Monday, June 15, 2020

Cards on Cards for Canuck

Awhile back Kerry from Cards on Cards did a wee breakoff 2019 Topps of the Class.  And he opened it up to anyone to claim a team, for free, because he's like that. Of course, even though I saw his post 0.04056 nanoseconds after he posted it, the Braves were already claimed. It is that way in any and EVERY break online whether it be a generous free break, or a paid one.
This is my life.
So I took the local team. Local if someone in Phoenix considers the Yankees local. I figured the Blue Jays needed to come back to Canada.
I was lucky enough to get a couple of cards too! 
I ended up with two of Lourdes Gurriel Jr. I like watching him play. He's fun. I don't think he's in the Jays long term plans.... but for now he makes the games interesting. And baseball needs more of that. If there's ever baseball again, that is.

 I also received a Marcus Stroman. Marcus is now a Met. Poor Marcus. We should all feel sorry for Marcus.

But here's the best part. Even more than getting into a break for free.
Kerry sent over a few Braves in his PWE!

That's actually a cool pic. I normally don't like those shots where you can't tell who the subject is, but until we start to get team cards again (i.e. NEVER) This isn't bad.

Looks like someone dropped a paint can full of Swansons onto a canvas and ended up with this. It has a nineties vibe to it. I like it. Although it may not age well...
 Great googly moogly! A SMOLTZ! and I don't already have it!!!! WOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for the cards Kerry! One of these days I'll try and return the favour.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

He shoots! He Scores!

A quickie post this evening. I wasn't able to find too many needs for my Score Braves team sets.
But I did come away with two.
Both from the 1990 Score Update set.

Franky Cabrera.
You've heard me freak about When Sid Slid a lot on this blog.... Well Franky here is the one who was called on to pinch hit and drove the grounder to right that allowed Sid to slide.
That makes him an All Time Brave.
Come at me.

Ernie Whitt??? A Brave? Blink and you'll miss it. Ernie played 15 seasons in baseball. 14 in the American League, and 1 with ATL. He didn't do so well in the N.L. One last hurrah for Baltimore in '91 and he hung up his mask for good.
Now we'll see who's been paying attention.
This post featured 1990 Score Update. My last post was about 1990 Fleer Update. Both sets had two Braves catchers in them. But they were different catchers. How many did the Braves use that year??

Seven. Not shown are Kelly Mann, Tyler Houston Jody Davis.

Kelly, along with Tyler Houston and Jody Davis were the catchers in the Score regular set.
Kelly and Jody Davis made the cut for Fleer.

It was Jody's last season in baseball. Kelly played 18 games as a rookie, and then never played again. Tyler didn't make The Show until '96. Played a handful of games for the Braves and was shipped to the Cubs.

As much as I love Fleer and Donruss.... I think Score may be my favourite. The '91 set is one of my faves of all time. (In spite of all the black and white photos of shirtless dudes.)

Any of you have favourite Score cards?

Oh, by the way, Nacho is having a Ginter contest. It's rather complicated, but hey, what else have you got to do? Go and enter. Tell him I sent you. You'll get a discount.  Nacho Grande

Friday, June 5, 2020


Let's talk about Fleer baby, let's talk about you and me...… Hopefully you  now have that song in your head for the rest f the day.
In my never ending quests to finish up these Braves team sets, today we tackle early 90's Fleer. Fleer update specifically.

First, 1990.
Nick Esasky, who looks like an undercover police officer.

Jim Kremers! Now I am a HUGE Braves fan. But wo the hell is Jim Kremers? And what does he want?
A quick google search shows that he's actually known as Jimmy. And that his career lasted 29 games in 1990. He batted a whopping .110 with a homer and two RBI's.
Atlanta then shipped him to Montreal for Otis Nixon.

Greg Olson. Not the pitcher, the catcher. Unlike Jimmy, Greg lasted a bit more in the Bigs.

Jim Presley! HEY! My name's Jim Presley and I'm the new third baseman for the freaking Atlanta Braves!!!! Wait. Who's that rookie shortstop over there practicing at third??? He has a funny name too. Chipper??? Who calls their kid Chipper?

Then 1991. For those who thought the 1990 set was too bland, Fleer listened and gave you this for 1991. Hey, it is substantially better than 1991 Donruss. The worst set ever made.

Kent Mercker! One of my faves. Great career.

And Otis!!! We now know how Otis got here. See? You learn something new every day.

Terry Pendleton. Great at the beginning, but cost the Braves so many games near the end. Bobby Cox was loyal to his players though and kept putting him out there. Almost caused me to throw my TV through the window many times watching him "pinch hit"
More like "pinch strike out" Am I right?!!

I don't remember Juan too much. Although he pitched fairly well in the season and a half he was with Atlanta.

Oh...… when Sid slid. It was magical.

This must be Freddie's older brother.

Gotta say, I have a soft spot in my heart for Fleer.

Do any of you have any Fleer fvourites?

Thursday, June 4, 2020

2020 Insanity! (Also known as Bowman baseball)

We still don't have a season. Judging by the behavior and greed of MLB and the MLBPA, we may not get one.
But, we still have baseball cards. 2020 Bowman came out recently here. There was a wee delay in getting it across the border. But it's here.
Or at least it is in some shops. The complete insanity over it has caused many shops to sell their allocations to dealers in the U.S. at absurd prices.
My local shop kept theirs. I did not buy a box. $750 for a jumbo box and $385 for a hobby box is out of my league. Those prices did not stop anyone else as they sold out of their cases of jumbos within a couple of hours....

I did manage to scrounge up a few Braves from the scrap pile as wrappers and boxes flew everywhere.

Here is my first, and quite possibly last, taste of 2020 Bowman.

Acuna Jr. is from the veterans part of the set.

 Young Jasseel here made it as high as 'AA' Mississippi last season. He started 16 games, going 4-7 with a 3.83 ERA.

My man Drew made it to 'AAA' Gwinnett last year, getting into 26 games. Smacking 2 homers with 11 RBI's and hitting .271
He also managed to hit .167 in 15 games during Spring Training before the world ended.

This is the Chrome version of the previously shown paper Jasseel. But this is NOT Bowman Chrome. Or Bowman Draft, or Bowman Draft Chrome. It's just chrome in Bowman. Not Bowman Chrome.

Here we have another chrome in Bowman that isn't Bowman Chrome. This one featuring Shea Langeliers. This Baylor grad made his debut in 'A' ball last season for Rome.
During Spring Training, he got into 8 games, batting .429 with a homer and 5 RBI's.

So there it is. I'm not seeing the fuss. But I like pulling cards out of packs of players that I know and can see on TV. The youngin's aren't really my thing until they've made it.

Did any of you jump on Bowman?

Monday, June 1, 2020

Remember Upper Deck Baseball?

Back in the day, before the Player's Associations, Lawyers, Agents, and all of the other slimy people who don't collect sports cards decided they should be in charge of sports cards, Upper Deck made baseball cards.
They started out amazing. But from that peak, they went into a decline until the license was pulled out from under them like a cheap area rug.
The late nineties was a shrine to gold and bronze foil. Upper Deck must have bought in bulk. They used it excessively. 

In my recent return to paying attention to want lists long ignored, I purchased around forty of these. Here are a few faves.

Probably my favourite all time pitcher.
John Smoltz. I really like the pose on this one. Not a common photo choice. Not too sure about shrinking it out of ratio in black and white right beside the colour version though.

Mad Dog. Greg Maddux. Trapped in green foil hell.

Andruw Freaking Jones. The best center fielder of my generation. The man won 73 consecutive Gold Gloves. 73!!! Go ahead. Look it up. I'll wait.

Crime Dog! For some reason out of the over forty UD cards I bought, only three were duplicates that I already had. All three were of Fred McGriff from different years.

Javy Lopez! Again, more hideous brassy gold foil. Yuck. Love the action shot of him pulling off that mask and fielding that bunt? Getting ready for the throw home?

One of my favourite Bravos of all time. The Lemmer. This time with brassy gold foil woodgrain! Way to mix it up Upper Deck!

My list has dwindled, but is still in need..... Upper Deck Baseball Want List

Do you miss Upper Deck baseball cards? What was your favourite set from them?

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Ginter madness!!!

Ah, Allen & Ginter. Every year it causes baseball card collectors to froth from the mouth. Or at least it used to. I've been away for awhile. Does it still have that effect?

Anyway. I recently have started to go back through my binders and update my want lists. Seriously, it's been years since I've done so. Neglect, malaise, and of course, laziness have all contributed. So I started with Ginter. I figured that would be a nice easy transition than Topps' base stes with their bajillion inserts, parallels and variations. And short print variations with coloured borders and different backs. With serial numbers.

I purchased a few new cards online to fill in some holes in my binder. Still a ways to go. I thought I'd share a few here.

2006 Mike Kelly. Looking at my lists all these years, I thought it was this Mike Kelly. Imagine my surprise.

 2017 - Mr. Aaron. An outstanding looking card.

 2012 - Mr. Aaron again. You may be asking why, if I'm only showing a few cards, would I show Hank Aaron twice? Because he's the Hammer. Silly question.

 2017 Bartolo Colon. Great googily moogily. Look at the gloriousness of that card! Who doesn't want to see that bust in Cooperstown? (Yeah, I know, busts are in Canton for the NFL. But Bartolo here gets special dispensation.)

 2014 Crimedog!!!! One of my all time underrated players. The man needs some respect.

 2007 Big Bad Bob Wickman.
When he was acquired by the Braves in the late summer of '06, Bobby Cox nearly pitched his arm off. (Wickman was 37 at the time) Bobby went to him and apologized and told Wickman he could have the day off. Wickman told Bobby, I'm 37 years old and don't have a lot of time left. I'll rest when I'm dead.
That's my kind of ball player.

Should any of you have any Ginter lying around that I might need, throw me a line. I probably won't have much to swap back... but you never know.

Allen & Ginter want lists

Who's in for Ginter this year???????????? July is coming fast!

Monday, May 11, 2020

My take on 2020 Topps Heritage

Ah... the sweet smell of vintage baseball cards. Well, modern vintage. I'm talking about 2020 Topps Heritage baseball of course. Doing their version of 1971 Topps. Those glorious black borders. Made all the more tremendous after the horridly dull grey borders or the previous year.

As with any new release, I'm sure the blogging world has dissected this set to death already. However, I wasn't around then, so I'll just pretend I'm breaking new, never talked about before, ground. (Never talked about before ground??? Hmmm... I've been away too long) 

I opened a box, and was disappointed in what I found.... but I'll talk about that at the end. First, pictures!

Here we go … A Brave! Mr. Jackson showing how to throw a fastball. Grip it and rip it Luke.

Vlad Jr. The savior. According to the national sports networks here in Canada, they should be holding his enshrinement ceremonies in Cooperstown as soon as the lock down is over. Love that rookie trophy though.

A parking lot background! Wait. Wasn't that in 1973? Did Topps pull a boo boo here? I don't remember a parking lot background in the original set... Anyone care to corrext me on that one?

I do like the rookie cards set up like this.... A nice bold design with no annoying rookie logo disrupting the card front.

I've always loved leader cards. It's a great way to be able to acquire superstar Hall of Famer cards from their playing days at a somewhat affordable price compared to their regular base card.
(anyone of you familiar with Verlander's wife knows why he's always smiling)

YES! Horrible photoshop on a 2020 card. I hope Topps did a horrible job on purpose because they were trying to remind everyone of back in the day... They did... I'm sure.... Right?

Speaking of photoshop.... Yikes. Since when has Topps just cut ballplayers out of their existing surroundings and layered them over a new background???? Card after card after card I found where it was a cut and paste job. They haven't always done that with Heritage, have they? Yeeesh.

A DeGrom sighting on Tatooine. Who was it that collected Tatooine cards? Someone did. GCRL maybe? I dunno.

But I do know that it's not quite as epic as this......

Do they still make Royal Crown ????

By the way, that is my Ryan from my set. Only my set is of course, O-Pee-Chee. Which, as any card collector knows, is far superior to the Topps version because of this....

Oh! The backs! The great OPC backs! Whether it's 1971 or 1991.... OPC card backs were fantastically greater. Not too mention, readable.

Overall I really like the cards. They look good and a nice feel.  It was a fun opening, looking at the pictures, trying to figure out which one was an homage to anything in the '71 set. Decent player selection.
What I didn't love was the collation. Close to thirty duplicates. When you cannot get a base set out of one box, receiving duplicates is a sin. It's not that difficult to have an algorithm set to prevent this. It is already an overpriced product. No way you should have to pay $115 a box for this when Series 1 can be had for $89. Especially considering chasing down the 100 short print high number cards seeded at only 8-9 per box.

But, we're suckers. Topps knows this and doesn't care. Thankfully after a couple of swaps over the last week or so I think I'm damn close to having the base set. Still sitting at 9 of the high numbers though. It's tough to swap for those when you don't get duplicates.
Oh well... it's not a race, right?

What say you? Heritage, Hell Yeah or Nah? Did you open any? Who's chasing the set?

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Spahn is a Giant!

One of the neat little things I've acquired lately is a card of the Great Warren Spahn. Capital "G". 
Ok, so it's not so little. It's big. Like, giant. A 1964 Topps Giant in fact.

These are fantastic cards. And can be had for cheap. A Spahn like this one, in near mint condition can be had for under $5. Unless you live outside of the U.S. In which case American sellers will charge you a MINIMUM of $24 shipping for just one card.
But that's post for another time.

I recently read a post about someone laying the smack on modern cards. They're garbage. They're the same every year, etc... I think it was Owl, maybe? Anyway, the point is, is that I can't argue. Sure I want the shiny new cards of Freddie and Ronald. But …… after I get them and they go in the binder.... that's usually the end of it. That's where the appreciation stops. Where if I find a 1965 Topps #487 Woody Woodward (still missing that one), I'll coo over it for weeks. AND I'll revisit said card repeatedly over the next few months. I'll remember how and where I got it. How good it made me feel to fit it in it's home. It's not a binder. It's a home.

Maybe that's just me.

So for those not familiar with the 1964 Topps Giant series, it's a 60 cards set, including 7 short prints.
For size comparison, Tom Glavine popped by to help out.

Do any of you have any of these at home in your collection?

Sunday, April 26, 2020

A journey to the dark side....

Way back in the day, I ranted about graded cards. I didn't like them. I still don't like them. But despite what my girlfriend says, I'm not a dinosaur.
I understand the need for them. The hobby is changing. And graded cards are where it's heading. Heck, it's already there. 
In an online world, buying and selling graded cards is easy. No muss, no fuss. Each party knows exactly what the value is. With raw cards? Not so much. Extremely subjective. 
Now don't misunderstand me... I'm not running around acquiring these hunks of plastic all willy nilly. But I'm not cracking them out of their cases like I used to either.
Well, almost never.

There are a few exceptions... like when I literally trip over one at a local card show that slides into my wheelhouse. 

There it was. And cheap too. I had no idea just how cheap until much later. I now feel bad about it. If I run into the seller again, I might throw some cash his way. Somehow a hockey collector ended up with a baseball card and didn't know what it was worth. Being junk wax, I mistakenly assumed it was priced correctly.
Ah well, I was probably going to hell anyway.

What say you? Do you like graded cards? Do you crack them out of their wee prisons?

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Card Show Pick Ups....

One of the advantages to not having blogged in a significant amount of time, is that I do have fodder to share. Provided I can find it again....
I present to you a find at the last card show in these parts before the world ended.

Whoa. My scanner dislikes cards in holders. Steve looks a wee blurry.
Anyway, Mr. Avery was sitting there, looking all lonely amongst a plethora of modern hockey singles. Our eyes met, we shared a moment, and he came home with me.
All for $5.
Kinda like Tinder.

For those of you younger than the t-shirt I'm currently wearing, Steve was the number four starter for the Braves for many years.
Behind Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, and Tom Glavine. So yeah, he never really got much of an opportunity.
He was an All Star in '93, winning 18 games.

But I'll always remember him for his post season heroics. Especially in the 1991 NLCS against Pittsburgh. He held the first place Pirates scoreless over 16 1/3 innings. One of the best "where the hell did that guy come from?" moments that everyone loves.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Your Topps 2020 Braves! Uh.... 2021? 2020 1/2?

Awhile back, when there was still optimism in the world and the only threat was that winter would never end, Topps put out their latest "effort" in 2020 Series 1. As per usual, the card design and quality is crap. But that's for another discussion.
Also, as per usual, I tried to grab as many of the Bravos as I could. (there's no way I'm wasting money on the rest of this set) Let's see who I've managed to acquire...

Shane Greene. Pitcher. May be our closer. He's no Kimbrel, but I do like the high socks.

Dansby Swanson. Shortstop. Put together a nice year last season. I like him.

Was the photographer trying to do one of these and just got his angles wrong?
(Photo of 1991 Topps Weiss ganked from the interwebs as I have no idea where my set is to scan it)

Charlie Culberson. 2B? LF? PH? Just one of those guys that plays anywhere when needed.
Got him from the Dodgers in the Kemp deal. Free agent as of last December. Shouldn't have a card.

Tyler Flowers. Catcher. Re-signed as a free agent to back up Brian McCann. No. Travis D'Arnoud?

Ron Acuna. CF. The Headcase himself. Let's hope he pulls it together and stops getting benched for swollen empty head syndrome.

Nick Markakis. RF. This guy's still alive? Wasn't his rookie card in '84 Donruss? No. Wait. That was Nick Esasky. I've been away from this too long.....

Julio Teheran. SP. Julio!!! Going to love watching Julio tutor the young starters like Soroka this year. A great pitcher.
What? They didn't sign him? He's in the Inferior League now with Anaheim? uh... California... uh... Los Angeles?

Luke Jackson. RP.  According to the back of Luke's Topps card, Luke is the Braves closer. Someone might want to pass that along to Shane Greene, Mark Melancon and Will Smith. Maybe Brian Snitker while they're at it.

The Braves. Featuring Johan Camargo. Not sure if I'm comfy with him at third this season.

Austin Riley. LF. 3B. Oh Austin.... you came out swinging. Find that again, won't you?

Billy Hamilton. OF. He garnered a grand total of 26 appearances before being jettisoned off to the Giants. And yet here he is. Should not have a card.

Mike Soroka. SP. Let the pigeons loose! Hark! The Angels sing! (Not a Teheran pun, promise) The Man Himself. Lives just down the street from me. Calgary's own! Thank you Chris Reitsma.

So those are the base cards. Let's see what inserts I'm missing....

SP Variations
47 Chipper Jones
150 Ronald Acuna Jr.
SSP Variations
150 Ronald Acuna Jr.
156 Hank Aaron

Meh... Not too worried about those. Although maybe the Chippah...

1985 Topps Baseball
85-7 Chipper Jones
85-8 Dale Murphy
85-9 Hank Aaron
85-10 Mike Soroka
85-11 Ozzie Albies
85-12 Ronald Acuña Jr.

Alright, those could be cool....

Decade’s Best
DB-4 Hank Aaron – Milwaukee Braves
DB-5 Warren Spahn – Milwaukee Braves
DB-12 Eddie Mathews – Milwaukee Braves
DB-20 Hank Aaron – Milwaukee Braves
DB-40 Phil Niekro
DB-47 Dale Murphy
DB-59 Chipper Jones
DB-67 Chipper Jones
DB-77 Tom Glavine
DB-78 John Smoltz

Again, interested... I already have one of the Chippers

Decade’s Next
DN-2 Austin Riley
DN-5 Ronald Acuña Jr.
DN-16 Ozzie Albies
DN-30 Mike Soroka
Home Run Challenge
HRC-2 Ronald Acuña Jr.
HRC-4 Freddie Freeman

starting to get a wee ridiculous now.... How many damn inserts does one set need?
Whatever. If I find them, I find them. I'm not going fanatical about them.

How about you? Did you track down all of the possible cards for your team?