Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Piedmont, anyone?!

Last week I was debating if I should knock out some of the cards I need from my vintage Topps Reds team sets. Lately I've been focusing all my energy (and money) on the 55 and 56 sets. I've also been pulled by the desire of getting a few more bobbleheads that have been given out at Great American Ballpark the past few years that I need for that collection. But something happened last week that threw me for a loop. While I was browsing on ebay I came across this little gem. I've always wanted a t206 Reds tobacco card, but they've always been a little too pricey for me to pull the trigger. $40+ is a little hard to swallow, but I know that if I want some of the Hall of Famers like Clark Griffith I'll have to ante up eventually. So anyway, when I saw this Bob Spade card for $25.99 I couldn't resist. I received the card in the mail this past Saturday and it was like Christmas when I opened the envelope. I'm so excited to add this card to my collection. This Spade is now the oldest card I have in my collection and it's the first card that my wife thought was "cool"! So there's one more item to mark off on my 2012 collecting goals. Onward and upward!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

1992 Bowman

Today I'm taking a look at another 90s set that's on my wantlist (and one that I hope to knock off by the end of 2013) the 1992 Bowman set. I remember when this came out and all the hype surrounding it...as well as the price. I know I spent $5 for a pack of Stadium Club in 1991 but that was only because those were the coolest cards I had ever seen and I desperately wanted to build that set. I didn't show that much love for 92 Bowman simply because I put it on par with 1992 Topps, sure it was a good set with a crisp white border, but that was it. Over the years though, the set has grown on me and I have come to learn to appreciate everything that it has to offer. The rookie class in this set is mind boggling! The use of gold-foil, ingenious! The sheer amount of stats listed on the back of each and every card, CRAPTASTIC! I know there's a lot of people out there that are Bowman haters, I being one of them. But in 1992 they did it right by having a simple and elegant design that incorporated a lot of the things we find commonplace on today's baseball cards. So far I only have two cards from this set, one being Barry Larkin, but hey...it's a start!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

First Ballgame of the 2012 Season

I went to my first ballgame of the 2012 season last night. Last week I won a pair of vouchers to be used by May 31st for a game at Progressive field. I was limited in my selection to either Mezzanine or Lower Reserved. So I asked my buddy (who's a Detroit fan) if he would be interested in going to Tuesday night's game. I was able to score a pair of Row A Mezzanine tickets and watch a great game...that is if you're a Tribe fan. The seats were actually pretty descent and in my opinion there's really not a bad seat at Progressive Field.
We were actually right above the visiting team bullpen, which I thought was cool since we could watch pitchers warm up and then jog out onto the field when they received the call. Very sweet!
I was a little worried yesterday since it was overcast all day in Cleveland and wasn't sure if it was going to rain on the game. However, by the time we showed up at the ballpark around 6:30 last night, the sky had cleared out and it was a nice cool evening to catch a ballgame. On top of that I was able to watch a Tribe victory over the Tigers. Sure it wasn't a Red's game, but I do have plans later this year to head down and watch my team as well as take a road trip one Sunday and catch a Tiger's game in Detroit. Here's hoping those games are just as nice as what I witnessed last night.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

1955 Topps

Yesterday I received seven of the twelve 1955 Topps Reds cards and I wasn't disappointed with what I saw. Although I don't like the 1955 Topps as much as the 1956 Topps, it's still a nice set to look at. The horizontal design along with the portrait and action photos and the facsimile autograph make for a classy card. The only complaint I have about the cards are the bold background colors. Yellow seems to be the favorite for Reds cards in the set (with a few reds sprinkled in), but if it were any different I guess it would be a duplicate of the 56 Topps set. My favorite Reds card from this set would have to be the Chuck Harmon card. Chuck was the first African-American player for the Reds. While he didn't put up the numbers Frank Robinson did with his stint in Cincinnati, Chuck was able to steal 9 bases in 1955 putting him on par with Gene Baker, Ernie Banks and Duke Snider. Not too shabby.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Setting Myself Up For Failure?

Sure, I like to collect Reds cards. Not sure if you knew that or not, but I just wanted to make that clear. But what you might not know is that I'm also an avid set collector. Prior to my return to collecting baseball cards I concentrated on collecting Topps sets (flagship and updates). I had a nice collection prior to 1993 when I had the complete Topps run from 1981 to 1993, but when I decided to sell everything in 1997 to help pay for my wife's engagement ring. Since returning to the hobby I've decided to be a little bit more selective on the sets that I chase. I've made it a rule to only collect one set from a given year. I've also decided that if a particular year doesn't have anything that interests me, I won't chase a set just for the sake of having something from that year. Finally, I won't duplicate a manufacturer and set EVER. For example, if I have 2005 Donruss Studio set I won't get a 2001 Donruss Studio set even if that means I don't have any sets from 2001 AND I like the 2001 Donruss Studio set. Fairly straightforward right? Anyway, a few weeks back I saw a post from Night Owl about finally completing his 1971 Topps set. I had always loved the 71 set and when I started poking around to see who was in the set I was completely blown away: Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers, Joe Morgan, Hank Aaron, Steve Carlton, Red Schoendienst, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Fergie Jenkins, Leo Durocher, Don Sutton, Willie McCovey, Gaylord Perry, Juan Marichal, Willie Mays, Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Earl Weaver, Jim Bunning, Bill Mazeroski, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Carl Yastrzemski, Tony Perez, Johnny Bench, Sparky Anderson, Bob Lemon, Ted Williams, Al Kaline, Phil Niekro, Bert Blyleven, Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew and Thurman Munson. I'm sure I missed a hall of famer or two but that's still an impressive list. So I've decided to add the 1971 Topps set to my chase. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to complete it, but the who's who of baseball past that's in this set will have this as the pinnacle of my set collection. Sure I could fail trying to put this together, but I'm definitely going to try!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

1956 Topps

I'm halfway through my 1956 Topps Reds (Redlegs) team set, so I guess you could say that I'm excited and frustrated at the same time. It's been a few months since I've crossed anything off my 2012 goals list and it probably will be a few more months until I do. Anyway, I like the 1956 Topps set. The oversized cards from 1952 to 1956 are something that I truly treasure. While I know there are many bloggers out there that like minis...I'm all about jumbo! I also like the fact that this set was also painted and didn't have the actual photos. I think Topps hit a home run when they had a portrait photo AND an action shot on these cards. Very nice. And the cherry on top...the comics on the back of the card. My favorite card of this set would have to be the Ray Jablonski card. I love seeing the dirt fly with the slide into third base. Such a nice scene. That's gritty baseball for you right there!