Brian from Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary sent an awesome trade package in response to my Junk Wax Gems last week.
Started off with a few 2016 inserts in the seemingly never ending quest to finish Topps master sets from the last few years. I think by the time the National comes around, I may actually kill most of my wants from Topps flagship (except of course, this year), as far back as 2012. I still need a few nagging inserts from all the way back then. Anyway, a Gwynn and a coupla Itchy's (short for Ichiro)
The bulk of the package was Heritage. Somehow with all the bulk trading I've been doing in the last couple years, I've begun almost all the Heritage sets. I was confined to just my favorites before ('59 in 2008, '60 in 2009, '64 in 2013, '58 in 2007 and '65 in 2014 from the same case-break leftovers box purchase). Now, I've got 2003, 2005, and theoretically the 2016 High Numbers set to finish (to go with the base set I'm allegedly getting from a friend) added to all that.
Brian contributed to the 2007s with what is usually one of the last ones I still lack, plus a hit to a pseudo-Heritage set, 2006 Topps 1952 Edition.
I always hear Jeter being announced by Bob Sheppard in my head - "Daa-Rack Jeetah!"
The rest of the contents were from 2003. The '54 design is really great for seeing the current guys. Simple and colorful without being too flashy.
Call me psychic, but I think Brian has his dupes sorted by teams. This is how they were stacked, but the set isn't "Fleer numbered".
The Collective juggernaut kept on rolling again today. They had a mall show in my home town. This one rotates among malls throughout the area roughly along Interstate 81 between Hagerstown, MD and Harrisburg, PA every other week. Just like last week's monthly show, (and from some of the same dealers), I dropped some more cash on cards. I really gotta slow down.
Here's my haul from this time. (Picture is lousy).
Knocked off some 1972s, a few player collection Hostess, a Ryan/Seaver insert from 2005, an A-Rod SP from Piece Of History, my 2003 base set and a Ryan insert, a couple Priest Holmes, Bo Jacksons, a few oddball football, some 2016 Topps baseball inserts, and some miscellaneous Redskins.
Here's a better look at the '72s. The dealer had just bought a binder with some early '70s in it and I picked out the better part of the '72s. I got several of the 550+ numbers from the first dealer I went to for $4 each (or less). This guy had the Cey RC (Night Owl just went "whoop-whoop!") which is nicer than most of my set, The Reggie was in his regular stock - not bad for ten bucks. The Bonds is creased through his head, but it won't show in a binder ($1). Wilhelm has some bad corners, but is fine otherwise. Looks like he and Cey were low book at $10 each. Blair was like eight because he is almost pristine. Alston is way o/c but for a buck I'll put him in for now.
You see also the Fisk (2.50) and two Sparky Lyle Hostess (50¢ each) and the second copies of a few 1980s to upgrade my checklists and replace my PC guys.
The last guy I bought from had boxes marked 8/$5, 10 15 for $5 and a table marked 4/$10. He discounted from that as well. The two Priest Holmes, and Bo Jackson, plus the other football were from the 15/$5 bos, which I pulled a total of 17 cards from. The Donruss football rookies (top fan) completes my rookies, and the Rated Rookies (gray) knocked them basically in half. I passed on the Dak & Zeke for now. Still bought two of the Rated Rookies in duplicate. Anyone need Ricardo Louis or Austin Hooper?
Best way to spend a Saturday when it's storming outside that I can think of. At least that you can discuss on a family show....
I plan on posting some trade bait soon. Stuff that I have that I know someone out there is looking for, but doesn't show up on a dealer table or online shop very often.
Our next selection at WTCM radio is more along the lines of my current and enduring musical tastes. I've been a fan of hard rock and heavy metal since about 1983 when KISS took off their makeup. I got that album (Lick It Up) and was amazed that music could sound that intense. From there I branched out into most of the better "hair" bands.
This song is Back For More by RATT. They, along with several of the most popular metal acts, are still performing to this day. At least, some incarnation of the original lineups are out there doing shows. RATT is one of many bands whose members split into different incarnations operating under the band name. Most recently, the estranged drummer, Bobby Blotzer, was running a band under the RATT name until a court decision awarded the "official" designation to the remaining members. (All of them except the guitarist who tragically passed away in 2002). They will now be able to perform under the name to the exclusion of all others.
Was going to put the original MTV video up here, but it's just too silly. Though distant relative Milton Berle makes a cameo appearance at the end, his encore appearance to Round And Round.
So how do I relate this one to cards? Simple. The 2017s are out. So many collectors are back for more set building!
I was thinking about just collecting the team sets for my local Orioles and Nationals and trying for all the parallels. But I also want some of the insert sets, including the First Pitches, Five Tools, probably the retail Awards, MLB Network people, and maybe the 1987s and the Bowmans. So it would be weird to have all that and just two teams of the base cards and a few parallels.
I was going to post about trading bulk lots of other stuff for my 2017 set, but I ended up going on another Target run and bought more hanger boxes, so I'm far enough into the base set that there's no turning back. Hopefully, I can jump into the trading fray in my usual groups before they're all finished with their sets.
If any of you are also still on the lean side of a complete set, comment below and we can set up a trade. I have a few dupe inserts and, because of the often cited collation problems, have a stack of base to trade that is 2/3 as high as my set.
I was searching Saturday, and finally found the schedule for the monthly show over in Maugansville (near Hagerstown). It's always on a Sunday, and it turned out that it was happening that next day. So I made the 20+ minute drive and was there about an hour into the show. There are usually about 15-20 vendors each time.
Here is my haul from about three hours work:
I spent the first hour or so at my favorite current set insert guy picking out all the Classics and Donruss football that you see on the left side. He had just got big boxes of current football sets and inserts, so I went to town. Crushed my remaining Classics Legends, including the Rod Woodson on top of the stack, which at one point I thought might be a short print since I had found the rest of what I needed, but had to wade through a row and a half before finally coming across ol' Rod. Also pulled a few second copies of Bo Jackson for my PC. Went through all the inserts and pared my lists down to the point that I could put names on them (and make the sifting easier next time) Still ended up buying two duplicates in the pile. (Lesson learned - always go through your pulls before paying). Also killed most of my regular Donruss base set as you see in the twisted stack at top left.
Since the stock was basically untouched except that they were neatly sorted and labeled by the original buyer, I was able to pull the Redskins from most of the other products, which is nice. Current Redskins are the hardest to manage since I only keep a Word document of what I have, and it isn't available on my phone. I knew I was starting from almost nothing, so there were only a few dupes that came from these. The most annoying were those Unparalleled that were dupes in a set that apparently has five or six flavors of the same few cards. You can see the blue corner of the one I did need peeking out the bottom of the picture.
Since I knew I would see that dealer at the next major Chantilly show, I figured it was time to move on so I didn't spend the whole show at his table. I stashed that big bag out in the car and then came back in to a dealer that gave me a good deal on some vintage football on my last trip. Found out he actually lives in the same town I do. Didn't actually get any vintage from him this time, but he had just bought a meticulously labeled collection of Michael Jordan. MJ is one of those casual player collections that I've been working on if I happen to see them, and I found some good ones. Most of them were marked as booking for $10 and selling for ?? (marked out). When I picked out eight good ones, he asked ME what I thought the price should be. I studied a while and then gave him a number, which he countered with a LOWER number, so I was happy.
So then I figured I should work on my '70 and '72 Topps sets that I had targeted for completion at the last National, but fell short. There was a vendor that had a couple tables full of top-loadered discounted vintage up front. I sat down and pulled up my list for the two baseball sets. Found a few high numbers in both and even though I limited myself to ones that were $4 or less since my sets aren't high grade, I felt I had made progress. Then I looked over and saw there was also a full range of football sets. I switched over to my football list page and dove in. I knew that late 70's and 80's stars were probably available cheap at the major shows, but figured these were marked low enough that I wouldn't be regretful. OJ and Marino for 2.50? Most others for a buck each? Why not?! SOLD!
By then it was about 1PM, and some of the vendors had started to pack up. I had scoped out all the other vendors, and was done for the day. (I got a few "guilty pleasure" cards in between the first stops that I'll show in another post). I left satisfied and looking forward to next month's visit. This show has been going on for years, but I have always struggled to get there until now. I can finally make it a regular thing.
That's a very literal Latin translation of "Deliver Treasure (of) Completion" which is what happened today when I opened a package from P-Town Tom of the Latin-inspired Eamus Catuli! blog.
Tom killed four of my sets! Three of which were on my Priorities page:
Gone are my 1996 Topps set - on the second try. I had listed the card next to Morris and then figured it out when I got another one and went to put it away. Collected 95% of the set from a dealer in Michigan and then the last few in trades.
Beckett completes my "master set" of 2011 Topps that includes the ToppsTown inserts, along with 60YOTs, Before There Was Topps, CMGs, Diamond Duos, History Of Topps, Kimballs, Prime 9s (except for the week 7 card from packs), and Topps 60's from all series.
Hunter kills the 1998 Donruss except for some Dominators and a few other inserts.
Also gone is the 1993 Donruss set. No, I haven't been working on it since 1993. I started it last year or so when I got a bulk lot in trade. A bunch of these sat in my dupes boxes for years, but I always kinda liked them. Finally got 'em all. It's a big set.
The two Yankee superstars complete the base cards, but there are still the better part of those Trio Prospect shortprints lacking in my 2005 Fleer Traditions. Such a simple design, but a real pretty set. Mr. Jeter is always a tough one to pull or find.
... but Tom came through with him twice! These were the first two cards in my 2002 list. There are four left - one of those Bonds home runs (73 varieties), Griffey, A-Rod, and Pujols ROY.
Down under a dozen on these 2009 O-Pee-Chee black parallels. The one-per-packers match the regular set that I've already finished. Inserts too. Really liked these when they came out. Like 2016 Bunt, a simple product with a little throwback flavor and old school card stock. Righteous!
And finally, these are the backs of 2007 Opening Day puzzle cards, because the fronts don't make any sense unless you can see the complete picture. Was never sure why they put a player on the back of these, but I guess it makes it more interesting. I finished the OD set for '07 first because I liked the white borders better than the black. Currently I'm also working on the red number set as well. May never get one of the regular base ones. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to finish a parallel set as easy as it is for those? Not gonna happen any time soon.
But I think I might try just the two team sets for my local favorites. Got these two golds and a foil to close out the package. Still debating about doing the whole set or just the O's/Nats.
So thanks to Tom (again) for a great trade. I tried to find some bonus stuff to add to the Pacifics. Hope you can use them.
Saw a post by Bert on Swing and a Pop-up about him building a set of 2015 Panini Americana just after the first of the year. I had picked up a few packs or so myself a while back and compiled a list too. A rare endeavour into non-sports, mostly for the beautiful female stars...
He finally finished his set with some more packs he got recently. And he sent me the bulk of my list as well. Here are some highlights.
The lovely Eliza, and the Hogans. What Hulk? No pulchritudinous Pythons?
Danica all grown up, Brad is a damn good actor, and Alexis I don't really know....yet.
Tiffani, always one of my favorites. What can you say but Ice, Ice, baby...? And the sneaky hot Laura from That Show I didn't watch.
Thanks Bert! I'm down to #7 Aly Raisman (your last card), 28 Mary Eliz. Mastrantonio, 36 Taryn Manning, 37 Gabby Reece, and 44 Chris Jericho, Any heroes out there?
Will probably check ebay and COMC for an auto or two from my favorite gals....I'll be sure to post whatever I get. You know how I like to appreciate beauty on here.
My next selection on the personal jukebox is much closer to my present tastes. Foreigner sits smack in the middle of the basic American rock-n'-roll genre. They can be mellow, and they can be raucous. They aren't quite metal, but I appreciate them just the same. Agent Provocateur is a great overall album whose standout tracks, I Want To Know What Love Is, and That Was Yesterday, are right at the top of all-time great Foreigner songs.
The choice for this post is the track Two Different Worlds, about a guy who has someone at home, but longs for the girl whose world is totally different. Sort of the grass is always greener type of thing. Torn between the established and the new.
It's like a collector who usually stays with mid to lower end products, but longs for that big hit of their favorite player. "But jersey patches and autographs are way too expensive for my kind of budget, right?"
That's a logical assumption, but depending on where you shop, pricing for autographs, etc. can be wide ranging. A lot of sellers seem to occupy two different worlds when setting their pricetags. There are bargain sellers and there are those that only operate at full retail.
Once in a while when I'm perusing COMC or eBay etc., I'll do a search on different players and see what the cheapest and nicest autograph goes for. Now I'm not trying for Mike Trout or Tom Brady, so there are limitations. The player has to have a good many autographs across many different level products. My default guy is Kirk Cousins of the Redskins. He's got 42 autographed cards up on COMC right now.
His most expensive ungraded ones (because grading adds an unnecessary 200%+ markup) are a couple numbered out of 75 and 50. They are stickers and show him in his rookie uniform #12. They're both right around 100 bucks.
On the other end of the scale, here's a 2015 with the right uni number, (also a sticker) for $25. You could get below $20 if you pick one with him in his Michigan State greens.
What's the real difference between them? Cousins signed each one basically the same way. What is it that justifies the extra cost? Aren't you just paying for the serial number stamp or a different color background?
Here's another example of what I mean. Take a popular guy like Clayton Kershaw. He's got 44 autos on COMC. Skipping over the minor league and rookie combo ones, and finding the cheapest one from a big name company, you find this:
Granted, it's a logoless product, but isn't bad. Kershaw is the type of star player that garners $60+.
On the other end, there are a couple from bigger products that are almost four times the cost:
Hockey is even crazier. Hockey autos always seem to be the cheapest to me. Here's the range of Alex Ovechkin autos. His signature itself isn't much, but his caliber of play makes up for it.
What's the real difference here?
In some cases, the card is serial numbered much lower than others. But the signature is the same. The rest is window dressing. If you want an autograph of your guy, and don't hate the rest of the design, why pay so much more? Bragging rights? What you have is a legit signature of that guy either way.
As I researched this post further, I expected to find this to be more of a global phenomenon across most star players. It really just applies to certain guys with certain conditions - lots of autographs out there in lots of different accessible products. Some guys are gonna be expensive all the way around. And some guys just don't have a lot of high end stuff to get. But careful shopping can lead you to find those bargains that you never thought possible.
Last week I got the latest edition of Sports Collectors Digest. I get it in the physical newsprint form. I generally like it. They have some nice stories about vintage sets, less famous players, oddball inserts, food issues or other card products made by other companies besides the usual ones, etc. etc.
I will say they do also carry a lot of content about high end auctions as well. There are occasionally articles that are nothing more than promotions for a particular auction house's latest offerings. And in other places, they list prices for sales of (mostlly vintage) items that boggle the mind. People paying five and six figures for what I consider three digit cards at best. I have no idea who these people are.
I don't let that deter me from subscribing and reading. I know that there are collector's of all types and the magazine has to cater to all of them to some degree. I'm not going to like everything they publish. And the auction places are major advertisers, so the publishers have to earn their money.
But their article about the newly released 2017 Topps flagship set is utterly ridiculous.
It's not that I disagreed with their opinion of the design, or the appeal or quantity of the inserts, or even the configuration of the different boxes and the resulting collation.
No, it wasn't any of that, because they NEVER MENTIONED ANY OF IT.
The only facet of the 2017s that was discussed was the rookie content.
Here's what the page looks like:
Intentionally small so I don't violate copyright
The first line would have made me spit out my drink, but I wasn't drinking anything at the time.
Sorry, I know I'm in the minority here, but I'm sorry, I don't care that much about rookies. Unless they are the last few cards I need for the set (which they usually are).
The author didn't say "card collectors" though. The words used were "baseball fans". Don't even know where to go with that.
I wouldn't have minded nearly as much if the rookies discussion was only part of a more complete review like most of their New Releases normally are. (They are, I checked). The entire thing is juat which rookies are in the set. As if there is no other reason to buy any of the product.
This is like communist propaganda to me. Or media hype.
"Nobody collects anything but rookies these days. There are no real collectors, just prospecting flippers! Every other card is worthless!"
We will dictate how you collect or ignore all other facets of the hobby!
Fall in line! Succumb to the power of the Sick Mojo Hitzzzzz with the Rookie Logo!
You will be assimilated. Set building is irrelevant. Team collecting is irrelevant. Inserts are irrelevant. Your collection will adapt to become rookies exclusively. From this Time forward, you will collect like us.
Whoo..... I guess I got off on a bit of a rant there.
Here's another song from the early 80's that was really popular at the time. I won't say it was a favorite, necessarily, but in the interest of variety, it was cool. Morris Day and the Time fell well outside my musical wheelhouse back then, but they were fun to watch. Day was a badass pimp with the best of them. And he hung out with Prince. Which makes a nice segue from Musical Interlude #1, since His Purple Badness wrote a few songs for Miss Sheena Easton too.
Anyway, take it away Morris Day. Dude is a slickster. I would be too if I was trying to woo Apollonia....
There have been many lists and articles about who are the pimpingest (is that a word?) ball players through the years. I found a few photos online of some of them.
Babe Ruth. The original.
... and the boys.
Al Hrabosky, the Mad Hungarian
Some of the guys I collect...
George Foster. Gotta be the sideburns.
Luis Tiant. Coolness Maximus.
Joe Torre as manager of the Braves.
A lot of these guys are like pitbulls. They'll give you that intimidating stare, but they're really nice guys. It's really all about the look, retro sideburns, maybe a 'stache, and the dangerous expression on thier faces. Smoking seems to add to the mystique too.
In order to assure compliance with NFL league policies and negotiated agreements between the NFL and FOX Sports, please be sure to emphasize these points while presenting the Super Bowl game:
1. Worship, Glorify, Analyze, and tie all success by the New England Patriots back to Tom Brady. The predominant message of all broadcasts is to be the marketing of the superiority and star power of Mr. Brady. No more than thirty seconds should elapse between either mentions of his name, or his image on the screen.
2. Briefly mention the Atlanta Falcons at some point to dispel favoritism.
3. To provide some slight variety, also mention repeatedly the accomplishments of other Patriot players in the preceding playoff wins.
Joe Buck sure earned his paycheck on that one....
As far as the actual game, the sickening feeling I have after watching it didn't come from most of the normal causes. Though the more I watch football, the more often I get this feeling.
This time, it wasn't that the Patriots seemed to have an unfair advantage. The officials really did a great job "letting them play" and still keeping order on the field. There were no game-changing penalties to swing the game in New England's favor, nor were there any ticky-tack calls on Atlanta defensive players for disturbing the aura of Tom Brady.
The Falcons just simply made mistakes, lost the momentum of the game and let the Patriots keep chipping away at the lead. And then a pass was deflected in the air and three Falcon players could not prevent the NE receiver from catching the ball that should have just fallen to the ground. At that point, I should have known the outcome would be what it was.
Most of what left me so disgusted was listening to Joe Buck, (and even the normally unbiased Troy Aikman to a lesser degree) go on and on and on, hammering away the whole game (or at least the second half that I saw) about how amazingly awesome Tom Brady is. They never even tried to discuss anything else. Atlanta is leading by 25 points, but all they can talk about is how this is so unexpected, so unusual from the Patriots, and they're just waiting for them to turn it all around at any moment, but it's not happening fast enough. At one point, Buck praised Tom for using "his best fastball" on a pass to the running back in the flat that lost three yards - because it could have been a catastrophic turnover. Lord knows any other non-demigod quarterback would have messed it up and lost the game. Thank God Brady was there to SAVE THE DAY! Ugh....
Of course, now that New England won again, the unrestrained Brady worship will saturate all the sports talk media for the rest of his career. It was bad enough that half of all broadcasters were drinking the Kool-Aid on this guy, but now they'll be throwing it on the crowd in buckets and force-feeding it to the rest of us until he gives his Hall of Fame speech, which they will probably allow the year after he stops playing in a special exemption because he's just so exceptionally great. They might even persuade Belichik to introduce him in his trademark deadpan style. (Though I think the reason Bill talks like that is that he's bitter about Brady getting all the credit even though 60% of the team's success is really due to his system.)
I feel bad for Dan Quinn, Matt Ryan, and the Falcons. I doubt the NFL front office does, though. They're happy because the game result was the optimum marketing outcome for them. The Hype Machine's poster boy came out on top again.
There have been several recent blogpostsabout late 80's / early 90's era variations and those that strive for them. I count myself as one of them. I didn't actively collect between 1985 and 2003, so I missed the whole junk wax era, but I do enjoy seeking out those subtle variations in everything from Pro Set football and hockey, to 1980s Donruss and Fleer, through the early Upper Deck years, and beyond. I've spent whole afternoons squinting for incomplete stat lines and misspellings and considered it time well spent.
The latest chapter in my quest comes from a trade I recently made for a set of 1990 Upper Deck. Believe it or not, it's 2017, and there is a set collector that didn't have 1990 Upper Deck. (Still don't have '89, but that's for later).
The major errors in that set come at #101 through 199. The copyright line that appears on the back underneath the MLB and MLBPA logos is missing on all 99 cards.
These variations don't appear to be very rare, so they should be found in most every bulk box of 1990 UD you find. This is the appeal of the variation hunt to me. They're cheap and easy to find, but still interesting.
I don't have these posted on my want lists, but I printed out a list that also includes the other variations in this set, most of which occur in the high 500's and up. Go here for a complete list. There are a lot of UERs that don't count listed there too. I would post my wants here, but I still have several that I need the "line present" version etc., so it's a bit cumbersome. I'll wait until I've had the chance to dig through a few bulk boxes at shops or shows and then put up what's left.
Yet another common post theme these days is matching songs to cards or players. The latest "fad" is to put up music that you were into as a teenager.
As I am always up for giving my take (and generating more post material), I present the first in a line of songs that I enjoyed when I was a high schooler. The first album I ever bought myself was by this gushingly adorable Scottish lass with the electric eyes and sweet yet sassy demeanor. This is Sheena Easton's most popular track in the US. Circa 1984. (Note: the majority of my musical selections have a much more "metallic" flavor. Stay tuned.)
This song is all about going against the stereotype and being a strong woman. Not just being eye candy. (Though Sheena sure has that going too).
While most of the time when you think about women on trading cards, the first thing that comes to mind is Benchwarmers. Now, I could do a post on that too, I have my favorites and a few sets. But maybe another time. But in 1993 and '94, Ted Williams card company put out two sets that included some legit females who were members of the AAGPBL (All-American Girls Pro Baseball League) that ran from 1943 to 1954. Here are a couple examples.
Seems ol' Pepper was a tough cookie - she knocked the guy out! And the back of Sophie's card says they had to change the rules of the league because she was stealing too many bases. She stole 201 bases in 203 tries and only 113 games! Take THAT, Rickey Henderson!
The other group of strong women has been portrayed in the last couple years by Topps in their FirstPitch Series. Mixed in with other celebrities, several notable females are featured.
Agnes McKee, still cranking at 105. Only to be
outdone the next year by Evelyn Jones at 108.
Gabby Giffords, the congresswoman who rebounded from an assassin's bullet.
13-year-old Mo'Ne Davis fired a strike from back at the pitcher's rubber.
And Rebekah Gregory, who after losing a leg to the Boston Marathon bombing, finished the race the next year.
All these girls can bring it just like the boys, or better! Strut proudly, gals!