Friday, August 31, 2012

I'm Going to Say It

The Yankees are not going to win the AL East.  And I rate their chances of snagging a wild card spot at about 50-50. They aren't going to have an epic beer-sodden collapse, lubricated liberally by chicken grease.  But, they are going to play mediocre baseball, as they have since the All-Star break, through the remainder of the season. Meanwhile, the younger and healthier Orioles and Rays will make the playoffs, one as the division winner and one as a wildcard. It pains me to say this, as I figured this year was the Bombers last best chance for a World Championship for the next 3 to 5 years.  But, the team's offense is too old and almost universally underperforming. Sure Robby Cano is having a typical stellar year. And Derek Jeter seems to have found the Fountain of Youth.  But the rest of the line up isn't playing well, regardless of their price point.  And, as fantastic as the pitching has been it can't make up for the all or nothing offense which has been mostly nothing lately.

And, it is only going to get worse in the years ahead.  At least until the big money guys are gone. Mentioning no names.

But that is a post for another time.

Now that I have that off my chest,  I have sitting in front of me a box of 2009 Tristar Obak. I had sold some cards on EBay recently and used the proceeds to buy it. I had wanted to get 1971 card 709 (the Don Baylor/Dusty Baker rookie card), but they have been selling for way more than I was willing to pay given their condition.  So, I got the Obak and am hoping it gets me closer to completion of the set.

So, if you are interested, stay tuned. If you aren't, no worries. There seems to be a malaise infecting the card blogging community and I am no exception.  I may just be phoning the posts in.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

August Card Show - Vintage Stars!

I started off the show with a specific mission in mind. Namely, to make some progress on my 1971 set. With that accomplished, I slid into hunter-gatherer mode and hit a couple of the vintage dealers looking for deals. One fellow had a box of well-loved cards for 10% of book. I sorted through there and found a couple, but most were well-loved AND commons.  I also hit another dealer that had a lot of good condition vintage including stars and I found some there, as well. Not that I am have to stick with stars, but when going through discount boxes, the main thing is for the card to capture my imagination.

So, let's take a tour through my imagination, shall we?

1953 Monte Irvin.  Despite the fact that it looks like he is posing in a subdivision backyard, I really like this card. Indeed, 1953 is slowly moving up the list of my favorite sets.  I would put it in the top 3 along with 1955 and 1956.  The order changes from day to day.

 1960 Casey Stengel. I think this card cost me a whole dollar.

 1960 Whitey Ford.  I don't remember how much I paid for this but it was definitely under $10.

1961 Phil Rizzuto MVP. This is my first vintage Scooter card.  I know now that he had a reputation for malapropisms when he was an announcer for the Yankees, but I don't care. Growing up listening to Phil, Bill White, and Fran Healy call the Yankees games is one of the fond memories of my childhood. I can still hear their voices in my head........uhh.....that didn't sound right.  I mean that I can recall what it sounded and felt like to listen to them. I didn't mean they are talking to me and telling me to do things.

One of my goals for the June card show was to get a Bob Uecker card. I failed then, but found this little gem from 1966 at the August show.  Best part of this card? Free!  The dealer threw it in the deal for the following three cards.

1968 Bob Gibson.  Great shape and only $5.

1960 Roberto (Bob) Clemente. The guy was dealing. This only set me back $25.  This was the most I spent on a single card at the show.  But, given that it books at $200, and a card of equivalent condition has a price of $48 over at COMC, I am most pleased with this deal.  It wasn't, however, my favorite pickup of the show.  That is reserved for this card:

1948 Bowman Allie Reynolds.  This is in fantastic condition for a card of it's age. I would put it in the EX range.  Set me back $20.  The neat thing about this is the fact that Allie Reynolds was born in Bethany, Oklahoma.  At the time he was born, 1917, it was likely a farming town. Today, it is a near suburb of Oklahoma City.  And not too far from where the card show was actually held.

I have periodically toyed with the idea of starting a collection of cards from players who were born in Oklahoma.  There are a total of 240 players that fit that criteria, including 41 who were actually born before Oklahoma became a state.  The big reason I might not do this?  Mickey Mantle, born up in coal country (Spavinaw) in the northeast part of the state.  He is the biggest name of the 5 Hall of Famers from here. The others being the Waner brothers, Johnny Bench, and Willie Stargell.  Although, cards of the Waner brothers from during their career would probably be pricey, they wouldn't be Mickey Mantle pricey.

So, that is a wrap of last weekends card show. I had a great time and hope it won't be February before I can hit another.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Another Greats Mail Call

Right on the heels of that great Ray Knight relic card from Napkin Doon, an EBay purchase of mine arrived.  It is also a relic card from the 2004 Greats of the Game set, although it was one for which I already had the base card.  But, this was too good to pass up at $13 delivered.

I would love to have one of the 2004 Greats Berra autograph cards, but the last one to sell on EBay sold for a C note.  That is too rich for my blood, so a relic card is the next best thing.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

An Unexpected Mail Call

I got an unexpected surprise in the mail yesterday from Napkin Doon.

A few weeks back, Nap posted this card as a pickup from one of Cleve's auctions. I mentioned that I needed the base version of the card for my 2004 Greats of the Game set, but a relic card is an acceptable substitute, so I'd look for something to trade him for it.  Then, I completely forgot about it.

More recently, he posted about how Christian Colon, of the NW Arkansas Naturals, is one of his son's favorite players. The name rang a bell with me, so I checked my 2011 Heritage Minor League binder and, sure enough, I had a Colon jersey card.  Since I wasn't collecting the relic cards as part of my Heritage set, I figured it ought to go to someone who would appreciate it. So, off it went.

Fast forward to yesterday and this card arrived. I guess you could call it all part of an ad hoc trade.  Any ways, this card now brings me up to 18 out of the 29 cards in the Forever insert set.

Thanks, Nap!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August Card Show Haul - Fleer

I was hoping to get a card or two for my 1963 Fleer set.  I need 15 cards to finish the 66 card set, but I really didn't find any that were in decent condition. The ones I did find were low quality, so I passed.  But, I was able to make a little progress on my 1960 and 1961 Fleer sets. I got nine cards total for 1960, including these three below.

I'm not a huge fan of this set. It looks a little like a craft project.  But since I have already started 1961 and 1963, I figure it makes sense to build 1960 as well.  It is a small set, at 80 cards, and the cards are reasonably inexpensive. Only 4 cards (Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb, and Ted Williams) will set you back some coin.  As it stands, I have 24 out of the 80 cards. So, I have a ways to go yet with all of the more expensive cards (except Nap Lajoie) to go.

This next card, from 1961 Fleer, is one of my favorite new cards from the show.

It books out at $80, but I was able to get it for $15, which makes it the third most expensive card I got at the show.  The scan doesn't do it justice, but it is in great shape. Not get-it-graded shape, but really good condition for being over 50 years old.  For this set, I have 60 out of the 154 cards with two of the six expensive cards already in hand (Ty Cobb and Gehrig, above.)

Up next: Screaming deals and dollar boxes.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

August Card Show - 1971

Yesterday was the first day of the August card show. The farrier was out in the morning, so I wasn't able to get to the show until noon time. I was only there for about three hours, but it was a productive and fun three hours, I tell you what.

I'll break this up into three posts.  This first one, as the astute reader may infer from the post title, is about the progress I made on my 1971 set. I ended up picking up a total of 32 cards for the set from three different sellers.  I hit Zach from Wichita and Darryl from OKC and got some screaming deals.  I also bought a few cards from a dealer out of Texas who had some high quality (NRMT+) cards but who's prices were a bit high.  I  probably won't shop him again at future shows,  but in the end it didn't make much difference as I found some absolutely unbelievable deals with a fourth dealer.  bBut more on that later.

So how am I doing on this set?  Very close but also very far. I can start to see the finish line.  I only need one more card to finish the first 4 series. (Aside: I am streaming the Yankees-Blue Jays game while I write this post and I just saw Toronto's Rajai Davis make the most amazing catch to rob Casey McGehee of a home run. It was a thing of beauty. When it comes up on MLB highlights, I'll add a link to it. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.)  For the semi-high number 5th series, I only need 23 more cards.  For the high number sixth series, I need 32 more cards to complete it.

So, overall, I only need 56 more cards to finish the set. But, looking forward, it may be early next year before I finish up.  September and December are the months I need to make my quarterly payments on a bunch of insurance policies and I think my wife and I are taking a vacation in October for our 20th wedding anniversary.  Thinking about it, I may not even be able go to another of the bi-monthly show until February.Wow. I cannot believe I just wrote that.

Up Next:  Fleer.

Added in Edit:  Here is the link to Rajai Davis' catch

Saturday, August 11, 2012

2006 Greats - Packs 13 to 15

Last post from the box of 2006 Fleer Upper Deck Greats of the Game box I got a killer deal on.  The summary of the box is this:  I wasn't fond of the set and I have no plans to build it.  All of the cards are available for trade. You can take one or all. Drop me a line and make me an offer. 

Pack 13

17 - Bruce Sutter - Chicago Cubs
46 - Greg Luzinski - Philadelphia
57 - Kirk Gibson - Detroit
NYY-YB - Yankees Clippings Yogi Berra

NG-JJ - Nickname Greats - Jay "Moon Man" Johnstone

Pack 14

27 - Denny McLain - Detroit
36 - Frank Robinson - Cincinnati
100 - Yogi Berra - NY Yankees

BOS-WB - Red Sox Greats - Wade Boggs
DEC-WC - 90s Greats Will Clark Autograph

There is that fourth hit. Not a bad one, either.  Will the Thrill went out on top. His final year stats were generally right around his career averages.

Pack 15

21 - Carlton Fisk - Boston
31 - Dusty Baker - Los Angeles
78 - Rollie Fingers - Oakland
86 - Stan Musial - St. Louis

LAD-CA - Dodgers Greats Roy Campanella


When this posts I will be done at the card show and, hopefully, sorting through my loot.

2006 Greats - Packs 10 to 12

Alright, I've only got two more of these to knock out. I'm going to get both done and scheduled so I can move on. Going to a show today, so it would be nice to have a clean slate.  So, again, all cards are available for trade. Just give me a shout.

Pack 10

39 - Andre Thornton -Cleveland
59 - Lou Brock - St. Louis

70 - Paul O'Neill - NY Yankees
81 - Ron Santo - Chicago Cubs
DEC-KP - 80s Greats Kirby Puckett - Minnesota

Pack 11

11 - Bob Feller - Cleveland

28 - Don Mattingly - NY Yankees
38 - Fred McGriff - Atlanta
62 - Luis Tiant - Boston
CHC-FJ - Cubs Greats Fergie Jenkins

Pack 12

45 - Graig Nettles - NY Yankees
48 - Jack Clark - San Francisco
75 - Reggie Jackson - NY Yankees

76 - Robin Yount - Milwaukee
DEC-BF - 40s Greats Bob Feller - Cleveland

Yeah. I can't really think of anything to say.  Although, I am down to only needing to post the last three packs in the box and I am still one hit short. Will I get it?  Or will the disclaimer of "4 hits on average" mean that  I will get some number different than 4?  Stay tuned.

Friday, August 10, 2012

2006 Greats - Packs 7 to 9

So, with this post, I will have crossed the half way point in finishing the series of posts about the box of 2006 Fleer Greats I bought.  My ambivalence about this set should be pretty obvious.  It just didn't have the same quality or solid design of it's older brother, 2004.  Combine that with a stupid checklist (base set, multiple parallels, multiple inserts, and multiple parallels of inserts) and my feelings are a big old "Meh."  But, I do have to post because all the cards are available for trade and I need to show 'em to send 'em.

So, here they are.

Pack 7

7 - Bill Mazeroski - Pitsburgh
21 - Carlton Fisk - Boston
29 - Don Newcombe - Brooklyn

89 - Tommy Herr - St. Louis
DEC-EM 50s Greats Eddie Mathews - Milwaukee

Pack 8

9 - Billy Williams - Chicago Cubs

13 - Bobby Doerr - Boston
15 - Boog Powell - Baltimore
42 - Gaylord Perry- San Francisco
DET-GK - Tigers Greats George Kell

Pack 9

51 - Jim Rice - Boston
61 - Luis Aparicio - Chicago White Sox
94 - Tony Perez - Cincinnati
NG-JP - nickname Greats - Joe "Pepi" Pepitone - Chicago Cubs

STL-RS - Cardinals Greats Red Schoendienst

So, there they are.  Two more of these posts to knock out and I can put 2006 Greats of the Game behind me.

Lucky for me this weekend is the bimonthly card show up in OKC, which I will be attending on Saturday. I don't have any particular agenda for the show other than to see if I can knock a few more 71s off my want list and maybe find a vintage dollar box to paw through.  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Surprise Card Show!

It is still hellaciously hot here and, having had 100+ temperatures and no rain for weeks, the area is a tinderbox.  Yesterday, wildfires broke out south of here and, at their closest, were about 4.5 miles away. Needless to say, I have been stressed and in a poor mood lately.  But today, I got a little pick me up.

I had to head up north to get feed and West Nile vaccines. Just a bit further up the road, so to speak, is an LCS that holds a show the first Saturday of every month.  It isn't a big show, usually just 6-8 dealers.  But, I figured I'd stop in and see what was up. I didn't want to spend a ton of money, since next weekend is the two day bi-monthly show in OKC.  I figured I'd just paw threw a few quarter boxes and call it good.  Well, I had a good visit.

In the quarter boxes I found about 8 Heritage inserts that I will need at some point.  I also found some neat Sportflics cards.

This is a neat little card from 1989. Unlike most 3-D cards, which have two images, this one has three images.  And, unlike most multi-player rookie cards, this one has three players that all went on to long and productive MLB careers.

1991 Kellogg's Baseball Greats cards! I am showing Yogi here, but also got the Ernie Banks, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Warren Spahn cards.  I am already a third done with the set!  Maybe I'll build it!

I also found a few vintage cards in the quarter box.

I would have called that a good day, but I found another dealer who had a about 4 cards I actually needed for my 1971 set, including this Tommie Aaron high number card.

With that, I was ready to leave when I spied a stack of 1969 Topps Deckle Edge cards.

The guy made me a sweetheart deal on the entire stack, which was 70 cards. Of course, the deckle insert set was only 33 cards in size and the stack I bought only had 24 unique cards. So, I now have a stack of deckles available for trade including several Maury Wills, Juan Marichal, and Frank Howards.  Any one interested?