Thursday, July 19, 2018

A Mystery Stash of Cards

Supposedly this box held a 1992 Topps factory set. I say supposedly because I got it out to sort it and page it up but as soon as I opened the box, I noticed things weren't on the up and up. There were a decent amount of 1992 cards missing, replaced by some random cards from the early-to-mid 2000s. While I was sad that the set was missing cards, I was happy that I got some mystery cards.

2002 Upper Deck 40-Man? Ok sure. Jay Bell looks like a science teacher with those glasses. Also, I had no clue that Lenny Harris was still in the majors in 2002.

A couple random cards from 2004 Upper Deck Vintage. This was the last year for the Vintage line and the only year where they didn't attempt to rip off an old Topps design.

Some 2004 Opening Day. So far, I'm really digging this hidden stash of cards. Check out the leg kick on the D-Train!

Normally I don't really go for game cards like these but these two from the 2000 MLB Showdown set are super cool. It's not often that I've found a card of Fred McGriff in a Devil Rays uniform, nor do I come across many Jay Buhner late career cards.

Mid 2000's Donruss? Donruss from this time is super tough to find so imagine my excitement when I found these.

More mid-2000's Donruss, this time a pair of Reds from the Team Heroes set. LaRue and Kearns were part of the miserable 2003 Reds team that lost 93 games and went through three managers in the first season of Great American Ballpark. Both these guys would be gone from the Reds by the end of 2006.

A couple of Bowman cards of Johnny Damon and Jim Thome.

Mid 2000's Fleer. I honestly had no idea Fleer Ultra was still being produced at this time. I remember the Fleer Futures cards from seeing a ton of theme when I worked in a card shop in 2003.

And to finish this up, I'll show off a few more cards in rapid fire form. First this Bazooka Chipper Jones. I could be wrong but when Bazooka was produce at this time, didn't in come with bubble gum?

Next, an SI for Kids Jake Peavy. 

Topps Gallery Raul Ibanez from 2003. Apparently this is of the rainbow refractor variety.

And then there was this, the "big hit" if you will of the mystery cards. This is a 2001 Royal Rookies Miguel Cabrera. Now, while Cabrera isn't exactly someone I collect but he is one of the biggest stars of the game and to find an early rookie card of his forgotten in a pile of cards that's been sitting in my garage for two year is pretty awesome. Oh, in case you are wondering what became of the 1992 Topps cards, I picked out a good pile of cards that I knew I didn't have and wanted and the rest went into a Goodwill donation bag. I hadn't really planned on building the set anyway.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Surprise Mail from Stealing Home

I got home the other night and much to my surprise, there was a PWE from Stealing Home sitting on the counter. I haven't sent any mail out in quite some time so to get trade mail from another blogger was quite unexpected. Here's what Oscar sent over ...

Here's a couple Joey Votto cards. I'm still not sure the point of the Opening Day cards from Series 1 but the Jackie Robinson Day card is pretty cool.

Here's a Barry Larkin card from this year's Donruss that I didn't know existed. The picture pretty much obscures the fact that the team name and logo has been removed from the uniform. I might give 2018 Donruss another shot if I find some cheap packs.

A few Eric Davis cards. I think I have the 1990 Fleer card but I'm almost positive the 1987 Donruss card is new to me. Also, pardon the lighting in the picture, I wasn't able to use my usual set up when taking these.

And a few random cards to close out this PWE. While the Lee Smith card isn't a Reds card, he's still someone I won't complain about when I get cards of his.

Thanks to Oscar for the surprise PWE. I'll put you on my list for getting a return out.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Hut, Hut, Hike

Yep, football cards.

I'll admit, I'm not the biggest football person in the world. I enjoy watching the Bengals during the season and I'll watch other games here and there but I'm not into it like a lot of people are. I couldn't tell you which rookie ran the fastest 40 during the combine or who the top prospect from (insert college here) is but one thing I can tell you about are football cards. More importantly, I can tell you about football cards that I like.

While my primary football collection consists of mostly Bengals cards, from time to time I don't mind picking up football cards here and there, especially if they're decent cards. I hardly ever buy them in bulk though but bulk football cards is what I have here, consisting of the final batch of stuff from the community yard sale nearly two months ago.

I really like the design of 1988 Topps football. It's a lot more colorful and lively than its baseball counterpart. The team logo on the helmet and the colored border on the bottom is a pretty nice touch. However, the back is really what I think is neat ...

Take a look at the stats, see something interesting? Yep, that's stats from other leagues such as the USFL and CFL on the back of an NFL licensed trading card. That is super cool.

These are some of my favorite from mix and it's the first time I've ever seen these Live Action Football cards. The photography on them is just fantastic. Also, they're not in perfect condition, they've got some wear, some dinged corners. That just adds to the appeal to me.

Starting Lineup cards! Love me some Starting Lineup cards. I wonder, who's Randall Cunningham calling?

Here's a pretty neat Drew Bledsoe rookie exchange foil card. When I bought the lot, this was in a really faded and beat up screw down case. Now, it's freed from it's previous hard plastic prison.

I plucked out a nice batch of Bengals cards from the lot to add to my Bengals binder (which I'm planning on restarting here soon ... more on that to come in the future). In the interest of space though, I'll share two Bengals cards I didn't know I was looking for until I found them. First, this Boomer Esiason card from 1989 Topps. Esiason was the first Bengals quarterback I was ever aware of when I was growing up, I think which is why I'm drawn to collect him.

But here's the Bengals card I was super excited to come across. From the same 1989 Topps set, it's the Ickey Woods rookie card! This was probably my favorite find of the whole lot.

So there's a bunch of football cards from the yard sale lot and finally, I can put a bow on the whole yard sale cards. Thankfully, the community yard sales don't come around again until next May. I doubt my haul will be as impressive as this year though.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Random Cards from Random Repacks

A long while back, the spring to be exact, I opened a whole bunch of 100-card repacks from the local Walgreens. I had every intent to share the findings in posts of their own, but now it's three months later and pictures of these cards have been haunting me ever since. So, instead of doing individual posts, here's some of the best from four random repacks.

Here's a 1983 O-Pee-Chee of Phil Niekro. I never really had an appreciation for O-Pee-Chee until I started reading card blogs. Now, whenever I get an OPC card, it instantly goes into the collection.

Paul Konerko is well know for being the first baseman for the White Sox for what seemed like forever but did you know he had a very brief stint with the Reds in 1998? Yep, the Dodgers sent him and Dennys Reyes to the Reds for Jeff Shaw on Independence Day 1998 and he appeared in 26 games as an outfielder and a corner utility man. After the season, the Reds sent him to the White Sox for Mike Cameron and the rest is history. I love cards like this that recognize a player having a brief stint with a team, especially ones that no one barely remembers them being with.

Oh, also, did I mention this is the Gold Medallion Edition of Fleer Ultra? That's pretty cool. 

Yay! 1981 Donruss! I always liked the design on these cards with the colored frame around the photo and the yellow team name on the lower right. The photos are also something else I enjoy on them. I definitely think between them and the debut issue of Fleer the same year, Donruss is the better overall product.

Here's a nice Warren Spahn card that was a cover card on one of the repacks. Also, bonus points on this for it showing him as a member of the Milwaukee Braves.

This isn't weird at all. I always think this is a Rockies card because the mascot takes up more of the card than the featured player but it's an Astros card of Brad Ausmus. You wouldn't know it though just by looking at it.

I'll take an Andrew Benintendi 2017 Topps card out of a repack, yes please! While this is just the regular version and not a variation, it really doesn't matter to me. While Benintendi isn't someone I've put on my player collection list, I don't mind adding a card of his here and there.

Some glossy Topps cards from the 80s. I love that Willie McCovey card with him in the old school Giants uniform and the fact that it says "captain" as his position.

Cards of Hall of Famers, mostly junk wax but the real standout here is the 1999 Topps Wade Boggs, the final year of Boggs' career. His sunset card would come the next season in the 2000 Topps set

It seems like every repack nowadays has a plethora of 2012 Topps, which is a set I really enjoy. I've mentioned previously, packs of 2012 Topps were the first packs I bought when I got back into collecting. The first two, Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez are interesting as the Thome card is a sunset card (meaning his final card issued during his career) and Ramirez is a zero-year card (meaning a card issued of a player featuring him on a team with which he never played). Darvish and Cespedes were two of the bigger rookie names that season and both came out of the same pack. Finally, the the Ichiro card has a fantastic picture on it. 

Finally, a pretty trippy card of Javy Lopez, known primarily for being the Braves catcher during the dominant run of the 90s. I'd had no clue he played with the Orioles but looks like he played out the last few seasons of his career there. I don't think I've ever seen a Donruss Zenith card before but in person it's pretty neat.

In regards to repacks, I think I might be done with them for the short term, unless I decided to go for the 50-card, 4-pack variety at Target. I will say that I really enjoyed throwing the best cards from multiple repacks together instead of reviewing the repacks one by one and talking about filler cards.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Mystery Group Break Expo-se

I received some mail last week from Kerry of Cards on Cards as part of his 10th anniversary free group break extravaganza. Since by the time I signed up for the break, the Reds and Indians had already been claimed, I went outside the box and claimed the Montreal Expos.

The results of the base cards from the minor league Team Best sets. Brad Wilkerson is really the only player I recognize from this pile but I thought it'd be the nice thing to do to at least show the base cards, if only in passing.

I got two autographs out of the Team Best deal ... Peter Bergeron and Michael Barrett. Actually, there were two Peter Bergeron autographs, the other has already been set aside into the trade box.

The other portion of the break was some 1999 Stadium Club, of which I have very little. It was nice to see these cards, especially the Vladimir Guerrero. This also reminded me I might have to look into some of this years Stadium Club.

Of course, not only were there cards from the break but Kerry also threw in some bonus stuff, such as these really cool old Fleer stickers. I'm not really one for stickers but I will admit, these are pretty neat.

It took me a minute to figure out that this was actually a Leaf card, despite the fact it clearly says "Leaf 2005" on the top right corner. I can honestly say that this is the first card from the 2005 Leaf I've ever seen in my life. Also, it being a card from 2005, shouldn't the team be Washington since the Expos ceased to exist after 2004? All that aside, I really dig this.

The oddballs that were included were my favorite of the bonus cards. I never was a Toys R Us kid (we had K.B. Toys in the mall where I grew up) but the recent trips I made there showed that the stores were horribly out of date and also the prices were very expensive. I guess I should all them to the list of defunct retail store chain oddball cards I collect (places such as Hills, Revco, etc.)

I saw a physical Drake's product in the grocery store for the first time ever last week. Until I learned about the cards they put out, I'd never heard of them. The cards I've seen though for them have always been pretty cool and I'm always happy to add one to my collection. Also, a Tim Raines SI for Kids card? Sure why not. 

It's odd that I would mention Kaybee (or K.B.) Toys earlier and there just so happened to be a Kaybee Toys card in the package. It's from the 1990 Kaybee Kings set. Zellers I'd never heard of so I had to look it up on Wikipedia. It turns out that it's a defunct Canadian discount retailer and in 1982 they issued an Expos "pro tips" set that came in three panel sheets.

As much as I liked the oddballs and other stuff Kerry included, this card, by far, was my favorite of the package. Since Panini launched the Diamond Kings line, it's always been one of my favorites. The card stock, the variety of old school and current players, the beautiful inserts, and of course the fact that it feels like a high-end release at a pretty affordable price point. I've always enjoyed the Heritage Collection inserts and this card, such a simple card with a black background and the player in a gold circle to me just screams "awesome card".

That's a wrap on the group break. Thanks to Kerry for putting it together. It was fun to participate and I appreciate the cards you sent over.