Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dr. Vealtone and His T205 Tobacco

I was just able to crank out my contest before needing to take some time off. What's been going on, you ask? Actually, you probably don't, but you're going to find out.

I defended my dissertation, successfully, which was the final stage in a very long process, and now I'm officially a doctor. That is, a doctor of philosophy in English, which means don't come to me needing heart surgery or a broken leg or even the sniffles. All I can fix is your story. But I'm pretty damn good at that.

To celebrate my newest accomplishment, meet my oldest card:

That's some genuine tobacco right there. 1911 T205, the gold borders set. I'd been trying to snag a Tigers tobacco card for a good deal for a long time, almost as long as I've been trying to become a doctor. I ended up getting this one shipped for right around $7, which I consider an awesome deal, even with the creases and hole punched near the bottom right corner.

The 1911 T205 set is said to be the first baseball card to include player bios and stats. That's quite a piece of history to own, the genesis of stats on the back. And how cool to see Piedmont and know that this card was actually in a pack of Piedmont cigarettes. Wondering what those looked like? Me too.

Unfortunately, I could not find a picture of an actual cigarette from 1911. Nobody is slabbing those? By the way, I just passed my six month anniversary of quitting smoking myself. Big stuff this year: quit smoking, new baby, became a Dr. Vealtone. Yikes.

But I'm getting off track. Who was this Charles O'Leary? I'm just going to go and pick up a random Tiger from the turn of the century and not even know who he was? Well, yeah, um, I would probably do that.

A little spin over to Baseball Reference will fix my tobacco-era O'Leary ignorance. He was primarily a shortstop who played nine of his eleven MLB seasons with the Tigers. Nothing too impressive in his stats. Oh wait. What's this? He debuted in 1904 and played until 1913, but then, he also seems to have played one game with one at bat and one hit in 1934 for the St. Louis Browns. The story is he was a coach for many years after his playing career, and played one game at the age of 58, making him the second oldest man in baseball history, only surpassed in agedness by the great Mr. Paige. I cannot figure out, however, why he got called up to pinch hit at the age of 58. I did find out that he had a vaudeville act during the off-season with another one of his teammates.

Wild stuff. Have to love that history. I actually legally am required to love history now that I have my degree, as well as having to wear elbow patches on my tweed blazers.

Thanks for reading, and thanks, all of you, for keeping me sane during this process, whether you knew about it or not. Cardboard made all the stress of earning the Ph.D. a little easier.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Vealtones Vintage Contest Winner!

I got a bit side-tracked this weekend, but now I'm ready to announce the winner for the Vealtones vintage contest.

First, I want to say thanks for all the congrats on my daughter, for all the new followers (I'm up to 101 now!), and for all you old, beloved followers. You guys are all awesome. And this marks my 200th post, so, cool.

OK, onto the randomizing.

First spin:


Number two:


Third and final:


Congratulations, Lost Collector. You win some Yankees vintage, and some stuff you collect. I have some neat Tinos I've been needing an excuse to send you.

Send me your address, and pick yourself out one of these Yankees '50s cards:

1951 Bowman Tommy Byrne
1951 Bowman Billly Johnson
1956 Topps Hank Bauer, with a bite out of it!
1952 Bowman Hank Bauer

Thanks for entering and reading, everyone.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Trade Bait: GUs Aplenty

Time for new trade bait. Here come the pants...and other such game used do-dads.  Oh, and don't forget to enter my contest!

Jose Reyes: 2007 Upper Deck Premier Remnants Triple Jersey (#ed 59/75)

Roy Halladay: 2008 Topps Retail Relics

Carlos Quentin: 2012 Topps Golden Moments Relics

Tim Hudson: 2007 Sweet Spot Sweet Swatch Memorabilia 

Hideo Nomo: Topps Cracker Jack 1-2-3 Strikers You're Out Relics

Manny Ramirez: 2007 Upper Deck Premier Remnants Triple Jersey (#ed 27/45)

Tom Gorzelanny: 2008 Allen & Ginter Relics

Derek Holland: Gypsy 2012 Queen Framed Mini Relics

Drew Storen: 2012 Topps Golden Moments Autographs

Todd Helton: 2002 Upper Deck Authentics Revers Negative Jerseys (#ed 091/350)

Eric Patterson: 2004 Upper Deck National Pride Jersey

Billy Butler: 2012 Topps Update All-Star Stitches

C.J. Wilson: 2012 Topps 2012 Topps Update All-Star Stitches

Daniel Cabrera: 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Stroke of Genius Autograph

Rafael Furcal: 2007 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection Relics

Ryan Howard: 2006 Upper Deck Ovation Apparel 

Brian Matusz: 2011 Topps Commemorative Patch

Tony Clark: 2002 Topps Traded Tools for the Trade Relics

Annie Duke: 2012 Allen & Ginter Relics

Ricky Romero: 2012 Gypsy Queen Relics

Nick Swisher: 2007 Artifacts Antiquity Authentic Materials

Send me an email (dustinhoff86 at gmail dot com) or leave a comment if you're interested and let me know what you have to offer. I tend to like to trade hits for hits, but I'll listen to any offer. Check out my want lists and player collections to see what I'm looking for. If you have something extra nice that I'd like, I'm often willing to do a group of my trade bait for one cool card. And don't forget to check out the trade bait archives.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Card Show-Off: Dime Boxes: I've Got a Golden Ripken!

Yesterday, the blog hit 100 followers, and I'm thrilled. Thanks, everyone, for reading. The final push past 100 might have something to do with my contest, which you should enter if you haven't and you like vintage cardboard. If you don't like vintage, well, that just makes me a little sad.

Following up on yesterday's post, it's time to show you what else I got at the Holland, Michigan card show. As I said yesterday, those Dutch are known to be famous for their wooden shoes and windmills and silly hats, but are secretly also known for their great deals on vintage AND their wonderful dime boxes.

This one actually came out of a 3/$1 box. And it's a very intriguing addition to my Ripken collection. I have no idea what this card is, but it's made of metal, probably pure gold. It looks a little like the early '90s Bleachers cards, but I'm not too sure.

And the back doesn't help much. It does appear to be numbered out of 10000, and is this Japanese writing? Whatever this is, I'd have to say this is one of the most oddball finds out of the bargain boxes.

One whacky oddball calls for another. Check out the Bo Jackson card I snagged from the dime box. What was he thinking to have posed for this shot? The '90s were full of bad choices for all of us. Flanking Bo's big mistake, we have a great Rollie card and those 3000 Club Fleer inserts I'm a big fan of. They're thick as a game-used card and cut really cool.

A few more unidentifiable Nolan oddballs, and a 1990 Leaf, all a dime a piece. 

Here are my dime box Ripkens. I was excited to pick up the 2001 Topps Traded reprint, which cost a bit more; it's probably the closest I'll ever come to the white whale that is Ripken's best rookie.

And this 1995 Topps Traded Mariano Rivera is probably the closest I'll ever come to his white whale rookie. A great find for a dime. As is the Wally auto. I have no idea if it's real, but it's worth a gamble for a dime. 

Lots of Topps Gold, which actually came out of a nickel box, and will one day become trade package extras.

A dime box auto, a nickel box Romero rookie, and that Paulk is numbered to 50, so who cares that I have no idea who he is! The Mantle has felt and the Jackie is Chromed out. This grouping defines the hodge-podge that is the joy of the dime box.

Love those tobacco and Goudey reprints.

Though I don't find them often, Sparky and Tigers team cards are always a great dime box find. I'm pretty sure these team cards were a bit pricier, but such is Michigan. If you trade with me, Sparky and Tigers teams are always welcome adds to a trade package.

This was not a dime box find, nor was it five dollars. You can't get much cooler when it comes to a well-designed GU card than this one: numbered, baby blue, Mr. Gwynn, pinstripe. Perfect.

That wraps up this show. I'm headed to my first card show of 2013 this weekend, so wish me luck. I hope I get some finds as sweet as the Dutch gave me. Don't forget to enter my contest!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Card Show-off: Vintage Steals and a Contest Reminder

I recently missed my favorite annual card show in Kalamazoo, due to the small coincidence of my daughter being born on the same day. However, I still have a card show from a few months ago in my bank. This show happened in Holland, Michigan, a town known for its windmills and tulips and Dutch culture. Go figure. 

Few know, though, that the Dutch are also famous for their great deals on vintage cardboard. And thanks to them, one of these cards could be yours, if you go and enter the Vealtones Vintage Contest.

I snagged this 1952 Bowman Monte Irvin from this one dealer who was getting rid of a bunch of sweet vintage. I actually paid less than the price listed at the top of the card. And what a steal. I love the batting cage background and how Monte is captured here looking so inquisitive.

Another infamous Giants Hall-of-Famer here with the legendary Leo Durocher. This is my first card of his, and I'm thrilled to own it.

Not a Hall-of-Famer but a respectable player: Hank Bauer. He's looking mighty noble here, chin up against the shadowy stadium risers. 

One more. Carl Erskine. Another very cool background here. It looks like some kind of old-timey ad behind him. I wish I knew what it was. I love the look of the three different cobbled wall materials. And, of course, Carl's wind-up is so cool. Bowman did a great job to capture his leg and then run the signature up it. I have always wondered if the players chose where to put their sigs.

Moving on from Bowman, I couldn't pass up a good deal on a Johnny Podres 1958 Topps. I may have picked this up thinking trade bait more than personal collection. Any Dodgers collectors who don't have this card?

I also scored this card, along with all the others above, from this same dealer. And I think this card was the biggest steal of the day. I absentmindedly snagged it out of the 3 for a dollar box, thinking it looked cool. I didn't realize until I got home that this is Tiant's 1965 rookie. How about that! This goes right into the iconic rookies personal collection, and becomes one of my best cheapo box finds.

Eddie Kazak's 1953 Topps card came from a different dealer, and it cost me 2 bucks. Not the same steal that the Tiant was, but a nice addition to my vintage Tigers team sets. My '50s Topps sets are still in very early stages. So, this card is cool, but it's just not as cool as any of those '52 or '53 Bowmans. The headshots from this set are meticulously detailed, but they're just a little too boring for me. 

To wrap things up, here are a few bargain box finds. Great names and great cards, and I think these were out of a quarter box. I've always been a Lou Brock fan, so his 1968 All Star card was a good find for me.

Tomorrow, I'll try to post the rest of this show, mostly my dime box finds. Don't forget to head over and enter my first contest for some '50s vintage of your favorite (or second favorite) team.