Sunday, July 24, 2016

Topps TBT Faux '59 All Stars

Topps has expanded their Topps Now concept into these mini 'sets' that they release every Thursday and make available for a week. I've looked at them when the emails arrived but never had any inclination to spend the $20 asking price. Some have been very tempting but until this one came along I hadn't thought any was worth the cost, at least in terms of my collection.

This one caught my eye because of my soft spot for the '59 All Star design. The 1959 Topps is my favorite set. But even at that I decided to pass on it. I'd recently bought a few blasters and decided my hobby budget was drained.

So I put it out of my mind, at least for a few days until I found I needed a card of this guy:

Yes, I picked up the St. Louis shortstop in a trade in my fantasy league. A quick eBay check turned up what to me was a surprise...he wasn't on any mainstream card issues. He was in some ridiculously priced minor league sets and I could have bought a custom card from a vendor I know for $7.50 but I always prefer a 'real' card. But this set was still available from Topps and five of the six cards were of guys who I could put into my binder so pulling the trigger was pretty easy. 

It really IS a neat design. 

I had both Lindor and Seagar last season. Each of these cards easily boots their previous run of the mill one out of the binder.

Bogaerts is the only card I didn't have a use for.

The backs are all the same. Here is the Bogaerts back. The card stock is very thick, nothing like the shiny, thin daily Topps Now issues.

I have Thor in my alternate league. He looks like the guy in Outlander in this shot.

Back up top that Arrieta card is the only one of the five that I didn't stick in my fantasy player binder. It'll be tough to knock out his Topps Now that commemorates his no-hitter.

And just checking eBay again today it appears that Diaz has a Topps Now that was issued in the last few days. But it's a horizontal card and those almost never make the binder. When they do it's as a placeholder. Hey, everyone has their own quirks, right?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

2016 Topps Stickers

The Target I visited in Dallas last week had packs of 2016 Topps stickers on sale for 74 cents each. I figured 'Why Not? the very least I can make a blog post out of them. (Note: They also had Revolver Brewery's Blood and Honey wheat ale on sale but that's for a different kind of post.)

These things were tough to scan because of the bright white borders so I re-did them in album pages and that worked. You get eight in a pack and here is what my pack contained:

Not a bad design. Topps has certainly done worse with various products. Move the players name over to one side, his position to the other and use the space for more photo acreage and you'd have a nice full sized card design. Maybe a Bowman design. 

I'm in a second fantasy league this year. I got roped into an 18 teamer. That means talent is spread pretty extreeeemly thin. My catcher is Carlos Ruiz. I've tried every week to find someone better but it's slim pickings. Never again. To add insult to injury I've made 90+ waiver claims, by far the most in the league. None of the guys I grab are any better than the guys I dump but at least I'm trying. I'm in 10th place and last I looked 8 of the guys in front of me had made less than five moves. Most of those guys aren't even paying attention. It's very humbling.

Here's a look at the back of the sticker. These things are made to be peeled off and stuck in an album so there isn't much point in creating a fancy back for them.

Coco Crisp, whose Wikipedia page instructs us that he is "Not to be confused with Cocoa Krispies." His real name is was Covelli Loyce Crisp. Apparently he's legally changed it to 'Coco Crisp". Man, the things you learn on the 'net!

Clay Buchholz wearing a blue Red Sox jersey. They should never wear these softball tops. Never.

I had Greg Holland on my fantasy team last year, at least until he got hurt. Wade Davis took the closers role and the Royals did OK as I recall.

I saw Beltre's name on ESPN on someone's list of the 'Ten Best Third-baseman Ever'. I'm unqualified to comment on that assessment. My list consists of Brooks Robinson at #1 and every other guy who has ever played third tied for #2.

I don't know Micheal Wacka but that's a fun name. Almost as much fun as 'Coco Crisp'.

I got two team stickers, or is it four? It's really hard to see in the scan but these are two stickers on one backing paper. They can be peeled individually.

And each team sticker has it's own number.

Target had Star Wars sticker packs on sale and I bought one but I am not a Star Wars fan so I'm holding it for when I find someone who is.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Billy Pierce Print card

This is the second Billy Pierce card done by Edward Vela that I've picked up. The first was an 'unlimited' print card with BP in a portrait pose. As I mentioned in that post I really like this guy's work.

I've always felt good 'sports art' is hard to come by and when I find someone whose work is enjoyable I'll pick up things I can afford. Vela does all sorts of stuff and releases all kinds of cards but his baseball work is what I like the most.

This one was numbered to 9 as are most of what he puts on eBay. It cost $8 with free postage which is 2 bucks more than I paid for my 'jumbo' Archives packs which yielded me nothing much to speak of.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Topps Archives...late to the party again

I picked up some '16 Archives in Dallas earlier this week while I was up there for a convention, Opening and flipping through the cards on Monday night was a much better idea than subjecting myself to Chris Berman hyperventilating over batting practice dingers in my empty hotel room.

My first impression...well after the initial shock of paying $6 for 18 card 'bonus' packs...was that I like them. But I always do. Not enough to buy more but the throwback designs are fun. I've about given up on ever getting Orioles out of retail packs I buy. But with me keeping a fantasy baseball player binder I can usually find a few cards I can use. Archives provides some variety on those binder pages.

Here are the highlights of my packs. The borders were sliced off by my scanner but I didn't feel the need to re-scan them.

Any Spahnnie card is a welcome sight.

As is a Koufax.

Jim Abbott escaped the wrath of my fickle scanner. He got to keep his border. Probably due to the 1953 design which runs the color to the edges.

And the Kipnis card confirms that. Only these two made it intact thru the scanning process.

A few others:

Rizzo and Cutch make the fantasy binder kicking their Topps base cards to the curb.

And one more thought...when I opened the second pack the first three cards were dupes of those I'd gotten in the first pack. Of course in keeping with my current card karma the dupes were ho-hum ones, current players I was vaguely aware of.

All in all I'm happy with the cards I got but I won't be chasing the set or any part of it. I like the concept and design but the cost per card is just too high for me.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

1952 Topps Look 'n See Pt. 2

Here is the other half of my '52 Topps Look 'n See purchase. First up, George Eastman. Hard to imagine the excitement level you'd reach as a kid when you opened the pack of these to find Ol' George staring back at you like your grumpy neighbor when you ask him to retrieve your baseball from his backyard. 

Francis Scott Key looks like Paul McCartney. With some Prince thrown in. I guess. The cards with 'busy' backgrounds are more interesting obviously. I like this one. Key seems unperturbed by the chaos at Fort McHenry.

As you get into this set the fact that each and every one is a portrait begins to wear on you. I've reached that point with Paul Revere.


Next man up is Washington Irving. I remember reading some of his short stories many years ago and becoming interested in the Hudson River Valley which was the locale of many of them. Years later I was able to spend time in the area and really fell in love with it. Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Newburgh and other towns along the river just have a charm and feel I don't find in many other places. Upstate New York, particularly the east and central regions of it is my favorite place to be.  Retiring up there is my dream but with my wife's family all in the Houston area it's just not very likely. Sigh.

Anyway, that's it for my '52 Look 'n See group.  Recently I loaded up some cheapies in my cart at COMC but decided to hold off and maybe just pick up a decent copy of both Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. Time (and funding) will tell what I do with this set.

Friday, July 8, 2016

1952 Topps Look 'n See Pt. 1

Someone posted a card or two from this '52 Topps Look 'n See set back a few months ago and I decided that I needed a few for my collection. I found a small lot on eBay and I picked it up. It's been so long that I can't remember if it was a B-I-N or Best Offer. Whatever, it wasn't costly and I thought I post the best of the bunch in a couple of posts. It's a neat set containing historical figures on 135 cards. There is plenty of info on the set on the net including this page on the PSA website. Another good resource is the Cardboard Connection site. The set is broken down into several subsets, Famous Americans, Military Men, Inventors, etc. Babe Ruth is the only athlete on the checklist and there are some fairly reasonable examples of his card floating around. I'm not planning to chase many more of these but the Abraham Lincoln and a few others are tempting me.

Not much to add to the cards, the write-up on the back is a bio with a trivia question. The answer is revealed by placing the provided sheet of red cellophane on the back of the card. I've seen the cello sheets on eBay before although there doesn't appear to be one up now.

Obviously my little group isn't in very good shape. I'd rate them as "ATACC"...Acceptable To A Casual Collector. That rendering of Whistler makes him look a bit creepy.

P.T. Barnum looks like an actor but I can't quite place who it might be.

These are 2"x 3", smaller than what we now consider the standard card size. I've scanned one next to a '58 Topps to demonstrate the difference.

One more for this post, Ol Jeff Davis. His name has adorned a bunch of schools and a hospital in my neck of the woods. But little by little that is changing. 

I've got a few more to post. These things are growing on me.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Wacky Packages....they served their purpose

One of last month's eBay purchases came with a few 'extras'. The seller stuffed the small plastic case with filer in the form of Wacky Package cards stickers. I think these are the first time I've ever actually had things like this in my hand. According to this WP 'fan site' they were introduced by Topps in 1967. 

I vaguely remember them but they came after my die-hard collecting days of the early to mid 60s. I'm pretty sure my younger siblings had these things plastered to their school notebooks and binders.

These kind of things never appealed to me anyway so it's not surprising that I don't have any memories of them. When it came to non-sports I was more of a Civil War News and Mars Attacks guy. 

But here are some of what the guy sent. These Awful Apps cards are actually pretty clever. I got a grin out of them.

The rest are the typical Wacky Packages stickers. I scanned the reverse of the first two. No further explanation needed.

I know a bunch of fifth graders that would find this next one hysterical.

This one had tape damage. I'm guessing that these were received by the guy that sent them to me from someone else who likewise had used them as 'package stuffing'.

That's it. You were expecting something classy for the Fourth?