Sunday, September 24, 2017

A Sunday Blaster, Brought to You By COMC

It's been a while since I did one of my "COMC Blaster" posts, but I had some time to pull and scan this morning so let's get down to it!  The basic idea here is to see how far the $20 I could have spent on a blaster from my local Target goes on my favorite hobby site on the internet, COMC.  Here we go...

1959 Topps #48 - Orioles Team Checklist - $1.15

Here's one towards my 1959 Topps set build.  As I've said countless times, I miss these team photo checklists in the modern day flagship set.  I try to keep my pickups towards this set to under a dollar each outside of stars, but I didn't mind going slightly over that here since this one's in really good, "will never need to upgrade" condition.

2013 Panini Golden Age Tip Top Bread #7 - Pete Rose - $2.50

Believe it or not, this is the most costly card in today's post.  It's a rare case where I actually overpaid (there's one available for $1.50 now) just because I was really trying to finish up this 10-card insert set.

2013 Panini Golden Age Tip Top Bread #5 - Buck Weaver - $.84

Here's another one, featuring Buck Weaver.  He's probably most remembered for being banned from the game due to his involvement with the 1919 Black Sox team.  Weaver, an excellent fielder, didn't commit a single error during that World Series, and racked up 11 hits as well.  Some feel his claims that he wasn't involved in the scandal could be entirely true in light of these stats.  Either way, interesting to see two cards in a row here of guys who aren't exactly in good favor with the game.

2013 Panini Golden Age Tip Top Bread #10 - Mel Ott - $.74

Let's wash that taste from our mouths with a nice card of HOFer Mel Ott.  This brings me up to 7 out of 10 of these now.  I'm pretty sure I have the remaining ones kicking around here somewhere.

1983-84 O-Pee-Chee #22 - Oilers Leaders (Gretzky) - $1.23

Next up, the Great One!  Honestly, I'm interested in any O-Pee-Chee Gretzky card from the '80s that I don't already own at this price point.  71 goals and 125 assists, not a bad season all in all!

1981 Fleer #574 - Rickey Henderson - $.38

Picked this one up just because I don't really have much '81 Fleer in my collection, and it seemed like a steal for a mint second-year Henderson.

2014 Topps Chrome Blue Refractor (#'d /199) #47 - Will Middlebrooks - $.80

This one I grabbed a long while back now, when Will Middlebrooks was going to be a star (haha).  While I wouldn't exactly seek this one out today, I could do worse than 80 cents for a Topps Chrome Refractor numbered to 199 I guess.

2015 Upper Deck Dinosaurs 3-D #12 - Iguanodon - $.99

I posted one of these lenticular 3-D dinosaur inserts previously, and here's my second.  Upper Deck did a fantastic job with these, they look much better in person than in the scan.  One of my favorite non-sport sets from the past few years.  Of course they kind of ruined it by short-printing the last few cards on the 42-card checklist, but oh well.

1959 Topps #98 - Arnie Portocarrero - $.50

The lead-off card wasn't the only damage I did to my '59 Topps set in this post, as I also picked up hurler Arnie Portocarrero...

1959 Topps #504 - Ossie Alvarez - $.60

...and a smiling Ossie Alvarez for what amounted to just a little over a buck for the pair.  This is a slow set build for me for sure, and I don't know if I'll ever get there quite honestly.  Can't go wrong picking up missing singles at two-for-a-dollar prices though!

2016 Topps Star Wars Tek Blue Rainbow (#'d /99) #SW-76 - First Order Stormtrooper - $1.25

Here's another Blue Rainbow parallel from last year's Star Wars Tek set.  Much like with the Upper Deck Dinosaurs 3-D cards, I don't have any intention of trying to complete a set of these, but just can't help myself when I can reel them in for cheap coin.  I think this is my fourth, so I'm almost halfway to a complete binder page of these anyway, which will look pretty cool.

2013 Topps Heritage Wal-Mart Blue #434 - Dustin Pedroia - $.43

My rationale behind this one?  Well, it was dirt cheap and it's the only Red Sox card to get the blue-bordered Wal-Mart treatment in 2013 Heritage.  So, for 43 cents I knocked off a Red Sox team set of sorts...

2012-13 Upper Deck SP Authentic #175 - Evgeni Malkin - $.89

No explanation needed for this one!  I mean I grabbed it for my small collection of players featured with the greatest trophy in all of sports, but with a photo like this I would've been intrigued regardless.  Just another example of why the Authentic Moments subset cards in the SP Authentic hockey releases are so great.

2015 Topps Opening Day Mascots #M-04 - Wally the Green Monster - $.85

I tend to pick up Wally the Green Monster's mascot insert each year when Opening Day comes out, and this continued that trend for 2015.  It's not every day that you find a card with a Green Monster in both the foreground and background.

1971-72 Topps #16 - Bryan Hextall - $.54

I'm slowly plodding away at the '71-72 Topps hockey set as well.  While I'm not pursuing it with great vigor, this release and the '72-73 set from the year following are sort of next in the logical progression as I work my way backwards with Topps' hockey sets.  Also, quite amazingly, this is the first of three Hextalls to be featured in today's post!

1971-72 Topps #46 - Carol Vadnais - $.59

Another '71-72, and I like this one even better given that it features the California Golden Seals.  If I didn't have fifty other ongoing hobby projects I'd love to just complete a master Golden Seals team set across every release that they're featured in.

1971-72 Topps #128 - Dennis Hextall - $.59

Here's the last of the trio of '71-72s I pulled this morning, featuring Bryan's brother Dennis!  Their father, Bryan Sr., also played in the NHL, so they had good hockey genes for sure.

2016-17 O-Pee-Chee Platinum Rainbow Color Wheel #122 - David Pastrnak - $.55

I had somehow completely missed out on these "Rainbow Color Wheel" parallels from last year's O-Pee-Chee Platinum release.  If you like shiny and colorful cards like I do, then these are pretty much gorgeous.  They're surprisingly cheap too, I'm guessing because they're somehow tied in with the Upper Deck e-pack stuff.  I don't get involved in any of that, but I'll gladly add this new Pastrnak (who inked a new contract with the B's this off-season) to my hockey collection.

2015 Topps Chrome Pink Refractor #21 - Matt Barnes - $.69

We're basically going with refractors from here on out.  From the 2015 Topps Chrome set here's a pink one featuring reliever Matt Barnes.  This is another that I'm not sure I'd spend the funds on today (especially since I could pick up a '59 Topps set need for the same price), but I got wrapped up in some of the parallels from this set not long after it was released.

1995-96 Topps Finest Refractor #86 - Ron Hextall - $1.92

Here's the third Hextall I referenced, Bryan's son Ron!  Being born in the early '80s, and becoming a hockey fan later in the decade, Ron is the name that comes to my mind when I hear the name Hextall.  Very pleased to have landed his Finest Refractor for less than $2, especially since it's getting harder and harder for me to find these on the cheap.  Ron here is my 18th one from the '95-96 revision of Finest.

1995 Topps Finest Refractor #190 - Jim Abbott - $2.25

Last but certainly not least, another '95 Finest Refractor, but from the baseball set.  Like many fans, I consider Jim Abbott a personal hero given what he overcame to make it to the Major Leagues (and succeed there no less!).  I picked this one up during a sale back in February of 2016, and I'm glad I did as I doubt whether I'll ever see one available for this price again.

Well, that brings our total to $20.28 for today, so I'll stop there.  21 cards for 20 bucks, and I'm pretty pleased with just about all of them.  Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, September 22, 2017

One Card Post - Mr. Whaler on the Penguins

What:  2016-17 Upper Deck Fleer Showcase '92-93 Ultra Buyback #163 - Ron Francis (#'d /25)
Where: eBay
How Much?:  $5.00 (Canadian, plus shipping)

:  Why not is a better question!  Francis is one of the most under-rated athletes in the history of sports if you ask me.  He's a top 5 scorer in league history, sharing that honor with Wayne Gretzky, Jaromir Jagr, Mark Messier and Gordie Howe.  How's that for company?  Not to mention Ron is generally regarded (and rightfully so!) as the face of my all-time favorite franchise, the Hartford Whalers.  Of course, this one comes from his post-Hartford days when he was winning Stanley Cups on those stacked early '90s Pens teams.

For a buyback lover like myself, it just doesn't get much better than owning one of the 25 copies of this one that exist.  Thanks to a favorable exchange rate with the Canadian dollar, I was able to land this one for well under $5 USD.  This is the fifth '92-93 Ultra buyback in my collection now!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Buyback Franken-set: More from Dimebox Nick!

Let's take a look at some more great buybacks I received this summer from Dimebox Nick, shall we?

1960 Topps #139 - Carl Mathias

Coming out of the gate strong tonight with a Rookie Star subset buyback from 1960 Topps.  Carl's career consists of just 29 innings across two MLB seasons, and he lost his only two decisions.  A cool buyback nonetheless though, as you just don't encounter that many from the 1960 set.

This Dane Iorg, which came out a full twenty years later, is currently in slot 139 of the binder.

Gotta go with the '60.

1987 Topps #127 - Vance Law

Next we have a 1987 Vance Law.  Vance was a solid glove at third base throughout the '80s, and was even an All-Star in 1988.  He also made an impressive seven career pitching appearances in mop-up situations, to the tune of a more than respectable 3.38 career ERA!

Had this Heritage buyback featuring a couple of Angels rookies in spot 127 already...

...and there it will stay for now.

1988 Topps #421 - Ed Vande Berg

Here's a relatively bland Ed Vande Berg.  Hey when you're trying to form a franken-set this large, they're not all going to be winners.

Does the '88 Vande Berg have what it takes to unseat hat-less Pat Dobson?

Negative.  In a rare move for me, I'm sticking with the cap-less player in this instance.

1987 Topps #268 - Pat Corrales

Speaking of cap-less, here we have Indians skipper Pat Corrales.  The Indians were widely predicted to be the best team in baseball heading into the 1987 season (including a cover story by Sports Illustrated), but they famously underachieved finishing seventh in the AL East.  It was Corrales' final season as a Major League manager.

Corrales has a rough road to franken-set glory too, as this fantastic dugout shot 1978 Gil Flores currently calls slot 268 home.

Flores has already defeated quite a few hopeful buybacks at this stage of the project, and Pat Corrales becomes the latest victim.

1990 Topps #176 - Luis Quinones

This one is pretty cool, not only because I'm one of the few who loves 1990 Topps, but because Quinones was the utility guy for the World Series champion Reds team of 1990.

Already had this 1979 Aurelio Rodriguez in the binder though.  I sort of like the washed out crowd in the background of this one for some reason.

I ended up leaving Rodriguez in the binder, but I'm really doubting whether this was the correct call.  I may have been unfairly influenced by the fact that I've officially decided to go after a 1990 Topps buyback set which I can now use this one for (I've even got a binder with pages now, so there's no going back).

1993 Topps #347 - Luis Sojo

Oddly enough, we have a second straight Luis, and not only that but a second straight Luis who served as a utility player!  Sojo was even more successful than Quinones, as he won a World Series with the Blue Jays in '93, then four more with the Yankees during their late '90s dynasty.

If Sojo is to make the binder, then this Royals team card has to get tossed out.  This one has already faced and defeated at least a couple of competitors.  I just love all the green, and I wish the flagship Topps set still had team cards like this one.

The Royals maintain their hold on spot #347 for now.

1988 Topps #63 - Jimmy Jones

The Padres were the first team Jimmy Jones pitched for, before he moved on to stints with the Yankees, Astros and Expos.  He even played overseas in Japan before wrapping up his career.  I love the mesh jersey, so '80s.

I think Jimmy's in trouble though when it comes to this project, because with a Red Sox fan like myself making the calls this smiling Jack Brohamer represents some serious competition.

Took me about half a second to make that decision.

1987 Topps #288 - Tito Landrum

Having seen my fair share of 2017 Rediscover Topps buybacks at this point, I would have to guess that 1987 Topps is the most represented set within the program.  Most every lot I see for sale online contains more of the wood-grain border than any other design. 

In what's become a common theme for tonight's post, I've already got a buyback in this slot:

Hmm..not exactly a clash of the titans here.

Pretty much a case of '79 beats '87.

2006 Topps #464 - Nick Swisher

We jump way ahead to 2006 for the last two buybacks of tonight's post.  First up, Nick Swisher.  The A's, and later the Yankees, are the teams that I associate Nick with most.  Swisher is now retired, and recorded a single All-Star selection and a single World Series championship (both during his time in New York) in his career.

Unfortunately for Nick, Joe Nolan, with his pinstripe Braves jersey and classic specs, is blocking his entrance to the franken-set binder.

I chose Swisher, but once again I'm second guessing myself just a couple days later as I type up this post.

2006 Topps #316 - Craig Breslow

Last card for tonight, a buyback rookie card of lefty Craig Breslow.  This one is significant to me as a Red Sox fan given that Craig was a member of the 2013 World Series winning team.  Seems like a solid candidate for inclusion in the franken-set for sure, but...

...Breslow runs up against a buzz-saw in the form of another Red Sox World Series champ, Curt Schilling!

Breslow goes down.

In a true sign of just how tough it's getting to crack the binder, there were no new numbers for the project in this batch at all, for possibly the first time ever.  A couple of them still fought their way into the binder over the competition however, plus I received another new 1990 Topps buyback, so still a solid round when all is said and done.

If I were to process these same ten again next week, at least two or three of them would probably go the other way in their match-ups.  The decisions are starting to get tough as the buyback count rises.  I've got one final batch from Nick coming up next, then it'll be back to some I picked up myself...   

Franken-set Progress:  480/792 (60%)
"Rejected" Buybacks:  331
Total Buybacks in Collection: 811
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