Monday, August 22, 2016

1975 Topps blank backs

Even though I still have a ton of COMC stuff to get to, I wanted to do quick post on some '75 blank backs that have been languishing in a forgotten folder.

The ten cards shown come from a lot I won on eBay not too long after Christmas. They were then scanned, inventoried, put in a binder, and apparently erased from my memory banks...until I came across the folder while cleaning out some files a few days ago.

I don't really know how I could have even forgotten getting these, as this is the type of lot I had bid on many times and subsequently lost out on many times. I do at least remember being pretty excited not only to finally win one, but to win one cheap (under $10).

Lots like this usually go for much more then I paid, thanks to the people who have eBay stores winning them by bidding crazy amounts of money, only to then split up the lot and attach ridiculously high prices on the individual cards.

Any time I see, or get a couple of blank backs from the same set, especially say anything pre-1980, my inner set collector begins to wonder just how many cards from said set that it will be possible for me to find/acquire.

This lot definitely had some name power attached to it as well, I'm particularly fond of the Billy Williams from this set. It's funny too, that with the acquisition of these, I  have more '75 Topps cards in blank back form than I do the regular cards. Although I'm not collecting the '75 set (yet?), so that's probably why.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

TTM Triumph #27: A trio of 72's

Even though I'm not really in the mood to do a post today, I wanted to show this group of successful returns that all arrived on Monday.

As always, I would like to send a big thank you out to Mr. Conigliaro, Mr. Dyer, and Mr. Farmer.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Birthday presents

So, almost a month ago now I had myself a birthday. For the most part I'm not big on celebrating (or even acknowledging) the day of my birth, but there is still one living person who mom!

Even though I act like I don't like the attention from her that the day brings, inside I do sort of enjoy it (don't tell her though). The only thing I ask of her every year is to not go overboard with the gifts, which thankfully this year, she didn't.

First up is this 1967 Topps NL home runs leaders:

It's interesting to note that 1966 would be the last year that Willie Mays would hit over 30 HR's in a season.

Next up is this 2013 Topps 75th Anniversary autograph of Major Don West himself:
I don't know how many Lost in Space fans are reading this, but as someone who grew up watching reruns of the show, this is a very cool autograph to get. I was also struck by how attractive Mr. Goddard's signature is.

Hopefully no one is getting tired of seeing me show books yet:
I haven't mentioned on here before, but I have a minor obsession with airships. I don't really know where my interest in them stems from (TMNT blimp?), but it's there. I have a somewhat humble collection of items that I might start showing at some point. The biggest problem with collecting airship related items is that there are more collectors out there, than there are items to collect, especially the old stuff...which really drives up the prices.

As for the book itself, this 1961 publishing was the only American edition, which of course means it's been long out of print. General Umberto Nobile designed and piloted both the Norge and the Italia, the latter of which crashed on Svalbard (an archipelago off the coast of Norway) in 1928 while returning from the North Pole. Because of the resulting tale of survival on the ice by the crew, many books have been written about the crash and two movies have been made, Dirigible in 1931 and The Red Tent in 1969. Of the two I prefer Dirigible, (even though it's only loosely based on the Italia) mostly because for the special effects and the neat old stock footage that's used. It also doesn't hurt that amongst the cast is a 24 year old Fay Wray, who's looking 24 kinds of hot!

Moving on to a couple of action figures:
I haven't seen Iron Man 3, nor do I plan to, but that doesn't mean I don't have any interest in the figures.
Here he is out of the package.

I have seen packages in just about every kind of condition over the years, but I had never seen one that had the top of the card pinned back with paperclips. No matter though, especially if your a dedicated package opener.

This Spawn Widow Maker figure is so much more impressive once she was freed from her plastic prison.

So I will wrap it up by saying thank you to my mom for the presents, and more importantly, for still being able to make me feel like a kid at least twice (Christmas) a year.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

COMC hoard: What's so civil about a checklist, anyway?

It's always nice when building a set, to be able to get the most expensive card from it out of the way early on in the process. Which is exactly what I did with this 1962 Topps Civil War News Checklist:

Even though it's marked and has some noticeable condition issues, this would still go for anywhere between $10-$30 on eBay. I was able to procure this one a couple of months ago for $4 in earned credit.
I have no doubts that this will end up being the worst conditioned card in my eventual set, as I don't see myself paying $50 or more for an unmarked example.

Every time I'm looking at cards from this set or the '62 Mars Attacks! (in an upcoming post),it reminds me of when I first read about these sets in or around 1997-ish. I was enamored with both sets immediately, but at that time, it seemed very improbable that I would ever own a single card from either set due to the then exorbitant prices. If I hadn't taken such a long break from card collecting (2000-10), I probably would be done with this set by now. Better late than never though, right?

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

TTM Triumph #26: Jim Perry

It has been over a month since I featured a success, so for this one I will dip into the backlog and show this neat return from the 1970 AL Cy Young winner:

I didn't see that Mr. Perry charges $5 per signed card, until after I had sent the request. So I figured the best case scenario would be to get the card back unsigned with a note about the fee, and the worst case scenario being the card wouldn't come back at all. So I was pretty surprised when a month after being mailed, it came back signed, and there wasn't anything included about card signing fees. I guess I will have to chalk it up to my awesome letter, or more likely, a very generous Jim Perry.

As always, I would like to send a big thank you out to Mr. Perry.

And now for something random:
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Thursday, July 21, 2016

B is for book sale

Last Saturday was the annual book sale to benefit a senior care center in the small town of Pleasant Hill, which is about five miles up the road from me. They do three different charity sales a year, the other two being a trash to treasure sale in March, and a silent auction in September.

Pleasant Hill is primarily a retirement community of about 600 people, consisting of mostly folks from outside the area. I don't really know why so many people retire to there, but they do, and I'm glad they do as there seem to be some very interesting people living there. There seems to be a big difference between the older people that move there compared to the elderly locals, in that a lot of the older people from around here tend to have that " the lights are on, but no one's home" look in their eyes, the Pleasant Hill transplants all seem to be much more active and lively.

Even though I went to the book sale and silent auction last year, I still find going to Pleasant Hill to be a bit of an odd experience. After traveling the two lane highway for about five miles, you turn onto a narrow two lane road which is pretty dark even during the day, due to the dense woods on either side. About half a mile down the road you see an old cemetery and then a small market and gas station before you reach a stop sign. At that point you turn left, and it's like all of sudden there's just this town in front of you with a lot of newer looking buildings and well manicured trees and lawns. If anyone has ever seen Big Fish, it's like the town of Spectre in the movie, not so much in appearance--but how it seems hidden away in the last place you would think there would be some kind of community.

For this sale, they have a pretty simple pricing system of $1 for hardbacks and 50 cents for paperbacks. With a small section reserved for a couple of pricier books ($4-5 range).

So I might as well start with this one, as it was the only sports related book purchased:
There weren't too many to choose from in that category. Actually there were only six, one of them being a book all about antique golf clubs, and as exciting of a read as that sounded, I decided to pass.

A little slice of home:
Definitely an odd book to find in landlocked Tennessee.

The myths/folklore section was pretty decent this year, which is a good thing, since it's one of my favorite subjects:

Next up is two that fit into the BOAB (big ol' art book) category:

The one on top, Cities and People, is really quite good. I was almost tempted in to doing an entire post about that one alone, but I'm guessing that would get an even fewer views than this one will.

Right when you walk through the doors on your immediate right, in the corner, they also have a couple of tables set up with cassettes, CD's, DVD's and videos at various fixed prices. Because I'm a video hound (yes, I still actively seek out VHS tapes), this was where I went first. The selection wasn't as good as it was last year, but I still managed to find a couple of things that were of great interest to me.

I don't know how familiar any of you are with The Teaching Company. For those unfamiliar, they have a program called " The Great Courses" which are college lectures (although some of the newer courses are not college subjects
) on an array of subjects that have been available across all the major forms of media over the years. I have been a big fan of theirs, since getting a random catalog in the mail sometime in my late teens. The catch has always been that their products are a bit on the pricey side, even when on sale (which is often). Finding them used in the wild (not counting eBay) has been pretty much impossible for me over the years, so I was very surprised to find a couple at this particular sale.

All of these are in the old clamshell packs, which consist of six cassettes with two 30-minute lectures per tape.

This one is part of a much larger set. Unfortunately the rest of the set wasn't there, but this one by itself still looks like it should be pretty enjoyable.

I'm pretty neutral when it comes to religion, but I still enjoy learning about the beliefs of others. These four cassette packs came to a total of $4, not bad for 24 hours worth of listening (and hopefully learning too!).

Another great thing about this sale is the free section that is set up by the exit, this is the stuff that they just want gone, so there are no limits on how much you can take. There wasn't as much to choose from as there was last year, but I still managed to come away with a couple of things.

All start with my favorite:

Honestly, I find it hard to believe that this book was free, I mean my heart actually skipped a beat when I saw it. It's a third edition from 1916 and they apparently didn't think anyone was going to buy it for $1, heck, I would have bought it for a couple of dollars. Now I have to find part 1.

This was simply a rescue mission. I couldn't leave this 1970 Scholastic edition toiling at the bottom of the box I found it in any longer. Sure it's got some water stains (I hope) and some bends and folds, but it's Scholastic! And if I didn't take it, I fear that the garbage was going to be it's final destination.

The essays in this book are apparently held high regard. And I only grabbed it because I liked the cover. So, in this instance it was okay to judge a book by it's cover! (Side note: That is a common practice for me)

Another one that I don't understand being free.

Even though I'm not a big fan of the direction that National Geographic has gone in the last 15-20 years, I will still grab one from 1950.

And finally:
This was my first time seeing an issue (or four) of the Smithsonian magazine in person. Hopefully their as good as they look.

All in all, I spent $11 (sales tax included). Once you add all the free stuff to the pile, it turned in to a pretty good haul for not a lot of money. It's also nice to know that the money is going to a very good cause.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Monday, July 11, 2016

COMC hoard: Hat Patches

A couple of months ago I had a card show recap post, which contained a couple of Pro Debut Commemorative Hat Patch cards that I had just come across for the first time. And I can honestly say that this was definitely one of those love at first sight moments for me. I know I shouldn't like these kinds of cards, but I find the patches of minor league logos to be absolutely charming.

Later on in the evening after the show, I set out to find all the pertinent information that I could about the set, and of course see if there were any cheap examples to be had. I ended up getting the three cheapest ones on COMC that night, which consisted of one from the 2013 edition (#'d to 75) and two from the 2014 release (#'d to 99). As much as I enjoy these cards, I always forget to look for them, hence the reason you're only seeing three here.

2013 Pro Debut:
#'d 39/75
Hak-Ju Lee hasn't made it to the bigs yet. He is currently with the Sacramento River Cats, where through 47 games this season he's batting .265.

2014 Pro Debut:
#'d 99/99
Nestor Molina hasn't made it to the majors yet, either. He is currently with the Oaxaca Warriors in Mexico. In 14 appearances on the mound so far this season, he has a 5-2 record with a 5.25 ERA.

#'d 24/99
Mikie Mahtook is currently playing for the Tampa Bay Rays. In 24 games this season, he is only batting .154 and unfortunately for him, it was just announced today that he will miss the next six weeks with a fractured left hand.

As far as current products go, these would easily be in my top five.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.