Saturday, September 22, 2018

Who Decides These Things?

Whenever a new set comes out, one of the first things I'll do is see which Red Sox players are in it. I assume a lot of collectors do this with their favorite team. Topps has recently released a couple of products, and their lists of Boston players have left me scratching my head.

Topps Fire

2018 Topps Fire #6 Xander Bogaerts

Mookie Betts is not in the base set. I understand that a small 200 card set has to be selective, but this is one omission that makes no sense. There are 8 Red Sox players represented here, but someone at Topps decided that the likely AL MVP, one of the exciting young players in all of baseball, doesn't make the cut.

Topps Heritage High Number Series

2018 Topps Heritage #519 Eduardo Nunez
2018 Topps Heritage #712 Eduardo Nunez

Don't get me wrong, I like Eduardo Nunez. He was a good pickup for the team last year, and has been decent this year. He's not a superstar by any means. So why does he get, not one, but two cards in Heritage? I don't mean that he has one base with a variation either. He has two separate cards in the set, including a short print! Why?

I've only looked at my favorite team. Has anyone else noticed any other omissions/inclusions that have no basis in rational thought?

Friday, September 21, 2018

Payday Pack - A Bunch Of Posers

As per my habit, I got paid and rewarded myself with some cardboard. I'm still enjoying the Archive set, so an 18 card hanger pack was an easy choice. Here are my Top 3 cards from the pack:

3rd Place

2018 Archives #299 Mike Trout

This is the only in-game action card in the entire pack...and he's standing. It's a small sample size, but if the majority of this set lacks action, that's a bit of a disappointment. I could see the posed shots for the older sets where it was common, but the 1981 set had enough action photos to the point where Archives could have included more.

2nd Place

2018 Archives #14 Andrew Benintendi

Always good to get a Red Sox card in the pack, and young up-and-comer Benintendi is a good one to get. Those background hedges are becoming almost as commonplace as the Green Monster...

1st Place

2018 Archives #81 Goose Gossage

I'm glad they decided to show off the vintage Padres uniform as opposed to another card of him as a Yankee. Strangely, I kind of think the green border compliments the ugly color scheme of the uniform. I don't know why, but it works.

Others Not Appearing On Stage:
#63 Blake Snell
#90 Andrew Miller
#89 Julio Teheran
#27 Max Fried
#197 Ender Incarte
#190 Carlos Carrasco
#115 Orlando Arcia
#151 Carlos Santana
#136 Marcell Ozuna
#FS-BAL Austin Hays/Chance Sisco/Tanner Scott (1981 Topps Future Stars Trio insert)
#CA-6 Alex Verdugo (Coming Attractions insert)
#222 Jose Ramirez
#209 Starlin Castro
#296 Gregory Polanco
#260 Elvis Andrus

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Repack Haiku #69 (Delino DeShields)

Traded for Pedro
Worst trade ever for Dodgers
Son plays for Rangers

1990 Topps #224 Delino DeShields (RC)

Monday, September 17, 2018

Time Travel Trading Update #18

"We had a deal!"

The man slammed his hand on the table. It hurt, but at this point he was far too infuriated to feel it. "We'd bring back Deion for you, and we'd get to keep Bo. That was it, nothing more! But now all these other football players are just waltzing through the portal!"

The man being subjected to this vitriol just sat there with a sly smile on his face. "C'mon now, Manny, you really can't blame me for all this? You've had abnormal results since Day One! Rumor mill has it that you've pulled in non-athletes on quite a few occasions. Don't blame me just because your science is faulty and inaccurate..." 

Rob Manfred silently glared. In all honesty, this could be all coincidence. Goodell was right, things had gone haywire more than a few times, but he wasn't going to admit that now. The truth is, he just did not trust the Commissioner of the NFL. He had heard rumors too. Rumors that this technology was being reverse engineered and created by the NFL for their own purposes.What he needed to find out was if they were true. He decided to throw his cards on the table. 

"Level with me, Roger. Are you trying to steal my technology? Are you trying to build your own portal?"

Roger Goodell leaned back in his chair and smiled. "Oh, we're not "trying" anymore..."


There were baseball players who were stronger than him. There were some who were faster, some who were even better hitters. In the great history of baseball, there were plenty of more talented players. But none of them would ever work harder than Charlie Hustle.

The idea came to him from a TV show. Some old 80s sci-fi series were a guy kept going back in time to undo wrongs. The good news is that one of the head honchos running the MLB time experiments owed him a huge gambling debt. The bad news is that he no longer had access to which particular betting slips sealed his fate all those years ago.

He'd been through that blasted portal a dozen times now. Each time through he stopped himself from placing a bet (unless he won of course, the he just made sure to destroy all the evidence). Still, every time he came back, he would check his phone, and a quick search showed him if he was still banned from baseball.

"Dammit!" he mumbled to himself as he emerged yet again into the present day. Before the lab coat yahoos could react, he turned around walked back through. "I'l be back, bet on it!"


So, anyone out there collect vintage football? Two new trades have added a lot of cool football cards to the stack, among some other great stuff.

First up is a trade with a fellow TCDM member. He wanted to help get me out of the millennium by taking the Yoenis Cespedes rookie card. In exchange, he sent me these:

"Mean" Joe Greene is the only name I recognize here, and that was more for the commercial he did than his football career.

"Hey Kid, Catch!"

Up next is a truly wonderful mix of cards from Joe at CrazieJoe's Card Corner. He took a few 1986 Topps off my hands, and in return set me up with even more football:

Also included was this buffet of cards:

E.T. is one of those iconic movies every 80's kid knows. My daughters actually have a plush E.T. that used to be mine. The fact it's O-Pee-Chee and has a French translation makes this card even better! Also, the Tiger Woods card represents the first golf card I have ever had in my possession. I hope Tiger, along with the rest of these, find a good home soon!

Help me get rid of all these football cards! The rules haven't changed: Everything in the stack is awaiting a trade, and all I ask in return is a card older than what I'm sending you. Make me an offer, either through this post or on the TCDB (Member Name: Kep75).

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
#193 Rich Chiles
#347 Terry Forster
#445 Mike Ivie
#471 Roy Smalley
#581 Lynn McGlothen

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
#352 Eddie Bressoud

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

1962 Post Cereal
#58 Frank Malzone

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, September 14, 2018

The Mysteries Of Area 40

In my short blogging career, there have emerged certain "Legends" of the blogging/collecting community. One name that shows up frequently is Wes Moore, once of the Jay Barker Fan blog. His packages to other bloggers are always required reading. Wes is now running Area 40, chronicling his grandiose departure from the collecting scene by hoarding boxes upon boxes of sweet cardboard.

I've followed Wes's blogs for awhile, commenting every now and then, but never really establishing a trade relationship with him. I never thought I'd ever be on the receiving end of one of his famous mailings.

As part of his grand finale, he's been showing off the boxes he's acquired and holding regular contests along the way. I won one of his contests! The prize? I didn't know! It was a prize of mystery, and as he put it: "I do mystery well."

The prize arrived shortly thereafter:

The visage of a bespectacled Saint greeted me. What wonders lie within? To quote Brad Pitt: "What's in the box?" No severed heads, but plenty of heads on cardboard! The prize was a nice mixture of baseball cards and vintage football!

1970 Topps football
1971 Topps football
1973 Topps football
1976 Topps football
1977 Topps football
1978 Topps football
1979 Topps football
1980 Topps football
1982 Topps football
Miscellaneous Topps football

I'm not a football card collector, so I had to do some research on these. The highlight here would have to be the 1958 Joe Schmidt and the rookie card of HOF kicker Ray Guy. Topps really had some great designs in the past, didn't they? 

Wes didn't stop at just football, however. I got a nice stack of baseball cards too!

1975 Phillies
Late 70's baseball
Modern cards

Those '75 Phils are great, especially the Mike Schmidt! If Craig Kimbrel ever makes the Hall of Fame, I'll have a rookie of his!

The real highlight from the baseball cards was an easy choice! Among all this goodness was this Red Sox card:

Nomar Medallion for the win!

Thanks for the cards Wes! You truly do mystery well and I wish you nothing but the best of luck with your Area 40 project!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Repack Haiku #68 (Jack Clark)

Clark seems like a jerk
Rifts with teammates, managers
Claimed Pujols cheated

1989 Topps #410 Jack Clark

Monday, September 10, 2018

Cards For Miles (August Report)

 Well, that just blew up in my face....

In theory, the idea to match the miles I biked with the cards that came in was a good one. After the initial July report, I was hopeful this could work out. August quickly reminded me how unpredictable things can be. I went the first eight days of August without any new cards coming in, so I scratched an itch and bought a repack. Things escalated quickly from there. In a rare turn of events, I won two prizes from blog contests. Those two large prizes pretty much killed any chance I had of coming close to the goal, and a generous trader kicked the corpse for August.

August Summary



08/09 - 30 cards (bought 1 pack of Fairfield)
08/15 - 417 cards (blog prize)
08/16 - 30 cards (bought 1 pack of Topps Big League)
08/21 - 12 (gift from blog reader)
08/21 - 86 (blog prize)
08/22 - 270 (trade package)
08/22 - 56 cards (bought blaster box of Topps Big League)
08/29 - 36 cards (bought 2 packs of Topps Archives)

937 Total Cards (30.02 cards/day average)


08/04/18 - 3.25 miles (10 minute ride)
08/05/18 - 3.47 miles (10 minute ride)
08/06/18 - 3.47 miles (10 minute ride)
08/07/18 - 3.54 miles (10 minute ride)
08/09/18 - 3.39 miles (10 minute ride)
08/10/18 - 3.43 miles (10 minute ride)
08/13/18 - 3.63 miles (10 minute ride)
08/15/18 - 1.92 miles (05 minute ride)
08/24/18 - 3.59 miles (10 minute ride)
08/26/18 - 3.73 miles (10 minute ride)
08/27/18 - 2.20 miles (25 minute walk)
08/28/18 - 2.20 miles (25 minute walk)
08/29/18 - 2.20 miles (25 minute walk)
08/30/18 - 2.20 miles (25 minute walk)
08/31/18 - 3.71 miles (10 minute ride)

45.93 Total Miles (3.54 miles/ bike ride average)

937 cards - 45.93 miles = 894.78 miles due

July 2018 To Date: 1,050 cards - 81.19 miles = 968.81 miles due

If I biked 3.5 miles every day, it would take me 256 days to recover from August. Not going to happen! So I decided to adjust this project. First of all, I think next month I'm just going to count purchases.  No offense to my fellow collectors, but your generosity will be the death of me! Also, my youngest daughter has started asking me to walk her to school. I decided the 2.2 miles I walk round trip should count as well. I don't know how long it will be until she tires of this, but as long as she's game then so am I. I'm also hoping with September the temperature will cool down, and I'll be able to use my lunch breaks for even more walks at the local park. It won't add much to my total, but it's better than nothing!

We'll see how these adjustments work out next month!