Friday, November 30, 2012

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Blahs...WTF Is Wrong With Me?

The past three years I could not wait for the 6 am Black Friday deals on Blowoutcards and Dave & Adam's sites.  This year I was excited to see COMC have a Black Friday sale.  I had money stowed away and saved up yet again this year but just as quick as Blowoutcards sells out of the biggest discounted boxes my wife lost a good chunk she saved for our kids when she and two daughters were robbed the night before Thanksgiving they were going to use on Black Friday sales.  So of course my money I had saved for Black Friday card deals was now going to be moved into getting the kids their items on Black Friday. 

As a collector always looking for great deals it hurts to see all the great deals and to just "window shop" on my computer.  It has been a long two weeks since the robbery, and I'm happy every one is okay in my family, but I'm still in a baseball card "ba hum bug" mood.  My wife even sensed I was having card board withdrawals so she got me this months Beckett from the grocery store yesterday.  I opened up and within the first 10 pages there are several "Black Friday"ads, so it just made me even more depressed about missing out on this years Black Friday. 

I needed a shot in the arm this week and a friend of my son gave this card to me after I came to visit his class on Veteran's Day, 2004 Upper Deck First Pitch Adam Dunn. This card is epic to me...

As being one of the first groups inside Iraq in March 2003, this 2004 Adam Dunn card has eluded me for almost a decade.  Then I think of this 10 year old boy who seen this card in his dad's collection and thought of giving this card to me because of the Iraqi Freedom sign.  To you all this card may only been seen in dime boxes, to me and this little boy who gave this to me, it meant much more!  This one common card got me get over my "greed" of missing out on a few cards and made remember those years I missed Black Friday's because I was in Iraq fighting.  I seemed to have lost my ways, and been blinded by these "Sale" ads.  I lost friends in my unit over the holidays in Iraq, and in everything that happened I was lucky to make it home.  I could have easily lost a family member in an armed robbery just hours before Thanksgiving, and I got lost in the greed of Black Friday. It is crazy how quickly we forget that their are worse issues in the world.  In a world of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, starvation, war, and myself lived for nearly three years going to the bathroom in holes in a ground in Iraq, why did I let not saving a few bucks on cards depress me?  How does these little pieces of cardboard have that kind of hold on me, and how did I become a collector who valued what they have to being a collector who only wants more...more...more. 

In 2005 I lost everything non military and lived for nearly another year with nothing but my uniforms and weapon.
As I said before, the boy who gave me that card reminded me that I need to remember to be grateful for what I do have verses thinking of what I don't have.  I love to blog about baseball cards and my Colorado Rockies, but I also use this avenue as a way to help me keep my head on straight.  I created an image of what I am going to create to display in my card collection.  I am going to try to get this card autographed by Adam Dunn.  I sent Dunn a card two years ago, but never got it back.  I am going to try it again this spring, I would love to have this card autographed because of the power the image has on me.  Then the reminder that these items are just cardboard, and not lose that thought.  I think it would be cool to have it matted, have the engravings, awards, with this card in a frame.  I like to talk about my cards I get, I like to write about what I don't like in collecting, but I also love to write about how collecting cards personally affects me.  We all should have something in life we can look at to help us get back to thinking realistic and not greedy.  I thank you for reading!  

Sample of what I am making to hang in my man cave (Card room)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Topps Numbered Cards

2010 brought back the monopoly in MLB licensed cards.  Topps then changed their regular Topps and Topps Update numbered cards from the typical gold stamped numbers to the ugly and often unreadable inked on numbers.  I know that there isn't much of a value difference between numbered and their base card counterparts, but often these numbers just make the card look cheap or even ugly.  Sometimes the numbers look as if they were done with a dot matrix printer and at times the numbers aren't aligned properly.  Then there are times where you have a team with colors like Colorado with purple boarders, mixed with black numbers and makes it almost unreadable.  If money is an issue of putting stamped numbers on cards, just do away with them.  Here are what the gold numbers looked in the previous years, although in the picture it maybe hard to read, they are very easily read.  They had usually their own area where the numbers were printed. 

2008 Topps Update Gold /2008
2009 Topps Gold /2009

2010 Topps Opening Day Blue /2010
In 2010 we seen Topps using the inked numbered cards, only on their lowest end products.  I have seen several cards where the numbers are faint, numbers aren't aligned right, or it looks like an old dot matrix printer inked it onto the cards.  Lets again remind people that it was 2010 that Topps gained sole possession in making MLB licensed cards, so they can now afford to play around with out true competition.  Again, it isn't a card that is much higher valued than the base card, it is the principle that Topps started to cut corners on their base products right after all other card companies went away.

2011 Topps Update Gold /2011
In 2011 Topps came back to the dot matrix look, but this time put them inside a designed box meant for the numbered cards.  Again these cards are plagued with number misalignment.

2012 Topps Gold /2012
It really wasn't till 2012 that the basic Topps cards started rubbing me the wrong way.  First I noticed that on many of the teams colors the black numbers just camouflage into the teams colors, as it does above.  If they no longer care about how the numbered cards look, don't even deface the cards by putting these ugly numbers on the cards.  Then just after opening my second pack of the 2012 Topps Series 1 I noticed what we all also noticed right away.  On about half of the Series 1 cards, the doubles were marked as triples.  So on the stat lines you have two stats of 3B.  I guess the QC department was too worked up on higher end products that they missed a rookie mistake of not proof reading, or even looking at their product to make sure it looked good, or made sense.

2012 Topps Base Card (notice 2b says 3b)
In the recent light of drama of Topps making an exclusive high end club, I just hope that Topps puts a little more effort making sure that their base brand is right!  Many of you may agree with this quote, "you are only as good as your base product".  If your base product sucks, it will bring down all your other products.  Think about this, if Sony had a terrible base television model, why would anyone gamble on an expensive model if they couldn't get a basic television right?  We in the blog world sound like we are nit pickers, or that we are never happy with anything, but if Topps wants to be the exclusive MLB card, they need to act like one!  We don't need exclusive clubs in hopes to bribe us to love your brand, we want quality because in our jobs our bosses expect quality.  I maybe spend about half my yearly budget on the Topps Series 1,2, and Update brands, and I hope they are able to get things back on track. I love many of the Topps products, but your one weakness is, please work on the QC on your base products!

* On a side note, thanks for all the well wishes for my wife.  Today the local police department caught the 18 year old who pulled a gun on her and two of our girls.  We had a great Thanksgiving and I am ready to get back into the swing of my day to day life in the card world.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I have been putting together the past months trades to post before Thanksgiving, but tonight my wife and two of my children were robbed at gun point near our home, so I'm going to try to get things back to normal before Thanksgiving.  My wife is the main nurse at an inner city adult day care near downtown St. Louis so getting robbed in a small quite farm town is shocking!  For those who I have put trades together this week, all the cards were sent out before the robbery, so no harm on your end.  No one got hurt at least!  If I don't post again before Thanksgiving, thanks to everyone I have traded with and who have read my ramblings/grumbles in our hobby I love.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Me on the left during my 2005-06 Deployment to Iraq.  
The picture was taken in Thanksgiving Day 2005.  
I spent a total of 3 Thanksgivings in Iraq

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Marlins / Blue Jays Deal Still Pending, But...

As of today, with what I read the Marlins fire sale trade to the Blue Jays is still under a "officials review".  If the trade does happen, the Marlins already gave Adam Greenberg one at bat in 2012, heck if he was invited to Marlins spring training he could be a starter for the fish in 2013.  As we see today there are not many players talking good about the Marlins, and not even players still on the roster.  We should have known what type of ownership the Marlins have when not even the Cubs, whose team he played for when hit in the head, didn't even want to touch Greenberg in a 100 loss season.  But who knows, maybe Greenberg would rather retire than have another chance to play for the Marlins again.  Either way, Greenberg a great story, too bad it was playing for a rotten fish.

2013 Topps Adam Greenberg RC

Saturday, November 17, 2012

My First Player Obsession: Todd Zeile

Back in 1989 there were not many bigger rookies with the brightest future than Todd Zeile.  Zeile was a second round pick for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1986 draft.  He blew through the Cardinals farm systems, and his name was getting more recognized at each level.  By 1989 many baseball news and magazines slated Zeile to be one of the top players for years to come.  He broke into the big leagues in 1989 as a catcher, and played late in the year.  Zeile was pegged to win the NL Rookie of the Year by magazines during spring training in 1990.  But he struggled in his first full season as a Cardinal, hitting .244/15/57.  In 1991 his manager Joe Torre moved him from catching, experimenting him at first before moving him to third base for good.  Zeile had one of his best years as a Cardinal in 1993, hitting .277/17/103, but by 1993 the once top prospects status of being a big time star had faded into being an average player.  In early 1990 his 1989 Upper Deck Update card was priced in Beckett at $11.00, and 1989 Fleer Update card was at $7.00.  In 1993 his rookie cards had dropped in both cards, Upper Deck Update $1.25 and Fleer Update 75 cents.

The peak of my collecting as a kid was in 1989, and being a kid living in St. Louis there hasn't been a brighter rookie star for years.  I collected everything Zeile, from cards, magazines, to banners.  I bought in Todd Zeile while the market was hot for him.  If Zeile cards were in Beckett for $11, in St. Louis they were double that.  I continued to collect Zeile cards though I figured his value in cards were no more, now I was vested because of my passion collecting Zeile cards.  Until 1994, I had every known, and even unknown Todd Zeile cards.  His career after he left the Cardinals became hard to follow, even for me, someone who collected and followed him.  During the next nine years after leaving the Cardinals in the summer of 1995 he played for ten different teams, including playing for three different clubs in one season: Cubs (1995), Phillies (1996), O's (1996), Dodgers (1997/98), Marlins (1998), Texas (1998/99), Mets (2000/01), Rockies (2002), Yankees (2003), Expos (2003), Mets (2004).

You would assume a player that moved around to as many teams that he would have won a World Series, but he did not.  He did get into the playoffs four times, 1996 O's, 1998 TEX, 1999 TEX, 2000 METS.  He ended his career with respectable numbers for someone who never even once appeared in an All-Star Game.

In 16 seasons from 1989-2004 he played for 11 different teams:

.265 AVG / 2,004 Hits / 253 Home Runs / 1110 RBI

Here are a couple cool facts about Todd Zeile.  Zeile became the 41st player to hit a home run in their last professional at bat, and it happened to be the very last home run given up by a Montreal Expos pitcher before becoming the Nationals.  Zeile caught in his final ever game, only Biggio has more time between catching appearances.  Zeile appeared as a pitcher in 2 games, but has a hefty 22.50 ERA.  Zeile stated according to publications after his release from the Yankees in 2003, that he never a part of an organization worse than Yankees.

Today I have rekindled my love for collecting Todd Zeile, not because of his value of cards, but because of the man.  I got to meet him in 1992 and got his autograph, plus I got to meet him a few years later when I played a state game at Busch Stadium.

Today Todd Zeile is an actor/producer in some roles/movies/or shows and I bet unless you seen his name in the credits or was a teammate you may not even notice.  He has been in many TV roles, and movie rolls in such titles as:

MOVIES: Dirty Deeds, Zookeeper, and I AM
TV SHOWS: King of Queens

Co-Producer of Charlie Sheen's Show: Anger Management

I have actually not seen his movie I AM in which he stared and produced, but it is on Netflix and I will be watching that in the coming week and reviewing it!  So for all of you out there who have Zeile in your common boxes, hopefully we can drum up a little trading and collecting demand.  If anyone has any relic or card autos of Zeile please let me know.  I very rarely find them on Ebay or COMC because he had very few of each.  I leave you with just a few of my hundreds of Todd Zeile cards, maybe a few you never seen or forgot about.

1988 Arkansas Travelers #7 (Oldest Zeile I have)

My All Time Favorite Zeile Card - One of the last as a catcher, and it's a "Play at the Plate"

1989 Upper Deck/Fleer Update Cards, 1989 Louisville AAA

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Topps Five Star Club...Part 2

I read this in regards to Topps and why the Five Star Club is out...if you missed it scroll down a few days.  I figured after I vented, I would feel better and I would go back to being back to my normal collecting self, but today I read a new article and a comment from Topps made my blood boil.

This will I'm sure piss you off!  

Topps stated on a large collector website that the reason behind the Five Star Club, " it was aimed at their "most passionate, hard-core, heaviest collectors".

MOST PASSIONATE?  So I don't make a million a year, does that make me less passionate?  I spend a hell of a lot of money for what my family brings in to buy Topps cards!  HARD CORE?  Is our card company now dealing in porn standards now?  What are we, SOFT CORE collectors?  

What needs to happen, us bloggers need to start a grass roots boycott of the exclusive deal Topps has with the MLB, and let not only the MLB but Topps now that we "NORMAL" collectors are some of the MOST PASSIONATE, HARD-CORE collectors out there.  We may not be able to buy thousands of dollars per case, but it is US collectors who buy the crap these "Heavest Collectors" sell on COMC and Ebay.  

Topps, it isn't about how much money one spends on cards that makes them a TRUE COLLECTOR, it is our LOVE and DEVOTION that year after year we put up with crap like this.  You may have those heavy pocket collectors, but I 100% guarantee if it wasn't for us dads, sons, husbands, wife's  and kids who buy your retail crap, you wouldn't be in business!

If you are a blogger or want to join the cause to purge the smug smell out of the hobby, please email me, message, comment, or whatever, and in coming days we will get together a site devoted to getting other companies like Paninni and Upper Deck back into the MLB, because it is clear Topps is out of control.  Also go to my first blog post about this a few days ago and print out the application, ask Topps for a waiver for the $10,000 and write a 500 word essay any way.  If you are one of those collectors who have tens of thousands of dollars on baseball cards, I'm sure you can afford a few extra autographs.  



I guess the one thing that makes me the maddest is giving free things to people who can afford it...and if I am going to spend my hard earned money on Topps cards and if I don't like them, I don't to be worried that big brother Topps is reading my blogs or Facebook pages.

Topps is like the government, take from the poor collectors, 
and give the rich collectors!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Anyone Collect Basketball? Scottie Pippen RC Trade Bait

I don't collect basketball much and I have a super great card I would like to get into the hands of a collector who may enjoy it more than I do.  I have a 1988 Fleer Scottie Pippen Rookie Card Graded PSA8

If you are interested in a trade, look at my want list page and shoot me an offer at jasonjasonp12@gmail (dot) com  Sorry about the glare, I didn't scan it, I took a picture from my phone.  I will delete this post when I complete the trade.


Red Sox Collectors, Make Me An Offer!

I have two Red Sox cards that are burning a hole in one of my boxes.  Since I'm not a huge Red Sox fan I am hoping one of you out there maybe is, and hoping someone has some good Rockies cards for trade for these two good looking cards!

I want to unload these two cards:

2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes Grey Jason Varitek Jersey

2008 Upper Deck SPx Winning Trios TRI David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, and Jason Varitek  # 04/25

If you really want these cards and don't have any Rockies cards to trade, you can email me at jasonjasonp12@gmail (dot) com and shoot me another offer!  You can look at the players I collect on my want list.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

.01% Of Card Collectors, Topps Says This Is For You!

First of all, Topps I love you, I love your cards, but there are some things you all do that I just don't get.

If you are one of those collectors who can buy $10,000 of Topps products a year, then this club is for you!  Topps now has an application to be a Topps Five Star Club Member, FREE OF CHARGE!  (if you can afford $10,000 of cards a year, using the word free shouldn't be an issue to you)

Now I take a step back and take a deep breath...I want to just blast Topps for such a stupid club, I can't get over this enough not to have to clear my mind and rant...

Here are the requirements to become a member of this Topps exclusive club:

*  A letter of reference from your hobby store or online retailer. 

*  You must provide evidence that you spend $10,000 or more on Topps product per year.  

*  You have to fill out the Topps Five Star Club application along with a 500-word essay explaining why you    should be a member of the Club.

Here are some of the rules:

*  Members are admitted into the club for one year, and it is at the sole discretion of Topps to remove a 

    member at any time. 

*  Members are expected to remain in “good standing” for the duration of the year, or they may be 
   removed from the club at Topps’ discretion. Good Standing includes:

 Topps will kick you out of their club if you tell them one of their cards suck, or if you don't like a product.

*  Members must attend most Five Star Events (Conference calls, meetings, events)

Topps wants you to talk good at events, they are using members to tell other collectors how great Topps is.

*  Members must present Topps in a positive light in any statements made by Member, including but 
     not limited to, press, blogs, and social media postings on sites such as Facebook and Twitter and 
     cannot bring Topps or its products into disrepute (e.g., conviction for felony) 

Where is the freedom of speech to let a company know that a product is disappointing or has issues? This is a company trying to pay off a portion of their collecting public with free stuff.

As someone who buys a good amount of Topps cards a year, from Wal-Marts, Targets, K-Marts, Card Shops, and online, how would I ever spend that much at one location?  Is this a spit in the face for those average card collectors who shell out $19.99 here and there for blaster boxes?  As someone who is now disabled from the Army and a wife who is a nurse, and have four kids how could I ever think about spending $10,000 on one brand, at one location, in one year?  Does Topps really think that these small percent of people who can buy cases like they are candy really have a true pulse on collecting?  To these people if they don't get a cut Mantle or a sick mega ubber patch card of God that every card they got was trash to be put up on Ebay or COMC.  I value my collection at having a lot of diversity, I don't lay homage to one card company because where is the variety.

Topps disappoints me year after year with all these games and LCS deals.  I live hours from any LCS and unless I live down the street, it isn't worth me keeping dozens of open packs to get one or two cards.  I'll just wait for those people who have the money to dump them on ebay or COMC for a few quarters.  Just like we seen with the Topps Heritage Update $100 box set, at least in the blog world we laughed at that.  Plus to be in Topps Ubber Special Club, you can NOT have freedom of speech about Topps if you want a special autographed card!  

Listen Topps, you don't get it one bit.  A TRUE collector will not censor themselves for a few random autographs because half the time they suck anyways.  Either the design sucks with an on card signature, or you get a great design with a sticker signature.  Topps if you want a TRUE feel on the pulse of the hobby you need to listen to the collectors and what they want.  Overtime you just piss off more and more collectors.  In light of the recent fake relic issues, I have read the past card conventions have been harsh for Topps.  Why not pay off some of the big players of the hobby to get out the word that Topps is some great company who gives to the rich and takes from the poor!  If you are reading my blog, most likely you aren't one of the .01% of collectors out there that qualify, but if you do qualify, or want a good laugh you GO

How about this Topps, don't worry about how many pack wrappers one gets, or how many thousands one spends, just worry about making a good quality product for us collectors and showing to us average collectors that you care about us, not the few that can buy cases of cards with their spare change.   

Get real Topps, this club is a JOKE!

Like We Didn't See This Coming...

Collectors and baseball fans out there, lets be real for a second...when the Marlins threw out hundreds of millions of dollars to Jose Reyes, Mark Buehle, Heath Bell, Ozzie Guillen, merged them with already big contracts of Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson, we all knew the Marlins were trying to buy a Championship for the opening of Marlins Park.  Once the team went bust in mid summer, the owner couldn't wait to unload his players.  Even though the new name, Miami Marlins, they have new colors, we once again see their true name and colors, they are still the teal Florida Marlins.  The one true star player left on the Marlins, Giancarlo Stanton said on Twitter, "Alright, I'm pissed off!!! Plan & Simple"

As a fan it disappoints me that the Marlins franchise has two World Championships because I feel they harm the game of baseball.  Every ten years the Marlins spend tons of money for one year to attempt to win a Championship then the owner gets the glory of winning a championship and dumps the players around the league.  The power in baseball has shifted from southern tip of America to north of the boarder.  As the Red Sox restock, the Yankees get even older, we could see a great NL East battle between Baltimore, Tampa, and the Blue Jays.  I would expect this trade makes Toronto one of the favorites to win the AL East, and maybe even the World Series.  

I was really hoping that the Marlins moving into Miami and a new stadium would usher a new excitement into the team and the league, but between the trades during the year and today it would be hard to be a die hard Marlins fan.  This type of atmosphere the owner has with if he wins or loses he trades the whole team is the reason why so many in Southern Florida don't get excited year after year about Marlins baseball.  

RIP 2012 Miami Marlins, you never had a chance to show your true potential!  

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Year of Harper...Finally Over!

I don't want to take anything away from Bryce Harper, it isn't his fault that he is on every single box and pack Topps has produced the past two years.  I do have problems that Harper is getting more news about winning Rookie of the Year than Mike Trout, who had an Albert Pujols type rookie season.  Of course Topps the past two years has done all they can on making as many Harper cards to entice us collectors to buy more of their products.  I'm sure if Topps could they would make rookie cards of Harper for the next five years.  Do I think that Harper is going to be the next Babe Ruth?  No I don't, but I think he'll have a good career.  I didn't agree that he should have made the All Star team, and I didn't think he was the tops for Rookie of the Year.  Of course I don't have a vote, so I have zero say.  Here is how Harper compared to all other NL Rookies.

Harper Comparison to Rest of NL Hitting Rookies (Avg. Minimum 400 At Bats)

Average     .270 (5th)      .309 (1st) Pacheco
Home Runs   22 (2nd)        28 (1st) Rosario
Hits             144 (4th)       150 (1st) Aoki, Alonso
Doubles         26 (6th)         39 (1st) Alonso
Triples             9 (1st)          --
Stolen Bases  18 (2nd)        30 (1st) Aoki
Runs              98 (1st)          --
RBI               59 (4th)          71 (1st) Rosario
Walks            56 (2nd)         62 (1st) Alonso
OBP            .340 (4th)       .355 (1st) Aoki

In addition, overall he was 38th in the NL in hitting and 78th in the majors in average.  I didn't compare him to Miley, pitcher to the D-Backs which placed 2nd in voting.

You have a good mixture above of rookies, Bryce Harper, Jordan Pacheco, Willian Rosario, Norichika Aoki, and Yonder Alonso.  Out of all those players, only one made the playoffs and that was Harper with Washington.  Looking at this as a collector, most Harper autographs out there are running $200 or more.  The other rookies you can pick them up autographs for about $8 each.  I understand that Harper started playing as a teenager, but he is not the only one to have done that.  I did not get to see him play daily but I did watch about two Nationals games a week, and still don't get the hype.  I am going to go on record to say that I expect he will be a .290/25/90 type of hitter.  That is a solid stat line.  The hype that the media and card world gives Harper you would assume he would hit .350/50/125.  I'm glad that the year of Harper is coming to a close!  Years down the road if someone asks me about 2012, I would tell them, "that is a clown question bro!"

My pick for Rookie of the Year was Wilin Rosario of the Colorado Rockies, and I'll tell you why.  First of all Rosario came into the year as a back-up for the starter Ramon Hernandez.  After Hernandez got hurt in late spring, Rosario began to play everyday.  Rosario had a tough task to catch pitchers who were not ready for the big leagues who came straight from Double-A due to extensive pitching injuries.  Rosario also broke the Colorado Rockies single season rookie home run record with 28.  His stat line was .270 (same as Harper), he had 71 runs batted in (12 more than Harper), 28 home runs (6 more than Harper), all having 137 less at bats as Harper.  If Rosario would have had 137 more at bats we could be looking at Rosario having 35 home runs, and over 100 runs batted in.  One great thing the Colorado Rockies have is Pacheco also a catcher and can back up Rosario if he needs a break behind the plate.  I expect many more big years from Rosario in the coming years!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Veterans Day!

I wanted to say Happy Veterans Day to everyone who has or is still serving our country.  There is no greater thing to do to have to leave the ones you love to protect people you don't know.  I wanted to show you a near 4 minute video I made about the invasion of Iraq in which I was apart of.  I hope you enjoy!

SGT Pilarski Untied States Army Retired

Different Cards, Same Play! Joe Girardi

As a baseball card collector we have frequently seen the same photos used on different cards.  Today I seen something that has eluded me since 1995, two cards from different sets from the same play.  I found by accident two Joe Girardi 1995 Upper Deck cards, #409 Upper Deck and a #448 Upper Deck Collectors Edition.  Below you have two photos of the softest plays at the plate I have ever seen.  Both Girardi and the Cubs player could care less about the ball, but they both are more concerned with something towards first base.  Leads me to wonder, what are they looking at?

In the first photo before, the Cubs player doesn't seemed to concerned about being safe or out.  When I think of plays at the plate I think of these types of plays:

I guess this play at the plate was so inspiring that Upper Deck had to use another image to put on another card.

Now lets see these cards as they look in their designs.  The Upper Deck Collectors Choice card has thoughts of the 1973 Topps photos where if it wasn't for the name you wouldn't know what player's card this was.  You have a random backside and arm in the photo that covers up half of Girardi.

Between the card above and below, bad photos and you may wonder who's card is this?

I am guessing Upper Deck realized that the card above's photo was so bad, they had to redeem themselves by making another card from the same play at another angle.

Let the funny comments begin on what these two players were looking at, because it isn't like they were watching for a play at second base, because Girardi had the ball!  Here is my idea of why Girardi and the unknown Cubs player were looking at.

Hope you don't mind my 1960s Topps Airbrushing!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Vintage Book Review: Topps "The Home Run Book"

Before there was Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, and Barry Bonds, there were players like Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, and Yogi Berra.  In 1981 Topps created a pretty neat book simply called "The Home Run Book".  Today if this book was created many of these past great ball players would be overshadowed by the "Juice" ball era players.

This book is nothing super special, but is a good sized 96-pages, full of information, and dozens of black and white photos.  I found this book at an old book store many years ago for a quarter, without even opening the book I knew it was a must have for me.  The big appeal, it was made by Topps and the cover had some great photos of baseball cards.

Inside the very last page of the book is a short description of Sadaharu Oh who hit 868 home runs while playing in Japan.  Interesting notes about Oh, he also holds a tie with several others with the most home runs in a season at 55.  Oh managed several different teams in Japan in the 1990s and until retiring in 2008.  Oh reportedly would tell his pitchers to intentionally walk American batters who were nearing breaking his single season record.  Two times Oh's teams would be playing a player who held a tie at 55 home runs, in 1998 Karl Rhodes, and in 2001 Alex Cabrera.  (1)

This book not only has information on players, but it has sections such as season records, home run first timers, sizing up home run hitter, and even information looking into Babe Ruth's called shot.  Let us not forget the chapter about if anyone will ever break Roger Maris' single season home run record of 61.  I just read this book again last night and fell back in love with players that I have forgotten about from Hack Wilson to Boog Powell.  

If you are a card collector that also doubles as collecting baseball books, this is a must have.  Today you can find this online at Amazon for $4 with shipping, or better yet, maybe you can pick it up like I did for a quarter at an old book store!  I hope you find one of these books for your collection too!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Baseball Card's First Parallel - 1975 Topps Mini

1975 Topps Mini Wax Pack
Starting in 1951 Topps began making baseball cards for the mainstream collectors, and almost every year till 1975 they also experimented with many odd-ball or insert type sets.  In 1992, Leaf baseball cards began making black parallels of their base cards, which many see as the first true parallel card.

Since 1992, it has become a custom thing that card companies make limited parallel sets to their base cards.  Some newer collectors may not know this, but it was Topps in 1975 that experimented with this new thought of parallels.  Though there is a big difference between now and then, today parallels are inserted in random packs with the base cards.  For example, Topps would put a Gold numbered card inserted 1:8 packs.  In the 1992 Leaf issue, there was one black parallel per pack.  In 1975 you wouldn't find the parallel mini cards within a 1975 Topps pack, instead they created mini packs.  The mini cards were a bit smaller than the originals but they had the same photos and colors.

The 1975 Topps Mini set is a very popular set for many vintage collectors because it is a little more affordable than the 1975 Topps set.  Plus, it gives another key rookie card for two Hall of Fame players, Robin Yount, and George Brett.  Topps for the first time printed in equal 132 card sheets, so these sets had no short print or double print cards.  Baseball card vending machines were also popular in the 1970s, and the 1975 Topps Mini cards were sometimes found in them.  Regular sized Topps cards measured 2 1/2 x 3 1/2, while the Topps Mini's measured 2 1/4 " x 3 1/8.  

This set is a perfect affordable set for those collectors just starting out trying to build a vintage set.  Typically you could find key player cards about 25-50% below what the same card is full sized.  If you are looking for an affordable Yount or Brett rookie, this is your set!  

I only have 16 total 1975 Topps Mini cards, so if anyone has some doubles think of me in any trades!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Rockies Name Walt Weiss As Manager

Former Major League Rookie of the Year (1988) and also former Colorado Rockie from 1994-1997 was named tonight as the newest Rockies manager.  Weiss has been coaching high school baseball at a large school in the Denver area, and did work as an assistant with the Colorado Rockies.  Weiss is another manager appointed to a Major League team in which he has never coached in any professional level.

1991 Topps Walt Weiss Card
1989 Topps Walt Weiss Card
1995 Topps Walt Weiss Card (Rockies)
Congratulations Mr. Weiss, and good luck in 2013!