Monday, December 30, 2019

Mislabeled Or Masterful Marketing?

Seen in a local used bookstore in late November or so...

As most of us collectors would, I was drawn to the bobbleheads and autographed books in this section.  I come in to the store a lot, so I hadn't really seen this part before.  They must have just moved this stuff here.  Which is evidenced by the tag on the shelf.

No correction necessary, really.  Don't you agree?

Friday, December 27, 2019

Odd 'Lots From The Ballpark

The second seller on SportLots that I bought from was called Ballpark.  I started the same way as last time - with Target Dodgers of my player collection guys.

Still missing Dusty Baker, Cesar Cedeno, Ron Fairly, Manny Mota, and Pete Richert.

Picked up one of the last remaining PCs from the 1990 Pacific Legends set - the aforementioned Baker.

Keeping with the (former) Dodger theme, the oddball Keebler Claude Osteen was something I'd never seen before.  Similar to the Target effort, this is a 446 card set of All Time Texas Rangers created in 1993.  Searched thru the checklist and found several other guys I will be looking for.

Campaneris still chugging along ten years after his World Series dominance with the A's.  Always nice to find cheap minor league cards.  I have a huge list, but usually only find them listed for several dollars. This one was around a quarter.

Continuing with the more obscure items, comes these four Dell Today's Team stamps frpm 1971.  Though the Torre was listed as a Dell and the others were referred to as "MLB Official Stamps".  They're apparently the same thing.  Noted by the color tinted logos on the back, these differ from the Topps Photostamps of '69 and '70 in that the backs of those have a strip to apply adhesive and no names or bio information.  I usually balk at flimsy, small sized items like these, but have run into them cheaply enough that I'll sacrifice the slot in the 9-pocket sheet for them.

'85 Police Brewers Coop.  Wacky thing about these is, there are a series for each of the police departments (and corresponding sponsors) in the greater Milwaukee area, so effectively, there are 64 variations of each card.  This one is Winneconne PD, which is about 100 miles northwest from the middle of downtown Milwaukee.  Not sure I'll be going after all the variations.  Unless someone from that area has thirty or forty different ones for trade.

And rounding out the baseball portion of our program, this unfortunately print-lined, and subsequently free Dave Kingman is a 1976 SportsTix.  It's basically a sticker with just the plain manila backing.  According to the Database, these come in a round and octagonal configuration too.  Same checklist of ten star (but not superstar) players, with bonus A, B, and C of Mays, Clemente, and Mantle respectively.  I submitted this as the only image for the square variety on the Database.

My first card from the Heisman set from 1991 (through 1993) issued in groups of 21 per year.  Weird thing is, they're skip numbered.  The master set is composed of 58 base cards, three cover or title cards, three "HCC" inserts, and three ad cards.  Bo is one of the ads, so I'm still wanting that one.

The other football entry is a Fleer sticker that came with the Team Action cards from 1983.  this finished up the sticker set for that year.

And finally, this Canadian credit card looking thing with the two Caps stars on the front.  Nifty addition to my team set collections.

Three items on this list were more than 50¢, and the Kingman was 100% off of 2.49, so that made up for the extra expense.  The whole order was less than $15 shipped.  This is why I love SportLots.  Most of these would have been way more on COMC.  But there are things that you can only get (or only want to get since you can see them) on COMC too.  Have a few of them coming soon too.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Ghosts Of Christmas Past

Inspired by Jon's post over on A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts, here's some of my Christmas memories.

My first Christmas in 1967 was a joyous one.  I was decked out in a junior size Santa suit and was reveling in the festive occasion.

From what I'm told my enthusiasm continued as I was buried in wrapping paper, which I then ate in some quantity as little kids are prone to do.  The end result was not so pleasant.

Also found this picture of me and my neighborhood friends of grade school age.

I do remember that dragster, (and the turtleneck shirt for that matter).  My less fashionably fortunate friend Earl and his younger sister Lisa are flanked by my next door neighbors Cindy and Jennifer.  Not actually sure who's house we're in.

Moving up a decade or so, here is the only trading card related entry in this post.  I've been slacking on my Collector's Log posts, so I'll spoil this one by jumping ahead to October.

"October 30 - Went to the first dealer I ever shopped at (in his second venue)....Found a Palmer rookie for ten bucks (!) but Mom said she doesn't trust Steve and I should sell my cards."

That proved to be a total hoax when one of these showed up in December of '82:

Pretty much the only significant Christmas present cards I've had.  And I'm OK with that.  Because unless your family collects, or you teach them the finer details, you end up with things like 1992 Score factory sets.  (Happened to me).

But my best tradition started in 2007, when I got Paisley.  She was the star of my christmas greeting cards every year until her passing in 2016.  I photoshopped her into all kinds of silly situations.  The results were always well received.  People would ask me in the middle of the year what the theme of the next year's card was going to be.  I generally wouldn't know until a week or two before the holiday.  Here are some of the best images from those cards:




She was always a good sport during the photo shoots.  Since she passed, I haven't seen the point of sending greeting cards.  They'd just be so pedestrian.

Hope your holidays are happily spent with family and friends, and you get plenty of cardboard to post about in the coming weeks!  Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

It's No Secret, Billy Is A Killer!

When Billy Kingsley of Cardboard History showed his Secret Santa package on the way out, it looked familiar to me because I had just taken a photo of it myself after pulling it out of my mailbox!

Now you get to see what was inside!

Two nicely wrapped stacks, complete with the proper tape job.  Note says "I am your Secret Santa this year.  Sorry it took so long to arrive. I had to wait for COMC!  Hope you enjoy!"

"Took so long"?  Dude, don't be sorry, it arrived before the 20th!  It's all good!  :)

So let's unwrap 'em and see what "Santa" brought...

The Strasburg that you can see in the package photo.  Cool card of the WS MVP for sure.

Some more recent World Champions from Washington!  Spanning the ages from the current guys (and some recently departed), back to the old school guys from the early 90's.

First set killer!  The final Topps AAF card for the base set and one of my top wants.  Not sure why this dude was so elusive, but so glad to have it.  AAF cards have been surprisingly scarce at shows.  Now just have to find the inserts!

Bam! Bam!  Two more shots to the top wants list!  A couple New York fellows from 1998 Donruss (actually a base card), and the blue version of Mr. All Rise.  Both also set killers.  Sweet!  I've got a whole mess of Jeter singles on my lists, but they're so hard to find, even in a batch of nothing but Jeters.

And rounding out the most wanteds, the last box topper from 2016 A&G, Big Papi.  Wonder if he found another job yet?

And finally, probably the coolest cards in the package, but not unexpected considering the source.  These World Of Wheels are really fascinating.  I especially like the '53 Chrysler.  That era is my favorite right now.  I look at listings for early '50s Pontiacs, DeSotos, and Cadillacs all the time.  Might have to peruse the listings on this set to see if I should go after a bunch (or the whole set?).

Thanks a lot, Billy!  Couldn't have asked for better selections, and the cars were a nice signature touch!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Wait For The Reindeer

Happens every year.  I get to Thanksgiving and Black Friday and think "I should get a jump on Christmas shopping before November ends."  And every year it ends up being December 12th when I'm still saying that to myself.

Worst part is, I only shop for a handful of people.  Finally started last week and I'm still not close to done.  Though I did ship out my Secret Santa a while ago and wrapped a couple more stacks for another couple guys I'm trying to recruit into the hobby.  The card stuff is easy, but the rest of this Christmas thing is hard.  And I don't even decorate the house either.

And between Christmas prep, Fantasy Football playoffs (which I messed up), and some side work that happened, blogging has come to a screeching halt. 

I've got my Secret Santa loot and the second SportLots purchase to post about, and still haven't started my series on trade batches.  I just can't seem to keep it all in my mind long enough to sit down and hammer it out.  But it will come eventually.  Probably the last couple days before the 25th.  So as I always say, Stay Tuned!

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Hey Moe!

Just watched an interesting movie that is somewhat related to baseball, but didn't show as much of that as it could have.  And that would have made it better.

The Catcher Was A Spy is about Morris "Moe" Berg, the player with the not-quite-illustrious 15 year career who went on to play an historic role in World War II against Nazi Germany.  I'd have put the trailer here, but it's one of those where they hack the dialogue so much that it doesn't match the action and completely misleads about the movie.

A pretty high powered cast portrays the story of the enigmatic Berg transitioning from his playing days into the OSS using his Stanford studies in languages to find the head of the Nazi version of the Manhattan Project to see if they are close to developing The Bomb.  Unfortunately, the movie works so hard to show how unusual Berg was that we don't really get enough of any one facet - or in some cases too much.  Brief glimpses of his playing days with Ruth, Gehrig, Cronin, and the like are glossed over in favor of scenes where you're never sure if his private relationships are for real or not - and therefore they lose impact or distort the story.  For what you get in an hour and a half, a full two hours may have been an improvement.  You get the idea that he is fluent in several languages, but not much else of his expertise.  He's probably a little rougher in real life, but Paul Rudd is so All-American boy that the edginess is lost. 

When I heard about the story, I looked up his cards (of course).  There aren't many, but there are a few that mention his "other interests".

This '33 Goudey (image from the internet) is his first. 

I like this Play Ball from 1940.  Though looking up actual sales sites, any of these appear to be three crooked numbers in price, so I don't know that I'll be picking one up at the next show.

He was a fascinating character, though he wasn't going to win any awards on the diamond.  And neither is the movie about his exploits.  Which is too bad.  Apparently, the book is much better.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Stocking Up On Odd 'Lots

Got a hankerin' the other night for card shopping, so I got on SportLots.  Something got me started on the Target Dodgers set and my player collection guys. These are slightly larger than normal minis, but not quite full card size, so they'll have to live in the standard nine-pockets.

I found a few sellers that each had some of the ones I was looking for.  Upon further searching of their inventories, I ended up with a big 110 card order, and a smaller one of only 18.

This post is the big order.

It's been raining for a few days straight, and the outside of the envelope was damp, but only the packing list sheets were affected.  Everything else was wrapped up nicely.

I got some oddball sized things that were in a large toploader and two stackes in snap boxes wrapped in bubble.  Interesting tape ~ was almost like butcher tape, but peeled off easily like painter's tape, so mission accomplished.

As you can see, I knocked off several 1980 SSPC, better known as Baseball Immortals.  Some of these pictures are spooky.  You'll pardon the harsh lighting, I was being lazy and photographing these batches with my phone instead of scanning.  I can NOT take a picture of cards in my house without shadows or stupid reflections.  Just can't be done.

Continuing with the bi-colored '75ish designs of nothing but HOF'ers, I completed my Home Run Heroes (Big League Chew).  This is 2/3 of the set.

Some other insert hits, including 2005 Heritage, 2008 A&G United States, 1999 Fleer Tradition Going Yard (which are now done), 1998 Donruss Dominator, and 1997 InterLeague Matchup.

My one lone golf find ~ 2002 Upper Deck Pin Seeker.

Football set hits start with 1996 Ultra, which I just put in a binder along with the Sensations set I'm building along side them.  A couple other Elways, from '97 Playoff First & Ten, and the 2000 Fleer Greats Retrospections.  The black ones are 2008 Mayo with the last Super Bowl card I needed.  Have to verify whether Young is the only set hit here, or if I already have the other boys in my Redskins.

Got a 1999 Topps jumbo Fred Taylor - Rice shown for size comparison.

Spotted these TCMA Redskins too.  They also come in "missing number" varieties.  Seller had three Redskins listed, but the third guy is shown on the card as a Steeler...

Anybody need Billy Wells?  He actually did play for Washington in '54 thru '56, but this card is all about '57.  He was a running back, but more accomplished as a return man.  Had did have a run of 88 yards in his first season.

Knocked out a whole bunch of the other Washington vintage-ish collection.  Some are O-Pee-Chee and some are Topps, a couple instances of both.  Those "helmet" stickers come in two flavors with the numbers and the logo swapping places.

Back to my baseball player collections, most of these are fairly common, except that Gatorade Julio Franco, and the Heritage Livan is a short print.  That one was the costliest card in this batch at over $4.  The Silver Press Proofs were over a buck, (as were the Ruth and a Palmer I'll show in a minute), but most of the other stuff was a quarter or less.

More parallels and oddballs.  The Guidry is an Original Back from 2011, the Targets from above, Agfa Palmer that I mentioned, TCMA All Time A's Tenace, Fairly is also TCMA from 1980, celebrating the 1959 squad.  And the Claytons are all parallels ~ Fleer Tiffany, 40-Man Electric, and UD Gold...

Some of the oddest ones were of Carlton Fisk. 

I hadn't even listed the Fleer mini or the All-American team card.  I only had one of the Coke White Sox police-sized on my wants, but found three (the one with the crossed bats is the third.)  And I had seen King B discs in the book, but haven't gone through to see who else is in there.  These are capped off by the blue parallel version of his 2019 150th Greatest Players card.

The other batch has some more of the Target Dodgers and several more oddballs too.