Saturday, April 22, 2017

Ronnie Lott - GOAT

I truly believe Ronnie Lott is the greatest NFL defensive back of all time.  He started his career as a cornerback and played his first 4 years at that position.  He won numerous All-Pro awards and was in the Pro Bowl each year.  During his 5th year he shifted to safety and continued his dominance.  He ended up earning Pro Bowl honors in 9 of his 10 seasons with the 49ers and another in his first season with the Raiders.  He was a marvel to watch and I don't know if I ever saw a player hit harder consistently.  I recall reading in his book that he picks a spot beyond his target and aims for that so he hits through the player - pretty cool.

While my posting has been sporadic, my purchasing has stayed consistent.  I decided it was time to scan the stack of Ronnie Lott cards on my desk and get them filed away.  I am pretty happy with these pick ups and glad that Ronnie keeps getting added to new sets.

2016 Classics Prime Material 5/5
 During my last Lott post, I shared the regular version of this card with just a red swatch.  During Lott's playing career, this 2 color red and white swatch is about as prime as you could get.  This is a nice low 5/5 numbered card.

These 3 cards come from 2016 Plates and Patches, I accidentally scooped up 2 of the green version.  If you look closely the one on the left is a Christmas cards 12/25 if anyone is interested in trading for it.  The card /79 is the highest print run.  With these two I still need to pick up the blue /50 and the red /10.  There is also a gold 1/1 but I am pretty sure another Lott collector with deeper pockets either already has it or will pick it up.

I batched these two together as they are both acetate cards - I for one am pretty happy about the return of acetate cards, they look great.  The 2016 Clear Vision card is my 3rd from the set and my first as a Raider.  There are several different colors and Ronnie has one 49er and one Raider version of each parallel.  The 2015 High Tek card is my 7th different Lott card from the set and is numbered to /75

2016 Panini Spectra City 2 City Dual Relic 45/49

This is a pretty cool relic card with 2 swatches from different teams Lott played for and is called City 2 City. It is from 2016 Spectra.  This one numbered /49 is the most common and there are 5 other parallels numbered out of 35, 5, 3, 1 and 1.   I am happy to have the one I do and unless it falls in my lap don't foresee another version entering my collection.

2016 National Treasures Century Materials 24/49
This is my most recent addition and comes from the recently released National Treasures.  I have missed out on a couple prime relics but glad to have this one in my collection.  I plan to keep my eyes peeled for other relics and autos from National Treasures as the hype slows down as they are great looking cards.  

2016 Prizm Draft Picks Alumnus Autographs Camo 3/5
This card was listed on eBay for a while and I watched the price come down a couple times after it didn't sell.  I finally shot the seller and offer, he countered and after a little contemplation I decided to pull the trigger. No buyers remorse at this point, I like getting cards of Lott from his USC days even if they are black and white.  The camo card is pretty cool and I love having rare cards like this in my collection.

2016 Rookies & Stars Great American Signatures 01/25
The final card of this post is my favorite.  I great looking, patriotic themed autograph of Ronnie Lott.  The serial number for some (being the first in the print run) carriers a premium - the dreaded eBay 1/1.  For me I couldn't care less, fortunately bidding for this card didn't get out control because of this and I have one of my favorite Lott cards packed away in my collection.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

COMC Giants New and Old - March

More from my March COMC order with free shipping courtesy of my Black Friday scratchers.  This post focuses on my team, the Giants.  I tried to fill some gaps in my 2016 collection and also from a few past years going back to the early 2000s.

First up is a group of cards that are almost all parallels, the Mays MVP mini being the exception.  I bid on a lot of those MVP minis a ways back and if I would have won it I would have gone after the set.  For now that is on the back burner. 

The 3 blue framed Gypsy Queen cards finished off my team set of 6 - always a fan of the framed Gypsy Queens and miss them in this years release.  Speaking of things missing from this year's Gypsy Queen, I also picked up 2 minis.  The Marichal is a higher number short print and I am now just missing the Mays for the Giants team set. 

The Matt Duffy is the "42" parallel featuring Matt with his Jackie Robinson day jersey. Today is the MLB Jackie Robinson day I believe and, even though he was a Dodger, I appreciate the impact he made on baseball (and the world) and am glad MLB does so much to celebrate his impact.  The Cain is a sapphire parallel and is limited to 250 copies.  There was a team set for sale but it was too rich for my blood so I decided to get a representative sample for my collection.  The Suarez is a rainbow parallel and inched me closer to the team set which is now complete.

This group contains all inserts.  The Brandon Crawford Elite is a crazy looking card and I am glad to see the All-Star SS getting a little cardboard love.  Johnny Cueto, who has started off great at 3-0 has two inserts - one from Donruss Optic (a really nice set that I haven't seen too much about) and one highlighting his All Star Game appearance what I believe was a retail only insert.  Buster Posey is featured 3 times with an Archive insert, a Topps Bunt insert and a Duo insert that he shares with 2B Joe Panik.  I am hoping Buster bounce back from his bean ball in a couple days and Panik bounces back from a tough, injury-riddled 2016.  We need them both at the top of their games to compete.

The final 2016 cards are these high enders.  The 5 Triple Threads cards are the Giants team set, nice to pick them all up in one order.  The Tribute Posey finished off the team set of 4 cards.  These Immaculate cards are considered the base cards and are numbered to 99.  I have also picked up the Bumgarner but have some legends to pick up to complete this team set - Mel Ott and George Kelly - and some current players - Joe Panik and Hunter Pence.  I fear this is one that won't get completed.

I continue my quest to pick up all the Topps Gold parallels.  Four of these six feature The Freak, Tim Lincecum.  His cards still seem to be priced as if he was still a Cy Young level pitcher.  I don't think he has signed with anyone after a failed attempt with the Angels last year.  I feel bad for the guy, he was so good then just lost it.

I also found 5 from 2007 Topps including the Lincecum rookie.  I don't have a running list of just my Gold needs but despite picking up a ton over the past few months, I still have a ways to go.

I have expressed my appreciation for Panini's Hall of Fame release from 2014 and decided to finish off the Giants base Crusade team set with these pick ups.  I already have an Ott Dominator for my set quest and now have one for my Giants binder.

My final group of cards to share are these parallels from Panini's first Cooperstown release.  As I was looking for cards for this order, I decided to see if there were any of these to pick up.  This set is one of my favorite releases ever and I was glad to get 8 new parallels for my team binder.

Just a couple more posts to finish off this COMC order.

Friday, April 14, 2017

My Name is Adam, I am a Set Builder and I Need Some Help

When I was a younger collector, I had dreams of owning every set of cards as they came out, but those were easier days.  I started collecting in 1979 where Topps was the main player in the game.  Starting in 1981 Fleer and Donruss entered the fray.  Three sets a year with even a couple of one off sticker sets or box sets seemed obtainable.  However in the late 80s then moving into the 90s things exploded and trying to track down every set became impossible.

My collecting slowed down in the mid 1990s through the mid 2000s and I picked it up again around 2003-2004.  I dipped my toe in slowly then started going crazy trying to buy a box or two of a bunch of products and put together as many base sets as possible.  I finally narrowed it down to just going after all the Fleer, Donruss, Upper Deck and Topps flagship sets around 2008 then in 2011 or 2012 I started going after almost every set I could think of (granted most were Topps sets by that time).

Two years ago I set a goal to limit the sets I tried to put together and met that goal.  I was proud of how I limited my set selection.  Last year I did a pretty solid job as well but I fear I have fallen off the wagon early in this collecting season.

My first set quest was Topps Series 1 Flagship. That set was never up for debate, I plan to continue to go after Flagship and Update sets as long as I collect.  I ended up picking up a Master Hobby Set on eBay but also decided to go after 3 Retail insert sets.  If you can help me out in building those sets I would appreciate it, here is my want list:
 2017 Topps Golden Glove Awards #GG6 Anthony Rizzo
 2017 Topps Golden Glove Awards #GG8 Joe Panik
 2017 Topps Golden Glove Awards #GG9 Adrian Beltre
 2017 Topps Golden Glove Awards #GG10 Nolan Arenado
 2017 Topps Golden Glove Awards #GG12 Brandon Crawford
 2017 Topps Golden Glove Awards #GG13 Brett Gardner
 2017 Topps Golden Glove Awards #GG14 Starling Marte
 2017 Topps Golden Glove Awards #GG17 Mookie Betts

 2017 Topps Jackie Robinson Day #JRD13 Carlos Correa
 2017 Topps Jackie Robinson Day #JRD14 Sonny Gray
 2017 Topps Jackie Robinson Day #JRD15 Mike Trout
 2017 Topps Jackie Robinson Day #JRD19 Aaron Nola
 2017 Topps Jackie Robinson Day #JRD23 Andrew McCutchen
 2017 Topps Jackie Robinson Day #JRD29 Joey Votto

 2017 Topps Silver Slugger Awards #SS3 Miguel Cabrera
 2017 Topps Silver Slugger Awards #SS4 Anthony Rizzo
 2017 Topps Silver Slugger Awards #SS5 Jose Altuve
 2017 Topps Silver Slugger Awards #SS6 Daniel Murphy
 2017 Topps Silver Slugger Awards #SS7 Josh Donaldson
 2017 Topps Silver Slugger Awards #SS10 Corey Seager
 2017 Topps Silver Slugger Awards #SS11 Mike Trout
 2017 Topps Silver Slugger Awards #SS15 Mookie Betts
 2017 Topps Silver Slugger Awards #SS17 David Ortiz
 2017 Topps Silver Slugger Awards #SS18 Jake Arrieta 

The next set up was Topps Opening Day. I usually pick up a box and go after the set along with the inserts.  I did that again this year.  I have done a solid job on the insert sets after finishing the base set and could use some help on these inserts:

 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day #ODB6 Texas Rangers

 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS1 Adam Jones
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS2 Addison Russell
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS3 Ichiro
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS4 Javier Baez
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS5 Andrew McCutchen
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS6 Anthony Rizzo
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS7 Brandon Phillips
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS8 Justin Verlander
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS9 Bryce Harper
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS10 Josh Donaldson
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS12 Bryce Harper
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS13 Buster Posey
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS14 Max Scherzer
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS15 Clayton Kershaw
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS16 Corey Seager
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS17 Eric Hosmer
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS18 Evan Longoria
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS19 Felix Hernandez
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS20 Hanley Ramirez
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS21 Freddie Freeman
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS22 Jake Arrieta
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS23 Giancarlo Stanton
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS24 Jose Altuve
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS25 Kris Bryant
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS26 Kyle Schwarber
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS27 Gary Sanchez
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS28 Francisco Lindor
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS29 Madison Bumgarner
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS30 Manny Machado
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS31 Matt Carpenter
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS32 Miguel Sano
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS34 Mookie Betts
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS35 Noah Syndergaard
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS36 Nolan Arenado
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS37 Paul Goldschmidt
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS38 Robinson Cano
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS39 Ryan Braun
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS41 Trea Turner
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS42 Trevor Story
 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS43 Corey Kluber

 2017 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Stars #ODS44 Carlos Correa

 For the 3rd consecutive year Topps has made the Stars inserts hard to come by, this year about 1 per box. However this year they bumped up the checklist to 44 players - ouch.  If you picked up a few retail packs and got lucky with a Stars insert, shoot it my way.

Next up is Donruss.  My plan was to get this set this year through a factory set.  The last couple years Panini made the Diamond Kings and Rated Rookies short printed then put out a reasonable priced factory set quite a while after the release.  Well, that plan went by the wayside when I got the ripping itch.  I picked up 2 hobby boxes along with a decent amount of retail.  Then recently I picked up the entire run of Diamond Kings.  I need a few of the Rated Rookie cards and have decided to collect two different insert sets and the variation cards from the base set.  Here is my Donruss Want List:

32 David Dahl RR
33 Dansby Swanson RR
37 Josh Bell RR
39 Joe De Leon RR
40 Jeff Hoffman RR
41 Hunter Renfroe RR
44 Orlando Arcia RR

1983 Variations

RV3 Mark Trumbo
RV5 Kris Bryant
RV8 Joey Votto
RV11 Nolan Arenado
RV15 Mike Trout
RV19 Christian Yelich
RV24 Khris Davis
RV29 Johnny Cueto
RV38 Cole Hamels
RV41 Mike Piazza

Base Variations   
57 Manny Machado - Hakuna Machado   
59 Mookie Betts - Back of Jersey   
89 Nolan Arenado - Grey Jersey   
97 Jose Altuve - Gigante   
178 Dave Winfield - 12 Time All Star   
182 Johnny Bench - Little General   
186 Pete Rose - Charlie Hustle

All Stars /999
AS1 Addison Russell
AS3 Chris Sale
AS4 Eric Hosmer
AS5 Johnny Cueto
AS8 Manny Machado
AS9 Marcell Ozuna
AS10 Mike Trout
AS11 Mookie Betts
AS12 Yoenis Cespedes

 If you have come this far, I will reward you with some pictures of the relics and autos I have pulled from Donruss this year:

I think I did pretty well on the hits, it was a little Cubs heavy with 3 of 10 being Cubs but I expect just about everything will be Cubs heavy this year.

Finally the set that proved I have fallen off the set building wagon - 2017 Gypsy Queen. I picked up a few retail packs and love the design.  I picked up a few more packs and a blaster and got lucky with some nice parallel pulls, SP pulls and a couple of hits.  I sorted my base and saw I had great collation so one day on the way home from work I picked up a hobby box to see if I could get in striking range of the set.  After some trading on Sportscard Forum and Blowout Cards Forum I am in pretty good shape just needing a few base and a still decent number of SPs.

Before I show my final want list of this post, I figured I would share my autos:

The Musgrove and Duffy both came from retail packs, I was feeling pretty lucky.  When the Snell popped up as my first hobby box hit I admit I was pretty disappointed and was feeling a little guilty for buying the hobby box but my second auto put a smile on my face.

 This is a missing black plate Auto of newly voted in Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez.  This card is great for so many reasons, here are a few: 1) I didn't have a Pudge auto for my HOF auto yet, 2) the card is beautiful - I love the photo that was used, 3) this year's Gypsy Queen design is a favorite of mine and these autos look good, and 4) this is a nice clean on-card auto and even includes a jersey number inscription.

All the above hits from both sets minus the Rodriguez would be up for trade if anyone is interested in them.

Also, here is my Gypsy Queen want list:

8 Carlos Martinez
108 Giancarlo Stanton
133 Seugn-hwan Oh
135 Jeurys Familia
180 Tanner Roark
242 Chris Davis
243 Chris Sale
272 Robbie Grossman

302 Ryne Sandberg
304 Mike Piazza
306 Ken Griffey Jr.
307 Randy Johnson
308 Jackie Robinson
310 Lou Gehrig
311 Ozzie Smith
312 Mark McGwire
313 Ty Cobb
315 Rod Carew
316 Ivan Rodriguez
317 Jim Palmer
318 George Brett
319 Phil Rizzuto
320 Sandy Koufax

Fortune Teller Inserts
FT-AJ Aaron Judge - New York Yankees
FT-AP Albert Pujols - Los Angeles Angels
FT-DS Dansby Swanson - Atlanta Braves
FT-GS Gary Sanchez - New York Yankees
FT-JA Jose Altuve - Houston Astros
FT-MS Max Scherzer - Washington Nationals

I am worried I opened the flood gates as I am looking forward to the Archives release and will go after Series 2 and Topps Update.  I am already feeling some desire to go after Allen & Ginter as well.  Stadium Club is typically a must have set for me.  If I keep going, I may end up going after Topps Chrome, Bowman, Bunt and who knows what else.  I am Adam and I am a Set Builder Aholic.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

COMC Player Collections - March

Back on Black Friday I made a big purchase from COMC and got a nice stack of scratcher game cards.  Unfortunately I didn't win any store credit but I did get a few free shipping winners.  I did a little shopping and had a nice stack of card delivered in mid to late February.  I am not going to break this down into 10+ posts like I did with the Black Friday purchases but I will break it down into 4.

Today's post will feature all the cards I picked up for my player collections.

The biggest group of cards I acquired knocked off 18 needs from my Chili Davis want list:

I was able to pick up both the Topps and OPC versions of Chili's stickers.  The cards in the middle and bottom row are great looking with the Pinnacle Museum and the Stadium Club acetate card.

This group didn't scan too well as there is quite a bit of shiny going on.  Cards I need are becoming hard to come by, I feel lucky to bring in so many with this purchase.

I was able to reel in 2 nice Rickey cards.  The Cooperstown card celebrates him as the all time leader in runs.  This was an insert in one of my favorite releases of all time.  I had a copy in my set but needed one for the Rickey binder.  I also picked up an early 90s 7-11 disc.  The are different varieties with different colors, nice to get one for less than a couple bucks.

I found quite a few Ronnie Lott cards in this purchase as well including these 4 thick, premium cards.  I really enjoy the USC National Treasures card.  My favorite unis for Lott, in order, are USC Trojans, 49ers, Raiders then a distant 4th to the Jets cards.

Tons of Niners love in this scan.  These are all recent releases and I was able to pick them up for relatively reasonable prices.  My Ronnie purchases have seem to come in spurts lately, maybe once or twice a year picking up groups like this to fill in gaps.  I am glad he continues to be included in new releases.

My final group of cards comes from a release Upper Deck did a couple years back for the University of Kansas - now the closest University to where I live.  That reminds me that I need to check at my LCS to see if they can fill some gaps.

I don't know if I have ever shared anything with respect to my Scot Pollard collection.  When he played on the Sacramento Kings, Pollard was one of my favorites.  He is a personable guy, pretty crazy, a great interview and would get into the game and bang.  I have a Kings jersey of his (not a real one) somewhere I need to dig out.  My collection of his is fairly robust, there are only a few low print run and elusive cards from his career I have yet to track down.  It was cool to see some new cards of Pollard's pop up and I need to keep my eyes open for more.

Three more posts to go to share my COMC February goods...

Friday, April 7, 2017

More 1971 Topps Progress

I am inching closer and closer to putting this one to rest. My quest to finish up my birth year set of 1971 Topps just got 5 steps closer over the last 2 days.  I have yet to fold and overpay (from my perspective) for any cards which tends to be my style as I get close to finishing sets.  Practicing patience isn't my strong suit.

I haven't set up eBay searches and email notifications for all my needs yet but every few days I do some searches to see if I can find some reasonably priced high numbers.  One seller had 4 of my needs at $2 each and I had to jump.  The condition is right where many of the cards in the set are and combined shipping made me a happy collector.  Here are the 4:

The Ike Brown is pretty off center but overall I was very happy with the condition, it is rare to find cards in much worse condition for only 2 buck.

 When I was doing my recent searches, there were 3 cards if figured would go for the highest amount, Rich Allen, Dusty Baker/Don Baylor RC and Denny McClain.  They all seem to go for quite a bit.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a copy of the Allen in reasonably good shape for under $10 delivered and I jumped at it.

 With these 5 cards, my want list is down to 14 cards with 1 incoming.  The last 13 are from the high number series and are short printed.  I am going to try and test my patience and keep on the look out for good prices because I have some heavy hitters to go after for my 1969 set and a ridiculous number of pricey high numbers for my 1972 set.

Monday, April 3, 2017

McCovey Monday #91 - 2014 Panini Hall of Fame Yellow Printing Plate 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.

Wow, it has been a while since I have posted a McCovey Monday card - right before Thanksgiving to be exact.  My posting has been sporadic but I was surprised tonight when I looked back to see how far back it was.  I have been getting new McCovey cards, just not posting them up.  Today I got a nice 1/1 in the mail and figured what the heck, might as well show it off.  I was planning on doing an Opening Day recap post but the game yesterday was too depressing.

I picked up my second Printing Plate from one of my favorite releases - 2014 Panini Hall of Fame.  McCovey has 3 different "base" cards in this release, all with a different photo and different design.  They are all numbered #63.  This yellow plate is from what is considered the Base 1 card, my other plate is a cyan plate from Base 3.  My original thought when this set came out was annoyance that there were so many different McCoveys to go after but as of late I have been picking up a bunch of the parallels and have enjoyed adding so many cards to my collection.

Nothing like a nice 1/1 to distract me from my team's ongoing bullpen woes.