Friday, May 17, 2019

Cards from Canada

This post is a control in my experiment with post titles including the word "cardboard" which allegedly causes an increase in views. Will only putting "cards" in the title instead of "cardboard" make this post end up with weaker numbers than my last few posts (that had "cardboard" in the title)? We'll see! Recap post coming soon.

But yeah, Douglas from the dollar store surprised me just the other day with a few nice cards imported from up north.

Tony Gwynn relic! Nice! Looks like a brown pinstripe, which would probably indicate a late 80s uniform, despite the photo used looking like a few years later.

I think I've only got a couple other In The Game cards in my collection. I don't know much about the company, but looks like they're based in Canada and put out hockey cards as far back as the 90s. Then in the 00s, after exclusive sports card licenses became a thing, they started putting out unlicensed hockey cards, and also began putting out unlicensed baseball cards.

A couple modern Padres. Dig that green Franmil Reyes. He's been a bright spot for San Diego this year. His 13 homers lead the club.
Mike Thompson didn't fare great in the majors and has been out of the game for years, but still, always kinda neat to get a certified auto in a blind trade.

And lastly some old school oddballs. I don't recall seeing those General Mills stickers before, but the bilingual text indicates they're a Canadian release. Cool addition to my Garvey PC.
And I love vintage Winfield cards I need, and hell, I love 70s Hostess cards in general and will likely try collecting them all at some point down the line after I finish the majority of the other many sets I'm currently working on. So yeah, this one's a hit for me!

Big thanks, Doug! I'll round up a return for you shortly.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Cookie Cardboard

Seems 1989 Mother's Cookies Rich Gossage had been on my sidebar wantlist for about a year. I've got a solid Goose PC-- he's a main dude I collect thanks to him being a former Padre in the HOF-- and so I really wanted to add the only true card he ever got from his 31-game stint with the Giants. He had signed as a free agent on April 14, 1989 and was with San Francisco until the Yankees picked him up on waivers four months later. Technically, he also appears as a Giant on a 1990 Publications International Trivia sticker (which seems to be a good source for short-term stops, since that set also includes Kent Tekulve on the Reds, which I showed off the other day). And if you really want to split hairs, 2012 Playoff Prime Cuts includes some Gossage hits that list "San Francisco" as the team, but they are logoless cards and the striped pillbox hat in the photo is obviously a Pirates cap, so unless perhaps the jersey swatches are from a game-used SF uniform, doesn't make much sense considering them Giants cards.

So anyways, I really wanted to pick up this oddity but it eluded me for months, and apart from a Nick-to-Nick trade, no one on the cardsphere seemed to have one available. At the last card show I attended, there was a dealer who had a bunch of Mother's team sets displayed on his table and I was excited thinking I might have finally located it-- but no, it was one of the few sets he didn't have. But then recently a complete 1989 Mother's Cookies Giants team set popped up on eBay. It was a little more than I wanted to pay for just the Gossage, but not too bad and at least it included a few more cards for my consideration.

I kinda/sorta collect Kevin Mitchell and Brett Butler, so this pair are also keepers for me, but the below cards are up for trade.

This Will Clark was probably a hot card back in the day. Matt Williams was still shuffling between SF and AAA at the time, not breaking out until the following season. Coaches cards are a fun quirk of Mother's sets, with this one being highlighted by Dusty Baker.

And the rest of the squad that would go on to win the NL pennant that year before falling to the A's in the earthquake-rattled bay area World Series.

I was lucky enough to have Mother's Cookies around when I was a kid. The cookies themselves weren't amazing, but just-ok cookies are better than no cookies. And it was cool when they occasionally put out cards, usually of West Coast teams, with those glossy fronts, rounded corners, and complete lack of design apart from a little text. I believe most of their team sets were stadium giveaways, but sometimes cards were included in cookie packages, like when they made Griffey and Nolan Ryan cards.

That's all for today. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Hometown Cardboard Additions

My experiment into the effect of the word "cardboard" in a post title increasing views faces its toughest challenge with today's Guys From Granite post. Understandably, showing off cards of little-known players who went to my high school doesn't typically generate much traffic, but I still feel obligated to post about notable pickups for this minicollection of mine. I'll be interested if this post fares better than expected.

Putting "cardboard" in the title might be a stretch since technically this first one is metal...

Leading off the three cards featured here today is an autographed magenta printing plate of Travis Taijeron. My quest for the master rainbow of this card is now down to just 3 cards: two printing plates (black and cyan, the best ones) and a red refractor (#/5, non-wave).

Quick recap on Travis: His last name is pronounced "Tyrone". He was drafted by the Mets back in 2011. Finally got a cup of coffee in NYC in 2017. Spent 2018 with the Dodgers' Triple A squad. Not counting a 2017 Topps Now card, he finally got a true rookie card in the form of an auto in 2018 Topps Chrome Update (no base card, just the auto and all the parallels that come with it).

This year sees Travis back in the Mets organization, transitioning from the outfield to first base with Syracuse. He got off to a hot start and was named week-one Mets Minor League Hitter of the Week. He's cooled down a bit since, with his batting average around the Mendoza Line now, but his 8 dingers lead the club.

This next pickup is the first graded card for my Mike Reinbach PC. I think it's my first graded Japanese card, too. I already had a decent raw copy of this card, but it wasn't as nice as this one, and it was a solid deal, so I pulled the trigger on the upgrade. The warped penny sleeve PSA used detracts from the appearance, so I'm a little tempted to break it out, but I probably won't, at least not anytime soon. (I hear they charge $5 for a simple re-slabbing-- like if the case gets cracked or something, PSA will put the card in a new case for $5-- so maybe someday I'll pay to get re-slabbed.) I just kinda like the novelty of having a graded Reinbach. Haven't seen one before this popped up.

Casey Craig topped out at AA, but thanks to being included in 2006 Bowman and Bowman Chrome, he's got plenty of parallels out there for me to hunt down. This orange refractor #'d 9/25 is the lowest-numbered card in the li'l PC now-- and also my first graded card of his, not that that means much to me. I have no delusions of going after a master rainbow for this one since I was so late to the game-- didn't start collecting him until 2014-- but I'll snag parallels I need if the price is right.

Chrome cards are really closer to plastic than cardboard, so other than the Reinbach (which is trapped in a plastic slab), this post was more like Hometown Metal and Plastic Additions, but close enough! I'll do a recap post later in the week taking a look to see if page hits have seen a rise thanks to "cardboard" post titles.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

cardboard from mr haverkamp and beyond

I was graced with a surprise package of cards from friendly cardsphere reader mr haverkamp the other day. Let's take a look!

Tim Flannery 1987 Bohemian Hearth Bread! Sweet! My needs for this regional oddball set are now down to just one: Dave Dravecky. And Flan here is in incredible shape, especially considering these cards originally came thrown in with a loaf of bread. Creases, dinged corners, and staining are par for the course, but amazingly this one looks suitable for grading.

And I figured this was a good card to feature on Mother's Day since one of the first baseball cards I ever got was a Steve Garvey from this set thanks to being included in a loaf of bread my mom bought, back before I was collecting cards at all. She was never super supportive of my hobby, but she never threw out my cards or forbid me from spending my allowance on them or anything. She was reluctantly onboard with me collecting cards if it made me happy.

But yeah, this is a neat set with strong sentimental attachment for me, so I'm looking forward to finally completing it one of these days. I still have that original Garvey from back in the day, so this is my longest-running setbuild by far-- 32 years and counting.

Also in the package were 3 needs from '75 Topps, serendipitously all in my favorite color combination: "green grass" on the bottom and "blue sky" on top. Beautiful.

And a half dozen '77 Topps needs, funny enough all Expos.

Some 1980 Topps for upgrades for my set, plus dupes for PCs of Sparky Anderson and Dick Williams.

And here's an '88 Topps George Brett that was on my Desperate Double Dozen. I consider '88 Topps among my least favorite Topps flagship sets*, and so despite billions of them out there in circulation, I don't have many in my collection. So I need to fill in some PC holes like this one.

*I mean, the design is fine. There are some nice looking cards like Brett here. The backs are drab. Could have been a pretty cool set if it wasn't so crazy over-produced.. and maybe throw a Griffey "1st Draft Pick" card to give it a special boost.. Then that would have been a pretty solid set.

Big thanks, mr haverkamp! Much appreciated. I'll try to hit you back soon.

- - ---o

And here are some bonus vintage additions for this post.

I found a couple PC dupes to put towards my '76 setbuild. Great to be able to check off this pair of fan favorites.

A couple '57 eBay pickups. The Colavito rookie has a dirty back, which kept the price down, but I'll likely upgrade it someday. The Bob Rush was snagged for next to nothing thanks to another recent $3-off coupon code. Now at an even 300 cards acquired.. the set is coming along, slowly but surely.

Thanks a lot for stopping by!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Cardboard Potpourri

a mixture of dried petals and spices placed in a bowl or small sack to perfume clothing or a room.
a mixture of things, especially a musical or literary medley.
a Jeopardy category of miscellaneous crap.

Here are a few half-baked ideas not worth their own post.

1500 and Counting!

First off, my previous post recapping my beach weekend was the 1500th post here at Baseball Card Breakdown and I totally missed that until after the fact. That's a pretty legit number for a card blog! I might not post quite as frequently as I once did-- these days I shoot for every other day, whereas in the past, daily posting was the goal-- but I'm still having fun and don't plan to stop anytime soon.

I don't think I'll run a contest to honor the milestone, but my 6 year blogoversary is coming up next month, so perhaps I'll work up something special for that.

Card Show Kibosh

I was planning on going to the the monthly card show this weekend-- even wore a Topps shirt to work the Friday before, as is my tradition-- but whoops, I ended up winning a string of eBay auctions this evening that added up to more than I was expecting to pay. I put "blaster+tax" bids on 14 items ("no name" guys from a parallel set I'm working on), expecting to win a few for around $5 each-- maybe a couple near my max bid-- but no, ended up winning a dozen for about a blaster each. OUCH! That adds up. So yeah, that's a lot of cash and so I shouldn't turn around and drop more $$ at the card show. If I have to defend myself, I did get another bonus at work the other day, so I can just consider them a gift to myself with my Q1 bonus money. Expect a post on those cards in a week or two. (And to the other bidder out there putting in a bunch of $20.20 bids, coming in second and costing me a lot of money: I hate you. I know all's fair in eBay bidding, but damn-- You suck! Without that one other dude causing problems for me, I would have gotten away just fine. Damn.)

"Cardboard" posts get more views?

These days, my post view counts typically level off a little over 100 views after a couple/few days. It's down a bit from peak performance 2 or 3 years ago, but I'm not too upset over it.

But recently I had another fluke popular post...

Seems nearly 600 readers were interested in checking out the cards Kerry hooked me up with a couple weeks ago (Kerry on my Cardboard Blog). That's quite the spike for me! But I remember years ago Night Owl mentioning that posts titled with the word "cardboard" in them typically saw a surge in viewership for some unknown reason. Well shit, maybe we should just shoehorn "cardboard" into every post title then! He might abbreviate Cardboard Appreciation posts as "C.A." to avoid this outlier situation, but I'm leaning into it with this Cardboard Potpourri post and will be curious if the hits are up with this one, too-- even if there's a good chance any spike in views is bot-related, not actual human clicks.

-     -   -  - --o

Teke Reds sticker

In my Kent Tekulve PC post from a few weeks back, I mentioned the only other Reds card I needed of him was an oddball sticker. (If you want to be picky about it, I also need the Tiffany version of his '89 Topps Traded card, and I assume he probably has a few "Rediscover Topps" stamped buybacks of his '89 Topps Traded card out there now, but you can't really count such gimmicks for a standard, blue-collar PC.)

I ended up buying this tiny fella off Sportlots. It was like a buck and a little shipping.. not a big deal. But damn it, such a pain trying to pay for it. Stuff like this is why I hate Sportlots. I couldn't figure out how to complete my purchase! In my fruitless efforts, I somehow ended up accidentally requesting a check be sent to me for a little over a dollar. I was very confused and frustrated.

Turns out-- remember a few months ago when that basketball card with the Menendez Brothers in the background was suddenly super popular?-- Well, I had bought one for something like 18¢ and $2.99 shipping. But the asshole seller, realizing the surge in value, nixed the sale and said *shrug* the card went missing. And so I ended up with about $3 credit in my Sportlots account over the refunded order. So when I bought the Teke weeks later, the money automatically came out of there (unbeknownst to me), and I somehow requested a check for a buck with the remainder while trying to figure out how to pay because the site is terrible and left that whole situation very unclear. I feel bad they had to waste a 50¢ stamp sending me a check for a freakin' buck (not to mention the chore for me to cash/deposit it), but there was no way to cancel it without contacting customer support, which in my experience with the site hasn't been great. COMC may be more expensive, but with how often I run into issues with Sportlots transactions (it's seriously about 50/50), I'm totally willing to pay more for no headaches.

But anyways, that's just some ranting getting in the way of a cool Teke oddball I picked up.

-   -  -  - --o

1978 Topps Daily Double Trouble

Took a while to sort out, but my 1978 Topps wantlist is now live-- er, back and improved! I'm at just about 80% complete and would love to polish this one off by the end of the year. LINK TO MY NEEDS SPREADSHEET

In my sorting, I found a couple Burger King cards mixed in causing trouble. Unfortunately there's not a good way to identify them other than their card numbers not matching up with the standard '78 Topps checklist. (Couldn't they have just slapped a Burger King logo over the stupid "Play Ball" game on the back that kids never played?!) Maybe after I complete the regulation 1978 Topps set, I might try to supplement it with the four regional BK team sets (Yankees, Rangers, Astos, Tigers), but that's definitely not a priority right now.

While sorting, I had a couple "wait, is this a printing flaw? Do I need an upgrade?" moments. Like this this Bob Forsch-- the stuff at the far left center is some printing flaw mess that doesn't bother me too much, but what about those lines around his head? A COMC search reveals that all copies of this card have those marks. So this one's good.

Howabout this Manny Trillo? Looks like maybe some stray marks in the background behind him? But nope, again, all copies have that stuff. I'd have to guess it's a glove on the left and maybe a bat on the right, but I'm not confident about either.

Another card along these lines is the '79 Topps Dusty Baker that appears to have a printing flaw across his chest, but it's present on all copies of the card. I ended up asking for an upgrade of this card, and when I received one (from Night Owl, I believe) I realized, whoops, they're all like that.

-     -    -  --o

Wow, I still think of Oliver Perez as the promising rookie getting called up for the Padres in 2002. Crazy that while he never quite became a star, he's managed to stick around for so long. (Bonus points for 619 being the main area code for San Diego.)

OK, that's all the potpourri I've got for today. Thanks as always for reading. Hope you have a great Mother's Day weekend.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Beach Weekend 2019 recap

Another fun long weekend at the Oregon coast with the family.

Things got off to a horrible start when I forgot to grab my wife's stuff before we left. Ended up having to burn an hour in shitty traffic doubling back. She was cool about it, but I don't think I've ever hated myself more than at that moment. But didn't take long for that to be water under the bridge and we were on our way for realsies.

The drive out is always a bit rough for me. It's lovely scenery once you get out of the city, but all the twists and turns can be rough on me. A couple ginger pills seem to help keep car sickness at bay. I listened to a Hannibal Buress stand-up comedy album on the way to help pass the time.

Good enough excuse to show this Hannibal auto I picked up a few months ago. He's a favorite comedian of mine, so I was happy to snag this certified auto even though I've never bothered to watch that Spider-Man movie.

The past couple times we've gone, it was a bit damp and grey, so it was great to have beautiful weather this time around.

Annie always has a blast on the beach.

If you've been reading my blog for the past few years, you might know it's rare that I visit a body of water and don't snap a #walletcard photo. Here's '91 Topps Tony, my 2019 traveling cardboard companion, dipping his toe in the Pacific. Not sure if he'll get a second ocean visit, but we're contemplating a Hawaiian vacation in the fall, so maybe.

This was an accidental photo that turned out kinda cool.

Here's Annie hoppin'. Speaking of hops, Friday night's Blazers playoff game was insane. We were keeping an eye on the end of the game, mostly because my sister-in-law (my wife's brother's wife) is a big sports fan (mostly Oregon Ducks and Blazers). Turned out to be more crazy and stressful than we expected, going into 4 overtimes before Portland finally ended up victorious. So that was pretty cool, and even the family members who don't really care about sports were glad there was a happy resolution. (Sadly the team seems to have blown their wad in that game and have struggled since.)

Then Saturday was capped off by a fun game of Scattergories. My most memorable entry: "Things You Hide" starting with E? I put "erection", a bit of a gambit in a family setting, but I thought it was funny and not too obscene. Always plenty of beer and wine at these family gatherings (and way too much food). I handle the music, trying my best to please everyone with tunes from the likes of ELO, Fleetwood Mac, Beatles, Steve Winwood, and other hits of the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
(oh, and also pretty sure I saw a bald eagle earlier in the day!)

Our last night, Sunday evening we got the fire pit going. More wine to go with our S'mores.
(Oh, and since I didn't have the chance to watch Game of Thrones on Sunday night, that meant I had to stay off of social media [which for me is basically just Twitter] for a day until I was able to watch it Monday night after we got back home.)

So that wraps it up. Good times!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

A pair of big Bobs

My 1964 Topps setbuild is clawing toward 3/4 complete, and I recently picked up a pair of key cards. I had been after a '64 Bob Roberto Clemente for a while now. I thought it'd be fitting to use my Q1 eBay Bucks on a vintage Clemente (since the majority of those eBay Bucks came from buying his autograph), but truth be told, my Bucks had already been depleted by the time I ended up snagging this PSA 4 specimen in late April. (--though I did use an 8% eBay Bucks promo on it, so the cycle continues.)

A little off-center on the front, and the corners aren't perfect, but I'm very happy with it.

And the other '64 Bob I added last month is another baseball legend in his own right...

Roberto Bob Uecker! Another personal favorite I was happy to reel into my collection. And this one was fully funded by eBay Bucks.

Uecker is a high-number, too. Similar to the Clemente, it leans to the left, but seems the relatively sharp corners and unrubbed trivia answer helped it secure a PSA grade of 6, among the highest examples of the very few slabbed cards in my modest setbuild.

You may be wondering if I plan to free these two beautiful Bobs so I can caress them in my hands and get a good feel-- but no, I intend to keep them safe in their plastic prisons for now.

Thanks for poppin' by!

Friday, May 3, 2019

How I spent my eBay bucks: Reggie and Ozzie

I had a lot of eBay Bucks waiting for me in April after splurging in the first quarter of 2019, with the certified Roberto Clemente autograph being the biggest one. In case you're not aware, eBay Bucks is a promotional program on the auction site where you opt in to earn a percentage (usually 1%, but sometimes there are limited time offers for a larger percentage) and they add up, then at the end of each quarter they give you the "store credit" to use within a month.

April started slowly for me, without much catching my eye to throw my credit on-- almost got a little worried for a while there-- but I eventually found enough cards to spend my Bucks on (and then some). So get ready for a string of posts featuring my eBay Bucks-aided pickups.

Isn't this a pretty Reggie!?! It wasn't long ago I picked up the base version of this 2003 Topps Retired Reggie Jackson auto. But I had a longing for the refractor parallel. This one popped up at auction for a low opening bid and the thing where you can make an offer. I made a competitive offer-- it didn't get accepted-- after an hour or so, somebody else made a low bid and the "best offer" was negated. But joke's on the seller, as after the weeklong auction ended, I was the top bidder, and the winning bid was significantly less than the "best offer" I made back when the listing was new. Works for me!

As I've mentioned before, Reggie was my #1 guy to collect as a kid in the early 90s-- big personality, Naked Gun, legendary dude. Fun to get a new "best card" of him in my collection.

Here's an alternate pic of the refraction.. a bit more of a "sunset" feel (more red spectrum).

I also snagged another Topps Retired auto recently...

Ozzie Smith! This 2005 Topp Retired card is my first Padres autograph of him. It's an unnumbered base auto, but the print run on his "group" was only 70, I believe. Didn't cost me much over the price of a blaster. Would love to score a refractor version some day, but this is fine for now. (The other Ozzie auto in my collection is his 2004 Retired refractor.)

The seller had a few other Retired autos up for auction. I bid on some but ended up being the second-highest bidder on the rest. Oh well-- this was the one I really wanted.

That's all for this post, but I'll show off more of my April eBay pickups soon.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Cody Bellinger PC

Cody Bellinger has been on fire here in the early going of the 2019 season. I figured it'd be a good excuse to take a look at my little PC of the guy.

I don't have any "sick mojo hits" to brag about here, but this Heritage Chrome RC /999 is nifty enough to get top billing. Plus I got it in a trade with my oldest cardsphere trading buddy, Marcus, which is always a nice way to acquire a card.

More cards on recycled Topps designs.

Plenty more Topps.

The manurelic is the closest thing to a hit. Jackie Robinson tribute cards like this always seem to make more sense when it's a Dodgers player.

Some cards from one of Topps' online offerings of 2017.

Here's Bowman. The Bowman Platinum is my earliest card of the guy, 2016. Probably his best card is an auto in 2015 Bowman (didn't have a base card, just the 1st Bowman Chrome auto). I should have snagged one of those when I could. If he keeps his career going like this, that card could possibly end up being in the same boat as the 2011 Update Trout as a modern iconic, highly sought-after card.

Here are my Cody Bellinger cards that were not put out by the Topps Company. The /99 is my lowest-numbered card of his. The UD and Fleer customs were whipped up by yours truly back in 2017.

Figured I'd show off my handiwork on the backs, too.

Dupes I've got. Funny how I've ended up with 3 of his Heritage High Number rookies (4 if you count the Chrome parallel up top). I'm pretty sure I pulled one from a pack, snagged another cheap at a card show last year, and think I received another in a trade package somewhere along the line. From looking on COMC, they ain't cheap these days.. so I'm not complaining! But my extras are on the table for trade offers.

So there you have my little Cody Bellinger PC as it stands heading into May 2019.
Thanks for reading.