Sunday, September 30, 2018

If they were full bleed: 1985 Topps edition

Here's an old blog series I haven't done in a while: If They Were Full-Bleed. It's where I mess around in Photoshop and whip up an approximation of what classic card designs would have looked like had full-bleed (no border) designs been all the rage back then like they are these days.

Be warned, it might hurt your brain to see very familiar cards turned inside-out like this!

Here's a Kirby Puckett rookie in what 1985 Topps may have looked like without borders.

And howabout Steve Carlton? Lefty's '85 Topps card isn't among his best, but getting a little more of the photo not eaten by the border doesn't hurt.

What do you think? Is it blasphemous to see '85 Topps without borders, or could you see yourself hypothetically collecting a set like this? I think it could have pulled off the full-bleed look just fine.

And here's a bonus "what if?" card for you. What would Jose Canseco's iconic 1986 Donruss Rated Rookie card look like if he had a full mustache instead of the peach fuzz?

Probably not anything like that, but I still think it's pretty funny! LOL

Thanks for reading. Have a great October.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

finally got a George Brett rookie!

After an arduous, dragged out, stressful Twitter trade (that I'll likely rant about it a future post), it felt like the cardboard gods were offering me some gracious karmic payback when I got an email from a guy basically offering to send me a George Brett rookie card in exchange for future custom-making consideration.. and not even like a huge custom project, but just like a few cards. YES!

I had worked with Alex T. before on a pair of MC Hammer custom cards he wanted whipped up a couple years back. He was going through some of his old cards, found the Brett, and recalled seeing it atop my "Wishful Thinking" desperate double dozen wantlist.

Nice! I've never owned a George Brett rookie before. He's a PC guy for me, plus I'm in the early stages of working on building 1975 Topps (I'm rounding up cards, but haven't sorted them out and made a needslist yet). With this big one out of the way, it should be all downhill for me completing the set. (Still wouldn't mind picking up a dupe for the PC if another fell in my lap someday.)

And that's not all..

Alex then asked if I had any interest in a '75 Robin Yount too. YES! I already had a rough-condition copy that Mark Hoyle kindly sent me back in 2015, but this is a big upgrade. Now I can keep the other one in the PC and put this nicer copy toward the setbuild.

And while that pair of vintage HOF rookies was plenty, Alex was nice enough to throw in some more cards he thought I might be able to use.

Great trio of Dave Dravecky rookie cards, and a signed Tim Flannery.

Very happy with this run of Graig Nettles' Topps cards from the 70s. The closer-cropt '77 card is the Burger King version. Much of these I needed for the PC (Graig's an SDSU guy), and any dupes can go toward sets.

Garry Templeton and Jerry Royster.. more 70s set fodder.

And a great batch of badass m.f. George Foster.

Thanks again so much, Alex! Terrific package of cards. And I really needed that friendly, super easy transaction after the frustration of the other recent deal I made. Just let me know whenever you've got custom ideas you'd like to throw at me and I'll be at your service.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Brooks Robinson breakdown

BOOM! Brooks Robinson rookie card! As far as cards with "boring head shots" go, this is one of the best around: Young Brooks (the photo is from 1955, according to Wikipedia) smiling under a cool orange sky. When I got serious about building 1957 Topps, it didn't take long for me to figure out that Brooksy here was probably the toughest card in the set. Not only is it a rookie card of a beloved all-time great, it's also in the shortprinted 4th series, so there just aren't many of them out there. I thought it might end up being the last card I needed for the set, but had been keeping an eye out for one to come along at a decent price, and jumped on this one when it popped up at a very reasonable Buy-it-now. It looks to be in excellent condition.. four sharp corners, good edges, decent centering. (And yes, as an authenticity check, I put it in a stack with a few '57 commons to make sure it passed the cardstock test. The size is good too; no evidence of trimming.) Really the only thing that knocked it down into an affordable price range is a tiny hairline rip behind Brooks' neck. At some angles, like in the above pic, you can't even notice it. Though at other angles, it's more obvious..

Looks like it could be a little dog hair like the millions floating around my house, but nope, it's a micro cut. I've never been one for submitting cards for grading, but I'd be curious what this one would grade out to. Would the tiny tear torpedo its hopes, or would it still be good enough for a mid-range score, everything considered?

The back looks good too, but you can see the nic at the career hit totals.

The Human Vacuum Cleaner was only a li'l human dustbuster at this point in his career. Interesting the blurb mentions he could fill in as catcher. I had to look it up, but he never caught in a major league game. Got a few innings at 2nd and short, though.

I also added a second autograph of his to my collection not long ago with this 2005 Topps Retired refractor (already had the 2004 counterpart). Nice looking card. It had been on eBay for a while, and I finally pulled the trigger thanks to an eBay promotion knocking the price down a bit.

The back shows off his solid career offensive numbers (though of course his fielding was what made him a legend). One minor annoyance with this card is the little piece of cardboard trapped in the case (seen here in the lower right), floating around. Maybe someday I'll bust open the case and clean it out of there, but I do like keeping Retired autos in their original "uncirculated" cases. I'll just imagine it's a "player used" piece of Brooks Robinson cardboard box that transported the signed cards from Brooks back to the Topps offices.

And next up are a couple fun animated gif cards. Anyone familiar with 70s cards knows the classic "B. Robinson Commits Robbery!" card from 1971 Topps featuring a zoomed out photo of Brooks in what would appear to be a desert with no grass visible in the shot. Nick Vossbrink made a suggestion on Twitter the other day that I mash it up with the hilarious "comb the desert" scene from Spaceballs. So I did.


And then I came up with an alternate version...

Now That's a Tatooine card! Swapped out Brooks with the Star Wars droids.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

1982 Topps Traded Cal Ripken! (Joy of a Completed Set: 1982 Topps Traded)

Here's a nice add for my collection: Cal Ripken Jr.'s top rookie (year) card! As a kid, my all-time best pull from a pack (circa 1991) was an '82 Topps Ripken RC that he shared with Bob Bonner and Jeff Schneider, and now many years later I've complemented that with his Traded counterpart.

If I hypothetically had several copies of this card, I'd have one for the Iron Man PC, plus I'd throw copies into the Niekro and Stargell PCs for the heck of it (seeing as they're name-checked in the cartoon/trivia area). But since I've only got the one, it goes to the setbuild.

I completed 1982 Topps through trading last month. And not long after, picked up a 1982 Topps Traded "complete set; No Ripken" for less than a blaster at the last card show. So #98T here completes the mainstream '82 Topps run for me. Feels good!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Scattershot Thru the Heart (trades, tweets, and tribulations)

I'm just going to throw some quick stuff together in this post, including a couple trade recaps, but first let's start with the gif cards I've made recently.

On this day in 1979, Carl Yastrzemski picks up his 3000th hit in a 9-2 Red Sox win over the Yankees. Yaz would finish his career with 3419 hits, still good for 9th all-time.

Happy Birthday to one of baseball's all-time most inspirational players, Jim Abbott.

Here's a sketchcard I made to throw in with my return package to Julie for the latest batch of cards she sent me. It's from the '68 World Series play at the plate with Bill Freehan blocking Lou Brock. Didn't turn out too bad by my standards!

Hey, Bill Cosby is trending again. Good enough excuse to plug my best post of 2016.

The List of Baseball Cards in Movies and TV got a good amount of attention over Friday and Saturday, and I ended up adding/updating about 20 entries over the weekend. Thanks again to everyone for the response and tips! It's looking pretty good now, though still a work in progress.

Speaking of looking pretty good, how about Lauren Holly in a bikini showing off an Upper Deck Ted Williams card in a 1993 episode of Picket Fences?

Which brings me to the next thing I wanted to mention. Brian at Collecting Cutch whipped out the big guns last October for his monthlong celebration of curvaceous women and raising breast cancer awareness. I ended up winning a sweet Pete Rose auto from last year's festivities, and Brian is back with a couple new contests for this go-round. Visit his post here to get in on the action.

- - ---o

I recently swung a quick trade on Twitter with Heavy J (@HeavyJ28) who was able to take my '85 Donruss needs down to a single card remaining: Lee Smith (which is now atop my Desperate Dozen: can anybody be a set-killing hero for me?). This lot includes four cards from back when painted baseball cards didn't cost $7.99 each (yes, that was a dig at Topps' Living Set, which I dismiss as overpriced Diamond Kings), four HOFer base cards, the inspirational Dave Dravecky, and a couple young Yanks who went onto respectable MLB careers.

A small part of my recent "Twitter tribulations" I mentioned last post, even though he stuck a pair of Forever stamps on it, Jason's envelope arrived postage due $2.50. His mistake was he stacked all the cards together in one team bag, so the envelope was over 1/4" thick, meaning it got counted as package rate, no longer the cheaper letter rate. He was totally apologetic and quickly reimbursed me thru PayPal, so I only mention it here as a heads-up: Remember if you're sending several cards in an envelope, spread them out in 2 or 3 smaller stacks to keep it under a quarter of an inch thick.

I've actually got a big "how to" draft that's gathering dust about sending cards safely and cheaply that I should get around to finishing and posting one of these days. I think it's got some handy tips.

-  - - --o

Next up is a surprise PWE from Bru over at Remember the Astrodome.

An assortment of Padres. Love the Gwynn parallel.

Miles of Giles. I wasn't familiar with 1999 Fleer Brilliants (in the center here), but it's pretty cool. It's on chrome stock and has a classy, minimal design. Reminds me a little of old school Topps Gold Label (not the foilboard reboot). Looks like it only lasted one year, but also had basketball and football counterparts. If boxes weren't so expensive, I'd be tempted to rip some of this.

And finally.. always great to get a Hoyt I didn't have.

Thanks, Bru! I'm dropping a return to you in the mail today. Now next time print me out one of your '68 Nate Colbert customs!

- - ---o

Ok, one more thing for this post, falling under the "tribulations" grouping.

I thought about making this a separate post titled "Ghosted" but I'll just tack it onto the end of this here post instead.


Earlier this month I got an email from a guy named Adam P. who said he was pointed my direction by Larry P. (no relation, lol), whom I've traded with a few times. He was looking for Reds autos (or autos of guys who played for the Reds at one time) and any Barry Larkin cards he needed. I had some stuff that fit his wants and was very agreeable to working out a deal.

Adam proved himself to be one of those thoughtful traders who spends quality time looking through your wantlist, finding what you need and not wasting your time with what you've already got. He sent me an email listing what he had for me that really made me anxious for our trade to go down:

So here is what I have for you:
61 1975 topps
43 1974 topps
1 Beltre
1 bregman
1 Bellinger 
1 Lindor
24 Puckett 
2 Stargell 
3 Dawson
1 Bryant
18 Brett
6 Martinez 
24 Trammell 
18 Fisk 
12 Yount 
33 bo jackson
33 bonds
13 strawberry
13 Iván Rodríguez 
35 canseco
53 McGwire 
52 Clemens
16 Reggie Jackson 
3 Phil Niekro 
1 rob beck (you will like this one!)
2 Padres autos (turner draft pick and Stauffer)
Brett Boone relic
Jen welter relic (hot girls)

There are cards for players from every level of priority on your want list. From highest to you are complete and only want stuff I know you won’t have. That was the case with Reggie. I checked and you don’t have any of the cards I am sending. Some are pretty cool oddballs. For every player you have a link for I check as to not send duplicates. For the ones that didn’t have a link, I can’t guarantee anything lol.  But you could always send back cards you really don’t want. 
Hopefully you are able to find something in other teams, but if not you could just even it out the best you see. 
I think if I counted correctly it’s 474 cards for you 
So this looks awesome to me. I had already given him my address before this and he said he'd send me everything he had for me and that I could just send him back whatever I thought was fair. So I scoured through my various non-PC autos looking for Reds and guys who played for the Reds at one time (didn't have to be in Reds uniform, he was just looking for an all-time autograph project) and I built up a decent stack for him.

I emailed back with a "do you need these guys? ..." message and then a couple days later figured it'd be better to ask him to just send me the list of the guys he doesn't need.

But the sad thing is I haven't heard from him since that email where he listed all the stuff for me, which was nearly 3 weeks ago. I tried contacting him again last week: "Hey Adam, haven't heard from you in a while. Having second thoughts about this trade? We could start with a smaller trade if you like. I've got some good stuff set aside for you. That'd be a bummer if our deal fell through, but no worries. Please just let me know."

Still silence, and that's where we stand now.

So yeah, that's a bummer. I didn't send him anything yet, so it's not like he ripped me off... just gave me the cardboard equivalent of blue balls, I guess. (I'm dying to know what the Rod Beck card was, damn it! lol.) I've had trade negotiations fall apart before-- sometimes my fault, sometimes the other guy's fault-- but not like this. Seemed like we were on the same page and then it just suddenly derailed. The guy went through the trouble of specially picking out a stack of 474 cards for me. I know if I spent that kind of time and effort on a tentative trade, I damn well wouldn't let it go to waste without a fight, much less disappearing without a word.

I can only assume "life stuff" happened and rendered pictures of sports men on cardboard rectangles unimportant. Who knows. Maybe I'll eventually hear from him again, maybe not. Sucks to get ghosted like that. Unless some "life turned upside-down" level shit went down, I think a courtesy reply to my checking-in email is reasonable, right?

(And I've got a somewhat similar story to this one for another day-- the main "Twitter tribulation" that had me frustrated recently-- but looks like that one may have a happy ending after all. Stay tuned.)

Anyways, thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 23, 2018


Finally found some 2018 Heritage High Number that I've had an urge to check out for whatever reason. Picked up a blaster at the grocery store yesterday.

My best pulls may have been this pair of inserts of notable AL rookies.

Some less exciting inserts.

The base cards had plenty of rookies as expected, highlighted by Acuña, Bote, Kingery, and a couple Padres pitchers.

My one parallel was a bust, as I don't collect Matt Moore. And my former Rangers trading buddy and I have apparently had a falling out, so this card doesn't do me much good. And by 'had a falling out' I mean the guy unfollowed me on Twitter, which on the cardsphere is the equivalent of falling out. Not sure what I did to piss him off. He still follows JediJeff, so I don't think it's a political thing. But hey, I myself have been known to, after a couple drinks, overreact to a tweet that rubs me the wrong way and unfollow somebody when I should have probably just let it go or at most just muted the guy for a little while. Honestly I could probably do a full post just ranting about Twitter and my tribulations with it lately. And maybe I will.

Anyways, these 4 are up for trade. I think the bottom two are SPs? Also got plenty of base available is anyone is working on the set. Maybe I'll add them to my TCDB cards available for trading. Still no trade offers there yet. Am I doing something wrong? I probably just need to keep adding more cards (both to my "wants" and my "for trade").

I also grabbed a hanger pack of 2018 Archives.

My main reason for this purchase was getting a Coming Attraction insert, which I believe are exclusive to the hanger packs, one per.. though mine was a bit of a dud with Austin Hays, who struggled in the minors this year. The multiplayer RC is probably my best pull here.. Walker Buehler has had a nice 2018 campaign.

That's it for today.
Good luck in this coming week, everybody!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Baseball Cards in my favorite movies

As a card collector, it's always a little thrill when baseball cards make an appearance in a movie or TV show I'm watching, and if you're reading this blog, chances are you feel the same.

As far as I know, nobody has really put together a definitive list of cards in movies/tv. And this post definitely won't be definitive, but here are 3 of my all-time favorite films that also just so happen to feature cards for a brief moment.

First up is The Goonies.

Chester Copperpot was a card collector? Stumbling upon a beat-up old Lou Gehrig card might be exciting for Mikey here, but it's just a 1973 Topps base card of the all-time grand slam leader. In that condition, that card would likely be worth under a buck.

And yeah, I've mentioned that one before on the blog (this past St. Patrick's Day), but here are a couple others. Next up is Stand By Me. I recently whipped up a (digital) couple custom cards for the movie and shared them on Twitter.

Stand By Me takes place over Labor Day weekend, 1959. The film came out 27 years later in 1986. It's now been 32 years since it hit theaters. Crazy to think about! Here are a couple customs I made in the style of 1959 Topps subsets.

Somebody commented on the tweet that he remembered the older brother's room having some cards/memorabilia on the walls. I had been meaning to give it another watch, and sure enough, I paid close attention to to that scene and found some baseball stuff.

Looks to be a '58 Mantle all-star and the corner of a '60 Yogi (but hey now, the film takes place in 1959.. count that as a goof, I suppose.)

As a collector, it's a little painful to see a vintage Mantle with a pushpin in it. That would be a cool movie prop to own, though.

Among the '50s rock & roll bands is a photo of what seems to be a Yankees hurler. Looks like Whitey Ford to me, but couldn't say for sure.

Now here's an obscure one from The Sandlot.

Shoutout to Matthew Prigge for snapping these shots and tweeting them a few months ago asking if anyone could identify the mystery card.

With the tip that it was likely a Pacific Legends card, I went sleuthing and was pretty excited to track it down after several minutes of searching...

1989 Pacific Baseball Legends 2nd Series #205 Mel Harder. Not a name you hear much these days. He was a 4-time All-Star, but his career was finished before the Topps era. By the looks of the photo, it's from his coaching days. Not sure of any significance of the card's selection for the film, probably just an "old-looking" card that the prop master happened to have access too. Of course, it's another "goof", as the movie takes place in 1962, so a card from 1989 doesn't make sense. Ol' Mel was still kicking when the picture came out in 1993, as he lived to the ripe old age of 93, passing in 2002.

I watched The Sandlot again recently, keeping an eye out for more cards.

There are several other cards on the walls in the clubhouse. In this shot, looks like there are 4 cards from 1962 Topps visible, with the Lou Brock rookie in the lower right being the most identifiable.

And I hadn't noticed it before, but early on, when the step-dad is eating breakfast, there's a box of Post Sugar Crisp featuring 7 baseball cards ready to be cut out. Looks like 6 of these shouldn't be too hard to identify, with only one obscured. Anybody want to give it a shot? I've already picked out Maury Wills up top. Looks to be 1962 Post. I'm assuming this is a specially created prop, not a true vintage Post box, but I couldn't say for sure.

I actually started drafting this post at the beginning of the month, and it gave me the idea to create a big list of baseball cards in movies and tv. And so over these past 2-3 weeks, that's something I've been spending a lot of time on. The list is now up on a separate page on the blog, linked in the sidebar. Check it out: The List of Baseball Cards in Movies and TV

Let me know if you can think of anything I missed!