Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Buster SP Mail Day

Today I received 2 PWEs in the mail that have quite a bit in common.  Each contained just one card but both are cards I am very happy to add to my collection.

1st up:

I finally picked up Buster Posey's 2016 Topps Heritage short printed base card.  This card had eluded me for quite some time and I could never pick it up for what I considered a reasonable price.  After a little searching a couple of days ago, I found this card for a price I could stomach and now my team set from last year is complete.  My favorite aspect of this card is the 2014 World Series patch showing up around the "GI" in Giants.

Next up:
During the same searching session, I decided not to all the same thing to happen again and picked up this 2017 Topps Heritage short print of Buster.  Through some packs and a couple Sportlots purchase I found myself 3 cards short of the Giants team set, I am now down to two.  I still need the 2 Giants All-Star cards of Posey and Madbum.  My favorite aspect of this card is the bat barrel with Buster's name just right so it can be seen on the card.

Pretty solid mail day!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Knocking Off Two of the Greatest Ever from the 1971 Topps Want List

My quest to complete the 1971 Topps set is getting closer to the end point.  This is my birth year set and one I set a goal to complete in 2017.  Over the last couple weeks I have been able to knock 3 cards off my want list, two of them major gets, bringing it down to 22 cards.  Two of those are from Series 3 and the rest are SPs from the high number series.  It may take some time, effort and coin but I will get it completed.

I usually save the best for last but today I am going to show the best first.

I am so happy to have picked up this Roberto Clemente card.  Obviously the condition isn't mint but t falls in line with the condition of many cards in my set.  I have been on the lookout for a decent conditioned card at a price I could swallow.  This card came my way for $30.05 delivered which I thought was a very solid price.  I know book value isn't particularly accurate and wouldn't apply to this card due to condition issues but Beckett lists this at a $150 card and I have seen similar conditioned cards sell for my higher than $30 during my quest.  Oh yeah, the auction was for two cards so in addition to this great 1971 Clemente card, I got this in the deal:

A great 1968 Topps Bob Clemente card!  Again, not great condition as it isn't centered well, the bottom right corner is pretty hairy and the edges surrounding that corner are rough but these 2 cards together to me are a steal of a deal.  Once 1971 and 1969 sets are put to rest I suspect I will go after the 1968 set as I inch towards the 1972 set.  This card will be set aside to help start that adventure. 

I did mention that I picked up a total of 3 1971 cards, here is the next one:

Outside of some centering issues, this is a pretty nice looking Series 3 card of Yanks pitcher Mel Stottlemyer.  I have found during my vintage set quests that Yankees tend to cost a premium so crossing another off the list feels nice.

While I did lead off with the "best" card in this post, I am sure not ending on a down note:

I also picked up the Series 3 card of the best all around player in baseball history Willie Mays!  While very excited to add this to my collection, Clemente probably rose to the top spot since I had already acquired a Mays for the Giants team set.  It is always great to add a card of this caliber and it really moves my want list into a space with no major stars left.  The Baylor/Baker rookie is challenging to come by at a low price and all the high numbers can be a challenge but I feel really good about my progress.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Catching Up with Dave Winfield

Probably my most neglected player collection is HOFer Dave Winfield.  When I think about the reasons a couple things come to mind.  I do have a majority of his playing day cards that aren't super rare so picking up big lots of his cards isn't typically fruitful.  Also, unlike many of the retired HOFers like George Brett, Robin Yount, Dennis Eckersley, etc. who get 200-400 cards per year in new releases, Winfield has averaged under 100/year for the last 8 season. I think it is a little out of site, out of mind for me.

That didn't stop me from picking up these 3 cards of Dave, all representing his first few years with the San Diego Padres:

First up is this nice team logo medallion card.  Early on, I was irritated by Topps usage of these commemorative pins or patches as hits in their products but they have grown on me.  This is a great example of a nicely designed card.  Solid photo selection and the team logo is nice, big and clear in a hard metallic material.  I briefly flirted with the idea of seeking out the entire set but if I recall it is a pretty big checklist and I shifted gears.  Glad to have this Winfield in my collection.

This card design from the Donruss set is fairly basic but it has a couple things I really like on this particular card.  First, I think this is the first time I have seen this photo used on a Winfield card.  It isn't anything super special but I have gotten sick of the constant recycling of just a few photos.  I also like the usage of a bat relic.  It seems to me that the start of the relic phase had a lot more bat cards versus jersey cards to the point where I personally undervalued bat relics.  The tide has turned and now I seem to be appreciating the little slabs of wood more than a jersey.

This final card is a nice low numbered autograph card.  If I do ramp up my Winfield collecting and start going after more of his cards, I do know that one thing I will find is reasonably priced autos.  According to Beckett he has just over 600 different autographed cards (George Brett for example has more than twice Winfield) so they might not be as plentiful as some of his contemporaries but I do think I will be keeping my eyes open to see if I can continue to add some cards to this player collection.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Joy of a Completed Insert Set - 2000 Topps 21st Century Topps

Since 2006, in addition to the Topps Flagship base sets, I have been collecting most of the insert sets as well.  I little while back I decided to fill some gaps in my collection and pick up the Topps insert sets from 1993 to 2005.  While I do have all the base sets in that range, this was a period where I didn't do a ton of collection.  Most of the sets have been picked up in factory form or bought complete without opening many or any packs.  I have decided to share the different insert sets as I complete them to document my progress and share the sets in case they came at a lull in your collecting as well.

This set comes from 2000 Topps and is titled 21st Century Topps. This is a 10 card set on a nice shiny card stock and were inserted in Series 1 packs.  I believe the premise was to highlight some hitters that Topps believed would be the stars of the early 21st Century.

So how did Topps do?  I think they hit at about an 80% success rate with just Grieve and Gonzalez being strong players and even those 2 guys made an All-Star game.  Jeter made 14 All-Star games, Casey 3 All-Star, Nomar 6, A-Roid 14, Rolen 7, Andruw 5, Vlad 9 and Helton 5.  Seems like a pretty nice group of players with bright futures at the time.

I also thought I would share a card back to showcase the entire card.

A few personal stats and a write up about each players potential and assets.  A nice comparison to Roberto Clemente which I think ends up being pretty accurate.  I am hoping Guerrero joins Clemente in the Hall of Fame next year.