Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Latest Pickups - 2000 UD Legendary Jerseys - Night and Day

My latest pickups in my quest to get the entire 2000 Upper Deck Legends Legendary Jersey insert set came in this week.  The first is a card that has been pretty tough to find as I have not seen many of them anywhere, including eBay.  I remember watching WTBS Broadcasts of the Braves games as I was growing up.  Even though the Braves were not very good during those years and my main reason to watch WTBS was World Championship Wrestling, I did like watching Dale Murphy play.  Much has been written about whether or not he should be in the Hall of Fame.  While his power stats are pretty good (398 HR and 1266 RBIs), and his 2 MVPs (82 and 83) look impressive, I personally don't believe he should be there.  One cannot argue his character though, perhaps, one of the best people to play the game.

On the other hand, I give you the next card of a player that many people question, both his career numbers and his character.  Barry Bonds finished as the All-Time Home Run Leader in baseball.  However, achieving that feat with the help of steroids has cost him greatly.  I still think he was one of the most gifted players to play the game even without the help of steroids, but the fact that he did this during one of the most controversial eras of baseball and his relationship with BALCO have meant that his career and his records will always be tainted.  Would I put him in the Hall of Fame....yes, but I don't care if he never gets there.  

Ironic that the two cards that I get this week are players known for their power, but whose character is so drastically different.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

COMC Purchase - 2000 Topps HD and One Card Challenge Request

My second group of cards from my recent purchase at COMC was all but 2 of the cards that I needed to complete my 2000 Topps HD set.  This set is something that I recently have been trying to complete as I mostly forgot about it after I received a box of this back in 2000.  The box was a birthday present from my wife and it was the first time that I had bought or received any high-end cards (at least I considered it high-end then).  After striking out at a number of shows and shops looking for these, I decided to see what COMC had.  Luckily, they had all but 2 cards that I needed and I was able to get almost all of them for between 25-35 cents each.

I remember loving the quality of the pictures when I opened my first pack.  The cards are also printed on very thick card stock to the point that they almost have that "credit card" feel.  Here are three of the cards that I received in my purchase, all of them some of the games great players:  Alomar, Boggs, and Griffey.

Before receiving these cards I would have said I really loved the set, but the next three cards changed my mind.  Can you figure out why?

It is a good thing that the name is on the back of their jersey because the photos that they decided to use reveal nothing of their face.  I hadn't noticed this before with the cards but I am now a little disappointed with what Topps did.  While I appreciate the action shots of all three, I can't help but wonder how better the cards could have been if the photo was taken from the opposite side.

This did bring me within 2 cards from completion of this set.  One of which I have since bought in a lot on eBay.  I probably wouldn't have purchased the lot, but I was able to get the Juan Gonzalez card along with 21 other cards including some duplicates of the above cards for only $2.50 with free shipping.  I decided I couldn't pass that up, and the other cards would make good trade bait.  So if anybody is interested in some 2000 Topps HD, I will try to post what I have on my trade page later.

This leaves me with only 1 card remaining and another One Card Challenge.  My last remaining card is #76 Sean Casey.  If anyone has this, let me know and we can work out a trade.

Monday, March 19, 2012

2012 Trade Post #10 - Hobbs' Knights - 91 Topps Set Completed

Jason from Hobb's Knights sent me some great cards including many of my set needs and some Royals.  The first group of cards I would like to highlight are two names that you won't come across often, Gene Harris and Jeff Pico.  They are quite important to my collection though as they are the last two cards in my 1991 Topps Set.  Mission completed!

He also sent me some 2011 Heritage and some 2011 Year of Topps Insert cards.  I am now over halfway finished with that insert set.  Gotta love me some "Country Breakfast"!  And for those of you outside the KC area, that just happens to be the fan created nickname of Royals DH Billy Butler.  With Butler size and speed, most Royals assume there hasn't been a country breakfast that Billy didn't finish.

The trade include some 2009 Topps American Heritage cards, one of which is a short print of the 2008 Presidential Election.  Being a history teacher, I really like this set along with the American Heritage Heroes set.  I have used those cards as a good conversation starter/lesson plan in some of my classes.

Finally, Jason sent over quite a few Royals including cards of two my favorite Royals, George Brett and Dan Quisenberry.  One of the cards is quite unique as I had not seen this set before.  The 1998 Skybox Dean Palmer is clear on the right side.  You probably cannot see that on the scan, but Palmer is raised up on the card while the entire right side of the card is clear plastic.  Very cool! 

Thanks again Jason!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

COMC Purchase - 1983 Topps and One Card Challenge Request

I recently made my first purchase on COMC which eventually led to a delivery of 116 cards I needed for various sets I am building.  You will see some more posts in the upcoming days about what I received.  I was in a discussion with a friend of mine the other day about COMC vs. eBay.  I tend to like both a lot.  However, if I am needing something specific, I will most likely head to COMC to handle those needs.  I think just about 95% of the cards I bought were less than the listed price thanks to the "make an offer" option.  The S&H can be a problem when you add it up.  $25.00 to ship doesn't sound too reasonable at first, but if I figure what it would have cost me to get the same items on eBay, it turns out to be a pretty good deal.  Of course, you will want to wait until you have a good number of cards to ship to make it as reasonable as possible.  I went ahead and spent an additional $4.00 on the standard shipping vs. the economy shipping.  I think it was well worth it.  My cards all came in sleeves inside a small storage box which was securely packed inside a larger box.  Much better than some of the stuff you get through eBay sellers.

Anyway, my first group of cards I want to show are from the 1983 Topps set.  I needed four of these but I upgraded one of my checklist cards with one that wasn't marked.  My favorite card from this lot was the 1982 Stolen Base Leaders card.  Tim Raines led the N.L. with a very impressive 78 steals, but the 1982 season was Rickey Henderson's 130 base swipes which stands as the modern day record.  It is only surpassed by Hugh Nicol's 138 stolen bases during the 1887 season with the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

This leaves me with one remaining 1983 Topps card, a Whitey Herzog #186.  I have posted this over at Night Owl's One Card Challenge.  While my first one card challenge was unsuccessful since I ended up getting it at Wes' Baseball Cards in Lincoln, NE, I hope someone will be able to help me out with this one.  I have also posted another challenge which is a 2000 Topps HD Sean Casey #76.  I hope someone out there can help me out with these.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

2000 Upper Deck Legends - Legendary Jersey Collection - Joe Torre

I have not posted most of latest additions to my 2000 Upper Deck Legends - Legendary Jersey Subset collection.  I have slowed somewhat on the acquisition of these cards to focus on putting together some of my sets.  I was able to get this Joe Torre last week relatively cheaply off of eBay.

That brings my collection to a total of 24 cards out of the 52 total cards.  You can see my complete collection on another page of my blog here.  I plan to continue to try and put this together.  So far I have spent just under $100.  However, I have a long ways to go as there are some short prints that will be quite hard to find and even harder to acquire.

Apparently, I am not the only person trying to put this subset together as I saw a post on the Beckett forums from a collector that is trying to complete their set.  There is also a person on eBay that is currently trying to sell a complete set, that he says is the only one in existence.  I believe it, but I will continue to put this together as a very long term project.  In case you want to go ahead and buy the complete set, you can have it all in a nice frame for only $5995.00.  Here is a link to that auction.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

C.S.I. Cardboard - 1974 Topps Fran Healy

This is my second attempt to take a card and try to find out what game the picture was taken at.  The first was last year with a 1994 Topps George Brett which you can read about here.  I decided to give it another shot when I received a trade package from Anthony at Get The Bat Off Your Shoulder and it included several Royals including the subject of this version of C.S.I. Cardboard, a 1974 Topps Fran Healy.

The Clues
First, we have the subject of the card, Kansas City Royals catcher, Fran Healy.  The second clue, and this is what originally caught my eye, was the play at the plate with #15 sliding into home.  White uniform, black or "midnight blue" letters (but no visible pinstripes?), #15, sideburns.....none other than the legendary Thurman Munson.  It appears that Munson is scoring a run as Healy is preparing to catch the throw.  Because of the Royals powder blues and the Yankees home whites, we can assume the game was played in New York.  Night game???   Hard to say, photography is not what it is today so we will have to go with the four things we "know":

     1.  Fran Healy was catching for the Royals.
     2.  Thurman Munson was playing for the Yankees.
     3.  Thurman Munson scored a run.
     4.  Game played at Yankee Stadium.

The Story
The Royals played the Yankees six times in New York during the 1973 season.  The Yankees scored a run in all six games.  Healy and Munson both appeared in three of those games, but Munson only scored a run in one of them.  Three scoring opportunities appear in the box score.  

The first was in the bottom of the 2nd after Munson reached on a fielder's choice when he grounded to Freddie Patek who threw to Cookie Rojas for a force out at second base.  Munson would move to second on an error by Patek during Gene Michael's at bat.  He would then move to third on a grounder to second by Horace Clarke.  Munson then scored on a single to left by Matty Alou.  It is doubtful that Munson would have had to slide trying to score from third on a single to left. (Not that it couldn't have happened.)

The second opportunity was in the bottom of the 4th when Munson tripled off Royals starter Dick Drago.  The next batter, Michael, lined to the second basemen for the second out of the inning and then Clarke singled to left scoring Munson.  Again, doubtful that Munson would have needed to slide on a single to left.

Munson's third and final scoring opportunity would come in the bottom of the 5th when he drew a walk off Royals reliever Steve Mingori (which was the other 74 Topps card Anthony sent...hmm!) moving Johnny Callison to second.  Michael was next and hit a double to left field (and I will assume to left-center here because of the angle of Healy in comparison to Munson sliding) scoring Callison and Munson.  This play is most likely the play pictured on the card.  Munson scoring from 1st on a double would have likely resulted in a somewhat close play at the plate, enough for Munson to have gotten dirty.  

The Yankees would go on to win that game 10-3.  Healy, the card's subject, would go 2 for 3 in the game with one RBI.  Munson, would end up going 3 for 3 with 2 runs scored and a walk.  He would raise his average to .294 with this perfect day.  Munson would be an All-Star during the 1973 season while also winning his first gold glove.

The Day
July 12, 1973 - Bottom of the 5th Inning

Case Closed!

Friday, March 9, 2012

2012 Trade Post #9 - Get The Bat Off Your Shoulder

Anthony from Get The Bat Off Your Shoulder and myself helped each other complete our 1992 Topps sets.  He sent me a big stack from 1992 including the Iron Man and the Big Hurt.

He also sent me 4 of the last 5 cards I needed for my 1983 set including the biggest set of 1980s shades you have ever seen and a perfect picture of fundamentals for infielders.  By looking at Guy's stats it reveals that he literally couldn't "get the bat of his shoulder".

Finally, Anthony got me closer to completion of my 2011 Heritage set with some great cards including Mr. Angel and Mr. Ray, Albert and Evan.

Thanks for a great trade and enjoy your completed 1992 Topps set.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Local Card Shop - Wes' Baseball Cards - Lincoln, NE and Opening Day Baseball

Warm weather + Opening Day baseball = Road Trip.  Today, I headed north to Lincoln, Nebraska for the University of Nebraska home opener against Kansas State.  I went for the Wildcats NOT the Huskers!!!  I remembered a card shop that I visited about 8 years ago so I decided to see if it was still in business.  I found Wes' Baseball Cards to still be in business and full of cards like I remembered.    Wes' Baseball Cards has everything you will need...boxes of commons, many different types of wax packs and boxes, graded cards, relic cards, vintage cards, supplies.  You name it, he has it.  The store is full but very organized.  I had a great conversation with the owner prior to heading to the game and ended up spending an hour and a half finding cards to check off my want list.  Staying true to my promise to not buy any 2012 Topps but work on my set needs I came away with the stash you see below.

A few cards from 7 different sets including 1973, 1983, 1992, 2009, 2010, and 2011.  The one card at the bottom right, a 2009 Topps Chris Dickerson, was the final card I needed to complete my 2009 Topps set.  That was worth the trip right there.  However, if you look at the top left, you will notice what I am most pleased with.  A big stack of 1973 Topps including many high numbers!  I have yet to check, but I am pretty sure this will knock my set needs under 50 as there are well over 100 cards here.

Unfortunately, the Wildcats lost today in an exciting game.  But the day was worthwhile with a trip to Wes' Baseball Cards.  Stop by if you are ever in need of anything!  Here is his information below.

Monday, March 5, 2012

2012 Trade Post #8 - Coot Veal and the Vealtones

Dustin from Coot Veal and the Vealtones and I completed our first trade.  While his cards are on the way with some Orioles and Tigers, I received some nice additions to my Royals collection as well as some fillers for some of my set needs.  I want to highlight the first group of cards because that is what got the trade started. A Justin Huber auto along with a Alex Gordon Bowman parallel and a Joakim Soria Chrome parallel.  I would imagine not many of you have probably heard of Huber.  Justin Huber spent 5 years with the Royals, Padres, and Twins systems, then went to Japan and finally to his native Australia.  I don't know where he will be spending this season, but it looks as if his Major League career my be finished.  It is still a cool card that I am glad to add to my Royals notebook.

The rest of the trade consisted of some more Royals including my first 1975 Topps Mini of Vada Pinson.

Some 1992 Topps, 2009 Topps, 2010 Topps, and 2011 Heritage to help fill some set needs.  Here are the 1992 Mattingly, Olerud, and Mussina cards.

Some very important 1973 Topps for my big project which put me over 500 cards of the set.  They just happen to be the Braves, Giants, and Orioles team cards.

And finally, what may be the best card of the trade, one of the last cards I need for my 1983 Topps set, a Wade Boggs rookie.

Thanks Dustin for a great trade.  I hope you will enjoy your cards that are on the way.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Collecting Goals - A Look Back at the First 2 Months of 2012

For the first time this year, I set some collecting goals for myself figuring that would keep me on task rather than the usual randomness of my collecting.  I figured now would be a good time to go back and see what I have done since a goal is only as good as the effort put into it.  Back in January, here is what I listed as my 5 goals for 2012, where I was then, where I am today and how I got there.

1.  Complete the 1973 Topps Set.  43.5% Complete on 1/1/2012.  75.5% Complete (498/660) on 3/4/2012.   2 trades/1 eBay purchase/COMC.

2.  Complete the 1983 Topps Set.  98.4% Complete on 1/1/2012.  98.5% Complete (780/792) on 3/4/2012.  1 trade with 2 more on the way.

3.  Complete the 2000 Topps HD Set.  76% Complete on 1/1/2012.  98% Complete (98/100) on 3/4/2012 (Need 76 Sean Casey and 78 Juan Gonzalez).  2 eBay purchases/COMC.

4.  Complete the 2009-2012 Topps Base Sets.  None completed on 1/1/2012.  Only ones currently not done as of 3/4/2012 are 2009 Series I (One Card Challenge) and 2010 Series II (Need 4 Cards).  This has been my biggest success through a LCS/5 trades/4 eBay purchases/COMC.

5.  Start working on 1 set per decade beginning in the 1970s.  1973, 1983 were started by 1/1/2012.  1973 and 1983 still going, 1991 and 1992 started and about to be done with a couple trades, no 2000s started yet.  Upon completion, the next sets to be started will be 1975, 1981, 1993, and ???.

I think I have made quite a bit of progress over the last two months.  I was hoping to have the 1983 set out of the way, but I have a couple trades in the works that will bring in most of those and then I will finish it off from COMC.  So while I am disappointed with that, I am pretty sure that I can have that one crossed off before the end of the month.  I would also like to get the 2000 Topps HD finished soon.  I am down to 2 cards but am having a hard time locating them.  The recent Topps base sets are where I have really had success.  Looks like I will be able to get those knocked out within the month as well.

However, my #1 goal, my big project, 1973 Topps, will keep me busy throughout the year.  I am getting to the point where all I have left are the star cards and the high number series.  I am hopeful that I can get to some card shows this summer to try to get some good prices on those cards and work toward completion.

Friday, March 2, 2012

One Card Challenge - 2009 Topps - #114 Chris Dickerson

So I have taken part in my first One-Card Challenge by Night Owl.  I have been trying to get some of my wantlists cleared off before buying any 2012 packs.  So far, between trades, eBay, and COMC, I have made quite a dent over the last couple of months.  However, I need one card to complete my 2009 Topps base set so I decided to take part in the challenge.  It is #114 Chris Dickerson.


Thanks to Night Owl for putting this Challenge together.