Fourth Anniversary HOF Win

Number 5 Type Collection had a recent contest with lots of prizes, and I managed to win a pretty good one. It's just one card, but it's from the 50s.

1959 Topps #408 Nellie Fox/Luis Aparicio

Oh yeah, it also had 2 Hall of Famers on it. This is now about the 3rd oldest card in my collection, which is pretty awesome in itself, but it's also the oldest card I have with a player I recognize on it. Obviously, I don't have a lot of pre-1960 cards. Heck, I don't have a lot pre-1985 cards compared to everything else.

Thanks to Number 5 Type Collection for the awesome contest, and congrats again on 4 excellent years of blogging.


My Favorite Childhood Player

The lastest of Fuji's blog-inspiring contest questions is Who were your childhood favorites (players)? Do you collect their cards & memorabilia? If so, what's your favorite item (of your favorite childhood player) in your collection?

As I've mentioned on my blog before, my favorite player was Mark McGwire. I can't even really pinpoint why, because I've always been a Cardinals fan. I think it might be because I got to see some A's games when they were in the playoffs in 1988-1990 and 1992. I liked collecting cards from the A's, so I also was a fan of Jose Canseco, Dennis Eckersley, and Tony La Russa. Needless to say, 1996-97 was great for me as the Cardinals hired La Russa, brought in Eckersley, and traded for McGwire in mid-1997.

As for my favorite McGwire-related Memorabilia, #1 is probably the rookie card I wrote about in this Fleamarkets post.

1989 Upper Deck #1 Ken Griffey, Jr.
1985 Topps #401 Mark McGwire
I don't have a picture handy, but one somewhat unique item is the St. Louis Post-Dispatch "Special Edition" that was sold outside the stadium after the game in which he hit #61. The funny thing about that is that early in the season, when he was on a tear, I tried to project in which game he'd hit #62 and got tickets to that game. He wound up hitting #61 to tie the record, so I was close. Anyway, I ran into a friend of mine whose dad works for the paper, and they were selling the commemorative copies for 50 cents. I grabbed either 2 or 4, and they're still stored away somewhere (I hope).

Finally, my most desired memorabilia right now would be an autographed ball. Prices went sky-high while he was playing here at the Cardinals Winter Warm-Up, their annual autographs-for-charity event. Every autographed ball I have was acquired in person, which feels like a bigger deal to me than buying one. Now that he's back coaching with the team, I'm hoping he'll be available at some point so I can add this much-wanted piece to my autographed ball collection, which currently includes Ozzie Smith, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Kyle McClellan, and 1 ball with a bunch of guys from 1998.


eBay Wins #34

It's been over a week and a half since I posted an eBay win thanks to various contests, so here's another one. This time I won 4 1990 Topps cards, 2 I'd consider common and 2 that are at least notable. best of all, they were a penny each! I figure for that price, any card is worth the chance that I'll eventually trade it to someone who is trying to complete the set.

1990 Topps #50 Glenn Davis
Paul Lukas doesn't like them, but I really like these Astros uniforms. And this from a guy who has hate a statutory dislike for the Astros since they and the Cardinals moved to form the NL Central.

1990 Topps #342 Alex Trevino
Now I hope this was a BP jersey, because I'm adamantly against anything but white, gray, or pinstripe jerseys for real games. It even kinda bugged me in Spring Training this year that some teams wear BP jerseys for games.

1990 Topps #365 Ozzie Guillen
Is Ozzie even still managing in Florida Miami? I haven't heard his name since he made some remarks to upset local Cubans and Cuban-Americans. Maybe management wisely told him to dummy up for awhile. Also, I dig the uniform number on the pants.

1990 Topps #412 Jamie Moyer
This card is 22 years old. Seeing some of the stats on the back and knowing he still had another 22+ years left in him is kind of amazing. Here are some of his career stats after the 1989 season.

Games: 100
IP: 566 1/3
W-L: 32-43
K: 357
Starts: 94
CG: 6
SHO: 2

Enough of all that, let's see the tracker.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought1930
Total Spent$37.56
Per Card1.946 cents


My Favorite Vintage Card

Once again, Fuji gives me a good idea for a blog post. He needs to run these contests more often. This time he asks, What is your favorite vintage card and/or 90's insert card in your collection? Why? How did you acquire it?

At first I thought, I don't have very many cards I'd consider vintage, and the ones I do I mostly came across accidentally or just bought them because they were old. But, I gave my collection a glance starting from the oldest cards and found the obvious answer staring me in the face:

1964 Topps #244 Tony La Russa

When I was a kid in 1994 or so, I really wanted this rookie card, but the only card shop near me had it at a price that was too high. It was probably semi-reasonable as card shops go, but it was over my budget. For awhile I went to that card shop almost every week, and usually peeked at the card. In 1996, La Russa came to St. Louis to manage, and the card got even more expensive. I quit collecting cards sometime in 1999, still not having the card.

When I returned to collecting in late 2010, Topps was doing  a little thing called the Million Card Giveaway. I bought a ton of rack packs of 2010 Update, and through entering codes and completing trades, worked my way up to around 80 mediocre cards and a few gems. Then, I noticed how much shipping was going to be, and knew I needed to try to trade a big lot for a good old card. I decided to offer a huge pile of cards for the La Russa, and someone accepted the trade. I traded for a 1968 Dave Duncan that year as well, though that's not his rookie card. I think I can definitely say this is now my favorite vintage card.

And thanks again to Fuji for dragging a good post out of me.


A Card You Should Own

When Fuji posed the question, "What's a cheap (under $5), cool card you feel every collector should add to their collection?", I had to step back and think.

First, I couldn't just pick a cheap cool Cardinal card I like, not every collector likes the Cardinals.

After that, I started thinking of legendary quirky cards, such as Billy Ripken, but I bet that infamous card might go for over $5 for being an error several corrections.

Then I thought of another Ripken card that's just quirky enough to be funny, but probably still dirt cheap.

1994 Collector's Choice #240 Cal Ripken, Jr.

Those 1994 phones were laughably huge by 1998, and 1998 phones were laughably huge by 2002. Phones have crept back up in size a little since they're now tiny personal computers, but Cal looks like he's calling in an air strike on this one.

Maybe it's just my sense of humor and love of the weird, but this is a card that I think needs to be in everyone's collection. Of course, it doesn't hurt that it's got a Hall of Famer on it too.


A (Very) Little Man Cave Update

This morning my alarm went off at 5:15 so I could get up, get dressed, and prepare a quick breakfast for my wife before waking her up. She ran in her first 5K since high school cross country, and I wanted to make sure she got as much sleep as she could and enough food to survive it, since she's hypoglycemic, and the race started at 7:30, about 20 minutes away from us. I didn't know my wife in high school, but she told me she would routinely faint at the end of races, so be ready. Luckily she didn't push herself to that level, and finished just a bit over 38 minutes, well behind the winners, but well ahead of some others.

That has almost nothing to do with anything, except as a consequence, we were out and about much earlier than usual for a Saturday, arrived back home about 9am, and noticed the subdivision next to us was having a subdivision-wide garage sale. She needed a cooldown walk, and loves to shop, and I felt like a slacker for not running with her, so we walked over to the sales.

She found a couple items of clothing, and I was on the lookout for anything sports related, after finding a sweet catcher's mitt for $10 a few weeks ago. One place had an orange Bengals Chad Johnson (not Ocho Cinco) jersey, and a gold 49ers Terrell Owens jersey, both of which would have fit me, for 8 bucks each. They looked to be in good condition, but I guess standing out in the heat, I just couldn't convince myself to buy an item of clothing I had to layer over another shirt. Also, one person was selling a bucket of softballs, on which the owner had previously written their initials: MW. Despite the handy pre-monogramming, I think I have more than enough softballs to make it through the limited games I play these days, so I passed

At another sale, walking past a bin of 10 cent toys and almost ignoring it completely, this little pennant caught my eye:

It's about 6-7 inches long, not a full size one, but I figured for 10 cents, I'd take it. Here's why:

Pay no attention to the Goofy hat in the background
That little Padres pennant came in a Cracker Jack box years ago, and for some reason I put it in the middle of the row with my other less-mini pennants. This Braves one, while it doesn't match, is about the right size, and so will go nicely in the mini-mini pennant's place. I realize I could have just fixed the spacing, but I never got around to it.

By the way, all those shots are fairly tightly framed because I'm almost ashamed of how messy I've let this room get. Unsorted baseball cards all over the pool table, a big "to do" pile in the corner, and random junk that should be thrown out or stored somewhere else. I'm trying to work my way though the cards first, because a pool table's just a big heavy inconvenient table when there's stuff on it. Anyway, let's see the results of this massive makeover.

Now that's much better, and now I have a micro pennant to put up somewhere else.


Flea Markets, and 2 contest plugs

This post is just laden with grabs for free stuff. First up is my experience with flea markets for collectibles, for Fuji's contest, and then two gratuitous links to two new contests. It seems like when it rains it pours with contests in the baseball card blogosphere.

When I was somewhere between 12 and 14, I used to go to a flea market with my mom or both mom and dad early on Sunday mornings before church, about once a month or so during nice weather. It was about 20 minutes west of us, in the rural direction. There were prime spots indoors, with maybe 30 tables or so, some prime outdoor spots near the building, and then the cheap spots up the hill and around the building. There were usually puppies and kittens for sale, "antique" furniture, which was mostly just old and beat up, and, as it was the mid-to-late 90s, lots of baseball cards.

I'm certain a few of the guys indoors were running hobby shops, as they always had boxes of the newest products. I don't think they could have sustained that with only a few hours to sell each week. Some weeks I just really liked looking at all of the autographed photos, and the rare and/or vintage cards. Occasionally I'd buy a pack of cards from them, but I usually wouldn't, buying instead from my more local hobby shop during the week.

My favorite seller to talk to was an older guy who had an outdoor spot, but had his cards in some nice glass-topped cases. In retrospect, I wonder how much UV damage some of his cards sustained week after week. I think I also visited his spot a lot because he had two cards I really wanted, sitting side by side, every week. One was a McGwire rookie, and the other was a Griffey rookie. I'd ask him the price from time to time, getting a slightly different number every time, and usually a lower number after I'd look disappointed. I never had enough cash to make an offer though.

Then, one week I bought a can of 1997 Pinnacle Inside, the cards in a can, from my hobby shop. I pulled a Diamond Edition parallel of Cal Ripken Jr., which is die-cut and a little shiny. Here's an example Jim Edmonds from CheckOutMyCards.com.

1997 Pinnacle Inside - Diamond Edition #115 Jim Edmonds
The way I remember it, it came from the Ripken can on top, but it could have been any of these 3.
1997 Pinnacle Inside - Cans #19 Mike Piazza
1997 Pinnacle Inside - Cans #22 Cal Ripken, Jr.
1997 Pinnacle Inside - Cans #23 Mark McGwire
At the time, I think this card booked for $300. According to COMC, the Randy Johnson is currently booking for $25, so I'd imagine Cal might be $30 at best now. I had a feeling that $300 was overinflated, so I got the bright idea to try to trade it.

I took it up to the flea market one Sunday, and approached the McGwire and Griffey. I asked to see the cards, much like the Wayne's World scene in which he checks out the same guitar he's been checking out every week. I showed him my Ripken, and confidently told him what it booked for. I think at the time the McGwire was about $70 and Griffey was around $100. I can't recall exactly what we settled on, but it included both cards and cash, I want to say about $80. That sounds like way more than a vendor would PAY at a flea market, but again, this was the late 90s, right in the card boom, so I guess it might have been.

1989 Upper Deck #1 Ken Griffey, Jr.
1985 Topps #401 Mark McGwire
I was ecstatic that I had turned my 3 or 4 dollar pack (can) of cards into these two cards I desired for so long. Of course, the book values, for what it's worth, have plummeted on all of those cards, but that doesn't matter to me. I haven't visited any flea markets since my return to collecting in late 2010, but I have occasionally found things at garage sales, which are kind of a suburban flea market I suppose.

Now that I'm done reliving my childhood, here's two more contests for you.
First, Number 5 Type Collection's Fourth Anniversary HOF Giveaway. Go comment with your favorite 50s-60s player to enter.
Next, a new blog I just found thanks to some more contest promoting, Drinking The Orange Kool-Aid's The "You Did WHAT With The Cup?" Contest. Let him know what you'd do with your 24 hours with the Stanley Cup if you were on the NHL champs.


Another Contest to Promote

I've read lots of comments by him, and seen other bloggers talk about BA Benny, but somehow I wasn't following his blog, which I realized this week because of a few posts linking me to his new contest. See, these blog post bonuses even work to gain new followers for popular blogs. You can win this eclectic mix of cards:

That's right, Roberto Clemente, Willie McCovey, and Sharon Osbourne. That sounds like an old Carnac the Magnificent setup.

Anyway, go guess what he paid for a mystery graded and autographed Hall of Famer postcard to enter to win. Good Luck!


eBay Wins #33

I bought this lot of 23 cards with some stars peppered in for 49 cents. They're from 1988-1991, but for just over 2 cents apiece I figured I couldn't go wrong, and I'd get a nice long blog post taking me, and maybe you, down memory lane

1988 Score #7 Wally Joyner

1988 Score #275 John Tudor
I only vaguely recall John Tudor as a Cardinal, and I think mostly I've just heard the name over and over, I don't actually remember him playing.

1988 Score #278 Jerry Browne

1988 Score #481 Kevin Mitchell
The yellow border goes nicely with the Giants, so much so I didn't even remember Score has colored borders by card number, not by team, until I went to file this one with the rest of them.

1989 Donruss - Bonus MVPs #BC-22 Will Clark
Speaking of the Giants, it's MVP and former (future?) Cardinal Will Clark.

1989 Score #193 Dwight Evans

1989 Score #221 David Cone

1989 Score #429 Tim Leary

1989 Score #534 John Costello
Another Cardinal I've never heard of. Maybe he was traded to whichever team Jim Abbott was on to give the local sportswriter an easy headline season.

1989 Topps #5 Orel Hershiser

1989 Topps #300 Darryl Strawberry

1989 Topps #390 Darryl Strawberry

1989 Topps #478 Doug Drabek
If I was going to get some 1989 Topps, these are pretty good cards to get. I always think of the guys who were aging superstars in 1992-1995ish as the greatest cards ever, corresponding with the first time I started paying attention to baseball. And of course Doug Drabek was on the last successful Pirates teams.

1990 Donruss #269 Kirby Pucket
The lone 1990 Donruss was one I already had, so this will go on my trade list. Not that anyone will trade me for a 1990 Donruss, so it'll probably languish there for awhile until I clean house.

1990 Fleer #314 Ruben Sierra

1990 Fleer #399 Orel Hershiser
I like the look of 1990 Fleer, and another Orel Hershiser isn't bad either. I'm kind of surprised to see he fell off the Hall of Fame ballot in 2007 on just his second try. He seemed like a plausible candidate to me.

1991 Donruss #433 Ryne Sandberg

1991 Donruss #490 Kirby Puckett
I like the green 1991 Donruss better than the blue for some reason, but both designs scream 90s.

1991 Upper Deck #193 Mitch Williams

1991 Upper Deck #418 Jeff Reardon

1991 Upper Deck #744 Bo Jackson
Of all the non-Cardinals out there, Bo Jackson is a player I've really considered collecting for awhile. I really like every time I get one of his cards, but I can't bring myself to add another player to my list. Although, there must not be too many of him out there for the few years he played, right? That's it, I've talked myself into it. Bo Jackson is now a player I collect.

1991 Upper Deck #768 Vince Coleman
Here's Vince Coleman trying not to get run over by a tarp.

1991 Upper Deck #769 Mitch Williams
In case I lost you along the way, notice that's the second Mitch Williams from 1991 Upper Deck. Without looking it up, I assume the cards were put out in two or more series that year, giving them time to print up a new card with Mitch on his new team. According to baseball-reference, he was traded April 7, the day before opening day for the Phillies. That seems strange, but I don't see any "crazy" stories about the trade online anywhere.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought1926
Total Spent$37.52
Per Card1.948 cents


Fuji's 3rd Annual Contest

There's a big contest about to begin at The Chronicles of Fuji. Big, not only in terms of the prizes, but in the scope of the entries. You can get your first entry by following and commenting on the contest post, but he's promised a ton of opportunities for more entries, including by posting responses on your own blog.

Also, there are "Japanese Kitty Cat Cards", so he's got that going for him.

So, go enter now and get ready for some fun!


2012 Opening Day Rack Pack #2

I know, I know, No More Rack Packs. Like I said in that post, I don't like buying the searchable packs anymore, but Opening Day is so cheap and has almost no big hits, so this is a relatively safe gamble. And I can't resist a good fraction-of-a-cent per card discount, so here we are, I've come home from Target with another 24-pack of 2012 Opening Day.

2012 Opening Day #18 David Ortiz
No Cardinals in this pack, so to represent the base cards, here's David Ortiz looking derisively at the pitcher.

2012 Opening Day - Superstar Celebrations #SC-6 Alex Rios

2012 Opening Day - Elite Skills #ES-16 Joey Votto
The back of this card details Joey Votto's On-Deck Preparation. I like things like this that bring people a little closer to the details of the game they may not get on TV or in person, even if it is just a short blurb.

2012 Opening Day - Opening Day Stars #ODS-19 Josh Hamilton
These 3D cards are much nicer this year, they don't look very blurry at all.

And here's the list of all the base cards from the pack:
13 Bobby Abreu
15 Jeremy Hellickson
17 Pedro Alvarez
18 David Ortiz
26 Drew Stubbs
27 Chase Utley
34 James McDonald
41 J.J. Hardy
48 Adrian Beltre
58 Justin Masterson
90 Derek Jeter
93 Tim Hudson
102 Jesus Montero
121 Mark Teixeira
122 Neftali Feliz
125 Matt Cain
133 Sergio Santos
151 Johnny Cueto
180 Ted Lilly
188 Paul Goldschmidt
210 Freddie Freeman


eBay Wins #32

I happened to find a base card I was missing from my 2011 Heritage set, and this seller also had a few 2011 Topps cards. I only wound up winning these two for a total of 12 cents.

2010 Topps #359 Aramis Ramirez

2011 Topps Heritage #25 Starlin Castro

It feels wrong to have an all-Cubs post, but I suppose I can allow it given how far back they are this year.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought1903
Total Spent$37.03
Per Card1.946 cents


Found Another New Blog Through a Contest

When a blogger offers a bonus entry in a contest for posting a link to it, I always do it for 2 reasons. First, I get a bonus entry of course. Second, I seem to keep finding new blogs, often just new to me, from the posts of others, so I figure I'm at least helping out a little.

On to today's new blog, it's Bass on Balls. The contest appears to be ongoing, so make sure you follow him and keep up with everyone else. First prize is the base set of 2012 Bowman, which I just dipped my toe into in my last post.

Go follow Bass on Balls, and good luck in the contest.


I Won at Card Anathema

This was less of a contest than it was a race, and luckily I was scrolling through Google Reader and was all caught up when this post at Card Anathema came up. Matt's impulsiveness is my gain, and I received a pack of 2012 Bowman in the mail Friday. He even put a little tape on it so it almost felt like opening a brand new pack with no knowledge of what's inside.

In a 10-card pack, I count 6 cards that I would consider inserts. That's a pretty crazy ratio, but maybe that's part of what drives everyone mad for Bowman each year.

2012 Bowman #21 Yunel Escobar

2012 Bowman #48 Zack Greinke

2012 Bowman #161 Jason Heyward

2012 Bowman #187 Kevin Youkilis
That's the 4 base cards, all of them Major Leaguers. Next up are some prospects

2012 Bowman - Prospects #BP5 A.J. Jiminez

2012 Bowman - Prospects #BP63 Todd McInnis
Next up: Chrome Prospects. I'm starting to really like Chrome cards, plus they are the only ones out of this set that appear to scan well.

2012 Bowman - Chrome Prospects #BCP84 Bryan Brickhouse

2012 Bowman - Chrome Prospects #BCP101 Julio Rodriguez

That's it for the prospects. I don't really know any of these guys, but I'm glad to get one that's in the Cardinals organization.

2012 Bowman - Gold #80 Jimmy Rollins
The obligatory Gold parallel, these are 1 per pack and actually look pretty good.

2012 Bowman - International #53 Adam Lind
These are inserted 1:8 packs, too bad Mr. Lind was just outrighted to the minors.

Thanks to Matt at Card Anathema for the cards!