Friday, September 19, 2014

Trade Post - Brad's Blog

It has been a couple weeks since I have posted, just been busy with work, family and Cub Scouts - I am now the Assistant Cub Master for my boys Scout Pack.  In addition it has been nasty hot and humid in So Cal and my card/computer room is the only room on the 2nd floor.  Despite the lack of time, I have been able to swing a couple awesome trades.  Tonight I thought I would share the latest, a trade with Brad from Brad's Blog.

Recently Brad broke his annual case of Topps Chrome and I followed along closely.  Part of it was to check out what great cards he would pull and part of it was just living vicariously through him.  I have a dream to buy a case of something some day but I am not sure it will ever happen.

Ultimately Brad was able to finish an extra set and I asked if he was willing to trade it.  We quickly made a combined card/cash deal and without buying a pack, I have my complete 2014 Topps Chrome set in its 220 card glory:

If any of you have traded with Brad, you know he is a generous guy and guess what else he included in the trade:

A 2013 Topps Chrome Buster Posey Gold Refractor!  It is serial numbered 17/50 and is a great addition to my collection.

Thanks for the great trade Brad!  I need to load up on some more Phillies for our next one.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Who Are These Guys and What Are They Doing As Part of My Giants Collection

I was looking through my folder of scanned cards that I haven't posted and ran across a dozen cards that caused me to pause and think about how I collect and why they were cards I targeted and purchased. Take a look at these dozen cards:

We have the appearance of some nice shine with the Heston card, the Martinez refractor, the Adrianza Prizm and the Kickham Platinum.  We have some beautifully designed cards with the Mejia and Blackburn Bowman Inception cards.  The Mejia Heritage card features a sweet Orange jersey while Fairly is a nice minor league card.  Toss in a Denker Stadium Club and Accardo Artifacts from a couple decent looking sets and you get to your dozen.

While many of these cards have some eye appeal, that isn't why I added them to my collection. The names are not and will not be household names so that can't be it.  The answer is that I have a sickness, no matter what the card, who the player, I want to get my hands on one of every card that features a Giant.  I love adding a quality card to my collection but I realize I am almost an equal fan of quantity as well.

Team collectors, do you fall into the same category? Non-team collectors, are there other ways you collect that are similar in nature?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

An Amazing USC Pick Up

Yesterday was the start of the college football season for my USC Trojans.  I attended USC in the early 90s and greatly enjoyed their glory years under Pete Carroll while living in Trojan Country (Orange County, CA).  As an eternal optimist, I am hopeful that the sanctions are behind us and we can Return to Glory.  We had a great start destroying the Fresno State Bulldogs (and I won a free lunch in a bet with a buddy) yesterday so I thought I would share a wonderful Trojan card I picked up for my collection.

I recently scored a card that back in 2006 would have gone for hundreds of dollars for a less than the cost of a couple blasters.  Check this out:

Reggie Bush was drafted #2 overall in the 2006. Matt Leinart wasn't far behind at #10.  Lendale White was drafted #45 overall and was actually the 5th Trojan picked behind offensive linemen Winston Justice and Deuce Lutui.  It was quite a year for the Trojans with a total of 11 players drafted.  I went crazy that year buying boxes and boxes of cards.  However I stayed away from the high end cards so adding this Triple Threads is a huge score.

As a Trojan fan, I can't think of a much better score than a triple auto relic that spells out USC. The players go back to the glory days for the Trojans - before sanctions, scholarship reductions and Pete Carroll's departure.  I am hoping with the penalties behind us and the new coaching staff we can rise to the top once again.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

More $10 Mystery Packs = More Winners & More Trade Bait

Time to share a few more of my LCS Mystery Packs.  I typically go after these when there is a prize or two that excite me.  During my latest trip the only card of interest was one of the third prizes, a Barry Bonds relic.  The top prize right now is some Matt Kemp card and second prize is a trio of Paul Konerko autos.  I decided to pass.

As you will see below, I was much more excited about some of these prizes - sorry to ruin the suspense.

We'll start with this pack:
This was the second Walker I have pulled in these packs and the first one went to my 2014 Donruss Series 1 set.  One of you Dodger collectors has to be salivating over that Ron Cey card.

This one had 2 autos.  I was happy to see the Monday in an A's uniform.  I got an auto from him before as a Dodger and this is a big upgrade.  I am a Monday fan resulting from his patriotism in taking out a wanna be flag burner and stealing the flag.  I hadn't heard of Robinson before getting this card.

Speaking of Dodgers fans, here are two more. One of the IP variety and one certified.  I am not a fan of Reuss, he no-hit the Giants when I was a kid but he does have a solid autograph.  Penny helped out the Giants a bit during a World Series stretch run but this card has him in the wrong uniform.

For me the highlight of the pack was the Deion Traded rookie card, a definite keeper for me.  Another Dodger, this time a relic, but what should I expect living in LA LA Land.  This pack also produced a third prize winner:

I had my eye on this Tony Oliva autograph card for quite a while.  As I shared in this post, I passed this up once for a Duke Snider auto.  I was happy to get it. The more I read about Oliva's career, the more I think he should be in the Hall of Fame. If that ever happens, which I doubt, I will have this card ready for my HOF collection. If not, I will still have it as a reminder of a great career.

As I was going through this pack I was shocked to see an Al Kaline IP auto.  I already have a certified auto of Mr. Tiger but this was pretty cool to see in a $10 pack.  Imagine my surprise when the bottom card was a 2nd prize winner and allowed me to jump on this card:

A relic out of 50 of none other than Roberto Clemente!  I had my eye on this for quite a while.  I doubt I will ever add an autographed card of Clemente into my HOF collection but this bat relic will do just fine.  The first place card was a Jackie Robinson jersey relic with a patch and someone else won that card but I am sure happy that the Oliva and Clemente cards are in my collection.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Introducing My Favorite Football Player of All Time - Ronnie Lott

Much of my collecting focus has shifted to baseball but I still do have collecting interests outside of my favorite sport.  One of my favorite collections has gotten very little attention on this blog, if my tagging is correct I have only featured one of his cards and it was towards the end of a Mail Day post.

With my fantasy draft happening this weekend and football season virtually upon us, I thought I would share some of the cards of my favorite player, Ronnie Lott.  Lott is a Hall of Fame defensive back who played college football at USC, was drafted by the 49ers (my two favorite football teams) and also played with the Raiders and Jets.  He has a few cards with the Chiefs who he tried out with but never played.

I had the chance to meet Lott a couple times.  The 49ers used to train in Rocklin, very close to where I grew up, and we would go and watch practices quite frequently.  My dad was an insurance agent and Lott's uncle was a client.  When his uncle found out I was going to attend USC he set up a time for me to meet Ronnie after a couple different practices.  It was very cool at the time and remains a fond memory.  Ronnie was close to his uncle (I believe the uncle was best man at his wedding) and they were friendly with each other and with me during the meetings.

With the connections to my favorite college team, my favorite pro team and the meetings it is easy to see why he is my favorite. Couple that with his famous toughness, his ability to hit as hard as anyone ever and his presence on 4 Super Bowl winning teams and it just doesn't get any better.

I have been scanning his cards for a while without posting so here are some of my more recent acquisitions.  I suspect I will crack open the binder and share some of my favorites at some point during the football season.

 First up are his two rookie cards, a nice All Pro card as a rookie and an In Action photo as well.  This was from 1982, back in the day where you didn't get a card until you had played a season.  These 2 cards are newer to me but I have had copies in my collection for quite some time.  I just ran across them for a too good to pass up price.

 This card came from 2011 Panini Playbook, not the greatest card design but it is pretty solid.  Over the last 3-4 years Ronnie's signature has gotten quite a bit sloppier, I don't have a better one in this post but will share one sometime soon.  As you will see, he has quite a few recent cards wearing uniforms other than the Niners so I always get happy when I see the Niner Red and White.  This card is serial numbered 35/49.

 Perfect evidence of the presence of Ronnie featured on other teams.  He only spent 2 of 14 years on the Jets but has a lot of cards with them.  This is also from the 2011 Panini Playbook release and is numbered 37/49.

 These are two cards from 2012 Certified and are the Fabric of the Game cards.  The top one is the regular card numbered 058/199 and the bottom is the Prime version numbered 08/49.  The white on the prime comes from a number or stripe while the white swatch is from a white jersey.  Niners patches from this time period don't get too exciting.

 Another card from the 2011 Certified release, this one is the Fabric of the game with the team name diecut jersey swatch.  it is numbered 23/25 and is a great looking card, one of my favorites.

 The final 2012 Certified card in this post features Ronnie from his two years with the hated Raiders.  That was a tough move for me to swallow. The Niners during this time period followed a "get rid of them a year early versus a year late" philosophy which saw my favorite players like Lott, Roger Craig, Joe Montana and Jerry Rice all leave my team prior to retirement.  This card is the gold version with a nice patch and is numbered 31/49.

 This cards is obviously another Jet card and features a great 3 color swatch from 2012 Limited.  It is numbered 38/49 and is a great looking card, both the design and swatch.

 This card is a nice dual HOFer swatch with Eric Dickerson also featured.  Two players who are better known for their careers prior to joining the Raiders.  This one comes from 2012 Panini Momentum and is numbered 014/149.

 This card from 2013 Goodwin Champions shows to what lengths a player collector will go to in order to grow his collection.  Other than the fact that my favorite player is featured, there is really nothing redeeming about this card.  Next...

 Here are two nice looking cards from 2012 Press Pass Legends Hall of Fame.  Even though the 49er logos are airbrushed from his helmet, both these cards look really nice.  The top is 15/35 and the bottom is 19/50 with the only difference the color of his name and the Hall of Fame product plate.  There are a few versions of these but these are the only two I reeled in.

My final card to show in this post is my favorite. It comes from 2012 Fleer Retro Football.  It showcases Lott in his USC uniform with a throwback Autographics design.  Upper Deck's production of cards featuring players in their college uniforms is great for a college collector like me.

I have over 700 different Ronnie Lott cards in my collection and back when I was active on Sports Card Forum I was deemed a Lott super collector (however I have since run into another collector who has a more extensive collection than me).  With the Giants stinking up the joint over the last several weeks, I am sure ready for some football!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Trade Post - Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle

Time for a past due trade post.  I believe Greg from the Dodger centric blog Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle posted his end of the trade over a month ago.  Better late than never :-). 

I pulled a low number 10/10 auto out of 2014 Donruss Series 1 of Chad Billingsley (why couldn't it have been Nolan Ryan!) and was glad to flip it to a Billingsley collector. In return I scored an auto of my favorite Giants pitcher who unfortunately is out for the year but that doesn't diminish the coolness of adding another of his autographed cards to my collection.

 This is just a great looking card from back when Upper Deck had a baseball license - I miss those days.

 Greg was also generous enough to add in this card of former USC Tailback Chauncey Washington that I needed for my USC collection - a cool Senior Bowl card.

He also included some nice random Giants.  I didn't even know Ragira was in the Giants system until getting this package.  The Bowman mini is pretty sweet and I always like adding cards from Will the Thrill Clark.

Thanks for a second great trade Greg!

Monday, August 25, 2014

McCovey Monday #59 - 2014 Panini Golden Age Box Topper

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.

Recently I walked into my LCS and noticed a big familiar face staring back at me from the bottom of the big board:

 This is a box topper from 2014 Panini Golden Age.  I didn't even know this card existed when I saw it and a $6 buy it now price tag worked for me and I snatched it up.  The minimum bid was $1 but I didn't want to risk losing it.  McCovey's presence in Golden Age has been odd.  In 2012 he had a base card and all the mini parallels.  In 2013 he only had a relic card.  This year this box topper and a Relic box topper /50 are his only appearances.  I have only seen 1 Relic box topper come up for sale and it went for well outside my price range at $50.  I am hoping a few more pop up and I can grab one for under $20.

I like the design of Golden Age this year and am glad that Stretch is included.  I am contemplating going after the base set.  I have purchased 2 retail blasters with very few dups but I haven't made a want list yet.  Might try and make a good deal on some singles at the LCS.

I figured I would share the card back as well.  The card measures 5 X 7 and is on very thick card stock.  The story on the back is a common one about Willie's first game but it is nice to have my favorite player included in this set of 12.