Thursday, February 28, 2019

You get what you pay for.

A few years back I purchased a 1987 Topps set from a seller at a card shop for $3.88. Great deal, right? The Barry Bonds and Bo Jackson we in top loaders on top of the cards in the 800 count box, so I assumed it was a complete set. I was wrong.

I've been binge listening to a baseball card podcast called Wax Ecstatic. On Twitter, you can find him @WaxAndGumStains. Matt, that runs the podcast, started off by devoting a podacast to a single card from each set 1980 - the early 1990's. So one for 1980 Topps, then one for 1981 Topps, 1981 Donruss, 1981 Fleer, 1982 Topps, 1982 Donruss, 1982 Fleer and so forth. I think most bloggers would enjoy listening. Go check it out!

Recently I listened to the 1987 Topps episode and so I was inspired to page my 1987 Topps set. That's when I found out that it wasn't a complete set. I'm missing 37 cards.

If you can help me out, let me know. Thanks!

42, 47, 70, 80, 96, 116, 142, 158, 165, 166, 168, 182, 194, 204, 215, 219, 254, 275, 278, 281, 316, 318, 341, 371, 372, 384, 420, 423, 453, 463, 541, 545, 571, 586, 726, 726, 766.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

I've been duped and a potential contest idea

Yesterday, when I said I'll buy any HOF RC for $5 I meant it. Even if I already have it. The third and final card from my recent Facebook purchase was this 1978 Topps Eddie Murray rookie card. I got it for $5. I realized later that I already have one. Whoops!

At some point I'll need to run a contest to give this away. I also have another card that I will probably end up offering as prize. It's in rough shape. Really rough shape, but it is a second third year card of a Hall of Famer from 1956 Topps. I won't give away the player, but with those clues there are only a few possibilities. ***I realized when I read Collecting Cutch's comment that I must have put the wrong information down, because  Clemente's RC is 1955 and the player on the card that I have has a 1954 rookie card. Sorry about that, it is not Clemente.***

I'm thinking about coming up with a list of blog post topics and giving everyone a couple of weeks to post and then randomizing a winner out of all the participants. What do you think about that? Would anyone be interested?

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

I'll buy an vintage HOF RC for $5

From the same Facebook seller that I mentioned yesterday, I got this 1977 Topps Andre Dawson rookie card. It's miscut and a little soft on the corners, but that's okay with me. For $5 I can deal with the soft corners and bad centering.

I'll gladly add a vintage Hall of Fame rookie card to my collection for $5 or less.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Is anyone going to break the all-time home run record?

I made another purchase off Facebook recently for some vintage cards. This one turned out okay, but had some hiccups along the way.

I bought the cards on a Saturday and the seller sent me a picture of the envelope the same day saying "In the mail.", so I expected the package by mid-week. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday...nothing. I messaged the seller asking him when he sent the package. he said he sent it on Monday, but because of the winter storms it might have been delayed. It got here the next Tuesday. Okay, no big deal. Just don't tell me it's in the mail, if it's not in the mail.

When it arrived I found the three cards in top loaders, but only two in penny sleeves. The seller had taped them together using Scotch tape, but only on the sides, so one of the cards was sliding out of the top loader. The cards weren't in great shape to begin with, but come on!

Luckily the cards didn't seem to have any damage from shipping. Like I said, they weren't in great shape to begin with, but for vintage I'm okay with that.

Here's the card that was half an inch out of the top loader, not in a penny sleeve when it arrived. It's a 1975 Topps '74 Highlights card featuring Hank Aaron. It's card #1 and chronicles April 8, 1974 when Aaron broke the all-time home run record.

Hank would finish his career with 755 home runs. A number that I know by heart. The current home run record is 762. I had to look that up. Anyone out there think anyone will ever break that record? Pujols, at 38 years old has 633 homers going into this season. He needs 130 home runs to break the record. Over the past 3 seasons Pujols has averaged 24 home runs. This means he would need to play another 5 and a half seasons at the same home run pace to break the record. I don't see that happening.

Miguel Cabrera is the next highest active player on the all-time home run list. He's 35 with 465 home runs currently. No way he breaks the record. He may not even reach 500.

Edwin Encarnacion is the next highest active player on the list with 380. That was surprising.

Giancarlo Stanton has gotten a lot of talk as the guy who might be able to break the record, but most of this took place during or right after the 2017 season when he hit 59 home runs. Last year he hit 38 home runs. He's 29 years old with 305 career homers. He would need to average 30 home runs for the next 15 seasons to break the record. Is it possible...yes. Likely, No.

What do you think? Is anyone currently playing going to break the home run record?

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Let's finish this!

Okay, let's finally finish off the vintage New York Yankees 12 card lot that I paid $40 for from a Facebook group back in December. The last three cards are all the same card.

It's a 1976 Topps All Time All Stars card of Lou Gehrig. Here is the back.

If he's gotten a few more at bats in 1923 and 1924 or of course if he hadn't gotten sick, Gehrig would be in the 500 home run and 3,000 hit clubs.

Okay, so let's recap the 12 card lot. The 3 above and these 9 cards for $40 shipped. How'd I do?

Saturday, February 23, 2019

How many 9 time all-stars are not in the Hall of Fame?

At least one. If you can think of another, let me know. Now before anyone calls me out I realize that for a period of time there were two all-star games in a season, but Howard had 9 all-star seasons and 12 all-star games.

If my math is right, Elston Howard would have turned 90 years old today.

Elston Howard had an amazing baseball career. He debuted with the New York Yankees in April of 1955. 9 All-Star appearances, 6 World Series Championships, and an A.L. MVP Award later and he retired after 16 and a half seasons with the Yankees and 1 and a half seasons with the Red Sox.

In addition to being the first African American ballplayer on the New York Yankees, Howard is also credited with creating two other baseball traditions. It was Howard that started indicating that there were two outs in the inning by raising his index and pinky fingers. He also invented the baseball doughnut. Pretty crazy that one person is responsible for two famous baseball traditions.

I have Ellie's 1955 Bowman rookie card. I don't remember exactly when or where I got it from, but it was within the last year or two. It's in really rough shape, but I love it! Even though the card is falling apart the picture of Howard is pretty much intact.

These other two cards came from that vintage New York Yankees lot I picked up on eBay a few months back.

The 1958 Topps card is not only off centered but has creases throughout and a pinhole top center. I Still love it!

This 1965 Topps cards featuring Howard as one of the 1964 American League Batting Leaders is not mint, but is in much better shape than the 1958 or 1955 card.

Not many catchers hit above .300 consistently. I can think of a few, but not many. Howard didn't hit over .300 on a regular basis, but this was his second highest batting average of his career. In 1961 he hit .348.

If you look closely, it looks like he has a gold front tooth. Anyone know the story behind that? I wonder if it's catching related.

Friday, February 22, 2019

1955 Topps Don Mossi RC

I was at a card shop recently and found this 1955 Topps Don Mossi rookie card in a box of discounted vintage. While it's not a PSA 10, the card is actually in pretty good shape compared to most of the vintage that I normally purchase. At $5 for his rookie card, I couldn't pass it up.

With Mossi playing in the 1950's and 60's, he doesn't have many cards and I plan on getting his base Topps run, so getting his rookie card out of the way at a nice price will help with that.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

An Unexpected Purchase

I've mentioned some of the Facebook groups that I'm in and this card came from one of the groups. The seller posted the card as a raffle, but essentially I bought all the raffle spots and just purchased it.

I work directly across the street from the Angels Spring Training stadium and so I have a soft spot for the Angels and Ohtani. It's a cool card that doesn't lose much in my opinion as a result of the lack of logos, and to be honest, I thought I could flip it and earn a few bucks. We'll see if I end up going that direction.

What was your last unexpected purchase?

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

What are the odds?

With my most recent COMC shipment I got the 1953 Topps cards and some 1957 Topps for my Topps Page-a-Year Binder, but there was one other card in the shipment.

It's a 1999 UD MVP Travis Lee Gold Script card numbered to 100. I can't find anything that lists the odds of pulling a Gold Script card from a pack, probably because they were hobby exclusive and being numbered to 100 you could then figure out at least how many cards were produced, even if just for the hobby version, and I'm sure the number is astronomical and Upper Deck probably didn't want it out there. Anyone have any guesses as to the odds of the Gold Script cards?

I enjoy picking up rare Travis Lee cards and will continue to try to pick up cards of his numbered to 100 or less whenever I can find them at a good price.

Do you have a player from the 90's that's not a star that you still enjoy picking up their cards?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Better than a Blaster: Paul Goldschmidt Edition

Most of my recent post have been vintage and for good reason. I've been buying more vintage recently, but I've picked up some newer cards as well.

I got this card off ebay a while back for less the than the price of a blaster and that included shipping.I won the card auction style for $15.50 and paid $3.50 for shipping, so $19 total.

Most of you reading this are probably familiar with how Topps Now cards are sold. Sold directly through the Topps web site, this card retailed for $74.99. A bargain considering the price Topps charged for the cards numbered to 49, 25, 10, and 1.

At a discount of more than $50 over the original price, I don't see how Topps can keep this up, considering they don't hold there value. How long do you think that Topps Now will last?

Monday, February 18, 2019

2 Unopened Cases

On Saturday I went to two different card shops and at the second one I happened to come across a couple of cases of Star Minor League Baseball Cards. The cases were sealed, so all I knew was they were Star, Minor League, and Series 2. I didn't know what year or how many boxes per case.

But at $6 per case I didn't take time to question anything before making the purchase. Turns out they are from 1989 and there are 6 boxes per case. 48 packs, yes, 48 packs per box with 10 cards per pack. Let's do the math. 10 cards per pack x 48 packs per box = 480 cards per box x 6 boxes per case = 2,880 cards x 2 cases = 5,760 cards. This works out to 5 cards for a penny.

A little research revealed that the 1989 Star Minor League baseball Series 2 sets contains 100 cards, so that means I should end up with 57 complete sets, but I doubt I come even close to that number. 

There is some star power in the Star set. Series 2 includes Robin Ventura, Deion Sanders, and Tino Martinez among others. Not sure if or when I'll open them up, but they ended up at just $1 per box, so I can sit on them for a while.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Topps Page-a-Year: 1953

The 1953 Topps set is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful card sets ever made and is the inspiration for the Topps Living Set which is being produced today.

If you recall I skipped 1953 because I didn't have any (turns out I had a couple, but I wasn't organized), so I picked up a few courtesy of COMC and finally got them shipped to me along with some 1957 Topps cards I needed for my binder.

The 1953 Topps set contains 274 cards with the cards being numbered 1-280. 6 cards do not exist because the players designated for those spots signed exclusive contracts with Bowman. While the set size decreased drastically from 1952, the size of the actual cards remained the same, 2-5/8" x 3-3/4"

You'll notice the red and black background of the nameplate portion. Red is for the American League and black is for the National League. The cards were distributed in 4 different series, but there are reports that some cards that should have been distributed in the early series were not distributed until the later series for some reason.

Here are the 1953 Topps cards that I got from COMC.

The cards really are beautiful! The colors on the illustrated portraits pop and I love the backgrounds.

The back of the cards are almost as great as the front. Check out how much is crammed onto the back, but in my opinion, it all works. You've got demographic info at the top, with commentary about the player under that with a facsimile autograph on top, then you have statistics for the past year and their career which includes pitching, fielding and batting stats depending on the player, and finally a Dugout Quiz featuring a cartoon drawing.

I'm not going to go through and detail each card on the page, but there is some star power here for sure with 3 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame former Rookie of the Year and MVPs.

What do you think? Is 1953 Topps the most beautiful set of cards ever made, or is there another set that you feel is better?

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Some Words Of Wisdom

When I was a kid my parents got lots of magazines. My mom got cooking magazines and Better Homes & Gardens. My dad got The American Rifleman and military history magazines.They also had subscriptions to Smithsonian magazine and Reader's Digest. Occasionally they'd come across a baseball related article and would pass it along to me.

I remember once such article form a Reader's Digest magazine. It was about Don Larsen and the Perfect Game he pitched in the 1956 World Series.

Here are two additional cards from the Vintage New York Yankees lot that I picked up off Facebook a couple months back that feature Don Larsen.

Here is a well loved 1955 Bowman card featuring Larsen in his new digs, having been traded to the Yankees from the Orioles at the end of the 1954 season as part of a 17 player deal.

Since I mentioned my parents earlier I thought I would point out that the 1955 Bowman design features a Color TV. I don't know the exact year that my parents got a color television, but I know my siblings talk about going over to friends houses or babysitting at someone's house that had a color TV and just being captivated by it. If I had to guess it would have probably have been the late 1970's or early 1980's. I was born in 1981 and I always remember us having a color TV, but we also had a little 13 inch black and white TV as well. It must have been because they spent so much on magazines.

The second card shows famed Yankee skipper Casey Stengel sharing some Words Of Wisdom with Don Larsen. It's a 1959 Topps card and mentions his 1956 World Series "perfect no hit game" on the back.

If you had some Words Of Wisdom to someone entering the hobby today or maybe someone returning to the hobby, as we often see, what would they be?

I would tell them to focus on quality over quantity. What would you tell them?

Friday, February 15, 2019

Real or Fake?

Let's take a break from the Vintage New York Yankees card lot and focus on something different today. It's a 8 x 10 photo of Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra signed by Berra.'s not cards.

I come from a large family. I have 5 siblings. Each is married or has a significant other and since I'm the youngest of the 6 kids, I have many adult age nieces and nephews. For Christmas we draw names instead of giving gifts to everyone.

My family knows I love all things baseball, so my sister got me this 8 x 10 autographed photo of Yogi Berra. The photo features Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra, but is signed by Yogi Berra. Well, at least there is a COA claiming that it was signed by Yogi Berra.

It was a nice gesture, but when it comes to autographs, if I didn't see it being signed then to me it's not real. There are just too many fakes out there.If it's pack certified or Upper Deck Authenticated, then I'm okay with it, but I have a hard time even accepting something that has been PSA certified authentic.

Here's the photo. It's a cool photo. If I had to guess I would say it's from the late 1950's. It's at Yankee Stadium. What's not to like about it?

Here's the back of the photo.

Here is the COA from a company called Where It All Began Bat Co. based out of Cooperstown. I looked into it and the company still exists, but I couldn't find any autographed photos or memorabilia on their web site. The COA is dated 7/13/02, which was two weeks before the Hall of Fame induction ceremony that year.

Anyone ever heard of Where It All Began Bat Co.? What do you think about the Berra autograph? Real or fake?

Thursday, February 14, 2019

More 1962 Topps Yankees

Yesterday was a 1962 Topps Mickey Mantle Te Switch Hitter Connects card from the Vintage Yankees lot that I picked up on a Facebook group for $40 shipped.

Here are a couple more cards from that lot from 1962 Topps.

First up is a World Series Highlights card featuring Roger Maris.

 Take a look at the back of the card. I know what AB, R, H, and E represent, but what are the O and A for?

Here's a Whitey Ford card from the 1962 Topps set. It's titled Ford Tosses A Curve.

The back of the card features his stats. I've got to think this is similar to his regular card in the set. Not sure why Topps didn't provide a write up on the back rather than a repeat of stats.

These cards serve a purpose for me as they will take a spot in my Topps Page-A-Year binder. I'm down to just needing a handful of cards to finish up this project. Who else is working on this type of project? How far along are you, or have you completed it? Let me know.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Another Vintage Yankee: Mickey Mantle

If you read my post yesterday, I'm sure you've been dying to know what else I got in the New York Yankees vintage lot. Okay, maybe...maybe not. But besides the 1958 World Series Batting Foes card featuring Mantle and Aaron, this card jumped out at me.

It's a 1962 Topps The Switch Hitter Connects card featuring Mickey Mantle. The 1958 card and now this 1962 card are the only cards of Mantle that I have from his playing days and this one is in pretty good shape, especially when comparing it to the 1958 World Series Batting Foes card.

I paid $40 shipped for the vintage Yankees lot. So far you've seen the 1953 Topps Yogi Berra, the 1958 Mantle and Aaron World Series Batting Foes card, and now the 1962 Mantle, The Switch Hitter Connects card. To me, these are the three most interesting cards from the lot. You'll have to wait to see the remaining 9 cards from this lot.