Saturday, November 24, 2018

Twin Brothers from Different Mothers - Rip van Winkle Edition

Gosh, I haven't had a post in this particular "series" in six and a half years. I gave this one away the other day, but I thought I'd make it a formal post anyways.

Image result for leather village people

Neal Walk and the Leather Biker Guy from The Village People

Thursday, November 22, 2018

New Collecting Focus

Happy Thanksgiving!

The blog title may oversell it a bit, but I am adding a new dimension to my collecting.  In one way, I already have enough to keep me busy.  But, my quest for autographed 1960 and 1961 Fleer  cards have never excited me the way my similar effort on 1963 did. Consequently, that project has gone stagnant and I haven't added anything new since June. It's not dead quite yet, but it is getting there.

I am still going to be collecting vintage baseball sets, but I have been struggling to find something new to collect to add a bit of serendipity to this hobby.  Don't get me wrong. I still love collecting baseball sets but, like baseball itself, it can be a little staid at times.  1972 (and to a lesser extent, 1975) Topps added a little bit of hipness to the design.  but, for the most part, vintage baseball card design is a serious, buttoned down affair.

So, what have I decided on?

Vintage basketball cards! It is no secret that I have increasingly taken to basketball over the previous few years, what with the OKC Thunder here in town.  I think this will generally mirror my baseball set collection:  Topps sets from 1979 and earlier, plus the 1961-62 Fleer set.

As you can see below, the design of the 1972-73 set is funky.  The previous years set has a similar vibe.  Even though subsequent sets aren't as impactful as those two sets, I find that the Topps basketball sets are more colorful and offbeat than baseball, Granted, the 1980-81 set is going to look familiar to baseball collectors, but I don't plan on building that set, so it doesn't count.

Baseball collectors make a big deal about Oscar Gamble's 1976 Topps Traded card, but as you can see, basketball cards were already sporting gloriously large hairdos at least 4 years earlier.

Neal here looks like he moonlights in the offseason as the leather biker in The Village People.

Now Jim looks a lot like a high school math teacher who is overly enthusiastic and probably has a kitten-hanging-from-a-branch inspirational poster on the wall in his classroom.

In all seriousness, it appears that most of the cards in the 264 card set (of which I have 66) are of the posed and matted version seen above.  But, there are also action shots

And Championship series subsets.  As you can see, this was prior to the 1976 merger of the NBA and ABA, so there is two championship subsets.  The set itself is divided between the two leagues, with cards 1 to 176 focused on the NBA and the ABA getting cards 177 to 264. Basically, the set was three 88 card sheets with the senior circuit getting two sheets and the upstart ABA (which formed in 1967) getting one.

The highlights of the set include the (Doctor J) Julius Erving rookie card, along with cards for Wilt Chamberlain, Pete Maravich, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Actually, all four of those guys have two cards each: their base card along with a card in the All-Stars subsets.

Speaking of basketball:

This is my place on the waitlist for OKC Thunder season tickets.  Based on the way I've moved up the waitlist, there is a chance I'll be qualified for season tickets next season (2019-2020), though it is probably more likely that it will be the season after that. 

That's it for now.

What I am listening to: Thunderstruck by AC/DC

What I am watching: "God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly"

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Art Cards - Yah or Nah?

Since I maintain two player collections, I am constantly looking for new cards for those players.  At this point, it is a rare occurrence to find something I don't have. I do occasionally run across art cards, which are non-licensed cards generally produced by independent artists, and I will often buy them.  But, I tend to run hot and cold on these cards.  Let's take a look at why that is.

These Edward Vela cards are very nice. The reference to being a giclĂ©e print means they were digital images printed using an inkjet printer.  That is fine because these are well done. Vibrant colors, glossy finish, and on a heavy stock of similar weight to licensed trading cards.

My only complaint about these cards, and it is a minor one, is the images. Since I am looking through all new Paul Blair listings on Ebay daily, these images are familiar to me.  Each are commonly seen on 8x10s for sale.  Further, card #2 is the same image used on the 1999 and 2001 Fleer Greats of the Game cards for Blair, in addition to the 2003 AT&T Heroes to Heroes card.  Overall though, this is minor gripe.  These cards sell for $5 to $10, so I would expect that the process is basically running a digital image through some Photoshop filters to render them like paintings.

This card, part of my Johnny Antonelli PC, was a major disappointment.  The stock is similar to what is used on greeting cards. Heavier than construction paper, but much thinner than normal trading card stock.  Additionally, as you can see, the colors aren't very bright, almost as if the printer was running out of ink.  I like custom cards with backs, but this one is uninspiring.

This is my latest art card pickup.  This is generally a really nice card. Nice stock, well designed, bright colors.  It falls into the "cards that never were" genre.  The final series of 1959 Topps baseball included cards for a number of that years All-Star game participants.  While Antonelli was on the team representing the Giants, he didn't have a card in that subset.  This art card corrects that.  My only complaint about this card?  The back is blank. Since this card was $5 delivered, I get that the artistic process needs to be limited in order to make this a profitable venture. However, I would have gladly paid $10 or more for this card with a printed back.

There is another art card seller on Ebay that also has a Johnny Antonelli card available. I haven't purchased the card because, even though the card image is quite well done, the listing description reads as follows:

Maybe I am just a different version of curmudgeon, but the combination of thin stock and negativity just turns me off.  I'll buy from someone else.

Finally, there is one other art card in my collection and has been so for 6 years. It came to me from Cardboard Junkie.  You can read about it here.

So, to my half a dozen or so readers, how do you feel about art cards? Do you add them to your collection?

What I am listening to: Rolling in the Deep by Adele.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

October Card Show Haul - Vintage

Last weekends card show was also fairly productive with regards to my main collecting focus, vintage cards.

I found three 1978 TCMA The 60s cards I needed for my set, including the smiling Ernie Banks above.  This was a minor coup, as I rarely see these cards out in the wild. In fact, these were the first cards from that set that I have seen in nearly three years. I have seen an eBay seller that has a you-pick-them Buy it Now listing, but have never pulled the trigger because I've always had bigger fish to fry. 

Speaking of which:

I found the last three cards I needed for my 1972 set, including Carew. The 1972 Topps set, that I began working in earnest on December 19, 2015, is now complete.

Eleven more cards for my 1970 set, which leaves me 124 to go for completion.  This will still be a challenge, since 76 of the cards I need are in the semi-high and high number series.  Thankfully, the only major stars I still need are Clemente (#350), Banks (#630), and Kaline (#640).  Now that I have, generally, exhausted the local supply of cards, I expect that most of my progress from here on out to completion will come from eBay. So, if history is any tell, this will probably take at least another year to finish.

Twelve more 1968 cards, leaving me 113 to complete the set.  Unfortunately, with this set, I need most of the major stars, including the outrageously expensive Nolan Ryan rookie card. In fact, the *only* major stars I have for 1968 are Mickey Mantle, and the Aaron and Rose cards above. Even though I need less cards to finish 1968 than I do for 1970, I expect that this set will take closer to two years to finish because of the lack of star cards already in my collection.

Woo-hoo!  I completed a second set at the show. Granted, it was only the 33 set 1968 Topps Game, but I got the last card I needed for it.

 Nine more cards for my 1965 set, including Mr. Koufax.  I have a total of 105 cards so far for this 598 card set. Is that number high enough to say I am officially working it?

Lastly, I encountered a new seller at the show who had some of the oddest discount boxes I have ever seen.  They were, in many ways, your usual discount boxes in that they were full of modern parallels, short prints and no-name relic/autograph cards.  But, then you would find the occasional gem that really had no place in a discount box.  I found a Don Newcombe stadium pin in a dollar box which I sent off to Night Owl.  I also found this nice condition 1938 Churchman boxing card.  I don't have much interest in putting together the whole 50 card set, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to add an 80 year old card to my collection.

So that is about it.  There won't be another local show until December and I have plenty of farm projects to keep me busy until then.  I may trawl through eBay to work on some of my sets, but I don't expect much activity in the next two months.

What I am listening to: Rock the Casbah by The Clash