Friday, June 25, 2021

Trades and acquisitions

 In my last post, I promised some cards from a few trades, as well as some ones I picked up from my LCS in Orange City, and today I won't disappoint. 

First up are some cards sent to me from Dennis of Too Many Verlander fame. Dennis sent me a nice assortment of Rays, a Favorite Player guy, and some Griffey's for Kyler. 
All of the Rays save for the regular Topps Perspectives Longoria insert were new to me, which is surprising, seeing as how I am on about 6 binders of Rays cards since I put in the loose cards last month. Kyler loved the Griffey's, and loved how the '92 Upper Deck Hologram was 'shiny' and the Chrome insert 'looked like a rainbow'. I guess he takes after his Dad. The Carlos Pena between the Longo Diamond King and '92 Topps Griffey was a lone Tiger card from a set that I had never heard of from 2005 called Topps Hot Button Baseball. I collected pretty hard-core around that time, but it must've been released towards the tail end of 2005, and I remember trying to save money a little bit to try to save so I could move to Alabama in 2006 (I did). It pained me not to buy more packs of '05 Topps Fan Favorites, '05 Topps Total, '06 Topps, and '06 Topps Heritage back then. Good thing for blogs. The guy from my Favorite Player collection was the first card, a Jason Frasor autograph which Dennis picked up at a show. Thanks, Dennis for the cool new cards!  I'll be on the lookout for more Verlander parallels/Detroit guys.

The other package I got was one from Dimebox Nick. I had hoped to meet up with Nick in Chicago, but it didn't pan out, so we did the trade the old-fashioned way, involving the post office. 
Nick sent me a ton of Rays, as you can see here, 99% ones that I needed. I have always been a Topps-heavy guy, so stuff like Fleer, Upper Deck, and non-flagship Topps stuff is always good stuff to send me, as is Bowman, and just about anything from 2012-2015. I am getting closer to finishing off some of those earlier Rays sets, such as '98 Pacific Online and '99 Fleer Tradition. 
As I said earlier, anything from around '12-'15 I probably don't have, especially stuff like Allen & Ginter, as well as Bowman. The Longo and Price from those respective sets were needs, as were all of the rest of the cards on this page. The '19 Topps Holiday Morton finished the team set for me. I'm bringing the '20 Leaf Wander Franco, and the '20 Stadium Club Meadows to the Rays game on Sunday, and I'll update if I get them signed. 

Nick hooked me up with some really new Rays, as you can see with the '21 Bowman's. I added a few more with that group break, like a Shane Baz and Blake Snell, and a Chrome Wander Franco, but I forgot to take pictures. Most of these will be going to the game as well. 
Nick also sent me some Tigers. I love the '73 Coleman. I got to see him many times when he was a coach for the Lakeland Tigers. One of his old cards said he liked to golf, so I asked him one time if he hit a hole in one. He replied "A few". I asked him what it felt like. He said "Exhilerating", but it was in a kind of monotone voice. The whole thing was rather funny to me. The Mike Heath card is a Topps Tiffany card. Has anyone ever finished a Topps Tiffany set? I think I have 2 1989 Topps Tiffany Tigers. 
Next up are some reprint Topps sets from the '90's, and some mid to late '90's ones. On the back of the Bazooka Chad Curtis, the fortune says that Chad would steal 60 bases, but would be the only Tiger to steal one that year. It seemed kind of funny to me, as the Tigers didn't really have speedsters back then, but I believe Milt Cuyler was still with the team, Danny Bautista wasn't fast, but I'm sure he could've stolen one, Todd Steverson and Shannon Penn would've had a shot, and last but not least, Travis Fryman was on the team. Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammel, and Kirk Gibson were old, and Cecil Fielder ran like Cecil Fielder, but certainly that first group would've given them a steal or two in 1996. 
The Steve Sparks is autographed. I got his autograph at a Tigers Spring Training one time at a table before a game, and someone was talking about his knuckleball, and I told him he should hold his pen with his knuckles and give a knuckle autograph. He played along and said maybe he should. I wonder if this one was a 'knucklegraph'?  A number of these guys I remember from when I went to Spring Training and minor league games in Lakeland, including Kevin Hooper, Ryan Perry, and Wade Gaynor. Good times. 
We finish it off with newer Tigers, and guys I collect like Joey Gathright, Aubrey Huff, Elliot Johnson, Bubba Trammell, Ryan Yarbrough (a guy from my hometown Lakeland who I believe will be pitching on Sunday), and Ben Zobrist. 

Thanks Dennis and Nick for the great trade packages. 

As for the card shop, I figured I would find more stuff, but only 2 pictures worth of cards to show you.
That's the 2021 Topps Series 2 pack I got. Nothing really for me except for the Chris Sale, so if you seen anything that looks good, let me know. The first card in the post got out of order, I'll probably take that to the game on Sunday. Was surprised to find a '77 Topps card in the .50 cent box, but I got it since it was a Tigers guy. The Stat Tracker card was a double, unfortunately. 

I did a little worse on doubles with the Rays, with the JJ Goss and Seth Johnson cards both being dupes. The Tony Gwynn card is an insert from '96 Ultra, and I kind of remember those cards being pretty hot when they came out. I figured I could maybe use that as trade bait. The Hayes card could be a nice rookie to have if he stays hot. While I don't really 'collect' Vogelbach, I have been able to pull a number of his refractors at card shops, and I just put them in my refractor binders. The mascot cards I will give to Kyler, unless resident Mariner Moose-puller Adam from Infield Fly Rule wants the Moose one. The Flaherty and '20 Turkey Reds will probably head over to Kerry from Cards on Cards at some point. I can't stand Grienke, but this card will head over to Johnny from Cards from the Quarry for his Sunday Trade Bait posts. The last 3 guys are ones I collect, and I picked up an Ichiro for Kyler that he was really excited about. 
Speaking of Cards for the Quarry, Johnny still is looking for one or two people to sign up to do his Chain Mail box where you basically pay 15 bucks to go through a ton of cards and replace them with stuff you don't care for. As soon as the last spots are filled, the box should be headed out. 

Hopefully Sunday will be a nice game and a Rays win. I'm sure I'll have a post to follow soon after.

Thanks for taking the time to read my latest post.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Some things I am 'Wandering' about

 I haven't posted in a while, but I've been doing alot. For starters, I have finished all of the customs of missing players in the 1998 Topps set. That will be posted at the bottom. I have also got the last 4 stickers for me and Kyler's 2020 Topps MLB Sticker Collection book, and we placed those in the book. Hopefully that will be the first of many sets that we complete together. My birthday didn't go exactly as planned, but Karen was able to get me tickets to the Rays/Angels game on Sunday. With the game, comes a lot of things that I am 'Wandering' about. 
First off, with Wander Franco being called up, will he stay with the team long enough to play in the Angels series. I sure hope so, as it would be fun to see him play. I have amassed a good amount of Wander cards, and I would love to get one or two signed at the game.
Most of the Franco's have actually been acquired from bloggers. I believe the Bowman Platinum, Leaf, and '21 Bowman were from Dime Box Nick, and the Bowman rookie and Heritage jersey card were from Rod of Padrographs. The #1 Prospects was pack pulled from me, and the Leaf Draft was in a .50 cent box at a card shop. I believe the rest were from CJ of Brainiac Baseball Breaks

If you don't know me very well, the main reason I go to games is actually to try and get autographs. I just find it a fun experience, and love trying to see how many I can get. With COVID, I'm not sure to expect. On Tampa's website, it says autographs aren't allowed for the 2021 season. Then, on MLB network, I saw where Joey Votto signed some (as well as others) at San Diego a few days ago. The Padres page doesn't say anything about no autographs, but who knows. 
I do hope to at least get the Rays mascot Raymond to sign a few for me.  I know they were trying to limit contact with the Cubs mascot when we went to Wrigley in April, but I figure enough time has passed and that with as haphazzard as Florida's governor has been that it shouldn't be an issue. 

A seadog can't get writers cramp, can they? Much thanks to all of the bloggers who have helped me out with these. I believe other than a few from a team set and some stickers, that all of these are from bloggers. 

Just in case the Rays or Angels can sign, I've been digging out cards of all of the guys who might play. I'm really hoping that Trout will make the trip. He's injured, and I don't think he would play, but perhaps he will fly to Tampa to be with the teams' medical staff. Trout is a guy, who although I get sick of hearing about how great he is, that I would love to see play live and in person before he retires. It will be cool to see Ohtani, Arozarena, and Franco play, though, even if Trout won't. 

I am just hoping to maybe get close to a catching a Home Run ball (we have seats in left), perhaps get a Raymond autograph, pick up a 2021 Topps Rays team set, and maybe a '98-style Rays shirt and a cheap game-used item. It's going to be a full day, and we'll be pushing it to make batting practice, but it's going to be a blast, and I can't wait. 

I should be getting a package from the 2021 Bowman Break today. The best card I pulled was a Talent Pipeline card, but I still pulled a few base cards, so I might be close to a Rays set, and I'm sure I'll bring some to the game to try to get signed.  

I've also got a few trade packages that I'll put in my next post, and have also made a trip to a card shop near me where I picked up a few singles and a pack of 2021 Topps Series 2. Nothing major, but I did get a few things for trades and got some Tigers/Rays that I needed. 

Back to the 1998 Topps set, it is completely finished, yearbook and non-yearbook style. The final total was 2232 cards. With the '98 Topps set finishing at card #503 (really 502 cards since they didn't have a card #7), I made 1730 cards that Topps missed out on making. So if they really wanted to make a set in 1998 with guys in their 1997 and 1998 uniforms, every coach/manager, and highlights from the regular season and playoffs, they would have to make a little more that 4 times the amount of cards they made in the regular set, and would still probably be short a few dozen cards. #Toppsislazy . 

With the set being done, part of me wants to get working on the 1991 set, but the crazy part of me wants to work on the 1952 Topps set. I finished the Tigers, but it could be a pain sometimes, and with just so many players that I never heard of, I just think it would be too difficult, and I would really love to get a run of Topps cards done from 1990 to 2000 to give cards for every player who participated in a game in the '90's. With just the 1990 (traded), 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2000 (regular set) sets left, it just might be easier to finish all of those sets than it would be to do the '52 set by itself. Any thoughts?

Here is the 1998 set that I mentioned. There are some fun cards in it, but instead of listing a few, I just wanted to highlight one (near the very end). It is Kurt Abbott of the A's. The picture on it is from a game in April 1998 that my mom took me to in Tropicana Field. After the game, he came into the stands, and signed autographs, and was nice enough to sign his 1994 Topps card and take a picture with me. That's me next to him in the photo, at about 15 years old. Check out the fanny pack.

Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Doug Strange by Battlin' Bucs