Thursday, October 31, 2019

Halloween Spooktacular

Here are some cards "dressed up for Halloween" (photoshopped to look weird).

- - ---o

Now it's time for a ghoulish pack skirmish.

2007 Topps Hollywood Zombies Trading Card Pack
1989 Topps GhostBusters II Trading Card Pack

Got these both in a recent combined-shipping eBay purchase. As for the Hollywood Zombies pack, the only interest I have is trying to hit a glow-in-the-dark card. And I've got 14 cards left to complete the Ghostbusters II set, so I'm hoping to pull at least one of those needs.

Heads-up, these Zombie cards are very gross. Proceed at your own risk.

A fine woman enjoying a glass of wine wins this round.

Here's a quick look at the backs. I thought it was fitting that this Hollywood Zombies card happens to have a Ghostbusters reference on the back.

Gotta go with sexy-times on the couch.

Wow, that "Drew Burymore" is disgusting. Gotta go with the boring logo card here.

The Lindsay seems to be a foil parallel. Sure, let's give a pity point for the shininess.

I'm not even gonna waste my time straining my eyes on that tiny text. The only Ghostbusters sticker I need at this point is #1, and sadly this is #3.

Ok, that George W. might be the absolute worst trading card of all time.

There is no winner here.

More Ghostbusters cards than Zombie cards. Hey, the gum looks ok.

*crunch crunch*

(I ate the gum. That might be the grossest part of the post to some of you!)

Final bone-chilling result?
I pulled zero glowing cards from the Zombies pack.
I pulled zero cards I needed from the Ghostbusters pack.

Well, that was a frightening waste of $3! Boo! All of these are available, so if you'd like to trade for any, please get in touch to take these off my hands. PLEASE! I don't care what you send me in return, just get these out of my house.

I figure it won't hurt to post my Ghostbusters 2 wantlist here:
Needs: 6, 28, 33, 34, 48, 52, 54, 68, 70, 72, 75, 76, 81, Sticker #1


World Series stuff!

Back in my World Series preview post, I totally forgot to include the Zack Greinke auto I've got. He nearly had himself a Game 7 to remember, but Houston took a chance on going to the bullpen instead of sticking with him out there. It didn't work out for them.

Congrats to my guy Stephen Strasburg on the Championship and being named World Series MVP! Proud times for SDSU alumni like myself.

OK, that's it for the Spooktacular. (I'm sorry I didn't finish my big "glow-in-the-dark cards" post in time [I had been planning on posting it today], but it'll be done one of these days.)
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Infusion of 2004 Chrome black refractors

I keep an eye out for bulk lots of 2004 Topps Chrome black refractors, and one such lot popped up recently. It was 79 cards at a buck per card plus shipping. Not quite a steal, but still good enough to get me to bite.

The guy pranked me by shipping them in a box for '91 Fleer Update. I opened up the package and saw that and immediately thought there was a mixup. But nope, '04 black refractors hidden inside.

Some highlights...

There were a few dupes for me in the lot, including Marcus Giles and Fred McGriff here, but since I collect both these guys, I don't mind having an extra copy for the respective PCs. The dupes of dudes I don't collect should make for decent trade fodder.

Big sluggers of the era.

A pair of near Hall of Famers here. (I say put 'em in.)

These 2 guys have been in the news lately... for very different reasons: Ross for being named the Cubs' new manager, and Edmonds for an ugly divorce.

There are some nice photos in this set that if Topps used them today, would likely be zoomed in 2x. It's refreshing when the image can "breathe" a bit.

HOFers! The Vlad is the card I saw in the listing that made me click the "buy it now" button. That guy was a beast!

A couple guys winding down their solid careers on unfamiliar teams.

Closing us out is a nice Dontrelle Willis rookie cup, and (as far as I can tell) the last active player in 2004 Topps Chrome who was still playing in 2019, Oliver Perez. (Fernando Rodney is not in the set.)

This lot took me from 37.17% complete up to 48.25%. Honestly a little disheartening that I'm still not even halfway done. Maybe I'll do a Sportlots order one of these days to get me over the hump.

Also disheartening about his quest of mine?...

The Yadier Molina "first year" card (that I still need) selling for $160+ recently. Ouch. It's not even an auto, for frick's sake!

So yeah, it's a long-term project, for sure.. but I love these cards and I'll keep grinding, and maybe someday I'll finish this one off.

Monday, October 28, 2019

dimebox basketball

There were a few basketball cards that made their way onto my stack during the dimebox dig from the card show a couple weeks back.

I don't think I could pass up a Crusade card in a dimebox regardless of the player (no offense to Joe Dumars, who is a HOFer). I believe this is a teal parallel, /249. Just beautiful.

This Kawhi Leonard is pretty shiny, too.

A pair of acetate cards. I don't follow basketball too much, but I think I'm at least familiar with the big names in the league.

A few more active dudes.

Hard to pass up any card of the GOAT for just a dime.

More legends of the past.

And lastly, this is technically a baseball card, but figured it made more sense grouping it with the basketball cards.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

cards I was thinking about getting and then I got them

Remember when I found a Pumpsie Green rookie card in a dimebox at the card show a couple weeks ago? That was the catalyst for me wanting to pump more Pumpsie into my collection. I went looking for an autograph-- first eyeing a similar auto but on a Red Sox card that ended up going for a lot of money-- so instead I ended up going with this Mets one that wasn't nearly as expensive. Maybe not as nice as the other one, but I like it a lot too.

This is a reprint of a of his 1964 Topps card. If you think he played major league baseball in 1964, pump the brakes! He actually spent all year with the Mets AAA affiliate (Buffalo Bisons). In 1965 he played with the Bisons some more, plus a few games with the Syracuse Chiefs (Tigers AAA) before retiring. So this is a true sunset card with complete career stats on the back. I want to read his SABR bio soon to learn more about the man.

I still need the original version of this, not only for my budding Pumpsie PC, but also for my 1964 Topps sebuild. It's been stalled at 72½% complete with no update to my spreadsheet since April. Looks like I won't be finishing that set in the current decade. Oh well. Someday it'll be done. Bo told me he has a couple needs coming my way soon, so that'll be nice to pump a little life into that setbuild.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I'm posting this on Pumpsie's birthday! If you don't believe me, look at the vitals on the back of the card. It's right there in capital letters: OCTOBER 27. Sadly, he passed away earlier this year, so he's not here to welcome another year of life, leaving us at 85. It happens to us all eventually.

Next card.

Bobby Cox! I was thinking I wanted a Bobby Cox autograph in my collection. Then I bought this one. I assume cards where he's pictured in a Braves uniform generally sell more than cards with him on other teams, but this Blue Jays card will do the trick for me without pumping too much money out of my account.

It's got his complete MLB stats on the back (just a couple years on late 60s Yankees teams-- yeah, he's not in the Hall of Fame for his playing career!), plus some managerial mumbo jumbo. Hey look, it's the Syracuse Chiefs again.

Bobby won a World Series with the Braves in 1995 and got them pretty close a bunch of other times too.

This is probably the last card I'll be showing today. I heard that there were rare Gold parallels of the 1993-design cards in Archives this year. I thought that was cool so I decided I'd like to add one to my collection. This Jose Ramirez turned out to be the one I got because the price was right, but hey, I also PC the guy a bit, so it's cool for me. I think there are only a handful Topps Gold parallels of these per card (10? 20?), though they're not serial numbered.

José Ramírez had a down 2019 after a pair of very good seasons where he pumped a bunch of home runs over the fence. Looks like a pesky injury slowed him down. He just turned 27, so he should be able to bounce back and put up a few more quality seasons in his prime.

Pump is a great album.

Don't forget to check out my 1991 MusiCards blog. I think it's fun.

Thanks for reading, gentlemen (as well as any ladies who might happen to be reading, but with Cracked Bat Julie being missing in action for a few months, there haven't been any ladies commenting here for quite a while unfortunately.)!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Joy of a completed set: 2001 Topps Archives Reserve Future Rookie Reprints

The 2001 Topps Archives Reserve Future Rookie Reprints are now entirely wrapped up in my ARMS! In fact, my Archives Reserve Master Set now contains every non-hit card, with only autos and relics to worry about going forward.

Some background on these... regular Archives Future Rookie Reprints (cardboard versions with gold foil Archives logo) were issued 5 per 2001 Topps factory set. The Archives Reserve Future Rookie Reprints are similar except they feature Chrome cardstock and a blue/red Archives logo. These were originally issued 5 per Topps Limited Edition factory set (the "Limited Edition" just means the base cards are on thicker stock and have a special "Limited Edition" stamp near the bottom). There are 20 of these rookie reprint insert cards.

What bugs me about them (other than the fact that Topps has reprinted their notable rookie cards to death at this point) is they are not refractors, despite every other Archives Reserve card ever issued being on refractor Chrome stock. These are just normal silver Chrome cards without the rainbow shine. A bit disappointing to me in that regard, but still, as they are branded Archives Reserve cards, I targeted them for my master setbuild.

Let's take a look at all 20...

Some of my cards are graded. I'm not concerned about the grade, these just happened to be the ones I ended up finding/buying (They don't pop up for sale super often). PSA registry for these shows my Chipper is currently one of only two PSA graded copies, both 8s. No one has a complete PSA set of these, as 5 of the cards have never been submitted. And I'm not sure what PSA is talking about with the Bonds being labeled a "Gold Border" as it's a standard '87 Topps reprint with no variations.

Cal Ripken and Justin Timberlake-- er, I mean Shawn Green. Strangely enough, the Ripken seems to be the card from this set that pops up for sale most often, at least in my experience. I ended up scoring a dupe of it that I sent off to TMV Dennis.

A couple big names here. The Big Hurt is one of the very few (only?) "GEM MINT 10" cards in my collection.

Cards #7 through #10. My penultimate pickup was the Bernie. Sammy Sosa was the last one I needed. Scored it for a good price on eBay. The seller had it listed as a regular Archives reprint.. neglecting to mention "Reserve" which probably helped me land it as cheaply as I did. The regular Archives reprints are much easier to find (higher print run) than the Archives Reserve counterparts.

In a throwback to the "Tiffany" sets of the 1980s, Topps produced a high-end version of their factory set exclusively through Hobby dealers. Every card was printed on 20-point thick cardstock with the words "LIMITED EDITION" foil stamped in very small type above the player's name. Each set was packaged in a wooden box and came with a pack of five cards from the Limited-exclusive 20-card Topps Archives Reserve Future Rookie Reprints insert set -- essentially a parallel of the set that came five to a regular factory set.
Topps capped production at 5000 serial-numbered sets with a suggested retail price of $173, however only 3905 Limited sets were printed.
So there were 20 different cards, with 5 cards per set spread out over 3905 factory sets. I assume all 20 cards had equal quantities produced, but who knows. I asked Twitter for help doing the math on this, and they said the answer was a print run of 976.25 per rookie reprint. So Topps likely made 1000 of each card, with a few ending up being trashed. And it can be assumed many (if not most) of those fancy factory sets were kept intact/sealed by collectors, still sitting in their closets, so there aren't a ton of these inserts popping up for sale out there.

Rickey and Tony are probably my favorites of all these.

Here we have a 5-time Cy Young winner and a 2-time MVP.

Two members of the 500 Home Run Club back before they could buy beer much less HGH.

And finally here are cards #17 through #20.

For keyword search purposes, here's the checklist:
1 Barry Bonds
2 Chipper Jones
3 Cal Ripken
4 Shawn Green
5 Frank Thomas
6 Derek Jeter
7 Geoff Jenkins
8 Jim Edmonds
9 Bernie Williams
10 Sammy Sosa
11 Rickey Henderson
12 Tony Gwynn
13 Randy Johnson
14 Juan Gonzalez
15 Gary Sheffield
16 Manny Ramirez
17 Pokey Reese
18 Preston Wilson
19 Jay Payton
20 Rafael Palmeiro

Feels good to have this one knocked out.

It inspired me to finally put my ARMS quest into spreadsheet form to help me track which autos/relics I've got and which I still need: Archives Reserve Master Set spreadsheet

This is a long-term project, not one that I spend too much time/money on it at the moment. I've got more than enough collecting goals I'm working on now, with Topps Retired autos being on the top of that list, and several other setbuilds I've been trying to focus on. But maybe someday down the line I'll hit this harder and go after the biggies such as needed autos of Willie Mays and Nolan Ryan, not to mention Joe Montana, Barry Sanders, and Johnny Unitas (yes, I'm including the football Archives Reserve cards in this too).

ARMS (Archives Reserve Master Set)
I'm attempting to collect every Archives Reserve card that came out from the original releases (2001-2002).
This includes the one football set (2001) in addition to the two baseball releases.
This does NOT include the autographed baseballs that were available (and are now mostly faded).
It does NOT include the autographed mini helmets from the football release.
It also does NOT include buyback autos that may have come later from the likes of Archives Signature Edition.
Original Reserve *cards* only. The signed baseballs and mini helmets are hard to find and don't interest me at all.
None of the original Archives Reserve cards are serial numbered (no parallels! no 1/1s!) and there were no printing plates available, so a true "master set" of cards is doable.

Not easy, but doable!