Thursday, June 21, 2018

RIP Dwight Clark

I returned from my cruise to hear the sad but unfortunately expected news of the passing of Dwight Clark.  Clark was a 49er legend whose "Catch" propelled the Niners to their first Super Bowl and the start of a dynasty.  Dwight has been one of my favorite players and one of my player collections.  I was happy to hear the Eddie DeBartolo, the former owner of the 49ers, got a group of former players and coached together recently to celebrate Dwight's life prior to his passing.  Reports indicated that it was a great get together with tons of laughs and tears.

I thought I would share my latest Dwight Clark pick ups as a tribute:








Rest in Peace #87. Thank you for all the memories and helping launch the dynasty.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Time Flies...

I can't believe it has been a month and a half since I posted.  There has been a lot of activity at ARPSmith base camp.  Lots of changes at work with me having some new groups reporting to me resulting is some unexpected travel.  Kids finishing up the school year and the associated "graduations" and year end events (since when to 5th graders graduate???).  An awesome cruise to the West Caribbean.  A new workout routine post cruise.  The boys off to Scout camp for 10 days with the wife going for 5 resulting in a new appreciation of how challenging it is to be at home all day with my 5-year old daughter.  A frustrating season watching the Giants - the team with the broken pinkie epidemic. Hobby time being spent sorting the big collection purchase, filing away recent purchases and organizing the 8000ish Giants dups I have accumulated.  The blog has taken a bit of a back seat but you can't get rid of me that easy.

Outside of a few packs hear and there I haven't bought much in the way of 2018 product.  The only boxes I have picked up were a box of Opening day (fun, cheap and a full set) and 2 boxes of Diamond Kings (like the cards, disappointed that there are so many SPs and the second box was almost all dups).  I have decided to go after the DK set, the SPs and inserts so check out my want list if you have some for trade. 

I have shifted to buying full sets off eBay - have picked up Topps Series 1 & 2 sets including inserts and Donruss including the base variations and will most likely do the same for Topps Update and Stadium Club later on this year.

I decided to break my streak of no posts today as I finally was able to pick up 4 hanger packs of Series 2.  It was the first time I had seen some after a couple visits to Target and Walmart.  I don't know if my area got Otahni fever but there is no Series 2 at any local retail outlets.  There was no sign of retail boxes, just 5 hanger packs.  Don't know why I left one behind but decided to limit it to 4.  I thought I would share some of the cards I pulled from the packs.

 First up the Giants I pulled:

Not too bad, I pulled 7 of the 12 base Giants from the set.  I jumped on eBay and Sportlots and picked up all but 1 of the Gold parallels and all but 5 of the Rainbow parallels, unfortunately Blanco was one I already picked up.


My master set I picked up was only the hobby inserts so these 4 Legends of the Making cards are needs, I put together this insert set for Series 1 and plan to do the same for Series 2.  If you have some available, let me know.


Here are the rest of the parallels and inserts.  I like the 83 All Star inserts and like the idea of the Longball Legends.


These are extremely useless cards for my collection.  I think I owe Night Owl some cards so I will package these along with the other Dodgers I picked up and shoot them his way where they will be appreciated.


 This is a pretty cool looking Camo parallel, just wish it was a more exciting card.  It is serial numbered 01/25.  I will probably put it up on Sportlots and see if there is a Padres fan out there who will enjoy it.


Finally, I guess this is the prize of the packs, the guy driving the local shortage of Series 2, none other than Shohei Ohtani.  I was really enjoy watching and following him so his injury was a bummer.  Last I heard he was planning on coming back to hit this year.

I hope to get back in the blogging routine again soon. Happy Collecting.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Fun Finds Continue

I continue to make progress going through boxes of cards from the purchase I made several months back. I have yet to strike a balance between blogging and sorting/exploring, hence the large gaps in posts at time.

A couple days back I was sorting through a boring box of 1990 Fleer and noticed two slightly oversized cards on the side.  I slid them out and was pleasantly surprised to see they had a little age on them, they looked vintagey, 1970s vintage.

Then I took a closer look at the first one, here it is:



A cool, slightly oversized cartoon card from Fleer and R.G. Laughlin.  These look similar to the World Series cards that were put out in the early 70s, this set is a 42 card set of Baseball's Wildest Days and Plays.  I love these types of cards.  I got more excited seeing the pinstriped NY on the had and turned the card over and saw this was a Giants card that I needed for my collection.  Very cool!

The second card was the same size, looked to be about the same age but was of the football variety:


A nice vintage 49er card of HOFer Leo Nomellini.  I haven't been able to identify the set.  I couldn't find a matching set on beckett.com with a photo to identify it.  The closest are some Fleer Cloth Patch Stickers from 1974 and 1975 on COMC.  The design is the same but instead of a cloth sticker, this is just a card.  Regardless, the is a perfect addition into my 49ers vintage collection.

I don't know what the chances are that both of these fun finds would fit right into my collection but I am sure glad they did.  Off to the binders they go.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Oh My, O-Pee-Chee

Not too long back, I received a shipment of cards from COMC, my patience wore thin and I didn't want to wait to get my last few 1969 Topps cards for my set.  I of course got all my cards delivered including this batch of 1970 O-Pee-Chee Giants/


 The fronts are identical to the Topps cards from 1970...



The only noticeable difference is on the back.  If you look along the bottom you can see the Printed in Canada.

I don't remember the exact price but recall these all being pretty affordable and left me four cards short of the Giants team set.  I just need #107 Bobby Etheridge, #466 Juan Marichal AS, #478 Bob Heise and #526 Bob Herbel.  There is a spring sale on COMC starting in a couple days and I might need to try and finish this set.

I have had a fascination with OPC cards since I started collecting and would love to complete the entire run of Giants.  I believe they started issuing OPC cards in 1965 and while I have quite a few, I still have a ways to go.  Here are the number of cards I need by year:

1965 - 13
1966 - 8
1967 - 10
1968 - 11
1969 - 5
1970 - 4
1971 - 21
1972 - 13
1973 - 23
1974 - 22
1975 - 19
1976 - 12
1977 - 1992 Complete
1993 - 1
1994 - Complete

I have a nice run virtually complete from 1977 on.  If you happen to have a source for vintage OPC cards (I don't need great condition) help me out.  I would love to whittle that list down a bit.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Just for the "F" of It #14

Several weeks before requesting delivery of my latest COMC order I ran across a couple cards that didn't really fit into a specific collecting niche but I had to have once laying eyes on them.


Regular readers of this blog may recall that I am a graduate of USC and I am a proud Trojan alumnus.  I have a pretty solid USC football card collection but haven't really concentrated too much on picking up former Trojan baseball players.  If you aren't aware of the long history of USC baseball players, here is a partial list of graduates who made it to the big leagues: Bob Lillis, Ron Fairly, Don Buford, Rene Lachemann, Tom Seaver, Bill Lee, Tom House, Dave Kingman, Jim Barr, Steve Busby, Fred Lynn, Roy Smalley, Steve Kemp, Rich Dauer, Mark McGwire, Randy Johnson, Jacque Jones, Eric Munson, Barry Zito, Mark Prior, Morgan Ensberg, Ian Kennedy, and Lucas Duda.  In my four years at USC, the team had the following players that made it to the bigs: Bret Boone, John Cummings, Damon Buford, Jeff Cirillo, Mark Smith, Mark Robertson, Aaron Boone, Bobby Hughes, Geoff Jenkins and Gabe Alvarez.  I had tons of fun stopping by the on campus ball field to watch these guys play.

Although Kingman was before my time at SC, I remember much of his career in the big leagues.  Seeing him in his Trojan uniform in a 1982 inspired design from 2005 Topps Pristine was too good to pass up.  I picked up both the regular and refractor version.  Outside of a few 1/1s, there is still a gold refractor /65 to chase.  I will keep my eyes open and see if I can complete the rainbow Just for the Fun of It.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Joy of a Completed Insert Set - 2014 Panini Hall of Fame The Elite Series

In addition to knocking off the last three cards of my 1969 Topps set, my recent COMC order also finished off a couple more sets I have been working on.  Interestingly, I have been working on these sets for much longer than the 1969 set but they are much more modern.

This post will focus on the second of those two sets, The Elite Dominator insert set that was also an insert in 2014 Panini Hall of Fame.  As I mentioned previously, I bought a few boxes of this to help expand my autograph collection of Hall of Famers.  Each box contained one or two of these inserts and I instantly fell in love with them  After a few boxes and seeing that prices were very reasonable on the secondary market I decided to build the the set.

This Roberto Clemente was the final card I need to finish off the set:


Again, I decided to show the set off in its entirety, as you will see the collection of players is also quite impressive with quite a few of teh same players from the Elite Series.  Even though I really like the design of The Elite Series inserts, the green borders make these my favorite of the tow.  See for yourself: 





Friday, April 20, 2018

Returns from the Purge - The Collector

When I posted about my big collection purchase and shared some of my finds I had a few collectors reach out and work out a trade for some of the cards.  Despite some really nice trades and purchase I worked out, this was perhaps my favorite.  Chris from The Collector  shared a pretty awesome card that he had and I didn't hesitate a bit when he offered it up for trade.  In typical blogger fashion, I will save the gem for the end but I also scored some other nice cards for my collection.

First up some Giants needs.  I can't believe I never picked up that Mays catch, it is a beautiful card.  The Panda card is a great one, the 2010 Finest design is one of my favorites with the team logo in the background.  I like that Sandoval is blowing a bubble in his fielding position, he is looking in pretty good shape as well.


Here are a couple of great looking 49er cards, those first few years of Ultra produced beautiful cards.  Merton Hanks is one of my favorite Niners of all time, I have even thought of building a collection of his cards but haven't pulled the trigger.



These are two parallels from last year's Heritage release, they are the bright yellow back variations.  I didn't have any of these yet so super nice additions to my collection.

However, here is the star of the show:

A 1934 Goudey!  This is the first Goudey card from 34 in my collection.  This is such a great looking card and a wonderful addition to my Giants collection.

Chris, I can't thank you enough, thanks for the awesome trade!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Joy of a Completed Insert Set - 2014 Panini Hall of Fame The Elite Series

In addition to knocking off the last three cards of my 1969 Topps set, my recent COMC order also finished off a couple more sets I have been working on.  Interestingly, I have been working on these sets for much longer than the 1969 set but they are much more modern.

This post will focus on one of those two sets, The Elite Series insert set that was an insert in 2014 Panini Hall of Fame.  This was a product that delivered two autographs of Hall of Famers and a few different other cards.  I bought a few boxes of this to help expand my autograph collection of Hall of Famers.  Each box contained one or two of these inserts and I instantly fell in love with them  After a few boxes and seeing that prices were very reasonable on the secondary market I decided to build the the set.

This Ryne Sandberg was the final card I need to finish off the set:


I decided to show the set off in its entirety, as you will see the collection of players is quite impressive.  Of course they are all HOFers but they also cross a multitude of generations. Of course being a Panini product, these are logo-less but I think they still look great.  I will let the set do the rest of the talking:






Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Returns from the Purge - Johnny's Trading Spot

John from Johnny's Trading Spot is the next generous return from the purge package to showcase.  John has sent tons of cards in numerous packages over the years, it amazes me he still has excess Giants to shoot my way.  Once again he didn't disappoint, check out the cards in this package:


This is a team set, or darn near a full team set of 1994 Fleer Excel cards.  This is a minor league release and my LCS has a box or two of this laying around that I have been tempted to pick up a couple times.  Now that I have these Giants, my eyes will probably seek out another oddball issue.


There was a nice mix of early 2000s Giants as well and these were all needs.  Merkin Valdez was to 2004 what Christian Arroyo was to 2016 and Fred Lewis was to 2007 - Giants rookies that didn't amount to much that were in just about every product released.  That may not be fair to Arroyo who still has a chance.  Its odd seeing a Bobby Thomson highlight that doesn't reference The Shot Heard Round the World.


I collected the heck out of the Bazooka sets and never pulled a Giants parallel so it is great to finally have a couple in my collection.  The bottom 3 are all stickers and Mr. Valdez shows up again.


The orange must have gotten a couple stacks mixed together as I got some Astros in the cards John sent my way.  There are some nice cards in here so I thought I would scan them up to see if anyone needed them.


Finally some recent Giants to help out with last years's holiday set and this years flagship team set.

Thanks John for the great package once again!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

My 1969 Topps Set is Complete!

I recently requested and received a shipment from COMC.  I hadn't had anything shipped since the free shipping on Black Friday but after picking up the last few cards for my 1969 Topps set I had little patience and decided to have my 176 card inventory delivered so the cards for my 69 set would all be in hand.

Here are the final 3 cards, all of HOFers, that put the end to my 1969 set quest. 


First up is a rookie card of HOF Manager Bobby Cox from back in his playing days.  One of the highlights of the 1969 set has to be the awesome All-Star Rookie cup.


Next up is another rookie HOFer, Rollie Fingers.  This pic of him in his pre-handlebar days makes him almost unrecognizable.  I think I had a copy of this card at one point and decided to trade it away before going after this set.


Finally, a great looking card of HOF Ted Williams as manager of the Washington Senators.  This is a card I am certain I had previously and I recall sending it to another blogger who I think needed it as the last card for his set.  Fitting that it was the last card I had in my possession to finish off my set.

This set quest started with a flurry of activity with the purchase of a partial set and a bunch of singles.  When I first posted back at the beginning of 2017 I only needed 41 cards.  It took about 15 months to get those last 41 cards, not too bad for a 1960s vintage set.  It was a blast to put this together and now it is time to figure out which set quest to embark upon next!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Returns from the Purge - It's like having my own Card Shop

These aren't necessarily trade posts, as the boxes I sent out in my purge were sent out no strings attached.  I can't say I am surprised with how many fellow bloggers did some some cards back in return with the generosity consistently displayed in this community.  Today's post is a return package from It's like having my own Card Shop

I got a nice variety of Giants cards with quite a few cards to knock off my want list.


The two UD Play Ball cards finished off a team set, very cool.  I didn't realized the Correia was a parallel until it was getting filed away in my binder, that was a nice surprise.  The Burkett silver signature parallel gets me one step closer to the team set.  I haven't officially gone on a quest to complete the silver sig parallel set but every time I get a new one I almost pull the trigger on a shopping spree to finish it off.


I haven't figured out a way to create a checklist of Giants minor leaguers, one of the few gaps in my pretty detailed checklists.  I am always glad to add more to my collection.  I still need to get a binder put together for them, maybe that can be a 2019 goal, lord knows I have enough goals for 2018.


This is a nice relic of a short time stay with the Giants, Andres Galarraga.  The Big Cat played for the Giants for part of 2001 and all of 2003 and played pretty well even being at the end of his career.  It seems his autographed cards have started to pop up in a few new Topps products lately.  I was able to purge my collection of most of my Chipz, except of course the Giants.  The black Panda Chipz is the first of that color I have seen.  Not sure if it is super rare but I bought quite a few packs and never got a black one.

The final cards to share are at first glace what appears to be typical 2004 Topps Giants base cards.  Upon closer inspection, I saw the 1st edition symbol on these.  I had 2 or 3 of these parallels in my collection but all 5 are new to me.  I don't recall how these were distributed but I am glad to have almost a binder page full now.

Thanks for the great cards Daniel, I really appreciate you returning the favor.