Monday, July 31, 2017

In the Mail - ebay Purchases

While on vacation last week, a couple of ebay purchases arrived.  Here's what I found in the mailbox.

2008 Bowman Certified Autograph Issue Clay Buchholz

1995 Bowman Prime Prospect Foil Nomar Garciaparra

 1994 Donruss Team Set 

1994-95 Finest Refractor Doug Christie

1995-96 Finest Refractor Eddie Jones

2008-09 Bowman Chrome Refractor Andrew Bynum

Sunday, July 30, 2017

New Stadium Club and LCS Success that almost wasn't

I've been on vacation in the Minneapolis area for most of this past week.  It seems like there's a Target on every freeway exit, and I made a stop at one.  I bought a couple packs of 2017 Stadium Club, my first Stadium Club of the year.  Like most of you, I really like the look of this year's cards.  Here's a look at the 10 cards I got.

No Red Sox!  But there were some former Red Sox stars in Jacoby Ellsbury and Adrian Gonzalez.  There's also a former Red Sox prospect, Manuel Margot, who had some solid seasons in the middle minor leagues.  If anybody wants one of these Stadium Club cards to show up at your house in a PWE just message me your address.

Yesterday I made a trip to Three Stars Sportscards in Bloomington, MN.

The shop was very sparsely populated.  This is in stark contrast to their other store in Roseville which I visited some months ago.  I did find this Eduardo Rodriguez 2014 Bowman Sterling Autograph which was on my want list.

I was at the counter getting ready to pay for this single card when I asked the lady working there what was behind the barrier in the back of the store.  I had seen rows and rows of card boxes on shelves, but the area was blocked off with signs that said only employees could enter.  She told me that was their online inventory back there.  She showed me a PC that was set to their online Beckett store.  I was glad my want lists were up to date as I was able to punch everything in and search for it.  I ended up with 60 cards, mostly Red Sox cards I needed in pursuit of team sets.  Here are some of my favorites.

This 2009 Topps Heritage All-Star is one of the few ways to get Manny Ramirez as a Red Sox on a card that year.
This Rudy Pemberton completes the 1997 Donruss team set.

I like the giant American flag in the background of this David Ortiz.  I took a big chunk out of my want list of 2006 Upper Deck.
 This Josh Beckett was one of many I picked up from 2007 Upper Deck.

And finally, 2009 Upper Deck got quite a few too, including Jonathan Papelbon.  I'm so glad I asked about the cards in the back of the store!

Usually when you're at the store and want to find the sportscards, you look for the candy aisle.  This store I stopped at on the way home yesterday had nothing but candy aisles, but alas, no cards.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Old Red Sox Card - Collins McCarthy

In the mail the other day arrived this Collins-McCarthy card of Sam Agnew. It's in really bad shape, but who cares? Just the fact that it still exists after 100 years is amazing. Agnew played for the Red Sox from 1916 until 1918. He didn't see action in the 1916 World Series, but he did get nine at bats in the infamous 1918 Series. (collecting zero hits). Before there was a Mendoza line was there an Agnew line? His career batting average was .204.  Is batting your weight a good thing?  In his years with the Sox, Agnew batted just over his weight.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Old Red Sox Card - Weil Baking Co

Oh what a juxtaposition of card age and design in the two I received in the mail yesterday.

First up is the 1917 Weil Baking Co of Ernie Shore.  Weil Baking doesn't show up in the trading card database, so I wasn't aware of it.  But it is in The Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards which I've gotten away from using.  In this era, many local businesses put their logos and advertisements on the backs of cards that otherwise all looked the same from the front.  I wish I knew how those arrangements were made.  The guy on the card, Ernie Shore, pitched for the Red Sox for four years, winning two World Series championships with them.  He won 58 games over those four seasons with a very low ERA of 2.12.  Those championship years of 1915 and 1916 had some remarkable pitchers for the Red Sox; Shore, Babe Ruth, Smoky Joe Wood, Rube Foster, Dutch Leonard, and Carl Mays.

Here's the back.  The first time I've ever seen Weil Baking Co.  I looked up the address.  Today it looks like it's a sushi bar.

The second card yesterday was the 1993 Finest Refractor of Ivan Calderon. I forgot he even played for the Red Sox.  Seventy-three unmemorable games that year to be exact.  But this is the card set that started the whole refractors craze.  At certain angles in the light, this card looks like one big rainbow, and the picture on the card is obscured.  How awesome is that!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Old Red Sox Card - Cracker Jack

I got a really old Red Sox card in the mail today.  This is the 1915 Cracker Jack of Vean Gregg.  Just think, 102 years ago somebody opened up a package of Cracker Jack and pulled this out and looked it over while they munched away.  102 years later that person is likely long gone, but the piece of paper they pulled out all those years ago is still around and was in my mailbox today.  That's really wild to think about!

If only our cards could talk and tell us about the journey they've been on, what they've seen, and the different owners they've had!

I think the Cracker Jack set is pretty cool.  They were only produced in 1914 and 1915 which is right in the heart of the Red Sox first glory years.  Some players appear in both years, but the cards seem to be identical.  Gregg's 1914 Cracker Jack card is nearly identical to this one.  The picture is the same, but the club is Cleveland.  One interesting thing about Vean Gregg is that he was a 20-game winning pitcher his first three seasons.  He won a career high 23 his rookie year, and followed up with two more 20 win exactly seasons.

Also in today's mail came the last Kareem that I was expecting.  This is the Purple Prizms version of the 2015-16 Panini Prizm set.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

And then there were Prizms

As someone who liked the finest refractors back in the day, I was disappointed when they were discontinued for basketball and later football. It wasn't until this past year that I became aware of Panini Prizm Prizms, a modern day refractor, if you will. Panini has taken the concept to new heights, however. I'm playing a few years of catch up. Here are some varieties of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar I've picked up lately. 


 Light blue

 Ruby wave


Orange wave

 Red white and blue




Friday, July 14, 2017

Basketball Cards - Kareem

I have a confession to make. I've been hiding something from you. I collect basketball cards just as passionately as I do baseball cards. In fact, since I'm coming clean today, I also want to add that I collect football cards as passionately as baseball and basketball. Do you still like me? Can we still be friends? The blog world seems highly concentrated on baseball cards. That's understandable. There are just a lot more of them around. When you think of card collecting, you think of baseball by default. In fact I must admit that the name of my blog came about by totally overlooking the others. The Lakers and Steelers never even crossed my mind. So please indulge me, as I plan to sprinkle in more posts about football and basketball card collecting.

Now that that's off my chest, in basketball card land, I collect complete sets from 2004-05 and older. I collect Lakers team sets since. See my basketball card want list page! I just recently added it. My recent COMC order included some cards of the player I consider the second best basketball player ever to play. The first is a Finest X-fractor. The second is a Finest Refractor. The last two are Panini Prizm Prizms.

Oh, and as far as hockey card collecting goes, it is a very distant fourth. I only collect team sets of the Dallas Stars.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Cards with a Story - Yaz

Another COMC order arrived today. It was heavy on Carl Yastrzemski cards. Yaz is my favorite player of all time. I got to see him play once in person. It was his last game in the Metrodome in Minneapolis in his last season. I don't remember who won the game, Twins or Red Sox. But I do remember late in the game Yastrzemski hadn't played yet. Even though he was on the visiting team, the crowd really wanted to see him play. They (we) chanted "Yaz! Yaz! Yaz!" over and over again, the whole place. The coach did sub him in when the Red Sox were batting. When the crowd saw him get up from the bench, put on his helmet and head out to the on deck circle, they errupted. It doesn't get any better than that for a little Yaz fan! Here are the cards that came today.

2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary Cognac

2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary

2012 Panini Prizm Prizms

2012 Panini Prizm Green Prizms

2003 Topps Gallery Rainbow Refractor

2012 Topps Archive 1967 Stickers

1981 Perma-Graphics

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Some Vintage from COMC

I picked up the following in a recent COMC order.

I don't remember Rod Carew playing for the Twins. My earliest memories of him are with the California Angeles. He would start the all-star games at first base which I didn't think was fair because I liked Eddie Murray and thought he was better and more deserving. But where I grew up was Twins territory, and Carew's accomplishments and popularity were still fresh in people's minds.

I always kind of liked Phil Niekro.  I was intrigued by the knuckleball, played around with it, but never threw it in games. When he was with the Yankees I didn't know yet that Red Sox fans couldn't also be fans of any Yankees.

I also picked up some Steve Carltons, a Jim Palmer, and a Dave Parker. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Geeking Out Times Two

There are two things that I can really geek out about; baseball cards and science fiction.  You know about my passion for baseball cards, but I've never talked about sci fi on the blog before.  I love both Star Wars and Star Trek.  I have a couple hundred cards of each from back in the day, nothing special.  I don't actively collect anything from either.  But I do keep watching.  I'm currently working my way through the entire collection of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on Amazon Prime (for the second time).  My favorite series was Star Trek Voyager.  Star Trek: Next Generation was pretty good, as was the original series.  Enterprise was not so good.  I've seen the new incarnations of Star Trek movies, but am not really a fan.

As far as the Star Wars movies, they are all phenomenal.  That includes Rogue One. I can't wait for episode eight in December!

If I could choose the best way to blend both of these passions, sci fi and baseball cards, it would be to have a baseball card of my favorite sci fi actor in my favorite team's uniform.  Well lo and behold that's exactly what Topps did with the First Pitch series!

There might be a few other Red Sox First Pitch cards I go after, but this will be by far the best!  This was #8 on my most wanted list.  I picked it up on COMC along with some other cards I hope to share soon.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

No LCS for You

The last couple of weeks I've been to a couple small midwest towns. The first was Grand Forks, ND. On the way into town I googled card shops and one came up. It closed in 30 minutes so I hightailed over without looking at it too closely. The place was called Grand Cities Games. I knew I was in trouble when I pulled up. The shop focused on Magic cards and the like. If that's your thing then it looked like an awesome place. I asked where the sportscards were and was pointed to a little shelf not even knee high and about two feet long. There were some Topps baseball sets from the 2000's and some packs of even older stuff. Strike one for the week.
A couple days later I was in Mankato, MN. The story is about the same, except I didn't have to rush to beat closing time. But it too was a Magic card shop. They had two little boxes of baseball packs from the 90's, and that was it for sportscards. The place is called Double Play. Again, if Magic is your thing, you'll probably like this place. But for me, it was strike two.
I was pretty bummed, so before leaving Mankoto I made a last ditch effort to find some sportscards by making a trip to Dollar Tree. I remember reading on some of your blogs that they sometimes have sportscards. And they did! They were a year or two old, but I was desperate and bought a couple packs of baseball and a couple more of basketball. Here's what I found inside.
If you're interested in any of them, let me know.