Sunday, August 18, 2019

Do you love me? I'm Old Graig!!

I may have just said goodbye to a damaged autograph of the greatest player ever born in San Diego.. but I also recently said hello to a beautiful autograph of the second best San Diego-born player!..


Graig Nettles!

2004 Topps Retired refractor autos are my favorite cards. I always keep an eye out for them-- tryin' to collect 'em all-- and I finally landed this one the other day. I'm now down to a lucky 13 cards left in my quest. They can be tough to find, numbered out of just 25 copies each.

But back to saluting Graig...


He's close to my heart as the 2nd best baseball player to ever come out of my alma mater of San Diego State University, in addition to sharing cities where we were born..

Here's a list of the top San Diego-born MLB ballplayers according to baseball-reference WAR: (This is in ascending order, not descending, because I'm not great at using stats sites, sorry.)


Being second to Ted Williams, and Tony Gwynn, in anything is surely something to be proud of. (And hey, Graig has 2 more World Series rings than the both of them combined.)

Graig Nettles should have legit HOF consideration thanks in large part to his power numbers (390 career taters) and his elite defense at 3rd base-- known as a "glove only" position for much of his career (Mike Schmidt and Eddie Mathews notwithstanding)-- not to mention his postseason prowess (WS champ in '77 and '78, plus ALCS MVP in '81). Hall of Stats has him comfortably enshrined with a ranking of 126 out of the 232 eligible ballplayers deemed worthy of induction. But his lifetime .248 batting average turns off Cooperstown voters. Oh well, maybe someday they'll take a deeper look at his stats and rightfully put him in.


As for the title of this post, it's a reference to a favorite episode of an all-time favorite show of mine, The Mighty Boosh, a BBC offering from 2004 to 2007 (currently available for streaming on Hulu). It's a must-watch if you're into silly, absurd stuff.

Thanks for popping by.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

temporarily owning a Ted Williams autograph


Welp, it was fun while it lasted. I got a raise last week (and it was retroactive back several weeks, meaning a fat paycheck catching up) and I wanted to celebrate with picking up a big card. After poking around a few options, I decided to pull the trigger on this Ted Williams put out by Upper Deck in 1994. It's one of his few certified auto cards out there. He also has that signed checklist card in 1992 UD, but as I've mentioned in the past, I'm not really into art cards, plus that one is more expensive for some reason. So I went with this one featuring real photos.

But yeah, when it arrived, my eye was drawn to an indentation by Ted's cheek that I just couldn't get over. From the photo in the listing, I assumed it was a piece of dust or just a stray mark on the case or something. But in hand, nope, it's definitely a mark on the card itself. Like someone had put a piece of paper on the card and dotted an "i" with a strong point. Bummer!

If I had gotten a killer deal on it, I may have sucked it up and kept it. But no, it wasn't a killer deal. And the seller offered free returns, so I didn't have to fight about it. Just painlessly send it back thru eBay. Didn't even need to pay for return shipping.


Farewell, Ted. Perhaps I'll snag another one of these someday, but now I'm not in a rush and will likely put some time between it rather than try finding another one right away.

I've got a couple other ideas I'm thinking about as a celebratory pickup. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 16, 2019

trade post

Lots of incoming cards this week thanks to a COMC shipment and a couple exciting eBay pickups, but also a couple trade packages. Let's check them out..


First up is a package from Jeremy at the Topps Cards That Never Were blog. Dig this shot of Rod Beck filling up his cart.


More dudes I collect.. Bill Madlock, my birthday twin Matt Ginter, and a pair of Judges.


Guys From Granite including a Brian Giles custom Jeremey must've whipped up himself. Pretty cool.


A couple Gavin needs. Gavin Lux has been tearing up the minors this year and is looking like a lock to become just the third guy named Gavin to play in the big leagues. The first MLB Gavin was Gavin Floyd.. pictured here on a minor league issue. Very cool.


Some 2019 Padres.


And a mess of Padres parallels.


I was thrilled to become trade partners with Jeremy because he's a Rays collector, so I finally had someone to thin out my Tampa Bay cards on. Looks like he had a run of Blake Snell flagship to share, a rare Ray I collect.

Thanks, Jeremy! I'll get a package out to you soon, including that contest prize I've owed you for a couple months now.

-  - - ---o

The other package to show off today is from Johnny's Trading Spot. John sent me a bunch of '72 Topps needs recently but sadly the postal service mistreated it and a team bag or two was lost to a tear in the mailer (thankfully the majority of the cards stayed in). It wasn't his fault, but being the stand-up guy he is, John took it upon himself to dig up some more 72s to replace the runaway cards.


Good stuff here. Gotta love the Bob Barton In Action.. not only is Bob's "action" standing there watching a foul ball in the stands, but the elderly security guard steals the show.


HOFer Red Schoendienst is likely the biggest name in the lot... literally.


Thought I'd highlight this terrific Mike Cuellar card. Big smile whilst playing catch (or perhaps just posing, but still.)


Cuellar was coming off 3 consecutive 20-win seasons. Bonus points for the Hoyt Wilhelm mention in the cartoon. And check out how the long, hyphenated city names in 1960 and 1961 caused Topps to add blank lines in the stats for spacing. I don't recall seeing them do that before. And I didn't realize Havana, Cuba had a minor league team back then.

Anyways, I'm now doing great for the first series of 1972 Topps, without too many low numbers left. Overall I'm at 59.25% complete.

Thanks so much, John! Now that the summer heat is on the decline, I hope to crank out some more customs-- the computer I use for making customs is in a room that gets hot in the summertime-- and eventually finish off the big list of requests. Plus I've got plenty of Braves set aside.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend, everybody.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

card trimming for science

The hobby has been rocked by a card trimming scandal over the past few months, with hobby heavyweights PSA, Beckett Grading Services, and eBay consignment powerhouse PWCC in the spotlight over allegations of being complicit in schemes regarding trimming valuable cards for better grades, and therefore higher sales.

For the heck of it, I thought I'd give a shot at trimming a card myself. I've never attempted to trim a card other than my own customs or occasionally a cut-out oddball from a magazine or box, but for the sake of an interesting blog post, I'll give it a try.


Here's a 1990 Score Tony Gwynn card I found among my many Gwynn dupes (He's my all-time favorite player, so I've got a lot.) You can see this card's top corners are both clearly less than gem mint. Let's see if I can take the ol' paper cutter to it to improve them.



Well, I doubt this card would grade out to a 10 after going under the knife-- a bit off-center to the right, and the corners still aren't perfect-- but at a quick glance, I'd say those top corners are improved. If this was hypothetically a valuable card like a 2011 Topps Update Mike Trout or a 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan, the alteration may have helped bump up the grade by a few hundred dollars' worth, assuming the grading entity didn't take any measurements into account and just gave it a rough once-over.


So there you have it. And please note that this is my first time trimming a real card and that I am doing this at 1:30 in the morning while having trouble sleeping. I'd imaging that someone who does this a lot (and on a full night's sleep) would do a better job.

So yeah, it's a bit scary if you're concerned about things such as altered cards and/or are someone who pays a premium for slabbed 10's.


Lest anyone think I was contaminating the hobby with altered '90 Score Gwynns, I pulled the ol' Upper Deck X treatment on this guy, with some artificial "die cuts" to make sure it never gets mistaken for an unaltered card. (Sorry, Tony-- no disrespect intended! Thank you for your sacrifice.)

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

more card show pickups

You wanna see some more card show pickups?! You got em!
It's mostly oddballs and vintage in this post.


Did somebody say oddballs?
That Ted Williams is a cool card, though I haven't been able to find out more info on it. Then a pair of similar Frank Robinson cards. Rollie rockin' the brown & gold. Luke Appling card convention card. And a Nolan Ryan card convention card (that doesn't actually picture Nolan Ryan) might be my best pickup of the show according to COMC prices, as it's currently listed at the yuletide price of $12.25. (All the cards in this post ran me under 50¢ a pop... well, most of them were actually under 25¢.)


Some oddball reprints. F. Robby making another appearance.. another card convention exclusive.


HOYT! Hope I needed one or two of these.


Oddballs a poppin! Can you identify these badboys on sight? Mothers? Broders? Other?


Answer key. Mickey Brantley isn't a guy I collect, but an old school Broders card that even has Rob Broder credited on the back seemed kinda cool.


Some trade fodder. Who wants 'em?


Harry and the Hendersons (not pictured: Harry). Dave Henderson is among my favorite "common" guys to collect. Always seems to be having fun.


Some vintage sets I'm working on. The '57 is pretty beat, but for a quarter, figured it'd be a fine spot filler.


A little more vintage, including the infamous "bat boy" card from '69, a poor condition '58, an off-center '59, a Richard Pole, and a Pete Broberg which seems to be signed.


Cut long ago from boxes of food.


A few big names from '80s Fleer. Hope to finish these sets someday, but I have a long way to go.


Scooped up some old football cards, highlighted by guys who went on to play Hunter and Sloth.


Also grabbed some vintage basketball.
For what it's worth, I also got a couple hockey cards (Cam Neely, same year in both Topps and OPC) which didn't save for some reason when I took a pic.


But the biggest stack of cards I got at the show was a few dozen '72 Topps cards. These take me up to 56.6% complete with the set. At the show, I checked my list and was sure to only set aside cards I needed (plus the Dock Ellis, which was a dupe for the PC), but sadly when I went to update my list later, turns out there were a few I already had. I must've grabbed a "reject" pile somewhere along the line when I was adding to my stack.. D'oh! Hopefully I didn't put back a corresponding "need" pile by mistake. Oh well, that's how it goes sometimes.

That closes out my haul from the August card show. I've got a COMC shipment on the way, so the cards'll keep on comin'.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Finding Tiffany at the Mall

Time for more stuff I picked up at the monthly Portland card show at Mall 205 this past weekend. Back in the late 80s, it wasn't uncommon to find Tiffany at the mall. But turns out here in 2019, you can still sometimes find Tiffany at the mall if you're lucky.


When I came across a modest cache of Topps Tiffany in a 50¢ box, the beating of my heart was the only sound. (Sorry; a reference to Tiffany's hit single.) This Strawberry is a great looking card.


Just in case you're unfamiliar: Topps Tiffany Baseball cards are basically fancy versions of the company’s sets from 1984 through 1991. These premium "Collectors' Edition" factory sets had relatively small print runs. The cards are on bright/white cardstock and the fronts are glossy. The gloss can be tough to spot if the cards are in sleeves or if you're in dim lighting, but the bright backs usually give them away. (There are also Topps Tiffany Traded cards, which are harder to spot since standard Traded cards already feature the better cardstock.)


Pudge! Man, this is a nice card.. even nicer when tiffanied.


SEE?!! Glossy!!


I doubled up on Fisk, also grabbing an '85 record breaker.


Howbout this All-Star trio of First-Balloters? Tiffany! I love it. I even took a look on eBay last month to see what complete sets go for. And ouch-- even the "crappy" sets like '88 Topps are pretty pricey in Tiffany versions. Maybe if I live long enough and amass enough disposable income, I'll put a run of Topps Tiffany sets on my collecting-goals list, but odds are I'll just have to be content with picking up a some singles here and there.


HOFers keep coming with Lasorda and Berra.


And some more that aren't exactly bullseyes for my collection (not guys I collect), but I had to add them to my stack anyways. I could probably be talked out of these above 8 cards in trade, though I may hang onto them just in case I start working on Tiffany sets someday down the line. But even then, it'd likely make more sense to watch for decently priced complete sets on eBay rather than try to piece together by hand.


Ok, ok... These aren't Tiffany, but close, in that they look like standard Topps flagship at first glance, but upon closer inspection are more special. Cousins to the North, O-Pee-Chee. Like Tiffany, I could see myself going after complete sets of these someday once I eventually finish my other collecting pursuits, if that ever happens. But yeah, a nice quartet of stars here I dug up from the same box.


Thanks for reading. If anyone has any stray Topps Tiffany cards among their tradeables, I'd likely be interested in 'em!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

card show claustrophobia


The monthly Portland card show at Mall 205 was bumping yesterday. Bill's bins were packed (see the right side of the photo-- yikes), so I split my time between Lyle the vintage guy (and his 25¢ and 50¢ boxes) and a 50¢ box from a dealer I hadn't bought from before. In all, I got 173 cards, that with final-total discounts, round out to about 32¢ each.


Juan Soto is pretty hot right now. Very surprised to find a serial numbered Soto for cheap with that gold parallel.


Acuña is another young stud on the rise.. figured I should round up a few of his cards.


Still chugging along at my parallel frankenset of 2011 Topps/Chrome. These 4 refractors were needs.


Here are some more cards I bought. The Sanchez features Judge on the other side.


Last year's Stadium Club. Bryce is a Chrome parallel.


2011 Lineage makes an appearance.


Fire, Gallery, and a Griffey Ginter mini.


The bottom row here are all #/99.


Topps HD is sort of a forgotten product these days, but the cards are kinda cool. Sturdy.


And let's close out the post with some 90s stuff. Finding a serial-numbered Caminiti I need makes me especially happy.

I'll do a continuation post on my haul later with the vintage and more.
Thanks for stopping by!