Monday, October 20, 2014

Mega Monday Mailday following a Silent Saturday Sad Day

I thought the Post Office wasn't supposed to stop delivering mail on Saturdays until some point in the future? Apparently I'm "lucky" enough to be in the district of a beta-testing post office (or just a bad/lazy one), because it's a crapshoot if they bother giving me my mail on Saturdays anymore. I know darn well I had some cards due this past Saturday, plus an outgoing Netflix dvd waiting in vain to be picked up. Boo.

But oh well. Making me wait a couple extra days means a nice big delayed-gratification Monday Mail Day. Four PWEs, two bubble mailers, and one small flat-rate priority box. Let's check out what I got!

Jim Bouton 1999 SI Greats of the Game auto

I have to admit I still haven't read his book Ball Four yet. I'm a pathetic excuse for a literate person, as I hardly ever read anything that's not on a computer monitor. But someday I'll read that book. I got renewed interest in Bouton recently thanks to the great Battered Bastards of Baseball doc streaming on Netflix. And now I've got his autograph!

Autographed Nate Colbert Minor League Manager 1996

I knew Nate was a hitting coach in the minors in the late 80s and early 90s, but I wasn't aware he managed in the mid 90s until I saw this card on eBay for a few bucks. And as an added bonus, it's signed!

2004 Topps Series 1 Benito Santiago Auto

This was a throw-away Best Offer that ended up getting accepted. Cool. Of course I'm a Benito fan, mainly from his time in San Diego, but never really went out of my way for his cards before. But I like the look of these 2004 Topps autos. Very simple design with a nice big white box for the on-card signature.. and Benito's got a nice one!
(Oh, and pull-tab alert! The seller was nice enough to make a pull tab on the back of the piece of tape. Unfortunately I didn't notice till after snapping the photo. I wish I could give the seller 6 star feedback for that. Seriously, guys: Pull tabs!)

After those eBay wins, here's an incoming Sportlots order:

A nice bunch of 1990 Upper Deck Marquis Grissom cards to put towards my Marquis Mania project plus some needs for my 1973 Topps setbuild. I've nearly put the first half of that set to bed (ie, the cheapest/easiest to find cards). That'll help me out when digging through boxes at upcoming card shows, as I'll pretty much be able to flip past anything numbered under 330 without having to check my list.

Next, here's a recent Listia win for a few cents' worth of credits.

Two PC hits in one with the McCovey/Ardian combo. I think that's my earliest A-Gon card now, from 2001 Upper Deck Minors. Seller threw in a couple bonus cards, which even when junk wax, is always appreciated.

And now here's a Hoying!

Mark dropped a batch of 93 Studio on me, plus some vintage Topps stamps, a Yaz DK, and probably the highlight, a Brian Giles auto. Secret Surprise, indeed! Thanks, Mark!

Finally, let's close out this mega mailday post with a trade package from Johnny's Trading Spot.

Three fat stacks of 2001 Archives for the set I'm working on! Plus a bonus Gavin Floyd to boot! Awesome! Big thanks, John. I'm excited to go through these stacks and ogle the sweet reprints. I'll send you back a big package of Braves very soon.

And so Monday, October 20, 2014 is in the books as a very good day for me receiving cards (though I would have been happy to get some of these a couple days prior, were it not for the flaky weekend postman.)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Got my Trout auto!

Instead of taking Los Angeles of Anaheim in every group break out there until I finally got one, I went ahead and snagged a Mike Trout auto on eBay. With his and the Angel's uninspired playoff performance a couple weeks ago, I figure it's a good time to buy. Sure, he choked to close out the year, but he's young and still has a long career ahead of him. He'll probably win AL MVP this year, though we'll have to wait a while to find out because baseball foolishly waits too long to announce their big awards.

It's not the best available Mike Trout auto on the market, but at least it's licensed and reasonably cool looking.

I had to cheat on my plan of not spending too much on cards this fall, but no buyer's remorse here. (However, after this and a few less-notable recent card purchases, I'm now getting serious about chilling out, and deleted most of my saved eBay searches. Gotta cool it on my card spending.. for reals this time!) The fact it's a sticker auto and graded "only" 9 helped keep it relatively affordable. He's arguably the best player in the game, and still very much a kid, so he should be a strong force in the game for many years to come. This auto is now a nice centerpiece to my burgeoning Mike Trout PC. I could have probably tried holding out for a better deal and/or better card, but I'm glad to have this little quest of mine completed and be officially aboard the Trout trolley!

All 10s in my mind!

No sticker can contain Mike Trout! That dangling T was no doubt what brought the autograph grade down to a 9. But I don't mind it.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Bandwagon jumping (Go Royals and Giants!)

I don't like the Giants, but I like them slightly more than the Cardinals, so I'm glad the lesser of two evils prevailed there. At least the Giants have Padres ties, with both Bochy and Peavy representing San Diego very well for several years till the suits upstairs pushed them out.

But that said, there's no question I'm rooting for the Royals to win it. Gotta love a Cinderella story.

I got on the bandwagon and picked up an Alex Gordon certified auto the other day.

This seems to be his cheapest available auto out there, setting me back an even $10 shipped. Sticker auto. No sign of MLB properties. Bottom of the certified auto barrel, sure, but I like it. Gordon has been a real good player for a while now, and seems to me he's the heart of the team (though again, I'm just a bandwagon jumper and don't know much about them.)

I don't specifically collect anybody currently on the Royals, though I did pull a couple nice numbered Yordano Ventura cards from the 2014 Donruss Series 2 box I won, so I'll be hoping he pitches well. As far as all-time Royals I like, names springing to mind include Dan Quisenberry and Al Hrabosky (I had misspelt both those guys' last names; kudos to Google Chrome's spellcheck for having them in the dictionary; ironically it's saying spellcheck isn't a word. Well, screw them.) Let's see, who else? Vida Blue and Gaylord Perry are a couple guys I collect who spent a little time in KC. Oh yeah, my boy Bip bipped there briefly, too. As did Reggie Sanders. And of course you gotta love Mr. Royal, George Brett.

As for San Francisco, apart from the aforementioned Bruce Bochy and Jake Peavy, I don't really collect any current Giants. I ranted about all-time Giants I collect back when Peavy got traded in a post titled The damn Giants I'm forced to collect.

But ever the opportunist, I've attempted to try taking advantage of San Francisco's success to help me thin out the team's ample representation in my tradebox. I got 5 Listia auctions running, all ending Sunday. All five are lots, between 4 and 9 cards each. Excuse the self-serving plug, but you can check out the listings here on my Listia profile. I've got a Posey lot, Bumgarner lot, Cain lot, misc Giants lot, and a lot of my Peavy dupes. (I should put up a lot of Bochy dupes, too.)

Anyways, should be a fun Series. I'll be pulling for Kansas City to keep the magic going and bring home their first Championship since 1985, but won't be crushed in the event San Francisco comes out on top and further cements Bochy's HOF credentials.

Have a good weekend and stay safe! (At my work, there's one other guy besides me who regularly rides his bike to work. He just got hit by a car as he was leaving to go home today. Yikes! I think he's fine, but shaken up and they're taking him to the hospital to be safe. Needless to say, I'll be extra careful riding home today.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Eric Owens O'Wednesday!

The other day, I shared a list of fan favorites I'd love to see featured with autographs in 2015 Archives. Out of the guys I listed, I realize the biggest longshot to be given any post-playing days love is Eric Owens. On paper, his career numbers won't impress you much, but he was always exciting to watch. The Padres were pretty crappy in 1999 and 2000, but Owens was one of the few bright spots, often being the spark that ignited what few wins the team had those couple years. Sort of a latter day Bip Roberts. Great plays on the field and a constant threat to run on the basepaths, his scrappiness defined him as a fan favorite. Any highlight reel of San Diego's all-time moments would have to include his electrifying straight steal of home, still one of my favorite baseball memories. The baseball fan populous in general might not remember him very well if at all, but if you were a fan of the Padres at the turn of the millenium, he no doubt won a place in your heart.

So yeah, I've got a modest PC for Eric Owens going and now I'm going to show it off.

Let's start with some Fleer. One of those on the bottom is a gold foil parallel or something along those lines.

Some various stuff from his early days in the minors and as a Red.

Here's a closer look at the certified auto, #'d 4015/5750. Nice. He has a handful of certified autos out there, with this particular issue being the cheapest. I got it for a couple bucks.

Here's the Topps family contingent. That stretch-tastic 2004 flagship card would prove to be his sunset / final tribute card featuring complete career stats, with Eric not making it back to the bigs after the 2003 season. He's currently coaching in the minors.
And finally, the crown jewel of my Eric Owens PC...

Yep, it's Eric's original extension agreement with Topps from 2002.

1/1 certified auto! Legal Signature Edition! The B stands for Blake!

This didn't get any bids during its original auction, and was then re-listed as Buy-It-Now. I kept my eye on it and when I won a different Topps Vault auction (which I'll show off another day), I threw this in my cart to take advantage of combined shipping. It's my first of these contracts, though I have bid and lost on a couple others. Topps Vault lists many of them and occasionally they go for a lot of money, such as a Randy Myers contract recently (Randy Myers is a notorious prick about signing autographs). Though I try to limit my card collection to cards, from time to time I snag a non-card item like this and that Dick Allen match print photo I got a couple months ago.

Since it was in effect through the 2005 season, and Eric was out of affiliated ball by then (he finished his career playing in Mexico in 2005), it's safe to say this is his final contract with Topps. Sunset contract! Actually, reading it closer, it's saying Topps already had him under contract through the 2005 season, and this contract is extending that through the 2006 season. Looks like Topps threw away that $75, since again, Eric was out of the game by then and his final card was in the 2004 set. Well, at least they eventually made $9.95 of that deal back thanks to me.

Numbered hologram slapped on the back, so don't even think about producing any counterfeit Eric Owens 2002 Topps contracts!

And so there you have my Eric Owens collection. He's got plenty of cards out there that I'm missing, so please get in touch if you can fill some holes and want to trade. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Speak up for 2015 Archives Fan Favorites

Back in May when I giddily discovered Bip Roberts had an auto in 2014 Topps Archives, I posted the question..
Who is a neglected favorite player of yours from the past that you would most like to see included in a current set? We're talking fan favorites who've been retired for at least a few years, who have very few-- if any-- certified autos out there.

Well, this morning, Topps tweeted soliciting suggestions for 2015 Archives.

So if you're on Twitter, now's a good time to try to make your voice heard! (and enter a contest for free cards in the process!)

Here's the link

Personally, I pretty much maxed out the amount of characters Twitter would let me use in my response:
Vin Scully, Dick Allen, Julio Franco, Nate Colbert, Eric Owens, Marquis Grissom, Reggie Sanders, Tekulve, Bip
I didn't spend a ton of time thinking it over, but I feel good about my suggestions, as those are all dudes I like that don't get much certified-auto love these days. Hopefully the guys at Topps actually take a good look at the responses, and perhaps even make a couple of these a reality. Obviously a lot of the folks replying don't get the concept of Archives Fan Favorites, and are suggesting current players and top-tier HOFers.

Anyways, today should be a nice mail day. Freakin' Columbus Day pointlessly delaying cards from being delivered to my mailbox! :( Abolish Columbus Day!

I sent out a bunch of PWEs on Sunday. The automated postage machine was on the fritz, and the only thing it would do was print postage (scale wasn't working). I took a guess that 70¢ stamps would be enough for each envelope, and bought a few. So hopefully they all reach their destination without a hitch.

Hey, speaking of Archives Fan Favorites autographs, let's close this post with one I added to my collection recently..

Bill Lee is quite a character. Glad to add an auto of Spaceman to my collection. I think this card is from 2013 Archives. He has another one in the style of 1973 Topps (I believe from 2012 Archives) which I liked more, but this 1974 style card was cheaper, so it won out. Maybe someday I'll pick up the other one too.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bip 1/1!

Often when I post of my Bip Roberts collection, somebody will post a comment along the lines of, "Wow, somebody collects Bip Roberts?!" Sure, Bip's cards aren't worth much and they're ever-present in junk wax packs, leading to the phenomenon of Bipping. But yeah, the guy is well-loved, especially by anyone who was a Padre fan in the late 80s/early 90s. Reds fans of the early 90s probably have a soft spot for him too, as do A's fans, with Bip currently being a part of Oakland's broadcast team.

He's a cool, friendly guy who played the game right/hard. Add to that a small stature and fun name, and you've got yourself a fan-favorite.

I've been keeping an eye on eBay for printing plates for Bip's 2014 Archives card or the 1/1 "ruby red" parallel or 12/25 silver parallel to add to the rainbow I've got going. Surprisingly, I haven't seen any pop up. But something that did find its way into my search was this 2014 Leaf Best of Baseball Memories Buyback Red 1/1. I threw in a decent bid and ended up winning it for a few bucks.

Not that cool (would've been sweet were it autographed), but still a unique card to add to my Bip PC. I've got a long way till I can measure up with the ultimate Bip Roberts collection, but with this 1/1, a printing plate, and a 1993 Topps Finest Refractor, I've got a pretty respectable 3-jeweled crown highlighting my Bips.

Anyways, thanks for stopping by. I'm off to enjoy the official beer of the cardosphere...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Weezer autographs and memorabilia

If you'll excuse the occasional tangent away from sportscards onto other collectables, I wanted to post some other autographs n' stuff I've got. I originally thought about doing a week of posts dedicated to non-sports/non-card autos in my collection, but I think I'll instead just sprinkle in these posts here and there.

Today I'm featuring the band Weezer. They just put out a new album a few days ago, so seemed as good a time as any to feature them. I sure loved their first album (The Blue Album) when it came out in 1994, and it has held up very well over the years, still an all-time favorite of mine. "Buddy Holly" and "Say It Ain't So" are probably the biggest hits from it, but it's awesome all the way through.

They followed that up with Pinkerton, which was a little weirder but still pretty awesome once you got used to it. After an extended hiatus, they returned with The Green Album in 2001 which wasn't quite as legendary as their first two offerings, but in hindsight is a quality album. Then there were a few albums that weren't too good, but had a catchy tune here and there (and some embarrassingly bad songs in there, too). The new album is called Everything Will Be Alright In The End. While not up to the high standards of the first couple albums, the consensus is it's actually a pretty decent return to form.

Personally, my fandom hit its peak from mid 2000 till mid 2001, seeing them live 3 times within a year and following them pretty close online. While no longer one of my top 10 favorite bands, I'll always have a soft spot for Weezer-- the first 2 albums in particular-- and will always check out their new stuff when it comes out, hoping for the best. Some of their greatest songs were never properly released, such as the old demo at the top of this post.

Anyways, here's my cool Weezer stuff.

This one's actually my wife's. She got this at a Weezer show when she was a teen. They sold these pre-signed CDs at the merch table, so she didn't actually get it signed live-in-person by them, but still cool.

Here are my Weezer CDs. The trilogy! The Green Album is the Japanese import with 2 bonus tracks.

Here's a guitar pick I think I got at a Weezer show once, though I honestly forget the story behind it. I think it was Rivers' and I picked it up from the stage after the show ended.

Here's the other side.

Here's a cool piece! Back when the band regrouped after a few years off, they began by playing small, secret shows under the pseudonym Goat Punishment. I think this was only their 2nd or 3rd show since the hiatus, so there was a lot of excitement around these shows. I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to see them at my favorite club, San Diego's Casbah. The tiny place was packed! The band sounded great and I liked the new songs a lot (again, some of their best songs never got released, with "O Girl" and "Preacher's Son" fading into obscurity after this tour.) I hung around outside for a little while after the set and Rivers came out to say hi to fans. I got to tell him it was a great show and have him sign my ticket for me. I can't remember if the smudge at the end was his fault or mine. I was a newb to getting autographs, so it was very likely my thumb that was the culprit. Still though, love this signed stub.

Finally, here's a "game used" setlist. This was from their show at another of my favorite venues in San Diego, 'Canes (RIP). That place was so cool because it was literally right on the beach. This show was just a month after the Casbah show, happening 7/17/00, but it was not a secret show, so there were a ton of people there. But unlike the prior show, I was able to get nice and close to the stage for this one. (This was the show where I got the guitar pick, I believe.) Great vantage point from the right of the stage. After the set ended, other fans grabbed up the setlists that were in reach, but Pat the dummer's setlist was still up there. The band's drum tech/roadie at the time was Adam Willard, whom I was familiar with because he had been the drummer for Rocket From The Crypt, one of my favorite bands. Knowing his name worked out for me, because when he came on stage to start taking the drumset away, I was able to yell over the house music, "Hey Atom, can I get a setlist?" and he kindly obliged. You can see the band came up with silly versions of their song titles ("Surf Wax America" became "Smurf Waxxxxxxxxx"). You Weezer fans can have fun decoding the titles. This show was the debut of a new song called "Mad Cow", another really good song that never got released.
I also saw the band a third and final time (so far) 3/18/01 at the RIMAC Arena in La Jolla. I've got no mementos from that performance, but I believe that was the tour where my now-wife bought the signed CD pictured above. It was a solid show, but being at a large arena, it was a much less intimate show than the first two I saw, and I was way up in the nosebleeds. Quite a contrast from the club shows, but still a solid rock show. From then on, my fanaticism in the band waned and I stopped following them as closely by the time Maladroit was released in mid 2002. But again, I still listen to them from time to time and always have high hopes when a new album comes out. Again, Everything Will Be Alright In The End is a solid album if you like the band, though it won't blow anyone away.

Oh! I almost forgot. One last thing.. this doesn't count as memorabilia or anything, but back in 2001, I made a silly "webcomic" type webpage where the band encounters Mr. T. You read that right. Back then there were a lot of "Mr. T Vs..." pages.. like Mr. T vs. Spider-man, Mr. T vs. Chuck Norris, etc. They were all somewhat similar and very dumb. I wanted to get in on the fun, so I spent some quality time on Photoshop over a few days and whipped up Mr. T vs. Weezer. It's still online and you can check it out here. As the disclaimer states, "if you are not a Weezer fan, this page will likely be a waste of your time." Lots of Weezer references and tomfoolery. I thought it was pretty funny, at least!

So there you have it. Anybody else out there a Weezer fan?