Thursday, April 2, 2020

Surpassing 5,000 Red Sox Cards with Help From a Friend

I'd been saving the latest batch of Red Sox cards I received from my generous hobby friend Douglas of Sports Cards from the Dollar Store to show off on Opening Day.  Since it seems like that may be a while, and since I've already waited many weeks to post these, let's get to them now instead!

The most prevalent set in the package was the 1982 Topps Brigham's/Coca-Cola regional release.  While I completed the 1982 Topps flagship set long ago, I have precious few of these oddballs.

They're especially appreciated given that they are from my birth year!

In some cases the Brigham's and Coca-Cola logos are placed at the top of the card...

...while in other cases they're on opposite corners if it makes more sense with the layout of the photo.

Some good star power here with Dwight Evans.  For whatever reason I seem to be adding a lot of his cards lately as I continue to shuffle my digital collection from Zistle (RIP) to The Trading Card Database.

There were seven of these in total in the package, all new to my Red Sox collection.

A couple, like Garry Hancock here, were fairly well loved, but I think that gives these oddballs some character and I"m happy to welcome them into my team collection.

These were just the appetizer though as far as Red Sox went in the last bubble mailer from Douglas.  Also included were...

...a 1992 Topps Gold need...

...and a '92 Gold Winner need as well!  Douglas collects athletes that share his birthday (2/14), and I know John Marzano was one of those players, so I'm guessing this was a duplicate from that endeavor.  Much appreciated!

Hitting on some junk wax era needs next, with a pair from 1993 Fleer.

Maybe not the most exciting design ever, but a pair of new Red Sox cards is a pair of new Red Sox cards!

Ah, Panini Triple Play.  Maybe the most despised filler packs found in retail re-packs.  I sort of like these cards though, just because they're so drastically different from a lot of the other stuff from the last decade.  I have a ton of Will Middlebrooks cards, but I only have one where he's got a cartoon giraffe neck.

A nice Greenville Drive Heritage Minor League card here.  Groome underwent Tommy John surgery in 2018, and the jury's still out on his recovery.  While he did return last year, it was late in the season and he managed only a handful of innings before the year wound down.

Here's another Heritage Minor League card, this one from last year's set.  This one's pretty cool because Bobby Dalbec is a top-5 prospect in the organization on virtually any list you can find.

Pitcher Bryan Mata, on the other hand, won't be found near the top of any of those prospect rankings.  He struggled a bit in AA ball last season, but is still just 20 years old.

Back to some Major Leaguers now to close things out.  Chris Sale courtesy of Panini Diamond Kings...

...and Pedro from 2017 Allen & Ginter.  As I've continued cataloging my collection while stuck in the house here, Martinez has moved into the top 10 as far as baseball players with the most cards.  I should be crossing the 100 unique Pedros threshold any day now.

Speaking of those rankings, David Ortiz is currently the #1 ranked player in my baseball card collection, with 198 unique cards and counting.  I rarely if ever go out of my way to search out cards of Big Papi, but as a Red Sox collector he just has so many out there that he's topped the rankings for a long while now.

Second only to Ortiz as far as most cards is my current favorite player, Xander Bogaerts.  Douglas supplied my 191st Bogaerts card with this Rookies & Stars from 2019 Panini Chronicles.  Maybe someday he'll surpass David Ortiz...

Closing out the Red Sox from this delivery, we have another 2019 Panini Chronicles card, this one from the Timeless Treasures subset.  Chavis showed flashes of brilliance last year, and is one of the players I'm most excited to watch if and when the 2020 season gets underway here.

Douglas, sorry my plan to post these at the outset of the season kind of backfired and ended up being nothing more than a lengthy wait to say thank you.  I truly appreciate these thoughtful gifts!

While entering these into my collection on The Trading Card Database I passed a significant milestone as well, that being 5,000+ Red Sox cards in my organized and cataloged collection!  I'm down to one last 3,000 count box of cards from Zistle that still need to be added to TCDB, and I think by the time I get through that I may be able to hit the 7,000 Red Sox mark.  I guess we'll just have to see in the coming weeks...

Thanks as always for stopping by, and stay inside if you can!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

A Basketball Project? Card Show Pick-ups

Last April, I started on a vintage basketball card project.  The basic idea was that an old-school basketball set would be more interesting to me than whatever Topps and Upper Deck were (and are) churning out in the baseball and hockey realms.  I decided to tackle the 1971-72 Topps basketball set, but only got as far as posting my first two cards before I lost focus.

Well, I did actually make some progress on this project at the Columbus Day card show I attended last year.  This will probably end up being the last show I attend in quite some time, as I only made it up there every couple of years even before the word pandemic was added to our daily vocabulary.

Anyway, that day I found a seller with seven cards from the release in really great shape, and I took them all home for a combined price of $8.  Let's see the new additions that I hauled in for just a hair over a dollar per...

Largely a role player at center who was happy to let his teammates rack up the scoring, Tom Boerwinkle played his entire decade-plus NBA career with the Chicago Bulls.  Once snagged an astounding 37 rebounds in a game against the Phoenix Suns!

Cazzie Russell was actually the first overall pick in the 1966 draft, taken by the New York Knicks.  He'd help them win a championship in 1970 before being dealt to the Warriors the following year.

Next up, Don Smith of the Seattle Super Sonics, showing proper form for making or receiving a pass?  Later changed his name to Zaid Abdul-Aziz after converting to Islam in 1976.

Lamar Green's NBA career was relatively short, but his 1971-72 Topps card seems awfully prevalent.  I'm not sure if this one was double-printed or what, but any time I search out cards from this set his always seems to be one of the cheapest and most readily-available.

All the piercing green on this card almost makes it appear as though Bobby Lewis has green eyes as well.  This would have been a great one to post a while back on St. Patrick's Day!

Lucious "Luke" Jackson was a member of the NBA's All-Rookie Team in 1964-65, and also won a Gold Medal with the United States basketball team at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.  His strange facial expression makes me snicker, possibly my favorite card in this small grouping.

Closing it out, we've got Don May of the Atlanta Hawks, sporting enough orange to make even our current president pale by comparison.  Don actually won a championship with the Knicks in 1970, as a teammate of Cazzie Russell, who was featured above.

So, that wraps up the haul from my last card show, and gets me up to 9 cards total in my lone vintage basketball quest.  It'll be some time before I make much more headway here given the circumstances, but I'm patient and this was going to be a long-term project anyway.

Thanks for stopping by, and I'll be back with something more in my standard wheelhouse for my next post!

1971-72 Topps Basketball Progress - 9 / 233 (3%)

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Rainy Sunday Random Baseball Cards

No baseball on the horizon, but plenty of baseball cards still to get through in my long-term organization of my collection.  Taking a break from buying pretty much any new cardboard is giving me plenty of time to appreciate my backlog that's been built up over the years. 

Let's take a look at 16 random cards that I recently processed and added to my digital catalog on The Trading Card Database...

Is there a more insane die-cut set in existence than 1996 Topps Laser?  The '90s were a time of excess in baseball cards, and this release was a premium example of that.  This Hideo Nomo is actually a holdout from my childhood collection, recently salvaged and added to my present collection proper.  Just awesome.

Another mid-'90s set that I adored as a pre-teen was 1995's UC3 release.  These lenticular cards were like the Kellogg's releases of the '70s and '80s on steroids.  They don't scan so well sometimes...

...but in hand they're awesome, in a gaudy sort of way.

HOFers Puckett, Larry Walker, and Greg Maddux were plucked from a quarter box a long while back.

To make it an even dollar spent on UC3, I also snagged this Carlos Delgado RC from the set, which scanned much cleaner due to the vertical orientation I believe.  What a crazy card.

I picked up a lone pack of 2018 Topps Big League a couple of summers ago.  At the time I didn't really realize what a big deal Ronald Acuna Jr. RCs were, but when I stumbled upon this recently while purging out some cardboard I realized this is a $5+ card on COMC these days.  Gonna hang onto it for now given that it's my lone rookie of the Braves star so far.

I think this one may have come from a re-pack.  Held onto it for the sole reason that I love Julio Franco cards.  I don't necessarily search them out that fervently, but I hang onto any new ones that I do come across.

Next up, some keepers from a few '88 Topps rack packs I ripped open.  Always loved this classic Bo Jackson, the color scheme is fantastic.

I picked up a box of rack packs from this set years back and only recently decided that I wanted it gone to make room.  Most of the cards I pulled got packaged in my next flat rate box for Billy at Cardboard History, but the few in this post I kept for my own collection.

Crime Dog!

Barry Bonds doesn't bother me much these days, in fact I find I actually enjoy picking up some of his Pirates era cards in particular.

Another notch in my belt as far as my casual attempt to collect all of the flagship Ripken cards of the '80s from the various brands (Topps, Fleer, Donruss, Score, Upper Deck).  Not one of my favorite cards of Cal's from the decade, but a necessary step on that quest.

Robin Yount's card is another example of when the '88 flagship design shines, in my humble opinion.

Yeah, I held onto quite a few HOFers from the last few packs I ripped.  When I picked up the box years ago I initially thought I'd hand collate a set.  These days I'd rather not keep hundreds of these around the house, and prefer a small sampling of stars, favorite players, and Red Sox cards instead.

Final two cards came from the same quarter box as the UC3 cards above, they're from the Starflics subset found in the 1994 "Sportflics 2000" release.  I love these for the same reason I love the UC3 cards, that very dated 3D effect.  Couldn't pass up two childhood favorites in Cal Ripken Jr...

...and Ken Griffey Jr., for twenty-five cents each.  Awesome, cheap additions to those player collections for sure.

I'm going to get back to organizing, scanning and cataloging on this rainy Sunday, so we'll call it there for now.  Hope you enjoyed this brief look back at decades past, and thanks as always for stopping by!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Buyback Franken-set: Another Quick Dose of 1990

I've got a fever (I don't really, don't worry), and the only cure is more 1990 Topps buybacks...

1990 Topps #132 - Lance Blankenship

6-year Oakland Athletic Lance Blankenship starts us off, showing the batting grip that netted him an astounding 9 career home runs.  Not much to say about this one, though I do recall the card from collecting this set as a kid.  As with all five buybacks in this evening's post, Lance faces existing competition for the franken-set binder...

It's a rough draw in Lance's case too, as he squares off against this absolutely awesome '71.

No contest.

1990 Topps #93 - Shawn Hillegas

Journeyman Shawn Hillegas is next, who saw starts and bullpen work for five different teams across a 7-year MLB career.  The card is about as bland as 1990 Topps gets, even the photograph is blurry and out of focus a bit.

This 1997 Derek Bell buyback is already in slot 93 of the binder.  I have precious few buybacks from the 1997 release, so this one is staying in for variety's sake alone (though it would have won on merit anyway).

Off to the 1990 Topps buyback binder with Shawn.

1990 Topps #436 - Mel Hall

Mel Hall may not have had an amazing season in 1990, but he sure got a nice looking card from Topps.  I love the shot of Hall majestically watching the trajectory of a ball he just launched deep.  My 7-year-old self at the time thought Mel was one of the best sluggers in the league based solely on this piece of cardboard.

Unfortunately it stands no chance for franken-set induction, as this great 1960 Marv Throneberry (who shared my birthday!) blocks its path.

Down goes Hall.

1990 Topps #254 - Francisco Cabrera

A severe amount of airbrushing greets us on Francisco Cabrera's card.  That was probably a Toronto Blue Jays hat, the team that Francisco started the 1989 campaign with, before the artist worked their "magic".  Not much to say about this one either.  I'll be honest, there are some duds in tonight's post for sure.

Have this Gold Glove Award card of Luis Castillo currently in slot 254.  It's a more interesting card, plus I have very few Florida Marlins buybacks at all...

...so, the challenger is defeated in this case.

1990 Topps #184 - Danny Cox

Last buyback for this evening, Cards' hurler Danny Cox.  Danny actually spent the entirety of the 1989 and 1990 seasons in the minor leagues.  Sort of interesting that Topps chose him for the flagship set in '90 based on that.

This colorful John Boozer Topps Heritage buyback from 1965 Topps is blocking Danny's path to franken-set inclusion...

...and it's another easy choice to shift Cox over to the 1990 binder.

Not the most exciting grouping of five cards there, but my 1990 project got a decent jolt nonetheless.  I'm approaching 1,500 total buybacks profiled for this project now, and will make sure to feature a special one when I do finally achieve that milestone.

Thanks as always for stopping by, I hope you're all healthy and staying inside as much as you're able to.  Until next time!

Franken-set Progress: 667/792 (84%)
1990 Topps Buyback Set: 132/792 (16%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 682
Total Buybacks in Collection: 1,481
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