Monday, November 21, 2016

McCovey Monday #90 - 2008 SP Legendary Cuts Memorable Moments 1/1

My favorite player of all time is Hall of Famer Willie McCovey.  I have amassed a collection of over 1300 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.

For the second time in recent weeks I was able to add another 1/1 to my Willie McCovey player collection, this time from 2008 SP Legendary Cuts.  It is a pretty nice looking card, check it out:

This card highlights a pretty amazing double header performance my McCovey where he hit 3-run homers in both games of a doubleheader.  I miss doubleheaders, my dad and I used to go to an annual Giants/Dodgers doubleheader in SF each year when they were regularly scheduled.  In fact, the last time I saw McCovey play was during a doubleheaders in his final season.

This card to me has some pluses and minuses.  On the positive, it is a pretty solid design.  I like the color portrait in the foreground and the black and white action photo in the back.  The Memorable Moment is recessed in a small cut out area.  Perhaps my favorite element is his nickname, Stretch, being prominently displayed under his portrait.  On the negative, this is somewhat of an artificial 1/1 in my opinion.  There are quite a few of these out there where just the Memorable Moment cut out is swapped for a different career highlight.

This is my first of these to make it into my collection.  I will keep my eyes open for more but at this point it has been crossed off my want list.  I am pretty excited to have added 2 new 1/1s over the last few weeks.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

One of the Few Perks of Work Travel

One of the draws to my new job in Kansas was less travel.  At the peak of my career from a travel perspective I was going 2-4 nights/week about 3 weeks per month.  Since relocating here over the summer, I think I have only gone on 4 trips, less than 1/month.  I have been trying to limit the trips as much as possible - for example I flew out to Los Angeles last week and left on a 6:40 AM flight on Monday and returned on a 6:25 PM flight on Tuesday.  The quick turnaround didn't allow me to stop by my old LCS even through I drove right by the exit.

However, about 5 weeks ago I traveled to Sacramento for a couple meetings and made a week of it.  I decided to stay a little longer so I could visit my mom and a couple of friends in the evenings. I also found time to look for any card shops.  I believe there are a few in the area, I happened to track one down near the down town area.  It had a couple good yelp reviews.

When I entered, it was dominated by non-sports stuff.  Lots of comic books, Magic and Pokeman cards, etc.  They did have a few packs of sports cards on the wall and a display case.  The display case had some stacks of Giants, A's, 49ers and Raiders but was pretty disheveled and disorganized.  Most of the Giants I could see were already part of my collection but I saw this guy peeking out:

It had a $30 price tag on it which I thought was slightly high but not too out of range for a 4 color patch.  I picked up a couple packs of Heritage High Number and Heritage Minors and the guy knocked $5 off the price of this card.  Nothing of note in the packs but I was pretty happy to bring this beauty home for just over the price of a blaster. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Topps Redemption Replacement

About a month back I got a postage due notice from the post office for just over $7.  I was frustrated and was about to just abandon the package but I noticed that the senders was denoted as "Topps".  I have 2 pretty nice Giants redemptions sitting in my queue on Topps website and I could risk missing out on those cards.

I put some cash in the provided envelope and waited a couple of days to receive the package.  When I opened up the package I had this letter waiting for me:

I had totally forgotten about this redemption but pulled it back in 2012 out of a blaster of Topps Chrome Football.

 As the letter stated, the replacement was this refractor auto of WR Jarvis Landry, not the greatest card or player but I am sure the value is comparable to the card that was replaced.

Here is the bonus card that was included.  It is a nicely designed card but the player leaves something to be desired.

As an added bonus, I also received a pack of cards.  I believe this was one of those pack redemption offers.  The cards with the blue wave borders present pretty nicely.  The RG3 was on the top and the bottom was covered up.  I decided to open the pack and received a couple other rookie cards along with a rookie auto of RB Alfred Morris.
I am guessing Topps is trying to clear out everything football at this point since losing their license and I suspect I got higher value than the card I had redeemed.  None of these cards fit snugly in my collection so if there is someone out there that is interested in any of them, drop me a note.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

My First Experience with Panini Points

I picked up a blaster of Donruss Optics a little while back and pulled my first Panini Points.  I have heard and read some discussions about these points and it seems like most collectors aren't fans of the program.  On high end products like Immaculate or Flawless, I get it.  You pay hundreds of dollars for a box of cards, you should get your cards.  However, out of a blaster, I saw this as a bonus and went shopping.

I only got 150 points which is pretty low and about the fewest amount of points to secure a card.  I found the web site to be very user friendly.  I was able to select the point range I wanted to shop in, the sport and even the team I was interested in.  I of course went right to the Giants and after a little pondering, selected this relic card:

I admit the big, logoless hat staring right at you isn't the most attractive, but I decided I liked the large swatch and the overall Silhouette design.  As I reflect back on the experience, I think I would have been very happy to pull a Giants relic out of any blaster so I am a fan of my first Panini Points experience.

Monday, November 14, 2016

McCovey Monday #89 - 2016 Topps 5x7 Past, Present, and Future

My favorite player of all time is Hall of Famer Willie McCovey.  I have amassed a collection of over 1300 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.

My last McCovey Monday post shared a 5x7 card that was a jumbo version of a 2016 Stadium Club Legends inserts.  The card I am sharing today has no smaller parallel:

This is one of those 5x7 Topps releases and is limited to 99 copies.  I didn't buy it directly from Topps but picked it up on eBay at a price I think was significantly less than Topps sold if for.  This card has a lot going for it, I really like the take off on the 1971 Topps design.  The pictures work and I like the idea of a player from three different generations.  The biggest downside is apparent to any Giants fan - Gary Brown was released early in the season and is no longer a member of the Giants.  Also I think it was a stretch at any point to compare him to a Hall of Famer like McCovey or a star like Pence.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The State of Sports in Kansas

As any regular reader of my blog know, I made a move from Southern California to Kansas over the summer.  My first observations from a sport fan perspective is that this population is pretty crazy for the Royals.  Seems more people than not are wearing Royals hat or t shirts around town. The Chiefs are talked about a bit but don't seem to be has beloved as their Royals counterparts.

Over the last couple weeks, I have started to recognize where the true passion of this area lies - College Hoops.  I have witnessed passionate debate, arguments and just tons of discussion about college hoops.  There are huge fan bases of Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri in my office and throughout the community.

Personally I have fallen out of love with college hoops.  During my time at USC our team was real good, making the tournament two years in a row and earning 1 #2 seed one season.  During college and for a few years after I was a college hoops junkie attending a couple tournament sites and hitting Las Vegas for the opening weekend of the tournament a few times to immerse myself in March Madness.  As life progressed however, certain sports things have had to be sacrificed - college hoops has been the biggest sport I have left behind.  With little passion around the college variety of hoops in So Cal and my team not having consistent success it was a natural outcome.

With my new area being so passionate, it is time for me to reconnect with college hoops.  I have yet to pick a local team, will I go with the perennial title contender in KU or one of the other solid programs in K State and UM?  Not sure yet but one certain way to reconnect is to pick up and share some cards for my Harold Miner/Baby Jordan collection.

The former USC star and Slam Dunk Champion has seen a few new releases over the past 3-4 years and I am happy to pick up these newer cards as I track them down.  There are quite a few cards I am showing and I know that basketball isn't the most popular sport on the blogs.  I would challenge you to at least scan through the cards and let me know if the quality of these cards and their design makes you yearn for Upper Deck as a player in the baseball card market as much as it does me.

This trio comes from an Upper Deck set titled March Madness Collection that was put out in 2014-15.  Miner has 2 base cards in the set, the one in the upper left is a short print, the regular base is a colorized version of the card in the top right.  Both of those cards have Sepia parallels and I now have both.  There are two Miner autographs, basically stickers on the design of each of the regular cards. I had picked up the regular version quite some time ago and with this gold foil version of the SP I now have all 6 Harold Miner cards for the set.

These two cards come from another 2014-15 Upper Deck release, Letterman.   With these two I now have 3 of the 6 cards, the base, the blue parallel card on the left and the silver Autograph on the right.  Note the serial number 2/3!  Left to track down are a unnumbered autograph, a gold parallel of the base /5 and a silver parallel to the base /15. I would usually say those last two aren't probably going to happen but since I picked up the auto /3, I guess anything's possible.

 Speaking of cards numbered /3, I was able to pick up 2 of the 3 red parallels of this SP Authentic set.  After picking up one of these the second popped up and I decided to put a pretty low bid in on the auction and was shocked I won the auction.  I guess I will keep my eyes open for the 1/3 to complete the trifecta.

This card is a super thick shadowbox card from 2012-13 Exquisite.  Despite the thickness, it doesn't feel all that heavy.  I am guessing the three dimensional nature led to the set being call Dimensions.  The card isn't numbered but does have a nice on-card autograph.  Beckett says it was limited to 70 copies.  I will not be able to fit this into a binder page, it is just too thick.

Next up is this card from 2013-14 Upper Deck Black called Chalk Signatures.  The card itself is a unique texture, not quite like a chalkboard but it looks like it.  With the white signature it does look like it was written in chalk. As you can probably see, the card is numbered 35/40.  There is also a Logo Signatures card out of this release I am trying to track down.  I don't think I have seen one yet but if it is anywhere close to as nice as this one, it will be welcome into my collection.

 Another UD Black card is this sweet logo patch auto.  Also numbered /40, I really like the big Trojans logo in the center.  The gold ink matches perfectly with the gold lettering of the card - one of my favorites. 

Here are a couple versions of Miner's Exquisite card.  The top one is the base and is numbered /75. It is almost impossible for me to see the numbers, it is on the left side of the seal behind Harold kind of even with his jersey numbering.  I embarrassed myself a bit by contacting the seller arguing that he send me an unnumbered version.  He pointed out that a) there is no unnumbered base card in Exquisite and b) while he didn't know where it was he was certain the number was there.  I looked and looked and finally saw it.  The bottom card is the black autographed version of the card.  This one truly isn't numbered.  Kind of an odd card being so dark and the back is just the same, hard to read the text and super dark.  But the card has grown on me.

This card, like the Dimensions card, is also out of 2012-13 Exquisite.  This is the Impressions card and in addition to a nice on-card signature, Miner inscribed it with his nickname, Baby Jordan. Despite the sloppy nature of the "d" in Jordan, I think this is a heck of a card.  After he didn't live up fully to the hype in the pros, Harold shied away from his nickname and I am glad to see he has started to re-embrace it.  I actually found a guy selling 2 or 3 of the only 20 copies as a lot on eBay.  I reached out to him and made a deal to get this one, while I really like the card, I didn't see why I would need more than one copy.

Shortly after picking up the Exquisite card with Baby Jordan on it, this card came up on eBay.  I had to jump on it.  This card isn't numbered but I have never seen another on eBay so I have to assume it is fairly short printed.  I am glad to have it in my collection.

 This dual signature eluded me for quite a while but I finally picked it up.  I am a Spud Webb fan from his Slam Dunk championship and his time with my Sacramento Kings.  I am assuming they are paired as former college stars, Slam Dunk Champions and guys that were a little shorter that many of their peers.  I think it is a solid match.

My last modern card to share is the Year of the Horse booklet card.  I can't say I understand the premise of this card but it is pulled off nicely.  I am sure I have mentioned this before but my only beef with booklet cards is that I don't have a nice way to display them.  I typically keep them in plastic cases and have to open them up and dump them out to enjoy the.

Finally a card you may wonder why I would even scan and share it.  This is the First Day parallel from 1995-96 Stadium Club.  Despite all the awesome cards above, I may have been equally or even more excited to get this card versus all the others.  I started collecting Miner cards in the mid 90s and this card had eluded me for years.  To add it to my collection and knock it off the want list felt great.  My Miner want list is pretty small with mostly oddballs so to know this card off the list was a big accomplishment.

There you have it, my newest Harold Miner additions.  Need to keep my eyes open for those rare cards missing from my collection and figure out which local team to support.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Black Tuesday Trade Post

I am sitting in my basement listening to the election returns, closer than I think most people thought it would be at this point.  However, my Black Tuesday title reference has nothing to do with politics. Instead it signifies the beautiful trade package I received today from Matt, the author of the Bubba' Bangin' Batch of Baseball Bits blog (that is a lot of B's!).

Matt recently posted about a huge almost case of 2016 Allen and Ginter X he picked up.  I shot him a note and asked about any Giants he might have and, boom!, I now have a complete team set.

Isn't that pretty???  I like the black background with the Giants uniforms.  But Matt didn't stop there, he asked if I had any 2015 Ginter X needs.  I had picked up a couple and sent him the list of the rest of my needs and look what else was in the package:

This hit on all my needs with the exception of a Brandon Crawford base card.  However, I did get a Crawford A&G back mini.  A team set that I had pretty much given up on is now within reach with just one card to track down.

Matt, thanks for the awesome package?  I plan on looking through your want list and seeing what help I can send your way.

For all the other bloggers and readers who have so generously sent me cards over the last few months, my goal it to eventually get your cards and my thanks posted.  I greatly appreciate the generosity of the blogging community and I am finally getting organized enough to post and send return packages with some vacation days coming up between now and the end of the year.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

Congratulations to the Cubs!  It isn't every year that the best team for the entire season wins the World Series, great season by the Cubs.  I actually started writing this post when the Cubs were up 6-3. I was planning on finishing it after the win and getting to bed.  You see, even after 4+ months I still struggle with how late sporting events end in the Central Time Zone.

I did stay up and watch the end of the game and parts of the celebration then went to work the next day in a zombie-like trance - this guy needs more than 4 1/2 hours of sleep to function at full speed.

Game 7 was one of the best games I have ever watched and since I didn't have a dog in the race, I found my support going back and forth throughout the series and even throughout the last game.  There was a part of me that hoped the Cubs would lose in tragic fashion to keep up the story of the curse but ultimately I am pretty happy they pulled it out.  I think of all the Cubs greats from the past, some of who were alive to see this and some who passed before it happened and the fact their Cubbies won it all makes me smile.

Congratulations to the 2016 Cubs, Cubs fans everywhere and great Cubs from the past.