Friday, November 23, 2012

Turkey-Veal Trade Thanks Part Two: Too Many High-Fives

Here at the Vealtones, we've eaten multiple turkey dinners. Our guts are bulging, our buttons popped, our leftover turkey sandwiches gluttonously devoured. Yet we haven't had our fill of thanking bloggers for their awesome traders. Thanksgiving is over, but the thanking goes on, starting off with Dennis over at Too Many Verlanders.

Speaking of Verlanders, here are a few nice ones from Dennis' stash.

Too many Cabreras.

Too many more Cabreras and a few too many Pudges.

A few more golden Pudges and a very cool '64 Freehan I didn't have. This may be Freehan's coolest looking vintage card.

So, just when you think we're winding down with the too-manys...

It's too many Ripkens!

Far too many Ripkens! Dennis and I both collect Ripken, and we did a doubles swap. He had lots of cool stuff to send. This bottom row of horizontal cards were some of the coolest.

And this was the weirdest Ripken of the bunch, a PowerDeck card. I'd never seen one of these, and they're kind of neat, in a relic-of-outdated-tech kind of way. I tried to play this on my laptop, but I had to download some crap so I was done. I will simply enjoy Ripken's image on a hung of plastic with a hole in it.

And this is my favorite card of the trade. I love this set, the way they die-cut the 3000. Very glad to add this card to the player collection.

Thanks, Dennis, for a great trade. Be sure to check out Too Many Verlanders for great writing about the Tigers and Michigan athletes and lots of other witty stuff.

Another smaller, but no less great trade comes from Justin's World. The High-Five Man was interested in a card off my trade bait, and he found a mighty fine Pudge I needed:

I dig the design of this card, and the relaxed tone of this image. Pudge looks so like he's in his last year of pro-ball, ready for retirement, just having fun hanging out and wearing sweet shades.

Justin sent some other goodies, too.

A very nice bit of vintage Cobb, some sweet Pudges, and another Bonderman GU. I have a bunch of Bonderman GUs that have just kind of accidentally fallen into my collection. It looks like  he's probably going to be pitching for the Tigers next year, which I'm glad to hear. Now I'll appreciate that Bonderman jersey I've been getting close to piecing together.

Thanks, Justin, for the great trade, and for your work at Justin's World.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey-Veal Trade Thanks: BA Benny and ARPSmith

I'm very thankful for a year of great trades.  And it's Turkey Day, so it's time to share a few of those great ones that have been sitting, unrecognized, for far too long.

Adam over at ARPSmith's Sportscard Obsession sent me some fantastic cards a while ago. It all started with a Smile:

Or a Smyly, that is. Adam pulled this auto and I needed it. I dig Drew's signature, and I can't wait to see what he does next season. Adam also found this '67 Cash Kaline card for me. It was one I needed, and I'm thrilled to add it to my Kaline player collection. I'm a huge fan of these vintage Topps group cards, and this is one of the cooler Kaline ones.

Here are a bunch of random extras Adam threw in. Random extras hardly defines these cards. Framed Gypsy Queens, Chrome Heritage, an SP Austin rookie, Tigers Topps Inserts, and an '84 Ripken, these are a few of my favorite things.

Now we're getting a little more random. A Triple dose of some Swell Tigers.

Adam also threw in some sweet hits. This Pudge jersey card is completely awesome. His gaze is super intense and he has donned the appropriate Tigers catcher gear. Great stuff.

And here's another big smile to wrap up this trade. This adds another jersey swatch to my Mr. Triple Crown MVP player collection. I still get plenty of enjoyment out of game-used cards, and this is a great one. Thanks, Adam, for a great trade.
Head over to ARPSmith's for some great writing, weekly contests, and if you have some cool Giants cards to trade.
Another trade I'm thankful for comes from BA Benny's Baseball Card Buffet. We've traded a few times, and I'm grateful to count BA Benny as a trading partner. As many of you know, the Buffet took a little hiatus last year, and the blogging world had a hole in it. But BA Benny is back, has been on a rampage of posting patches. We're glad to have him back.
So, he spotted some cards he wanted from my trade bait, and he offered up this:
I'm not actively collecting Austin, but I can't turn down a cool card of the only speed on my team and our killer center fielder.
He also sent along this very cubical Pudge jersey card. You don't see too many cards picturing Pudge running.
Here are a few of my favorite extras Mike tossed in the trade package.
Last but not least, BA Benny sent this 2008 Donruss Threads Porcello jersey card. I'm not really sure where the red jersey came from, but I love the way the red pops in this design. This is a really classy design all around, and even though I'm not a huge Porcello collector, this was my favorite card of the trade. Love it.
Thanks for great trade, man. Check out BA Benny's Baseball Card Buffet, an awesome blog, and if you have some cool Mets or Yankees, send him a trade offer.
Two great trades I am truly thankful for. I have many more to post about, and many more thanks to give. I appreciate all the blogger generosity, and I'm proud to be a part of this community. Thanks, guys, for making cardboard even more fun.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Brief Break with 1963 Kaline

For those of you that teach or take classes, you know how crazy this time of the year is. This semester has been especially insane, and I find myself missing baseball when I need that distraction the most. It happens every year.

I know I'm neglecting the blog, and I consider it a privilege to be able to write to you collectors out there whenever I can squeeze out a little time.

This weekend, I managed to finally update my want lists after a ton of great trades. I need to get some more going and I need to post and thank the great guys who've sent me stuff lately. But for now, here's one cool card added to my player collection lists.

 It didn't come from a trade, but instead the ol' eBay. It's a pretty battered example of a 1963 card, which means I nabbed it for a song, under $3 shipped. And I think this is one of the better '60s Kaline cards. I was happy to add this to my newly updated player collection lists. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tallying the Votes: Vintage Bowman Versus Vintage Topps

It's November 6th, and it's time to decide between the two most important candidates out there...when it comes to vintage...of the '50s. This is a serious decision, and the Vealtones will make a decision today! Topps and Bowman, I'm often torn between the two, as I'm sure many of us are when considering picking up vintage cards. Maybe some recent trades from Garvey Cey Russell Lopes and Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius can help solidify who wins the vintage battles.

This 1951 Johnny Groth comes from GCRL, and it's a beauty. I'm not a fan of headshots, but Bowman does it well with their painted renditions, the thick black lines, the pops of color. And you have to love Bowman's backgrounds. The crowds here are great. I dig the detail, that I can almost make out the faces. And the crowds seem to be voting for Bowman.

This one's also from GCRL. And speaking of backgrounds, how about those trees? I love the stadium backgrounds Bowman frequently used, but I love the random backgrounds that show up even more. Pine trees? Where the hell is Bob Cain? This doesn't look like spring training. So, I guess Bob just got lost in the woods and is winding up to pelt a squirrel with his fastball. Great background, but Bowman goofed on the uniform. Cain's listed as a Tiger on the back, and I kind of admire that Bowman decided not to airbrush the current team, even though they wouldn't have been airbrushing, just painting. I'll take this card completely as it is: a work of art.
Here we have yet another work of art from Mark at Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius. Now this card has everything: cool pose, great painted design, Detroit uniform, stadium background. How could anyone not love this set?
In 1951 Topps was still in utero as a card company, and their '51 set was cool but not really much of a real set yet. Funny to think that they'd go from a tiny cardboard game set to swallowing up Bowman and every other company and conquering the cardboard world. So, 1951 has to go to Bowman.
Onto 1952, then, through some more cardboard Tigers.
With their 1952 set, Bowman pretty much kept their design the same, with the only real change being the name on the front, which changed from a black box to a facsimile signature, as seen on Don Kolloway's card that Mark sent me. So not much changed, but why change such a good thing? A lot of vintage collectors don't seem to like this set as much because the signature is hard to read and the set feels redundant. But to me, I feel like Bowman was perfecting a great design, and this is the pinnacle of their vintage sets. The art and the pose are just perfect on Don's card.
 And '52 was a big year for Topps. It was the year of the first full baseball card set. I only own one card from this set, this Ted Gray, and it came off of eBay. Topps got a lot right. I dig the star-bordered marquee name box, with the facsimile sig. The old school Tigers logo is especially great. I even like the filter on the camera. But I can't stand all the headshots in this set.
For me, 1952 also goes to Bowman. This was my favorite Bowman set of all.
And we push onward. 1953:
 Apologies for the COMC hi-jacked photo here. I don't have a Tigers card from this set. 1953 marked Bowman's foray into photography, and the end of an era as they move from their mini cards to these over-sized ones. There are some great photos in this set, and probably Bowman was ahead of their time, doing a photo-based design that would become standard for decades. But this set never struck my fancy.
 And Topps answers Bowman with this! Are you kidding me? One of the most beautiful vintage sets ever made, and just a wonderful use of the art card design. Sure, we still get a bunch of headshots, but they look awesome. The prominent team logo and red name box is just the icing on the cake.
1953 goes to Topps. By the way, Mark also sent me Ned Garver here.
And for 1954:
Jim Delsing is our impromptu poster child for Bowman's 1954 design, and the card comes from GCRL.  I like the pose here, and this is a pretty dandy-looking card overall, but there was something about the '54 design that always rubbed me the wrong way. It seems a little lazy, like the name box at the bottom that feels kind of slapped on. Here, it's actually serving the purpose of censoring Delsing's crotch, so it's actually serving a purpose on this card.

Topps answered in '54 with some brightly-colored backgrounds that would fill up their cards throughout a lot of the rest of the '50s. I got this Kuenn rookie for a song off eBay. And it's a great-looking card. I hate to say it, but Topps has an early lead for 1954. Maybe I'm a bit biased since Bowman missed Kaline's rookie year and Topps caught one of the most iconic Tigers' rookies of all time.

And, there it is, Topps wins 1954 and ties up the race. That makes 1955 our metaphorical Florida or Ohio or...

Woodgrain TVs! 1955 brought the beloved woodgrain TV border. Who can't love the cheesiness of it all? Charles King was surprised by such a weird concept. Just look at those startled eyebrows. This card came from GCRL.

As did this absolutely awesome card of Yogi. Bowman featured a lot of stadium backgrounds and a lot of the old school lights in this design. This card features everything you could ever want on a piece of vintage cardboard. Yogi is creased and trimmed and I couldn't love it more.

Topps had a good year in 1955. It's a favorite vintage set of mine, and would set up the design for 1956, which we all know is one of the best, if not the best, design of the '50s. Frank House shows us how Topps combined the old-school headshot with the posed action shot. The colors are bright, the team logos prominent. But can Topps beat the woodgrain?
Hell no! Bowman wins 1955, thus wins the vintage race.
At least with the Vealtones.
Thanks for the great trade, Mark and Jim. You guys rock. And thanks for reading, everyone, about the most important (OK not the most important) race going on today.