Monday, October 5, 2015

Playing a couple old CD-ROM ''cards''

A couple shows back, I picked up Cal Ripken and Roger Clemens "PowerDeck" inserts that Upper Deck put out in 1999. These are mini cd-roms that are shaped so they can fit in a standard-sized pack of cards. I get a kick out of quirky stuff like this, and was just kinda curious about these "cards" and wanted one or two for myself.

I've got a backup old laptop with the "snap on the center" style cd drive to allow me to safely play them without fear of their odd size/shape potentially causing trouble.

So if you're like me and were curious as to what digital delights are on these, here ya go!



Yep, each card basically contains a lo-fi minute-long highlight reel. (Uploading the .mov file to Blogger makes them even lower-fi.) That's about what I expected. Kinda cool, I guess!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sentimental Sundays: a Flan card, Mr. Bubble, and my high school locker decor

Let's do another Sentimental Sundays post!

I'm sure most you guys have various Tim Flannery cards floating around your collection, be it in complete sets or cobwebbed corners of your trade box. But here's one Tim Flannery card I'll bet you haven't seen before-- A "Flan Club" membership card! Circa 1991, it was probably put out by KUSI, the local channel that played Padres games on Sunday. I believe Flan worked on the pre-game show at the time and as a back-up color commentator, joining Jerry Coleman when Rick Monday was out. At this point, I don't recall how I came to be a member of the Flan Club, and I don't recall any benefits besides getting the nifty membership card. Glad I hung onto it, though.

Now here's something I'm not sure why I hung onto..

This is a comb with a captain on it. One might assume it was a freebie from Cap'n Crunch cereal, but I believe it was a McDonald's Happy Meal toy. Or maybe a different fast food chain? I can't recall. But I think McDonald's used to have a captain character. [...] Googling it reveals that, yes, it's Captain Crook. "The character is comparable to the Hamburglar, the difference being that this villain does not attempt to steal hamburgers but instead tries to take as many Filet-O-Fish sandwiches as possible."

This is one of the larger "why the frick do I still have this?" items I got-- a vintage 80s Mr. Bubble bottle. I'm pretty sure Mr. Bubble is still on shelves, but the design has since been updated. I love this classic look from my childhood.

Copyright 1987. I should take more baths. These days the only times I take baths is occasionally when I'm staying in a hotel. Mmmm.. loves me a nice hotel bath...

Here's something cool from my high school days..

The base for this was originally a cover of an old binder, and I put this college up in my locker. Gotta be 1994/1995. I cut out pictures of artists I liked from Rolling Stone, Spin, etc. How many can you name?

I guess I'm stuck in my youth, as not only do I still collect baseball cards, but I still listen to these bands, though maybe not as much as I did in high school.

Here's an exception.. I never really liked Veruca Salt much, to be honest.. I just thought Louise Post was super cute. Tony Burbs recently revealed in his "Better Know a Blogger" interview that his cousin plays bass for Veruca Salt! That's pretty cool.

Speaking of pretty girls hiding out in this collage, eagle-eyed readers may have spotted a tiny NSFW b&w pic of the lovely Samantha Fox up in the corner. Boy, oh boy, she was something!
Here's who all's featured: Nirvana (several), Sonic Youth, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Alice in Chains, Veruca Salt, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kurt Cobain, Rage Against The Machine, Social Distortion, and more Nine Inch Nails.
Thanks for taking this trip back in time with me. That's all for today!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Checking in with 1964 and 1965 (feat. Mays, Clemente, and Aaron)

Creeping along in my progress to complete these vintage sets.

Reader Nick K. emailed me a couple weeks ago saying he's working on '64 as well and had plenty of doubles to trade. I ended up with a nice lot from him.
Some highlights!

Here's one of the biggest cards of the set, the legendary Willie Mays! The card is a bit miscut, but I think it works in this instance. It's hilarious! Willie seems to be yelling at the left border for screwing up his card. "What da hell you think you doing making this card all 'bout you?! You get back in your place dis minute, ya hear?!"

A few other big names.

And some more.

Those were just some of the bigger names from the lot of 80+ cards Nick sent. With his help, I'm now at 23% complete with '64 Topps. Pretty good considering I only really decided to go after this set a month or two ago!

Thanks again, Nick. Best of luck with your setbuild.

These were a couple separate Listia wins. Gotta love Wally Moon. Turns out I would get a Johnny Callison in Nick's lot, so it was pretty much a waste of credits. Oh well.

Now onto 1965.

My bro P-town Tom surprised me with a PWE with this beauty earlier this week. Very appreciated! I'm now at 47% complete with 1965 Topps.

Tom also included a pocket schedule from the Padres' magical season of 1998. Very cool. Thanks for the PWE, Tom! Hopefully my return has shown up safely by now.

And lets close out with another vintage set I'm kinda-sorta working on.

These 2 were overpriced Listia wins. I haven't even rounded up my 1957 Topps cards yet, but I probably only have a dozen or so. That's something for down the road. But picking up a new Dick Williams (a PC / Pads in the Hall guy) is always good.

So that's the recap of the vintage sets I'm currently working on. And yes, 1971 Topps is conspicuously absent in this post.. I seem to have stalled at around 3/4 complete with it. I haven't been motivated to go out of my way picking up needs for it, and they haven't been falling in my lap lately. But I'm sure it'll progress along eventually. No rush. I'm still basking in the afterglow of polishing off 1973 Topps last weekend.

Take care, everybody.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Seaver and Mattingly added to my 2004 Retired $etbuild

My self-imposed "innings limit" of not posting back-to-back days in September was a success! It wasn't easy. I'm definitely not at a loss for post ideas, even if most of them are essentially just "look at these cool cards I got recently!" posts, which while the backbone of the cardsphere, aren't super interesting to casual readers. There were some times last month where I had a post drafted up and was itching to post it, but had to sit on it for a day. I'll now go back to posting whenever I want, but I'll try not to get sucked into thinking I need to post everyday. Sometimes time is tight and it can be stressful trying to get a post done by the "deadline," you know?

While my posting may have been a little less frequent over the past month, I was still active picking up new cards. --a bit too active perhaps. These 2 cards I'm showing off today, in particular, really dented my wallet, so I'll be doing my best to cool it on big purchases for a while.

I had never seen a 2004 Retired refractor auto from either of these kings of New York before, and they coincidentally popped up on eBay within a couple days of each other from different sellers. This is the "main set" I've been working on nearly since I re-entered the hobby a few years back, so I had to be aggressive if I wanted to finally check them off the list.

The Mattingly was a Buy It Now with Best Offer that I was able to broker a deal for, but still was a lot of money. The Seaver was auction style. I was comfortably the only bidder at the reasonable opening bid down until about an hour and a half to go before another jagoff or two had to crap on my parade and push it to within striking distance of my ridiculous max bid. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a little bit of buyer's remorse laying in bed that night, melancholily thinking about my life and my choices.

So yeah, I'll need to try keeping my distance from eBay for a while. I'm thinking about liquidating a lot of my non-baseball collection. While I like having a well-rounded collection, I've just never been that into basketball or hockey, and my interest in football is at an all-time low thanks to the unforgivable finish to last year's Super Bowl and the fact that my hometown Chargers are very likely skipping town soon. Might as well clean house a little and focus on my one true love, baseball.

That moaning aside, I sure am happy to check off these 2 big cards from my #1 goal of finishing this set. In fact, including non-refractors, I've now completed all the scarcity groups besides A and B (the big boys). Only 4 cards left, though they will all be very expensive: Ripken, Aaron, Banks, and Musial. My ultimate collecting goal is to complete the set with refractors, so that mission still has many cards left. But that's more of an "icing on the cake" thing.

2004 Topps Retired Signature Edition autograph checklist

Red = Need it
Green = Got it
Blue = Refractor acquired (/25)

Group A: Cal Ripken, Jr; Nolan Ryan; Carl Yastrzemski; Robin Yount
Group B: Hank Aaron; Ernie Banks; Stan Musial; Duke Snider
Group C: Johnny Bench; Yogi Berra; Whitey Ford; Bob Gibson; Dwight Gooden; Tony Gwynn; Don Mattingly; Brooks Robinson; Mike Schmidt; Tom Seaver; Ozzie Smith
Group D: Wade Boggs; John Candelaria; Jose Canseco; Gary Carter; Carlton Fisk; Ralph Kiner; Paul Molitor; Paul O'Neill; Frank RobinsonRyne Sandberg; Darryl Strawberry; Don Zimmer
Group E: Buddy Bell; Rod Carew; Bucky Dent; Rob Dibble; Dennis Eckersley; Tony Fernandez; Rollie FingersGeorge Foster; César Gerónimo; Kirk Gibson; Goose Gossage; Orel HershiserAl Hrabosky; Greg Luzinski; Tony Oliva; Dave Parker; Jimmy Piersall; Alan Trammell;
Group F: Davey Lopes
Group G: Tony ArmasVida Blue; Tom Brunansky; Bill Buckner; Orlando Cepeda; Darren Daulton; Darrell Evans; Bobby Grich; Ferguson Jenkins; Wally Joyner; Jimmy Key; Ron Kittle; Bill Madlock; Jack McDowell; Dale Murphy; Graig Nettles; Al Oliver; Bobby Richardson; Ron Santo; Dave Stieb; Bruce Sutter; Ron Swoboda; Luis Tiant; Earl Weaver; Maury Wills
Group H: Elroy Face

Anyways, how did Tom Terrific and Donnie Baseball fare against each other?

Mattingly was 6 for 14 (.429) with a couple doubles. Looks like Don had Tom's number, which isn't all that surprising considering their overlapping time in the majors. Mattingly was a hot, young player in his prime, while Seaver's best days were behind him, just padding out his HOF resumé with brief stops in Chicago and Boston.

Hardware-wise, Seaver of course got a ring with the 1969 Mets. Mattingly came up dry in his playing career, but now as manager of the Dodgers he's got another shot at glory. Looks like all 3 of those teams are in the playoffs this year. I gotta say I'm pretty excited for the postseason. With the exception of the Cardinals (boo!) and I guess the Yankees (hiss!) there are a lot of long championship droughts there. If my Padres can't be in it, then I basically root for whichever team has gone the longest since winning. Sigh.. The pains of eternally rooting for the underdog.

Oh, here's another Tom Seaver certified auto I just got for less than 0.6% of the price of the other one. Thanks to combined shipping, it was cheaper than the shipping alone on the other one.

Ok, the real signature looks like just a faded shadow of the pre-printed facsimile auto.. (Don't display your cards in a sunny spot, guys!) ..not to mention it's a buyback of probably his worst card ever (well, not counting the airbrushing fail of his 1986 Topps Traded).. but still, a genuine Tom Seaver auto #'d /25 for the price of a jumbo-size candy bar!

Anyways, thanks for reading. See you back here next time.

Oh, and if you'd like to do me a solid, please check out my cards for sale page. I've cut prices on several items, as well as added new stuff. I'd love to unload some of those and raise a few bucks to ease the pain of an expensive month for me hobby-wise!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Loading up on local guys

This post is to show off some recent additions to my PCs of guys who went to the same schools I did. Most of these were included in my most recent COMC order, and a few were in eBay bulk purchases for free combined shipping.

Regular readers of this blog are familiar with my Guys From Granite minicollection, made up of guys who went to the same highschool as me and went on to become professional athletes. I admit it's a bit weird that I'm so gung-ho about this avenue of my collection, yet am pretty indifferent to collecting guys from the university I went to, SDSU. I also feel nothing for the Oregon Ducks, making me stick out among most other sports fans in my current home state. I just don't really care about college sports very much. Still, though, I like to show some school spirit from time to time and add cards of former Aztecs and other notable hometown guys.

I think this is my first Tony Gwynn Aztec card. I doubt it'll be the last-- I'll definitely try hunting down a few more different ones. Upper Deck has been putting out a few such cards in recent years, including some featuring Tony from his days starring on the basketball team, including autos. (That set came out right after he died, so they went fast and expensive.)

Pete Coscarart was the first San Diego State University alum to play major league baseball. He also played minor league ball in my current home of Portland, Oregon for a few years. Then after a decent MLB career with Brooklyn and Pittsburgh, he rounded out his playing days on the PCL Padres (1946-1949). I've now got 4 of his (according to Beckett) 15 cards in existence.

My Aztec Alumni minicollection isn't really a thing. Just attending SDSU isn't enough to make me want to collect a guy. Notable names there are Mark Grace, Harold Reynolds, Al Newman, Aaron Harang, Dave Smith, Addison Reed, Travis Lee, Tony Clark, Bud Black. Yeah, they don't do anything for me. Maybe someday. An exception to this is Stephen Strasburg who I've kinda started a passive PC for earlier this year. There's also Graig Nettles, who I sort of collect but mainly because of his time on the Padres. Gwynn family members Tony Jr and Chris Gwynn are also former Aztecs; maybe I'll collect them at some point.

Now let's turn to Guys From Granite...

My ol' classmate Marcus Giles; The guy who allows me to brag I've shared a locker room with an all-star. I don't typically go out of my way for Giles cards anymore (pretty sure he's already in my Hundred Card Club), but these 2 autos were like $3 combined via COMC, so I couldn't pass them up.

Another notable GHHS Eagle, Shane Spencer. Here we've got an early minor league card from '94, plus a numbered gold parallel from 2003 Topps.

And here are Bowman cards of a couple Guys From Granite who weren't able to crack the big leagues. The Scott Shoemaker gold refractor is #'d /50. Casey Craig is represented with a blue refractor (I think #'d /150) and a gold (brown) parallel.

Travis Taijeron is the active Guy From Granite I only found out about recently. This 2012 Topps Pro Debut was the last mainstream base card I needed of his (ok, his only other card is 2012 Heritage Minors). He had a very nice 2015 season for the Mets' AAA team, batting .274 with 25 home runs. Unfortunately it wasn't enough to get a September call-up, but hopefully he's able to progress next year and gets a chance to prove himself on the big league level.

Now here's a tricky one: Mike Jacobs is neither a Guy From Granite nor an Aztec Alum. But he's a Guy From Grossmont. I spent more years than I care to admit at Grossmont College before transferring to San Diego State. Not only did Jacobs attend the same community college as me, but during the same timeframe. I shared an anecdote a while back about how I think I may have even had a class with him. So I was happy to add my first couple of certified autos of his (each ran me a buck-something). I probably won't work too hard expanding my Guys From Grossmont collection, but who knows. Other notable names from the junior college include Quintin Berry, Mike Hartley, Sean O'Sullivan, Jesse Orosco Jr (cool, I didn't realize he had a son playing professionally), and Carlos Torres. There's also overlap with several Guys From Granite.

But back to Mike Jacobs, he had some solid seasons with the Marlins a few years back, with a career home run total of an even 100, but hasn't seen major league action since 2012. He's been playing in Mexico with decent success, spending 2015 in Oaxaca (pronounced wa-hah-kah) batting .276 with 14 home runs in 111 games.

OK, that wraps up this post updating recent pick-ups of local guys. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Into my ARMS (Archives Reserve Master Set)

A little while ago, I finished the base sets for all 3 Archives Reserve products (2001 Baseball, 2002 Baseball, 2001 Football) and I've now set my sights on the hits, slowly creeping toward the goal of an Archives Reserve Master Set. I'm just enamored with these refractor reprints from the glory days of cardboard. I've decided my A.R.M.S. will be cards-only. 2002 Baseball boxes came with autographed balls (most of which have since faded considerably), and 2001 Football boxes came with autographed mini helmets (which seem to be pretty hard to find). I really don't care about these non-card items. It might not be a 100% master set without them, but f*dge it, I'm a card collector, not a ball or mini helmet collector.

But anyways, I've recently added a few relics into my ARMS and I'd like to have them dance for you now, as it's hard for still pictures to do these shiny beauties justice.

Gwynn and Stargell are a couple all-time favorite dudes of mine (and sure, Boggs is pretty cool too), so these are very nice to add.
Notice the Stargell card says "Authentic Game-Worn Uniform" while Gwynn's says "Authentic Game-Worn Jersey"? Kinda odd. I assume the Stargell swatch must be from pants, since jersey usually refers to the shirt part, though most of the time the terms uniform and jersey are used interchangeably, right? The term pants always seems weird on relic cards, so I'm in favor of calling it uniform. Nobody wants a swatch of fabric that may have been from the crotch of the featured dude's pants. Well, maybe not nobody, but most collectors would be weirded out by the thought, I assume. Along those lines, I wonder if game-worn uniforms get washed before being made into relic cards. On one hand, swatches with evidence of action, such as dirt, are pretty cool. But a stinky crotch relic card? I'm not so sure I'd be excited about that. Come to think of it, I can't recall ever seeing a sock relic card, Curt Schilling aside. I'd like to build a little collection of quirky relics (--that is to say, stuff besides jerseys and bats). I just won a glove relic last night that I'm excited about.

But back to my budding ARMS...
I've also recently picked up a couple autos at good prices.

Clete Boyer was the Yankees' third baseman during the early 60s. Probably would have won a bunch of Gold Gloves were it not for a guy named Brooks.
And you've got to love Minnie Miñoso. I started liking him even more when I discovered he played for the Padres in their PCL days. I consider him a part of my Pads In The Hall minicollection, even if he's not technically in the HOF yet (a miscarriage of justice!)
Great to pick up my first autograph of his.

Catch ya next time.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Card Show Recap! (The Joy of a Completed Set: 1973 Topps)

Six weeks since the last card show.. I was jonesing to thumb through boxes of cardboard! This show delivered a satisfying fix. I spent $75, which is definitely on the pricey side for me, but no regrets.

I'm gonna skip ahead to the grand finale first, as the big card of the day for me was actually the last one I added to my lot. I had just previously amassed a stack of 60 cards from the 50¢ bins of my favorite dealer. Last month he had a Schmidt rookie under the glass, though it wasn't there today. It wasn't looking promising. As I was ready to pay for my stack, I asked if he still had it around. He wasn't sure but started digging around, and found it put aside with his other "do not sell" cards in his cashbox. With a little reluctance, he offered it to me for a decent price and we ended up agreeing on $75 for the Schmidt plus the 60 cards I dug out of his discount bins. I think that was a pretty good deal. Read on and see if you agree.


The card is in excellent shape. No creases. Great centering. If I had to get anal searching for flaws, the corners on the left could be better, and the right edge is a little rough. Still, though, I think it'd probably grade pretty well.

The centering on the back isn't as good as the front, but still solid overall. I even put it in a stack of other 73s just to double check it was legit (didn't want to get burned again after the first one I bought turned out to be a fake). And it checks out.

So YES, I have completed 1973 Topps! It's really a huge deal for me. It's the first set I've ever personally compiled in my life! (not counting tiny ~100-card sets.) When I was a kid, I bought a complete set of 1989 Topps from Sears or something, but that's the only complete Topps flagship set I've owned in my entire life. Until today. Now, "Own complete 1973 Topps set" becomes the first bulletpoint in my collector's resumé.

Happy Day!!

Now let's check out the rest of the cards I picked up moments earlier.

This pair of Hostess Schmidts must have given me good luck in landing the RC.

The guy had a surprising big cache of 65s in one of the bins that I excitedly dug into. I had an outdated copy of my wantlist, so I was able to put back about half which I already had, though was happy to pick up about two-dozen to put toward my setbuild.

It was just a few weeks ago I showed off this Frank Thomas NNOF reprint that I paid >$10 for. So I was a bit chagrinned to find three of them in the 50¢ bins. Hell, I figured I'd grab these and flip them on eBay (or possibly trade if any of you guys wanna make an offer.)

I think this set is 2015 Elite or something. The Taijuan and Fernandez are each #'d /199. The Goldy and Trout are pretty sharp.

A couple similar Piazzas. That's the first sample from that insert set I've seen. The one on the right is the glow-in-the-dark variation (that I love so).

A couple certified autos, both Rangers, both decent names (esp. compared to the no-name guys you often find autos of in the discount bins). The autos aren't all that prominent, which is probably why no one had grabbed them up already, but check the back and it says "Congratulations!" These are both up for trade if you're interested.

Here's some older vintage, including 3 decent names from 1966 Topps. The 1955 Harshman is already spoken for by a guy I'm working out a big trade with.

And here's some 70s vintage. Mike Schmidt makes yet another appearance, though I bought this 75 mini mainly for the Dick Allen half. How do I not recall ever seeing that 1976 Billy Williams before? And vintage OPC Reggies are hard to pass up.

Here are a couple shiny, numbered cards.

The Pujols is #'d /1500, and the Whitey /299.

Pre-rookie McCutchen and a Middlebrooks refractor RC.

日本のコレクター仲間へ、英語で何か書きたいときはGoogle Translateは絶対使わないでください。文章がめちゃくちゃになります。

I love these "What If Donruss was putting out cards before 1981?" inserts from 2002 Donruss Originals. I ripped a few packs a while back and pulled a Fisk. Happy to add the Seaver and Molitor.

Apart from that, I picked up a few Cubs which I'll be sending off to P-town Tom, but other than that, not much trade bait today.

So there's my card show haul for September. I feel pretty good about it.
Thanks for stopping by!