Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Contest Winnings - The Diamond King

A little while back I was lucky enough to win a great contest put on by Kevin over at the great blog, The Diamond King.  You were allowed to throw your hat into the ring for 3 of the different 7 prize packages posted over a one week period.  One of the prizes I desired to go after was a lot of serial numbered cards.  I saw 2 Giants I needed in the photo so I decided to give it a go.  Low and behold I won the contest.

Here are the goods from the prize package:

 As I mentioned I saw 2 Giants in the scan but in fact there were 4 in the lot!  I needed all four of them too.  The Gary Brown is numbered 20/62, the Matt Cain 69/75, the Jerome Williams 079/100 and the Edgardo Alfonzo 030/100.  All pretty low print runs and great additions to my collection.

 Here are the other serial numbered cards (list by team below) and all could be had in trades if you are interested.

Here is the list:
2004 Leaf Limited #181 Randy Johnson 614/749

2004 Reflections #98 Troy Glaus 48/50
2004 Throwback Threads #3 David Eckstein 043/100

2006 Topps Moments & Milestones #94 Andruw Jones 06/29
2008 Topps Moments & Milestones #52 Gary Sheffield 20/25
2004 Leaf Certified Materials Mirror Red #129 Marcus Giles 073/100

2008 Topps Moments & Milestones #52 Gary Sheffield 13/25

2004 Throwback Threads #246 Mike Gosling 062/100
2004 Fleer Sweet Sigs #89 Mike Gosling 12/99
2008 UD Baseball Heroes #2 Dan Haren 37/49

2010 Finest Blue Refractor #12 Matt Kemp 048/299

2004 Leaf Certified #99 Joey Gerut 083/100

2004 Leaf Certified Cuts Stars #37 Miguel Cabrera 215/599

2004 Leaf Certified #6 Al Leiter 047/100
2004 Leaf Certified Cuts #124 Jae Weong Seo 055/100
2007 Topps Gold #656 Classic Combos Carlos Beltran & Jose Reyes 0647/2007

2008 Topps Moments & Milestones #32 Trevor Hoffman 06/25

2009 Topps Heritage #C50 Ryan Howard 456/560
2004 Donruss World Series October Legends #18 Steve Carlton 427/500
2004 Playoff Prestige Xtra Bases #142 Brett Myers 37/75

1998 Ultra Platinum Medallion Tony Saunders #465P 72/98

2008 Topps Moments & Milestones #101 Brad Hawpe 59 Hits 16/25
2008 Topps Moments & Milestones #101 Brad Hawpe 33 Hits 04/25
2008 Topps Moments & Milestones #125 Matt Holliday 22/25

2003 Leaf Certified Materials Mirror Red #83 Alexis Gomez 047/100

2004 Fleer Sweet Sigs #92 Donnie Kelly 79/99
2004 Leaf Certified Materials Mirror White #60 Eric Munson 026/100

 Oh yeah, the prize pack also include 3 great vintage cards:
I'll probably hold onto the vintage cards unless you convince me you need them more than I do.

Kevin, thanks for the contest and the great winnings. Some cool cards to add to my collection and some trade bait as well.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Trade Post - Waiting 'Til Next Year

I ran by Target again today and still no luck with 2014 Topps.  Tomorrow is a busy day at work then flying out super early on Tuesday to Philadelphia for work (it is going to be COLD!) so it is looking like I will be Waiting 'Til Later in the Week for my first glimpse of 2014 Topps in person when I pick up a Jumbo Box on my way home from the airport on Friday (assuming it comes out in hobby form this week).  In the meantime, how about a trade post!

I cleaned up all my totally embarrassing trades over the past few weeks from before I moved over last summer.  I am hoping to stay on top of my trades a little better but this one is probably a little on the old side.  This trade was for a great batch of cards from P-Town Tom the author of the great blog Waiting 'til Next Year. The best and final card was the origin of the trade but I got all kinds of other great cards.

 This first group were all set needs.  I am still working on those Gyspy Queen insert sets but I just recently put the Heritage and Archives sets to rest.  These were some of the final cards for my Opening Day insert sets - I am still trying to decide if I will go after 2014 Opening Day.

 Next up is a batch of minor league Giants.  I have recently decided to put together a binder of just minor league cards that all but the Bowman card will reside in once I get to that project.  I haven't bought any packs of the recent Heritage Minors sets that Topps has put out but I sure like the minor league logos.  My patriotic juices start flowing when I see cards prominently featuring the American Flag.

Some more Giants, these are of the oddball variety.  I still need quite a few Will Clarks from this time period but I am slowly picking them off.

 Some more cool Giants cards in the trade package.  I went crazy of Triple Play the first year of its release (I think I bought 2 full boxes and a bunch of packs) but didn't buy a pack last year so those were nice additions to the Giants collection. There were only 4 base cards and 3 inserts, all of which I have picked up.

As teased above, there was one incredible card that started the trade.  As I recall, Tom picked this card up with me specifically in mind.  Ironically I had just purchased a copy of this card when he pinged me for this trade.  Fortunately in addition to needing one for my Giants collection, I had decided to put together this set.  I decided to place this well loved card in my Giants binder and I love it.

Thanks P-Town Tom for the great trade!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Struck Out on 2014 Topps, but did get a few cards and new collecting goal

I was out with my son today running some errands and decided to stop by Target to pick up some 2014 Topps cards.  It is my first year being in this area during the start of the card season so I wasn't sure how quickly my new Target would stock cards.  Unfortunately there were no 2014 Topps cards to be seen.

I did pick up another 2013 Topps value box with some packs of Update (which I have no need for since I have completed the base set and all the insert sets) and 2 packs of Chrome Update (the real draw).  Here are the goods from the Chrome packs:

 I got 7 base cards and the Halladay insert.  I have picked up a few of these packs and have been on the fence about building the set.  I ended up needing all 7 cards and am now 23 cards away from the 55 card set.  With this purchase I have decided to attempt to complete this set.  My want list is on my Set Want List tab or to make it even easier, here is my list.  If you have bought any of these and have them for trade, let's make a deal.

2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB1 Robinson Cano
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB5 Anthony Rendon
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB11 Carlos Martinez
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB13 Allen Craig
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB14 Joey Votto
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB17 Kevin Gausman
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB19 Mike Zunino
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB20 Gerrit Cole
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB21 Yu Darvish
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB22 Ian Kennedy
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB25 Michael Young
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB28 Rafael Soriano
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB30 Bryce Harper
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB31 James Shields
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB33 Alfonso Soriano
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB35 Marcell Ozuna
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB36 Prince Fielder
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB38 Kyle Gibson
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB44 Shelby Miller
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB46 Buster Posey
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB47 Christian Yelich
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB50 Francisco Liriano
2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB51 Hyun-Jin Ryu

I have already pulled most of the big rookie cards and many of the higher value cards so I figure even if I have to go the purchase route, it should hurt too bad.

The Halladay is up for trade as are the inserts and parallels I pulled from the Update packs:

I pulled a nice Trout gold parallel and George Brett insert.  Additionally I have tons of base cards up for trade if you still have some needs.

I may head back tomorrow to see if my Target is ready for me.  I also have a Jumbo box coming in at the LCS and entered Crackin Wax's Jumbo case break for all the Giants.  I should get the entire base set, a good start on the insert sets and the Giants team set (X6 if you need one).  I love this time of year.

I have solved my issue with oversized cards

I have long had a challenge with how to store my odd sized cards, particularly those that are over sized.  I have picked up a few 4 pocket, 2 pocket and 1 pocket pages over the years but typically I have several different cards stuffed in each pocket. My Rickey Henderson and Willie McCovey binders were the worst.  With regards to my Giants collection, I just had a box that I put them all in unprotected.  In addition to cards, I have picked up quite a few postcard team sets for my Giants collection.

Over the holidays I finally solved my problem.  When I was down visiting some friends near my old house I stopped by my former LCS and bought a complete box of 4 pocket and 2 pocket pages - 100 of each.  I have gone through my player binders and those cards are now displayed much better.  I have started work on my Giants collection as well and hope to have that done in the next couple weeks.

I now feel much more enthusiasm when running across over sized cards and recently picked up two very nice ones.

 First up is a felt pennant feature Giants HOFer Mel Ott. This came out of 2013 Panini Cooperstown.  There was one box topper per hobby box.  I already had a McCovey from this set and am happy to add Master Melvin.  The red color doesn't particularly match the Giants (a Phillie or Red would look pretty cool in this set) but still a decent overall look.

 Turning the pennant over you see a box at the top with the card number and all the legal mumbo jumbo.  I do like the induction year into the HOF as an addition however.  In addition to Ott and McCovey, Christy Mathewson and Carl Hubbell are in this set.  I think I will try to track them down. If I pick up a second McCovey I could have a nice, full 4 pocket page in the Giants binder.

 The second pickup is this excellent Buster Posey card from 2011 Topps Lineage.  This is modeled after the Topps Giants cards from 1964.  I love the image in the the catchers gear and the baseball in the corner with the name/position/team is great.  I already had the Tim Lincecum from this set so I now have the Giants team set.

The back is pretty cool.  It has a newspaper feel.  A nice black and white photo of his swing follow through and some info about Buster's rookie year NL Player of the Week performance.

I am very happy to have added these cards to my collection and even happier I have a proper way to store and display them.

Friday, January 24, 2014

2013 Topps Triple Threads Base Card Review

Triple Threads is a product that is out of my price range for a box break and it seems to be the same for most of the blogging community.  It is a major chase the hit product and very hit or miss based on the box breaks I have seen at my LCSs and on Youtube.  The bright side to this is that most of the people that break it have little to no interest in the base cards and parallels.  I usually try to go after as many of the McCovey base and parallels but he wasn't in the base set this year.  Fortunately a few players I collect are in the set.

I was able to pick up these three base cards off the LCS bid board for under a dollar a piece.  I thought I would share the front and back along with some thoughts about the photo selection and design.

 First up is Rickey Henderson.  This happens to be the 1560th different card of Ricky in my collection, so significance to that number I just decided to sort my spreadsheet for the first time in quite a while.  I am always in favor of Rickey pictures on the base paths so that is a plus.  I also prefer Rickey pictured as an Oakland Athletic, the team he played with when I started collecting him.  With regards to the design, it seems a little Ginterish with the gaudy border.  The silver foil doesn't scan the greatest but it looks solid on the card.  The card stock is nice and thick, still thin enough to fit into a 9-pocket page easily but definitely a nice level of quality.  If I was rating the front design on a letter scale I would give it a B+.

The back has a lot of wasted space with the gray and the large block for all the legal mumbo jumbo on the bottom.  I don't mind the born/bats/throws/height/weight on the back but the Acquired seems odd.  Rickey had 4 tours of duty with the A's (the team he is pictured with) and ended up changing teams 12 times, I would have just left that out.  On the plus side, the name plate up top looks good as does the team plate.  I really enjoy the Triple Take three facts about each player.  Let's see if any of this is new to me. (1) I knew he was the Oakland career leader in SBs but didn't know the number or the amount of his lead.  (2) Nothing new here.  (3) I knew he was a high school running back but didn't know he had 2 1,000-yard season.  Overall I am happy to learn a little. Letter grade - B-.

 Triple Threads seems to like photos that are cropped fairly close which works pretty well.  This photo of Mays works.  I really like that he is in mid-swing.  Check out the concentration as he looks at the pitch coming in.  I am a fan of this card front.

I would definitely say I am more of a student of Rickey than Willie although I did read a comprehensive Mays biography a couple years back. Let's see how I do on Mays' Triple Take.  (1) I knew he had quite a few triples but did not know this fact. If I gave it any thought though I think it would be an easy assumption to make, the 600 HR club isn't too big.  (2) Common knowledge - he was a 5-tool player.  (3) Read about the Donna Reed show in his biography.  Wow, I knew more about Willie than Rickey.

 My third and final Triple Threads pick up (at least for right now) is Reggie Jackson.  Until recently I hadn't focused much time on my Reggie collection.  I have a pretty solid vintage collection including his 1969 rookie card but have major gaps since the explosion of cards in the 2000s.  I do need to decide how aggressive I need to be in filling in those gaps.  In the meantime, I will pick up as many newly issued cards as I can.  Great photo selection here, I enjoy Reggie as an Athletic or Yankee the most. The yellow A's jerseys of this era are epic and Reggie is sporting his signature glasses and some sweet facial hair.  Three for three in photo selection for me.

Let's see how I rate out on Reggie's Triple Take.  (1) This was not a fact I was familiar with but it doesn't surprise me.  I tried to guess who the two were that had more.  My first guess was Hank Aaron which was correct at 264 HRs despite only 12 in 1975.  I checked out Willie McCovey next but he only had 226. I figured out the other person on my 3rd guess, Willie Stargell with 256. (2) Pretty common knowledge.  (3)  Not only did I know this, I have read the book. 

I am pretty happy to pick up these nice high end base cards on the cheap.  Time to seek out some parallels.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Embarrassing Trade Post #7 - PWEs from Jeff at 2X3 Heroes

I saved my most embarrassing trade post for last.  Jeff over at 2 by 3 Heroes is well known throughout the blogosphere for his PWE bombs and I have been far from immune from his generosity.  It seems like every time I am about to write a post celebrating the great things he has sent my way, another PWE lands in my mailbox.

I will go back to the first PWE I got from Jeff to kick this off:

It started off with some Barry Bonds love, I am particularly fond of the Pacific card.  I have said a few times on this blog that I am a Pacific fan and I really need to see if I can track down some more Giants.

I also scored a couple of minis and a couple cards of less fit pitchers from the Giants past.  The Beck is an Electric Diamond parallel that I almost missed as I went through the package.  The minis are both great, I was in a box break that included The Double Header set and this Aurilia is one of the few Giants I didn't get, it was a great addition.

I also got this note with the cards:
Jeff, shame on me for taking so long to thank you, you are a very generous man.

Here are the contents of PWE #2:
Started with a couple of Pandas - rumor has it that he is in shape and has dropped 40+ pounds in the off season.  Great news for the Giants and hopefully for my fantasy team - I traded for him late in the season last year.

This PWE also included a Heritage insert need of the Dandy Dominican and a Donruss Originals of McCovey. I had the Willie already but this one found a spot in the Giants binder. 

Finally a pair of Tim Lincecum cards.  The Biography card left me 1 card away (ironically another Lincecum) from finishng off the insert team set of Giants from Upper Deck's last baseball issue.

PWE #3 included another pair of Freaks...

Plus a pair of Zitos.
The Opening Days of Zito are great, these blue parallels are one of my favorite sets of the year and I am glad to have the entire Giants team set.

PWE #4:
A random group of Giants including one of my first Prizm cards of my favorite current Giant Matt Cain.
 And perhaps my favorite insert card of the year from Archives featuring 4 Giants. I ended up needing 3 of these for my collection, 1 for the set, 1 for the McCovey collection and 1 for the Giants binder.

We are up to PWE #5, can you see why I am embarrassed?
Two very cool insert cards.  Vizquel had a great career, I wonder if he is HOF worthy?  With today's voters who knows?  The Marichal is a great card and surprisingly the only Giant of 4 that I have from this Glossy All-Star set.

 Some additional random Giants.  I have always been puzzled by this Will Clark photo choice.  It isn't the most flattering, it looks like he is looking down the the 3rd base umpire waiting for a decision on an appealed check swing call.

 I also scored this 1960 vintage Johnny Antonelli card.  Antonelli was celebrating a great year and was actually has an All-Star card in this set.

 PWE #6 had a Chrome theme:
This nice dual card featuring All-Star Buster Posey and Futures All-Star Tommy Joseph.  Joseph is no longer in the Giants organization as he was included in the Hunter Pence trade.  I predict he will have a nice big league future for the Phillies and I am glad we were able to resign Pence so the trade won't look like a waste.
 Speaking of Pence, his Chrome card was also part of this PWE along with a couple other key Giants.  I now have the Giants base set from 2013 Chrome but have lots of work to do on the colored parallels.

Getting close to the end with PWE #7.
Got another Pence in this PWE, it went to my son for his Giants binder.   I also scored a couple more Prizm cards, a sweet die cut insert (I hope there is something similar in the year's Topps), a parallel of Will Clark from 92 Leaf and one of a ton of 2008 UD Documentary cards.

 The final PWE (8 if you are counting) came within the last week and for the first time featured non-Giants cards.
I shared that I am planning on collecting Ben Petrick and Jeff is a Petrick collector as well. He had a few dups he sent my way to boost my collection and I needed 3 of the 4.

Jeff, you are super generous and hard to keep up with.  Thank you so much for all the PWEs.  I just love it when I pick up the mail and get something and your generosity increases the likelihood that it will happen.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Oddball Pick Ups

I have a seller saved on eBay that seems to specialize in Oddball and more rare cards.  For the third time in the last couple of years I recently picked up a lot of cards for the Giants collection. His prices are reasonable, many are priced at 99 cents Buy It Now and almost all are under $2.  This time I actually bid on a few auction items as well but still got everything for a nice price. Even better, because of the number of cards I bought he waived the shipping cost.  There is no promise of this in his listing, just does it as he is a great seller.

Here are the cards I picked up:
 I guess these really aren't oddballs but I am drawn to the shiny cards. The Tribute cards are beautiful and I am regretting not putting the base cards from the Tribute brand on my 2014 focus list.  It may be a mid year addition.  I also picked up the Xfractor of former Giants starting SS Brian Bocock (man was he terrible) and former CF Aaron (thank god the Giants signed Barry Zito so my horrible contract is forgotten) Rowand.

The oddballs begin with a nice group of Will Clark cards.  I am slowly filling in gaps in my Giants collection from the small sets put out by Topps, Fleer and Score and this seller helped me out once again.  The bottom right card is a Broder card.  I recall these being popular when I was hitting shows in the late 80s and have a few in my collection. I sure wish that I could track down a checklist of the cards Broder produced.  I found one web site that appears to be trying.  

 The top line of cards here are from a set called the "Great Plains Greats" put out by the Sheraton Inn  hotel chain. The are slightly larger than a normal card and appear to feature players that were born in the Great Plains area.  I am not sure if this is a Giants team set or not, I need to do a little more research to find out, but I am happy to start my collection with these 3 oddballs.  The Reuschel is another mini set addition from a Topps release.  The Jeff Leonard disc is a nice little oddball and was put out by Thom McAn. I lost an auction for one with blue instead of yellow.  Here is the back of the disc:

Those are all nice additions but the biggest part of the package contained a bunch of MSA Discs from 1976 and 1977.  In all I picked up discs of 4 different players, Vida Blue, Bill Madlock, John Montefusco and Bobby Murcer.

 Most of the discs have the 4 stars across the top but I scanned the 2 anomalies in the Holiday Inn and Crane discs.   I also scanned the backs of the different types of discs I picked up in this purchase, 11 different backs in all.

Some of Montefusco's discs are from 1976 while others are from 1977.  Here is a breakdown of the backs I picked up for each of the players:

Vida Blue: Carousel and Orbaker’s
Bobby Murcer: Carousel, Crane, Orbaker’s and Towne Club
Bill Madlock: Chilly Williee, Dairy Isle, Detroit Caesars, Holiday Inn and Zip’z
John Montefusco (1976): Buckmans, Carousel, Crane, Orbaker’s, Red Barn and Towne Club
John Montesfusco (1977): Chilly Willee, Dairy Isle, Detroit Caesars and Zip’z

Prior to this purchase, I had very few MSA discs in my collection so I was happy to pick up so many for a good deal and no shipping.   Overall I am very happy to add all the oddballs to my collection and greatly appreciate this seller.  As his inventory of new oddballs increases, I suspect I will be making another multicard purchase from him.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Embarrassing Trade Post #6 - Multiple Trades with Multiple Traders

Maybe this is cheating but for #6 I decided to group a few trades together, 5 to be exact.  These trades had a smaller number of cards than #1-#5 but were still great trades and much appreciated.  To me whether it is 1 card or many cards, I love to trade.  I am really wanting to get caught up on these older trades (I have some recent ones I need to get to as well) so I hope these great traders are okay sharing the post.

I have one more older trade post to go after this one and I can tell you I am feeling so much better without these hanging over my head.

First up are some great Giants cards from William over at Foul Bunt
First up are a few cards from early in the year helping me finish up my Series 1 Giants base set.  Every time I look at that Scutaro card it brings back the great memories of that rainy night that sent us to the World Series.  I personally think the Brandon Crawford card is one of the better pictures of the year.  I am a sucker for sliding cards with dirt all over the place. 

William also shot over these two cards.  I like the Gold parallels from 2012 but I do think the Emerald ones are a notch above.  Surkamp was recently claimed on waivers by the White Sox so it appears the former prospect will never come of age with the Giants.  The Kimball inserts are cool, I have been meaning to see if there are vintage cards that look as good as these.

Trade #2 is a deal struck with Lifetime Topps project.  I love the theme of his collection in trying to get every Topps card, inserts included, since he was born in 1980.  I was born a few years earlier but started collecting in 1979 so his pick ups always bring back great memories.  This trade actually included quite a few set needs:

First up are these insert cards from Allen and Ginter. I decided to pick these up even though their primary function was the crack the code contest.  The supply of these seems to have dried up and my want list still includes 13 cards.  I think most people trashed these but I am glad to have knocked 9 off my list in this trade.

I also picked up a nice assortment of Heritage needs including the sweet Orioles dual rookies of Machado and Bundy.  I have my last SP and insert on order from Sportlots and will finally finish this set off.  My goal of getting my 2013 sets done prior to the release of 2014 Topps will be complete (kind of - I still have a want list of Archives inserts I will never complete and the Gypsy Queen inserts that I am going after but I am not counting those!).

Finally 2 cool Giants minis.  The Wilson black border goes back to the first year of Gypsy Queen and when the Beard was quite a bit tamer than today. If you compare, Cody Ross is sporting a similar beard in his card.

Trade #3 is a nice assortment of Giants cards from Stealing Home author of All Trade Bait, All the Time and a dreaded Dodger fan.  I am sure he was happy to ditch these Giants.
Similar to the Scutaro card above, I can't help but get a little chill of excitement when I see the World Series celebration card of Romo and Buster on this Walmart parallel - great addition to the collection.  I have gone back and forth on the Calling Cards insert set but I know for certain I am a fan of this Tim Lincecum card.  The color scheme of the insert set seems to fit well with the Lincecum picture - great looking card.

A few random Giants as well.  I am a huge fan of the Baseball Heroes set and all the colored parallels.  From some reason I haven't gone hard after rainbows of the 4 Giants that appear in the set. I need to mark that down as an idea for next year's goals. I also enjoy any card, especially of Barry Bonds, with the Wrigley ivy in the background.

This next trade was a trade where I sent a couple hundred or more 1986 Donruss cards to Uncle Doc's Card Closet for just one in return:

A great vintage Juan Marichal card.  I already had this card in my Giants collection but I also have found myself hoarding vintage Hall of Famers so I jumped at the trade.  Uncle Doc was working on the set and offered this up in the trade.  I noticed that Uncle Doc hasn't posted in over 7 months, I hope everything is okay with him, I always enjoyed his blog.

The final trade in this post highlights a couple of cards sent my way from one of the most generousl bloggers out there, Wes at Jaybarkerfan's Junk.  Wes periodically shoots cards out and I try to return the favor as often as possible.  In the past Wes has had a couple of Trade Bait drafts that I have participated in, just overall a great blogger.

The first card is a cool parallel of former Giants third baseman Pedro Feliz.  I love the picture on this card and the start of his throwing motion.  The fact that the card is also numbered to 99 just adds to the coolness of the card.

And the second card is this great jersey card of Will The Thrill Clark, my favorite Giant of the last 80s and early 90s.  With Bonds' arrival they had to let him go but it was a sad day for this Giants fan.

Thanks guys for the great cards and great trades.  Another apology for the delayed post but I really appreciate the trades.