Monday, April 30, 2012

McCovey Monday #3

 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.

I missed last Monday. I am sure there probably isn't anyone who noticed (or cared) but I am disappointed in myself a little.  A couple weeks back I has 2 or 3 posts written, lined up and scheduled to be posted and not only did they not post, I lost all the content I had written.  I am an engineer by training (college) and an insurance guy by trade so writing doesn't come naturally to me.  Not saying I can't do it, just isn't in my wheelhouse.  To have to rewrite some posts so early in the game derailed me a bit but fortunately I didn't once question my entrance into the blogosphere.  I am having too much fun and making too many great trades.

For this weeks McCovey showcase card, we'll go back to 2005.  My McCovey checklist totals 2246 cards (and I haven't added Gypsy Queen yet) and 810 of them come from that crazy year of 2005.  McCovey has tons of cards in this Absolute release along with Upper Deck Hall of Fame, Prime Cuts, Leaf Sportscasters, Donruss Classics, and Diamond Kings.  While I have a decent number, this is the year of the biggest gaps.  One day I will get my want list posted for McCovey to see if I can luck into any of my needs.  He is a common eBay search for me as well.

This card features 2 very nice patches from Willie's time with the Padres.  McCovey played 321 of his 2588 career games with San Diego from 1974-76.  He also played 11 games with Oakland at the tail end of 1977 with the rest of his games being played with the Giants.  In those 321 games, he hit 52 HRs and had 167 RBI while batting .242, not the most impressive stats but he was at the end of his career.  So what do I like about this card?  It has to start with the patches, both are multicolored and show some stitching, very appealing to the eye. I also like that they look to be from two different areas of the uniform, not just one larger patch in two windows.  This card is numbered 32/44 with the 44 Willie worn during his career in honor of the great Hank Aaron.  It is somewhat hard to tell but this card is a bit shiny and like like shiny cards.  Luckily there is a picture of McCovey in his Padres Taco Bell-like uniform.  I am not a fan of mismatched photos, jersey pieces and team names on the card.

Overall a very nice card of McCovey that helps commemorate his time with the San Diego Padres.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Trade Post - "O" no & Mistress

I have been making so many trades and entering group breaks that I have enough content to post almost daily on those topics alone.  I am hoping to work on some more new features to add to the blog in the near future and will be picking up McCovey Mondays again tomorrow but in the meantime, I have some great goods to share from a couple recent trades - both my first with these bloggers.

First up is a trade with Ryan over at "O" No!!! Another Orioles Blog.  The trade started with Ryan posted 3 Willie Mays cards he received in a Gypsy Queen break.  I reached out to him and, as trades often do, it became much bigger that I ever thought it might.  I sent Ryan a bunch of Orioles from as far back as the 1980s and a couple HOFer GUs from their days with the Orioles and received back a bunch of Giants goodies and a few set needs.  Here are some of my favorites.

First off, we can check out the 3 Mays cards that started it all.  I love the Glove Stories photo of the catch.  I have the mini version that zooms in a lot closer but love this zoomed out picture that shows the beauty of one of the most famous catches in World Series history.  I also received the retail Cepeda Framed parallel and a Marichal mini.

 Ryan also included some nice hits from the Giants.  Outside of the Panda, none of these guys really made it big but I really like the design of the GU/Auto Jerome Williams card and all 4 were wants off my Giants list.

 Here is some rookie sweetness, again all needs off the Giants want list.  Two cards of recently extended Madison Bumgarner and one of the hopefully All-Star starting catcher Buster Posey (sad side note - one of our goldfish ate part of my little fish named Buster over the weekend and Buster didn't make it - hope this isn't some sort of a sign).  I have most of Buster's regular issued rookie cards so it was nice to knock this one off the list.

 I also received 20 Home Run History cards I needed, these are my 3 favorite.  The first, #177 commemorates what I believe is his first HR as a Giant and therefore the first I want to add into my collection. The 500 HR card is in gold while the 756 is in silver - both look very nice and celebrate milestones in Bonds HOF career.

Finally, I was able to knock 6 cards off my set want list. Five from Opening day, still a pretty lengthly list of inserts needed from that set and one from Topps Series 1, I am down to 11 Golden Greats cards to finish off that one.

Ryan - thank you for the great trade!!!

The second trade I will highlight was with Adam over at My Cardboard Mistress.  The trade started when I saw a red bordered Brandon Belt parallel up for trade on his blog.  Again, I reached out, has some of his set needs and deal was struck.  Here are some of my favorite cards I got in return.

Great cards of All-Star pitchers with the Giants.  Marichal had a great career and this card shows a beautiful picture of him getting ready to sling a pitch towards an overpowered batter.  The Schmidt and Cain are parallels that fit nicely into my collection.  The Big Unit and Barry Zito weren't All-Stars during their time with the Giants but both have special places in the history of the Giants.  Randy Johnson won his 300th game as a Giant and Zito signed one of the worst contracts in team history.

Some prospect cards that knocked needs off my want list.  Brett Pill is featured on a couple of these cards and is getting some PT with the big club this year.  I hope he turns out to be a bat the Giants can use.  

Finally some additional Giants cards to finish off the trade.  An Edgar Rentaria insert and 5 parallels. I love the O-Pee-Chee black parallels and have seem quite a few fans across the blogosphere.  The last cards shown, the Brandon Belt, is actually the card that started it all.

Adam - thanks for the trade, I really appreciate it!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Trade Post - packages from Baseball Dad & the Dimwit

I mentioned before that mail time is one of my favorite times of the day.  Especially when the packages that arrive have some surprise goodies in them.  The first package came over from Baseball Dad who runs the blog All Tribe Baseball.  This trade started when I found a couple cool Kenny Lofton cards at my LCS and dropped him a note to see if he needed them.  As trades often do, they got a little bigger with each of us including some extras.  Here are some of the highlights from my package.

Look at this great collection of Giants.  We have 2 really nice Freak cards and two old timers from the Conlon collection.   I love the Topps Laser cards, and I believe this is only my second one.  The Bumgarner is a dup but I just love the Orange bordered Giants cards.  My 5 year old is now interested in Giants cards so this one will instantly become one of his favorite. It is also nice that Bumgarner will be around for the next 5+ years.  Finally we have 3 Giants pitchers from different sets that all marked some needs of the master list.  I just loved Kirk Rueter as a Giant and John Burkett, in addition to his bowling prowess, was a 20 game winner for the Orange and Black.

I also got a little extra in my package - how cool is this.  Baseball Dad left me note saying these were a cheap pickup for him at a discount store in Ohio.  Never saw these here in CA - thanks for the great trade!

 The second package came over from Sam at The Daily Dimwit.  He had a group break that filled up before I could get in and the Giants were his random choice.  I dropped him a note and he sent the Giants my way.  Here are some of the cards I got from Sam.

 First off we have 2 copies of the Barry Bonds Topps HD card - I think Barry may be the only Giant in the set. I got 1 base and one parallel form Topps Gallery and a very nice insert of the greatest Giant, and quite possibly the greatest player of all time, Willie Mays.  Great additions to my collection.

I also received the team set of the Giants from Fleer Game Time.  These early to mid 2000 sets of Fleer didn't contain too many Giants.  Great for knocking off team sets but I would really like a few more to have been included.  You can't argue with this cast, with Kent and Bonds being MVP caliber players and JT Snow being one of the finest fielding 1B of his generation.

Finally, I received 9 UD Vintage cards.  All but 2 of these were new to my collection.  I like the look of this set, an obvious rip off of 71 Topps, and need to seek out the rest of the Giants.  Thanks for the trade Sam!  I will include some extras with our Gypsy Queen trade we are working out right now.

Due to work travels and a cub scout camping trip this weekend, posting may be scarce for the next week or so.  However I am pretty excited to be up to 39 followers already, wasn't sure if I would ever reach that level.  I am working on a contest for the followers and to see if I can drum up a little more excitement on the blog so stay tuned.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Baseball Book Review - The Quality of Courage by Mickey Mantle

I was at my local library a couple weeks ago and saw this book on the shelf - The Quality of Courage.  I am really not the biggest Mickey Mantle fan but this book caught my attention for a couple of reasons.  1) It is pretty short, only 185 pages.  I almost always finish a book when I start it so this wasn't a huge investment, 2) This book was originally written in 1964, during Mantle's career.  I was intrigued by the notion of him writing this book in the middle of his playing days, 3) I have been trying to get into a much longer book - The Last Boy - for a while and thought this might get me going with Mantle and generate some excitement. 

This book ended up being a decent read.  I would rate it a 3 out of 5.  At first I was a little turned off by the language that was used, it is very elementary.  Later in the book it became clear that a younger audience was the target audience which lead me to believe the simple language was more by design than due to Mantle's inability to use words longer than 6 letters.  Mantle was approached to write this book following up JFKs Profiles in Courage that was written a few years before.

The book gives Mantle a platform to share his views and opinions on different ballplayers and people outside of baseball and how they demonstrate courage.  Among the players he discusses include the famous (Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, Jackie Robinson, Roger Maris, and Roy Campanella) and the not quite as famous (Ralph Houk, Don Zimmer, Lou Brissie, Jimmy Piersall, Fred Fitzsimmons and Fred Hutchinson).  As a want to be amateur baseball historian this was a good read. I got some insight into some of the players of the 50s and 60s (and earlier) for a more simple time along with some new perspective on Mickey Mantle.  I may never own an autographed card of his for my HOF collection but I do think I will pick up The Last Boy again soon and finish the story.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mail Day #2!

I used to do a lot of trading and buying on Sports Card Forum, as a matter of fact I have made over 375 trades there.  Lately with the amount of trading I have been doing with fellow bloggers, I haven't spent too much time on SCF.  A couple weeks back I had some paypal available and decided to look through the buying forum and ran across a seller who has cards from 25 cents to 2 dollars and had the team name noted after each card.  I searched through for some Giants and found quite a few I needed.  In total I bought 53 cards for the grand total of $34.  I was pretty happy with a price of 64 cents per card.  I thought I would show off some of my favorite cards from the purchase.

A Quad of Gold Cards

A Quad of Pitchers Parallels

A Quad of the All Time HR King

A Pair of Black Parallels and A Pair of Freaks

A Quad of Shiny Cards

A Quad of MVPs

A Bazooka Relic of a Two Year Giant

A Prospect Auto of 1st Rounder Who Never Fulfilled his Potential
I was really happy with these pick ups.  Great additions to the Giants collection.  Are there any other bloggers who use SCF?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Gypsy Queen Box Break

I decided to take the plunge and buy a box of Gypsy Queen.  I really enjoy the look of the cards and what pushed me over the edge was finding out the only SPs were parallels.  At the core I am a set builder and that was great news to me.

Enough bloggers have shared the base cards and insert sets so I thought I would stick with sharing my SPs, minis and hits.

First here are my Giants minis:
The Belt and Cain cards are regular backs while the Vogelsong has a Gypsy Queen back.  The Mays is a beautiful mini of the Glove Stories insert set that came in my mini box.

Here are the regular back minis:
A couple nice ones in there with the Fisk, Bautista and Strasburg.  Also the Beckett is #331 which make it a short print.

Here are the other 9 cards (in addition to the Mays) that came in the mini box:
To me the Mays was the obvious highlight of the mini box but there are some nice All-Stars mixed in here.  These cards all have the regular back.

Finally, here are the mini parallels I got in the box:
The top row has the Straight Cut back, the middle row the Gyspy Queen back and the last row has the various colored inserts with 2 blacks, a Sepia and the dark brown Fingers.  The Fingers is a great looking card and is numbered 78/99.  I really like the Griffey and the picture on the Valverde is pretty cool.  The Heath Bell is card number 334 and the Justin Verlander is number 320, I am not sure if the parallels are short printed as well but if so I would have to think I did pretty well.

These are the SPs I got of the base set.
Can't be too disappointed with a Gehrig and Clemente.

Continuing with the Clemente theme, here are the two blue parallels I received:
Finally the 4 hits:

The Bumgarner fits right into my Giants collection - I always love pulling Giants cards and Bumgarner has been a frequent pull for me.  Since he is signed for another 5 years, I am sure I can expect a lot of his cards in the future.  The Eddie Murray relic is sweet as well.  Not too excited about the two autos but I was excited to pull this extra hit (in my last pack!):
A Gary Carter printing plate!  What a nice card.  Not normally a huge fan of printing plates but this one shows the picture really well and is of a classy Hall of Famer.

I am probably going to have to pick up one more box in order to tackle the set.  Unless there is an outpouring of base cards for trade in the near future, I see a second box in my future.  All the cards are for trade with the exception of the Giants.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Trade Post - Kyle at JABO

I have been jumping into many of the group breaks and getting my beloved Giants cards but I missed out on one recently that included a box of 2001 Stadium Club.  Just my luck that the hit of the break (at least in my opinion) was a Giant.  When I saw the card I really wanted to have it and I shot Kyle from JABO a note to see if it was for trade.  He was interested in some cards for his trifects and I dug out a couple relic cards that he needed and BAM, the trade was made.  Check out this beauty:

This Beam Team card has a lot going for it.
  1. The All-Time HR King watching one of his big flies
  2. The sweet die cut edges
  3. It is Shiny!
  4. The horizontal lines across the middle of the card are cut out too
  5. Serial Numbered 158/500
  6. It is now mine!
I appreciate the trade Kyle.  If anyone has any of my needs or any cool insert or parallel cards of the Giants, drop me a line.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hall of Famer Auto - Hoyt Wilhelm

I am a little bummed out about the performance of Blogger.  I have been traveling for work this week and had two posts written, saved and scheduled to post and neither one posted.  To make matters worse, everything I wrote was missing with the exception of the title of the post.  If anyone has any ideas or suggestions on what I might have done wrong, please drop me a comment or note.

Anyway, I will get onto the card.  In addition to my team, player and set collections, I like to dabble in collecting autographed cards of Hall of Famers.  I recently picked up this auto of Hoyt Wilhelm which brings my total up to 56 different HOF player autos.  This Wilhelm is a double bonus as it also fits nicely into my Giants collection as well.  I love the old black and white Giants photo of Hoyt from early in his career and the on card auto.  The auto is pretty sloppy but I can't be too disappointed, this is a card from 2002 and Hoyt passed away in August of 2002 at the age of 80, not too bad for an 80 year old.  There is one other Giants Wilhelm auto that I keep my eyes opened for at a good price.

Hoyt had a pretty amazing career.  He started out with the Giants in 1952 and played on their 1954 World Series Championship team.  He ended up playing for 8 other teams during his career before retiring from the Dodgers in 1972.  Just like current day pitcher Jamie Moyer, Hoyt pitched until he was 49 years old and his last appearance was just 16 days short of his 50th birthday.  Hoyt was the first pitcher who was predominantly a relief pitcher ever elected into the Hall of Fame in 1985. Hoyt's primary pitch of choice was the knuckleball.

I found it interesting that he pitched a no-hitter as a starter for the Orioles less than a month after being released by the Indians after the Indian catchers couldn't handle his knuckleball resulting in too many wild pitches and past balls. Hoyt also set records during his career retiring with the most games pitched in a career.  Although the save wasn't an official stat during his career, historians have credited him with over 200 saves.

I did some searches for a book about Hoyt Wilhelm's life and wasn't able to find one. I think his role in the evolution of the relief pitcher role along with all the teams he played for, his longevity and record setting performances would have made for a wonderful read.

Monday, April 16, 2012

McCovey Monday #2

 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.

For my second installment of McCovey Monday I will share a relic card from back when relic cards actually meant something.  Check out this beauty.  It commemorates McCovey's 500th home run hit against the Atlanta Braves in Fulton County Stadium off Jamie Easterly. This homer made McCovey the 12th player to break the 500 HR barrier.  McCovey ended his career with 521 home runs which tied Ted Williams.

This relic card is from 2003 Timeless Treasures and has a piece of baseball on the front.   Based on the Giants uniform, it is possible this picture is actually the follow through of the swing that landed McCovey his 500th home run as these were the orange beauties worn during the late 70s.

The back of the card gets me excited.  There is a photo of the actual ball from Donruss prior to cutting it up for the card.  It is serial numbered out of 24, a very low print run (you would think the could have gotten more cards out of a baseball).  The card back as a Certificate of Authenticity that states, in part "was cut from an Authentic Baseball use in an official Major League Baseball game on June 30, 1978 featuring the Braves vs. the Giants."  The ball was actually in the game the day McCovey hit his historic home run.  Don't see info like that on the back of cards today, 2012 Tribute states "The relic contained in this card is not from any specific game even or season."

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Baseball Book Review - Out of My League

In addition to my obsession with sports cards, I really enjoy reading.  Reading helps clear my mind after a long day's work and helps fill the gaps in during the day.  My wife jokes that I have ADD (there may actually be some truth to that) because at every free moment I am picking up a book and knocking off a few pages.

I enjoy many different types of books - popular fiction (Stephen King, John Grisham, James Patterson, Lee Child, Harlen Coben, etc.), history (presidential biographies, WWII) and of course sports books.  I have amassed a pretty decent collection of baseball related books and check out others at my local library. I thought I would share some thoughts about the sports books I read as a part of this blog.

I recently completed Out of My League by Dirk Hayhurst.  This is Mr. Hayhurst's second book chronicling his life in baseball.  His first book, The Bullpen Gospels, was a NY Times best seller and chronicles his life as a minor league ball player.  It was a good read and I would highly recommend either book to gain some humorous insight into the inner workings of baseball.

Out of My League begins during the off season leading into the 2008 baseball season.  Dirk is coming off a solid season in AA ball and hoping to make the AAA team and eventually get a taste of the big leagues. During the off season, he meets Bonnie and falls in love.  In addition to taking us through the ups and downs of the baseball season, we also gain insight into the challenges of a long distance relationship when he is on the road as a ball player.  As a player Dirk makes the AAA squad out of spring training and we gain some understanding about the craziness that is minor league baseball.  Late in the season Dirk gets his first taste of the big leagues and it isn't completely what he expects.  Yes, there are the plush accommodations, the awesome food spreads and the amazing locker room.  However he struggles with the bigger crowds, the new culture and probably most with his inflated expectations of himself.

I really enjoyed this book, I would rate it a 4.5 out of 5.  It is funny, honest and provides great insight into the real inter-workings of the game and the honest emotions of a player.  I would strongly recommend this book to any baseball fan.

Let me know if you have any recommendations for my next baseball book.  I am thinking of going with a Thurman Munson biography but am not fully committed yet.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cain was Able - What a performance!

One of the downsides to living in Southern California and being a Giants fan is the lack of TV coverage for my favorite team.  Typically I follow them by quick internet checks to see updated scores or watching the ticker at the bottom of the TV.  This year I decided to purchase the app for my IPad that allows me to listen in live to the radio broadcasts.  Yesterday I was able to tune in for the last 5 innings of the Giants/Pirates game and what a treat is was.

Matt Cain, my favorite current Giant, was masterful.  He pitched a 1 hitter with no walks and 11 Ks.  The only thing standing between Cain and perfection was a 2 out single by the pitcher.  The was the Giant's home opener so the crowd was into it.  Another great feature of the app is the ability to view highlights from the game.  I was able to see many of Cain's strikeouts and he looked dominant.  I also got to see replays of Buster Posey's introduction to the home crowd and long double, an emotional first pitch ceremony with video of Brian Stow and his son throwing out the first pitch and Aubrey Huff's first HR of the season, a one-hopper into McCovey Cove. 
This auto card of Matt Cain was a recent pickup from Burbank Sportscards. They have a huge selection in Beckett's Marketplace and I placed and order of base cards to knock off my want list and got this for about $8 to put me into the free shipping price range. 

Here are a couple other Cain cards I have in my collection.  I have decided to work on building up my cards of his this season.  With his new contract, he is here to stay and hopefully will be a lifelong Giant.  His stats, outside of his W/L record are pretty nice and he could be a 20 game winner this year with decent run support.  I am still not sure what to make of the Giants offense so far this year but they have scored 4 or more runs in every game so far - wonder if they had a 7 game streak of 4+ last year?  Barry Zito is back on the mound after his shutout last week to see if he can help the Giants even their record after a horrible start in Phoenix.

Trade Post - Nick @ Dime Boxes

As mentioned earlier, I have been pretty active in trading with bloggers over the past several months but I just completed my first trade as an actual blogger.  Nick over at Dime Boxes responded to my first trade bait post and we swapped 2012 Heritage SPs.  I still need 52 SPs to complete my set but it sure was nice to knock this one off the list.
Thanks for the trade Nick - I believe this is our 3rd trade so far.  Looking forward to more in the future!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Greatest Giant of All Time

While Willie McCovey is my favorite Giant of all time and probably the most feared hitter of all time, there is little doubt who the best Giant of all time is.

I picked up this Mays card from Napkin Doon is a trade recently in exchange for a few 2011 Bowman cards he needed towards his set.  He included a few other Giants as well that are greatly appreciated.  I went a little crazy with 2011 Bowman and bought and traded enough to build all the different sets (base, chrome prospects, prospects) from the first release.  If you have any set or team needs let me know.

Last year I read a biography on Mays, Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend, that gave me some great insight and tons of respect for Mays both as a man and a ball player.  It was a lengthy book and covered all areas of his life from his younger days growing up near Birmingham, Alabama through his entire career in the Negro Leagues and MLB with the Giants and Mets and some post playing day information as well.  Mays was one of the earlier African Americans to play in the major leagues and while he comes nowhere close to making the impact that Jackie Robinson did, Mays did have an interesting impact on integrating baseball.  He was perhaps one of the first crossover African American players that was universally beloved, the players and fans regardless of race seemed to like him as a player and a person.  I am sure he has his share of racial hatred thrown his way but nothing compared to players like Robinson and Hank Aaron.  One exception talked about in the book was a house he bought in San Francisco where he and his wife were driven out of the neighborhood by a developer who didn't want the neighborhood to become a "black neighborhood".  I really enjoyed the book and would suggest it for anyone interested in Mays life or to get a better understanding of baseball and life in the 50s and 60s.

In my first mailday post, I alluded to a big pick up that deserved a post of its own.  I guess with the other things I included it isn't getting its own post but it is one of the most awesome cards in my collection.

I bought this 1955 Bowman card of the great Willie Mays off a seller on Sports Card Forum.  It isn't in perfect shape but it is in really nice shape and I love it!  This Bowman set is one of my favorites with the TV Set view and wood borders.  Mays is posed in a position that looks like he is ready to chase after a deep fly ball and make another amazing catch.  This is Mays' 4th Bowman card after the 51, 52 and 54 releases and probably the oldest one I will ever own. However, I never thought this beauty would enter my collection either so who knows.  I have been picking up some 55 Bowman Giants on the auction portion of Sportlots for a few months now and only need 4 of 15 Giants to complete the team set.  The Hoyt Wilhelm is the only high priced one left so I am hoping to finish off that set sometime this year.  I just added by 1955 want list and will continue to update it so let me know if you have any of my needs.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The First Win - by Barry Zito

The Giants finally got their first win yesterday, I was beginning to think this blog was some sort of a jinx.  After shaky pitching performances by Lincecum, Bumgarner and Cain it was none other than Barry Zito who stole the show and delivered the first win of the season.

I wasn't able to watch the game but looking at the box score reminds me of the Zito of old, back in his Oakland A's Cy Young days.  He completed the game allowing only 4 hits, no walks or runs and only 114 pitches.  That this pitching performance was in the high altitude of Denver makes it even more impressive.

I know Zito has one of the worst contracts in MLB history, this story has him as the 3rd worst - Worst Contracts in MLB History - from a few years back.  For some reason I have a soft spot for him.  I always want to have him do well.  He seems like a nice guy, I actually know someone well who knows him well, and he plays for my Giants.  There are always glimmers of greatness like yesterday but in the end he always disappoints.  I will remain optimistic that this is a good sign but in reality I expect him to get bombed next time he goes out.  Either way I am going to savor this first win of the season.

Monday, April 9, 2012

McCovey Monday #1

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.

The first card I would like to show off is this 2001 Fleer Focus ROY Collection GU Bat and Auto card.  As you can see, this card has a great on-card signature and is serial numbered 49/59.  The 59 is in honor of his inaugural 1959 season where he captured the Rookie of the Year award with 13 HRs, 28 RBIs 9 2Bs, 5 3Bs and a .354 Batting Average.  He was the unanimous choice for ROY earning all 24 votes and actually got 1 MVP vote finishing tied for 22nd place.

The round piece of GU Bat acting as the "O" surrounded by the "R" and "Y" decorated with the look of a baseball and stitches is a great design touch.  You also have a full color picture of McCovey in the left finishing a powerful home run swing and a faded, up close photo of his face on the other side of the card.  The orange coloring also is perfect for this Giant legend.

I love the design of this card and have thought about pursing the rest of this set, there are some pretty big names in addition to McCovey like Willie Mays, Johnny Bench, Cal Ripken Jr., Derek Jeter and Tom Seaver.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter! & Trade Bait

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter Sunday.  It is a busy day for me, not only are we celebrating Easter but today is my oldest son's birthday - he turns 8.  We are going to do Easter in the morning and birthday in the afternoon, should be a busy day.  Fortunately I have a short work week, I am only working 2 days and taking Wednesday thru Friday off.  We are taking a little two night trip down to San Diego for spring break.

Anyway, on to the cards.  Since I pulled this beauty a couple of years back, I thought it would be a great card to use in my first Trade Bait post on this Easter Sunday.

Here are some 2012 Heritage cards, would love to knock of some of my SP needs under the Set Want List tab in exchange for some of these.  If you don't have any of those, I am always in the mood for some Giants.

The Prince Fielder is the only high number SP I have left, the rest have been traded for other SPs.  This Justin Upton cards is the reverse picture SP (we are currently avoiding discussion about what Upton's Dbacks are doing so far to the Giants this season).  The final two are Target red border parallels.

Here are some inserts, way too many Dodgers in these Then & Now cards.

Some more inserts including 8 floating head stickers.  I considered building this set but ultimately decided against it.  Hope I don't regret that decision, they do look pretty cool.

Finally, we have some chrome parallels, a vintage card box topper with a gold foil stamp (seems wrong to me) and a JFK Story card.  The top row are Chrome cards numbered to /1963, the middle row are Refractors numbered to /563 and the Hardy is the Black numbered 30/63.  My scanner cut of the side, the centering really looks pretty good.  Supposedly the JFK card is pretty rare, I got this one out of 2 hobby boxes.

Hopefully there is a trade or two out there to be had.  I have quite a few base from this set to trade as well and still need some base Giants for my team set.  Let's make a deal!