Sunday, April 28, 2019

Single Card Post - 2001 Topps #732

Pardon the poor picture on this. I took this over a year ago to be used in a post I never ended up writing. I attempted to clean it up but no dice. So, in order to actually see who's on this card, here it is properly scanned and everything from COMC:

2001 Topps - [Base] #732 - Gookie Dawkins, Erick Almonte, Felipe Lopez - Courtesy of

Much better.

I don't know how I acquired this card ... maybe a repack? Maybe a trade? Not sure. Anyway, I thought I'd pull out something I've done in the past with multi-player cards and see how each guy on this card fared in their career.

Gookie Dawkins - At one time the Reds middle infield consisted of guys named Gookie and Pokey, and that's honestly about all can be said about Gookie Dawkins in MLB. In 52 games over parts of three seasons with the Reds (1999, 2000, 2002), he hit a low .167/.238/.208 with exactly zero homers and only 3 RBIs. In 2003, he resurfaced with Kansas City appearing in only 3 games. After his 2003 cameo, he stayed in the minors with various organizations until 2011.

Erick Almonte - Almonte's stay in the majors was nearly as brief as Gookie Dawkins. Almonte only appeared in 55 games total in MLB, mostly for the Yankees (2001, 2003) but also a quick 16-game cup of coffee with the Brewers in 2011. Seems he'd bounced around with a lot of different organizations in the minors before having one last hurrah with the Brewers. At the very least, his MLB career stats show he had two homers with 14 RBIs and a .233 average.

Felipe Lopez - Lopez was a solid middle infielder who debuted with the Blue Jays in 2001 and had a good run with the Reds from 2003-2006. His best season was was 2005 where is made the All-Star team for the only time and finished with a .291 average, 23 homers, and 85 RBIs in 148 games. After the Reds shipped him to the Nationals in July 2006, in what turned out to be a pretty controversial trade as the Reds claimed "damaged goods" on one of the pitchers they got in return, he bounced around to seven different teams from 2008 to 2011. As recently as 2015 though, he made a comeback of sorts with Carolina in the Puerto Rican Winter League.

Of these three, I'd definitely say that Lopez had the best career by far. Do you remember any of these players?

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Marichal and the Pilots

A few weeks ago, you may recall, I went to the monthly card show at the Nutter Center in Dayton. Well, after showing off my wares from that show, I received an email a few days later from one Mr. Haverkamp proposing a trade.

You see, he'd been in search of the 1962 Post Juan Marichal card I picked up for a while now in order to help complete his team set. He graciously offered another vintage Marichal and some 1969 Pilots cards in return. I figured why not. It'd be a nice to do a quick trade with a new trading buddy.

Here's the vintage Marichal as promised to replace the Post Marichal I'm trading. I'd picked up a 1969 Marichal at the show so this will compliment it nicely. 

The rest of the PWE was filled with 1969 Topps Seattle Pilots cards, which is one of my currently active collecting pursuits. I'm trying to get all Pilots cards from the 1969 and 1970 Topps sets.

Jose Vidal only appeared in 18 games early in the season for the Pilots as a backup outfielder after being purchased from the Indians. He was swapped to the Yankees in May for another outfielder in Dick Simpson but never again appeared in a major league game after the trade. He spent 1969 and 1970 at Triple-A Syracuse and then bounced around to first Toledo, then to the Japan Pacific League for Nishitetsu and finally a few years in the Mexican League.

Roland (Rollie) Sheldon is a curiosity. Not only is this a Pilots card but it's also a zero year card as Sheldon never appeared in a single game for the Pilots. His last major league appearance was in 1966 where he made it into 23 games with Boston. After that season, he was sent to the Reds to complete an earlier trade between the two teams. As for his association with the Pilots, it was a brief 5 game run with the Vancouver Triple-A club in 1969.

Mike Marshall is indeed that Mike Marshall. The same iron-armed hurler who had a stellar four-year run with the Expos and Dodgers in the early 70s and would win the 1974 NL Cy Young Award, spent the 1969 season with the Pilots, who'd selected him from the Tigers in the expansion draft. Marshall posted a 5.13 ERA with a 3-10 record over 20 appearances for the 1969 club.

Ray Oyler was the everyday shortstop for the woeful Pilots in 1969 and was also a fellow expansion draftee from the Tigers like Mike Marshall. He would be out of MLB after the 1970 season with a meager .175 career average. 

And finally the man who captained the club from the dugout, Joe Schultz. His playing career was mainly as a backup during the during the 1940s with both the Pirates and the Browns. 1969 was the only full season Schultz managed in the majors. His only other managerial stint was 28 games with the Tigers at the end of the 1973 season after Billy Martin was canned. 

That's five more cards I can knock off my Pilots want list and a nice Marichal to add to my collection. Thanks for the trade Mr Haverkamp! You're return card is going out this weekend.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Let the Digging Begin - Pt. 3

This is the final part of the shoeboxes I've been digging through. This will be all football as there was literally a ton of football cards between the two boxes. I picked out a few favorites to show here but most of the cards have already been earmarked for my ongoing "spring cleaning" donation.

There was a giant stack of 1991 Stadium Club cards, most of which were commons and sadly no Brett Favre rookie card. However, I did find a few notable names in the batch like these.

From the cool photography department, these are my favorites. Plus, how can you not love a card of a dude with one of the best football names ever in Tunch Ilkin

Here's something I didn't expect to find, an autographed card. The subject of this card is Lloyd Hill who was drafted in the sixth round of the 1994 Draft by the Chicago Bears. He never made it to the NFL proper but played a handful of seasons in the Arena Football League with the Houston Thunderbears (aka Texas Terror) and the New England Sea Wolves.

Random cards of random players. Three Hall of Famers in Biletnikoff, Bettis, and Andersen and a card of notorious draft bust Ryan Leaf. 

These were the most recent cards in the boxes. The Kurt Warner card is from the 2000 Topps football set while Kordell Stewart is from 2002 Topps. These cards remind of the giant shoebox full of football cards I bought at the community yard sales a few years back.

Whoever's cards these were must've been a fan of Vinny Testaverde as there were a bunch of his cards to be had. I remember him playing when I watch watching football games as a kid. I'm not actively collecting his cards but if I come across cards in bargain bins or finds like this, I'm apt to keep them.

The only two Bengals cards the boxes coughed up. I don't remember either one of these guys.

Here's a pair of 1991 Fleer Ultra cards. Not much to say about these really. Same design as the baseball set.

Finally, here are these cards from the 2000 Impact set. This was the only set that Impact issued and much like the Fleer Ultra cards from above, the design was the same for both the baseball and football sets. I always did kind of like these cards as I felt like the design was simple but yet fun, especially with the team colors for the borders. The photography on them was also pretty good.

That wraps up the first batch of stuff from the two shoeboxes. I've definitely found a few keepers and so far this hasn't been a complete bust like I feared. Now that those are out of the way, I can move on to this giant beat up behemoth of a banker's box:

Stay tuned, things are just getting good.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

PWE From Portland

Today is just a brief post to post a quick thank you for a recent PWE I received from Gavin over at the popular Baseball Card Breakdown blog. We did a small swap as I sent him a Benchwarmer card that didn't fit my collection and a few extras I had. In return, he sent over a fun PWE.

The PWE he sent over was only a handful of cards but they're cards that definitely fit my collecting interests. First up, this foursome of Sasha Banks cards. I really enjoy the run she and Bayley have been having as a tag team in the Women's Tag Team division. It's too bad they lost the Women's Tag Titles already to the Iiconics in the four corners match at WretleMania recently.

There were also a few Reds cards included. The Cueto and Wilson Valdez cards are obviously parallels. I'd honestly forgotten completely about Wilson Valdez as a backup infielder on the Reds. Taylor Sparks is currently a Reds farmhand stationed with the AAA club in Louisville and is not a part of the 40-man roster. Last year in 126 games with both Louisville and AA Pensacola, he hit .206/.279/.383 with 14 HRs and 47 RBIs.

Finally, as is tradition in Gavin's trade packs, he always includes a custom card. This is a mini he made of Ken Griffey Jr in the Moeller High School uniform. Pretty neat if you ask me. Moeller High School also happens to hold a very large card show twice a year which I'm hopeful to get to at some point.

Thanks for the impromptu trade Gavin! Let's do it again sometime.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Let the Digging Begin Pt. 2

I'm back now with round 2 of the cards from the shoeboxes I went through. This will be quite the mixed bag of stuff.

I'll start with basketball. I don't follow the NBA at all and honestly couldn't name five current NBA players. There was a lot of junk wax basketball that I'll probably end up donating. I might keep these two, not sure yet though. I will say that the Kevin McHale Fleer sticker is pretty cool.

Golf cards. I used to play golf and actually was on the high school junior varsity golf team for a few years. I never was good enough to make it to varsity. Back then, I used to watch golf on TV and knew who the top players on the tour were. I never made it a habit to collect golf cards though. I found them kinda boring to be honest. Anyone out there collect golf cards?

Something I do collect though is hockey. I feel bad as I hardly watched any hockey this season and now the playoff have started. I feel like I missed out. Anyway, I'm definitely planning on watching some playoff hockey. The card above is of Eddie Olczyk, who I'm sure most of you will recognize from the NHL on NBC broadcasts.

I talked about Upper Deck Vintage in the baseball portion but I had no idea there was Upper Deck Vintage hockey. Finding both Brett Hull and Patrick Roy cards were an unexpected surprise.

Here's another interesting pair, these 1998-99 UD Choice "preview" cards. I'm not sure what the deal is with these but, according to the checklist on TCDB, it looks like maybe that only odd numbered were issued. 

Upper Deck Victory always felt very basic and mundane to me. I suppose that was the point? Just a simple, basic set for the set builders. I like the base cards here, especially the Patrik Elias.

Rounding out this mixed bag of oddities are these cards from the WCW Nitro trading card game. I had no idea these even existed, let alone there was a trading card game featuring WCW stars. The wrestlers featured on here are Ernest "The Cat" Miller and Berlyn. Judging by that, I'd say these are probably from the fall of 1999.

So there's a weird little mixed bag of cards. I'm still going through the mountain of football cards and hope to have a post up on those soon.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Let the Digging Begin

Remember the massive, huge mega haul that my mom dropped on me a while back? Well, I finally have some time to start going through it. I started with the most manageable items, two small shoeboxes.

I figured the easiest way would be to sort by sport and then go from there. Here's how it looked after one box. There was football (and a lot of it) with baseball and basketball. I didn't take a picture after the final sort but I ended up with a bunch of other random cards as well. Anyway, I'll focus on some of the baseball keepers here.

Starting off is some 2002 Upper Deck Vintage. I always liked these cards and at one time, way back when, I actually had the whole set. It's rare that I come across these in the wild but anytime I see these, I must keep them

This card is a curiosity. I didn't know that Post Cereal (with the help of Topps) was still producing cards in the early 2000s. Looking up Post Cereal cards on TCDB, it appears that this was the return set as they had previously stopped in 1995. In 2001, there was also a 8-card set featuring members of the 500-HR club. Post and Topps would keep going until 2003 when the last set was issued.

It's an unwritten rule that there must be early 90s stuff in any collection I acquire. I don't have a lot of 1992 Score so I'll gladly take these.

So far, I'm finding stuff in here I wasn't expecting. I was planning on a lot of late 80s/early 90s cards from Topps, Fleer, Donruss, etc. Not cards from the 2001 Sunoco set. Between these 4 and the Indians one I got in a trade from Julie a few months ago, I stand at 5 of the 12 cards in the set, so just about halfway.

I was always a fan of the 1994 Pinnacle set with the great photography and the minimalist design. Heck, I think some of those early Pinnacle sets were great. The picture on the Devon White card is just awesome.

1992 Fleer was never really one of my favorites but with these four, I might slowly be warming up to it. One thing I always did like about the set was the use of the full team logo at the top of the players' name. 

I always thought Jeff Shaw was a underrated as a reliever, especially when he was with the Reds in the late 90s. He formed a two-headed monster of the back-end of the Reds pen in 1996 at the set-up man to closer Jeff Brantley. He took over the closer role when Brantley was out with various injuries in 1997.

Some more early Pinnacle cards. I always liked the black borders on these.

Yes, those are Upper Deck MVP cards that I found. Like I said earlier, the more I dig in there, the better it gets.

I remember Fleer Tradition cards from when I was working in the baseball card shop. I always thought they were pretty neat. 

And finally, some Topps from the 2001 set (another set I like) and 2002 Opening Day. I'm still not sure how I feel about 2002 Topps design.

Digging through these boxes and pulling out all these cards hit all the sweet spots for me ... cards from my youth? Check. Cards I always liked and forgot about? Check. Weird oddball cards? Check. And another thing, writing about these cards was plain and simply fun. And really, you can't ask for a whole lot more than that.

As for the rest of the non-baseball stuff, that's coming up in part 2 shortly.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Empty Arena Card Show

Last weekend I finally had a spare Saturday so I figured I would treat myself. I made the 45 trek up to the Nutter Center in Dayton to hit the monthly card show. Typically, the show is held in the adjoining gym but due to a last minute change in schedule (there was a robotics competition the same day) the show got moved into the main arena. 

Now, I've been to this arena numerous times for WWE shows and never in my wildest imagination did I think I'd be sorting through dime boxes on the same arena floor where Bret Hart made his triumphant return to WWE back in 2010. Also, going into the main arena and seeing the seats completely empty, was a bit bizarre. Anyway, let's take a look at my haul.

Behold ... all kinds of goodies and oddities. Let's look closer ...

There was one vendor selling these old retail sets for a buck each. There were lots of good sets to choose from honestly so narrowing it down to three was a chore. There was one Revco box set but it wasn't in that great a shape so I settled on these, a 1986 Topps Baseball Champion Superstars set and two sets from the old Hills department store. At a later date, I'm planning on giving each of these their own post.

I couldn't resist a Bronson Arroyo bobblehead for six bucks. When I unpacked it at work, I could see why it was six bucks. It was a little chipped and there was a very small piece broken off at the bottom of the base on the back but other than that it was fine.

Now on to the cards! First up, hockey! These all came from a dollar bin that was marked down to 50 cents each. So much good stuff especially with the Eric Lindros Maple Leafs card, Curtis Joseph as a member of the Coyotes, Brodeur, Patrick Roy, and others.

More from the 50 cent bin with Sergei Federov in a Columbus uniform, Mark Messier as a member of the Canucks, and some vintage! The Jean Pronovost card is from the 1975-76 Topps Hockey set. That season Pronovost played in 80 games, scored 104 points (split evenly between goals and assists). He also finished second in the voting for the Lady Byng Trophy that year.

Speaking of vintage hockey, one dealer had a 15-card stack of 1968-69 Topps hockey in his case. I asked to thumb through them and quickly noticed no price. I found two I liked and asked how much. Quickly, he turned to his Beckett as I shuddered inside. He sat the book down, shrugged his shoulders and said "eh, how about five for the pair." Ummm ... ok! So, let's reiterate ... I got a card of a Hall of Fame goalie (and a short-tem stop card nonetheless as the 1967-68 season was his only in L.A.) and a card of a guy who founded a very successful coffee chain for a measly five dollar bill.

I also added to my football collection. Everything you see here was from a nickel bin, except for the Terry Bradshaw which was out of a dollar box.

I swear I'll get to baseball cards here in a second. Before I get to that, I got this giant stack of WWE and UFC cards for ... brace yourself for this ... for free! As I was thumbing through them at the table, I asked the guy how much they were each. He said to take the whole stack as he didn't want them. I offered to pay for them but he insisted. 

Here are the only four I wanted from the stack. Clockwise from the top left is Michael Bisping, Terry Funk, Edge, and Frank Mir. The Edge card is a beautiful card as it's taken after his win at WrestleMania 27 in 2011 in what would turn out to be his final match.

Getting to baseball now, I managed to knock off two highly sought after cards from my wantlist. First, this 2018 Topps Update Matt Harvey. This is one of only two Reds cards that I know of that were issued of Matt Harvey as a Red. The other card is from the 2018 Kahn's set that was issued at the ballpark. (Yes, the Reds still make their own cards for the stadium giveaways).

Another card I was in search of was the Scooter Gennett Topps Now card commemorating his 4-homer game back on June 6, 2017. Not only was he just the 17th player in MLB history at the time to record a four homer game, he was the first Reds player ever to do it. The price tag on it was still $10 but I couldn't resist for a card I've been searching for ever since it was issued. 

Here's a pretty neat card, an Ozzie Smith manu-relic patch card numbered to 75. I got this from the same guy I got the Matt Harvey Reds card from. 

Another manu-relic card. I don't really hate on these as much as a I've seen a lot of people do. I personally think they're neat cards. The medallion here looks like a class ring but it's Randy Johnson as an Expo. I'll take that any day.

A few more bargain relics in players I collect.

I got these from a guy that said he was just cleaning out his garage so he had a bunch of random stuff like dime boxes, random loose vintage cards, and these. These are 1977 MSA discs that were issued in cartons of Pepsi and they cost me nothing at this show. Since I bought a nice stack of cards from him, he threw these in as a bonus.

Of course, I can't go to any card show and not pick up some vintage. I know the Billy Martin has some writing on the surface but it's a Topps card of Billy Martin with the Reds. I couldn't resist.

I nabbed this 1960 Wally Post as well from the guy who gave me all the wrestling and UFC cards. I like the card but there's something about it that seems a bit off. Maybe it's the border brightness or how sharp the corners are, I'm not sure. The back seems brighter that the 1960 Martin as well. Regardless, I only shelled out a few bucks for it.

Who can pass up vintage oddballs? I can't. These were a buck each.

Early 80s goodness for 50 cents each. 

Moving on now to where I did the most damage, the dime and nickel boxes. There were only a few vendors that had bargain bins so I made sure to make the most of them and I dug through each one thoroughly. The first was the regular vendor who has singles of all the new stuff. I nabbed a ton of new Gypsy Queen base cards for a dime each. These aren't all of them, just the highlights of the batch.

Some fabulous dime bin Reds from the 1980s. My favorite here may just be the Chris Sabo Toys R' Us rookie card.

90s oddballs? Sure, why not.

Some great 90s base cards including Jose Rijo working as a member of the Reds grounds crew. He always did fun stuff like that while he had a bad shoulder injury.

Some cool horizontal cards. Willie Greene was a decent third baseman for the Reds in the 90s and had a bit of pop in his bat too. His best year was 1997 where he played in 151 games and hit .253 with 26 homers and 91 RBIs.

Some great mid-2000s stuff to add to my collection.

And finally some newer Reds cards. Reds cards weren't the only thing I dug out of the bargain bins though ...

Here's some stars of the 80s, including a cool Graig Nettles that's not only a sunset card but also a short-term stops card as he wound up his career with the Expos in 1988.

These 1987 Donruss cards were a nickel each. Yes, a nickel each. I was so excited that I accidentally grabbed two of the Tim Raines card.

Can you guess what all these players have in common? If you guessed they are all former Reds, you'd be right. One of my guilty pleasures of collecting is getting cards of former Reds players in different or unfamiliar uniforms. Some of these I barely even remember like Tim Belcher with the Royals or Dave Parker with the Angels.

The bargain bins just kept on giving like these cards Hall of Famers. The most expensive here was the Griffey for a buck.

I hit some player collections as well ... some Dennis Eckersley Cardinals cards and Paul O'Neill who I enjoy finding cards of in bargain bins.

A bunch of random cards here. Just all kinds of cool stuff.

Buybacks! Yes!

Lots of inserts from some Hall of Famers. I love the Hank Aaron cards with the old school Braves jersey.

Diamond Kings are my favorite Panini product. I'll scoop these up from bargain bins all the time. The Orlando Cepeda card is just beautiful.

More random stuff. 

And finally, a bunch of really, really good stuff. I never really collected Justin Verlander cards when he was with the Tigers but for some reason, I'm drawn to cards of him with the Astros. I can't really explain it.

That wraps up my card show visit for the spring. I spent more than I thought I would (mainly due to the Ozzie Smith and Scooter Gennett cards) but I think I still came out on top though and even knocked two cards off my want list.