Friday, August 30, 2019

First Impressions - 2019 Bowman Platinum

I caved. I don't have any conveniently located local card shops to visit, so I rely on the retail stores for my card fix. When I heard that Wal-Mart and Target had their own specials for National Baseball Card Day, my fear of missing out justified my purchase of a pack of Bowman Platinum. I don't usually purchase Bowman products, but I wanted those Gallery sneak peaks!

#TOP-14 Victor Mesa Jr.

The honor of the first card goes to Mr. Mesa Jr. Right off the bat, I have to say I'm disappointed. This year's design is such a huge drop from last year's. It's proof that even shiny things can be blah.

#TOP-7 Jonathan India
#TOP-41 Alex Royalty

Here's a look at the back. Not much to get excited about here either. If this guy, doesn't play for Kansas City at some point in his career, I'll be disappointed.

#TOP-55 Owen Miller
#TOP-45 Luken Miller
#RR-20 Kevin Newman (RC) (Renowned Rookies insert)

The first insert I get to see is the Renowned Rookies card of Kevin Newman. Not really a fan of the text right in the middle of the card, but at least I can appreciate a guy who's helped out a few of my fantasy league teams!

#22 Christian Yelich

Here we have the Major Leaguer section of the pack. Although still uninspiring, I like this basic background much better than the angled cuts on the prospect cards.

#16 Rowdy Tellez (RC)
#6 Kyle Tucker (RC)
#35 Walker Buehler
#63 Rhys Hoskins
#74 Mookie Betts

Mookie! This is the 8th set I've done a First Impressions post on this year, and in half of them I have pulled a card of last year's MVP. I've got the Mookie Mojo!

#TOP-66 Christian Javier
#TOP-72 Jo Adell

This would be the only prospect I've heard of.He's currently the #4 ranked prospect in baseball and could be a special player.

#TOP-81 Royce Lewis
#TOP-89 Andres Munoz
#20 Pete Alonso (RC)

A rookie card of the eventual N.L. Rookie of The Year, and it's a short print too! Can I retire now?

#79 David Price
#PPP-7 Brady Singer (Prismatic Prodigies insert)
#TOP-62 Tirso Ornelas (Purple parallel SN250)

OK, cool, I got a SN250 parallel of someone I never heard of. I hope he has a very long and successful major league career!

#85 Charlie Blackmon
#11 Khris Davis
#17 Ryan Borucki (RC)
#62 Eric Hosmer

National Baseball Card Day Gallery Preview Pack

Yeah, that's why I bought this. Don't judge me.

#GP-AJ Aaron Judge
#GP-SO Shohei Ohtani
#GP-MT Mike Trout

Not too shabby. Artwork looks improved, and I like the script they use for the name.

#GP-JA Jose Altuve
Topps Gallery coupon

OK, so a mediocre product at best. You won't see me buying any more packs. Now if my Wally World would just start stocking Archives....

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Repack Haiku #117 (1992 Topps Checklist #1)

Nine Hall of Famers
Ten if you include football
Clemens could join list

1992 Topps #131 Checklist #1 of 6

To save you the trouble, the ten are: Bobby Cox, Tom Glavine, Deion Sanders, John Smoltz, Mike Mussina, Cal Ripken Jr, Wade Boggs, Bert Blyleven, Dave Winfield, and Carlton Fisk.

Monday, August 26, 2019

6 Degrees Of Mookie - The Rich Gossage Connection

It's time once again for "6 Degrees Of Mookie" - the fabulous game show blog post where I take a random card in my collection and attempt to connect it to current Red Sox superstar Mookie Betts! Let's take a look at today's contestant!

Random TCDB Card: 

1985 Topps #90 Rich Gossage

Does anyone call him Rich anymore? The man known to the world as Goose was smack dab in tne middle of his Hall of Fame career in 1985. It did, however, mark the last of Gossage's 9 All-Star appearances.

Teammates in the 1985 Topps set
#90 Rich Gossage
#660 Tony Gwynn

Ususally with the initial card I'll look for one of two types of players. Guys I know will be future Red Sox (Greg Harris fit the bill here, but he wasn't going to get me very far) and Hall of Famers on the early side of their careers. That makes Tony Gwynn an easy choice here, especially since it's fun to show two Hall of Famers side by side!

Teammates in the 2000 Fleer Tradition set
#346 Tony Gwynn
#264 Matt Clement

Over the course of his long and illustrious career, Gwynn had a lot of teammates who would go on to play for Boston. I eventually settled Matt Clement.

Teammates in the 2007 Upper Deck set
#574 Matt Clement
#68 Alex Cora

Clement had a short but unusual time in Boston. He made the All-Star team his first year with the Red Sox, then lasted 12 starts before getting hurt in year #2. He never pitched in the majors again. Still, he was there long enough to play with someone quite close to Mookie!

Teammates in the 2018 Topps Now Boston Red Sox World Series Champions set
#WSC-20 Boston Red Sox
#WSC-2 Mookie Betts

Alright, I cheated a little bit here. Technically, Alex Cora isn't a "teammate" but the connection is just too perfect!

Degrees of Mookie: 4

Friday, August 23, 2019

Payday Pack - Cruel Irony

There's not much Stadium Club left at my local retail store. As long as there's some available, I'll probably go with it at least until Archives shows up.

3rd Place

2019 Stadium Club #63 Dustin Pedroia

I love this card, but it makes me sad. You can't help but see his leg propped up and be reminded of the damage his knees have gone through. His career is likely over, and this card cruelly sums up his last few years in uniform.

2nd Place

2019 Stadium Club #26 Cal Ripken Jr.

- Legendary Hall of Famer? Check.
- Interaction with fans? Check.
- Celebrating a well-known moment in baseball history? Check.
- Sweet cherry red ride? Check.

1st Place

2019 Stadium Club #290 Stan Musial

As much as Topps likes to rehash the same photographs over and over again, Stadium Club more than makes up for it. Before I saw this card, I never knew how much I wanted to see a vintage photograph of a Hall Of Famer squatting back-to-back with a teammate in some sort of icebreaker/exercise. Amazing only begins to describe this card.

Other Contestants Not Appearing On Stage:
#126 Billy Hamilton
#104 Corbin Burnes (RC)
#275 Adrian Beltre
#256 Roger Maris
#261 Brian Dozier (black foil parallel)
#EZ-7 Tom Glavine (Emperors Of The Zone insert)
#254 Sean Reid-Foley
#162 Stephen Piscotty
#284 Matt Carpenter

**********CONTEST PIMP!**********

In the sports card blogging community, there are few annual events that generate as much anticipation as the Save Second Base event that happens every October on Collecting Cutch. To help keep our minds off of the summer heat and onto cooler days ahead, Brian is having a contest with a unique prize! All you have to do is guess who the N.L. leader in "two-baggers" will be! So head on over, take your best shot, or at least enjoy some lovely pictures of Anna Kendrick!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Repack Haiku #116 (David Wells)

"You say Dock Ellis
Pitched a no-hitter while high?
Three words: Hold my beer!"

1991 Fleer #188 David Wells

Monday, August 19, 2019

Time Travel Trading Update #33

Sometimes you just never can tell.

There have been times when I have shown off cards for an update and I was certain someone would want them. Then I would get no offers at all. There are cards here that have been here for over a year, and I often think they'll never get traded. Then out of the blue, they get claimed.

Today's update features two big surprises. The biggest surprise is the number of trades - in the week following the last Time Travel Update, I received 5 trade proposals! I don't think I ever had that many in such a short span. The second big'll have to continue scrolling to find out, but let's just say that 1938 card is no longer the oldest one available!

We have a lot to go through today, so let's get started!

Trade #1

A TCDB member from Espanola, NM picked up a couple of newer cards from this list, and sent me some slightly older cards in return. You've got to love that Mark Langston rookie card!

Trade #2

Next up comes a trade from another well-respected TCDB member from Arlington, TN.  This one focused on some vintage cards, and I'm very happy with the return package here! A couple of canvas Red Sox and a great team card of the Kansas City Athletics are the highlights here!

Trade #3

Eric from Old Red Sox Cards also reached out to me for a trade. In exchange for a few cards, I got a quintuple of Twins!

Trade #4

The next trade came from Gavin at Baseball Card Breakdown. He really loaded me up with some great vintage cards! Ironically, one of the cards I sent to him was a 1970 Topps Bob Miller, which was almost immediately replaced in the package Eric sent above! Bob Miller almost became the third card that would have appeared twice in the stack!

Trade #5

Technically, this trade was the first to get completed of the lot. I decided to save the best for last! Yet another member of the TCDB, this one from Portage, WI, took a 1957 Topps card off my hands. As a thank you, he gave me the bird. No not that kind of bird, but another Church and Dwight issue.

That, my friends, is a 97 year old card! The 1922 issue far surpasses the 1938 bird in this collection. I'm now officially curious to see if I can break the century mark! (And no, I don't see myself continuing this project for 3 more years!)

Over twenty new cards added to the stack! Which ones do you want? Make me an offer and help me keep this project going!

The Time Travel Trade Stack:

2018 Topps
#502 Xander Bogaerts

2017 Bowman
#12 Trea Turner

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

1998 Score
#68 Scott Rolen
#74 Mark McLemore

1994 Sportflics
#113 Pete Harnisch

1993 Classic Draft Picks (basketball)
#33 Will Flemons
#67 Bennie Seltzer

1992 Fleer Ultra
#594 Dave Righetti

1991 Upper Deck
#778 Dave Righetti

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

1990 Upper Deck
#626 Frank Viola

1990 Pro Set - Theme Art (football)
#10 Super Bowl X Pittsburgh Steelers / Dallas Cowboys 

1989 Fleer
#29 Bob Welch

1989 Score
#495 Larry Parrish

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

1985 Donruss #557
Mark Langston (RC)

1985 Topps
#694 Joe Carter

1982 Donruss
#NNO Checklist 545-653

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

1981 Topps 
#100 Rod Carew (AS) 
#210 Jim Palmer

1980 Topps
#2 Willie McCovey (HL)
#143 Bruce Bochte
#157 Willie Wilson
#290 Steve Garvey (AS)
#605 Terry Forster
#671 A's Future Stars

1979 Topps
#25 Steve Carlton
#130 Bob Watson
#214 Boston Red Sox (TC) 
#465 Reggie Smith
#680 Carlton Fisk (AS)
1978 Donruss KISS (2nd Series) (non-sport)
#99 Paul Stanley

1978 Topps
#295 Bill Lee
#373 Jim Willoughby
#424 Boston Red Sox (TC)
#482 Rick Miller
#706 Rookie 1st Baseman (Cage/Cox/Putnam/Revering) 

1976 Topps
#50 Fred Lynn (ASR)
#70 Roy Smalley/Roy Smalley Jr. (FS)
#78 Cecil Cooper
#118 Boston Red Sox (TC)
#193 '75 NL Home Run Leaders
#597 Rookie Pitchers (Aase/Kucek/LaCorte/Pazik)

1975 Topps
#310 '74 Victory Leaders
#378 Derrel Thomas
#402 Bob Tolan

1974 Topps
#38 Don Kessinger
#67 Tommy Helms
#107 Alex Johnson
#141 Pat Bourque
#158 Jack Billingham
#158 Jack Billingham
#227 Mike Lum 
#349 John Vukovich 
#372 Ken Reitz
#572 Enzo Hernandez
#638 Ken Sanders
#660 Larry Dierker

1974 Topps - Team Checklists
#NNO Montreal Expos

1974 Topps Traded
#458T Jim Ray
#496T Tom Murphy

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

1973 Topps
#18 Leroy Stanton
#29 Tony Taylor 
#30 Tug McGraw
#36 Steve Barber
#68 1972 Leading Firemen (Carroll/Lyle)
#75 Vada Pinson
#79 Jim Willoughby (RC)
#80 Tony Oliva
#85 Ted Simmons
#98 Dick Woodson
#99 Carl Taylor
#116 Ralph Houk (MGR)
#145 Bobby Bonds
#225 Albert Oliver
#230 Joe Morgan
#232 Ken Singleton
#240 Bobby Murcer
#258 Tommy John
#325 Boog Powell
#329 Ed Kranepool
#365 Rico Petrocelli
#368 Bill Buckner

1972-73 Topps (hockey)
#8 Stanley Cup Trophy

1972 Topps
#43 Rick Wise
#438 Maury Wills (IA)

1971 Topps
#16 Ken Singleton (RC)
#63 AL 1970 RBI Leaders (Howard/Conigliaro/Powell)
#71 AL 1970 Strikeout Leaders (McDowell/Lolich/Johnson)
#90 Joe Pepitone
#95 Luis Tiant
#105 Tony Conigliaro
#146 Ralph Houk (MGR)
#183 Gil Hodges (MGR)
#195 AL Playoffs Game 1 - Powell Muscles Twins!
#208 Billy Martin (MGR)
#270 Rico Carty
#328 World Series Game 2 - Bufird Goes 2-4 (WS)
#374 Clete Boyer
#374 Clete Boyer
#388 Al Oliver

1971 Topps (football)
#22 Ken Avery (RC)
#110 Floyd Little (AS)

1970 Fleer World Series
#1 1903 World Series Pirates vs Red Sox  

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

1970 Topps
#47 Bob Miller
#390 Willie Davis

1969 Topps
#66 Orioles Rookies
#139 Andy Kosco
#182 Bill Rigney (MGR)

1969 Topps - Deckle Edge
#13 Mel Stottlemyre

1969 Topps (football)
#73 Bennie McRae
#115 Randy Johnson
#154 Sam Baker
#175 Joe Morrison

1968 Topps
#4 1967 AL RBI Leaders (Yastrzemski/Killebrew/Robinson)
#7 1967 NL ERA Leaders (Niekro/Bunning/Short)
#44 Frank Kostro
#181 Jerry Zimmerman
#233 George Scott
#309 Ken Henderson
#348 Larry Colton/Dick Thoenen
#449 Gene Oliver
#519 Jerry Stephenson 

1968 Topps - Game
#15 Steve Hargan

1968 Topps (football)
#7 Earl Gros

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

1967 Topps
#15 Earl Battey
#366 Andy Kosco

1966 Topps
#154 Chuck Hiller

1966 Philadelphia (football)
#104 Rams vs. Browns

1965 Topps
#17 Johnny Romano
#27 Dick Bertell
#86 Les Narum
#87 Nelson Mathews
#108 Don Mincher
#111 Lee Thomas
#178 Dalton Jones
#239 Doc Edwards
#307 Barry Latman

1965 Philadelphia (football)
#193 John Paluck

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

1964 Topps
#18 Billy O'Dell
#341 Jim Roland 

1964 Topps - Coins 
#7 Frank Malzone

1963 Topps
#155 Bill Stafford

1961 Topps
#32 Ray Sadecki
#38 Bob Lillis
#96 Billy O'Dell
#165 Gino Cimoli
#258 Jack Sanford
#267 Norm Siebern
#273b 4th Series Checklist
#399 Cliff Cook (RC) 

1960 Topps
#186 Dave Sisler 
#289 Willie Jones
#413 Kansas City Athletics
#548 Don Mincher (RC) 

1959 Topps
#298 Tex Clevenger
#424 Ken Aspromonte

1959 Topps (football)
#80 Joe Perry

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

1957 Topps
#235 Tom Poholsky
#249 Dave Pope
#371 Bob Lennon
#406 Bob Hale

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
#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

1922 Church & Dwight Useful Birds Of America Third Series (J7) (non-sport)
#7 Prothonotary 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: 40
Unique trading partners: 27

Number of cards mailed out: 124
Year of oldest card mailed out: 1956

Number of cards received: 288
Year of oldest card received: 1922

Friday, August 16, 2019

Favorites Through The Decades

Back in June, Chris from The Collector had a very well written and enjoyable blog post where he listed his favorite movie, song, and card design from every decade from the fifties to present. It'evolved to a bat-a-round and many other bloggers have offered up their take.

I was all on board too! Let me tell you, this was no easy task! Picking my favorite card design was pretty easy, but the movies and songs....yikes! So many choices, and every time I thought I had settled on a choice, a forgotten title popped in my head and made me question everything!

The obvious disclaimer is that all of these choices are subject to change. I wouldn't bet against me coming up with replacement choices even after this post has published!

The 1950's

Favorite Card Design: 1955 Bowman

Favorite Movie: Alice In Wonderland (1951)

Favorite Song: "Johnny B Goode" by Chuck Berry (1958)

The first 1950's card I ever owned was a 1955 Bowman Gil McDougald - that retro TV border has a special place in my memories. "Alice In Wonderland" continues to be a vibrant and visually stunning movie. Rock 'N Roll in the fifties doesn't get any better than Chuck Berry.

The 1960's

Favorite Card Design: 1965 Topps

Favorite Movie: The Birds (1963)

Favorite Song: "Ticket To Ride" by The Beatles (1965)

Those big waving pendants make the 1965 design an easy choice for me. Even today, if I see an unusually large gathering of birds, I get uneasy. Picking music gets terribly hard starting in this decade - Led Zeppelin, Cream, and Deep Purple all had contenders here. Even when I decided on the Beatles, picking which song of theirs was a task unto itself.

The 1970's

Favorite Card Design: 1976 Topps

Favorite Movie: Young Frankenstein (1974)

Favorite Song: "Carry On Wayward Son" by Kansas (1976)

In the end, those little cartoon guys in the corner gave 1976 the edge. "Young Frankenstein" is one of those movies that, no matter how many times I've seen it, I will stop and watch again and again. I know all the lines, and still I find it funny. From it's lyrical poetry ("If I claimed to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know...") to it's amazing guitar solo, Carry On is a stadium rock classic!

The 1980's

Favorite Card Design: 1987 Topps

Favorite Movie: Time Bandits (1981)

Favorite Song: "Birdhouse In Your Soul" by They Might Be Giants (1989)

I know everyone is sick of now, but 1987 Topps was the first set I completed by hand. The eighties had a ton of great blockbusters, but I decided on one that probably not a lot of people have seen. It's my favorite time travel movie! I've seen They Might Be Giants in concert 4 times, so I had to pick a favorite song from them!

The 1990's

Favorite Card Design: 1990 Topps

Favorite Movie: The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Favorite Song: "If I Had $1,000,000" by Barenaked Ladies (1992)

You either love the pop-art comic style of the 1990 Topps borders, or you hate them. I'm in the former category. The Shawshank Redemption is one of those movies that I'll admit was better than the story it came from ("Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" by Stephen King). The Barenaked Ladies are another favored band, and this classic tune is something everyone can relate to.

The 2000's

Favorite Card Design: 2008 Topps

Favorite Movie: The Lord Of The Rings - The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001)

Favorite Song: "The Pretender" by Foo Fighters (2007)

I wasn't actively collecting during this decade, but the bubbles come to mind. The LOTR books are some of my all-time favorites, and the entire movie trilogy is an amazing piece of cinematic art. The Foo Fighters kick ass, that's all that needs to be said.

The 2010's

Favorite Card Design: 2015 Topps

Favorite Movie: Marvel's The Avengers (2012)

Favorite Song: "Live To Rise" by Soundgarden (2012)

2015 Topps will go down as one of those iconic set designs, if it isn't already. I'm a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the first Avengers movie stands as the movie that first tied everything together. Even after 22 movies, this one is still fun to watch. The Avengers weren't the only super-group to return with this movie -  the first Soundgarden song in over a decade was part of the soundtrack, and it's hard to not love it. These lyrics still get to me:

"Like the sun, we will live to rise
Like the sun, we will live and die
And then ignite again"

So there you go, my favorites through the decade. Chances are by the time you read this, I may have other suitable choices in mind, but I'm content to roll with these.