Monday, March 19, 2018

What I'm Collecting These Days (bat around)

This concept is a cool blog bat-around that Night Owl inadvertently started a week or two ago. You get a chance to mention what your current collecting projects are. And a hopeful byproduct of that is that trader buddies will get a better idea of the kind of stuff you'd be excited to get in trade. I sort of think of my wantlist page as like a living blog post, in that it's not just a list of sets and card numbers, and I often update it to better reflect what I'm after at the moment. Names get added and removed from the list of guys I collect, etc. But anyways, here's a post of what I consider my main collecting focuses at the moment.

Vintage Sets

I'm generally a player collector, but in recent years I've dabbled in set collecting, eventually completing 1973 Topps (the GOAT), then 1971 Topps, followed by 1965 Topps last year. I'm currently working on 1957 Topps and 1964 Topps. I'm probably gonna give 1959 Topps a run at some point. But I don't have the long term plan of going after every Topps set like some collectors. Maybe an early 50s Bowman set would be fun to chase if I want to sink significant cash into an old set down the line (maybe 1950 Bowman, since you don't have to worry about Mantle or Mays). But for the next couple years, it's '57 and '64, and then probably '59 ('59 will be a little different for me because I plan to do that one binder-style rather than box). This might be my top collecting passion right now (though this post isn't exactly listing my projects by priority, just typing them as I think of them). If a trader bud wanted to send me something to knock me over the moon, the best would be a star card I need from '57 or '64 Topps. With recent purchases and trades in the works, I'm optimistic it won't be long till I reach 25% complete with '57 and 50% with '64.

Not-so-vintage Sets

Happy to have recently completed 1983 Topps through trades. A little before that, ARPSmith hooked me up with a complete set of 1986 Fleer. I've been sitting on one common away from finishing 1980 Topps for a few weeks now. And 1984 Fleer is nearly in the books as well. On the horizon after that is 1982 Topps, 1984 Donruss, 1985 Donruss, and 1987 Fleer. After that, probably 1985 Topps, 1978, 1977, and hell, likely 1974 through '84 Topps eventually. I hate to get sucked into doing a "run" though, even if that'd be satisfying. I'd rather just collect my favorite sets and not collect the sets I don't love. But at least '74 thru '85 won't break the bank (George Brett RC notwithstanding), and with help from traders, shouldn't be too tough.

Player Collections

The meat and potatoes of my collection, my PCs. From several hundred Gwynns to a few Bake McBride cards, grouping cards together of my favorite players is how rolled as a kid and continue today. The "Hundred Card Club" concept helps give me closure. I go for 100 different cards (hopefully including an auto, rookie, maybe a relic and Christmas Card) and I can mentally consider the collection "complete enough" and no longer focus on that guy. There are a handful of players I like enough to keep going after even after hitting 100 cards, such as Gwynn, Bip, Caminiti, Rod Beck, and active studs like Trout and Harper. And I'm a sucker for rookie hype, and will always chase cards of "the next Mickey Mantle/whoever" when I can land them cheap or through trades.

Christmas Cards

I'm still enamored with cards serial numbered 12/25 or 12/24, though I don't go hunting them down quite as often as I used to these days. There's just too much out there, and they can often be pricey. But getting them in trade? YES! And stumbling upon one when it's a guy I collect? Yeah, I might overpay a little for it.

Greatest Gavins

My interest in this one has been waning over the past couple years. As the name Gavin grows in popularity, I can't just go all-in on everybody with that name. LaValley, Lux, Cecchini, Sheets.. Guys named Gavin are popping up in card products more than ever before. Ideally I'd like to pick up a few cards (and hopefully an auto or two) of all Gavins in pro ball, but the days of supercollecting/rainbowing are gone. As far as older Gavins.. well, that's basically just Gavin Floyd. I like him fine, though honestly I get a little tired of getting his 2013 Topps card in trade package after trade package. Unless we're talking printing plate or Christmas Card, the thrill is gone for me receiving Gavin Floyd cards. ..and really Gavin cards in general, other than a guy I don't have any card (or auto) of yet.

Guys From Granite

I'm still very enthusiastic about going after cards of pro athletes who went to my high school, Granite Hills. I suppose I kinda think of myself as somewhat of a supercollector of all of them, with the exception of the Giles Brothers who simply have way too many cards to try to chase.. Those guys fall under the Hundred Card Club guidelines (Brian is in, Marcus is probably pretty close). But as far as the more obscure guys, trying to get as many of their cards as I can is a main ongoing project for me. If they've got less than 100 cards out there, I'd like to try getting them all. I'm currently working on a checklist spreadsheet to help me with this, which I'll likely post about soon.

Other minicollections

Still trying to get 1000 copies of 1990 Upper Deck Marquis Grissom (I think I might almost be down to double digits needed at this point). Still collecting gay athletes (Pride PC). Any glow-in-the-dark cards. Girlie Cards. SDSU guys. Oh, and the "We Didn't Start The Fire" Binder is a fun project I kicked off last year. Also, I'm thinking I may follow the lead of Red Cardboard and others and do a Flagship Binder, which is one page per set. I need to get some different sized pocket pages for some of the old larger/smaller dimension sets. Would love to hit a page each of '51 Topps up through current, plus a bunch of Donruss, Fleer, Upper Deck, Score, etc in there too.


I'm a diehard Padres fan, born and raised in San Diego County... BUT,, I'm not a team collector. I have no interest in trying to collect every Padres card ever. So, generally speaking, I don't want you to dump your unwanted Padres commons on me. Chances are I either already got 'em or don't want 'em, and will have to just find someone else to dump them on. Exceptions here include current Padres top prospects (link!). So like Padres prospect cards (Bowman, Pro Debut, Heritage Minors, etc) from the past couple years would be cool. I mean, if you send me a big-ass box of Padres cards, I'm sure I'll find several keepers in there, but still I don't like to encourage traders to consider me a dumping ground for Padres.

Other setbuilds

My most frequently searched-for (and most spent-on) set: 2004 Topps Retired Refractors (and to a lesser extent, 2003 and 2005 Retired). 2011 Topps parallel frankenset is my largest endeavor by quantity, still not even halfway done though I've had this going for a few years now. 2004 Topps Chrome black refractors parallel set is a cool one to work on, but they're scare enough to where this is a slowburn project, not a main focus. Still working on my ARMS.. Archives Reserve Master Set (I've got all the base sets, just got autos and and relics to slowly tick off.. oh, and the darn Future Rookie Reprint insert set). 1987 Bohemian Hearth Bread Padres (3 to go). 2017 A&G Constellations. Just 1 sticker away from completing 1993 Upper Deck Glow Stars (Sandberg).

So there you go. That's basically what I'm collecting these days. Thanks for reading and if you've got something I need, please get in touch if you wanna perhaps hash out a trade.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Cut-Signature Customs n' such

I love making custom cards. And I really love when I can take a boring autograph and spice it up into a custom card. This post will take a look at some custom cut-signature cards I whipped up recently. (Actually, this post has been sitting in my drafts for a couple months.)

Here's what I started with. My bud JBF Wes approached me with a couple Bob Walk IP autos and Josh Willingham stickergraphs asking if I could make them into something cooler. I was up to the challenge. (The Bob Walk cards were obviously cannon fodder for his ongoing cardboard war with Matthew Scott, so I had to sit on publishing this post for a while not to ruin the surprise. But he received them the other day, so I've got the greenlight.)

But first let's start with the Dick Enberg I made for myself. The legendary broadcaster passed away on December 21, 2017. At the risk of coming off as a vulture, as soon as I found out, I headed to eBay to see if I could find any inexpensive autographs. Honestly I had been meaning to do this back when he was still alive, but never got around to it. I remember earlier checking if he had any autos available out there, but turns out he doesn't have any pack-certified auto cards (none that I could find, anyways). I think his only real card is in 1989 Pro Set. So the custom card route it is!

I found this auction simply titled "DICK ENBERG autograph" with the description reading "obtained by me at DFW airport 1984. $10k guarranteed authentic!" $13.95 with free shipping... worked for me and I pulled the trigger. Looked a little large for my custom-card-making aspirations, but workable. The seller was named Steve, so I assume that's who the signature is made out to, though it's not very legible. I have no reason to believe this isn't authentic. Dick was known to be generous with his autograph. A forger would be very unlikely to include personalization. It's on old-school printer paper and the signature crosses a page perforation. If it was counterfeit, they would have done a better job. So it's 100% legit as far as I'm concerned.

Very happy with how this turned out! Borrowed an existing Topps Five Star design rather than whip up something from scratch. I had to extend the window bigger that I would have liked, but I eventually was able to get it lined up to where it looked good and didn't cut off too much (It's such an annoyance when a card company obscures or otherwise edits out part of a signature in cuts like this). I was fine with losing the "Steve–" part. The top of the "M" and bottom of the "Y" just barely fit in together snugly. The only unfortunate loss was the top of the exclamation point, but I can live with that.

I didn't do much for the back on this one, just a little bio paragraph.

Really proud of these Willinghammers! Wes seems pretty stoked with them, too. They're in the style of 1996 Leaf Signature Extended and 1998 Donruss Signature Series, respectively. Josh doesn't seem to do TTM, or otherwise I would have just tried to get the customs hard-signed. This was my first time ever peeling off a sticker auto and placing it on a custom. Usually I just do custom overlays, leaving the original card untouched. But with Wes' blessing, I went for it. It wasn't perfect, as the stickiness mostly stuck to the original card, though it was enough to work with, and was fine with a tiny bit of glue added to one side. Some tamper-proof design may have also been activated on the stickers as they were peeled off, though I don't think it hurts the look of the customs much.

I even made backs that are semi-faithful to the original designs. I was too lazy to type up original blurbs, though, and both of these were copied and pasted straight from the internet.

I absentmindedly dated all these cards "2017" on the bottom. It was actually mid-January 2018 (over MLK weekend, to be specific) when I made them. D'oh!

Pete Coscarart is an old-timer up my collecting alley thanks to his SDSU and Padres ties. I think the card I turned a signed index card into came out pretty well. The index card was even PSA/DNA certified with a sticker on the back, so I peeled it off and affixed it to the back of the card.

And now to the Bob Walks. These use the same Five Star templates as seen earlier in this post. I was glad I was able to fit in most of Bob from his '90 Donruss card on this one.

The autograph on the '93 Topps card was a bit too large to get all of Bob in the cut, unfortunately, but still turned out cool enough.

I affixed the COA business cards to the back of each. Because why not.

So there you go, some neat custom autos for me, Wes, and Matt created out of less interesting sources.
Thanks for reading.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Watching the Goonies

The Goonies is a top 5 favorite movie of mine. The original Star Wars trilogy, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, and The Goonies.. that's my list. Closely followed by Ghostbusters, the Back to the Future trilogy, Flight of the Navigator, the Indiana Jones trilogy.. yeah, I guess I like fun 80s adventure flicks.

You might have to remind me next year, but I'm trying to start a tradition of watching The Goonies every St. Patrick's Day. Because why not. I sort of "live tweeted" this tonight, but let's get a blog post out of it, too.

Truffle Shuffle with a wallet card appearance.

I don't have a good reason for watching this on 3/17, but it's a very green movie in parts, for what that's worth.

The old Lou Gehrig card they find is 1973 Topps #472. In that condition, it'd probably be under a buck on COMC. But we get what they were going for. The prop master should have gone with a Goudey.

I didn't even notice it till this most recent viewing. But yeah, between being featured in both one of my favorite movies and my favorite TV show (The Simpsons "muttonchop Yaz"), it's no surprise 1973 Topps is my all-time favorite set.

Such an all-time crush on Kerri Lee Green in that movie. Included her in my "Pretty Girls" custom set a couple years back.

We visited the actual Goonies house in Astoria, Oregon back in 2013, the day I proposed. Good times!

My favorite display piece in my card collection is this Goonies picture adorned with 4 certified autos. I haven't been able to add any more Goonies autos in the years since putting this together, but maybe someday.

Not sure if it counts, but I've added a handful of Andre the Giant cards to my collection, at least. Here he is at the end of the classic "Goonies R Good Enough" music video (Part 2 of it, specifically).

Anyways. Great movie. Thanks for reading.

Sweet Child O' Mine (Sadaharu Oh No!)

Happy St. Patrick's Day! May the luck o' the Irish be with you. But this post is about a different O.

I recently won an eBay auction for a Mike Reinbach card (which I ended up already having) from a seller in Japan, and figuring I'd take advantage of combined shipping, threw several bids on other cards he was selling, all of legendary slugger Sadaharu Oh. I was hoping to win one or two, but ended up with 5! Realistically I only need a couple in my collection, so feel free to make me a trade offer on any of these. I believe they're all from the 1975 Calbee set.

Sadaharu Oh hit 868 home runs! Very impressive. One of the all-time biggest names in Japanese baseball. I always thought it would be cool to one day have a card from his playing days, now ending up with a few. And if I'd stare too long I'd probably break down and cry.

While the song "Sweet Child O' Mine" wasn't written about him (as far as I know), he is mentioned in the Beastie Boys song "Hey Ladies": "I got more hits than Sadaharu Oh."

Thanks for swinging by.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Joy of a Completed Set: 1983 Topps

Big thanks to Kyle D. for knocking off my last 5 needs for 1983 Topps!

Feels good to check this one off. It's an all-time classic design, with its well-placed dual photos and whatnot. The All-Star cards are sharp, and the Super Veteran subset is a novel addition. Topps is doing its best this year to make collectors sick of '83 with a massive insert set using the design, but it's a hard one to hate.

As a lifelong Padres fan, the set has a soft spot for me thanks to the Gwynn rookie, and you've gotta respect the Sandberg and Boggs RCs rounding out the Big 3 trilogy.

Unfortunately I don't have any free 800-count boxes at the moment, so for now the 792-card set is split between a couple 400-count boxes. I'll have to remember to check out one of the guys at the card show that sell supplies next month. (though looking at how nice those big 3 rookie cards look next to each other with the different color outlines, I'm almost tempted to think about bindering it, though I'm not much of a binder guy.)

I'd also like to pick up the Traded set someday to compliment the main set, but no rush there.

("Every Breath You Take" was apparently the biggest song of 1983.)

When I was a kid, I bought (or rather received as a gift) a complete set of 1989 Topps from the Sears catalog (since jettisoned), but other than that, this is the first Topps set from the 80s I've ever completed. And cooler yet, it's the first set I've ever completed entirely through trades, no purchases! Mad props to the cardsphere and all the traders who've helped me piece it together over the past few months.

I believe this was my first trade with Kyle, a super smooth PWE exchange, and he also hooked me up with the 84F Milt Wilcox I needed, bringing me to within 3 cards of finishing that set (Rickey, Ryan, Gaylord HL).

But back to '83 Topps, I thought it was kinda funny that Chris Chambliss turned out to be the final card that I tucked into the box, funny not just because it's the last card in the set (#792), but also because I made a dumb gif of it years ago...

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Julie trade

Good stuff in the mail from Julie!

A Beltre blast!

Neat cards from new HOFers!

O's goes!

Bringer of Rain has been brought!

Keep on rocking!

Never too old for this Schmidt!

Pads and sods. Maybin black mini super scare, #'d 10/10!

2018 Heritage base team set!

A couple dudes basically traded for each other.

And some minicollection hits with a Pride PC addition, glowing Griffey, and parallel Gavin.

Big thanks, Julie! You're the best! (I was tempted to make this a post in my GNR series for "Your Crazy" [meant with all the love] but I didn't want to offend.. lol!) I'll get a return package out to you soon!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

1957 Ted Williams!

I was out the other day, about to see that play my friends were in when I saw a tweet from Raz about an eBay coupon for 20% off a purchase $25+. I only had a little while till it expired (and the play started), so I rushed to find something to use it on. Last time I caught wind of a similar coupon code, I snagged myself a 1957 Topps Hank Aaron. This time I returned to the '57 well, first taking a look at Yogi and Pee-Wee before ultimately deciding on a Ted Williams.

I went with a graded specimen just because of concern over counterfeits (or as they're often known on eBay, "artificially-aged reprint that doesn't say it's a reprint", like that makes it ok), so at least now I can be reasonably assured it's real.

This was definitely a big one to check off my '57 setbuild. While I consider it a long-term project, not expecting to finish it anytime soon, I've made good strides in the past week thanks to this and a few nice card show pickups I featured the other day Currently 22.54% complete, with 94 out of 417 cards. Plus I'm in trade discussions with a fellow blogger that could knock off several more needs, not to count my chickens before they hatch.

Anyways, Ted is the first card in the set, so that makes it a bit more condition sensitive. This one is well-loved, for sure, as well as being off-center, but still looks nice enough. I wouldn't rule out upgrading it someday down the line, but serves my purpose just fine for now.

I believe this is the first time I bought a card on eBay through my phone. But yeah, worked fine. While I would have liked more time to research it, looking at completed auctions, factoring in the 20% discount that's not reflected, it's easily the cheapest sold PSA 2 '57 Ted that shows up, so I think I got a good deal on it.

As for the man, what can you say? Perhaps the greatest all-around hitter in the history of the game. On top of that, a war hero and world-class outdoorsman. Just an all-time badass.

This is my first playing-days Ted Williams card not counting one from the Fleer set dedicated only to him. Definitely a great one to pick up. Very nice addition to my collection, and a key card checked off the '57 set I'm working on.