Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saved by the Mail

The last time I was up at Al's Sportscards in Edmond I signed up for his email list.  Earlier this week, I got an email from him about his mini-show next weekend and the email also mentioned he just bought a vintage collection that included about 72 total 1971 high number cards.  So, I made my way up there today to check it out.  I am 19 cards from finishing the 1971 set.  Of those 18 are high numbers (the other is Bob Gibson, card 450.)  

When I asked to see what he had, he reported to me that they had already been picked over a few days previously. Undeterred, I set the binder down on a clear section of counter and leafed through the pages.  Sure enough, about half the cards remained and, woe is to me, none of them were cards I needed.  So, I handed him back the binder, thanked him for his time, and left.  Now, it wouldn't be so bad if Al's was in my town, but Edmond is nearly an hour drive from Norman. So, almost two hours out of my day to come up emptyhanded. 

All the way back south, I contemplated stopping by The Dugout, my hometown card shop, and paw through his 1973 commons. It seemed I had the itch and needed to scratch it.  In the end, though, I decided to just head back home.  There is a two day show in OKC the weekend of March 9 and I decided to save my money for that show in the hopes of having better luck finishing off my 1971 set.

My disappointment was not total as one of my recent Ebay purchases arrived in the mail today.

I was only vaguely aware of this cards existence and the auction I won was the the first time I believe I have ever seen this card for sale.  It is the 94th unique card in my Paul Blair player collection and I am tickled to death to have it.

I still have about 4 more EBay shipments coming as I went on a full court press to finish my 1974-75 Loblaws hockey sticker album with the last of the money I collected by selling off my Topps Heritage sets. But, more on that later in the week.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Trade with Thoughts and Sox

This post is waaayyyyy overdue.  I am busier than a one-armed paper hanger at work, and have been having to deal with a lame horse at home this week.  It is generally bed time once I have completed all my chores and had dinner.  I have two trade packs that should have gone out a couple weeks ago, but time has been scarce.   To the intended recipients, sorry about that.  Even weekends have been full.  I will do my level best to get them out to you this weekend.

As you may recall, I have been trying to reduce the number of cards I have around here. Adam over at Thoughts and Sox was good enough to take a number of Red Sox duplicates off my hands. And, I got a couple of Sox back.

Even though I havenn't formally started on 1975 Topps yet, I am always up for trading for some.  I am close to finishing 1971 and have a running start on 1973, so `I expect to start building 1975 in earnest later this year.  Maybe as soon as the summer, but possibly as late as winter.  So, I was pleased as heck when Adam said he could send a couple of 75s my way. Imagine my reaction when one of them was this mint Fisk All-Star card.  I may have cried a tear of joy.

So, many thanks, Adam!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Closer by One

My plan to finish off my 1971 set with money I got from selling off my partial Heritage sets ran into a complication when one shipment went horribly astray and the package arrived damaged. I ended up refunding the guy his money and letting him keep the cards.  But, it did put a hole in the budget, so I am still chipping away.  However, the goods new is that, today, another card towards completion landed in my mail box.

Best of all, it was the last of the really expensive cards left on my want list.  Oh, all the remaining cards, being high numbers, are expensive. But, with a book value of $80, this was the most so.

But, having said that, I did fairly well with this.  I have watched card after card in similar condition sell for $60 or more on Ebay. I was able to snag this for about half that price.  The difference?  That little circular flaw next to the S in OUTFIELDERS.  Frankly, that is so minor I am a bit astounded I managed to get this so (relatively) cheap. So, with this I am down to needing 19 more cards to finish the set.  I am hoping to have it done in March.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Joy of Completed Pages

The "Joy of a Completed Page" post is not original to me.  So many card bloggers use it that I suppose that it's origins have been lost in the mists of time. Nonetheless, since I have few original ideas and little to talk about, I am going to appropriate it's use and add my own little twist.

Part of my morning routine, apart from feeding our horses, is to check the new EBay auctions that cropped up over the previous 24 hours for various items I am looking for.  One of the saved searches I have is for the 1974/75 Loblaws hockey stickers.  My progress had stopped when I couldn't any reasonably priced lots of stickers. I would see a lot of single stickers posted for the low, low price of 1.29 and 3.00 shipping. But, having vowed to spend no more than a dime on commons, I gave them a pass.  There was also auctions for small groups of 3 to 12, and for single strips of unperforated stickers.  But, again, the prices were too high for my liking.

But, one day last week, while reviewing the new auctions, I came across one that I couldn't refuse. It was for about 40 unperforated strips and several hundred individual stickers.  It was an auction, but had a Buy-It-Now price of $25.  So, without hesitating, I hit the BIN and bought them. They arrived on Monday, and I have spent most of the past two evening sorting through them and updating my album. I have made excellent progress overall.  There are 324 total stickers in the set and, after this auction win, I am down to needing 46 to go to complete it.  I still have some big names to go like Bobby Clarke, Bobby Orr, and Stan Makita.  And the Bobby Orr will be expensive as I have never seen one on EBay for less than $10. But, luckily, I have other big names like the entire Sabre's French Connection line (Rick Martin, Rene Robert, and Gilbert Perreault), Guy Lafleur and Bernie Parent.

But, the real joy of this lot was the completed pages.

Interestingly, I have completed both expansion teams that joined the NHL in the 1974-75 season.

The Washington Capitals still exist, although they have never won a Stanley Cup. They did actually make it to the finals in 1998, but were swept by the Detroit Red Wings.

The Kansas City Scouts only played for two years and, after the 1975-76, season moved to Denver and became the Rockies.  In 1982, the team moved again, becoming the still active New Jersey Devils.

So, there you have it. Three (3!) completed pages. Things may get quiet around here. Due to some some unforeseen circumstances, my wife and I have some family obligations we need to deal with.  And, since I am lousy at coming up with original content when pressed for time (which is all of the time now,) I probably won't have a lot to talk about.  But, I will still be reading your blogs!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Off-Centered Trade

As I stated in yesterday's card show post, I also received a trade package in the mail.

A while back, I decided to try and put together the 1974/75 Loblaws hockey stamp collection I worked on as a kid. I've purchased several large lots of the stickers and had/have a fair amount of duplicates. Justin, over at Off-Centred expressed interest and we worked out a trade where I got four of the T212 mini short prints I needed for my 2009 Obak set.

 Joe Bauman holds the minor league single season home record, with 72 taters for the Roswell Rockets in 1954 (He also hit an even .400 that season.)  Bauman,  a native Oklahoman, never made the majors.

 Jose can you seeeee........

 Bo knows Chicks. Memphis Chicks to be exact.

Bing Crosby never played pro ball, but was part owner of the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League for a time.

Making progress on Obak is always cool. Not many people collected Obak, so there isn't a lot of ready made trade partners out there.  So, it was pretty thrilling to find out Justin was able to help me tackle my want list.  But, he wasn't done. No sir, he was not.

He set a couple of these Upper Deck Champs cards. I haven't followed hockey in a number of years, but have considered getting back into it. I suppose it seems odd that I would be collecting vintage hockey stickers when I don't follow the sport. But, I have to admit, collecting the Loblaws hockey stickers had more to do with reconnecting with a pleasant part of my childhood rather than the sport itself.  I don't know how to express it, but when I sort through those stickers and paste them in the album, there is a very visceral and emotional connection to my youth. It is almost as if I am there again. It is hard to explain, but I expect that most of the card blogging community, who are approximately the same age as I am, understand.  But, I digress.

I do want to get back into following hockey, butwith the Oklahoma City Thunder being one of the best NBA teams, I have also considered getting back into following basketball.  The problem is that I don't get basketball like I do baseball or, to a lesser extent, hockey.  I mean, I understand the broad rules and play of basketball, but that knowledge really hasn't advanced any since I was a child.  So, I may just have to keep basketball in my peripherals and zero back in on hockey.

If I do, it would be fun to put together the two sets that the two cards above are from. They are pretty sharp cards. I particularly like the bottom card, from the 2008-2009 set.

Finally, Justin sent along, with an apology, the following relic card:

While it is no secret that AJ Burnett never really panned out as a Yankee, I do not share most Yankee fans loathing of the man.  He was always a solid teammate, always took the ball when it was his turn, and never blamed his woes on anyone but himself.  I think he mainly struggled with the hyper media market in New York and let it affect his confidence. When he was pitching well, he was unhittable. But, when things went bad he had a hard time pulling himself back out of the rut.  I really think a loss of confidence coupled with bearing down way too hard was the main issue.

I was very pleased to see the solid season he had last year with Pittsburgh. It started out as a typical AJ season.  He threw 7 innings of 3 hit, shutout ball in his first start of the season, and then gave up 6 hits and 2 earned runs in a 6 inning loss in his second start.  His third start was a clanker though.  He gave up 12 (twelve!) earned runs in 2.2 innings.  I was afraid his season was going down the tubes already.  But, he got back on track right quick and was the legitimate ace of the Buc's staff the rest of the season.  With Russell Martin now joining Burnett on the Pirates, I think I am going to adopt them as my NL team this season.

So, this card will take a place of honor in a binder on the same sheet as my Robinson Cano and CC Sabathia A&G relics.  No need to apologize, Justin, I love this card! A most excellent trade. Thank you!

What I am listening to: Green Onions by Booker T and the MGs.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February's Mini-Card Show Mini-Haul

I did end up going to the card show up at Al's Sportscards in Edmond. There was only 5 dealers there, which is only a slight decrease from the normal 6 to 7.  One of my main connections for vintage goodness, Bill from Wichita, wasn't there today. So, I only spent about an hour at the show, spending about $50 on 8 cards.  I was hoping to knock off some 1971s, but didn't find any. My backup plan for 1960s Fleer cards also failed. But, for the most part, I did stick close to my collecting wheelhouse.

I got two of the 1968 Topps game cards. I now have 19 of the 33 cards in that insert series.

There was also one guy there who had a box of vintage cards for $5 each. I pawed through for the best condition cards and got the 3 above. I probably overpaid for the Gilliam, but feel like I got a screaming deal on the Roberts. Pedro, is the 49th 1956 card in my collection. Coincidentally, the card number is also 49.  Woooooo!!!!! Spooky!!!!!!   He had another 6 1956 cards that were in decent shape except for some obvious water stains near the bottom. After some deliberation, I decided to put them back and reserve any leftover funds for the March OKC show. 

I also picked up a couple of 1973s. I have already started on 1973, after a fashion, with a big trade with Ted of the now mothballed Crinkly Wrappers last year. So, even though I have vowed to not start 73 in earnest until I finish 71, I did get these two since they were being sold for a great price considering their condition.

And now we come to my one big purchase, which set me back 20 bones.

Granted I am not working on 1972 at the moment, even nominally. But, I will probably get to it late this year or early in 2014, so I didn't wander that far in the weeds with this pickup. But, I really have a hard time leaving a playing-days Willie Mays behind.  I actually now 7 playing-days cards of the Say Hey Kid (1962, 1969, 1969 Deckle Edge, 1971, 1972, 1973 Topps, and 1963 Fleer.)

So, overall, I am happy with my short stay at the show. But, the day was to get better when I found a trade package in the mail. More on that tomorrow.

What I am listening to:  Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning by Willie Nelson.