Friday 25 February 2011

A delayed multiple Mail day

This is very lax of me and unforgivable. It's holiday time and I haven't posted .
In the last few weeks a number of trade packages have arrived, two regular traders and two NEW.
The first trade is from my good friend Brian at Waxaholic. Packages have bounced back and forward between the UK and Canada for over two years, the first being in August 2008. I have watched his blog Waxaholic go from strength to strength, currently 193 stalkers. I'm sure it is to do with the quality, incisive, witty banter he produces and nothing to do with the Cheerleader of Week pictures.
He sent a volley back this way, including the lovely Youk card above, after I had (unsuccessfully) tried to complete the numerous sticker collections he has on the go - not my fault. My favourite set in recent years is the Masterpieces baseball sets of 2007 and 2008, although I had collected the whole base set, this Captured on Canvas from the 2008 set is an awesome addition. Not to be outdone he sent a 2008 A+G Jason Varitek bat card and some unopened packs. He also included my favourite past player Nomar.
Thanks Big B. The second trade is from another regular trader, Greg at Night Owl cards. Packages have been winging their way from New York since October 2008. Back then I seemed to pull Dodgers with ease. An interesting and prolific writer, Greg's blog has always been one of my first points of call, even with the baseball blog explosion, he still remains among the best in the business. That's enough of the back slapping now - forgive me, it is Oscar time after all ,the season of congratulatory exaltation!
Greg sent me a fair few cards from my wants list, including a bunch of cards modelled on the 1966 Topps set. They appear to be cut? from a magazine...I enjoy the cartoons on the back of the custom cards. One of these cards informs me that Roger (Clemens) enjoys water sports and that Mike (Greenwell) has popularized high top spikes. I'm not sure how I have come so far in life without knowing this.
Thanks again to Greg for the great Red Sox cards. The next lot of cards came from a new tader, Tim aka SpastikMooss and his blog The Great Sports Name Hall of Fame. As he mentions in this post , we set the trade wheels in motion many months ago. He has two unusual collecting pursuit which I admire in a collector. Great names, Randy Ready is a personal favourite of mine and cards depicting cups, either in the background or prominent. I dug threw various boxes of cards and couldn't find any cards depicting cups, not a single one. So I spent the next few months trying to find one. Luckily Tim widened his collecting demographic, so I was able to find an assortment of cards, unfortunately not a cup card. I have become determined to find one.
Tim sent in return a huge stack of cards (and he sent packs too!) that were all from my wants list. He personally cleared a number of loose ends and helped complete many Red Sox team sets. Far too many to mention, except for this card -an Aaron Sele 1995 Topps card but this one is 'SHINY'. We like shiny things almost as much as stickers. The cards have statistics on the back from the strike shortened 1994 season that have been computer simulated-golly!, hence the set being called cyberstats. Thank you Tim for what I hope will be the first in long line of trades, particularly if I can find a damn cup card

And finally I'm not sure how I came into contact with Ted, a Blue Jays collector, but I was grateful. The Blue Jays cards had been building for a while and I had tried to get in touch with Roy from 'A Paper Chase' (or plain Grey Swatch as it is now known) to no avail. But this post is not about him. Ted sent a large box of Red Sox goodness. He included the entire Red Sox run of 1993 and 1994 Topps plus an assortment of 1990's up to the present day. All the cards were in immaculate condition.
The cards from Ted I chose to showcase are these two 2008 Topps Opening Day card, but not just any old run of the mill Opening Day cards, both these cards are numbered to 2199. I must have opened a few packs of these cards in 2008 and I wasn't aware that these existed as an insert. The lettering(logo, players name and team name) is in gold plus next to the Opening Day logo is the date March 31, 2008(also in gold)
Thank you Ted. Hope we will stay in contact, so the future Blue Jays I pull have a friendly home to go to.

Saturday 12 February 2011

1982 Topps Sticker Album

Sticker Albums. What a lovely invention.
I'm not alone in my fondness of sticker albums and have collected football (soccer) sticker albums for years.

Recently an incredibly nice looking 1982 Topps Baseball sticker album, two unopened packs and a batch of roughly 200 stickers ( a few short of the 260 required for a completed album) came up for auction on a popular selling site. At £2.99 including postage I just couldn't pass this opportunity away.

Although the 1982 set is one of Topps earlier sticker albums. A name that is all too familiar now Panini, an Italian company, have produced sports sticker albums since the 1960's. Back then the stickers were called figurines, meaning literally 'little figures' and were not actually self adhesive stickers. From 1961 until 1970 the 'figurines' were attached to the album using glue and were sold per 'sachet.'
Panini had produced Calciatori (player) albums and figurines for 10 years and it wasn't until the 1970 World Cup in Mexico that Panini produced an album for the international market. For a really good look at this album the 1970 completed album pages, has a page by page completed album. Some of the players depicted have faces only a mother could love.This album semi-completed was selling for around £450.

When Topps entered the sticker market, Fleer had produced stickers for a number of years. For a far greater knowledge than I will ever have, read The Fleer Sticker Project.
The 1982 Topps Baseball Sticker Album is 32 pages. There are 260 stickers to collect to complete the album. Stickers came 5 per pack. No surprise that the album and stickers were made in Italy. The stickers are all the same size, roughly 2 1/2 inches by 2 inches and come in a variety of backgrounds. American League All-stars have a gold background, National league All-Stars have a silver background, read into that what you will. The NL and AL batting and pitching leaders have a red/white/blue background.
The 1981 World Series have yellow/red and yellow/blue backgrounds.
The rest of the base stickers have just solid red or blue backgrounds.
There are 8 stickers that I definitely do not have, which come under the heading of 1981 highlights #113 to #120.
The album and stickers are in lovely condition and I will refrain from the temptation of placing the stickers within the album

Sunday 6 February 2011

I am 2 for 2!

I struck baseball gold again in 'Poundland'.
My son asked if he could spend some of his birthday money on Yu-gi-oh cards. My initial reaction of 'Don't you have enough cards already?' never leaves my mouth as I realise that the boys have seen the cupboard where I keep my card collection. This does mean a trip to the closest comic book store in Canterbury about 15 miles away, but there are shops in Canterbury that I wouldn't find elsewhere.
You may remember the 'I have dream' post about a certain shop in Canterbury. Like the sirens in Homer's Odyssey, Poundland lured me towards its jagged rocks once again.
I wasn't the one to discover the 'Obsessed with Baseball' quiz book, it was my eagle eyed son.
2500 questions and a module that will randomly select questions to test your knowledge of America's (favourite) pastime.
Its copious volume is broken down into 10 chapters of 250 questions.

A random selection of question from the book:

1. Who is the career leader with 4, 256 hits?
a. Ty Cobb
B. Stan Musial
C. Pete Rose
D. Wade Boggs

556. Who is the only player to steal home in an All-Star Game?
A. Nap Lajoie
B. Pie Traynor
C. Roberto Alomar
D. Rod Carew

1126. Which pitcher won the Cy Young Award with four different teams?
A. Randy Johnson
B. Pedro Martinez
C. Roger Clemens
D. Catfish Hunter

1967. Who was the first batter to get five hits in a playoff game?
A. Paul Blair
B. Rennie Stennett
C. Rico Carty
D. Sal Bando

2284. Which baseball owner once experimented with using orange baseballs in exhibition games?
A. Bill Veeck
B. Connie Mack
C. Walter O'Malley
D. Charles Finley
All this for just 1 pound. Possibly the best pound I have spent all year.
(There are no prizes for answering the questions correctly, just the satisfaction of knowing you are obsessed with baseball.)