eBay Wins #140

Today I have the set I generally consider the ultimate Topps junk wax set, 1989. This might not beat 88 or 89 Donruss for the overall junk set champion. But, with the 25th anniversary parallels in 2014 flagship bearing the 1989 design, maybe now is the best time to sell. I bet I could get twice my money back! "My money" was just 60 cents for 60 cards, of course.

1989 Topps
#5 Orel Hershiser
#8 Dave Eiland
#30 Doc Gooden
#42 Jim Eppard
#44 Jim Snyder
#45 Kal Daniels
#80 Cory Snyder
#89 Dave LaPoint (x2)
Two Daves don't make a right, right? At least that's what I always told my two friends named Dave in college.

1989 Topps
#105 Ron Darling
#110 Paul Monitor
#129 Terry Clark
#131 Dave Otto
#139 Mike Flanagan
#190 Mike Witt
#196 Denny Walling
#197 Neal Heaton
#200 George Brett
Fun fact, which is only relevant to this particular arrangement of cards: George Brett's first Hall of Fame Ballot was also Mike Witt's. Brett got 98.2% of the vote. Witt got 0.

1989 Topps
#206 Roberto Alomar
#209 Jeff Bittiger
#210 Dale Murphy
#253 Jose Alvarez
#267 Jeff Robinson
#275 Danny Tartabull (x2)
#330 Eric Davis
#339 Scott Bailes

1989 Topps
#340 Kirk Gibson
#367 Johnny Paredes (x2)
#387 Ryne Sandberg (x3)
#390 Darryl Strawberry
#408 Greg Walker (x3)
As a Cardinals fan, I feel like I'm supposed to have this hatred for the Cubs, but I just can't muster it. I think part of the reason is that when I was first starting to watch baseball, the daycare I attended would let us turn on WGN in the afternoons and watch the Cubs day games. I got to know several of their players well, especially Ryne Sandberg. So this Three-of-a-kind of Sandberg isn't cringe inducing to me, as it might be to some St. Louis fans.

1989 Topps
#410 Jack Clark
#427 Eric Show
#449 Carmelo Martinez
#485 Hubie Brooks
#488 Kevin Coffman
#502 Duane Ward
#527 Dave Henderson
#531 Dave Hengel
#536 Joel Skinner
Jack Clark is all over these late 80s/early 90s posts.

1989 Topps
#571 Billy Ripken (x2)
#584 Randy Velarde
#588 Luis Alicea
#604 Paul O'Neill
#624 Jack McKeon
#651 Tom Niedenfuer
#693 Pat Borders
#704 Carlos Quintana
Here we have a decidedly unfamous Billy Ripken card, relatively speaking, and a Jack McKeon's magnificent mustache. Also a former, current, and future Cardinal as of the printing time of these cards, Tom Niedenfuer, Luis Alicea, and Pat Borders.

1989 Topps
#736 Jeff Hamilton
#744 Roger Craig
#750 Bret Saberhagen
#751 Ken Oberkfell
#579 Astros Leaders
#669 Dodgers Leaders
This last scan is brought to you by laziness and miscounting, but it worked out alright in the end. I thought I only had 59 cards and thus would have a row of vertical and a row of horizontal cards for the last scan. Thanks to the miscount, I discovered my scanner is almost exactly (2 card widths + 1 card length) wide.

Right now I would need about 2000 cards for $1.47 to get my average to 1 cent per card. That's not a particular goal of mine, but that is an interesting round number to help put the change values into perspective.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3194
Total Spent$50.47
Per Card1.58 cents
Change-0.011 cents


Another Sports Card Info Contest Win

I've won a few contests from Sports Card Info in the past, though my wins so far have been hockey cards - with some bonus football cards thrown in on top of the main prize - and football Teenymates. Today I have my first baseball contest win.

2001 Upper Deck Decade 1970's
Game Bat #B-GM Garry Maddox
I never heard of this set before this contest, partially because it hit during my collecting lull of about 2000 to 2009. I'm no graphic designer or art critic, but I'd say the designers definitely captures the 70s aesthetic with these cards.

I just want to say thanks to Sports Card Info, and go check it out for more contests, because there's usually 1 or even more each week.


eBay Wins #139

Today it's 1989 Bowman, the junk wax cards that always seems to have bent tops or bottoms due to the slightly elongated size compared to 99+% of other cards. These actually weren't bad, despite being shipped with other regular sized cards.

1989 Bowman
#305 Rob Dibble
#432 Joe Magrane
#450 Dennis Rasmussen

Since 1989 is still prior to my baseball-watching days, I did have to flip these cards over to the back to verify that I read the signatures correctly. I'd recognize Joe Magrane anywhere, and I would even have a decent chance at spotting Rob Dibble, but I don't think I could pick Dennis Rasmussen out of a lineup.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3134
Total Spent$49.87
Per Card1.591 cents
Change-0.001 cents


Mystery Contest Winnings

I'm going to ask for some help here, if you fancy yourself a Bowman expert. Read on...

Sport Card Collectors held a contest to pick the results of 6 different games on a Sunday in July, and I got all 6 correct. The tiebreaker was total runs scored. I went with 46, and the total was 47, earning me first prize. 2 of the prizes were pick-your-favorite-sport surprises, and I, of course, went with baseball. I had no idea what would show up in the mail.

The big prize turned out to be this Adrian Gonzalez relic from Upper Deck's last-gasp 2010 set. I appreciate a player like Adrian, who mocked the Cardinals for calling the Dodgers' celebrations "Mickey Mouse" by putting up mouse ears during a home run trot in the 2013 NLCS. That's how baseball should be, a bunch of guys having fun and giving each other trouble. Let's drop the unwritten rule stuff, and the "I'm offended" beanballs.
2010 Upper Deck
UD Game Jersey #UDGJ-GO Adrian Gonzalez

The rest of the prize was 2 retail packs of 2014 Bowman Platinum. Here's where I need help. I really like Bowman cards, until I go to enter them in my checklist and see the massive numbers of parallels. It's been this way since at least 1995, which I know for a fact because I have a 1995 Bowman card sitting on my desk, waiting for me to get the time to investigate whether or not it's a parallel. I may have to resort to buying some more from that set just to have something in my hand to judge it against.

Anyway, onto the help. If I've miscategorized any of these, please leave me a comment, and you can even call me whatever bad name you want for being unable to decipher parallels.

2014 Bowman Platinum
#49 Freddie Freeman
#100 Alex Guerrero
So far, so good. I believe these are both plain old base cards.

2014 Bowman Platinum - Prospects
#BPP61 Billy McKinney
#BPP81 Jake Barrett
Here's the first confusing part of Bowman, the prospects "base" set. But again, I think I've nailed these down. The background appears the same as the Freeman and Guerrero under the light.

2014 Bowman Platinum
Prospects Chrome Refractor #BPCP83 Trevor Story
Prospects X-Fractor #BPCP14 Mason Williams
Now, I realize trying to see a chrome coating on a scanned image is nearly an impossibility, but maybe you've scanned some of your chrome parallels and can see the similarities. The pattern on the background of the X-Fractor, at least I assume that's what it is, is easier to see. Neither of these had any serial numbering, leading me to believe these are the proper insert sets.

2014 Bowman Platinum
Top Prospects #TP-AB Archie Bradley
Cutting Edge Stars #CES-YD Yu Darvish
Almost as if these packs knew I was confused, they dropped this Top Prospects card on me. There's also a Top Prospects Die Cut Refractor set. This card is Die Cut. Logically, this is a Top Prospects Die Cut Refractor, right? Wrong. The Die Cut Refractor set is numbered to 25, and this has no numbering. Thus, it's just a Top Prospects card. At least the final Yu Darvish card was less confusing. The only other Cutting Edge Stars set (as far as I can tell) is a relic set, so this one's place in the checklist is plainly visible.

I want to reiterate to make very clear that I like Bowman cards. I get excited to open them, or get them in trades, or win them as prizes. It's when I then attempt to fulfill my desire to catalog every card I have, that I start to get a headache from the inscrutable checklist. Maybe I should just have one big Bowman box, a free for all of cards sorted by team and then shininess. Everyone loves shininess.

Thank you to Sport Card Collectors, and go check them out for more monthly/weekly contests.


eBay Wins #138

Today I have one binder page worth of 1990 Fleer. That is, if I kept my cards in binders. It's a little bit Padres-heavy for some reason, but it includes the Alomar brothers.

1990 Fleer
#52 Jeff Brantley
#149 Roberto Alomar
#150 Sandy Alomar, Jr.
#152 Jack Clark
#169 Eric Show
#279 Eric Hetzel
#335 Jerry Reuss
#430 Jose Rijo
#502 Cory Snyder
3 of these guys were Cardinals, and they all lined up in the left column when sorted numerically. It's like one of those math-oriented playing-card tricks, except one where Jerry Reuss is also a little creased

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3131
Total Spent$49.84
Per Card1.592 cents
Change-0.002 cents


2013 Topps Update Jumbo Pack #10

It's the final pack in my quest at the full run of 990 cards in 2013 Topps.

A fan of the other Missouri baseball team gave me trouble about all the Cardinals in Pack 9, but he was the only one to comment, so I shall reward him with all of the Royals in Pack 10.

2013 Topps Update
#US40 Tim Collins
#US75 Ty Wigginton
Emerald Parallel #US141 Chris Carter
Franchise Forerunners #FF-8 Nolan Ryan/Yu Darvish
Gold Parallel #US166 Kevin Gregg #0845/2013
Making Their Mark #MM-28 Nick Franklin
Well, as far as base cards go, this pack had one Cardinal, and one Royal. I don't really know much about Tim Collins, but I do know this is my first card of Ty Wigginton in a Cardinal uniform. He didn't last very long here, but I'll still collect his cards. That Nolan Ryan guy down on the left isn't bad either.

2013 Topps Update
Chasing History #CH-108 Shelby Miller
1971 Topps Mini #TM-25 Shelby Miller
This pack had not one, but two Shelby Miller insert cards, modeling both the home and road jerseys, I think. Maybe the mini is just poorly lit.

After the last pack, I still had 45 cards to go, or so I thought. All 44 of the base cards in this pack were new, according to my list. That left one card, #109. I looked in the already sorted pile from the previous 9 packs, and sure enough, there was a #109 in there. I must have just misclicked when entering my cards into Zistle.

Also, I mentioned back in Pack 3 that I had a dinged up Wilson Betemit card. I did get an additional copy of that one along the way, so I have a full, undamaged set. All in all, I think my decision to get a Jumbo box of Update was a good one. I will probably do the same for 2014. As for Series 1 and 2 this year, I'm still a little on the fence, so it might come down to the price I find for Jumbo boxes and the factory set.

Update Series Completion: 330/330 (100.0%)


eBay Wins #137

In my eventually-ending quest to run through all my eBay penny cards, I'm up to 1989. True, I already posted some from 1990 the other day, but this pile was big and I felt lazy. Today's lot has 21 cards, and the return of Clarkmania™.

1989 Fleer
#97 Jim Rice
#169 Ron Robinson
#174 Frank Williams
#212 Dave LaPoint
#252 Jack Clark
#253 Richard Dotson
#291 Bret Saberhagen
#299 Roberto Alomar
#321 Ed Whitson
This is the first card of Dave LaPoint I've ever posted, though I did receive his 1990 Score card in a trade a few years ago. Clearly I flipped through those cards too quickly and didn't realize I missed a Cardinal. Not only was he a Cardinal, but he played for the team in 1982, and pitched in 2 games of the World Series they won over the Brewers.

1989 Fleer
# 325 Will Clark
#342 Don Robinson
#355 Glenn Davis
#366 Craig Reynolds
#510 Jerry Reuss
#526 Chad Kreuter
#542 Jay Buhner (x2)
#549 Erik Hanson
What is Jerry Reuss doing with a bat in 1989 (likely 1988 in the photo)? He never came to the plate in 1988-89 with the White Sox and Brewers. You see, kids, back in '89, the Brewers were in the AL, and there was no interleague play, so AL pitchers didn't ever bat unless they made the World Series, unless there was a weird injury/double-switch/crazy-like-a-fox-manager situation.

Also, I might be able to let one Jay Buhner card go without doing this, but I simply can't show 2 Jay Buhner cards without this video:

1989 Fleer
#655 Checklist (Twins/Tigers)
#642 Prospects: Brad Pounders/Jerald Clark
World Series #2 Rookie Start Series (Tim Belcher)
Rounding things out are 3 oddballs of the lot: A checklist, a horizontal card, and an insert. That would make for a terrible Carnac bit. Brad Pounders is one of the grayest looking prospects I've ever seen, but I looked him up, and he was born in 1963, so he was a reasonable, though slightly older than usual, age for a prospect in 1989. The World Series card is nice, but now it makes me want to chase a 25-year-old insert set to pick up the other 11 cards, which include Eckersley and McGwire.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3122
Total Spent$49.75
Per Card1.594 cents
Change-0.004 cents


2013 Topps Update Jumbo Pack #9

Does anyone actually read blog posts that are posted on a Saturday night? I guess maybe for some folks reading the blog roll is the modern equivalent of reading of the Sunday paper, so maybe some of your are reading this over your morning coffee.

2013 Topps Update
#US55 Pete Kozma
#US152 Randy Choate
#US168 Michael Wacha
#US213 Matt Adams
Emerald Parallel #US118 Joe Blanton
Gold Parallel #US61 Rafael Soriano #0185/2013
Making Their Mark #MM-46 Hyun-Jin Ryu
Postseason Heroes #PH-9 Mariano Rivera
Not all of them were new, but I had 4 Cardinal base cards in this pack, and they're all in Cardinal uniforms, and they're all still Cardinals to this day (barring some sort of cleared-waivers trade between writing up and posting this pack). I also had 2 Mariano Rivera base cards to go with this Postseason Heroes insert.

2013 Topps Update
Chasing History #CH-127 Prince Fielder
1971 Topps Mini #TM-21 Ian Kinsler
The final two inserts in this pack, I grouped together because I had 8 vertical regular-sized cards, and these. Only after I scanned them did it hit me that I've got 2 guys just about as connected as two non-teammates can be, since they were traded for each other last November.

Well this is slightly concerning. Every base card in this pack was a duplicate. That leaves 45 more to go still, with just 1 pack left, and I haven't seen a pack with 45 base cards in it yet. It's possible I mis-clicked somewhere along the way and messed up my checklist, but if not, it's not looking good for completing the set.

Update Series Completion: 285/330 (86.4%)


eBay Wins #136

Today's pseudo-lot consists of just 3 penny cards from 1990 Upper Deck. I really appreciated that Upper deck put the set year right on the front of the card for a few years, since many of their yearly design changes were subtle. It always helped me sort through the piles of commons more efficiently.

1990 Upper Deck
#616 Don Robinson
#646 Jaime Navarro
#787 Matt Young
Just today, I learned that the Seattle Pilots became the Milwaukee Brewers right before the season began in 1970, and the Brewers had very little time to get ready. That's apparently why the Brewers started with Blue and Yellow uniforms - because they had actually re-purposed as much Pilots gear as they could. When the Mariners came along, they stuck with the same color scheme, as is so coincidentally illustrated by the two side-by-side Brewers and Mariners cards today.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3101
Total Spent$49.54
Per Card1.598 cents
Change0 cents


2013 Topps Update Jumbo Pack #8

I'm coming into the home stretch in the metaphorical horse race that is this Jumbo box. Man, I should enter that terrible writing contest.

2013 Topps Update
#US22 Carlos Beltran
#US221 Allen Craig
#US282 Brock Peterson
These 3 Cardinals are now members of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers. Brock Peterson got called up at the age of 29 in mid-2013, and played just 23 games, which I guess is enough to get a card in Update.

2013 Topps Update
Emerald Parallel #US182 Luis Valbuena
Gold Parallel #US155 J.B. Shuck #0251/2013
Making Their Mark #MM-48 Craig Kimbrel
Postseason Heroes #PH-7 Reggie Jackson
There were no particularly flashy inserts in this pack. I think my favorite of this group is the Reggie Jackson.

2013 Topps Update
Chasing History #CH-138 David Ortiz
1971 Topps Mini #TM-46 George Brett
I grew up liking the Royals moderately, since they're Missouri's other team. That changed a little when interleague play began, and they were our yearly rival. Still, I appreciate a good hall of famer card, especially a mini like this George Brett.

I had another perfect pack, 44 for 44 new cards. That hardly seemed possible at this point, except for the fact that packs are obviously not exactly random groupings of cards. My last 2 packs just need to finish off 45 base cards total. 44 is the highest base card total I've seen, I think, so I double checked to see if any were variation SPs. As far as I can tell none were, but I'll give the set a once-over after pack 10 and report the results.

Update Series Completion: 285/330 (86.4%)


eBay Wins #135

Today's eBay lot covers a set nearly as synonymous with junk as my last post. Like 1988, 1989 Donruss cards seem to show up everywhere. Among the piles of penny cards I bought, I had 16 of them.

1989 Donruss
#22 Gerald Perry
#47 Alex Sanchez
#182 Kirby Puckett
#401 Mickey Tettleton
#445 Paul Gibson
#527 Tom Prince
#536 Ken Hill
#544 Norm Charlton
I can distinctly remember having that Tom Prince card when I was a kid, because the picture seemed so odd. He's got on a black jersey, which isn't unusual these days, but you didn't see much at that time except for in batting practice. He also has a forward facing helmet with no flaps, something else that was rare at that time. In this case I assume that's his catching helmet, not a batting helmet, since he has a glove on. Also, he looks utterly confused. This first scan has both of the Cardinals from the bunch, Gerald Perry and Ken Hill.

1989 Donruss
#556 Bud Black
#595 Lloyd McClendon
#623 Keith Miller
#637 Mike Schooler
#638 Rick Leach
#651 Bob Milacki
#654 Paul Mirabella
#658 Kevin Blankenship
Part of the fun of these cards years later is seeing how many of the guys became managers, or did something notable after the card was initially issued. In this case I got 2 current managers, Bud Black and Lloyd McClendon, back when he was still listed as a catcher instead of OF/1B.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3098
Total Spent$49.51
Per Card1.598 cents
Change-0.003 cents


2013 Topps Update Jumbo Pack #7

Some say 7 is lucky, but I've never really found that to be the case. Let's see how Pack #7 works out

2013 Topps Update
#US171 Nick Punto
#US201 Adam Ottavino
#US253 Shelby Miller
#US261 Skip Schumaker
#US270 Edwin Jackson
Emerald Parallel #US Dylan Axelrod
Gold Parallel #US40 Tim Collins #1277/2013
Black Parallel #US278 Jose Alvarez #61/62
Believe it or not (and why wouldn't you, really?), these are the first cards of Nick Punto and Adam Ottavino I've ever shown on my blog. I would have figured their cards would have come up before. On another note, I pulled another black parallel from this pack, numbered to 62.

2013 Topps Update
#US189 Kyle Lohse
Chasing History #CH-144 Yasiel Puig
This pack had quite the rogues' gallery of former Cardinals, with 4 in the first scan, and Kyle Lohse in the horizontal section. Along with him I have another card of this Puig fellow who seems to be showing up a lot.

2013 Topps Update
Franchise Forerunners #FF-2 Yasiel Puig/Matt Kemp
Making Their Mark #MM-39 Kevin Gausman
1971 Topps Mini #TM-2 Babe Ruth
And here I have yet another Puig along with Matt Kemp. It must be good to be a Puig collector these days, unless you're a completist. Then I'd guess it gets a little pricey.

This pack had the full 43 base cards after subtracting out the "standard" inserts. 30 of them were new, keeping me ahead of the pace to finish the set; with 70% of the packs busted, 73% of the set is complete.

Update Series Completion: 241/330 (73.0%)


eBay Wins #134

Today I have a pile of 1988 Donruss, a set you're likely to encounter a lot when you buy "random" cards for a penny each.

1988 Donruss
#8 Devon White
#46 Eddie Williams
#66 Kevin Mitchell
#74 Jim Clancy
#93 Dave Righetti
#96 Bret Saberhagen
#174 Ellis Burks
#183 Jack Clark
#184 Glenn Davis
Sorted by numbers, there was just one Cardinal in the first bunch: Jack Clark, my favorite River City Rascal (that's a local minor league team he managed, not a lame nickname I gave him).

1988 Donruss
#188 Sid Bream
#202 Ken Griffey
#204 Will Clark
#211 Harold Baines
#216 Dwight Evans
#249 Paul Molitor
#254 Joe Carter
#258 Brian Downing
When typing "Ken Griffey", my hands instinctively start to type ", Jr." afterwards. That's why pencils have erasers, or keyboards have backspaces. This bunch also had 1 Cardinal (by my rules), Will Clark. It's Clarkmania™.

1988 Donruss
#305 Bob Boone
#313 Chili Davis
#340 Claudell Washington
#350 Cory Snyder
#369 Eric Davis
#388 Dave Parker
#399 Jim Rice
#407 Don Sutton
If only Chili Davis and/or Glenn Davis from the first scan had also been Cardinals, it would also be Davismania™. But only one surname can rule the day, and only Eric of these three Davises was a Cardinal.

1988 Donruss
#462 Oil Can Boyd
#463 Dan Pasqua
#471 Dan Quisenberry
#560 Ted Simmons
#626 Pat Perry
#640 David Wells
#656 George Bell
#657 Gregg Jefferies
I'm a little skeptical of this fact, but it seems to check out. This is the first card of Pat Perry, and the first card of Dan Quisenberry that I have shown on my blog. I know I have many Perry cards, and at least a few Quisenberry cards (Quisenberries?). I guess it's possible I acquired them all long ago, and none since the inception of this blog. Among these cards, Ted Simmons and Gregg Jefferies also played for St. Louis. Jefferies was one of the few bright spots for the early 90s Cardinals, making the All Star team in 1993 and 1994, along with Lee Smith and Ozzie Smith once each.

I lowered my per-card average a little bit more, and I'm getting close to cracking the 1.6 cents barrier. At that point... I'll probably just shoot for 1.5 and keep going.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3082
Total Spent$49.35
Per Card1.601 cents
Change-0.007 cents


2013 Topps Update Jumbo Pack #6

The last pack had a recently acquired Cardinal in it, and this one did too.

2013 Topps Update
#US142 Yadier Molina
Chasing History #CH-107 Babe Ruth
1971 Topps Mini #TM-14 Troy Tulowitzki
The more I see of the Chasing History set, the more I like it, especially as it deals with the history of the game and statistical milestones. Some of its stats are a little esoteric, but this one is straightforward. Babe Ruth is the only player to hit 3 Home Runs in a World Series game twice. Albert Pujols, Pablo Sandoval, and Reggie Jackson have each done it once.

2013 Topps Update
#US93 Adam Wainwright
#US96 Mark DeRosa
#US239 Justin Masterson
Emerald Parallel #US115 Drew Stubbs
Gold Parallel #US94 Joba Chamberlain #0433/2013
Making Their Mark #MM-34 Nolan Arenado
Postseason Heroes #PH-20 David Wright
Making Their Mark Autograph Redemption #MMA-AH Aaron Hicks
This is the first card I've shown of new Cardinal Justin Masterson. He didn't have a stellar first game on Saturday, but the offense scored enough to earn a victory for him. Also in this bunch is the second hit of my box, an autograph redemption for Aaron Hicks. This will be the first redemption of this type for me since I mailed in a Topps Black Gold winner card in 1993 or maybe 1994. This is also the reason I started going through these boxes, because I knew there was a chance there would be a card that would eventually expire. However, I have another 2 years to send it in. Hopefully I'll take care of it before then.

This pack had 43 base cards, and all 43 were new, so I'm still reasonably well on track to finish the set, and maybe even find another fully redundant pack like pack 5.

Update Series Completion: 211/330 (63.9.%)


eBay Wins #133

Today I've got 2 1989 Upper Deck cards. I've already got the most expensive card in this set, the Ken Griffey, Jr. rookie card, so I should really try to complete the rest of it.

1989 Upper Deck
#162 Luis Polonia
#495 Andy Hawkins
I don't have any particular attachment to either of these players, so here's an error I noticed on the back of Mr. Polonia's card.

1989 Upper Deck #162 Luis Polonia
Notice that his Batting Average in 1987 is listed as /287 instead of .287. I guess somewhere along the way these stats were typed in free-form, rather than culled from spreadsheets with some sort of sanity checking. I couldn't find any reference to this error online, though I'm still sure I'm not the first to find it. I assume that means no corrected version exists.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3049
Total Spent$49.02
Per Card1.608 cents
Change0 cents