Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The (Second) Dime Box Frankenset, Page 4: Numbers 28-36

Frankenset Page #39 WINNER -- 1997 Fleer #344 Tony Eusebio (10 votes)

I try to be as unbiased as possible when it comes to these frankenset posts, but it's admittedly nice when a card I really like ends up winning a page.

I don't think I've ever seen this '97 Fleer Tony Eusebio anywhere else but my own collection -- it's a brilliant image that deserves more love. I'm not sure why it speaks to me, but it does, and I said as much in last week's post. Thankfully, a good number of readers agreed with me, and Eusebio ended up taking the crown, collecting 10 of the 30 total votes for the win.

It's a joy and a privilege to add him to the Gallery of Frankenset Champions.

I'll try not to be as biased this time around, but there are a good number of personal favorites in this week's nice low-numbered page.

The Random Number Generator spit out #4, which means we'll be looking at that page (#s 28-36) of the frankenset binder tonight -- let's meet the candidates.

1995 Pinnacle #38 Derrick May

A leap at the ivy. 

2000 Just Minors #29 Brian Daubach

The mascot approves.

2015 Stadium Club #30 Dilson Herrera

Stadium Club gives even the more obscure dudes their moment in the sun. 

2016 Topps Update #US31 Eduardo Nunez

All-Star double dip! 

1973 Topps #32 Fred Norman

Pitching for no one. 

1973 Topps #33 Jim Breazeale

I'm no fashion expert, but I think Jim Breazeale could use some new glasses there. 

2013 Topps Update #US34 AJ Pollock

AJ Pollock sends everybody home (against the team he now plays for, ironically).

2016 BBM Fusion #35 Yuta Iwasada

For the Japanese media. 

2018 Topps Update Chrome #HMT36 Nick Kingham

Stellar '70s throwbacks.

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

Happy voting!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Open season at the flea market

While there's a very Midwestern part of me that enjoys cold and cloudy weather, I can think of at least one reason to get excited about the rising temperatures of spring: the flea market!

Like clockwork, the first few weeks of flea market season seem to get rained- or frozen-out every year (2019 included). But temps were in the 70s this past Easter Sunday, which made it an easy choice to declare it Opening Day at the Flea Market for me. I like to tell myself I'm there for more than just the baseball cards -- maybe I'll find cheap books or a cool poster or whatever other people buy at flea markets -- but let's face it: I'm pretty much just there for the baseball cards.

Though Opening Day didn't turn out to be a super extravagant afternoon at the flea market, I certainly didn't get shut out on the card front.

Past readers might know that I have regular vendors at this place, but the thrill of stumbling upon a new guy with some new untapped well of cards keeps me coming back year after year.

Sadly, I only came across one new baseball card vendor on Sunday. His cheap singles were priced at a quarter each even though a lot of it would've been lucky to be considered dime box material. But being as desperate as I was for cardboard at that point -- as well as just happy to be back at the flea market -- I took a look. I found a few things early on (including these two nifty throwbacks) and the vendor told me that his cards would go down to 10 cents a pop if I could find 100 I needed.

Don't gotta tell me twice.

I probably only found around 50 quarter cards I wanted during my first run-through, which meant that the next 50 I snagged would basically be free with the 100/$10 deal.

After that, I picked out anything and everything that I even partially needed and/or caught my eye -- which helped since I discovered a few things I'd missed my first time around, like an SI for Kids and a rare White Sox-era shot of Robin Ventura at first base(?).

These made it easy to get to the 100-card plateau -- the guy had a near-complete set of 1993 Ted Williams in his box, and I pretty much just grabbed 'em all.

Some, yes, turned out to be doubles, but others wound up being bigtime needs, especially those fantastic Negro League pogs which I'd never seen before Sunday.

The guy also had a bit of higher-priced miscellany at his table, and while I didn't see anything that necessarily jumped out at me, I grabbed this partial set of Baseball Wit oddballs for $3.

Turned out to be a great buy, because little did I know that the half-set I bought was packed with turn-of-the-century guys you don't often see cards of. We're talking the Chris Von der Ahes and Old Hoss Radbourns of baseball lore (both of whom, incidentally, are the subjects of two books I highly recommend, written by the same author).

A little research showed that these Baseball Wits were sold together in two shrinkwrapped packs -- if these are any indication, it looks like I'll have to pick up the other half ASAP.

The Penny Box Guy was back, sans the penny cards -- not a huge deal though since I've pretty much bathed myself in the entire inventory of those by now.

He did, however, have a small stack of these Fleer World Series singles I love for a buck a piece, and I wound up spending the last two dollars I had in my wallet on this nifty pair.

The third of the three vendors I bought from on Sunday was my main regular guy from the past few flea market seasons.

He's become a favorite stop of mine because he always seems to have new cards on display, though he does seem to have a mysterious shopper who buys up the majority of his inventory before I arrive. His boxes were almost completely pilfered by the time I got to them in the early afternoon. That's not to say this mystery collector didn't leave behind a few hearty scraps, though.

The rare Negro League Ernie Banks was all of a buck, and my "high-dollar" purchase of the day was my first card of mega-prospect Eloy Jimenez as a Cub (zero-year!) for two dollars.

The prices of this guy's cheap boxes vary from week to week, but they were 4/$1 this past Sunday.

Nice mix of past and present here, and can't say I knew those cool Call to the Hall inserts existed up until now.

I don't know about you, but I'm always a sucker for these '80s Star oddballs.

Oh, and one other thing: those 4/$1 boxes also featured vintage!

I think both myself and this vendor's other customers have picked out most of the bigger names in these discount vintage boxes by now, but somehow he keeps coming back with other nice cards and/or higher numbers I need for my frankenset.

This excellent '71 Ron Woods (featuring the elusive batter-catcher-umpire triumvirate!) was yet another card I'd somehow never seen before Sunday, and you better believe it made my frankenset without much of a battle.

More vintage gems unbeknownst to me -- I'm especially fond of Bob Oliver's stretch on his '72 Topps card.

These two, on the other hand, were cards I'd known about but never tracked down...until Sunday that is.

The Unser might be the earliest night card I've ever seen, and while I can't say I know much about Rich Chiles, that '72 is quietly beautiful in the way that so many vintage cards are.

There weren't really any OH MY GOD vintage finds this time around, but for now I was happy to close out Opening Day at the Flea Market with this '62 Tony Kubek from the dollar box, which I needed for my small collection of his.

I may be a quiet soul who enjoys clouds and rain, but I'm also an avid flea market devotee who can't wait to see what the rest of this year's season has to offer under the summer sunshine.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The (Second) Dime Box Frankenset, Page 39: Numbers 343-351

Frankenset Page #46 WINNER -- 1970 Topps #413 Sonny Jackson (12 votes)

This one went right down to the wire.

As I expected, the two vintage contestants battled it out until the end -- a couple late tallies helped the '70 Sonny Jackson eke out a victory over the '71 Ray Sadecki, 12 votes to 11 (of 39 total). There is just something inherently odd and fascinating about a guy bunting on his almighty Topps image -- and even further, it wouldn't be the last (or even second-to-last) time Jackson was asked to show bunt on his baseball cards.

For better or worse, the picture does seem to fit the player: Sonny Jackson was a .251 career hitter (and even led the league in Sacrifice Hits once!).

No vintage on this week's page, but we've still got a fun group here -- as per the Random Number Generator, Page 39 (#s 343-351) is up for grabs tonight.

Let's meet the nominees.

 1999 UD Victory #343 Sterling Hitchcock

You'd think a dude would be a little more excited about winning a prestigious award.

1997 Fleer #344 Tony Eusebio

One of those cards that speaks to me for reasons I can't quite explain. 

1998 Stadium Club #345 Kevin Orie

Collision avoided. 

1993 Upper Deck #346 Devon White

'93 Upper Deck rules for all eternity. 

1981 Fleer #347 Richard Wortham

That's a prime Green Monster sighting right there. 

2015 Topps Update Throwback Variations #348 Carlos Santana

Sweet throwback from a variation set I'm still trying my darnedest to complete. 

 1993 Upper Deck #349 Zane Smith

Another throwback!

 1995 Collector's Choice Silver Signature #350 Andy Benes

Pitcher (kind of) at the plate -- albeit the Silver Signature version since I somehow don't yet own the base card.

2009 Upper Deck #351 Skip Schumaker

Hands and feet and dirt everywhere on this nifty PATP.

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

Happy voting!

Monday, April 22, 2019


I currently have north of 80 binders scattered around my room, which makes it hard to believe there was ever a time it all started from zero.

At some point, I had to sit down and decide that collecting baseball cards was something I wanted to do. The hobby was never thrust on me: sadly, I never did get to inherit the collection of my dad's '70s youth. His cards, as the common tale goes, were all either given away or thrown out. Thus, a generation later, I was left to launch my own collection from scratch.

While I've since acquired most of what my dad once had, I've always wished I could've inherited his old cards -- at the very least, it would've been nice having the five or six '75 Bretts my dad said he owned as a kid.

But just because my dad's cards ended up in sad landfills doesn't mean I don't get to inherit cards.

Just recently I received a package from my buddy Alex of the newly revived "Chavez Ravining" blog. Alex is just getting back into both blogging and collecting after a brief hiatus, but from what he tells me, he's trimming things down a bit. For one, he's decided to nix his Matt Kemp collection -- a hefty portion of which he generously passed down to me. While I enjoy the "42" prism parallel (made even better by the fact that it features a Dodger) and these memorabilia pieces, I doubt I would've chased these cards for my own Kemp collection.

But there's something about inheriting them from Alex -- someone who once bought, loved, and cherished these very cards -- that in turn adds an inherent beauty as they now sit in my binders.

I mean, it's not every day someone sends you a Sweet Spot autograph, right?

I have a couple of these from my auto-collecting days, but I probably haven't added a new Sweet Spot  to my binders in about a decade, if I had to guess -- and just like that, my Matt Kemp collection got that much spiffier.

I suppose every trade is an inheritance in a way: my collection is absorbing cards once owned by others.

Hard to go wrong sending me numbered Beltres and mini-collection Kershaws (note the Brooklyn "B" cap).

I'm proud of myself: 2018 was the first time I didn't buy any Topps Holiday stuff.

It's just as well, since Alex sent me about a blaster's worth of 'em anyways -- and pretty much all of dudes I collect!

I knew I needed the Dawson here: it came straight from my 2018 A&G wantlist.

The photo-SP Goldy, on the other hand, is the far more exciting example of a card that lived deep in the wilderness, so deep that I didn't even know I needed it in the first place.

Alex dropped a second package on me not long after that first one -- this one, again, contained a portion of my Matt Kemp inheritance with that GQ parallel (which looks about a thousand times better than the base card).

I come from a family of White Sox fans, and yet my allegiances lie with the North Siders.

I'm not quite sure how that happened, but I know I'm happy to inherit pretty much any unwanted Cubs from Sox fans or otherwise.

I still like Topps Fire despite its repeated attempts to burn my corneas.

I'm wondering how sales were for 2019 Topps, because my remaining Flagship needs don't seem to be flooding in nearly as quickly as they did via trades, card shows, etc. in years past.

Thankfully Alex helped me cross these four off my still-large want list (also: Vlad!).

In closing, I'd just like to say: CONCESSION DUDE!

I'm working on the World's Dudes set, albeit at a snail's pace -- I'd be surprised if I'm more than a quarter of the way through the thing by now. Sure, I might be my dad's age when I finally accumulate all 50 Dudes, but mark my words: I will complete it!

Maybe by then I'll have someone to pass it all down to.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The (Second) Dime Box Frankenset, Page 46: Numbers 406-414

Frankenset Page #72 WINNER -- 1973 Topps #645 Bob Locker (19 votes)

This was a drubbing in every sense of the word.

Not surprisingly, Bob Locker (and his trusty Topps airbrusher) massacred the competition, taking 19 of the 33 total votes to cruise to an easy win. While every card from last week's page earned at least one vote, only one of the others got more than two tallies (Fausto Cruz with five). Locker led from start to finish.

And thus yet another gem from '73 Topps becomes immortalized in the Gallery of Frankenset Champions.

As decreed by the Random Number Generator, we'll be taking a look at Page 46 (#s 406-414) of the frankenset this week.

Hopefully the polls will be a bit closer this time, but for now, let's meet our nominees.

1971 Topps #406 Ray Sadecki

Awesome action from '71 Topps. 

2000 Pacific #407 Miguel Cairo

Double dipping with a Joe Girardi cameo. 

1994 Collector's Choice #408 Scott Hemond

Not the greatest bunting form, if you ask me. 

 2002 Fleer #409 Rey Ordonez

Throwing it back to the New York Cubans of the Negro Leagues.

1991 Upper Deck #410 Bruce Ruffin

Career .081 hitter Bruce Ruffin trying and failing to look imposing with a bat. 

 1998 Ultra Gold Medallion #411G Jose Vizcaino

A man and his tools (also please somebody help me find the base version of this card!).

 1993 Topps #412 Jamie McAndrew

Jamie McAndrew holds the wood.

1970 Topps #413 Sonny Jackson

O the indignity of being asked to bunt on your own baseball card. 

1995 Donruss #414 Jody Reed

Has there ever been a more PO'ed dude on a baseball card?

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

Happy voting!