I've liked refractors since Topps Finest first came out with them in 1993. I could piece together the team sets of the Lakers, Steelers, and Red Sox each year and that was a lot of fun. Basketball refractors with action shots on them look especially good with the reflective rainbow surface. They often have opposing players in the backgrounds. While the featured players are bright, background players look almost ghostly, as if they're in a state of temporal flux or a thick mist. Finest stopped making basketball refractors after 2007-08. The two previous year's sets were paltry, so it wasn't a complete shock. So for 2008-09 I switched to Bowman Chrome Refractors. But alas, they too discontinued after one more year. It wasn't until just a couple years ago that I learned Panini had picked up refractor-like cards again back in 2012-13. And while the name they gave them is quite a mouthful, half tongue twister if said fast, Prizm Prizms Silver were welcome to me. I've been playing catch up with Lakers ever since. A recent COMC order took four more off my want list.
The great Red Sox legend Bobby Doerr passed away a couple days ago at the age of 99. He was the oldest living major league baseball player, and last player from the 1930's. As a small tribute to him, here's a look at his cards that I have from his playing days.
It's hard to make mistakes in card collecting. I suppose you could overpay or overtrade for a card. Maybe you prospect on a rookie player and he winds up being a bust so the cards don't go up in value like you'd hoped. More common perhaps is buying or trading for a card you didn't know you already have. I've done that for sure. But none of those things are really that devastating to a collector who's in it just for the fun of it.
One of my biggest mistakes in collecting has to do with the Topps basketball sets from 2000-01 and 2001-02. I found them at Rainbow, a LCS, for a really decent price. The catch was, they didn't contain the draft pick rookies. No big deal, I thought, at that price I can pick them up separately and still get a good deal. Yeah, that's what I thought. I figured Topps was Topps and their flagship cards would be in abundance. Nope. Fifteen years later, I still can't find some of them. Those sets must of been severely short-printed or something. Here's one I picked up on eBay recently.
This is the 2001-02 Topps of Kedrick Brown. The search started way back then with 18 rookies needed for the 2000-01 set and 27 needed for the 2001-02 set.
I still need the following from 2000-01. Any helpers out there?
#128 Marcus Fizer
#135 Jerome Moiso
#138 Mateen Cleaves
#145 Donnell Harvey
#148 Erick Barkley
#280 Hanno Mottola
I still need the following from 2001-02. Help please!
#225 Jason Richardson
#242 Jeryl Sasser
#245 Samuel Dalembert
#248 Trenton Hassell
This past month I've been focusing on 1974 and 1975 Topps baseball. My complete sets go back to 1976, so these are the next logical ones to go after. I picked up some common lots on eBay and some stars on COMC. Here are some of my favorite additions this month from 1975.
Please see my want list for the cards I'm still needing in the set. I'd appreciate any help you can provide!
My wife surprised me yesterday with a couple of packs of cards she picked up for me while at Target. One pack was Topps Bunt and the other was Stadium Club. Everything here is available for trade. Let me know if you want something.
He's missed a huge part of the season due to injury, but Mike Trout has always been a darling of the new advanced stats based on averages. On-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS are all career highs this year for Trout.
Andrew Benintendi had a great year for a rookie, but will be completely overwhelmed by Mr. Judge when the Rookie of the Year voting takes place.
Jose Altuve reigns when it comes to the best hitter measurements of my youth, batting average and hits.
I think this is the Sepia version. Bogaerts is either giving the safe sign or doing the butterfly stroke.
My last two beckett.com orders arrived in the mail today. One was from Rookie Card Empire and the other from Burbank Sportscards, the world's largest card shop. Here's what was in them.
2008-09 Bowman Chrome Refractors Pau Gasol. For many years I collected Lakers Finest Refractors cards. When they were discontinued, I tried to find other refractors sets to take their place. Bowman Chrome Refractors fit the bill for a year or two. In recent years it's been Panini Prizm Prizms.
2008-09 Bowman Chrome Refractors Shaquille O'Neal. It's strange to see Shaq in a Suns uniform. I believe this is Shaq's last refractor card from his playing years. The trading card database is sketchy around these years, so it's hard to know for sure.
2005-06 Finest Refractors Shaquille O'Neal. This photo is a classic Shaq turnaround and bank off the glass.
1954 Bowman Hoot Evers. My collection of Red Sox team sets of the main brands has up until now been 1981 and forward. But I'm taking that concept backwards now, meaning 1952-1955 Bowmans are in play.
1997 Fleer Roger Clemens. I almost have the whole Red Sox team now. I just need Nomar Garciaparra. Anybody have it and want to trade?
1998 Upper Deck Nomar Garciaparra. This was the last one. The team set is now complete.
2006 Upper Deck Jonathan Papelbon. These orders knocked three more of this team want list. I still need four more.
2017 Bowman Prospects Rafael Devers. I heard his last name starts with "deh" not "dee". I'm really excited about his future with the Red Sox. This team set is now complete.
2015 Score William Gay. I love this photo! This was the only football card in the bunch, but it wraps up 2015 from a Steelers standpoint.
Two packages arrived today in the mail from a beckett.com order I did earlier in the week. The first was from Diamonds in the Rough. It had two cards in it.
2007-08 Finest Refractors Shaquille O'Neal. Shaq became my favorite player when he joined the Lakers and remained so even after leaving for the Miami Heat. He and A.C. Green are the only two Lakers I continued to collect after they left the team.
1998 Red Sox Score of Aaron Sele. My largest PC is of Sele, a childhood friend. I'm working on updating my have vs want list and putting it on a new page on this blog. While doing that, I found a couple I was missing, including this one.
The other package contained 16 cards from DJ's Sportcards of Renton. DJ always throws in a fake million dollar bill with your orders.
2000 MLB Showdown Pennant Run Unlimited Foil Aaron Sele. There were four variations of Sele's MLB Showdown cards that year, and this one I didn't have yet.
1997 Fleer Jose Canseco. I only have two left in this team set now! Jose appears to be admiring a towering foul ball here.
2004 Fleer Tradition David Ortiz. The swing didn't change much over the years, did it? Boom! This team set is now complete!
2006 Upper Deck Jon Lester. There were four cards from the Red Sox 2006 Upper Deck set in the order. Seven more to go!
2007 Upper Deck Manny Ramirez and Hideki Okajima. These and three others in the order bring my want list down to just five. This is a big set! I like the photo of Hideki. He looks like he just saw a quarter on the ground mid delivery. And the shadow looks like a Texas Longhorn.
A couple days ago I got the 2017 Pittsburgh Steelers Donruss team set in the mail. But unfortunately it was missing four cards. I've contacted the seller who says he'll send them right away. We'll see. Every now and then I run into a seller who does something like this. It's been about 50-50 that they make it right. When they arrive, I'll share some pictures.