Sunday, December 25, 2022

A Merry Cubs Christmas to You!

Here's a short Christmas-themed post featuring cards from my Cubs collection:

Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas!

Hope you got some nice gifts. Maybe six geese a laying?

Or four calling birds? 

Three French hens?

How about a diamond ring?

If you didn't do much for gifts, maybe you enjoyed some Christmas carols. 

The Holly and the Ivy is a classic.

Or Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

Maybe We Three Kings.

(Technically a Chicago White Stocking, but it's the same franchise!)

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is another popular one.

Deck the Halls is always fun.

Hope you had some treats, too. Maybe a cherry candy cane:

Or some fudge?

Yeah, I know I fodged on that one a little. 

Well, regardless, from the words of White Christmas, I hope your days will be merry and bright.

 And that your Christmas is white (but that the snow is manageable).

Friday, December 23, 2022

1973 Topps: The Sneaky Hall of Famers

A short, long-overdue post as I have been working on completing the 1973 Topps set. I'm down to 15 cards (including the Mike Schmidt rookie, unfortunately). 

I've decided I like approximately a million different things about the 1973 Topps baseball set. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration, but there are so many little things that are unique to this set, or things this set does really well. One of the features of the set (and at least a couple other Topps vintage sets), is the manager cards that feature the coaches, too. On first glance, you may have missed it, but there are five different Hall of Fame coaches hidden among the small pictures on these cards. 

If you are familiar with the set, you might know a couple without looking, but here they are:

#81 - Cubs Field Leaders (Whitey Lockman / Hank Aguirre / Ernie Banks / Larry Jansen / Pete Reiser)

Mr. Cub kicks off our list. 

#377 - Expos Field Leaders (Gene Mauch / Dave Bristol / Larry Doby / Cal McLish / Jerry Zimmerman) 

Larry Doby was the first black player to play in the American League. He also replaced Hall of Famer Bob Lemon as manager of the White Sox, finishing the 2nd half of the 1978 season with a 37-50 record. 

#449 - Indians Field Leaders (Ken Aspromonte / Rocky Colavito / Joe Lutz / Warren Spahn

Spahn is the all-time wins leader among left-handed pitchers.

#517 - Pirates Field Leaders (Bill Virdon / Don Leppert / Bill Mazeroski / Dave Ricketts / Mel Wright) 

Maz finished up his career in 1972, then went straight to the coaching staff for Pittsburgh.

#569 - Dodgers Field Leaders (Walt Alston / Red Adams / Monty Basgall / Jim Gilliam / Tom Lasorda)

The only manager/coach card from this set in which both the manager and a coach are Hall of Famers. Alston was inducted in 1983, Lasorda in 1997.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, September 18, 2022

A Hall of Fame Swap

A couple of months ago, I decided to make a trade on after seeing several Hall of Famer cards on the tradelist of a great trading partner, Jade from North Carolina. I had been hanging on to a few Hall of Fame cards that I got earlier this year, not really knowing what to do with them. They are great cards, but they didn't really have a good spot in my collection. Along with these was a rookie card of a "Hall of Very Good" member. I decided to make a run at some cards Jade had, using these Hall of Famers as a springboard. 

I'll start with the four cards I traded, and I think after seeing these gems, you'll realize I got some great stuff in return. 

1961 Topps Yogi Berra

1962 Topps Stan Musial 

This is a fantastic card and was probably the toughest one of the bunch to part with. 

1963 Topps Hoyt Wilhelm

1981 Topps Traded Fernando Valenzuela 

So, what did Jade have that tempted me so much and made me willing to give up some great cards? I'll build up from least to most exciting, with the last two cards being equally awesome in my opinion. 

1955 Bowman Edwin Hurley 

My first umpire card from the set.

1955 Bowman Gil Hodges 

I usually don't like creasing on my cards, but I am a little more lenient with a vintage Hall of Famer.

1955 Bowman Robin Roberts

One of the many things I like about this set are their unique card backs. This one treats us to the best fielding play Robin Roberts ever saw. 

1955 Bowman Bob Feller

I feel like this is one of the more iconic cards of the set, so again, I don't mind some creasing and paper loss in this case. 

1955 Bowman Al Kaline

The highest book value of any of the cards I've shown on this post, this 2nd year Kaline is a treat. Someone penciled in RF on the front of the card, but it's still fantastic. 

I still don't think I'll ever finish this set (see Mantle, Aaron, Mays), but with these cards and some recent other trades and acquisitions, I now own over half the set (166/320). I never could have predicted that many years ago when the Virgil Trucks card caught my eye on eBay one day. 

Friday, June 10, 2022

A Vintage Set Build - 1973

I'm not sure what specifically sparked the idea, but I decided within the last couple of months to try to build the 1973 Topps set. This despite the high number beast that is the Mike Schmidt/Ron Cey rookie card. My chase has been aided significantly by my decision to trade on I've been able to jettison some of my unwanted vintage and turn it into some 1973 needs. But it was good old reliable Bo over at Baseball Cards Come to Life that came through and put me over the halfway mark for the set. Bo has helped me with many different collections over the past couple of years with his fantastic want list and trade list, which make it really easy to match up for each side. He's also super easy to work with, unlike a few of the folks over on TCDB (though most are fairly reasonable). 

So, let's cut to the chase. What did Bo send? Over 150 cards - just from 1973 Topps! He included a bunch of high numbers and some star players, too. Here's the glorious spread:

Here are some of the more notable names of the group:

And some of my favorite cards from this trade. First up are some great posed shots. 

And one of my favorite features of the set, some memorable action shots. 

Thanks Bo! 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

A Repack Courtesy of Night Owl

Night Owl recently celebrated his 5,000 post, which is an incredible feat. It's even more incredible when you consider that the 5,000 posts were high-quality posts. At least I assume so. I've been following the blog for about 3 years, and have never read a post and thought, "that was underwhelming." N.O. is always either entertaining, educational, insightful, and usually all three at the same time. The fact that he decided to send out cards to his readers as a thank you is just a bonus, because he's the one already providing awesome content for all of us. But what a bonus it was!

My repack of 250 cards (probably closer to 300 cards) greeted me with this card on top. So yeah, I knew this was going to be great.

I wanted to highlight just a few of the many great cards that I received. As I flipped through, I often spotted cards that almost had to be hand-selected for me, which was an additional thoughtful touch. 

Love me some vintage, and the repack did not disappoint in that area.

The Hostess Carlton Fisk is super cool, and until very recently, I didn't have a single Hostess card in my collection. This one came around the same time I found a Thurman Munson in an 8 for a dollar box. I like this one better. Also, my first buyback (and it's a Cub)!

More fantastic vintage. My favorite here has to be the Ron Santo game card. Just super cool. But the others are each great in their own way, too, so they must be shown. N.O. probably didn't know I've started working on the 73 Topps set, but he sent a card I needed for that set. 

Cards for my player collections, and two of them are new to me!

Some fantastic horizontal action shots. I have a back-burner project of a horizontal Frankenset of only All-Star players. If I've mentioned this on my blog, I only did so one time, so either N.O. is a mind reader or incredibly thoughtful, or possibly both.

And finally.....

Tony Orlando! Because, why not Tony Orlando, right?! Might not be surprising to you, but this is my first Tony Orlando card. There were a few music cards in the repack, which was a neat change of pace. 

Thanks so much Night Owl and congrats on 5,000 posts!

Saturday, April 30, 2022

A Few Frankenset Pages and Some Odds and Ends

"I should really post something. Anything." This has been the refrain going through my head for quite some time. As usual, I've had a lot going on card-wise, and it gets hard to know what to highlight. 

The last month or so, I have begun trading on Trading Card Database (TCDB) and have been very active getting cards that I have been chasing for a while, as well as jettisoning some of mine that I have no attachment to. To me, that's the great thing about trading on TCDB, and really about trading in general. But the site has a great trade matching feature, so once you get a good base of cards added to your want list and your "For Sale/Trade" list, it's pretty easy to get some trades going. I thought it would be a lot of work to get these lists started, and it has been to a point, but it's been worth it. I couldn't even begin to highlight some of the great cards I've traded for in the last month, and I won't miss anything that I traded away. It's a great deal. 

But today, I want to go back in time to my neglected Frankenset (the completed one, not the one I'm working on as priority #13 or so in my collection). I've put some more scans of pages on my Frankenset page, and wanted to highlight a couple of favorite cards from those pages. 

Card #100: 1990 CMC Iowa Cubs - The Lesser Known Brian McCann:

Card #132: 1993 Upper Deck Fun Pack - Mike Devereaux

I remember Devereaux being a slow defender in Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball for the Super Nintendo. But he was actually a good fielder by defensive WAR metrics and stole 10 bases in 1992. Also, if you were curious, my research indicates #2 is Mark McLemore.

Card #139: 1990 CMC Nashville Sounds - Paul Noce

Another entry from the 1990 CMC minor league set. This is a classic card with a fun backstory

Card #140: 1994 Upper Deck - Jose Canseco

Canseco has several fun and unique cards from his career. Not sure what he plans to do with that shovel, but at least he doesn't look angry.

Someday, I might get all of my Frankenset pages uploaded for your viewing pleasure (including pages 12 to 14, which you may have noticed are missing if you followed the link above). At this pace, it might be sometime in 2029.