Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Baseball Card Breakdown's 8th Anniversary

Made it to 8 years as a blogger. Nice. New banner for the occasion. Had been going with a text-only header for a few months, but now I've made a new header pic in the same vein as one from a few years back, spelling out the blog name with letter patch cards.

Not sure how long I'll stick with it, but I'll fly it up there for at least a while.

In today's post, I'm going to toast to 8 years of blogging by giving shout-outs to a few of my favorite blogs over that span, linking each of them up to a letter in the new header.

B is for Backstop 
[Will Venable]

Looks like Marcus has since taken all the way to the backstop offline, but back in the first few years of my blog, it was so cool to read an active card blog that focused on my hometown Padres. While I've rooted for the team basically all my life, I had sorta turned my back on them for a while there, and Marcus' blog helped reignite my fandom, getting me familiar with the current roster (such as guys like Will Venable) as well as names from the past I hadn't thought about in a long time. He inspired me to add guys like Eric Owens and Khalil Greene to my PC list, and indirectly provided the catalyst for my "Marquis Mania" project where I hoarded a crazy amount of Marquis Grissom 1990 Upper Deck rookie cards.

A is for A grand serving of nachos 
[Mike Leake]

Mike Leake makes me think of the Reds, and the Reds make me think of Nachos Grande. He's been consistently cranking out posts forever. Usually not too long, but often just a bite-sized look at a particular Barry Larkin card or a few cards from a TCDB trade. Chris seems like a really chill guy. I enjoyed getting in on some of his group breaks back in the day. He's really upped his game with them lately, though I've since sworn off group breaks (no fault of Chris') so I just watch from afar now. I love that he's also a big LEGO guy.

S is for San Jose 
[Yonder Alonso]

During his career, Yonder Alonso played for both the A's and the Padres, so let's link him up to Fuji. The Chronicles of Fuji has been a beacon of positivity for the Cardsphere for over a decade now (not even taking into account his tireless commenting on countless blogs, which I know we all appreciate). Mark gave us a scare earlier this year with talk of taking an extended break, but thankfully he seems to have found a balance where he can still crank out a few posts each month.

E is for Everybody Loves Shane 
[Shane Peterson]

The best known Shane on the cardsphere has got to be the good dude behind the Shoebox Legends blog. In recent months, the blog has been gathering cobwebs, with Shane focusing more on his YouTube channel. That's pretty cool, though I hope the blog doesn't fade away. Always neat following along with his collecting adventures, be it his buyback frankenset, various setbuilds, big Red Sox collection, or whatever else he feels like writing about. 

B is for Brew Crew 
[Bill Hall]

I'll go with Summer of '74 for this one. Matt Prigge's Brewers-centric cardblog looks like it has tapped out with just 151 posts to its credit, but it was a good one. 

A is for A-rod 
[Gaby Sanchez]

Gaby Sanchez makes me think of Gary Sanchez, who makes me think of Yankees catchers, who makes me think of Luis Torrens supercollector Zippy Zappy of Torren' Up Cards. Longtime hobby-bud of mine. Love reading his unfiltered takes on baseball, cards, and whatever else he wants to talk about. Hard to find anyone whose TTM game is as on point as his.

L is for long ago 
[Tim Melville]

Hmm, let's see. Tim Melville was drafted by the Royals, and that calls to mind View From the Skybox. Dormant since March 2015 (sadly just missing out on documenting KC's championship season), this blog had a lot of fresh, creative perspective during its 3-year run. I still hold a little grudge regarding a PWE of Gypsy Queen minis I sent the guy that never got reciprocated, but nonetheless have a soft spot in my heart for the glory days of VFTSB.

L is for lawyered 
[Jarett Dillard]

Wikipedia tells me Jarett went on to become a successful lawyer after his days on the gridiron. That calls to mind Tony L. of Off-Hiatus Baseball Cards. He burst onto the cardblog scene in 2014 with a lot of great posts, and a lot of great trades for those with Brewers cards to send. Over the years, Tony's gotten busy (lawyer stuff and whatnot) and his cache of available cards (mostly from his childhood collection) dried up, so he doesn't post or trade much anymore, effectively going back On-Hiatus, but let's hope he resumes blogging at some point.

C is for Cutch
[Daniel McCutchen]

Here's an easy card to link to a blog. Different Cutch of course, but Collecting Cutch gives readers a fascinating look into the life of a supercollector. Brian is a great guy and is always thinking up new and interesting framework for his posts, so it's not just "hey, look at this new 1/1 Andrew McCutchen I got". Plus he posts more pictures of pretty ladies than any other cardblog (especially during his annual Save Second Base fundraiser every October), so that's just another reason to keep his blog on your reading list.

A is for Area 40
[Josh Willingham]

Another no-brainer for linking a blog to the card. Wes Moore has changed course in his collecting focus several times over the years, often changing blog names and usernames along the way. But he's always been a very generous fella and it's a thrill when he gets you in his crosshairs and drops a bunch of cards on you. Who can forget his "war" with Matthew Scott years back where the two went back and forth trying to outdo each other with amazing trade packages? That was a fun stuff.

R is for roundball
[Spencer Haywood]

Seeing this is the only basketball card within the header, gotta go with the blog I think of first when it comes to the hardwood: Cardboard History. Billy is known for his comprehensiveness, thoroughly scanning and cataloging his massive collection. Sucks that he has to deal with difficult health issues, but glad he's still able to go on adventures from time to time and take his readers along for the ride with dozens of photographs.

D is for don't ever stop 
[Gavin Floyd]

Guess I'll go with Johnny's Trading Spot for this one, as I've traded with John Miller countless times, and there's been at least one Gavin Floyd card in nearly every batch of cards he's ever sent my way. I think John's got a few years on me, but I kinda think of him as a blogging brother of mine, both starting our blogs in the summer of 2013 and both still at it.

We're entering the "BREAKDOWN" part of the header now, and seeing as it's the afternoon of the 15th as I draft this and I want to hurry up and get this post published soon, the rest of these might be cranked out at "lightning round" speed.

B - Andre Brown

Brown, you say? Bleedin' Brown and Gold is (was?) a good blog. (...though, yes, I'm a homer for Padres blogs.) See also Duff's newer blog Comatoad on Cards.

R - Kevin Kouzmanoff

Right back to another great Padres blog: Padrographs. I'm lucky enough to live nearby to Rod, and my card collection is richer for it. Just got another box of cards from him (and a comic book with glow in the dark cover!) last weekend which I'll post about sometime soon.

E - Zack Segovia

E is for everybody else with a blog I've followed over the years that I wasn't able to link to a certain card this time, including by not limited to A Cracked Bat$30 a week habit2x3 Heroes30-year old CardboardA Cardboard ProblemA Penny Sleeve for your ThoughtsARPSmith's Sportscard ObsessionBaseball Cards Come to Life!Battlin' BucsBob Walk the PlankBubba's Bangin' Batch of Baseball BitsCard HemorrhageCardboard HogsCardboard JunkieCardpocalypsecards as i see themCards from the QuarryCards That Never WereChavez RaviningCincinnati Reds Baseball Card CollectorCoot Veal and the VealtonesDawg Day CardsDiamond Jestersgarvey cey russell lopesHeartbreaking Cards of Staggering GeniusHighly Subjective and Completely ArbitraryHoarding CardboardHobby Cards EuropeHot Corner CardsHoyt Wilhelm Online MuseumI need new hobbies.It's like having my own Card ShopMark's EphemeraMets Baseball Cards Like They Ought To Be!n j w vNine PocketsNothing If Not RandomPack WarPlaschke Thy Sweater Is ArgylePunkRockPaintRandom Toy ReviewsRed CardboardRekindling the Cardboard FlameRoyal Card ReviewSchmidt Happened!Sportscards From The Dollar StoreStarting NineThe 1993The Angels In Orderthe best bubbleThe Bucs Stop HereThe Card PapoyThe CollectorThe Diamond KingThe Five Tool CollectorThe Great Sports Name Hall of FameThe Junior JunkieThe Lost CollectorThe Shlabotnik ReportThe Topps ArchivesTim WallachTopps cards that never wereWax HeavenWHEN TOPPS HAD (BASE)BALLS!Wish They Still Came With BubblegumWrigley Roster JengaScribbled Ink, and of course Matt's Wonderful Blog Of Hobbies (formerly known as Sport Card Collectors).

A - Greg Halman

At first thought, I was tempted to go with another Greg here.. but it would seem wrong to have Night Owl represented by a non-Doger. So how about another blogger named Greg (aka GCA) from The Collective Mind.

K - Andy LaRoche

K, now here's a Dodgers card. What can I say about Night Owl? Papa Bear of the Cardsphere. He's a professional writer who consistently carves out the time to write interesting, thoughtful blog posts on the regular. Our little online community of collectors is undoubtedly better off for having him as a pillar of cardsphere these many years.

D - Adrián González

D is for Dimeboxes. Nick's blog is required reading, nearly going on a decade now.

O - John Skelton

Ok, I know it's a totally different team called the Cardinals, but gotta shout-out St. Louis Cardinals collector and fellow Portland resident, Kerry at Cards on Cards.

W - Kyle Skipworth

Waiting 'til Next Year like to fly the W.

N - Kyle Lobstein

Not another guy named Kyle? Too many Kyles! Lobstein lobbed the majority of his MLB pitches for Detroit, so that links him up well to my buddy Dennis at Too Many Verlanders.

And that'll wrap it up! Man, that was hard and I had to cop-out with a ton of great blogs under the "E" catch-all, but hopefully nobody feels slighted. Only so many letters, ya know? Sorry if I left anyone out. You all are awesome. Hurray for blogging about sportscards! It's been a fun 8 years being a part of it; Here's to many more!

Friday, June 11, 2021

Kinda like a card show?

Portland's monthly card show is this weekend. And it looks like they've expanded it to both Saturday and Sunday now, not just Saturday like it's been in the past. Oh wow, they even redid their website all "professional" with cookies now and everything, upgrading from the old GeoCities-grade webpage.

Gotta admit I have zero interest in making it to this month's show, or next month's, or the show after that. (Well, maybe not zero, but like a 1 or maybe 2 on a scale of 10.)

More people - yuck
(Specifically more "douchey bro" vibe people looking for sick mojo to flip - yuck!)
Higher prices - yuck

I've been hitting the "collection organization" / "card room optimization" hard the past few weeks and hate to say it, but I think it's beneficial to not have that stream of new cards coming in every month. I'd always come home with a tall stack of cards that needed to be sorted which would always slow down my overarching push to get my collection under control. And cutting that out for the past year and a half has helped with my progress. Hopefully a year from now, I'll have my card room just how I like it, and the inevitable MLB work stoppage/strike will help pop the trading card bubble, and then maybe I'll feel like returning to the card show.

But for now I'm doing just fine with collection-focused online purchases and the occasional cardsphere PWE. Hey, let's take a look at some such cards now!

I thought this was a cool looking Bryce Harper that was in a recent PWE Trade Bait post from the Quarry. Looks like a perfect circle chemtrail from his mighty swing. Neat! (Yeah, I don't know how he swung behind himself, but it's all part of the magic.) Numbered to 299 on the back, plus it promotes education, so that's cool too. I was able to dig up a Todd Helton parallel hiflew needed in return.

A few posts ago I talked about how I really dig the 2002 Donruss Originals "What If?" cards but lamented they were a little too scarce for me to commit to going after the full run of them. But then even before that draft was published, I had started searching online card stores for them, and it's pretty much been my main collecting focus since. It'll still take me a while to hunt down all 75, but I'm working my way there. Love the fan-friendly photo on this Ozzie card that pretends Donruss was putting out a set of The Rookies in late 1978.

As far as cards that Donruss really did put out back in the day, I've also been trying to finally grab the last few cards missing from my '84 Donruss setbuild. Had to pony up a few bucks on Sportlots for some big names here, with Nolan Ryan being the most of the lot. Down to just a pair of Rated Rookies (Greg Gagne & Sid Fernandez) and Ripken left.

Next is a friendly mailing of cards from Fuji. These are some upgrades to my 1982 Topps set that I had accidentally damaged. In sad irony, three of these (top) ended up bent in transit or perhaps I just wasn't carefully enough opening up the envelope. Ha, I might just be cursed when it comes to '82 Topps! At least the headliner here, Fisk, made it safely.

(Dumb gif I made years ago.)

Cool to see these foldies in the envelope from Fuji too. The Madlock is a card I recently bought on COMC but they damaged it in shipping. Nice to have a mint one now. Actually, more irony, the day after getting this envelope, I decided to sort through my oversized cards and was surprised to see I already owned it. For pete's sake! So now I have 3 of them. Darned oversized cards being too big to store with the rest of the PC. But the Minnie Minoso and Jerry Coleman were new to me and very appreciated.

Thanks, Fuji! I'll hope to return the favor before long.

I also hit Sportlots for some help on my 2004 Chrome black refractor setbuild. The biggest name I bought during this spree was Mike Mussina, but it's been a few weeks and it hasn't shown up yet. Crap, is Sportlots good about refunds for missing cards? I hate to make a stink about it, and I don't doubt it was lost in the mail rather than the seller trying to rip me off, but it was a few bucks I'd prefer not be wasted.

I also stuck a fork in 1990 Donruss with the final two cards I needed for the Grand Slammers inserts. Think I'm calling it good now with the base set, the MVP inserts, and these. I guess I'd still like to complement the set with that year's Baseball's Best and The Rookies sets someday, but that's not a priority.

Also wanted to add Vlad's Heritage sunset card to the PC.

Here's another "1978" card, this time with Topps playing make believe instead of Donruss. I'd like to think they got the idea for these from the "if they were full-bleed" posts I sometimes do. But probably just a coincidence. But yeah, cool looking Trout card I got for a few bucks on eBay.

Last for today is a trade with Bo, who kindly went through his available cards to get my Mike Sharperson collection into respectable shape.

Also the 1 card from 1979 Topps that I really, really needed upgraded. It looks like some kid practiced drumming on it, so this nice, minty one is very appreciated to help feel like my complete set is a decent one.

Thanks, Bo, for this and the "Sharpeople"! :)

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

COMC ya later

Time for me to finish documenting my last (ever? for a good while, at least) COMC shipment. Here's some other cards I got.

One of the greatest sunset cards of all time. Soak it all in!

Minnie mini. Cute, right?

As a lover of shiny cards, I had to check for any cheap eTopps cards of interesting players, scoring this pair of hurlers.

A couple more refractors and a relic card of a stadium wall. My plan when I bought the Warning Track card was to use the piece of Three Rivers Stadium to make a custom featuring someone besides J.D. Drew. Maybe I'll get to that someday.

GITD! My glow-in-the-dark minicollection got a nice boost from this order. I was able to complete the set of 10 glowing Garbage Pail Kids cards from 2013. Better yet, Junior was the final card I needed to finish off The Franchise glow-in-the-dark parallels from 1997 Score.

Maybe I'll take a closer look at these sets next time I do another post focusing on glow-in-the-dark cards.

To finish with the hits, here are 3 miscellaneous autographs.

The Fred Valentine was an impulse buy way back on Valentine's Day of 2020. Red Real One autographs from Heritage are always neat.. even if the player wasn't all that notable.

The Todd Van Poppel auto was bought as a gift for 1991 me.

Jerry Layne is the first autograph added to my budding group of "thumbs up" cards.

That's a wrap! Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Wally Joyner 2004 Topps Retired refractor autograph

I finally got to check another card off my #1 collecting goal ever: 2004 Topps Retired Signature Edition refractor autographs.

Wally Joyner popped up at an overpriced buy-it-now and I jumped on it. It's the first one I've ever seen for sale, so I'm not about to wait around for another one to hopefully surface with a low opening bid (though with my luck, one will now). 

This particular one isn't even in great shape. The case is pretty scuffed up (I tried to polish it up a bit with that stuff for that, but couldn't clear it up much). Also, the autograph has darkened; it's not the bright, bold blue sharpie that you like to see. And check out the little piece of cardboard stuck inside the case in the lower left corner. I see that with these cards from time to time, but this might be the worst offender I've seen so far. I believe this is caused by the cards being transported to the signer (and then back to Topps) in corrugated cardboard boxes, then a Topps employee would take the cards from the box and place them in those snap cases, and apparently they didn't worry too much about making sure things were clean before snapping the card in. If I had a good "donor" case, I might consider swapping the card out for a cleaner display.

Despite it being an expensive purchase to be considered upgradeable, no regrets over this trip to Wally World. I don't think I get a bigger thrill out of the hobby than when I secure a needed '04 Retired refractor. Eight more of these beauties left to track down.

Joyner is a Hall of Very Good type of player. Burst onto the scene putting up impressive numbers but wasn't able to quite keep it up long enough to become Cooperstown worthy. I enjoyed rooting for him during his stint in San Diego. Seems like a good guy.

Welcome aboard, Wally!

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Checking where I rank with some lesser-collected PC guys

Got a few more cards from my big shipment to document on the blog today. These here are non-HOF "fan favorite" type guys from the past.. Generally players that aren't chased by many collectors out there. It's fun to go after oddballs and whatnot from them, and maybe even take a run at completing their full run of cards, or at least trying to build the #1 PC for a guy on TCDB.

Starting alphabetically with Dick Allen-- not exactly an obscure name, but still-- here are a couple smaller-than-standard cards. That side-eyein' 2009 Goodwin Champions is one of my all-time favorites.. I've got at least a couple other versions of it, including the auto which had been a white whale of mine for a few years, and am happy to snag the black bordered mini of it now. 1990 Target All-Time Dodgers is a familiar set to me after seeing gcrl cover the whole thing on his blog a few years back, plus occasional appearances on Night Owl Cards. Sucks they couldn't have found a picture of Dick from this Dodger days to use on the card. That out of place White Sox uniform is worthy of young Richie's side-eye.

At the time of this post, Crash's #1 collector on TCDB is user "theFalcon" with 84, with the 2nd most being 61 cards. I haven't added up all my DA's or entered them into the site, but I'm probably somewhere between those two. TCDB lists 325 total cards for him... many of which are just from this year, with Dick being included in '21 Heritage and getting multiple Project 70 cards, too (none of which I've pulled the trigger on, though nice to see him getting some hobby love).

UPDATE: I clawed my way into 2nd place with 62 cards, though I had to resort to counting a couple Kellogg's cards that are currently stored in setbuilds not the player collection, if you wanna get technical about it-- but whatever, I own the cards. I'd probably be around 70 cards if I counted more set stuff like that. 
BTW, I already owned the above two cards, dang it! Good thing I'm trying to keep better track of my collection now. Oh well, I'll add the dupes to the "for trade/sale" inventory I've been meaning to build up on TCDB to hopefully see more trade action.

Rod Beck has 414 total cards listed. These are 3 cheap parallels I probably needed.
1995 Upper Deck - Electric Diamond Silver
1995 Score - Hall of Gold
1997 Donruss Limited - Limited Exposure (with John Wetteland on the other side)
Shooter's top collector on TCDB is user "bronnerea" with 164 cards. I can't top that, but think I'd have a shot at being in the top 10 were I to check in mine to the site.

Ken Caminiti is a guy I have a lot of cards of, but still probably wouldn't crack the top 10 on TCDB ("Expos1990" rules comfortably with 597 cards.. probably over 3 times as many as me). Ken's represented in this order by a thick, leathery insert (1997 Topps Stadium Club Patent Leather --pretty sure I saw one of these get a thumbs-up on Fuji's blog and had to grab one for myself) plus a couple $1 buybacks. And if it's buybacks of notable Padres sluggers you're into, well have I got a group of cards to show you...

A half dozen boughten-back Nate Colbert cards. Not too far from a full career Topps run of buybacks, but his high-numbered '67 rookie stars card and high-numbered '72 (and corresponding In Action) make that an unlikely project to ever complete.

And some more Colberts for my semi-supercollection. Looks like I went on a little shopping spree with Nate in mind on 4/11/2020, as all 12 of these cards were bought on the same day. Some of these weren't good deals ($5+ each for the Ty Cobb back mini and the TCMA? Geez), but just wanted to basically snag anything on the site that I didn't already have.

I think I'd have a good chance of being #1 for Nate Colbert on TCDB. Oh yeah, I just looked it up and the top spot is only 31 cards. I think I could beat that, though then again a lot of my cards of him are proof cards that wouldn't be on the TCDB checklist. But yeah, I should enter in my PC one of these days.

UPDATE: Ok, I did. 

Woo! #1 by a wide margin. Most of the above buybacks plus the APBA "card" aren't listed, so my actual number would be even greater if those were added in.

Dave Henderson is a PC I really enjoy adding to, but he's a relatively recent addition to my crew, so doubt I'd rank too highly on TCDB ("DaClyde" is first with 248 cards, followed by "bronnerea" with 175).. I still need most of his junky base cards (attn: trader buds). A pair of tiffany cards are among the parallels I grabbed this time around. I don't regard 1989 Bowman very highly.. but 1989 Bowman Tiffany? For whatever reason, I love it! Being glossy and printed on high quality cardstock somehow excuses it for the audacity of being oversized and not printing the player's name on the front. The weird by-team stats breakdown thing is still on the back, but at least it's easier to read on bright stock. lol

COMC damaged the Bill Madlock foldy, so I went ahead and folded it as intended by the design. I got it specifically because it was the only card of Mad Dog pictured on the Texas Rangers I didn't have. I might have a shot at the top 10 on TCDB for Madlock, but doubt I'd be too near the top ("bronnerea" repeats as king here with 154).

The Maas and Scioscia cards are imported from the north.

Just wanted to find a couple PC guys cheap as an excuse to add Canadian 1990 Fleer cards to my collection. ("Ptd. in Canada" on the bottom.) Feels like that's some mythic set that I hear about a lot but had never actually seen in-hand before.

Also in the photo, a look at the damage on the Madlock. It was in a long top loader, but it had been cranked pretty hard somehow in packaging and managed to damage the card within it. At least it only cost me $1 so I didn't make a stink about it. But yeah, not cool, COMC.

Mike Sharperson might be a really random player for me to collect, but I decided to build up a collection of his cards after remembering liking him back in my early days as a baseball fan and card collector circa '90-92 which really happened to be his only good seasons. Besides those 3 years, he was mostly on the roster for depth, spending the majority of his time in AAA with occasional promotions to the big league club. He was on the verge of making his Padre debut in 1996 spelling a hurt Ken Caminiti, but was fatally injured in a car wreck on the way to the airport.

TCDB lists 104 total cards with the top collector being "bronnerea" again with 70. It'll be a while till I'm anywhere near that, but enjoy picking up some oddities like these. (The '89 Bowman and middle '91 Topps are tiffany.) Still need most of his junky cards, but I'd rather get those in trade then have to buy them.

I also scored a few needs for my Dan Walters PC, mostly minor league issues. The most expensive of these was the 1989/red one ($3.20), which sadly is another victim of COMC's employee damaging the card during packaging. You can see the top left corner got jacked up. And by context of the package contents, it was clearly damaged during packaging, not already damaged before the fact nor damaged in transit. Boo. I know those guys are rushing to catch up on their backlog, but wish they'd be more careful with the cards.

Dan Walters is yet another player featured in this post whose life was cut short. I don't consciously decide to collect guys who die before reaching old age, but perhaps on some level my heart goes out to them. Collecting their cards might be like my way of paying tribute.. and/or a reminder that life is precious and I should take the time to appreciate every day I wake up in good health.

Walters has just 42 cards listed on TCDB, with ol' "bronnerea" ranked the #1 collector with 26 of them. That guy must either have a huge collection, or we just happen to share a few favorite retired players. I might be able to challenge him on this one, as I think I've got around 20-30 Dan Walters cards.

UPDATE: I've got 24 cards. So close! Good for 2nd; in striking distance of 1st.
One thing that bugs me about TCDB is the arbitrary way cards are assigned to players.
Per TCDB's checklist, the card on the left is considered a Dick Allen card, yet the card on the right isn't considered a Dan Walters card. I suppose "My collection, my rules" doesn't apply when you're using somebody else's website (and the site's many users have plenty of room to edit as they see fit).

Last guy for today is Marcus Giles...

That's an impressive page-worth of refractor goodness, eh!

As I've mentioned plenty of times on the blog, I grew up with Marcus, in the same grade as him at the same school from elementary through community college. So it's cool to collect a former classmate of mine. Like, check it out, a guy in my high school P.E. class is sharing a card with Ken Griffey Jr!-- How cool is that? Plus it's a good excuse for me to add some fun parallels from years that I wasn't actively collecting. And despite three strong seasons in his career, he was never a huge star, so his cards usually don't run me too much cash.

TCDB user "bravefan1" has a commanding lead for the top spot with 143 Marcus Giles cards, but I could probably challenge that total if I added my PC to the site. Too lazy to do that right now-- beautiful Memorial Day weekend over here-- but remind me another day. lol