Friday, December 31, 2021

The Joy of A Completed Set Run

For quite sometime now I've been working on adding each Topps baseball set from the time I was born to when I jumped out of the hobby during my teenage years. 

I started collecting cards in 1988, but I didn't finish that set until the summer of 2019. It wasn't that it was that difficult, but I never really took the time to see what I had until decades later. For the record, the first set build I managed to complete was the 1989 Topps set the summer it came out.  

Anyway, immediately following the completion of the '88 set I started on the 1982 set, one which I was pretty excited about. Older sets have star names which are not frequently on my radar and other players to learn about. Overall, it's a fun learning experience collecting an older set, but one that was interrupted by Covid. Also, I came to find not many collectors build sets from the early 80's so most card show dealers leave their inventory at home. Womp-womp.  

This past summer I thought I tracked down the last cards for the set, but after double checking I found I was missing card #600. Ouch. A double zero card number!  Thankfully, it was an 18 cent purchase from Sportlots, plus shipping of course. The card arrived early last week. 

Woo-Hoo! Now I have all the Topps sets from 1978 through 1993 Series 1. It's not the longest consecutive run on the blogosphere, but it's something I'm definitely proud of. 

A few set tidbits: 

  • I have one set in a binder (1978) so I can flip through whenever the mood strikes. 
  • Once upon a time I had three 1989 and three 1992 hand-collated sets. I busted a lot of junk wax during my youth!
  • My favorite set build was the 1987 set, or better known to me as the 1987 Topps Project. I started the project on January 12 of 2014 with a modest stack of roughly 200 cards and finished the set in NINE days through blogger trades. That was a lot of fun and a lot of trades! (I later came to find I was missing five cards when double checking. I'm noticing a trend here.)
Well, that puts a wrap on my set building for the most part and this post also closes out 2021. 

Thanks for reading and I hope 2022 is a great one for you!

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Shiny Die-Cut Auto For The Win

On my daily Ebay searches I usually only look at the most recent year for my favorite active player, because there aren't many holes in my player collection of the big burly slugger. At the beginning of each month though I search for new Vogelbach cards from past years.  A low-numbered serial number card turned up in my most recent search. 

This is the 2011 Extra Edition Gold Status die-cut autograph card numbered 3/5 of Vogelbach in his high school uniform. The serial number is right there on the palm of his glove, which I actually kind of like. It doesn't detract from the aesthetics of the card this way. 

This was a great and affordable find of The Vogelmonster. Love it!

Friday, December 24, 2021

Folder of Fun Additions

 One of the reasons I love Sportlots so much is I can grab truly fantastic cards for only 18 cents apiece. 

Check out this one:

I don't remember Youppi, the mascot for the defunct Expos, but how could I pass this card by knowing it was out there?
I'm sure you've seen this Roger McDowell card from 1992 Triple Play. I was hoping we would see a pitcher take to the mound with a utility belt this summer as a part of practical joke. Some got really upset (Max Scherzer) but most were okay with it. I guess I'm a little disappointed the current MLB landscape doesn't have a big jokester like McDowell was known for being. 

Oh, Paul Noce. Poor guy!  Nah, I figure that ball is either glued to pants seat or perhaps some concoction of pine tar and gum has been applied?

Steve Sparks... wasn't he a knuckleball guy? Regardless, this card just makes me smile. I hope it put a smile on your face as well!

Enjoy the holidays!

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Something Different for the Blog

 I donated blood for the 40th time, in my lifetime, earlier this fall at my high school's blood drive. I like giving when my students are in session, because I feel I can serve as some free advertising for the Red Cross. Each year I have a handful of students who ask about my experience, and I'd like to think I've convinced a percentage of them to donate sometime down the road. 

Regardless, I was notified that I was eligible for the "5 Gallon" pin. I guess that makes sense, as there are eight pints in a gallon. I usually don't look for incentives to give blood or accept any bonuses for doing so, but a pin sounded pretty cool. 

I think I'll wear it to the future blood drives at the school. Maybe it'll help strike up a few more conversations. 

Do you give blood? If so, thanks for doing so. There's always someone out there in need. 

Monday, December 20, 2021

A Boost to the Player Collections

 Alright, it's time to show off the cards that did come in my recent Sportlots package. 

My Kerry Wood collection got a modest boost of two cards. 

I'm approaching 600 different cards of Kid K. Only nine more to go, but it might take some time because Kerry doesn't get a lot of love from Topps most years. 

Ryno does get quite a bit of Topps' attention each year. 
In fact, all but four of these cards were from the last four years. I'm well over the 1K card mark at this time, something younger probably never would have thought possible. 

That's it for today. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Down to One Card?

 My Sportlots order came in today and I have mixed emotions. This is the tenth time I've used the "Box" shipping method, and I love the savings in shipping which are possible. The time, as long as one isn't in a hurry, usually takes about 3-4 weeks. This one came in at exactly 19 days, which is pretty sweet. 

I'm excited to post the cards, which did come in, but I'm disappointed with the ones that didn't. Back in July I purchased what was listed as hand collated 1986 Larry Fritsch Negro League Stars set on Ebay. It was short eight cards. Strike One. 

I found three pretty early on and captured the Buck O'Neil on Beckett Marketplace. 

I thought I had the last four coming from one seller on Sportlots. Strike Two. 

Luckily, three of the four cards were still listed on Sportlots and they're on their way. I'm having a tough time pulling the trigger on the last single, which is listed on Ebay. 

Maybe someone has a copy of card #24 - Oscar Charleston they'd be willing to trade me?

Let me know if there's a copy of Oscar Charleston floating around in the blogosphere. I'll do my best to make it worth your while! Plus, I'll give him a great home. I've got the rest already paged up and in a binder just waiting to be put on display. 😁

There will be more show-and-tell Mail Day posts in the coming days.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 12, 2021

The Base Vogey and a Mini Bobbing Head Card

 The author of cards as i see them and long-time trading partner of more than a decade, gcrl, sent me a PWE with the 2021 Topps Update Dan Vogelbach card. 

Bonus: two new to me Kerry Wood cards were included. 

The above one is from the 2000 Pacific Paramount set and it is heavy on the blue!

The one below is from an insert set I've never seen before: 1999 Upper Deck Choice Mini Bobbing Heads.

The checklist from this 30 card set is loaded with stars. How has this fun set eluded me for so long?

Thanks for the great PWE of cards, Jim. I'll have something out to you soon!

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Rooting for Buck

 Later this evening MLB Network will reveal the names of those players from the Early Baseball Era and Golden Days Era who are to be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Each of the ballots consist of ten players, and 75% of the 16 person selection committee needs to vote for an individual to get the nod. You can find more information about the selection process and the different committees at the National Baseball Hall of Fame's website.

 I have opinions about many of the twenty combined names on the ballots, but I'm all-in on one particular individual: Buck O'Neil. 

 I visited the Negro League Baseball Museum in January of 2008, which started me down a rabbit hole about the often underrecognized Negro Leagues. I've learned a lot about many of the greats, like Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige and Cool Papa Bell, but Buck O'Neil has become my favorite. 

 I actually had a somewhat comprehensive write-up on O'Neil's career and influence when I was counting down my favorite bobbleheads in my collection back in 2012.  Buck O'Neil's name is all over the game of baseball. 

Since then I have been tracking down baseball cards which focus on the Negro Leagues and anything Buck O'Neil related which I may happen upon. Yes, in fact, he is represented in my Folder of Fun.

Dreams Fulfilled and artist Graig Kreindler produced a 184 card set celebrating the Negro Leagues during the summer of 2020. I wrote a blogpost after purchasing a copy of the set and the first two cards I spotlighted were of Buck O'Neil. 

Fast forward to this past summer and I read The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O'Neil's America.  This book was just the pick-me-up I needed after a year of pandemic teaching. Buck seemed to have had such a positive influence on everyone he met and he possessed a special talent of being able to put a positive spin on nearly every situation. 

 Recently, I've jumped back into blogging a bit by showing off Mail Day purchases. A particularly special one arrived a week ago, but I saved it for today's post. 

I never met Mr. Buck O'Neil, but Joe Posnanski's book resonated so strongly within me that I felt I needed to immortalize Buck within my own collection. I haven't been this excited about adding a singular card to my handcrafted storage box in quite sometime.  Assuredly, this card was a pricey acquisition, but completely worth it.  

Good luck today, Buck!

Saturday, December 4, 2021

2021 Update Vogey

 I had another good Mail Day today. 

Topps didn't completely forget about my favorite masher this year as they snuck him into Update. 

I would have been happy only having to chase the base card, but Topps loves parallels and I'm a sucker for a good rainbow... so, yeah, that'll be happening. 

The gold this year looks more copper or bronze to me. Regardless, I'm pretty happy Vogey finally got the 2.5" x 3.5" treatment. One card down and fourteen more (non 1/1 versions) to go. 😁

If anyone has a Vogelmonster base card they don't need, then please drop a comment below. I'd love to do a PWE swap. I don't have any 2021 product, and I'm fresh out of Trout/LeBron/Mahomes, but I'll do my best to send back something you might like. 

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

My Favorite Manager of All-Time

No mail today, but I do have another card that's been sitting on my desk which arrived over the past weekend.

I don't really remember Andre Dawson swatting 49 homers and winning the NL MVP for the last place Cubs in 1987. I was only nine years old at the time and professional baseball was still a foreign concept to me. 

Two years later I was memorizing the backs of baseball cards and following The Boys of Zimmer as close as I possibly could, as the Cubs were on their way to winning the NL East. What a fun summer that was!

Ryno, The Hawk and Mad Dog were the big names, but they had a great supporting cast in Dunston, Grace, Sutcliffe, Wild Thing, Les Lancaster, Mike Bielecki, Dwight Smith and Jerome Walton.

For the record, I think these movie poster cards from Topps, found in Archives, are a pretty creative idea. Good on Topps. 
Rino? Never seen it spelled that way before!

Don Zimmer seemed to be the glue that kept my favorite childhood team together. I'm not sure if he's my favorite manager of all-time, because maybe that's Joe Maddon's spot, but it's difficult to best memories from one's youth. 

Do you have a favorite manager?