One Man's Thoughts on Sports Card Collecting

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Possibly the Most Unique and Cool Addition to My Collection Ever

There are certain cards that us regular collectors can only dream of having.  The T206 Honus Wagner.  The 1952 Mickey Mantle.  Cards that are so famous they transcend the hobby.

Another is the 1869 Peck & Snyder Cincinnati Red Stockings Team card, the card that is generally regarded as the very first baseball card.

I could certainly never afford one of these, but I may have found the next best thing.  :)

First, a bit of background.  For those not familiar with this card, in 1869 a sporting goods company called Peck & Snyder was looking for a way to sell more baseball equipment.  They decided to promote the sport (and themselves) by producing this card featuring the very first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings.  The Cincinnati Base Ball Club was formed in 1866.  They barnstormed around the country, compiling a perfect 65-0 record in 1869.  The back of the card features an advertisement for Peck & Snyder.

OK, so why am I talking about this?

In 2009, 72 year old Bernice Gallego of Fresno, CA stumbled across an old looking baseball card in a collection of old items.  Having no idea what the card was, she decided to put it up on eBay for $10.  Luckily for her, someone she knew saw the listing and immediately told her to take it down.  She had discovered an honest to goodness copy of the original baseball card!  She ended up selling the card through an auction house called Memory Lane Inc. for $64,073.

As part of the auction, Memory Lane Inc. apparently produced 100 serial numbered reprints of the card and sent them to various high-end collectors they thought might have interest in participating in the auction.  And I just got my hands on one!!

I can't afford the famous card, but I CAN get a piece of the auction of the famous card!!

As part of my purchase I also got the little book full of articles about the card that Memory Lane sent to potential buyers:

A DVD of Bernice Gallego's appearance on Jay Leno to talk about her historic find:

And also the original letter sent to a Mr. Clark Cato that came with the reprint:

How cool is that?!

Friday, October 19, 2012

WINNER of First Annual MLB Prediction Contest is....

Back in March I launched a contest to predict the top performing teams and players for the 2012 season, and as I said way back then, now we know who was a PROGNOSTICATOR and who was a FOOL~!  Your winner is......

CHUNTER of Chipp 'n' Dale and Things Done to Cards fame, come on down~!

1. Chunter - 99 points
2. Steve D. - 89 points
3. Play at the Plate - 82 points (PATP won the mid-season prize)
4. Kyle4KC - 81 points
5. The Lost Collector - 76 points
6. Milwaukee Southpaw - 76 points
7. Greg Zakwin - 74 points
8. AdamE - 51 points
9. The Angels in Order - 41 points
10. JoJoBoom - 35 points
(You can click the contest link on the right-hand side of the blog page to see what the predictions were)

What makes Chunter's win even more impressive is that he didn't take advantage of the "change one pick at the All-Star Break" rule, and he still beat the rest of us.

As expected, most of us fared much better trying to predict which teams would win their divisions or the wild card than in trying to pick who would win the stat categories, but that's where Chunter separated himself from the pack.  SEVEN of his 10 player picks finished in the top 10 of their category; only two other players (SteveD and Play at the Plate) got six.  The real clincher was that he nailed both the ERA and Strikeout leader (Kershaw and Verlander), getting the full 10 points for each.

No one managed to get all 5 playoff teams from either league, but The Lost Collector came the closest - in the National League he got two of the division winners (after switching from Philly to Washington at midseason) and nailed both wild cards, but his pick of Milwaukee to win the NL Central was (regrettably) not correct.  In the American League no one got more than 3 of the teams correct.  There were a lot of Boston, Anaheim and Tampa Bay picks, and of course NO ONE took Baltimore.

The stat categories were a very mixed bag.  Surprisingly, only ONE person managed to pick a player that finished in the top 10 for home runs (The Angels in Order, G. Stanton).  Only two people scored points in the Holds category.  On the flipside, 7 out of 10 scored in Strikeouts, and 8 out of 10 got points in Stolen Bases.

So Chunter, it looks like you collect Chipper Jones and the Braves in general.  Lucky for you Chipper is one of the players I keep a small player collection of.  :)  E-mail me and let me know if you have any other collecting interests that I might be able to include in your prize package, and don't forget to give me your address!

Thanks for playing everyone!  Hopefully we can get even more people involved next season~!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mark Sanchez - The Beast?????

Last night was the 666th edition of Monday Night Football.

The Jets entered with this man at QB:

At the end of the game, Mark Sanchez's passer rating for 2012? - 66.6

His yards per completion? - 6.6

Touchdowns? - 6

Interceptions? - 6

Jersey Number? - 6


Friday, October 5, 2012

The Great Big Cat Safari - Jaguarundi Captured~!

This is my first post in a while regarding my goal of collecting all of the cats from Goodwin's Animal Kingdom patch series.  In the interim since the last post the 2012 Goodwin set was released, and wouldn't you know it, there's a few more cats to get!

New cats for 2012:
AK-128 - Bobcat
AK-169 - Clouded Leopard
AK-178 - Siberian Tiger
AK-182 - Asiatic Lion

On the one hand - sweet, more cat cards!  On the other hand - ow, my poor wallet.....Note that most of those are in the higher rarities, so I don't know if I'll ever be able to get them.  But it's good to have dreams!  :)

Anyway, on to today's subject, and the newest addition to my collection, the Jaguarundi!

The Jaguarundi is native to Central and South America.  They are actually a fairly small cat, weighing just 8 to 20 pounds.  They are found in two colors called "phases" - either red or gray.  Jaguarundis are the least "cat-like" of all the cats.  Their long bodies and tails led to their nickname of the "otter cat."

Brothers from another mother?

Unlike many other cats, the Jaguarundi is most active during the day rather than at night.  They eat mainly smaller mammals, occasionally also going after rabbits and fish.  They seem to be even more shy and reclusive than most cats.  Jaguarundis are known for having a wide-range of vocalizations, including a bird-like chirp that you can hear in this video of two young Jaguarundis fighting over food (warning: don't have the speakers up too loud!)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Seriously Topps, what the heck?

 A while back I pulled a redemption card from 2011 Topps American Pie for a Christopher Reeve Nickel Coin Collection card.  I was really excited! - I've never gotten one of these "coin cards" in any other sets, and come on, it's Superman~!

What I didn't realize when I pulled the card was that now I would have to deal with the Topps Redemption program.....

Inevitably the weeks passed, and then I got the famous email - "This email is to inform you that the Topps Company is currently beyond the 15 week processing time allocated for the following redemption card..."

I could maybe accept that, after all Topps must have to deal with a lot of these.  But here's the kicker....

That email was sent to me on April 27th - nearly 5 months ago - and I haven't heard another word since.

Heck, at this point I had forgotten I even had the card coming, it was a reference to a redemption card on someone else's blog that jogged my memory.

This isn't the first time I've had issues with them either.  Back in the spring I sent in two envelopes with wrappers for the Series 1 Gold Rush Redemption program - one with regular wrappers and one with jumbos.  I sent them each with the same amount of postage.  However a couple weeks later (after the program's redemption deadline had passed) one of them was returned to me for insufficient postage, and when I contacted Topps they said they would no longer honor my request since it was past the due date.

I need to ask Cynical Buddha where he got that "Countdown to the End of the Topps Monopoly" gadget for his blog...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Great News for The King~!

I've been a big wrestling fan my whole life, and have spent many happy hours watching Monday Night Raw with Jerry "The King" Lawler as the color commentator.  Despite his age, he's still one of the better talkers in the business when given the chance to cut a promo.  

For those who may not have heard, it was a very frightening scene this past Monday as Jerry suffered what turned out to be a massive heart attack while the show was live on the air.  Thankfully the EMTs did tremendous work reviving him and rushing him to the hospital, and I just heard that not only is The King still alive and kicking after an emergency angioplasty, but he is showing no signs of brain damage either!!  Some very welcome news indeed.

Get well soon King~!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Good Pull from Goodwin

I'm definitely a big fan of Goodwin's Animal Kingdom patches, and in the very first pack I bought this year I managed to snag one!:

A very nice, colorful patch for the ladybug.  I still have very vivid memories of the year we got completely swarmed by these in Milwaukee.  My friends and I were standing outside our high school waiting to be picked up one afternoon, and they were EVERYWHERE. And when I say "everywhere", I mean as in "we each had probably 30-50 of them landing on us at the same time."  No exaggeration.  As a person who really, really dislikes insects it was like my own personal hell.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Epix Success~!

I've written about the 1998 Pinnacle Epix cards a couple times before.  They rank very highly in my favorite sets of all time list.  For YEARS I've been trying to finish off my Griffey set.  Which is why when I recently did one of my regular "Griffey Epix" searches on eBay I almost fell out of my chair when I finally saw a Griffey Emerald Game card pop up. The Emerald Game is the last** card I needed to finish the set, and it was only $11 to boot - BUY BUY BUY BUY~!

A few days later I got one of those familiar brown envelopes in the mail.  I excitedly tore into it and saw.....

A card that was clearly NOT an Emerald.
I contacted the seller immediately and told him he sent the wrong card.  Evidently he LISTED the wrong card, as he didn't have an Emerald Game to send me.  He refunded my money right away and let me keep the card too, but still, I was crushed.  Who knew when another Emerald Game listing would show up?

As it turns out, the answer to that question was "the very next day."

Unbelievably, another listing popped up on eBay for a Griffey Emerald Game Epix.  This one wasn't buy it now, and I got in a bit of a bidding war so I had to pay $24 this time around, but this time when I opened the mail I saw this:

And it's MINT too!
FINALLY, I have the full set of nine~!**

Check one off my collection bucket list!

**The asterisks are because technically there is more to this set.  As I talked about in one of my old posts, there was supposed to be a fourth subset, Epix Season, that was to be included in 1998 Pinnacle Certified.  The company went bankrupt so the set was never released.  However, some of the Epix Season cards made it out onto the market somehow.  I've actually got the Griffey Epix Season Orange too!

I saw a Griffey Epix Season Emerald on eBay once years ago (for $100), so I know that at least one copy of that card exists.  I've never seen a Griffey Epix Season Purple though.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Catching Up On Some Old, Old Trades

Today I've got a couple of looooooooooooooong overdue thank yous for a couple of my fellow bloggers.

First up, a package from Jeff at Cardboard Catastrophes.  For reasons that even he didn't understand, he picked up this oddball Griffey at a card show:

I loves me a good oddball card, so when he offered it to me I was happy to give it a good home.

He also sent along a few 2011 Topps Heritage to check off my list:

Thanks Jeff!  I'm sure I'll find something good to send you back.

The second round of thanks goes to Kyle at Juuust A Bit Outside.  A while back I sent him a stack of 2011 Topps Stickers for his son's collection, and he ended up sending me back a nice stack of Brewers for my team collection:

Thanks Kyle!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Big Ring of The Big Hurt

Of the several hits I pulled when I bought some Series 2 packs a couple weeks ago, this one was easily the best of the bunch:

I gotta say, as far as manufactured relics go, these metal ring cards are pretty damn cool.  I never actually saw one of these from Series 1, so I had no idea how thick and heavy they are!  Looks like I'll have to make a special trip to the card shop for a holder for this baby.

Monday, July 9, 2012

2012 MLB Prediction Contest~! - First Half Winner Is....

Back before opening day I launched a contest for the new baseball season - people just had to predict the playoff teams and statistical leaders in a handful of categories.  The plan was to have a prize both for the end of season winner and also at the All-Star Break.  With 10 entries (counting myself and my fiance JoJoBoom, who are of course ineligible for prizes), the standings as of the Mid-Summer Classic are.........

1. Play at the Plate - 79 points (11 out of 20 predictions produced points)
2. Chunter - 72 points (11)
3. Milwaukee Southpaw - 67 points (9)
4. Steve D. - 62 points (10)
5. Kyle4KC - 59 points (10)
    The Angels In Order - 59 Points (9)
7. AdamE - 57 points (9)
8. Greg Zakwin - 54 points (11)
9. JoJoBoom - 47 points (7)
10. The Lost Collector - 45 points (6)

Congrats to Play at the Plate!  I probably still have your address from that trade we did saved somewhere, but you may as well just send it to me again - it'll go much faster.  :)

Greg Zakwin appears to be the person most likely to jump up in the standings in the second half - he was tied for most scoring predictions with 11, but unfortunately they were only good for 54 points!  If those stat leaders of his pick it up a little he could leapfrog the standings quickly.

Also don't forget - you are allowed to change any ONE pick for the second half.  Choose wisely and leave your choice in the comments section below by 11:59pm on Sunday, July 15th. (If you forgot your picks, just click the link to the contest page on the right side of my blog.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Finally Something Good From the Golden Giveaway

Like most people around the blogosphere, I've been pretty underwhelmed by Topps' Golden Giveaway.  On top of the fact that the whole "virtual coin" thing is lame, my luck with codes has been ABYSMAL - I finally got my first card on my TWENTY-SEVENTH code, and I've only gotten 1 card out of a total of 30 codes.

The good news?  The card I got was a pretty good one, of a beloved player collected by many.

Why is that good news?  Because it allowed me to execute a trade within 5 minutes of unlocking the card.

Those of you familiar with the blog can probably guess where this is going.....

Meet the newest addition to my collection~!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I've Waited 20 Years For This Card

So.......long time, no see........

As I'm sure most of you are NOT aware, I'm getting married in about 7 weeks.  This is of course a good thing, but it has two unfortunate side effects - my card purchases have been scaled back pretty significantly this year due to other expenses, and I've been a bit too preoccupied with other things to find much time to blog!  Hopefully I can start to remedy the latter problem, if not the former....

I did recently manage to buy some packs of Topps Series 2, and I even scored a few hits (more on those in coming posts).  But there was only one card that truly got me excited, and I pulled it out of my very last pack:

Ever since I started my Griffey collection waaaay back in 1992, I have ALWAYS wished for one done in the style of my all-time favorite set design.  It may be a mini, it may have taken two decades, but it's finally mine!

It also warms my heart to know that I can once again open packs and hope to see a card of my favorite player.  That was a real drag last year!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

If Only HE Was On The Ballot...

You may have heard there is a small election in my neck of the woods today.  In honor of my state's new favorite sport - voting - I thought I would do a quick post highlighting my favorite of the (admittedly few) political cards in my collection:

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

Good ol' TR is easily the most badass man to ever serve as President of these United States.  This shiny Chrome card was an instant addition to my collection the moment I saw it.

In addition to being a former President, Teddy also held the following titles: governor, historian, adventurer, police chief, cavalryman, cowboy, explorer, hunter, naturalist, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, author of 35 books, conservationist, and probably others.

He was once shot on the way to giving a 90-minute stump speech, and decided to still go and give the speech before seeking medical attention.

Vice President Thomas Marshall said of him "Death had to take him sleeping, for if Roosevelt had been awake there would have been a fight."

"FINEST" indeed.

I now return you to my state's regularly scheduled batshit insanity.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Just the Autograph I Wanted

When I looked at the autograph checklist for 2011's American Pie set, I had a lot of "Who?" reactions.  Many of the ones I DID know I had no interest in having their autograph.  There was however one man whose auto I would have liked, and amazingly that's just the card my fiance pulled from a pack!!

Beyond his fine work as a sportscaster, Mr. Costas was also involved in one of my all-time favorite TV moments when he interviewed WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, who apparently didn't care for Bob's questions and started losing his mind, while Bob had to try not to laugh.  "What is this, 'The Bob Costas Interrupt Show?!?!?'"

Previous Trivia Question:

What unusual feat did brothers Mike and Bob Garbark accomplish in 1944?

A:  The brothers finished the season with identical .261 batting averages (Mike was 78 for 299, and Bob was 6 for 23)

Today's Trivia Question:

What is the name of the special mud used to rub the sheen off of a new baseball?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Christmas in May

I added a couple of decidedly festive Griffeys to my collection recently:

Pacific put out these shiny ornament cards for a few years back around 2000.  There's still one other Griffey I have to snag, hopefully before Christmas!

Previous Trivia Question:

Who owns the bizarre claim to fame of being the only player ever traded for himself?

A:  In 1962, Harry Chiti was traded by the Cleveland Indians to the New York Mets for a player to be named later.  Two months later after playing just 15 games for the Mets, Chiti was traded back to the Indians as the player to be named later!

Today's Trivia Question:

What unusual feat did brothers Mike and Bob Garbark accomplish in 1944?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It Came From the Card Closet~! - Artwork Edition

I never took an art class in high school or college.  Just wasn't all that into it.  But for some unexplained reason, every once in a while I got the strange urge to draw something, just to see if I could do it.  My most ambitious effort was the time I tried to draw a photo of Griffey in mid-swing that was on the cover of Beckett Monthly.  It remains the first and only time that I ever attempted to draw textured clothes or a person's face.  I recently rediscovered this lost artwork while cleaning out my card closet.  In retrospect, I think it's not half bad!

I might have to do this again sometime.  I think I'll try Warren Spahn doing his big leg kick. :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Common Cards, Uncommon Photography III

It's Round 3 in my salute to the cool card photos that all too often go unnoticed.  I may have to turn this concept into a "Frankenset" someday.  To the cards!

2004 Upper Deck Al Leiter #219:

Gotta work on those fundamentals, even in the big leagues.  The ball looks like it is glued to his bat!

1997 UD Collector's Choice Craig Biggio #350:

The first of a trio from 1997 UD Choice.  I hope the runner got that knee down, otherwise Craig was about to have a bad day....

1997 UD Collector's Choice Todd Stottlemyre #198:

"I know kung fu."

1997 UD Collector's Choice Omar Vizquel #86:

There's a lot going on in this picture - sweet car, nice awards.  But if you're like me, all you're thinking is "what in the hell is up with that shirt??"

1999 Topps Stadium Club Kevin Polcovich #6:


1993 Donruss Triple Play Awesome Action #6:

Brett is coming in a little high.  Ty Cobb would be proud.
1999 Topps Stadium Club Mickey Morandini #57:

This is a really cool camera angle, must have been a bunt.

1998 Pinnacle Livan Hernandez #172:

"Hey kid, we need a picture for your baseball card!"
(click) "Perfect!!"

2000 Topps Stadium Club Lee Stevens #144:

And finally, a photo capturing the good old "3-unassisted" play.  I think I just like this one because I'm a first baseman myself.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

MLB Prediction Contest - 2 Days Left to Join the Fun!!

For those who missed the first post, I am holding a contest for the new baseball season.  It's very simple - just pick the playoff teams and who will lead the majors in a handful of statistical categories.  See full details here:

There will be 2 prizes - one at the All-Star break and one at the end of the season - and they will both include patch cards and/or autos.  Originally I said the deadline was 11:59pm on Thursday, April 5th but I'm going to extend it through Opening Day, so you have until 11:59pm on Friday the 6th. I think we have 8 people entered so far, but I'd love to get a bunch more.  Sports are always more fun when you have more things to root for, and it's free, so send me your picks!  And if you do like the contest don't forget to spread the word.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Patching Up My Collection

I've really grown to like some of the patch cards floating around the trading card world these days.  I know some people can't stand manufactured "relics", and at times I agree (for example, with the Topps "Glove Leather Nameplates" last year), but I find the patches are often cool even if they aren't truly relics.  Case in point, this neat Warren Spahn I grabbed off of eBay:

A nice manu-patch commemorating my home state's one World Series Championship, featuring my all-time favorite pitcher.  A no-brainer addition to the collection!

Today's Trivia Question:

Who owns the bizarre claim to fame of being the only player ever traded for himself?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Announcing the First Annual MLB Prediction Contest!

So I wanted to do something to make the new baseball season a bit more interesting for all of us here in the card blogging community.  After a little thought I came to the conclusion that the best way would be predicting the top performers in MLB this year - we can follow along all season, and at the end we will find out (to steal a line from Bryan Alvarez at "who was a prognosticator, and who was a FOOL~!"

So here's the deal.  All you have to do is pick the playoff teams in both leagues and also who will lead the league in various statistical categories (details below).  I will compile all the entries into a page on my blog so everyone can view it throughout the year.  There will be TWO prizes - one for the points leader at the All-Star Break, and a grand prize for the leader at the end of the season.  I don't know exactly what the prize will be yet, but rest assured there will be multiple auto, patch, and/or other "hit" cards involved.  I plan on putting up my own predictions to play along, but my score won't count as far as winning the prizes is concerned.

Here are the rules:
1.) Pick the 6 Division Champions and 4 Wild Card winners (remember there are 2 Wild Cards in each league now).  Each correct guess earns 10 points.  If you pick a team to win their Division and they win the Wild Card instead (or vice versa) you receive 5 points.  For purposes of determining the All-Star Break prize winner, we will use which teams would make the playoffs if the season ended that day.

2.) Pick who will lead ALL of MLB (not just the AL or NL) in each of the following categories.  A correct pick earns 10 points.  If the player finishes 2nd-5th in the league you get 5 points.  Finishing 6th-10th earns 2 points.
Hitting Categories:
-Batting Average
-Home Runs
-Runs scored
-Stolen Bases
Pitching Categories:

For the Batting Average and ERA categories the player has to qualify for the league title to count.

3.) At the All-Star Break, you are allowed to change any ONE pick to a different choice.

That's it!  To enter, either post your choices in the comments section of this post, or else you can email your picks to me.  All entries must be received by 11:59pm on April 3rd.  If you like the contest, please spread the word by posting a link on your blog - the more entries we get, the merrier!

Good Luck and Go Brewers!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Three New Griffeys

I took advantage of the lull in new card sets to add a fe neat Griffeys to the collection off of eBay.  First up, a pair of 1999 Topps Tek cards:

These are definitely unique looking cards, as they are basically plastic.  It's kind of hard to see against a white background, but the background design of both these cards is different.  That's because every 1999 Tek card had 60 (!!) variations - 2 different player photos, each with 30 different backgrounds.  I already had one other version in my collection, so I've got a ton of work to do if I want them all.  Additionally, each pattern variation has a gold variation that is numbered to just 10 copies.  Yikes.....

But that's not all!  I also picked up a very cool card from 1994 Stadium Club:

I remmeber wanting this card so bad back when the set came out.  The background has an etched foil look to it, very colorful and eye-catching.  Sadly, this card was printed back in the days when it was impossible to imagine Griffey going his whole career without a championship ring....