Friday, October 30, 2020

The Golden Sox Project (Drew Pomeranz)

It's been awhile since I last made any progress on my little side project to obtain the gold parallels of all the 2018 Topps and Topps Update Boston Red Sox. I had an opportunity to remedy that recently with another TCDB trade with a guy named Brian. Thanks to him, Drew Pomeranz can be checked off the list:

Pomeranz will forever have a place in Red Sox history as one of the strangest trades ever. Pomeranz was an All-Star for the Padres in 2016. It was during that All-Star break that he was traded to the Red Sox in a straight one-for-one trade involving Boston's top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza. Later that season, it came to light that the Padres were keeping two sets of health records - an internal one within the organization and a modified one they shared with other teams during trade discussions! The MLB eventually suspended Padres GM AJ Preller for 30 days, and the Red Sox declined an opportunity to have this trade rescinded. 

Pomeranz did not appear for the Red Sox during the 2018 postseason. He had a down year with injuries and ineffectiveness, and was left off the postseason roster during the ALDS and ALCS. He was a surprise addition to the World Series roster, but never made it into a game.

Pomeranz is the 6th addition to the Golden Sox Project, with #7 to be featured soon!

Thanks for the trade Brian!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

TCDB Trade Recap: Cards From Oak Harbor, WA

Remember last month when I highlighted a trade and waxed poetic about 1989 Fleer - a set I wasn't excited about but had so many cards that I was close to completing it? Well, thanks to a TCDB member named Gerald - 1989 Fleer is now complete!
Even though it's not one of my favorite 80's sets, it's still great when you can complete a set card-by-card through packs and trades. It's not without it's charm either - I know a lot of people don't like the grey pinstripes, but I always liked the central element to this set - the player popping out of a slightly askew parallelogram. 
This is also my 5th complete Fleer set (1981, 1987-90) which includes a nice little 4 year run.  It's also my 5th complete base set from 1989, leaving only Upper Deck's debut offering as the only major release left. (Man, I opened a lot of packs in 1989!)

Favorite Card: The rookie card of a Hall of Fame member is a strong candidate, but I kind of prefer Benito Santiago's sideways glance near the batting cage.

Thanks for the trade Gerald!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Repack Haiku #176 (Orioles Franchise History)

Ripken's glowing face
Iron Man tops Iron Horse
Unbreakable streak
2010 Topps #428 Orioles Franchise History (FH)


Congrats to the Los Angeles Dodgers for winning the World Series! I know a lot of people don't want to count this season as legitimate as a normal one, but having a team that has had this much recent success winning it makes it count equally among the rest as far as I'm concerned. For a year that gave us an upside down crazy season that many thought wouldn't or shouldn't be played, we ended things with some damn fine baseball games. I'm looking forward to reading the blogs of all the Dodger fans out there!

Monday, October 26, 2020

Extaordinary Blogger Kindness


Recently, I have been blessed with some random acts of kindness from other bloggers. Awhile back, Daniel from It's Like Having My Own Card Shop emailed me to verify my address. Shortly thereafter, I received this generous stack of cards:

All of these cards are from sets I'm So Close to completing. Daniel put a significant dent in my 1981 Topps set build, as well as including the edited version of 1989 Fleer's most famous card. The 1994 Post Griffey left me chasing one final card for that set too!

Even more recently, I received a PWE out of the blue from Chris from The Collector and The 1993. He too knocked a few cards of of the So Close page. 

I'm pretty sure those are the first 1988 Leaf cards I've added to my collection since I bought a box of the stuff 32 years ago!
Thanks again Daniel and Chris! I don't know how I deserved to be on the receiving end of  your kindness, but these cards made my day!

The extraordinary kindness I've witnessed lately doesn't just involve cards sent to me. All month long, Brian at Collecting Cutch has been raising awareness for breast cancer research. He's been doing this for years, every October, but this time he added another layer to his generosity: Other bloggers can post featuring pink cards, and for every comment made Brian will donate $1. So far he's raised over $300 towards his capped goal of $400! Now that is amazing! Way to go Brian! Hopefully I'll get a few comments here to up your donation!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Top 5 Tribute: Joe Morgan

No disrespect to Mr. Morgan, but I'm getting a little tired of doing these tributes. Morgan became the 5th Hall of Famer to pass away in the past 6 weeks, passing away October 11th at the age of 77. In tribute to the greatest 2nd baseman in my lifetime, I offer my top 5 favorite cards in my collection:

1971 Topps #264

The oldest card I own. I love this photo with all three people tightly bunched together. It could be a Norman Rockwell painting.

1978 Topps #300

Most know Morgan by his time with the Reds. By 1978 he was a household name and one of the key cogs of the "Big Red Machine" He's practically wearing his All-Star shield like a badge of honor.

1985 Topps #5

It's not often a Hall Of Famer gets two sunset cards in the same set, but Morgan got this 1985 Topps Record Breaker in addition to a base card. Jeff Kent currently holds this record now.

2016 Topps Archives #182

This Archives card gives us a great look at a young Joe Morgan. It makes me wonder though if Topps would ever resurrect a long gone team name and put Morgan on a Colt .45s card?

2019 Topps Opening Day - 150 Years Of Fun #YOF-12

I didn't get to see Morgan play, but from what I've read he was the type of player who genuinely had fun on the field. I mainly remember him from his broadcasting days, which ironically he seemed almost curmudgeonly at times. Both on the field and in the booth, he was a highly intelligent person who often shared keen insight into the game.

R.I.P. Joe Morgan - You will be missed!

Thursday, October 22, 2020

TCDB Trade: Cards From Eaton, CO

Just a quick post to show off a small trade I made with a guy named Tyler:
I remember the Red Sox trading for Aguilera from the Twins at the trade deadline only for him to sign back with the Twins as a free agent. Suppan carved out a long career capped by winning t he 2006 NLCS MVP award for St. Louis. I couldn't tell you anything about Valdez.
Favorite Card: I may not know anything about Valdez, but I do like his Fleer card, even though I'm not quite sure what he's doing with his hands.
Thanks for the trade Tyler!


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Repack Haiku #175 (Mo Vaughn)

Last Red Sox player
To wear number forty-two
To honor Jackie
1993 Topps #51 Mo Vaughn

Vaughn was one of 13 players grandfathered in when MLB retired Jackie Robinson's number in 1997. Ironically, he and another "Mo" were the last two to ever wear the number (other than Jackie Robinson Day of course!)

Monday, October 19, 2020

2020 World Series Tale Of The Tape

The World Series starts tomorrow, and I think it will be a good one. It's fairly uncommon for the best teams in both leagues to make it to the final series, and honestly with this expanded playoff format I wasn't expecting it to happen. Now, for most baseball fans like me, chances are your team isn't one of the two left standing. Who do you vote for when your team isn't playing? Personally, I base it on a few different factors. Let's see how the two teams stack up:

Former Red Sox Players

Rays: Jalen Beeks
Dodgers: Mookie Betts, Joe Kelly

2020 Topps #420 Mookie Betts
What can I say, if I can't root for my team, I can root for guys who used to be on my team. The Dodgers feature two Red Sox legends in Mookie Betts and Joe Kelly (three if you included their manager Dave "The Steal" Roberts). Ironically the Rays' manager, Kevin Cash, is also a former Red Sox player, but the only actual players with connections to the Tampa Bay team are injured pitcher Jalen Beeks and former prospect Manuel Margot.

Advantage: Dodgers

Shenandoah Valley Baseball League Alumni

Rays: Ryan Yarbrough, Mike Brosseau 
Dodgers: none
2020 Stadium Club
#80 Mike Brosseau (RC)
Having two players on one team that have played in my area's collegiate summer league is quite impressive. Yankee killer Mike Brosseau played for my hometown team, the Waynesboro Generals!

Advantage: Rays

University of Virginia Cavaliers Alumni

Dodgers: Chris Taylor, Josh Sborz
2019 Topps Heritage #304 Chris Taylor

Go Wa-hoos! Living a short drive from Charlottesville, I've gone to a few UVa baseball games. The Dodgers actually employed two former Cavaliers this year. 2017 NLCS hero Chris Taylor is on the World Series roster, but pitcher Josh Sborz isn't.

Advantage: Dodgers

Championship Drought

Dodgers - 31 years (1988)
Rays - 22 years (never)

The Rays have never won a World Series in their entire existence. Yet the Dodgers have gone even longer since their last title.

Advantage: Dodgers

Personal Connection

Does sympathy count as a personal connection? This will be the third time in the past 4 years the Dodgers have reached the World Series, and so far have no rings to show for it. Even the 90's Braves dynasty won at least one. The only connection I have to the Rays is that they're pesky divisional opponents for the Red Sox.

Advantage: Dodgers

Spring Training Adventures

2018 Topps #297 Kevin Kiermaier
I've seen the Rays play a lot in my annual trips down to Florida, due mainly because the ticket prices tend to be cheaper when they are the opponent. The only current player I know for sure I've seen is Kevin Kiermaier. The Dodgers play in Arizona, so no memories there.

Advantage: Rays

AL East Divisional Opponent Bias

Yes, I admit I have one. 

Advantage: Dodgers

Final Talley: Dodgers 5, Rays 2

I have a gut feeling the Rays are going to win, but I'll be rooting for the Los Angeles. As much as it'll hurt watching Mookie lead another team to victory, they're due.

Go Dodgers!

Friday, October 16, 2020

Top 5 Tribute: Whitey Ford

Baseball lost yet another Hall of Fame player when "The Chairman Of The Board" Whitey Ford passed away October 8th at the age of 91. Picking my Top 5 cards was easy in this case - I only have 5 Whitey Ford cards in my collection (not counting the latest addition to the Time Travel Trading  Project of course). Here are 5 cards I own, in chronological order:

1985 Topps Woolworth All-Time Record Holders #5

When people talk about baseball's unbreakable records, they usually talk about career achievements like Rose's hits or Henderson's steals. The all-time records listed on this card refer to Ford's World Series performances - 10 wins, 94 strikeouts, and an amazing 33 consecutive scoreless innings. With modern philosophies regarding bullpen usage, as well as expanded playoffs and a larger number of teams, Ford's records on the grandest stage are pretty safe from being challenged.

1989 Kahn's Cooperstown #NNO

The two things that stand out most about this card are the beautiful artwork and the signature depicting his real name Edward.

1992 St. Vincent HOF Heroes Stamps #4

The latest addition to my collection came over the summer when I won this set as a prize from Chavez Ravining. Now that look at it, it seems they tried to give Whitey an old-timey hat for some reason. It looks off, especially without the logo.

2015 Topps - Eclipsing History #EH-6

Coincidentally, like Gibson's 1971 card, I showed this card off a long time ago when this blog was in its infancy. The focus that day was on Rivera, but today we come full circle and honor Ford.

2016 Topps Archives #189

This is probably my favorite of all the Ford cards. The picture almost has a 3-D quality to it, like Whitey is just about to step out of the card's frame. 

I'll end things with a personal Whitey story. I may have missed an opportunity to get his autograph. Ages ago, I went to a card show in Niagara Falls. The headline attraction was Mickey Mantle. Right before I needed to get in line to get his autograph, my dad directed my attention to another older gentleman standing around talking with some people. My dad was 90% sure it was Ford, but because my mind was on Mantle, and I wasn't as familiar with Ford, I never sought to find out for sure. I'll never know...

RIP Whitey Ford, you will be missed!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

TCDB Trade: Cards From Florence, AZ

With the playoffs in full swing, as well as numerous tributes to passed on legends, I've started to fall behind on my trade recaps. As it stands now, I've got posts planned into next month already, and the only way I'll catch up is if I start posting 4 times a week instead of my normal 3. Until content otherwise dictates, I'll be doing these little trade recaps on Thursdays. This weeks TCDB Trade comes from a collector named Aaron. I proposed a trade last month that netted me a few Red Sox needs.

OK, so Rickey isn't a Red Sox need, but he and Boggs gets me two cards closer to completing this K-Mart set. The 8 remaining cards can be found on my So Close page, if anyone is curious.
Favorite Card: Jim Rice's bat on shoulder glossy. I know a lot of people don't like these mail-in offerings for the eighties, but I always enjoyed them. This would be my first card from the 1985 set.

Thanks for the trade, Aaron!


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Repack Haiku #174 (Dansby Swanson)

A pink ribbon card
Appropriate for this month
Help save second base!

2018 Topps - Salute
#TS-69 Dansby Swanson

Some things are just meant to be! I was looking to pick up a repack box to keep these haiku going, and Mr. Swanson here was the top card being displayed. I couldn't think of a better way to help promote Brian's Save Second Base fundraiser over at Collecting Cutch. Every comment on this post helps raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness!

Monday, October 12, 2020

Time Travel Trading Update #46

Marty: What about all that talk about screwing up future events? The spacetime continuum?
Doc: Well, I figured, what the hell?
- "Back To The Future"
On the TCDB, I have two collections - my main one and one for the Time Travel Trading Project cards. All of Time Travel cards are marked as "For Trade". For those unfamiliar with the Database, members can mark cards for their want list as well as for sale/trade. This make it easy for other members to search for cards you may have available, and offer cards you may want. 

The big problem  I run into (and I'm sure I've mentioned this before) is that the searches don't differentiate between collections. Therefore I get a lot of trade offers where someone wants a vintage card from my Time Travel collection, but offers something modern off of my want lists in return. This happened 4 times since my last update. When these trade offers come in, I have a few options:

Option #1

The first thing I'll do is check the other person's collection and see what else they have available for trade. If they have older cards that would satisfy my project's parameters, I'll offer a counter-proposal and explain what my project is about. This is the case with Timothy, who had his eye on a few 1960 Topps cards I had. Fortunately, he had a few 50's card on his trade list, and we were able to work out a deal: 

Option #2

If the other trader doesn't have older cards on his trade list, I'll look at my personal collection and see if I have any doubles that I could use in their place. I'll essentially make a trade with myself for the Time Travel cards, add them to my collection, then make the trade. Two of the trade offers I received were of this variety, and so now I pulled these cards from my collection and added them to the stack:

Option #3

Well, Option #3 has never come into play before now. It's not something I thought would ever happen, honestly. Here's the story: A TCDB member messaged me and stated he was very interested in the '55 Bowman cards I had. The problem was he didn't have anything older and wanted to know if there was any way I'd part with them for cards that were newer than 1955. The whole premise of the project is to trade for older cards, but I broke my own rule and made the trade anyway. I have a few reasons why:
  • The trader who contacted me, Jason, has participated in my Time Travel Trading twice before. In fact, he's the generous collector who gave me the two oldest cards currently in the trade stack. This was an opportunity to repay some of that generosity.
  • I've found with this project that it's hard to trade cards from the fifties. There really aren't many potential traders who have even older cards they are willing to give up. As a result, I have a bit of a bottleneck with cards from this decade. I've often wondered how I can encourage more trading involving these older cards.
  • As I was looking through Jason's trade list, an idea came to me. Yes, the cards I'm getting back are newer, but I saw an opportunity to potentially get some legendary names from an oddball set that doesn't seem get a lot of "screen time" in the online community.
After some back and forth negotiating (which was incredibly fun because we kept injecting "Back To The Future" references in our correspondence), we finally pulled the trigger. This is what I ended up with: 

Yep, I actually sought out Yankees! These were released by Jay Publishing in 1963, and although the Database list them among the card sets, these are more like 5x7 photographs. Hey, if the TCDB counts them, then so do I! Still, it's not often you have a Yogi Berra from his playing days for trade (Ford and Howard are no slouches either - RIP Whitey!) and I'm very interested in seeing what kind of offers these three will generate.

There was one trade I made that was just a straight-up classic trade. Thanks to a collector named Sky, I turned a 1966 football card into a team card from a long since gone team: 
Thanks to all my trade partners! If you see something you're interested in, let me know!

The Time Travel Trade Stack:

2018 Topps
#502 Xander Bogaerts

2017-1018 Pocket Schedule
Carolina Hurricanes

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 Fleer
#629 Jose Canseco (POD)

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
1987 Donruss
#90 Manny Trillo 
#143 Bruce Bochte
#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
#102 Rudy May
#116 Ralph Houk (MGR)
#145 Bobby Bonds
#215 Dusty Baker
#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 Topps
#33 Billy Martin (MGR)
#43 Rick Wise
#163 Tug McGraw
#197 Johnny Briggs
#225 World Series Game 3 - Manny Sanguillen
#231 Casey Cox
#239 Tom Timmermann
#266 Bobby Bolin
#363 Ron Klimkowski
#373 John Mayberry
#438 Maury Wills (IA)
#451 Tony LaRussa

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

1971 Topps
#16 Ken Singleton (RC)
#63 AL 1970 RBI Leaders (Howard/Conigliaro/Powell)
#37 Dick Drago 
#200 1969 AL Playoffs Game 2 
#390 Willie Davis
#457 Rico Petrocelli (AS)
#267 Washington Senators (TC)
#307 Barry Latman
#352 Alex Johnson (RC)

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 Jay Publishing New York Yankees
#NNO Yogi Berra
#NNO Whitey Ford
#NNO Elston Howard
#521 Gary Geiger

1959 Topps (football)
#80 Joe Perry
1958 Topps
#289 Series Hurling Rivals (CPC)

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

1957 Topps
#212 Rocky Colavito (RC)
#249 Dave Pope
#406 Bob Hale

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

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

1955 Topps
#45 Hank Sauer

1954 Bowman
#16 Jim Wilson
#73 Don Mueller

1954 Bowman Power For Peace (non-sport)
#91 USS Coral Sea (CVB43)
1953 Topps

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: 64
Unique trading partners: 37

Number of cards mailed out: 207
Year of oldest card mailed out: 1955

Number of cards received: 429
Year of oldest card received: 1915