Friday, June 17, 2011

Nothing beats cheap vintage—Part Two

Gonna jump right into this post as I am hoping to also post a random mish-mash of trade bait material.

So three more cheap vintage cards and three more Hall of Famers!
While all three did not quite come as cheap as this morning's post, these still we all had for a little more than the cost of a blaster box. All three did come with free shipping so I didn't mind paying a little bit more per card.
Love the 1960 Warren Spahn card. Has a lot of rich color and the corners are pretty decent. I had tried landing this card a couple of times but got outbid in the closing seconds. There is a super light crease than can only be seen if you tilt the card just right, still, a pretty sweet card of one of my favorite Topps designs of the sixties. Regarded as a "thinking man's" pitcher who liked to outwit batters, Spahn once described his approach on the mound: "Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing."

Next up is a 1961 Topps Frank Robinson. A young Robinson would go on to win the National League MVP in '61 scoring 117 runs, while mashing 37 homers and knocking in 124 Redlegs. Oh, and he could run too, the 25-year old stole 22 bags that season. While not the card I was trying to get (I liked his '62 Topps better), this year always seemed to be priced pretty low compared to some of his other cards. Frank helped the Reds to the NL pennant in 1961 but, the Reds lost the 1961 World Series to the Yankees.

And finally, the 1974 Topps Nolan Ryan. This is a great shot of Ryan from the mound, menacing and intimidating. Ryan is the all-time leader in no-hitters with seven, three more than any other pitcher. He is tied with Bob Feller for most one-hitters, with 12. He also pitched 18 two-hitters. Despite the seven no-hitters, Ryan never threw a perfect game, nor did he ever win a Cy Young Award. Nolan is one of only 29 players in baseball history to date to have appeared in Major League baseball games in four decades.

Speaking of vintage and trade posts, I hope to start putting some vintage up for trade bait to help fill in holes with my All Decade teams. I know I'll be throwing a 1960 AL Kings (Kuenn/Fox), a 71 Rose, and a '73 Seaver just to name a few off the top of my head so stay tuned.

Nothing beats cheap vintage—Part One

Ahhhh, feels good to get back in the swing of blogging, and feels good now that Friday is here. It was a crazy week at work in which my company laptop/computer crapped out and then IT had to wrestle with the Mac Powerbook in order to crack it open to retrieve the hard drive and put it into another old Mac. Thankfully, the HD was A-Ok, but then the next night, the power cord died while I was working on a rush project. Thankfully, after this episode, and pleading for the last year, a new Mac Powerbook Pro will be in my hands come Tuesday.

So now that I have caught my breath, I have been going through some stuff I had picked up on eBay and had scanned, but never posted. So with out further ado, let's kick off the weekend with some cheap vintage ....

First up, three super star pitchers of the 1960's, all three are Hall of Famers, they all threw No-hitters, and all three will anchor their respective All-Decade team pitching staffs.

I had forgot what I had won these cards for, so I went back into my eBay history and forgot just how cheap I won these for. I hate paying shipping, so figure it was either free or no more than a couple of bucks per card. The 1964 Juan Marichal was had for $1.54 and 1965 Jim Bunning was purchased for $1.86. So two mid-60's, HOFs in pretty nice shape (no creases, sharp color) for less than two, 2011 Topps packs. Hell yah!!! Sign me up!!!

Of the three cards, the 1966 Sandy Koufax is clearly the worst of the bunch, but I finally have myself a Koufax!! 'Ol Sandy has some creases, soft corners, but still a nice looking card. This one I went a little over $10 bucks in order to win the auction. If I could go back in time, Koufax and Bob Gibson would be the two fireballers I would have loved to see pitch in person.

Looking at the back of Juan Marichal's '64 Topps, you'll see he won 25 games in 1963. This would start a stretch in which he would go onto win 20+ games a season in six of the next seven years! Marichal would win more games than any pitcher in the 1960's, yet he appeared in only one World Series game. He started game four of the 1962 World Series against the New York Yankees. His final line was 4.0 IP, 2H, 0ER, 2BB, and 4SO. He did leave with a 2-0 lead but did not figure in the decision, a 7-3 Giants win.

When looking for a factoid for Mr. Bunning, I found this one and couldn't believe it. "When he retired, he had the second-highest total of career strikeouts in Major League history; he is currently 17th." Number one at the time of his retirement was Walter Johnson, number three ... Cy Young. Now you can see why I might have been wowed. I knew Bunning was a pretty good pitcher in his day but as one who was born in 1973, I never realized how good he was. Having thrown a no-hitter for both Detroit and Philly, Jim is only one of five pitchers to accomplish the feat.

And what can so you say about Koufax, he was absolutely brilliant from 1961–1966 before arthritis ended his career at only 30 years old. However, it is one moment in which Sandy will always be remember for, his decision to not pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur. This decision garnered national attention as an example of conflict between social pressures and personal beliefs. From the "Did You Know Department?" ... on September 29, 1957, Koufax became the last man ever to pitch for the Brooklyn Dodgers before their move to Los Angeles, by throwing an inning of relief in the final game of the season.

And there you have it, some good 'ol cheap vintage for a good 'ol Friday. Check back for later on tonight for part two.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

LCS visit brings in vintage and retro vintage (PART TWO)

So many times I look at the boxes and boxes of cards and wonder, how can I organize my collection better. How can I make it truly mine? How can I keep this "fun" for me? What's a good way to pull out a binder and explore the history of the game? The players, the uniforms, the crazy hair of the 70's, odd nicknames, etc. ... I know other blogs have "built" All-Time team binders and the like, but how can I do this for myself in a way that encompasses the stars and not so stars of America's pastime and showcase Topps' design through the years?

I have thought about just doing a page of each Topps baseball card design, but there is no way I would be able to limit myself to say, nine cards from any given year. Hhhmmm, what if I did that and didn't limit myself?  Well then I might have nine pages of 1971 Topps but only one page of 1988 Topps. That won't work.

I went back and thought about doing the All-Time teams bit again and again ... a project that would be easier to tackle and more attractive thanks to all the recent reto set products. However, I am a bit anal and wouldn't want a 2011 Gypsy Queen Honus Wagner next to a nice 1964 Topps Bill Mazeroski. So what to do, what to do, how can I pull this together? I needed to answer the question of "what is it about baseball and baseball cards that I love the most? What always draws me back to looking at these pieces of cardboard?" The answer was easy and stems from one of my favorite baseball books in my library, Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Lineups.

So with a little bit of fine tuning on my end, I am starting a new collecting project that will be one of All-Decade teams for each Major League ball club from the 1960's till present in Topps baseball card form. Each ball club for each decade will have; one, 9-pocket page for the starting line up that will include a pinch hitter/utility/DH, one, 9-pocket page of a starting rotation of five, a couple of bullpen saviors, a closer, and one, 9-pocket page of bench guys and/or highlight cards such as post-season or record breaking performances.

I will begin posting these teams little by little and would love to hear feedback even if it's in the form of "What the hell are you thinking putting player A over player B????"

So with this project in mind, how could I not pass up this Roger Maris for only $3.00!!  I mean, would you rather have this 1964 Topps card or a $3.00, crap pack of 2011 Bowman????

Sure, there's a lot of wear on this baby, but all the stats are there to peruse and the card really has some nice color. It's my first and only Yankee so far for my 60's Yanks, All-Decade team and what a way to kick this collection off.

Next up, a high number ... all for the price of a 2011 Topps Rack Pack ...

Your starting second baseman of your 1960's Pittsburgh Pirates, BILL MAZEROSKI!!! The 1964 Topps design is a little underrated I feel. The set has some great color, the color photos spilling over onto the white borders, and the game/quiz on the back of the cards is a cool touch. Seems like the 1960, 1962, and 1967 Topps designs get all the love but this, I think, will be the next Heritage set I'll collect. It's a just a classic and clean set.

Next up for the cost of a couple of new packs, more guys to help fill out the rosters for my '60s teams for the Braves, Cardinals, Cubs, and Phillies to name a few ...

Love, love this shot of Callison!!  I mean, look at that color and the classic wool uniform against a backdrop of an old school ballpark.

Here's a bunch of 1968 Topps with Shannon probably being my pinch hitter as Ken Boyer will be the starting third baseman for the this '60s Cards team. At one point when I was a teen, actually had a chance to buy a partial set from this year and for whatever reason, I decided not to. Still kicking myself on that one. I think would have been maybe $80 for about three quarters of the set. For some reason, I still like this design over the '69 ... Oh well.

And speaking of 1969, here's the last three vintage pulls from the LCS. Maxvill fills out my Cards infield alongside the '68 Javier, above, and Veale was a pretty good lefty in his day.

So with that, I have begun putting these guys in sheets as well as begun putting together a wantlist for other cards I will need for the 1960s and 1970s teams. I hope you'll help me along the journey and hope it sparks some pretty good debate in the comments section.

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And finally before I forget, I'd like to pimp This Card Is Cool's blog contest over here. Ryan's always has some good reads and he steps it up a notch in celebrating his 200th post. Congrats Ryan, keep up the great work and thanks for the cool contest!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

LCS visit brings in vintage and retro vintage (PART ONE)

So finally, finally I made it a point to visit the LCS one town over from me. About the only day I can get over there is on a Friday, but lately my Fridays (off days) have been the sort that has me running all over creation doing errands and what not.

I had already made about two passes on the LCS's Allen & Ginter minis but that was when I was only planning to doing a "Frankenstein" set. Now that I am boldly, err ... insane attempt to complete all the mini sets from 2006 to present I have been wanting to get back and make one last pass. So 100 minis later for 10 bucks or a dime a piece, I ransacked what he had left.

And with that, I scanned in some of my favorites from each year ...

Out of all the A&G sets, I think the 2006 set might be my favorite. The artwork is just awesome. I actually already had the Tim Hudson and Chipper Jones but I wanted the black borders just to break up the look on what ever page they happen to fall on.

Next up, 2007s ... gotta love the Ferris Wheel card too. One problem with these mini being popular around these parts, Red Sox minis are few and far between. I know I haven't been able to land any of them at my LCS in the last two years. Nice to see Corey Patterson having a resurgence north of the border. I remember when his card was the one to own in the 1999 Topps Traded set. The guy has always had talent, just couldn't take a walk to save his life.

Some 2008s here and I think the weakest of the Ginter designs. They're not bad but not as classy as the '06s and '07s. I also think a number of cards were over Photoshoped with whatever filter Topps was using.

The Ginter looked rebounded for sure with their 2009 version and I think these black border beauties might be the best of the lot. When I saw this Florence Nightengale card, all I could think about was that scene in Meet the Parents when Greg Focker is playing water vollyball and was called out for his shoddy play ...

If Florence Nightingale would play some defense.
I missed one shot!
It was a big shot!

And finally, some 2010 Ginters and the only insert cards I was able to acquire.

The Russian Bear and the Bald Eagle, side-by-side, who ya got???!! How would you like your national animal to be a cow? Ugh!

So that wraps up Part One of my visit to the LCS. I thought I'd put the vintage together in the same post as the retro, but decided against it since Part Two will be a launching point of a new collecting project I am in the middle of putting together. So until then ....

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Two trades and one generous reader

So maybe about a month plus ago I finally had tracked down a blaster of 2011 Gypsy Queen. While the product look better than I thought it would, I really was only interested the mini parallels and so was open to trading the rest of the contents.

Enter The Daily Dimwit. Sam had posted a bunch of GQ minis that were available for trade and I had a number of cards he needed, especially some of those bronze bordered cards. I will say, too bad the entire GQ set wasn't treated that way in base form.

Right off the bat, I was lucky enough to land a SP, hobby box variation in Walter Johnson. These special hobby box toppers (special box of minis) carry a lighter border and different photos. I think the "grittiness" of the Gypsy Queen carries it self quite well in the older star cards. I absolutely love the shots of Reggie and the Duke. I gotta say, with a number of these retro sets, the photo selection on a lot of the older, retired players are better than the original cards they were depicted. I mean, I'd rather see this shot of Reggie than what was shown on his 1977 or 1979 Topps cards.
In this next batch, we have a bunch of current day stars such as Longo, Lincecum, Votto, and more. I am in the middle of putting together a needs list for the GQ minis and hope to have that up this weekend. Thanks again Sam for the trade and good luck on that bronze border set!

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And while we're on the subject of Gypsy Queen minis, Colbey over at Cardboard Collections emailed me saying he had some GQ minis for trade. This was the second time trading with CC (Colbey, your package is on it's way!) and going his way is quite a few GQ base cards and insert set cards.

Enter ten more Gypsy Queen minis, four Kimball Champions minis from the '11 Topps Series 1, and three Allen & Ginter minis from the 2009 set.  Thanks again Colbey and good luck on this GQ set.

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And to close this post, I'd like to thank reader Trey who is/was just getting into the baseball card blogsphere but the the link I had isn't working. He had come across a comment I had posted, checked my blog and sent me this 2009 Topps T206 Yogi Berra as a way to getting his name and blog out there.
Trey, if you're out there, thank you again and I hope you get your blog up and running again. Don't worry about updating it every single day, but it's good vehicle to let other collectors know what your interests are and what you have available for trade.  If you see this, and have a new blog site, drop me a line and I'll link this post to your site.

***Update*** Trey's blog can now be found here.

Another trade with “é rayhahn, rayhahn”

So a while back, I had written this post on some Allen & Ginter relics when “é rayhahn, rayhahn” offered to trade a Ginter relic for another Ginter relic. Of course, fillers going both ways netted each of us some cards off our lists. Already having a Ginter jersey relic of Joe Mauer, I was fine with parting it for a sand colored jersey of Matt Latos.
Too bad this wasn't a piece of the yellow and brown retro jerseys, now that would have been pretty sweet. Up next and definitely a pleasant surprise, THREE great cards off my '75 Topps wantlist!!!!
Gotta love the Maris/Roby card, off course of the three of four of these MVP cards I need, they are all Mantles.

Thanks again D for the great trade.

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So while trolling the 'Bay for more Ginter minis, I came across some RIP minis. Often these are pretty much priced out of my budget and therefore just a pipe dream. However, I came across some minor star RIP minis that were definitely available. One being, well ... at one point in his career, a star.

Welcome Jake Peavy, a RIP mini from the 2007 Allen & Ginter set. One thing I had not realized, since I have not seen one in person, is that the backs have are gray instead of the normal cream-white color. Also in separate auctions, I landed my first "Team Orange" from the 2008 A&G edition. The story goes that this "team" are fictional players based on people that work at Topps. 

The cards were found one in every 144 packs. Beckett's Chris Olds wrote about these cards back in in 2009. In the article, he confirms through an unnamed Topps employees that indeed these Team Orange legends weren’t baseball players at all, rather Topps employees.

So "Minty" Beans is actually, John Doldan, Art Director for the Topps Company. So it's quite appropriate that the one TO card I have, shares the same profession as this collector. I aside from wanting to be the next GM of the Red Sox, Art Director at Topps would be right up there on my dream jobs.

Also in the above image, two more Baseball Icons also from the '08 set. Tris Speaker and Jimmie Foxx. Of the seventeen cards in this insert set, I am know up to four of these. I think it's one of the better insert sets that A&G model has developed. Below is the entire checklist.
  • BI1 Cy Young
  • BI2 Walter Johnson
  • BI3 Jackie Robinson
  • BI4 Thurman Munson
  • BI5 Mel Ott
  • BI6 Honus Wagner
  • BI7 Pee Wee Reese
  • BI8 Tris Speaker
  • BI9 Christy Mathewson
  • BI10 Ty Cobb
  • BI11 Johnny Mize
  • BI12 Jimmie Foxx
  • BI13 Lou Gehrig
  • BI14 Roy Campanella
  • BI15 George Sisler
  • BI16 Rogers Hornsby
  • BI17 Babe Ruth
So if any of you have one of these cards you want to part with, I'm sure I can find something to trade you. Until then, thank you again for reading, and stay tuned for more posts this weekend and some trade bait posts as well.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A long time coming ...

for a new post that is. Man, I have been swamped at work lately, add freelancing, coaching baseball, and an hour plus commute, and by the time I sit down, I'm able to catch a couple of innings of the Sox or MLB Network and I'm cooked.

So, I made it a point to do two things today, finally get some posts up, schedule some others, and go to the LCS. LCS was a success as I managed to add 100 Allen & Ginter minis from 2006–2010 for 10 bucks and also picked up two cool vintage cards for almost nothing. Will try to get scans of this stuff up before the weekend is out.

So, first up, I gotta recap some trades I have been able to make over the last two months.

First up, a great trade with Crinkly Wrappers, a trade that stemmed from this post. CW needed the 1975 Topps Munson and had a 1975 Topps Palmer that I needed for my 1975 Topps Wantlist. The trade turned into a bigger affair and the end result was two happy bloggers.

First up, the '75 Palmer that I needed for my set.

From this Palmer, Ted hit a number of spots on my needs list. He was able to knock three cards off my 2010 Heritage set as well as knocking Chris Woodward off my All-Time Red Sox Roster collection.

Next up, a bunch of 2009 Topps Heritage, including a couple of short prints. One of these days I finish this set ... always amazed at how few of those coaches cards ever cross my path.

Next up, some Allen & Ginter minis ...
And how about that 2010 Celestial Sign of Vladi!!!! This is the second one I have obtained via trade and in both cases (the other a Longoria), I had no idea it was coming. Truly a a great surprise!!!!

Next up, some T206 minis for my "Frankenstein" T206 set as well as a couple of 2009 Goodwin minis. I still need to post my needs list for the Goodwins set, I don't think I'm too far off.

And finally, some good 'ol Red Sox cards ...
Thanks again Ted, hope to trade again!!

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On a side note before I forget, and forgive me if someone else posted as such, but I purchased a 2011 Topps Series 2 blaster box from Target and I swear that color and the photography is off compared to my Series 1 cards. As a designer, I can't get past how the blacks are not as strong and the grass doesn't seem as green. For example (and a scan would have been appropriate here) but I compared an Oakland A's card from each series and the green is off in the name arc and the same green uniform is TWO different shades. There's almost a dullness to the fronts. Anyone else come across the same issue? 

Oh, and no real big hits, I think my two best cards were a Kimball Champion mini of Koufax and Musial, no complaints there.