Saturday, January 31, 2015

Trade Post - Off Hiatus Baseball Cards

A few months back I shared a couple of mascot cards that I had picked up from my LCS bid board.  One of my favorites was of the San Diego Chicken and after getting those cards I recognized that the Chicken had autographed Donruss cards through a mail in offer. Even though I collected Donruss back when these cards were released, I had never noticed the offer on the back of the Chicken cards or I probably would have send one in my self. Lucky for me, Tony from Off Hiatus Baseball Cards read my post and had one in his collection.  He offered to send it my way so I packed up some Brewers and another trade was completed.

Here is the awesome Chicken card.

Pretty nice penmanship for a bird and it is even inscribed with the year.  I am very happy to have an autoed version of this card in my collection.

Tony also included this Silver parallel of The Dandy Dominican Juan Marichal in the package.  I am pretty close to finishing off both the gold and silver parallel sets from this release and I think I need to make an effort to finish these off, they are nice looking cards.

Finally Tony included two great manupatches of New York Giant HOFer Mel Ott!  When I got these I thought that I already had them both but after checking my list I realized both are new to my collection, super cool.

Tony, sorry for taking so dang long to post this trade, it was a great one.  I am looking forward to the day when I can be prompt with my trade posts. Thank you so much for the great cards.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Introducing a New Player Collection - Chili Davis

I recently decided to add a new player to my list of collection.  I had been contemplating adding Chili Davis to the list of players I collect for the last couple years but the only step I had taken was to purchase a Topps Archives autograph of his.  Chili is the first Giants prospect I remember being hyped when I was a kid.  He debuted briefly in 1981 and stayed with the Giants until 1987.  He went on to play for a total of 19 seasons and played with the Angels, Twins, Royals and Yankees after leaving the Giants.

Davis never reached 5-tool superstar status as hyped coming up through the Giants farm system but had a very solid career reaching 350 Home Runs, 1372 RBI, 142 SB and was a 3 time All Star.  He seemed to lose a little speed and gain some power after leaving the Giants.  I remember him as being a pretty good fielder on the Giants but advanced metrics make that memory a fallacy which was probably why he spent about half of his career games after leaving the Giants as a DH.

A couple months back I was able to pick up a lot of 44 different Chili cards for just a couple bucks so the player collection was on.  I made a checklist, dug through my Giants dups and made the player collection commitment.  

The main reasons I decided to collect Chili's cards were due to my admiration of him as a player and his card checklist.  The number of cards he has isn't overwhelming, just over 600, and he has cards throughout the 90s which allows me to chase some non-Giants in an era where I didn't collect much.  Because of his relatively small checklist, I will be chasing all of his cards - not just focusing on the base cards as I will with many of my collections in 2015.  I have added my want list to my blog.

I made a fairly large purchase on Sportlots a couple weeks back that focused mainly on my player collections.  I shared some of the Chris Webber cards I picked up in post a little while back.  Chili's card total in that purchase was second to Webber with 51 different cards.  I figured I would scan and show all 51 for your viewing pleasure.

The Topps card is a Tiffany variety and the 1988 Fleer Giants card is the Glossy parallel.  It may not be visible in the scan but I was bummed with the Fleer card as it is heavily creased and damaged.

I really like the Denny's hologram card and can't believe Topps made that micro set so small.  The Leaf Limited is a pretty sharp card and the Stadium Club is the Rainbow parallel.

 These all come from his second stretch with the Angels.  I like the base path action of the Upper Deck Electric Diamond and the Metal base cards are some of my favorites.

I think Chili is looking pretty cool with his shades in the Sportflix card.  Collector's Choice doesn't disappoint with a solid autograph card.  I always thought of Davis as a fan friendly player and that card is a little proof.

Chili had filled out a little by the end of his career as evidenced by some of those Yankee cards.  My favorites on this page are the trio along the bottom from Leaf.  There are a few more parallels that I would like to track down for the complete collection.

These final 6 finish off the 51 card purchase and added some meat to my player collection.  At the time of writing this, these cards brought me up to 239/604 total Chili Davis cards between my existing cards, the 44 card initial purchase and a few I have picked up over the past couple months.

If you have any of the cards off my want list, especially some of the rarer cards, please drop me a note and lets work out a deal.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

1977 Topps 49er Team Set

One of my collecting goals in 2015 is to work on my collection of Vintage San Francisco 49ers.  A few years back I picked up a few team sets but most weren't vintage.  I have picked up a few vintage singles here and there but didn't have much focus.  I have created a checklist for cards in the 50s, 60s and 70s and have decided that is where I will focus.  I also decided I am going to steer away from team issues sets and oddball sets and focus on the major releases which are primarily Bowman, Philadelphia and Topps.

I became a fan of the 49ers in the late 1970s with their pick up of OJ Simpson being the catalyst.  I have heard the names of many of the legends but want this quest to teach me a little more about the players from this time period.

One thing I haven't decided is how to share my pick ups in this blog.  I have thought that maybe I will wait until I finish a team set to keep the number of posts down and have a searchable view of each team set as my project progresses.  The major downside to that approach is that it will be a while before I can share some really nice cards, particularly from the 50s and 60s as I acquire them.  Being the procrastinator I am, I decided to delay that decision and show a team set from 1977 that I bought in an eBay auction.

 I will start with the checklist, it shows the 10 players featured in the team set.  With a set of 528 cards, I have to assume the Niners were under represented but that is to be expected of a team that missed the playoffs in 1976 with very little star power.

The beauty of the checklist is the back.  It shows their team leaders for the past 8 years.  When you look at the meager yardage of their top passers and rushers and the low number of catches, it makes me believe the offense wasn't helping them win too many games.  I know that today's numbers are inflated but these statistics pale in comparison to their contemporaries.  Also they have 5 different leading passers and 3 rushers in the past 5 years.

Note the awesome deal to get the team checklist cards for only 50 cents and 1 wrapper.   Wish I would have done that back when I was 6.

I decided to show these by number and group them together.  11 different scans would have been tough to make happen but the cards aren't super fancy and come out fine in this layout.

One of the exciting parts about this 49er team set quest is getting a chance to become familiar with the different designs Topps used with their football sets.  I enjoy this design with the team name in a banner displayed prominently atop the card, the position being displayed in a little red football and the player name in smaller font and in all caps.  It is nice to see a Niner as an All-Pro with the banner below the name block on Defensive End Tommy Hart.

 As I mentioned, one of the reasons I am pursuing these cards is to get to know the players before my era better. The backs of these cards are great!  Some good information about each player, stats with the players that make sense and even a quick blurb about where they went to college and an accomplishment from that time in their lives.  I found it amazing that Tommy Hart averaged 15 QB sacks in his first 7 years (this was before the sack was an official stat).  Another thing that stood out was that Gene Washington made 4 Pro Bowls and was a 1000 yard receiver only once, times have changed.

Here is the second half of the team set:

This marks Jim Plunkett's first card with the 49ers.  I did a little research and found that the Niners gave up 3 #1 draft picks, 1 #2 draft pick and QB Tom Owen to get Plunkett - that is a pretty steep price.  I am not sure who the Patriots selected with those picks but it didn't work out great for the 49ers.  I really like the 1,000 Yarder designation on Delvin Williams' card.  In later sets Topps had inserts to celebrate 1,000 yards but I really like the inclusion on the base card.

In addition to Williams' 1,000 yard season, Wilbur Jackson had a solid campaign with almost 800 yards.  Jackson was the first African-American football player to be offered a scholarship to attend the University of Alabama.  I saw a great show that showed how a game between USC and Bama helped integrate football in the south.  I remember getting cards of the Mike-Mayers when I was young and being puzzled by the hyphenated last name.  That seems to be something more common today.

I have picked up some other cards that and even a couple of older team sets that I will show off soon.  My goal of 100 different Vintage 49ers by year end 2015 seems very achievable if I stick to my 2015 collecting focus.  This team set was a lot of fun to go through.

Monday, January 26, 2015

McCovey Monday #69 - 2014 National Treasures Relic 31/75

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 think Panini got another high end set right with the release of 2014 National Treasures.  I have watched quite a few box and case breaks on Youtube and if I was going to crack a high end product, this would be towards the top of my list.  I doubt that will happen unless I win the Powerball so I have resorted to trying to pick up a few singles to fit into my collections.

I want to get the bad out of the way, my only complaint about this card is that this is a recycled photo, I have cards going back to at least 2005 with this picture.  I really like the design of this card with the decorative border surrounding his photo vertically and the National Treasures darkened border along the bottom.  To me the highlight of the card is the large bold McCovey with the smaller first and middle name above and the San Francisco Baseball Club along the bottom.  SF Baseball Club to me seems like how they would have referred to a team in the early 1900s.  The jersey swatch shaped as home plate is a bonus as well.  As you can see across the middle, this card is serial numbered 31/75.

Time to seek out a few more cards from this nice looking release.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

USC Quarterbacks - When Failure at the Pro Level Benefits the Collector

I am a graduate of USC and a huge supporter of their football program.  I am proud of the fact that my school has produced more 1st round picks that any other college program and I believe they have the most players to play in the Superbowl and have placed a player in all but 5.  There are more Trojans on NFL rosters than any other school as well.  The fan in me loves it when former Trojans excel in the NFL whether it was college stars like Troy Polamalu and Reggie Bush or more under the radar guys like Ryan Kalil and Mike Patterson.

The collector in me has some mixed feelings on Trojans doing well in the pros.  When Reggie Bush was drafted, the price of his cards were out of control, I was limited to getting an auto from Sage and Press Pass releases as the more mainstream products were out of range.  So when a good or great college player doesn't do well, there is a part of me that is excited as I get to pick up great looking football cards like these of my former college favorites:

This is a booklet of former USC QB Matt Barkley from 2013 Panini Playbook.  The left side of the left side is a shadowed picture with a plastic coating, a shadow box.  The other half of the left side has a piece of jersey as does the entire right side.  I really enjoy the picture from the knees up of Barkley dropping back.  The only downside I see to this card is the difficultly of storing it and displaying it, it is a great looking card.

Here is another fabulous card of Mr. Barkley. Certified's Fabric of the Game subset is always one of the best.  I enjoy it way back to the baseball releases in the early 2000s and have quite a few McCovey cards from those sets.  I think the Eagles team name is perfect for a set like this, just the right length.  I really like the font used for the Eagles cut out on this card and the autograph, even though it is a sticker, adds to the cards awesomeness.  Another solid picture of Matt and a nice low serial number to 25 and this is another great pick up for the USC collection.

This last card is one of the more interesting former Trojans from a collector's perspective. Mark Sanchez was hot when he was drafted.  I remember pulling an awesome USC manupatch auto out of Prestige his rookie year and the card was going for well over $100.  I was collecting Trojans more actively at that time and it bothered me how few Sanchez cards I could pick up.  Even today I only have 103 of his 2663 different cards.  The time is ripe for me to bolster my Sanchez card collection when I can pick up awesome patch cards numbered 09/10 like this one for just a few dollars.

I can't ever fathom rooting against former Trojans to do well to enhance my collection but there sure is a fringe benefit.

Friday, January 23, 2015

RIP Mr. Cub

I put the kids to bed, hung out with my wife for a bit and retired to my card room.  I popped up and was hit with the news that Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub has passed away.  Instant sadness came over me.  I am not a Cubs fan but I am a baseball fanatic and it just doesn't get any better than Ernie Banks.  He was a great ballplayer and a great man and will be greatly missed.  His infectious smile and love of the game will live on in our memories.  Rest in Peace Mr. Banks.

Trade Post - Baseball Card Breakdown

Still working to catch up on trade posts and here are some great cards that came my way from the originator of the Wallet Card movement that has started throughout our blogging community, none other that defgav from the blog Baseball Card Breakdown.

As I recall defgav had broken some Donruss Series 2 and sent the Giants from the break my way which is greatly appreciated.  I needed all the cards as the only Giants I had pulled from my box went toward my set build.
First up is a quad of base cards.  The Belt, Posey and Bumgarner cards all look pretty good despite the lack of logos, particularly the Madison.  Donruss used almost all action shots which I almost always prefer.  The Cain card has had some significant work done to it as has Mr. Cain with a couple surgeries that had him miss a big part of last season.  I am hoping he can bounce back as he will be needed if the Giants want to make a playoff run.

 Next up is a trio of Elite cards, these were inserts in the Donruss boxes.  I was unlucky and didn't pull one Giant in my box but was lucky enough to get 3 of the 4 Giants in this package.  The Buster is my favorite.  Panda looks like he may be following a long and high pop up but who knows, maybe he got enough of it.

 Probably my favorite part of the 2014 Donruss release was bringing back the Career and Season Stat Line cards.  At one time I had my sights on completing the entire team set but got distracted with some newer releases.  Finally posting this trade may be the inspiration I need to track down the rest for my collection.

Finally, I received this Elite Turn of the Century Auto card of Ehire Adrianza.  I really appreciate the autograph but I am hoping Mr. Adrianza doesn't make the Giants club this year, he is not a good player.  His defense is shaky and he is more of an automatic out than several of the Giants pitchers.

Defgav, thanks for the Donruss Giants care package, I really appreciate you bolstering my Giants collection.  Sorry it took a while to post but don't let that lead you to believe these aren't greatly appreciated!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Pair of Rickey Dual Relics

Rickey Henderson remains one of my favorite players of all time and I am always looking forward to adding his cards to my collection.  The 2013 Panini America's Pastime offers up plenty of options and a couple months back I was able to pick up a pair of dual relics from the same seller.  I paid a little more than I typically prefer for Rickey relics but I got caught up in a bit of a bidding war and had to win them.

 Rickey had quite a few stops in his career and this card celebrates hit stops in Los Angeles and New York (I assume the Mets not the Yankees based on the swatch).   You might assume based on this card that Rickey left the Dodgers to go to the Mets but that really wasn't the case.  LA was Rickey's final stop in his career in 2003 and he had played with the Mets in 1999-2000.  He hit the Mariners, Padres and Red Sox in between.  This picture seems of the appropriate period towards the end of his career.  America's Pastime was a pretty limited product and no card is numbered higher than /125 so this would be considered his base relic for this subset.

I will always think of Rickey as an Oakland Athletic, he spent 14 of his 25 seasons with the A's. This card features 2 different swatches from Rickey's A's days and features a nice picture that, despite the airbrushing, is most certainly from his time with the A's.  The swatch on the right has some fuzz on it, like it came from the pants knee after a slide.  I like the design of this card and this would again be considered the base version of the subset being numbered 084/125.

Rickey has cards in several different subsets in this release including a booklet card that I wouldn't mind picking up.  The cost has been too rich for my blood but it may be time to see if I can find a bargain.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Joy of a Completed Set!

One of my favorite card releases in the last few years was Panini's 2012 Cooperstown set.  I bought a couple boxes, pulled some nice HOF auto and decided to go after the complete set along with quite a few insert sets.  The base set consists of 170 cards and in typical recent fashion, the last 20 were reprints.  The first 150 cards were black and white photos and the 20 short prints were colorized.  I think both photo types look great and really enjoy the set.

The problem has been tracking down the short prints.  These were either super short printed or there is a massive unopened inventory of this set in storage somewhere.  I saw some retail boxes of the product on sale on Black Friday and thought about picking some up in hopes of tracking down the SPs but wisely didn't go through with it.  I hoped that would increase the inventory on the secondary market.

Through my boxes and some eBay and Sportlots pickups I was able to get down to about 4-5 needs to complete my set.  Over the last couple months of last year I did searches everywhere I could think of and picked up all but 1 card.  The Jim Bottomley card #158 was nowhere to be found.  A couple crystal parallels were for sale but the short printed base card wasn't anywhere.

I set up an eBay search and followed it so it would notify me when any new cards got posted for sale.  One or two more parallels came up but for weeks, no card #158.  Then a couple weeks ago one popped up with a 99 cent minimum bid. I quickly put in a high bid of around $10 - I really wanted this card.  Wouldn't you know it but the next day another copy came up with an $8 Buy It Now.  I was torn and almost pulled the trigger and got it but I didn't want to get stuck with 2 copies. I waited patiently for the auction to end and scored this card for $8.02 delivered:

I was worried I would never get this set completed back last year when the want list stood at 4-5 cards.  The SPs weren't plentiful and the few I saw were extremely overpriced.  It is hard to explain how how happy completing this set has made this set collector.

Here are all 20 SPs in order from the set, I wonder how many other crazy collectors completed this thing?

Any fun stories out there on tracking down that final elusive card?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Trade Post - GCRL

Time to celebrate another exchange of cardboard (and paper in this trade) with one of the pleatroa of Dodgers bloggers, Jim of GCRL.  This post is actually a combo of a PWE Jim sent quite a while back and an extremely cool item that is unique and fits masterfully in my collection.

Let's start with the PWE contents.
These cards come from a variety of years with my favorites being the Sandoval Dominators card (great design!) and the Runzler Rookie.  I was a big fan of Upper Deck's final release in 2010 and was looking forward to a second series when logo usage litigation stopped the presses.  In addition to Runzler, that set included rookies of future stars Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner.  Glad I completed that team set back in 2010!

 The final card in the PWE was this awesome Vida Blue Hostess card.  This is a great photo of Vida, I am loving the green uniform shirt and hat. In my opinion the A's and Pirates had the best uniforms of the era.  I had a greasy miscut version of this card in my Vida binder that has now been replace by this bright and clean version.

This next item came with a few cards but in my excitement over it, the cards got mixed with some others on my desk and I didn't get a chance to catch a scan of them.  This item is one of the coolest I have ever received in a trade and my eagerness to check it out and get it scanned to share got the best of me.  Here it is for you to enjoy:
 This is a 1978 cover of the baseball bible The Sporting News featuring the Giants starting rotation in their awesome orange unis in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.  So let's list a few reason this is so cool.  1) During this time frame the Giants weren't good, getting a Sporting News cover was notable. 2) This was right around the time I started getting this publication as a kid and with the exception of a few small gaps when I have forgotten to renew, I have kept up my subscription since. 3) I think I have been to this exact spot to visit the Golden Gate Bridge. 4) You may not be able to see it in this scan but it is freaking autographed by all 4 players!

Here is a closeup of the right half featuring Jim Barr and John "The Count" Montefusco.

And a close up of the left half featuring Bob Knepper and one of my player collection guys Vida Blue.
I have quite a few Vida autographs and it looks spot on as real.  He is certainly the most famous of the group so I strongly believe these are all authentic.

Jim indicated he picked this up in a lot of covers he picked up on eBay. I am so glad he sent it my way, thanks Jim!  I am working on putting together a long overdue return package.  Thanks for adding such an awesome item to my Giants and Vida collection.

Monday, January 19, 2015

McCovey Monday #68 - 2014 Panini Hall of Fame Cards

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.

One of my biggest disappointments in the 2014 collecting cycle was Panini's exclusion of a Cooperstown set in its line of releases.  In 2012 and 2013 they released sets that featured all Hall of Famers with solid base designs and a variety of nice looking and unique insert sets.  I collected both base sets including their short prints and several of the insert sets.  When I found out they wouldn't have a set and would replace it with a high end set with just a few cards per box and a high price point I was really bummed out.

On the bright side, there were some McCovey cards in the set and that has given me something to chase.  They are kind of confusing in nomenclature and of course have tons of parallels but my new attitude in player collecting over the past 2-3 years just gets me excited to have more cards to pick up and doesn't get me down that there are too many to get all of them.

I typically reserve my McCovey Monday posts for a single card but I have switched it up a couple times and decided to today as well.  Here are 5 pickups from the 2014 Panini Hall of Fame set.  I like them all - they showcase my favorite player so why wouldn't I - but I thought I would share them in reverse order of how well I like them.

There are some cards that aren't serial numbered in the set but cards /75 are the highest serial numbers that exist.  This card is solid, I like the inclusion of the induction year on the front. The HOF's 75th Anniversary logo is nice.  This is a picture I have seen used quite a bit in recent Willie Mac card releases.

I really liked the Elite Series inserts in the Donruss release this year and was very happy Willie got one in this release.  The background colors pop and it has a semi-Xfractor type of finish.  Another recycled photo but it looks great on this card.

 Here is another card /75, this is where the nomenclature of the set gets fuzzy for me.  I see little difference in the front of this card and the other card with the exception some fonts and obviously the photo used.  The backs are very different but both are card number 63.  I don't get it.  What I do like, and why this one is rated higher, is the photo they used.  It isn't the prettiest photo of McCovey but it hasn't been used to death and for that it gets a higher ranking.

 This card is my most recent pick up of the 5.  Even though it is the same photo as #5 above, I love that McCovey has this Diamond King card.  The white border makes the card pop and I like the package of the color, the HOF logo, the font used for the city and position, etc.  It all just comes together as a great looking card.

My top card is this Crusade Die Cut cards.  This one uses the newish photo and I am a sucker for Die Cuts. The cool lion design makes it look so regal.  To top it off, this card is serial numbered 07/10 which is awesome. I probably overpaid a bit but I am very happy to have this card in my Stretch collection.

McCovey has almost 40 cards in this set and these are only 5 of the 6 I have in my collection.  I need to be on the lookout as I would like to push that have figure into double digits.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Baseball Book Review - Fear Strikes Out by Jimmy Piersall

Very recently a fellow blogger (who I can't remember) had a post mentioning a desire to learn more about the Jimmy Piersall story and an interest in picking up his Fear Strikes Out book.  I too had heard a little of the legend but hadn't read the book or seen the movie and the post peaked my interest as well.  That night was wife was placing an Amazon order for some gifts for a baby shower and I asked her to tack on Fear Strikes Out by Jimmy Piersall, the paperback version was only $6.

It arrived 2 days later, gotta love Amazon Prime, and I jumped right into it.  It was a pleasant read, very simple language typical of the books I have read from the 50s and 60s by ball players.  If you aren't familiar with the story, during his rookie baseball season with the Boston Red Sox, Piersall had a mental breakdown.  He ended up getting committed but made a full recovery from his illness and went on to have a productive 15 year career.

The book was written in 1955, just a couple seasons after his comeback and is mostly a first person account of his early years, his time leading up to his mental breakdown and then the two seasons after he returned.  There is also an afterword that was written in 1999 that shares some of his post book activities as a player and after retirement.  The section of the book that describes what went on during his breakdown (he had a complete blackout of what happened from the time he reported to spring training until he woke up after the treatment he received) was created with the help of his loving and supportive wife Mary who went through a scrapbook put together by Piersall's dad and filled in the gaps.

The book is a quick read at only 224 pages and I really enjoyed it.  In addition to some baseball stories, it is an inspiring book for a few reasons.  One, his ability to come back and be basically cured from a complete mental breakdown is remarkable.  Second, despite treating his teammate, coaches and the umpires horribly during his breakdown, they welcomed him back with open arms and were extremely supportive.  Finally, his wife, Mary, stood by him throughout everything he went through. A quick check of Wikipedia shows that Jimmy and Mary divorced in 1968 and had 9 kids and Jimmy is now on his third marriage.  I have to wonder what went wrong that was worse that his mental breakdown that led to the divorce.

I would recommend this. As mentioned it is a cheap and quick read and provides Piersall's personal insights into his early life, illness and recovery.  I don't have many cards of Piersall but did run across this Swell card from 1990:

Like many players whose biographies I read, I will probably try and pick up a couple of his cards.   A quick look at eBay shows he has a few certified autos and I wouldn't mind adding one to my collection.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

My Wallet Card

After reading the post in Baseball Card Breakdown about the idea of the wallet card, I instantly knew that I was going to participate.  My kids have played Flat Stanley at school and carried him all over the world and taken pictures and had a blast so I figured I would as well.  I don't know if I will be going to any exotic locations but even some of the normal excursions will become a little more fun capturing my Wallet Card in action.

After deciding to participate, the next action was to decide on a card.  This didn't take me long. I dug through my Giants extra box (could it be any card other than a Giant???) and pulled out this beauty:

The is a card showing the celebration of the 2010 Giants winning their first of what has now become a streak of 3 World Series in 5 years.  This card and other pictures instantly put a smile on my face when I see them so carrying a copy seemed like a natural.  If I am ever having a bad day, I can pull out Wallet Card and it will instantly be better.

This scan was actually taken last night, I forgot to shoot a scan or picture as I was excited to get started and get it into the wallet. If you look at the bottom of the card, some wear is starting to show on the silver foil, there is also a slight bend across the team name that really doesn't show up.

 The original post was on 1/2 and that night I made my Wallet Card selection.  The next day my son and I attended a high end movie theater and Wallet Card came along:
 This move theater has reserved leather recliner seating and with us hitting the earliest movie of the day we had to share the theater with only 6-7 other people.  I sneaked in Wallet Card so got his own seat without having to pay.

 Here is a blurry close up photo of Wallet Card enjoying the leather seating.  I didn't touch Wallet Card throughout because my son and I enjoyed a nice bucket of buttery movie theater popcorn but in hindsight, a butter finger smear might have added a little character to Wallet Card.

So which movie did we see:
Wallet Card is being held up during the opening credits to Unbroken.  Overall we liked the movie quite a bit.  I have heard people indicate they were crying and choked up throughout which didn't really happen with me.  The story was quite emotional but I haven't cried at a movie since I was a kid watching Old Yeller and I had already read the book so the stories weren't new.  As I typically discover, the book was much better than the book.  A couple of co-workers who had also read the book said they regretted seeing the movie as it was inferior, I wouldn't say that.  It was a solid movie but I would recommend anyone seeing the movie and finding the story to be impactful, pick up Laura Hillenbrand's book - you will not be disappointed.  It is a top 10 of all time book in my personal rankings.

I realized yesterday that Wallet Card hadn't been out of the wallet in a few days. Work has been all encompassing over the past couple weeks.  After baseball tryouts for my younger son we decided to hit the Del Taco drive thru so I decided to capture a picture of Wallet Card while we waited:
I am not sure how often I will post but I plan on trying to get a photo or two each week and eventually share Wallet Card's travels and excursions on this blog.  Thanks to Baseball Card Breakdown for the idea and getting the blogging community engaged on such a fun adventure.

Friday, January 16, 2015

My Chris Webber Player Collection

I grew up in Sacramento and while I was in middle school the Kansas City Kings relocated to Sacramento and we got our first professional major league franchise.  It was pretty exciting times and I was lucky enough to have a dad who decided to buy season tickets.  Our tickets were in the front row of the second deck kind of in the corner and they were great seats.  I believe they were $12 or $16 per seat that first year. Arco Arena was constructed and the first iteration seated 10,333 fans.  It was wild and crazy from the start and I loved going to games, even when the team wasn't strong.

The first year they made the playoffs as a #7 or #8 seed despite having a record below 0.500 and were led by Reggie Theus, Mike Woodson and Otis Thorpe.  After that first year they went on a decade long playoff drought but we still loved our Kings.  Times started changing with a trade of Billy Owens for recent Hall of Fame inductee Mitch Richmond.  We had a legitimate star and a team that played fairly well.  However there was never a real challenge for a championship until the guy that gave us some credibility was traded for Chris Webber.

Webber and some other key additions brought a championship caliber team to the Capitol City and the team was called the Greatest Show on Court.  They were so fun to watch with either Jason Williams or Mike Bibby at point, Doug Christie and his lock down defense that the 2 guard, Peja Stojakovic and his sweet jumper raining down 3s from the small forward spot and Vlade Divac and his amazing passing skills jumping center.  The star of the show was Chris Webber.  He could do it all, shoot the ball, thunder dunks, swat away shots, handle the ball and was a great passer.

Although the Kings never capitalized on a championship (and yet I am a firm believe that the game and series against the Lakers in 2002 was fixed but I want to keep this post positive), they hold a dear place in my heart and a few years back I decided to collect Chris Webber cards to keep the memory fresh.

The Bazooka Relic card at the top was a recent pick up at the LCS bid board.  I was so excited to find the card, it was one that wasn't in my collection and one I hadn't seen before.  Shortly after I decided to make 2015 the year of the base card, I found a seller that had quite a few cards at very reasonable prices that fit my base card needs and I ended up picking up 159 different cards, all but just a couple were base, and 64 of them were of my favorite King, Chris Webber.

I decided not to share all 64 but show the 18 from him time with the Kings.  If you aren't familiar with his career, Webber also played on the Warriors, Bullets/Wizards, 76ers and Pistons.  I also have quite a few cards featuring Webber in his University of Michigan uniform.

 One of the reasons I like collecting players other than baseball players is the chance to see other card designs.  Also the action in basketball seems so easy to catch in photos and translates well to cards.  There is a good variety of Webber's skills being demonstrated in this group, his dunking, jump shooting, ball handling, post work and a couple where it looks like he is about to pass.  A great collection of nice looking cards.

A little less action in this batch but still some nice looking cards.  The Pro Sigs card on the middle right shows him doing perhaps his greatest weakness in free throw shooting.  Something exciting to me is the appearance of new Webber cards in recent releases.  Good to see him remembered as the great I recall dominating games in Sacramento.

I am still working on my Webber base card want list.  I do know that with this purchase I now have 628 different cards in my Chris Webber collection.  According to Beckett his has 2812 cards so it looks like I have about 22% of his cards.  I know I have tons of his base cards so I am interested to see how lengthy the base card want list is.

Eventually I will crack out some of my nicer cards and some without the Kings focus to share.