Sunday, November 29, 2015

blog talk: cliques on the cardsphere

What many call the blogosphere, I call the cardsphere to distinguish the community of card-collecting blogs from all blogs on all subject matter, since lord knows there are a trillion blogs out there... politics, parenting, TV shows, whatever. I don't think the term is really catching on, but screw it, I'll keep on calling it that. Cardsphere! Cardsphere! Cardsphere! (Failed attempt at a Simpsons ref.)

While the cardsphere is somewhat of a tight-knit group, with just a few hundred active blogs (291, to be exact, according to Sports Card Blogroll's last count), it's still big enough to where no one with a life and job can be expected to keep up with all of them. Plus you probably wouldn't want to, as not everybody cares about every type of card. For instance, I tend to quickly scroll through most non-baseball posts, if I click on them at all. And certain blogs might just not grab your interest.. maybe they're boring to you (I'm not a fan of those short "here's one card; the end." posts), or perhaps you think the author is an asshat or whatever. I'll admit there are 2 or 3 card bloggers out there whom I simply don't like much. And I don't doubt there are folks who feel that way about me, too (though it eats me up inside!) Posts such as this one are kind of obnoxious, I know. I was a little drunk when I typed most of it up a few days ago. But back on topic...

Maybe you guys have noticed there seem to be cliques on the cardsphere just like any other social setting. I don't mean it in a negative connotation like snooty Mean Girls or anything. Groups of guys tend to be frequent trading partners and comment on each other's blogs, but don't often venture off into other avenues of the cardsphere outside of those few familiar blogs. It's kinda funny.

I see a lot of guys regularly comment on Night Owl Cards who just about never seem to pop up anywhere else. I get it. If I only had like 5 or 10 minutes out of my day to spend on card blogs, Night Owl would probably be the one I made time for. When I first got into card blogs, they were a few months there where his was the only one I read with any frequency. But now I've branched out and am a regular reader of a ton of blogs, plus a casual reader of even more (via Sports Card Blogroll) on slow days at work when I get caught up but still have time to kill.

I'm worried that once my current job ends (which will be by the end of the year), my next job may not afford me the ample downtime that I put toward blog reading and writing. So it's a possibility 2016 will see Baseball Card Breakdown slow way down, and me having to make some tough choices about which blogs to try keeping up with reading. I'll probably just have to start being more selective about which posts I read.. you know the deal: looking at the title, the top picture, and the first couple sentences.. deciding if I care enough to give it a few minutes of my time. But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

As I've mentioned in the past, I'd love to get a job in sportscards. Then, reading card blogs would be like doing market research! I'll take this opportunity to brag that I was recently recruited for the possibility for working for Beckett Media. Some of you guys probably got the same email. It was flattering to be approached, but I'm not willing to relocate to Dallas or New York at this time, so I had to turn them down. Last year, I was approached about the possibility of working for Upper Deck down in Southern California. I'm definitely honored to be able to say I've twice been approached about working in the sportscard industry, though sad I haven't been able to make it work yet. Perhaps in a couple years, my wife and I will be ready to move and I'll be able to seriously pursue that path. For now, I'll just hold out hope that a card-related company might consider me for a remote position where I could work from home the majority of the time. There aren't many jobs in the card industry here in Portland, OR. There's actually one of the bigger eBay card consignment sellers based in the suburb Lake Oswego, which isn't too far relatively, but would be too much for a daily commute. And selling cards on eBay isn't exactly a dreamjob.

But all this rambling it leading up to a trade post! See, Shane from Shoebox Legends is a guy I've heard about on other blogs for a long time, but for whatever reason, we "ran in different circles" or whatever, and neither of us followed each other's blog. But after reading so many trade posts from great packages and PWEs he sent out, I figured I'd try to get something going with the guy, so I started reading his blog and throwing a comment here and there.

Happily, Shane welcomed me with open arms and offered to send me a card package with no return needed. What a great guy! (Of course I'll do my best to shoot him back with a return package of cards he'd like.)

And so here's the initial bunch of cards from Shoebox Legends!:

Here are some current guys, with a Goldschmidt parallel, a couple Trouts, a McCutchen insert, and a few Pujolses.

Here are some more favorites from the not-too-distant past.

Some heavy hitters here!

Nice selections of Rickey and Ozzie that are welcome additions to those respective PCs.

Some "guilty pleasure" PC guys for me. I figured I'd try to get all the Springfield Nine into the Hundred Card Club. Well, Mark McGwire wasn't on that classic Simpsons episode, but he did have a funny little appearance in a later episode. Looks like he's a Padre now, with sources reporting he'll sign on to be San Diego's hitting coach. I'm not super thrilled about that, but we'll see how it works out.

Finally, cool vintage card of a hockey guy. Love old cardboard, especially sets I'm not very familiar with.

Thanks for the cards, Shane! I really appreciate it, and again, I'll shoot you back some cards soon.

But back to my ramblings on cliques on the cardsphere, what do you guys think? Do you ever read a blog and its comments and feel like an outsider? How many blogs do you read on an average day? For a fun little challenge, after you read this, check out the Sports Card Blogroll and try to comment on a card blog that you've never commented on before. Who knows, you might just make a friend and a new trading partner!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Forget Black Friday! TRADE BAIT from the card show!

I've been slow on getting trades mailed out lately, but I'm gonna try getting out a wave of PWEs/packages in the next week or two.

Here are a bunch of cards I picked up at last weekend's card show with the intention of re-homing them. Prices varied, but none of them cost too much. Take a look and give me a shout if anything catches your eye.

Hey Braves fans! A Chrome refractor of Wes Helms, a Prime Time battery oddball, and a Hank Aaron "pre-rookie that never was." I already got me a copy of that one; it's pretty neat.

Hey Cubs fans! Auto of somebody named Zeke DeVoss, Junior Lake parallel #'d 49/75, and a Jorge Soler #'d 238/599.

Hey Cardinals fans! Give your Fernando Tatis PC a boost with a certified auto and a shiny Pacific Prism parallel #'d 45/480.

Hey Twins fans! All of these are low numbered cards (if you count 250 as low).

Hey Reds fans! Sweet Cincinnati Greens(?!) auto of Daniel Corcino, and a Pokey Reese #'d /1000.

Hey Mets fans! Ruben Tejada mini #'d 64/99. Carlos Beltran Chrome refractor.

Hey fans of repulsive monsters! Chupacabra mini and a Ray Rice #'d 18/100.

Hey autograph fans! David Lough. Jack Cust #'d 105/200.

Hey relic fans! Brady Anderson bat #'d 31//50, Chris Okey USA jersey #/99, and 49er Kendall Hunter.

Hey fans of Geoff Blum Chrome refractor. Larry Doby framed Gypsy Queen #'d 452/499. While I've yet to partake, I'm determined to send cards to the Tim Wallach collector one of these days, but I just rarely come across his cards. Back in my early days of collecting, he was a guy I collected, with a modest PC of 10-20 cards, but they were lost in the purge when I moved from San Diego up to Portland. But working up a small bunch of cards, including this '89 Bowman.

So yeah, if you saw anything you're interested in, take a look at my wantlist and see if you can dig up anything comparable for me in exchange and get in touch about a trade.

Oh, I got my wife a Playstation 3 for Christmas (she was getting a nostalgic hankering for playing Crash Bandicoot), and so if any of you have old PS1 or PS3 games (apparently PS2 games aren't compatible) you don't play anymore, I would likely be interested in trading you cards for them, so just let me know and maybe we can work something out.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Man, The Myth, The Rod Beck Collection

I love Rod Beck. One of those "like to have a beer with" type of dudes, and in fact he was known for hanging out with fans doing just that. He also was enthusiastic about working with childhood AIDS charities. This real-life inspiration for Kenny Powers was a big guy and a big personality who sadly succumbed to his demons.

I try to keep my collecting habit to cards-only, but I made an exception for this custom 5x7 that I made recently using a couple photos of victorious moments from his time on the Padres, with a window cut out for an autographed index card I got for a few bucks on eBay. I've got it hung up in my cardroom as a reminder to 1) Be excellent to each other, and 2) Stay away from the hard stuff. Good rules to live by.

Rod began his pro career in the late 80s and played into the mid 00s, so he's got a ton of cards out there, mostly "commons" that aren't expensive but still somewhat overwhelming in number. Luckily for me, I'm not trying to get them all; my goal is just 100 different cards. I don't think I'm quite there yet, but let's take a look.

That's funny; I've got 3 minor league cards from 1989 ("Baby Becks" as I call them), but nothing from '90 or '91. Only one true rookie, in that 1992 Fleer Ultra.

Shooter really broke out onto the cardboard scene in 1993. Upper Deck is the star of the show here, with even a basic pitching shot looking great on '93 UD.

Looking good in 1994. Some neat parallels here including a Stadium Club rainbow foil (or whatever they called it), a Silver Signature Collector's Choice, and an Electric Diamond Upper Deck.

1995 crams the scanner, highlighted by a sweet Seals throwback in the middle, with a sparkly Score parallel beside it. A trio of great cards lines the bottom, including a credit card looking thing, an autograph-signing photo, and a rare closer at the plate shot from Collector's Choice.

1996 features my only two autographed Rod Beck cards, one of which is slabbed authentic (I don't believe Rod ever had any pack-certified autos put out, so this is as close as you can get). The Fleer Ultra card with him holding a baby is a classic.

Here we've got a few '97 cards, and one of Rod's last appearance on a Giants card.

1998 saw Beck slinging it for the Cubbies. As you can see, the parallels are in full force in this scan.

After a few more Cubs cards in 1999, my Beck-lection goes dark. No cards from 2000 through 2002. I hadn't realized I don't have any cards from his stint on the Red Sox! I'll need to rectify that soon.

Here's the final scan, and as a Padres fan, it'd say it's the best of the bunch. Filling in for an injured Trevor Hoffman, Shooter was a bright spot on a last-place San Diego team in 2003, saving 20 games (for a team that only won 64) with a 1.78 ERA. This is even more impressive considering he sat out all of 2002 recovering from Tommy John surgery. His numbers weren't nearly as good in 2004, and he was released near the end of the season and called it a career.

Rod died in 2007 after a few years of sinking into a crack addiction that had earlier cost him his marriage. Through it all, the couple remained close, living in houses just a few miles apart and sharing holidays and custody of their two daughters. Since I'm posting this on Thanksgiving, I feel I should tie this into being thankful for your loved ones and all that. So yeah, take a moment to be thankful that/if neither you nor your immediate family are drug addicts.

Anyways, that's 58 cards by my count. Geez, barely halfway to a hundred. Oh well, I look forward to adding more Rod Beck cards to my collection. Perhaps a Rod-focused Just Commons order is in my future, with specific interest in his later years (Cubs, Red Sox, Padres). Doing posts like this is helpful for me to sort out my collection and see what I have/need. If you have any Rod Beck cards not pictured here to send to a loving home, get in touch.

Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

2010 Pro Debut hobby box

Welp, I busted a box of 2015 Pro Debut a few weeks back and it was a fun enough break to where I took a look on eBay for cheap (sub 50) hobby boxes of other years of the product. I ended up winning a box of the inaugural year, 2010 Series 2-- yeah, I guess they broke it up into a couple sets back then. The hotter box is Series 1, featuring Mike Trout and footballer Russell Wilson. But oh well, Series 2 is a cheaper box. Maybe it'll have something nice for me.

Ya'll ready for this? Let's bust it open.

A couple PC hits for me.. Goldy and Gyorko. These are my highlights from the box. In hindsight, probably should have saved $40+ and got them offa Just Commons or something.

More guys who went onto be decent major leaguers. Sorry these pictures kinda suck, but it's hard to get it so that the names are readable thanks to the foil names on a dark background. Yep, 2010 Topps design is not very photogenic.

Some more names I recognized, including a bunch of Mets.

More dudes that ring a bell for me, including MiLB All-Time Home Run King, Mike Hessman.

Here are my hits! Quote-unquote hits, that is. Good news is I got an extra auto (only 2 are promised, yet I pulled 3), but the bad news is all these guys are nobodies. The best name here is Johnny Giavotella, who had a decent 2015 season with the Angels. You might remember I just pulled a nice Giavotella parallel out of 2015 Update a couple weeks ago. It's like the Baseball Card Gods are telling me to start a Johnny G. PC!
The David Cook auto is a gold parallel #'d /50. That's the good news; the bad news is he called it quits a couple years ago, never making The Show.
Shane Peterson performed at replacement-level in 93 games for the Brewers this past season, so at least he made it.
Ozzie Martinez made the majors for a few games in 2010/2011, but spent 2015 down in AA. Shame; that's a nice big swatch of fabric, #'d /199.

Here are my parallels. After only getting ONE freaking parallel in my 2015 Pro Debut box (must have been a parallel "cold box"), I was happy to get a fair amount of color in this box, with several lovely blues. The bad news? All nobodies. My greatest want in the entire universe was to pull a Goldschmidt blue parallel, but I failed. I pulled a base card of him, at least, but it was still a failure on the box with no Goldy parallel. The only decent name here is Adam Warren, who had a solid '15 with the Yanks; Maybe Zippy will be interested in it since it's a Staten Island Yankee card. On the bottom there, you see this was a "Jake Thompson hot box" with both a blue (/369 or so) and the only gold of the box (/50). Jake didn't pitch last season.. not sure if he retired or was injured; up through 2014 he had decent stats in the minors. There's also another "Jake Thompson" in the game, so it's confusing.

Some of these inserts. Mostly nobodies.

And some of these inserts. Shockingly, some decent names in this group. Austin Romine is the one in the lower right.

I could pretty much be talked out of any of this shit besides the Goldy and Gyorko.. so just me know if you're interested in trading. Some of the bigger names might take some convincing. I also obviously have lots of lesser base cards not pictured.

Question for you team collectors out there: Do you consider minor league cards like this as belonging to the respective major league parent club? These cards kinda suck in that they don't list anywhere which parent club they're affiliated with, so I may have to do some research when I sort these up by team into my trade box.

So there you go. The box was nice in that I got a bonus hit and several parallels, but a dud in that all my hits and parallels weren't of notable players. Not a single goddamned one. Ah well, such is the risk of busting a minor league product. Oh, and there were several dupes in the box, too. Still fun to crack open, I suppose. But yeah, after this fruitless break, I think my itch to rip has been satisfied for a while. I don't plan on busting more boxes until Xmas (hopefully I get a couple boxes of cards as gifts).

In other news, I just sold the Stan Musial auto I bought back in May. Sad to see it go, and I enjoyed it while I had it, but at the end of the day, I wasn't that attached to it. After spending a lot on cards in recent months, I felt like I needed to sell something nice to help balance out. Nearly doubled my money on it, at least. Stan and I will meet again (Still on the hunt for his 2004 Retired refractor auto.)

Thanks for getting through this post! Hope you all have a nice holiday.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Going old-school.. Card show vintage recap

Vintage cards abound!

Check out these 1955 Bowman cards of HOF legends Bob Feller and Nellie Fox! Will Harridge (here on 1956 Topps #1) is also in the Hall. These cards aren't in perfect shape, but the price was definitely right, all from the discount bins of Bill, the dealer who gets most of my business at these monthly shows. Funny thing is, when I arrived, his boxes were pretty busy, so I spent some time across the hall with another guy's discount box, and then like an hour at another guy's nickel box. After all that, I nearly called it a day (I was starting to get hints of vertigo and blurry vision from flipping through so many cards!), but went back in one more time to hit Bill's bins, and when I came to the Bob Feller card, I was sure glad I did. The other 2 are available for trade if you need them.

The backs show why they were so cheap, with pretty brutal paper loss on the Bowmans, and the Harridge has a small staple mark or something, but again, cool with me.

I almost called for a game of "Hoyt or No Hoyt" on my Twitter before the show, but didn't get to it. I didn't end up with any Hoyt Wilhelm cards at this show, but didn't go home empty-Hoyted, picking up this Fleer Waite Hoyt. (I'm kind of an idiot, though, because a search of my blog tells me I already bought this card back in March. Anybody want to trade for it? I don't need two.) And speaking of fun names, howbout a Granny?

A couple loaded LLs from 1967. I shouldn't have bought that '69 Killebrew.. #1, I already have it. #2 there's something going on at the "1B" designation. But still, it's such a nice-looking card overall and I'm a sucker for a vintage card in a screw-down, so I put it on my stack. Anybody want it? I'll probably end up putting it on Listia.

The lone vintage set-building pickup from this show: a high-ish number '64 (527).

Let's close it out with some supervintage...

A sweet lot of 1933 1947 Goudey Indian Chewing Gum cards. I love pre-war stuff like this. Non-sports cards generally aren't all that expensive, and while not something I seek out very often, I thought these were pretty cool.

Pretty good shape, considering the age. I'll likely hold onto one or two (I think the Eagle Dance is my favorite), but the rest are probably trade bait or Listia fodder. Let me know if you want to trade for any of these.

That's it for the vintage portion of this month's card show haul. Back with less-old cards soon.

Monday, November 23, 2015

blog talk: selling/buying cards on the blogs

A while ago, highly respected blogger jaybarkerfan posted a mess of relics for a buck each (plus $2 flat shipping). Me and Junior Junkie called dibs on a few, but that was all the action he got.

It kinda seems like trying to make money off your card blog is taboo. I know the few times I've broached the subject of selling cards on Baseball Card Breakdown, I've been met with the deafening sound of crickets. In a perfect world, we'd all buy cards from each other once in a while and help fund our card buying habits with the proceeds. But I suppose the grim reality is there aren't a ton of blog readers out there, and if you seriously want to sell a card at a fair market price, you have to suck up the fees that come with eBay or COMC.

I like helping my fellow bloggers when I can, and in addition to shooting $5 jaybarkerfan's way, I've also gone out and won an eBay auction or two from Judson at My Cardboard Habit a while back, not to mention signing up for some blogger-run group breaks that honestly I wasn't super excited about seeing as I'm not really a team collector, but it's fun to get involved. I'm not trying to guilt-trip anyone. I know times are tough and a lot of collectors out there have a narrow focus on what they'll spend money on.

With my recent kick of making hardcopy customs, I've been toying with the idea of "releasing" my own little set of cards. Just like a tiny print run of like a dozen or so total sets. It'd fulfill a dream of mine to make my own set. But would anybody be willing to pay money for it? Maybe a few guys would be down to trade a few cards for it, but spending money is another thing completely. I'm thinking like $20 for a "blaster" of about 20 customs, or $40 for a "factory set" of about 50 cards and a "hit" or two. Would anybody be willing to "pre-order" something like that? Probably not. And that's cool. After supplies and postage (and time and effort), it's not like I'd been reaping much profit, but it'd be fun to do, none the less.

It'd sure be the dream for us card bloggers if we could monetize our blogs, and even if not bringing in enough to live off (rent, groceries, etc), at least enough to help fund our hobby purchases would be nice. But even the top card blog out there, Night Owl Cards, doesn't seem to profit at all besides the occasional generous card package from a happy reader. Some blogs have ads embedded at the top or in the sidebar or whatever; I'd be curious to know if they actually bring in more than a couple bucks a month with ad revenue. Personally I'd rather keep banner ads off my blog, though if that works for them, God bless 'em. The closest I have to that is my Amazon link down on the sidebar. With the holiday shopping season here, please allow me kindly request you consider using that link when going to Amazon to shop. I get something like 4% credit on all sales made in a session after clicking on that link. I've got one aunt who is sweet enough to use my link when she buys expensive photography equipment and the like, and I've earned a nice chunk of credit through such purchases of hers.

Speaking of Amazon, I couldn't really think of much to ask for Christmas this year besides maybe a nicer printer for making hardcopy customs, so I've shared my Amazon wishlist loaded with various hobby boxes and blasters. Sure the prices are higher than you can find on eBay or the big online card retailers, but I'm sure my family will appreciate the one-click convenience of Amazon. And I'd be much more excited ripping open a box of cards than a pair of socks or a shirt or whatever.

But back to financial gain from card blogging.. Once in a while a blog will even get a free hobby box from a card manufacturer in exchange for a "review" blog post. Man.. I'd love to get in on that action! Are you reading, Topps, Panini, Upper Deck, Leaf, Whomever? Get in touch about sending me a free box and I'll post a nice, honest review of it for my few dozen readers.

So what was I talking about? Oh yeah, I bought a few cards from jaybarkerfan; here they are:

Five bucks paypaled got me these 3 requested cards:

Buster Posey 2013 Topps Manufactured Topps Rookie Patch
Khalil Greene 2008 Topps jersey relic
Carlos Delgado 08 Timeline jersey relic

Cool cards!

And, as Wes is notoriously generous, it should come as no surprise I was fortunate enough to receive several unannounced bonus cards in the package!

A terrific trio of Gwynns. The one of the left is #'d 700/1000, the one on the right 225/250.

The gold parallel /2008 of that same Khalil card from earlier. Nice.

And a "gem mint 10" Griffey!

Great cards! Thanks, man!

After postage that ran him $3.14, Wes' profit for all these cards was under two bucks total. Ouch, that makes me feel bad! I hope I pull a sweet Josh Donaldson parallel to send him one of these days to balance out that karma.

But yeah, this all underscores that selling cards on your blog is not a lucrative endeavor. Well, I mean, you can earn lots of admiration and cards in return, but finding monetary profit is elusive.

So for some "blog talk", what do you guys think? Have you fellow bloggers made any money off your blog? What do you think when other bloggers try to sell cards or put up advertisements? Does it bug you, or is it their God given right for the pursuit of financial happiness?

Is there a "Phase 2" that can make card-blogging profitable, or should we just accept that this will forever be a labor of love we pour our time and energy into without getting anything out of it other than satisfaction of a job well done, a bit of social interaction, and an occasional sweet trade package from an appreciative reader?

I remember reading a blog a few weeks ago (sorry, can't remember the name) where the guy was soliciting for writers to contribute to his blog, and he said something like, "I can't afford to pay you anything right now, but as soon as I start making money off the blog, which I hope will be soon, I'll definitely give you a cut." And he was being serious.

I couldn't help but chuckle at that. Other than maybe a couple bucks per month on ad revenue if you sellout and put up obnoxious banner ads (and still have high quality content to bring in loyal readers in spite of the ads), I can't imagine a card blog ever making real money.

That'd be nice, though. I'd love to do this for a living!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Setting the Mike Reinbach story straight

Mike Reinbach is one of my favorite lesser-known players to collect. The original "Guy From Granite," he was the first grad from my high school to play in the major leagues, albeit a short 12 game cup of coffee with the Orioles in 1974, but went on to stardom in Japan. After he retired from baseball, he spent much of the 80s as a pioneer in the burgeoning home computer industry.

On May 20th, 1989, Mike was killed in an automobile accident when his car went off a precipice. In researching his story, I've read insinuations that it was likely suicide, and even rumors that foul play was involved.

Recently, Mike's ex-Sister-in-Law Lin was kind enough to email me and set the record straight.
I considered Mike another brother even after he and my sister split he was still part of my family. I met Mike when I was 12 and he been dating my older sister, Mike was an only child so he was intrigued by the interactions of my family (4 kids) and my uncle who lived with us at the time. I was devastated at his death. I will let you know that he did not commit suicide. He was driving to Palm Springs with his girlfriend who also had a young child. I spoke with her after Mike's death but have lost touch with her, she was badly injured but survived the accident. She wrote to me after she was released from the hospital to let me know that it was purely an accident. So it has been frustrating to see reports that he committed suicide, he had so much to live for and was loved and would never have left his son this way.
There you have it. I had not heard that his girlfriend was in the car at the time. It's fortunate that she survived and was able to confirm that it was totally an accident. I know the roads going through Southern California mountains can get incredibly twisty and are responsible for several deaths each year. Growing up in the San Diego area, I've taken a few family trips to the quaint mountain-town of Julian and the gorgeous Anza-Borrego Desert, and I recall often battling carsickness from all the winding turns on the way. The trip to Palm Springs is longer, but similar.

Huge thanks to Lin for reaching out to me to set the record straight!

She also asked me for help with any documents and memorabilia from Mike's career.
I would like to get anything I can for my nephew (his son). Mike's mother had collected every article ever written and it was all lost after her death. Marie had every article ever printed since he first started playing sport as a small child.
Unfortunately I haven't dug up much if anything besides what I've featured on my blog, but I'll keep searching and pass on any articles and such that I come across.

In closing, Lin adds:
I am happy to say that his only child Brian will be married next month and I know that his father is watching over him and is very proud. Thank you for keeping his memory alive!
Very cool! And guess what, I planned out this post so that.. today (Nov. 22) is the big day! A heartfelt congratulations to Brian Reinbach and his lovely bride Maria! Wishing you two a wonderful life together.

Let's celebrate by taking an updated look at my Mike Reinbach collection.

I've got 3 real Mike Reinbach cards:
1979 TCMA Japanese Pro Baseball #81
1991 All-Time Orioles Crown #376
1973-74 Venezuelan Winter League Stickers #104

Here are 2 autographed index cards, one from his time in the minor leagues, and the other with an inscription of his Major League action and his jersey number. BTW, Reggie Jackson wore #9 for the Orioles in 1976; Coincidence, or was Mike Reinbach responsible for Mr. October's success in the late 70s? We may never know.
The clipping at the bottom comes from the 1974 Sporting News Player Register. (Thanks again to Mark Hoyle for that.)

Unused original negative from the Topps Vault. Unfortunately, Topps never made a baseball card for Mike Reinbach, but if they did, they might have used this photo. This was likely taken during Spring Training, 1974.

Once again I will refresh my plea for anyone living in Japan or who has friends in Japan or is able to place an international order on a Japanese website: There are several Mike Reinbach Calbee cards on that I'd love to get [search カルビー ラインバック ]. I'll make it worth your while if you can act as a middleman for me and help get some of these cards into my collection. I can trade you cards and/or pay money to cover any costs plus a healthy "finder's fee" for your trouble. Please, somebody help me out!

Let's take a look at some of these awesome Japanese cards that I'm lacking:

That's some cool stuff that I hope to get one day! I can't believe he has so many Calbee cards and I have zero of them.. bums me out.
But hey-- In a bizarre coincidence, just this morning, a Reinbach Calbee card popped up on eBay from a seller in Japan as a week-long auction. You can bet I'm bidding on this! I've had a set saved search for a long time, and this is the first one I've ever seen on there. Crazy that it happened today.

I've been having fun creating hardcopy custom cards in recent weeks, and made some "cards that never were" for Mike Reinbach.

I love this one! I made it a 1976 Topps card so I could get his complete North American stats on the back. Click on it to see the full size, why not.

Baltimore had a solid outfield in the mid 70s with the likes of Don Baylor, Paul Blair, and Ken Singleton. Reinbach could also play 1st, but he was blocked there by Boog Powell, and later by Lee May. So despite his impressive numbers in the minors, that sonofabitch Earl Weaver never really gave Mike a fair shot in the bigs. When the club traded for superstar Reggie Jackson to man right field-- Mike's #1 position-- it was clear he wasn't in their plans. So after a 4th stint in AAA, Mike went to play in Japan.

I wanted to make him another "sunset" card, but this time for his Japanese baseball days. Since 1980 was his final season, I went with a 1981 design, and settled on Donruss. These cards don't really have full stats on the back, but I fudged it in order to include all 5 years from his NPB career. Again, give 'er a click to see larger.

While English-language articles on his time in Japan are scarce, I'm not being hyperbolic when I say they loved him over there. The Tigers are known to have some of the most diehard fans in the world, and Mike became a big star.

Both of these customs turned out great, I gotta say, and between them, I feel like his baseball career has now been properly represented on cardboard in my collection. I've sent a few copies of these cards to Lin to share with Brian Reinbach, sort of like a little wedding gift. Hope he likes 'em! If anybody else wants a copy, just let me know.

Thank you for reading!