Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Dropping Hamiltons? I'm your guy

I like Billy Hamilton. Exciting on the basebaths and many awesome catches in the outfield (which in turn means he has many neat looking cards). His hitting needs improvement, sure, but if he could just get his bat going, he'd really be a badass. To me, he's sort of a throwback to a guy I enjoyed collecting back in the day, Vince Coleman.

SpastikMooss of the blog The Great Sports Name Hall of Fame recently decided to focus his collection by selling off many PC items to fund a big purchase for his Seneca Wallace supercollection. I asked about his Billy Hamilton PC. He suggested a very fair price, and we quickly had a deal.

Kicking off some shiny Bowman minis.

More shiny.

Howabout some die-cut shiny?

A couple relics. And check out that dirty swatch on the Ginter! Normally I'd be skeptical of it (due to stories of artificially-soiled swatches), but Billy is a guy who's known for getting his uniform dirty, so I'm more willing to accept this as legit.

I think these are now my earliest cards of his.

Yet more shiny.

A couple #'d Bowman parallels.

And a bunch more. I think my Billy Hamilton PC has been doubled thanks to this lot.

And a sweet RC auto.

SpastikMooss threw in some bonuses too, including a couple Topps wax packs and a stack of blank dummy cards. These are nice to have around for turning into sketchcards, though I do have quite a surplus right now. I should crank out sketchcards more often but I'm lazy about it.

And one last card I asked him to include in our deal, this sweet Vlad Guerrero patch card. Easily becomes one of the more impressive memorabilia cards in my collection now.

Thanks a lot, man.

He's probably still got more stuff to part with, so check out the PC links at The Great Sports Name Hall of Fame and don't be afraid try working out a deal with him if something catches your eye.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

National Baseball Card Day After

I didn't do anything to celebrate National Baseball Card Day yesterday. Didn't trek out to any card shops, didn't rip anything or even receive any cards in the mail. I did win a '65 Bob Uecker on eBay, but won't get that in-hand till next week. The highlight of my Saturday was a karaoke party with the team from work. While I'm known as "the quiet guy" at work, I don't mind breaking out of my shell to make a fool of myself and belt out a few songs. I've done my share of singing (see my recording alter ego), so it's not a huge deal to me, despite my shyness. Let's see, yesterday I did "Under Pressure" (doing the David Bowie part, while a female co-worker was Freddie Mercury), "China Girl" (Bowie), "A Little Respect" (Erasure), "Friday I'm in Love" (Cure), "It Takes Two" (Rob Base), and "Rio" (Duran Duran). It was at a place where your group gets its own room, so we didn't have to sing in front of strangers, which was nice. Fun time.

Anyways, while grocery shopping today, I figured the wake of National Baseball Card Day was good enough excuse for me to blow some cash on retail. Grabbed the last couple packs of 2017 Allen & Ginter and one of the two 2017 Chrome blasters on the shelf. This is the first retail I've bought this year, with the only '17 cards I've opened so far being my pre-order a few months ago of 2 boxes of 2017 Archives and a box of Star Wars 40. I know this isn't exactly the same as supporting a LCS, but still, buying retail once in a while at least makes me feel like I'm doing my part to keep baseball cards popping up on the shelves.

A&G pack 1. Well, Strasburg is a guy I collect.

Fish insert, jockey mini, and a modern buyback. As most bloggers have mentioned, buybacks in Ginter are terribly out of place and Topps should be ashamed at themselves over that blunder. An original Ginter card from the 1800s? Yes, that would be awesome to pull from a pack of Ginter. I'd begrudgingly be ok with an A&G buyback from recent years. But 2006 Topps flagship? Does not belong in there.

And here's pack 2. Meh. I think the Pomeranz is a SP, right? Besides the Strasburg, all these A&G cards are available for trade.

So those Ginter packs were duds for me. Let's hope I have better luck with Chrome...

Base available for trade.

Keepers! Nice Mookie Betts sepia refractor.

Refractors and an insert. I could be talked out of these. Nothing serial numbered, unfortunately.

Insert keepers! Jose Altuve, Corey Seager, and Carlos Correa.

And the best card of the blaster...

Boom! Judge fishfractor! That's worth the price of admission, right there. I know he's cooled off since the All-Star break, but still a sweet card to pull.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Celebrating with a Kirby Puckett auto

I wasn't planning on posting today, but I'm in a great mood. It's late in the day on Friday, and I got a fat raise at work today. I feel like a celebratory post is in order.

Really though, a few years ago, I was looking for a job for a looong time. Practically littered Portland with my resume. Several jobs that I would have been perfect for and I couldn't even get an interview with them motherfuckers. Hell, I even submitted an in-person application at a local burger joint and I never heard back from them. Quite demoralizing. So it's a sweet vindication to have landed this position a year and a half ago, and kicked so much ass where they're stressing how much they value me and giving me a big bump in pay to show it. Feels good!

So here's a cool card I picked up a month or so ago.

(pictured here with the Dan Fouts TTM success I got in the same day.)
I bet Kirby Puckett had his share of doubters in his time, too, being a short, stubby guy who didn't look like a typical world-class athlete. But he showed them all, putting together a HOF career with a couple WS rings before health issues forced him to retire at 35.

I re-started collecting Kirby not that long ago. Wanted to add an impressive centerpiece to the PC, and ended up deciding on this Sweet Spot auto, among the most plentiful (affordable) certified autos of his on the market. Looks great. When these faux ball pieces were signed in sharpie, the signatures tend to fade, sometimes disappear completely. But the ballpoint pen autos stick pretty well. And you gotta feel confident that it's not counterfeit, because what sorry sack of shit would want to go through all the trouble of creating a fake piece of a baseball built into a fake card. More hassle than it's worth, right?

So yeah, love this card. Brings a smile to my face everytime. Thanks for stopping bye and have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

A few 1965 Topps caged beauties

I'm at the point where I'm gonna have to spend some decent money if I want to keep moving with my 1965 Topps setbuild. The cards I'm featuring today get me past the 90% complete mark, with most of what's left being big-name guys and high numbers. Since I have a soft goal of finishing the set by the end of the year, expect to see more 65s on the blog over these next 4+ months as I try to focus my card budget on picking off needs.

Four big pickups to show off today. Hobby purists be warned: they're all slabbed. I'm usually not big on graded cards, but if I'm going to shell out for vintage stars, I'll often pony up a little extra for graded copies just so I can be reasonably confident they're not counterfeit, plus it's nice to have added protection against damage. But I don't concern myself with the assigned grade as long as the card looks nice enough to my eye.

The great Bob Gibson. Gotta love this card. Between League Leader cards and World Series Highlights, he's in this set a few times.

And here's Gibson's teammate and fellow Hall of Famer, the speedy Lou Brock. It's his first Topps card as a Cardinal after coming over from the Cubs. This is a short print, from back in the days when those really came out of the printing process, not planned and artificially created.

I figured now would be a good time to go after some set-need Pete Rose cards, seeing as how he's been in the news for alleged nefarious activities (that don't have anything to do with gambling/money, for a change).

Not sure how much of an effect it's had on the value of his cards, but I think I got a good deal on this, just his 3rd Topps card. It's only graded a 2, but looks pretty damn good, unless you angle it in the light to reveal some minor creasing. (That's another reason for buying graded vintage: less chance of being surprised by flaws that might not show up in pictures.)

Last one for today, big Willie Mac! Such a nice looking card.

Got a few more (non-graded) '65 eBay wins on the way that I'll probably post about next week. Factoring those in, I'm down to 53 cards left.

1965 Topps Needs (as of 8/10/17):
3 AL 1964 Home Run Leaders - Harmon Killebrew / Boog Powell / Mantle
55 Tony Conigliaro - Boston Red Sox
120 Frank Robinson - Cincinnati Reds
130 Al Kaline - Detroit Tigers
134 World Series Game 3 - Mantle's Clutch HR
206 Willie Horton - Detroit Tigers
220 Billy Williams - Chicago Cubs
236 Denny McLain - Detroit Tigers RC
260 Don Drysdale - Los Angeles Dodgers
282 Giants Rookies - Dick Estelle / Masanori Murakami RC
308 Mets Rookies - Cleon Jones / Tom Parsons RC
310 Johnny Callison - Philadelphia Phillies
321 Rusty Staub - Houston Astros
329 Hawk Taylor - New York Mets RC
340 Tony Oliva - Minnesota Twins
349 Larry Miller - New York Mets RC
352 Alex Johnson - Philadelphia Phillies RC
353 Jerry Lumpe - Detroit Tigers
360 Orlando Cepeda - San Francisco Giants
369 Phil Linz - New York Yankees
378 Chuck Estrada - Baltimore Orioles
381 Al Jackson - New York Mets
384 Johnny Klippstein - Minnesota Twins
385 Carl Yastrzemski - Boston Red Sox
386 Cubs Rookies - Paul Jaeckel / Fred Norman RC
405 John Roseboro - Los Angeles Dodgers
440 Tom Tresh - New York Yankees
445 Don Lock - Washington Senators
455 Norm Siebern - Baltimore Orioles
462 Lew Krausse - Kansas City Athletics
470 Yogi Berra - New York Mets
474 Cookie Rojas - Philadelphia Phillies
475 Clete Boyer - New York Yankees
477 Cardinals Rookies - Fritz Ackley / Steve Carlton RC
487 Woody Woodward - Milwaukee Braves
495 Joe Christopher - New York Mets
500 Eddie Mathews - Milwaukee Braves
513 New York Yankees Team
519 Bob Uecker - St. Louis Cardinals
521 Phillies Rookies - Dave Bennett / Morrie Steevens RC
532 Hector Lopez - New York Yankees
533 Mets Rookies - Napoleon / Ron Swoboda / Bethke / Tug McGraw RC SP
545 Jesus Alou - San Francisco Giants SP
550 Mel Stottlemyre - New York Yankees RC SP
554 Chico Ruiz - Cincinnati Reds SP
566 Yankees Rookies - Gil Blanco / Art Lopez / Moschitto RC
572 Baltimore Orioles Team SP
573 Red Sox Rookies - Lonborg / Moses / Mike Ryan / Schlesinger RC SP
579 Dick Smith - Los Angeles Dodgers SP
582 Bob Schmidt - New York Yankees SP
592 Frank Bork - Pittsburgh Pirates RC SP
593 Tigers Rookies - Jackie Moore / John Sullivan RC SP
597 Twins Rookies - Joe Nossek / Dick Reese / John Sevcik RC

If you've got any of these available to maybe work out a trade, please let me know and I'll do my best to make you a solid return offer for consideration.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Pickles and Eagles

I'm finally pretty much caught up with card blog reading. I do the majority of this activity during downtime at w0rk, so when I had to go out of town for a few days, I fell behind, then the following week I was busy making up for that lost time, without much downtime. Then the week after that I had jury duty a couple days, so yeah, it took me a while to get caught up.

Anyways, before my trip, my wife and I caught a Portland Pickles game. Pickles are all the rage right now. Apparently Pickle Rick is a big hit in a recent Rick & Morty episode I haven't watched yet. But the Pickles I'm talking about are a collegiate woodbat baseball team who play in a stadium that's just a convenient Max train ride down the line.

It's a nice little stadium and tickets are cheap, so it's a good way for us to catch some live baseball. The team consists of college kids keeping busy during the college baseball offseason, as is my understanding. So nobody I've heard of, though I should really keep track of the roster at games I attend so maybe one day down the line I can be like "hey, I saw so-and-so back before he was drafted and became a star!" As far as other baseball options in Portland, there's also the Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks A-ball affiliate), but that's further away from us and more expensive.

It was Craft Beer Night, so we had a couple reasonably-priced quality brews and got a little tipsy, took a few selfies.

Small world; we were sitting close to a former co-worker of my wife's and they caught up for a bit on our way out.

I wasn't able get a great photo of the scoreboard, but the home team was getting spanked, trailing 12-4 in the fifth inning. With all the scoring, the game wasn't moving too fast, inning-wise. Since I had to wake up at 4:45 am for my morning flight, we cut out early. Miraculously, after we left, the team mounted an incredible comeback and won the game in the 9th, 14-13. Bummer we missed the excitement, but nice that they pulled out the win. They're now 3-0 in games we've attended, so that's cool.

The Pickles eventually made the playoffs, and play a must-win game tonight to keep the season alive. Too bad it's such a short season, as I'd love to catch another game, but looks like we'll have to wait till next year.

Switching gears here, but I wanted to work some cards into the post somehow. 

It's not a Pickle, but it's green and features an amateur player. Sean Ross was drafted by the Blue Jays out of Granite Hills High School in the 40th round this past June, but decided to stick with his commitment to attend San Diego State University instead. I'll be rooting for him to perform well with the Aztecs and move up the draft board.

I wasn't expecting him to have any cards out there, but took a look on eBay and discovered he was included in 2016 Leaf Perfect Game. I kept an eye out for a good deal on one of his cards, and ended up landing this green auto #'d 4/10. (Kicking myself for just missing out on the 1/1 parallel that ended days before I started looking.)

(Ug, I need to retake this photo)
The other Granite Hills Eagle to be drafted this year is Jayson Rose. The Brewers took him in the 8th round out of the University of Utah. Looks like he's starting tonight for the rookie league Helena Brewers. So far this season, he's got 35 strikeouts and just 8 walks in 27.2 innings, though he's given up 28 hits. I'll be hoping he's able to move up the system and make it to Milwaukee before long.

I took a look for any cards from him, and again Leaf Perfect Game came through. This one is from way back in 2013 when Jayson was still in high school. Was only able to pick up the base auto, but I'll keep an eye out for a nice parallel. Sure looks like the signature says "Jason" not "Jayson"... hmm. (Funny enough, I went to school with a kid named Jason Rose, but I don't think there's any relation.) I've got a pending TTM request out to him; really hoping that comes back successfully one of these days. I'll be interested in comparing the signatures. Maybe I'll get lucky and he'll be included in Bowman Draft or something.

Anyways, thanks to Sean and Jayson for doing my high school proud, and best of luck with your careers.

Monday, August 7, 2017

2014 Prizm Draft box for August

Ok, you regular readers here know the drill: I bought a bunch of hobby boxes on sale last Black Friday with the intention of rationing them out over the following year, giving myself an affordable monthly ripping fix. I'm proud to say I've been strong and stuck to the schedule I came up with.

We're now down to the penultimate box of 2014 Panini Draft, which is responsible for about half of my stockpile from Black Friday. Yes, I'm pretty sick of this product by now, but hey, these boxes were cheap, and I still think they were a better purchase than a blaster of Bowman or Donruss or whatever else I would otherwise likely be buying to scratch the pack-opening itch.

The colored refractors in this box weren't bad. Jorge Soler made a name for himself as a hot, young Cub not long ago, though he's faded since being dealt to KC.

Alex Jackson is the coverboy for this product, featured on the box and wrappers, but hasn't made much noise lately. The former 6th-overall pick by Seattle is currently in the Braves organization. These neat looking "Blue Mojo" parallels are #'d /75.

Jared Walker is a corner infielder grinding deep in the Dodgers chain, while Victor Arano is a reliever doing ok with the Phillies' AA club.

And here are the regular refractors ("prizm prizms") of the box.

Monte Harrison is a top-20 prospect for the Brewers with good speed on the basepaths and defense in the outfield.

Miguel Almonte saw brief time in the majors this year and in the Royal's Championship season of 2015. Currently on the DL, but has good numbers in AAA.

Alex Verdugo is having a nice year in AAA and might get a September call-up with the Dodgers. Heard his name a lot around the trading deadline with several teams interested the outfield prospect, but Los Angeles was able to hang onto him.

Taylor Sparks isn't having a very good year, batting .179 on the farm for the Reds.

And the autos. Oh man, that Rusney Castillo auto would have been a sweet hit back when this product first hit shelves! He was hot stuff, getting a huge contract from Boston after coming over from Cuba. But of course he was a huge bust, and is now collecting his fat paycheck in AAA. (For what it's worth, he's having a solid season down in Pawtucket, batting comfortably over .300 with career highs in homers and stolen bases.) This is the first stickergraph I've pulled from the product. The mostly on-card autos are definitely a selling point for me. Another thing odd about the Rusney is he was an international signing, not a draft pick, so seems a little out of place in this set of 2014 draft picks.

Ti'quan Forbes, a third base prospect with the Rangers, hasn't done much yet, but he only turns 21 later this month, so he's got time to get going. Pretty sure I pulled a base auto from him in a previous box. This purple refractor is #/149.

Andrew Morales has been pitching decently in the Cardinals chain, though hasn't made it passed AA yet. The Press Proof parallels are #'d /199.

So this box wasn't too great.. but man, 2 or 3 years ago it would have been exciting to pull a Rusney auto, plus #/75 parallels of Jorge Soler and Alex Jackson. Maybe those guys will eventually reach their potential and become solid major leaguers, but that ship has probably sailed. Oh well, still a fun rip. Sadly, I don't think any of these cards are really keepers for my collection (might want to hang onto the Verdugo, though), so let me know if you're interested in trading for anything (also have lots of base from this product I'd like to unload).
Thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

LaDainian Tomlinson PC

LaDainian Tomlinson was inducted into Canton this weekend, elected in his first year of eligibility. As a Chargers fan, it was a treat for me to watch him back in the day. He's a class act and you couldn't ask for a better face for your franchise. Great player and great man. You can check out this HOF speech on YouTube.

I've never been a huge football card collector, but I've compiled a decent LT PC over the years. Let's take this opportunity to check out the cards of his I have.

Easily the highlight is this auto/relic/xmas card.

A few memorabilia cards, including a bit of metal from a face-mask (#'d 85/400) and a couple jersey swatches.

Some cards from Score, including an Artist's Proof #'d 10/32.

Good ol' Upper Deck.

These are Leaf, Panini, and Fleer cards. The orange Etched In Time is #'d 12/25 (woo!). The Leaf Certified Materials is #'d 71/150. The Timeless Triples is #'d 17/100.

Some Topps cards. The card in the top-loader is #'d 136/149.

And we close out with a bunch of 2007 Topps/Chrome cards.

I'm always up for any other Tomlinson cards I don't have in trade.

Congratulations on making it into the Hall of Fame, LT! Thanks for everything.