Thursday, August 17, 2017

Inbound and Down #19: Blog reader Scott

Got an email recently from Scott, who has traded on Zistle and with some other bloggers.  Scott was interested in some Marlins cards that I had recently displayed on the blog and he said that he had a few cards to send my way.

Scott didn't have any problem hitting a few of my want lists...

A dozen cards from the '89 Upper Deck read like a whos who from 80's baseball.  Canseco, Gibson, Buckner, Brett, Alomar, Mattingly, Raines and Gwynn are all big name stars and I'm happy to have them all in hand, knocking 12 cards off the list.

I was also able to knock off a couple of cards from the '90 Leaf and '80 Topps want lists.  Again, no cheapies here, lots of star power.  I so wanted one of those Astros uniforms from the 70's and 80's.  Maybe one day I'll find one for myself...

I also received 8 of my '82 Topps needs, and what I found interesting was that Scott sent a bunch of the Future Stars cards.  Need them all yes, but I didn't expect to get them as the main part of a trade envelope.  Not complaining at all though, and I still recognize a few of the more notable names on the cards, such as Von Hayes, Dave Henderson (RIP) and Tom Brunansky.  The single player cards were definitely cool to get, Harold Baines and George Bell were two of the better hitters from the 80's, combining for over 4500 hits during their careers. 

Finally, Scott sent 3 cards from the endless Blue Jays list, although the "97 Pinnacle Inside card of Roger Clemens has him disguised as a Red Sox.  This might be the last season we see Jose Bautista, as he's had a hard time keeping his average above .220 and his arm in right field isn't what it once was.

Scott, thank you for the trade, the cards are appreciated.  Don't hesitate to send me another email in the future!

thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

1296: A whole bunch of odds and ends + the monthly card show

The majority of my July purchases weren't documented in my posts that count down how much I have left to spend in 2017.  The lack of writing didn't hamper my purchasing of cards during the month, so I sat down today and figured out just what I spent in July that I didn't document.

  1. $7 on an ebay auction that knocked off about 90 1990 Leaf  and just over 100 1989 Upper Deck cards from my want list.   That $7 included shipping.  
  2. $25 was deposited in my COMC account.
  3. $13 was spent on 2 packs of Stadium Club
  4. $20 was spent on 2 3-packs of Allen & Ginter
  5. $30 was spent on a few series 2 packs, along with a jumbo pack of stickers and the 2017 album to go with them.
So, that's 95 bucks right there that wasn't mentioned at all during July.

This past weekend was the monthly card show, and I kept it cheap at the show by spending just $35.  I bought a chunk of singles to put a dent into my Series 1 flagship want list from 2017, I also bought a few miscellaneous singles of my player PCs.

Found a few goalie mask cards at a good price, I'll have to check and see that I need them all.

Bought 4 more serial numbered cards for the SNI Hockey set.  I love the Great Outdoors card of Patrice Bergeron, as I had never seen that insert set in the past.  I also had to have the George Parros card in the upper left; it was cool for me to see him stick handling with the puck on the card instead of what hockey fans know George does best, fighting.

Finally, I walked by one dealer's table twice before I finally decided to cave in and pick up a key card from the '90 Leaf set, the Frank Thomas RC.

It's amazing to see the difference a generation makes, as Thomas looks very svelte on this card.  Now he's a very big and solid man as he approaches 50 years of age.

Well, unless I win a nice chunk of money at the lottery, it doesn't appear that I'm going to spend my entire budget this year.  I dropped just below $1300 left with 4.5 months to go.  I'm trying hard to pay off medical bills related to my cataract surgery earlier this year, so maybe next year I'll be able to spend a bit more money.

Maybe $1000 should have been the target this year...

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, August 14, 2017

Inbound and Down #18: A Cracked Bat: Baseball Cards and a Hot Dog

It had been quite a while since I traded with Julie at the A Cracked Bat, etc etc blog.  Recently, I had the good fortune (for Julie anyhow) of pulling a few Tigers that were tradeable, and I contacted Julie to let her know I wanted to send them her way.

In that email, I did something that I've been doing quite a lot lately.  I made sure I had the correct address. 

Good thing I did.  Julie politely informed me that she moved 2 years ago(!) and was now up north, much closer to her beloved Tigers.  Over 2 years is a long time to go between card swaps, but the package that she sent me made up for the time lost (I hope hers did as well).

Let's start with some shiny cards....

Love the Aaron Sanchez gold parallel from the 2016 Update set.  Some folks have lamented their teams players being displayed in the Padres brown and gold, but Aaron looks good to me.  I've managed to obtain a couple of the Press Proof cards from past years Donruss products, but the J.A. Happ is the first from this year that I've received.  Another Dalton Pompey card also enters the fold, as the Donruss Preferred RC from 2015, #'d to 299 is now in my hands.

Another Dalton Pompey RC, this time from the 2015 Museum Collection set joins a Edwin Encarnacion card from 2015 Triple Threads.  I don't lament the Jays losing EE as much anymore since Justin Smoak has more than replaced him at first base stat wise. 

Finally, a double dose of 2015 Museum Collection Jose Bautista cards.  The copper on the left is not numbered, but the blue parallel on the right is limited to 99 cards.  I don't believe I have any copper or blue Museum Collection parallels in my collection, so these were a welcome sight as well. 

Julie mentioned in her note that she hoped that I enjoy these cards half as much as what I sent her way.  No chance of that, as I'm sure that I'll enjoy these 7 easily as much as she's enjoying her cards.

Maybe even more.

Thank you for the cards Julie, they are greatly appreciated!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Blue Jays Reorg #700: 2016 Opening Day Devon Travis

If he ever can stay healthy for an extended period of time, he'll definitely show that the Jays won the trade that saw Devon come from Detroit for Anthony Gose.  Gose has been converted to a pitcher and is in Rookie ball in Florida for the Tigers.

Devon's latest injury?  Knee cartilage surgery.  He's been out just over 2 months, and his timetable to return is by the end of August.  He's a better player all around than any of the substitutes the Jays have marched out to 2nd base during his absence (Goins, Barney, Refsnyder) and if they've gained any ground in the Wild Card race by the time he gets back, he might help them make a push for another post season birth.

The card really is true, Devon could be a future star for the Jays.  He grew up about a 30 minute drive north of where I live, in West Palm Beach, FL.  Devon then played college ball at Florida State before being drafted in the 13th rd by the Tigers in 2012. 

His first two seasons in Toronto were also injury plagued, but hitting over .300 in his limited time gave Jays fans some hope that Devon will be the answer at 2nd base for years to come.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, August 11, 2017

Some more goalies for the frankenset

I decided to show off a few more goalie cards tonight, and there's also another opportunity to vote for the card you want in the set!

First up, another card featuring Ollie the Goalie.

Last time out, it was a card from early in Olaf's career, now we have a 2008-09 Upper Deck card showing him in a Tampa Bay uniform, with the "Zilla" on the chin of his mask.  Also I love this card as it shows him fending off a puck with his blocker hand.  This is card #428

Next up, Anders Lindback, then of the Nashville Predators.  This is his 2012-13 Score card, #426 in the set.  I hunted around to find a better photo of his actual mask, but was unlucky.  Somewhere down the road someone may just find a #426 to replace this one.

This 2007-08 OPC card of Manny Legace features his veterans mask, with the United We Stand banner right above the cage.  A better shot of this cage can be found here, and once you see a closer shot you'll see why I like this card.  This is card #417.

Here's your vote for this week.  Both of these are card #430 in their respective sets.   Tim Cheveldae's 1990-91 OPC card is a great homage to the Wings and the motor city, while Cam Ward's 2007-08 Upper Deck card pays homage to Blackbeard the pirate, and is also a great mask as well.

I have made this image and poll my pinned tweet, and the poll will be up for the next week to allow people some time to vote. 

I'll keep adding cards each week to try and build this set over time.  For me, it's fun looking at some of these old cards and remembering masks from days gone by. 

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Inbound and Down #17: I feel like a Collector again

I received a generous envelope a few days ago from Kin at the I Feel Like A Collector Again blog, but finally got around tonight to digging a few cards out of the envelope to show off.

Kin had no problem with hitting several of my want lists, so I had a bit of a tough time at first deciding what to put on the post.  So I decided to dig up an old friend, and show the cards off 5-4-3-2-1 style.

My recently debuted goalie frankenset was a hit in this envelope, as a few goalie masks came my way, including Eddie the Eagle Belfour, part of Kin's favorite hockey team, the Blackhawks.  Belfour's mask is a classic design, which didn't waver over the years.  The only thing that changed on the mask as Eddie changed teams was the background color.  You'll see it a few more times for sure.

Minis!!  Any current Jays fan is familiar with Osuna, Sanchez and Tulowitzki, but I had to look up Jeff Hoffman who was featured in the Future of the Franchise insert from 2014 Bowman Chrome.  Jeff was the Jays 1st round pick, 9th overall in the 2009 draft, and was traded to the Rockies in 2015 as part of a package for the player on the right, Troy Tulowitzki.  Jeff is currently in the Rockies rotation with a 6-3 record so far this year.

These are 3 cards that I needed for my three main player PCs.  They'll be featured on my other blog before too long.

A pair of serial numbered parallels from a few years back.   Neither of these guys are still with the club, but I'm sure that both cards will find a spot in the Jays box. 

I don't know if I recall seeing gold holograms from the early 90's Upper Deck cards.  But here's proof that they exist, as Kin sent me a gold Blue Jays hologram from the '92 set.  Kin also sent a silver one as well. 

Great stuff!  Kin, thank you very much for the cards, they are much appreciated!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, August 6, 2017

WANTED: Joe Sakic 1994-95 Parkhurst You Crash the Game Blue parallel

The hunt is on.  I decided to have a little fun with today's post and turn it into a sort of want ad.  Many of you who have followed me along the years know that I am a big Joe Sakic collector, and I've recently begun to expand my collection more.

A lot of this expansion is filling in the holes of a lot of older sets and parallels.  This is one of the key cards (for me anyway) that I've been trying to find for quite a while now.

I have recently come across the green parallel, as you can see in the scan above.   The blue parallel is the exact same card, only with blue foil (naturally).  But for me, it seems as if the card has gone the way of the dodo.

I've hunted on Sportlots, COMC and eBay, only to find just about every other blue parallel except for the Sakic.

So, I've decided to reach out to the masses.   If anyone has one of the blue parallels of Joe Sakic, or knows where I can find one for a decent price, please let me know.

Finding the blue parallel will complete the rainbow for this particular card, and will make me almost as happy as finishing my '64 Topps baseball set.


thanks for reading, and for hunting if you do....Robert

Friday, August 4, 2017

Price, Kolzig and Fernandez

No, Price, Kolzig and Fernandez isn't your latest law firm trying to get you to enter one of their class action lawsuits on late night TV.  These are the 3 goalies I'm going to show off today for the goalie frankenset that I started on last week.

Using a bear on a Bruins mask is a good but easy call, and Manny Fernandez pulls it off on his 2008/09 OPC card.  I also like the partial spoked B on the right hand side of the mask to fill in what the scary bear doesn't use.  Manny will be card #490, unless a better one comes along. 

Goalies like Fernandez will also be good for this set, as Manny played quite a few years in the league and with a couple of different teams.   Here's hoping I can find some other Fernandez variations.

Ollie the goalie played all but the final 8 games of his career for the Capitals, but I don't remember him ever wearing this mask with the Uncle Sam on the forehead.  Mind you, this card is from the 94-95 Upper Deck set, so my memories of every mask from back then aren't that great. 

Still, this is a great addition to the set, and will be card #486.

Carey Price isn't shy about switching designs on his mask.  This one is a little tough to figure out for me, aside from the Canadiens logo on his forehead and the 31 on his chin.  Maybe there's a Canadien fan out there that will recognize the mask and shed some light as to what's on the side and above the team logo.

None the less, this is card #459 from the 2012-13 OPC set and will be a part of the set unless something else comes along.

For those of you who voted in the Luongo/Essensa vote earlier this week, Bob Essensa won 6-2, so his card #265 from 1992-93 Pro Set Platinum (remember that set?) will be in the set and Bobby Lu will have to find another spot.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Try a Pack #6: 2017 Allen & Ginter

I watched Matt's break of his box #9 (the "magic" box) of A&G a few days back, and noticed the picture frame borders around the player's photo.  Something a little bit different this year, but I enjoyed it.  So while out on my Target run today, I decided to pick up a couple of 3 packs of A&G.

The bonus minis in the pack are gold this year, and in my opinion look sharp.

I don't know for sure, but the two 3 packs of gold minis I opened all had A&G backs.  Does anyone know if that's the case for all the gold minis?

The other pack of gold minis featured Jayson Werth, Manny Machado and the Trees in India card.  All 6 are available if someone wants them.

The folks in India are certainly environmentally aware, as the back of the card states that they broke a record by planting 49.3 million trees in a single day.  Over 800,000 people participated in this even, which is really something in this day and age. 

I really do like the base cards, the border as I mentioned earlier gives them the picture frame look, which is different than I remember from past A&G releases.

The 100 card insert set this year is the What A Day set, featuring days where said player performed something special on the diamond.  I also pulled a Bo Jackson card that mentions how he hit 3 homers on 3 at-bats on July 17th, 1990.  He got hurt after the 3rd homer, went on the DL for six weeks, and on his first AB back, hit his fourth straight homer, tying a MLB record.  I also pulled a World's Fair Westinghouse Tower card to go along with these.  The inserts are available, and I'll be sure pulling more of these as the months go along.

I pulled two of the World's Dudes mini inserts, the other one was fisherman dude.  I'll be keeping an eye out to see if anyone is in need of the minis. The Kluber is an A&G back, I also have an A&G back of Miami's Marcell Ozuna.  Let me know if any one of these cards interests you.

I'll be putting together the 350 card base set, and I'll also be looking for the 7 Jays cards that appear for my Jays collection. 

I still need just under a quarter of the 2016 set, something I'm going to have to get cleaned up before too long as well.   If you have any of these cards from last years set, please leave a comment or send me an email...


Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, July 31, 2017

A new franken set: Showing my love for the goalie mask

Anyone who reads this blog knows my love for hockey.   It's hard when you're Canadian by birth not to love hockey.  A bit part of hockey for me has always been the goalie masks.  The art on them is especially fascinating for me, and has been ever since I saw this mask back in the late 70's.

Leaf fans will remember one of the most exciting goalies to don the Blue and White during my lifetime, Mike Palmateer.  I even tried to paint my goalie mask with the same design, with very poor results.

Nearly 40 years later, my fascination for goalie mask art is still great, and thus I've decided to put together a set of cards devoted to goalie mask art.  500 cards, all based on the card number on the back.  No serial #'s needed. 

I love photos such as this one of Ron Hextall, card #41 from the 90-91 OPC Premier set:

Love the arrow on his forehead pointing down between his eyes, as if daring players to shoot the puck between his eyes.   That one is a keeper. 

I'm sure that anyone who is a hockey fan remembers the Hartford Whalers.  Here's Kay Whitmore's mask from the 91-92 OPC Premier set, card #182.

Would love to see the Whalers logo comeback.  How bout it Hurricanes, maybe a throwback night?

I'm primarily looking for cards with the mask/cage combo.   Most of the cards with the helmet and cage combo for goalies don't feature artwork.  There are exceptions, such as this Dominik Hasek card from 2008-09 OPC.

Card #290 from the 08-09 OPC Set
I'm sure by now you get the idea.  I'd like to build a set of 500 cards, #'d 1-500 (of course).  No rules, cards can be from any set, any team.  The better the photo, the more I'll enjoy it.  Hopefully you will as well when I show off the cards on the blog.  I've found about 5 dozen cards so far, and some of them have the same card number.  

For example, I have two cards with the #285 on the back.  Roberto Luongo of the Canucks, and Bob Essensa of the Winnipeg Jets.

Both cards have great shots of their mask, so which do I keep?  I figured to have some fun I'd post the cards on twitter along with a poll and let the universe (as small as my universe may be) decide the fate of these two cards.  The poll will be live by the time you read this, so go and find it and vote!!  (Here's the link, just in case)

I'm also going to post a list of cards I have on a separate page on the blog, so if someone out there finds something that might be of some use to me, they can send it my way.

I hope you'll have as much fun with this as I'm going to.

thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Inbound and down #16: Twitter ID @MyNamePickle

This is the first time I have received an envelope from anyone off of twitter, let alone someone who I hadn't even come across on twitter until a couple of weeks ago.

@MyNamePickle, whose name is Eddy by the way, is the ID of a gentleman who also PC's Joe Sakic.   He tweeted about a set of 1990-91 Kraft cards, of which one of the photos just happened to be Joe.

I mentioned that I needed the Sakic, mostly because I wanted to look for it down the road, and by replying to him I hoped that I would remember.  Eddy replied back that he only had the one copy and that he had it in his PC.  No worries here I told him, I just replied so that I would remember the card for the future.

Lo and behold, Eddy retweeted me back and said that he had an extra copy, and if I would provide him my address, he'd send the card post haste.

This showed up in my mailbox yesterday, just under two weeks after the initial encounter:

The Kraft and Panini cards have long been a sore spot when it comes to my Sakic PC.  Until recently, I didn't have any of the food or sticker issues of Joe.   I've purchased a few Panini's over the past several weeks, and now I have one of the 2 second year Kraft cards of Sakic.

It's surprising to see that the back has only stats from his playoff appearances with his junior team in Swift Current.  No NHL stats at all, even though the card was licensed by both the NHL and NHLPA.  I thought that there might be at least his rookie stats on the card, but no luck there.

I've actually added 30 cards of Sakic on my own the past couple of weeks, but none of them compare to this card. 

It's amazing what collectors will do for each other.  It's random acts of kindness like this that reaffirm my faith in the hobby.

Thank you Eddy!  This card is truly appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Try A Pack #5: 2017 Bowman

As far as the annual Bowman purchase goes, the "try a pack" moniker is right on the money for what I purchase every year.  One pack, maybe a three pack rack pack if I feel frisky. 

There's nothing wrong with the Bowman product, I just don't subscribe to the rookie chase like a lot of people do.  Hey, if that's what you're into for your collection, all the power to you.

For me, there's just a lot of other ways that I can spend my hobby money.  But with Bowman, there's always the one pack gamble.  This year was no different; on my Target run a few days ago, I spotted a lonely pack of Bowman among a stack of Walking Dead packs.  So I bought it and figured we'll see if we get lucky.

I had to look up what Angel Perdomo is doing in the Jays minor leagues.  He spent this summer in Dunedin playing for the high A Jays affiliate.  5-6 with an ERA just below is not bad, although a WHIP of 1.553 is a bit high for a starter.  I thought I had heard Matt Strahm's name recently, and I was right as he has just been traded to the Padres as part of the Trevor Cahill deal.

Dansby Swanson is the big name among these three, although Raimel Tapia is having a decent season as a sub for the Rockies, currently hitting .300.  Eloy Jimenez was traded recently, going to the south side of Chicago as part of the Jose Quintana deal. 

These are what drives me nuts personally, the Chrome cards.   I can see one Chrome per pack being OK and a normal part of the packing process.   But 1/3 of the pack being Chrome cards which are separate from the main set is a little annoying.  But that's just me.  What I did like is the Talent Pipeline card.  It reminds me of the multi-player cards from the 70's and 80's that focused multiple rookies from one team.  Maybe Daniel from It's like having my own Card Shop might be interested in that card.

The final card gave me a bit of justification for buying the pack.   I've long lamented my poor luck when opening packs.  Well, lucky me this time...

It doesn't get better than landing a card of the biggest name in rookies this year, Aaron Judge.  What's good about this card is I already have a plan for it, I do owe someone out there a bit for what they've sent me in the past. 

Bowman is a solid product every year for Topps and for all the rookie card collectors out there in the world.   I've never turned my nose up at it, it's just that the set builder in me has other stuff in line that's more up my alley. 

I'm sure that in 2018 I'll remember that I got lucky with my one pack this year and try again...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Try A Pack #4: 2017 Stadium Club

I've never really turned my nose up at Stadium Club.  It's always been a great product; the photography is second to none, the player selection is usually solid and the no borders is always a winner.

So why do I usually shy away from collecting it?  The price. 

This notoriously frugal collector can't fathom trying to build a 300 card set when each pack of 5 cards costs $3.  Even the 12 card pack that I'm about to show cost me $6, so in a perfect world 25 packs of 12 cards would build the set (assuming perfect collation).  That's $150 right there.   Add in the inserts and the duplicates, and well you know where I'm heading.

Leaving the price aside, as I said before, this is a quality product, and this year's release is no different.

What always impresses me about this set is the photos.  What struck me immediately is the Randy Johnson card, top left.  That is how I will remember him, the tall imposing figure on the mound staring in for the sign with his glove covering half his face.  Love how Topps managed to catch the Circle K's above his head as well.  Miguel Cabrera's smile as he's about to tear apart another pitcher is also a quality shot.

I opened two packs of Stadium Club, and pulled a Scoreless Streak insert in both.  Chris Sale was in the other pack.

There's quite a few collectors out there I've seen that show appreciation for bat rack photos.  Seeing Whitey Ford resting on a rack of bats is a great shot.  Buster Posey's photo is a good one as well in my opinion, it looks as if he's heading to the bullpen to warm up that night's pitcher with his gear in hand. 

Power Zone is a 25 card insert set featuring some of the great power hitters of the past 3 decades.  As you can see I pulled the Griffey Jr. card, there's also other great names from the past such as Bo Jackson, Andres Galarraga and Frank Thomas. 

The odds listed for Gold foil parallels listed on the packs say 1:2.  I managed to pull a gold in both packs that I opened (the other one was Gavin Cecchini), so I believe I managed to beat the odds there.  There may be a Brave collector or 3 that wouldn't mind this John Smoltz gold parallel.  Just let me know.

It was definitely fun ripping these two packs open and getting to see first hand what others have posted on their blogs.  The photography is first rate as always, but the price point is what will deter me from putting together this set.

That doesn't mean I may not rip another pack or 2 down the line, maybe get lucky and pull an autograph or something else cool!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, July 24, 2017

Stuck on you

While out on a Target run on Saturday, I did what I always do.  Hit the card aisle.

I bought a couple of packs of Series 2 flagship, just because.  I also bought a pack of 2017 Bowman to try it out (which you'll see tomorrow).  My last purchase was a little bit different though.

I bought a jumbo pack of Topps 2017 stickers and the accompanying album.  Something different to chase after for a change.

Nothing extravagant, just a little bit of fun.  The stickers aren't as stiff as I remember them to be.  While writing this post, I tried to peel one off to stick it in the album, and like always I struggled.  That wasn't a knock on the stickers, it was more of a shot at my lack of finger dexterity when it comes to peeling them off. 

I had a weird realization while picking off the first 8 stickers in the pack to scan them.

Wouldn't it be great if cards or stickers came pre-sorted?  Pulling them out of the pack in numerical order would be fantastic and save me a ton of time sorting. 

Wonder why I never thought of that while opening packs off and on over the past 40 years.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, July 23, 2017


Number 6 wears his heart on his sleeve
6 years ago today, I started this blog with a post about receiving a trade package.  1529 posts later, the blog is still kicking, even though I'm not writing as much, or as enthusiastically as I had in the past.  Maybe not quite as enthusiastic as Marcus Stroman above, but there was a time where I had a lot of fun writing and trading.

Now, I feel a little bit more like Ron Fairly, the first Blue Jays player to wear the uniform #6

A little bit older, a little bit wiser (I think).  I've seen a few bloggers come and go, made a couple of friends during my time here.  Hopefully I can stick around for a few more years and make some more friends.

The blogosphere is fun.  There are a lot of good people and a lot of good writers out there.  I'm just glad that I've carved a very small piece for myself on here. 

To all those that read when I write.   Thank you very much.

Here's to year 7...