Friday, April 29, 2011

Mail Call - April 29 Edition

So, I've been pretty busy trying to finish my 1974 set. Having plumbed the depths of COMC, I shifted my focus to Sportlots, Sportsbuy and EBay. Over the last week, I have purchased enough 74s to be within 2 of completing the set, including all error cards and variations. I have received about half of the recent orders so far, but have been too wrapped up in other things to bore you with daily run-downs of the various arrivals. However today, in addition to a small lot I purchased on Sportlots, came a trade pack from Baseball Dad over at All Tribe Baseball. I feel it is important to pay notice to the generosity of the collectors I come into contact with. I wouldn't have probably made a post on just the 74s I have received. But, whenever someone sees fit to take the time to gather and ship me cards without money changing hands, well, that is worth taking the time to acknowledge. I had sent Dad some of the Topps Series 1 inserts he needed and I got some cards I needed including 4 Heritage and the very last card I needed to complete the 2011 Series 1:

In addition, he sent along some interesting Pirates cards:

1993 Topps BlackGold Andy Van Slyke. I've never seen a card from this set before. And, while I am not normally a fan of shiny, this card has a delightful design and I am going to try and research the set a bit more when I have some time.

I am not sure what to say about thus 2004 Donruss Studio Stars Jason Kendall. It is an odd card, but in a good way. I am not sure if I should hand it to the cashier the next time I try to cash a check at Target or if I should take it on my next business trip to see if it opens the door to my hotel room. In all seriousness, though, I do like this card. I just can't seem to articulate why. I've been thinking about why for a good 15 minutes and just cannot put words to it.

So, big thanks to Baseball Dad. I definitely feel like I came out on the better side of this trade.

Oh, and for you vintage fans, here is one of the numerous 74s that I have received in the last week. The Felipe Alou no position error card. I've had the regular card for several months now, but have been ignoring the errors and variations until recently.

Oh, if you are wondering what the remaining two cards are that I need to complete 1974, they are 599A, the San Diego version of the rookie pitcher card and 608A, another rookie pitcher card with Bob Apodaca's name misspelled as Apodaco.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2004 Fleer Greats of the Game

So, if you tuned in a bit earlier, you would have seen the 2004 Greats of the Game box I received today. I opened about 6 packs up right after work, but held off on the remaining 9 until after I finished chores and settled in front of the computer to watch the Yankees - White Sox game. This is a fairly large set, when you add in all the parallels, relics, autographs, super short prints, If Beckett is to be believed there is over 800 cards associated with the set. I don't intend to collect them all (particularly given that there are some 1/1 cards that sold in the four figure range. But, I think I am going to put together the base set and some of the inserts. Let' see what I got, shall we?

I really like the design of the cards. By desaturating the background, the focus is on the player and the shadow adds a little 3D effect to it. The base set consists of 145 cards, 66 of which I got in this box (with no duplicates!). Oddly, every base card I got was numbered 80 or lower. I am trying to find out if this set was issued in series. I'd sure hate to buy another box (and I am going to) and get a whole bunch of duplicates rather than the higher number cards I need. I don't actually have this Paul Blair card in my player collection, although I do have the blue parallel and gold autograph card in my PC binder.

There are blue parallels for each of the 145 card base set, numbered to 500. I received two blue parallels in the box: Bo Jackson (46/500) and this Mel Ott (314/500).

There is a 35 card parallel called Glory of Their Time, which honors players who had stellar years, numbered to the actual year. I got three of these: Harmon Killebrew (768/1961), Carl Yazstremski (751/1967), and this Al Kaline (81/1955).

Apparently there is also Glory of Their Time gold and game used parallels, but I didn't get any of those.

There is 10 card Battery Mate set, that also comes with autograph and dual autograph parallels. I got one of the base Battery Mate cards: Tom Seaver/Johnny Bench (1466/1979):

There apparently several other inserts and game used subsets, but I didn't get any of those. But, the box did promise one autograph card for every 5 packs. With a 15 pack box, I figured that I could hope for 3 autographs, though there is no guarantee it works out that way. Indeed, it seemed at the outset that I was going to be disappointed. After opening 9 packs, I did not have a single autograph card. Luckily, in the last 6, I hit my quota of three. These are sticker autos, but I like them nonetheless. Take a look:

All in all, I enjoyed opening this box and will probably order another box in May.

Mail Call - April 27th Edition

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mail Call - April 25th Edition

So, I mentioned earlier about putting an order in at COMC for more cards towards my 1974 set. They arrived today and here is some of what I got:

Three Hall of Fame inductees. This was the last of the special Aaron cards I needed. It appears to me that Topps used the same picture of Aaron three straight years.

Six more of the team checklists and 2 more base set checklists.

Two more of the Washington Nat'l Lea variations. I was slightly disappointed with these two cards. These cards are in great shape except for a a gum stain on the back of one and some paper loss on the back of the other. I recall the gum stain from when I was ordering, but I must have missed the paper loss on the other. The damage shows clearly on the card images on the packing list, so I must have not inspected the images of the back for that card. The fronts are clean and all the corners are sharp, so I am not going to obsess about it.

And finally, the father of a major part of what is wrong with country music today. Okay, maybe that is overstating it, but Tim McGraw isn't my cup of tea. With country music, I prefer Western Swing throwbacks like Asleep at the Wheel, outlaws like Willie Nelson, and just about the entire alt-country scene centering on Austin, Chicago, and Seattle.

Now that I am getting real close to completing 1974, I am shifting into overdrive. Today, I placed an order each at Sportsbuy and Sportlots. When those shipments come in, I believe I will be down needing two four cards to complete 1974. And one of those cards has an active EBay auction closing this week.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

No Willie for You!

So, I've been eagerly awaiting my first trade offer for this little gem I got in the Diamond Giveaway:

Today it came through:

A 1952 Less Moss (B.V. $40), 1956 Joe Frazier (B.V. $12), 1959 Bob Miller (B.V. $4),and a 1960 Bob Nieman (B.V. $4). Not that I intend to trade that Mays card. Indeed, I intend to request delivery as soon as I can. But, with a book value on that card of $200, folks are going to have to alot better to make me even think about it.

PS. Can you tell that I am still tickled that the Diamond Transmogrifier saw fit to give me that card?

Arriving in the Dark of Night

A short time ago, I had sent some cards off to Night Owl, including the 2011 Heritage Dodger Stadium card. Most of the rest of the cards I sent were obscure crap. They were primarily crap, like a 1989 Topps Bazooka Shining Star Kirk Gibson. But, they seemed obscure enough that maybe he didn't have any of them. What other hope would a new collector like me have in sending cards to an established presence like Night Owl? Anyways, his end of the deal arrived in the mail, including a good number of cards off my Heritage want list. Let's take a look at some of what I got:

I was admiring this card over on Night Owl's blog because Hooton is the pitching coach for the Oklahoma City Redhawks this year. He had a duplicate and was good enough to send it to me. I also have to admit a growing fondness for these Kellogg's 3D cards. It might be fun to start collecting them in earnest some day. But, I have my plate full now with the Topp's sets from the 1970s and the 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game, so it will have to be some day rather than today.

As a kid, I followed the Yankees pretty closely, but never more closely than 1978. And what a year it was for Ron Guidry. He was practically invincible at 25-3, with a 1.74 ERA and a phenomenal 18 K performance against the Angels on June 17. This card came out in 1986, the year after his third, and final, 20 win season.

Pikachu Ichiro!

The Bambino!

The middle infielders for my Yankees. Jeter is sucking pretty badly right now with a .221 BA, with only 1 extra base hit, through 17 games. But Cano seems to have picked right up where he left off last year.

This was definitely a great trade from my end. I still feel a little embarassed about what I sent, so I have set aside the Jackie Robinson chrome refractor card from the Topps Value Pack I bought the other day for him.

Mr. Popularity, Part 4

It's Sunday morning and time to update the trade offers I have received on the Topps Diamond Giveaway site for my 1973 Andy Messersmith. I was thinking about also doing this feature for the sweet Willie Mays Autograph card I unlocked yesterday, but I haven't gotten a single trade offer for it yet. I think it has to do with the fact that they have him listed as Willie Howard Mays. If I go into the trade function on the Diamond Giveaway site and search on Willie Mays, that card doesn't come up on the list. So, I am a little disappointed that I am not going to be offered a sweet 1987 Barry Larkin for it, but I will forebear. And you get stuck with Andy.

So, without further ado:

  1. 1971 Bob Hoerner (I thought about this one, but given the fact that I'll be putting a 73 set together long before I get around to 71, I decided to pass)

  2. 1973 Bob Montgomery

  3. 1974 Bill North

  4. 1974 Bill Stoneman

  5. 1974 Earl Williams

  6. 1974 Jim Merritt

  7. 1974 Pete Broberg

  8. 1974 Steve Arlin

  9. 1974 Jim Slaton

  10. 1974 Balor Moore

  11. 1974 Skip Jutze

  12. 1974 Manny Mota

  13. 1974 Mike Caldwell

  14. 1975 Mac Scarce

  15. 1979 Ed Hermann

  16. 1979 Frank Taveras

  17. 1979 Ron Schueler

  18. 1980 Chris Knapp

  19. 1980 Texas Future Stars

  20. 1983 Carlton Fisk

  21. 1985 Alan Trammell

  22. 1986 Ricky Horton

  23. 1987 Carlton Fisk

  24. 1987 Gary Carter

  25. 1987 Steve Carlton

  26. 1987 Padres Team Leaders

  27. 1990 Tom Pagnozzi

  28. 1991 Dave Gallagher

  29. 1992 Eric Davis

  30. 1992 Mo Vaughn

  31. 1993 Alejandro Pena

  32. 1995 Devon White

  33. 1996 Alex Fernandez

  34. 1996 Ken Caminiti

  35. 1997 Chad Mottola (twice)
  1. 1997 Shannon Stewart

  2. 2007 Tony LaRussa

  3. 2008 Kenny Lofton

  4. 2009 Aaron Rowland

  5. 1976 Jim Bibby and 2004 Matt Lawton

  6. 1976 Jim Rooker and 1976 Ray Corbin

  7. 1992 Mo Vaughn and 2008 Justin Upton

  8. 1996 Alex Fernandez and 1997 Chad Mottola

  9. 2001 Greg Norton and 2002 Mark Buehrle

  10. 2003 Odalis Perez and 2008 Andy LaRoche

  11. 1977 Rowland Office, 1979 Preston Hanna, and 1979 Barry Bonnel (Not a bad offer actually, but still turned it down since I haven't decided whether to put 1979 together yet)

  12. 1992 Jose Hernandez, 1995 Greg Swindell, 1996 Andy Ashby, 1997 Alex Fernandez, and 2001 Ken Caminiti

  13. 1994 Alex Arias, 1994 John Flaherty, 1994 Kurt Stilwell, 1994 Matt Farner, 1994 Dan Plescac, 1994 Larry Luebbers, 1995 Orlando Merced, 1995 Matt Whiteside, 1996 Wally Joyner

Saturday, April 23, 2011

In Which My Luck Goes South

After my huge hit, I actually opened the packs I got in that value box and managed to beat the odds and score 3 more code cards. Feeling pretty chuffed, I entered another and did alright, since I may get around to putting 1972 together:

So, I tried another:

I am thinking Pokey Reese is a sign that I should maybe hold onto the remaining two codes to enter another time.

OMG! Holy Sh*t! OMG! Someone Pinch Me!

So, I bought one of those $14.98 Topps Value Packs at Walmart today. You know the ones. They include 5 packs of Series 1, 2 packs of Heritage, and 2 Diamond Giveaway code cards. Why? I don't know. I only need one card to finish Series 1 and I have a trade working for that card. I am having no luck filling my Heritage binder through retail purchases. So why? The only reasons I can think of is a hope that my luck pulling Heritage I need might change and those darn code cards. I gotta admit I love the Diamond Giveaway. I've gotten some cards from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Nothing to knock your socks of, but some neat old cards. Until now.

Dude. Check it:

That is a 2001 Topps Archive Reserve Autograph of Willie Mays! OMFG! I am practically beside myself!

What Does Two Grand Buy You These Days?

The answer to the question in the title is, first, not that. That was just a tease. My employer paid bonuses for the first time in I can't remember when. So, how did I spend my ill-gotten gains?

Yeah, exciting, huh? Stupid life interfering with more important things.

I did spend about $55 at COMC on more cards for my 1974 set (I'm down to 17 cards to complete it) and I sprung for a box of 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game, which is a set I've decided I liked enough to put together. The teaser card at the top is from that set.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mining a Rich Seam

As the handful of you who actually read my ramblings may recall (not that I expect my poor words to be that memorable), I had a couple trades in the works to help me wtih Topps Heritage, since I haven't had much love from my retail purchases. One is with Johnny over at Cards from the Quarry, and it was a doozy. I sent him a meager handful of cards he needed and another set of cards he can use as trade material. In exchange he sent me 34 (34!) cards off my 2011 Topps Heritage want list. It is times like these I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the collecting community and feel a little embarrassed to be a new collector, since I cannot even begin to do justice with what I send in exchange.

So, since it seems to be the practice, here are a few of the cards I got.

Yankee first baseman Mark Teixeira, who currently is in a three way tie on the AL leader board for both home runs and runs batted in, despite a pedestrian .259 batting average.

Yankee great Don Mattingly, who appears, in this lousy economy, to have fallen on hard times and in need of any work, no matter how demeaning.

Last year's breakout star, Blue Jay Jose Bautista. This card is one of the Heritage short prints, so I am particularly stoked about getting it.

There are few people in the culture who can go by one name. There is Willie and Snoop in the music world*. In the sports world, there is, of course, Lebron and Ichiro. And ya gotta include anyone who can go by one name.

And, naturally, The Bambino.

So, there was plenty of other cards in the package from Johnny, but I have to stop playing in the Intertubes.

* Speaking of Willie and Snoop, here they are joined by their love

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I have an EBay saved search set up for Paul Blair so I an quickly identify listings of cards that I don't already have in my player collection. This one came up this morning:

2011 Tri city Sport Paul Blair auto 1/1 All Star cuts

Admittedly, I am new to collecting, but I only see disappointment in this seller's future. I can get a Paul Blair autograph on a 30-45 year old NM/MT card for less than $20 every day of the week, and less than $10 with relatively high frequency. What kinda fool would pay $500 for a cut autograph? Well, I will tell you it won't be this fool.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mail Call - April 18 Edition

So, a few cards arrived yesterday from an Ebay purchase to help fill in my 1974 set.

HOFer Gaylord Perry

HOFer Joe Morgan


(I always say this in my best Jack Black voice. Purse your lips tightly together, let the 'B' explode out, then draw out the 'oo', ending with a quiet 'g')

Nate Colbert (Nat'l Lea. variation)

Bucky Dent

One of my favorite childhood memories is the one game divisional playoff in 1978 between the Yankees and Red Sox in Fenway Park. My recollection is that I was cursing Bob Lemon for not pinch hitting for Dent, when it was his turn to bat in the seventh inning with two on and the Yankees behind 2-0. I cursed even louder when Dent hit a foul tip off his own foot. However, history vindicated Lemon when Bucky went on to hit a three run dinger over The Green Monster, giving the Yankees the lead. The Yankees, of course, went on to win it all, defeating the Royals in the League Championship and the Dodgers in the World Series.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mr. Popularity, Part 3

I guess it is about time to detail the previous week's list of trade offers I received on Topps Diamond Giveaway site for the 1973 Andy Messersmith in my portfolio.

  1. 1973 Jim McAndrew

  2. 1973 Mike Corkins (twice)
  1. 1973 Rich Morales

  2. 1974 Bill Stoneman

  3. 1974 Jim Wohlford

  4. 1974 Ken Rudolph

  5. 1974 Paul Lindblad

  6. 1974 Rick Auerbach

  7. 1974 Skip Lockwood

  8. 1979 Dennis Martinez

  9. 1976 Dave Roberts

  10. 1977 Andy Messersmith

  11. 1977 Pete LaCock

  12. 1977 Ken McMullen

  13. 1978 Manny Mota (twice)
  1. 1980 Gary Mathews

  2. 1980 Tippy Martinez

  3. 1984 Highlights

  4. 1986 Dwight Gooden

  5. 1986 Fernando Valenzuela

  6. 1987 George Brett

  7. 1987 Mike Schmidt

  8. 1987 Mike Scioscia

  9. 1987 Pete Rose (twice)
  1. 1987 Terry Puhl

  2. 1990 Dave Gallagher

  3. 1991 Shawn Boskie

  4. 1993 Cal Ripken

  5. 1993 Barry Bonds

  6. 1997 Pat Hentgen

  7. 1997 Kevin Gross

  8. 1997 Steve Finley

  9. 2000 Roger Clemens

  10. 2006 Aaron Rowland

  11. 1978 Ed Figueroa and 1986 Rickey Henderson

  12. 1979 Indians Prospects and 1992 Reggie Jefferson

  13. 1989 Tracy Jones and 1992 Tim Wallach

  14. 1995 Don Slaught and 1997 Phil Nevin

  15. 1992 Todd Hundley and 1993 Willie Randolph (three times)
  1. 2003 Odalis Perez and 2006 Damaso Marte

  2. 1994 Jose Guzman and 1994 Dan Plesac

  3. 1979 Tom Hume, 1979 Steve Renko, and 1979 Dodgers Checklist

  4. 1990 Ron Robinson, 1991 Gary Templeton, 1992 Andy Mota, 1992 Terry Steinbach, and 1995 Craig Shipley

  5. 1993 Mike Moore, 1993 Rafael Pameiro, 2003 Shawn Green, 2005 Wade Robinson, 2006 Geoff Bloom, and 2008 Ross Gload

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hunting and Gathering at the Card Shop

Two more for my 1974 collection. I've already been through all the shops commons and minor star cards so, in this visit, I went after the last two big ticket cards I needed.

The Ryan isn't as high a quality as the rest of my 1974 set, but with a $40 book, I am a little leary of going after anything up in the NM/MT range. The owner of the shop did have a graded Ryan, but at $60, I passed. I paid $15 for this one and it seems to be of the same general quality as those selling in the same range on COMC.

This is my favorite card of the set. I actually had this card as a kid. I paid $30 for this, against a book value of $50. Centering, a slight rotation issue, and a tiny spot on the lower right corner (which is only visible with close inspection) are the only weaknesses here. It has 4 sharp corners and a nice smooth, glossy surface. With five cards in transit from an EBay purchase, I am down to 46 43 cards to complete the set, including 8 more unnumbered team checklists and (by my count) 10 7 more of the Washington Nat'l Lea variants. Beginning of May, I'll probably visit COMC and try and fill out some more of the dwindling space in the binder.