Monday, July 16, 2018

1964 Topps Hank Aaron

Following last month's '64 Pete Rose pickup, I've landed another big name for my 1964 Topps setbuild.

Uh-oh.. Here come The Hammer!

(Since the card is slabbed, perhaps "U Can't Touch This" would be a more applicable song.)

I took advantage of a recent 15% off eBay coupon code the other day to score a solid deal on this PSA 4 Hank Aaron. A bit off-center and the corners could be sharper, but overall, quite a beauty!

Clean back, too. A nice thing about vintage set collecting is it gives me an excuse to go after classic cards like this that otherwise might not wind up on my radar.

This card takes me to 66% complete with the set. Moving right along.

Funny enough, a bit over a year ago, I dropped the Hammer on the other vintage set I'm currently working on, 1957 Topps, and that one also happened to be a PSA 4 bought with help from an eBay coupon.

Thanks for stopping by. I've got another interesting Hank Aaron card on the way, so stay tuned for that.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Trade Triad

I got 3 great trade packages in last week. Let's recap 'em!

First up is from a man of many names who tweets at @TwitchWasHere. He's been stockpiling cards for me for the past year or so, packing a big punch.

Here are 3 cool cards that on the surface don't seem to really fit into my collection, but flip them over...

Christmas Cards!
Rodney Smith bounced around the NFL for a few years and is currently playing in the CFL.
Sam Runion pitched a decade in the minors, currently in independent ball.
Courtney Hawkins was a 1st round pick by the White Sox in 2012, but couldn't get it together and is now also playing indie ball.
But hey, these castaways are welcomed guests into my collection thanks to the festive serial number!

Shiny Goldys and some Trouts!

Who would have thought Matt Kemp would return to his All-Star form from years past?! Love the 2015 photo variation high-fiving a kid.

And a bunch more cool stuff I don't have time to mention, but there they are!

Some various Padres highlighted by an Ian Kennedy gold refractor.

A couple Chargers and a Tim Duncan.

Nice Gavin Floyd on-card auto to close out the package.

Big thanks, CC! I'm rounding up a return for you.

-  - - ---o

Next up is a potent little PWE from Dennis, with an aftershock from our recent bigger swap. Looks like he targeted my Desperate Double Dozen wantlist and really did a number on it.

This 4-card lot help my burgeoning Tim Blackwell PC get closer to respectability. Much appreciated!

I've been after that short-term stop Roberto Alomar since seeing it on Dimebox Nick's blog a while back.
And while someone else narrowly beat sending that Steve Lyons '89 Fleer to me, I'm happy to get this dupe because now I can try a TTM with one.
And as for the Bong/Puffer card, as a fan of quirky cardboard, that's one I've wanted to add to my collection for a long time.

Thanks so much, Dennis! I'll try to scrounge up some cards to send your way soon.

-   - - --o

Last one for today is a contest win / trade hybrid from John Miller.

In his recent Big Fun Game, I ended up stealing a prize of a Kellogg's lot. Some of these are pretty darn cracked, but some, like the Penguin, are nice enough to send in for grading, if one was so inclined.

I just love Kellogg's cards and figure perhaps someday I'll work on putting a run together, so I couldn't resist yoinking the lot from Bo, who had previously stolen it from the Dimwit.

Love that Templeton! Thanks again for the Big Fun Game!

John also threw in a big lot of 2011 Topps diamond parallels for me. Excited to go through my checklist and hopefully knock several numbers off. (Update: I needed about a third of them. Took me to over 46% completed with this parallel frankenset of mine.)

Mickey Mantle HR #1. Maybe I should try to complete this crazy insert set someday.

I have no idea who this guy is, which means my eyes start looking around the card for a serial number. .... Yep!...

It's indeed another Christmas Card for my collection!
Ray McCallum bounced around for a while and is currently on a team in Turkey.

But the heavy-hitter of John's package was a starter lot of 1975 Topps. There's probably about a third of the set in there. Awesome! This is a set I'll likely go after in earnest after I finish off some of my current set-building projects. Great to have a nice foothold for starting a set.

Thanks, John! I'll get a return out to you soon. And yeah, feel free to hit me with any custom requests whenever.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Card Show Crescendo

Decent card show today. I bought a bunch of 50¢ cards and a bunch of 10¢ cards.

While the 50¢ cards had some good ones in there, I couldn't muster a whole long of inspiration to write about them, so I'll be showing off the dimebox cards here.

There was a partial set of 1988 San Bernardino Spirit. No Griffey in the dimebox, obviously, but I picked out some names that struck me.

Bad pic, but here are a couple Gooses and some Gwynns. OPC, Electric Diamond, Silver Signature, and whatnot.

A couple OPC Mets and old-timer Ziplocs.

Pedro silver signature and a bunch of Electric Diamond, most of which are HOFers.

Eddie Murray trio highlighted by a magazine freebie.

Another bad pic; sorry, guys.. I'm really phoning in this post, I'll admit. It's hot. The gold cards are Cobb and Feller. Then goes Maddux, Biggio, Spahn. Barfield box bottom, Bagwell hologram oddball, Strawberry, Gaylord, Trammell, Kevin Mitchell Mets Star.

Classic 80s card with the silly hat.

Hard for me to pass up any serial numbered card for a dime. Turns out I needed the Brandon Phillips card for my 2011 Topps parallel frankenset, so good score for me there.

Harry and the Hendersons (not pictured: Harry)

That Grace mini is pretty cute. And dig the "2 hits, 2 teams, 1 day" Tale of the Game.

Some Padres fan favorites. Pretty sure I needed most of these.

Finally, these were actually 25¢ each. Figured I could likely upgrade some solid names for my '71 Topps set. The Babe Ruth is obviously a reprint (and it mentions it's reprint on the back, so it's not a counterfeit), but thought it was neat enough to drop a quarter on.

Speaking on old cards.. check it out.. I'm on pins and needles right now. My wife went shopping with her folks today while I was at the card show. When she came home, she mentioned to me that her mom said she's got a co-worker who was cleaning out the attic of a deceased uncle or something and turns out the departed had several boxes of baseball cards, and the lady was planning on just throwing them out. My mother-in-law, bless her heart, spoke up (via text) and said she could find a good home for them (me!). But that's where we stand at the moment. I haven't heard if the lady responded. Not sure if we're too late (have the cards already been thrown out?). Getting a sweet collection dropped in your lap is every collector's dream! Fingers crossed! I'll be sure to let ya'll know if anything comes from this.

Friday, July 13, 2018


Here's a quick 2-card Guns N' Randoms post with a couple shiny autos.

First, I need to admit that I hate whistling. Like, if a co-worker is whistling in the breakroom or something, he's instantly added to my shitlist. (And I can say "he" because women are never obnoxious enough to whistle in public, only entitled white men.) Drives me nuts! And it's not because I hate the happiness of others or anything. Hell, walk around with a constant huge-ass smile on your face, I'm cool with that. Gayly skip down the fucking halls, I might even join you. I just hate to hear people whistle.

And yes, it's probably partially due to jealousy seeing that I've never been able to whistle myself. Try as I might, I've never been able to do more than fruitlessly spit air out from my pursed lips.

But among the rare instances where I like whistling is in the Guns N' Roses song "Patience".

You know who are finding themselves in need of a little patience this season? Mets fans.

I recently won a card on eBay and took a look at other cards from the seller ending soon and ended up scoring myself a couple slabbed rookie autos, one of which is this Michael Conforto here. He's had a rough year, struggling to hit his weight in the first half. But he's only 25 and I still believe in him and expect him to have a solid career in the long run. Plus he's a Pacific Northwest kid out of Oregon State. So I'm ok taking a flyer on this /199 RC auto 2016 Topps Tribute for probably less than a quarter of what it was going for at the peak of his hype a while back.

And the other card I ended up snagging was this Billy Hamilton 2014 Bowman Chrome blue refractor auto. Like the Mets, Reds fans are needing a little patience this season (and before and beyond), but at least they've been respectable since a managerial change.

Billy is known for his speed on the bases and great catches in center, though his hitting is always the big question mark with him. "You can't steal first base," as they say.

Still though, I've always been a fan of speedsters since my youthful days running track, so I've got a decent little PC of the guy. And this beautiful card is a terrific addition. I think I only had one auto of his prior to this, a logoless Christmas Card from Panini. And this slabbed /250 blue refractor might overtake that one as best card of the PC.

Hopefully with a little patience Conforto and Hamilton will blossom into greats of the game for the next several years and these "price of a blaster" pickups will end up looking like incredible deals pretty soon. Or maybe they won't, but whatever.. I think they're cool cards regardless.

I've had this song stuck in my head for the past couple days now. It's not GNR and doesn't really fit here, but I'm throwing it into the post anyway, hoping to get it stuck in your head too.

Enjoy your weekend, everybody! Card show weekend for me, though it might be an arduous task for me to make it due to 90 degree temperatures and the fact my wife has dibs on the car, so I'd have to use public transit again. If I'm not feeling it in the morning, I might sit this one out.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Sacred Five

There's an unofficial Blog Bat-Around going around of narrowing down your collection-- if it came down to it-- to just 5 of your favorite collecting passions. Like if your significant other gave you an ultimatum to shed all but the 5 favorite avenues of your collecting pathways. Or maybe times are tough and you just need to sell part of your collection for financial reasons. Whatever the cause, that's a tough question to think about! Let's see how I do.

1. Topps Retired refractor autographs

"My babies!" I credit this product for getting me to dive back into card collecting after a couple decades away. (Topps Archives got me to stick my toe in the water, but Topps Retired got me on top of that diving board.) I like the base cards and regular autos, but the refractor autos are king. If I were forced to split the 3 sets up separately, 2004 is the one I'm keeping, no question (see header), though I'd be sad to see 2003 and 2005 go. Just recently picked up the above '05 Cal Ripken refractor and it's a great looking card!

2. Vintage sets

I'm really proud of building my favorite old sets over the past few years. In order, I completed 1973 Topps, 1971 Topps, and 1965 Topps. Currently working on 1957 and 1964. I've put a lot of time and effort (and $) into these and think I'd feel a big void if I had to part with them. Like, I might not have many Koufax cards, but if his name comes up, I feel good knowing I've got his '65 card, as an example. And all the lesser-known non-star guys filling out the set are fascinating too. Vintage set collecting is great. If money were no object, I'd go nuts on all of them, but as it stands, I just pick a few of my favorites to work on.

3. Player collections

Ok, this one is a cop-out because I think I've got well over a hundred player collections, making up a good portion of my collection as a whole. So for this exercise, I should parse them out (as I organize them in real life) into 3 main categories: HOF (all-time greats I like who are in the Hall of Fame, plus Pete Rose), Retired (fan favorite guys who aren't in the Hall), and Active. If I could only keep one of these 3 buckets, I would probably have to go with the Retired guys, as they are typically the most fun for me to collect. I just finally added Bip's two minor league cards from back before the Padres snagged him in the Rule 5 draft from the Pirates.. and I absolutely love them. (Can you imagine if Pittsburgh held onto Bip? They would have been a championship dynasty of killer B's with Bip, Bonds, Bonilla, Bream, Bob Walk, doug draBek, Rafael Belliard.) Anyways, yeah, I don't think I could give up those PCs. Guys like Dick Allen, Nate Colbert, Bill Madlock, Rod Beck, Ken Caminiti, Fred McGriff, Khalil Greene, Julio Franco.. all high among my favorite guys to collect. It'd be hard to say goodbye to my HOF PCs (Hoyt! No! Gwynn?!) and active PCs (love my good Trout cards), but that's how it goes.

4. Guys From Granite

Collecting cards of guys who went to my high school gives me a personal connection to my collection. "Remember your roots" and all that. Cool to think these guys walked down the same halls as me as a teenager on their way to Algebra II or whatever, and then went on to become pro ballplayers. There might be some "living vicariously through them" stuff going on here.

5. [umm... arg?!!]

Man, that's too much of a Sophie's Choice for me. In the running would be:
Christmas Cards (cards serial numbered 12/25 and 12/24)
Gavins (guys like me named Gavin)
Glow-in-the-dark cards
Modern sets (my completed sets from the 80s plus projects like my 2004 Chrome and 2011 Topps parallel setbuilds)
Pride PC

Gun to my head, I might have to go with my non-sports cards as my final pick. Lumped into that would be my Girlie Cards, Ghostbusters auto set, Goonies auto display, MST3K, Simpsons, and Star Wars cards, among others random stuff.

Stuff that would be first on the chopping block?

Other sports... sorry football, basketball, and hockey.
Random Padres cards.
Various rookies, hits, and "doesn't fit elsewhere in my collection" stuff.
Non-card stuff like figures, bobbleheads, postcards, etc would also be gone, not that I have much to begin with. (Hopefully I could hang on to my small collection of old toys.. GI Joe, Transformers, etc.)

But thankfully, it was all just a theoretical bad dream. I can keep on collecting whatever I want. Whew!

How about you? What would you keep/part-with if it came down to it?
Thanks for reading.


On this day in 1989, Bo Jackson leads the AL to victory in the 60th All-Star Game.

Made another animated card gif. Tried something different with the back of an '89 UD. This one isn't taking off on Twitter nearly as well as the Satchel Paige one I made the other day (170 retweets and 450 likes! Wow, that's gotta be my most popular tweet ever), but still fun to make and people seem to like 'em.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Mama Kin (Guns N' Randoms)

I haven't done a "Guns N' Randoms" post in a while, where I clear off some cards from my sorting table so I can file them away, and title the post after a GNR song, going roughly in chronological order. I think the reason for the delay is the next song up "Mama Kin" (Aerosmith cover) doesn't lend itself well to a title for cards. I mean, yeah, there's a prominent fellow cardblogger named Kin Kinsley, and it would make a solid title for a trade post featuring cards from him, but unfortunately I don't recall ever trading with him and I can't wait indefinitely for that to happen.

The opening lyrics are "It ain't easy, livin' like a gypsy" so maybe I should feature some Gypsy Queen cards or something? Nah.

The best I can muster is that "Mama Kin" doesn't sound too far from "Templeton."

Keep in touch with Templeton
Tell him where you've gone and been
Livin' out your fantasy
Sleeping late and smoking tea

As if this post hadn't scared off enough prospective readers already, I'm leading off with a trio of overproduction-era cards. Somebody alert Blogger to prepare backup servers ASAP because the imminent traffic surge on this post may cause a system failure!!

But check it out, these aren't (quite) junk after all. They're Tiffany/Glossy versions I picked up to spice up my Garry Templeton PC.

And another off-the-beaten-path Templeton, this a shiny gold sticker from 1981.

A blogger I can't recall now was talking highly of Boys of Summer inserts from Score. Prone to peer pressure, I went looking for a cheap example I could fit into my collection. I settled on Bret Boone since he's almost a guy I collect thanks to being from my neck of the woods not to mention he played a few solid season in San Diego. While the steamy mirage thing is kind cool, honestly this 1994 design doesn't do much for me and I'm second-guessing this $1 purchase. The 1993 design is pretty hot though (pun intended), featuring a big, bright sun behind the player. I'll have to keep an eye out for one of those, especially the Piazza, Pedro, or Klesko.

I love adding cards of the late, great Ken Caminiti, especially from his short-term stops, and especially hits. He only played 54 games with the Rangers, so he doesn't have many cards with them, making this bat relic even cooler in my eyes.

The 2018 Margot auto was an add-on buy with a recent eBay win. He hasn't been great this year but figures to stick as the Padres center fielder for the long haul. He's still only 23.

Another 23 year old Friar, Franmil Reyes was tearing up PCL pitching earlier this season, and was called up for a brief stint in San Diego but is now back in AAA (Update: just recalled again). He has very little cardboard on the market at the moment. I picked up this 2014 Bowman Chrome mini refractor on COMC a while back.

Speaking of Bowman Chrome refractors, time to ride the wave! I'm a sucker for these wave refractors.

I especially dig 2015 Bowman Chrome, on the left there. Continuing from what I was talking about in yesterday's comments regarding how it's nearly always a design mistake to use foil for the player name.. I think that's one reason why collectors seem to agree that the Chrome version of a design typically looks better than the standard/flagship/paper. Chrome cards never have foil. In this example, 2015 Bowman (standard) kinda sucks because it's often hard to read the foil names. But the Chrome version looks great, one of my favorite designs of the past few years of any product. The moral of the story is card companies should refrain from using foil for player names. Logos and borders? Sure, fine. But not names!

Anyways, I was looking at cheap colored parallels from 2015 Bowman Chrome on COMC, and among the sea of unknowns, I found this blue wave Matt Chapman. A little surprised to find a solid card like this of the A's starting 3rd baseman for just 65 cents. Maybe one day I'll work on a parallel frankenset of 2015 Bowman Chrome since I dig them so much, but I think I need to put some other collecting projects to bed first.

The 2013 red wave David Holmberg was $1.25, which might seem like a lot to pay for a card of a guy I don't collect, who was released by the lowly Orioles in spring training, currently struggling with Colorado's Triple-A team? Well...

Christmas Card!
Not that I go around paying over a dollar for just any card stamped 12/25, but a neat looking refractor? Sure, probably.

Let's close the post with this, a solid lot of '64 Topps needs from COMC. Just looking for good deals on cards that hopefully weren't too beat up. Some of these I wouldn't mind upgrading someday, but good enough for now. I also focused on high-numbers, trying to cross off a few more from the pesky last series. I'm scratching at the door of 2⁄3 complete with this set now. Probably won't wrap it up by the end of the year (especially with me being distracted by my '57 Topps project), but maybe sometime before the decade's out if I keep at it.

Well, thanks for reading, and always remember:

It ain't easy, livin' like ya want to
And it's so hard to find peace of mind
The way I see it, you've got to say shit
But don't forget to drop me a line

Monday, July 9, 2018

A blaster of 2018 Stadium Club

Grocery shopping this past weekend, I took my customary check of the card area to see if there was anything to catch my eye. There usually isn't much, but this time there were 3 blasters of 2018 Stadium Club. Sure, why not.. I grabbed the one in the back (must be an old habit I picked up from buying the freshest milk in the case). Let's check 'er out.

Scored a few PC guys. I think Dimebox Nick ranked the Ichiro as his #1 card of the year so far. It's pretty majestic; happy to pull that one.

A few more nice photos. As for the design, I don't really care for the oversized position in the corner, and I'm disappointed that the "photo variation scourge" has now infected Stadium Club too. So now you gotta go back and check to make you you didn't pull a variation, which is kind of a pain. (I didn't pull a variation.)

I'm not collecting the set, so I've got some trade fodder for anyone who is.

I pulled a couple parallels, with a Corey Kluber sepia and a Dwight Gooden chrome.

Pointless inserts included a Bellinger (another PC guy for me) and a red parallel of Justin Upton. I believe insert parallels are a huge turn-off to collectors. Just ask Collecting Cutch. Chasing insert parallels causes you to die inside, that's just a fact.

Best card of the box was likely this Shonei Ohtani "Special Forces" insert. Seems like his collecting popularity has been a rollercoaster this year. He's back from the DL, but not pitching anymore for the time being. Guess we'll see if he can stay healthy and live up to the hype on the strength of his hitting alone. This is my 2nd card of him after pulling an insert of his from a Bowman Mega Box a few weeks back.

So there you have it. I always like to give at least a little sample of Stadium Club every year. I don't plan to buy anymore this year, but I could see myself picking up a discounted blaster at the card show at some point. Always a great looking product and fun break as long as you're not looking for a big hit.