Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Scott Aldred missing Topps cards

I have followed Scott Aldred for most of his career, and figured I would help finish his career Topps run. He came up to the Big Leagues with the Detroit Tigers in 1990, and played with them through 1992. He got selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 1992 MLB Expansion Draft, and split the '93 season with them and the Montreal Expos. He was out of baseball in 1994 with Tommy John surgery, and then came back to the Tigers organization in 1995, spending the season in the minors. He split 1996 with the Tigers and the Minnesota Twins, and the whole season with the Twins in 1997. 1998 was his first year with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 1999 was split between the Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies, and he finished out his career in 2000 with the Phillies.
I got Scott's autograph in Spring Training in 1996. I saw a few games that year, and he signed a 1994 Score Detroit Tigers team checklist card for me. I didn't know he was with the Tigers until he signed the card for me, and once I did, I made sure to bring his 1993 Topps card to the next game, and sure enough, he signed it for me the next time. Then, in 1998, I went to 3 or 4 Devil Rays game, and I'm pretty positive I've seen him pitch with them. I have the ticket stubs, so I can probably double check.

Here are all of Aldred's Topps cards.

1991 Topps (rookie card)
1991 Topps #658 Scott Aldred Front

1992 Topps
1992 Topps #198 Scott Aldred Front

1993 Topps (Rockies)
1993 Topps #463 Scott Aldred Front

1993 Topps custom (Tigers)

1994 Topps custom

1997 Topps custom

1998 Topps custom

1999 Topps custom

2000 Topps custom

2001 Topps custom (sunset card)

I wasn't able to get as much done today as I wanted to, but I did get my Oakland A's binders updated, leaving me 3 teams before the fun binders are up. I got a few teams done for the 1966 Topps missing player checklist, and did the customs for this post. I'm hoping to get some binders done, teams done on the '66 Topps checklist, and maybe a few customs done over the next few days when I get off work, but just found out we may have family coming over this weekend, so that could throw that out the window. I'm itching to get some of these projects finished. I'm more about the final result than the journey, so I get antsy while doing the actual work because I like the satisfaction of looking at the final product more. Sometimes that hurts me and I don't make the quality the best, but it helps me take on huge projects and sustain them until the end (see Completed 1992 Topps set with backs). I will keep everyone updated on my projects, and appreciate everyone for checking them out and for the kind words. 
Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Some new Bowman

So this year, I have been trying to not buy as much retail, and try to focus more on just picking up cards that really fit in my collection. The plan has been to buy a few packs of Topps series 1, Donruss, and Bowman, and then try to purchase the complete Topps/Update set at the end of the year. It might be difficult in the coming months if I get the itch to open packs, but so far, I’ve stuck to it. I recently found some ‘19 Bowman at Wally World, and picked up one of those hangers with 2 packs and a pack of 5 camo parallels in them. Here are the highlights of what I got.
Nothing too earth shattering, but I did get a Tiger for my Tigers binder, a Jacob deGrom for my Favorite Player binder. The rest are rookies and one Refractor insert for my rookie and Refractor binders. I don’t think I got any really good rookies, but you never know with Bowman’s. All you have to do is wait a few years, and you could have something really good. I got a Blue #d to 99 parallel of some Acuna guy a few years ago, and set it aside in a protective sleeve and put it in my rookie binder. I think you all know how hot that card is now. Keep all of your Bowman rookies, guys. You never know. Same thing with Topps Update. If you pull anything from Update with the rookie logo, if the player turns into a decent player, those cards just skyrocket in value.
I’m hoping to get some binders organized on Tuesday. Not too much longer, and I will be on to some of my favorite binders. I might hold off as I am trying to work out some trades and anticipate some cool cards to add to them. Thanks to anyone who has traded with me. I hope to work out more in the future. If you have any Devil Rays/Rays you don’t want or any Tigers that A Cracked Bat can’t use, I would love them. I also have a list of players I collect on the right sidebar.
I’m also hoping to work on the ‘66, ‘65, ‘64, and ‘51 Topps missing player checklists finished in the next month. I can’t believe I’ve got this far. I’ll have to do a post about some of the things I’ve learned about Topps sets from making all of the checklists.
Thanks so much for checking out my latest post.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Stan Royer Missing Topps Cards

Today, I have decided to do a post with all of Stan Royer’s Topps cards. I did a post about his 1992 Topps card on my other blog today, and I only needed 2 customs to finish his career Topps run, so I went ahead and worked on them and finished.them. Here is what I came up with. 

1989 Topps Draft Pick custom
1992 Topps custom
1993 Topps

1994 Topps custom
1995 Topps custom

I actually think I may have seen Stan play in person. I went to a Cards-Tigers spring training game in 1993, and I figure since many stars don’t travel to away games that there is a good chance that Stan played in the game. I was 10 at the time, so I don’t remember much about the game, but maybe, just maybe I saw Stan play during his career. 

Things have been kind of crazy lately, but all seems to be settling down. My wife had stitches removed in her back and they seem to have done the job. We are just kind of waiting now to see what happens. They changed a setting in her shunt, and hopefully everything in her back will be healed and the new shunt setting will ease the headaches. I appreciate all of the words of encouragement. 

I finally got some new 9-pocket pages, and have just a few teams to finish, and all of my cards will mainly be organized. After that, I will start working on the binders of teams/players/cards that I will be focusing on collecting. I have been waiting to do this for almost a year, but have wanted to go through my other binders first, in order to make sure I didn’t miss any cards to add to my special binders. I have definitely found some cards that I missed, and it will be nice to have all of my binders up to date. After everything is done, I want to focus my collecting on anything in my special binders. Basically, any Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays cards, any Detroit Tigers cards, any season/postseason highlights cards, anything shiny/refractory/dufexy/die cut/blue wave/sparkly, rookie cards, sunset cards, and any game-used cards. As far as anything outside of that, I’m really only wanting to get current things because I have my binders organized by year. I will probably just purchase the complete set of Topps every year and the add them to each teams binder. Complicated, but simple. 
I hope to update my favorite player pages with pictures of what I have, as well as a list of what I have of each player. Perhaps make a post with a list of every sunset card of popular players. Lots of ideas and no time to finish them. Stay tuned and we will slowly get through this and you will see some cool cards and customs in the future.
Thanks for taking the time to read my latest post. 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

All of the Expos are done!

This is just a quick post, but I wanted to let you know that I recently finished all of the missing player checklists for the 1970's, which got me very close to having all of the missing players for the Montreal Expos. A whole franchise worth of missing players! After finishing the 1969 and 2002-2005 Topps Expos missing players, I have officially listed every missing Topps Montreal Expos card. If you are an Expos fan, I hope this makes your day. Along with the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays, that gives me complete missing player lists for 3 franchises. These checklists are quickly getting finished, and soon come more customs.
Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Buck Showalter's (almost) complete career Topps run

I have kind of gotten away from posting posts dedicated to individual players or managers on here, so I decided to post some custom cards I made of the first Arizona Diamondbacks manager, Buck Showalter. Buck was named the clubs manager in 1996, and could've got a card in the '96 set, but Topps didn't make manager cards again until the 2001 set. I’ve filled in the gaps, and have been able to give him a run of customs from 1994, when Topps ousted the Manager cards through the 2000 set, which was the last one Topps didn’t include managers in for a while. Throw in a 1992 Topps coach card, and I realize that I have a good number of Showalter customs.
Topps quit making manager cards in 2010 I believe, so Buck is missing a few cards since then, but I think these customs cover a good portion of Buck’s career. I will include his regular Topps cards, and label them in order to give you a full picture of his career, as well as label the customs I’ve made and point out missing cards.

1990 TOPPS TRADED Coach custom

1991 TOPPS Coach custom

1992 TOPPS Manager
1992 Topps #201 Buck Showalter Front

1992 TOPPS Coach custom

1993 TOPPS Manager
1993 Topps - [Base] #510 - Buck Showalter, Jim Fregosi - Courtesy of COMC.com

1994 TOPPS Manager custom

1995 TOPPS Manager custom

1996 TOPPS Manager custom (Yankees)

1996 TOPPS Manager Custom (Diamondbacks)

1997 TOPPS Manager custom

1998 TOPPS Manager custom

1999 TOPPS Manager custom

2000 TOPPS Manager custom

2001 TOPPS Manager
2001 Topps #328 Buck Showalter Front

2003 TOPPS TRADED Manager
2003 Topps Traded & Rookies #T118 Buck Showalter Front

2004 TOPPS Manager
2004 Topps #295 Buck Showalter Front

2005 TOPPS Manager
2005 Topps #295 Buck Showalter Front

2006 TOPPS Manager
2006 Topps #594 Buck Showalter Front

2007 TOPPS Manager custom

2010 TOPPS TRADED Manager custom

2011 TOPPS Manager custom

2012 TOPPS Manager custom

2013 TOPPS Manager custom

2014 TOPPS Manager custom

2015 TOPPS Manager custom

2016 TOPPS Manager custom

2017 TOPPS Manager custom

2018 TOPPS Manager custom

2019 TOPPS Manager custom

There you have it, all of the Topps cards that currently exist, either in real or custom format, of Buck Showalter. He is just missing 1990 Topps Traded, 2007, 2010 Topps Traded, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 Topps cards to complete his career Topps run. 8 cards is not bad for a guy who has been coaching or managing in the Major Leagues for just about every year from 1990-2018. Hopefully Buck gets back in the saddle sometime. He really deserves a good deal of the credit for the Yankee$ championship in 1996 and the Diamondbacks one in 2001. He got Baltimore into playoff contention, and is really a good manager. If $teinbrenner would've kept Buck one more year, we could be talking about Showalter going into the Hall of Fame, and Joe Torre would remind us more of Davey Lopes, a guy who had a decent career, but couldn't cut it as a manager. 

I have finished the 1968 Topps missing player checklist, and have made all of the templates for the set, so that officially leaves me with 5 more checklists before meeting my goal of having every missing player checklist from 1964-2001, along with 1951 and 1952. After those are done, I think I will get back to working on the 1993 Topps customs, and try to make templates for as many teams as I can for the sets I have missing player checklists finished on. Maybe sometime in the future, if it feels right, I may fill in the '53-'63 sets, but they will be on the back burner for now. If you feel like taking a stab at any of the '68 Topps set, give it a shot. All of the templates are there, and I have a link to a post on the sidebar on the basics on how to make a custom in MS Paint. 
Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

A set I have never heard of

Yesterday, I finished the final template I needed for the 1952 Topps set. That, along with the finalized missing player checklist made my 1952 Topps page complete. I decided to work on the '52 set just to do something different, and because it is one of the most iconic baseball card sets ever produced.
While looking for any missing cards that were made for the set, I stumbled across a very cool baseball card set that I have never seen before, isn't listed on TradingCardDB, there is little information about, but to me is a very important set. I stumbeld across set set on the CollectingZIM website, which is ran by a collector named Brad who collects anything Don Zimmer related. If you think you might have anything he needs, I would highly suggest going to his site and emailing him. Anyways, I saw a 1952 Topps Don Zimmer card on google, and it brought me to the CollectingZIM site, and I was able to find a little bit about the set, and I emailed Brad, who kindly responded and gave me what info he knew about it. Aparently, it was pretty obscure and limited. Somebody in the mid-'90's made a custom baseball card set and gave every player who was missing a card in the 1952 Topps set their own card. He did many of the same things I do, even numbering them from where Topps left off. I guess he went to pretty drastic measures to keep his identity hidden, and the main way that sets got into the hands of collectors was by word of mouth, and even then, not many sets were ever printed. I have no idea where these sets were made, who made them, or what the complete checklist would even look like. The set is sometimes referred to as M & A Cards (Masked & Anonymous), and I guess Brad said that the maker of the set also made 1951 and 1952 Bowman sets as well. The only place I have even seen pictures of more cards from this set were on eBay (which I can't figure out what search term I used earlier to find), a few on the Jewish Baseball Museum page, and some on Worthpoint.com. The Worthpoint ones are helpful to a point. I can use them to figure out a few of some that were made, but the photos are very small, so not useful for me to use and get them to the '52 Topps size.
Now that I have found this out, I would really like to find out more about this set. Has anyone else ever heard of it, or ever saw a card from it? Have you ever heard of the '52 Zimmer, Night Owl? I have no clue who to ask about this set. Could it have been Keith Olbermann who made it?  The M & A set is an interesting one indeed, and just goes to show that even in the age of the internet where you can find old pictures of baseball players and rosters from the '50's, that there are still some obscure things like a randomly distributed and printed baseball card set featuring custom cards that was made around the time that the internet was becoming popular. Here is a photo of the Zimmer.
1996 M&A Cards That Never Were #1350 Front1996 M&A Cards That Never Were #1350 Back
People who have read this blog for the last year or so kind of know the situation with my wife where she produces an excess amount of spinal fluid which gives her bad headaches and sometimes can give other terrible symptoms. During the last 2 posts, I wrote about her surgery, and then return to the hospital to get more stitches because spinal fluid was leaking from where they sewed her up after surgery. Well, I just wanted to give an update on where we stand now. BTW, if these updates bore you or bum you out, shoot me an email, and I will stop posting them.
My wife came home from the hospital last Friday, and was able to push through the pain to go back to work on Monday. They adjusted a device in her scalp that is used to drain spinal fluid so it would drain more, hoping to heal some holes that were left after the surgery. We hoped this would fix the issue, and that after a few weeks of pain that they could adjust the device in her scalp back to normal. Last night, she thought that her incision was leaking again, and sure enough, it was. It was leaking a little more this morning, and she called the doctor to let them know. I guess they are ok with her trying to take it easy during the weekend, since she has a CT scan scheduled on Monday. I wish she would go up now, but she has always been one to push herself. Barring anything new happening, I think she is going to go up Monday, have some scans done, and the doctors are going to rethink what they can do to patch any holes in her spine created from the last surgery so nothing will leak. It's just frustrating that nothing seems to go right with this. We've been dealing with it in some way or another since 2014, and sometimes it feels like we are talking to witch doctors who we should be sueing for malpractice, and then other times it all makes sense. I guess sometimes this hobby can seen important, but all of this has made me realize that family and health is, but through it, it has been nice sometimes just to read a blog or two and see what someone has picked up, or to work on some checklists just to get my mind off of everything. It's getting harder and harder to keep the faith through all this, but maybe it will actually get fixed with whatever they decide to do this time.

Thanks for checking out my site and for listening to this somewhat rant of a post.
As always, your thoughts and prayers are appreciated, and you are a heck of a community.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Why all the Donruss hate?

A little over a week ago, I got my first taste of 2019 Donruss. While the no logos are always a turnoff and the design itself is a little busy and confusing, I have to say that I am a fan. I enjoyed the 1985 throwback cards, and I got some nice inserts and bonus cards in my hanging box. 

That led me to the question 'why does everyone hate Donruss?'. I will be the first to admit that the cards would look 100% better with logos, but they totally make up for it with the inserts and all of the shiny. Don't believe me? Here is a look at just a few of the shiny cards, inserts, and parallel cards I have pulled from packs in the past 4-5 years. 

They are just quality cards with nice printing technology. I love how many of them shine. I love how they are serial numbered on the front so you can display that you pulled something cool. I love how many of the cards are throwbacks to old sets that I collected or inserts that I wouldn't have had a chance of pulling back in the day. Speaking of printing technology, check out some of the cards I have purchased online from Donruss/Panini
Those Elite Extra Edition cards especially are neat. Why can't Topps put out anything like this? Superfractors and Blue Wave/all of the Bowman refractor versions are nice, but all of the stuff that Donruss does along with the Dufex technology stuff are just a nice change from the same old same old refractors we get from Topps. I think one of two options would be good for the collecting world.
One, Topps buys Donruss out, but uses all of the printing technology they have. It probably won't happen, and if it did, Topps would probably just let all their printing technology go to waste and destroy all their inventory.
Two, MLB could give BOTH Donruss and Topps a license to print cards, and there would be something we haven't had in years: a little creativity due to competition. Imagine what Topps could do with cards if they had Donruss breathing down their neck. If Donruss had the right to use MLB logos, I bet collectors would scoop them up if they liked the design and inserts better than whatever Topps makes. Just a little healthy wishing from afar off.

People like to complain about how Donruss doesn't have logos and the designs are different, but that's ok. I like alot of what they are doing, and I will continue to bust a few packs of their flagship product every year and continue to hunt any shiny Donruss cards I can find, because it appeals to me even without the logos on them.

My wife is still in the hospital resting and hopefully healing. Thanks to anyone who has wished us well.  It was nice to be home for a little bit today and get to play with my son after work. In between work and picking him up from day care, I finished the 1970 Topps missing player checklist. I might start out with the expansion team cards in the '69 set. It is kind of cool to see how things were done in sets from before I was born. I can tell you that in about 1972, Topps started making less cards of players in their new uniforms if they were traded in the offseason. They still had cards of players from expansion teams the year before they played in both the '69 and '78 Topps sets, just like they did in the '93 and '98 Topps sets. Many players in 1969 played for 3 teams in a season. It leads me to believe that they were considered as expendable, and if they couldn't get it done, they were released or traded, and a better player took their place. Much like today, where players are sent to the minors and released. It was also funny to note that many players in the '70's also played in Japan like players do today. One day I will do a post on all of the interesting things I have learned about baseball cards, players, and the game itself as I have done all this research for missing players.

Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

'70's, '80's, and '90's are completed

So the last 2-3 weeks have been pretty crazy for me and my family. My wife had surgery around 10 days ago. The surgery was supposed to hopefully relieve the extra spinal fluid in her body that was causing bad pressure headaches and nausea. The surgery itself went well, but on Sunday she noticed that something was leaking from where her stitches were. We called up the hospital where she had the surgery (which is 2 hours away from us), and on Monday, they told us to come in. I left work early so I could drive her up, and when we got there, they decided to admit her. The did some tests, and decided to adjust some setting on the shunt she has inside of her, hoping it would cause the fluid to stop leaking so much, and give her spinal cord time to heal. As of right now, I guess it is just a waiting game and she will be in the hospital another day or so and they will observe her and make sure nothing is leaking and her pressure is normal. I was fortunately off of work on Tuesday and got them to let me take a vacation day today, but I had to come back home this evening so I could get back to work. Thank goodness for my wife's mom, who took our son to and from day care and has been watching him while we have been away.
With that being said, I did get a lot done card-wise with all of the time away from work and the house. Between the first hospital stay and the last hospital stay, I have finished the 1980-1981, and 1971-1978 Topps missing player checklists. Because I do my customs (and therefore checklists as well) in 'yearbook style', this means that along with all of the other missing player checklists that I have, that I have listed all of the missing Topps cards of players, coaches, and managers for anyone that appeared in a game in the '70's, '80's, and '90's. Kind of cool. I am working on the 1970 Topps missing player checklist, and one that one is done, I will have the entire '70's run of Topps sets done. It will actually give me every Topps set from 1970-2001. Just '69, '68, '67, '66, '65, and '64 after that (well, maybe '51 and '52 also). 8 sets. That could be do-able by the end of the year. Then comes a lot of fun, as I will do research for every set.
I want to keep this long post going by talking about what I am going to do to make sure I catch every card that has been made off of my list. There are a few places that I am going to go to find customs. My first source will probably be When Topps Had Balls. Gio does a great job on his site, he makes his cards in yearbook style, and they all are categorized by year, so I can just go year-by year on his site, and cross cards off of my list.
Second, I will probably check out the Custom card Facebook group. I can also search those by year. The only difficult thing is that many people post re-done cards (which I don't need), many are not done yearbook style, and sometimes cards have autographs on them, they have watermarks on them, or they don't have an autograph on a card where the original set has one. Still, a great place, and anyone who likes to make customs or look at them should join it.
I also found a site that I have on my phone, but it basically was a Pinterest site that had a link to a site with all kinds of Minnesota Twins custom cards. I should be able to knock out a bunch of Twins cards from my checklists.
Lastly, I will probably just google '19-whatever year Topps custom cards'. Sometimes you will run across a custom from a random site that slips through the cracks. I have found many unique customs that way, including an '89 Topps Traded John Olerud, an '84 Topps Gaylord Perry, an '80 Topps Lou Brock, and an '80 Topps Thurman Munson In Memorium card.
After all that is done, I will probably still keep tabs on the WTHB and FB pages and try to update new ones as I see them. And there will always be the actual making of custom cards and there will probably be a new Topps set out by then, and hopefully the Topps website will finally have the template to the 2019 set out. I am just on a checklist kick right now, and with all of this time away from my son, and now away from my wife, I have to find something to do so I won't go crazy, right?

I guess if you made it this far, congratulations. Here is your prize. During the first stay at the hospital, I got a hanging box of 2019 Donruss. I think Donruss will be the topic of my next post. There are a few things I don't care for with Donruss over the last few years, but heck, I think there is a lot more that I DO like about their cards, and I am sick of collectors bashing them. I will leave that for my next post. Anyways, I pulled this sweet looking Mike Trout Elite card from the box.
I can't remember exactly which year Donruss used this design for the Elite inserts, but it really looks great, and the shiny effects on it multiply the greatness by 100. There is a serial number on the front, so that's another 50 cool points, and aside from the lack of a logo, it is a pretty darn good-looking card. I personally think Trout is over-hyped and wish they would shut up about him on TV. Miguel Cabrera DID NOT steal an MVP award from Trout. Cabrera won the freaking Triple Crown, and was a valuable part of a playoff team for Detroit that year. Trout can steal bases and hit for power and average and did win his own MVP award, but the years he didn't, there were other players who really deserved it. Nobody says anything about it, but I saw something that showed that Frank Thomas has slightly better stats compared to Trout in their first 8 years. I'm not saying Trout won't be a Hall of Famer with 500+ Home Runs, but the Big Hurt declined, and did it fast. Hold your horses on saying that Trout is a once-in-a-lifetime player and just enjoy his career while he is still in his prime. You never know what could happen. I do think that if he continues like he has in the past few years that I will try to catch an Angels game at the Trop before he retires. 
I guess that is all I have got to say. The '70's, '80's, and '90's are completely done, and there are so many card missing of players in the '00's and beyond that if you want to make those checklists, feel free, and I will post them, but I am just letting them be. Hopefully my wife will heal up and everything will be fine, I can knock out a bunch of checklists and customs in the coming months, Topps will add the '19 set to their custom maker, and I will pull some sweet shiny Donruss cards in the future. I'm out.
Thanks for checking out my latest (long) post.