Saturday, March 31, 2018

My Various Projects - Blog Bat Around

I saw Night Owl's post about his various projects and several bloggers have followed it up as well so I figured I would join in and share.  I fear this list is going to be way too long and point back to me having some sort of collecting "problem" but, as I tell my wife frequently, collecting cards is a much healthier vice than things like booze, drugs, strip clubs or gambling.

Let's get started...

Set Collecting
Set collecting was how I started as a collector back with 1979 Topps.  I am working both forward and backwards on a full Topps flagship run. I pick up a set, including update, each year and I am working on 2 vintage sets right now.  I fear 1972 and its high numbers will be the death of me but I am about to finish the 1969 set. I have sets from 1959 and 1960 and would eventually like the full run back to 1959.

One of my newest 1969 Topps additions

Another one for the 1969 set, my 2nd one in my collection

I have completed the full Upper Deck and Donruss runs, although I still need to get the 2018 Donruss set.  I have most of the Fleer sets and would like to fill in those gaps at some point.  My collection of Update/Traded cards is not complete but at times I will look to add another to the collection.

Finally I am dabbling with collecting the Stadium Club and Score runs of cards.  This new collection I bought may fill in enough Score holes to make the quest for a complete run a little more reasonable.  Stadium Club may take a while but I am a fan of the brand.

Each year with my Topps flagship sets I pick up all the hobby insert sets and work on the retail inserts that interest me.  This started back in 2006 so I am working to add the inserts from 1993-2005 to my Topps collection.  If I ever get close to achieving this goal, I plan to make a list and pursue Upper Deck insert sets and may ultimately go after the inserts for all the sets I have collected.

Some new Topps inserts from the big collection I bought

Player Collections
After collecting sets, my next area of collecting focus shifted to player collections.  I started with Rickey Henderson and quickly added Willie McCovey.  Since then the list has expanded with me even adding a few players in the last couple of years.  Here is a complete list of players I collect:

Willie McCovey, Rickey Henderson, Vida Blue, Dave Winfield, Reggie Jackson, Ben Petrick, Chili Davis, Fred Lynn and Dave Parker

A couple new Petrick parallel adds

Some great Dave Parker oddballs

Ronnie Lott, Roger Craig, Dwight Clark and Fred Dean

I love this new Fred Dean auto I recently picked up, much shinier in person

Harold Miner, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Chris Webber and Scot Pollard

It isn't easy to find new Harold Miner cards to add to my collection
A pretty cool back

I used to have a goal of being a "Supercollector" of every player meaning getting one of every card ever made.  With the expansion of rare and 1/1 cards this is now virtually impossible so I am more of a volume collector trying to get as many different cards of each player that I can. I rarely go after the 1/1 cards or high end triple patch bat nameplate autos of my players - I get more joy in having pages to flip through than any one card.

USC Trojans Football
Back in the mid-2000s, USC football was king.  With players like Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, Troy Polamalu and LenDale White there were always new rookies to chance and great cards to pull.  I amassed a pretty large collection, I should do an updated count sometime soon, that was probably only surpassed by my Giants collection in the last couple of years.  I still try to add cards here and there but have lost a little focus. Hoping to find a niche sometime this year to grow this collection.

Despite the sticker auto, this is one my favorite cards in my collection.

Even the guys that don't pan out are fun to collect, especially in a Trojan uniform
I spend a lot of my time, energy and funds on my Giants collection.  I currently have 33 binders filled with Giants cards and this doesn't include my autos, relics and manurelics.  The Giants are my favorite sports team and where my sports passion burns the greatest.  My additions swing back and forth between higher end, lower end, vintage, modern, base, inserts and hit but I am always happy to add a new Giant to my collection.

Since Night Owl started this Bat Around, I had to honor his favorite all time Giant.
Baseball HOF Autos
A few years back I thought it was a good idea to attempt to collect as many autographed cards as I could of different HOF baseball inductees.  My collection is nearing 100 different people and I routinely enjoy looking through the box they sit in and thinking about the great history of my favorite sport.

This John Smoltz is my newest HOF addition
Vintage SF 49ers
While baseball is my number one passion, I am a pretty big football fan too.  I have a nice little collection of autographed 49er player cards from their heyday in the 80s and 90s but I wanted to build a larger collection and decided to focus on the vintage cards from before my collecting days.  This was done to narrow down the scope and for sheer storage space concerns.  It has been fun connecting with the players from before my time.

A 1956 Topps card picked up at a card shop during a recent work trip to Dallas

This card, from the same shop, is from 1965

Just for the "F" of it Cards
A recent pick up for the fun of it, I remember watching Branch and the Raiders with my dad as a youngster

I have some other smallish collections like my Sacramento Kings and vintage Star Wars cards but the ones listed in this post are my primary collecting focus.  Thanks for the idea Night Owl, as usually I was a little slow to respond.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Happy Opening Day!

My mood always seems to pick up on Opening Day.  Going into Spring Training my excitement about the Giants season was pretty high, I like the additions of Longoria and McCutchen and I figured with some bounce back seasons from a couple of their hitters and some health from their pitching staff a wild card spot was within reach.  Then last week happened.  Unless the NL has a pretty significant downturn from the middle of the road teams, I don't see how the Giants can hang in until Bumgarner and Samardzija get back.

Despite the setbacks, I found myself with a bounce in my step yesterday morning.  It was Opening Day!  I am lucky enough to have a TV in my office so I turned the quadruple header on and the sound off and had baseball running throughout the day.  I saw Happ's leadoff homer on the first pitch of the season and saw a couple of my fantasy guys get some hits.  Good start to the day.

When I got home I notified the family that dinner was going to be in front of the TV as the Giants and Dodgers first pitch was around 6 PM CST.  My boys were pretty engaged during the game and we got us an old fashioned pitchers duel.  This wasn't surprising from the Dodgers side with Kershaw pitching but on the Giants side, Ty Blach filled in for MadBum and wouldn't you know it, the Giants are in first place after game 1.

I am quite confident it won't last but it sure was a nice way to celebrate Opening Day.  Go Giants!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Returns From the Purge - Baseball Cards Come to Life!

I am getting caught up on sharing the cards that I received and starting to feel a little better (less guilty) and I believe this great group of cards from Bo at Baseball Cards Come to Life! gets me at or beyond the half way point in sharing!  I have some more great cards to share but will have to do some scanning before I can share.

Let's focus on the present!  Bo scoured my want lists and came up with an impressive and somewhat eclectic batch of cards that fit nicely into a few parts of my collection.

Got a few Giants here with my favorite being the Will Clark.  The Clark is actually a box bottom card from Fleer and has been on my want list for quite some time.  I was also glad to add the Dave Winfield card.  It is a very familiar card but was missing from my Winfield binder

Here are some Giants of the shiny variety.  The Sergio Romo is a favorite.  Romo was a big contributor to the Giants run of 3 titles and this was his first card.

Finally some rare additions from 3 different sets that have been on my want list for quite some time with little progress.  The 2 Topps cards are from 2011 Pro Debut, I opened a couple of boxes and put together a want list and I don't know if I have knocked one card off that want list until this package came.  I also bought a box of Swell Greats a few years back and curiously got several copies of the first half of the set but missed out on quite a few from the second half.  That list got 2 cards smaller.  Finally a couple Highlights inserts from the USA baseball set including an appearance of Rod Dedeaux, former manager of my USC Trojans baseball club.

Thanks Bo for the great cards and for going through my want lists.  Your return package was greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Returns From the Purge - Too Many Verlanders

Another super cool return package for my purge a couple months back.  This is the second package where the cards took a back seat to the other items included in the package after the cool bat from Waiting 'til Next Year.  This time Dennis from Too Many Verlanders set me up nicely.

There were some cards and they were inserted into a Pinnacle can.  I also got a Juan Marichal Cooperstown figurine.  It was still in its packaging along with a card but I decided to free it from the cardboard and plastic.

Here are some of the card highlights, all new to my collection.  The Marichal card is the one that came with the figurine.

In addition to the Giants, Dennis also hooked me up with some great USC Trojan cards.

The final regular sized cards I will show in this post.  I almost passed right by these Charles Barkley cards and put them into my duplicate stack.  I was fairly certain I have all of Sir Charles Collector's Choice cards but I decided to flip them over and was surprised with some non-English writing.  Sweet - European parallels that are new to my collection!

So I hinted at the cards not being the star of the show and here is why.  Some great older baseball magazines featuring the best player of my lifetime - Barry Bonds!

Here are 6 Beckett magazines also featuring Barry with a Willie Mays cameo.

Finally a Matt Williams Beckett, a Patrick Ewing Georgetown SI and a 8X10 card of Barry Bonds from 1997 Studio - a need for my Giants collection.

I really enjoy looking through old Becketts and magazines.  I have a nice stack of ones I have kept through the years and I believe only one of these is a dup.  Thanks Dennis for this awesome package, you have gifted me hours of enjoyment with the magazines to thumb through!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Returns From the Purge - I Feel Like A Collector Again

Time for another post from my purge of team stacks.  This time I got some great looking 49er cards from Kin at I Feel Like A Collector Again.

Kin picked up some recent 49er Prizm cards from me to send back my way the recognized my primary Niner focus was on vintage cards. He shot the Prizm cards my way anyway and I am glad he did.  I am still a huge Niner fan, I only go after the vintage to try and limit my collection a bit.  With the creation of my 2018 binder, I now have 33 Giants baseball binders of cards and I didn't want to duplicate that with the Niners.

Here are the base Prizm cards of the Niners, these look really nice.  I didn't buy much, if any, Prizm football but did pick quite a bit of the baseball cards.  It is nice to see a Panini product with logos on it, makes me wish for a day when there is more than one company with a license on the baseball front.

Here is where it gets even better, check out these designs and the color.  These are beautiful cards!

Once Kin realized that my preference wasn't the more modern 49ers, Kin included some great Niners vintage cards from my want list.

Kin, thank you so much for the package! I will let you in on a little secret if you promise not to share.  I do have a couple of boxes of modern 49er cards that I keep as part of my collection and the Prizm cards have found themselves a nice home.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Returns From the Purge - Waiting 'til Next Year

A little while back I purged some stacks of cards from my collection in order to make room for sorting a large collection of cards I purchased.  I didn't ask for anything in return but in typical blogging community fashion, several people hit me back with some great cards.  I haven't posted in a little while as I have been sorting through the new collection to clear up some room in the basement for my mom's visit.  I finally decided that I need to get some posts out celebrating my return packages so I am going to try to get a few posts out this week.

Tonight's post showcases a killer package from P-Town Tom from Waiting 'til Next Year fame.  This package arrived in an odd sized package and had me puzzled before I cracked into it.

First up were two nice All-Star relics from 2016 Topps Update.  I recently put up a want list of a few relic, auto and parallel Giants sets I decided to focus on and chase and Tom knocked off two cards from that list.  These aren't as easy to come by as you might think so these are welcome additions.

Next up are some cards from the 1952 Bowman President release.  I was able to complete the 1956 President set that I believe was put out by Topps with some similar art work.  Tom knocked off 7 cards from this list including one of my favorites - US Grant.  I believe based on some genealogy work done by a relative that I am a direct decedent of our 17th US president - I have thought about starting a Grant collection but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

Great cards you have to admit, but the final item was the reason for the odd shaped package and is super cool!  Check out this bat:

I was going to recap the history of the bat but thought I would let Tom's own words share the story.

I was very touched that he thought of me and sent it my way, my kids were pretty pumped as well.  I haven't put it up yet but they helped me select a spot on the wall for the bat

Here is an up close picture of the bat label...

And finally an up close picture of the player name.

Thanks Tom for such a generous and thoughtful package!!!