Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The (Second) Dime Box Frankenset, Page 26: Numbers 226-234

Frankenset Page #70 WINNER -- 1993 Topps #623 Al Martin (8 votes)

Last week probably gave us the closest race we've seen yet.

Al Martin's eight votes (of 31 total) were barely enough to squeak out a victory, edging out both Tommy Milone and Larry Haney/Dave Duncan (7 votes each) by a single tally for the crown.

I can't say I was expecting Martin to take last week's page (my money was on Milone), but the more surprises the better when it comes to the frankenset, right?

We've got a much lower-numbered page this week -- the Random Number Generator spit out #26, which means we'll be taking a look at that page (#s 226-234) here tonight.

Let's meet the hopefuls.

1979 Topps #226 Ron Pruitt

Up close and personal. 

2016 Topps Update #US227 Aaron Sanchez

Fan interaction at the Midsummer Classic.

2014 Topps #228 Jayson Werth

Made you look! 

2009 Upper Deck #229 Michael Cuddyer

For the autograph hounds. 

1993 Upper Deck #230 Gary DiSarcina

A superb batting cage shot (though the back might be even better). 

1973 Topps #231 Bill Parsons

As if you needed any more reasons why '73 Topps rules. 

1991 Stadium Club #232 Melido Perez

White Sox throwbacks are still probably my favorite throwbacks. 

1973 Topps #233 Ed Kirkpatrick

More wonderful action from '73 Topps. 

2004 Fleer Tradition #234 Brooks Kieschnick

Brooks Kieschnick, pitcher and pinch-hitter extraordinaire.

That just about does it for this week's page -- the polls are now on the sidebar.

Happy voting!

Friday, November 9, 2018


I don't know if I'm like other collectors, in that I often wonder if I'm spending too much on baseball cards.

I've never had much of a hard budget or anything like that when it comes to the hobby. I spend when I can spend, and reel it in when I have to reel it in. But that's easier said than done sometimes, because boy are there a lot of different ways to purchase cards these days. I buy cards somewhat regularly, but I sometimes can't help but wonder if my purchases, no matter how small (Target, COMC, etc.), might be adding up on me.

I never want to become the person for whom a hobby becomes a problem, at least budget-wise, because then it's not much of a hobby anymore.

It sure doesn't help that Twitter sales have become more and more prevalent lately, like the (mostly) dime-card sales hosted by blogger-turned-tweeter Brian (formerly of "Play at the Plate" fame).

Look: I can't see a card I need, virtually or physically, and go: eh, I'll pass. Nope, it's more like: Ooh, I need that one, and that one, and that one, and oh what the heck I guess one more purchase couldn't hurt! One thing I've learned over time is that cards, no matter how cheap, do add up after a while. But whether I'm overspending or not, it's hard to resist Twitter sales just because of how fun they are.

Not to mention all the great cards I'm able to get for loose change, too.

Sometimes I have to catch the worrywart in me and wonder if I'm perhaps overreacting a bit: I mean, my total cost for these four cards was forty cents.

Tough to beat oddballs and mini-collection hits at a dime a pop.

I purchased these before Willie McCovey's passing (RIP), but both then and now, I never thought twice about overspending about them.

You're worth every penny, Stretch.

I think it's more the frequency of my card purchases I'm worried about: I partook in a second sale from Brian before I even had time to post about that first one. (And that's not even mentioning all the stuff I've already bought from him.)

Like I said, though: you can't throw stuff of dudes I collect at me for loose change and not expect me to pounce.

Perhaps even more exciting was the fact that I got to add to some relatively obscure player collections at a dime a piece.

It's not every day I get to add a new Gookie Dawkins or Bob Wickman to my binders.


These both cost a bit more than a dime (I think they were about a buck for the pair) but still worth it -- and yes, I might be one of the few who still collects Joba Chamberlain.

Brian's sales even have those precious hints of standard discount-box surprises, like finding Heritage SPs among the smattering of other stuff.

These were a quarter each (I think), including a nifty hit to my brand spankin' new player collection of Khris Davis and the first Terry Mulholland card I've purchased in a while (long live middle relievers!).

Given how big of a Black Sox nut I am, I'm a bit surprised I've never took the easy way out and simply purchased a whole 1988 Pacific Eight Men Out set, especially since they can generally be had for well less than the cost of a blaster.

Instead I've spent years parsing out the checklist with dimes here and dimes there, like these two from Brian's sale -- and I have to believe I'm getting close to a complete set at this point anyways.

In the end, I'd say: no, I don't think I overspend on baseball cards.

For me, the key is that I never really go back and say: Oh, I really shouldn't have bought those. I don't buy something for the sake of buying something. Every purchase is justified, up to and including these excellent Twitter sales from Brian.

As long as it doesn't get in the way of any vital life functions, it's hard to say you can ever overspend on something you enjoy, something that truly makes you feel alive.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The (Second) Dime Box Frankenset, Page 70: Numbers 622-630

Frankenset Page #17 WINNER -- 1990 Upper Deck #151 Rick Honeycutt (10 votes)

'Twas another close race last week, but Rick Honeycutt eked out a narrow victory with 10 of the 31 total votes (just beating out Andy Van Slyke's eight).

I've always been fond of this card because, though autograph shots are indeed one of my oldest mini-collections, they can admittedly get stale after a while -- which makes off-kilter images like the Honeycutt all the more treasured.

The Random Number Generator spit out #70, which means we'll be taking a look at our highest-numbered page yet (#s 622-630) this week.

This is also the first incomplete page we've seen so far, as I have yet to find a worthy candidate for the #625 slot -- here's hoping I find one soon because wow are incomplete pages ugly.

1989 Upper Deck #622 Mark Grant

Mud under the lights. 

1993 Topps #623 Al Martin

Like the aforementioned Honeycutt, this is definitely an A+ autograph shot. 

2016 Topps #624 Tommy Milone

Simply fantastic. 

1975 Topps #626 Larry Haney

Actually pictured: Dave Duncan. 

1982 Donruss #627 Terry Francona

Tito at Wrigley. 

1993 Upper Deck #628 Lenny Webster

This is pretty much what I imagine being a catcher must feel like. 

1989 Fleer #629 Tom Browning

A bad pun to honor Tom Browning's perfect game.

1974 Topps Traded #630T Tommie Agee

Not the most elegant of baseball cards, but still prominent given that it's both a zero-year and a sunset issue (Agee played his last big-league game in '73).

That's it for this week's page -- the polls are now on the sidebar.

Happy voting!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Taking back Update

So we meet again, Update.

You hurt me last year. Oh the great memories we had, my tradition of purchasing a hobby box of you basically every year since 2007. And then you turn on me like that. God, I wasn't sure if I'd ever take you back. I've tried to push it out of my memory -- the lack of guys in new uniforms, the ten thousand short prints, the sheer pointlessness of it all -- but still I wondered if things could ever be the same between us.

Maybe it's the romantic in me, or maybe the power of nostalgia: whatever it was, I decided to give you another chance, and there I was, hemming and hawing, finally giving in and order a box of your newest effort at the last minute.

I might as well show this first, since some people darn near pulled a muscle freaking out about me not posting my relic from Update boxes I've purchased in the past.

So here it is: a Jose Abreu All-Star Game jersey...woo.

Here's the first one of those Silver Pack thingies I've gotten to open, since the seller I bought this box from was nice enough to include it with my purchase.

Not a bad pack at all, considering I needed three of the four cards in there (not pictured: Randy Johnson), plus '83s look slick with a chrome design.

The new inserts in Update (Storybook Endings, Don't Blink) aren't anything special and the carryovers ('83s, Salute) aren't radically different.

Still, it was neat to get a Satchel Paige from one of the first packs of the box since it's not every day I pull Satchel Paige cards (or St. Louis Browns cards, for that matter).

I usually have bum luck when it comes to pulling parallels I need, but this year's Update break seemed to shift the narrative -- all these fit into my many player collections.

Also, Hyun-Jin Ryu hot box!

That's better, Update: one SP per box is a lot more exciting than the obnoxious seven or eight I pulled last year (and another dude I collect!).

But let's get down to the heart of the matter here, Update: are you gonna give me my base set back?

The base set with guys in trade deadline uniforms? The base set with new rookies? The base set that so often gives baseball season its rightful last hurrah?

Are you gonna be Update again, Update?

Short answer: you're getting there, and for now, that's all I ask.

Sure, there's still unneeded gimmicks, like short-printing cards of late waiver-wire deals in their new duds (just release the set a couple weeks later, Topps -- we can wait!). But by and large, 2018 Update once again feels like the Update I've loved for so long. I had no regrets about buying a hobby box of it this year, because unlike 2017 it was just plain fun to open and collect.

First cards of dudes like Cole Hamels and Cameron Maybin on their new teams and coveted rookies of the Botes and Acunas of the baseball world: that's why I love Update.

More first cards of guys on new teams (I'll give Topps a pass on picturing Bautista as a Met even though he actually finished 2018 with the Phillies), which is and should be the main calling card -- because the set is called Update after all.

The first and last cards in the 2018 Update checklist, and quite the bookends at that.

I still think there's way too many All-Star cards in Update -- guys who didn't play in the game shouldn't get a card -- but if Topps isn't going to change that, the least they could do is make said All-Star cards as good as they can be.

And if this page is any indication, there's a nice crop of shots from this year's Midsummer Classic available in 2018 Update.

Mini-collection hits here, and I don't think it's purely hometown bias in saying that the Davis and Engel are two of the nicest cards in this year's set (I mean just look at them!).

More terrific photography, including that Culberson which is fantastic but at the same time triggers my slight claustrophobia.

The combo cards from 2018 Update are a big ball of fun, which is a surprise because these have gotten quite dull over the last few years of Flagship.

And heck, this might've been my favorite card of the whole darn box.

If the 5'5" Jose Altuve and 6'6" Aaron Judge are any indication, baseball is indeed a game for everyone. It's kinda like Update itself. Chances are every collector can find something they like in this set, even if it's far from perfect. It's made for anyone and everyone, for one and for all.

So yes, Update, I forgive you -- just please do me a favor and don't break my heart ever again, okay?

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The (Second) Dime Box Frankenset, Page 17: Numbers 145-153

Frankenset Page #41 WINNER -- 1967 Topps #363 Dave Johnson (13 votes)

I haven't written on the blog since my last frankenset post (dammit, work), but that didn't stop a nice little battle from building up with last week's page.

Despite a surprising run from the head-over-heels '95 Score Pat Kelly, bunting Davey Johnson grabbed 13 votes to Kelly's 11 (of 36 total) for the win. My personal choice actually wouldn't have been either: I'm partial to the Boston Strong Daniel Nava (which came in third with a mere six tallies).

But the public has spoken, so into the Gallery of Frankenset Champions Mr. Johnson will go.

Here's hoping for another close race this week, with Page 17 (#s 145-153) on display as per the Random Number Generator.

Let's meet the nominees.

2016 Stadium Club #145 Carl Edwards Jr.

Glove-on-head autograph shots are the best autograph shots. 

1991 Upper Deck #146 Ozzie Canseco


2014 Topps Update #US147 James Jones

A picturesque leap. 

2017 Stadium Club #148 Carson Fulmer

White Sox throwbacks are all over my frankensets, and here's another. 

1993 Upper Deck #149 Pat Borders

Seriously, does anyone not like '93 Upper Deck? 

1990 Upper Deck #150 Domingo Ramos

Turning two at Wrigley. 

1990 Upper Deck #151 Rick Honeycutt

That time when Upper Deck hired a two-foot-tall photographer. 

2014 Bowman #152 Kris Medlen

Negro League throwback!

1995 Stadium Club #153 Andy Van Slyke

Stadium Club rules, now and forever.

That just about does it for this week's page. The polls are now on the sidebar.

Happy voting!