Saturday, September 30, 2017

My White Whales

Blog bat-around time. Here are 10 (or so) cards I'm keeping an eye out for.

1914 Cracker Jack Gavvy Cravath would be a crowning addition to my Greatest Gavins collection. But it's too expensive, so I might have to give up on it. No way I'm paying 4-figures for this card, as it typically goes for. Maybe if I luck into a beat-up PSA1 for a couple hundred, I'll go for it.

Just need the black and cyan plates for the 2014 Archives master Bip Roberts rainbow.

This 1992 Fleer Ultra Casa de Amparo is actually a "grey whale" since I could nab it right now for $11 if I wanted, but I'd like to hold out for single digits, closer to $3, preferably.. seeing as it's essentially a junk wax card. Would be nice to complete the 1992 Fleer Ultra green marble Gwynn tribute. (Technically, I already own this card, but it's in very rough shape, so I'd like to upgrade.) [Update: got one!]

A sentimental pick here, a 1990 Upper Deck Tony Gwynn in a thick slab of lucite was given as a birthday present to my buddy Doug back in the day (circa 1991), and then eventually traded to me, and then I got rid of it when I moved out of state. Now I regret it, and though it's a silly, pointless "paperweight" of a thing, would love to find another one of these, but haven't come across one in the years since.

Here's a tie for a coupe Kirby Puckett autos. This 1996 Leaf Signatures auto (pictured) or the 2003 Topps Retired auto (preferably the /25 refractor parallel, but that'd probably be too rich for my blood) would be sweet to add to my collection.
(Update: I've since gotten the 1996 Leaf Signature card!)

Nickname auto! I want a Bill Madlock certified autograph with the "Mad Dog" included in the signature. Got eyes on one on eBay right now, so back off. In fact, let's post this at midnight on Friday night, and not tweet out the link to the post, just to make sure the number of views is minimal.
(Update: I've since gotten a couple different "Mad Dog" nickname inscription autos!)

Now, I don't want this Nolan Ryan... I actually want the Chris Jones 1985 Astros team issue postcard, but the Ryan is the only one I've ever seen from the set, so it's pictured here. I've got a few minor league cards of Chris Jones (white guy from the 80s, not to be confused with the black guy from the 90s), a guy who went to my high school, but the only collectible item from his brief stint in the bigs is the team issued postcard. Hopefully one pops up for sale someday.

I need the 1/1 metal parallel to complete the 2016 Bowman master rainbow for John Omahen, the only mainstream release he got, another dude from my high school. He didn't pitch in 2017, so I'm assuming he hung them up. I'll have to do a "Guys From Granite 2017 Recap" post soon. Anyways, pictured is the base auto, but I don't think the metal parallel looks much different, just a little grayer. Odds are some shlub pulled it and didn't even realize it was a 1/1. But hopefully it pops up for sale someday.

Man, I went looking for a picture of this 2009 Goodwin Champions Dick Allen auto just now and saw one had sold on eBay recently for "$40 Or best offer". Goddamnit! I would have happily paid the full $40. I'll have to revise my search terms so it doesn't slip by me again. Love the badass look on his face and the sunset backdrop. Been trying to land one of these for a few years now after narrowly missing out on it. Heartbreaking that I just missed out on it again (If it's any consolation, this one looks to be pretty off-center). But someday!
(Update: Finally got one in Oct 2018!)

That's it. I could have also listed big cards like a Clemente rookie, '52 Topps Mantle, and whatnot (such as 2004 Topps Retired autos of Aaron and Banks needed for my setbuild), but these above are some special cards that I'm specifically keeping an eye out for these days.

Oh, and it seems there's been a rash of spambots commenting on the cardsphere lately, so I messed with my settings and-- at least temporarily-- you need to be a "member" to post a comment here now. I believe that's the same as being a follower. Hopefully the few regulars who comment on my blog are still able to comment. Sorry for the inconvenience. UPDATE: well, apparently "member" of the blog only means me. That won't do. So I undid that change. I really wish Blogger would get better anti-spam options. Oh well.

Thanks for reading, guys.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Retail Success! (Bellingers from the grocery store)

I had a grocery store coupon for "$10 off when you spend $40"... Which for us card collectors translates to "Buy 1 blaster, get a 2nd blaster for ½ off." The past couple weeks, they didn't have any interesting baseball cards available and the coupon went unused (booze was not applicable for the coupon, sadly). But this past weekend there were a few 2017 Topps Heritage High Number blasters and 2017 Bowman Mega Boxes. Good enough for me! I grabbed one of each.

The Mega Boxes are only $14.99 (not quite a full blaster), but after a gallon of milk, a box of cereal, and a few jalapeƱos, I was over the $40 total and in the clear for my ten bucks off.

Were the boxes good to me? Yes, they were pretty solid! Let's check out the highlights...

Hello! Commander Cody is the best base card you can hope to pull from '17 HHN, so I was happy to land it in the 2nd pack. NL rookie home run record breaker. Juiced ball or not, gotta respect that!

Turns out I grabbed a Purple Refractor hot box! Got one of these per pack. Unfortunately no marquee names among them, but still a nice treat.

A couple High Number high numbers (SPs, >700) plus a dark-back parallel.

As a Padres fan, I was happy to pull the Allen Cordoba RC (a Rule 5 fleecing from the Cardinals) and the Renfroe insert and Solarte. (Bummer that Luis Torrens didn't make the checklist.)

Some other notables. I collect Lindor, but the rest are available for trade.

Ok, I had typed up some "political" stuff here, spurred on by the Bruce Maxwell pull. But instead I think I'll just simply say that racism sucks and I hate this joke of a president Russia saddled us with.
But yeah, plenty of other cards available for trade if anyone's working on the set or trying to finish off a team set.. just let me know.

Next onto the Bowman mega box...

YES!! Two-for-two in pulling Bellingers! Chrome parallel here. Silly puffer-fish facial expression aside, very happy to pull this card.

And another! A shiny one, at that! With 3 Bellingers pulled from 2 boxes, there was no buyer's remorse to be had. Can't beat that! Those 3 cards alone pretty much covered my $25 purchase price. I've made a couple different customs featuring Cody Bellinger, but these are my first real cards of his.

The rest of my bonus Chrome mega box refractor pack pulls were decent too, with Clint Frazier, Brent Honeywell, and a #'d Ronald Guzman among them. While I'm not a huge fan of this "Autobot logo" style refractor Topps has been overusing this year, still gotta admit they look pretty cool when the light is dancing off them.

A Gavin and some other notable young'uns and guys I collect.

Some solid Chrome parallels among them.

And before we wrap it up.... Pa'DOW:

I sure don't pull autos from retail very often.. Hell, as far as non-promised autographs go, this might only be my 2nd or 3rd such pull ever! I don't think Domingo Acevedo is exactly a big-name prospect, but he's on track to make it up to the Bronx in the next year or two if he keeps pitching like he has been. I'll probably hold onto this stickergraph unless Zippy really wants it.

So yeah, I'm glad I had that $10-off coupon to motivate me to pick up these 2 boxes. They definitely provided me with some good cards. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sentimental Sundays: The Return

These are always fun posts for me. It's been over a year, but I'm bringing back this series where I take a look at some stuff from my childhood.

I've got a shoebox plus a binder filled mostly with cards from my first go-round with the hobby (1990 through 1993). There are also a few cards from when I dipped my toe back in circa 2012, before I dove back in full-steam in 2013. I think it's about time I assimilated all these "old" cards into my current collection (sorting them into PCs, setbuilds, or in some cases, casting them into the wasteland of my "for trade" boxes). But first I thought I'd feature a good chunk of them here on the blog for posterity. So that's gonna be the meat of these next few installments of Sentimental Sundays.

Here's the earliest Beckett I ever had. (and one of only 2 that I still own.. I'll have to show the 2nd one in a future Sentimental Sunday.) I remember I was very happy that I was able to land it back then. Probably the fastest Beckett to ever sell out. This was the pinnacle of the baseball card craze, at least for me. It's a classic sports photo.

And here it is again, this time in card form. I had a decent little Bo Jackson PC back then, but I think I picked the best 2 cards to hang onto.

Let's check the Beckett..

The "Bo Jackson FB/BB" card had risen to $10 in its commemorative Beckett. I'm pretty sure it climbed even higher on the strength of this issue. An anecdote I like to tell is how during the height of the card's hype, my LCS was selling the Bo alone under glass for $25, and on the shelf, the entire 1990 Score set that included it for $23.99. (Ok, my memory's not good enough to remember the exact numbers for sure.. but it was something ridiculous along those lines.)

While we're at it, let's look up the '87 Topps Bo...

Holding steady at $4. Not bad. Funny that Jamie Moyer and his 15¢ RC would go on to outlive all these guys in the MLB (though Julio Franco, just getting on the board at 10¢, gave him a run for his money).

Here's a solid lot of 1990 cards of John Smoltz. Probably not worth even a buck combined these days, but still nice to have. I remember I was pretty swept up with the 1990 Donruss errors back then, like this MVP subset card with Tom Glavine erroneously pictured, or all the All-Star cards that had the "recent major league stats" on the back rather than the correct "all-star game performance" or whatever. I still wonder if Donruss purposely put out all those errors to build buzz in the wake of '89 Fleer's "F-face" card and sell more packs.. or if their QC department was just really sloppy that year.

Here's a rare instance of my early "prospecting" paying off. Pretty sure I pulled all 3 of these here 1990 Moises Alou cards from packs myself. The '90 Score is the only one listed in the Bo Beckett (25¢.. I think it's more or less held that value.) I like Moises, but don't really full-on collect him.. probably because my main memory of him as a player is throwing his glove down in disgust after Steve Bartman's crowd interference.

Speaking of the Bartman, can't have a Sentimental Sundays post without showing some non-card/non-baseball items too..

Let's check out this folder of stuff I've labeled "Silly". I remember buying this plastic Simpsons thing (what is it.. a placemat? As a kid, I taped it up on my wall) from a toy store (can't recall the name.. not Kaybee, not Toys R Us... I wanna say the name started with a P.) While I was big into the Simpsons ever since the first season, I never had a ton of merch to show for it. I did have a bootleg Bart shirt I bought for like $5 at Kobey's (San Diego's biggest Swap Meet). Also had (still have?) a floppy-frisbee disc I think I've showed on the blog before at some point. And like a single pack of cards. And now I own seasons 1 through 14 on DVD, if that counts for anything.

Some clippings. God, I love the Far Side. And Winnie-the-Pooh and tropical Bugs. And if you click on it to enlarge it, there's some funny stuff to read in that newspaper column. I sure must have gotten a kick out of it as a kid to cut it out and save it.

Santa at the Zoo coloring book cover. Got a lot of mileage out of that coloring book as a kid.. had to hang onto the cover at least. As for the Banquet frozen dinner box? Well, I just thought the picture of Tony Stewart was hilarious. Whenever I see it, I do a funny, high-pitched voice saying, "Yippie! Yippie do, yippie dee. Yippie for me!!" This isn't too old.. circa 2007. I wonder if this is worth anything now. Any Tony Stewart fans want to trade me for it?

"Yippie do, yippie dee. Yippie for me!!"
I ate a lot of these frozen dinners back in my bachelor days. Thanks to my wife, now I get fresh-cooked meals. In a pinch, though, I still happily chow down a Banquet Chicken Fried Beef Steak Meal. A 99¢ frozen pizza with a side of frozen peas was also a staple of my single days.

Sorry this isn't really very legible, but here's my rough draft outline of my "Weezer vs. Mr. T" website from July 2001. I should probably just throw this away, but I guess I've got some hoarder tendencies, and hey, gotta love the old-school style of printer paper with the holes on the sides. Don't see this very often anymore. Hell, even when I used it to sketch out a silly webcomic, it wasn't really used anymore, but I think I had some leftover from my grampa and I kept it around for scratch paper.

That's gonna do it for today. Hope you enjoyed. I'll have more nostalgic stuff next Sunday. Have a great week, guys. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

1965 Topps nearly wrapped up

If you're getting sick of the frequent 1965 Topps posts on my blog lately, well, good news.. I'm nearly done with the set!

Featured today are some recent eBay pickups. I also have several recently purchased cards sitting in my COMC inventory, but I think I'm going to try to exercise some patience and wait a couple months until Black Friday weekend to take advantage of free shipping.

Barring any mistakes in my recordkeeping, I'm down to needing to secure just one last card:
#236 Denny McLain
If anyone wants to be a hero and knock off the final card for me, that'd be sweet, but if so, don't be long. Since I'm likely waiting till late November to get the COMC cards shipped, I figure there's no rush on the Denny, but I'll get around to it sooner rather than later, I'm sure.

Killer, Boog, and the Mick.

Another Mantle appearance. Neat action shot.

A slabbed Yogi.

Sweet-swinging Billy Williams.

Good ol' Don Drysdale.

Tony Oliva with the majestic All-Star Rookie trophy.

No surprise that there's a bunch of Yankees among the final few needed cards for a vintage set.

And the rest. Jesus Alou is probably the biggest name of this bunch.. and an SP to boot.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A trade roundup to let the sunshine in

Three recent incoming trades to feature.

First up is Mark Hoyle, who surprised me with a package of oversized cards.

Great looking Winfield. This is my first 1980 Topps Super card.

These Topps Baseball Foldouts panels from 1983 are postcard sized. They're separated, but apparently they come connected, hence the name, and are double sized. For example, Steve Garvey is on the other side of Bill Madlock... both guys I collect, but lucky for me I keep my oversized cards in a separate box, so I don't have to decide which PC to store it with.

Big thanks, Mark!

-   - - -- o

Next is a PWE from Sport Card Collectors.

Nice Conforto mini, though the star of the show is the Vogelmoster autograph. It's my first of his in a Seattle uniform. Seems he's been getting a lot of love from Topps this year, though he still hasn't done much in his limited MLB action. While my enthusiasm for collecting him has waned lately (unlike P-town Tom), still nice to add another auto of his.

And a few Padres cards, including a #'d diecut Kemp, and a couple Templeton buybacks.

Thanks, SCC!

- - - ---o

Finally, here's a surprise PWE from Dimebox Nick.

Here's a Gavin and a few big names of today. The Cecchini is a fancy parallel #'d 18/25. I think the Trout is my first card from the 2017 National Baseball Card Day promotion. Dig the early Donaldson card.

Some late, great Padres of the past. Always love getting new cards from these guys. Especially exciting to see the minor league Caminiti.

Some more quality Padres.

And very cool to land needed cards from Bake McBride and Vida Blue. The glow-in-the-dark Ginter mini is also appreciated, though I already have it. In fact, I think this is the 3rd copy I've gotten of Aquarius, which is kinda crazy seeing as I only have 3 of the 10 Constellations cards so far. This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius, indeed.

Thanks, Nick!

And thanks again to Mark and SCC. I was proactive putting returns to you 3 guys in the mail quickly, and they should be arriving any day now.