Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Diary of a Heritage Collector

Another entry into the log. 

It's April 2017, just past Tax Day. After putting out the selfish call for help with my 2017 Heritage collection, a bunch of people responded, including the very generous Mr. Meeks from My Cardboard Habit. Per the usual formatting for my reports, I have selected to scan just a few cards to represent the many that I was able to cross off of my neverending list.

I was watching a Rockies game the other day when the TV broadcast saw fit to put up a photo of Charlie Blackmon on the screen next to his present day visage. Take a look if you want, just for giggles.

The Yankees are pretty good this year, right? Gary Sanchez was last year's Aaron Judge, which probably gives Yankees fans mixed emotions right about now.

I don't get a lot of Frank Howard cards. I really would appreciate it if Topps mixed up the past greats and legends a bit in their products, but haven't we all been saying that since the mid-oughts when Topps would cram 500 Mantle reprints in every box?

This one isn't actually from the 2017 set, not that you could really tell by the design. The square "button" cards or discs or whatever these are supposed to be look pretty much identical this year as they did last year. Piscotty's square round thing is going straight to my Cardinals binders, rather than my 2016 set.

Finally, it's the crown jewel of this bubble mailer - an Aledmys Diaz Chrome Refractor serial numbered to just 68 because it's blue. I have a really hard time telling the difference between the various colored refractors in this set under natural light, but after scanning this I can actually finally see the blueness.

Until the next entry...

Monday, May 22, 2017

Something for Everybody

But mostly some things for me. 

Brian of the Twins-centric Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary was kind enough to hit me up with a package (we'll call them Red Dilly) recently, and it was sure enough not to disappoint. (I can't say that I've ever been disappointed by cards people have sent me through this blog, except when the mailman decided to play hacky sack with the goods, but that's another story altogether.) This was another great one that ticked a lot of boxes in all corners of my collections.

Something for the fan of pink cards! I think this qualifies as pink? These are numbered to 250, so as so as I track down the other 249, I will have them all.

Something for fans of The Finest. Yes, I capitalized "The". It's that precious.

Something for the team collector who can't get enough journeymen relievers.

Something for the "Ooh, that's shiny!" crowd.

Something for the near-sighted. Or maybe he was far sighted. Or maybe he was way, way ahead of his time and wore non-prescription glasses to look cool.

And something for the set collectors. I am down to just around a dozen or so of these base cards left in my set quest, but I'll never be done with those dastardly short prints. Thanks again to Brian for helping me out with this set and other Cardinals needs!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Might Want to Check That Twitter Name, Topps

Aledmys Diaz's 2017 @Topps card is forever linked to a random fan's Twitter. 

Of my many gripes with this year's Topps set, the addition of player's Twitter names on the back wasn't actually one of them. It might look funny a decade or so from now, but I don't mind that it gives a little bit of a personal connection to the player on the card, at least beyond just their basic bio.

Well, Twitter is not for everybody, and that apparently includes the Cardinals starting shortstop. After a bit of light Googling, I can't find any evidence that Diaz actually has a Twitter. And yet, Topps saw fit to slap some rando's Twitter name on the back of his card. Check it out, if you dare. If Diaz was going to idolize any former Cardinal enough to include it in a screen name, I would have at least expected someone more era appropriate than ol' Dizzy Dean. I mean, the man is almost too young to have seen Ozzie Smith play.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Plain, White, Old and New

A couple of plain white envelopes deliver the goods and keep me on my toes. 

By some weird scheduling quirk, the Cardinals are in the midst of their first of three off days out of the next eight. Theoretically, it should mean I have more time to dedicate to baseball cards since I'm not actively watching baseball as much, but being that it's Monday and I'm a bit sleep deprived, I am just going to power through this. David of the non-keyboard friendly "é rayhahn, rayhahn" is a Twins fan living near the St. Louis area, and he kindly hooked me up with some stuff that only a lifelong Cardinals fan who doesn't live anywhere near St. Louis could enjoy: pocket schedules! He hooked me up with two copies, one for the collection and one for general use (of course) as well as some other schedules to hang up in various locations throughout my home. I do collect these things and someday will probably try to track down some older pocket schedules to fill some holes in my collection. And now I always know what time the game is on (minus two hours, unless delayed by rain or other random acts of squirrel.)

BoSox fan Mark Hoyle is undoubtedly celebrating his Celtics game 7 victory tonight, and he also saw fit to send a good ol' PWE my way recently.

Inside the envelope were some very PWE-friendly 2017 Panini album stickers. Matt Carpenter is thinking of a particularly riotous off-color joke as he follows through on his swing here.

This is a rainbow foil Oh rookie parallel, if you're into that sort of thing. I mean, you wouldn't know by the scan, but trust me - it's shiny.

Nope, I still don't own all of the Blazers cards that were released when I was still in high school for some stupid reason. Portland fell in and out of love with Pack-Man Fever about as quickly as you can with an undrafted free agent who shined in his brief moments of playing time while he was buried on the bench on a very talented team a la Drazen Petrovic. They couldn't really keep him, so he was one and done in Portland. Hopefully Nurkic Fever lasts a bit longer.

Mark is one of the many generous people who has helped out with my 2017 Heritage quest, sending over this short printed Petey Pedroia.

But this one truly takes the cake, as this 1939 Play Ball Lon Warneke becomes the oldest card in my collection by more than a decade. It's a little toasty on the edges, which is just a good reminder that everything was probably a bit more combustible in your grandparents hey day. I love this!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Some Old Throwbacks

I enjoy these older new sets fashioned after much older cards. 

Mr. Haverkamp was the big winner way back in January for the annual Cards on Cards bowl pick 'em dealie, and as a big thanks for his prize, he sent me a big stack of old cards from sets I collect. Specifically, these are mostly from sets that came out before this blog was a thing (10+ years ago) and I wasn't really collecting. I really like these sets, and should probably spend more time on them. Fortunately, thanks to one gracious contest winner, I am a bit closer to these goals. I am in the process of digging up some stuff to send back because I certainly wasn't expecting to receive anything back for sending out a prize.

There were a bunch of cards in the package, so I just chose my favorite from each set.

Carl Everett doesn't (or didn't... does anyone know what he's been up to these days) believe in dinosaurs, and almost in a comical way. I have no recollection of him actually playing for the Mariners. He was one of the guys who showed up on prospect cards in the early '90s when I was still a teenaged collecting geek who went on to have a career largely out of my consciousness.

Every card I've ever seen from the 2002 Bowman Heritage set has a facsimile autograph on the front where Freddy Garcia's name is. Did they misplace his rookie contract? Did his autograph look like something mildly offensive? I don't know the story behind this. It's strange to think that Garcia was at one point considered Seattle's ace.

Did you know there was another Garciaparra? Me neither. His tale isn't nearly as tragic as Larry Yount's, but his Wikipedia entry is rather short (and short of intrigue).

Mr. Haverkamp sent me two foil parallels from the 2007 Bowman Heritage set, and the other one was a good-for-nothing Cub. We get cheatin' Manny by default.

Speaking of cheating... nah, this obviously isn't Starling Marte. I like the older Heritage sets before MLB and Topps came to the agreement to tighten up their rookie card/prospect rules because they contain a lot of names that came and went before I ever heard mention of them. I do think it limited their collecting appeal a bit, though.

Monday, May 8, 2017

New Logo, Old Cards

On a day where the Trail Blazers new logo was leaked, here's a look at some old cards. 

Nike is taking over the NBA apparel contract starting next season, and with that comes the inevitable changes in uniform designs and logo tweaks. The Blazers haven't done much of anything to their primary logo or uniform in awhile, so it's not surprising that they are next in line for some redesigning. We're all very nervous about the uniforms, but the new logo leaked today and it's not so bad. The pointless silver has been eradicated, with the logo reverting to a cleaned up version of their '90s titled pinwheel look. As much as I'd like them to fully commit to going back to their original logo and look, I guess you can't have a "throwback" design if you have nothing to throw back to.

KO Rob sent over a bunch of old school (and middle school?) Blazers cards recently, so I thought this would be a good time to show some of them off. I must say, the player name font is really strange on these 1996-97 Stadium Club cards, but any Sheed card is a good Sheed card.

The Blazers actually wore red on the road as a primary jersey for a time, before they switched back to black permanently in the late '80s (and before secondary/alternate jerseys were even a twinkle in David Stern's eye.)

This is the look that everyone gets misty-eyed about, which Portland wore from 1978-1990 if memory serves me. I had no idea about this Action Packed set from 1993, but this is a great looking photo of Walton.

Of course, when the Blazers won their championship, it was the one season (only season? I think?) where they wore the team name spelled out vertically down their jerseys. It's not a common look. But when you see it, you remember the championship team. (Well, I don't technically remember it, exactly. I was 1 1/2 years old when they paraded down the streets of downtown Portland.)

Rob also sent a nice stack of oversized cards, including this NBA Jam Session Terry Porter card. These are like the GameDay equivalent of NFL cards, or like Fleer's Extra Bases in baseball. The mid-90s were crazy.

In the same dimensions but decades earlier was this set from the experimental Topps days. I've featured a number of cards from the 1970-71 set on this blog, which feature a lot of weird looking would be Blazers in random attire in their expansion season. Yes, this is the set with the Pat Riley rookie card, believe it or not.

My scanner ate the right hand border of this card, but I just wanted to show off the cartoon. I have no knowledge of Gary Gregor being known for shooting underhand, but Topps is putting that thought in my head.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Talkin' 'Bout Thames

Step right up and get a piece of the latest sensation. 

As many of us have probably done recently, I dug through my boxes of cards that don't fit my collection to see if I could dig up any Eric Thames cards. After spending a few years in Korean pro ball, the former Blue Jays draft pick is back in the States and tearing up MLB pitching. Though I'm sure his cards have limited prospects as he's 30 years old at this point, there is a little bit of curiosity out there about the guy now anchoring the Brewers lineup.

Given that his rookie card appears in the same set as Mike Trout, the supply could be a little bit depressed with all of the hoarders out there hanging on to unopened 2011 Topps Update stuff (or at least demanding ridiculous prices for it). Along with the usual parallels and an array of 2011 Bowman releases from his rookie year, he also has some base cards in 2012, of which I located two.

I honestly thought I had a lot more Eric Thames cards, but it's probably because I never fully realized that he and Marcus Thames were different players. Oops. The pronunciation should have been a dead giveaway.

Here are some cards from the Thames Era that I do actually need.

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Bowman Blahs

Bowman arrives right about the time we're sick of everything else. 

I wouldn't say I look forward to Bowman every year, but it usually provides a nice temporary diversion from the collecting calendar. It also seems to always have the same configuration, a mix of veterans and prospects, with only the ratios and goofy player names changing from year to year. I picked up a retail rack pack (3 packs + bonus!) at Target this past weekend to check it out. This year's base design is fine, I suppose. I like the borderless look, and it's a massive improvement over this year's nauseating Topps flagship set, but it still seems destined to be eminently forgettable.

There are inserts, though, because inserts are what makes your sell sheets pop. Mitch Keller is probably a guy I should have heard of, but I haven't. He's in an NL Central system, so I'm sure I will see him lots in the future.

I have heard of Moncada, who's now with a team in full rebuild mode, yet still sits at AAA. That doesn't make much sense to me, but I'm not paying the bills over at Comiskey, or uhhh... Guaranteed Rate Field! Now all the penny pinching is starting to make sense.

On the prospects side of things is where you get guys with funny names like Mountcastle.

I do like these cards, which are a bit flashy. It should be fun to look back in a few years to see which of the guys in the pipeline made it and which were... I don't know... flushed out?

My three card bonus is three yellow parallel prospect cards. In recent past seasons, we've seen some of these types of parallels made exclusively for Asian markets if I'm not mistaken. I don't know if that's happening again.

This was probably Photoshopped, but you can actually see in the blurry background that Harold was playing in an actual baseball game with actual people by the dugout. You can't always tell, considering how close Topps crops their photos and adds digital enhancements these days.

I'm in the process of adding 2017 Bowman to my Cardinals want list. Check it if you have some time. As you might have guessed, I never everything besides that lone Aledmys Diaz card, but I could see myself picking up another one of these 3-packs with my groceries if they end up carrying them at the Fred Meyer.