Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dirt

It's always a challenge for me to decide what exactly I want to buy when I get a gift card. For the past month I've had a gift card for Amazon.com burning a hole in my pocket and with no clue whatsoever as to what I should buy. After spending a week browsing through some of their Cincinnati Reds offerings I settled on this nice piece to add to my Red's man cave. This 4"x6" plaque issued by Steiner Sports has a great shot of Great American Ball Park with some infield dirt embedded. I wasn't sure what to expect when I finally received the plaque in the mail, but now that I have it, I'm glad that I ordered it. While some of you may say "It's just dirt", I would respond by saying, yes it's dirt...but not just any dirt. It's dirt that's been trod upon by my home team who I watch and cheer on every season as I too celebrate in their heartaches and triumphs. Dirt from a game that's as much a symbol of America as apple pie. Sure it's dirt, but it's also baseball.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

1951 Bowman

I've noticed the past few days that more and more collectors out there are starting to bust into 2014 Topps. Although I will eventually pick up my Reds cards to add to my collection later in the year, for now I'm focusing on vintage. This past week I was able to snag a 1953 Topps Kluszewski and my first 1951 Bowman cards. Between the two that I snagged, this Connie Ryan is my favorite. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for cards that use artwork to depict players instead of photography. It just screams "Old Fashioned"! To me, this card is the embodiment of what made baseball cards great in the 50s: renaissance artwork - check, long demolished old grandstand in the background - check, standard player pose in wool uniform with stirrups showing - check, greenest grass ever seen by the eyes of man - check. The only complaint that I have with this set is the use of the big black box with the player name on the front of the cards. I would have preferred that Bowman either use a facsimile autograph or just remove the name from the front altogether. Anyway, I'm excited to add some vintage to my collection and can't wait to grab more in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

TTM: Max Venable

Did you know that Max Venable's son, Will Venable, is an outfielder for the San Diego Padres? I'm sure you knew that one! But, did you know that Max's actual name is William McKinley Venable? Now I bet you didn't know that.

Friday, January 17, 2014

TTM: Paul Wilson

Did you know that during his minor league career, Paul Wilson was billed alongside Jason Isringhausen and Bill Pulsipher as a future Mets star? They were dubbed by fans and sportswriters as "Generation K".

Thursday, January 16, 2014

TTM: Bob Shirley

Did you know that Bob Shirley was traded to the Reds in 1982 for reliever Jeff Lahti? Did you also know that Shirley became a free agent after the 82 season and signed with the Yankees? Now you know.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

TTM: Jeff Shaw

Did you know that Jeff Shaw was selected to the 1998 All Star Game as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, but was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the beginning of the All Star break, thus his first game he pitched as a Dodger was in the 1998 All Star Game? Now you do!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My first trifecta!

Yesterday I received a package in the mail that I had anxiously been waiting for the past few days. Inside was this beauty. I had always wanted a Chapman autograph and now I have one. For $10 shipped, I couldn't pass on this card. Sorry about the poor excuse of a scan...I forgot to take the card out of the top loader. This card completes my first Cincinnati Reds Trifecta. Although this autograph is considered a rookie, I went with a 2011 eTopps that you can see here. The 2012 Bowman Chrome printing plate that you see here rounds out the trio. Now I just need to pick up an ultra pro 3 card screw down to display them all together.

Monday, January 13, 2014

My first goal of 2014 is now complete!

We're not even half way through the month of January and I've already wrapped up one of my collecting goals for the year. I've always been a huge fan of the 2011 Topps set. The design is, in my opinion one of the best since the 1965 Topps set and the photography is on par with what Topps served up in 1971. I love the little baseballs with the team logos on the bottom right corner of the cards (I also think it's cool that the baseballs on the shortprint cards are yellowed). This set would have been perfect if Topps had removed the card for full bleed photography and printed the text on the card fronts in something other than foil. Some of you may argue that 2013 is a much better set than 2011, and I would almost agree with you if Topps hadn't seeded the set with those damn super short prints. To me, those are a deal breaker! I decided to take a short break from collecting vintage Reds since it gets a little disheartening only grabbing a handful of cards every two weeks. But with this set now put to bed, I'll head back to grabbing some 1950s cards very shortly. I still need to grab the short prints for this set, but to me, SPs are just icing on the cake. They're nice to have, but I can live without them for the time being. I hope to eventually track them down over the next few years, but it's not high on my list of things to do. Anyway, I'm glad that I finally own all 660 cards in this set!

Monday, January 6, 2014

1950 Bowman

I finally landed my first 1950 Bowman Reds cards over the weekend thanks to a certain eBay seller I deal with that had a sale on all of his cards. I'm very impressed with these cards primarily for their artwork and their size. Talk about tiny.....these things measure only 2 1/16 x 2 1/2 in size. While they are small, the cardboard doesn't appear flimsy. Not only do I like the art, I enjoy the player write-ups on the card backs. Sure, they're lacking in statistics but in terms of storytelling, these are a home run.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A New Year...With New Goals!

I hope everyone had a Happy New Year. My family and I had a decent New Year's day here in Northeast Ohio. However, with the amount of snow we've received over the past week let's just say that I'm sick of winter and anxiously awaiting the start of Spring Training! I was very happy with sticking mostly to my collecting goals last year and was only one goal short on the year (completing my 1953 Topps Cincinnati Reds Team Set). So, due to my previous year's success I'll take another stab at creating some goals for 2014. One objective I have in mind this year will be to concentrate more on my sets and less on vintage Reds cards since I've always enjoyed putting sets together and it's getting more and more difficult to find affordable vintage that's in great shape at a reasonable price. It gets a little discouraging when my monthly card budget is spent on just a few cards. Feel free to check out my goals this year on the right sidebar of this here blog :) Here's to pursuing some card sets this year and wrapping up a few more vintage Reds sets!