Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Vintage Mantle!

A few months back I was able to score a decent portion of the 1968 Topps Game set from my LCS.  For quite some time I was down to a want list of 3 and they happened to be 3 of the more expensive cards to track down.  Sportlots had one of my wants on auction and after a little bidding war, this wonderful card is now mine:

The condition isn't the greatest but any Mantle from his playing days is going to cost a pretty penny so I knew I wasn't going to be adding a mint card to my set.  I am very happy to knock this card off the old want list.

Roberto Clemente and Pete Rose to go!

Monday, April 28, 2014

McCovey Monday #50 - 2013 Panini

My favorite player of all time is Hall of Famer Willie McCovey.  I have amassed a collection of over 1200 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 I would show off my newest addition to the McCovey collection.  This is a First Class insert card out of Panini's high end America's Pastime release.  I really like this look of this card.  I have a solid US stamp collection (which has sat dormant for a few years) so I typically like stamp themed cards.  The First Class name plays on the postage stamp theme as well.  There is a nice painting of Willie Mac watching a towering homer and a post mark to finalize the stamp theme.  Another thing I like is the zip code included on the front for San Francisco.  I did a quick search and found out that this is the zip code of Candlestick Park where McCovey played with the Giants and not AT&T Park - good move Panini.  As you can also see this card is serial numbered 080/125.  All the cards in this release were numbered to 125 or less.

 I thought I would share a peek at the back as well.  Not a super exciting design but I do like the write up on Stretch.  The auto is a nice touch.  It doesn't look spot on to McCovey's signatures that I have on cards but isn't so far off that I think it is generic.  I would like to see some other cards out of this set to see.

Willie's only other cards in this set are parallels of this card numbered /25, /10 and /1 and a booklet card with Juan Marichal /59, /25 and 15.  I may be able to track down one of the booklets if I get lucky but this may end up the only card from this set I add to my McCovey collection.

Sometimes Combined Shipping Isn't Really the Best Thing

A couple weeks back I recognized that I had a gap in my McCovey collection that I wanted to fill so I took to eBay to see if I could find an inexpensive copy of the card.  Luckily I found one and it was under $2.  The seller offered combined shipping at only 50 cents extra per card so I did some shopping.  I picked up some great cards but my total got a little out of hand.  Hopefully I will get a couple oohs and aahs in the comments to make me feel a little better.

First up are some parallels from this years Topps flagship set.  Originally I wasn't going to go after the entire green parallel set but after getting a couple before this including Buster and these 3 I am half way to the team set.  Let the quest begin.  The Blanco gold got me within 1 of that parallel team set.  My theme during these purchases was to work on team sets within reach.

Next up are some parallels from last year.  This gold Romo left me one card from the team set and I have it on order from Sportlots.  The Finest Xfractors look cool but deviated from the team set as they were my first two but with a team set of only 4 it isn't out of reach.

 I am a big fan of Museum Collection and am disappointed only 2 Giants are featured in base set from the 2014 release. They have much better representation in 2013 and the Cain Green gets me over the half way hump now having 4/7 Giants and the Will Clark Copper gets me a Willie Mays away from that team set.  The Canvas Collection Will the Thrill is a great looking card.

The three cards across the top finish off the base set from 2013 Triple Threads.  The two Amethyst parallels make me a Mays away from that set as well (wonder why Mays is so elusive).  The Cain is my first Emerald Giant parallel.

 I also decided to do some damage to my player collections.  I am loving the Reggie parallels and am particularly fond of his photos from his first go around with the A's.  I picked a Rickey base from last year's Museum Collection, I already had the Green parallel so that was a nice addition.  Great job by Topps in photo variations on the Triple Threads card.

 I haven't seen much of the Tribute WBC set and I am not sure how well it sold.  I had a Pablo Sandoval base card and added these 4 Giants.  I should probably look at the checklist and see if there are any giants missing.  These are decent looking cards, I am liking the unis from the World Baseball Classic.

Finally the card that started it all, a Willie McCovey 2013 Museum Collection Emerald parallel 072/199.  With the exception of the red 1/1 parallel, this completes my McCovey rainbow with a base card, a Copper parallel /424, the Green /199, and the Blue /99.  With this addition I now have 1226 different Willie Mac cards in my collection!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Another Big Box from the Most Generous Blogger

I didn't take a picture this time of the entire box but rest assured it will filled to the brim with Giants goodies.  Wes from Jaybarkerfan's Junk sent me another huge box of Giants and it is time to share my favorites. 
These are some base cards from a variety of products.  Since I have complete the Topps, Fleer, Donruss, Upper Deck, Stadium Club and Ultra runs of Giants (Topps since 1967 on) sometimes it is hard to find cards I need in the variety boxes trading partners send me.  This box had such a wide variety that wasn't the case.  Where does Wes come by all these cards???

The scan shows a couple nice inserts and 2 cards each from some oddball sets that happened to complete the Giants team sets from those issues.  It is great finishing off some team sets.

A nice trio of minor leaguers plus a sticker.  I am putting together theme binders for just these two things.

These are all some nice oddballs.  I have the McCovey in my Willie binder but figure I will put one in my Giants binder as well.  I am shocked I needed that Mays.  I have passed it up a bunch of times.  The quad of Classic cards was the entire team set!

A nice stack of parallels as well.  I always found the die cut Ultra Gold Medallion cards somewhat odd.  Who decided, lets just round off one of the corners?  I have a monster stack of the 2007 Fleer Minis and had only 1 or 2 giants in the entire thing.  Great to add an early Cain.

These cards all feature some shiny.  Two Finest Bonds pickups are great. Every time I come across a Glenallen Hill card I think of watching the Giants in Wrigley with my buddy when he crushed one out of the stadium earning him the nickname of Glenallen Muscle from that point forward.

And finally a nice batch of Ted Williams cards.  I think this set is somewhat underrated.  The checklist of players is somewhat odd but they use some great photos with a solid design.

Once again you wowed me Wes.  I appreciate your generosity and will be on the lookout for something to return the favor.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

2013 Collection Goal Update - 1968 Topps Giants Team Set

I am still working on a goal from last year but despite the delay this was a very satisfying goal to complete.  Look what I just picked up:

Isn't it a beauty?  Three of the best of the 1960s featured on one card.  To me this is one of the best Topps combo cards ever.  I have needed this card to complete my Giants team set for several months now.  I went as far as having a daily email notification sent to me with newly listed auctions. This one came up with a reasonable Buy It Now and is in pretty nice condition so I pounced.

I am down to needed a 1966 Gaylord Perry card and 4 1961 higher numbers to finish my Giants run from the 1960s.

As I have been doing after completing a team set, here is the entire set in all its glory:
A great looking team set with a couple leaders cards, a checklist with 2 varieties, a bunch of Hall of Famers and that amazing combo card.  I also kept the two Giants from the 1968 Topps Game in the scan as well.

I am still looking daily for that Perry card and once that is in my possession I will try and knock off that 1961 set.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Trade Post - Cervin' Up Cards

I recently completed my first trade with Kenny (aka Zippy Zappy) from Cervin' Up Cards.  The main part of the trade on my end was receiving these cool cards:

 These are 2012 Sega Card-Gens of 3 Giants pitchers.  These appear to be game cards along the lines of MLB Showdown.  Tim Lincecum is looking like a pretty good card to have in the game with a full line of stars, I am not sure if the black border as opposed to the white border means anything special.  I have seen a few blog posts of people tracking these down and I am very happy to have this trio in my collection.

I also scored a nice stack of random Giants.  These 2 stood out as some of my favorites.  I don't have a ton of Bowman Chrome in my collection and picking up 2 stars including my favorite current Giant is quite nice.

 Here is a sampling of some of the other cards Kenny included and they range from a Panda rookie to a McCovey vintage to a Will the Thrill throwback to a Buster insert.  Great stuff!

Finally a nice close up of the backs of the Sega cards an a reminder to Zippy Zappy about the translations.  The numbers I get, unfortunately I don't quite understand the rest.

Thanks for the great trade package Kenny!

Monday, April 21, 2014

McCovey Monday #49 - 2014 Topps Museum Collection Primary Legends Pieces Quad 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.

I finally picked up a new high end McCovey and I am excited to show it off.  This card comes out of 2014 Topps Museum Collection:

I think this is a beautiful looking card. I was a little disappointed to see on 2 Giants (Will Clark and Willie Mays) in the base set this year, it is always fun going after the base and parallels in this set.  I find it one of the most visually appealing sets each year.  However, this McCovey and some of the Jumbo Bat Barrel and Jersey relics I have seen have made up for the disappointment.  I hope to pick up a couple more McCoveys and maybe some other Giants from this set.

In addition to the great quad bat pieces on the front, I really like the Quad Qualities on the back.  The four qualities listed here aren't things that are new to me but I find them interesting and a little outside the norm for card facts.

Time to hunt down some eBay deals on more Museum Collection Giants!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Trade Post - Night Owl

Frequent trader and reigning 3 time blogger of the year Greg from over at Night Owl cards sent me a nice little package a few weeks back.  Time to show off the goods.

I was able to take some more Giants off Night Owls hands including a couple of miniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis.  Apparently Greg's love for mini cards doesn't extend to the Giants (with the exception of 1975 minis which trump all minis).  Two of these are of the Beard who has become my public enemy #1 for signing with the Dodgers not once but twice.

 I also scored a nice 1972 card to help in my set quest of that set.  I haven't done a lot lately on my vintage sets and need to kick that into gear soon.  I set some lofty goals for my 1970-1972 sets and wanted to complete the 1973 set during this calendar year.  This Grabarkewitz helps a little on the 72 set and is greatly appreciated.  The Cespedes from 2014 Topps went towards that insert set as well.

Probably my favorite card in the group is the Yusmeiro Petit Yellow border parallel.  For some reason I am drawn to these odd colored parallels this year. Don't get me wrong, there are way too many parallels but boy am I happy when I can pick them up.

Thanks for another great group of cards Greg.

Friday, April 18, 2014

2014 Donruss Game Gear Relic Giants Team Set

I am working on the 2014 Donruss set but I am struggling to find the Diamond King cards at prices I am willing to pay.  I was able to get three at my LCS for a buck a piece which was nice but I still need a ton to complete the set.  I didn't have that kind of problem hunting down the 3 Giants relics from this set. Here are the 3 Game Gear cards in my team set:

First up is  Rookie of the Year, 2 time World Series winner, NL MVP and Giants starting catcher, Buster Posey.  The lack of license hits you across the face with the cut off helmet and airbrushed jersey but I still kind of like the simplistic design of these cards.

Next up is wacky Giants right fielder and the inspirational leader of the team Hunter Pence.  Hunter is off to a slow start this year but I have confidence he will be back around the 20-25 HR, 90-100 RBI levels by year end.

 The final card is of Giants ace and a future Cy Young Award winner Madison Bumgarner.  Big news around the Giants is that Madison recently shaved off his bead which is featured prominently on this card.  He is a pretty young looking guy without the facial hair, I kind of thought that was why he grew it in the first place.

 I don't scan the backs of cards too often but these impressed me for a couple reasons. First there is a nice little write up of each player on the back, seems like today it is much more likely to just put all the disclaimer language on the back and punt but I like the 5 line write ups on these cards.  The second thing I like is the simple card numbering.  There is no fancy schmancy GG-BP or some other conglomeration of initials, just a simple 1, 2, 3... numbering system.  Solid job by Panini on this Donruss resurrection.

Since I showed the backs all together, I figured I would share the fronts as a team set as well.  A nice looking trio of relics in my humble opinion.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Trade Post - Multiple Trades for 2014 Heritage

As most set collectors know, the Heritage set is an annual beast.  The set is 500 cards strong with the last 75 being short prints that fall one in three packs.  I bought 3 hobby boxes, a blaster and a few random packs and still found myself a bunch of base cards and tons of SPs away from the set.  With some trades from some great bloggers and a few singles from the LCS I have now put the non-SP set to rest.  I still have want list of 37 SPs (including all 6 Giants of which I need 2 of each!) so I have at least reached the half way point.  I am still working on some of the insert sets as well so if you have inserts and SPs for trade, drop me a note and help me out.

I thought I would share all the Heritage goodness I have received in trades so far from 4 great traders.

First up is a sizable trade with a reader, Martin.  Martin has a non-sports card blog he was kind enough to share with me about Christmas music.  Apparently there is a pretty nice community of Christmas music blogs. We are a big fan of Christmas music in the ARPSmith household so I am going to have to check it out.

 Martin filled 25 of my base card needs including these 9, I picked out a few that caught my eye for the scan.  As we all know the photography in Heritage isn't great with action photos but it is true to the 1965 Topps issue.
Martin was also kind enough to include 2 SPs and some inserts.  He remembered that I needed one of the Bench inserts but didn't know which one so he included both - works for me!  He also included an Opening Day insert.   I have gotten very little trade action on Opening Day, check out my want list if you have any.

Next up is a trade with Ben the co-author of the Baseball Card Blog:
 Ben knocked off the last 2 base cards I needed for my set and...
Traded me 6 SPs!  It was great getting a big batch in one trade, even if I had to trade off most of my Chrome inserts.  I think Ben is going after an even bigger quest including the Chrome and Chrome refractor cards for his set.

Next up is a package from my friend from north of the border Douglas of Sportscards From the Dollar Store

 Douglas was kind enough to send an SP my way along with 8 inserts.  I really like the New Age Performers insert set this year, it may be my favorite design of this insert set yet.  The player selection is pretty solid as well.  I personally think the Then & Now has run its course but I am still going after the set.  The Flashbacks set from the featured baseball year is a highlight for me as well.

Douglas also included a couple inserts from past years that I am still trying to complete.

Finally a one card PWE from Johnny at Cards from the Quarry
Johnny hasn't been blogging lately but fortunately he must still be reading and we were able to make a swap that brought this sweet Clemente insert my way.

Martin, Ben, Douglas and Johnny thank you so much for the help on my 2014 Heritage quest!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Great College Football Triple Relic

Most of my blog is dedicated to my baseball card collection but I also collect football cards.  My biggest football card collection are the cards from my college - USC.  Check out this nice looking card I picked up at my LCS's bid board recently:

Three of the better quarterbacks from last years draft class are featured including former USC star Matt Barkley.  I am not a fan of all the exclusive licenses that exist in the current sports card market place but Upper Deck having a College Football license works great from someone like me who collects cards from a college.  I will also pick up cards of former USC players in pro uniforms but I just love getting cards with players in the Cardinal and Gold.

Every time I look at this card, it puts a smile on my face.  I just think it is a very well designed card.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Trade Post - Off Hiatus Baseball Cards

I am trying to keep better record of what I have sent out in the way of packages this year and if my record keeping is accurate, this trade with Tony L. from Off Hiatus Baseball Cards is the second trade we have made this year and the first blogger I have made multiple trades with in 2014.

Tony is a Brewer fan and the first Brewer blogger I have found to trade with I believe so if he can keep digging up great Giants cards like these, I foresee quite a few more trades in our future.

First up is some sticker goodness:

These stickers are from Topps in 1988 and 1989.  Reviewing my checklist I have some major gaps with the Topps Sticker issues in the 80s. I am a pretty big sticker fan so I think this will need to get corrected.  Tony helped me out with these 9 stickers.

I also scored this eclectic trio of cards, an oversized 1983 Donruss card of Greg "Moonman" Minton, a 2004 Sweet Spot Classic card of Johnny Mize and a 2014 Super Veterans insert of Barry Zito.  All needs and all great additions to the Giants collection.

Last but not least is this card that started the trade, a 2014 Topps Turkey Red Matt Cain.  This year's design for Turkey Red is quite different and I am not particularly a fan of these Topps.com only releases but this is a nice looking card.  With this trade and another I am down to only needing the Pablo Sandoval for the team set this year which is pretty cool since I still need 2 from last year's release.

Thanks Tony for another great trade!

McCovey Monday #48 - 2005 Upper Deck Origins

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 was thumbing through my binder tonight looking for a McCovey card to showcase since I haven't picked up any new ones lately and for some reason this page stood out:

I recall going after all these cards and parallels back in the mid to late 2000s but don't really know much about the set so I thought I would do a little research to quench my thirst and share with anyone else who has a curiosity about the set.

According to Beckett.com, here is a description of the set:
 This product was released in July, 2005. The basic 200-card set was issued in 22-card tins (of which one card was a nostaglic tin sign) with an $70 SRP which came 24 tins to a case. Cards number 1-100 feature active veterans while cards 101 through 150 feature retired players and cards numbered 151 through 200 feature young prospects. Collectors opening up this product were surprised that other than the Nostaglic tin, that the other cards just seemed to be tossed around in the box. Cards 201-286 were distributed within packs of '05 Upper Deck Update in February, 2006. These 86 Update cards were seeded at a stated rate of 1:2 packs.

I can say with virtual certainty that I have never seen one of these tins and know for sure I never opened one.  I would suspect with colored borders and how this describes the packaging that there would be lots of corner wear on the cards but I am either mistaken or lucked out, no real damage to my McCovey cards.  Apparently the tins featured one of four players, Derek Jeter, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb or Walter Johnson.

The first 4 McCoveys are numbered 115 and consist, order, of the base card (unnumbered), the red parallel (80/99), the blue parallel (45/50) and the gold parallel (06/20).  The only card I am missing is the black parallel 1/1.  

The second 4 McCoveys are the Old Judge cards.  I am not sure exactly how to characterize them.  Beckett calls them parallels yet the card number is all different, McCovey is 124 instead of 115 and it looks like the others are all different numbers as well.  My page isn't organized well but in order I have the gold parallel (13/20), base, red parallel (50/99) and blue parallel (46/50). Again I am only missing the black parallel 1/1.

Overall I like the design of these cards. The regular cards have a neat background of some empty stadium sets which looks cool to me.  the Old Judge appear to be framed minis although the frame is just some coloring with a design.  I wish I would have been able to track down of the 1/1 cards as the only thing in my mind that makes this page better is a full page of 9 different cards.

If anyone has stories of cracking this product or watching someone do so, please share. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Polo Grounds Seat Card

I have seen a few cards that feature pieces of old stadium seats and they typically don't excite me but for some reason when I saw this I really wanted it:

There were several reasons I was drawn to this card:
  1. It is modeled after a reprint of a 1948 Bowman card - I love old Bowman
  2. This isn't any old stadium set, it is from the historic Polo Grounds (allegedly)
  3. I enjoy picking up Mize cards as a Giant, he spent almost equal years on the Cardinals, Giants and Yankees
  4. It is a mini and everyone loves minis - don't believe me:
Here it is next to a regular sized card (it never gets old looking at a card showing a World Series celebration).

There is a Bobby Thomson relic in this set but I haven't been able to confirm it has a Polo Grounds seat relic as well but I am going to keep my eyes open.