Monday, February 1, 2021

More Cards From the Barrel

I want to tip my hat to Card Barrel.

I managed to finish off a bunch of the 2020 cards I wanted along with a bunch of other stuff I found on there while I did some digging through the site.

I'll start with some Series 2 and Update. I got these for mere loose change. These aren't necessarily players I collect but I thought they were just neat cards. 

Obligatory Reds cards. The Reds were major players in the 2019-20 offseason signing people like Castellanos and Miley but so far this year have barely made a whisper this offseason. I got the Galvis and Mahle cards because I'm a sucker for throwback uniforms as well.

More Reds cards and a Ken Griffey Jr. Home Run Derby card. Pedro Strop qualifies as a "short term stop" card as he was a bust as a free agent signing and only pitched a grand total of four ... yes four ... innings for the Reds in 2020.

There wasn't a lot in A&G this year that really attracted me but I did find these four cards. I also need to look through the inserts sections on Card Barrel as I primarily went for base cards. Also, I couldn't pass up a Fred McGriff Blue Jays card.

Another thing that I really don't get with A&G is the celebrities. I don't know hardly any of the celebrities that A&G features in their sets but ... these are two I just absolutely had to have. 

I got back into hockey because of watching Doc Emrick and listening to him call hockey on NBC and NBC Sports. He's absolutely one of the best announcers of any sport I've ever heard. Call him the Vin Scully of hockey if you will. He retired from broadcasting after last season but still does voiceover work for NBC hockey. I got his autobiography for Christmas as well and I'm really looking forward to diving into that as soon as I can.

Speaking of books, I started to get into fiction writing because of R.L. Stine. I read the Goosebumps books as a kid but they never really made an impression on me. Then a few years ago, I watched the Goosebumps movie with Jack Black as R.L. Stine and wow ... that was a really fun and really good movie. The thing that inspired me in the movie to starting doing my own writing was the scene where he has to write the book as the movie continues to figure out the end. It's really a good movie and I highly recommend it ... and if I ever complete any fiction stuff I'll be sure to update everyone as well.

Here's a bunch of singles from Archives. I was honestly hoping to find a lot of cards from the 1974 design so was a little disappointed that I only liked the Willie McCovey card. However, I found several from the 2002 design that I liked so I guess that evens out. On the plus side as well, there's a Dennis Eckersley Red Sox card and a Joe Morgan Astros card so I was pretty happy about that. 

Some cards from Diamond Kings and Heritage Minors. Diamond Kings works really well with old time players who don't have logos on the uniforms like Shoeless Joe and Christy Mathewson. I don't collect a lot of minor league teams except for mainly the Dayton Dragons. However, it's kind of hit and miss when Topps includes the Dragons in their sets but when they do, I like to try to nab as many as possible. Plus these aren't your typical posed shots, their in-game photos which I prefer.

I picked out a bunch of random cards too ... well, because ... why not? The Negro Leagues don't have a lot of representation in my collection so I made sure to grab these from the 1983 Donruss Hall of Fame Heroes set. Satchel Paige gets a lot of representation in Topps sets but other players like Josh Gibson and James "Cool Papa" Bell unfortunately don't. I'm hoping that will change now that the Negro Leagues are considered part of the official MLB canon.

Some early 2000s Donruss Original goodies. These are cards I really need more of in my life. The 2000s are pretty much a collecting black hole for me and for some reason cards of that decade are super hard to come by in dime boxes or anything like that. I'll probably go back for more of these on my next order.

Here's the lone 2020 card I didn't cover earlier, this being a short-term stop card of Yasiel Puig who, as of this writing, has yet to resurface in the majors after splitting 2019 between the Reds and Indians.

Some oldies but definitely some goodies. I couldn't pass up an Andres Galarraga rookie card for mere pocket change. Nor could I pass up a 1971 Manny Mota card that's in very good shape for only a dollar. I've mentioned this in the past but I like the 1971 set so much that my goal is to get as many cards as I can afford from the set. I know I'll never have the money to complete it but I can definitely do the best I can.

I'm always one for a good deal on cheap relic cards and I just couldn't pass on these from 2020 Diamond Kings. Sure the Suarez is a little dinged up on the edge but that's fine with me.

I did a number on their $3 relic cards as well. Scrolling through there is like sifting through a virtual bargain bin, occasionally you'll come across something interesting. And that's exactly what happened when I stumbled across this Chuck Todd card from 2014 A&G. I thought, why not. Let's just grab a card of a TV news guy I like as we pretty much flipped between him and Steve Kornacki on Election Night last year. Topps totally needs to include Steve Kornacki in A&G by the way.

A large part of the $3 relic bin are these manu-relics, which I honestly don't mind all that much. I think they're honestly pretty neat and I'll probably go back and grab some more. It's hard to pick a favorite of these three but if I had to pick, I'd do with Paul Konerko since it shows him with the Dodgers.

So that closes out another order from Card Barrel and this was a super great birthday haul. I highly, highly recommend ordering from Card Barrel if you haven't already. The prices are great, the shipping is free with orders over $25, and there's new stuff added all the time.


Saturday, January 23, 2021

Pick A Pair

Getting cards in the mail in nice.

It's also nice when said cards are from longtime trade pal and blog reader Julie when she does her famous "pick pockets" grab bag on her blog.

Her most recent one was over the holidays (that feels like forever ago) and I got in on the tail end of the action as I just came back into the card and card blogging universe at the time. I was lucky enough to nab the pair of Francisco Lindor cards above to add to my Indians collection (side note: it's gonna be weird to see him in a Mets uniform in 2021) but those weren't the only cool pair of cards I picked out.

I also got a pair of these shiny cards of some Hall of Famers. Not only do these fit into the Hall of Famers category that I collect, they also fit into the defunct teams category as well. Both of these cards have interesting attributes and not just because they're shiny. The Gary Carter card proudly displays itself as an Expos card, complete with the old-school blue uniform and red and white batting helmet. The Satchel Paige card mentions him with three different teams on the front. The background picture is him with a St. Louis Browns hat, the foreground photos is him in an Indians uniform, and at the bottom it lists him as a member of the Kansas City Monarchs.

Neither of these two look exactly thrilled but I couldn't pass up this pair of 1974 Traded cards that were offered up. Let's look at each trade here...

Lindy McDaniel was traded from the Yankees to the Royals on December 7, 1973 for Lou Piniella and Ken Wright. Lindy's last two years in the bigs were 1974 and 1975. In those two seasons for the Royals, he appeared in 78 games, primarily as a reliever, and went 6-5 with a 3.75 ERA. Meanwhile, Piniella would spend the next ten seasons in pinstripes (and several more after that as a manager) and Ken Wright pitched in all of three games for the Yankees in 1974.

As far as Jimmy Wynn goes, he was shipped off from the Astros to the Dodgers the day before the Lindy McDaniel trade for Claude Osteen and minor leaguer David Culpepper.Wynn only played two seasons for the Dodgers (1974 and 1975) becoming an All-Star in both seasons and finishing in the top five of NL MVP votes in '74. In Houston, Osteen didn't even make it the full season before being flipped to the Cardinals in August of 1974 for the dreaded "player to be named later" Fun fact, did you know that both principles in the deal, Wynn and Osteen, were both signed by the Reds as amateur free agents?

Pairs weren't the only things I picked out from the pick pockets. I also grabbed this trio of interesting cards. Is there anything that these three cards have in common? Not really aside from the fact I thought they were neat. The Ned Yost card I grabbed just because it's an early 80s Topps card, Bobby Bonds because it's an oddball, and Eugenio Suarez because ... well, it's just a neat card!

I was pretty happy to add all of these to my collection and thanks to Julie for doing the pick pockets thing! I look forward to participating in the next round.

Monday, January 18, 2021

System Update Required

I finally found some cards out in the wild! 

While I was at the local Walmart a week or so ago, I decided to take a look at the card section. I'd set myself up for disappointment as every single time I've looked at a card aisle be it at Walmart, Target, or even Meijer, the shelves are completely bare (or there's loads of hockey cards which no one can be bothered with). This time though, I was surprised! There was exactly one blaster of Topps Update and one blaster of Topps WWE Finest. I was tempted to get the WWE cards but settled on the blaster of Update.

I didn't care if the box was awesome or if was a bust, I was just so excited to finally find cards in the wild again and open some packs!

I won't go pack by pack but I'll show some of my favorites and just some general neat cards. Starting off, here's the obligatory Reds lot. The Eric Davis card you'll see in an upcoming post about my most recent Card Barrel order from the holidays. The most curious card in the here is Matt Davidson, who became a footnote in Reds history on Opening Day to be the first-ever Reds DH on Opening Day.

Rangers cards that have the "Inaugural Season" logo. I heard about a a whole kerfuffle about there only being one Rangers card or something like that in Series 1 last year. Not sure if it had anything to do with the "Inaugural Season" logo or uniform change or something

One of my absolute favorite things about both Flagship/Update are the stats on the back. I especially love it when I get cards from players like these two who have been around forever. I mean, look how small the stat lines are on Rich Hill's card. You'd need a magnifying glass to see it.

Nothing special about these cards. I just thought they were neat, especially Bartolo Colon. It's not often that you see a player noted as a "free agent" on a card.

These guys look weird in these uniforms. 

With there being no All-Star Game and no Home Run Derby this year, Topps included images from ASGs and Derbys past. I actually kind of like these. The Mike Trout is from the 2015 game in Cincinnati and I wonder if there are others. I'm still also working on putting together all the All-Star Game and Derby cards from 2015 Update.

Here are some parallels. I think the blue ones are Wal-Mart exclusives.

Each pack had a Turkey Red card. The action ones are nice but I just find the posed shot ones boring.

Inserts were prevalent. I've been meaning to get some of those "Decades Best" cards.

I was really excited that this Turkey Red Chrome Derek Jeter card came out of the box. Getting cool inserts like this is honestly pretty rare for me when I get blaster boxes.

The same pack that held the Turkey Red Chrome card also held this nice foil parallel as well. If you're keeping track, that's two nice Derek Jeter cards in the same pack. Those were definitely worth the price of admission here.

Lastly, as is the usual case with blasters there's some sort of manu-relic. This time is a collectible coin card of some sort. The honestly looks better in person that it does here. The problem is that these things are about the size of a brick in thickness (ok, maybe not but they are super thick) so finding something to put this in will be a bit of an issue.

Overall though, I enjoyed this blaster a lot. I got a lot of fun cards, had a blast opening a few packs, and was pretty happy overall. I'm looking forward to the 2021 cards coming out soon and if I find a blaster or some retail packs in the wild, I'll grab those.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Nick's Knick Knacks

I'm not sure what this 1970 Topps Mike Hershberger card did to warrant getting written on. Nor, am I sure who "Rick" is or what that phone number is for. What I am sure about is that this came in an envelope from Nick at Dime Boxes, who loaded me up with a bunch of cards. 

This all came about when he was looking for a home for the Aristides Aquino card below he'd pulled from Stadium Club.

He mentioned there was a little peeling at the bottom, which didn't really bother me at all. I just think this is a really cool card of one of the Reds young stars. Despite a really down season in 2020, he raked in 2019 when he was called up and hit 19 homers over the last 56 games of the season.

Did I mention it was also numbered 16/25? That's pretty cool! Hopefully Aquino can find his form again this upcoming season but we'll see.

Aquino wasn't the only autographed card that Nick included. Here's another one from Stadium Club of utility player Josh VanMeter, who was shipped to Arizona in a deadline deal last year for reliever extraordinare Archie Bradley, who only appeared in six games for the Reds and was then non-tendered this offseason.

Nick also threw in a pair of Expos cards. I love getting Expos cards from pretty much any era. 

Now for the meat of the envelope, lots of cards to fill out my Indians and Reds team binders. These were some 2020 issues I didn't know I needed until I saw them, although by the time the Clevinger card came out he was with the Padres.

A couple horizontal goodies. Bowman was never my thing as I'm not a prospector but I just love this shiny Bowman Chrome Tyler Freeman card (you'll see another card from this shortly.)

A few more cool cards. I'm writing this just days after the blockbuster deal that sent Francisco Lindor to the Mets. I'm sad to see Lindor leave Cleveland and I know the trade was purely for economic reasons but he was by far my favorite Indians player.

This may look like a 1975 Topps card but it's not!! It's actually a 1975 Topps mini (I think that's the right terminology)? It looks like a 75, smells like a 75 (no I didn't actually smell it), but is a touch smaller.

Anyway, Jim Perry was at the tail end of his career here and was only with the Indians for about a month or so before he was traded to the A's where he finished out his sunset season. The previous season, 1974, he paired up with his brother Gaylord to form a decent 1-2 punch in the Cleveland rotation for a club that finished 77-85. Fun fact, did you know that the Perry brothers accounted for 38 of the 77 wins for Cleveland that season? 

This was probably my favorite card of the package that Nick sent. I'm definitely gaining an appreciation for 1959 Topps and might consider picking up more players like Herb Score here. Upon looking up his info for this piece, I had no idea he was the 1955 Rookie of the Year and was a two-time All-Star. I think the coolest thing about this card though is the photo. It just has that 1950s "feel" to it and I can totally dig it.

Reds were also included starting with this trifecta of Nick Senzel cards. 

There were also a few vintage Reds with this 1961 Jim Brosnan, who pitched will enough in 1961 for the NL Champion "Ragamuffin Reds" to earn some MVP votes.

This is probably my second favorite card in the batch, a 1976 Hostess Tony Perez.

Can't go wrong with cards from Johnny Bench either. I think the Starting Lineup card might be a duplicate but I'll have to check my binder.

These 2020 cards filled in a bunch of holes as well and highlights the Reds significant additions from last offseason in Shogo Akiyama, Nicholas Castellanos, and Mike Moustakas. If you look at the Moustakas Archives card, I find it curious that Topps squeezed "Second Base/Third Base" as the position when they could've just as easily put "Infield". Also, there were come cool Bowman Chrome cards (see I told you those would come back).

This was another great package from Nick and I appreciate him sending all this my way.