Saturday, October 29, 2016

One Card Post - Liverpool Threads

What:  2015 Panini Select Double Team #DT-LH (Dual Relic, Serial Numbered to #'d/99)
Where:  COMC
How Much?:  $2.38

:  I spent a good deal of time sorting and reorganizing my collection today, as I begin the completely overwhelming task of ditching Zistle in favor of Google Sheets.  It was nice being able to watch live Premier League soccer while I scanned, sorted and sleeved.  Even nicer to see my favorite team, Liverpool, play to an impressive 4-2 win on the road against Crystal Palace to retain their place within the top four clubs in the league.

Seemed like a perfect opportunity to feature this card I've been sitting on for a while, featuring two English stars from the current incarnation of the squad.  This is actually the first relic card in my very modest soccer collection.  I do love 2015 Select soccer, great set.  It's come down a bit in price too, but a hobby box will still run you around $100.  Not for me at that price point, but I certainly don't mind cherry-picking sweet singles like this one!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Holy '59s!

Recently I hooked up with Shane, who writes over at Off the Wall, for our very first trade.  Hmm...a Shane who lives in New England, is a Red Sox fan, and collects baseball cards...sounds like a great guy to me!  If there was any doubt about that fact though, I'd say the package he sent along puts it to rest.  This is what happens when you trade with Shane:

I have to say, this might be my favorite photo on my iPhone right now!

Shane is putting together the '59 Topps set, and being much further along with it than I am with mine, he generously volunteered to send me a healthy stack of dupes/outcasts from his own set.  Healthy as in 60-plus cards!

This was without a doubt one of the largest vintage trade packages I've ever received, and it's certainly the greatest number of pre-1960 cards I've ever gotten from someone just because.

There were even some of the fantastic multi-player combo cards to be found within this stack, like this Danny's All-Stars Pirates card...

...or this Directing the Power Senators one.  I've long been a fan of the combos cards in the '50s and '60s Topps releases; they are some of the more visually appealing cards in the '59 set in this collector's humble opinion.

Love getting vintage cards of guys who played in the Negro Leagues.  As you can see with this example, a
good deal of the cards Shane sent along were in damn fine shape.

This one is more along the lines condition-wise of what a lot of my existing cards look like.  When it comes to vintage cards I'm not a condition snob, I'd be psyched if I could ever finish this set off with even total beaters.

Got a few of the Sporting News Rookie Stars subset!  Couple players I'd heard of previously, like Johnny Blanchard here.

Couple I had never heard of, like Charles Secrest.  I guess I can forgive myself on this one because it appears as though he never played an MLB game.

One of my favorite things about any set from this era is when you get a good glimpse of the ballpark backdrop in a player's photo.

They had way better nicknames back then as well.  Honestly, even if a modern-day player started referring to himself as Mudcat, Topps would probably have some legal reason why they couldn't use that on the card.  Another good ballpark background on this one by the way.

Same here!  Pretty crazy to think it had been over 10 years since the Indians won it all even when this card was printed out.

How about that, a nice vintage card of the man who authored the only no-hitter in World Series history!  Even though he's a lowly Yankee I was very pleased to find this one in the batch Shane sent along.

I chose to show this one simply because for whatever reason I found it to be one of the more interesting photos in this bunch.  Plus, I had to get that Mr. Redlegs logo into this post at least once.

"Jungle" Jim Rivera!

There were some Red Sox to be found as well.  It's amazing to me that with all the COMC window-browsing I do on the couch late at night I'd never managed to acquire this Frank Malzone.

Best spectacles in the package, Eddie Kasko.  Hands down.

This Gene Baker gives you a good look at what I'm 95% sure is Seals Stadium in San Francisco?

I like the security guard/police officer lurking in the background on this one.

The award for creepiest expression goes to Jim Hegan.  Maybe he's freaked out by whatever that white substance is along the bottom of the card?

Lastly, a couple of big-name stars made it to my mailbox as well!  While obviously off-center top to bottom, this Orlando Cepeda is otherwise in great shape.  I can't believe how bright and vivid the colors are after close to 60 years here.  I'd have to say this one leapfrogs my '74 Kellogg's to become my favorite Cepeda card of the few I own!

Finally, while I appreciate every last card that Shane was kind enough to send, this Casey Stengel was without a doubt the star of the show.  Aside from the fact that the All-Star cards are super high numbers in this release and hard to find on the cheap (this is the first one in my set), I'm also a huge Casey Stengel fan.  Obviously he was way before my time, but he always seemed like one of those old, crotchety baseball lifers that I thought were fascinating growing up.  This card in particular is just beyond awesome.

Even the back is great!  Every single one of the 63 cards sent was a need, looks like I've done a good job when it comes to up-keeping my want list for this release.  They're already sitting snugly inside the binder I have going for this set on my office bookshelf, so Shane can rest assured they are in a good home where they will be appreciated.

Shane, I can't thank you enough for your generosity in sending me these.  I sent a return package off just today, but I feel as though I still owe you one (or a few).  I'm hoping we can meet up at the big Shriner's show next month and I can pass along some more cardboard in person to further convey my gratitude.  In the meantime, thanks again!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

One Card Post - World Series Winner

What:  2014 Bowman Chrome #209 - Corey Kluber (Bubbles Refractor #'d /99)
Where:  COMC
How Much?:  $1.73

:  Got home much later than planned from work tonight, so I need some more time to work on the mega trade package I received this week from Shane at Off the Wall.  Anyway, I can't think of a better time to show off this shiny beauty than on the heels of Kluber's dominant World Series Game 1 performance last night!  This makes an even ten of these Bubbles Refractors now in my baseball card collection, and every time I acquire a new one I admire it just as much as the first time I laid eyes on one.  I think I have one or two more of these kicking around in my card chest to eventually be pulled for future posts...

Looks like the Cubs are most likely going to even things up here, I'm really hoping this series goes seven games!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Buyback Franken-set: Another Shane Contributes!

Yesterday I received a whopper of a trade package from Shane at Off the Wall.  So large, in fact, that it's probably going to take me a few days to get everything scanned and sorted out.  While I work away at that though, there was one smaller component of the package that was easy enough to get queued up for today...buybacks!

Considering probably 90% of the buybacks in my franken-set were contributed by yours truly, it's about time another Shane got involved!  I received four of them in this package, let's see how they fare in terms of induction to the franken-set...

1965 Topps #22 - Charlie Smith

First card makes the set uncontested, and Charlie is already tucked snugly inside the third page of the franken-set binder.  Charlie Smith (seems to be spelled Charley most places, actually) played Major League Baseball throughout the entire decade of the '60s, and bounced around to seven different franchises over that span.  My favorite thing about this one is the great look at that New York World's Fair patch on Charley's sleeve!

1961 Topps #72 - Stu Miller

The second buyback that Shane sent along is this nice '61 Topps Stu Miller.  This is just the third 1961 Topps card in my franken-set to date, and the first of the 2010 Topps Heritage buyback variety.  I don't know a whole lot about Stu, but 1961 was his lone All-Star appearance which makes this card a bit more interesting.  It looks like 1967 was a more notable year for him though.  He was with the Orioles by that point in his career, and in April of '67 was one of two Baltimore pitchers involved in a no-hitter that the team actually lost (thanks to a wild pitch and an error).  The following month he gave up Mickey Mantle's 500th home run, ouch!

Stu has a little competition for the franken-set too, here's the existing card #72 he's up against:

Some stiff competition for sure.  Ron Reed may not be a household name, but I sure do like the photograph on this one.

At the end of the day though, I've got plenty of '73 Topps cards in the franken-set and precious few '61s.  Plus, in a close race I'll take a buyback that a fellow blogger was kind enough to send me over one from a random lot I purchased.  You're out Ron!

1978 Topps #12 - Don Aase

The last two buybacks Shane sent along were both of the Red Sox variety, which is just fine in my book!  Don Aase was a draft pick of the Sox earlier in the '70s and finally debuted with Boston in 1977.  After a pretty successful rookie season he was dealt to the California Angels in the trade that brought Jerry Remy to Boston.  He had the distinction of being the first name on the all-time Red Sox roster, alphabetically speaking, until David Aardsma knocked him from that spot decades later.  This is the only #12 buyback I have so far, so Don is in!

1968 Topps #233 - George Scott

Lastly, my personal favorite of this quartet, a '68 Topps George Scott.  George is one of the more notable names to make my franken-set to date as a 3x All-Star, 8x Gold Glove Award winner, and member of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame!  Very cool that Shane, himself a Red Sox fan, was kind enough to ship me this one.

I would have been more than pleased had Shane's entire package consisted of nothing but these four buybacks, but as you'll soon see this was just the tip of the iceberg!

Franken-set Progress:  158/792 (20%)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Buyback Franken-set: I Love the '70s

I've had an appreciation for buybacks for some time now, but the thing that really got me kick-started on the buyback franken-set this year was a large lot of (97) buybacks that I won on eBay a while back.  It took me a couple of months to get through processing and posting those ten at a time here on the blog.  While I was doing that I was fortunate to win another, even larger lot; my single largest buyback purchase yet.  This one consisted of 113 different buybacks from 2015 Topps flagship/Update, at a price that worked out to 30 cents per.

I wish I could find buyback lots this size more frequently, but alas these are the only two "mega-lots" I've scored to date.  I've seen one or two other big lots like them, but not at a price point that interests me.  Anyway, for today's post I grabbed a small group of ten consecutive cards from the middle of this second big stack.  As it so happens, they are all from the '70s...

1979 Topps #653 - Warren Brusstar

A career relief pitcher, Warren Brusstar never got a single MLB start.  He did win a World Series with the Phillies in 1980 though!  He does not look very pleased to be featured on his very own baseball card here.  Unhappy Warren is a nice high number at 653 and thus makes the franken-set without contest.

1979 Topps #258 - Mike Phillips

Holy chewing tobacco!  I don't know much about infielder Mike Phillips but he sure could pack a cheek of chaw.  Based on my 2 minutes of crack research I'd say the highlight of his career may have come when he hit for the cycle with the Mets in the summer of 1976.  Without any competition for #258, Mike makes the franken-set as well, at least for the time being.

1978 Topps #28 - Ed Ott

1978 Topps is not exactly my favorite set of the decade, but I do like this Ed Ott for some odd reason.  Must be that awesome pinstripe jersey and bright yellow batting helmet.  Ed was part of a two-man platoon at catcher in 1979 when the Pirates won it all, and was a big contributor in the Fall Classic that year, swatting .333 with 3 RBIs.  No competition for slot 28, so Ed is in for now.

1973 Topps #431 - Gerry Moses

Interesting photograph featuring the aftermath of what looks like a pretty dirty play at the plate.  Gerry Moses actually came up with the Boston Red Sox in the '60s, but was dealt away along with Tony Conigliaro to the Angels and would then bounce around with six different franchises over the final five years of his career.  Interestingly, his first name seems to be spelled Jerry just about everywhere I look, yet it's Gerry on this card.  However you spell it, Moses makes the cut for card 431!

1979 Topps #235 - Steve Rogers

This '79 Steve Rogers also makes the set without any competition.  I'm really on a roll here with five brand new, uncontested additions to the franken-set to start this post.  Will I go a perfect ten for ten?  Steve Rogers was a 5-time All-Star and actually led the league in ERA in 1982.  He's arguably the best pitcher in Expos history as he played his entire 13-year career with Montreal.

1976 Topps #231 - Tom House

Tom House is the guy who caught Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th home run in the Braves' bullpen which is kind of neat.  Unfortunately my new franken-set card streak comes to an end here though, as there's already a card #231 in the binder for Tom to compete with...

This one was a gift from Mark Hoyle when we met up a month or two ago in Providence.  While I don't have any personal connection to Tom House or Floyd Weaver (both retired before I was even born), I just plain like this card better than the '76 House.

You're outta here Tom!

1979 Topps #405 - Butch Wynegar

Butch Wynegar was a good, serviceable catcher for the Twins and Yankees from the mid-'70s through the early '80s, and was actually voted an All-Star in each of his first two seasons.  Looks like he's serving as a hitting instructor in AAA in the Pirates organization these days.  He's the only #405 buyback I've gotten my hands on so far, so he's in the franken-set.

1972 Topps #287 - Jim Hardin

Jim Hardin was a good, reliable arm for the powerhouse Orioles teams of the late '60/early '70s.  Sadly Hardin, who was an amateur pilot, died in an aviation accident in 1991.  1972 Topps buybacks seem to be maybe the toughest set of the '70s to come by, at least in my experience so far, so I'm happy that this one makes the cut and is included in the set for now.

1976 Topps #317 - John Candelaria

A great card here of a young John Candelaria.  As a matter of fact, I believe this is considered his rookie card (he was featured in the 1975 SSPC set, but not in '75 Topps).  I think this one is especially cool given that John tossed a no-hitter in 1976!  He makes the franken-set at slot 317, and will be a tough challenger for any future 317s I may acquire...

1970 Topps #489 - Eddie Kasko

Last buyback today also happens to be the lone Red Sox card of the group, and I'd imagine one of the better pulls (at least for me) out of this second large lot (haven't looked through all of them yet).  It is in pretty rough shape for a card from 1970, but that doesn't really bother me with buybacks for some reason.  Kasko was involved with the Red Sox in a number of capacities over the decades, and actually became a member of the Red Sox HOF back in 2010.  He's also in as far as the franken-set goes, facing no current competition for card #489.

By going 9 for 10 today in terms of new additions to the franken-set, I've now hit the significant milestone of 20% (well, if you round up from 19.5 anyway)!  If I have that kind of luck with the rest of this large lot I'll really be cookin'.

Franken-set Progress:  155/792 (20%)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Gavin Sent Me Cash!

Got a great package in the mail this past week from Gavin at Baseball Card Breakdown that included some cash!  Before we get to that though, let's see some of the other content, starting with 13 needed cards from 2015 Topps Stadium Club.

Sometime in the next few weeks I really need to just sit down and put together a Sportlots order to knock this set off.

Gavin's given me the motivation to do so, as with this lot in hand I'm now just 42 cards shy of a complete 300-card set.

Since the Kris Bryant rookie is not one of the ones I'm missing I'm guessing most can be had for 18 cents a piece.

While the bulk of the package consisted of Stadium Club set needs, there were some Red Sox to be found as well.  Put on your sunglasses for this next one.  Ready?

1991 Fleer, possibly the brightest set in the history of baseball cards.  Outside of those with yellow as their favorite color, I'm not sure there are too many fans of this release.  Still, I needed a copy of this Brunansky.

2005 Donruss was a very solid minimalist design if you ask me, happy to have a new one.

I really wish we could have seen what these Diamond Kings cards could have looked like with logos, because even without them I'm a fan.

A really classy looking Nomar here, from 1999 Gold Label.  This is a "Class 1" card, which I think was the most prevalent tier?  In looking at the images on COMC though, I like this one better than either the Class 2 or Class 3 cards in the same set.  Go figure.

I don't think Panini was quite as successful with the 2014 Classics set.  Kind of a bland design, but my Pedroia count increases by one regardless!

Got a couple of shiny Red Sox too, my favorite kind.  A Silver Ice Josh Beckett parallel from 2012 Bowman...

...and a 2014 Topps Chrome Blue Refractor of the man who really seems to have revived his career with Cleveland this year.  Gonna be a fun World Series to watch here, can't wait!

Here's the Cash, Johnny Cash!  How freakin' sweet is this custom card?  I thought this was a thing of beauty when Gavin posted it a few weeks back, and I told him as much.  He was kind enough to ship me one, and I would put this right up there with my Pearl Jam cards in terms of my favorite music-themed cards in my collection.  See, it pays to comment!

Just an awesome photo here of a man whose music I love, and could Gavin have chosen a better set template than Conlon to pay homage to The Man in Black?  I can't think of one.  I love this card so much I gave it the toploader treatment, which it very much deserves.

Thanks for the great surprise package Gavin, I'll have to see what else I can dig up around here for you!
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