Friday, July 31, 2020

One Card Post - Gettin' Miggy With It

What:  2013 Topps Archives #GH-MC - Miguel Cabrera Gallery of Heroes
Where:  eBay
How Much?:  $3.99 (plus shipping)

Why?:  I'm a full half dozen cards in now as far as this 2013 Topps Archives Gallery of Heroes insert set goes.  Couldn't pass up this gem featuring the last triple crown winner on the offensive side of the ball, for less than $4 before shipping.  I'm not much of a Tigers or Cabrera collector, so this instantly becomes probably my best overall card of the man.

Because these stained glass beauties are best viewed with some back-lighting, here's a picture featuring Cabrera in his new OneTouch home, in front of the window in my hobby room...

Absolutely awesome.  Six down, nine more to go including the tough Mike Trout.  I will get there though!

I managed to post here on the blog 30 days out of the 31 calendar days in July, falling just short of my post-a-day goal.  I can't promise that I'll maintain that ferocious pace through the upcoming dog days of August, but I will be back with more content later this weekend for sure.  Until then, thanks as always for stopping by!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Stickers & Sox - An Appetizer from Joe Shlabotnik

Thanks to the generosity of all the wonderful folks in this hobby, the number of inbound packages that I've yet to show off is starting to grow to an uncomfortable number.  Let's make a little forward progress on that front anyway, and check out the contents of a PWE I received from the great Joe Shlabotnik, probably a few weeks ago now!

You can't go wrong with Topps Heritage as a team/player collector.  It's even better when it's a need from one of the earlier Topps Heritage releases, which came out during the period where I was not collecting cards whatsoever (1996/1997 or so, until late 2007).  Awesome.

Amazingly enough, with well over 5,000 Red Sox and counting in my organized collection on The Trading Card Database, not a single one of those was from 1982 Fleer.  Joe helped me out on that front in this particular PWE, with a couple of big names too!  Tony Perez is the first.

I love me some Cal Ripken Jr., and as a child of the late '80s/early '90s I'm also a fan of holograms.  Combine the two, and you've got a keeper for my collection.  Side note, there is actually a Denny's in my town today.  Tried it once for breakfast with my wife about five years ago, haven't been back since and don't plan to.  Let's just say I'm more impressed with their baseball cards than their omelettes and home fries.

Here's one that's actually a back of one of the stickers in the 2020 Topps Stickers set.  Technically this doesn't increase my Red Sox count on TCDB, because for some reason only the players on the fronts of the stickers are noted in the database.  I hope that maybe someday a collector will take the time to request all the back players/teams to be added, but it's certainly not going to be me!

Same deal with the 2019 Topps Stickers set.  If you listen to TCDB, this is not a new Xander Bogaerts card...

...and this is not a new Craig Kimbrel, either.  They count to me though, and that's what matters.

Back to the '82 Fleer well, but with all due respect to Mike Torrez he was not the other "big name" that I mentioned above.  That honor would go to...

...fuzzed out Jim Rice!  I feel like if I had three or four post-work beers tonight, then maybe Jim would come into focus.  Gotta love '80s Fleer.  It's great to have these three in hand to kick off my team set.  I say kick off, because Joe sent me a much larger package only in the past week that really gets me moving on this release!  More on that later though.

As far as this particular PWE goes, we'll close it out with another pair from 2005 Topps Heritage.  Submarine-delivery wonder Byung-Hyun Kim...

...and arguably the greatest clutch hitter in team history, certainly the greatest in the current century anyway.  These are really sharp looking cards.  Even though I wish Topps had printed them oversized to match the original '56s, I get that a lot of collectors aren't into that (see 1989 Bowman).

Like the Fleer cards above, these 2005 Heritage singles are just the beginning of my team set build.  Joe also delivered more of these in that latest bubble mailer I talked about above.  I'll be featuring the contents of that one soon (just scanned them all in today), but until then thank you to Joe for this wonderful assortment of Sox, and thank you to everyone else for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Another Soccer Re-Pack of Stars

Back in May I posted the contents of a soccer re-pack that I'd picked up on eBay to ease the sheltering-in-place boredom.  I know soccer cards aren't the most well-received subject matter here on the blogs, but I think they're fun.  In fact, I enjoyed that first re-pack enough that I picked up two more from the same seller about a week later.

They've been sitting waiting until this week, when I cracked open the first of the two.  Here we go...

The cover card was this 2018 Donruss Christian Pulisic.  I get to see Christian play quite a bit now that he's with Chelsea in the Premier League (my soccer league of choice given that I get 90% of the game's with my YouTube TV package).

Next up, a couple of Prizm 2018 World Cup base cards.  I've actually completed this 300-card set (or at least will have whenever my COMC order eventually gets here), so both this card...

...and this one were dupes for me.  No worries, off to the trade/giveaway stack they go.  Onward and upwards...

Ronaldo is like the Mike Trout of soccer cards, in that even though I don't collect him I'll always gladly add just about any of his cards to my collection.  Widely recognized as one of the top two talents in the world over the last decade or two, happy to have this Donruss base card.

Dele Alli is another Premier League player (Tottenham Hotspur) who I enjoy watching.  Enough so that I'd like to pick up a nice, shiny parallel version of this someday.

I have no idea who Scott McTominay is, I have to confess.  I watch a lot of Premier League but am far from a "superfan" or anything like that. 

So, instead of commenting on the card I'll instead mention that I'm now in some small way a part "owner" of Manchester United!  In the Stash application that I use to invest in the stock market, I noticed that MANU was listed the other day.  I picked up a whopping $10 worth and yes, you are now reading the blog of a man who has a vested interest in Manchester United's performance!  Early retirement, here I come...

2018 Donruss seems prevalent in this particular re-pack.  Not complaining, just observing.

Here's a real loud "Revolutionaries" insert from Panini Revolution.  This entire product could be described as loud, as I recall it.  To be fair though I think the sum total of my experience with it is a single rack pack I grabbed at Target a few years back.

Donruss soccer also has Rated Rookies!

Here's a cool one.  Not that I'm familiar with the player at all, but I did bust a hobby box of this 2015 Donruss set, and I enjoy a good parallel.  There were different flavors of "Press Proof" parallels in the set (that covered both the base cards and the inserts, actually), with this one being the Silver version (#'d /199).

Again, not familiar with the subject here, but I do enjoy cards that use the "Wave" texture like this.  This would be a cool insert set to put together and display in a binder someday.

Back to the 2018 Donruss trough.  Neymar Jr is, or at least was for some time, considered a top 5 player in the world, so like Ronaldo I can't complain about getting a new card of the man for my small but growing soccer collection.

Here's another base Select card, this time featuring Mario Mandzukic of Croatia.  I remember him very well from the 2018 World Cup tournament, actually.

By contrast, you can see how much nicer the "Multi-Color" parallels are in the Select releases.  I wish they'd just make these the base cards and do away with the standard chrome-looking base they use today.  All the yellow and green here works well with that jersey.

Was really happy to see this card, probably my favorite of what I've shown here so far.  I'm not sure if it's fair to say he's under-rated, given that I think most die-hard soccer fans consider him maybe a top 20 player in the world, but Kevin De Bruyne has been an absolute stud for Manchester City in the Premier League for years now, and is a big reason for all of that club's recent success.  He's a lot of fun to watch.  Great card.

Here's my promised relic.  While I'm not familiar with Nacer Chadli of Belgium, as far as design goes this is a really gorgeous card.  If most modern baseball relics from Topps were this attractive and shiny, I might actually be excited to land one.

Each re-pack comes with an autographed card as well, in this case Santi Mina from the 2018-19 Museum Collection UEFA Champions League set.  Not very familiar with him either, given that he's spent his career to date almost entirely in Spain.  A couple of cool random additions to my soccer collection with these hits; even if they weren't names that rang a bell with me I can appreciate the designs.

Back to 2018 Donruss, this time with an Out of this World insert.  A pretty blatant and literal insert set here, with the player pictured in outer space.  Not doing much for me if I'm being honest, but getting some cards that don't excite you is just part of the re-pack experience.

Here's another insert from 2018 Donruss, Magicians.  In this case I'm unsure how the design ties in with the insert set name.  Moving on... the final, and best card in the re-pack!  Landing a new Leo Messi card is always rewarding for this collector.  On top of that, I love shiny cards and die-cuts.  Easily my favorite card in this grouping.  I found out when adding this to my collection on TCDB that this is part of a 10-card die-cut insert set that exclusively features Messi on all ten cards.  I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for some of the others at some point, if I can find them for reasonable prices.

Well, that's a wrap on this particular re-pack.  Not quite as exciting as the first one I opened if I'm being brutally honest, but I did get a unique blend of releases and some big names to really bolster my very small soccer collection.  About all I can ask for from a $12 re-pack.

As I said, I've got one more of these on my pack shelf for a rainy day in the future.  Until then, thanks as always for stopping by!  I'll be back with something baseball-related tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Cardboard Keepers - Stan the Man Tallboy

Time for the next installment of Cardboard Keepers, a thought experiment in which I theoretically whittle my entire collection down to just 2,000 cards; 1,000 baseball keepers, and 1,000 "other" keepers.

Today I add a hockey player to the non-baseball collection who absolutely belongs there.  One of the great old-time NHL players, and certainly one of the all-time best Chicago Blackhawks...'s Stan Mikita!  If you've followed my blog for any length of time then you know that I absolutely adore the various 1960s/70s 'tallboy' sets that Topps produced.  On the hockey front, these card dimensions were used for just one year, 1964-65.  I've got well over a dozen of these now and will be closing in on two dozen soon, but Stan the Man here is the best of the bunch I'd say.

He's a little dinged up, but great visual appeal overall for a card that's pushed well past 50 years old now.  I love the contrast of the vibrant yellow background with the bright red 'Hawks gear.  I'll save you a complete write-up of Mikita's career and various accomplishments, that's not what you came here for anyway.  Suffice it to say he's widely regarded as the best NHL center of the 1960s, and I'm absolutely pumped to have this beauty in my collection.

Here's a look at the back, though I have to say that's not much of a likeness there in the cartoon.  I've not heard of the documentary that's referenced here before, but I suppose that's not surprising given that I was still nearly a couple decades from even being born when this set was printed up.

I have a few other Mikita playing era cards, mostly from the '70s, but not many of his '60s releases.  I've yet to acquire his rookie card, which can be pricey, but aesthetically speaking this '64-65 is the better card of the two in my opinion anyway.  Certainly a card that I think merits inclusion on a list of my top 1,000 non-baseball cards!

The non-baseball Cardboard Keepers collection is up to 24 cards in size now, and can be viewed here.  I've still got a long way to go, with 976 cards remaining to be selected.  I'll be back soon with the next card or group of cards for the project, but until then thanks as always for stopping by!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Ripping a Massive Amount of Pro Set, and Other Hobby Happenings

Just a random post today with some recent hobby happenings from Shoebox Legends World Headquarters.

The week before last I was off work using up some vacation time, and since there aren't a whole lot of places to go these days I had some time to clean up a few long-neglected corners of the garage and basement.

In a large storage bin in the basement I came across quite a few wax boxes of 1990-91 Pro Set hockey (Series 1).  These were purchased by my Dad during the winter of 1990, and passed down to me a few years ago when he was cleaning and purging himself.  They'd sat neglected since I received them, given that I already have most of the cards in this release.

As hockey card collectors know though, while nearly anything you can pull from a box of 1990-91 Pro Set hockey is just about worthless, there are a couple of potentially valuable cards that you can pull.  Most notably, a Stanley Cup hologram insert, which is actually quite rare and expensive.  As in even dinged up raw copies command hundreds of dollars when you can find them.

My wife was a good sport, as we put on a movie (Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the original Gene Wilder version - her idea, since finding a Stanley Cup hologram was akin to finding a "golden ticket") and she helped me rip through six entire hobby boxes of this stuff!  This was how our kitchen trash looked after the ripping party had completed.

We pulled a few of the many variations that I actually needed for my set build, but most of the cards were dupes for me.  Six Paul Gillis' were to be found, but none of them were the extremely rare "bloody nose" version that, while not quite as rare as the Stanley Cup hologram, is pretty valuable as well.  Oh well.

We were not fortunate enough to pull a Stanley Cup hologram in any of the boxes.  Probably the most interesting thing to come out of them was this terribly mis-cut John Druce, which my wife pulled and got a kick out of.

This one was cut so poorly that you can see the color blocks from the edge of the uncut sheet on both front and back.  Aside from this oddity, and the handful of variations that were new to me and were added to my master set build, everything else from the boxes has already been shipped off to Billy from Cardboard History (Billy, if you don't want to receive any more '90-91 Pro Set just let me know, I won't be offended).

We were pretty beat after opening a full half dozen boxes, plus our movie was wrapping up by that point.  I do still have a few more though, so the hunt for a hologram isn't quite done yet!  It was fun involving my wife in the hobby, since the opportunity to do so has been rare traditionally.

Speaking of ripping, here's another pack of 2005 Helmar Famous Athletes.  I received a few packs of this for my birthday last year, and since my birthday is rolling around again soon here in 2020 it's high time I got these ripped and posted already.  Three tobacco-sized cards per pack, let's see what I got...

First is a local player who starred for the Benton Harbor baseball club, which is the area of the country where these Helmar cards are created.  Don't really know much about the subject other than that, and frankly these are some of the more boring cards on the checklist given that I don't have any ties to the area.

This is more my speed!  My first card of Chet Brewer of the Negro Leagues.  Brewer played for the Kansas City Monarchs at one point, where he was in the starting rotation alongside the great Satchel Paige, and was later a scout in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.  Interesting that he's shown batting here.

This card led me to discover a 68-page PDF on Brewer's life written by the Center for Negro League Baseball Research.  I know what I'll be perusing through later tonight with the Red Sox game on in the background.

Last card in the pack, and another Negro League player with Jimmy Crutchfield.  Again, my first card of the subject.  I give the folks at Helmar a lot of credit for including these guys in the set and shining some light on a league that is not nearly as represented in our hobby as it should be.  I'm fairly certain that this is not only my lone Jimmy Crutchfield card, but also my only card featuring the Pittsburgh Crawfords.

A great pack from a great set there.  Let's look at a few more hockey cards before we call it a day though, shall we?

My latest card in an attempt to collect and showcase every WHA card from the high-numbers series of the '72-73 O-Pee-Chee set!  Love the brown pads on this Les Binkley.  Les saw a ton of action with the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL before making the move to the WHA. 

I've got a least a few more of these '72-73 WHAs in my "to be posted" box, I suppose I really should get around to adding the missing ones to my official want list soon.

During my vacation clean-out, I came across a small stack of graded hockey cards that I'd long forgotten about in a box in the basement.  Most of them were 1981-82 Topps in PSA 9 holders, purchased sometime in the 2007-2009 timeframe, back when I foolishly thought I'd complete graded versions of most Topps hockey sets of the '80s.

Most of the commons I'll batch up and sell when I'm feeling a bit more motivated to list some things on eBay, but I did decide to hang onto four HOFers for my collection.  First up, the above Larry Murphy rookie card.  Larry was quietly one of the best defensemen of his era, with four Stanley Cup championships to his name.  He was selected for enshrinement in his first year on the ballot.

This one was really interesting in that I stumbled upon it less than a month after Doug was selected for the Hockey HOF.  It took him a while to make the cut, but unless you're a "small Hall" person I think you'd agree he's deserving of the honor.  800+ career points as a defenseman, with 8 All-Star game appearances and even a Norris Trophy (won the year this set came out, as a matter of fact).

Mike Gartner was an offensive superstar who could skate like the wind and had a knack for finding the back of the net.  He never won a Stanley Cup (or even played in the Cup Finals), never won any individual awards, and was never named a First or Second Team All-Star even.  He just "quietly" went about amassing 708 career goals, still good for 7th all-time at the time of this post.  Ovechkin will pass him soon, but nobody else is remotely close, so Gartner will remain in the top 8 for years to come.

Final card for tonight, this great Denis Potvin Super Action subset card.  From the time I first saw this card over 30 years ago, the photograph has stuck with me.  Looks more like something you'd see in a modern Upper Deck set than an early '80s Topps release.  At the time I thought it was such a great card due to its uniqueness, and I still think so.

I had a copy growing up that was one of my favorite "vintage" (to me anyway) hockey cards, and in fact I now own the original match print photo that Topps used to create the card.  Check this out!

Pretty cool, huh?  If you're interested here's a link to my original post back in 2012 that goes into much more detail about this cool oddball item.

Anyway, that's about it for now.  I appreciate you stopping by my little corner of the internet.  Stay safe and have a great evening!
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