Tuesday, January 22, 2019

some Swell customs

Back in 1990 when I first got into the hobby, I somehow ended up with a handful of 1990 Swell "Baseball Greats" and they were among my first cards of retired legends. And they weren't all Ruthian stars, but also many lesser-known "hall of very good" players of yesteryear. Young Gavin learned a lot about the game's history from those oddballs, and I still have a sentimental soft spot for the design.

So this past weekend while I was working on some customs I owe John Miller, I got distracted and made a few for myself.

I need more Buck O'Neil cards in my collection, and if real card companies won't come through for me, I'll take matters into my own hands. I posted this on Twitter and it got a great response, even retweeted by the official Negro Leagues Museum account, so that was awesome.

I wanted to give the design a whirl with a current player, and Mike Trout was the first guy to pop in my head. Not that there's a shortage of Mike Trout cards out there, but I think this looks pretty good.

And one of my favorite PCs to add to, the late Rod Beck. While I'm partial to his Padres days, I had to go with this Red Sox photo because I love the prominent "Shooter" glove he's rockin'. I added the cloudy sky to spice up a plain, indoors backdrop.

Full backs, reasonably faithful to the originals.

Swell was a chewing gum brand produced by Philadelphia Gum, the latter best known to card collectors for producing NFL cards in the mid 60s. Years later, Swell ventured into the cardboard realm, putting out separate sets of retired baseball and football players in 1988 through 1991. Founded in 1947, Philadelphia Gum went out of business in 2003, with the rights now owned by Tootsie Roll Industries.

I also made a gif card of Sandy Koufax with the design. Not one of my best, but it's something.

Not Swell related, but this Mickey Mantle gif I made a week or two earlier turned out pretty decent.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Another 2008 Bowman Chrome Baseball Hobby Box

I got suckered into another 2008 Bowman Chrome Baseball Hobby Box for the price of a blaster last Black Friday, same as back in 2017. Let's see if I got anything good this time.

Welp, this Alfonso Soriano xfractor was probably the highlight. Shiny.

Some guys I collect.

A couple prospects who actually managed to have decent MLB careers.

And finally, some other semi-notable cards. Yunesky Sanchez (/500 refractor) never made the majors, but is still active in Mexico. Aubrey Huff (/150 blue refractor) cranked 242 dingdongs over his 13-year MLB career. Danny Rams (my one promised auto) topped out at AA. These are available for trade, as is the Soriano.

So yeah, this box wasn't good. Oh well.


I do not own these, I just wanted to take a moment to appreciate Angela Lansbury.

A lawless street couldn't scare me away from the lovely Mz. Lansbury.

Call the cops! My heart has been stolen for the last time!

The 80s called. They want Angela Lansbury back. They'll have to fight every other decade for her because they all want her! She's a treasure!

She could stop a moose in its tracks. And probably has!

This photograph was illegal to look at until the late 60s. The US Government strictly enforced this law, with each copy of the photo known in existence being assigned military personnel.

I'll see her in my dreams.

Someone's going out for a night on the town!

I'm jealous of Fred here getting a personalized photo from her. I'd like to think they both were into The Doors in the 70s. If I could interview Mz. Lansbury, my first question would be if she liked The Doors, and my follow-up would be which of their songs are her favorite.

This concludes today's Angela Lansbury appreciation post. Angela Lansbury rules!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Heavy trades

I did a big trade with Chris the Collector a few days ago.

I was almost reluctant to trade for this pair because they'd be somewhat out of place in my low-grade 1957 Topps setbuild. But I couldn't say no, and they got worked into the deal. They are now the highest graded cards among my '57s, ahead of a PSA 5 Ernie Banks and a PSA 8(OC) Campanella. The Billy Pierce is an upgrade and the Wally Post is a need.. which happened to bump me over the 70% complete mark. So that's pretty cool.

Been wanting a green Mike Trout Big League box card, and Chris hooked me up with a flattened box.

I took the liberty of trimming it down to a more easily-stored card.

The Kris Bryant 1st Bowman purple parallel is a beauty.

George Brett with a chunk of a bat!

Robin Yount and another man.

A couple young sluggers slugging away.

Musial and Marquis, rocking the bat on the shoulder pose. I'm long overdue for an update post on my Marquis Mania project, but I actually started drafting one the other day, so maybe I'll finally figure out how many copies I have of this card soon.

Love this die-cut Gwynn! The diamond effect looks great in-hand.

A couple fine additions to my li'l Joey Votto PC.

The orange refractor is #'d 11/25 and the jersey swatch has an authentication sticker identifying it as "SWATCH OF JOEY VOTTO GAME USED JERSEY, ST. LOUIS CARDINALS v CINCINNATI REDS on 9/10/15, ORIGINAL HOLOGRAM #HZ952921" Looks like Joey had a good game while clothed in this particular uniform, going 2-4 with an RBI double as the Reds routed the Red Birds 11-0.

The last piece of the trade is this lovely triple relic with Corey Seager, Clayton Kershaw, and Julio Urias. Sweet card.

Thanks for the trade, Chris!

-  - - ---o

Next up is-- going by weight-- possibly the biggest trade package I've ever received. It comes courtesy of Matt Prigge and contained zero cards.

Hundreds upon hundreds of penny sleeves! Looks like Matt is becoming a binder guy and had a bunch of abandoned like-new sleeves looking for a good home. I can always use more of these little buggers, so I spoke up and sent him back some Brewers to make it worth his time/postage.

(Funny enough, last time I traded with a guy for a bunch of sleeve like this, it was Tony L, another prominent Brewers collector, back in 2015.)

Thanks, Matt!

-   - - - ----o

I just realized today that January 20th is the birthday of two (of the eight) Guys From Granite to make the major leagues.

Yep, both Brian Giles and Travis Taijeron are celebrating a birthday today. Happy Birthday, fellas!

It just so happens that I recently picked up printing plates from each of these guys, so here they are. The Taijeron was especially nice to see pop up at a reasonable price, as that's the card I ponied up for the superfractor of a couple months back, so I'm glad to add another 1/1 to that rainbow.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

No Name on Front

No Name on Front cards are some of the coolest error cards out there, I'd say.

There was recently some talk on Twitter of an eBay seller with a nice selection of 1992 Topps cards with no names on the front. I thought the cards looked great.. a fresh spin on an old classic. Just a simple, elegant frame around a photo. They were just a buck each plus flat $3 shipping, so I grabbed a few guys I collect. If you don't recognize him out of his Red Sox uni, that's Dwight Evans above.

Caminiti, Joyner, Templeton, and Maas here. What these cards are are Gold parallels missing the gold foil. Turns out this is the same seller from whom I bought a few proof cards back in 2017.. she must have either worked at Topps in the 90s (or perhaps at the print shop Topps used?) or have a close associate who did. She has thousands of backdoored stuff like this in her eBay store. (In fact, I just placed another order of stuff from her while working on this post!)

They have regular backs. You can tell they're Gold parallels by the logo in the background of the stats box.

While I'm talking about NNOF cards, I figured I'd include a couple others I've got, such as this 2014 Bowman Draft card of Gavin LaValley that's missing the foil, and therefore the name. Nice unofficial variation for that rainbow.

Of course the best known example of a no-name error is the 1990 Topps Frank Thomas. I'd love to pick one up someday when I've got 4-figures to burn on a baseball card, but for now I'm content with official reprints. These are both from 2010 Topps.

One is the standard Cards Your Mom Threw Out insert, and the other is the more scarce original back reprint. The latter is probably my favorite reprint in my collection... love it!

That's it for today. Thanks for swinging by.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Kris Bryant auto redeemed

It was about 3 weeks ago that I pulled a Kris Bryant auto redemption from a box of 2018 Topps Tribute given to me as a birthday present from my mom. Didn't take long for Topps to shoot the card over to me.

I think it's a great looking card.

Numbered 42/85. 42 is a nice number to get. After all it's the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything" as well as "the Jackie Robinson eBay 1/1" and even "Mariano Rivera eBay 1/1". But despite this elite status, I plan to hang onto it rather than sell it for millions.

There's the back. The only thing slightly negative thing is that the bottom left back corner arrived dinged.

Perhaps Kris got a little overzealous when signing all the cards and tossed this one in the air like a bat flip, no doubt in tribute to Jackie Robinson. Or maybe the Topps employee tasked with packaging up the cards was just a little careless. If I were the type of collector who sends stuff in to be slabbed, I'd be pretty upset since this bad corner would torpedo the grade, I'm sure. But as it stands, it's not that big of a deal, just another #ThanksTopps moment.

Still a sweet addition to my Kris Bryant PC.

The only other Bryant auto in my collection is this Leaf Draft card I picked up a few years back. I really like this one because it's super shiny, plus the California flag in the background is a happy reminder that he went to college in San Diego. But it's nice to now be able to complement it with a fully-licensed Cubs card.

- ----o

Update to my holiday contest: I believe all the prizes from my recent 12 Days of Christmas contest have now been mailed out, with the exception of John Miller, whose cards I plan to send later along with some customs.

I was glad someone picked the "flat-rate box of various baseball cards" prize option (pictured above), as it gave me a chance to thin down my tradeables, much of which I've had sitting there for years. Hopefully the recipient finds plenty of keepers in there.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

card show consolation

My monthly local card show was this weekend and I missed it. :( My wife had the car so I was left with public transportation. I missed the Max because I forgot to grab any cash so I had to turn back, and the next one wasn't coming for a half hour, and by then it'd be pushing 11 AM by the time I got there, and showing up that late doesn't work for me so I just stayed home.

So to make myself feel better about it and remind myself that I don't really need more cards, here are a bunch of cards I've gotten recently.

You probably don't know this because I never ever mention it, but I'm a big fan of Topps Retired refractor autographs. Scored this 2005 Robin Yount with help from a 15% off eBay promo.

Great career. AL MVP in '82 and '89.

Reggie Bush is from my neck of the woods, attending a rival high school in East County San Diego, so I collect him a bit and had wanted to add an auto for a long time. Mission accomplished, and it only set me back $7.50 plus shipping. It's a rookie auto/relic from 2006 Topps Paradigm (Topps Paradigm? Never heard of it) and is numbered /99 on the back. Bush recorded 1740 rushing yards in 2004, hence the jersey cutout parts. I kinda lost track of Reggie's career but looks like he retired a couple years ago. He probably won't end up in Canton, but had a solid NFL career following his incredible stint at USC.

Picked up another auto for my 2004 Topps Chrome black refractor parallel setbuild. Yep, the autos are part of the main set, and there are only 25 copies of each, but luckily for me there aren't really any big names in that portion of the checklist. Zach Miner had a respectable 5-year MLB career, mostly with Detroit, and pitched in the 2006 World Series.

Some eye candy for ya. Sara Underwood is a Bench Warmer sweetheart. I haven't been lucky enough to pull her auto in the 2 or 3 boxes I've opened, so went out and about this one. It's from 2013.

Nice addition to my girlie card minicollection.

Now let's hit some incoming trades.

I've got a Madlock in my '85 Donruss complete set, but had to sacrifice the copy in the PC in order to seal the deal on a trade a couple months ago. GCA heroically replaced it for me with this one.

He also sent along a bunch of needs and upgrades for my '74 setbuild. Very nice!

I feel bad because GCA has sent me like 3 or 4 mailings since I last sent him anything. I'm definitely deep in his debt at this point and will have to track down some cards to make things right soon. I had hoped to try to find him something at the card show this weekend, but that didn't happen.

-  - ----o

Next up is a trade with my buddy at Sport Card Collectors.

Rhys Hoskins! It's from 2017 Bowman Chrome mini and is numbered 23/25 on the back. Sweet card.

Along for the ride were some Padres. Francisco Mejia /50, Eric Hosmer /75, and a holiday Gore.

Also a pair of Kris Bryant cards.

Thanks, SCC!

- - - ---o

I was planning to meet up with Padrographs Rod at the card show for a quick exchange. I emailed him to tell him I wouldn't be able to make it, and he kindly swung by my house later in the day instead.

Nice lot of guys I collect from 2018 Gypsy Queen.

Some gorgeous ladies of wrestling.

A couple nice rookies and a '72 for that slow-going setbuild.

Great selection of Padres prospects...

..including my first cards of San Diego's top draft pick last year, Ryan Weathers. Sure hope he pans out, but the track record for Padres #1 picks ain't pretty, so I won't hold my breath.

Rod also filled the open Bob Dylan slot in my We Didn't Start The Fire binder with this art card.

I've seen Edward Vela cards plenty of times online, but I believe this is the first one in my collection. Sort of somewhere between a sketch card and a custom. Numbered and signed on the back. Pretty neat.

A couple Padrographs that Rod was able to share with me.

But the real jaw-dropper of the box from Rod was this Fernando Tatis Jr. auto. The kid is a stud.

I hope he's unleashing mean bat flips like that in Petco Park soon.
This is my second autograph of him, but the other is a Leaf draft card, so it's nice to add a licensed auto card to the PC.
Great stuff.. thanks so much, Rod!

So yeah, it was a bummer to miss out on the card show, but with an influx of sweet cardboard like this, it's hard to let it bother me too much.