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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Awesome Vintage Cards In An Instagram Trade With Jet

While I was on vacation and touring different card shops, I got a few messages from a kid in Oklahoma named Jet.  Aside from having one of the coolest names that I can remember, Jet also has quite the personality.  I have rarely met a teenager who is into vintage cards and it is even rarer to find one, especially his age, who is working on a seriously vintage set.

Jet is putting together the 1954 Topps set and already has a bunch of the cards.  He has one of the biggest cards in the set,the Hank Aaron RC, which, to me, is amazing.  Pretty awesome that this guy has already knocked out a sweet RC; a legendary one, at that!

So, I wanted to help him out and found several 1954s that he needed and worked up a deal with him.  Jet clearly won the trade, but that was my intention all along.  I wanted to give a little boost to a kid who was spending his allowance on something of substance, instead of wasting it on current fads, or even worse.

The key card I sent Jet was the 1954 Topps Whitey Ford, Jet's favorite player.  The other 54s I got him were very low grade, but he was perfectly content with them and accepted them with no problem.

Jet worked up a decent enough package so that I wouldn't feel like he wiped the floor with me in winning the trade and it included the above PSA graded 4 1969 Brooks Robinson.  I already have a graded 1967 Brooks, so this 1969 (with a very similar photo on the front of the card) will go right beside it.
The card of his that I wanted the most, though, was the duplicate he had of the 1954 Topps Yogi Berra.  This one is a little rougher than the one he kept for his set, but I love it.  I could have bought one off Ebay for about $40 or so, but I don't care.  The card is so cool and I'm happy to add it to my vintage Hall of Famer collection.
Jet also included some other nice vintage like this autographed 1965 Topps Embossed Frank Malzone.  Malzone (b. 1930) played in the majors from 1955 to 1966 for the Red Sox and Angels.  He had a really good, consistent career where he had 1,486 hits,133 home runs and a .274 batting average.  He finished second in the 1957 AL Rookie of the Year Award voting (to Tony Kubek) and 7th in the MVP voting that year (Mickey Mantle took home the trophy).  Malzone was a 6-time All Star as well.
Jet included a few 'commons' from some vintage sets as well, like the above 1968 Topps Ed Brinkman.  He also included a 1959 Don Newcombe and the below Pete Runnels, which I already had in my set, but I will check to see if they are upgrades at all.
I really enjoyed this trade with Jet because I was helping a young collector tackle the tough task of building a great vintage set.  I really hope I can help him out some more along the way and see him complete the thing sooner, rather than later.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Instagram Trade With Michael S.

I completed a trade over Instagram with a guy from Texas named Michael when I sent him some set needs from 1958 Topps in exchange for some vintage Orioles and cards that he originally thought were 1969 Topps, but turned out to be 1968 Topps.  Honest mistake.  Luckily, I haven't tried to build the 1968 set, so any and all cards from that year are welcome.

The above 1967 Topps Frank Robinson is a PC need that I had yet to pick up and I was glad Michael added it into our deal.  The 1967 set is really growing on me and I have gotten quite a few star cards that I really like.
The 1968's that Michael sent me were more than common fillers.  There were a couple Hall of Famers and some other stars, like the above Mike Cuellar.  This one is in really good shape.  I think I have one, but I'm not completely sure, but I'm still happy to have this one.
Another star card I got was this Gil Hodges.  At some point, I imagine that Hodges will be in the Hall, but at this moment, he isn't.
Finally, one of the Hall of Famers I got was this Ron Santo.  I don't have very many Santo cards.  I was really happy when he was elected to the Hall, but it was a shame that it came a year too late, as Santo passed away before he could enjoy enshrinement.

So, thanks for the trade, Michael!  I hope you finish your 1958 set soon!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cards From Vacation

One of the things I enjoyed while I was on my vacation was that there were several card shops right near where we were staying in Michigan.  I visited two different shops (one of the shops, I visited twice) while on vacation and left them with a great many cards for my collection.

One of the shops had a box of really rough vintage cards that he hadn't gone through, yet, and I was working on a trade on Instagram for some 1954 Topps, so I offered to sort the box for the guy.  He had no problem with that, and I really enjoyed it.  I found some rough treasures, and had a good time chatting with some of the other patrons of the shop.

I found the above 1955 Bowman Ralph Kiner in the box.  It has seen better days and I almost put it back in the box, but part of me figured that no one would appreciate it the way I would, so I added it to my pile.  It pretty much became a throw-in in our overall deal, so I was glad I added it.
This 1953 Bowman Warren Spahn had also seen better days, but I love '53s, so I made sure to add it as well.  I have the Musial and Reese out of this set, and each card I see looks really awesome.  The 1953 set is one of the best-looking in all of the card sets out there in history, so anytime I can pick one up, I try to.
On that note, I saw this Nellie Fox 1953 Bowman and wasn't too interested, initially, but I figured that I really didn't have any of Fox's cards in my colection, and it, too, was a 1953 Bowman, so I added it to the pile as well.  Fox is one of those guys that you kind of forget is a Hall of Famer, but he is, and had passed away long before he was enshrined, so he was one of those guys who never got to enjoy being a Hall of Famer.
I had seen this Robin Roberts posted on other blogs before, but when I saw the opportunity to get this one for $2.50, I jumped all over it. Roberts is shown as a Yankee on this card, but he would never pitch a game for them.  He had been purchased by the Yankees from the Phillies in October of 1961, only to be released by the Yankees in May of 1962.  He was picked up by the Orioles on the same day and would have a bit of a career renaissance in Baltimore and was pivotal in adding veteran leadership to that young pitching staff.  He was released by the Orioles in July of 1965.  Had he been able to stick with the Orioles for one more year, he may have been able to collect his first World Series ring.  A World Series Championship was something that Roberts would be missing from his Hall of Fame resume.
Sometimes, when I look at vintage cards, I really enjoy seeing the old, obsolete teams and their jerseys.  I picked up this 1966 Topps Catfish Hunter for a steal.  I had my choice of this or a 1967, and I chose this one.  I felt that it showed off the uniform much better.  The current A's colors are correct, but seeing the KC hat just seems odd.  This is a great shot of the future Hall of Famer, and a 2nd-year card, no less.
Here's another with a cool retro uniform.  I took significant chunks out of my 1959 and 1969 sets while vising the shops as well.  I forgot to count how many from each set that I purchased, but I know I had more 1959s than 1969s and I got more big name 1959s as well.  Along with Hall of Famer, Schoendienst, I got Early Wynn, Louis Aparicio AS, Nellie Fox AS and a bunch of high numbers.
The biggest 1969 I got was this Pete Rose All Star for $12.00.  Not too bad.  I also ended up with a Lou Brock All Star card as well, and a few other base cards for the set out of a $1.00 box.

So, those are all of the cards I picked up while I was away.  I felt like I did very well.  I also did a really good job of keeping up with them as the trip went along.  I had brought along a Rubbermaid tote box and kept these with the cards I brought to show Dustin and Andrew.

Thanks for taking a look.  The next several posts will be about all of the mail I had received before I left and while I was gone.  Stay tuned, as the blog will be back of in full force again.  I hope you all missed me!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Summer 2014 Vacation Recap

As you may have been able to tell, my posting on here has been really spotty at best these last few weeks.  I usually post every day, but I know that hasn't happened recently and here's why: I have been on vacation.

We (my wife, son and I) left the house on July 4th and headed out of town.  We stopped in Winston-Salem, at my parents' house to spend the 4th.  After night swimming with my brothers, sister, nieces and nephew, we went to bed, only to get up at the crack of dawn to head to Michigan.  The trip to Michigan served two purposes, my wife grew up in Michigan so she wanted to take my son and I around her old haunts and we also were invited to my very good friend, and fellow blogger, Dustin's wedding.  As a wedding gift to Dustin and his wife, I bought them Tigers tickets, but since the wedding was days away, his wife wasn't able to make it to the game.  Luckily, Dustin's 10-year old brother, Deacon, was visiting from Germany and was able to take her place.  I'm glad Deacon was able to go, since he had never been to a MLB game before.

I had taken a photo of Dustin and Deacon together at his first game with my digital camera, but, unfortunately, later on along our way, my camera disappeared.  I'm so sorry, Dustin and Deacon, I really wanted to print out that picture for you guys.
Our game was the Tigers vs. the Dodgers.  Miguel Cabrera was not in the game that day, but we got to see Max Scherzer pitch against Zack Greinke.  We also got to see several of the facets of Yasiel Puig's game.  He hit a one-out triple, then was thrown out at third on the next pitch, a grounder to third.  Bonehead play, but we weren't surprised.
I couldn't help myself in picking up some cool memorabilia at the Tigers game.  I got this game-used rosin bag from the game where Albert Pujols hit his 498th career home run.  The bag is MLB Authenticated, so I figured $100 was a great price.
After Michigan, we made the trip to Mt. Carmel, Illinois to see one of my best friends, and fellow blogger, Andrew.  We had made plans to meet up, finally, after many years of blogging, trading, tutoring and chatting on Skype.  Andrew's family was so welcoming to us and I felt like we made some great friendships.  I am, however, a terrible influence on people.  Andrew and I got his dad hooked on Instagram, and we also awoke the beast within him by reconnecting him with his collecting roots.
Andrew and I went halves on some juno wax from bbcexchange.com so we could play pack wars.  I'm not going to go into the rules of pack wars, but the main principals in the game were (from left) Andrew's Dad, his brother Caleb, my son Chris and Andrew.  Also, you can see my wife supervising.
We exploded some boxes of 1990 and 1991 topps.  Everyone had a good time and a few decent rookie cards were pulled.
Finally, after watching the All Star Game on Andrew's family's TV, we left Illinois and headed to Memphis, Tennessee for what I thought was going to be a minor league game (and a bobblehead giveaway).  What I missed was that the Memphis Redbirds weren't even playing Wednesday and the bobblehead giveaway wasn't until Friday.  So, I lost my camera (somewhere between Andrew's house and our hotel in Mt. Carmel), and I botched the MiLB schedule.  What I didn't expect was that the time we would spend in Memphis would be amazing anyway.

We were able to walk around the city, and get into the concourse area of AutoZone Park (home of the Redbirds).  You can see Chris above posing for a pic.
We also took a horse and buggy ride around the city, which we wouldn't have done, otherwise.
We ate an amazing dinner at Blues City Cafe, then walked along Beale Street down to the water front.  The weather was amazing, low 70s in the middle of July.  We sat by the river for a while and watched the sun set.  Above, you can see the bridge lighting up and the sunset.  Oh man, it was beautiful.  I was so glad I screwed up the schedule, but even more pissed that my camera was gone.
So, here is my awesome steak that I had.  A 20oz ribeye that cost $25.00.  Around here, something like that would be about $10 more.  It was an amazing meal, probably one of the best that I have ever eaten.

My wife and I decided that Memphis was definitely going to be one of those cities on our list of vacation destinations in the future.  What an awesome place.
Finally, I wanted to show off some pickups from the trip.  We got one IP autograph at the game, Dodgers reliever, Chris Perez.
Also, here are all of the cards I picked up.  The cards on the left are the ones I got for myself, 42 cards (which I will show off another time) and the cards on the right (60 cards) are ones I picked up for other people.  Mostly Instagram folks, with a few in there for Andrew and a few others.

So, that was our trip.  I met two more bloggers in person and both made me feel so welcome.  I was glad I was able to make the trip to be able to spend time with both of them, and meet their respective families.  It really is nice to see folks who welcome people into their lives and are willing to spend time together.  I know Chris and Caleb will be writing letters back and forth to one another.  They were off and running, playing together, not 5 minutes after we got to Andrew's house.

I did 90% of the driving, and we put some miles on my Cobalt.  I'm so glad it made it through the trip.  I hope to be able to do it again soon.  I'm already trying to figure out what vacation 2015 will entail.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Instagram Trade With Matt S.

I completed a quick and easy deal on Instagram recently when I sent a few Indians cards to a kid named Matthew in exchange for this 2013 Topps Chasing History foil parallel of Manny Machado. I like the card and was happy with the trade.  Funny thing is, though, I got another version of the card as a throw in with another deal I made later.  So, now I have two of them.

Thanks for the trade, Matthew, I really appreciate it and I hope to find you some more Indians for future deals.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ebay Pickup - 2014 Topps Chris Davis Orange Parallel

He is having a rough year, likely a result of the oblique injury suffered early this season compounded by defensive shifts, but I am still a fan of Chris Davis.  I picked up this orange parallel of Davis from Ebay for just over $10.  His first half performance hasn't changed the pricing on his cards, yet.

I think Davis will be ok.  Many guys who busted out for big home run seasons came down to earth the next season and rebounded to have great careers.  Folks screaming he was on 'roids need to get over themselves and remember that Davis hasn't been popped with a suspension and has asked for additonal testing.  Slamming him when you don't know the facts about him is just plain irresponsible.

Anyway, I really like these orange parallels and hope to get the rainbow of his cards, but we all know that is going to be a tough task.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Completing Another Trade With Kaleb

I completed another trade with Kaleb from Instagram recently when I picked up this 2010 Upper Deck Chris Davis in exchange for a few Reds cards.

I couldn't remember whether or not I had this Davis, but I went ahead and made the deal, since I had traded with Kaleb before and he was such a good guy.  He's the best friend of a new friend that I made, Josh, who I've talked to almost every day about baseball, collecting and stuff like that.  They, Josh and Kaleb, are great people and I'm glad I was able to make a few trades with each of them. I'm hoping Kaleb can find a few more Davis cards so we can keep this going, which I'm sure will happen.

Thanks for another successful trade, Kaleb, I really appreciate it.