Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Frankie's Yankees

I was away for nearly three weeks during the holidays.  Seems I'm still celebrating Christmas!  Several packages came during that time, one of these was from Frankie Massa.  His blog is My Life in the Sports Card Hobby.  This mature young man is a 7th grader who loves his Yankees.  We are talking about some BIG love!  He contacted me for a trade back in November. After looking over his lists, I didn't have much to offer in the way of excitement - relics, autos etc.   Frankie still wanted to send cards.  I now have some more nice additions:

                              2014 Bowman Platinum Chrome Prospects
                                                                                             2014  89 Bowman Is Back

                                                   2014 Panini Prizm Prizms and Prizm...confused?

                                                          2008 Heritage Chrome   #/1959

                                                                  2012 Topps    #/2012

                               2010 Heritage Chrome   #/1961  - one of my fave Topps designs

                                                2014 Bowman    #/250    very nice parallel!

Most all the cards Frankie sent were numbered or signed.  At such a young age, when so many teens are concerned with getting,  Frankie has a very generous nature.

                                                                   2004 SP Prospects  #/400

                                                                 2012 Extra Edition  #/799

                                                            2013 Platinum Prospects  #/175

                                                                       2013 Gypsy Queen relic

From 2009 Upper Deck, these Icons are really attractive foil cards despite the dark scan.  Miggy is #d/999 with his buddy Joel sporting a bright white patch.

So far, we've had a nice variety of future and former Tigers.  Frankie threw in one more card and went w-a-a-a-y back for it - another Frank:

                                                                            1959 Topps
Frank Bolling played 2nd for the Tigers and Braves during his twelve season career. He hit only 106 homers but one was a grand slam off Sandy Koufax on Sept. 22, 1965.  Bolling was a four-time All Star, and Gold Glover in 1958.  His young brother Milt played shortstop for the Tigers in 1958.

Frankie, you're a generous trader.  No doubt your generosity is spread throughout the whole of your life!  I hope you're playing ball again - sooner than expected!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The French Connection

Do you know the Card Papoy?  Yes? No?  He is an un-met friend across the deep and wide ocean.  Kevin is a featured blogger in Nacho Grande's Better Know a Blogger series and one of  France's best kept secrets.  He is also a fun trading partner. You're missing out if you're not sending cardboard to France!  If cost is a concern, consider the trade as a charity write-off on your 2014 tax return. I am not a CPA, so this advice should be taken at face value. Kevin has also been nominated by a Cardboard Problem for ROY blog.   Trading with The Card Papoy guarantees a great package of surprises!

Three cards from 2009 Topps 206.  No longer Tigers. I'm still disgusted with the Porcello trade and too ill to discuss the Scherzer news of the day.  Moneyball.  How long can the modern game of baseball survive without a salary cap of some kind?  Would players dare strike again?   I certainly feel like striking today...

An attractive 1993 Gold Leaf Rookie with three from 94 Upper Deck.  I would've liked full blue sky and clouds behind Piazza too, not just along the right side. Ripken is a personal fave, in action on the parallel Electric Diamond.   Below:  Fielder and Clark on 95 Upper Deck. An attractive set of cards in 1995.  Name and logo in copper tones are sharp on the full bleed photos.     1996 Upper Deck Future Stock die-cut insert. Love the purple borders!


The 96 SP design was lost on me. I don't care for the wood-grain appearance, especially in combination with the foil background.  I loved 93 Flair and busted several boxes when it debuted. Sometimes the background photo can be a bit much, as you can see on this Bagwell.

I'm sure there are collectors who don't care for full bleed designs. Are there any who complain about the gorgeous photography found on Stadium Club issues?  1992 and 1999 are featured above.  The older design was an instant classic.  1999 features a splashy brand logo against baseball stitching.  I like this!  What I don't care for is the small, faint team logo.  Overall a great issue, imo.

2004 Leaf Certified Materials.  This card has a mirror finish, which came in handy while creating this post.  How vain am I?  Combing my hair while gazing at my reflection in this card.  This is Eric Munson's moment, not mine. I am so stinkin' selfish sometimes.

2008  UD  A Piece of History Baseball  - the background reminds me of more recent Triple Threads and Museum base designs.  Merely coincidence.

2003 Donruss Timeless Treasures #/900  a very attractive card.  Yet another release issued during the years of my collecting rebellion.  Another which tweaks the urge to obtain the completed set - minus pricey short prints of course. 
 2008 Allen & Ginter's mini relic.  Great looking little card.  This design enables Topps to create even more relic cards.  I imagine a bat cut into little 1/2 inch, square slivers could be added to cards for several years. 
Pudge is a pc.  I liked him as a Ranger and hated to see him leave the team.  I couldn't have been more happy though, when he won a ring with the Marlins.  He now has something most current and former Rangers don't have.  He belongs in the HOF but his roid-related troubles will likely keep him out for years to come, or perhaps always.
 Kevin sent a great batch of cards my way.  I enjoyed the player selection along with the years and brands covered.   But there was one more card at the bottom of the stack - a card even older than me.
Ted Gray played eight season with the Tigers through 1954.  He was a power pitcher known for his forkball.  Ted ranked among the leaders in the AL in strikeouts for four years running.  He also lead the league in homers allowed with 25 in 1953. Blister problems hindered his performance over the years.  In 1954, Ted was traded to the White Sox.  He went on to play for four different teams in the 1955 season.  His career numbers: 59-74 with 4.37 era in 222 MLB games. 
Behold a 1953 Bowman Color:
This beauty needed me!  Centering nice, corners soft and a slight crease which doesn't break completely through the colors. I basically just described myself.  I know this because I have a fancy Munson Mirror card.
Kevin, thanks for the trade! 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Lost and Found - at the Trading Post

AJ (known as The Lost Collector) has been blogging four years or thereabouts.  We recently completed a recently as early December!  Yes, I'm still catching up.  AJ graciously posted regarding our exchange last Sunday.  I want to express my thanks and will attempt to do so without making any AJ-like cracksThere are no guarantees.
I'm very happy to drop my Yanks on another collector. Even more so, to a collector living so near Yankee headquarters.  AJ's recycling program suits me just fine - Yanks in...Tigers out!

Minis from 86 and 88.  Very similar design, two years a part. Very clean cards!

Two cards from 1984

 1994 Panini Stickers.  I do love stickers. The back says bend and peel.  These are most unusal instructions. I can sit and peel just as easily.

 1985 Leaf Evans - I'm almost certain this is the first card I have depicting the Leaf logo.

Petry is on 83 Fleer cardboard.

2012 Heritage, and a 2013 Heritage Martinez.  Is it me, or does Benoit look a little more gansta each year?

 2012 Bowmans include a Tyler Collins rookie.  His cards can often be found on COMC listed under Ty Cobb. Could this be a sign of future greatness?  Of course, Ty Cobb is often listed under Tyler Collins.    AJ threw in 2011, 2013 and 2014 Topps Updates including a 2013 Chrome Update Verlander.
I truly like the 2002 Donruss design. It would've been much improved sans the blank, black box on the bottom front border.  Miggy powers up on 2014 Topps.  I wanted to lick this card.  It looks so grapey good.  Turner shines on 2012 Bowmans Best - pretty much all the shining he did with the Tigers.  He's now a Cubby and a youngster at 23.

2014 BP purple parallel looks pretty edible too.  2012 Topps Archives.  I enjoy receiving these cards because I won't purchase Archives.  The set is too confusing and just one more Topps marketing ploy.
2011 Topps Marquee Miggy numbered 68/299.  The first Marquee in my collection.  In fact, the first time I'd heard of Marquee.  Good-looking, thicker card.

AJ thank you for the trade!  You added some nice cards to my Tiger collection!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Return of the Jedi

Well... technically it wasn't a return but a first trade.  Blog Master, Jedi Jeff sent a surprise my way just before the holidays.  I didn't know what to expect before opening the fat little package.  It wasn't ticking, so I gained a bit of comfort from that knowledge.  The warm up cards on top of the stack were nice but left no inkling as to what may lay beneath them.

These cards hold some great shots! I love the intensity of Benoit's expression, looking nearly mad!  Martinez appears to have a bat in his crack.  Such an odd play. Pudge is one of my fave catchers.  These are great additions to the PC.  Then...there were these:

1992 Stadium Club
I can't  begin to count the cards I gave away years ago but they included a massive number of Stadium Club - all years!  Of course now, it would be nice to have them but some kid, somewhere, is probably enjoying a little collection of his own.  When I stopped collecting in 2002, I gave away hundreds of cards to different little collectors and sold quite a few of the nicer ones.  I needed these subtle beauties!
                                     2007 SP Legendary Cuts          2012 UD Baseball Heroes
             2013 Archives                             2005 UD Past Time Pennants
Following Stadium Club is not always easy but The Jedi Master layed it on thick with some Old Guys, all new to their player collections!  I am now in pursuit of the Past Time Pennants.  Gorgeous card!
I enjoy collecting Negro Leagues players. Known as the black Lou Gehrig, Buck Leonard is one of  35 Negro League players in Cooperstown.  I  want to see Buck O'Neil in the Hall.  He did so much to help his colleagues gain entry and had a more than respectable career in his own right.
Pretty shiny things are these - 2013 Cut to the Chase inserts from Topps.  Harmon will look great in the binder!
 1992 Whitehall Collection Ruthie!  I'm surprised this card scanned so nicely.  It's vibrantly colored!
Something old, something new. Love Nick in those classic threads on a 2014 Stadium Club! Now that's a uniform!  1973 Tigers team card in excellent condition and Cesar looking pretty sweet too, from 1971.
Jeff could've stopped right there, having already made a good first impression I was then Conlon-ized:
Classic photography, classic player names. Black and white simplicity. Bottomley with hat askew, looked like a fun-loving fellow in his day.  Jay Hanna Dean, an all time pitching great - .644 career winning percentage HOFer.  The Iron Horse - card back reads his amazing record of 2130 consecutive games played still stands.
Pepper, Schoolboy.  Hoblitzel?  What's a Hoblitzel?  He was first baseman for the Red Sox and roomie to the Babe. He was Doc after baseball, becoming a dentist.  Ol' Clarence Mitchell hit into an unassisted triple play in the 1920 World Series creating three Dodger outs.

Taking a moment to tell me how he really feels...

 Got Milk?  If not, pour yourself a glass and share some of my old and stale cereal...but do NOT spill it on these:

WHOA JEFF!  FAR OUT!  I love the 1970s.  Love everything about them, except war and possibly Nixon.  These cards are phenomenal!

                                       The 80s had its moments...a few are shown here, from 1983.

                                             1977                                                                    1979

 Just look at those colors!  The 79 design is one of my faves from the Kellogg's issues, 1970-1983.  I would love to complete these sets.  Anything is possible, right?  After all, Jedi Jeff did choose to bestow some greatness on me and I couldn't be more grateful!

A thank you package went out yesterday Jeff, though its contents can't compete with what you sent. I will keep saving those Southside boys for ya! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Have a Coke and a Smile

Right before my holiday break, the Night Owl came calling. I received a surprise mailer containing  cards new to my collection. Greg's famous around the card-collecting, sports-loving blog-o-sphere. His blog was the first I'd come across while researching 1975 Topps.  I had jury duty one day this past July and decided to make the best of a long morning while remaining one of the unchosen.  I read several of his posts and explored other links on his blog roll.  What an super way to collect a paycheck!  Doing my civic duty and reading about baseball cards for hours!
Inside the mailer were these cards - friends and colleagues of some I already owned:
          2012, 2013 and a mini 2014 Allen & Ginter with two 2012 Topps Heritage.
Also included were a few Topps: a 2012 and three from 2013 Opening Day
All were welcomed, joining their fellow teammates in the binder. The best surprise was still sealed in the original cellophane. Greg shared this item on his blog back in October.  He offered it up in trade for something extra-good in exchange.
                                  A TIGERS COCA-COLA THREE PACK FROM 1981!
I can't recall exactly what I sent Greg but it must've been good enough.  In his post, Greg mentioned the 14-year-old in me really REALLY wants to open that pack.  Bring your 14 year old self to the screen Greg and let's open this pack.
Perhaps the most unfamiliar face here is Aurelio Lopez. He was known as Senor Smoke during his time with Detroit. He spent eleven seasons in MLB putting up a 62-36 WL with 3.56 ERA.  Mr. Smoke began his career in the Mexican Leagues and was voted into the Mexican Professional Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993. He has been described as the pitcher with the highest velocity in Mexican baseball history according to WikipediaHe was killed in an automobile accident the day following his 44th birthday in 1992.  An oddity mentioned by W-pedia is that he and the only other players in MLB history named Aurelio (Rodriguez and Monteagudo) were all killed in auto accidents before the age of 53.
The backs on these cardboard collectibles bear the Coca-Cola logo which blends in with the pinkish background. If you responded to the offer on the header card back, you received an uncut sheet of 132 cards. Never offered before!
Greg, thank you.  What a fun surprise!  The Cola cards fall right in line with my love of oddball cards!

Monday, January 12, 2015

From One Crack to Another

In November, I sent one little ole card to Mark of Collector's Crack.  He is a Brewers fan and Robin Yount collector.  I had an oddball card from his want list:

I would've sent more but he was stocked up on all I had to offer. I was happy to drop a PWE his way and expected nothing in return.  Mark was more than grateful to receive a card which had been on his list for over two years. He sent a nice stack of Tigers and a player favorite my way.

The Musial is gorgeous, from the 2008 UD Masterpieces issue. 2009 Topps Ticket to Stardom is a cool design.  I may look for more of my player favorites from this set.

Four more great additions to my collection. I don't stock up on rookies as I did in my collector beginnings of the 90s. No more prospecting for me. Nick is the only rookie I really added this year.  I've picked up several of his more unique cards.  As for sabermetrics, I doubt it will catch on with me. I'm too "old school".  I can figure BA and ERA and am happy with this knowledge.  I have learned enough regarding Wins Above Replacement to know a bigger number is better.
A nice grouping of 2014 Topps parallels. The gold Iglesias and blue foil Nathan are numbered.  Nathan's card is just plain pretty!  The holographic foil is gorgeous.
Not all collector's keep these cards.  I do - and did not have this Cabrera.  I wouldn't call it an oddball but an advertisement with redemption code for MLB 14 The Show in-game currency.  The last and only gaming console I ever purchased was the original Nintendo, 1990-ish.  I did however receive the Atari Flashback 5 for Christmas this year!  Now that is fun gaming! 92 built-in games that defined a generation.  Pong being one of these.
Mark, thanks for these nice additions to my collection!