Monday, August 25, 2014

Commemorative Coolness

I hope you have enjoyed some of the older cards I have posted on here during the past few weeks.  I set a goal of posting more cards that were already in my collection when this year started.  It's been a busy past 30 days for me at work and I feel like I have had limited opportunity to post new cards.  The cards in my post tonight are two of my favorite older autographs in my collection and I consider sort of prized possessions.

In 1996 Upper Deck issued the SPx set.  The SPx brand had been a football and basketball brand prior to the 1996 year, but the baseball line followed a similar concept as the basketball and football lines.  The cards had a simple die cut design with a hologram picture covering the majority of the card.  The baseball version contained one card per pack with a limited few insert sets and parallel sets also included.  Two of the insert cards were a commemorative card of both Ken Griffey and Mike Piazza.  Each card also had an autographed parallel.

I loved the look of these cards and made both autographs a high priority a few years back.  Both look really good in my collection.





My copy of the Griffey autograph is fading a bit, but I keep it stashed away and rarely take it out of it's spot.  I would consider looking for another copy of the card, but many of the other copies are starting to look just like mine.  The Piazza autograph has held up well almost 20 years later.  Both cards can be found for around $100, but the Griffey has started to fluctuate in price based on the condition of the autograph.  One completed sale on Ebay recently sagged below $70, but the 'graph was badly faded.  Nice copies of the Griffey can still push $200.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

#MyCardMonday

I have had a really rough month with posting cards consistently, but I really wanted to get a #MyCardMonday post up before the end of the weekend.  This week's card comes from the 2011 Topps Diamond Die Cut Set.  These cards could be earned by typing in a code from the back of a card into a website.  Some codes earned collectors vintage Topps cards, while others gave them a crack at one of these cool die-cuts.  I have a few I picked up that year.  For #MyCardMonday I picked a copy of Jon Jay:




I picked Jay because he is having a great season for the Cardinals.  The Redbirds have been a frustrating team to watch this year, but Jay is posting a .309/.280.401 line with a 119 OPS+.  All are career highs.  While many Cardinals fans thought he would not stay on the team through the offseason, he has been a pleasant surprise and one of the few consistent contributors to the team.  I loved collecting Jay cards the past few years and have not found as many this year, but looking back through the old ones always makes me happy.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Throwback Month- Stadium Club Triumvirate Die Cuts

A quick post this evening.  I have done a few posts over the years on die-cut cards.  I'm a fan and I hope you are too.  Some are better than others, like all types of cards, but the Stadium Club Triumvirate Die Cuts were the beginning of the line for me with die cut cards.  Topps issued there inserts from in the mid to late 90s Stadium Club sets and then recently brought them back for in the 2013 Topps Archives Set.  Within the run of Triumvirate cards, each team had three players.  Although there are a few years Topps put positions together.  Put the players from a team together and it looks like this:



The cards looked good without being assembled into a set.  Here are a few of the past designs along with my opinions (generally good) of the cards.  Cards are posted in order of date, not favorites.  They are all cool cards......



The 1998 set was one the Triumvirate set where the "sets" were by position.  You can see the centerfield label behind Ray Lankford.  I believe there is also a Bernie Williams card in this set and a Ken Griffey Jr.  The Junior might be lingering somewhere in my collection, but I am going to go out on a limb and say I do not have a Bernie, or his soft rock guitar.  This year had a simpler die cut, although the lace eyelets around the edge of the cards are actually holes in the card.  In a lot of ways this is the set which most reminds me of the new version issued by Topps in 2013 in terms of the shape of the die cuts.  


The 1999 version of the Triumvirate cards featured more intricate die cuts and the cards had slats cut into the cards.  I have never been into graded cards, but I was also tempted to send a few of these off to see what they would rate.  While the cards are generally plastic, I have seen these cards with dings on the points in the die-cuts.  The "sets" were by team in this issue.  


In 2000 Topps issued a simpler version of the Triumvirate cards.  The cards still had the slats, but the edges had a less complex design.  I really liked the background on the 2000 set.  



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Throwback Month: Pacific Online

This set was the mother of all Pacific sets.  It was 800 cards, I know there are bigger, but by Pacific standards this was as big as it got.  The base Pacific set was usually a pretty decent size, 500 cards or so, but the majority of their sets in their late 90s heyday were smaller 100 and 200 card sets.  The set had a Pacific type of feel from the way the cards were ordered (Angels first) to the design, which looked like it could have been a Pacific base set with a few modifications.



Each card featured two URLs on the top of the card, hence the name Pacific Online, which linked the card to the players page with the MLB Players Association and also with the team page.  Had to put a Devil Ray in this post too.  There were variations within the set too which made it a little bit harder to put together.  There are gold cards, like Wade Boggs above, which were placed one per pack.  There were also silver cards, but those had variations too.



This card features Bagwell fielding, but his regular card in the set featured him batting.  There is no consistency to the variations.  Some are head shots, as was the case in the regular Pacific set, others were changes in jersey colors.  The variation in the variation makes this a tricky set to compile.  There are several different sites which offer checklists, but there is disagreement in some cases as to which card is the variation.  I just picked up both copies.  Problem solved.  



There are also team checklist cards which was a hallmark of almost all Pacific sets from that era.  While many of the checklists were seeded as short-prints, and could be difficult to run across, the Pacific Online checklists were just simply short-printed cards.  

Monday, August 18, 2014

Allen & Ginter Cardinals Relics

I am going to catch up with things this week.  I will be posting the second half of my 1991 Topps favorite cards this evening, but in the meantime, here are a few Allen & Ginter cards from this year to look at.  Both cards are Cardinals with the Adams being bat relic and the Molina a jersey relic.  






The Molina relic is slightly dirty, which is always cool to see on a relic card.  I've seen and owned dirtier cards, but still always cool to know that your relic saw a little bit of game action.  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

1991 Topps: The National League Teams

One of the most underrated sets of all-time is the 1991 Topps set.  The packaging of the product celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the base Topps set.  The design of the cards was really simple with a simple white border, a colored frame to match the team color, and a Topps 40th Anniversary logo up in the top corner of the card.  The photography was great.  Cool action shots to go along with some really good staged photos.  It seemed like Topps actually cared about their cards.  Strange.

Here's a run down of one cool card from each of the National League teams 1991 style.  No Brewers, yes Astros.  After much thought and consideration:  No words, just pictures.  These were awesome cards.
























Platinum Rays Autographs

I am doing a few posts the next couple days to catch up for last week.  It was just one of those weeks where things kept popping up and my day job kept me really busy.  I really wanted to put up a post about the 1991 Topps set, but am still working on it.  Probably this afternoon.  Plenty of cards to share, so here are two new cards to my collection:

Bowman Platinum was recently released by Topps.  I have opened wax of this product before and not always faired too well.  This year I avoided opening any packs of Platinum and settled for trading and buying single autographs, relics, and cool cards from the set.  The Cardinals and Rays autographs, which are always my first targets, have a few autographs in the product.  The Cardinals autographs in the set include Oscar Taveras and Stephen Piscotty, while the Rays autographs include Will Myers, Mike Montgomery, and Curt Casali.



Montgomery came over to the Rays in the James Shields and Will Myers trade.  He's been in Durham the past years and has yet to make an appearance at the Major League level for the Rays.  The left-handed starting pitcher made the International League All-Star team this year and is having a nice year for the Durham Bulls.  His last two months have been a little bit shaky, but I still think he will make a contribution to the Rays next year.  I'm not sure he starts, but he's in Tampa next year.  




I also picked up a copy of the Curt Casali autograph.  Casali played his college baseball at Vanderbilt and has spent a large chunk of this season in Durham.  He has also been called up to the Rays where he is hitting .186.  Not a great mark, but the Rays have been a little bit thin at catcher recently.  Not sure if his is ever a starter, but is decent defensively and has some good pop in his bat.