Sunday, May 28, 2017

You've Got Mail #70: A Cracked Bat

This is a box.

It is a simple thing. It's rectangular in shape, white, and made of cardboard. Boxes come in many shapes in sizes, large for moving and small to hold papers and miscellaneous things. This particular box was made to hold cards, 330 of them to be exact (at least that's what it claims on the bottom) and was sent to me by Julie of A Cracked Bat because I won one of her recent "disCARD" drawings.

Here are the contents of the box (minus one card that was too big for the photo).

Quite impressive, wouldn't you say? There were cards from all sorts of years and sets, a definite mixed bag ... err, box ... if there ever was one. Here are some of the highlights. Fair warning, since there's so much to go through, it'll be mostly pictures and not a lot of text.

First off, a bunch of miscellaneous stuff...

Right on top was this, a graded 1996 Topps Sean Casey card. 

Then there was this, a 1980 Kellogg's George Foster! That's two awesome cards right off the bat. 

An Eric Davis pop-up card? Sure, why not.

What? A 1960 Brooks Lawrence card? This was completely unexpected and cool at the same time!

Probably two of my favorite cards of the box, these Tales From the Crypt cards. I love horror movie and horror host stuff like this. I'm a regular watcher of Svengoolie on MeTV Saturday nights and now I'm think I need to go back and watch Tales From the Crypt, since I never saw them during their original airing since I never had HBO as a kid. As a matter of fact, as you're reading this, I've put in a request for the entire series from the local library.

Ok, that's all the miscellaneous stuff. Now for the rest of the highlights of the box, going by decade. First, the 90s.

There were lots of shiny cards in the box and really gave a boost to my "shiny card" side collection. The Frank Thomas card scanned like crap but believe me, it's a really cool card in person.

Two cards from the 1994 Donruss Special Edition Gold, a parallel set of the 1994 Donruss main set.

On the far right is Jose Canseco as a Tampa Bay Devil Ray. I'd forgotten about his stint down in Tampa so it's definitely a pretty neat card. 

1997 Bowman Chrome? Yes please.

These two really cool Reds cards close out the 90s. I really, really like the Hal Morris card.

Starting the 2000s by going back to the 70s. These are from the Upper Deck Decade 1970s set. I'd like to find more cards from this but trying to find singles in dime boxes is like trying to find needles in a haystack.

Some 2001 SPX featuring Ray Durham, Phil Nevin, Roberto Alomar, and Carlos Beltran.

Some cool shiny Reds including a really cool Bowman's Best Barry Larkin card.

Finally, some 2005 Diamond Kings. One thing I find interesting here is that Orlando Cabrera shows him in an Expos uniform and lists the team as the Washington Nationals.

Now, moving on to more recent cards.

Some really neat random cards. I was a big fan of the Panini Contenders set when it came out and I wished they would have released it as a standalone product last year. Oh well, there's always this year (hopefully).

Of course there was some 2017 Flagship thrown in.

Speaking of 2017, you can't go wrong with Gypsy Queen.

These are the first of the hand-drawn art cards from Gypsy Queen this year and they are just absolutely tremendous. They remind me of the old Diamond Kings cards from back in the day and I'm sure many other feel the same way.

I'm not a big purchaser of Bowman but I did buy one of those 3-pack "value packs" last year. These were by far my favorite part of Bowman last year and to get all of these (plus a Bernie Williams that isn't pictured) was a treat.

Next, here's a batch of cards from the 2015 Topps Heritage '51 game set.

Some really awesome numbered cards, including one from Topps Tribute. 

And finally, I'll close out the box with some random, shiny Reds and a Sal Romano Bowman card. 

There were a ton of cards I didn't picture that were just as cool as the ones I showed here. A big thank you goes to Julie for sending this over. I definitely recommend entering one of her giveaway drawings as there's a good chance you'll win something tailored to your wants and needs, just like I did here.

Monday, May 22, 2017

One Man's Junk Wax is Another Man's Treasure

Shirt photo: Hall of Fame Apparel
Well, another year of the community yard sales has come and gone and with it, as usual, I managed to find some cards. Nothing can really beat last year's epic find so I went into this with low expectations. The constant threat of rain and storms kept some people at bay but there was plenty to be had. I posted on the community Facebook page to see if anyone had any cards up for sale and got a good number of responses and messages. So much, in fact, that I had to pick and choose. On Saturday morning, out the family and I went to peruse the sales. The stops proved to the futile as the cards weren't really all that great. Sunday though was pretty quiet. After a morning stop at the playground for my son and then a visit from my step mom, I had one place leftover from Saturday to check out. I had stopped by the previous day but they had forgotten the cards but promised to hold them for me on Sunday. So off I went on a quick jaunt up the street to see what they had.

I was expecting giant boxes of cards but instead when they pulled them out for me, there were three small boxes that were each complete sets. I asked how much and was met with the reply "you tell me, I have no idea". I offered ten bucks and was quite surprised when he accepted it as typically I find people around here want gobs of cash for pretty much useless cards.

First set was a 1988 Donruss set. Not exactly my favorite set but hey, it's complete and it came with the puzzle pieces!

Next was a 1996 Donruss set, one of the more interesting designs from the mid 90s.

Finally, there was this 1989 NFL Pro Set set. While I'm not the biggest football collector, this should be interesting to look at. Eventually, I'll get these sets hindered up but I'm in no big hurry to do so.

My next stop was sort of impromptu as I noticed it on my was to the original stop. I swung back around and stopped to take a peek. They had little packs of junk wax card for a buck each, to which I passed on and some McFarlane and Starting Lineup figures. There were however, a few things I made an offer on.

First, there was this 1992 Topps factory set. They wanted ten bucks, I talked them down to five.

I bought exactly one of the Starting Lineup figures. This Ken Griffey Jr. figure was only two bucks, so I couldn't resist even though it's a tad beat up.

Finally, there was this big shoebox filled with mostly football cards, I managed to get them to knock the price of it down to three bucks so I could justify it. 

So that's this year's yard sale haul, not nearly as impressive as last year but still four complete sets, a Ken Griffey Jr. Starting Lineup figure, and a mystery box of football cards that should be fun to dig into. I'd say this was a pretty successful haul.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Back Packs: 1983 Topps Cello Pack

Ah yes, 1983. The year of Return of the Jedi and A Christmas Story opened in theaters, Hooters opened their first location, and the year that Michael Jackson's Thriller video premiered on MTV. In baseball, it was the year that Don Sutton recorded his 3,000th strikeout, the year Nolan Ryan bested Walter Johnson's career strikeout record, the year the Orioles won the World Series, and the year of the infamous "Pine Tar Game" between the Royals and Yankees.

It was also a year that giant baseball card packs, such as this, were still under 50 cents. It was also the year of the rookie card with Tony Gwynn, Ryne Sandberg, and Wade Boggs all having their rookie cards in this set. Will I be lucky enough to pull one of those? Or will this pack bomb like Krull did at the box office?

#623 Luis Sanchez
#112 Bob Shirley
#485 Omar Moreno

Not a whole lot here to get excited about although Bob Shirley will go with my 80s Reds cards.

#301 Mike Schmidt "Super Veteran"
#519 Terry Bulling
#99 Dickie Noles

I like these Super Veteran cards and I think Topps should bring them back in the base set, perhaps when a star player retires, do one as tribute card in the base set (and please don't short print it!)

#230 Fergie Jenkins
#396 Dan Quisenberry AS
#681 Dodgers Team Leaders TL, CL

The first Hall of Famer out of the pack and it's Fergie Jenkins. I don't have a lot of cards of him so this is a cool little addition. There's also a Dan Quisenberry all-star card here which will get a slot in the 80s binder as well.

#536 Johnny Wockenfuss
#41 Jerry Turner
#81 Yankees Team Leaders TL, CL

Nothing here to get excited about unfortunately.

#516 Bill Virdon
#636 Graig Nettles "Super Veteran"
#39 Terry Puhl

Another "Super Veteran" card, this time of Graig Nettles. 1983 was Nettles' last year with the Yankees before he was traded off to the Padres just before the 1984 season. The also yields the first manager card of the pack, Bill Virdon of the Expos.

#137 Woodie Fryman
#784 Jeff Newman
#298 Floyd Chiffer

Nothing much here either.

#7 Gene Richards
#733 Buck Martinez
#103 Darrell Porter

Two pretty good catchers in Buck Martinez and Darrell Porter. 

#62 Bob McClure
#697 Barry Foote
#235 Claudell Washington

I love the old school all blue Brewers uniform on Bob McClure. Not to be outdone though, Claudell Washington is sporting his best dark blue Braves top. 

#162 Mark Clear
#690 Kent Hrbek

Herbie! It's not a rookie card but a second year card will definitely do of one of the cult favorites of Twins fans.

#775 Burt Hooton
#192 Floyd Rayford

The last two in the pack. "Happy" Hooton was nearing the end of the line and only had a few more years in the tank left at this point.

For 50 cents, I enjoyed opening this. While it wasn't great, I don't feel like I bombed out totally like the aforementioned Kroll. There were a few winners to be had and that's about all you can ask for from a pack this old.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Retail Repack Adventures #11

It's that time kids! Time for another entry in the ongoing chronicles of the wonderful world of Walgreens repacks. This is the second of two that I picked up during the $3.99 sale last month. No time to waste, let's dive in!

Here's the cover card, a simple Derek Jeter base card from 2013 Bowman. I've never really collected Bowman since it's really heavy on the prospects and I'm not one for prospecting, plus sometimes the design can be kind of bland, like this. While it's not the most exciting card, it does appear that Jeets is sporting a throwback jersey of some sort, so it gets a pass for that.

I considered not showing any of the 2012 Topps cards that came in the pack but I couldn't resist with these. These are all neat cards for various reasons, so I'll start at the top left and work clockwise. Brandon Morrow is has a Blue Jays jersey that definitely isn't blue. I'm guessing it's some sort of Canada Day special jersey. I also like the angle the picture is taken at, where you can see just over the unknown batter's shoulder at the ball coming in. Speaking of cool photos, Carlos Quentin doing a simple pose with the bat across his shoulders and the stadium lights in the background is just plain cool. Travis Snider shows that there just aren't many mustachioed players anymore. Finally, there's Ramon Hernandez. Hernandez has a pretty good stint with the Reds as the backup catcher from 2009-2011 and signed with the Rockies as a free agent in November of 2011. I saw this card and my first thought was "he played for the Rockies?". Regardless, his 2012 season saw him appear in only 52 games while hitting a paltry .217/.247/.353. After the season was over he was shipped off to the Dodgers where he finished in 2013. 

A pair of Hall of Fame outfielders here in Raines and Dawson. 

Hey look! More minor league cards! Much like I did with the previous repack, I'll explore the careers of these guys. The Ken Greer card is a repeat from the last pack, but the others are all new.

Mark Young - This card appears to be from the 1990 Star Dunedin Blue Jays set. That season was the next to last for ol' Mr. Young as he hit .237/.337/.337. No, that's not a typo. His OBP and SLG were the exact same. After the 1990 season, he advanced to Double A Knoxville and after that, he was out of the game, having never appeared in the majors and never advancing above AA ball.

Brian Johnson - Probably the person with the most successful career out of any of these guys. He played 8 years in the bigs, mainly as a backup catcher, with the Padres, Giants, Royals, Dodgers, Reds, and Tigers. While his stats weren't impressive, he did make it to the NLCS two straight times and was a member of the 1999 Reds who nearly won the wild card that year.

Julio Perez - Another career minor leaguer, he spent six years in the Pirates system, never advancing past AA. This particular card from 1990 I guess could be considered his sunset card as that was his final season. He appeared in 63 games hitting .232/.256/.289 and only muscling one home run the whole season.

Here's one definite future Hall of Fame in Ortiz and maybe a borderline candidate in Ryan Howard who is currently trying to resurrect his career with the Braves.

While these may just look like any other junk wax card, I found these interesting. On the Ernest Riles card, the green and gold of the jersey just pops and makes you take a moment and look at it. It looks like he's tossing a ball back to someone after signing it during spring training. I think this has quickly become one of my favorite cards from the 91 Upper Deck set. The other card with Derek Lilliquist has a background of old Riverfront Stadium. I can tell by as the seats in the background are green on the lower lever and at the very top of the frame are the red seats. One of these days, it might be fun to start a mini-collection of cards with pictures taken at Riverfront Stadium.

A few nice horizontal cards that were included. Both of these guys I'd forgotten about completely.

The composition of this repack was very similar to the other as a lot of the same types of cards were involved. For example, here's a Sportflics Alan Trammell card. It fell in just about the same spot the Sportflics Eric Davis card did in the previous pack.

And here's another card from the 1988 Donruss Baseball's Best set. This time of Tony Gwynn. This one I'm definitely keeping.

One in four of these packs claims that it will have a hit in it. Well, it must've been my lucky day because this autograph of Trent Mummey was placed right in the middle. Who's Trent Mummey you ask? Beats me. According to the wonderful Baseball Reference site, he played in the Orioles system through 2014 and never made it above High A ball.

There you have it, another repack in the books. It'll probably a while before I dive into one of these again but I did see a hockey version of these at a local Target. While I'm not in any rush to go dropping five bucks on a giant brick of hockey cards at the moment, it's definitely something I'll consider once I'm back in the mood to rip open one of these.