Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Feeling a bit empty


This year has been for me, and many, a tough year to get through. It's almost as if it's the year that wasn't...but was. From March through December it just felt as though I was living in some parallel universe where nothing was the same yet it seemed that everyday was a repeat of the day before. Almost like the movie Groundhog Day, but on PEDs. I just kind of wandered through this year in a haze and it's been reflective in my hobby as well. Sure I was able to put together this year's Topps Cincinnati Reds flagship set. I'm grateful that there weren't any super short prints for me to chase. But other than that I didn't really collect much. That being said, I did start on one more 1991 Stadium Club set this year. While I have the baseball, football and hockey sets from 1991 as well as the baseball pre-production set, there's still a couple of Members Only sets I would like to get but those are small potatoes compared to what I'm building right now. I was able to purchase a huge lot of press proofs a few months back. In fact, the lot I purchased was the entire series 1 set with the exception of Rickey Henderson. Luckily I was able to track him down on comc as well as the hall of famers and rookies in series 2 so now I just have commons to chase. Since I'm two thirds of the way done with the set I'm hopeful that sometime next year or perhaps 2022 I'll be able to wrap it up. The difference with these proofs compared to the regular stadium club cards is that there's no gold foil and no UV gloss protection on the card. It's almost like an empty stadium club card. Personally I think they're great and it's been a fun project thus far to chase. Here's hoping to a Happy New Year to us all. Hopefully 2021 will make us smile again like Tony here.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Movin On Up


September, I guess you could say, would be called the Rose month for me. I spent the majority of last month tracking down various Rose cards for my Pete Rose PC. I was able to get 65 cards, of course 60 of those cards belonged to the 2011 Leaf Pete Rose Legacy set. The other 5 cards came from 2013 and were all Pinnacle cards. Two of those were the Clear Vision inserts and the other three were the Die-Cut Pete Rose Hit King inserts. I'm still disappointed with myself for getting rid of my Pete Rose PC a few years back. I think I was just getting burnt out of the hobby and decided to downsize. Regardless, I'm slowly reacquiring cards that I let go but I'm being more selective on the Panini products. There are some that I'm just not a fan of and I won't buy them (at least not anytime soon) when there are still a ton of oddball issue cards from the 70s and 80s that I'm still trying to track down (Kelloggs, Hostess, Drakes, O'Connell & Sons, etc.) I did notice that when I finally updated my PC collection on TCDB that I'm now the #1 Rose collector on the site. Not sure how long that will last but it's nice to be king of the mountain when I was in the #25 spot just over a month ago.

Friday, August 28, 2020

They Just Have a Certain Flair to Them


Earlier this year I decided to chase the 1993 Topps Finest set. Although I never saw those cards for sale in 1993, I thought it would be a great set to chase. Topps first iteration of chrome cards would be a nice addition to my collection, or so I thought. In 1993 I purchased about a dozen "packs" of 1993 Fleer's pristine product "Flair". I thought it was ingenious for Fleer to package their cards in a little box, to have those cards wrapped up in cellophane inside the box and then have the outside of the box cellophaned as well. I did own the set at one time, but got rid of it. Anyway, after I completed the 1993 Topps Finest set I just couldn't get into it. Maybe it's because I never bought any packs of the stuff. Maybe it's because I appreciated the photography used in the 1993 Flair set, or the slick UV gloss coating each and every card. Or it could be the thick card stock that almost makes these cards impossible to put in a 9 card page. Regardless, I sold the set about a month ago and picked up another 1993 Flair set with the Wave of the Future insert set as well. I don't know what it is, but it seems like as I get older I've started appreciating the different sets that Fleer released in the 90s and early 2000s. I miss the day of Topps, Upper Deck, Donruss, Fleer and Score. Now it's just Topps and Panini and it seems like the cards that are being released now are looking like a rehash of the previous year's design. Maybe I'm becoming the proverbial Grumpy Old Man as I get older. I don't think I'm asking for much when I say that I want some ingenuity when it comes to the design of cards. Maybe, just maybe, I'm longing for the good ole days of collecting cards.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Always Prefer On Card

When it comes to autographs I always prefer the on card type instead of sticker graphs. For whatever reason, I feel as though an on card auto was perhaps handled by the individual who signed it instead of a page of stickers that someone signed and sent back to the manufacturer. Case in point, Pete Rose has a ton of autographs out there. Many of these autographs are in Leaf products and many of these (especially his Living Legend autos) are sticker graphs. Don't get me wrong, I won't pass up a Rose autograph if the price is right, but sticker graphs are a dime a dozen and I'm willing to shell out more money for one that isn't. This 2014 Leaf Q is a perfect example. Did I pay more that I should have, sure I did. But I really like the card and I love the fact that the auto is ON CARD. There are a few other Leaf Q on card autographs I would still like to chase down, but those can wait for another day.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Home Runs and Strikeouts

I've been working on my 2003 Fleer Authentix set now for 17 years! Talk about a long project. I didn't think it would take this long to track down every single card (not counting the parallels) for this set, but it has. I'm still 4 cards shy of wrapping up this project. Once I track down that last card and place it in the binder I will breathe a sigh of relief and be proud of the accomplishing a task that's going on two decades to complete. Until then, I'll show off a couple of cards I picked up for this set.

There are three autographs to be found in 2003 Fleer Authentix: Barry Bonds, Derek Jeter, and Nolan Ryan. The Bonds I acquired back in January of this year and the Ryan I finally pulled the trigger on last week and purchased. I think it's fantastic that I now own autographs for the all time leaders in strikeouts and home runs. That just leaves the captain to acquire sometime in the foreseeable future. The other cards I still need are a Hometown Heroes Johnny Damon relic, and base cards of Chin-Feng Chen and Bobby Doerr.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

You look marvelous for 111 years old!

It's been quite some time since I've added a vintage card to my collection. Over the past year I've been concentrating on my Votto Rookie Card project and I've been neglecting the few pre-war sets I have on my want list. If I were to devote more time to grabbing the cards I want from the T206, 1933 and 1934 Goudey, and 1941 Play Ball sets I could probably have half of those completed by the end of the year. Unfortunately, my attention span is that of a gnat and I get distracted easily with other things. Anyway, back to my latest addition to my Reds card collection. I found this T206 Bescher on eBay yesterday for a price I was willing to pay. The condition was decent (no creases) and the colors were nice and bright as well as a nice clean back. With this pickup, I'm down to only needing 9 more cards to complete the Reds T206 set. Unfortunately, 4 of those cards are Hall of Famers (2 Miller Huggins and 2 Clark Griffiths).

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Gatorade Baths

As the 2020 baseball season teeters on the brink I was reading some of the articles posted the past few months about some of the stipulations that would be put in place IF the season were to proceed. One of those included no player showers after games. I guess that's ok as long as players are no longer permitted to celebrate with the mobbing at home plate or the post game gatorade baths. Sure, it stinks "literally" but it's a different world we live in right now. That being said, yesterday I stumbled upon a couple of super short prints that I thought I would never own since they were so far out of my price range a year ago. These two cards together ran me the same price as it would if I had purchased just one of these a few months ago.

2017 Topps 288 SSP Joey Votto

2019 Topps US 50 SSP Nick Senzel

While I'm not a fan of the super short print concept, I think both of these cards are fantastic images and I'm glad that they're finally part of my collection.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Second Time Around

I'm sure we collectors have done this before. Thinned out our collections over time and gotten rid of cards we thought no longer fit only to have second thoughts later about what we've done. Last year I decided to purge a lot of cards that didn't fit into the baseball category. This included my Stadium Club Football and Hockey sets, my 1989 Hoops and 1990 Skybox Basketball sets, my 2015 Topps Update All-Star Stitch set, and my Star Wars Chrome Perspectives set. Needless to say, a few months after I purged my collection I started having regrets about my decision. Many of those sets I remember putting together as a kid by buying packs at the local card shop or by getting wax boxes from my parents for Christmas when I was in high school. Over the past few months I've been able to reacquire the Stadium Club sets and the 1990 Skybox set. I never got rid of the 1989 Hoops set so that was a plus. Last week I was able to track down the last prototype I needed for my Skybox set so I'm glad to have that set completed. It was just as fun completing this set the second time around as it was the first.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Hitting the Three Quarter Mark

Today I was able to add my thirtieth card for my Senzel rookie card project. This 2019 Bowman Chrome puts me at needing just ten more cards left to acquire in this project. The last ten cards aren't cheap, but they are cheaper than the vintage Goudey cards I'm chasing down. I should definitely have this wrapped up by the end of the year. It's been fun acquiring Senzel's rookie cards since his rookie season was the same year that the Reds were celebrating 150 years since their founding and the cards show many of the different throwback uniforms the team wore during the season. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.

Monday, March 9, 2020


According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of the term changeup is "a slow pitch in baseball thrown with the same motion as a fastball in order to deceive the batter". Wikipedia also mentions other names for the term changeup including: change, off-speed pitch, or change-of-pace. Over the weekend I was taking a look at the rookie cards I had acquired of Nick Senzel for my Senzational Rookies project and decided to change things up. While I could try to track down the numerous parallels of certain cards I had listed on the blog, specifically Bowman, Bowman's Best, Topps Update, Heritage and Chrome, I would be spending a large chunk of change on acquiring those cards just for different color borders and lower print runs. I've already attempted the rainbow thing with Joey Votto and his 2013 Topps Cards and I've been tracking down parallels for my 2008 Joey Votto rookie project. It just didn't make sense to me to throw a lot of money chasing parallels for this project too. Besides, it's been a while since I've devoted any funds to some of my vintage team sets and I would like to add more T206 and Goudey cards to my Reds binders before the end of the year. With that in mind, I've drastically pared down the number of Senzel rookie cards I'm chasing from 90 to 40. What boggles my mind is that out of those 50 cards I cut, all but 3 were parallels. I should definitely have this project wrapped up by the end of the year.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

It's been 2 years!

That's right, it's been 2 years since I've been able to add a card to my 2013 Topps Joey Votto Rainbow project. Talk about a dry spell. This card appeared on eBay last week with an option of Buy it Now or Best Offer. Needless to say, I decided to pay full price for this card since this was only the second time since 2013 that I had seen a copy. The card arrived yesterday in the mail and I've already added the card to the binder. This marks my 36th card for this project. My goal is to track down four more cards for this project: 2013 Topps Factory Orange numbered to 230, 2013 Topps Silver Slate Framed numbered to 10, 2013 Topps Opening Day Toys R Us Purple, and a 2013 Topps Chrome Pink Refractor numbered to 5. At the rate I'm going now, I should have this wrapped up in 2030.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

2020 Topps Reds Base Set is On the Way

I ordered my Series 1 Topps 2020 Cincinnati Reds Team Set today on eBay. Today's also the first day that I saw the design for this year's flagship brand from Topps. I'm not too thrilled with the look of this year's design. For whatever reason, I just get the feeling that Topps is slowly blending the look of it's flagship brand with Bowman. I can't stand it. You could once tell what cards belonged to what, not so much. In addition to that, Topps also decided to include short prints once again in this year's release. Some are ok, but this is the second consecutive year that they've included a super short print (that being the Aquino closeup). It's bad enough that the Aquino short prints are selling in the $40 price range on eBay and I've yet to see a super short print appear on the site. I'm sure those will be going well north of $100. Maybe in a few weeks the prices will drop as everyone's rushing to buy their cards now, but I doubt those Aquinos will fall simply because of what he did at the end of last season and the fact that his card has that little RC logo on it.

Monday, February 3, 2020

The Only Football Set I'll Own

Over the weekend I decided to purchase a complete 500 card set of 1991 Topps Stadium Club Football. I remember my mom getting a wax box (if you want to call it that even though the packs were plastic) of this for me Christmas 1991. It was fantastic tearing into it, looking at the full bleed photos and flipping each card over to look at the player's rookie card photo on the back. I loved everything about the Stadium Club brand in their inaugural debut. I've now acquired the baseball, football and hockey sets from that year. I'm on the fence as to whether or not I should track down the Charter Member and Member Only sets as well as the Stadium Club dome set. They're not "must haves" for me but I think it would be neat to have the full run from 1991 since I did want those cards 29 years ago. What about you guys? Are there still cards your on the fence about collecting that you wanted when you were younger?

Thursday, January 2, 2020

The Pinnacle of My Collection

It's a new year and time to add a new set. I felt like there was a gaping hole in my collection that just needed to be filled. I started collecting baseball cards in 1986 and was very involved in the hobby through 1993. During that time we had some new players come on the scene. Score and Upper Deck came decided to show up to the party to give Topps, Donruss and Fleer a run for their money. It was during this time that companies tried to one up each other with releasing premium sets mostly to compete with Upper Deck's debut in 1989. Donruss released it's Leaf brand in 1990, followed by Topps showcasing it's Stadium Club brand and Fleer releasing Ultra in 1991 and Score debuting it's Pinnacle line in 1992 while Topps released it's revamped Bowman line that focused heavily on rookies that same year. Then Topps decided to get crazy and release Finest in 1993 and things just went berserk after that. For a while I had a complete 1992 Bowman set in my collection, but I never really cared for the design. Maybe it was the way stats were displayed on the back or the candid photos of rookies in their street clothes. Regardless, I got rid of the set a few years ago and created the predicament I had, no set for 1992. Well, I finally filled that hole today when I purchased a complete set of 1992 Pinnacle for less than a blaster from eBay. While I still have the insert sets to chase down, I'm glad to own the base set and I'm glad this hole is finally filled in my collection.