Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Not a 2012 Topps post a 1963 Topps Baseball Project post

Well it looks like the only thing we're going to be talking about for a while is 2012 Topps. And I guess rightfully so.  Football is almost over and for the most part not too much going on in Hockey or Basketball, neither of which I blog that much about anyways.  And I will have plenty to say in the next few days when I finally get my grubby hands on some sweet, sweet new baseball. Until then we'll continue with my ongoing 1963 Topps Baseball set series.  Enjoy a non 2012 post while you can.

First up is a few new guys I got in the mail a few days ago.
#44 Terry Fox

Terry started his big league career with the Braves, but only appeared in 5 games.  He was traded in a big deal with the Tigers the next year and that's were Terry would spend most of his short 7 years in the majors. Terry would be the Tigers main closer for two years and had a very good first two years with the Tigers.  1963 wasn't nearly as good, but he still managed 11 saves.1966 would be it for Terry as he posted a career high 6.30 ERA and was released and then signed with the Phillies were it didn't get much better and at the end of the 1966 season Terry was done.  Terry's still around at the ripe old age of 76.

You might not realize it by looking at him but Bill "Moose" Skowron has 5 World Series rings to his name.  Four with the Yankees and one with the Dodgers.  As a matter of fact his 1963 stint with the Dodgers is the only year he played in the National League and help the Dodgers win it all in 1963 against his old team.  Not only did the Dodgers win the World Series in 1963, but they swept the Yankees. Bill was bought by the Senator's in 1964 and traded to the White Sox later that year. He played a couple of years with the Sox and then was traded to the Angels in 1967, where he finished his career. This 8 time all-star is still around at 81 and lives in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Manny Jimenez was brought up from the Mexican Leagues by the Braves in 1957 and then traded to the KC Athletics in 1962.  As the story goes Manny was having a hell of rookie season when the Athletics owner, Charles O'Finley had a talk with Manny about hitting for homers instead of hitting for average.   Manny went into a two month slump and lost 30 points on his batting average.  After his rookie season he ended up splitting time in Triple-A and the majors the rest of his career. In 1967, Manny went to the Pirates and ended his career in 1969 with the Cubs.

2012 Squirrelmania!!

It's kinda getting ridiculous.  The first batch of 2012 Topps started hitting eBay yesterday as early retail was being opened. The official hobby release is tomorrow and lucky for me it's also trade night at Bosco's. So I'll be there to pick up my Jumbo and at least 4 more packs so I can send in for my redemption, might have to get two jumbo's we'll see.  Regardless I'll post the box breaks here.  But back to the matter at hand.

2012 Squirrelmania!!  So far (as I write this) there are 14 Skip Shumaker Squirrel variations cards on ebay.  See them all here. The first one which I posted on yesterday is right around 600 bucks and ending in a few hours. Only one of the listed cards is under 100 bucks and there are some truly crazy buy it now prices.  Here's the interesting thing though. There are two other very publicized short prints out there too.  A quick search finds no Pujols SP's and only one Reyes. The Reyes is going for about 50 bucks right now.

Ah remember the good old days of Strasmania.  I can't wait to find out these are one per box. Although if I get one tomorrow it's going up on ebay ASAP.  Nothing like a national news blurb to boost prices.

The first auction ends in about 4 hours I'll have all your Squirrelmania later.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Another SP in 2012 Topps Baseball.

So with 2 days left till the hobby release of Series 1 is official, I've seen retail blaster breaks already popping up on the forums, there is another SP to watch out for this year.

I just saw this on Yahoo news.  So I'm not sure if it's a joke or not.  Editing and proofing are kind of a joke on Yahoo blogs, but seeing as we're dealing with Topps I don't find this too far fetched.

You can read the blurb HERE.

Update check out the crazyness HERE. And of this repost that card had only been listed for 2 hours! Over $600 bucks. Wow if that sale actually happens is that guy going to have buyers remorse later.

1963 Topps Baseball Project - #'s 177, 181, and 187

One of the hazards of buying lots on ebay is that your going to get cards like this.  Now this card has 4 great corners, just terribly miscentered.

#177 John Melvin "Bubba" Phillips

I'm always leary of guys named Bubba. Don't know why just one of those things.  Bubba played some minor league ball, did some military time, and was finally called up to the Tigers in 1955.  He was traded to the White Sox the next year and then moved to the Indians for the 1960 season.  In 1963 he was back in Detroit and would finish his career here in 1964.  Bubba didn't really have all that stellar of a career, but did hit two grand slams in 1961 and back to back homers in 1962.  Bubba pasted away in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in 1993 at the age of 65.

#181 Sammy Esposito

I couldn't find too much info on Sammy on my 30 second search of the internet. You can see from the back of his card he didn't get a whole lot of playing time.  In his 10 years in the majors he played just 560 games, had 8 career home runs and 78 RBI's.  Sammy played most of his career with the White Sox, but was trade in the 63 season to Kansas City Athletic's.  1963 was Sammy's last year.  After baseball he was the North Carolina State University head baseball coach for 20 years.  And as far as I can tell he's till around at 80.

#187 Willie Kirkland

Seems like this is a post of 3 so so players.  I guess they all can't be Mickey Mantle.  I couldn't find much on Willie either, but Willie played for the Giants, Indians, Orioles and finshed his career with the Senator's.  In his 9 year career Willie amassed 148 home runs and 509 RBI's.  After Major League baseball Willie played in Hawaii in 1967 and then went over to Japan and played for the Hanshin Tigers for 6 seasons.  And Willie is still around somewhere at the age of 77.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A trade with Napkin Doon

I've been seeing trade posts up with people trading with Mr. Doon for some time now and I knew it would only be a matter of time till we had a trade.  Earlier this month Nap posted about his pick up's from a live auction.  He got a bunch of miscellaneous cards and some interesting old post cards and stamp stuff.  Check it out here.  He mentioned that he wasn't interested in the stamp stuff and if anyone wanted it.  In the collection he picked up were some really old postcards that looked really interesting. I had hoped that I might be able to trade for those, but they were already claimed, but everything else was still available.  Not really being able to tell what all was in there I figure I'd take a gamble. I use to have, and think I still do somewhere in my parents basement, a small stamp collection.  We also worked out a trade for some cards. I found some cards he need from his need list and a couple nice cards I had sitting in the trade box for his PC's. You can see what I sent him HERE.  Nap sent me a nice assortment of cards as well as the stamp stuff.  I think both of us wanted to make sure we didn't screw the other.  Unfortunately I'm still sorting through all the stamp and other stuff he sent me.  There was a pile!  And I can't wait to show it off.  After digging through it I'm safe to say I'm not going to get rich from this trade, but just the history and other correspondence that was in there was just awesome.  That being said I plan to post on that other stuff later.  There was a lot of stamps and a few stamp albums, some old catalogs, postcards, and old travel brochures.  Just fun stuff to look through.  I share all this with you when I get it sorted out, but for now lets see some of the goodies I got from Mr. Doon.

He sent me a nice stack of 2009 Topps T206 from my need list and over half of the Brewers team set from 2001 Topps Heritage and these other Brewers goodies.  I'm pretty sure I got all these in the trade, although before I had a change to scan the pile I got from Napkin also got put with the pile I just got from Colbey over at Cardboard Collection's last group break, but these are all getting credited to my trade with the Doon.

A couple 2009 Goudey for my team set.
2009 Upper Deck X die cut Ryan Braun going into either my team set or my PC.
Interestingly enough I also got another one of these from Colbey's group break.  If you've never seen any of these EX cards you should go find some.  There one of those futuristic baseball cards.  On clear plastic.  Here's the back
I do believe there are only two Brewers in this set. The late nineties and early 2000's were dark days for the Brew Crew in talent and in most of the higher end sets you'd be lucky to find two Brewers featured on cards.

1994 Pinnacle Museum Collection of Jody Reed.

The best are these 1999 Fleer Flair Showcase cards.

For a couple of years Fleer Flair had different levels.  Row 1 being best, Row 2 being in the middle and than Row 3 at the bottom, although they all look great.  Here we have two Row 2 cards.

The Row 1 cards are serial numbered to 6000, which today seems like a lot with are super rare numbered to 10 patch auto cards being pulled left and right, but back in 1999 these were a big deal.  And they still look incredible.  Like I said the late nineties weren't a great time to be a Brewer's card collector and this set featured only 3 players. Jeff Cirillo, Jeromy Burnitz and Marquis Grissom.
And thanks to this trade I have almost complete sets for Row 1 and Row 2.

Thanks again Nap for the great trade.  And I'll be posting more on the trade when I get around to organizing all the stamps and other stuff.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Some thoughts on 2012 Allen and Ginter

Is it too early to talk about a product that doesn't come out for another 6 months? Probably.  I had a similar Allen and Ginter post last year, but in March.  But seeing as the 2012 sell sheet is already up, why not?

I've become a big fan of A & G.  I missed the first couple of years living in the middle of nowhere Alaska, but ended up picking up a couple of boxes of 2008 pretty cheap and started trying to put that set together.  Missed 2009 and then hit 2010 hard.  I was trying to be good last year with 2011 and ended up buying 3 boxes.  But I did have great luck with my hits.

I'm an oddball lover so this set is great for me.  There are a few of you out there that don't like it for the exact same reason.  But as lover of history and mini's this is one of my favorite sets of the year.  I've, ahem, borrowed some images from the sell sheet here so let's have a look.

Here's what the base is going to look like

The base set will be 350 again with the last 50 being short printed and this year Topps actually put the odds on the sell sheet.  SP's will be 1:2 packs.  I'm not sure if this was their insertion rate as previous years. I like the base design, simple yet ornate and I think they would look awesome signed.

There, of course, are mini parallel versions and parallels of the mini parallels.
Black bordered, A&G backed, no number(numbered to 50),  A&G baseball back #d to 25, I guess this replaces the Bazooka backs, wood (#'d  1 of 1), printing plates, and cloth parallels numbered to 10 of 150 subjects.

Or course there will be the framed mini relics again.

Is it me or do the relics seem smaller?
They are also doing 1 of 1 DNA relics again.  Creepy.

Each box is suppose to have 3 hits. Which could be a combination of relics, autos, original A&G buybacks, rip cards, and cut signatures.  I heard some horror stories last year of whole cases having nothing but boxes with 3 relic cards.  Yikes.  Luckily I never personally saw one of those, but that would have sucked.

The buy back originals will be framed like the mini relics and autos, kinda like the 2002 T206 original buybacks were presented.  There will also be redemptions for Lepidoptery cards, I'm guessing like the Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Insect cards.  And books cards like this..

25 subjects all cards 1 of 1.

On card auto's like always.
There will also be red ink variations numbered to 10. and  20 cut autos added too all numbered 1 of 1.

Let's not forget the rip cards!

Inside could be an original painted card, high number 351-400 exclusive minis, or a redemption card for bats and other swag.  I've gotten a rip card the last two years and both times I controlled myself and didn't rip'em and sold them off.  While I would have loved to find out what was in there,  those cards pretty much paid for the box.

Each hobby box also has a top loader like year past. Either a N43 or a Cabinet card.

Your N43 could be just a simple base, which is most likely, or be a relic version, or an auto relic version like the example up above, or an artifact version.  I'm assuming from the sell sheet that 10 subjects will be baseball and 5 will be historical some how.

Cabinet cards will come in different flavor's as well. Most likely you'll get a Baseball Highlight or Roller coaster card, which are the base level, 5 baseball, 5 roller coasters.
I wish they'd had a roller coaster example.  There will also be super rare cabinet relics with full jersey piece of players names like last year.  Replacing the state relics cards are these..

Now onto the inserts.  These are just the inserts shown or mentioned on the sell sheet.  Every year Topps usually puts in a couple surprise sets, like last years Ascent of Man and Fabulous Face Flocculence.

There are what I really like about A&G.

There are both mini and full size inserts to deal with here.  Like last year's Hometown Heroes or the year before This Day in History the big insert set is What's in a Name?  Don't understand it yet and it wasn't explained on the sell sheet.

I tend not to go after these sets.  One because there large, this set will be 100 card, and two I'm just not interested in the cards.

However the next couple I am.
Being a big lover of history this is one of the sets I'm definitely going after.  20 cards in this one.

Another set that kinda interests me is this one...
Like I said I'm a sucker for history and the odd.

There's also two sets not pictured on the sell sheet.  One call You Have Got to be Kidding Me, unbelievable tales of history and Baseball Highlight Sketch, I'm assuming similar to years past.  All  of these sets will be inserted 1:10 packs.

There's also this interesting oddball advertised.

Of course similar to last years seed cards, no word on how many cards in this set, if there is more than one.  But these will drop one per case!

Now the mini inserts.

First up is People of the Bible.  I wonder if this is to balance last year's Ascent of Man - Darwin's theory set?  Still looks cool and I'll probably be going after most of these mini sets. This set has 15 cards.

Man's Best Friend.  I'm torn. I love dogs I'm just not sure if I want to try this one.

However one animal set I'm definitely going after is this one..

Another one I'm most likely going after as a history fan is this one..

20 cards in this one.

The other two sets mentioned but that did not have examples are Musical Masters and Culinary Curiosities. Both I think are self explanatory.  The over all insertion rate for these mini's is listed at 1:5.

And before I get to some critic's don't forget about the Ginter code.  I don't know if I missed it, but did anyone solve last years code?

Over all I like the base design.  Topps has gone back to a great simple design with an art deco feel.  And I think these cards would look great with an auto on them.  I like how the simple border design was also used on the framed relics and autos.  From years past it seems like they've kept that tropical border just changed the color scheme.  As far as the hits, inserts, and mini's go.  It's par for the course.  There are some new elements with the Colony on a Card, but pretty much is the same tried and true offering.  Lots of cool mini and full sized inserts to sate many different tastes. Plus Topps always adds a few surprises not on the sell sheet or checklist.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

1963 Topps Baseball Project - Presents the Duke!

I figure I'd keep the HOF 1963 posts going and round out the last of my 3 HOF pick ups for the set.
When you think of Duke Snider you more than likely think of the Dodgers, but in 1963 Duke went to the Mets. I not only picked up this card, but his 64 in the same auction and got both delivered for under twenty bucks.  Not a bad deal if I do say so myself.  This card is probably in the lowest range I wanted for my set.  The corners are soft, theres a little edge damage on the right in the red part. But it has a clean back and decent centering and it's of DUKE SNIDER! For 10 Bucks!!!! 

Like I said I also got his 64 card which I'll feature here.  It's in better shape than the 63, better centered.  This would be Dukes last regular issue card.  Featured in his Mets jersey, Duke was actually sold to the Giants on Opening Day in 1964 and that would be his last year.

Duke has two World Series rings to his name, he was an 8 time All-Star and was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1980 with over 86% of the vote.  Duke passed away last year in February at the age of 84.

What am I going to do?? I'm going to make it official!!! A Prince Fielder post!

I have to say I was pretty surprised the Tigers managed to scoop up Prince Fielder the other day.  I had no illusions that he would be coming back to Milwaukee.  I kept reading the scuttlebutt on who was wooing him and the speculation on where he would end up. I have a couple of buddies who are Tigers fans and they where going crazy!  Like the prodigal son coming home and taking his rightful place on the throne.  Right where his daddy played.  Of course it's common knowledge that Prince and his dad Cecil don't have a very good relationship, but I'm pretty sure every Tigers fan was pretty happy with the news.

AJ over at his blog The Lost Collector posed an interesting question. What do you do when one of your favorite players or a player you have a PC for goes to a new team?  And it's great timing because when I heard the news yesterday it's exactly what I thought about my Prince Fielder collection.  I never officially had him as a personal PC.  If you've read the blog before you'll notice I didn't have him up on the Who I Collect.  Sure he gets collected by default since he was a Brewer.  It got me thinking why when he was obviously one of the two best players on the team didn't I have a PC for him?  I don't know. I mean it's not like I didn't collect him, I have a huge stack of Prince Fielder cards and some really nice stuff too. Maybe it's that I didn't need another focus.   But I've decided to make it official and I've made my decision on the fate my collecting Prince Fielder.  He shall be added!  And I do plan to keep collecting his cards.  So it's official.  Prince now has his name officially up on the side board of Who I Collect.  I really don't know why it took him signing with another team to get me to take the plunge.  I guess it also begs the question if he had gone to another team would I still feel the same way?  I guess we'll never know.   I wish him all the best and I hope he has a great long career with the Tigers.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

1963 Topps Baseball Project - How do you neutralize an acid? With Al Kaline

Al "Mr. Tiger" Kaline.  Do you think Al's parents had a sense of humor?  Did they realize that by naming their son Albert that every time I hear his name I think of chemistry?  Who knows?  Al is the second HOFer I added to my collection recently.  I couldn't pass this card up. I ended up dropping a whole 10 bucks on it, plus $2.50 shipping.  Not to shabby for this puppy.  Four beautiful corners and decent centering.

Al is one of the few players to totally bypass the minor league system and pretty much graduated high school and started playing major league ball.  Al played all 22 years of his Major League career with the Tigers and still is pretty active with the team.  He's an 18 time All-Star, 10 time Golden Glove winner, got a World Series ring in 1968, and was another of the few first ballot Hall of Fame inductee's with 88% of the vote.  Al finished his career with 3,007 hits, 399 home runs, 1,583 RBI's and a lifetime batting average of .297.  So make some room in the front of the box.  And welcome Mr. Kaline to the 1963 Topps Project.