Monday, April 30, 2012

The Virtual Dime Box

I find I waste a ton of time trolling eBay, often just looking for great deals. Sometimes I'm just searching the lowest price baseball cards and snagging stuff to trade or just stuff that looks cool. It's the virtual dime box, and if one puts in the time, there are gems to be found.

This card cost me less than a postage stamp, and it's numbered to 25. I don't know how others missed it. Perhaps because it went up with a massive amount of other Obak cards all selling at the same time. I especially dig the Negro League cards from this set, and this is a cool one. According to Wiki, Babe Ruth thought John Henry "Pop" Lloyd was the best baseball player ever. Others called him the "Black Wagner," and Honus is quoted as saying, "It's an honor to be compared to him." I love that Babe and Honus gave such respect to Lloyd. Sounds like he deserved it.

More from the virtual dime box. I love this 2003 set, which worked so much better than the last 2 throwback Topps 206 sets. These are both great-looking minis, and this is my first true Markakis rookie. And I guess these are Sovereign backs, which is yet another parallel. I have trouble keeping track, but I think these are a little rarer.

Here are the backs. Does anyone know anything about these sovereign minis? The Shoppach and Markakis cards ran me a little under a dollar, which, after shipping, means they were about a dime a piece, so these are genuine virtual dime box gems. Now keep in mind, these took many diligent hours of searching to find. And I think that means I need to get a hobby. Oh wait, I have one, and it rocks.

This one cost me lest than a postage stamp, and this is just a beautiful card, one of my favorites I've seen from the Diamond Kings sets.

So how about you guys. Have you found some gems digging through the virtual dime boxes?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Vintage Trade with Thoughts and Sox

Adam over at Thoughts and Sox contacted me a while ago about needing some cards I'd posted, and he offered up some vintage. Well, I'm always up for vintage, and it's always a pleasure to go through Adam's well-manicured want lists.

Apparently, he has a lot of extra 1960 Topps. He sent a really nice smattering of cards. I always dig the multiple player cards from early Topps, and the Win-Savers card is a nice example.

The Yaz '71 card is great. I always liked this set. And a '55 Topps card is always welcome, even if slightly nibbled. Higgins hip-check pose and his fancy bat hold is just priceless.

Two more 1960 cards to round out the trade. The Paul Foytack card was a new one for me.

I should mention that Adam also sent back one of the cards I sent him. Among others things, I sent him two '52 Bowman Red Sox cards. He ended up getting one of them before my cards arrived, so he sent it back:

I have to say that was pretty generous of Adam to send back a double he didn't need. So, now Randall here wants to turn into a vintage Tiger if anyone else needs this.

Thanks again for the great trade, Adam. And if you readers haven't checked out Thoughts and Sox and browsed his want lists, you should head on over.

Friday, April 27, 2012

'52 Bowman Tigers Team Set, It's a Priddy Thing

I have a new collecting goal, and it's to work on Tigers team sets from my favorite vintage sets: 1950-1952 Bowman. The art card years. The best damn designed sets of the '50s in this blogger's humble opinion. You'll find a new link at the top of the page noting what I have, and if you have anything not listed there, I'm very interested in trading, and I have some nice vintage I could send back your way.

Toward this pursuit, I snagged a very nice lot off eBay a while back. This lot included Tigers cards, all from the '52 Bowman set.

Neil Berry spent his five best seasons with the Tigers, and he's a Kalamazoo native, WMU alumni, which is where I teach. On top of that, he has a classy signature. Love the way the N and B connect.

Ted Gray had an all-star season with the Tigers in 1950. In this card, we get to enjoy what looks like his all-star pit stains. Ted's a Michigan native, too. Gotta dig all the homegrown talent of this Tigers team.

Fred Hutchinson was also an all-star and played all ten seasons of his career with the Tigers. He finished with a lifetime 95-71 win record. I believe we have a bona fide semi-star here. This card is dark, full of shadows, and Fred looks grim. Only one dude in the stands to witness his stoic pose.

Dick Littlefield was born and died in Detroit. This card features Bowman's signature blue skies and fluffy clouds background.

More blue skies for Pat Mullin, who spent his whole career with the Tigers.

Jerry Priddy's signature and his card might be one of the coolest ones in the set. We get the blue skies again, and Jerry's towering over us. Love the horizontal here. Everything about this card just makes it a perfect example of why this set rocks. I think this is my favorite of the bunch. Priddy got a great card, but Bill James wrote about him having kind of a tough life, in his book What Ever Happened to the Hall of Fame? Has any one read this? It sounds good.

Pretty tough to follow up Jerry Priddy's pretty card, but here's Bob Swift emerging from stage right, creeping under the shadows of the stands. It feels right to end this post with a catcher. And a long-time catcher at that--a 14-year career catcher who never played any position but catcher. The only thing that would make this card better would be if Swift was wearing his gear.

So that wraps it up for the lot. This eBay win knocked a big chunk of '52 Bowman Tigers off my list, but I still need a few more. If you have any to trade, let me know and I'll send you some good stuff.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Farewell, Pudge

So, I'm a bit late in saying my goodbyes to Pudge. It was an amazing career, and if he's not a first-ballot hall-of-famer then I don't know who is. I better pick up an auto of his before he gets inducted. I need to finish that trifecta.

I've always been a fan of catchers. That's what I played in little league, and Pudge was my role model for the brief years I played baseball as a kid. Today, I still love catchers, which I feel is the most working-class position, the position where you bust up your body, laboring through the whole game, hidden behind the tools of your trade. Pudge epitomized that. To this day, he's my favorite catcher and one of my favorite players to collect.

When Pudge signed with the Tigers, that was just the best thing in the world to me, and it's one of the things that got me interested in baseball and cards again.

It's players like Pudge that just make you feel lucky to be a fan, to have lived through a career like Pudge's.

You made the game awesome, Pudge, and it won't be quite the same without you. Thanks for letting me watch.

I'm sure you guys all know that he threw out the first pitch from home plate to second to celebrate his retirement. Classy all the way, sir. Hell of a way to go out.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Reeling in a Big Fisk

I've been trying to win myself a Pudge rookie on eBay for a long time. Not the usual Pudge I collect, though. I've got plenty of his rookies. I'm talking the original Pudge, who was one of the best catchers of all time, and I do love catchers.

But since I'm cheap as hell, I like to stalk auctions until I find the best possible deal. It took me a long time, but finally I ended up with the card I was after.

It's a little beat up. Looks like someone put a staple next to Garman at one point. But this stapling kid was neat about it, stayed right on the edge, was kind to the corners. Really, it's in far better shape than I would've settled for. And this is an epic add to the rookie collection.

Now, I ended up getting this card for a deal only because it was a part of a lot. The lot was all Fisk cards.

Some nice inserts were included, and a framed Masterpieces card. I dig a framed Fisk, especially in gear.

But that's not all this Pudge lot included.

My first GU Fisk card, and it's a sweet one. I tend to prefer bats over jerseys. The design of this card is nice, too. Fisk is looking very old-school in the high socks and the classic uniform. The background has a nice subtlety with the shadow of Fisk's bat grip.

So, how much did I pay for this lot, for the deal I stalked eBay for months to find? $4.99 shipped. On eBay, a Fisk rookie in fair condition runs about 4 or 5 bucks. For some reason, I find that lots like this end up getting less bids and have lower starting prices. Pretty sweet deal, right? There's something about getting a deal that makes the cards all the more enjoyable. Have you ever gotten lot deals on eBay where you get a better deal than you would on the single card alone?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dime Box Ripkens: Card Show Wrap-Up

I love finding random treasures in the dime boxes, but one of my main focuses is adding to my Ripken collection. It's tougher to find Tigers players in the dime boxes, just because they're over-priced in Michigan. I rely on trades for my Tigers stuff. But as for Ripken, apparently he's just dime box fodder around the mitten, which is good for me, and my pursuit of one of my childhood heroes.

All out of the dime box. I rarely ever turn down a dime box Ripken, unless they're doubles from the junk wax years. I already had doubles of the Masterpieces cards at the top, but for a dime, that's a triple I can handle. The rest are all new. The Diamond Kings card is probably the biggest highlight of this bunch. I love the DK  sets.

Some more nice Ripkens. I dig the horizontal cards at the top. My favorite here is the 2002 Leaf card commemorating Ripken's ROY. Very classy design.

So this card show netted me a few dozen more Ripkens for the collection, on top of the other finds I noted in my last two posts.

I should also mention that the dealer who sold me most of these dime box Ripkens had what looked like an authentic 206 Honus Wagner encased in a huge brick of plastic anchoring his table. Really, it was only about half of the card, as the bottom had been chewed off. I should've taken a picture. It was cool to see one of these in person. When I asked him how he'd attained this card, he gave me the old cliche, "If I told you I'd have to kill you." I figured I'd leave it at that and go home safely with my handful of Ripkens.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Vintage Bowman from the Card Show

After my last post of the dime boxes at the card show, it's time to show off the big buys. I mostly bought vintage, because that's mostly what interests me these days. But I'll start off with a modern card that I just couldn't pass up.

I already had one of these, which I bought out of the dime box at my LCS the season Halladay won the Cy Young. Go figure. A few years pass, and now I'm paying $1.50, but that's still one hell of a deal. I couldn't resist a double of a key rookie for a bargain.

I pulled this out of the dollar box, just because I didn't have a '53 Topps card. And it's in pretty nice shape. I was hoping maybe I could turn this into a '53 Tiger in trade eventually, but it's a great card all the same. I'm not a huge fan of the obsession Topps had with headshots in this set, but I'm starting to appreciate it more. According to Baseball's Bullpen page, Fritz Dorish here was one of MLB's first true relief pitchers, and the last American league pitcher to steal home. I love the Bullpen page.

So my best finds from this card show came from one dealer, who had some decent quarter boxes, but then I noticed some cards he had out on display, a set that always draws my attention. I dropped my stack of quarter '70s vintage, and went over to gawk--note, it takes a lot to make me quit looking at quarter boxes.

He had a bunch of '52 Bowmans, one of my all-time favorite sets, marked cheap. No bargain Tigers, of course. Not at a Michigan show. Still, I found some great cards:

A bad scan of a sweet card. A very nice looking Carl Furillo. A Dodgers lifer and fan-favorite from one of my favorite sets. I have to admit, I picked this up thinking this also might net me some nice vintage in trade some day. But I'd have no problem hanging onto this card.

I also nabbed Red Schoendienst. Again, it doesn't necessarily fit into my collection, but it's a hall of famer from a favorite set.

And finally, Charlie Silvera, not as big a name as the others, but he fits into my collection of vintage catchers wearing their gear. Charlie was the backup catcher for Yogi. I love this background. Charlie looks like he's playing at some little field built in the woods, which is, I guess, what you do when Yogi's the starting catcher. No fences in this background, just some blurry trees. Perfect example of what makes this set unique.

The dealer told me these were his doubles from his set. He had many other great names, and now I'm wishing I would've picked up a few more, but I'm happy with what I got. Always nice to find vintage Bowman at a show. When they're priced fairly, these tend to go fast, and I'm just glad I actually found a few nice vintage cards.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rocking the Dime Box at the Card Show

The last card show I went to had some amazing dime and quarter boxes, and it's that time to show you the gems I found from my diligent scrounging.

I don't even know who Carlos Urquiola is, but I won't turn down an auto for a dime. Apparently he spent most of his time in the D-Backs system, so next time I trade with a D-Backs fan they'll be getting this card whether they like it or not. And I also can't pass up SPs from cool throwback sets.

For some reason, I keep picking up these Goudey Presidents, which are classy looking cards. I think I'm getting close to completing the set, and I'm thinking I'll just leave that up to the whim of the all-mighty dime boxes. I snag Obak when I see cool cards in the cheap boxes. The dime box culture allows me to explore the more experimental sets, without the buyer's remorse burn of buying a box. If we ever needed another reason to love the dime boxes, there you go. This Statz card is numbered out of 25, and it was actually a quarter box purchase.

These were all quarter box purchases. And I love when they yield me some nice rookies. Surprisingly, this is my first Strawberry rookie, and he gets added to the '80s semi-star rookie collection. The Cole is a refractor. Looks like he's off to a good start in his first season in A+.

Yet more rookies, most from the quarter box. The Griffey I've been going after for a while. It has some paper loss on the back, but that's fine with me. And, of course, I've been needing to add a Fielder rookie to the collection. I had a few of his rookies from 2006 with the rookie logo, but I'm kind of a purist when it comes to rookies. I need that first year card.

Always happy to find some quarter and dime box vintage. I picked up the top 5 cards when I was going through one dealer's quarter boxes. And then my eyes caught some higher-priced deals that actually made me forget about the cheap boxes, but you'll have to wait until next post to hear about that. The Hamilton I paid a dollar for, and that knocked another rookie off my list. The Mantle is from Upper Deck's 2001 set, Legends of New York. Now, I'm not a New York fan by far, but these cards were interesting enough to drop a dime on. The blue "Yankees" is all fuzzy and felty, but until they invent feel-ernet you'll just have to trust me. But the last thing any one would do with that technological innovation would be to feel my felt "Yankees." Yikes.

Moving on:

These didn't come out of the dime box, nor the quarter box. These came out of the 2 cent box. Crazy, right? This is only a small sampling of what I grabbed from dozens of these boxes. I had to cut myself off when I could no longer carry what I'd found. Above you see some of the highlights. I picked up a ton of 2010 Bowman Chrome without any discretion. I also picked up a bunch of 2010 Topps Chrome. Basically anything shiny for two pennies. I didn't scan them here, but I got a nice stack of Topps HD, because it seems like other bloggers collect this set. Let me know if you're working on HD, and maybe I can help now.

So, have you ever heard of 2 cent boxes like this? Anyone encountered a good penny box yet?

Next post I'll show off my big hits. Hint: They're pretty much all vintage.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Discount UD Heroes Blaster: Who's Inside? No, Hu!

It's that time of the year, opening day week, when Meijer discounts their baseball cards. For those of you not in the Midwest, Meijer is our local version of Wal-Mart. The Meijers around me have had a pretty sad stock of cards lately, but they hauled out the old blasters for the opening day specials. They didn't have anything too great, but I did find a 2008 Heroes blaster for $11.99 plus the special discount of 20% off. Not a terrible deal, and worth a rip. I didn't do too terrible.

Here's the highlights of the base cards:

Some decent names here. The Mauer looks cool, though I can't figure out why he's wearing a mask and no other gear. Photo opp, I guess. I've always liked this set and the design. It's a nice walk down memory lane for those of us who reveled in the first years of Upper Deck.

These were my one-per-pack black parallels. I already had the Verlander, though, so nothing to add to the player collection, but a good group of players, nonetheless.

I love the colored parallels from this set, even if they got a little excessive. This was the only one from the blaster, and nothing too special, besides the fodder for an Abbot and Costello routine. Hu's on my emerald parallel. I don't know, who?

I never know what to do with these. Does anyone collect them? Too many Yankees for my comfort.

And, finally, my big hit of the blaster. I'm glad to see a hit at all, really, though Corey Hart has no place in my collection. Any Brewers fans out there that are interested in this card?

So, not too bad, and a lot of fun to rip. I could have picked up a nice vintage Kaline card for the price of this blaster, but I can't pass up busting packs for a good deal. If anyone needs any of these, just let me know and we'll get a trade going.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Bunch of Trade Bait

Time to get some more trades going. If you see anything you like, let me know. On with the cards:

Justin Morneau: 2006 Upper Deck WBC Collection Jersey

Grady Sizemore: 2010 Upper Deck Game Jersey

B.J. Upton: 2008 UD Spectrum Swatches Red Jersey (#ed 14/35)

Mark Teixeira: 2004 UD Diamond All-Star Future Gems Jersey

Pat Venditte: 2009 Bowman Chrome Prospects Auto
Apparently, Pat's the only active professional switch pitcher. He has a pitching rule named after him even. Pretty interesting story on Wiki.

Jeremy Jeffress: 2006 Tristar Prospects Plus Farm Hands Auto

Pat Burrell: 2003 Sweet Spot Patches

Vernon Wells: 2004 Bowman Heritage Threads of Greatness Jersey

Carl Crawford: 2007 Artifacts Apparel Jersey

Kirk Rueter: 1997 Donruss Signature Series Autographs Millenium (#ed /1000)

Garry Maddox: 2001 UD Decade '70s Game Bat

Trevor Reckling: 2008 Just Autographs

Scott Rolen: 2005 Topps Pack Wars Relics (bat)

If you don't see anything here, you can always mosey on over to my trade bait page, linked at the top. Just send me an email or comment if you see anything you want.