Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dual Contest Pimping

I want to pimp two contests from fellow bloggers.

First up is It's like having my own Card Shop with a contest trying to drum up some followers for a friend who just entered the blogsphere recently.  Check it out, there are two very nice prizes.

Second, Autographed Cards is having a cool College World Series contest.  This contest is what brought me over to follow this blog and I am looking forward to following it moving forward.

Thanks to both of you for the contests!

Trade Post - Daily Dimwit

A little over a month ago Sam over at The Daily Dimwit posted about a large number of base and mini cards he secured from 2012 Gypsy Queen.  I was immediately drawn to a scan of a Willie Mays Blue framed parallel and a few minis and shot him a note to see if we could work out a trade.  I also saw an opportunity to fill in some gaps in my Gypsy Queen set without having to buy a second box.  I shot Sam a list of Nolan Ryan cards and Astros cards and we struck up a deal.  Here is what I got:

 First up is the Mays I referenced along with some mini goodness.  I ended up with 2 black borders, 1 green border, 1 Gypsy Queen back and a mini Moonshots card.  Some great Giants to add to my collection but this wasn't what excited me most.  Check this out:

An entire box of Gypsy Queen base.  I thought this was going to complete my set but I am still missing one card. This was almost 120 different base cards and mixed with my box break I am only 1 card short of the set.  As a set builder, this made me very happy.

Thanks for the trade Sam!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mailday #5

I am trying to get caught up on my mail days so I am lumping a few days worth of cards from the past week or two together.  All of these were picked up on Sportlots or eBay.  I did a little work on some set building, the McCovey collection and my Giants collection.  Here are the goods.

First up we have an Ichiro SP from this year's Heritage.  I still need 13 regular print and 34 SPs to complete this set.  Action on this set has dried up, if you have any for trade, check my want list and let's make a deal.  I also picked up 2 SPs from 2010 Topps 206.  This has been a slow moving set and I am still 20 cards short. Luckily there are no big names left - just Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle, Tim Lincecum, Albert Pujols and Matt Kemp among others.  I never say never but this one will probably take quite a while based on what I am willing to spend on the cards.

Here is a great lot of 1973 Topps cards, I picked these up on Sportlots auctions from the same seller.  This includes 11 HOFers and Don Baylor.  My favorites here are the action shots of Juan Marichal, Harmon Killebrew and Don Baylor.  I also like the high leg kick by Jim Palmer.  This set is doing okay, I now have 385/660.  This is a long term project and obviously the higher numbers will be a challenge.

Now to the McCovey phase of the mail days.  I picked up two parallels from this year's Tribute (the Black one looks pretty sweet), a 2012 Gypsy Queen Blue Bordered parallel and a mini relic from last year's Lineage based on the 1975 design.  This relic had eluded me for a while and I paid more than I thought I should have but I am really glad to have it.  I have the other relic in the set and I believe this one is more rare due to appearances on eBay.  I have seen this card with a jersey instead of the bat, not sure if I am going after that version or not.

I just love this Hoyt Wilhelm card from 1955 Bowman.  Quite a few 1955 Bowmans have come up for auction on Sportlots.  I have picked up almost the entire team set there (I bought the Mays on SCF).  I currently need only 3 cards to complete the team set after picking up this Hoyt and I just won one of the cards a day or two ago.  I also really enjoy the 1953 Bowman Color card of Monte Irvin, nice casual pose and I am very happy this is in color.  The mini card is a 1950 Bowman of Alvin Dark, another great, reasonably priced pick up.  Finally a booklet from 1970 highlighting The Say Hey Kid.

This is a group of Barry Bonds and Matt Cain cards.  I think I picked these up on the cheap from a seller on SCF but cannot recall.  I am a huge fan of the Metal cards like the Bonds on the top center.  Cain is probably my favorite current Giant. He is a great pitcher despite the poor run support, is one of my key players on my fantasy team and is locked up for a number of future years on the Giants.
Here is a Manupatch of the Dominican Dandy.  I have heard a lot of complaints about these cards.  I actually like them but there is no way they should count as a relic "hit" as Topps likes to do with these in their Jumbo boxes.
Finally a few 2012 Gypsy Queen cards, 2 minis including the alternate photo Bumgarner and a full sized card of the greatest catch in World Series history.

This post demonstrates a wide variety of what I collect.  My want lists are almost complete (a few years of mid-2000s plus the 1950s and earlier for the Giants are left to finish) and I am looking forward to making some deals.  When my want lists are complete, I will celebrate with a post sharing my collecting preferences in order and hopefully generate some trade action.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hall of Famer Auto - Stan Musial

Time to share another of my Hall of Fame Autos this evening.  With all the discussions around the new Topps Archives release, my memory went back to a similar set from 2004.  This card happens to be one of my greatest pulls ever.  Back in 2004 I bit the bullet and decided to buy a box of All-Time Fan Favorites, at that time I generally shied away from anything outside of a standard base release but I loved (and still do) the concept behind these releases.  Picturing different photos on old designs has a big appeal to me and based on the nostalgia behind this set and comparisons to Archives, I think there is a lot of appeal throughout the blogosphere.

I do recall that two autos came out of the box but I only remember one - this wonderful Stan "The Man" Musial on-card auto.
What is there not to love about this card.  Stan is sporting his old school Cardinals uniform with the big red bird visible on his chest.  He is hanging out, most likely talking hitting, in front of the batting cage before a game.  We get a nice close up of Stan with a semi-smile and a beautiful on-card auto. According to Becket online, there were only 100 of these produced, it is one of the rarer autos in group C.   The auto is easy to read and he appears to take great care in giving out his autograph.  Over the past few years Mr. Musial's autos have gotten a little sloppier so I am very happy to have one from a few years back.

There are 122 different autos in this set with only 2 coming per box.  I definitely rate this pull as one of my greatest ever.  My typical luck would have netted me Ben Oglive and Tom Brunansky.

I have Stan Musial's recently released biography and it is one of the next baseball books on the read list.  I know a lot about his stats and his playing career but I am excited to learn more about The Man.

Monday, May 28, 2012

McCovey Monday #7

First, I would like to express my thanks and undying gratitude for those that have served and continue to serve our country to allow us to live freely in the greatest nation in the world, particular those that gave their life to protect and defend our country on this Memorial Day.  THANK YOU!

 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 thought that this week I would go with a collectible that isn't a card but still a cool item that recognizes and celebrates the career of my favorite all time player.  This is a cup that was put out in 1972 by Seven-Eleven stores.  I have heard they were given away free with Slurpee purchases.

The front has a nice illustration and facsimile signature of Willie McCovey and lists his name and team at the bottom.

 The back has a big red Seven-Eleven logo at the top, the team logo at the bottom and a small blurb about the player.  The McCovey cup shows his typical baseball card info (Bats left, Throws left, Born 1938.  Height 6-6.  Weight 200.) along with some info celebrating his 1969 MVP year and 1971 stats.

There is a 60 card checklist of this 1972 release with many of the top players.  In addition to McCovey, this set has two other Giants, HOFers Willie Mays and Juan Marichal, both of which I need for my Giants collection.  I do have a Vida Blue cup in my collection of his cards and memorabilia.

Other notables include Henry Aaron, Johnny Bench, Roberto Clemente, Bob Gibson, Reggie Jackson, Fergie Jenkins, Al Kaline, Harmon Killebrew, Jim Palmer, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Pete Rose, Tom Seaver, Willie Stargell and Carl Yastrzemski.  These cups are not numbered and have book values ranging from $6-$30 however a quick eBay search does not show many of these for sale. 

In 1973 another set of these were issued, again with 60 players from that year but adding 20 Hall of Famers like Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle.  I don't have any of the Giants from that year but the talent level drops off a bit from the 3 HOFers in 1972. The 1973 edition has HOFer Carl Hubbell, Ken Henderson and Chris Speier.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

COMC Purchase #1

Recently I was a little frustrated with my inability to complete some Giants team sets I was working on so I decided to do a search on COMC to see if I could find any help.  I have ordered on COMC a few times and I am not the biggest fan.  I like the fact you can see a scan of the actual card you are getting but the shipping seems a little high to me, at least when ordering lower valued cards.  Regardless, I found some cards I needed and took the plunge.  Here are the goods:

First up are two Brandon Belt parallels for 2011 Lineage.  Getting these two completed team sets of both versions so I was glad to pick them up.  Belt still isn't living up to the potential many Giants fans think he has - I personally am not sold on him.  He is great defensively but has a few fairly large holes in his swing.  I like the sparkly version better than the straight refractor but I am also glad the sparkly cards are now a thing of the past.  The 2 Finest cards are the refractor versions serial numbered to 549 and complete a team set (there are only 3 Giants with Belt also being included).  I have the base and refractor team sets complete but still need a Lincecum Xfractor, a Posey and Belt Orange and all the rest of the colors.  Don't see any rainbows from this set in my future.

Next are some 2011 Topps parallels, 3 from the Target set and 1 from the Wal Mart set.  I really like the Target cards with their retro cardboard material.  the Black looks okay for the Giants but this Belt card is too dark for my tastes.  I am down to needing 4 Target cards for the Giants team sets (#188 Sandoval, #335 Posey #599 Ishikawa and #648 Ross) and the Belt completes my Wal Mart set.

 The two 2011 Heritage Chrome cards are the refractors /562.  I now have all 10 Giants over the two different releases (these were in Topps Chrome and Topps Heritage) in addition to the 10 /1962.  I don't plan to go for the Black Refractors /62, they are a little too rich for my blood and I am happy with these two team sets.  The Cain Xfractor completes that version of Chrome Parallel.  I now have base, refractor, xfractor, orange, and atomic complete. I was hoping originally to track down all the colors but that may be out of reach. Just in case I will list my needs here - if you have one, please let me know and let's make a trade. 
 2011 Chrome Want list
Black - #1 Posey, #15 Lincecum 
Blue - #15 Lincecum, #62 Wilson, #93 Sandoval, #132 Cain, #172 Belt
Gold - #1 Posey, #15 Lincecum, #132 Cain, #172 Belt
Purple - #172 Belt
Red - #1 Posey, #15 Lincecum, #62 Wilson, #127 Bumgarner, #132 Cain, #172 Belt
Sepia - #15 Lincecum, #62 Wilson, #93 Sandoval, #172 Belt

I guess that isn't really that many cards but those Red and Gold especially are hard to track down and expensive.

I also picked up 4 cards towards my 1975 Topps set.  I am sitting on a want list of 31 cards with only 2 booking for $10 or more (#195 Aaron/Mantle MVP & 623 Keith Hernandez RC).  This is a set that with some focus I should be able to complete soon.

 I also picked up this beautiful Reprint Auto of Monte Irvin out of 2011 Topps Lineage.  I think this is an amazing card of one of the best to every play this game.  I was happy to see this on COMC for a reasonable price and jumped on it.

Lastly, I picked up this All-Star Workout Jersey card of Ryan Vogelsong.  I was actually at All-Star weekend last year and would love to pick up all the Giants in this set.  I have the Panda and Cain but still need the Freak and the Beard.  Going to have to keep my eyes open to finish this one off.

I did end up finishing a couple team sets and got closer to a few others.  Fairly successful COMC shopping spree!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Group Break Goods - Nachos Grande

I participated in a group break over at Nachos Grande where Chris broke 7 different boxes.   I had very few Giants cards from any of the boxes so it was an easy sell for me.  My random was the Oakland A's, I won't show any A's cards here but drop me a line if you need any.  I actually got more A's cards than Giants cards, including more inserts, but that is okay as I got a great haul of Giants.

First up was a box of 2000 Aurora. This is a pretty nice design, I really like how they matched the team color with the background - Orange always looks great on Giants cards.  My biggest suggestion would have been to have the action photo be the larger of the two, but outside of the Bonds card, the posed shots with Giants hats still look pretty good.  These are the only 4 cards of the team set so it is now complete.  I also got a dup of the Kent card.

Next up is 2002 Fleer Box Score.  I got 3 of the regular 4 base cards in the team set, I am missing Jeff Kent.  This box came with a mini box that included all the All-Star cards numbered to 2950.  The Giants luckily had 3 cards in this set and 2 of the 3 veterans in the entire box.  I still do need a few more of the serial numbered cards from other box sets but I am very glad to add these 3.

The 2002 Donruss Elite cards produced some nice shiny base cards.  These are the only non-serial numbered base cards (and I needed them all!) and added to the Cody Ransom rookie card /1350 I now have the entire team set.  I love picking up Robb Nen cards, he was a stud reliever for the Giants and doesn't have a ton of cards from his time with the team. He basically sacrificed his career in 2002 on the run to the World Series and Giants fans everyone are very appreciative.

The next two boxes were 1999 Fleer Brilliants and SkyBox Molten Metal  I have actually bought a box of the Brilliants from my LCS and have contemplated building the set.  I got two of the three Giants base cards (missing Bonds) and one blue parallel.  I was also one card short of the Molten Metal team set (missing Ellis Burks). I would have loved to have pulled a metal parallel of the Giants but it wasn't in the cards - I did get a Ben Grieve with my A's cards.  Both of these sets are very nice looking and great additions to the Giants collection.

The final two boxes were 2003 Fleer Authenix and 2002 Playoff Piece of the Game.  I didn't get much out of these two products but really like the die cut Bonds insert. It is sweet looking card and my favorite of the break.  I was hoping to score a hit out of the Playoff box but glad I at least got the only Giants non-serial numbered card of the set.

Thanks for the great break Chris!  If anyone wants some A's cards from these sets, let me know.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A "Mays" ing Pick Up off the Bucket List

At the beginning of 2011, I put together a bucket list of card collecting goals.  On this list, I placed autos of all the HOFers since around 1950 that I didn't have, 3 basketball cards (Spud Webb RC, Spud Webb Sacramento Kings Auto and Mitch Richmond Sacramento Kings Auto), several 49ers and USC Football autos and a list of baseball autos - Brian Wilson, Tim Lincecum, Doug Glanville, Barry Bonds and Willie Mays.  The Glanville Auto was added after I read his book on baseball (good read - pick it up), the rest are obvious Giants wants.  So how have I done with my bucket list so far?

Of the Hall of Famers, I have picked up autos of Bob Lemon, Bobby Doerr, Carlton Fisk, Catfish Hunter, Hoyt Wilhelm, Joe Morgan, Lou Boudreau, Ozzie Smith, Reggie Jackson, Ryne Sandberg, Tom Seaver, Whitey Ford and Willie Stargell.  Some have already been featured on the blog and I eventually plan on sharing them all.

Of the basketball cards, I have picked up the Spud and Richmond autos, still need the Spud RC. I am a big Kings fan (although not much to cheer about these days) and was living in Sacramento when they moved there.  My dad had season tickets so I saw lots of hoops during the 80s and early 90s.  Spud and Mitch were the foundation of the best Kings teams until the C-Webb version came along.  Here are the two autos I picked of the Kings.

 I have made no progress on the football autos, they are all pretty high dollar and superstar players.  My focus has really shifted to baseball over the past couple years.  I have picked up the Wilson, Lincecum and Glanville autos with the Lincy coming in a huge Sports Card Forum trade and the others from eBay.

I figured the Bonds and Mays were way out of my price range and wasn't really looking to add them anytime soon. I threw down $55 on a Mays 1955 Bowman but that wasn't going to get me close to an auto of 2 of the best players to ever play the game.  Then a week or two back I was trolling on the Sportlots auction board and saw a card I had to have - if the price was right.  I had a little bit of a bidding war with another person but ultimately won this card for $39 plus $2 shipping:

I am typically not a fan of cut autos of players that are alive but this is a nice clear Mays signature and certified as well.  I couldn't pass up the chance to add this to my collection, especially at this price.  I am super excited and energized to add a Bonds to my collection to finish off this bucket list category. There is a nice Sweet Spot Bonds auto at my LCS with a $200 price tag, I am tempted to see if I can get the price down, trade in a few card and maybe put the rest on lay away.

I have seen quite a few blog posts with New Years resolutions, does anyone else have a longer term bucket list?  I also put together some collecting goals for 2012 in January but didn't have a blog to share them.  I plan on posting an mid year update where I will share the goals and my progress at the end of next month.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Contest Results

Well my first contest has finished and I have to deem it a marvelous success.  I have added more than a dozen followers to the blog and my page views are up.  I got to hear some of your favorite Giants and the why behind it, even most of you Dodger lovers were able to come up with one Giant as a favorite.  I found a few new blogs to add to my blogroll and start to follow.  Plus I get to give out a few cards and help build someone else's collection.  As a reminder, here is what was up for grabs in the contest:

As promised, I listed out the commenters who listed a favorite Giants and gave a second entry to those that pimped the blog and randomed it 6 times:

And the winner is ToppsGuy.  He runs a blog called Baseball Cards, Sports and Life which was one of the new blogs I discovered through this contest.  Congratulations ToppsGuy.  Shoot me your address and I will get your cards out this weekend.

Thanks to everyone for your participation.  It was lots of fun.  Plan on more contests to come!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

2012 Topps Archives Box Break

Decided to stop by my LCS today and see if 2012 Topps Archives was in yet and I was happy to see that boxes were in stock.  I picked one up and decided I would share the results of the break and a mini review with you.

I had heard rumors that we might be in for wax packs in this throwback set.  While they aren't wax packs, the design is a stroll down memory lane.  Here is a front and back scan.

I also figured I would show off the box top, especially for those who don't have hobby shops near by.  I love the Will Clark on the box. While I wasn't lucky enough to pull one from this box, I will be seeking one out for the Giants collection.

It appears the set has 250 cards with the last 50 being short printed.  The first 200 cards are designed after Topps sets from the past and each block of 50 is based on a different design.

The first 50 cards are patterned after 1954 Topps.  There are a mix of modern day players and stars from the past.  The cards have an up close portrait of the player and a smaller action photo.  We also get a facsimile autograph on each card.  The back shows off a nice player themed cartoon and great coloring.  There is a nice blurb about each player and the number in a baseball in the upper left corner.  We get one year of stats plus lifetime numbers for the current players and just lifetime numbers for the retired players.  Matt Kemp got the coveted #1 spot and despite my despising the Dodgers it is hard to argue that he has earned it.  Here are some of my highlights from the first 50.

Cards 51-100 feature a 1971 Topps design, black borders and all. Again a mix of veterans, rookies and retired players.  I really like some of the veteran photos, the Reggie is superb. Hanley is sporting his new Miami uni and Yoenis Cespedes makes an appearance.  The backs are true to 1971 form with a black and white photo on back although the back photo matches the front - I wish they would have used a new picture.  We have a nice green color across the back with a demonstration of the players first year in pro ball and first year in the majors.  Again life stats for the retired players and 2011 and life stats for the current players.  Cespedes stats show his Cuban League Batting record and his first year in pro ball in 2003.

Cards 101-150 are from the 1980 set.  This is the second year I really collected as a kid and one of my favorites.  True to the 80 design, you have the nice banner across the bottom with the team name.  This segment of the set has a combination of action and posted photos.  It is odd and fun seeing players like George Brett and Ozzie Smith who had cards in the 1980 release with different photos and in Ozzie's case a different team.  The backs show a little cartoon of the player along with lifetime stats in the same format and design of the original set.  For the third straight segment of the set, we have facsimile signatures on the front.
The final non-short printed set featured is 1984 Topps.  This is the first group without the facsimile signatures.  This group features quite a few action photos with close up face photos of each player.  I really like the small photo of the Babe and the swinging action photo of Yogi - two classics.  The backs to me are the most boring of the set, with career stats, a team logo and a dateline where there is room.  Again true to the original but not my favorite.

The last 50 cards in the set are short prints (I am assuming there are 50 but the highest card number I got was 233).  These are cards designed from years outside of the 4 featured above and appear to showcase players in one of their top years.  The Mays card is a 1966 design following his year with 52 HRs in 65.  Vida Blue's 1976 card is after his 22-11 year in 1975.  I really enjoy these and was happy to pull a Giant and player I collect in Vida.  You also have to love the return of Bake McBride, a hobby favorite, showcasing his 1974 season of 6 HRs, 56 RBI and a .309 batting average - and a statement that he has an "excellent chance" to break Lou Brock's new record for SB due to his "blazing speed."

Next up are the inserts.  The 1967-like sticker inserts are seeded 1:8 packs, all 3 I received are of current players but I haven't seen a checklist yet to see if veterans are included.  Based on the rest of the set I have to assume there are some.  The 1977-like cloth stickers are seeded 1:6 packs and I received a mix of two retired HOFers and 2 current starts.  The 1969-like deckle edge are seeded 1:12 packs and I received nice black and white cards of Evan Longoria and Harmon Killebrew.

There are also Reprints of iconic Topps cards with a Topps Archive logo imprinted on it. I got a nice mix of HOFers with my 6 (seeded 1:4 packs) and was very happy to pull the Monte Irvin cards. It was actually in my first pack. The final insert is based on 1968 Topps 3D cards that are seeded 1:8 packs.  I received my expected 3 and all are of current stars.
What would a current set be without a parallel insert?  I received the expected two and the pack back refers to them as Archives Base Gold Rainbow Foilboard Parallels - now that is a mouthful.   I was pretty pleased with my two, pulling a Giant for my collection and a Joe D - these don't scan that great but actually look pretty nice.

Finally we have the 2 guaranteed Fan Favorites Autograph hits.  Both cards I pulled are nice on card autos with a gold foil Archives Fan Favorites logo stamped on. The first card is of one of the top catchers of the 1980s Lance Parrish.  Lance had a solid career, while not quite Hall-Worthy, he was really darn good.  The second hit fell just short of a spectacular hit for me, it is if Jack Clark.  Clark was one of my favorite Giants growing up but this card features him after his excellent 1987 season with the Cardinals.   I guess I pulled the wrong Clark.  This might have to stay in my collection since I am a Clark fan but I am on the fence right now.

At this point, I don't think anything is for trade. I am definitely going after this base set, short prints and all so I will probably pick up one more box.  The collation was good - I got 164 of the 200 non-SP base cards with no duplicates in my break. Obviously another box will produce a lot of trade bait. I may go after the insert sets as well depending on how my next break goes and how many are for trade around the blogosphere.  I guess the Parrish is for trade but even that card isn't something I am eager to get rid of.

Overall a super fun break. Every card was fun to look at and the variety of designs kept it interesting.  I guess the autos could have been better but I got two All-Stars from my youth so you won't see me complaining.  Let me know what you pull and if you have some inserts and SPs to deal!