Friday, January 7, 2022

Rod filling my wallet again

I remembered to swap out my wallet card at about a quarter till midnight on January 1st. 

Here's 2021's 1990 Donruss Tony Gwynn All-Star as it's retired to the binder page. This card saw decent action, making 3 appearances on the blog this past year: in the snow, in the Pacific, in the Atlantic.

Following up red with green? Maybe I've still got the holidays on my mind, as I've tabbed Gwynn's '88 Score card as my wallet card for 2022. Not a great photo, but I love '88 Score, more for the backs really, and have been jonesing for a set for a while. Anyone reading have a 1988 Score baseball complete set available for trade or sale?

After this year, just one more to finish off a 9-pocket page of annual wallet cards. Then the plan is to pick a ride-or-die wallet card in 2024 and just stick with that in perpetuity. But we'll see how it shakes out. For what it's worth, I got a new wallet for Christmas since my old one was falling apart, so I'll be breaking in a new wallet in addition to a new wallet card. (It's kind of a satisfying life victory when a wallet is retired rather than lost or stolen, right?)

Speaking of weathered Tony Gwynn cards, stay tuned to see how the '89 UD card I put in a sunny spot looks after a year of sunbathing. I think that's coming up in February or March.

If you're wondering how I've got stacks of Tony Gwynn cards to "play with" like this, the vast majority came to me via Padrographs Rod. He's been bestowing bulk cards on me for years now, and one such time he thinned out a ton of his Gwynn dupes on me. I'm sure most if not all of my wallet cards have been sourced from that generous cache from Rod.

And that's a good segway to taking a look at highlights from the most recent 400-count box Rod was kind enough to swing by with last month.

Looks like Rod was able to find some current product. Happy to freshen up the collection with recent cards.

Entertaining assortment of nonsport.

There were a few solid Lakers cards in there and a bunch of Olympic cards. Like, a bunch. Anybody working on that 1991 Impel Olympic Hall of Fame set?

Available for trade, limit one per person.

Additions for my Women on Cardboard minicollection.

And the Giles Brothers, highlighted by an '09 vintage stock parallel.

Big thanks as always, Rod! I know your wantlist is pretty tight these days, but I'll hope to return the favor at some point, and of course I'm happy to help with any photoshop needs. Hope to see you blogging again soon too.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend, everybody.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

ignorable filler post: 1991 Cardboard Dreams #9 Mickey Mantle (time capsule post from 2020)

(This is a post I originally drafted back in mid 2000, I think, and for the sake of doing something different, thought I'd make it a "time capsule post" by scheduling it to be posted well in the future. So here it is, a year and a half later, the long-awaited return of this "ignorable filler post" series. LOL)

Mickey Mantle is #9 in this oddball set.

The action pic doesn't look much like him, but the headshot is a decent likeness. Maybe a little Edward Norton in there.

Always love the creepy doodles on the back. I didn't realize he was a high school football star, but it's no surprise.

- "Mickey says: 'Work hard, play harder.'"
Mickey later disavowed his hard partying, blaming alcoholism for relationship issues and health problems that caught up to him in retirement.

- "Mickey holds the World Series record with 18 home runs"
Many old school postseason career records have fallen thanks to more rounds in the expanded playoffs these days, but this World Series record is still intact and no active player is anywhere close. Chase Utley with 7 is the closest anyone's gotten in recent decades. Mickey's other standing WS records include most walks (43), extra base hits (26), RBI (40), and runs scored (42).

- "Mickey started out as a shortstop"
He played in 7 MLB games at short (just 1 start, in 1954). As far as other infield action, he also got into one game each at 2nd base (1 inning, also in '54) and 3rd base (4 innings in 1952). But otherwise he patrolled the outfield most of his career (mostly in center), then 1st base for his last couple seasons.

- "Mickey, in the minors, once played in the same outfield with his two brothers"
I wasn't able to find much more about this tidbit, but there were 3 Mantles who played for the 1954 McAlester Rockets: Maxie Mantle, Ray Mantle, and Roy Mantle. No Mickey, though.

As for me, he was before my time, but Mickey Mantle was a mythic figure when I was a kid. He was the favorite player of my best friend Doug's dad, which helped build up the legend for me even more. I know describing feelings is tough, but man, Mickey had a special feeling.

Once I got back into card collecting as an adult, scoring myself a vintage Mantle was a top priority. My first "big" card purchase (3 digits) was a sharp '64 Topps Mantle. Then I followed that up with a fuzzy corner '65 and a beat-up '57 (still my oldest card of his) and then a '68, and then a '69 (as part of a '69 Topps lot). More recently I picked up a slabbed '63 Topps Mantle at a card show last year. I'd love to one day complete a Topps base card run for him, but of course that '52 throws a wrinkle. And his '53 Topps is pretty tough too. (No '54 or '55 Topps card released.) And I hate his '56 Topps card (I think he looks like a creepy ventriloquist dummy on it). But a 1957-1969 run is a realistic goal for me. I used to try to land one need per year, but got a little relaxed in that pursuit lately. Bored "Covid Collectors" (investors) got prices running a bit high these days, but I'll eventually add another vintage Mantle along my quest.

But the pride and joy of my Mickey Mantle collection is this Score certified autograph I picked up a year ago. Love it!

(This whole post was drafted up earlier this month, but waited on taking this photo here later in August 2020 to be published.)

Now's the time of the ignorable post when I drunkenly ramble on about stupid shit.

Cute pix aside, I hate my dog. Looking to trade her for any 1990 Donruss needs. (nah, she's fine.)

Back to the Beach is one of my favorite summertime flicks. It's cheesy as hell, but I love it so. The random Pee-Wee scene is the cherry on top.

Look at this tough antifa motherfu*ker!
Nah, it's just me! :)
I forgot my mask when I got dropped off at work. Luckily I had a spare pair of (clean) underwear in my desk that worked as a mask in a pinch on my ride on public transportation on my way home.

You might be saying to yourself, wow you must shit yourself a lot to have backup underwear on hand, but no, the thing is in the winter I often wear long underwear ("lounge pants"), so the back up briefs are just in case I need to change into something for my workout shorts. Sigh.. I miss my 2:30 workouts, catching Pardon The Interruption in the work gym. Haven't "worked out" in months, though keeping active with bike rides (to the post office for work) and often running around dealing with this shitty dog.

But I have some good updates for you!

My old buddy who was probably moving up to Portland? (ref)

Yes, he did move up to my current home of Portland!

My attempt to get my 1991 MusiCard blog included on the popular sports card blogroll? (ref)

Yes, he did finally add my blog to the popular blogroll!

My attempt to get Johngy to comment on my blog? (ref)

Yes, he did comment on my blog!

So there are 3 nice "wins" for me to revel in. I should have done a giveaway contest to celebrate, but I've just been so busy/stressed lately that I don't want to take on too much. (Missed celebrating my blogoversarvy this year too.) Seriously, don't be surprised if I get struck down by a heart attack or something one of these days. Hopefully my wife will be able to pass on the news to my cardboard homies. I don't want to create any mystery about it if it happens. But if I don't post for a month, assume I'm dead. I would never go a month without a post. Never!

But no, I'm just being a diva, don't listen to me. I even have to make my favorite movies more stressful than they need to be.


This dog is a lot of work.

Thanks for reading!

p.s. UPDATE: I put another Ruby pic at the top on today, 9/25/2020, because I was sick of looking at that poor artistic rendering of Mickey Mantle as the thumbnail picture for this draft at the top of my Blogger post list because this post is scheduled for many months from now, so it's gonna be there a long time. So I'd rather it be a cute pup to look at. Maybe I'm tough on Ruby, but she is getting better and I bet by the time this post is eventually published I will think she's a good girl and love her a bunch. But we'll see. Hello from 2020.

12/31/2021 UPDATE: Yeah, Ruby is still more "!!!" than I'm looking for in a dog, ideally, but we love the cute shit-for-brains pit-wolf.

On high alert for scraps at my birthday/Christmas Eve dinner. (Great cut of beef this year.)

In other animal news, after closing for the summer, my hummingbird hangout is back open for business now that the temperatures have dropped.

Drink up, little guy!

The googly-eyed Bip featured earlier in the post has since been turned into a fridge magnet. It's fun.

I've still got this jumbo refractor on the wall and it always makes me smile when I notice it.

That's it for this post. While I'd like to eventually cover all 16 cards in the crazy little set, it's anyone's guess if/when the next in the ignorable filler post: 1991 Cardboard Dreams series ever comes out, but stay tuned! Or don't! LOL

Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy Newk Year

I didn't really get any card-stuff for Christmas from the family, but here's something I consider a gift from the Cardboard Gods. For me, Topps Retired refractor autos I don't have are like gold, frankincense, and myrrh all rolled into one. So when one I had never seen available before popped up at a screamin' deal, I flew like a flash to the buy-it-now button. Bought it a few nights before Christmas and it was my first mailday after the holiday.

2003 Topps Retired Signature Edition Don Newcombe refractor autograph!

Don Newcombe has quite the story, with the baseball world overflowing with praise for him after his passing in 2019 at the ripe old age of 92. Some great years on the mound and just a heck of a person.

I had narrowly missed out on the base version of his only Retired auto a couple times over the years, but had been hoping to eventually score the refractor, and that's just what happened.

I really like this card! so you're getting a few different shots of it to help fully appreciate its splendor.

The card features Newk with the Reds rather than his "heritage team" of the Dodgers, for better or worse, and Mr. Redlegs in the corner adds some extra quirk. He's not selling the "pretend there's a ball in the glove" pose very hard, but it's a cute throwback. And I think this is the first 2003 Retired card I've noticed where the smaller headshot photo is the exact same as the main photo. I've seen a few where the photos were obviously taken by the same photographer moments apart, but I guess the person who designed this card just didn't have another good Cincinnati-era picture of Newcombe handy and had to double dip.

That $20 price tag was in fact the price I paid (plus shipping) and so while I'd normally swap out for a clean team bag, I'll probably leave the card in this one as a reminder of the great deal. I mean, even the base version of this card (which also doesn't pop up for sale often) would sell briskly priced at $20 buy-it-now, but one of the just 25 copies of the refractor parallel? You could probably throw another zero on the end, or at the very least hover around a C-note were this a 99¢ opening bid auction. But bless whoever priced this at a Jackson and called it good. And I should mention the seller wasn't some newbie flipper, but rather one of the world's largest card shops, operating out of Burbank, California. They tend to price a little higher than you'd like but the quantity deals help. But this time, I didn't even bother grabbing another card to hit the free-shipping threshold-- no way! someone else might snatch the Newk before my transaction was complete!

Thanks to Santa and the guys in Burbank for brightening my holiday by helping me add this awesome card to my collection.

Have a Happy New Year, everybody! I know my posting has been down in 2021 (wow, my lowest post total ever, even including my first half-year when I started this blog in June 2013) but I don't plan on quitting anytime soon. I still get a kick out of rambling about cards, even if my available time and energy for drafting posts is in short supply these days. I appreciate you readers who've stuck around (especially the ones who take the time to occasionally leave a comment) and wish you happy collecting in 2022!

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

How Yellow was my LaValley PC? The Yellowest possible!

It's Gavin LaValley's birthday today. He was the first "Gavin" to hit the scene after I returned to the hobby, and inspired me to give a shot at the "advanced collector moves" of rainbowing and supercollecting. (Gavin Floyd was on the downslope of his career at the time, and there was also Gavin Cecchini who popped up in 2011, but as a Mets #1 draft pick, his card prices weren't conducive to going after too hard, and he already had cards when I came around, whereas I was there with LaValley from the beginning.)

With LaValley currently out of affiliated ball, topping out at AA so far, chances are he won't be getting more cards, at least not in a major release like Bowman. (I'm still hoping he ends up becoming the next Mike Trout, don't get me wrong!, but that'd be unexpected.)

So unlike supercollectors of the likes of Griffey or Garvey with endless cards and more coming out every year, since I'm dealing with a significantly less renowned player, I've essentially got a finite checklist to work with here (just keep an eye out for future Bowman buybacks, maybe). There have been a couple 1/1s that "got away" over the years but for the most part I've been successful in my supercollection targets. 

One particular type of 1/1 that I've hit 100% complete?

Yellow printing plates!

Yep, a total of 6 sets of printing plates have been packed out featuring Gavin LaValley. With a recent pickup, I've now secured every Gavin LaValley yellow plate ever released.

LaValley was included in Bowman products in 2014 and 2018-- I'm just calling them all "Bowman" for simplicity, but there's 2014 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects (paper plus Chrome), 2014 Bowman Chrome Mini, 2018 Bowman (paper plus Chrome), and an auto in 2018 Bowman Chrome. He also got cards in 2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Picks and various minor league issues, but only the Bowmans (Bowmen?) had plates packed out.


For fun, here are all of my LaValley printing plates together in one photo. I haven't yet achieved the 4-plate rainbow that comes with the old collector joke of "Now I can print up as many copies of the card as I want! LOL",  but I'm just one color away on a couple of them. Black is the toughest plate type for me to find, apparently, with only one. Since he's pictured with Cincinnati, it's no surprise the magenta plates seem to pop the most. I suppose I'm partial to the cyans, considering blue as my favorite color.

Anywho, Happy Birthday, Gavin! I hope your age-27 season is a bright and sunny one on and off the field.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

yuletide trades

Here's a post with some cards I've received from fellow collectors recently.

Bru from Remember the Astrodome remembered his ol' pal Gav, and sent me over some cards for the first time in a couple years. 

The holiday PWE was chockful of Padre cards from the last couple years, and I haven't been buying new product or trading much during that time, so they were all extra fresh feeling.

Thank you, Bru! Working on some Astros return-fire for you.


Next up is a TCDB trade with Art (username "AAARRT"). I think this was the first trade ever done on the site that I initiated. The scattered trades I've done there prior were all proposed by the other guy, as far as I can remember. I was looking for someone to help me with the cards Topps gave Dick Allen this year, and Art had most of them available. I looked at his wants and was able to come up with a brick of 2017 Heritage needs for him. He could not have been more pleasant to deal with.

The Flashback insert is cool. There are no parallels or anything, though if there were I'd likely chase them. The "Then & Now" Heritage cards don't do a ton for me, nor does the Ginter, but glad to see Topps including him after basically no new Dick Allen cards from them since the days of All-Time Fan Favorites. You can see the same photo for Ginter was used with the Carlos Santana card. I wish they would have used the shot from the Luke Voit-shared card featuring a big smile whilst having a catch. (They did also use that photo in this year's A&G, but for a rip card [#/99], which I'm keeping an eye out for.) I will probably eventually go after the various Ginter parallels/minis, but between the design and the photo, I'm not inspired to hit the rainbowing very hard on this one. But cool that Dick ALLEN finally has his first Allen & Ginter card. (Matt Ginter, another PC guy of mine [who I happen to know turns the big 44 tomorrow] never got an A&G card, sadly.) Still also need Dick's Ginter X card for this year, but as a 301+ high number "SP", he's not included in the Chrome version of Ginter (that only covers 1-300 of the this year's standard A&G checklist). Oh, he also supposedly has coin "relics" in Heritage, though I don't think any have surfaced yet. My rainbow of his '21 Archives card has been coming along, but I'll wait for a future post for an update there.

I also got a few recent Juan Soto cards for the PC, including an example of Topps' foolish choice of reprinting their autograph cards, causing a lot of confusion for uninformed collectors.

The top card of the trade with Art was this numbered Jake Cronenworth RC. I don't have much of him in my collection yet.

And a few more cards included in the deal or thrown in as a surprise bonus. Thanks for the trade, Art, if you're reading.


And here's another TCDB trade I initiated.

I'm working on those Cards That Never Were from 2021 Topps Update. I was looking who had my needs available, which led me to another friendly guy (username "Johnsogr") whom I was able to dig up some vintage needs for. I asked for the Leaf Black Gold to round out the PWE (He had some other good ones I needed for my parallel setbuild, like Bagwell and Nolan Ryan, but I didn't want to over-ask, so stuck with "commons" I like/collect.) The guy kindly threw in the '72 Topps card that was on my limited TCDB wantlist as a surprise bonus.

I really should do more trading on TCDB now that it's slowed down so much on the blogs. A lot of my old trade partners just aren't trading much anymore, and those that are still going strong with trading have already traded with me so often in recent years that I don't have much left they want since I haven't been ripping packs or going to the monthly card show since the Beforetimes.


Finally for today is a package from Dennis from Too Many Verlanders that just showed up (like literally hasn't been delivered yet as I draft this paragraph, but Informed Delivery has informed me a tracking number from Ann Arbor to me is Out For Delivery and so I want to get it into this post as a last-minute edition before publishing). He's good about sending out a holiday blast of card mailings most years, a great tradition to be a part of. I had thoughts of doing similar this year, clearing out some of my cards "set aside for trader buddies" (some of which have been set aside for several years at this point), but the time and energy wasn't there for me this year. I'm hopeful of some January activity on that front, though.

Feast your eyes on all that Gavin-used cloth!

Plus some Cecchini Brothers and black gold. Thank you, Dennis! I've got something set aside for you I'll get headed your way soon.

Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays, everybody!

Thursday, December 16, 2021

mid December card revue

It's that time of year when free time and energy are in short supply. But I want to blog, so I'll try to keep it short and post some cards I've been meaning to give a moment in the spotlight.

I've had a little PC going for Tim Anderson for a few years now, but apparently I hadn't thumbed through my White Sox tradeables in even longer, because when I finally did the other day (looking for cards for a trade offer that fell flat), I found a bunch of his cards that I didn't realize I had, including these above highlights. While having a well-organized collection is nice, I'm sure, it's also fun to occasionally stumble upon cards you forgot you had.


And speaking of forgetting about certain cards, when I posted my Yu Darvish PC last month, I neglected to include my lone 1/1 of him. I used to occasionally pull the trigger on the "blank back" gimmicks that Topps Vault sells on eBay.

Nothing too exciting, but hey, I can truthfully say I own a Yu Darvish 1/1. I looked it up, and this set me back $5.97 in a big Topps Vault order that also included similar 2017 Holiday blank backs for Christian Yelich and Dinelson Lamet, along with old signed Topps contracts for Matt Ginter and Marcus Giles. While Topps Vault still sells blank back cards like this for newer sets, looks like their supply of contracts has dried up, as it's been a while since I've seen the account offer any for sale. (To read more about these contracts, check my big post from 2015.)


Check out these awesome customs I got from Gregory at the Nine Pockets blog! Love 'em! Thanks for the generosity, Greg! If you missed out on the giveaway, he sells them at a very fair price too.


Shiny parallels from Topps Pristine and All-Time Fan Favorites are super cool. It might be anachronistic, to use a fancy word, but I love refractors of old timers who played before shiny cards were a thing. (Well ok, Charlie Hough pitched so long, he actually made it into the refractor era and was included in the inaugural refractor class of '93 Finest [and also had a '94 Finest card]) But yeah, sometimes I take a look at what's available and might pull the trigger if one catches my eye for a decent price like the above did. The Bucky is a gold die-cut refractor, though calling it die-cut just because they gave it slightly bumpy edges feels like a stretch.


And one last shiny old-timer to close out the post...

Looks like a previous owner was so proud of this Bert Blyleven 2003 Topps Retired refractor auto that they displayed it in the sun for too long, and the signature is now considerably faded. But hey, it wasn't too pricey so I figured I'd take a flier on it. I hear Bert is a dependable TTM signer (with fee), so I'm planning to send this in for a new coat of ink and hope he's gracious enough to fulfill the odd request. But I'll wait until the new year when the post office settles down from the holiday surge. For now my question is: should I try to get off the remnants of the original auto? A little rubbing alcohol maybe? I should probably do a test run on a Chrome "junk auto" first to make sure it doesn't otherwise damage the card.

Nice career. The year this card came out, Bert received 29.2% of the vote for his Hall of Fame candidacy. He eventually made it to the magic number of votes in 2011.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope your December isn't stressing you out too much!