Friday, July 13, 2018

1956 Topps Completion Countdown, July 13 Update

Goodness, we are 10 games past the halfway point of the baseball season and I am just watching my second game of the year.  I have to admit I've been paying closer attention to the NBA offseason than the live baseball season.  We broke down and bought a half-season package of tickets for upcoming OKC Thunder season and we are still on the wait list for season tickets.   I've really enjoyed getting into basketball and it is something I can share with my wife.  She is into the Thunder as much, if not more, than me.

I'm going to try and pay more attention to baseball since the NBA regular season will likely start just before, or during the World Series.

Anyways, you aren't here to listen to my laments.  So, let's move on, shall we?

A while back, I mentioned that I was getting close to finishing the 1956 Topps set and was potentially going to look for an affordable (!) Mickey Mantle when I am at The National in August. Since that time, I have not done much of anything hobby-wise in order to conserve money for that show. I did break down recently and bid on some 1956 commons on eBay and managed to snag 4 for about $20 delivered.

With these 4, I am now down to needing 22 cards to finish the set. Even though I am really close to finishing 1972 Topps also (40 cards left), I am going to focus on 1956 for the next few months and hopefully finish it before the end of the year.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

1961 Fleer Autograph Project - Part 17

My project of collecting autographed 1960 through 1963 Fleer cards has been on hiatus for a while. It has been over three months since my last addition, and four months since I last added a 1961.

This doesn't represent a re-start of this project.  Technically, I never ended it such that I would need to restart it.  But, to be sure, it dropped off my priority list as I started to see the end of my 1956 and 1972 Topps sets come into focus. It also doesn't represent a restart in the sense that I am probably going to stop most hobby activity as The National gets closer. I have goals for that show that exceed my normal hobby spend limits.  So, while I do have one other player collection pickup to show, expect it to continue to be quiet hereabouts as I conserve resources.

Not that you could tell given my general lack of blogging even when I am active in the hobby.

Anyhow, I picked up this Joe Sewell for $23 delivered. Sewell played in the majors for 14 years, 11 with Cleveland and 3 with the Yankees. He played on two World Series winning teams; the 1920 Indians during his rookie scampaign and the 1932 Yankees during his penultimate season. He was a talented middle infielder primarily playing shortstop for the Indians and sliding over to third for the Yankees, who had Lynn Lary and Frank Crosetti holding down the 6.  Joe came from a baseball family, with brother Luke clocking in 20 seasons in the majors. Brother Tommy turned had a one game, one at bat career with the Chicago Cubs. Additionally, cousin Rip Sewell had a 13 year pitching career, primarily with the Pirates.  Joe Sewell was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977 by the Veteran's Committee.

You may be wondering how I am doing on this project.  Here is my progress:

Year Total Cards Possible Have Percentage
1960 79 40 7 17.5%
1961 154 95 17 17.9%
1963 66 66 63 95.5%
Total 299 201 87 43.3%

What I am listening to: Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Knight & The Pips

Goodness, 40 years later, she's still got it!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Closer Still

Since my last post, I've acquired more 1956 Topps cards.  A few through trades, but most through Ebay set break auctions.  I've not been posting as I have been busy at work and various projects around the farm.  But, three more arrived today and, since we had a major rain storm today there is little I can do outside tonight.  So, I am going to post the 3 '56s that showed up today:

I am not quite sure what to make of Sherm Lollar's sneer, so I'll just put him in the binder and move on. With these three, I am down to needing 26 cards to finish my 1956 set.

On a related note, last week I booked my flights to Cleveland so I can go to the National show.  My parents live in Cleveland, so I'll be flying in on Friday, crashing at their place and attending the show on Saturday and Sunday. I don't fly out until Tuesday morning, so I am considering running out to the Cedar Point amusement park on Monday.

My goals for the National are to look for one or more of the three 1963 Fleer's I don't have in autographed form (Clemente, Boyer, Farrell) and or finding an affordable 1956 Topps Mickey Mantle. That's it. Obviously, once I get there, who knows what will happen.  But, I am mainly going just to see what it is all about and work on my hard-to-finish projects.

Anyone else going?

What I am listening to:  Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley and k.d. lang

Friday, May 11, 2018

Coming Into View

If my blog has accurately followed my collecting, I have been working on 1956 Topps since August of  2011. I never expected that I would finish the set, but nearly 7 years on I am finally getting within striking distance of just that.

With these 4 cards, I am down to needing 43 cards to finish the set. I have most of the bigger stars like Aaron, Clemente, and Mays.  The biggest names I lack are Mantle and Koufax.  I am getting close to pulling the trigger on an airline ticket to Cleveland for the National Show and I think that would be a great place to look for affordable copies of one or both of those two.

What I am listening to: Angel From Montgomery by Tedeschi Trucks Band and Bonnie Raitt


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Blog Bat Around - All Autograph Team

Via Night Owl, I learned about a Blog Bat Around started by Torren' Up Cards about an All Autograph Team. I am primarily a vintage set collector and though autographs are mostly not my focus, I do have a small project of collecting autographed versions of the 1960 to 1963 Fleer baseball sets.  Of course, like any collector, I do come across autographs at shows or in the occasion modern hobby box that catches my eye.  

I reckoned that doing an all start autograph post would be easy using just my signed vintage Fleers and quite a bit harder using anything but those cards. So, I decided to try to do both. Luckily, most of my autographs have been posted here, so I just had to cut and paste links. So, this went quicker than I thought.


First Base

Second Base


Third Base

Right Field


Left Field


That was fun!

April Card Show

It has been a while since I went to a card show.  The bi-monthly OKC show was yesterday, although I wasn't planning on going.  Earlier this spring, we had someone come in with some heavy equipment and clean up an overgrown fence line next to the house and knock over/bury a ramshackle old loafing shed out by the barn.  I've been steadily working to put new fencing in, but progress has slowed with the NBA playoffs going on. My plan for Saturday was to prep the fence line so that I can get started dropping posts in during the week.  Alas, it was raining when I woke up and the forecast was for more of the same until evening. So, I decided to go to the show.

My main goal was to make some progress on my 1972 Topps set, for which I am only 47 cards away from completing. Secondary goals would be to make some headway on any of the several other sets I have in some notable state of completion (1955, 1956, 1968, 1970.)

The show was sparsely populated with a dearth of both sellers and customers.  But, my main vintage guy was there and I settled in at his table.  He didn't have many 72s and none that I needed.  37 of the 47 remaining 1972s I need are high and semi-high numbers, so progress has slowed down considerably. I get skunked more often than not and when I do knock some off the want list, it usually is only a handful of cards.

So, without much luck there, I turned attention to the secondary sets.  I was similarly blanked on 1970, where over half of the remaining 144 cards I need are high and semi-high numbers.  Luckily, that is where my bad luck ended (until, at least, the evening Thunder-Jazz game. Hoo-boy.)

I managed to find 47 cards I needed for the 1968 set I started recently when I won an auction for a reasonably priced starter set.  I now have 348 of the 598 cards; good for about 58% completion.  I already have the Mickey Mantle card in the set, but lack the Nolan Ryan rookie card.

I also managed to locate 8 cards for my 1955 set and I stand at having 116 of the 206 cards; good for 56% completion. That sounds pretty good until you understand that Al Rosen is the biggest star I have in a set that includes Sandy Koufax and Roberto Clemente's rookie cards.  Needless to say, this set will take years to complete. And when I use the plural of year, I don't mean 2 or 3.  This will probably be a five plus year project.

1956 Topps is another story.   I managed to find 12 cards I needed, bringing me up to 86% complete (295 of 342 cards are in my possession.)  With this set, I do actually have a number of the major star cards including Ted Williams, Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, and Roberto Clemente.  The major cards I don't have yet are Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax, Pee Wee Reese, and the second checklist card.

Looking back through my history, it seems I picked up my first 1956 cards during the summer of 2011. Which means I have been working on this set for 7 years now.  That Mantle card will hurt, but it would be cool to finish in under 10 years. So, I am going to start planning ahead. 

Note: I have a handful of 1955 and 1956 duplicates if anyone is working on the set and has a wantlist.  Condition is low to mid-grade.

So, that is about it. I am still keeping my eye out for affordable autographed 1961 Fleer cards and  I am planning on hitting a couple of local card shops in May to work on 1968. But, I don't expect to go to the June card show since the main vintage vendor will not be there.  I'll probably skip August also, since it will be only two weeks before our annual fall trip to Cedar Point and I'm going to save money for Fast Lane passes so we don't have to wait in interminably long lines to ride the roller coasters.

It is possible I will head to Cleveland in early August for the National Show, but I haven't decided yet. So, I cannot speak to the level of blogging activity in the months ahead. Not that it would be all that noticeable given that I have been averaging about two posts a month for the last 4 years.

What I am listening to: Family System by Chevelle

Sunday, April 1, 2018

New PC Addition

It has been a while since I added anything to my Paul Blair player collection.  But, something came up recently that I didn't have.

Strictly speaking, I have this card already. It is from Upper Deck's 2004 Timeless Team set.  It is one of two different cards featuring Paul Blair: one as a member of the 1969 Orioles and another as a member of the 1970 Orioles.  Yeah, I don't get that either.  

Anyways, these cards come in a number of variations.  There is, of course, the base card version. Then there is a bronze version numbered to 50, which is the card above.  Then there is a gold version numbered to 5 and a platinum 1/1.  Additionally, there is an autographed version. I have all but the platinum 1/1 for the 1970 team version.  For the 1969 team card, I only have the base and the autographed versions.  I probably have seen the others, but didn't recognize them. In my Ebay searches I tend to scan images quickly and zoom in on anything that isn't familiar.  With a total of 16 saved searches, there isn't much choice. But, I guess I need to change that now.

What I am listening to: Caleb Meyer by Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings