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. 

Saturday, January 9, 2021

The Repack Well Went Dry

There's an old saying "going back to the well once too often" or something like that. Well, I picked up a repack at Walgreens a few months back as a reward to myself for going there and getting my flu shot. Of course, like most stores, the toys and card section had been completely pilfered and picked through. All I saw were some basic WWE figures that no one wanted, a few Star Wars funkos, and three repacks, two of which were the 75-card football bricks. There was only one of the 100-card baseball bricks there so I nabbed it.

I've been burned on repacks in the past and I've had some really good ones. It's been a while so let's see what this repack reveals.

Included with the 100-card brick was an unopened pack. Typically these are of the early 90s variety like Upper Deck or Donruss but surprisingly, this one had an unopened pack of 2019 Topps Opening Day. The seven cards you see above are the extent of the pack. Nothing groundbreaking but a few neat cards, most of which I'll keep. Full disclosure, this was the only pack of cards I opened in 2020.

With the actual contents of the repack, first up was this trio of 1988 Fleer. I'd say there was probably about a dozen card from this set in the actual stack, these were my three keepers. Danny Jackson finished second in the 1988 NL Cy Young voting in his first year with the Reds, going 23-8 with 15 complete games in just over 260 innings pitched. Yes, I said the Reds even though he's shown with the Royals.

A trio of random cards 80s cards. I'd say a good 90% of the repack was junk wax cards from the late 80s and early 90s, a lot of stuff that I didn't necessarily want or need in my collection. Not trying to sound picky but I'm just trying to keep the excess stuff at minimum. The Yankees team card I'll try to put towards a series about team cards I'm considering doing. 

Some 1990 Score cards featuring another Dave Stewart card. Stan Belinda was always a favorite of mine when I was a kid because of his funky sidearm delivery. 

These three cards have nothing in common aside from the fact I had nowhere else to put them in this post. I've always liked 1992 Upper Deck (maybe I'll put that monster of a set together at some point?) because of the fun team logos they had on the cards and the pictures were pretty cool too. 

As is the typical deal with these repacks, it's stated that one in four of these will include a hit. Well I was a little surprised when this showed up. Not that it's a big name or anything but it's an autograph card of former Reds prospect Jonathan Reynoso. He never cracked the bigs despite several years in the Reds system and the highest he got was 27 games with Double-A Pensacola in 2017.

So that's the content of a impulse buy of a repack as a present to myself for getting a flu shot last fall. Nothing ground breaking or super impressive. It does feel a bit like the well has run dry on these so it'll be a while before I go down the re-pack path again, at least from Walgreens.


Monday, January 4, 2021

Oscar Winning Cards

(Author's note: This is my first official post back. I'm out of practice with writing blog posts so apologies in advance if these aren't as descriptive or well-written as before. I'll get back to form soon. Also, thank you for all the great "welcome back" comments. I really appreciate it!

During my hiatus, I received a few packages in the mail, some of which I documented from the "Epic Baseball Card Adventure" blog I attempted (and have since uploaded to this blog). 

One package I received after that blog kind of dropped off the face of the earth was from Oscar at the "All Trade Bait..." blog. Apparently I'd send him cards a while back and he said these returned the favor. So let's take a look and see what he sent over.

Lots of Expos were included in the package, including this Ron Hassey card which I had no knowledge of. This is also a sunset card as Hassey retired after the 1991 season. Several of the late season 1991 cards showed him with the Expos but this is the only 1992 card he had in a major set.
More Expos including longtime Brewers pitcher Bob McClure, who is another guy I never realized suited up for the Expos.

One last batch of Expos. Is just me or are the blue uniforms of the late 80s/early 90s completely wild?

The majority of the package was made up of Hall of Famers I enjoy collecting like Robin Yount, Nolan Ryan, and the like.

There was also this nice batch of Cal Ripken cards. I think the 93 Donruss one may be a duplicate. My collection is so disorganized right now, I'm not even sure.

There were also some nice George Brett cards as well. My favorite of these has to be the 1988 Score card with the baseball coming into the picture. I wonder if he got a hit on that at-bat or not?

Some random horizontal cards here with a pair of All-Star cards from 1993 Topps and two Barry Larkin cards.

But this is probably my favorite card of the pile, a 2008 Topps Joey Votto rookie card. I'd been considering adding a Votto rookie to my collection for a while but when card shows were still a thing, the cards were so overpriced, I always took a pass. But to have one come in a trade envelope is really super cool.

Many thanks to Oscar for sending over these cards back in the summer. I really appreciate it!