2015 NSCC #7 – Continuing the Series

This weekend I went to a card show for the first time since attending the NSCC.  It’s a monthly show down in Orland Park, which is a bit of a drive for me.  I’ve never made it out to this venue, but I’ve been itching to search some bins and it’s advertised as 70 Tables for $1 admission.  Well, I didn’t get a whole lot.  I’ll save the specifics for another post, but you can get a preview by checking my twitter.

For now, we still have some NSCC cards to show off.  I bought a boat load at the National (wish I could justify the trip out east for this year’s show) and I need to continue this series if I’m going to get through them all at some point.

Aggressive turn

And so that’s the theme of the night:  cardboard mini-series where you have multiple cards of the same player in the insert set.

Tower of

I think it’s a nice touch to show his power by picking a picture with a broken bat.  At least I think it is.  Maybe it’s the angle, but I’m going to assume it’s a broken bat.

Or could have been called Anticipation

He looks prepared to me.  Almost to the point of boredom.

I love that C logo

Leaf had so much fun with the all Thomas insert set in 1993, they decided to do it again in 1995.

Look out behind you!

These are a little gaudier, but get the job done.  One card for each of his seasons thus far.  I’m missing season 2.  It was probably on the show floor, but I probably passed it up.

No need to run when you hit like that

I’m also missing season 6.  I’m not showing 5, because I didn’t get it at the show.  In case you care for some reason.

1998 #13

Pattern #13 – Lily Pads

It’s been a while, but here’s a new entry in the “Name the Pattern” list for Topps Tek.

2014 no pattern number given

There’s nothing to name here.  The card isn’t named, but catalogs do it for us because Topps didn’t number the patterns in the revamp of Tek.  This is the most common Spiral Brick format.  Makes sense.

Gwynn : Panini :: Thomas : Leaf

To finish it off, we have this big insert set thing celebrating Tony Gwynn’s 3000th hit.  I honestly didn’t know about this mini-marathon until after I got home.  I bet I saw a few more of these, but assumed I had them because I grabbed this.  Little did I know it’s a 21 card set (all separately numbered to 3000).  Now I know for next time!

Man, I just came back from a card show and I already want to go to another one.  Someone make that happen.

If I Were To Collect: San Francisco Giants Edition

[The eighteenth 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 recently went to San Francisco for a pseudo-anniversary vacation.  The city is my wife’s home away from home since she lived there (and Oakland) for a few key formative years and has several close friends there.  She usually makes her way back every year or so, but it was my first visit since we drove across country to move her back to Chicago in about 2010 (I think. I’m not great with keeping dates straight.).

San Francisco is a wonderful place to visit and I enjoyed my time walking around, but I personally could never live there (even if it didn’t cost an internal organ a month to rent a 1BR, zero bath studio apartment).  I’m happy walking around there, but taking public transportation is kind of annoying.  And driving, which is my preferred mode, would make me insane with the hills and impossible parking and confusing street set up.  I wouldn’t want to leave my house.

I’m getting off track.  Part of my visit this time was to go to a Giants game.  I’d never been to a non-Wrigley MLB park before!  Honestly, I have no idea how it compares to other ball parks, but it seemed pretty nice.  They had escalators in certain parts.  That’s new to me.  It smelled clean (compared to the normal smell of the city, which is a mix of garbage and marijuana – and occasionally fish if you’re closer to the bay).  We had a nice view in the upper deck, virtually in line with the first base bag looking straight out at the giant wire frame neon Coke bottle and mitt.

It was Willie Mays’ 85th birthday, and every fan got a little poster to commemorate it.  But, for some reason, that wasn’t the big promotion of the night.  We were there for Metallica Night, and we had the special tickets to take home one of these:


They are surprisingly heavy, sturdy and well made.  This isn’t some cheap plastic toy.  You could hurt somebody with this.  Pretty cool.  We have two and don’t need a double, so if someone’s interested, I could be talked out of it, otherwise, we might sell one on ebay.

So, Metallica guitared the national anthem and God Bless America and did the 7th inning stretch, etc.  That was cool.  But I’m still very confused as to why Willie Mays wasn’t the focus.  I mean, the team had 84 years to prepare for this night.  And he was there!  There was a point where the stadium sung Happy Birthday to him and they showed him up in some VIP club house suite.  Even better is that in between innings, they played video messages on the scoreboard to share their personal Mays memories and well wishes, including ones from Barack Obama and Vin Scully.

The only thing I can think of is that maybe Willie didn’t want to be running around doing all this stuff, and the Giants knew that.  I hope that’s all it was.  Either way, it was a fun night that ended in a Giants win over the Rockies.

No idea how I got this unlicensed broder looking thing

With story time out of the way, let’s dive into my pick for the series.  I’m choosing Kevin Mitchell.  He was a key part of the Mets team that I loved growing up.  He was probably my third favorite behind Doc and Straw.  He also happened to win an MVP with the Giants in 1989.  Aside from that, he would be pretty easy to collect, since there are very few contemporary cards made of the guy and he missed the vast majority of the insert and parallel bloat eras.

Talk about choking up on the bat

Current player runner-up:  Angel Pagan

I liked him as a Cub back in the day, and I’m glad he found a regular role with a team that could get him a ring.  I would have picked Hunter Pence, if only for the fact that he uses Quad City DJ’s “My Boo” as his walk up music, but he has cards in the Moments and Milestones set and that’s tough to take on – even hypothetically.

Into the cove

Retired player runner-up: Willie McCovey

Mays is too expensive.  Bonds is meh.  Those are the only others I might consider.  McCovey has a damn cove named after him.  He was also a ROY and MVP, a 6-time All-Star and first ballot Hall of Famer.  Yet, I don’t think he has enough clout in the collecting community.  That should change.

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
Giants – Kevin Mitchell
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

2016 Cubs – The Second 10 Games

I had fun putting together the first of these posts, so why not make it regular feature?  If nothing else, it’s another excuse to show more random cards.

I’m behind due to vacation, and getting caught up with work after vacation and then getting sick after vacation, so I don’t remember everything that happened during these games, but I do know that we continued to do well, winning 7 more games.  This season has been pretty fun.  The record is just a bonus.  I really hope everyone is enjoying their season as well.

Enough talk, let’s pick 7 more random Kerry Wood cards (because I have a ton of them) – one for each win – and celebrate that baseball season is still happening!

I miss Flair

This stretch of ten games saw us lose our first series against the Colorado Rockies.

I don’t miss SP Authentic.  At all.

But, more importantly, we also took two series against division rivals on the road, beating the slow to start Cardinals and the Reds.

May be one of the better contemporary SPx looks

As a side note, I’m really surprised by the Cardinals and Pirates.  I know the Cubs have had a hot start that’s unsustainable, but I have to think that both of them started off on an equally unsustainable bad stretch.  Expect this race to get close as things even out.

I kinda want to open a box of Diamond Connection.  They’re kinda cheap, too.

Some of our wins were really big and lopsided, which was a lot of fun to watch.

2003 was a pretty good Cubs year too, for a while.

However, it fired up the hype machine.  Run differential, run differential.  Will we get the record?  I don’t give a flying W flag.  Let’s just get to the playoffs.

Not an MVP worthy card design

I’m happy that we are able to find ways to win.  It’s nice to have a pretty big buffer in the win column to start the season.

This is much better

Because I’m telling you, no matter how safe that lead seems to be, anything can happen.  Right, 2003 Kerry Wood?

Maddux Overload – 1997 Edition


The Green Bay Packers claim the Super Bowl title over the New England Patriots, and I’m sure the commercials were better than they would be a decade later.

The Bulls repeat for the second time in their history, by beating the Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals.  Also, the Houston Comets win the first WNBA title, beating the New York Liberty.

Tiger Woods takes the golfing world by storm and dominates in the Masters with a 12 stroke victory.

This time Martina Hingis is one major away from winning the Grand Slam. But her loss comes in the French Open.

The Detroit Red Wings beat the Philadelphia Flyers in 4 straight games to claim their Stanley Cup victory.

The Florida Marlins won their first world series, only a few years into their existence, beating the Indians in 7 games.

And in 1997, card manufacturers released 285 cards of Greg Maddux that I deemed worthy of my collecting efforts.

Thanks to the generosity of reader Jeremy, originally mentioned in our landmark 500th post (and in my 1993 Overload post, and 1994 post, and 1995 post, and 1996 post), I now have three times as many of those cards as I did before.

1997 Before Jeremy – 18/285 cards – 6%

1997 After Jeremy – 55/285 cards (including zero upgrades) – 19%

1997 takes a small step back in the amount of cards to chase.  1996 had about 30 more cards, but just wait until next year.

Since Jeremy’s package, I’ve acquired 11 more 1997 cards, putting me at about 1/4th of the grand total, so there’s plenty of progress yet to be made.  For now, let’s focus on what Jeremy sent.

Purple Nurple

One of the best things about Bowman is that it doesn’t focus on the veterans.  They’re almost an afterthought.  That means all I need for the paper Bowman to complete my Maddux set is the international backdrop.

Not the best I’ve seen

Bowman’s Best, on the other hand, may be the death of me.  This year will be doubly tough thanks to the Mirror Image insert, which not only has refractor and atomics, but also “inverted” versions of all three.  Oh, and Kerry Wood is on there, so I kinda need two of each to cover both binders.

Like a tiny boss in the bottom left corner

Circa is a crappy set that only has any sort of hobby relevance due to the difficult to find Rave cards.  Without those, it would be treated like pure disposable junk wax.

Looking more like a normal Upper Deck set

Sadly, Collector’s Choice got rid of the silver signatures in ’97.  Actually, maybe I shouldn’t be sad about losing parallels.  I wish current card sets would dump a few tiers.

Trapper Keeper not included

Hooray for stickers.  These may not be glow in the dark, but that’s just about the only thing working against them.  Decorate your card binder today!

The Regular-Sized Card

This set is still insert heavy, at least.  And this particular insert has its own parallel with a gaudy foil stamp.  This is the less fancy (?) version.

Might as well be camouflage

I can’t think of a more forgettable flagship set than this 1997 Donruss.  I’m sure I’ve seen this card dozens of times in my binders and elsewhere, but if this post wasn’t all about 1997 cards, and you hid the back from me, I’d have no idea what it is.  Show me tomorrow, and I still won’t.

That’s an okay career ERA, I guess

This checklist subset looks better thanks to the star burst, but I still wouldn’t be able to place it very easily.

Royal purple

So, based on the arrows, it’s safe to say that Greg Maddux is the King of the Hill, but Donruss (which, as a company, pitches right handed) is at the bottom.  Hey, they said it!  It’s their arrow.

From what I’ve seen, this set is not too Limited

On the other side of this card is David Cone.  He was Greg’s “Counterpart” at this time, per Leaf.  I’ll have to take their word.

Looks like an insert, but is actually a subset

This is such a great picture.  That brow gives a look that says “Don’t frame me and treat me like I’m some dead ancient relic.  I still have a decade of ballgames in me.”

I don’t see no signature

So, I know that I said Bowman’s Best might kill me, but this set might break the bank as well.  There are two autographs to chase, one #’d to 400 and the other with only 100 copies.  20 years later, basically none are in circulation and there are quite a lot of people that are actively seeking these, driving the price quite high.  Let’s just say that stuff like this will be saved for last.

Sky high

The future inspiration for 2013 Clear Visions.  I love acetate cards that also have some sort of image or color.  I wish there were so many that I got sick of them.

Could do without the gray fog border

This is a surprisingly bad ass shot.  It just goes to show you how much impact a slight shift in angle or perspective can have.

Tire tread, asphalt or stone?

And this card goes to show you that everyone feel victim to using terrible computer graphics in their designs.  What an awful texture.

Wrestling title belt set

Yeesh.  Why?

Brown diamonds?

This isn’t much better.  Why do Pacific cards look so second rate?

I think this is the same photo session as the Leaf card

Yes, somehow this looks more professional.  I’ve been searching for some cans of cards to open, but haven’t had any luck on the cheap.  People want like $10 each for an unopened case of 24 or 48 cans.  That’s insane.

Just your common checklist

For the X-Press set, I mostly just need the Metal Works trio of actual metal cards.  I’m not sure if I’ve seen one out in the open yet.

Where’s the cool, crazy colored border?

Get ready for a few Score cards.  There are several variations on these, but I don’t fully understand them.  You’ll see soon.

Paper beats one of these

A random subset card means a few more variation cards to chase.

Paper would not beat another one

Like this Hobby Reserve thing.

Gray doesn’t count as a crazy color

Or this very similar, but supposedly different Private Stock thing.

Select Start

Goofy and aloof pictures aside, I actually enjoy this design.  Time will tell if the parallels will hold up in the same way.  There are always parallels….  Sigh….

Super foil and die cut

I have a few of these Marquee Matchups, but all of them are halves.  I don’t have a single complete set.  I’m sure it would be anti-climactic if I did, but these things remind me of older sticker albums.

Super foil and die cut and holograms

Jeremy sent me two of these SPx beauties.  This is the normal version (just in case you’re needing to compare).

See above

And this one is considered the Steel version.  There is a silver that is very similar, but this is not that.  I don’t have the silver to show for Maddux, nor do I have Bronze or Gold.  Hopefully some day.

On the bump, in two ways

The only reason I remember this year of Stadium Club is that the nameplate is raised.  Stack all of those up and you got some lopsided piles.  Otherwise, they are pretty forgettable.

Green borders not working well

1997 was a very light year for Topps cards.  If you don’t count Bowman or Finest, that is.  If you were to buy a box of 1997 Topps cards, you might only find 2 cards.  This is one of those.

Chrome hides it somewhat

The same goes for Chrome, except there was no insert card, just this and the refractor.  And there weren’t multiple levels or colors.  Just the regular one.  How far we’ve gone.  Or fallen?  Fallen.

That’s a lot of stars

Topps Stars was just getting its sea legs, too.  I still need the foiled out parallel and some insert, but I think this is the only year without multiple levels.

Pitcher batting in foil

If found a whole box of this stuff for less than $10 (I think – maybe it was $12?) at the National in 2015.  That would be unfathomable for me as a teen in 1997.  So, I have doubles of this now.

Cool angle, but bad picture

Ultra, compared to Topps, had 13 cards this year.  The toughest will be the Platinum Medallion, which was a new addition.  Can’t wait to see how that guard railing looks.

Batting Donut alert

Greg had two checklists this year, which are both basically inserts.  I’m missing most of the better inserts, still.

I love pictures like this

Since we’re playing this game, Upper Deck only has 12 cards including 5 from the main set.  How crazy is that?

Just how they teach it

This is another one of those 5.  You can make your own jokes, but I’ll take the high road and say the photographer caught him in the middle of an impromptu Chicken Dance.

Ooo, look at those colors pop

Now, to close it all out, we have a full bleed Zenith card.  This is the small version.  These boxes came with a few regular sized cards like this and then two 8×10 cards per pack (one of which was dufex).  I bought a box of 1997 Zenith, but did not land either large Maddux, so for now Jeremy is the only source of these.

As always, thank you very much to Jeremy for the great package of cards.  We’ll see you again in 1998!

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?