Wednesday, September 30, 2015

When Quality Meets Quantity - Part I

This hobby is full of very friendly people.  In the nearly 8 years I've been writing this blog now I've been introduced to, and received cards from, dozens and dozens of other collectors.  Some of my favorite cards in my entire collection have been sent to me in trade, or just out of the blue.  I really do appreciate each as much as the next. 

With that being said, if we are talking about pure quantity of cardboard sent, there is one guy who stands out above the rest, especially in the past year or two.

That would be my buddy Jeff S (who sadly does not have a blog that I can link to here).  Jeff has sent me a few absolutely giant packages of new cards in recent months.  The majority of the cards have bolstered my Red Sox collection, like this great Panini Prizm Fearless insert of second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

The best part about Jeff's packages is not only the total number of cards, but the variety that he manages to hit on among them.  He's sent me everything from vintage oddballs right up through current day releases, like this 2015 Stadium Club Ortiz insert.

Jeff even keeps his eye out for cool Sox items for me at shows, or wherever else he scores new cardboard.  It's pretty awesome to be able to attend a card show "by proxy"!

There are only two unfortunate things about Jeff.  The first is that he's a much more narrowed and focused collector than I am, which makes it awfully hard for me to find stuff to send him in return sometimes.  At this point I'm forever in debt to him, as I think the ratio of cards sent to cards received has gotta be something like 100 sent 1,000+ received, maybe worse!

The second "problem" with Jeff is that when I receive batches of cards this large my OCD scanning and categorization process results in me taking forever to get through them.  I tend to grab, process and post many other PWEs and smaller packages during the time when I'm going through one of Jeff's deliveries, just to keep my card desk relatively clean.  As a result, the person who sent me the most gets the least thanks.  Well, I'm working on that, and today's post is a step in the right direction.

Aside from those two things, Jeff is alright!

All the cards you see in this post are just the tip of the iceberg, and I haven't even gotten to any of the Sox cards from his latest delivery yet.

More Topps Total...

...and a new Canseco Red Sox card.  Love it.

I had the base version of this incredibly awkward card already, and thanks to Jeff's efforts now I've got the Electric Diamond parallel to accompany it.  Makes me want to chase the one-per-box Electric Diamond Gold to complete the rainbow of awkwardness and hand moles.

Typically I find a healthy batch of new Nomars any time Jeff sends a package to my doorstep.

I think I collect Xander Bogaerts.  I learned long ago that being a player collector is not for me, too stressful chasing everything down and with my personality it makes my hobby seem more like a chore.  I have enough chores.  Xander was one of the few bright spots on a doomed 2015 Red Sox team, and whenever I land a card of either he or Mookie Betts it feels extra significant.  So, I guess I kind of collect those two.

A nice shot of The Hawk signing some pre-game 'graphs.

The second 1996 Topps Gallery card I've received in trade this summer, pretty random for a set I never knew existed until a few weeks ago.

I don't know how Jeff does it, he must have some good card shows, or dime/quarter boxes in his area.  He's even started expanding out and sending cards to other bloggers recently, at least a couple that I know of.

I like the cameo appearance on this one of the blurry beer vendor.

More Nomah!

I already had a couple of parallel versions of this Mookie Betts rookie, but somehow the base card had escaped me.  Like I said, nothing makes me happier than new Betts or Bogaerts cards, and the photograph on this one is great.

Going old school oddball with a trio of 1987 K-Marts!  I can remember a copy or two of this box set kicking around among my childhood collecting friends back in the day.  From a monetary perspective, these are probably among the least valuable cards in the entire package, but they brought a smile to my face.  Besides, I think most everyone has learned by this point that if you're in this hobby to make money, you're in the wrong hobby.

Everyone loves the Hostess cards from the '70s, but how about one from the early '90s?

Last Red Sox card for today, 1990 Donruss done right (or at least as well as 1990 Donruss can be done).

Oh, and in case that wasn't enough I also got a nice, large chunk of my 2015 Topps Stadium Club set knocked off in a recent package as well!  I won't show most of them, but here are a couple select favorites from the dozens Jeff sent...

Alright, I've dragged this one on long enough, so I'll just say it one more time, short and simple.

Thank you Jeff.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Just Cards, No Bubble Gum

Today's trade post highlights a brand new trading partner, Jeff of Wish They Still Came with Bubble Gum.  Jeff loves all things Braves, so I packed him up a bubble mailer with as many Atlanta (and some Milwaukee) cards as I could get my hands on.  In return, I got a nice batch of new Sox!

Aside from a few of the 10th Anniversary Buybacks I picked up, I got my very first taste of 2015 Allen & Ginter proper with this PWE.  Pablo here's been out of the lineup.  Team calls it a "respiratory illness", I call it "so out of shape he got gassed scoring from 3rd base on a sac fly".  It's entirely possible he doesn't even come back to the team this season, and why should he?  They're playing better without he and Hanley Ramirez in the lineup than they have all season with them.

The other base card I got was Bryce Brentz, the guy who seems to be in just about every single Topps product in 2015, despite getting into just 9 games last year (and 0 so far in 2015).

I like these Starting Points inserts, one of the better ideas for the large insert set that I've seen in the past few years of A & G.

Jeff found another Opening Day card I was missing as well, think I'm just a card or two away from having this one complete at this point.

I'm up over a dozen cards now featuring Canseco with the Red Sox, and I love each and every one of them just because it's so odd to see him with Boston.

Still rounding out last year's Heritage set, and still can't believe the Sox actually won the World Series in 2013...

I was just talking the other day about how the 2003 Upper Deck flagship set has really started to grow on me, and Jeff delivered with a pair of them!  Pitchers Tim Wakefield...

...and Ramiro Mendoza.  This one is really appreciated, since Ramiro was a pitcher on the inaugural Norwich Navigators AA team that I was so crazy about in the mid-'90s.

To close things out, let's go with some shiny.  A David Ortiz refractor from the latest Topps Chrome set (which I'm a big fan of)...

...and a purple chrome from Topps Heritage.  I've mentioned this a couple of times before, but it amazes me that someone with as much raw talent as Yeonis seems to have can be shuffled between teams as frequently as he has been the past couple of years.  I'll be pulling for Cespedes and the Mets in the NL playoffs this year for sure.

Jeff, thanks for a great package!  I've got some Braves loaded up, so hopefully we can exchange a PWE every so often going forward...

Saturday, September 26, 2015

COMC6 - Flyin' Pedroia, Mother's Cookies, and a Borderline HOFer?

Probably 2-3 times a year I ship myself the cards I've purchased on COMC over the few months prior.  When they show up, they just go into the box with the rest of the COMC cards.  On days when I don't have time for a longer or more creative post, I grab half a dozen at random and go from there...

I've always thought this was one of the better photographs used in the 2012 Topps flagship set.  Couldn't pass up a shiny, orange copy.

I still pick up 2011 Gypsy Queen framed parallels when I can find them at a cheap price.  This is the 28th framed green parallel to enter my collection, not too bad given that there are only 100 of them to go after.  It's also the second card in a row here to feature outfield wall advertising.

I'd say probably 2/3, maybe even 3/4 of the cards I buy on COMC are baseball.  That number should start to shift a little more in favor of hockey though as baseball season winds down and hockey starts up.  At the time I picked up this Select Fire on Ice Dougie Hamilton, he was still with Boston.  I'm still in shock over that trade, quite frankly.

Who knows what goes on behind the scenes that we're not privy to as fans, but I really feel like Calgary flat out stole this guy.  You just don't give up on a defenseman this good, and this big in stature, with good offensive upside, especially when he's all of 22 years old.  The team better hope one of the draft picks they got in return turns into a real stud, because this one stung.  Look out for the Flames this year, I'm telling you.

Interesting that I plucked this Donruss Hall Worthy insert from the pile for posting not long after David crossed the 500 HR threshold.  I don't know how I feel about Ortiz and the HOF, let's see where he stands when his entire career is a couple of years behind us.  In the meantime, I do like this card quite a bit, and it was also a creative way for Panini to get around not being able to use official logos or team names.

Like many collectors, I've always enjoyed the Mother's Cookies sets.  This particular card is from a Nolan Ryan farewell set they did.  Maybe not the world's most interesting Nolan Ryan card, but I shelled out just 40 cents for it.

Wrapping up this morning's half dozen is yet another Champ's yellow parallel, a HOFer and one of the best players in the history of the game to boot!  23 of these and counting now, almost 1/4 of the way to a complete set.

Friday, September 25, 2015

HSCA '59s

Today's trade post is yet another example of the generosity that exists in this hobby of ours.  A while ago, my buddy Brian from Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary noticed that I mentioned I was pursuing a beat up '59 Topps set.  He said he'd consult his doubles box to see if he had anything I needed.  Just a couple of weeks later, I found a PWE in my  mailbox with the goods!

Brian was able to provide four new cards for my set!  We've got first baseman Harry Dropo...

...and second baseman Johnny Temple from the Reds.  Love the old Redlegs logo, just awesome.  These are in comparable shape to the other cards in my set so far as well, which is nice.

Next up is a somewhat terrified looking Jack Sanford.  I had no idea this guy was from Massachusetts, and I'm even more ashamed to admit that I also had no idea he was an NL Rookie of the Year just a couple of years before this card was printed up!

The last of the '59s is another Cincinnati Redleg, pitcher Bob Purkey.  This one is significant in that, at card #506, it's the highest numbered card in my current set.  Very cool!

Of course, being the nice guy that he is, Brian threw in some Sox to go with the vintage cards.  Here's a chrome card of Beau Vaughan, rhyme brother of better-known Sox star Mo Vaughn.

One that would be more appropriate to post in a week or two, once the calendar roles over into October.

I even got another new card towards my 2015 Stadium Club set.  I think I'm down to less than 50 cards to knock this one out now...

I had never seen this set 1997 EX-2000 set before.  The cloudy part of the background is actually acetate, and it gives the cards a really high end feel.  I imagine collectors in 1997 went crazy for this set.

Took me a while to identify this one, but I believe it's a "bronze foil" parallel of Doerr's 2002 Diamond Kings card.  This one will nicely compliment the sample version of this card I got in a trade earlier this year.

Rounding out the envelope is a Topps Gallery Clemens.  This is from the inaugural 1996 set.  Hard to believe, but I'm at well over 100 unique Clemens Red Sox cards and counting at this point.

Brian, thanks for the great envelope, it's nice finding cards in the mail instead of bills.  The Red Sox cards are great, and I truly appreciate the bump in my '59 set as well.
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