Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Just for the "F" of it #6

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 haven't done one of these in a while so I decided to do a double feature today and share a couple of basketball cards that I picked up for my collection.  Both were bid board wins from my LCS that closed down a few weeks back and these are the types of cards I am going to most likely miss out on with the closure of that store.  I may not have ever sought out these cards but when I saw them for sale and could pick them up and check them out I decide to make a bid and eventually bring them home.

 This first card is an auto/relic of Danny Manning from 2014-15 National Treasures.  Manning was never really a favorite of mine but his pro career started with the Clippers right before I entered college at USC.  At the time the Clippers played at the Sports Arena which was right off campus and we could walk over and pick up a ticket on the cheap for just about any game.   I probably saw him play a couple dozen times.  He wasn't the prototypical power forward of the day like Charles Barkley or Karl Malone but he was pretty skilled and talented - it was fun to watch him play.

When I saw this cool swatch, it looks like part of a wrist band or some kind of trip and I love how Panini made it Red/White/Blue, along with an on-card autograph numbered to only 25 from a high end product I had to put in a bid. I believe I brought it home for somewhere between $5-8.

The other card I decided to share today for the F of it is this 2012-13 Timeless Treasures auto of Hall of Famer, All-Star and Dream Teamer Chris Mullin.  Mullin's career started a little before Manning's but there was some significant overlap.  Mullin started with the Warriors when I was in high school and cheering on my home town Sacramento Kings.  The teams were somewhat rivals.  When Run TMC broke up with Mitch Richmond going to the Kings and Billy Owens going to the Warriors the battles heated up and that is where some of my best memories of Mullin come from.  This card is numbered 030/199 and was in the same price range as the Manning.

I am virtually certain that I was drawn to these cards because these players played at the peak of my NBA fandom.  I am more of a casual fan but during college my group of friends and I would watch basketball often, watch Sports Center every night, started our own fantasy league and collected hoops cards together.  Fun times and great memories.

Monday, December 28, 2015

McCovey Monday #81 - Oyo Figurine

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 haven't done a McCovey Monday post in a little while and this time I am not going to share a card.  Recently I picked up this cool Oyo action figure of Willie on eBay.  I had been eyeing one for quite a while but finally decided to pull the trigger on one for about $12 delivered right before Christmas.

Here is the front and back of the box:
The front of the box displays the figuring nicely and has a good graphic.  I am glad they have the proper graphic from each player and didn't just go with something generic for all the figures.  The licensing is a great touch so the Giants logo is in use.  The back is nice showing Willie Mac's Hall of Fame plaque and some stats down the left side.  I find it curious that one of the stats shown is the number of outs he made.  Seems like his 521 Home Runs would have been a better one.

When I took off the cellophane, here is how it is packaged:
 As you can see, in addition to the figure, you get a home plate, a bat, a ball and glove as promised on the front.  I think they did a solid job in building a package to contain the pieces.

Here is the figure:
 Of course I had to build him!  Here is Stretch with all his equipment from the front view.  This uniform is patterned after his late career, 2nd pass through with the Giants - the uniform of my use.

Here is the back with his name across the top of the uniform number.  I am guessing that each figurine had it's own unique identification number.  Not sure what that adds.  I am very happy with this purchase and it will look nice displayed in my room.

I gave a fleeting thought to going after all the Giants but did a quick eBay search and realized the checklist is deep (guys like Marco Scutaro and Jean Machi have figures).  The only other 2 retired Giants legends I saw were Orlando Cepeda and Juan Marichal.  For now I am just going to enjoy my McCovey Oyo Figurine.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

My 1956 Topps President Set is Complete!

I have been working on the 1956 Topps Presidents set for a couple of years.  I was lucky enough to pick up a majority of the set from a Sportlots seller.  He was listing the cards individually, usually 2-3 at a time and I picked up quite a few of them.  I have been plugging the holes for the last few months and made a goal to finish this set in 2015.  I made it just under the wire.  

Here are the final 3 cards I picked up to finish the set:

I have actually had the Millard Fillmore for a couple of months which left me with our 1st and 2nd Presidents to finish up the set.  I found the Washington for a $5.95 opening bid and $2.54 shipping.  I made an opening bid of $6 and was unopposed so I took it home for about $8.50.  Then the quest was on to find a reasonably conditioned and priced Adams.  I got this one for $5.30 delivered on a buy it now and when it got here a couple days before Christmas my set was complete.

I really like the look of these cards with the portrait in the foreground and a cool scene in the background filling out the card.

I have showed off many of these cards in prior posts but I thought I would share the entire 36 card set for your viewing pleasure:

Trade Post - Johnny's Trading Spot

One of the downsides of my lack of posting lately has been an inability to formally thank those of you that have sent cards my way.  Time to start rectifying that.  I figured I would start with the oldest scans I have in the old folder and these go back to summer time and a great batch of cards from John over at Johnny's Trading Spot

 This scan shows some of the variety in the package with some Tim Lincecum's including a nice die cut, a Premier card from 1992, a Marlins card for my collection of dudes pictured in Giants unis, a tiny micro card and a couple of scratch offs.  I am tempted to play this game with the scratch offs, I have a few lying around.  I actually do remember getting these as a kid and playing the game with a couple buddies.

These cards were all needs and I was super excited to see them all.  They all finished off team sets or are stand alone singles as the only Giants represented in the set.  I can't tell you how many times I have gone out to track down the Jack Clark cartoon and never pulled the trigger.  The Pure Heat die cut insert comes from a great set put out during the end of Upper Deck's baseball run.

Here are 4 more cards that fit nicely into the Giants collection with an insert and 3 parallels.  I can't believe a set as large as Topps Total has a parallel set, wonder if anyone ever tried putting that thing together?

 This black border Gypsy Queen mini was a great surprise when it popped out of the pack.  I wish I would have more actively pursued these when Gypsy Queen was released as I think a Giants team set would look pretty amazing in a binder page.

I love it when traders toss in Giants stickers, stamps and holograms.  I have a a huge stack and have been toying around with some ideas of how to display them - haven't settled on the final idea yet.

Finally my favorite 3 cards of the trade package.  Not only are these cards of 3 of my favorite players and cool oddball cards, they didn't appear on my Giants master checklist.  I really like finding cards that aren't on my checklist and getting them added in - it makes the OCD part of me feel like my checklist is a little closer to being 100% accurate.

Thanks John for the great bunch of cards and sorry it took me so long to post.  I really appreciate the cards!

Monday, December 21, 2015

I finished a Vintage Set Older than Me!

Back in September, I posted about getting 3 of the final 6 cards I needed to finish up my 1970 Topps set.  Two of the 3 I needed were going to cost me a pretty penny so I put in some eBay searches with email notifications and tried to patiently get a good deal.  Luckily it didn't take too long and for the first time ever, the last card I needed wasn't a big hit (see 1973 Mike Schmidt RC, 1981 Joe Montana RC, 1975 George Brett) and was instead this high number of Sam McDowell:

The McDowell wasn't actually real easy to track down which was a little surprising to me.  There was a time there weren't any on eBay and I had to go to a random site I found through a Google search to secure this card.

This next card is one I already had a copy of, Willie Mays.
The other Mays of course resides in my Giants binders.  Back in 2010-11 when I decided to go full out on my Giants collection, I made the decision to get duplicate copies of cards if I collected the set in addition to the Giants.  While it makes my binders look nice and more complete, it is a little more costly.

The final card of the trio is the sweet looking Johnny Bench:
This is one of my favorite cards in the set.  I like the pinstriped and stirruped Reds uni, Bench's pose on what looks like a Spring Training field with a sweet grandstand in the background and the youthful photo of Johnny.  I have a couple reprints of this card that Topps has put out in recent years and am doubly happy to have an original.

Completing this set was one of my 2015 collecting priorities and I am glad to finish the set that came out the year before I was born.  Two sets to go to finish my run of 1970s Topps sets.

Friday, December 18, 2015

My Take on Time

A couple days back Night Owl posted about Time, I doubt anyone who has found their way to my blog missed his but in case you did, I would recommend checking it out.

In summary Night Owl indicates that he doesn't have the time to blog - life is too busy - however he really wants to so he somehow makes the time to blog.  The post spoke to me and actually inspired me to write my first post in over a month - because I wanted to.

I have many of the same time pulls that many of you do - wife, kids, job, pets, crazy life changes, etc.  I have used these in the past to explain away lapses in blog posting and I did believe that to be the driver of my lack of posting.  But about a week ago I realized that exactly what Night Owl indicated in his post was true - when I don't post it is because I don't want to - I don't make the time for it.

The proof for me has been the last week or so.  The stars have aligned in my life (kids' homework winding down with Christmas Break coming, many of my work projects coming together, fewer and shorter family visits coming up for Christmas, quite a few vacation days, etc.) and for about a week I have actually have some significant periods of virtually free time.  I kept telling myself that when I had a few free moments I would get back on the blog posting train and pump out some posts but it didn't happen.

So what have I been up to?  My hobby hasn't suffered - I have been buying quite a few cards and working to get a little more organized.  I am also working on redoing my want list which is taking tons of time.  Most of my post writing is done late in the evening after everyone has gone to bed but I have been going to bed a little earlier and my wife has been staying up later - bad for the posting, great for the relationship.  I have been catching up on some TV watching - I watched the entire second season of Gothem (great show) that I had DVR'd  and watched a couple 30 for 30s including Trojan War about my USC Trojans from the Pete Carroll era.  I have wanted to do things other than post.

I have gotten quite a few packages in the mail from fellow bloggers - thanks to all of you - and have started working on some return packages.  Since I poached off his blog post, I might as well share the cards Night Owl sent my way:

First off, a nice assortment of 2015 Giants.  I am virtually certain Greg cringes every time a Giant pops up in a pack of his cards but I am happy as they usually make their way to the ARPSmith household.

I also got this great looking card.  I love Orange swatches on Giants relics and this Belt happened to be the final Gypsy Queen Relic I needed from 2013.  I love it when things come together like this!

Greg, thanks for the cards, I appreciate them, and thanks for inspiring me to want to write up a post.  One of several reasons that, despite your questionable taste in baseball teams, you are the best.  I personally appreciate your desire to blog almost every day, I hope you continue long into the future.