Saturday, August 17, 2019

The long-awaited Sunset Card Binder

I will hopefully be posting this while I am up in the air in a plane on the way to Michigan. 

Ever since I started following Nick's Dime Box blog around 2013 or 2014, he got me fascinated with Sunset Cards. A sunset card in my opinion, is defined as a card featuring a player's final career stats on the back of the card. Nick's Sunset card posts inspired me to start making custom sunset cards for players missing them, and to work on a binder full of Topps sunset cards. I finally got all of my sunset cards in a binder, and here is what I have come up with. This list is far from complete, and I know I am missing a good number of years. I plan to use this post, along with many of the checklists on the sidebar to one day make an ultimate list of sunset cards. For now, this will hopefully suffice. 
George Kell 1958 (01 Topps Archives card)
Richie Ashburn 1963 (01 Topps Archives card)
Mickey Mantle 1969 (96 Topps Chrome Mantle Insert)
Roberto Clemente 1973 (01 Topps Arvhives)
Luis Aparicio 1974
Al Kaline 1975 custom
Harmon Killebrew 1976 custom
Hank Aaron 1976 custom
Frank Robinson 1976 custom
PAGE 2-3
Brooks Robinson 1978 custom
Rico Carty 1980 (2001 Topps Archives)
Ray Fosse 1980
Thurmon Munson 1980 custom
Minnie Minoso 1981 custom
Ken Brett 1982
Freddie Patek 1982
Rennie Stennett 1982
Willie Stargell 1983 custom
Luis Tiant 1983 (2001 Topps Archives)
Johnny Bench 1984 custom
Bake McBride 1984
Don Money 1984
Eric Rasmussen 1984 
Joe Simpson 1984
Richie Zisk 1984
Ralph Houk 1985
Greg Luzinski 1985

Thursday, August 15, 2019

A Trip, a ton of Refractors, and a Trade

So the last week has been crazy, but good for me. It has involved a little sadness, a surprise opportunity, and a bunch of cards. Let me start at the beginning. So my grandfather (my fathers' father) has been suffering from dementia, and it has got progressively worse. He lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and my family lives in DeLand, Florida. We hadn't seen my grandparents since I got married in December 2012, so last August, we decided to drive up to Michigan. It was a great trip, and we got an awesome picture of 4 generation of males with the DeJong last name (my son, myself, my dad, and my grandpa.

With my grandpa's health getting progressively worse in the past few months, we had talked about going back up sometime this fall. One of my aunts called this past week, and let us know that we needed to come up pretty soon because they didn't know how much longer he has left judging on how he has been doing lately. We decided to take a trip up.  That means I get an unexpected, but needed, vacation. We will be flying up on Saturday, and coming back home the Friday after that. If I get lucky with my work schedule, I won't go back until the Monday after that. If not, I'll go back Sunday. Either way, I get an escape from work, and get to travel back to where I lived until I was 8 or so. I really hope my grandpa holds through until we get there. 
During the trip, we will get to do some things that we just didn't get the chance to do this last time, including seeing my Uncle Bob's gravel pit, watching my son ride the Meijer's penny pony, and see a Michigan Whitecaps game. I have a few cards I'm going to try to get signed, so hopefully I can get a few autographs.

While going to Target to get some things for the trip, I picked out a 4-pack hanger of '19 Topps Chrome.  I got a good number of cards for some of my PCs, including a deGrom '84 Refractor and a Andrelton Simmons base for those player collections, Pink Refractors of Jake Lamb, Ronald Acuna, Nick Markakis, a regular Refractor of Corey Seager, a Fish Fractor of Aaron Nola, and a Negative Refractor of Rhys Hoskins. A pretty good 4 packs.

There are the base cards I got.
Then, when I got home today, I had a package waiting for me at the door. Mike from A Life Shaped by Baseball had e-mailed me about 2 weeks ago about getting a trade started. He needed some cards to complete his 1992 Topps set, and I probably have 3-4 complete 1992 Topps sets in my doubles boxes, so I scoured through them and dug out the cards he needed, found some cards for a few of his PCs, and tried to make some customs I thought he would enjoy (which I try to do with most of my trades). When I saw the box at the door, I was surprised at how big it was, and was really excited.
When I opened it, I was floored! There was a huge box of cards, all of retired guys I collect! Don't believe me? Just look at how big that stack is!!
He must have collected during the years where I mainly opened a few packs of Topps and nothing else (1997-2000), because many of the cards I received were from sets I maybe had 1 or 2 cards of. Here are some of the sets that I'm talking about.

I don't know how you got such a cool collection, Mike, but thank you for sharing so many of your cards with me! I swear I added new cards to at least 50 guys, and it took me at least an hour to update my Want List Page
On top of that, he said that he has lots more cards that he could probably send in a future trade. As if all of the cards I got today weren't enough! Just another example of how all of the bloggers in this small community rock and really are great people. 
Mike, I appreciate the nice comments about how my Want List is organized. I hope it isn't too confusing or seems like I am fans of too many players, and it's post like this that make me think 'Hey, maybe I am doing something right with this blog!'. I will definitely be looking for more cards of your PC guys and setting them aside for a future trade. I hope to go through all of my new card shop's nickle boxes, and I hope to pass all of the love along to guys I trade with.

I think that's about it. I have a post that I am working on, and I hope to post it while I am flying in the plane. After all, how many times do you get to make a blog post while you are flying high in the sky with clouds all around you. I'll probably be off of the grid while I'm in Michigan, but maybe I'll get a chance to do some work on checklists. Only the '51, '53, '54, and most of the '55 Topps set are keeping me from having every missing Topps card listed from the 1951-2001 sets. So close...

Thanks again for the awesome trade, Mike!  I hope to come back with some great stories, maybe a Michigan pack, and hopefully a lot of renewed energy.
Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

What If? custom insert set

A few years ago, I pondered the idea of Topps coming up with a Topps Archives set that included cards that never were. I even went so far as to making a 300-card checklist, and coming up with some insert sets for it. One of the insert sets was a 20-card 'What If?' set, which pondered the idea of some trades that never occurred, and 1 or 2 playoff scenarios not happening. It took me a few years, but I have finally finished the 'What If?' insert set front and back. Here is the set, and the theory behind the cards.

1. Barry Bonds-What if he were traded to the Braves?

 2. What if the Astros selected Derek Jeter #1 instead of Phil Nevin?

 3. What if the Cardinals traded Albert Pujols to the Padres?

 4. What if Greg Maddux signed with the Yankees as a Free Agent?

 5. What if Nolan Ryan hadn't got injured or retired and stayed to pitch 1 season and got 6,000 K's?

 6. What if Ivan Rodriguez signed with the Orioles as a Free Agent?

7. What if Manny Ramirez was traded to the Rangers?

 8. What if A-Rod was traded to Red Sox?

 9. What if Magglio Ordonez was traded to Red Sox?

 10. What if Nomar Garciaparra was traded to White Sox?

 11. What if Jon Lester was traded to Rangers?

 12. What if Carlos Beltran was traded to Yankees?

 13. What if Robinson Cano was traded to Royals?

 14. What if David Wright was traded to Blue Jays?

 15. What if Justin Verlander was traded to Marlins?

 16. What if the Yankees won the 2004 ALCS?

 17. What if Miguel Cabrera was traded to Angels?

 18. What if Randy Johnson was traded to Blue Jays?

 19. What if Pedro Martinez was traded to Indians?

 20. What if Mariano Rivera was traded to Mariners?

It would make for a fun insert set. I wish Topps would consider doing something like this at least for an insert set in one of their sets. Their photoshop skills are definitely better than mine, and they could really come up with some nice stuff if they tried. 

In my last post, I mentioned about some of the yardwork I've done on our house. Here are some photos of what I've been working at. The first one is the first planters box I built. We had a tree cut down a few months ago, and I decided to try to build a planter box around it. After that, I planted some zinnia, marigold, and morning glory seeds. I also got 3 milkweed plants from a friend at church, and put 2 of those in with them. 
So originally, when I built the first box, it was 6 beams high, and after seeing it, I decided to cut it in half, and make a second box out of it, and put in the back yard. It took a few more months, but I finally dug out an area and put the second box in the back. There is the last milkweed plant in the top right corner, a big pineapple plant in the bottom left, and 2 small pineapple plants in the top left and bottom right. The 2 small pineapples were actually growing from the same plant, and I cut them in half when I transplanted them a few days ago. Pineapples are pretty easy to grow in certain areas. I just cut the tops off of these, and made sure they were watered and the roots took for the first week or so. They absorb nutrients through the leaves, so down here in sunny Florida, they have done great for me. I planted some zinnia seeds in the new box yesterday. It may be too late in the summer to see anything happen, but we'll see.
I hope you enjoyed the custom insert set and pics of my gardening adventure.
Thanks for checking out my latest post.