Monday, November 12, 2018

Ever Get a Bonus Auto from a Seller?

Have you heard the rumors about Seattle blowing it all up? Supposedly they don't think the team has enough to compete with the Astros and the resurgent Athletics in the AL West for the next couple of years. So, they were going to set their sites on reloading for a few years down the road. This is a team that 89 wins last year! Crazy.  Last I heard Seattle's general manager was trying to beat back those rumors.
The M's already traded for Mallex Smith in a five player deal and now James Paxton trade rumors are fueling the hot stove. Could this mean Nelson Cruz won't re-sign and Vogelbach would be given a shot at DH-ing?  That would be 🔥!
 Speaking of fire...  How about my new pick-up?  A 2018 Topps Fire Auto-Patch! Vogelbach wasn't included in the base set, but he snagged a spot on the auto checklist. I'm not sure how that works, but it's a sharp looking card and one I'm pleased to add to my Vogelmonster player collection.

The above card arrived in a padded yellow envelope from the eBay seller, but not in a top loader. It was placed within a penny sleeve and tucked inside a team bag with a bonus card.
 Honestly, I would have preferred the top loader over the bonus card, especially if the card arrived dinged . . . which thankfully it didn't.
I've received bonus cards before, but typically they have served as extra "padding" for the purchased card. There are 67 players in all which comprise the regular autograph portion of the Topps Fire checklist. Scanning it over I discovered there were three players who I was not familiar with: Miguel Gomez, Tomas Nido and Victor Arano. Arano is young and controllable bullpen arm for the Phillies and he had a nice 2018. I guess there are worse bonus cards to be had!

If there's a Phillies fan out there interested in the Arano auto, please drop me a line!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Two Trade Recap

 I saw this beautiful Mike Montgomery card on Thorzul's yearly Trade Me Anything posting.
I sent him a couple Christian Yelich cards and a superfluous pair of new headphones for the guy who earned the last out of the 2016 post season. I love reading Thorzul's posts and seeing the odd things other bloggers send in exchange for cards.

The other card trade in this post comes from Eric at Old Red Sox Cards. I sent him some Red Sox some time back and he rewarded me set help!  Woot!
I should have taken a picture of the cards in the box before I sprung them loose. Eric knows how to pack cardboard!
 I've made some huge strides in my set building this past week. This is the first of three trades, which will net me over 250 cards for my sets.
 In fact, 1990 Donruss will have disappeared from my want list after a second package from the Chicago suburbs arrives this weekend.
I'm hoping the third trade, which is still in the work, crosses off the last seven cards from my 1990 Topps set build.
Soon my focus will turn to putting the 1979 set to bed. Eric sent a very healthy stay of loved '79s my way. I chose the Pete Vuckovich as the top card of the first stack because he had the best mustache in the pile.
 Oscar Gamble had the best hair, so he gets top billing on the other stack. Good stuff!

Thanks for the trades, Thorzul and Eric!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

My Best Card Show Find of 2018

By my last count, I have been to seven different card shows in 2018. My main focus why attending these shows has been to pick up vintage cards for my Hall of Fame binder and to pick through dime boxes for trade bait.

This past Sunday was the annual Peoria baseball card show. That's right, P-town only gets a show once a year. Back in the early '90s there was a local show every month and sometimes twice a month. I miss those days.

The closest thing to a dime box I found this weekend was a "6 cards for $1" box. I found five Ryne Sandberg cards I thought I might need and a nice Jim Thome for the dollar spent.
 Unfortunately, I only needed two of the Sandberg cards. I was too lazy to look at my list on my phone. Oh well, I can survive with a few Ryno duplicates.
The Thome card was a nice find and fits well into my modest player collection.

Hall of Fame? Four more players to cross off the list.
I'm not really concerned about condition, but I do wish the Jim Bunning card wasn't so off center. I have plenty of Fergie Jenkins cards in my collection, but they are all in his player binder . . . so I needed one more for the HOF Binder. The Hank Aaron and Don Drysdale came from the same dealer and were marked down 50% off the sticker price. I checked on eBay, and with the discount I was getting a fair, but not outstanding deal. Good enough for me.

Here's a purchase I didn't see coming.
 Anywhere else in the country and this card is probably in a $1 or $2 auto bin. Here in P-town, where Anthony Parker was THE MAN for the Bradley Braves. it set me back five bucks. I don't care. I never thought I would find an auto of A.P., let alone in a Braves jersey! I now own autos of Parker, Jim Les, and Hersey Hawkins . . . three of the biggest names in Bradley's history.

My find of the year? Oh man. A gentleman was selling a bunch of sets for 75% off. There was plenty of stuff from the late '90s and early aughts to be had.  But I had my eyes on this:
I bought the 1983 Topps set for the price of a blaster. A little quick math and that works out to be two-and-a-half cents per card. As you can see from the picture, the set includes the three big rookie cards, and everything seems to be in near-mint condition. I couldn't be happier about this purchase!

One of my long-term collecting goals is to own/build every Topps sets going back to when I was born to when I first exited the hobby (1978-1993). Filling a hole for $20 is really good feeling.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

A Club Box Seat for $11.50? Sold!

Julie, the wonderfully generous and talented author from A Cracked Bat, sent me a package which really took me back a few decades.

Here's a photo of six former Peoria Chiefs. Joe Girardi started his professional career in Peoria way back in 1986. Earl Cunningham was the #1 draft pick in 1989, spent parts of four seasons in Peoria, and his claim to fame was once being the franchise leader in career strikeouts. Ugh.
The other four guys all played for the Chiefs this century, although Mark Prior's visit was a rehab stint. Some may recognize Jeremy Papelbon as Jonathan's younger brother. Sam Fuld is the only one of the bottom three who carved out any semblance of a career in MLB.

Lot's of talent and personalities within the next group of six.
Soriano grew on me toward the end of his tenure with the Cubs, but my favorites are Derrek Lee and Dexter Fowler. The latter takes the cake because he helped bring a championship to Chicago.

Guys who had HIGH ceilings but just couldn't meet expectations:
Corey Patterson was supposed to be the goods and in the midst of his breakout season tore an ACL in his way to first base. He never reached those heights again.  Hee Seop Choi was flipped for Derrek Lee and then shortly thereafter fell off MLB's radar. Man, Cubs prospects were kind of depressing until Theo came to town.

Brooks Kieschnick!
The "Star Date 2000" card from 1997 makes me laugh. I don't know if it's because it reminds me of Star Trek or what. Regardless, it's the 84th different Kieschnick card in my collection. Very nice.

The Bowman Heritage card of Kerry Wood is the 542nd addition to my Kid K player collection.
Julie sure does know how to construct a trade package!

Both of these Billy Williams cards are new additions as well.
Re-using a photo?  Ugh...  I do like the palm tree in the background though!

Someday I will complete one of those Triumvirate puzzles. That'll be a good day.  Actually, maybe this is the one I'm missing?
The Frank Chance Diamond King card must be a parallel, as it is numbered out of /99.

Julie tossed in plenty of current Cubs, too.
The Gold Mint Contreras and the Bowman Platinum are my favorites from this lot!

I was a pitcher in college, but I still enjoy a good longball as much as the next guy 
I was, however, quite bummed that the homer featured on this card is NOT the one that landed on top of the Wrigley Field jumbotron in right field during the 2015 playoffs against the Cardinals.
That home run put Schwarber on the map and would be the one my mind goes when using the word "legend."

Changing gears and going back to 1988 . . . that's when I discovered baseball cards and started collecting. The next summer the Cubs had a formidable lineup of Grace, Sandberg, Dawson, Dunston and two promising rookies in Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith.
It was the first time I saw my favorite team clinch a division and I can still see Mitch Williams getting that last Expo on a check-swing strike three. Good times! Oddly enough, I don't have a pocket schedule from the '89 season, but I do now!  Thanks, Julie! 
Check out those prices . . . Actually, they compare really well to modern-day Peoria Chiefs prices.

Okay, enough reminiscing... back to present!  Boom!  VOGELMONSTER POWER!
I have one of these die-cuts already, but I absolutely love everything about this card!  It's shiny, let's everyone know how POWERful Vogelbach is, shows him in a Cubs jersey, and it's already in a penny sleeve. Yep, you read that last bit correctly. It's darn near impossible to get one of these in a sleeve without catching one of the many jagged edges.

Thanks for the sweet package, Julie!  I'll look to repay the favor shortly!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Completing '92 Pinnacle ... Randomly

I don't post as much as used, but I'm still an active reader. One thing I've really started to look for are bloggers opening packs through video. I get the urge to open packs, but I almost always talk myself out of buying new packs. 

I stumbled upon Kin's blog one evening and saw he was busting a pack of 1992 Pinnacle. Coincidentally, it was a set I was trying to complete.

The video was a nice stroll down memory lane, as 25+ year old cardboard tends to be.

Then right in the middle of the post, in succession, came the last four cards I needed to finish the set.
531 Dave Silvestri
546 Jeff Ware
561 Russ Springer RC
576 Bob Zupcic RC

Collation, Collation, Collation!
I reached out to Kin and he was gracious enough to send the cards without expectation of a return package. Very generous man, that Kin.

He's also a good follow on Twitter: @beansbcardblog Give him a look!

Thanks, Kin. I'll look to pay your generosity forward!