Monday, December 31, 2018

team set completion to close out the year

it's been a while since i've not had an open order on any of the regular card shopping sites - ebay, sportlots, or comc - but that's where i stand at the end of 2018.  i do still have a few open trades, however i do not expect to see many of them result in return packages sent my way at this point.

there have been a few recent mailers show up from fellow bloggers - fuji sent a couple of cards in return for some stuff i sent him, including this 2015 topps museum collection sandy koufax card
the koufax is now the only dodger i have from this set, so i am a few away from a complete team set.

thorzul's trade me anything netted me some dodger inserts from 2018 topps update, including these cards
that tied a bow on the dodger team sets for the salute and the storybook endings insert sets, respectively.

night owl sent me the card i won in his recent giveaway along with this 2016 topps stadium club clayton kershaw isometrics insert
which is in and of itself a complete team set.

my comc order which had been growing since the summer was ordered on black friday so as to take advantage of the free shipping.  i used this order to pick up a wide variety of cards for my many collections, but at the same time grabbed the last remaining card/cards needed to complete a number of team sets:

1992 upper deck team mvp holograms (darryl strawberry)
1997 donruss elite (brett butler)
1997 fleer (mike piazza checklist)
1998 fleer sports illustrated (raul mondesi, mike piazza, dennis reyes)
1998 fleer sports illustrated then and now (paul konerko)
1998 fleer ultra (todd worrell, paul konerko)
1998 fleer ultra artistic talents (mike piazza)
1998 fleer ultra double trouble (mike piazza/hideo nomo)
1998 fleer ultra rocket to stardom (paul konerko)
1998 leaf heading to the hall (mike piazza)
1999 topps chrome (gary sheffield)
2012 topps gypsy queen (dee gordon)
2013 topps allen & ginter mini framed relics (matt kemp)
2013 topps tribute (adrian gonzalez)
2016 topps allen & ginter (zach lee)
i do not consider the 'no number' julio urias to be part of the team set, although i have my eye on one of those cards at the moment.

same with sportlots, where i have been buying and selling cards for the past several years. i've used the sportlots box option a couple of times now, and have been able to complete a number of team sets.  the latest is 1996 fleer ultra, thanks to this tom candiotti card.
i ordered that card twice. the first time the seller sent the wrong card so i had to order it again.

i had sort of unofficially targeted 1990's fleer ultra sets this past year as a series that i wanted to close out, and i came fairly close with just a few cards still needed for the 1997 team set.

finally, ebay. ebay has done a lot for my collection since i first found out about it in 1999.  i recently picked up a 1970 kellogg's bill singer card
that technically didn't complete my team set because i already had one of singer's cards, but it is encased as a psa 8 specimen, and i didn't want to bust it free.  so this singer now sits with the other 1970 kellogg's dodger cards in the 1970-1974 binder where it belongs.  not sure what to do with the psa 8 singer now.

of course, i also included a couple of new-to-me steve garvey cards in my comc order - both from 2003 donruss signature series
my collecting plan for 2019 is to focus on my steve garvey collection.

i will also check out 2019 heritage as the 1970 topps set is near and dear to me (it was the first set issued before i began collecting that i went back and completed), but i will most likely not pursue a set. dodger cards and hopefully team sets will still be a major part of my collecting in 2019, and i'll probably try to finish up my dodger topps chrome team sets from 1996 on - starting with 2003.  i picked up an eric gagne from that set with my comc order
plus refractors of kaz ishii
and andy ashby.
blue borders can't be beat when it comes to refractory dodger cards!

happy new year!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

i've already had a blue, blue blue blue christmas

secret santa delivered some cards to me well before the holiday, which was great.
also great was that all of the cards were needs of some boys in blue.

you can't go wrong sending dodger card collectors blue-bordered parallels, and those clayton kershaw and cody bellinger cards up above from 2018 bowman look great.

my secret santa also finished off my 2018 bowman base dodger set with these two cards
both of which had also been on my 'nefarious nine' most wanted list.  well done!

another team set completed here - this time it is the 2018 panini chronicles score subset
the buehler looks great. even though there is no logo on the cap (no need to photoshop out the new era logo on the caps, though).  still, i could convince myself that the buehler would look the same on a topps card thanks to the angle of the photo.

last card in my gift package was this 2018 topps stadium club of now-former dodger tim locastro
his signature kind of looks like it says "in la", but tim is now "in new york" as he was traded to the yankees last mont.

thanks to matt at bob walk the plank for kicking this off and to jon at penny sleeve for your thoughts for carrying on the tradition! and big thanks to ketchupman36 from rekindling the cardboard flame for delivering a great secret santa package!

merry christmas and happy holidays!

Monday, December 3, 2018

let's bat around with the reminiscence bump

night owl's recent post hit on a topic that i would imagine is common among adult card collectors. i know that it was a familiar topic for me.

for the record, i also enjoy the musical stylings of maria mckee and lone justice, and i saw them in concert in los angeles in 1987.  good show.

i also enjoyed the style of night owl's writing in that post. it reminded me of dr. manhattan's reminiscing in alan moore's "watchmen". i'll write this post the same way.

on to the cards.

1977: i am six years old. i am sitting in the back seat of our light blue volvo station wagon. i can tell you the license plate number if you'd like. my uncle, for reasons unknown, hands me a pack of baseball cards.  i get my first look at cards, and mike schmidt's is one of them.
that same year, my mom takes my brother and i to a barbershop for haircuts. the barber is telling me a story about a boy who squirmed and had his ear cut. i do not squirm. my mom sends my restless brother, who had his hair cut first, to the store next door. it is a comic book and baseball card store. when my mom and i walk in after my haircut, i am awestruck. it smells like old paper and there are comics and cards on display everywhere, along with still photos from movie shoots (not sure why, but our lcs had a ton of these set photos).  i look at my brother and his eyes are as big as saucers.  we see a 1971 topps brooks robinson card
in the display case, and we note that it looks like the guy is looking for droids on tatooine.

1978: i am seven years old and baseball card collecting has captured the attention of the six neighborhood boys, myself included, along with some other nearby kids.  we spend hours trading and discussing cards, and make frequent weekend runs to the 7-11 to buy packs. one day, while waiting for the oldest of the group to return from a pack run, i ask the question of one of the other kids: "what if i get a steve yeager card?!"
the answer to that question is that i would then have a steve yeager card, which is exactly what happened when i opened my packs later that day.  i have also morphed in to a set collector after initially storing my cards by team in a card locker my dad gave me.

that same summer, we are visiting family in canada and i am discovering the bright backs and variations of o-pee-chee cards.  i get home and pin ron cey's o-pee-chee card
on my wall.  it is one of the first cards that i scanned for my first blog.

1979: i am eight years old, standing on the doorstep of a man's house on the other side of my block.  one of my friends at school found out that he was a giants fan and that he had some cards. i ask his wife if he wants to trade with me, and she smiles and calls him over.  he looks at what i have, and takes my gary lavelle card and a couple of others.
one of the cards he gives to me in exchange is a 1955 bowman don hoak card.
true story.

1980: i am nine years old in the fall of 1980, and my dad has taken my brother and i to los angeles. we had a day off from school, and he has a business meeting. my brother and i sit in the lobby of an office building waiting for his meeting to end.  we note that we are not far from the westin bonaventure hotel, which my brother recognized from his buck rogers card collection (he had switched to non-sports cards when our local card store started carrying star wars cards).  during a break in the meeting, my dad walks my brother and i around a couple of blocks of downtown la. we go in to a convenience store to get something to drink, and i notice packs of cards at the register. my dad buys me a pack and i am excited to find reggie smith's card inside.
later that day, we meet up with my uncle, and the four of us go to a japanese restaurant. i order a hamburger.

1981: i am now eleven years old (just barely), and my dad has given to me for christmas the 1981 topps traded set.  i make him take my picture holding cards of fernando valenzuela, ken landreaux, and fred lynn.
this was the year that i really started to collect dodger team sets back to 1970, and began adding fleer and donruss to my set completing ways - although we bought a 1981 donruss set through the mail.

1982: the first year that we (my dad is now a co-collector) bought boxes of cards. we open packs together, and he makes me put the cards in numerical order as we go which irritates me. we are somewhat repulsed at 1982 fleer and the blurry photos, although i am excited that the dodgers are at the front of the set with dusty baker
sitting at number 1.

moving forward, we continued to buy cards and put together sets through 1987.  none of my friends kept up with collecting past 1983 or so, but i persevered. in 1988, i bought mainly packs (exclusively topps) before heading to college in the fall.  i did buy a box of topps in 1989, but again ignored other card manufacturers.  in 1990 i began buying hockey cards as well as baseball (still just topps) as it seemed like every strip mall had a card shop.

my dad had taken me to a few card shows in la and anaheim earlier in the decade (including the first national in 1980 where i sold my 1978 and 1979 dupes - including multiple eddie murray rookies - for $10), but now i was able to go on my own.  i went to a bunch of different shows during the late 80's and into the 90's, including the national in anaheim in 1991. that year, i bought some upper deck and thought that i would retire on my chipper jones cards. i was also all-in on topps that year, buying a ridiculous amount of cards.

1993: i have graduated from college and secured a real job. a liquor store near my office sells cards at the register. it is the first time i see something called "flair". i can't believe i am spending $3.99 on a pack of cards.  one of the cards i get is a jim edmonds wave of the future insert.
i would have preferred the mike piazza card.

this post is getting way too long, but there are so many memories.  i know i am falling short of the intent of the topic, having skipped a bunch of years within that 10-30 year-old period, but i'll finish up by saying that since 1977, there has never been a year when i did not buy cards, nor a year in which i did not follow the game, and i could point out specific cards that hold specific memories for me from each year.

as for my post-bump years, i started reading and commenting on jon weisman's 'dodger thoughts' site in 2005, which gave me a sense of an online baseball community.  then in 2006, i was made aware of ben henry's baseball card blog, and after that found more and more card blogs to read. with all of the excitement going on surrounding the second half of the dodgers' 2008 season, i decided to add my voice to the blogs. in my second post, i showed off this card
it takes me back to the summer of 1978, a candy store in southern saskatchewan that sold cards, a transistor radio on the table at home, and a collection just beginning.

Saturday, December 1, 2018


for quite a few years i had a print of paul klee's 'farbtafel' hanging in my loft space.  i also had a mark rothko print in my bedroom, and a couple of other klee cubism works elsewhere in my house.  i am drawn to the colors and the geometric shapes of those and similar abstract works.

the other day i opened a few packs of 2018 topps gallery and found this ian kinsler card
i was immediately drawn to the background. this card is going in my collection as part of my 'cards i like but don't otherwise fit' category.

it's art. and it's my favorite card of the year - from the "other" team in "los angeles", no less.