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Thursday, August 22, 2019

It's Not That I Am Against Sets......

There have been a whole bunch of 2019 sets that have been released this year starting with Topps Series 1 way back in January or February.



I think I have a Stadium Club set put together.  Otherwise, I just have a bunch of random 2019 cards from a whole bunch of different sets.  Way back at the beginning of the year I thought I would try to put together a couple of small sets.  Have I done that?  

No.  

It's not that I am against sets, it's just that the majority that Topps is putting out at this point do not really hold my interest.  Rather mediocre.  

What to do?  

I am going to try to put together a pair of small Upper Deck insert sets from the early 1990s.  One from the 1992 Upper Deck Minor League set, and the other from the 1993 Upper Deck base set. Different years, different products, but I have always felt like these two insert sets are clones of each other.  

Minor League set first....



This is from the Top Prospects Holograms set.  There are 9 cards, but I only have two of them.  One being the Dmitri Young shown above as a member of the Springfield Cardinals.  The other belongs to Chipper Jones, which is a Durham Bulls card.  The other 7 cards in the set shouldn't be too hard to find.

I already have the red cards. 

TP1 Midre Cummings
TP2 Cliff Floyd
TP3 Chipper Jones
TP4 Mike Kelly
TP5 David McCarty
TP6 Frank Rodriguez
TP7 Brien Taylor
TP8 Rondell White
TP9 Dmitri Young

North Carolina native Brien Taylor card seems like he might be the hardest card left to find.  There is not one on COMC at the moment, so I will have to find one from some place different, I do not always like buying single cards like this off of Ebay.  Might have to go do a SportsLots order, something.    

On to the 1993 Upper Deck set.  If you collected at the time, I bet you can guess the insert set....


This is from the Then & Now set.  There is an older player of the picture in color with the hologram showing a new picture.  There are 18 cards in all.  There are actually a few cards in this set that I am not big on, but the rest of the cards more than make up for it.  

These are the cards I do not like.....


The retired players in the set have a goofy picture of the player wearing an Upper Deck shirt of some sort in the hologram picture rather than an older image.  Why doesn't this Reggie Jackson have a picture of him on the Angels, or his last season with the A's?  Would have made for a better set, but it's only a few cards that fit into this category.  
I am missing roughly half the set.  I already have the red cards. 

TN1 Wade Boggs
TN2 George Brett
TN3 Rickey Henderson
TN4 Cal Ripken, Jr.
TN5 Nolan Ryan
TN6 Ryne Sandberg
TN7 Ozzie Smith
TN8 Darryl Strawberry
TN9 Dave Winfield
TN10 Dennis Eckersley
TN11 Tony Gwynn
TN12 Howard Johnson
TN13 Don Mattingly
TN14 Eddie Murray
TN15 Robin Yount
TN16 Reggie Jackson
TN17 Mickey Mantle
TN18 Willie Mays

I think I can have these two small sets put together by the end of September.  Go team.  

Monday, August 19, 2019

2019 Blake Snell Autograph Count: 16 & 17

Every. other. post. 

What was in my mailbox today?  What will be in my mailbox tomorrow?  You already know the answer.  It's a Blake Snell autograph.  I am making a strong push to get to 25, there are not many I am missing at this point.  They are generally low numbered cards that I am going to have to get for the right price, and probably can never manage to get them all.

On to the cards. 

There are two because they are from the same ridiculous set, but they are two different cards.  I liked these cards when they first came out a few years back.  Now, they are starting to get a little annoying.  These are both from the Topps Archives Signature Series. 





The top card is a buyback of a 2015 Bowman card that Snell signed 99 copies of, while the bottom card is a 2018 Topps card (Aqua Fresh Design) that is also numbered out of 99.  I do not mind buybacks, but it seems ridiculous to do a buyback of a card that is one year old.  Silly.  

The good news is that I have added two more Snell autographs, they were fairly inexpensive, and I am now going to go do some work for my day job.  

A 1980s Card Part 14 - 1984 All-Star Game Inserts Tommy Herr

The other week I made fun of Bob Forsch for having a perm on a 1980s baseball card.  Tom Herr is on this week's card, and he also rocked a perm for parts of the decade.  I am going to skip over the hair and tell you all of the things I remember about the Cardinals second baseman during the 1980s.

1. He had the smallest home run space of any second baseman in the All-Star Baseball game.



It's the number 1 at the top of the disc if you never played.  Give me Ryne Sandberg or Bobby Grich all day long.


2. Walk off grand slam against the Mets on seat cushion night in 1987.


  



3. This sac fly he hit in the 1982 World Series that scored two runs.  Really Gorman Thomas misplayed the ball, but Tommy Herr hit it.  




and I did not really know much about this play during the 1980s.  More like the 1990s when I learned more about the 1982 World Series.  Still counts.  

4. He was traded to the Twins for Tom Brunansky.  



The 1989 Topps Cardinals Leaders cards had Tom Brunansky on it, plus Luis Alicea who replaced him at second base.  Feels like a 1980s troll job from Topps.  

That's it.  That's my Tommy Herr list.  Now for a card.  





This is a card I have picked up in the past year.  I really have not ever gone after any of these cards, but I included one of these in an article over at my other writing gig and I decided to check one out.  This is an All-Star Game Program insert card.  MLB put them in the programs for a few years during the 1980s, people cut them out, and there are a few floating around the internet.  Again, a more recent pick up, not an actual card I had in my collection during the 1980s.  Plus, there is no way the first/second grade me would have ever cut out a card this neatly.

This was already cut when I acquired it.  Here is the back.




No stats, just the All-Star Game logo from 1984, which was hosted by the Giants.  Huey Lewis and the News performed the National Anthem at this game.




A good song from 1984.  Huey Lewis and the News?  

Sunday, August 18, 2019

"Facts" About A Bulls Player

I have been working on finding cards of older Durham Bulls players all summer, and this past week I managed to scrounge up a really old one.  In this case, I am not only excited about the fact that the card is really really old, but I am also really excited about the player on the card.  He's a local, from Durham, and played and managed the Bulls for an extended period of time during the late 1920s and into the early 1930s.

He was also on the Cardinals for a stint, so there is that too.  Meet George "Possum" Whitted.


There are several places where you can find information on George Whitted, but I will give you a quick run down on the most important "facts":

-As a 6 month old baby, he fell out of a second story window and was not injured

-He was given the nickname of "possum" because he spent his free time roaming the forests around Durham hunting the annoying creatures

-He was also kicked by a mule as a child, but was not injured. The mule broke its legs

-Possum also hated school, which later burned down. However, he did end up playing baseball at Trinity College, which was the forerunner of Duke University.

There are others out there, but these seem to be the universally repeated "facts" about his early life around Durham.  I feel like the Chuck Norris jokes may all be based on the "real" life events of this former Major Leaguer.




As a Major Leaguer he played for the Cardinals, Phillies, Pirates, and Dodgers.  He won the World Series with the 1914 Dodgers and won the National League pennant with the 1915 Phillies.  There was a break during the middle of this career for a stint in the Army during World War I.  He would last appear in a game for the 1922 Brooklyn Dodgers before he went into managing at the Minor League level.  He started out with the Toledo Mud Hens in the first part of the 1920s, but ended the decade in the Piedmont League with the Bulls as a player/manager.

In all, he managed the Bulls for 6 seasons, and appeared in more than 400 games for them as a player.  Possum was an instant success, winning the regular season Piedmont League title in 1929, but losing in the playoffs.  The 1930 season Whitted led the Bulls to a second place finish in the Piedmont League, but the team won in the playoffs to capture the Postseason title.  Whitted would manage a few other places after the Bulls, and also ran the athletic leagues at the shipping yards in Wilmington, North Carolina during World War II. 

George would end up living out his life around North Carolina.  He died in 1962.  Interesting side note that his sister would go on to become the first female professor emeritus at Duke University.

Now, the baseball card.  Really excited about this one.



This is a 1919 W514 strip card.  This is hand cut, and while there are many who attribute these cards to other years, the Whitted card had to come from 1919 since it lists him as a Philadelphia "Quaker".  He was on the Pirates during the two other years some of these cards are listed under, which was in 1920 and 1921.  I was a little curious about the Phillies nickname here, but apparently they had played around with other nicknames at different points during their time as a franchise including the "Blue Jays".  According to the Sports Logo site this was there 1919 logo....





No use of the word Phillies, but there is a Quaker playing baseball. 

There are not many cards of Whitted, but this is the only one that I could find at a reasonable price.  A 100 year old card for less than $15, I will take it all day long.  His rookie card is in the 1914 Cracker Jacks set, so that one is not going to happen. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

2019 Blake Snell Autograph Count: 15

Every other post for the rest of the year will be a Blake Snell autograph.  Probably not, but I am on a roll at the moment with finding his cards on Ebay.  It feels like I cannot lose an auction at the moment, or I seem to never get turned down by sellers on offers.  Really, there is only one more that is on the way, after that the cupboard is starting to get bare.

Here is my latest.




This is from National Baseball Card Day.

I did not go to a card shop and buy and baseball cards that day, but I did go out and find a few cards I liked from other collectors who did get some of the Topps packs.  For a card that came out of a free pack this is a pretty nice autograph.  It's a sticker autograph, but Topps did a really nice job of blending it into the background.  The lighter area around the sticker and stripes seem to cover it up well.

A nice addition to the collection.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

and I am done.

I do not care about Gary Vee. 

I bought a blaster of Ginter a few weeks back and pulled a Corbin Burnes printing plate. 




I am not sure if I have ever pulled a printing plate out of a pack of retail cards.  Pretty cool. 




I got two copies of the Blake Snell autograph.  The regular one. 

Last week I found two Cardinals autographs that I was interested in adding.  The first was a copy of the Tyler O'Neill autograph.  Interested in seeing him play a bit more.  The Cardinals lack offense, O'Neill seems like he can hit for power.  I have not done much with his cards recently. 




He has other autographs and nice cards floating around, but I am going to pass on them all for right now.  Just one.  

This is one I have had on my list since the checklist for Ginter first came out.....



Ankiel autographs always seem to be expensive when they first come out, but they eventually settle down at some point.  After waiting a few weeks, I was finally able to add this card at a price I was comfortable with paying.  Topps did a great job of being neutral on pitcher/outfielder Rick Ankiel. 

and that's it for Ginter, I am done. 

Unless one of the serial numbered Snell autographs ends up selling cheap. 

Monday, August 12, 2019

2019 Blake Snell Autograph Count: 14



This is a sticker autograph from Museum Collection.  I am glad that I do not open packs of this product.  They are expensive and I am fairly certain that I have half a dozen autographs from this set, and have not spent more than $5 on any of them.  You've got two jersey swatches and an autographed sticker, on a generic looking card. 

I did not set a goal at the beginning of the year with the number of Snell autographs I wanted to find, just started making these posts.  There are four and a half months last in 2019, so 20 seems like the obvious answer. 

Here is the back of the card. 



I guess I am not sure how many more Snell autographs Topps is going to throw into their products, and how many more chances I am going to have to add some of the high end/low serial number cards that I am missing.  I would love to put down a higher number.

Pretty standard autograph.  I feel like I already own several of cards almost just like this....