Thursday, July 9, 2020

I can take him or leave him...

We all have players we like. Some of us have players we actively dislike.  And I would think that most of us have players that we are just ambivalent about.  Maybe we know they are a good player, but we don't follow their team.  Maybe they beat your team with a walk off.  Or maybe we just don't know a lot about them.

I look through my keepers and see that I have a number of players that I only have a couple of cards of.  I am pretty sure they are good, and really, that's all it usually takes for me to put a decent number of keepers in my collection.

However, lately I have been reading several posts both on card blogs and regular baseball blogs.  These posts were lauding the careers or accomplishments of baseball players that I didn't really have a strong feeling about.  And I found myself being persuaded.  An example is this one about Adrian Beltre.  I never disliked Beltre, but never had a strong affinity for him either.  But the article definitely made me feel like I wanted more Beltres in my collection.  I went through my non-keepers and added 2 right off the bat.  And if I see nice Beltres in the future, I will add those too.  I didn't turn into a Beltre collector or anything, but I definitely feel like my collecting horizons were expanded, and I liked that feeling! A couple of others that I have recently been reminded of by a blog are Andruw Jones and Scott Rolen.

Go Adrian!
So here is what I am hoping.  Below I will make a list of players who I know are pretty good.  Maybe not Hall of Famers, but good players.  And these players are some that I could take or leave.  I'd certainly put their RC in my collection, or a beautiful colorful insert or die cut, but maybe not a lot of other cards.

I want you to talk me into loving these guys!!  Here's how it works.  You don't just comment that this one guy was awesome and why would I not love him.  Nope, here's where I get a little crazy.  I want you to guest post on this blog about the player you are passionate about.  You write the post and provide any images you want and send them to me.  I will put your work into a post and add my response at the end of it.

Is it presumptuous of me to ask you to write my blog for me?  Yes.  Will that stop me?  No.  I'm not forcing anyone!  But I am hoping that you will find a player you love and give it a go!  I don't plan on posting these more than once a week, so if I happen to get a good response, your post might have to wait a while.

Here are the players available.  If you want to claim one, either email me (my email is available in my blogger profile) or comment on this post.  I will try to mark the players who have been claimed.

Lots of these players are current guys, who, I am ashamed to say, I have been kind of ignoring in favor of the past.  I'd like to remedy that though!

Jose Altuve
James Shields
David Price
Manny Machado
Fergie Jenkins - taken
Cole Hamels
Alan Trammel
Don Sutton - taken
Roy Halladay
Andrew McCutchen
Chris Sale - taken
Carlos Beltran
Barry Larkin
Mike Mussina
Matt Holliday
George Springer
Gary Sanchez
Freddie Freeman
Nolan Arenado
Charlie Blackmon

And hey, if you have a player not on this list that you want to spotlight to drum up some love in the hobby for, feel free to suggest it to me!  Any method of making me love your player is acceptable, laud their accomplishments, talk about their uniqueness, show cool baseball cards of them, I don't care!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Fastball!

Wow, I have been away for a while!!  There are some reasons (some more valid than others)

1. I got pretty sick (don't worry, not coronavirus!) for almost a week.
2. My printer/scanner went kaput
3. The 4th ended up being pretty fun, but took up a lot of my time

But hopefully I am back, even though I don't have a scanner yet.  I'll try to post about things that don't require my awful photography skills.  I have a bunch of incoming mail and new acquisitions to share, but you will be spared all that for a while.

What I would like to talk about today is how much fun I had while I was sick re-watching Fastball, the 2015 documentary of the great fastball pitchers in the history of baseball.  It's narrated by Kevin Costner, which is good and bad, but we'll get to that in a bit.

I imagine most of you have already seen the show, but if you haven't, it's currently available on the Tubi app if you have a Roku, or if you want to watch it on the net, this link will take you there.


The main crux of the movie is stated in the opening moments when a quote from 'Baseball Magazine':

"No subject has stirred more debate among baseball fans than the speed of the pitchers' fastballs.'

The quote is from 1912.

I guess the point is that this debate, who throws hardest, has been around as long as the game has been.  Not a big surprise!

The show goes on to spotlight some of the hardest throwers in history.  It's a bit of a who's who of fastball pitchers, and for the most part, the list is unsurprising.  But one of my favorite bits is when they spotlight Steve Dalkowski.  Now if you haven't seen the show and don't know who Steve Dalkowski is, I won't ruin it for you.  Go watch it!  Now!!  But I will say that I definitely wanted a Dalkowski rc after watching.
1963 Topps 496 RC Rookie Steve Dalkowski Orioles Vgex
Back in the 80's, I imagine a Steve Dalkowski rc was pretty close to a common card.  But with the internet and this documentary, it has become much pricier.  Take a look at recent ebay sales of the card.  OK, not astronomical, but the average, young fan might be a little confused why it commands a premium.  Hint: It's because of the fastball!  So if you have a spare Dalkowski rc, send it my way!

Oh yeah, I said I'd talk about Costner's narration.  Kevin Costner narrates a lot of stuff about baseball.  And he has been in a lot of movies about baseball.  He's almost the 'number one baseball actor'.  Probably.  And there is a reason for that.  He cares about the game, and that comes out in his narrations.  But since he has done so many, I found myself feeling like he was reusing the same old schtick sometimes.  At one point, I even thought he was going to start up one of the speeches from Field of Dreams!  So there you have it, it's good.  And bad.  Hopefully it won't detract from the show for you, just something I noticed.

My other favorite part of the show is at the end when the various methods for determining a fastball's speed are compared.  The idea is that the earlier methods were less precise than current methods. So the greats are compared using a system that accounts for the problems with earlier speed tests, and an all time fastball champion is crowned.  Is it perfect?  Probably not.  Is their methodology sound?  Couldn't tell you!

But I like the outcome.  Go check it out if you haven't seen it, and if you have, let me know what parts you liked best.

Friday, June 26, 2020

For those about to scroll - we salute you.


This is a long post about some trades and freebies I have received.  But it might be worth the read, see you at the end!

First up is a trade I made with Matt over at Sport Card Collectors.  I send him a variety of basketball inserts from the later 90's and he sent me a ton of McGwires and one player to be named later!

There is a reason these are sorted by year, and it has more to do with than just sorting my McGwires.  That reason will come in another post later this week.


2013s.  Patriotic.


2014s.  Classy and clean.

2015s.  Getting shiny and a double mini.

2016s. More A's than Cardinals.

2017s.  Parallels galore and another mini.

2018s.  Some nice stuff, serial numbers and another mini.

2019s. Hodgepodge.

2020s.  My first 2020 McGwire!  Also serial #d.

In all honesty, I only had 3 or 4 McGwires from after 2005, so almost all of these were new to me.  A big addition to my McGwire numbers!


But there were 2 more cards in the bunch...
Graded 9 with a piece of bat!  Very cool.  It says it is from the Hidden Treasures Diamond Collection.  Not sure what that is.

And McGwire's partner in crime (in more ways than one!)  Jose!!  This was the 'player to be named later'.  Looks so young...

Thanks a bunch Matt!!


Next up is a group of cards from Free Card Friday at Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary!

So much color!!  Right up my alley.  My favorites are the Barry Sanders Finest and the Ripken 3000 Club.  But the rest are awesome too.  Thanks Brian!!!



And now, if you got this far, I noticed that a couple of our very generous Free Card Friday folks have decided to take this Friday off for various (good) reasons.  So I thought I would fill that void a little.  Now I have extremely little current stuff in my collection, so these cards are all a little older (but not OLD!). But still, free is free right?

Like most of the other Free Card Friday posts out there, please pick by page and card number from top left to bottom right.  So of you wanted the Matt Cain die cit, claim page 1 - #8.  Only the cards below are free today, not the stuff up above!

Let's go for a max of 6 cards per claimer today.  Thanks!

Die cuts.

Sideways cards.

Miscellaneous.

More misc.

And the rest.  If your name is Joey, then the Hale Irwin should work for you!  The Larry Walker is an O-Pee-Chee card with a 'special offer' on the back, not part of the regular set.

Go to town!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Blog readin and some incoming

All right, I have been back, actively reading blogs for a bit now, and am wondering if the technology has changed in the time since I have been away.  In other words, how are the kids doing it now??

So, how do you keep track of/read blogs?

I currently use Feedly.com.  I have 91 sports card blogs that it aggregates for me.  Some of those are dead, but I keep them in the list for now anyway.  I also like Feedly because I have quite a few other blogs on different topics that I keep up on.  I don't really want to put those blogs on my blogroll.  This seems to work OK, but maybe there is a better system.

What are the other or better ways to keep all the blogs you read easily accessible? Any tips and tricks? Thanks for any and all feedback!



On to some more packages!  The first one is some Free Card Friday loot from a few weeks of the giveaways from Nick at Dimeboxes!

First up is some wonderful newer stuff that is sorely lacking in my collection.  Any Trout insert is most welcome as I am Trout poor!  I LOVE good looking cards of Expos uni's, so the Randy is a total score.  Beautiful Bo too.

The other 4 are inserts or parallels that I did not have in my collection, and are all very cool.


Didn't I just mention loving Expos unis??  These oddballs fit the bill.


These three stamps round out the PWE!  They appear to be from 1970 and can be put into stamp albums like this one:
I have a couple of these, but didn't know exactly what stamps are supposed to go in them.  Now I know!
This is the inside of the stamp album.  The pictures appear to match the color pics on the stamps.  You guys have these in your collections?

Thanks a ton Nick!!


And I was also lucky enough to receive a cool PWE from the great Fuji!
14 McGwires, always much appreciated!  And I placed the lone Griffey, pointing at the McGwires as if to say, haha, I didn't do steroids!!!

Thanks a bunch Fuji!!

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Some quarters are better than others

Happy Father's Day to all you fathers out there!! 

The local card shop has opened, though they only allow 4 customers at a time in.  The shop is not my cup of tea, as I am definitely a bargain hunter.  This shop caters to the higher end box buyers, and though they do have a huge number of quarter boxes, I have never found a single card in them that I would have even plucked out of a dime box.

However, they seem to do quite a bit of business, so the collectors in my area must not be clones of me!

Since I have been itching to get my hands on some cards, I made the trip and spent some time there. Like 40 minutes, looking at anything that I would consider a good deal.  I ended up spending a quarter.  One stinkin quarter!!

But for my money (haha, horrible pun), I scored a deal!

91 Fleer ProVisions complete set!

Now honestly, a quarter might be about the going rate for one of these sets.  Maybe 50 cents.  Maybe $1.  Don't really know, don't really care, I left the shop feeling like I got a good deal, and that's all I was really looking for.

Not only do I love the fronts of these cards, but they also have very detailed, great backs:

Keepers!!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Diamond Nine #21

The rules:

9ish cards are up for grabs.  Free!  Just claim what you want.  If you like it, claim it and I will send it out within a few days in a PWE.  (I'm cheap, PWE's all the way!)  Or if you like, I'd be glad to hold your stack until you have a few claimed.

Leave your claim in the comments, first come, first served.  You will have to shoot me your mailing address the first time you claim something.

Wow, subpar scanning skills!!!

The upside down one is a refractor...
Hamilton /999
Lowe /2007

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Uncle cards - the finale

Welcome to the fourth post about my uncles childhood cards that they kindly let me look through and post about.  Here are the other posts about the collection:

0. Intro and Football
1. Miscellaneous
2. 1958s
3. 1965-66s
4. 1959-60s
5. 1962-64s (today!)

The finale!  You are probably glad this will be over if the pageview numbers mean anything!

The 62's.  There were only 6 of them.  The first 4:

Somebody didn't like Eddie Kasko much...


And the two that were 'in the book'
McCarver RC!  Excellent card, a good look for a young McCarver.


Another guy someone hated.  Those pin holes are oddly placed.  Sure, there are a couple in the face, but most are on the hat and the glove.  Maybe they hated the Cubs and leather?  I try to ignore the pinhole at the crotch, that's over the line.


The 63 commons...
Decent group, lots of head shots again.


Three that I like.  The Alou brothers always intrigued me.  I have a couple of brothers, and it would have been awesome to all make MLB.  Larsen in a Giants uni weirds me out.  And I think I have already shown a couple of Podres cards, so I will leave that there.


The 1964's!
This set is why I left this group until the last post.  I have always had a love for this set, and I don't know where it started.  But this, for me, is the set of the 60s.  There were about 140 64's in the collection, easily the most of any year.


A few cool commons...
Another of those Alou boys...  And what I thought as a kid was Rusty Staub's RC.  Even back then it could be hard to tell what the RC was.

Boog!!  I love me some Boog.  That sounded wrong.  But its true!  And a card of the long time 'fines and discipline' czar for MLB, who was once quite a fine ballplayer.


On to the cards in the old Beckett...
Nellie Fox has made a good number of appearances through this saga. 


Seeing double.  Hoyts! The one on the left isn't in too bad of condition.


Seeing double again.  Juans this time.  I remember Marichal for the awesome leg kick and of course, the Roseboro incident.  But I imagine that he might be proudest of the 16 inning game he pitched against Warren Spahn and the Braves where Willie Mays homered off of Spahn in the 16th to give Marichal the victory.


Seeing double part three.  Eddie Mathews has been all over these cards.


Double Dodger league leaders.  Oh, and a Red too if you don't like Koufax and Drysdale.


Hammerin Hank!!  I might have mentioned that Aaron is one of my top 2 or 3 favorites of all time.  This copy is hammered, appropriately.


And the finale, the 'best' card in the bunch.  Any Vintage Mantle is a card worth having, no matter the condition, and I was glad to see this one.  The Mick looks none too happy, maybe because he's been treated so poorly.

Thanks for taking this ride with me, it has been fun to catalog this collection a little on the blog.  Like some of you have mentioned in the comments, I hope my uncles can find a way to keep these in the family.  I don't think many of their kids, my cousins, have a lot of interest in cards, so eventually they might get sold off for whatever can be gotten.  Hopefully that day is a long way off!

Monday, June 15, 2020

Mail recap and Diamond Nine #20

Here is an overdue mail report, thanks a TON to anyone who sends me cards for any reason!!  They are all appreciated!

Jeff at Wax Pack Wonders had a cool giveaway where you picked 3 players, one from each of three lists, a Hall of Famers list, a Former Stars list and a Recent Stars list.  I picked Ken Griffey, Barry Bonds and Jose Altuve.

Griffey is rapidly rising up my list of players to collect, at least his cool inserts/parallels and refractors.  I know, that's a tough sell since everyone at least likes Griffey and many actively hoard him.  The Black Gold Bonds is cool, he's so skinny!  And I really didn't have any Altuves, my collection is sadly lacking in players from the last 6 or 7 years.  Thanks Jeff!


Next up is Night Owl!  He jumped on the free stuff bandwagon and gave a ton of great stuff away!
This Kershaw was my winnings.  It is beautiful to me for many reasons.  The card itself is awesome due to the throwback unis and how huge it looks on Clayton!  Hilarious!  It's also a SP, and really adds to my very limited Kershaw collection.

Night Owl also threw in this Deion Sanders 2017 Donruss Legends Series insert!  Super shiny, the scan does not do it justice.  Much thanks Night Owl!


And of course, Johnny threw his weekly BFG and here is what I won!!

Wonderful cards, very cool.  And the Robin Roberts was a set need for my 2001 Archives Reserve set!!  I am also very passively collecting the early Fleer Star Stickers, so the Niekro was very welcome.  Big thanks Johnny!!



And here is what many of you are probably here for, the Diamond Nine.

The rules:

9ish cards are up for grabs.  Free!  Just claim what you want.  If you like it, claim it and I will send it out within a few days in a PWE.  (I'm cheap, PWE's all the way!)  Or if you like, I'd be glad to hold your stack until you have a few claimed.

Leave your claim in the comments, first come, first served.  You will have to shoot me your mailing address the first time you claim something.

This is basically a test to see if basketball has any draw beyond Michael, Kobe, LeBron and the top stars.  These guys ain't bad though!

The Howard is a refractor, a couple others are parallels or inserts.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Uncle Cards - 1959-60

Welcome to the fourth post about my uncles childhood cards that they kindly let me look through and post about.  Here are the other posts about the collection (finished and upcoming):

0. Intro and Football
1. Miscellaneous
2. 1958s
3. 1965-66s
4. 1959-60s (today!)
5. 1962-64s

59 commons...
Not a ton of 59s.  Food looking set overall.



Some 59 cards that meant a little something to me.  Piersall, Podres and Roseboro feature in some of the good old stories I grew up reading.  The Braves card makes it because it's a vintage Hank Aaron.  !!!!!!!  Love vintage Aaron's.  And Stengel teaching Larsen his wisdom is pretty cool too.  The back of the card implies that Stengel turned Larsen around and might be responsible for the World Series perfect game.

And here are the 59s that made a 10 year old Beckett...
Hall of Fame middle infields should get a little better looking card than this.  I guess there was no Photoshop back then though, so I guess I'll let it slide.


Another Eddie Matthews!  Even though this pose is kind of cliche, its a good looking card.


And another Baby Bull!  This one looks like a real baby bull played with it a little.


Rocky Colavito!  AKA Rocco, his real name.  Lot's of repeat players in here.  Where are all the Mantle's?????


Another repeat, Mr. Cub!  Excellent looking card here, even though it is simple.  Maybe that is why it is so cool.



Time to move on to the 1960 cards...
There were quite a few here, one of the biggest collecting years for my uncles.  This design was quite a step up from the simplicity of the 59 set.  2 pictures on the fronts, one action, one closeup.  I have always liked this set.  Of course, I have always liked the 59 set too, just for different reasons.


Cards I liked..

Burdette makes me think of Warren Spahn, his teammate.  Burdette seems like Don Drysdale to Spahn's Sandy Koufax to me.  He was a pretty good pitcher, but not quite in his teammate's league.

The Face/Wilhelm card is OK, but I like any card that references a specialty pitch.  Wilhelm was famous for the Knuckler, but I didn't know Face well enough to know he was a master of the Forkball.

Bob Elliott.  Dang, that dude looks excited for baseball.  If we ever get a season started, I might have that expression on my face!

Curt Flood, obviously most famous for holding out and helping to create the modern player/management situation we have now.

And like in the 59s, I had to show a Giants team card because its vintage Willie Mays!!!!!



Great child-altered card here!  Willey didn't play for the Mets until 1963, but this 1960 card bore the brunt of his move.  Very comprehensive, I love that the Braves logo is scribbled out.  The NY logo drawn on the hat looks more like a Yankees logo to me though.


There were more Art Mahaffey's in the collection than any other player.  Here is proof in the form of 4 Mahaffey RCs!!



1960s that made the old Beckett...
Richie Ashburn was a Phillie.  I can't really think of him in any other uniform.  And I'm pretty sure the uniform in the pictures are Phillies unis with a little airbrushing for the C on his hat.  Because according to Baseball-Reference.com, he didn't play for the Cubs until 1960, the year after this set commemorates.  But who knows.


Hey, who was complaining a while back about no Mantles???  Well, here one is.  A nicely framed look at a famous ballplayer and one who time has largely forgotten outside our little baseball historians sphere.  Boyer was a 7 time all star and won the 1964 MVP.  So he's worth remembering. 


Another Early Wynn...


Hey now, Stan the Man!!  I really like this card.  Stan is for sure one of my favorites.


And finish it off with a Say Hey Kid!!  I hope Mays and Hank Aaron live forever.  They were my 2 favorites as a kid, and it's going to be a sad, sad day when they are no longer with us.  At least I have a couple vintage cards of each to remember them with.