Sunday, February 14, 2016

Signature Sundays - The Heater from Van Meter

After showcasing some "lesser known" guys for Signature Sundays last weekend, let's do a complete 180 back to a HOFer this week in the form of Bob Feller!

I know Bob signed about a billion autographs before his passing late in 2010, but that doesn't make this one any less special to me.  Having a card that was held in hand and signed by Mr. Feller that pays tribute to a feat he accomplished all the way back in 1936 is beyond awesome.

All of his other career accolades aside, the one feat mentioned on this card alone is beyond impressive.  In his first career start, at just 17 years old, Feller K'd 15 batters.  He came out in his very first inning as an MLB starter and struck out the side at an age where many of us were still in high school!

This is my 15th Emerald Autograph from this set, which is much further along than I ever thought I'd get given the names on the checklist...

Friday, February 12, 2016

Draft Folder Backlog

It's been a very busy week for me, with next to no time for scanning and organizing.  Thankfully I had a healthy backlog of scanned cards from last year saved in various draft states that I never got to.  Today seems as good a day as any to clean them all up and consolidate them into a post.

Let's start with one of my guilty pleasures, buybacks.  I grabbed the seven that I'm showing today off of Sportlots many months ago because they were all minor stars from the '70s and each set me back $1.25 or less.

Aside from being a fan of the old-school team photo cards, this one was all about the fact that the legendary Dick Williams was the manager of this Expos team.  Awesome card for sure.

Pete Vuckovich and his epic mustache, courtesy of '79 Topps.

I always think of Nelson Briles from his earlier days with the Cardinals, but couldn't resist this card nonetheless.

Love this pre-game warm-up shot of the great Vada Pinson.

Closing out the buybacks is a super off-center (top to bottom) card from the '72 Topps World Series subset prominently featuring HOFer Brooks Robinson.

If you've been reading my blog over the years, you may recall that I've been very slowly chipping away at these one-per-hobby-box yellow parallels from Champ's hockey.  The Black and Gold of the Bruins' sweaters is a perfect match as far as these go...

You can't often find these for less than at least a couple bucks per, even for the less collectible players, so when I found a handful for around a buck each I jumped at the opportunity.

There are a hundred of these in total, so it's unlikely at best that I'll ever knock out the set.

This handful brings me up to 24, just one more will bring me to a quarter complete...

Pulled this Kevin Youkilis from a pack of 2009 O-Pee-Chee.  I don't need any more sets to chase right now, if anything I'm working on downsizing my collection, but if I was going to pick another one to go after this set would be very high on the list.

I think I can safely say that Wonderful Terrific Monds is the most unique name in my entire autograph collection.  I've seen a few of this guy's cards over the years but didn't know he had a certified auto out there until I stumbled upon this one on eBay (and for little money no less!).

I don't collect football cards at all, but I am a Patriots fan so somehow ended up with a couple of cards via a dime box dig just because.

These are a perfect example of cards I would pass on now that I'm trying to stay more focused, and I'll probably end up sending them out in a trade package at some point.

I scanned this one in for no other reason than I really dig the ballpark background and unique perspective used in the photograph.

Another example of lack of focus, these two Heritage Minor League cards were purchased for the simple reasons that I enjoy minor league cardboard...

...and they were the minimum price of 18 cents on Sportlots.

From that same Sportlots order, this Gold Foil parallel is the 30th Mookie Betts card in my Sox collection!  Really looking forward to watching this guy hopefully progress even further in 2016.

Lastly, another '52 Topps that I picked up for $6 during a pretty epic antique store run last year.  Well, that was fairly scatter-brained and not all that interesting.  Hopefully I'll have time to come up with something more organized and relevant over the long weekend!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

One Card Post - Museum Collection Bubble

What:  1995 Pinnacle #128 - Ken Griffey Jr. - Museum Collection Parallel
Where:  eBay
How Much?:  $4.99 (plus $1.95 shipipng)

:  Why not?  I've always considered this one of the more recognizable cards of the '90s.  I've wanted a copy of the Museum Collection parallel for a long time now, so when one popped up for $5 at the tail end of last year I jumped.  While I don't collect Junior specifically, I love picking up cheap to mid-range cards like this one of the latest HOFer.  Classic.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Sticky Whalers

The most recent trade package I received from longtime friend of the blog Douglas Corti, aka buckstorecards, contained enough Hartford Whalers stickers to coat a Trapper Keeper!  In fact, inside was close to an entire team set of 1988-89 Panini Stickers.

Amazingly, I had none of these in my entire collection prior to receiving this group.  The players are nice, but I like these first couple of stickers even more.  The logo sticker that led off the post is cool, but this one featuring the home and away "kits" (sorry, my inner soccer fan sneaking in there) is even more interesting.  This is back during a time when the white sweater up top would be home and the dark would be away.

For a smaller sized surface area, Panini did okay with the design for these.  The larger right portion of the sticker contains an action photo, and the left a portrait shot with player and team name.

I'm betting there are some epic mullets to be found on the checklist, but the Whalers stickers are fairly tame by '80s hockey hair standards.

Kevin Dineen gives you a nice look at those solid green road get-ups!

Ron Francis' 'fro looks like you could bounce a quarter off of it!

The last two Whalers cards on the checklist are kind of cool... they each represent one half of a complete team photo.  Put them together and you get something like this:

I would have probably stuck these all over the place when I was a kid, was very thoughtful of Douglas to hook me up with all of them and give my Whalers collection a nice boost.

Oh and he included one baseball card too, an awesome autograph of catcher Blake Swihart from 2014 Bowman Sterling.  Because Douglas is just that kind of guy!

Thanks for the great cardboard always!  I'll have a return PWE on the way up north within the next few days I hope...

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Signature Sundays - Not Everyone's an All-Star

Not everyone gets to be elite in their sport.  For every Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan or Mike Trout there's a host of mediocre to decent players.  To me, these guys are just as interesting, and I appreciate everyone who has left their mark (however big or small) on the sports I enjoy.  So, for today's Signature Sundays post I've got a handful of those lesser known and lesser appreciated type guys.

Andrew Ference is a perfect example of the type of player I'm talking about.  Boston acquired him during the 2006-07 season, and he'd end up being a key component of their defensive corps for a few years afterwards.  Andrew's definitely not flashy (6 goals are the most he's ever tallied in a season), but was a reliable stay-at-home defenseman during his time in Boston, including solid contributions during the 2011 Stanley Cup Championship season.

A local kid drafted out of Boston College, Steve Heinze went on to skate with the Bruins for nine seasons before wrapping up his career with brief stints in Columbus, Buffalo and Los Angeles.  I've mentioned before that this particular year of Be A Player is one of the worst card designs I've ever seen, and I stand by that!

A first round draft pick for Boston in the 2003 entry draft (21st overall), Mark Stuart was actually dealt away during the middle of that 2010-11 Stanley Cup season to the Atlanta Thrashers.  He's still with the franchise this year (now the Winnipeg Jets).

Here's one of my favorites from this post, longtime team enforcer Shawn Thornton!  I've got just four cards of Shawn and this is my lone autograph.  He doesn't exactly have a ton of certified autographs out there.  This guy has probably made more sacrifices than your average star just to stay in the league over the years, very happy to have him represented in my autograph collection.

Center Seth Griffith cracked the NHL roster for 30 games last season, but this year has appeared only twice.  Count me among the Bruins fans that are mystified that he hasn't seen more time.  He's absolutely killing it at the AHL level (47 points in 37 games).  Meanwhile Frank Vatrano, Max Talbot, Landon Ferraro and Joonas Kemppainen have appeared in 30 or more games each, and Zac Rinaldo has appeared in 44 games.  All centers, none of them with more than 7 points.  I know AHL success doesn't always translate to the NHL, but what gives?  Anyone know something I don't?

This last hockey autograph is a cool one to have, since Matt Fraser was one of the pieces to come to Boston in the Tyler Seguin trade.  He didn't last long, was claimed off of waivers by Edmonton, and last I knew was with the Jets.  Meanwhile, Tyler Seguin...

How about one baseball autograph to close out the post?  After a horrid start to 2015, Joe Kelly looked great at times and even went on an epic win streak at one point.  With David Price the clear ace heading into 2016, it will be interesting to see how guys like Buchholz, Kelly, Eduardo Rodriguez and Rick Porcello slot in behind him.

Well, that's all for today, enjoy the Super Bowl!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Old, New, and Everything in Between

Today I finally found a few minutes to scan, crop and inventory the latest PWE from one of my most frequent trading partners, Joe Shlabotnik of The Shlabotnik Report.  I never know what cards await me in one of these, and once again Joe did not disappoint in terms of variety!

There were some cards inside that are older than I am, like this awesome Dennis Eckersley sticker.  I've had this one in my cart on COMC many time before but could never find anyone willing to take my low-ball offers.

Here's another one from the same year, the latest in a string of great '70s and '80s O-Pee-Chee Red Sox that have been coming in trade recently.  This one's in pretty immaculate shape for an O-Pee-Chee card too, hard to believe it's now 35 years old.

From there, how about some new cards?

This pair of First Home Run inserts are from 2015 Topps Update, so they're only months old.  I don't recall seeing these plain white iterations (as opposed to silver or gold stripe down the center of the card) in the flagship set, thinking this was an Update-only thing maybe?

One last insert from 2015 Update, the lone representative for Boston at the 2015 All-Star game, utility superstar Brock Holt.

That covers the old and the new, time for the "everything in between"...

My very first Arquimedez Pozo card!  Pozo did appear in 25 games with Boston between 1996 and 1997, and since he's depicted with Boston's AAA affiliate here this counts as a new card for my all-time Red Sox collection.

Here's a set I've never seen before, 2003 Donruss Team Heroes.  New cards of longtime backstop and team captain Jason Varitek are always welcome around here.

Same with Nomar.  I was at a very impressionable age when Garciaparra burst onto the scene with Boston, and he was certainly among the small group of players that were boyhood idols for me.

I'm up to a dozen Red Sox cards now from 2002 Topps Total, plus an insert, and I believe every single one of them have come in trade.  This hobby certainly seems to attract generous people.

I'm almost embarrassed to admit that my hockey collection was missing this junk wax staple until now.  Had I ever come across this one in a dime or even a quarter box I would have snapped it up instantly, but that's just never happened.  Very grateful that Joe included it.

Finally, my favorite card in the envelope...

I was really astounded by this one!  The 1988 Starting Lineup cards may be my favorite oddball release of all-time, certainly within my top five.  This is just my third card from a set that's design was practically tailor-made for Red Sox cards.  This is possibly the greatest Roger Clemens card of the dozens and dozens I've received in trade over the years.

Thanks for the killer envelope Joe!  I'll see if I can find some time before the Super Bowl tomorrow to get a return PWE prepared...
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