Saturday, March 30, 2013

Trade Post - This Way to the Clubhouse

Mark over at This Way to the Clubhouse is working on completing the entire Series 1 Walmart blue border set.  I had picked up quite a few blue borders and contacted Mark to work out a trade.  Here are the awesome goods I got in return:

 First up, a nice batch of 2013 Heritage Giants.  I still need quite a few Giants to finish this team set but scoring this group of 7 sure helped a lot.  I got 3 of the 4 World Series highlight cards showcasing Giants wins in the sweep, it is so much fun having your team win during the following season of card releases!  The Gio Gonzalez matches the two starters up since they both had 21 wins in the featured year.  I guess there have been bigger stretches in trying to connect past then and now duos.

 Here is another grouping of cards from the trade, a somewhat random assortment but quite cool. The Vogelsong is a Chrome parallel to 999, I have now picked up about half the team set.  The two Chasing History cards are the shiny retail parallel version. Not totally sure how I feel about 3 versions of these cards but glad to have these two.  The Trout was the last Chasing the Dream card I needed for my insert set and the UD-40 man was a need straight from the want list.

Maybe the coolest part of the trade were these 3 coins from the 1990 Topps Coin set.  I love me some oddballs and needed these for the Giants collection. The Kevin Mitchell is pretty cool with the starts and blueness of the coin.

Thanks for the great trade Mark!  If you have any Walmart blue parallels head over to Mark's blog and see if you can help him out.

Top 20 Recent Vintage Purchases - #14 1968 Topps Harmon Killebrew

Next up in the countdown is slugger and HOFer Harmon Killebrew.  I have always considered Killebrew to be somewhat underrated, the dude hit 573 HRs in his career!

There seems to be quite a few mixed opinions on this 1968 design, personally I kinda like it.  The mesh design isn't super exciting but seems to work by allowing the colors on the card to stand out.  I also like the colored circle containing the team name and position.  This was a very cheap Sportlots pick up, something in the neighborhood of a couple bucks delivered and I am very happy to this vintage Killer card in my collection.

Prior cards in the countdown:

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Joy of a Completed Set

Over the past few years I have decided to complete the Topps flagship sets in their entirety - Series 1 base and inserts, Series 2 and inserts and Update and inserts.   I believe I have done this since 2007.  Some years are easier than others depending on the popularity of the inserts and the size of the sets.  Last year proved to be quite a challenge for me as there were several insert sets with 50 cards in each series.  I actually still have cards on my 2010 want list as I decided (like an idiot) to complete the original back Cards My Mom Threw Out reprints. If you happen to have any for trade, please check out my want list!

A few days back I decided that it was time to seek out the last 3 2012 inserts regardless of cost.  I had some paypal ready to go and went to Sportlots. I was lucky enough to fine one seller who had all 3!  I never get that lucky.  So for your viewing pleasure, here are the final 3:

 I am liking the Musial and Ripken photos - both very sold choice.  I am almost done with a Stan Musial biography book which has been a pretty good read. The Stan the Man card celebrates an extra innings game winning homer in 1962.  The Golden Moments card of McCutchen celebrates a couple of 2 homer games that he hit a couple games apart.

As I always do when shopping on Sportlots, I sought out other cards I need for the seller to keep the shipping cost per card down.  Here are 4 Update Giants parallels I was able to pick up.

When capturing these Giants on my master spreadsheet, I noticed I did not do a good job on the Giants parallels from Update so over the next couple months I am going to have to try and remedy that.  First up though is tracking down those tough to find 2013 The Greats and Cut to the Chase inserts.  I am going to have to break down and spend some coin to keep the streak alive.

Very glad to put another year of Topps to rest.  I still have a few 2012 sets on my want list that I need to finish up as well.  Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Trade Post - Another Bunch of Trades

I have been so blessed to have connected up on so many traders this year.  I started off my tracking all the trades but have lost track of a few on my spreadsheet with the fast and furious trade packages arriving.  I thought I would share a few smaller trades that have gone down over the past few weeks.

First up are some cards sent to me from Greg at Night Owl Cards.  These actually arrived before our Epic Trade took place but I am just getting around to showing them.

These were all set needs from my want list.  The Panini Cooperstown card is one of the colorized SPs from the base set.  I have shared my level of enjoyment in this set and I would actually love to collect the entire set and all the inserts some day.  I haven't invested much into it since buying some boxes so if you picked up a few pack and have some cards laying around, check out my want list.  These 2 Topps cards reminds me that I still need 3 inserts for my 2012 Topps Update set - may be time to hit Sportlots.

This 1971 card with the sweet airbrush hat job was actually a Giants card that I had however one day I will be putting together this set so this will go into the vintage box.  The Matt Williams Star cards is a pretty random card for a Dodgers collector to have but I am glad it made its way to me.

Thanks for another good trade Greg!

Next up a trade with Brian from 30-Year Cardboard.
Brian shot these 3 Giants to me from 2013 Topps and I was very glad to add them.  Put me on record as a fan with the increased number of Target and Walmart parallels this year.  I shouldn't have a problem finishing either set this year.  The Cut to the Chase die cut cards are just fabulous, nice job on this insert set.  Brian has to be the most frequent poster in the blogosphere so make sure to check him out.  Thanks for the help on the Giants.

Speaking of Giants help, here are some cards I received in a trade with cynical buddah over at Collector's Crack:

 Four Giants from the 2013 Topps release including a Barry Zito dup, oops. Oh well, my son will enjoy the card.  Every time I see the Lincecum card I thoroughly enjoy the picture Topps used and how it fits perfectly into the card frame.  Hoping Hunter Pence can have a nice year for the Giants in his free agent year.  Can't top the Willie Mays Chasing History insert this year.
The crux of the trade included the swap of a couple manupatches, I sent a Ryan Braun out his way and received this awesome Will Clark card in return.  A perfect card swap that made both of us happy. Thanks Mark for the great trade.

This trade was a 2 card PWE swap with reader Brian.  I sent a Fernando Rodney Spring Fever and Adam Dunn Foil Chasing History insert his way and got these two nice cards in return:
The Mattingly was a set need, I now have the entire Chasing History set.  The Musial doesn't fit into a particular need but I am reading a biography on Stan the Man and thought this would be a card I enjoy. Thanks for reading and thanks for the trade Brian.

Finally to round out this trade post is a trade with Jeff at 2X3 Heroes.  Jeff won a contest of mine so I sent him some Ginter singles towards his sets and he sent me these nice Panini Cooperstown cards:
A great quartet of cards and some help towards my set.  Thanks Jeff for the contest entry and for the set help.

I have been having so much fun with all these trades, keep me in mind if you want to swap. I still have a half dozen or more posts to get out so if I haven't shown your cards please have some patience.

Happy Trading!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Recent eBay Purchases - Dollar Cards

I was browsing eBay a few days back and stumbled across a Relic card from 2010 that I was hoping to add to my Giants collection.  As I typically do when hunting on eBay I looked for combined shipping and then search to see what the seller has in their inventory.  The seller with this 2010 relic has a bunch of Giants cards for sale in an auction format that I didn't have in my collection, all with a starting bid of $0.99.  I referenced my checklist and quickly put out some $1 bids on all the cards I needed.

I ended up scoring all but a couple of cards that I bid on which made me quite happy.  Here are the cards I scored:

 Here are 2 cards from 2001.  The Ransom is a serial numbered (to 625) short print to the Donruss Class of 2001 base set, not a huge card or a huge score but I always like knocking of a base card from the want list.  Speaking of knocking base cards off want lists, this Willie Mays from 2001 Topps Archives is actually a card from my 2013 collecting goals list!  Very happy to get this rookie reprint for a buck.

These cards are all from 2002 starting with a couple nice gold parallels from the Bowman Prospects set.  Cain has obviously emerged as a star, there are still days I wonder what would have happened if Francisco Liriano was never traded.  The Rich Aurilia is a Spotlight parallel to 100 and the Bonds Donruss Original is an SP - both good pick ups.  The Mays is one of 4 color variation inserts from the Topps American Pie release.  The Santos is from UD Diamond Connection and is considered a base card despite the serial number to 1500.  Finally an UD Vintage insert of Barry Bonds.  Great card and photo showcasing the wall after Barry hit number 500.

 This is an amazing collection of HOF star power from 2005.  7 total Willie Mays cards and 2 Mel Ott cards, that is 1171 career home runs between the two!  I am a huge fan of the Diamond Kings set from 2005 and have very few cards from the set.  There are quite a few Giants so I am really not sure why I have so few but scoring 4 Mays cards from the set from the same seller is quite nice. The first two have the raised borders while the other two come from insert sets.  The middle card is from Throwback Threads and I am familiar with this set due to the large number of Rickey Henderson cards so getting a Mays on the cheap worked out fine.  The two Ott cards are from UD Baseball Heroes are cool, another set I am under represented.  Finally 2 Zenith inserts of the Say Hey Kid - a set I am quite a fan of.  I actually bought a box of this a year or two back and it is a nice product. 
 Finally the last of the non-hits.  The top 2 cards are xfractors from 2008.  This Lincecum card is one of his last releases with short hair and if you haven't heard the short hair is back - hope that leads to a bounce back season.  Still a little hard to believe they won it all with his awful season.  The Bowman Chrome xfractor is of Giants closer Sergio Romo, very cool card of one of the newer Giants stars.  The bottom card is an insert from 2007, it is nice and shiny and the star of the show for me is The Freak.  It is serial numbered to 199 and he is on 2 additional cards with different pictures. I may have to go after the last two.

In addition to these base/parallel/insert cards, I did pick up 4 "hits" including the one that started it all.

First up this random Auto of a Giants prospect that never made it:
I can honestly say this is a card I never would have sought out on my own but when I saw it in the sellers inventory I decided to throw down a dollar.  It is numbered to 950 - man that is a ton of autos to sign.

Next up Mr. Perfect:
I have said it before and will say it again, I am usually a fan of blue on a sports card.  This card is a bright blue and to me works even with the Giants uniform.  Not sure how these were inserted into packs, I am thinking it might be a retail only as doesn't show a price for it or a print run. I do think they are somewhat rare as I don't see them around a lot.

Next is a Giants HOF that you don't see too often in a Giants uniform on cardboard:
Lefty, Steve Carlton is featured on this card tipping his cap after recording his 4000th strike out.  I thought back then that is was cool that he hit his milestone as a Giant.  I guess I was rewarded almost 20 years later with this relic card.  It is the Emerald parallel version numbered 17/99.

And finally the card that started all the madness:
A Kung Fu Panda relic from 2010 Topps Series 2. Apparently this was a redemption so I wonder how many made it out into the public.  I was glancing through my checklist and saw that I only had 1 of the 7 relics from this set, it happens to be an insert and relic set that I really like.  I thought the Pablo Sandoval mike be a little more reasonably priced than the Buster, the two Mel Otts or the Monte Irvin.  I have a Matt Cain already and apparently there is a second but a quick search for the Pablo lead me to this great purchase.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Top 20 Recent Vintage Purchases - #15 1960 Leaf Orlando Cepeda

This card came up in a Sportlots auction and created a pretty decent bidding war.  I almost dropped out of the auction a couple of times as the price started to climb but I stayed with it and scored this 1960 Leaf Orlando Cepeda:

The condition is a little rough but this Cepeda came from the high series and is very difficult to track down.  To put the rarity in perspective using Book Value, a Felipe Alou in the first series books for $6 while this one books for $80.  Now Felipe's cards don't hold the same value as the Baby Bull but certainly don't fetch 13+X the value.  I still need to pick up the Felipe and one other high value, no name high number card to finish the set but this Cepeda was the big one that I thought might never find its way into my collection.

Prior cards in the countdown:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

PWE Love from Jaybarkerfan's Junk

I don't think I would get too much of an argument from anyone in the blogosphere that Wes from the blog Jaybarkerfan's Junk is the most generous blogger around.  Over the past few months I have gotten a number of Plain White Envelops (PWE) in the mail from Alabama containing great cards of my favorite teams.  They usually are Giants heavy but an occasional 49er card pops out of the envelope.  As I try and get the backlog of cards organized, scanned and sorted off my desk I ran across the 3 most recent PWEs and thought I would share them all in one post.

 I seem to be the resting place for all unwanted Barry Bonds cards and I love it.  The Sportflics card is awesome, I need to go after all the Giants from the various iterations of Sportflics as they are some of my favorite cards.  The back of the Prime Nine card celebrates Barry's 40/40 year.  The SP cards were top notch when they came out and I still think they stand up well today.  Gotta love the boxing gloves on Rod Beck.  I am also a big fan of the Metal releases and it seems like all the insert sets feature both Bonds and Matt Williams which I love.  More great cards to chase down.  Finally a nice dual insert of Barry with Miguel Tejada - remember when he was a Longball Threat?  Great group of cards out of PWE #1!

Here is PWE #2.   I have always been a Barry Zito fan, even when he struggled I was (silently most of the time to avoid ridicule) a fan and was very happy to see him bounce back during the regular season and have a great post season.  Saw an interview recently with Bud Black during a Spring Training guy - seems to be a top notch MLB manager.  Glad to add this 1st Day parallel from one of my favorite sets.  Speaking of parallels, the Royce Clayton is a gold parallel.  A dup of the SP Barry Bonds - still a great card in a great set.  The Bonds in depth insert is a little busy but I like the concept of the back (see below).  Another dual insert, this time a Family Tree this time with Bobby and Barry Bonds - very cool card.  Before going all in on collecting Giants, I had started a Bobby collection.
Here is the back of the In Depth card.  I like the breakdown of 1st half/2nd half, home/away and day/night, some good insight on a card back.

Finally my most recent PWE from Wes:
More good stuff.  Always a fan of getting a minor league card from a former Giants farmhand.  I don't have a checklist of these cards so they are all new to me.  The Renteria was a big need, I like the gold border cards and don't have enough of them from 2009.  Will the Thrill Clark always puts a smile on my face, he was my favorite post McCovey Giant.  Finally a nice, thick football card of Super Bowl runner up Frank Gore.  The Strata product is very nice, I like the card stock quality and design and am glad to add a card of next year's Super Bowl winner.

Wes you are a great friend, I really appreciate your generosity!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Top 20 Recent Vintage Purchases - #16 1967 Topps Whitey Ford

The first non-Giants card in the countdown and it is a Yankee.  If there is a more hated team in the blogosphere than the Giants it may be the Yankees but how can you not appreciate a card of HOF Great Whitey Ford:

Another great Sportlots pickup and while it isn't close to mint condition I do think the card still looks pretty nice.  This card has been featured in a couple reprint sets lately but I am happy to own a real life 1967 Whitey Ford showcasing a classic pitchers pose.

Prior cards in the countdown:

Monday, March 18, 2013

McCovey Monday #34 - 2012 Panini National Treasures Relic

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.

This is the first time in a few weeks I have had a new Willie McCovey card to pursue.  With the release of 2012 Panini National Treasures a few weeks back Stretch has a few new cards to add to the checklist.  Take a look at this new relic I picked up for under $6:

 Those who are not fans of the cut off hats in order to stay away from the logos may not like this card but I kind of like this card.  It has a nice classic look to it with the gold coloring.  I like the blue banner under his pic with his name as well.  This is a picture I am not familiar with which is always a plus for me.  The jersey swatch is in a fancy shield cutout as well.

Here is the back of the card, it showcases his career stats including those famous 521 Home Runs.  The OBP and Slugging Percentage are there as well - note McCovey's OPS approaches .900 for his career.  The card is serial numbered 73/99 and the write up highlights his 1969 MVP season.  Overall not a spectacular card but quite solid.

Unfortunately, this will probably be the only card from this set I will secure.  He has 6 other cards, all serial numbered to 5 or less.  I lost out on a bid on the 3/3 Prime card with a 3 color patch in place of the grey swatch on my card.  I was willing to go to about $40 and it sold for more than $80.  If I am going to break the bank it would probably be on one of the button cards of which only 4 exist.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Trying to Remedy a Serious O-Pee-Chee Deficiency

A few weeks back I was scanning through my base want list of Giants cards from the 1970s and 1980s and was bummed out about the number of OPC cards I still needed for my Giants team sets.  I have always had a fascination with these cards from north of the border back from my days of player collecting.  I was always on the lookout for Willie McCovey, Rickey Henderson or Dave Winfield OPC cards for those player collections and would get so excited when I found a new one.

When I would browse through stacks of OPC cards, I had two favorite things to see; 1) Sets with card fronts that included the french language (the backs were pretty much all different from Topps so that didn't seem to excite me as much for some reason) and 2) the cards where the player was in one uniform but the team name was another, usually accompanied with a "now with" or "traded to" on the front of the card.  These seems so foreign (I guess they were) and so cool.

So when I was going through my want list I thought back to the thrill of seeing these variations on the cards I had in my sets can was a little puzzled as to why I hadn't sought out any Giants.  I am sure the lack of trades involving OPC contributed but it really came down to not going after them.  I decided to check out Sportlots to see if there was a seller who had a large number of my Giants needs and found a perfect match.  Ready to see some Giants OPC cards?

First up was the only 1983 OPC card I needed for my team set.  I had bought what I thought was a full team set a couple years back and was mad this Joe Morgan Super Veteran wasn't included.  Now I know why as he is "Now with Phillies".  Oh well, he has a Giants hat on, I spent a couple quarters on the card and I am a Super Veteran fan so this one is going in the Giants binder.
Next up are my 1982 OPC needs and I now have the complete team set minus a Joe Morgan In Action card.  This is a pretty cool team set as it includes 3 players who were traded to the Giants and are thus featured in different players uniforms.  This bothers the heck out of me on modern cards but for OPC it has some charm. I had both the Vidas in my Vida Blue binder but for under a dollar I can display the entire team set in the Giants binder.  I also like the green O-Pee-Chee logo on these card fronts and the dual language position-perfect!
I am not quite done with the 1981 team set, the seller forgot to include my Jack Clark card.  He is someone I frequently win auctions from and I asked him to include it in a future package, I hope he takes care of me.  Two more new Giants and again the dual language position and O-Pee-Chee name on front, this time in the baseball.  For whatever reason I have always liked this design with the team colored hat so it will be nice to add some additional cards with this design to the binders.

My 1980 set is now complete.  Not as big a fan of this set as the fronts are identical to the Topps release.  I shared a few of the card backs to "prove" to all the doubters that these are indeed OPC cards.  I am realizing now that I should have scanned the front of the Milt May cards as he is pictured in a sweet White Sox uni, collar and all.  He is the only player not featured in a Giants uniform.

I did have a few 1978 OPC cards so these 4 finished off the Giants team set...

as did these 4 1977 cards.  With all these purchases I now have a complete run of the Giants O-Pee-Chee cards from 1977 to 1987 with just 2 cards missing (81 Jack Clark and 82 Joe Morgan IA).  I still need tons of cards from the first half of the 1970s and the 1960s.  I suspect these are going to be much more challenging and expensive to find.  I do however have a few I have picked up over the last few months:
I scored this nice looking Dave Kingman from 1975 in a Sportlots auction a few weeks back.  Nice looking card (what 1975 card isn't) but doesn't have any changes to the front in comparison to its Topps counterpart.

Same thing with these 2 1971 OPC Giants, also picked up on Sportlots.  I love the old Rookie Cup logo Topps used and glad to see it appears on the Heritage cards this year.

Finally I picked up a 10 card lot on eBay last year and I am finally getting around to showing these now that they have some Canadian friends to join them in the post:

 I scanned the fronts and backs when I got these to show the OPCness of the cards. I was happy to pick up some many in one place.  However I still need 13 for the team set.
My favorite by far in the 1970 lot was this HR leaders card featuring 2 HOFers on the front including my favorite player of all time.  I already had one of these in the McCovey binder, no doubt a card show find from so many years ago, but this fits great in the Giants binder.  I love the backs of these that show the top 50 in the league, all the way down to those that hit 12 HRs.

Well my O-Pee-Chee deficiency is somewhat remedied but if you know a reasonable (cheap) source for mid-grade OPC cards from the 60s and 70s please let me know. I wouldn't mind knocking a few more team sets off the want list.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Weekly Contest - Winner Announced

I am a day or two late but I am finally ready to announce the winner of last week's contest.  As you may recall, I asked the blog readers to share one or more things that they like about the start of the baseball season.  I got one of my lowest entry totals with only 17 people but that gives those that entered a better chance to win.

First up, I entered the 17 people who left a comment into

 After 1 Random, Nick was leading, but it doesn't count until #3...

 After a second push of the Random button, Brad's Blog was on top....
 And finally after the last push of the button, the winner is....

Brian Conrad!!!

Congratulations Brian, you can check out my prize page to see if there is an item you would like.  I may be adding a few things this weekend if you would like to wait.

Thanks to all that entered.  My next contest should be up shortly.  I am thinking I will go back to a topic I covered last year and have everyone list their favorite players by position.  We did 1B and 2B so it is probably time for 3B so put your thinking caps on.