Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Oddball Acquisitions

I don't think I am alone in finding some pleasure in oddball issues.  From my early collecting days of seeing Hostess and Kellogg's cards to later days of getting cards in my Big League Chew, cereal boxes and beef jerky, these non-standard issues always intrigued me.  I started collecting in 1979 and at that time it seemed perfectly within the realm of possibility that I could acquire a copy of every sports card that was ever made and the oddball cards were the treasures I wanted to hunt down and add to my collection.

I have fairly recently decided to try and build the old Hostess sets but outside of that I haven't been one to actively seek out oddball card sets in my adult years.  I will try to pull in Giants and player collection oddballs and that is what initially drew me into the auctions I won that I decided to share today. 

I already had the Will Clark in my collection but the Barry Bonds card was new to me.  These are postcard sized from 1993 Donruss.  This card wasn't even on my checklist/want list and I have found that frequently with Bonds cards from 1993. It is the year he moved from the Pirates to the Giants and, where I pull the lists for my checklist, don't have a team listed for Bonds on quite a few cards. It takes some luck and happenstance to run across cards like these.  The other cards were just a bonus.

Here is the back of the Bonds card, it is even set up as a postcard with a place for a stamp.  This card has some stains on it that show up much more on the scan and the lot of cards I picked up had damage as a major theme.  Luckily I am not too concerned as the price was low, I would have paid what I did for all of these for just the Bonds.

Here are the other cards included in the oversized card lot:

 First time I have seen these Mantle cards, they are postcard sized as well.  I did some Beckett searching and there are cards with similar fronts put out in 1997 by Scoreboard.  The only difference I can see on the front is where this card says Mantle Home Run Giant, the other card just says Mickey Mantle.  On the back, the numbering is different.  These two cards are 1 and 2 of 7 while the other set numbers them 39 and 40.  Sticking with the damage theme, the one of the left is pretty beat up.

The last 3 cards were definitely filler for me, they are all beat up and I am pretty sure I already have.  My younger oddball self liked tracking down these oddball Donruss sets.

While the Bonds was a nice addition, the best part of finding this auction was actually another auction by the same seller that it connected me to.  The seller offered a really bid combined shipping discount so when I searched his other auctions, I found an oddball set that I had never seen and that I really wanted to add to my collection.  I won it and decided to scan it in its entirety to share:

Not tons of scanning as this is just a 9 card set.  This is an oddball food set put out by Homers Cookies referred to as Homers Cookies Classics.  Here is a quick write up from

This nine-card standards-size set was sponsored by Legend Food Products in honor of Hall of Famers in baseball history. One free card was randomly inserted in each box of Homers Baseball Cookies. The cards have vintage sepia-toned player photos, with bronze borders on a white card face. The player's name appears in a bronze stripe overlaying the bottom edge of the picture. In black print on white, the back presents lifetime statistics, career highlights, and a checklist for the set. 

I really like the simple front design and enjoy the photos selected for the cards.  Most of them are pretty classic photos that I have seen elsewhere they look good together as a set.
Since the set was easy to scan, I decided to share the backs as well.  They contain a ton of info including a career stat line, the year they were elected to the HOF, 3-5 bullet points about their career and a checklist of the set on each card.

I am a huge fan of baseball history and enjoy picking up cards of legends like this.  I have found it pretty rare to run across cards from a set I have never laid eyes on like this which added to the fun in picking this up.

Its Opening Day tomorrow and even though this season is going to suck for my Giants I am excited.  For the first time in 20 years I am not in a fantasy league so I hope the season keeps my interest when the Giants are 20 games out.  I am skipping out on work a little early tomorrow to catch the game.  Play Ball!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

NY Giants Vintage Pick Ups

One of my 2019 goals is to pick up some vintage era NY Giants baseball cards.  Outside of the top rookies and the high number 1952s, I have a majority of the Bowman and Topps cards so part of the fun in my quest is seeking out cards from sets that aren't represented in my collection and in most cases cards I haven't seen in person before.  I have cards from two such sets that I thought I would share.

First up is the 1941 Double Play set.  I picked up 4 of the Giants cards from this set.

The 1941 Double Play set consists of 75 cards and each card features 2 players - hence the double pay name.  Each player is given a separate number so there are 150 subjects in the set.  The cards measure 2 1/2" by 3 1/8" and have a blank-back.  These were issued and distributed by Gum Products. There are 9 Giants cards in the set so I am almost halfway to the team set.  Cards 81-100 have action photos while the rest showcase portraits.  Of the remain cards, 2 feature HOF Mel Ott and 1 features HOF Carl Hubbell so finishing the team set will most likely be a little pricey.

The second set to share today is a pick up from 1952 Berk Ross.  I picked up 1 card from this set.

The 1952 Berk Ross sets consists of 71 cards.  It is pretty New York heavy with 19 Yankees, 18 Giants and 7 Dodgers.  No other team has more than 4 cards.  These cards are unnumbered and measure 2" by 3".  The fronts closely resemble the 1951 Bowman set in my opinion.  For the Giants team set, the Willie Mays is really the only super high valued card. Once again I am glad I am not a vintage Yankees collector as the Mantle is super high and there are also pricey cards of Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra.  There is a nice looking Jackie Robinson card that is pretty spendy as well.

If you have some recommendations for some reasonably priced pre-1958 sets I should be looking for drop me a comment.  I am having fun exploring some new sets.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

2019 Topps Opening Day Box Break

Just about every year I try and pick up a box of Topps Opening Day at my LCS.  I know it is a basically a slimmed down parallel set of the flagship set but there are usually a few cards with different photos and you sometimes get a sneak preview of some Series 2 cards.  However the main reason I like this set is are the inserts.  I typically find them as interesting or more interesting than the flagship inserts and much easier to complete. 

This year Opening Day features the first licensed MLB card of Mariners pitcher Yusei Kikuchi, my guess is there will be an updated picture in either Series 2 or Update. I was really hoping the Giants would have signed him but the Mariners beat them out.  Hope he has a good career, nice to see a young Japanese pitcher come to MLB.

Not only did I pull the Kikuchi in my box, I got the entire 200 card base set.  In addition to the set I only got 12 double and luckily 2 were Giants - Buster Posey and Dereck Rodriguez. 

This year there are 7 insert sets but I am only going to go after 4 of them.  The remaining 3 are tough pulls and I didn't even get 1 of any of them in my box.  The 25 card Rally Time inserts are found in 1:403 packs, the 25 card Sock it To Me inserts are found in 1:804 packs and the 20 card Dugout Peeks are found in 1:2,560 packs - wow those are long odds.  I was lucky enough to pull a card with some pretty long odds itself:

The autographs in this set are inserted at a rate of 1:971 packs so this Bieber is a pretty solid pull.  There are only 9 subjects in this set and while I would have liked to pull the Dereck Rodriguez this was still a nice surprise out of a $29 box.

I pulled 3 of the blue parallel cards, unfortunately no Giants here although I will do my best to pick up the team set:

Now here are the insert sets I will go after this year.  First up is the 150 Years of Fun set.  This is a 25 card set and I got 18 of them in my box.  This is the most common insert but probably my favorite with a great list of featured players.  Here are my 18:

Just great photo selection and perhaps my favorite insert set of the year so far.

Next up is the annual Mascot set.  This is a fun set and I scored 9 of the 25 cards in this box:

The next set I am going after is the Opening Day set where I got 6 of the 15 cards:

And finally the Team Traditions & Celebrations where I got 3 of the 10 cards. 

So the total number of inserts I am going after will be 75 cards, much better and more attainable than the 530 inserts I am seeking for the Series 1 flagship set.  If you open some of this and want to trade, you can find my want list linked here.

This was a fun break and I look forward to finishing off the insert sets and tracking down the Giants I need as well.  Not a bad way to spend $29.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

A Nice eBay Pickup

Back from my second trip to Orlando in the past month and decided it was time to get a post or two up.  I decided that today I would go with the LIFO method (last in, first out) and share something I got in the mail yesterday.

I picked up a 4 card lot that I came across accidentally.  I still have an eBay search that shoots me daily emails of new 2018 Willie McCovey cards and I saw a posting with this title "Topps Inserts Sp Willie McCovey,Rickey Henderson,Hank Aaron,Ted Williams 2018."  I already have the McCovey SP parallel from last year's Topps but the picture is what piqued my interest:

I hadn't picked up this Henderson card for my Rickey collection so I decided to put in a bid.  The post listed 3 other HOF names but only showed two pictures:

I nice Hank Aaron insert but one I already had, and:

An SP parallel of Ted Williams.  I had seen this card a couple times and love the photo.  Teddy Ballgame is wearing his warm up jacket, practicing his swing in the dugout with what I think is Fenway Park in the background.  The big grin on his face makes the photo, looks like a guy who just loves the game.

The final card was a mystery as there was no photo but as expected the aforementioned card I already have in my McCovey collection ended up being the final card:

In the end I won these cards for $6 delivered.  As mentioned the Rickey was a need and I figure the McCovey can go in the Giants binder since I have one in my player collection.  I will probably see if the Hank can find a new home.  The Williams isn't going anywhere, I love the card.  Any time I run across one of the retired player parallels I keep a hold of it.  I have considered going back to when they started a few years back and collecting all of them but I really don't need another collection.

Overall I am really happy with the pickup and have to appreciate the crappy listing job of the seller.  I have to think if these were better listed the price would have been higher than a $2.26 sale price.  Have you ever picked up something on eBay that was listed poorly and resulted in a good deal?