Monday, August 10, 2020

2021 Topps redux

For some reason Topps thinks it's a good idea to unveil their upcoming flagship design in early August. But any hype it generates is gone by the time the thing actually comes out the following year.

Their prototype for 2021 was met with mixed reviews. Some like it, others don't. (I don't. Too busy and feels like Bowman.)

There's a blog bat-around for us creative-type bloggers to make an improved version without straying too far from the original spirit of the design, and I went ahead and gave it a shot.


Yeah, I just kept it simple, stupid. Sure, it looks like it's from 1994, but I don't care.. I like it better than this...



Ugh! Why all the razor blades and jagged edges? And this card has apparently been run over by a truck at some point! I get that the past few months on Earth have been rough, but why must our baseball cards reflect that pain??

The "70" logo just makes me think of Bowman inserts and buybacks from 2017 that used a very similar logo. And that tiny name is going to be a real pain in the ass to read when you're busting a box after the sun's gone down.



Here's my horizontal mock-up. I figure a team logo can go on the cards without a RC logo. (see old-school Rated Rookies that were either/or.. Looks better than cluttering the card with too many logos) Had to shrink the name down a bit because Tatis has a long one, but it's still way more readable than the real thing.


How about seeing how these look as Chrome refractors?.........


Oh man, I'd probably have to pre-order me up a hobby box of this!.. if only it were real.

Thanks for coming to my ted talk.

3 Trades

Time for another quick trade roundup.

This first one is from reader Jack S. He got in touch saying he was narrowing down his collection and had some cards he thought I could use. He didn't even really need anything in return-- always a sweet deal if you can get it!-- though I did get him to pass along a wantlist and was able to dig up a few cards for him, at least.


Kicking off with some vintage. Love getting Kellogg's in the mail! The Tony Oliva is a nice one from the first year of the cereal set, and the Ruth is my first from the '72 All-Time Greats subset. The '74 Topps Traded cards are nice upgrades for my setbuild.


Big lot of PC guys. Good stuff.


A pair of oversized cards of guys I collect.


I was a little confused by these cards at first, as I don't collect presidents. But then I remembered these guys are all mentioned in "We Didn't Start The Fire" (yet another project of mine), so yeah, might be able to use them!


A few Padres prospects and other modern dudes. I dig those Clear Vision acetate cards.


And a few solid basketball cards rounding out the package.

Thanks, Jack! Much appreciated.

-   -  - ---o


Here's a PWE from a guy on Twitter named Roy, answering my call to send me vintage needs in exchange for a Joan Jett custom pair. I needed the Fergie for my '74 setbuild, and it'll make a fine placeholder but I'll definitely hope to upgrade eventually. Didn't need the Jack Clark. A couple notable rookies from '88 Fleer fill out the envelope. Thanks, Roy. Enjoy the Jetts.

-   -  - ---o

Jay from Card Hemorrhage shot a few cards over my way recently too.


A dab of vintage here with a '79 upgrade plus a needed '74 League Leader featuring a double dose of HOF hurlers, along with a bunch of PC additions. Can't recall seeing that goofy Canseco w/ shovel card before.


And a nice grouping of big names from the past. Good stuff here, highlighted by Yount with his cycle (his 2nd such appearance in this post!), a shiny Schoendienst, and the "Nolan Knows Bo" card I was just toying with a while ago.

Thanks, Jay! I'll round up a return for you very soon.

That's it for now (also got some more great cards from Wes, but there are a bunch, so that'll be a separate post). Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, August 7, 2020

2011 Rainbow Trout

Another late-in-the-day birthday-inspired post.

Mike Trout turns 29 today. He's pretty good! As far as monetary value, Trout is likely my #1 player collection at the moment.


Can't really call this a "rainbow" in the traditional sense, but I really like this quartet of cards I've been able to put together of Mike Trout in the 2011 Topps design.


This 2011 Topps Update rookie card was a generous addition sent my way from Matthew Scott a few years back, which has only become more generous in light of the rising Trout inflation since. Wouldn't grade out to a 10, but still an incredibly appreciated card in my collection.


This is a big card I ponied up for a year or so ago. Technically this isn't part of my Trout PC but rather the 2011 Topps parallel frankenset I'm building. I paid a lot for it, but checking recent eBay completed listings just now... wow, I would have to pay a lot more for it today (like probably over double!), so I guess I'm glad I pulled the trigger when I did. (Though realistically, I expect the corona card bubble to pop eventually and prices to fall back to around where they were in the Before Times, maybe even lower. But who knows.)


This is another 2019 Topps Transcendent VIP Party "Through the Years" card. I showed off a 1990 Topps Record Breaker version last month, and this is the one other I snagged around that same time. I was targeting this one thanks to the rookie year design... so I can pretend it's like a "photo variation SSP rookie card" while really it's just a 2019 gimmick. But I like it.


And the last one I got was this 2011 Topps Pro Debut card. I think it rounds out the group nicely.

If I wanted to add to this "rainbow type thing", there are plenty of Project 2020 cards playing off his 2011 card, but I plan to call it good with these four.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Pete Rose Andy Warhol Custom Nine

Another addition to my Binder of Enchantment and Wonder (my "fun card" binder) is a page of customs I recently whipped up inspired by the Pete Rose artwork from Andy Warhol. I first started this project back in January, but just finally completed it, inspired by what would have been Warhol's 92nd birthday today.


Customs cards for nine different works of art featuring Pete Rose in the 1985 Topps design (the current set on shelves at the time). As you can see, the dimension of the pieces runs a bit shorter than a standard card, but not too far off. I believe these images are all of real Warhol prints, though the upper left 4 comprise the best-known version.


The backs tell the story behind how the quirky artwork came to be, paraphrased/plagiarized from a couple different articles (such as Warhol's Pete Rose Portrait Turns 25).

So there's that! I think it makes for an interesting 9-pocket page of cards.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Topps Retired Triad 4 - The Butler Did It


Sometimes Retired refractors pop up on eBay at a very fair Buy-It-Now price but I miss them before they're snatched up and it makes me very sad. (This happened with a Lou Whitaker just the other day.) But sometimes I luck into snatching one of them myself, like this Juan Marichal.





Don Zimmer here wasn't as good of a deal as the Dominican Dandy, but I've always had a soft spot for The Gerbil, so I pulled the trigger.






Brett Butler here gives us a loose theme for the trio: all the guys in this post played for the Dodgers at some point.


Lots of red stats on the back. Hell, put him in the Hall! ;P

You might think I'm at a good place with this set, but I still have 54 autographs from 2005 Topps Retired left to track down. My "set" in the works includes a mix of refractors, base autos, and one autographed printing plate.

Just a quick post for today. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

super 70s influx

Time for another trade roundup. Lots of quality Topps cards from the 70s to show off in this post. Our exhausting new puppy has cut into my spare time for carding activities, so I'm trying to limit my trading commitments.. but cards keep arriving and I try to keep afloat! (Apologies to the few guys I've been slow to send cards or reply to regarding trade propositions.. will try to catch up when I can.)

This first mailing up is a doozy! I believe it's my first exchange with Scott Crawford, who has been blogging a long time but we just hadn't crossed paths much before. But some of my music-related customs caught his eye and so we hammered out a deal sending him a short stack of Baseball Card Breakdown originals in exchange for some vintage Topps, heavy on '74.


Look at all these Hank Aaron cards within cards! These are pretty neat. I'm lucky enough to own a few of those older Aaron cards. I was excited thinking I had completed all the Hank Aaron cards in 1974 Topps with these, already having the "New Home Run King" card #1, but looks like I'm still short the All-Star card he shares with Dick Allen. I've got that card in my Dick Allen PC, but since I consider Mr. Allen one of the top dudes I collect, I'm reluctant to pluck out a PC card for a set (something I'm otherwise not all that opposed to). But maybe if I get down to a couple cards left and it's one of them, maybe then I'll cave and worry about replacing the PC card later. ("PC" in this context is for "Player Collection", for any newbs reading.)


And a bunch more '74s from Scott! Thanks to these, I'm down to just 45 more cards on my wantlist for the set (a decent percentage of which are Washington Nat'l variations).


And some big-name '79s. The Reggie on the end isn't a dupe, but rather a Burger King card. Note the difference in space above his helmet.

Thanks, Scott! Just mailed out your customs. Pleasure dealing with you!

-   -  - ---o

I know I said I'm trying to cool it a little on trading for the time being, but I made an offer on Twitter last week for anybody to send me vintage needs in exchange for a Joan Jett custom I made a little while back-- trying to swing a few quick and easy trades-- and got a handful of guys to take me up on it, with two swaps going through so far.


Night Owl sent me a PWE heavy on '77 Dodgers I needed for my in-progress set. Looking good!


And there were a bunch of Kellogg's in there, too! Always love to see those funky 3D beauties slip out among the cards I receive.. Even when cracked to hell! (Pops is shaping up to be the star of the post, and we'll see more of him in a moment.)

Thank you, Greg! A return is on the way to you currently.

-   -  - ---o

Here's another bounty thanks to Joan Jett.


John @phitter72 on Twitter is a guy I was familiar with due to his amusing "Literals Series" customs he shares (such as a card depicting Ernie Banks doing his banking). This was my first swap with him, netting me 4 solid names to check off my 70s vintage Topps wantlists, highlighted by Billy Williams' final card as an active player. Thanks, John!

-  -  - --o


Reader David G. returned with a 3rd recent PWE of '88 Fleer needs for me, plus a Madlock and another wonderful Kellogg's need. Thanks, David.. I'll scrounge up another envelope of Cardinals for you soon.

-   -  -  - --o


Wes, a.k.a. The Pancake King, dropped a shortstack of 3 PWEs on me in short order, each containing one Gavin card plus an autographed business card. Bonkers! Thanks for thinking of me, Wes!

-    -   -  - --o

Last one for today is a great bubble mailer from ARPSmith, hitting me back for a package of cards I sent him recently.


Nice bunch of current cards featuring guys I collect. Man, this 2020 "season" is wild. I'll be surprised if we actually make it all the way to a World Series this year, but here's hoping for the best.


Complete Willie Stargell puzzle from 1991 Donruss! This'll be nice to bolster my Pops PC. If/when I get a second set, I'll bust out the pieces and piece it together.


The real punch of the package was the vintage. Been a while since I've added to my '57 Topps setbuild.. not since 2019, in fact. The pair are both from the toughest series, making them even more of a big deal. Same can be said for the '72: first time all year I get to update my needs spreadsheet, and it's a tough high number, to boot. Nice!

As far as the 74 and 79s, they might look familiar, as this same trio was among the cards I showed from Scott Crawford earlier in this post. Adam's copies are in better condition, so they'll go into the setbuilds.. But don't worry, Scott's cards can still find a home for now in the respective PCs since I collect these guys too.

Thanks for another great trade, Adam!


That's gonna wrap up the post. Thanks for reading, everybody. Stay safe out there.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Another Padre fan in Portland

My old best friend Doug was in town staying with us for a few days this past week. I've mentioned Doug a few times on the blog (he collected Tony Gwynn when we were kids, which prevented Gwynn from being my "main guy" back then because I didn't want to copy him) plus I've mentioned Doug a few times on my 1991 MusiCards blog (we were always sharing our CD collections and musical discoveries back in the day, and he helped turn me on to a lot of bands I love). But yeah, he had moved to San Diego in the middle of the school year in Fourth Grade and we were thick as thieves into our early 20s. But then my brother-from-another-mother got married to a gal who was a bit controlling and basically strained the other relationships in his life, so after that we didn't hang out much other than catching a Chargers game on tv together once in a while. And once I moved away from San Diego, we weren't really in contact other than semi-annual check-ins on Facebook.

But the other day he drops the news on me that they're getting a divorce and he's looking to make a fresh start, with Portland being a top consideration for relocation. So he was in town for a job interview, got the job, and now plans to move up here in a week or so. What a crazy turn of events! Of course I feel bad for the guy going through a divorce (they are still on friendly terms, at least), but I'm very excited to have my buddy back. It'll be great to regularly hang out with him again.

Us at Disneyland in 1990. Ha-- that shiny "air force" jacket I had! Pretty sure I still have that Ghostbusters shirt in storage somewhere (the ghost glows in the dark!) Funny how Doug's so much shorter than me here. I think he might be a little taller than me today.

Ruby was a big fan of Doug while he was here, rarely giving him a moment's peace.
So anyways, that's cool. And it'll be nice to have another Padre fan in Portland.

And on that topic... another local member of the Friar Faithful, Padrographs Rod, dropped a great box of assorted cards on my doorstep the other week. Let's check out some highlights!


Nice lot of 2020 Big League. I haven't ripped any of this, so I appreciate the chance to add some PC guys and notable rookies.


And same with 2020 Bowman.. I haven't even tried to locate any of this on shelves.


Some miscellany here. That Rob Riggle is going right to my Thumbs Up binder.. starting a second page. Dick Clark here completes a 2nd set of American Bandstand cards for me (both from Rod). If anyone wants one (for either a hair above postage cost or trade equivalent) just let me know.


Panini representing the land of the logoless. Some neat parallels in here.


My buddy Doug isn't really an active card collector these days, though it's my understanding he does have a tiny collection, at least (a few Gwynns and a couple Trevor Hoffmen). I'll have to try to nudge him into collecting again once he gets settled. Sure would be cool to trade cards with him again 30 years later. Plus I'd love to have someone to dump my dupe Bips and Gwynns on!


Bip's cards with the Royals always seem extra cool to me. So strange and dangerous! lol


But these '95 Score parallels were probably the highlight of all the Bips in the box.


And some more cool cards.


This Sparky Anderson autographed index card was offered up in one of Rod's recent giveaways.. glad I was able to snag it! The signature is too big to fit into a standard size card, but I'll try to think up something to spice it up with my custom card making ways.


And some more stuff that might not stick in my collection, but still fun to thumb through.

Big thanks as always, Rod! I'm very lucky to be the recipient of so much great stuff from you over these past few years.