Monday, April 24, 2017

Setbuilding chugging along thanks to COMC

In my latest COMC order, I picked up needs for all 3 vintage sets I'm currently working on, plus the 2 modern parallel sets I'm trying to complete. I'd just search by lowest price, then check against my lists to see what I needed.

I wanted to add some color to my 2011 Topps parallel frankenset, grabbing a cheap blue refractor (#/99) and black refractor (#/100), neither of which were previously represented parallels in there. Also picked up a couple #/499 purple refractors. I was a little surprised to find Kevin Youkilis and Jose Bautista slumming it with the lowest-priced examples available, but was happy to grab them.
With this project, I'm at 494/1284, good for 38.47% complete.

And here are a couple cheap needs for the other parallel set I'm working on.
With 2004 Topps Chrome black refractors, I'm now at 130/487, good for 26.69% complete.

Picked up 5 cards for my young 1957 Topps setbuild. Everybody knows Wally Moon, in large part because of his fabulous unibrow, but he had a nice career too. Virgil Trucks was also pretty good, pitching a pair of no-hitters in his career. At $1.15, it was the most expensive card in this post. Only that and the Pete Whisenant were over a buck.
This lot helped me crack double-digits complete with the set, currently at 10.79% complete, with 45 of 417 cards down.

1964 Topps is kind of a back-burner project for me these days, with '65 and '57 interesting me more. But still looking to add cards when I can find good prices on them. Now at 40.92% complete, with 241 of 589 cards.

And finally, here's a decent lot of 1965 Topps. Not many well-known names here, just checking off a few of the commons I needed. Still might be on track to reach my soft goal of finishing the set by the end of the year, currently at 471/600, good for 78.5% complete, though I'm going to eventually have to start ponying up for some of the big names I'm missing.

Thanks for reading, and as always, please get in touch if you've got any cards I'm missing and would like to work out a trade.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

wrapping up my weekend with a fair hooker and dick cummings on my bed

Crazy weekend, right?!
Nah, actually it was a pretty chill. Just hung out, did a little cleaning.. went through a recent package from COMC.

Call me immature, but I thought this photo of a Fair Hooker and Dick Cummings on my bed was pretty funny. I had to run out and pick up a Fair Hooker right away after seeing him on the Cardboard Hogs blog, I think it was. And then I came across Dick Cummings on Wrigley Roster Jenga. My collection would seem incomplete without it, so I splurged. (LOL, sorry guys.. first a weed post and now weiner jokes.. my blog may have gotten a little lowbrow lately.. I'll have to class it up more soon.)

I've already completed the rainbow for Brian Humphries' 2012 Bowman Chrome card, only missing some printing plates, so why did I add another red wave refractor to the PC?...

Christmas Card, that's why! Upgrade!
Not sure if/where Brian is playing this year yet. He doesn't seem to be on the roster for the independent Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks with whom he had a nice 2016 season.

Dexter Fowler helped the Cubs win it all last year, then cashed in for a big payday to sign with the Cardinals. I don't really collect him, but was impressed by him speaking out against the travel ban in the face of St. Louis fans bitching at him to shut up and stick to sports.

And it's a Christmas Card, too!

I love wave refractors. I already had a few various wave colors.. red, blue, black, orange.. but wanted to land an elusive green wave of somebody. Luke Jackson was the best name available for the price I was looking to pay.

Here's a weird 2016 Panini Father's Day relic card of Manuel Margot. It's a "player worn" gimmick, likely worn during that photoshoot and that's it, not game-used, but it was pretty cheap for a memorabilia card of a top rookie, #'d 16/25. And the whole atomic refractor look is kinda cool.

A Cecchini Brothers diecut.

It's the #'d 25/25 xfractor. I already had the 50/50 parallel (shimmer refractor), so it was neat to get the "last of the print run" of a couple different parallels of the same card.

A couple cheap autos. I don't really need anymore Gavin Escobar autographs, but at just a buck-fiddy, I couldn't pass it up. Plus he's pictured in a (whitewashed) SDSU Aztecs uniform. After a lackluster 2016 season with the Cowboys, Escobar signed as a free-agent with the Kansas City Chiefs for 2017.

David Denson was never quite a top prospect, but is known for being the first openly gay active player in affiliated baseball. After batting .212 last year in A-ball, he decided to hang them up and pursue a career as a personal trainer instead. Bummer he couldn't break through to the bigs, but all the best to him. Happy to pick up this refractor auto for my Pride PC minicollection. Cool signature, too.

We finish up with a couple refractors. Hunter Renfroe has been doing ok in San Diego so far. As I was ready to place my order, I still had 31¢ in my account over the needed $3.99 for shipping. Instead of saving it for next time, I searched for cheap cards to clean me out, and settled on this 2010 Bowman Chrome Mark Buehrle refractor. I remember seeing his name trending on Twitter a few weeks ago and thought, "Finally, a team wisely signed him. Still got plenty in the tank." But no, turns out he's still retired. He was in the news because the White Sox announced they're gonna retire his number.

That's it for today. I also picked up some set needs, but we'll save those for another post. Thanks for swinging by. I gotta go wash my sheets!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

this trade roundup keeps it poppin'

Let's run through the incoming cardboard I've received over the past couple weeks through the kind folks on the cardsphere.

Spiegel83 of the dormant blog Nomo's Sushi Platter spoke up for an available Nomo #'d insert I posted about after my last card show. I sent him the card and a few others I thought he might dig in a Dodgers-centric PWE, and he returned fire with a big package full of a bunch of guys I collect.

Great lot of Pops. I think that last card there my first ever Day-glo parallel, a retail-only gimmick from 2013 Archives that didn't really catch on. Pardon the pun, but it definitely pops in-hand.

Some spiffy Frank Robinson cards here.

Adam Jones looking good.

The Orioles keep coming with a terrific Manny Machado lot.

Nice additions to my Tom Seaver PC.

Solid bunch of Stan Musial.

Ten welcomed Molitor cards.

And here's the "miscellaneous" grouping to close the package. You know, just these 5 cards alone would have been a fine return for what I sent him. Very generous.. Thanks a lot for the trade, man!

- - - - --o

So I got that above package over a week ago, then it was quiet for several days until a flurry of unexpected PWEs graced my mailbox late this past week.

This one here is from GCA at The Collective Mind.

Shiny trio of Michael Sam cards. Pretty!

This one is a trip. I received this card on 4/20, just hours after posting my Bake McBride PC. GCA posted a comment on that post saying he might have a 1981 Topps Coke card for me. And I'm not sure what time-traveling magic he's got, but yep, here it is.

Thanks, man! I'll try to hit you back with something soon.

- - - - --o

Next is a PWE from John Miller at Johnny's Trading Spot. He's relentless!

Three cards of Josh Donaldson, including a card that says Memorial Day on it. Topps, if you want to do an insert set for Memorial Day, howbout photos of guys with their hat over their heart during the anthem? That'd be cool. But this is just another generic insert.

And a Hoyt and a couple Gavin Floyd cards. I'm at the point where I seem to have most of the readily available modern Hoyt cards and flagship Floyds, though I think I needed 2 of the 3.. so, not bad.

Thanks, John. I have not made any progress on your customs since the last PWE you sent me, it saddens me to admit, but they are on my to-do list and I'll do ya right when I get around to sending you cards.

- - - ---o

Finally, a one-card surprise from Judson at My Cardboard Habit. He recently busted a couple boxes of Gypsy Queen and landed a card he rightfully thought would go well in my collection.

My first 2017 Gavin! And my first in-person look at 2017 Gypsy Queen. I've been tempted to pick up a blaster of the stuff, but have resisted, as I'm trying to cut down on retail card purchases this year, relying on my Black Friday haul from last year to get the occasional ripping fix.

Back to this card, it's a /250 parallel of Gavin Cecchini. He's currently in AAA, but with Jose Reyes' struggling, he might get called up to fill an infield spot for the Mets soon.

Sweet card! Big thanks, Judson! I'll send you back something soon.

Thanks again to these guys who sent me cards, and thanks you the rest of you for reading.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Baseball Card Breakdown Gets Baked

Bake McBride is a guy I wasn't really familiar with until getting back into the hobby a few years ago. He was ROY with the Cardinals in 1974, a big part of the Phillies' championship team of 1980, and finished up his major league action in 1983 with a stint in Cleveland after a string of injuries derailed his career at 34.

In addition to the fun name, he seems like a cool somewhat-forgotten player from the era, and I wanted to try putting together a little PC for the guy. He's a semi-star with a decent amount of cards out there and some oddballs, but not enough to really scare you away from trying to catch them all. Despite being a "guy I collect" on my wantlist for a year or two now, it's very rare that anybody ever sends me anything from him. So I turned to Just Commons in my recent order to score myself an assortment of his cards.

I actually got most of these cards a month ago, but saved this post for 4/20 because of the whole "bake"/"marijuana" thing. LOL. Just thought I'd get cute posting it today. For the record, I stick to booze. Weed doesn't agree with me. The handful of times I've tried the stuff, either I feel nothing or I end up puking for a couple hours. Once I found myself imprisoned in a Vietnamese POW camp. Another time I came face to face with the kernel of all evil in the world. It sucked! Another time I shriveled up on my back like a dead cockroach.. and that was after I came down! But if you're lighting up today, cheers. Or "420 blaze it" as the kids say. Be smart and stay safe.

Anyways, here are the Bake McBride cards I own as of 4/20/17:

Last card show I attended, I was really hoping to find a McBride RC, and while I came across plenty other '74 multi-player rookies, no dice on Bake. Had to turn to the cheapest specimen available on eBay for this card which suffers from a skinned corner and rightward inclination. Maybe the fact he shares the card with fellow "Hall of Very Good" player Brian Downing adds to the desirability/scarcity of it. The '79 was one of the few cards already in my collection, perhaps by way of a trade, though I can't remember.
Rich Bladt? More like Rich BLUNT, am I right?!

Here's a double dose of 1982 Topps, with the flagship and Traded. I think the facsimile auto is the same.

And I've got the '83 and '84 Topps and their Canadian counterparts.

Looks like I've got the complete run of flagship Fleer. Not quite Oscar Gamble levels, but Bake rocked a very respectable afro at the time.

There's as close as you'll find for complete career stats for Bake McBride on the back of a baseball card. Good ol' Fleer giving kids complete MLB stats and usually minor league numbers as well. Bake spent 1984 with the Rangers' AAA team before hanging them up.. Put up decent numbers in Oklahoma City for his swan song (.296 in 32 games), not sure why they kept him on the farm. He probably deserved better than that.
Look at that career average.. So tantalizing close to being a lifetime .300 hitter, finishing at .299. Not quite as bad as Al Kaline's 399 home runs, but still frustrating from an OCD perspective.

His 1976 ("1975") SSPC card might be the most baked Bake card out there. Like... whoa, dude. A cool oddball, nonetheless. And I've only got one Donruss card of his, though I'm only missing one other: 1981. He strangely wasn't included in the 1983 or 1984 Donruss sets.
Donruss D.A.R.E.D. to say NO to Bake.

And we finish with the pride of my little Bake PC, a Topps Archives certified auto. He's got one of the best signatures around. Imaging trying to fit that on a little sticker! Long live on-card autographs.

That's the end of the post. What a long, strange trip it's been. If you got the hook-up for any Bake McBride cards I'm missing, don't bogart them.. get in touch and we can hash out a trade. Be a kind bud, leaf through your cards, including high numbers. Make sure you weed out any dupes before you add them to the pot.

Ha. Thanks for reading, everybody. Catch you later!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Retired Refractor Review: Red Sox Royalty

It's Easter, so that's as good a time as any to post some lovely pastel rainbow-looking cards. My Topps Retired refractors are among the top jewels of my collection. As a theme to tie them together, the three guys I'm featuring today all first made a name for themselves in Boston, though not all of these are Red Sox cards.

This is a cool shot of Carlton Fisk, apparently shouting to second base or perhaps giving direction to a cutoff man. Those 80s White Sox uniforms with the number on the pants are pretty funky.

That's a long time behind the dish. I didn't realize Fisk had such quick legs for a catcher, swiping 128 bases in his career and leading the league in triples during his ROY campaign in 1972.

Here's a nice posed shot of Fred Lynn from his days as an Angel. I always love picking up 2003 Topps Retired refractors when I can find them for a good price. They don't seem to pop up as often as their 2005 counterparts.

Freddy put up great numbers during his Red Sox days, but leveled off a bit once he moved on to California and later Baltimore. I know it sounds like a joke everytime I say it, but I think of him first and foremost as a Padre, since 1990 happened to be the year I first really got into baseball as a kid in San Diego.

This Jim Lonborg card is another instance of a seller screw-up lending itself to a good deal. The listing neglected to mention that this was a refractor parallel, or that it was serial numbered out of 25. But I could tell by the rainbow sheen in the photo that it was definitely a refractor, so I was able to score it for the opening bid. Not that it would have been considerably more expensive had the seller properly listed it, but I bet he could have easily gotten a few bucks more, perhaps even twice as much if a couple BoSox fans got into a bidding war over it.

In a happy coincidence, I'm posting this on Jim's birthday. As the red stats indicate, he was at his best in 1967, helping the "Impossible Dream" Red Sox reach the World Series. As the sentence on the back states, he did very well in his first two WS starts, but then they put him back out there on short rest for Game 7 and well, you know how that ended for Boston. He won the Cy that year, and had a few more solid seasons in his career, but was never quite as dominant.

A fun fact about Lonborg is that he's the real baseball player in the "Sam Malone pitching" photo hanging in the bar on the show Cheers.

Good enough excuse to revisit the fun TTM return last year from the great Wade Boggs.

That's gonna do it for today. Happy Easter, everybody!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Cards from the Big Folder

Here're some recent pickups I haven't gotten around to posting about yet, soundtracked by the songs of Tears For Fears.

"Everybody Loves a Happy Ending"

For Padres fans, a happy ending to the 2017 season would be to capture a NL ROY award. They've got a few young guys getting an opportunity to play, so who knows. Last I checked, Manuel Margot was leading rookies in several offensive categories, so fingers crossed he keeps it up. I was very happy to land this Christmas Card auto off eBay a month or two ago for a good price.

"Laid So Low"

Feels like the moment has passed, but I'd still like to one day get all the Gallery of Greats inserts from 2015 Chrome/Series 1. These were a couple cheap ones of guys I collect from Just Commons. Both these guys have been laid pretty low lately, with Josh Donaldson having injury issues so far this season. And the tears roll down Royals' fans faces as Alex Gordon continues to slip further away from his all-star form of the past.
Still though, sharp looking cards!


I've got several Brooks Kieschnick cards, but those were all from his days as an upcoming slugger with the Cubs. This is my first card from after he made the change into a pitcher who could also be called on to pinch hit or make a spot start in the outfield or at DH. Love the versatility.

And here's the back so you can see the pitching stats. He would spend all 2005 in Houston's minor leagues before hanging up his cleats, so this is a sunset card, featuring complete career stats.. well, pitching stats, at least. Pity there's no batting stats or write up trumpeting his "2-way player" feat. It's not super uncommon for guys to switch in the minors, but to get into over 100 MLB games as a position player, then take up pitching and make it back to the majors? Pretty exceptional. This card balances out my lil BK PC: I have 14 of his cards, and half of those are certified autos, which is kinda crazy. But hey, he has many inexpensive autos out there, so I pick them up when I can.

"Head Over Heals"

(Heads behind borders?) Panini seemed to throw a bunch of ideas out at collectors around 2013 to see what would stick. Select was one of the ideas that didn't stick. It wasn't even on my radar back then. But years later I wound up with a Brian Wilson card from it that I strangely was head over heals for even though I very much dislike Brian Wilson. I thought about finding a hobby box to bust, but after learning that all the autos in the product are stickers (Nooooo!!), I quickly dropped that idea and understood why the reboot failed. Instead I picked up a few cheap singles of guys I collect on Just Commons, including a Beltre refractor.. er "prizm".

(Different Brian Wilson.)


I'm trying to build up my Minnie Minoso PC a bit, so I added these couple cards to my Just Commons cart. It makes me want to shout when I think about the injustice of him not being in the Hall of Fame. Cold as ice.

"Pale Shelter"

Here's a card I bought to add another Jabari Blash to my Blashlection. (I also kinda collect AJ Reed.)

Blash is a guy who launches many massive dingers in spring training, making those stadiums look like pale shelter, but once the season starts, he gives me cold hands. Hopefully he can deliver this season when the Padres ask for more and more out of him.

"Everybody Wants to Rule the World"

I'll never forget that day in the mid 80s when I was a kid at Aquaris Roller Rink for a friend's birthday party and "Everybody Wants to Rule The World" came on over the sound system. For the first time in my young life I realized what an amazing thing music was. The song just really connected with me, as I skated ovals under the light bouncing off the mirror ball. Ever since that moment, Tears For Fears have been one of my favorite bands.

So when I saw an autograph card of singer Curt Smith featured on Sport Card Collectors not long ago, I made it a mission to land myself a copy. It didn't take too long for me to snag one at a decent price (under $7 shipped) on eBay. I've never seen the show Psych, a guest spot on which brought about the card, but I'm interested in checking it out, so hopefully it comes (back) to Netflix streaming one of these days. And I'd love it if Roland Orzabal eventually got a certified autograph card too so I could complete the central duo of the band, but it doesn't look like he's got any official autos out there at the moment.

I was gonna end this post there, but let's have one more...

"Sowing the Seeds of Love"

Hey, speaking of Netflix, Mystery Science Theater 3000 is back today! Sowing the seeds of love up on the Satellite of Love. Good enough excuse to repost a favorite piece of my autograph collection, my DVD signed by Joel, originally posted about back in October 2014. The new version of the show actually premiered last night at midnight, and I even stayed up late but forgot to watch it. Luckily my work closes for Good Friday since the stock market's closed, so I have the day off. Had a fun day bowling with my wife and hanging out.. and now just about to check out the first episode.

Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend. TFF 4EVER!