Friday, October 5, 2012

New Vintage Set Chase

So the summer is finally passed and now comes the excitement of playoff baseball. It's great to see many of the super power teams of the 1970's back in the hunt for the World Series trophy this Fall. Seeing the Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Oakland A's, and (gulp) the New York Yankees will stoke many memories from years past. These teams definitely dominated the decade known for astro turf, afros, free agency, and disco.

Two of the franchises also making this years Fall Classic; the San Francisco Giants did have a great year in 1971, but lost in the NLCS. Same with the Detroit Tigers in 1972, losing in the ALCS to the A's. The Atlanta Braves struggled to reach 3rd place in the National League West throughout the decade, while the Washington Nationals left the nation's capital for Texas. The Texas Rangers although no playoff appearances, fared better finishing second place three times and third another two in the American League West. If not for the Kansas Royals, those Rangers may have had their own little dynasty. The St. Louis Cardinals had a similar decade to the Rangers, except theirs came in the first half of the decade.

All of this brings me to my next vintage set chase. I have always loved the 1971 Topps set for it's black borders, action photos, and first-time use of head shots on the back side of these cardboard beauties. It's a set I have thought about starting here and there, but knew it was probably a long shot at this point in time.

However, one late night poking around eBay, I stumbled upon this near complete set. When I look for these partial sets, condition is one of the last things I look at. I really care if it has a good chunk of the higher priced cards and a decent amount of high series cards. This set had both, PLUS the condition was more than acceptable for me! For less than two boxes of 2012 Topps Triple Threads (and that includes the shipping I paid), I was able to land one of my favorite sets of all time.

The one thing I was wary of with this set, was the possibility of black sharpie marker on the edges and corners. Thankfully, outside of four commons in the low series, this set with all it stars, rookies, and high numbers was clean of that issue.

The set already had a load Hall of Famers in Carlton, Seaver, Ryan, Rose, Bench, Clemente, Mays, Aaron in this set and quite a few high numbers. Rookies of Concepcion, Garvey, Blyleven, Baker/Baylor were also is nice, clean shape. Thankfully, I already had the Thurman Munson rookie so that was one  high-priced card I didn't have to chase down.

The set already had a load Hall of Famers in Carlton, Seaver, Ryan, Rose, Bench, Clemente, Mays, Aaron in this set and quite a few high numbers.

The Nolan Ryan has a little paper loss and faint tape mark, but luckily does not interfere with any copy, while the Mays has a couple of wrinkles on the right side. Otherwise no complaints.

The Clemente is probably in the bottom 10–15 cards for condition in this partial set, only because of the tape. I was able to carefully remove most of it without damaging the card further so it looks a little cleaner than shown above.

With the 1971 Topps I already in hand, I was able to upgrade a handful of cards and filled in a couple of high numbers as well.

I have posted my want list for this set on the right hand side of the blog. Please drop me a line if you can help. I do have a number of 1971 Topps I no longer need because of this set, so maybe we can help each other out if you too are collecting this set. I have a number of the leaders cards and post season cards. I also have an extra Concepcion rookie, Tom Seaver, Juan Marichal, and Gaylord Perry.

I also have quite a few 1972 Topps for those collecting that set and please look at my past posts on some of the vintage 60's I have. I'm willing to trade some of that in order to complete this set. And with that, I look forward to this years Fall Classic in a matter of hours. Here's hoping for a true 70's classic of A's/Orioles versus the Reds in the World Series. Thank you for reading.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Will trade for your minis

WANTED (Pretty please with sugar on top): Your Allen & Ginter minis!

I know there are some bloggers that still collect these tiny pieces of cardboard, whiles others could care less for them. As you can see from my wants pages, I love me those Ginter minis.

Please check my past trade-bait posts and hopefully I can find something to trade for your minis. I do have a bunch of extra minis from previous years to trade as well.

In any case, please drop me an email and I look forward to trading with you.

***If any of you are looking for base set SPs, I have the following for trade: 312, 323, 337, 347***

Monday, June 4, 2012

Another surprise, another set to build

So yesterday I posted about finding a 1968 Topps Bench rookie card for a smidge over the cost of a blaster box. I had thought that the Bench might be one of the last cards that would find it's way into my '68 album. In fact, I had more than once thought about putting a bid on ebay for one of those reprints but thought better of it.

That Bench (along with  '68s Clemente, Carew, Rose, and #1 Clemente leaders card which I need to get when I have some money) was in a small stack of cards that one of the employees had elsewhere. As I set the Bench aside and the other '68s, I passed a 1969 Mantle, some other '69 stars and then I saw them ... three of them to be exact in varying conditions. Surely, there must be a heavy crease, pen marks, torn back ... nope!

Again, for the cost of 2012 Topps blaster box, I picked up this cornerstone card of the 1973 Topps set. Sure, a couple of soft corners and some of that black ink seen on many a '73 card, but no way I was going to get this particular card, in this condition on ebay or COMC at this price. And with that, I begin chasing down cards from the set of my birth year. I have posted a want list to the right. In the next day or two it should be up to date as I still sifting through what I have.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Just a heads up, I have decided to put a couple sets from the 1980's together as well. 

The 1984 Topps set (and Traded set), which I favor design-wise over the 1983 issue. 

The 1986 Topps set (already have the Traded set) for it's black borders, the Red Sox magical run and then historic defeat (still can't fathom why Topps didn't do traded cards of Dave Henderson and Spike Owen), and maybe the best Topps Traded set of the 1980's. Speaking of Traded set omissions, how did Steve Carlton with an airbrushed uni not make that set? The certainly did the artwork for the 1987 Topps box panel cards. 

And lastly, the underrated 1988 Topps set ( have the Traded set). It's set that I see getting more love for it's design and it's photography. The photography in the '88 set I feel is far superior than that of the well-loved 1987 wood grain issue. The pictures seem more crisp, colorful, and I like how the players "pop up" above the team names. The Traded set isn't too shabby either. Forget about worth, but look at the players in it. Alomar, Grace, Sabo, Weiss, and Wells rookies, Kirk Gibson donning Dodger blue, Dave Parker and Don Baylor in A's green and gold, Gossage in a Cubs pullover. The USA team with Jim Abbott and Tino Martinez.

In the coming week I plan of posting those needs lists as well. Still sorting and putting things in order so please stay tuned. Hopefully someone has a stack or two they are tired of looking at and will want to trade away. Again, thank you for reading!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A surprise find yesterday

So with all the running around I had to do on Friday, I wasn't able to hit the LSC, but did manage to hit the other store that carries, cards, comics, music, games yesterday in a driving rain storm. And boy am I glad I did!!!

For the cost of a blaster, I landed this!!!!

A 1968 Topps Johnny Bench rookie!!!! Granted, a couple of soft corners and a wrinkle at the top right, but what a surprise find! I have tried to find an off condition one on eBay, but they generally seem to go north of $50 easily. So one big money card scratched off my 1968 Topps Set needs!

As for the other guy sharing Bench's limelight, Ron Tompkins actually first appeared in the Majors in 1965 when he pitched in 5 games. Ron shares a card with a fellow A's rookie in the 1966 Topps set. He didn't see the light of day again until 1971 when he appeared in 35 games for the Chicago Cubs.

This wasn't the only surprise find that I landed, but I will save that for tomorrow. Because of that find, I have decided to start collecting another vintage Topps set, so stay tuned for that as I will have another set needs list to post.

But enough of that, here are some other cards I found that closed up some holes in my '68 binder. 

One of the other cards I was able to scoop up, was Roger Maris' last card. I can't seem to find any at a decent price on eBay, so at for the cost of a couple 2012 Topps packs, got this one. I may be able to take some of that pen ink off with an art eraser I have, we'll see. Otherwise, the Maris has some great color and the corners are still fairly decent. 

Lefebvre was the National League ROY in '65, McAuliffe was a mainstay for Tigers at second base, Rick Wise threw a no-hitter for the Phillies and then the following spring was traded to the Cardinals for Steve Carlton. Fregosi was star early on for the Los Angeles/California Angels. Bill Freehan played his entire career with the Tigers, made 11 All-Star teams and won gold gloves 5 straight seasons (1965–69).

Next batch includes another Tiger that held down the fort at third during the 1960s. This was Joe Niekro second card, having appeared in the 1967 issue, he was traded the following year to the newly formed San Diego Padres. For fifty cents, I picked up this Joe Torre and while scuffed with a marker spot, it will fill it's spot in the album just fine. Pat Dobson would go onto be a part of that famed Baltimore Orioles staff of '71 in which all four starters won 20 or more games.

Interesting story about Dick Dietz from 1968 (Wikipedia) that I did not know:

Dietz is remembered for his role in a controversial umpiring decision during the 1968 season. The Giants were facing Dodgers' pitcher Don Drysdale, who was in the midst of a scoreless inning streak that would eventually reach a record-setting 58 and two-thirds innings. The Giants had the bases loaded with no outs and Dietz at bat. Dietz was hit by a pitch, apparently ending Drysdale's scoreless innings streak. However, home plate umpire Harry Wendelstedt, citing a rarely enforced rule, refused to allow Dietz to take first base, claiming that Dietz did not attempt to avoid being struck by the ball. Drysdale then retired Dietz and the next two batters, keeping his scoreless streak alive.

And last lastly in this lot of cards I found, and had to scan ... #598, the last card in the 1968 set ... Jerry May. May led National League catchers in 1970 with a 50% base runners caught stealing percentage.

So the trip landed me twenty-two cards that I was able to cross off, including one of the set's cornerstone cards. Can't be that on a rainy day!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Latest Archives spurs a new set quest

So after opening two packs of the Topps Archives, I have rediscovered my love for the 1984 Topps set.

Growing up, I couldn't find many '84 Topps packs at the local Cumberland Farms, but rather 1984 Fleer packs seem to be always in abundance. And while I like the design of the 1983 Topps issue, I cannot tell you how many vending boxes I broke down putting sets together at the baseball card store I worked at. It seemed at the time, a painfully slow process.

Part of my lure of the 1984 set was that I also became a Don Mattingly fan. Wait ... what???? Are you not a Red Sox fan???  How is that possible???

Interesting you should ask. Now granted, I pretty much started being a fan of his come 1986 or so (and lasted till about the time I went to college in 1991). I remember one summer, my cousins and I were reading a particular issue of Baseball Cards magazine. In that issue there was an article about what players to collect and who would be the next superstars. At the time, I was collecting Jim Rice while my brother had close to every card of Yaz. I remember one cousin decided to collect George Brett, another Wade Boggs, and the other Cal Ripken. Myself, I went with Don Mattingly, while my brother chased Darryl Strawberry cards for a couple of years.

Fast forward to today .... I have a handful of 1984 Topps. I have the Mattingly, Strawberry, Ripken and most of the stars in the set. The Bretts, Schmidts, Sandberg, etc. What I don't have is a boatload of commons to fill in the holes. So, if anyone has a bunch that they would want to part with, I would love to make a similar trade. If you are looking to start a new set, from the 80's, 90's or 00's, please drop me a line and lets see if we can help each other out.

I could also use a 1984 Traded Set, I have the Gooden and Rose, so maybe someone has a partial for some reason. In any case, drop me a line. Thank you for reading.

Closing in on a completed set

And then there were seven left. That's all that stands between me and a beautiful and complete 1975 Topps Set. If anyone can help, my remaining needs are here, no real biggies either.

Got these at the LCS about a week ago. All were in a big 3200 count box of '75s. I knew there was a nice Rose in the display case for $20, but landed this one for $8 due to a barely noticeable wrinkle at the top of the card. The Winfield looks as though it just came out of a pack. If anyone has another Expos team card, I could use it as this was is checked on the back. For right now, it'll work just fine.

Got a busy day of grocery shopping, errands, and if I am lucky I should be able to swing by a card store and maybe snag a couple more '68's as well.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A bonanza of '68s

So finally got a chance to hit up the LSC for the first time since I landed that partial 1968 Topps set and boy did it pay off. The above image shows the hual; 134 cards off the want list including; thirty-eight high numbers, thirteen Red Sox, 3 checklists, and numerous Yanks and Mets cards. Most cards fall in the VG-EX to EX range but did manage to obtain a number of cards that look like they just came out of the packs.

First batch of Red Sox landed me Elston Howard's final bubble gum card appearance. After playing his entire career with the Bronx Bombers, he was traded to Boston in August of 1967 and helped Boston capture the American League pennant. The middle row of Sox are all high numbers while the Lou Brock, game #1 card finishes off my World Series subset.

Second lot of Red Sox included skipper, Dick Williams. Having finish next to last (New York was only a half game worse) in 1966, no one predicted that Boston would find itself in the 1967 World Series. Williams guided the Sox through a heart-punding, four-team pennant chase with an aggressive style that make the Sox the toasts of New England.

Favorite card is this batch has to be the Manny Sanguillen rookie card. Manny always seemed to have some cool photos on his cards. His 1969–1971 and 1974 Topps cards stand out for me for some reason.

Good to see Walt Williams never had a neck to begin with. Is it me or does his head look grossly out of place on that body. The Wills is pretty beat up, but at this stage I'll take a filler card to erase a blank hole. Note sure when the A's team photo was taken, but it's the only A's card in the 1968 series that depicts the players without airbrushed hats. This card also falls within the high number series and notes the move to Oakland on the reverse side.

Always good to find some unmarked checklist cards, including the Boyer who falls in the last series.

After flipping through my pile of '68s, had to scan these guys as you can't beat some of these names. Dooley, Adolfo, Turk and who doesn't love a Bubba. Not sure I'd be wanting the name John Edwards right now for a variety of reasons and poor Dave Ricketts. Topps was not kind to him on several of his photo selections over his cardboard career.

Next time, I'll showcase some 1975 Topps I grabbed that leaves me with just 8 cards left to finish my set. Until then, please take a moment and look my 1968 Topps set and 1975 Topps set wantlists, as I am jonesin to make some trades.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Another day, another round a trade bait

Thought I'd throw another round of trade bait up here. Hopefully I will get some more offers from other traders who may have taken a long weekend off from their computers. Please be sure to take a look at the last two posts.

First up is a 1970 Topps Scratch Off game card of Red Sox great and Baseball Hall of Famer, Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski. This booklet card is in great shape, with all the black scratch boxes still unscratched inside. Also, the line score on the reverse is clean and unmarked as well.

And lastly for today, what inserts I garnered from three packs of 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen. I think if this set had white borders, I may have tried collecting it but the grey/pewter just didn't excite me for whatever reason. The Fister mini card is a "Straight Cut" back.

Also, if you are still trying to collect the 2011 GQ mini set, I have a bunch that I can trade away—just shoot me a wantlist.

Again, looking for trades that will help me towards completing my 1968 Topps set and my 1975 Topps set so please drop me a line and hopefully we can find a trade that helps out both of us!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

More trade bait ...

More trade bait .... On the 1970's, let me know if need cards towards a particular set. I have a lot more stars than what is shown. I'll try to scan more 60's and 70's during the upcoming week.

Those 78's are O-Pee-Chees. I also for some reason have a little stack of 1992 O-Pee-Chees. A lot of stars too.

Again, looking for trade that are aimed towards completing my 1968 Topps set and my 1975 Topps set so please drop me a line and let's get trading!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Vintage Trade Bait

First lot of trade bait. Vintage Topps from 1960 thru 1969. I have a lot more as well as this is just a small selection. Shoot me an email if you're looking for something in particular, whether from a certain set or team.

If you look at my prior posts, I am willing to trade any of the vintage cards I have picked up tht aren't 68s. I have a number of 1969 Topps both semi-stars and commons as well as a number of 1963s and 1966s. If the 60s isn't your thing, I have quite a bunch of 1970-1979 Topps as well. Stars and commons.

If you needed larger scans and/or the back of a particular card(s), I will be happy to do so.

Please take a look at my 1968 needs, drop me line and hopefully we can help each other out. The set I am putting together runs VG-EX will some NR-MT and some GD. I'll take cards that have creases, soft corners, pin holes, pen ink.

I will posting more bait throughout the weekend—thank you again!!

1968 Topps: Joy of a (first) completed page

Beautiful day today here in New England, mostly sunny with a high in the mid 70's. Perfect! Finally had some free time over the last couple of nights to transfer the obtained, partial 1968 Topps set in a new binder and new UP sheets. After loading my '68s into the album, I have my first and only completed page. Behold ...

The card that completed this page was that ink-marked, Ernie Banks. I just picked up a little over a week ago from a game and comic book store. Besides the pen ink, it's a nice, clean card.

So who are these other guys that make up this page ...

Jackie Hernandez was a member of the 1971 World Series Pittsburgh Pirates.

Mac Jones had quite the major league debut. On July 13, 1961, Jones collected four hits, (three singles and a double). Mack the Knife also played the outfield in the first game the Montreal Expos played on April 8, 1969.

Pete Richert also had a memorable Major league debut on April 12, 1962 against the Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium. Richert set a record by striking out the first six batters he faced. His Dodgers trailing 4-0, he entered the game with two outs in the top of the second inning and struck out Vada Pinson for the final out. He then recorded a four-strikeout third inning in which his victims were Frank Robinson, Gordy Coleman (who reached first base on a passed ball, Wally Post and Johnny Edwards; his record-tying sixth strikeout was of Tommy Harper leading off the fourth. To date, Richert is the only pitcher to record a four-strikeout inning in his Major League debut.

Ernie Banks .... Mr. Cub was nearing the end of his Hall of Fame career. The back of his card notes that he is "The Cubs all-time home run leader." He would finish with 512. He is now second to Sammy Sosa who hit 545 home runs as a Cub. 

Ken Holtzman (Checklist) was a 2-time All Star, and a 3-time World Series champion. He also threw two no-hitters. The first on August 19, 1969 was a 3-0 win against Phil Niekro and the Braves. One note about this game, he did not have a single strike out.

Len Gabrielson played for the Braves, Cubs, Giants, Angels, and Dodgers. He once beat out Orlando Cepeda for a starting spot in the Giants outfield. Cepeda WAS coming back from and injury. Traded to the Dodgers in May 1967, Gabrielson would spend the next four seasons with Los Angeles. He led the team in home runs with ten in 1968.

Mike Epstein was a power hitter for the Senators and won a World Series ring with the 1972 Oakland A's. He could take a walk and had a number of hit by pitches (career OBP of .358). His career ties in the aforementioned Pete Richert as well ... One story I found on "Super Jew" as he was nicknamed was the following:

He was first brought up for 6 games by the Baltimore Orioles in 1966, at the age of 23, having hit over .300 with at least 29 home runs and 100 RBI in his first two minor league seasons.
After the Orioles tried in vain to convert him to the outfield (they already had Boog Powell at first base), they demoted him to Rochester again. The outspoken Epstein refused to report, going home to California instead, and did not play again until the end of May 1967, when he was traded by the Orioles with Frank Bertaina to the Washington Senators for Pete Richert. Later that season, in first at-bat against the Orioles, Epstein hit a grand slam.

Joe Moeller is the youngest starting pitcher in Los Angeles Dodgers history at 19 years, 2 months of age. He pitched two innings in the 1966 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles.

Willie Horton is a 4-time American League All Star, and won a World Series with the 1968 Detroit Tigers. Horton posted double-digit home run totals in 12 regular seasons from 1965–76, and hit two home runs in a game on 30 occasions. In 1979 with the Seattle Mariners he was again named the AL's Outstanding Designated Hitter after hitting .279 with 29 HRs and a career-high 106 RBI, and he received the Comeback Player of the Year award as well.

As I make my way through completing this set, and as the completed pages pile up (I hope), it'll be interesting to learn more about these players. Some of these players will only have one card, while others make appearances throughout the '70s and even into the 1980s.

Stay tuned for some vintage trade bait later today/night. Again, looking to obtain any 1968 Topps that are on my needs lists. I'll be posting some nice and some off-conditioned vintage Topps. Koufax, Frank Robinson, Brooks, Robinson, multi-player cards are just some that will be available to trade. Until then, thank you for reading.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Red Sox Hall of Fame Battery

So back a couple of months when I picked up the dual-patch relic of Curt Schilling via trade (see Dec. 12th post), I had an itching to find some other Sox patch relics.  Two of those that I picked up, formed one of best batteries to even don a Red Sox uniform.

First up is a 2002 Donruss Leaf Certified "Fabric of the Game" Carlton Fisk #12/20. 
I had never seen this card prior but what I like best—and what companies should do with their relic cards—is show where the swatch/patch/jersey came from. If you look on the backside of the card at bottom it reads "This is a photo of the actual jersey from which the swatch was taken."

I love knowing that and that unlike a generic white swatch that could have come from a White Sox uni, that this came from a Red Sox road jersey from either 1979 or 1980. Growing up as a kid, I was never fond of the blah gray road jersey with "BOSTON" in block letters. It just didn't seem as cool as other teams from the 1980s. But I also liked about this card is that the swatch also shows a little bit of patch and stitching.

Forming the other side of this Red Sox Hall of Fame tandem, El Tiante.
A 2004 DonrussThrowback Threads Century Collection #10/25.
From all accounts, this jersey patch is a number from the back of a Red Sox uniform from the mid-1970's. We was as dominant as any pitcher during that decade and many have tried making his case for induction into the Hall of Fame. I was too young to remember him pitching for the Sox, but many compare his charisma and love for the game as to that of Pedro Martinez'.

Tiant was masterful in the 1975 World Series, beating the Cincinnati Reds in a 6–0 five-hit shutout in Game 1. He won Game 4 as well (throwing 163 pitches in his second complete game in the series) and had a no-decision in Game 6, which has been called the greatest game ever played.

I know there's a number of other Boston collectors out there, but if you have any Red Sox relics, please email me and I'll do my best to find something to trade for it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Out of hibernation

So it's been awhile since I last posted. Been so long that Blogger has dramatically changed their dashboard and I feel a little lost writing this. Hopefully I'll get the hang of it again. Life's never-ending rush has prevented me from posting since December as well as reading many of the great blogs on this blog roll. I have managed to stay in the loop as far as new releases by picking up some packs here and there as well as continue to pick up some off-condition vintage along the way. I plan on getting back to posting more as well as trading. I do miss a good trade.

I recently put my near completed, 1975 Topps Set in sheets. I really had forgot how nice of condition set this was. The colors really pop and almost all the cards have sharp corners. It's definitely my favorite set of the 1970's, if not all-time. Of course, it's probably because my childhood idol, Jim Rice's rookie card is in this set. I have always wondered what made Topps place Jim Ed on a four-player card while the likes of George Brett and Robin Yount appear all by themselves.

One newly purchased item and a partial 1968 Topps set.

With the partial set, along with about seventy-five 1968's I already had, I have a little over half the set. While not my favorite design of the 1960's, it brings back memories from about 25 years ago. Back then I had worked in a baseball card store and had almost purchased a partial set from the owner. It was missing a number of star cards, including the Mantle, Bench rookie, and the Ryan rookie. God knows what it would have run me, maybe $80-100 bucks at the time. I just couldn't do it as I think I was intimidated by the cost to obtain all the other missing cards. Long before trading, eBay, COMC I just didn't pull the trigger.

Anyhow, I made an offer on the above and the seller took it. Overall, the set runs VG-EX which is fine with me. The "burlap" pattern actually does a nice job of hiding those soft corners. The high numbers aren't too pricey and for the time being, I can pick up reprints of the Bench and Ryan to fill in those holes.

It's a great set for me to tackle as the LSC has a number of commons, high #'s and semi stars in stock for pretty cheap money. The 1968 set brought back the return of The Sporting News All-Star cards and the leader cards are stacked with some nice pairings. You also have The Mick's last card of him while he was still active; same with the great Eddie Matthews (Tigers). There are two awesome multi-player cards; #490 "Super Stars" with Mick, Mays, and Killebrew and #480 "Manager's Dream" with Oliva, Cardenas, and Clemente. Also in this great set is the Sox-Cards World Series subset. That 1967 season changed how New Englanders followed their beloved BoSox. The Nation started then and there.

So for any of those out there with some '68's to trade, drop me an email. My wantlist is on the right hand side. I have a number of vintage stars from the 60's and 70's, some pretty nice, others a little beat up. Heck, if you have an off-condition Mantle, I'll trade you an off-conditioned 1963 or 1966 Topps Koufax. If you have a nice Bird Belters (#530), I have a 1961 Topps Frank Robinson with your name on it. Whatever you have, drop me a line and I'll be sure to respond.