Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cards from Night Owl

Night Owl is the dean of baseball card bloggers. I think everyone can agree on that. He is one of the first card bloggers I started reading and, in my mind, still sets the standard for quality of writing in this particular milieu.  He also has some very specific collecting focuses, which makes it easy to come across cards that he might need.

The last card show was no exception. I came across 4 Topps 1975 Minis in a dollar box.  Also in a dollar box I found a 1961 Post Don Drysdale.  The minis were in decent shape, but the Drysdale was rough. Rough like someone was digging through an old landfill and found a 50 year old box of Post cereal underneath an old refrigerator rough.  And decided to cut the card off the box with a set of those dull scissors they let you use in kindergarten that were found a few feet away underneath a stack of old newspapers. That rough.

Yesterday, I got some cards back. It wasn't necessary. Watching a professional writer ply his craft is payment enough.  But, they were appreciated nonetheless.

Ahh, the ubiquitous card #7 from Topps. I have to wonder if Topps had never dumped the cases of leftover 1952 cards off a barge into the ocean, would Mickey Mantle's rookie card from that set be so valuable?  Well, I don't have to wonder since I have taken economics.  Basic economics says that since the supply of 1952 Mantles would be larger, so the price/value would be lower.  What I really wonder is if the 1952 Mantle wasn't so rare and pricey, would ALL Mantle cards be less valuable and would Topps not continually issue Mickey Mantle cards in every stinking set that they issue every stinking year?


I like Robbie. He is an outstanding player, but goes about his business in a quiet, workmanlike manner. Little pomp and circumstance. Just a solid star that lets his play talk for him.

Granderson is something of a joke among the various Yankee blogs. He continues to assert that he isn't a home run hitter.Uh, dude? Only Jose Bautista hit more home runs than you last year.  And only Bautista, Josh Hamilton and Adam Dunn are hitting more than you this year.  You. Are. A. Home. Run. Hitter.  Deal with it.

The big man.  The undisputed anchor of the Yankees rotation.  He really hasn't gotten into a groove this year and is probably not the best starter for the Yankees to date.  But, when the weather turns hot, he turns into a monster.  I expect he'll run off a string of starts where he is unhittable.

Night Owl has been working lately on his Topps All Time Fan Favorite set. I don't have many of these cards. In fact, I think the only ones I do have are part of my Paul Blair player collection. So, I am happy to get a couple others. One of these days, I need to research the Fan Favorite sets and see if it is something I'd like to collect.  I have been quite clear in my dislike of 2012 Topps Archives, mainly because it attempts to do too many things and does none of them particularly well.  The idea of Archives is something I like.  It is Topps execution that is lacking.  If they did a better, more coherent job with Fan Favorites, it is probably something I would enjoy collecting.

This Chrome Jim Abbott is 76/299.  Both of these Fan Favorites cards are going into my MOJO !!!1!!1!!!111! binder.

2006 Topps Opening Day Hideki Matsui parallel (1251/2006). Interestingly, at this moment Matsui has 1248 MLB hits in his career. 3 more and this card becomes a 1 of 1!!!1!1!1!!!!

And now my two absolute favorites from Night Owl.

I know a lot of folks don't like Michael Kay, but I enjoy his Yankee announcing. He works together well with all his color men, although I most enjoy his work with Ken Singleton.  I also like that he is not a homer.  At least not as much a homer as other announcers like the execrable Hawk Harrelson.  Kay gives his signature home run call "See ya" for all dingers, not just those of the Yankees.  Also into the Mojo binder.

A 2011 Topps Lineage '75 mini Sabathia relic. I realize that this card isn't exactly rare. In case you haven't noticed, CC is a big fella. I would estimate that Topps was able to make 25 bazillion of these cards with one of CC's away jerseys.  But, I don't care that. I love this card.  Mojo binder?  Oh, yea!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June Card Show Haul - Miscellaneous

I wasn't going to blog this week, but it is first thing in the morning. I am nursing a tasty cup of coffee and am not really wanting to ponder the day ahead. So, I am going to knock this one out and put a bow on the June 9 card show. This isn't going to be one of my better pieces. But, if you want something Pulitzer worthy get yer ass out here and help me load hay. When ever you start to wonder about your sanity because you collect 2.5" by 3.5" pieces of cardboard, just remind yourself that not only do I buy the same pieces of cardboard, I also drop a couple G each year on dried up grass clippings. You should instantly feel better about yourself.

Your welcome.

One of my goals was to peruse the vintage dollar boxes.  The one dealer, who had a huge box of late 50s early 60s for a dollar each at the April show didn't have it with him this time.  So, I went through Roger Nuefeldt's discount box (which is usually $2/$3/$4 cards), as well some boxes of Big Red Sports Cards, who has dime/quarter/dollar/ five dollar boxes.  I came back with a small set of super sweet cards.

1953 Clem Labine. I don't have many cards from 1952 through 1954.   After having recently read Roger Kahn's "The Boys of Summer" I don't have as visceral a reaction to Dodgers of the Brooklyn variety.

Poor cropping job. Sue me. I can't figure out my feelings for Billy Martin.  I loved him as a kid because he was the fiery manager of my beloved Yankees.  But, by most accounts, he was also a miserable SOB. I suppose a few years of therapy might help me sort it all out.  However, in the mean time, I added another 1956 card to my collection.

And another.  The recently departed Moose Skowron.

Oisk.  This one was actually sent off to Chris Potter Sports last weekend to be autographed.  but more on that later.

I am not sure why Laird is labelled as an outfielder. He is mainly a third baseman.  Typical Topps quality control, I guess.

2011 Topps Marquee Jackie Robinson. I just like it.  The full bleed cards are pretty cool.

1990 Swell Enos Slaughter autographed.  This is my favorite card of the whole show.  It set me back a tenner, but I think it was well worth it.  A signed card of a Hall of Famer.  Does it get any better than that?  No, I tell you, it does not.

So that is it for the June card show.  I've got a couple other posts in the pre-planning phase. But, the next few weeks may be a little lean.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Minding Your Ps and Qs

I wasn't planning on posting today. Indeed, I probably wasn't going to post all week. You see, I am ungodly tired.  I was up way past my normal bedtime last night watching the NBA finals (Thunder Up!!!).  So, I was dragging my wagon through the work day today.  When I got home I found a bubble mailer from Greg over at Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle.  But, I didn't have time to open it. I had to run out and buy a load of hay to put up for winter.

Because I am always looking to pinch a penny or two, I buy the hay out of the field instead of the barn.  Buying out of the field involves my wife driving the truck and trailer along a long line of bales laying on the ground and I load and stack them by hand. Over 100 bales weighing 55-65 pounds each.  That is like eleventy tons for those of you who are innumerate. Tomorrow those same bales have to be moved to the barn loft so I can go back and Wednesday and get another load (which will be moved to the barn on Thursday).  With NBA finals games on Tuesday and Thursday it is a sure bet that I am going to be the walking dead until the weekend. So, I figure to leave blogging until then.

But I cannot let this post wait. I will just have to gut my way through it.  The premise of this post is this: baseball card bloggers are brain damaged.

Greg is no exception.  I know he is a college student, but it has to be a clown college, because he has a serious reading comprehension problem.  This all started a while back when I posted that I pulled a Carlos Santana Auto card (numbered 3 of 5) from a box of 2010 Tristar Obak.  Greg was interested in trading for it, but it took us a while to find some cards I needed that he had access to.  That is where the problem came in.  After a little back and forth, I gave him some options as to things I'd like in return.  I clearly listed them as A or B or C(1).   Problem is Greg does not understand that "or" generally signifies a list of mutually exclusive options.  I wrote "or" but he interpreted it as "and."  So rather than picking one of the options, he got me everything.  Specifically, a couple cards for my Johnny Antonelli player collection and three high number cards for my 1971 set.

1955 Bowman.  Antonelli was coming off a year where he pitched to a 21-7 record with a 2.30 ERA and finished 3rd in the NL MVP voting.  Get this: he had 18 complete games, including 6 shutouts, and 2 saves in 2 relief appearances.  And while he only batted .163, he did manage to hit two taters.  For you Sabermatic fans, he pitched to a 7.2 WAR in 1954.

1959 Topps. This is the last Topps Antonelli card I needed for the PC.

As you can see, these are super clean and sharp cards.  And all high numbers. I am really embarrassed getting such nice cards back for the Santana.

Anyways, thanks Greg.  I appreciate the generosity and will do my best to repay it in our next trade.

Now, off to bed. 

(1) At least I hope I said "or."  No way in hell I am going back to look at our emails. I'd rather live with the comfortable illusion that Greg don't read no good no how than to discover I did say "and."  I'd feel like a real putz.

Added it Edit:  In 1954, Antonelli was stellar in the post season also.  He appeared in two games for the Giants in the World Series against the Cleveland Indians. He threw a complete game victory in Game 1, allowing 8 hits and 1 run, while striking out 9.  Then he saved game 4 (the Series winner) by pitching 1.2 innings in relief, allowing no hits or runs and striking out 3 of the 6 batters he faced.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June Card Show Haul - Fleer

One of my goals for the card show was also make some progress on the 1960s Fleer sets I am working on. Alas, my main vintage guy couldn't locate his stash of 1963 Fleers, so I focused my attention on 1961 this time around. I picked up 26 cards towards my 1961 set, bringing me to a total of 61 cards towards completing the 154 card set. Just a little under 40% of the way there.

You just have to post a card of someone named Bobo. It's a law......or something.  Interesting factoid:  There were a total of four major league players nicknamed Bobo, and three of them all played in the Majors during the 1953 season.
  1. Bobo Holloman - a pitcher for the St Louis Browns. 1953 was his only year in the majors.
  2. Bobo Milliken - a pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1953 and 1954, the extent of his MLB experience.
  3. Bobo Newsom - pitched for 9 different teams over the course of a 20 year career. 1953 was his final year, making 17 appearances for the Philadelphia Athletics.
  4. Bobo Osborne - the only Bobo not in the majors during 1953. He was a light hitting first baseman for Detroit and Washington during 6 different campaigns between 1957 and 1963.
So, there you have it, MLB has been a Bobo-free zone for going on 49 years now. There was a Dexter Bobo in the Milwaukee chain a few years back, but since he is now playing Independent ball in the Can-Am Association, I am guessing MLB will be Bobo-less for at least a few more years. There is a Wilfredo Bobonagua playing rookie ball in the Dominican Summer League for the Blue Jays. Here's hoping!

Red is either trying to confound the lip readers as he talks to his pitcher or is picking his nose.  You decide.

While my main vintage connection didn't have any stack of '63 Fleers to go through, I did manage to find three cards I needed in his discount box.

The cards are fairly clean and the edges are sharp. The only issue are the corners.  They are pretty soft, but considering these cards were $2 each (BV $15 to $20), I can't complain.  They look worse in the scan than in person, so I've marked them off my want list and am moving on.  I have 16 cards left to go to finish the 67 card set.  Alas, I have many of the main stars yet to go:  Brooks Robinson, Willie Mays, Don Drysdale, Warren Spahn, and Roberto Clemente.  So this set is going to be a long term project.  Even being as close to finishing as I am, I would expect that it will be deep into 2013 before I finish this one.  And I have yet to decide what to do about the checklist.  It is short printed and rare to find in clean, unchecked condition. It books at $500 and even raggedy versions can go for upwards of a C note.  As a set collector, I am conditioned to collect the checklists, but dayum.......

Next up: some miscellaneous finds.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Trade with Lifetime Topps

I recently completed a trade with Charlie over at Lifetime Topps.  I setn him some 2012 Heritage and Archives and I got some 2011 Heritage Minors and 2012 Heritage back.  Best of all, the 2011 Heritage Minors were all short prints.

Delino is the son of the former major leaguer of the same name.  From looking at his minor league stats, it looks like he is following in his Pops footprints to be a fair hitting infielder with some speed on the basepaths.  He is only 19 and is currently at A-Ball Lexington in the Astros chain.  With any luck, I'll be seeing him in OKC in a few years.

Sanchez is a catcher in the Pirates system.  So far he appears to be an okay hitter with good on-base skills, but little power.  He just got promoted to AAA Indianapolis.

Yelich is a power hitting outfielder in the Marlins system. He absolutely raked last year at Greensboro with a .312/.388/.484 slash line and 15 taters.  He is at high A Jupiter this year.

These are most welcome, bringing me down to only needing 26 more cards to finish the Minor League set (all SP.)   With 19 cards to go on the MLB Heritage set for 2011 (16 SP and 3 inserts), I am getting nearer to the finish line of completing this set.  I think I'd like to knock it off before the end of the year.

The four 2012 Heritage cards I received are all for good players and took a good chunk out of the non-SP base cards I still need.  Hopefully, I'll continue to make progress on this set during the year, although I don't expect to complete it.  My focus in on vintage and, while I really like Heritage, it does get treated like a red headed stepchild in my collecting.

Anyways, thank you Charlie!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

June Card Show Haul - 1971

I can't believe it is almost the weekend and I haven't posted anything about the card show yet.  I have been busy at work now that it is my 4th week on the new job. Plus, we had a couple of new additions to the family keeping me hopping.

Here we have Mittens, who we found hiding in the tack room of our barn. He is pretty young and there is no indication how he got here.  We are guessing he was born into the colony of feral cats that lives nearby and was dumped at our place by his momma.

Beamer, my wife's new horse.  He is a 12 year old Thoroughbred that didn't amount to anything on the track (8 starts, no places, and $843 in winnings) and was repurposed as a jumper.  Story has it he was shown at some pretty high levels, but for whatever reason we were able to get him at a fairly cheap price.  Cheap for the horse world, anyways.  But, you aren't here to tour the zoo.  You are here to see cards, so let's get to it.

I wasn't expecting much from last weekends card show with regard to making progress on my 1971 set since the same sellers are at the show each time and I had bought quite a few from them in April. I figured if I could pick up a couple of high numbers and a few star cards, it would be a successful show. I did end up getting 24 total cards. I still have a way to go, but I am making some progress.

This was one of my upgrades.  The 1970 Baltimore Orioles. I am trying to decide if I should add one to my Paul Blair PC.  He is on the card, but it just doesn't seem the same to me.  It isn't his card.  What do other player collectors do?

Does anyone else subscribe to MLB.TV?  I watch at least a few innings of most of the Yankees games on my computer and there has been a commercial for a MLB Fan Appreciation experience. One of the ex-players featured in the commercial is Johnny Bench.  He is shown paying subtle insults to two different fans. What is up with that?  I suppose it could just be good natured joshing, but as a people manager at work, I have become attuned to (over) analyzing what people say and how they say it.  And red flags go up whenever I see that commercial.

Ahh, the Steve Garvey rookie card. Back when everyone still though he was Mr. All American Straight Arrow.  Little did we know. Such an innocent time back then.

What? Cesar Geronimo wasn't always a Cincinnati Red?  Whodathunkit?

But bad trades are part of baseball - now who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas, for God's sake?

So, how close am I to finishing 1971?  For the first 5 series (cards 1 through 523), I need only 3 more cards, although there is another 9 that are in rough condition that I'd like to upgrade. For the sixth series of 119 cards (cards 524 through 643), I need 43 to complete the series and only 1 to upgrade.  For the seventh and final series of 109 cards (644 through 752), I need 43 cards and 5 to upgrade. So, overall, I need 81 cards to complete the set and have 15 I want to upgrade.

That is still a ways to go, but luckily, I have most of the stars in the set. Indeed, the only stars I have yet to add are Harmon Killebrew, Sparky Anderson, Boog Powell, and Denny McClain.  I would like to upgrade card 5, the Thurman Munson rookie card, but as I look at the condition of what I have (and the prices of better versions) I am thinking I am going to stand pat with what I've got.

So, I made some progress, which was my goal, but am not quite in sight of the finish line yet.  At this point I am guessing, with some concerted effort, it will probably be sometime in September or October before I finish. I started this set last August, so it will be over a year to complete it. I guess that will be the new standard, since I only have one more vintage set that I want to collect that was not issued in series (1975) and those late series seem to be a bear to find.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

June Card Show Haul - Overview

So, it was a successful card show, to be sure.  I'm sorting through them while reading blogs and listening to the Yankees-Mets game on the computer. Sneak peak:


Alas, I will not be off to the card show this morning. The farrier called last night and had to reschedule next Saturday's appointment to this morning.  And my wife can't deal with it since she is going to be test driving a new horse at the same time (and, if she brings it home, breaking my No Thoroughbred Rule.)

So, I will have heading out to the show for the afternoon. Given my low expectations, it should be enough time to do my thing. But, it is a two day show, so if for some reason I don't slake my thirst today, I can still go back tomorrow.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Card Show!!!!

This weekend is the bi-monthly card show up in Oklahoma City.  Of course, I will be going, but I am somewhat at loose ends as to what I would like to accomplish.  It isn't like I've got nothing I want to accomplish in my collecting, it is just that this show isn't going to be the place to make a lott of progress on my overall goals.

This show has a little bit of everything: vintage, MOJO!111!!1!!, and discount boxes.  But, the various modern sets I am working generally don't make an appearance because they aren't mojo enough and I already worked over the various vintage tables that will be there back in April. I know that the dealers are always refreshing their inventory, but my observation is that the vintage stock doesn't turn over very often, so it is unlikely I'll find a stockpile of cards this weekend that I didn't see back in April.

So, with that, my goals are going to be modest.

1971 Topps - I am basically down to needing the semi-high and high number cards.  I have yet to stumble upon any large cache of them and I don't expect to do so this weekend.  With 118 cards to go to complete the set (only 12 of which are not semi-high and highs), my goal here is just to make some progress towards completion.  It doesn't need to be a big chunk, just some progress. It can be some high number commons or it could be one or two star cards. I don't care.  Just need to keep plugging at it.

1960 through 1963 Fleer - Same basic goal here. Just make progress.  This will depend on whether Roger Neufeldt of Sports Memories of Oklahoma is there.  If he is, I should be able to knock off a nice number of 1960 and 1961 commons and maybe a few 1963s.  If he isn't there, I doubt I will be able to do much on these sets.  Other vintage dealers will occasionally have some of these cards, but they are usually either big money or low quality.  Roger is the one reliable source.

Discount boxes - I'll probably just go through the vintage discount boxes. I rarely ever find anything I like in the modern boxes.  A sub-goal here is to find a Bob Uecker card.  I always wanted one and I might as well try and find one.

That is it.  I may come home with a stack of cards or just one really nice card.  We'll see.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Big COMC Mail Call - and a Finished Set

Last week, I spent a little time (and money) at COMC.  My goal was two fold: finish my 1976 set and cheaply make progress on a couple others. 

I got two 2010 Obak Short Prints , including the one above, which is sort of a reprint of a real 1911 Obak Buck Weaver.  This card is standard size for a modern card, while the original is a mini.  But, I suspect this is as close as I will get to owning one, since a 1911 original in rough shape sold for $650 on EBay recently.  This gets me down to needing only six more to complete the set. Sure, I still need 28 out of 30 of the T4 cabinet cards, but they don't seem to come available all that often and usually are being offered for $4 or more each.  So, when I finish the base set, I am going to call it done.

 I picked up 24 cards towards my 2011 Topps Heritage (both MLB and MiLB) set.  All of the other cards I needed to complete the MLB set were available, but the asking price was too high.  But, I was quite happy knocking off a huge chunk of my needs with this order. I am now down to needing 19 cards to complete the MLB set (all SP or inserts) and 29 cards (all SPs) to complete the Minor League run.

I didn't realize it at the time, but one of the cards I ordered was the Tyler Matzek above. I actually got an auto card of his in one of the Obak boxes I have busted. I am hoping he pans out. He had a rough year last year, but seems to be doing real well in high A this year with Modesto.

And finally, the last 11 cards I needed to complete my 1976 Topps set. I probably overpaid on a few of the 76s, but I just wanted to finish the set so I can focus my vintage efforts on 1971 for the next few months.  And, yes, as a set collector, I do want the checklists.  I think my favorite of the lot is the Guidry rookie card, although there is some weird satisfaction with getting clean checklists. I can't explain it, I just like them.

So, that is about it. Not sure I will have much to say over the next week.  I'll be staying on top of any trades that are in the works, but will mainly be biding my time until next weekend, which is the bi-monthly card show up in OKC.