Monday, August 31, 2015

a random post of odds and ends

I did it! Posted every day of August 2015. I think it's just the 2nd or 3rd time in the history of Baseball Card Breakdown I've posted every day of a month, and the first time this year. Just another dumb "endurance goal" of mine.

Now I'm going to try going the other way. While I don't think I could bare not posting for an entire month, my goal is to not post back-to-back days for all of September 2015. So I'll still be posting, but not quite as frequently.. more like every-other-day or every three days.

Anyways, let's wrap up some loose ends with various scans that I've had sitting around.

This was from a Tony L. trade a while back that I forgot to include in the posts for our last couple trades. Mickey Mantle minor league card! And it's uncut! Score!

Random tangent: Yesterday I picked up a dead raven near the side of my driveway and threw it in the trash. It was gross. But I didn't want it to stay there and get run over.. then it would become really gross. Hope I wasn't supposed to call Animal Control or anything. Just a crow that had lived out its life.

This is a jumbo sized Bill Madlock card I won on Listia a while back. What's going on in the stands? Was it Free Slinky give-away day at the ballpark? Or was the stadium overrun with weird sea anemone space aliens that day?

My Gavvy Cravath collection picked up another card here with this reprint of a Cracker Jack card. Someday I'd like to get an original, but I'm sure they're not cheap. This one was from a recent Just Commons order where I picked up a bunch of 1973 Topps needs and the 2 Travis Taijeron cards from the other day.

This '79 Glenn Burke got thrown in my cart in a recent Sportlots order. Part of a little "Pride" minicollection of mine, joining a couple autos of other guys I showed off last year.

This Willie McCovey was in the same Sportlots order. At only 18¢, I was expecting it to be beat to hell. It's actually in pretty decent shape for that price, though I'd still ideally like to upgrade someday.

So, yeah, as I've been saying, I've been making a big push to finish off 1973 Topps, and have been picking off cards here and there in orders on Just Commons and Sportlots. When the dust clears, I should be standing at about a dozen cards shy of completion. This next card was an eBay purchase, just a couple bucks shipped:

1973 Topps #20 Stan Bahnsen border variation
With this card, I've completed all the variations in the set (Well, I'm sure there are countless color variations and weird little other things that could be counted, but I'm ignoring them and considering my variation quest compete). This is an excellent specimen, with not only a pronounced gap in the left border, but also a partial gap on the right, exposing some bonus chalkline. Pretty cool! I've seen copies of this card with a small left gap and a smaller left gap, (and corrected copies with no gap), but this is the only one I've ever seen that also has a right gap. Scarce!

Bru sent these the other day! Awesome! In hindsight, I should have been better at tracking who/where I receive 1990 UD Marquis Grissom cards from, like how the Tim Wallach guy is good about keeping records. Each one is appreciated, I assure you!

Random tangent: I've been renting through Seinfeld on dvd from Netflix (unfortunately it's not on streaming) but my progress has been stopped in its tracks by Season 8 discs 1 and 2 always on "Very Long Wait". Do any of you readers own Seinfeld Season 8 on dvd and would be willing to let me borrow discs 1 and 2? I'm thinking we could build a card trade around it. I would take very good care of your discs and send them back to you within a couple weeks, along with some cool cards for you to make it worth your while. Please let me know! I loved Seinfeld back when it was originally on. Then got burned out on reruns in syndication years ago. And recently have had a Seinfeld renaissance watching through the series again.

The last bit of randomness for today is a cheap Listia win I stumbled into. This probably could have gotten lumped in with my latest girlie card post, but I didn't think of it. It's a couple bits of reel from an original film copy of The House Bunny. I've always had a celebrity crush on Anna Faris, and Emma Stone too for that matter. So I guess this is kind of a cool little item for me, though not really something I'd normally collect. But for a nominal amount of Listia credits, I'm happy to pick it up.

Anyways, thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

2004 Chrome Black Refractors by the bunches

The other week when I announced my intention of working on a set of 2004 Topps Chrome black refractors, SpastikMooss of The Great Sports Name Hall of Fame offered to round up a bunch of them for me in exchange for whipping up a few custom glow-in-the-dark sketchcards for his PCs. I jumped at his generous, flattering offer. He's known as a "COMC guru" and was able to score some good deals on these black rainbowed beauties there.



Chone is getting sucked up into the rainbow!

Mr. Mooss also hit the relic section of this goal of mine, with a trio of A's, a Lance Berkman, and Shannon Stewart. Great stuff.

Thanks a lot for the trade, man! Hopefully the customs show up soon and you're happy with them. I think they turned out ok, for what it's worth!

Thus concludes the "trade post" portion for today, but...
I also grabbed a couple more of these suckers as part of a recent Sportlots order:

Cool, cool.

I also landed another of the /25 autos...

Got this Carlos Quentin offa eBay recently. The seller had originally been trying to get ~$70 for it for the longest time before eventually he was really ready to part with it and started it with a low opening bid. The crack in the top of the slab helped keep the price down (I don't care about the grading, but I'll probably go ahead and leave it in there for the time being) and scored it for comfortably under a blaster. Quentin is the biggest name in the auto checklist, believe it or not, so the rest should be a breeze.. just gotta have patience for them to pop up. A couple weeks ago a Connor Jackson (probably the 2nd biggest name in the auto checklist) snuck by me and ended for peanuts. Kicking myself for not keeping a good enough eye on eBay for these. I've since set up a saved eBay search, so hopefully that won't happen again.

16.43% complete
as of8/30/2015

Still a long way to go, but decent progress so far. Love these cards!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

An exciting new Guy From Granite

Less than a month after discovering new Guy From Granite Brian Carroll, I've found out about another guy from my high school currently playing pro ball. This guy seems to be on the cusp of a call-up, even!

His name is Travis Taijeron and he's currently raking for the Mets' AAA club. Remember a week or two ago when Yoenis Cespedes hit 3 home runs in a game for the Mets? Taijeron also hit 3 that day down on the farm!

Here's Wikipedia (source) with more background info:
Travis Nathaniel Taijeron (born January 20, 1989) is a professional baseball right fielder currently playing for the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s in theNew York Mets minor league system.
He was born in La Mesa, California and attended Granite Hills High School, where he was a catcher.[23] Before playing professionally, he attended Grossmont College in 2008, where he spent a year and played for their baseball team. In 32 games, he posted a slash line of .382/.472/.563. He transferred to Southwestern College in 2009 and hit .353/.453/.601 in 42 games. For 2010, he moved to Cal Poly Pomona, hitting .345/.441/.670 with 16 home runs and 48 RBI in 52 games. He played 59 games in 2011 and hit .392/.534/.744 with 16 home runs and 51 RBI.[24] He earned numerous honors, including the 2010-11 California Collegiate Athletic Association Male Athlete of the Year, 2011 CCAA Most Valuable Player and Daktronics American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association West Region Player of the Year and a NCAA Division II All-American selection by Daktronics, the NCBWA and the ABCA.
The Mets drafted him in the 18th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft and assigned him to Low-A Brooklyn. In 56 games, he hit .299/.387/.557 with nine home runs and 44 RBI. He earned his first Player of the Week honor that season, was named a Organization All-Star and was a New York-Penn League Mid-Season All-Star. He hit .255/.362/.477 with 19 home runs and 65 RBI in 112 games split between the Savannah Sand Gnats and St. Lucie Mets in 2012, won another Player of the Week and was a South Atlantic League Mid-Season All-Star. In 2013, he hit .271/.356/.531 with 38 doubles, 23 home runs, 69 RBI and 131 strikeouts in 120 games split between St. Lucie and the Binghamton Mets. He was a Player of the Week twice and was again a Organization All-Star. With Binghamton in 2014, he hit .248/.357/.476 with 15 home runs and 64 RBI in 101 games and earned another Player of the Week selection.[25]He began 2015 with Las Vegas, his first stay at Triple-A. In his first 15 games, he hit .352/.419/.667.
He is projected to be, at minimum, a fourth outfielder and a power bat off the bench with the potential to be an effective starting outfielder with 20-home run power.[26][27] He has been listed on numerous Mets top prospect lists.[28]

For some reason baseball-reference doesn't have his high school listed, and since searching b-r is pretty much my only "research" for this minicollection, he wasn't on my radar. But I recently began following the coach for Granite Hills baseball on Twitter, and he's really good about retweeting when his former players do well. And Taijeron has been blowing up on his feed, so that got my attention.

Travis only has a couple mainstream cards on the market so far: 2012 Topps Heritage Minors and 2012 Topps Pro Debut. Also a few minor league cards. No certified autos yet.

Here's what I've scored so far:

2012 Topps Heritage Minors #'d 41/96 black parallel shown up top and a couple base cards. I got an extra base card with the intent of trying for a TTM. But with the AAA season ending soon, and the possibility of a September call up, it might be tricky timing.

But yeah, cool to have another active guy in this minicollection of mine! Here's hoping he gets called up and has some major league success soon.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Wil Myers auto (or what passes for his auto, at least)

Recently got my first auto of offseason Padre pickup Wil Myers. He seems to be widely regarded as having the worst signature in the game, just some waves that I suppose could be interpreted as an intertwined "WM" with a little imagination. I don't have a very legible signature myself, so I tend to be forgiving about lazy efficient signers, though of course beautiful autographs are better. Plus the guy's wrists are basically made of paper mache, so I guess he's trying to save wear-and-tear on them. That's probably why he dropped the superfluous L from his first name, too. Wil's been on the disabled list most of the year because of wrist issues, just like Tampa knew he would be when they suckered the Padres into giving up a couple top prospects for him.

C'est la vie. Hopefully he's back in the lineup and playing well soon.

While not as cool as the Fisk auto I showed off yesterday, still a fine looking card. Nice framed mini from 2013 Allen & Ginter. Plus I got it on Listia so it was "free" (a fat chunk of credits).

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fisk refractor auto

Carlton Fisk was a badass. An ironman behind the plate, with his career spanning four decades (hey, those 2 games in 1969 count). He's also got a lot of cool cardboard out there (and some less cool). This "on the basepaths" photo is a bit outside the box for him, but it's a great looking card nonetheless.

Despite some negative stuff about him (the DUI a few years back, the hardassedness, and worst of all, declining the chance to be on The Simpsons and his part going to Mike Scioscia), he's still a fun dude to collect.

I'm now at 41/76 in my quest to complete 2004 Topps Retired Signature Edition autograph refractors. If I had to prioritize my collecting goals, this would be the grandaddy of them all. My legacy! I saw this Fisk pop up on eBay last week as a Buy It Now and I think I had completed my purchase before I even finished taking a breath.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Nachos Grande attax me where it hurts (aka Christ Topper Trade w/Christopher)

Nachos Grande asked about the Christ The Redeemer topper from my Gint-a-Cuffs entry (btw, my early reign atop the GAC leaderboard has come to an end, with at least one or two other chumps rudely besting my score. Nuts!) We agreed to a straight swap for his Mike Trout topper. (Is it "box topper" or "box loader"? Or are the terms interchangeable? You know what I mean: the oversized card that's sometimes included on the top of the packs in a hobby box.)

Not the most exciting card at any size, but Trout is a fun dude to collect, and although oversized cards are a bitch to store, it's a nice addition to the PC.
Here it is next to a regular sized box of cards for scale...

We'll get to the threatening Topps Attax box in a moment!

I only sent Chris my Jesus card, but he was gracious enough to include a bunch of bonus cards for me. I feel I dropped the ball here, and will need to make restitution with a "part two" of my trade package to him in the mail shortly.

The extra cards were heavy on Padres. Here we see a new Gwynn for my collection, plus a Hoffman and a couple nice Peavy cards.

Here are a few more San Diego keepers from the sizeable stack Chris sent. I never tire of seeing Friar Rickey! If I were GM, he'd be a bench player for us still to this day!

Now this very well may be the highlight of the package! These are a few of those famous Munnatawket custom minis I've heard about that are produced by a buddy of Chris'. The Trout and Giancarlo are big scores for a couple of my most active PCs, and the Headley and Myers are sweet Padres-related additions.

And the blogger auto might be my favorite card of all. I've dealt with Chris a handful of times in the past, I think with a couple of trades and a couple group breaks, but was never lucky enough to score one of his certified autographs. I already have auto cards of Fuji and JBF, so I think this completes the trilogy of mass-produced blogger autos out there that I'm aware of.

Thanks for the trade, Chris! I'll send you a few more cards soon to balance the scales of this trade a bit.

Oh, and as for the mystery contents of the Topps Attax box...

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A couple sexy autos

Been awhile since we checked in with the "girlie card" area of my collection. It's not a super active focus of mine, but from time to time I'll be smitten with a young lady on a piece of cardboard and make her mine. The cardboard version, that is.

Long time readers of the blog might be familiar with Spencer Scott as a lovely lass I accidentally started collecting a while back when I was looking for Shane Spencer autos (really!) This is like my 3rd or 4th autograph card from her. While I really didn't need another one, I thought this one was nifty because it's got a baseball theme to it. So see, it all ties into my main collection, sorta. Won it on Listia for a modest lump of credits.

Here's the backside, which is also quite nice, except for the auto bleeding through a bit (or perhaps it was stacked upon another wet auto) and giving Miss Scott what looks like a nasty bruise on her upper thigh.

Ok, I promised you two sexy autos! Are you ready for the next one?!


Here it comes!


[Now if you're a loyal reader of Baseball Card Breakdown, you know this is usually where I post a Kent Tekulve auto and we all have a good laugh.]


[But I haven't scored any new Teke autos lately, so you'll just have to look at another pretty girl.]


Lovely! I don't know who Syd Wilder is, but I'm instantly a fan. This was another Listia win. There's one seller on Listia in particular who always seems to have lots of Bench Warmer cards up for bid. I believe it was the same guy the Spencer Scott auto came from. I've bid on more of this seller's BW cards than I should admit, though these are the only two I've won in the past few months.

Since I can sense you're all a bit disappointed in no Tekulve autographs in this post, I'll give you one more bonus pretty girl to look at...

Alicia Johnson here is an attractive female. This card has been kissed by her, even! My first "game used" lipstick card. And it's a Christmas Card, which is why I paid somewhere around four or five bucks for it on eBay some weeks back. Occasionally I'll put in a few low bids on 12/25 cards, and sometimes I win. Actually, I've kinda pulled back from my Christmas Card collecting lately because it was just too much with such vast possibilities and I feel I need to focus my collecting a little better. I'm still definitely collecting 12/25 cards, just not going out of my way for them as much.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Joy of a completed set: 2001 Archives Reserve Football

The "joy" is somewhat muted when you just buy the complete set in one shot on eBay, but it still counts. Right? Kinda? I had a saved search for this for a while, and after a few tries, landed one in the price range I had in mind.

I'm a nut for all things Archives Reserve. Just something about refractor reprints of vintage cards that clicks with me and triggers the "Aw yeah, that's what I'm talkin' 'bout!" sensors of my brain.

This latest pickup completes the AR trilogy for me, with 2001 Archives Reserve Football joining the pair of baseball sets from 2001 and 2002 (which I've previously featured here and here).
Here's the football set in its 94-card entirety:

The set is somewhat in order by first name. Not all of them (Warren Moon at #1?), but the bulk of the set is in alphabetical order. Just something weird I noticed while going through the cards.

I'm no aficionado when it comes to vintage football, but I'm familiar with some of the bigger cards, such as the Jim Brown and Joe Montana.

The John Elway RC is the only card in the set that I own a real copy of, I believe. My copy unfortunately has one of those "fish eye" bubble printing flaws right between his eyes.. sort of takes away a bit of the eye appeal, but still cool to have one.

Would love an original Walter Payton RC someday.. classic card.

That wraps it up.

As an appendix, here's the Fridge auto I got a few months ago.

Now that I've completed the trilogy of base sets, my Archives Reserve Master Set is pretty much just lacking autos and relics. I'm in no hurry on those, but it would be nice to eventually get 'em all.
For fun, let's check out the checklist for 2001 Archives Reserve Football inserts:

-Jersey relics-
ARRBE Boomer Esiason
ARRBS Barry Sanders
ARRDM Dan Marino
ARRDT Derrick Thomas
ARRJE John Elway
ARRJK Jim Kelly
ARRJM Joe Montana
ARRLT Lawrence Taylor
ARRMA Marcus Allen
ARRPS Phil Simms
ARRSY Steve Young

ARABK Billy Kilmer
ARABS Barry Sanders
ARACB Cliff Branch
ARACF Chuck Foreman
ARACJ Charlie Joiner
ARADB Dick Butkus
ARADC Dave Casper
ARADJ Deacon Jones
ARADM Don Maynard
ARADW Doug Williams
ARAED Eric Dickerson
ARAEJ Ed Too Tall Jones
ARAFG Frank Gifford
ARAHE Henry Ellard
ARAJH John Hannah
ARAJM Joe Montana
ARAJN Joe Namath
ARAJR John Riggins
ARAJU Johnny Unitas
ARALD Len Dawson
ARALH Lester Hayes
ARALT Lawrence Taylor
ARAMA Marcus Allen
ARAMC Mark Clayton
ARAON Ozzie Newsome
ARARB Raymond Berry
ARARH Rodney Hampton
ARATD Tom Dempsey
ARATH Ted Hendricks
ARATM Terry Metcalf
ARAWP William Perry (got it!)

Some big names there! That'll cost me a pretty penny should I seriously try to complete it someday. Again, no rush.

There are apparently also 21 "Mini Helmet Autographs" but I'm not counting those as I only care about cards. Though I suppose it wouldn't be a truly complete "Master Set" without them. Grr. Cross that bridge if I come to it.

If I had to prioritize my Archive Reserve wants now, the football insert stuff would be last, with the baseball relics and autos being above that. And probably next up to focus on is the 20-card 2001 Topps Archives Reserve Future Rookie Reprints.. that stepchild of Archives Reserve which aren't even refractors. Still, though, if it says "Archives Reserve" on it, I want it!

I recently got a couple more of them in a Sportlots order.. or so I thought.

A good look at the Archives logo tells you these are not the rarer Archives Reserve versions, just the regular Archives versions. Nuts! They weren't too expensive so I probably won't hassle with a refund/return. But man, frustrating! (Especially after the fake Mike Schmidt RC that arrived the other day.) Serves me right for going after a dumb and confusing insert set like this. Anybody want to trade for either of these two cards?

Here's where I'm at with the checklist now:

o 1 Barry Bonds 87
o 2 Chipper Jones 91
o 3 Cal Ripken, Jr. 82
o 4 Shawn Green 92
o 5 Frank Thomas 90
o 6 Derek Jeter 93
o 7 Geoff Jenkins 96
o 8 Jim Edmonds 93
o 9 Bernie Williams 90
o 10 Sammy Sosa 90
o 11 Rickey Henderson 80
x 12 Tony Gwynn 83
o 13 Randy Johnson 89
o 14 Juan Gonzalez 90
o 15 Gary Sheffield 89
x 16 Manny Ramirez 92
o 17 Pokey Reese 92
o 18 Preston Wilson 93
x 19 Jay Payton 95
x 20 Rafael Palmeiro 87

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sentimental Sundays: A Gwynn I wish I could get back

This first picture is actually from an old photo I dug up. I don't own these anymore..

A few weeks back there was a blog bat-around about cards you don't have anymore that you regret parting ways with, and I couldn't think of anything other than the in-person Dick Allen signed baseball that I gave up (which I believe I got signed at the 1992 All-Star Fanfest). But one card I'm now remembering that I would love to have again is that "altered" 1990 Upper Deck Tony Gwynn.. Not sure if you can tell from the photo, but it's encased in a solid inch thick slab of lucite. More of a paperweight than a card. My friend Doug got it as a kid somewhere (the card shop in the mall? Probably got it from his dad as a birthday present or something) and I ended up with it, but then I got rid of it years later when I moved out of state. Sure, it's ridiculous, but for sentimental reasons, I would love to find another one of these someday. Trying to search eBay for "tony gwynn lucite" gives zero results, so apparently this wasn't a super common item. It was that "anything goes" time for baseball cards in the early 90s and I guess somebody figured it'd be a good way to sell a 25¢ card for $20. Anybody out there have any crazy permanently-encased cards like this?

Switching gears to crap from my childhood I have hung onto...

Thanks to this stub, I can tell you exactly where I was at 5:30 pm on August 25, 1991: Sitting through a few previews while waiting for City Slickers to start. I actually just re-watched that movie sometime within the past year.. I think it was on Netflix streaming, but was scheduled to go away soon, so we watched it one weekend a while ago. Still holds up, I suppose. The film originally opened June 7, 1991, so it took me nearly 3 months till I saw it. I've never been a big big-screen guy. I can't remember ever seeing a movie on opening night. I'd usually wait a few weeks till the crowds died down. And these days I just wait and rent it on Netflix. I tentatively plan to go see the new Star Wars when it comes out this December (not opening night, no way), but yeah, it's rare that I go to the theatre.

Next is a postcard from my Aunt Mary:

Ah, the days before email and Facebook when postcards were a thing. She only dated it 9/4, but I think the postmark seems to read 1989. Dig that deckle edge, fellas!

Finally for today, here's a hologram of Toucan Sam flying over a T-rex while a volcano erupts in the background. It's a bit smaller than a postcard, but bigger than a baseball card. I'm guessing I got it off a cereal box (Fruit Loops, to be specific), as the back is blank with a ripped-from-paper look to it. Plus you can see it got wrinkled a bit. Still, though, holograms are always fascinating when you give them a close look and see the textures and everything.

Catch ya next time, homies!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

bought a Schmidt rookie.. turned out to be counterfeit

Since recently hitting 90% complete on 1973 Topps, I figured I would make a push to knock it out here sooner rather than later. I bid on some Mike Schmidt RCs and ended up winning one for a good price. It just showed up.

Something looked off about it right out of the package. My first thought was it had been trimmed, as the borders looked tight and the corners/edges seemed a bit too sharp, but I checked it out and it measured fine against a standard card.

Once I got it out of the toploader, it was clear to me this was a fake. Maybe someone who rarely dabbles in vintage would be fooled, but I've been in deep with 1973 Topps for a good while now, and I'm very familiar with the look and feel of these cards. This was an impostor, no doubt about it.

Here it is trying to hide in a stack of real 73s...

It's the one on bright, new card stock. And no, it's not Oh-Pee-Chee or anything like that. Just a fake.

Crap. Now I gotta go through the hassle of getting a refund. I'll give the guy the benefit of the doubt and not accuse him of being aware of it. Hopefully he just lets me keep it so I don't have to throw away $2.50 on return postage.