Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Joy of Inked Vintage: The Great Del-Ink Mystery

It's been a while since I posted about one of the vintage Bowman cards I picked up from my LCS. For those of you that don't know, they have a few boxes of '50s Bowman cards that are bargain priced because the guy they bought the collection from wrote in ink on the cards. But a little ink never scared this collector.

In fact, I love a little ink when it means I get an awesome 1950 Bowman card of catching great Del Crandall for 3 bucks. Not a bad price for an 8-time all-star and 4-time Gold Glove winner. Along with Tigers, I'm always looking for vintage cards of catchers in gear, and you get the full effect of the '50s gear here. The gear here is very cool, as is the background, and the signature '50s Bowman blue skies. This card just screams, "Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks."

What I can't really figure out is the writing on this card. Usually, on most of the inked cards, the guy wrote the name of the team the player was traded to. But what do we make of this? I'm thinking this is in reference to Jesse Flores, a mediocre pitcher from Del's era. But why write Jesse's name here? What do the letters after mean? It's like a Ginter crack-the-code kind of deal. Oh well. The point that matters most is that this ink allowed this card to fit into my budget.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Would You Say I Have a Plethora of Trades?

It's time to recap a plethora of awesome trades I recently completed. (Hefe, what is a plethora?)

I think it was around last Christmas that 2 by 3 Heroes was giving away some cards PWE style. I picked a pair, and they promptly arrived.

Two awesome cards: a numbered Topps Heritage Cabrera and a framed card of an epic catcher. Well, you just can't do much better than that for a PWE delivery, especially when the cards came completely free.

So, months later, I finally got the chance to send some cards back in an official trade. However, despite all the White Sox I could send his way, I think the man who always has the best music videos linked at the bottom of his posts still outdid me. 

This was the card that initiated the trade. Jeff was worried I wouldn't be interested because of the crease, but that doesn't scare me. I love all Cabrera jersey swatches regardless of battle scars. In fact, I think these kind of creases are very common from Heritage GU cards, which is unfortunate, if you were buying a box and this was your one hit, anyway.

Jeff also added in some great Pudges. Ivan in gear is only bested by Ivan as a floating head.

And to wrap up the trade, a few Tigers autos from Jeff's LCS' bargain box. Dig it. Great looking cards even if Tony Giarratano never panned out (anyone know what happened to him?) and Clete Thomas is now with the Twins, where he happens to be tearing it up in AAA. I knew he had too cool of a baseball name to quietly fade away from the game.

Thanks, Jeff, for a great trade, for a great blog, and for all the great You Tube videos. A while ago you sent me on an Oingo Boingo rampage.

Next up, I completed my first trade with a blog I've long admired: Foul Bunt. I think we're all aware of William's fantastic autograph collection, great writing, and generosity.

William sent me a Pudge the second Ginter GU I needed, and he tossed in a bunch of Pudge the first extras. These were a few of my favorites that I didn't have yet. The Vealtones love Pudges of all generations. 

Speaking of Pudge, of Dr. Fisk to be exact, Oscar over at All Trade Bait, All The Time had some cards to fill this collecting need.

Those are some beautiful Pudges. Best of all is the 1973 Topps card, Fisk's second-year card, his rookie cup card, and his first solo piece of cardboard. Oscar knew I would love this one, and he was right. This is one of my favorite Pudge cards now. 

But what would a trade be without Pudge Jr.? He was feeling left out until Oscar tossed in some sweet extras.

I think the Ripken Clippings card was what started this trade, and he came with a few friends. I'm slowly creeping toward that Ultra Iron Man set. Got anything to contribute?

Last up, some random awesomeness. I always enjoy some colored 2008 Heroes. Here we have fecal brown. Then some great minis and my first card from the 1961 Fleer set. 

I loved all of these cards, from Oscar and from everyone. Thanks for the slew of awesome trades, fellas. I look forward to our next bubble mailer exchanges. 

Now, in honor of 2 by 3 Heroes and the title of this post:

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Acquiring Iconic Rookies: Second Best, eh!

Today's iconic rookie could be considered underrated or overrated, depending on what stats you're looking at. But, overall, he's a pretty consistent starter.

Here's Dempster's first Bowman card from 1996, which I consider his true rookie card. Why is it iconic? Because of Dempster's consistency, because he has a nice change-up, and, of course, he has the second most wins of any pitcher from Canada, eh, just after Fergie.

This is a much less embarassing '90s Bowman rookie card than many. I actually appreciate the composition, the way the shadows fall. Dempster looks dark and mysterious.

I snagged this card off eBay for less than a dollar shipped. Quite a steal for the rookie card of a player who likely won't have a Hall of Fame career, but has been a fan favorite and a national favorite for many years.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Trade Bait: Autos and GUs

Another batch of trade bait. Take a gander.

Matt Williams: 2001 Private Stock Game Gear

Trevor Crowe: 2010 T206 Mini Framed Autograph

Joey Devine: 2006 Bowman Autograph

Graham Stoneburner: 2010 Bowman Chrome Autograph

Matt Holliday: 2007 Ultimate Collection Star Materials

Tyler Colvin: 2006 Tristar Prospects Plus Farm Hands Autographs

Micah Owings: 2012 SP Signatures

Jason Kubel: 2006 Sweet Spot Sweet Beginnings Swatches

Angel Castillo: 2011 Topps Pro Debut Materials

Daniel Murphy: 2010 Topps Peak Performance Relics

Coco Crisp: 2007 Topps Turkey Red Relics

Richie Weeks: 2009 Upper Deck Game Jersey

Stetson Allie: 2011 Topps Heritage Minors Clubhouse Collection Relics

Michael Cuddyer: 2001 SP Top Prospects Bat

Jon Link: 2010 Topps Chrome Autograph

Zack Greinke: 2009 Sweet Spot Swatches

Roy Halladay: 2010 Topps Commemorative Patch

Nick Markakis: 2008 Masterpieces Captured on Canvas (jersey)

Diory Hernandez: 2009 Topps Silk 
Emilio Bonifacio: 2010 Upper Deck Signature Sensations
So, you know how it goes. Leave a comment or send me an email if you're interested in any of these and have something I'd dig. Check out my want lists. Also, peruse the archived trade bait for more good stuff.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Card Show-off: Dime Box Attacks!

Time to finish up showing off my goods from the card show. Today, we'll rehash my favorite part of the card show: the dime boxes.

OK, I only wish these were dime box finds. These came out of a 6/$5 box. Each of these are numbered. The 2004 Throwback Threads card is as cool as it gets for a Tigers collector. Pudge, Trammell, and Mr. Tiger all on one card. Yes, please. And some sweet Verlander parallels, copper Topps and light blue Heroes. I might just have to go after a Heroes rainbow or two one of these days.

Now we're back to talking dime boxes. I snagged a gaggle of these cards from the 1983 Kaline story set. I didn't even know about this set, but now that I do, damn, gonna have to finish this sucker. These cards are fantastic.

Here are some more glories from this set. I love the cameos, including the whole 1974 all-star team. And that top right card is a masterpiece. We have to have a closer look:


More goodies for my various player collections. Just when I think I have all the Pudge rookie cards from his 1991 I find another. And up top, there's Cobb being a douche.

Along with all the cards above, I snagged one of these Mars Attacks cards from the same dealer's table. Just one. He noticed, and offered me all of them he had as an add-on to the already great deal he'd given me. These are a few of my favorites. Who of us cardboard connoisseurs don't appreciate the history of Mars Attacks? Some of us more than others, of course.

To wrap this up, some randomy randomness. Refractors, gold, and the Finest I could never afford when I was a kid. 

Not a bad dime box haul. At most shows, I usually end up with a lot more randomness and much less for my actual player collections. I managed to stay on track this time and get stuff I actually needed. Well, the word "need" is always relative to a cardboard addict.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Card Show-off: Vintage Bowman and a Schmidt

As I mentioned a few months ago, I had to miss my favorite annual card show in Kalamazoo, and I didn't care at all because of a special little lady. But I did make it to another annual show in Grand Rapids recently. Not as good as the Kalamazoo one, but I got some sweet stuff. 

I've mentioned plenty on this blog how much I love the 1952 Bowman set, probably my favorite vintage set. I'm getting close on my Tigers team set. But I also avidly collect catchers in gear. The gear here is awesome. Love the mask in hand, the chest protector, and the iconic Catchers-Finding-Jesus pose (term copyright the wise doctor over at Carl Crawford Cards). We also get one of those oddball backgrounds often featured on vintage Bowman cards. Overall, a fantastic card of an average player.

Along with the Eddie Fitz card, I picked up this Ray Scarborough. It's a cool card, that I'll probably trade eventually. I know there's probably some Red Sox collector pals out there who need this one and have some sweet Tigers vintage to send my way.

This Mike Schmidt jersey card was my other big purchase of the show. I've always admired Schmidt, and this card was a great deal. The design is fun with Minty Beans' friend Elmer McPunchy bounding out behind Mike's knee. Also, you can't beat that jersey pinstripe. 

I notice a lot less collectors being interested in GUs these days, but I still love them. Then again, I got this for a few bucks, not as my one hit in a $75 box. I have to say, though, I'll always be a fan of these cards, especially with great designs like this.

Next post, I'll jam out my dime box finds. You never want to miss those.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Acquiring Iconic Rookies: Getting Awkward with Clay

In this installment of Iconic Rookies, I might be jumping the gun a bit. Is this card or Clay's career old and established enough to be iconic? 

I'm going to argue yes. Clay is certainly making a case for iconic status with the crazy-good season he's having this year. This is his first Bowman rookie card, and in the tradition of first Bowman cards, this one is pretty awkward. Clay looks gangly and spindly, wearing a jersey a few sizes too large, a jersey he probably put on just for picture day. At least we can be grateful he's not wearing a tropical button-up and white khaki shorts on his Bowman rookie card. 

As awkward as this card is, if you're a rookie collector, this is Clay's true rookie, and, I think, one worth having in a rookie collection. I acquired this off of eBay a few months ago for less than a dollar shipped. I bet it's not going that cheap now, but I bet this card has made it into a dime box or two.