Wednesday, August 16, 2017

COMC Delivers Some Giants and Trojans

Next up from my April COMC order are a few Giants and a nice grouping of USC Trojans - right in time for college football season.

The Giants are not very well represented in this order.  It is a little surprising as I bought most of these cards during Spring Training when my hopes were high for the team.  Well that has changed a bit but on to sunnier topics.

How about a pair of cards from the Home Run King!  I think I did a search for Bonds cards starting with the lowest priced and found this Electric Diamond parallel.  The SI for Kids was a search after I saw one for sale for a crazy price.  I knew I didn't have it, hopped on COMC and brought it home for under a buck.

The only other Giants from this order are this trio of Donruss Signature Series base cards.  These were released in Donruss' 2001 comeback year.  Each of them is numbered to 800 and this finished off my team set of 6.  There is also an auto of Pedro Feliz /330 that is numbered as part of the base set but I never consider the autos part of the team set.  My collection - my rules.

Now into a great batch of card from my USC Trojans:

Back in 2015 Panini put out cards for a few select college program, USC was included.  They were available in blaster boxes at a couple of retailers on line.  I bought a couple boxes and really liked the set. It was heavily football dominated but had a few basketball and baseball cards as well.  I had 2 disappointments - 1) the set didn't include hoops player and my former neighbor Harold Miner and 2) the two blasters didn't give me a complete set.  I searched everywhere for single and could only find a select few on COMC.  After a few months I picked up another blaster and still came up 5 cards short (with a huge stack of dups).  Luckily someone else must have bought a blaster or two and sent them into COMC as they came available and I swooped them up to finish off my set.

I picked up one of these football helmet, shiny die-cut cards and loved it.  The stock is nice and thick, the players are wearing their USC unis, the helmets look great - almost perfect cards.  I went it and got these 3 additional cards as well.  I also did a search from some cheap autos and picked up the two Tre Maddens - I don't limit myself to Trojan cards in their college unis but usually prefer them.

Finally I went on a Charles White, former Heisman Trophy winner, shopping spree.  Charles has had quite a few release in the past several years and I hadn't kept up.  It is hard for me to choose my favorite from this group of 9 inserts and parallels but I would probably go with the All-Americans insert in the middle.  Two pics, one without a helmet, to go with the US Flag background speaks to the patriot in me.

The final CW cards are these two autos.  The Rose Bowl card is cool but the UD Black is the star of this package.  It is just a beautiful card with a perfect silver signature - makes you miss Upper Deck doesn't it?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Some Vintage Set Help from mrhaverkamp

I have two major regrets about missing this year's National Sportscard convention.  The first was not being able to search for some reasonably priced vintage cards to help with my set quests.  The second was missing out on a chance to connect with my friend Jim (aka mrhaverkamp), still the only person from the blogging community that I have met face to face.  Jim is a good guy and fellow Giants fan - it would have been nice to commiserate a little bit about this dreadful season.

You may recall that I got a killer starter set of 1969 Topps cards and decided to work on this set in parallel (and in reality ahead of) my 1972 Topps set.  Jim was the first to comment on that post and ended up shooting a nice batch of cards my way to help out.

First up was a nice looking Seattle Pilots rookie stars card featuring Lou Pinella.  The presence of the Pilots is one of the reasons I wanted to go after this set next.  The other 3 cards are variations.  I happened to have a few variations already in my collection so I decided to go after them - with the exception of the White Letter variation.

Also included was a little bit of star power.  Tony Oliva is favorite of mine.  His peak was just a tad before my time but during all my readings and all the stories I have heard, I have built up a ton of respect for the man.  By all accounts he was one of the best hitters, had a few great years and was a fringe HOFer but didn't quite make it.

Speaking of star power - how about a quad of Hall of Famers!  I have always been a fan of the Carew card - it has been featured in a couple reprint sets.  I had the Perry in my Giants binder and glad to add it to my set.  The Sporting News All Stars from this set are perhaps my favorite design and the Bench has to be one of the best due to his awesome Reds uni.  The Gibson checklist is obviously marked and beat up but it will hold a place in my set regardless.  No need seeing out condition upgrades until I get one of each card.

Jim also included these awesome Kellogg's cards.  After tracking one down I decided to go after the set.  I was guessing the trip to the National would allow me to make some progress but the family trip to California got in the way this year.  These four are awesome additions and in great shape.

Thanks Jim for the care package, I appreciate it.  I was hoping to connect in Chicago and maybe track down a few cards to return the favor.  I am trying to decided between Cleveland this year and Chicago next.  Chicago is a lot closer to KC but I am not sure I can wait another year.  Let me know your plans and maybe we can meet up at your next National.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Set Help from COMC

Lots of catching up to do.  I have been spending more of my budget on COMC lately and here is the first of 3 parts of a shipment I had delivered in early April.  I find that more and more I can get a better deal at COMC vs. Sportlots due primarily to shipping costs.  Each seller on Sportlots is entitled to shipping but for one flat fee you can get all you cards delivered.  Even lower end inserts can typically be found on COMC for a better rate.

First up are the final cards I needed to finish off what I call a Master set of 2000 Upper Deck Hitters Club.  I have featured some of the cards in past posts.  I bought a hobby box 3-4 years back from my LCS in Orange County CA and decided to go after the base and all the insert sets.  As the title of the set references, this one is all about hitters.  I was very happy to finish this set off and enjoy flipping through it with the great designs of both the base and insert sets.  This one is probably headed into a binder one day.

The next 2 scans show cards towards my quest to finish off 2 of the 40 card insert sets from 2014 Panini Hall of Fame.  I cracked 3-4 boxes of this stuff (2 HOF autos/box) and fell in love with these 2 insert sets.  Great photos, great player selection and for some unknown reason I dig the shiny design with the old time players.  I am now with 7 Dominator cards and 8 Elite Series cards from finishing these sets.

Similar to the 2000 UD Hitters Club set, my 1998 Metal set started with an LCS hobby box.  This set needed quite a few more base cards but I was able to put that set to rest earlier this year.  I also decided to complete the 2 insert sets.  The cards with the globe in the background are an interesting die cut design on a unique type of paper while the Diamond Heros incorporate a players picture with some awesome artwork.  Both solid insert sets.

The final 3 cards are somewhat random. The Cash card features a great bat barrel photo and a nice rookie cup, it went towards my 1971 Topps set that is now complete.  The Morris is an SP from the Hometown Heroes set - I don't know if that set will ever get finished.  The SPs are hard to track down and cost way too much.  Finally a base card of Kris Bryant from 2016 Diamond Kings.  It was the last card needed to finish off that set.

I have done some pretty solid work on the sets in 2017.  The other 2 posts from this COMC purchase will feature cards for my Player Collections and cards from a couple of my favorite teams - the Giants and Trojans.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Generosity from Johnny's Trading Spot

I decided last night that it was time to kick myself in the butt and get back to some regular posting.  Don't know if it will happen but I figured I would start one step (post) at a time.  Several weeks back I got a great care package from John from Johnny's Trading Spot, one of the most generous bloggers out there.  I sorted through the cards, picked out some of my favorites then scanned and uploaded them to a blank blog post.  For the last few weeks the wordless post just sat there.

Last night I was going through a new Christmas in July package I got from John and realized how much time had passed and that was the kick I needed.  Hopefully I will get to the Christmas package before Christmas but I wanted to share the last batch of cards John sent my way.

The first group of cards are some 90s Stadium Club cards.  I was reminded of how great the photography was in these sets and how different/better Stadium Club was from other releases at the time.

This is a nice group of cards with some great Giants hitters.  Nice pitcher at the plate card of Don Robinson.  I remember Robinson for his okay pitcher, really solid hitting and great nickname - the Caveman.

Also included were two almost complete team sets of Giants Mother's Cookies cards.  I was a little shocked by the price tags on the bags.

Some great cards here, all new to my collection.  My favorite here is the minor league card of former closer Rod Beck.  I recognize the Matt Williams promo card - I got another one in the Christmas package.

Some more oddballs, looks like John may have broken some of those awesome late 80s box sets.  Every so often I try to pick these up, great way to remember the players from my childhood.

I have a nice box filled with stickers and team oddballs.  My ultimate goal is to put together a nice binder displaying all of them.

I believe my comments about these cards was the origin of this package.  I have been giving thought to putting together this retail insert set so these will give me a little jump start.

This group of inserts and parallels were a great addition to the package.  All new additions to the Giants binder.

More adds to the Giants binder.  I love adding Deion Sanders cards from his time on the Giants to my collection.  I have pondered starting a player collection of Barry Zito cards, in part due to cool cards like the shiny Turkey Red here.  I don't think I will ever pull the trigger and will just be happy getting his Giants cards.

I'll end this post with 9 of my favorites from this Giants Stadium Club near set that was sent my way.  I had bought this set a while back but left it sealed up, so now I was able to check out all the cards and get time into the binder.

Thanks for the great group of cards and your consistent generosity John!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Joy of a Completed 50s Giants Team Set

Wow, how time flies, it has been almost a month since I posted.  I have been trying to keep up in my blog reading but even that has suffered.  I couldn't allow a monumental event like completing a Giants team set from the 1950s pass without celebrating it on my blog.

The set I completed is the 1954 Bowman set.  It isn't a large set with only 14 cards but as you can probably guess, it has one pretty tough card to track down and afford.  My final card was none other than Willie Mays, the Say Hey Kid.

Condition wise it is a little rough but hey this is a 1954 Bowman card of one of the greatest players to ever play the game.  For those of you who care about Beckett book value this card has a high of $500 and a low of $300.  I was able to score it on a Sportlots auction for $21 delivered.  

Here is the team set in all its glory:

I am really happy to have a vintage set like this complete.  Would the condition of a card like this Mays ever scare you away?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Joy of a Completed Insert Set - 1996 Topps Classic Confrontations

Since 2006, in addition to the Topps Flagship base sets, I have been collecting most of the insert sets as well.  I little while back I decided to fill some gaps in my collection and pick up the Topps insert sets from 1993 to 2005.  While I do have all the base sets in that range, this was a period where I didn't do a ton of collecting.  Most of the sets have been picked up in factory form or bought complete without opening many or any packs.  I have decided to share the different insert sets as I complete them to document my progress and share the sets in case they came at a lull in your collecting as well.

This set is a 15 card set from 1996 and is called Classic Confrontations.  The fronts feature a nearly full body picture of the player, a muted close up of a portion of the same picture in the background and a team logo near the bottom, strategically placed to try and avoid the player picture.   The insert set title is printed in all caps along the left side of the card and the player name is listed in gold foil at the players feet.

The set features 10 hitters and 5 pitchers.  It is hard to argue the player selection for this set although one might argue Reggie Sanders is a little out of place.  He was a solid player but the rest of the groups put up Hall of Fame caliber numbers over their career.

The backs and interesting, you get a small player head shot and a stat line of the player against some of the best in the game - hence the Classic Confrontation naming.  The batters show their stat lines against "The Aces" and the pitchers card back shows their stat lines against "The Most Feared".

Not the most exciting insert set or design but an overall solid add to my set collection.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Finally a Little Progress on My 1972 Topps Set

I have struggled with making much progress on the high number series of 1972 Topps.  I have whined quite a bit about it in a few different posts and gotten a little advice.  I think the best advice seems to be going to the National and looking for someone selling these - word on the street is that some have been found for as little as a dollar a piece. 

I was hoping to get to the National this year as it is in Chicago which is only about 8 hours from my new home in Kansas.  Unfortunately, a family trip to CA to visit family coincides with the National this year.  With the National next year being a 12 hour trip to Cleveland, I am probably going to have to wait until 2019 to attend back in Chicago.

Mentally I have had to resign myself to the fact that I will probably not come close to finishing the 1972 set until a trip like that takes place.  In the meantime I plan on finishing up everything but Series 6 and trying to get lucky and find some reasonably priced high numbers on the off chance they turn up.  I still need some pretty big cards like Roberto Clemente, Nolan Ryan and Pete Rose so I have a few challenges ahead.

I was lucky enough to run across an eBay auction for 12 high number cards and since I only have a small number, they were all needs.  I made a couple bids and were able to bring them home for under $2 each.  Here are the cards I scored:

With 130 cards in the number series this barely put a dent in my want list but it was nice to finally make a little progress on the final series.  If you happen to run across a cheap source for 1972 high numbers, please let me know!