If I Were To Collect: Florida/Miami Marlins Edition

[The seventeenth in a series:  I’m picking one player that I associate with a team (whether they spent the majority of their career there or not) that I would strongly consider adding to my official want lists.  They may not always be superstars, or the most popular, and honestly they may not always be my favorite player from the team, but that’s what will make this fun, no?]

I haven’t done one of these in a while, so why not give it a shot.  In previous seasons, I would try to tie the featured team to the Cubs schedule, but there are no previously unfeatured teams for some time.  With that in mind, I probably should have picked an AL team, but this one had all the scans waiting already.

A card as gaudy as their stadium

My pick for the Florida/Miami Marlins is Giancarlo Stanton, and it’s not even close.  He’s one of the only players I actually know on the team, and he can mash some taters.  Being a big time power hitter usually comes with inflated card prices, but he’s on a less than great team, with a much less than great fan base overall, which means he would be pretty easy to collect as well.  Heck, I might even collect that Mike Stanton guy, too.

This looks far too out of focus for a scan

Current player runner-upJose Fernandez

He seems like he’s going to be a pretty good pitcher, but the jury is still out.  That’s largely due to an injury derailment, but most likely Jose will make another team very happy some day after a future trade deadline.

The closest I could find of him as a Marlin

Retired player runner-upCliff Floyd

There really aren’t too many decent retired Marlins to choose from.  Also, there’s bad blood with the 2003 team, so I’m not touching that group.  Cliff was a Cub for one season, and he also spent time as a Marlin prior to that season that shall not be mentioned (even though I did already).  Then there’s the added bonus of him breaking into the MLB as a member of the Montreal Expos, so I would get to collect more Expos cards.

The Series So Far
Angels – (tie) Jim Abbott & Vladimir Guerrero
Blue Jays
Braves – Steve Avery
Brewers – Bob Eucker
Cardinals – Jim Edmonds
Diamondbacks – Randy Johnson
Dodgers – Jackie Robinson
Indians – Jim Thome
Marlins – Giancarlo Stanton
Mets – (tie) Darryl Strawberry & Dwight Gooden
Orioles – Adam Jones
Phillies – Mike Schmidt
Pirates –  Andrew McCutchen
Rangers – Nolan Ryan
Rays/Devil Rays
Red Sox
Reds – Eric Davis
Rockies – Carlos Gonzalez
Tigers – Alan Trammell
White Sox – Paul Konerko

I’m Not Getting No-Hit

Congratulations to Jake Arrieta on his second career no-hitter!  It’s extremely fun to watch that guy pitch these days.  I don’t know how long this run will last, but it doesn’t look like it will slow down anytime soon.  He is continuing his domination and it’s great to have a virtually guaranteed win every fifth day.  Jake’s been pretty good with his bat this season as well.  A homer in his last game, and 2 hits in this past game.  I love the NL.

So, the Reds may have gone hitless in the trouncing last night, but I’m certainly not.  Maybe the Reds can borrow some of mine?

He’s scratching his head, not pitching

Every once in a while I’ll pick up a large pile of stuff from COMC.  My focus will depend on my mood, but I usually try to get low numbered stuff and inserts.  One of my batches found me grabbing some relics for less than $5 each – usually $3 and under.

Possible sliver of pinstripe at the very top

I’m not sure why some relics are cheaper than others, but my guess is the popularity of the set has something to do with it.  People don’t like Artifacts.  I’m indifferent to it, but I think the hits look fine enough.

Of all the cards in my Collection, this is not the Ultimate

This one I grabbed from ebay last year.  It’s the second one in this post that lists Maddux as a member of the Padres but uses a Cubs picture and jersey.  It would be fun to open a box of Ultimate one day.

I miss Derrek

Back to COMC for the last two.  Kerry cards are usually pretty dang cheap and I think this was only $1.50 or so.  This set had a ton of relics, though so maybe it’s also due to the deluge.  I only need 14 more relic combinations from this set (including another one with just Kerry and D Lee).

It looks like he has super powers

One more for you.  I could do one hit for every hit the Cubs had, but I’ll spare you all that onslaught.  No Kris Bryant grand slams here.  Instead, we end appropriately with Zenith.  This card looks really nice in person with the etched foil.  The crooked pinstripe is a little bothersome, but I’ll allow it nonetheless.

Once again, congratulations Jake!  You’ve done something that neither Kerry nor Greg ever did.  Now rest up, because there’s still a long season ahead of us and we’ll need your arm.

He reads this blog, right?

Pre-National Card Show Post (Shown Way After Actually Going To The National)

In June of 2014, I went to a card show in Rockford.

First, we’ll start with the Cubs team set I bought for $5.  At the time I needed 2 cards, but now the rest are either trade bait, or they’ll come in handy if I choose another Cub to replace Starlin.

The kid was pretty good for a while

I try to pick up the team sets every year, but for some reason I couldn’t find the 2013 one in Target.  The picture here is the same as the normal set card, so you get to see the fancy number on the back to prove it’s different.

These next few cards were over $1. I’m not sure exactly how much each ended up being, but I think the highest was $3, which is fine since that’s typically shipping on an online purchase.

Not a great font choice

This was probably one of the pricier ones, but for a sort of good reason.  Flipping it over shows that it’s #/300.  It’s not easy to find a low print run for a buck or less.

Ooo, pointy.

I admit that I was blinded by the shine and possibly overpaid.  These inserts are actually pretty common.  I also possibly thought it was the chrome refractor.

Refractors will not be found in a dollar box

Early finest.  How many of you bought packs of the first year of Finest back in the day?  I think I bought 3 or 4 of the basketball kind as a splurge.

Shattering stones

Newer Finest lost a lot of it’s luster in terms of reverance, but there’s still some luster on this /3000 shiny guy.

That segment was quick enough, right?  Well, next we have the 50 cent bin where a good portion of fun stuff was found.

That friar’s logo looks off center and that circle looks wonky

How’s this for fun stuff?  An early year OPC Gwynn.  Even he’s in shock.  <Flipping shades> Say whaaaaa?

Mesh shirt alert

There’s a chance I have this card in the little box set somewhere in my parent’s basement.  We have all kinds of sealed sets like that.  It does me no good there, so here we are.

Texas Tea

As a kid, I never noticed how much white border there was.  Now it’s almost all I can look at.  I was so jealous of my brother landing a redemption card for these.

Ready to take over for Porky Pig

Hell yeah, I’ll take a hologram for 50 cents.  I don’t care if you can’t see it, because I can.

My god, that purple.

Silver signatures are not all that rare, but they can be difficult to obtain just because of their age.

Reminds me of a childhood metal playground

It may not have a nostalgia factor, but it did fulfill a need.  After all, new inserts are always welcome on the cheap.

A Me Is A Winner

Oh, the original gold parallel.  It’s odd that back then the Winner variant was less desired.  That’s probably still true, but they’re equal in my book.

Another Porky imitator

It’s kind of hard to see, but this is another silver signature.  They shrunk it down quite a bit.

Two fake for the price of one fake

Even though Greg gets half the card, his signature stays the same size

This comes right before the Gwynn CL

Yup, the train keeps rolling along.  These may all be subset cards, but that makes no nevermind to me.

The golds will be really tough

I may be happiest to find this card in the bin.  From my experience, it’s easier to find the redeemed winner set cards (most often still in set form, which is why I don’t have some of them yet) than the contest cards.  Were people short sighted and trashed the losers like a scratch-off?  Or did Frank when a bunch and they were all sent in?

Front row seat to all this exciting action.  That guy in the background could move up

This is one card in a mini set.  Maybe I’ll find the full set at some point, but until then I’ll build it piece by piece.

Gaudy was the name of the game

I found quite a few unlicensed promos/broders.  This one was called Nitro II.  I don’t have a checklist of these, so I have no clue if there was a Nitro I.

Always need to have fractured foil

Dare to Dream for a real card license.  Either that or just take the few hundred or thousand in profit you got from printing these and run.

That is not the White Sox logo I know

There are several of these, because I think they were part of an actual magazine.  I’m not sure how many, but so far I just have this one.

Which players would you invest in?

This too is somewhat legit since it came from the Investor’s Journal magazine.  I don’t know if this was cut out or if they pre-cut and distributed them.

Big Hurt in the Big City

There are ONLY 25000 of these.  I’m glad I acted fast.

I’m telling you, you have to use this crappy foil

This and the one above are from the same “company” Sports Stars USA.  Anyone know anything about them?

Close the blinds, the foil is seeping in

You think we’re done with the broders?  Oh no.  I found a bunch of different ones.  There were so many of these things made back then.  I’m sure I made a decent dent in the unknown grand total.

So close to good

Okay, now we’re done with this almost elegant card.  It would be great if it weren’t for that gul-dern plaid-ass foil crap.

And with that, we move into even cheaper territory (in terms of price, not value) with the 25 cent bin.

Already there, dude.

Why show roads when it’s called Heading for the Hall.  Call it Road to the Hall instead.  Either that, or put people’s heads in the graphic box.

Pre #19

Tony’s ass has become something of iconic image.  Every time I see it, it looks like some random game in an open park.  I swear those people are in lawn chairs.

That green works surprisingly well

Here’s another reprint (didn’t mention it above, but you knew).  This one doesn’t make tons of sense in a historical perspective, but okay.

He wasn’t really chasing history anymore at this point.

It’s not too easy to tell, but this is the retail holofoil version.  Yup, it was a quarter card just a few short months after release.

Does Billy Bass have a card?

Yup…I found this for a quarter. The best comc price the last time I looked it up was about $1.50.  Not too bad.

But wait, it gets better.  This show had one of those rare monsters called the 10 cent bin.  You hear about this, but never do you actually think you’ll see one in the wild.  Well, it happened to me.

Pinstripes were a terrible choice

We’re starting off a little slow, but honestly, any Maddux cards for a dime are good Maddux cards

That’s not Wrigley’s brick wall

A mini for 10 cents?  That makes sense since there’s less cardboard.

Once a Ranger, not always a Ranger

How about the first ever Dempster card?  It’s not in great shape, but I’ll take it as a place holder.

One of the Best

Hey, another minor league set Thomas.  I rarely do the price look up stuff, but I was curious.  On this one, the lowest price on comc was $4.50.  Buy low, sell high.

Green works here too

I may not have the full Disc-ography, but I’m trying.  This little guy is a 1991 7-11 disc.  I never had one in my town growing up, so I missed these food issus.

Okay, now look happy.

I completely forgot the Studio did a little insert set of Frank Thomas.  I don’t know how common they are, but I haven’t seen one in a trade yet, so this kicks things off.

No, I said happy

I’m not really sure how this shows off a photographer’s skill, but this is what we get.  It’s his collection, he can choose what he wants.


There was a guy next to me at the dime boxes talking up the dealer and he saw me pulling all these star cards (along with quite a bit of trade material I sent off already) and seeing this card, he said “this guy’s got all the good stuff.”  He did have a lot.

Tripping over your own bat, eh?

Entering the 5th dimension would be quite the moment.  I had no idea that magical event happened during a baseball game.

The card that gives you devil horns

I’ve talked before about my love of these early SP cards.  I think part of it was how unattainable they seemed back then.  Even now, grabbing a die cut like this for a dime seems like a total steal.

Put this on your Mantle

I don’t remember this insert from ’94 Upper Deck.  I was shifting away from baseball at this time.  It’s shinier than the scan shows, which gives this cool 3D effect.

No need to pace myself when cards are a dime

If you thought we were done with the silver signatures, you were wrong.  But, this is the last one for today.  Hopefully not forever, because I still need a bunch.

Season 5 of 5, thus far

I miss these player-centric insert sets.  Frank Thomas had a handful of them due to his licensing dealings with Leaf.  What non-retired player would you like to see get an insert set to himself?

Regular size shots

When you’re dealing with a budget set, sometimes you get budget inserts.

Condition sensitive

What’s better than a crazy, super foiled card?  How about a die-cut crazy, super foiled card.  Imagine how cool the gold version would be.

Not as sensitive

That box is full of all kinds of rounded cards.  I guess it makes sense that these cards would cost so little.  I mean, they used less cardboard to make them.  Did I use that stupid line in this post already?

Not exactly a Crusades insert

It’s interesting, I would expect there to be more cards that use the royalty theme, but this is only one of three on my checklist.  Even Crown Royale didn’t show anything.

Looking for some color

This sucker is bland as all get out, but I needed it, so I guess it’s good I didn’t have to shell out big bucks.

Contrasting colors

While the uniforms may be fashion backwards, the Padres were ahead of the curve by showing off their exercise balls in photos.

Bring back holograms now

Who else wishes the “Then” was the “Now?”  You may hate the Padres, and Cubs fans may hate the Padres from that era, but there’s no denying those outfits

Remember those old uniforms?

Here’s another special die cut in the cheapo boxes.  Tony’s happy.  I’m happy.  We’re all happy.  Wait, are you happy?

Paul wants to play. Will someone let him play?

I ended up buying this card again at the National (still with the protective coating on it).  This card show was my first experience with it, and I probably paid a “high” premium for the extra coating.

I hope the player is catching this throw on the other side

I forget who is on the other side of this card.  I could look it up, but I’m not going to.  I will, however, reiterate that dual sided All-Star cards should make a comeback.

I got it, I got this card

I don’t see too many of these Electric Diamonds in the wild.  Although too be fair, I’m not in the wild very often.


That does not look “Relaxed.”  That’s a perturbed expression if I ever saw it.  Or constipated.

Good game, I guess

Only one can be seen in the daylight.  All the peons must be bathed in weird gold.

Welcome to the Tony Gwynn theater

If you were making a marquee, would you put a whole sentence like this on there?

Close the day down a little

Did you know that Pacific had cards called “Opening Day” before Topps?  I did not.  Although, who could blame me. These are so washed out, then it’s tough to see anything.

Goddamn right I got 3000 hits

And here’s the Opening Day I’m used to.  These Magic Moments are going to be tough for me, but luckily this is the only parallel for this set.  Regular Topps and Chrome are a different story.  And Home Team Advantage. And Limited.

Looks like he dropped a karat between his legs

I don’t know much about the Gold Reserve set.  There were so many short-lived sets in the mid ’90s through mid ’00s that its tough to keep track of them all.  This is an insert, so I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a main set card.

Studying something, of course

Hmmmm….I remember my days as a top prospect.  Our uniforms were much cooler back then.  And we had holograms.

The hits just keep on coming

Oh man, there’s no way you’re going to miss that ball.  It’s half the size of your body!  That’s probably how he saw the baseball every day.

Why this year’s card?

If you remember all the way up on near the top of this blog, I bought the non-shiny one for more money. These cards are pretty cool.  In fact, I opened a box of this stuff a few years back.

Move that leg over a little and we have something

Lastly for this card show, we have the non-SP Tony Gwynn.  I probably didn’t need to pick it up, but my thought process might have been that for ten cents, I’ll take a flyer in case it was the short print variation.

Then in January 2015, I went to another show in the same location, and about the same size, but with less productive results.  I didn’t really see the same cheap-o bins from before.  No more dime guy.  No more quarter guy.

Should be a Cub

I think this was a quarter, however.  It’s your standard Triple Threads base card.  It’s usually tough to grab these because people that break the high end will either junk them, or leave them at the card store and they don’t get back into circulation easily.  So, I’ll take it.

A work of art

And the only other card I picked up at that show was this Tony Gwynn relic from Topps Gallery.  I actually wasn’t sure if I already had this, but the answer was “now I do!”  So, I spent a lot less overall, but it was still productive.

This was supposed to be posted before I went to the NSCC.  Now, it’s easy to confirm that the National was a lot more productive from a quantity stand point.  Maybe not a price stand point, but how can you not enjoy going to a card show?  Man, now I want to go to a card show….  Who’s with me?

2016 Cubs – The First 10 Games

I don’t know if this is going to be a regular thing or not, but I’m excited that baseball is back.

I’m more excited that the Cubs started off the season performing very well.  8 out of 10 ain’t bad.  It’s actually really good.  And it’s a great bonus that the other NL Central teams have somewhat struggled.  To celebrate the Cubs hot start, let’s show off a Cubs card for each win.

The scanner is a Cubs fan too, it made this nice and blue

I’ll spare you with details of every game, because that also means I’m sparing myself from having to research that stuff when the people that care most will already know.

This guy should have a ring

So, instead I’ll use this opportunity to clear out some old scans of Cubs cards.  Maybe I’ll find a better connection than that in the future, but today’s not that day.

What happened to third edition?

These Kerry Wood cards have been sitting in a folder since 2011, waiting their turn to be posted.

We won a bunch of games with this guy

And it took a generic subject such as this to post these bland cards.  But, it did help me realize that this is the “retail” version of SkyBox LE.  The non-retail is die cut at the top.

Limited by the Sky

Sky’s the limit with the current Cubs line-up.  Sure, we may have lost Kyle Schwarber, but I’m not as devastated about that as others might be.  Let’s see what Jorge Soler can do.

This card is so 12 years ago. So vintage

I don’t know where most of these cards came from, but I think this one was in my box break.  Then again, maybe someone claimed the Cubs?  I don’t know.  Does it matter?  The Cubs are in first place!

Just wait till that ivy grows

I know that all of these 10 game stretches will be this solid, but most of them were on the road, so to walk away with only one loss is great.

This is what it looks like now

I know it’s not mathematically possible, but I hope that all of you out there have these stretches several times through the year.  Well, unless your favorite team is a different NL Central team.  I want to enjoy this as long as possible.

You know what?  Let’s just start the playoffs now.  Who’s with me?

Happy 50th Birthday Greg Maddux

Yesterday was Greg Maddux’ 50th birthday.  I’m not great at creating timely content, but it’s a milestone age for a player I collect.  It’s worth making an appearance at this party.

Now, the fact that it’s a milestone brings to mind the infamous 2007 and 2008 marathon sets, but while I have a ton of those cards sitting in wait, I don’t have time to do my proper research on the corresponding game logs.  So, instead, let’s quickly look at the un-posted Maddux cards I have that are numbered to his age.

I only have 5 total cards serial numbered to 50 so far, and they were all acquired over 5 years ago.  Of those, I’ve shown the two 2010 Topps Sterling Framed White cards here and here.

Golden Oldie?

These came from ebay purchases made way back in 2010.  At the very start of my collecting quest, I hit the auctions looking for some decent lots that included a “better” card or two.  I also tended to pick up singles of low numbered stuff more often.

All of these scans are going to look terrible because they’re old like him

This marble blue came as part of a 50+ card lot that included about 10 serially numbered cards.  I know I would have paid a lot less than $1 a card, so this was practically free.

Based on an old set

And last, but not least on this quick birthday greeting is a sportscaster card.  I probably need about 49 more of these.  I’ll be older than 50 by the time I’m done with that set at the right I’m going.

I know it’s not much of a tribute, but Happy Birthday Greg (since I’m sure you read this…).  I hope it was a good one, and I’ll be sure to save all me #/100 cards for that big birthday post!

Smooth As

Oh, I’m sorry.  The answer we were looking for was “Silk.”

The saying is “Smooth as silk.”

What’s that?  That’s what you said?  Well then your prize is to look at some cards.

Can you guess what kind of cards we’re about to see?

Oh, I’m sorry. The answer we were looking for was “Silk.”

What’s that?  That’s what you said?  Ok.  Good.

His last good year

I have a few saved ebay searches that lay dormant for a long, long time, but every once in a while I get a surprise notification about a card I’m looking for.

All-Star – DNP

Or two.  This particular day gave me the opportunity to nab quite a few needs on the cheap, because this guy was selling a lot of his Cubs cards all at once.

Third All-Star of the group

Or three.  I was thrilled to see these up for auction and low starting prices, so I set my max and kept the fingers crossed.  I think one of them even had the wrong picture which I thought would work in my favor.

No Lincoln variation

Or four.  I don’t recall how much I paid for all of these, and it’s possible this one was from a second seller, but overall I didn’t spend a lot and got to mark off some much needed fabric cards off my lists.

Have you had any dormant or forgotten search results pop-up on you?  Did you have luck grabbing the card?

Are We Having Fun Yet? I Am!

Today’s trade post comes courtesy of Nolan’s Dugout.  I made this trade with him over a year ago (as is going to be the case for most of the trades you’ll see), so I don’t really remember everything we’re going to see today.  Kyle doesn’t blog very much, which is a shame because his posts are interesting and well-written, but he is a pretty active trader.  As far as I know, this is my first exchange with him, but hopefully not the last.

It would be cool if the scrolling years aligned with their time in the majors.

This is another pre-existing blog post draft that’s sat for months. As a reminder, I’m not collecting Castro anymore, and I’m too poor to consider a run at a Banks collection.  This is a free agent now.

What do you want on your baseball card?

The hobby is cyclical, isn’t it?  In 2016, Wal-Mart started offering cards with their frozen pizzas. It almost makes me want to go to Wal-Mart.  Almost.  Any other food issue card and I’d pounce, but I’m not a fan of that company and I’m trying to lose weight, so it’s a terrible match.

So many cards to get

Win #186
April 20, 1998 – Atlanta Braves at Colorado Rockies

The second win of the season came in his 5th start.  Maddux gave up a home run and 4 runs total over 8 runs, but the Braves still won 7-5 as Darryl Kile gave up 12 hits, 2 home runs, and 6 runs.

100 points?  I’m rich!

How about this for a fun little addition to the trade package?  I don’t know how this set is configured, but I’m guessing these are actually a little tough to come by at this level.

I’m less rich.

Here’s the more common “10” version.  I like the background color more since it stands out nicely.  The orange parallel is a bit too muted.

Smooth Criminal

Can I get someone to photoshop out Kerry’s back leg?  I want to imagine him pitching while doing a Michael Jackson impression.  Instead of Moonwalker, it could be Moonstrikeouter.  Okay, okay. The name needs work.

Pacific, what were you thinking?

Damn, man! Pitching so hard the logo pops off.  Run, baby bear, run.  You’re free.

Totally Ba-bodally

You know, seeing Topps Total so close to that Bazooka card makes me realize how similar they are.  Both equally boring.

Do not adjust your sets

I really enjoy the look of these Ultimate Victory cards.  I feel sorry for the teams without blue uniforms, because they can’t take advantage of this color scheme.

More like Fantastic Mustache

I didn’t noticed that there’s no logo on his hat?  Why?  Because this little disc thing is blindingly awesome.

Someone just said his name in the mirror three times

The fun doesn’t stop there, because it’s Sportsflics time.  Or is it Sportflics?  Too lazy to look it up and too mesmerized by the multiple pretty pictures to care.

That is not Lark Voorhies

Speaking of fun.  How about an actual Fun Pack fun card?  I don’t know about you, but I’m having a blast!

Sky school

And another one.  I love subsets like this. They’re really creative and interesting. Sure they’re busy, but with a purpose.  It’d be cool to see Opening Day have “tutorial” type inserts like this instead of the same mascots every year.

Man, now I want to eat some Denny’s

And will someone please, for the love of whatever mystical being, please bring back holograms?  Is there some stupid patent or licensing issue preventing us from having joy in our lives?

This is not Pee-Wee

We all agree that Topps Kids is really just Fun Pack’s less popular cousin, right?  Good.

That gold border looks nice

These were given out regionally if you bought some gas.  Since I work from home now, I’d have to make up excuses to use my car so I could fill up if this happened today.

Too many colors!

Yay! We’re back to the better designed child pandering.  Much better photograph, too.

Who wants to watch Rocko’s Modern Life?

And a checklist.  Sorry, not too much else to say about it.  When you see a design 3 or 4 times in one post, you start to run out of ideas.

Never cared for this design

Here’s another gas station exclusive.  This 1994 Fleer is a Sunoco card.  I miss the gold border.

We’re going to close this out with a few of these

Career Home Run #161
July 1, 1995 – White Sox at Royals

The Big Hurt earned his nickname, because in the top of the 5th, a 2-run shot increased the lead to 10-0.  Something tells me the Royals didn’t win this game.

I greatly appreciate receiving M&M cards in trades

Career Home Run #276
August 5, 1998 – White Sox at Devil Rays

With 2 outs in the top of the 1st, Frank Thomas put the Sox on the board with a solo shot against Julio Santana.  It would be his 19th home run of the year.

It’s a daunting task to try to collect all of these

Career Home Run #369
August 24, 2002 – White Sox vs. Devil Rays

The Sox were already up 4-2 in the seventh when Paul Wilson gave up a solo shot with 2 outs in the inning.

I mean, 500+ cards of one player?  Glad I don’t want the parallels, too

Career Home Run #404
August 11, 2003 – White Sox at Angels

His 28th homer of the year was a lost cause.  Down 10-4 in the 9th, Thomas hit a 2 run blast with no outs.  The Sox added two more, but fell 10-8.

Last one

Career Home Run #469
July 26, 2006 – Athletics vs. Red Sox

The score was deadlocked at zero in the 4th inning when a 2-0 pitch went over the fence.  The A’s would add another run before Frank hit another one the next inning.  But that’s a story for 470.

Thank you very much to Nolan’s Dugout for the amazing trade.  I have no idea what I sent your way at this point, but hopefully they proved useful.  I know these are very much appreciated.

Double Birthday

There was a time when I could put together blog posts and offer up cards for trade on a semi-regular basis.  I even briefly offered up weekly trade bait (which became less frequent).  You can still find those posts over here, and many of those cards are still available – just ask.  I really need to find time to offer up even more trade bait, because 1) I would like my readership to go up again, and 2) I need to get a lot of cards out of my house.  Based on current travel plans, I don’t think this will be possible until Mid-May, but  I’ve been buying tons of boxes to keep me sane while work sucks my life away, but most of the contents are intended to be trade bait and I was opening them for fun.  I just need to have a feeling of consistency, because sometimes it takes days or weeks to respond to personal stuff when work gets too intense.

Anyway, the reason I bring it up is that our old friend Nick M. took advantage of my previously posted old birthday box trade offerings, and he sent a smattering of cardboard goodies back my way. It’s almost like a double birthday present.

Skip to my lo0—RUN!  Run it out!

We’ll start small…er..mini.  I have great affection for the 1987 set.  It was the second year of my collecting life and it was glorious.  1986 was the jumping off point, but 1987 was the deep end.

Boy, I really hope we can get him back to this hit leader status

Follow up a mini insert with a retail parallel.  If you have retail parallels, there’s a very good chance that I need them. Please inquire within.

I haven’t seen any of the 2014 or 2015 Chipz yet.

Part of the aforementioned trade bait is Chipz.  I have a bunch of these from free packs associated with boxes bought from Dave & Adams.  Again, feel free to inquire within while I formulate a post.

Perform, you sonuva..

By the way, for those keeping track, my Starlin Castro collecting days are over.  After the trade to the Yankees, which I’ll probably address at some point in the future, I’m out.  Now I need to find a current Cub to take his place.  Aside from a few existing drafts (mostly of Nick M trade posts), I doubt you’ll see a lot of him except as a trade offer.

That “Boston” can’t be real.

I recently tried to win a Pink parallel of this, but my best offer was auto-rejected, which makes me think there really isn’t a good best offer to be made.

Do my eyes deceive me?

Woah!  Nick did the impossible and found a smiling Kerry Wood card.

This is a card

I can’t help but think that the YMCA has some branding deal with 2004 Elite.

Anyone know if this is a real section in Pit?

I’m glad that April is finally here.  I didn’t get to a game in 2015, and I’m itching to get back to Wrigley.  I will be going to a game in San Francisco next month, though.  My first non-Wrigley MLB game.

Pondering the meaning of life

I could never be a catcher…or athlete.  My knees couldn’t handle this position for 3 minutes, let alone a whole game.

Currently has the distinction of being the last card in the binder

Nick comes through with another retail parallel.  I’m still missing the gold foil one if anyone out there might have it.

I think he’s out

This may be a Pirates card, but it’s on my checklist thanks to a featuring role of Mr. Video.

I love the oddball stuff

Sorry for the blurry scan, but that outer edge is pretty crisp, eh?  I can’t tell these coins apart. This belongs to some year.

I don’t think this document is worth saving

This “The Shining” inspired insert was a relatively common one in Showcase boxes.

I mean, it only says “Consummate Prose” over and over

Perhaps that’s how I ended up with two in the same package.  Common or rare don’t matter much to me none.  They’re still needed.

Someone trademarked Midsummer Classic?

Back to Gwynn cards after that detour.  Tony made a lot of All-Star games because he was good at baseball.

A tiny bit of a Beam Team feel

For an insert called “Citement,” it would have been interesting if they went with quotes and cited their sources.

A card for each batting title would be a lot

Do you have some of these Magic Moments cards?  I hope so, because there are a few (all with the same picture) and I need them.  Nick got the party started, so now it’s time for you to come fashionably late.


Oh, hey, I need quite a few of these too, I think.  Both sets also come in chrome versions as well.  Fun stuff.  At least these look slightly different.

Check it.

People complain about today’s Padres uniforms, but these are terrible.

Let the play begin

These cards bring me back to the sort of recent past.  2009 was my gateway back into collecting.  I opened quite a bit of series 2 and found several of these legends of the game inserts.  It’s a nice looking set and will always be a fond memory for me.

These uniforms are better

I don’t know if I would have the same fondness if this were the set I encountered then.  Although maybe.  People grow attached to things for strange reasons.  It’s about the deeper meaning than the thing.

Where’s Waldo?

This insert is a “spot the difference” thing without a second picture to compare.  I think the “error” here is that his left arm is missing.  It could be hiding behind his body, but that’s my guess.  Any other guesses?

Awkward floating head

Let’s see…15 wins divided by 15 seasons equals 1 win per season.  That doesn’t sound so special to me.

Ripe for the relics

Braves Maddux holds the glove like this.  But Cubs Maddux holds the glove like this. <crowd laughs wildly>

I always loved this design

I’m sure I have this in my parents’ basement.  Probably 10 times over, with the amount of 92 Fleer I bought.

I don’t even remember Stacy Jones

I bet I have a bunch of these too.  If anyone needs any 92 Fleer for a set build, let me know and I can check next time I’m back home.

Some pretty good names in the first 28 cards.

The black gold were one per pack this year, right?  If so you’d think they’d be more readily available in the market.  Yet, it took this long to get the regular checklist.  Odd how these things happen.

I would have called this card “Back Scratcher”

Not an emotion.

The ol’ desert highway checklist

Here’s another checklist with a parallel I don’t have.  I’m not sure how I feel about this picture.  That’s not true.  I don’t like it.

Sweet Sears portrait

This year of Upper Deck scares me.  There are a lot of inserts with a bunch of lower numbered awkwardly die cut parallels.  Anyone seen a “Triple” in person?

Kids on the beat. Kids on the street. Beat kids. Beat kids.

Passersby were amazed at the unusually large amounts of blood.  Passersby were amazed at the unusually large amounts of blood.  Passersby…

This is the only one of the 1992 Cy Young Wins cards I have – 19 to go

Win #11
July 17, 1992 – Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates

The 11th win of this Cy Young season was a tough battle.  Maddux pitched into the 9th and allowed 6 hits and zero strikeouts on his way to a 2-1 victory.  This would put his record for the year at 11-8 and lower his ERA to 2.33.

10% done with this stretch of cards – 180 left

Strikeout #2
April 7, 1992 – Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia Phillies

The second strikeout of the year came in the first game of the year.  Mariano Duncan struck out swinging in the third inning, which followed his strikeout in the first inning.  If only he could face Duncan every time.

Two-69, dudes

Win #269
September 2, 2002 – Atlanta Braves vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

The first start in September would net Maddux his 12th win of the year.  The Pirates managed a solo home run for their only run against the Braves.  7 strikeouts over 8 innings would put the game out of reach.  Greg would go on win 4 of his last 5 starts to keep his 15-win season streak alive.

Two-58, dudes!

Career Home Run #258
April 4, 1998 – White Sox at Devil Rays

Frank’s first home run of the year ties the game against the Devil Rays at 1. Dennis Springer gave up the bomb to left in the top of the 4th on a 1-0 count.

Two-You get the idea, dudes!

Career Home Run #282
August 26, 1998 – White Sox vs. Orioles

Later that year, he hit his 25th home run of the year featured here.  In the bottom of the second, Juan Guzman was already on the ropes, when a 3-1 pitch flew out to score two and increase the lead to 6-1.

Do you know how hard it is to think of new captions for the same card?

Career Home Run #504
August 4, 2007 – Blue Jays vs. Rangers

The 1st inning was a big one.  Already up 2-1, Willie Eyre gives up a three-run homer on the first pitch to Thomas.  Willie didn’t fare much better against him in the third inning.

What’s that supposed to say?

The last card of the trade package is a pretty nice surprise.  Actually, I don’t remember if it was a surprise.  Even if I knew about it, getting a relic as part of a trade is always fun.  Honestly, getting any cards in a trade is fun.  I really hope I get to do it again.

Thanks again, Nick for sending so many great cards. I’m sure I still owe you more Griffey’s for all this stuff.

I’m Back…I Think (At Least For Now)

Even though my interest in blogging had been somewhat waning, I didn’t intend to reduce my output to one post every four months.  You can thank my job for that.

Those that have known me for a couple years know that this happened last year as well.  The short of it is that my job involves helping doctors with government mandated reporting deadlines.  The organizations we help are signing up new people for this service all the time.  We far outgrew projections and last year I had to do most of it myself, even though it was the job of over 2 people.  This year, we were able to hire more, but the size of the group we needed to help tripled, so we had a similar problem.  Ultimately, that meant to make sure everything was handled correctly, we had to double check and cross reference and specifically log and triple check and….  From about November until the deadline of March 31st, it was very common to work from 8 or 9 am to 11 pm or 1 am and put in another 10-16 hours over the weekend.

Even near the end, every time I thought I would have a light or free night, something else came up.  It’s been extremely difficult at times (on a couple occasions I scared my wife and dog with random top of my lung screams of frustration, and there were a couple of nervous breakdowns and bouts of depression more severe than usual), but this year was still easier than last.  I’m confident that this upcoming season will be easier still as my main job will be to make the process more efficient and to use these experiences as a guide to get ahead of the trouble spots.

But you don’t care too much about that, nor should you.  What’s most important is that I can actually have my nights and weekends free again.  In the busy time, after I stopped working for the night, I didn’t want to stay on my computer to write or read blogs.  I haven’t really followed card stuff all that much, either.  I’m sure I’ve missed quite a bit.  But now, I hopefully will have more time to catch up.  At least temporarily.  You see, it’s highly likely that I’ll be going to India for my job during the second half of April, and then a few days after I get back, I’m leaving on a legitimate vacation for a while.

So, it’ll be a short return to the blog, followed by a short hiatus, and then probably back for a while again.  Around Mid-May, I might be able to start trading again, which will be very much needed on my end.  I need to purge a bunch of stuff.

Anyway, now that I’m “back,” let’s look at some backs.

Topps Crest Whitening

By the way, except for a few pre-existing drafts and a series or two, most of my posts will be down to 9 cards or less.  It’ll save my sanity.

Would it have killed Topps to include a “the” in the color text?  “chosen in THE NBA Draft by THE San Diego Clippers.”  “9 pitches in one inning for THE Astros.”  I do like the idea of showing the game winning RBI stats, though.  I wonder if that’s walk-off, or just deciding run.

He will not remain a stolen base threat

If you haven’t been able to tell, these are the Tiffany versions from 1987.  Below are Tiffanys as well.

At first glance, I thought 1987 was a better time for hitters, but then I checked the 2015 NL stats and saw 11 names with a .300+ average.  Perception and reality and all that.

5 more GW-RBI.  When did they stop adding these?

If you were to line up all the 1988 Topps cards, I bet you still never actually reach that clubhouse.

Run, run for your life.  To the Clubhouse!

The dude hits .370 and Topps decides to focus on his 4th place finish in Runs?  Show some respect for the All-Star.

124-124 record.  Pretty impressive to pull that off

I don’t know much about my cardboard history, but I know that these are the Venezuela backs from 2013 Heritage.  I was able to grab this before the low print run was figured out.  Now, these are tougher to come by cheap for common players (still hunting Marmol), because people know how limited they are.

Old Planter is not Venezuelan

Speaking of Marmol, this A&G back mini came from Fred, who you may remember from my mini-series For the Greater Wood.  This is a small piece in another package from Fred that I still haven’t showcased on the blog.  Stupid work.

I hope we have a healthy strikeout machine on staff this year.

These last two were pick ups from the National.  As I went through the bins, I found myself flipping over every single card I might need.  With so many pointless variations that are only visible from the back (hence this post’s theme), it became pretty necessary.  If I hadn’t, I don’t think I would have nabbed this sample card.

Leather and Lumber and dumb parallels

I also probably would have missed this “silver” variant.  Even though it has slightly shinier foil on the front, unless you’re looking at them side by side, you have to rely on the numbering from the back.  This was a nice surprise and worth the dollar or less I paid at the show.

I hope I can get out to another card show sometime this year.  That was fun.  Blogging was fun this time too.  Maybe the shorter format will keep my interest longer.  Time will tell, but I have more of that these days.

Still Undeserved

A little over a month ago, I posted the first part of a very large trade package I received from reader Nick M.  It’s taken a while to find the drive to finish this post as work is picking up again, my house is still experiencing issues that need attention, and holiday stuff is starting to happen, but it’s finally here.  You’ll only see two players in this whole thing, but you’ll see tons of cards.  I love having tons of cards.

Braves Braves

We’ll start with a quick attention to detail test.  Did you notice that this is the Silver Signature version?  I did.  Did you know that Maddux changed his signature to look like the Braves logo?  I did not.

Foil is not connecting to my scanner

I like All-Star inserts.  I wish that were more common.  I think it would be more fun to have a non-base, kind of easy insert set to chase that has the full rosters from both sides.

Trade dominance

This is a crazy, happy addition.  Black Diamond cards aren’t too uncommon, but it’s not everyday you get an insert #/1500 sent out of the blue.

Not exactly the same as the old skybox orange glow

I bet you didn’t know that Maddux’ other, other nickname was “The Flash.”  He zooms to the mound and then throws a high-80s fastball.

Non-signature edition

Oddly enough, in a product named Signature Series, there are no Maddux autographs to chase for this year.  Good.

Not insanely exciting, but cool because it’s acetate

We need more non-cardboard cards.  I love these plastic suckers.

I have no idea what’s supposed to be going on

How would one become part of this so called “Fan Club?”  Do we get to pick the designs if we’re a member?

Dirty balls

Very odd choice to separate the jersey number like that.  How did they handle single digits?

Top 40 rotation?  That’s like every damn starting pitcher!

40-Man is such a daunting set.  I would hate to be a team collector with stuff like this and the tough to get foil parallels.  It’s bad enough looking for cards for 5 people.

Orange is an odd choice

Does anyone else remember Tangrams?  Here are some random geometric shapes and you get to make a random, nondescript design.

Red is an odd choice

I’m really surprised that it’s taken me this long to see the picture window as a big “H.”  Not that it means anything, but I don’t think it can be unseen.

A little more than half way to the win total

Win #162
August 23, 1996 – Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago Cubs

Maddux earned his 12th win of the year over Steve Trachsel with 7 strikeouts over 7 innings.  He wasn’t as sharp as he usually is, giving up 2 homers, but the Braves provided just enough run support as Chipper Jones hit 2 of his own.  Greg also batted for a single, one of Atlanta’s 10 hits in the 4-3 victory.

Game 9 in my little adventure

For those that don’t remember or didn’t see this previously, I’ll remind you that for 08 Documentary, I’m compiling the record for all the cards featuring my player collections.  Follow along by clicking the set-based tag at the bottom of the post.

You’ll also likely remember that the game has nothing to do with the player on the card.  No matter who pitched, the Padres still lost big, which puts them in a big hole in this exercise.
Padres card record:  2-7

Same picture, same result

Double-dipping into this game, and it’s virtually another rout.  The Cubs knock in 9 and put the Padres in a bad position in their quest to have a winning record on cards featuring Maddux.
Padres card record:  2-8

Don’t leave home without it

Is anyone else a little surprised that baseball players haven’t been featured on real credit cards?  I mean they were on phone cards, after all.

Mad Magazine artists make baseball cards sometimes

This caricature is a Diamond king #/10000 – back when that still kind of meant something, but sorta stopped meaning things at the same time. – The first 500 of them are the “canvas” parallel, so this version ONLY has 9500 copies.


I’m not sure what the Generations label is about.  He’s not paired with anyone.  He isn’t part of a family that played the game.  Looks like just another excuse to make another Frank Thomas card.

That’s a nice Yoda-Foil parallel

Are you guys excited about the new StarQuest movie?  I’m personally trying to stay spoiler-free, but the internet makes it really tough.

Double the foil

Nick snuck in some real nice gems.  Gems like this Black Diamond card #/3000.  Get it. Gems. Diamond.  You get it.

Topps for a new millennium

That’s not to say that cards like this aren’t appreciated, too, because they certainly are.

Font by Print Shop for C64

It’s just that some cards happen to carry a little extra prestige or “oomph” when they’re revealed.  This card is needed, but gives off the wrong kind of “oomph.”

That’s focus if I ever saw it

And some are just a little boring.  Early 2000s Fleer had a lot of drab, filler sets.

Check Swing

I think I prefer the newer Piece of History sets.  This one’s fine, but the Quantum Leap timeline is a little busy.

The Futures are now

If you ever wanted a flashy version of Baseball Heroes, then this is the set for you.  But I don’t know why you would want that.

Spirograph in action

What is this “club” you speak of, and how would one go about joining?  Is that one of those, spend 50k/year and you’re in type of things?

Boy does that look like a terrible photoshop job.

2007 and 2008 Topps are still confusing to me.  I know that there are parallels and that they look very similar to the originals, so it’s hard to make myself care enough to hunt for them.  I imagine most people feel the same about sparkles from a year or more ago.

Probably not photoshopped

Don’t even get me started about how confusing Bowman is.  How many of you can actually identify a Bowman set without flipping it over and looking at the year?

Is that Slenderman in the bottom right corner?

Inserts that don’t look any different than the regular set do not make for a good product, especially when the product looks like this to begin with.

I’m stretching, I’m stretching.

Who needs spring training?  Just let me out on the field and I’ll hit a couple dozen taters.  You know the drill.

An X of an A

The only good thing to come from Upper Deck X were these inserts.  A die cut version of these would have been pretty nice, too.

See, doesn’t this look better than the other Piece of History card?

I don’t know how many As cards I had before, but this package significantly increased the percentage owned.

Not a bad combo at all.

It also certainly boosted by more modern Thomas collection.  Plenty of good late 2000s cards.

Frank is sad, reminiscing over his lost jersey

You know I had to save the hit for last, right?  This is actually the second Ultra Hitting Machines jersey card I own, but both are from different years, and the other doesn’t have a pinstripe.  This was a really nice surprise.

Thanks very much again to Nick for the great trade, but can you believe this still isn’t everything?  After two very long posts, there was yet another package that needs to be shown.  And show it I eventually should.  I hope.