this weekend so we can get those moving. Thanks for your patience.
NOW, HERE'S A GODDAMN VIKING!
This 1952 Topps Look N' See card of Leif friggin' Ericson was part of a
small lot of cards I got today at one of my local flea markets. It's
REALLY busted, but it's LEIF ERICSON, man! For those of you who aren't
familiar with Look 'n' Sees, here's a description from Mickey's Clubhouse:
"Look 'n' See was marketed by Topps in 1952. The fronts depict 135
famous people in glorious color portraits, and every detail, including
the captions, caption frames, and decorative accents blend together in
splendid harmony. The backs used the "hidden text" gimmick requiring
Topps magic paper to clearly read the clever bios."
I think someone tried to make a permanent version of the answer on the card!
This is my first Look 'n' See, and it's a good 'un! I'll be keeping it.
Also on the "old, weird stuff" front, I got this 1949 Bowman Wild West card! It's got a crease through the center of the card, but it's barely visible, despite being a helluva crease.
Hey, more card backs!
This, unlike the Look 'n' See, is available for trade, or it might go into the next Trade Bait Draft (more on that in a bit).
Hey, some '88 Pacific Legends doubles! Awww, Bob Turley. We just lost him last week. I got about 30 '88 Legends, but these are confirmed doubles (as in "there were two of each in the stack"). I haven't checked the rest against the Legends I have, but I'll undoubtedly have some more doubles, as I recognized a few cards. In the meantime, these are available for trade, or heading to the Trade Bait Draft.
Hey, it's a Blake Griffin card I didn't have! There are actually a bunch of those. Blake's the only current hoops player I collect. Send me your Griffins!
I also got an '07 Upper Deck Phils Team Set from Alumni Night. These look like '07 Artifacts, so I dig them. Nice card of Cole Hamels! Hey, Jamie Moyer! I collect that guy! Wait, what's this?
It's the majestic mullet of Mitch Williams! But wait! This card was exchangeable for a JERSEY, and the previous owner didn't turn it in? Or did they? Let's read yet another card back!
Wow! I wonder if they got to keep the card! Did they open this at the game or afterward? If they missed the jersey, were they pissed? If they did get the jersey, I wonder if they still have it! I didn't see this card myself until I'd left the table I bought it from, so I didn't get the scoop! I may ask Upper Deck and/or the Phils if anyone remembers the deal with these. How many did they make of each? What were the other prizes (there were at least 3)? Why aren't the instant win cards listed on the checklist card (that only listed other Phils alumni, not current players or Mitch)? So many questions! This is exciting stuff! If any of you were at Citizens Bank Park for this promotion, please let me know!
On the way home from the flea market (and a side trip where I nearly finished '99 and '12 Topps thanks to Bill at Monmouth Stamp And Coin...just need one of those stupid '99 Mark McGwire HR cards and the goddamn Harpers from '12 and '12 Update), I needed to stop at Target. Yes, needed. I was out of beef jerky and blank DVDs! While I was there, one of those friggin' Gypsy Queen value packs got me. The minis from said pack are above, and available. Take them from me now, or get them in the next Trade Bait Draft.
These value packs also come with 3 bonus framed white GQ cards. If you click through the pic here (when I scan a bunch of cards in a row like this, it screws me for layout space), you'll see that the cards I got were Clayton Kershaw, Craig Kimbrel and Desmond Jennings. Night Owl and dayf get first crack at the Kershaw and Kimbrel, respectively, but the Jennings is up for grabs, and if those other two reprobates don't need the first 2 cards, they're available for trade, or going into the next Trade Bait Draft.
Look, some crappy inserts! Play At The Plate may disagree about the one on the right, and he gets first crack at it in trades, but if he's covered on it, sing it with me, they're available or going in the Trade Bait Draft.
Hey, check it out! This value pack was a good value! I got the stupid Trout short print! I still haven't decided if I'm collecting Trout or not (despite him being a helluva ballplayer and from NJ), but I'm definitely hanging onto this for now until I make up my mind, because I just will not find another one.
So, about this Trade Bait Draft I keep mentioning: Trade Bait Draft III will be happening sometime near the end of April. I still want to find some more stuff to replace the 90 cards that went in the last one (and I want to kill off a few more trades before I do anything else), so I probably won't make it formal/open reg until at least next week, but it's definitely a real thing that's happening. Stay tuned to this space, as the buzz on these things keeps building, and I only allow 6 spots for each draft. (We've had 3 participants in each so far, but I think this next one's gonna be bigger because there've been a few posts about the last couple.) So, stay tuned, and let me know if you want in once it opens! I'm pretty sure dayf is gonna camp out for tickets to this one, so pay attention!
That's all for now. Enjoy your weekend, and hit a damn flea market if the weather allows!