Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Year in Review

Another year has come and gone with the blink of an eye. As I've done the past few years I decided to once again reflect on how my collection has changed over the past twelve months. Below is a quick recap of my collecting milestones for 2016:
  1. Reached the halfway mark on my 1971 Topps Set
  2. Added more than 75 new cards to my Pete Rose PC
  3. Completed my 1991 Topps Desert Shield Cincinnati Reds team set
  4. Completed my 2008 eTopps Set
  5. Purchased a 1963 Cincinnati Reds Scorecard 
  6. Completed my 2014 and 2015 Topps Star Wars Chrome Perspectives sets
  7. Added 8 new cards to my Rookie Book project (Maddux, Griffey, Thomas, Gwynn, Jackson, Mattingly, Canseco, Smoltz)
  8. Added a black mini to my 2013 Topps Votto Rainbow project
  9. Purchased a ticket stub to the September 11, 1985 Reds game where Pete Rose recorded his 4,192 hit surpassing Ty Cobb as the Hit King
  10. Added another T206 to my collection (Billy Campbell)
  11. Added 6 bobbleheads to my collection (Cueto, Chapman, Mesoraco, Cozart, Rolen, Frazier)
  12. Completed my 2016 Topps Cincinnati Reds team set
  13. Purchased a 2016 Kahn's Cincinnati Reds team set
  14. Purchases a 1955 Topps replica tin sign for the man cave
  15. Add 66 2014 Bowman Billy Hamilton rookies to my Bowman Billy Binder project
I had hoped to wrap up my man cave and post pictures to the blog this past year, but that was one project where I failed miserably. I'm hopeful however that by this coming spring I'll have it finished and pictures to post. I hope everyone has a Happy New Year and here's to another year of collecting in 2017!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Todd Frazier Bobblehead

This marks my 39th bobblehead to enter my collection. 30,000 of these nodders were given to fans on July 3, 2013 when the Reds faced the Giants. Cincinnati won the game by a score of 3-2. While Frazier was runner up for the Rookie of the Year award in 2012, he's best remembered by Reds fans for his performance in the 2015 All-Star Game Home Run Derby contest. You can watch the final round of that Home Run Derby below. Sadly, Todd now calls the Windy City home playing for the White Sox.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

That's odd!

I snagged these four cards on eBay this past week to add to my growing collection of Pete Rose cards. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to turn up any information on the web about where they come from or what year they were produced. The only clue I have is that on the back of each card stamped on the bottom it states "Charlie Hustle Issue #1 of 4". Of course each color is a different number so I have all four cards that make up the set. I didn't spend a lot on these and since I've always been a fan of the 1965 Topps set I couldn't pass up the opportunity to add these to the Rose PC. With these four cards I'm now up to 563 unique Pete Rose cards. Not too shabby.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

Last week my co-workers were gracious enough to give me a $25 gift card to Amazon for Christmas. Although Amazon is sparse when it comes to card options, there are other items the online retailer offers that I've always wanted but didn't want to spend my card dollars on. This is one of them. It's a modern metal sign that's made to look old. Since I've always been a Topps fan, the sign made logical sense to add to my man cave. There were a variety of Topps signs to choose from but this one depicting the batter, catcher and umpire is by far my favorite.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Scott Rolen Bobblehead

This is the 38th bobblehead to make its way into my collection. A total of 30,000 bobbleheads were distributed to fans on June 12, 2010 when the Reds faced the Royals in interleague play. For those interested, Cincinnati defeated Kansas City by a score of 11-5. I've never seen Rolen as a true Reds player, probably due to the fact that he spent so many seasons with the Phillies and Cardinals. I will admit that his veteran presence in the clubhouse during the 2010 season was a factor in the Reds winning the National League Central division that year.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Thinning the Herd

I've run into this problem before. I get sidetracked with purchasing cards that I didn't intend on adding to my collection...those cards pile up...and then I'm stuck with a mess of cardboard that just takes up space and that I could care less about. For the past six months I had been on the fence on what to keep and what to let go. While I chased down some sets that I had as a kid that weren't baseball related there was one set in particular I wrestled with whether or not to keep, the 1986-87 Fleer basketball set. I spent more than six years working on this set and a few months back I purchased two additional cards that put me two short of completing both the main set and the sticker set. Unfortunately, both of those cards were the Michael Jordons. I knew I would probably never own those cards just because I'm not a true die hard basketball fan. Sure, I dabbled with them back in the late 80s and early 90s but they didn't capture my heart as much as baseball cards. A few days ago I was able to sell my mostly completed fleer basketball set for a decent amount and while I'm not disappointed with the decision I've made, I've started to re-evaluate my collection and goals. I've reached a point where it's time to purge. I still plan on keeping my Reds cards but I've decided to rid my collection of a few Topps sets that I could care less about owning (1990 and 2002) and I've also pared down my wantlist to only include Reds cards and a few sets I'm still chasing (sorry 1956 and 1965 Topps). I think I'm to the point where it's ok if I only acquire the latest Topps Flagship Reds set and the Reds card set stadium giveaway. I'm to the point in my collecting that I need to enjoy what I have instead of acquiring cards just for the heck of it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Devin Mesoraco Bobblehead

This is the second catcher bobblehead to make it into my collection (the first being Johnny Bench). 25,000 fans received one of these when the Reds hosted the Pirates on August 1, 2015. For those interested, Cincinnati defeated Pittsburgh 4-3. This marks the 37th bobblehead to enter my collection. While I admit that I like the design (much better than the standard batting bobblehead) I wish they would have included the catcher's mask on Mesoraco's helmet. That would have really been icing on the cake. I'm down to needing just three more bobbleheads for my collection, an Eric Davis bobblehead that was sponsored by Dr. Pepper and given out to fans in 2002, a Scott Rolen bobblehead sponsored by Kroger that was distributed on June 12, 2010, and a Todd Frazier bobblehead sponsored by the Ohio Lottery that was given out on July 3, 2013.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Zack Cozart Bobblehead

25,000 of these nodders were given out to fans on July 16, 2016 when the Reds hosted the Brewers. For those interested, Cincinnati was pummeled by Milwaukee 9-1. The Reds lone run was an RBI by Adam Duvall. Cozart just wrapped up his sixth season as the Reds shortstop. This is the 36th bobblehead to enter my collection. While not my favorite, I do appreciate that they decided to use a fielding pose instead of a batting pose for Cozart. I'll probably call it quits on the bobbleheads once I hit 40 since I'm starting to run out of room storing them. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Halfway There!

In case you haven't noticed, sellers have started dropping prices on there cards as Black Friday approaches. There were a few cards that I was on the fence about purchasing but once they dropped to a reasonable rate I quickly grabbed them. I was able to add 2 new Pete Rose cards to my Rose PC (a 2016 Panini Immaculate Collection numbered 76/99 and a 2016 Panini National Convention VIP card) as well as a nice 2005 eTopps Ichiro. To round my purchase I snagged 3 new cards for my Rookie Book project. Behold, the three latest entries into the book.

With the Mattingly, Canseco and Smoltz rookies I now have 20 of the 40 rookies I want for this book. I don't think I did too bad purchasing those six cards for less than $25.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Stamp of Approval

Another day, another Rose card for my PC. I've been on the lookout for a Panini stamp card for quite a while just because they're an oddball item and what's not to like about a baseball card that has a baseball themed stamp on it. I just wish Panini had used a different photo of the "Hit King" but beggars can't be choosers. I paid a little bit more than I wanted to for this card but in the end I'm still happy to add this to my collection. Numbered 34/100, this 2010 Panini Century Collections Souvenir Stamp card is the 537th unique Pete Rose card to enter my collection.

Monday, November 14, 2016

2016 Topps Cincinnati Reds Team Set

37 cards total in the base set and update set.

48 J.J. Hoover
59 John Lamb
176 Brandon Phillips
199 Jay Bruce
221 Ryan LaMarre
222 Homer Bailey
292 Todd Frazier
292SP Todd Frazier
328 Anthony DeSclafani
333 Keyvius Sampson
372 Zack Cozart
373 Tucker Barnhart
426 Joey Votto
426SP Joey Votto
437 Michael Lorenzen
462 Jumbo Diaz
497 Devin Mesoraco
584 Adam Duvall
585 Raisel Iglesias
609 Billy Hamilton
612 Cincinnati Reds Team Card
632 Ramon Cabrera
671 Tony Cingrani
685 Kyle Waldrop
686 Brandon Finnegan
689 Eugenio Suarez
US28 Alfredo Simon
US29 Jon Moscot
US34 Cody Reed
US34SP Cody Reed
US54 Adam Duvall
US68 Adam Duvall
US73 Scott Schebler
US216 Robert Stephenson
US216SP Robert Stephenson
US219 Tim Adleman
US246 Jay Bruce

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

When Just One Isn't Enough

Last week I shared with all of you my first Pete Rose Expos relic (a 2015 Sportkings Vault relic numbered  4/19). Yesterday I saw a listing on eBay for a 2008 Donruss Diamond Kings Relic numbered 17/25. While the price was a little more than what I was willing to pay, I submitted an offer to the seller and within a few hours he accepted. Now I just have to wait for it to arrive. This is my 536 unique Rose card to enter my collection. I would like to hit 550 by the end of the year and if I aim to acquire the 70s Hostess cards next then I should be able to hit that goal.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

1962 Cincinnati Reds Autographed Team Ball

23 signatures on this baseball: Fred Hutchinson, Dick Sisler, Jim Turner, Reggie Otero, Pete Whisenant, Cookie Rojas, Jim Brosnan, Gordy Colemen, Wally Post, Vada Pinson, Don Blasingame, Joey Jay, John Edwards, Marty Keough, Gene Freese, Eddie Kasko, Don Pavletich, Hank Foiles, Frank Robinson, Jerry Lynch, Don Zimmer, Bob Purkey, Leo Cardenas.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Former Expos

There aren't a lot of Pete Rose cards out there that feature him as a member of the Montreal Expos. He's known more for the time he spent with Cincinnati and Philadelphia and, as a result, most of the cardboard out there features him as such. I still forget that Charlie Hustle played 95 games with the former Canadian team that now resides in our nation's capitol. Regardless, the few cards that I have of Rose in red, white and blue are fantastic and this card is by far my favorite. I found this card last week while browsing around eBay and although the back says 2007, it's from 2015 Sportkings Vault. I'm assuming this piece is from the striping that ran down the shoulders and sides of the old Expos jersey. The only thing missing on this card is the Expos logo on Rose's batting helmet. Nonetheless, it's still a great card and I'm happy it's now in my collection. It's amazing what you can stumble upon when you're just browsing.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ticket to a Coronation!

In addition to collecting cards, I always like to add pieces of Cincinnati Reds history to my collection. Whether it's a piece of astroturf or stadium seats from Riverfront Stadium, or even World Series tickets from a championship year, it's always great to memorabilia of significant importance as it relates to the Reds. I've been searching for quite some time for a ticket from a game held at Riverfront on September 11, 1985 but didn't have much luck in locating one in my price range. After a lot of patience one finally appeared on eBay for a price that I thought was reasonable. I'm extremely excited that this ticket is now in my collection. So, what was special about September 11, 1985 you ask? It's the night that Pete Rose recorded hit 4,192 to surpass Ty Cobb as the leader of all-time hits in major league baseball to be crowned the "Hit King". I think this will complement my Pete Rose PC nicely.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

2016 Kahn's Cincinnati Reds Team Set

29 cards total: Bryan Price, Homer Bailey, Tucker Barnhart, Jay Bruce, Ramon Cabrera, Tony Cingrani, Caleb Cotham, Zack Cozart, Ivan DeJusus Jr., Anthony DeSclafani, Adam Duvall, Brandon Finnegan, Billy Hamilton, Tyler Holt, J.J. Hoover, Raisel Iglesias, John Lamb, Michael Lorenzen, Devin Mesoraco, Ross Ohlendorf, Jose Peraza, Brandon Phillips, Cody Reed, Alfredo Simon, Robert Stephenson, Dan Straily, Eugenio Suarez, Joey Votto, Blake Wood

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Aroldis Chapman Bobblehead

I recently purchased this bobblehead of former Reds closer Aroldis Chapman. This makes the 35th bobblehead in my collection and my first Coca-Cola sponsored nodder. There were 25,000 of these nodders that were distributed to fans on June 4, 2014 when the Reds hosted the Giants. For those interested, Cincinnati lost to San Francisco 3-2.

I'll admit that it's tough seeing the "Cuban Missile" in blue pinstripes. Every time I saw Chapman pitch for the Reds I was enthralled with the speed of each pitch and the radar gun registering triple digits. When the club dealt Chapman to the Yankees last off season it was a tough pill to swallow, especially since it appeared then didn't get much for him. But I learned to live with it since he was in the American League and my Reds didn't have to face him on a regular basis. You can imagine my disappointment when it was announced in the middle of the season when it was announced that the Cubs had acquired him from New York. It's not that I dislike Chapman, it's that I dislike the idea of having the Reds face their former flamethrower. Now that the regular season has wrapped up and the post season begins tonight I will be rooting for the Cubs to win the World Series. Going more than 100 years without a championship is rough for any team. Once the post season is over, I'll be hoping that Chapman finds his way back to the American League where he won't pitch against Cincinnati as much.

Friday, September 30, 2016

A Pair of Rookies for the Book

One of my projects that I started strong with last year that unfortunately has fallen by the wayside is my Rookie Book. In case you're not familiar with it, I've created a list of rookie cards that were released between 1960 and 1993 that I've always wanted to include in my collection. As of January I haven't purchased any additional cards for this project. Today, however, that changed. Here are the two latest additions for my Rookie Book: a 1983 Topps Tony Gwynn and and 1986 Topps Traded Bo Jackson

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

1993 Reds Team Signed Baseball

There aren't a lot of signatures on this baseball, but I like having this as part of my collection due to the fact that Perez was managing the Reds when this ball was signed. He only lasted a portion of the 93 season with the team going 20-24 before being fired. Not sure why you would fire a manager after 44 games with a win/loss record just below .500 but what do I know. As for the signatures on the ball, there are a total of 12 and I can make out 11 of them: Tony Perez, Tim Costo, Jeff Branson, Tom Browning, Steve Foster, Ty Griffin, Ricky Stone, Dan Wilson, Chris Hammond, Brian Dorsett, Scott Ruskin

Thursday, September 8, 2016

And Campbell Makes 10!

This card has been on my 10 Most Wanted list for over a year and I finally found one in a decent price range to purchase. It's also fitting that this is the 10th T206 card of my collection. This is one of my favorite cards because of the background. It's so much nicer than the stark yellow that's used on many of the cards in this set. I also like that it's an "action shot" of Billy Campbell instead of just a portrait shot. Even though the card isn't in excellent condition, with tobacco cards I don't mind the rounded corners or stains because it adds character to a card that's more than 100 years old.

This is my first Sweet Caporal card to enter my collection as the other T206 cards I have are all Piedmonts. I would like to eventually add as many different variety backs (Polar Bear, Old Mill, Sovereign, Hindu, etc) but I know that certain backs carry a premium due to their rarity so while it's not a priority it would be a nice bonus to my T206 team set.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Catching a Game

I haven't had much to report lately with new purchases to my collection. I've been focusing on set building lately (particularly the 2008 eTopps set that I mentioned in the previous post and the 2003 Fleer Authentix set that I'm working on now). Hopefully before the end of the year I can grab a few cards off my most wanted list and complete the 1950 and 1951 Bowman Reds team sets I started a while back. We'll see.

This past Sunday I took my daughter to see an Akron Rubberducks game and although it was hot, it was nice to just sit back and enjoy a game that I could care less who would win. Ultimately, Akron would go on to defeat the Richmond Flying Squirrels (cool name by the way) 8-2. While I was at the stadium I ran into Charles, a regular reader of my blog who I've sent cards to in the past. He currently runs the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Reds Hall of Fame. This past May they were able to organize a meet and greet with Reds Hall of Famer Tom Browning. Unfortunately, due to prior commitments I was not able to attend. However, he informed me that they're in the process of lining up a visit with a member of the Big Red Machine. It wouldn't be one of the big four (Bench, Morgan, Perez, or Rose) but that still leaves Griffey, Concepcion, Foster and Geronimo. If you're interested in learning more about this organization you can follow them on facebook at

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Built in Secrecy

I'm just curious as to how many of us bloggers out there are worried about competing with our fellow collectors when it comes to acquiring cards. Case in point, I've always been fascinated with the concept of eTopps. The ability to purchase cards online, a limited print run, sealed and stored offsite with the ability to ship the cards to your house. It was a radical idea at the time that lasted for a decade before it became an afterthought to many collectors. I never collected any of the cards through the eTopps website. By the time I had learned about the cards the program had essentially ceased. Sure, you could still purchase cards from fellow collectors on eBay to have them transferred to your online eTopps portfolio but Topps had driven the cost of shipping those cards to astronomical rates that many collectors, I feel, just cut their losses and abandoned their account with many of these cards never to see the light of day.

Eventually I began to think how great it would be to try and actually build a physical set of eTopps cards. Instead of buying digital cards online and having them transfer to an eTopps account (to avoid shipping fees), I decided to start scouring eBay, COMC, Beckett, Sportlots, and Amazon to see if I could build a set from cards collectors already had in hand. My only stipulation was that the cards still needed to be sealed in their plastic case that Topps had sent them. I decided to settle on the 2008 eTopps set because I like the giant team logos in the background and the number of great rookie cards in the set. Joey Votto, Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Carlos Gonzalez, Chris Davis, Johnny Cueto, Evan Longoria, Jay Bruce, Daniel Murphy, and Clay Buccholz to name a few. In addition you have a nice collection of hall of famers (or soon to be hall of famers) with Ken Griffey Jr., Greg Maddux, Chipper Jones, Ivan Rodriguez, and Derek Jeter. The lowest print run in this set for a particular card is 499 (Carlos Gonzalez, Brandon Jones, CC Sabathia, Ivan Rodriguez, and Daniel Murphy). So theoretically there could only be a total of 499 sets ever assembled based on the print run, but because of the fact that there are team and player collectors that number shrinks drastically. Follow that up with the fact that due to the high cost of shipping eTopps cards, many of those 2008 cards will probably never hit the market. That got me thinking, realistically what could be the total number of sets ever assembled? My guess would be less than 25, but I could be wrong. I'm sure Patrick over at Radicards would be better able to run the numbers and give a more precise analytical answer.

When I first started chasing these cards down in January of this year I noticed that there were instances of only 1 card of a player being sold. I already knew that there were some cards in the set that were not even listed. I decided that if I could acquire at least 59 of the 69 cards that were produced, that would only leave me with 10 cards (or 14%) of the set to chase which seemed like a realist chance to succeed. Yesterday the last 5 of the 69 cards in this set showed up in my mailbox. You can see all of the cards by checking out my 2008 eTopps page under the pages section on the top right column of my blog.

Anyone else out there working on a secret project?

Friday, July 29, 2016

Showing off the Roses

I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to start showcasing the cards in my Pete Rose PC. I've finally gotten around to scanning the front and back of each card. As you can imagine, I'm nowhere near finished but I'm almost to the halfway point. I've been able to scan some of the larger sets and I'm working my way through a lot of the various oddball cards I have. Feel free to check out the page. You can access the link in the right nav or you can click here.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

2000 Cincinnati Reds Autographed Team Baseball

18 signatures total on this baseball: Jack McKeon, Aaron Boone, Dante Bichette, Sean Casey, Barry Larkin, Pokey Reese, Michael Tucker, Dmitri Young, Eddie Taubensee, Jason LaRue, Danny Graves, Pete Harnisch, Denny Neagle, Steve Parris, Dennys Reyes, Gabe White, Scott Sullivan, and Scott Williamson.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Digital into Reality

This past week I purchased another eTopps card for my collection. For the past few months I was keeping an eye on a 2005 eTopps Griffey card that was listed on eBay. While I have a few eTopps Reds cards in my collection, I was on the fence as to whether or not I should pull the trigger and purchase this card. The card arrived yesterday and I'm glad that I decided to pick it up. This card is fantastic! While there's no serial numbering on the back of the card, the seller did include the eTopps "certificate of authenticity" that stated it was a genuine eTopps card and the production run

Friday, July 8, 2016

1981 Cincinnati Reds Team Signed Baseball

34 Signatures total on this team ball: Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey, Ron Oester, Mario Soto, Joe Price, Paul Householder, Eddie Milner, Vic Correll, Ray Knight, Harry Spilman, Junior Kennedy, Joe Nolan, Doug Bair, George Foster, Jay Howell, Frank Pastore, Sheldon Burnside, Mike LaCoss, Charlie Leibrandt, Paul Moskau, Sam Mijias, Dave Tomlin, Dan Driessen, Dave Concepcion, Hector Cruz, Dave Collins, Tom Seaver, Geoff Combe, Bill Bonham, Tom Hume, Bruce Berenyi, Don Werner, Rick Auerbach, Cesar Geronimo