Monday, December 04, 2023

Working on the small things at the card show

In a more quaint card show setting, I actually spied a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 in one particular showcase and did a little window shopping for all sorts of high end prospect cards teasing a top rookie like Corbin Carroll or a top prospect like Jackson Holliday - still I wasn't quite at a big time show in this particular location I was at, where it was teeming with the sellers that had the odds and ends I may indulge in.

These cards were from the value bins of a grandfather and grandson duo I've bought from at other show dates, but have only really seen set up two other times - their 'binned singles' with prices on the back are all jumbled up by sport, so it's kind of a mess to spend time at.

Their lesser [maybe $5 and under] material are sorted by sport, so ideally it's easier to try and go through the monster boxes of toploaded cards row by row - I did as much deep cut picking as I could to flag potential keepers, but wasn't as emotionally invested, where I wanted to spend only so much to get my cheap thrills.

1995 Pinnacle Museum Collection Tim Salmon #391 - who would have thought that out of sheer randomness, I can find a card that just hits the spot, as a cheap but unique parallel of a local team star I've collected for just over 30 years.
1994 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Silver Signature Barry Bonds #610 and 1995 Pinnacle Trevor Hoffman Museum Collection #85 - I profess to collect Bonds, where I think he should be in the Hall of Fame already, but the iffy factor maybe too much where he is not particularly well liked.

While Hoffman is a Hall of Fame closer, he's not a guy whose cards I'd look for, so maybe I can appreciate a parallel - where it's a little different from much of the basic cards that represent Hoffman in my binder / decade stars collection.

1985 Topps Pete Rose #106 - though it was not a vintage card, maybe the first card I actually set aside, because it presumably shows an image from Rose's collision with Ray Fosse [R.I.P.] in the 1970 All-Star game.
The back of the Rose card partially pictures his 1970 Topps Super card - the card I picked up is part of a subset that makes up a puzzle in the Pete Rose set.
Maybe at some point, these shiny inserts were fillers to skip over when looking for bigger hits - but these types of cards end up being ideal binder material, where they don't cost much and at times really pop.
I liked Mike Piazza as one of the biggest superstars of his era, but what does it do to pick up cards of his in 2023 [?] - I almost skipped past this 2006 Topps Hit Parade #HR9, but for the countless cards a notable player may have printed, the ones showing them in unfamiliar uniforms might be the ones worth taking a flyer on.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Nearly a glitch in the Matrix - feat. Kirby Puckett

I made this 2006 Fleer Greats Decade Greats Puckett a keeper out of a 25 card dollar dig at a card show where I was charged $20 - I have Puckett rubber stamped as a Hall of Fame legend to collect from the junk wax era and this retro card from the 2000s ends up a little more unique, where it goes into my stadium project.
Like my last post, I thought the same image on one card was used for another card and sure enough Puckett's 1988 Fleer card used nearly the same image - maybe it makes a little more sense where Fleer [or Upper Deck, which had bought out Fleer in 2005] would be able to dig around and look for an archive of images to use. On first glance, the pictures on the cards are virtually the same where they could have been taken seconds from each other - the only wrinkle that makes the images slightly different are Puckett's eyes, where the retro Fleer card has him looking towards the side, while the 1988 Fleer card has his eyeballs sort of looking downward.

Monday, November 27, 2023

A glitch in the Matrix - feat. Wade Boggs

I don't know if I liked the image on the 2023 Donruss Wade Boggs - I imagine Boggs following through hitting a ball during an at-bat, but kind of hard to tell, where it's almost an awkward shot.
As I'm scrolling through some f/s posts on social media, I saw a Boggs lot with a 1992 Upper Deck Boggs that kind of looked familiar - it looks like Panini found and used the same image that Upper Deck did all the way back in 1992.
Maybe better eyes will spot the minute differences between the two images but I have to go look for the 1992 Upper Deck Boggs - as both a stadium project card and to put together as a pair with the newer Panini Donruss card.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Thankful for some old-school / vintage pickups

Maybe at every corner of a card show I attended, would be a table where people were clustered at - it was hard to squeeze in and in a case or two, I might move off a table for a moment and already have someone jumping into my spot.

I found myself at a table where a bunch of old heads [at least older than I] were going through vintage or old school material - the cheap cards in bins were ‘2 for $1,’ and cards in binders were a dollar each.

Maybe I had to bug off for a little bit before circling back to see - if I can find an opportunity to get back to the table and start picking around somewhere.

Maybe things started off awkwardly where another guy rummaging through the '2 for $1' bins thought I smelled of cigarettes - I found it silly where I don't smoke at all and was saying as much, while rolling my eyes.

This guy was wearing a mask where it looked like he might have trouble breathing in a confined area - I was not about to say anything to disrespect the guy, but just try to get out of his way, while doing my thing.

I think I found some old school / vintage beaters - the Brooks Robinson that ended up being autographed from my last post was part of the cards that were '2f for $1.'

I've never really been well versed in old-school / vintage cards, where I'm going to be digging through 'old cards' with a serious focus like set building - but maybe it's a reward to idly dig and find cards of Hall of Famers, even if they are beaters.

I am pretty sure these are stadium project cards, so it's nice to find a pair of old school keepers that really go back - besides most of what I've accumulated from the 1980s through present. I had a chance to go through the vintage dollar binders - maybe I was dealing with the leftovers towards the latter part of the show and I decided to make these four random keepers out of more beaters.

Like the Brooks Robinson, the Whitey Ford has a scribble on the front - it's not an autograph on the card, but someone wrote 'Yankees' in black ballpoint pen.

If I had paid attention, I would have put the card back - but maybe part of the charm of going through vintage cards [for cheap] is seeing cards that end up being defaced in some way.

I grabbed a 1963 Topps Roger Maris #120 [$25] off the table - I asked the seller if I could take a look at it because it was kind of behind the cheap-o bins I was going through and though there might be an invisible barrier that kept me from reaching around the loosely displayed cards on the table.

The seller said I can actually go ahead and have a look at the card since the cards came originally from their bins for their single cards - but there was just not room to put them somewhere else.

Earlier in the year, I had an eye on another copy of the Maris card at the card shop I go to - but it disappeared off their display cases before I decided I might actually want the card.

Maris ends up a famous non-HoFer in MLB history for his historic 1961 season where he blasted 61 home runs - the main image gives off that late ‘61 vibe, where Maris looks a little morose with sad eyes.

From the bins, I found a 1966 Topps 1966 Rookie Stars Bill Singer / Don Sutton RC #288 [$10] and a 1967 Topps Tony Perez #476 [unmarked top loaded cards were $3] - it is unexpectedly cool to actually pick up a vintage HOFer rookie, even though Sutton shares it with a guy who had a racial incident 20 years ago with former Miami Marlins GM Kim Ng, who was then working for the Dodgers.

At another card show, another copy of the Perez ended up one of my last cuts - maybe I should have made it a keeper three weeks ago, but got another chance to make things right and this copy might end up having a little more eye appeal.

When I finally presented my miscellaneous stack to the seller, I don't think I got much [or any] discount off the total - but the cards I ended up with might just have a bit more historicity, compared to busting a retail value box or a mega box 'thingy' that might be $50 these days.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Featured autograph - Brooks Robinson

I was thumbing through '2 for $1' old school / vintage bins of a seller I stumbled upon at a card show - I thought this might be just another card, but took a closer look and it looked like it was faintly scribbled on.

It looks like an autograph of Robinson, who passed away on Sept. 26 - maybe it's a testament of how generous he was about signing, where I might find an autograph card of his in a relatively unlikely place.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Some stadium project collection adds

I probably had 45 minutes during another pit stop at a card show - I ended up hanging around the hosting card shop's bulk bins and eventually started to find some probable keepers, where I was able to build a take home stack.
By the time I was seriously collecting in the early 1990s, I was probably aware of the Classic game cards - though probably not the early sets from 1987 or 1988.

I don't think I've ever seen these particular cards before - so they end up nice finds, even if their only value is esoteric.

No one is coveting a common of Mark McLemore in 2023 - but I had to make room for a 1996 Upper Deck Collector's choice in my pile since it is a nice horizontal shot of McLemore, presumably taking a hack at an Angel game.

I wouldn't remember McLemore actually playing with the Angels through the first part of his MLB career - though I kind of remember he was at a career crossroads back in the early 1990s, before re-inventing himself as a valuable jack-of-all trades utilty guy that allowed him to stick aroud.

Now it's like a reward finding a parallel for my stadium project - I don't think I'd ever buy any Panini baseball product outright, but the occasional parallels maybe worth a second look.

Friday, November 03, 2023

Topps Pro Debut Minor League Legends

I have not paid attention to Topps Pro Debut for a good minute, but these retro themed inserts have caught my eye over the past few years - I found a few of last year's inserts in the quarter bins of a card shop and may have ordered one or two others from COMC.
I decided to pick up the entire 2023 set, rather than hoping random stragglers spill out somewhere - the checklist teases some usual names like Albert Pujols, Cal Ripken Jr. and Alex Rodriguez, but Tony La Russa as card #1 takes the cake.
I like the inclusion of vintage Hall of Fame legends, where unlike the countless retro MLB cards of the same subjects - it's fun seeing the different uniforms and hats on these cards, presumably showing all-time players in their formative years in pro baseball.

There are non-HOF fan favorite types that add some deeper cut names to a 19-card checklist - I'm not sure if I can appreciate them as much the fans of teams they played for through the 1970s and 1980s, but guys like Bill Madlock and John Mayberry get a second look as minor leaguers in this set.