Friday, October 20, 2023

2023 Ginter - Box 3: Not A Rainstorm, But It Is A Little Muddy

And now the third and final box of 2023 Allen & Ginter.  If I said I was disappointed in this one, it would make it sound like it was a bad box - it really wasn't.  Though the hits aren't nearly as exciting as the other two rips, I'm never just about the hits.  I ended up with a complete base set (except for Bo Jackson who went to my PC as I mentioned.) and I recognized a lot of them came from this box.  And I got a minimal but beneficial amount of duplicate inserts to trade.

Vladimir Junior leads us off.  Wouldn't have minded an Only In... or an N43 just to mix things up.

This guy's decent, right?  Silver bordered Fiddle-Dee-Dee, or whatever they're called.  (Crappy crop job ~ sorry.)

More cool minis.  I really wish those Rarest of the Diamond ones weren't so rare.  Those are the best insert in the set this year.  I'm not doing the World of Wonders because that concept has been used several times already, but Yosemite is one of the coolest places I've ever been so that one will stay here somewhere.  The food ones are educational since I've never heard of most of the dishes, but unless they were scratch-and-sniff, I'm not really into them.

Here's the rest.  I got three of the nice black minis, including Strasburg.  And like I said, I filled out some more of the inserts.  The hits, however...

Not white swatches at least. 
Craig's kid is neat. 
The auto is apparently the guy who supplies Major League Baseball teams with the mud that the equipment guys rub down the new baseballs with.  I mean, that's a cool thing and would make a great Ginter insert,....but a hit?  *shrug*

So once I sorted out my base set, I stacked 'em up to see how the collation is.  I'd say pretty darn good!  The right hand pile is dupes from all three boxes.

And this is the comparison of short prints to base cards.  

The difference this year is that the SP's start at 301 like they always do, but for 2023, they go all the way to #400.  And there are many players that are duplicated between the base and SP's.  They are different poses/colors, etc. but the same player depicted.  Not sure I mind that, but it'll cause a little confustion for some if they're looking for the SP of a guy and haven't seen the base card.  Now you have to pay close attention to the numbers.

This last box didn't end my Ginter rip with a thud, but it brought it in with a safe, smooth landing.  Looking forward to trading and filling in my insert wants.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Ginter Gap Cards #3: Had To Do It

I was hoping to whip this up in a couple hours tonight just so I could break up the last two A&G box posts.  But image editing with a program from 1992 just takes a lot of time.  Plus I was starting from scratch since this subject has to be in the 2023 Ginter design instead of last year's, which I already had the templates made up for.

From what I've (briefly) read, the most popular couple nickname for Travis Kelce & Taylor Swift is "Traylor".  But that was just one article.  I kinda like mine - pronounced "tray kay and tay tay".  

Now I'm a metal head from the 80's so I'll never consider myself a Swiftie at any point.  I don't know a lot of her songs, but she's geniunely and extremely adorable.  Kelce seems like a bit of a frat boy, but he's goofy too, so I wish them well.  There are hardly any good shots of the two of them together yet, so I had to fake it with these two images.  Does it look legit?

This 2023 design is tough to piece together.  I took Max Scherzer's card (since he had the nice light colors) and eliminated his picture.  Then I extended the upper background all the way across to make it easy to paste on top of it.  But then I realized I had to separate the bottom half and make that so it would paste on top of the photo.  Took some liberties with the edges, so they differ from the original.  The name section is a bit narrow, but I'm rolling with it.

One of these days I'll learn PhotoShop for real and be able to manipulate layers much better and also make the photos look more like drawings so they blend better.

Friday, October 13, 2023

2023 Ginter - Box 2: Judgement And Freedom

Box number two of three in my foray into 2023 Allen & Ginter.  Another decent outcome.  Let's jump in...

The Tawpa is Da Hawpa!

I really like these Only In... minis.  Hopefully they're not scarce at shows.

Another Filigree parallel.  No idea who this dude is.  I assure you the bottom edge of this card is in fact straight.

A nice box overall.  Two black minis this time.  And the majority of the inserts were different.  That's always a big deal.  Charm City Cards picks their boxes the right way out of the case.  I haven't had problems with the same stuff out of two boxes from them ever.

I see you spying the hits!  Pretty good names even though I had no clue about Olson until someone told me he led the majors in home runs.  (I just don't watch...)

The biggest name comes on the smallest card.  (Though I might say Pedro is more significant to me).

These mini relics are just classic this year.  If it didn't involve Ohtani, Trout, A-Rod (twice), Jeter, Ichiro, KG Jr., and a few others I'd never find under three digits, I might try for these. 

The Rip card face design is intricate enough that I missed the 16/99 serial number above "Keep It" until after I opened it.  Here's the initial stages of the edge cut.  I slipped a couple times and came through the front.  Still better than shredding the front or back face of the card.

Peek-a-boo!  Tip #2 ~ don't push the blade in so far that you hit the edge of the mini inside.  No damage done, but it was close.  The (slightly fuzzy) photo gives you an idea of the depth of the middle layers. 

And inside....?


Teddy Ballgame!

Nothing earth-shattering, but nicer than a lot of what I could have pulled.  Regular higher-than-high number exclusive.  An appropriate prize inside a Pedro card.

The Judge relic isn't going to last long enough to take offers here, and Olson is likely spoken for too.  I'll have all my player minis available and some extra inserts.

Last box will bring us full circle or my name is Mudd....

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Jumping Into '62

With the completion of 1964 Topps, my next set build is 1962 Topps.  Both sets (and some '63's) started with the same bargain lot I got at a shop in western Maryland a few years ago.  I got over 300 cards for a net price of about 7¢ each that day.  No big stars, but a nice starter lot for all three sets. 

Earlier, I mentioned my official start in on the classic wood bordered cards.  I sure ended up with a lot of them by the end of my vacation.  

After that, the bulk of these were obtained at the National.  As before, these are grouped by vendor, but not in great detail in most cases.

Curious that the bright red price tags scan just off white.  Anyway, these are typical of my starter lot.  Not pristine, but not too bad.  The Win Leaders is a little more crooked than I like, but for $2 instead of two or three times that...sure.

Some good names here.  The first checklist is the error flavor, with numbers starting at 121 on the back instead of 34.  Santo is a little rounded, but $8 isn't bad in Chicago.  Sometimes I buy certain ones a little too fast.  I think the Musial and World Series are good discounts.

Even better discounts on these.  They're from the "Half Price Wooden Box" I mentioned in the previous vintage post.  $3 Team cards and World Series?  All day....

Also from there, a Billy Martin for seven and a half.  Again, fits right in with my set.

And inevitably, between those two batches, I ended up with two of the same checklist.  This time the 3rd Series variety, which has some variants too.

Both of these are the "with comma" version, denoting itself at card 192.  There is another version without the comma.  But there's more...

On yet another copy I got elsewhere, the black shadow appears to overlap the white panel (error on left), and behind it properly (on right). 

Moving on, some more stars at nice prices.  All of which are about half of what you'll typically find these in this condition on sale for.

A few heavy hitters from my pal Marv.  He just sent me a huge lot of '62's from his stock that I hadn't found, including some massive stars.  You'll have to wait for those.  They'll be the nicest ones yet.  I do like that Mathews a lot, though.

Big Bad Bambino.  From the big holder with the marker price, it feels like this one was on the 80% off table I hit at the National, but I might be wrong.  Could have just been half price.  There are several on COMC right now at about $10-15 in slightly worse condition.

For the flourish at the end - these are all from the same dealer on the last day we were at the National.  All of them were a dollar a shot.  Mostly commons, but a lot of rookies.  I pulled out some of the more well known names.  Not bad for team cards and minor All-Stars, eh?  I got both the regular and green tint samples of Mr. Drake up in the corner.  I won't be persuing all the green tints, they're too hard to distinguish most of the time.

All these got me down to 276 cards needed out of 598.  Marv is about to cut that down another 30-40%.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 07, 2023

2023 Ginter - Box 1: Diving In, But The Water's Fine

At this point, the only new product I look forward to each year is Allen & Ginter.  Heritage is moving through the iconic 70's, but a lot of that has been preempted by the ever-redundant Archives.  

I got three boxes this year even though I had some reservations about the base design and the insert themes.  But once I got them in hand, I was glad I took the plunge.

First box topper - Mookie Betts.  These aren't bad looking.  I won't be going after the rest of them though.  Hey Night Owl, you don't usually get excited for these, but you got first dibs, of course...

First card Oriole!  Sweet!  Don't really know who he is, but it's nice to pull my favorite team (that I haven't watched at all, even though they're dominating).  Base design was a lot brighter than I expected.  I think the first examples I saw had darker colored backgrounds and the borders didn't show bright white.  They're a little less busy than my initial impression too.

First pack has TWO Oriole rookies.  (Not that I care about rookies ~ don't faint, I know that's sacrilegious in this hobby).  And I appreciate Da Hawpa more than the other rookies in the pack too.

Edmonds mini is an A&G back...  My player minis are generally trade bait.

First hit came about halfway through.  (Most of them showed up in this area in all three boxes.)  Moncada grey swatch....OK....  Kershaw insert.  Those Spotless Spans inserts are nice looking.

Second one came a pack or two later.  (I open packs in layers, not stacks).  This one struck me funny because it appeared in what I called an Avian Hot Pack.  It fell between Hawk Dawson, Chris Fowler, and a Peregrine Falcon.  Gonsolin is also trade bait.  (Mr. Owl....?)  Does that mean he's for the birds?

The last hit was the best - maybe of the whole break as far as I'm concerned.  I PC Carlton Fisk so this one was a "hell yeah!" moment.  I'd have saved that for last, but it shows in the total box shot...

Here's everything from the box sorted out.  Bo base card goes to my PC, so I'll need another.  One each of the Allen, Dessert, and Only In... minis, and one black player mini.  If I knew the players better, I might go for those.  (Though I'm still working on the black ones from 2012 GQ, so unless I find a big lot somewhere...)  Got two of the World of Wonders mins (also too many to chase) and the shiny bordered Filigree base parallels...

A couple great names too!  Only got one of these in the other boxes, so I guess Walker is a bonus.

Yankees and Pirates tend to be spoken for, but I'll detail my extra inserts and minis at the end of the third box rip.  

The next "rip" will be even more interesting.  And continue the team trends so far.

Wednesday, October 04, 2023

50's Vintage From Vacation

I promised to show the rest of my haul from this summer's trip to Michigan shops and the National in Chicago.  Sorry it's taken me a whole additional month to put up, but here ya go.

The bulk of my baseball purchases can be separated into two main parts - Older vintage, including '50 Bowman, '57 Topps and the final card I needed to kill my '64 set, and (because I finished '64, I could jump headlong into...) 1962 Topps.  This is the first part.

I'm really whittling this set down to the big cards.  Which translates to: they keep getting more expensive.  I won't rattle off the prices here, but these were all in holders marked $12.  I don't think that's what I actually paid for them, though.

The higher number ones that I'm still hunting are mostly the "no copyright" variations.  They have no date and company notations on the back.  Luckily they don't generally cost any more for either version.

Moving on to '57, I'll show them in batches grouped by dealer (denoted by different price stickers).  I have no idea of most of the dealers' names or anything.

I've mentioned before that I don't mind paying $3 or a little more for common singles from this year.  They're worth it for their age.  Commons from the 60's shouldn't run above that unless they're high numbers, in my opinion.

Got these from my man Marv who is a local dealer that I know well.  Paid a bit of a premium for these since they're hometown Tigers, but two of them are also the scarcer series.  ('57 high numbers aren't the rare ones, it's the fourth series out of five that are the tough ones.)  And Hoeft was a 20-game winner the previous year.

Found these nice stars for terrific prices at the National.  I don't look for perfection with this set, but decent centering and nice appearance are a must.  Think I got it with this trio.

Hit a bunch of nice ones from this dealer too.  A wide range of prices, but nothing crazy.  My PC guy Willie Jones at lower left.  Most of these are basic poses, but there's something cool about the on-field ones.  They just look different then other years.  Maybe it's the full bleed photo with nothing but text obscuring the image.

Another big batch from another National dealer.  Probably got some discount on these too.  Nice specimens all around.

And finally, this upgrade to Joe Adcock that I got from what I'll call the "Half Price Wooden Box".  You'll see more from the same box/dealer in later posts.  You've already seen a couple football cards from there.  I got quite a variety of cool stuff out of that box.  The dealer had showcases full of graded vintage and one 3-row wooden box with a hinged lid of off-condition cards.  They were marked with the white stickers with red dots and some had notations written in marker.  This one says "wrinkle", but I'll be dipped if I can find one.

See if you can find it.  I looked under the light with a magnifier on both sides and I can't see a flaw.  I mean, it's not Gem Mint Gradeable Perfect, but it's pristine enough for me.

Also from the same source, my first white letter variation from the 1969 set.  I'm not pursuing these, but for $7.50, how could I pass it up?  It's off-center, but I wouldn't call that VG.

Finally, the best purchase I made at the National and really the whole week:

The elusive 1964 Bob Uecker.  I searched and searched for this card before (and the first day or two of) the National and was disappointed nobody had one.  I asked my favorite seller - those of you who have been to a lot of shows already know where this one is from: Uncle Dick - if he had one.  To my delight he had just bought three of them the day before!  I got this one for about 70% less than I had expected based on the online prices I had been seeing.  Getting such a sought-after card from the best dealer around just made it that much more gratifying.

(And then my friend Stuart came running up to me after failing to reach me on my cell phone.  Now I have two....*sigh*)

Next post will be one of the three boxes of 2023 Allen & Ginter I busted, but after that get ready for wood grain borders ~ and not those damn '87's either....