Thursday, July 29, 2021

Five from Rolen

 It's been quite a while since I did a "5 From" post. I know, they are cheesy, but they are easy too, and I needed a nice easy post to write.  Here are my previous "5 From" posts if anyone wants to look back:

Albert Pujols
Stan Musial
Rod Carew
Willie Mays
Pete Rose
Robin Yount
Juan Gonzalez

Today, we look at the five favorite Scott Rolen cards in my collection. Rolen fits into my love of defensive studs, and his hustle and grit were awesome too.  I have very few of his cooler cards, but am always looking for more!

The top 5!

#5 - 1997 Bowman Chrome - Scout's Honor Roll - Refractor

These can be found pretty cheap, but I really love 90s refractors, and this one shines nicely in hand!  Not so much in the scan.

#4 - 1997 EX 2000 - Star Date 2000
What a great card!!  Everyone knows I love colorful and gaudy.  This is right in the wheelhouse!  And you can see that he has already been on base earlier in the game by the dirt on his leg...

#3 - 2007 Upper Deck Artifacts - MLB Apparel /199
Just a solid, simple relic card.  It looks nice.  It has a ding in the upper corner, but that reminds me of how Rolen played the game, so its OK.

#2 - 1998 Ultra
OK, it's not often a base card makes it in to these 5 card posts, but this one is awesome!!  He must have slid into all 4 bases to get this dirty!

#1 - 1995 Bowman RC
Yeah, the hard to find RC claims the top spot.  Not a big surprise, probably, but I am very glad to have this card in my collection!

Thanks for reading...

Any players anyone wants to nominate for future "5 From" posts???

Monday, July 26, 2021

Musings on Free Card offerings

 Anyone miss all the Free Card Friday's and various flavors of that which were everywhere for a while?  I kind of do.  But this post isn't about trying to get anyone to start up on them again.  It's actually just me talking through things to understand why I stopped.  Because I still have the urge to do Free Card days.  But I don't.  Why??

I'm going to just spray out random thoughts of why someone (or me) might be discouraged from doing a free card thing.  In no particular order:

Reason 1 - You don't feel like you have anything others would want

This can be a valid concern, but it isn't really a big factor for me.  You aren't going to please everyone unless you are giving away some pretty great stuff.  And if nobody claims your offerings, well then you get to keep your cards.  No harm here.

And there are all kinds of collectors out there. I have found with my free card posts, that team collectors can be the most interested, even in cards that nobody else wants.  You don't have to offer Trouts and vintage treasures.  Just throw some Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox or whatever team out there and you will get takers.

Reason 2 - You don't want to give away your hard earned collection

Another valid concern.  If you feel this way, definitely don't do a free card thing.  But I have lots of cards I would love to give to someone that would appreciate them.

In fact, along those lines, since I have returned to the hobby, I have always wanted to have another blogger meet up with me and go through my boxes of non-keepers so they could pull out some free cards! In person would be awesome, and then the person on the receiving end wouldn't have to rely on me to choose the cards they would want the most!

Reason 3 - You don't want to pay the postage

OK, now we are hitting closer to where my mind lives.  I have pretty limited card funds as it is.  So if I were to do a free card post once a week, and say,  8 people claimed each time, I would spend about $16 on the postage for a given month.  A little more for the envelopes and supplies.  Doesn't sound like much, but it adds up.  Often I only have $20 a month to spend in a month, though recently I have had a little more.

Reason 4 - You don't want to take the time to mail stuff out.  Sort/envelope/secure cards/tape/stamp/address/return address/seal/trip to the mailbox

I think this is the biggest reason for me.  I work hard.  And it's high stress.  Because of that, I often find myself without the energy to do much at all once I get home.  I'm sure that is a big contributor to the large gaps between my blog posts.  And most of the time, the thought of packaging up a bunch of cards and getting them mailed out just doesn't appeal.

Reason 5 - You feel like you are being taken advantage of

OK, so I could see this affecting people once they have done a few free card giveaways.  There are a few factors at work here.  Free card posts always get more views.  Duh.  And that can make us feel like our other posts are not appreciated.  Do we put effort into our posts just so that people who rarely read them can swoop in and pick up the free stuff?  Not likely.  Also I think some of us have noticed that the same few people are the ones claiming cards.  And sometimes it feels like maybe those people should pay it forward or something.

Those are valid ways to look at it, but they don't give me any real pause.  If I am offering free stuff, then it is really free, no strings or expectations attached.


I'm sure there are lots of other reasons bloggers might have.  If you have any, feel free to leave them in the comments.  Or anything else you have to add!!  So that was at least a little therapeutic for me.  Not sure that anyone else will even care about this stuff.

I'm hoping that this exercise will prompt me to give free card giveaways another go sometime soon.  I do like sending cards to people who read!!  So stay tuned.  Hopefully. 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Card show part 2 - vintage

 A few days ago, I posted my recent modern card pickups from a recent card show.  Today, you'll see the hammered vintage finds!

First up are these 1974 Topps Hank Aaron Specials.  There are 5 of these, now I have 4 of them!  These are not in perfect condition, but they only cost me $2 apiece.  I still need #3 if anyone has one!

These next 'cards' were the items that originally drew me in to the table where most of the cards in this post were purchased.  
These are: 
1947-66 Exhibits Jim Hegan
1947-66 Exhibits George Kell
1947-66 Exhibits Pete Reiser
1939-46 Exhibits Salutations Bob Feller

If you aren't familiar with these, they are oversized (about 3.5x5.5 in) with nothing on the backs.  The three lesser known players ran me $2 apiece, while the hammered hall of famer Feller only cost me $3!  They are kind of great, and obviously old.  Kind of annoying to store though.

I cant really tell the difference between the 39-46 and 47-66 sets, I'm sure there is one though.

The George Kell card has this writing on the back:
Looks like a kid was making a positional depth chart of the Yankees!  I love it!  Sometime around 1960, I would guess by the players.

After I picked out the Exhibits cards, the guy brought out a wooden box full of totally beat up vintage stars for me to look at.  And I mean beat up!  Check these out...

The Post cards are cut fairly nicely on half of the card, but the other halves look like someone was trying to learn how to use an exacto-knife with a paralyzed hand.  Kind of the same for the Maury Wills along the bottom.  The Campanella has major paper damage from tape or something, with more on the back.  And the Boog Powell RC is probably in the best condition of them all, getting away with just the number 16 written on it.

And I didn't care, because I am way too cheap to buy any of these cards in good condition!!  Been wanting a Powell RC for a long time, the Campy is my first and only playing days card of his, and the Wills is just awesome.

The Koufax has already flown the coop to a fellow blogger, as I found when I got home that I already had a copy.

And the last card I grabbed, from a completely different seller is this monstrosity:
I had never heard of this set, the 1967 Topps 'Who am I' set.  I thought some kid had just written all over some weird oddball Babe Ruth, so I asked the seller what he wanted.  He hemmed and hawed for a minute and said "2 bucks". I forked it over.

Well, if you aren't familiar with this set like me, it turns out that this set contained a bunch of pop culture figures from presidents to monarchs to Shakespeare.  But they all looked like the one above, with the subject's face obscured by writing.  The clue on front might give away who the subject is, but on the backs there were more clues in case you couldn't figure it out:
And once you figured it out, you could scratch off the front of the card to reveal a more normal looking pic.  I'm not planning on scratching mine off, but this is what it would look like when scratched:

All in all, I am thrilled to add all of these 'off condition' cards to my collection!!!

Monday, July 19, 2021

Card show part 1 - non-vintage

 I got to go to a card show, like many of you have recently.  I did not have high hopes.  The last show I went to at this location was swamped with high end graded cards, and the low end boxes I did run into seemed quite underwhelming.

And this one certainly had a lot of those problems.  But...  I was also happily surprised by some .10, .20, .50 and $1.00 boxes that held a lot of value!!  I ended up spending a lot more than I usually do ($65), but the majority of those dollars will come in the next post where I will show the beat up vintage I acquired.

This post is about the non-vintage cards I found!  Let's get to it.

I'm pretty sure all of the cards in this first scan were in either the dime boxes or the 20 cent boxes.

Vlad/Andruw Jones RC for 20 cents???  Oh, yes!  I actually grabbed 2 of these.  I know they aren't super desirable, but I needed them!
The Gooden batting and Niekro Coors cards are really cool, well worth the dimes I spent.
The Reggie is actually a soccer card!  And it is the Gold version, don't know how much difference that makes.  But it is pretty cool.
The rest, I won't bore you with my ramblings, but at 20 cents apiece, I'm pretty happy.

Next is a hodgepodge, no real theme here!
I pick up any of the Topps Micro cards I see for cheap, same with the Negative Refractors.  I know the Lofton RC was a dime.  Then the Ohtani/Ichiro card.  I'm pretty sure that was 20 cents, but maybe it was 50.  Either way, with the way Ohtani is selling right now, seems like a bargain!  The Mantle, I don't even know what set that is from.  But it looked nice and was cheap.

Pretty good cheapie boxes, right?  I grabbed about 30 other cards from them that didn't get scanned. 

This next group, I think were all in a dollar box.

I really like them all!!  The Tatis and Vlad definitely add to my tiny collections of those guys, while the sepia Ichiro for a dollar seems like a steal!

And last up, I found a "Jerseys and Autos" box that was actually reasonable!  
I love, love the Odom Auto!  Gavin at Baseball Card Breakdown just showed one off the other day.  We only live about 6 miles apart, weird that we both grabbed the same card at about the same time.  The Pujols and Pudge cards look beautiful, and they are 2 of my favorites.  The Pedro is a hefty and shiny card!  Serial numbered too.  And the card that drew me to the box in the first place was that awesome Andre!  Just a great looking card!  No matter what you think of manu-cards, it's a keeper.  Love that he's in the awesome Expos colors.  The Dawson ran me $2, and I think the whole 5 card lot was $16.

Like I said, I spent a little more, but I am pretty happy with the results!

Come back in a few days when I will be showing off my loot from a dealer who had a lot of wonderful vintage stars.  Unfortunately, they were beat up vintage stars.  And when I say beat up, I really mean it!  Come back and take a look!

Friday, July 16, 2021

A-Z Wrap Up


Wow, its been an awful long time since I posted!  Better get back to it!

I wanted to do a wrap-up of the A-Z Player Challenge.  So far there have been 21 total participants, including me!  That's waaaay more than I thought this would get, but a big thank you to everyone who participated, read or commented!

I really appreciated the diversity of the picks.  We got a lot of unique picks from loyal team collectors, old timers and many others.  These picks may have been obscure, or they may have had cult followings.  But when you aggregate the picks, you tend to come out with the all timers, the hall of famers and the all time greats.

Here's the wrap-up:  **I apologize for the lack of pics, the busy life is still holding me back**

I picked: Henry Aaron
Winner: Henry Aaron (7)
2nd most votes: Jim Abbott (3)
Total different players picked: 13

Abbot made a strong showing, but there was no dethroning Aaron.  Probably as it should be.  13 different players picked may seem like a lot, but as you will see, it's about average.

I picked: George Brett
Winner:  Ernie Banks (4)
2nd most votes: George Brett (3)
Total different players picked: 16

Mr. Cub over Mr. Royal!  This one had 16 different players picked, tied for 2nd most!

I picked: Rod Carew
Winner:  Roberto Clemente (6)
2nd most votes: Carew, Carlton, Cey, Clemens (2 each)
Total different players picked: 14

Third all time great in a row, no surprise.  Clemente is followed up by a strong group tied for 2nd!

I picked: Eric Davis
Winner:  Andre Dawson (6)
2nd most votes: Dave Dravecky (3)
Total different players picked: 13

The Hawk for the win!  And just in time, I picked up a kind of cool Dawson card I hope to show soon.  In 2nd, Dravecky is an awesome, lesser known pick.  I wonder how much him breaking his arm while pitching elevated his long term popularity.

I picked: Dennis Eckersley
Winner:  Dennis Eckersley (6)
2nd most votes: E. Encarnacion, Edmonds, D. Evans (2 each)
Total different players picked: 13

The Eck ran away with the E's.  But there were lots of fun picks after him.

I picked: George Foster
Winner: Mark Fidrych (4)
2nd most votes: Fisk, Francona, Feller (3 each)
Total different players picked: 13

The Bird!!  Our first non Hall of Famer to win.  One trend that was strong in the picks was quirky guys, and Fidrych certainly fits the bill.  

I picked: Lou Gehrig
Winner: Ken Griffey Jr. (4)
2nd most votes: Mark Grace (3)
Total different players picked: 14

Hard to imagine Griffey not winning this one, given his popularity among collectors.  I think my only surprise was that he only got 4 votes!

I picked: Rickey Henderson
Winner:  Rickey Henderson (5)
2nd most votes: Orel Hershiser (3)
Total different players picked: 16

I was pretty happy with this one, Henderson was one of my faves.  Hershiser getting three was cool too, always a class act.

I picked: Monte Irvin
Winner:  Monte Irvin (6)
2nd most votes: Cesar Izturis and Ichiro* (3 each)
Total different players picked: 11

The I's didn't have a lot to pick from, but that doesn't mean Irvin wasn't deserving!  Underrated.  It was also awesome to see 3 'illegal' picks for Ichiro here!

I picked: Randy Johnson
Winner:  Derek Jeter (5)
2nd most votes: Randy Johnson (3)
Total different players picked: 13

Jeter was a collectors no-brainer when it comes to popularity.  Hard to argue with.

I picked: Sandy Koufax
Winner:  Sandy Koufax (4)
2nd most votes: Kershaw, Kimbrel, Kaline, Kruk (2 each)
Total different players picked: 15

Another player I recently picked up a fun card of!  Very deserving, and a super strong batch of guys in 2nd.

I picked: Kenny Lofton
Winner:  Kenny Lofton (5)
2nd most votes: Barry Larkin (3)
Total different players picked: 13

The Lofton win surprised me, even though I picked him myself.  I figured Larkin would take this one.

I picked: Willie Mays
Winner:  Greg Maddux (5)
2nd most votes: Pedro Martinez (3)
Total different players picked: 15

The 2 best pitchers of the nineties to me (sorry Clemens and Big Unit!) finished 1-2 here.  That's some amazing pitching love in a hobby that doesn't seem to value pitchers quite as highly.  And over Mays??  Heresy!  Lol.

I picked: Phil Niekro
Winner:  Phil Niekro (5)
2nd most votes: Hideo Nomo (4)
Total different players picked: 15

A tight race with 2 very different pitchers.  The ancient knuckleballer takes it over the smooth Japanese barrier breaker.

I picked: Shohei Ohtani
Winner:  Shohei Ohtani (4)
2nd most votes: David Ortiz (3)
Total different players picked: 15

Well I was wrong!  When I picked Ohtani, I figured that pick would be ridiculed, and that he wouldn't really get any more votes.  Guess not.  And this was before he got so hot!  We were so close to back to back Japanese pitchers!

I picked: Albert Pujols
Winner:  Albert Pujols (4)
2nd most votes: Mike Piazza (3)
Total different players picked: 16

Yay, Pujols is near and dear to me, thrilled he won.  

I picked: Dan Quisenberry
Winner:  Dan Quisenberry (10)
2nd most votes: Jamie Quirk (3)
Total different players picked: 9

A total no-brainer.  Not only was he quirky as well as really good, the Q's were pretty sparse, obviously.  I was interested to see Jamie Quirk get three votes, I didn't realize he had that kind of following.

I picked: Jackie Robinson
Winner:  Jackie Robinson (6)
2nd most votes: Cal Ripken Jr. (4)
Total different players picked: 14

What is there to say here?  Jackie had to win, and that he did over fan fave Ripken shows his popularity.

I picked: Ichiro Suzuki
Winner:  Ryne Sandberg (5)
2nd most votes: Ichiro Suzuki (3)
Total different players picked: 16

The Cubbies great edges Ichiro here.  Though the 3 illegal ballots cast for Ichiro in the I's could have put him one vote up.  No matter, Sandberg is a very deserving winner!

I picked: Mike Trout
Winner:  Tie!! Mike Trout, Jim Thome and Luis Tiant (3 each)
Semi-shocking no votes: 
Total different players picked: 13

Our only tie!  Great picks, all of them.

I picked: Chase Utley
Winner:  Bob Uecker (8)
2nd most votes: Chase Utley (5)
Total different players picked: 8

U didn't have a lot to choose from, resulting in the fewest unique players chosen, 8.  Uecker was probably chosen for his post MLB career, but that's OK.  He's a beloved character!

I picked: Fernando Valenzuela
Winner:  Fernando Valenzuela (6)
2nd most votes: Justin Verlander (5)
Total different players picked: 10

Valenzuela over Verlander in a nail biter.  I like to think it was Fernando's 'nod to the heavens' on each pitch was the difference here.

I picked: Ted Williams
Winner:  Ted Williams (5)
2nd most votes: Kerry Wood (2)
Total different players picked: 17

The most total unique picks!  17!  The only players who got more than 1 pick were Teddy Ballgame and Kerry Wood.

I picked: Joe Xavier
This one was fun.  No 'X' players, but we got some write in votes:  Joe Jackson, Xavier Paul, Nellie Fox (backwards), Xavier Nady, Jimmie Foxx, Xander Boagerts, Xavier Hernandez

I picked: Carl Yastrzemski
Winner:  Carl Yastrzemski (7)
2nd most votes: Robin Yount (5)
Total different players picked: 11

Yaz and Yount dominated here.  The 70's and 80's seemed to have a slight advantage in general in these picks.

I picked: Gus Zernial
Winner:  Ben Zobrist (6)
2nd most votes: Ryan Zimmerman (4)
Total different players picked: 10

Benny Z, utility player extraordinaire.  I love this pick.

So out of 25 letters, my pick was the consensus 'winner' 15/25.  Guess I'm a front runner!

Thanks to everyone who wrote or read!!