Monday, April 30, 2012

April Card Show Haul - 1971

My big disappointment with this show was the almost complete lack of progress I made on my 1971 set. I managed to pick up a grand total of 57 cards, but only 19 of those were new-to-me. The other 38 were just upgrades of the worst of the cards (GD and lower) in the starter set I bought. There was a fair number of semi-high numbers in my purchase, but almost no high numbers.

The Reggie in my starter set looked like it had been used as a dog toy or teething ring. This is a pretty clean copy and, best of all, it only cost me $20. Not bad considering that my main vintage go-to guy usually charges between 50% to 80% of book ($50 for this card) for cards in the Near Mint to Mint range.

I normally think of Hall 0f Famer Steve Carlton as a Phillie and it is always a bit of a shock when I am reminded he had spent all or part of 7 different season with the Cardinals before being traded to Philadelphia straight up for Rick Wise. That has to rank up there as one of the worst trades of all time. Fun Fact: Carlton was a decent hitter as pitchers go, sporting a .201 career BA with 13 home runs to his credit.

I think this card cost me another $20. Again, not too bad considering it books at $80. Although, I have to admit that I have a visceral reaction to having to buy Pete Rose cards. But, if I am going to put together sets from the 1970s I am going to have to get over that.

I'm not sure what tickles me more about this card: that they tinted the picture Red or that they used a picture showing the back of Angel Bravo's uniform.

I have to admit it, Jim Palmer is one of my favorite contemporary game announcers who isn't named Ken Singleton. That is all.

Rookie Cup and semi-high number!

This will probably be the nicest condition Roberto Clemente card I will ever own.

Not sure why I chose this one, other than he was one of the better players in my 71 haul. Speaking of lopsided trades, the Royals got Otis, along with Bob Johnson from the Mets in 1969 in exchange for Joe Foy. Amos went on to be a Royals stalwart for years, Foy only had two more lackluster years in the Bigs and only one of those was with the Mets.

One of the great power hitters of his time, Frank Howard. Known as "The Capital Punisher" during his time with the Washington Senators.

So, those were the highlights. Generally, slim pickings. Roger Neufeldt offered to let me come out to his warehouse this week, where he has boxes of 1971 commons. I haven't decided what to do quite yet. I've got a number of real life things that need to be taken care of before I start my new job and I am not sure I want to spare the time and money at the moment. Especially given the cost of the cards I need to work on.

Since there wasn't much to chose from with regard to 71s, I shifted my focus at the show to knocking off as much of 1976 as I could and I largely succeeded in doing so.  But, we'll talk about that in a day or so.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Show Haul

I am back from the card show and I am a little hungover, although that has nothing do with that Left Hand Polestar Pilsner.

My plan went out the window pretty much from the git-go. Roger Neufeldt, of Sports Memories of Oklahoma, was there but didn't have the opportunity to grab his 1971 commons before heading to the show this morning. So, I ended up changing my focus from just 1971 to both 1971 and 1976. Also, since my severance buy-out from my former employer arrived in my checking account overnight, I decided to splurge on a hobby box of 2012 Heritage and one big ticket card. I haven't decided yet how many posts I am going to milk out of this haul. But, I need to figure it out right quick because I am itching to get these cards put into their respective binders.

Friday, April 27, 2012

R.I.P. Moose

Card Show Goals

I'm so excited about this weekend's card show, I can barely stand myself. I've got my want lists together and just need to get through the rest of the day. My priorities for the show are fairly simple. I don't need to hit all of these to consider it a successful show. If I can do a credible job on the first two, I'll be happy.

  1. 1971 Topps - I need 111 cards to complete the set, 101 of which are the semi-high and high numbers. I also have 78 cards I would like to upgrade into the EX+ range. My focus tomorrow will be on knocking off some of those semi-high and high numbers I need and upgrade some of the worst of the low numbers. I harbor no illusions that I will be able to complete the set. I won't have enough coin with me to do so, even if all the cards were available.

  2. 1976 Topps - I only need 91 cards to finish this set. My intent for tomorrow is to try and knock off a lot of the commons I need. My approach to building sets is to get as many commons as I can at a card shop here in Norman, then repeat at another card shop up in OKC, then hit the bimonthly show. I then repeat the cycle with the stars in the set and finish up getting whatever is left on the want list (usually 10 or less cards) at COMC. Since I am not yet at the end of the search for commons, I'll likely stay away from the stars tomorrow, and hit the LCS sometime in the next few weeks.

  3. 1956 Topps - This is the one set I am actively working where I am not overly concerned about condition, so I'll probably just pick up a few 1956 cards out of the discount boxes and call it good.

  4. Dime/Quarter/Dollar boxes - I'll probably go through some of these boxes looking for trade bait and other cards that might catch my fancy.

  5. 1960s Fleer - I have started on 1963 Fleer set but can be a bit expensive since it was the first Fleer set printed with contemporary stars. I may see if I can find some 1960 and/or 1961 Fleer cards, which are far less expensive since they were really "stars of the past" sets. Indeed, I would expect to find 60/61 Fleers in the dollar boxes. So this goal may well be a subsidiary goal of the one above it.
So, there it is. I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. I hope I can sleep tonight.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mail Call - The End of the EBay Splurge

As I mentioned previously, when I knew I was getting a job offer, I went a little nuts on EBay and bought five different cards for my two player collections.  The last one came in today.

2000 Upper Deck Legendary Lumber Silver Paul Blair (with guest appearance by Sweet Lou Pinella)

This is a nice card. While most bat relic cards seem to be a rectangular piece of wood exposed by a cut out in the top layer of the card. This one is different.  There is still a cut out, but the edge is where the black square meets the blue border.  The wood remnant was actually cut in the shape shown and is raised above the lower layer of the card. Me likey.

And, on a final note, I received two job offers in the last two days and I have officially accepted one.  What does that mean in the grand scheme of things?  It means I am going to the two day bimonthly card show up in OKC this Saturday.  This will be my first show since October and I am stoked.  I am already getting want lists together and will hopefully have my priorities/goals set tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Back in the EBay Saddle, Part 2

A couple more of the EBay purchases for my Johnny Antonelli player collection showed up today. 

This is from a 1983 set by the Larry Fritsch Company commemorating the 1953 Milwaukee Braves. The Braves finished second in the NL that year, 13 games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers. So, I have to assume it is because 1953 was the first year the Braves played in Milwaukee, having been in Boston prior to that. This is a nice little card, although it is slightly larger than a standard card and does not fit into a standard 9 pocket sheet.


This is a 1955 Red Man tobacco card, with the redemption tab still intact. A few months back I got a couple of Red Man Antonelli's from Napkin Doon, although those were from 1954. The portrait is the exact same on the cards from both years, although the background is different. You can see the 1954 cards in this post for comparison.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mail Call - Back in the EBay Saddle

So, when I got the news that I was going to be getting a job offer, I went a little nuts. Besides hitting two local LCS that have good selections of vintage, I decided to do a little EBaying to add some cards to my Paul Blair and Johnny Antonelli player collections. I either won or hit the BIN on 5 items and the first two came in today.

It looks like your run of the mill 1976 Topps card, but if you look closely a the left side of the card, you will see a rough edge that is typical of O-Pee-Chee cards of that era.

I snagged this little honey for 8.99, which may be overpaying. The book value on 1955 Golden Stamps run from $20 for the big stars to $2 for regular players. I don't have a subscription to Beckett and there isn't a Antonelli stamp at COMC, so I am not sure what the book is on this one. But, I don't care in the slightest. I like this stamp real well. As far as the slab? I'm going to bust this bad boy out of the PSA slab. I like having my collection in Ultra Pro sheets, and I really don't give a rip for having things graded. I will be freeing it from it's plastic jail. Oh, yes I will.

That is all for now.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mail Call from Napkin Doon

I got a package in the mail today from the mysterious Napkin Doon. I had sent his son, who is a big Star Wars fan, the duplicates from my wife's card collection. Although it wasn't necessary, Nap sent some cards back to help me with my 1976 set.

This post is going to be a little slap-dash since the first Yankees-Red Sox game of the season is on ESPN. But, let me state for the record, that my lack of effort on this post is not indicative of a lack of appreciation. I was thrilled as all get out to knock these cards off my want list.

I'm surprised he sent this, since he is a huge Rangers fan. But, I am glad he did.

The man that inspired the surgery!

El Tiante! As far as I am concerned, He really should be in the Hall of Fame. It isn't his fault he had to labor all those years in Boston.

Father of Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar and long time backup catcher, Sandy Jr.

Hall of Famer and winner of sixteen consecutive Golden Gloves. Those Oriole teams of the early to mid 1970s must have been something else with Gold Glovers Robinson, Bobby Grich, Mark Belanger, and Paul Blair holding down half of the non-pitching positions.

Okay. That's it. Back to the Yankees game! Thanks Nap!


The following Paul Blair card popped up on EBay the other day. I had never seen it before, so I decided to try and snag it.

Now, I can buy Paul Blair autographed cards all day long for $5 to $15. Further, other cards from this set, of bigger stars, have a Beckett book between $15 and $25. So, I figured my max bid would be around $8 and that ought to be enough to win the auction.

Was I ever wrong. Last night, about 3 hours before the auction closed, I went to check out where it was at and put my bid in. Imagine my surprise when I found that the bidding was already over $26. Even though it was an apparently rare card; one that I had never known existed until a few days ago, that was too rich for my blood. Well, if that wasn't shocking enough, this morning I checked to see what the final bid was. I was amazed to see that it ended up selling for $68.33.

I just don't see the value there. I will grant that seller has a reputation for posting inflated book values, but he only listed it at a BV of $25. He is also fairly well known for shill bidding and one of the initial bids does have all the hallmarks of being a shill. But, I don't see any clear evidence that the later, higher bids were shilled. I guess there must just be some folks out there that are willing to fork over a pile of green for this card. SMH.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

2012 Goals, Revisited

Since I am getting back to collecting again, I figured it was time to revisit my 2012 goals and see if my 4 month hiatus changes anything. So, let's get to it.

Sets I am working on now that I want to finish

  • 1971 Topps - there is a show next weekend in OKC and my intent is to focus on this set. I still have a fair number of semi-high and high numbers to go, so I doubt I will finish it there, but hopefully I can get myself in striking distance. I'll keep this goal for the year.

  • 1976 Topps - I've taken a big chunk out of this over the last few days and only have 91 cards to go. I may pick up some next weekend, but it won't be a priority. I still have to go back to one of my local LCS to go through his 1970s Stars box. Once that is done, I'll try to get close at a show over the summer, and knock off the balance on COMC. This should be done this year.

  • At least 1 of the 3 Heritage sets I am working on (2001, 2002, 2011) - Not so sure about this one. Given that I overwhelmingly need short prints, and the SPs are pricey on COMC and Sportlots, I think my best strategy here is to bid low on those U-Pick-10 auctions on EBay and hope to get them on the cheap. Given that, I am going to drop this goal for the year.

  • Sets I want to start and finish

  • 1975 Topps - I won't start on 1975 until 1976 is complete, so I am probably looking at a late summer/early fall start. Not sure it is realistic to expect to finish it within the year, but I am going to keep this one for now.

  • 2012 Heritage - Definitely going to drop this one for the year. I'll buy some retail and may splurge on a hobby box, but I don't feel a huge urgency to work on this one. I'll probably just treat this one like the other Heritage sets I am working on and only work on them when it can be done at a discount.

  • 2010 Obak - I've already started it, and don't have that many base cards to go, so I'll add finishing the base set as a new goal. I'd like to also complete the T4 cabinet cards and the T212 minis, but that will definitely take some time and is not realistic for this year.

  • Sets I want to continue working on

  • 1956 Topps - the nice thing about having a goal to continue working on a set is that I really only need to buy one card to achieve this goal. I'm pretty sure I can achieve that. Verdict: Keep.

  • 1963 Fleer - Since this is a small set (67 cards, of which I have 27), I'd like to knock a bunch of this off this off during the year. However, since there are 6 cards that I need with book values over a C-Note (Brooks Robinson, Willie Mays, Carl Yastrzemski, Joe Adcock, Roberto Clemente, and the checklist) I don't expect I'll finish it anytime soon.

  • Sets I want to start

  • 1973 Topps - Technically, I've already started 73 with a trade earlier in the year with Ted at Crinkly Wrappers. I'm going to call this goal achieved and not do anything with it until I have both 1971 and 1975 complete. So, finishing it is the first of my 2013 goals.

  • 1961 Fleer - This is a new goal I just added. One of my local LCS has a stack of about 20 cards from this set that he has been sitting on for years. I am inclined to grab them and make working this set a long term project.

  • Miscellaneous Goals

  • Add to my Paul Blair and Johnny Antonelli player collections. I've already added a few Blair cards this year. I need to ramp back up on what I need for Antonelli and will probably add a few as the opportunity strikes.

  • Do not buy any 2012 product except Heritage - I have no interest in any current set other than Heritage. In fact, I am so ambivalent about the 2011 Series 1,2, Update, and Lineage that I am in the process of taking them out of binders and putting them in boxes. The binders and sheets have more intrinsic value to me than the cards. Lesson learned.

  • Back in the Saddle

    So, with the news that I was going to be getting a job offer, I headed out to a local card shop to pickup where I left off last December, when I was notified of my coming layoff. Where I left off was working on the 1976 set. I ended up getting around 200 cards for my set.

    A couple of teammates from the great A's teams of the early '70s.

    A couple of teammates from the great Orioles teams from 1969 to 1971.

    I always show Bucky Dent, just to tweek the Red Sox fans out there. 1978, baby? Do ya remember? I do. I was watching that game in the basement and went absolutely nuts when he hit that home run, even though a few minutes earlier I was cursing Bob Lemon for not pinch hitting for him.

    I always show Fergie, too. We have something in common. We both come from the area around Lake Ontario (though different sides) and both fell in love with the red dirt of Oklahoma and make our home here.

    Now we come to the great nickname section of the post.




    Now we conclude the great nickname section and move on to the great given name section of the post:

    You know I would have to show Dick Pole because, to quote the scene from Intolerable Cruelty shown below: "They never grow up, they just get tubby." While I am convinced most men are still really just 9 year olds playing at being grown up, I think it is even more true for us. Seriously, we collect baseball cards.What other proof is needed?

    If I am going to show Dick Pole, I have to show Pete LaCock, amirite?

    I always wanted to show Bill Stein because the friend I used to trade cards and play Topps with as a kid was named Bill Stein.

    And now we get to my one big ticket splurge:

    I'm not a huge fan of the 1961 design, but this card is in fantastic condition. It could have come out of a pack 5 minutes ago, as nice at it is. Obviously, the centering isn't perfect, but I am not a stickler for centering. As long as there is visible border all the way around the card, I'm happy. And, it is Mr. Cub himself.

    I ended up going to a second local card shop yesterday and picked up another stack of 1976 cards to get myself within striking distance of finishing the set. More on that tomorrow.

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    I Haz a Happee!

    Got a call today from one of the companies I interviewed with last week letting me know their intent to make a job offer later this week and feeling me out about my salary requirements. Let's call them Company A. My preferred job is with Company B. However, as luck would have it, Company B is a mostly owned subsidiary of Company A so everyone knows what is up and, with any luck, I may have two written offers on my desk by the end of the week. At the very least, I will have one.

    That called for a celebration. So, I went to a card shop! I didn't go wild. I mainly just pawed through several boxes of 1976 commons and knocked off a good size chunk of my want list. But, since commons seemed so....common, I splurged on one big ticket card.

    Alas, I have chores to take care of, so I will have to post later, but suffice it to say:

    Thursday, April 12, 2012

    New Paul Blair Card

    I know I am supposed to be sworn off buying cards until I am re-employed, but I couldn't let this one pass me by.

    I have been wanting to add this card to my Paul Blair player collection for some time. Unfortunately, the only one I was ever able to find was on EBay and the seller had it set as a Buy It Now listing with a price of $12.99 plus $6.00 for shipping. Now I want this card, but it can't be worth more than a dollar. There is no way I would drop $12.99 on it and, frankly, six dollars for shipping a single card is outrageous. So, when an autographed version came up for auction with free shipping, I was obviously interested. After waiting nearly a year for one to come up that wasn't priced outrageously, I wasn't about to let a little matter like losing the farm (literally) stand in the way.

    I kid. The final price was $8, which wouldn't break the bank one way or the other. And now I have it.

    As far as my job search goes, this has been a positive week. My second interview on Monday for one job went well, and I was told they should be making a decision and offer next week. On Tuesday, I had a first interview at another company and it went well. One of the interviewers dropped some hints that they would probably be making an offer. I didn't get a real good vibe off the place, but beggars can't be chosers at this point. As it is, I have another interview scheduled tomorrow morning for a third job, so I hope to have some options here in the near future. I'm ready to be a productive member of society again.

    Saturday, April 7, 2012

    Can't Afford Food? Buy Cards

    Okay, that is a bit of an exaggeration. I am generally swore off buying cards until I am employed again. I have bought a rack pack of Heritage, but felt guilty, so I am giving them away as the opportunity presents itself. So, what is the post about?

    Well, when I knew that I was leaving my last job, I needed to get a cell phone as I have only ever had one through work. The phone I ended up getting came with a $50 dollar refund in the form of a VISA debit card. That debit card arrived last week and I had to figure out how best to use it. I started off buying Super-Mega prescription strength flea and tick collars for my dogs which came to $38.97. I spent another $4.97 on postage sending out some trade packages.

    That left me $6.06 to go wild with. I didn't want to be one of those guys in line at Target saying "Put X dollars on this card and Y dollars on this other card, so I decided that 6 bucks wasn't going to be missed one way or the other. So, I splurged on one of those U-Pick-10 auctions on EBay and ended up winning. I focused on the 2011 Heritage inserts and my winning bid was $5.99 with free shipping. So, here they are:

    Yeah, that is nine. That is all I can fit on the scanner and was feeling too lazy to scan the tenth card. If you really care to know, and I don't blame you if you don't, it was a News Flashback unrelated to baseball. As you have probably surmised I was also too lazy to shoop the scan down into individual cards.

    Yeah, I phoned this one in.

    See what I did there? Phoned it in. Get it? Phoned it in. Because I bought these cards with my phone rebate. Funny, huh?

    No? I'll get my hat.

    Trade with Baseball Dad

    Today was another good day. Two packages arrived in the mail. One was a trade package from Baseball Dad and the other was from an EBay purchase. Now, the EBay purchase may be raising a few eyebrows since I said I wasn't spending any money on cards until I was back working. But, technically, I didn't spend any money, so it is all good. But, I'll explain that in another post.

    Baseball Dad and I completed another trade recently. Since we are probably two of the few bloggers who are working on 2010 Tristar OBAK, so we swapped a few cards.

    Self-explanatory. Frederick Thayer invented the catchers mask in 1877 and, at least according to the card back, James Tyng was the first to wear it. However, when you look up James Tyng on Baseball-Reference he is shown as a pitcher.

    Caleb Bradham, founder of Pepsi-Cola.

    T212 mini of Connie Mack, Tactician. Whenever I see this card, I always think of the following scene from one of the more underrated Coen Brothers movies, Intolerable Cruelty.

    Jack also set three 2011 Heritage cards off my want list.

    What is significant here is that all three are short prints. So, once again, I am overwhelmed by card blogger's generosity. When I get back going to card shows, I am going to need to keep an eye out for something nice for everyone's favorite Baseball Dad.

    Thanks, Jack.