Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New 1960s Vintage Giants

Recently I shared that I had finished off all the Giants Topps team sets from the 1960s so why are these two cards entering my collection:

The condition of these cards are not stellar so it isn't a condition update.  There are no variations to these cards like odd colored backs or incorrect statistics.  If you turn over the cards and check out the backs, the mystery is solved:

The bottom right corner shows the Printed in Canada notation - these are O-Pee-Chee cards from the mid-1960s.  As best as I can tell, 1965 was the first year for OPC baseball.  If you check out my Giants Base want list you will see that I have a big void in my collection of Giants OPC cards from 1965 to 1976.  I haven't made these sets a priority and really don't even know the supply or cost of these cards compared to their Topps counterparts. However I saw these two at pretty reasonable prices and decided to add them to my collection.

This year is my year of the base card and these do qualify but so far my focus has been on much more recent releases.  I don't know if I will get to aggressively pursuing these cards in 2015 but I suspect that at some point these sets could be a good collecting goal.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Trade Post - Infield Fly Rule

Not too long back I received a small flat rate box from Adam over at Infield Fly Rule packed with 5-6 team bags of cards.  There was a pretty wide variety of cards and I always have fun digging through those types of packages.  I had quite a few of the cards but that is always okay as I have a couple outlets for my dups - my boys when their card collecting interests are peaking or a friend's son who I have dumped a few flat rates on over the past couple of years.

I thought I would share some of my highlight from the package:

First to share are a few stickers and holograms.  For many these aren't super collectible but I love getting them in trade packages.  I have a big stack of these types of items that will one day have their own binder in Giants collection.  9 pocket pages are currently in need at the arpsmith household but I have a possible line on some gently used pages.  I was at my LCS recently and he bought a collection of basketball cards that included several binders with clean Ultra Pro Platinum pages that he is going to clean out and set aside for me.  He said he would shoot them my way for a nickle each which is about 75% off what new pages typically cost.

 Usually my trade packages are mostly Giants or set needs but Adam included a fairly sizable stack of non-Giants.  There were a few Barry Bonds cards as a Pirate, a bunch of former Giants and a few I didn't see any real connection to my collection.  These two stood out as they feature Giants who are not the main subject of the card.  I haven't typically collected these types of cards but these two stood out and will be set aside, this may be a mini collection option in the future.  I particularly like the Dodgers card where the only strong visual representing a team is the Giants jersey.

Finally I scanned a group of the cards new to my collection.  The Bonds Revolution card in the upper left corner didn't scan well but is an awesome looking card in person.  As I work on trying to acquire as many new Giants base cards this year as possible getting Bonds cards in trades is always appreciated as they are typically the most costly.  The two Topps Reserve cards were ones I had never seen and the T206 card I had in mini form but not full sized.  The McCovey is a duplicate as I have it in my McCovey binder but not my Giants.  The two bottom cards will fit nicely in the minors binder. Believe it or not, the Chris James card is my favorite of the entire batch.  It was a card that wasn't previously on my checklist - I needed it but didn't know I needed it.

Adam, thanks for all the great cards. I will be working on something to return the favor soon.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Nachos Grande Case Break Goods

Chris, over at Nachos Grande, held a case break for 2015 Topps Series 1 and I quickly jumped in and got the Giants.  Overall Chris did a nice job on the break and there were quite a few hits spread over several of the collectors that bought in.  I was very happy with what I pulled and want to show off the goods.

First off, the base cards. With Jumbo boxes you typically pull and entire set plus some dups in each box.  I bought a box for myself and did get the entire base set.  As luck would have it, not only did I get my expected 6 team sets, I was able to put together a seventh.  And with 20 Giants base cards in the set, it was a pretty nice stack of cards.  I am keeping one set for myself, one for each of my boys and two for fellow collectors of Giants cards so if you are interested in a Giants team set let me know because I will still have a couple left.

Here are the base cards from the set:
The set starts off strong with the first 4 Giants featuring 2 playoff highlights and two of the Giants biggest stars.  There has been a lot of talk about the Pence card, I think it is a perfect indication of who he is as a player and character.

This group of cards features the World Series Game 7 celebration card and shows the perfect picture.  Also, OF Gary Brown gets his flagship rookie in Series 1.  I am wondering if he is going to stick as a back up this year.  News states that Lincecum will be the 5th starter to start the year, should be interesting.

Another MadBum card, this time from Game 1 of the World Series.  I am banking on Matt Cain bouncing back this year, he is much needed and one of my favorite players.

 MadBum yet again.  A lot of our hopes in 2015 rest on the shoulders of Jake Peavy and Brandon Belt.  We need consistent pitching from Peavy and Belt to stay healthy and drive the ball.  I feel more comfortable with Susac as the backup catcher than I have with the Giants last few years of backups.
There are a couple of questionable inclusions in the set. Tyler Colvin's last game with the Giants was July 30th and Brandon Hicks' last game was July 10th.  I could see them being in 2014 Update but somewhat out of place here.  As I have mentioned before, I wish more of the photos weren't so tightly cropped but I do like the Buster picture.  The Arias picture is a recycled one.

 I also got 4 parallels from the case, I thought that number was a little low but was glad to get one of the Bumgarners and a Posey.  The 20 player checklist will make it pretty challenging and costly to build the Gold and Rainbow parallel sets.  I am personally a little happy that Target and Walmart don't have their own parallels of this set. I usually like chasing those sets but with so many it may have diverted my collecting budget and focus.

 The Giants had 5 inserts in the main retail insert sets and I got multiples of these 4. I believe I got 3 of each Archetypes and 2 of the Highlights of the Year card.  I am a fan of the design of both and have actually purchased the entire insert sets of both.

 Two more inserts as well being highlighted by the Mays Gallery of Greats card.  I pulled one of these in my jumbo box so I now have the 2 I need in my collection.  These are great looking cards and I am still working on building the set.  They aren't cheap on the secondary market and if you have some of the ones I need for trade, let's try and work out a deal.  I was also lucky enough to get one of the buy-backs, a 1970 Bob Burda card.  I have decided I won't chase after all these but will try to grab them when I see them.

Finally my last card from the break, a World Series Relic card numbered 52/100.  These are very hard to come by, I haven't been able to pick one up in the prior years after the Giants won the World Series.  This thing has a book value of $200 and my LCS owner told me he sold one on consignment of a marginal player for over $150.  I think this may have been the hit of the break and I am so glad to have it as part of my collection!

Chris also included  a few extras:
 I need the Chipz item but has the rest but they will go nicely in my next Giants care package.

Finally some minis.  This is my second Chris Reed Auto and I am excited to now have the rare, limited to 20 copies, green ink version.  I have no idea who Ryan Rodd is but with the recent announcement, the Floyd Mayweather Jr. card is perfectly times.

Chris, you run a great group break, thank you so much. Looking forward to the Heritiage break coming up soon!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Awsome Basketball Rookie Card

We interrupt this primarily baseball themed blog for a feature about a mid-80s rookie basketball rookie card.

I was going through an old document a few weeks back that listed a bucket list of cards I wanted to add to my collection.  This doc was pre-blog and even prior to expanding my collection to go after anything and everything Giants.  The list included some 49ers certified autos, USC football autos, Baseball HOF autos and a few other random cards.  When I was looking at the list, one card caught my eye that I don't think had crossed my minds since I made the list.

I went on the lookout and found a copy for a reasonable price so I pouced.
 Spud Webb was an NBA point guard for 14 years and is best know for his height (a diminutive by basketball standards 5'7") and his amazing ability to dunk a basketball (he won the Slam Dunk championship in 1986).  Spud spent more years with the Atlanta Hawks but I became a big fan of his during his 4 year stint with my hometown team, the Sacramento Kings.  His time with the Kings was probably his best statistically and he was so much fun to watch.

My memories of him as a King and this amazing card showing him high over the rim has always drawn me to this card and I am very happy to finally have a rookie card from this basketball legend in my collection.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

My Favorite Insert Set of 2014

With 2015 releases already out I may be late to the party but I recently picked up a card from the 2014 Topps Chrome set that is so awesome, it gets my vote for insert set of the year.

I believe these cards were only found one per box and with a checklist 50 cards deep there is no way that I will go after the complete set.  They have a refractor finish with a cool geometric design in the background. The foreground has a great picture of Buster Posey although the effect on the card make it looks like he really needs a shave.  I like how the pictures is cropped, close enough to see some details but back enough to see the swing follow through and a majority of his body.  Just a great card front and the others I have seen on blogs and online auctions look equally great.

 The card backs are pretty cool as well.
The subset name of Topps Shelf is obviously a play on the card manufacture name and the players being Top Shelf (best of the best) players.  The back of this Buster card shows 4 career highlights. I think I found the fact that Buster didn't have his first walk off hit until 2013 as pretty surprising, not one in his MVP 2012 season.

I am sure there have been a couple posts on favorite inserts from last year but let me know if you have a favorite and why.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Couple of GOATs

A few weeks back I picked up a couple cards that don't technically fit into any niche in my collection but the price on the bid board was too good to pass up.  I have a box of random cards I like that continues to grow with no common theme and these fit right in.

First up is the Greatest Running Back of All Time, Sweetness Walter Payton.

This is a 1978 Topps card of Payton.  I really like the design of this set with the team name on the side and the position in a football in the lower corner. The color scheme of the All-Pro banner screams 70s to me and Topps did a great job on photo selection.  Payton is coming off an MVP year where he rushed for over 1800 yards including a single game record of 275 in one game.  He was also MVP of the Pro Bowl, I wonder if the players played hard in that game back then.

The other GOAT I picked up is the first card I have ever purchased from this "sport":

Hulk Rules!  This card came from an Upper Deck release celebrating All-Time Greats.  I have seen a few box breaks on Youtube and it looks like you get 3 base cards/parallels per box and one hit.  The cards serial numbered to 99 are the biggest print run.  The hit often, but not always matched the top card in the box.  I can't imagine buying a box at this price point and hoping for a Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan and getting a Hulk Hogan autograph card.  However, I am happy to have a card of my favorite wrestler from my childhood back when it was WWF, Hulk Hogan.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

1961 Giants Team Set

Back in 2013 I set a goal to complete half the Topps Giants team sets from the 1960s and I was able to exceed that goal by finishing off 7. The other 3 were major challenges and I set a goal to finish those off in 2014.  I was able to finish them off at the buzzer and celebrated the final card in my 2014 Collecting Recap post.  I never got a chance to show off the 1961 complete Giants team set and now that I have finally gotten around to scanning it, here it is for your viewing pleasure:

 The Giants had team members on 3 league leader cards, to me it was a surprise that 2 of the 3 were pitching leaders as they were known in this era for their hitting more so than their pitching.

I really like the rookie star from this set, it is one of my favorite features.  The Jim Marshall horrible airbrush job stands out like a sore thumb in this team set.  Not sure why Willie Mays doesn't have a hat on, did Topps think the Giants would trade him?

This is a great page.  2 Giants Rookie stars, a nice combo card featuring those league leading Giants pitchers, an appearance of all time great from 50-60 years prior in Christy Mathewson and two Hall of Famers in Marichal and Cepeda.  The Juan Marichal is his rookie card and is considered a short print.

The final page was a beast to put together.  I had the McCovey from my player collection but there were two Mays cards to pick up and a bunch of high numbers.  The high numbers are pretty scarce with very few on the market.  To finish off the page, I inserted the 2 Giants Magic Rub-Off cards.

I am so excited to have finished off all the Giants team sets from the 1960s and I have had the chance to show them all off on the blog.  The HOFers, high numbers and scarcity of some of the earlier cards made this quite a quest but now I turn my attention to the decade of the 1950s.  With all the early Willie Mays cards, this one will take a while and a decent chunk of my budget.  I didn't set a goal for the 50s team set completion this year but will still keep my eyes open for set needs at reasonable prices.