Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Now That's a Card

We are just finishing up our vacation and are getting ready to head home today, but I did scan a few things before leaving- just in case I felt like entering a new post. Today's will be short and sweet.

A few weeks ago I complained on Twitter about Topps failing to recognize Felix Hernandez' passing Randy Johnson as the team's all-time strikeout King, so when they issued a Topps Now card of The King passed Jamie Moyer as the team's all-time leader in Wins, I had to put my money where my mouth is.

*wanted to insert photos here, my iPad won't allow me to drag the photos--see below*

My thoughts on Topps Now after landing my first card: card stock was what I thought it would be. Card front isn't bad- not crazy about the 'brushed' look around the edges. The circles and line connecting them reminds me of that insert from 2015 Topps (I forget the name?). I'm not crazy about the design on the back, but I don't know what I was expecting. Perhaps the player's linescore from the game would have been nice. The packaging was a surprise, as earlier reviews were upset that they just threw it in a Card Saver. My card was in a penny sleeve, then placed in a top loader and then placed in the envelope. 

Overall, not bad- probably costs much more than it should be, but I'm not sure if it's sustainable. Cards every day, many of the same player and same type of moment (walk-offs) just leave me questioning whether collectors will get burnt out. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Cards for My Collection from Cardboard Collections

When I decided to go back and begin adding Heritage sets to my collection, one of the things I was undecided on was whether or not to collect some of the insert sets. I do not do this with the flagship Topps sets, but the Heritage ones are a whole different beast. I really like how News Flashbacks and Baseball Flashbacks revisit the past and how Then and Now connects the past to the present. 

Once I decided to go ahead and add those to the sets I began scouring eBay for some of the inserts sold as sets. I did pick up a couple of lots, but I also decided that I had better depend upon trading for some of the singles. 

Shortly around that time I saw that Colbey from Cardboard Collections needed 2016 Topps I singles for his set, and I just happened to have quite a few of them. A deal was worked out and he was able to knock quite a few of the Flashback cards from my 2011 Heritage want list. 

Nothing like some ol' time trading to take care of your set needs, I say. 

Thanks again, Colbey, for the trade!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Food-Issue Friday: A *Food-Issued* Rookie

It's been a while since I've done a food-issue Friday entry- heck, it's been a while since I've posted anything- but I'm in a hotel room with not a lot to do, so what better time to catch up?

I remember mentioning a couple of years ago how I would really like to pick up an Ichiro 'Rookie Card' from the Keebler Mariner set. Part of this is due to a certain 'mystic' of other such oddball rookie cards from the past- Hammerin' Hank, Yount, and The Wizard-Ozzie Smith, just to name a few. I had since forgotten about that until recently, when Ichiro began his hot streak as he marches towards 3,000. About that time I saw a Keebler set listed on eBay for $10. It's not really a 'food-issue' but it's my blog, my rules. You dig?

I really don't know how much interest there is in the states these days, but I figured there might be some interest in the international market and decided I'd jump on the set just in case prices begin climbing. 

The cards themselves were a bit of a disappointment, as they remind me more of playing cards than trading cards. But the way they were distributed is an interesting story.

Handed out at Safeco Field on July 15, 2001, the 20,000 packs contained 28 cards- 20 of which were of all different players. The other 8, however, were all of the same player. The purpose of this was to encourage trading your duplicates with others in order to complete a set. 

Thankfully the set I received had all twenty eight unique cards. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

2016 Spring Card Show #3: Thr3e

My final purchase from this past weekend's card show was done, at least partially, out of wanting to give a particular dealer some business. He's a nice guy who's a veteran of the local card scene and whom I've bought starter sets (among other things) from in the past. He was supposed to be on the other side of the table this time, but a table had been cancelled at the last minute and he was asked if he could fill a table.

Two of the items were not 'must haves' but with a discounted price I figured why not? Plus, they fit with my Heritage habit of late...

The other item purchased from this dealer was the thing I really wanted. In fact, it took me back to my early teen years- as I had one of these from a preseason Seahawks/Cardinals game we attended in August of 1984. For $2 I could not pass this one up. In case you didn't know-- 80s NFL was the best.

Well, that's it for my card show pickups. Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 16, 2016

2016 Spring Card Show #2- Lucky 7

In case you missed it this weekend, I published a post on Saturday afternoon in which I shared a few Heritage short prints that I had picked up for a mere $5 at that morning's card show. That was the first purchase of the day and today I'll look at the second one.

The dealer whom I bought these cards from was one of maybe two who actually had binders to look through. This has always been my preferred method of looking at cards, as it makes it much easier that sifting through boxes. Anyway, most of the baseball he had was from the early to mid-2000s so I began thinking I was just wasting my time. It was to my surprise, then, to find that he had some late '70s- early '80s Topps in there as well. Most were ones that I already had- but I did find the following four cards needed for three of my sets:

Not only that, but I also found the following three Red Lobster Cubs cards, which will be going out to three Cubs collectors (1 card per).

In all, I spent $2 for these seven cards. A good way to get rid of some quarters.

Next up, 3 items from the final of 3 purchases.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

2016 Spring Card Show #1: The $5 Special

I missed the last card show because I was thinking it would be about a month later than when it actually took place, so you can only imagine how excited I was when I woke up this morning. A lot has changed in my collecting habits since the last one I attended, so this day brought with it a sense of hobby rejuvenation.

The first table I stopped at was unattended, but the dealer came over shortly afterwards and began telling me about his specials (he was manning a second table for someone, apparently)- one of which was 2 cards/$1 or 75% off sticker price if only purchasing one card. I thought I was hearing things because I was browsing through the box at the time and saw a large number of cards marked anywhere from $6-$15.

I immediately began pulling Heritage baseball short-prints after this wonderful news and found nine (one of which was a double, for trade) that were needed for my sets. I also found two color variations that I thought I could use as trade bait or try to sell. That gave me an odd amount so I added one more card- a Clubhouse Collection relic card- so that I might only pay 50 cents per card. Before handing him the cards, I said, 'you did say 2/$1, right?" Okay, so I did hear him correctly. Handing him the cards,  I was expecting to have to hand him $6 but he said $5 would be good enough. Even better news!

Here are the spoils:

Not too bad for my first purchase of the day. What else did I pickup? Stay tuned for post number 2 when I share a few other sets needs as well as three oddballs for trades...

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Great Pages in the Annals of Topps: 1981 (#631-638)

It's really too bad that Mark Fidrych wasn't included in this 9-card run because it already features two great characters from the game during this time period, and a third would have been like hitting the trifecta at the race track.

You didn't know how interesting Alan Bannister and Doug Flynn were, huh? Well, I'm actually referring to Bill 'The Spaceman' Lee and Al 'The Mad Hungarian' Hrabosky (as if you didn't know that !) I guess in order to be considered a 'great character' one must possess a mad nick-name, and these dudes certainly qualify.

Add a pretty decent afro (but still not in the league of an Oscar Gamble), a checklist, and a baby blue uniform (not to mention the Trident on the helmet), and what we have is a Cliff Clavin. If only The Bird had been here... we'd be talking about a NORM(!) Peterson.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Next Year's Cardtoon?

In case you missed it on Mother's Day, Bryce Harper set an MLB record by reaching base 7 times without an official at-bat. For the record, he walked six times (including 3 intentional) and was hit by a pitch once.

I received Bryce's 2015 Topps Heritage short-printed card in the mail yesterday & as I was looking at the back I think I know what Topps will include on the back of his 2017 Heritage card: a CardToon featuring this feat. I don't see how they can't do it, as this record just screams an appearance in cartoon form.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

King Sized Card of The King

Some of my favorite cards of all-time are the vintage Topps All-Star cards. It didn't matter if it said Sport Magazine All-Star Selection (such as in the 1958 or 1960 Topps sets) or The Sporting News All-Star Selection (such as in the '59 set)- these subsets alone would be worth collecting.

This interest in those designs has carried over to not only the Heritage releases, but also the oversized cards Topps produced for the 2014 and 2015 MLB All-Star games.

I really wanted to pick up a Julio Teheran 2014 MLB All-Star Card (modeled after the '58s) but wasn't willing to pay $9 plus s/h that most eBay sellers were charging. But a 2015 Felix Hernandez showed up on the 'bay recently for $1.49 plus shipping- and I was thrilled to add it to my collection.

Measuring 5x7 and serial numbered to 49 (#27/49), this card features the All-Star Game logo in the bottom left corner and the serial number stamped in the upper right corner. Card backs are pretty plain, with a strip alone the top (with the Topps logo) and on the bottom (with copyright info, as well as the MLBPA and MLB logos). In the center is the number '15' in large blocks. All lettering on the back side is in red.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Food-Issue Friday: Going Yard

A recent eBay BIN caught my attention: three cards from the 1978 Hostess set- two of which featured players (Dan Meyer and Ruppert Jones) that I collected as a kid. Of course during this time period there wasn't much to choose from (Topps), but I did make an effort to find their cards. Anyway, after seeing these things of beauty, I couldn't help but buy them.

I decided to google Dan Meyer before I started drafting this post- I last remembered him with the A's in the early 80s and wanted to see what became of him. I skimmed through his Wikipedia entry and decided to click on a link that said something about him hitting two homers in an M's win. The link lead me to Google News and the box score/copy from a game in July of 1977. Not only did Dan hit two homers in the win against the Twins, but Jones and Stanton also homered that night. It was the only time that season that all three homered in the same game. Of no real importance- but kind a cool little piece of trivia.

It's funny- I get so tired of photos in today's card sets- most of which look the same, but I never tire of these poses in front of the stands or with Yankee Stadium in the background- not matter how often they were used. It's just part of the charm of cards from yesterday.

As always, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Forget Star Wars Day

With all due respect to JediJeff and all you other Star Wars fans... forget Star Wars Day. It's #HappyFelixDay

I have made a new discovery early this baseball season, and it has caused me to feel as if a lot of years have been wasted.

I'm talking about King Felix, the man pictured above.

You see, for years I have subscribed to the MLB package on mlb.com, allowing me to watch any out-of-market game. And for me that meant a lot of Atlanta Braves games. Of course I could watch any other game available to me, and at times I would, but because I live in the northwest I wasn't able to see Mariner games. So, I haven't had the pleasure of watching the King pitch. In fact, prior to the 2016 season, I don't recall ever watching him pitch.

But this season has been different. Gone is the MLB package and in its place is satellite TV and Root Sports Northwest- the regional sports channel. This has afforded me the pleasure of watching Felix (and the M's) and I have really taken to the dude not only as a pitcher but also as an individual. He's a real charismatic guy and I was blown away by how much the fans love him there in the Emerald City. I mean, they really love him.

The three cards featured today are recent additions for my Heritage sets, each being an SP. If you have any Heritage SPs that you'd be willing to part with, let me know and maybe we can work a trade. I'm also looking to pick up certain Felix cards (I'm going to start collecting certain cards of his- not jumping all in), so if you have anything, let me know!

I read a stat recently from Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune-- Felix and Zak Greinke are the two active leaders in no-decisions in starts where they allow 0-1 runs. The number? A staggering 45. It's a shame to see such greatness 'gone to waste'- so to speak. 

Finally, Felix recently passed Randy Johnson as the team's all-time strikeout leader, and with a Win today against the A's, Hernandez will become the Mariner's all-team leader in Wins. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Trading as Therapy

One of my unstated goals heading into 2016 was to not only be more involved in trading with other collectors, but to get some new trading partners. As we're a third of the way into the year already, I can proudly say that I have accomplished this goal already.

The latest 1st-time trade was with Adam from Addiction as Therapy. If you haven't checked out Adam's blog, please do so. He has an interesting story on how he got back into collecting- and has been an awesome addition to the community the past 15 or so months.

Anyway, I read a post a couple of weeks ago about his 2016 Heritage Box break and was pleasantly surprised to see Adam offer some of the SPs as trade bait. Since I've decided to try to complete the set, I jumped at the opportunity to pick up a card or two. So, I responded to Adam's post-- but then forgot to check back. Apparently, he responded and asked me to contact him. I didn't, obviously, since I forgot about it. I then later received an email from Adam asking for my contact info. I'm glad someone's on top of his game, because I'm sure not!

Not only was Adam kind enough to send the Robbie Cano card, but surprised me with 29( !!!!) cards that are needed for my 1997 Topps set! This knocks my want list to just 5 cards for completing the set (#2, 17, 84, 203, 246).

Not only was I 'graced' (as Tony from Wrigley Roster Jenga could call it) with a card of Mark Grace, but also received a couple of my favorite players from 90s/00s: Mark Kotsay and Andruw Jones. I was a fan of Kotsay's since college and always appreciated how he played the game.

Then there were the 'Big Three', as I'll call them:

Junior will be joining Ripken and the Big Hurt in the Hall of Fame in about 90 days. Will his hat be on backwards on his plaque? Time shall tell...

Thanks again, Adam for the trade and all the great cards!