Wednesday, July 29, 2020

super 70s influx

Time for another trade roundup. Lots of quality Topps cards from the 70s to show off in this post. Our exhausting new puppy has cut into my spare time for carding activities, so I'm trying to limit my trading commitments.. but cards keep arriving and I try to keep afloat! (Apologies to the few guys I've been slow to send cards or reply to regarding trade propositions.. will try to catch up when I can.)

This first mailing up is a doozy! I believe it's my first exchange with Scott Crawford, who has been blogging a long time but we just hadn't crossed paths much before. But some of my music-related customs caught his eye and so we hammered out a deal sending him a short stack of Baseball Card Breakdown originals in exchange for some vintage Topps, heavy on '74.

Look at all these Hank Aaron cards within cards! These are pretty neat. I'm lucky enough to own a few of those older Aaron cards. I was excited thinking I had completed all the Hank Aaron cards in 1974 Topps with these, already having the "New Home Run King" card #1, but looks like I'm still short the All-Star card he shares with Dick Allen. I've got that card in my Dick Allen PC, but since I consider Mr. Allen one of the top dudes I collect, I'm reluctant to pluck out a PC card for a set (something I'm otherwise not all that opposed to). But maybe if I get down to a couple cards left and it's one of them, maybe then I'll cave and worry about replacing the PC card later. ("PC" in this context is for "Player Collection", for any newbs reading.)

And a bunch more '74s from Scott! Thanks to these, I'm down to just 45 more cards on my wantlist for the set (a decent percentage of which are Washington Nat'l variations).

And some big-name '79s. The Reggie on the end isn't a dupe, but rather a Burger King card. Note the difference in space above his helmet.

Thanks, Scott! Just mailed out your customs. Pleasure dealing with you!

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I know I said I'm trying to cool it a little on trading for the time being, but I made an offer on Twitter last week for anybody to send me vintage needs in exchange for a Joan Jett custom I made a little while back-- trying to swing a few quick and easy trades-- and got a handful of guys to take me up on it, with two swaps going through so far.

Night Owl sent me a PWE heavy on '77 Dodgers I needed for my in-progress set. Looking good!

And there were a bunch of Kellogg's in there, too! Always love to see those funky 3D beauties slip out among the cards I receive.. Even when cracked to hell! (Pops is shaping up to be the star of the post, and we'll see more of him in a moment.)

Thank you, Greg! A return is on the way to you currently.

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Here's another bounty thanks to Joan Jett.

John @phitter72 on Twitter is a guy I was familiar with due to his amusing "Literals Series" customs he shares (such as a card depicting Ernie Banks doing his banking). This was my first swap with him, netting me 4 solid names to check off my 70s vintage Topps wantlists, highlighted by Billy Williams' final card as an active player. Thanks, John!

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Reader David G. returned with a 3rd recent PWE of '88 Fleer needs for me, plus a Madlock and another wonderful Kellogg's need. Thanks, David.. I'll scrounge up another envelope of Cardinals for you soon.

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Wes, a.k.a. The Pancake King, dropped a shortstack of 3 PWEs on me in short order, each containing one Gavin card plus an autographed business card. Bonkers! Thanks for thinking of me, Wes!

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Last one for today is a great bubble mailer from ARPSmith, hitting me back for a package of cards I sent him recently.

Nice bunch of current cards featuring guys I collect. Man, this 2020 "season" is wild. I'll be surprised if we actually make it all the way to a World Series this year, but here's hoping for the best.

Complete Willie Stargell puzzle from 1991 Donruss! This'll be nice to bolster my Pops PC. If/when I get a second set, I'll bust out the pieces and piece it together.

The real punch of the package was the vintage. Been a while since I've added to my '57 Topps setbuild.. not since 2019, in fact. The pair are both from the toughest series, making them even more of a big deal. Same can be said for the '72: first time all year I get to update my needs spreadsheet, and it's a tough high number, to boot. Nice!

As far as the 74 and 79s, they might look familiar, as this same trio was among the cards I showed from Scott Crawford earlier in this post. Adam's copies are in better condition, so they'll go into the setbuilds.. But don't worry, Scott's cards can still find a home for now in the respective PCs since I collect these guys too.

Thanks for another great trade, Adam!

That's gonna wrap up the post. Thanks for reading, everybody. Stay safe out there.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Another Padre fan in Portland

My old best friend Doug was in town staying with us for a few days this past week. I've mentioned Doug a few times on the blog (he collected Tony Gwynn when we were kids, which prevented Gwynn from being my "main guy" back then because I didn't want to copy him) plus I've mentioned Doug a few times on my 1991 MusiCards blog (we were always sharing our CD collections and musical discoveries back in the day, and he helped turn me on to a lot of bands I love). But yeah, he had moved to San Diego in the middle of the school year in Fourth Grade and we were thick as thieves into our early 20s. But then my brother-from-another-mother got married to a gal who was a bit controlling and basically strained the other relationships in his life, so after that we didn't hang out much other than catching a Chargers game on tv together once in a while. And once I moved away from San Diego, we weren't really in contact other than semi-annual check-ins on Facebook.

But the other day he drops the news on me that they're getting a divorce and he's looking to make a fresh start, with Portland being a top consideration for relocation. So he was in town for a job interview, got the job, and now plans to move up here in a week or so. What a crazy turn of events! Of course I feel bad for the guy going through a divorce (they are still on friendly terms, at least), but I'm very excited to have my buddy back. It'll be great to regularly hang out with him again.

Us at Disneyland in 1990. Ha-- that shiny "air force" jacket I had! Pretty sure I still have that Ghostbusters shirt in storage somewhere (the ghost glows in the dark!) Funny how Doug's so much shorter than me here. I think he might be a little taller than me today.

Ruby was a big fan of Doug while he was here, rarely giving him a moment's peace.
So anyways, that's cool. And it'll be nice to have another Padre fan in Portland.

And on that topic... another local member of the Friar Faithful, Padrographs Rod, dropped a great box of assorted cards on my doorstep the other week. Let's check out some highlights!

Nice lot of 2020 Big League. I haven't ripped any of this, so I appreciate the chance to add some PC guys and notable rookies.

And same with 2020 Bowman.. I haven't even tried to locate any of this on shelves.

Some miscellany here. That Rob Riggle is going right to my Thumbs Up binder.. starting a second page. Dick Clark here completes a 2nd set of American Bandstand cards for me (both from Rod). If anyone wants one (for either a hair above postage cost or trade equivalent) just let me know.

Panini representing the land of the logoless. Some neat parallels in here.

My buddy Doug isn't really an active card collector these days, though it's my understanding he does have a tiny collection, at least (a few Gwynns and a couple Trevor Hoffmen). I'll have to try to nudge him into collecting again once he gets settled. Sure would be cool to trade cards with him again 30 years later. Plus I'd love to have someone to dump my dupe Bips and Gwynns on!

Bip's cards with the Royals always seem extra cool to me. So strange and dangerous! lol

But these '95 Score parallels were probably the highlight of all the Bips in the box.

And some more cool cards.

This Sparky Anderson autographed index card was offered up in one of Rod's recent giveaways.. glad I was able to snag it! The signature is too big to fit into a standard size card, but I'll try to think up something to spice it up with my custom card making ways.

And some more stuff that might not stick in my collection, but still fun to thumb through.

Big thanks as always, Rod! I'm very lucky to be the recipient of so much great stuff from you over these past few years.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Big Ol' Trade Post

Hey, here are a bunch of cool cards that I've received over the past couple weeks from friendly collector folk.

Holy heck, check this out! Giancarlo Stanton 2010 Topps Chrome rookie refractor autograph! It may be off-center and have some surface scratches, but still a "big card" and not the caliber of card that typically shows up in your mailbox without some wheeling and dealing beforehand.

But yeah, the incredible Matthew Scott has been working on his big, mostly-Pirates collection and decided Giancarlo didn't really have a place. He asked if I was still collecting him. Yep! Maybe not with as much fervor since his trade to the Yankees, but still definitely a guy I collect. And this rookie auto is a nice crown jewel for my Stanton PC.

Numbered 104/499. Sweet! While I'm not rooting for the Yankees, generally speaking, I do hope Stanton has himself a great comeback season.

And if that RC auto wasn't a big enough boom on its own, along with it was this..

Wow! This 2013 Topps "Chasing History" auto ain't nothing to sneeze at either! The number of Giancarlo Stanton autographs in my collection tripled thanks to this mailing.

Bob Walk the Plank is still on hiatus for the most part, so you guys didn't get to see all the neat Pirates I mailed him a while back unless maybe you caught some highlights on Twitter. But yeah, I always try to sniff out good Pirates cards for Matt (and some left over for my other Bucco trader buds), and will hope to gather more for him before too long. Huge thanks again, Matt!

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Friend o' the blog Alex T. and I have been back to our routine where I help him out with some custom card projects and he returns the favor with cards. Here's a nice run from Mark Fidrych's playing days, including a pair of rookies.

And a couple Upper Deck factory sets! I already got '91 UD just a couple months ago from The Diamond King, but Alex had the '90 set I needed plus a '91 he didn't need and since there was room in the flat-rate box, he offered to throw it in for the heck of it. If anyone needs it, I'd be willing to sell it for just a smidge above the postage cost (or a trade equivalent). Otherwise maybe I'll open up the wrap and raid it for my many PCs; there are probably a few that are lacking '91 UD cards, believe it or not. But yeah, I'm excited about the 1990 set. I ripped a fair amount of that in my first year as a collector, but never came anywhere near completing it. I really need to thumb through this set sometime soon and let the familiar cards take me back to those days.

Alex surprised me with this Padres batting practice jersey. There's no name on the back, and he says it's unlikely to be player-worn (sorry I'm too lazy to relay the full background story he shared), but still cool. Size XL, it's too big for me, but if/when the Padres win the World Series, I might have to don this anyways. (I'll probably have filled out enough to fit into it by then, lol.)

Alex's collection has a focus on minor league cards. He knows I collect Tim Blackwell and so he hooked me up with some team sets featuring that marvelous mustache. Even if I already have some of these singles, it's pretty cool to have the full team sets, too.

A nice lot of early 90s black gold!

Here's a sealed '92 Topps pack with a multiplayer "Top Prospects" card showing on top that features a couple guys I collect, Ryan Klesko and Dave Staton. Neat!

Some more cards highlighted by a Dick Allen oddball I needed and the classic Bevacqua bubble card from 1976 Topps.

Alex was downright apologetic for including these customs he had made through a Topps promotion a few years back, but I think they're awesome. I already have a little minicollection of bloggers' cards going, so it's easy to stretch that into including blog-readers' cards too. Made sure to get his approval before posting them for privacy concerns.

Then if all that wasn't enough for the little project he had me working on (several copies of a custom minor league card for a friend of his), he sent a nice PWE on top of it shortly thereafter...

Another oddity for my Tim Blackwell PC, a Floyd auto I didn't have, a Templeton oddball I needed, and a pair of Rafael Garcia signed oddballs sponsored by Carta Blanca, a mexican beer (one of which intended for Rod if he has any interest). Also known as Ralph Garcia, he pitched in a few games for the Padres in the early 70s and is in the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame.

Thanks, Alex! Good stuff! I'll drop your customs in the mail by the end of the week.

 -   -  - ---o

Here's another PWE full of '88 Fleer needs from reader David G., our third light swap along these lines. A cool thing about getting cards from David is he uses magazine cologne ads to wrap them in, so the cards come out smelling lovely and you get a bonus air freshener! Thanks, David! I'll send you back some Cardinals soon.

-    -   -  ---o

Brett the Hoyt Wilhelm superfan graciously offered to send me a copy of Hoyt's 2020 Topps insert.. heck yeah! Always love adding new Hoyts to the PC. Thanks, Brett!

-   -  - --o

And here's the last one for today. It's a package from Bob at the Best Bubble.

Big lot of pack-fresh 1976 Topps! These needs take me up to 36% complete with the set. Funny thing, these cards are all found around the back end of the set. So if you look at my '76 Topps wantlist, you'll see my haves are pretty sparse at first, but I'm in better shape once you hit #400.

More late 70s Topps needs including a few solid names. I'm really close with '79 Topps now, down to just 6 more needs to finish the set:
6 Strikeout Leaders - J.R. Richard / Nolan Ryan
115 Nolan Ryan
313 Dyar Miller (Dyar Miller?!)
369A Bump Willis (Blue Jays error variation)
412 Hank Aaron / Hack Wilson ATL RBI
610 Mike Schmidt (this one looks to be set aside for me already)

And still a ways to go with '78 Topps, but those few needs take me past 81% complete. Not too bad.

I've already got most of these Gavins, but at least a couple I didn't have. I just looked into what Gavin Cecchini is up to these days. He had gone to spring training with the Arizona Diamondbacks on a minor league deal, but they released him a month or so ago. And before that he had moved to Australia to play baseball there, but then fled the country after the crazy brushfires decimated much of the continent. Not sure what's next for him, but wish him the best of luck.

Finally, Bob threw in a few ladies on cardboard. Always a nice touch.

Thanks, Bob! I'll try to round up a return package for you soon, but you might need to have some patience...

Gonna be a busy rest of July for me. Between the usual work craziness, and now trying to raise a tiny puppy who needs constant supervision, and plus my close friend from way back is going to be in town staying with us next week. So it'll likely be a while till I'm able to spend much quality time with cards.

Oh, I also got a nice box of cards dropped on my doorstep last week by Padrographs Rod, but this post is already pretty long, and I still need to sort that stuff out a bit, so I'll save that for another day.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 10, 2020

Baseball, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down

In my continued efforts to slip away from baseball of today, I finally cancelled my subscription. I was hesitant to do it because we signed up a few years back when my wife was in grad school, so we got a discounted "student rate" that never changed. But I just didn't watch many games last year.. and other than morbid curiosity, didn't have much desire to watch a game during the covid era we're living in. To their credit, canceling was painless and the refund for 2020 came the next day.

Then I watched the 1971 All-Star Game on YouTube and that was a lot of fun. That's the good stuff! I need to do more of that.

Our new puppy still has us running on fumes these days, but I'll try to crank out this post while the terror sleeps. Here are some random recent pickups of mine.

2019 Topps Transcendent VIP Party Mike Trout MT-90RB 16/83.

I went after a few similar Kris Bryant party cards back in 2017.. figured I'd add a Trout or two from last year's party. I'll never totally turn my back on current baseball because of guys like Trout who I've enjoyed following over the years and I'm curious how their careers will wind up.

Earlier this year I was excited to embark on somewhat of a "theme" year on the blog as I celebrated 30 years of being a card collector. But 2020 sucks so bad that I'm not really going that route anymore of focusing on my introduction to the hobby in 1990. But I can still slip in a little of that sentiment. Yes, I love 1990 Topps, reminding me of that year first ripping open packs. The Record Breaker cards make me first think of the Vince Coleman, but Rickey and Cal had RBs too.

The back doesn't mention any particular record Trout broke in 2018. Eh, he probably had one in there somewhere.

Next card, please.

Looks like I won't be watching any Padres baseball this year beyond occasional highlights. If they actually end up in contention, I might be kicking myself for cancelling, but that's a big "if" and an above-average "maybe". But yeah, their main play-by-play guy on the broadcast, Don Orsillo is pretty good. (And of course I love Mark Grant, their main color-commentator for the past many years.) Snagged this Orsillo auto from 2020 Opening Day for a few bucks. Didn't realize at the time I bid that it's got some weird printing flaw across his stomach. That white splattering is not part of the design. It isn't paper loss or other damage, just a weird printing issue. But I didn't bother trying to return it or anything since it wasn't that much and it's not like I bought it as an investment or anything. I'll just consider it the "spunk-splatter eBay 1/1".

I found out about the 1975 Mike Mandel Photographer set thanks to a post at Nick Vossbrink's blog (that linked to an older post he did at the SABR card blog) and had to snag myself a specimen. This one was among the cheapest I found available, and I figured even if I decided not to hang onto it, there are a few collectors out there with "tools of ignorance" minicollections (cards featuring catchers in their gear) that this would fit into. But this would be a bit of a cheat since Richard Link isn't really a catcher, rather a professional photographer playing along for this quirky oddball set.

Photographer vitals! Couldn't find much on Richard Link with a google search other than pages talking about this card, so that lack of "big name" recognition might have played a part in it being affordable. I don't know much about photography nor the field's history like Nick V. does, but I still think it's neat. Good thing Richard didn't go by "Dick Link" or that might give the wrong impression. It's pretty rare you catch me posting a Dick Link on my blog, after all. (A boob link, sure.) (The "spunk-splatter eBay 1/1" earlier does me no favors here.)

But how about this?...

I've never heard of Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters, but I know Sarah Hyland as "Haley Dunphy" on Modern Family.

We watched the show for the first few seasons when it was airing, then took a hiatus for a while, but are now finishing up the last few seasons. Sarah and tv-sibling Ariel Winter sure turned into a pair of impressive young women. Inspired me to look for certified autos, and ended up with the Vampire Academy one. I should make a custom overlay for it someday with a more attractive photo.

Spurred by Zippy asking me about my Alexa Bliss dupes (PWE mailed out yesterday, btw, Kenny), I finally semi-organized my Girlie Card minicollection into sections the other day. The Sarah Hyland auto will go into the "Hollywood Ladies" section.

Robin Yount as a Diamondback? It happened!

They seem kinda tough to find, but I ended up with 3 of these 2002 Keebler cards from the same seller. Figured the pair of dupes would be solid trade fodder for Yount PC'ers or other fans of "short-term stops"-type cards of this nature. Let me know if you're interested in swapping me something for one. . .

But really though, I'm kinda putting trades on hold right now, just trying to finish up things already in the works and then I plan to chill on trading for a while. This puppy, man.. she's a demon! My wife and I are exhausted and just hoping some of the attempts at training start getting through eventually.

This photo is from the first night we brought Ruby home. She found a headrest on a couple boxes of MST3K cards. But turns out she's a chewing fiend, so the door to my "office" (card room) will remain closed until she shapes up. No losses yet, but I must remain vigilant.

Here's a nice photo of Ruby from the other day. She's a cutie when she not (play)biting you, or chewing on things she shouldn't, or eating things she shouldn't, or peeing in the house, or aggressively begging while you cook and eat. But we've got a new gameplan now with help from my cousin-- an accomplished dog trainer who's trained dogs for Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams among others-- so here's hoping this li'l pup's behavioral issues get in check soon.

Thanks for reading. I'll need to do a "trade roundup" post soon because I've got a lot of cool stuff in the past couple weeks. So look out for that and see ya then. Have a great weekend!