Monday, December 28, 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015

I Buy Stuff Like This So You Don't Have To

It's been quite a while since my last post. Blame it on the new job. I come home exhausted almost every day and don't feel like doing anything else. Then I spend the weekends relaxing at my family's place on the lake (which has no internet...and neither does my phone) so I can make it through the next week. It's only recently that I even started reading blogs again.

However my baseball card habit has not suffered in the least. If you put cards out, I will find them...and usually buy them.

On our way to spend a relaxing weekend at the lake, my wife and I stopped at Demoulas in Lee, NH and I couldn't help but notice hanging in the checkout line were bags of cards! And in a supermarket! I haven't seen cards in a supermarket in decades!

Sure, it's going to be filled with junk wax...and what fantastic packaging! But it was $4.99, which I felt was a little too much to pay...until the next week when they were marked down to $1.99. So I grabbed that package with the ugly Yankee on top.

You can't really read what the bag says, but it's the usual bragging about including rookie cards, Hall-Of-Famer cards, bonus cards (although I have no idea what they were), etc. It also promised one complete set. You can probably guess that some of the cards had some dings...but wait, it that a 1975 SSPC card peeking out?

There were actually two cards from the SSPC set. The one you saw the back of was Ed Goodson, but I liked this card of Merv Rettenmund better.

There were twenty-one from the 1981 Fleer Set...all Yankees. It still pains me to see Tiant in pinstripes.

I've been picking up a lot of 1982 Donruss lately. This netted me fifteen more.

You can see the blemish on the bottom left side of the 1985 Donruss Jorge Orta. There were nine from this set.

There weren't any from the regular 1986 Topps set, but there were seventeen from the Traded set.

Speaking of sets, this was the promised set. 1989 Kenosha Twins.

Except for Pat Mahomes and Rich Garcia, I've never heard of any of these players.

More minor league cards with thirty-two from the 1989 Star set. There were a few recognizable names, but Mr. Belle was the biggest name.

More than a quarter of the cards in this were 1989 Topps. Should I expect anything less?

Forty cards were from 1990 Topps.

Fifty-six were from 1991 Upper Deck.

There were a couple of cards from something called MJB Holographics. This is a 1992 Jeff Bagwell. (The other card was Chuck Knoblach.) Both players had four card sets issued.

There were fifty-three from 1992 Score, but only twenty-five different players. Maybe all these dupes were the "bonus cards".

One from the 1992 Stadium Club Members Only set.

Two from the 1994 Ted Williams Company set, a set I really like.

Three from 1995 Collectors Choice, but two of the cards were Phil Nevin. Another bonus card?

This Cal, Ripken,Jr. card comes from the 1995 eighty card set produced by Star Co. which celebrates his games played record.

(And yes, I typed his name just as it looks on the card. Fire the proofreader!)

One card from 1997 Pinnacle.

Three cards from 1997 Score.

Lastly, there was only one card from the following sets:

1997 Score Select...

1997 Topps...

1997 Upper Deck...

...and finally this 2002 Collectors Club Exclusive Vladimir Guerrero.

Fun stuff for me, but I'm sure most collectors wouldn't go anywhere near this. But as long as I'm around, you won't have to.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Some Want List Help From Night Owl

The Red Sox have finished in last place again. I didn't watch most of the last month of baseball due to my new job, but on the baseball card front, I've been as busy as ever (if you don't count my lack of blogging).

I received a package of cards a few weeks back, (or maybe it was a few months back) from Night Owl. It was a good sized stack of cards all taken from my frequently non-updated want lists. He sent me cards from sets I still need... a few from 1985 Fleer.

The Dodgers were obviously well represented in what I received.

Some names I was quite familiar with.

Others not so much.

A good portion of what he sent was the from the "junk wax" era...

...and I still need quite a few cards from that time period.

You would think I would have all I need considering the stack of monster boxes to the right are all dupes....dupes up to 1993, that is.

I remember opening up boxes of 1993 Fleer, one of quite a few sets I thought I had finished. Turns out I'm not even close. What the hell was I thinking?

Thank you for the cards, Greg. Your generosity (and wisdom) is always appreciated.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Honestly, I Really Do Have A Good Excuse

Wow. 5 weeks ago. I've really been slacking lately, but I really do have a good excuse.

About a couple of months ago I was told my job would be scaled down to part time. This would not only mean a significant reduction in my hours, but I would lose my health benefits as well. Obviously, this would mean that I would be looking for another job. I gave my notice that day and began job hunting.

I was dreading the way you have to job hunt now, filling out those ridiculous time wasting applications and sending them off to who knows where, without even getting a confirmation that anybody even received it.

Fortunately I didn't have to job hunt for long, because I got hired at the first job I applied to. How did that happen? Was it my charming wit, my top-notch interviewing skills or my above average intelligence?

Nope. I knew somebody there.

It is who you know, not what you know.

The day I gave my notice, my wife mentioned to our downstairs neighbor that I was looking for a job. There happened to be an opening in his company (they do fire/emergency related services like fire alarms, sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, emergency lights, etc.), he put in a good word for me, and a few weeks later I had a new job with better pay...and with much earlier hours.

Yeah, the days of getting up at 8 AM are over. Now it's anywhere from 4 AM to 6 AM depending on where I'm going to be. So I've been pretty exhausted over the last few weeks and haven't done any blogging or even reading any blogs.

So it hasn't been bad news that has kept me away from the blogs, it's been good news. Very good news.

 I promise to post about cards real soon, but let me get some sleep first.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Swing And A Pop-Up, The Science Guy

I must warn you, this is an educational post disguised as a baseball card post. You may potentially learn something if you read further. If you do not wish to run the possible risk of gaining some "important" knowledge, please exit this blog immediately.

A few months ago, I happened to find a bunch of 1982 Topps Stickers at a card show. I had either almost finished or completed the football and hockey sticker books around that time period, but hadn't made much headway in the baseball one.

So I told my secretary to hold all my calls, and set aside an afternoon to put the stickers in my sticker book. (I wonder how many adults have said that.)

But I didn't expect to have some difficulty separating the backing from the stickers. Apparently thirty-three year old stickers don't come apart as easily as newer ones.

I struggled with a few of them and a couple ended up like this Tom Hume sticker. I didn't want to ruin most of them, so I tried to think of an alternative way to do this. My wife uses 3M spray mount to put the backings on her photos, so I bought a small can of Elmer's spray mount and tried that. I laid some stickers down on a newspaper and sprayed the back of them. I then put them in the sticker book.

It didn't end up working so well.

I'm not sure how well you can see this, but it stains the other side of the page eventually.

But I had another problem. In picking up the stickers and putting them into the book, I had managed to get some of the spray onto my fingers, causing them to stick together. At this point I was able to pull them apart without any difficulty, and I excitedly called my wife over to show her that my fingers were sticking together, hoping that she would share the same enthusiasm.

That didn't end up working so well either.

"What are you, a f%#cking moron?!" she shouted at me. "You're going to have your fingers stuck together! Is that what you want?"

I was going to counter with I wasn't a child and didn't need to be yelled at, but since I was sticking my fingers together after gluing stickers into a book (therefore severely weakening my argument), I decided to go get some nail polish remover instead.

Only one didn't work. My fingers were still sticking together.

I tried regular soap and water...nope, that didn't work either.

Next I went underneath the sink for some heavy duty stuff...Goop. I thought it had worked for a couple of minutes, but my fingers were soon sticking together again.

So I tried Googling my problem and most everything suggested I had already proved didn't work. I found something I hadn't tried on a craft website (which is probably where I should have looked first).

Vegetable oil.

I never would have thought of that. I grabbed some from the cupboard and poured it on my hands worked!

So now that the adhesive spray was no longer an option for my stickers, I ended up being very careful when trying to peel the backing off of the rest of them. There were a couple "fails", but most ended up okay, and some even peeled off real easy. I sent my duplicates to Night Owl, and he posted about them here. (Sorry I only gave you one that you needed. If I ever find more, any dupes are headed your way.)

Okay, maybe this wasn't all that scientific, but I bet you didn't know it.

Vegetable oil, it's not just for raising your cholesterol.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

What A Day

A few months ago my wife had some minor surgery which required me to be at the hospital with her, so to pass the time (a few hours), I brought some cards that I bought from Five Below.

There were no packs of 1989 Topps to be seen, so I felt safe about my purchase, but I still did proceed with caution.

Five bucks for 100 cards, 2 baseball packs, 1 figure, 1 rookie card and 1 Hall of Fame card.

What caught my eye was the Sports Collectors Digest Paul Molitor on one of the sides of the cube.

Let's start with the two packs. The first pack I opened was 2014 Topps Heritage.

Nothing exciting, although I did get a red parallel of Giancarlo Stanton.

Next pack was 2014 Topps Series 2.

Again nothing exciting, although I did pull a Will Myers Mini Die-Cut...

...and a Vic Black red parallel.

Before we get to the highlights of the hundred cards, I also got this little Oriole thing.

I guess I should have cleaned off the counter before I took this picture.

First card up is the reason I bought the cube...this Sports Collectors Digest Paul Molitor card from 1990.

The second card from this cube is a card I've been looking for! All of the checklists that I've been able to find for the 1987 Hygrade Baseball's All-Time Greats set include this card. This is one of only two cards in these checklists that are orange (the rest are green). I'm not sure how accurate these online checklists are, but all I need now is the orange Jackie Robinson card and I've finally completed this!

Well, as far as I know.

There always seems to be one card that doesn't belong in these things.

I love oddballs., but I really love Red Sox oddballs.

If I ever find a cheap box of these Ted Williams cards (and by cheap I mean five bucks), it's mine. This brand has really grown on me since I started collecting again.

I'll have to admit I was pretty surprised when I pulled this. This was turning out to be quite the cube. I was sitting in my car in the hospital parking lot while I was looking through these, and thankfully I didn't get a call during all of this saying she was ready to go home. She may have had to wait until I was finished. She would have understood...I hope.

I have to grudgingly admit I like these Yankee Stadium Legacy cards, although I'm probably in the vicinity of sixty-six hundred cards shy of completing this set.

You can get this 1991 Score Rising Stars Juan Bell on eBay for 99 cents plus $2.50 shipping.

Ouch. I like my method of getting "rising stars" better.

Jerry Ujdur is the only name of the three that I recognize. So off to Baseball Reference I go.

Dave Steffen never made the majors and Roger Weaver went 3 - 4 in 1980 for the Tigers, his only season in the big leagues.

1983 Donruss. One of the sets that I'll someday make a list for. The year this set came out, I was a Boy Scout and went to the Jamboree in Alberta, Canada. I spent thirty days traveling on a school bus (this was before they decided to put padding on the seats), and it was my first time away from home that was longer than a week of summer camp. We went from New Hampshire to California to Canada and back, seeing as many things as we could along the way. I still have a lot of memories from that trip; seeing my first real of the evening on a Chicago street, chasing kids through a Piggly Wiggly parking lot for making fun of us, and buying packs of 1983 Donruss. I also remember spilling Kool-Aid fruit punch all over the cards. At least the color schemes matched.

I'll have to admit I was NOT surprised when I pulled this. Whenever I pull a card out of these repacks and it is from some early 2000 set that only had one or two issues, it is always Mike F@#king Hampton. Does this happen to anyone else? I've got about nine sets where the only card I have is Mike F@#king Hampton.

This was the earliest card I got (along with the Tigers team card). I like catcher cards like this. It sort of reminds me of the 1978 Topps Milt May card which was a favorite of mine as a child. This one is cooler though.

All that's left now is to decide which is the Rookie Card and which is the Hall of Fame card. I don't understand why they make it a point to advertise this, because you could put a 1991 Topps Nolan Ryan to satisfy the Hall of Fame card and you could put in a rookie card of someone that never made the big leagues. Big deal.

So with that in mind, I've decided that my Hall of Fame card is Jackie. 

My rookie card is going to be the 2010 Topps Dustin Richardson for two reasons:

1.) It is a Red Sox card.
2.) It says "RC" right on it, so I don't have to try and figure it out.

He has a lifetime 0 - 0 record and is still bouncing around the minor leagues, most recently in Double A for the Dodgers organization.

It's all good, the cards helped pass the time, the surgery went well (they were checking a lump for was negative, although she's still a high risk) and as a bonus I was even able to mess with my wife's mind on the drive home while she was still loopy from all the drugs.

What a day.