Thursday, February 15, 2024

A Relatively Minor Purchase

A couple weeks ago, while I was browsing the forums on the TCDB, I stumbled upon a thread that asked where some collectors get their minor league cards from.  As a player collector of about 60 different guys, I have a significant list of minor league issues - mostly managers for the guys I'm looking for.  I see them on COMC and a few other places, but a lot of them are prohibitively expensive.  Sometimes you have to buy a whole team set to get one card, but I'm not doing that.

One respondent listed a couple sites that he had found.  It included  I checked it out immediately.

The site is searchable and soon I had plugged in most of my player collection list.  I came up with 14 items from five different players.  GSC's inventory is pretty good, but seems limited to the 2000's for the most part.  Which is understandable, since most collectors want current players and the latest things.  And it would probably be unmanageable to keep team sets back to the 80's unless you had a vast warehouse.

I got my order quickly and it was packaged very well.  Even included a little sticker with the website logo.

So here are the cards I got.  I scanned front and back.  (Which only took about 40 seconds with my scanner).  None of these was more than $3 apiece on the site.  I'm pleased.

Included are some playing day images so you know who these guys are.  This post is pretty lengthy will all the images.  On a regular screen, vertical fronts & backs will be side by side.  Not sure on a phone...sorry.

 Joe Ferguson played for the Dodgers and Astros.  Those unis - most excellent.


 Bud Harrelson played and managed for the Mets most of his career.  I have a few team issued cards of him as manager that I think of as minor league, but they're not.


Sparky Lyle pitched for the Red Sox, Yankees and Phillies.  Late in his career, he grew his signature mustache.

Cesar Cedeno started with the Astros and ended with the Reds.  Then apparently he came back to the Astros.


Grant Jackson debuted on that famous short printed card for the Phillies in 1966 and went on to pitch for the Orioles, Pirates, Yankees, and maybe Mariners, or not.  I do have a few of his minor league issues before this one.

I bet you won't see this many minor league cards on another blog this week.

Check out if you're in the market for any minor league player since the Milennium or so.

Wednesday, February 07, 2024

View From The Club Level - Part 2

Continuing the previous post on my four "compact" boxes of 2023 Stadium Club.

Box #3 begins with an exclusive purple foil parallel.  Lee looks like this game is with the knuckleballer and he's not looking forward to it...

Another Oriole parallel - though I'm not familiar with Mr. Hall.  This looks like a chrome, but doesn't have the logo.  It's a little different....

Ah, OK.  Rainbow foilboard numbered out of 25.  That explains it.

Cool signed shot of Michael Grove for the Dodgers.  I think much of the appeal of Stadium Club photography is the wide angles.  It focuses on the atmosphere and not just the player himself.  Shades of 1973 Topps vs. the previous years.

The remainder of Box #3.  My only player collection hit was Keith Hernandez.  Still need pairs of Bo Jackson, Carlton Fisk, and Jim Palmer, plus all the parallels.  Got Bench and Brandon Crawford in red, as well as the Ohtani CPF insert, which was the first card that is already spoken for as I figured.  Black Burnes, Verlander CFP (regular), and Harper VV fill out the rest.

Last box.  There's that Burnes guy again.  This time it's the orange chrome refractor...

...out of 99.  This was the highest serial number of anything I pulled.

Another Orioles highlight (and keeper), a Beam Team Gunnar Henderson.  This may be my only representation of his rookie cards besides A&G.  And I won't bother trying to complete the Beam Teams either.  I've still got a few sets going from previous years.

And here is the rest of Box #4.  Wait, where's the autograph you say?  Well, I guess they're not necessarily guaranteed.  No last pack mojo in this one.  The next box probably has my Ripken auto in it.  

Betts CFP and O'Neill Cruz VV were the inserts.  And this one had red Bregman, Mitchell, and Jose Ramirez.  Jose also showed up in black.  And you saw Mitchell in a previous box in black as well.  Josh Smith was the second purple foil.  And I didn't realize it from the first one, but...

...They are numbered too!

Overall, I'd say these are a fun rip.  I can't speak to the value you get.  Don't know if I should really be disappointed about not getting a fourth auto.  And I wasn't too worried about getting enough of the inserts to be able to finish them either.  So I'm happy with what there is.  The only other factor will be collation.  Let's sort 'em out and see....

I didn't notice a lot of duplication until I got to the third box.  And even then it didn't seem like a lot.  I knew there were three of a few players.  Once I sorted them by numbers, it looked like there would be a significant number of dupes in the first 100.  And the 100's looked the weakest as far as set completion.

Sorting them down to tens filtered out the dupes.  I did have a handful of triples.  That's kinda weird when you consider I would be completely missing so many but get three of a few.  But the overall ratio of redundant cards is very low.  I'm pretty sure my dealer pulls them out of the case in a manner to reduce getting the same box twice, so that may contribute.  Either way, the collation is pretty good.  Only about 20-25% duplication.  And the inserts were pretty much all different, which is nice.

I'm going to put up my wants to my original trading group first, since I've neglected them after jumping in deep on the TCDB.  Then I will open up trading to bloggers and readers and Database members.  I'm really only after the base set and hope to get lucky with a few of my PC guys' parallels along the way.  And if it gets really intense, maybe finagle an auto of someone I know or a few more Oriole inserts.

Thanks for checking out my break!

Sunday, February 04, 2024

Went To The Club, But Didn't Know Many People There

Made a rather spontaneous purchase this past week.  As you know if you've read me more than twice, I gave up most new products a couple years ago.  On top of that, my baseball game viewing dropped to practically zero as well.  I couldn't justify the rising costs of building sets of players that I no longer recognize.  Especially when the price of a box calculates to more than a dollar a card when divided evenly.

Well, I threw a lot of that out the window when I came across the listing for 2023 Stadium Club on my favorite dealer's website.  There were Hobby boxes for $149 with two autos and the usual number of parallels and tough-to-complete inserts.  

Now to me, I figure I'm pulling two rookie autos that I've never heard of.  So, a basic auto is worth $5 in my mind.  Take double that off the price of the box and you're left with $129.  There are 128 total cards in the box (16 x 8), so it's about a buck a shot.  Granted, it's possible to get lucky and pull a great auto, but I'm never that optimistic.  

The other choice was the "Compact" box which is basically half a Hobby box.  One auto and most of the parallels & inserts that I don't care that much about.  Price was $69 at this dealer, which was about ten bucks less than the big name sites.  Two of these was less than a single hobby box.  Still right around a buck a base card, but they're nice looking this year....


I kept thinking that was Bryce Harper on the 'cover', but it's Acuña...

When I got them in hand, I learned why they called them compact.  They're practically blaster boxes, since they're 8 packs of 8 cards, but of course, they aren't charging $20 for them.

Cut the cellophane and pull the lid back, and you might think they're empty...

But the inner flap reveals the packs in the bottom.

There really are eight, even though my photo looks like seven.  Let's dive in!

First card - Nolan Jones from Colorado.  If he didn't have a glove, I'd have said he was a cyclist or something.

First pack mojo!  Pulled a Jeter Chrome and a red Canseco.  It's always a win whenever I pull Jeets from a pack.  And in the last year or so, it's actually happening.  Used to be he was the last card I needed for base sets and inserts every time. 

The rest of the pack just for fun.  Nice pack - Johnny Bench is great, and Mullins is my favorite Oriole when I'm paying attention.  I've heard people say that Gorman is a decent rookie too.

Later packs revealed some other interesting ones, like this black & white Joe Ryan.  Not knocking Joe, but would have been even better if it was that other Ryan guy who pitched for Texas....

This was a nice one too.  If you don't know, these Triumvirates are sets of three interlocking inserts.  Usually team-themed, but not always.  I saw a YouTube break where they pulled this one.

And the "hit(?)" of the box, Cal Stevenson auto.  Maybe Fuji knows who this guy is.... Like I said, I wasn't expecting much out of the autos.  All my autos were in the last pack, except in the last box.  Stay tuned for more on that.

Here's Box #1's featured contents.  Black Mauer, VV Riley and Cole CFP round it out.

This post is gonna be long, so I'll split it for Box #3 and 4....On to #2!

Hey! that sorta looks familiar!  Wait a second....

Ha HA!  Nice!  Ok, who's the third Mariner?  Julio Rodriguez....Hmm, not who I would have thought.   Oh well.

But wait, there's more!  Bright orange Willie Mays.  Flip it over...

Usually I would say parallel inserts are a pain.  But a Willie Mays isn't a bad thing.  

Once again in the last pack, Mr. Woods-Richardson.  (shrug).

And the rest of Box #2.  Red Wright, Gorman and Mullins (my parallels seemed to repeat player a lot throughout these boxes.)  Black Mitchell, Chromey Ripken is a keeper, and the Liberatore is a Refractor flavor.  Alvarez CFP and Tatis VV are the inserts.

Let's take a break right here and jump into Box #3 next time....