Monday, May 18, 2020

Allons-y!

Last April, I decided to splurge a bit and a purchase a box of Doctor Who cards from Blowout Cards. To be fair, there was some sort of sale going on and the box was half-priced. (It's still available and on sale if you're interested.)

The box guarantees the full 88-card base set and two autographs. This is no ordinary box, however, as these are Widevision cards that measure 4 7/8 by 2 3/4 inches--they're big cards. The production was limited to just 1,500 boxes, and the box itself is pretty snazzy. 



The 88-card set depicts David Tennant's run as the 10th Doctor over three series (2005-2010).  Each episode gets two cards, with the exception of Tennat's last four episodes which were considered specials--they each received a single card. 

David Tennant is my favorite actor, and I was hoping to pull one his autographs but I wasn't that lucky. 


I still did had some decent luck, pulling what I considered the fourth best auto from a list of 38 signers (David Tennant, Billie Piper, and Alex Kingston would have been just ahead of John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness, though it's neck and neck.) The Captain Jack auto is considered a Bronze parallel (#/25). Base, Blue (#/50), Silver (#/10), and Gold (1/1) parallels are the other versions. 

I also pulled the very pixelated Oliver Moregenstern you see above. I'm not sure how apparent it is from the scan, but it's one of the most pixelated images I've seen on a card. I didn't initially recall who Oliver Morgenstern was and later looked it up to find out he played a medical student in the Series 3 premier, Smith and Jones. He later briefly appears in the Series 4 episode Turn Left, an alternate universe episode where we discover Martha Jones gave him the last oxygen to save him after the Royal Hope Hospital was transported to the moon by the Judoon. He's a minor character in both episodes, so this is certainly a "filler" autograph in the set. Still, I'm happy to have the card in my collection.


Before I reveal the set in its entirety, I thought I should also show what the backs of the cards look like. It's fairly simplistic. The name of the episode appears in the bar near the top of the card, and it's followed by a short plot summary of the episode. Becuase each episode gets two cards, the summary is split between both cards. You'll notice the summary on this cards ends with an ellipsis; the summary on the next card then begins with an ellipsis and completes the summary. The episode depicted above might be my favorite episode of the series, and it certainly contains one of my favorite lines

Without further ado, here's the complete base set for your viewing pleasure. Five years of fantastic television condensed into 88 slices of cardboard. 



Friday, May 15, 2020

Trade Pile 1: The Man of Steal Slides into the Stack

Remember, if you want to claim the Trade Pile, comment on this post (or email me) and let me know what you plan to send my way from my want lists. All you need to send is a single card I need and the entire stack is yours. 
2017 Topps Stadium Club Rickey Henderson Sepia

2017 Topps Gold Label Frank Thomas

2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars Nick Swisher

2017 Topps Bowman's Best Trey Mancini 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Spending Time in the Virtual Card Aisle

Over the last couple of months, my trips out into the world have been limited for obvious reasons. I leave my apartment maybe once every two weeks or so to make a trip to the grocery store, but I spend the rest of my time locked away in my cozy apartment. My circumstances probably aren't all that different from what you're likely facing, so it's no surprise I haven't picked up any cards in the Target aisle recently. 

But with all this time indoors, I have more time than ever to focus on my collection and I've turned to Sportslots to scratch my itch for cards over the last several weeks. In fact, I made a pretty big order a few weeks ago, but mindlessly got the cards organized and in binders before I remembered to scan them or write any blog posts. Oh well. 

To make up for that, I made another Sportlots order a couple weeks ago and was able to pick up about 70 new cards, all needs for my Dodgers flagship team sets. 



I tried to minimize shipping costs, so I confined all of my selections to a single seller who listed most of his cards at 18 cents a pop. I selected an arbitrary cutoff--2005--and worked my way through 2019 to fill the some of the gaps in my flagship binders. 

Despite having a decently sized Shawn Green collection, I was somehow missing his final flagship card for the Dodgers. I added the Dodgers big free-agent signing from the 2004 offseason while I was at it. 

Nostalgia has been a topic brought up on several blogs over the last few weeks--and maybe a topic I'll touch on in a future post--and these 2005 cards certainly bring back some memories. My baseball fandom and card collecting began in the early-to-mid-2000s, so this set has always been one of my favorites. 


2007, on the other hand, has always been a set I've wanted to like more than I do. I dig the fact that the cards are primarily black--hello, 1971--but they've just never had much of a personality to me. There's just not a ton of color built into the set, and I've never really understood the "four-square corners." Still, I do enjoy the fascimile autographs, especially Kuo's. I'm still 10 cards away from completing the set, but I'm inching closer.


The 2008 set is another one that sits pretty close to my heart. While I started collecting several years before this release, my earliest memory of ripping open a pack was with this set. I don't recall what I found in that pack, but most of my cards from that era of collecting days are gone now.I do remember pulling a Magglio Ordóñez bat relic around this time, though I think it was out of a pack of Topps Bazooka. 


 Is it just me, or do catachers get the best cards? 


Seriously. 



This is just a tremendous shot. Catcher's gear is coming off. Barnes and McCutchen look toward the sky, but we don't get to see the ball or the play. The blue and orange jerseys contrast perfeectly. What's not to love about a photo like this?


Besides the Barnes, I was also able to knock off several more 2019 needs. I only bought S1 last year, and I have a TON of it (anybody trying to complete their set?), so I needed to catch up on S2 and US. I'm still six cards away from being able to say I've completed the set, but I'm getting there. 


I've made considerable progress over the last several weeks, and I now have 47% of all Dodgers flagship cards produced since 1951. Not bad. That said, I've been wondering about the accuracy of my checklists/want lists for sets pre-1990s. I've stitched the checklists together from a variety of sites, but most checklists I've been able to locate don't typically list the team. Anybody have suggestsions for confirming my set needs? 

Monday, May 11, 2020

Trade Pile #1: Big Hurt Joins the Fun

Another AL slugger joins the Trade Pile today. No other notes to add today, but I'll be back with more posts this week. 

Remember, if you want to claim the Trade Pile, comment on this post (or email me) and let me know what you plan to send my way from my want lists. All you need to send is a single card I need and the entire stack is yours. 


2017 Topps Gold Label Frank Thomas



2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars Nick Swisher

2017 Topps Bowman's Best Trey Mancini 


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Trade with The Bucs Stop Here: A Legend, A Phenom, and Some Rookies

This week's second installment of very belated trade posts features some cardboard sent from my buddy Nate over at The Bucs Stop Here. This was another trade that happened last Fall, and it's unfortunate it's taken me this long to writer about it here on the blog--it was a doozy. 


Nate reached out to me when he returned to blogging last year and we quickly decided on a swap. back when i was pumping out blog posts daily in 2014-15, Nate and I were frequent traders, so I was glad to hear he was coming back to the blogosphere. I have no recollection of what I sent his way, so please let me know if you're waitng on cards from me, Nate, and I will hook you up.

When I first seriously started collecting six or seven years ago, my focus was largely on modern cards, modern players, and big hits. I had a good sense of the Dodgers' history, but I wasn't actively chasing down the organization's legends. Guys like Pee Wee Reese, Don Drysdale, Roy Campanella, and Don Newcombe were important but they never really had a designated spot in my collection. 

Flash forward to 2020, those legends are slowly becoming a bigger part of my PC, especially as I begin to pick up cards from their playing days. Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, and Duke Snider are now "official" player collections for me. Adding to those binders has been a slow process, so I was happy to see the Duke Snider mini above fall out of the pakage Nate sent my way. I'm up to a whopping 7 cards in my Duke Snider PC. 


While Duke is already cemented in Dodgers' history, another center fielder is on his way to doing the same. Cody Bellinger has quickly become one of the best players in the game, and I've made it a point to add as many of his cards to the collection as I can. If he continues to mash like he did in 2019, I might be priced out pretty soon. 


Speaking of expensive cards, it wasn't that long ago that Yasiel Puig's RCs demanded an absurd amount of money. I managed to pick up most of Yasiel's base cards from 2013, but this one from Update Series managed to evade capture for far too long. It was a delight to cross this one of my 2013 Flagship needs. Now, does anyone have an extra Hyun-Jin Ryu (US-192) hanging around? 


Ryu's rookie from 2013 Update Series might be missing from my binder, but his rookie from Topps Archive based on the 1990 set is not. Ryu has been one of my favorite players since he came to the Majors from the KBO, so it was a bummer to see him ditch Dodger blue for Blue Jay blue this offseason. 


Nate also included a number of new cards for some of my PCs, including the following Chrome cards for Corey Seager and Clayton Kershaw. I'm not big on the 2017 design, but I'm a sucker for chrome. 

Nate and I may have gone 5 years between trades, but now that we're both back and blogging, I feel our next swap won't take so long. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Trade Pile #1: Nick Swisher Joins the Stack

File this under something I completey missed, but apparently I made my 500th post on this blog over the weeked. More impressive, I've posted on the blog for four consecutive days for the first time since December/January 2014-2015. 

Annyway, I'm tossing another card onto the Trade Pile today. Welcome to the club, Nick Swisher. Remember, if you want to claim the Trade Pile, comment on this post (or email me) and let me know what you plan to send my way from my want lists. All you need to send is a single card I need and the entire stack is yours. 

2. 2009 Upper Deck Siganture Stars Nick Swisher


1. 2017 Topps Bowman's Best Trey Mancini 


Monday, May 4, 2020

Trade with Nachos Grande: A Very Belated Post

This week will feature a pair of belated posts recounting trades from 2019. The first is a swap I made with Nachos Grande way back in August of last year. 


My memory of the trade is a bit hazy to be perfectly honest, and I don't quite remember everything that was sent my way. That said, I do know I was able to mark off a number of my 2011 Flagship needs, including the fantastic Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier card above. I'm not sure how I managed to go this long without ever seeing it before this trade. 


The centerpiece of this deal, however, is the fantastic collection of horse cards you see above. I've been chasing the Mares & Stallions subset for 2019 A&G, and this trade put me close to completing it. I'm just two cards away from completing this set (still looking for #s 1 and 12); I'm much further behind in the 2017 Horses the Race subset. 

Thanks for the trade!

Sunday, May 3, 2020

My First Completed Set from the 70s

Over the last several years, my collecting goals have been adjusted, readjusted, forgotten about, then readjusted again. A large part of that has been due to my nomad-like 20s. I've moved 7 times since the fall of 2017, and it's hard to have any kind of consistency in collecting or blogging when I'm packing up all of my stuff every 4.5 months (on average). 

For awhile, I was having a soft-restart with each new move. I announced new mini-collections, dropped PCs (bye, Matt Kemp), added new PCs (hello, Walker Buehler), and even moved the blog ot a new domain (then back again) over the last year-and-a-half. Frankly, it's been difficult maintaining these new collections considering I haven't made any time to actually go and add new cards to them. But I'm finally at a point where I feel confident in my ability to devote time to collecting and blogging, and that's a great feeling. 

Despite all of the ups-and-downs over the last few years, I've been steadfast in my chase to complete every Dodgers' team set from Topps Flagship dating back to 1951. Considering there are 2,117 cards to chase as of this post, this has been and will continue to be a long-term (and everlasting) project. But I've made a ton of progress over the last two weeks alone, and I'm happy to begin showing off some of my spoils. 


What better place to begin than with some sweet vintage cardboard. In one quick (and inexpensive) eBay purchase, I managed to complete the colorful 1975 set. I had seven cards from the set heading into the purchase, but happened upon this lot of 26 cards--the exact 26 I needed to complete the 33-card set. After shipping costs and tax were accounted for, these checked in at just 47 cents a pop. Not too bad. 


By my count, there are 7 different color combinations for the 1975 set (please chime in if I'm incorrect), some better than others. I absolutely love the blue/green combo as seen in the Manny Mota card in the scan above, as well as the red/blue combo seen on the Geoff Zahn. I'm a sucker for blue Dodgers' cards, so that's not surprising. The yellow/red and yellow/green combos are also pretty sweet, and that Ron Cey card is a thing of beauty. 


One of the most interesting features of this set--and probably most sets from the 70s--is the sheer amount of sideburns. I counted 17 dudes with sideburns in the Dodgers cards alone, ranging from Rick Auerbachs' modest sidesburns to Jim Wynn's...well, I don't know what to call them. One thing's for sure, someone needs to create a bracket for best sideburns on a baseball card. 


There are a lot of standout cards in the set, but Steve Garvey's takes the cake for me. In fact, when I think of Garvey cards, this is the first one that comes to mind. It's honestly a little surprising considering the popularity/notoriety of his 1973 card--that 1973 being one of my favorite cards in existence. 

The 1975 set marks my first completed set from the 1970s and the earliest set I'm completed to date. Even with this set completed, I still only have 35% of the decade collected, so I'll need to continue filling the gaps. For those interested, here's a snapshot of my progress from 1951-2020. You can view the full spreadsheet which includes year-by-year breakdowns of my needs here.