Saturday, December 20, 2014

2015 Archives anticipation

According to Cardboard Connection, looks like 2015 Archives is going to feature designs from 1957, 1976, and 1983 in the base set. I'm pretty happy with that. Those designs haven't been beaten into the ground yet. 57 was obviously used in Heritage a few years back, but otherwise not much dead-horse-beating here. 83, especially, is one of Topps finest moments that they don't salute nearly as often as they could (2 photos required.. not conducive to lazy cardmakers). Inserts include designs from 1968 Topps Game which is kind of a cool idea, as well as 1990 Topps, which might be too soon since it was just a base design in 2013 Archives.. I'd probably have rather seen 1991 used there. But still, no major complains about the designs they picked for this go-round.

Maybe I should be ashamed to admit it, but Archives is honestly the only current product I really have any legitimate excitement for. It's what first helped get me back into the hobby back in 2012. And while I may buy a small handful of other various blasters and hobby boxes throughout the year, only Archives really makes my heart flutter with anticipation. So June can't come soon enough for me. I look forward to giving Topps my money for a hobby box or two.. and the inevitable disappointment from not pulling any decent hits, like always.

Anyways, let's fill this post out with a couple older Archives cards I picked up recently.

Hopefully the Fan Favorites Autographs checklist for 2015 Archives packs a few pleasant surprises. Obviously none perked me up more on the '14 checklist than Bip Roberts' first-ever certified auto. I gobbled up a bunch of them, working on a rainbow of sorts. Even though I already had this /10 purple parallel, I grabbed another one for a decent price in a eBinge a while back. Now I've got #s 09/10 and 02/10. I also picked up another /50 gold parallel because the other one I had was # 13/50 and I wanted a less-unlucky number. But I can't find it at the moment (I'm overdue for a good sorting of the cards I've gotten in the past few months), so no scan for that one today.

Vince Coleman is an old favorite of mine from my early days of collecting. While I'm much less active in adding Vinnies to my collection these days, I was happy to pick up my first auto from him thanks to this cool-looking card (A way better photo than they used on his original '86 Topps card which just features a boring portrait shot.)

This Tewksbury was actually bundled together in an eBay auction with the Vince Coleman, so it was a nice little bonus for virtually no more money. I specifically remember him fondly for his stint on the Padres team of 1996 when San Diego finally got back into the playoffs after a long drought. I could go for some more of that. Hopefully all the off-season moves they've been making lately will pay off in the form of an exciting 2015.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Gift box from Johnny

The holiday surprises continue! John from Johnny's Trading Spot dropped a flat-rate Priority Mail box full of cards on me the other day, mostly Padres. It was a lot of fun going through it and coming up with a fat stack of keepers. Let's check out some highlights.

This probably doesn't count as a Bipping in the traditional sense, but I always love getting Bips.

Benito has lots of cool cards. Well, 90 Fleer isn't one of them, obviously.

I've tried to fight collecting Garry Templeton cards for a while, but I think I gave in.

A key component of the box, there were over 30 cards from El Cajon's own Brian Giles! Here are a few I picked out to scan.

And here are some other various interesting cards, included a Peavy throwback, a young Headley, a young Derrek Lee, a young Phil Nevin, an old "year zero" Mike Scioscia (he signed with the Padres but got injured in spring training and retired), and a Khalil. (I think I need to play with my new scanner's settings a bit to work on improving the quality. The Scioscia, especially, looks terrible here.)

Great cards.. Thanks so much, John! Have a very Merry Christmas! I'll hope to scrape up some Braves to send you before long to try returning the favor.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Vintagey card show haul

Here are a bunch more cards I picked up at the card show this past weekend. I've split up my haul here with the old-school players. (Active/more-recent players will be posted another day.)

Topps was ga-ga for Mickey Mantle up until their contract with his estate ran out a couple years ago (which was probably a good thing, because collectors were getting sick of him. Now if only the same could happen with Ruth, Cobb, Nettles, Kaline, Nettles, etc, Nettles). I hadn't seen this one from 2004 before, though (possibly my favorite flagship design in the past 20 years or so). The corners are a bit dinged, but I'm still happy to add this to my Mantle PC. Looks like 2014 will end without me adding any true vintage Mantles to my collection. I'm ok with that. Maybe I'll target one next year.

And of course I always love adding to my Clemente PC. That Gypsy Queen gold has a nice raised border on it, like an actual frame. The middle card is one of those Renata Galasso cards that I wasn't familiar with until getting schooled last month. And on the right is a reprint of his '62 card.. working toward getting that entire tribute reprint run.

Neat minor league card of a Hall of Famer. Sure, somebody spilled their drink on it in the upper left, but still.

Some Gwynns, including a nicely-centered 84 Fleer, a Pacific card celebrating his 2998th hit (?!!) #'d /3000, and my first-ever (I think) Tek card.

A couple Hank Aaron cards. Actually the AS card is an upgrade for my Dick Allen collection (somebody spilled their drink on my other copy), and the card that's currently in it will now move into my Hank Aaron PC. And there's another Renata Galasso card.

Everybody love Kellogg's 3D cards. A couple guys I collect. No cracking!

At a card show, I don't spend much, if any, time digging in the football bins.. but occasionally a football card will sneak into the baseball bins and catch my eye, as did Joe Montana here.

It's hard for me to pass up Ozzie as a Padre. By the time this '82 Topps sticker came out, he was gone.

Here's a trio of greats to close out the post: A vintage Frank Robinson game card, Lou Brock SSPC, and a Dave Parker 2nd-year.

Not a bad haul of classic ballplayers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Listia winnings and webtraffic roundup

Time to check out this past week's Listia pickups.

I just got my first Ken Caminiti auto a couple weeks ago, and now I've added another. Of course this one is less cool, being on a '91 Score, uncertified n' all. But still neat to add to the collection for a reasonable amount of credits. I'm inclined to consider it authentic; If someone was going to bother to forge it, they'd undoubtedly do a better looking job than that. (No offence to the late Ken Caminiti.)

I don't know why my new scanner occasionally does a crap job, such as with all the lines on that above scan. Really tempted to rescan it.

--ok, I just tried to rescan it and it still looked bad. I guess my scanner, like most collectors, just hates '91 Score.

Glad to add a Fidrych rookie to my collection. Gotta love this iconic card of the 70s.

Here was a lot of 8 McCovey cards. Between this lot and the McCovey-heavy PWE Hoyling the other day, this week has seen a nice bump to my McCovllection. This was a pretty good deal (557 credits), even though I'm sure I already had 3 or 4 of these.

My Listia credit account is looking pretty fat these days. That $22 pennybox grab bag I bought at the card show a couple months ago has really paid for itself just with the football cards I didn't want. (Hell, the Aaron Rodgers cards alone probably netted me $22 worth of Listia credit.) Lately, I've been too lazy to list separate lots (picking out cards, scanning them, typing up the details), so I've just been putting up "6 random cards from the team of your choice" lots with low Get It Now prices. It's been working great so far. Low effort on my part, and the winners are happy with the random cards they get. I've also tried similar auctions for baseball, basketball, and racing, but the football lots are definitely the best performers. You can check out my current auctions here. I recently toyed with the notion of eBaying a couple cards, but the process for listing an auction was such a run-around that I abandoned my attempt. Now I remember why sellers hate eBay so much.

Anyways, onto the webtraffic roundup. This is my 3rd week doing this. I like it mainly for the ICYMI ("in case you missed it") rundown of the blog posts for the previous 7 days. Gives me the opportunity to give a little push to any particular posts that may have gotten overlooked. But I don't want to come off as either bragging about good traffic or whining about not enough, so let's not put too much importance on any of this. Not sure how long I'll continue with this weekly practice, but here we go.

Mookies and Wookiees (Listia and webtraffic roundup) (12/10) 35 views. As I mentioned last week, my "reader reception" goal for every post is 50 views and a comment. This one fell well short of the 50 views. I blame leading with a basketball card. Hey, I get it-- I too am guilty of passing over posts in my feed that seem to have nothing to do with baseball. There's maybe a 50/50 chance of me clicking on a non-baseball post from a blog that I'm otherwise a loyal reader of. For what it's worth, there are baseball cards in that post once you get past the offending Mookie Blaylock auto!

year-end outstanding trades cleanup (12/11) 52 views. This post reached the goals, but was a failure in that it didn't really do anything. At least I can be relatively assured that I don't owe anyone any cards, apart from a few "I owe ya one" situations. (and in those instances, I typically wait for them to speak up for any tradebait I post, rather bug them with a bunch "do you want this?" messages.)

I went to school with John Barnes and he played in the majors (Guys from Granite) (12/12) 47 views. Sure, this series is basically "just for me" posts, but it's nice when other people read them too. I failed at coming up with a catchy title for this post, so just did my best to summarize it in a sentence.

Vintage from the beat-up box (card show recap) (12/13) 59 views. Not bad. I need to get around to posting about the rest of my haul from the recent card show.

Double, Double, Hoyle and Trouble (12/14) 51 views. The blogosphere has just about run out of clever titles for Mark Hoyle trade posts. I definitely scraped the bottom of the barrell here.

Topps Retired, but I'm still working (12/15) 48 views. Cool.

Too Many Verlanders From the Dollar Store (12/16) 34 views. Blogger again randomly held onto my post for over an hour till it sent it along over blogrolls and whatnot. Hate when that happens. Not that it's a huge deal, but still kind of annoying.

And now for bar graphs..

I think Wrigley Wax is a new one on the referring list, knocking off Torren' Down Yankees. Let's see if Zippy Zappy can mount a comeback and claw back into the ratings next week. (LOL, I should totally turn this into a contest. No, I shouldn't. But if I did, Night Owl would walk away with it.) I gotta admit I don't know what the difference is between "Referring URLs" and "Referring Sites." Seems to be mostly the same sites/URLs in a slightly different order.

As for Search Keywords.. If you look for a serial number and don't find one.. it's probably not a serial numbered card.
Cool that someone was checking out my ATHF poster signed by Master Shake. I have a couple more Aqua Teen collectables I should post about sometime.
I don't know how baseball cards are cut, honestly. Big pieces of cardboard cut up by big, sharp machines, I assume. That'd make for an interesting "How It's Made" segment. Sy Berger's recent passing is another reminder that there's never been a really good documentary made about baseball cards. Hopefully someday. Ken Burns needs to get on that.

Thanks for clicking. See ya next time.

UPDATE! Almost forgot.. speaking of Night Owl, I earned a new Listia badge the other day..

Suck it!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Too Many Verlanders From the Dollar Store

Christmas came early for me yesterday, with four (4!) packages of cards showing up in my mailbox. There was eBay bounty, a Listia lot, and a couple bloggers bonanzas. This post will take a look at the latter pair.

Dennis from TMV sent me a nice PWE Christmas gift. I was too impatient to wait till the 25th, so I ripped it open then and there.

Love the Trevor Christmas Card! It's not easy to see in the scan, but there's a 12/25 in the upper right. As you can tell by now, I decided against doing a "12 Days of Christmas Cards" blog series this year. Just too much work. But I'll probably do a post or two showing off some more 12/25 cards I've picked up this year. And spoiler alert: this is not the last we'll see of that serial-happy set, Moments & Milestones.

The Giles Brothers are always nice to see reunited in their hometown.

And the '70 Sparky Anderson has been on my sidebar wantlist for a while now.. great to finally get it. You keen-eyed folks out there might notice that Sparky seems to be half-assedly airbrushed from a non-Reds uniform (into something that still isn't a Reds uniform. Whatever, Topps.) But that's because the photo was taken when he was a coach for the Padres in 1969. Let's fix the card up real quick using some photoshop magic...

Ah, that's better. ..even if I was too lazy to get the fonts right.

Thanks so much for the gift of cards, Dennis!

The other package was from Doug of Sportscards From the Dollar Store. This was technically a trade package, but since he only asked for a couple cheap autos via PWE from my recent trade bait post, and then overdelivered in return, it was as good as a gift in my eyes. Doug knows I hate dealing with my local post office, and as such don't do many international trades (sorry, Caitlin, Papoy, Dutch Card Guy, et al), but a PWE can slip by with little consternation on my end (i.e., no customs form or dreaded visit with surly behind-the-counter postal workers).

Hockey greats!


Padres! That's a great Caminiti shot.

Randy Jones 1/10 cut auto! This card is so cool and so awful at the same time. Love Randy Jones, the first really good pitcher in San Diego history. He doesn't have many certified autos out there. I think one from Fan Favorites and not much else. But I gotta say I'm against making cut autos of living players. Roberto Clemente? Ted Williams? Jackie Robinson? Mickey Mantle? YES, to cut autos. But if a guy is still with us, willing and able to sign his name on a card... NO, to cut autos!! This here is a '77 Topps card that's been cut to only Randy's torso. So terrible. (I'm also against autographs on cards that already have a facsimile autograph on them, so this is a double whammy!) But so great. I love it like a son.

Doug knows I'm a sucker for shiny cards.

Trea Turner was the Padres 1st round pick of 2014, tabbed as San Diego's future shortstop. Sweet USA bat relic from him. Fingers crossed he pans out in the bigs.

Finally, some vintage OPC hockey! Even though I know jacksquat about hockey, still love to see these vintage designs that I'm not very familiar with.

Thanks again, Dennis and Doug for the sweet cards! The both of you are super generous and I hope you have a great Christmas!

A buck worth of cards picked up specifically as trade bait is all it cost me in return for everything in this post. I'll have to return the favor one of these days. The cardosphere is always a great place, but especially with the holidays upon us, folks seem to be even more generous. For my part, I just dropped 3 holiday surprise PWEs in the mail to friends of the blog, with at least one more penciled to go out shortly.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Topps Retired, but I'm still working

Let's check in with the recent advances I've made with the three Topps Retired Signature Edition sets.

I picked up the complete base set of 2003 Retired for just $25 shipped. When I saw it pop up on eBay with that Buy It Now, I just had to jump on it. The Nolan Ryan base card alone recently sold for over $10 shipped. So the entire 110-card set for $25 was just too good to pass up. It's a sweet set, with lots of great photos of great players, with the ever-appreciated full career stats on the back. The seller even sent all the cards in penny sleeves, which is nice since I'm not much of a binder guy.

I pieced together the 2004 Retired base set earlier this year. So now just 2005 Retired left to finish off the trilogy. But that's my least-favorite of the three, so I doubt I'll go after it unless a similar good deal on a complete set pops up.

As for 2004 Retired autos, I knocked another refractor off the list. Good ol' Maury Wills, here in all his rainbowed glory. This is #'d 21/25, picked up for a decent price. A different one (# 24/25) has been on eBay for a while now with a silly asking price over $100. Glad I didn't cave for that one. If the jackass would've offered Or Best Offer, I'd have probably given him still well more than I spent on this one. But nowhere near $100... No offence to Mr. Wills.

(Sorry to photograph it in a bag.. I'm sure that bugs a few of you readers who prefer your cards breathing free.) I already had his non-refractor auto from this set, so that one's now available if anyone wants to make me an offer on it. $12 shipped (in US) or trades considered. I also have base (non-refractor) autos from this set to part with from Carew, Hrabosky, Buddy Bell, and a few others. If I were more together, I'd throw these on eBay ASAP in time for them to potentially be bought as Christmas gifts.

And finally, I added a card from 2005 Retired recently as well. If I notice a Retired refractor auto for under $10 shipped, you bet I'm throwing a bid on it.

#'d 04/25. Bob Boone had a very fine career. Not quite in the "all-time elite" with Bench, Fisk, and Carter, but close behind on the list of great catchers of his era. He was right there defensively, but just didn't hit enough to measure up with those other guys when it was all said and done.

I always forget the Boone family is more or less from my hometown of San Diego.. specifically East County San Diego. I'm curious if his sons Bret (b. El Cajon, CA) and Aaron (b. La Mesa, CA) sired any boys. How cool would it be to see the Boone baseball legacy enter into a 4th generation? That'd probably be a lot of pressure on that kid to crack the big leagues.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Double, Double, Hoyle and Trouble

Vintage Vanguard Mark Hoyle dropped a nice PWE on my yesterday.

Sweet second-year McCovey! Some surface wear/staple marks, but still in decent shape. A great addition to my burgeoning McCovey McCollection.

A couple more McCoveys! And mah boi Dickie Allen in there, too. Love both those players (Ernie Banks, too), but I think my DA PC trumps my Stretch PC, so that LL'll probably end up with my DAs.

Hey, some more '69s! A trio of HOFers. Very nice.

Pilots! Seattle Pilots cards always seem like remnant of a bizzaro-world dimensional rip. No way that team ever existed! Anyways, one of these is OPC, for bonus cool points.

Possibly the highlight of the awesome-packed PWE was this outside-the-box item...

Not a card, but a clipping of the late, great Mike Reinbach. I trumpeted him two or three weeks ago for being the first guy from my high school to have played in the majors. But he didn't stick around long, so there's not much collectable remnants of him out there. So that makes this all the more special. Was this from some old baseball almanac or something, Mark? In any case, big thanks for everything! I sent off a package to you Friday afternoon with a bunch of Red Sox goodness.