Thursday, January 2, 2020

The Pinnacle of My Collection

It's a new year and time to add a new set. I felt like there was a gaping hole in my collection that just needed to be filled. I started collecting baseball cards in 1986 and was very involved in the hobby through 1993. During that time we had some new players come on the scene. Score and Upper Deck came decided to show up to the party to give Topps, Donruss and Fleer a run for their money. It was during this time that companies tried to one up each other with releasing premium sets mostly to compete with Upper Deck's debut in 1989. Donruss released it's Leaf brand in 1990, followed by Topps showcasing it's Stadium Club brand and Fleer releasing Ultra in 1991 and Score debuting it's Pinnacle line in 1992 while Topps released it's revamped Bowman line that focused heavily on rookies that same year. Then Topps decided to get crazy and release Finest in 1993 and things just went berserk after that. For a while I had a complete 1992 Bowman set in my collection, but I never really cared for the design. Maybe it was the way stats were displayed on the back or the candid photos of rookies in their street clothes. Regardless, I got rid of the set a few years ago and created the predicament I had, no set for 1992. Well, I finally filled that hole today when I purchased a complete set of 1992 Pinnacle for less than a blaster from eBay. While I still have the insert sets to chase down, I'm glad to own the base set and I'm glad this hole is finally filled in my collection.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Hitting 70!

Last week a recent addition to my Votto rookie card collection arrived at my door. I was able to land this 2008 Upper Deck Rookie Premier blue parallel for a decent price. Numbered 38/99, this is the 70th unique rookie card of Votto. This card also puts me at the 78% completion mark of goal for obtaining 90 unique Votto rookies. Here's hoping I can track down 20 more by the end of 2020.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Puck-er Up

Every now and then I think back to card shops I visited as a kid that have been closed now for years. Whether it was walking round the perimeter of the store gazing are the cards in penny sleeves that were thumb tacked to the cork boards, peering at the vintage cards that were piled up in the display cases, or even gazing at the latest and greatest wax boxes that were stacked behind those same display cases, each of those memories makes me long to go back to that time when cards were king and life was so much simpler. One of those wax boxes that I had always admired (and even bought a few pack) was 1991 Stadium Club Hockey. I wasn't a huge hockey fan growing up and even today I don't really follow the sport. I attend a game or two here in Cleveland every year to watch the Lake Erie Monsters (the Columbus Blue Jacket's minor league hockey team) but that's about it. That being said, I love everything about the early iterations of Stadium Club. It doesn't matter if it's baseball, football or hockey, I think these cards are fantastic. This past weekend I was able to purchase a complete 400 card set off eBay for $12 shipped. I'm glad to have this set back in my collection and I'm hoping that sometime next year I can get the 1991 Stadium Club football set. Maybe I'll even track down some wax boxes of these three sets. I'm just grateful that these packs are no longer $5 each.

Friday, December 6, 2019

My Finest Hour

This past week I was able to wrap up a set that I had started collecting back in Spring. I had always been a fan of the 1993 Topps Finest set but the price was always too high on eBay to warrant purchasing a complete set. Besides, where's the fun in buying a set that's already been hand collated for you? With COMC having their Cyber Monday sale this past week I was able to get the last 6 cards I needed from this 199 card set (one being Mike Piazza). I probably spent just as much, maybe a little bit more, putting this set together myself instead of buying a set already put together but that's ok. It's a great feeling when you find that last card you need and you can say that you're officially finished with the set. I had thought about chasing after the All-Star jumbo cards since there's only 33 of these to track down but there's no easy way to display them in a binder. Not only that but these are going for $10 plus a card...and that's just for the "cheap" All-Stars. I did acquire the 3 promo cards that were released (Roberto Alomar, Nolan Ryan, and Don Mattingly) but there's no way I'm going to chase after the refractors.  Now that I've completed this set there's one more set I'm thinking about starting from the 90s that I always wanted. Or maybe I'll just stick with buying vintage to complete some of my Reds team sets. I would love to have my 1951 Bowman as well as my 1933 and 1934 Goudey Reds team sets wrapped up by this time next year but that's a pretty ambitious goal.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Schnozz

This is my second Goudey Reds card from the 1934 set. This was one of the more expensive cards I'm chasing in this set, the other being Chick Haffey. Lombardi was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1986 by the Veteran's Committee. In addition to being known for his big nose, hence the nickname, but also for "Lombardi's Big Snooze" during the 1939 World Series. According to Wikipedia, during the fourth game of the 1939 World Series, in the 10th inning, with the score tied and runners on first and third, Joe DiMaggio singled. One run scored, then Reds outfielder Ival Goodman fumbled the ball. Yankees right fielder Charlie "King Kong" Keller, well known for his sturdy physique, beat the throw to catcher Lombardi and inadvertently hit "The Schnozz" in his groin. Unfortunately for the Reds and Lombardi, he had failed to wear his protective cup and Lombardi was in pain and dazed. DiMaggio raced around the bases and scored while the ball was just a few feet away from the dazed Lombardi. The press was hugely critical of the sensitive catcher because of this and it came to be known as "Lombardi's Big Snooze".

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

MVP

I don't have a lot of NBA cards and considering this blog is devoted to a baseball team I guess this post would be considered an oddity. This is one of those sets I picked up back in the 90s, sold years ago to downsize my collection, and then reacquired a few months ago due to remorse for letting it go in the first place. The 1992-93 Upper Deck NBA MVP Hologram set is a boxed set that consists of 37 cards. There were a paltry 138,000 sets produced so I guess you would consider that limited in 90s standards. The checklist for this set is pretty strong with many Hall of Fame players including Jordan, Drexler, Malone, Wilkins, O'Neil, and Robinson to name a few. I think the overall card design is fantastic and screams the 90s in a Saved by the Bell kind of way. Anyway, I'm glad this set is once more part of my collection.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

1950 Bowman Reds Team Set

12 cards total in this set. A much improved design over the 1949 Bowman set. My only gripe is the small card size, but Bowman fixed that with their 1951 release.

26 Grady Hatton
27 Herman Wehmeier
62 Ted Kluszewski
63 Ewell Blackwell
80 Howard Fox
81 Ron Northey
116 Red Stallcup
168 Bob Scheffing
172 Harry Lowrey
173 Lloyd Merriman
197 Johnny Wyrostek
198 Danny Litwhiler