Wednesday, January 30, 2013

This Way to the Hardcourt

Before I opened up the Basketball Card Club officially for business, I made a deal with Mark Kaz of This Way to the Clubhouse. I sent him all of my Celtics cards plus a few baseball things and he was kind enough to send me a package as well. I was able to cross off a bunch more cards off my 2012 Heritage list and Mark even threw in a stack of Blazers to boot.

I'm a sucker for retail parallels, but I'm very much on the verge of abandoning the idea of ever collecting the rare variation cards in any of these sets. I have a few - at least one from 2012 and several from 2009 I believe. I'm finally coming to the realization that the headache is probably not worth it for someone who is trying to work on so many different sets as once. I haven't completely made up my mind, but I know that if I were to solicit advice it would be 99% in favor of me being more realistic.

Let's hope there's more floating heads in 2013. Floating heads are great.

Sadly, Drexler did not fulfill the prophecy set forth by Topps, but he did eventually win a title... albeit with Houston.

I had never seen this design before. This is 2003-04 Topps NBA, for the record. These cards probably aren't floating around like crazy because it was the LeBron rookie year.

The current Blazers team is young and has been very intriguing to watch, but there's something to be said for the years where they were built to win at any cost. It never proved to be ultimately successful, but they used to make deep playoff runs at least.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Up For Grabs: Yaz

Carl Yastrzemski earned a spot in my old binders because his playing days just barely overlapped with my awareness of baseball cards, though I have no memory of actually watching him play. He's the latest to be offered up to the masses.

This card actually has a border on the left side. My scanner ate it. I really need to clean and calibrate the stupid thing. Anyway, the card is in really nice shape despite having uneven borders.

Yaz is staring his final playing days in the face.

I completely forgot I owned this card.

The list:

2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions #119
1981 Donruss #214
1981 Topps #110
1982 Topps Stickers #120
1990 Topps Glossy All-Star #22 [2 available]
1987 Topps K-Mart #11
1990 Donruss (Hall of Fame Diamond King) #588 [8 7 available]
2010 Topps Million Card Giveaway Code #TMC-20
2010 Topps Million Card Giveaway Code #TMC-29
1990 Donruss Puzzle #7-8-9 [2 available]
1990 Donruss Puzzle #16-17-18
1990 Donruss Puzzle #25-26-27 [2 available]
1990 Donruss Puzzle #34-35-36
1990 Donruss Puzzle #37-38-39
1990 Donruss Puzzle #55-56-57
1990 Donruss Puzzle #58-59-60

[updated 1/29/13]

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I Caught Some Kind of (Hi)Flew

I could make a Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever joke, but I'm not going to. Instead, I'm here today to show off a bunch of cards that came in last month from the very generous hiflew of Cards from the Quarry. Hiflew has very thorough want lists, which I have finally finished up wading through myself. If you have extra Rockies in your household, I suggest that you get to work on checking them out.

The impetus of this trade was to hit up Erin's player collections, which are surprisingly Rockies-oriented for a Cardinals fan. She likes Holliday, Tulo and Larry Walker, and all of those players have played for the Rockies at some point. Even Chone Figgins came up through the Rockies system, though I'm not sure if he has any cards from way back then. According to some program I have, I actually saw Figgins play for a single-A team in Portland back in the day.

Topps Archives? Nah, think again. It's from that Trading Card History insert set that Topps put out in 2008. I had forgotten all about these. I wonder what Topps would do if they somehow lost the ability to use any of their previous designs for anything.

Ah, Topps Tek... so fun and so weird. I bet these aren't environmentally friendly. In fact, I'd have to say that the trading card industry is probably one of the least environmentally sound thing around. So wasteful. So pointless. (I'm such a hypocrite for doing this.)

What is going on behind Larry? Are those ghosts escaping from the ether? Is that a wicked thunderstorm? Is it an x-ray?

This is kind of minimalist. I miss Stadium Club.

Back to the retro theme here, as I think this is a throwback to an earlier Bowman design that I know nothing about.

I know that 1996 was the dawn of the Topps Chrome era, but I never want to see this design again. It is awful.

On the other hand, I almost always like Finest. This looks like it could be on a metal lunchbox.

The package wasn't all Colorado-y, which is good for my own collection. X-Fractors are the Hypnotoad of the baseball card world.

I'll never get tired of this picture!

Usually when you "swing for the fences" the result is not so good.

I like how the colored circles are just a bit off on this card.

I had been looking for this card for awhile. This is the last Cardinals card that I needed from the 2006 Opening Day set.

Finally, here's a very striking card from the 2006 Ultimate Collection set. It doesn't get much better than this.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Airbrushed Fridays: 1974 Topps #485

Nice response so far to the (free-ish) Guilt-Free Basketball Card Club - we've got 8 people signed up so far. I promise that I won't post any more about the NBA for at least two more days. So... what's going on in baseball? No pitchers... no catchers... hmm... something something Uptons... something about a new set coming out soon?

Who is this week's victim, and why do we care? Felipe Alou was a three-time All-Star outfielder and member of one of the more famous baseball families. He had two brothers who were also prominent big league outfielders and is the father of Moises Alou, who himself was a six-time All-Star who primarily played in the outfield. Felipe Alou managed the Expos for a decade and also managed the Giants before retiring.

Why is this a thing? Montreal was one of Felipe's final stops of his 17 year career as he spent just a month with the club in the waning days of the 1973 season, after being waived by the Yankees. You can see his Yankee pinstripes on this card, although they almost look like they're drawn on. His card uses the classic "cap tilted towards the sky" look that many cards of the era wear. While this probably wasn't airbrushed in any way, I think I've bent the rules around here enough to warrant posting one of these as an example of Topps tomfoolery.

Airbrushed Fridays is a regular, weekly feature as the name seems to imply. If you know of a card with an altered photograph that you'd like to see featured, please contact me. You probably won't win anything other than a hyperlink and a scratched up Aerosmith CD, but you never know!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Guilt-Free Basketball Card Club

I have a problem. I want to continue to buy NBA cards, but they're taking up too much room in my home. I have very limited collecting interests in the NBA: just Blazers cards, former University of Oregon players and one particular set (more on that later.) The problem is, I feel guilty about buying basketball packs any time I buy them because there just isn't the community-wide interest in these cards that there is in baseball. Buying Blazers cards as singles is just not an option for me because the price markup around here is outrageous (expect to pay at least $1 a card for even the worst player on your active roster.) Plus, going that route just isn't as fun, and I'm in this game for fun above all else.

What I'd like to do is continue to buy basketball cards because I like looking at them and scoping them out, but I don't want to keep them. Well, most of them. And that's where you come in. I want to set up a "guilt-free" club, where I no longer feel guilty when I buy cards because I know that all of my Knicks cards are going to Collector Z, my Pacers cards are going to Collector G, and so forth. If there's enough interest in this, I'll set up an official sign-up page. I already have a couple of people in mind as I recently sent all my Celtics cards (sans doubles) to Mark Kaz and have sent Charlotte Bobcats cards in the past to Colbey at Carboard Collections. This doesn't mean that you need to send me basketball cards in return, either.

This is essentially intended to be a free offering, or at least "free-ish". If I've never traded with you before, I would at least require a good faith" send some cards my way first" type of trade for the first offering, but anyone I've dealt with in the past would get these things as long as I have a current address for you, at least until you change your identity because I keep sending you Nate Robinson cards. If there's enough interest, I'll also offer up some exceptions, like picking out a player or group of players rather than a team, or "all cards where Dwyane Wade is getting dunked on." Stuff like that. I've had great experiences with collectors who I've sent cards to out of the blue and vice versa, and my hope would be that if I added a basketball team to a few people's trade stacks that it would catch on and do great things for my storage space.

In the meantime, I mentioned a particular set above that I've secretly wanted to collect for awhile. When I first heard about Panini reviving the Donruss line for basketball cards and making it a pseudo tribute to 1984 Donruss baseball, I was skeptical. I was very skeptical. As it turns out, I fell in love with it almost instantly. Full bleed photos, a much thicker than usual (for Panini) card stock, team cards, Rated Rookies (?!)... what's not to love? It's also a big enough set that there's actually more than each team's top 2 or 3 players to collect, but not so burdensome that you'd have to buy boxes and boxes. (I think?)

As I mentioned, one of my collecting interests is former UO players. This extends to football as well. Currently, Aaron Brooks and Luke Ridnour are the only players consistently found in current sets that went to UO. Ivan Johnson is another active player whose last school was Oregon, but he was kicked off the team almost 7 years ago and only recently showed up in the NBA. Terrell Brandon was a high level PG in the '90s and Blair Rasmussen was a serviceable center in the '80s, but other than that only a smattering of other Ducks have NBA cards as success at the next level has been fairly scarce.

There are parallels in this set. I haven't decided what to do with them yet, but I may hang onto some of them. I have pulled a few green ones (which might be a retail only thing?) and a blue one numbered to 49 (happened to be a Laker which I couldn't bear to scan).

The one that got away...

These Production Line inserts are fun. I mostly have bought jumbo rack packs so far, which are an insanely good deal in comparison to the single packs. There's four of these in each jumbo. I wish these had stayed on the shelf for longer than a week or two around here. If it wasn't for me snagging some of these jumbos at the card show this month from Retail Guy, I probably would have eventually given up on this set.

See? Rated Rookie! I know they didn't completely nail the logo, but still...

I will probably try to trade or sell the hits. This one is numbered to 399. I know very little about which players people are hot after in terms of basketball cards. I just know which ones are actually good.

I actually got this Wade jersey card in my very first pack. Unless I traded it away for some reason, it should be filed away somewhere. It'll likely go up for sale or trade at some point. I don't remember if it's numbered or not.

People rip on the classic Donruss '80s card backs all the time, but this still gives me warm and fuzzies for some strange reason.

I'll have a want list up for this set soon. In the meantime, drop me a comment if this sounds at all like something you'd be into. I have plenty of '90s cards (hoo...ray?) and am accumulating a fair amount of recent stuff as well.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gypsy Cards

I participated in another group break last month, and you're about to see some scans of some cards from said break. The Daily Dimwit was the host and 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen was the main attraction. My second team was the Blue Jays, but the bulk of those goodies (including a Ricky Romero jersey card) are soon to be on their way to a country up north.

I managed to hit on three of the framed parallels, which are my favorite thing about this Gypsy Queen set. I didn't care for last year's design at all, but this year's design is a little bit better. These framed cards are on par with the Upper Deck Masterpieces set. Incidentally, there were some 2008 Masterpieces in this break as well, but I didn't end up with anything that I felt like sharing here.

David Freese is in the throes of arbitration negotiations right now. He'll probably get a decent chunk of change for someone who has been hurt as often as he has. MLB Network is on an almost endless loop of countdown shows and highlights right now, and Mr. Freese has been featured often as his heroics of 2011 are still fresh in most memories.

More Gibby. These are good looking inserts.

This is the more common "gold" frame version of the card I showed earlier. I don't see how this color could actually be consider gold.

To say the world lost a baseball legend over the weekend would be a vast understatement. Musial was one of the very best players of all-time, on a tier that most professional athletes that perform in my lifetime will never be able to reach. I didn't do a tribute post because it feels funny to write about someone who played generations before I ever considered watching a game, but if you read up on his life and legacy you'll see that it's impressive in an almost unparalleled way.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

More Archives Trade Bait

I picked up another Topps Archives blaster at the last card show in town, this time for the even more ridiculous price of $10. I have a bunch more base cards, so if you happen to be working on the set and need some of those, just let me know. Or, if you just want cards from your team, that works too.

I just thought I'd post the key cards from the blaster instead of everything. I am also officially collecting the 3-D set (want list is posted) and managed to snag the Mickey Mantle card from it.

I'm not sure what the difference is between the high number reprints and these that have the gold foil stamps on them. If only Joe knew the damage that he would do in the media back then.

I believe this is a short print.

Here's another gold stamped reprint thing.

I wasn't aware of the term "catfish" until this whole Manti Te'o thing went down. Weird stuff. This is one of the cloth-ish inserts.

This is also a short print.

Finally, here's another cloth-ish card.

Let me know if you need anything from this post or are missing base cards.