One Man's Thoughts on Sports Card Collecting

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Trade with Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle

The moment I hinted that I had pulled a Dodger hit in my box of Series 1 Topps, Greg from Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle was ready to do a deal.  He happily took my Clayton Kershaw auto, and in return he sent me a couple sweet hits for my collection.

First, a nice bat card of The Kid:

Greg had also offered me a card of a former Milwaukee Admiral that is now skating for their parent club, the Nashville Predators.  I told him that I don't really collect hockey much, but I would take a card of former Admirals-turned-Predators goalie Pekka Rinne if he had one, not that I actually expected he would.  To my surprise he quickly replied back that he did indeed have a Pekka auto!:

Thanks for a great trade Greg!

One more thing - as a teaser for my next post, I reached a big milestone in my collection this week.  Tune in next time to find out what it is!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Thar She Blows~!!" - Super Hit at Pack Wars

My latest trip to Pack Wars was proving to be quite a bummer.  I was limiting my spending this time around, so I was buying fewer packs than usual.  As the end of the night approached I had pulled a whole lot of nuthin'.  The only card of any note came from 2011 Topps Chrome - a Topps Heritage Chrome insert of Ichiro.  A cool card, but nothing to get all that excited about.  I was barely even paying attention when I noticed they were breaking a box of 2011 Topps Finest.  When I heard they were going with $7 a pack I said "ah what the heck, I'll take one"......

That's when I pulled, as the guy next to me called it, a "white whale."

Brandon Beachy One of One Yellow Printing Plate Dual Patch Auto
How awesome is THAT?!?  That's only my second ever one-of-one, and my first ever printing plate.  WITH patches. AND an auto.  AND featuring a hot rookie pitcher too!!

I almost felt a little bad for the guy next to me - he wasn't paying attention when the store owner was checking to see who wanted packs, so the owner had momentarily skipped over him to give me my pack and then went back to him.

I almost felt bad.  ;)

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Non-Topps Gold Rush

Jo got me a cool gift for Christmas that I never got around to posting - a set of 23 karat gold cards!  They were a specially produced set of 4 made during the middle of the 1998 season called "Chasing 61 HRs". As you might have guessed, the set featured the three players after Maris' record at that time - McGwire, Sosa, and my boy Griffey!

The signature and name stamped on the front of the card are done in a sparkly foil.  There were 9861 sets made ('98, chasing 61), and each comes with a certificate of authenticity.
That wasn't the only card Griffey showed up on:


I actually have 2 other gold Griffeys in my collection already, I'll have to post them another time.

Previous  Trivia Question:

Who holds the record for most instances of homering from both sides of the plate in the same game with 12?
Answer: The Yankees' Mark Texiera is the owner of that record.
Today's Trivia Question:
On September 14, 1987, the Toronto Blue Jays set a record for most home runs in a game by one team.  How many did they hit?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Trade with Justin's World

I recently worked out a trade with Justin of Justin's World.  He is toying with the idea of going after the whole 2011 Topps Gold set, so I sent him pretty much all of the Gold cards I pulled from packs last year.  In return he sent me a bunch of Platinum Diamonds to help me on my quest:

And also a handful of Topps Inserts I needed:

Thanks Justin!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Trade with It's Like Having My Own Card Shop

It was a busy day Saturday, I mailed out no less than FOUR trade packages!  One was headed out to Arizona for Dan of It's Like Having My Own Card Shop.  I sent him a Chris Young diamond die cut and some other assorted D-Backs, and in return he sent me a few Platinum Diamonds:

He also sent a number of 2011 Topps Inserts I needed:

Finally, he added 4 more Griffeys to my collection:

The Looney Tunes one is probably more accurately called a Jim Abbott card, but Griffey is on it so hey, that counts!

Thanks a lot Dan!

Previous Trivia Question:
Which two American League teams list their Spring Training home as Surprise, Arizona?
Answer:  The Royals and Rangers each have their Spring home in Surprise.
Today's Trivia Question:
Who holds the record for most instances of homering from both sides of the plate in the same game with 12?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Topps Jumbo Wrappers Free to Good Home

Hey everybody - I've got 4 Jumbo wrappers that I won't be sending in for the redemption program since there's no way I'll get 14 by the end of the month.  If anybody could use them just comment below!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

2012 Topps Series 1 Box Break & Set Review

As we all know, there has been a lot of negativity around this year's Topps flagship release.  I wanted to reserve judgement until I had the cards in hand.  Now that I've gotten an up close look, I would say I'm mostly positive on the set, though I do have a few criticisms as well.  Let's get to the break!

Base set completion - 296 out of 330, no duplicates
1987 Topps Minis - 9
Golden Moments - 9
Golden Greats - 9
Golden Giveaways - 6
Home Run Legends - 2 (Weeks 6 and 8)
Timeless Talents - 6
Gold Futures - 6
Gold Standard - 6
Classic Walkoff - 4
Gold Parallels - 9

My one hit for the box was a pretty decent one:

Not the greatest looking signature though.
I purchased a few jumbos along with my box, and those packs produced a couple more hits:

Thoughts on the base set:
I have a feeling this is going to come off more negative than I intend it to, but I do have a bit of a complaint about this year's design.  It is perfectly OK.  And that's my issue with it.  When I look at the three Topps sets I've seen since getting back into the hobby (2010-2012) I think all of them are fine, but they are all very similar. There's nothing truly interesting or unique about any of them, as if Topps' goal is to make sure nobody could possibly be offended by the look of the cards.  In 20 years I think I would have a hard time remembering which year was which.  Contrast that with another 3-year period back in the 90s:

Those three designs are each very distinct - more than 15 years later I have no problems picturing the designs of 1993-1995 in my memory.  Of course the risk in doing this is that sometimes you're going to come up with a design that people don't like, for example I was not a big fan of the 1995 design.  But I would gladly put up with an occasional clunker to get others that are fresh and exciting.

Like I said, I hope that didn't come off too negative, because I do like the set this year.   I just want Topps to take more chances! 

The photgraph selection was really good in Series 1, lots of plays at the plate and other unique perspectives.  The focus for some of them seemed just a tiny bit fuzzy though, I couldn't tell if that was just my eyes playing tricks on me or not - did anybody else think that too?

Thoughts on the inserts:
I'm mostly pleased with the insert sets this year.  I do understand the complaints some have voiced that these are the same concepts under a new name: Timeless Talents is Legendary Lineage from 2010 and Dynamic Duos from 2011, Gold Standard is this year's "Topps 60", Golden Moments is like Peak Performance from 2010, etc.  However, from a looks standpoint I think these cards are very sharp, the best of the past three years.  I especially like the Timeless Talents, Gold Standard and Golden Greats cards.  The gold parallels also look good - not as good as last year's Platinum Diamonds, but nice.  And of course, there's also the AWESOME 1987 Topps minis.

I do have a minor issue that the Classic Walkoff and Gold Futures sets were clearly designed with making them into patch cards in mind - they look good when there is a patch or auto on them, but the base versions are kind of ugly in my opinion.  The Golden Moments set was also clearly designed to be hit cards, but in that case I think the base versions still look nice.

Favorite non-hit card:

Least favorite card:
I'll remember that last pitch of the NLCS at Miller Park until the end of my days.  At least I got a second one in one of the jumbo packs, so I was able to do this:

That felt surprisingly satisfying.

Bottom line - I enjoyed busting these packs.  The 1987 Topps minis were just as good as I hoped they would be!  Now if I can just get Topps to start putting Griffey in their insert sets we'll be in business....

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Hobby on ESPN

Happy (belated) Topps Launch Day!  I got myself a regular box and a couple jumbo packs yesterday, scans and discussion to follow shortly.  As a hint of what I pulled, I'm starting to think I'm some kind of Dodger magnet when it comes to pulling hits out of packs....

For today though, just a quick post with a link to a fun article on that talks about some of the memorable card photos in hobby history in the wake of all the press over this year's Squirrel card.  I liked the story of the Orel Hershiser card best.  Check it out!