Sunday, April 24, 2016

An Update - #Supertraders Please Take a Look

Hello to all my collecting friends, this is ARPSmith here.  Still alive and well.  Read a couple blogs recently that referenced me as the primary Giants collector and also as MIA. I also noticed it has been 2 months since I posted on my blog so I thought I would give an update on where I am at with my relocation/move and also a quick collecting update.

As a reminder, I am moving from Southern California to the Kansas City, Kansas area for a new job opportunity.  I started my new job on 2/22 but my family is staying in CA to finish up the school year.  We found a great house in Overland Park, KS and we close on 5/25.  School ends here on 6/9 so we will start the 1600 mile trek on 6/11 or 6/12.  We plan to see some sites on the way so I expect we will end up in Kansas somewhere around 6/18-6/20.  I have been going back and forth to work in my new office spending about 2 of every 3 weeks in KS so my time in CA is limited. 

I packed up all my cards to help streamline the move so I don't have access to my cards.  I kept one box open for any new acquisitions.  I haven't had too much time to seek out Giants singles on the new products so I will play some catch up when I get to Kansas.  I have kept doing some shopping on eBay and have been able to pick up some nice cards that I will eventually share.

Special Note to #Supertrader friends
I have been impressed and excited by some of the great cards (and volume of cards) that have headed my way since we started the Supertrader list.  I am keeping these cards separate until after the move so I can adequately thank all of you.  I also have plans to return the favor over the summer, thinking of doing something like 5 packages a week once I get my cards unloaded and sorted.  I wanted to ask those of you that are sending out packages to hold off on sending any my way until I announce my new address.  My packing date for the movers is about a month away and with the slowness of the USPS these days I don't want to be in a situation where I miss your cards and I am not sure how forwarding of packages works.

Followers of this blog may recall that I set a goal to get 1 T206 card per month and I am trying to maintain that during my transition.  Prior to boxing everything up, I did take a scan of my March pick up.  Can't have a post without a card, right?

This is obviously another graded card and it is actually my second of three Mike Donlin T206 cards - the seated version.  Donlin was also the subject in my January T206 post, that card was the fielding pose.  I will eventually finish up the trifecta with the Bat version.  As you can see this is a PSA 2 and looks really nice (sorry for the blurry scan, the card is quite crisp in person).  Like the other card I picked up with this one it is listed as a miss cut. Again it has to be top to bottom centering as the size of the card is appropriate.

With this card I am up to 7 T206 cards in my collection.  If I keep with my goal I will be in double digits by mid year!

Looking forward to be back engaged in our blogging community this summer.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Complete Set Review - 1996 Bazooka

Back before Christmas I was able to pick up a few smaller sets and partial sets of cards from a seller on Sportlots.  The sets were all listed as auctions starting at a quarter.  I bid on probably two dozen sets and brought home 7 or 8 of them.  This 1996 Bazooka set is probably the set that fits least into my collection and collecting interests, I think I got caught up on the chase a little bit.

Regardless, I thought I would share some highlights of this unique set.  1996 Bazooka is a fairly small set, 132 cards.  Research shows it was released in both a factory set format and in 5-card packs costing 50 cents each with a stick of Bazooka gum.  The factory sets contained a reprint of Mickey Mantle's 1959 Bazooka card, I did not get that in the set I purchased.

The card fronts feature nice bright and colorful photos of the player with the Bazooka logo in the upper left corner and the players name and team overlaying a baseball bat near the bottom border.  Thumbing through the set I picked out 25 cards that caught my eye one way or another to share.

The back of each card contains one of five different Bazooka Joe characters (Ursula, Mort, Joe, Zena and Metal Dude), along with the Bazooka Ball flipping game, the player's biographical data and 1995 career statistics. Every card contains a Funny Fortune, which predicts the fate of each player on a particular date.  If I wasn't so lazy, I would consider researching the Fortunes and seeing if anything came close to being true.  Here are 5 sample card backs with each of the characters and examples of each of the 3 types of card types (Great Play, Bonus and Effect). 

 In addition to the 132-card set I received a header card that contains the rules on the back (the rules seem a little confusing to me).  Just in case you are interested in hearing how to play the game, here you go:

As I stated above, this doesn't really fit into my collecting lanes but there are some nice cards in the set.  I may not have been the only person to feel this way as Topps stopped producing Bazooka set until 2003.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

My February T206 Addition

I set a goal late last year to start picking up one T206 Giants card per month through at least the end of 2016.  Right at the first of the month I missed out on a few cards in last second eBay sniper bids.  I was disappointed but kept looking then one day I got an email from an eBay seller I had bought from before advertising a set break of T206 cards.  I quickly went to their site and bid on a bunch of the cards that hadn't already exceeding my desired purchase price.

In the end I brought home 2 of the cards and will share one for the February pick up and save one until next month.  For your viewing pleasure, here is my newest T206 addition:

I typically don't seek out PSA graded cards but for this collecting I am going to make an exception.  They present pretty well and should keep these 100+ year old cards safe.  This is a great looking card of Jake Weimer.  Weimer was a starting pitcher for the Cubs, Reds and Giants, spending only his final year of 1909 with the Giants which resulted in this card.  Looks like he won over 20 games in 3 of his first 4 seasons then faded.  His nickname was Tornado Jake which is a cool nickname and seems even more appropriate with my pending relocation to Tornado country.

This card is listed as a miscut in the PSA lable which I am assuming is due to the top/bottom imbalance but I felt fine picking it up as his name and team are still fully visible.  While my move will most likely impact my ability to add to my collection until I get settled, I think this is one area of my collection that I will make sure to stay current on.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Kansas City Here We Come

Big changes coming for the ARPSmith household.  About 2 weeks ago I accepted a new position with my employer in the Kansas City, Kansas area.  It is a great job with some advancement potential and the company will pay full relocation.  My family and I are excited but it will be the first time living outside of CA for all of us - a pretty big change I expect.  My wife agreed to the move sight unseen, she has never been there.  Fortunately I have been out quite a few times for work and have some good friends who are either there now or have lived there in the past.

I spent last week out there meeting my new team and trying to get a lay of the land as the house hunting will need to begin soon.  Didn't get a chance to seek out any card stores, if you have been there and know of any LCS, drop me a line.  My only collecting interest that touches on KC sports would probably be collecting Matt Cassel cards for my USC football collection.  He was at his peak as a Chief which resulted in some nice patch cards.

2010 Certified Mirror Prime Patch 10/50

2011 Totally Certified Prime Patch 46/49

2012 Totally Certified Platinum Gold Patch 18/49

We wont be moving until early June to let the kids finish out the school year so any trade or supertrader packages coming my way should be fine for a couple months.  I will try to get a post up a few weeks before and also let Brian/Wes know so the spreadsheet can be updated.

In the meantime, expect sporadic posting at best.  I need to get my collection packed up and labeled in a way that the movers can box up and hopefully limit any damage and I will be spending about 50% of me time in KC until we move permanently.  Wish me luck, it is going to be a crazy few months!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Catching Up With Ben Petrick

I am working hard to get all my cards filed away but there are quite a few I want to share prior to filing so you can expect a few Catching Up posts over the next couple weeks. 

I have shared quite a few of my Ben Petrick cards that I have acquired and I am pretty happy with my player collection progress.  My Petrick collection is in honor of my Grandma who battled the same disease, Parkinson's, that Petrick is currently fighting.  I am going to share a pretty cool group of cards I have tracked down via COMC and eBay over the last few weeks.

Here is a trio of different parallels of his 3-player Topps rookie card.  I have the Topps base and Chrome in my Giants collection due to the presence of Mirabelli but the refractor is currently only in my Petrick binder.  Sometimes I find myself having to decide where to place cards that fit in different parts of my collection and the order is usually Set, Player Collection then Team Collection.

This is a somewhat eclectic group of cards with only Petrick tying them together.  The SPx card on the top right is the Radiance parallel and is numbered 040/100.  The card looks pretty cool in hand but scans even better.  The Middle card is minor league release from 2004 and is the last card on my checklist besides a buyback card released in 2005.  I was happy to track it down.

These are all Bowman/Topps parallels.  The upper left card is a gold parallel numbered 30/99.  The upper right is the Topps Gold parallel numbered 1964/2002. The lower left card is a refractor the bottom right is the mini with a Carolina Brights back.  The mini completes the "rainbow" of 4 different backs that were made of Petrick back in 2002.

Here are some Fleer/Skybox releases.  It is impossible to tell in the scan but the Fleer Tradition card is the glossy parallel and is numbered 121/200.  The Fleer Focus is the green parallel and is numbered 143/300.  I already had the Ultra Gold Medallion but now added the base, I am still on the lookout for the Platinum /50.  The Skybox card is the Ruby parallel. there is a Ruby Extreme parallel /50 that I would still like to add.

Here are a trio of Pacific parallels.  The top left card is the Copper parallel numbered 90/99.  I still need quite a few parallels from that set including Emerald Green /99, Gold /199, Platinum Blue /75 and Premier Date /37.  I really like many of the Pacific designs and parallels but they are not easy to track down.  The Private Stock card is the Silver parallel and is numbered 132/199.  Finally a nice looking Prism Holographic Purple parallel numbered 54/99.  I am getting close to finishing off this rainbow of 15 cards needing just the Holographic Blue /80, the Premiere Date /61 and the Tinsel Silver /331.

I will finish off the post with a couple hits.  The Bowman's Best Locker Room Collection has a nice jersey swatch and pairs nicely with a Bat card of the same design I added a few months back.

I am pretty happy with these additions, most were somewhat rare and serial numbered.  My Petrick collection now stands at 201 different cards with a total of 307 appearing on my checklist for a nice 65.5% completion percentage.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Catching Up With Patrick Ewing

I am, and never was, a great basketball player. My best moments in school were when I could get down in the paint, box guys out and grab some rebounds and put backs.  I always say I am guard sized (6' tall) with a power forward skill set.  Unfortunately for me this didn't translate into anything past high school freshman ball other than some dominance in a couple college 6' and under intramural league championships.

My attraction to big guys probably evolved from the skills I personally possessed.  The first two hoops guys I player collected were Patrick Ewing and Charles Barkley.  I later added Chris Webber to the mix.  I think I was drawn to their talent and the fact they were big guys who banged inside. The only guard I collect is Harold Miner who went to USC when I was in school and was my neighbor my junior (and his sophomore) year.

With 2015 being my year of the base card, I made a list of base cards I needed in my player collections and tried to grab some during my card collecting purchase.  I thought I would group all my Patrick Ewing cards into one post.  Nothing earth shattering but it is fun to check out some of Ewing's photos from throughout his playing career.  One thing I noted when putting this together is that almost every photo is an action shot, unlike many of the baseball cards we get today.

Notable in this first scan are the 3 USA basketball cards across the top. The Dream Team was a huge thing and there was a set put out with 9-10 cards of each player and these 3 finish off my Ewing portion of the set.  The Classic card is one of the few that doesn't show some action but it brings back my memories of Ewing sweating up a storm.  The dude was playing so hard he was drenched every day.  Anyone remember Inside Stuff?  I was a TV show hosted by former football player Ahamd Rashad that was so popular it was featured in a couple card sets.

Hoops cards were immune to the parallel explosion that Topps started in the 1990s.  Not the small Topps Gold logo on the two top/middle cards - I remember how excited I was to pull some of these "rare" gold cards back in the day.  The from the roof cards made for some cool photography. I really  like how the card on the bottom right displays Patrick's massive wing span - how did anyone get a rebound against he and the Knicks?

These cards get into the middle to late 90s and start showing off some higher quality and shinyness.  Still lots of action shots here.  The bottom right corner card is a recent Panini Prizm release.  It is a die cut purple parallel serial numbered to 49. It doesn't really fit with the rest but I won it at the LCS bid board and thought I would include it here.

This is a group of cards from Upper Deck and features some of my favorite action shots.  I wonder if the close proximity to the court by the photographers helps capture some of these in game action shots better than some other sports. I also think the athleticism of the hoops players helps in the creation of these cards.

These final two items are kind of oddballs.  The NBA Jam Session card comes from one of the sets produced in the mid 90s that are the same shape and size of the Tall Boys from the 70s.  The item on the right is actually a small book with some information about Ewing and his career up to that point. It was a cool oddball I picked up at my LCS that closed recently.

Although my player collections aren't a stated goal for 2016, I am still going to work to add some cards to all my player collections.  I will also share some Barkley and Webber new additions in future posts.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Trade Post - mrhaverkamp

Last year I finished off my 1970 Topps set leaving me just the 1971 and 1972 Topps sets to pursue to finish off the run from 1970 to present.  I set goals at the beginning of the year to add at least 100 cards of each set to my collection by the end of 2016 including finishing off some early series (in the case of 1971 - Series 1-2, in the case of 1972 - Series 1-4).  I recently got some help from my friend Jim, aka mrhaverkamp.  Unfortunately we weren't able to connect on his trip to Southern California over the holidays and unfortunately his Wisconsin Badgers beat my USC Trojans in the Holiday Bowl.  Fortunately Jim shot me some help to one of the set collecting goals, a nice stack of needed 1971 Topps cards.

 I nice group here include HOFer Rod Carew.  The Cuellar card is cool with the players in the background and the perspective of the stadium overhang in the background.  You have to like the post slide dust cloud on Vada Pinson's card.

I am subscribed to a weekly email from the Baseball HOF and they started a series where people who work at the HOF talk about a card from their childhood.  Not too far back someone shared this Jerry Grote card.  I think it was the first time I had seen it.  There were some good stories about Grote as well.  One of the cool things about collecting this set is that I do get cards that I don't recall seeing before which is really cool.

Another HOFer in Giant Juan Marichal. I of course have this card in my Giants binder but needed another for the set.  I really like shots like Tepdeino's card with guys hanging around the batting cage and this card even features a tractor in the background.

Here are the last of the 29 cards Jim sent my way.  I am not sure if it is because they are relatively uncommon or if it is the actual pictures but the action shots like all 3 across the top in this 1971 Topps set are some of my favorite in my entire collection. 

 Jim also included a couple Giants tri-fold cards.  The action shot with JT Snow and Vlad Guerrero is pretty sweet.  I didn't crack the Nick Johnson, Barry Bonds card as I was afraid I would mess up the card.   There is some kind of glue holding down the flaps.

I also got a note with a bit of advice:
After getting this note I did some thinking and research on the two sets.  I was also able to pick up a big lot of 98 1971 Topps cards that were all from Series 3 and 4 of which 59 were new to my collection.  With these 2 pickups the new 100 cards is only 22 cards away and gives me 607/752 cards (80.7%) with Nolan Ryan, Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente still needed.

The 1972 set doesn't look quite as good.  I have 542/787 (68.9%) of the cards and need a bunch of stars.  Additionally I only have 1 card from all of Series 6 which is a 130 card series with the cards all booking for $12 or more and not any deals to be had in sight.

I think Jim's advice is wise.  I may still go after the 37 cards I need for the first 4 series (this includes some big cards in Clemente, Bench and Fisk RC) but wait and hope I can locate some kind of source for those last 2 series after putting my 1971 set to rest.  It seems like 1969 Topps might even be easier than the 1972 beast. 

As always Jim, thanks for the great cards and the set help. I also appreciate the advice.