Sunday, February 19, 2017

Officially kicking off my 1957 Topps setbuild

While my main vintage setbuilding focus right now is 1965 Topps (thanks again to gcrl for helping me make big strides there recently), and then 1964 Topps a ways behind that, I went ahead and finally put together a list for the final vintage set on my cardboard bucketlist: 1957 Topps.

I've always been a fan of 1957 Topps. It's the first Topps set that features real color photography, and its unobtrusive design gives the feel of Polaroid snapshots from the game as it was at the time. Plus it's the first Topps set to use now-standard dimensions, so you don't have the size issues that are sometimes a hassle when putting together older sets. I believe it's also the first set to feature full career stats on the back, something I appreciate.

I've picked up a few cards here and there over the past few years, mostly from vintage common bins at the card show or the cheapest I could find on COMC. And back around the time I first started blogging, I bought a beat-up Mickey Mantle on eBay, so at least I have one of the big names out of the way. A couple notable cards checked off courtesy of traders are Whitey Ford and Hoyt Wilhelm.


As the poor condition of the Mick will tell you (still wasn't cheap!), I'm not being at all picky about condition with my set. Any condition accepted! I won't rule out upgrading someday down the road, but it definitely won't be a priority any time soon.

The set is just 407 cards deep, so after the 752-card monster I battled not long ago that is 1971 Topps, this one seems like a cake walk, at least as far as quantity. As far as quality, there are some pricey cards in there such as Ted Williams, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, etc. Plus rookie cards of Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, and Don Drysdale to name a few.

My list shakes out to 417 cards after including the unnumbered checklists and Bazooka contest cards (not sure if I'll bother with these ultimately, but I've included them for now), and one error/corrected variation.

Plucked from PCs.
Sorting out the cards I already have, I'm just over 5% complete, with 22 cards in-hand.. plus 5 more sitting in my COMC inventory (one of which is a dupe I inadvertently picked up, which emphasizes the fact I was overdue for putting together a wantlist). This will be a slow-moving project, but hopefully it won't take me more than a few years to finish. (Let's set the tentative goal as the end of the decade.)

Anyways: my 1957 Topps spreadsheet.. feel free to take a look and please let me know if you've got any cards I need and want to see about maybe working out a trade. Thanks!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Mr. Cub, Pops, and the gang


Time to wrap up the excellent package from gcrl focusing on help with my 65 Topps setbuild. We've already seen appearances from Koufax and Mays, but the heavy-hitters aren't done yet! Here's a great Ernie Banks card, up around high-numbers territory at card number 510 of 598. Don't see many closeup profile-view photos like this on baseball cards. Sort of reminiscent of those awful embossed inserts from 1965 (which I'm definitely not chasing as part of my set, not to be snarky about it to any of you guys who dig those spooky things).


Man, oh, man, I loves me some Willie Stargell! This was a great one to get. Speaking of strange photos, what's up with that uniform? Some vest action going on?


And a third HOFer to round out the post. While Joe Torre had an excellent playing career, the Hall wants to stress that he's in only for his managing career. If you'll allow me for vent for a second, I think that whole compartmentalizing is bullshit. The questions is should this man be in the Hall of Fame? Yes or no? But the gerrymandering over only considering either MLB career.. or coaching career.. or executive career.. or negro league career. So lame. It disgracefully kept Buck O'Neil out of the Hall until after he died. Similar injustice with keeping out Minnie Minoso and Gil Hodges when you consider their lifetime baseball presence as a whole. Fucking bullshit. The Hall needs to reform that shit.


Of course, ya gotta check out the sweet cartoons on the back.

Thanks to gcrl's help, my 1965 set percentage currently stands at 73⅓. Not bad!


And we'll put a bow on this trade package recap with a very cool Christmas Card RC of one-time Padre standout Seth Smith.

Thanks again, Jim! Pleasure working this out with you as always, and looking forward to our next deal.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

1965 Willie Mays + finally getting some 2017 Topps


The esteemed Mr. gcrl knocked another huge name off my 1965 Topps needs with this glorious Willie Mays.


The Say Hey Kid also bookends the big boppers on this pair of league leaders.


And gcrl supplied me with my very first in-hand examples of 2017 Topps. Some great players here. As I mention at every opportunity (sorry), I'm not really feeling flagship this year (not that I ever rip much of it or try to build the set), so I'll just rely on the kindness of traders to hook me up with guys I collect. So these are very appreciated.

Thanks a lot, Jim!
Still a few more cards from him left to show off tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

1965 Topps Sandy Koufax and Dodgers friends


Amazing package from gcrl arrived the other day. I was super excited for this card. Apart from a beat-up league leaders card, I don't think I previously had any playing-days Sandy Koufax in my collection. It pairs nicely with the sweet autograph I splurged for last month. But technically, this isn't for the Koufax PC, but rather the 1965 setbuild. It's in the right the condition I like for vintage: just off enough to keep the Slabbing Sect away, but still a fantastic, eye-pleasing specimen of a baseball card.


The back's a beaut, too.

And we're not through with the vintage Koufax...


Jim also included this iconic LL card featuring the one-two punch of Koufax and Don Drysdale.


Jim is the cardsphere's premiere Steve Garvey collector, and looks like he had some dupes available to share with me.


We differ in that my fond memories of Garv are from his Padre days, while I'm sure gcrl would have rather he spent his entire career in Dodger blue.


Nice selection of 80s oddballs.


Here's a card that made my eyes light up. Terrific looking relic card.

Great stuff.. thanks, Jim!

And there's more from the package, too, but I'm going to spread it out over another post or two.

- --o

And since this post is heavy on Dodgers and it happens to be Ron Cey's birthday, here's a bonus card to show off today that I picked up off eBay a little while back:


Ain't that pretty?! You know I'm crazy about Topps Retired, and if I see a refractor auto I don't have pop up with a low opening bid, you can bet I'll throw a bid on it.


He'll always be an Oakland Athletic to me.

Just kidding.

Cey seem like a great guy, and is very generous signing autographs for fans. Got a nice TTM return from him last year.

Happy Birthday, Penguin!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My first time opening a pretty girls box

This month's box of cards from my Black Friday stockpile happens to be the first "cards of beautiful women" product I've opened. I've got a little "Girlie Card" minicollection of attractive ladies on cardboard but those were all from trades or purchases, nothing I pulled myself aside from maybe a random card from A&G or something.

I figured I'd line up this box break with Valentine's Day, since amore is in the air.. and there's nothing quite as romantic as ogling scantily-clad young women who aren't your wife, right?
Er, maybe I didn't fully think this through. LOL

(Per my usual disclaimer with these types of posts: I'm incredibly lucky to have an amazing wife whom I love the hell out of. I have nothing but the utmost respect for women. I'm big on women's rights, and have no doubt that the world would be a better place with less men in charge. I also happen to have a healthy appreciation for attractive ladies, which would be dishonest for me to deny, and that interest has spilled over into my card collection.)

Anyways, this box seemed like a good deal for just the price of a blaster.


This seems to be something of a "repack" type thing from Benchwarmer, clearing out some older inventory. In the box, you get a random hobby box from a previously-released Benchwarmer product, plus a special silver foil pack of 7 good cards.

I ripped open the silver pack first.


Ha, kiss cards are kinda funny. Sherry Goggin and Shay Lyn seem to do a lot of athletic-type modeling. I wasn't familiar with Kerri Kasem, but figured she might be related to radio legend Casey Kasem, and yep, turns out that's her dad.


Speaking of famous last names, Nikki Ziering is somebody I actually already knew of. She was married to Ian Ziering from Beverly Hills, 90210 and the Sharknado film series. Nikki has been in Playboy and a few reality shows, and I seem to remember her being a frequent guest on the Howard Stern show back in the day.

The dual auto is kinda cool. That's not the easiest font to read, but I think this pair is AJ and Laura.


Yowza! My silver pack finished strong with a couple knock-outs. Kara Monaco isn't a name I was familiar with, but she looks super cute. Turns out she was 2006 Playmate of the Year and has since done a little acting and was on Big Brother in 2012.

Cover girl Sara Underwood is looking fine with that ABA basketball. Too bad this card is just a dumb promo.. not an auto or anything interesting.. so it's weak as far as considering it a "hit". But yeah, these 2 cards are definitely both locks for my Girlie Card collection. (The rest of the above autos are available for trade, so just let me know if something caught your eye.)

Now onto the mystery hobby box...


World Cup Soccer. From 2006, I believe. Cool, whatever.


Some of my favorites. Too bad the base cards don't have names on the front.


But the names are on the back, typically along with a "backside" photo, as is usual for Benchwarmer cards. A little bio and/or vitals would have been nice, but oh well.


The Racer Girls inserts are 2 per box. Nice looking cards.

The Jaime Bergman is actually a dupe for me, as I got it in a lot when I bought an auto card of hers back in 2014.


I'm not gonna try building the set, nor do I plan to hang onto cards other than the small stack of my favorites, so I've got a lot of cards headed to my tradeables box, including a dozen or so dupes. Anybody interested in letting me thin out a few of these on you? Let me know!

The hobby box promises one auto. Let's see how I did to wrap things up...


Nice! Not sure who Katarina Van Derham is, but she's very cute, so I'm happy with this auto.

So there you go. Not bad for just under $20.. 7 on-card autos and a bunch of additions to my minicollection of pretty girls. Fun to mix it up a little, but I don't plan to rip much more Benchwarmers product (though I do have another small box also from my Black Friday stockpile scheduled to rip this summer).

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Are you fo' real?? (Buybacks 'n' Bunt)


I haven't bought any 2017 Topps, neither unopened nor on the secondary market, yet as you can clearly see, somehow I was able to obtain some of those buybacks all the kids are crazy for. But wait! Take a closer look at the above photo. These are homemade buybacks! Pretty ingenious, right?! You can literally turn every card in your collection into a homemade buyback! All it takes is a pen and a dash of danger.

Sorry, guys, these ones aren't for sale, so don't even bother trying to talk me out of them. But feel free to make you own.

Switching gears to something slightly less stupid.. I've still been hopping on the Bunt app just about everyday since getting a smartphone around Christmas. While I still think it's crazy to consider paying for a picture of a card, it's kind of a fun way to kill a couple minutes during my morning public transportation commute. I wonder when they're gonna get 2017 digital cards on there.. still flogging the old 2016 design. Maybe I'll even try to figure out how to play the game aspect of the app once the season starts. It's my understanding it's sort of like a fantasy baseball thing?

But I suppose my true goal with Bunt is to score some rare cards on there that I can sell for a few bucks, then use that money to buy actual cards. I haven't attempted any sales yet, but maybe one of these days if/when I pull something big.


This might be my favorite digital card I've pulled so far. These were a special 1987 Topps Football insert set briefly available during Super Bowl weekend. I scored the Trout and the Braun. There's one on eBay right now for 99¢, so I guess this isn't gonna be the card to monetize my Bunt experience.

Some of my other favorite inserts:





Wound up with 3 of these Altuves somehow.



I believe this Gwynn was gifted to me by a cardsphere buddy.



And I also typically jump on the Star Wars Card Trader app most days after I check in with Bunt. It's pretty similar, though seems tough to pull anything special, and I have no idea what's up with the "game" aspect to it, I just open packs and hope for something cool. Again, it'd be nice to eventually be able to sell some of those fake cards to fund the purchase of real cards, but yeah, I like Star Wars so it's kinda fun to rip a digital pack. Here are some highlights from my lil' virtual SW card collection:








Cool.

I'm not necessarily trying to convince anyone to get in on the action, just scraping a post together out of some of my favorite digital cards. Don't worry, traditional cardboard collectors, I won't make a frequent habit out of posts like this.

While I'm not a huge hockey fan, I've also tried to find the Upper Deck ePack app, but couldn't find it. Is it not available on Android or something?

But yeah, Bunt, SWCT, and Twitter are mainly what I mess around on my phone with. I've resisted any dumb, addictive games as I don't want to get sucked into them. I used to play Mafia Wars back in the day and I got borderline unhealthy about it, pointlessly leveling up all the time. I can barely keep up with my Twitter feed. And yeah, I actually try to keep up with my Twitter feed. It might make me look like a jerk when I don't follow back someone who follows me, but damn, I can barely keep up with the accounts I follow already.


I'll end the post with a half-hearted plea...


I think Bunt "free digital pack" code cards like above were inserted in 2016 Bunt (physical) packs, and they're due to expire at the end of February 2017. If any of you readers have any of these sitting around unused on the cusp of being wasted, I'd be grateful if you could hook me up with them. Whether physically by snail mail or just scratch it off and email me the code, I'd be happy to put them to good use. I don't want them enough to, like, trade you good cards just for them, but if you're thinking of sending me cards before the month's out and have a couple to throw in, go for it. Or if you have a bunch and email me the codes, I'd definitely mark you down for future considerations.

Anyways, yeah if you have any of the expiring Bunt code cards you're not gonna use, let me know. Thanks!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Basketball Cards, c'mon, grab your friends

I got some basketball cards in recently. Growing up in San Diego, I was out in the cold as far as having a hometown NBA team to root for, so I never really got into the sport too heavily. But I'm still a casual fan, and keep a passing familiarity with what's going on in the game, especially since I started watching ESPN's Pardon The Interruption with some regularity again (I try to schedule hitting the work gym around the time it comes on so I can watch it while I'm on the stationary bike or treadmill.) While I don't have a favorite team, I've grown to feel a particular appreciation for the San Antonio Spurs, just because they seem like a classy organization who wins a lot with minimal drama bullshit. And because of this I kinda-sorta have little player collections for Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.


This sharp relic #'d /99 was a recent contest win from Sport Card Collectors. He runs a bunch of contests, many of which I enter, and every so often I end up on top of the randomized list. He's had a couple issues lately with contest relics he sent out getting damaged in the PWE (sending relics in a PWE can be risky, as the relic hole makes the card more susceptible to creasing when slightly bent than a standard card), but lucky for me, this one arrived safe and sound.

Thanks, SCC!

-  -- ---o

Keeping the Spurs theme going, I just got a surprise trade package from Billy at Cardboard History that gave my recently-begun Tim Duncan PC a huge boost.


When I decided to officially add Tim Duncan to the list of guys I collect, I gave Billy a heads-up, figuring he likely had a few dupes he could share with me, and sure enough, he hit me with a baker's dozen of great cards.


Billy is one of the rare guys on the cardsphere who doesn't really collect baseball, but he still managed to scrape up 3 baseball cards for me. Ha, I'm not sure why the emphasis on Giants, but I'm not going to complain about a Willie Mays insert and a couple shiny Buster Posey cards.

I feel like Topps ripped off Panini for that particular refractor parallel design used on the Fearless card on their new 1987 Topps "silver pack" parallels. Judge for yourself:

NOT MY CARD. Picture snagged from eBay.
Very similar looking background pattern.. sort of a Transformers logo type design. Not sure why Topps couldn't have come up with something fresh. Almost as bad as naming their fishfractors "Prism" refractors even though Panini is obviously the card company most associated with the term.

But back to the trade package..


Billy also included a magnetic one-touch for me (a little Goo Gone should get that price tag off without much trouble) and a Jason Collins card for my Pride PC.

Big thanks, Billy! Much appreciated.

- - - --o

This last one for today is from a recent combined-shipping eBay order, but it fits in with this post...


Just a plain white swatch, but nice to add a hit to my sprouting Tim Duncan PC. He doesn't seem to have many auto cards out there, and the ones he has are very expensive, so I probably won't be landing one anytime soon. But hopefully with his extra free time in retirement, he'll sign an autograph contract with Panini and get some more autos on the market.

So that's it for now. Basketball cards aren't a priority for my collection, but it's nice to add a few once in a while. Have a great weekend, everybody!