Monday, December 16, 2019

Puck-er Up

Every now and then I think back to card shops I visited as a kid that have been closed now for years. Whether it was walking round the perimeter of the store gazing are the cards in penny sleeves that were thumb tacked to the cork boards, peering at the vintage cards that were piled up in the display cases, or even gazing at the latest and greatest wax boxes that were stacked behind those same display cases, each of those memories makes me long to go back to that time when cards were king and life was so much simpler. One of those wax boxes that I had always admired (and even bought a few pack) was 1991 Stadium Club Hockey. I wasn't a huge hockey fan growing up and even today I don't really follow the sport. I attend a game or two here in Cleveland every year to watch the Lake Erie Monsters (the Columbus Blue Jacket's minor league hockey team) but that's about it. That being said, I love everything about the early iterations of Stadium Club. It doesn't matter if it's baseball, football or hockey, I think these cards are fantastic. This past weekend I was able to purchase a complete 400 card set off eBay for $12 shipped. I'm glad to have this set back in my collection and I'm hoping that sometime next year I can get the 1991 Stadium Club football set. Maybe I'll even track down some wax boxes of these three sets. I'm just grateful that these packs are no longer $5 each.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019


This is my second Goudey Reds card from the 1934 set. This was one of the more expensive cards I'm chasing in this set, the other being Chick Haffey. Lombardi was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1986 by the Veteran's Committee. In addition to being known for his big nose, hence the nickname, but also for "Lombardi's Big Snooze" during the 1939 World Series. According to Wikipedia, during the fourth game of the 1939 World Series, in the 10th inning, with the score tied and runners on first and third, Joe DiMaggio singled. One run scored, then Reds outfielder Ival Goodman fumbled the ball. Yankees right fielder Charlie "King Kong" Keller, well known for his sturdy physique, beat the throw to catcher Lombardi and inadvertently hit "The Schnozz" in his groin. Unfortunately for the Reds and Lombardi, he had failed to wear his protective cup and Lombardi was in pain and dazed. DiMaggio raced around the bases and scored while the ball was just a few feet away from the dazed Lombardi. The press was hugely critical of the sensitive catcher because of this and it came to be known as "Lombardi's Big Snooze".

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

1950 Bowman Reds Team Set

12 cards total in this set. A much improved design over the 1949 Bowman set. My only gripe is the small card size, but Bowman fixed that with their 1951 release.

26 Grady Hatton
27 Herman Wehmeier
62 Ted Kluszewski
63 Ewell Blackwell
80 Howard Fox
81 Ron Northey
116 Red Stallcup
168 Bob Scheffing
172 Harry Lowrey
173 Lloyd Merriman
197 Johnny Wyrostek
198 Danny Litwhiler

Friday, November 1, 2019

1949 Bowman Reds Team Set

There's a total of 12 cards in this set. Bowman decided to add some color to this year's release instead of sticking with the black and white photos that they used the previous year. The other noticeable difference are the name plates that are found on the front of the higher numbered cards.

5 Hank Sauer
21 Frank Baumholtz
37 John Wyrostek
51 Herman Wehmeier
62 Grady Hatton
81 Virgl Stallcup
97 Danny Litwhiler
113 Ray Lamanno
128 Johnny Vander Meer
160 Jim Blackburn
176 Ken Raffensberger
192 Harry Gumbert


Thursday, October 31, 2019

1948 Bowman Reds Team Set

I finished this set earlier this year and I'm just now getting around to posting about it. There's a total of 5 cards in this black and white set which made it easy to track down.

2 Ewell Blackwell
39 Augie Galan
44 Johnny Wyrostek
45 Hank Sauer
46 Herman Wehmeier

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Forgetting the First Rule of Collecting

Collecting shouldn't feel like a chore. It's a hobby that one should enjoy. When it starts feeling like a chore, or a job for that matter, then it's lost its purpose entirely. A few years back I started a PC of my favorite Reds player of all time. I had amassed more than 600 unique Pete Rose cards at the pinnacle of collecting his cards. While I can reflect now that 600 was a lot for someone who last took the field 30 years ago, I wasn't content with my collection. The parallels and short prints that comprised Donruss in 2008 as well and Leaf and Panini from 2011 to today just became too overwhelming for me. I felt that if I couldn't own every single Pete Rose card that the hobby produced then it made no sense having a PC of Rose. So I dumped the collection...all 600+ cards. It was freeing knowing that I no longer had to set aside funds to chase down a numbered color parallel to 10 or a short print photo variation; however, there was a part of me that regretted that decision. The variety of cards that I had acquired from the 70s and 80s (Kelloggs, Kahn's, Purina, Nestle, Hostess, Drake's, Coca-Cola, Squirt) was fantastic. It showed a time when anyone and everyone was producing baseball cards to include in their products. These were cards that I had wanted to grab when I was a kid but couldn't afford to buy didn't have the funds to acquire them at the time. After a lot of thought I decided I would create another Pete Rose PC collection but with one major difference. I would make sure that I would abide by some of the cardinal rules of collecting.....collect what you like and have a goal in mind. So, I've already stated my enjoyment of the oddball issues of the 70s and 80s. My goal for this PC will be to keep everything within Pete's time in the majors. Nothing past 1989. There are a couple of cards I will be trying to track down that won't be part of this collection (2014 Leaf Q autographed jersey relic, a 2014 Leaf Q Pure Auto, and the 2015 Leaf Sportkings base, mini and autograph cards) but that's it. I know that if I stick to my goals I'll enjoy putting this PC together and it won't feel like a chore this time around.

Monday, September 23, 2019


I haven't purchased much vintage lately. Instead of focusing on some of my Reds wantlist items I've been consumed with trying to track down 2011 Gypsy Queen autographs and other modern cards. Luckily I was able to stumble across this 1909 T206 Rebel Oakes Sweet Caporal on eBay for just a hair over $30 shipped. Although Rebel is not Mr. Oakes given name, it's Ennis for those that are interested, one interesting tidbit of information I found fascinating wat that both he and Miller Huggins were traded from the Reds to the Cardinals in 1910 for Fred Beebe. With this purchase I now have 13 of the 24 T206 Reds cards that comprise this set. I would like to try and purchase one or two more before the end of the year.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

NOW we're talking!

I've been on the fence ever since Topps announced its Topps Now program. While the idea intrigued me that only a certain amount of cards would be produced to meet demand at that time, I didn't like $9.99 price tag for each card. That was a little too rich for me. That being said, I had an epiphany yesterday (or an apostrophy as Mr. Smee states in Hook). Why not limit my foray into Topps Now with just one player for just one year. I decided I would pick up any 2019 Topps Now Nick Senzel cards since Topps has yet to release any rookie cards of the outfielder in the flagship set this year, even though I'm sure that will change when Topps releases their Update and Highlight series this fall. I've become a fan of Senzel since he was called up earlier this year. His numbers have been decent with a .269 BA, 8 HR, and a .799 OPS in 60 games this season. Here are the four cards I have of Mr Senzel

2019 Topps Now #172 Print Run 2217

2019 Topps Now #174 Print Run 1271

2019 Topps Now #183 Print Run 887

2019 Topps Now Moment of the Week 5 Print Run 700

I think my favorite of the bunch is the Moment of the Week card. The 1869 Red Stockings throwback uniforms are fantastic and showing Senzel celebrate after hitting his first major league home run is icing on the cake. Just a fantastic card. I won't be chasing any other Topps Now cards after this year but it's nice to add something new to the collection even if it doesn't necessarily fit every now and then.

Monday, June 17, 2019

The Bane that is Short Prints

I've come to expect that each year I'll have to track down a short print or two in the Topps flagship set. Photo variations, retired stars or hall of famers, you name it and Topps has done it all for the sake of adding cards we collectors must chase if we want to have a "complete" team set. Sure, I could choose to ignore them completely and stick with only collecting the standard checklist, but the ocd portion of my brain would always be stewing over these cards. Of course it wasn't always like that. I still remember the junk wax days fondly knowing that I could put together a Reds team set for less than $5. Now it's not uncommon for me to spend around $20. If there's a super short print involved then all bets are off. That being said, I just noticed this past weekend that Topps released it's series 2 set for this year and I wasn't surprised to find out that there were 3 short prints in the series. I was able to track down the 12 card base set as well as the 3 short prints on eBay for just over $23. I wonder if there will come a day when Topps decides to go back to the way things were and put a stick of gum back in a pack of cards and remove those nefarious short prints from flagship. Who am I kidding, that's just asking too much.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

It ain't over til it's over

It's been a year and a half since I've been able to add another card to the 2013 Topps Votto Rainbow. Patience definitely pays. I was surprised last week to see this black printing plate pop up on eBay. I already have printing plates for Opening Day, Chrome and Topps Mini but I had yet to find a printing plate for the base Topps. On top of that the other three printing plates I had were for different colors: yellow, cyan and magenta. Luckily I was able to come out as the high bidder and I'm now anxiously awaiting for it's arrival in the mail. With this pick up I'm down to just needing five more cards for my rainbow: 2013 Topps Factory Orange numbered to 230, 2013 Topps Wrapper Redemption Silver Slate numbered to 10, 2013 Topps Opening Day Toy's R Us Purple parallel, 2013 Topps Chrome Camo Refractor numbered to 15 and 2013 Topps Chrome Pink Refractor numbered to 5.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Lou Gehrig says...

Lou Gehrig says that I got this Tony Piet for a steal. I stumbled across this listing last week on eBay with a starting bid of $.99. Once the auction wrapped up this past Sunday the auction ended with a final price of $.99. There are no creases in the card and with a few fuzzy corners and a little bit of surface wear I would say that for once I came out way ahead on a listing. I love the design of the 1934 Goudeys. With the Gehrig tag line on the bottom to the sharp colors and baseball diamond drawing in the background, this is one of my favorite pre-war card sets ever produced. The Piet is the first Goudey to enter my collection and I hope to add a few more before the end of the year.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Not Everything is Black and White

That being said, everything is black and white when it comes to the 1948 Bowman set. Last week I was able to purchase 4 out of the 5 Reds cards I needed for this set at a decent price. While I'm not a huge fan of the 48 Bowman set, it still holds some significance being the first set distributed after World War II. Almost every single card I've seen of the set is either a portrait or staged photo. Bowman did follow up the 48 set with a 49 set that incorporated color, but that wasn't much of an improvement. My opinion is that if Bowman was going to use a black and white color pallet for their intro into the baseball card arena, try to make the border exciting or something. Just look at the 1922 American Carmel cards. Those cards are black and white but their design is amazing. Just my two cents. I still find it fascinating that Hank Sauer started his major league career playing for the Reds.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Milling Around

Here's the latest T206 to enter my collection. This marks my 12th T206 card and the first to feature the Old Mill advertising. I'm 11 cards shy of completing the Reds team set so I'm officially past the halfway mark on completing this team set. On a side note, I discovered that Dubuc was caught up in the largest scandal in baseball history. During the 1920 investigation into the Black Sox Scandal, evidence was discovered showing that Sleepy Bill Burns had advised Dubuc that the 1919 World Series had been fixed and that Dubuc should, therefore, bet on the Cincinnati Reds. Dubuc was neither a participant nor a conspirator in the scandal, but was pursued for his "guilty knowledge" of the fix. (according to Wikipedia).

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

2019 Topps

I realize that Topps released their 2019 flagship series one cards a few days ago, so I'm a little late to the party. I do like the design of this year's set. Although there aren't any borders, the hockey stick style that's reminiscent of the 1982 design comes close to providing one. I just wish Topps hadn't included the pixel effect on the cards. There are a few Reds base cards that immediately grabbed my attention in this year's series one release. The first being Billy Hamilton with the ivy at Wrigley.

I'm still disappointed that Hamilton is no longer with the Reds. Defensively, he's a beast and has some of the greatest catches I've ever seen a center fielder make. Offensively, he just doesn't have the bat to at least get on base. Maybe he'll be able to pull it together in Kansas City. The second card I admire is Joey Votto stretching before his at bat. For whatever reason, this card reminds me of all the Leaf Pete Rose cards that show Charlie Hustle doing the exact same thing.

Finally, this Votto short print is fantastic. It's something you don't see very often from Topps in a base flagship set. Every time I look at this card I hear the same phrase repeated over and over in my head, "Damn he's smooth."

So, that's my thoughts about 2019 Topps series one. I'm already looking forward to series two as long as there are no super short prints I have to chase.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Reevaluating My Collection

I'll be honest...I'm to the point of burnout when it comes to my collection. So much so that I've decided to thin out my collection in a big way. I've spent the past week posting A LOT of stuff on eBay. I've sold my 2015 Topps All Star Stitch set as well as my 1990-91 Skybox set with prototypes. I've listed my complete Kahn's Cincinnati Reds team sets as well as my HOF rookie card project and my recently started Joey Votto rookie card project. One project that I started on the beginning of last year that I never got around to blogging about was the 2015 Topps Strata Shadowbox set. I was able to acquire half of the set but decided I'll probably never finish it so I've listed the cards separately. Not sure if I'll stop here or if I'll keep purging. I know that I plan on keeping my Topps Reds cards from 1952-present as well as my 1949-51 Bowman Reds cards and my t206 Reds cards. I just feel like my collection has gotten out of hand and I want to get back to actually enjoying collecting again instead of it feeling like a chore. If anyone's interested here's the link to the stuff I have listed