Saturday, June 29, 2019

Being Thrifty at the Card Shop

I took a trip to the local card shop today, as I was in need of more 9 pocket pages to complete my 1959 set, as well as all the rest of my still incomplete binders. I could order online, but why not productively waste an early afternoon?

I have a fairly small hockey collection, but the vintage cards and the Stanley Cup collection has been languishing in a box instead of in pages. The shop had a table full of used binders, and I found this decent looking hockey binder. A little dusty, but no rust and no cigarette smell . . .

So what was inside? Mostly 1989-90-91 Hockey.  I went from pages like this:

To a page like this:

Or a page like this:

To a page like this!

Much better. But I know you're curious about what was in the binder, so here's a sampling of the sets, courtesy of the North Stars:

There were 36 North Star cards, and most of the rest of it will be available for trade, just let me know if you are interested in a particular team or cards from a set, I'll let you know what was in there.

There were 4 "art" cards

A handful of prospect / rookies (these were the biggest names).

A few fun things. Brad Marsh is one of the last NHL players to skip the helmet. The bottom two cards are the hockey equivalent of a bat rack card.

speaking of mini collections - gcrl has a "tatooine" collection of all-dirt baseball cards. these could be "hoth" cards? I think I might hang on to these.

And a small number of interesting shots...

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Series La Tor-2-ga

Series 2 has been out for a hot minute now, and of course the card I have the most interest in is the rookie card of Willians Astudillo, media darling.

He just went on the injured list today after crashing into the right field wall to make a leaping catch during Tuesday night's win. Since being recalled, Astudillo has played Left Field, Right Field, 3rd Base, 2nd Base, and Catcher.

Last year, he even pitched! The is the Short Print photo variation, and I assume it would confuse a few people to see this guy on the mound with "C/3B" as his listed position. It wasn't a great pitching appearance, going one inning and allowing 5 runs (2 homers), but he finished the game, saving the bullpen to fight again another day.

Topps caught on quickly to Astudillo's appeal, and he's in a ton of different sets now. They also had him sign for the 1984 design inserts, and I was happy to add this one early on.

He also signed some cards with the Chrome treatment, again sporting the 1984 design, but 2 different photos. The main picture is from his 1st to home dash that put him on the map of internet memes and into our hearts.

Topps made just 149 of this Astudillo auto, I was happy to get my copy at a reasonable price. I haven't added any base parallels yet, I know there will be plenty to choose from.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Putting Your Best Stamp Forward

Nick of the World Famous Dime Boxes Blog reached out last week to confirm my address, then sent over this stuffed plain white envelop overflowing with Twins.

Most impressively, all of these cards were sent with just one stamp! Let's Get It On. What's Going On in this PWE?

Max signed a contract extension during spring training with the Twins, and he's been tearing the cover off the ball all season long. He's on the bench tonight after taking a fastball off his elbow, but he'll be back soon.

As always, Nick combines new cards, vintage cards, junk wax, stars, legends, etc in every trade.

Some great finds from 2019 Big League, including the fan favorite Willians Astudillo, who recently returned from a temporary stay in AAA. He's primarily a catcher, but tonight he's playing in left field. Jake Cave will be his opposite number in Right Field, with Buxton still recovering on the IL. Cave was tearing up AAA himself, and is getting another chance to stick with the big league club for the moment.

Shifting gears was this oddball of should-be Hall of Fame hurler, the 16X Gold Glove winner, Jim Kaat. This is a 1969 Milton Bradley card from their baseball themed board game. Johnny's Trading Spot recently found the game itself, if you're curious what the board and some more of the cards looked like.

Continuing on the vintage theme, Nick added these three Twins (triplets?) to my collection. The note in the envelope asked me to be sure to check the backs:

sacré bleu ! O-pee-chee!

Here's 4 more Unusual Twins, taken from the 1990 and 1991 Baseball Card Price Guides / Magazines.

I didn't know that Harper was a converted pitcher! Learn something every time you trade with Nick. If you're counting, that's 17 cards in one envelope! One Stamp! Thanks very much Nick, these were a blast to go through.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

A Proud Heritage of TransAtlantic Triple Breaks

Matt Olson is fired up because it's time for another Transatlantic Triple Break! We've been doing this since November 2015 and it's still a big hit at the 'ol Arbitrary. Along with Matt from Bob Walk the Plank, and Kevin from The Card Papoy, every few months or so we take turns getting a hobby box and splitting it three ways. We roll the dice looking for autographs / relics and short prints, but more than that, it's an opportunity to keep a round-robin trade going. This time, Matt busted open a box of 2019 Topps Heritage.

The backs are all super bright compared to the 1970 Topps cards in my collection, but they retain all the design elements that marked the original set.

We divvy up the cards by division- I went out West panning for Gold(schmidt) and hooked a Trout!

We also keep our home teams, Twins for me, Pirates for Matt, and Blue Jays for Kevin.

Just like the original set, the playoffs get their own subset.

New Age Performers - Heritage has been running this insert annually, merging the Heritage style with a modern touch. Khris "Khrush" Davis was the MLB home run leader in 2018. The back makes that point and compares him to Johnny Bench, the 1970 MLB HR leader. Neat!

The 1970 Topps set had this insert as well, a scratch off game to play with your friends.

Rules on the back - play nine full innings! The rules are the same as baseball, but do they have a DH or not? Is Instant Replay allowed?

Here's a handful of my favorite base cards from the break.

Matt also tossed in some extras in trade, and per usual they were stunners. This Bonds card is numbered to 66, a 2003 Leaf card that kinda sorta resembles Exhibits.

Glen Perkins is a local hero, coming from Brooklyn Park / Park Center and attended the University of MN. He got the save in the last All-Star game hosted in MN and played his entire career for the Twins. He drops in every now and then to the Twins' booth pre-game and post-game.

Kennys Vargas checks in with a Gold Signature - Kennys is having himself a rough one across the Pacific, he was demoted to the Chiba Lotte Marines' minor league affiliate. His last appearance in the Japanese major leagues was on May 30th. It's early, he's got time to work it out.

I always save the best for last - this card, like Kennys, is also numbered to 25, and includes an autograph of Hall of Fame Twins' legend Harmon Killebrew! The scan is a little blurry as I didn't want to take the card out of the one touch holder.

Thanks again, Matt, for another successful Triple Break! I'll be on the lookout for our next box.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

My Favorite Padres, Just in Time* for Father's Day

*a few days late

Padres, Father's Day ... are you with me? I have been having a tough time getting the motivation to post. Summer in MN are to be enjoyed outdoors. So even though I have a fair amount of new stuff to post, I haven't been getting down to the basement to scan new stuff. Anyway, here's a bunch of Padres cards, just in time for Father's Day!

The best Padres mascot is the San Diego Chicken. That's science.

A couple righties and a couple lefties. I wouldn't say that these choices will be the "Best" Padres, rather these are the pitchers that I remember collecting as a kid, or liked watching play as an adult, or because their 1990 Upper Deck reminds me of Aphex Twin. Andy Benes wasn't even with the Padres all that long, but the sweet spot of my collecting as a kid lines up right with his rookie and prospect years.

Like Benes, Sandy Alomar Jr didn't stick around San Diego for too long, but her certainly left a card collecting impression. Benito Santiago was one of my favorite players in the early 90s, even though I only saw him in highlights on the weekends (This Week in Baseball, thankyouverymuch). There were plenty of 1B options like Garvey, McGriff, Joyner, Nevin, but I went with Adrian Gonzalez, who I think had his best years in San Diego. Chase Headley was probably the closest to a franchise player the Padres had since Gwynn retired.

Oh! I need a closer! Of course there's Trevor Hoffman, or Heath Bell, or Craig Kimbrel, Rollie Fingers. . . but when I think Padres closer, I think Goose Gossage. Doesn't have to make sense to be true! He's got a bit of reputation these days as a grumpy goose, but I don't mind that too much. He'll say something awful about younger players and for the most part I just laugh at it.

I am too young to remember Ozzie Smith as a Padre, but I definitely recall Garry Templeton. Robbie Alomar had a short stop in San Diego as well, but like his brother, his Padre cards were the ones I remember fondly from my early collecting days. Bip Roberts and Tim Flannery were utility guys that had some good days in the 80s and 90s.

It's not all a nostalgia trip - I have been able to watch a bit more Padres baseball now that I have cable and my parents no longer make me go to bed before the West Coast games get started ( I do what I want, Dad!). These 4 guys are making noise at the big league level or, in Buddy Reed's case, in the minor leagues. I saw the AZ Fall League Championship Game and Buddy had a great moment at the end of the game (even though he was not the hitter or one of the runners).

And of course last but not least, my favorite Padre also happens to be the best Padre of all-time. He has 2,000+ more hits than any other player in a San Diego uniform, and has most of the career hitting marks thanks to a Hall of Fame career.

Happy Padres Day!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

COMC Haul - 1959 set Building!

The Spring Sale provided a big boost to my 1959 Topps Set build, I added 48 cards to the set, and for the most part spent a dollar or less per card!

Here's the highest of the high numbers, the final card on the checklist, Billy Pierce. There are still plenty of cards on my checklist, but I've now passed the 75% mark.

Let's see the new additions, sorta sorted by color! First up are stripes. There are several rookie stars cards for each team, and I'm thinking of putting these in the binder at the back end of each team page.

Orange-y Pink. I missed it in the COMC scan, but the Moe Drabrowsky card has a big crease running vertically from the top. But it was under a buck, so I can't be too bummed about it!

Stoplight time - 8 new Greens, including 1950s iron man Eddie Yost, who was 2nd to Lou Gehrig for the longest consecutive games played streak.

Yellow has several familiar-ish faces, like Hank Sauer, Vic Power, and Bob Cerv! The Bobby Tiefenauer is a little off center, but probably the sharpest conditioned card in my whole set.

We stop with Red, adding 8 more to the set. 2 pesky Yankees, and Senators great Jim Lemon. He was a big power hitter for Washington right up until the move to Minnesota.