Saturday, July 24, 2021

Fleer Boxed Sets

Fleer put out a ton of boxed sets each year between 1985 and 1990. I count 34. Here is a checklist for my reference as I try to collect them all. If it's bold, then I have it.

1985 Fleer Limited Edition
1986 Fleer Baseball's Best Sluggers vs. Pitchers
1986 Fleer League Leaders
1986 Fleer Limited Edition
1987 Fleer Award Winners
1987 Fleer Baseball All-Stars
1987 Fleer Baseball's Best Sluggers vs. Pitchers
1987 Fleer Baseball's Exciting Stars
1987 Fleer Baseball's Game Winners
1987 Fleer Baseball's Hottest Stars
1987 Fleer League Leaders
1987 Fleer Limited Edition
1987 Fleer Record Setters
1987 Fleer Superstars
1988 Fleer Baseball's All-Stars
1988 Fleer Award Winners
1988 Fleer Baseball MVP
1988 Fleer Baseball's Best Sluggers vs. Pitchers
1988 Fleer Baseball's Exciting Stars
1988 Fleer Baseball's Hottest Stars
1988 Fleer League Leaders
1988 Fleer Record Setters
1988 Fleer Superstars
1988 Fleer Team Leaders
1989 Fleer Baseball All-Stars
1989 Fleer Baseball MVP
1989 Fleer Baseball's Exciting Stars
1989 Fleer Heroes of Baseball
1989 Fleer League Leaders
1989 Fleer Superstars
1990 Fleer Baseball Superstars
1990 Fleer Baseball MVP
1990 Fleer Award Winners
1990 Fleer League Leaders

Friday, July 23, 2021

Another 1951 Bowman. Ed "Whitey" Ford rookie card

1951 Bowman contains some iconic rookie cards. Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle each debut in this set. Mantle's teammate and friend, Ed "Whitey" Ford also has a rookie card in the set.

The Batter's Box card shop had two of them recently. They now have none. I went in last weekend with intent to purchase one or both. One had just sold to one of the guys that works in the shop. In fact he made a second payment on the card and took it home with him while I was there. 

The reason I considered getting both was because they were so different that I couldn't decide which one to get. You can see mine below. The condition is rough, but I'm okay with that. The condition of the other copy was a little better except that it had stains all over the front of the card. I asked the shop owner about the stains and he confirmed what I thought. The stains were from the plastic of some really old pages that the card had once been in. The centering was a little better and the colors were more vibrant, but it had these stains all over it. I wish I had taken a picture of it. 

I've mentioned before how much I love the card backs on the early Bowman releases. This card is no exception. Love how they talk about his military service. Can't even imagine something like that happening today.

I got a good deal. At least I think I got a good deal. I asked and got a bit of a discount on the sticker price and was able to take this home for $125. 

So while I don't have the Mays or the Mantle, I was happy to add this rookie card of a Hall of Famer to my collection. And specifically to my collection of 1951 Bowman cards. I now have Ford and his battery partner Yogi Berra, a Nelson Fox rookie card and Ralph Branca and Bobby Thompson as well as a few others.

This card will go down with my 1954 Hank Aaron, 1968 Nolan Ryan and Johnny Bench, 1969 Reggie Jackson rookie cards as one of the cards that I dreamed about owning as a kid, but never thought it would ever happen. Lots of cards still on that list though. Which one will be next?

How about you? What cards did you dream about owning as a kid, that you now own. Which ones are still on your list?

Friday, July 16, 2021

Bonds and Mattingly from Ohio!

I am still, slowly but surely working on my quest for 762 different Barry Bonds card. One card to correspond with each of his home runs. I recently sent reader, Ohio Tim an Upper Deck Reggie Jackson card he needed and he sent me back an envelope with a few Barry Bonds and Don Mattingly cards.

Of the 6 Bonds cards Tim sent, I needed 3 (the bottom row).

Out of the 3 Mattingly cards Tim sent, I needed 2.

So 5/9 would be a .556 batting average, which is great! Thank you Tim!

With the cards from Tim and a few others that I added to my Bonds binder that I had gotten from dime boxes recently from shows or shops, I am at 418 different Bonds cards, so I still have a ways to go. If you have some Barry Bonds cards you are looking to trade, check out this post to see which Bonds card I already have. 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

I was "lucky" to find these 1951 Bowman cards!

I saw a card on Twitter the other day and I instantly wanted it, so when I went to the card shop this past Saturday I asked to look through their stack of 1951 Bowman commons and I found it. I also found a few others that I happily added to my collection.

These are all cards I didn't even look at when I got the Ralph Branca and Bobby Thompson 1951 Bowman cards a week or so ago.

Virgil "Fire" Trucks - Great nickname and great autograph signer through the mail. Passed away a few years back.

Vic Raschi - Under appreciated pitcher. Check out his stats.

Johnny Pesky - Lost a couple prime years due to WWII, but was a .307 lifetime hitter over 10 seasons.

Jack "Lucky" Lohrke - Check out the back of the card to see why his nickname was lucky. This was the card I saw on Twitter that made me dig through the stack of 1951 Bowman cards.

Eddie Waitkus - Not so lucky. He was shot by a female stalker and is who that part of the Natural is loosely based on.

 I really love the 1951 and 1952 Bowman cards. No stats, but the write up on the backs are fantastic.

Tell me something you know about one of the players featured here that I didn't mention.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Mini-Collection Monday (Awards)

I have a lot of mini-collections, but cards featuring awards was one of my first and is one of my favorites. I've been able to add a couple of cards recently that fall into this mini-collection.

This 2019 Topps Chrome card features Shane Bieber and his All-Star MVP Award.

This 2021 Topps card commemorating the 2020 World Series showcases World Series MVP Corey Seager with not only the actual award, but the 2021 Chevy Tahoe that came with it. I own a Chevy Tahoe, but mine is 20 years older than the one Seager won. Even with it being 20 years old, it still runs great so come 2041 Corey's Tahoe should still be going strong.

What mini-collections are you working on right now?

Sunday, July 11, 2021

It's fun buying presents for myself; AGAIN! (1974 Topps Nolan Ryan)

I picked up this 1974 Topps Nolan Ryan card on my recent trip to The Batter's Box card shop. It's not in perfect condition, but I was happy to add it to my Nolan Ryan Topps collection. 

I realize now that I already have it. In fact I picked up a copy just a few months ago. D'oh! This isn't the first time I have done this and not the first time I've done this recently. With limited funds, I have got to be better about this type of thing.

With this second copy of the 1974 Topps card I now just need 1969, 1970 and 1972 to finish the complete Topps Nolan Ryan run from 1968 - 1994. 

Saturday, July 10, 2021

More birthday presents! (1951 Bowman)

I picked up a few other gifts for myself at the card shop with some birthday money. The Batter's Box got a bunch of 1951 and 1952 Bowman's in recently and so I went through and found a couple of 1951's to add to my collection.

You can't think about 1951 without thinking about Bobby Thomson and Ralph Branca.

I figure these will go nicely with the 1952's that I had picked up previous.

1951 and 1952 Bowman are very similar. The only real difference is that the 51's have the name typed on the front and the 52's have the name as a signature. Which do you prefer? 

I think for me I actually prefer the 51's with the name typed on the front, but it really could go either way.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Another Birthday Present! (Reggie Jackson Auto)

This past Saturday I went to a couple of card shops with a bit of birthday money burning a hole in my pocket. I first hit up AZ Sports Cards hoping there were some additional vintage cards put out from the collection they bought recently. Not only was there not anything new, but a couple of the Mantle cards were back and so was the Koufax rookie card; although it was priced $100 higher this time.

Next I went to The Batter's Box. I was able to find a couple of things including this Hall of Fame Postcard signed by Reggie Jackson.

At $30 for the PSA/DNA encapsulated postcard I was extremely happy to add this to my collection. I'm a big fan of Reggie Jackson and have his Topps base card run, so adding an autograph is perfect.

There were some scratches on the case, seen below.

I ordered some Meguiar's PlastX cleaner and polish and it made a big difference.

It's not perfect, but it's much better than it was. I don't have a lot of graded items, but I will probably take a look and see if any of them could use this treatment. Anybody else have any experience with PlastX?

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Birthday gift from my wife!

Two Saturdays ago I went to AZ Sports Cards and was surprised to find a showcase filled with vintage baseball. There is always some vintage there, but the majority of the cards at AZ Sports Cards are modern. 

The case was filled with some stunning pieces of cardboard from the 1950's and early 1960's. The story I was told was that a 74 year old gentleman came in with his childhood collection and sold it to the shop. Included was a 1953 Topps Jackie Robinson, 1954 Al Kaline RC, 1955 Sandy Koufax RC, 1955 Bowman Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron, and a 1956 Topps Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron among others.

I drooled over everything and grabbed a bunch of 15/$1 cards and left spending just $3. On the way home I called my wife and told her I bought the Koufax rookie card for $700. She freaked out a bit, but when I told her I hadn't actually gotten the card she told me I could spend $200 if I wanted for my upcoming birthday. 

I ended up going back later that day. All the Mantles were gone and so was the Koufax rookie card. I had my sights set on the 1955 Bowman Hank Aaron card. It had a $250 price tag, but I asked if there was any room on it and was able to get it for $220.

It's not perfect, but for a 66 year old piece of cardboard, it's in darn good shape. There are some issues with the corners, but there aren't any big creases or other major issues other than the centering, but even the centering isn't as bad as many of the 1955 Bowman cards I've seen.

This isn't a rookie card, but it is Hank's only Bowman card issued during his playing career since this was Bowman's last year and Aaron didn't have a 54 Bowman card. I paid pretty much the same amount that I paid 6 years ago for his 1954 Topps rookie card, which I thought was interesting. This card is in way better shape than my rookie card though.

While I was happy to add this to my collection, I would have preferred to have had the opportunity to get a 1955 Topps card since I need that one for my Hank Aaron Topps collection. If I had the opportunity to get either the 55 Bowman or the 55 Topps, I would have gotten the Topps card, but I am still extremely happy to ass this card to my collection.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Mattingly Monday

Whenever I get a few new cards to add to my Don Mattingly collection I'm going to set them aside to do a Mattingly Monday post.

I've got 5 cards to add to the Mattingly binder today. 

First up is this fantastic 1993 Stadium Club horizontal card showcasing.

From the same set, but an insert is this Superstar Duos card of Mattingly and another player I collect; Doc Gooden. I need to get a second card for my Gooden binder. 

Next up are a couple of sunset cards for Mattingly who finished his playing career in 1995. Here is a 1996 Donruss card. I love the shot of him peering over his sunglasses, looking right at the camera.

This 1996 Fleer Ultra card is features Mattingly wearing a different pair of sunglasses.

The final card is a 2014 Donruss card that is pretty plain compared to the rest of the cards on this post, but it's a card of Donnie Baseball nonetheless.

I love finding Mattingly cards in dime boxes to add to my collection and hope to be able to make Mattingly Monday post a semi regular feature.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Card Show Pick Up: 1962 Topps 1961 American League Home Run Leaders

I picked up this 1962 Topps card at the card show this past Saturday. I got it from the same dealer that I got the majority of the 1971 Topps cards from, but on a second look through his boxes. I started looking at the oldest stuff, which was T205 and T206 stuff and went up through 1964. I picked out a few cards, but ran out of cash, so I stopped.

With this card commemorating the breaking of the single season home run record which had been held by Babe Ruth for 30+ years, I have come to think of it as a pretty iconic card. I do wish that Topps would have used a better photo of Maris and Mantle though.

This card had a $12 price tag, but I got two other cards at the same time and got a few bucks off, so it was around $10 in the end. Happy to add it to my collection. As a kid I picked up a 1961 Topps Roger Maris card and remember thinking how big of a card that would have been if I had been a kid in 1961 watching Maris and Mantle battle it out that summer and then Maris finally pulling away and breaking the HR record, so this card also pairs nicely with that card.

I need to look for the National League Home Run Leader cards from 1999 and then 2002 and put them with this one. I think that would be pretty cool.

What other cards do you have in your collection that pair with other cards?

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

How many players in 1971 weighed less than Larry Bowa?

Yesterday I showed the 1971 Topps Larry Bowa card I picked up for my set for a quarter. One of the things I noticed while looking at the card was how skinny Bowa was. The back revealed that he weighed in at 155 pounds. My question to everyone was how many players would weigh in under 155 from the 1971 set. 

There were several guesses ranging from 0 to 42. I went through my set and then double checked the players that I still need. There are only 6 players that are listed at under 155 pounds. There were another 13 players listed right at 155 pounds. 

There is an outfielder and then three shortstops and two second baseman. There are a couple of rookies, some familiar names and even a Hall of Famer.

The Joe Morgan is one of the cards I still need for my set, so this picture came courtesy of eBay.

So the smallest player was 150 pounds. How about the biggest? I found two players listed at 250 pounds on the back of their 1971 Topps cards. The 6'7" slugger Frank Howard and another 6'7"player. This time though it is rookie pitcher Buddy Harris of the Astros.

So with the number of players under 155 pounds being 6, it looks like Bo was the closest with his guess of 9. Bo, send me an email to confirm your address and I'll send you a couple of well loved 1971 Topps Hall of Famers.

Monday, June 21, 2021

The Skinny on 1971 Topps and Larry Bowa

In my post yesterday I mentioned how sparse my posting has been this year so far. I am hoping to change that. So let's do another post.

My plan for the card show that I went to on Saturday was to get as many cards as possible for my 197 Topps set. The first two stops I made were for this sole purpose. I picked up 5 cards for the set. Yesterday I showed 4 that I got from one dealer. I picked up the Ernie Banks, Lou Brock, Willie Stargell and Brooks Robinson, along with another $2 card for $30. The sticker price, if you add the other $2 card, was $36, so the dealer gave me a nice discount.

The other 1971 Topps card that I got from a different dealer at the show was just a quarter. It was this Larry Bowa rookie cup card.

I tend to think of Larry Bowa a a manager first, but as the Topps All-Star Rookie Cup indicates, Larry had a nice rookie year in 1970. He played well enough at shortstop to win two gold gloves and play in 5 all-star games.

There is a lot to love about this card, starting with the Rookie Cup. I'm a fan and especially like the big version found on these 1971 cards. You also get a look at a young and skinny Bowa. Look at how small his thigh is. The back lists him at just 155 pounds. A quick search shows just 8 current MLB players weighing in at less than 155 pounds. We also get a to see Bowa sporting a batting glove under his fielding glove, which isn't unheard of, but I feel like it's a pretty rare sight on cardboard.

How many players do you think weigh in under Bowa as listed on the back of their 1971 Topps card. If anyone gets the number correct I'll send you a well loved 1971 Topps card of a Hall of Famer.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Happy Father's Day!

I hope everyone out there is having a great Father's Day! I am looking forward to having lunch with my dad and several of my siblings and then watching the Suns vs. Clippers in the Western Conference Finals. Go Suns!

In addition to the card show yesterday I stopped by a card shop that was only about a mile away from the show. I'm glad I did.

I've mentioned it before, but this particular shop, The Batter's Box, is always buying collections and so they put out new stuff all the time. They price things reasonably, so stuff usually doesn't last long. I've learned the hard way that if I see something I want I need to get it quickly, before it's gone.

Such was the case yesterday with this particular item. 

I've had a Joe DiMaggio autograph before. I bought a box on eBay back in 2002 and pulled it from there. I sold it for $1000 to help me buy my first car. I regret it. So when I saw this at the card shop I splurged and got it knowing if I hesitated it would be gone. So I got it as a Father's Day gift for myself. 

While I wish it was signed on the front, I am happy with it for the price that I paid considering that it has been authenticated by PSA. I got it for $125, which I think is a fair price.

Hope everyone out there has a great Father's Day! Maybe you got something card related from a loved one, or maybe you got yourself something like I did. Let me know below.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

How did you celebrate my 12th blog-o-versary?

What were you doing 12 years ago today? I don't remember everything I did 12 years ago, but apparently I went to a card shop and then I blogged about it. I started this blog 12 years ago. Crazy how time flies.

This blog has been a great resource for me to help me keep track of my collection. I've also met a few fellow collectors/bloggers over the years because of my blog, which has been a lot of fun. I'm not sure how many trades and care packages I've received over the past 12 years because of the blog. Too many to count.

My blogging in 2021 has been spotty at best. This will only be my 37th post this year. I typically average about 175 posts per year, so I am way behind that pace. I hope that changes. 

Well, how did I spend my blog-o-versary?

I went to a card show of course. Then I went to a card shop.

This is the third weekend in a row that I went to a card show. The hobby is still going strong even if we are seeing some dip in prices. I'm okay with that. That's not why I collect.

So what did I get at the card show today?

I have been focusing on finishing up my 1971 Topps set recently and so I was able to grab a few cards I needed. 

I got these 4 from the same dealer that I have bought from before. A couple of months ago I snagged the Nolan Ryan and Roberto Clemente cards I needed for my 1971 Topps set from the same dealer.

You can see that I am not a stickler for condition. For example, there were three other Brooks Robinson cards that I could have gotten that were in better condition, but I gladly took the $4 option. 

With the cards I added today, I am down to needing just 12 cards for the 1971 Topps set. Most of the big names are gone. There are a couple of high numbers, but no short prints, so it is just a matter of tracking them down. I would like to find them locally verses buying them one by one on eBay and paying $4 just for shipping.

My question for you is what did you do today? It's summertime, Juneteenth, and Father's Day weekend. There are a couple of NBA playoff game 7's and baseball is in full force. Maybe you went to a card show or card shop today as well. Let me know.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Card Show Recap

Yesterday I attended a card show in Phoenix. I had never been to this particular show before. Honestly, I doubt I will be back. I posted this on Twitter to recap my experience.

While this particular exchange never actually took place. This is certainly how I felt. There was very little vintage and even less from the 80's and 90's. Most everything was modern and the majority was graded. There were a couple of boxes with dollar cards, but there was not a single quarter box to be found. The shows that I enjoy attending always have a plethora of quarter boxes and usually some dime boxes.

I have a couple of other observations that I want to share. 

1) The show was well attended. I got their about 30 minutes after it opened and it was packed and stayed that way the entire time I was there.

2) More women at the show than I am used to seeing at card shows. Many were helping their significant other as a dealer, but there were others walking around with their significant other.

3) There was a lot of trading going on between patrons and the dealers.

4) Speaking of trading, everyone was carrying around a briefcase with their graded cards. I've seen a couple people before at shows, but at this particular show, it seemed like everyone had one.

5) Soccer cards are on the rise. I saw people buying soccer cards and talking about soccer cards more than I ever had before.

I asked about a couple of cards. There was an SGC 1.5 Tom Seaver rookie card that I thought might be in my price range. I was wrong. The dealer wanted $750. The Suns are on fire right now, eliminating Lebron James and the Lakers this past week, so I asked about a few Devin Booker rookie cards, but $400 for a PSA 9 Prizm rookie card is not in my budget currently.

I did however pick up two cards at the show. I got them from the same dealer.

I have been watching The Last Dance again with my oldest this past week and as I we watched it reminded me of some of the great basketball that I watched during the 90's as a kid. After each episode I would pull up YouTube and show my son clips of some of the greats that I grew up watching. One such player was Vince Carter. So I know that's the reason why I ended up making this purchase, but that's okay.

I know I have some Vince Carter rookie cards, but I've always liked this one and was happy to add it to my collection.  

The Carter was in a showcase. I asked about the price and the dealer told me $20. I had found this Andrew McCutchen Topps Chrome rookie card in a $5 box at the same table so I ended up asking if the dealer would do $20 for both cards and the dealer agreed.

So while I happy with the two cards that I was able to add to my collection, I don't think I will be attending this show again anytime in the near future.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

The Mantle Effect

I enjoy picking up vintage Micky Mantle cards just as much as the next collector, but I don't consider myself a Micky Mantle collector.

Now I don't want anyone thinking I'm out there occasionally buying 52 Topps or 1955 Bowman Mantle cards. Here is a recent example of one of the Mantle cards I picked up recently. Other than a couple of print marks, this 1967 Topps checklist is in fairly good shape, but it's a checklist and so I was able to grab it for just under $10.

Yesterday I went to the Batter's Box Card Shop and had a chance to buy another card featuring Mantle. This time it was a 1961 Topps card featuring the 1960 American Home Run Leaders. Here is the card. I didn't buy it, so I just grabbed this image from the internet.

This card was available for $29.95. The condition was similar to the card pictured above. Not perfect, but in decent shape for a card that is 60 years old. 

I already told you that I passed on the cards. I did so in favor of a different card. Instead of the American League 1960 Home Run Leaders card featuring Mantle (40), Roger Maris (39), Jim Lemon (38) and Rocky Colavito (35), I opted for the National League version.

In very similar condition to the American League version, I was able to pick up the National League version for less $12.95; less than half of the copy that features Mantle.

Here is a better look at the card; specifically Ken Boyer, with the price tag removed. Boyer is the only player featured on the card that is not enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame, while Mantle is the only player on the American League card that is in the Hall.

Ernie Banks led the N.L. in 1960 with 41 home runs, followed by Hank Aaron at 40 and his teammate Eddie Mathews with 39. Ken Boyer is the fourth player featured on the front with 32 homers in 1960.

So I picked up the National League version for $17 less than the American League version. Again, the condition of the two cards was about the same. The National League card showcases three Hall of Famers and yet the American League version; featuring just one Hall of Famer, was more than double the cost. Why? Because of Micky Mantle. Because of the New York Yankees.

I don't know if it was always the case, but during my entire lifetime Mantle cards have always carried a premium. What do you think? Is Mantle worth it? I get that his base cards will carry a significant premium over other ballplayers who were just as good or maybe even better. Players like Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente and Hank Aaron.

But seeing these two cards together and seeing the difference in price, just really struck me. I know that Mantle is big name and Roger Maris is also a household name even though he isn't a Hall of Famer, how many of you were even aware of Jim Lemon. Be honest. Rocky Colavito is another familiar name, but not anywhere near the likes of Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron or even Eddie Mathews. Ken Boyer isn't a Hall of Famer, but he certainly could be. Boyer was an 11 time All-Star (7 seasons) and added a 1964 Most Valuable Player award to go with 5 Gold Glove awards. 

So what do you think fo the Mantle effect? Is the price of the the American League card justified because of Mantle compared to that of the National League leaders featuring Banks, Aaron and Mathews?