Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Dominican Dandy- Juan Marichal

I finished watching the HOF induction speeches tonight, I thought it was a great group of inductees and a great group of speeches. I hope to add autographed cards of Maddux, Glavine, Thomas and LaRussa to my collection soon (I already have Torre and Cox covered).  During the player intros I say former Giants great Juan Marichal and recognized I haven't shared many of his cards lately on the blog.  I dug into my scan folder and found a nice 6-pack of things to share, both old and newer.  I hope you enjoy.

First up is this very nice 1964 Wheaties stamp.  I assume based on the name that these were inserted in cereal boxes but it was before my time.  What I do know is that this is a great colorful photo and a wonderful addition to my Giants collection.

This is a jersey relic from 2011 Prime Cuts.  On the plus side, I now have a relic numbered 18/25 but on the down side this is an obviously unlicensed card with the black cap without a logo.  I personally like some of the newer releases where they attempt to hide that, even if it results in some chopped off heads.

While the Wheaties stamp above is fairly large - wider than a typical card - this 1962 Topps stamp is small, similar to a normal first class postage stamp.  I have always been a fan of these stamps since I picked up a McCovey years ago, to me the yellow background of this really makes it stand out.

 This coin from 1971 Topps is also fairly small.  I like that it shares its origination year with me and I like the green around the coin, even though it isn't a Giants color, I think it looks pretty nice.  I have a stack of these coins and another stack of the recently produced Topps Chipz sitting on a shelf trying to figure out what to do with them. Binder pages don't seem to be the way to go so they might just end up in a storage box which kind of sucks.

 I haven't looked to see how many Marichals there are in this 2006 Upper Deck Epic sets but I know there are tons of McCoveys.  For a while I was trying to pick up as many of the McCoveys as possible but haven't added one in years.  I have a couple binder pages of them but it kind of annoys me to look at them.

This final card is definitely my favorite.  The American Flag is great as is the in action  picture of Juan's throwing motion.  We have a nice vintage swatch with stitches and a solid autograph across the bottom.  Sure I would love to have this as an on card auto but the 2/5 serial number more than makes up for it.

Many of the HOFers were looking pretty old this year. With the passing of Tony Gwynn and seeing all those players it makes me realize that I need to appreciate the baseball greats while they are still here.  It was great seeing so many of the best in one location over the weekend.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Trade Post - Clyde's Stale Cards

Not too long back I got an amazing package of cards from Jason of the blog titled Clyde's Stale Cards.  Jason is a Dave Winfield super collector and sent me a nice stack of Winfield cards.  He also included a nice group of Giants I needed and a vintage McCovey on my want list.  I am going to save the Willie Mac for a McCovey Monday but wanted to share the rest of the cards.

First up, let's check out the Winfields:

 Here is a nice grouping of cards, I really like the Fan Favorites with the different pose that I am used to on the 1979 design.  I noticed after scanning that every team that Winfield played for but the Angels are represented in this 9-card grouping.  I am wishing I had mixed things up a bit when I scanned to include an Angels card.  I am a big fan of players who stay with one team for their entire career but I also enjoy the variety of teams I get to see with my Dave Winfield and Rickey Henderson collections.

Here are another 9 new Winfield cards for my collection.  The upper left card is a Card Your Mom Threw Out insert - I had one for my set and now have one in my Winfield binder.  One of the UD cards on the top row wasn't even on my checklist, I believe the Blue Jays one is checklisted as a generic Blue Jays card but it is quite certainly a Winfield card in my book.  That center card - Legendary Legends - is numbered out of 500. The last 4 cards are oddballs that didn't appear on my checklist and I love getting cards I didn't even know about.  The right card in the middle column comes from a Big League All Stars set and is part of Series 3.  The bottom left looks like a 1988 Broder's card - I remember seeing these at tons of shows back in the day.  The final 2 have a similar back and only designate the series and card number with a big star, all very cool additions to the Winfield collection.

 This grouping starts off with some more oddballs - the Blue Jays card has about 4 different sponsors on the back and I am guessing was a stadium give away.  The two Angels cards in the package are from Pocket Pages and the BB Card Pride Guide Monthly.  I also picked up a Score insert, a Starting Lineup card and a couple cards from small sets.  Finally, both variations (notice the color difference in Two for the title) of a great looking 1985 Donruss card.

To complete the Winfield part of the post, I can also share a 1985 Yankees TCMA postcard, a 1987 ticket stub and a 1994 Twins Schedule - all prominently featuring Dave Winfield.

Now if that wasn't enough, check out all these Giants:

 It starts with a team set of 1990 Classic cards, i am digging the one with Will Clark and Tony Gwynn!  I also picked up a Billy Swift Sportsflix card and 3 Matty Williams cards.

 Jason also put a dent in my Panini Sticker want list with these 8 great stickers.  The sparkly Giants team logo sticker and the youthful and somewhat confused looking Kirt Manwaring are my favorites of this group.

And finally some tiny cards.  Most of these are 1990 Publisher's International Stickers. Prior to receiving this package I didn't have any of these and now I am just a few away from a team set.  These are ting and I need to see if they will fit in my mini pages, otherwise there will be a lot of wasted binder page space.  The mini Will Clark finished off the 1992 Donruss mini team set and I love the pick up of the Christy Mathewson Cracker Jack card.

A great trade package Jason, thank you so much.  I can't wait to share the final card from this package in a McCovey Monday post.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

2014 Allen & Ginter - The Giants

I really enjoy this year's Allen & Ginter design but I am really trying to limit my spend on box breaks so I haven't bought too much.  I picked up 4 packs at my LCS and one triple pack at Target.  I am sure I will pick up a few other packs here and there but I don't think I am going after the set this year.  Some day I may decided to just buy a complete set but I am going to try and be good.

I have done something to enhance my Giants collection however.  I entered a case break of Ginter through The Case Breakers and for the first time ever won an auction for a half case break - so I basically got all the Giants from a case and a half.  I don't think I did horribly but also don't think I did great.  If you need any base Giants for your sets, including the SPs, I am your man with a stack of about 60-80 dups.  I thought I would show you the Giants goods from my packs and breaks.

 There are 9 base (non-SP) Giants this year.  I think this is a pretty sharp looking group of cards.  My favorites are probably the Bumgarner with the ball in hand hat tug and the Clark with the sleeve tug.  Like I said, I have quite a few dups of all these cards if you are interested.

 The Giants have 2 SPs as well and I picked up a couple extra copies of each.  Going into this year these were two deserving players to represent the Giants as SPs but Cain has laid an egg this year. I am hoping some rest for his elbow will help but fear the Peavy trade is a sign of a serious injury.

The Giants have 4 players in the Pastimes insert set.  Bumgarner is Farmer, Sandoval is Jokester, Lincecum is Gym Rat and Mays is Retirement.  The Retirement pastime cracked me up.

My biggest disappointment was the lack of minis out of the breaks, I thought I would get close to a team set and that didn't happen.  The first row are regular backs, the middle row A&G backs and the bottom row black backs.  If you have extras from your breaks that I need, think of me as I would like to complete all 3 of these versions.


Finally the Relics.  I got the Posey from the full case break, the Bumgarner from the half case break and the Cain from my 4 LCS packs - I love pulling Giants in my packs.  These are the only 3 regular sized relic cards so I am happy to have this team set put together.  I need to chase down the 2 mini relics and a Mays boxtopper along with the minis and my Giants Ginter quest is complete. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Huge Vintage Giants Pickup

Last year I set a goal to complete half of the Giants Topps team sets from the 1960s and I overachieved and finished off 7 of 10.  I set a goal this year to finish off the last 3 and I had 2 major obstacles a 1968 Topps Super Stars combo card featuring Harmon Killebrew, Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays and this card that I just picked up:

  I have had a search saved with daily reminders on eBay for this card for over 9 months.  It is a very challenging card to find at a reasonable price in decent condition.  It is the final card of the set, #598, it is a high number and it is short printed.  Not to mention that Gaylord Perry is a HOF pitcher.  As you can see this card isn't close to mint condition, it has some border issues primarily but overall it looks nice - decent centering, nice color, no creases or paper loss.  I was able to pick up this card that "books" for $200 for $39 delivered.

As I have done for my other completed 60s sets, I will share the cards I have picked up since the quest started last year then give you the team set in pages. Here are the pick ups:
This set is perhaps the most challenging team set in the 1960s.  In addition to the Perry as the last card, it contains Willie Mays as the first card.  Also, my favorite player Willie McCovey is a high number and Short Print as well.  If you are into book values, the Mays goes for $250, the McCovey $100 and the Perry $200.  I am very glad to have put it to rest.  Here it is in all its glory:

Boy does that look nice.  Only 1 set to go, 1961 Topps.  Here are the 5 cards I need to seek out now to finish off the 1960s Giants set:

1961 Topps #408 Christy Mathewson K's SP
1961 Topps #538 Chuck Hiller RC
1961 Topps #555 Sam Jones
1961 Topps #565 Felipe Alou
1961 Topps #579 Willie Mays AS


I guess it is time to set up some new eBay searches and try to knock this out by year end.

Monday, July 21, 2014

McCovey Monday #58 - 2014 Topps Museum Collection Momentus Materials Bat Relic 15/25

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.

A couple weeks back I shared a recent pick up from 2014 Museum Collection, it was a bat relic similar to this card.  The other had a different picture of Willie Mac and was /10.  It appears there are 3 different versions of McCovey in this set with a few parallels of each.  I now have two and would be happy tracking down one with the 3rd picture.

I actually got this card several weeks prior the one I posted 2 weeks ago but never got around to posting it.  I also posted a quad relic from 2014 and maybe I got confused with the two.  Anyway, this post is to celebrate this wonderful card.  I will state again that I really like cards that showcase this big of a piece of the bat, it just looks great.  I do think Bat Knobs and Nameplates take it a step further but with only 1 of each of those per bat, my collection is going to have to be happy with this.

This is a recycled picture from late in Willie's career but I like it because this was the time, towards the end of his career, that I was able to watch him play.  It brings back all those great youthful memories of my team stinking but I didn't care. I worshiped Willie McCovey, Jack Clark, Greg Minton and Vida Blue.  Even though the team did horribly, I cheered for every player but SS Johnnie Lemaster - he was booed so much he came out with a jersey that stated BOO in the nameplate instead of his last name. Great memories and a great card!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Dual Trade Post - Fantastic Catch and This Way to the Clubhouse

I decided to do a dual trade post and share the goods from two trades with two great bloggers.

The first trade was with Weston, the author of Fantastic Catch.  This trade package had an Opening Day theme.
 First up are 2 cards from 2014 Opening Day for the Giants collection.  We probably aren't going to see much of this from Romo since he lost the closers job after a horrendous month.  I do hope to see more Buster Celebrations in the second half.

Speaking of second halves, the second half of the trade package were 2 insert set needs from 2014 Opening Day.  I am still working on this set so shoot me a note for a trade if you have some of my wants.  Thanks for another great trade and the Giants and set help Weston!

Next up is a small in number but big in quality trade with Mark from This Way to the Clubhouse.  Mark reached out for some Series 1 inserts and offered these in return:

First is a nice insert for the Giants collection of the Dandy Dominican, the design of this year's Baseball Flashbacks is really nice.  But the most exciting part of the trade was bringing this home:

A great All-Star Stitches relic of Buster Posey.  Buster didn't get any All-Star love this year and maybe he didn't deserve it but he is the leader of the Giants and I believe he has a big second half coming up.  Thanks for another great trade Mark!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mid Year Report Card

In early January I posted my collecting goals for the year and we have zoomed past the midway point of the calendar so I thought I would do a check in to see where I am at and share my progress.  Seems to me that the All-Star break used to be much closer to the midpoint of the season.  The original post is below and I will share my progress and my midterm grade in color.

Collection Goals

1. Get my card room and collection organized.  Includes:

  • having everything unpacked and put away (may need to acquire shelving to make this happen).
  • having all cards not essential to my collection loaded into Sportlots to inventory and put up for sale (helps with trading as well, it is a free inventory program)
  • having an active trade list on the blog.  I envision this including sets where I have large lots of cards that I could make available for trade or purchase (cover my shipping fees and maybe make a couple bucks).
  • having all my want lists updated and have them include wants for all parts of my collection 
I am making progress on this but wish I was farther along. For the first bullet, I have decided I do need some shelving and have a plan.  We'll see if it gets done by YE.  For the second, I have sorted almost all the cards by number and year so they are ready to load.  I couple weeks of focus and I could knock this one out.  Haven't done anything with the trade list, this reminds me I need a solid plan to make this happen.  Most of my lists are updated with a few player lists added.

Mid Year Grade - C-
  
2. Acquire Certified Autos of at least 4 of these HOFers:

  • Barry Larkin
  • Paul Molitor
  • Eddie Murray
  • Robin Yount
  • Mike Schmidt
  • Rod Carew
  • Red Schoendienst
  • Sandy Koufax
  • New HOFers (please writers vote some new players in!) 
I have picked up 5 HOF autos and while only one (Molitor) is on this list, I call this a rousing success.

Mid Year Grade - A
 
3. Tie up some loose ends

  • Finish my Giants base sets from 2011-2013
  • Finish up my Giants base sets from the Turkey Red, UD Retro, UD Vintage and Topps Heritage and Topps Gallery, Fleer Tradition products
I have decided this goal will have to exclude SPs and premium sets with numbered base cards - they are just too tough and costly to track down.  For 2011 I now need 8 cards, 2 for 2012 and 10 for 2013 - I have made progress.  
Past sets of Turkey Red, Topps Heritage and Fleer Tradition are complete.  I still need 1 UD Retro card, 4 tough to find SPs from UD Vintage and 3 Topps Gallery include 2 SPs of Willie Mays.  I have picked up a couple of these but they haven't been a focus.

Mid Year Grade - C

4. Complete my final 3 1960s Topps Giants team sets and finish 1 Topps or Bowman set from the 1950s

I have finished 2 of 3 from the 1960s and haven't yet identified the 50s set I will go after.  I do think I knocked off the 2 toughest 60s sets so I am excited about my chances of finishing this goal.


Mid Year Grade - B+

5. Complete 2000 Topps Insert Sets - I have completed my version of a Master Topps set since 2005 and I want to start filling in the gaps at least back to 2000. I will start with the oldest set and move forward. If I get this done quick, I may be able to start on other sets in 2014.


I have made some progress here but as often happens, this goal expanded a bit and I have made checklists and am going after all the early 2000s insert sets I don't yet have.  This probably won't be done this year but I am happy with the direction I am going - I basically check for these from Sportlots sellers when I am buying extra cards.


Mid Year Grade - B

6. Acquire all Ultra and Stadium Club Giants inserts

I discovered most of what I need here are Barry Bonds cards and while I like Barry and his cards I found it isn't fun for me trying to track these down and shipping could kill me.  This goal has been abandoned for the time being.

Mid Year Grade - Inc/Withdrawn

7. Make progress on 1970s Vintage sets:

  • Complete my 1973 Topps Set
  • Obtain at least 450 different 1972 cards (starting 2014 with 346)
  • Obtain at least 250 different 1971 cards (starting 2014 with 83)
  • Get 1970 Topps want list down to 50 or fewer cards
I now need 2 cards to finish the 1973 set. I am up to 429 different 1972 cards.  I have reached my goal with 1971 and have 290 different cards. I need 99 cards for 1970.  I am very pleased with this progress but have realized due to the costly nature of 1970 high numbers that goal is most likely out of reach, the other 3 are looking good.

Mid Year Grade - B

8. Make progress on my non Giants player collections:
  • Rickey Henderson
  • Vida Blue
  • Reggie Jackson
  • Dave Winfield
  • Dave Parker (Pirates only)
  • Ben Petrick
I feel I am doing a pretty solid job here.  I have been picking up quite a few Rickey, particularly the new releases.  I am very happy he has started being include in so many sets.  I have gotten a couple Vida cards but he hasn't been in any 2014 releases and I just don't need that many of his older cards.  I have been picking up a nice mix of Reggie's new releases and some of his cards from after his playing days.  I need a ton of his cards but he isn't my primary go to guy and I am happy with my progress.  I haven't put much focus on Winfield yet but I did get a nice trade package recently. To focus my collection, I think I will go after cards primarily from his playing days.  I have made some good progress on my Pirates Parker collection.  I have picked up a couple Petrick cards but need to do some more damage to that want list.

Mid Term Grade - A-
9. Obtain all 2014 Giants base cards from all releases

 I currently need 19 base cards with 8 of them being SPs (Heritage didn't help this year) and 5 being on their way.  These SPs seem to all be within reach, I feel good about making this goal.

Mid Term Grade - B+

10. Create and share my strategy on football card collection to include:
  • Sets to chase
  • USC Football Collection focus
  • 49er Player Collection focus
From a set perspective I have decided to only go after the Topps set and perhaps Topps Chrome based on price and design.  When there are really good rookies, the price on Chrome goes way too high.  I have done some work thinking about my desired focuses on USC and the 49ers but outside of keeping after Ronnie Lott and Rodney Peete cards along with picking up cheap bid board and Sportlots auction cards, I haven't solidified this yet.

Mid Term Grade - C
11. Improve my trading by:
  • Tracking packages I receive
  • Creating a speadsheet with everyone I have traded with including their address and what they collect to make it easier on me
  • Send out more frequent PWEs just because
  • Trade more
I decided not to track what I receive but have been keeping track of what I send out, especially addresses.  I have done a few just becauses but could still do more.  Trade activity is probably similar to the past years but time has become a challenge here.

Mid Term Grade - C
 12. Be smarter about set collecting. I will definitely buy Jumbo Boxes of Topps Series 1, Series 2 and Update but I really need to consider outside of those sets if I should buy the set online or bust boxes to build.  I love opening packs but it gets so expensive.

I think I have done a good job here, I passed on building sets of Gypsy Queen and Bowman and will most likely do the same on Ginter.  I have bought more packs of some of those than I should but I will just consider that my weaning off period for this year.

Mid Term Grade - A-

Blog Goals


Here are a few things I would like to focus on for the blog itself:
  1. Read 6 Sports related books and post a brief review of each
  2. 250+ posts throughout the year - that is 5/week
  3. Run at least 5 contests
1. I started off strong with 2 books in January and fairly recently finished and post a 3rd.  I am technically on pace - time to identify the next 3 books and make it happen. Mid Term Grade - B

2. I am at about 125 posts in mid July so I am a little off pace.  Still a chance to pick up it up prior to year end.  Mid Term Grade - C-

3. I haven't run a contest yet but have been tempted a couple of times.  If I can get my trade bait page up and running it would be a lot easier. I also like how several bloggers have held quick contests for a card or a stack and not made each contest a big thing. I may take a page out of their book and run a few quick hitters for some cool cards I have sitting around that don't quite fit into my collection.


There you have it, overall I think I am doing pretty well but lots of "work" to do in the second half of the year - just like my Giants.