Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Don't Mind Being 11 Years Behind

I'm not one of those collectors who is typically clamoring for the latest product to hit the shelves.  I think 2013 Topps baseball looks like a great set, but I won't be rushing out to my local Target tonight to see if it's in stock.  Sure I'll pick some up eventually, but for now I'm perfectly happy to add some good old fashioned 2002 Topps to my collection!

I recently received a trade package in the mail from Zach of one of the newer card blogs out there, The Underdog Card Collector.  It was a package of many firsts, including my very first 2002 Topps Red Sox cards.  I was a sophomore in college back in 2002, and I was spending my days doing things that were irresponsible and often illegal.  Baseball cards were the furthest thing from my mind.  In fact you could say that for the years of 1996 straight through 'til 2007.  Anyway, I'm drifting here but my point is that this is a new set as far as my Red Sox collection goes.

This Freddy Sanchez rookie is actually the first Sanchez in my Red Sox collection; all of the other cards I have depict him with either the Pirates or the Giants.  I think many people forget (who could blame them) that Freddy bested Miguel Cabrera for the NL batting title back in 2006.

Finally, we have a League Leaders card from the set.  There seems to be a slight foil-type finish to this card, which I assume was the case for all of the League Leaders cards in the set.  Can anyone confirm?

Here's another first Billy Wagner Red Sox card.  If you blinked you could have missed his time in Boston.  Billy made just 15 appearances in his lone season with the Red Sox.  422 saves is nothing to scoff at so this is a unique addition to the Red Sox collection for sure.

There were actually 7 cards from this 2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars set in the package.  These are the first cards from this set to enter my shoebox.

Another first, my first (unlikely I'll ever see a second) Chris Duncan Red Sox card.  Well, half a Red Sox card anyway.  Chris is depicted with St. Louis, but the word Boston's floating just above his cap there.  I'm not sure how many cards depict Duncan with Boston but there can't be many.  He came to the Sox when they dumped Julio Lugo off to St. Louis, but he never made it past AAA.  In fact, he'd never play another MLB game after the trade (neck injury).

I still can't believe the Dodgers took this guy, Adrian Gonzalez or not.  I don't have the same level of disdain or scorn for Josh that a lot of Red Sox fans do, when he was on he was one of the best pitchers that I've seen wear the uniform during my lifetime as a fan.

In closing, one last first, my first Takashi Saito Red Sox card.

Thanks for a great trade Zach!  Best of luck with the blog, I'll be reading every post.  I finally got your return package mailed out today, hope you enjoy it.  Zach is a San Diego guy, so if you have any extra Padres or Chargers cards laying around look no further...

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Dollar at the Dime Box - Mansfield Show - Pt 3

Here are the next ten cards plucked from a dime box at the Martin Luther King Day show held at the Holiday Inn in Mansfield, MA...

I started and finished the last post with a Griffey, so why not lead off this post with another?  I'm actually quite surprised that it took me this many years to track down his '93 Fleer Ultra card.

The first Fleer card to show the Wizard of Oz with the Cardinals for a dime?  Mint condition too?  Yes please!

Three more from that same 2004-05 Upper Deck Legends Classics set.  I grabbed everything that was in the box from this set.  These are the last three though, Gilbert Perreault...

...old-timer Red Kelly...

...and Jari Kurri's familiar visor.  I could be wrong about this, but I feel like he was one of the first to rock the half-shield back in the day.  He's one of the first that comes to my mind anyway.

I snagged a few of these 1998 Topps Gold Label cards.  One or two went out in trade packages but I kept a handful for myself.  Thanks to baseballcardpedia I was able to make some sense out of this checklist.  There are 100 players in the set, but each player has a card in three different tiers.  Mo Vaugh here is a Class 1, which are identified by the player's name appearing in gold foil.  The background photo of the player is always a fielding photo on the Class 1 cards as well.

This Cal Ripken is a Class 2, which are more rare than Class 1, and fall at 1:4 packs.  Class 2 cards feature the player's name in sparkling silver foil, and the background photo always depicts the player running.

This Griffey Jr. is also a Class 2 parallel.  I'll take a 1:4 packs Griffey insert for a dime any day of the week!

I'll close out this one with a couple of Negro League cards from the 2007 Allen & Ginter set.  There just aren't a million cards of these guys out there so I couldn't leave them behind.

So there you have it, another dollar spent.  I've got two more of these posts to go, which I'll have out by the end of the week...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Signature Sundays - Wade Boggs

Today's Signature Sunday post features a recent eBay win, and one of the players that I've wanted a hard signed auto of most for quite some time now, Wade Boggs:

This is an on-card buy back auto from the 2012 Leaf Memories baseball set, serial numbered to 26 copies.  I didn't really hear much about this set when it was released, which isn't surprising considering I get most all of my hobby news from the other blogs I read, and I don't think too many of them featured this product.  I can certainly understand why this set fell on deaf ears, as they ask a whopping $140+ for a box that contains 10 base cards and 2 autos.  What a joke!  That being said though, there were a number of stars who autographed original 1990 Leaf cards to be reinserted into the 2012 Memories set.  When I found out that Wade was one of them, I knew I wanted to make a play at picking up his auto.

It's unlikely that us baseball fans in New England will ever see another player who could hit for average like Boggs could.  In his 11 seasons with Boston, he hit .325 or higher 9 times, and .349 or higher 6 times!  He won 5 batting titles with Boston, including 4 in a row from 1985 through 1988.  Boggs would have won a 6th had he simply made more plate appearances during his rookie season of 1982 (he hit .349 that year).  Only Cobb, Hornsby, Carew and Gwynn also captured 4 straight batting titles in their careers.  Boggs is a member of the esteemed 3,000 hit club and is enshrined in both the Red Sox and MLB Hall-of-Fame.

I think I got a real score on this card compared to what I've seen others go for.  When I first learned of the card, there were only two of the 26 copies available for sale on eBay.  I watched eagerly as the first copy climbed well outside my price range, ultimately finishing at $52 and change.  You can imagine how shocked I was when just 30 minutes later I won this one for a mere $23 even, less than half the price that the other one went for.  Since then I've seen just one other copy sell for $42.11.  A fourth copy sits on eBay right now with a Buy-it-Now price of $44.99.  I'm not sure I'll ever see one sell for as little as I snagged this one for.

It feels great to finally add a Wade Boggs auto to my Red Sox collection.  Though it's very early, I'd imagine this card will be in the running for my best new Red Sox card of 2013.  So, how about you, have you purchased any Leaf Memories cards?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Dollar at the Dime Box - Mansfield Show - Pt 2

Here's the second batch of 10 cards plucked from a dime box at this past Monday's show in Mansfield, MA:

Any Ken Griffey Jr. from his early days with Seattle that I don't have is not going to be left behind in a dime box.  This 1994 Topps base card certainly qualifies.

Hall of Famer?  Debatable.  One of the most consistent pitchers of his generation?  Unquestionably.  Couldn't pass up this rookie for the price.  I like Mike much better in this jersey than that other team he went on to play for...

Three more cards from the 2004-05 Legends Classics set by Upper Deck.  I really like some of the different full-color photos that I haven't seen used too many times elsewhere.  Here's another Bryan Trottier...

...and a really nice Lanny.  A whole lotta red on that card....

...and an early-career shot of Paul Coffey.  This is a nice set, I think I'd buy just about any one I came across for ten cents.  Don't need another set to chase right now but they are nice cards nonetheless.

I thought this Classic Alexandre Daigle insert was pretty cool.  It's an acetate card and the top half is see-through.

Sticking with the Classic theme, here's a Manon Rheaume from the 1993 Four Sport set.  This is actually my second Rheaume card.  I didn't get too caught up in that hype at the time, but it is an interesting card I guess.

As my time was running out I had an odd number of cards and needed just one more to even out my lot.  There were dozens of 2012 Archives commons in the boxes but I didn't have my want list available.  I took a shot at Gio Gonzalez and thankfully I did need this one.  One card closer.  By the way, Brad I am interested in trading with you, will email you today!

This is one I hadn't seen before, has a cheap non-licensed feel to it.  Thanks to Zistle I found out that it's from the 1995-96 Swedish Globe set.  I was at the height of my childhood fandom when the influx of young Russian stars hit the NHL in the late 80s/early '90s so I'm a sucker for cards of guys like Bure, Fedorov, Mogilny, etc.

Finally, we started with a Griffey so we'll end with a Griffey.  This is from the 1999 Metal Universe set.  As is always the case with these types of cards, it looks much better in person than it does in this scan.

Only one of these cards, the Gio Gonzalez, really fits in my collection but there's something to be said for total randomness.  This was still a dollar well spent in my opinion...

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Dollar at the Dime Box - Mansfield Show - Pt 1

This past Monday I took advantage of a day off from work and a couple of hours of free time and managed to hit a card show at the Holiday Inn in Mansfield, MA.  I had attended just once before, in fact it was the very first card show I hit up when I returned to collecting back in 2007.  I made out pretty well that first time, but I'll save that post for another day.  This past week's show I would say was a relative success.  I still find that the best deals to be had on big name cards always seem to be online.  When it comes to bargains though, the show was great.  I purchased close to 100 cards for a grand total of $17 plus my $2 admission fee.  About 50 of those cards were plucked from a dime box.  I'm not going to bombard you with 50 scans in a single post, so I'll break it up into 5 posts of 10 cards a piece.  Here are the first 10, in no particular order:

First up we have a Crash Numbered insert of Teemu Selanne from the 1993-94 Classic hockey set.  I guess the Crash Numbered name comes from the fact that these are all serial numbered.  That's right, only 15,000 of these bad boys were printed up.  Cards serial-numbered to 15,000...if that doesn't sum up the mid-90s in the hobby then I don't know what does.  One of the main reasons I was happy that the lockout got settled was for fans to have a chance to see at least one last NHL season from Selanne.  He didn't disappoint in the Ducks' opener, notching 2 goals and 2 assists!

This Bryan Trottier is from a set that was new to me, 2004-05 Upper Deck Legends Classics.  I was sold by the great photo with Dryden's mask lurking in the background.

This Satchel Paige is from another set I hadn't seen before, 2001 Upper Deck Hall of Famers.  Satchel's 1953 Topps card is one of my most prized baseball cards, it's a real shame that it took me this long to add a second Paige card to my collection.

The baseball boxes were pretty light on Red Sox fare, which I guess is typical for a show in New England.  I did manage to pluck at least a handful out though, including this Leaf Certified Materials Pedro.  I always liked Pedro quite a bit, both when he was with Montreal and with Boston, so I was excited to learn this past week that he accepted a job in the Red Sox front office!

I was 99% sure I didn't have this 1995-96 Ultra Fedorov, so for ten cents I figured I'd take a shot at it.  I'm glad I did, because my instincts were correct and this is now my 102nd unique Fedorov card.

This 2007 Allen & Ginter Jason Varitek was one of the best dime box scores of the day.  I knew I needed the card, but didn't realize until I got home that it's actually a short print.  Can't beat that for ten cents.

This 7th Inning Sketch OHL promo card of Eric Lindros couldn't be left behind.  This promo is not numbered at all.  Card #1 in the actual set is basically this same Lindros card but with a blue bar along the bottom of the card rather than red.

Finally, we have three 2011 Topps Heritage cards.  From the Baseball Flashbacks insert set, Frank Robinson...

...and Bob Gibson.  Great photos on both cards, couldn't pass them up.  I'm not collecting this set or this insert set so maybe someday they'll end up in a trade package.

The other 2011 Heritage card in this group is the Babe Ruth Special Farewell Speech card.  A unique card for sure.  I don't have the original, so picking up this Heritage version for a dime was a no-brainer.

Not bad for a buck, huh?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Help! What Are These Cards? A Zistle Trade with zac247s

I recently completed a quick Zistle trade with member zac247s. I sent over a few Cardinals cards, and in return got 3 cards I needed towards my 1982 Topps baseball set:

All three cards are big names, Hall-of-Famers in fact!  Jim Palmer is probably my favorite of the three, just a great looking card right there.  Added bonus points for the two-tone hat with cartoon Oriole logo.

Tony Perez is much appreciated as he also fills a hole in my Red Sox collection...

...and finally, Robin Yount.  This one is pretty drastically off-center from top to bottom, so I think I'll end up upgrading this copy at some point, but for now it's certainly an acceptable place-holder in what used to be an empty slot in my binder.

Zac also included a handful of Will Clark cards in the package.  I had most of them already but there were two that were new to me.  I could use a hand in clarifying exactly what these cards are:

Both cards are from the same set, and as you can see the design is very minimal.  Basically just a full-bleed photo with some basic text indicating player and team name.  The backs of these say 1988 Baseball's Best Photos.  I did find the '88 Baseball's Best Photos in Zistle's online library, however these two Clarks are listed as numbers 22 and 25 in the set, and according to Zistle card #25 should be Jose Canseco.  Can anyone shed some light on these or direct me to a checklist somewhere?  I'd be extremely grateful for any help.

Here's the other card.  Without question the highlight of this one is the photographer to the right of Clark.  Tank top, mullet, short shorts and jacked-up striped athletic socks.  That's basically your horrible '80s fashion in a nutshell right there.

Thanks for the trade zac247s!  If anyone can help me with these Clarks please leave a comment!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Marc Knocks 25 Off the Want List!

Recently I was contacted by a reader named Marc who had a few cards off my Want List to send my way.  We quickly worked out a trade.  Marc's a Luc Robitaille collector, so I sent him a Robitaille Masterpieces swatch and a couple of odd Bruins cards.  In return, I got 25 cards that I needed towards my 1993-94 Upper Deck SP inserts set.  I won't show you every card but here are some select favorites:

The checklist for this set is organized alphabetically by team, so the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (they were still mighty back then) and the Bruins are the first teams on the checklist.  I always forget that Jon Casey played one season in Boston.  Maybe it's because I was still a Whalers fan then and hated the B's.  He turned in a pretty great year too.  You could argue it was the best season of his career as he turned in 30 wins against 15 losses, recorded a sub-3.00 GAA and posted a career-best 4 shutouts.

There were some pretty big stars included in the lot, like this Jeremy Roenick card.

Here's a nice Bill Ranford card.  A solid action shot, but still not as nice as the Ranford card that Paul from Cardboarded posted yesterday.

Believe it or not I still need some Hartford Whalers cards from this set.  Two of them were included in Marc's package, Michael Nylander...

...and one of my all-time favorites, the little ball of hate, Pat Verbeek!

Here's a card that I would have been totally pumped to pull from a pack in 1993.  In retrospect though, he turned out to be a huge bust.  He was such a big deal for a year or two there during the prime of my childhood collecting that to this day I still feel like I'm holding something more than a common whenever I get a new Daigle card.

Joe Sakic might be my favorite card of the package.  There's just a whole lot of blue here, the perfect Nordiques card.

Recently retired vet Mark Recchi was in the bubble mailer as well.  I still associate him most with the Flyers and Penguins teams of the '90s, but I will always remember fondly the role he played for the Bruins at the tail end of his career.

We'll close it out with a couple of goalies, a nice shot of Cujo playing the puck along the boards...

...and everyone's favorite '90s Leafs netminder, Felix Potvin.  With these 25 I now have 121 of the 180 cards in the set, just 59 more to go and I can cross this one off the list for good!

This was a great trade package, but best of all I've made a new friend in the collecting world in Marc.  He's a Bruins fan, which makes him a stand-up guy in my book, and he lives right in my neck of the woods.  In fact we've even been to some of the same card shows in the past.  Thanks for a great trade Marc!  I will certainly keep in touch and hopefully we can meet in person at a show someday soon.
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