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.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Trade Post - GCRL

Here is another long overdue trade post, I did finally get some return items back out to Jim of gcrl fame.  His blog has been on hiatus since July of 2015 but he hasn't slowed down on the trade front.  All the Dodgers bloggers are eager to get the Giants cards out of their collection and I am a willing recipient.

Here are my favorites from the package he sent:

A wide variety of cards here and all of them are great additions to my Giants collection.  The Murray red parallel from 2000 Pacific is the first in my collection, I am a fan of Pacific but as I am updating my checklists I recognize I will never come close to getting all of them but I will certain keep looking out for new ones.  The Mize Tribute card is a beauty, these are some of the best base cards ever in my opinion.  The Mitchell stamp is a cool oddball that I hadn't seen before.

This package contained a lot of gold, Topps parallels from a number of different Topps releases.  I have contemplated a run at all the gold parallels but haven't put a lot of focus on it to date, although I have completed the team sets the last few years.  I suspect the farther away I get from the release dates of the early 2000's, it will be much more challenging to finish those sets.  Jim helped me out with a few.

When I got to this sweet orange relic of former Giants Marco Scutaro I thought it might be the highlight of the package but then this popped out....

Sweet vintage Bowman!  Not only vintage Bowman but a card I needed.  Obviously this isn't mint but I don't care one bit.  How cool to get a 60+ year old card in a random trade package.  Thanks Jim for the great group of Giants goodness!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Trade Post - A Cracked Bat

I really can't tell you how long ago I got this great group of cards from Julie of A Cracked Bat fame.  We have exchanged packages back and forth and I am not sure this officially represents a trade but for tagging purposes, that's what I am calling it.

First up were some newer Giants:

This is a great assortment and I needed them all.  The purple background on the Bumgarner is pretty and I really like the Panik die cut - it was a card that I had never seen.  I am hoping that Panik continues the All Star play that was happening prior to his back injury during the second half of last year.  With the new Giants additions to the starting rotation, it seems like Chris Heston of no-hitter fame will be relegated to the bullpen unless some gets hurts.  The Giants rotation will be quite strong to go with a NL leading offense - watch out Dodgers.  The bottom 3 cards partner with Panik to form 3/4 of the Giants infield, Giants cards as Orange Refractors are awesome.

Julie also included a nice group of Barry Bonds cards.  I am a little sad to see him as hitting coach for the Marlins, it would be nice to see him at Spring Training this year in the Orange and Black.  Reminds me a little of Jack Clark becoming a Dodgers coach, he looked terrible in Dodger blue.

The Cepeda is a reprint but it was the last original back I needed for the Giants team set which is awesome. It did bring back some PTSC (Post Traumatic Set Collecting) as I made the idiotic decision to collect both the regular and original back versions in 2010.  As I recall this is a 157 card insert set over all 3 series and the original backs were inserted 1/hobby box.  I didn't keep track of how much I spent but I recall some of the Ryan, Mantle and Jeter cards being $5-10 each.  I need to focus on the awesome Will Clark and Matt Williams cards to distract me.  I also love getting oddball stuff with Giants logos like this Cracker Jack sticker and hologram!

Finally a great relic out of Topps Archives of the Kung Fu Panda.  I miss the personality and humor Sandoval brought to the Giants but last year Matt Duffy did more than replace Panda with his great rookie performance.  I am sad that because he plays the same position as Kris Bryant as he won't have a Rookie Cup on his Topps base card this year but I am hoping he doesn't have a sophomore slump.

Thanks Julie for a great group of cards!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Complete Set Review - 1983 Donruss Hall of Fame Heroes

A few months back I picked up a set that I have had my eye on for a couple of decades.  I think it is a very attractive set and features one of my favorite card topics - Baseball Hall of Famers.  In 1983, during their 3rd year of putting out baseball card sets, Donruss released a 44-card Hall of Fame Heroes set.  These are standard size cards on typical 1980s Donruss card stock.  Some research shows that the cards came in eight card packs with 3 Mickey Mantle puzzle pieces at a cost of 30 cents.  I don't recall seeing packs of these cards back in the 80s, only singles at card shows.

42 of the 44 cards in the set feature Dick Perez artwork, he of Diamond King fame.  One card depicts the completed Mantle puzzle and the final card is a checklist.   Here is the front of the Dizzy Dean card.  The cards feature portraits, half-body and full-body pictures, I tend to like the full-body pictures the best.

The card backs are red, white, and blue containing the card number and a short player biography.  After reading through all the card backs, I really like the style and content of the write ups.

Since it is only a 44-card set, I figured I would share the entire set, enjoy:

A great looking set that I am glad to finally have in my collection.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

1981 Topps Thirst Break

When I was working on updating my checklist I ran across a couple needs that I never recalled seeing from a set called 1981 Topps Thirst Break.  My checklist showed cards for Christy Mathewson and Carl Hubbell so I decided to do some quick searches.  I struck out on COMC so I went to Beckett to find out what these are.  Here is a part of their description:

This is a 56-card set of individual wax paper gum wrappers, similar to a Bazooka Comic. These wrappers were issued in Thirst Break Orange Gum, which was reportedly distributed in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Each of these small gum wrappers has a comic-style image of a particular great moment in sports. (M)any different sports are represented in this set. The wrappers each measure approximately 2 9/16" by 1 5/8". The wrappers are numbered in small print at the top. The backs of the wrappers are blank. 

I next went to eBay and did a search.  There were quite a few singles listed for $4 and up but I also saw a lot of 41 different that was up for auction.  I looked through the listing and saw that not only were the Mathewson and Hubbell in the lot but there were a total of 7 I could use in different parts of my collection.  I placed a bid and for $10.50 plus shipping I brought home these cards:

One of the two I had on my checklist.

Here is the other on my list.

Hoyt is being celebrated for being on 9 teams and 1 of them was the Giants so into the Giants binder he goes.

OJ fits into my USC collection and I started a player collection for him back when he was only known for football, acting and broadcasting.  It has been a long time since I added a new OJ card.

I haven't officially started a player collection for the Big O but I think it is eminent. I am keeping this one in anticipation.

A nice new item for the Reggie player collection.

Another one for the Giants binder celebrating the shortest game ever.  Think the fans felt cheated?

As you can see, this is a multisport release and the condition on these isn't great.  There are dark spots on all of these which I believe are a result of being packed with sugary gum for quite some time.  Some of the ones on eBay are in better condition with little staining but I am not that picky.

To be honest, getting 41 of the 56 in my lot, the set builder in me was tempted to go after the set but I decided against it as I would be back to where I started with my player/team collections needing not only the 15 to complete the set but additional copies of the 7 shown above.

I figured I would scan the rest to see if anyone out in blog land was interested in any of them.  Drop me a note or a comment if so and we can work out a trade.  Here they are:

Some great players included in this.

While my checklist reorganization has been time consuming and somewhat tedious, finding out about this need and seeking these out has been one of the positive outcomes.  I have recently posted up my the new format for my Giants Want List on the blog for the years I have complete (up through the mid-2000s).  The last decade will take some time but I am happy with the look and usability of the new format.