Sunday, June 29, 2014

Clearning out the Dave Parker Scan Folder - Be Prepared for a Whole Lot of Uniform Greatness

I have shared a few of my Dave Parker pick ups and always explain that his greatness as a player when I was young coupled with my love of the late 70s and early 80s uniforms drew me to collect him.  Today I decided to clean out my scan folder and overwhelm anyone brave enough to check out this post with a lot of Pirate Uniform Greatness.  You have been forewarned...

These are some cards I picked up quite a while back out of the LCS quarter bin right when I started collecting Parker.  These cards show off a couple of the Pirates uniform combinations, I think my favorite is the black hat, yellow jersey and black pants.  These are all cards that reside in sets I build in my youth and they now have a place in my Parker collection.

 These aren't cards of my youth but came out of the same quarter box..  They are all newer releases after Parker's playing days.  There are even more uniforms with the all white making an appearance along with a pinstriped version.  We also see a yellow hat with a black bill in a traditional style.  All of these are great looking cards.

 This is The Cobra's rookie card and I picked this one up in the dollar bin.  It isn't in the best of shape but it is just fine with me.  I would really like to pick up the OPC version of this some day but they aren't out there too much and cost a pretty penny.

I have also picked up a few relics, this one out of Greats of the Game.  I like this Decade Greats set and have thought about going after this relic set.  I have never tried putting a set of hits together and with all my other collecting interests, suspect it will always be an unfulfilled temptation.  I think this was a $3 or $4 card from the same LCS visit as the cards above.

This is a new pickup off of eBay.  It is a Permagraphics All-Star card and it is somewhat like a credit card. I was infatuated with these when I was collecting in the mid 80s.  I have several in my Henderson, Winfield and Jackson collections and also believe I have a few Jim Rices around from when I dabbled with collecting him.  Check out the back:
With this being the All Star version, you get the players All-Star stats and some Career Highlights.  I would say that at the point this card was printed, many suspected Dave was on his way to the HOF.  I always thought it would be cool to get a player to sign the back.

Speaking of signatures, this is my newest pick up, a 2014 Topps Archives Fan Favorite auto of Dave Parker in the 1982 Topps design.  While this isn't as great as the card from last year, it is still mighty nice.  Check out the cool stars that Dave earned from Willie Stargell for some great plays.

 I love the Giants but it is fun going after cards from another team.  I am still very happy with my choice to collect Dave Parker.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

2003 Fleer Tradition Set Review

My origins in card collecting started as a set collector.  I have every Donruss set that was released with the exception of the 2014 set (I am working on it).  I have every Upper Deck set other than 1998.  I have quite a few Topps sets (1959-60, 1974-present) and I am working on 1970-73.  Fleer is the brand with the most gaps and I recently filled one with a Sportlot auction win.  My goal is to get a run of all these brands and I have considered going after Score once done here. 

Fleer did some odd things for a few years where they didn't have a "Fleer" set and only issued a "Fleer Tradition" set and 2003 was one of those years.  This set cost me $42 but included quite a few extras.  This isn't a set I was very familiar with so going through it was fun.  I thought I would share the set and the extras I received.

This is a 485 card set and I thought I would show a sampling of the different cards.

These are the regular base cards and they can be found in numbers 101-416.  This is a sampling of the kind of photography that is typical in the set. I think the photography is solid.  The design is a spin off of 1963 Fleer and my favorite feature is the yellow diamond with the illustration of the drawing.  These illustrations vary based on the position of the player and the pitchers change base on what arm they throw with.  I also shared the back of a card, pretty nice looking and similar to 1963 Fleer.

One of my favorite aspects of this set are the inclusion of 19 "Missing Link" cards.  These are players that were active in 1963 but not included in Fleer's release.  I am showing you all but one card, Luis Aparicio.  I have always been fond of the McCovey photo, it is quite unique.  These cards are numbered 67-85.  These cards were short printed, 1 per pack.  Additionally the rest of the cards in the 1-100 range were similarly short printed.

Another part of that run of short prints are the Team Leader cards, 1-30.  I shared 3 here with my only complaint being the use of the same photo if a player appears twice - see the Barry Bonds pic on the Giants Team Leader card.  This happens throughout.  I also included 4 Prospect cards, these are found on cards numbered 426 to 460.  Cards 461 to 485 are Banner Season cards, not a huge fan of that design.

The final subset of cards are the Award Winners found on card numbers 417-425. I think this is a great idea for a subset and something Topps should consider.  It is a great way to celebrate and commemorate the best from the previous season.

This purchase didn't only include the base set, I got a decent portion of the Update set as well.

Here is a breakdown of the set along with a picture that shows some of the card types.  Cards 1-200 featured veterans, numbers 201-259 showcased All-Stars, cards 260-275 featured interleague play match up cards and 276-285 are Tale of the Tape cards.  Cards 286-299 feature 2003 Rookies and were short printed to one in four packs.  Cards 300-398 also feature rookies and were issued as part of a 25 card box that was inserted in the hobby boxes.  They are short printed and tougher to come by.  My package got me pretty far along in the set, I need 81 of the 398 cards.  Unfortunately what I need are 2 Tale of the Tape cards and 79 Rookies.  This is one that may never get finished unless I run across someone who cracked a couple of boxes back in the day and has no use for the rookies.  I have a want list on my Set Want List page.

The package also contained a bunch of inserts.  The upper left card is from the Update set and is titled Long Gone.  It is numbered to 475. The middle card is a Black and White Goudey card numbered to 1936.  The final Bonds card is a Milestones insert, Barry has 3 in the set - I had one, I added this one and still need one more.  The Lumber Company Kent card is a pretty nice design.  The Correia is part of the Update set and was the last card I needed for the Giants team set.  Since I am so far away from completing the base set, it was an easy call to pull it.

Another insert are these Barry Bonds puzzle cards.  The other side is a checklist of the set (Derek Jeter also has a 9 card puzzle/checklist).  I was very happy to score the entire Bonds puzzle and it looks nice in a 9-card page.

I also got 3 more cards that fit into my player collections, 2 Reggie inserts and a Ben Petrick base card.  I really like the design of the Turn Back the Clock insert feature Reggie as an Oakland Athletic.

There were also a nice batch of Glossy parallels, all serial numbered to 100.  Unfortunately no Giants but these are for trade.

This is a sampling of all the inserts that were in the package.  I decided to put together an entire list if anyone is interested in trading for any of them - just leave a comment or drop me a note.
Black and White Minis
Mark Prior
Pat Burrell
Frank Thomas
Hideo Nomo
Pedro Martinez
Jeff Bagwell
Drew Henson

Milestones Update
Alfonso Soriano
Randy Johnson
Chipper Jones
Jim Thome
Carlos Delgado

Diamond Debut
Jose Reyes
Jeremy Bonderman
Ryan Wagner
Robby Hammock
Laynce Nix

Stand Ups
Derek Jeter
Miguel Tejada
Greg Maddux

Eddie Mathews
Rickey Henderson
Harmon Killebrew
Al Kaline
Mike Schmidt
Nolan Ryan
Mike Piazza
Randy Johnson X2
Rafael Palmeiro
Juan Gonzalez
Ken Griffey Jr.
Derek Jeter
Roger Clemens
Manny Ramirez
Luis Gonzalez
Nomar Garciaparra
Fred McGriff
Greg Maddux
Barry Bonds X2

Lumber Company
Miguel Tijada X2
Albert Pujols
Chipper Jones
Shawn Green
Bernie Williams
Ken Griffey Jr.
Barry Bonds
Magglio Ordonez

Bunch of Jeter and Bonds Checklist cards

I was happy with this purchase, let me know if you need anything I have listed above.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Trade Post - Chavez Ravining

I am not a fan of the Dodgers, as a matter of fact I am the opposite of a fan - I can't stand anything about them.  However, I am a big fan of Dodger bloggers, they are typically great traders and love to get the Giants out of their collections and into mine.  I made a great trade with Alex of Chavez Ravining recently and I am ready to show you the goods.

 This first scan shows some 2014 Donruss cards, 2 Diamond King short prints, 2 Rated Rookie short prints and 3 Giants.  The SPs go into the set and the Giants into the 2014 Giants binder.  I am slowly chipping away at the Donruss set and I think there is hope that I might finish it.  I wasn't so sure originally and scoring 4 SPs in this trade really helped.

I also got some Heritage help with 3 short printed base cards and 3 inserts.  I am 17 SPs away from finishing off this set which is better than I did last year.  It took me much later in the year to get that close.  I am 2 inserts away from finishing off the insert sets as well.

Finally Alex included some of those wonderful Giants.  I haven't gotten even seen a pack of the Select cards so I was glad to get 4 from the team set.  I also scored a couple of chrome parallels.

Chalk up another positive experience trading with a Dodger blogger.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

1973 Topps Set Quest - 2 Down/2 To Go

I am inching every closer to the completion of my 1973 Topps set.  These last few cards have been tough to track down, the higher numbers are just not plentiful on line.  Early last week I decided to search for 3 of the cards (I am resigned to the fact that the Schmidt rookie will be last) and found out that finding unmarked checklists at reasonable prices is tough.  I was able to track down 2 of the 3 cards and here they are:

Woo hoo, a checklist.  There are some exciting names on this card including my favorite, Willie McCovey, along with fellow HOFers Gaylord Perry and Joe Torre.  Another player I collect, Vida Blue is on here with some other stars like George Foster and Bobby Grich.  This one set me back $8.25 shipped on a Buy It Now and was a bargain compared to some others I saw.

The other card I scored was this Red Sox team card, another tough one to locate. Condition, particularly centering isn't ideal on this but I am not putting together a mint set.  In fact quite a few of the cards in the original lot I picked up as a starter are far from mint and may someday need an upgrade.  The card was a Buy It Now at $5.49 shipped, by far the best deal I could find on eBay.

One more checklist to go, then my epic quest for a Schmidt rookie. I will not overpay and will make sure I get a good, below market price.  I think my 8 months of patience on a 1966 Gaylord Perry are evidence of my ability to take my time.  I just hope I can do it prior to year end.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Trade Post - Old Foul Cardboard

You will hopefully be seeing a few trade posts in the coming days. I am a little behind and need to thank all the great traders in the blogosphere.  This trade was done back after the release of 2014 Topps Series 1 with Chris of Old Foul Cardboard.  He hasn't posted in a couple months but looking through his past posts, it appears that he posted what I sent him about 3 months ago - oops!  Better late than never.

First up were a pair of 1989 mini inserts that helped me collect the set.  I did get Series 1 finished off before Series 2 was released. I have a nice big want list that I will hopefully get finished before Update comes out.

I also scored these great Giants inserts and parallels in the trade.  I am a big fan of the Yellow parallels for some reason.  This is one of only two I have been able to pick up so it was a very happy addition. I usually pick up most of the Walmart set but this is only 1 of 3 I have right now, need to get to work on that.  I just picked up the final Series 1 Power Players cards to finish off that sub set.  The Zito was the only Giant in the Super Veteran insert set. There is a relic version of the card numbered to 25 that I would love to pick up.

Chris, thanks for the trade, sorry it took a while to show my appreciation!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Trade Bait - $10 LCS Mystery Packs

I think I may have posted about these a couple of times but I can't remember and I am too lazy to go back and look.  One of the two LCSs I frequent puts together small packs of cards to purchase for $10.  Lately I haven't been winning much on the bid board so I have been picking up a pack or two.  The packs usually contain 1-2 rookie cards and 1-2 hits.  The hits many times are in person autos on cards which some people shy away from but he seems to have some good sources to get the autos and it isn't like I am going to sell them.

One of the allures are randomly inserted bonus prizes.  He usually has a case that contains 1 1st place prize, 2 2nd place prizes and 4-5 3rd place prizes. I have won a few times and have been on a bit of a lucky streak.  These are $1,000 cards but usually some nice stuff pops up.  

Here are 6 packs I have picked up over a few visits.

I will start off with what was perhaps the worst pack for me.  If this was the first one I ever bought, I might not have ever gone back.  Two certified autos but nothing that fits into my collection.  All of these cards with the exception of a couple will be for trade if you are interested.

This pack contained a nice looking IP auto of HOFer Wade Boggs. The holographic card is pretty nice looking and the sharp blue auto is perfectly placed. I already have a Boggs auto as part of my collection so this one could probably be had in a trade but I am also fine keeping it in my collection.

This pack isn't great but I am hoping the Russell auto might make a Dodger blogger fan happy.  I get quite a few Dodger IP autos since I live here in Dodger town.

This pack picked it up a little.  A nice Josh Hamilton IP auto on a high end Tribute base card.  It looks pretty sharp and Mr. Hamilton may make another appearance before this post ends.  The Heritage News Flashback card sports 3 Dodger IP autos, Manny Mota, Claude Osteen and Maury Wills - pretty cool.

Here we see another Mota auto along with a John Olerud IP auto on an Ultra card. I always enjoy seeing photos of Olerud fielding with his helmet on, brings back memories.  As a bonus, I needed the Walker card for my Donruss set so that one isn't for trade.  Another bonus in this pack as a 3rd place winner, I will show you what I picked in a second, just one more pack to share.

Here is my final pack for this post.  A Machado rookie is nice, the hits are super exciting to me.  However, this one scored me another 3rd place win!  In these packs I have a 33% winning percentage which isn't too shabby since there are 6-8 winning packs out of 100.

So here are the two 3rd place prizes I picked:

First up is a Duke Snider Nabisco certified autograph.  There was a Leaf cut signature of Tony Oliva that tempted me but I couldn't pass up an auto of a Hall of Famer.  I have another Duke auto in my collection so this one could be had for the right price but I have no qualms with keeping this one around.

My other pick came from a different batch of packs, the Oliva wasn't an option.  I picked up a Bowman's Best auto of Josh Hamilton from early in his career.  I really liked Hamilton at this point before his life went to heck.  I had him on my keeper fantasy team and the sky was the limit.  This card isn't worth a ton but it brings back fond memories of a time when I was dominating my keeper league and ahead of the curve on identifying prospect.  Everyone has followed my lead and my team is now a middle of the packer but this Hamilton card is a great reminder.

Since doing these scans I have picked up a few more packs so more to come...

Friday, June 20, 2014

Trade Post - Baseball Dad

I got a nice package recently from everyone's favorite Baseball Dad, author of the All Tribe Baseball
blog.  We have exchanged quite a few packages over the past couple of years and he always includes some great cards.  Have a look...

First up are a couple of 2014 cards that I needed.  I just recently finished updating and reorganizing my 2014 Giants Want List page - give it a look and let's make some trades.  I am hoping the redesign makes it easier to see what I need.  I also scored this Cracker Jack card of the All Time HR King - for some strange reason I have issues with breaking cards like this out their packaging.  With my love of ripping packs that seems counter intuitive.  Another item to add to the list of things to discuss with my therapist (once I finally decide to take the plunge and get one).

Here are some other cool Giants cards that came from Baseball Dad.  I love the old cards from the Fleer box sets like the Hackman, Jeffrey Leonard.  Not sure why I picked the Renteria to show but I do know that I never opened a pack of Ticket to Stardom. Will the Thrill is sporting an amazing mustache!  The Bonds Metal card is trippy, don't stare too long.  A nice Timmy Lincecum for the minor league binder and a Bonds/Mays card to finish off this page - that is over 1400 HRs on one card.

I also received this nice Giants All-Star relic of potential HOFer Omar Vizquel.  It will be interested to see how the voters treat him, his stats are solid and his defense was stellar.

The stars of this package were the 3 oversized cards.  Here are the first two.  The Master Photo from Stadium Club was a redemption and now that I have the right pages to store it in my binder it is a wonderful addition.  The Scott Garrelts brings back memories, I recall getting quite a few of these back in the 80s but have no idea what happened to them.  Garrelts is the only Giant so knock another team set of the want list!

And as usual, I will close with my favorite card, a nice big Fathead Tradeable of Tim Lincecum.  The design on this is great and I am very happy to have it in my collection.

Jack, thanks for the great trade package!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

McCovey Monday #54 - 2014 Gypsy Queen Mini Sepia Parallel 37/50

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.

A few weeks back I posted a progress on my 2014 Gyspy Queen Rainbow for Willie Mac here.  I was still missing the Sepia /50, the Wood /5 and the various 1/1s (Clear, Graphite, 4 Printing Plates and Leather).  I made an unsuccessful run at a Wood parallel but was successful in obtaining this:

The Sepia version is now in my possession and odds are it will be the last McCovey I add to my collection for 2014 Gypsy Queen.  Time to track down the 2 parallels from Archive and some of the issues from earlier in the year that I missed!

Anyone Remember Todd Marinovich?

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there.  My kids have the day planned out for me and it is a surprise so I am up early before everyone else to get a post in. I do know that my wife bought me a new grill which is very cool.  Since we moved a year ago we have been without - our old house had a built in that couldn't come with us.  I will be grilling up some nice steaks tonight!

I thought it might be appropriate to share some pick ups from former USC Trojan QB Todd Marinovich since conventional wisdom leads us to believe that Todd's dad ruined him.  If you aren't familiar with the story, his dad attempted to mold him into a quarterback from a very young age earning him the nickname of Robo QB.  Dad's work did get him to the point of being a star QB at USC and a first round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders but the story gets sad after that with drug usage, flaming out at the pro level and homelessness in his adult life.  I believe he has his life somewhat turned around and has an art studio in Southern California. If you are interested in his story I would definitely Google him for more details, it is an interesting one.

As you may know, I collect all former USC football player cards. However I collected Marinovich cards prior to going all in on the Trojans. He was the starting QB my first 2 years at USC and I recall some very good football memories of him.  I also recall witnessing some pretty serious partying as well.  It was rumored when he got on campus that he had never had a Big Mac. That may be true but he definitely indulged in alcohol (I personally witnessed that) and drugs (didn't personally witness but had a few friends that did).  I once saw him passed out in the parking lot of a local bar laying in puddle of oil.  It must be quite obvious why I was inspired to collect him.

I had most of Marinovich's cards from his playing day but recently found out he had a few Upper Deck releases in the past few years. Even better they feature him in his Trojan uniform.  I have picked up 5 so I thought I would show them off.

The card on the bottom right was release in 2011 as part of the Upper Deck College Football legends set and is the base card. It is a nice up close picture of Marinovich under center and I have always been a fan of that simple but effective UD design.  The two cards on the left are from 2012 UD Football. The bottom card is the base card and shows a great picture of him rolling out against who I believe is Washington State.  The top is an insert in the style of 1997 SP - this is my favorite card of the 4. The final card in the upper right is from 2012 SPX Football.  Probably my least favorite of the 4 with a zoomed in repeat photo of the 2012 UD base card.  I was pretty happy to pick up these for a buck a piece with free shipping.

My final pickup is an autographed parallel of the 2011 College Football Legends card.  I am so happy to have a Marinvich Auto in my collection.  He played prior to the insertion of Autos regularly into football products. This is listed as an SP in the set although I am not sure how short printed it is.  I scored it for under $12 shipped which I was happy to pay.  He has 3 more recently released cards (2 Autos and a Sepia glossy parallel /10 to his 2012 UD card) which are going to be hard to track down but I will keep my eyes open.  I also have some holes in my collection of his cards from his playing days that I may try and track down but those too are pretty rare (lots of Wild Card stripe cards on the want list).  Overall I am happy with these new additions and hope he pops up in a few more sets.

Happy Father's Day once again!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Trade Post - Johnny's Trading Spot

As I am trying to get back into the groove of some semi-regular posting, here is a pretty quick but very awesome trade post.  Johnny over at Johnny's Trading Spot pulled a nice auto out of last year's Archive - I believe it came from a blaster.  After some back and forth I put together a nice package of Bravos Autos and Relics to score this beauty:

My Dave Parker collection is starting to shape up into a pretty nice one.  I still have it in a box and need to get it into pages soon. This card is a perfect representation of what drew me to collecting Parker in addition to his greatness as a player.  I really like the Pirates uniform with the yellow and black along with the old style hat. Parker is also very photogenic and produces some great cards.  The Cobra has an auto in this year's release that I have to try and find in a trade or at a reasonable price but I am very glad to have this one in my collection.

Thanks for the trade Johnny!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Baseball Book Review - Matty An American Hero

Posting has been pretty scarce around here.  I am still getting some cards here and there and have actually completed a couple of trades but time up in my card room has been rare over the last couple of weeks.  I took a trip to Washington DC for work and a couple extra days of site seeing (had a great time and got to knock another stadium off the bucket list when I saw a Nationals game) that took up a week. Also, my wife has been staying up later and we have been hanging out more at night which is great for the relationship but not so much for the blog.  I suspect posting will pick up again soon.

With all my travels and short spots of free time I have been reading quite a few books but most have been of the fiction variety.  I did recently finish up a pretty good book about Christy Mathewson called Matty An American Hero by Ray Robinson.  The book was written back in 1993 and is a solid biography about the Hall of Fame pitcher.
Matty an American Hero: Christy Mathewson of the New York Giants

This book covers Mathewson's entire life, which was tragically cut short at age 45 due to tuberculosis that he most likely contracted while serving in the military after his baseball career was over.  Christy was respected by all - his teammates, his opponents, the fans, the umpires - not just for his playing prowess but for the man he was.  He was college educated which was rare for players of that day and was a true hero to his generation.  He was much more than a ballplayer during his era.

As a ballplayer he was dominating and the book recounts many of the big games and pennant runs of the New York Giants.  He was good friends (and roommates for quite some time) with his manager John McGraw.  While the two men were quite different, they had a mutual respect and admiration for each other.

This wasn't the greatest book I have ever read but it exceeded my expectations.  It was well researched and had some solid details I didn't expect from an era so far in the past.  It was a great learning experience to better understand how baseball was played in the early 1900s.  If you are interested in some great insights into baseball in the early 1900s and to gain knowledge of one of the greatest pitchers and inaugural member of the Hall of Fame, it might be worth picking up this book.

Monday, June 2, 2014

McCovey Monday - #53 - 2014 Topps Archives

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.

This week I am travelling to Washington DC for a work conference.  I am also taking Wednesday and Thursday off to do some sight seeing.  I have been to DC a couple time but still haven't toured the Library of Congress or Arlington National Cemetery so those will be on the list for sure.  Still working on a list of other places to visit.  If all goes to plan I will be attending a Nationals game on Tuesday night as well.

Today I decided to do a quick post and share Willie McCovey's new 2014 Archives card.  This picture looks familiar but I didn't get a chance to check my binders to see from where. It looks like a fairly young Stretch in the picture.  I love the trio of bats on his shoulder and the stadium facade in the background.  I think the coloring and design look pretty good with the Giants and this picture.  I am looking forward to picking up the Gold and Silver parallels.

Here is the back of the card.  Oddly it only shows his stats through 1973 but has his career totals.  Not sure why they did that, unless it was just due to space.  Otherwise it is a pretty 1989 looking card back.  The number 165 doesn't seem to hold much significance but I am glad his number at least ended in a 5.

I will be sure to share the parallels once they join my collection.