Friday, November 30, 2012

Trade Post - Nomo's Sushi Platter

Time to share the good from a recent trade from Michael over at Nomo's Sushi Platter, one of several Dodgers' fans I have the pleasure of trading with.  Luckily with me living in So Cal, I can typically refresh the Dodger trade bait fairly easily.  Michael also turned me onto a card shop up in the northern part of LA County that has been a favorite stop of mine when I head north for work.

This trade touched on just about all areas of my baseball collecting interest.  First, vintage sets with the 1973 card for my set:
 Yes it is a Dodger but it is a need for my set and helps with one of my 2013 collecting goals a little early - making significant progress on this 1973 set.  This is a nice spring training shot of Mr. Elbow Surgery with some sweet palm trees in the background and a random Dodger hanging in the background on the right side.  I am sure someone out there has figured out who it is but I don't have the eyes or Dodgers knowledge to figure it out.
I also scored some 2012 Topps Update insert help in the trade. Lots of collectors must be hanging onto these 1987 minis as they have been hard to come by in trade.  I was very happy to pick up a veteran and future star in this trade. I am surprised how much Pettitte just signed for, is he really still worth $10M a year?  While I was very impressed with the season Trout had, I am very happy Cabrera won the MVP.  A Triple Crown season and playoff appearance by the Tigers definitely earned him the honor in my book.   I also scored a card commemorating Johan Santana's.  I am a Santana fan and have him on my fantasy team but he has been quite frustrating with all the injuries.

Michael also tossed in a few Giants needs from years past.  I could have sworn I had the Bocock card but after checking it was a need.  The Mays is a shiny curled Chrome-like card and I was very impressed with myself that I could get it to scan so nicely.  I was very happy to get this Bobby Thomson card, it is one of only 2 in the UD Masterpieces set.  I really like that set but wish it had more Giant representation.

Finally I was able to pick up some 2012 Giants.  The Bowman Platinum cards are very nice looking and coupled with a Bumgarner I picked up earlier leaves me only a Tim Lincecum away from a team set.  I also scored 2 Buster Posey puzzle pieces towards my team set of Panini Triple Play.  Still need 3 more Buster's and once it is complete I will share the puzzle - bet you all can't wait for that!

Thanks for the great trade Michael!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday Weekly Contest - Winner

Finally getting around to announcing last week's winner, sorry for the delay.  Also I am going to suspend the Weekly Contest until after the first of the year.  Our third child will be entering the world on Monday (planned C-section so we know the date) and with the new baby at home, the other kids off of school and the holidays, I thought a month-long break would be a wise thing.

So last week's contest was sharing hobby related things you are thankful for. Here are a couple of mine:

1. I have shared this in several trade posts but the way our blogging community goes about trading and the generosity of everyone is truly something to be thankful for.  I have been dabbling in trading back on SCF recently to try and fill out some of my 2012 sets and going back to BV trading has been challenging and much less fun that the trades I make with fellow bloggers.

2. I also appreciate the presence of a LCS close to my home and another near a frequent work travel destination. I like being able to pick up a pack or two to check out a new product, the owners of both shops are great to chat with and they are always on the lookout for something that I may be interested in.

3. Finally, I am thankful to have a hobby that I enjoy so much.  I have a pretty stressful job and tons of commitments at home and it is so nice to be able to take my mind off all those stresses later in the evening and sort some cards, make a list, read the blogs or draft a post.  It helps me keep my sanity even if it is a drain on my time at times.

So lets get onto the contest results.  Only 16 entries this week which I believe is the lowest total.  There are still a few good prizes left and I will try to restock over the holidays with some new additions for 2013.

Here are the entries:

 And the final winner of 2012 is....


Jim, who runs a couple blogs including the tribute to the famous Dodgers infield of Garvey, Cey, Russell and Lopes is the winner.  Take a look at the prize page and let me know what I can send your way.

After the first when I start this up again, I want to get through the rest of the positions of our favorite players, we have only done 1B and 2B so far so that should take care of a nice bit of the rest of the off season. Thanks to everyone for participating.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Conlon Collection Series 2 Box Break - Pack 3

Here is pack 3 of my 36 pack box break.  I will probably take a break for a couple days to get some contest results in, launch a new contest and share some recently acquired cards. 

Pack 3

This pack introduces new banners in "75 Years Ago Highlights", "Nicknames" and "Why Not in Hall of Fame?"  We also have our 2 Cardinals and for the first time 2 umpires make an appearance.

Here are the stats:

Series completion - 45/330
Duplicates - 0
Giants in this Pack - 1 (Mathewson)
Total Giants - 3
HOFers in this Pack - 6 (Sisler, Cochrane, Gehrig, Plank, Johnson, Mathewson)
Total HOFers - 16

Favorite Card Front:
Not sure exactly why this one jumped out at me as my favorite.  I am a fan of the old school Cardinals logo and this guy just looks like a 1920’s ball player.  He has a buzz cut or no hair at all, some nice big ears sticking out and is wearing his hat high on his head.  Overall just a great photo and my first non-action favorite.

Favorite New Facts Learned:
Riggs Stephenson card back:

I had heard of Riggs Stephenson before but really wasn’t aware of how good he is.  The front of the card says “Why Not in Hall of Fame?” and I am not sure he is a HOFer but I should have known a little more about him that I do.  He hit over .330 7X and has a .336 lifetime average.  He played in 2 World Series hitting .378 and .444.  He was more of a doubles hitter than a HR hitter but most were in the 20s and 30s.  He lead the league with 46 doubles in 1927 and had 49 in 1932.  It appears injuries played a part in his career topping 137 games only once in his career but did appear on 3 different MVP lists with a high of #5 in 1932.

Mickey Cochrane card back:

I have heard lots about Mickey Cochrane and was well aware that Mickey Mantle was named after him.  I had even heard that his nickname was Black Mike.  What I didn’t know is that his really name isn’t Mickey or anything resembling Mickey.  It is Gordon Stanley Cochrane.  Apparently his intensity lead to the Black Mike nickname which evolved into Mickey.  Goes to show you can learn something new about even the most famous players.

Walt French card back:

Another name that I am semi familiar with but in reading the back it is obvious he was an amazing athlete.  He was an All-American halfback and actually was a dual pro athlete in football and baseball.  He was Deion and Brian Jordan about 6 or 7 decades earlier.

Another great pack and so fun to open and study.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Conlon Collection Series 2 Box Break - Pack 2

If you are interested in seeing the first pack and how I acquired this box, check back to this post.

Pack 2

2 more Cardinals celebrating their centennial and another 2 No-Hitters.  We also have another Everyday Hero, Great Stories, and a couple trivia cards.  Not only were they all new cards without duplicates but the card numbers for each card are one prior to the card numbers from the prior pack.  Making me feel good about finishing the set.

Series completion - 30/330
Duplicates - 0
Giants in this Pack - 1 (Davis)
Total Giants - 2
HOFers in this Pack - 4 (Rice, Feller, Frisch, Greenberg)
Total HOFers - 10

Favorite Card Front:

Great bullpen warmup shot.  You see the lefty in full follow through and of course the card back states his nickname was Lefty.  You have a couple of bullpen mates hanging in the background which is cool as well but what put this card over the top for me is the old school glove.  How did they play with gloves like those.  Fred’s card back states he was a fine fielder who had a stretch of 147 chances without an error over 6 season.

Favorite New Facts Learned:
Ripper Collins card back:

Here is a player that is too good to be someone I haven’t heard of.  The card back shares his contributions to the Gas House Gang teams including 2 amazing years in 1934 and 1935.  He also has a great nickname of Ripper.  I need to get a book on the Gas House Gang and brush up, this is someone I should know more about.

Johnny Bassler card back:

Plate discipline and avoiding strike outs for a hitter are a lost art.  Check out Johnny Bassler, he struck out only 81 times in his entire career.  He played in 811 games, so once every 10 games.  There are players today who strike out more than once per game.  Interestingly enough, Bassler started his career in 1913 only to miss 6 years from 1915 - 1920 to return as an All-Star caliber player and MVP candidate.

Al Wingo card back:

I would have never imagined a player could have the lowest batting average in a team’s outfield while hitting .370!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Trade Post - Baseball Dad

As you may remember, I bought a couple of boxes of Panini Triple Play and decided to put together the set.  After that post I got a note from Jack aka Baseball Dad from All Tribe Baseball with a bunch of my set needs.  I thought I would share the highlights of the package.
 These are all puzzle pieces, on the flip side is a puzzle when you put the 9 player cards together.  This group forms the biggest subset need on my want list and I was happy to add all of these.

 Here are some more puzzle pieces along with a Focus card of Joey Votto and a Hall of Fame card of Joe Morgan.   I really like the art work on all these cards but these HOF cards are my favorite in the set.  I still need a few of these as well and look forward to putting the entire subset together.  I am hoping if there is a 2013 release of this set that they will add more players.
 I was also able to pick up 5 stickers in this package. I have to admit that the stickers have been the most frustrating part of breaking these boxes.  Each box had multiples of the same stickers. I would have been nice to have better collation.  It was great to pick up 5 new ones from Baseball Dad.

 I also seem to be everyone's favorite dumping ground for Giants cards which I love!  Here are some of the Giants highlights I received in this package.

 These are a couple of Donruss Estrellas cards, these are always great to add as I didn't collect around this time and I have very few in my collection from this set.  I really like the look of these cards.
 Here are a couple Ultra Gold Medallion parallel cards.  Both are die cut, and the Aurilia is the first I have seen from this set.  Interesting choice of how the card was die cut, I guess it fits the geometric nameplate on the left side of the card.  I have a few from the AJ year but this one was new to me.  You will see my thoughts on Ultra when I share my 2013 collecting goals.

And finally one of the nicest cards in my collection. I shiny card showcasing Willie Mays' great catch in the 1954 World Series.  Last night I listened to an interview of Mays from back in 2001 put out by the Baseball HOF where Willie states that this was basically a fairly easy catch - sure Willie!  An of course with Baseball Dad being an Indians fan he included a hilarious note, I am hoping he still isn't having nightmares 58 years later.

Jack, thanks for the cards. For the life of me I cannot remember if I sent you a package in return.  Either way, I am working on some cards for you. I really appreciate the set help and extra Giants!

If anyone has an extra Triple Play cards, I am still short about 30 cards, 1 Eye Black insert and 12 Stickers from the set.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Conlon Collection Series 2 Box Break - Pack 1

I went out to the LCS today in support of Small Business Saturday and they had a box of 1992 Series 2 Conlon Collection on the sale wall for 20% off.  I have gotten a few of these cards in trades recently and was excited to see this box. For less than a price of a blaster and a half this box was mine.  I typically have no patience when it comes to ripping packs so I decided to test myself with this box and open it one pack at a time.  I thought I could share the set and some of my favorites things about it with the readers of this blog and practice some self restraint.

Before I get to the first pack, here is what the box and packs look like.
The box has a nice, somewhat silly picture and announces the ALL NEW 1992 Edition.  It shows that there are 36 packs and a 330 card set with over 100 HOFers spotlighted in the set.  It also states that there are 20,000 randomly inserted autographed cards - wouldn't it be crazy to pull one of those?
Here is the first pack I will be opening.  As you can see the wrapper is clear and the front card can be easily seen.  Each pack contains 15 cards so some quick math will show that I should get 540 cards so hopefully I can put together a full set.  I would love to double up on the Giants as well and I should have plenty of tradebait once the break is complete.

The back gives a little background on Martin Conlon and that these pictures were selected from the 8000 negatives that comprise the Conlon Collection. It also shows that this is the second series of 330 cards.  The Instant Winner autographed cards are highlighted as well.

Here is pack 1:
 There appear to be cards that focus on Trivia, Everyday Heroes, Triple Crown Winners HOFers, Great Stories, Two Sports and No-Hitters.  There are also two cards that show Cardinals 1892-1992, this appears to be a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Cardinals, not sure if they are the only team such honored. 
I will just share the fronts of every card since the photos are the focus of the set.  Boy did I do a bad job of scanning the second half of the pack.

Series completion - 15/330
Duplicates - 0
Giants in this Pack - 1 (Melton)
Total Giants - 1
HOFers in this Pack - 6 (Speaker, Hafey, Dean, Cobb, Bresnahan, Goslin)
Total HOFers - 6

Favorite Card Front:

I love the way he has choked up on the bat so far and the cockeyed hat on his head.  He has a nice big smile and looks as if he loves to play the game.   I had heard his name but wasn't too familiar with Graney, according to the card back he "was a speedy lead-off man and a dependable hitter."  He also "became the first former Major Leaguer to do radio play-by-play."

I characterize myself as someone who knows a ton about baseball history and trivia but I can tell from Pack 1 there will be lots to learn from this set.  I will highlight my favorites in these pack breaks.

Favorite New Facts Learned:

Ernie Koob card back:
I had never heard about this controversial no-hitter.  I wonder if something like this could/would happen today.

Evar Swanson card back:

I am embarrassed to say that I had never heard of Evan Swanson.  Circling the bases in 13.3 seconds seems amazingly fast to me.

Not sure if I will hit a pack a day in posts but hopefully you enjoy the opening of this box as I make my way through it.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What I am thankful for...

In addition to my family, health and all that stuff, here is what I am thankful for this year:

Check out this video if you dare.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday Weekly Contest - Winner and New Contest

The contest from last week was to share your favorite team from a sport outside of baseball.  I thought I would share a few of my favorites before announcing the winner.

First up, my favorite NBA team:
The Sacramento Kings.  I grew up in the Sacramento area and was living there when the Kings moved from Kansas City. My dad had season ticket for the first 7 or 8 years so I went to a lot of games and saw some of the best players come through Arco Arena.  Unfortunately, the opposing players were the highlight for the first decade or so.  They had a nice run with Webber, Vlade, Peja and JWill but were never able to win the title.  It appears almost certain that they will move away from my home town and I am not sure how I will feel about that.

Next up my favorite College team:
I began following USC in the late 70s when OJ Simpson was traded to the 49ers. I checked out a book about OJ from the library and decided that since he went to USC that would be my new favorite college team.  Amazingly, I ended up being accepted into USC's engineering program and winning a partial academic scholarship that allowed me to attend.  My freshman year we had a nice season lead by Junior Seau, Mark Carrier and freshman QB Todd Marinovich.  This year has been really tough but I am a Trojan through and through.

And my favorite NFL team and favorite team other than the SF Giants is:
I became a 49ers fan when the trade with OJ went down.  My dad was a huge Oakland Raiders fan and the acquisition of OJ gave me a reason to be different from my dad.  I was pretty young, 6 or 7, and this was my first act of rebellion against my dad.  OJ really didn't pan out but with the hiring of Bill Walsh, the drafting of Joe Montana and Dwight Clark's catch in the back of the end zone at Candlestick park my favorite team became a winner and started a dynasty.

I want to thank everyone else for sharing their favorite teams, it is great seeing how far or how narrow everyone's sports fandom extends beyond their favorite baseball team.  Now for the winner o the contest:

Here is a list of the 23 entries:
And after 3 randoms, here is the winner:
Tim Byrd from Home of the Toddfather.  Congratulations Tim!

This week's contest will be another quick and easy one.  Share something sports related and/or hobby related that you are Thankful for.  Seems to fit well with the Thanksgiving week.  We will do the 3 times random thing once again.

Thanks for participating.

Monday, November 19, 2012

McCovey Monday #27 - 2012 Panini Cooperstown

My favorite player of all time is Hall of Famer Willie McCovey.  I have amassed a collection of over 1100 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.

Last week on my way back from work I stopped by Valley Sports Cards.  I really enjoy the shop, it has a bunch of dime boxes, a good selection of vintage and tons of autographed pictures and memorabilia.  It is over an hour away from my house so I only hit it after venturing to our main office.  The vintage/dime boxes, etc. are in the main store but recently I realized a couple of doors down there was a second shop that housed unopened packs/boxes and a big board of items to bid on. I actually bid on a few cards for the first time and picked up 5 packs of the new Panini Cooperstown cards.  I wasn't as lucky as I was on my first 2 packs, no auto, but I did pull some nice cards including the base card of Willie McCovey.  I will share the other goods sometime soon but thought McCovey Monday would be a good place to review the McCovey card.

 First off, the front. As outlined in my post from the 1st two packs, I really like this design.  I didn't note it before but the two small banners at the top highlight the year McCovey was inducted into the HOF - 1986 - which I think is a nice touch.  I like that the HOF logo is on the cards and the size is just right, recognizable but not over the top.  My biggest complaint is the photo that was used.  I assumed that the HOF archives would be used to pepper this set with new pictures but this one has been used tons before.

Here is a 2005 Upper Deck card using the same picture.

Here is a 2006 Fleer card using the same picture.
Another Upper Deck card from 2006 this time - this card has tons of parallels.  I have at least 3 other cards with this picture as well.  I was really disappointed with the repeat photo, I really thought we would get a new and fresh picture in this release.

Now for the card back, again as state before solid design.  The circles at the top feature the years of his career, another nice touch.  A nice write up that touches on his impressive debut, his ROY award, his teaming up with Willie Mays, the 1962 World Series and his first-ballot HOF election.  Very nice.

The picture looks very familiar to me but I was unable to find a match in my scanned McCovey pictures.  My binders are stuck behind some hidden Christmas gifts and too hard to access.  It is close to this photo but not the same. After I get the presents wrapped I will have to dig through the binder to see for sure but at this point I would have to give the back of the card a slight pass.

However, coupled with one of the most prevalent McCovey picture already used in cards on the front, this card is a big disappointment. It still won't stop me from pursuing the parallel of it but actually lessens my excitement for the product as a whole.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Contest Winnings - Collector's Crack

 Prior to the playoffs, I entered the Second Annual Almost the Easiest World Series Contest on the Web over at Collector's Crack.  The contest was pretty simple, pick the World Series winner.  As the only entry to pick the Giants the tiebreaker didn't even come into play and I took home the goods.

In addition to the awesome certificate that is suitable for framing:
I also got a stack of 12 Topps Golden Giveaway cards. I still needed one for my set and luckily the one I needed was include so I was pretty stoked.  I decided to redeem all 12 and share the results with everyone.  Here they are, all 12 in order of how they came up as I entered them:
As you can see, I unlocked a bunch of unredeemable coins.  I wasn't lucky enough to score any cards.  Oh well, at least it was fun.  Hey Topps, if you are listening and actually care next time you have a give away it would be nice to actually get something beyond a coin to look at on my computer.

Mark was also nice enough to include 3 Giants which I greatly appreciated:
 A pretty nice trio I must say.  Mark, I appreciate the contest and the cards you sent!  I am certainly glad I stayed loyal to my team.