Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pedro Mojo

Let's go Phillies!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

David Krejci Collection - Card 7

Last night David Krejci scored his first goal of the year for the Boston Bruins. It may have taken him 10 games to light the lamp, but he couldn't have scored his first in much more dramatic fashion. The Bruins trailed 3 - 1 on the road in Ottawa with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game. Tim Thomas was pulled for an extra attacker and the Bruins managed two goals, including Krejci's redirect from a shot at the point which tied the game with just over 20 seconds remaining. They went on to win in the shootout, grabbing a much needed two points on the road.

Since Krejci's goal was such a big one, I've chosen one of the last couple of autographs I haven't yet featured, from 2007-08 SP Authentic. We'll see if the team can carry the momentum into Thursday's showdown with Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils...

#1 - 2007-08 Upper Deck SPX (Auto/Dual Relic/#'d to 999)
#2 - 2007-08 O-Pee-Chee Premier (Auto/Quad Relic/#'d to 299)
#3 - 2007-08 Upper Deck Ice Fresh Threads (Dual Relic)
#4 - 2008-09 Upper Deck Champs Mini
#5 - 2007-08 In the Game Heroes & Prospects
#6 - 2009-10 Fleer Ultra

Friday, October 23, 2009

Filling in Gaps - 1965-66 Topps Hockey

While I'll likely never have the time or money to complete every vintage set I want, I do think every good collection should at least have some sampling of cards from each of the major vintage releases. Sometimes when I have a few extra bucks I'll identify a set that is completely absent from my collection and pick up a couple of cards. I don't look for anything special, any commons will do and condition isn't important.

Most recently I did this with 1965-66 Topps hockey. O-Pee-Chee and Parkhurst weren't releasing sets at the time, so Topps was the only major release this particular year. The Topps set was only 128 cards, so it's possible that this is one I may be able to complete someday. For now I'm going to enjoy the two cards I purchased. I picked up card #30, Billy Hicke, for $1.04. Billy's in fairly rough shape, with a couple of creases and a mysterious blue stain covering a large part of the card back. I also picked up card #33, Al Langlois of the Boston Bruins for less than $2. Al's card is in better shape, with no creases or stains, just a bit off-center:
The card fronts are kind of boring. The plain, single-colored backgrounds kind of remind me of 1958 Topps baseball. The backs on the other hand, are pretty cool:
You get stats for the 1964-65 season, along with a brief paragraph about the player (in both English and French). The bottoms are the best part, as each card features a large puck with a trivia question related to the player. You're supposed to rub a coin over the blank space to reveal the answer. In this case I learned that Al was acquired in a straight swap for Ron Ingram. I'm not sure if someone scratched this off a long time ago, or if the passage of time has started to bring the answer to the limelight.

I may never get the other 126 cards, but for now Al and Billy are a welcome part of my collection.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The GREATEST "Coffee Table" Book Ever!

Yesterday I received a package that I've been anxiously waiting over a week for. A large box was dropped at my desk containing a book that I've wanted for a long, long time. Some of you may recognize this book, some of you may not. Do you know what it is? Here's a close up of the logo from the front...

A nice emblem featuring a bald eagle holding a banner with the years 1951 - 1985 inscribed. Know what it is yet? The year 1951 should be a big hint, in case the fact that this blog is about sports cards wasn't enough of one...

This is a hardcover volume that is basically the ultimate reference book for baseball card collectors and baseball fans. Let me start by saying that this thing is absolutely massive. It measures around 10" x 14", is probably 2" thick and weighs over 10 pounds! I took another pic with a card on top so you can see just how large this thing is.

The book starts with a forward by Willie Mays, which is pretty cool. Only 2 pages but it's interesting to read his take on baseball cards. After that comes the good stuff, full color pictures of the front of every single Topps card released from their very first cards in 1951 through the 1985 Topps set!!! Each year begins with a 2 page summary of what transpired during that particular baseball season, everything from league expansion and team moves to highlight records, etc.
This makes the book not only an awesome reference for collectors, but a good resource for fans of the game in general. One of the reasons I enjoy vintage cards so much is because they are like a historical record of the game, and having a summary of each season before the pictures of the cards is a nice touch. OK, here's a shot of the good stuff from the 1965 Topps section, check it out!
If you click the image you'll get a nice large picture to get a better idea. A nice simple layout with just pictures of the card fronts with the card number underneath. I like this minimal approach where the attention is not on the formatting or layout but on the cards themselves. Not only do you get pictures of every Topps card issued during their first 35 years, but there is also an index in the back with full career stats (or stats through '85 if the player was still active) of every player featured on so much as a single card. In addition to the career stat lines you also get a breakdown of card numbers for that player by year so that you can easily locate a players card from any year within a matter of seconds.

This has instantly become one of my favorite books, I'm sure I will spend countless hours pouring over the pages in the months and years to come. This will definitely be a part of my library as long as I'm collecting. If you collect baseball cards and don't have this book, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy. The book is out of print so you won't find it at your local bookstore. Used copies on Amazon are listed at pretty outrageous prices, but there are usually one or two copies listed on eBay and you can get one at a decent price if you look around. My copy is in great shape, with all pages and binding in pristine condition and only some very slight wear along the bottom of the cover where it was probably slid in and out of a bookshelf. With shipping I paid around $30.

Well...what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

1953 Topps Project - Post #37

#156 - Jim Rivera - Chicago White Sox

I haven't posted one of my 1953 Topps cards since way back in June, and I haven't purchased one since long before that even. Ultimately I'm not sure if I'll continue my quest for a complete '53 Topps set or not, but I've decided that I'll at least make an effort to post some more of the cards that I already have before I make a decision. The 37th card in my set is Jim Rivera of the Chicago White Sox...

Jim played a total of 10 seasons in the bigs for the St. Louis Browns, Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Athletics, although the bulk of his career was spent with Chicago. Jim's birthname is actually Manuel Joseph Rivera, but he was better known as Jungle Jim due to his aggresive playing style. Jim was a speedster on the base paths who led the league in triples in 1953 and in stolen bases in 1955. He finished second in stolen bases 6 times! I guess it was hard to surpass teammate Luis Aparicio for a while there.

If you're wondering why someone so successful only lasted for 10 seasons, it's because Jim was 29 when he finally broke into the league. According to Baseball Reference, there are some sources that say his late start can be attributed to a stint in prison while serving in the Army. I can't find anything to confirm this though, does anybody know for sure?

Set Status: 37/274 (14%)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Red Sox Collection - 1971 Topps George Scott

How Did I Acquire the Card? eBay

How Much Did I Pay for the Card? $.80

Why is This One of My Favorite Red Sox Cards? When I started collecting cards again in 2007 I basically began with a clean slate. While I did recover most of my childhood collection, I only collected from 1989 to 1994, which was the height of overproduction. Not only that, but I really enjoyed the cards and they're in "gently used" condition at best in most cases. Finally, I only owned 3 cards made before 1980. As a result, I've had to build up my vintage collection from scratch.

One of the sets I like most is 1971 Topps. With some of the Hall-of-Famers in this set and the tough-to-find high numbers I doubt I will ever complete the whole set, so I take the approach of picking up a few cards here and there as I run across them (which doesn't happen frequently). My modest collection stands at 33 cards, and this George Scott is one of my favorites. While I may never complete the '71 set, I recently made a pick-up that's about the next best thing. Post coming soon...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Box Break - 1991 Topps Stadium Club Series 1 Baseball

I picked up this box about a month ago when I made a run to the local hobby shop on a Friday night. I remember this set vividly from when I was a kid, it was released when I was just 8 years old. From what I recall this was a "higher end" product, which in 8-year-old terms was around $2.50 - $3 per pack. Needless to say I didn't end up with very much of it at the time. Thanks to overproduction and a waning interest as the years have passed, the cards can now be found for much cheaper, as is the case with most sets from this era. The only really viable hobby shop left in my area almost never has anything but new packs and vintage singles, so when I saw this box for $15 I was more than happy to pay that price. Before I even picked it up though, the owner saw me eyeing the box and said he'd part with it for $8. Sold!!!

This was the first year that Stadium Club was produced. Hockey and baseball sets were released as well with basically the same exact design, I'm not sure about football though. The fact that this is the first full Stadium Club baseball release, combined with the great photography and a solid design make this an essential set for my collection. I've finally got all the cards busted and sorted. 12 cards per pack, 36 packs in the box for 432 cards. There is only a 300 card base set, no inserts or parallels (those were the days!) so I figured I'd end up with most of the set and a good pile of doubles to trade away. All said and done I got 285 out of the 300 base cards, 95% of the set. I have 184 doubles and triples, and 12 cards were damaged and discarded. There are so many good cards in this set, but here are a few choice favorites...

#5 - Will Clark - San Francisco Giants - This is one of the cards I did have from this set when I was a kid. Will Clark and Nolan Ryan were the two players I collected, and this was always one of my favorite Clark cards.

#8 - Marquis Grissom - Montreal Expos - Whole lotta blue on this card...

#26 - Dave Justice - Atlanta Braves - I think this was one of the better cards to get from this set back in the day. Definitely one of the cards I remembered before opening the box.

#42 - Lee Smith - St. Louis Cardinals - Great portrait shot of one of the game's all time best closers. Will Lee ever make the Hall of Fame? It doesn't seem likely but I'd love to see him get in personally.

#48 - Steve Avery - Atlanta Braves - I picked this card just because I really liked the sharp contrast between the red uniform and blue wall behind Steve.

#49 - Walt Weiss - Oakland Athletics - Great action shot featuring B.J. Surhoff, who will make an appearance a little further down the page.

#70 - Ozzie Guillen - Chicago White Sox - Nice shot of Ozzie Guillen in a retro uniform. Most if not all of the Chicago White Sox in this set are featured in these same uniforms. Good stuff...

#95 - Gary Sheffield - Milwaukee Brewers - This is back when I actually liked Gary Sheffield.

#108 - Ellis Burks - Boston Red Sox - I think I like horizontal cards better because you get so much more of the background captured in the shot, like this great scene at Fenway Park.

#120 - Rickey Henderson - Oakland Athletics - Rickey looks like he's about to be tagged out by Sandy Alomar.

#138 - Eric Show - ? - I don't know what to say about this one. Of course, there were some cards in the hockey set that were just as bad.

#200 - Nolan Ryan - Texas Rangers - Probably the most iconic card from the set, Nolan featured in pitching stance with cleats and Rangers hat, but in a suit against a photo studio backdrop. Say what you want about the card, but I like it. At least it wasn't short printed, and I recall it bringing a lot of attention to the set at the time. Card #1, Dave Stewart is very similar, with Stewart in a suit against the same backdrop.

#206 - B.J. Surhoff - Milwaukee Brewers - I can't explain why I like this one, I think it's just the horizontal layout with Surhoff off-center to the right. Makes him look like he's really flying around the base-paths.

#220 - Barry Bonds - Pittsburgh Pirates - I absolutely detest this man (although I do admit he takes the brunt of a problem that corroded the entire sport), and I've basically banned his cards from my blog and collection. In this case he looks so foolish that I'll make an exception.

#224 - Bo Jackson - Kansas City Royals - Bo really looks like a football player here. If you replaced that glove with a football, photoshopped a helmet on Bo and some hulking offensive lineman in the foreground, you could fool a few people...

#230 - Ryne Sandberg - Chicago Cubs - Great action shot with the Wrigley ivy in the background, like many of the Cubs cards in this set.

#244 - Orel Hershiser - Los Angeles Child Molesters - I've seen this one on other blogs, maybe Night Owl Cards, can't remember. Anyway, I'll leave it alone because I always liked Orel.

#255 - Todd Zeile - St. Louis Cardinals - The moment before impact...

#259 - Shane Mack - Minnesota Twins - I have no idea where Mack is, but I like the card.

#263 - Dave Winfield - California Angels - Another great posed shot here. Look at all those great California Angels batting helmets in the background.

#270 - Ken Griffey Jr. - Seattle Mariners - One of my favorite Ken Griffey Jr. cards...

#292 - Frank Viola - New York Mets - Killer glasses Frank. You can really see the dugout and sidelines in the reflection of the lenses, more interesting than your average card.

Well, that was a great experience for around the same price as eating out at McDonald's. I've got a whole bunch of doubles, so if anyone else is going for this set let me know. As always, I've updated the Zistle library will quality scans of every single card. If you still haven't checked out Zistle what are you waiting for?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Red Sox Collection - 1983 Topps Wade Boggs

How Did I Acquire the Card? eBay

How Much Did I Pay for the Card? $4.24 (free shipping)

Why is This One of My Favorite Red Sox Cards? 1983 Topps is widely regarded as one of the best sets of the 1980's. In fact, many collectors rank it as their favorite, as evidenced by Dinged Corners' recent poll. In addition to a fantastic design, the set features rookie cards of 3 Hall of Famers; Wade Boggs, Ryne Sandberg and Tony Gwynn. Completing the 1983 Topps set is a long term goal of mine, but even if it weren't this Boggs card would be on my list as it's a very reasonably priced rookie of a Hall of Famer and Boston legend. I've wanted this card since I saw it in the souvenir shop on Yawkee Way at my very first Red Sox game as a kid, and I couldn't pass up a mint copy for less than $5. I now have the Gwynn and Boggs cards from this set, time to chase the Sandberg!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

See the Lightning for $8???

This morning I was watching last night's Tampa Bay Lightning/Florida Panthers game (yes, you read that correctly). It was actually a great game, with the Lightning scoring twice in the 3rd period for a 3-2 comeback win. I was thinking as the game progressed that the Lightning are actually a pretty talented team this year. In addition to core offensive players Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier, the Lightning have added a lot of talented young players via the draft in the past couple of years, including #1 overall pick Steven Stamkos and last year's 2nd overall pick, big defenseman Victor Hedman.

About halfway through the game (which was a Lightning broadcast re-run by the NHL network), they advertised a Lightning ticket package. Tickets to 10 games for...$79.99! Are you kidding me? I know these are probably nosebleed seats but are things so bad down in Florida that you can see the Lightning play for less than $10 a game? They just won the Stanley Cup in 2004! Maybe the league needs to relocate the Lightning or the Panthers to Quebec, apparently the mayor there is interested in bringing back the Nordiques. At least they might draw a good crowd up there...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Random Thoughts and a Case Break

I just got back from 4 days in Vermont, which, if you're not from New England, is an absolutely beautiful place to visit this time of year. Part of the allure for me is the chance to completely "unplug". I did not watch a TV or use a computer once during the 4 days away, and I have to say that it was incredibly relaxing. When I got home late last night, I immediately checked on the Red Sox/Angels series and got the news that the Sox dropped both games in Anaheim. Ugh. Now it's up to young phenom Clay Buchholz, who my fiance says looks like a "skinny redneck" to provide a quality start at home. The Red Sox are no strangers to playoff series comebacks, but it just hasn't felt the same to me this year, and I have a feeling Anaheim is going to win this series. I actually trailed off watching the Red Sox towards the end of the season and missed a few games completely. I will definitely be watching today at noon though, could be the last game played at Fenway until April.

In case the Red Sox series wasn't disappointing enough, I watched the Bruins/Ducks game that I had DVR'd from Thursday night. After going up 1-0 early in the game on a goal by Marco Sturm, the B's gave up 6 unanswered goals to Anaheim. Tim Thomas did not look good in the 6-1 loss. To make matters worse, I also watched last night's Bruins/Islanders game and watched the team go down 3-0. They pulled off an incredible comeback though, scoring 3 goals in the second half of the 3rd period and winning in the shootout. Backup goalie Tuukka Rask, who many think could become one of the NHL's elite goaltenders, was solid in the game and in the shootout. It's been a roller coaster start to the season just 4 games in, it would be good to see the Bruins level off a bit and put together 2 or 3 wins in a row...

Finally, if you haven't already seen it or don't read his blog, Dan of Saints of the Cheap Seats is hosting another group case break. There are just a few slots left, and it looks like it's going to be 2007 Ultimate baseball, with the hits evenly divided up. This is the product he broke in his last case break, here are the cards I received, good stuff! Head on over and sign up before it's too late!

Monday, October 5, 2009

David Krejci Collection - Cards 1 - 6

I consider myself a set collector first and foremost. The best part of this hobby for me is finding a set I want to attempt, accumulating and organizing the cards, plugging the last few holes and then displaying the set in a binder. When I collected as a kid though, I focused on players more than anything else. I had that one binder, like most of my friends, that contained just about every card of a star player that I got my hands on.

In my second round of collecting, I've been meaning to settle on a hockey player to collect for quite some time now, and I've decided to collect my favorite active player, David Krejci of the Boston Bruins. My plan is to grow my collection, and reveal one new card each time Krejci registers a goal this season with the Bruins. This is only Krejci's second full season in the league so he doesn't have a ton of cards out there yet, so we'll see if I can outpace his scoring with my acquisition of cards. I've casually picked up a few Krejci cards already over the past couple of years so first here's a list of the cards I've already featured on the blog:

Hopefully I'll have a chance to post the next card soon!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...