Friday, October 19, 2018

Payday Pack - Stories From Spring Training

This year's Heritage set is rather boring. Lots of poses, little in terms of action. Heritage High Series is more of the same. Rather than pick 3 cards based on best posture or most stoic look, I ended up selecting a few players I have seen play in person.

3rd Place

2018 Topps Heritage #579 Gift Ngoepe

I've seen Gift a few times over the years in Bradenton, where the Pirates hold their Spring Training games. Other than his unique name, I didn't know much about him. I soon learned he became the first person born in Africa to play at the Major League level!

2nd Place

2018 Topps Heritage - Rookie Performers
#RP-CS Chance Sisco

This past Spring, I got to see the Orioles play the Red Sox in Sarasota. Chance started that game, made some early defensive mistakes, then redeemed himself by crushing a home run to help the Orioles win. Now I have this sinking feeling he's going to be one of those guys that always hits well playing against my favorite team...

1st Place

2018 Topps Heritage #529 Mitch Garver (RC)

Also this past Spring, I got to watch the Twins play. Usually I'll try to get to the stadium early and try and get a ball signed by the players. The Twins were not very sociable this particular day, most of them just walking on by without acknowledging the fans. Mitch was the only Twins player that took the time to sign for the fans. Guys like him are the easy ones to root for.

Other Not Appearing On Stage:
#699 Miguel Rojas
#582 Brian Johnson
#528 Matt Szczur
#559 Miles Mikolas (RC)
#684 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (RC)
#AW-3 Corey Kluber (Award Winners insert)
#602 Cesar Hernandez
#511 Scott Kingery (RC)
#624 Nick Ahmed
#665 Chase Utley
#698 Merandy Gonzalez (RC)
#542 Marco Gonzalez
#562 Joe Kelley

Oh, more thing:


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Repack Haiku #73 (Shawn Hillegas)

Good not great pitcher
This is why repacks exist
Good action shot though

1992 Donruss #72 Shawn Hillegas

A popular theme going around the blogs lately has been posts in five minutes or less. For anyone keeping track, I can usually churn out a haiku post in about that time. To be honest, this one probably took longer just because I had a hard time coming up with something to write about this guy.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Time Travel Trading Update #20

I've got a trade percolating for the three 1978 cards from the last update. So for now, they get a stay of execution. The Frank Malzone generated no interest, which is fine by me. It'll make a nice addition to my personal collection.

In the meantime, I'm going to pimp out some more cards! I'm still going through cards that have been here since February. Ironically, if I continue to go chronologically, more 1978 Topps and another Red Sox vintage hit the chop block again. It's another Last Chance Showcase!

1978 Topps #24 Don Money

1978 Topps #347 Terry Forster

1978 Topps #445 Mike Ivie

Just like the last batch from this set, they would all be doubles in my collection. I rather trade them off and keep this project going. If a 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 deal will get that done, then I'm listening!

How Acquired - Received from Billy (Cardboard History) in exchange for the 2018 Topps Cleveland Indians team card.

Time Travel Trading Update #4

Why Should You Want These Cards? - It seems fitting that we have a Brewers card and a Dodgers card in this stack. Money was even a member of the Brewers' lone World Series team in 1982! Forster also got his ring, for the 1981 Champion Dodgers. Mike Ivie was a former #1 overall draft pick in 1970.

1964 Topps #305 Jack Lamabe

Another Red Sox vintage that would find a happy home in my collection if it doesn't get traded for soon. I'm cool with it either way.

How Acquired - Received from a TCDB member along with a 1962 Post Cereal Frank Malzone and a 1956 Topps Davy Crockett card in exchange for  a 2018 Topps Justin Turner 1983 insert.

Time Travel Trading Update #3

Why Should You Want This Card? - He played for 3 teams in 1967, and the last team he joined (Cardinals) ended up winning the World Series. He was the first full-time head baseball coach in the history of the LSU baseball program.

These cards will disappear from the trade stack if no one claims them! All it takes is an older card in return. help me keep this going!

The Time Travel Trade Stack:

2008-09 O-Pee-Chee (hockey)
#128 Tim Thomas

2001 Upper Deck - e-Card (golf)
#E-TW Tiger Woods

1993-94 Fleer (basketball)
#224 Michael Jordan (LL)

1990-91 Hoops (basketball)
#168 Glen Rice (RC)

1990 Topps
#18 Carlos Quintana

1986 Sportflics
#122 John Tudor

1986 Topps
#5 Rose Special '75-'78
#6 Rose Special '79-'82
 #401 Fernando Valenzuela (Turn Back The Clock)

1985 Topps
#694 Joe Carter

1983 Topps (football)
#219 Joe Cribbs (LL)
#280 Mike Renfro
#307 Jim Plunkett

1982 Donruss
#NNO Checklist 545-653

1982 O-Pee-Chee E.T. The Extraterrestrial (non-sport)
#15 Among Elliott's Toys

1981 Topps
#63 Steve Renko
#704 Bill Travers

1980 Topps
#143 Bruce Bochte
#157 Willie Wilson
#671 A's Future Stars

1980 Topps (football)
#280 Jack Lambert (AP)

1979 Topps
#130 Bob Watson
#465 Reggie Smith

1978 Topps
#24 Don Money ***LAST CHANCE!***
#193 Rich Chiles ***PENDING***
#347 Terry Forster ***LAST CHANCE***
#445 Mike Ivie ***LAST CHANCE!***
#471 Roy Smalley ***PENDING***
#581 Lynn McGlothen ***PENDING***

1978 Topps (football)
#126 Rick Kane (RC)

1977 Topps
#524 Rowland Office

1977 Topps (football)
#206 Cleveland Browns (CL)
#269 Archie Griffin (RC)
#405 Joe Greene

1974 Topps
#38 Don Kessinger
#67 Tommy Helms

1974 Topps - Team Checklists
#NNO Montreal Expos

1973-74 O-Pee-Chee (hockey)
#53 Richard Lemieux

1973 Topps
#18 Leroy Stanton
#36 Steve Barber
#79 Jim Willoughby (RC)
#98 Dick Woodson
#99 Carl Taylor

1972 Topps
#43 Rick Wise
#109 Jerry May

1971 Topps (football)
#22 Ken Avery (RC)

1970 Topps
#47 Bob Miller
#56 Phillies Rookies - Joe Lis/Scott Reid (RC)
#103 Frank Reberger

1970 Red Rose and Blue Ribbon North American Wildlife In Danger (non-sport)
#32 Polar Bear

1969 Topps
#139 Andy Kosco

1969 Topps - Deckle Edge
#13 Mel Stottlemyre

1969 Topps (football)
#73 Bennie McRae
#154 Sam Baker

1968 Topps
#4 1967 AL RBI Leaders (Yastrzemski/Killebrew/Robinson)
#348 Larry Colton/Dick Thoenen

1968 Topps - Game
#15 Steve Hargan

1968 Topps (football)
#7 Earl Gros

1966 Topps
#154 Chuck Hiller

1967 Philadelphia (football)
#109 New York Giants (TC)

1966 Philadelphia (football)
#104 Rams vs. Browns

1965 Philadelphia (football)
#193 John Paluck

1964 Philadelphia (football)
#172 Ken Gray (RC)

1964 Topps
#60 Frank Malzone
#79 Bob Heffner (RC)
#305 Jack Lamabe ***LAST CHANCE!***
#352 Eddie Bressoud

1963 Topps
#111 Al Jackson
#155 Bill Stafford
#246 Lee Strange
#343 Johnny Pesky (MGR)

1962 Topps
#278 Ken Johnson

1960 Topps
#95 Frank Thomas

1959 Topps (football)
#80 Joe Perry

1958 Topps
#371 Marty Keough (RC)

1958 Topps Zorro (non-sport)
#83 Rude Awakening

1957 Topps
#66 Brooks Lawrence
#235 Tom Poholsky
#249 Dave Pope
#371 Bob Lennon

1956 Topps
#21 Joe Collins
#103 Willie Miranda (white back)
#156 Johnny Antonelli

1956 Topps Flags of the World (non-sport)
#70 Jordan

1955 Topps
#126 Dick Hall (RC)

1954 Bowman
#16 Jim Wilson
#73 Don Mueller

1952 Bowman
#57 Clyde Vollmer

1938 Church & Dwight Useful Birds Of America Tenth Series (J9-6) (non-sport)
#2 Black-throated Green Warbler

The Time Travel Trading Project is simple in concept. I started out with a random pack of 2018 Topps Series 1 baseball cards. My aim was to trade every card in that pack for something older. Each card I receive in turn is then made available for trade, with the goal to get the oldest card I can get.

Number of trades completed: 25
Unique trading partners: 20

Number of cards mailed out: 54
Year of oldest card mailed out: 1956

Number of cards received: 131
Year of oldest card received: 1938

Friday, October 12, 2018

Trade Recap - Faster Than I Can Type

Awhile back, I showed off some cards that Bo from Baseball Cards Come To Life gave me as part of my Time Travel Trading project. I hinted in that post that it evolved and a second, larger trade also came to fruition. I sent sent Bo some vintage I had recently acquired. In return Bo sent me, well, he sent me A LOT!

Part of that package was some cards I needed on my So Close! page. Bo was able to knock out the last few cards I needed to complete the 1990 Fleer set, as well as all but one card from the 1991 Donruss set!


We interrupt this trade recap for the following story:

The trade with Bo was agreed upon right before I had to leave town for a wedding. I managed to get Bo's cards mailed out before then, and hoped my cards would be waiting for me shortly after I returned. While I was away, another member of the TCDB contacted me and said he had most of the cards I needed to complete those same two sets. Before I could contact him back and let him know I had cards en route, he messaged me again to tell me they were sent. When I arrived home, his cards had arrived the same day as Bo's:

He of course had the one card I needed for the 1991 Donruss set, so that's now complete too. Now I also have doubles of cards that were needs just the week prior! Too funny!

We now return to our regularly scheduled trade recap.


In addition to the Donruss and Fleer cards, Bo also sent some vintage my way:

Also included was a stack of 1981 Topps, a set I've always loved and may one day try to complete. The bulk of the return package, however, was a large amount of my favorite team!

The last time I got an influx of Red Sox cards, there was too much to show. That's the case again with this lot, so I'm going to borrow from my previous post and highlight my favorite cards from each decade:

1974 - 1979

1975 Topps #152 Mario Guerrero
1976 Topps #152 Bill Lee
1979 Topps #418 All-Time ERA Records
(Dutch Leonard/Walter Johnson)

I was curious to see where Jacob deGrom's 1.70 ERA fell on the single season list (It's 87th!) and discovered something noteworthy. According to this card, Dutch Leonard held the record with a 1.01 ERA in 1914. According to Baseball Reference, his ERA for that year was actually 0.961, and it's second all-time to Tim Keefe's 0.857 ERA in 1880!

1980 - 1989

1982 Topps K-Mart 20th Anniversary
#11 Carl Yastrzemski
1987 Fleer Limited Edition
#9 Roger Clemens
1987 Fleer Record Setters
#11 Rich Gedman

Fleer put out a set Record Setters set in 1987. Rich Gedman made this set, but Fleer mentions nowhere on the card what record he set! Nothing! If it didn't say Record Setters on the card, you wouldn't even know. I had to look it up: When Roger Clemens set the all-time strikeout record of 20 in 1986, by default Gedman also set the AL record for most put-outs in a game! (He also set a consecutive days record of 36 put-outs the next day.) And now you know!

1990 - 1999

1991 O-Pee-Chee Premiere
#11 Wade Boggs
1993 Ted Williams
#121 Babe Ruth/Ted Williams (GH)
1996 Pinnacle
#28 Mike Greenwell

1993 was around when I stopped collecting, but I feel that if I knew about the Ted Williams set back then, I'd be all over it. What a fantastic picture of Williams and Ruth! (Even Greenwell loves it!)

2000 - 2009

2000 Fleer Tradition
#437 Pedro Martinez (AW)
2001 Fleer Boston Red Sox 100th Anniversary
#46 Billy Goodman
2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces
#16 Jonathan Papelbon

Amazingly enough, my first card from the 100th Anniversary Red Sox set. As a fan of this team, I almost feel legally obligated to collect this set. Fortunately for us Red Sox fans, it's a really nice looking set!

2010 - 2017

2010 Topps - Tales of The Game
#TOG-23 Manny Ramirez
2010 Topps - Vintage Legends Collection
#VLC15 Jimmie Foxx
2017 Allen & Ginter
#35 Johnny Damon

I'm not going to lie. Despite the PED usage, despite the times he was a flat out jerk - I miss Manny being Manny...

Thanks again Bo for all all the amazing cards!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Repack Haiku #72 (Andy Hawkins)

The only Padre
To win a World Series game
Eighty-four, game two

1989 Donruss #583 Andy Hawkins

Monday, October 8, 2018

Playing Around With A New TCDB Feature

If you're a blogger who has their collection on the Trading Card Database, there's a new feature that may prove useful. Recently the Admin of the site installed a random card feature, where you can have a random card selected from your collection. The first time I used this feature, this was the card it chose:

2017 Topps #8a Jose Berrios

Ironically, this was the very first card I ever featured on this blog! How funny is that? You can also pick a random card from your favorite team or set.

It a fun little time killer. Personally, it'll help with a new feature I've been contemplating. I've been toying with the idea of a variation of the "6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon" game. The plan is to connect a random card to a card of Red Sox player Mookie Betts ("6 Degrees of Mookie!"). The added wrinkle is that the connecting players must also appear as teammates in a baseball card set. (Trust me, it's not as easy as it sounds!)

Let me give you an example. Using the TCDB random card generator, I pulled up this card of former Springfield nuclear power plant worker/now also former Angels skipper Mike Scioscia:

1985 Topps #549 Mike Scioscia

Looking at other Dodgers in the 1985 Topps set, I found one player I knew would also later play for the Red Sox, and was able to create this link:

Teammates in the 1985 Topps set
#549 Mike Scioscia
#85 Mike Marshall

Now that I have my Red Sox player, the other degrees fall into place:

Teammates in the 1991 Topps set
#356 Mike Marshall
#70 Ellis Burks


Teammates in the 2004 Topps World Champions Boston Red Sox set
#28 Ellis Burks
#29 David Ortiz


Teammates in the 2015 Topps set
#500 David Ortiz
#389 Mookie Betts (FS)

So, Mike Scioscia has 4 degrees of cardboard separation to Mookie Betts! Just for fun, I'm going to go to Basebal Reference's Oracle page and see what a non-cardboard connection would look like:

Oracle can do it in 3 steps, but I wouldn't have been able to match that. Mike Morgan wasn't a Dodger until 1989, so I would have needed a step in between to connect them. Also, he was a Twin for only half a season, and his appearance on cards in a Twins uniform is limited to two sets - 1998 Upper Deck and 1998 Pacific Online, neither of which has A.J. Pierzynski on the Twins. (Funny enough, David Ortiz was a Twin in those sets, so I could have still made that connection!)

I figure with most of these I'll need one more step than Oracle.  Most connections are made by journeyman relievers/bench players who don't get a lot of cardboard love. We'll see! Tune in next time...

Friday, October 5, 2018

Payday Pack - Walmart Clearance Edition

My local Wal-Mart recently put a bunch of cards on clearance. For some strange reason, they had a lot of 2016 Topps Series 2 available. Not the most popular set, but $3.48 for a 36 card pack falls nicely in my price range. Let stroll down memory lane and see if I appreciate this set any more.

3rd Place

2018 Topps #383 David^2=Winng Formula (CL)

The lone Red Sox card in the pack. I remember it was a big deal when they signed Price because he and Ortiz once had a memorable heated exchange. They had to put the past behind them now that they were teammates and bury the hatchet, which they did.

2nd Place

2016 Topps #514 Michael Taylor

I've always liked this particular Nationals jersey with the blue top. Add a nice picture of the player stretching to snag the ball, and you have a good all-around card.

1st Place

2018 Topps - Tribute To The Kid
#KID-26 Ken Griffey Jr.

Maybe it's because I didn't buy a lot of Series 2, but I don't recall this inset set at all! Judging by this one card, it looks like a very well done set. I would prefer player sets like this over the newer guys who haven't done much in their careers.

Others Not Appearing On Stage:
#587 Neftali Feliz
#581 Zach Davies (RC)
#620 Daniel Hudson
#610 Adam Morgan
#446 Tom Murphy (RC)
#638 Michael Pineda
#519 Kyle Barraclough (RC)
#676 Jarred Cosart
#565 Matt den Dekker
#454 Greg Holland
#378 Jeff Mathis
#459 James Loney
#467 Giovanny Urshela
#360 Eduardo Escobar
#615 Miguel Castro
#381 Bartolo Colon
#639 Ruby De La Rosa
#498 Steve Cishek
#550 Dallas Keuchel
#585 Raisel Iglesias (FS)
#369 Dellin Betances
#483 Erasmo Ramirez (Gold SN2016)
#3000-4 Ichiro (Chasing 3000 insert)
#WRIG-35 Kris Bryant (100 Years At Wrigley insert)
#MLBD2-40 Tom Glavine (MLB Debut insert)
Bunt 16 promo card
#564 Tanner Roark
#568 Arizona Diamondbacks
#415 Brett Wallace
#672 Shane Peterson
#504 Elias Diaz (RC)
#552 Texas Rangers
#661 DJ LeMahieu
#507 Travis Wood


There's still time to enter the 8th Annual Almost the Easiest World Series Contest on the Web hosted by Collector's Crack. All you have to do is guess the outcome of the World Series!