Sunday, May 29, 2016

You've Got Mail #32: The Chronicles of Fuji

Moving along in the great trade package catch-up game from the Super Trader group! To show you exactly how far behind I am, this package from Fuji arrived on Opening Day and tomorrow is Memorial Day.

Before diving it, it can't be a package from Fuji either without hit custom card! My wife thought this was really cool, mainly because it's in the style of a South Park character. 

I'm not sure how many Reds are in the Hometown Heroes set but I've got to be approaching the team set. Between this, the mailer from Douglas (which I'll post about soon) and a couple others, I think I've got it covered. That being said, dupes are not a bad thing and and I revamp my player collections, they will be included.

Edinson Volquez, what could have been. I think most Reds fans are still sore about the trade that shipped him and three others off to San Diego for Mat Latos. While we got a few solid years out of Latos, Volquez has turned his career around after bouncing around for a few years and won a ring last year with Kansas City, ironically teaming up in the rotation with Johnny Cueto. That could have been the Reds with Cueto and Volquez as a deadly 1-2 punch!  

I could be wrong but I believe this is my first Topps Gallery card and it appears to be some sort of shiny parallel (ooh, shiny objects!) Regardless, this is a really neat card and a fantastic piece of artwork. I need to decide, does it go with my box of "good stuff" or get placed with the growing mountain of cards that needs to be loaded into a binder.

Panini Cooperstown! These are so cool, especially old Edd Roush on the bottom there. Any old vintage guys on newer products is a-ok in my book.

I'll close this out with a nice variety of stuff. I've really, really tried to forget the horrible experiment that was the reclamation of Jason Marquis last year. However, judging by this years pitching staff, it would probably somewhat welcome. There's also a green parallel of one of my favorite Todd Frazier cards, next to that a simple base card to add to my Bronson Arroyo PC, and finally a something I had no clue that existed, that being a Reds card of wacky relieved extraordinare Kent Tekulve!

Thanks for the great stuff Fuji! I see more cards coming your way this summer.

Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

You've Got Mail #31: Waiting 'Til Next Year

I'm nearly caught up on Super Trader trade packages at this point, just a few more to go, like this box of awesome from Tom at Waiting 'Til Next Year!

This is going to be long so just bear with me ...

This was my favorite card of the package and just goes to show that you don't need an autograph or a relic to get enjoyment out of cards. The beauty of this is its simplicity, where just a simple shift left or right makes everything move. Simple, yet effective. Also, very reminiscent of the old 3D Kellogg's cards.

Next up a whole giant mess of K-Mart cards. The number of K-Mart stores seems to diminish by the day. The nearest one to me is in Springboro, Ohio (about 30 minutes up the freeway) and is closing down later this summer. You can bet that I'll be there trying to score some cards for next to nothing. Cards from retail chains are always a guilty pleasure of mine and these definitely fit the bill.

Some Griffey Jr. Reds cards! I like the one from Topps 2000 as it's probably his first card as a Red and Topps made sure to get an actual photo of him in a Reds uniform instead of doing some airbrushing. Also, Topps Total next to it. The world needs more bargain sets like that.

Josh Hamilton as a Red. Oh, what could have been if they hadn't traded him away. That Opening Day card looks like a night card as well.

Some nice 1993 Topps cards that I think I was missing, although the Sabo might be a duplicate. Not sure though. I really need to catalog the Reds binder.

More Topps 2000. The more I think about it, the more I like that set.

Some cards of Eric Davis. Check out the one on the right. I'm not exactly sure what's happening with him in that picture but it looks like he's asleep.

Some Swell oddballs that are well ... pretty swell featuring three pretty well known players in Cincinnati circles. Milt Pappas was acquired by the Reds in the Frank Robinson trade, George Foster mashed 52 homers in 1977, and Johnny Vander Meer, the only person to throw back-to-back no hitters.

Also, included were these Team USA cards, both regular and the foil versions seen here. If Jesse Winker (on the left) is going to be ready for the majors next year, the Reds will probably have a nice logjam in the outfield, especially the Adam Duvall has been knocking the cover off the ball this season.

Some more oddballs, this time of the Starting Lineup variety. These cards are always the next best thing if the figures themselves are too pricey for me (and believe me, from the prices I've seen on Starting Lineup figures at some places around here, they definitely are).

Panini Classics is quickly becoming one of my favorite brands to collect. I really like the Tony Perez card and it's him in the old school, sleeveless Reds jersey, the one they had right before the uniform Pete Rose is sporting on the left.

A good collection of Larkin cards were included, these were the best of the batch. I forgot how cool those Upper Deck Ovation cards were with the raised stitching of the baseball.

A couple of youngsters in Tyler Stephenson and Nick Howard. Stephenson's cards are going for a pretty penny on COMC and I refuse to pay a rather large sum for a base card. Getting it in a trade is much better and fits my budge perfectly.

I'll close this out with a dash of Expos cards to add to my ever growing collection of them. 

Tom, I'm not sure what card show bin or card shop you raided but these cards were awesome and definitely filled in some holes for me! Hopefully you don't have to wait until next year (see what I did there?) for a return package from me!

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Vintage Yard Sale Haul!

One of my favorite things about spring is that it marks the official beginning of yard sale and flea market season. I don't have a lot of time on weekends to hit a lot of yard sales but a long standing tradition in the town I live in is what everyone refers to as "yard sale weekend". The third weekend in May every year is when people come from far and wide and descend upon the town like locusts seeking deals on rusty tools, clothes that are 20 years out of style, and hoards of other things. Much like last year, I went in search of cards, with my wife and son in tow.

Saturday was cool and damp as it had rained hard overnight and into the morning and didn't let up until about 10:30. After the rain finished, out we went.

Cars lined up on Clara Drive

Downtown traffic

More craziness in a newer part of town

Corner of Miami Street and Roger Drive
Unfortunately, after walking about nine miles around different subdivisions and neighborhoods, my search for cards came up empty. However, I did pick up Oz the Great and Powerful and Ides of March on Blu-Ray so it wasn't a complete bust. When I got home, I turned to the community Facebook page and asked if anyone would have cards on Sunday and got three leads.

Sunday was bright and sunny and near 80 degrees. So after a breakfast with friends at a nearby Cracker Barrel, we headed out in the car to track down the three leads from Facebook. The first stop had a decent amount of cards but they wanted 25 cents per card for early 90s junk, or five dollars for a 100-count box of the same. No thanks. Stop #2 on the other end of town was a dud, there was nothing resembling cards but there was plenty of general crap to be had. It was all down to the third and final stop.

Pulling up to a run down, brick house in a shady part of town, I had little hope and pretty much resigned myself that my search would be in vain. Oh well, at least the prospect of an M&M Master Blast from Sonic after this stop kept me motivated.

As I approached the sale, I saw nothing but odds and ends strewn about on tables but towards the back, there was a lady sitting behind a table that had cards on it! And vintage cards at that! Woo hoo! She called her husband/boyfriend/whoever over as she didn't have the slightest clue about any of the cards. I asked the fellow where he came up with the prices for the singles. He said "the vintage Beckett" and "online" to which I shuddered. He mentioned he had boxes he was wanting to get rid of too and pulled out a shoebox, a cigar box, and a random cardboard box filled with cards from the 70s and early 80s.

I asked how much for all three boxes, thinking he would come up with some ridiculously high number to which I would scoff and walk away. However he said "make me an offer", as he spit out tobacco juice into his flower bed. So, after some though I said "how about $25?" to which he accepted, much to my surprise. I asked about the random singles, he said it'd be an additional thirty for those, which I passed on. So, I forked over the $25 and proudly became the new owner of the boxes full of cards below.

What was in the boxes you ask? Well, you'll just have to wait to find out as there were more cards in there than I imagined and its going to take some time to do some sorting. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

You've Got Mail #30: 2x3 Heroes

It's always nice to get an unexpected PWE and that's just what I got from Jeff over at 2x3 Heroes, the Chi-Sox representative in the Super Traders group.

I'll start off with these Phil Ervin cards. He's one of the Reds top prospects and is currently assigned to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (gotta love minor league team names, right?) and is currently ranked 10th in their farm system. I dig both of these, especially the wacky looking blue refractor thingy on the left that looks like it came straight out of the 90s

Minis! These seems to be multiplying with every trade package. I really need to find binder pages to fit these, problem is I only need a few, not a whole box of them!

A few odd and sods with some stickers and a wacky packages insert from this years Topps set. My three-year-old son has already claimed the Cozart sticker. Luckily, he hasn't figured out how it works yet.

Behold a nice variety of stuff! I really like the Great American Ballpark card from Upper Deck (top left). It makes me wish that someone would make a set consisting of nothing but current and former ballparks. Panini, I'm looking at you as that would be gold! There's also a cool mascot card of Gapper in this batch.

This PWE closes out with a nice mix of old, new, and reprinted. I don't mind reprints all that much but at least note it on the front with a stamp or something. Also, I don't need reprints of the exact same card every year! Other than that little rant, this wraps up a pretty fun PWE.

Thanks for a nice envelope Jeff! Hope you enjoyed what I sent back your way.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Back Packs: 1991 Donruss Series 1 Jumbo Pack

Oh, 1991 Donruss. This may very well be one of the most overproduced and least valuable sets ever made. However, as I've mentioned before, it's a product that is special to me as it's the first pack of cards I ever opened. I had gotten a rack pack of these as a gift when I was a kid because of good grades on a report card. I remember sitting in a drive-thru of a Hardee's looking at the cards and seeing Hector Villanueva and Scott Chiamparino staring back at me.

I snatched up this particular pack during a flea market trip back in the winter for a mere 25 cents. This is series 1 which I've always been a fan of. Series 2 and the green borders? No thanks. Anyway, here are the highlights of this 40 card behemoth.

A double dose of everyone's favorite curmudgeonly catcher, Carlton Fisk. I've heard stories of Fisk not signing autographs or even taking pictures with people when approached but not exactly sure how accurate those tales are. I'll keep the base card but the highlights card goes into the bin of the expendables.

One of the things I like about 1991 Donruss is the photography and this is a good sampling. It ranges from packed stadiums to spring training. Yes, I know the backgrounds of the photos are blurred out but really, do you want to see an ad for Jerry's Bail Bonds behind Charlie Hough? I'm sure Jerry and his bail bonds business wouldn't mind.

Palmeiro was the sole Diamond King I pulled out of the pack. Does anyone else but me find it a little redundant that Panini puts Diamond Kings in the basic Donruss set but also issues a set called Diamond Kings? I'm showing off the Maddux card just because Palmeiro needed a friend.

Bobby Bonilla was the Grand Slammer insert card that I was promised on the wrapper. Too bad it couldn't have been someone I actually somewhat cared about. I could be wrong but I don't think I have the Gary Carter card, at least until now. I sort of enjoy getting cards of Gary Carter, especially when he's not featured in a Montreal uniform.

I'll wrap this up with a few notable players in Andres Galarraga and Jeff Reardon. I find it interesting that the background isn't blurred out on Reardon's card but it is on every other card I've shown here. I'm guessing probably because it was a posed shot with hardly anyone in the stands?

Anyway, there are the highlights from a jumbo pack of 1991 Donruss Series 1. I'm sure everyone has seen these cards millions of times and so have I, but still it was pretty fun opening a pack from the product that got me into collection the first time around.

Back to the trade packages later this week!

Monday, May 16, 2016

You've Got Mail #29: Bob Walk the Plank

This will be brief as Matt from BWTP hit my mailbox with three cards of awesome last month.

First, this Aroldis Chapman Topps Tribute card. I really like the design on this with the jersey in the shape of a diamond. I'm not sure what type of uniform Chapman has on in the picture but I think it might be one of those uniforms from a Military Appreciation Day or something like that.

Next, this really cool Devin Mesoraco autographed card. It really sucks that Mesoraco is out for the year for the second straight year but Tucker Barnhart has proved to be a more that suitable replacement. I met Mesoraco once at the Reds Caravan during the offseason and he's a really nice dude.

Finally, this really cool Edd Roush Panini card. Look at the serial number ... it's numbered 2/5 which is awesome! I really love old timers on cards like this and this is probably one of my favorites in my collection now.

Matt, thanks a lot for the cards! I'm sorry that the PWE I sent you back in March got lost in the mail. I just sent you a nice package full of Pirates and Penguins. Hopefully that makes it to you in good time.