Thursday, May 24, 2012

Some eBay Lemons and a Lemon

So I'm sure plenty of you bloggers out there have done what I'm doing today. I'm looking through my scans file, picking out cards I haven't posted about, and then trying to imagine how they will come together in a post. It's a bit of house-cleaning, and a bit of collage inspiration.

After going through a few unused scans, I thought I'd review a few eBay purchases. Some that are nothing special:

I snagged this off eBay for around a buck shipped. It's not a bad deal. I'm just not a huge fan of Magglio. I mean, I appreciated the great seasons he had with the Tigers, his impressive overall career, and especially how hard he worked to keep trying to come back from injuries. So, I'm pretty happy with picking up a GU of his that's numbered to 75. It's nice, but it's not a card that wows me. It's more of eBay compulsion, a line of thinking that gets into my head and says, Hey, it's a Tiger and it's game-used and it's a dollar so why not? This isn't necessarily buyer's remorse, it's more of buyer's ennui, buyer's blas√©. You all know what I'm talking about, right?

Here's another example of what I'm talking about. I picked this up in the off-season, when I was still excited about V-Mart in the 5-spot and before we signed Prince. I needed a V-Mart GU, I thought. And I like this super-shiny card, but now it's just been sitting in the scans folder, and just sitting in a top-loader somewhere. It was around a buck shipped, so I don't really regret the purchase, but I'm left feeling...meh. Now, I could get excited about this card once Victor gets healthy and if he ever catches again, which seems a little doubtful.

This is the last example of my collecting ennui. I mean, why am I posting about cards that kind of bore me? Why the hell would you want to see them? Well, I'm making a point here, I hope. This card has some nice history, since Andrew was another one of those prospects with such high expectations that he could only disappoint, and because he was a big part of the Miguel Cabrera trade. But I'm just not all too sure why I bought it, besides the fact that it was an affordable Tigers auto. Miller looks like he's finding his place in relief with the Red Sox now, and that's nice, but that doesn't change the meh-inducing effect of this eBay purchase.

So, I'm being cynical. And that needs to stop. These hum-drum semi-buyer's-remorse cards need a pick-me-up. So let me tell you a story about a risk I took on eBay. A dealer had an auction for a mystery 1952 Bowman card. The listing said something like, "Who knows what you'll get." Now, of course that sounds like the set up to some complete disappointment. But I love 1952 Bowman, and the auction had no bids for a starting price of two dollars. I took a chance and won it at the starting price, and I got this:

Not only did I get Bob Lemon--one of the best hitting pitchers of all-time and a hall-of-famer--this card's also in fantastic shape. I was expecting some random nobody from this auction, some beat-up no-name the dealer couldn't sell on eBay for a buck. Now, this is the mark of an awesome seller, the joys of eBay, and the complete excitement from this collector.

So, what has this Vealtone learned? Go for the mystery auction? Yeah right. Few sellers are saints like this guy was. Stop buying boring cards that barely fit into your collection just because they're a good deal? Nope. I'm sure I'll still do plenty of that; I'm a sucker for a bargain. Maybe the best moral here is to stick with vintage. I don't think I've ever really been disappointed with a vintage purchase, and, you never know: Sometimes life gives you lemons and then it gives you Bob Lemon and then you go drink some lemonade. Yes, I believe a clear point has been made now.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Trade Post: Pudge + Freehan = Collector's Crack

The Cynical Buddha sent me some cards to help me toward my enlightenment of Pudge-rvana. If you don't know what Buddhistic cynic I'm talking about, you should go head on over to Collector's Crack. I had some Brewers and some Big Hurts, and he had some Pudges, and thus the trade began.

This was the card that got the trade started. I had a 2008 Heroes Corey Hart GU that was getting no love, and he offered this hunk of Pudge's bat. I had the base version of this card already, and I'm thrilled to add the wooden version to the collection.

But he didn't stop there. Cynical Buddha had a lot of Pudges apparently.

These are just a few of my favorites. Pudge in catchers gear. Pudge in a Tigers uniform. Notice how much more he smiles when he's wearing the old English D.

I'm a big fan of the early T206 sets, and now I have a bunch of the various poses from this set. Actually, he sent 3 or 4 of most of these, to the point where I almost felt Bipped. Bipped in the best sense possible, since these are the kind of doubles that induce internal peace and move my mind toward a state of cynical bliss.

Here were the worst two cards of the giant stack of Pudges. Somehow, in the '90s, Ivan managed to be captured in some extremely awkward photographs. Not sure what's going on in the Zenith card, why Pudge's shorts need to be so short, or why he's doing Jazz-Hands! And then more short-shorts while Pudge attempts to stop a green boulder from crushing his head, all while wearing a toothy grin.

There were a ton more Pudge cards, and it was a truly generous trade package. But I want to save space for my favorite card of the trade, a card that Cynical Buddha mentioned only as a side note addition to the trade.

I was so excited about this card. An on-card auto of Mr. Freehan, a Michigan native, a Tigers lifer, and one of our all-time best catchers. I was a fan of Freehan before, and I know most Tigers fans are, but now I love this guy even more. I was reading up on him again for this post at and found out some new awesome bits of Freehan history. He was "a master in getting hit by the pitch, leading the league three times." OK, that's cool, a skill that I wouldn't consider one being able to master. Also, Freehan holds a record in catching for 325 of Mickey Lolich's starts. That's the highest number for any pitcher/catcher pair, and that's just seems like one of the most seminal catcher records a catcher could hold.

So, Freehan's cool, and this card is awesome. Thanks so much, Cynical Buddha. I'll be looking for Brewers cards for you. And all of my half-dozen readers should check out his excellent blog, though I'm sure you're all frequenters.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Trade Review: Refractor Alchemy, or Some Gems from The Diamond King

My first 1953 Bowman card comes from The Diamond King, and starts off my review of this awesome trade. I can't remember if I noted that I still didn't have a card from this set or if maybe Kevin's just pyshic, but I was really glad to pick up one of these, especially one so well-loved.

I took advantage of Kevin's refractor hunt and turned my rainbows into Ripkens, which I was glad to do.

And some of my refractors turned into shiny Pudges and Miggies.

He also sent along two much-needed Verlander rookies. The Turkey 2005 rookie was a card I'd been envying for a while. Love the background on this card.

These were perhaps the most exciting cards for me in the trade. I still didn't have a Clemens rookie, nor a first-year Zimmerman rookie. But I still can't believe he sent me a Hawk rookie.

Thanks for the great trade, Kevin. And if any of you out there have some nice refractors or cool Diamond Kings cards, send them to The Diamond King. We need to help him hit his refractor goals.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Card Show Vintage, in Descending Order of Size

Last post, I showed you the treasures I unearthed from the cheap-o boxes. This post, I'll go over the more expensive finds, which were, still, mostly in the discount boxes, and mostly all old and musty. Can't go wrong with vintage.

To start out, we have an over-sized 1956 card. I don't collect Nationals, nor does Eddie Yost have that much appeal to me, but if I ever find a good deal on 1956 Topps, I'm all over it. There's a play at the plate going on here, so that's cool. And Yost's signature is interesting, big and loopy.

Moving from an over-sized card to a 1975 mini, here's a new Kaline for the collection. I had the regular-sized card, and now I'm happy to add the mini.

I picked up one of these Gallaher tobacco cards before at a previous show, and I snagged another one from the same dealer this go-round. I dig the bright colors on these cards and the care given to the art. And the subject matter is sufficiently creepy to fit into my collection. I don't know what it is about "Bulldog Jack" but I'm slightly disturbed by his raised hands, his blank stare, and the dude next to him trying to pick his nose.

The back of these cards offer a little movie summary, which actually sounds a little interesting. I'm surprised of how nice the condition of these cards are, considering they came out in 1935.

Finally, we get to the smallest card from the show, a 1961 Yogi Berra stamp. It's pretty tore up on the back, but, hey, it's a stamp. And it's Yogi.

So that does it for this card show. Not too bad of irregularly-sized vintage finds.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Card Show: Pocketful of Dimes

When I went to the card show in Jackson, Michigan a few weeks ago, my pockets were jangling with dimes. I had tons of those shiny little Roosevelts and was ready to turn them into cardboard. Bring on the fuzzy-corned vintage, the forgotten sparkly '90s inserts, the under-appreciated rookies, and, of course, all your Ripkens. I had dimes, and there were boxes.

But no one really wanted my dimes. Everything was in between. There were the nickel boxes:

Full of recent inserts.

And there were quarter boxes:

There's the creases and wear we all love. Mossi's big ears, Cash's leading home runs, and Piniella's rookie grimace can attest to the joys of this box.

And the 50 cent boxes made an appearance:

Lots of favorites here. Some great Vic Wertz cards, a Norm Cash base, Murray's second-year card. This was my first 1951 Topps card, but unfortunately it's a foul ball.

So where were the dime boxes?

Don't worry. I dug into those, too.

Actually, only a few of these came out of the dime box, but let's just pretend for the sake of this post's flow. Like a numbered Kaline would end up in a Michigan dime box. Ha!

Who doesn't love a Matt Stairs rookie for a dime. I have no idea what this Bo Jackson card is. Anyone recognize this card?

More great dime box finds. I've been needing Nolan's tux card for a while, which is completely ridiculous. The Hoyt is one of the refractory Reserve parallels. Lamont's a fool, but he's gold, and so is Moyer. Glad to see the old guy pitching again.

The card show was before Pudge's retirement, though I bet he'll still be a mainstay of the dime boxes, which is good for me. His GU cards on eBay are slowly moving out of my cheap-ass price range.

And where would a Vealtone card show dime box post be without an obligatory slew of Ripkens? I'm digging the French's card, which I hadn't seen before. The Sports Cards Ripken in the bottom row seems to be indefinable, some unlicensed set from the early '90s. And the '92 Topps Ripken up top is actually a CYMT insert. A dealer found this for me while I was looking through his dime boxes, and tossed it my way as a bonus. Gotta love that.

These horizontal Ripkens wrap up this card show's discount box extravaganza. Not too shabby, though, eh? Next post, I'll go over the rest of my finds.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Jo-Jo and Dizzy: eBaying for Vintage

I lucked into some swell vintage on eBay recently, and for a decent price. First off, another addition to the vintage Bowman Tigers team sets.

Dizzy Trout is looking pretty nerdy here, and this may be one of the worst backgrounds for a posed card ever. It looks like they caught Dizzy just turning away from the bathroom urinal. And all that awkwardness makes this card all the better. I got it for around $2 shipped, and it's not in terrible shape, despite the tape marks.

Pretty typical Bowman card back here. Some crammed stats. Signature Bowman sentence fragment.

The other vintage card I recently picked up I'm even more excited about.

This one ran me $6 shipped, which is a hell of a deal for an original Diamond Stars card in this kind of condition. I found this as a Buy It Now, and that took me about a minute to make my decision to click. I absolutely love the design of this set, the art deco backgrounds, the primary colors, the comic book-looking players. I'd love to go after the Tigers team for this set, but there are some cards in there I'll probably never be able to justify spending.

One of the coolest elements of this set is the card back. Rather than stats, Diamond Stars opted for mini-lessons on playing baseball, geared toward children. Remember when cards were for kids? They still are for me. Collecting brings out the twelve-year-old inside of me. Here we get a lesson on sliding, discussing Jo-Jo's "kicking slide." And Jo-Jo was pretty successful at stealing in his career, being top ten in the league for steals three different seasons. I love what they say about the kicking slide: "This is not recommended to boys, for the reason that even ordinary types of sliding are dangerous unless carefully practiced." You can tell they were a little worried about liability here. They didn't want little Timmy's mom to sue them after he snapped his shin.

So, pretty nice work on the eBay vintage here, eh? Has anyone else snagged any Diamond Stars deals online? It's such a great set, but hard to not break the bank collecting it.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Wicked Stays Wicked: Another Great Trade

I recently finished my second trade with The Cardboard Don, or Wicked, who almost changed his name, but then, at the last minute, preserved the blog we all know and love. A while ago he expressed interest in some of my trade bait, and we got started on our second trade.

Who doesn't love Archives? Wicked sent along a slew of Tigers from this great set. Of course, the Kaline is amazing. I now have a few different reprints of his rookie. Such a classic card. The Norms are awesome, too, and it's nice to see Chet again. I was a Lemon fan in my youth.

Some very nice Verlanders. And this was a new rookie for me. I bought a lot of Total at one time, and it's nice to finally get this card.

Here's the highlight of the trade. Always happy to score a bit more Verlander jerseyage. SPx designed some pretty nice looking game-used cards. What was the deal with Upper Deck's obsession with Xs?

Thanks for another great trade, Wicked, and I'm glad you're sticking around the old blog.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Trade Time: Bring on the Beat-up Bowman

I completed some great trades recently for some vintage Bowman cards. I'm trying to put together 1950s Bowman Tigers team sets, and I ran into two generous traders posting some key cards for these sets.

This one came from It's Like Having My Own Card. I sent him a bunch of D-Backs, and he sent over this fantastic card. And I love it. The wood-paneled background is completely absurd. Kell is playing catch in his basement den. I love the thick black outlines around Kell, too. This is a new favorite '51 Bowman card I own. Great to pick up this hall-of-famer, which would have been a really tough find around where I live. Thanks so much, Dan. I'm really happy about getting this card.

Charlie Keller came from Nick over at the fantastically well-written new blog Dime Boxes -- The Low-End Baseball Card Collector's Journey. He sent some other great cards along with this one, and I had them scanned and ready to go, but I just couldn't break up the purity of this vintage post with any modern cards.

Sure, Keller is known for being a Yankee, but I won't hold that against him. This card is awesome, with a classic split of green grass and blue skies. Keller's puckering up at the very thought of the baseball nostalgia he's stepped into.

Thanks, Nick, and thanks again, Dan. Both of these were great trades and knocked some difficult needs off my want lists.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Trade Bait: Dodgers Hits and More for the Three Non-Dodgers Blogs

Yeah, there are a lot of Dodgers bloggers, so I'm always looking for Dodgers stuff to trade. There seem to be a lot of Orioles blogs too. Who's winning this race, by the way?

On with the bait. If you see anything you want, leave a comment or send me an email. My want lists are at the top of the page.

Cory Wade: 2008 SP Authentic Auto

Adrian Beltre: 2005 Fleer Tradition Diamond Tributes (bat)

Andre Ethier: 2010 Topps Update All-Star Stitches (jersey)

Jim Edmonds: 2002 UD Authentics Reverse Negative Gold Jersey

Alexei Ramirez: 2011 Lineage 1975 Mini Relics (jersey)

Colter Bean: 2006 Upper Deck Inkredible (auto)

Daniel McCutchen: 2008 Bowman Chrome Prospects Refractor (auto)

Chris Coghlan: 2010 Topps Peak Performance Relics (bat)

Everett Williams: 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects (auto)

Mike Piazza: 2004 Upper Deck Vintage Stellar Stat Men Jerseys

Thanks for looking. Remember, you can always check out the trade bait link at the top of the page to find more stuff for trade.