Sunday, April 22, 2018

Just for the "F" of It #14

Several weeks before requesting delivery of my latest COMC order I ran across a couple cards that didn't really fit into a specific collecting niche but I had to have once laying eyes on them.

Regular readers of this blog may recall that I am a graduate of USC and I am a proud Trojan alumnus.  I have a pretty solid USC football card collection but haven't really concentrated too much on picking up former Trojan baseball players.  If you aren't aware of the long history of USC baseball players, here is a partial list of graduates who made it to the big leagues: Bob Lillis, Ron Fairly, Don Buford, Rene Lachemann, Tom Seaver, Bill Lee, Tom House, Dave Kingman, Jim Barr, Steve Busby, Fred Lynn, Roy Smalley, Steve Kemp, Rich Dauer, Mark McGwire, Randy Johnson, Jacque Jones, Eric Munson, Barry Zito, Mark Prior, Morgan Ensberg, Ian Kennedy, and Lucas Duda.  In my four years at USC, the team had the following players that made it to the bigs: Bret Boone, John Cummings, Damon Buford, Jeff Cirillo, Mark Smith, Mark Robertson, Aaron Boone, Bobby Hughes, Geoff Jenkins and Gabe Alvarez.  I had tons of fun stopping by the on campus ball field to watch these guys play.

Although Kingman was before my time at SC, I remember much of his career in the big leagues.  Seeing him in his Trojan uniform in a 1982 inspired design from 2005 Topps Pristine was too good to pass up.  I picked up both the regular and refractor version.  Outside of a few 1/1s, there is still a gold refractor /65 to chase.  I will keep my eyes open and see if I can complete the rainbow Just for the Fun of It.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Joy of a Completed Insert Set - 2014 Panini Hall of Fame The Elite Series

In addition to knocking off the last three cards of my 1969 Topps set, my recent COMC order also finished off a couple more sets I have been working on.  Interestingly, I have been working on these sets for much longer than the 1969 set but they are much more modern.

This post will focus on the second of those two sets, The Elite Dominator insert set that was also an insert in 2014 Panini Hall of Fame.  As I mentioned previously, I bought a few boxes of this to help expand my autograph collection of Hall of Famers.  Each box contained one or two of these inserts and I instantly fell in love with them  After a few boxes and seeing that prices were very reasonable on the secondary market I decided to build the the set.

This Roberto Clemente was the final card I need to finish off the set:

Again, I decided to show the set off in its entirety, as you will see the collection of players is also quite impressive with quite a few of teh same players from the Elite Series.  Even though I really like the design of The Elite Series inserts, the green borders make these my favorite of the tow.  See for yourself: 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Returns from the Purge - The Collector

When I posted about my big collection purchase and shared some of my finds I had a few collectors reach out and work out a trade for some of the cards.  Despite some really nice trades and purchase I worked out, this was perhaps my favorite.  Chris from The Collector  shared a pretty awesome card that he had and I didn't hesitate a bit when he offered it up for trade.  In typical blogger fashion, I will save the gem for the end but I also scored some other nice cards for my collection.

First up some Giants needs.  I can't believe I never picked up that Mays catch, it is a beautiful card.  The Panda card is a great one, the 2010 Finest design is one of my favorites with the team logo in the background.  I like that Sandoval is blowing a bubble in his fielding position, he is looking in pretty good shape as well.

Here are a couple of great looking 49er cards, those first few years of Ultra produced beautiful cards.  Merton Hanks is one of my favorite Niners of all time, I have even thought of building a collection of his cards but haven't pulled the trigger.

These are two parallels from last year's Heritage release, they are the bright yellow back variations.  I didn't have any of these yet so super nice additions to my collection.

However, here is the star of the show:

A 1934 Goudey!  This is the first Goudey card from 34 in my collection.  This is such a great looking card and a wonderful addition to my Giants collection.

Chris, I can't thank you enough, thanks for the awesome trade!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Joy of a Completed Insert Set - 2014 Panini Hall of Fame The Elite Series

In addition to knocking off the last three cards of my 1969 Topps set, my recent COMC order also finished off a couple more sets I have been working on.  Interestingly, I have been working on these sets for much longer than the 1969 set but they are much more modern.

This post will focus on one of those two sets, The Elite Series insert set that was an insert in 2014 Panini Hall of Fame.  This was a product that delivered two autographs of Hall of Famers and a few different other cards.  I bought a few boxes of this to help expand my autograph collection of Hall of Famers.  Each box contained one or two of these inserts and I instantly fell in love with them  After a few boxes and seeing that prices were very reasonable on the secondary market I decided to build the the set.

This Ryne Sandberg was the final card I need to finish off the set:

I decided to show the set off in its entirety, as you will see the collection of players is quite impressive.  Of course they are all HOFers but they also cross a multitude of generations. Of course being a Panini product, these are logo-less but I think they still look great.  I will let the set do the rest of the talking:

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Returns from the Purge - Johnny's Trading Spot

John from Johnny's Trading Spot is the next generous return from the purge package to showcase.  John has sent tons of cards in numerous packages over the years, it amazes me he still has excess Giants to shoot my way.  Once again he didn't disappoint, check out the cards in this package:

This is a team set, or darn near a full team set of 1994 Fleer Excel cards.  This is a minor league release and my LCS has a box or two of this laying around that I have been tempted to pick up a couple times.  Now that I have these Giants, my eyes will probably seek out another oddball issue.

There was a nice mix of early 2000s Giants as well and these were all needs.  Merkin Valdez was to 2004 what Christian Arroyo was to 2016 and Fred Lewis was to 2007 - Giants rookies that didn't amount to much that were in just about every product released.  That may not be fair to Arroyo who still has a chance.  Its odd seeing a Bobby Thomson highlight that doesn't reference The Shot Heard Round the World.

I collected the heck out of the Bazooka sets and never pulled a Giants parallel so it is great to finally have a couple in my collection.  The bottom 3 are all stickers and Mr. Valdez shows up again.

The orange must have gotten a couple stacks mixed together as I got some Astros in the cards John sent my way.  There are some nice cards in here so I thought I would scan them up to see if anyone needed them.

Finally some recent Giants to help out with last years's holiday set and this years flagship team set.

Thanks John for the great package once again!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

My 1969 Topps Set is Complete!

I recently requested and received a shipment from COMC.  I hadn't had anything shipped since the free shipping on Black Friday but after picking up the last few cards for my 1969 Topps set I had little patience and decided to have my 176 card inventory delivered so the cards for my 69 set would all be in hand.

Here are the final 3 cards, all of HOFers, that put the end to my 1969 set quest. 

First up is a rookie card of HOF Manager Bobby Cox from back in his playing days.  One of the highlights of the 1969 set has to be the awesome All-Star Rookie cup.

Next up is another rookie HOFer, Rollie Fingers.  This pic of him in his pre-handlebar days makes him almost unrecognizable.  I think I had a copy of this card at one point and decided to trade it away before going after this set.

Finally, a great looking card of HOF Ted Williams as manager of the Washington Senators.  This is a card I am certain I had previously and I recall sending it to another blogger who I think needed it as the last card for his set.  Fitting that it was the last card I had in my possession to finish off my set.

This set quest started with a flurry of activity with the purchase of a partial set and a bunch of singles.  When I first posted back at the beginning of 2017 I only needed 41 cards.  It took about 15 months to get those last 41 cards, not too bad for a 1960s vintage set.  It was a blast to put this together and now it is time to figure out which set quest to embark upon next!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Returns from the Purge - It's like having my own Card Shop

These aren't necessarily trade posts, as the boxes I sent out in my purge were sent out no strings attached.  I can't say I am surprised with how many fellow bloggers did some some cards back in return with the generosity consistently displayed in this community.  Today's post is a return package from It's like having my own Card Shop

I got a nice variety of Giants cards with quite a few cards to knock off my want list.

The two UD Play Ball cards finished off a team set, very cool.  I didn't realized the Correia was a parallel until it was getting filed away in my binder, that was a nice surprise.  The Burkett silver signature parallel gets me one step closer to the team set.  I haven't officially gone on a quest to complete the silver sig parallel set but every time I get a new one I almost pull the trigger on a shopping spree to finish it off.

I haven't figured out a way to create a checklist of Giants minor leaguers, one of the few gaps in my pretty detailed checklists.  I am always glad to add more to my collection.  I still need to get a binder put together for them, maybe that can be a 2019 goal, lord knows I have enough goals for 2018.

This is a nice relic of a short time stay with the Giants, Andres Galarraga.  The Big Cat played for the Giants for part of 2001 and all of 2003 and played pretty well even being at the end of his career.  It seems his autographed cards have started to pop up in a few new Topps products lately.  I was able to purge my collection of most of my Chipz, except of course the Giants.  The black Panda Chipz is the first of that color I have seen.  Not sure if it is super rare but I bought quite a few packs and never got a black one.

The final cards to share are at first glace what appears to be typical 2004 Topps Giants base cards.  Upon closer inspection, I saw the 1st edition symbol on these.  I had 2 or 3 of these parallels in my collection but all 5 are new to me.  I don't recall how these were distributed but I am glad to have almost a binder page full now.

Thanks for the great cards Daniel, I really appreciate you returning the favor.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Joy of a Completed Vintage Team Set - 1955 Topps Giants

My post a few days back with my Otahni trade took a little of the surprise out of this post but I couldn't pass up to capture the entire 1955 Topps Giant team set in one post after securing the Mays.

The team set is pretty small with just 10 cards but it is a great looking set with the portrait picture of the player and a second full body in action photo.  I love the Giants logo of the era as well.  In addition to the Mays, the team set has HOFer Monte Irvin and card #1 Dusty Rhodes.  I am not really sure why the Giants are so under represented since they won the World Series just a year before in 1954.  By comparison the Red Sox have 21 cards in the set.  I guess I shouldn't complain, who knows if my team set would be complete today if it had double the cards.

Here is the entire team set in all its glory:

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Would You Make this Trade?

Last year I was lucky enough to pull one of the Ohtani cards everyone was chasing from the retail Bowman Mega Box product, here it is:

It was the purple parallel numbered /250. At the time it was going for triple digits and I thought about selling it but I took the easy way out and just stashed it.  Around the start of Spring Training I decided to check and see what they were selling for and was pleasantly surprised.  I decided to my card up with a highish Buy It Now price and see what happened.  I got a couple bids that were the same, countered to the first bidder and the card was sold.

I decided to take the funds and go after some bigger cards that would be tough to secure within my budget.  I decided to show these to you and see if you would trade the Ohtani for the cards I received in return.

I will share the cards in the order of least to greatest cost and also of note, after buying these four cards and paying eBay/PayPal fees I have about a blaster worth of PayPal left.

First up is a dual of two guys I collect:

I have bid on probably half or more of these and they kept going above what I was willing to pay.  Interestingly enough I got this for a lower price than any of the others went for.  Maybe it was the ding in the upper right corner but I don't care much about that - just happy to have this in my collection.

Next up is the second to last card I needed to complete my 1969 Topps set:

A Reggie Jackson Rookie!  This is actually the second one in my collection and my Reggie binder has this card on page one.  The condition isn't the greatest but I got a pretty good deal.  I typically am not a fan of graded cards (too difficult to store and can't put them in my set binder) but as I build some of these vintage sets it seems like the safest way to go to ensure I don't get stuck with high quality reprints.

Next up, the final card for my 1969 Topps set!:

Mickey Mantle's final card from his playing days.  I actually got the Reggie after the Mickey and have three cards on the way from COMC so until that COMC shipment comes in I can't celebrate the set completion.  I can celebrate adding this great card to my collection and I am pretty happy with the condition, it is better than I thought I would be able to get.  Same thing holds true on the grading as it does with the Reggie - better safe than sorry.

The final card in my trade

A 1955 Topps Willie Mays!  Not only is this a great card of the best all around player of all time, it completes my 1955 Topps Giants team set.  This card has some soft corners but boy does it look amazing.  I have had an eBay search for this card for years waiting to find a good one in my price range.  This was a splurge but I am so glad I made it.

When typing this post, I checked back to see the prices of current sales and after 3 HRs in 3 consecutive games and flirting with a perfect game, it appears the prices on the Ohtani have started to rise a bit but I am 100% satisfied with the timing of my sale and what I got in return.

If you had that purple Ohtani, would you trade it for the four cards I did or something similar?

Monday, April 9, 2018

More Fun Finds

I thought I would share a couple more things that I have uncovered as I work my way through the large collection I purchased. If you want to see a running list of the sets and partial sets I have, take a look at this link.   Much of it is available for purchase or trade.  Since I laid out some significant cash, I probably can't just give it away.  There is lots of cool stuff from the 4 major sports along with a ton of non-sports stuff.

I thought I would share this card that puzzled me a bit when I first unearthed it. 

I have teased that I have started collecting Fred Lynn cards (post upcoming at some point and time) so this card immediately excited me as I didn't remember having it.  I looked at my checklist and couldn't find any reference to a 1981 Fred Lynn Topps Coke card.  I looked at and saw that card #3 in the Red Sox Coke set was Dwight Evans.  I looked at COMC and eBay and couldn't find this card.   I did come across a couple Coke Red Sox team sets, again with Dewey Evans and not Fred Lynn.  I decided to reach out to last year's Secret Santa and some who seems to know a ton about Red Sox cards - Mark Hoyle.  He gave me some cool insight that solved the mystery. Apparently Lynn was to be included in the set but was pulled at the last minute when he was traded to the Angels.  A few of these cards sneaked out but were pretty rare.  A few years ago, it seems that a batch of these got out on the secondary market again making them less rare but based on my searches not too easy to find.  Either way, a great addition to my growing Fred Lynn collection.

I also thought I would share another great find from this collection.

Pages!  I have recently finished removing all the cards from the dozens of binders that came with this collection.  Some held sets, some held star players, some were quite random.  As you can see, I was able to rescue a pretty significant number of pages which should last me for quite a while.  I had to toss many more than I kept as they were either the older pages that were too rigid or flimsy or they were damaged.  It seemed some of these binders got some water damage at some point so there were cards stuck in some pages.  These are all Ultra Pro platinum pages and should help me get a couple of working vintage sets into pages and keep my player collection binders and Giants binders going for some time.

I have slowed down in recent weeks in going through the collection but I have unearthed some great finds.  Stay tuned for future updates.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

A Collection Goal Update at the Quarter Point of the Year

A couple days ago I thought it would be wise to check in on my 2018 Collecting goals and see what kind of progress has been made.  I haven't posted as much as I would like so I decided to make my progress check into a post.

As you may recall (or if not you can click on the link above) I decided to go micro and specific on my goals this year which is a reversal over the past couple.  I will copy my list from the post and share some updates in blue and pictures.

Set Building

  • Complete 1969 Topps Set (currently need 8 - Bench, Kessinger, Cox, Reggie RC, Mantle, Santo, Fingers RC, Teddy Ballgame) - I have a COMC order coming in soon that should result in exciting news but I have some progress in my possession.
The left side of the Cubs Infield brings me down to 6 needs

An awesome 2nd year card with the Rookie Cup Bench brings me down to 5
  • Start new vintage set - I have a couple of ideas in mind but haven't settled on a set quite yet.
  • Collect Donruss, Topps Series 1 & 2, Topps Update, Opening Day and 2-3 other 2018 sets - Doing well here, bought a Master Set of Topps Series 1 and built a couple of the retail insert sets I liked.  Bought a box of Opening Day, completed the set with the box and the insert sets through Sportlots.  Bought a base set of Donruss along with the 70 (!) variations.  Decided against Heritage and Gypsy Queen although Gypsy Queen is still a consideration.
HOF Auto collection
  • Get to 100 different players (currently at 94) - I posted the addition of Smoltz and LaRussa here, I posted autos of Hoffman and Vlad on my HOF Ballot post here, plus I added this great looking on card auto of Jeff Bagwell.  This brings me to 99, just need to track down 1 more to make my goal.
2014 Panini Prizm 54/75, despite the lack of logo, this is a great looking card in hand. I love the big on-card auto
  • Finish and post on 6 sports books - I have 2 different baseball books right now that I am reading and a bunch ready to go.  Even though I am behind pace, I think I will get there.
  • Catch up on Sports Illustrated and ESPN magazines - The stack keeps growing and I doubt this will be a made goal.
49ers Vintage collection (1950s-1970s)
  • Get collection into a binder - All done, spent a little time in late February going through all my cards, sorting them by year and paging them up.  It has been fun flipping through a couple of times already. 
  • Reach 200 different cards (currently at 152) - I currently sit at 182.  I have even gotten a few through trade.  I feel good about this goal, shouldn't be hard to hit.
USC Football
  • Get collection organized - haven't spent any time organizing this part of my collection.
  • Establish focus and add 200 new cards - I have yet to gain a focus.  I have added around 75 new cards with a few coming in trades, a couple of purchase and most from the large collection I bought and am working my way through.
  • Add 20 NY Giants era vintage cards - I am already over half way to this goal but none of my pick-ups have been blogged about.  I have an amazing Return from the Purge that will be coming soon, a huge pickup to finish off a vintage team set and a multiple card purchase from an eBay seller.  I will share one card I picked up in a Sportlots auction.
An awesome 1952 Topps pick-up.  This is the black back version and one of the last players I need for my Giants team set that aren't in the dreaded high number series.

  • Add 100 1970s-1990s cards - I have already far exceeded this goal. Most I won't blog about but I was helped by picking up a 28 card 1993 Topps Inaugural Giants team set, a 28 card 1983 Giants postcard set, a 30 card 1987 Topps Tiffany set, a 21 card 1980 SSPC HOF card Giants team set and 54 cards in a order.
  • Reduce parallel want list to 150 cards (currently at 233) - I haven't added any 2018 cards to the list yet as I have picked up the wanted parallels.  I have only knocked about 10-15 cards from the list.  This goal will be a challenge, reasonably priced early 00s Topps Gold cards and some of the earlier years of Ginter minis are tough to come by.
Player Collections
  • Willie McCovey - pick up 2 items off want list from playing career - nothing yet
  • Rickey Henderson - pick up 5 items off want list from playing career, get checklist up to date - I have 2 in hand and believe my COMC incoming order will get me to this goal.  Still need to get the checklist up to date.
This 2005 Absolute card is the Spectrum version numbered 057/150, I also picked up a 1989 Topps Big
  • Dave Winfield - reach 850 different cards (currently at 805), get checklist up to date - I have added 7 and here they are.  Still need to get the checklist up to date.
  • Reggie Jackson - reach 700 different cards (currently at 626), get checklist up to date - I have added 10 to get to 636, here are 9 of them.

  • Vida Blue - pick up 3 items off want list - any new Vida is getting credit here including the awesome custom from Baseball Card Breakdown.  I also picked up this cool patch from 1979.  That leaves me just 1 short and I have a couple awesome cards to share in a future post that will complete my goal.
Can't tell what team he should be on, right around the time he moved from the A's to the Giants.
  • Ben Petrick- reach 230 different cards (currently at 221) - This is going to be a tough one to accomplish, most of the cards I need are pretty hard to find with lower print runs.  I have got 3 pretty awesome new cards.
You can see that the Maximum parallel is numbered 203/323, the Bowman Gold Refractor is 54/99 and the Pacific Extreme LTD is 42/45
  • Chili Davis - reach 465 different cards (currently at 453) - no activity on the Chili front so far in 2018.
  • Dave Parker - reach 160 different Pirates cards (currently at 140) - only 1 pick up so far but it is a pretty cool one.
I love me some Hostess cards!
  • Fred Lynn - post about new player collection, reach 280 different cards (currently at 252) - I still haven't posted about this new player collection but I have been adding some cards.  My collection now sits at 270 cards.  I don't plan on showing off any cards until I get the first post out.
  • Ronnie Lott - reach 900 different cards (currently at 868) - I am at 873 but should be able to move the needle much quicker with the 2018 football releases.  Here are 3 cards from 2017 Select, I would like to track down most of the rainbow at some point.

These are numbered 015/149, 04/75 and 12/25
  • Roger Craig - reach 380 different cards (currently at 361) - I have only added 1 card, it is a great dual auto that added to two of these collections.  I will have it's own post coming up.
  • Dwight Clark - reach 125 different cards (currently at 109) - I have added 5 to get to 114 and will show off 2 of them here.
This counts as 2 on my checklist as the card and coin are listed separately.  These came from a regional grocery store, Save Mart back in 1996
  • Fred Dean - add 5 cards (currently at 25) - I shared 1 in my blog bat around post and also picked up this one.

  • Harold Miner - add 2 new cards (currently at 252) - Even at 2 this was a stretch goal, not much of his I don't have.  I did track down one postcard sized new card of his and shared on the blog bat around post.
  • Charles Barkley - reach 700 different cards (currently at 645) - I have added 7 cards, 2 in this trade, and these 5.

  • Patrick Ewing - reach 550 different cards (currently at 505) - 3 new ones here.

For some reason that green border on the UD MVP card really stands out to me.  The Larger then Life insert is a nice shiny gold
  • Chris Webber - reach 750 different cards (currently at 710) - 4 new CWebbs added to the collection.
The upper left card is from his college days and the first card on my checklist, it had eluded me for some time and I am super happy to finally own a copy
Reflecting back on my progress so far, I have to say I am pretty happy.  It seems the areas that have been most lacking are my USC football collection and my basketball player collections.  I am interested to see if my focuses shift in that direction.  I am not going to "force" myself to go after certain cards to make a goal, I use the goals as guidelines and go after what feels good.

Have you reflected on your 2018 goals?  If so, how are you doing?