Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey Stuff

I found myself with time to kill while gallivanting around Manhattan a couple of weeks ago, and I happened to find my way into a card shop. Well, I suppose it's more of a comic shop, but they had some cards and I had some cash, so it seemed like a good fit. 

They had a few baseball products (Series 1 and Heritage) but mostly purveyed in non-sports cards. And while I primarily collect baseball, I didn't have much of a choice when I found loose packs of Doctor Who cards. 




I am a huge Whovian, that is, a fan of Doctor Who. Or, as my girlfriend would probably say, a huge nerd. 

For those unfamiliar, Doctor Who is a long-running show on the BBC that originally premiered in 1963. It aired until 1989 but was revived in 2006. It follows the Doctor (played at times by several different men--and one woman) and his companions as they travel across space and time. It's so incredibly cheesy and dorky, and I love it. If you have Amazon Prime Video and are itching for a new show to watch, I'd highly recommend it--just prepare for some of the worst special effects ever in the first couple of seasons. 

There have been a few different Doctor Who products over the past few years, including two signature series sets where the focus has been on the autos. The packs I found at this card shop, however, were not from the signature series sets; rather, they hail from the 2015 Topps Doctor Who set. 


The set features a variety of characters and scenes from the show, broken into sets of "Time Lords," "Companions," "Aliens," and Villians," among others. This Krafayis card happens to be an alien (and villian) from one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes: Vincent and the Doctor. I highly suggest any Van Gogh fans check this episode out. Sneak peek below.





The Doctor has had his fair share of gadgets over the years, including the adorable K9. It's a dog and a robot. Twice the pet and none of the mess. 



I didn't manage to find an auto in any of the packs I bought (I'll get my hands on a David Tennant signature one of these days), though I did get a nice hit of sorts: a blue parallel #'d to 199 of The War Doctor. 


The War Doctor was depicted by John Hurt in a few episodes in 2013. Sadly, Hurt passed away just over two years ago. 


The back of these cards are fairly basic but provide some cool information, including a quick recap of the character and an Origin Year which serves as a quick and easy guide to the character's origin. The Tardis is also a cool addition. 


While most of the cards in the set focus in on characters and moments from "New" Who (a colloquial term for the revived version of the show) there are some great cards of moments from the first iteration of the show. I've yet to go back and watch any of the original series, but the Fourth Doctor seems like a fun character.

I've considered purchasing a box of Doctor Who cards for some time now, but I haven't yet pulled the trigger. There are some great autos mixed into the product, including David Tennant, Alex Kingston, and Billie Piper, but the price point hasn't been low enough yet. I imagine I'll probably chase the base sets in the near future, however. 

The universe is big, it's vast and it's complicated. Any other Whovians out there? 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Some Quick Notes on 2019 Heritage

Heritage has always been a hit-or-miss type of set for me, largely dependant on how I view the original set. I've enjoyed the last few years of Heritage and those designs from the late-60s, but I've never really been a fan of the 1970 set which really makes 2019 Heritage a bit lackluster for me. Despite this, I still wanted to join in on the fun and picked up a couple of packs from my local LCS. 

I've always felt the 1970 set was one of the most boring ever created, which is particularly frustrating as it fell right in the middle of a string of tremendous Topps designs. There's just something about that drab gray border and lack of color that turns me off from this set. 

Of course, that's not to say that it's not a quality product with some fantastic cards. Just take a look at that Pat Neshek card below. It pays tribute the Lowell Palmer card from the 1970 set and seems to be an early favorite for Card of the Year for many collectors. 



It's pretty fitting that Neshek is the one to pay tribute. After all, the guy is a huge collector himself. It makes me wonder whose idea this was: did Neshek come up with the tribute idea and pitch it to the photographer? Did Topps plan this and ask Neshek to recreate the Palmer? Either way, it's a sweet card. 

Though this year's Heritage isn't in my collecting plans, I do appreciate the variety in photos. With the exception of Stadium Club, the photos in most other products have been a bit stale and a tad over-filtered for the past few years. Of course, photos in Heritage are exclusively posed (with the exception of variations and inserts), and I doubt we'll see many posed photos slip their way into Flagship anytime soon. But that won't stop me from appreciating a great close-up of Strasburg and his huge grin (and beard) or a great shot of Piscotty in one of the quintessential poses for a dude playing baseball.  



Despite a strong showing from this year's Heritage, I don't plan on chasing the complete set. I'm still hoping to track down the Dodgers, none of which I found in my two packs, though it's not at the top of my to-do list. 

Nope. 2019 Heritage isn't quite for me. But it does mean we're finally approaching 2020 Heritage: the set I might be most excited about. 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Some Recent Vintage Pickups

For the past few weeks, most of my free time has been spent organizing my collection and creating/adjusting my want lists. I've spent considerable time creating new want lists for my Topps Team Set Project, my attempt to collect every Dodgers team set from Flagship dating back to 1952. They even have pretty pictures of each Topps design and collection stats, which I am almost certainly mentioning so you go and check them out. Or you can keep reading; I'm a blogger, not a cop. 

I've been working on this project for a while, starting it way back in 2013, but I never really made much progress or focused too much of my attention on it. I have a good chunk of the late-'80s and early-'90s knocked out, as well as the early-to-mid-2010s. But while tinkering with these lists, I discovered that I had yet to track down a card from the '50s. So that had to change.  

I did some browsing on eBay, but didn't find much for cheap right away. I decided to turn to Twitter in the hopes someone there had some inexpensive vintage they were willing to move. Enter Cards from the Attic

He regularly runs sales on Twitter, lots ranging from cheap vintage to expensive modern stuff. I ran across a thread with some '52s for sale, and we very quickly came to an agreement. 
  

I picked up three much-needed cards from the '52 set, as well as a 1967 Walt Alston for just $12.00 shipped--about $2.50 a card. I know very little about appropriate pricing on vintage stuff, but I was just happy to add these to the collection and mark them off the checklist. 


I have actually never heard of any of the three guys on these '52s, and based on what I've learned about them on their card backs, there's a reason for it. 



A lifetime 5.23 ERA doesn't get you very far. 


I was initially drawn to the Dodgers hat Mr.Russell here is wearing, but quickly deduced it's not a Dodgers hat at all--it's a Boston Braves hat. I suppose the uniform beneath the nameplate gave it away, but it certainly threw me for a loop at first. 



I also added this Alston to the collection, helping jumpstart the '67 set for me. I was a bit surprised to find I hadn't added anything from '67 yet, so this was a definitely a boon. 

This is just the beginning of a larger focus on vintage for me. I secured my first cards--gorgeous, albeit in rough shape--from the 1952 and 1967 sets, and that makes me a happy collector. 

Friday, March 8, 2019

Where are all of the Jeopardy cards?

Earlier this week, longtime Jeopardy host Alex Trebek announced he has been diagnosed with Stage-IV Pancreatic cancer. This is terrible news for anyone, but it was especially difficult to see this terrible cancer take hold of one of the last great voices on television. Trebek appeared to have an optimistic take on his outlook, even cracking a zinger about his contract, though long-time fans are less so. I, like so many others, are hoping Trebek can find a way to pull through.

I've been a fan of Jeopardy for a long time. I used to watch the show as I was growing up, and I continue to watch it frequently now as an adult. I've long been a trivia aficionado, albeit maybe a too nerdy about it, as I keep track of my own Jeopardy stats as I play along. I've always dreamt about making it on the show--a longshot dream if there ever was one, but a dream nonetheless. 

Trebek's announcement led to a bit of reflection, but it also led me to think about Jeopardy on cardboard. I figured Alex Trebek has to have a card out there somewhere, right?

Well, no. At least not that I can find. And despite the cultural behemoth Jeopardy has become (countless SNL parodies, a Weird Al song, hell, even the Simpsons did it), there simply aren't that many Jeopardy-related cards. 

In fact, I only managed to track down three Jeopardy related cards--and none of them feature the mustachioed Canadian.


2007 Allen and Ginter #319 Ken Jennings




2013 Topps Heritage News Flashback #NF-J





2018 Topps #161 Austin Rogers



None of these cards are currently in my collection, but I'd like to change that. I was hoping to start a mini-collection of Jeopardy related cards, but there may not be enough out there to sufficiently call it a mini-collection. Some more research is in my future, and I hope to unearth some more. If you know of any, please do let me know. 

In the meantime, I've decided to add these three cards (and a few others) to what I am calling the Chavez Seven, or in other words, cards I'm chasing. You can find this list in the sidebar or on my newly updated Want List and Mini Collections page. Oh, and below. Any readers have any of the cards below and want to trade? 


  1. 2007 Allen and Ginter #319 Ken Jennings
  2. 2013 Topps Heritage News Flashback #NF-J
  3. 2018 Topps #161 Austin Rogers
  4. 2010 Bowman Chrome #BDP105 Justin Turner RC
  5. 2010 Upper Deck #39 Justin Turner RC
  6. 2014 Topps Update Series US-223 Yasiel Puig
  7. 2013 Topps Series One #263 Ted Lilly

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Back to Blogger in Pursuit of Some Horses

Back in January, I moved my blog over to WordPress after spending most of the last 5 years blogging from Blogger. I had heard a ton of great things about WordPress and figured I'd give it a go. Shortly after joining and transferring all of my content over, however, WordPress released a new editor which is absolutely horrid. A ton of other problems ended up popping up with WordPress, so I'm back to my roots here. Sorry for the the URL changes, folks.

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I've spent considerable time over the past few months organizing my collection and determining where to focus my collecting habits moving forward. I've already decided to take a more aggressive approach with my Clayton Kershaw PC, and I recently added Justin Turner to my PC as well. 

I've also decided to start collecting horse cards. 



Yep. Horse cards.

My girlfriend is a longtime equestrian, so collecting horse cards seemed like a fun and unique way to loop her into the hobby. 

I'm starting this mini-collection with a focus on the Horse in the Race mini set in 2017 Allen & Ginter. I happened to come across some insider information about the production of the subset a few years back, and I knew I had to collect it. I managed to pull a couple from packs--the Shire and Marwari horses pictured--but they aren't easy to come by. 



It's a 25-card subset, and I've knocked two off the list, but I'd like to grab the rest. You can find my needs here or by navigating to my Want List page. 

In addition to this brief set, I'm also interested in collecting cards that have horses on them even if they aren't the focus point of the card. I'm not quite sure where to begin, but I'm sure there has gotta be some great horse cardboard out there somewhere, and I'm hoping you'll all help me find it. 

Have any horse cards? Let's make a swap. 

Monday, February 25, 2019

Ty Blach Auto Contest Winner

We have a winner for the Ty Blach Auto!
Bret Alan is the winner. I’ll be reaching out to Bret shortly for their contact info. Stay tuned for more contests in the near future.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Ty Blach Auto Contest

Happy Valentines Day!! In Cupid’s honor, I think we should have a contest.
This contest is for a 2017 Topps Stadium Club Ty Blach Auto. The winner will receive the card pictured, as well as a stack of cards from their favorite team. Contest ends 2/21/19 at 9:00pm EST. The rules will be explained below. Good luck!
To enter this contest, perform one of the two things below. You may perform both for a maximum of two entries per day.
  • Comment on this post
  • Follow me on Twitter and retweet one of my contest tweets
You can comment on the post once a day, and everyday you comment will add an additional entry into the contest. I will occasionally tweet about the contest, and you can retweet those to enter as well. However, only one retweet per day will count towards the contest. The winner will be selected using Random.org, and will be notified via email and/or twitter. The winner will have one week to send me their mailing address. I will ship the card to the winner for free!