Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Petrick Collection Continues to Grow

I recently posted about a few Ben Petrick pick ups for one of my newer player collections and shared my desire to surpass the 50% mark.  JediJeff from the blog 2 by 3 Heroes commented that he was 45 cards behind me and that he needed to get going.  Sorry to tell you Jeff but after a recent Beckett.com Marketplace shopping spree you are even farther behind.

If you don't know Petrick's story, this ESPN story can get you up to speed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99cyiDGHHOo (thanks Josh!).  It is a very sad story and one I can somewhat relate to as my Grandma suffered and passed from Parkinson's as well.  With Petrick being so young, the story is even more sad.  My way of honoring him and my Grandma with my card collection is this collection.

Here are my recent pick ups:
This group is all minor league cards prior to Petrick rise to the Major leagues.  Even back in the late 1990s card companies were putting out silly parallels.  The Baseball America cards are only different based on the presence of the 4 diamonds and silver/gold foil in the bottom left hand corner of the cards.  The 99 Just card is a gold border parallel.  While I do consider these silly, they also offer up the chance to build a stronger and larger player collection. 

This group features cards from Bowman products.  The top left and right are Bowman Chrome International parallels, I have always been a fan of this parallel set.  The top middle card is a refractor.

 Here is a nice group of Pacific cards.  I don't believe I ever opened any Pacific cards during the time they were released so these are always new to me.  That top center Prism parallel is one of 14 different parallels of the base card.  I now have the base and 8 of those parallels, I think that would be a fun one to finish although some of the rarer versions can carry a premium price.  The tiny card is a Card Supial, I believe it was designed to fit in a pouch of a bigger card.  As far as I can tell, Petrick only has the small version.

The top left card is the Gold Back version, reminds of the red letter backs of 2007 Topps - not really a fan of this parallel approach but as a player collector I must go after all cards!  The top right card is the batting average parallel to the top middle base card and is numbered 075/238.  The Fleer Futures card is a Black Gold parallel and is numbered 465/499.  The Fleer Mystique is actually a base card but apparently they were all numbered, this one 0048/2000.  Fleer was a little serial numbered crazy back in the day.

I also picked up a few Upper Deck cards including the duo up top of a base Black Diamond card and its die cut partner.  All of these cards bring the shine but I think the HG Stars of the System at the bottom wins my award for the favorite in this group.

Finally the last group from Topps and a couple oddballs.  I recently learned from Lifetime Topps Project  that these two parallels (HTA & Limited) were two of only three parallel sets from the 2002 Topps release - I still need the gold border.  Can you imagine a world with only 3 parallels!?  I have always been intrigued by the Topps Stars cards, another product I have never cracked.  I like both of these cards with the bottom left card being a gold parallel to 034/499.  The MLB Showdown reminds me of how few Giants I have from this set in my collection. The Vanguard card looks very nice and is a high quality card.

This group of 37 cards puts me over the halfway mark with 165/308 or 53.6%.  I think it is time to set up an eBay search for some of the more rare cards and see if I can add some "quality" to my quantity although I must say that Ben Petrick's career seemed to parallel a few years with some really nice base cards.  Happy collecting!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Presidential Progress

A couple years back a couple sellers started posting cards from the 1956 Topps Presidents set on the Sportlots auction site and I was able to pick up quite a few for pretty reasonable prices.  I also trolled eBay and picked up a few as well.  When I set up my goals for 2015, I decided to pursue the completion of this set and I have finally made some progress.  This set combines 2 areas I really enjoy as in addition to card collecting I like to read Presidential biographies and historical fiction books.

Here are the 4 recent pick ups with a fun fact about the card topics:

Card #2 - Declaration of Independence. 

Fun Facts - There was a rule that was adopted that indicated the vote had to be unanimous in order to have the Declaration approved.  John Dickinson proposed a unanimous vote knowing that if unanimity passed the Declaration wouldn't be used because Pennsylvania would vote no. It ended up in a tied vote so John Hancock voted in favor of unanimity. They had 6 nays to win over for it to be unanimous. South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, and New York were won over then they won over Pennsylvania so Dickerson left to fight for the colonies.  Dickerson was hoping for reconciliation with Britain.  He was considered the "last of the moderates" and was reluctant to cut the proverbial apron strings with Mother England.

 Card #17 - Franklin Pierce - 14th President of the United States

Fun Facts - Pierce was the 2nd President to hold office without a Vice President.  William Rufus DeVane King was selected but died before taking office.  Also, Pierce was the 1st President to introduce a Christmas Tree to the White House.

Card #26 Benjamin Harrison - 23rd President of the United States

Fun Facts - Harrison was given two nicknames, "The Human Iceberg" because his personality was cold and unfriendly and "Kid Gloves" because he wore goat skin gloves to guard his hands from infection.  Harrison was also the first President to get electricity installed in the White House.

Card #27 William McKinley - 25th President of the United States

Fun Facts - McKinley loved red carnations and often wore one in his lapel to bring him good luck.  On September 6th, 1901 McKinley was assassinated in Buffalo, NY shortly after giving his lucky carnation to a young girl.  He was shot at close range twice in the stomach and died 8 days later.  He might have been able to be saved but doctors could not locate the bullet and remove it so infection set in.  

I am down to needing just 3 cards to finish off this set, #3 George Washington, #4 John Adams and #16 Millard Fillmore - wish me luck!

Friday, June 5, 2015

I Think Manufactured Relics are Starting to Grow On Me

A few years back when Topps starting counting its manufactured relics as one of the 3 guaranteed "hits" in each Jumbo box I was pretty ticked off.  I felt somewhat cheated but my attitude has started to turn and I have some appreciation for these when they are done well.  I am not sure what is driving that, it could be the lessening of value and importance of "game used" pieces, the fact that I don't sell much of anything or trade based on book value, or that my tastes have just changed a bit.

Here are some of my recent manufactured "relics" that I have picked up for my collection:

 This Carl Hubbell card may have come from the first set to feature manufactured relics, 2004 Sweet Spot Classics.   I like this one as it features a vintage NY Giants logo that Hubbell wore during his career.  This on is numbered to 300 as you can see.  Some players had multiple patches in the product, for example I have 8 different Willie McCovey cards for this set.

 This card of HOF Christy Mathewson was designed to look like old fashioned felt.  The back calls this a Replica Team Letter Patch so I assume you could spell out New York Giants with Mathewson manupatches but I don't have the desire or patience to track down that many different letters.  I am happy to just have one.

 I really like this card. I bought it on a Sportlots auction sight unseen and I couldn't have been happier.  I love cards with Reggie as an Athletic in part due to the colorfulness of the uniforms and the picture of him in the gold and green plus the big A's World Series patch makes for one impressive card.

This card resembles the silk cards that Topps has put out for a few years and reprints some iconic rookie cards.  Not my favorites but still a decent addition to my collection.

 This last one is one of my favorites.  It features the Say Hey Kid and embeds a metal ring celebrating his ROY award.  These cards are very think and very heavy, it would make pack searching a cinch if a LCS allowed it for a Jumbo box.  I happened to pick this up at my LCS as a single and I am really happy to have it in my collection.

With these solid designs, it seems I have come around to like and appreciate the manufactured relics, what are your thoughts?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

SF Giants #22 - Clark

When I was very young and started following the Giants one of my favorite players was a star with the team and wore #22.  I used to hide under my covers with a transistor radio and listen to Hank Greenwald call the games on KNBR.  I remember a memorable moment (cannot recall if it was Hank or someone else calling it) where the score was tied 2-2 with 2 on and 2 out with a 2-2 count on #22. I thought that was perhaps the coolest thing ever with all the twos.

In addition to Willie McCovey, who was in his last couple years, Jack Clark was my favorite Giant.  He was the closest the team had to a star, he hit for power and was a fan favorite.  He made a couple All Star teams and had a few years where he got some MVP votes.  When he moved on to the Cardinals, I was disappointed but not crushed I am not sure exactly why.  He was traded for 4 players including David Green, who we thought was a future star at 1B, Dave LaPoint, a solid starting pitcher which was a big need, Gary Rajsich, who only play a part of the season with the Giants before being sold back to the Cards and eventually to the Japanese league and Jose Uribe. Jose is an interesting story, when we got him his name was Jose Gonzalez but it ended up he had lied about his name and age and shortly after joining the Giants he switched to Uribe, his real name. The joke was we literally got the player to be named later.

Jack Clark played 10 of his 18 seasons but seems better remembered for his 3 years with the Cardinals, probably because he was in the post season two of those years.  He also played 1 year for the Yankees and 2 each for the Padres and Red Sox before retiring.  This card that I received as a 3rd place prize at the LCS for their $10 packs denotes him as a Yankee:

It isn't the prettiest card and I tend to find these types of cut autos from people that are alive less than spectacular but at one point he was my favorite player so I decided to pick up this auto out of the available options.  It is numbered only 02/10 and is a nice big auto.

I know there are a lot of fans (particularly Night Owl) of the "other" Clark who wore #22 and I don't want to disappoint:
This is a nice Fabric of the Game relic of Will Clark featuring a trophy shaped piece of jersey in recognition of his 1989 NLCS MVP award.  It is numbered 13/50 and shows Will in all his eye blacked glory rounding the bases after crushing a HR with his beautiful lefty swing.  I always wondered if he picked the number 22 on purpose as a tribute to Jack or if the Giants were too cheap to sew Clark on a different jersey.  At that time in their history, either was probably possible.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

1958 Topps Giants Team Set - Complete!

I recently picked up the last card I needed to complete my 1958 Topps Giants team set and here is the card that finished it off:

I usually don't purchase graded cards and some day when I do a little research into how to free this card from its plastic prison it will find it's place into a Giants binder.  However my goal was to secure a nice looking card in reasonable shape at a good price and after a couple patient months, this was the card.

Prior to obtaining this card, there were 2 more that I needed to finish off the set.  One not so hard to track down and purchase:
 And one a little more challenging and costly:

Despite this just being a face shot, it is one of my favorite Mays cards of all time.  The blue background makes his picture pop and the carefree look and slight smile represents the Mays attitude and enjoyment for the game that Mays exhibited throughout his career.

I typically show the entire team set together in pages which is a little more challenging with a graded card.  If I wanted to mess around with photoshop I could probably simulate it but I am too lazy right now.  Still, for your viewing pleasure, here is the complete 1958 Topps Giants team set:





Monday, June 1, 2015

McCovey Monday #77 - 2015 Gypsy Queen Mini Black 5/5

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.

My latest McCovey pick up is one I honestly didn't think I would be able to add to my collection.  Over the past 3-4 years my collecting approach has changed, especially with McCovey.  As a supercollector, I went after every card of Willie's at almost any cost.  At times I spent up to $60 or $80 for a low numbered card, and auto or a 1/1 in my quest to have every Stretch in my collection.

Then a few things happened, first the number of rare cards started to exponentially grow. Second, my collecting focus expanded to all Giants cards.  Finally my wife did a little audit on how much I was spending on Paypal each month and I have purged it from my memory but I just remember it was shocking.  We mutually agreed to put me on a budget and I now load my monthly amount into Paypal at the first of each month.

I have come to accept that cards serial numbered as low as /5 will probably not be part of my collection and I am just fine with that.  With a house and 3 kids to pay for I am perfectly fine with that.  With the month of May coming to an end and some money in my Paypal account I threw down a bid of $15.55 on this card:

 This is the black border mini from 2015 Gypsy Queen.  I really like the black borders with Giants cards, they always look sharp.  In 2013 & 2014 the black borders were numbered /199 and in 2011 & 2012 they weren't numbered at all. When the checklist came out I was a little surprised and disappointed to see that the print run was limited to 5.

But as you can see, I have scored the McCovey so that disappointment is pretty much gone.  I ended up scoring this for $11.50 plus $2.25 shipping which I see as a fairly reasonable price.  Having already picked up the Base mini, the Mini Box variation, the Red /50 and the Silver /199 I am left with only needing the Gold /99 to finish off the McCovey rainbow minus the 1/1s.  Time to see if I can track down that gold!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

USC Wide Receivers

Historically USC is known for its great tradition of running backs including Heisman Trophy winners Mike Garrett, OJ Simpson, Marcus Allen, Charles White, Reggie Bush and other stars like Ricky Bell, Anthony Davis and Frank Gifford.  However in recent years they have produced a solid stable of Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers as the offense has opened up.

My USC football collecting has lessened since I took up my aggressive approach to SF Giants collecting.  I tend to pick up base singles from the quarter box at the LCS and cheap relics and autos on Sportlots auctions or the LCS bid board.  My scans have started to accumulate and I decided to clean out the scan folder and share all the Trojan wide receiver cards I have picked up over the last few months.

 First up is Dwayne Jarrett, he played at USC from 2004-2006 and was a 2-time All-American.  He accumulated 216 receptions, 3138 yards and scored 41 touchdowns while at SC and was selected as a 2nd round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers.  I would characterize Jarrett as a bust, playing 4 seasons in the NFL and accumulating only 35 receptions in 32 games.  He was a touchdown machine in college but only crossed into the end zone 1 time as an NFL player.  He retired in 2012 at the age of 25 after playing in the CFL.  This card, from Topps performance is numbered only 2/5.  I have a total of 122 different Dwayne Jarrett cards in my collection.

Next is Damian Williams, he played at USC in 2008-2009 after transferring from Arkansas.  At SC he pulled in 128 receptions for 1879 yards and 15 TDs during his two seasons.  He was drafted in the 3rd round by the Titans and appears to still be in the NFL getting into 1 game last year with the Rams.  He has been far from a star in the NFL but has out produced Jarrett accumulating 107 receptions in 55 NFL games and scoring 5 TDs. His best year was his 2nd year where he corralled 45 receptions for 592 yards.  This card is numbered 13/25 and Mr. Williams really needs to work on his signature.  I have 54 different Williams cards in my collection.




Next is Ronald Johnson, I have 4 nice cards of RoJo.  Johnson played all 4 years at USC and collected 138 receptions for 1750 yards and 20 TDs.  He was a solid contributor to the Trojans but never a star however he was able to work that into a 6th round selection in the NFL Draft by my San Francisco 49ers.  Johnson didn't make the 49ers as a rookie and was picked up by the Eagles.  I don't believe he ever made it into a game and has no documented receptions.  What he lacks in NFL production is partly made up by some nice looking cards and a cool autograph.  I am usually not a fan of short autos but using the first two letters of your two names which also happens to be his nickname works for me.  I like the design of all 4 cards but the Quantum card with the big stripe and gold signature is a work of art.  I have 11 RoJo cards in my collection.






Robert Woods had 3 years has USC including an amazing sophomore year where he totaled 111 receptions for 1292 yards and 15 TDs earning All-American honors.  His stats declined in his junior year due to the extra attention he received and the emergence of the final WR I will share next.  For his college career Woods scored 32 TDs on 252 receptions and 2930 yards.  He has had a solid 2 years with the Bills catching 105 passes for 1286 yards and 8 TDs.  The 3 cards of his at the top are all from Fleer Retro - I love that set with the usage of the college uniforms in retro designs.  All 3 look great.  My favorite of the hits has to be the Topps Five Star, always a great looking set.  I have 17 cards of Woods in my collection.






Finally we have Marqise Lee, a Trojan who celebrated one of the best years ever for a college football receiver in 2012 with 118 receptions, 1721 yards and 14 TDs.  I watched every game from that season and Lee was unstoppable.  He benefited from Woods lining up on the other side but that should take away nothing from his dominance. He was an All-American in 2012 and ended up 4th in the Heisman voting.  He had some injury issues his junior year but still finished his 3 year college career with 248 receptions, 3655 yards and 29 TDs.  He was drafted in the 2nd round by the Jaguars and didn't set the world on fire but collected 37 receptions for 422 yards and a touchdown.  I am hoping he produces at a better pace in 2015.  The top 2 Lee cards are from the Topps Chrome Mini set, the Pulsar is numbered 041/102 and the Camo is numbered 75/99.  The Leaf Valiant auto pops pretty well in the scan and looks even better in person.  I have only 14 Lee cards in my collection so these represent half.

The Trojans have another highly rated wide receiver from this draft with Nelson Agholor who was drafted by the Eagles with the #20 pick overall in the first round.  I have my eyes open for my first Agholor card.