Friday, May 6, 2022

it's better to burn out than fade away

the issues of fading and bleeding autographs in the otherwise outstanding 2007 upper deck sweet spot classic set is well documented. it is a shame that some great signatures and combo signatures are so badly ruined.  steve garvey was included in the set, and i've acquired most of the variations of his cards.  several months ago, i added a couple more to my collection.

this first one was advertised as a silver stitch gold ink signature.
it's numbered to 25, and it confuses me. the fact is, according to the checklist there were no gold ink versions on baseballs - it was only used with wood and leather parallels. instead, the silver stitch cards were signed with black ink. is this actually a faded black ink signature? if so, i am glad that it is still legible and actually looks pretty good, especially compared to some that i've seen that are almost blank today.

the other version in the lot that i needed was this blue ink leather signatures card
with an autograph that remains bold. i am down to needing just a couple of cards from this set that have a print run of 6 plus four 1/1 versions. i doubt i will add any of them to my collection at this point.

four years after that set was released, panini included garvey in their 2011 playoff contenders set with a similar sweet spot autograph
of course, they called it "sweet signs". this one is also numbered to 25 and i was happy to find it a few months ago with a reasonable buy it now price even though it also looks like it might be suffering from some bleeding of the ink. here's the back:
it's technically a padres card, although the garv looks to be wearing some blue in the (tiny) photo. the most interesting part of the photo, however, is that he is holding an aluminum easton bat. you don't see that too often.

here's hoping your collections stay strong and your autographed cards don't fade away.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

collecting by numbers

most of the cards missing from my steve garvey collection are serial numbered items - low numbered parallels or similarly scarce auto and/or relic cards.  this was especially true prior to the last couple of years when garvey was absent from almost all new topps releases. still, even now, most of his cards are numbered. as a result, it's not every day that cards get added to my collection. but it does happen!

i've been dumping new garvey gets in to this draft post for more than a couple of years, so there are going to be quite a few cards shown. one of the most recent of these numbered garvey cards to enter my collection is this 2021 topps archives signature series 1983 topps buyback auto
it is randomly numbered to 52. the buyback itself is not in very good shape at all. hey topps - let me know if you need some cards in better shape to buy back for future releases. i can definitely help!

the next card is actually unnumbered. not just not serial numbered, it has no number whatsoever.
that is the unnumbered version of the 1990 baseball wit
release. i mentioned these cards in a post earlier this year, but i've had the garvey for a couple years now.

in recent years, most of the garvey cards have come from panini. i try not to purchase panini product off the shelf since they seem intent on screwing me out of my one redemption request that's in limbo, but i have picked up many, many garvey cards on the secondary market.

from 2019 panini immaculate collection, i have a garvey auto numbered to 49
and the gold parallel numbered to 25
those two cards are about as well as panini can do without a license, in my opinion. yes, there is no logo on the helmet, but it is not as obvious as on these next cards, also from 2019 panini immaculate collection
those are the dual material autograph cards, and again, i have the "base" numbered to 49 and the gold parallel numbered to 25.

i added a third bronze parallel from 2004 upper deck legends to my garvey collection
these are numbered to 50 as you can see. i only need the 1977 subset bronze card to complete the garvey bronze collection from this set, and that one is the one i wish i had the most as it is a "memorable moments" card which looks great in bronze (and gold). hopefully someday.

here's a 2008 donruss threads garvey parallel
it's the "century proof gold" version, numbered to 50
it's amusing to me how different companies, and sometimes the same companies, change up numbering for gold (and other precious metals) cards from one release to another.

at least serial numbers like 99, 50, and 25 are fairly universal. in 2005, donruss went crazy with their studio portraits release. i think there are 56 different steve garvey cards in that set, all serially numbered with some, like this one
which is a studio blue card numbered to 45
this set includes cards numbered in increments of 5 from 5 to 60.

here's another gold card - a 2021 panini national treasures retro materials holo gold
card numbered to 25

here are more cards numbered 25 - the first two from 2005. one from donruss classics
and one from donruss leather & lumber

2012 panini signature series provided me an opportunity to add this diamond cuts auto
and this signature stamps card
both of  which are numbered to 25. here's the back of the stamp card
the diamond cuts auto is neat because it features a photo from garvey's introductory press conference back in december of 1982. i think the first card to feature such a photo that i was aware of was wayne gretzky's 1988-89 topps card, but i could be wrong.

upper deck also has some garvey cards numbered to 25, and i've added this 2007 sp legendary cuts quad materials card
to the collection. i am still on the lookout for the dodger version of this card.

this 2002 upper deck sweet spot classics bat card
is paired with the gold version of a jersey card from the same set that was already in my collection.

there aren't too many cards numbered to 15 in my collection, but i do have this one from 2019 panini national treasures
it does kinda suck to see a sticker auto on a card numbered to 15.

even worse is a sticker auto on a card numbered to 10 as is the case with this 2012 topps golden moments gold sparkle card
the card would look a lot better with a hard signature in my opinion.

going back to 2016, panini released something called pantheon. there were a bunch of garvey cards, and one that i didn't have until a couple of years ago was this "arena acclaimed" materials card
that is numbered to 10
this is a "bronze" card, but the only other version is numbered to 1 and panini calls that a "holo silver". go figure.

also from 2016, panini's national treasures release included a "six swatch signatures" card. i already had the "black" version which is numbered to 10, but i now also have the "green" version numbered to 5
these are really attractive cards in my opinion, even with padre brown, yellow, and orange.

one of my favorite recent garvey numbered gets is this 2004 upper deck legends gold autograph card
that is numbered to 5
i have 2 of the 4 garvey gold autographs now which is two more than i really ever figured i would find. 

finally, the newest numbered garvey card to come in to my collection is this 2021 topps dynasty relic-auto card
numbered to 10. this is the "dap-sg2" card, one of three different cards (each with a different photo) of garvey in this set. it completes my trifecta of having one of each of the three, each numbered to 10. i previously showed the other two in this post.

i don't see the trend of numbered parallels and low-numbered base cards changing any time soon. and so it goes for the player collector, although i am long since resigned to not having anywhere close to all of them. 

bonus content!

sometimes player collections reach a point where the line is moved and items are added that are a bit of a stretch. i have a couple of new examples, beginning with this 2022 topps x aaron judge curated set card of dusty baker
which features steve garvey in the on deck circle in the background. unfortunately, not much of garvey is visible, but i will still add this to my garvey collection (along with one for the dodger collection).

in addition, i recently found this 1991 dodger pocket schedule
in a box that i hadn't looked through in several years. i am adding it to the garvey collection because he appears on two of the pins that were given away that season, including one honoring the infield of cey, russell, lopes, and garvey (not the way i normally refer to them, but going around the horn that's how it is). and yes, both the 30-home run pin celebrating dusty baker, garvey, cey, and reggie smith, and the infield pin are already in my garvey pc. there just aren't enough cards featuring garvey, cey, russell, lopes.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

a tale of two cities

it's been over two decades since i left southern california for the land of 10,000 lakes, and that's long enough for me to feel an affinity for both states. i enjoyed living in socal, and i enjoy living in the twin cities.  so, adding these 2022 topps city flag patch manu-relic inserts for both los angeles (featuring clayton kershaw)
and minneapolis (featuring byron buxton)
were a nobrainer for me. the kershaw turned out to be the black parallel, numbered to 299.

now, truth be told, i lived closer to anaheim than los angeles during my orange county days, but i am a dodger fan so i'll stick with the cuidad de los angeles card. however, it is worth mentioning that the mike trout card in this set does feature the city of anaheim flag even though angel cards never mention that as their home. true to form, the front of the card says "angels pride", not "anaheim pride". now that i think about it, you don't see "minneapolis" too often on cards for any of minnesota's sports teams - that is by design so as to maximize the appeal to the entire state and not just its largest city. st. paul is sensitive like that.

anyway, i'll put the buxton card in my "meaningful and just because" mini-collection. while i don't live in minneapolis, i did work in its downtown for several years, and i get back there quite often. i was just in los angeles last fall, so it hasn't been too long since i visited that city, either. maybe, just maybe, i'll get out to dodger stadium to see the dodgers host the twins in august. we will see.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

heavy is the head that wears the crown

after picking up that 1997 pacific card-supial card in diamond kings' card draft a few weeks ago, i went to see what other insert sets i was missing from my dodger want list. as you probably know, pacific had some great sets with kick-ass inserts, culminating (in my opinion) in their 2000 invincible release in which the base set was as good or better than their inserts.

anyway, i quickly realized that i had not included the 1997 pacific crown collection gold crown die-cut cards in my want list. i fixed that oversight and then ordered todd hollandsworth's card
from sportlots. the other two dodgers in this insert set (as well as the cardsupial set) are hideo nomo and mike piazza, so holly was the cheapest one to obtain. he was on the top of the world back in 1997, appearing in a number of insert sets as the reigning national league rookie of the year. unfortunately, the level of success he enjoyed during his rookie campaign was hard to replicate and he was eventually traded away.

in fact, the dodgers traded away all five of their consecutive rookies-of-the-year, including 1994 winner raul mondesi.  i recently went to comc to add some cards to my collection (although oddly enough i did not look for more pacific inserts), and i included this 1995 topps cyberstats card of rauuuuuuuuuuuuuul
along with that of pedro astacio to complete my dodger team set. the back shows raul's enhanced projected stats
that might have been without the strike. that's a pretty solid rookie campaign for sure.

there are really only a few types of cards that make me go to comc these days, and one of the two cards that did it this time was this 2004 upper deck legends carlton fisk bronze parallel
not just any bronze parallel, but a memorable moments subset card. these really show off the bronzing, and the gold versions are even better. unfortunately, the gold ones are limited to five of each and are usually priced based on that scarcity rather than the collectability of the player shown.

the other card that drew me to the site was a 2017 topps chrome joc pederson parallel refractor. you know i am on the lookout for more of these cards for my rainbow, but unfortunately, i outsmarted myself and bought another gold refractor instead of the green one i was looking for. i have now added the green refractor to my list of most wanted cards!

to fill out the order, i went hunting for a few mini-collection hits, such as this 2019 topps update willie mays greatest moments insert
i will add any and all cards that show "the catch" to my name/number on the back collection.

speaking of numbers, i added a few more cards to my "42" mini-collection. from 2016 topps, i picked up the jackie robinson day variations of lorenzo cain
wil myers
and a second scott van slyke card
since the first one is in my dodger collection. speaking of which, i decided to complete the team set of the 2018 topps update jackie robinson day manufactured patch
i already had matt kemp's card, so i added yasiel puig, corey seager, clayton kershaw, and cody bellinger to the collection.  i also added josh bell's card
for the mini-collection. note that none of these cards would work this year as there were no "42"s on the fronts of jerseys on jackie robinson day 2022. 

i picked up two more cards for the 1957 topps set build
now down to 30 cards needed!

of course, i also added a few more dodgers to the order. the reason i was able to add that 2017 joc pederson green refractor to my most wanted list is that i bought tommy lasorda's 2020 topps allen & ginter card
that had been on that list previously. tommy completes another team set for me.

i was looking for a card that cost 34 cents or whatever it was that i had left (over the $4.99 shipping), and so this 2013 topps update j.p. howell walmart blue parallel
was the lucky "mr. irrelevant" card. it doesn't complete a set or anything, but it's a dodger card i needed.

before i got to howell, however, i added some other dodgers to the order, including a different 2013 topps update parallel
yasiel puig emeral foil rookie debut! this card was fairly unattainable back in 2013. eight and a half years later, easy peasy.

you may recall that i've been focusing on topps chrome, and this 2016 topps chrome update ross stripling card
means i just need the julio urias card to complete the team set.

this hyun-jin ryu 2013 topps chrome update card
does complete the team set for me, which is nice.

just a couple more cards from the order, and they are both photo variations. this 2019 topps ryu card
is unremarkable, but it was cheap.  better is this 2018 topps update sandy koufax legend variation
always nice to get a new koufax card, especially at a decent price.

that takes care of most of what i ordered from comc (there were a couple other cards, including one for another blogger), but that's not the end of the cards that came in the mail that same day.  matt from diamond jesters has already sent me his return for the cards he claimed in my last "almost free stuff friday". he send this 2022 topps andre jackson card
which completes my series 1 dodger team set. well worth the cards i sent matt's way.  thanks matt!

speaking of trading, let me know if you have any pacific dodger inserts, a 2017 topps chrome joc pederson green refractor, or any other of my wants - you will be rewarded!