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.

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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.