Thursday, September 15, 2022

Holographic MVPs

Without looking it up, can you name the AL and NL MVPs from 1991? I'll give you three seconds.

3






2






1





If you guessed--or remembered--Cal Ripken and Terry Pendleton, you are correct. I bring this up because I recently stumbled onto an all-holograph set from Upper Deck.


I didn't even know of this set's existence before I found it on eBay. As I've mentioned in a few of my most recent posts, I spent the summer with overproduced era sets, trying to complete one set per year since I started collecting. For 1992, I chose Fleer. Unpopular, I know, but I still don't regret that decision. But as I waded through my junk wax cards, I became really fond of 1992 Upper Deck and its fun, unique photos on both sides of the cards. I jumped onto eBay to explore the cost of a factory set and found 1992 Upper Deck Team MVP sets for sale. 

 


I still don't know how it was distributed, but I learned they were EXTREMELY RARE. Yes, ONLY 214,000 were made. My CoA says this is #143886/214000. I put in a bid and ended up winning for about $3 plus shipping. Then it took forever. I waited for three weeks after I had received a tracking number before checking up and finding that the tracking number had never been received by USPS. I contacted the seller who said he had gotten sick and would mail my package the next day. About five days later, USPS marked the package as having entered transit.

The set has 54 cards--two for each team and one each for the league MVPs. Each team is represented by its top pitcher and top position player. Many big names--from Nolan Ryan at the end of his career to Jeff Bagwell at the beginning of his--are featured in the set.

 

But do you remember these guys? These are the stars that Montreal, California, Detroit, Houston, New York, and Milwaukee had to offer. I bet those Bill Wegman vs. Luis Polonia matchups were instant AL classics in 1991.

It's a pretty cool set and I'm glad I found it (cheap). I'm still debating whether/when to add 1992 Upper Deck baseball to my wantlists, but in the meantime, I'll be mesmerized by turning a set of 54 holographic cards around in the light.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Fantasy Football Kickoff, 2022

Already this year, our workplace fantasy league (which is the one that counts to me) is less exciting. A couple of years ago, our school split. We managed to keep some of the teachers who went to the new school in the league last year, but they started their own faculty league this year. So I went on the recruiting trail for some new players this year. I found a few enthusiastic new players and thought the league was set. Then we ran into a hiccup: we've always used Yahoo! as our platform, but our district's new filter blocked Yahoo! fantasy sports. We typically draft together after school, but we couldn't do it on Yahoo! this year. So I had to switch the league over to ESPN. However, when faced with the prospect of having to create an account on a new system, three of our lukewarm players dropped out. So instead of a 12-team league, which I love, we have a less-than-ideal nine-team league. That's disappointing to me. On the flip side, the nine players we have are pretty much all-in. There shouldn't be any cupcake victories because somebody left their three players who are on IR in the starting lineup because they haven't logged in since Draft Day.

Since the NFL kicks off tonight, let's have our annual look at Trevor P's Myopic Chihuahuas. All cards are in my collection

2021 Wild Card Matte - Retail Black #MBC6 Trey Lance Front
QB: Trey Lance, San Francisco

Not the QB I wanted. But we had one player who drafted all of the QBs. I'm not sure why. I think he missed out on all the running backs, so he drafted Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, and Lamar Jackson instead, thinking he could flip one for a decent running back. So in a nine-team league, I somehow ended up with the projected QB11. I've yet to decide if I'll bite on a QB trade.

2021 Panini Prestige - Youth Movement #YM-3 D'Andre Swift Front
RB1: D'Andre Swift, Detroit
 
I believe in D'Andre Swift. I think he'll have a good year. But I can't say that drafting any Lion running back as a starter doesn't give me pause. Still, he was my biggest target going into the draft, and I came away with him, so I can't complain.

2021 Panini Playoff - Kickoff #215 Javonte Williams Front 
RB2: Javonte Williams, Denver
 
I also believe Williams will take a firm hold on the RB1 spot for the Broncos, rendering Melvin Gordon irrelevant. Russell Wilson will loosen defenses up like Mile High hasn't seen since Peyton Manning, and Williams will have room to run. That's how I envision this going, at least.

2021 Panini Prestige #212 Ja'Marr Chase Front 
WR1: Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati
 
Actually, Swift wasn't my #1 target. This guy was. I was happy to get him. But this is why my roster makes me nervous: this is the third player in four slots that is entering his second season. And I have more in my FLEX and bench spots. For some reason, those players looked attractive to me this season over more established vets. Chase was huge last year. He will be again this year. But I'm relying on a boom-or-bust breakout strategy.
 
2021 Panini Absolute - Green #37 Stefon Diggs Front 
 
WR2: Stefon Diggs, Buffalo
 
I ended up with Diggs last year, too. I didn't intend to go after him this year, but he fell to me for just $3 more than I had budgeted for my second receiver slot. Given that I was also projecting the other guy I was targeting to have a breakout year, I pulled the trigger on the higher ranked, more proven commodity. 

2018 Donruss #387 Dalton Schultz Front
TE: Dalton Schultz, Dallas
Tight end is always my Achilles' heel. I tried to fix that by going hard after Kyle Pitts, whom I think I will have a monster year with Marcus Mariota at quarterback and no proven play-makers on the outside. But I wasn't the only one going after Pitts, apparently, and he ended up being too rich for my blood. I'm high on Shultz, though. I had him ranked as the TE4, ahead of Darren Waller and George Kittle. It's a big drop-off from the Kelce, Andrews, Pitts tier, but I think my fellow Utahn will serve me well.

2020 Panini Mosaic #226 AJ Dillon Front

FLEX1: A.J. Dillon, Green Bay

Maybe this was a homer pick of me, but I don't think so. Dillon has been great since the Pack drafted him. I know he's behind Aaron Jones, but he still got plenty of playing time last year and made the most of it. I expect even more evenness in the backfield this year, and I think Dillon will roll.

2021 Panini Prestige #215 Rashod Bateman Front

FLEX2: Rashod Bateman, Baltimore

In this league, we play two FLEX with no kickers. It's more fun that way. Here is yet another second-year player I'm counting on to take the leap. He's now WR1 in Baltimore, so that's positive. We all know that WR1 in Baltimore doesn't equate to huge volume, however. I think he'll be solid as my third wideout, though.

2015 Topps Platinum #81 Lavonte David Front
Defense: Tampa Bay

I tend to stream my defenses, but this year I anticipate keeping the Bucs for a while.

Bench:
RB: Chase Edmonds, Miami
RB: Dameon Pierce, Houston
RB: Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta
WR: Allen Lazard, Green Bay
WR: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit
WR: Christian Kirk, Jacksonville
 
My bench is filled out with rookie running back stashes that I think will see a lot of volume by season's end (Pierce and Allgeier) and receivers who may be weak options, but are at least the top guy for their teams (all three--Lazard, St. Brown, and Kirk). I'm hoping that a couple of these guys pay off as they become "The Man" for their teams.

My draft went mostly according to plan. The only major regret I have is not getting Rashaad Penny. He was big for the last few weeks last season, and with nobody else currently in the backfield, I thought he'd be able to pick up again where he left off. So I nominated him late in the draft. It took everybody else in the room by surprise and one guy looked at me and asked, "Do you seriously want him?" I made the mistake of answering truthfully and set one other player after him. In the end, he had more money to spend and I missed out. My other doubt is that I had wanted Derek Carr as my QB before I knew we were down to a nine-team league. With nine teams, though, I figured I could do better. After I failed to get any top-tier QB, I had the chance to get Carr according to my original plan. But I second-guessed that idea and opted for possible rushing yardage from Trey Lance. Now I think I may want that one back. We'll see. 
 
It's rare that I can budget and build a dream line-up before a draft and basically see it come to fruition. I had to make very few in-game adjustments. So if this season doesn't work out, I'll know it was a faulty game plan from the beginning.

What are your thoughts? How does this team look to you? How does it stack up against yours? Are you ready for some football?

One last thing--none of us are too satisfied with the ESPN platform so far. I decided to try the NFL.com site with a team, just to test it out for next season. I signed up for a custom public league with a salary cap draft. When I signed up, I noticed that the commissioner had set the budget for $700 instead of the customary $200. I tried to adjust my position budgets accordingly, but when the draft started, I found that all of the teams but one were on autodraft. The result was that the bots typically drafted according to preset budget estimates based on $200 while I was free to go as high as I wanted. I missed 45 minutes of the draft and still ended up with this lineup:

QB: Joe Burrow (Proj. QB8)
RB: Joe Mixon (Proj. RB5)
RB: Najee Harris (Proj. RB6)
WR: Davante Adams (Proj. WR4)
WR: CeeDee Lamb (Proj. WR5)
TE: Travis Kelce (Proj. TE1)
FLEX: James Conner (Proj. RB14)
K: Justin Tucker (Proj. K1)
DEF: Buffalo (Proj. DEF1)
QB: Dak Prescott 
RB: A.J. Dillon
RB: Devin Singletary
WR: Terry McLaurin
WR: Jerry Jeudy
WR: Rashod Bateman

This league means nothing more than a test of the NFL.com platform, but I am still laughing at how this lineup turned out.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Summer Trading Recap

I haven't been very busy on the blogs for a couple of months. As a reader, I've been having trouble with comments, so most bloggers haven't heard from me for a while. Jon outlined his problem with his comments going to spam, but I have a completely different problem: I can't even leave a comment. On my computer, on my phone, using Chrome, using Firefox, when I click to leave a comment, nothing happens. I can't even bring up the box to type in a comment. So I've been lurking in the shadows of other people's blogs and leaving comments infrequently, when I can.

But my own blog has been pretty silent, too. I haven't had time to do research for some of my series. I've been busy with my collection, but I explained a couple of weeks ago that I've been busy building some junk wax sets. I don't think people are too interested in my chronicling my 1989 Score set build as those cards come. So I have been neglecting my blog this summer. Let's catch up on the cards I added to my collection this year, aside from the bulk junk wax set building lots.
 
Lots of rapid-fire pics and little commentary ahead.
 


Two separate PWE trades from 49ants brought me some 1994 Finest set help and a couple of All-Decade players who do not yet have a full page in my binders. The world needs more Alan Faneca cards.


A trade with stdolan provided an All-Star project need in Hoot Evers, a set build need (Defensive Wizards), and a cool food issue of Billy Williams.



Users jfcard, robschaar, and sqc5193 offered up some more All-Decade players who are somewhat harder to find. The last two Steve Hutchinson cards I needed to fill my binder turned out to be his rookie card and a commemoration of his Hall of Fame induction. It's kind of a poetic pairing.




All of these cards came from OfficerZero, who came through with some more All-Decade players, a couple of Packers, some college uni Heisman winners, and some BYU alumni.

 


More college uni Heisman cards, plus BYU GOAT receiver Austin Collie, a throwback All-Star need, and a pair of ROY adds with Tommy Agee and Herb Score from kee1975. Thesouthpaw got into the fun with a handful of BYU players, another Heisman winner, and some Green and Gold.




Both cory79 (1st pic) and gregman1000 (bottom 2 pics) offered up some more BYU players, a few Cubs, some Rookies of the Year, and some 90s set help. 
 
The oddballs gregman1000 sent me are incredible. This is one of my favorite Ty Detmer cards. It's so unlicensed it even has a disclaimer on the back that says, "Not For Trading." The perforated TCMA Rookie of the Year cards were completely unknown to me.

We'll finish up the BYU-heavy portion with deadhead11's all-Saints trade, featuring three former Cougars (Taysom Hill and Colby Bockwoldt on the Total card) and a need from the Power House set that I'm chasing. Fellow Cougar fan twpjrk hit me up with a trade proposal, saying he needed to find a good home for this Max Hall auto. It's numbered to 25 and I was very happy to take it.

 




Users sfurukawa, andersonadams1, NR78, and nozzlemaster all sent a fun variety from my wantlists.







I traded with two fellow Packer collectors. The first four pictures show my return from bizzork, including stacks of wax needs and a bunch of Packers. The next three are from dmbramer, who traded me a pair of Jordy Nelsons, a rare Kevin Mawae with the Jets, and a handful of former Cougars, most of whom were drafted by the Pack. Also, the Topps Total card says it's Brady Poppinga, but that is actually Al Harris.
 

We'll end this with one of--if not the--biggest trades I've even made on TCDB. I swung a deal with tenlbpain that sent over 200 junk wax cards in either direction. It was glorious. Not one card was older than 1987 and only a couple newer than 1995 (and those were 1996).

I'm not even sure that includes all the TCDB trades I've made this summer. There were a lot. Those trades and the organization of all the incoming cards kept me busy with the hobby, even if I wasn't making any purchases or keeping up the old blog.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Swimming in Some Junk Wax

In my last post, I shared my newly acquired 1993 Topps set. I also mentioned my goal to retroactively complete one set from each year that I was actively collecting. The first step in achieving that goal is to select the sets I'm going to build, of course. I already have a complete 1996 Score set and I've been working on 1994 Finest--both thanks to Dennis. 1993 has been taken care of. By my recollection, my first pack of baseball cards came in 1989, so I'm starting there.

1989

My options are Topps, Donruss, Fleer, Score, and Upper Deck. Stupid oversized Bowman is not an option. I'm not a fan of gray Fleer, either. Topps is okay, but it's not my favorite. Upper Deck is a solid choice, and probably the set most collectors would want. However, I don't have much from that set, so that isn't a great starting point.

That leaves Donruss and Score. Donruss has a couple of advantages. Of all the 1989 sets, I think I would most like to see pages of Donruss together in a binder. And it has all the major 1989 rookies, most notably Ken Griffey, Jr. Score is also a pretty decent-looking set to me. Its major advantage, though, is the fact that I've busted a box of 1989 Score within the past three years and had a large stack in my possession already. I hadn't even entered them into my collection because I hadn't figured out what to do with them, but they were there. Plus, the only 1989 packs I ever opened at the time they were released were Score. I still remember my six-year-old tongue trying to figure out the name "Luis De Los Santos" from his '89 Score rookie card. So there is an element of sentimentality involved, too.

In the end, I chose to build with the cards I had rather than accumulate even more 1989 cards and duplicates that I'm not sure what to do with.

So I'm building the 1989 Score baseball set. I'm currently sitting at 72% completion, with 448 of 660. Some are in current/pending trades right now. I'm adding my set needs to my wantlist page here on the blog.

1990

Set design is a major factor when I'm considering a set build. After all, I want to enjoy looking at pages its cards when I've finished. 1990 isn't the best for looking at. I don't love Fleer or Score. I detest Donruss (though it would have been the easiest, based on the number of cards I own). But I've always appreciated Topps. 
 
And there is some sentimental value, too. I have a memory of holding a pack of 1990 Topps (which included Doug Dascenzo and Doyle Alexander, if I remember correctly) while my family visited Devil's Kitchen up Payson Canyon. I guess my parents must have gifted me a pack at a gas station on our way.


As of a few weeks ago, I had only a small stack of maybe 100 cards of 1990 Topps still in my collection, but I wanted to collect it. I jumped on eBay and found a vending box. I'd never gotten a vending box before. I even had to research a little to understand exactly what it was. I may be the only one who needs this explanation, but just in case: a vending box was sold as a box of 500 loose cards (not in packs). The cards could be loaded into vending machines. It wasn't a box of sealed packs or a complete set. I picked one up for $10 and made a major dent in the set.
 
 

TCDB has already come through with a bunch of needs through trades. As of right now, I have 615 of 792 cards for 77.7% of the set.
 

1991

 
1991 Topps is a classic and I've always loved it. I bought a lot of it, one pack at a time, at the one convenience store in my hometown. But I also got a lot of Score and Fleer. In fact, I have opened a box of both of those sets in the recent past. Call me crazy, but binder pages full of yellow-bordered cards just sounds like a beautiful thing. *Pauses to listen to bloggers hit the floor after fainting.*  
 
 
And I think I was right. This looks good to me. I picked up another box of 1991 Fleer wax for cheap off of eBay, and my set is getting close to finished. As of this writing, I have 696 of 720 cards, or 96.7%.

1992

 
Now that you have all recovered after hearing me profess my desire to see all the yellow together, let me drop another bombshell: 1992 was a tough year for me to decide on a set. The problem? It's twofold. Fold #1: I don't have a lot of 1992 cards lying around. For some reason, I just don't. Fold #2: I think 1992 was a good year for card design. Yes, I like 1992 Topps. And Upper Deck with its great, interesting photography. And Fleer's green borders. And I've always liked the blue stripes on Donruss. Score is even okay, but not the one I would choose.

I strongly considered Upper Deck because I could spend hours looking at the great photos. I still might do it someday. But after deciding to build 1989 Score, 1990 Topps, and 1991 Fleer through trades and box breaks, I decided to take the easy route in 1992. For less than the price of any unopened 1992 product, I found a factory set and decided to do this all in one fell swoop.
 

And 1992 Fleer looks pretty good together. Though I never did much collecting in 1992 as a kid, I still have one very vivid memory. My grandma and grandpa went to a Native American Pow-wow every year and they took me a couple of times. On one occasion (I'm going to guess it was 1992), we stopped at a little barn and bought some fresh peas and corn. They were selling little blisters of team sets, and they bought the Texas Rangers--because Nolan Ryan and Juan Gonzalez were two of my favorites--for me. That day is actually one of my favorite childhood memories. That scores some points for Fleer.

With these decisions, I've spent the past six weeks wading drowning swimming in junk wax heaven. TCDB trades have been plentiful. And it gave me a reason to update my trade lists with lots of overproduced cards to trade for other overproduced cards. I'll have more on the trades later, but I've been busy with this influx of cards and loving it. I feel pretty optimistic that at this rate I'll be able to complete these sets before the year is over. If you are dying to rid yourself of any 1989 Score, 1990 Topps, or 1991 Fleer, check out what I need and send some my way!