Wednesday 26 August 2009

Serendipitous Topps Cards

The generosity of the card collecting community never ceases to amaze me. A few weeks ago I received a 200 count box full of Red Sox goodness from 'Stats on the Back' and now this.
It was only a few short days ago that I received an e-mail from Max professing to be 'a voracious collector and part time card philanthropist.' He went on to say, 'When I saw your 1980 want list, I immediately dove into my shoe boxes and came up with 17 of your remaining 26. I am also a big Red Sox fan, and I see you are too, let me know if there is anything specific you collect so I can put them in your package as well - no use in sending something so far without getting as much into it as I can.'

And Max squeezed in as many Red Sox cards as humanly possible. I know that it costs more to send cards to the UK and I am grateful that people are willing to send all the way to the UK.
Max, thank you for the cards.
Here is a selection of the cards sent from Ramsey New Jersey (I think that is a new state too!)
1973 Topps #224 Bill Lee
1976 Topps #130 Luis Tiant
1978 Topps #645 Mike Torrez
1979 Topps #155 Dwight Evans
1981 Donruss #335 Carlton Fisk
1981 Fleer #232 Dwight Evans
1981 Fleer #238 Jerry Remy
1982 Donruss #282 Ralph Houk
1982 Topps Stickers #132 Jerry Remy
1983 Topps #270 Dennis Eckersley
1988 Panini Stickers #23 Bob Stanley
1988 Panini Stickers #30 Spike Owen
1988 Panini Stickers #32 Mike Greenwell
1988 Panini Stickers #33 Jim Rice
~more to follow

Only 7 1980 Topps to go!

I have moved a great deal closer to my 'Pursuit of 1980 Topps'.
Thanks to the generous nature of a self-proclaimed philanthropist called Max.
Max sent along 17 cards from my 1980 Topps wants list. So that leaves only 7 cards to go until I complete the whole set.

So if you happen to have;

#435 Don Gullett,
#448 Jim Wohlford,
#501 Rennie Stennett,
#512 Jose Cardenal,
#514 Steve Ontiveros,
#659 George Bamberger,
#684 Frazier/Herr/O'Brien,

lying about somewhere and feel they need a good home. Please get in contact.

Saturday 22 August 2009

1955 Bowman baseball Yankees

I cannot begin to understand the collecting habits of card collectors in the UK. Recent game used cards and in particular autographed cards go for sometimes stupid amounts of money, while cards as important to the hobby as these 1955 Bowman go for 99p.
The 1955 Bowman baseball card set was the last that the Bowman Gum Company produced. The company was bought by Topps in 1955 and the Bowman brand didn't resurface for another 30plus years.
The auction was for three Yankees, which included two Rookie cards; #68 Elston Howard and #167 Bob Grim plus #201 Allie Reynolds. The Elston Howard card is of major significance as he was the first African American to play for the Yankees and was in his MLB rookie year. In contrast Allie Reynolds retired in 1954, after a long and successful career which started in 1942 with the Cleveland Indians and ended with the Yankees. Both players featured in many All-Star and World Series games.
The third player,Bob Grim bounced around few clubs until he played his final game in 1962 when he was with Kansas City Athletics.
The seller also included a 1978 Topps Don Gullett and a 1979 Topps Jim Beattie.

1980 Topps #580 Nolan Ryan

Another one of the harder to get 1980's Topps cards. Mr Nolan Ryan. 7 no hitters. At this stage in 1979 he was only at his second club, although transfered to the Astros in 1980.
24 to go.

Friday 21 August 2009

Trade with Big B from Waxaholic

With the 2009/2010 football (soccer) season now in full swing, how can I deny a request Football stickers? Brian from Waxaholic and I share a liking of stickers as well as cards. So I am happy to contribute to his completion of the Topps Total sticker album.
Brian sent me some great '71 Red Sox and a pack of O-Pee-Chee baseball cards, which I will share in my Pursuit of Red Sox.

Brian sent:
1971 Topps #58 Bill Lee
1971 Topps #159 Javis Tatum
1971 Topps #225 Gary Peters
1971 Topps #254 Cal Koonce
1971 Topps #302 Phil Gagliano
1987 Donruss Opening Day #180 Bob Stanley
1987 Donruss Opening Day #181 Wade Boggs
1987 Donruss Opening Day #182 Jim Rice
1987 Donruss Opening Day #183 Bill Buckner
1987 Donruss Opening Day #184 Dwight Evans
1987 Donruss Opening Day #185 Spike Owen
1987 Donruss Opening Day #186 Don Baylor
1987 Donruss Opening Day #187 Marc Sulivan
1987 Donruss Opening Day #188 Marty Barrett
1987 Donruss Opening Day #189 Dave Henderson
1987 Donruss Opening Day #266 Red Sox
2004 Donruss Diamond Kings #90 Pedro Martinez
2009 Topps Finest #46 Jacoby Ellsbury

Thanks Brian. I hope we can continue to placate our shared dilemma of collecting a sport that is played on foreign shores.

Thursday 20 August 2009

Trade with Mark from stats-on-the-back

Have you been reading about the serial giver?
Mark from Stats-on-the-back has been downsizing the collection. 'I have too many cards', he screamed. 'I must reduce my card collection.' Although I didn't think, having too many cards was possible. I have heard my wife say it but didn't think it was a real statement.
However I was on the receiving end of a generous 200 count(plus) of Red Sox cards. There are too many to list here but lets just say that a large hole has been filled in the Red Sox vacancy list.
Thank you Mark.
Good Luck reducing your collection.

Wednesday 19 August 2009

Major League Baseball News in the UK

There is very little interest in baseball in the UK. Newspaper items are usually restricted to simple scores near the back pages, such as Boston 4 Detroit 3. The Mark Buehrle perfect game didn't cause a ripple. Alex Rodriguez dating Madonna was front page but this isn't baseball worthy, more for the fact that Madonna had recently broken-up with Guy Richie. The article then went to describe exactly who Alex Rodriguez was.
So what is baseball newsworthy across the pond. Recently on page two of a big Sunday newspaper was the above picture. The story probably didn't cause a blip on the American Baseball radar. It was about a group of Toronto Fans at a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays wearing watermelon hats. The Rays won 10-9 in 12 innings. No mention of any players, just this picture and roughly 50 words. The author didn't go into details about why these fans chose to wear watermelons on their heads. Crazy Americans, or is that crazy Canadians?

Monday 17 August 2009

Trade with Ross from Sports Card Info

Another nod to my friend Ross from Sports Card Info. He has come up trumps again, with a great selection of Red Sox cards in exchange for the Phillies that I pull from packs. The pick of the cards being these 2009 SP Legendary cuts base cards- Jacoby Ellsbury included. Also from Sellinsgrove, Pennsylvania came:

2008 Timelines #30 David Ortiz
2008 Goudey #26 Bobby Doerr
2008 Goudey #28 Daisuke Matsuzaka
2009 Allen+GInter #215 Jed Lowrie
2009 Allen+Ginter #300 David Ortiz
2009 SP Legendary Cuts #20 Kevin Youkilis
2009 SP Legendary Cuts #34 David Ortiz
2009 SP legendary Cuts #58 Jonathan Papelbon
2009 SP Legendary Cuts #60 Jacoby Ellsbury
2009 Topps Finest #18 Daisuke Matsuzaka
2009 Topps Finest #34 David Ortiz
2009 Topps Finest #64 J.D.Drew
2009 Topps Finest #106 Jon Lester
2009 Topps Finest #119 Jason Bay
2009 Topps Heritage #54 Jonathan Papelbon
2009 Topps Heritage #117 Michael Bowden
2009 Topps Heritage #336 Paul Byrd
2009 Upper Deck #544 John Smoltz
2009 Upper Deck #549 Jeff Bailey
2009 Upper Deck #554 Dustin Pedroia
2009 Upper Deck 20th Anniversary #1111 Nomar Garciaparra
2009 Upper Deck 20th Anniversary #1286 Pedro Martinez
2009 Upper Deck Starquest #SQ-38 Dustin Pedroia Emerald Super rare
2009 Upper Deck Starquest #SQ-45 Jonathan Papelbon Blue uncommon

Thanks again Ross. It is always great to trade.

Friday 14 August 2009

Epic Journey of 1994 Flair

When I discovered these packs of e-bay way back in December 2008, without giving it a thought I bid, as you do now and again. I won but unfortunately the seller wanted to charge a rather astronomical price for postage to the UK. I tried very hard to negotiate but to no avail. So I was in a tricky position and then discovered that the parents of a friend (of a friend) were going to the US for a holiday and asked that they be delivered to a US address in Massachusetts. They were duly posted and I forgot all about them. Last week, a chance meeting with the mentioned friends, I obviously don't get out enough, the cards in question were bought up! I took a little drive to the parents house in London and low and behold these cards had been sitting there waiting for me to collect. Not only that but they had also purchased some other cards for me as well, which is pretty nice considering I hardly knew them. (Just a pity they were 2008 Topps.)
To cut this long story short...I now have in my hot little hands 4 packs of 1994 Flair in their cardboard jackets. The reason I had purchased these cards in the first place was due to the
distinctive packaging. Fleer appear to have tried very hard with the Flair range of cards and I wanted to be part of this effort. I have now cracked these packs and have shared the luxurious contents over at Pursuit of Red Sox.

As usual they are up for trade.

Thursday 13 August 2009

1952 Bowman

These would be more at home at 'Things done to cards' but I picked up these 4 1952 Bowman cards on e-bay UK for the massive amount of 99p. Yes I was a little surprised as well.
We have card #59 Murray Dickson Pirates, #89 Billy Hitchcock Athletics, #73 Jerry Coleman Yankees and #7 Mike Garcia Indians.
Not the best examples of this set but much loved and nice looking cards none the less.
It's a shame that Topps didn't persevere with the Bowman Heritage brand. The modern versions, based on the 1950's Bowman designs, have always been a favourite of mine. I was lucky enough to secure the 2005 Bowman Heritage Rookie card of Jacoby Ellsbury recently as well.
I also found that these cards came in 1 card penny packs, so it would technically cost you $2.52 to buy the entire set of 252 cards. On the back it explains that you could purchase a $1.00 baseball cap for 50cents and 5 wrappers. Oh to be alive and collecting in 1952.

Sunday 9 August 2009

Searching for US Sports cards in the UK

I know for a fact that there are no baseball cards in my locality. I have searched high and higher but to no avail. Whenever I go someone new, much to the annoyance of my family, I will search toy shops, gaming shops and hobby shops. This is just in case, on the off chance, that they may have mistakenly ordered baseball cards rather than the LOST or Wrestle Mania cards.
The store I visited on my holidays to Dorset was in Dorchester, the old Roman city of Dumovaria. Which incidentally was, in the 17th Century, at the centre of the Puritan emigration to America. The local rector, John White, organised the settlement of Dorchester in Massachusetts.
Anyway the store I visited had a huge display of cards, a variety that I hadn't seen for awhile and a discount bin!!! The cards on displayed consisted mostly of Pokemon, Yugioh and some Warcraft? type cards. No joy there, but the discount bid had a range of sports cards (this is England, so the cards were all football) and some TV/movie related items-James Bond predominately, the LOST cards, Harry Potter, Tomb Raider and Star Trek.
But none of the cards that I hope to one day find buried deep , mistakenly ordered by an absent minded shop assistant, who thinking they had placed an order for the latest Yugioh cards but were delivered baseball cards instead. I can dream...
I opted for some cheap James Bond inkworks packs and a interesting pack of 'Rocketman'. Maybe next time.

1980 Topps #100 Johnny Bench

Following quickly behind Pete Rose was card #100 Johnny Bench, which leaves me perilously close to the 727 cards needed for the complete set. This is one of the more 'collectible' cards from the set, so I was pleased to have secured it.
As I said in the previous post I am edging closer, one card at a time.

Saturday 8 August 2009

1980 Topps Pete Rose

I have finally arrived at the 700 mark of my 'Pursuit of 1980's Topps'. I captured card number 540, a Mr Pete Rose, from e-bay recently, which took me a step closer to completing the set. Only 27 cards to go. One card at a time is fine by me.

Friday 7 August 2009

A short break

I have just arrived back from a short break with my family. We went to 'Sunny'(It rained the whole time) Dorset. The highlight being Monkey World and Corfe Castle. Here we are at Corfe Castle which was built about 1066 by William the Conqueror shortly after he arrived on these shores. The castle is a dramatic ruin now because it was blown up in 1646 by Roundheads during the English Civil War.