Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Trade Bait: Da Bats

Here we go again. More trade bait for your perusing pleasure:

2007 Bowman Heritage bat relic of Juan Encarnacion.
OK, Juan's gone, but Maybin's still here. A hunk-o-angry-bat from 2009 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection.
2001 Fleer Premium Brother Wood bat relic: Andruw Jones.
2007 Bowman Heritage Shawn Green bat relic.

So, there we go, some cards up for trade. Shoot me an email if you're interested. And check out my Trade Bait link up at the top, as I'll continue to archive my trade bait.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pudge Cards

At the card show I just went to, one of my favorite dealers had a CRAZY BLOWOUT EXTRAVANGZA, and everything inside was a dollar. A ton of football and basketball relics and autos that I have no interest in and quickly flipped past. I did find this beauty, though:

A 2005 Fleer Platinum I-Rod jersey card. For a buck. Impossible to decline. The scan doesn't really show it, but the diamond in the background is all sparkly. Seems as though Fleer was thinking shiny diamonds before Topps.

This is the second Pudge relic to add to my collection. The first one came from a very generous trade with Garvey, Cey, Russell, Lopes way back before the blog started up.

So, now I have a hunk-o-bat and a scrap of jersey from my favorite catcher of all time. Thanks again, gcrl.

Ivan's going into his 21st season in 2011, and it looks like he'll be the everyday catcher for the Nationals. It's pretty amazing he's kept catching this long, and even if he isn't the hitter he used to be, you have to respect a guy that's so damn good at his job. I wasn't big on all the Strasburg hype, aside from the fact that Pudge was catching for him, ushering yet another young phenom pitcher. I wonder how many he's seen come and go in his career.

I have to add one more card to this post.

I just got my first Miguel Cabrera from Rhubarb Runner over at “é rayhahn, rayhahn”. This is the second trade we've done in rapid succession. He's one hell of a trader. Just for the record, Miguel's little scotch-cruise was pretty gross, but that doesn't make me like him any less.

If you have any Cabrera or Pudge autos or relics to trade, let me know. I'll find some good stuff for you. In fact, I'll post some more trade bait soon. Check back soon.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rookies from the Quarter Box

It's the dimebox's more sophisticated big sister, who graduated magna cum laude with a philosophy degree while dimebox was out partying: the quarter box.

Often I find the quarter box's cards to be stashed into a penny sleeve, which makes me feel classier. But the problem is handling a big stack o' cards in sleeves is slippery. I've had my hand full slip and scatter more than a few times. And then I just feel like a jerk.

Well, beyond my coin box warnings, I do have some actual cards to show.
Not just any Jay Bruce rookie, but a genuine 2005 Topps Update. He had some steady improvement in 2010, and is looking decent this spring training. Good luck in 2011, Bruuuuuuuce.
An even better rookie from this set: The Hebrew Hammer.
I'm glad I found this Pedro rookie, since I bought a complete set of 1991 Final Edition for a dollar, only to find this card cherry-picked out. So, will he get another shot this year? I hope someone will take a shot. I guess he's doing an interview about playing again on MLB Network soon.
My only Maddux rookie from 1987 Donruss Rookies. You gotta love the grease-stash here. Luckily, he pitched better than he grew lip hair.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Trade Bait: Pants Edition

You know the routine. Some of the scans get a bit cut off, and there's some tape residue on some of the top loaders, but the cards are all in nice condition, including the pants. Here are the cards up for trade:
Starting things off with some Miguel Tejada pants, of the 2004 Topps Heritage variety.

This one says shirt, so I guess I'll buy that. Some interesting Hollywood material from Bruce Almighty, movie-worn by Jim Carrey. It's all stripey and famous and stuff. This comes from 2008 Upper Deck Piece of History.

Some fine black slacks from Cecil's son. Prince Fielder game-worn from 2010 Upper Deck.

From my favorite set, 2007 Bowman Heritage, a piece of cloth (maybe pants?) from Rocco Baldelli.

Everyone loves a piece of pants with a stripe in it. Here's a Curt Schilling card from 2002 Upper Deck Rookie Update.

Shoot me an email (dustinhoff86 at gmail dot com) if you're interested in trading for any of these cards. I'd prefer to trade relic for relic or auto. Something game-worn by a Tigers player or from one of the players in my player collection. Make me an offer.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Plucking a Hit from the Dollar Tree

We all know about the joy of the Dollar Tree and its discount cardboard temptations. Could any of us walk by a cluster of gravity feed box without craning our necks? Now, often these packs are the disappointing leftovers of retail, but every now and then you have a little luck. And, hey, good pack or junk, you can't go wrong when it's just a dollar.

Here's a pack of 2008 Timeline I picked up.

No too bad for base cards, with Howard and Pujols showing up. I've always liked this set. It's simple, and I dig all the retro Upper Deck designs, even though they don't make an appearance here.
This is the one part of the set I don't get. I suppose these are supposed to look vintage, but, aside from the decapitated Utley head popping out of the corner, black and white alone does not a classic design make.

So, I wouldn't even be showing the pack if not for this card.
I was surprised to find a hit in a dollar store pack. Granted, Jeff Keppinger isn't the best player to find, but it's an auto and it cost a dollar. What a value!

Let me know if any of you have something to trade for this card. I'd love to replace Keppinger for a PC or Tigers relic or auto.

I love how many packs are showing up at the Dollar Tree. It allows me to check out more sets. And I have this theory that affordable cards might actually get kids interested in trading again. Yeah right. They have those Chinpokomon-type cards, too. How can we compete with Shoe?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mysterious Ripken, or What the Hell Is This?

Not long ago, while shuffling through a card shop's ten cent boxes, I came across this card:

I rarely turn down a Ripken when I find one in a ten cent box, and I especially appreciate those oddball brands. Once I got this one home, though, I couldn't find any information on it. Perhaps due to the minimalism of the back of the card:
No stats, no year, not even a copyright date. I've been searching "Sports Art Images" on the great Interwebs. A while ago I found an Ebay auction featuring a Cecil Fielder card from this set. The seller explained how the card was so rare and how it was a promo and all that, but I can hardly trust the word of an Ebay seller. They tend to tug at your gem-mint super-scarce heart strings. That Ebay listing was all I ever found, besides a few random checklists listing the card. From what I can find, the year was 1992.

This is where the wise baseball blogosphere comes in. Any of you ever heard of this set? I'd love to have some more information on these cards. Now I kind of regret not picking up the rest of these cards that the shop owner had for ten cents. But this can't actually be scarce. It was produced dead center in the middle of the junk wax bonanza.

I will say that the card has a nice look, and it seemed to be one of the early designs running with the art card idea, chasing Donruss Diamond Kings. Too bad they didn't make more of these.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Trade with Rhubarb Runner

I've completed about a dozen trades with you bloggers in the past year, but wasn't able to post them due to my lack of a blogness. Luckily, Coot Veal came to me and asked if we wanted to get the band back together, and the rest is history. Well, recent history.

So here's my first trade post, featuring cards sent from Rhubarb Runner.
Rhubarb sent a slew of 2008 Documentary, a set I undestand as little as he understands the Bowman prospect sets, which also baffle me. Featured is a gold Cabrera from that set. Then a 2005 Bowman Heritage Verlander rookie. I've been wanting this one for a while, from one of the better looking Bowman Heritage sets. Next, some Pudge cards: a #ed to 400 2002 Diamond Kings with Pudge making his mean face, and then a 2006 Fleer Tradition card with Pudge wearing his best colors and in full gear. Finally, a 2011 Boesch. This is just a great looking card. The horizontals came out so nice in this set.

Rhubarb sent some nice Tigers vintage Topps : 1970 Northrup and 1971 Lolich. I dig Northrup, who comes from very close to my home town. The best MLB player to ever come out of Gratiot County, Michigan, maybe the only one. The Miguel Cabrera 2001 Royal Rookies is a nice addition to the Cabrera collection, as is the 2009 Topps Verlander gold parallel. The Verlander jersey card was the keystone of our trade. Many thanks to Rubarb for tracking down and sending my first Verlander relic. And then, what's this? A Pudge rookie I definitely did not have. 1991 Baseball Card Magazine is what the back of the card says. I couldn't find it listed on COMC. This card is a mystery to me. I had no idea it existed, but it is now my new favorite Pudge rookie. I love the vintage design of this card.

Thanks for the great trade, Rhubarb. Check out my want lists if you're interested in trading and having Coot Veal and the Vealtones play a request for you. We don't do Skynard, though, so don't even ask.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Buster Posey Slumming It in the Dime Box

Dime box time again. Time to share some treasures mined from the abyss of junk.

This was right at the front of a dime box from the most recent show I went to. I'll pick up a Posey rookie for a dime any day. I found a 2010 Bowman Posey in a dime box a few months ago, before he was named ROY and won the world series, but I was even more suprised to find his rookie cards there now, relegated to the dime box: the graveyard of ruined rookie cards, haunted by the likes of Ben Grieve and Travis Lee.

Out of the same dime box, I found my first super futuristic Topps insert. I'm not a huge fan of this insert, though it seems others have liked it. It just kind of reminds me of Sportflics. But, it's Posey. And I have to admit I do like the card stock and the rounded corners creating immunity to the dinged disease. No more dinged corners in the year 3000!

Also from the same dime box, an Andy Ashby 2003 Topps black parallel. I'll pick up anything numbered from a dime box. And I know lots of Dodgers collectors. Someone will enjoy this card. I didn't realize until I got home how low numbered this card is.

Wow. That's a low number for the dime box. Let me know if you want to give Raggedy Andy here a good home.

Here's a rookie I've been wanting to add to my collection for a while now. Another surprise to find this card in a dime box. I've never even seen this card in a dollar box, and Ebay never sells this for less than a couple bucks. There were four of these cards in this dime box, and I happily snatched them all. I'm really torn about Morneau. I like him and want him to bounce back from his injuries, but, I'm a Tigers fan, so the devil on my shoulder hopes Morneau won't be able to help one of our biggest threats.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Young Ones

Ever since last year when every veteran player on the Tigers seemed to be getting injured, I had a chance to get acquainted with their AAA players. Even though our season circled down the toilet bowl, the rookie players made for some interesting baseball.

Of course you've heard about Brennan Boesch and Austin Jackson, who had great seasons. And you probably heard, or at least have seen cards of this guy:

Scott Sizemore had a decent start last year and promises to be a useful player on the roster. I know My Cardboard Mistress is a fan.

You probably haven't heard much about the next two guys, though.

Will Rhymes had a great start last year, batting .304 in his first 54 games. He's really solid at second. I like Carlos Guillen, but I feel a bit more comfortable with Rhymesie covering the base. If you have any cards of Will, I'd probably be interested.

Casper Wells is the other fella you probably haven't heard much about. He started late in the season last year, but was pretty impressive. He has some power, and might even outpower Boesch if given the playing time. I picked this card up off of Ebay for about $3 shipped. It took a while to find a good deal, though. Collectors seem to be jumping on my Casper Wells bandwagon. By the way, isn't that a great name, Casper Wells? If you have any Casper cards, I'm definitely interested in trading.

And I wonder if anyone knows the reference of the title of this post. The Young Ones was a terrible British comedy show that had great bands just randomly start playing on the set. Anyone else ever watch this?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tales from the Dime Box

Not long ago, the sagely Dayf over at Cardboard Junkie likened dime boxes to eating ice cream, saying, "At first, you gorge on it in delirium and joy. After a while though you are completely sick of ice cream and don't even want to look at it anymore." I guess I have a high tolerance for ice cream or a void that desparetly needs to be filled with the delirium and joy that only low-low-priced, ridiculously plentiful cardboard can fill. I'm a huge fan of the dime box. You never know what you'll find, but there's often gems for those who are willing to surge onward into the depths of the dark jungle.

Perhaps it's a Michigan thing. Here, a soda can is worth ten cents. We never throw them away. And I never pass up a good dime box. I'm thinking this will be a regular feature on my blog, since I'm such a budget collector and nothing fits this theme more than the dime box. Anyway, let's get to those dime box gems.

I found this one at my local card shop, which is actually less of a card shop and more of a palace of broken dreams. This shop buys and sells coins, silver, and gold. You know, one of those we-buy-gold places that are popping up all over. I frequently overhear customers bringing in Grandpa's coin collection or Aunt Trudy's sterling cutlery or an ex-wife hawking her wedding band. It's really quite sad, and the words "that's all you can give me" become a mantra.
Okay, okay, this is a card blog. And this card is a Nolan Ryan card from 1995 Upper Deck SP Championship. I really know nothing about this set, but I thought this was a cool card of a very young Nolan. You can't pass up a Nolan Ryan insert. And this one books at $20. So maybe it should've been in the dollar box, but this shop doesn't have one, so yay for me.

Yup, from the dime box. A 1997 Bowmany Halladay rookie. I found this one early on last season, before Halladay really got into his amazing season. I guess the shop thought he was all washed up and moved his cards over to the dime box.

I found this at a card show a while ago, from my favorite dealer who always has a ton of Bowman rookies in his dime boxes. It's usually a bunch of no-names who never made it to the majors--such is the Bowman product. I actually found another one of these in another dime box shortly after. Not a bad card to have doubles of.

Nice and chromey. A shiny Werth rookie from 1997 Bowman. It just makes me laugh. He looks like such a nerd in those glasses. Hey, I wear glasses! No offense, me, but you're a nerd too.

I have many more surprises to reveal from the dime box--my favorite place to find gems, to find great cards for trades, to listen to the hawking of broken dreams. But remember that while I have found a good share of gems, I had to eat 13,498 gallons of ice cream to get there.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

HOF Bowman Vintage, or Is that Pee Wee on My Woodgrain TV?

I showed off some of my Bowman vintage in a previous post. Here's the rest of my collection:

It's the 1955 Bowman woodgrain TV set. There's something so great about this set. Nothing says retro like the TV frame featured here. It's probably the most recognizable and memorable vintage Bowman set. It may be a bit cheesey to some, but you have to admit to the design's staying power. I wish Topps would take risks like this these days.

The condition here is super rough. Definitely my most beat-up card in a top-loader. But who could pass up on this card for a few bucks? If you're going to have one card from this set, you could do a lot worse.

And from the 1954 Bowman set, here's Hoyt. I snagged this one on Ebay, also for a few bucks. I love this card, but this was one of the weaker designs, to me, of the early Bowman sets. I like the way the signatures are so clear, but the big blocks of color in the corner look clunky, out-of-place, almost like a sticker auto nowadays. It's also a very headshot-laden set--not my favorite pose for cards. Both of these cards are jumbo-sized, too. Bowman really played around a lot with their cards sizes. Pee Wee barely fits in a regular top loader.

It's great to have Hoyt in my collection. I just realized today, when I was looking over his career stats, that he pitched 21 seasons. He was fifty when he retired. Granted, he started when he was 30. There aren't many Hoyts and Jamie Moyers out there. Jamie has 24 seasons down, is 48, but a big difference is that he debuted at the age of 24. Think about how young they debut pitchers now. By the way, all of these stats are from Baseball Reference--a great website you're probably all aware of. I have to cite my sources like I make my students do.

Well, I'm close to having one card from each vintage Bowman set. Still missing one from 1948 and 1953. 1953 has one of the coolest card ever made in the set. I wish I had this Pee Wee Reese card:

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Being a new blog, I get to have a lot of firsts. And here's my first shameless plugging of a contest: Daily Dimwit is holding a very simple contest. Go check it out. By the way, he's an excellent trader, if you're looking for a place to shed some pesky Astros.

Rollie Fingers and the Case of the Missing Mustache

First off, I just wanted to say thanks for the warm welcome from the blogosphere. Thanks to one of Play at the Plate's very cool contests, I've had a lot of visits and new followers. Thanks, everyone, for stopping, for the warm welcomes and encouragement.

Now onto a tale of spring break past.

Everyone knows that the greatest mustache in recent baseball history belongs to Rollie Fingers. And you probably know some of the history behind the genesis of those handlebars. According to Wiki, Reggie Jackson showed up to spring training with a beard, and Rollie's facial hair began growing beyond his control out of envy, or maybe it was protest. Rollie ended up winning a cool $300 for his cartoon-villian mustache, in the famous mustache duels of 1972. Many great mustache's perished in the arena, but one curls still today.

I embellish a bit, but that's the general story. And it's a good spring training story, as well as being an excuse to show off one of my favorite cards in my collection.

Sorry it got a bit cut off in the scan. It's a great looking card from 2007 Ultimate Upper Deck. I believe this is the lowest numbered card I own and my only patch. The patch has a weird feel to it, like some sort of polyester blend, perhaps. And you can barely see it, but there's some staining on the green. Assuming this isn't from the Ebay seller using it to dab McGriddle grease from his far inferior mustache, I'm saying that's a genuine Rollie Fingers' stain, which makes the patch even better.

I got this for an absolute steal on Ebay. Probably such a low price because the seller didn't include a picture. Yup, I bought it blind with only a brief text description. Sometimes it's worth taking the risk, though.

I do have one complaint, however. No moustache! It's a nice older picture of a young, spry Rollie, but it just seems lacking.

Here you go, Rollie. Salvador will allow you to borrow his mustache.

By the way, mustache or moustache? Are we OK with dropping the "o"?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Vintage Bowman, Non-Minty Fresh Condition

I've always been a fan of Bowman, being a rookie collector. In the last year, I've made one of my collecting goals be to acquire a card from each of the vintage Bowman sets. I try to keep myself on a tight budget when collecting, always looking for affordable deals. So, these cards are loveably roughed up. I hope you enjoy their scars, their life experience, as much as I do.

Vic Wertz from the 1952 Bowman set. I snagged this one off of the Ebays for less than two bucks shipped. I consider that quite a deal since he's in a Tigers uniform and Mr.Wertz actually had a respectable career: 17 MLB seasons, a few all-star appearances, his name even tossed around in HOF voting. Sure, the card is so thin it almost feels like a threadbare T-shirt and there's that big crease in the middle, as if the previous owner liked to make Vic bow to the empty stands in the background. All that wear just makes me dig this card more. This was such a great set for Bowman. I miss the hell out of Bowman Heritage.
Here's Del Rice from the 1951 set. He also had 17 seasons and one all-star appearance, but he was no Wertz. This card is in pretty good shape, probably the best of my old Bowmans, and I dig the old catcher getup. The catchers seemed to have the most interesting cards from these early sets.

Another great looking catcher card from the 1950 set: Bruce "Bull" Edwards. This one has some crazy writing scratched into it. I love that writing, because that's what allowed me to pick it up from my local card shop for almost nothing. The back has some more mysterious writing.
Hmmm... Some kid wrote Dodgers and Cubs, and I guess he wanted to document the Bull's trade. Think of this as a Bowman Traded card, then.

The oldest card I own: Ray Lamanno from the 1949 set. Another catcher, too, with that extended thumb on the glove. Ray's looking up toward a pop-up, or maybe some incoming pigeon bombs, but what he doesn't know is someone has scratched "Grounder to 36" behind Ray's back. What are you doing looking for a pop-up, Ray? Obviously, it's a grounder.
On the back, someone has reminded us Ray's on the Reds. Thank, buddy. Really, thanks for making this card in my price range. The signature in red on the back looked so great in this set, although the fronts were much less interesting than the Bowman sets that would follow. And you gotta love that game and bank advertisement that eats up half this card. Too bad I just missed the expiration date to order one.

So, doesn't this make you miss Bowman Heritage? Bring it back, Topps! And just so you know, all of these cards cost less than two dollars respectively. You can't beat vintage collecting on a budget. I'll post my other vintage Bowman soon. Thanks for reading.