Friday, January 30, 2015

A Return to Innocence

Do you ever find yourself stumbling upon cards that you had growing up, that you completely forgot about because they were no longer in your collection but when you happen across it again by chance you think to yourself "Why the hell did I get rid of that in the first place?" I was browsing eBay a few weeks ago looking for nothing in particular when I came upon a listing for a 1993 Pinnacle Home Run Club set. I distinctly remember when I first came across this set back in 1993 at my local card shop. Everything about it screamed BUY ME! From the beautifully lined black box, the 48 individual dufex cards, to the certificate of authenticity stating that this is one of only 200,000 sets ever produced! I couldn't get my money out of my wallet fast enough for this set. At home I would spend hours looking at these cards and reading the blurbs on the backs of each one. For example, the back of Ken Griffey Jr's card states, "Ken got an early jump on piling up impressive home run totals as he became the fourth youngest player in history to reach 75 in '92. At the rate he is going, he could easily top 500 home runs before he is through. A disciplined hitter with exceptional hand/eye coordination, Ken can make adjustments at the plate quickly. His talent is awesome." What's not to like about that? This set was awesome! While this set doesn't have any Reds whatsoever, it does have a nice collection of players that made the game great back in the 90s: Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, Ryne Sandberg, Ken Griffey Jr, Frank Thomas, Will Clark, Cal Ripken Jr, and Mike Piazza to name a few. Looking at this set today it struck me that I admired a lot of these players for their power at the plate. Unfortunately many of them would be tainted by the steroid era and their prospects for the Hall of Fame appear dim. Regardless, I still love this set because it takes me back to a time prior to leaving, and subsequently rejoining, the hobby. A time before the strike of 1994 when everything seemed right with baseball and when everything had a sense of innocence.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Pot of Gold for my Rainbow

Numbered 15/50 this is my latest acquisition for my Votto Rainbow. This is the 2013 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor and I must say it is a nice looking card. I'm still trying to track down the pink and camo refractors as well as the base black and orange factory parallels but not having any success. Maybe before the end of the year I can add one or two of these to my collection.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Here's Your Sign

This weekend I was able to get something new for the man cave, this 6" x 36" steel sign. It's an extremely nice piece and very heavy. I was able to find this on ebay for less than $30 shipped. I'm still having difficulty finding frames for my newspapers, as well as my panoramic prints. Once I get those framed then the cave will be finished. And for you Bill Engvall fans, here's one of my favorite clips!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Sapphire Votto for the Rainbow

My latest addition to my 2013 Votto Rainbow is the sweet sapphire parallel numbered 3 of 25! I wasn't sure when I would be able to purchase another Votto for my rainbow since it has been slim pickings and the remainder of the cards I need are VERY LOW SERIAL NUMBERED! This is my 24th card for my Votto Rainbow (still need to post my NL All-Star parallel). That leaves me with 12 cards I would like to acquire for this project.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Here's another pickup for my "Album of Amazing" project, a 1999 Topps Brian Hunter. I love the subject matter of this card! I'm not sure why, but every time I look at this card I think of Wes over at Jaybarkerfan's Junk. Must be the mask.

Friday, January 16, 2015

McFarlane Joe Morgan

My second, and most likely last, McFarlane figure is this Joe Morgan that I picked up somewhat cheaply on eBay this week. When I grabbed the Bench figure last year I knew I needed to grab the Morgan as it was the only other Big Red Machine member that was produced and it would complement the Bench figure nicely. While it's not as great as the Bench, I do like the fielding pose of this figure. Both figures look great together. I'm very happy to add this to my collection.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Coco Crisp is AMAZING!

Well his 2014 Topps card is, in my opinion. I love everything there is about this card from the hair to the sunglasses to the great Oakland A's uniform. I know that Topps is getting ready to release their 2015 flagship in the next few weeks, but I just had to mention this card once more - as well as add it to my Album of Amazing. Here's hoping Topps has some great photos for their upcoming release.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Spring Can't Come Fast Enough!

Another day and another 4 inches of snow here in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. To say that I'm sick of winter would be an understatement. While it's discouraging to look outside my window and see piles of the great white death and know that tomorrow night the low will be -6, I can take comfort in knowing that pitchers and catchers report next month. It's then that I think about the sun on my face, the bright blue sky and the return of baseball from it's long winter break. Sort of like this 1991 Upper Deck Edgar Diaz card, a new entry into my Album of Amazing. Just look at those clouds reflecting off those sunglasses. Spring can't get here fast enough.

Friday, January 9, 2015

To Infinity....And Beyond!

Not sure where I first saw this card but I knew that I had to obtain a copy for myself. Another entry into my Album of Amazing project, this is a 1993 Upper Deck Mike Perez that shows Mike holding a picture of Mike, who's holding a picture of Mike, who's - you get the idea.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Eric Lindros Played Baseball?!

No, he didn't but that doesn't mean I can't own a card depicting him on a baseball team. I had always wanted this 1990 Score Rookies and Traded card when I was in the hobby back in 1990s but never got around to picking it up. That changed a few weeks ago and now this card resides in my Album of Amazing. With it still being below freezing here in the Midwest I suppose hockey and baseball can go hand in hand - if only on a piece of cardboard.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Baby It's Cold Outside!

I know that the Christmas season is over, but with the current temperatures hovering in the single digits for many of us in the midwest I couldn't pass on the opportunity to showcase a recent addition to my Album of Amazing project. Behold, a 1998 Score Doug Drabek. Now where can I pick up one of those amazing hats to stay warm.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Pink Votto to Add to the Rainbow

Late last year I was able to snag another Votto card for my 2013 Topps Votto rainbow project. This time it was the pink parallel to the base set numbered 43/50. I spent a little more than I wanted to for this card but considering that supply is limited, I wasn't sure when I would see this card again so I pulled the trigger. Out of more than 40+ cards that make up the rainbow (Topps base, mini, and chrome) I know I'll never have them all but it's my hope to at least grab 36 different cards. So far I have 22 different Votto cards and it's getting more difficult to find others that I need.

Monday, January 5, 2015

It's Going to be a Banner Year!

I recently made another purchase for the man cave recently off eBay. A friend of mine has a banner similar to this depicting the logo changes of the Cleveland Indians and I thought that if the company made one that showed the progression of the Reds logo since their inception in 1869. As luck would have it, Iwas able to find one for only $22 shipped! The banner measures 8"x32" and made entirely out of wool. There was another wool banner produced by the same company that was white with red lettering that said "Cincinnati Reds Man Cave" but I thought this item was much nicer as it detailed the history and tradition of the organization.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 Year in Review

Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone has been enjoying the holiday season. With the start of a brand new year I decided it's a perfect opportunity to look back at last year and the progress I've made with the hobby. The past few years I've made collecting goals to try and keep me on track. While they've been very helpful, I feel as though they've pigeonholed me and it's taken some of the fun out of the hobby. This year I probably won't create goals but replace the list with a "10 Most Wanted" card list. This will still give me that ability to cross off a list when I pick up cards but it won't feel like a chore.

Looking back at 2014 I completed 8 of the 10 goals I had set. At first I was a little bummed that I left two unfinished, but when I looked closer at what I acquired this past year I have no reason to complain. So, what strides did I make for my Reds collection in 2014? Here's what I accomplished:

Not bad for a year of collecting. With the arrival of 2015 I have some ambitions plans that will hopefully come to fruition. I still plan on collecting vintage Reds cards and I'm hoping that I can complete the 1948-1951 run of Bowman Reds team sets. 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the Reds 1975 World Championship. It also marks my 40th birthday! To celebrate the occasion I've decided to try and complete my Cincinnati Reds Man Cave! I realize you all have been hearing me speak about picking up items for the cave the past few years and it is my intent to have the room completed with pictures to share before the end of this year. Here's to 2015 and all the adventures that await us!