Friday, July 31, 2015

Aloha, Mariano!

Here's a card I've been sorta after for a while ("grey whale" as the kids call 'em these days). Mariano Rivera's one true rookie. You've gotta give it credit for being an iconic card from the early 90s. It's one of those so-bad-it's-funny cards of freshly-signed teens that Topps and Bowman would include in their sets with photos of the player in street clothes, like they're modeling for an apparel catalog or something. I'm pretty sure this is the king of such cards, as far as value and significance. One of the few base cards from the junk era that's still sought after today, 1992 Bowman's low print run has helped this card hold its value over the years, with raw copies such as this one selling for around $20-25 consistently these days.

Funny thing about this card is it took a 2-day Hawaiian vacation before settling down into my collection.

From neighboring Washington State, inexplicably to Hawaii for a couple days, to me in Portland, Oregon. I hope Mariano enjoyed the island waves and fun in the sun.

This isn't the first time a card I bought on eBay took an unexpected trip to Hawaii on its way to me.

I can't even be mad about it. I'd do the same thing if I were a sentient piece of cardboard. Hawaii is awesome. Especially while I'm stuck in the midst of a miserable 100-degree heat wave here.. I'd love to be splashing on a beautiful beach without a care in the world. Did I mention my boss just told us she has has ovarian cancer? That sucks! I actually like my boss. Makes me ache she has to go through chemo and that shit.

Mariano sort of became a PC of mine recently, thanks in large part to that dimebox I bought a few months ago providing me with a fat stack of his cards. He's nearly halfway to being in my Hundred Card Club now. (Do I talk about my Hundred Card Club too much? If so, sorry. That's just my main method of collecting these days.. get 100 different cards of a guy then move on. So it's sort of a focus, though I understand if not everybody is along for that ride.) This RC joins a jersey relic and a #'d /199 mini as notable cards in the PC. Would love to round it out with an auto someday, but they're still very pricey, so that'll have to wait. So help me god if Trevor Hoffman falls into the Trammel/Ripken dilemma and doesn't get into The Hall, I'm gonna be pissed.

Have a great weekend, err'body!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A David and Goliath mailday

I had a funny mailday yesterday. I received 2 separate cards. One, an expensive big-name certified auto I won on eBay, and the other a TTM of a little-known minor leaguer who's got a steep road ahead of him to ever crack the majors.

And you bet!, I was way more excited about the TTM!

The first TTM request I ever prepared has returned successfully! Johnny Omahen's lovely autograph is a huge score for my Guys From Granite minicollection. I believe this brings my total up to 10 autographs of pro athletes who attended the same high school as me. (Ten different guys, that is. I have multiple autos of some of the 10.)

This return took about a month and a half. As I mentioned before, he was promoted to AA right around the time I mailed off the request, so that might've contributed to the delay, but 45 days isn't bad at all. There was no postmark on the envelope, so I'm not sure where it was mailed from.

I'm now 3-for-3 with my TTM requests, joining the other two that were prepared later but returned sooner. Part of me wants to retire with this perfect percentage, but I'd also love to try some more.

The triforce is complete.
Love 'em!

Ok, and now for Part 2 of this mailday:

Jose Canseco 2004 Topps Retired Refractor Autograph. Jose still has many diehard fans out there who fondly remember his Bash Brothers days at the top of the Hot List. A guy once told me this card is considered a major white whale for many Canseco collectors, so I knew I'd have to be competitive if I wanted to win the auction, and sure enough, I ended up spending more than I did recently on the Nolan Ryan auto from the same set. Yikes! But that's one very tough card down in my quest, so I'm happy about it.

#'d 15/25
While I've never been a huge Canseco fan, I must admit I've quietly started a little PC for him.. part of an overall goal of one day getting every baseball player who guested on The Simpsons into my Hundred Card Club.

So yeah, while I was glad to get the Canseco, it was the Omahen TTM that really had me overjoyed. I even did a dorky celebratory jump!

That's the sign of a truly great mailday!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Big trade roundup from 5 heavy hitters

My trade posts are in danger of slipping out of hand, so here's a big post showing off cards from a few recent (and less recent) trades.

First off is JBF Wes. He's running a big trade-a-thon to net himself a bunch of card packages to stockpile then open on his impending vacation. That's a great idea! What better way to take a vacation to "epic" status than to drown yourself in new cards lovingly sent to you. So anyways, I sent him some cards and these are the 3 that I asked for in return:

A pretty Joey Gallo mini #'d /99. He's had some exciting moments this year, though he has since cooled off, currently sub-Mendoza in AAA.

My first LaDainian Tomlinson relic! This helps round out that PC nicely.

And a Bryce Harper coin. Pretty cool.

Next up is a nice package from Bo.

Here's a quartet of quality Sox. I think that's my first solo card of Garin Cecchini, the lesser-named of the Cecchini brothers, but still ok.

A 1990 UD Marquis Grissom! That's always considered a "hit" in a trade package with me. Bo told me he kept getting bunches of '90 UD in the boxes he bought of his guy on the street. Seems the guy broke up the set and would stuff in a few at a time. Finally in the very last box there was a Grissom! That card sparked Bo to round up a few more cards and send them to me.

Gotta love Rickey.. though Score's "Playgirl" Dream Team shots have a tendency to make one feel uncomfortable. lol

The Giles bros!

Vlad. That guy was a beast in his prime. Apparently he crushed it at the recent All-Star celebrity game. It's a crime he had to retire when nobody offered him a major league contract. Fucking collusion, if you ask me. I have no doubt he'd be right there today along with Arod, LaTroy, Ichiro, and Bartolo under the "old guys still gettin' it done" label.

Here are a couple Padres. It's funny, I think I've gotten 3 of those Benito "SAMPLE" cards (the back is blank except for the word "SAMPLE" across it) in the past year. They must've made a shitton of samples! Seems most "sample" cards like that never actually get produced (as non-samples). Just a gimmick to hand out at card shows, I guess. Still, it's a fine card. I like the Caminiti too. Don't think I had that one.

Bo's package finishes up with some Donruss. Love that Gant swapping orange for the familiar blue in the '88 design.. must be from a traded/update/highlights/whatever set I'm not familiar with.

Next is a lot of Baseball Card Magazine cards from Tony L. He actually sent me these like three months ago, but shortly after, he told me he had some Reggies to send me, and then later, a bunch of penny sleeves he didn't need.. and I just held off figuring I'd do one big Tony L. post instead of 2 or 3 smaller ones. But I guess we got into a trader standoff where each guy has cards to send but is waiting for the other guy. Haha. So enough waiting, here are some cool oddballs cut out of magazines:

I was surprised nobody else jumped on the Junior cards Tony offered up. I was happy to take them off his hands.

My Julio Franco PC is looking pretty good these days. Like Vlad, I bet Julio could still be a viable bat off the bench for a big league club today.

A couple guys with brief, beautiful stays in San Diego.

I already had that Grissom/Walker card.. but since I PC both those guys, I was happy for the dupe.
And I love the Gwynn card, even with Will Clark clogging it up. lol

And here are some Griffeys that were part of the trade package from Adam E (the Mariners fan, not the Red Sox fan) that I forgot to include in that trade post a couple weeks ago:

Some great oddballs in there I'd never seen before.

One last photo for today:

These were some of Daniel Wilson's Goldschmidt dupes that he sent me a few months ago. I showed the rest of the cards Daniel sent back then, but held off on the Goldys because I was planning a big post showing off my entire PC which I probably would have titled "My Goldschmidt Don't Stink" or a similar bad pun. But I haven't gotten around to that yet, so nevermind.

Very big thanks to Wes, Bo, Tony L, Adam, and Daniel for all the great cards!

Ok, that wraps it up.

Trade Housecleaning:

- Have you sent me cards a while ago that I have not featured on my blog yet? Please let me know! Maybe I forgot about it or they never arrived.

- Are you expecting cards from me that haven't arrived and it's been a while now? Please let me know! Maybe I forgot about it or they got lost in the mail. (I've had 2 or 3 recent Listia sales disappear in the mail.)

Here's my internal recordkeeping as of today:

I owe cards:
John Miller

Owe me cards:
Hot Corner

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


This post is a pile of puke compared to my big vintage score yesterday, but here's a buck worth of cards from a nickel box at the recent show. Mostly PC needs from the past couple years.

Giancarlo and Alex Gordon.

Giancarlo again.. and again with a Royal, this time George Brett showing bunt.

Pretty sure I already have these, but Mike Trout cards for 5¢? That's always a wise investment! Plus, if that LL is a dupe, I'll just put it in my Miggy PC instead.

An array of Bowman Platinum.

2014 Heritage represented. That very well might be my 100th different Jake Peavy card.. I need to confirm, but I think that could've finally knocked him off the wantlist.

And a Smoltz and a Reggie Bush to round out the dollar.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A vintage card show haul for the ages!

[Ok, maybe I'm overselling it a little. I didn't score any Mantles, Clementes, or the like. And nothing super old or mega rare. But just a killer deal on a bunch of cards from the 60s and 70s.]

This past weekend was a damn fine card show for me. First I made a beeline to my usual guy and picked out 20 cards from his 50¢ bins. Then I found a decent nickel box from another dealer and picked out a buck's worth. But this post will cover my third and final buy of the day.

I noticed a couple vintage discount bins and started digging. My eyes lit up when I saw a bunch of 65s. I then saw some 73s and knew I'd be camping out in front of these bins for a while. After a minute or two, I heard a familiar voice and realized the dealer was none other than my old "vintage guy".. the one who reminds me of my old high school track coach.. the guy who was on the other end of my first-ever card show purchase (since re-entering the hobby) nearly two years ago, and was the dealer I spent the most time patronizing until he stopped coming to the shows several months ago. Turns out he moved to Denver, but drove up for this show and to visit friends and family in the area.

So it was a nice reunion between me and his sweet vintage cards. I picked out a decent stack of cards. I had thought some of the bins were 25¢ and some were 50¢. As I was ready to pay, he told me that the signs were wrong and they were all 25¢ bins, and after 100 cards they were further discounted to 20¢, and with that new information I cancelled my "checkout" and continued to pile on my stack(s).

Unfortunately, since I had given up on any viable sources for my 73 and 71 setbuilds at this card show (there are only 1 or 2 true vintage dealers left, and both are a bit overpriced), I had left my 73 and 71 needslists at home (my printouts are out of date at this point, and I don't have a smartphone, so I couldn't just bring up the Google Docs spreadsheet). As such, I had to wing it. I focused on 2 groups: cards in the latter half of the sets (since I've already got most low-numbers) and players I've heard of (figuring they could be upgrades, or I could flip them on Listia or use as trade fodder.)

Luckily, my wife was out of town Saturday, as piles of cardboard would overrun our living room once I got back from the show.
I ended up with 250+ cards which cleaned out all the cash I had on me. At around 18¢ per card, I think it might have been my best card show purchase ever.

The discount bins started in 1960. Man, in hindsight, maybe I should have hit an ATM and just gotten all the 60s Topps. But I was restrained and only grabbed 4 Rookie Star cards and a Milt Pappas.
Deron Johnson led the NL with 130 RBI in 1965 and later got a ring with the '73 A's.
Julián (Manuel) Javier was traded to the Cardinals in May 1960 and was their starting second baseman for the next decade, with a couple all-star nods and a couple rings to his credit.

Got a few 1961 Topps too. Again, going for names I've heard of, semi-high numbers, teams I trade a lot, and guys with a rookie star.. because everybody loves rookies! Just look at that fresh-faced Frank Funk!
I went somewhat heavy on Milwaukee Braves cards, figuring one of the many Braves/Milwaukee collectors out there may need them. (If so, speak up, Tony L., John Miller, Wes, et al.)

Ended up with just one '62, no '63s, and a couple pairs of rookies from '64. Sammy Ellis is probably the most accomplished of this bunch, a 22-game winner in 1965.

Speaking of 1965, next up is what I'd consider the crown of the purchase:

Big stack of 1965 Topps! This is a set I'll probably work on completing one day in the not too distant future, though I'd like to first finish off 1973 before giving it too much attention. Between this haul, the lot I graciously got from Kevin G. a couple months ago, and the smattering of singles I already had, I would bet I'm at around one-third complete with this set already (it's 598 cards total), though I've yet to sort them out and work out a haves/wants list. This is another instance of where in hindsight, maybe I should have hit the ATM and just grabbed all the 1965 cards. After all, finding a cache of '65 singles in solid condition for 18 cents each isn't something that comes along very often in one's life.

Next are a few '66s and a '67. Love that Pat Corrales with the big all-star rookie trophy and the "Are you there, God? It's me, Pat" photo. Mudcat Grant. Big Jim Gentile. Miracle Met Art Shamsky. Some fun names there! And the rookie pairing of Darold Knowles and Andy Etchebarren both went on to fine, long major league careers.

No '68s. But a few '69s. A couple years ago I bought a big lot of '69s off eBay that I've since distributed away in trades and Listia sales, so I'm a little burnt out on the set, but these few cards caught my eye.

While I'm not a big fan of 1970 Topps, the gettin' was good, as they say, and so I got! Many big names here, including LL cards jam-packed with HOFers.

The Reggie 2nd year LL with Killebrew and Hondo was one of the cards that really had my eyes popping out when I came across it. The McCovey AS would have been even better, though it has a big crease not very visible in the photo that knocks it down a bit.

I doubled up on the infamous "cock fighting" card!

Scored a couple bat-rack shots, as well. Gotta love 'em.

1971 Topps is the other vintage set I'm rounding the corner with. With no needslist on me, I grabbed cards of big names and cards with high(ish) numbers. I haven't had a chance to sort them out with my setbuild yet, though I anticipate plenty of needs and upgrades here.

I have valiantly fought off any urges to ever entertain thoughts of one day considering to complete 1972 Topps, and that remains true today. But I went ahead and picked up a few guys I've heard of. There weren't really any true high-numbers to be found, but I got a few in the #400-500 range.

When I got home and sorted out my stack of probably about 60 cards from 1973 Topps, it turned out I only really needed about 4 or 5 of them. So that was a bit of a bummer. ...BUT... 90% of the other cards (dupes) I ended up with were condition upgrades for my setbuild, so it definitely wasn't a waste and still well worth the expenditure. A Buddy Bell RC for 18 cents?! Shu?-YEAH!

Anybody need an Al Hrabosky RC? I'm your guy.

1974 Topps is a set that doesn't do much for me, but ended up with a nice little lot of cards, highlighted by a terrific Vida Blue card I've been after for a long time.

Then we skip up to '78...

Like with '74, I've never been wild about 1978 Topps, but I was very happy to pick up these dozen A-listers, even if I already had some of them.

Finally, here are a few 79s I was compelled to throw on my stack for whatever reason.

The guy even had some modern cards mixed in, and I ended up with a buck or two worth of them, but I'll keep this post to vintage and save the rest for another time.

So yeah, this haul was a very nice boost to the pre-80s area of my collection. It'll help me to not get too jealous next week reading about all The National hauls that'll be popping up on the cardsphere. And it was great to dig through "my vintage guy's" stock again for old time's sake. He was talking about maybe toying with the idea of moving back to Oregon (the Denver altitude is tough on his breathing), and man, that'd be nice. I love when I can pick up a cheap stack of old cardboard at a show.

I should mention that much of this stuff is available for trade (barring setbuilding/PC needs of mine), so don't be shy to ask about anything if you saw something you need.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sentimental Sundays sequel

Sentimental Sundays continues this week with some more childhood crap I dug up.
Like last time, let's begin with a ticket stub.

Unlike last time, this ticket has clearly been used, so there's little doubt I did in fact attend this contest, though I have no specific memory of it. Funny that the opponent is once again the Astros. Also just like last week's ticket, it was a Sunday afternoon game.

Looking up 6/2/91 Pads vs. Houston on baseball-reference... hurray, San Diego was victorious 3-1! Starting pitcher Adam Peterson (never heard of him) combined with relievers Mike Maddux and Craig Lefferts on a 2-hitter. Houston's 2 hits both came off the bat of future-Friar Steve Finley. Damn you, Steve! Were it not for you, the Padres might have thrown their first and only no-hitter! Maybe then the name Adam Peterson would be revered in San Diego instead of completely forgotten.

Anyways, the Padres fielded a classic lineup that day, featuring Bip in center, Gwynn in right, and Benito behind the plate. Toronto imports Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff anchored the infield. Benito went deep and Gwynn had a pair of hits. Among the hitless Astros were Biggio, Bagwell, Caminiti, and Luis Gonzalez. Another notable name I got to see in person that day (assuming we didn't leave too early) was Curt Schilling, who finished the game for Houston with 1.2 scoreless innings in relief.

Sounds like a fine day at the ballpark.

Ok, now here's some more random crap from my childhood that I've held onto.

Oh look, I'm an official member of G.I. Joe! Jealous? No expiration date, so it's still valid, one would imagine. I should probably start peppering my everyday conversations with "Yo Joe!" (Expect GI Joe stuff to be a staple of these Sentimental Sundays posts.. that was my favorite toy as a kid.)

Here's a pair of 3-D glasses. Remember these? I still haven't seen a modern-day 3-D movie, but it's my understanding that 3D technology has improved and they no longer use the blue-red method, right? This is a cheapo pair of "glasses" (you need to hold them up to your eyes) that I got from a special issue of National Geographic. I remember that issue.. it had some cool 3D pictures of the surface of Mars n' stuff like that. It was pretty neat. Don't think I kept the magazine, though.

We end this installment of Sentimental Sundays with a couple... um, pogs, maybe? They're a little bigger than a standard pog. But yeah, these are a couple lenticular Bugs Bunny discs that appear to be dated from 1990. Not sure where I got them, but probably a food product freebie or fast food kid's meal (I'm guessing Wendy's). Kinda neat, but I have no idea why I held onto them other than my ingrained "collector" mentality. I was never a huge Looney Tunes fan or anything. Anybody want these? I'd be happy to throw them in free with a card trade.

See you next time!