Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Trading Card Database - Astros

The regular season is under way, and the Red Sox are 2-1.  They could easily be 3-0, but they could just as easily be 0-3.  Most of the guys that had a lot of hype during spring training are off to a slow start.  And most of the veterans are cold as ice so far.  Coach Cora is even under fire already, I read.  He's made a couple moves that didn't work out.  And he didn't bring Kimbrel in for the 8th inning when the other team's meat was coming up, like he said he would, and like he could have today.  That being said, there are a lot of good things happening too.  I am very encouraged by Xander Bogaerts so far.  He seems to be back to form.  And the starting pitching is looking very good.

On the TCDB front my Houston Astros have now been entered.

The Astros reported with 1161 cards.  That ranks #23 in my collection.  I'm kind of surprised at that because they were once my second favorite team.  I remember as a kid trying to get an Astros card of a player of every defensive position.  And when I did, I laid them out on an imaginary diamond on the floor and had them play the Red Sox.  I think the Red Sox always won, beating J.R. Richard over and over again.  Ah, those were the days.

Some of my best Astros trade bait comes in the form of Nolan Ryans, Craig Biggios, and Jeff Bagwells.  I know there are a couple very active Astros collectors out there because I got two offers within two hours of finished them up.  Please take a look at my collection here, and speak up if you want anything.  EP's Astros  Select For Sale/Trade from the dropdown menu.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

In the Mail - Big Trade with defgav

For weeks defgav at Baseball Card Breakdown and I have been tossing card ideas out there for each other to add to each other's stacks. We decided to break it up into manageable chunks. Yesterday I received a package from him with chunk number one. Here's what was inside.

This 2004 Topps Retired Autograph Refractor was the centerpiece of the trade from my perspective. I found out about these cards only in the past year, probably from reading defgav's blog.  He's got almost all of them. All the Red Sox are now on my want list. But since only 25 were made of each, and they're going on 15 years old, I'm afraid most are in private collections and not available anymore. I have this Piersall and Yaz so far.

The rest of the package contained a bunch of set needs from the early 70's. Babe here was the only one from 1973, but was one of the important ones I still needed.

There were a couple dozen commons from 1972.

There were only a handful from 1971, but hall of famer Catfish Hunter was one of them.

By far there were the most from 1970. Here are just some of them. Sparky here was featured in a recent post of mine as a rare South Dakotan who made the big leagues.

Here's where those set stats now sit, thanks to this trade.
1970: 89/720  12.4%
1971: 97/752  12.9%
1972: 174/787  22.1%
1973: 638/660  96.7%

I had to give up most of my 1957 doubles in return, as well as a 1980 common to complete that set for him. Thanks for the trade, Gavin! We'll have to fire up chunk number two in the near future.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Trading Card Database - Cubs

My break from entering cards into the TCDB didn't last long.  I found that it's an easy mindless thing to do on my phone while I'm watching Amazon Prime.  (I'm currently working through Star Trek Voyager season 6.)  So I might as well keep entering, killing two birds simultaneously.  A few posts back I asked for my fellow bloggers' advice on the team order to enter my cards.  I only got one response, from Chris at The Collector.  I'm pretty much following his suggestion to the T so far, and it's proven to be a good one as I get multiple new trade offers with each team entered.

So the next team entered was the Chicago Cubs.

Some of the cards that might be of interest to people are early Ryne Sandberg (including three rookie cards), early Greg Maddox, Fergie Jenkins and Dennis Eckersley.

All told the Cubs came to 1311 cards, and most of them are for trade.  That ranks them #7 in my collection.  There's one Cubs fan out there that I owe a return trade package.  You know who you are.  Take a look and let me know what I can send you.  Cubs collection.  Select For Sale/Trade from the dropdown.

Next I'm going to enter the world champion Houston Astros.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

In the Mail - Miscellaneous Red Sox

Yesterday in the mail I received an envelope containing my second trade on the trading card database.  This one was with Parsons0311.  This trade knocked three cards off my want list, and added three other really cool cards that I didn't know existed.

This is the first card in my Conlon Collection, The Sporting News.  I'd like to pick up all the Red Sox in this set.  I think they were released over a couple years.  I have a lot to go!  But you have to start somewhere.

John Burkett's 2003 Fleer Update card gives me three out of eleven in that team set.  Back in the day I didn't intentionally collect the update sets, so I've started listing some of them on my want list in hopes of picking them up via trades.

Hard hittin' Mark Whiten here from Fleer's 1995 Update set gives me five out of the nine Red Sox in it.

2007 Fleer Rookie Sensations of Jon Lester and Jonathan Papelbon.  These are just plain cool.  It remains to be seen if I start collecting these subsets.  If not, they will be terrific trade bait.

This 2007 Fleer Perfect 10 card of David Ortiz is also just plain neat.  Like the Rookie Sensations above, I wasn't even aware of this subset.

Friday, March 23, 2018

The Trading Card Database - Dodgers

I've been a bit TCDB heavy in my posts lately, but that's what I'm spending all my free time doing.  The latest team to be entered is the Los Angeles Dodgers.  There are 1247 of them in total.  That currently ranks as my 11th most populous team.
Most of the good trade bait is in the 1980's range.  Steve Garvey, Fernando Valenzuela, Don Sutton, and these two cards pictured here are just some of the trade bait.  There's also a card from 1939 Play Ball for trade.  It's technically a Brooklyn Dodger, which the database counts separately and says I have 12 in my collection.  Only the 1939 Play Ball is from that era though.

I'm going to take a break from entering teams for a bit now.  It's taken up a lot of time and I can't help but have this feeling that as soon as I get everything entered, they're going to start charging to use the TCDB.  Does anybody else ever fear the same thing?  It seems like many things online work that way, free for a while and then they start charging a fee.

Tonight I changed direction and entered all my 1970-1972 Topps baseball, regardless of team.  I'm in discussions with a couple different TCDB members regarding trades for those years, so I needed them in there.  As I kickstart my pursuit of completing those sets, here's where things stand based on what I already have.
1970: 48/720 6.7% complete
1971: 90/752 12.0% complete
1972: 160/787 20.3% complete

And not to be forgotten, three other sets that aren't quite finished yet.
1973: 637/660 96.5% complete
1974: 659/660 99.8% complete
1975: 659/660 99.8% complete

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Trading Card Database - Yankees

This is going to be a short post tonight; more of an announcement really. My New York Yankees cards have all been entered into the TCDB.  After the Red Sox, the Yankees entry went really fast.

The stats say there's a grand total of exactly 1500 Yankees cards in there, currently second place behind the Red Sox.  Some of the good players now for trade are Reggie Jackson, Rickey Henderson, Dave Winfield, Don Mattingly, Derek Jeter, etc.

I know a lot of Red Sox fans read this blog. And to you I apologize for having to use the Y- word so many times in this post. It's my general rule not to mention them or show their cards. Please forgive me this once.

Next to be entered will be the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Trading Card Database - Red Sox

This weekend I finally finished entering my Boston Red Sox into the TCDB.

This mini project will be by far my largest team entry into the database.  It took me about two weeks.

As it stands the Red Sox are my most represented team in the database with 6559 cards. There will be a few more when I get to my binders. Right now I've gone through the boxes, but that's the majority of them.  Most of what was entered are the doubles I've picked up over the years.  I've got about every Red Sox player available for trade that was on a card in the past 60 years.  There are tons of Rice, Fisk, Yaz, Lonborg, Clemens, Boggs, Pedro, Ortiz, etc. etc.  There's a link below to check out what all there is.

As part of the Red Sox project, I got my two largest PC's of Carl Yastrzemski and Aaron Sele entered in as well.  Sele's count is at 468 and Yastrzemski is at 190.

Next up will be the New York Yankees. If you want your team moved up to next in line, just let me know. I will gladly jump to any team or sport that is promising for trades.

I don't think I can adequately maintain my trade bait list in two places, so the Red Sox have been removed from this blogs trade bait page.  They're all in the TCDB now.  Here's a link to my updated TCDB trade bait and want list.  EP's Collection.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Blog Bat Around - What I Collect

One of my favorite blogs to read is Night Owl Cards.  Recently he officially declared a blog bat around on what we fellow bloggers collect.  I don't participate in these often enough.  So here goes!  And this one will be a good exercise for me as well. I tend to collect in spurts, changing my focus from thing to thing. This is a good way to regroup on where I'm at and where I'm going with each.  So here's what I collect.

1. Aaron Sele
Where things are at.  Sele was my very first player collection.  I started it in 1994 when I made the connection that a childhood friend of mine was playing in the major leagues with the Boston Red Sox.  A PC was a welcome change to the set collecting I had been doing exclusively until then.  I have probably 90+% of his cards (just under 500).  When I enter them in the TCDB I will know for sure.
Where things are going.  He's showed up in a couple of buyback issues, so I'm trying to pick those up as they appear.  And I'm also trying to fill the remaining PC gaps, but I haven't seen anything I need in a couple of years now.  So for all practical purposes, this one is stalled.

2. Boston Red Sox
Where things are at.  My goal with the Red Sox is to obtain one card of each player from each year.  I start by getting the complete flagship team sets and then filling in who's missing from other brands. I have every Red Sox team set back to 1948.  I'm missing one card from 1947.  There's a big reward if any of you can lead me to Tip Top Boo Ferris.  Then I'm complete back to 1933 again.  I'm also complete from 1909-1912.  But from 1913 to 1932 it's pretty hit and miss.  Some years I don't even know of a set to collect.  In addition to the flagships, I also have most Red Sox Finest Refractors back to 1993, but not all.  I have a TON of Red Sox trade bait that I've accumulated over the years.  I'm entering that into the TCDB right now.
Where things are going.  Given the brands on the market right now, I want to get the Topps, Donruss, Bowman, and Finest Refractors teams sets every year going forward.  Recent cards is where most of the action I've seen on the TCDB is at, so I hope to get these via trades.  I also want to go back and fill in the updated and traded Red Sox team sets next. I have some, but honestly don't know how big an effort this is going to be. I know Topps, Fleer, Donruss, and Score have produced them over the years.  And of course, I'll keep my eyes open for good deals in that 1913-1932 range.

3. Baseball sets
Where things are at.  I have every Topps set from 1976 to 2017, minus a couple from the past five years.  I need one more card to complete both the 1974 and 1975 sets.  I need a couple dozen more for 1973.
Where things are going.  Just yesterday, I put all of 1970, 1971, and 1972 on my want list on the TCDB.  I like to work several sets at a time.  That should take me a while to put together.  Someday, I'll just keep working my way back into the 60's.

4. Los Angeles Lakers
Where things are at.  I have every Lakers team set back to 1969-70.  I also have most of their Finals Jersey cards from the early 2000's.  And of course, I have most of their Finest Refractors going back to 1993-94.  And when those stopped I switched to and have most of their Panini Silver Prizms.  I used to have PC's going for A.C. Green, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Robert Horry, Rick Fox, and Derek Fisher.  But after their playing days were done, they don't interest me any more.  So they're all trade bait.  I've entered some high end stuff of theirs in my trade list on the TCDB, lots of it serial numbered 100 or less.
Where things are going.  I have no Lakers prior to 1969-70.  I need to take an inventory of what there is to collect from back then and dive in.  I have a couple Kobe Bryant rookie Finest Refractors that I need, but they're way up there in price, so I need someone with whom I can trade a bunch of cards for them.  Going forward for team sets, Panini Hoops is the main brand now, so I'll go after them.  I also need to go year by year and see who's missing from the flagship sets that I could obtain from other brands.  I also am after the rookie Panini Silver Prizms from the past few years.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers
Where things are at.  Again, I'm after team sets when it comes to the Steelers.  I have every one back to 1950. (Bowman before the Topps years.)  I've accumulated duplicates for trade bait of most of the 1970's Steelers.  I also have all the Steelers Finest Refractors and Panini Silver Prizms going back to 1994.
Where things are going.  Score is the main flagship set now.  So going forward I'll pursue their Steelers team sets, as well as the Panini Silver Prizms each year.  Like with the Lakers, I need to find out what Steelers players weren't included in the flagship team sets from 1950 to present and go after them too.

6. Basketball sets
Where things are at.  I have every Topps complete set going back to 1976-77.  In recent years I have about half of the Panini Hoops sets since Topps stopped doing basketball.
Where things are going.  Yesterday, I marked the mid-70's Topps sets on my want list on the TCDB.  I also want to pick up the Donruss set from 2010-11 and the remaining Hoops sets from the past seven years.

7. Red Sox minor leagues
Where things are at. I'm very fortunate that my favorite major league team has historically had a deep minor league pool of future big league players.  That makes collecting them interesting.  I have almost every team set going back to 1981.  Prior to that I haven't seen much available.  I also have most of the Bowman Prospects (or similar sets) going back to when they first started introducing them.  I like Bowman for the fact that they focus a lot on minor league players.  And it's a way to get cards of them in Red Sox uniforms.
Where things are going.  I have a few random team sets I'm trying to find.  The current Boston Red Sox minor league teams are the Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA), Portland Sea Dogs (AA), Salem Red Sox (A+), Greenville Drive (A), and Lowell Spinners (A-).  So going forward I'll try to get those teams each year.  And also I'll continue to get the Bowman Prospect sets, hopefully via trade from now on.

8. Football sets
Where things are at.  I have every Topps football set from 1977 to 2015, spare one or two from the past 6-7 years.  When Topps got out of football, I moved over to Score.  I have one of their last two complete sets.
Where things are going.  I want to start working backwards prior to 1976 like I did with baseball.  At this point I'm pretty unorganized with that era.  I'll probably just throw those sets on my wantlist on the TCDB and start obtaining cards that way.  I have almost zero football cards from prior to 1976 except for Steelers.  So that'll keep me busy for a while.

9. Dallas Stars
Where things are at.  The only thing I collect of hockey is Dallas Stars team sets.  I have a smattering of their teams sets going back to 1983-84, but there are more gaps than filled.  It seems like a bit of work to get really organized in hockey, as the flagship brands have changed a lot over the years.
Where things are going.  I want to get more active in completing those Stars and North Stars team sets, at least back as far as Topps goes.  I also might want to venture into Finest or other refractors of Mike Modano, but I honestly don't even know what there is.  Hockey is my least active collection of the big four sports.

10. Carl Yastrzemski
Where things are at.  After Aaron Sele, Yaz is my largest PC.  I'm pretty organized on this blog's Yaz page with what I have so far, but haven't done anything yet with it on the TCDB.  I've always had lots of Yaz cards just from the Red Sox team sets, but it was only in the past ten years that I have been trying to pick up more.
Where things are going. Since his playing days ended, there are lots and lots of cards of his to collect, maybe even dozens each year.  I expect to grow this PC through trades only.  I'm not spending money on it right now.

11. Star Wars
Where things are at.  I have the majority of the 1977 Topps set from when I was a kid. I'm mostly missing cards from the green and orange subsets.
Where things are going. Once I complete the 1977 set, that will be it. Well, I take that back. I might finish up the Wonder Bread set from about that same year. I have about half of them so far.

Speaking of non-sports cards, I have several hundred others from the late 70's time period; Star Trek, Close Encounters, Battlestar Galactica, Elvis, Charlie's Angels, Planet of the Apes, maybe more. Someday I hope to get them in the trading card database to see what kind of interest there is for them. I have no attachment to them and would trade them all.

So there you have it.  It's probably more than you ever wanted to know about what I'm collecting, but at least it was a good holistic refresher for me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Long Wagging Tongue

When 2018 Topps Baseball came out last month, I saw a lot of bloggers referring to the team logos as being on a water slide or wave.  Those two are so popular that I now think of it as that too.   But to be honest, the first time I saw a picture of the new design, the very first thing that came to mind for me was a big long tongue.

Image result for long wagging tongue

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

First TCDB Trade Brings First 2018 Topps

Yesterday I received my first cards though a TCDB trade!  Colengco90 offered up a small PWE trade to get the ball rolling.  What I got was some cards of 2018 Topps Red Sox.  I have resisted the urge to buy packs of the new stuff because I intend to buy the complete set some day.  But trading for the Red Sox is a goal of mine.  Hours after putting them on my want list, I got a couple of trade requests.  I turned the other one down.

My TCDB entry project is now up through the Red Sox and 2002.  My trade bait page on this blog is slowly being moved over to the TCDB.  Take a look.

Friday, March 9, 2018

2015 Topps Baseball - Red Sox Prospects Playing Elsewhere

The last of the baseball sets I got with my Christmas money was the 2015 Topps baseball set. I think it's a good looking set.  It just might have been the end of an era actually, the last flagship set with borders on the cards. Who knows if they'll ever do them again. As I sorted this set into teams and put the cards into pages, I noticed a fair number of players who had been minor league prospects of the Red Sox, but now were getting the job done for other teams.
Anibal Sanchez played two years in the Red Sox farm system, having good success and making it to AA.  But he was traded to the Florida Marlins after the 2005 season as a part of the Hanley Ramirez/Josh Beckett/Mike Lowell trade.  At the time of this card, he was considered one of the better pitchers in the league having won the ERA title and finishing 4th for the Cy Young award just two years before.

Anthony Rizzo played in the Red Sox minor league system for four years.  He made it to AA in 2010, hitting 25 home runs and driving in 100 runs that year as a 20 year old.  During the following off season, he was traded to the San Diego Padres in the Adrian Gonzalez deal.  Now he's a perennial all-star and MVP vote getter for the Chicago Cubs.

David Murphy was in the Red Sox organization for five years.  He made it all the way up to the major league club for 23 games between 2006 and 2007.  He was traded mid-season in 2007 to the Texas Rangers as part of the Eric Gagne deal.  After that he put together a nice string of eight seasons as a starter while putting up solid hitting numbers.  The year of this card would be his last as a regular player.

Jose Iglesias was in the Red Sox organization for four years.  He too made it up to Boston, playing in 98 games from 2011-2013.  Mid-season 2013 he was traded to the Detroit Tigers in the three team trade that brought Jake Peavy to Boston.  He finished second in rookie of the year that season, and was an all-star the year of this card.  This card was a finalist for best super glue shot of the set.

Jorge de la Rosa played in the Red Sox farm system for three years, making it to AAA and looking impressive enough to join the Boston rotation the next year in 2004.  If that had happened, he could have been part of the infamous 2004 season.  But alas, since he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Curt Schilling, it's doubtful he would have experienced a championship if the trade hadn't happened.  He's been a solid pitcher for a lot of years now, winning 16 games twice.

Brandon Moss was in the Red Sox system from 2002-2008.  He started at the bottom and made it all the way to the bigs, seeing action in 49 games in Boston.  From 2012 to the present, he's averaged 24 home runs a year for the A's and other teams.
From 2007 through 2011 Josh Reddick was in the Red Sox system.  He started at A and worked all the way up to Boston.  He saw action in over 130 big league games over parts of three seasons.  He won a gold glove and received MVP votes in 2012 for the A's, hitting 32 home runs.

So even though the Red Sox lost some good players in this group, for the most part the trades worked out for them.  Some of their departures also opened up spots for the next generation of prospects and free agent signings.

Two fantastic players who have perhaps benefited the most from the WAR metric are Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw.

I forgot that Daisuke Matsuzaka was still pitching this recently.  If only the Red Sox had not allowed him to play for Japan in the World Baseball Classic following the 2007 season.

The best super glue shot in the set has to be this one.  Using a bat instead of a ball, the man in orange in the stands has glued the barrel end of the bat to his shoulder.  No wonder he needed a front row seat.

Here are a couple honorable mentions for best super glue shot.

And finally on a side note, my entries into the trading card database continue at a good pace.  I'm still doing the Red Sox, but am up thru 1992.  Check out my trade list and see if you want anything.