Friday, February 28, 2014

2013 Collection Goal Update - 1960 Topps Giants Team Set

Believe it or not I am still working on sharing the goods from my 2013 collection goals.  One of my biggest focuses was on completing some Giants team sets from the 1960s.  I did a nice job completing 7 sets with a goal of only 5.  As I reflect back on my 2014 so far, I don't believe I have picked up any vintage Giants yet.  I need to fix that.

As I have done with past team sets, I will share my last few pick ups (mostly those picked up in 2013) and then show the entire team set in all its glory.

First up is this nice looking Antonelli, I am big fan of this card design with the black and white full body shot and a bigger color close up.  I also love the old school Giants logo featured on these cards.  As you will see when I show the entire team set, you will notice Antonelli had an all star card in this set as well. 

Blasingame played for 5 different teams in his career with his 1 full year with the Giants consisting of 139 games and a whopping 0.235 batting average.  He lasted 3 games in 1961 before being traded to the Reds as part of the Ed Bailey trade.

Sam Jones had a pretty cool nickname - Toothpick Sam due I am guessing to his 6'4" 192 lb. build.  This card features Sam after his best career season in 1959 where he went 21-15 with a league leading 4 shutouts and a 2.83 ERA.  He came in 2nd to Early Wynn for the Cy Young award and was named The Sporting News National League pitcher of the year.

This Mike McCormick card is a higher number and was challenging to track down.  McCormick was a pretty decent pitcher and spent 11 of his 16 years with the Giants winning over 100 games combined during those seasons.

These Miller and Rodgers cards are variations, since there weren't any high priced variations I decided to go after these as well.  The variations are either a gray or white back to the cards.  As you will see when I show the team set, I still have some variations to track down.

This is one of my favorite cards of the team set due mostly to the coloring used in Jack Sanford's nameplate.  Seems like most of the cards I picked up last were Giants pitchers.  Another solid but not spectacular player, his best year was in 1962 where he won 24 games and finished in 2nd in the Cy Young voting.

The final card before I show off the entire team set was the final card I purchased to finish this team set off.  1959 was Al Worthington's final year with the Giants, he started with them in 1953.

Now here is the set it all its glory.  I want you to see it consecutively in all its glory so this will be my final commentary.  This set was a challenge with 3 different cards featuring Willie Mays.  This set also includes the rookie of my favorite player - Willie McCovey - and his All-Star card as well.  You will notice 2 gaps in my pages, these are for variations that I need of Sam Jones and Don Blasingame.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Trade Post - Nick @ Dime Boxes

Time to show off some trade goods from one of my favorite bloggers, Nick of Dime Boxes -- The Low-End Baseball Card Collector's Journey.  Nick writes one of the most entertaining blogs out there and his trade packages are also typically quite entertain.  He know I like Giants, and Giants are what I received.  Here are my favorite cards of the trade package:

The Kyle Crick is a parallel and I believe Crick has a great future with the Giants. He is their top prospect and I think he may be the second coming of Matt Cain - great card.  I could have sworn I had this Belt already but I checked the checklist and binder and found I needed it.  I like the kinda crazy Bowman's Best design.  Topps Chrome is one of my favorite sets and I really liked Matheny as a player, too bad concussions sent him into retirement early.  I already had the McCovey in my player binder but this one finds a nice place in the Giants binder.  Yes I am trying to track down all the Home Run History cards of Barry's time with the Giants and yes I need a ton. Everyone hates Barry but me so check your unwanted cards from 2005-2007 and check my want list.  If there are some matches, send them this way. The Crawford Target parallel features one of last year's best pictures from the flagship set and gets me closer to that team set.  And I love me some stickers - a great random mix of Giants goodness.

Nick sent a great stack of Bowman reprints - I love these things. This batch features cards from 1948 and 1949.  Looks like Bowman reused pictures way back when just like Topps does today. I tend to like the Black and White cards better due to the cool background a couple of them feature.

These reprints are of the 1950 set.  One of my favorite Bowman sets, the colors just pop and you get the great player picture with some good backgrounds here as well.

The final group of reprints feature cards from 1951, another great Bowman set.  I have quite a few of these originals as well but I am glad to add these nice reprints to the Giants binder.

One of my favorite things to find in trade packages are cards that are missing from my Giants checklist and all 3 of the Conlon cards across the top were missing.  I am so glad to have received them and add them to the team set of one of my favorite sets of all time.  The other cards along the bottom are cool as well with an MVP parallel, a Toys R Us oddball and a new addition to my minor league binder.  Great stuff.

The final card is this Collector's Choice over-sized card of Mr. Barry Bonds.  I have seen Nick distribute cards from this set in a couple other trade packages, I wonder if they are frequent dime box finds or if he collected this set?  He would have been pretty young if he got these during their release.  Another cool Bonds added to the collection.

Thanks Nick for another great trade, I appreciate all the cool cards you sent my way!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Some Presidential Pickups

On President's Day I posted about my quest to complete the 1956 Topps US Presidents set. I was 12 cards away from finishing it.  After the post, I did a quick eBay search and found a lot of 6 cards, 4 of which I needed for my set.  I put in a quick bid of $6 (the minimum bid) and got not competition.  Since shipping was free, I pulled down the cards for $1.50 each.

 Here are the 4 cards that I needed for my set.  Thomas Jefferson is the most famous of the 4 but you have to love the beard on Rutherford B. Hayes.  I also think Hayes has the best background although the green color on Polk's card really stands out.

These two are the duplicates and are up for trade.  I am going to check and see if Hoover is a condition upgrade but if anyone is interested in either of these let me know.

I am down to needing 8 cards for the set including some big ones like George Washington and the Declaration of Independence card.  I am not going to go full speed after this set but I suspect that I will do some searches every so often and see if I can plug some holes in my set want list. I think it is going to look amazing once it is complete.

Monday, February 24, 2014

McCovey Monday #41 - 2014 Topps Rookie Reprints Framed Silver 14/99

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.

It has been a while since I have done a McCovey Monday post and I hope to make it a more regular feature.  I am not sure how enjoyable it is for everyone else to see my McCovey cards but I sure like taking some time to enjoy the cards and post about my favorite player.

I picked this card up on eBay and it comes from the 2014 Topps release.  There are 3 versions of this card and I have the Silver one /99.  There are also Black framed and gold framed versions.  The cards are pretty thick and very heavy.  The card in encircled in metal and pretty much the same size as regular card but thicker, about the thickness of a relic card.  I didn't scan the back but both the front and back match the rookie card.  I would suspect that someone picking up a pack of cards would recognize this card was in there due to the weight.  I am not sure what packs it comes from.

I would like to pick up the other 2 McCoveys from this set along with the Rickey Hendersons and at least one of the Willie Mays and Buster Posey releases.  Looks like I have some shopping to do!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Trying to Tie Up Some Loose Ends

Anyone who has followed this blog for a while probably has recognized I have quite a wide range of collecting interest and goals.  I have found that sometimes my focus drifts away from some goals I set and I lose focus on some areas of my collection I would like to fill.  One goal I have set for myself since I started going after Giants cards with gusto (start of the 2011 card releases) is to gather most, if not all, of the Giants base cards that are released.  I will also target certain parallel sets and insert sets.

What I found was that once the new year of card releases start, my focus on the prior year diminishes.  I couple weeks ago I went on a Sportlots spending spree with some credits I accumulated to try to fill some 2011-2013 gaps.  Here is what I was able to pick up:

These first two scans are from the same seller and is Panini dominated.  While my non-SP base set of 2012 Panini Cooperstown has been complete for a while, I was lacking quite a few Giants, not any more.  I also secured one from the 2013 Cooperstown set and the Bill Terry Golden Age is the only Giant base card in that set.  In the second scan I am showing off 4 2012 Panini Prizm, this set was actually released early in 2013 as I recall and I saw little of this broken in the blogosphere.  The Elite Extra Edition cards are from 2011 while the Machi Pinnacle card is a 2013.  I also realized I never picked up the McCovey mini insert.  I don't believe any of these cards were over a quarter and filled some gaps nicely.

These next 3 scans are from a different seller:
 These two 2012 Cooperstown cards, coupled with the ones from the prior seller, finished off the team set.  The Extra Edition card is from 2011 while the others are from 2010.  While 2010 isn't a huge focus, I wasn't going to pass up knocking 3 cards off that want list at 18 cents apiece.  The Lincecum finished off the Bowman Platinum team set, the Molina made it just SPs for the National Chicle set and I still need a couple Attax cards to put that team set to rest.

 These cards are all from 2013 Panini Prizm, also released in 2013. I get these two sets confused, they look too much a like to me.  Fortunately the 2012 base set is complete and I am a Buster Posey away from finishing this one.  There are tons of nice looking color parallels but the scarcity of them on the secondary market will prevent me from going after any team sets.  The Cain in the bottom right is an insert from the Superstar set and it is nice seeing my favorite player being rightfully tagged as a superstar.

The final quad of cards are from a late 2013 release by Panini, it is a resurrection of the Select brand that was produced from 1993 to 1998.  I was able to pick up 4 of the 9 Giants from the base set.  These are very nice looking cards but I have no idea how they were released.  I will keep my eye out for the other Giants and possibly some of the inserts to check them out.

Still work to do on the loose ends but it was nice to make some progress.  If you have some of the Giants I need from my want list, drop me a note and let's make a deal.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

2013 Topps Chrome Update Set

Topps has tried out some new and "interesting" ways to distribute cards over the past few years.  There have been releases you can only get from like Turkey Red and Topps Minis, there are some products that are hobby shop exclusive (typically high end sets) and there have been some cards you can only get by redemption like the Blue Sparkle Parallels or Spring Fever.

To me the most annoying is packaging 2 sets of cards together in a box and making you buy them both which came into play with 2013 Topps Chrome Update.  As I recall the boxes contained 2 packs totaling 8 cards of Chrome Update and 5 packs of Topps Update and called a value box.  That was the only way to get Chrome Update without going to the secondary market.  I was primarily annoyed because I had finished my Topps Update set after purchasing a Jumbo Box and most of my insert sets on the secondary market before the value boxes were released.  Therefore, I was basically spending $15 for 8 Chrome Update cards.

Despite that frustration, the set builder in me was drawn to these boxes.  I picked up 2 early and 3 more over the period of a few weeks.  My first 2 packs netted me both of the Puig cards and a couple other top rookies.  After getting the other boxes I realized that I had been lucky enough to pull zero dups and had most of the highest selling cards.  My set builder instincts went into high gear and I decided to go for the set.

I pulled off a couple trades then hit Sportlots.  With combined shipping I didn't have to spend too much and I just got the final card this past week (Gerrit Cole).  One interesting fact, for the first time ever I believe I put together a set without getting 1 duplicate (with the exception of the Buster Posey which I picked up for my Giants binder).  Since I am probably one of the only nuts out there that decided to complete the set, I thought I would show it off in all its 55 card glory.

I had to pick one card to show on its own so why not the only Giant!

A Thrilling Mail Day

Will Clark is one of my favorite all time Giants and he seems to be very popular with card collectors.  Despite the fact he didn't perform at a high enough level for a long enough time to make the Hall of Fame, I think he has reached that status with a number of collectors.  Due to this fact, I don't have as many Will "The Thrill" cards in my collection as one might think. I have all the standard base cards and quite a few inserts but for a Giants player with so may autograph and relic cards out there, I don't seem to have as many as I would like or think.

Recently someone posted quite a few Clark items on Sportlots auction site and I placed some bids, had some battles and won a few of them.  Today I received the package and thought I would share the goods.

 The first card is the only non-relic card but it is a nice looking serial numbered base card from 2007 Sweet Spot Classic.  The base cards from this set are limited to 575 copies and this Will card is the third of fourteen Giants that I have.  These are nice looking cards and I wouldn't mind adding some more to my collection.  Might be a good project to consider.

 This card was an oops pick up - I already have this 2005 Donruss Greats bat relic card in my collection.  If one of those Will Clark collectors out there is interested, drop me a comment and lets work out a trade.

 This card is from 2004 Ultimate Collection and is serial numbered 65/99.  I really like the color scheme of this card, it matches the Giants colors very well.  I also like the nice shot of will in his shades with his eye black focused on defense - overall just a great card.

 This card is also from Ultimate Collection but the 2007 release. Until seeing this card I hadn't seen the America's Pastime design.  It is nice and patriotic and limited to 75 cards.  Matt Cain also has a card from this set and I may look to track it down.

The final 3 cards make up 75% of a "rainbow" from 2007 SP Legendary cuts.  As you can see, the word CUTS is used as windows for a jersey relic and as the number of jersey pieces increases, the serial numbers decrease.  Looks like I did a bad crop job on the triple, cutting off Will's name.  The only one I am missing now is the Quad which is serial numbered to 25.  I will keep my eyes open for that in the future.

I am happy to have added 6 new Will Clark cards to my Giants collection.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Black Friday COMC Pick Ups... A Little Late

Here we are in February and I was going through my scan folder and realized I never shared my Black Friday pick ups.  Two or three years back I bought a lot of boxes of DACardWorld on Black Friday but for the past 2 years I have taken advantage of the COMC's sales and free shipping to put a dent in my want lists and add to my player collections.

They say better late than never so, in the midst of all the 2014 posts, here is a flashback to November of 2013.

This first scan shows my pick ups to help on my 2013 Heritage set.  Last year there were great sales on Heritage high numbered cards but this year they seemed to have pretty high price tags.  I was able to score 4 towards my set along with a few inserts.  This purchase still left me in need of a few including Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.  Since this purchase I have worked some eBay and Sportlots magic to finish this set at a somewhat reasonable price.  My collecting of Heritage has been hit or miss over the years and I suspect that this year's 1965 design is going to draw me in.

While my luck wasn't great in picking up Heritage SPs, the same cannot be said for my 2013 Archives set.  I was able to nab all 16 remaining cards off my want list and each was under $2 (I actually believe they were all under $1.50).  A quick look at these with all the different designs may appear to be a miss mash of base cards from very good but not great players, this is exactly what draws me to this set.

This purchase left me 1 card short of all the 2012 Panini Cooperstown insert sets.  I am still in need of that card and writing this post makes me realize I need to go track it down.  I am a huge fan of this set and cannot wait to see what Panini has in store for us in 2014.  I am going to limit the commentary on these inserts as I plan a nice review of the set once I get it completed.

I also scored 3 SPs during my Black Friday purchases.  The SPs are in color while the rest of the base cards are in black and white.  These are harder than Hades to track down at an affordable price and the guy on COMC who had the most of these had ridiculously high prices on his cards so I only scored these from others sellers.  I still need almost half (9) of the 20 SPs in this set.  I am not sure if I will ever complete this one but man do these look nice!

I put some finishing touches on my 2013 Topps insert sets and these coupled with some other purchases around the same time did put the flagship sets to rest.  I am glad there is a new insert set this year that mirrors the quality of The Greats set.  I also find it interesting that Topps combined the minis with the die cuts for a single insert set this year.  I am curious to see what Series 2 brings us.

I couldn't let a big purchase like this go forward without a few additions to the Giants binder.  The Mathewson is a repeat of the SP from above, I got one for the set and one for the Giants collection at a very reasonable price from the same seller.  I also scored an Archives gold parallel and a nice looking stained glass die cut insert of Willie Mays.  I wish I would have gone hard after the Gallery of Heroes insert set when it was release, I think the ship has sailed for me and any hopes of collecting it are gone.

I ran across this card by accident and it was so cool that I had to get it.  It is serial numbered to 1973 and is a great looking die cut.  I am a huge fan of any Reggie card featuring him on the A's and this one is one of the best.  

Speaking of Reggie, I also picked up his 1973 Topps card.  I already had one in my Reggie collection and needed this one for my set.  The set is coming along quite nice and I only need 17 cards to complete it. If it wasn't for that pesky Mike Schmidt rookie I would say this is easily within reach but it is going to take some serious shopping to get one within my price range.

I was able to score some nice cards for the Vida Blue collection. I scanned the back of the first two to showcase that they are OPC, not Topps.  I also need the Topps version of the MVP card.  I had an autographed version of the Sports Illustrated card but needed the regular card.  I also was able to pick up the Vida Ginter mini.

I also picked up a few Rickey Henderson cards I needed. The bottom row features some of the oldest cards I needed.  In searching through the Rickey cards on COMC I realized that I have most of his base card and despite the lengthy list of his cards that I need, most are inserts and parallels. I need to formulate a strategy on how and what to pursue of his moving forward in addition to any new releases.

My final scan shows 5 new McCoveys I added with this purchase.  Across the top, I now have 3 of the non-serial numbered retail inserts to match with my serial numbered hobby inserts.  The Legends card was the last parallel I needed from that set.  McCovey has 2 variations of Kelloggs cards so this pick up completes that duo for me.

So there you have it, almost 3 months later, my Black Friday COMC purchase.