Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cardboard Classics - Campanella Legends Variation

Today I've got a card for your viewing pleasure that I drooled over years ago when I first saw it.  One of those that I've always had in the back of my mind and would occasionally search eBay for ever since.  Earlier this year I finally found a copy for a price I was happy with:

This is one of those legends variation cards from 2009 Topps.  Tell me that's not one of the more interesting photos you've seen on a baseball card?  As someone who is fascinated by old time baseball, particularly the Brooklyn Dodgers, this particular piece of cardboard just struck a chord with me.  Such an awesome, but totally strange, photo of the Dodgers backstop.  Not sure what he's doing in front of the outfield wall, outstretched like that.  Clearly a posed shot but I like it nonetheless.  Good to know that even back in the '50s Van Heusen shirts had soft collars and wouldn't wrinkle...ever!

Here's the back.  The standard card #210 on the 2009 Topps checklist belongs to Geovany Soto, so this particular card is #210A I guess, or would it be #210B?  Nobody wants to see the back though (even though it does include complete career stats!), let's take one more peek at that great front:

That's all for today.  Maybe this weekend I'll finally get one of these trade package thank you posts up...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Quick Rip - Two More Packs of 2009 O-Pee-Chee Baseball

I'm still digging out (or scanning out, rather) from the tremendous packages I received from a couple of generous folks over the past two or three weeks.  In the meantime, I've got another quick pack rip for today.  On the menu for this afternoon we've got 2009 O-Pee-Chee baseball, from a discount blaster I picked up back in May...

Just 6 cards per pack so I'll double up and rip two of them for this post.  Let's see what's inside pack number 1...

Crush was the man last year, leading the AL in home runs, RBI, and total bases en route to his first career All-Star selection and his first Silver Slugger award.  He even managed to finish 3rd in MVP voting in 2013.  This year he's fought with some injuries and is not producing at the same level.  His batting average is an atrocious .188 as of the time of this post, and his power numbers have dropped significantly as well.  Still cool to get an early-career card of Chris from before his move to Baltimore.

This is really shaping up to be a nice blaster for a Red Sox fan like myself!  I pulled a couple of nice Sox cards in the first pack from the blaster, and this Dustin Pedroia insert is a new one for me as well.

Here's my one-per-pack black parallel.  This looks more like a Derek Jeter card to me than it does a Ryan Sweeney card.

Some pretty big names on this league leaders card, one or two of whom are likely headed for Cooperstown at some point...

A couple of base set commons to close out the pack.  Not the most exciting pack I've opened, but I didn't have any of these previously so you can't ask for much more than that.

On to pack 2!

Brandon's with the Oakland A's now, and I was just reading yesterday about how he has been struggling at the plate, particularly since Cespedes was traded to Boston.  Amazing what a difference it makes having a bat like that protecting you in the lineup.

Johnny Cueto in his pre-dreadlock days, with a bonus appearance by a completely awesome Reds sleeve patch.

Here's my black parallel.  Like the Sweeney from the last pack, this one's off to my trade box.

Now with the Diamondbacks and has been mentioned as a potential target for the Angels.

This is one of the least flattering cards I've seen from this release, looks like Yovani got arrested and is posing for a mug shot.

Closing things out is my favorite card from either pack, a fantastic horizontal card depicting Jake Peavy scrambling around the base paths.

That's a wrap, maybe a little dull as far as these two packs go, but on the whole this set is growing on me more and more...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Damaged Olerud Leads to a New Yaz

A while back I saw a really great John Olerud Bazooka card on one of the many blogs I read. I don't even recall where it was any longer, but I know that I wanted a copy of my own as soon as I saw it.  A few weeks later I found a very reasonably priced copy on eBay with free shipping and the card was mine.  Just one problem when it showed up...

See that giant crease/fold on the bottom of the card where the swatch is?  Definitely did not have that when it was listed, I think it occurred in transit.  I reached out to the seller who said I could pick any similarly priced card I wanted from his inventory as a replacement.

I settled on this Yaz Sport Royalty subset card from 2008 Goudey.  As you can see, Carl arrived in much better shape than John did.  This is the mini version, and if you care about this sort of thing it's the blue back variation:

I still haven't replaced the Olerud, but I am on the lookout for a new copy.  In the meantime a creased version is better than nothing, and at least I got a new Yastrzemski card out of the deal...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Quick Rip - 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter Retail

No time for cards today, so here's a quick retail pack of 2014 Allen & Ginter that I opened this past weekend...

Probably (and sadly) my favorite card in the pack...

This Jose Altuve insert is being sent to the state of Texas in a trade package today!

Here's my mini, a black-bordered Cub.  Will probably end up trading this one away as well at some point.

A boring card of a political correspondent is the perfect end to one of the least flattering packs of Allen & Ginter I've ever seen from any year...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Signature Sundays - Miracle on Ice (and Bonus HOFers)

Back to the Panini Classics Signatures well again this week, I've got a Montreal Canadien and a couple of Bruins...

A couple of Norris Trophies, a Conn Smythe, quite a few Stanley Cup Championships and enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.  I'm certainly glad to add Larry Robinson's autograph to my hockey card collection.  This card, like the other two I'll show today, wasn't released when 2012-13 Classics Signatures hit the shelves, but was instead held back and included in the 2013-14 Contenders release.

Next up is a great photograph of Miracle on Ice goaltender Jim Craig.  He didn't have a long or particularly remarkable NHL career but I feel like this is a significant addition to my hockey card collection due to that one February day in 1980.  Besides, you have to love that mask.

One of the premier setup men in the league during his prime, Oates was finally selected for Hall of Fame induction in 2012.  He's 17th all-time in regular season points, ahead of guys like Lafleur and even Brett Hull.  For a lengthy period of time in the early '90s he was getting his name on the score sheet more frequently than any player not named Gretzky.  He doesn't quite have the same weight with collectors as the other players in his scoring class, as is evidenced by the fact that this card cost me just $10.  Maybe it's lack of post-season success.

Not a bad trio this week, two Hall-of-Famers and the goaltender from the Miracle on Ice game.  Easy to see why I'm such a fan of this set...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Little Bit of Everything

I couldn't seem to find even five minutes to post this week, and I'm way behind on thanking a few generous folks, as well as sending out numerous trade packages.  While I work on some of these things today, here for your enjoyment is a random smattering of cards that have joined my collection from all over the globe:

Seemed like an appropriate time to post this card from the fantastic 1960 A & BC Gum soccer set, given that I watched the Newcastle/Aston Villa draw earlier this morning.  I've shown some cards from this set before, but Jimmy here is one of my newer acquisitions.  He looks to me like he could be a cast member from The Sopranos (both in look and in name).

Scoular is actually the first card on the checklist, which is kind of cool.  There were two 42-card series that made up the 84-card set.  I believe the second series cards are more rare, but in my experience these are extremely difficult to come by, period.  This particular card crossed the Atlantic from England to join my collection.

This awesome piece of cardboard was sent to me recently by my friend Marc B.  I don't believe he has a blog I can link to, but he lives in my neck of the woods and we traded some cards last year.  He reached out to me a while back and let me know that he wanted to send some cards my way.  I had no idea what was coming, and did he ever shock me! 

What Marc sent was easily one of the largest, and most thoughtful, packages of cards I have received in the nearly 7 years I've been writing this blog.  I will have several posts devoted to the contents as soon as I get through the enormous backlog of scanning, but this beauty featuring two of the top speedsters of the '80s is a good preview of what's to come.

Here's a card I picked up in my last trip to the hobby shop, from a 6-for-a-dollar hockey bin.  Bowman is arguably the best coach in the history of the game, and since coaches sadly don't get much love in this hobby I've got precious few of Scotty here.

During that same trip I took Glen Hobbie here home with me.  It cost me just a dime, which seems unbelievable until you look at the back:

This Zdeno Chara card hails from 2003-04, before his time with the Bruins.  This was a time when Topps actually had a hockey card license.  I wish that were the case today.  I don't like Upper Deck having an exclusive license for NHL hockey cards anymore than I do Topps being the only game in town on the baseball side of things.

Marc B isn't the only person I owe a thank you post to.  A couple weeks back Jared of Catching Up with Collecting contacted me and sent me a nice bubble mailer of Red Sox cards.  Jared's blog is very enjoyable, if you haven't had a chance to check it out yet I highly recommend adding it to your reading list.  Check out this great post as an example.

Anyway, I needed the majority of what Jared sent over, and I'll be showing off those goods in due time, but here's a preview in the form of my very first Ted Williams card!

A couple posts back I showed the Orange Refractor of Will Middlebrooks' 2013 Topps Chrome card, here's the Purple Refractor.  I love the photo on this one so I'm trying to pick up as many versions of the card as I can.

Finally, here's an oddball that's approaching 50 years old now!  The Red Sox were one of a couple of teams that Topps issued sticker sets for in 1967.  I never had any of these until recently when I won a small lot of them that broke down in price to just a few bucks each.  Dalton was your standard utility infielder/pinch hitter, but had an amazing year and World Series in the "Impossible Dream" 1967 season.

That's it for today, I'm off to sort out some trade packages...

Monday, August 18, 2014

'81 Gilbert Perreault and a World Series Champ

Quick post today, one baseball card, one hockey card, both plucked from discount boxes during my last trip to the hobby shop. 

On the hockey side, this 1981-82 O-Pee-Chee Gilbert Perreault.  I primarily collected Topps hockey cards growing up, and Gilbert was not in the '81-82 Topps set, so this card is new to me.  Aside from being a bit off-center, which is normal for O-Pee-Chee cards of the time, it's in great shape.  Seemed like a steal in a six-for-a-dollar bin...

On the baseball side, another new '59 Topps card.  This Gene Woodling cost me two quarters.  A fair price for a guy who won five World Series with the Yankees and another as a coach with Baltimore in the '60s.  Mr. Woodling is sporting a pretty cool shoulder patch in this photo as well.

Back is in good order, you can see all those years with the powerhouse Yankees teams, as well as two seasons missed for military service.  Great stuff!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Signature Sundays - Johnny Pesky!

I don't usually go five days between posts, but it was a very busy week.  On top of that I got buried by two separate card packages that arrived, both sent to me by very generous folks who hit me up completely out of the blue.  I'm talking hundreds of cards, too.  I will have a few thank you posts up soon, but while I dig out from under those piles and get everything scanned in, here's a quick Signature Sundays post.  Going to take a break from all of the recent Classics Signatures hockey autographs for a week and go back to baseball:

I have wanted a Johnny Pesky autograph for a long time now.  He's certainly one of the fan favorites in the history of the Red Sox franchise.  He's not a Hall-of-Famer, and strikes me as a somewhat under-the-radar guy outside of New England, so he hasn't been in a ton of products over the years.  Looking just now I can say that there are just a handful of certified autos like this on all of eBay at the moment.  Johnny passed away in 2012, so they're not going to get any easier to come by either.

When I stumbled across this one with a Buy-it-Now price of just over $20 earlier this year I snatched it up immediately.  I don't care that it's PSA graded, but I do love that it's shiny and has a great picture of a young Pesky (I think this is from his days managing the team in the '60s).  Nice, bright, legible signature too.

A beautiful card, and a name I'm excited to add to my autograph list.  I've got over 30 certified Red Sox autographs at this point, and Johnny here easily falls inside my top three.  The other thing I love about this card is that it's done up in the style of 2005 Topps baseball, including a full back:

Came out a little fuzzy in the scan because of the PSA slab, but in person it's a great looking back.  Johnny could really hit for average, and led the league twice in hits, which you can see in red up near the top of his stat lines if you've got a keen eye.

That's it for today, Marc and Jared, thank you both again for the cards, going to start working on some return packages today...
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