Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The Joy of a Completed Team Set - 1996 Flair Giants

Every so often I go on a streak of trying to pick up Giants base cards to fill in gaps in my collection.  I recently made a list of almost 700 base cards I need from 1990-2019 and decided if I could whittle down the list.  I used some of my Sportlots credit from May sales to buy some cards.  Singles there can be as low as 18 cents and many sellers offer free or very low shipping if you use their Box feature.  With Box, Sportlots collects all your orders and sends them at one time in a flat rate shipping box.  I have found this saves quite a bit on shipping and it is my default way to get lower valued singles.

In reviewing my want list of base cards, I noticed I needed 7 of the 13 Giants in the 1996 Flair set.  At this point in my Giants collecting journey, it is rare to need that high of a percentage of normal base cards from a fairly common set.  I did a search on Sportlots and found that there were under 10 cards of each Giant available and the only copy of the Bonds card was for sale for $100. 

I still needed the Bonds so Sportlot was no longer an option.  I hit up eBay and found a team set for a reasonable price and grabbed it.

Here is the Bonds, front and back:

 I really enjoy the design of these cards, each on features 4 photos, 2 each on the front and back.  The fronts are silver etched foil with the names in gold.  There are gold etched foil parallels with silver names as well - I think I have about half of each.  The stats are fairly hard to read depending on the photo on the background but these cards are all about the photos.

Here is the rest of the team set in all its glory:

The Flair set was put out from 1993-1996 so this completes my Giants run which is pretty cool.  In 1997 the switched to Flair Showcase which got a little complicated with different "rows" of cards that were parallels.  This went on through 1999.  I have all the Row 2 Giants cards which seem to be the base level but need a few of the other rows if I want the full Giants run there.  Flair was back from 2002-2005 (I have that Giants run as well), the back to Flair Showcase in 2006 then the brand ended.  I still need 4 of the 2006 variety to complete my Flair run and those are on my lengthy base card list.

Of that 700ish card list, I have picked up over 150 of my Giants needs so far.  I don't see the list going down to zero but it would be awesome to cut it in half by the end of 2020.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

7 Day Trading Card Challenge #4

Time to tackle Challenge #4 - my favorite basketball card in my collection.

As a reminder, Tim over at Cardpocalypse put together this 7 Day Trading Card Challenge and here is the whole list:


My basketball card collection is not as robust as my football card collection and is a small fraction of my baseball card collection.  I started collecting basketball cards in college, the height of the Shaq era and have quite a few sets from the early to mid 90s.  I picked up a couple vintage sets from the late 70s - early 80s and have a pipe dream to collect the 1980-81 Topps set (that is the one with the triple perforated cards and Magic Johnson RC/Dr. J/Larry Bird RC).

From a player collection standpoint I collect Charles Barkley & Patrick Ewing (stars from my peak hoops fandom), Chris Webber (my favorite Sacramento King), Harold Minor (my neighbor for a year while at USC) and Tiny Archibald (a relatively new PC after reading some NBA books on the 70s and knowing he played on the pre-Sac Kings).

From a team collection standpoint, I have a modest collection of former Trojans and I pick up Kings cards that tickle my fancy.

When embarking on this challenge, I thought through my collection and was tempted to pick a Harold Miner card due to the personal connection and he has some sweet cards in a USC uniform.   I have more Chris Webber cards than any other player collection and had no more fun as a fan than the Kings peak when they threatened for the title for a couple years.

Ultimately I went another direction and decided to pick a card that made me the most excited when I picked it up and is still a favorite today, a 1986-87 Fleer Charles Barkley rookie.

This set is famous for the Michael Jordan rookie but is stacked with amazing rookie cards.  There was a gap in mainstream basketball card production with the 1981-82 Topps set being the last one prior to this set.  That set, following up the Bird/Magic rookie year was highlighted by a Kevin McHale rookie card.  The 1986-87 set features rookies on 60 of its 132 cards and in addition to Jordan and Barkley showcases HOFers Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Joe Dumars, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Hakeem Olajuwon, Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins and James Worthy and other notable rookies like Manute Bol, Larry Nance  and Spud Webb.  What a set!

I bought a pack of this for a few dollars years and years ago that in hindsight was probably searched, my top card was a Tom Chambers rookie card.

So why this card as my favorite.  First, when I started collecting Sir Charles, I seriously thought this card was out of reach.  I really like the design of these cards with the red, white an blue borders and in Barkley's case an awesome action shot right after a slam dunk.  The backs are pretty simple and looks similar to Fleer baseball cards of the 80s.  Today this definitely fits the bill as my favorite hoops card.

Monday, June 8, 2020

McCovey Monday - 1980 Souvenir Scoresheet

I have been having fun trying to add new items to my Willie McCovey collection that are not cards.  His vintage cards that I need are either super rare (and if I can find them they are pretty costly) or parallels and hits from 2001 forward (I find it hard to pay good money for a cards /25 when I have the /100 and the /10 already).  The main thing I am looking for are vintage items with photos of Willie Mac, ideally pictures I haven't seen before.

I set up a search for magazines and publications on eBay and have picked up a few cool things that I plan to show in the coming weeks.  Today I thought I would start with a unique item, it was the first time I had ever seen it and when I purchased it there weren't any others on sale.

This is a scorecard from the Willie McCovey Old Timers Game played at Candlestick Park on 9/20/80.
This is the front of the scorecard and measures about 6 1/4" X 9 1/4".  It features an awesome photo of Seals Stadium, the original home of the SF Giants and a cool photo of Stretch in the follow through of his swing with his retired #44 and last name in full view.  He played his last game for the Giants on July 6th, 1980 so they must have rushed to put this together.

A quick side note, I saw Willie's 5th to the last game in person on June 29th at Candlestick.  He hit a pinch hit double against the Dodgers to drive in a walk off run in what would be his last extra base hit, his last 3rd to the last RBI and second to the last hit.  It was pretty wild.

The back shows the box score of a game on 7/30/59 which is Willie's famous debut against Robin Roberts where he went 4 for 4 with 2 triples.   There are also nice round photos of the Giants' starting lineup and manager circling a larger picture of McCovey.

The inside of the scorecard is pretty neat as well:

Not only does it have a place to keep score, the sides highlight players that I assume were playing in the Oldtimer's game.  It appears they were able to drum up the same starting lineup from his debut game in 1959 to play against some other former players including Robin Roberts.  I would have loved to see this game.

Stay tuned for some other vintage McCovey stuff.  While they are a little more challenging to scan/photo for the blog, they are super cool to collect and look at.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

The Joy of a Completed Vintage Oddball Set - 1961 Golden Press

Since I wasn't posting around the first of the year, I never listed my hobby goals on the blog, however one January day I did list out some 2020 Collection Focuses.  I like to do this because I have a bunch of different interests in my card collection and by making a list it gives me a reference to look back on when I am doing some shopping. 

I have a list of 8 sets I am hoping to finish in 2020.  Most of these had fairly small want lists and I have recently gotten the cards to finish off 3 of these sets.  Today I am going to share the 1961 Golden Press set.  The final card I needed to finish this off was card #3 Babe Ruth.

This is a 33-card set of standard card size. The 1961 Golden Press set features full color cards and all of the players are members of Baseball's Hall of Fame. The cards came in a booklet with perforations for punching the cards out of the book. The price of the full intact book is fairly pricey but overall I found this set to be pretty affordable. I tried to look for cards in pretty nice condition but as you will see I wasn't too picky.

I really enjoy oddball cards and this set has that going for it.  Additionally, I love the artwork on these cards, they are well done and very colorful.  Any set featuring Hall of Famers is great in my book.  The backs feature nice write ups about some career highlights and a listing of some key career stats.  I found this write up pretty timely as the following year the Ruth's "most famous record" would no longer exist.

Here is the set in all its glory:

Awesome looking set and pretty nice checklist, huh?

Friday, June 5, 2020

7 Day Trading Card Challenge #3

Time to get back on the horse and get a post up.

As a reminder, Tim over at Cardpocalypse put together this 7 Day Trading Card Challenge and here is the whole list:

I am up to #3, the favorite football card in my collection.  My collection is a majority baseball but I do have my fair share of football cards and football card pursuits.  As a graduate of USC, collecting former Trojan football players was my first team collection, a few years before starting my Giants collection in earnest.

I am have a solid number of sets in my football card collection.  I have decided to go after a lifetime Topps football card collection from my birth year of 1971 up through 2015 when Topps stopped producing football cards.  I am waiting for my last group of 1977 cards from COMC to finish off that set and that will leave me only lacking 1993 and 1994 for a run from 1977-2015.  I am also about 10 cards short of the 1971 set and under 20 cards from completing Series 1 & 2 of the 1972 set.  I haven't looked hard but it seems Series 3 in football is even worse than the high series of 72 Topps baseball.  The lowest priced complete set is about $3.5K on eBay and you can get the lower 2 series for under $400 so that high series will be a beast to collection. 

I have shared my 49er collection where I am looking to pick up all the Topps, Bowman, Fleer and Philadelphia base and insert cards.  I also collect a few non-USC players in Dwight Clark, Roger Craig and Fred Dean and a small collection of Kenny Stabler.  I share all this to illustrate that I have a lot of football cards to pick from to find my favorite.

I think my pick for this could differ depending on the day but when I was giving thought to which card to pick my mind went immediately to my Ronnie Lott collection.  Ronnie was a Trojan and a 49er and I had a chance to meet him in the mid-80s at the height of his Niner career during training camp in Rocklin, CA.  I had a few cards in mind but when I was flipping through my Lott binders I decided on this card:

I prefer on card autos and this isn't the cleanest Lott auto in my collection but I just love this card.  He isn't featured in his USC uniform on that many cards and I love the College Greats theme.  This card has a great SC logo on both sides and is low numbered to just 20 copies.  I hunted this card down and negotiated with the seller like crazy to add it to my collection and got what I thought at the time was a good deal.  I think the fun of the chase adds to my liking of this card and for today it is my favorite.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

7 Day Trading Card Challenge #2

Time to tackle Challenge #2, a card from 2020 with a unique photo.

As a reminder, Tim over at Cardpocalypse put together this 7 Day Trading Card Challenge and here is the whole list:


I haven't bought a ton of new cards this year, some retail Topps Series 1, a few packs of Donruss and a Topps Opening Day set with inserts.  Somewhat slim pickings, I wish that Stadium Club was out already as it always has great photo selections.  My mind instantly went to the Opening Day set I got last week and especially the Spring Has Sprung inserts.  However, I showed 5 of those cards in my post and while there were some other great photos in that set I decided to go in another direction.

This nice looking card is from a different Opening Day insert set, Team Traditions and Celebrations.  For some reason the Giants don't seem to get featured in too many of these sets, never a mascot card and rarely featured as a team in Opening Day inserts.  this year was different, they actually got 2 cards in this small set, this Mays statue card and one of a cable car at the stadium.

I picked this as my unique card as it brings back great memories for me.  This Willie Mays statue is right out front the main entrance of Oracle Park (I fondly remember it as Pac Bell Park, its first name upon opening).  This is always my meeting point when I connect with friends for a game.  Any while my favorite player of all time Willie McCovey also has a statue it is located out near McCovey Cove in right field.  It is always worth a walk to go see it but this Mays statue is iconic and it isn't every day that a statue is featured on a baseball card.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

7 Day Trading Card Challenge #1

Tim over at Cardpocalypse has laid down a 7 Day Trading Card Challenge and while I certainly won't cover it over 7 consecutive days, I think I am going to give it a go and hopefully get through all the steps.

Here are the 7 different challenges:


Today I have been challenged to share my favorite card acquired during the quarantine.

When I saw this topic, the first card that came to mind was this:

This is my first Topps Project 2020 art card.  When I saw the first few cards come out I wasn't sure they were going to be my cup of tea.  I wouldn't call myself an art connoisseur and the first one I saw that possibly would fit into my collection was an artistic rendering of a 1952 Willie Mays.  The card didn't excite or inspire me.  A few days later I saw this Rickey Henderson rookie rendition come up on and instantly liked it.  I am a Rickey collector and think his rookie card is one of the best in the history of the hobby and this one was close enough to the original (not all of these are) for me but different enough where I wanted a copy. 

However with all the craziness about these Project 2020 cards and the crazy prices they are going for won't allow me in good conscious to pick a card from this set as my favorite.  If you aren't familiar, this card that I got for under $20 delivered when it was released, is now for sale of $300+.  I also picked up the second one when it was released but I am done with these.

Let's look at my real favorite card pickup during quarantine:

This is a 1972 Topps Joe Morgan high number and it finished off my 1972 Topps set and therefore finished off my lifetime Topps run.  It was actually one of a lot of cards I got to finish off my set but this was the last card in the package and will ever be remembered as the card that finished my set.

I am still on cloud nine about finishing the set and suspect it will be my favorite hobby accomplishment of the year.

Time to dig into the few 2020 cards I have so far to find a card for Challenge #2.