Monday, February 28, 2022

Kissed By The Cardboard Gods

Enrique "Kiki" Hernadez is a mortal man. One who plays baseball, and plays it well. He's not a superstar, and not likely to ever join their ranks. He's never been an All-Star, nor contended for a major award. However Kiki, above all others, has been blessed by the cardboard gods. 

Early in his Topps portfolio, his cards were solid - not a bad one in the bunch, although nothing memorable. The powers that be clearly had their eyes on him, to see if he was truly worthy of cardboard greatness.

2015 Topps Update #US117

2016 Topps #435

2017 Topps #685

2018 Topps #680

He was indeed worthy. In 2019 we began to see a run of sports card beauty that has been unmatched in the annals of the hobby:
2019 Topps #117

2020 Topps #135

2021 Topps #465
Even a team subset card of his proved to be fun and memorable!

2021 Topps Update #US287

The cardboard gods have shown their favor to Mr. Hernandez yet again this year:

2022 Topps #90
Wow.  Just wow. This is the best one yet.

I ask you, has any player received such a stretch of great cards? Not even the venerated Kirt Manwaring can hold a candle to Enrique Hernandez!

Friday, February 25, 2022

Trapped In Time: Remnants Of The 14th Trade

Welcome to what I'm planning on being a new monthly installment to my Time Travel Trading project! As I mentioned last month, the trade stack is getting long, and I decided the time has come to cull some of the more tenured cards from the trade stack. If no one has claimed them in the 4 years they've been here, then the chances of them ever being traded are slim. 

I keep a pretty detailed record of the trades I've done for this project. In fact, I have a whole unpublished page on this blog listing every card ever added and traded away. In going through these records, I found two cards that have been in my trade box the longest. Let's revisit this trade, look at these cards, and give them one last shot at being wanted before I decide what I want to do with them. If no one offers a trade before next's month's Time Travel Trade update, I'll retire them...maybe...more on that in a bit.

Trade #14 Gary (TCDB)
Traded 04/07/18: 
  •  2008 Upper Deck First Edition - Starburst Common #SQ-42 Derek Jeter
Received 04/16/18:
  • 1973-74 O-Pee-Chee (hockey) #53 Richard Lemieux (See Trade #85)
  • 1970 Topps #103 Frank Reberger (See Trade #39)
  • 1969 Topps #453 Mike Cueller (See Trade #24)
  • 1969 Topps - Deckle Edge #13 Mel Stottlemyre (See Trade #45)
  • 1969 Topps (football) #154 Sam Baker (See Trade #76)
  • 1967 Philadelphia (football) #109 New York Giants (TC) (See Trade #76)
  • 1966 Topps #444b Checklist 430-506 (CL) (See Trade #18)
  • 1965 Philadelphia (football) #193 John Paluck (See Trade #85)
  • 1964 Philadelphia (football) #172 Ken Gray (RC) (See Trade #89)
  • 1962 Topps #278 Ken Johnson (See Trade #28)
  • 1959 Topps (football) #80 Joe Perry (See Trade #87)
  • 1956 Topps Flags of the World (non-sport) #70 Jordan
  • 1952 Bowman #57 Clyde Vollmer

This trade was straight up generosity. In exchange for one card, I got 13 back, all vintage. When a card gets traded away, I italicize it and notate the trade number. As you can see, 11 of these cards are in the appreciative hands of other collectors. However, two cards have remained. It stands to reason that the older the card, the less likely someone out there reading my blog not only wants the card, but has an older card they're willing to give up. This is especially true with cards I have from the 50's and older. It's tough to match up on a trade, especially if the other collector has preferences with the card's condition. 

1952 Bowman #57 Clyde Vollmer

Prime example #1 - Not many people have a card older than 1952 hanging around in their doubles box. Fortunately, Mr. Vollmer's fate will be a positive one regardless. As a Red Sox fan, I will happily add him to my personal collection, where he will immediately become the oldest Red Sox card I possess. (Not to dissuade anyone from making a claim for him - I've traded away many great Red Sox cards for this project!)

1956 Topps Flags Of The World (non-sport) #70 Jordan

When I first got this card, I thought it was pretty cool. I especially liked how the back taught you how to say a few words in the country's language. I though someone might want it, but here it has remained. It's hard enough trading away cards from the 50's, but it adds an extra layer of difficulty when the card isn't a traditional sports card.That's what makes this card's fate a complex one. I'm still not quite sure what to do with it. I hopped on the TCDB and found a few people with this card on their want list, but the members either were not active or did not have anything older on their For Trade list. In fact, the only real option was a collector who had another card from the exact same set available to trade - the move wouldn't really do anything for the project. I could add this card to my collection as well, but to be honest, it doesn't fit. It would get stored away and forgotten - a cardboard equivalent of the Ark Of The Covenant. So what should I do? That's where you come in - I'm opening this up for a vote. Here's what I believe are the options:
  1. Someone trades for it - Obviously this is the preferred option and not really a voting choice.
  2. I try to make that unilateral trade on TCDB for another card from the set - If nothing else, I scratch a card off someone's want list and make them happy.
  3. I add the card to my collection - Again, it doesn't really fit though!
  4. I keep it in the trade stack - When I first came up with the idea of highlighting cards, I thought that maybe I'd spare cards from the 50's or older and they would remain in the stack. Besides, part of the allure of this project is the variety of cards it has!
  5. Giveaway! - Maybe a trade partner gets a bonus card in their PWE, maybe I save it for some future giveaway.
  6. "Cycle it out" - I also weighed the idea of removing it from the trade stack, but keeping it around and maybe adding it back in down the road. Maybe a card in the stack catches my eye, and I can use this card to make a personal swap. Maybe I just hold onto it for a year and see if there's any renewed interest. I don't know.
So bottom line, this could be your last chance to acquire these cards! If nothing else, let me know in the comments what you think I should do with that Flags Of The World card!

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Repack Haiku #243 (Matt Strahm)

"Strahm's Stadium Pulls"
His YouTube channel where he
Opens packs of cards
2017 Bowman  #64 Matt Strahm (RC)

Matt Strahm launched his YouTube channel in 2020. Not only does he do box breaks, but he does them at the stadiums he's visited! He currently a free agent, so hopefully once this lockout ends he'll sign on with a team and keep posting!


Monday, February 21, 2022

Time Travel Trading Update #62

I was hoping to squeeze in a pack of this year's new base set, but my local Wally World didn't have any in stock when I checked, so that will unfortunately have to wait until next month's update.

Last time, I mentioned how I wanted to start whittling down some of the cards in the stack to keep it from getting too out of hand. My targets are the cards that have been sitting in the stack for the longest. I started this project in 2018, and there are still a lot of cards I received that year that have been sitting around unclaimed. Going through my records, I found the most tenured card was a 1986 Topps Fernando Valenzuela Turn Back The Clock. I hopped onto the TCDB, and was able to find someone with this card on his want list! I managed to propose a trade with Cody, and sent a handful of cards from the stack in exchange for these:

Now, since I'm trying to keep the amount of cards manageable, I sent him more cards than I received. However, I feel I got some bigger names added - a quality over quantity trade as it were.
Our next trade comes from Bo (Baseball Cards Come To Life!) Bo picked up a few cards, including some colorfully-named former Red Sox and returned fire with a nice quartet:

Jeff (Wax Pack Wonders) has been making monthly trades and shooting up the leaderboard among my most frequent trade partners. This time he's offered up a nice mix of baseball and football cards:

Brendan (The View From The Third Floor) always sends great cards, and this time was no exception! Every so often, I notice certain players show up in the return packages multiple times. The great Joe Montana makes his second appearance in this update:

Long time blog reader Derek contacted me on the TCDB and made his first of hopefully many Time Travel Trades. I sent a bunch of cards to Canada, and if you're going to trade with a Canadian, the two things you hope to see are hockey and O-Pee-Chee! Derek doesn't disappoint and sent such a fantastic variety of cards:

Just for clarity sake, the Humpty Dumpty Troy Murray and Frito-Lay Cam Neely are still in their cellophane wrappers.

Other than one last return I'm waiting on, that's all for now! I'll have a bonus post later this week to help clear out some more of theses long-forgotten cards. I'm hoping my highlighting them one last time I can generate some interest! Stayed tuned!
As always, these cards are all available in exchange for an older card! You can claim your cards below, or through the TCDB (Kep75). Let's make some trades!

The Time Travel Trade Stack:

2019 Topps
#313 Robinson Cano

2019 Topps Opening Day

#93 J.D. Martinez
#197 Felipe Vazquez  
2017-1018 Pocket Schedule
Carolina Hurricanes

2017 Bowman
#12 Trea Turner
2015-16 Upper Deck (hockey)
#185 Alex Ovechkin
2013 Panini USA Champions
#56 Randal Grichuck
2010 Bowman - Prospects Black
#BP51 Chase D'Arnaud
#BP56 Rolando Gomez

2010 Bowman Chrome
#13 Brian Roberts

2010 Bowman Chrome - Prospects
#BCP178 Nathan Adcock
#BCP186 Jhan Marinez
2010 Bowman Platinum - Prospects
#PP38 Brian Johnson  
2010 Topps - Draft 75th Anniversary (football)
#75DA-1 Joe Montana

2010 Topps - Gold (football)
#157 Earl Thomas (RC, SN2010)
2009 Bowman - Chrome WBC Prospects
#BCW18 Tao Bu   
2008 SPx - Rookie Signatures Gold
#141 Bill White (AU)
2004 Topps
#203 Bo Hart (ASR)

2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites
#52 Clete Boyer

2002 Fleer Greats Of The Game
#64 Frank Howard
2001 Fleer Greats Of The Game
#77 Lester Lockett 
2000-01 Be A Player Signature Series - Autographs (hockey)
#88 Lyle Odelein (AU)
1998 Team Best
#15 Troy Glaus  
1997-98 Zebra Pen New Jersey Devils (hockey)
#NNO Lyle Odelein
1996 Fleer Update
#U238 Tim Salmon (ENC) 
1995 Topps
#215 Mike Greenwell 
1994 Stadium Club
#448 Erik Pappas 

1993 Leaf
#271 Jay Buhner
1993 Ted Williams
#101 Marlin Carter (NLB)  

1993 Playoff - Playoff Club
#PC-1 Joe Montana

1993 Classic Draft Picks (basketball)
#33 Will Flemons
#67 Bennie Seltzer
1992-93 Humpty Dumpty I (hockey)
#NNO Troy Murray
1992 Nabisco
#33 Steve Rogers 
1992 Score - 90's Impact Players
#65 Ron Gant
1992 Triple Play - Gallery Of Stars
#GS-1 Bobby Bonilla  
1991-92 Upper Deck McDonald's All-Stars - Holograms (hockey)
#McH-02 Chris Chelios
1991 Stadium Club
1991 Topps Desert Storm (non-sport)
#147 Working Together 
1990 Donruss
#437 Dan Quisenberry (UER, VAR: Pack border, no dot after INC)

1990 Fleer
#125 Jim Abbott
1990 Score
#3 Dwight Evans
1990 Upper Deck
#626 Frank Viola

1990 Pro Set - Theme Art (football)
#10 Super Bowl X Pittsburgh Steelers / Dallas Cowboys
1989 San Diego Padres
#19 Garry Templeton
1989 Score
#495 Larry Parrish
1989 Sportflics
#157 Harold Baines  
1988-89 Frito-Lay Stickers (hockey)
#NNO Cam Neely

1988-89 ProCards Sherbrooke Canadiens AHL (hockey)
#NNO Mario Roberge
1986 Sportflics
#30 Jose Cruz 
1986 Topps - Glossy All-Stars
1985 Topps
#7 Nolan Ryan (RB)
1985 Topps - Glossy All-Stars
#18 Chet Lemon
#22 Hank Greenberg (CAPT) 

1985 Topps (football)
#281 Raiders Team Leaders (TL)
1984 Donruss

1984 Fleer
1984 Fleer - Team Stickers
#NNO Minnesota Twins Cap  
1983 Stuart Bakery Montreal Expos
#18 Warren Cromartie
1983 Topps (football)

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

1982 Topps
1982 Topps Kmart 20th Anniversary
#43 Hank Aaron (HL) 
1982 Topps (football) 

1981 Donruss  
#215 Jerry Remy
1981 Topps (football)
#18 Frank Lewis 
1980 Topps (football)
#132 Eagles Team Leaders (CL, TL)
1979-80 O-Pee-Chee (hockey)
#3 1978-79 Scoring Leaders (Bryan Trottier/Marcel Dionne/Guy Lafleur) (LL, UER)
#93 Glen Sharpley
#145 Carol Vadnais
#238 Terry O'Reilly
#670 Jim Hunter
#118 Kevin Porter 
#129 Ray Williams (RC)
1978-79 O-Pee-Chee (hockey)
#13 Doug Jarvis
#42 Gary McAdam
#193 Boston Bruins (CL, TC)
#205 St. Louis Blues (CL, TC) 

1978 Topps  
1978 Topps (football)
#521 Eagles Team Leaders (CL, TL) 
1977-78 Topps - White Backs (basketball)
#78 Richard Washington (RC)
1977 Topps
#362 Tommy Davis 
#535 Cesar Geronimo
1977 Topps (football)
#350 Bill Bergey (AP)
1976 Funky Sales Corp Funky Facts Baseball
#2 In A Trance
#3 Fans Vs Players
#5 Baseballeese
1976 SSPC
#7 Elias Sosa 

1976 Topps
1976 Topps - Traded
#380T Bobby Bonds

1975 Topps
#41 Cesar Geronimo
1974 Topps - Team Checklists (2 Stars)
#NNO Los Angeles Dodgers
#NNO Pittsburg Pirates 

1974 Topps - Traded
#43T Jim Wynn
1973 Topps
#4 John Milner
#102 Rudy May  
1972 Topps  
#33 Billy Martin (MGR)
#491 Jim Hardin 

1970 Brooke Bond North American Wildlife In Danger (non-sport)
#32 Polar Bear

1970 Topps
#3 Darrell Chaney
#125 Deron Johnson
#206 Clete Boyer
#287 Fred Talbot   #390 Willie Davis  
1969 Globe Imports Playing Cards Gas Station Issue
#6Spades Tommy John 

1969 Topps
#66 Orioles Rookies
1968 Topps

1966 Topps
#46 Howie Koplitz

1962 Topps

1961 Topps
1960 Topps
1960 Topps (football)
#28 Jim Ray Smith 

1959 Topps
#245 Ned Garver (VAR; grey/darker back)
#251 Cletis Boyer (VAR: grey/darker back)
1956 Topps (football)
#42 Tom Fears
#51 Ted Marchibroda
1956 Topps Flags of the World (non-sport)
#70 Jordan
1955 Topps
#45 Hank Sauer
1955 Bowman (football)
#9 Don Stonesifer
#29 Bucko Kilroy

1955 Topps All-American (football)
#46 Arnie Lassman
1954 Topps
#238 Al Aber

1954 Bowman
#73 Don Mueller

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

1953 Topps

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

1937-38  Diamond Matchbooks Tan 6 (hockey)
#NNO Glenn Brydson
1935 Church & Dwight Useful Birds of America Eighth Series (J9-4) (non-sport)
#10 California Jay

1933 Church & Dwight Useful Birds of America Fifth Series (J9-1) (non-sport)
#5 Indigo Bunting 

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
1890 N245 Sweet Caporal Actors & Actresses (non-sport)
#NNO Frankie Raymond

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: 144 (1 pending)
Unique trading partners: 57

Number of cards mailed out: 576
Year of oldest card mailed out: 1910-11

Number of cards received: 897
Year of oldest card received: 1890