Thursday, November 23, 2017

Hail to the hats

I've spent a bit of time on ebay lately looking for starter lots (set lots) to jump start my way to getting some sets started.  I've been looking mostly for anything between 1969-1985 that I can find that's cheap and has a decent amount of cards.

I finally pulled the trigger on a lot of 108 1981 Topps cards for $10 shipped.  I didn't think that was too bad, and looking at the set in the price guide it appears that I paid about 1/6th of the price of the set for 1/7th of the total cards.   I can live with that.

What surprised me was that they were in really nice condition, mostly mint or near mint.


There weren't any of the big name RC's (Baines, Raines, Gibson or Valenzuela) but there was a nice mix of commons and semistars.  I only had about a couple dozen cards from the '81 set in my collection, and I really never paid much attention to them, until I received this lot.  Then I noticed something, which probably most of you already did.

The hats.

I got a kick out of how the hats are in the teams colors.  A small thing for sure, but I enjoyed this revelation.  Jeff Newman's A's hat in the scan above, with the green and yellow combo.  Love it.

There were a couple of other hats I noticed.


The Pirates pill box style hats were represented in the pill box style on the front.  That was awesome to me.


The 3 colored Expos bleu, blanc et rouge cap.   Fantastic!

The Blue Jays, Padres and Orioles who all had panels in the front similar to the Expos were all represented the same way on the hat in the corner.  

Even the cartoons on the back were cool to me.


Adrian Devine's 15 saves in '77 actually tied the Rangers record at the time.  He wound up in the winter as part of a very large 4 team trade that involved the Rangers, Mets, Braves and Pirates that saw names such as Bert Blyleven, Willie Montanez, Jon Matlack and Al Oliver change teams.

While the cartoons and the hats may not have been news to most of you out there, I enjoyed this lot of cards and the things that I learned.

They were just cool to me, much like Steve Trout was back in the early 80's...



Thanks for reading, and Happy Thanksgiving!  Robert

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Stuff from last week's card show

I guess yesterday's post was the impetus to get me scanning and telling the story of last week's show.  I have a decent story to tell you as well.  But first, let's get to the goodies.

The first table I hit had several quarter boxes, and I found enough to spend a $10 bill on. 


How many of these Topps Future Stars cards have we seen over the years that have all 3 players on the card go on to have solid MLB careers?  I don't recall too many (although I don't have them all...yet), but this trio all had some quality seasons in the bigs.  Just wanted to throw that out there...


4 quarters.  The Molitor is a dugout collection, and even though the team says Minnesota Twins on the bottom, I'll count it as a Blue Jay card.  The Scott Rolen Topps Co-Signers card is part of a mini sickness that you'll see more of in a minute.   Olerud and Stieb RC's for a quarter?   All day!


I don't know what it is about the Co-Signers cards that has this strange effect on me.  Multiple colors?  Check.  Serial numbering?  Check.  Multiple photos with some serious shading effects on the front.  Check that too.  Not sure why, but I decided to pull these out and give them a home....


84 Topps for a quarter apiece?  3 pretty good ball players as well.  OK, no problem...


I swear that Nolan Ryan has been following me around lately.  Every time I hit a show, I see several cards of his for cheap, and I have no idea why. 
The Dave Parker is my deliberate reminder to get my ass in gear and get a '76T want list on the blog.  I can't even remember how far along I'm into that set.
Fred Lynn from 77T?  Oops, don't know why but I thought that was from another early 80's set.   I guess by this time I was hallucinating and just decided to throw it into the pile.

All 3 for a quarter apiece.


More Blue Jays.   Love the Fleer Futures on the right, it has some Japanese characters on the front which made it look cool to me, plus the fact that I was sure I didn't own it already...


Two cards from two dormant hockey PCs.  I've been doing so well getting my stuff in order lately that maybe I'll do the same for these two collections and get them rolling again.


Now, as all you box hunters know, after a while you get a bit tired sitting there and cruising through the boxes.  By the time I started pulling these cards out, I was feeling a bit restless.  So, I took a big chance on the serial numbered cards, and lucky me, I hit 5 out of the 6 for the SNI hockey set (the only miss was a 99-00 BAP Patrick Marleau card, so not a total loss there either.

The Cam Ward card from the 05-06 Beehive set is for the Goalie Mask set.  Just in case I had gone totally blind, the penny sleeve had the word BLUE in big bold letters. 

OK, now the interesting story...

I hit another table, and this dealer had a bunch of singles from this year's Topps.  10 cents apiece.  I started diving in, had pulled out about 40 cards when I came across this card.


Believing in good karma and not wanting to see a dealer get gypped, I told him "Hey, I think you've got a gold parallel in here among the base cards."  My jaw almost hit the floor when he gave me his response.

"Oh?  My bad, if it's in there, it's 10 cents."

Holy shit.  I am a big believer in karma, and hearing him say this proved it even more for me.  During my digging I found 3 more gold cards, and then I found this card of Mark Rzepczynski the likes of which I haven't seen anywhere on the blogs yet.


There is some absolutely weird stuff coming out of baseball products at times, but negatives?  I had a look on TCDB, and there hadn't even been any of them posted yet. 

For 10 cents, you better believe it came home, even if it's just for a conversation piece.  I spent 10 bucks at his table, and knocked off almost 50 cards from my Series 2 want list.

So for the past 2 card shows, I've spent a grand total of $25, had a great time at both shows digging through boxes, and had a couple of good stories to tell.

Can't beat that with a stick.

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, November 20, 2017

It felt like stealing

I had the itch.  I went to the monthly show the weekend before last, and did fairly well.  I haven't even shown those cards on the blog yet. 

I felt so good that I decided to hit the monthly show in West Palm Beach.  I hadn't been to this show in several months, largely because it's a Sunday only show and it's about a 45 minute drive up the Florida Turnpike.  The show is also a bit smaller as far as tables go. Sundays are usually the day that the wife and I take it easy, do some light chores around the house and try to relax as much as possible.

I did one lap of the show, then settled down at a table with a few dime boxes and dollar boxes.


3 Hall of Fame pitchers from the dollar boxes.  Throw in a well loved '68 Killebrew, a 90 Leaf Griffey (which I already had), and this card..

No matter how I scanned this, I couldn't get it straight
Then I moved on to the dime boxes.  I did all right there as well....


The first couple of boxes I hit upon some early 80's cards, with the stars shown above.  I hit 13 cards from '80 Topps, 11 cards from '82 Topps, the Bench '83T and the Henderson '84T.  I moved on to the last box, and it was full of two other sets that I'm working on, 89 Upper Deck and 90 Leaf.

I hit 70 cards from those 2 sets, and decided that I'd had enough.

All totaled, I pulled a little over 100 cards from the dime boxes, and a half dozen dollar cards.  Handed them to the dealer, fully expecting to pull out a 20 dollar bill to be changed.

He looked through the cards for a few seconds, looked back at me and said  "5 dollars?"

It was the easiest 5 bucks I pulled out of my wallet in ages.  It really did feel like stealing.  I also knew I wasn't going to beat that deal anywhere else in the show, so I left.

I may never spend only $5 at a show ever again.   Guess I'll be heading back there again in December.

thanks for reading, Robert


Friday, November 17, 2017

Inbound and Down #30: A Penny Sleeve for Your Thoughts

You may remember quite a few months ago I ran a little "contest" on the blog, daring people to write posts of 100 words or less.   I offered to knock 5 cards off of their want lists for doing so, and 20 victims dared to take up the challenge.  I told people that I wanted nothing in return, save for the challenge of writing a brief post.

Jon at the A Penny Sleeve for Your Thoughts blog took up the challenge, and wrote an excellent post featuring his cards and using haikus to describe them.  That post was written on March 4th.

Jon has a very long memory indeed, because he sent me a 6 card PWE this week as a thank you for what I sent back then!  Like I said, totally not necessary, but it is greatly appreciated!!

Let's start with the best Jay to wear the #30, Todd Stottlemyre


I always liked the Score Gold Rush cards, and have been stupid enough to entertain the thought of trying to put the parallel set together.   Needless to say, cooler heads prevailed....


Still hurts that EE is gone, but it appears that he's found a good home in Cleveland.  He had a typical EE offensive season (.258/38/107) and drew over 100 walks for the first time in his career.  He'll hit the 350 home run mark for his career early in 2018 (he needs 2) and is about 3 years away from 2000 hits (needs 418). 


Hadn't seen this card before last weekends card show.   I bought it for a quarter, then just a couple days later, it arrives in my mailbox!!  Rock solid foundation indeed, as '97 (the year this card is from) started a run of 10 straight 30+ HR seasons for Delgado.


A pair of red beauties finishes off the envelope.  I thought I had the Clemens card on the left, but a quick look at the Jays want list and sure enough, I was able to remove it from the list.  The stars on the card was the giveaway, as I didn't remember them at all on any of the Pinnacle Certified cards that I have.  Red Panini Prizm's are a favorite of mine as well, and Melky Cabrera (who the Jays can certainly use in their outfield now) was a welcome sight.

Jon, thank you very much for the envelope, it certainly was appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Try A Pack #10: 2017-18 Artifacts Hockey

I got lucky this season.  My annual bid to try and get a parallel or two out of Artifacts only cost me $6.  I was able to find two loose packs this year; every other season I've always had to buy a blaster which contained 8 packs of no parallels.

This year my two packs contained, you guessed it, no parallels.  I'll always keep trying though.

Retail packs of 5 cards cost $2.99, a bit expensive but the cards do look nice (as they always have).


The Hurricanes are closer to having a great team than people think.  They've got a good coach, a great young defense and some shooters up front.  Victor Rask is only 24 and in his 4th season.  He's been a solid contributor each of his first 3 seasons, and should see the benefits of his hard work very soon in the tobacco belt.


Stanley Cup this year?  That's what the Lightning have to be thinking.  Kucherov is the early favorite to win the Rocket Richard trophy, as he and Steven Stamkos are making mince meat out of goalies so far this season. 


Frederik Andersen is the lone Leaf I pulled out of the two packs.  I'd love to see the Leafs find a backup goalie that they fully trust, because I believe that Freddie just isn't a 70 start goaltender.  50-60 is more like it.


Ryan Spooner is part of the turnover in Boston, and he's put up decent numbers over the last two seasons.  He's been hurt a good portion of this season, not having played in the past month.


Part of the west coast beard movement, Jake Muzzin is the defenseman you don't hear about when discussion about the Kings happens.  Hard to believe he's already in his 8th NHL season; it seems like I just started hearing his name in the past couple of years. 

As always, the Artifacts design is for the lack of a better word, elegant.  The Artifacts name is always at the top of the card, and little changes happen at the bottom as far as design goes.  It's as reliable as it gets for card products, you know what you're going to get and how much you're going to pay for it.

thanks for reading, Robert