Sunday, September 15, 2013

Here's an entire Broder Japanese baseball set from '87 for you to look at, just because...

"Have you ever seen the things I own
And have neglected"
-Curve, "Coming Up Roses, 1998

I really need to clean around here more often.
 







Beyond Oh-san, I don't know a lot about the Japanese players in this set (insights are very welcome from folks who are more familiar), but there are a bunch of familiar American faces in this one, and the uniforms are outstanding, too.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Stuff from my local today...

Hadn't been out to the bubble gum card shop in a few weeks (just a mixture of the money not being there, my health not being there and me not being awake when they're open), but I managed to make it there yesterday afternoon, finally. Needed 660 boxes for sets ('89 UD and '13 Topps are done now, and I need to move '10 UD into its own box because there's no room in the other UD box yet), and alas, those they were out of, so I had NO CHOICE but to busy myself with some cards. Here's what I came up with.


First off, Internets, you're not doing a good enough job of reining me in. The Eli Manning Stupidity Tax nabbed me TWICE. For those who aren't familiar, though I think I did mention it recently, Eli's cards sell for about what Derek Jeter's cards do in my neck of the woods (figure $1.25 a pop and up for just about anything), and they sell briskly at that price. Just a lot of regional demand. Now, on the Finest card, I had no trouble paying that, because I get tons of Finest for the price of your average common (all the box and case breakers leaving behind the base cards), but on the base Topps card? That's just a matter of me being impatient. (Though, in fairness, Topps flagship's been out almost a month and I've done a bunch of trades since then.) I would be less impatient if you folks would kindly send me all of your Eli cards as they come in. Base cards, fancy stuff, whatever you've got, we can at least talk about a deal for. I don't think there are many Eli collectors in our immediate circles, if any. You won't be letting me Bogart all the Elis and upsetting the other collectors, like you would if you sent me ALL TEH BARVES EVAR. (I swear, I know more Braves collectors than possibly any other team.)

What's funny about it is that I'm not a Giants fan, but I do like watching Eli play a bunch (it's been great watching him grow into the player he is today, especially when you consider how deer-caught-in-headlights he was when he started), and by default, he's the player I see the most of.
 
Moving on, yes, it is f00'ball season and I did finally get my grubby mitts on some Topps flagship.


A few of my other favorites from yesterday's pile. There's a very distinct feel to the photography this year. All action shots, all from about the same distance. Not very in-your-face like '10 was ('10, in hindsight, was REALLY good photography-wise), but it's no-nonsense and it shows you what you wanna see on a f00'ball card. I know that sounds vague, but if you've looked through the set (and I saw most of it yesterday), the feel of the set really does jump out at you. 


Like this guy. (This was my favorite of the '13s I picked up yesterday.)

Call me crazy if you like, but I feel like he's still going to be Denver's lead back when the dust settles. It's become this constant thing for Knowshon, where they wave a Hillman or a Montee Ball or a McGehee around (they had another rookie who broke down, too, forget his name though), take away the guy's playing time or threaten to, basically do anything they can to marginalize the man from Middletown, NJ, but by the end of the season, Knowshon's still the guy. Denver kinda doesn't deserve him. I'd love for him to come back to NJ, even if he ends up on the Jets.


The best kind of "Bears Celebrate" card imaginable in the current era: one where Cutler's nowhere to be seen.


I dig the look of these 3 "legends" insert series.


Now, if only they hadn't totally dicked up the minis.

"What?", you say? "That's a perfectly acceptable '59 Topps design! Good photography, MUSCLE HAMSTER on the card..."


WTF TOPPS

Yes, that is a '13 Topps baseball '72 mini behind the '13 Topps 'f00'ball '59 mini. It's not an original '72 or an Archives or anything. They changed the size of the minis AGAIN. It's also bigger than the Topps sticker size. At this point, I think they just sit at 1 Whitehall and try to figure out how to fuck with those of us who pay attention. Well, screw you, Topps! Not only am I going to stop posting f00'ball cards this morning, but I'm also going to post UNLICENSED cards from your competitor!


TAKE THAT, YOU CARD SIZE-CHANGING NOGOODNIKS! YOU CAN'T EVEN CREDIT THIS GUY WITH RECORDS, AND HERE HE IS, SWATTING THE HELL OUT OF SOMETHING WITH A BASEBALL BAT!

(Really, this is about the most passive-aggressive card ever printed.)


Here's some more unlicensed fun! BO! RICKEY! That Garcia kid who gives good cardboard! Posey and his catcher's gear covering up the logo! Wieters, who STILL ain't in Topps sets for some reason! (Razor/Leaf couldn't possibly still have the guy locked up, could they?) And, oh yeah, WE EVEN GOT HOES.


You wouldn't know it unless you looked carefully, but this isn't a white background Adam Dunn's glumly accepting his lot in life in front of. It's clear, with the woodgrain kinda shading it. If you look at the way my scanner picked it up, at the very bottom, you can see black from the edge of the scanner. Probably the best I can do to show off the translucence of the card without making a video, and I'm not doing that. Got the Dunn card and the Josh Hamilton from this insert set. Pretty happy with both.


These are (tiny thumbnails of) some '13 Panini Father's Day promo cards I got out of two packs of those that were gifted to me by a mysterious benefactor (Thanks!) during my visit. Yep, those are '91 Studio knockoffs. The Matt Holliday cracked ice card is limited (but not numbered) to 25, and on its way to Madding already. The Kaepernick and Castro base and Foucault (limited to 30 or less?) Prizm pulsar refractor are available for trade.
Finally, because I spend way too much money on cards, I had a $5 frequent buyer credit coming to me, and I decided to use it to get this...


As I was saying on Twitter earlier, can you guys believe this is my first playing-era Whitey Ford
 base card? The only other Whitey I have from his ball-scuffing days is a '62 pitching leaders card of some sort. Of course, I also don't have any Yogis, but c'mon. I've got Mantle. I've got Rizzuto. I've got a bunch of Maris. Even have some Skowron, Howard and Martin cards. No Whitey cards? That was just weird. Sorted now!

Plus, it's my 131st '67 Topps card. It is still a weird, weird thing to be in triple digits on any pre-1970 set (hell, any pre-1980 set, too, but I've got most of the '70s done now), as I am with '59 (exactly 100), '67 (131) and '69 (a whopping 186).

Anyway, that's my story. What'd you kids do yesterday?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Player Collections: Hank Aaron




Update: sometimes it's 5 in the morning, and you go to look for Ginter minis for Shane in your doubles boxes, then realize once you've opened one of them that there are a thousand cards you got in June that you hadn't finished sorting through yet.


And yeah, this kinda thing is in that pile of cards sometimes. But anyway...

Our first installment! Again, I've got a bunch more Aarons than what you see here, but these are all the cards of his that I have in my player collection box. (Refer to this post for an explanation of what I'm doing, if you missed it.)
If you have any questions about what you see here, let me know in the comments! 
(Though, as I love Hank Aaron, don't ask me if these are for trade or sale.)
Next time up, our first basketball player: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Player Collections, Or "The Island Of Misfit Toys"




These probably look kinda non-descript, but these are my player collection boxes, all three of them. The top one's baseball A-L, the middle one's baseball M-Z and the bottom one is basketball/football/hockey. Amazingly, while the contents of all three boxes are not catalogued and the section for each player is not sorted by year/manufacture yet, they're pretty close to being an example of what it looks like when everything's put away.

What's not in these boxes:

Topps baseball base cards, unless they're misprints or miscuts
 
cards from any set that I'm building, and a few of the base sets that I'm still on the fence about

doubles of anything (I know that some of y'all will grab 2-3 copies of a card, 1 for setbuilding, 1 for team sets and sometimes even 1 beyond that for a player collection, but that's not how I do things)

some of the autos/relics/numbered parallels that I haven't sorted in yet

Basically, for right now anyway, these boxes serve as storage for every card by a player I like or find to be historically important (even if I'm not actively collecting them) that does not belong to a set I'm building, hence the title of this post.

As I was putting away the summer's haul of cards over the past few days, I got to look through a good number of these, and wondered aloud to myself what to do with them. In some cases, I have more cards by certain players I don't collect than ones who I do collect (Pedro Martinez and Scott Rolen both come to mind here. For someone who could not STAND Pedro in Boston, I have a hell of a lot of his cards. Rolen, I bought a lot sometime in the last decade that had a ton of Scott Rolen cards, and I'm still whittling them down.). In some cases, these are cards that I've never shared with you, either because I got distracted, got eaten alive by incoming bulk cards or because I had them before I started doing this site.

Anyway, I think I came up with a plan, hopefully one that I'll be able to stick to easier than some of my other plans (like scanning the hundreds of custom cards that Stubby's sent me over the past couple years). At my leisure, I'll be doing quick-n-dirty scans of every card I have of specific players, a scanner bed at a time, in alphabetical order. If there are cards that I'm making available for trade or sale, I'll list them at the bottom of the post, below the pictures. As for writing about them: how about we discuss them instead? If people have questions, comments etc. about individual cards I post, that's what the comments section is for. If I feel REALLY strongly about telling you a story about any of them, I will, but really, I just kinda want to get a visual record of this stuff and talk to you all about it if you're interested.

What I may do for at least a little while (since I'll undoubtedly run out of players from other sports well before baseball) is alternate between sports. I'll probably do the Islanders cards I have by year and set rather than doing every individual Islander I have from 40 years or so of cards, especially since I'm still really new to hockey and going by teams seems to be a better way to get discussions going with people who I can learn about the things I missed from. If the cards from a particular set don't fill up a scanner bed, I'll combine a few.

Sound good?

We'll start with Hank Aaron soon. Probably not today, but soon.

This will be one of a few different series I'm going to start working on that'll actually be relatively low impact, knock wood. More on the other one closer to the end of this year.

Oh, and I do still need to get back to scanning Every Stubby Card EVAR.

But let's get started on this first.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Round-Up For 09/09/13!

Two late-day updates:

1. Y'all let me leave the wrong date up on this joint all day!

2. Something else I forgot to mention: no more modern tobacco minis after this year, unless they do a subset of Ginter that's based on the movie "Xanadu" in tobacco mini size next year. I've got them all in pages. I'm complete or close to it on most of the mini subsets I wanted. I'm DONE with the tobacco mini size if it was manufactured after World War II started!

So, recently some of how I'm collecting, and how I've been collecting is starting to come into better focus, and I'll be making adjustments that may be permanent ones.
Nope, not bailing on the hobby at all. I like it here a bunch. Just using my resources for it, which are limited (way more than it seems sometimes, because I'm simultaneously resourceful, lucky and compulsive), a bit differently.

 First off, I really need to stop falling for The Graphic Design Trap. You know the one. You see a new card product or come across a lot of older cards from a set you'd never seen or hadn't given thought to building, and you REALLY like the graphic design. This leads you to squander a ton of time, energy, money and other resources to complete the set, even if it involves you ending up with hundreds of cards of players you frankly don't give a rat's ass about. I narrowly, marginally managed to avoid this with 2013 Prestige f00'ball, the set I used as the example here, even though I really think they're purdy cards, and I need to exercise more self-control in this department more often. You can absolutely appreciate good graphic design without going broke and filling your house! Honest!

Another trap I need to start avoiding more effectively is the related "Well, I just ended up with a large lot of cards from this set, might as well finish it" trap.


"No, no, alligator! Don't eat Francesca Fiore! What, you think is good? Is bad!"

So, yeah, no more of that if I can help it. Believe me, I'm building enough goddamn sets right now to keep me busy for the rest of my life without suddenly thinking "Hey, I think I will build 1993 Donruss Triple Play now that I have 100 out of 264 cards! I can just trade for them, instead of, you know, things I actually want!"

What, you think is good? Is bad!

Moving on, 2013 will most likely be the last year that I do or attempt to do any set-building of new product by ripping wax. "Wax is for suckers", dayf said a while ago, and while I lose sight of that from time to time, it's almost always true, especially nowadays. I do love opening packs of stuff, it's a great part of the fun of collecting cards, but it's simply not worth it to do so given the prices of the packs, the amount of inserts that card companies put in their packs and the premium that we're made to pay by card companies because some folks have transferred their gambling habits to the card hobby. So, no more of that. Remind me that I wrote this, if it looks like I'm starting to stray from it in the future.

Does this mean I'll never rip a new pack again? Nope. I'll do it here and there, as new products come out, for fun. Period. A pack here and there, completely unrelated to my interest in current sets, just because I feel like it. No more opening packs to build new sets. No more opening shit-tons of packs to try to get whoever a particular year's Puig is. I'm done with that.

So, how will I get new baseball sets?

(I'll get into why I'm singling out baseball here in a bit.)

Well, at least for the time being, there are factory sets being sold of Topps flagship baseball, so I'll just learn to wait for those, and deal with things more sensibly, while also supporting my local.

As for the other sets (your Ginter/Heritage/Bowman/Archives kinda stuff)?
People break cases, end up with tons of base cards, and sell sets on eBay. I'll be going that route exclusively for now on (unless they start getting priced out of the market, and price eBay buyers out of it in turn). I don't know if I'll splurge for the SPs or not. Chances are, I won't splurge for high numbers, unless they're my player collection guys. Do I really need to pay a premium for some of the clowns who end up in Heritage 426-500 every year? I don't think I do. I may try to build the high number stuff through trades, but realistically, I think I'm bailing on completing the SP portion of new sets after this year.

Player collections, I'm still figuring out. I collect certain players (look at the sidebar; I even re-added Guidry, Morneau, Murray, Randolph and Winfield this morning), and I like getting bunches of their cards, but it is damn near impossible to keep up with the data entry involved, and when you tell people you have player collections, they inevitably send you a ton of doubles even if you do have accurate have lists. So, again, still working that out. May only buy or trade for individual players in person or when I can request very specific things. Dunno yet. We'll see.

What I'm thinking of doing with the dough/trade bait I used to devote to some of the baseball cards I talked about above is as follows:

If I REALLY get the urge to rip a bunch of wax, I'm going to look into which older sets I'm working on but not close to finishing, find the best prices possible for those, and rip older, much cheaper products. There's a metric ton of 1990s stuff that's still very affordable.

If I get the urge to get something new and shiny out of a pack a bit too often (after I've bought my customary pack or two when flagship, Ginter, Heritage, etc. come out), I'm going to do the sensible (within the context of my hobby, anyway) thing instead: I'm going to look at eBay, COMC, Just Commons, some of the other dealers I visit locally or online, and so forth, and pick out an older card from my want list instead that runs about what a pack or two of cards does. Something like this...


Got this recently. '57 Zimmer, a tough card to get for under $20 usually, but this one's got what looks like a BB hole to poor Zim's left. He's totally giving it the stink-eye, too, which makes the card hilarious. It's also in terrific shape otherwise, and cost me about 2 1/2 Ginter retail packs shipped from 707 Sports Cards. I've been dealing with Levi at 707 on and off for a few years now, and while his prices aren't always super-cheap, you can find really cool stuff on his site and his eBay store (where I found Zim), and his vintage graded selection (if you're into that kinda thing) is to die for. Levi's who I got my '61 Maris from, if you were ever wondering, though that was a little more than a couple packs of Ginter will cost a feller.

I also need to stop slacking on my flea market duties. I've barely been out to the markets this summer, in part due to being completely and utterly bombed out by The June Buy, in part because I've been dealing with a bunch of personal stuff (stuff with meds, the passing of a family member, stuff that's Bigger Than Cards; no worries, I'm fine, or at least dealing OK), and also because my car's been persnickety of late. I can't spend a ton out at the markets, and I also need to establish some fast-track ways to unload bulk cards locally (know a person or two, but not a ton of people), but I'm missing a bunch of cards out there and for better or worse, from what I understand, I'm not competing with as many folks as I used to be for the same cards.

So, them's the plans with baseball.

Now, for the other sports and non-sports stuff.

I'm not building f00'ball sets anymore unless I get something great that I'm very, VERY close to completing as part of a lot of other stuff.

(I didn't forget paragraph 4 or Bruno Puntz Jones already, don't worry. I'm serious about this.)

I got near-sets on most of the last decade of Topps f00'ball and a few Score issues in The June Buy, which was cool, but also kind of a pain in the ass, so that's that. The end. No mas. Finishing the sets I was already working on, then getting out of the f00'ball set business.

I'm also not collecting teams in f00'ball until my two chosen teams (Steelers and Bears, one for each conference) get quarterbacks who don't make me hate watching them. It really sucks when people you really don't care to watch or just can't abide by for off-field reasons are at the helm of a team you like. It does happen, though. I'm a man without a country in baseball too, ever since the Yanks replaced my beautiful ballpark with that crime against humanity they play in now. Anyway, team collection is out for f00'ball. Might stay that way. Sometimes, it feels too much like nationalism to me.

Back on point, I do collect individual players in f00'ball, so those, I'll happily accept in trades! Gonna try to cut down on actually buying them, because there's just WAY too much f00'ball product on the market right now. I collect these brohams in f00'ball, and if you have extras you want to trade to me as new products come out, you will be rewarded for your goods! Eli Manning is of particular interest among the current players here, not because he's my favorite player (though I watch him very often), but because I live in Giant country and there's about as much competition for Eli's cards these days as there is for Jeter's cards, no joke. So, if you're stuck with a ton of Elis from your box breaks, hook me up.

Ronnie Brown
Dick Butkus
Vernon Davis
Joe Flacco
Alex Karras
Eli Manning
Doug Martin
Don Maynard
Joe Montana
Warren Moon
Knowshon Moreno
Joe Morris
Joe Namath
Jerry Rice
Ray Rice
Trent Richardson
O.J. Simpson
Bubba Smith
Ndamukong Suh
Jim Thorpe
Herschel Walker
Russell Wilson

Over in basketball, I don't collect any current players (toyed with collecting Blake Griffin but I'm over it), because I really don't watch current basketball, but I do collect these older players, who sometimes show up in new products:

Julius Erving
Yao Ming
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Wilt Chamberlain
Darryl Dawkins
Michael Jordan
Bill Laimbeer
Moses Malone
Dennis Rodman
Spud Webb
Same deal as my f00'ball player collection offer applies here.

Then, there's hockey. I'm pretty new to hockey, as a sport, but I like it. Hockey's also the only sport left where I collect a specific major league team (the Islanders) that still exists. I've even made peace with the fact that they're moving next year, even if I do love Nassau Coliseum and will miss it.

As new hockey products come out, I will take whatever Isles you wanna throw at me, but especially Kyle Okposo (who's the first guy on the team that I thought "Hey, I like watching this guy play!" about). Okposo, I'm going to keep collecting even if he ends up on another team someday. Yes, even if it's the Devils.
A reader I just started trading with, Doug from Canada (who hopefully got his return package by now), just traded me a metric ton of Isles including some NICE Okposos. I'll try to get some of that scanned soon, but not right now, as I'm writing here, y0. I'm covered on most, if not all of this year's Score and O-Pee-Chee Isles thanks to Doug, but there'll be more hockey products, and I will happily accept your Isles from those.

Beyond the Isles, there are only 3 hockey players whose stuff I actively collect:

Gordie Howe (Duh.)
Wayne Gretzky (Duh.)
Tim Horton (Solely because I love the coffee and the donuts. No, seriously.)

Doug also sent me a bunch of Gretzkys and a handful of Howes and Hortons, which was pretty cool of him (and hopefully I'll get these scanned soon, too). Anyway, as these guys get put into new products, I'll take 'em.

Finally, non-sports stuff. I'm pretty much just going to snag sets from eBay if I see a new set that I like (which is rare). I got that covered unless you hear otherwise.

And that's where we're at.

Oh, one more thing: because, as I said, I'm on a limited budget that I am actually acknowledging these days, sometimes, I may post "trade bait" that I'd happily accept cash for. Yes, I know money's dirty. Yes, I know we're all broke right now. Still, if there's something I post as trade bait and you're short on stuff I collect, try offering me dough for it. Chances are, you'll end up with it! I may also put things up for straight sale from time to time (thinking of doing this with the remainder of unclaimed f00'ball teams from The June Buy). Thorzul has his "Pull The Trigger" sales. Lots of y'all do group breaks. I've done Trade Bait Drafts before, as a bunch of folks have, but those are a LOT of work. I know you're not all completely allergic to dealing in currency that doesn't have stats on the back.

So, that's kind of a "state of my place in the hobby" deal. Soon, I would like to get back to writing about why I like cards, rather than just writing about the acquisition of cards or the removal of cards from my home. Workin' on it!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Some sets I'm sorta close to finishing...

These are all sets of 100 or more cards (generally much more than 100 cards) that I need less than 100 cards from. If you want to see which cards I need and offer them to me in a trade, my want list is here.

10 or fewer:

Baseball:

1992 Upper Deck (8)
1993 Ted Williams (7)
1994 Topps (5)
1996 Topps (10)
1997 Score (4)
2000 Skybox Metal (8)
2003 Leaf Certified Materials (9)
2007 Topps Update (2)
2007 Upper Deck SP Rookie Edition (1)
2008 Topps (4)
2009 Topps (1)
2011 Topps Allen & Ginter (4)
2012 Topps (1)
2012 Topps Finest (8)
2012 Topps Update (1)
2013 Panini Golden Age (8)

Football:

1989 Pro Set (3)
1991 AW Sports CFL (2)
1991 Bowman (1)
1993 Pro Set Power Football (3)
2000 Topps (7)
2005 Topps (3)
2007 Topps (6)
2008 Topps (2)
2009 Bowman Draft (10)
2010 Topps (3)

25 or fewer:

Baseball:

1993 Donruss (15)
1993 Upper Deck (15)
1999 Fleer Brilliants (11)
2011 Topps 60 (24)

Football:

1993 Topps Stadium Club Members-Only (11)

50 or fewer:

Baseball:

1981 Fleer (31)
1988 Pacific Legends (38)
1991 Donruss Studio (27)
2001 Topps Finest (40)
2007 Upper Deck Artifacts (42)
2010 Topps (44)
2010 Topps Chrome (35)
2011 Bowman Draft/Prospects (39)
2011 Topps Heritage Minor League (38)
2011 Topps Kimball Champions (49)
2013 Panini USA (31)
2013 Topps 1972 Minis (46)
2013 Topps Allen & Ginter (35)
2013 Topps Archives (40)

Football:

2004 Topps (29)
2006 Topps (29)
2009 Topps (33)
2011 Score (44)

75 or fewer:

Baseball:

1971 Topps (58)
1974 Topps (57)
1983 Fleer (54)
1989 Pacific Legends (68)
1992 Leaf (56)
1997 Topps (66)
1999 Topps Traded (60)
2005 Upper Deck Classics (56)
2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic (62)
2006 Fleer Greats Of The Game (75)
2007 Upper Deck Goudey (57)
2007 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts (63)
2009 Upper Deck Icons (65)
2010 Topps Heritage (69)
2011 Bowman Prospects (64)
2011 Topps Heritage (61)
2012 Topps 1987 Mini (75)

Football:

1987 Topps (56)
1989 Score (66)
2011 Topps (53)

Basketball:

1986 Fleer (55)

100 or fewer:

Baseball:

1977 Topps (84)
1981 Donruss (83)
1986 Sportflics (83)
1988 Sportflics (96)
1990 Pacific Legends (78)
1994 Donruss Special Edition (76)
1997 Bowman Chrome (85)
2001 Donruss 1999 Retro Set (82)
2003 Fleer Flair Greats (98)
2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions (76)
2010 Tri-Star Obak (77)
2010 Upper Deck (82)
2013 Topps Heritage (90)

Football:

2010 Score (91)
2013 Topps Archives (98)

Basketball:

2011 Panini Hoops (86)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Pair Of Bombers From Stubby


No particular reason why I singled these out from the metric ton of stuff Stubby sends me, beyond that they're good lookin' high number 1971s. Sometimes, that's more than enough. I'd been eyeballing both for a while before they showed up here, so thanks as always, Stubby.