Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Stats and More Stats

I've always loved baseball statistics. In fact, I actually became a fan of baseball stats and baseball cards before I really got into baseball itself. So I thought it would be fun to share some stats from my completed Frankenset. Feel free to click the link to view all the cards from the first 5 pages of the set (more to come!). I'd love to hear your thoughts on the cards on those pages. Ok, back to the stats. Each section will be followed by a favorite card from the top item on the list:

Top 10 Categories (featured on the most cards):
  1. Lesser Knowns - probably my favorite category, so no surprise
  2. Name/Nickname
  3. Unique Team
  4. Glasses
  5. Pitcher Hitting
  6. Signing Autos
  7. Field Action - Awkward
  8. Unique Pose
  9. Facial Expression - Posed
  10. Hair

Top 10 Teams (several ties in this category; I know a few bloggers who will be happy with this result.)

    1. Los Angeles Dodgers
        San Francisco Giants
        Atlanta Braves
    4. Cincinnati Reds
        Oakland A's
    6. Baltimore Orioles
        St. Louis Cardinals
        New York Mets
        San Diego Padres

Top 10 Years - I make no apologies that this is a "Junk Era"-heavy set. But 1987 didn't make the top 10!
  1. 1992
  2. 1993
  3. 1991
  4. 1990
  5. 1994
  6. 1995
  7. 1988
  8. 1989
  9. 1996
  10. 1981

Top 10 Brands (not too many surprises here)
  1. Topps
  2. Upper Deck
  3. Donruss
  4. Score
  5. Fleer 
  6. Collector's Choice
  7. Stadium Club
  8. Bowman
  9. Conlon - The Sporting News
  10. Topps Total

Top 10 Set/Year (some ties again)

    1. 1993 Upper Deck - a fantastically unique set
    2. 1992 Upper Deck
    3. 1991 Upper Deck
        1994 Collector's Choice
    5. 1981 Topps
    6. 1992 Topps
        1990 Upper Deck
        1992 Donruss
        1991 Score
        1995 Score 

I could slice this a few more ways, but I'll wrap it up for now. Hope your favorite category/team/brand/set was represented! 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Multitasking - The Pros and Cons of Working on 7 (or more) Collecting Goals at Once

Well, it's been a month since my last post. The general craziness and challenges of life explain much of my absence. I've still been working on my collection, but in kind of a haphazard way that reflects the general chaos I feel around me on a daily basis. I thought I'd update everyone with a rundown of the randomness that I've been working on the last month.

Frankenset and Mini-Collection Builds:

You may or may not know that I've already completed a Frankenset. So why does this say I've been working on a Frankenset build? Because I started a second one, of course! Yes, even though I have failed to chronicle the first Frankenset in any manner resembling completeness, I've embarked on Frankenset #2. (Side note - I plan to post all the cards in Frankenset #1 in full-page form. Done with two pages so far!)

I've alluded to Frankenset #2 in the past. There are a couple main differences between the first Frankenset and this one. Mainly, there are a few additional categories that I've added (Throwback Uniforms and Wrong Team are the two I can think of right now.) "Wrong Team" means the player is pictured in a different uniform than the team name listed on the card. Also, I'm including the back of cards in this set, so a card can qualify based on the picture/text on the reverse side (this was strictly forbidden in my first Frankenset). The cards that qualify based on their back are displayed as such. Otherwise, it's mostly the same categories as the first set. And I'm again going for 800 cards this time, but with the goal of not filling a single number with a checklist. Wish me luck!

In addition to the new Frankenset, I've been picking up new cards of some lesser knowns. Off the top of my head, this list includes: Reggie Jackson (a pitching coach), Todd Blyleven (Bert's son), and James Lofton (not the NFL wide receiver). There are several more I'm forgetting. 

2003 Multi-ad Savannah Sand Gnats - Reggie Jackson

All-Time Cubs Team:

I'm over 910 different Cubs for my All-Time Cubs Team set. The march to 1,000 will be a slow one, with many of my needs at this point coming from either vintage or obscure sets. I'll usually pick up no more than 5 new cards in any order these days, though Sportlots is showing some promise for me. Thanks to Nick for the tip to check them out, and to search by seller to save on shipping. With all my random collections, I can find a lot to order from one seller, so I'll be throwing in Cubs cards along the way.

Cubs Legend Al Lary (1983 Fritsch's One Year Winners, #118)

Local Players/Teams:

This is where I've gone a bit nuts lately. Looking for autographed cards, autographed index cards, and just regular base cards for players either from North Dakota or who played for a team in Fargo. I plan on putting the autographed cards in a display and using the cut signatures to create some photo displays. I plan to try to get to the library at some point and find pictures of some of the old-time players in a Fargo uniform from the local papers. 

Through the Mail Autographs:

I'm also interested in the stories/memories of some of the local players, so I've written to a few of them asking them for their autograph on usually two cards and also asking if they have memories of Fargo. I plan to do more of this in the coming weeks/months. The guys who played here in the 1950s and early 1960s for the F-M Twins are a priority, as they are all in their 80s at this point. I've sent to five players who played for the F-M Twins and also appeared in the major leagues. 

The top three (Travis Hafner, Rick Helling, and Andy Young, as well as the bottom right, Tim Olson, are recent eBay pickups. The Coste is from Tom from Angels in Order, the Strahm was a cheap eBay pickup last year, and the Goltz was through the mail.)

Starting a display of players who played in Fargo. The Dick Stigman was obtained through the mail. The faded Coste and Akers autographs are from my childhood. Kes Carter and Correlle Prime (bottom right) are recent eBay pickups. 

Cooperstown, ND native Floyd Stromme - played 5 games for the 1939 Indians

Hall of Famers:

Shout out to Tom from Waiting Til Next Year who sent over four customs of non-players for my Hall of Fame set. Thanks Tom!

Player Collection Builds:

Still chipping away at these, too, usually throwing in a few Sandberg or Grace cards with other orders if I find new ones for my collection.

Hall of Fame Frankenset:

I almost forgot! An idea that I'd been tossing around for a while was a Hall of Fame Frankenset. It's truly insane that I'm putting together a third Frankenset, but even more insane that I almost forgot to include it in this post. I'm trying to find a card picturing a Hall of Famer for every card number 1 through 800. I've established that nearly every card number has a card that would qualify (still need to research a few of the high 700s in more detail). I started with less common players, because you don't want to fill card #7 with Wade Boggs when you need to put your one and only Mule Suttles card there. So I'm going for as broad of a representation of players as I can. 

So as you can see, I've had my hands in a lot of different projects. I going to try to narrow my focus and try to work on them more on a "one at a time" basis, but it's tricky when you know there are cards scattered among your various want lists that you can add to an order. I hope to provide more updates on some of these projects in the future.