Saturday, December 31, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Napkin Doon Year

I started trade talks with the infamous Nap of The Adventures of Napkin Doon months ago, when it was summer, when Brycemas and Harpukkah seemed eons away. Well, it was worth the wait. Nap sent a slew of glee-instilling cards my way. Every card he sent would have been enough to make a stellar trade. 

I love the Diamond Kings sets, and this Ripken is fantastic. But not to downplay the other awesome Ripkens Nap sent: some super blurry Sportflics and a completely ridiculous Metal Universe card where a monster hand seems to be giving Cal a purple nurple.

I'm a big fan of these vintage Topps subset cards where you would love to be in on some conversation between stars. Here Nellie interrupts Harvey's chaw-chewing to show him the secret "F--k face" he's written in his glove. Years later, Harvey told Billy Nellie's secret. Billy took the less modest route. And the rest is history. I'm pretty sure that's exactly what happened.

Gotta love those floating head leader cards. This one features two all-time Tiger badasses. This card would have made the trade. Nap didn't even mention it in our initial talks, because, I found, that's just the awesomely generous trader he is.

Here's another card he didn't mention. I've been seeing everyone post these mini '75s with jealousy, and now I have one for myself, thanks to the Nap.

The hits just keep on coming. I'd never seen one of these Ovation auto cards in person, and they are really cool. Instead of the much-bemoaned sticker, the signature here seems to be cut from white paper. It really allows the ink to pop, and it just feels more intimate. Why isn't Topps doing this when they can't do on-card autos? Chris has a nice readable signature, too.

This is the card that got our trade going. I love Pudge GU cards, and I dig the older T206 sets. This card is clean, simple, and sharp, a perfect example of how to do a jersey card right.

I especially like how the jersey shows through on the back side, too. All very classy. Just like my trade with Nap. Be sure to go check out his fantastic, witty blog. Revel in his Bryce Harper-related holidays, in Cleve's auction adventures, in climactic hot dog tournaments. Oh, and be sure to find some good cards for him. This is a Napkin you want to be trading with.

As a small side note, Nap and I started our blogs right around the same time, in the first months of 2011. And it's been a good year, not just because I've entered the blogosphere, but because better bloggers, like ROY candidate Napkin Doon, entered into the fray. I look forward to seeing what all of the legendary blogs out there as well as us rookies do in 2012. Thanks for a great trade, Nap. And thanks for a great community, blogosphere. See you next year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Thy Trade Is Argyle

I just completed a trade with Plaschke, the Sweater is Argyle. He contacted me about some of my trade bait, and it began.

The Pudge Wal-Mart card was much-needed for the player collection, and two very cool Heritage Tigers. This is the first card I own of Kaline's that features him fielding. Very cool shot.

I don't buy much Ginter, but this Verlander card almost makes me wish I did. A perfect justification for the horizontal. And a cool Cabby card, with a Where's WalJoe background.

We swapped out some Farm Hands autos, a Dodger for a Tiger. Cale hails from the great Iorg dynasty. You know, Dane and Garth. Garth's most famous cardboard legacy being the top left corner of the 1978 Lou Whitaker rookie card. Cale is an interesting prospect. After a pretty solid college semester, he put baseball aside for a Mormon mission trip to Portugal. Now he's struggling a bit with the Mud Hens, but maybe he still has a chance to get a call up.

And here's the center of our trade. I'm always looking for Pudge GU cards, and this is my first Ginter GU of any kind. I have to say that these are pretty fantastic looking cards. I'm not a huge fan of Ginter but their GU cards are top-notch.

This was a great trade. I hope the first of many with Greg. Be sure to check out his very cool blog.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Very Cooty Christmas

Merry Christmas to all you readers and bloggers out there. The Vealtones and I hope you have happy holidays and get lots of cardboard in your stockings.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Sweet Slice of Bat

My best find at the card show was a card I'd been after for a long time. I bought it from the dealer who runs the show, and after a little haggling it was mine.

I've been working on getting a Sweet Lou Whitaker GU card, but eBay prices are outrageous if there are ever even any of his GU cards for sale. He's just one of those underrated legends for Tigers fans, who the card companies have kind of brushed over, but there seems to be a huge demand. I love Gibson and Trammell, but the beloved Whitaker just doesn't get the same kind of production as them, and that's a shame. Do you have a local underrated legend that you rarely find on modern cards and when they do show up the prices are crazy?

Here's the back of the card:
Despite how much I love this card, the design of this set is a bit drab. Just so much gray. I do like the career stat line on the back, and the write-up of his notable achievements. I'm not thrilled about him being compared to Joe Morgan, but, meh, whatever.

That does it for the card show recap. I did pick up some trade bait that I'll be posting soon with some other stuff. Gotta keep those trades going.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Card Show Vintage Through the Decades

Now that we've waded through the cheap boxes and had our fill, it's time to move on to the relatively higher-end cards. Relatively is the key word here. Most of this came out of dollar boxes, but with surprisingly good results.

Let's take a trip through the decades.

We'll start with 1951 Bowman. This is the best deal I've ever gotten on my favorite vintage sets: '50-'52 Bowman. For a buck, I'd pick up these puppies all day long. Here we have Tommy Byrne, who spent most of his 13 seasons with the Yankees and was an all-star. He holds the record for the most walks in an extra-inning game with 16 and once walked 7 Tigers in a row, so that makes me like him. The card is hardly flawed, which is rare for such bargain vintage.

This one was in this dollar box, too, and in just as great condition. Billy Johnson was also an all-star and had a halfway decent career. His pose is really cool in this card, and I like the way the pinstripes pop off the green stands. I'd be willing to trade these for some similarly vintage Tigers if anyone has them.

Next up, the 1960s. I love those Post cards, and who doesn't like Cash, especially when it's Stormin' Norman? I was kind of surprised, when trolling around Baseball Refernce, that he was only on the hall of fame ballot once.

Nothing goes with Cash quite like a 1974 Kaline. This came out of the same amazing dollar box as the Bowmans, one of those boxes where you just keep looking back at the rows to make sure they're really all a dollar.

This brings us to Night Owl's heralded year with a '75 mini of the Munster. Just a great card.

Now we hit those glorious '80s. As a young collector, I never thought I'd own this card, and as an older collector I never thought I'd own this card for a dollar. It's in great shape, too, except that Mattingly is missing his mustache. That must be why it was so cheap.

This isn't vintage, but it takes us to the end of our dollar journey with 2001. Another rookie card I've been going after for a while. The dealer had a couple of Reyes' Topps rookie cards for a buck, too, but I refrained. There was too much great stuff in here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Card Show: Have Dimes Will Travel

Everything got put on hold for the end of the semester, and I'm just now getting to posting the cards I got at a card show a few months ago. This was at my favorite show, held in South Haven, MI. The guy who puts on the show is always super nice and tries so hard to make his shows more social than the usual gaggle of middle-aged men bent silently over dollar boxes. One of the ways he does this is with door prizes, and I won for the first time last show:

I won myself a complete 1989 Donruss Spahn puzzle. Not sure what to do with this, really. I'll probably give it to my two-year-old nephew, and he can be bewildered by Spahn bewildering gaze.

Today, I'll post every one's favorite treasures: the goodies from the cheapo boxes.

These were all a dime at the most, which just seems cruel when I've paid almost $2 for that Biggio before. The Finest cards are refractors, and pretty hard to tell even with the card right in front of you. The technology just wasn't there yet to make high-tech innovations like liquorfractors. Some great rookies in this group, and a Jimmy Dean Kaline.

I really know nothing about football cards, don't even know how to scan them all right-side-up. But I like vintage Post, and I had to get get a dozen cards for a dollar, so I snagged these thinking someone out there might want them.

I seem to have bipped myself in the dime boxes. Oh well, can't beat rookies like these for a dime. Just ask Chipper and Chipper and Chipper.

More random rookies and inserts. My favorite is the '72 Leader card, which I was surprised to see in the cheap boxes. And then we get to see UD's early '90s infatuation with hologram technology. Don't you ever wonder what happened to the promise of holograms? In the early '90s it looked like in a few short years we'd be watching hologram TV and playing hologram video games while sitting next to our hologram wife. And now we have 3D movies. That hardly makes up for the dream that was holographic life.

Well, I found the holy grail, a Babe Ruth Goudey in the dime box. Ha, like I fooled you for a second. It's a reprint, I think Dover, but a nice-looking reprint.

That's it for the super cheap cards. I'll get to the best stuff in the next post.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Luck of the Coot, Part Two

The other contest I won this month was hosted by Things are Funner Here. We had to guess how many cards were inside this giant bin from a few pictures. I went uber-nerdy, creating an equation for the size of a 50-card stack of cards and how many of those it would take to fill the dimensions given. But I'm an English major, so I ended up pretty much just guessing. Math be hard!

Anyway, I won second place, and I got to pick from some GU cards:

I always liked Rolen. It looks like he's got at least one more year in him. Probably not a hall-of-famer, but he'll end things with a very respectable career.

Julie also sent some cards for the ol' player collection.

Some Verlander Chrome and Pudge wearing full catcher gear and the right team's jersey--all of my favorite things for a Pudge card.

And last but certainly not least, I won a rack pack of 2011 Update:

This Goldschmidt fella has been tearing it up in the minors, and this is the first card of his I've picked up. Nice to see a Hope Diamond parallel here, but too bad it's Burroughs. The Kimbrel Cognac is a bit more exciting. That's a great shot of his kungfu kick.

More rookies, which is why I love Update, and this year has a great crop. Andy Dirks is the obvious highlight here. Forget that Ackley guy. Jerry Sands who?

And I found Joe Dimaggio for Mr. Garfunkel. This was a Dimaggio hot pack, with a very cool Cognac SP.

Be sure to check out Things are Funner Here. It's a great blog. Thanks for the great loot, Julie.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Luck of the Coot

I had a lucky month, winning two awesome contests. And winning these contests just blows me away, that I stumbled upon a community that's so generous and innovatively interactive, that has made me really love collecting again. I recently read an interview with a fiction writer I admire, and he talked about how he writes obsessively, in 10+ hour stints. He says he can do this, in part, because he has no hobbies. And I thought that sounded so sad. Sure, I could probably get more writing done without my hobbies, but collecting inspires me, gives me a chance to breathe, takes me back to the simple things I love. I'd like to think that my hobbies contribute toward making me the writer and the person I want to be.

Enough of that. On to showing off my goodies. I won my second contest this year over at Play at the Plate. He pulled a manu-patch from a 2011 Topps blaster, and whoever correctly guessed the patch won. I went with the patch I would want most, and that was the patch he pulled. Here it is in full glory:

I doubt there's a cooler patch out there, to me. You have Kaline and the old English D. The simple and seminal pairing of two of the Tigers' most iconic symbols. Everything I could ever want in a card is right here.

But Brian couldn't stop with one awesome patch. He also sent some packs, a pack of '92 Stadium Club and a pack of '91 Upper Deck, which really brought back memories. Didn't opening a '91 pack of Upper Deck just feel like the ultimate luxury?

And, man, in 1991 this would have been an awesome pack. I think the Bagwell booked for like $1000 in the early '90s. Plus, there's Bonds before everyone hated him, and an Aaron hologram. I've recently been snagging these Aaron holos out of dime boxes, but back in the day this was a serious hit.

Brian also included a pack of 2011 Topps Update:
For some reason, I can't get enough of this release. Must be all those liquor-fractors making me tipsy.

Finally, he tossed in some extra Tigers:
Lots of shiny going on here, and my first Jacob Turner card. These were all much-appreciated.
Thanks for the great loot, Brian. And if you bloggers and readers out there don't check by Play at the Plate often for all the great contests and writing, you're missing out.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Wicked Verlander Trade with the Don

I recently initiated a trade with Wicked over the newly and snazzily titled blog The Cardboard Don. I sent him a a Gaby Sanchez auto and some other cards, and he showed me why he's the Don.

He sent me a bunch of old-school minis:

These are just a few of them, but my favorites. I like the way Lou has his hat popped back all badass-like in the '86 Fleer card. I'm always happy to add some oddball Lous and Trammells to the collection.

More Tigery goodness in this slew of Topps Archives cards. I own a few of these originals, but many of them are too pricey for me to own the originals. This is such a cool set, and an unexpected bonus from Wicked.

Some more really sweet Tigers inserts here. I think this is the first red-bordered refractor I have from this year's Topps set.

Always glad to get another Boesch rookie, an X-fractor at that. If Boesch can stay healthy and settle down at the plate, he's going to have a really great season soon. And what can I say about that Cy Young, MVP-winning smile? His smile shows exactly how I felt about this trade. What could be better than a Verlander parallel?

Well, that could be a better. This was the impetus of the trade, and I'm so psyched about getting this card from Verlander's pre-facial hair days. This is from the 2004 UD National Pride set, and it's simply an awesome card. Wicked was very generous to trade it.

Another great trade. If you've somehow missed the chance to drool over Wicked's crazy trade bait, be sure to check it out.

I have to say that after getting a sketch of Coot Veal from Dayf and trading with the legendary Cardfather, this humble blogger feels like he's finally made it in the blogging world. I'm somebody! Johnson, Navin R.! Things are going to start happening.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A King of a Contest

You should mosey on over to The Diamond King and enter his End of the Year MegaContest. There are a ton of really great prizes being given away, and he has an innovative way to enter. Be sure to read the rules of the contest here, and then enter away.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Work of Coot-Worthy Art

Dayf of Cardboard Junkie sent me a trade package with a bunch of great Cabreras, but I won't clutter up this post with those images. I mean, he sent great stuff, and I scanned it, and it's worthy of any trade post, but I just can't bring myself to inclue the pics. Sometimes a great work of art deserves to stand alone.

Dayf sketched this beauty for me. And it's a lovely interpretation of the first vintage card I ever owned, the reason why this blog is named as it is (you can read the origin tale here). I couldn't be more pysched to add this to my extensive Coot collection. 

But there's more. Like any proper baseball card, there's a back side.

Dayf opted to take artistic license and blow up the cartoon from the original back, which is everyone's favorite part of the back of a vintage Topps card. A beefy Coot accepts his giant trophy from the Monopoly guy for being elected to the '58 rookie all-start team. I really love this card back and this card all together.

If you want to learn about Dayf's process, check out his post on this Coot sketch.

Thanks, Dayf, for taking the time. This card is awesome and sits prominently now on my desk with my other favorite Coot card signed by the Coot and sent from the Son of Coot:

That's quite a pair of awesome Coot cards.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Outside of Here Is Death . . . and eBay

It's been a while since I posted last. The rest of my life seems to pause when the end of the semester hits and I'm writing ridiculously long seminar papers on Endgame that will make Samuel Beckett roll in his grave. As Hamm says, "Outside of here is death," and I'm beginning to feel like Clov as I lock myself inside my office and tap away at my keyboard into infinity.

While I don't seem to have time for anything, I actually still eek out hours of aimless wanderings around eBay. And sharing my recent goodies from there seems simple enough to write about right now.
The Cracker Jack sets were a nice, quirky vintage set, and I was happy to snag this Cabrera bat card. The bat chunk has a loose sliver showing. Someone had a rough cut at the factory when they were slicing up Cabby's bat. I think that makes it an official one of one saw-used relic.

The card came in a lot with this one:

That's one hell of a lot to snag up two of Cabrera's more interesting bat cards for around $3 shipped.

This is my first manu-leather nameplate thing-a-ma-bob. And I have to say I dig these cards, as ridiculous as they may be. The original Pudge threatens to become a new player collection for me. I've been looking for his cards more and more lately. I actually just picked up a Masterpieces GU Fisk card for my boss for Bosses Day, and he loved it. I knew he was a White Sox and Fisk fan, but I had no idea whether he was into cards or not. Smarty-pants university faculty members aren't supposed to be into nerdy card-collecting, right? Well, turns out he's an old school vintage collector, and he was psyched about these new relic cards.

The dealer who sold this manu Fisk card to me sent me a football card on accident. I shipped it back to him, and he refunded my money, plus gave me a few bucks of Paypal credit. And then, miraculously, this card arrived a few days after the refund, but the dealer didn't want me to pay again, gave me this as a freebie in exchange for the mess up. I have to say that sometimes eBay screw-ups can be pretty great.

OK, back to Beckett, back to my office, ten feet by ten feet by ten feet, and wait for him to whistle me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Trade Bait: Inks and Fabrics

Time to try and get some more trades going. Everything you see is up for trade.

2007 Goudey Graphs Auto: Anibal Sanchez.

2003 Fleer Tradition Jersey (with a stripe): Jeromy Burnitz.

2010 Topps Peak Performance Relics Jersey: Ubaldo Jimenez.

2010 Bowman Platinum Prospects Refractor Auto: Nate Tenbrink.

2007 Tristar Autothentics Auto: Colby Rasmus.

2004 SP Prospects National Honors USA Jersey: Taylor Teagarden.

2007 Bowman Prospects Auto (on card): Joshua Rodriguez.

If you see anything you like, leave a comments or send me an email. My want list are at the top of the page, and don't forget to check out the trade bait page, also at the top. Let's do some trading.