Monday, March 31, 2014

An Easier Rainbow?

I just heard Matt Vasgergian call an opening day game a "lidlifter".  I LOVE that term.  On to the post

I'm not sure how other collectors deal with cameos.  As for me?

This card is in my Tony Gwynn PC.

This card is in my Brian Downing PC.  And if I had a Wally Joyner PC, the back side of this card would qualify for that too.

I think I've mentioned before that this card:

is in my Mike Trout PC.  Luckily, I actually think its a pretty cool card to begin with.  And Jose Altuve is kinda like the Bert Campaneris from the 60's Athletics of the Astros from the 10's.  (10's doesn't sound right.  Oh well)  I think Altuve is a guy I could actually root for anyway.

With that in mind, I picked up this:

4 down, like a billion to go?  Eh, I'll get some more.  For now though, I've got a mini rainbow Trout.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Déjà vu all over again

So after debating whether to buy more Heritage, I did.  And just like the first rack pack, my second was all base cards, no inserts and one SP.

This was the SP in my first pack:

This was the SP in my second pack:

Yup, the only duplicate I've gotten in two packs is the SP.  Any Giant fans out there?  Wait, isn't there someone out there chasing SPs? 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Poor Paul. and Justin, and Hunter

I bought a rack pack of Heritage last week.  Really like these cards.

Got one of the league leader cards.  It clearly tells us that Pedro Alvarez led the league in homers, followed by Paul Goldschmidt, Jay Bruce, and Dominic Brown.

Wait, what?

Uhhh, shouldn't Alvarez and Goldschmidt shared the top row?  And shouldn't Justin Upton and Hunter Pence been included in the second row?  At the very least, I think Goldschmidt got jobbed.

Moving on.  I do really like these cards. Nice thick card stock.  Great design (who doesn't love '65?  Anyone?  Bueller?)  I got all base cards, with one short print.  I kinda like getting less inserts.  When there's a ton of inserts that I don't really like, I feel sorta cheated.  The collector side of my brain is like "Buy more!  Do it!".  The other side of my brain is all "Dude - short prints" and "Dude - $6 for 20 cards?  Base cards are $5 for 36" (My other side is a surfer dude, although I've never surfed).  I don't know what I wanna do yet.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Now I'm Bipping myself...

I have a habit of going on to eBay and putting in low bids and just forgetting about them.  I don't win alot of auctions this way, but when I do I usually get a good deal. I posted about a win the other day I got in this way.

A day or two after that, I won this:


A day or two after that I won a 35 card lot.  It included these:


That's okay.  Those were actually not the cards I liked most in the auction anyway.  I'll show what else was in there.

 A bunch of The Future is Now.  These are basically all available.

This is actually kind of a classy looking insert set.  But kinda boring too.  I'm not really into any of the inserts this year.  These are all available too.

I haven't pulled any of these 50 Years of the Draft cards from a pack.  The puke green parallels have me feeling ambivalent.  I like parallels, but again - puke green?  Worse yet, I actually already have that Adduci in puke green.  These are all available.

Gold parallels.  Now we're talking.

But those still weren't my favorite part of the lot:

Oh yeah.  Slayer parallels.  I'm probably in the minority, but I love these.  Can you imagine a full set of these.  In a binder.  Page after page.  Just me I guess.  This only brings me to 15, so I guess I'll never know.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Time Travel

I spent a couple of hours on Sunday attempting to get a handle on some unorganized cards stacked on the desk, stuck in boxes, stacked on boxes... you get the idea.  I sort my cards by brand.  I'm not sure if this what naybody else does, but it seems to work for me.  I still have about 1,000 Topps cards to get sorted but all the other brands got put either into their respective sets, or into one of my many "doubles" boxes.  Well, except for a stack of oddballs.  I think that's where my system fails me.

In going through my cards I kinda noticed something...well.... I think something became clearer to me.  Let's take a trip back in time.

Okay, not that far.  Way too far actually.  But that is a good looking piece of cardboard, no?

Yeah, there.  Let's go back to the late 70's.  What do these cards all have in common?  They're all made by Topps.  And they're rather unimaginative.  Maybe even boring depending on your point of view.  Don't get me wrong, I like these sets, but still. 

Fast forward a few years.

What do these cards have in common?  Still both made by Topps.  But much better looking cards.  Better design.  Better color.  Better.  At least I think so.  So what happened?

Those happened. 

To be clear, there are definitely some misses here too.  But there are some hits, and more importantly, there's a little competition.  Topps couldn't rest on its laurels.  Had to work a little bit.  Had to compete.  Had to deliver a better product.

Let's fast forward a couple more years.


More competition.  If I'm not mistaken Score was the first company to use those hermetically sealed packages for their "wax" packs.  I remember being frustrated by those things.  And they put a full color picture on the back.  And they used whiter card stock.  Score may not have the huge footprint in the hobby of some other brands, but they actually came up with a couple innovations that would become standard practice. 


Upper Deck took the next step from Score and introduced "premium" cards.  Their hermetically sealed packages were foil.  Their cardstock was even better.  Photos were probably better too.

But of course, they had to go and beat the dead horse.  And the dead donkey next to it.  The few brands started putting out more and more sets, and under more names too.

And eventually we end up here.  Too much competition.  Too many brands.  Each putting out too many sets.  I wasn't collecting by the early to mid 90's.  And I'm glad.  Who can keep up with all of this? 

In the span of less than 20 years, we went from 1 company putting out 1 set, to 15 companies putting out 15 sets each (or so it seems).

Fast forward to 2013.

That is probably not all of the sets put out by Topps in 2013.  And it doesn't include any of the Update versions.  Or any of the 30 inserts that were included in each set.  Or the 30 parallel versions of each set.  So we've now got the worst of both ends of the spectrum.  1 company putting out 45 sets every year.

Back in the day I could binder my PCs 1 year to a row.   It really worked for my OCD.   That's actually the binder page as it sits today.  You know how many Tony Gwynn cards were produced in the three years shown above?  41.  That includes oddballs like Mother's Cookies and Fun food pins.  41 is an attainable number.  You know how many Mike Trout cards were produced in 2013 alone?  540.  540 is not an attainable number.

Here's my rant, you can skip ahead if you want.

Hey MLB, you've got it wrong.  Again.  Since the day the National Association was formed in 1871, you baseball owners have been trying your darnedest to screw up the game.  Cross ownership of teams, Artificial supression of salaries, refusing to employ a large chunk of the population, failing to realize that revenue sharing is the only way to save the game, stubbornly sticking to the reserve clause, ignoring the impending age of Free Agency, allowing the NL and AL to have a major rule difference for 40 years, electing wimpy commissioners, failing to have a commissioner at all, etc. etc. blah, blah.  I know baseball cards aren't necessarily on the same plane of importance as the governance of the game, but you're screwing this up too.  I don't know what you think Topps is holding over your head, but I guarantee you that they need you more than you need them.  Issue another license to a company like Panini!  And another if there's a qualified company out there.  Sooner rather than later.  And follow that up by limiting every company with a license to a reasonable amount of product every year.  Let's see some competition in the marketplace!  Why should Topps showcase your business in a way that is best for you, when there's no competition for that dollar??  They showcase it in a way that is best for them, because there's no competition to stop them.

end of rant.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-Topps.  I was always a Topps guy back in the day (despite my devotion to 1982 Fleer).  I just think Topps has run amuck.  Anyway, I think if we look over our history as a hobby, there's a couple lessons back there. 

Baseball cards are supposed to be fun, right?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

This is what Not Heritage looks like

Stopped by the red parallel store on the way home from work.  I really did need other stuff, but to be honest I was there for some Heritage.  There.  I said it.  And I finally found some.  And I bought it.  20 cards for $6.  I probably won't be buying any more.  Which is weird, because I really like the product.  Good design, nice feel.  I'm just a product of the junk wax era.  I don't want to spend $6 for only 20 cards. 

But that's not what I'm going to post about now.  After I grabbed my Heritage I was about to go check out.  Then I saw those plastic boxes of cards.  100 cards for $4.  You all know the ones.  4 cents a card is right up my alley.  After all, my first summer of collecting was cello packs of 1982 Fleer.  30 cards for 50 cents (or less maybe).  I've been passing on by these for awhile now, because I always get stuck with a crapload of 1987 and 1989 Topps.  Don't need 'em, don't want 'em, don't have the room for 'em.  But the fronts of these had 2010 Topps on the front.  Hmmmm.  So I flipped one over, and saw

Well, not the 1989 Fleer specifically.  I saw the 2012 Update pack and a pack behind it.  Unopened packs?  Okay, let's try this.  Yeah, I'm the only guy left who doesn't have any 2012 Update.  I rooted around until I saw this on the front of one:

There's my box.  Unopened pack on the back.  New to me Angel card on the front.  Let's see the highlights (for me at least):

Behind Vladdy on side 1, there were

some 2012 Topps.  Really, 2012 is a highlight?  Well, yeah.  Quick (hopefully) background.  I'm at my aunt's house for Easter in 2012 with my daughters.  She takes the girls to go shopping, and brings back 2 packs of 2012 Topps as my "Easter basket".  I hadn't bought any cards in literally 15-20 years.  But I liked these.  And the interest in cards started to come back a bit.  I didn't buy any more cards that year, but I did in 2013, and here I am blogging (well, pretending I'm a blogger anyway).  Moving on.
*1992 Pinnacle Gary Gaetti - It's an Angel. Yay!  It's the Rat.  Boo!
*couple of random cards, then
I kinda like minor league cards now.  This was before the Angels were affiliated with the Travelers, but look.   It's a pitcher batting.


*couple random cards
*5 1987 Topps, woohoo
*random cards
*1989 Topps, yippee

I know there's a certain blogger out there who wants this card.  But I'm keeping it.  I'm not showing it to tease, but because a) it's an Angel I don't have and b) best uniform the Angels wore.  But you can't see it.  Oh well

So its a mirror?  I don't get it.  Denny's was giving away baseball card/mirrors with Grand Slams?

*1987 Topps
*1990 Donruss
*2 1989 Topps

 Love these!  These were sort of oddball to me back when I was collecting.  I think they only showed up in cello packs or rack packs.  I didn't buy those often so I never had many.  Now, they make up the most redeeming part of these re-pack dealys.  Ripken there goes into my PC, the rest might make me try to finish the set.

On to side 2

More 80's Topps/oddballishness.  I'm coming to enjoy these sets in general, and this one in particular more and more over time.

Why show 2010 Topps?  Mostly Mr. Mathis up there goes into my new "Topps Angels base sets 1961-present" binder.  But he didn't feel like being alone.

Hey Junk Wax, you're showing 1986 Fleer?  Seriously??  Well, yeah.  It's Update!  Somebody must have broken the boxed set to get Bonds out.  I'll take remainders.

*random cards
*2 1987 Topps
*random cards
*2 1979 Topps.  I have both, but I bet they're both upgrades.  Nice

These are those little cards with stickers on the back.  Ryan will go in my PC, but the rest?  eh.  The Carters are variations though.  One has Doug Drabek and some Indian on the reverse.  The other has Gary Redus and Cecil Espy (I think).

Then the packs.  I'm not opening the 1989 Fleer.  I have a factory set.  If anybody wants the pack, speak up.  Otherwise I might stick it on Listia.  As for the 2012 Update:

12 cards.  Here are the 9 regular cards in the pack.  No Angels.  I do like the surfboard design though.

I guess the Golden Giveaway counts as a card?  What a rip-off.  Wait, its Topps.  So.  Yeah. 

All in all, I did about as well as I could expect from a re-pack.

Not really a post

Blog has been quiet the last week or so, which is kinda normal for me I guess. I have a post idea, but I need to figure it out.  I am mailing out a couple PWEs today though.  Its good to get rid of cards.

I went ahead and grabbed these on eBay.

Best player in baseball.

Friday, March 14, 2014

It'll wait....

So I look around the room and I see cards that need to be organized and filed.. just generally need to be put away.  I've got piles from repacks that should go into trade packages or PWEs.  I've got a couple stacks of Angels from John that I really deserve a post.  I've got Angels that I've pulled for my frankenset that didn't make the cut and need to go back from whence they came.  You get the idea.

So what did I decide to do?  Like any good collector...I went off in search of more cards.  Duh.  I went down to the blue parallel store.  I needed other things anyway (the rallying cry of the adult card collector!).  But alas, they had no 2014 Heritage on the shelves.  Booooo. 

I works Sundays, but I'm taking the day off.  So with no kids around I'll be organizing on Sunday.  I think.  No, I will.  Maybe.

But on my trip I did send out a couple of packages.  There's one full of Red birds and ducks.  One full of blue birds.  And one full of miscuts.  Hopefully there'll be some happy recipients.

I can't end the post without a card though, right?  I'll end with Mr. toothpick himself:

I recently traded some 2014 base cards with Old Foul Cardboard, and included in the package I got back was UL up there (no periods Topps) and a note saying he'd love some warmer weather.  I don't know about him, but I appreciate knocking one more card off my 1979 want list.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Random Pack Rip

So I found myself at a Dollar Tree store after work tonight.  I wanted to pick up some cheap bubble mailers (I have a trade package that should have gone out Friday.  Bad blogger).  I picked up a couple other cheap things and then walked by the card section. 

They had some packs of 2014 Topps, but I've had my issues with the base set this year and I just know that all 5 cards in the pack would be dupes. And there's no Slayer parallels in there, so those were not for me.

Then I saw some packs of Triple Play.  7 cards to a pack for unlicensed cards?  Eh, what the heck.  I can get 7 cards to send out in some PWEs and it will scratch the pack ripping urge.

These things are kinda flimsy, but kinda neat at the same time.  I just realized these are 2013s too.  I got a sticker insert there.  If anybody wants any of these, let me know.  They're yours (somebody out there collects Rizzo, right?).

Hey Junk Wax, that's only 6 cards!  You're right.

Ha!.  That's a hit as far as I'm concerned.  Something else I just realized.... As I was putting this in my Trout binder, I got to put it next to the base card from the set.  This card was worth the buck.

On a completely unrelated note... My new chip cover was VERY lucky for me last night.  Entered a tournament and won the whole thing.  Oh yeah, Mr. Weaver is going with me every time I play.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Group break results (Quick post)

I have seen many blog posts about 2014 Donruss.  I must say that I kinda liked the design.  I've thought that the border is a bit wide, but otherwise it was pretty decent.  But I really had no desire to buy packs of the stuff.  As I've said, I'm pretty much limiting myself to one set a year.  So when I saw that Cardboard Collections was hosting a group break, I thought "Hey, perfect.  I can get Angels."  And really, outside of my set building, I just want Angels.  So I signed up (I was assigned the Padres randomly).

There's my haul.  Two Trouts for my PC.  The Pujols is a "Press Proof" and is number to /99.  I've seen comments on the glossy fronts, pro and con.  I like it.  These aren't meant to be old Donruss throwbacks.  But they are meant to be reminiscent of an old design, just a nod to the past really. 

I think Panini had to reach to do write ups on the back for Pujols and Hamilton.  They trotted out Hamilton's last 30 games (conveniently forgetting his horrible first 121 games).  And they cherry-picked Pujols' 3 interleague games against the Cubs (conveniently fogetting his other 96 games).

But there was more.

I've been asked a couple of times by bloggers about my use of the Cowboys star as my avatar.  The simple answer is that while baseball is my favorite sport, the Dallas Cowboys are my favorite sports team.  Colbey must have been paying attention.

Unexpected Cowboy bonus!  That Dutton comes from my favorite football set, 1982 Topps.  That was first year Topps had the NFL license, so Topps made sure to put the logos front and center.  Staubach is of course an all time great.  Miles Austin might just be on his way out the door, thanks in part to the emergence of Terrance Williams there.  And Dez is possibly the most gifted receiver in the game.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

All the way to my mailbox

Now I'm re-using title ideas.

I recently posted about a couple packages I received on the same day, but I also got another package a day or two later.  Marcus from all the way to the backstop contacted me and offered to send me cards for my 2014 Topps base set.  He even threw in the "Don't worry about sending anything in return" line (although I do have a smattering of things to send back).  If anybody out there has a stack of doubles and a want list, let me know.

In addition to all the 2014s he sent me, he also included some other gems.

I've sent off all the "Power Players" I've pulled, but this one I'm keeping.  I'm unwittingly creating a Richards rainbow (interestingly no base card):

There were some Trouts:

I had the red bullseye parallel of the "2012 AL ROY" card, but not the base card.  That 2012 Bowman looks an awful lot like his 2014 Topps base card.

There were some retro unis:

That Vaughn is yet another new to me set from the era when I wasn't collecting cards.  Ryan there is #3 in my Angels Frankenset.

But Marcus didn't just send me Angels.

Anthony Keith (what?  I said I read the backs of cards...including 80's Donruss) is one of my longest standing PCs.  These cards are pretty sharp looking with the green marble border.

But there were more Padres

Two stars I can cross of my 1979 want list.

And then there was this:

This thing is outstanding.  And totally new to me.  Ironic that a card from a haircutting franchise shows (almost) no actual hair on the card.  From the perforations I'm guessing that it was either attached to other players, or maybe more advertising?
(Update 3/5: I just now realized that it opens at the perforation.  Duh.)

Thanks again Marcus.