Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Yard Sale Cards: Vintage & Early 80s

Finally, after much sorting, organizing, picture taking, and organizing said pictures, it's time to reveal some of the contents of my gigantic yard sale find from a few weeks ago. I decided to start with baseball and work from there and what better way to start than with some vintage!

One of my favorite sets from the 70s is the 1973 version. I always liked the white borders, the player silhouette, and the clean look at the bottom. I was pleasantly surprised when I found not one, but two 1973 cards in the miscellaneous boxes. The Reds in 1973 finished 1st in the NL West with a 99-63 record but were upset in five games by the Yogi Berra led Mets who won a rather weak NL East division that season with an 82-79 record. 

Here's something I definitely wasn't expecting to find, that being this 1968 Ron Santo. At first, I thought maybe it was a reprint, but nope it's the real thing. Aside from the 1967 set, I can't think of a set in the 60s that I don't actively like. In terms of favorites from that decade though, this particular set is right up there with 69, 62, and 63. 

I keep having this thought that I'm going to start collecting team cards, just because they're so unique. Now, I'm talking cards that actually have team photos on them, like this one, not any old team card. The Braves didn't exactly blow the doors off anything in 1977 with a 61-101 record, including one game where Ted Turner managed them.

Here are a couple random 1976 cards that showed themselves amongst the sorting. I'm not familiar with either of these players but a quick search on Baseball Reference shows them nearing the tail end of their respective careers in the late 70s. By the early 80s, both guys would be gone from the majors.

There were a few early 80s cards included as well and I figured I'd throw them in with this batch as well so they really don't get lost in the shuffle. 1981 Topps I think really gets overlooked as it's sandwiched between two really fun sets in 1980 and 1982, plus the rookie class isn't loaded with hall of famers but has some notable "fan favorite" type players. Doug Bair, pictured here, was not one of them.

Speaking of rookies, the "rookie set" if you will of Donruss was 1981. Sure it's not the best looking set ever but it's a set I really enjoy and have considered putting together a time or two. I love the variety of the players in this lot with notable players from Cecil Cooper, Mario Soto, and Pete Vukovich to people like Joe Charboneru, who won the AL Rookie of the Year in 1980 and then flamed out.

There's the first batch of stuff from the yard sale. It'll be a slow process putting some of these together as there is a ton of stuff to write about.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Retail Repack Adventures #18

Today marks the beginning of the end ... the end of the hockey season that is. The Stanley Cup Finals between Washington and Vegas start tonight and even though I'd be fine with either team winning, the smart money would be on Vegas. However, I thought now would be a good time to dive into the final hockey repack I have laying around. This probably won't be the most wordy article as, honestly, I busted this repack about two months ago and I've been sitting on it since. Better late than never I suppose.

First card out of the gates was this Brayden Schenn from 2014-15 Upper Deck. I like this design more than the recent Upper Deck flagship hockey designs, but I really don't have much else to say.

Brad Stuart enjoyed a 16-year NHL career, leaving the league in 2016. In 2000, he finished second in the Calder Cup Trophy voting. On the flip side, Greg Leeb only made two NHL appearance, both for the Stars, during the 2000-01 season. I find it interesting that cards from the CHL made their way into a repack found at a random Target in the middle of southwest Ohio, which isn't exactly the biggest hockey area.

Two old school goalies, Ron Tugnutt and Mike Vernon, who I remember from my foray into hockey in the 90s. That Flames mask on Vernon is just tremendous.

Some parallel cards from some mid 90s sets. If you look closely, you can see that the Pinnacle logo on the card on the left is punched out using pinholes. That's pretty cool.

Yet another parallel, this time of Keith Tkachuk, who appears to be in a Jets uniform. 

Brett Hull isn't someone I usually go on the hunt for when it comes to cards but I won't complain when I get cards of his. Same with Teppo Numminen, especially when it comes to a card that has the original Coyotes uniform and logo.

Hey, would you look at this! The first jersey card I ever pulled from a hockey repack. Tomas Holmstrom played his entire NHL career from 1996-97 to 2011-12 with the Red Wings. While normally, the jersey cards of players in repacks are either duds or players who maybe lasted a year or two, it's pretty cool to get a card of a player who had as long of a career as Holmstrom. Also, despite the fact it's a basic jersey card, I did the combination of the red borders and the red patch.

Of course, no repack is complete without junk wax of some sort. The Pro Set Curtis Leschyshyn card is a rookie card (according to the checklist on TCDB) and the Claude Lemieux is a UER card.

More international cards, this time a Mike Watt card from the Canadian national team and a card from the World Junior Championships.

Speaking of some international cards, it's junk wax O-Pee-Chee! Any O-Pee-Chee I can scoop up, I'll take, especially when it's cards of players the status of Jari Kurri and Claude Lemieux.

I'll close this out with with a Nikolaj Ehlers rookie card. I was all in for the Jets in this year's playoffs and, while I was sad to see them eliminated in the Western Conference Finals by Vegas, I'm hopeful that next year they'll get back to the playoffs.

Well, that's the last hockey repack I had. I'm not sure who I'm pulling for in the Finals tonight. It'd be really cool to see Vegas win the Cup but it'd also be cool to see Washington hoist the cup too. Regardless, I think we're in for a great series.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Yard Sale Cards: Where to Begin

Remember last week when I said I went around the neighborhood yard sales and bought a ton of cardboard? Good. Because that's where I've spent the last few days. I've been sifting and sorting through the four smaller boxes (I haven't even sniffed the 1982 mega box yet nor have I cracked into a package that came in from P-Town Tom), and I have no clue where to start. I sorted through the boxes, organized them by sport just so there would be some sense of order, and picked out a bunch of cards to share. I have about 140 pictures from the cards that I picked out and now comes the dubious task of figuring out how to share what I've found. I had thought of sharing the find box by box but I picked out cards from nearly half of one box alone to share, so that went out the window fast. Plus, if I did it that way, the 1982 box would've been a huge post I'm guessing. 

Anyway, what I've decided to do is share the cards little by little and some by sport. There was a lot of baseball, a healthy amount of junk wax football (which I won't complain about), some basketball, and what amounted to about a small box of wrestling cards from the 90s (minus duplicates). The football, basketball, and wrestling I think I can get away with by doing one post for each of those, baseball on the other hand, not so much. Those will be spread out in lots of upcoming posts, with breaks for non yard sale cards. I also have the unopened box of 1989 Bowman to tear into so that'll be a post on it's own.

I just wanted to provide a quick update on the progress I've made so far digging through the find, so keep an eye out for the yard sale posts starting soon. I do have one post already planned for Monday that's not yard sale related but after that, it'll be time to dig in to everything and see if any treasures are unearthed.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The City Wide Yard Sale Strikes Again

Since today was my normal weekday off from work (I work 4/10 hr days), I decided to reward myself for spending the morning and part of the afternoon doing some heavy duty yard work. After cleaning up and having a quick bit to eat, I decided check out some of the early goings-on as part of the city-wide yard sales this weekend. I figured today would be a good day to go out as the remainder of the weekend has rain and storms in the forecast on and off all three days. My five year old decided to go out with me as well, so with him in tow, I hit up the two stops I'd planned on today and found some pretty interesting stuff.

The first stop was an older house who messaged me on Facebook earlier in the week and said she had five tubs of cards available. That was enough to make me stop by and take a look. What I found was a mess, boxes of cards big and small (even some 1600-ct boxes) completely unorganized and mixed together in all sorts of storage containers ... shipping boxes, plastic tubs, and even a laundry basket. Needless to say, this was going to be a chore to sift through. I asked the lady what she wanted for the cards, she said that she'd already had someone make an offer on them but was holding them so I could look through them. I dug through, found a few boxes that were mainly baseball (there was a lot of football and basketball junk wax) and offered her ten bucks for the three plus a Joe Montana Starting Lineup figure. 

Here's the aforementioned Joe Montana figure. It's seen way better days and the bubble that houses the figure is pretty much nearly detached. I'll probably just relieve the figure of his misery in living in a plastic bubble and put the cards into the football section of my collection. I can only imagine how this box got so beat up.

The final stop of the afternoon wasn't far from the initial stop. I found the house, stuffed back in a corner of a newer development and talked with the guy I got a lead from on Facebook. He said he hadn't brought the cards down yet but took me up to where he was storing everything while my five-year-old played with his son, who I gander was the same age. Anyway, to say that my jaw dropped when I hit the floor was an understatement. There were giant stacks of 3200 count boxes that were numbered and strategically labeled along with some miscellaneous stuff on a shelf. I felt like I was the guy from Pawn Stars trying to make a deal. I knew immediately I was in over my head as there was way too much to dig through. So, I quickly ran through a few things in my mind and settled on a few items.

First thing I decided on was this 3200 count box of cards from 1982. He said that he was selling by the box for five each. That's a pretty fair deal so I pretty much grabbed the first one I saw. I took a quick look when I got home and it looks like there's cards from each major set that year ... Topps, Donruss, and Fleer along with maybe a few miscellaneous cards.

There were also a few smaller boxes, again five a piece. I couldn't help but notice this box was overflowing with wrestling cards from the 90s. So, I nabbed this as well. I'm really looking forward to going through this.

I noticed there was a decent collection of bobbleheads so naturally my conversation went to that. He said he had a few duplicates and presented those to me. I settled on this Amir Garrett bobblehead from the Louisville Bats from last season. So far this year, Garrett has been a good addition to a Reds bullpen that is pretty much held together with duct tape and hope.

One other thing that was part of the massive collection the guy was portioning off was unopened wax. Yes, unopened wax. There were multiple boxes of Topps Big, some legends set (I think Pacific Legends but not sure) and one box of 1989 Bowman. I'm not a big fan of Bowman must for another five spot, that was thrown in the deal too. So, with everything it was $35, I countered with $30 and to my surprise, he took it! He even helped load the cards into my car. We talked a little after, he provided his number and mentioned he would do trades for stuff as well and if there was anything I was interested in, he'd dig through and let me know.

I'd say overall for a grand total of $40 I'd say I did pretty well and I've got a nice amount of stuff to dig through. I think I'll spend the rest of the yard sale weekend on my front porch (provided it doesn't rain) and observe the traffic chaos on the main road from afar. If it does rain, well, then I've got a nice little project to work on then.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Frozen In Time

After tearing open some hockey repacks (two of which I've featured and one yet to come), I have these loose packs laying around. As I did with the baseball ones from previous repacks, I've just decided to open these in one fell swoop instead of pack by pack. These cards have been, well, frozen in their packs since they were sealed so time to see what's inside.

First pack is the 1990-91 Pro Set, apparently the hottest cards on ice or so the pack says. And so far, there's not a whole lot here but I do have a new Devils card to add to the mix. I like the design on these as they're very colorful. The top and bottom borders correspond with the players team and the half circle on the bottom is the teams secondary color. That being said, they're still not the best as the card stock is pretty flimsy.

Only one player I recognize here, that being Sergei Federov. I do like the get-up on Frank Pietrangelo though.

There's a few fun cards in this last batch. I like the Marcel Dionne card and the Oilers Stanley Cup championship card. Also, how often do you see cards of referees? That's pretty neat.

Moving on to the following years Pro Set. I've opened a ton of this in the past with boxes of both Series 1 (in French by the way) and Series 2, so I'm a little tired of this product by now. However, I will say this was a pretty decent pack, including Ken Daneyko and Rod Brind'Amour.

The design is much more simple than the 1990-91 design with just a basic nameplate and a team logo. There were also some All-Star cards commemorating the All-Star Game that year in Chicago.

Some old school Sabres to close out the pack with Dale Hawerchuck and Rick Vaive. Also, I should note this is a pack of the French version. Take a look at the fine print underneath Kelly Kisio's name. I'm guessing he was a selection of Minnesota in that convoluted draft in 1991 with the Sharks and the  Stars.

Also, here's a picture of the back, which is very much in French. I can't read or write French, so what that says, you got me.

Moving on to the last pack, it's some 1990-91 Score, which is famous for two rookie cards, Martin Brodeur and Jaromir Jagr. I bought a sealed factory set of this a few years ago because it was three bucks and I primarily wanted the Brodeur rookie. I eventually broke the set, kept the cards I wanted, and sent the rest to either trading buddies or to the local Goodwill.

Nothing much here so far, except for a pretty neat looking Al MacInnis card.

I guess the All-Star cards have the whole multiple exposure thing going on? Anyway, no dice on either the Brodeur or Jagr cards, but I do have two new Nordiques cards to add to the mix. Junk wax hockey really isn't my forte but I still enjoyed tearing into these packs. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Blog Bat Around: What I Collect - An Addendum

A few months ago there was a blog bat around topic brought up by Night Owl about what you collect. There were a number of things, card wise, that I listed in that particular post that I talked about, however, sitting at the office last weekend on a rare Saturday that I had to work, I looked around my cubicle and realized there were a number of things I had there that I collect that I failed to mention. So, here's a quick addendum to that blog post from a few months ago with more stuff that I collect ...

Starting Lineup Figures

If there's one thing I love to get if I can get a good deal on them, it's Starting Lineup figures. I haven't added more to the collection in about a year though but if it's a player I like from the past or a cool figure from any sport, I'll add it to the collection. I've only got two baseball ones right now but these four hockey ones are my favorite. I think the one that wins for most awesome is the Gretzky/Messier double pack with the Stanley Cup floating between them. 


Oh how I love bobbleheads. While they definitely can be expensive (and I flat out refuse to pay $25 or more for one), I've always liked them from when they first became popular again in the early 2000s. These two above are an old Joe Nuxhall one and next to him is Howler, the Coyotes mascot. While he got damaged somehow, it's still a pretty cool piece to have a sometimes mascot bobbles aren't all that easy to come by. Also, there's a Chris Sabo Starting Lineup figure hiding in the background.

Speaking of mascot bobbleheads, here's my newest addition ... it's my high school mascot, a cougar. I got this from the school registration office when we signed my five year old up for kindergarten a few weeks ago. It was sitting on a shelf in front of some framed high school team photos of the past season. I made a remark about how it was neat and the registration lady said "take it if you want, I think we've got a bunch of them". Well, she didn't have to tell me twice!

And here's the last of my current collection, Tony Perez and Mat Latos. While I'm not a big Mat Latos fan, he was a pretty decent pitcher when he was with the Reds and was part of the awesome rotation we had at the early part of the decade with Cueto, Latos, Bailey, Leake, and Arroyo. 


Ok, I'll finally admit it .... I collect Funkos. These crazy little things finally got me to start buying some en masse and while the typical going retail rate of ten bucks is enough for me to go crazy, I have to actually be interested in something to buy a figure of it. Case in point, the Big Lebowski figures. It's one of my all time favorite movies so I just had to get a figure of both The Dude and Walter. Mr. Redlegs came from the flea market and the mascot line is the only baseball Funkos I know of that they've done. Also, while I'm not a huge fan of the Penguins, the Sidney Crosby figure was a Secret Santa present from a co-worker last year.

I don't always keep them in the box either. That's the nice thing about the Funkos is that they look good both in and out of the box. I forget the name of the tall Ghostbusters figure of Ray at the left but it know it's made by the same people who make Funkos. Plus, of course there has to be Ecto 1 and Winston nearby.

I do like the fact that Funko has a line of figures from horror movies and I just couldn't resist taking them out of the box. Previously, these had been part of my annual Halloween "mood display" at home but I took a different route to that display last year, so I made these part of my Halloween decorations at work. They were such a hit with co-workers I decided to leave them up the whole year round.

And since they all didn't fit it one picture, here's the rest of them. I've really got to find some more of the Universal Monsters figures and I hope there's one of Dracula floating around out there somewhere.

So, that's a quick addendum to the "What I Collect" blog bat around from a month or so back. While I know this stuff isn't exactly card related, it's still some pretty neat and fun stuff that I probably should have included in the original post.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Single Card Post: 1974 Topps #599

Behold! This is a card that to me is a beauty of a card. Not due to the fact that it's from the fantastic 1974 Topps set, but due to the fact that it's the Washington error version of said card. I've covered this in the past about these error cards and it's one of my major collecting goals to get a complete team set. I'm just over halfway there and will chronicle what I have in a blog post upcoming. For now though, as I do in these one card posts, let's take a look at the careers of the players pictured.

Ron Diorio had a very brief major league career, only appearing in 25 total games, with 23 of those coming between August and the end of the season in 1973. By April of 1974, he was out of the majors. Most of his career though, was spent in the minors in the Phillies organization bouncing between A and AA ball. Most of his time was spent with the Reading club, where between parts of six seasons he would appear in 173 games with a 2.28 ERA and a 21-11 record. After baseball, he spent 35 years refereeing high school and collegiate basketball in Connecticut and was the first person inducted into the Sacred Heart High School Hall of Fame.

Dave Friesleben debuted in 1974 for a not very good Padres team that almost wound up in Washington DC. However, Ray Kroc (yes, that Ray Kroc) stepped in at the last minute and saved the Padres from moving. Friesleben accounted for nine of the Padres 60 wins that season (which tied for the team lead with Bill Grief). In five seasons with the club, he never won more than 10 games and never had an ERA lower than 3.50. The Padres shipped him to Cleveland in the middle of the 1978 season, who then traded him to Toronto that offseason. By the end of the 70s, he was out of the majors entirely.

Frank Riccelli played 17 whole games in his major league career, debuting for the Giants on September 11, 1976 against the Reds. In that game, he pitched 5 innings, gave up 4 hits, 4 earned runs, had 4 Ks, and 4 walks. He only pitched 11 more innings for the Giants that season, and spent the 1977 season in the minors with the PCL Phoenix Giants. In 1978, he resurfaced for two games with Houston and in 1979 made it into 11 games with the Astros and was out of the majors by the summer. After missing the 1980 season, 1981 was spent with Single-A Alexandria and Double-A Buffalo in the Pirates organization and then wrapped up his career with Triple-A Syracuse (Toronto) in 1982.

Finally, we have Greg Shanahan who has the shortest career of any of those pictured on this card ... 11 games with the Dodgers between 1973 and 1974. As a matter of fact, when this card was issued, he had only appeared in 7 major league games as was a late season call-up from Triple-A Albuquerque both seasons. After his MLB cup of coffee, he spent the rest of his career at the Triple-A level with both Albuquerque and Omaha (part of the Royals organization).

Of these four, none of them had outstanding careers but just based on longevity, Friesleben I'd say had the best, plus he gave us this image during his playing career ...

Enough said.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Retail Repack Adventures #17

Seeing as the NHL is neck deep in the Stanley Cup Playoffs currently, I thought this would be a good time to go through another hockey repack. Full disclosure here, I took a picture of the actual box but I have no clue what happened to it. To be honest, it may not even be necessary.

Here's the cover card and it's from the same 2015-16 Upper Deck Star Rookies set as the Connor McDavid in a previous repack. Looking at the checklist for that set, I forgot how good of a rookie class there was that year with not only McDavid and Jack Eichel but also Fabbri, Max Domi, Artemi Panarin, Sam Bennett, and Nikolaj Ehlers just to name a few.

Here's a very trippy card of Wendel Clark in a very strange New York Islanders uniform. This particular uniform was worn only for two seasons in the mid-90s by the Isles according to the research I found and it was universally hated. Gone was the traditional orange, white, and blue and in it's place was this weird conglomeration of white, orange, and teal along with a character logo resembling that of a sea captain.

Moving back to more traditional means, I've spoken before of my fondness for 1992 Upper Deck baseball but I've never really checked out the hockey issue from that year. I think I might have to change that at some point. This card of Caps goalie Mike Liut is a "sunset card" from that year. While I never watched Liut play, I enjoy collecting his cards as he was once the goalie for the long gone Cincinnati Stingers of the WHA.

What is a repack without junk wax? Here's a good smattering of some stuff from the early 90s including two cool goalie cards in John Vanbiesbrouck and Curtis Joseph.

Here's more of these random Canadian minor league hockey cards. I was fully prepared to say that none of these guys played in the NHL but from my research, only one of them did, that being Marquis Mathieu. Mathieu enjoyed a brief 16-game NHL stint with the Bruins over parts of three seasons. 

One of my favorite things of these hockey repacks is getting cards of defunct teams, such as the original Winnipeg Jets (now the Coyotes), the Atlanta Thrashers (now the new Winnipeg Jets), and the Quebec Nordiques (currently the Colorado Avalanche. I always forget about the Thrashers when I'm out searching cards of defunct teams.

The utter insanity that is 1995 Fleer was not just limited to baseball cards, it bled over to hockey cards as well. At some point when I have some spare time, I might dig out some of the 1995 Fleer cards I have from various sports and compare them. That should be quite the trip.

And the last card of the box, a nice Upper Deck Artifacts Zach Parise.  That's a pretty good way to end the box and it's a Devils card to boot. 

I'm kind of torn on these hockey boxes and to be honest, I quite prefer the baseball ones. Yes, it's a good way to amass some hockey cards but honestly, half the cards in them either go to the trade box or the donation bag for Goodwill. I usually only keep the "star cards" or players I collect so I'm not sure if investing in these 100-card hockey bricks in the future will be worth it. The baseball ones are much better as I know the cards and most of the players.