Saturday, November 28, 2020

Roiding with Jose

All right!  In a previous post, I mentioned that I am going to try to complete my Steroids project, and today I am spotlighting one of the players on that list.  Jose Canseco! 

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 Jose:

Topps Base Needs:


Relic or Auto card - I do have a Jose relic, but it is in my keeper collection, so I need another for this little endeavor.

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

My favorites from this page are the three on the right side.  The Flair is kind of wacky.  Strange colors.  But lots of color!  The Obak is kind of cool, with the minor league team.  But I can tell you from personal experience, Tacoma does not have palm trees!  And the Leather & Lumber is just a good looking card.  It is also serialed /2499.

The cards on this page that I might want to find something better for are:  The Lumber Company (upper left) and Studio (dead center).  One reason is that I prefer Canseco as an Athletic, but mostly these 2 cards just don't pop for me.  They would be just fine if I don't find anything better though.

On this page, my current faves are the second row.  I have always loved the Star Stickers sets, and that Jose is a classic from my middle school years.  Same for the Donruss Highlights.  And the ProVisions has long been a classic subset.  All A's cards on this page and the next!

None of these scream 'replace me', but the Bazooka is a little tired and dull.  

On the last page, I like them all, and they will probably all make it through. Just classic examples of the godfather of steroids!

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Resuming my Steriods Era mini-collection

Back in the day, I used to have a different card related project that I would work on each year.  One year I tried to accumulate 1000 refractors.  I did a Latin players project another year.  I had success some years, less other years.  One that I never finished, and that I recently decided to revisit, is my Steroids Project.  It commemorates the awfulness of the Steroid Era in cards!

The basics of what I am doing is this:

For each of the major players in the Steroids Era (Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Jose Canseco and Jason Giambi) I want to fill a section in a binder with the following:

1. A complete Topps base run for their playing career.  (This is where I can use the most help!!)
2. At least one GU and/or Auto of each (hopefully more than 1)
3. And 36 of the some combination of the below for each player.(this is 4 nine-pocket pages for each player)
     a. Refractors - any
     b. Numbered - any
     c. Parallels - Rarer and pretty only
     d. Inserts - Rarer and pretty only

The 'best' 36 cards of each player win for this section of the project.

I'll also make a few extra pages for cards with 'multiple offenders' on them like these:

Playing days cards are strongly preferred, so newer collectors may not be able to help me as much.

I figure that this will end up being about around 55 nine-pocket sheets in a binder which will forever stand as my documentation of this dark time for future generations.

I would be glad to trade for any help, not just looking for donations.  Here are the current needs:

In addition to the Base needs (most important!) and the relic/auto needs below, I can still use
high end inserts, refractors, rare parallels etc for all of these players, especially Giambi. 

Needs by Player:
Alex Rodriguez
Topps Base Needs:
1998 #504
1999 #300
2000 #100
2008 #1
Need Relic or Auto - Nope, I have 2 so far!
Barry Bonds
Topps Base Needs:
2004 Traded and Rookies #T221
2005 #500
Need Relic or Auto - Yes
Rafael Palmeiro
Topps base Needs:
None - Done! 
Need Relic or Auto - Nope, I have 2 so far!
Roger Clemens
Topps Base Needs:
None - Done!
Need Relic or Auto - Nope, I have 2 so far!
Sammy Sosa
Topps Base Needs:
2007 Updates and Highlights #UH49
2008 Heritage #151
Need Relic or Auto -   Nope, I have 2!
Jason Giambi
Topps Base Needs:
2009 #26
2010 Update #US71
2013 Update #US54
Need Relic or Auto -No!  I have 2 relics.
Mark McGwire
Topps Base Needs:
2002 #600
Need Relic or Auto -Yes
Jose Canseco
Topps Base Needs:
1997 #246
2002 #435
Need Relic or Auto -Yes

Please ask any questions you might have. 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Five from Stan - Happy b-day!

At the end of my last post, I said that Willie Mays would be featured next, but Fuji reminded me that today would be Stan 'The Man' Musial's 100th birthday!  So I switched it up, Willie will be in a future post.

So below are the 5 favorite Musial cards in my collection.  I don't have a high end collection.  You won't see cards with a high grade, or many on card autos.  But they are mine, and I do love them.  Musial was an amazing player and checks some big boxes for me.  Like Fuji said in his post, players who are able to stay with one franchise impress me.  I know the game and its economics have changed since Stan's time, making it harder for that to happen nowadays.  But it is still super cool!  The other thing that I immediately think of with Musial ios his 3630 hits.  Still #4 all time, after Rose, Cobb and Aaron (and Ichiro if you count his Japanese hits).  Very impressive!

Here's the cards...

1. 1975 TCMA 1942-1946 St. Louis Cardinals - Sweet oddball 70's stuff.  And a bat rack to boot, I know some of you guys like that stuff.  A nice shot of Stan that is a little outside the norm.  I guess there is another card that looks just like this in the 1977-84 Renata Galasso set, but it does have a different back.

2. 2005 Donruss Studio - Portraits Diamond Kings - White Black & White #SP-6.  This one is numbered /30, which makes it my lowest numbered Musial.  And my only numbered Musial, so not the biggest accomplishment.  Clean and classic, but also a little boring.  Also, I don't really get why it is called 'White Black & White'.  White border, and a black and white photo?  Modern baseball cards are weird in their variations.

3. 1958 Topps - [Base] #476 - These 58 All Stars are great cards, and quite popular.  The pic of Stan seems less sharp than the background, but it doesn't bother me that much.

4. 1960 Topps - [Base] #250 - I think this is my favorite Musial I own.  I love the 1960 set.  And my uncles have a copy of this card in their collection, so I was exposed to it at a young age.  Always associated this card with Vintage Musial.

5. 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen - Framed Mini Relics #FMRC-SM - This is probably my favorite relic card in my collection.  I know non-auto relics are pretty devalued compared to their status in the early 2000s, but when I got this card, it felt special to me, and even though I could probably get another for $12, to me, it is a valuable card.

Bonus!  Here is my Stan the Man auto!  Back in the day, you could send away for one of these signed postcards for free or very cheap direct from Stan "The Man" Inc.  Anyone else got one of these?

And here is the back of the postcard.

Going forward, I am most interested in Vintage Musials, which are tough to come by.  But I'd probably be happy to take modern Musials, especially low numbered or especially good looking cards of his.

Happy birthday Stan!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Five of the Pooj

Y'all know I collect Mark McGwire (Closing in on 1200 unique McGwires!), but you may not know that my favorite Cardinals first baseman of all time is actually the guy who took over for Big Mac.  Yessir, Albert Pujols!

Pujols was just a phenomenal hitter with the Cardinals.  Phe Nom En Al.  No Willie Mays, but then, who is?  I loved watching him hit, and back in his Cardinals days, he was even a good defender and a very smart baserunner.  I only pick up cards of Albert when they speak to me, not every one I can find, like McGwire.  No, they have to be good looking cards.  Not necessarily rare or expensive cards, though that never hurts right? 

Here are my 5 favorite Pujols from my little collection:

2013 Topps Heritage #470 SP - I had to include at least one card from Albert's time with the Angels.  This one speaks to me a couple of ways.  The 64 Topps set was always a favorite of mine, ever since my grandma let me look through my uncles little collection.  The uncles had lots of 64's.  This is a good shot of Albert, he still looks young and in shape.  And the fact that this card is an SP is just icing on the cake.

2005 Topps Gallery #5 - Actually, I am not sure why this card is a favorite.  It's pretty muddled, even for Gallery.  But I like the composition in this set.  The inner frame that pops from the background is nice.  I like the use of fonts, especially the last name font.  Just a common, base card, but it made the list anyway!

2002 Topps Pristine #6 Gold Refractor #/70 - OK, so not just a common base card here.  This guy was a tough pull, being numbered only to 70.  And the 'gold refractors' from back in the day seem to have held some decent value as well.  But the real reason I like the card is the way the refractor finish works with the color scheme on this card.  In real life, it looks even better!

2004 Donruss Leather & Lumber #133 - OK, I know, this is two cards.  I put both here so you could see the difference between a more common version, and my favorite, the one on the right.  Obviously, the one on the right is the 'gold' version.  Here are the backs:
A little hard to see, but the gold version is #d 1/25, making it my lowest numbered Pujols!  Boy, they sure threw a lot of visual distraction on this set.  Seems like they were going for an 'in the middle of painting' motif.

And lastly, I had to go with my favorite of my Albert Rookie Cards.

2001 Bowman #264 RC - Most of the imperfections are scanner related here.  This is the card I personally think of when I think Pujols RC.  I'm sure other folks who were actually collecting in 2001 might think of a different one.  Doesn't matter, I like it.

So if you have some nice looking Albert Pujols you want to part with, let me know!

Next up, my 5 favorite Willie Mays cards in my collection.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Some vintage paper

Got some card related items for you today.  Not standard cards exactly, these are 1979 Topps Comic cards!  I've seen these called 'Comic Test' cards before, but I don't really know their history, or anything about them.  But they are all mine!

These 'cards' are really just thin pieces of wax coated paper.  Pretty flimsy, but not so bad that they will fall apart.

They feature drawings of the player in both an action shot and a head shot.  I'm not sure about the artist, because some of the drawings are a little off.  There is also a blurb about the player and an 'Inside Baseball' section that highlights a baseball rule.  Let's learn together!

First up is Rod Carew.  One of my childhood favorites.  7 batting titles in his first 12 years in the big leagues, totally amazing.  The action shot of Carew isn't bad, but not exactly good either.  Couldn't get the lips right, I guess. I love the head shot though, that's how I remember Rod!

The baseball rule on this card talks about catchers interference.  Riveting stuff.

Steady Eddie Murray!  Another favorite.  I love Murray cards where there is a lot of orange on the card.  Any of those you got, send my way.  The art is decent on this one.

Did you know that in baseball, the batter must stand with both feet within the batters box?  I'm thinking that I could have had a future as a major league ump if I had gotten ahold of these when I was younger. Unfortunately, I only got as far as a travel ball ump.

The Ryan Express is next up.  Both the action shot and head shot here look a little suspect.  Like the artist was working from memory and had only seen Nolan once or twice.  Close, but no cigar.  I love it when old cards talk about accomplishments that the player far surpassed later in their career.  4 No-hitters?  Pshaw, I bet he can get at least one more.  Wait, three more???  Wow!

Also, the grammar checker failed a little on this one.  "Nolan tied record"  That "the" would have totally thrown off the balance of the card!!  

Since this card talks about the balk rule, I decided to look up how many balks Ryan had in his career.  Any guesses?  33 balks!!  I think I might do a balk related post soon.  Bet you all can't wait for that!!

Last up, the Yaz!  Carl was getting old in the late 70's, and it shows in the art.  Kind of looks like my grandpa.  That 1967 year was an all time classic for Yaz.

And his baseball rule is the infield fly.  I have talked to a lot of people who don't understand the infield fly, but I had to really learn it to become an umpire for baseball and softball.  Doesn't come into play often.  And I read an interesting article arguing that we should get rid of the infield fly rule.  But it didn't persuade me, I like the rule.

So there you have it, 4 comic test cards. But the thing is, I actually have two copies of one of them.  So if you are interested, leave your guess in the comments saying which one you think I have doubles of.  First one to get it correct (one guess per commenter!), I will PWE the extra to you.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

The newest Veeps

The term 'Veep' generally refers to the Vice President, mostly thanks to the Julia Louis-Dreyfus show on HBO.

But today it means MVP!  Yes, the MVP's were announced, and usually I wouldn't think to post about such a thing, but it just so happens that I recently acquired cards of both of the new Veeps!  So I thought I would show them off.  Nothing 'special'.  They could both probably be found in quarter bins.  But I didn't have an Abreu RC, and my Freeman collection is sadly lacking as well.  So I grabbed these two!

Both seemed like deserving candidates.  I'm sure that cases could be made for others, But I'm not as invested in the voting as I once was, so I'm perfectly happy. 

On another note, it makes me sad, looking at Ebay and COMC that there are so many different RCs of current players. Somehow, it makes the RC a little less special to me.  And I love RCs! It kind of bugs me that many RCs are basically commons, only the low numbered or 'special' seem to be in demand, or command decent money.  But I'm OK with the 'low end' Abreu RC.  I do have a slightly better Freeman RC, but not the one I want.  The one I want is for my 2011 Topps Chrome refractors set.  Yikes!  That one will set me back a bunch if I ever actually get one.

What do you think of the MVP selections?
What is your opinion on the current state of rookie cards?

Monday, November 9, 2020

A few respectable cardboard guys

Today I have got a few cards that I picked up recently.  They are not my normal pickups.  They wouldn't be found on my want lists. But they are all definite keepers!  And most of the guys here are respectable human beings as well.

A hall of famer, one of the faces of the 80s and 90s along with his lesser known family.

Must have been just about the coolest thing ever for these guys to all be on the same MLB team at the same time. Nice shot of them too, well composed.  The no border design of Flair really pops on this card.  I don't remember ever seeing this card before.

Two very different cards of one of the best DHs of all time.
The man was a hitter! DH isn't a real position to me, but that doesn't mean that Baines, Ortiz and yes, Edgar don't deserve some real respect. The X-Fractor scanned strangely, but looks nice in person.  But that sepia Stadium Club card is awesome!!  LOVE the smoldering bats from Edgar being on a hot streak!  One of my new favorite cards.

And a pure gold card of one of those who passed far too soon.
Puck was one of those players who are just different enough that they should always be remembered.  Not a prototypical baseball body (a la John Kruk?), but quite athletic anyways.  I loved seeing him jump for balls over the fence in the outfield!  Incredible springs and extension!

The card has that gold, textured look on both front and back sides, making it feel special.  I imagine this was a tough pull back in 95.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Back again, with a super package!

Well, another long gap in posting.  Those of you who don't need to hear stories, the cards are below the asterisks.

For the few of you who stayed up here with me, you might know that one of the things that made me stop blogging years ago was some health issues.  They dogged me for a few years, sapped my energy and just generally made my life tough.  But I got better. Life is good.  Well, a couple of weeks ago, I had some of the old symptoms popping up.  That did not make me happy.  So long story short, after a lot of doctors visits and a short stay in the hospital, we think that things are behind me.  Again.  I hope we are right.  Sorry for the lack of details, but I don't want to get into it, and I am not in any mortal danger or anything.

So there you have it. I was a bad blogger, but there are reasons. I was able to summon up enough energy to leave a few comments around, and participate in Johnny's bingo night, but I am waaay behind on reading the blogs.  So I have read a lot of posts today, trying to catch up.

And I even sent out a card that I had promised someone a while back today! I bet they were wondering where it got off to, but it is on the way!


 A while back, I shot some basketball cards over to Jon of Penny Sleeve for your Thoughts.  And right before my health scare, I received a return package, and boy, it did not disappoint!  Jon, like many of you who have been so generous with me, really hit all areas of my want lists.  First up, a new record for the most 2001 Archives reserve cards from one blogger!  This beats the previous record set by Julie at A Cracked Bat.  Jon sent 14!!  I only scanned 12 here, so lazy.  I am making real progrss on this set, thanks mostly to Jon and Julie.

Next up some Cuts and Colors!!  All wonderful, but my favorites are all on the 2nd row.  The Hitting Machines Caminiti is a perfect 90s die cut.  The Mondesi is from a set I had never seen, and is pretty slick and clean looking.  And a refractor of a HOFer??  Awesome!

Next up, some old timers done the Diamond Kings way.  Hard to argue with these, given the name of the blog...  The Bill Dickey (lower right) kind of looks like William Shatner to me.  

Jon even hit another of my mini-collections, relics of older players who are somewhat forgotten.  Not that Gullett is 'forgotten', but he definitely fits the collection and is a welcome addition.  He looks so young!

Next up, an extremely awesome Slick Watts card!!  Jon saw my earlier post about my Slick Watts RC and thought I might like this too.  And boy was he right!  This card has it all.  It's ridiculously oversized, so it is hard to store.  Jon provided a super sized top loader though, so it isn't too bad.  I'm really happy with this one.

Here it is next to another card Jon sent, a sweet Gail Goodrich.  Super sized!

And back to baseball, here are a couple of Trout beauties!!  I especially like the mini, and I am not even that big of a fan of minis.  Quality cards.

By now, you are probably realizing the scope of this package.  It has everything!!  Even a Mark McGwire game used base card!!  What, Timo Perez?  Yeah, he is on there too, but this will always be a McGwire card to me.  I pity any Timo super collectors out there who can't have this because all the McGwire collectors gobbled them up.
So the game this card commemorates is game 2 of the 2000 NLCS.  It was a good game too!  Rick Ankiel started for the Cardinals, but only got 2/3 of an inning before getting pulled.  he gave up 2 runs on 1 hit and 3 walks.  Ankiel had finished 2nd in the ROY balloting, and was looking good.  But he lost the ability to find the zone, and pretty much dropped off the face of the earth as a pitcher.  He came back as an outfielder a couple of years later and was able to add 7 or 8 years to his career.

Timo lead off for the Mets and went one for five.  McGwire pinch hit and walked.  So if the base on the card is 1st base, then they both would have touched it!

Jon also made 2 more additions to sets in an active build phase for me.  The Hoyt FINISHES the 69 Topps Deckle set!  Yes, I had the Mays, Clemente and both of the rare SSP variations.  But the Hoyt had eluded me.  No more!  The Arod is not as momentous, but edges me closer to completing the Lords of the Diamond set.

And last but not least, this 1933 Goudey Indian Gum card of Pushmataha was part of a very generous giveaway Jon had on his blog.  I will take anything this old no questions asked at any time!!

Jon, I really appreciate the cards, they were all awesome additions to my collections!!