Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020 recap and the cards I grabbed

It's been fun reading all of the 2020 recap posts from all you bloggers.  I figure I should put mine up there too.

Personal - skip this bit if you don't care, the card stuff down the post a ways

I had a OK year, personally.  It was great to really spend a lot of time with my immediate family.  My wife and I seem to have been able to stand being around each other a lot more, so that is a promising sign for when the kids are gone!  And speaking of the kids, they are sure getting closer to leaving the nest, so I'm happy to have been able to have them around a lot more.  Unfortunately, their athletics and activities were impacted quite a bit, so that is less fun.

My health was decent up until a little scare a while back, but 'scare' and 'actually bad' are different things, and things are looking up.  Also, no covid here.  But I am scheduled to get tested today, as an extended family member has tested positive, one that I did visit (with masks on) for a short time around Christmas.  Odds aren't great that I have it, but gotta be careful.

Work has been a bear this year.  Won't bore you, but waaay too much to do and waaay too much stress.


A return to blogging - In 2014, I was having health problems and many things were taking my time and focus away from collecting.  I had been blogging for a few years at that point and just faded away.  This past April, as the pandemic blossomed, I made a semi-triumphant return!  It turned out to be very good timing, as I have had more time at home and with cards than ever before.

I started with some Diamond Nine giveaways, as I had seen Free Stuff Friday posts all over.  That was a lot of fun, and if not for the postage costs, probably would have continued longer.  It will probably be back someday too.  Other than that and a fun contest, I doubt I have posted anything really noteworthy, but it has been fun getting back into the blogging community.  You guys are all great!

Now on to some of my favorite cards that were acquired this year.

Favorite set completed - 1993/94 Finest basketball  - I have always wanted this set. It was the first year of Finest, and I was on my way out of the hobby as I moved into adulthood.  Nobody told me adults could keep collecting!  Anyway, I only bought a couple of packs of Finest, and never had a remote shot at the set.

So this year, I bought the whole thing off of Ebay!  I feel like I got a smokin deal, even though I could have probably gotten it cheaper a couple of months earlier.  I think I paid $67 and $15 shipping.  Was way cheaper than all the other Finest sets out there at the time.  And I just saw a partial set (no Jordan!) go for $73 last week.  So on the whole, I feel pretty good about the price.

Favorite single cards acquired in 2020

Favorite 80s card - Kevin McReynolds RC Autographed

This was a super surprise from Daniel at Its Like Having My Own Card Shop. I wrote about it here, but the basic reason this is my favorite 80's card I got this year is the shock and surprise I felt when I opened the envelope.  Truly a great example of the thoughtfulness and generosity of bloggers!

Favorite vintage - 1956 Topps Roberto Clemente

Total no brainer!!  If you didn't read about how I got this card, you can read it here.

Favorite "Modern Cards" - First off, I received a ton of modern cards from various sources.  Some really great ones!  Thanks to everyone who traded with me or sent stuff my way, it is all appreciated.  That said, a few modern cards stood out.

I have seen a lot of wonderful stadium club cards out there and really, those are probably the best.  But since they have been shown a lot, here are the three cards I settled on:

2020 Topps - Rookie Card Retrospective Logo Medallions - Gold #RCR-BG

Gibby was one of the large number of greats we have lost this year.  Quite a bummer.  I got this card as part of a lot of several Rookie Medallion cards.  I didn't notice the gold border or the serial numbering until days later.

2015 Panini Elite Extra Edition - Future Threads Silhouette Signatures #36

Something for Night Owl to actually enjoy on my blog for once!! This card was just too cool to pass up when I was offered it for $6.

2019 Panini Chronicles - Crusade - Blue Ice #17

I always loved the old Crusade inserts.  Not only were they beautiful, but rare too!  The new versions don't disappoint either.  So shiny and just awesome looking!  And lucky for me, this one is the "Blue Ice" parallel, numbered out of 99!  Doesn't hurt that Soto is quite the baseball player too.

As for next year...

I'm not really ready to have a good organized set of goals for 2021.  But I do have one thing I really want to do better.  I love comments on my blog, and am sure that all other bloggers feel the same.  I want to do my best to leave more comments on y'alls blogs, and whenever I have the time and energy, to leave more meaningful comments.  

No promises!  I won't be turning into Fuji overnight.  I'll definitely still leave quick comments a lot, but I want to try to get better.  Seems a worthwhile goal, and hopefully, one I can attain.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2020


Phil Niekro died.  We've had a lot of that lately, but for some reason this one hit me a little. Phil was pretty amazing as a player and a person.  I'm looking forward to the tributes that show up on our blogs when one of our old favorites passes away.  They will all be better than this one.

But now I am off to re-watch the cool documentary Knuckleball that definitely has some Niekro in it.  It's on Amazon Prime if anyone is interested!

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Roiding with Slammin Sammy

Here's hoping everyone had a great Holiday!  I didn't get any cards, but I got a few bucks to go spend on some soon, so that's nice.

On to the steroids post!

In a previous post, I mentioned that I am going to try to complete my Steroids project, and I am going to be spotlighting the players on that list one by one.  Today it is Sammy Sosa! 

For those of you who don't know how I am doing this, I will be attempting to get:

-the entire Topps base run (flagship) from each players playing career.
-a relic or autograph of each player
-4 nine pocket sheets of the 'coolest' cards I can find of each player.  Think refractors, die-cuts and colorful stuff.  Rare and serial numbered could make the cut too!

Here is what I need for Sosa:

Topps Base Needs:


Holy cow, that's a lot of base card needs! As I have said before, while the inserts might be the flash of this project, the Topps base run is the backbone.  Hopefully someone has some Sosa base for trade!

Relic or Auto card - I have two already

Sheets of Coolness: Below is what I have so far for Sammy.  Can you beat any of these?  Then let's talk trade! Also, notice that I only have 3 pages so far, but I want 4.  I have enough Sammy's to fill out an OK fourth, but always looking for better ones.

As you can see, this is a horizontal heavy page.A few of these cards are up for replacement if I can get enough sweet Sosas, but I do like the "Passing the Torch" super shiny pink insert.  It is serial numbered out of 500.  In fact the whole middle row has some character in my opinion.  I also like the Orioles Sammy.  I love bright orange Oriole cards.  I imagine that card doesn't look quite so nice to Cubbies fans though.

This page is pretty solid all around.  My favorite here is the 'Team Finest' insert in the lower left.  It is numbered /1500.  That bottom row is probably my favorite row.

And this is my favorite Sammy page!  I actually love all of these nine cards.  Several serial numbered, and more importantly, lots of color and shine!  Christmas Sammy!

Let's trade for Sammy!  Or any of the other Steroids Boys if you got em!

Monday, December 21, 2020

Five from Petey

Just like Arod, McGwire, Canseco and others, Pete Rose has fallen out of the good graces of collectors.  Like those other guys, it's for good reason.  I certainly can't blame anyone who dislikes any of them.  And somehow, they are all on the list of players who I have a LOT of cards of.  Probably because they are (relatively) cheap, and I have fond memories of them from before I knew all the bad stuff!   

One early memory of Rose that I have is his levitation!  Check this out, it looks like he took off from a mile away!   

And this one might even be better.  I can see a GIF of this where Pete hovers down the line like superman, avoids the tag, backs up while still in midair and finally slaps the plate.  The shadow is cool here too.  Reminds me of Peter Pan and his shadow.

Anyway, here are the 5 Pete Rose cards I picked out as the favorites in my collection:

1984 Fleer Update #U-102 - This one just HAD to make the list.  I love cards of players on teams that they look out of place with.  Check.  I love Expos cards.  Check. I love bunting cards.  Check.  And I love tough to find sets, like this update set.  Last Check.

Happy to have this card in my collection and wish I had more from this set.  The 1984 Fleer Update Gooden is one of my white whales.

1973 Topps #130 - Pretty beat up, but I include this card because Pete looks so awkward!  He looks like he just popped a foul ball back.  He also looks like he has to pee.  Funny!

1970 Kellogg's 3-D Super Stars #2 - I like this because it is my earliest Kellogg's card.  In reasonable condition for an old Kellogg's too!  

1971 Topps #100 - 1971 Topps is popular with a lot of us, and I'm no exception.  I do wish they had cropped this a little differently, losing Pete's elbow seems a strange choice when there is room on the other side of the card.

1964 Topps #125 - my all time favorite Rose card!  I wanted it for years before finding a smoking deal on this copy a decade ago. Young Pete, still with 4000 hits and a gambling scandal ahead of him.  I can't imagine he thought everything would turn out for him like it has.

Obviously I would love a Rose RC, and I am missing 7 for his complete Topps run.  Would be very nice to get all those, but that's unlikely as other things would get grabbed first.  But overall, I am happy with my Rose collection.

Any awesome Rose's that would make your list that I should try to acquire?

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Going all Elliptical on Football

In my 'Keeper' collection, I have a lot of baseball, a very good amount of basketball, and probably only about 600 football cards.  Which is weird, since I enjoy watching football more than either baseball or basketball.  And I do a yearly fantasy football league, but only sporadically get into leagues for the other sports.

Part of it is that Baseball cards were my first love and will always be my main collection.  Basketball was always my favorite sport to play, and I love the 90's craziness on basketball cards.  Football just doesn't hold up the same way for me in the collecting world.

That doesn't keep me from grabbing any football cards that strike me, it just seems to happen a lot less often.  On that note... 

Blog commenter extraordinaire Elliptical Man has held a lot of giveaways at his blog A View from the Third Floor.  Not a lot of people participate, which is a shame.  But it's good for me, because I got to win a free Gale Sayers card!!  Check it out:

The reason he was giving this away was that he had recently upgraded this copy into something nicer.  But I don't know, I'm pretty happy with this 'beat up' copy.  Specifically mentioned in the contest post was some writing on the back of the card.  This is it:
Not bad at all!  And at least they kept with the color scheme!

Also included in the envelope was this A&G McGwire I needed!  Excellent addition Elliptical Man!!

Elliptical Man, I'm hoping to have a PWE out to you very soon!

So back to football cards.  I have maybe 500 football cards that do not make it into my 'Keeper' collection, and that I would love to turn into something I am more interested in.  Anyone interested in some kind of trade?  I don't really want to piecemeal them out in 50 little trades, I'm more looking for someone who would like to make a trade for most or all of them.

Here is a sampling of the kinds of cards in the bunch. Maybe 30% of them? I tried to be fairly representative, so some of the cooler cards made these pics, as well as some of the 'less enticing'.

There are a lot of serial numbered cards in the lot.  Some 70s stuff.  Some late 90s inserts.  A little of everything.  Nothing that you can go flip for good money, of course, but a decent variety of cool stuff.

If you have any interest let me know.  I'm definitely not looking for a dollar for dollar trade here.  I'd even be willing to send them to you up front, assuming I have had previous dealings with you so I know I can trust you.  And let you send something back whenever you get around to it that you feel is an acceptable trade for you.

Best case scenario for me would be one or two bigger baseball or basketball cards. Not BIG big, medium big.  Not like an Olajuwon RC or Henderson RC, I'm not being silly. But even that may be unrealistic, so next best scenario would be some mess of cards off of my wantlists, or a smaller batch of baseball or basketball that is an eclectic mess like the football in this post.  That would at the least give me more trade fodder!

Feel free to comment or email me (email in my profile) if you want to set something up!  I'm not really certain anyone will want to take me up on this, so in a couple of days, if there are specific cards in these pics that you want, let me know and we can do something smaller.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Roiding with Aroid

In a previous post, I mentioned that I am going to try to complete my Steroids project, and I am going to be spotlighting the players on that list one by one.  Today it is Alex Rodriguez! 

For those of you who don't know how I am doing this, I will be attempting to get:

-the entire Topps base run (flagship) from each players playing career.
-a relic or autograph of each player
-4 nine pocket sheets of the 'coolest' cards I can find of each player.  Think refractors, die-cuts and colorful stuff.  Rare and serial numbered could make the cut too!

Here is what I need for Aroid:

Topps Base Needs:


Wow, that's a lot of base card needs!  Which is a little strange, because the inserts section for Arod is packed!  Somebody's gotta have some Aroid base laying around, right?

Relic or Auto card - I have 2 already

Sheets of Coolness: Below is what I have so far for Rodriguez.  Can you beat any of these?  Then let's talk trade! 

The Alex insert sheets are pretty good already.  But they can always get better, right?  None on this first page make me feel like I just have to replace them.    They are all decent inserts or kind of cool looking.  My favorites are the topo row.  The Bowman's Best looks nice in person.  The Tomorrow's Legends insert is pretty classy.  And I have to have a promotional sample in there!

Man, this page pops for me!!  All 9 cards are super!  But I didn't notice that I have a dupe from page 1!  That 2nd 'Tomorrows Legends' card is totally available for trade.  Favorites here are hard to pick.  But.... I have always liked thiose Boyz with the Wood cards.  So that's one.  The 2 Diamond Kings inserts in the middle row also make the cut.  And on the bottom row, that shiny Focus Pocus card is the bomb!

A little more sedate here, but still tough cards to kick out.  The Ovation 'Curtain Calls' in the upper left is a classy card in hanb.  I always liked the EX cards with the semi-transparent window.  The others are all decent too.

Last page!  I have three definite favorites here.  The Fleer Tradition 'Franchise Futures', the Diamond Kings 'DK Evolution' and my fave of all of the Aroids, the purple 'Star Gazing' card from Score!  Believe it or not, about half of these cards (all 4 sheets) are dupes for me.  The dupes are in my keeper collection, but I'm happy to have these ones for this project.  Around here, there are always cool Aroids in the dime and quarter boxes where I spend my time.

If you have Arod's (or any of the other Steroids Boys) that I need, feel free to reach out and get a trade started!

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Fishing with flippers

Well today was fun.  This is going to be a meandering post, it starts with a fishing trip.  But it does have sports card content in it, and I will add some pics from my collection to keep it tied to cards.

My 13 year old son recently decided he wanted to learn to fish, so he and I have been learning together.  This morning, we went out to a lake near our home to fish.

Not for Salmon:

Or catfish (I can't believe this is the only Catfish Hunter in my collection!):

We were going for trout:

Unfortunately, for the first time since we have been doing this fishing thing, we got shut out.  A couple of bites, but no fish even made the surface.  We are poor fishermen.  Maybe we will get better.  I hope so!!

But while we were out on the calm water, where voices carry very well, I heard a couple of guys fishing from the shore talking about Rickey Henderson autographs!  

Sometimes I could hear them clearly, sometimes less so, but since the fish weren't keeping us busy, I got to eavesdrop quite a bit.  They quickly turned to their plan to create custom packs that would have mostly junk cards, but one out of the bunch would have a valuable card, like a Mike Trout RC.  Then they would try to sell all the packs on a youtube channel and whoever lucked out and got the Trout pack would be happy, and they would be rich.  They had other schemes too.  Strange stuff.  They talked about all the different refractors and the phrase 'double our money' was thrown about a fair bit.  To each their own I guess, not really my scene.  

<end sports card related part of the post, back to the rest of the fishing story>

Anyway, the night before, my brother had asked me to send him pictures of our catch.  Since we didn't have a catch to photograph, I figured I'd photograph my son in our kayak and send that instead.  Big mistake when you are a clumsy human like myself.  I got out of the kayak on the dock still quite a ways from shore and fumbled my phone out of my pocket....

and promptly dropped it into 15 feet of murky water!!

After doing my best to keep my language clean for a bit, we tried using a makeshift combination of a paddle with our fishing net tied to the end to reach down and try to scoop it up.  But the water was too murky to see, and we gave up after about 10 minutes.  I guess this could have been me, but it was pretty cold, 36 degrees to be precise!

Wasn't fun telling my wife I need a new phone, and the rest of the day was spent on that effort.  But hey, I got a post out of it.  I guess.

Anyone ever dropped something fishing?  Or something similarly stupid?

Friday, December 11, 2020

Five of the Say Hey Kid

Willie Mays was probably my first favorite ballplayer, and he still ranks right up near the top. I was a big reader as a kid, and I remember wanting to impress my mom by bringing home a book from the adult section of the library, rather than the kiddie section.  A Willie Mays biography was what I ended up with, and I really loved it.  I think I was 7.  

It was my first intro to the struggles of race in our country.  I was pretty sheltered, I guess. There wasn't much on race in this particular book, but enough for me to get the general idea.

I loved the epic rookie year which culminated with the 'Shot heard round the world'. Who would have thought that Willie Mays would have had such a rough start to his career?

I read about 'The Catch', long before I ever saw a replay of it.  The book extolled its virtues so extravagantly, that when I finally did see the replay, I was almost disappointed!

I remember being confused about what 'Say Hey' was supposed to mean.  If you don't know about it, check out this song from way back in the day.  It was kind of Willie's catch phrase.

I was familiar with the old Giants players far more than any other players from the 50s and 60s because of that book.

Before long, I read a lot more baseball biographies, and my worldview got bigger, but Willie is where it all started, and I will always have a soft spot for him.  Willie is really getting up there in age. 90 years young next May.  Every time I hear of another old ballplayer passing away, I think, at least we still have Willie and Hank.  Those will be sad days when they come.  But on a happier note...

Here are my five favorite Willie Mays cards in my collection!

2005 Donruss Studio #SP-24 - Continuing the theme (rut?) I have gotten into, this is my lowest numbered Mays, /30!  These 'Studio Portraits' cards are kind of dull, but in some ways the simplicity appeals to me.

The subset us weird, with versions of each card numbered out of  5,10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60.  Not the most original way to do things, but just like Donruss, right?  It gets even worse, there are variations at each serial numbered point.  It got so weird that I just stopped researching!

1968 Topps - Game #8 - A very cool card, it seems like I just read about somebody looking for one of these, but can't remember who it was.  Not that I'm looking to trade it, but I'd trade any card if the price was right!

Willie is the only 'Home Run' in this Topps Game insert set.  Good pick Topps!

1961 Topps #150 - Looks like Willie wasn't having the greatest day here.  But he does look strong.  61 was a simple, clean design from Topps.  Needs more action shots though!  This one definitely isn't mint, but it could be worse.  As you will see next!

1966 Topps #1 - Mays is having a much better day in this shot!  This is the picture of Willie that I see in my head when I hear the words "Say Hey!"  The card is pretty beat, but I still love it.  Can't afford a mint one anyway.  Probably a spring training shot from the looks of it.

1964 Topps #150 - My favorite Mays.  As I've said numerous times, I have an affection for the 64 Topps set.  I like to think that Willie is saying something like "What's that tiny dude doing back there?  Send him to the Mets!" in this photo.  Again, not great condition, but I am very happy to have it!

Obviously, there are cooler cards of Mays than these five, but they are the best I have in my meager collection!  What's your favorite Mays card of all time?

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Roiding with Rafael

In a previous post, I mentioned that I am going to try to complete my Steroids project, and I am going to be spotlighting the players on that list one by one.  Today it is Rafael Palmeiro! 

For those of you who don't know how I am doing this, I will be attempting to get:

-the entire Topps base run (flagship) from each players playing career.
-a relic or autograph of each player
-4 nine pocket sheets of the 'coolest' cards I can find of each player.  Think refractors, die-cuts and colorful stuff.  Rare and serial numbered could make the cut too!

Here is what I need for Rafael:

Topps Base Needs:


Quite a few.  I don't really actively grab Raffy cards, and it shows!

Relic or Auto card - I have 2 so far, but one or two more never hurts, I guess.

Sheets of Coolness: Below is what I have so far for Raffy.  Can you beat any of these?  Then let's talk trade!  Also, notice that I only have 3 pages so far, but I want 4.

I like cards 2,3,4,5,7 and 8.  They will very likely make it all the way to the final book  The others on this page aren't bad, just not tops in my book.  #'s 3, 5 and 7 are serial numbered.  The Flair (#5) has a depth to it, looks really nice.  My least favorite here is probably the 'Big Show' Dan Patrick insert.  Those have never really grabbed me.

I like most of these pretty well.  #'s 6 and 9 are my favorites.  Can't beat a 90's refractor of a 'star'.  #2 and 8, mostly due to the excessive text on the front of the cards, are probably my least favorite here.

And most of these are pretty sweet too!  I love #1, nice Orioles color.  Topps Gold is always a favorite as well as those Fleer Brilliants.  And the Elite, serial numbered, is just classy. Bottom of the list for me on this page is the Topps Total.

If you have Palmeiro's (or any of the other Steroids Boys) that I need, feel free to reach out and get a trade started!