Friday, December 28, 2018

All the Big Hits

I have three more TCDB trades to post and then I should be caught up on that front.  I was very happy with all three of these trades, so I scanned most of the cards I received. The last of the three trades was probably the biggest I have ever pulled off, in terms of hits and numbered cards.

First, let's start north of the border.  Canadian TCDB member karisal proposed a trade that brought me some baseball and football.

Some Update Cubs, including my first Cole Hamels and Brandon Morrow in Cubbie blue.  These were probably my most desired cards in Update this year, so I'm glad to have added them.

I'm also now two cards closer to the Wrigley Field insert set.  Jake Arrieta highlights his two no-hitters, making this one of my favorite cards in the set because it's one of my favorite memories as a fan.

 DeShone Kizer was as bad as advertised in relief for Aaron Rodgers this year.  A couple of new Jordy Nelsons here, and a Southern Utah T-Bird alert.  Miles Killebrew was part of SUU's Big Sky championship team that sent three players to the NFL a few years ago.

This lone card is a nice Orlando Pace for my All-2000s collection.  I just noticed that most of the cards on my Pace page feature him as a Buckeye.  As is the case with most linemen, he is easier to find as a rookie than later on in his career.

Kari helped me with a couple of set builds.  I'm getting awfully close to my 92 Ultra set.  The Score NFL Draft inserts from this year caught my eye from the very beginning, and I've been working on the set ever since.  I'm glad to have Mayfield out of the way, but I still need the likes of Saquon Barkley, Sam Darnold, and Josh Rosen.

My next trade comes from mrmike.

He also helped me with some set builds: 1991 Upper Deck Game Breakers (that's former Bronco Bobby Humphery, for those who can't tell), 1992 Ultra, 1993 Fleer, and 2012 Topps.  That's a nice Luke Kuechly rookie included here.

 Included among the Packers of the trade were two new Jordy rookies and a nifty art checklist from 1992 Upper Deck.

Some BYU players, including my first Ryan Denneys.  He carved out a pretty decent career from 2002-2010 after being drafted in the second round.  Former Outland Trophy winner Jason Buck is a local guy whom my dad once met in the grocery store.  My wife's cousin is also related to him through marriage.  Despite these convoluted connections, I have never met him myself.

Isn't Stadium Club beautiful?  1991 isn't my favorite year for Stadium Club, but I love these cards.  1994, however, is one of my favorite TSC sets.  I know the names are hard to read, but I've always liked this set.

2008 Upper Deck may not be Stadium Club, but it can certainly hold its own, photography-wise.

Mrmike also sent me some All-Decade team needs, including an Aeneas Williams rookie and a pretty cool looking Collector's Edge Excalibur.

The big trade came from wudu44.  There were autos, relics, and serial numbers going both ways, and we were able to work it out pretty well.

Oh lookie, more Draft inserts.  I don't even think I have this set on my wantlist here on the blog, but I'm more than halfway through it.

Another Game Breaker Hologram, this time from 1992.  Hall of Famer Will Shields makes a rookie appearance.  Rookie Roundtable is a pretty cool insert set from Collector's Edge.

More Jordy, but shiny!  I really love the Certified Comeback Player of the Year card.

And now for the big stuff.

A couple of BYU autos.  Both Ansah and Van Noy are having pretty good seasons.  A trio of Packers jerseys.  Davante Adams has really become a solid playmaker this year.  Ty Montgomery is numbered to 10.  And Bazooka!  It's a Pro Bowl jersey swatch from hard-to-find All-Decade player La'Roi Glover.  Very nice.

A big thanks to all of these TCDB members.  I hope you enjoyed the trades as much as I did.  As always, it was fun.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Secret Santa?

Just to be clear, I didn't enter this year's Secret Santa exchange on the blogsphere.  I forgot the cutoff date, and just missed it.  Yet I still received an anonymous package of cardboard last week.

Here is my only clue.  Now, there is a well-known TCDB user who goes by the handle C2Cigars.  It seems likely that he is the "culprit."  He is currently doing some random gifting to celebrate his 50th collecting anniversary, so this fits right in.  The one hangup with that theory is that we have never traded, so I don't know where my address would have come from.  So was it him?  Or was it somebody else in this "C2Cigars Club?"  I really don't know.

The photo mailer contained a card saver with three cards inside.

Three BYU players that I needed!  The Gifford Nielsen on the left is extra cool.  It's a 1980 Stop-N-Go oddball.  I'm assuming that Stop-N-Go is a convenience store or something.  We don't have any in these parts, and since the card is almost 40 years old, I don't know if they would be still around.  The card is a lenticular type card, like an old Kellogg's.  It's about the same dimension as the Kellogg's cards from the same time period.  Pitta is a red Score parallel from last year.

So, Chuck, if this is your doing, I thank you for your generosity.  If it's somebody else, I give you the same thanks.  I appreciate the gift in the Spirit of the Season.  Merry Christmas to all!  May visions of bubble gum cards dance in your heads.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Yet Another TCDB Roundup

In keeping with the habit I've developed, I'll highlight several TCDB trades in one post here.

 First, here's a shout-out to TCDB user deegsteach.  Deegsteach helped me out with my 2016 Topps Archives set build.

He also sent some baseball greats my way.  I needed these for a project I'm working on, so they will probably make another appearance on this blog someday.  I'd never had any of these Legendary Cuts cards before, and I've got to say that they are pretty cool.  I'll take these over Panini Cooperstown any day.

Finally, he sent some throwback cards of modern players to fit various parts of my collection.  I'm loving the rookie El Mago here.

In another trade, AirPete sent me some older cards.  These 1983 Topps stars are all great.  I'm not sure that any of them can top Walter Payton, but John Hannah and Kellen Winslow are pretty high in my book.  The Packers cards are the old Fleer Team Action cards.

Also from AirPete came these also older, but not AS old, cards I needed for my All-Decades binders.

Resident TCDB Rams collector sent over some of my favorite football team.  Jordy Nelson may no longer be a Packer, but he's still my favorite PC player.  I haven't decided if I'll chase after his Raider cards, but there are still plenty of Green and Gold cards for me to worry about that.

A small trade with Budler brought in some former BYU stars.  This was a college-based trade, as Budler is a noted Nebraska fan and collector.

This trade, from nymarine914, took a long time to happen.  This was one of those packages that gets lost in the mail before finally finding its destination.  Nymarine and I stayed in contact the whole time, and we were almost ready to call it a lost cause when it arrived at last.  When it did, I got a couple of Heisman winners and a Rod Woodson rookie.

I also got a vintage Packer and two cards for my centers mini-collection.  I love that centers are the only player guaranteed to touch the ball on every play, so I love cards that picture centers with their hands on the ball.

There hasn't been a ton of baseball in this post, but I'll end it here with three from nymarine's package. 

I haven't been quite as busy in the past few months with my trading on TCDB, but I'm still a getting a couple each month.  I have a couple more to post, but they were both bigger trades and this post has included enough scans already.  Thanks to all the great traders out there.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

I'm Ugly and I'm Proud!

I've had a hard time with my Ugly Sweater post for the Baseball Every Night contest.  I know I've come across plenty of cards in my time that were just downright ugly.  It's been hard, though, to recall them from the depths of my memory, where they have been banished.  There are a few that come to mind, but I'm still not sure that they qualify as the ugliest card I own or have seen.  Still, let's have a gander.

Interestingly, I have four cards to show in pairs.  The first two are both football and have a similar theme: the hair.

Both of these cards frightened me a little when I was a kid.  I remember having the James Wilder card in my collection as a youngster, and I always wondered why his hair looked green. There is a greenish tint that is not like a hair-dye hue.  This looks more like a patch of moss growing from his head.  Along the years, I lost the card somehow.  Then I started building the 1988 Topps set last year, and when Wilder returned to my collection, I noticed his hair still looked green.  So it wasn't just a printing error for the copy I owned.  I still can't explain it.  Mark Murphy, on the other hand, might welcome some hair.  Once again hearkening back to my younger years, I was a little scared by the wrinkly, veiny scalp on full display.  I hate to make fun of anyone's appearance on a card (Heaven forbid my likeness ever ends up printed on cardboard and distributed to the masses), but this one haunted my 9-year-old brain.

The other two are baseball cards, and they're both drawn cards.

Peter mentioned in his post that Donruss often screwed up Diamond Kings, and I have to agree.  Just look what they did to Gracie!  He looks like a Picasso, and I don't mean that it's a masterpiece.  The most egregious part is probably the straight line running down his cheek.  I'm not sure what's going on with Matt Dominguez here.  It doesn't even look like they tried to make him look like a person.  I know that this set really didn't put forth too much of an effort to capture the likeness of the player portrayed, but this one looks insulting.  And it's not consistent with the rest of the set, either.  It's like the artist singled out Dominguez.  That half-bull, half-giraffe neck is crazy.  My kids love this card, by the way.  I don't.

There are probably other, uglier cards in my collection, but these are the ones that stayed in my mind as I thought about the topic.  Thanks for the contest, Peter.  I hope you are all enjoying the sight of ugly cardboard this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Tis the Season for Goodwill

A lot of these "Cards on Cards sent me some stuff that he got from Goodwill" posts have been circulating lately.  I guess they are helping to identify the football collectors in cardsphere, as all of the cards Kerry picked up are of the pigskin variety.  Most of them came from the mid-90s, so I claimed some to bolster my All-1990s decade binder, some sets, and, of course, some Packers.  There was definitely a theme of inserts, oddballs, and parallels in the Goodwill collection.

Case in point: here are All-Pro inserts from 1991, 1992, and 1994 Fleer.  Everything 1991 Fleer is kind of blah, including these inserts.  But I really like the All-Pro inserts that followed over the years.

Here are more varied inserts.  This Gino Torretta is my first card of him, and the only reason I care is for the sake of my nascent Heisman binder.  I'm realizing just how little I bought in 1992 (I was only 10), because I had never seen any of the next few insert sets.  We have 1992 Pro Set Power Combos, 1992 Score Gridiron Stars, 1992 Upper Deck Coaches Report, 1992 Wild Card Field Force, and 1992 Wild Card Running Wild.  When I saw the pencil on Edgar Bennett's name, I thought I was looking at some kind of oddball or promo, but no.  These were pack issued inserts.  I find it very odd that Wild Card saw fit to honor Vince Workman-- a guy with all of 83 career carries in three seasons at the time the card was issued--in an insert set called "Running Wild."

Wild Card stripes, Topps Gold, and Collector's Choice silver stamps.  This is definitely the 90s.  I really like the Score Gold Zone LeRoy Butler.  And the double exposure Gary Anderson on a 1994 Special Effects card makes a really-good looking card.

I mentioned some oddballs, and here they are.  I've almost completed my Monsters of the Gridiron set now.  Skybox's 75 Seasons promo caught my eye, because I have lots of fond memories of that 75th Season celebration.  If I wasn't a football junkie at that time, I certainly was by the end of the year.  The two Cortez Kennedy cards are the Orowheat Seattle Seahawks team set.  I didn't even realize they were parallels when I asked for them.  I just needed some Kennedy for my All-Decade collection.

Apparently Topps did an Archives football set in 1994.  I know next to nothing about this set, but I got a legendary Pat Summerall and a gold Packer.

I really appreciated the Goodwill football, but Kerry didn't stop there.  He threw in some MLB Rookie of the Year winners, too.  I wasn't expecting this.  I'm glad to have the Bowman Jason Bay rookie, but it was awfully generous to throw in parallels, SPs, and inserts of popular players Aaron Judge,Corey Seager, and Derek Jeter.

I'll leave you with some shiny baseball players.  Longoria and Posey are both of the refractor type.

I asked for more football than I thought I should lay claim to, and then Kerry added more than I requested.  I appreciate the generosity, and yes, the Goodwill.  

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Franchise 9: Arizona Cardinals

I suppose this should be the St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals Franchise 9.  But since the team never changed its mascot through the cities it has inhabited during the Super Bowl Era, I'm only going to refer to them by their current incarnation.  The name aside, wow! this was a difficult team to choose.  There were about four team legends that absolutely had to make the cut, but there was a whole list of players who were around the same level.

1. Jim Hart, QB (1994 Ted Williams Roger Staubach's NFL)
When I started researching, Jim Hart was nowhere near the top of my mind.  I still feel somewhat like I may have slighted somebody to place Hart here, but I think the stats bear him out.  Consider the fact that he left the team in 1983--yet he is still the franchise leader in passing yards and touchdowns.  He is the team's approximate value leader overall, and Pro Football Reference ranks him in the top 150 of all NFL players all-time in weighted AV.  The Cardinals have retired 5 numbers in their history.  Three of those were of players who died during their playing career.  Of the other two, one played for the Chicago Cardinals, well before the era that I'm examining.  That means Jim Hart is the only Cardinal player to be honored entirely for his on-field play since the Super Bowl era began.

2. Ottis Anderson, RB (1982 Topps)
Ottis Anderson is another player who left the Cards in the 80s, but is still the franchise leader.  He burst onto the scene as a rookie, gaining 1,605 yards and earning 1st Team All Pro as a rookie.  He made the Pro Bowl again the following year.  He he rushed for 1,000 yards in three of the next four years; he was halfway there after eight games when the strike ended the 1982 season in the other season.  Another Cardinal who has been somewhat forgotten, Anderson was a fine player in his early days before he won a Super Bowl MVP award with the Giants.

3. Larry Fitzgerald, WR (2015 Topps)
Larry Fitzgerald is probably the best player in franchise history.  Eleven Pro Bowls, almost 1,300 receptions, over 16,000 yards and 115 TDs make a fantastic career.  His hallmark is consistency.  And his production.  And his overall good-guyness.  There's a lot to love about Fitz, and I find it sad to think that he could be hanging them up soon.

4. Dan Dierdorf, OL (1989 Pro Set Announcers)
Fun fact: Dan Dierdorf was born in Canton, OH.  After a 14-year career--all in St. Louis with the Cards--he made it back home for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  The most impressive thing to me about Dierdorf's career is the versatility.  He played tackle for most of his career, but he also saw significant time at guard and center.  His three All-Pro nods came while he was playing tackle, though.  For about a decade, Dierdorf was an elite offensive lineman in the league.

5. Darnell Dockett, DT (2011 Topps)
Dockett spent a decade in the desert; his entire career he was a Cardinal.  Like most interior defensive linemen, he didn't make headlines.  Except when he did, of course.  During the Cardinals Super Bowl run in 2008, Dockett was an animal.  He tallied 3 sacks and recovered a fumble during the playoffs that year.  That performance was sandwiched between Pro Bowl years.  Like many on this list, Dockett is here because he performed for the franchise for a good, long time.  The Cardinals don't seem to have many players stick around a long time.

6. Patrick Peterson, CB (2015 Topps Chrome)

I feel like this is a somewhat controversial pick.  Whenever the name Patrick Peterson comes up when people are discussing top corners in the NFL, I hear a bunch of people crying overrated.  But let's just see what he has done for his team, shall we?  He's now in his eighth season with the team.  In his first seven full seasons, he managed a Pro Bowl berth every year and has thrice been named All-Pro.  One of those All-Pro nominations came in his rookie year, as a punt returner.  That season, he took four punts to the house.  Of his 23 career interceptions, Peterson has one touchdown.  That means he has scored five non-offensive touchdowns.  He has never missed a start in his career, even from Day 1.  His consistency and performance earn him a spot in the Franchise 9.

7. Roger Wehrli, CB (1981 Topps)
All Roger Wehrli did for the Cardinals was play 14 years, intercept 40 passes, recover 22 fumbles, play in 7 Pro Bowls, and make 3 All-Pro teams.  Oh, and get inducted into the Hall of Fame.  Other than that, I'm not sure what his impact was for the franchise.  The St. Louis Cards selected the local kid from Mizzou with their first round pick in 1969, and he paid off for them.

8. Aeneas Williams, CB (1996 Skybox Impact)
Wehrli was #2 on the Cardinals all-time interceptions list until 1999, when Aeneas Williams passed him up.  Williams was one of the top corners of the 90s, and he has the All-Decade team nomination to prove it.  He represented the Cardinals in seven Pro Bowls and garnered 3 All-Pro bids, but I somehow always felt he was underrated.  He was a true ballhawk and playmaker.  Of his 46 picks for the team, he scored on five of them.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.

9. Larry Wilson, S (1988 Swell Greats)
I mentioned that Aeneas Williams is second for career interceptions with the Cards.  The top spot belongs to Larry Wilson, who passed Night Train Lane on that list with his 10th pick of 1966.  Ten picks in a season is incredible.  His 52 picks still leads the team.  Wilson straddles the line between Super Bowl era and before.  He fits solidly into the later era because he played his best football after the age of 27.  Beginning at that age, he reeled off six consecutive Pro Bowl seasons and five consecutive 1st Team All-Pros.  Wilson is the third straight Hall of Fame defensive back on this team.

The Cardinals seem to have a knack for finding top-flight DBs.  I don't think any other franchise has four defensive backs of their top nine players.  Players like Fitz, Wehrli, Williams, and Wilson were slam dunks for this team.  Other players had some fierce competition.  Jim Hart or Neil Lomax?  Should another defensive back, Adrian Wilson, make the cut?  What about Terry Metcalf, Calais Campbell, Anquan Boldin, or Jackie Smith?  Or even kicker Jim Bakken?  I don't think there is much separating any of these guys.  So, what do you think?  Who would you have chosen for the Cardinals?  Let the discussion begin!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Card Collecting in Overtime

I don't live far from Salt Lake City.  I'm in the Valley in 10 minutes and downtown in less than a half-hour.  Even so, I'm far more likely to drive 30 minutes south into the heart of Provo than into Salt Lake.  I think it's mostly because I grew up in a small town, and I'm far more comfortable with Utah County's 600,000 people than I am with Salt Lake County's 1.5 million.  When I'm in Salt Lake, it's always to and from my destination with no messing around.  Last week, though, I had a conference in Downtown Salt Lake, so I made my way north.  Toward mid-afternoon, I found myself with a little extra time on my hands, so I tracked down the card shop that I knew was there in Midvale but had never visited.

Overtime Cards was a treat.  I found a dime box and made myself at home for a while, picking out cards I needed for my various collections.  Dime boxes are unheard of in these parts, even at card shows, I was ecstatic.  As I was digging, I came across an oddity that I had never seen before.

This is a 1998 Skybox Thurman Thomas.  But what is that marking under the Skybox logo in the top left?  I set it aside and when I had my stack ready to buy, I asked Heidi, the proprietor, about it.  She said she had never known what it was either and had finally concluded that it was some kind of mis-stamped card.  I decided that it was unique, at any rate, and put in with my pile.  It sparked a great conversation, and I learned that Heidi has been in the card shop business for somewhere around 30 years, which is about as long as I have been collecting.  We talked about the changes she had seen in the hobby and her perspective as a dealer.  It was a fascinating conversation for me.  When I mentioned that I had stopped collecting in the late 90s, only to pick it up again about 15 years later, she said that she heard that story quite often.  I told her about my blog and shared that it's also a common story amongst us bloggers--we all have a dark spot in our collection, and it usually coincides with the first decade of the 2000s.  That piqued her interest, so I shared a little about our blogging community.  The conversation alone was enough for me to go back.  I've never experienced that at other card shops.

Oh, and the Thurman Thomas card?  It turns out it's an oddball that could be obtained from Fleet Farm.  According to Wikipedia, Fleet Farm is a retail chain with 37 stores in the Midwest.  I'd never heard of it, but that stamp is the Fleet Farm logo.  I'm glad I grabbed it when I did.  There some other gems in the box, too.

Like vintage football!  Granted, these cards are in pretty rough shape.  All of the 1977s I picked out had the same "MK" marked in red pen.  You can see the scuffing on Ken Stabler and Franco Harris.  But still, vintage Hall of Famers in a dime box?  I didn't even question these well-loved cards.  The 1977 Lee Roy Selmon is a rookie, to boot.  I've almost picked that card up on COMC before, but I can handle this copy.

More from the same 1976 and 1977 sets, this time in Packer green and gold.

It wasn't all old and beat up, though.  Oh no, there was plenty of shiny, too.  These cards represent sets that were missing completely from my collection.  All except Troy Aikman fit into my All-Decade collection.

I should have scanned the Lee Roy Selmon rookie with these two.  That makes three Hall of Fame rookies I snagged from the box.  Yes, I'm counting Tony Gonzalez as a Hall of Famer in his first year of eligibility.  Book it.  1989 Score rookies are the premiere rookies of possibly the greatest draft class ever.  This card has some bent corners, but this copy is good enough for me.

More Packers, this time of the late 90s variety.  This marks my first Doug Pederson card.  He didn't play much for the Pack, but he did win a Super Bowl as a coach last year.  The Dorsey Levens card is a serial numbered insert (a mere 8700 copies!).

I picked up some inserts, too.  These three players all made the All-2000s team and eventually the Hall of Fame.  I'm not a TO fan, so I'm trying to fill my All-Decade project with higher quality cards of him.  If I've got to gather cards of him, I may as well make sure their quality.

If there are BYU players, I'll snag 'em.  The Head to Head card is interesting.  It gives a scenario on the back with no resolution.  "The ball is snapped.  Smith charges.  Young rolls out.  Does he get the pass off?"  Well, does he?!  I guess we'll never know.

Speaking of colleges, how about some Heisman winners?  I'm digging the Crown Royale (original incarnation) of Eddie George.

The box was mostly football with some basketball.  Baseball pickings were slim, but I did manage to find some needs from this year's Heritage. 

The dime box said 12 cards for $1, so I picked out 108 cards.  I figured that $9 of cards plus tax would be about right for the 10 spot I had in my wallet.  I sat and chatted with Heidi for a while and then went to pay.  She looked at my stack and said, "How about $5 for the stack?"  All right!  Just like that, the dime box turned into a nickel box.  All the cards above set me back about five cents apiece.  Overall, the experience was great.  The discovery of a dime box + a great card conversation + a generous shop owner = a happy customer.  Now I feel like I might have to make trips to the Salt Lake Valley more often--and leave myself some extra time to stop in for a true hobby experience at Overtime Cards.

And Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I'm truly grateful to be part of a community with whom I can share my hobby and that is made up of true collectors.