Saturday, July 14, 2018

Buybacks, buybacks, and more buybacks

My infatuation with buybacks has been waning for the last couple of months, I can't really explain why it has exactly, I just know that my interest level isn't anywhere near what it was two years ago when I started my frankenset.

With that in mind, it seems kind of ironic that I would now stumble upon a proverbial mother lode at the show two weeks ago.

I found the first couple in Jim's 5/$1 boxes, upon seeing me pull them out, Jim mentioned that he had added quite a few to his dime boxes. Eventually I got over to those dime boxes, and "quite a few" was right, all in all, I ended up with 158 of them.

I knew when I was adding all of these to my pile, that I would most likely not be keeping too many of them, but since a lot of other folks seem to be collecting buybacks now, I figured it wouldn't be too hard to find some interested parties. Initially I only had 3 or 4 other people in mind, but after showing the picture above on Twitter, a number of other people came forward and asked if I had any of this team or that team, for most part I did, so why not spread the wealth out a little more. Plus, as I was going through them a little more thoroughly, I noticed some that I thought might appeal to a few more people, so that ended up dividing the pile up even more. When all was said and done, 147 (I took out 11 for myself) buybacks have been split up and are (and will be) sent out to 18 different people... not too shabby for a days work!

Not wanting to show all of these, I thought instead I would just show the eleven that, for the moment, I am tentatively keeping -- tentatively being the key word.

For what it's worth, I can now say that I own a Roberto Clemente buyback!

A pair of Hall of Famer's.

Higuera was the last name of one of my first best friends in life, so I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Teddy's cards.

I was a big fan of Raul's when he was with Seattle, and I liked Jason when he was still with the Braves.

Remember when pulling a McGwire card was a big deal? Seems like a lifetime ago doesn't it?

With the stamp, it makes this card look like it says Rediscover dinals... which makes me laugh!

Among all the Topps Rediscover cards, I found three A&G buybacks as well. This one was the only one that I had planned on keeping.

To anyone who's getting some of this horde from me, stay tuned, as you might end up getting more in a couple of months should I decide that my interest in buybacks truly is no more [spoiler alert: I am really leaning in that direction].

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Cubs, trains, and other assorted vintage goodies

Two Saturday's ago was a card show day, and not to brag or anything, but I think I did pretty well.

Having not been to a show since March, I was really looking forward to this one. However, I wasn't looking forward to going and having considerably less money to spend than usual, thankfully though, I ended up selling a fairly rare record for a decent chunk of change about a week before the show... so I had plenty of paper folding money to play with. The only downside was that I probably should have been trying to save some of it for potential future wants, but no matter how old I get, I'm still like a small child when it comes to money, in that, if I have it, I spend it!

As per usual, I'll be spreading out the purchases across four or five posts, starting first with the vintage portion, as that always seems to be the most popular with readers.

My favorite seller (he's a lot of other people's favorite seller as well), Jim, was there with his usual array of insanely low priced items. This time though, he had a large selection of vintage cards, which isn't the norm for him, not surprisingly, going through those vintage cards was my first priority upon seeing them (I always go to his tables first).

Have you noticed how many people seem to be in a collecting funk as of late? I guess this is a good time to mention that you can add my name to that list as well. It sounds like a lot of folks are becoming disenfranchised over the ever increasing amount of new products flooding the market, and even though that's not what's causing my malaise, I can certainly understand why it would be having such a negative impact on so many people.

This post is already fixin' to be excruciatingly long (hopefully in a good way though), so I don't want to get too deep into this right now, but the short of it is, that I realized a couple of months ago that I just wasn't having very much fun collecting cards (or anything else for that matter) anymore.

Set collecting, vintage baseball set collecting, to be more specific, has been causing me a great deal of stress as of late, and collecting should never be stressful. I'll go into more detail in a future post, but for the moment, I can tell you that I have stopped working on a number of vintage sets (they've been removed from my want lists too).

For some time now, I've been thinking about starting a side collection of guys who played in the PCL, so now with a bunch cards from broken up sets sitting around doing nothing, I thought that this might be a good time to start putting together such a collection... apparently I was wrong! It only took a couple of days of trying to figure out who played where for me to get overwhelmed, so for the moment that idea is going to be shelved, and will likely revisited at the end of summer.

Some of you might be wondering why I even bothered going to the show then? And that would be an easy question to answer, I went because there's a number of sets that I still do enjoy collecting. There's also a number of sets that I have no illusions about ever being able to finish, but still enjoy getting cards from, case in point, the '49, '51, and '52 Bowman's that you've already seen.

I've been on a bit of a Bowman kick ever since I found that cheap '52 Bowman Casey Stengel back in March. And like I said, I know I'll never be able to finish these, but that's okay, I'm just having fun picking up cheap semi-decent condition examples when I can. I have a few currently sitting in my COMC account too, all though, with these old Bowman's, I've noticed that for me, it's much more fun to buy them at shows, than to buy them online. I don't know if that makes any sense or not, but hopefully somebody what I'm talking about.

This is only my third '55. I'd love to know the story behind Gene Baker's giant Band-Aid.

I have mixed feelings about this set, mainly because of the action shots. I mean, some are so cool, like with this Hank Sauer, while others are of guy's just standing there doing nothing, which is kind of the opposite of "action". Either way though, I had to have this one.

Hey, this guy was pretty good, wasn't he? I didn't realize how many vintage Ernie Banks' that I had until I started going through all of my recently stopped sets. Even though I've shown most of them on the blog at one time or another, I'm thinking that I might try to get all of 'em into one post coming up in the near future.

One thing that I'm definitely not giving up on, is the Post sets. Unbeknownst to me, and I'm pretty sure Jim too, the Frank Thomas is a short print, and one of the harder to find one's to boot. There seems to be no rhyme or reason with the Post short prints, at least in my mind, so I was kind of surprised to find this out after I got home that day.

Another thing that I've been thinking about doing is to start a few mini-collections, which is something that a lot of you do, but I've always been a set collector, so this is kind of new territory for me. Recently I was reading a book that had a chapter about the first live transatlantic television broadcast on July 23rd, 1962. As part of that broadcast, a 90 second clip of a Cubs-Phillies game was shown, so I thought it might be kind of fun to start a collection of the four player's who were featured in that clip -- George Altman, Calvin Koonce, Johnny Callison, and Tony Taylor.

This guy was pretty good too. My first vintage Lou Brock. It's off center, has some scratches in the middle, and a crease at the bottom... but I don't care, it's still a cool card!

As I mentioned, Jim doesn't usually have a lot of vintage, so I was pleasantly surprised to see all of it when I got there. When he does have it, they're usually just stacked up in top loaders in the middle of the table, between his dime boxes, 5/$1 boxes, etc.

None of them are priced, and if it was anybody but him, I wouldn't even bother -- but after buying stuff from him for over three years now, I know that once you ask him how much? He's not going to reach for a Beckett, or check anything on his phone -- he'll just look at everything, and give you a price, a price that is usually negotiable too. So what was the price that I was quoted for all of the above? $42... sold! Even though his prices are always low, I still expected the quote to be higher.

If anybody thinks that that price seems like a lot, well, you remember that Frank Thomas short print? It looks like that when it does come up on eBay, $40 or more, is not an uncommon selling price. I'm sort of feeling a bit guilty about that one, I might have to let him know about it the next time I see him, and give him a few extra bucks too. If it was someone else, I might not feel the same way about it, but it's Jim!
Behind his sports GU/auto's box, Jim usually has some non-sport relics/autos stacked up, this time being no exception, but he had also had a small stack of what were clearly tobacco cards back there as well. I might have missed them, had another dealer not come over and inquire about them. I guess that guy didn't think that he could flip them (even though I didn't hear a price being quoted), because he walked away, and then I pounced.

Jim knew that they were German tobacco cards, and that was about it, which was fine, because that's all I knew about 'em too.

Initially I was only interested in three of them, but when I asked for a price, Jim said "just the three?", to which I replied, "yeah, well... unless there's a discount for taking all of them". So he looked through the stack one more time, and said "how about four bucks?", which sounded like a really great deal for all sixteen of them, so I of course accepted.

I still haven't gotten around to trying to research this Schienen-Wunder set yet, but I will one of these days.

Jim had so much vintage this time, that some of it even made it's way into his dime boxes, namely a bunch of mid 70's basketball. Most of it was 1974-75 Topps, a set that I'm almost done with. Even though I figured that I wasn't going to need any of it, I still grabbed all of the nicer one's just in case any of them were in better shape than my copies.

On the following day when I was going through them, I was stunned to find that I actually needed two of them. With those removed from the checklist, I'm down to needing only seven.

I also found this 1972-73 Topps in his dime boxes as well. It's got a little bit of staining, but since I never come across vintage hockey cards, I thought it was still pretty cool. I thought it was kind of funny too, to see that COMC has this listed as the Stanley Cup's rookie card.

Moving on to a different seller, a guy named Tom, who was the only other person that I bought from that day. I've seen Tom set-up there a couple of times before (he's not a regular), but other than the exchanging of pleasantries, I had never really talked to him before. We ended up talking for about 20 minutes, which was kind of nice because my social anxiety usually prevents me from having such lengthy interactions. Although I think that my brain was too occupied with the ever increasing temperature inside the gym to notice that I was actually talking to someone. By 10am, the real feel outside was over 100 degrees, and I swear that it must have been like 90 inside, because I was getting a tad bit uncomfortable (understatement).

I don't know if the AC was having a problem or what, but it just kept getting hotter and hotter in there, and after having been there for three hours, I was now thinking that it might be a good time to leave. I probably didn't look through Tom's stuff as much as I should have, because he had a lot of good stuff, and a much larger spread than I've seen him have in the past. That being said, I still picked up quite a few neat things (more of which will be in subsequent posts).

Oh, and that '69 Lou Michaels up above, that was in a dime box, I was hoping that I would find more from that set, but the rest of that box was just mid 70's, aka stuff that I'm not collecting. I didn't look at my checklists at all, so I did end up with a few duplicates, Lou being one of them, so he's available if anyone's interested.

And one other thing to note, I ran out of usable sunlight on the day that I was doing these pictures, so the rest of the cards in this post were scanned. I only mention it because the scans look terrible to me.

The Hank Bauer was a buck, which didn't seem too bad considering that he's a high number. The Cepeda and Morgan were $2 each. All three of these are likely going to be part of some new mini-collections (I'm going all in on this approach to collecting).

All former PCL guys, and all were 20 cents each.

The condition of most of Tom's vintage cards was pretty amazing. These kind of got mixed up, so I can't remember which cards came from what box, but some were from the 5/$2 box, and then a couple were from the 5/$1 box -- not that it makes too much of a difference though, as they were really well priced either way.

The two 72's were in the 5/$1 box, I think I might already have both of them, but I still haven't double checked yet. Red was only a dime!

And finally, some more 72's from the 5/$1 box. Boog's a duplicate, so if anyone needs him, don't be shy about saying so.

Originally I had planned on doing three card show posts this week, but I've just been too tired to work on them, but I'll have one more on Saturday. And if I can be a little less rambly, maybe I can crank out the rest for next week, as I don't want to drag these out for too long.

Thanks for taking a moment (or two) to look at my page.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

COMC Sundays: 1962 Topps Civil War News

Today's set is one that I've showcased a couple of times in the last year or two, because of that, I don't really have too much more to say about it without repeating myself. And anything that I haven't said, Bob surely would've covered during the two weeks that it took him to start, and subsequently finish. the set (seriously, does anyone complete vintage sets quicker than Bob?). So with that being said, this post might be a bit lacking in the substance department.

For whatever reason, I actually took the time to scan (that doesn't happen very often) these when I got them last year, so all the blurriness and/or graininess can be attributed to that. It seems weird to say that I really like a card which features bodies being incinerated, but this is one of my favorites from the set.

If the date on this card had been one day later, I would've been able to say that a fictional Civil War moment had occurred on my birthday... curse your hide, Topps :)

This card might be the best one, centering wise, that I own. I don't really care about such things, but it still seemed worth noting.

Most of the accounts featured in this set are complete bunkum, but this one's actually fairly close to a true event. Stonewall Jackson was indeed mistakenly shot by friendly fire, but he wasn't killed instantly as Topps would have you believe, no, he survived the initial incident -- although his left arm was so badly damaged that he had to have it amputated -- only to die eight days later from pneumonia.

I've sort of cooled on this set a little bit in the last year or so, well, "cooled" probably isn't the right word. I just haven't been pursuing it as much, that's all... but of course, I could say the exact same thing about quite a few sets as of late.

Looking ahead to next week: I'm gonna try to do four posts this week (something that I haven't done for quite a while), a few of which might be kind of long, so next Sunday's post will likely be another one-card special.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Shiny and free

A few weeks back, Matt, of Summer of '74 fame, offered up a couple of unwanted football cards to anyone who was interested on Twitter (@mjpmke). I found one of the cards to be quite appealing, so I let him know of my interest, and less than two weeks later said card showed up in my mailbox.

I wasn't collecting football cards during the mid 90's, so sets like 1995's Collector's Edge Excalibur, are for all intensive purposes, completely foreign to me. This card is a TekTech insert, apparently there are quite a few parallels of these, but this is just the base version. I really like the way these look in person, so much so, that I think that I'm going to try and put the set together... I'll have to wait and see about all those parallels though.

Matt, thank you again for the card, and thanks for helping me find such a cool new (to me) set!

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Friday, July 6, 2018

A RAZzing for the ages

Today's thank you post is so overdue, like almost three months overdue. And this isn't because I was too busy, too lazy, or even because I forgot about it, no -- it's because I was being selfish! Confused yet? Read on, and I'll try to explain.

You see, a couple of months ago, RAZ, namesake of the The Raz Card Blog, sent me a package. He had let me know ahead of time that something was on it's way, not knowing what, I was just kind of expecting a PWE, or maybe a small bubble mailer... instead I got a chunky bubble mailer, the contents of which, were like a birthday and a Christmas all rolled into one package.

Saying that I was amazed would be an understatement, dumbfounded would probably be a more apt description. There were just so many cool cards, and the variety, I can almost guarantee that I will never again be gifted a package as diverse as this one was.

So after going through the cards a couple of times, I put the stack on the little table that I have next to my recliner, a few days went by and I thought "hmm, I should probably start getting a thank you post going", which got as far as me picking them up, going through them again, and then putting them back where they were. And so it went, for weeks I kept doing the same thing over and over, until one day I finally realized that I was dragging my feet because I knew that once I photographed/scanned everything, I would then have to put it away... and I just wasn't ready to do that yet.

But it's time to publically give RAZ his due, especially since this past weekend was a card show weekend, and some of the stuff in today's post goes in the same binders/boxes as some of the card show acquisitions, so I might as well put it all away together... if only because of the time that will be saved by doing so.

I have recently decided to start a few serial numbered frankensets of various sizes (more on that in a future post), these 2013 Archives Gold parallels will make for an awesome addition to those sets. This was the first time that I had seen these, love the holofoil backgrounds.

I've looked the name of these up twice, and have forgotten what it was almost immediately after both times doing so, so rather than look 'em up again, I'll just say their a 2018 Topps something or another. I really like the look of these in person, and of course I find their shininess to be quite appealing as well.

I really like this Diamond Kings insert set, I saw a few at this past weekend's card show, but I got distracted by something (probably a shiny object) and forgot to grab them :(

These 2016 pink refractors sure are pretty, and I actually knew who four out of the five were, sorry Stephen Vogt.
Some miscellaneous Donruss and Donruss Optic. The top two are Prizms.

I haven't figured out what I'm going to do with this pair of blue refractors yet. Both are serial numbered (Puig to /150 & Bautista to /199), so they might end up in one of those numbered frankensets, but I'm also still thinking of trying to do a Topps Chrome colored frankenset as well. Btw, the bottom of the Bautista card doesn't look like that in person, it was just the scanner being weird.

Topps High Tek is always a fun set, I've never bought any (at least not of the baseball variety), but I certainly don't mind being gifted a few. I'm sure it probably drives some people nuts, but I like all the different background designs.

The Lasorda is one of the color short prints from 2013 Cooperstown set, which only really means anything to someone who's collecting the set, but since I am, it does. The Koufax insert was the only card in this package that I already had, but it shouldn't be too hard to find someone to pass it on to.

There seems a lot of hate on the internet that's directed towards Johnny Damon, I wish somebody could tell me why, because I really don't get it.

Before I get to the rest of the cards, I thought that this might be a good time for a RAZ fun fact. As I've mentioned many times over the last couple of years, Fuji was the person who inspired me to start this humble little blog of mine, but RAZ is solely responsible for it's continued existence.

Let us travel back in time to the long forgotten that was 2015. I had started the blog in September of that year, after having been a reader of a handful of others for a little less than a year. Being the socially awkward person that I am, I wasn't able to contact any of the established bloggers and introduce myself/ask them to check out my newly created blog. And forget about me mentioning the blog in someone else's comments section, I would have been mortified by merely suggesting such a thing.

So I got the blog up and running, despite the fact that I had no idea what I was doing. A couple of weeks passed, with no comments, and views in the single digits, which wasn't terribly surprising... seeing as how nobody knew that existed. It was around the third week that I had basically decided to give it up and just delete the blog out of existence, I was just gonna see through the rest of the week, and that was going to be it.

A funny thing happened though... I got a comment, my first comment! It was from a fellow called RAZ, all of a sudden things were looking up, and shortly thereafter, things would slowly start picking up. After clicking on his name, I found out that this RAZ had a blog, a seemingly popular blog at that. While there, seeing what was what, I noticed that he had added me to his blogroll (although I didn't know what it was called at that time). Now that I knew I had at least one real reader (and commenter), I decided to give this whole blog thing a little more time. Being on RAZ's blogroll, my views started increasing, a few people were starting to leave comments, all of which has led to where the blog is at now -- don't ask me where that is exactly, all that matters is, that it is.

I still don't know how it is that RAZ even came across my blog in the first place -- and I doubt at this point that he would remember either -- but nevertheless, I'm extremely grateful for his showing up when he did, as I've met a number of really wonderful people over the last couple of years, people that I never would have encountered had it not been for him, and his timely intervention.

Okay, I'm done with the sappy stuff (at least for a moment or two). If you thought what's already been shown was impressive, check out the rest of this package:

Here's something that you don't see everyday, or ever for that matter, Duke Cigarettes Fishers and Fish. For being 130 years old (1888), the colors seem to still be very vibrant. I'm not a fisherman, but I absolutely adore these cards. A piece of advice though, don't stare into their eyes for too long (especially the gal on the left)... that is unless you're in dire need of some nightmare fuel :)

I don't why exactly, but I seem to have a strong affinity for lighthouses. I never been to one, nor have I ever seen one in person. The only thing that I can come up with to possibly explain my interest, is that it might be because I saw The Fog, read about Eilean Mor, and listened to "Three Skeleton Key", all at a fairly young age. Whatever the reason, I really dig them, and I really dig this card from the 1910 (sometimes attributed to 1911) Hassan Light House series.

Even though I'm a big fan of this set, and have been meaning to try and start collecting it for years, this is still my first card from it. For anyone who may be interested, you can read a little bit more about this particular lighthouse here.

About five or six years ago, I found one card from the 1939 Bathing Belles set at the card show back home in Portland. I was so enamored by that one card, that I decided to start working on the set, that plan didn't work out se well, as in all those years since... I have managed to acquire exactly zero more. Cue the superhero music, because RAZ has come to my rescue (too dramatic?), and provided me with not one, but two more (see below) from this set! And they were graded to boot! Blanca Vischer was a Guatemalan born actress, who was often cast in Spanish language versions of American films. She also had quite a few uncredited roles in B pictures.

Maxine Reiner was an actress and a model. She's probably best known for her roles in Wanderer of the Wasteland and Charlie Chan at the Circus, some may scoff at the latter, but that's a solid entry in the Chan series. Full disclosure though, my opinion might be a bit biased as I'm huge fan of Warner Oland, and his portrayal of Charlie Chan.

Even though I don't normally go for graded cards, I plan to keep both of these encased, for some reason I just kind of like how these particular cards look in there.

Of all the different things that RAZ has featured on his blog during the time that I've been reading it, the BBM True Heart autographs have been my absolute favorite. I have longed for one of these auto's, I didn't really care who, as I wouldn't know who any of them are anyway (haven't followed professional wrestling in a long time), I'm just really drawn to all the super elaborate signatures. Thanks to the note that was included in the package, I know that is Mochi Miyagi, and thankfully a few of her matches have been uploaded to YouTube, all of which I have now watched.

If being able to finally getting my hands on one card from this set was cool, then getting two was, well... I don't know, but whatever it is, it was most appreciated. Both of these cards are from the 2018 edition, and both are numbered to /89. Mari Sakamoto is the subject of this very aesthetically pleasing card. I couldn't find out too much about her other than wrestling is only a part-time gig, the rest of her time is spent performing action/ninja sequences in theatre shows.

RAZ, thank you again for the cards (and the nice note), from a mental standpoint, these couldn't have arrived at a better time. You told me once that you don't send stuff out very often, which may or may not be true, but you sure outdid yourself with this package. It may take me awhile, and it'll probably come in the form of a bunch of smaller mailings, but I will try my best to repay this act of kindness.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.