Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Cleaning Up with a T206

Well, I haven't been as active on the blog during my vacation week here as I'd originally intended.  It's with good reason though, as I've been dedicating the bulk of my time to some cleanup efforts around my house, most notably in my office/hobby room.

In addition to completely rearranging the layout of the room itself, I've been purging cardboard that doesn't really fit my collection as much these days (many of you will be receiving packages in the coming days) as I go through a massive reorganization and categorization of the cards I am keeping on the Trading Card Database.

Cleaning up my office has been rewarding in another sense as well, as I've rediscovered some real gems that I've picked up over the years yet never showed here on the blog for some reason.  Here's one such example:

Always a good day when you can add a T206 to your collection!  I obviously don't know a whole lot about Harry Niles, who was briefly a roommate of the great Branch Rickey.  Looks like he was what you'd describe as a "fan favorite" during his brief time with Boston though.

I don't need to drone on about how great the T206 cards are, I think I'm in the majority there anyway.  Every time I stumble across one of these I ask myself why I haven't been searching out more of them.  Little works of art if you ask me.

This particular card is the Piedmont back.  My ultimate goal is to get one of every Red Sox front variation in the set.  I don't really care as much about the backs, though I suppose it would be nice to get a variation of backs among the thirteen different fronts I'm aiming for.

Harry here is my sixth Red Sox card from this iconic set.  Still a ways to go, but if you'd told me years ago that I'd even get to half a dozen I'd have been skeptical.  Tris Speaker is the biggest obstacle to completion but you never know, maybe someday...

Do you have any T206 cards in your collection?  Are there any that you're in the market for, or would recommend I seek out besides the Red Sox cards?

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Signature Sundays - Ageless Wonder

One of my favorite type of cards to collect are those of players who last at the highest level of their sport far longer than their competitors are able to.  Guys like Jaromir Jagr, who only just wrapped up his NHL career this past season, or Bartolo Colon, who's still taking the mound at 44 years of age.

This week's Signature Sundays subject was certainly one of those players!

Love this one!  I just can't get enough of these '92-93 Ultra buybacks from last year's Fleer Showcase release.  I'm probably up to around ten or so now, with Chelios here being my third autograph (Nick Lidstrom and Jaromir Jagr are the other two).  Yeah, I'm hopelessly addicted to these throwbacks to my childhood collecting days.

Chelios was one of the league's premier defensemen for a long while, including during my formative years as a kid fan between 1989 and the mid-'90s.  He's a three-time Stanley Cup champion, a member of the Hockey HOF, and was recently voted one of the top 100 players of all time.  To me though, the most impressive thing about his career... that he started in the NHL way back in 1984...

...and played his last game in 2010!  At the age of 48!  Only the great Gordie Howe, during his comeback season in 1979-80 with the Hartford Whalers, ever skated in an NHL game at an older age than Chris.  If that doesn't make you feel just a little better about getting older then I'm not sure anything will.

Here's the back of the card (just about everyone producing trading cards today could learn a thing or two from '92-93 Ultra if you ask me).  These are limited to 25 copies each, and the serial number on the hologram sticker there... linked to the serial number on the CoA that comes with the card.

Yup, I'm pretty pumped about this week's autograph addition.  I like that Chris included the proper uniform number to go with his signature.  This is something he clearly pays attention to, as the Panini Classics Signature autograph of his that I landed a few years back has a signature that references #24 to match the Canadiens sweater he was wearing in the photograph.  Kudos to Chelios for that level of attention to detail!

Thanks as always for spending a few minutes of your time here.  Who's your favorite "ageless wonder"?  Any players that you collect in particular for that reason?  If so I'd love to hear about it in the comments...

Friday, May 11, 2018

Buyback Franken-set: Celebrating 600 with Jim Kaat

Today is the beginning of a badly needed week off from work for me.  I can think of no better way to celebrate than by sliding a 600th card into my buyback franken-set binder.  It's a good one too, check it out!

1965 Topps #62 - Jim Kaat

Yes, it's the great Jim Kaat (or Katt if you're to believe this 1965 Topps card).  Jim pitched an impressive 25 years at the Major League level, a career that spanned four different decades.  It's cool to me to think that a guy who was on a big league mound in 1959 was still at it after I was born in 1982.  You have to respect 16 Gold Gloves and 3 All-Star selections, too.

When I stumbled across this Heritage box-topper buyback on Sportlots a while back for $2.50 plus a very reasonable 80 cents shipping I pounced on it.  Aside from being an all-around nice card, I didn't yet have a #62 buyback for the project so this card was a perfect fit.

This one completes a page as well!  Some nice cards here, but my biased favorite is that '61 buyback of "Marvelous" Marv Throneberry in the upper right (he shared my birthday).

600 cards in the binder now, pretty unbelievable.  With less than 200 numbers left to go, I'm getting more and more confident that I'm actually going to finish this project off someday.

Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to visit again soon as I'll have a new post up every day for at least the next ten days!  Ah, vacation...

Franken-set Progress: 600/792 (75%)
1990 Topps Buyback Set: 64/792 (8%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 456
Total Buybacks in Collection: 1,120

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Buyback Franken-set: A Pair of Populated Pages & a Petrocelli

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.  Let's get on with it!

1970 Topps #81 - Dave May

I know Dave May wasn't a superstar or anything, but that is a nice looking 1970 Topps card if you ask me.  It's got a slightly blurry/dreamy kind of vibe to it.  I've really started taking a liking to this set in recent years, I'd love to slide this card into the franken-set binder.  In order to do so though...

...I'd have to bump Pete Redfern here.

Don't have a problem with that!

1974 Topps #124 - Bob Coluccio

I'll admit I don't know a damn thing about Bob Coluccio.  Not exactly the most exciting card that 1974 Topps has to offer.  Hey, they can't all be stars.  Maybe this one will at least plug a gap in the set?

Nope, George Mitterwald's 1977 card has been in slot 124 for a bit.

The Coluccio just isn't compelling enough to merit replacing Mitterwald.

1973 Topps #429 - Jim Fairey

Some nice palm trees in the background on this Jim Fairey, no way this photo was taken in Montreal!  1973 was actually Fairey's final Major League season, and he spent it with the Dodgers not the Expos.

Already had this Tony LaRussa in slot 429.  Not off to a great start today with respect to new numbers for the binder.

There's no way I could toss LaRussa in favor of Fairey.

1972 Topps #245 - Tommie Agee

Finally get a new number here, with "Miracle Met" Tommie Agee's 1972 Topps card.  Though he was only in his late 20s by 1972, Agee's career was already in sharp decline.  The 1966 Rookie of the Year never played another MLB game after 1973, just his age 30 season.  Of the '70s releases, 1972 Topps might be the toughest set to find buybacks from.  At least that's been my experience so far.  Happy to have Agee in the binder.

1979 Topps #219 - Roy Smalley

Roy Smalley looks like he's up to something here on his 1979 Topps card.  I know I made a mistake here.  When I thumbed to the appropriate page and looked in pocket 219 of the set I found this card standing in Roy's way:

Nothing all that spectacular if I'm being honest, but I much prefer the '75 Topps set to the '79 release.  So...

...I sent Roy Smalley off to the rejected box.  What I didn't realize at the time, and learned while typing up this post, is that 1979 was the pinnacle of Smalley's career.  He played every single game of the season for the Twins that year, 161 at shortstop and a single game at first base.  Smalley led the league in plate appearances and posted career highs in hits, doubles, home runs (24) and RBI (95) en route to his only All-Star selection.

Yeah, I'm going to have to right this wrong at some point.

1978 Topps #97 - Stan Bahnsen

With no disrespect to the man, Stan Bahnsen looks almost nothing like a professional athlete on this card.  The 1968 AL Rookie of the Year has one of the best nicknames in baseball history, "The Bahnsen Burner".  Love it.  Don't love this 1978 card nearly as much though.

There's no chance it's going to force Mike Cuellar here from the franken-set binder.

Sorry Stan.

1967 Topps #383 - Ken Henderson

Next up, outfielder Ken Henderson, who enjoyed a 16-year MLB career.  Ken played for 7 different franchises during that time, though his 8 years with the Giants were by far the most he spent with any one team.  This 2016 Heritage box-topper is a new number for the project as well at #383.  Welcome to the franken-set binder Mr. Henderson!

1976 Topps #276 - Mickey Scott

Mickey Scott looks a bit creeped out on his 1976 card here.  Scott went 3-0 in 33 appearances out of the 'pen in 1976.  Not a terribly exciting buyback I have to admit, but it's a great one for this project because it's a new number...

...and it completes a page!  After a long build-up it's nice to be getting to the point where I'm completing pages on a somewhat regular basis now.

Highlight of this page for me is undoubtedly the rookie card of Bill "Spaceman" Lee in the lower right!

1966 Topps #6 - Chuck Schilling

Here's a nice Topps Heritage box-topper buyback of Red Sox second baseman Chuck Schilling.  This is actually a "sunset card", as Schilling played his entire five-season MLB career with Boston between 1961 and 1965.  For the second card in a row here we have a new number for the binder...

...and a completed page!  I'm very pleased to have the very first page in the set completed at long last.  With four Nolan Ryans, a Pete Rose, and a Mark Fidrych 1/1 this has to be my best completed page to date.  I won't mind staring at this every time I open the binder going forward.

1966 Topps #298 - Rico Petrocelli

Here's the last card for today, and by far my favorite in today's post.  In fact, I picked up the small lot of ten buybacks you see today on eBay a long while back pretty much solely because I wanted this Rico Petrocelli.  I paid $9 and change for the lot, and was pretty pleased as I would've gladly forked out that amount for this Rico alone!

A '60s buyback of a popular player from my favorite team featuring the great oversize All-Star Rookie trophy?  Yes, please!  I'm very pleased that Topps was wise enough to place the buyback stamp on the right side of the card here and not obstruct that beautiful trophy graphic.  I've definitely seen others where that is not the case.

Larry Herndon stands between Petrocelli and franken-set glory.

But gets booted from the binder, no questions asked.  I'd be a fool to keep this card in the franken-set while that amazing Petrocelli sat in the rejected box.

Not a bad lot at all today.  Four new numbers for the project have me sitting on the precipice of 600 cards in the franken-set, and even where there were conflicts I made a couple of improvements, most notably the Petrocelli.

Tune in next time to see if I can cross the 600 buyback threshold.  Thanks for stopping by!

Franken-set Progress: 599/792 (75%)
1990 Topps Buyback Set: 64/792 (8%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 456
Total Buybacks in Collection: 1,119

Friday, May 4, 2018

May the Fourth Be with You

Would you expect anything less on Star Wars Day here at Shoebox Legends than...

...Star Wars buybacks!  I know, how predictable.  What can I say?  Star Wars and buybacks, two things I enjoy, combine to make these cards irresistible.  They were inserted into last year's 40th Anniversary set.  I haven't picked any up in a long time, or even looked for any for that matter, but the four in tonight's post bring me to eleven in total which is a decent little collection.

Blue milk!

I plan to watch the original trilogy over the weekend to celebrate, beginning with Episode IV later tonight (assuming this Bruins/Lightning game doesn't go to triple overtime).

How about you?  Are you a fan of the Star Wars films?  If so, have you landed any notable Star Wars cards lately?

For those of you who just aren't Star Wars people, don't worry, I'll be back with some sports related content tomorrow.  May the Fourth Be with You!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Buyback Franken-set: Tekulve!

Just one buyback tonight for the franken-set project, but it's a good one!

1977 Topps #374 - Kent Tekulve

Yup, it's the great Kent Tekulve!  This is actually the second buyback of Kent's to be considered for the project.  The first was his '87 Topps Phillies card though, and I'm sorry but Tekulve is a Pirate.  So, in a way this feels like the first.  Love the photograph on this one too.  The facsimile autograph is perfectly placed, and so too is the buyback stamp for that matter.

As if all of that wasn't enough, it's also a new number!  595 down, less than 200 to go, welcome to the franken-set binder Kent!

Franken-set Progress: 595/792 (75%)
1990 Topps Buyback Set: 64/792 (8%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 450
Total Buybacks in Collection: 1,109

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

eBay Blaster!

Earlier this year I took advantage of an eBay seller who had a large number of cards listed, most of them at a buck each, and offered free shipping if you purchased 20 cards or more.  Well, I did exactly that, and today I grabbed and scanned a "blaster's worth" to show off here on the blog.  Let's see how I chose to spend $20 with this seller...

It's hard to go wrong with a new Yogi Berra card of any type, but a Starting Lineup card in sepia tone where he's donning the tools of ignorance is especially great.  Not a chance I was leaving this one behind for someone else to scoop up.

I've written multiple times of my love for the Finest Refractors of the early to mid '90s.  This seller had quite a few available from the 1994 baseball release, and I decided to grab both Jeff Blauser...

...and Xavier Hernandez.  I know, not the most exciting names in the annals of baseball history, but I rarely run across these refractors of any player, even a common, for this price so it was an easy decision to toss this pair into my cart.  I recently landed a refractor of a HOFer from this same set, but that's a story for another day.

There were a few autographed cards to be had at the one dollar price point.  The majority of them were in-person or TTM autographs, but at a dollar I'm willing to take the gamble in some cases.  This '84-85 OPC Maple Leafs goal leader card is kind of cool.

Too bad I didn't have this card in hand when I did my Stat Kings post on the '83-84 season a while back.

I also snagged this Dave Barr, for obvious reasons.  One more card down in my quest to accumulate as many '89-90 Topps/O-Pee-Chee autos as I can manage!

I debuted a PK Subban Exclusives parallel from this same seller on the blog last night, but Subban wasn't the only one I managed to pick up in this lot.  Also landed this gem of recently retired future HOFer Daniel Sedin.  A nice bench shot from Upper Deck here.

I couldn't leave this Tyler Seguin parallel behind either at the 99 cents price point.  The Stars are far from my favorite team, but Seguin is a legit sniper and may have a shot at the HOF himself someday if he stays on his current goal scoring pace.

I picked up a few '72 Topps baseball cards in the order as well.  They're not players or teams that I collect...

...and I don't really have any immediate plans to work on this set, as much as I'd absolutely love to complete it someday.

The real reason I grabbed these?  Well, they're all relatively high numbers, and I know from reading blogs and talking to other collectors that high-numbered '72s can be tough.

Seemed worth it to grab these four, all in pretty immaculate shape, for a buck per.  Someday in the future if I decide to bite this set off, I'll thank myself for the foresight that I had here!

No, the Berra card that led off the post is not the only Starting Lineup issue that I have for you today.  I also grabbed a pair of goaltending superstars from the 1996 hockey release in Patrick Roy...

...and the great Dominik Hasek!  While I don't actively collect him per se, Hasek was one of the most dominant goalies in the game during the time that I was really becoming a fan as a kid, so I always enjoy picking up some of his cardboard when I can.  I have a feeling this set is somewhat rare too, less than a third of the set is even available at all on COMC, and neither of these two are.

Another thing I'm a total sucker for are the Legends variations that Topps included in their flagship set for a few years there.  As a general rule I'm grabbing any and all of these that I don't yet have if they're available for under a dollar as Robbie Alomar here was.  One of my favorite cards in today's post for sure.

I've been a fan of the Authentic Moments subset from the Upper Deck SP Authentic release for years now.  I wish Upper Deck would make an entire base set of cards like this, where the photographs are dated and associated with specific games/moments in time.  This one pays tribute to Austin Mathews' very first NHL game, where he scored an amazing four times.  I'll probably never land his Young Guns rookie card (super expensive and not very high on my list either), so this is a nice alternative.

In case you can't tell by this point, I was kind of just aimlessly browsing around the seller's inventory looking for anything that caught my eye or seemed like a decent deal.  I've said it before, but we're living through some great times as collectors when you can sit on your couch at home with an iPad and "dig through dollar boxes".  What attracted me to this one, besides the fact that Eichel is one of the league's many bright young stars, is that the background in the upper portion of this card is clear acetate.

There weren't a ton of Red Sox cards to be had, but I did grab this 2008 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects card of Boston backstop Christian Vazquez.  He's been the everyday catcher for the club so far in 2018.  I wish he could manage to hit above the Mendoza Line, but the reality is the lineup is stacked and he provides a ton of value on the defensive side of the ball.

1965 Topps #219 - Bob Meyer

Closing things out for today, of course I checked to see if the seller had any buybacks available!  While it takes a relatively special flagship buyback to get me to shell out a dollar or more, I'll pick up just about any Heritage box-topper buyback that I don't already have for a dollar.  That's basically the only explanation for why I picked up a buyback of career 2-12 pitcher Bob Meyer.

Turns out it wasn't a new number, as I already had this '75 Ed Herrmann in slot 219.

Meyer and his flat-top are off to the rejected box for now.  Still happy to have this one though.

1969 Topps #502 - Minnie Rojas

Next up, a Heritage buyback from this year's release.  I've actually picked up quite a few of these in lots, as well as some decent star singles, but haven't had time to digest many yet for the franken-set project.  Not much star power here, as Rojas was a reliever who lasted less than three seasons in Major League Baseball.  Does he make the binder in slot 502?

Off-center Joe Torre has a thing or two to say about that!

Sorry, Minnie!

1992 Topps #150 - Roger Clemens

Finally, here's one I had no qualms about throwing into my virtual pile.  Clemens' iconic 1991 card is pretty much a dream buyback for me, but in the meantime this 1992 buyback isn't too shabby either.  Roger was coming off a Cy Young season here, and I like the photograph and cropping job on this one as well.  While The Rocket isn't exactly one of my all-time favorite Sox, this is still a strong contender for the binder.

Being a #150 buyback, it's not surprising that Roger's competition is another former star of the game in Bobby Bonds.

In this case I just plain like the Clemens cards better.  The Bonds card is certainly a decent buyback, but it's just been over-matched in this scenario.

That's an even 20 cards there, and at 99 cents per we've got a running total of $19.80, so I'll call it there.  As is the case just about every time I do one of these "virtual blaster" posts, I'm reminded of just how much more satisfying my hobby purchases tend to be when I'm hand-picking the cards I desire rather than leaving it up to the "Cardboard Gods".

Would you have grabbed any of these yourself for a buck?  Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.  Either way, thanks for stopping by!

Franken-set Progress: 594/792 (75%)
1990 Topps Buyback Set: 64/792 (8%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 450
Total Buybacks in Collection: 1,108
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