Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Vintage Frankenset Page 3

Night Owl Cards is having a vintage theme week, so figured I'd sorta ride his coattails and make an overdue post in my Vintage Frankenset series. 

Looks like I posted Page 1 in 2020, and followed that up with Page 2 in 2021. Oh nice, that means I'll hit my quota for 2022 with Page 3 here! (Yes, I regret I missed doing a "refractor friday" post last week-- I have also missed my once-per-month quota on the 1991 MusiCards Blog two months in a row now, another source of shame for me-- so I have to find my blogging victories wherever I can.)

Page 3 (yeah, it's not really a page) features card numbers 19 through 27. To recap the rules for this project: cards must be made prior to 1981, can't be flagship Topps baseball, and must fit in a standard sized top loader.

19 1975 Hostess All-Star Team #19 Willie McCovey

Always love to see Stretch as a Padre. I have a better condition copy of this card in my McCovey PC, but this creased dupe works fine in the frankenset. I briefly considered trying to go after completing all the old Hostess sets, this after making a similar goal with old Kellogg's baseball cards-- talk about stretch goals (pun)-- but then decided to go easy on myself and just scatter a few Hostess cards in the frankenset.

20 1977 TCMA Renata Galasso #20 Jackie Robinson

I have a few Renata Galasso cards in my collection, though this Jackie is the only one in the frankenset so far.

21 1961 Golden Press Hall of Fame #21 Home Run Baker

Glad I could fit a 1961 Golden Press card into the project. Pretty sure this was a cheap card show pick-up a few years back.

22 1961-62 Parkhurst #22 Al Johnson

This was a Sportlots buy specifically for the frankenset. I basically just wanted an excuse to snag an old Parkhurst hockey card. Al Johnson played in all 70 of the Red Wing's games during the '60-'61 season, but that was the majority of his NHL career. The caption for the comic reads "Sure the engine's in the back - Why do you ask?" and then again in French.

23 1963 Topps Bazooka All-Time Greats #23 Jimmy Collins

Another old-timey baseball player, got this Bazooka card in a 2019 COMC order. Oh hey, have you been enjoying the backgrounds on my photos here? I found a couple fabric sample binders recently and thought I might use them to spice up card images on the blog for a post like this.

24 1978 SSPC New York Yankees Yearbook #24 Bucky Dent

The back recaps his 1977 season, though of course it was Bucky's performance in late '78 that ended up being his legacy. Funny that the front shows him choking up and even the scoreboard seems to be saying he's an easy out.

25 1936 Carreras Famous Airmen & Airwomen #25 Amelia Earhart

Scored this neat Amelia Earhart mini a few years ago after going on a tangent while looking for Howard Hughes stuff. Cool to have a card from her "playing days" and glad I could find a home for it providing some pop for the third page in the frankenset.

26 1957-58 Topps #26 Ed Litzenberger

Like with the earlier hockey card, I was just looking for some variety for the frankenset and found an old Topps hockey card to fill an open slot. Love working in non-baseball Topps designs that I'm not very familiar with and otherwise wouldn't really have a place in my collection. While not a name that rings a bell for me (I don't really know hockey), Wikipedia tells me Litzenberger is the only player in North American hockey history to win six straight pro hockey championships (Stanley Cup in 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1964, and the Calder Cup in 1965 and 1966). Impressive! Also: "He helped instill a winning attitude as a member of the Black Hawks after having been traded from a first-place to a last-place team after noting a defeatist attitude among the players. Some of his teammates were satisfied with a tie. He reminded them that a tie was not a win and not worth celebrating."

That reminds me.. Anybody watch the Shoresy show on Hulu? Really funny hockey-themed show (spun-off from another very funny Canadian show called Letterkenny).

27 1935 Ardath Film, Stage and Radio Stars #27 Leslie Howard

The third mini of the page closes us out for today. I'm drafting up this post wondering why this guy looks so familiar... Oh, of course! He played Ashley Wilkes in Gone with the Wind (1939), which I recently watched for the second time in my life. That's cool. I don't watch a ton of old movies, but try to catch a classic from time to time.


It's a solid page overall, though maybe a little too baseball-heavy. I might try swapping somebody out for a football or basketball card someday.

Current priority for this frankenset is finding suitable cards numbered 29, 30, and 34, as those are still vacancies on the fourth page. But hey, guess I don't have to worry about posting that page until 2023, so no rush, right?! lol. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed checking out a few random old cards with me.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Half completed sets abound + Refractor Friday #7 Tony Gwynn Hall Bound

This was supposed to be a midweek trade recap post but I wasn't able to get to it until today, so we'll throw the Refractor Friday stuff on the end.

So Johnny's Trading Spot had a post a couple weeks ago about a vintage trade he did with his Old Card Traders buddy Bob D. Since I'm always jonesing for vintage setbuilding help, I checked out Bob's wantlist and was able to find some stuff for him before sending an email feeling out a trade. I was hoping he had a few '72 high numbers to spare, and though he wasn't able to find any of my needed late-season psychedelic tombstones, he was able to find a stack of 1970 Topps needs and upgrades from my list. Gaylord Perry has some surface wear and a pinhole, but as a semi-high number, he's welcomed into my build with outstretched arms. As far as old sets I'm working on, priority-wise '70 clocks in under '72, '57, and '64 for me, but it's still a multi-series vintage Topps set I'd love to complete someday, ultimately trying for a run of flagship Topps encompassing the 70s and 80s.


That lot from Bob took me to 49+% complete with 1970, just 1 card shy of the midway point. I knew I had to make a push at getting over the line, and turned to my PCs to try to dig up a needed card.

I found a 1970 All-Star in my Rod Carew PC and loaned it out to the setbuild, officially taking me to over the hump. Of course I'm not actually "halfway done" yet since the majority of what I have are low numbers, and the high numbers are much more work to track down. But the bottom line is my "haves" are now more plentiful than my "needs" for 1970 Topps, so that's something to smile about


And hey, on that subject...

Got a nice package of cards from Fuji last week that included a bunch of 1979 and 1983 Kellogg's, taking both those back-burning oddball setbuilds over the 50% hump, too. The Canseco brings me to just 5 commons away from completing the '88 Fleer base set. (I think GCA's buddy Stuart said he could finish it off for me? Let's hope he comes through!)

Some PC additions here, including a Bruce Bochy sunset/final tribute from '88 Score I'd been wanting for a while. He spent all of 1988 in Triple A as a player/coach, the beginnings of his prominent managerial career.

Excited to be a recipient of one of Fuji's new blogger cards! Love it.

Thanks, man! I've got a little something to hit you back with soon.


Fuji deciding to send me a package must've gotten karma on his side, because his guess at last week's Harmon Killebrew refractor's serial number being 134/299 was right on the money. Congrats! Let me know if you see anything in the prize pool that you could use and I'll add it to that next mailing I send your way.

As a little extra bonus for Fuji, I figured I'd pick our favorite Padre to feature for Friday's refractor this week.

Refractor Friday #7 - Tony Gwynn 1998 Topps Chrome Hall Bound refractor

I don't remember what pushed me down the rabbit hole, but I probably saw one of these Hall Bound die-cut inserts on another blog, thought to myself, "yes, I'd really like one of those (specifically a refractor one)," and poked around the usual places until I found a decent deal on one I liked. I ended up with a slabbed Gwynn for roughly what they go for raw. PSA 6 is bad for a modern card, but looks great to me. Maybe the print line on the right knocked it down a little but all the way to a 6? Maybe the PSA person found something else bad under their microscope or whatever. But yeah, no complaints from me. I'll keep it slabbed for now since I'll bet even those of you who are firmly anti-grading can still appreciate not having to worry about those die-cut points getting knocked or caught. (Mr. Padre is my largest PC, and this is only my second graded card of his, pretty sure.)

Regardless, it's a fine specimen of refractive Chrome technology, wouldn't you agree?

Time to finish off with another little contest. Back to the autograph Fuji gave me of himself... It's hand-numbered out of 30 on the back. Be the first in the comments below to correctly guess which number it is and you can win a PWE of a few cards from my prize pool. For a hint, it's less than Tony's jersey number.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend, everybody.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

A couple quick bites of Kellogg's customs

End of an era! The home printer I've used for pretty much every custom card I've ever printed out recently died. I had been planning on getting a new printer later this year anyways, so I wasn't too upset by the situation. That old Canon served me well, but had been more and more streaky over the years.

Anyways, here are the final customs printed out on its last gasps.

Posting this now specifically because Hoyt Wilhelm was born 100 years ago today, and I wanted to do my little part to celebrate. Hoyt! Hoyt! Hoyt! The design is 1972 Kellogg's. There aren't a lot of Dodgers photos of Wilhelm available, so I colorized a b&w one in an attempt at freshness. It printed out a little weird-- trying to print a third copy of this was the printer's death blow--  so I'll likely try again once I've got the new printer up and running and hope for improved results. But still happy with this oddball-adjacent entry to my Hoyt PC.

A couple weeks before the Hoyt, I made this 1973 Kellogg's Dave Winfield. Like with the Hoyt, these are "cards that could have been", technically, both having played during those seasons. Not too far fetched that Kellogg's might've beat Topps to the punch by including Winfield in their '73 set, though his debut was June 19, 1973. But like if they came out with a little Kellogg's Update set later that year, this card would have been a great fit. LOL.

Both the card backs were more time-consuming than ideal-- Hoyt with all those stats, Dave with the big write-up-- but I have a hard time leaving my custom backs too "unfinished" or they bug me.

Thanks again to my old Canon printer for the years of service, the frustrating son of a bitch that it was. I'm staying away from Canon for a while, giving HP a shot now. Hopefully it works out well and I come up with plenty more customs to show off on the blog and share with my trader buddies for years to come.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Refractor Friday #6 - Harmon Killebrew 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites

This card had a cameo in my previous post, so figured I might as well make it the featured refractor this week.

This 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites refractor features a young Harmon Killebrew on a 1969 Topps design. That happens to be the year he won AL MVP, no coincidence. Looks like this picture is a tight crop of a larger photo with at least one other Twin, as we can see a teammate's shoulder behind Harmon, though it's got the "bumpy" effect over it, as is typical for ATFF and Heritage backgrounds when Topps gives them the Chrome treatment.

Here's an alternate shot, giving you a better view of the patch on Harmon's shoulder. Maybe someone would be able to pinpoint the year of the original photograph with these clues?

But yeah, it's a lovely card of a great player, and genuinely good dude by all accounts. A fun fact about him is he guested on an episode of Step By Step in the 90s. TGIF, in deed! If that's after your time, well, he also made an appearance on Mr. Belvedere in the 80s.

Only his years in Minnesota are included on the back, leaving off his early years as a Washington Senator and sunset season in Kansas City, stripping him of 500 Home Run Club status as result.

Rival AL slugger Reggie.Jackson is partially obscuring the serial number in this above photo, but if you want to leave a comment below with what number you think it is, you might win a PWE. I'll give you the additional hint that the winning number is less than Harmon's listed weight.

The hope for these little weekly summertime contests is to get to 9 winners, since we're celebrating 9 years of Baseball Card Breakdown, and so far we're 3-for-5. But I think I've come up with a good solution.. After week 9, I'll basically do like a "card draft" with the folks who entered the most often without winning where they can make a list of their preferences from the prize pool, and I'll just put together well-weighted PWEs for those folks. So like, if we have 5 contest winners after the 9 weeks, then the 4 people who entered most without winning would be eligible for the draft. Sound good?

Alright, thanks for taking a moment out of your day for refraction appreciation. Enjoy your weekend, guys. How's the weather where you are? Here in Portland looks like it'll be the last nice weekend before entering the hellscape that seems to bake the city every year around the last week of July and/or the first week of August. Not looking forward to that!

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Joy of a purchased complete set: 1987 Fleer

Spring of 1990 was when I first got swept up in baseball cards. It's funny looking back now, but 1987 Fleer was treated as a highly respected set by us young'uns, in particular the Bo Jackson and Will Clark rookie cards that may as well have been Honus Wagner. The set just felt special somehow, maybe because it was sort of limited in its print run compared to the near-infinite supply of 1987 Topps and other overproduced sets of the era.

I still have the Devon White/Willie Frasier dual prospects card I had as a kid and love it though it's not worth much these days. And I briefly owned the '87 Fleer Will Clark as a young collector before another kid at school talked me into a trade. I don't recall the details, though I've always been a sucker for vintage, so it was probably a trade offer with some 70s stuff.

Anyways, after returning to the hobby as an adult, I ended up with a couple "starter lots" of '87 Fleer, good for about half the set, and I had been waiting around hoping for another big lot or two to fall into my lap before I sorted it all out and made a wantlist. But now the years have passed, postage rates have raised, and spurred on by a Night Owl post on the subject of giving in and buying a set you had attempted to build, I gave up on my half-amassed setbuild and started keeping an eye on eBay for a cheap complete set. Took me about a month of patience, but eventually scored a factory set for just under $17 out the door, most of that going towards shipping, no surprise.

I've got burned a couple times by "complete sets" on eBay not being complete or having widespread damage, so checking for completeness is a must. Looks like the set I bought had never been thumbed through, as it was still tight in alternating chunks and all out of order other than all the team stickers being at the front. You know what that means.. sorting time!

I've been meaning to write a post about my cardroom sorting set-up since shortly after moving in 2020-- I was really pleased with it when I first came up with the layout for the new house, though my enthusiasm wasn't enough to get around to blogging about it. I'm due for a big sort, and once I get the area cleaned up I'll try to cover that stuff a little more in depth for the couple of readers who might be mildly interested.

I didn't think of taking a picture of phase 2 of sorting until I was 99% finished, but this is a little sorting tray I put together with an old box and some anti-slip material. Works ok and lets me sort on my lap while watching TV or whatever, though the design is still a work in progress.

But yeah, sorting went well and every card was accounted for-- There were a few brief "uh oh, missing a card" moments, though they all turned out to be sorting mistakes on my end. Each logo sticker in the box was represented at least twice, with one having 3 examples included.

Trying to keep this quick and so I'm not gonna examine the set too closely in this post, but here are a few notable cards. A little bummed the Bonds RC isn't better centered (same with Will Clark, not pictured), and I could do without the printing flaw near the Bo's team logo, but overall I was happy with the condition of the cards, all as sharp and pack-fresh as you'd hope.

The "half set" (~300 cards) I previously had is now trade bait I'd love to thin out, so if any of you are working on completing 1987 Fleer, feel free to send me a list of your needs. Or maybe we could deal for the whole lot if anyone is looking to make bulk progress with the set. 

As far as my Fleer collection, I'd eventually like to complete a run from 1981 into the early 90s. I was most interested by '84 Fleer, and finished that set off a few years ago. I also got hooked up with complete sets in trade of 1986, 1990, 1991, and 1992. And I was given a partial set of 1988 Fleer and honestly in hindsight I may have been better off just buying another complete one, but I've been trying to fill the holes through trade throw-ins and it's dragged on longer than I was anticipating. But yeah, as I work on that run of flagship Fleer, it feels good to have 1987 complete now, especially in light of how the set was such a big deal back when I first entered the hobby. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Refractor Friday #5: Glenn Hubbard 2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites

 Happy Friday, everybody. 

Here's a cool bat-barrel shot on a 1983 Topps design. Both photos seem to be taken in the same spot, though his uniform is different.

Topps is withholding the information from you that Hubbard finished his career in Oakland. Played on a pennant winner in '88, though unfortunately for him was released at the All-Star break in '89 and missed out on the Bashin' A's championship that year.

Of course, Glenn Hubbard's cardboard legacy is his iconic 1984 Fleer card that us collectors tend to get a kick out of. I think I read he hated that card for a while, but has since grown to be ok with it. I suppose if you become best known in certain circles for one tiny out-of-the-ordinary moment of your life, it could get annoying quick.

Bonus Glenn Hubbard refraction! Some ink on this one. It's also from 2005. Sweet card, even if he does look naked without his boa.

Like most Topps Retired refractors, this one is numbered out of 25. I'm still doing the little weekly contest thing, so take a guess at the number if you want. Winner can pick a few cards from the prize pool, yadda yadda yadda. UPDATE: Prize Pool page updated with some new stuff. Remember anonymous guesses need to include your city to count (otherwise it gets confusing).

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

A twice-mailed package plus a few PWEs

Here are a couple incoming trades I didn't have a chance to get to in my previous post of incoming cards last week.

This first trade is a doozy with GCA. I sacrificed a nice auto of a PC guy to make solid progress with some vintage Topps sets. I was amped for the cards to arrive, but the waiting dragged on and on and turns out the cards got sent to my old address. Apparently Greg and I hadn't traded in a couple years and though I gave him my new address, I didn't stress that it had changed since we last swapped cards. But he was apologetic and was kind enough to score and send a couple bonus cards from my "'wishful thinking' desperate double dozen wantlist" to atone for the mistake. It all worked out in the end with the initial mailing getting returned to sender a couple weeks later. After a little more messing around by the Post Office, the re-mailing of the package and the bonus PWE that had been sent in the meantime both finally arrived in my mailbox on the same day.

Lots of big names for my 1974 Topps setbuild.

..and a few more, highlighted by a pair of similar-photo Padres.

After this terrific lot of needs and upgrades, I find myself down to just 4 cards (not counting variations) to complete '74:

I'd like to eventually round up all the variations, with a dozen still remaining-- mostly "Washington" Padres-- but if I could at least complete a basic one-of-every-number set here soon, I'd feel a nice sense of accomplishment. So yeah, I will probably be looking to purchase those last 4 cards soon, but if you have any and want to swing a heroic little trade, please drop me a line.

Also got a nice stack of '75s in the package. Chugging along with this setbuild, down to 90 cards remaining.

Pretty good star power on these few '77s. A long way to go with this one, but nearly to 40% complete with my birth-year set now.

Here's what I was most excited about.. 1972 Topps! I'm not gonna force it-- e.g., empty my bank account on over-priced high numbers-- but I'm still clinging to my goal of completing this set during its 50th anniversary. Great selection of needs and upgrades here. At 165 cards left to go, I'm gonna need to average picking up a need per day to hit my goal (170 days are remaining in this year). But yeah, if I want to have a chance here, I'm gonna need to increase my deal-searching/purchases and hit TCDB hard for trades. More tasks for the ol' mental to-do list that's constantly overflowing with items that need doing. (Eh, at least a basic '74 set should be easily reachable this year.)

And as far as the "bonus for messing it up in the first place" (Greg's words)...

Nice! A couple big ones for my oldest setbuilds. Seems like it was back in the early days of this blog when I formally announced my intentions to complete a set of 1957 Topps... and not long after that, to complete a set of 1964 Topps. They've been kinda crawling along on the backburner for the past several years, but that old tortoise keeps moving closer and closer to the finish line. After checking off the great Brooks Robinson, I've got 137 cards remaining with 1964 (76.74% complete), while HOFer Nellie Fox lifts me just over 80% complete with '57 (81 cards remaining).

Here's the backs. These are perfect for my sets, condition-wise, in that they look pretty good but not sharp enough to attract the slabbing bros.

Thanks again, GCA! It wasn't the smoothest of our several trades over the years, but a memorable one, no doubt!


Bo and I did another PWE swap recently. Actually, I got the better of the deal quantity-wise, with Bo mailing dual PWEs.

A couple setbuild chips here, with a 1981 Kellogg's Steve Carlton and a 1970 Topps semi-high number. I'm still not to the halfway point with the old grey set, but one of these days.

Lots of team dissonance and update text in this batch of OPC... Love it!

Some appreciated PC guys.

I was hoping to put together a page or two of players looking straight up-- my "Dan Walters Memorial Binder"-- and Bo has been my top source for that project.

Thanks as always, Bo! I'm sure we'll be exchanging cards again before long.


Ok, one more for today.. Here's a surprise buzzer beater from John Miller that just arrived.

Three Gavin Sheets RCs, a couple Benito oddballs, and a soccer player with whom I share a birthday. Nice! Thanks, John! I'll round up a return for you shortly.

Here's a closer look at the Gavin refractor (as well as the different color file folders that I use to help myself keep track of which cards are from whom). And speaking of refraction appreciation, as of publishing this post, the winning number from the contest in my previous post hasn't been guessed yet so if you haven't guessed yet, feel free to click the "Older Post" link which you may see below and go pick a number if you haven't yet and have any interest in picking a few cards from my prize pool-- which I've yet to restock with some fresh cards but dang it this week has been rough and I haven't gotten to that yet, but I'll be sure to do that before I ask the next winner to make their picks.

Thanks for reading!