Friday, June 28, 2013

Visiting an Old Friend

It has been about three months since I have blogged about my first hobby love, the 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game. I've picked up a few cards here and there, but haven't blogged about because I have been fairly busy with that part of life that takes place between card shows.  However, I recently won a couple of EBay auctions for some '04 GOTG for some unbelievably cheap bids. I managed to snag three more insert cards I needed towards completion. 

With these two cards, I am down to needing nine more cards from the 29 card Forever insert set

The last time I posted about this set, I didn't have any of the 10 cards in the Announcing Greats insert set.  With this Sandberg/Caray card, I am actually down to needing only one to complete the subset. 

But, wait! That's not all!  The same seller I bought the inserts from also had a small lot of 6 Blue bordered parallels, 5 of which I didn't have.  Here's two:

I am still torn about putting the blue parallel set together.  But, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get these for about 50 cents each.  I now have 35 of the 80 blue parallels of the first series (which are numbered to 500), but I only have 1 of the 65 card second series blue parallels (which are numbered to 75.)  I could might be able to make a decent run at the first series, but cards from that second series are as rare as hen's tooth and I consider it unlikely I could ever complete that.  So, I guess I'll just keep on as I have:  look for cheap multiple card lots of these parallels, but to not make it any kind of priority.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Sometimes things just fall into your lap.

I am sure you are wondering what is so great about this.  It is a 1967 Paul Blair. Surely I already have one in my player collection? Indeed I do.  But, this isn't any ordinary 1967 Paul Blair.

That is right!  A 1967 Topps Venezuelan! I never thought I would own one, but this came up on EBay at a reasonable price and I had to jump on it. Sure it is has some worn corners and a crease, but it was in the affordable range for me, so I got it. Decent versions of this card in the can go for $100 to $200 range.  Indeed, there is a PSA 2 3 version on EBay with a BIN price of $99.99.  I got this version, which was actually PSA 2 (Good), for less than a third of that.  It will set back my quest to complete the 1973 set a few weeks, but it is well worth it!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Every Dog Has His Day - Ed Brinkman

Though I am skeptical of my ability to sustain any regular feature here, given my "real life" obligations, I need give it a try.  I've basically slipped into a mode where any posts are half-assed and, consequently, I have limited readership.  Not that I am looking to challenge for the Blog of the Year or anything, but I feel like I've taken more from the community than I have given and need to work on what I contribute.

So, here is how it is going to work. I will periodically grab a random card from my collection and find the best single game performance in that player's career, as measured by Baseball Reference's Win Probability Added statistic.

I'll start with Ed Brinkman.

This card is from the very first sheet of my 1973 set.  I won't be proceeding through this linearly, in case you are wondering. I mainly chose this card because Ed is striking the pose of a particularly ineffective hitter, what with choking up and crouching in that odd way. And, indeed Brinkman had a .228/.280/.300 slash line over a 15 year career.  He was mainly known as a good glove man.  Over his career, he notched up a dWAR of 20.3 versus an oWAR of 5.3 and managed the mind boggling feat of three seasons with dWARs higher than 3.0

Ed's career day was May 23, 1970 when his then team, the Washington Senators, squared off against the Tigers in Detroit.  Overall, Ed went 4 for 5 with 1 run scored and 3 RBIs in a 6-5 Washington victory.  His contributions were as follows:

  • Leading off the game against Tiger hurler Mike Kilkenny, he flew out to right fielder Jim Northrup. 
  • He closed out the bottom of the first, by throwing out Al Kaline at first.
  • He also ended the bottom of the second, by forcing out Mike Kilkenny at second on a Mickey Stanley groundball. However, Detroit managed to put three on the board by virtue of an Ike Brown homerun.
  • Coming to bat with in the top of the third with with one out and Tim Cullen on second, Brinkman put Washington on the board wen he laced a double to right field, scoring Cullen.  Ed was stranded there two batters later.
  • He ended his third consecutive inning with another forceout at second, this time Willie Horton.
  • He didn't factor in the game again until the top of the sixth, by which time Detroit had opened up a 5-1 lead, when he opened the frame with a double to left field;later scoring on a Frank Howard homerun.  That tater by the Capital Punisher brought the score to 5-3 in favor of the Tigers.
  • He came to bat again in the seventh with two on and two out.  A single to left field scored Ed Stroud to close the Senators to within one. An inning later, Washington tied the score on a solo shot by Rick Reichardt.
  • Ed came to bat again in the top of the ninth with John Roseboro on second and two outs.  He singled to center, scoring Roseboro and putting Washington up 6-5.
  • He threw out Ike Brown for the first out in the bottom of the ninth and then almost blew the game, one out later, when he committed an error, allowing Micky Stanley to reach base and keep Detroit alive. Luckily, the next batter, Cesar Guitierrez flew out to end the game.
I enjoyed researching this post, although I struggled with writing it.  Hopefully, I'll find my voice if I keep at this.

Coming up next: an unexpected addition to a PC.

What I am listening to: Baby Please Don't Go by Lightnin Hopkins

Saturday, June 15, 2013

June Card Show Haul

After the bitter, bitter disappointment last weekend of finding that the LCS in Norman is no longer open on Saturdays, I decided to go to the one day show up in OKC this weekend. I probably would have skipped it, but I was excited about starting to finally focus on my 1973 set.

As I said earlier, I need 296 cards to finish 1973 (including the unnumbered team checklists).  I was able to knock off about 121 of those today. Most were commons from the lower numbered series, although I did start to make some inroads into the high number series.

This is probably the best 73 I got today, but I did get some other Hall of Famers.

Obviously Pat Corrales isn't a HOFer, but I love this card. I don't have to say much about the card as it has been described already (and better than I ever could) by Chris Stufflestreet at his 1973 Topps blog and, of course, at one of the more popular hobby blogs, Play at the Plate.

What can I say, a card of a pitcher batting has to be shown. Jim Kaat was a career .185 hitter and managed to hit 16 round-trippers during his 25 year career.  Not bad for a pitcher. Kaat is also one of the guys I still need to get in my 1963 Fleer autograph quest.

That would have made a good card show haul, but I was able to actually make a large dent in the remaining cards I needed for my 1960 Fleer set, picking up nearly 30 cards.

 Look! It is your Uncle Ed!  Actually, Ed Barrow was the front office executive behind the dominant Yankee teams of the 1920s, 30s, and early 1940s.  But, doesn't he just look more like someone's grandpa than a baseball executive?  All you Yankee haters out there can blame your jealousy anger on Ed.  But, you have to admire the awesomeness of this card. I think it is my favorite pickup of the day. 

Ralph Kiner is likely the only player featured in this set that is still alive. Someday I will take a look and figure it out.

This was my second favorite pickup of the day.

With these cards, I am down to needing 9 cards left to finish the 79 card set.  There actually is an 80th card for the set, but it was never officially issued due to contract problems with it's subject, Pepper Martin.  Several variations of this card #80 have been found in circulation, but they are extremely rare and ungodly expensive.  As in 4 figures expensive.  So, I will consider it complete at 79. I still have some big cards to go amongst those nine, including Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, and Ted Williams. But, I am close enough that I am going to try and complete the set this year.

So, with those purchases, my card show experience ended. I was only there about two hours, but was quite pleased to make substantial progress on two sets.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Insane, Redux

About a year ago, I posted about a Nabisco All Star Legends card of Paul Blair that sold on EBay for $68.33.

At the time, I thought that was nuts.  I never saw another one come available until earlier this week when one showed up on EBay.  I have been watching it carefully and set myself up ready to bid on it as the seconds wound down on the auction.  I was prepared to go as high as $25 for this card.  I never got to bid since, with about 10 seconds to go, it shot past my upper limit.  How much did it go for?

Check it out for yourself.

$105.83.  I am sorry, but no. I have purchased a NM 1962 Willie Mays for less than that.  I got a really nice 1954 Jackie Robinson for about that same amount.  There is no way I would pay anywhere near that much for this card.

I am just going to have to accept that this card, like the Topps Venezuelans, will never be part of my Paul Blair player collection.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Aaaaaaaaaaaand Done!

One year, nine months, and 23 days after I started, my 1971 Topps baseball set is complete.

I ended up getting this as part of a 4 card rookie card lot and  I was actually able to upgrade another card in my set from this purchase.   The card I had was EX, but this was a NM lot.  So, if anyone out there wants to upgrade cards 576 (EX), 612 (NM), and/or 633 (NM) in their 1971 set, let me know and we'll work out a trade.

Up next is 1973, which I should complete (relatively) quickly.  With a trade with Ted from the now silent Crinkly Wrappers, along with an EBay starter set and a few purchases of individual star cards, I am well along the way.  I actually only need 272 cards, plus the 24 unnumbered checklists to complete that set.  My goal will be to complete it in enough time that I can start 1975 before year end.

Knowing that this card was on the way, I decided to stop at my nearest local card shop on the way home from errands today and maybe pick up some 73s off my want list.  Alas, it was closed.  I haven't been there in almost a year, since I exhausted their supply of 71s and, in the interim, they changed their hours.  Apparently, they are now only open from 12 to 6 Monday through Friday, which will make it hard for me to get there.  I work in downtown OKC and generally don't even get back into Norman until 6 PM. Going there will involve taking time off from work.  That isn't a problem, as I have 4 weeks vacation, none of which I have used yet this year, but it is still a bit disappointing that I can't spend a leisurely Saturday there anymore.

Ah, well. As it just so happens, there is a one day show up in OKC next weekend. I will go to it and, hopefully, Zack from Wichita will be there and I can knock of some 1973s with him.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Nice Round Number

I first dipped my toe back in the collecting world back in late 2010 when I decided to try and collect the various Paul Blair trading cards. I figured there was about 16 total, spanning his major league career that lasted from 1965 through 1980.  Little did I know.

Two and a half years later, I know better.  I have come to discover all sorts of regional issues, re-issues, and sets focusing on players of the past. My Paul Blair player collection has long since past 16 cards. Indeed, today I crossed into triple digits with two EBay arrivals.

These cards are the 99th and 100th unique cards in my Blair PC.  They are modeled after the 1974 Topps set.  You may recall my recent post about 2003 Topps Fan Favorites, where I complained about how they designed the card backs.  My beef was that they only showed the players career statistics with the team he was featured on the card with.  This 2013 Archive set does the backs a bit better, in my opinion

The back is a exact duplicate of the actual 1974 Blair card, except for the card number (92 in 1974 vs 224 here) and the copyright text at the bottom.  Indeed, even the facsimile autograph on the back is duplicated from 1974.  You can see that it is different that his current day autograph above it.

Well, I have been staring at the screen for 5 minutes. I don't have anything left to say, but I haven't exactly got an ending with that previous paragraph, so I am not sure what to do other than to say that I have a couple other Ebay finds on their way to me that I will be all excited to share next week. Hopefully, I'll have found my muse by then.