Thursday, February 28, 2013

Up For Grabs: Rickey

I have a massive amount of Rickey Henderson cards to get rid of. He was one of the favorite players of a younger version of myself, but it's been at least 20 years since I've really sought to acquire any of his cards. The sheer volume of his career ensured that no one on earth will run out of Rickey Henderson cards.

As always, the list follows at the end of the post. It's long. With apologies to the Angels, Mets and Dodgers, I am going to list his cards by which team he is depicted with for all you team collectors out there, since the man changed teams an awful lot.

I had totally lost track of Rickey Henderson by the time this card was produced. I had no idea he had played for Boston until I pulled this card from a pack of 2003 Topps.

Rickey briefly played for the latest version of my hometown Portland Beavers in 2001, but never got a chance to actually play a game in Portland. He broke camp with the AAA Padres affiliate that year and they were still putting the finishing touches on the remodel of our stadium, so he played his first home games that year several hours away in a small town in Washington.

This is a great looking card. I have no idea how I kept a nice copy of a 1985 Donruss card for so long. I must have bought it when I was in high school when I was flirting with collecting his stuff.

Rickey played for the Yanks during my formative collecting years. He and Mattingly and Winfield just couldn't get that team to the playoffs.

This is a pretty decent looking card. It's too bad it's a 1990 Score card, meaning that there are 7.8 million other copies of this in existence. He looks old here, and yet would go on to play for another decade and a half.

Virtual Rickey.

The list:

2001 Topps #105

1988 Donruss Pop-Up
1989 Bazooka #14
1988 Topps UK Mini #31
1987 Donruss #228 [2 available]
1988 Topps Glossy All-Star Send-In #25
1987 Topps Mini League Leaders #64
1989 Topps #380
1989 Donruss #245
1987 Topps #735 [2 available]
1987 Topps (Yankees Leaders w/ Don Mattingly) #406
1988 Topps #60 [2 available]
1988 Donruss All-Stars #4
1988 Leaf/Donruss #145
1988 Donruss #277 [4 available]
2003 Topps Record Breakers #RB-RH
1989 Topps Mini League Leaders #66
1986 Topps #500 [2 available]
1986 Topps (All-Star) #716 [2 available]
1986 Topps Mini League Leaders #27 [3 available]

1989 Score #70 [2 available]
1989 Score (Highlights) #657

1989 Fleer #254 [4 available]
1987 Fleer Baseball's Hottest Stars #20
1986 Sportflics #6
1986 Fleer #108
1989 Upper Deck #210 [2 available]
1987 Topps Glossy All-Star #18

Red Sox
2003 Topps Hit Parade #HP21

1995 Topps Stadium Club Virtual Reality #213
1985 Donruss #176
1990 Score (Dream Team) #686
1990 Topps Kmart #23
1993 Topps #750
1992 Leaf #116
1991 Post #27 [2 available]
1992 Score (Dream Team) #441
2010 Topps (Athletics Franchise History) #137 [2 available]
1991 Donruss (MVP) #387
1991 Donruss (All-Star) #53
1991 Fleer Ultra #248 [2 available]
1990 Donruss #304 [2 available]
1990 Upper Deck #334
1990 Classic Yellow #T27
1991 Classic II #T75
1995 Donruss #305
1991 Upper Deck #444 [2 available]
1990 Topps Kay-Bee Kings #15
1991 Topps Cracker Jack #18
1991 Topps Micro (All-Star) #391
1992 Topps #560
1991 Score (All-Star) #397 [2 available]
1991 Score (AL MVP) #875
1991 Studio #104
1991 Fleer #10 [2 available]
1983 Topps (Stolen Base Leaders w/ Tim Raines) #704
1991 Score (Dream Team) #890 [2 available]
1991 Score #10 [2 available]
1990 Topps Glossy All-Star Send-In #37
1990 Baseball Cards Magazine #48
1991 Upper Deck (Stolen Base Leaders w/ Lou Brock) #636 [2 available]
1991 Topps #670 [3 available]
1991 Topps (All-Star) #391
1994 Topps Stadium Club #654
1991 Score (The Franchise) #857 [3 available]
1991 Donruss #648 [3 available]
1987 Topps (Turn Back The Clock) #311
1989 Score Rookie/Traded #50T
1990 Fleer #10 [2 available]
1990 Bowman #457 [3 available]
1989 Fleer Update #U-54
1993 Donruss #315
1990 Topps #450
1990 Topps (Record Breaker) #7 [2 available]
1985 Topps Woolworth's #17
1985 Topps (All-Star) #706
1985 Topps #115 [2 available]
1991 Leaf #101
1984 Topps (League Leaders w/ Tim Conroy) #156 [has waxy front]
1984 Topps (League Leaders w/ Tim Raines) #134 [2 available]
1995 Bazooka #62
1990 Topps Mini League Leaders #28 [2 available]
1996 Bazooka #129
1990 Leaf #160 [2 available]
1990 Leaf (Checklist) #84
2002 Upper Deck World Series Heroes #5 [3 available]

2002 Upper Deck (Year of the Record) #734
1996 Pinnacle #338

One Down, Three to Go

It's late at night and I'm kicking back, watching some time-shifted baseball. Things seem right with the world. What's this February thing you say? Surely it cannot still be winter? I must say, in watching this morning's Cardinals/Mets matchup that I put on the DVR, I am thinking this Michael Wacha I've been hearing so much about may just have a future in this here baseball game.

But I digress. Thanks to a certain White Sox fan, I am now just three cards away from completing a set I started 4 1/2 years ago, around the very time I started this blog. Here's a few more cards that JediJeff sent me in the plainest, whitest envelope that he could find.

I am a sucker for these lenticular cards, which is why I added the Archives 3-D set to my ever growing list of things that I am trying to accumulate more of. It would only make sense for me to have added the similar insert set from 2011 Topps Lineage, but let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet!

This one isn't bound for the Cardinals collection at all. It's my second Albert Pujols Hit Parade of Chumps Champions from the 2008 Goudey set, which means it finally gets knocked off the set want list.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

You Can Buy Cards on the Internet Now

For some reason, I've always had an aversion to buying single cards. Sure, I love going through the nickel and dime boxes at card shows, but when it comes down to coldly selecting that I was already searching for and paying an allotted amount of money for them (i.e. market value), something about the whole process leaves me cold. Part of the reason I buy cards, I guess, is for a little mystery and intrigue. And then the buyer's remorse sets in.

I recently had my first experience with There were bargains to be had, and even some oddballs I didn't know anything about. I've actually known about the site for about as long as this blog has been around (nearly 5 years!) as they're from the northwest and occasionally send a rep down to the local card show. I built up a little invoice of just a bit more than it costs to purchase a blaster, including two cards not pictured here that I gave to Erin. Overall, I was really impressed with the variety of cards available and the communication (those invoices are something else) from the website itself. The prices weren't bad, either! This isn't something I can afford to do a lot, because once I got going on purchases it was really hard to stop. In the end, I ended up with a lot of things I probably would have either never tracked down on my own through trades and whatnot, plus some memorabilia cards that I could have paid a lot more for elsewhere.

This card is from the still elusive 2008 Topps 50th Anniversary rookie cup set that I've been trying to collect forever. I should have bought two of them, in hindsight, because this is going to go straight in my Ozzie binder instead of my set binder. It remains on the want list.

I snagged a couple of oddballs that I knew nothing about, from some sort of Pepsi 2007 Topps set. I am only showing the back of the card because the front looks the same as any other 2007 Topps Jim Edmonds card.

I don't know if these were a regional issue or something that you could find a version of for every card in the set. They look the same as the "red back" parallels (red names and card numbers) except for the addition of the "P" to the card number. Kind of boring, really, but still very necessary.

Again, you only get the back of this card because a scanned image of the front would look like any ol' 1986 Topps Ozzie Smith All-Star card. This is a Tiffany version, of which supposedly only 5000 were printed. I consider this a steal at $1, as many of the other Tiffany cards they had were more expensive. I was lucky enough to get a stash of Tiffany cards in an eBay auction from the 1990 set, but I am still lacking the Ozzie Smith cards from that set. I guess I should start adding these to the want lists even though they're tough to find.

Here's another oddity I didn't really know about until recently. Apparently there's a Donruss "Learning Series" that consists of cards that were distributed to classrooms bearing the same overall design as an extremely plentiful design. You could probably fill the Grand Canyon with all of the 1990 Donruss cards that were printed, so it makes me wonder how many of these went home with kids, got mixed up with the nominally worthless 1990 baseball card stuff and were just destroyed. Now, if only I could track down some cards from that pesky 1990 Fleer Canadian set.

I've always loved these old Kellogg's cards, but have owned very few of them in my time.

I think these are the only two years that Ozzie Smith Kellogg's cards were made. They are both mine now. Mine!

Moving things ahead a few decades, here's one of those rare short printed variations from a recent Topps set. I have very, very few of these, which is frustrating to me. There are quite a few that I would like to own. I actually just pulled a Richie Ashburn 2010 Topps SP card from a pack, so I might have to see if there's anyone out there who wants to swap annoyingly short printed legends.

Also available for a nice price was this Ozzie Smith bat card from the 2011 Topps set. Ozzie wasn't known for his bat exactly, except for a few amazing and dramatic moments, but I love bat cards just the same.

Finally, I freed a couple of abominations from the clutches of the COMC warehouse. Upper Deck decided to create not one but two cards of Jim Edmonds (that I know of) that would be certain to please almost nobody at all. Presumably, you got an old swatch of a Jimmy jersey from his Cardinals days plastered on a card with Cubs logos all over it.

Here's the other one. To really hammer in their point, they did it again in 2009 on their retrospective set. Edmonds was only halfway done with his tour of the NL Central, unfortunately, so I'm curious to see what else is out there after he was traded away from St. Louis.

Witty Title Mentioning Group Breaks and a Possible Pun

Joe Average Collector is holding another monthly group break, and this one still has plenty of teams left. Go check it out! While they're gearing up for the March group break, I thought I'd show off a few cards I received way back in the January group break. First up to bat is a confusing Jose Rodriguez serial numbered card. There wasn't much of a Future to Watch from Rodriguez. The back of the card mentions that he plays for Minnesota, but they left him as a Cardinal in every other way.

The design of this card is very non-Upper Deck-like. At first, I thought it was actually a base design that I wasn't familiar with, because the card number (594) is so high. I know what the 2002 Upper Deck base design looks like because I've bought a box of it before. Instead, this is from some set called Diamond Connection.

This is more like it. Actually, the strange grey backdrop is a little off-putting. It looks like Rolen just jumped out of another dimension or a creepy fog or something.

J.A.C.C. actually lives in Missouri, which presumably gives him access to a lot of Cardinals regional issues that I rarely get to see way out west in my neck of the woods. This works out well for me, and a little blogger/trader generosity netted me a few extra goodies in this package. Pacific actually produced this cool little McDonalds set that paid tribute to the Cardinals 100th Anniversary.

Hey, it's Young Albert Pujols. The "true age" doubters out there probably completely forgot that Pujols used to look like this once upon a time.

I also received a few Blazers cards, which I suspected might start happening a little more often now that I have been chucking basketball cards all over the country in recent days. It's been awhile since we've checked in on Bonzi Wells (yes, Topps used Photoshop even in the '90s, they just did it even more poorly.)

Wow, man. I don't even know what to say. I don't know if it's more surprising that Shawn Kemp is still somewhere, doing something basketball related (even if it's for charity) or that somewhere, on the internet, Bonzi Wells is having a blast.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Airbrushed Fridays: 2010 Topps #544

Has anyone seen a Photoshopped 2013 Topps card? I'll admit that I've only purchased one rack pack and one blaster so far, but I haven't personally run across any. I know that they went overboard with Photoshop last year with all of the Marlins and Blue Jays cards while it looks like they've left the poor Astros, who will don new duds, alone this year. I'm sure with next month's Opening Day set release, we'll see plenty of shenanigans, but for now I'm still mining sets from the past few years for Photoshopped fodder.

Who is this week's victim, and why do we care? Kevin Kouzmanoff was at one time considered one of the better third baseman in the league, but has seen his stock fall considerably in recent years. Last year he split time between AA and AAA ball. Before returning to the American League, it had been five years since he played minor league ball. He was a 6th round draft pick for Cleveland before San Diego picked him up and made him their every day guy at the hot corner. Oh, and Sooz used to collect him. You know, before she went all Beckett on us. (Maybe she still does. I have no idea.)

Why is this a thing? Things really started to go south for Kouz when he was included in a trade for Aaron Cunningham and Scott Hairston, where (as mentioned above) he returned to the League he broke in with. Things didn't go so well in Oakland, and he's bounced around ever since. As for the card, while his cap was conveniently tilted so that you couldn't see the logo, the "Athletics" on his jersey just seems too small and weird to be real.

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 an unofficial internship at Beckett Media, but you never know!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The John Nelson

In keeping with my tone last night, I am going to go ahead and rip this card apart. Now, keep in mind, I actually saw and requested this card, and it will go into my prized boxes of Cardinals top loaders like any other card that is arbitrarily assigned a value higher than a few bucks. Jon of Community Gum was nice enough to send this my way, along with a stack of Cardinals 2012 Topps Minis. (I am sparing you the minis because they're just going to look like any old regular 2012 Topps card to you internet folks.)

John Nelson was an 8th round draft pick with a promising enough future. Drafted as an outfielder, the Cardinals converted him to a shortstop position at which his "pop" with the bat would be a little more valued. He had a very productive 2004 season in AA, at which time Upper Deck probably got him to sign a bunch of pieces of glorified Scotch tape, eagerly awaiting the day he'd break through. He got his first call to the bigs  during his age 27 season, in 2006, where his 5 official plate appearances landed him a World Series ring. At age 28, playing behind David Eckstein and a sundry of utility players, John Nelson couldn't sniff the roster again and found himself flipped to the Cubs organization. He couldn't hack it in the Pacific Coast League, let alone on a major league roster, and at his age his time was running short. Upper Deck had other ideas about him, though, as is evident by the glowing write up on the back of his card.

I had completely forgotten about John Nelson, and I nearly fell asleep reading about him. I don't understand the autograph selections, sometimes. I realize that certain players aren't available and others come at a cost prohibitive rate, but how did they get excited about a utility player who was too old for his level of ball and hadn't yet solved AAA pitching?

I'm always up for Cardinals "no name" autographs, though, so drop me a line if you have anything like that and want to work something out.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Vintage Cards on Cards

There's a dealer who frequents the monthly card show that I try my best to frequent who has figured out that I'm "the Cardinals guy". I wouldn't say he's pegged me as the blogger, yet, but he now looks for me whenever I happen to be around. He's a very nice guy who has helped Erin in the past to look for old Cliff Mapes cards. I'll save the Cliff Mapes story for another day. The problem is, he's more than once put me in situations where I feel compelled to buy his stuff because he spent time setting it aside for me, something he surely didn't have to do. This is pretty much how I ended up with a bunch of beat up old vintage Cardinals cards, something I really don't regret. I just don't like to feel pressured.

I also just never know what to say about old cards. They look awesome, I know this. These ones all have flaws, some more ridiculous than others. Blasingame here has a ton of creases. He has all of his borders, but my scanner refused to acknowledge one of them.

Burton's corner was cut off by a nefarious scissors-wielding child. At least, that's what I'm choosing to believe. Didn't anyone believe in child safety in the '50s? Of course they didn't! He is also creased so badly that the card is fully punctured in a couple of places.

Hal is also creased and sliced, but his slice is very small and less obtrusive. Maybe they had kiddie scissors by 1960.

Ennis seems like he's suffered some water damage as well as a piece of tape. It's also clear that someone wasn't fond of his name, as there's some ball point pen running through it. Del and his killer specs would have the last laugh, though. This is apparently the more common, non-yellow name version.

Boyer is one of the more prominent names from my purchase, but he's got multiple notches taken from his card. It's almost as if someone thought about making a paper snowflake out of him, but thought better of it.

More like Larry Kson, right? Here's a jersey that I have yet to see St. Louis use as a throwback concept.

More from the Larry Jackson department: this brings my total of weirdly damaged Larry Jackson cards in my collection to 3.

This is the card that's sitting on the psychiatrist's couch, telling the world about all of its problems. Glued to something and removed? Yes. Creases upon creases? Sure. Even my scanner hated this card, as it's slim upper and left borders were rendered useless.

Hmmm... Jeff Goldblum's dad?

So why did I focus on the condition of all of these cards? Like I said, I really don't have a lot to say about most cards older than I am, so I chose to focus on something fairly trivial. I like to look at them. I want to own them if they are Cardinals cards. I just don't have the personal connection to them that I might with a card that was there during my own youth. I'm learning to appreciate the oldies but goodies, but I will just never have any Morrie Martin stories to pass down to future generations.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Feeling Complete

I'm starting to catch up with my trade posts to the point where I'm posting stuff where I haven't even sent the return package yet. While that might sound good, it's really not - considering that I've been sitting on this package for more than a month. Oops. Fortunately, my envelope full of cards for It's Like Having My Own Card Shop just got packed up and is ready to mail out tomorrow.

In exchange for some Griffey cards to restart his collection (and some super secret Diamondbacks cards we won't tell anyone about), I received a bunch of cards from players on my player collection lists. And more! Because there's always more. This Moonshots card is cool, and looks like it might have partly inspired the recent Stadium Lights inserts from Topps Opening Day. I already had the jersey version of this but I was lacking the regular insert.

I'll never get sick of framed cards. Not now, not ever. Oh Upper Deck, why did you have to be so shady and shoddy and lose your license?

See! Lost your license, you did. Pay no attention to that weird snakey thing on this baseball player that may or may not be an interlocking S, T and L.

Yadi is Erin's favorite current player, so I can't let her not have this card. This is one of those hard to find Target Walmart-only variations. Now I just need two of my own.

Well, Pujols isn't on my favorite players list at all, but his Cardinals cards are still appreciated here. If Upper Deck still had a license, I'd be pining for a new Upper Deck Xponential set. Just forget about the, uh, base cards.

I don't get this set at all, but I see the shiny serial numbers and I just drool. Just kidding. I've never drooled over a piece of cardboard. A cardboard box of mac & cheese, maybe, but not baseball cards.

I also picked up a few 1985 Fleer needs. But this isn't regular, boring old regular 1985 Fleer. This is Fleer Update Fleer. This set used to be untouchable in my youth but is probably fairly cheap these days.

Jack Clark. So serious.

John Tudor had some of the most brilliant and totally under appreciated (nationally, anyway) pitching seasons of anyone in my lifetime. When he was on, he was ridiculous and yet hardly a fireballer.

Finally, here's the last piece of the 1993 Upper Deck puzzle that I needed. I have no idea why I needed this card, but as soon as I learned it (and another "SP") existed, I needed to have it. Now I do. And now you know.