Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Yogi Come Home

There is little I miss in Texas.  The local hobby dealers and monthly card shows would be exceptions - those and good Tex Mex, oh and possibly winter...   A regular stop was a monthly visit to a seller I'll call Robert.  We became friends.  He is old enough to be my father, and I guess in a sense, he was a bit of a parent figure to me.  I haven't had a relationship with my dad for the better part of my life.  

Robert was a great resource for older cards - true vintage. He hooked me up with a lot of mint Kelloggs too.  Oddballs for the Oddball, he would say. He rarely asked low book, and most often  much less.

These are just a few pieces of cardboard history I've picked up from him:

1941 Play Ball Soupy Campbell

1948 Swell

1967 Dexter Press
I paid less than $20 for all these beauties.

In the glass case was a card  I ogled on every visit.  I'd look it over and hand it back.  It wasn't in my budget at $125.   Robert offered a layaway plan to his best customers.  One day I bit and asked if he'd work with me on this particular card, just a couple of payments, that someday this card would be mine.   He pulled this sweet cardboard out, put it in my hand and asked if I'd give him $40 for it.  I said  $40.00???  Are you kidding me?  He said $40.  Don't go tellin' people I sell cards this cheap or I'll be out of business.

1951 Bowman
That's the day Yogi Berra came home with me.   Condition considered, true book value means little to me.  It wouldn't grade high.  No creasing, great color.  Yogi is  my favorite Yankee.  But more than this, I'll always remember Robert each time I enjoy this card.  I'll remember his crazy stories from youth.  Robert is a family man who never had any children.  He adores his wife, a woman who puts up with his immense love for baseball cards - and sometimes works shows with him.  I've spoken with Robert since moving to Michigan, and hope one day to drop in on him.  I miss Robert but Yogi reminds me often - it's not too far; it just seems like it is.

I've wanted to share this card on the blog for sometime.  Thank you to Tony, Off Hiatus for the opportunity.  He's having a little contest for  $10 shopping spree on the winner's behalf.  Enter to win by sharing your favorite card show find.  If it's a cheesy bobblehead you're looking for, you can enter to win that here.

Monday, October 26, 2015

No Love Lost on Update

Since I began collecting in 1993, I've never purchased more than a random pack of Topps Update.  Keeping in line with this history, I purchased a blaster box then ordered a hobby box cuz that's what I do - throw money away!  I should've left it at retail when I pulled a couple of cards that made me smile:
Cole Saberstats along with Votto and Altuve throwbacks. 
 Oh that was so much fun, I'll buy a 36 pack hobby box or two.  Ever heard of a Buyback Hot Box?  Seeded 1:18 packs so I pulled two TEN?????  Ten recycled cards - some creased, dinged and dented - from one box.  I was cheated out of eight newly minted cards.  Like many of you, I harbor a great dislike for buy backs.  Feast your eyes on these gems:

Seriously?  Awful creasing AND a missing corner?  Really Topps?  These are vintage and should be appreciated...blah blah blah.   I'm inclined to return these to customer service as a damaged card claims.  Where do they get this crap?  I'm sure they purchase in bulk from the collector market.  Apparently there is no inspection process.  Cards are stamped, dumped into the great sorting vat, shaken violently then spewn into packing bins.  Inserted randomly, all into the box I'm purchasing.  I hate having these extra buybacks, depriving my hobby friends of their prize pulls. 

There were a few nicer cards in the box:

GOLDEN Pirates
Ramos Pink foil/50 and Kendrick Variation

Britton swatch and two Gold foil Bryants!
So then I opened a second box, to find four  more barf-backs:

Highlights pulled were these:

Correa Gold and a Black combo/64
Variations and Snow camo/99
Guaranteed Auto

Thinking it fun to bust these at a bargain $50 per box, I took the bait after 20 plus years.  Hope the rest of you have better luck and more fun with update.  Maybe I can help with your set needs.  At 400 cards, it's too fat for my tastes. 

By the way, if you haven't read my last few posts - albeit weeks apart - then you're missing some prize winning opportunities!  Currently offered is a Rangers Teixeira bobble-head.  Win and give someone a gift they'll remember for years.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

No Trades Left Behind - final edition PLUS THE CLAW

Is it possible to be caught up?  If I can post this before the next mail delivery, then YES! 

Earlier this month, I shared some great cards and announced the most recent prize winner.  Cynical Buddha, your cheesy 90s set shipped yesterday.  In the meantime there are a few more trade partners to thank, in no particular order. 
Playah at the Plate, Brian sent a welcome package which arrived at my new address before I did.  He included a number of 2008 Upper Deck Documentary cards - some are shown here.  I do appreciate these cards which are from an issue I didn't purchase, nor ever intend to purchase even at a tremendously discounted price.  For all of the many good things from Upper Deck, there were an appalling number of releases.  This may be the bane of them all!  With a 4890 card BASE set, Upper Deck attempted to document every single game of the 2008 season.  I'm not sure I'd want to meet the persons who completed this set, all likely serial killers.

A few cards from Pacific, a company who could not compete for my 90's collecting dollars:

Nice Chrome additions:

Blue and green parallels:

Brian, thanks so much for thinking of me!  I'll round up some Rangers and send 'em your way!  Hope you are safe from the current flooding in DFW!

P-town Tom, always waiting til next year - well, maybe next year.  I was rooting for those fellas!  A young Cub team will surely give us another reason to believe in 2016.  Tom sent a nice lot of cards my way too:

Kinsler grinding his palm down:


That last card #/99 features Ordonez - and a World Series bound Granderson - from a nicely designed 2008 Upper Deck's A Piece of History. It bears a strong resemblance to recent Triple Threads issues.

Tom included breakfast cards - always the most important of the day:


A deckling of Willie Horton from 1969 Topps.  Sah-weet!   Tom included a nice note welcoming me to the Midwest.  Thanks so much!!

Matthew not a scurvy dog Scott dropped a pwe in the mail recently containing these fellas:

Knebel is knice itself but Matt included Fan Favorites, always-on-card autos of  Fryman and Tettleton.  Totally awesome from Bob Walk the Plank - thank you!

And finally, John Miller from Johnny's Trading Spot also sent a welcome package:

I always do what I'm told...

Playing Hardball with Higginson and Stuck on Sparky - both Fleer fun!

Gold?  GOLD!

Studio produced many gorgeous issues over the years but blew it in 1995.  A charge card design? 

There's gold in them thar Topps! Black gold. Maybe even a little fools gold for those who completed these parallel sets.  

I completed my first parallel set with 94 Donruss.  Did someone say fool?  Ok, I completed two sets. Now that's off my chest... Confessing my foolishness always makes me feel a bit better about myself.

As you can see, John sent a big helping of Fielders my way, putting a large dent in my pc.  Several of these are cool oddball issues. What is it with Fielder and food?  Probably a contract including sausage and cereal for life.

1993 SP featured an early die cut insert with Platinum Power, inserted on average one in nine packs.  These were super hot cards upon release.  Pricey enough that I never attempted to complete the set.  High BV now is $12 on the most popular of the 20 card set.

If these cards weren't sweet enough, John managed to send one more item - personalized for me:

The current VP and Asst GM for the White Sox personalized an older photo with a trophy signature.  John, I'm not sure how you pulled this off but this is one of the most unique items I've received from a trade pal. Perhaps a little card show magic?  You went all out for this auto and I more than appreciate the time you took.  This gem will always be special!  Thank you again - and a stack of Braves will be looking for a new home very soon.
Wow - there it is.  Whoop!!  If I've forgotten anyone at all, please let me know.  Cards were coming in while I was packing to move, during the move, and while unpacking.  It became rather difficult to keep up.  I want to share the generosity of all my blog pals with others out there. 

This leads us to the giveaway portion of my post:


If you want a chance to win Mark T the B'head you must be resident of the USA and comment  below to enter.  Schmoozing is always good  ;)  but not required.   Wow, isn't that just easy?  Sometime next Saturday Oct 31st, I'll randomize FOUR times and the new owner will be announced.
Thanks for reading! 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Unibiased and Dependable - or No Trades Left Behind, third edition

Yes the game of catch-up continues.  If all goes according to plan, only one more post will be necessary for sharing the colorful cardboard contents of mail received over the past few months.  Then I can write with carefree whimsy from my list of blog post ideas! 
From Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary came this introductory package of Tiger cards.  Brian reached out to say hello:
I'm a fan of 2015 Tier One.  The black and gold combo is stunning.  The olde English D really shows itself off, just not so well in the scan.  Great design but not in my budget.   2015 Buck Farmer Finest refractor auto.  Bucky is approaching 25 years of age.  It's show time - or no time in the Show. 
Above we have 2008 SPX Joel Zumaya auto, 2001 Private Stock Juan Gonzalez bat chip and 2005 Champions Magglio Ordonez. Of these three fellas, I'm most familiar with Juan Gone-zalez.  He was a big part of my collection in the early 90s.  We broke up when he became a Tiger, oddly enough.  He brought nothing to the team.  The fans here were welcoming and excited to have Juan in Detroit.  He was to wrapped in his own reflection to notice - or care.
2013 Chrome auto RC Bruce-Duck-Rondon.  I say duck because when he's on the're on the ground.  A little wild at times, other times on the DL.  2008 AG Pudge.  Ivan Rodriguez - a favorite player on any team. 
1959 Topps Johnny Groth, a sweet piece of cardboard history!  Look at that centering, will ya? Coloring, corners - it's a thing of beauty!  1949 Bowman RC George Vico isn't looking to shabby either!
1956 Topps Frank House with a play at the plate.  Who among us would find such action boring?  I demand you speak up!   As cool as this card front is...check out the back:
the classic cartoon!  This is one feature that can't be duplicated.  Even Topps today with cartoon backs, wouldn't touch this magic from the 50s. 
Thank you Brian, for these cards.  Old and new and in-between, all appreciated!  It seems you've waited quite patiently for a return package.  A lot of that going on of lately.  I'm stuffing a mailer this weekend.
And now we come to the contest portion of our blog reading.  Last week, I announced a cheesy giveaway.   If you didn't read or scroll through the post in its entirety, you missed it. There were only six entries which were Randomized tonight.
Cynical Buddha, you are the cheesiest! or is it most cheesy?  Congrats Mark! Let me know if you've moved in the past few months. Thanks to all who read, and to those who entered.  I'll dig through my box of disposable baseball and cardboard memorabilia to find the next prize, to be given time?? Will it be an indecipherably autographed baseball?  Team sets?  Oversized cards?  Bobble-head?  The Claw knows.