Friday, April 18, 2014

2014 Donruss Game Gear Relic Giants Team Set

I am working on the 2014 Donruss set but I am struggling to find the Diamond King cards at prices I am willing to pay.  I was able to get three at my LCS for a buck a piece which was nice but I still need a ton to complete the set.  I didn't have that kind of problem hunting down the 3 Giants relics from this set. Here are the 3 Game Gear cards in my team set:

First up is  Rookie of the Year, 2 time World Series winner, NL MVP and Giants starting catcher, Buster Posey.  The lack of license hits you across the face with the cut off helmet and airbrushed jersey but I still kind of like the simplistic design of these cards.

Next up is wacky Giants right fielder and the inspirational leader of the team Hunter Pence.  Hunter is off to a slow start this year but I have confidence he will be back around the 20-25 HR, 90-100 RBI levels by year end.

 The final card is of Giants ace and a future Cy Young Award winner Madison Bumgarner.  Big news around the Giants is that Madison recently shaved off his bead which is featured prominently on this card.  He is a pretty young looking guy without the facial hair, I kind of thought that was why he grew it in the first place.

 I don't scan the backs of cards too often but these impressed me for a couple reasons. First there is a nice little write up of each player on the back, seems like today it is much more likely to just put all the disclaimer language on the back and punt but I like the 5 line write ups on these cards.  The second thing I like is the simple card numbering.  There is no fancy schmancy GG-BP or some other conglomeration of initials, just a simple 1, 2, 3... numbering system.  Solid job by Panini on this Donruss resurrection.

Since I showed the backs all together, I figured I would share the fronts as a team set as well.  A nice looking trio of relics in my humble opinion.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Trade Post - Multiple Trades for 2014 Heritage

As most set collectors know, the Heritage set is an annual beast.  The set is 500 cards strong with the last 75 being short prints that fall one in three packs.  I bought 3 hobby boxes, a blaster and a few random packs and still found myself a bunch of base cards and tons of SPs away from the set.  With some trades from some great bloggers and a few singles from the LCS I have now put the non-SP set to rest.  I still have want list of 37 SPs (including all 6 Giants of which I need 2 of each!) so I have at least reached the half way point.  I am still working on some of the insert sets as well so if you have inserts and SPs for trade, drop me a note and help me out.

I thought I would share all the Heritage goodness I have received in trades so far from 4 great traders.

First up is a sizable trade with a reader, Martin.  Martin has a non-sports card blog he was kind enough to share with me about Christmas music.  Apparently there is a pretty nice community of Christmas music blogs. We are a big fan of Christmas music in the ARPSmith household so I am going to have to check it out.

 Martin filled 25 of my base card needs including these 9, I picked out a few that caught my eye for the scan.  As we all know the photography in Heritage isn't great with action photos but it is true to the 1965 Topps issue.
Martin was also kind enough to include 2 SPs and some inserts.  He remembered that I needed one of the Bench inserts but didn't know which one so he included both - works for me!  He also included an Opening Day insert.   I have gotten very little trade action on Opening Day, check out my want list if you have any.

Next up is a trade with Ben the co-author of the Baseball Card Blog:
 Ben knocked off the last 2 base cards I needed for my set and...
Traded me 6 SPs!  It was great getting a big batch in one trade, even if I had to trade off most of my Chrome inserts.  I think Ben is going after an even bigger quest including the Chrome and Chrome refractor cards for his set.

Next up is a package from my friend from north of the border Douglas of Sportscards From the Dollar Store

 Douglas was kind enough to send an SP my way along with 8 inserts.  I really like the New Age Performers insert set this year, it may be my favorite design of this insert set yet.  The player selection is pretty solid as well.  I personally think the Then & Now has run its course but I am still going after the set.  The Flashbacks set from the featured baseball year is a highlight for me as well.

Douglas also included a couple inserts from past years that I am still trying to complete.

Finally a one card PWE from Johnny at Cards from the Quarry
Johnny hasn't been blogging lately but fortunately he must still be reading and we were able to make a swap that brought this sweet Clemente insert my way.

Martin, Ben, Douglas and Johnny thank you so much for the help on my 2014 Heritage quest!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Great College Football Triple Relic

Most of my blog is dedicated to my baseball card collection but I also collect football cards.  My biggest football card collection are the cards from my college - USC.  Check out this nice looking card I picked up at my LCS's bid board recently:

Three of the better quarterbacks from last years draft class are featured including former USC star Matt Barkley.  I am not a fan of all the exclusive licenses that exist in the current sports card market place but Upper Deck having a College Football license works great from someone like me who collects cards from a college.  I will also pick up cards of former USC players in pro uniforms but I just love getting cards with players in the Cardinal and Gold.

Every time I look at this card, it puts a smile on my face.  I just think it is a very well designed card.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Trade Post - Off Hiatus Baseball Cards

I am trying to keep better record of what I have sent out in the way of packages this year and if my record keeping is accurate, this trade with Tony L. from Off Hiatus Baseball Cards is the second trade we have made this year and the first blogger I have made multiple trades with in 2014.

Tony is a Brewer fan and the first Brewer blogger I have found to trade with I believe so if he can keep digging up great Giants cards like these, I foresee quite a few more trades in our future.

First up is some sticker goodness:

These stickers are from Topps in 1988 and 1989.  Reviewing my checklist I have some major gaps with the Topps Sticker issues in the 80s. I am a pretty big sticker fan so I think this will need to get corrected.  Tony helped me out with these 9 stickers.

I also scored this eclectic trio of cards, an oversized 1983 Donruss card of Greg "Moonman" Minton, a 2004 Sweet Spot Classic card of Johnny Mize and a 2014 Super Veterans insert of Barry Zito.  All needs and all great additions to the Giants collection.

Last but not least is this card that started the trade, a 2014 Topps Turkey Red Matt Cain.  This year's design for Turkey Red is quite different and I am not particularly a fan of these only releases but this is a nice looking card.  With this trade and another I am down to only needing the Pablo Sandoval for the team set this year which is pretty cool since I still need 2 from last year's release.

Thanks Tony for another great trade!

Monday, April 14, 2014

McCovey Monday #48 - 2005 Upper Deck Origins

My favorite player of all time is Hall of Famer Willie McCovey.  I have amassed a collection of over 1100 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 was thumbing through my binder tonight looking for a McCovey card to showcase since I haven't picked up any new ones lately and for some reason this page stood out:

I recall going after all these cards and parallels back in the mid to late 2000s but don't really know much about the set so I thought I would do a little research to quench my thirst and share with anyone else who has a curiosity about the set.

According to, here is a description of the set:
 This product was released in July, 2005. The basic 200-card set was issued in 22-card tins (of which one card was a nostaglic tin sign) with an $70 SRP which came 24 tins to a case. Cards number 1-100 feature active veterans while cards 101 through 150 feature retired players and cards numbered 151 through 200 feature young prospects. Collectors opening up this product were surprised that other than the Nostaglic tin, that the other cards just seemed to be tossed around in the box. Cards 201-286 were distributed within packs of '05 Upper Deck Update in February, 2006. These 86 Update cards were seeded at a stated rate of 1:2 packs.

I can say with virtual certainty that I have never seen one of these tins and know for sure I never opened one.  I would suspect with colored borders and how this describes the packaging that there would be lots of corner wear on the cards but I am either mistaken or lucked out, no real damage to my McCovey cards.  Apparently the tins featured one of four players, Derek Jeter, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb or Walter Johnson.

The first 4 McCoveys are numbered 115 and consist, order, of the base card (unnumbered), the red parallel (80/99), the blue parallel (45/50) and the gold parallel (06/20).  The only card I am missing is the black parallel 1/1.  

The second 4 McCoveys are the Old Judge cards.  I am not sure exactly how to characterize them.  Beckett calls them parallels yet the card number is all different, McCovey is 124 instead of 115 and it looks like the others are all different numbers as well.  My page isn't organized well but in order I have the gold parallel (13/20), base, red parallel (50/99) and blue parallel (46/50). Again I am only missing the black parallel 1/1.

Overall I like the design of these cards. The regular cards have a neat background of some empty stadium sets which looks cool to me.  the Old Judge appear to be framed minis although the frame is just some coloring with a design.  I wish I would have been able to track down of the 1/1 cards as the only thing in my mind that makes this page better is a full page of 9 different cards.

If anyone has stories of cracking this product or watching someone do so, please share. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Polo Grounds Seat Card

I have seen a few cards that feature pieces of old stadium seats and they typically don't excite me but for some reason when I saw this I really wanted it:

There were several reasons I was drawn to this card:
  1. It is modeled after a reprint of a 1948 Bowman card - I love old Bowman
  2. This isn't any old stadium set, it is from the historic Polo Grounds (allegedly)
  3. I enjoy picking up Mize cards as a Giant, he spent almost equal years on the Cardinals, Giants and Yankees
  4. It is a mini and everyone loves minis - don't believe me:
Here it is next to a regular sized card (it never gets old looking at a card showing a World Series celebration).

There is a Bobby Thomson relic in this set but I haven't been able to confirm it has a Polo Grounds seat relic as well but I am going to keep my eyes open.

Friday, April 11, 2014

How to Complete a Team Set, the Easy Way

One of my goals this year was to try an limit the sets I go after, to date I don't think I have done that good of a job.  If you take a look at my Set Want List tab, you will see want lists for Topps Flagship, Topps Opening Day, Topps Heritage and Donruss for 2014.  Outside the high end releases like Tribute and Museum Collection and the Online only set of Turkey Red (all of which I have never set collected), it doesn't appear I have held back much.

I recently heard that Topps Stickers had been released.  At a dollar/pack these can be affordable fun packs to break and I have found myself going after the entire set a couple of times.  This year I finally displayed some discipline, I haven't bought one sticker pack and went online and bought this for the price of 5 packs of stickers:

This is the entire 10 sticker Giants team set and I have vowed not to buy one pack of these this year to support my goal of cutting back some.  I think I will try to hold back on Gypsy Queen, using my case break of the Giants as my sole indulgence although I bet I will pick up some packs.

You know how it goes on eBay, I am always on the lookout for combined shipping and I picked up a couple more team sets.

 Next up is 2002 Fleer Platinum.  I only had 1-2 of these cards and for a couple bucks I couldn't resist.  Another team set bites the dust. The final one was a big one...

In all its glory, the 2003 Topps Total Giants team set consisting of 41 cards including the Bonds checklist.  I had a very small number of these prior to the purchase - under 10 for sure - so when I saw this I had to jump even though it was $10. I figured 25 cents per card to knock it out all at once was a good move.  I wasn't buying too many cards when this set came out but man if there was a 40-man roster deep set at a reasonable price I think I would be all over it today.

I did pick up a 4th parallel set but it was missing a card.  The seller is supposed to be sending it and I may post it once I get the entire team set.

I am hoping this Topps Sticker team set purchase is the start of a positive trend on paring down my new card purchases.  My next temptation will be Gypsy Queen which was released this week...