Thursday, June 30, 2016

Card Show Report Pt. 4: Everything Else

Last part of the card show report!

While most of my focus of the show was baseball cards, I did manage to find some nice non-baseball stuff as well. Hockey stuff was in short supply but there were loads of basketball and football cards. I don't collect much basketball, if any at all, and I'm fairly selective on football cards but there were more than a few good deals to be had.

UFC cards I barely found anywhere, which isn't surprising as not a lot of people are into them. However when I stumbled across this Michael Bisping relic card for five bucks, I couldn't pass it up. Quite the coincidence that Bisping won the Middleweight title beating Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 the same day this card show was held.

Both these football cards came from separate vendors. First the Y.A. Tittle card came from a 50 cent bin. I don't see much of his cards around, then again I'm not really looking for them, but the ones I do see are old and quite expensive. The Walter Payton card has definitely seen better days but I gladly handed over a dollar for it to add it to my football binder.

Two nice hockey singles that came from the same 50 cent bin as the Y.A. Tittle card. Guy LaFleur is on my hockey PC list and Olaf Kolzig (aka Oly the Goalie) is a guy I remember from watching hockey during my middle school and high school years. If you look closely, both of these are serial numbered. Some great additions to the hockey binder

Much like the UFC cards, wrestling cards were definitely in short supply. I grabbed these out of a 50 cent bin. While I'm not a big fan of buying packs of Topps Chrome in packs, I'll grab singles as I find them. Paul Bearer was, and still is, one of my favorite characters ever. I saw a six-hour interview with him once and it was absolutely fascinating as the man had a wild career from starting out in the gulf coast region, to being a prominent manager in WCCW in Dallas, to the WWF managing the Undertaker. Sadly, he passed away in 2013. Speaking of the Undertaker, here's a card of the man who ended his WrestleMania undefeated streak, Brock Lesnar. In a pretty unprecedented move, he's stepping into the UFC octagon at UFC 200 for a one night only return to face Mark Hunt. That should be quite the interesting fight.

There was one vendor there with a box filled with discounted relic cards. While high dollar ones are out of my budget, I'll gladly dig through a discount box to see what I can turn up as there are always some fun things in there. Take for example this shiny card of Bruins goalie Tukka Rask and Mohammed Sanu of the Bengals looking really annoyed. That was my only Bengals purchase of the day. 

Finally, this was one of my favorite finds of the day for five bucks. The last table I visited had a bunch of discounted vintage for a dollar a piece and a huge box full of Starting Lineup figures for $5 each. This was the only hockey one he had and it's just a beauty. I love the colorful Oilers uniforms and the fact it comes with a miniature Stanley Cup trophy. Really just a great piece.

That's it for the card show report. I probably won't make it out to another card show for a while but I'll say this is one of the best hauls I've ever had, and I spent just a shade over $50 bucks for everything shown in all four parts.

Hope everyone enjoyed this. I'm taking a mini break over the July 4th weekend but there's some fun stuff coming up afterwards, so stay close!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Card Show Report Pt. 3: Time Traveling With Some Vintage

Vintage cards were in plentiful supply at the card show as most dealers had some to offer. Some were good, but there were a lot of commons of older players I'd never heard of before in most of the vintage bins. However, being the deal seeker that I am, I did manage to score a nice lot. For the record, none of these cards cost over a dollar each.

I'll start with this, a very forlorn looking Dixie Howell from 1956 Topps. Anything from the 1950s for me instantly goes into a top loader and into my box of "good stuff" which is filling up pretty fast. I think I might need to transfer some of that stuff into a binder. Anyway, the first table I passed had nothing but vintage bargain bins with the deal of $1 each or 6 for $5. I dug through and instantly saw it was nothing but players I've never heard of. However, I pressed on and dug out this and five other cards which you'll see later in this post. It's in pretty good shape too for being 60 years old

All of the 1973 cards below came from the same person that I've mentioned in other parts of this series who had the 2016 dime boxes. He had two and a half rows of random cards from the mid to late 70s for 25 cents each. I can't pass that up. The '73 set is my second favorite of the decade, next to 1971, so I cleaned up on these.

A bunch of fun players from future Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston to long time Astros player/manager/broadcaster Larry Dierker. I think the gem for me in this batch is the Buddy Bell card with the rookie cup.

I enjoy digging out random cards like these from vintage bargain bins as well. Anytime I can find Vada Pinson cards for cheap, I'll gladly jump on them. A few players here with classic nicknames such as "Blue Moon" Odom and "The Mad Hungarian" Al Hrabosky.

I forget exactly who I snagged these from but they were a buck each. Even though the Frank Robinson is well loved, it's still a pretty cool card of Robinson who was entering the twilight of his career. I was thrilled when I found the Joe Morgan card for cheap, considering his stuff sometime suffers from the hometown price hike since he was a key member of the Big Red Machine.

These four I snagged from the same guy I got the Dixie Howell card that I started this section off with. Gil Hodges is totally mean mugging the camera for some reason. Osteen I've never heard of but it's a early 60s Senators card for a buck, which I'll gladly take. My favorite here and the nice scores of classic A's players from the early 70s dynasty, especially with Vida Blue and Gene Tenace on the same card. I really like the Odom card, the photo is so strange with all the water towers behind him. 

This last batch of vintage came from a guy who had a small box on his table of random 70s stuff for 25 cents each. I dug through and came up with these beauties. I'll take that deal any day of the week. The 71 cards pretty much met my quota of all the 71 cards I want that I don't have to shell out big bucks for.

Definitely a great haul of vintage stuff. The final part featuring all of the non-baseball stuff is coming up soon. Stay close.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Card Show Report Pt. 2: Miscellaneous Baseball

Along with the 2016 cards I detailed in part 1 of this report, I grabbed a bunch of recent stuff of all from the bargain bins. There was more I wanted to get but I didn't want to get cards just for the sake of getting cards. All of these cost less than a dollar each.

A couple framed Gypsy Queen parallels of Frank Robinson and Steve Carlton from years past. I always like it when I can find cool stuff of Hall of Famers in the bargain bin and these definitely fit the mold. The Robinson card is a real beauty.

I generally don't buy Babe Ruth cards. Nothing against the guy but most of his cards really don't fit my collection. However, this particular card has him as a member of the Boston Braves and that's something that seems to be not necessarily an easy find. One of my side collections is cards of players with teams you don't normally associate them with. Speaking of which, the Griffey card has him in a Mariners uniform but listed as a member of the White Sox so that's a bit strange.

A few random cards from the early to mid 1980s. Getting the Hrbek RC for about 75 cents was a pretty fun find. The Seaver card scanned like crap but it's a Sportflics card so it's about what I expected. 

These Gypsy Queen base cards came from the same guy that I picked up the majority of my 2016 singles from that I detailed in part 1. Can't beat 10 cents a piece for some hall of famers!

Now we come to the two really awesome finds from the bargain bins. First was this Anthony Rizzo sepia parallel from last year's Topps Chrome. This came from a box where a guy said all cards in the box were 50 cents each. This is the first one of these sepia toned parallels I have in my collection and, honestly, their pretty cool. Am I going to actively go out of my way to collect them? No. Will I jump on one of a star player found in a bargain bin? Absolutely!

This card is by far the gem of my bargain bin searching. It came out of the same bin from the same seller that had the Rizzo card above. High end stuff like Museum Collection, Triple Threats, etc is way out of my price range but should the odd card find it's way into a 50 cent bin, I'm all over it, plus its Willie Mays so it makes it that much better. I love how the background is all black and while but Mays is completely in color, makes it really stand out. 

This wasn't a bad haul of cards at all but wait ... there's more. Part 3 coming up soon featuring nothing but vintage!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Card Show Report Pt. 1: A Sampling of 2016

For a Father's Day present, my wife let me have my choice of card shows to go to. There were three happening in June, one on June 4th at the Wright State Nutter Center, and two on Father's Day weekend itself, with a small show at a local card shop on that Saturday and a large 75-table show the next day in a northern suburb of Cincinnati. I weighed all options.

I've been to the Nutter Center show before and while not big, it's not small either and I know what to expect, especially since the layout is pretty spacious. The show at the card shop I've been meaning to go to every time they have one but I'm not one to enjoy people crammed in a tiny space sorting through mounds of cards which I imagine it to be. Speaking of lots of people, the large show isn't my style and it's big wheelers and dealers with tons of tables in a large hotel ballroom. In the end, I opted to go back to the Nutter Center show as it's quiet, spread out, and relaxed ... exactly my style.

While the pickings were pretty slim and dime and quarter boxes seemed to be non-existent at most tables, I was able to find a number of good things by doing some digging. Enough, in fact, to break up my findings through four posts. For this portion, I took a page out of Dimebox Nick's playbook and picked up 2016 singles on the cheap in the bargain bins.

I grabbed a bunch of 2016 Series 1, Gypsy Queen, and a handful of Archives singles from one dealer who had boxes and boxes of 2016 base cards for a dime a piece. The person next to him had loads of singles from Diamond Kings and across the gym, another person had loads of Archives singles.

Diamond Kings

I'll start with Diamond Kings as it's the only Panini product I found singles of. Only one person had these so I cleaned up with them. You'll see a trend on some of these products where I gravitated to the older retired stars than current players and that's especially true with this. The thing for me with Diamond Kings is that you feel like you're getting a high end product but not at a high-end price. Sure, the packs themselves are about $7 each and that's just above what all of these cost in one deal.

Nothing but legends on this page. I think it's really cool that not only are the usual suspects included like Lou Gehrig and Rogers Hornsby, but there are others like Frank Chance and Harry Breechen who get little to no cardboard love from Topps. The only downside is that since Panini can't use team names, I have no idea if Hornsby is in a Cardinals uniform or Browns uniform. If I had to guess, I'd say Browns.

Because the backs are important too, these are equally as great. Sure, it's the same photo but there's also a brief bio, which is helpful for those who might not be as familiar with those from baseball's early days

I grabbed the Henie Groh card simply because it was a Reds card. Jake Daubert I grabbed because he played for the Reds on the 1919 World Series team and had a pretty solid career with both the Reds and Dodgers. The thing I really like about seeing dead ball stars on these cards is the fact that Panini doesn't need to airbrush out team logos on uniforms. 

Some more old timers and handful of current players. Lamb has really struggled in the Reds rotation as of late and may risk losing his spot once Homer Bailey comes back from the DL. Waldrop has been a handy player off the bench when needed. However, I consider the fact that I got Nap Lajoie, Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente, and Kyle Schwarber cards without getting taken to the cleaners a really nice bonus.

The last page of Diamond Kings and some really awesome inserts! Both of these black insert sets are absolutely gorgeous but my favorite has to be the Nap Lajoie card. You may also notice that there's another Frank Chance base card. No, I didn't scan it twice, I accidentally bought two copies. Oh well, I can think of a few Cubs collectors that could use it. 

Gypsy Queen

I generally don't buy packs and boxes of Gypsy Queen just because it's out of my budget. Sure, I might grab a few packs here and there if I have extra cash and I feel like splurging on some packs at $5.99 each but otherwise I'll just pick up the cards I like. I really enjoyed last year's design and wasn't too thrilled when I saw this years cards. However, the more I saw it, the more I liked it. All of these cards cost exactly a dime a piece.

First page up and it's all Reds. I believe this is the Reds team set (minus short prints which I'll get to in a minute) and I'm pretty have I got all of these for under a buck. The cards with Votto, Mesoraco, and Bruce in the red jersey just absolutely pop.

I also grabbed current players that I like along with a few Indians cards I found in the box as well. I had to grab the Ichiro since he's probably going to hit 3,000 hits this year. 

A few more card from the Gypsy Queen dime box. I still dig getting Todd Frazier stuff and I find it super odd still to see him in a White Sox uniform.

This was the only card I bought out of a display case the whole show and I snagged it for a mere $2. The picture on this card is just great and you can't really go wrong with a Johnny Bench card for two bucks.

Flagship/Series 1

When the details of Series 1 along with the card design was released last fall, I got pretty excited as it looked like Topps was at least thinking out of the box in terms of design. When these were released however, it wasn't received well at all by most. I personally don't mind the design, it stands out and I'll be able to pick it out unlike 2013 and 2014 which are very, very similar and I still can't tell apart unless I look at the backs.

There were a ton of commons that I thumbed through but I did manage to find some gems, especially the Noah Syndergaard and Kris Bryant cards which I thought would have been quickly snatched up by someone. 

The middle row of this I call the "fun row" just because of how entertaining these cards are. The Royal World Series victory photo, Huston Street getting doused by water, and the Orioles being generally overjoyed. Not to be forgotten either is the Johnny Cueto card with him celebrating. Good for him to get a ring in Kansas City last year.


Now the star of the show ... Archives. Much like Gypsy Queen, I avoid buying packs and boxes of Archives because the last few years Topps jacked up the price with the Major League cards and Will Ferrell cards in the product. This year it's Bull Durham which seems to have brought the price down to earth somewhat. The movie does nothing for me so I didn't bother with any of the cards from that part of it. I grabbed a few of these from the dime box guy and the rest from another person across the gym who had loads of singles. I think I spent about $7 combined from both vendors on these and there are a lot!

I'm sure by now everyone has seen some of these cards multiple times on multiple blogs but cards like Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Andres Galarraga haven't gotten much love from the cardsphere. The 1991 style cards pretty much steal the show here.

I saw the Gaylord Perry card on someone's blog right before this show and my first thought was "I've got to have that!". I love the old school 70s Indians logo coupled with the red uniform. It's a beautiful card. Not to be outdone, Satchel Paige peering over at someone while next to a brick wall just spells trouble.

No 1991s on this page but one thing to notice, especially on the 1953 style cards, is the difference in logos. Use the Tony Perez and the Billy Hamilton card as examples and you'll see what I mean. It's the little things that make some of these cards that much better.

Get ready for a plethora of 1991 style cards as this page and the next page are nothing but that. I didn't scan the back of either these or the 1979 cards but everyone knows they have full stats on the back. That's really awesome and reminds me that Eddie Mathews had a cameo for the Astros or that Andre Dawson played for the Marlins. Again, the little things. By the way, look how vibrant the Carlos Gonzalez card is!

The photography on these makes me wish they would do stuff like this for Heritage instead of dull posed shots on pretty much every card. Again, the old school logos for the old school players is awesome.

The final four Archives cards. Really cool to get Peraza in a Reds uniform finally.

That's it for the first part of the card show report. Settle in, there's lot more good stuff to come!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

You've Got Mail #38: Reader Edgar

I love getting emails from readers. It's even better when a reader emails me and tells me they have cards that will fit in my collection. That's exactly what reader Edgar did when he emailed me out of the blue proposing a trade. Unfortunately, I didn't have anything that met his want list needs but he wanted to send the cards to a good home anyway. He sent about 30-40 cards from my want list for the 84 Topps set build, mostly commons, but here were a few notable names thrown in as well.

A few Reds cards and a Jeff Burroughs card. Burroughs hung around for 16 seasons in the bigs with the Senators, Rangers, Braves, Mariners, A's, and Blue Jays. One of the things I've really enjoyed while sorting these is looking at the backs and finding myself genuinely amazed by the long careers some of these more lower end players had.

Speaking of long careers, how about a Gene Tenace card of him with the Pirates in his final season. I'm not going to come out and say its a sunset card as I'm not sure if he made the cut in the 1985 set. If it's not, it's darn near close.

These cards I scanned together for no apparent reason. That's a pretty nice all-star card of ol' Louisiana Lightning himself.

Thanks for the help towards completing my set Edgar, these made a pretty decent dent in the want list. Between these and the giant lot in the yard sale the want list, took a substantial hit. Check out the want list page for the remaining cards I need.

Also, there's a Topps Tier 1 Contest going on at Sports Card Collectors blog:
Do yourself a favor and enter. It's not everyday someone cracks a box of Tier 1.

Monday, June 20, 2016

You've Got Mail #37: Baseball Every Night

One of the newest bloggers on the scene is Peter from Baseball Every Night. He's been posting pictures and discussing his collection at a good clip and recently offered up a couple of hockey cards for those who were interested. Being the hockey collector that I am, I took him up on his offer and the two cards I requested were in the mail shortly thereafter.

1988-89 Topps #1 Mario Lemieux
I'm not a big Mario Lemieux collector but when I see old 1980s Topps hockey cards of his, I can't resist. The older the card for Topps for me in hockey, the better. Doesn't matter if it's classified as junk wax such as this or not, I appreciate it all. I really like the clean simple design of this card. The nameplate at the top isn't too distracting and you get a full logo next to it (side note: old-school hockey logos are the best!). This is the first 1988-89 Topps hockey card in my collection and if it find any hockey dime boxes (yeah right) or whatnot in the future, I might have to go digging for some more of the star players from this set.

1974-75 Topps #100 Bobby Orr
As I've mentioned before, vintage hockey is hard to come by in my neck of the woods so anytime I come across stuff like this, I jump on it. I have a handful of vintage hockey cards right now, mainly acquired through trade and from COMC but this is just awesome and is definitely the centerpiece of my hockey collection now. This is the first I've seen of 74-75 Topps and it's a nice clean design with the player photo as the centerpiece. By this time, Orr was towards the tail end of his career playing one additional season with Boston and then part of a season with the Blackhawks. I'm not sure what I want to do with this card yet, do I put it in a top loader and stick it in the box with all my other "good cards" or do I stick it in the middle of a page with the rest of the general population in my hockey binder. My instincts are telling me top loader and storage box, but what do you think?

A big thanks to Peter for these awesome hockey cards.

Friday, June 17, 2016

You've Got Mail #36: Wrigley Roster Jenga

I'm pretty sure everyone has played Jenga at one point or another. It's a fairly simple but challenging game where you take a block from the structure underneath and continue stacking them on top until it falls.

Tony over at Wrigley Roster Jenga is doing something similar, albeit with Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks cards. He's attempting to do all-time roster collections of all three franchises. That's quite the task if you ask me. I felt obliged to help him in his quest by reaching out to him on Twitter and letting him know I had some extra Bears cards to assist him in his journey. We exchanged addresses and less than a week later there was a nice PWE in my mailbox that covered aspect of all my team collections.

Topps 2000 is a forgotten set to me as it came out right as I stopped collecting the first time around. This Larkin card is great as it reminds me of better times, when the Reds were somewhat decent every year. The other reason I like it is that it's an action shot from old Riverfront Stadium and I don't see much of that on cards past the mid 90s. 

The Joe Morgan card I'm guessing is some sort of Heritage thing that Upper Deck used to do, perhaps Goudey? I'm not sure. 

Here are a few oddballs and a Brandon Phillips card from the Topps T206 set. I ran into George Foster once as he came through the checkout line in my part-time job. Of course I asked "you're George Foster right?" He looked around and said "who's that?", grinned and then replied "how you doin'?". He paid for his purchase and went on his merry way. The end.

A nice selection of reprints covering not only the Reds but a few old school defunct teams like the Washington Senators. Speaking of which, check out the Walter Johnson card in the middle. Interesting that it says Washington Americans and not Senators. The real gem though is that Buck Ewing card at the bottom. For those that are unfamiliar, Ewing was one of the greatest players in the 19th century and probably the best catcher during that era. He led the NL in home runs in 1883, played in the ill-fated Players League of 1890, and managed the Reds at the end of the 1800s and part of the 1900 season for the Giants. He retired in 1897 after an 18-year career with a .303 career average, 1,129 runs scored, and 883 RBIs (credit: Baseball Reference).

A few other baseball odds and ends. Not sure why Tom Pagnozzi was included as its a Cardinals card but hey, I'll take it anyway! 

Since I had sent Tony some Bears cards, it was only natural that some Bengals were included, seeing as we both collect football teams named after large wild animals. Vintage Bengals cards are hard to come by so these were definitely welcomed. Check out the Pat McInally card, if you didn't know any better, he'd be a dead ringer for a Browns player.

Finding quality hockey cards in these parts is a cumbersome task as well as card shops barely carry any singles and card shows don't have a lot. It's a good thing that people like Tony step in and include hockey cards in trade packs now and then. The Devils are my team and these are some great additions. Three pretty solid players here in Schneider, Elias, and Jagr. Not sure about Sergei Brylin though, can't say I've ever heard of him.

Thanks for the great PWE Tony! These cards helped fill some nice holes in the collection.