Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's (Collecting) Resolutions

I've never been one to make new year's resolutions, but with the end of the calendar year finally here and having been rethinking my collecting habits maybe it's time to resolve to:

1) Move outside of what has been my primary collecting interests (Braves) to include at least one pre-1980 Hall of Famer, or star, per month. I've got an early jump on this one by recently picking up this 1958 Topps All Star Stan "The Man" Musial. These cards will be more of an investment than anything.

2) Continue to move away from newer releases, freeing up money to put into the vintage stuff. I will continue to pick up Braves Topps team sets, the Heritage team set, and buy hand collated sets of both. Buying packs and boxes will not be on my radar.

3) Begin a 1977 Topps baseball set. This was the year that I really started getting into cards as a kid, and thought it would be fun to put a set together. Other sets I am looking at: 1979, 1980, 1984-1986.

4) Get back into the football card market. Since re-entering the hobby last year, I haven't picked up any Buccaneer cards, and would like to begin adding Tampa Bay rookie cards to my collection.

What about you- do you plan on changing your collecting habits this upcoming year?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Baseball Thrills and Deja Vu

First off- I want to wish everyone out in the blogosphere a very Merry Christmas; I hope you had the opportunity to spend time with loved ones as well as reflect upon, and celebrate, the birth of Jesus Christ.

In our traditional exchanging of gifts, one package in particular caught my attention. Due to the size of the package, I guessed correctly that it would contain a card or, in this case, cards. Needless to say, I was thrilled with the first card- a 1959 Topps Baseball Thrills card of Henry Aaron. This card flashed back to the '57 World Series, in which the Hammer hit .393 and had three homers. It was in game 4 of the Series that Hank hit a three-run home run to even up the series at two. And in wonderful fashion, Topps captured the moment on card #467.

The second card in my package was another Aaron-this one a 1959 Topps #380. As I took it all in, I couldn't help but think how familiar this all seemed. However, trolling ebay for deals will make even the rarest of cards seem like your neighbor next door-so I didn't even think about it anymore. Until this evening when I pulled out my Braves inventory book, and saw that the '59 Aaron was already checked off. And to use a Yogi-ism: it was deja vu all over again. Yes, somehow my wife (bless her heart) managed to ignore the Christmas list I had given her and still had the list from my birthday in August-a list with about twenty cards on it. And so for whatever reason, she picked the same card twice and I now have two '59 Aarons. Hopefully, the dealer she bought it from has a sense of humor and will accept a return and exchange it for something different!

Friday, December 24, 2010

1956 Topps Ray Crone

If one word is used to describe pitcher Ray Crone, it may be the word "persevering." Despite throwing well in the minors, Crone seemed to be on the slow track in getting to the majors-including returns to levels where it seemed he had nothing left to prove. So discouraged was Crone that he actually contemplated giving it all up. Sticking with it, though, proved to be a smart move, as he ended up going 19-11 with a 2.38 ERA and 20 complete games in '53. After making the Milwaukee roster out of spring training in 1954, Crone found himself in familiar territory: being shipped out. When September rolled around the Braves recalled Crone, who after a good showing in the majors thought he was there to stay. It wasn't to be, though, as a rough spring in 1955 would be yet another setback in Crone's journey. In true Crone fashion, the righty persevered and found himself back in Milwaukee, where he would end the '55 season with 10 victories (including a four-hitter against the World Champion Brooklyn Dodgers) and a very respectable 3.47 ERA. Currently a scout in the San Diego system, Crone was perhaps best known for his self-less character and being one of the finer gentleman in the game during his playing days.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

1956 Topps George Crowe

A Google search of old issues of Baseball Digest pulled up an article about today's subject, George Crowe, that was titled, "The Insurance Man Pays Off." Insurance Man was an appropriate name for Crowe, whom the Braves signed in 1949. Prior to his signing, Big George-as he was called-starred in another sport. While at Indiana Central College, he was a star on the basketball team that was a small college powerhouse in the midwest. After spending the next three years serving his country in the Army, Crowe went on to play professional basketball for the New York Renaissance- a team that was in one of the leagues that would merge together to form the NBA. During one of his offseasons Crowe was offered a job with the New York Black Yankees of the Negro National League, he took it and the rest, they say, is history. The reference to him being an insurance man is due to the fact that despite always hitting and being a run producer, Crowe just never got a shot as a regular. He found himself in roles backing up sluggers such as Joe Adcock in Boston/Milwaukee and Ted Kluszewski in Cincinnati, and ended up slugging 31 homers in 1957 after Klu battled a bad back.

Even though the pictured card is a 1956 Topps, where he is listed and shown as a member of the Milwaukee team, Crowes final season in the Braves organization was actually 1955. He was traded to the Reds on April 9th of '56 for Bob Hazel and a player to be named later. George would go on to hit .250 with 10 Home Runs in limited action (only 144 at-bats) that first year in Cincinnati.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Have You Ever Been Guilty of This?

So, we braved the crowds tonight by making a trip to the local Target store in order to pick up a few last minute things before Christmas. And what should I see as I opened my door and looked down to watch where I was stepping???
Apparently, some dude couldn't wait to get home before he ripped open his 2010 Bowman Chrome Draft pack. Now, I've been guilty of this many times- but this guy is a stinkin' litter bug! But he is, as I told my wife, a man after my own heart. Baseball Cards and a Pepsi-now that's my idea of a great evening!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

December Card Show Purchases 1

I've got to hand it to our LCS owner: he has great timing for scheduling his shows. Many people might look at a December 18th date as being too close to Christmas for a card show, opting to spend their money on gifts. I viewed it as good timing because I received my end of year bonus yesterday and set aside some cash from it to spend at the show. When I woke up this morning, though, I had doubts as to whether or not I would make it- we received snow overnight, and the tv weather guys said the roads were very slick. Being the card junkie that I am, I decided to brave the roads (which weren't bad at all by the time I left) and the 25+ mile trek and came across some good deals that were too good to pass up...

2003 Topps Certified Autograph #TA-WS Warren Spahn

I had never seen any of these '03s, and have been wanting an autograph of Spahn. I would have prefered an autographed ball, but for $25 I was more than willing to settle on this card. I like the fact that the signature is on card; however, I would be lying if I didn't admit to being a little nervous in buying this. Look at how well the signature is written for a man in his eighties-usually the handwriting of someone that age is shaky, and this doesn't seem to be the case here. I am going to take Topps at their word that this is authentic. One unique thing about the year of this card: Spahn died at the end of 2003, only a few months after this would have been on the market.

1954 Topps #30 Ed Mathews

The guy I bought the Mathews from was busting up some of his sets and so not only did I get this card from him, but many '55 and '56s as well. The top has the two pin holes in them, but I didn't let that prevent me from picking up this third year Mathews for a very small percentage of book value.

1970 Topps#64 A.L. RBI Leaders

I love anything that has to do with season highlights or league leaders, and this one features three great sluggers. Reggie's rookie card was in the '69 set, and for $2 I get one from the second set to feature him. And Killebrew... you've gotta love "Killer"-one of the local boys to make it to the big-time!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I see where Topps has released product information for their 2011 Gypsy Queen baseball set.

My initial reaction was, "Not another retro set!" While I still enjoy the Heritage Line, and I have grown to like the mini Allen & Ginters, I can't help but ask: do we really need another retro set? Not to mention one that is reminiscent of their A & G and T-206 sets.

The new card market has grown to be about as stale as that piece of gum found in a 1980 wax pack-and I find that very disheartening, because I only re-entered The Hobby a year ago. Despite only going through the cycle of releases once, I have come to the point where I am weary of newer product. It seems that each new release is a regurgitation, with the same old gimmicks: relics (which all look the same), short-print variations with HOF'ers and current stars, and the parallels. I've got one word for you Topps: Superfluous.

If Topps insists on putting out these products, why not include just one of the 'hits'/inserts in each product: Topps base with the SP variations, Heritage with the Chrome parallels, Allen & Ginter with Relics (or something like that). Or how about this: for the Heritage line, go back to having a high number series that has a smaller print run and bag the short-prints that make up part of the set. Let's make it so where someone on a budget can actually hand-collate a set themselves.
Instead of anxiously awaiting this product, I think I'll just enjoy some vintage cardboard and some vintage rock, as I listen to April Wine sing about a Gypsy Queen.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Yo, Adrian!

He will soon find out....
Yankeeees Suck!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

1999 Topps Action Flats Chipper Jones

Yet another odd-ball Chipper, this time from 1999. I wasn't crazy about the little action figure-I never did get too excited about Starting Lineups or any of the others- but the card was a keeper. The 1999 Topps set is one of my favorites of the past twenty years and for the Action Flat cards, they kept the same design-only placing the player name, team name, and Topps name opposite of the regular issue. The backs are identical, save the card number being different, and the small Action Flat logo placed on the bottom of the picture. Both feature great pictures of Chipper: one catching him with his sweet swing-eyes on the ball!- and the other which looks like he either swung and missed or absolutely crushed one!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Topps Nestle Chipper Jones

The copyright on the back of this card shows 2001, but the statistic bars show Chipper's 2001 lines, so it was released either in late 2001 or 2002. I actually pulled this out of a box of Nestle Ice Cream bars, and was thrilled to get it (even with the creases).
Remember all the talk about how to get kids back into the hobby (which I believe is critical to the future of the hobby)? Well, one way to do that is by getting cards back into cereal, ice cream, frozen pizza, etc. Are you listening, Topps?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cards I'm Thankful For, Pt. 3

Card #3
1987 Topps #170 Bo Jackson

1987- the year that I graduated from high school. I was a horny seventeen year old kid with a car and a guitar, and I had lost interest in baseball cards by then (although I was still a sports nut). That doesn't take away from the coolness of this throwback type of athlete, appearing on the card that is reminiscent of the 1962 Topps. Vincent Edward Jackson was arguably the most exciting .250 hitter in the history of the game, and if you are ever going to do a "what if..." list, you know Bo has got to be high on it! By the way, Bo should have landed at number nine on my list- it was an oversight.

Card #2

1961 Topps #484 Hank Aaron

My wife bought this '61 Aaron card for my birthday this year. I'm not old enough to have had the pleasure of watching Aaron play in his prime, but the Braves great still ranks up high on my list of favorite athletes. Topps commemorated Aaron's MVP award from 1957 on this card. 1957 also happened to be the year the Braves won their only World Series (upsetting the Yankees!) while in Milwaukee. Thankfully, Topps included some of the Hammer's shoulders on this card- preventing it from being one of those goofy "floating head" shots they used at various times throughout the years. I really like the colors in the MVP subset- for some reason card companies (and advertisers) can not duplicate the beauty of colors from the past.

Card #1

1996 Topps World Series Champions #177 Chipper Jones

Could the top card be anything other than this one? Topps produced a special Braves team set commemorating their 1995 World Championship and it was distributed at Wal-Mart. I must have picked this up at a card show (?) because I don't have the rest of the team set. Add the Topps All-Star Rookie Cup logo to it, and you have a winner! Oh yeah-it doesn't hurt that this is my favorite Brave player.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cards I'm Thankful For, Pt. 2

In picking 9 cards that I'm thankful for, I didn't make the choices based upon monetary value-rather, each card has its own story.

Card #6
1964 Topps #9 N.L. Home Run Leaders
It's been nearly one year since I re-entered the hobby and this was my first purchase. I picked this one up primarily because of Hammerin' Hank, but I think it's a good investment anytime you can get a card with four Hall of Famers on it. What's interesting about the back of this card is that it features not only a list of the home run leaders, but it also contains a column with the leaders in grand slams for the '63 season.

Card #5
1989 Topps #382 John Smoltz (RC) autographed

Picking a favorite from the vaunted Braves staff of the 90s is no easy task. Each of the big three brings something different to the table (or, mound), and I really don't have a favorite among them (although a young Steve Avery might have been #1). So- my choice of Smoltz here is based upon it being an autographed rookie card that I purchased off of one of the home-shopping network type programs back in 1992. This one came in a really thick lucite holder, and was put out by the Score Board, Inc. Unfortunately, the signature has faded over the years-but it still has a place at #5.

Card #4

1989 Topps Traded #41T Ken Griffey Jr.
Okay, so it's not THE Rookie Card of the Kid. I sold mine long ago, when it was pulling in three figures. This one, however, is still an undervalued card, in my opinion, and no player better represents this generation of ball players. The Upper Deck card may be more iconic, but this shot of Junior is a classic pose; it's a throwback, and would look good on, say, a 1965 Topps card.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cards I'm Thankful For, Pt.1

One of the things my wife and I have sought to instill in our children is an "attitude of gratitude." All we have been blessed with is a gift of God, and therefore we ought to give thanks for even the smallest of things. And so, with our nation celebrating Thanksgiving this week, I thought it would be fun to come up with a list of 9 cards that I'm particularly thankful for. In the grand scope of things, collecting sports cards is pretty insignificant-but it has been, and continues to be, a hobby that one can enjoy and escape the more significant things in life-even if it is only for a little while. Why 9? Well, I'm borrowing it from MLB Networks Prime 9 show: It's a baseball number- 9 Players, 9 Innings.

~Honorable Mention~
1953 Bowman color #99 Warren Spahn
Forgive me for adding a tenth card- let's just say we're going extra innings. I added this as an "Honorable Mention" because I no longer own a '53 Spahn. I did at one time-back when I was a bachelor (although it wasn't this copy- I found this card on the PSA Website). The '53 Bowman colors are hands down the most beautiful set ever produced, in my opinion, and the Spahn was the jewel of my collection. However, when my wife and I got engaged, I sold off my collection of vintage Braves to help finance the wedding. Sigh.

2001 Topps Heritage #52 Chipper Jones
Mr Brave. I picked this card because it reminds me-in some esoteric way- of the 1952 Topps card of Chipper's hero, Mickey Mantle. Let's connect the dots: Chipper is featured on card #52, which happens to be the year Topps produced the most sought after post-war card (of a player who, again, was Chippers idol). Topps also portrays Chipper with a glance in the distance, somewhat similar to Mantle's (although Jones' is more to the horizon, rather than to the heavens). Coincidence? I think not. #conspiracytheory

Card #8
2001 Topps Traded #T247 Albert Pujols

It may not be his most sought-after card from his rookie season; but never-the-less, it's his Topps Rookie Card. And that makes it something special, because Phat Albert is a once in a generation talent.

Card #7
1970 Topps #189 Thurman Munson/David McDonald

The Captain. I know, it's the Yankees- but Munson was something special. What so many fans loved about Munson was his blue collar work ethic, as well as his gruff-but lovable- disposition. I still remember where I was when I heard of his death: at an Angels/A's game on August 6-the day of Munson's funeral.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

1967 Topps #307 Jim Beauchamp

1967 Topps #307 Jim Beauchamp

Born in Venita, Oklahoma, Beach was a legend in his home state. After turning pro in 1958, Beauchamp spent the 1959, 1960, and the first eleven games of the 1961 season at AA Tulsa (Cardinals). During that time, Beauchamp put up some pretty good numbers, but it wasn't until his sixth minor league season that Beauchamp really broke out the bat. Moving back down from AAA Atlanta to AA Tulsa for the '63 season, Jim absolutely raked- hitting .337 with 31 homers, 105 RBI, 95 runs, 35 2B, 10 3B, 21 SB, a .625 SLG, and a 1.019 OPS. Beauchamp finished the '63 season in St Louis, going 0-3 with 2 strikeouts. Beauchump was then traded that offseason to the Houston Colt 45s and from there on spent the rest of his playing career bouncing back and forth between the Braves, Reds, Astros, Cardinals, and Mets. Despite spending ten years in the majors, Beach only collected 730 plate appearances. After his playing days were over, Jim went on to manage in the minors for 15 years, five of those being in the Braves organization. Atlanta then brought Jim up to the major league team to serve as bench coach from 1991-2001. Beauchamp in 2002 began serving as the Braves' minor league outfield coordinator, a position he kept until his death in 2007.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

There's A New Kid in Town

Everybody's talkin' about the new kid in town.
I hate to see Infante and Dunn gone, but we picked up that right-handed pop we desperately needed!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mailbox Monday: 1978 Topps

In my quest to finish the '78 Topps Baseball set, I decided to pick some up from a new source- Check Out My Cards. If you haven't used COMC, I recommend them-especially if you're looking at picking up multiple cards. After todays addition, I'm down to 15 cards need to complete the set. Here's a few of the 10 cards added to my set:

1978 Topps #655 Lyman Bostock
Bostock became one of the majors first high priced free-agents when he signed with the Angels in November of 1977. His first three seasons were spent in Minnesota, where he hit a total of .318 with 78 doubles, 26 triples, and 18 homers, appearantly on his way to becoming a star. After a slow start to the 1978 season, Bostock caught fire for his new team and by late September he had posted some respectable numbers. Sadly, his season-nay, his life- was cut short on September 23. Following a road game against the Chicago White Sox, Bostock found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Having visited a friends house, Bostock and his uncle gave the woman and her sister a ride to their cousins house. Little did they know, the sisters estranged husband was in his car-waiting outside of his sister-in-laws house. Witnessing Bostock and his wife sitting next to one another in the back seat, the man (Leonard Smith) assumed the two were having an affair- and proceded to follow them until they came to a stop light. At that time, Smith pulled up next to the car, pulled out a shotgun and fired the trigger-aiming it at his wife. Unfortunately, Bostock was sitting to the right of the estranged wife, and took the bullet in his temple.

1978 Topps #670 Jim Rice
I guess much has been made about the controversy surrounding Rice's election to the Hall of Fame, and I can understand the arguments made against his induction, but still-I was glad to see him elected. One of the A.L.'s most dominating players from '75 to '86, Rice followed up his great 1977 season (in which the first-time All Star led the league in slugging and homers) with an MVP during his monstrous 1978 season. Although Rice won his only MVP that season, he did finish in the top 5 six times in his career.

1978 Topps #721 Billy Martin
Controversial. That's one of many adjectives that can be used to describe the late manager. Who doesn't remember the soap opera in New York between he and George Steinbrenner back in the day? Martin served as Yankee manager 5 different times-I guess you could have called it a love-hate relationship? I had the pleasure(?) of meeting Billy during his tenure in Oakland-yes, when he notoriously overworked his pitching staff- in 1981. I only wish I still had the baseball he had signed.

1978 Topps #703 Jack Morris (RC)
Money. That's the word I would use to describe this four-time world champion. Say what you want to about his 3.90 career ERA, Morris turned it up a notch in the World Serie. His 10 inning shutout against John Smoltz and the Braves in game 7 to clinch the 1991 World Series was one for the ages, and made this Atlanta fan stand up and applaud him.

Also on this card: Mickey Mahler. The former Braves pitcher has a name that is almost as poetic as Mickey Mantle. Almost.

1978 Topps #704 Lou Whitaker (RC)

Another great rookie from this set- Sweet Lou won the AL ROY in '78 and went on to star in the Motor City for the next nineteen years. Surprisingly, Lou failed to receive 5 percent of the Hall of Fame votes in his first year of eligibility. Thus, he is ineligible for induction until 2015. I really think those with a vote need to look closer at what Whitaker did offensively and defensively, and then compare him to other HOF second basemen because he compares quite nicely!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My, Oh My!-RIP Dave Niehaus

Baseball lost one of a kind today, as long-time Seattle Mariner play-by-play man Dave Niehaus passed away today after suffering a heart attack. I have lived my entire life in the northwest, and one of my fondest childhood memories was discovering the beauty of listening to baseball on the radio, tuning in to the Mariners games their first six or so years. Niehaus was such a colorful character, you couldn't help but like him. It's been a tough year for Mariner fans: a disappointing season, watching Griffey's career come to an end, and now the loss of Dave. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

50 Year Counterparts: Bob Hartman/James Parr

One of my favorite sets from the 60s is the 1960 Topps baseball. With the 2009 release of the Heritage set, I think that Topps really got it right that year and turned out a great set. So-let's take a look at some counterparts from those two releases.

1960 Topps #129 Bob Hartman
Born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Hartman is only one of four Kenosha natives to have pitched in the Big Leagues. The lefty was signed by the Braves as a free-agent in 1955-five years after he began throwing batting practice to major leaguers at the young age of 13. By 1958, Hartman looked like he was going to be a middle of the rotation starter for Milwaukee, as he went 20-10 with a 2.94 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP for Double-A Atlanta. Hartman was lucky to have had the opportunity to still be pitching at that point: while at AAA Witchita in Spring Training 1956, he was diagnosed with diabetes after he saw his health plummet, dropping 50 pounds in two months. He eventually came back that July, although he then battled an arm injury. Bob spent most of the 1959 season in AA Louisville, although he did appear in three games for Milwaukee that April and June. As it turns out, those would be the only games he would play for the Braves. In 1962, Milwaukee traded Hartman to Cleveland, where he would pitch in 8 games for the Indians that season-his last in the majors. After his playing days ended in 1963, Hartman was heavily involved in youth baseball and softball in his hometown. Bob died this past June at the age of 72.

2009 Topps Heritage #129- James Parr
Being a pitcher in today's Atlanta organization isn't an easy task. Loaded with great starting pitching at all levels, one can find himself buried behind more heralded prospects. Every once in a while, though, a pitcher will make his way to Atlanta-even if it is for just a cup of coffee. One such prospect is James Parr, a fourth round pick in the 2004 draft. Despite an unspectacular minor league career up to that point, the Braves brought Parr up in September of 2008 to make a start against the Washington Nationals on Sept. 4. Parr threw six shut-out innings that day to pick up the victory in a 2-0 Braves win. The next week, against Colorado, Parr would make his second start, and once again threw six shut-out innings. This time, however, he would not pick up the victory. In fact, Parr would go onto to pitch in three more games that season-as well as eight in 2009- without another decision. Perhaps James' greatest claim to fame was combining with Angelo Burrows to throw the first no-hitter in Rome history, as they did on June 8, 2005. Or, perhaps, it is his being featured in Sports Illustrated's "Pop Culture Grid" in the 3/11/09 issue. In it, the featured athletes were asked, "I'm really sick of hearing about...", in which Parr replied, "President Obama". Good call.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mailbox Monday: 2009 Allen & Ginter Casey Kotchman Relic

Rejoice Braves fans, this is what Atlanta netted in trading Neftali Feliz & Elvis Andrus to Texas...

Let's see if this post will get more hits than Kotch did during his time in the Atl.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Georgia Mindset is out of his mind! Free Box of 2010 Topps Chrome!!!

Card collector, blogger, and fellow Braves fan Georgia Mindset is out of his mind. That's right, he's giving away 1 box of 2010 Topps Chrome baseball to one lucky collector. You can check out his blog here. Just remember though- if you found out about it from here, and you win the box, I'd like first shot at the Braves cards :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

2010 Topps Update Box Break

I'm not one who breaks very many boxes or packs. Every now and then I'll pick up a blaster just to enjoy seeing what I can pull, but I'm usually content with buying or trading for singles on my wantlist. There's only two products that I try to build sets of: Topps base product and the Topps Heritage. So, I was pretty excited to pick up a hobby box of Topps Update recently from my LCS. I had been waiting for it for months, and even ponied up a little more $$ for it just to give a local guy some business.

After breaking the box, however, I am going to think long and hard about purchasing anymore boxes of the base Topps in the future. I still love the cards, and want the sets, but when each pack contains only 10 cards, one of which is a Topps Attax or Toppstown-type of garbage card I say enough is enough. The update set itself is 330 cards (bringing the total set to 990 cards), many of which aren't necessary. But being the baseball junkie I am, I really don't mind a big set like that, so I don't mind the All-Star cards or the "Rookie Debuts". My problem with Topps is that out of a 330 card set, I am still 76 cards short of a set-and that's taking into account that I only had seven doubles. Now, if the Topps Attax were not in each pack (or if they were an eleventh card), I would only be short perhaps 42 cards-which is much more realistic. As it is, I am now stuck with either buying another box (which isn't going to happen), trade for others I need (and remember, I only have 7 doubles), buy the 76 singles (which will still be spendy), buy a hand collated set (most likely scenario), or just give up on it. Anyone else feel the frustration that I'm experiencing?

Here's the breakdown:
Cyan Printing Plate #1/1 Bill Hall

(9) Million Card Giveaways (which I then redeemed for the following cards: '89 Topps All Star Kirby Pucket, 1980 Bob Forsch, 1987 Steve Carlton, 2001 Pedro Martinez, 1982 Charlie Lea, 2004 Toby Hall, 1972 Willie Davis (flipped for a '72 Ralph Garr), 1964 Pete Ward (flipped for a '64 Denis Menke), and a 1982 Dave Frost.

(6) Gold Cards- including Braves Kyle Farnsworth

(6) More Tales of the Game- including Warren Spahn

(9) Turkey Reds

(5) Peak Performance- including an autographed Andrew Cashner

(13) Cards Your Mama Threw Out- including an original back '82 Rickey Henderson

(1) SP Variation of Reggie Jackson

(4) Legendary Lineage

(9) Vintage Legends- my favorite of the Topps inserts this year.

and the Rookie Chrome Refractor- Rookie pitcher for the Washington Senators....Yes-

Drew Storen

Thursday, October 28, 2010

This Day in Braves History- 1995 World Series Champions!

It's hard to believe it's been 15 years, but on this day in 1995 the Braves delivered the city of Atlanta (and the nation of Braves fans) it's first championship. In doing so, the Braves became the first franchise to win championships in three different cities.

Series MVP Tom Glavine pitched eight innings that night, allowing only one hit (a bloop single by Indians catcher Tony Pena) before giving it over to closer Mark Wohlers, who preserved the 1-0 lead for the save. The other hero that night was David Justice, who hit a sixth inning home run for the games only run. Justice had ripped the fans earlier that day for what he perceived to be a lack of enthusiasm among the Atlanta fans. With a swing of the bat, all was forgiven.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All-Star Game Gear: Prado and Infante

I received these two cards in the mail today. I normally wouldn't have chased any of these relic cards, but with it being the first All-Star game for each, I couldn't pass up the good deal on the 'bay.

2010 Topps Update #AS-OI Omar Infante

2010 Topps Update #AS-MP Martin Prado

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mailbag Monday: Jonny Venters Autograph

Nothing like starting out the day, and being a Monday-the week, with a root canal. At least it gave me an opportunity to come home, do some reading, take a short nap, finish going through my box of Topps Update baseball, and get this beauty in the mail...

2010 Topps Update Set Peek Performance Auto #PPA-JV

"Every Day Jonny" was a huge addition to the Braves staff this season, and could quite possibly get a few ROY votes. Atlanta knew they had a good arm in Venters, but probably didn't expect him to throw as well, and as often, as he did. He could end up as the successor to closer Billy Wagner next season, or in a dual-closer role with Craig Kimbrel.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Braves Baseball, or the King of Queens?

At times this year I didn't know if I was watching Braves baseball, or an episode of The King of Queens... and no- I'm not talking about comedy on the field.

Kris Medlen

Patton Oswalt (Spencer Olchin)

Kevin James (Doug Heffernan)

Eric Hinske