Friday, January 8, 2021

RIP Tommy Lasorda

The Dodgers announced the unfortunate passing of Hall-of-Fame manager Tommy Lasorda this morning. My Dodger fandom began long after Lasorda had retired from managing, but he still played a large role with the organization and had Dodger blue running through his veins. I'm glad Tommy was able to see the Dodgers win one final championship in 2020. 


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Catching Up on Some 2020 Things

It's been nearly six months since my last post, and quite a lot has happened since then. COVID continued to rage on (and still does), Alex Trebek passed away, and Blogger pushed a terrible new interface onto us. What a sad, strange, weird year. Emphasis on the sad. 

Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the Los Angeles Dodgers won the 2020 World Series, their first in 32 years and their first championship during my lifetime. Some good things did happen in 2020. 

I don't have much of an excuse for my absence over the last several months. Work got super busy when August rolled around, cards were hard to find, and I simply didn't feel up to scanning, updating my checklists, and blogging. I suppose I can blame it on 2020 or just on a bunch of little things. As Hank Scorpio says, "Can't argue with the little things, it's the little things that make up life." 

With the exception of a small purchase at a card shop in Ohio and a fun Christmas gift from my dad, I haven't added any new cards since the summer. So I figured it's a good time to catch up on a few trades from 2020 I never got around to posting about. 

Before I do so, I'd encourage anyone I owe cards to to reach out either in the comments, email, or Twitter. I don't think I'm in debt to anyone, and I'll be going back through old emails etc. to double check, but I just want to be sure. Now back to our regularly scheduled program...

We'll start first with a pair of cards sent my way from Nate (The Bucs Stop Here). I believe Nate managed to get his hands on some Bowman last Summer and was kind enough to send some of the Dodgers my way, including a super shiny Dustin May rookie card. May didn't wind up winning Rookie of the Year in 2020, but he was a solid piece for the eventual champions. Plus he did this to Manny Machado. Nasty!

A shiny Tony Gonslin was also included in this package, and like Dustin May, Gonsolin played a pivotol role in the Dodgers rotation in 2020. He narrowly missed out on Rookie of the Year honors himself. 

Next up, some "old" cards from GCRL. A handful of Dodgers from 1990 Flagship has pushed me closer to completing the team set. Just five more cards will close the door on 1990, and I'm getting closer to completing the entire decade. 

I'm also inching closer to completing the team sets of the 1980s, and this deal officially completes the 1987 Flagship set--my first completed team set in the 1980s. All seven cards below hail from the Traded series, an area that has prevented me from finishing out many of my sets from the decade. In fact, I have 74% of all 1980s Flagship Dodgers, but these pesky Traded cards stand in my way of completing most of the sets. I suppose one of my goals for 2021 will be to finally finish these off. 

Thanks for the cards, guys!

I'm hoping to get back into the rhythm of things and post regularly in 2021, so stay tuned. I've still got a few trades to cover after all. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Trade Pile 6: #content

Work has been a bear the last week or so, so I'm a bit behind on posting. Seems like an appropriate time to add to the Trade Pile. #content 

Remember, if you want to claim the Trade Pile, comment on this post (and email me your address) and let me know what you plan to send my way from my want lists. I'm also always on the lookout for cards I don't own of my player collections. All you need to send is a single card I need and the entire stack is yours. 

2004 Topps Total Juan Uribe #594

1996 Topps Chrome Alex Rodriguez #3

2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes #188 Rodriguez/Jeter/Cano 

Monday, July 27, 2020

More of the Same

Earlier this month I walked away from a Target grocery run with several boxes of cards. I wrote about the first two boxes here and here, and today I'll recap the final one. This time we're talking Series Two.

I'll give it to you right at the top--none of the Series Two I opened held any hits, variations, or Luis Robert cards. If you're looking for those, you'd best stop reading now.

No, these boxes were pretty par from the course and included a steady diet of base cards and the occasional insert.

I'm not typically a big fan of insert sets that focus on a single player (the Gleyber Torres set from a year or two ago was annoying), though I'm okay with this Players of the Decade set featuring Mike Trout. Trout will go down as one of the greatest players of all-time, so that's more excusable than a rookie from New York.

I attempted to purchase the Dodgers team set on eBay when the set was released, but didn't find any listings with a low enough price. So I'll be chasing these the old-fashioned way. These boxes held four of the twelve Dodgers from S2.

A Turkey Red Joc Pederson dropped out of a pack, and I'll happily take it. Joc was nearly traded to the Angels in the offseason, but he's still a Dodger for now. Not so sure that'll be the case after this season.

Rounding out these cards with another Turkey Red, this time of an absolutely jacked Rickey Henderson. I'm not sure which stint with Oakland this photo is from, though I wonder if it coincided with Canseco and McGwire's--looks like he could be a third Bash Brother.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Something Cool and Yellow

Night Owl said it best in his blog post yesterday: "Just about anything good that happens this month I consider a birthday gift."

Like Night Owl, my birthday was earlier this month, and I'm lumping together all of the good things that happen in July as a gift from the cosmos. I've received several card packages over the last few weeks from fellow bloggers and readers, and though I doubt many (if any) had my birthday in mind, I've decided to consider them all birthday gifts anyway.

Earlier this week a bubble mailer arrived, and I knew it to be an intentional birthday gift. After all, my dad is the one who sent it.


A 1959 Topps Sandy Koufax. It's the first Sandy Koufax card from his playing days in my collection (though he is featured on the 1966 NL K Leaders card #226 with Cloninger and Drysdale which I also have). Still, this is the first proper Koufax card I get to call my own. 

My dad and I had a conversation about possible birthday gifts a couple of weeks ago, and this card happened to make its way into our talk. Little did I know it'd be in my hands just a few days later.

The card is in pretty good shape, with the borders being the big knock against it. I'm not a condition snob, so it does not bug me at all. 

And the last thing I'll do is complain about owning a Sandy Koufax card. 

I'm not sure why the back scanned so dark, but here it is. 

It's strange to see Koufax's numbers so mediocre. This is still early in his career, but a 4.20 career ERA certainly doesn't seem right. Koufax was still a couple of years away from his first otherworldy season, and ended his career with a stellar 2.76 ERA. 

I absolutely love the cartoon here, though there are at least a few hitting coaches that might take exception with this guy's approach at the plate. Most glaring is his hand position--now I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure holding them together on the bat doesn't lead to much success. FWOOOSH. 

2020 has been a terrible year so far, though July has had it's moments. 

Baseball is back. I took some vacation. And now I added a Koufax to the collection. 

Not bad birthday gifts at all. 

Thanks, Dad!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

I Bought into the Hype

Before we get to my recent t206 purchase, be sure to head over to my buddy Nate's blog at The Bucs Stop Here to enter his latest contest. Just make your MLB predictions for the year, and you might win some free cards. And give him a follow if you don't already.

Now back to our regular programming....

A few months back Topps announced the return of the popular 206 line of cards. They were to be sold exclusively on the Topps website with card counts limited to the number of packs purchased. This isn't something I'd typically go for, but in a COVIDworld where picking up new packs of cards was few and far between, I bought into the hype.

The cards are released in ten different waves, so the two boxes I purchased were part of the first release, or Series One I suppose. The first release contains two different Dodgers (Corey Seager and Gavin Lux) though they didn't make an appearance in the boxes I opened.

First impressions: these cards are a bit too over-filtered. (A complaint I have with many current day Topps' products.) 

Now that's not to say I didn't add some cool new cardboard to my collection. You can't go wrong with a pack of cards containing Mike Trout, Mr. October, and Johnny Bench. 

Some current baseball players were also represented, including the Yankees newest and most expesive starter. The collation between the two boxes wasn't great. Of the twenty cards between the two boxes, I received dupes of Gerrit Cole and Scott Kingery. It doesn't seem like much, but that's 10% of the cards. Not insignificant.

Though these boxes can contain "surprise autographs" and rare back variations, mine didn't have 'em. Each box does promise two "Piedmont" back cards, which you can see above next to the standard back. Unless I'm missing something, it doesn't appear that these cards are numbered. I'm not sure if this is normal for a Topps online exclusive product or not.

These are enjoyable cards, but it's unlikely I'd buy packs of these again. At fifteen bucks a pack, the value just isn't there for me. I'm sure I could find the Dodgers for a fraction of what I spent on these two boxes alone. 

But hype can be hard to ignore sometimes. 

And I suppose that's how I wind up with trade bait. 

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Trade Pile 6: Adding On and Paging Contest Winners

I'm adding to the trade pile and also paging a few contest winners. I still need to ship out six packages, but I need addresses from all but one of you. (Gavin, I've got your Mookie Betts card set aside, and I'm waiting on soem shipping materials to arrive to my apartment before I ship.) Can the following folks reach out to me via email ( with their mailing address? Peter S., Bret Alan, Comatoad, Adam K., and Swing and a Pop Up. 

Remember, if you want to claim the Trade Pile, comment on this post (and email me your address) and let me know what you plan to send my way from my want lists. I'm also always on the lookout for cards I don't own of my player collections. All you need to send is a single card I need and the entire stack is yours. 

2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes #188 Rodriguez/Jeter/Cano 

1996 Topps Chrome Alex Rodriguez #3

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Trade Pile 6: Baseball Heroes

Another day, another trade pile. These have been moving incredibly quick, so act fast if you're interested. 

Remember, if you want to claim the Trade Pile, comment on this post (and email me your address) and let me know what you plan to send my way from my want lists. I'm also always on the lookout for cards I don't own of my player collections. All you need to send is a single card I need and the entire stack is yours. 

2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes #188 Rodriguez/Jeter/Cano 

Monday, July 13, 2020

Making Progress

It's goal-setting season at work. Time to sit down, evaluate my performace, and check off the boxes to say I'm on my way to accomplishing my goals for 2020.  

Except I'm not doing that.

When I say it's goal-setting season, I actually mean it's time to revisit the goals I was supposed to have made at the beginning of the year. 

I didn't do that either. 

Now before you assume I'm a bad employee, I should mention that I'm actually exempt from setting goals in my role. Most everyone in the company sets goals, but the sales team doesn't have to jump through these hoops. Our goals are numbers based and assigned to us late in Q1. I don't have a say in what my goals actually are. 

Things are a bit different over here in the collecting world. 

I set goals for myself. I have the freedom to adjust them throughout the year or completely drop them if I wish. If I don't meet my goals, I won't be fired or disciplined. Heck, I can have the same goal year after year. It doesn't matter. 

To put it succinctly, my collecting goals are arbitrary. 

And heading into this year, I really only had one goal: make progress on my Dodgers team sets for Topps Flagship. 

And thanks to many of you, I've accomplished that.

Greg over at The Collective Mind recently sent over a handful of Dodgers from various sets, including the 1983 and 1978 cards you see above. Don't be fooled by the scan on these '78s, Greg didn't cut off bottom part of these cards--that was the work of my auto-scanner. The full cards are resting nicely in their binder, and I didn't feel the need to scan them again. 

With these additions, my 1978 set is now 79% complete (23/29) and the 1983 set is now at 66% (21/32). Definitely making progress.

Perhaps the best cards in this package were actually a pair from 2014 Update: Clayton Kershaw and Chone Figgins. Both of these cards were on my Most Wanted list on the sidebar and now that they're in hand, I can officially say the 2014 set is complete.

It's just the sixth team set completed to date, but I'm making progress. 

Bo over at Baseball Cards Come to Life! also dropped some more Dodgers on me recently via PWE. He's made a dent in several of my checklists over the last several weeks, this time targeting 1981 and 1984. 

My progress on both of these sets trails the average for the decade (72% of the 80s completed), as 1981 sits at 56% (18/32) while 1984 checks in a bit higher at 68% (21/31). I've yet to complete my first set from the '80s, though I imagine that will happen at some point this year. 

I'm not exactly sure where I started the year, but I'm currently at 51% total for all Dodgers team sets. I was around 47% just a couple of months ago, so it is nice being over the halfway marker now. Still, with only six of the sets complete there is more work to be done. 

So don't mind me if I continue to have the same goal year in and year out. There's always progress to be made. 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

The Card(s) That Got You into Collecting

Back at the beginning of June I ended a post with a simple question: what card(s) got you into collecting? 

Thirty-three different readers responded to that question and shared their stories about the sets and cards that turned them into collectors. Responses mentioned sets and cards spanning decades from the 1960s to the 2010s. 1987 Topps was by far the most popular set mentioned, as five readers named it a set that either got them into collecting or the set that got them back into collecting. No other set garnered more than a single mention. 

Baseball wasn't the only sport named either, as there were a couple mentions of both hockey and football. Even non-sports cards got some action by the way of Wacky Packages, Star Wars, and Pok√©mon. 

Many of you pointed to sets that got you into collecting while others cited specific cards. In fact twenty-two different cards were mentioned (two these being team cards). Thirteen of these were hitters and seven were pitchers. We can also break this down into NL and AL clubs (by today's organization): twelve cards for NL teams, ten for AL. 

Of the forty-one different sets and cards named, only seven were not Topps products. 

How were the various decades represented? Five mentions of the 1960s, seventeen mentions of the 1970s, fifteen mentions of the 1980s, six mentions of the 1990s, one mention of the 2000s, and one mention of the 2010s. Assuming most of you likely began collecting at somepoint during our childhoods, it's fair to say a majority of you were likely born 60s and 70s. 

I'm sure there are other insights we can gain from this information, and I encourage you to bring up any other patterns you may have noticed in the comments. If you didn't get in on the fun back in June, I invite you to do so now and share the card(s) that got you into collecting in the comments below.

You wouldn't think I'd post without leaving pictures? Below you can find a visual walkthrough organized by decade of all of your responses. 

1960-61 Topps Hockey
1965 Topps Ernie Banks
1968 Topps Tigers

1968 Topps Willie Mays #50

1969 Topps Baseball

1970s Wacky Packages

1973 Topps Baseball

1974 Topps Eduardo Rodriguez
1974 Topps Pedro Garcia

1974 Topps Tommy John

1974 Topps Carl Yastrzemski
1975 Topps Baseball

1975 Topps Darold Knowles

1975 Topps Ron Cey
1975 Topps Hal McRae
1975 Topps John Hiller
1975 Topps Mickey Stanley
1977 Topps Baseball
1977 Topps Star Wars

1978 Topps Bill Travers
1978 Topps Mike Schmidt

1979 Topps Baseball

1980 Topps Frank White All-Star
1981 Donruss Al Hrabosky

1983 Topps Baseball

1984 Topps Baseball

1986 Topps Stickers Dickie Thon

1986 Topps Baseball
1987 Fleer Mike Easler All Star

1987 Sportsflics

1987 Topps Baseball

1987 Topps Reds Leaders

1988 Topps Football

1990 Donruss Baseball

1993 Donruss Elite Barry Bonds
1994 Topps Football

1994 Topps Hockey

1994 Collector's Choice Nolan Ryan Silver Signature

2001 Upper Deck Ichiro

2015 Topps Baseball