Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hall of Fame Auto - Red Schoendienst

At the beginning of the year I set a goal to add 6 new autos to my collection from Baseball Hall of Famers.  I set up a few eBay searches to send me the new listings each day so I could start to gauge the prices of some of the more reasonably priced cards.  This helped me score autos of Rod Carew, Barry Larkin, Pat Gillick and now Red Schoendienst.  I have found that this gives me confidence in the pricing and allows me to pull the trigger.  The Carew and Larkin game from my LCS but I had been watching prices for weeks and knew the price was right.

Last week I saw a nice looking Schoendienst card pop up with a $10 buy it now price.  I had seen most of his cards going for around that price or a little higher but he has some cards out there that just aren't too attractive to me.  Within minutes of seeing this list, the card was mine:

Pretty nice looking card, even with the shiny sticker auto.  I like that with his long last name he signed on two lines.  I love the coloring of this card with the Cardinals uniform.  This isn't the best looking card ever but for $10 I think it is the perfect fit into my collection.  It is serial numbered 072/100 and on the back celebrates his 45 years (!) with the Cardinals organization.

Only one more HOFer to hit my 2015 goal, seems like that should be in reach.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Trade Post - Brad's Blog

I have shared many of my successes in the LCS $10 mystery packs.  I have won some great autos and relics, both baseball and football, and a bunch of rookies, relics and autos to use as trade bait as well.  One day a win turned into trade bait.  I got a 3rd prize winning card and decided to select a Bowman auto of Ryan Howard to send the way of Brad over at Brad's Blog.  I knew Brad was a big Howard collector so I had to send it his way.

I made sure he already didn't have the card in his collection but didn't wait for a notice on what he was going to send back.  A little while later I got a nice stack of Giants in return and I thought I would share the highlights of the trade package.

These are some of my favorites, all of these cards have design elements that make them great cards.  The 1989 design on the Topps Chrome inserts like this Posey are great. The refractor finish tops it off for one great card.  I love the old Flair cards from the mid-90s and I am happy to have a few new ones to pick up on the basketball side from Fleer Retro.  I remember getting one pack of the Flair cards, they were basketball, and they came in a nice cardboard box.  I seem to recall getting a Hakeem Olajuwon but nothing particularly fantastic but that didn't turn me off from the brand.  The Bumgarner purple border parallel is a great card and must be pretty rare as there just don't seem to be that may cards at the Toys R Us' I visit.  I am not sure there has been a better card design that these 94 Finest cards, I love the shiny and the green.  Finally those crazy code cards from a few years back in Ginter.  I am amazed that these code breakers can do what they do. I don't recall hearing anything about a broken code last year, does anyone know anything about that? 

Here is another group of nice cards.  I am a fan of the Score Gold Rush parallels, maybe it was growing up in Northern California gold country that made me a fan of anything gold but I am.  The purple parallel Kyle Crick card was missing from my checklist and want list so I am glad to have gotten it and for being able to update the Giants checklist.  Finally any Barry Bonds insert, especially from Fleer products, is a good get for this Giants fan.

Finally, Brad included 3 autograph cards of Giants prospects from the past.  I am a fan of picking up the cards of these Giants that barely were, I have quite a number in my collection and am glad to add some.  In fact this inspired a where are they now post I am working on for some of my recent prospect auto pick ups.

Thanks Brad for the great group of cards, they are greatly appreciated!

Monday, May 18, 2015

McCovey Monday #76 - 2015 Topps 5X7 1952 Design

My favorite player of all time is Hall of Famer Willie McCovey.  I have amassed a collection of over 1200 different  McCovey cards since I started collecting him in the late 1980s.  I will show off one of my favorite cards every Monday.  Stretch was one of the most feared hitters of all time and I am excited to show off my collection.

I usually only share Willie McCovey cards in my McCovey Monday posts but I am going to switch it up a little today.  How many of you are the on the mailing list?  You get a few emails each week advertising wall art, t-shirts or special jumbo sized cards.  I usually glance at these and sometimes do a deeper look at the price then dismiss the idea.  The only purchase I have made is a sweet movie-like poster at the beginning of the playoffs last year featuring Bumgarner, Posey and Pence.  I bought 2 copies and got them frames, one went to dad and the other is hanging in the man cave.

Well Topps got me again recently.  Right around the same time they introduced a full run of reprint Rickey Henderson Topps cards in 5X7 format and a 10 card Giants set of 5X7s in a 1952 Topps design.  The set features 9 current day Giants and one retired legend:

This card looks spectacular.  I love the use of the 1952 design.  While it is a reused picture, I really like the multiple bats on his shoulder showing is size and strength.  They even used a proper period Giants logo on the McCovey card which differs from the rest. If you look closely in the bottom left corner you can see that the set is limited to 49 copies.  I got #42, I guess Willie Mac's jersey number of 44 would have been cooler but I am very happy with this set.

Here are the rest of the Giants that were included:

Overall I think the player selection was pretty good.  Ishikawa's inclusion is questionable but with his walk-off homer to send the Giants to the World Series I see why he is included.  I would have probably replaced him with Angel Pagan or maybe Santiago Casilla but I am not going to quibble.  There was also a cover card for the set which doesn't look too bad in its own right.

I have decided the McCovey goes in the player collection binder and the rest in the Giants binder. If I can ever find another McCovey super cheap I may pick it up but for now I am quite happy with this collection addition.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A New HOF Auto???

I have shared some of my successes from the $10 Card Chase packs at my LCS and I recently had another nice win.  I was able to pull a 3rd place winner card and had a selection of five cards to pick from.  I don't remember all the choices but remember it came down to two cards and I ultimately decided on this great looking card from 2000 Upper Deck Legends:

This is the Gold Parallel version of the Legendary Signatures card of Vladimir Guerrero. As you can see, it is hand numbered 20/50.  I picked this card for a couple of reasons.  First, I do think Vlad is a potential HOFer so this is a potential early addition to my HOF collection. lists these HOFers amongst his 10 most similar players - Jim Rice, Willie Stargell, Billy Williams and Duke Snider.  His closest comparison is a guy currently on the ballot in Jeff Bagwell.  Virtual certain future HOFers Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera are also on the list, great company and I believe good reason Vlad should be elected.  Another reason I wanted this card is the design, this card looks great - both the design and the photo selection. I love that Vlad is pictured as an Expo as well.  Great card and great addition to my collection.

After scanning this amazing Vlad auto I recognized I had a couple other Guerrero cards in the scan folder for an unknown reason.
 I am guessing this was a pack or box pull a couple years back when Topps was clearing out the inventory of jersey swatches.  Vlad played the 2010 season in Texas before finishing out his career in 2011 with the Orioles.

In addition to his time with the Expos, Vlad is best known for his time with the Angels.  He spent 8 seasons in Montreal and 6 in Anaheim.

Vlad was a great player and tons of fun to watch.  With the craziness of the HOF voters who knows what type of chance he has but I am a fan of his and hope to see him in Cooperstown sometime in the next few years.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Contest Win! from Red Cardboard

Recently there was a contest held over at Red Cardboard, he was giving away some of his extra vintage Reds card.  Since I am starting to have some space and storage issues, I have limited myself to only entering contests that have some cards that are missing from my collection and that I really want and there were a few cards in this contest that definitely fit the bill.

Here are some of my favorites from the nice stack of winnings that came my way:

 There was a nice stack of non-Reds cards that were included in the prize package and here are some of my favorites.  That trio across the top are from the holofoil parallels sets found in retail packs.  They have a nice shiny finish and are great looking cards.  Speaking of shiny, the Nolan Ryan in the bottom left is an actual hologram card also featuring Sylvester the cat.  I have a Reggie Jackson from this set and am thinking this set would be a fun break.  The Reggie and Pete card from 1975 Topps ended up being a need for my Reggie Jackson collection.  I didn't realize it until after I did the scan or I would have probably pulled it out from this group and highlighted it...

like I did for this Rickey Henderson card.  This is the gold holofoil parallel and is a need for my Rickey collection.  Pretty awesome to get 2 player collection needs in a random stack of cards.

There was quite a variety in this group of cards including this IP auto of former Reds starting pitcher.  I could be misremembering but I seem to recall seeing Berenyi pitch against the Giants at a game I attended in the mid-80s.

Now onto some of the cards featured in the contest post - vintage!  The 1965 Chico Ruiz is a great looking card.  I love the cap style and this happens to be a high number short print.  When I finish off my sets in the 70s, the 65 set is one of the ones I am considering collecting so this card will go with my small stack of other 65s until that decision is made.  The Borbon is a cool miscut, I recall getting a pack in 1986 with cards cut this way back in the day.  The 1955 Bowman set is one of my favorites and I am very happy to pick up a card from that set.

1975s Minis and Kellogg's cards - a whole lot of awesomeness in one scan!

Now here are the 3 cards from the original contest post that got me excited.  I have contemplated putting together a player collection of George Foster for quite some time.  He was one of the best players from my childhood and I don't think he gets enough love in the baseball community. He was one of the most feared sluggers and I just love his facial expressions in his cards - and here you get 3 great ones.  I haven't yet decided if I will officially collect Foster but these 3 cards will definitely have a place in my collection.

Thank you Red Cardboard for the great Contest goods!

Friday, May 15, 2015

My Favorite Topps Insert Set of 2015 is Complete

It is too early in the card collection season to declare a winner for best insert set of 2015 but the Gallery of Greats insert set from 2015 Topps Series 1 has to be an early frontrunner.

Gallery of Greats was a fairly tough get averaging 1 of these inserts in every 18 hobby packs or about 2 in every Jumbo box.  The set goes 25 players deep and mixes current day stars with retired players.  Only 6 current players are in the set, 7 if you count Jeter who just retired.  For some reason 3 of the 6 current players are Dodgers and in my opinion only Kershaw belongs.  Puig is too new of a player but with his hype I somewhat understand his inclusion.  Hanley Ramirez is a complete mystery to me.  I will show my bias here but I cannot see how Buster Posey isn't in this set and Hanley is.  You can argue which retired players belong and which don't but it is harder to argue any of these players.

The design of these cards is great.  The photos are bright, vibrant and shiny and really pop.  The border area is raised, similar the the Gypsy Queen framed parallels but have a slicker, smoother feel.  The decorations at the top and bottom are classy and the names, positions and insert set name are very easy to read.

Since I only cracked one Jumbo and a few packs, most of these were secured on the secondary market between eBay and Sportlots.   I thought I would share nice big pictures of all 25 cards to show off the set.  Enjoy:

They scan well, don't they?  Told you it was a nice set.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It is always a good day when you add a new 1952 Topps card to your collection

I was having a little bit of a rough day, nothing major just a long day and I was pretty tired.  I grabbed the mail and went into the house and saw a bubble mailer.  I couldn't remember what I had pending so I was pleasantly surprised and had a quick change in mood when this slid out in a top loader:

This Max Lanier isn't in perfect shape but still looks really nice and at $5 delivered I am super happy to add it to my collection.  The 1952 set is super iconic but will also be the set that prevents me from completing my Giants Topps run.  The Giants have quite a few players in the set including a Willie Mays that books for $3k, a Hoyt Wilhelm RC high number that books for $1k and 11 more high numbers that range from $250 to $600 - ouch.

Outside of this 1952 set, I am making good progress on my Topps run.  Outside of the different variations, here is a list of what I need:

1951 Topps Red Backs #21 Larry Jansen
1951 Topps Red Backs #32 Henry Thompson
1951 Topps Red Backs #41 Whitey Lockman
1951 Topps Red Backs #48 Eddie Stanky
1951 Topps Red Backs #50 Monte Irvin RC

1953 Topps #151 Hoyt Wilhelm
1953 Topps #244 Willie Mays
1953 Topps #260 Sam Calderone RC

1954 Topps #90 Willie Mays
1954 Topps #220 Ruben Gomez RC

1955 Topps #194 Willie Mays
  1956 Topps #130 Willie Mays

The Willie Mays cards are going to be the obstacle but I pretty sure the rest are within reach.  I didn't set this as a 2015 goal but it is in the early running for a 2016 goal.

It sure is nice when one small piece of cardboard can turn the day around.