Sunday, August 26, 2018

Who's Cataloging The New Stuff?

In 2011, the last edition of the Sports Collector's Digest Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards was published.  It covered basically every single card issue of any company from the dawn of the sport to the present day.  Thoroughly cataloging every set, insert, parallel, and hit.  Arranged alphabetically by company and then by year, you could find any card product you wanted and there would be at least a little blurb on the production or features of the cards.

The next year, they came out with the "Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards".  It covers everything from about 1863 to 1980.  I agree with 1980 being the threshold of vintage.

 Since then, they have published six editions of the Vintage book.   The 2016 edition looks like this...  I have the 5th edition from the year before.

That's all fine and good.  The vintage stuff doesn't really change that much.  Makes sense to separate it from the rest of the years.  Not to mention the sheer bulk of the information.

My question is, Is anyone working on the next edition of the book about the newer stuff?

They should make another book with just the 80's and 90's.  All the bloat and variations would fill a big book.  Everything from the 80's to the turn of the century, including the Junk Wax Era.  I'd buy that.

Then go back and finish the third book that would keep getting updated.  The modern cards edition - 2000 through the present year.  Lord knows the Topps section would be 4/5 of the whole thing.

There hasn't been a catalog about every significant modern set produced since 2010 Topps Series 2.  That's eight years of modern cards with no reference other than online.

My guess is that since the passing of Bob Lemke, no one has taken over the reins.  Hopefully, the company isn't just full of millenials who don't have the attention span to type out a checklist longer than 132 cards.

The Trading Card Database is awesome, but I'd still like a hard copy (yes, I'm old school like that), to browse through and discover more obscure issues.  It is easy to call up the TCDB on my phone if I need to put a name to a card number, but there is no complete substitute to a real book you can hold in your hands, even though it would hurt to drop it on your feet.

What say you?  Would you still like a full Standard Catalog for the newer sets?

Thursday, August 23, 2018

This Day In Baseball History

I'm really behind on creating posts.  These are a nice substitute.  More on cards later.

After a shaky defensive bottom of the ninth inning at Citi Field, in which he makes an error and another poor play allowing a batter to reach on an infield hit, Eric Bruntlett redeems himself when he turns the Mets' attempted double steal into a game-ending unassisted triple play.

The fourteenth single-handed regular-season triple killing, only the second one which results in the last three outs of a game, occurs when the Phillies' second baseman snares Jeff Francoeur's line drive up the middle for the first out, steps on second to double up Luis Castillo, and then tags the runner coming from first base, Daniel Murphy, for the last out of Philadelphia's 9-7 victory.

Credits to

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Worst. Collation. Ever.

While on the MD/PA shop and show tour, I came across a product I had never seen before.  My buddy Stuart had a want list for an obscure football product that we found in a couple places.  He only needed like a dozen cards to finish the 200 card set, but the boxes were cheap enough that it wasn't ridiculous to get a whole box (or two) to try to finish it.

1992 Ultimate World League Of American Football cards came in a box of 12 packs of nine cards each.  One hologram sticker and one mini-poster were included per box.  I think they lied about the "mini-poster", because I never saw one, and there aren't any listed in the TCDB.

We found two boxes in an antique mall, and two more in Baltimore at a flea market dealer's table.  They were all around $4 each.  The boxes themselves are interestingly designed.

They would hold about 600 cards when completely empty, but since the set is only about a third of that, and you only get just over 100 cards per box, there are these platform inserts that look like the top flaps of the box (those are torn off this one).

The smaller of the two platforms has directions on it to remove it and store your set in the empty space.

While that makes a decent barrier, I went another direction....

Left both platforms in and split the cards on top.  Used foam to fill the empty space, but it blocks the stadium picture, so I may figure out something else.  Always like to try to use packaging like this if possible.

Anyway, back to the cards themselves.

Fronts are reminiscent of Pacific designs around the same era.  Between the design, fonts, and neon uniform colors, these also remind me of baseball Senior league cards from a couple years before.

The backs are very first-couple-Upper-Deck-sets like with the second photos.  Certain other cards have TV Schedules or checklists.  The set is grouped by team, like 80's Fleer.  The numbers are very finely printed in light grey boxes and can be hard to read, especially distinguishing 3's and 5's.

At the end of the set, there are a nice group of cards that explain elements of the game, presumably to the European audience that wasn't as up on the rules and positions.  They flipped the back on one of them.  Don't think it's a variation.  I like the look of these.

Those and the very last cards feature pictures of the NFL "spokesmen" for the league: Lawrence Taylor and Jim Kelly.  Cards #193 thru 200 tell you "How To Collect".  It's always entertaining when companies try to instruct collectors.  I'm missing one of the Kelly cards.

The backs break down different facets of the hobby.  From what are sets and wax packs, to what determines value and condition, and how to store and trade cards.  Of course, rookie cards were already the big thing, and they preached "the worth of a series will always increase corresponding to the rise in value of its rookie cards."  *Sigh*.

There is also one card that discusses "Premiere Editions", which says that the most desirable sets are the first ones, and that many collectors start with the current issue and work back to the premier set. They kinda made that one up.  They do pass along a few truths, too.  They say the best way to collect a set is to start with a big lot of singles or wax and trade your extras for those that are missing.

So to come full circle, Stuart needed like a dozen singles for his set.  We got four boxes.  A total of 432 cards and four holograms.

He ended up with a duplicate hologram.  And believe it or not, out of all those singles, he STILL NEEDS THREE CARDS.  #38, 58, and 180.

Out of all the duplicates, I started the set and need about 55 cards.  FOUR boxes yielded only 3/4 of the 200 card set.

Topps, Upper Deck, Panini, Donruss, and Fleer can feel somewhat vindicated.  Heck even Pacific, Playoff, and Score can look down on Ultimate for the Worst Collated boxes in the history of cardboard manufacturing.

It's a nice set about a limited subject.  But it shouldn't be this hard to finish.  There are no SP's listed in the database, though with an oddball company, they just may not know.  I figure they may have lost their shirts on this product but still had to pay out the $1,000,000 contest prize from the one-per-pack scratch-offs.

So if you've got some of these lying around, or if these pique your interest, get some, sort 'em out and check the extras against my wants site.   Hopefully you got the "opposite" boxes that we did and we can all complete some sets!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Post-Binge Hangover

It's that time of year again.

Around late August, after the National, and whatever week(s) long card shopping spree I go on around it, the aftermath always feels like a hangover of sorts.  I didn't go to the National, but I did spend a week just before that on vacation going to a big show (Chantilly) and then touring the local area card shops and antique places in search of cardboard.  Had a really good time, and I'm still putting away all the stacks of stuff I got.

Wasn't quite this bad

But my local monthly card show is today, and I decided not to go.  After all my hauls, I still feel like I don't need any more for a while.  My hunger has been sated for now.  After browsing a big show, and countless boxes at shops, it just burns you out for a while.

What I feel like I want to do is place a SportLots or COMC order to knock out those last few elusive set killers that I couldn't find during my vacation.  But I can't bring myself to do it just now.

This is not to say I've stopped trading.  I just swapped for a complete Topps Series 2 set and got a couple packages of mostly Heritage singles and some nice inserts to cross off my lists.  You've seen some of the other incoming batches in the last couple posts.  I'm sending out a couple packages to bloggers and group traders, and have another deal or two in the works.  So I'm not burned out, but I just feel full.

But I've got a lot left to put away.  I can see why other collectors end up being unorganized or behind.  Although I really enjoy putting away what I get, and completing my sets or filling in holes in player collections, the sheer bulk of what is waiting is a bit hard to take.  I go into the card room for short periods and put singles with sets or sheet up some vintage, but I get sleepy after any more than an hour or two.  So I have to spread it out.
I don't want the card room to feel like this....

SportLots actual back room
So my blogging may slow down a bit - I've already missed a day.  I'm trying to build up a backlog of ready posts, but it's slow going.  I'm still up for trading, though.  Especially this year's A&G inserts, and I've added a lot to my want lists from some starters that I got.  I'll rest up soon and be back at it in a short while.  Just have to take a minute to fully enjoy the huge pile that just came into my collection.

How many of you experience a hangover after a couple big shows or shop visits in a row?  Or do they come more frequently than that?

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Another Vintage Set Almost Done!

OK, I'm cheating a little bit, because the set I'm talking about is only 67 cards.

#55 "Smoky" Burgess is the last card I need for the 1963 Fleer set.  When I started seeing singles available for this set, I didn't think I'd be able to find all the stars at decent prices, and most of all, the SP non-numbered checklist was bound to be a white whale for a long time.

Well, turns out that's not the case! 

My man Jay and his brother Marv have helped me kill the last couple vintage sets that I've built.  Especially my 1960 Topps, and now Jay has narrowed '63 Fleer to one.  Six of the remaining needs arrived from Michigan today. 

These guys are everything you'd ever want out of a good card dealer.  Quality cards at good prices, and excellent service every time.

And above all that, when I met them in person a while ago, it didn't take long until I felt like I'd known them for years.  Couple of warm and friendly guys that know their vintage cards and always have beautiful stuff at prices usually below what I expect to pay.  Go see them at their regular setup at the Redford monthly show if you're in the Detroit area.

Here's the Fleers....

Cards #1 and 2 of the set feature a couple Orioles.  This set's centering is all over the place, but these are pretty decent.  Tommy Davis is happy to be here.  He may get upgraded at some point.

A real nice Bobby Richardson.  Sharp and well centered.  Exactly what you look for in this set, and typical of what Marv and Jay offer.

Actually one of the big guns in this set, Adcock's card was swapped out of the sheets to make room for the checklist, so he was short printed too.  This one was freed from its plastic grading prison, and I got a good deal compared to other vendors at the same grade.

And finally, the white whale.  The short printed checklist.  Commands three digits even in this condition, which is o/c and has a crease down the length of the player cartoon.  I'm just glad to find one unmarked.

Thanks guys!  I'll be along soon with the next vintage list for ya.  Just let me get all this new stuff put away first!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Striking Gold With Retail A&G

Went to my local Target over the weekend looking for one of those folding tv trays that slides under the couch.  Finally remembered to use the three gift cards I've been carrying around when I found it.  So of course, I had to check the card aisle.

 I was in WalMart before this - no trays and only one blaster of Stadium Club and two A&Gs.  They still might as well get out of the card business.  But I digress...

Target had jumbo packs of Big League (already reviewed extensively elsewhere, so I won't), and these 3-Pack Allen & Ginter hangers with three exclusive gold minis.  If you hold the packages by the bottom seam and shake 'em (gently!) so the packs slide to the top, and then hold them by the sides and let the minis fall to the bottom, you can at least spot who the top one is.  I caught one with a Nationals logo and went for it.

Here's how it came out....

Got that basketball player gal, Kelsey Plum, who reminds me of Michaela Conlin from Bones

Close, anyhow.  Kelsey's cute if you can find her out of uniform, but Michaela is very unique and really pretty.

Also got the weather storm, and the comedian former Eagle guyer I've never heard of.  Decent selection of players, including Thome, Cano, Benny, etc.

Rounding out the base cards, Ol' Honus, "Not Kerry" Wood, and Newk.

I really like the inserts this year.  It's the base set that I'm still not completely sold on.  I feel like I could collect the flagship base set and the A&G inserts and call it a year.  They are definitely created by a completely different team of people than the flagship ones.

Not sure if these qualify for my space binder.  But now that I think about it, they just might.

Mini inserts!

Crossing hobbies with significant postage stamps - I like it.  And the exotic sports goes great with A&G.

My one player mini - an A&G back.  Great player to pull.  Sorry, he's spoken for already.

And finally, the gold minis.  Murph might stick around here.  Glasnow is also outbound already, but if anyone wants Hanley or any of the others, let me know.

I might get bored and build this set later.  I always seem to do A&G in the even years.

Friday, August 10, 2018

High Dollar Duplicate

Though it wasn't as bad as usual, I still ended up with a few dupes after my week long staycation and shop & show tour.

I'm not sure how it happened for this particular card, but it was probably because I had this one in my star binder instead of with the set.  Since it's a combo card and doesn't have a team name up top, I must have missed it when scanning through the binder to account for the rest of the stars for my '64 set.

Anyway, I paid like $50 for it.  It's not centered very well, but is nice otherwise.

Who wants to trade me some major vintage for it?  Would love to do a big star card or group of lesser value stars, but I'll take any combination that equals around what I paid for it.  Not talking book value here, but a reasonable cost comparison.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

MD, DC, PA Shop Tour Part 4

Our grand finale was a trip to Essex, near Baltimore for the North Point Plaza Flea Market.

There are three vendors there.  Glen usually has some nice off-condition vintage stars, and some other dollar goodies, as well as a lot of local memorabilia and oddballs.  Steve is right next to him and has a large selection of vintage stars, and several huge piles of monster boxes for quarter and dime singles.  Then further back there is another older gentleman who has older Orioles and some other singles.

After the flea market, we made a stop in the Baseball Card Outlet shop just down the road back toward home.  I combined the loot from all four in my photos.

Some shiny Redskins and the Melissa Baker Goodwins from BCOutlet.   XFL inserts, Bo Jacksons, Field Access football, Shiny Mussina, Matusz auto and Michael Jordan relic from Steve.

Also from the BCO shop, a 1975-76 Topps hockey starter for 10¢ each and more shiny Redskins.  Also found some Gridiron Kings inserts and framed base cards in the same box of shiny stuff.  That's the same Bo as in the previous shot.

Almost all my PC guys from the Crown Orioles set (anyone have a Piniella?) along with a few Ted Williams set inserts, a Donruss Champions, 2018 '87s, 1999 Ultra, and 2013 Hometown Heroes inserts.  Also a Mantle Heroes from early 90's Upper Deck, Aaron & Mays Topps reprints, LGonz Piece Of History insert, All Star Access Jetah (love crossing him off my many insert lists), and a Promo version of the Cal E-Motion.  Still need a plain one.  The finest Bryce was just pretty, so I'll put it with the few semi-unique Harpers I have.

Now we get to the older baseball.

A slew of '68's priced by the color of the top loader from BCO.  Clear was 50¢, black $1, etc. or something like that.

'64 stars and commons from the shop and Glen.  He puts the high book price on the big stickers and then charges about 25% of it or less.

I kept picking out sharp '57s even though I have no list for them.  these were only a couple bucks each or so.  Jackson puts me down to seven '63 Fleers, including the Adcock SP and the rare checklist.

Glen also had a crapload of decent '50 Bowmans that were all marked high, but cost me only like $5 each.  The Cubs manager in the center is Frank Frisch.  Tacked on a couple more at the shop.

And finally, the big hits.  Pete Reiser was a card I targeted a while ago.  He was a remarkable player who would have been one of the all time greatest if not for injuries he sustained throughout his career.  He was taken off the field 11 times on a stretcher as a result of playing with such all-out effort that he would crash into walls full speed.  Ebbetts Field was the first ballpark to pad the walls because of him.  Rivaled in skills and talent only by Willie Mays, he just couldn't keep up the pace.  I probably paid full price for it, but I don't mind.

The other hits are player collection additions that were only a couple bucks each.  It's always nice when guys sign their full names instead of the single squiggles you get out of some of these young guys these days.
Garrett is going to an Anderson collector I know.  Mel Ott is one of the 2007 Sweet Spot Classic jerseys I still needed to have them all.  Down to the rare legends on that subset.

Overall, a great finale to my friend's visit.  I should go down there more often.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Leading Ladies Of Sports Broadcasting #8

Somebody tell Greg Zakwin his old favorite is on!

Erin Hawksworth is now a reporter with DC Channel 7 Sports (WJLA Arlington), and appears regularly on FM 106.7 The Fan.

She was previously the World Sports anchor for CNN, and National Sports anchor for Rogers Communications in Canada.  Got her experience in Colorado, Texas, and Boston at local stations.  She graduated from Arizona State University in 2004, after a semester at my alma mater American U in 2003.  It was a few years after I was there, though.

In the interviews, I've seen, she's very professional and prepared.  Doesn't seem like she's being coached or put out there for just set dressing at all.

I was actually surprised about a year ago to see her on our local channel covering the NFL playoffs.  I don't watch the local news, but maybe I should.  I'm not sure if she's the regular sports anchor, or just a field reporter.  Might have to do some follow-up research.

Her brother Blake was a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers.

 As Z has shown many times, she's oh so adorable!

Friday, August 03, 2018

MD, DC, PA Shop Tour Part 3

Found a new (to me) shop near me in New Oxford, PA.  Sports Memorabilia 2K is operated by Derrick and is right along Route 30 next to the Black Shutter Antique shop.  He does a lot with box breaks and high end hits, but we came away with some nice cards from a lot of different eras.

Found a couple Redskins hits, Fleer Team Action and ProLines for sets.  He had some junk wax football under the table, including a box full of my favorite Pro Set.  Should have just taken the whole box, but I picked out singles to complete my 1991 set.

Then things ramped up a bit.

Killed one Cal Ripken set with the award presentation card, and picked up another different set from Fleer for a few bucks.  The Lajoie is an '87 Hygrade insert.  The '71 football and the two Score inserts were from the $1/$2 box, as was the Fisk mini.  He had some jerseys and autos for nice prices, so I got two Darrell Green swatches (he doesn't have many hit cards), and a Tiant auto from last year's Archives I didn't have.  The Priest Holmes autos were half off...of two bucks each.  So ironically, the Score inserts were actually more than the autographs.

The last item was intriguing.  From the back, they look like regular 1982 baseball....

But the fronts are sorta like the printing sequence presented in steps.

Not sure if these are just print scraps or proof sheets of some kind, but either way they are a unique addition to my DeCinces player collection.

I'll definitely be visiting SM2K again in the near future.