Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween and Some Goal Reflection

I have been hanging out for the last couple hours watching my USC Trojans take on the Cal Bears.  In between plays I was sorting some cards and cleaning up some emails and a thought crossed my mind.  With today being Halloween, I recognize there are but 2 months left in the year and less than 1 month until my favorite card shopping day of the year - Black Friday.  I enjoy scouring COMC for some set and player collection needs and looking at all the box deals on DACardWorld and Blowout.

My mind started wandering towards what I wanted to spend my Black Friday funds on.  From a box perspective, I think I will try to grab a couple boxes of the last couple Panini Cooperstown releases.  Prices are already under $100 and you get 2 HOF autos per box.  Maybe I can get lucky and get a cut or one of the HOFers I need for my set.  Plus it is really cool when every card out of a pack is of a HOFers.  I bought some 2013 Pinnacle a little while back and those boxes are already really cheap.  I almost have the base set complete and like several of the insert sets so I may buy a bunch of it - maybe even my first case of cards.

On the singles front, I was looking at my set want list and don't have a ton to track down.  I see myself going after the 2015 Donruss All-Time Diamond Kings and the 2014 Archives short prints.  I will probably look for the 2009 Finest letterman autos I need and then the vintage sets come into play. I decided to take a look at my 2015 goals and see what insight that gave me.

Here is a list of my goals at the beginning of the year with a quick update:

1.     Obtain all 2015 Giants base cards from all releases.

I have been keeping up fairly well, needing only 21 cards to finish this off with the current releases  The Cooperstown cards will be the hardest to track down, the rest shouldn’t be much of a challenge, just need to put my time and resources to them.

2015 Leaf Heroes of Baseball #60 Will Clark

2015 Panini Cooperstown #10 Bill Terry
2015 Panini Cooperstown #41 George Kelly
2015 Panini Cooperstown #59 Juan Marichal
2015 Panini Cooperstown #65 Mel Ott
2015 Panini Cooperstown #67 Monte Irvin
2015 Panini Cooperstown #70 Orlando Cepeda

2015 Stadium Club #72 Madison Bumgarner

2015 Topps Chipz #14 Madison Bumgarner
2015 Topps Chipz #67 Hunter Pence
2015 Topps Chipz #71 Buster Posey
2015 Topps Chipz #84 Pablo Sandoval

2015 Topps High Tek #HTBC Brandon Crawford B
2015 Topps High Tek #HTBP Buster Posey B
2015 Topps High Tek #HTJPK Joe Panik A

2015 Topps Museum Collection #10 Buster Posey

2015 Topps Opening Day #24 Tim Lincecum

2015 Topps Triple Threads #9 Madison Bumgarner

2015 Topps Update #US5 Ryan Vogelsong
2015 Topps Update #US271 Mike Leake
2015 Topps Update #US321 Chris Heston RC

2.     2. Acquire at least 800 Giants base cards from years past.  My want list has about 2800 going back to 1948.  I have no idea if this is a realistic target, I will try and knock as many off this list as I can but want to set some sort of goal.

I have done much better than expected on this goal.  My list is now down to 1588 needed base cards which means I added 1,212 Giants base cards well surpassing the 800 card goal.  This also doesn’t include the 2015 base cards I added.

3.Concentrate my player collections on obtaining all the base cards of these players.  Certain player like McCovey, Vida and Lott will still get the focus of all cards including base.
  • Willie McCovey
  • Rickey Henderson
  • Vida Blue
  • Reggie Jackson
  • Dave Winfield
  • Ben Petrick
  • Dave Parker (as a Pirate)
  • Chili Davis
  • Ronnie Lott
  • Roger Craig
  • Dwight Clark
  • Chris Webber
  • Charles Barkley
  • Patrick Ewing
I have started making a few base card only want lists and added them to the bottom of my posted want lists.  I am using so I doubt it will be 100% accurate but should help in my shopping excursions.

I have added cards from all of these players over the year.  My Ben Petrick and Chili Davis collections have really grown.  I feel pretty good about this goal.  The basketball guys could use some extra attention and I would like to get my Reggie Jackson and Dave Winfield collections updated with more of their recent releases.

 4. Finish my 1970 Topps set which will include:
  • Paying off lay-away balance at old LCS for all but 17 off my want list
  • Tracking down the final 17 cards that include: Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson RC, Hank Aaron AS, Hank Aaron, Pete Rose, Willie Mays, Al Kaline, Johnny Bench and Nolan Ryan

I did it (post upcoming) !!!  My old Orange County LCS  and Mrhavercamp were huge helps in making this happen.

5. Knock 150 cards off 1971 Topps want list (currently at 340/752)

I am currently at 489/752 so I have added 149 cards, just short of my goal.  However I have 6 high numbers on the way so this goal was just accomplished.

6. Knock 100 cards off 1972 Topps want list (currently at 481/787)

I am now at 514/787 meaning I only added 33 cards. This looks like an area for some attention before year end if I want to accomplish my goal.

7. Complete 1956 Topps Presidents set (currently at 29/36 with 2 on the way)

I am down to needing 2 cards, #3 George Washington and #4 John Adams.  Time to buckle down and see if I can finish off this set.

8. Get all my base cards and inserts that aren’t part of sets or my player and team collections uploaded into Sportlots.  I just finished sorting and inputting about 5000 baseball cards that I have acquired since my move about 18 months ago and have a total of over 48,000 cards in the database.  I have tons of base cards from the early 80s to mid 2000s in a closet that I want to get input as well.  In addition to selling $20-$80/month in cards that I can turn around and use to buy new ones (almost like trading), Sportlots gives me a great database to locate the cards I have.  If you have needs by player or set, let me know and I can do a quick search.

This didn’t happen.  The closet cards never made it into the database although I did get most of my other cards into Sportlots including most of my 2015 duplicates.

9. Obtain at least 1 Giants card that will be the oldest in my collection.  I currently have 4 1933 Goudeys that are tied for my oldest card.

I now have 2 T206 cards and counting.  Thanks to Zippy Zappy for breaking the seal and entering me into the T206 Club!

10. Make significant progress on my 49ers Vintage set collection and have at least 100 different cards by year end.

I currently have 97 different cards.  I need to seek out a few more and make this goal one that I surpass.

11. Update USC Football checklist with releases from the past 3-5 years (they are hit and miss) and obtain 50% of all base cards from 2014 and 2015.

I did get my checklists updated.  I have also picked up a bunch of base cards but I haven’t tracked the percentage.  My suspicion is that I am at less than 50% but it isn’t worth my time to tabulate – it just isn’t that important to me.  I am glad my list is up to date and I will continue to add to this collection at a slow and steady pace.

12. My first non-base focused goal will be to add 6 certified autographs of players new to my Baseball HOF collection.

I met this goal just after the midpoint of the year.  I haven’t sought out any after that but will be looking for some deals in the near future.

13. Maintain set building discipline, try not to collect every set that comes out

I did okay here.  I am proud of my shift to buying some full sets that I wanted versus buying multiple boxes and singles.  I did this with Topps Archives, Topps Update and Stadium Club.  I stayed away from the Bowman releases Topps Gypsy Queen, Topps Heritage and Topps Chrome.  My only semi regret was buying 3 boxes of Allen & Ginter to build that set but part of that was driven by my first entry into Gintacuffs which I had fun with.

14. Have fun with the blog, post 200-250 times during the year, hold a couple contests, comment more on the posts of fellow bloggers, continue to trade and send some “just because” packages.

Did I have fun? – Yes, I made a mental shift and took out any stress I placed on myself to post daily
Did I post 200-250 times? – Not yet, I am at 163 posts YTD.   I typically don’t post more than once per day so I need to post about 2 out of every 3 days from now until year end to make this goal.
Did I hold a couple contests? – I held one so far and I am hoping to gear up for a second by year end.
More comments? – Maybe but I still should do more.  I really enjoy reading the blogs and I know how much a quick comment makes me feel like my post was read and appreciated.  I should do more.
Continue to trade? – I completed some trades but not a ton.
Just because packages? – Probably more than in the past but I would like to do more.  I have a stack of cards on my desk that I have been meaning to package up for a few bloggers.  Hopefully I can use some of my upcoming vacation time to send out some PWEs.

From a buying perspective, I think this reflection narrows my search down to the 2015 base cards, the 1972 Topps Set, the 1956 Topps President Set and maybe some 49er Vintage.

 Sorry for the lack of cards in the post.  I will leave you with the 1992 Ziploc set that I picked up in a Sportlots auction a long time ago.  No reason other than it has been sitting in my scanned folder for why to long.

 Happy Collecting!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Just for the "F" of it #5

I have decided to start a series of posts featuring some of the cards that hold a special place in my collection despite not fitting into a specific collecting category and I call them cards I have Just For The "F" Of It (as in fun).

I've seen this card posted on a couple blogs over the years and was always a fan.  I thought it would be a good addition to my collection but never went as far as seeking out a copy to purchase.  A few weeks back I walked into one of my LCSs and saw it on the bid board and got really excited.

You just have to love a card that combines super heroes with baseball.  This card isn't in perfect condition but the price was right bringing it home for a buck or two.

I have considered collecting some older super heroes sets over the year but never taken the plunge.  In reality, my sports card collection is diverse enough to suck up my time and budget so it is probably a good idea I haven't.  If I happen to see a cheap wax box I would probably pick it up but for now this awesome card will have to suffice.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

COMC Purchase #2 - Player Collections

I previously shared the first half of my COMC purchase and this post focuses on my player collections. 

COMC has been a lot of help in filling out my newer player collections.  I look periodically with my focus being primarily on oddballs and parallels.  I found quite a bit of success with Ben Petrick:

I was able to snag 3 2000 Paramount parallels, the green, the Holographic Gold /199 and the Holographic Silver /99.  Petrick has 10 cards in his Paramount rainbow and I am down to needing 3, Holographic Green /99, Platinum Blue /67 and Premiere Date /50.  The Fleer Mystique card is the gold parallel, interestingly the base card is serial numbered but the parallel is not. This is only a 3 card rainbow with the 3rd card being the 1/1 Masterpiece which I doubt I will ever come across.  I was able to pick up 2 different Ultra Gold Medallion cards and I now have all 3 that feature Petrick.  Finally I picked up the Silver Sheen and the Rapture Gold parallels from 2000 Pacific Prism.  This rainbow is really big (15 cards) and I am down to needing 4, Holographic Blue /80, Holographic Purple /99, Premiere Date /61 and Tinsel Silver /331.  I really like the look of all the Prism parallels and look forward to finishing off this set.

I also scored all of these Petrick cards in this shipment.  The 1999 Bowman card is a gold parallel /99, the 2001 Fleer Platinum card is a parallel /201 and the 2003 Topps Total is the silver parallel.  The Fleer Showcase card is the base and is numbered /2000 and the 2002 Topps 206 mini is the Piedmont Black back parellel.

I have most of Petrick's base cards now so parallels are where most of my needs lie.  Per Beckett there are 307 Petrick cards out there and I am now at 180 for a 58.6% completion.

Next up are some Chili Davis pickups:
Chili is my newest collection and many of his cards I need are out there for the buying.  My focus has been getting some of the more odd cards on sites like COMC and picking up the base cards on Sportlots when I am buying some cards and have room in combined shipping. It seems to be working well as my collection continues to grow.  The Mother's Cookie card from 1983 is one of the older Chili cards, he has a minor league card from 1978 and 3 cards in 1982.  I am working to have copies of his Giants cards in both my Giants binders and my Chili binder.  As you can see, I also scored a Fleer Star Sticker,  a Kraft oddball with an airbrushed hat and two stickers from his Giants tenure.  The bottom middle sticker is actually an O-Pee-Chee sticker.  Chili has 2 of these Starting Lineup cards from 1988, one with the Giants and one with the Angels.  I still need the Giants version for my Chili collection. 

Across the top I picked up a Sportflix, the 1984 Nestle parallel and a Members Only Stadium Club card - the only way to tell is to look at the back, I probably should have scanned the back to show that off.  The bottom 2 cards are Fleer and Score Glossy parallels to finish up the Chili portion of the order.

This group of Chili cards brings my total to 289 different cards.  According to Beckett he has 604 different cards and with a percentage of 47.8% I am closing in on the half way mark - I just need 13 new cards.

I mentioned that most of my focus on COMC is on my new player collections but that doesn't mean I don't look for guys I have collected for a while.
I found this Silver National Treasures parallel /25 on COMC for a reasonable price and quickly jumped on it.

Overall I am pretty happy with my COMC haul.  I have gone through the money I previously added to my account so I think I will add a few dollars soon so I can browse COMC and pick up cards as I find them.  It takes some patience to wait to have them delivered (these cards were purchased over a 2.5 month period before I paid for shipping) but it is worthwhile to fill some collection gaps.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

LCS Visit - 3 for $10

I love a good bargain and I enjoy running across oddballs.  The lack of card shows in my area limits my card acquisitions to trades with bloggers, online purchases and the 2 LCSs in my area.  One of the LCSs seems to price everything according to book value so my only purchases there are bid board items or the $10 mystery packs with a chance at a special card.  The other LCS is more willing to wheel and deal, will look at eBay prices when working on a card purchase and has started to bring in more oddball and older items.

On a trip to LCS #2 a few weeks back I noticed a large 5000 count box filled with small 80s and 90s box sets and a few other oddball items.  Right away one item caught my eye:

 A flip book of none other than Will The Thrill Clark!  I had never seen this item and jokingly scolded the owner for holding out on me.  He knows I am a big Giants fan.  I was just glad it was still there.  Here are a could of attempts at snapping some pictures of the flip book in action:

It is nice to see Will's perfect swing in action.  We laughed a little at how this was a great invention back in the day that is now all but obsolete with things like youtube at our fingertips.

The box advertised all the items at 3 for $10 so I had to track down 2 more items.  This proved to be quite easy.

 First I picked up this factory set of 1993 Fleer Final Edition.  I had just updated my want list of Traded sets from the 80s and 90s so I was certain this was new to my collection.

 While the Fleer branded cellophane was still around the box, it had been opened.  I see a little damage to a card or two but it otherwise looks untouched.  I plan on keeping it in the box.

My final items is a really cool oddball item:

An actual factory sealed set of Pacific Eight Men Out cards!  I have gotten a couple of these singles over the years but had no idea how this was distributed.  I haven't cracked the seal yet but assume I will one day when I am bored.  I am totally not into collecting for the "investment" but still find it a little hard to break factory sealed sets - I might need some therapy.

I am glad my LCS continues to add cool things like this.  One of these trips I am going to dig through and pick up some of those cool Fleer box sets from the late 80s.

Monday, October 26, 2015

McCovey Monday #80 - 2014 Panini Cooperstown Cyan Printing Plate 1/1

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 used to chase after every autograph, parallel and 1/1 of Willie McCovey. However over the past 5 years my collecting interests have diversified and my spending budget has leveled off so it just isn't possible to get into bidding wars on rare McCovey cards. 

That doesn't mean I don't desire them to be part of my collection.  I still have a saved eBay search for McCovey 1/1 and get a daily email if/when new cards are posted for sale or auction.  Most these days seem to be sketch cards by random people as opposed to cards coming out of packs and boxes.  When one does pop up that I am interested in, I will throw out a bid just in case the card comes in within my budget and recently I was able to get one in this fashion.

A nice Cyan Printing Plate. While the back shows it is from 2014 Panini Hall of Fame baseball, these plates were inserted in the 2015 product.  I was able to get this for under the price of a blaster and I am really happy with the card. This plate has a lot of detail and presents quite nice.  Willie's face and even the grains and logo from his bat are easy to see.  I am now up to 1275 different cards of my favorite player!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

I Can Finally Share the Goods Night Owl Sent My Way

Night Owl sent me some cards a little while back and as we are known to do back and forth some trash was talked in a little note that was in the package:

 It stung a bit, despite all their injuries and the ridiculous payroll of the Dodgers, my Giants had a chance to win the division title if they took 3 or 4 or swept the Dodgers in a late season series.  What happened?  They got swept and Greg was all too happy to point it out.  In all fairness, I would have done the same thing back to him if the tables were turned so it was all in good fun.

However when I got his trade pack with this note enclosed, I didn't even open it for a few days, I let it sit on my desk on top of the note.  I finally did open it up and there were some nice cards.  Then the Dodgers exited the playoffs in their usual fashion and I feel a little better about sharing the goods.  Here are some of the highlights:

 A nice group of inserts across the top and an insert, short printed base and oddball along the bottom.  I really like the Hot Streak insert set. It was retail only and I recently finished the set so it is nice to have a Panda for my Giants binder.  I really like the Turkey Red design and after the set was discontinued Topps use the design for inserts for a year or two, I am a fan and glad to have this Cepeda.  Cards like this Mel Ott remind me how closely the Mets utilized the Giants color scheme.

Here are 3 more cards that happen to be my 3 favorite.  The Posey and Bumgarner are from a retail team set of a bunch of NL All Stars.  I bought the set but have left it sealed so I am very happy to be able to include these Buster and MadBum cards in my Giants binder.  This Cordier card finishes my Topps Chrome base set, very cool.

Thanks Greg for the cards and I am always happy to help you purge the Giants from your collection.  Hey Dodger fans, what do you think about Mattingly's departure???

Saturday, October 24, 2015

COMC Purchase #1 - Set Needs & Giants

I loaded some money into my COMC account a few months back and have been slowly adding cards that I need to my collection.  I recently had them mailed to me and decided to break up the goods into two posts.  This one will feature my set needs and the Giants cards I picked up.

This Jim Palmer Hot Streak card finishes of this insert set from 2015 Topps Series 2 and finishes off the insert sets that I plan on collecting.  I am pretty happy that I finished off both Series 1 and 2 prior to the release of the Update set.  Speaking of which, for the first time in a long time I am not buying a Jumbo box and went onto eBay and bought a complete set plus 5 insert sets.  It only cost me $93 which is less than a Jumbo box.  While I will miss cracking open the packs, I decided to do this to save a few bucks and because the set size was increased and I was afraid my Jumbo box wouldn't get me close enough to the set.

These 2 cards are from the 2012 Topps Archives Football set.  If I recall, I bought a blaster or two of this product back when it came out then got a box a year or two later on a Black Friday deal.  I was able to pick up the few base cards I needed quickly and was chipping away at the SPs.  These are the final 2 SPs and this set moves from the working set shelves to the completed set shelves.  I love finishing off sets!

This is a set that might take me a while to finish, these are 4 SPs from 2014 Topps Archives.  In 2012 and 2013 I completed the entire sets of Archives including the SPs.  In 2014 I was on the fence but after tracking these 4 down for very reasonable prices I will probably pursue the rest.  This will probably be my main target during Black Friday this year on COMC, I usually go after the Heritage SPs I need but I did even collect that set this year.  I now only need 13 of the 50ish cards to finish this off.

This is a set, 2009 Finest, that I was never sure I was going to pursue.  I bought a couple boxes back in 2009 but still had a fairly sizable list of base card I needed.  Plus the Letter Patch/Autos are also considered part of the base set.  Luckily I had pulled the biggest Letter Patch Auto in one of my boxes in David Price.  I recently found a seller on Sportlots that had every card but one I needed for the base set for low shipping and 18 cents/card so I decided to finish off the non-auto portion of the set.  I took to COMC to get the Snider base card and decided to look for any cheap auto. I secured these 3 and now need just 6 to finish off this set.  Probably another Black Friday target for me.

No order would be complete for me without a few Giants cards.  The two Will Clark cards are from those Fleer late 80s box sets.  I have been thinking of some goals for 2016 and I think Giants cards from these smaller sets may be an area of pursuit for me.  I have found recently that my checklists are necessarily complete with some of the sets so in addition to finding the cards I need, I will need to make sure I have all the Giants cards listed.

The Matt Williams card is the last of the 4 card Mother's cookies set that I needed, glad to finish it off.  The 1990 Fleer Giants Logo card is off a box bottom, there is still a Kevin Mitchell that I need to track down.  The final card is of the more recent variety, a True Colors insert of Willie Mays from Stadium Club.  The Say Hey Kid is one of 4 Giants in this insert set and the only one I current have. I will need to track those other 3 down as these cards look great in person.

The final 2 cards of this post feature 2014 Autos of former Giants prospects.  I occasionally seek out cheap Giants Autos and Relics when searching through COMC and these two were a buck or two each so I decided to add them.

My next COMC post will feature cards I picked up for my player collections.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Why Can't the Normal Base Cards Be This Good

Last year I did a post on the short printed variations that Topps has inserted in their products the last few years.  My feelings were somewhat mixed in that post and there were quite a comments sharing thoughts.  I just saw a list of parallels in the new 2015 Topps Update release and expect some team and set collectors will again be applauding the additional options or demonstrating frustration at the challenge in chasing these cards down.

Back in 2013 Topps included this variation SP of Buster Posey:
I wasn't aggressively seeking it out but ran across an auction for this card recently with a low opening bid.  I place a bid of a few bucks on it and was lucky enough to bring it home.  This card is great in several ways.  First it is showing the best catcher in baseball making an amazing catch against the screen.  Next you have the kid decked out in Giants gear with his eyes close smashing up against the netting.  You have a trio of female spectators either watching the flight of the ball or laughing at the kid.  The image is perfectly captured and frame in a landscape format.

I am excited about having this card in my collection but the question that won't leave by brain is why can't the normal base cards put out by Topps be this good all the time?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Joy of a Completed Set - 2012 Panini Triple Play

Over the last 10 days or so I have added some great cards to my collection.  I may not be blogging much lately but I am adding some great stuff to my collection.  One area of focus has been trying to finish off some sets and today I am going to share a card I picked up that only a set collector can love.

This card is a Real Feel Pants relic card out of 2012 Panini Triple Play:

Triple Play contains cards that are cartoonish in nature.  There are several subsets within the set including a run of 6 generic relic cards.  These cards contain a piece of a uniform that has no ties to any specific person or event, really it is just a piece of cut up uniform from a sporting goods store - some might argue that card companies have done something similar to this but misrepresented it as authentic.

When this set came out, I really liked it.  The design was new and fresh and the packs were cheap.  I believe my LCS sold me boxes of 30-36 packs for $25 or $30.  I decided I would put the set together and was successful in all areas but these relic cards.  A few of them came easy to me but I struggled to find the Batting Glove, Fielding Glove and Pants relics (the other 3 are Jersey, Base and Bat).  The two gloves entered my collection quite a ways back but the Pants relic was nowhere to be found.  Once came up for auction a few months back but went for close to $20 and I just couldn't see paying that for the card. 

My patience paid off when I recently picked up this card for $2 plus shipping on eBay.  Never has such a generic card made me so happy.  Typically sets that take a long time to complete have some pretty serious cards as the final pieces (i.e. my 1973 Mike Schmidt rookie to complete 1973 Topps) but this was just a random piece of baseball pant but I still felt the joy of a completed set.

Monday, October 19, 2015

McCovey Monday #79 - 1967 Bazooka

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.

It has been quite a while since I have been able to pick up a new Willie McCovey card from during his playing career.  I was super excited to see this card pop up on one of my saved searches at a fairly reasonable Buy It Now price.  It was a little higher than I wanted to spend so I shot the seller an offer, he countered at something within my price range and boom this card entered my collection.

This is a 1967 Bazooka card of Willie Mac.  This card is just slightly bigger than a Topps Allen & Ginter or Gypsy Queen mini card.  This is a photo that, as far as I can tell, wasn't used on any other cards during his playing career or in newer card sets which adds to the excitement of adding it to my collection.  Most of the cards I still need from the 60s for my McCovey collection are going to be pretty costly and I am so happy to knock one off the want list.  These Bazooka cards are great despite a fairly simplistic design and blank back.  One of these days in the distant future I may go after one of these sets but for now I am going to enjoy my new Willie McCovey card.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Hoping to Bring Some Much Needed Luck to my USC Trojans

It hasn't been an easy few years being a USC Trojan fan.  Between coaching changes, legal issues, unfair sanctions and unfulfilled expectations there seems to be new disappointments almost every week.  I went to the USC vs. UW game about 10 days ago and poor play mixed with some very questionable coaching led to an unexpected loss and apparently led our Head Coach to drink which resulted in a suspension then firing.  Coach Sark had proven to be a good recruiter but the team hadn't put it together on the field so this Trojan fan isn't upset about his exit.

Now we find ourselves at 3-2, out of the rankings and with an interim coach facing the Fighting Irish tonight at 4:30 PST.  This is a game I typically don't miss but I have a wedding to attend tonight so I will tape it and hopefully bury my head in the sand, keep the score a mystery and stay up late after the wedding to watch.  I am fully expecting disappointment once again but a guy can dream.

In order to try and do something the bring the Trojans some luck I thought I would post some  Trojan pick ups to see if the appearance of some of their past stars will inspire them.  It also will help clear out my scan folder a bit as I have quite a few.

 This is a 1/1 Autographed printing plate of former SC TE Anthony McCoy.  I dabbled with Supercollecting McCoy early on and was able to get a few 1/1s on the cheap but then someone else with some deep pockets started outbidding me.  I still stay on the lookout but it is rare for me to get one of his limited print run cards these days.

 Cushing is a beast, I remember him just blowing up offenses during his days at USC. This dual jersey/hat relic is numbered 49/50, a very nice pick up.

 This is my most recent pick up in this group, a bid board win for $3.  I believe I saw that Buck Allen may be in line for some significant playing time with the Ravens over the next couple weeks. I hope he can take advantage of it.  This is numbered 50/100 - since it is the middle one printed does that make it an eBay 1/1 :-)

 Galippo only had about 15 non-1/1 cards produced and I have 4 of them including this blue version of his Leaf Draft card.  I seem to recall he had some injury challenges in college and it doesn't look like he made it to an NFL roster.  He was signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2010 and was there for a couple of months during the off season and was cut.  He currently is a color guy for high school football.

 One of my favorite Trojans of all time.  RIP Junior.

 This guy has a ton of cards for someone who really didn't do a ton as an NFL player.  He was the #1 RB recruit coming to USC and leaving his home town LSU Tigers behind.  He was hailed as the next Reggie Bush but didn't ever live up to those expectations and was involved in some controversy a couple of times including being banned by the team in his final bowl game.

 I couple of sweet looking cards of defensive star Lawrence Jackson.  He was great at USC and had an up and down 5 year NFL career with the Lions and Seahawks.  I worked with his mom during his time at USC and after being drafted and that connection always leads to a little extra excitement when I pick up his cards.

 I little while ago I did a quick search to see how LenDale White's cards were faring when it came to resell price.  I was reminiscing about the 2006 card collecting season when Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart joined White in most card products.  LenDale's cards sold for quite a bit back then but I was able to pick up one of his more desirable rookie autos for a pretty low price.

 Marc's claim to fame was being the son of former Rams and 49ers star Wendell Tyler.  He was solid at SC but never made it into an NFL game.

Mark Sanchez's career so far is fairly well chronicled.  His cards were super hot after he was drafted and I was lucky enough to pull a couple autos out of box breaks.  I of course held on to them despite some pretty hefty offers from fellow Trojan fans in Orange County.  In hindsight I probably should have sold high and looked at reacquiring them now but I will never forget the excitement of pulling a manupatch auto out of Prestige in a 3 pack purchase.

 Lee only had 3 catches this year as he battles injuries.  I like this card in large part due to the 3 different jersey pieces used in the card - I love it when card companies take this type of care.

 Similar to LenDale White and Mark Sanchez, Matt Leinart's cards have come down a ton since he was the #10 overall pick.  I know his pro career didn't meet expectations but I have yet to see a college QB that was better.  His is a collection I wouldn't mind beefing up with some additional card pick ups.

 I got this card in a Sportlots auction, it wasn't too much but I do remember a little bit of a bidding war.  It looks and feels like a Superfractor but has no numbering.  There should be a 1/1 on there but it doesn't exist.  This is either an error card or some card that Topps released after the fact. I just got it because it is cool.

 I think Leaf did a nice job with this set and I am so glad there are so many cards with players in their college uniform.  This card scanned nice and shiny and is that way in person as well.

 Not a ton to say about Rhett, a solid TE.  He didn't think he was going to be drafted and went in the 4th round to the Vikings and he still plays for them.

 Going old school here, remember when a card serial numbered to 2815 was rare?  I was surprised I didn't already have this card of the former USC signal caller.

 Similar to Anthony McCoy, I shortly dabbled with supercollection All-Pro Center Ryan Kalil.  He is a stud offensive lineman but ultimately my collecting interests went in a different direction.  I had an old Kalil 1/1 search in eBay and came across this for a low price so I decided to pick it up.

Finally a nice dual jersey of CB Terrell Thomas. I really enjoy the Threads cards from 2008 (I have the auto version of LoJack above), this card looks great. Thomas had a pretty solid NFL career as well but has some injury woes.

All right, I am finished.  I doubt many, if any, made it this far but I am hoping the presence of this post helps my team rally against Notre Dame later today. Fight On!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Just for the "F" of it #4

I have decided to start a series of posts featuring some of the cards that hold a special place in my collection despite not fitting into a specific collecting category and I call them cards I have Just For The "F" Of It (as in fun).

I don't watch much basketball anymore. I can't fully pinpoint why but I think there are several factors:
  • My pro team of choice stinks and has for quite some time - the Sacramento Kings
  • The game has evolved to be mostly 3 point shooting and I am more of a fan of the point guard/power forward or center dominated game of the late 80s and early 90s
  • With a wife and 3 kids I am super busy and something had to go
  • My college team of choice stinks and has for quite some time - the USC Trojans
I am sure there are a lot of others as well.

What I do enjoy is the inclusion of some of the players I grew up watching appearing in new basketball products.  I have had the good fortune of picking up some really nice cards of NBA players at really nice prices.

This is a card I won of the LCS bid board a little while back:
This is an on-card auto from 2013 Crown Royale of 4-time NBA All-Star Maurice Cheeks.  This blue parallel is numbered 07/49.  I have fond memories of Cheeks with the 76ers playing with my favorite player at the time, Charles Barkley at the beginning of Sir Charles NBA career.  He was a lock down defender and offensive playmaker.  Interestingly he only played one season with the Hawks towards the end of his career which makes this photo selection a little odd however I am very happy to have this card in my collection, just for the fun of it.