Monday, September 24, 2018

One Card Post - O-Pee-Chee Hoyt

What:  1971 O-Pee-Chee #248 - Hoyt Wilhelm
Where: COMC
How Much?:  $2.25

Why?:  You can't go wrong with '71 O-Pee-Chee.  I love the dugout shot on this card, and of course the classic O-Pee-Chee "RECENTLY TRADED TO..." designation.  The primary reason I was drawn to this card though was the same reason I am drawn to any '71 OPC...  

...floating head back!

A solid addition to my modest Hoyt Wilhelm collection if you ask me!  Not bad for just a couple bucks...

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Buyback Franken-set: Arrieta RC!

Well, the blog went dark for a week there as I attended an intense cyber-security training course.  It's nice to be back home and no longer living out of a suitcase, let's get back at it with another ten cards for my Buyback Franken-set project...

2010 Topps #US-251 - Jake Arrieta

As newer buybacks go, this is one of the better ones I've come across.  Although Jake Arrieta is better known for his time with the Cubs, when he was one of the most dominant pitchers in the game, it's cool to score his official rookie card in buyback format.  I would love nothing more than to welcome this one to the binder, however...

...since it's from the 2010 Topps Update set, it's ineligible for this project.  You can rest assured that if I ever attempted an Update franken-set Jake would have a lock on slot 251, but for now he's off to the rejected box.

1988 Topps #731 - Rick Schu

I'm not all that excited about this buyback of Rick Schu, who actually spent the '88 season with Baltimore, playing about half of the team's games that year at third base.  As much as I enjoy the 1988 Topps design, I'd say this one's a long shot.

I already had this 1991 Jeff Gray in slot 731.  Not exactly a jaw-dropper of a buyback either...

...but I certainly prefer it to the Rick Schu.

1987 Topps #387 - T.R. Bryden

Despite rabidly collecting baseball and hockey cards as a kid in the late 1980s/early 1990s I have zero recollection of T.R. Bryden.  Not all that surprising I suppose, as I see that his entire MLB career consisted of 16 appearances out of the bullpen for California in 1986.  While that is 16 appearances more than I'll ever have, it doesn't bode too well as far as franken-set induction goes.

Especially not when matched up against the great Phil Niekro on one of the more under-represented sets in buyback form, 1981 Topps.

So long, T.J.!

1988 Topps #716 - Lenn Sakata

Next up is Hawaiian Lenn Sakata.  Lenn was a long time backup/utility infielder with the Brewers, Orioles, A's and Yankees.  Again, a nice enough specimen of 1988 Topps, but not exactly lighting the world on fire.

I had this 1990 Steve Balboni, not exactly a "looker" either, in slot 716.  You know what I'm doing here, right?

Sakata takes up residence in the franken-set binder, and Balboni shifts over to the 1990 Topps buyback binder.

1990 Topps #257 - Jose DeLeon

Speaking of 1990 Topps, here's a smiling and slightly confused-looking Jose DeLeon.  Jose lost an astounding 19 games for the Cardinals in 1990.  It doesn't get much rougher than that.

Since I already had this 2012 Seth Smith card in slot 257, and I'm not all that compelled to move a 19-game loser into the franken-set...

...Jose will move to the 1990 Topps binder.

1987 Topps #355 - Don Carman

Don Carman was the definition of durable in 1987.  He started 35 games for Philadelphia in that one season alone, throwing over 200 innings, and a couple of shutouts to boot.  As for the franken-set, Don draws a tough match-up...

...just because I love 1975 Topps, and I love bad air-brushing.  The color combination on this particular card is just so jarring and wrong that I actually kind of enjoy it.

Yeah, I'm sticking with the '75 buyback for now.

1981 Topps #248 - Joey McLaughlin

Our second 1981 Topps buyback of the post, though the first was a prior resident of the binder whereas here we have a new challenger.  Joey McLaughlin was a regular out of the pen for the Blue Jays in the four seasons between 1980 and 1983, appearing in 189 games for Toronto across those four years.

Unfortunately for Joey he gets matched up against a sweet vintage manager buyback.  I got this buyback from the great Mark Hoyle!

That was an easy call.

1988 Topps #362 - Juan Castillo

If you've read this far I give you credit, it hasn't exactly been a line-up of All-Stars today.  Juan Castillo isn't going to help the situation much, as his struggled to hit the Mendoza Line in his four career MLB seasons.  There is one nice thing about this card though.  As my first #362 buyback Juan makes the binder...

...and he completes a new page!  I'd say my favorite here is the Leon Wagner in the lower left corner, although it's hard to ignore Claude Raymond and his famously unzipped fly just above that card.  This isn't the most exciting page in the binder, but hopefully I'll improve it down the road.

1990 Topps #314 - Donald Harris

I can distinctly remember this Donald Harris card from my first go-round at collecting.  I opened a ton of packs of 1990 Topps as a 9-year-old, and just assumed that Donald must have been a star.  This was before the days of the internet, baseball cable packages and all that, so as a kid at the time something as simple as that #1 Draft Pick logo in the upper right was enough to make a card seem significant.

As it turns out, Donald batted just .205 with 2 home runs, 3 doubles and 11 RBI in 82 career games.  Whoops!

Already had this Sterling Slaughter (how can you not love that name?) in slot 314.

He'll stay in place, and Donald Harris goes to the 1990 Topps buyback binder where he belongs.

1987 Topps #43 - Gene Michael

Last card for today, another manager.  I actually ran across this buyback before (in bronze foil format - this is the silver) and at the time... lost out to this 1990 Dante Bichette buyback.  With the passage of time, and the fact that I'm working on a dedicated 1990 Topps buyback set as well now, my feelings have changed.

I'm going to insert Gene Michael into the franken-set, and bump Bichette to the 1990 Topps set.

That was a pretty rough grouping outside of the Arrieta RC if you ask me.  The good news is that I completed a new page, and added a few new cards to my 1990 buyback binder as well.  In case you couldn't tell, today's buybacks came from a random lot I picked up online sight unseen.  When you've accumulated as many of these things as I have now you're going to have some duds I guess.

I promise I'll make the next installment of this project much more interesting.  Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy your Sunday!

Franken-set Progress: 623/792 (78%)
1990 Topps Buyback Set: 89/792 (11%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 498
Total Buybacks in Collection: 1,210

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Signature Sundays - Mark Messier!

It's been some time since I wrote a Signature Sundays post here on the blog, but I've got a real nice autograph to feature today.  It's the latest in my quest to collect as many of the 1992-93 Fleer Ultra buybacks from the 2016-17 Fleer Showcase set as possible, and it features one of the most successful players in NHL history, Mark Messier!

Mark seems to be one of the more polarizing figures in the history of the league, you run into people who love the guy and people who can't stand him pretty regularly.  To me, it's hard not to admire his career accolades.  I mean, he played a quarter of a century in the league, and along the way won six Stanley Cups, and captained two different franchises to a Cup.  Messier was a 15-time All-Star and won Hart, Conn Smythe and Lester B Pearson awards during his storied career.  In the end, Mark ended up third on the NHL's career points list, behind only Wayne Gretzky and Jaromir Jagr. 

I'm really glad to add this Rangers autograph to my collection in particular, as I went on a trip to New York City with my dad in the summer of 1994 to see the Red Sox and Yankees play at the old Yankee Stadium.  The Rangers had just won The Cup and the city was rabid for the team and its captain, Messier.  I still remember going on a tour of Madison Square Garden that trip, and purchasing a Stanley Cup Champion souvenir puck.  I'll always think back to that when I look at this card.  Good memories.

You can't post a '92-93 Ultra card without showing one of the greatest card back designs of all-time.

Here's the COA that correlates to the holographic sticker on the back, ensuring the autograph's legitimacy.

So yeah, a very solid addition to my collection today.  As an admitted buyback lover, these Ultra buybacks from Showcase are some of my favorite cards to be released the past couple of years, period.  I have so much fun tracking these down, I feel like a 10-year-old in '92 all over again!  I didn't even notice until I had it in hand that this is a "Christmas" parallel, #'d 12/25, I've sure Gavin of Baseball Card Breakdown will love that.

With Messier in hand, I've got five of these autographs and counting now, though they obviously don't crop up all that often with only 25 of each in existence.  I'm not sure how many more I'll stumble across, but I sure do love this one.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

One Card Post - Gold Bogaerts

What:  2018 Topps Big League #134 - Xander Bogaerts (Gold Parallel)
Where: eBay
How Much?:  $1.00 (free shipping)

Why?:  I like what Topps did with the Big League release this year.  I got a bad taste though when the lone rack pack I picked up at Target consisted almost entirely of damaged cards (dinged corners).  So, instead of buying another I just grabbed this gold parallel for my Bogaerts collection for a dollar shipped.

Friday, September 14, 2018

COMC Blaster - Put Your Sunglasses On

It's Friday night, I'm through a long week of work that had me traveling all over the northern half of the east coast, and it's time to relax.  Seems as good a time as any for another "COMC Blaster" post.  I always enjoy doing these, let's see how far I can stretch $20 on the site this time around...

This first one is an absolute winner, and one I simply can't believe I went so long before acquiring.  I've been slowly plodding away at a 1959 Topps set for a good while now, and aside from that this Dave Sisler is just a fantastic card for my Red Sox collection.  Those glasses are great, as is the overall condition of the card.  I wish all my '59s looked like this.

I actually plucked three '59s from my card chest for tonight's post, and the second is one of the more entertaining names in the set.  In a set dominated by head shots, this is certainly a unique image.  It's also a "zero year" card (trademark Dime Box Nick), as Douglas never pitched for Cincinnati.

The third card in the trio is the least interesting of the three, but it still kills two birds with one stone as a set need and a new Red Sox card.  This trio brings me up to 282 cards from this set, painfully close to the 50% mark.  Best of all, despite being in great condition I paid just 88 cents each, from the same seller in one fell swoop.

Three cards in, and we've got a running total of $2.64.

Sticking with the theme of threes, I've got a trio of X-Fractors from 2014 Topps Finest up next.  2014 Finest may very well be the most obnoxiously colorful set to be released in the time since I returned to collecting in 2007.  I'm under the delusion that I may complete the entire set in X-Fractor form someday.  So, I couldn't resist Carlos Santana here for a mere 40 cents.

Same with Madison Bumgarner, one of the most dominant post-season pitchers of his generation, one of the best ever actually.  Was happy to bring this one home for just 49 cents.

Lastly, Will Myers from his days with Tampa Bay.  I can't tell if that's a bat flip, or just a standard dropping of the bat while taking off for first.  I'm thinking the latter.  Scored this one for a lean 38 cents.  I will buy any X-Fractor I don't have from this set that's available for 50 cents or less, but I've picked a lot of that low-hanging fruit at this point and will have to raise my threshold soon if I'm serious about completing the set.

We'll keep going with more shiny here; there's a reason this post is subtitled "Put Your Sunglasses On".  I seem to be unable to resist Topps Chrome Red Sox parallels, especially serial-numbered ones.  The sepia refractors in 2014 Topps Chrome are serial-numbered to /75.  I was able to secure this Jon Lester, complete with Green Monster backdrop, for 95 cents.

Speaking of my favorite parallels, the Pinnacle dufex parallels ('Museum Collection' for baseball, 'Rink Collection' for hockey) are some of my absolute favorites from the '90s.  The '94s are the best looking ones if you ask me.  I couldn't leave this Brad McCrimmon behind at 97 cents.  I now have the 7th largest Whalers collection on The Trading Card Database, and I still have many more to inventory to help me climb the ranks further.

This Matsuzaka is actually an insert, I think from Upper Deck's flagship set, that was like a preview for what the O-Pee-Chee release was going to look like.  I enjoyed Daisuke's time with Boston, and was more than happy to use up 55 cents in credit for this one.  Let's get back to the shiny...

How about a couple of really loud inserts from Panini's revival of the Donruss brand?  This Dominator Mookie Betts is serial-numbered to /999.  I paid 75 cents for it.  Unlicensed or not, that seems like a steal for one of the best players in the game.

This Elite Series Bogaerts is from the 2017 set, just like the Betts.  It's also numbered to /999, just like the Betts.  This one wasn't quite as cheap, as it set me back $1.25, but given that Xander has been my favorite player since he debuted in 2013 I didn't mind.

If you read my blog with any sort of frequency odds are you've seen me show one of these Bubbles Refractors from 2014 Bowman Chrome before.  This is the 20th one to enter into my collection, which isn't bad given that there are just 99 copies of each floating out there.  I shelled out $1.75 for this card.  It's a bit depressing that Jose Fernandez and Brad McCrimmon appeared in the same post.

Running total at this point is $10.13, so we're just a shade over the halfway point.  Onwards!

Wow, we even get a soccer card this evening!  Coutinho was one of the most dynamic and exciting Premier League mid-fielders to watch during his tenure with my favorite team, Liverpool.  I search COMC for his cards from time to time and have a very small collection.  I overpaid for this one for sure at $1.90.  It was a case where I stumbled upon it very recently after the set was released, and had I waited I could've picked up the card for less coin down the line (there's a copy up tonight for 55 cents).

Another set that I'm crazy enough to think I may finish one day is the 2011 Topps Chrome Atomic Refractors.  I've got two for you tonight, Brett Wallace who cost me an even dollar...

...and Ian Desmond who came in at 90 cents.  These cards are just plain beautiful.  Topps did a lot of things right in 2011 if you ask me, and these Atomic Refractors are certainly on that list.  There are 220 of these on the checklist, and I am much closer to completion with this set with 181 now in hand counting this pair.  Well over 80% done now!  Someday...

I was a young teenager in the mid-'90s when the AA Norwich Navigators farm team was established.  They played their home games less than half an hour from my house, and being a rabid baseball fan at the time, I was hooked.  The team didn't last long, but I have many great memories of spending nice summer evenings at their brand new stadium with family and friends.  There aren't a ton of them out there, but I am always on the lookout for a new Navigators card and this one fit the bill at just 53 cents.

Running total is now up to $14.46...

Yup, another Bogaerts card.  I'm not a huge relic fan, which is why you don't see many game-used cards posted on this blog, but I'll make an exception for Xander.  Besides, it cost me just $1.75.  Now at 107 cards and counting, I've currently got the largest Bogaerts collection on The Trading Card Database by a good margin.

Getting towards the end here, as the back half of the post is heavy on more expensive cards (though there's not a single card in this post that I paid even $2 for).  This 1967-68 Gilles Villemure is really beat, and has some bad paper loss on the back.  With that being said, I am not leaving any card from this set behind at $1.50 for someone else to scoop up.  Those glorious brown pads are worth a buck fifty alone.

Here's one more Bubbles Refractor from Bowman Chrome, featuring under-rated starter Jose Quintana.  I paid $1.23 for this one.  I'm not sure I'd make that same purchase today, but it gives me 21 of these now anyway.  That's the last shiny card for this evening, as the final card is of the vintage variety.  The non-sport vintage variety, that is...

I adore the 1966 Topps Batman cards.  This one's completely beat up, and seems to maybe even have suffered some light water damage at some point in its lifetime, but at 63 cents it's certainly an acceptable placeholder in my budding set.  I try to keep this blog PG, but when I first looked at this one my first reaction was that it looks like Batman and Robin are watching some Cat Woman porn.  What can I say, sometimes I have the mind of a 16-year-old.

Well, that brings tonight's running total up to $19.57.  I'm sure I could dig around for a card I shelled out 40 cents for, but since we're close enough I'll call it there.  Another fun installment of what has become one of my favorite recurring features on the blog.  Hope you enjoyed, and thanks for stopping by!
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