One Man's Thoughts on Sports Card Collecting

Monday, February 28, 2011

1992 Score Select Chase Stars - 4 more down, 10 to go

The 1992 Score Select Chase Stars insert set is one of my absolute favorite inserts of all time.  These cards look SO COOL in person - different parts of the card just jump out at you as you move it around in light, and at times the player almost looks like he is backlit by an electric light!  If you are a fan of any of the players in this set (see checklist below) I highly recommend tracking down their card - it will make a great addition to your player collection!

I decided last year that I was gonna try to collect all 24 cards from the set, and I've slowly been working my way through eBay to get them all.  Yesterday I found a seller offering several of them for a buck apiece, and with combined shipping I was able to check 4 more cards off my list for just $7 total:

That makes 14 out of 24 that I have so far. (Well technically I have 15, since I do have a copy of the Griffey, but in this case I want to get a second one so I have one in the player collection and one in the set collection)

1992 Score Select Chase Stars Checklist

1-Fred McGriff
2-Ryne Sandberg
3-Ozzie Smith
4-Gary Sheffield
5-Darren Daulton
6-Andy Van Slyke
7-Barry Bonds
8-Tony Gwynn
9-Greg Maddux
10-Tom Glavine
11-John Franco
12-Lee Smith
13-Cecil Fielder
14-Roberto Alomar
15-Cal Ripken Jr.
16-Edgar Martinez
17-Ivan Rodriguez
18-Kirby Puckett
19-Ken Griffey Jr.
20-Joe Carter
21-Roger Clemens
22-Dave Fleming
23-Paul Molitor
24-Dennis Eckersley

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Another Trade With Collector's Crack

I recently completed another trade with cynicalbuddha over at Collector's Crack.  We started off with a one-for-one swap of Kimball Champions he needed for Platinum Diamonds I needed:


I also was able to send him over 70 of the cards he needed from 2010 Topps Magic Football (I still have plenty of doubles if anyone else is looking to trade!), and in return he sent a bunch of cards I needed from the 2010-11 Score Hockey set:

That's just a sample of what he sent, there were 60+ cards in total.

Thanks again CB~!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

For Trade - Kimball Champions

I'm trying to collect the Platinum Diamond parallels from the new Topps set, and I have a handful of Kimballs available for anyone that wants to trade.

I already have the following Platinum Diamond cards:
9, 17, 23, 31, 44, 64, 68, 81, 100, 103, 106, 140, 148, 153, 154, 170, 176, 201, 209, 217, 235, 241, 248, 264, 281, 289, 291, 296, 302, 330

And these are the Kimballs I have for trade:
13-Cobb, 15-Price, 19-Morrow, 20-Halladay, 24-Johnson, 28-Stanton, 34-Votto, 35-Lester, 37 (x2) - Strasburg, 44-Pence

I'm not looking for any specific Diamond cards, I'll take any that I don't already have. Hit me up if you're interested!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ask and You Shall Receive

The day after the Super Bowl I had a demand for Panini and Topps to make a certain football card.  Here we are just 9 days later, and Topps has already come though:

Topps Super Bowl XLV Champions Green Bay Packers set

I didn't know I had such power over card companies!  I'll have to come up with a list of further demands....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pack Wars: Round 3

I knew going in that my third Pack Wars was unlikely to match the hit parade I experienced last time, but there were still a few interesting pulls to be had.

First, yet another reason to make fun of the Bears - they apparently drafted a guy that doesn't even know how to spell his own name:

Seriously, look at that (ahem) "signature."  Ridiculous.

Next up, a one in every 3 or so boxes pull from Topps T206:

I really like these framed mini auto/patch cards from this set, just something cool about the card within a card.  That's why I loved the 5x7 Pinnacle Zenith set from 1998 so much!

I also got an auto out of Topps Chrome:
I scanned it 4 times, and THIS was the best one...

And finally, a nice black bordered parallel out of 2005 Topps Football:

On a parting note, coming soon to the blog - The Ken Griffey Jr. Have List~!  People keep asking me which ones I already have, so I figured I really should get the list together.  I'm two-thirds of the way there and hope to get another big chunk done tonight.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Trip Through the Quarter Box

While attending Pack Wars last week I noticed some 2010 Topps Chrome Cards in the $0.25 "random star cards" box, so I went back to see if I could make a dent in my need list.  It ended up being a very worthwhile trip! First off, I came up with 7 Chrome cards I needed, so I'm down to about 28 missing cards for that set. (As an aside, I finally found a nice thing to say about the way those Chrome cards curl - it makes them very easy to find when looking through a box mixed with all different sets!)

Second, I found a whole stack of 2010 Topps Magic minis. There were 35 total, including one pigskin parallel numbered to 50 and 5 black bordered minis.  I didn't have my checklist handy, but I decided to chance it and buy them all anyway in the hopes that I would need most of them.  It paid off for the most part - I needed 19 out of the 29 white bordered minis and all 5 of the black borders - so I only spent an extra $2.50, and I'm sure I'll find a place for the doubles as part of a trade.

I also came across a Griffey I didn't have:


And finally, by far my favorite card of this bunch:

2009 Topps American Heritage Heroes Chrome #46 Theodore Roosevelt - The Finest (Serial #d to 1776)(Baseball Cards)

A super shiny chrome of our nation's most badass President, serial numbered to 1776 (natch)?  For a quarter?  Hells yes I'll take that.   I just feel like I'm insulting Teddy's memory only paying 25 cents for it!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

On FIRE at Pack Wars~!

First, a message to Old Man Winter:

20 inches of snow last week, and now we've had single digits with negative wind chills since Monday.....

Now, on to much happier matters.

I went to my second Pack Wars a couple weeks ago, and boy did I have a hot hand!  While I didn't get any one hit that makes you say "wow," just the sheer number of patches and autos I pulled was amazing.  At one point I think I pulled a hit out of 5 straight purchases (buying just 2 or 3 packs each time).  The highlights are below:

We'll start with a couple from 2010 Panini Certified:

Bernie Kosar Game Used Jersey Patch, #082/250

Jordan Shipley NFL Players Rookie Premiere Jersey Patch and Auto #421/599

Next, an auto from 2010 Panini Gridiron Gear of one of your SUPER BOWL CHAMPION Green Bay Packers!:


Switching over to baseball, a nice pull from 2010 Topps T206:

Jimmy Rollins Mini Jersey Patch, with Pinstripe~!

A card I won in a price-guessing contest:

1960 Fleer Baseball Greats, in surprisingly good shape!

And finally, 3 cards of guys that hopefully make it to the bigs one day:

This one came from 2010 Topps Pro Debut Series 2.  Greg Halman is an outfielder in the Seattle Mariners organization.  Last year he hit .243 with 33 HRs and 80 RBIs for AAA Tacoma.  He spent the last week of the season with the Mariners last year.

2010 Bowman Platinum Auto Refractor, #150/199

Justin Marks was drafted out of the University of Louisville by the Oakland A's in the 3rd round of the 2009 draft (he was previously drafted in the 37th round of the 2006 draft by the Red Sox).  He was named Big East Pitcher of the Year for 2009.  He appears to have not had much success in two stops at Single-A Stockton and Kane County, going a combined 6-13 with a 4.87 ERA in 129 innings, but it was only his first year of pro ball.  This past November he was part of a trade that sent him and pitcher Vin Mazzaro to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for outfielder David DeJesus.

2010 Bowman Platinum Auto Patch Refractor, #136/740

Noe Ramirez is currently a junior with Cal State Fullerton.  He is ranked 28th on Baseball America's 2011 Top 100 College Draft Prospects.  As part of the 2010 USA Collegiate National Team he had 9 relief appearances, logging 5 saves and recording a 2.70 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 13.1 innings of work.  He struck out the side in the 9th inning of a 3-pitcher no hitter against Korea on July 15, 2010.

The scans of the Justin Marks and Noe Ramirez cards don't really do justice to how nice these look in person, both are very shiny refractors.

I also pulled a Prince Fielder mini, a Prince Fielder Bronze T206 parallel, and a Jordy Nelson rookie from 2008 Topps football.
I may be going to another Pack Wars event this week, but I'll be hard pressed to top this haul~!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Trade with Tomahawk Chopping

A few days ago I received a package of cards from Derek over at Tomahawk Chopping.  I sent him some 2010 Topps Chrome baseball doubles, along with a bunch of 2008 UD Masterpieces that he needed.  Thankfully I had a bunch of extras of various Short Prints from that set from a bulk lot I bought from eBay.

In return he sent me a handful of 2010 Topps inserts, a sample of which are shown below...

...and also a sweet 2010 Chrome Refractor of my boy Griffey:

Despite what my scanner says, I assure you this is in fact a refractor

He also sent along a good number of Chrome cards I needed for my set, but with the way those things curl I wasn't gonna even bother trying to scan them in.

Thanks Derek~!

Card Love Contest - My Happiest Hobby Memory

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, Dan over at The Other World is running a contest called "Card Love" where people create a post about a card or cards that you love (how you interpret that is up to you).  He is going to compile a list of all the posts and the winners will be voted on by readers.  The top 2 vote getters will receive a Strat-o-Matic Computer game and a free spot in a future group break.

Little did I know that I was preparing for his contest weeks ago!  The following is a repeat of one of my posts from December that fits this contest nicely.  If you didn't catch it the first time (and since it was one of my first few posts, chances are you didn't), enjoy!

The year was 1993.  I was 11 years old and a rabid baseball card collector.  I had started my Ken Griffey Jr. collection a year or two before, and I remember seeing a commercial for Upper Deck cards on TV talking about heroes....

....incredibly, I found the ad on youtube (isn't it an amazing age we live in?)

From the moment I saw that ad, my only thought was "I HAVE to get that Griffey card~!"

And so I started collecting 1993 Upper Deck Baseball Series 1.  I bought pack after pack, but the Griffey Triple Crown Contender was nowhere to be found.  In fact, despite the fact that they were inserted 1:15 packs (so 2-3 per box) I had only pulled one card from the set (Juan Gonzalez if memory serves).  I made regular trips to my favorite card store (R.I.P. MVP Sportscards) but that Griffey never showed up in the singles display case.  I went to several local card shows - still no dice.

Then one day my friend and I took a walk over to Ball Four Sportscards.  Being 11 I obviously didn't have a lot of money, but what I did have was going to go straight into busting some packs.  I also happened to have a few other cards on me that I had brought to show my friend - a small 6-card set I had gotten from my brother-in-law Jay that included cards of Robin Yount, George Brett, and Nolan Ryan.

I immediately spent ALL my money on 4-5 packs of Upper Deck, only to grow more and more disappointed as each pack was found to not have one of the elusive Triple Crown inserts.  The box was mostly full, so I just knew there had to be some in there.  I reluctantly decided to trade 5 of the cards I had gotten as a gift for 2 more packs.  I held on to the Nolan Ryan card because that was Jay's favorite player, and I would have felt bad trading it away since he had been nice enough to give it to me.  I opened the two packs, AND......


I was so disappointed.  I had no money, and no other cards to trade, except the Nolan Ryan.  But I just coudn't trade that one, that was Jay's favorite!...but, somehow I just couldn't walk away.  I doubt the store owner was actually interested in trading, but I think he felt bad for this little kid that wanted to get just one more pack so bad that he agreed to give me a pack for the Ryan card.  I took it and we walked out of the store.

Walking down the street I opened the pack, and immediately I saw there was a purple insert card in the middle of the base cards!  "Oh my God it's a Triple Crown card!!!" I thought.  I wanted to dive right to the middle to see what it was, but afraid of jinxing myself I stuck to my usual pattern of flipping through all the other cards first and leaving the reveal of the insert to be a surprise at the end of the pack.  I lifted the last card and saw........

Ken Griffey, Jr. - 1993 Upper Deck - Triple Crown Contenders # TC4 Mint

I've rarely had another moment of such pure joy.  I remember jumping up and down screaming, apparently making a scene to the point that my friend joked "OK, I don't know you" and started to walk away from me lest any other passersby think he was associated with this lunatic kid.

My Griffey collection has since grown to over 600 cards.  I certainly have many cards that are much more rare and/or valuable than this one.  But even 17 years later, this remains my favorite card of my entire baseball card collection.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

2011 Topps Baseball Jumbo Box Break - The Bird is the Word~!

I had to wait an extra day due to the blizzard of the decade (seriously, it's a bad sign when you have to start shoveling standing inside your house), but I got my jumbo box of the new Topps set.  Let's see what turned up....

Base Set Cards - 330 out of 330, a full set~!
72 base doubles
10 Kimball minis
10 Topps Town
10 Diamond Giveaways
10 Topps 60
10 Diamond Vision Parallels
10 Diamond Duos
5 Topps Gold Parallels
3 History of Topps
10 60 Years of Topps
5 60 Years if Topps - The Lost Cards
1 60 Years of Topps Original Back

I'm a big fan of this year's base card design.  I especially like the baseball with the team logo in the lower right corner - encircled by the silver foil it has almost a 3-D effect.  It's nice to pull a full set from a single box, but there was one small caveat - I had about a dozen cards that were missing part of their foil stamping, including 4 that I didn't pull doubles of, so I will need to replace those cards.  Just a minor quality control issue.

I liked last year's reprints, and I'm pleased to see them return with the 60 Years of Topps insert set.  The Kimball minis are also nice.  I'm a little surprised they didn't try to do something a little more flashy with the Topps Gold parallels for the 60th anniversary rather than keep them the same as last year.  They did spurce up the Topps Town cards, including moving the code to the back of the card, which makes these much more like a real card rather than just a pack filler.

As for the hits - no super "money" pulls, but I do really love the auto I pulled:

Mark "The Bird" Fidrych burst onto the scene in the big leagues in 1976, going 19-9 with a 2.34 ERA and 24 complete games on his way to winning the AL Rookie of the Year award.  He was definitely a character, with his most famous quirk being a tendency to talk to the baseball while out on the pitcher's mound.  Sadly his promising career was cut short due to a rotator cuff injury.

I also pulled a jersey patch and a manufactured glove leather nameplate:

I suppose the Catro patch is a decent pull since he looks like a talented young player, but then again he plays for the Cubs so I'll always be rooting against him, so this one goes in the "trade bait" pile.

When I first heard about the glove leather cards I thought they were a neat idea, but now that I have one in my hands...I hate to say it, but I'm not impressed.  There's definitely something missing with these cards, they just seem very plain.  It doesn't help that the only picture of the player in question is a small headshot.  I'm not one that hates on all manufactured relic-type cards (for example I liked the bat barrels from last year's Topps set), but this is one that needs to be the genuine article for me to care - a piece of game used glove would be pretty sweet.  Sorry Topps, swing and a miss on this one.

On the other hand, Topps hit a home run with the Diamond Vision parallels:

Now THESE are BUYS~!  I'm absolutely in love with these cards.  In fact, I'll serve notice right now that I am looking to trade for any and all of these cards - I'll probably never get a full set, but that won't stop me from trying!
All in all a decent box break.  This was my first jumbo box, and while the 2 extra hits and full set are great I have to admit part of me missed having the fun of opening 36 packs as opposed to just 10.  Ah well....

GO PACK GO~!!!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Last Look at 2010 Topps

In anticipation of the launch of the 2011 set tomorrow, I thought I would take one last look at some of my favorite shots from last year's set.  (Actually I just hope I get the chance to pick up my box tomorrow, because there is a helluva blizzard starting up outside!)

US-28 - Bill Hall

Perfect timing by the photographer, getting the ball right on the bat.  Man am I glad the Brewers don't have his contract on the books anymore.

US-169 - Ryan Ludwick

The classic "Safe?...Please?" look

117 - David DeJesus

I wish cards like this said on the back whether or not he made the catch.

214 - Matt Kemp

Ditto for Matt Kemp.  This looks like it probably sucked 2 seconds later.

53 - Craig Counsell

A hometown favorite, he still turns a pretty double play!

227 - Josh Thole

I love the dirt flying up in this shot.  The look on his face is exactly why I only slide feet first.

234 - Tampa Bay Rays Franchise History

Awesome job capturing that great moment of jubiliation after the final out.

US-113 Brad Ziegler

OWWW!!!  I've seen a lot of cards where the pitcher's arm is bent funny, but this one makes me think Mr. Ziegler has an appointment with Mr. Tommy John in his future

143 - Omar Vizquel

Two things - one, how is this man still playing? Two, how can he still have ups like that at age 43??

237 - Brew Crew Knockout

We need to see lots of these this year.  It's so cool to be collecting again in a time when the Brewers have, you know, actual star players.

220 - Randy Johnson

I just love the image of all 6 feet 10 inches of Randy Johnson sailing through the air.  Of COURSE this card had to be horizontal, it wouldn't fit any other way!
And finally, my absolute favorite card from the set, and one of my new all time favorites:
1 - Prince Fielder
I was watching this game live when it happened and it was one of the coolest celebrations ever, and I'm not just saying that as a Brewers fan.  I'm glad Topps didn't wimp out and pass on this shot after so many people around the league were bitching and moaning about the Brewers showing up the Giants, no class, blah blah, most people, I get annoyed when pro athletes are mugging for the cameras after doing nothing (like making a routine tackle), or worse, doing it when their team is losing. But come on - Prince had just hit a walk off home run in front of the home crowd late in what had become a disappointing season for the Brewers......Geez, just let them have a little fun out there!!
Equally funny was that the next time the Brewers had a walk off hit (I think it was like a week later) the team just disappeared into the clubhouse in seconds, no celebration, lest they get some other people's panties in a bunch.