Monday, September 30, 2013

Amazing Trade with Reader Alvin: This Ain't No Bull

I don't get many trade requests from collectors who don't have their own blogs. I'm always surprised to find out anyone is reading besides just other bloggers and my sister now and then, and someone in Russia, according to my stats.

Enter El Toro Alvin. The Bull contacted me flashing some player names I liked. He said he had some GUs and autos of the fellas I like. My interest was piqued. And then he sent some scans. My chin dropped, and I let him pick all he wanted off my trade bait page. I'm always willing to trade a bunch of cards for a few or even one, like this one:
Oh my God, right? I have a couple Kaline autos, but this is my new favorite. I love the design of these 2007 Ultimate autos. The red, gold, and blue is a super classy version of patriotic. All the foil is just done perfectly, and everything draws the eye to that fantastic auto. It's just the perfect card.

This card alone was worth a bunch of my bait. But Alvin had more to offer.
This is only my second Ripken GU. They're tough to come by, and I dig this one. Quite a night and day difference in design from the last card. Look at all that gray. And everything draws the eye to...gray. I'm hardly complaining. I love this card for its simplicity and 'cause it's Cal. And Alvin is awesome.

But there's more.

 I'm seeing less Miggy GUs these days, ever since he won MVP last year. I don't foresee his cards getting any cheaper any time soon. It's always neat to see these cards where he was so young and small.
 And finally, Alvin sent this Pudge GU. Always great to see a stripe. I dig the designs of this card, though the red and white have nothing to do with anything really, which I suppose is why they washed out Pudge's color. Two Marlins cards in a row. Thank goodness they fed the Tigers so many delicious players or we probably wouldn't be seeing the playoffs.
Thanks again to Alvin. This was a smashing good trade. He collects Royals, gold refractors, and Bowman autos from what I can tell. If you have a chance to trade with him, do it!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Disgusting Pudge Patch

The title pretty much says it all.

I'm not a huge fan of 2007 SPx, or any SPx for that matter, but this is a great card. Mainly for the primo piece of patch. Awesome color on this puppy. My only complaint is that Pudge is featured here as a Tiger, yet the colors on that patch don't look very Tigery to me. That actually gives me a little more hope that it might be legit, since it looks like Upper Deck just dug into their massive treasure trove of Ivan Rodriguez Rangers jerseys rather than having to buy a new Tigers one. Regardless, the colors on that patch are fantastic. I got stitching and three colors. GUs don't ever really make me "feel closer to the game." But this one does actually give me that giddy feeling of owning a little piece of something real, something that matters, something I saw on TV (rather than a vague gray swatch that could have been some armpit or crotch fabric). Whether this is a real patch or not, my reaction is.

And if it isn't real, who cares? I paid less than $5 for this off of eBay. That's a fair risk, I'd say.

This reminds me of another disgusting patch I own:
Oh, my! This one came in a trade from the recently revived blog Joe Average Collector. Makes a nice pair, these two.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Card Show-Off: Vintage Rookies at WAR

I'm finally getting to posting the rest of this card show. The magic word today is vintage. Well-loved vintage, of course. Read on for the big rookie WAR.

But first, we'll start with this beauty. For $2 the thrill of Duke Snider's wall catch is mine to behold. Now, Topps might have their fancy-smancy short print Great Catch cards this year, but they're not as cool as this one. Which would you rather have, a slightly scuffed-up '59 Snider in action or some over-hyped picture of Mark Reynold bumbling over a tarp roll? Gotta love that vintage.

The deals go on. These were dime and quarter box finds, and finds they were. Bask in the glory of a rare smile from Mr. Gibson. I think my favorite in this group is the Post Minnie.

Now we're getting into my favorite finds: vintage rookies. These, also, were quarter box finds. Sure, these aren't Hall-of-Famers, but they're names we know and love. Those are exactly the rookies I'm always looking for. Let's play a little game. Of these semi-star rookies, who was the best bargain statistically, going by the very simple stat of career WAR. In order, Tasby has a sad negative WAR of -0.6. Tommie Agee, who was 1 hit shy of 1000 career hits, has a WAR of 25.5. Frank the Tank Tanana (no one called him that), who is a Detroit native and one of those Tigers pitchers from my youth, has a WAR of 57.5. Finally, poor Bill Buckner had a surprisingly low 14.7 (they must be counting a certain game against him).

These, too, were amazingly quarter box finds. Are you kidding me!? Look at those giant trophies! Let the games continue! Matty Alou's WAR is 23.3. Crusty Rusty Staub has a WAR of 45.8. And finally Bert Blanco Campaneris racks up a sweet 53.3.

So, the biggest bargain by WAR is Tanana.

And in case you don't know like I do exactly what a WAR is and how it's calculated, here you go (according to Wiki):

wRAA = \tfrac{wOBA - .320}{1.25} * (AB + BB +HBP + SF + SH)
wOBA = {(\alpha_1 * uBB + \alpha_2 * HBP + \alpha_3 * 1B + \alpha_4 * 2B + \alpha_5 * 3B + \alpha_6 * HR + \alpha_7 * SB - \alpha_8 * CS) \over (AB+BB-IBB+HBP+SF)}

Well, that's some highlights anyway. Simple as a quarter box.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Card Show-Off: Hard Luck Houtteman and the Bargain Boxes

I didn't find a ton of stuff at the most recent mall card show I went to, but I did run into some nice vintage bargains.
This was my favorite find. For $3 I knocked a need off my vintage Bowman Tigers want lists. I didn't know much about Art Houtteman, but apparently he was a decent starter who spent 8 of his 12 seasons with the Tigers. He had the nickname "Hard Luck" for a number of horrific reasons: car accidents, noise headaches, baby death, and so on. Art's hard luck will now be remembered and appreciated against a green brick backdrop in my collection.

Here are some Tigers bargains out of the quarter and dime boxes. I had all of these before besides the Wertz, which was a steal. The rest were upgrades. I sure love me Tigers team cards.

Rounding out my Tigers finds are two Freehans and a Northrup. Those are big names for us vintage Tigers collectors. The Freehan in the middle is a 1971 Dell Today's Team Stamp. I really know nothing about this set, but I dig oddballs. I wonder if Dennis has this one.

It's not vintage, but it cost a dime and this is one of my favorite insert sets. I'm slowly moseying away at collecting this set. These cards are chunky as a thick hunk of Swiss cheese with just as many holes.

Last up, here are the modern treasures I found out of the dime and quarter boxes. All of these are numbered except for the Pill Ice parallel. Pretty great stuff. Probably most of it will find its way into trade packages. Always looking out for my blogging bros.

Next post, I'll show off the best of the bargain vintage.