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.

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.

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. 

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

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, 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 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?

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

Monday, June 6, 2016

Johnny Cueto Bobblehead

It's never easy seeing your former ace play for another team. It was tough last year seeing Cueto go to Kansas City but at least he was able to get a ring for the few months he was there. When he joined the ranks of the American League it was a little easier to digest. However, now that he's wearing orange and black it's just too much to bear. I guess it could be worse. Better that he's a Giant instead of a Cardinal or Cub. Anyway, just a bit of history on this bobblehead I picked up this past week. There were 25,000 of these given away on August 4, 2012 when the Reds were facing the Pirates. Cincinnati won the game 5-4 with Aroldis Chapman getting the save. I still need to grab a Chapman bobblehead and the prices have come down a bit on his now that he's a Yankee. I'm glad things didn't pan out for Chapman going to the Dodgers. Seeing Cueto and Chapman on the west coast in the National League would have been too much for me to handle psychologically.

Monday, May 9, 2016

And the Winner Is....

Congratulations to JediJeff for being selected and thank you all who entered. JediJeff shoot me an email at lucksc0620 at with your address and I'll get your cards out to you.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Contest Reminder

Just a reminder that my May 4th Star Wars card giveaway ends today at midnight. Leave a comment on the contest post and I'll be sure to enter you in the randomizer. The drawing will held Monday. Thanks again!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A May the 4th Giveaway!

I realize I'm a day late getting this out, but better late then never. I'm in the process of completing my 2015 Topps Chrome Star Wars Perspectives set and I have a duplicate subset to give out to one lucky reader. There are 10 cards total in this set (as you can see in the picture on the left). This set was actually sent to me by mistake from an eBay seller when I purchased another insert set. The seller was gracious enough to let me keep the cards so I've decided to pass these on to someone who'll appreciate them. Just comment below and on Monday May 9th I'll randomize the entries. Feel free to share the contest on your blog for an additional chance to win. Thanks and good luck!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Adding to the Hoard!

This past weekend I was able to add more than 50 2014 Bowman Billy Hamilton rookie cards to my collection (66 to be exact). I had been watching the listing on eBay for a couple of months but the $30 price tag was a bit too much to for me to pull the trigger. Last monday I noticed that the listing had ended and I immediately jumped to the conclusion that another Billy collector had purchased the lot, but that wasn't the case. Instead, the seller had decided to list the item as an auction, probably because he needed to move the cards instead of having them take up space. With a $4.99 starting bid I decided I wouldn't go above $15.00 for the lot. I'm glad to say that for $11.05 I was able to purchase the 68 count lot. That comes out to just over $.16 a card. I guess patience does pay off. I'm now at 30% complete with this goal. With Dee Gordon out for 80 games this year, I'm hoping that Billy can finally finish the season as the NL Stolen Base leader for 2016. While his bat is sorely lacking, his defense in center field this year has been phenomenal!.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Black is a Color of the Rainbow!

It's been a loooooooooong time since I've been able to add a card to my Joey Votto rainbow project. I had seen a 2013 Topps Chrome pink refractor a few months back that I had thought about purchasing but by the time I decided to pull the trigger the card had sold. I guess that's what happens when you procrastinate. Last week, a listing popped up on eBay for a 2013 Topps Mini black border parallel Votto numbered 1/5. It wasn't listed as a "Buy It Now" but as a standard auction. I didn't know how high this card would sell and it was the first I've ever seen this card show up anywhere. The opening bid was $9.99 and there was already a bid placed on the card when I found it with 6 days remaining. Now I normally don't condone sniping but since the listing ended just after 11pm and I'm in bed by 10, I didn't want to post a bid with an opportunity for the original bidder to respond with me fast asleep. So I placed my bid on Gixen a few days before the end of the auction and waited patiently. Imagine me surprise when I woke up the day after the auction closed and found out that I had won the card for $10.50. I was willing to spend a lot more than that, but I can't complain that I feel like I got this card for a steal. With this purchase I only need 5 more cards to complete my rainbow project: a 2013 Topps Factory Set Orange parallel, a 2013 Topps Opening Day Toys r Us Purple parallel, a 2013 Topps Chrome Camo refractor, a 2013 Topps Chrome Pink refractor, and a 2013 Topps Silver Slate Platinum parallel.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Stick a Fork In It!

This project is done! This past week I was able to purchase the last two 1991 Topps Desert Shield cards I needed for my Reds team set: Paul O'Neill and Eric Davis. I was a bit surprised how much Eric the Red set me back because he was just as much as the Barry Larkin cards I had purchased earlier. Not only that but I had only found a total of 3 Davis cards online. Talk about slim pickings. I'm glad I finally put this project to bed. Without further ado, here are the last two cards. If you're interested you can view the complete 1991 Topps Desert Shield Reds team set here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Sign of the Times

Not everything I have is related to the Cincinnati Reds. There are a couple of sets that I've been working on or have completed that deal nothing with the Reds. Case in point, I have a couple of Stadium Club sets that are the first issue of the brand in football and hockey. I also have a 1989-90 Hoops set and I'm close to finishing my 1986-87 Fleer basketball set (in a matter of speaking). Let's not forget that I'm chasing some Topps baseball sets that include other teams beside my beloved Reds. So it's no surprise that while I'm finishing up my Red's Man Cave that there will probably be a few items that are Red specific. The first is this tin sign my sister picked up for me years ago for a Christmas gift. I love the subject matter of the sign...Shoeless Joe Jackson selling shoes, that's awesome! I love nostalgia and these tin advertisement signs just ooze with it. There are a couple of other signs I would like to purchase for the cave but you'll have to wait another day to find out what signs I want to add.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

2016 Reds Opening Day

I've always wanted to go to Opening Day. It's been on my bucket list for years. Each year I register with the Reds to enter a lottery to purchase tickets because it's not practical for me to purchase season tickets or one of their other ticket packages when I live more than three hours from the ballpark. Luckily, my in-laws had a couple of tickets that they had purchased a while ago since my mother-in-law is a Rosie Red member but she had made other commitments and forgot about the day of the game. They were gracious enough to offer me a ticket and I can't thank them enough for the opportunity to attend my first Opening Day game.

Each year the city of Cincinnati has the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade. I had no desire to see the parade since I knew it would last around 2 hours and we would be pushing it to make it into the ballpark before the first pitch. I did see one of the concerts and the block party that was going on just outside the stadium.

Once you made it through the crown there was another line of people waiting to get into the park. Gates opened at 2:10 and it took us roughly around 10 minutes to get into the park.

We were able to make our way around the park without any problems since a lot of fans were still outside the stadium enjoying the parade and concerts. We were able to catch the Phillies batting practice, something I hadn't done at a game since days of Riverfront.

And here's my first selfie on the blog. Many thanks again to my in-laws for the ticket. My father-in-law was gracious enough to attend the game with me.

I am thankful that we decided to get into the park early because the lines only got worse as it got closer to game time. Here's a view looking down from the ballpark to Crosley Terrace that sits at the main entrance of Great American Ballpark.

While a lot of people only wore jerseys and t shirts, the scoreboard said the temperature was a brisk 55 degrees. Being originally from Cincinnati I knew that it can get cold when the wind is coming off the banks of the river. I'm glad I brought a jacket because by the time we left the game the temperature had dropped to 40 degrees.

I wasn't use to the elaborate player introductions of Opening Day. Normally the announcers race through the rosters but it was great seeing the coaches, bench players and starters honored. What EVERYONE found odd during the intros was the fact that Joey Votto didn't come out of the dugout when his name was announced. Apparently Bryan Price had no clue where Votto was and I his absence miffed some of the fans. The national anthem was spectacular with the giant American flag unfurled in the outfield by members of Cincinnati's Fire Department.  

It was icing on the cake that I was able to witness a win on Opening Day. I'm glad I can finally mark that off my bucket list.

And I have a nice souvenir to add to my Reds collection.