Saturday, March 28, 2015

Chopped Memories

On Valentine's Day, I offered up several Kellogg's cards in need of a home. The Card Chop's Steve Cornell bravely laid claim to a card which resulted in our first trade.  I'm slowly working on team sets so he lent a helping hand:

1978 Topps - hard to believe I didn't already have these cards.  In general, the 70s are my favorite decade until you hit 1977.  I'd entered junior high in mid-year 6th grade after a sheltered year and a half at Christian Heritage Academy.  I felt lost and was truly a misfit.  I'd always made friends easily and couldn't understand why I wasn't accepted by my new peers.  This was the year I became a wallflower.

I hid between the pages of teen magazines and books. School became a place to prove myself.  If the other kids didn't like me, it would be because I was the smart kid.  4.00 straight A.   Wrong-o.  My strategy backfired.  I became the teacher's pet. Now they wanted to beat me up.   In 1978, they tried.

A girl my age but a little smaller, punched me.  In all my life, I don't think there have ever been so many eyes focused on me.  Quite a crowd gathered around to watch the fight. This episode probably began my long streak of disappointing others.  As she waited for me to throw a punch or tackle her.....I....did.....nothing.  I stood there, staring right into her eyes.  She said something like aren't you going to fight back?   No.  I was not.  Little did she know, I was used to being knocked around. 

I ran into her a couple years later when she was transferred to my high school...into my home room class.  Oh goody.  I had settled into my wallflower life  - and did manage to remain mostly unnoticed all throughout high school - and here was my recent past sitting right across from me.  She approached me one day only to ask if I remembered that afternoon she punched me. Uhm, well of course.  She said she'd never been so scared in her life when I didn't hit her or defend myself.  It wasn't what she expected.  She never bothered me again.  And I resigned from my position as teacher's pet.
Steve's a mad man.  One look at his blog and you'll surely agree.  I hadn't expected to take a trip down memory lane, nor to share this story until I sat down at the keyboard.  The cards are wonderful and my 78 set is complete but for a Lou Whitaker rookie card.  I have Jack Morris, Parrish and the Molitor/Trammell rookies.  Steve threw in a few extra niceties, including a 78 Bucky.  I love me some Dent!

                                                                     April 10, 1979 issue

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Snake Charmer

There's a snake in my boot!!  I've always wanted to say that.  Thanks to Daniel and his card shop,  snakes are no longer a problem!  I packed them all in a box and shipped them first class to his door!  In exchange for the reptilian cardboard,  he sent Tigers:

Armando is a First Day Issue, 2008 Stadium Club.
Prince in his too-large bubble helmet on 2013 Topps Update Gold  0097/2013
Carlos Pena - 2003 Upper Deck Classic Portraits.  I recall watching him in the minors.  He was playing first and flirting with girls on the first row.  I was a few rows back and delighted when he made an error.

Josh Rainwater - 2003 Bowman Draft Pick   I'm a black border fan despite the problems dark borders create.   Josh never made it out of the minors.  Card back says he aspires to control his own likeness in a baseball video game someday.  Perhaps the focus should've been on his pitching and making the bigs first.

 2012 Topps Career Day and Mound Dominance
 2015 Topps Highlights  2012 Topps Then & Now

 I realize I'm a bit late to the show - 10 years or so - but what was the consensus on white Topps Chrome from 2004?  These are my first.  The cardboard appears to be high quality, no curling or bowing but the Topps design certainly does nothing for me.

          2003 Upper Deck Game Face  and 40-Man....over 2200 pointless pieces of cardboard.

                                   2003 Upper Deck Vintage - yep...going back to their roots

2004 Donruss Leather and Lumber.  I want  to like this design.  It just isn't there.  The love must have been with the inserts and razzle dazzle relics.  I have to be in love with the base card to commit.
2005 Diamond Kings - well we've come along way from subset to inserts.  Too big for our pants, we have to be our own card issue.  And that is just what you have dear Diamond Kings...issues.  On the left we have a strikingly handsome Pudge Rodriguez, aura surrounds him.  Running low on paint or out of time, Mr. Gibson isn't treated with the same fanfare. Different artists you say?  Different pay scale I say. No aura for Gibby, he gets shadow puppets.

I wasn't around for 2007 Topps Chrome either but have heard all  about it. Senseless colors in each corner.   Had Topps used team colors we could have avoided the bitterness that erupts each time 2007 Topps is uttered.  It looks a bit more alluring against the white background, as shown on the Pudge refractor below.

2003  Fleer Rookies and Greats insert The Naturals  and  2010 Topps 206 featuring Mr. Tiger.

     1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars Homerun Derby  1055/2500 - one time a low numbered insert.
                   2009 Bowman Chrome refractor 123/150 -  one time a low numbered parallel.

 Wow Daniel!  I feel soooooooo much better now. Thanks for letting me take it out on the cards!  I really do like these  - I just enjoy sarcasm more!  Great trade and I hope to do it again!  I'm keeping all the Diamondbacks for you, boxed with a tight lid!

If you haven't read  It's Like Having My Own Card Shop then get over there!  Daniel is a snake charmer and will trade for yours!

Monday, March 23, 2015


Kevin, infamous The Card Papoy certainly has the ability to surprise and dumbfound.  He's also good with card selection, packaging and shipping from Ben Franklin's favorite overseas hangout, France.  Any time I see a French postmark, I run through the house screaming.  It's only after realizing there's no ticking sound or very long fuse attached, I settle down with the scissors to open the mailer.  Any object sharp enough to cut paper will do.  Rocks do not  work.

 The first four cards are from 99 Upper Deck MVP. I beliebe this edition replaced the original Collector's Choice.   Did you know  Kapler originally wanted to be an actor?  When it didn't pan out, he decided baseball could get him the recognition he wanted and deserved?  Oh right! I am so sorry,  strike all that.  I'm thinking of Gabe Kaplan.  I feel so silly right now.  I was distracted by the eyes of Matt Anderson.   A top prospect in 1998,  Matt was called up by the Tigers and had a successful first year, going 5-1 with a 3.27 era over 42 games. A torn armpit muscle in 2002 signaled an early demise to his MLB career. The Rockies picked him up for awhile.  He played in the minors from 2005 - 2011.

What have we here? 1995 Kellogg's stickers in French breakfast cereal?  I would interpret but don't want to be a show-off.  The gist of  the article is that the Tigers kick White Sox butt. 

My favorite flagship Upper Deck - 1996.  While
unpacking cards stored away for a decade,  I found a complete set which will eventually go into a binder.  Keeping cards boxed certainly  takes up less space.  My new philosophy though, is to enjoy the cards.  I'm slowly putting my sets into binders.   This Bagwell will be added to his player collection and Lira to the team set.

2003 Upper Deck MVP Andres Torres 101/125.   I don't recall seeing this set.  Must have been  a big hit though with that splashy design.    From the same set, MVP Sportsnut Carlos Pena.  A scratch-off.  Oh no, I'm not falling for that again!

1995 Upper Deck was pretty nice too.  Simply designed, no foil overkill.  I spent a lot of money on cards in those days.  Not sure why I didn't purchase this.  Great looking Tigers here!  Robert Fick appears courtesy 2001 Upper Deck.  Love the Old English D! Another nice design.

 1996 Fleer was not for everyone but was one of my faves.  Designed with a matte finish, it's an excellent card for signatures. For those who wanted typical slick uv coating and holographic foil lettering, the Tiffany insert was available to meet their needs.  At one per pack with 600 cards needed for completion, it's easy to see why Tiffany has held its value.  Buckett lists the value at $75-150.

 This pretty little die-cut is a blue refractor from 2014 Bowman Platinum.  Miggy is numbered 46/49.  A very sweet card!  Most Bowman cards are gifted to me, not purchased. Tell me again,  why is it we don't like Bowman? 

 A little Victor Martinez 2008 A&G relic.  It's amazing what a little whining can do for you.  I believe I saw this on Kevin's blog recently.  I began spamming him for it and voila' - it's mine!

My first card from 2004 Donruss Classics.  Not too shabby and it's numbered  0976/1999.  So many great sets to discover, especially when I like very little of the new products available.  And what I do like is too pricey. 

 Another cool one from 2004 Donruss Leather and Lumber.  2335/2499  Baseball against the glove design could only be improved by real seams against real leather. The Rivals insert is swell!

Kevin likes vintage too and blessed my collection with some quality cardboard.  I love the Tiger logo on 1960 Topps Coaches.   A simply designed 1961 Bruce and 1964 Lary.  Every time I see anything 1961 Topps, I kick my own butt. I sold a lot of my cards back in 2002-2004.  Parting with my half completed, excellent condition 1961 set still haunts me.  While I still needed several high dollar cards, I did have Mathews, Maris, Yaz and Kaline. I think I'll go sit in a corner and rock...

1950 Bowman makes its first appearance in my collection. What a great little card!  These were issued five cards per pack for a nickel!!!   Of course...I want more. This is a gorgeous card in wonderful condition!   Thank you Kevin!  Such a great lot of cards!

                                                                    Neil Berry - 2nd Base

Lest you think Kevin left out one important item, I too was marked with a membership card. High Priest Papoy included this hypotic insert beckoning me into his cult of Beliebers. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

My First Break Down

or is it break up?  cracked case?

This month I participated in my first group break with Nachos Grande, Chris Reed.  I put in for the Tigers.  Although I've wanted to participate in other breaks, usually I'm late to the table.   I was very happy with the results!  

Chris broke a case of 2015 Heritage and a box of 2004 Topps Clubhouse Collection.  The Clubhouse was devoid of Tigers and many other teams for that matter.  No tears shed as the Heritage case did not disappoint.
I completed a base team set with base shortprints, and  nearly completed two additional sets with extra short prints, missing only a few cards. Here's the haul:

I had no real intentions of purchasing more than a blaster of Heritage.  This year's design was nothing special.  Although it might have been had I grown up with 66 Topps. I have to admit it's slowly growing on me.  The simple design is appealing in comparison to many products on today's market.  What will keep me from purchasing more Heritage?  Short prints.  I know I'm not alone here.  Hits are great but should these include star players?  Variation short prints I can live without, having no real desire to obtain them on my own.  I will say these make for awesome pulls in a trade package.  ;) 

If I could have just one of the Heritage super short prints, it's this Throwback variation:

                                                            From eBay: not my card...yet

Tiger shortprints: Kinsler, Price, Scherzer, Cabrera, Martinez and Verlander

                                                          Heritage Chrome #d/999

                                        Shiny purple refractor           Miggy action variation sp

All were great pulls!  Chris sent a neatly packaged priority box with all my Tigers including the auto below - and a couple of fun surprises:

Munnatawket-backed minis based on 2008 A&G!  I've seen these around the blogs thinking I'd never get my grubby tiger paws on one. Apparently the creator of these cards is Ryan, friend of Chris's. The look and feel of the minis is the same as original Topps.  The personalized and signed card featuring  Chris is a keeper!  And so is the case hit red-auto of Ron Nischwitz.  What's a Nischwitz?  Well, I asked the same question.  He was a Tiger reliever in 1961, 1962 and 1965.  In 1965 he made appearances in 20 games for the Tigers, going 1-0 with a 2.78 era.   Overall fun pull but certainly not a star player like Kaline, also a Heritage red ink auto.  Thanks for a fun break Chris!!
Am I hooked on breaks? No.  Will I participate in another? Most likely!  As far as Heritage goes, I'm waiting for the 72s and 75s!   Two particular years that could very well having me building my first Heritage base sets.  I wonder what changes are in store for Heritage over the next six years.
Have you participated in group breaks?  Why or why not?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Pleasing Aroma

Tim  from I Love the Smell of Cardboard in the Morning - known as toast at my house- began blogging in December.   He collects Yankees - and I'm always happy to trade away some of those guys.  He emailed in January offering an opportunity to trade.  I may be cracked but not  crazy!  Of course I said no yes.  The package arrived stuffed with amazing cards: some numbered, shiny or patched.

                                            2001 Fleer Futures   -  you can put the shades away

Ugly as heck card design.  One time issue for Fleer.  I did not own any of these cards, which were released around the time I drifted from the hobby.  If cardboard could stink Fleer Futures would be some smelly stuff.

From 2000 Bowman's Best, a couple of shiny, refractory Munsons - base design on the right and a Best Bets insert on the left.  Best bet Munson tore it up in A-ball with a .266 average.  There was the one game where he doubled three times and belted a three run homer, going 4 for 5 with 5 rbi.   But I think this was against a little league team.  These are nice-looking cards.  I now have two BowBest Tigers!

                                           2011 Topp Refractor - orange like the morning sun!
                                Tim also sent the regular Chrome refractor.  A handsome pairing!


I never cared for the design of 62 Topps but Miggy rocks it here on 2011 Heritage Chrome!  Showing off his tattoo and suspiciously eyeing his appearance on a 2011 Topps Diamond Stars insert, Cabrera's Chrome is numbered 1473/1962.  What a good-looking piece of chromium cardboard!

Not to be outdone, Verlander makes a grand showing:  2013 Opening Day Stars and 2014 Chrome insert Chrome Connections.  The Stars inserts and Mascots are the best thing Opening Day has to offer, in my most humble of opinions. 

I like the Connections inserts.  These would have been high dollar in the 90s!  Nothing like trying to sleeve these without nicking a corner.  Good times!


                              A small oddity from 2003 Cracker Jack - an actual prize!  Love it!

                                     2003 Fleer Tradition                                     2003 Topps 205

Tradition has the front of this card looking a little busy.  Normally I wouldn't like this, therefore I don't.   The 205 is super nice.  The smooth texture of this card   If the entire set held this design, it would be a must have on my list. Fortunately, this set is all over the place.

                                    1994 SP -early die cut parallel     2005 Pinnacle Zenith

Four fantastic cards:  Buck Leonard is shown on 2001 UD Hall of Famers, a set I'd like to complete.  Jim Candy Taylor, from 1994 Ted Williams issue - completed set.   Stitches in Time is an insert set in 2001 Fleer Tradition.  How I've missed this, who knows!  25 cards dedicated to the Negro Leagues. I now have two!  23 more and it's in the binder!  
Trading has certainly opened my eyes to a great many cards I don't yet have and now want.  This isn't necessarily a good thing.  In fact I've become out-of-control, racking up huge numbers in excellent Ebay feedback.   Two more must have sets: 1988 Pacific Legends and 2001 SP Legendary Cuts.  I'm not a Pacific fan but this is a set done well!   114 cards of want-it-now.   I should be able to pick it up fairly priced on eBay  through trading -  unless of course, I want to complete the set in my lifetime.  At $10 per four card pack, SP Legendary Cuts priced me out.  A beautiful set with a $15 BIN on ebay.  No.  I did NOT just look it up.  Did too.  Did not! 
And here we have 2001 Topps American Pie, a baby boomer's delight!  An eBay set pickup resulting in excellent FB.  I now have cards for the PC with these two Tiger greats!
2000 Upper Deck Hitter's Club 
Well Upper Deck?  You tell me why?  Why such an awful design? You stopped too soon.  There was room for more foil lettering in several places.  At least this is a new Cobb for the PC.
Tim sent more cards than I could possibly share here.  I had to stop somewhere so I finish with these nice relic cards of the Tigers number two man, Verlander.    Thank you Tim, for a fun trade!  I hope we can do it again. 
I highly recommend trading with Tim, an excellent communicator and more than generous! 
2008 Upper Deck                                  2008 Upper Deck X

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Ordered by the Angels

Tom is the host of Order.  Tom began blogging in 2009, posting regularly. It took me several months to come across his blog!  Seems his Angels were hiding.  If you haven't traded with him, check out his want lists.  The one I found most interesting is a checklist collection.  I think of all those I tossed over the years.  You too, eh?  

We recently completed our first trade.  He sent a generous helping of Conlon Collection which I'll share another time.  Tom also included Tigers and favorite players from my list.

70s Topps Vintage
                                                           1979                                            1976
                                                          1973                                                  1976

                                                                          1976 Checklist

                                                                       2012 Topps Mini

I like holding these Minis.  The size of the card is comfortable in my hand. Reminds me of 50s Bowman I think.  Great card!

                                                                  2006 SP Legendary Cuts

A favorite card issue!  Two time Cy Young winner Denny McLain won 31 games in 1968.  Over 10 years, he racked up 131 wins against 91 losses.  Career ERA 3.39

                                                                  2009 Goodwin Champions

Nice looking Ripken - which is surprising to me. Blue sky reminds me of early Bowman.  I'm only familiar with Champions of the last two years.  Most of the images I've seen aren't too good...and I'm being polite. For instance:

This may not be too  awful.  How about Pete Rose:

 Nolan and Pete appear courtesy of Google Images.  I do NOT own these cards.  How does Goodwin compare to A&G and GQ?  How many of you like Goodwin, and why?  Hits?  Design?  I'm interested in your responses.

                                                                           1993 Ted Williams
                                                                             1994 Ted Williams

Did you know Bob Gibson played with the Harlem Globetrotters before beginning his baseball career?  Apparently he had quite the back-handed dunk.   

Rube Foster 1879-1930; known as the father of Black Baseball; founder and manager of the Chicago American Giants. He organized the Negro National League, the first professional league for African American players. An outstanding pitcher in his own right, Rube was elected to the HOF in 1981.

Elston Howard  1929-1980; began his baseball career in the Negro Leagues,  playing for Buck O'Neil's Kansas City Monarchs.  As baseball finally welcomed the Negro League stars, he became the first African American to play for the Yankees.
Willie Mays: say hey, he began his career in 1947 with the Chattanooga Choo-Choos.  Mays moved back home to Alabama to play with the Birmingham Black Barons, winning the pennant and advancing to the Negro League World Series where they lost to the Homestead Grays.

An oddball, Tigers style!  A 1999 Ballpark Franks giveaway celebrating 75 years of Tiger Stadium.  A ten card set, passed out two cards per game over five games from May thru September. These two cards were still in the giveaway envelope, from Sept 25 1999 set #5 :

Tom, how awesome, totally!  In my best valley girl voice...  Thank you for these cards and the beautiful Conlons!  I hope we can trade again.  I'm stocking up on Angels, but you'll have to put them in order.