Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A New Trading Partner, Thanks to Johnny's BFG

A few weeks ago, I was the recipient of a Highland Mint Robin Yount in Johnny's Trading Spot's Big Fun Game.  Not too long after the contest ended, blogger and Brewers fan Matt Prigge contacted me about swapping our prizes: his Highland Mint Brooks Robinson for my Yount.  Since I collect Robinson and not Yount, it seemed like a win-win to me.  I got the Robinson this past week, along with some other goodies.  It's been kind of a long time coming, but I'm finally posting my BFG contest winnings.

First, the extras that John sent with the Yount.

 Some beautiful Topps Heritage Chrome Cubbies.  I had the base for both of these cards, but the Chrome versions are spectacular.  The Rizzo is numbered to 999.

I also received the Yount, which was parlayed into these cards from Matt:

Some new Pucketts for my PC.  I've seen the 93 Topps with the gigantic bat before, but I had never owned it until now.

A couple of Angels in the outfield.  At first, I couldn't figure out if the 1993 Topps was Salmon's rookie card or not, and why it didn't look familiar.  I soon discovered that it is actually a 2013 Archives short print, so that's pretty cool.  I really like the look of those two Trout inserts, too.

Some great Cubs also arrived in Matt's package.  I thought I had that Bryant already, but I was mistaken.  I appreciate Matt filling in that hole for me.

And finally, the crown jewel of this post, my Big Fun Prize from John, via Matt:

A certified Highland Mint Brooks Robinson. 

Here it is in all its glory.  The picture really doesn't do it justice.  I love the detail in it.

Thanks for the contest, John, and thanks for a solid win-win trade, Matt!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Cards from Oregon: Some Base Trade Bait?

I've been out of the blogosphere for a few weeks now, partly because I took the family to Oregon for 10 days to visit my wife's sister.  I may not have posted anything, but I did pick up some cards while I was there.  I always like to check out the stores and products in other areas I visit, because it seems I usually find something that is hard to come by in my neck of the woods.  I didn't find anything too unusual this time around, but I certainly couldn't leave Oregon without a souvenir.  So today, I proudly present to you: Cards from Oregon.

I picked up a repack blaster for $11 and was pleasantly surprised at its contents.  It was filled with older stuff--most of it from my time away from collecting--that I had never opened for the most part.  It also included this sweet bonus card:

 Schwarber is on the other side.  Not a bad pull, I have to say.

Let's take a gander at the cards in the box.

1992 Score was the only product included in this repack that I have actually opened for myself.

I've always thought that Score did a better job with baseball than its football.  Here are some of the bigger names, including Sabo, Coleman, Carter, and Dawson for my collection.

Continuing in chronological order, there was a pack of 1994 Ultra.

Plenty of Cubs, including that Steve Trachsel rookie, and a nice Greg Maddux insert.

Sticking with Ultra, we'll jump to 2006.  There were two packs of this in the box.

This was probably my favorite pack of the box.  Every card here fits in my collection.  I really like the base design, though all the Ultra products of this era kind of looked the same.  The insert is kind of "meh."  I'm going to guess that there was a relic version of this set and that's why there is so much wasted space.

The second pack wasn't too shabby.  It's good time to pull a Ryan Zimmerman rookie with the season he is having.  I had completely forgotten about Garrett Atkins.  He was a big deal for a while. . . and then suddenly he wasn't.  I love when my cards do that to me.

Next up is 2007 Topps Update.  I have to say that 2007 is probably my least favorite Topps set of the 2000s.  This is the first time I've ever opened a pack of it fresh, though.  Maybe ripping some Update for myself will help me feel better about it.

No, not really.  I like the Hunter.  I never realized David Wells played for the Dodgers.  This is really what I expected: weird, thick, movie reel border.

I appreciate what Topps did here, though.  Checklists aren't necessarily bad, but it is nice that it was a bonus 7th card, not one of the six.  By the way, I found on TCDB that there are blue and red checklists.  Does anyone know anything about this red one?  As for the Barry Bonds insert, I don't like him at all, and I hate that he owns the home run record, but if you're going to pull a Bonds Home Run History insert, it may as well be #755, though, right?
 Apparently, I forgot to take a picture of the wrapper for 2009 Upper Deck X.  UDX was a strange set, I thought.  The wrappers were as shiny and attractive as can be, and the cards were kind of blah.  I completed the 2008 set last year, but had never seen the 2009 version.  This one was a Chipper Jones hot pack!  The base and the die-cut in one place.  The Xponential 4 was a nice pull, as the 4 was the toughest Xponential pull.  Overall, I like 2009 more than 2008.  There is way more color, but the card is still pretty busy and cheap looking.

Two packs of 2010 Topps Update will round out this box.  I like 2010 much more than I do 2007.

I thought these were some fun cards.  Andrew Bailey fits into my ROY collection.  His page still needs some work.

 Each pack contains an Attax Code card and I pulled the extra Spahn insert, too.  I can't argue with an insert Cubbie, and I like that Tales of the Game set.  At least the idea of it.  If I recall, it was pretty much dominated by Yankees.

Well, that will do it for my Oregon souvenir blaster.  I'm listing all the cards from this box that are available for trade, if anybody is in need of anything on the list, just let me know.

Cards for Trade:

1992 Score

173 Mike Pagliarulo, Twins
175 Craig Lefferts, Padres
176 Steve Finley, Astros
178 Kent Mercker, Braves
248 Terry Shumpert, Royals
252 Bill Pecota, Royals
268 Paul Kilgus, Orioles
272 Gene Larkin, Twins
402 Derek Bell, Blue Jays
404 Tim Sherrill, Cardinals
407 Troy Afenir, A's
410 Mike Remlinger, Giants

1994 Ultra

422 Edgar Martinez, Mariners
440 Todd Stottlemyre, Blue Jays
446 Greg Maddux, Braves
449 Terry Pendleton, Braves
479 Marvin Freeman, Rockies
514 Tom Candiotti, Dodgers
541 Ricky Bottalico, Phillies
573 Andy Benes, Padres
595 Robby Thompson, Giants
(Strikeout Kings) 3 Greg Maddux, Braves

2006 Ultra

41 Yadier Molina, Cardinals
97 Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals
146 Garrett Atkins, Rockies
Gold Medallion 18 Rich Harden, A's
Gold Medallion 69 Pedro Feliz, Giants
Diamond Producers DP19 Pat Burrell, Phillies

2007 Topps Update

UH15 David Wells, Dodgers
UH27 Yusmeiro Petit, Diamondbacks
UH32 Russ Ortiz, Giants
UH151 Tony Abreu, Dodgers
UH174 Curtis Thigpen, Blue Jays
UH186 Kyle Kendrick, Phillies
UH231 Torii Hunter, Twins
UH308 Gabe Gross, Brewers
Red Checklist 1
Barry Bonds Home Run History 755 Silver, Giants

2009 Upper Deck X

4 Chipper Jones, Braves
34 Carlos Guillen, Tigers
38 Lance Berkman, Astros
52 Justin Morneau, Twins
Xponential4 X4-JR Jose Reyes, Mets

2010 Topps Update

US11 Vernon Welles, Angels
US69 Lance Cormier, Rays
US97 Troy Tulowitzki/Matt Holliday
US101 Jake Westbrook, Cardinals
US125 Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
US127 Nick Swisher, Yankees
US146 Peter Bourjos, Angels
US162 Hong-Chih Kuo, Dodgers
US207 Jerry Hairston, Padres
US224 Scott Olsen, Nationals
US227 Mark Kotsay, White Sox
US230 Robinson Cano, Yankees
US259 Yadier, Molina, Cardinals
US249 Rafael Soriano, Rays
US263 Randy Winn, Cardinals
US275 Hong-Chih Kuo, Dodgers
US276 Austin Jackson, Tigers
US324 George Kottara, Brewers
Topps Attax "Mike" Stanton, Marlins

Thursday, June 1, 2017

A Cracked Bat Contest

As I'm sure most of you know by now, Julie at A Cracked Bat is holding a contest to celebrate 100 posts.  Check it out here and good luck.

Monday, May 29, 2017

My Top 10 Barry Sanders

I'm just barely getting my entry for Collecting Cutch's contest in, but it is partly because I've had a hard time choosing a favorite player.  Currently, I would have to say Jordy Nelson.  But historically, I could say a few people.  In the end, I decided to go with the guy I was thinking of all along.  He may have never played for the Packers, but that was all the more reason for me to feature him.  I could have chosen Reggie White, but all of my faithful readers (the 2 of you) see enough Green and Gold on this blog.  Then the selection of cards was a good reminder that I am very much a low-budget collector.  I have no hits to speak of, and relatively few inserts.  It's mostly base cards and stories.  So without further ado, here is my Top 10 of Barry Sanders:


10. 1995 Pro Line #206

This base card may not be the coolest, but I love this image.  First, it shows Barry's incredible body control and balance.  Watch any highlight reel, and you'll see him stay on his feet in impossible positions.  Second, it shows the outstretched hand of a Buccaneer whiffing at the air where Barry used to be.  It seemed his best games came against Tampa Bay, and I knew I had to have a card featuring one of those games.

#9. 1995 Pro Line Pro Bowl #PB10 

What's this?  Two Classic Pro Line in a row?  That's a surprise, even to me.  I still remember pulling this shiny die-cut from the pack.  I believe it was the first insert of Barry Sanders I ever pulled myself.  It's got a ding on the corner, but it has been in my collection for a long time.


 #8 1995 Bowman #300

I never opened or even a saw a single pack of this product.  This is the only card I own from this set.  I'm not even sure when or where I picked it up.  But I really like the design.  Again, the image of Barry with his body twisted and hips sunk like he is sitting in mid-air makes me picture one of his amazing runs.


#7 Pro Line Live #405

I have never been a big comic book guy.  But I always loved good comic drawings on my cards.  I remember trading my friend an Emmitt Smith in seventh grade for this bit of awesomeness.  I'm still not entirely sure what I'm seeing here, though.  It appears to be Barry riding on a jet or in the middle of a football stadium.  Whatever it is, I still like it after all these years.


#6 1999 SP Authentic Athletic #A6

This one of the newer additions to my collection.  I love the color scheme and classy look of this card.  However, the border is far too big and the picture is but a thumbnail.  Plus, the card always looks off-centered and miscut.  But something about it just looks like a great high-end card to me.


#5 1996 Fleer #47

I really like this set.  It's got a clean look, good photography, and a little Greatest Game blurb on the front.  True to my earlier statement, it looks like Barry's greatest game was indeed against Tampa Bay.  Once again, a great shot of shifty running.


 #4 2015 Score Gridiron Heritage #12

This set has a great classic, almost vintage feel to it and a good checklist to boot.  There's nothing really special about this card, other than I love this set and it is my favorite card in the set.


#3 1996 Upper Deck Hot Properties #HT-20

This is another card I picked up in a trade with a middle school buddy almost 20 years ago.  I really like this one because besides being a good-looking card, it also features another running back who I really loved at the time--

Thurman Thomas.  Valuable (for my standards) insert, contrast between photo and background, cool red outline, and two awesome players.  Check, check, check, check.  It all adds up to one of my favorite cards.


#2 1996 Skybox Impact No Surrender #18

This card is embossed so you can feel the texture of the football.  But that is really only the third reason for this card's selection.  First, it was one of the few great inserts I remember pulling from buying retail packs at the local grocery store.  Most of my Barry Sanders cards came from trades or the secondary market.  This one, however, has always been mine.  The second reason is that it was valued at $18 by Beckett, making this the most valuable card in my collection until I started collecting again as an adult.  I loved this card as a kid, and that loved has remained with me to this day.


#1 1989 Pro Set #494

This isn't the prettiest copy of Barry's Pro Set rookie.  It's way off-center, as you can see.  But I still remember my mom giving me this card, along with the 1989 Pro Set Troy Aikman rookie, for my 10th birthday.  She worked a block away from a card shop, and sometimes would pick me up something during her lunch break.  I like this rookie card because it is his only rookie with an action photo, and I have a bit of a fascination with Heisman winners, and this one shows Barry as he was during his Heisman-winning season in 1988.

There you have my Top 10 Barry Sanders cards.  There's no monster hit or rare card in here, but for each these cards, I either love the picture of an absolute wizard in action or I have a story that makes the card special to me.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Check Out My Photo Dump!

I've been working on clearing out my photo folder, and I came across a some pictures of a COMC purchase I made in February.  Honestly, I'm not even sure why I had it shipped and didn't just wait until free shipping, but the cards are in hand and assimilated into my collection now.  I think this was one my favorite COMC purchases ever.

I added some good cards to my Jordy Nelson PC.  I don't really buy any high-end stuff, so the Triple Threads base is a somewhat unique addition to my collection.  I love the Upper Deck Rookie Premiere.  The photo reminds me of an old picture of Hall of Famer Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch that I saw as a kid. 

I never knew much about Hirsch, but the nickname made him one of my favorite old-timers when I was growing up.

Adding to my All-1990s team, I picked up cards of my favorite QB and offensive lineman of the decade.  These two had polar opposite careers, it seems.  Favre was dealt to the Packers for a song and had little expectations , while Boselli was a can't-miss pick who started out his career very well.  Both played at high levels, but Favre was durability personified while Boselli had his career cut short by injuries.  Favre was a gunslinger who worked by improv, but Boselli was a technician.   I'm happy to have all of these cards.

Here are some modern cards of 1980s stars.  I think I now have 4 unique cards of James Lofton with that photo.  I think the Legendary Contenders card shown here is the only in color.

All of these big men are All-2000s picks.  For all of my All-Decades collections, the linemen of the 2000s have been the hardest to fill.  They just don't have enough cards made.

Here are two interesting pick-ups.  Despite being a former Packer and Cougar, this is the first Brady Poppinga in my collection.  I'm not a big fan of relics, and especially not manu-relics, but I thought this card was interesting.  Plus, it's an insert set exclusively of Green Bay.  The card on the right is of former BYU receiver Ben Cahoon.  A native Canadian, Cahoon decided to go north to the CFL instead of entering the NFL draft.  He was drafted by Montreal 6th overall in 1998.  In his 13-year CFL career, Cahoon set the league record for most career receptions (1017) and caught more passes for more yardage than any player in Grey Cup history.  He is currently on his second stint as BYU's receivers coach.

I added a bit more to my BYU collection, including my first cards of linebacker Bryan Kehl and defensive end Travis Hall.  I have a love/hate relationship with Jim McMahon, as he quarterbacked my Cougs, but then went on to lead the Bears to their greatest success in the Super Bowl Era. 

I love this card completely, though.  It commemorates BYU's first ever bowl game win in the 1980 Holiday Bowl.  The "Miracle Bowl" may be the greatest comeback in college football history.  With under 3 minutes remaining in the game, BYU trailed SMU 46-25.  In those 3 minutes, BYU managed to score, recover an onside kick, score, have a defensive stand, block the punt, and win the game on a last-second Hail Mary. 

This COMC order knocked out some autograph needs for my BYU collection.
  • Rob Morris played for the Colts after being drafted in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft.  
  • Austin Collie also played for the Colts, but his promising career was cut short by a series of concussions suffered after some exceptionally violent collisions. 
  •  Bronson Kaufusi was the Ravens third round pick last year, but his seas
  • on ended in training camp with an ankle injury.  He should get some playing time this year.  Todd Watkins went undrafted and signed with the Cardinals, got cut and signed with the Raiders.  He played for two years, catching 8 passes in his career.  
  • Terenn Houk went undrafted and unsigned last year, but SAGE still found it necessary to include him in its auto checklist.  
  • Jamal Willis left BYU as the all-time leading rusher (since surpassed twice) and played for the 49ers in the late 90s.  I remember him as the coach who succeeded my high school football coach and let me go from the staff before I even coached one game.  At the end of my senior season, my coach asked me to coach the sophomore team the following year, but Jamal came in with his own staff, and I never got the chance.  Now I'm making up for it by coaching a t-ball team.  Not to mention teaching adolescents every day.

Finally, I added to my Brad Sorensen collection, as I do with every COMC order.  I'm now up to five Sorensen autos.  He doesn't have the best signature, but I'm trying own all of them.

That's it for my February COMC order.  I'm glad I found the pictures before I forgot about them forever.  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Tale of Two Trades

It was the best of trades, it was the worst of trades.  Well, actually, there was nothing bad about either one of these trades.  I have two more trades to post today, both from TCDB.  But they are quite different from one another.  The first came from user joshthurman and was completely baseball.

Josh helped me out with some of the best names of the Team 2000 checklist.  Here's a quiz for you: Which of these players had the best WAR from 1990-1999?  The answer will be at the end.

I received a pair of cards for my ROY collection.  Bagwell was the NL ROY in 1991, while Knoblauch took home the award for the AL in the same year.  

I got a random assortment of junk wax Cubbies.  I believe this is Gary Woods's first representation in my Cubs collection.  I love the image of Rick Wilkins holding up the ball after the tag.  I wish I could see who else was involved in the play, but I hope he was called out.

I think the oddballs here are the highlight of the trade.  The Mark Grace is a 1990 Starline Long John Silver issue and the bottom three are 1993 Hostess.  I remember eating more Hostess baseballs that summer than I ever have before or since.  

The second trade was football.  It hit my All-Decade collection and gave me some set help.

From 1990 Pro Set Super Bowl, I got some Supermen who also played their way onto the All 80s team.  I have a special affinity for the guys in the trenches, so when I see one of the original Hogs, Joe Jacoby, pulling to get out and block in open space, that card is a winner.

No, I'm not collecting the 1989 Topps set, but all of these cards belong in my collection.  Growing up, I always thought these cards were boring.  Now I really think they're good-looking cards.  My only issue is the random color schemes on the helmet stripes on the side.  1989 was a good year for football sets.  I like all three major releases: Topps and the iconic inaugural sets of Score and Pro Set.  They were all very good looking sets with one of the greatest rookies classes of all-time.  Of course, these players were all well-established by 1989, not the rookies, but it is a good set.

Much like 1989 Topps, I never appreciated 1991 Pro Set Platinum as a kid.  It was kind of Pro Set's "premium" offering, but I always disliked it and tended to view it as not a real set.  It was probably due to the lack of names on the front  of the cards.  Now when I look at it, I'm wholly impressed with the action photography and clean look of the logo.  Look at the shot of Jerry Rice's celebration, for example.  Or great Bill Fralic battling another great John Randle, with two more outstanding players--Chris Doleman and Mike Kenn--on the ground in the background.  What a card!  For those who need a refresher, the players featured are Art Monk and Jerry Rice on the top row, and Mike Munchak, Bill Fralic, and Anthony Munoz on the bottom row.

I got some '88 Topps for my set as well.  My build is going quite nicely.  It seems like a lot of people are just dying to get rid of their extras, and I've been quite happy to take them.  There are some good names here.

I'll end with a couple of individual cards of All 80s players.  First, we have safety Nolan Cromwell in the form of a Topps Sticker.  And as a finale, one of the most interesting cards in my collection.  This Jerry Rice came from 1999 Sports Illustrated for Kids and proudly features its perforations.  But check out the path of the football.  Apparently it is circling Jerry's head until he's ready to catch it.  Or it bounced off his shoulder, paused--in mid-air, mind you--made a left turn, and landed in Rice's hands.  I haven't seen any other cards from that year's SI for Kids.  Do they all have the same type of photo on them?

Well, that does it for those two trades, one baseball, one football.  For those who actually tested themselves on the trivia question, the WAR ranking in the 1990s for the three players above goes as follows:

3.  Juan Gonzalez--30.2
2. David Justice--33.2
and, our winner
1. Bernie Williams--34.4

As you can see, all were pretty good players, and all had similar success.  Thanks for reading!