Friday, February 28, 2020

TCDB Trade Recap: More Cards From Portland, OR

I've traded with TCDB member Barry once before, and eagerly went back to him for another trade. I unloaded a bunch of doubles I had and in returned got a few team needs from last year:

If I had to pick a favorite, I'd have to pick either the Kimbrel or the Bradley. Thanks again for another trade, Barry!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Repack Haiku #141 (Ketel Marte)

D-backs now have him
And former Pirate Starling:
A Marte party!

2016 Topps - All-Star Game stamp
#73 Ketel Marte (RC)

Monday, February 24, 2020

Top 3: Tony Fernandez

If you grew up watching baseball in the late 80's, you witnessed a golden era for shortstops - Ripken, Trammell, Ozzie, Larkin. Standing tall among those Hall of Famers was Toronto's Tony Fernandez, who passed away on February 15th after lengthy medical complications. In honor of his great career, I would like to present my favorite Top 3 cards of Tony Fernandez in my collection:

1988 Score #651 Super Shortstops 

When I said he stood tall with Hall of Famers, I meant it. This is just one of many examples of Tony being mention on cardboard with other greats of the game. And why not? He was a 5 time All-Star after all!

1991 Score #432 Tony Fernandez

 Born Octavio Antonio Fernandez, his calling card was his amazing defense. He won four straight Gold Glove awards between 1986-1989.

1992 Donruss #362 Tony Fernandez

Of course, you can't mention Tony Fernandez without mentioning that he was one of the 4 superstars in that epic trade with the San Diego Padres. While it seemed unfortunate for the Blue Jays' all time leader in games and hits to miss out on Toronto's first ever World Championship in 1992, he eventually found his way home and earned a ring with their historic 1993 title.

RIP Tony, you will be missed!

Friday, February 21, 2020

Payday Pack - The Yankees Wet Themselves

The first Payday Pack featuring 2020 cards is here! Let's see what graphical wonders await!

3rd Place

2020 Topps - Topps Choice #TC-3 Gavin Lux

Despite giving Topps yet another excuse to rehash old designs, this 1956 rendition nicely shows off the latest example of the Dodgers' rookie generating machine.

2nd Place

2020 Topps #52 Yasmani Grandal

I've already said this once - you can't go wrong with plays at the plate! It doesn't bode well that out of 3 packs I've bought I already have doubles though...

1st Place

 2020 Topps #157 Soaking It All In (CL)

What can I say? I enjoy celebration photos, especially ones involving a little liquid dousing. Nothing wrong with two consenting Yankees getting a little moist while they hug and take off some clothing...

Other Contestants Not Appearing On Stage:
 #285 Tyler Alexander
#116 Daniel Murphy
#40 Bobby Bradley
#66 Andrew Heaney
#88 Jorge Alfaro
#194 Liam Hendriks
#224 Juan Soto
#61 Like Father, Like Son (CL)
#327 Cavan Biggio
#22 Emilio Pagan (Rainbow Foil parallel)
#TR-36 Alex Bregman (Turkey Red 2020 insert)
#262 Anthony Santander
#212 Mike Fiers

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Repack Haiku #140 (Michael Conforto)

Olympian's son
His mom won gold in swimming
Dad, Sis athletes too

2016 Topps #232 Michael Conforto

There's some good genetics in that family!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Time Travel Trading Update #39

A new year of Topps base set, plus two more trades since last month's update means that I've got plenty of great cards to show off, so let's get to it!

Leading off is a new TCDB Time Trader named Brendan from San Diego, CA. Brendan took a quartet of Hall of Famers and in return sent me a nice stack of 25 cards!

Those vintage are great, especially the Manny Sanguillen World Series card, and there's just something about early 80's cards that speaks to me! Thanks Brendan!

Mark Z. from the TCDB came back to complete his second Time Travel Trade as well, snagging those Kellogg's football cards in exchange for these:

I just know someone is going to want that Orioles card with the two Robinsons! Mark also included a few bonus cards

A couple of things about this bonus stuff. First of all, the Hills Carlton Fisk is obviously meant for my collection, as it is a set featured on my So Close! page. To compensate, I'm swapping it out with a 2016 Topps Archives of Fisk. The Joe Gordon card is heavily trimmed. Some kid was ahead of his time with the idea of a border-less card and essentially removed it. Finally, I have no idea what this Carl Eller is. (Update: Thanks to Jon, we now know this is a 1972 Sunoco Stamp!) I'm basically calling it a freebie to anyone that wants it. Make a Time Travel Trade and I'll throw it in! Thanks for the cards, Mark!

I started this project with the release of the 2018 Topps set, and last year I included a pack of the just released 2019 set to give the trade a little boost. I'm doing that again this year, and opened a pack specifically for this endeavor. Here's the cards I pulled:

Have you always wanted to participate in a Time Travel trade but didn't have any older cards to give up? Fear no more! Any of these can be yours - even if just send me 2019 cards in return! (I get the feeling a couple of Cubs MVPs won't last long!)

As always, I need willing traders to keep this project going! With over 200 cards available, there's something for everyone! Make me an offer!

The Time Travel Trade Stack:

2020 Topps
#47 Dansby Swanson
#71 Sandy Alcantara
#114 Ildemaro Vargas
#124 Jose Berrios
#165 Matthew Boyd
#175 Lucas Giolito
#201 Francisco Lindor
#207 Zac Gallen (RC)
#227 David Peralta
#251 A.J. Puk (RC)
#291 Tyler Naquin
#331 Kevin McCarthy
#337 Michael Pineda

2020 Topps - 1985 Topps 35th Anniversary
#85-27 Ryne Sandberg

2020 Topps - Topps Now Review
#TNR-6 Pete Alonso

2020 Topps - Turkey Red 2020
#TR-21 Kris Bryant

2018 Topps
#502 Xander Bogaerts

2017-1018 Pocket Schedule
Carolina Hurricanes

2017 Bowman
#12 Trea Turner

2016 Topps Archives
#122 Carlton Fisk

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

1982 Topps
#34 Joe Sambito
#74 Bob Clark
#190 J.R. Richard
#303 Bill Caudill
#399 Pat Zachry
#462 Dave Chalk

1981 Topps
#82 Astros Future Stars (RC)
#98 Clint Hurdle
#121 Larry Harlow
#363 Geoff Zahn
#414 John Pacella

1980 Topps
#29 Mark Wagner
#51 Joe Ferguson
#88 Ken Landreaux
#143 Bruce Bochte
#157 Willie Wilson
#290 Steve Garvey (AS)
#325 Dan Driessen
#362 Danny Goodwin
#572 Jerry Morales
#605 Terry Forster
#642 Ken Forsch
#655 Tug McGraw 
#671 A's Future Stars
#685 Padres Future Stars (RC)

1979 Topps
#25 Steve Carlton
#130 Bob Watson
#214 Boston Red Sox (TC) 
#465 Reggie Smith

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

1978 Topps (football)
#487 Eddie Payton (RC)

1976 Topps
#70 Roy Smalley/Roy Smalley Jr. (FS)
#196 1975 AL RBI Leaders (Scott/Mayberry/Lynn)

1976 Wonder Bread (football)  
#17 Bill Bergey

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

1975 Topps (football)
#13 Sam Cunningham

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
#534 Eddie Watt
#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

1974 Wonder Bread (football)
#8 Bob Griese 

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

1973 Topps
#29 Tony Taylor 
#30 Tug McGraw
#68 1972 Leading Firemen (Carroll/Lyle)
#75 Vada Pinson
#79 Jim Willoughby (RC)
#80 Tony Oliva
#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
#163 Tug McGraw
#197 Johnny Briggs
#225 World Series Game 3 - Manny Sanguillen
#231 Casey Cox
#239 Tom Timmermann
#363 Ron Klimkowski
#373 John Mayberry
#438 Maury Wills (IA)

1972 Sunoco Stamp (football)
#NNO Carl Eller

1972 Topps (football)
#111 Jim Tyrer
#114 Bob James (RC)

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)
#195 AL Playoffs Game 1 - Powell Muscles Twins!
#208 Billy Martin (MGR)
#270 Rico Carty
#290 Tony Oliva
#295 Bobby Bonds
#310 Tommie Agee 
#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)
#176 Mac Percival

1971 Topps - Games Insert (football)
#38 Matt Snell
1970 Red Rose and Blue Ribbon North American Wildlife In Danger (non-sport)
#32 Polar Bear

1970 Topps
#47 Bob Miller
#390 Willie Davis
#457 Rico Petrocelli (AS) 

1969 Topps
#66 Orioles Rookies
#80 Norm Cash
#131 Chris Cannizarro 
#139 Andy Kosco
#182 Bill Rigney (MGR)
#484 Joe Gordon (MGR) 

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
#260 Jim Wynn 
#309 Ken Henderson
#348 Larry Colton/Dick Thoenen
#449 Gene Oliver
#519 Jerry Stephenson 

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

1967 Topps
#1 The Champs (F. Robinson/Bauer/B. Robinson)
#127 John O'Donoghue
#348 Tug McGraw
#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
#104 Checklist 89-176 (CL)
#108 Don Mincher
#111 Lee Thomas
#178 Dalton Jones
#307 Barry Latman

1965 Philadelphia (football)
#193 John Paluck

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

1964 Topps
#18 Billy O'Dell
#45 Milt Pappas
#92 Steve Ridzik
#341 Jim Roland 

1964 Topps - Coins 
#7 Frank Malzone

1963 Topps
#58 Bob Will

#155 Bill Stafford

1961 Topps
#32 Ray Sadecki
#38 Bob Lillis
#96 Billy O'Dell
#258 Jack Sanford
#267 Norm Siebern
#399 Cliff Cook (RC) 

1960 Topps
#138 Art Mahaffey (RC, RS)
#186 Dave Sisler 
#289 Willie Jones
#414 Don Williams (RC)

1959 Topps
#298 Tex Clevenger
#424 Ken Aspromonte
#424 Ken Aspromonte 

1959 Topps (football)
#80 Joe Perry

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

1957 Topps
#212 Rocky Colavito (RC)
#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 Bowman
#25 Minnie Minoso
#208 Ed Fitzgerald

1955 Topps
#45 Hank Sauer

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

1922 Church & Dwight Useful Birds Of America Third Series (J7) (non-sport) 
#7 Prothonotary Warbler

1915 Church & Dwight Useful Birds Of America First Series (J5)  (non-sport)
#1 Quail

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: 52
Unique trading partners: 32

Number of cards mailed out: 158
Year of oldest card mailed out: 1956

Number of cards received: 360
Year of oldest card received: 1915

Friday, February 14, 2020

Still Jolly About The Holly, Part 2

Happy Saint Valentine's Day! A day where our thoughts are focused on roses and chocolates, love and romance. At least until tomorrow, when the stores start displaying green shamrocks and leprechauns.

Me, I'm still thinking about Christmas. Not about Christmas so much, but rather the 2019 Topps Holiday set. I bought enough of the product to the point where I was close to completing it, and I knew if I didn't complete it soon, it'd join the rest of the season in the back of my brain, never to be thought of again. I decided to try hard and get the cards I needed through trades, and with the help of 2 generous bloggers and a few willing TCDB trade partners, I am happy to say this set is done!

When we last left off, I had only needed more 31 cards to complete the base set. I've already spoken about the generous act of kindness from Johnny as well as a trade from Christian. These two left me at having 18 more to go, so I decided to hop onto TCDB and see what trades I could make. I ended up making 3 more trades:

The first envelope to arrive came from Tom, who I've traded with before. This time I helped him with his 2018 Topps set build, and in return he knocked my want list in half!

While I was waiting for the other trade packages to arrive, I received a surprise envelope from Jon (A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts). Jon organized this year's Secret Santa, and humorously enough, I was the lucky soul who ended up being his Santa! In the years I've done this, I always thought it would be cool to give my recipient a pack or two to open. So when I bought my first two boxes of Topps Holiday, I purposely held a pack from each in reserve to send to Jon. Well, it turns out the packs I sent Jon were chock full of ones I would eventually need, so Jon kindly sent them back! (Is that considered re-gifting? ) As you can see, there's some overlap with what I got from Tom (and what I was expecting as well). Oh well!

Next stop on the road to set completion - a trade courtesy of Dave from Wintersville, OH. I had a bunch of cards on his want list, and was able to acquire a few more cards from this set, along with a few Red Sox needs to boot!

That left me with just 3 cards left to go! That last trio of cards (along with a few others!) came from a prominent TCDB member - Jerry from New Windsor, NY!

Boom! I now have the complete 2019 Topps Holiday set! This is pretty significant for me, as it's the first modern set I've completed since returning to the hobby a few years ago. (To put it in perspective, my next oldest complete set is 1991 Donruss!) I gotta say, it feels good!

Anyone else working on this set? I've got plenty of doubles if anyone needs any!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Repack Haiku #139 (Danny Cox)

Born in Northampton,
He's Britain's greatest pitcher
Rocked the Fu Manchu

1988 Donruss #60 Danny Cox

Monday, February 10, 2020

First Impressions - 2020 Topps Series 1

It took a few extra days, but the new base set finally reached the shelves of my local Wally World. The previews I've seen so far haven't been kind, so let's see if they look better in hand.

#280 Tony Gonsolin (RC)

The first card honor goes to Frank Zappa! Enough has been said about this Bowman-like design already, and I feel this design takes a step back from the more appealing designs of the past two sets. The sideways name plates doesn't bother me as much as the overall sterile design.

#284 Jason Kipnis
#78 Bo Bichette (RC)
#172 Sonny Gray
#67 Tyler Beede
#131 Ketel Marte
#244 Chris Paddack (FS)

I'll be honest, I almost missed the Future Stars label on the bottom. It seems the subset design elements are less pronounced on the cards - like they're not supposed to be noticed. Even the ASR Cup logo seems smaller than normal.

#82 Jorge Polanco
#199 Domingo Santana
#160 Christian & Nolan

The multiplayer cards are back, and I really like this one in particular. I prefer the ones featuring players from different teams. It reminds me of the subsets from the days of my youth.

#61 Like Father, Like Son

Another cool multiplayer, this seems like a missed opportunity by not including Vlad Jr on it. The Blue Jays have three second generation players, which is unique. Why not show all three?

#327 Cavan Biggio (FS, RC)
#52 Yasmani Grandal

This is one of the better action shots I've seen so far in this product. You can't go wrong with plays at the plate!

#DB-70 Frank Thomas

Now we get to the inserts. The Decade's Best looks like a fun insert set, and they really did a good job capturing that 90's look in it's design. The other decades I've seen look good too.

#RH-10 Rhys Hoskins

This year, Topps has chosen Rhys Hoskins as one of the two players to build an insert set around. Really? Rhys Hoskins? Don't get me wrong, I like the player and feel like he could be an All-Star someday, but he wouldn't be high on my list of guys to focus a 30-card insert set around. Besides, a Phillies player was used last year. The least they could do is spread the love around and pick a different team.

#DOD-12 Ichiro

Topps continues to focus on the fact we are in a new decade with theses Decade of Dominance die-cut inserts. I kinda like the overall look of this one, even though I've never been a big fan of die-cuts.

#TR-97 Anthony Rendon
#TR-77 Buster Posey

Topps also brings back the Turkey Red design, which is OK but not something I'm overly excited about. It's been done before, Topps!

#260 Zack Greinke
#342 Taylor Rogers
#100 Alex Bregman
#191 Jeremy Jeffress
#272 Carlos Santana
#176 Brandon Belt
#53 Pete Alonso (LL)

Again, the additional bar denoting this as a League Leaders card is minor and easy to miss. Personally, if you're going to have a league leader card, you could at least denote on the front what stat the player led the league in.

#137 Merrill Kelly
#84 Ken Giles
#293 Wade Davis
#267 Joey Votto

Finally, a look at the back. I'm glad full stats are back again, but holy snooze-fest Batman! This is one of the most boring set backs on a base set I've ever seen. Outside a little splash of color, this is dreary and bland design.

#128 Steven Matz
#38 Austin Nola
#58 Jesse Winkler
#350 Pete Alonso (ASR)
#119 Kyle Schwarber

I'll be honest, this set doesn't generate a lot of excitement for me. I'll chase my team cards, maybe buy another pack or two. I just don't see myself buying as much of this as I have previous years. At least Heritage comes out before the end of the month...

Friday, February 7, 2020

6 Degrees Of Mookie - The Dennis Lamp Connection

You gotta love pure irony! I had this post written for awhile, awaiting a needed filler day to pop it into. I decided last month to go ahead and get it all set and scheduled to go for today, and now we're mere days removed from the start of Mookie's Dodger days. I'll be honest, I'm not sure where to take this series from here. Do I silently suffer and continue to connect the former Boston star? Do I reboot the series with someone else? 6 Degrees of Verdugo doesn't quite have that same ring, you know? 6 Degrees of Raffy perhaps? 6 Degrees of Bogaerts? I'm genuinely curious about what my reader think here. Let me know. In the meantime, I've got one (maybe) last one to share...


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 FORMER  Red Sox superstar Mookie Betts! Let's take a look at today's contestant!

Random TCDB Card: 

1989 Topps #188 Dennis Lamp

Here's a first! I have the complex task of connecting one Red Sox player to another. However will I manage this? Lamp pitched from 1977 to 1992 for 6 different teams. He has the distinction of not only giving up Rod Carew's 3,000th hit, but also Cal Ripken Jr's 1st!

Teammates in the 1989 Topps set
#188 Dennis Lamp
#785 Ellis Burks

Full disclaimer: I've used the Ellis Burks to David Ortiz to Mookie Betts chain before. The fact Burks started his career with the Red Sox in the 80's and later returned for his last season in 2004 makes him the go-to guy for any junk wax era guys. I'll at least try to use different cards than before.

Teammates in the 2004 Topps Total set
#680 Ellis Burks
#388 David Ortiz

As I stated, Ellis finished off his career in 2004. Injuries limited him to only 11 games that season but he was so respected as a clubhouse leader that he was given the honor of carrying the World Series trophy off the plane when it arrived in Boston.

Teammates in the 2019 Stadium Club set
#281 David Ortiz
#1 Mookie Betts

Ortiz may have retired in 2016, but it's fun to show off a set featuring both from the current year. Especially when you have that great Stadium Club photography!

Degrees of Mookie: 3

You'll be missed Mookie!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Repack Haiku #138 (Norm Charlton)

From "Nasty Boys" fame
To greatest Mariners team
"The Sheriff" stood tall

 1991 Fleer #60 Norm Charlton

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Spur Of The Moment Thoughts On The Trade

Can't wait to read Night Owl's post on this...

Red Sox fans knew this day was coming, and the team finally ripped the bandage off, trading stars Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers. Here's what I'm thinking as I watch the MLB Network dissect this:

As a fan of Mookie, this sucks. One of the wealthiest sports franchises traded away one of the Top 5 best players in the game today. That just shouldn't happen.

That being said, I get it. Mookie is going to free agency and getting top dollar after the season, and repeatedly declined extension offers. The Red Sox were either going to get something in a trade or a compensation draft pick after he left.

I'd rather have Alex Verdugo than that sandwich pick, so I'm glad he's coming to Boston. He'll never be on Mookie's level, but he's a solid young player who has a lot of potential. He could do well at Fenway..

The Involvement of the Twins was a surprise. I know nothing about this Brusdar Graterol prospect we go from them, so I'm going to hope our GM did his homework and got a guy who will make this trade  sting less a few years from now.

I think Mookie is going to have one of his best seasons and set himself up nicely for a big contract. I'm already dreading the Yankees will make a push.

I'm flat out amazed the Dodgers pulled this off without giving up any prospects. They get a stacked ball club and keep their top level farm system? Yikes.

It's done. Spring Traing starts soon, and the Red Sox still need a manager and now another starter. It's going to be a long Spring.