Wednesday, May 17, 2017

30 Day Challenge, Days 15, 16, and 17

One of your favorite cards from the 2010s

This is a tough one.  My favorite cards from this decade tend to be the early cards of current Red Sox players.  I'll go with this 2012 Grandstand of Mookie Betts.  It's the earliest card I have of Betts.  On this card he is pictured playing for the Lowell Spinners, the Red Sox low A minor league team.

A card of a player whom you appreciate but don't like

There is nobody in baseball that comes even close to Kobe Bryant, so I'm switching sports again for this one.  I am a diehard Lakers fan.  Yet even after all those years with the team, all those all-star appearances, all those championships, all those points, I just never warmed up to Kobe Bryant.  There was something about his attitude and how he talked to the media that bugged me.  Being a big Shaquille O'Neal fan might have had a little to do with it.  This card is Kobe's 1999-2000 Upper Deck Ultimate Victory /100.  It is for trade if anyone is interested, as are all my Kobe cards from roughly that same timeframe.  Let me know if you want to know what I have.

A card from the first set you put together hand collated

I've never hand collated a complete baseball set, so the honor goes to this 1977 Star Wars card.  The blue set was the first I hand collated to completion.  It was a small set, something like 66 cards, but it was a fun venture.  I bought a lot of packs and did a lot of trading to finally complete it.  Cards with light sabres or Darth Vader were my favorites.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

30 Day Challenge, Day 14

One of your favorite cards from the 2000s

I'll have to dig into my player collection of Aaron Sele again for this one.  I'm having a hard time picking between these four.

That might be because they're all the same thing essentially, 2003 Leaf Certified Materials Mirror Emerald. They're serial numbered to five, and I've managed to pick up four of them. The picture on the cards shows him wearing an Angels uniform. But only one of the four jersey patches is from an Angels uniform. The rest are from Seattle Mariners uniform(s), the team he left in the off season.

Aaron Sele was just enough of a star to get in on the patch frenzy of the early 2000s. These kept showing up on eBay at low prices, so I just kept picking them up. I used to know who had serial number three, the one I'm missing. He was my fiercest competitor for Seles but also a good trade partner. I assume he still has it 14 years later.

The nice thing about low numbered patches is that they are more likely to contain multiple colors in the swatch.  The scan doesn't do the refractor surface justice. These are beautiful cards.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

30 Day Challenge, Days 11, 12, and 13

One of your favorite cards from the 1970s

I had never heard of Pete Rose when I got this card in a pack.  But it was instantly a favorite.  I liked that his name was also a common object.  I liked the look of the All-Star banner on the card.  I liked the action shot because it made me wonder what was happening at the very instant the photo was taken.  Had he slapped a hard grounder between shortstop and third base?  And I liked the long career of stats on the back.

One of your favorite cards from the 1980s

The first Red Sox game I witnessed in person was in 1985 in the Metrodome in Minneapolis.  Per my dad's advice, I had brought along some cards to see if I could get some autographs.  I parked myself along the first row railing just outside the Red Sox dugout before the game and waited.  Finally, Oil Can came out and autographed for everyone there. (not as many as the Twins side of the field had, but still quite a few)  Oil Can was the only Red Sox to step out of the dugout and sign that day.  He was very friendly to us kids.  On a side note, by brother got his glove autographed by Kirby Puckett that day too.  He continued to use the glove and it wore off within a year.

One of your favorite cards from the 1990s

I'm digging into my Aaron Sele player collection for this one.  The 1990s were wild and crazy when it came to baseball cards.  These are 1995 Topps cards of Sele.  I think the one on the left was called the Spectralight and the one on the right was called Cyberstats.  What's crazy about them are the backs.

The Spectralight on the top has a photo done in the very brand new photo technology called Diamond Vision.  Wow, how cool is that!  The photo appears to have been taken looking at Mr. Sele through a screen door.  Now that's cutting edge!  Since 1994 was strike shortened, the Cyberstats card shows the stats for a full 162 game season as played out by a computer simulation!  Ooooo, computers!  It doesn't get any better than that.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

30 Day Challenge, Days 8, 9, and 10

A card that reminds you of a family member

This one is bittersweet.  Kirby Puckett cards all remind me of my late father-in-law.  He collected Minnesota Twins and Kirby Puckett cards the most.  This 1989 Upper Deck was a favorite.  My father-in-law wasn't a card collector when I first met him, but he did follow the Twins closely, listening to them on the radio whenever he could.  He took up card collecting because he knew I was avid about it.  It was his way of connecting with a college kid who was getting more and more serious with his daughter and with whom he wanted to have something in common.  I'll always appreciate that and love him for it.  A couple weeks before his passing, he gave me all his cards.  He was trying to get a complete base set card run of all Pucketts from the main set brands; Topps, Donruss, Fleer, Score, Upper Deck, Stadium Club, Pinnacle, Ultra, Bowman and Leaf.  He had about 10-15 to go when he passed away.  I posthumously completed the set for him.  Whenever I am at his grave, I leave a Kirby Puckett card there.

One of your favorite cards from the 1950s

All my favorite 1950s cards are my Ted Williams.  I have to go with the classic 1956 Topps card.  I, like many of you, just love the sleek, simple look with the head shot along with action shot.

One of your favorite cards from the 1960s

If the truth be told, I don't really like many cards from the 1960s.  Most years the card designs are plain and boring, lacking originality.  I'm going with the 1968 Topps Carl Yastrzemski because on the back are the stats for his excellent 1967 season.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Lincoln LCS and 30 Day Challenge, Day 7

Last Friday I got to Lincoln, NE with some time left in the day, so I went to the local card shop Wes' Baseball Cards. As you can see it's neatly tucked in behind a stairway.

Despite being just an hour before closing, it was busy inside. Wes was behind the counter, and everyone who was already there or came in after me knew him by name and was happy to see him. It was kind of like Norm on Cheers. The card selection was very good. He had boxes sorted by player name, and I picked up the following.

I love cool refractors of players I like, so Jacob was an easy pull. Both the Boggs are from my want list.  Despite his friendly crowd, Wes made the effort to break away and come ask how he could help. I asked if he had any cards from before 1950. There were only a few late 40's Bowman under the glass. He disappeared into the back room and re-emerged with a small box of really old cards! He had the most T206s and T207s I've ever seen in a LCS. There were also a lot of Play Ball and Goudey. But unfortunately there weren't any Red Sox that I didn't have already. Overall, Wes' was really great and recommended the next time you're in town for a Cornhuskers game.

And now back to the challenge , a card you bought in person and the story behind it

In the early 80's there were no LCS's in Sioux Falls, SD. My only means to get cards, other than buying packs at a convenience store, was the monthly flee market held at the convention center. There were usually two or three guys there selling baseball cards under glass cases. One particular guy we kids got to know a bit. He asked us one time of we would frequent a local card shop that he was thinking of opening. Of course we said yes! And he did. This 1983 Topps Cal Ripken was one of my first purchases there.

If you look closely in the upper left corner of the back of the card, you'll see the price written faintly in pencil. That's how he marked his prices, right on the card. I didn't think much about it at the time, but nowadays everybody knows that writing on cards hurts their value immensely. Still I never erased this one. Interestingly, the shop is still open and in its third location. It has new ownership now, but is still called Rainbow.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Omaha LCS's and 30 Day Challenge, Day 6

Last Friday I was in Omaha and had time to hit two local card shops.  The first was The Card Shop.

This place was fantastic!  I was there an hour and 45 minutes.  Most of the cards are in boxes labeled simply "baseball", or "football", etc.  There are dozens of those to sift through.  There are also boxes labeled with each team name on them.  So find your favorite team and there's a whole box to go through.  In the Red Sox box, I found these.

These weren't on any of my want lists, but they were cool cards of players I used to like.  There was also a wall of cards boxes labeled by year and brand.  They had a lot of Donruss and Fleer from the 80's.  These are team sets from my youth that I am trying to complete.  I pulled the following after foraging through the boxes.

The owner and I talked baseball and cards for a lot of the time when he wasn't with other customers.  He was interested in my collection and we hit if off well.  The Card Shop is awesome; tons of both new and vintage!

After that I went just a few blocks away to Omaha Sports Cards.

The place kind of felt like a sports bar to me.  It was really fancy for a LCS.  The owners had taken a large chunk of their inventory to Chicago for a show.  There was a fill-in guy there who was very friendly.  It wasn't his fault there wasn't much there of interest to me.  I'll give them another shot next time I'm in town.

And now for the 6th day of the challenge.  A card you spent more than $10 to get

I was a teenager when I picked this one up at a card show in Sioux Falls, SD.  It was the first card I spent over $10 to get.  In fact, if I remember correctly, I spent $60 on it.  This was the late 80's.  The funny thing is, I could still get this Yaz rookie in the same condition for the same price today!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

30 Day Challenge, Day 5

A certified autograph card of one of your favorite players

I have to break the rules on this one and go to a different sport. The only certified autograph baseball card I have of a favorite player is the Yaz card I already showed last month. I'm trying not to show any repeats during this challenge. I used to have a player collection of A.C. Green. I stopped a couple of years ago.  The cards started getting remarkably unoriginal, with the same three photographs being reused year after year on many different cards. Most of the PC is still intact, although I've unloaded some of them. A.C. Green was an unsung hero for the Lakers teams of the late 80's. He was fine with Kareem and Magic getting the attention while he consistently played his power forward role. A.C. is the NBA's all-time iron man for consecutive games played. But the most interesting thing about him is his abbreviated name.  A.C. stands for nothing. It's short for nothing. His parents named him "A.C."