Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The 1995 Topps set is finished.

 This morning, I finished the last card for the 1995 Topps set. The set is one of my favorites. I just love the kind of ‘ripped’ look along the right and bottom borders that are the team color, the team name and position at the bottom, and while some people don’t like the font choice and the fact that the gold foil name against some of the bottom of the photos makes the name hard to read, but I think that was a small price to pay to get the first Topps set ever with gold foil on it (besides the Topps Gold inserts). On top of that, the set had the League Leaders inserts, which looked kind of trippy on ones that had a little background behind the player, and the Cyberstats/Spectra Light cards that finished the abandoned 1994 season. My 11-year old self couldn’t get enough of these cards. I remember my Grandma DeJong getting me a pack from a Walgreens where I pulled a Travis Fryman and a Joey Hamilton Cyberstats card among others. I still have them. She also got me a pack at a Wal-Mart where I pulled a Harold Baines Cyberstats card. While opening the pack on the way home, she asked me why I needed more cards every year. I explained to her that the stats on the back were updated every year. With the flipper brah’s not paying attention to backs (or fronts really for that matter), it’s a wonder why they are buying packs each year. 
Anyways, the 1995 set is finished. Well, sort of. You see I included replacement players in the regular set. Most of them are going to require photoshopping and a lot of effort to even find photos of them at all. While that portion of the checklist will remain posted on the page, don’t expect very many to get done. There are other sets I’m just more interested in finishing, like the 1995 Topps Traded set for one. After that, I want to go 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 1990, 2001, then I plan to go back to 1985, and work my way back up with 1986, 1987, 1988, and the pain in the butt (because of the curved nameplate) 1989 set. That will give me a run of completed Topps sets from 1983-2001. Currently, I have a 1991-1995 run (just missing the ‘95 Traded set), along with 1952, 1983, 1984, and the 1998 set. Pretty cool if I do say so myself. 
Back to the 1995 set, the page is going to look like a mess as I will have the replacement player checklist, traded checklist, complete regular set pictures, pictures of whatever replacement players I have done, and I’ll put the Traded pictures up as I finish each team. It is a lot on there, but scroll long enough, and you’ll find what you are looking for. Here is the link to set set page, where you can view the completed set, and here are some of my favorites from the set. 
The ‘94 Expos will always be considered the ‘94 champs. 
Manny is a great guy and I hope he stays in baseball forever. 
An In Memoriam Jimmie Reese
CJ didn’t get his first Topps card until like 1998. He could’ve showed up in the ‘95 set in the Future Star subset. 
A nice photo of Trenidad Hubbard. 
We never had highlights in the ‘95 set. This is what they could’ve looked like. 
A cool photo of Jesus Tavarez
Tom Brady was drafted by the Expos in 1994. 
Couldn’t find a photo of Russ Morman in a Marlins uni, but in a 1998 issue of Sports Illustrated, they did have this photo. 
A Vada Pinson sunset card
Can you imagine how hot a 1995 Topps Jaret Wright rookie would’ve been in 1997?
I always wished Terry Collins would’ve managed when Topps made manager cards. He missed out by a few years. 
And we finish it out with a cool Andy Allanson photo. 

In other news, I made it to the post office on Monday and sent out 2 packages and 1 pwe. Nothing earth shattering, especially compared to a few years ago, but I’m still doing my part in helping spread cards into others collections that I have that they might need. If I could just find some Yankee fans to dump cards on (I mean trade with). 
I also sent some custom 1983 Detroit Tigers to Charles of Brainiac Baseball, which he is attempting to sell on his FB Marketplace page. The cards are orange parallels of players on his Tigers team that he is using in a 1983 MLB season simulation. We both hope the cards draw in people to his site, as well as serve as something to sell in a ‘gift shop’ after people view his simulation videos. Time will tell. 
I hope you enjoyed the finished 1995 Topps set. I look forward to getting the Traded set done in a few weeks. 
Thanks for checking out my latest post.  

Friday, July 15, 2022

2 surprise packages and Wander Franco's

 In the past 2 days, I got a few surprise packages and I thought I would show them off. 

John from Johnny's Trading Spot sent me a surprise package with some Rays as well as 2 guys I collect. He must have ESP or something, because while I wasn't expecting anything from him and haven't sent anything his way in a while, I had a few cards I was planning to send to Georgia this next week.John was kind enough to send some 2002 Fleer Tradition cards I needed, some 2003 Topps 205 mini parallels (with a few different backs), a cool thick, shiny, and die cut David Price which I believe is from 2012 Topps, a few Brandon McKay Stadium Club cards (maybe he will be healthy and produce for us next season), my first card from 2022 Diamond Kings (Randy Arozarena), and then in the favorite player department, 2 shiny Paul DeJongs (including a Prizm rookie), and 3 2003 Topps 205 mini's of Aubrey Huff, all with different backs. I'm excited to put these in my binders. Thanks for the cool cards, John. I should get your cards out the beginning of next week. 
Then today, I got a package from CJ of Brainiac Baseball. CJ runs an online shop where he breaks boxes and sells cards, but the reason I got to know him was that he also does a simulation season of the Detroit Tigers. When he was doing the 1981 season, he contacted me to make cards in the 1981 Topps style of the players on the Tigers roster who didn't have a card, as well as opponents. At first, it was easy, as trades hadn't been made. A few months into the season, stuff started happening, and before you knew it, Reggie Jackson was a Tiger, Cal Ripken, Jr. was a Red, Robin Yount was a Ranger, and I had to get resoursful to get some of these players into different uniforms. CJ is now on the 1983 season, and I have done some work for him using the 1983 Topps design. As soon as I get them done, I will also be sending him a 15 or so card set of his 1983 Tigers that I am printing out and signing on the back. There will be 3 copies of the set (and they are #d to 3), 1 for CJ, 1 for myself, and 1 set that he will be giving away to viewers of his YouTube channel (where he posts the sims of the games). If you are into that kind of thing (or just want to try to win a signed an numbered custom that I made, check out his channel. He also posts his box breaks on it, and for good measure, here is the link to his Mercari page with cards he has for sale. I am really happy with the cards he sent me in exchange for the customs I have made him. The Chris Archer relic is the 2nd one I have of him. The 2018 Topps Chrome Anthony Banda Refractor is also the 2nd one I have (1st is an X-Fractor). I have the base of the 2020 Bowman Jhon Diaz and Niko Hulsizer, and now thanks to CJ, I have the Chrome version. the Shane Baz is the silver pack refractor to go along with the base and Chrome versions of that card. I don't have much Gypsy Queen at all in my collection, so this Kevin Kiermaier is a new one. The Casey Mize is one I surprisingly don't have, and it will go in my favorite player binder, and the Austin Meadows is one I think I already have, but one copy will go in my rookie card binder, the other will go in my team USA binder. Thanks for the cool cards, CJ. 
This won't stop the packages either. I actually have an order from a new website I found, . I stumbled upon the site while looking to see how much a Topps complete set would go for. While there, I found a 2022 Rays team set for only $6.50. The Franco card alone makes it worth that, and if I were a flipper brah I would totally flip it for 15 bucks and some spare bitcoin. Along with the Rays set, I found a Corey Kluber autographed card for 5 bucks (I think it's #d to 50 as well). I figured that would be around 10 dollars at least. Lastly, I've been wanting a Casey Mize autograph for a while, and I found one for 20 bucks. It might not be the best deal I could get, but I figure I'm even since I got a Rays set for a good deal and a Kluber autograph for what I think is under fair market value. That package should get here today, and I also have a 2022 Topps Opening Day Wander Franco card coming from eBay sometime next week probably. 
Wander Franco is kind of making me feel like it is 2020 again with Randy Arozarena. I remember I was stumbling upon cards of him just from picking up packs (Donruss, Topps, Stadium Club, and the Update one later in the year) and going to card shops (Bowman, Heritage, Optic, Prizm, Topps Chrome). I wasn't really collecting him, but I was so close to having all of his rookies, that I decided to try to get most of the major low-mid end ones. After picking up the Archives and Bowman Chrome ones, I accomplished my quest, and also ended up finding a ton of parallels since most of his rookies showed him as a Cardinal and all of the flipper brahs were looking for him in a Rays uni or the '21 Topps Update one. I still don't collect Randy, but I probably have at least 40 cards of him, and close to 15 or more rookies. With Franco, I don't think the rookies or parallels will slip under the radar, but as far as I'm concerned, I'm just missing the Bowman, Bowman Chrome, and Donruss rookies if we're talking about ones that have been released, and maybe just Topps Archives with ones that will be released in the future (along with a photo variation one in the 2022 Topps complete retail set. As I did in 2020 when I was scoring a ton of Arozarena's, I figured I would show off all of the Wander Franco cards I have. 
A decent selection, including his first Bowman, first Bowman Platinum, a jersey card, a few refractors, the '20 Topps #1 prospect insert, all of his base Topps cards (I believe), and that 2022 Heritage insert that only had 200 cards made. Regardless of how Franco's cards do on the market and how much they are, I would rather have him contribute to the Rays and get them a title. People were scooping up Evan Longoria, David Price, and even Matt Moore cards back in the day, and look at the prices now. While I would've payed those crazy prices back then and been happy, I would've rather had one of them help the Rays to a championship. Now I have most of those guys' rookies and multiple jersey cards of them, and an autograph or two, but still no ring for the Rays. Maybe in a year if we can shore up a healthy pitching staff with the big names we have and add a nice free agent slugger (maybe Judge?? That would tick Yankee$ fans off!). I'd actually rather have a guy who hits less HRs and has a higher batting average. Maybe a decent catcher or a slugging 1st baseman. We'll see. 
That's about it for me. Yesterday was pretty busy so I wasn't able to look through my binders like I wanted to, but I got a chance today, so I think I should be able to drop some packages off at the post office on Tuesday. If you are interested in any Heritage SPs from various years, check out one of my previous posts, and I have them listed. I would love to make a trade and help some Heritage collectors out if I can. 
Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Dang! He got laid? Post #2

 We interrupt this regularly scheduled post about the mighty Rays to bring you post number 2 of an irreverent series I started a year or two ago and promptly abandoned, called ‘Dang! He got laid?’  

Let me refresh your memory. Out of the thousands of MLB players who have put on a uniform over the past 150+ years, the odds are that some of them probably weren’t the best looking (we’re talking you, Don Mossi). With the sheer number of players who have played, the odds are that even the worst looking 1% has probably not only had offspring, but that offspring has also entered into pro ball, and graced a baseball card, thereby offering photo (and sometimes on the back biographical) proof that their dad got laid back in the day, despite looking like a weirdo. Today, I’m picking on 2 more innocent victims. 

First up is Hall of Famer Robin Yount. I want to apologize for not having a worse photo of Robin. I somehow misplaced my 1970-1990s Brewers album, so I had to go with a more modern card. Still, check out that hair. He had the startings of a nice mullet going, and we would see in the ‘90’s. While he was an MVP in the ‘80s, I still don’t see how a lady would’ve let Robin sleep with her back in the ‘70’s, especially when his hair could’ve been longer than hers. 
Apparently, somebody funneled ol’ Robin’s hog, because in 2003, we got a card of Dustin, Robins son. Dustin never made the Bigs, but hey, have any of us?  Plus, he served a higher purpose: proving that his dad can make it with the ladies. 

Saving the best for last, we have Paul Gibson (he of the 1989 Score card with Luis Salazar itching his jock). Paulie must’ve been doing something right in January 1987, because if the birthday on the back of that ‘08 Bowman Chrome and years of science tell us anything, that is when he probably became the envy of his 2 friends and finally rounded 3rd and scored with his wife/girlfriend/some random girl and got her pregnant with little Glenn. 
I remember my first time seeing Paul. I pulled his ‘89 Bowman card from a pack. Go ahead. Look it up. After knowing he could score with the ladies, he must’ve let that gut go. My 2nd card of Gibson was his ‘90 Topps. Not much better. With the glasses, he looks more like a math professor than a major leaguer. Go look up any of his cards. I challenge you to find one where he looks normal. But he still managed to father a child. Unfortunately for Glenn, judging by the looks of his ‘08 Bo Chro photo, he got his looks from his dad. Slap a pair of glasses on him, and we got twins. Although he probably didn’t have the killer slider of his dad because he never made the majors. But that’s not where all of this stops. It turns out for Paul, he ran a baseball academy for a while, and now he is a senior pitching director for the Royals. I happened to find his biography on the Royals website, and wouldn’t you know it, it lists him as married and with not one, but 2 kids!!!  And a grandchild. Not sure if it is Glenn’s or not. As for Glenn, I found some info about him, and he’s like married as well!!  But that’s where breaking the stereotypes end. Glenn is working in computer software engineer. Figured Paul would too after he retired. 
I hope you enjoyed the 2nd version of ‘Dang! He got laid?’  Some possibilities for future posts (fathers) include: Jerry Hairston, Sr., Hal McRae, Brian Harvey, Scott Fletcher, Lance Parrish, Don Mattingly, Dante Bichette, Floyd Bannister, and Tom Gordon. If you have any suggestions on other players who fathered children but probably shouldn’t have, please let me know. 
I guess the bots that read my blog on a fairly regular basis weren’t very interested in any of my SPs. I’ll still keep the post up so anyone can access it for future reference (myself as well). I wish I would’ve had it in the past when making some trades. I would’ve been able to find a few more cards at least for some guys doing Heritage sets. I’m actually trying to round up some stuff to send out to old trade partners. I have a good number of projects going on right now, but I hope to put a dent in some of those wantlists on the next off day I have to myself (Tuesday, perhaps). If I’m really lucky, maybe I’ll have all my binders gone through in the 3 days during the week before then when I get a little time to myself before Karen gets home. If that happens, then I’ll probably run by the post office on Tuesday. Either way, if you get a post by then, I will update you. 
Thanks for checking out my latest post. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2022


 Reading Night Owl’s post about his 2008 Topps Heritage set kind of opened a worm hole with me. I’ve never really been the kind of guy to put a set together by hand that wasn’t the basic flagship Topps set, so I never got the SP hunting fever like so many collectors have. I’ve opened my fair share of Heritage packs over the past 20 years, too. Until the last 2 or 3 years, I never even pulled any card #401 or higher from my stack of cards after they’ve been opened. I’ve just organized the cards by teams, and whatever SPs I pulled went into their respective team binder, and I was fine with it. It’s not like you can tell the difference. 
Maybe that’s why I don’t get all jazzed up about them. If you show me a stack of 10 SPs that has 1 base card in it, I couldn’t tell you which one wasn’t worth as much as the others. All of them look like base cards to me. If you go to a show looking to finish your Heritage set, you either have to flip every card over to see if it’s #401 or higher, or you have to buy them at excessive prices from a Brah who knows they are SPs and just has them in a display case with outrageous prices. If it’s an earlier Heritage sets, the SP numbers are all over the place, so you have to have a chart with card numbers, player names, and team names and hope you get lucky. Just too much work in my opinion. 

I’ve kind of been wanting to go through my binders and try to pull out all of the Heritage SPs. Reading Night Owls post made me actually do it. What good are those SPs going to do sitting in my binders looking like ordinary base cards when so many people are trying to collect Heritage sets and the SPs are driving them crazy. Why not list them by set and trade them to guys that can use them. 
That’s the big stack of SPs after I looked through binders for a few hours. Some sets had more, some only had 1, but I’m pretty sure I have them all out. 

I also got them from the 2 Allen & Ginter sets I purchased more than 1 pack of, 2010 and 2011. 
Here's what I've found.

85 Manuel Ramirez
387 Eric Cyr
397 Jay Payton

11 Pat Burrell old logo

407 Pedro Martinez
413 Milton Bradley
423 Brad Wilkerson
434 Chan Ho Park
440 Miguel Batista

120 Frank Thomas old logo

135 Alex Rodriguez

10 Barry Bonds
95 Alex Rodriguez
281 Melvin Mora
284 Jake Peavy
315 Johnny Damon
317 Giants team

22 Jason Kendall
140 Johnny Damon
186 Scot Shields
257 Aaron Cook
312 Red Sox team
356 Bernie Castro
474 Brian Sanches

430 Chien-Ming Wang
436 Ryan Freel
445 Kason Gabbard
484 Brian Roberts All-Star
716 Clayton Richard

Black backs
3 Eric Byrnes
49 Bill Hall
102 Moises Alou
175 Jeff Weaver
176 Preston Wilson
262 Hitters' Foes (Lowe/Penny/Billingsley)
266 Matt Morris
549 Jeremy Sowers
639 Mike Redmond
655 Angel Berroa

426 Scott Rolen
437 Zach Duke
705 Kendry Morales
716 Orlando Hudson
719 Ricky Romero

446 Freddy Sanchez
449 Hank Blalock

434 Carlos Ruiz
443 Brian McCann
446 Carlos Marmol
455 Joe Saunders
459 John Buck
482 Ron Gardenhire
483 Trevor Hoffman

433 Rickie Weeks
440 Jonathan Sanchez
445 Gaby Sanchez
478 Roy Oswalt
486 Josh Hamilton
488 Ryan Adams

491 Yadier Molina

449 Matt Harvey
707 Evan Gattis

457 Nelson Cruz
483 Josh Donaldson
702 Aaron Blair
713 Aledmys Diaz

708 Zack Wheeler

465 Kyle Gibson
466 Mark Trumbo
472 Brandon Phillips
478 Eduardo Rodriguez
481 Lonnie Chisenhall
714 Anthony Banda

455 Jose Osuna
482 Shed Long
485 Pat Valaika
492 Brad Boxberger

405 Austin Hedges
413 Caleb Thielbar
414 Jose Peraza
439 Tommy LaStella
440 Chad Pinder
460 John King
487 Chris Stratton
492 Chad Green

Allen & Ginter sets

323 Angel Pagan
327 Vernon Wells
341 Jon Garland
342 Erik Bedard
344 Derek Holland

303 Jaime Garcia
305 Justin Morneau
311 Ian Stewart
317 Brian Matusz
319 Jon Niese
326 Jason Castro
331 Carlos Gomez
338 Lance Berkman
340 Ryan Zimmerman

Ginter Code border
335 Jason Heyward

That's all the SPs I found. If you see some that you need, reach out to me, and maybe we can get a trade started. 

In other card news, I found a decent priced 2022 Topps Rays set, as well as a 2022 Topps Opening Day Wander Franco card. If I am able to find a 2022 Topps complete set at Target in a few weeks, then I'll have a photo variation card of him. I don't know if the complete sets will fly off the shelves due to Wander being in the photo variation pack and the flippers needing to eat. With the accusations of Topps having sham autographs, I'm hoping that it may get the flippers to stop hoarding packs and maybe they'll go back to living in their parents basements collecting welfare checks and eating ramen. At any rate, hopefully I'll get my hands on a retail Topps set. I don't really consider myself a Franco collector, but I'm kind of going after all of his base issues this year (kind of like with Arozarena in 2020). I am just missing his Bowman and Donruss cards, and that should do it for me if I can get that card from the complete set. Not too shabby.
Lastly, I did a post a while back about some former big leaguers who weren't exactly "lookers", but how they still managed to have a little luck with the ladies and have kids (and the kids happened to enter into pro ball). Well, while I was looking through my binders for the SPs, I pulled out a few of the father and son duos, and I'll be making some posts of those guys in the future. 

Hope everyone reading this who are going after Heritage (and Allen & Ginter) sets can use some of the SPs I found.

Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Series 2 and 2023 Topps question

 Yesterday while at Wally World, I finally spotted some Series 2 cards in the wild and was able to purchase a blaster. Then, my wife went to Target today, and although I didn’t tell her I wanted any more, she found some at Target and got me 5 loose packs. I think I’m good with Series 2 right now. Kind of don’t want to jinx my run of having more Series 1 that 2, and plus, if any luck is in the future, the complete set will be in stores at the end of July and I’ll have all of the Series 1 and 2 cards (so long as the idiot flippers don’t get to them). 

The blaster on Friday was pretty fun. I got a few Rays, no Tigers, a huge batting helmet manu-relic that I don’t know what I’m going to do with, and some fun inserts. 

That Senzatela card is shiny!  Ill have to pick a day for Ohtani and try to win a parallel. I think I have decent odds. Might have to wait until a week or so after the All-Star break. Don’t want to do it the next few days because the All-Star Game has to be close, and after the game I’m not confident with a player finding their swing again so quick after being off for a few days and possibly participating in a HR derby. The Robert Luis card is very thick. Probably like 4-5 regular old jersey cards thick. No way that is fitting in a page or a sleeve. I’ve never really liked many-patches or the White Sox anyways. The pale hose are just another team to prevent my Tigers from winning the Central. The Arozarena card is a Chrome version and looks great. I do have a problem that those inserts (and the ‘52 Topps ones last year and Turkey Reds the year before that) have Chrome versions. Why can’t they just put those inserts in Topps freaking Chrome??  I don’t need a Chrome version of an insert next to my base Topps cards in my binders, then a few Archives cards, and then a few Topps Chrome cards next to that (I sort my cards by years, alphabetically by set name). It would just look silly, and then anyone looking at them would be like ‘why don’t you put all of the Topps Chrome together?).  Kind of like how Bowman has Chrome cards in packs and then an actual Bowman Chrome set. Kind of pointless. Back to the cards, the Baz and Lowe cards might be worth something in a few years. More importantly, if they are, that will probably mean they are producing good numbers for the Rays. I hate how good the Yankee$ are playing right now, but hopefully something will happen before the end of the season and maybe they will play a sharp Rays pitching staff. Perhaps Cole will get an injury and miss the postseason, maybe combined with one to Judge or Stanton. Maybe a PED suspension. Whatever. I don’t care. Then the Rays will have McClanahan as a #1, Rasmussen as a good #2 hopefully with a little more experience under his belt, Baz as a #3 with great potential, slot a healthy Kluber as #4, Patino healthy as another option. Maybe Glassnow will be able to ramp up his coming back from surgery and be available as a starter or the very least a bullpen option. If the right things happen, the Rays could make noise in the playoffs, and certainly have a nice 1-5 rotation next year with say McClanahan, Glassnow, Rasmussen, Patino, and Baz 1-5, with the potential for the back 3 guys to develop into #2 type guys, and perhaps Baz becoming ace material. 

The cards I got today packed the same kind of punch as yesterdays. 

Got a few Tigers with Skubal and the team card. I don’t know why, but I confuse Skubal and Turnbull and can never remember which one is which. I need to watch more Detroit games. The Haase card is a rainbow. I kind of wish they would’ve just gave him the catcher job and let him hit 20-30 HRs and let his game calling progress instead of signing Barnhardt and letting him hit .200 but call a good game to AAA guys replacing injured guys. Tigers may have been in the playoffs hunt this year without the injuries, but they would’ve been there without Barnhardt, and you would’ve gained 20 HRs at least from Haase and opened up a corner OF spot. I got another Franco card (I guess it’s good business by Topps to put the guy selling the product on 15 cards in the base set. Expect 8 more in Update), and cards of KK and the other Lowe. I pulled a Gold card for the 1st time this year of a Twin (their names don’t matter. They are just another team trying to take the Central from Detroit), and a Green card of Nick Ahmed. I think I did pretty well in the parallel department with Series 2 so far. I got 3 favorite players with Paul DeJong, Casey Mize, and Michael Taylor. The last 2 cards are HR Challenge cards of Matt Olson and Jose Ramirez. I actually pulled an Olson HR Challenge card out of series 1 picturing him as an Athletic. I wonder if I choose the same game for both cards if they both will picture him with Atlanta. Should I choose the same game and double or nothing with 1 to try to get the lower numbered parallel or do I try 2 different games?  All told, I have 4 chances to win with 4 HR challenge cards (2 Olsons, Ohtani, and Ramirez). 
With series 2 being out for a few weeks, that puts questions in my head. The past 2 years, we would be coming upon the first images of the next years Topps set. With Fanatics running everything, I would find it hard to believe that the 2023 base designs would arrive this early, but you never know. I think maybe sometime in October or November would be realistic, but you can be sure I’ll periodically do a 2023 Topps search on Google to try to find it before it hits the blogs I read.
Hope you enjoyed my series 2 pulls. If you see anything that fits your collection, reach out to me. 
Thanks for checking out my latest post.