Sunday, October 30, 2016

Saturday is Card Show day, featuring a 1956splosion!

With one card show closed for good in the metro last month, I had to seek out other opportunities. The great vintage seller who moved away last year was back in town this weekend, and he was at a smaller show south of the cities that I'd never been to before.
  That's OK with me too Gus.

Since it is that time of the year, I decided to celebrate some World Series moments and catch up on a long sought after team card.

an upcoming  trade reminded me that I am working on the 1969 Topps Deckle Edge set.

As you can tell, this trip was all about vintage. and there were just three vendors that I focused on, all with plenty of stuff from the 70s and older. That vintage seller that moved away? He e-mailed me ahead of the show and asked if I was working on any sets. I gave him my 1956 list, and here is the aftermath:

32 additions to my set, including Hall Of Famer Yogi Berra!

I've updated my vintage lists again, but this trip cut deeply into my card budget for the month. We'll have to see where we go from here.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Update 2016 Top Collection Goals

We're staring November in the face, and I have been making slow and steady progress on my collecting goals for 2016.

Here are the cards I am targeting in 2016, along with runners-up that I will chase (just not as hard/expensive):

Mickey Mantle 1956 Topps #135:

If I'm ever going to finish my 1956 Topps set, all roads lead through this card... There are still a fair number of commons on my list, but after reeling in Aaron, Mays, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson and the big Luis Aparicio rookie, Mantle looms large. I will be patient. I will stalk eBay. When the time is right, I will strike!!!
Runner-up: Roberto Clemente 1956 Topps UPDATE got it!

Phil Rizzuto 1948 Bowman #8: UPDATE - Got it!

Similar to Mr. Mantle, this the biggest card left on my list to finishing a  particular set. The others should be fairly easy to find in good shape for a price I can afford. Scooter will command a premium, but finding a copy that meets my arbitrary standards will be a milestone.
Runner-up: the rest of my 1948 Bowman set needs Update - Set is complete!

"Satchell" Paige 1953 Topps #220

I have a fair number of Paige cards in my collection (including a reprint of this card), but none from his playing days. This card hasn't been on my radar in the last year, but I'm putting it on there now. The 1953 Topps Set is literally a work of art, and ol' Satch is one of the most remarkable and intriguing baseball players of all time.
Runner up: 1949 Leaf Satchel Paige

Kirby Puckett 1984 Fleer Update U-93: UPDATE - Got it!
Believe it or not, I don't have a copy of this card - my favorite player as a kid, and the player I have more cards than any other in my collection. This card is not exactly a white whale, but it's definitely in higher demand in MN where I buy most of my cards. I have a price in mind that I want to pay for this card, and I'm willing to wait it out until I can make that deal.
Runner-up: 1984 Fleer Update Box Set

Ted Kluszewski 1957 Topps #165

My dad grew up in Central Ohio and my whole family are Reds fans. This is one of the more iconic Reds cards from the 50s and Kluszewski is a beast. This card is probably going to be the most affordable on the list so far, but I am going to be a bit pickier on condition- I will be a stickler for really red reds and a bright, centered border. 1957 Topps cards have a tendency to fade over time...
Runner-up: 1957 Topps Frank Robinson RC

Elmer Valo 1955 Rodeo Meats

Elmer is a player I collect, and there were lots of regional issues and oddballs in the 50s and 60s, but not too many featured Mr. Valo. The Rodeo Meats card was one I just recently found out existed - I might not even see a copy this year, but I will have my eye out for it! There are not many cards left of Valo that have escaped my grasp, this one will be a part of my collection some day.
Runner-up: Elmer Valo 1955 Topps Doubleheader #85 Update - Got it!

William J. O'Neil, T206 tobacco card
I've been "working" on the T206 Minneapolis Millers team set. This guy's name is very similar to mine, so he's the next guy on the list for me to chase!
Runner-up: Jimmy Collins, T206

If I manage to get all of these, it is probably because I won the lottery or something....

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A "New" PC - Denard Span

I decided towards the end of this year that I really ought to update and expand the players I collect, or my pack buying days will be numbered. There are very few current players that are currently in my collection, and almost none of them play for any team other than the Twins.

 We call these "baby steps." Denard Span was a favorite player of mine when he played for the Twins.

 He was traded in the offseason before 2013 for Alex Meyer - That trade didn't really work out so hot for the Twins, but I would still defend it as a move they needed to make - trade from a position of depth for a position of need.
So far my Denard Span Collection is almost exclusively Twins cards, but I'll be looking to branch out. Now that he's a wily veteran with a salt and pepper beard, but it was not so long ago he was drafted to become the heir apparent in Center Field, taking over for Torii Hunter and providing another link in the chain going back to Kirby Puckett as a star in the middle of the Twins' outfield. That job now falls to Byron Buxton, but I wonder what could have been if Span (or even Ben Revere!) had been here to pass the torch..

If you've got Washington Denards or San Francisco Denards, send them on over!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

More Fun From the Card Shop

So this past weekend I found a new(-ish, to me.) Card Shop, where I picked up a couple packs of Update and a random mix of other things:

I have to monitor my tone of voice when I say "Show me All your Kennys Vargas!" so I don't sound like a crazy person / stick up artist. This was the only one they had that I didn't.

The shop had a table full of random sets from the 80s and early 90s - if you want that hard to forget 1991 Donruss set or a 1988 Topps, they've got you covered. I was drawn to the oddball sets, and Revco was exactly what the doctor ordered.
There were some monster boxes (5 column long box style) of Twins and Twins related players, this was the one card that caught my eye.

I am really skeptical of the autographs I found in this box, these two seemed close enough to legit, and I have no plans to re-sell them. There was a Steve Garvey that I picked up as well, it doesn't look remotely right to me at all, but I will probably ask for GCRL's expert opinion on it at some point.

Back to some oddballs - The Twins teamed up with local law enforcement to release this set several years in a row (maybe they still do?). I found it, uh, interesting that each player has a different crime prevention tip, and for Delmon Young they just were like... "You know what? Better just put the T.V. schedule on that card"
Best of all, they had some oddball supplies as well! Finally I can put these minis in a binder! I will definitely be making a return trip to the shop, there was a big display case of vintage cards that I completely avoided this time around.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Achieving Maximum Valo-city

You may recall that from the very start of this blog, I've enjoyed the lesser known players in MLB history. Elmer Valo came to my attention even earlier, thanks to other bloggers posting the magnificence of his 1957 Topps card. Above is a "Philadelphia Fan Favorites" card, commissioned by the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society. I'm digging deep to find Elmer Valo cards that may not be on everyone's radar.

But let's start a little more conventionally - Here are a couple Topps buybacks of "Valiant" Valo, from 1958 and 1961. 1961 was his last Topps card, he's listed as a Minnesota Twin, but the photo is obviously taken at Yankee Stadium, where he spent a portion of 1960 as a Bronx Bomber. Oddly enough, it is probably a Washington Senators uniform he's wearing, as he went from New York to D.C. before the team moved to the Twin Cities. If you see a buyback of the AWESOME 1957 Elmer Valo, please let me know, I would very much like one.
Here's a 1990 card issued by Target and the Dodgers, commemorating 100 years of the franchise. Valo played in the final Dodgers home game at Ebbets Field.

In 1984, TCMA released a set based on the Play Ball cards from the 1940s - this card was not part of the sets in 1940s, in fact it would have been Elmer's rookie card if it did exist - his first card came in the 1948 Leaf set.
This was a new one to me - it is a standard size card (unlike most of the cards in this post), released in 2011, this 40 card set features the 1957 Dodgers team. The art on all cards was created by Ronnie Joyner.
The backs are pretty familiar, though! Just like the 1960 set. They probably could have used 1957 backs, but this is a nice choice too.
Who is this guy? Not Elmer Valo....

This is a 1992 Yankees set produced by WIZ home entertainment centers and American Express.

Kinda looks like Bobby Richardson to me. Valo could possibly be flattered by the comparison, though in his career, Valo's OBP was almost 100 points higher, and he had over 200 more runs batted in.

I also found an autographed 8X10 on eBay, It was fairly cheap, so I'm guessing there's a fair chance that it's not authentic (no JSA / PSA / or even AAA certification) but it was more for the photo than the autograph.

If you know of any more oddball Elmers, drop me a line! I've got my eye on a couple Rodeo Meats cards, but they are a lot spendier than I am comfortable with at the moment...

Monday, October 24, 2016

Playing it Cool

If I mention the name of his blog, do I jinx it? Tom from Peoria sent over a #supertrade extravaganza.

He mentioned in the note (written on the back of that calendar page) that he was emptying out his trade box, which is A-OK in my book.
Joe Mays started an unfortunate trend in Minnesota of giving pitchers multi-year extensions after one good season. Twins fans can probably reel off several names of those bad contracts. But Mays did have probably the best season of the group, he just couldn't repeat it.

I remember pulling a Gold Leaf Stars after opening 15 packs of Leaf over the course of several weeks. Inserts used to be a cause for celebration!

Minis! These were both new to me.

Tom delivered a big hit as well! This relic/Auto combo is numbered to /299. A very cool card!

Thanks very much Tom! Without directly saying anything, I hope things go well for your preferred sports team in that "thing" they are playing in this week.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Just One (or Two) Packs of . . . 2016 Topps Update

You know by now the deal with update - you've got Rookies
uh, whatever this is

Here's the only Twin in the two packs I purchased. I bought them at a card shop in the Twin Cities, now that my regular one is closed, I had to travel a little farther to find this one...
Here are the horizontal highlights from the pack- hey look, it's former Twin Oswaldo Arcia! That update already needs an update as the Rays waived him and he is now a San Diego Padre! I wasn't disappointed in these, but I also had pretty realistic expectations. If I bought more, I would have probably found more Twins, more interesting inserts, maybe a fun parallel or two...

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Winner Winner Chicken (Parm) Dinner

 Shane from Shoebox Legends was already a winner in my book, and not just because he won one of my playoff contests, but because he's one of the more thoughtful and generous bloggers out there.

Shane fired off a PWE to the Twin Cities this week, and here are the goods:

 We start with the heaviest hitter - Harmon Killebrew and the highlight of his 500th career homer, by far the most in franchise history.
 The envelope packed quite a punch - Danny Lehmann was the BMOC as an Owl at Rice university, but didn't quite pan out. This refractor auto is nonetheless dazzling in its own right.
Topps takes a page from the Sportflics playbook and Mauer is in motion on this insert.
 Some fan favorites including Cuddyer and the great Luis Castillo, acquired from the Marlins in probably one of the better deadline deals for the Twins in recent memory.
Shane hits again with the great Chicky Chicky Parm. Parmelee is still in organized ball, doing his damage in the AL East now with the Orioles off the bench or on the farm.

Shane, thanks so much!

Friday, October 21, 2016


I've taken to hitting up COMC every few months or so and scraping the bottom of the barrel for some affordable cards from all over the map - in the past I focused on Twins, and this time I extended it to all Player Collection guys:

We still start with a Minnesota Twin, in this case Fan Favorite Kent Hrbek. Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of Kent's audition for the WWF, Braves fans avert your eyes:
Moving along... Here's another guy I collect, the future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre.
Beltre's first homer was against the Rangers!
Another Lock for Cooperstown, the Pride of Peoria, IL, Jim Thome!

I've always thought that Eddie Murray was the #1 Bad-Ass of the 80s.

Big Bart wasn't always so big, and did you recall his stint on the South Side? Rickey remembers when Rickey played in San Diego, even if he couldn't remember playing with John Olerud (*that's a fun, if not entirely true, story) .
Pedro's been all over both leagues.
And we finish where we started -  with two franchise Center Fielders for the Twins. Nothing on this post cost me more than a buck, most of them were under 50 cents!