Friday, January 29, 2016

Airbrushed Fridays: 1972 Topps #64

He'll be your bro... berg.

Who is he? Pete Broberg was a starting pitcher for the better part of the '70s, albeit not a very successful one. He was the first overall pick in the June draft of 1971, back when there were multiple drafts in a calendar year.

How did he get here? Broberg was drafted by the Washington Senators and went straight to the majors in what would prove to be Washington's last season in MLB until the Expos were moved there in 2005. As such, he was subject to the Topps airbrushing department, where his red cap could remain but traces of his Senatorhood were removed. These days, Broberg is a partner in a Palm Beach law firm.

Repeat offender? No

Other versions of this card: None

Airbrushed Score: 8

Comments: I don't know... sideburns?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Lou Brock on a Poster

And other fine cards to take a gander at.

Spring training is just around the corner, and so is a new year of Topps Series One. I'm going to try to avoid buying any packs of it this time around (along with any other sets I deem unnecessary) and just try to focus on building my team sets. We'll see how long that lasts.

This is my final trade post from 2015, and it's a good one. Nick from the Dime Boxes blog sent over a great mix of vintage and current cards, as well as a bunch from the Lost Years where I wasn't collecting at all.

I think we take team themed cards for granted nowadays, but hardly anything beats an old out of focus group photo on a classic design. Yes, I consider 1973 Topps classic.

My favorite photo from the 2012 season became one of my favorite cards to collect in 2013, and here's another one for the collection in the form of this Orange Chrome Refractor for the recently departed (to the Padres, not to the ether) Jon Jay.

I really like how this Ray Lankford 2000 Topps Gallery card reminds me of the Jon Jay photo. Lankford isn't crashing into the padding next to Tony La Russa's likeness, but he's making a similar dent in the wall. Based on the available evidence, I'm going to guess that's Mike Scioscia that Ray is busting into. Am I right, Dodgers fans?

Sometimes there's a junk wax deep cut that I really needed without even realizing it. This is one of those times.

Completing the Lankford Trilogy (for this post, anyway) is this 1998 Topps Gallery Permanent Collection card. It's classy.

When it comes to Ginter game used cards, I vastly prefer the framed mini relics to the full size ones, but I like how the grey swatch here blends in with the gray background blob. This is my 68th unique Matt Carpenter card and 3rd jersey relic. Thanks, Zistle, for letting me keep track of these things.

Can you spot the closer among the seven-headed All-Star monster? If the Cardinals have half as many All-Stars this season, I will be genuinely surprised. I am not predicting doom and gloom for this team, but they are lacking in starpower. Also, it would be really weird if they had three and-a-half All-Stars.

Here's a fun one that I'd never seen before. It's a '64 Bazooka-style mini from the 2013 Topps Heritage minors set. Maybe the Jedd Gyorko acquisition will light a fire under the talented but still not fully realized Kolten Wong.

Oh yes, I promised you a poster...

Look at this thing! Click on it to make it bigger. Save it to your hard drive and make it your desktop background. This is awesome! Today's inserts can suck it. Vintage inserts are where it's at, folks.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Twitch Batch

An overstuffed pile of quality cardboard.

As I inch ever so close to being caught up on sorting through incoming cards once again, I received a generous pile of cards from Twitch (aka Lonestarr) and thought I'd show off a few.

We're all hoping for big things from the Tsunami in 2016 as he continues to recover from a late season injury. This silver, numbered (021/199) mini parallel from 2015 Gypsy Queen is a great addition to the collection. (Well, I'm sure Cubs fans like Twitch aren't hoping for big things, but those guys don't count.)

I was a little surprised that I didn't already have this Chrome Refractor parallel in my Matt Holliday collection. It's not huge, but it's approaching 300 unique cards. Apparently, I don't even have the regular Chrome version of this card.

Lance Lynn's throwing motion looks really unnatural here, but it wouldn't be for another eight years that he'd blow out his elbow. We'll see you in 2017, Lance!

Kyle Lohse is here, on a green parallel Prizm card playing for no team in particular.

This is from the 2015 Panini Donruss set, and I assume it's either a parallel or insert of some sort. It does a decent job of aping the original 1981 Donruss design, though there are some unforgivable differences. I'll start with the team name (because they can't use "Cardinals"). They could have at least left-justified it, though.

Twitch must have opened a lot of Gypsy Queen last year, because he made a huge dent in my team set needs.

Ah, a Blazer sneaked in there! This is always welcome. It's Gary Trent, guys.

Thanks again to Twitch!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Cheap Group Breaks Are Good

There needs to be more of these.

I can be a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to spending on baseball cards. When I'm looking at committing to something that costs more than a blaster, that's when I take pause. Fortunately, Tracy's Box Breaks puts on a good affordable group break from time to time, and I was able to take part this time around.

I don't usually spend money on Panini's baseball stuff because it's unlicensed and just a tad bit unsatisfying. However, if I know that all of the cards I'm spending on are going to be Cardinals cards, I'm willing to bend the rules a little bit.

This year's black Allen & Ginter "X" release seemed unnecessary and just a bit silly. Still, while I'm not collecting this weird excuse for a set, I do need the Cardinals. (Not pictured: some turncoat who isn't on the team anymore.)

Sideways Sutter, just because. It's not like this shot was demanding a wide angle or anything.

I don't totally understand the story behind this set. Technically every player is a hero to his "hometown", i.e. the city his team plays in and represents.

This was a really cool toss-in, a die cut for my Wainwright collection. Apparently this was from a National Convention set.

Willie! Of course, the nicest looking unlicensed cards are the ones where they need to do the least amount of Photoshopping.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Airbrushed Fridays: 2015 Topps #467

I wonder how Cat Latos is doing these days.

Who is he? Mat Latos is a starting pitcher who will be heading into his 8th big league season this year, although he's currently a free agent. Latos came up with the San Diego Padres before being traded to the Reds when he seemed to be on the cusp of breaking out. His best season to date was in 2013, his second with the Reds.

How did he get here? The Reds have been in a slow but steady full rebuild process in the last year to two years, and Latos was one of the casualties. Miami picked him up in a trade for Anthony DeSclafani, one of five rookie starters to hold down a regular rotation spot for the Reds in 2015. After a lackluster stint with the Marlins, Latos actually made appearances for both L.A. area teams down the stretch.

Repeat offender? Yes

Other versions of this card: Here's Mat as a Dodger, later in the season. And here's the source photo for this card:

Airbrushed Score: 7

Comments: Los Rojos indeed.

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Contest winnings "and a few extras" render me speechless. Well, almost.

They always say "you can't play if you don't win". I feel like I don't win many things, but I also am probably guilty of just not even entering the prize pool more often than not. I even forgot to buy a Powerball ticket during all of the hysteria earlier this month. Fortunately, I did manage to enter Bob Walk the Plank's 600 Posts contest back in November, and I couldn't believe what I got in return... when I won!

It's a high end on card auto of Big City! I'm hoping Adams can put the injury unpleasantness behind him and seize control of the starting 1B job this season. Hey, it's 2016! I love being able to call it "this season".

Not one, but TWO Albert Pujols pieces of game used bits? This was certainly unexpected. I know that plenty of people are "over" the whole game used card thing due to fraud and market saturation, but I'm not! Since you can't see the number, I'll also mention that it's 52/75.

Here's a mysterious Scott Rolen numbered card from a 2005 Throwback Threads set. I think this is one of those deals where there's parallels of parallels on parallels, but I don't care. I like this.

If all that wasn't enough, check out this game used card from an old-time Hall of Famer! This is fantastic.

And finally... a Pujols game used patch?! Are you kidding me? This is just too much! Who gets future HOFer patch cards in the mail?

Support your local Pirates blogger, folks! Or, at least, support Bob Walk the Plank.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Habit's Leftovers

Coming back around again.

A funny thing happened with me and last year's Allen & Ginter set. As I do every year, I went out and bought some of the new Allen & Ginter product with the intent to put the entire set together. I even did a proper (at least for me) review of what I found, had a good time with it, and planned to do it again soon.

But I pretty much stopped buying loose packs altogether last year. I finally got tired of all of the picked through, dented and mangled packs that jerks manhandle on the shelves and swore off anything that someone could hook their fingernails into. After a certain amount of time, I pretty much forgot about this set and focused on other areas of my collection. Fortunately, Blue Jays fan Robert from $30 a Week Habit came along and put a pile of 2015 Ginter cards into the massive (and mostly empty) master set bucket.


This isn't going into my Cardinals binder, but it will definitely take down my needed Keys to the City card list by one. Is this the time to admit that I've never been to the Arch? Or St. Louis, for that matter? (I've never left my mother's basement. Don't tell anyone.)

This one does go into the Holliday collection, which means I need to seek another one out. Such is life.

The Cardinals struggled with injuries last year, especially at the power positions. Brandon Moss was brought in to help, but he struggled. He was brought back for 2016 as he's still under team control, which is interesting.

The lone non-Ginter card was this much needed retail quasi-parallel from the 2014 Topps Heritage set. I'm hoping for a bounceback year from Wacha who, despite making the All-Star team, seemed to struggle with consistency especially in the second half.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Holiday Breakdown

Wrapping up some envelopes received over the holidays.

Fellow Portland-based blog Baseball Card Breakdown dropped some surprise holiday greetings in my box of the Cardinals variety. Many of these were shiny and/or numbered, which makes things extra fancy. Extra fancy like the Sepia toned Lance Berkman mini (76/99) from his Redbird days.

Austin Gomber is an exciting young prospect from the 2014. His numbers last year at single-A were eye-popping. This is another numbered parallel (75/100) from the 2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Picks set.

Incidentally, I didn't know there was another Prizm set beyond just the, y'know, Prizm set. Weaver is another pitching prospect from that same draft. Bright futures all around!

Gavin also set a couple of Cardinals from the 2010 Topps Pro Debut set. I had to look up Jason Stidham. Let's just say it's not a great sign that he wasn't even the first Jason Stidham to come up in Google's search results. Also, he's not to be confused with Jason Statham.

Well, this is certainly colorful! This numbered (90/99) parallel insert (or is that insert parallel?) is headed for Erin's collection... for now!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Airbrushed Fridays: 1972 Topps #255


Who is he? Jim Lonborg was an All-Star and Cy Young Award winning pitcher, his accolades all occurring in a magical 1967 season that saw his Red Sox team come up just short against the Cardinals in the World Series. TV nuts will note that it was Lonborg's photo that was used in the background as a stand-in for Ted Danson's character on a certain popular '80s TV sitcom.

How did he get here? After spending his first 7 seasons in Boston, Lonborg was part of a massive 10 player swap that moved him to Milwaukee. Other notables in this trade: George Brett's brother and Tony Conigliaro's brother.

Repeat offender? No

Airbrushed Score: 10

Comments: It's a perfect 10. Perfectly awful! It does look like the back of his head is glowing, though.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Serious Snail Mail

It was worth the wait.

Yesterday, there was a plain white envelope waiting in my box from Canada that was anything but plain. It was also postmarked November 30th, which I found a bit odd. I know international shipping can take some extra time, but this was pretty ridiculous! The envelope in question was sent by Mets/Jays/Raptors/hockey fan buckstorecards, and I have to tell you that it was pretty great. There were a few cards for the Cardinals binders and some neat stuff from the other sports.

Two cards of former Eagles QBs were included, including this Chrome-style Panini Select Nick Foles. (Why do they have this set and Prizm? This looks better.) Foles seemed like he was going to be a franchise quarterback, but then all kinds of madness transpired and Foles went on to disappoint Rams fans instead. It was an awful year to be a Rams fan, unless you're that one guy who will go to their games next year somewhere in Los Angeles. The other ex-Eagles QB included in the bunch just simply cannot be mentioned here.

I usually save my Ducks cards for gameday posts, but I was pretty excited to share a CFL card for once in my life. Jeremiah Johnson is a number of years removed from his college career, but it's nice to see him getting work in the pros one way or another.

Here's the card that blew me away. Lillard cards cost a pretty penny in this area, and this is such a nice one. It has sort of a vinyl canvas surface to it, similar to the mid-'00s Diamond Kings baseball sets. I could certainly do with more Dame cards in envelopes in my mailbox, even if it takes a month or two to arrive!