Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Ten years, The Seventh


Last night, I found out a card I have - and one I'm not particularly attached to - is worth a small fortune.

I've been a fan of Max Scherzer since he broke into the bigs, and at some point I either pulled or traded for a gold parallel of his 2008 Topps Update rookie. It's sat in my binders ever since, and with card prices the way they are I decided to check and see what it's going for these days...and needless to say I almost ran to my binders to throw mine on there in hopes of scoring a major windfall to my card budget. (If/when I sell the gold parallel, I've still got the base version which is all that matters to me.)

Anywho, that Chicago Tribune card page I posted in my last giveaway is still up for grabs if anyone wants it, as well as this Rennie Stennett disc (with a small crease on the right side that didn't show up in the scan) and everything you'll find below.



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(Claimed: #s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9)



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(Claimed: #s 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)



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(Claimed: #s 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

Claim away!

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Ten years, The Sixth


It seems like every other post on my Twitter feed lately involves people debating about whether or not the Bowman's Best Wander Franco is his TRUE ROOKIE CARD.

My gut reaction - and forgive me if this sounds crass and/or curmudgeonly - is WHO CARES? I really can't understand why people are spending large portions of their day thinking & arguing about this when there's so many other fun topics to be addressed in the card world. And not to mention when literally hundreds of thousands of other (and mostly better) cards out there begging for attention. 

No Wanders in this week's giveaway, but I do have this sheet of Chicago Tribune oddballs up for grabs (note the corner damage to poor Henry Blanco) that's been sitting in the deepest depths of my closet for the last 13 years, as well as everything else below.



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(Claimed: #s 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

Claim away!

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

We're not from here


It seems to me that most collectors have at least a passing interest in cards from foreign lands.

I think a lot of it has to do with scarcity - many foreign oddballs had to cross borders or even oceans to get to us here in the US of A, which means they're not readily available. The simple rarity makes them interesting. But for me I think there's something more - call it exoticism, but I take a special pleasure in creating a collection that features cards from all around the globe. They mark baseball as a world sport, and not just an American one.

I suppose that's why I took a special pleasure in this card I recently received from a reader named Michael R. - nope, it's not the standard '94 Topps Olerud I've been sent many times...




...but a '94 Topps Spanish Olerud!

From what I can tell, these were issued in factory sets at the time, and while I've known about 'em for a while, this is the first one that's actually found its way into my collection - I'm often surprised that there haven't been more Spanish-themed cards over the years given how big baseball is in the Mexican/Latin communities.




I never quite know what to expect when I receive an I've-got-cards-for-you email from a reader, but it's always exciting.

Little did I know there'd be a whole heap of Broder-ish and generally excellent Olerud oddballs in this package from Michael, though.




More fantastic cards of a few top-tier dudes - not every package I get has new Hoyts or Kenny Lofton Astros cards I've never seen before!

I've also been on a huge stadium-giveaway kick lately, so that Keebler's Ichiro (from his rookie year, no less!) was an incredibly special treat.




I don't know whether it's part of the Mike Trout Effect or not, but I've had a hard time finding Allen Craig's standard base card from 2011 Update (yes, I still collect Allen Craig).

It'd been sitting on my Dime Box Dozen list for many moons before Michael finally came along and speared it.




But that wasn't all - Michael hit three more Dime Box Dozen needs (how great is that Eric Davis?), and even a Keep Dreaming card with the '82 Topps Traded Ozzie!

The Ozzie isn't super rare, but it's always been priced just a bit more than I've wanted to pay - my next big Ozzie need is his '79 Hostess, but it'll probably be a while because have you seen how much that card goes for?




With oddballs and Dime Box Dozens out of the way, the next logical step was minis.

The Mo & Molitor are neat, but I haven't been able to find a shred of information on 'em, which I suppose is the mark of a really good oddball.




I like food-issue cards way more than manu-patches, but a Roberto Clemente card is cool no matter how you slice it.




And two more are even better!




The first thought I had when this slid out of the package from Michael was something like wow, I guess my collection has come a long way when I'm getting DOUBLES of vintage Clementes.

It's true - I've had this '70 Clemente in my collection since I was a kid (one of the first "big" cards I ever owned), but in the end I guess it's a good thing I flipped it over...




...BECAUSE IT'S AN OPC CLEMENTE!

OPCs are the prime example of the baseball-card exoticism I was talking about - very little distinguishes these from their Topps counterparts aside from the simple and excellent fact that they feature French on the back. Regular Topps vintage of huge stars is hard enough to find, and it should come as no surprise that this mic-drop from Michael is the very first OPC Clemente I own (and actually the first one I've ever seen, now that I think of it).

Adding a vintage Clemente to my binders is a banner day, but a foreign one makes it a truly watershed event, yes?

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Ten years, The Fifth


As the Ten Years giveaway rolls into another week, I suppose I should give an update as to when everyone should expect to receive the cards they've claimed, yes?

In honor of ten years, I'm gonna try to do ten of these posts - if I can scrounge up enough interesting extras from the piles of spares boxes in my closet, that is. The process of mailing everything will probably take a little while, but everyone should (hopefully) expect their cards not long after the end of these giveaway posts. I figure it's just better to wait until the end - rather than mailing stuff in parts - as to not accrue substantial shipping charges. I appreciate everyone's patience, and thanks for helping me celebrate ten years!

In the meantime, everything in tonight's post is up for grabs - including the above A&G Torii Hunter "Memorabilia(?)" relic (unless I'm way off base, that's a bat piece) - so let's see what those boxes in my closet yielded this week.



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Claim away!

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Watching and waiting


I often feel like there's too much pressure put on the simple flip of the calendar into a new year, but there's no doubting we're in for big transitions thus far in 2022.

We're only five days into the new year, and obviously there's a lot going on. I don't need to remind you of what's happening in the world at large, and you've probably already heard the Fanatical card news that broke recently. It's hard to avoid the fallout of seeing the world scatter away in ten different directions, but for better or worse I try to pride myself as the guy content to sit even-keeled in the corner, watching and waiting. 

Of course, it's easier to watch and wait when you have people like Gregory from "Nine Pockets" sending you customs from movies like "Good Burger" that smack me right in the childhood (a movie not without its sports references!).




I can still see the orange VHS "Good Burger" tape I had growing up - I doubt it's a hugely popular movie with anyone a few years older or younger than myself, but it's one of those treasured bits of pop culture that I was exactly the right age for.

Seinfeld, on the other hand, is timeless, and you can't argue the greatness of a card featuring George Costanza bowling over "Rochelle, Rochelle!" star Bette Midler, can you?




Gregory generously offered up a few more pop culture-ish customs on his blog recently, and I couldn't help but ask for this dueling comedic genius.

"Dumb & Dumber" is a movie I enjoy for no other reason than it makes me laugh ("That's a lovely accent you have...New Jersey?") - and don't tell anyone, but I've never actually seen "Ace Ventura" all the way through...




And in a year of transitions, these two wonderful Major League customs make for an easy transition...




...since I'm pretty sure another card I received recently was the basis for the Willie Mays Hayes/Rick Vaughn combo!

This was a freebie from a flash giveaway over at "The Diamond King" - an amusing placeholder for my Tommy John collection, if nothing else.




Here's a couple other nifty cards I claimed from a "Diamond King" giveaway, and probably one of the few Ohtani freebies you'll see anywhere in the cardboard universe.




Many of you probably remember Matt of "Bob Walk the Plank" fame - he contacted me via Twitter about a few cards he had from my want lists a while back, and here's hoping we get some more posts from him in the near future.

(Dig the Yadi throwback!)




I don't normally deal much in the TTM-auto market, but I couldn't help but fawn over these two I received from friend-of-the-blog Bob of "The Best Bubble" a good while back.

Love the Kessinger, and anything of hometown-hero Jim Walewander is cherished in native Dime Boxedonia - he's become somewhat of a figurehead around here with all the blog copy I've devoted to him the last couple years.




And that wasn't even all the Walewander fun my trade folder had in store!

Some of you may recall a blog reader named Alex who is somehow a way bigger Jim Walewander devotee than I am, and I have him to thank for a good 90 percent of the Walewanders sitting in my collection right now. I can say with certainty that I've never had someone singlehandedly do so much damage to a collection of mine in all my years around here.

So while yet another Walewander auto in a recent package wasn't necessarily a surprise, the accompanying John Kruk auto(!) certainly was.




And because sending me all those Walewanders wasn't enough, Alex decided to shovel a whole bunch of Kruks on me for good measure.

John Kruk is one of those guys I probably should've been collecting a long time ago, but thanks to Alex I'm at least starting to make up for a good decade or so of lost time.




But Alex couldn't stop there - because a mysterious note fell out of this very same package.

The internal dialogue started: why is he sending me a pack of 1991 Fleer??




Now, I'm one of the few who enjoy 1991 Fleer, but I can't say I've ever hooted and hollered about seeing a pack of the stuff, so I couldn't help but wonder what Alex was trying to tell me.

(And yet somehow I've never seen that Burks before - whether you like '91 Fleer or not, you have to admit that's a pretty great card.)




Of course, I soon discovered this wasn't your ordinary blinding pack of '91 Fleer...because a Ben Zobrist autograph quickly came sliding out.

This is somehow a double-dip/zero-year/amateur oddball all rolled up into one single glorious baseball card - to me, the autograph is probably the least notable thing about it.




Then came a pair of Dime Box Dozen needs, including a '92 SC Frank Thomas I could've sworn I had until a frantic look through my binders told me otherwise.




And then, to no one's surprise, came yet another Jim Walewander...only this time it was a card that totally confused me since there's not even a hint of printing info on it.

Of course, Alex quickly filled me in on the details. The Peoria Pacers were apparently a semi-pro team in the Midwest, and they had a set of cards printed as a giveaway to one of their games (which also features future big-leaguer Norm Charlton, among others). I can't imagine many people attended obscure semi-pro ballgames in the early '80s, so it seems like most of these sets were simply lost to history. Alex told me this is one of exactly eight copies he knows of, and against all odds, one of 'em is mine!

With fellow card-buddies like these, I'm more than happy to watch and wait while the rest of the world loses its mind.