Saturday, March 31, 2018

COMC pickups + Joy of a Completed Set: 1984 Fleer + joining TCDB

Just got in my first COMC order since last Black Friday. I probably should have waited till the "Spring Cleaning Sale Event" (or whatever) when they might offer free shipping, but I got impatient.

Frank Robinson's getting lots of face time on my blog lately, first with a '57 rookie card the other day, now a couple of legend variations from 2011.

More sweet legends variations, coincidentally three New York players here.

And yet more liquorfractors for my 2011 Topps parallel frankenset. Highlights for me here include the last Padres Cy Young winner, Jake Peavy, and fellow Grossmont College alum, Sean O'Sullivan. 44.86% complete now (576/1284).

Also snagged a half-dozen needs for my 2004 Topps Chrome black refractor parallel set. Can't get enough of these! 28.95% complete now.

Sometimes I search 1957 Topps by cheapest-first and see what needs I can pick up for a buck or less. These are all "filler grade" and I wouldn't mind upgrading them someday (though I'd be fine with an off-condition set), but I'm happy to check them off my wantlist. Regular readers of this blog are likely getting sick of seeing '57 Topps on here, but these will likely be the last of it for a while. Now up to 29.98% complete.. Just a card away from cracking 30%!

More from my COMC order coming soon, but let's end this post with a card generously sent to me by friendly reader Fred S...

This Rickey Henderson brings me to 100% complete on 1984 Fleer! It's a very nice looking set. I never had many cards from it in my collection, but always liked it. Feels great to own the complete set now. (Would love to compliment it with the '84 Fleer Update set, though that one might be tougher to complete thanks to Clemens and Puckett. Maybe someday!) And like '83 Topps before it, I completed this one entirely through trading, no purchases, which makes it a bit more special to me. Got it done pretty quickly, too. Night Owl got the build going just last August.

Big thanks for the generous PWE, Fred!
(He also included a 2017 Bowman Chrome Gavin Lux.) Check him out on the Trading Card Database, user CubinSTL and CubinSTLSets. One of these days I'll figure out how to use TCDB and dig up something to return the favor.

In fact, I just went ahead and registered (user defgav), and while I don't think I'll ever enter my entire collection to the site, I'll likely try to use it to work up some trade help for sets and whatnot. Any TCDB users have tips for me?

Friday, March 30, 2018

Joy of a Completed Set: 1980 Topps.. but nuts to that-- more 57s!

Big thanks to EP of Old Red Sox Cards for finally knocking off the last card I needed to complete 1980 Topps.

I wouldn't have expected this pedestrian Ruppert Jones to be the final card I acquired, but that's how setbuilding goes sometimes.

I feel like I've posted about the set enough the past few months, so I won't rehash too much here or post a bunch of pictures. But yeah, it's a cool set, and plenty of sentimental value to me thanks to being the first cards I ever owned as a kid. Even though I didn't really start collecting till a few years later, still feels kinda like the completion of my ultimate longest-running setbuild, in a way.

But the closure celebration can't quite reach 100% yet as I've still got a few cards I'd either like to upgrade (16 cards) or would like a dupe of for PC guys (6 cards). So my 1980 Topps wantlist will remain up for the time being.

But the key part of EP's trade package was– true to his blog's name– old Red Sox cards.. specifically a bunch of Red Sox I needed for my '57 Topps set!

The part of the trade that got me to agree to give up a bunch of primo trade fodder were the 5 cards from the tough 4th series (cards 265-352), including Haywood Sullivan who got the same "orange sky" treatment as the classic Brooks Robinson RC.

Jim Piersall might be the best known name in the group. Of course the biggest one in the team set is Ted Williams, which I picked up earlier this month.

I'm now just #342 Gene Mauch away from completing the Boston team set. Not bad! (*This factors in an additional Red Sock from a COMC order that just arrived today. Post[s] to follow.)

EP helped me blast past the ¼-complete mark with '57-- in fact, I'm all the way up to 28% now (117/417). Pretty sweet!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Turning a good pull into a great haul

Back on Christmas Day 2016, I opened a gift box of 2015 Tier One and pulled a 1/1 auto of Alex Cobb. It was bittersweet because it's a thrill to pull a true 1/1, but an oft-injured pitcher on the Rays? Yeah, a bit of a disappointment compared to other possible names I could have pulled.

But then Cobb came back for a solid 2017 season, and just recently signed a big free agent contract with the Orioles. I figured while his name was in the news was a good time to throw my 1/1 on eBay and see if I got any interest, admittedly at a "reaching" price.

Turns out there's an Alex Cobb supercollector out there, and while he didn't jump at my big asking price, he sent me a message about the possibility of working out a deal. I let him know I'd be open to trading, as I'm definitely a collector first and foremost, not really much of a seller.

And it worked out great for all involved, as he got a nice 1/1 auto to add to his impressive Alex Cobb collection, and I got a sweet bunch of cards from him (even more than I was expecting) which I will now show off to you.

My first graded Mantle.. with Boog Powell and Harmon Killebrew along as well. Pretty cool! I already had this card in my '65 set, but this one will likely "upgrade" the old one, which will in turn get bumped to the Mickey PC. (I definitely love Killer, but it's hard to trump top The Mick).

Minnesota had a lot of sluggers that year.

This is pretty incredible. Before this, I think my highest-graded vintage card was a PSA 6, but now I've got this pristine specimen slabbed a 9. I'm not even a big graded-cards guy, but that's pretty neat.. A "pack-fresh" card that's nearly 50 years old. I collect both HOFers on the card, but will likely give the nod to Bob Gibson for PC placement.

Perhaps the only thing stopping the card from being graded a perfect 10 is that the back is slightly off center. Several greats listed there.

Getting into modern cards, here's a George Springer #'d /99. Looks like he's off to a hot start this season, continuing where he left off after his big World Series. ("According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first leadoff home run for a defending World Series champion. Springer also is the only player ever to hit a leadoff home run on Opening Day in consecutive years." [source])

Love this Randy Jones blue parallel auto #'d /199. (Sorry most of these are still in the top loaders and team bags, but I was rushing to take these photos this morning before work.)

And he surprised me with a Gavin! White Sox prospect Gavin Sheets #'d 025/100. Very nice.

Sweet Reggie Bush jersey relic, #'d /299. A hometown hero of mine, I hadn't heard much about him lately so I did a wiki search; turns out he announced his retirement in December 2017. Never quite lived up to his hype out of college, but still put together a solid career and got himself a Super Bowl ring.

And last card of the post, a beautiful Adam Jones auto, #'d 11/15. The gold ink on a textured black surface looks awesome. While I'm not sure this counts as a true "on-card" signature, I can't complain about this card at all. Just need to throw a bird logo on the helmet and it'd be damn near perfect. He's a fun guy to collect. The San Diego native has put together a Hall of Very Good worthy career in Baltimore. (Update: Looks like he hit a walk-off tatter in their opener today. Nice.)

So there you go! Excellent haul for an Alex Cobb autograph I didn't have much use for!
Thanks again for the trade, Reid. (Anybody else sitting on an Alex Cobb 1/1? He's your guy.)

Thanks for reading and enjoy the start of the baseball season, everybody! I get tomorrow off (Good Friday), so I'm looking forward to a long weekend of baseball.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Chugging along with a big 57 rookie and some Twitter trades

The other day I celebrated getting a raise by picking up a 1957 Topps Roberto Clemente. And this was hot on the heels of splurging on a '57 Ted Williams with motivation from a 20% off eBay coupon code. The same day I got the Clemente, I threw a bid on a Frank Robinson rookie and ended up winning it for a solid price.

Love it! Not in perfect condition, but good enough shape to where I doubt I'll ever worry about upgrading it. The "Underrated Hall of Famer" Frank Robinson has always been a guy I liked and had a small PC going for, but never really collected him too hard. Who would have thought I'd eventually end up owning his rookie card. Pretty neat.

I'll likely cool it on picking up more big names for my '57 set for a while now, but I do have a bunch of commons on the way via a pending COMC order and a recently agreed-upon trade.

- - ---o

The other vintage set I'm focused on at the moment is '64 Topps, and I recently got some surprise help there through Nick Vossbrink, whom I became familiar with on Twitter (@vossbrink), though he's also a blogger (NJWV). He's got some interesting insights, so be sure to check his stuff out if you haven't yet. He's a Giants collector, and had some '64 dupes that needed a home. He also knows a lot about photography and printing, so he could probably give you a good explanation why these cards have varying orange/yellow tints.

Nick also hooked me up with this glorious Bill Madlock oddball. I little research reveals this card as part of the 1979 KNBR San Francisco Giants San Francisco Police set.

And here's the back, if you were curious. It's a bit taller than a standard card. Nice addition to my Mad Dog PC.

Thanks, Nick! Dropped a little thank-you package of cards in the mail for you today.

-  - - --o

Last thing to mention today is a 2-card PWE via Twitter.

Tim (@MaxxPower68) kindly got in touch with me regarding some of the last remaining '84 Fleer cards I needed. Even though I struck out finding a good return for him quite yet, he went ahead and sent Nolan and Gaylord my way for future trade considerations. Very nice.. Thanks, Tim! He's currently working on '84 Donruss (a set I hope to get cranking on soon) and is a big Rams fan, so consider reaching out to him if you've got some such cards to trade.

Anyways, now I'm only one last card away from completing '84 Fleer (Rickey), and I think I've got that on the way from a friendly reader named Fred (he says it was mailed today).. so I'm hoping that shows up soon and I can put this set to bed.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Cards on Cards in Person

Working just down the road from each other in downtown Portland, Kerry of Cards on Cards and I have met up to exchange cards a few times, but last week's Cardblogger Con NW '18 was the first time we actually got to hang out for a while rather than just hand off cards. I also got to meet Kerry's card-collecting partner in crime, Erin, who joined our group midway through, so that was pretty cool, too.

Kerry had sent over a nice bunch of cards for me as a contest-losing consolation prize just a few days before, so I wasn't expecting him to have more for me so soon, but happily for me, he was able to scrounge up some more good cards to give me at the meetup.

Beam Team cards seem to be some of the best looking inserts around these days. Love this Trout.

A couple more nice Trouts and a sliding Harper.

Here we've got a couple high-end McCutchens and a pair of Royals standouts.

I casually mentioned on my blog once that, while I don't really follow basketball, I might consider the Spurs my favorite NBA team in recent years, specifically because Tim Duncan seems like a neat dude (and Coach Pop, too). And with Kerry being a big basketball card collector without a ton of trading options on the cardsphere, took that to heart and has been a big contributor to my small b-ball collection since. Some cool Duncans in this lot, including a shiny sticker.

Also a few from Ginobili and Tony Parker.

And a mess of David Robinson.

Thanks for the cards, Kerry! Glad you were able to make it to the meetup and ended up being able to stay for a good while even though you had prior plans later in the evening. Great hanging with you and Erin and everybody.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

GCRLive: cards as I receive them

I briefly met gcrl a year or two ago when he was in Portland for business. When he came back around this time, we turned it into a big cardblogger meetup. He was nice enough to bring along cards for the group. Let's take a look at what he had for me.

Kicking it off with college cards of a couple Padres greats, plus some other very goods players of yesteryear.

Here are some current guys, including 3 additions for my new Eric Hosmer PC. That 2018 Donruss Arenado card was "pack fresh" as can be, as gcrl had the foresight to pick up a few packs at Target for us to rip together, and that was among the cards pulled.

A couple infielders who didn't quite pan out longterm in San Diego, Sean Burroughs and Marcus Giles. The encased gold refractor Burroughs is #'d 086/170.

The Marquis Grissom is appreciated for my big Marquis Mania project. The two 1980 Topps cards are upgrades for my set (they have unchecked checklists on the back, which I prefer over marked-on cards). And the four 1987 Fleer Update cards get me closer to completing that little set.

And we'll end with this sweet Norm Zauchin, a high number for my '57 Topps setbuild. Love getting help there via trades.

Thanks again, man! It was great seeing you. Sorry I'm running low on Dodgers at the moment, but hope you were happy with the cards I rounded up for you.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

1957 Clemente and over the hump with 1964!

Earlier this week, I got an unexpected meeting notification for a one-on-one with my boss. I stressed out for the next hour or so until the meeting, anxiously wondering what it was all about, fearing something bad.

But I had nothing to worry about, and turns out I got a surprise raise!

Of course I wanted to celebrate with splurging on a card or two, and that evening I decided on picking off another big name on my '57 Topps setbuild.

And it's a great one. The legendary Roberto Clemente! It's graded PSA 3.5, in the sweet spot of looking good and not breaking the bank.

Look at that tiny "complete record" at that point! It's just his 3rd card. I'd love to pick up his 1955 rookie sometime, as well as his 1956.

Speaking of Pirates all-time greats, I also won an auction for a couple off-condition Willie Stargell cards, just $6 shipped for the pair. The '64 is his first solo card after having a floating-heads rookie in '63.

The '66 will go in the PC, and the '64 will go to the setbuild, though hopefully I upgrade it someday and this lesser condition card will get bumped to the PC. (I'm still conflicted whether to give priority to the sets or the PCs in situations like this. What do you guys do when you have 2 copies of a card of a guy you collect from a set you're working on and one is in better condition than the other?)

I also recently won an auction for a 33-card lot from 1964 Topps that worked out to less than a buck per, and included some nice ones in addition to commons.

Many big names in these League Leaders!

Plenty of minor stars.

Mostly in nice-enough condition, though some are upgradeable.

There were some dupes for me, but still a good purchase. Thanks to this lot, I've crossed the halfway point with the set. I've got an even 300 cards out of the 589 on my checklist, good for 50.93% complete.

So yeah, picked up a '57 Clemente and can technically say I've now got the majority of 1964 Topps.. it was a good week for the two vintage setbuilds I'm currently working on!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Cardblogger Con NW '18 recap

Five card-bloggers getting together for drinks and conversation. Really good time! Gcrl (Cards As I See Them), Rod (Padrographs), Kerry (Cards on Cards), Ken (Cardboard Hogs), and myself (Baseball Card Breakdown). If you know of more cardbloggers getting together at once, let me know, but otherwise I'll consider this the record-breaker for most cardbloggers hanging out in person. Lots of fun, swapping cards and sharing stories.

I don't have much time for blogging today (and I'm a little hungover), so I'll just cover the cards I got from Ken now, and get to the others soon.

Ken was a late invite, which I feel bad about, but I know he's got his hands full these days with work and his kids, and hasn't blogged much in the past year, so I didn't think the chances were good that'd he'd be able to make it into downtown for the meetup. But I'm glad I thought to invite him better late than never, and that it worked with his schedule, because he's a good dude and definitely a welcome addition to the group.

Kicking things off with neat inserts and parallels of young Padres. Sounds like Renfroe might be on the trading block.

Pair of Margots. Hoping for a big '18 season from him.

Some San Diego favorites from the past. Rollie gets in on consecutive posts, featured here on a Berger's Best reprint.

Nice batch of Bowman prospects.

Full team set of 2005 Portland Beavers! Love the mascot card. I kind of regret not catching any Beavers games before they went away a few years ago. (Today happens to be my 9 year anniversary of moving to Portland.)

And a few more Padres (and USA Drew Pomeranz).

Good stuff.. thanks, Ken. Great seeing you. Sorry I was out of Redskins and had to resort to a custom-heavy lot hitting some of your PC guys, but hope you got a kick out of them.

And thanks again to the other fellas who came out to the get-together. I hope we can do it again sometime. Looking forward this weekend to going through the rest of the cards I brought home thanks to you guys.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!