Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in Review - My Report Card on My Collecting Goals

Time to report out on my 2013 collecting goals I set at the beginning of the year.  I decided to grade myself in the traditional A-F schooling format and I will base my grades on whether or not I completed the goal and how close to completion I ended up with a sprinkling of how passionate I remained about the goal throughout the year.

As a quick reminder, in April of 2013 I was approached about a new job that I ended up taking that required me to live away from home during the week for about 2.5 months then uproot and move my family about 100 miles in the middle of summer.  As you will probably surmise from this recap, my card purchases didn't suffer too much but the blog did.

Here we go:
1. Complete Giants Base Team Sets of Following Brands:
  • Ultra - Complete
  • Stadium Club - Complete
  • Allen & Ginter - Complete
  • Topps Heritage - Missing 1 SP (2003 Barry Bonds #376)
  • Greats of the Game - Complete
  • Turkey Red - Missing 1 SP parallel (2005 Barry Bonds Grey Uni #1B)
  • All-Time Fan Favorites - Complete
  • Upper Deck Retro - Missing 2 cards (#173 & #285)
  • Upper Deck Vintage - Missing 4 cards (2004 Rich Aurilia 3D #430, 2004 Jose Cruz Jr. 3D #431, 2003 Barry Bonds SP #98 & 2003 Barry Bonds 3D #269)
  • Gallery - Missing 3 cards (2005 #153, 2001 Willie Mays #50 HTA & Retail)
  • Topps Archives - Complete
 Grade - A-
I think I did a pretty darn good job on this goal.  I needed tons of cards from these sets and ended up 11 cards short.  I picked up a few SPs and 2 very challenging Ultra Lucky 13 cards that were serial numbered to 500 and virtually impossible to find.


2. Complete 1961 & 1963 Fleer Sets
  • No progress, still need all 3

Grade - F
I don't even think I did an eBay search during the year for these 3 cards.  The 2 1961 cards shouldn't be that hard, although 1 is a high number that is fairly rare.  The 1963 card is a Willie Mays and  I have proven in my Topps sets that his cards aren't impossible to obtain.

3. Complete 5 1960s Topps Team Sets
  • Completed 7 Team Sets - Finished 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967 & 1969
  • 5 cards remaining in 1961, 1 in 1966 and 1 in 1968

Grade - A+
Hit a homer run here. I still have a few posts I need to write to celebrate the completion of these sets.  In the fall I didn't think this goal would be completed but I made a focused effort and exceeded my expectations.

4. Make progress on 1970, 1972 and 1973 Vintage Sets
  • Complete 1970 set through 459 - Still need 3 cards (#140 Reggie Jackson, #189 Munson RC and #203 Rudy May)
  • Obtain at least 250 different 1972 cards - Complete 346 different cards
  • Complete 1973 set through 528 - Still need 3 cards (#450 Joe Torre, #453 Checklist and #482 Rick Reuschel RC)
Grade - A-
Even thought I technically only hit 1 of these 3 I am giving myself a high grade here.  I obviously well exceeded my goal on the 1972 set.  On the other 2 sets I focused on all cards, not just the cards in the range I stated above.  Taking out the variations I have included on my list, I am only 17 cards from completing the 1973 set.  This does include the Schmidt rookie but I still made some amazing progress on this set.  I am about 117 cards from the 1970 set including some key cards. I was able to pick up 29/86 high numbers, I don't believe I had any going into 2013.

5. Add 5 new HOF Autos
  • Only picked up 1 new one, Warren Spahn, unless you count autos I have of 2014 inductees Bobby Cox and Joe Torre (which I don’t).  
  • I did pick up duplicate autos of Billy Williams, Jim Palmer and Rollie Fingers but that doesn’t count here.
Grade - C-
A C- with only 1 out of 5 you might ask.  Similar to the 60s Fleer Giants sets, I spent virtually no time on this goal and it was not a focus during most of the year. I got the Spahn at a good price which was nice and the lack of new 2013 HOFers really soured me on this.  I am happy I got one and think I will need to be more specific on who if I am to jump start this collection moving forward.

6. Add 1 pre-1910 Giants Card to my collection

Grade - F
Still didn’t pull the trigger, two years running.  My only real effort here is looking at the display case at my LCS with overpriced tobacco cards every time I go in. Maybe I will leave this off the 2014 goal list and it will actually happen.

7. Make progress on my non Giants player collections
  • Rickey Henderson - Picked up between 80-100
  • Vida Blue - Didn’t keep track but picked up a bunch
  • Dave Winfield - Very few, only a few here and there
  • Reggie Jackson - Decent progress, maybe 30-50 new cards
Grade - B
Very happy with the jump start to my Rickey and Vida collection. Reggie is starting to come on over the last few months.  For some reason, I haven't focused too much on Winfield.

8. Launch new collections of Ben Petrick and Dave Parker

Grade - B-
I have continued to pick up cards from each of these players.  I haven’t posted a want list yet or posted about the why behind these collections which lowered my grade.

9. Re-energize my USC Football Collection

Grade C+
I wouldn’t say I re-energized it but I did pick up somewhere around 100 new cards mostly from my LCS bid board and dime boxes.

10. Obtain all 2013 Giants base cards from all releases

Grade B
This has been a goal of mine for the past couple years and I got fairly close this year.  I still need 19 regular base cards and 10 SP/Variations.  A couple of the variations are almost impossible to find and when they come up are too costly for my budget.  I did think I had a trade worked out for the 2013 Topps Posey SP with a fellow blogger but never got the card and can't remember who - may need to see if that is one I can track down for a reasonable price as I believe it was a sweet looking card.

These are the goals I set for the blog:

1. Hold at least 20 contests. 


Grade F
Epic Fail - I believe I held 1 contest all year

2. Execute on some ideas that have been brewing in my head for a while and finish some I have started. 

Grade F
Epic Fail - I shared a nice list of vintage card pick ups, my purchases in Cooperstown and the progress on some of my 2013 goals.

3. I would like to get up to over 100 followers. 

Grade A
Up to 117 - thank you to all my followers and especially the newer ones that got me over the elusive 100 mark.

4. Create a banner for my blog. 

Grade F
Epic Fail - Didn’t happen, didn’t even get started

5. Continue having fun and never let this little blog of mine become a chore

Grade B
I still have fun and it never feels like a chore.  However, I think I could have carved up some more time to post and comment and trade more even with all the life distractions.

There you have it, if you made it this far I am impressed.  Looking forward to thinking up and posting some 2014 goals in the next couple days.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 Collection Goal Update - 1964 Topps Giants Team Set

I have been pretty active over the last few weeks trying to make progress and/or finish off some 2013 collection goals.  I set a goal to finish up at least 5 of the 10 Giants Topps team sets from the 60s.  I have posted my 1969, 1965 and 1962 sets already. Today I will show off set #4, the 1964 set.

Here are the last few pick ups to finish up the set:

 This card features a pair of rookies, only one of which is a Giant.  The coloring of the top lettering bugs me a bit as it doesn't match the wonderful orange of the cards that are all Giants.

 Here is Don Larsen of World Series Perfect Game fame.  After that impressive and unmatched feat, Don made several stops including KC, Chicago and then San Francisco to join the Giants. His record in 1962 & 63 with the Giants was only 1 game over .500.

 One of my favorite photos in this set is found on HOFer Gaylord Perry's card.  I like the extended arm showing his 2 fingers pointing forward after a pitch is thrown.  There aren't many action shots in this set, this is about as good as it gets.  This was my second to the last pick up for this set and the card is in really nice shape.

The final card I picked up to complete this set isn't in quite as good shape as the Perry but check out the subject matter!  For this card I can forgive the header color and enjoy the great photo of all time greats Hank Aaron and Willie Mays, definitely the top players in the NL.  The multi player cards are quite challenging to pick up at reasonable rates but I am so happy some Giants were included to enhance my collection.

Here is the 1964 set in its entirety along with a bonus Bob Lemke card that once again should make Dodgers fans cringe:





Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Topps Update MLB All-Star Game MVP Commemorative Patch Giants Team Set

I am somewhat indifferent to the Commemorative Patches that Topps has been producing over the past few years.  They are extras in the retail blasters which I guess is kind of a cool incentive to buy a blaster.  My favorites over the past few years were the silk reprints of rookie cards. 

The team and player collector in me typically doesn't give much thought to design, I chase every card I can of my players or the Giants.  In this year's Update had commemorative patches celebrating patch All-Star game MVPs and the Giants were lucky enough to be featured on 3 of the 15 cards, all players from the 1960s.

I thought I would show off the team set together.
First up is a Juan Marichal celebrating his MVP performance in the 1965 All-Star Game in Minnesota.  The Dominican Dandy started the game for the NL squad and pitched 3 scoreless innings giving up only 1 hit, a leadoff single to Vic Davallilo who was promptly removed from the bases when Marichal got Earl Battey to ground into a double play. He didn't record a strikeout or issue a walk, facing the minimum 9 batters and leaving with a 5-0 lead.  When Jim Maloney gave up 5 runs to tie up the game, he lost his chance at the win but was still awarded the MVP.

Next up is Willie Mays for his MVP in 1963 in Cleveland.  The Say Hey Kid started in CF and batted 4th for the NL team.  He got 1 hit in 3 at bats, drew a walk and struck out once.  His MVP most certainly was won with his 3 RBI, 2 runs scored and 2 stolen bases.  He was the only player in the game with more than 1 RBI and that coupled with the NL 5-3 victory propelled Willie to the MVP.

 I saved my favorite for last, Willie McCovey, MVP of the 1969 All-Star Game in Washington DC ar RFK Stadium.  The patch is very hard to read on this one.  The game in 1969 was the last All-Star game played during the day, it was actually postponed from the night before due to rain.  Stretch had a huge game going 2-4 with 2 Home Runs and 3 RBI in the NL's 9-3 blowout victory.  McCovey continued his hot streak and ended up winning the NL MVP award at the end of the year.


Here are the 3 cards together for the entire Giants team set, a great looking trio of 1960s ASGMVPs!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013 Collection Goal Update - 1962 Topps Giants Team Set

I have been pretty active over the last few weeks trying to make progress and/or finish off some 2013 collection goals.  I set a goal to finish up at least 5 of the 10 Giants Topps team sets from the 60s.  I have posted my 1969 and 1965 sets already.  This 1962 set took some real work and bargain hunting to finish it up within my budget.

From a book value perspective, there are 3 really big cards, #18 Managers Dream (Mays and Mantle), #300 Willie Mays and #544 Willie McCovey (short print and high number).  This team set also includes a Gaylord Perry rookie, a Mays All Star, an AL and NL Homer Kings card with Orlando Cepeda and Roger Maris, and Juan Marichal's 2nd year card.  A beast to complete but now that it is finished one of my favorites in my Giants collection.

First I will show off my more recent finds up close:
These first two I have acutally had for a while and decided to show them off once this team set was complete.  The Mantle Mays card is not totally centered but is not as bad as this scan makes it look.  I love these multi player cards and if it wasn't for the presence of Mickey Mantle on so many of them I have thought about starting a mini collection of these cards from the 50s and 60s.  It just doesn't get a whole lot better than these 4 legends on these two cards.

These two cards are higher numbers and were much more challenging to track down at a reasonable price (by my standards) than I would have expected.  These are also the last 2 card I received to finish up my team set.  I am a big fan of the 1962 design and even though these are standard posed shots, I still think they look great in this design.

Having to pick up a HOF rookie card in a team set is not always a pleasant experience to the wallet.  This Gaylord Perry wasn't cheap but I did wait around to get one at a price I thought was solid.  I love the 1962 Rookie Star design on this card, I am not that big a fan of the artwork. I would have much preferred an actual photo but I am still excited to have this card.

The final card was the biggie, the Say Hey Kid himself Willie Mays.  I have had a search saved on eBay for this card for months and finally scored this one for a decent price.  The surface isn't flawless and it does have some creasing in the bottom right corner but the card looks great in person.

So those were the final 6, here is the team set in all it's glory:



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Nothing card related to post.  The kids are asleep after a fun filled and amazing Christmas day.  We have a new dimension with our 1 year old baby girl in addition to the two boys and it was outstanding.

I hope all my friends in the blogging community had a great Christmas (or holiday season if you celebrate a different set of holidays)!

I am looking forward to a week off of work and getting into a routine that should result in more frequent blogging.  I have several trades to post, some 2013 goal updates, lots of cards I have acquired and even a few junk wax box breaks to share.

Merry Christmas my friends!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Set Builder in Me is Feeling a Little Dirty

I am probably best known throughout the blogging community as a Giants collector but before being a team collector and player collector, I started in this hobby as a set collector.  The first set I completed was 1981 Topps and the earliest complete set I put together with cards I bought from packs during the year they were produced was 1979 Topps.

In 2012 I went set collecting crazy, it seemed like just about every set that came out I bought a box or two and worked to complete the set.  Due to my move and my wife's new job staying home and taking care of the kids (therefore reducing our take home income) I decided I needed to cut back some in 2013.  I always get a Jumbo box of Topps Series 1, 2 and Update and that probably won't change.  I also bought a box of Opening Day (very cheap) and finished up that set and actually made a last minute call to collect the Heritage set (almost done with the SPs!).  I am a huge fan of the Panini Cooperstown set and am a few SPs short of that set as well (I did cut down on the number of inserts sets I went after from 2012).

My cut back included not going after Gypsy Queen, Allen & Ginter, Topps Stickers and Topps Chrome.  Chrome was by far the toughest as I have put the set together every year since 2010 and also in 2008.  I love cracking boxes of Chrome and getting the parallels. I don't think I have ever gotten a decent autograph but it is still fun to crack.  The down side is that I have usually had to buy 3 hobby boxes and some retail packs to even get within striking distance of buying singles or trading for the final cards to finish my set.

Well the reference in the title to feeling dirty is due to this:

 I decided to buy the complete set online, fully complete.  No box purchases, no hand collation of the set, no packs to rip and I feel like an impure set collector.

Here is another pic with the bookend cards, #1 and #220.  So why did I do it.  First off, box prices seems to be higher than normal, I am thinking it is the Puig effect.  Living in the LA area, boxes were moving fast and at a premium.  Even looking on DACardWorld right now, boxes are around $77 so that would be about $250 for my 3 boxes.  I was able to score this set on eBay for less that the price of 1/2 of one box.  I just couldn't pass it up.

So, fellow set collectors, will you forgive me?

Friday, December 20, 2013

My Trip to Cooperstown - Part 4 - Non-Card Items

It has taken me way too long to get to this point but I am finally posting my final post from my trip to Cooperstown earlier this year.  I really need to pick up the pace on posting.  This post represents the non card items I picked up on my trip to the Hall of Fame:

First up is the cool Giants book:
This is a pretty cool read. It includes things Giants fans should do and also facts and information fans should know.  When I thumbed through the book it appeared that there was quite a bit I probably already knew but also some fun stuff to read and learn about.  I have a few other books in progress and in the queue so this may take a while to get read but I will share my thoughts once I do get a chance to read it.

Next up is an autographed 8X10 photo of Giants HOFer Monte Irvin.
Pretty cool story behind this one.  As I may have mentioned before, prices on baseball memorabilia and cards are not what you would call bargains around Cooperstown and I guess that makes some sense.  In my post sharing the oversized and oddball cards I purchased, I mentioned that most were bought at a store in the parking lot of the baseball field.  The prices there were solid but what was super cool was that he noticed just about everything I was buy were Giants and he tossed this in for free!  What a great gesture and a cool addition to my collection.

The final item I picked up is this cool Willie McCovey display item.  It is about post card sized, encased in plastic and contains a coin with Willie's picture on it.  It has a little plastic holder to allow it to be displayed standing up, a nice new collectible for my Stretch collection.  I bought it at the gift shop at the Hall of Fame and it now holds a nice place on my new bookshelf in my card room.

Sorry it took a while but it was fun to relive the purchase part of the trip through these posts.

Monday, December 9, 2013

My Trip to Cooperstown - Part 3 - The Oversized and Oddball

Here is my 3rd of 4 posts about my trip to Cooperstown a little ways back.  I had intended to do these back to back to back to back but my posting has been sporadic at best.  In addition to the normal work and home duties, we hosted Thanksgiving and my wonderful little girl's first birthday party over the past couple week.  Also, I have been working to get my card room in order now that most of the rest of the house is in order.  Once it is fully done, I will get some pics up share the set up - however I am still hours and hours away from being done.

The cards to share tonight are all over-sized oddballs.  Most were purchased from a store that is located in the parking lot of the baseball diamond on Main St. in Cooperstown.  I had missed it on my first trip but will not miss it again. The guy has been there for decades and specializes in oddballs.  He had team bags hanging throughout the store with TCMA sets, lots of little box sets and odd sized cards in all the nooks and crannies.  I was the only person in the store for most of my visit and the guy was really friendly.  He gave me a gift at checkout that will be part of my final post.

On to the cards:

The first 6 scans are All-Time Greats postcards put out by TCMA in the early 70s.  I really enjoy the black and white photography captured on these.   Based on the checklist I was able to find, I still need 3 more to finish off a Giants team set.


 Here are some additional postcards with, in my opinion even better photography.  These 4 were printed in 1978 by Dover Publishing and are perforated and were taken from a book titled Great Baseball Players of the Past: Thirty-Two Picture Postcards.  There are 2 more Giants to track down and I can't wait to see what they look like.  The old time photography is just amazing.


This card features rivals Willie Mays and Don Drysdale and was printed in 1984 by TCMA.  It is a nice photo paying tribute to two Hall of Famers.


This is another TCMA Postcard issue from 1985 of Willie Mays from back in the New York days solo.  Somewhat of an odd photo but a pleasant add to the Giants collection.


This next card is an oddball Exhibit card of Catcher Roger Bresnahan.  As I kid I had a solid stack of these cards from a swap meet purchase, I need to see if I can track those down.  In the meantime this card will have to tide me over.


This item is a flip book of Barry Bonds.  I haven't cracked the cellophane yet and I am not sure if I will. I am kind of being stupid as this isn't something I would ever sell, it is now part of my collection so I should just crack it open and enjoy the flipping.
 

 My only non-Giants card of this purchase is the Jumbo Topps Finest card for my Rickey Henderson collection.  This card has been elusive for me and I was very happy to run across in across the country and bring it home.


The final item is the Willie McCovey item.  It appears to be some sort of a pencil sketch.  It is signed Amore '90 in the bottom right corner. It has a pretty strong resemblance to Stretch, my only challenge is going to be how to display it in my binder.  It may end up in its own single page as I think it is too big to fit into a double page.


There you have it, all my odd sized purchase for that trip to Cooperstown.  My last post will display a couple items that aren't card related (but baseball related) during my Cooperstown trip.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Baseball Sets I Have Completed

For reference sake, I have been meaning to put together a post of all the sets I have completed and have a link to it at the top of my Set Want List page.  This will be a boring post (as opposed to all my wonderful "normal" posts!) but is something I want to have electronically for reference so please bear with me.

Topps
Flagship
1959-1960
1970
1973-1975
1976 including Traded
1977-2002
2003 including Traded
2004 including Traded
2005 including Updates and Highlights and all Insert sets
2006 including Updates and Highlights, all Insert sets and Mantle HR History 1-101
2007 including Update Series and all Insert sets
2008 including Update Series and all Insert sets
2009 including Update Series and all Insert sets
2010 including Update Series and all Insert sets
2011 including Update Series and all Insert sets
2012 including Update Series and all Insert sets
2013 including Update Series and all Insert sets
2014 including Update Series and all Insert sets
2015 including Update Series and all Insert sets
2016 including Update Series and all Insert sets

Traded Box Sets
1985-1991
1993
1999

Heritage
2006 w/out SPs
2007
2010 w/out SPs
2012
2013 including all Insert sets
2014 including all Insert sets
2014 High Number

Opening Day
2008 including all Insert sets
2010
2011 including all Insert sets
2012 including all Insert sets
2013 including all Insert sets
2014
2015
2016

Chrome
2008
2010-2014

Allen & Ginter
2006
2010
2012 including all regular sized Insert sets
2015
2016

All Time Fan Favorites
2003-2005

Stadium Club
1992 Stadium Club Series 1 (1-300)
1993 Stadium Club
1994 Stadium Club
1995 Stadium Club
2002 Stadium Club w/out SPs
2014 Stadium Club
2015 Stadium Club
2016 Stadium Club

Other
1968 Topps Game
1991 Topps Archives 1953
1995 Topps D3 with Insert set
2004 Bazooka
2006 Bazooka with all Insert sets
2009 206
2009 Finest w/out Auto Patches
2010 206
2010 National Chicle
2010 Pro Debut Series 1 & 2
2011 Lineage
2011 Stickers
2012 Archives including non-retail Insert sets
2012 Gypsy Queen
2012 Stickers
2013 Archives
2013 Topps Allen & Ginter One Little Corner Insert Set
2013 Topps Spring Fever
2014 Archives w/out SPs
2014 Topps Spring Fever
2015 Archives w/out SPs
2016 Archives w/out SPs
2016 Topps MLB Wacky Packages
2016 Topps Walmart Snowflake

Upper Deck
Flagship

1989-1994
1995 minus Traded set
1996
1997 minus Series 1 Update set
1998-2001
2002 including all Insert sets
2003 including Update and all Insert sets
2004 including Update and all Insert sets
2005
2006 including Update and all Insert sets
2007 including all Insert sets
2008 including all Insert sets
2009 including all Insert sets
2010 including all Insert sets

Other
2001 Hall of Fame
2001 Legends
2002 Vintage
2003 Vintage
2004 Upper Deck Play Ball Update
2004 Upper Deck Vintage Update
2005 Classics
2007 Masterpieces
2008 Masterpieces
2008 First Edition
2008 Spectrum
2008 Timeline

Donruss
Flagship

1981-1998
2000-2005
2014-2016

Other
1983 Hall of Fame Heroes
1986 Highlights
1987 Highlights
1988 Donruss Baseball's Best
1989 Donruss Traded
1992 Donruss Super DKs
2001 Class of 2001

Fleer
Flagship

1981-1994
1995 including Update
1996 including Update
2000 Fleer Tradition
2001 Fleer Tradition
2002
2003 Fleer Tradition
2004 Fleer Tradition
2007

Update Box Sets
1986-1991
1993 Fleer Final Edition

Other
1986 Fleer Classic Miniatures
1987 Fleer Classic Miniatures
1988 Fleer Classic Miniatures
1993 Ultra Series 1
1998 Sports Illustrated
2000 Focus
2000 Greats of the Game
2001 Platinum Series 1
2002 Greats of the Game
2002 Maximum
2002 Ultra w/out SPs
2003 Avant
2003 Genuine
2003 Platinum
2005 Classic Clippings
2005 Patchworks w/out SPs


Bowman
Flagship
1989-1990
2011

Other
2007 Bowman's Best
2011 Bowman Propsects
2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects

Score
1988-1991

1990 Rookie & Traded


Misc. Sets
1981 Drake's
1982 KMart Al & NL MVPs
1984 Drake's
1985 Drake's
1986 Fritsch Negro League Baseball Stars
1986 Sportflics Rookies
1986 Sportflics Decade Greats
1987 Fleer Award Winners
1987 Kay-Bee Superstars of Baseball
1987 KMart Baseball's Stars of the Decades
1987 Sportflics Rookie Packs
1988 Fleer Baseball Superstars
1988 Kay-Bee Superstars of Baseball
1988-89 Pacific Legends
1988 Pacific Eight Men Out
1989 Topps Cap'n Crunch
1990 Collect-A-Books - Box 1
1991 Conlon Collection
1991 Topps Woolworth
1992 Conlon Collection
1992 Post
1992 Studio
1992 Ziploc
1993 Conlon Collection
1993 Kraft
1993 Post
1994 Kraft
1994 Post
1996 Bazooka
1996 Zenith
1997 New Pinnacle
2011 Tristar Pursuit (cards 1-75)
2012 Leaf Pete Rose the Living Legend
2012 Panini Golden Age
2012 Panini Triple Play
2013 Panini Golden Age
2013 Panini Pinnacle
2015 Diamond Kings