Friday, June 22, 2018

Wanna see more '57 Topps pickups? Too bad, here they are anyway

Here are a couple more big names checked off my 1957 Topps setbuild. Not in great condition, but the price was right.

Eddie Mathews is high near the top of the list of all-time third basemen. 500 Home Run Club. A couple WS rings. Only guy to make the trifecta of playing for the Braves in Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta.

Billy Martin is probably better remembered for his managerial days, but was a part of the Yankees dynasty teams of the 50s. This is Billy's last playing-days card with New York, as he was traded to the KC Athletics in the middle of '57 and went on to bounce around a bit in the final few years of his playing career.

Some other notable names here, with a Clete Boyer rookie, the "original" Frank Thomas, and Mr. "shot heard 'round the world" himself, Bobby Thomson.

And the rest! Just grabbing some cheap "filler grade commons" as I work toward clawing my way to halfway complete with this set.

I've got a handful more '57 commons sitting in a pending COMC order that I'm about to pull the trigger on getting shipped. Hey, is it true you get a $5 credit if you get 100 cards shipping in a month? Doesn't seem to be mentioned in their FAQ, but I see something hinting at that on the dashboard. I think I've got like 85 cards in my inventory right now, so I might try to scrounge up a few more to buy.

Have a great weekend, all!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Getting some help with 1982 Topps from past me (+contest update)

When I first got into card collecting in the early 90s, I bought a lot of 1982 Topps packs. My local card shop had a box on the shelf, among the oldest unopened product he had available. I was fascinated by what to me as a kid seems like "old timey" vintage cards. So I'd often pick up a pack or two when I'd go in to spend my weekly allowance.

I eventually amassed probably about half the set from packs. Flash forward several years, the bulk of the cards were purged in anticipation of my move out of California. But I hung onto 20 or so favorites among the keepers I moved with me. While I tend to keep these "childhood collection" cards separate from my "grown-up collection" for sentimental reasons, I've been slowly integrating them.

And as I now close in on unfinished business from ~27 years ago, working on finally finishing '82 Topps, I figured I'd turn to the shoebox of childhood cards to see if past-me could check off any of my remaining needs.

Gotta start with the big boy. This was probably the best pull of my childhood. I vividly remember unwrapping the wax pack as my buddy Doug and I crossed the street walking home from the card shop. My eyes lit up and I proudly showed Doug the Cal, "Yes! Check it out!" That was a great day.

So there's the top card from '82 Topps taken care of.

And here are a couple Pirates cards that were on my wantlist. It was a thrill for me to have a playing-days Willie Stargell card; kids of '91 were taught/reminded about him thanks to the puzzle pieces in 1991 Donruss. As for the Pirates rookies card, I always dug Johnny Ray, in part from his [not really] inclusion in the "We Didn't Start the Fire" lyrics.

Three more needed cards that I happened to pull from packs years ago include old timers Tony Perez and Jim Palmer, plus a Dave Righetti rookie.

Here's where my 1982 Topps needs stand today, 6/19: (check my main wantlist for future updates.)
1 Steve Carlton HL, 2 Ron Davis HL, 5 Nolan Ryan HL, 59 Gedman, 66 Howe/Ryan TL, 81 Palmer IA, 110 Fisk, 185 Phil Niekro, 200 Brett, 201 Brett IA, 244 Linares, 337 Rose AS, 346 Seaver AS, 450 Bosley, 475 Trammell, 481 Steve Carlton IA, 492 Price, 493 Lemon, 496 Grubb, 497 Jim Anderson, 498 Bergman, 499 Mirabella, 505 Nettles, 535 Lance Parrish, 540 Dawson, 553 Winfield AS, 557 Gossage AS, 579 Brett AS, 582 Luis Pujols, 586 Fingers IA, 600 Winfield, 610 Rickey Henderson, 650 Yaz, 716 Stargell IA, 721 Luzinski IA, 754 Joe Morgan, 760 Buckner, 780 Rose

If you can help with any of those and would like to swing a quick trade, please get in touch! I'm pretty sure I've got several of these in PCs, so I may go ahead and raid PCs to knock off a few more numbers for the set if I don't get much trade traction.

Ok, now I've got the matter of a pending contest to get to. Thanks to all who entered, and for the friendly comments! Here are the entrants in chronological order:
P-town Tom
Billy Kingsley
Rod (Padrographs)
Sport Card Collectors
Doug Hoback
The Turrdog
Tim B.
night owl
Mark Hoyle
The Lost Collector
Larry Presnall
Greg Zakwin
Julie Owens
Matt Stupienski
Brett Alan

Randomized to just assign numbers (not pick a winner) gives us this:

We need to find two winners, and I'll do my usual thing of adding some extra randomization to the mix so I don't feel dirty if my friends win. Let's use tonight's 6/19/2018 A's @ Padres game to help randomly pick the winners. To spread it out, let's say Winner #1 is the combined number of runs for both teams in the game (so for example, a low-scoring 1-0 game would make Brett Alan the winner). Winner #2 is the combined number of runs + hits + errors for both teams. If it goes over 32, we'll cycle back around through the list. In the unlikely event both winning numbers are the same, we'll have a do-over for Winner #2 another day. Sound good? Good luck!

(Update: Congrats to Sport Card Collectors [6 runs] and Robert [21 runs+hits+errors]! Both bloggers I'm very familiar with and guys I've traded with before, so should be able to put together nice prize packages for you two. Thanks again, everybody!)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

No Sleep till Brooklyn greats are checked off my '57 needs

More big name pickups for my 1957 Topps setbuild!

My first playing-days card of the great Roy Campanella! PSA 8! Check out those corners! You could floss your teeth on them babies!

This is his last card as an active player. He was tragically paralyzed in a car accident in January 1958, and didn't get a card in '58 Topps (though they did salute him with a special Symbol of Courage card in '59).

Searching eBay completed (sold) listings for PSA 8 versions of this card gives you this list:
$50.00 +$4.00 shipping
$228.73 +$3.00 shipping
$239.50 +$6.00 shipping
$240.50 +$6.00 shipping
$338.00 +$4.00 shipping

The fact that I'm bragging about this buy should clue you in to which one was my purchase. Sure, the other cards might be better centered, but still, I'm happy to save a couple hundred bucks comparatively.

Also picked up Roy's teammate Pee Wee Reese! This one is "raw" (ungraded) and has some creases and rough corners, but was a very fair deal, so I'm ok with it.

Thanks to a previous owner, possibly a kid in the late 50s (though that ink seems pretty bold for being 60 years old) reminding us all Reese was an All-Star. Ten time all-star, in fact! This is his penultimate card, getting a final card in '58 Topps.

Speaking of Brooklyn Dodgers greats bowing out.. I love '57 Topps, but the biggest bummer for me is they didn't include a final card for Jackie Robinson, who retired after the 1956 World Series rather than be traded to the hated rival NY Giants. That would have been a great card, with complete career stats on the back 'n all. Sigh. Oh well. One less expensive card for me to chase, I suppose. (If/when I complete 1957 Topps, I should whip up a custom Jackie [similar to Bob Lemke's effort] to supplement the set.)

HOF '57 Dodgers still on my wantlist include Koufax and the Drysdale RC. If anyone happens to have one available for trade (or other '57s I need), please let me know.

Thanks for reading. Last call for my big "Manniversary" contest! I'll keep it going for a little while longer to give time Monday to folks who don't have the chance to read card blogs on the weekends, but the entry period will come to a close soon.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Mr. Cub in the house

Really happy to add this one to my 1957 Topps setbuild. You gotta love Ernie Banks if you're a baseball fan. Terrific player and one of the nicest guys you could meet, by all accounts.

This is now, and will likely always remain, my earliest Ernie Banks card.

Let's turn this into a PC post and show the rest of my little Mr. Cub collection.

Plucked these out of my complete sets for the sake of this post, though I don't have dupes for the PC.

Still need the Banks for my '64 Topps setbuild. (And I'm still on the fence about going after '59 Topps or not, but I guess I'll decide after I finish off '57 and '64, the 2 vintage sets I'm currently working on.)

Some more vintage here. The '73s are from the PC (not the set, this time). I sorta count them as variations for the difference in rust color and picture contrast with the coaches. The '58 All-Star was part of a Summer of '74 contest win a while back.

A few modern Topps cards. I'll bite my tongue making a political comment, though I will say last night I had a freaky nightmare about a federal goon squad attacking my home with a flamethrower because we were seen as not being loyal to the current administration.

Some minis and a Gold Label.

A couple numbered cards from the aughts.

I think these were card show pickups where I originally figured I'd trade them to a Cubs fan at some point, but ended up keeping them for myself.

If you're a fan of unlicensed cards, here's a selection of cards just for you!

My best Ernie Banks card is probably this 2004 Topps Retired auto. Still keeping an eye out for the refractor parallel.

My first auto was from back in the early 90s with this Nabisco mail-in offer. I actually got two of these (and Don Drysdale). I've since given the extra away in a contest on the blog a while back. And hey speaking of contests, "let's play two".. I've got a dual contest going right now, so go get in on the action if you haven't already.

Ernie Banks has never really been a top tier guy I collect, not for any knock against him other than I already collect so many players, though I do passively collect him. Maybe now that guys like Tom Seaver and Mike Schmidt have made it into my Hundred Card Club, I should put more of a focus on Mr. Cub and work toward getting him into triple digits in my collection, too. Still a ways to go, with just a little over a quarter of the way there so far.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Manny Machado PC (1300th Post and a contest)

Well, dang it, I've come to another big round number. This one is a little scary for me, as I'm an admitted semi triskaidekaphobe. I'm not super militant against it, but like when my car stereo had a numeral volume level, I would set it at 12 or 14, even though 13 was the optimal setting.. and at the gym when I ride the exercise bike, I never set the resistance on 13, just because I'm weak minded and think maybe it will bring bad luck (like a douchey guy will enter the gym. Full disclosure I don't like most of the other regulars at my work gym, but I'm just easily annoyed.)

As far as baseball players who were brave enough to wear jersey number 13, the best active player is Manny Machado (I guess Hanley Ramirez isn't officially retired yet.. but.. you know.)

(Edit: whoops, missed Greinke up there. But he no longer wears #13, so whatever.)

So I figured I'd use this as an excuse to sort out my Manny Machado PC and show it off.

Here are my earliest cards of him. His "1st Bowman" is in 2010.. would be nice to add one someday. And he's got some Team USA cards in 2009.

Lots of 2013 RCs.

2014 pt 1, featuring my only relic card of the guy.

2014 pt 2.

2015 pt 1

2015 pt 2

2016 pt 1. Here's another look at the only Manny Machado auto I've got.. I like it! Another nice pickup from 2016 Topps The Mint.
And check out those 2 cards on the bottom.. Sure seem to be from the same photoshoot, but one has a real background, and the other has an "enhanced for Heritage" background by Topps. Funny.

2016 pt 2

2016 pt 3.

2016 pt 4

2017 pt 1

2017 pt 2, featuring a plastic Jackie "patch".

2017 pt 3.

2017 pt 4, including a half-assed sketchcard I made.

And finally 2018.

By my count, that's 97 unique cards. And I know for a fact I've got other cards from him sitting in 3 complete sets that I didn't bother digging out for this post, so I think I can now consider him a member of my Hundred Card Club. As such, I'll likely bump him off my official wantlist soon, though I'll still be happy to accept any cards of his I don't have, via trades or opening packs. He's an exciting young player and fun to watch. Doesn't look like he'll be with the Orioles much longer; it'll be interesting to see where he ends up.

Here's a pile of dupes I weeded out while sorting the PC. Available for trade!

I'd hate to do a milestone-number post without a contest, and it's been a while, so let's do it. Just leave a comment on this post to enter, and I'll random off a winner in a few days. The prize will be some solid cards tailored to the winner's collecting preference. I'll do a little shopping if necessary. If the winner hasn't commented on any of my other posts so far in 2018, the prize will be a PWE. (Come on, guys, don't be afraid to comment on non-contest posts! I know I'm not always the best at replying to comments unless I've got something to add, but the interaction/feedback is much appreciated.) Otherwise it'll probably be a more substantial package.

Thanks as always for reading and have a great weekend!

Holy shit. I just remembered today is my blog's anniversary. Seriously, I typed up this whole thing and then it hit me. Baseball Card Breakdown turns 5 today! What a coincidence that it's also the 1300th post. (Funny enough, my 500th post was on the 2 year anniversary, though I sorta planned for that one to coincide.) Ok, I guess I'll have to pick a couple winners, one celebrating the 1300th post, and another celebrating 5 years. So yeah, comment below to be entered in both. Thanks!

(UPDATE 6/19/18: ok, the entry period is now closed. Thanks to all who entered!)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Father's Day '57s

I went on another '57 kick recently, scooping up some more needs for this ambitious setbuild of mine. I used the "Get a gift for Dad" eBay coupon code that popped up the other day for 20% off $50+ to find a couple graded HOFers to get me into the discount threshold.

I'm not concerned with condition for my set, though I am concerned with avoiding counterfeits, so with big name players, I often like to find PSA graded cards, even if the grade isn't great. Yogi Berra here looks good other than some light pencil marks over his face. Hey, just adds more character to a face that already had character to spare. lol

Great to pick up a vintage Yogi. It's my first playing-days card of him (unless you count '65 Topps and his 4 games with the Mets that year.)

And here's a fine looking Richie Ashburn.

Another great from yesteryear and "one of the real 'pros' of the game." Nice to check that one off.

I've got other neat '57s on the way, so expect to see more popping up on the blog over the next week or two.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Superfractor Supercollection

Boom! I was excited to see the 2014 Bowman Draft Gavin LaValley superfractor pop up for auction last week. I put in a healthy bid and ended up winning it for surprisingly less than I was expecting. This is a card I've rainbowed pretty hard the past few years, with nothing left to chase but a frustrating number of 1/1s. So yeah, this is an awesome card to highlight not only the rainbow, but my LaValley PC as a whole.

Plus now I can do this...

There are currently 3 superfractors of Gavin LaValley in existence, and I've got all of 'em. Nice!
2014 Bowman Draft, 2014 Bowman Chrome Mini, and 2018 Bowman.
Seeing them side-by-side emphases how unimpressive 2018 superfractors look compared to how bright and shiny the 2014 versions are, especially in hand. The '14 cards have a nice "spinning wheels" effect, while '18 just sits there.

Signs point to LaValley being included in 2018 Bowman Chrome (the separate product, not to be confused with the Chrome segment included in 2018 Bowman [Regular]), due out in September. And perhaps 2018 Bowman Chrome Mini, assuming that's still a thing (factory set). So my LaValley superfractor supercollection won't likely stay complete for long, but I'll enjoy the supercompleteness for the next several weeks, at least.

The only other superfractor I own is Brian Humphries (Guy From Granite). The first three I bought set me back a decent chunk of change, while the latest was only about a third of what I was used to paying. Maybe it's because LaValley has been hovering around the Mendoza line most of 2018 in AA. Hopefully he turns his season around.

But still, very happy with the pickup. It's a pain there are so many 1/1s left out there before I can officially complete the rainbow for 2014 Bowman Draft + Mini:
o Topps Vault First Edition blank back 1/1
o Orange paper 1/1
o Black paper 1/1
o White Ice 1/1
Plus several printing plates.

I'm not hitting his 2018 Bowman rainbow nearly as hard, but still keep an eye out for good deals, such as a few parallels that were being sold together in a lot. Always love atomic and shimmer refractors.

Also snagged the magenta paper printing plate.

That brings me up to 3 magenta plates for LaValley.

But yellow is still on top..

..with 4 plates!

I've only got 1 cyan plate.. and surprisingly zero black plates. But I'll keep an eye out.

Since I'm showing off all my LaValley 1/1s in this post, let's go ahead and revisit his 2014 Panini Prizim Draft auto Black Finite Prizm (that set's version of a superfractor). Nice looking card I scored a couple years ago.

And let's wrap up this post with another look at the "1st Bowman" superfractor. Terrific addition to what's probably my most impressive player collection. Now he just needs to turn into the next Mike Trout and I'll be set for life! LOL, nah, he's a fun dude for me to collect, without worrying about any "investment" stuff. But I'm hoping for the best for him in his career.

Thanks for swinging by.