Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Damaged Olerud Leads to a New Yaz

A while back I saw a really great John Olerud Bazooka card on one of the many blogs I read. I don't even recall where it was any longer, but I know that I wanted a copy of my own as soon as I saw it.  A few weeks later I found a very reasonably priced copy on eBay with free shipping and the card was mine.  Just one problem when it showed up...

See that giant crease/fold on the bottom of the card where the swatch is?  Definitely did not have that when it was listed, I think it occurred in transit.  I reached out to the seller who said I could pick any similarly priced card I wanted from his inventory as a replacement.

I settled on this Yaz Sport Royalty subset card from 2008 Goudey.  As you can see, Carl arrived in much better shape than John did.  This is the mini version, and if you care about this sort of thing it's the blue back variation:

I still haven't replaced the Olerud, but I am on the lookout for a new copy.  In the meantime a creased version is better than nothing, and at least I got a new Yastrzemski card out of the deal...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Quick Rip - 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter Retail

No time for cards today, so here's a quick retail pack of 2014 Allen & Ginter that I opened this past weekend...

Probably (and sadly) my favorite card in the pack...

This Jose Altuve insert is being sent to the state of Texas in a trade package today!

Here's my mini, a black-bordered Cub.  Will probably end up trading this one away as well at some point.

A boring card of a political correspondent is the perfect end to one of the least flattering packs of Allen & Ginter I've ever seen from any year...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Signature Sundays - Miracle on Ice (and Bonus HOFers)

Back to the Panini Classics Signatures well again this week, I've got a Montreal Canadien and a couple of Bruins...

A couple of Norris Trophies, a Conn Smythe, quite a few Stanley Cup Championships and enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.  I'm certainly glad to add Larry Robinson's autograph to my hockey card collection.  This card, like the other two I'll show today, wasn't released when 2012-13 Classics Signatures hit the shelves, but was instead held back and included in the 2013-14 Contenders release.

Next up is a great photograph of Miracle on Ice goaltender Jim Craig.  He didn't have a long or particularly remarkable NHL career but I feel like this is a significant addition to my hockey card collection due to that one February day in 1980.  Besides, you have to love that mask.

One of the premier setup men in the league during his prime, Oates was finally selected for Hall of Fame induction in 2012.  He's 17th all-time in regular season points, ahead of guys like Lafleur and even Brett Hull.  For a lengthy period of time in the early '90s he was getting his name on the score sheet more frequently than any player not named Gretzky.  He doesn't quite have the same weight with collectors as the other players in his scoring class, as is evidenced by the fact that this card cost me just $10.  Maybe it's lack of post-season success.

Not a bad trio this week, two Hall-of-Famers and the goaltender from the Miracle on Ice game.  Easy to see why I'm such a fan of this set...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Little Bit of Everything

I couldn't seem to find even five minutes to post this week, and I'm way behind on thanking a few generous folks, as well as sending out numerous trade packages.  While I work on some of these things today, here for your enjoyment is a random smattering of cards that have joined my collection from all over the globe:

Seemed like an appropriate time to post this card from the fantastic 1960 A & BC Gum soccer set, given that I watched the Newcastle/Aston Villa draw earlier this morning.  I've shown some cards from this set before, but Jimmy here is one of my newer acquisitions.  He looks to me like he could be a cast member from The Sopranos (both in look and in name).

Scoular is actually the first card on the checklist, which is kind of cool.  There were two 42-card series that made up the 84-card set.  I believe the second series cards are more rare, but in my experience these are extremely difficult to come by, period.  This particular card crossed the Atlantic from England to join my collection.

This awesome piece of cardboard was sent to me recently by my friend Marc B.  I don't believe he has a blog I can link to, but he lives in my neck of the woods and we traded some cards last year.  He reached out to me a while back and let me know that he wanted to send some cards my way.  I had no idea what was coming, and did he ever shock me! 

What Marc sent was easily one of the largest, and most thoughtful, packages of cards I have received in the nearly 7 years I've been writing this blog.  I will have several posts devoted to the contents as soon as I get through the enormous backlog of scanning, but this beauty featuring two of the top speedsters of the '80s is a good preview of what's to come.

Here's a card I picked up in my last trip to the hobby shop, from a 6-for-a-dollar hockey bin.  Bowman is arguably the best coach in the history of the game, and since coaches sadly don't get much love in this hobby I've got precious few of Scotty here.

During that same trip I took Glen Hobbie here home with me.  It cost me just a dime, which seems unbelievable until you look at the back:

This Zdeno Chara card hails from 2003-04, before his time with the Bruins.  This was a time when Topps actually had a hockey card license.  I wish that were the case today.  I don't like Upper Deck having an exclusive license for NHL hockey cards anymore than I do Topps being the only game in town on the baseball side of things.

Marc B isn't the only person I owe a thank you post to.  A couple weeks back Jared of Catching Up with Collecting contacted me and sent me a nice bubble mailer of Red Sox cards.  Jared's blog is very enjoyable, if you haven't had a chance to check it out yet I highly recommend adding it to your reading list.  Check out this great post as an example.

Anyway, I needed the majority of what Jared sent over, and I'll be showing off those goods in due time, but here's a preview in the form of my very first Ted Williams card!

A couple posts back I showed the Orange Refractor of Will Middlebrooks' 2013 Topps Chrome card, here's the Purple Refractor.  I love the photo on this one so I'm trying to pick up as many versions of the card as I can.

Finally, here's an oddball that's approaching 50 years old now!  The Red Sox were one of a couple of teams that Topps issued sticker sets for in 1967.  I never had any of these until recently when I won a small lot of them that broke down in price to just a few bucks each.  Dalton was your standard utility infielder/pinch hitter, but had an amazing year and World Series in the "Impossible Dream" 1967 season.

That's it for today, I'm off to sort out some trade packages...

Monday, August 18, 2014

'81 Gilbert Perreault and a World Series Champ

Quick post today, one baseball card, one hockey card, both plucked from discount boxes during my last trip to the hobby shop. 

On the hockey side, this 1981-82 O-Pee-Chee Gilbert Perreault.  I primarily collected Topps hockey cards growing up, and Gilbert was not in the '81-82 Topps set, so this card is new to me.  Aside from being a bit off-center, which is normal for O-Pee-Chee cards of the time, it's in great shape.  Seemed like a steal in a six-for-a-dollar bin...

On the baseball side, another new '59 Topps card.  This Gene Woodling cost me two quarters.  A fair price for a guy who won five World Series with the Yankees and another as a coach with Baltimore in the '60s.  Mr. Woodling is sporting a pretty cool shoulder patch in this photo as well.

Back is in good order, you can see all those years with the powerhouse Yankees teams, as well as two seasons missed for military service.  Great stuff!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Signature Sundays - Johnny Pesky!

I don't usually go five days between posts, but it was a very busy week.  On top of that I got buried by two separate card packages that arrived, both sent to me by very generous folks who hit me up completely out of the blue.  I'm talking hundreds of cards, too.  I will have a few thank you posts up soon, but while I dig out from under those piles and get everything scanned in, here's a quick Signature Sundays post.  Going to take a break from all of the recent Classics Signatures hockey autographs for a week and go back to baseball:

I have wanted a Johnny Pesky autograph for a long time now.  He's certainly one of the fan favorites in the history of the Red Sox franchise.  He's not a Hall-of-Famer, and strikes me as a somewhat under-the-radar guy outside of New England, so he hasn't been in a ton of products over the years.  Looking just now I can say that there are just a handful of certified autos like this on all of eBay at the moment.  Johnny passed away in 2012, so they're not going to get any easier to come by either.

When I stumbled across this one with a Buy-it-Now price of just over $20 earlier this year I snatched it up immediately.  I don't care that it's PSA graded, but I do love that it's shiny and has a great picture of a young Pesky (I think this is from his days managing the team in the '60s).  Nice, bright, legible signature too.

A beautiful card, and a name I'm excited to add to my autograph list.  I've got over 30 certified Red Sox autographs at this point, and Johnny here easily falls inside my top three.  The other thing I love about this card is that it's done up in the style of 2005 Topps baseball, including a full back:

Came out a little fuzzy in the scan because of the PSA slab, but in person it's a great looking back.  Johnny could really hit for average, and led the league twice in hits, which you can see in red up near the top of his stat lines if you've got a keen eye.

That's it for today, Marc and Jared, thank you both again for the cards, going to start working on some return packages today...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Starting Lineup Boggs

Recently I picked up my very first Starting Lineup card, Wade Boggs from the 1988 set:

I have to say, for a card that came with an action figure, and that's now over 25 years old, it doesn't look half bad.  I'm guessing this was an unlicensed set given that the photograph chosen just happens to completely obscure Boggs' helmet and jersey, but then again a nice large team logo is present, so who knows...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hobby Shop Five - Really Shiny, Really Old and Really Cheap

I mentioned a few days ago that I managed to find a few minutes to sneak off to the local hobby shop.  I used to stop by much more frequently years ago, but nowadays usually only go for supplies, as was the case this trip.  I feel guilty about this, but the reality is I try to stretch my limited hobby funds as far as possible each month, and a one man operation just isn't going to compete with the prices and variety offered by online giants like eBay.

I always look around while I'm there just in case, because I do like to support small business and throw the owner a bone if I can find some items that aren't wildly overpriced.  I'll even overpay within reason just to help him out, but I'm not shelling out five to six dollars for a single pack of low-end cards.  To each his own, but for me it almost always leads to buyer's remorse.  This particular trip was definitely worth it!

I stumbled across a quarter box of Bruins cards, much more up my alley.  Even better, for every four you bought you got two free, so basically six for a buck.  It wasn't exactly a treasure trove, but I was able to scrounge up a couple of bucks worth of cards, like this Ray Bourque.  It's from a set Upper Deck put out in 1999 called Century Legends.  The first 50 players on the checklist are the 50 best all-time (according to the Sporting News at the time), and as you can see Ray was ranked #16.

This 1998-99 Topps insert is cheesy, but it's got this wavy reflective quality that makes it extremely bright and shiny, much more so in person than it was in the scan.  Not a card I am all too thrilled with, but like I said was trying to help the guy out and it was better than leaving with nothing but toploaders. 

At this point I'm about to check out with $2-3 worth of cards, figuring I won't be back here again, when I ask him on a whim if he has any older baseball commons that aren't on display for any reason.  I run into this a lot at small shops, for whatever reason the stuff that I find boring and overpriced is right there on the shelf in plain view, but the more interesting cards are behind the counter or off in another room.  Almost like the shop owners don't really want to part with them unless they have to or something.  Anyway, what this guy brought out for me to look through was a treasure trove of vintage baseball from 1957 up through the late '60s.  The prices were amazing if you were willing to deal with "less than mint", which is not a problem for me!

Take this Ken Hunt card, for example.  It's pretty well beat up, there's not a corner left that could give you a paper cut.  Some chips along the edges, surface wrinkling, and is that a stain floating above Ken's head in the upper right?  To me, the real value is in Ken's goofy grin, and that tremendous uni-brow!  Besides, it forced me to look up Ken Hunt, and I found that he apparently appeared on an episode of The Munsters?!?!

This card set me back just 10 cents.  I'm basically going to buy any card that I don't have that is 50 years old or more if it costs just a dime.  No matter how damaged, I just can't pass them up at that price (nor do I see them at that price very often).

Even the back is well intact.  Quite a few of the ones I picked up have heavy paper loss, or mysterious substances, but this one actually looks quite presentable.  If I ever chased the '62 Topps set I wouldn't even consider this one I'd need to upgrade.  By the way, look at that stat line for 1961, 25 HR and 84 RBI, not too shabby.

Here's one from the 1961 set, similar condition to the last card.  Jim Baumer was marked a quarter, but the owner said he'd apply the same 6-for-a-dollar rule with the quarter vintage.  Sold!

Once again, a random vintage card that I knew nothing about led me to learn about a very interesting player.  Check out Jim Baumer's career statistics, courtesy of baseball-reference.com:

After debuting in 1949 with 8 games played as an 18-year-old for Chicago, Jim played for years and years in the minors before getting another chance at a big league roster in 1961.  He finally made it with Cincinnati, but lasted just 10 games, and that was it.  18 games in the majors, separated by 12 years.  Look at some of the stops on his journey, courtesy of the back of the card:

You can see his 8 games with the White Sox on the second line.  After that, Colorado Springs, Memphis, a year off for military service, back to Memphis, Hollywood, Mexico City, Hollywood (again!), Columbus and Salt Lake City.  That is a man who loved baseball.  17 cents or so well spent.

Here's the last one I'll show today, also from my 6-for-a-dollar pile.  Probably the roughest shape of the three, but 1959 Topps is my second favorite Topps set of the '50s, right behind '53.  I've toiled with the idea of building a low-grade set in a binder, so it was obvious I should grab this one.

Once again a nice back.  In the end, I picked up a big stack of this discount vintage, ranging anywhere from .10 cents to $2.  Many of them don't have backs like these, but the three I randomly grabbed and posted first all look beautiful.  Great cartoon on this one.

I'll definitely share some more of this stuff when I find some time...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Signature Sundays - Penmanship Battle - Fontinato vs. Baun

This week I'm featuring another pair of autographs from the Panini Classics Signatures set.  If you were a forward playing in the NHL 50 to 60 years ago, you wouldn't be thrilled to see either of these players line up on the opposing blue line.

Lou Fontinato was the rouger of the two I'd say, although obviously both players were way before my time as a fan (or a human being for that matter).  He was known as an enforcer, probably the enforcer in the league during the time he played.  Apparently had a long-running feud with Gordie Howe, and frequently was at the top or near the top in total penalty minutes each season he was around.

Paired up with Lou is another defenseman, Bobby Baun of the Leafs.  If you didn't pay attention, he could put you right on your back as well, but was known as a "cleaner" checker than Fontinato was.  Baun won an impressive four Stanley Cups with Toronto in the '60s.

What I want to know is, which guy do you think has the nicer signature?  I was very impressed by how well both of these turned out, especially given that Baun is now 77 years old, Fontinato 82!  I think I have to give the edge to Bobby for dramatically extending that final N out below his entire name.  Then again, I kind of like how Fontinato used a single stroke to cross both Ts.  What's your vote?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Red Sox Collection - Greenwell '93 Finest Refractor

Today I enjoyed a rare weekday off from work, and took full advantage of the free time to catch up on scanning and inventorying the gigantic backlog of cards here at Shoebox Legends headquarters (I also managed to sneak in a quick trip to the local card shop).  Here's one I ran across today that I purchased just over a year ago and had nearly forgotten about:

If you're old enough to have been collecting in 1993 then you will most likely remember what a huge deal the '93 Finest Refractors were.  Inserted at one-per-box, there are rumored to be only 242 copies of each in existence.  These were some of, if not the, first refractors ever issued.  They obviously caught on because they still sell for big bucks (relatively speaking) to this day, and Topps now jams refractors into just about every modern product they issue.

Greenwell is the first, and only, Red Sox card I've picked up.  I think it set me back just over $20.  I don't really care that it's graded, but that ended up being the cheapest route at the time.

Mike actually represents the third 1993 Finest Refractor in my collection overall, joining John Olerud and Will Clark.  I would love to own a Nolan Ryan someday, but given that they go for hundreds of dollars I don't think that's too likely.

If you were around in 1993, did you buy any Topps Finest baseball?  Do you have any of these refractors in your collection today?
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