Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Trade with Ryan from Trader Crack's

It is time to get back to the old routine of school again. Luckily for me it has been a very quite month for baseball cards. I haven't arranged any trades and there has been little of note on e-bayUK, nothing oddball or old. Well nothing that I have had the fortune of winning. I had picked up some great cards recently, so my luck was soon to run out. Then out of the blue a package arrived from Ryan of Trader Crack's. Unexpected and completely awesome. ( I have realised that in normal life I do not use the word 'awesome' to describe anything. I must reserve it solely for these pages). Ryan included a number of 2004 Cracker Jack cards which I write about in the future and two very nice Relic cards. The first being 2009 Career Best Josh Beckett and the second a 2004 Cracker Jack Derek Lowe.
The Josh Beckett Game worn Jersey card is the most aesthetic card I have seen for a while. The blue card contrasting the red jersey piece. Well Done Topps.
Thanks to Ryan for the unexpected trade package. A great way to end a quite month.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

1952 Bowman

Only a short while ago I obtained some 1952 Bowman cards. Four cards to be exact and their condition was fair to poor. I was happy because I had some 1952 Bowman cards in my collection. I wasn't sure why I was able to grab these cards when I realised that 1952 was the first year of the Topps brand. Topps were bigger and there was more to collect. I discovered an interesting article describing the '52 Bowman cards as the 'forgotten set' because it is overshadowed by the '52 Topps.

There is however some of the bigger names in baseball included in the Bowman set such as: Mickey Mantle #101, Willie Mays #218, Stan Musial #196 (there wasn't a Musial card in 1952 Topps)and Duke Snider #116, to name but a few and what would it be like to be a player collector of Ebba St. Claire #172, Hoot Evers #249, Enos Slaughter #232 or Eddie Stanky #160. Perhaps they did it on purpose but Mickey Mantle #101 is between Sibby Sisti #100 and Peanuts Lowrey #102.
So why is the '52 Bowman set not as popular with today's collectors as the '52 Topps?
Size? Perhaps. Bowman stuck with the 2-1/16 X 3-1/8 cards that had served them well in previous years and Topps on the other hand went bigger with 2-5/8 X 3-3/4 inch.
Set size? Bowman 252, Topps 407.
Information? The bigger Topps card allowed for more statistical information to be printed including past years records. One third of the back of the Bowman card is an advertisment for the Bowman Gum Company.
Picture? Both used the same process of colourised black and white photographs of the players. Bowman provided a background, usually a stadium, while many of the Topps cards had plain mono-colour backgrounds. Was Bowman an inferior card?
Lack of Rookies? Only 3 notables in Bowman. Every card could be considered a 'Rookie' in the Topps set.
Kudos? Last of the small Bowman sets. First of the 'Modern' bigger Topps era.

The upshot is, I was able to pick up seven more of the 1952 Bowman set, including three Boston Red Sox cards. There was no interest in the auction, I won all of them with 1 bid. I added:

#117 Bill Wright Red Sox
#120 Al Corwin Giants
#127 Dick Sisler Reds
#129 Gus Niarhos Red Sox
#137 Stan Rojek Browns
#139 Jerry Priddy Tigers
#140 Ray Scarborough Red Sox.

These could all be considered to be in fair condition, but I won't quibble about condition. I may be the only person around that likes these more than '52 Topps. Then again I do not own any '52 Topps so that could sway it in favour of '52 Bowman.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

1995 Upper Deck Denny's baseball cards

When I purchased nine cards from this set I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I knew that Denny's was a restaurant, naturally I have watched American TV programs and Denny's is mentioned regularly. I had to research on the interwebs to find out more. My favourite from the Denny's menu is called:

'The Grand Slam Burrito'.
All your favourite ingredients from the Original Grand Slam-two scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and pancakes with syrup topped with melted American cheese and hand wrapped in a large flour tortilla. Grilled and served with crispy hash browns.

My arteries started to close just reading about it.
The only equivalent I can find here in the UK is the Little Chef. The restaurants can be found up and down the country usually located in motorway services, sweet escapes from the driving madness, truck drivers and tiredness. Motorway services are also, on Saturdays, full of travelling football fans moving from one stadium to another. The Little Chef offers a range of healthy salads, drinks and an American Style Breakfast for £6.75. Described as

Two rashers of bacon, a generous portion of free range scrambled eggs and two of our famous breakfast pancakes drizzled with sweet maple flavoured syrup.
Have a nice day!

There are 28 cards in the set, so I am presuming the cards were given away with a meal. Either one at a time or the whole set. This is not an usual practice, my children have collected all manner of items from McDonald's, Star Wars cards from KFC and plastic figures from Burger King. I'm not sure that Little Chef even has a child's meal.
However the cards from Denny's are of the holographic variety. Not really a new innovation in 1995. The backgrounds are exactly the same with a portrait of the player in front of the same crowd. Impressive cards but Mike Piazza smiles and then frowns at you, depending on the way you hold the card. Bret Saberhagen does the same. Both men are sporting moustaches. Spooky!
The cards I received were:
#4 Albert Belle Indians
#5 Jason Bere White Sox
#6 Roger Clemens Red Sox
#9 Andres Galarraga Rockies
#13 Barry Larkin Reds
#15 Don Mattingly Yankees
#20 Mike Piazza Dodgers
#22 Bret Saberhagen Mets
#28 Matt Williams Giants

Monday, 14 September 2009

Trade with Greg from Night Owl

Here is note attached to some cards from Greg at Night Owl. I knew they would be good, but I couldn't help but notice the plural on Jacoby, as in Jacoby's. Here is the best bit, Greg didn't place them on top so they would be the first cards I stumbled across. He placed them through out the other cards so I would find them in at intervals, leaving the best a 2009 Topps Chrome refractor until last.

My children share my excitement of the yellow packages arriving from the USA and Canada. Even our postman enquires about the cards I receive. So this package from Greg was a treasure hunt for all of us. So much so that we had to label, with post it notes,my two 7 year old daughter's Pokemon cards and hide them around the house. I was finding cards for days.
So not only thanks for the fantastic cards Greg (still cannot believe 4 Jacoby's in one package)but also for the game, now called Greg's Game in our house. It will keep us amused on the cold wet days of winter that are just around the corner.

Oh and Greg sent these Red Sox from Watertown New York as well:
1983 Topps #654 Bob Ojeda
1983 Fleer Red Sox sticker
1987 Donruss #622 David Henderson
1991 O-Pee-Chee Red Sox set
1992 Bowman #690 John Valentin
1993 O-Pee-Chee #35 Andre Dawson
1993 O-Pee-Chee #88 Ivan Calderon
1993 O-Pee-Chee #220 John Valentin
1993 O-Pee-Chee Premier #9 Jeff Russell
1993 O-Pee-Chee Premier #18 Andre Dawson
1993 O-Pee-Chee Premier #48 Scott Fletcher
1993 Pacific #31 John Dopson
1993 Pacific #34 Tony Pena
1994 Topps #292 Danny Dawson
1995 Upper Deck CC #413 Tom Brunansky
1996 Leaf #32 Dwayne Hosey
1997 Stadium Club #354 Heathcliffe Slocumb
1998 Donruss #191 Derek Lowe
1998 Thunder #141 Jim Leyritz
1998 Topps #178 Darren Bragg
1998 Topps #242 Tim Wakefield
2000 Fleer Gamers #94 David Eckstein
2000 Topps #169 Reggie Jefferson
2000 Victory #247 Jason Varitek
2002 Leaf Rookie Stars #199 Cliff Floyd
2009 O-Pee-Chee #18 Justin Masterson
2009 O-Pee-Chee #78 Julio Lugo
2009 O-Pee-Chee #365 Jacoby Ellsbury
2009 O-Pee-Chee #375 Daisuke Matsuzaka
2009 O-Pee-Chee #454 Jon Lester black border
2009 O-Pee-Chee #AR6 Jacoby Ellsbury
2009 Topps Chrome #96 Justin Masterson
2009 Topps Chrome #117 Josh Beckett
2009 Topps Chrome #170 Jacoby Ellsbury
2009 Upper Deck X #11 Jacoby Ellsbury

Thanks Greg. Always a pleasure to trade Dodgers for Red Sox.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Trade with Jim from Garvey Cey Russell Lopez

It is always good to find a new trade partner.
Jim from the wonderfully named GCRL, or Garvey Cey Russell Lopez, contacted and said he had a 1980's Topps card from my wants list and would like to send some other Red Sox. I expected a few but not the 200 count box full of cards.

I enjoy reading about the collecting habits of different bloggers. The Red Heart dog food and the Fleer Sticker project are favourites of mine, different and challenging. Jim is endeavouring to collect the 1978 Topps Dodgers set with autographs. He calls this a modest endeavour but is he well on his way at 48% success. I for one am enjoying reading about the joy he shares when he obtains an auto through the mail or from e-bay. Recently he met Jack Morris, who signed his 1978 Topps card in person. Great stuff.

Here are the cards Jim sent from Woodbury Minnesota:
1980 Topps #689 Red Sox
1980 Topps #667 Royals Future Stars
1985 Donruss #371 Bob Ojeda
1986 O-Pee-Chee #60 Dwight Evans
1986 O-Pee-Chee #314 Marty Barrett
1986 O-Pee-Chee #375 Rich Gedman
1986 Topps #771 John McNamara
1987 Donruss #658 Sammy Stewart
1988 Fleer #367 Bob Stanley
1988 O-Pee-Chee #96 Todd Benzinger
1988 O-Pee-Chee #369 Bob Stanley
1988 Score #T59 Mike Smithson
1988 Score #T65 Larry Parrish
1988 Score #T81 Steve Curry
1988 Score #T83 Steve Ellsworth
1990 Topps #387 Wdae Boggs
1990 Topps #663 Fred Lynn
1990 Topps #785 Jim Rice
1992 Classic Best #390 Tim Vanegmond
1992 Classic Best #428 Tony Sheffield
1992 Stadium Club #636 Joe Hesketh
1992 Stadium Club #682 Matt Young
1992 Stadium Club #816 Jody Reed
1992 Stadium Club #883 Herm Winningham
1995 Donruss #89 John Valentin
1995 Fleer #35 Tim Naehring
1995 SP #128 Rick Aguilera
1995 Stadium Club #62 John Valentin
1995 Stadium Club #262 Otis Nixon
1995 Stadium Club #483 Rich Rowland
1995 Topps Traded #72 Jose Canseco
1997 Bowman #161 Carl Pavano
1997 SP #41 John Valentin
1997 Topps Finest #228 Heathcliff Slocumb
1999 Bowman #218 Dernell Stenson
1999 Bowman #304 Shae Hillenbrand
1999 Bowman #383 Steve Lomasney
1999 Fleer Tradition #85 Tom Gordon
1999 Fleer Tradition #302 Jose Offerman
1999 Fleer Tradition #238W John Valentin
1999 Fleer Ultra #60 Tom Gordon
1999 Fleer Ultra #112 Mike Stanley
1999 Skybox Metal #158 Tim Wakefield
1999 Skybox Metal #169 Bret Saberhagen
2000 Fleer Focus #179 Jose Offerman
2000 Pacific Paramount #38 Trot Nixon
2000 Pacific Paramount #39 Troy O'leary
2000 Stadium Club #155 Phil Dumatrait
2000 Skybox Premium #133 Mike Stanley
2000 Upper Deck Legends #75 Carl Everett
2001 Fleer Red Sox 100th #27 Don Baylor
2001 Fleer Red Sox 100th #46 Billy Goodman
2001 Fleer Red Sox 100th #52 George Kell
2001 Fleer Red Sox 100th #66 Carney Lansford
2001 MLB Showdown #67 Rich Garces
2001 UD Vintage #97 Jason Varitek
2002 Bowman #257 Seung Song
2002 Bowman #351 Justin Sherrod
2002 Bowman #372 Carlos Brackley
2002 Bowman Heritage #14 Jose Offerman
2002 Leaf Certified #137 Trot Nixon
2002 Topps Archives Chrome #645 Dwight Evans
2002 UD Vintage #73 Trot Nixon
2007 Topps Chrome #9 Jason varitek
2007 Topps Chrome #235 Wily Mo Pena
2007 Topps Chrome #284 Devern Hansack
2008 SP Authentic #100 Curt Schilling
2008 SP Authentic #RE-JL Jed Lowrie
2009 Bowman #BP44 Adam Mills

Deep breath, it was 200 count box.
That is a big pile of cards Jim. Thank you very much.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Trade with Cliff from Capewoods Collections

When I first started to write this blog and asked a few people if they were interested in a trade Cliff from Capewood Collections was one of the first to reply and we have traded a number of times since. Way back in September of 2008 Cliff sent a big pile of 2008 Red Sox leaving only a few vacancies in my wants list. Cliff is at it again in 2009.

Arriving from League City Texas last week were these Red Sox cards:
2000 Crown Royale #20 Nomar Garciaparra
2009 Bowman #38 Dustin Pedroia
2009 Bowman #89 Jon Lester
2009 Bowman #142 Mike Lowell
2009 Bowman Chrome #BCP6 Stolmy Pimental
2009 Bowman Chrome #BCP44 Adam Mills
2009 Goudey #22 Jason Bay
2009 Goudey #27 Dustin Pedroia
2009 OPC #18 Justin Masterson
2009 OPC #78 Julio Lugo
2009 OPC #127 Rocco Baldelli
2009 OPC 192 Hideki Okajima
2009 OPC #435 Jonathan Papelbon
2009 OPC #557 George Kottaras
2009 OPC #MM14 David Ortiz
2009 Topps #173 Manny Delcarmen
2009 Topps #349 Justin Masterson
2009 Topps #386 Jonathan Papelbon
2009 Topps #415 Josh Beckett
2009 Topps #579 Rocco Baldelli
2009 ToppsTown #27 David Ortiz
2009 ToppsTown #34 Dustin Pedroia
2009 Topps Mayo #TME-DP Dustin Pedroia
2009 Topps Attax Tim Wakefield
2009 Topps Attax Jason Bay
2009 Topps Heritage #15 Dustin Pedroia
2009 Topps Heritage #249 Jon Lester
2009 Topps Heritage #310 Mike Lowell
2009 Topps Heritage #332 David Ortiz
2009 Topps Heritage #336 Paul Byrd
2009 Topps Heritage #363 Coco Crisp
2009 Spectrum #16 Mike Lowell
2009 Upper Deck #545 Brad Penny
2009 Upper Deck #549 Jeff Bailey
2009 Upper Deck #554 Dustin Pedroia
2009 Upper Deck #555 David Ortiz
2009 Upper Deck #556 Jonathan Van Every
2009 Upper Deck #557 Jonathan Papelbon
Thanks again Cliff for the fine selection of Red Sox cards. The Nomar goes straight into the growing die-cut folder.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Trade with Max part 2

The second part of the trade with Max has been sitting here for a while. I shouldn't actually call it a trade he just sent a load of Red Sox cards and expected nothing back.
Again there are far too many to list. As part of the first installment he sent a large number of 1980's Topps cards to knock off my wants list.
This part included cards from the 90's and 00's.
One of my favourite cards is shown above. There have been a number of posts regarding cards that show baseball players not actually playing baseball. I don't mean the mug shots, rather the cards showing players on phones, signing autographs, chewing gum or playing with their children. I'm not sure why, but there is plethora of cards from the mid to late 90's that steered towards this trend. Pinnacle were big culprits.
Here Bill Lee, nicknamed 'The Spaceman', according to the back of the card he is called this because of his zany quotes and personable demeanor. This card however couldn't be placed in the not playing baseball category as he does appear to be in the wind up wearing a glove. Not in a game surely.
Max also included this 2009 Bowman Jacoby Ellsbury.
Thank you Max for the great selection spanning four decades.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

2009 Topps Walmart 'Black' variation

I recently received a blaster of 2009 Topps and was surprised to find that it was a Walmart 'Black' variation blaster. Although I am not sure of the scarcity of these cards, I do know thanks to Things done to cards, way back in March 2009, that is was meant to be clandestine affair but Topps soon revealed that there was two variations on the 2009 Topps. The other being in Target stores and each had a different barcode...code. The person who bought these for me would have been unaware of this so I received these by dumb luck.

So what is the ratio difference between these black border variation and white bordered? Or they just as common?