Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Set Project Update Take #2: 1983 Kelloggs

Two more weeks to finish off this set.  I know my last update was just a few days ago, but I am actually putting together a set in a timely fashion.  It has rarely happened in this space.  The cards are not very hard to find, nor are they very expensive.  When I made my post at the end of last week I was still roughly 40 cards short from completing the set.  I had already worked out two trades and have a COMC order coming through in the next day which will drastically cut down on the 40 cards needed.

First up.



Ran into a trading partner, who is a huge Angels fan, who sent me three Angels cards that were on my list.  Return package will be along shortly, but I am always happy when other collectors are generous with help on projects.  One of the great things about collecting baseball cards.

I picked up seven other cards from my checklist from another trade.  I got a few of the Kelloggs cards that I needed and they got a little bit of help with an older Topps Heritage set.





I was actually surprised when I started out on this project that I did not already have the Neil Allen and Quisenberry cards.  Both players were Cardinals at one point during their careers, and on most of these 1980s sets that I have started to work on, those are the cards that I usually already have in my collection.  Plus, Neil Allen coached with the Durham Bulls for a long time.  

Updated Checklist:

2 Rollie Fingers 
4 George Brett 
6 Pete Rose 
7 Fernando Valenzuela 
8 Rickey Henderson 
9 Carl Yastrzemski 
10 Rich Gossage 
11 Eddie Murray 
13 Jim Rice 
14 Robin Yount 
15 Dave Winfield  
17 Garry Templeton 
19 Pete Vuckovich 
26 Andre Thornton 
27 Leon Durham 
31 Nolan Ryan 
33 Len Barker 
35 Jack Morris 
39 Jim Palmer 
40 Lance Parrish 
41 Floyd Bannister 
42 Larry Gura 
44 Toby Harrah 
45 Steve Carlton 
46 Greg Minton 
52 Dale Murphy 
53 Kent Hrbek 
54 Bob Horner 
55 Gary Carter 
56 Carlton Fisk 
57 Dave Concepcion 
58 Mike Schmidt 
59 Bill Buckner 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Set Project: 1983-1990 Topps Glossy Send Ins

If you opened packs of Topps cards during the 1980s, you probably remember the contest cards that used to pop up every couple of packs.  They usually involved winning a trip to the All-Star game or Spring Training.  I think in the later 1980s Topps also offered collectors the chance to buy sweatshirts, or a chance to subscribe to Topps Magazine.  Cannot believe I passed up those opportunities.

I actually did save up my contest cards though, and at some point towards the end of each summer, I could usually convince my parents to get a money order to send in for a sweet stack of 10 glossy cards.  I actually think based on the number of cards in my collection, plus the fact that I probably split the cards my brother, I likely got a $4 dollar money order.



In retrospect as an adult, the fact that the money order probably cost $1 to buy, I am surprised my parents just didn't take me and my brother to the card shop to just buy the set of glossy send in cards. 

Four to six weeks later in the mail, we would have a stack of the glossy send-in cards.  They were really the same card design every year with a different colored border.  Still pretty exciting for the time when there were not many choices of sets to collect in the baseball card world.   

I have a few from 1983, but there are too many that are in too good of condition for them to be something that I actually got that year.  Plus, that was the first year I collected.  The first year where I actually have a somewhat significant amount of the glossy mail-ins cards is from 1984.  

Again, same design every year.  





I know that some of these cards that are in my collection have been with me since 1984.  They have rounded corners, or for some reason, the fronts of the cards are different colors than the backs of the cards.  A little weird considering my house was definitely smoke free.....




and I kept my cards in boxes and pages.  You can see the edges of this Quisenberry cards are a little bit yellowed, as is the Carew card above, especially when compared to the back of the card.  I'm actually guessing that I probably put these cards in sheets at some point.  I recall having a notebook for my cards later elementary school years that were filled with the best cards in my collection.  

In other words, my glossy mail-ins and Vince Coleman rookie cards.  

Other copies of these cards in my collection have clean white borders and no rounded edges.  Likely because I bought them as an older collector.  



The Raines card above is not well centered, but is a much better card than the Quisenberry.  There used to be a card shop in south St. Louis County off of Telegraph Road where I actually think I ended up with a lot of these cards.  The guy who owned the store had a lot of sets like these and the cards usually ended up in dime and quarter boxes.



Surprisingly, I have large amounts of most of these sets, but none of them are complete.  Of the sets that I have, I am actually missing a lot of the Cardinals out of the them.  Maybe they were not in the dime and quarter boxes at that store, or some other reason that I cannot think of at the moment.  

I am not going to post the checklists of all the Glossy Mail-In sets, but I will break down each of them and give a percentage that I am starting out at.  Some are going to be easy to finish, perhaps a COMC order, others I am going to spend a little time digging around for the cards.  I have a few road trips coming up in the next few months, plus there are a few card shows around here.   

1983 - 31 out of 40 78%  
1984 - 28 out of 40 70% 

There are several 1984 cards that I will likely replace since my only copies were clearly from my actually collection in 1984.  The seven year old me was not good with corners.  Really lower than 70%

1985- 35 out of 40 88%

These are all pristine, not sure I actually ordered any as a kid in 1985.  Maybe my brother ended up with all of them.  

1986- 42 out of 60 70%
1987-  22 out of 60 37%
1988- 42 out of 60 70%
1989- 58 out of 60 97%
1990- 55 out of 60 92% 

The percentages are all pretty high starting points, outside of the 1987 set, but I still need almost 100 cards, roughly, when taking into account all the different years that I am trying to assemble here.  I am going to say that this is going to take until February.  I will be shocked if I finish it sooner.  

I am going to tack a few other set projects onto this before the end of the year.  


Friday, October 12, 2018

Set Project Update: 1983 Kellogg's

My original post for this set can be found here.

To summarize, I am trying to put together a few more sets that would be in the "oddball" category that are from the 1980s and 1990s.  Things like the Kellogg's and Hostess cards, maybe some of the Denny's sets too.  I started out with 9 cards, which were mainly Cardinals cards, a few players with connections to the Cardinals, like Jack Clark, and a few that are somehow connected to the Durham Bulls.

My goal is to finish in two months, it has now been over a month and I have crossed off another eight cards from my checklist.  That brings me up to 18 out of the 60 cards, or 30% of the set.  I am going to have to pick up the pace a little bit in the next month in order to finish this project in my allotted amount of time.

I am going to break these down into two groups.  The first five came from a Sports Lots seller.





I had a couple of more recent sets that had some holes in them, nothing worth posting as a project, but I always have trouble getting combined shipping on that site.  It's a cheap way to get single cards, but if you have to pay shipping to each person you buy a single card from, it makes it expensive.  

In this case, I found the four or five cards that I needed for my recent set, and also ran across these five Kellogg's card for this set project.  Love combined shipping.  

Next three.





I got these in a trade with someone off of a Facebook group.  They were not originally part of the trade, but I have been asking, while working on other trades, if people have any 1983 Kellogg's cards.   I ran into one collector.  

While I feel behind on this project, 70% more to fill the set, I actually have a bunch coming in off of COMC that I got by making offers, and a few more that I have pulled in from Ebay and another Facebook trade.  On paper, it looks possible, but it's going to be close.  

More Kellogg's early next week.   The updated checklist....


1 Rod Carew 
2 Rollie Fingers 
3 Reggie Jackson 
4 George Brett 
6 Pete Rose 
7 Fernando Valenzuela 
8 Rickey Henderson 
9 Carl Yastrzemski 
10 Rich Gossage 
11 Eddie Murray 
13 Jim Rice 
14 Robin Yount 
15 Dave Winfield 
16 Harold Baines 
17 Garry Templeton 
19 Pete Vuckovich 
23 Willie Wilson 
24 Johnny Ray 
26 Andre Thornton 
27 Leon Durham 
31 Nolan Ryan 
32 Dan Quisenberry 
33 Len Barker 
34 Neil Allen 
35 Jack Morris 
39 Jim Palmer 
40 Lance Parrish 
41 Floyd Bannister 
42 Larry Gura 
43 Britt Burns 
44 Toby Harrah 
45 Steve Carlton 
46 Greg Minton 
47 Gorman Thomas 
51 Fred Lynn 
52 Dale Murphy 
53 Kent Hrbek 
54 Bob Horner 
55 Gary Carter 
56 Carlton Fisk 
57 Dave Concepcion 
58 Mike Schmidt 
59 Bill Buckner 


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

I Really Hate Shopping

I really hate shopping.  Luckily, my house is in a place where I can walk ten minutes and buy most of the things that I need in life.  Driving is two minutes to most of these places depending on a traffic light.  There are two grocery stores, the post office, Walgreens, a Verizon store, a bunch of different restaurants, Lowe's (hardware store for you NC people), Target, an emergency room, etc, etc.  You get the point.

Usually, my wife does the big shopping trips in our household and I stay home and hang out with the kids.  However, the small shopping trips are all mine.  A week back I was dispatched to Lowe's to purchase playground sand.  The sand in our sandbox had been soiled by a cat.

There are actually many cats in my neighborhood.  We have a person in our neighborhood who feeds stray cats.  They come for miles.


At one point this summer she even tried to crowd source a vet bill for a stray who had been bitten by a snake. 

I bought the playground sand, but ended up being dispatched to Target for a few art supplies for a school project my son was working on.  Lowes and Target are right next to each other.  Didn't even have to move my car.  Now, I am not usually a retail card person, but sometimes I dabble.  I dabbled with three hanger packs of Topps Archives.  

The aisle was dominated by a bunch of Panini stuff.  I would have actually preferred seeing some Heritage High Numbers cards.  

The base cards out of Archives are the usual stuff out of that product.  Three different past card designs with both current and former players.  The best base card that I found was A's pitcher Daniel Mengden.  


I saw him pitch for the USA Baseball college team while he was at Texas A&M.  That mustache is incredible.  I know there are other cards of Mengden and his mustache, just like this one with the posed shot.  Pretty sweet.  Heard there is one in Heritage High Numbers too.  

So, what else did I get?  You know it has to be pretty good since I never blog about retail cards.  

Somehow I also managed to land two autographs in three hanger packs.  I consider anything beyond basic inserts and base cards out of retail packs to be something pretty special.  Maybe I am wrong and the odds are better now.  Still happy.  

First autograph.....




belongs to 60s and 70s Red Sox infielder Rico Petrocelli.  His career was not very long, but some of his prime years were excellent.  Hit for power, had a decent average, drove in runs, and was also an excellent defender.  

Second autograph......




to long time Braves and Mets infielder Felix Millan.  I was actually a little bummed to see that this card was a redemption, but then there are actually live copies on Ebay.  It's a Mets card on a 1977 design.




Very nice looking card.  I have not even tried to send in a redemption card in a few years, but this one might be one that I take on, especially if there are live copies of the card already available online. 

I really hate shopping, but every once in awhile nice things happen while I am at the store.   

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Project Durham Bulls Part #40 - Jeremy Hellickson




2009-2010, 2014 Durham Bulls 


Background-
Hellickson was a very important member of the Durham Bulls during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.  He pitched part of a season in Durham in 2009, helped the team win the Triple A National Championship, and took home the MVP in the final game against the Memphis Redbirds.  The following season, Hellickson played roughly 20 games with the Bulls and ended up winning the Baseball America and USA Today Minor League Player of the Year Award.  Hellickson also took home the International League MVP.  One of the more impressive resumes while playing for the Bulls.  Hellickson ended up playing on the 2014 team as well on an injury rehab.

Hellickson's Major League career has not been as spectacular as his time in Durham, but he's still been a nice pitcher.  During his first full season with the Rays, Hellickson won 13 games and took home the 2011 American League Rookie of the Year Award.  He played on the Rays until 2014, but has bounced around since playing for the Diamondbacks, Phillies, Orioles, and and Nationals.  

Card- 
I wanted to go with something early in Hellickson's career.  He had cards out earlier than this 2011 Bowman Chrome, but nothing that was a quality autograph.  After this Bowman card, the flood gates sort of opened for awhile and Hellickson appeared in a bunch of different Topps products.  He has always had a little bit of an odd signature, but he is very consistent with it.  Especially the earlier cards.  Price was never a huge deal with Hellickson cards, but they have certainly become much more affordable since he started bouncing around the last few years.  

Monday, October 8, 2018

I Love The 1990s Cardinals Part 48 - Rick Sutcliffe

A few weeks back I did a post on Tom Henke pitching his final season in a Cardinals uniform.  That was a great short term signing of a veteran player for the team.  There were a few others during the 1990s that did not work out quite as well.  Mainly, I suspect that some of these players were really on the Cardinals because they agreed to play for next to nothing.

If August Busch III is reading, you are welcome to correct that assumption in the comments.  

Just to state for the 40th time since I started writing this thread of 1990s posts, the Cardinals went cheap after August II, Gussie, died and his son took over the team.  Rick Sutcliffe had won 10 games with the Baltimore Orioles in 1993, but his ERA was 5.75.  Maybe that's not horrible pitching in Camden Yards during the steroid era, but he was clearly not the guy who led the National League in wins during the 1987, the Rookie of the Year in 1979, and the Cy Young in 1984. 

Most important reason for Rick Sutcliffe making an appearance on the 1994 Cardinals?  His salary was $250,000.  That was not the Major League minimum in 1994, but the players near him in terms of salary on the Cardinals included Vincente Palacios, John Habyan, Rheal Cormier, and Mike Perez.  Not the pricy part of the payroll.  

The 1994 season was Sutcliffe's last as a Major Leaguer.  He had two long stints on the disabled list, which limited him to just 16 starts in what amounted to half a season's games.  He actually ended up with a winning record, 6-4, in spite of the fact that his ERA ended at 6.52.  Sutcliffe had several games which did a lot to jump his ERA up, probably a little inflated.  

On to baseball cards.  I will do four cards for Sutcliffe, two from 1994 and two from 1995.  A few bonus cards at the end.  




Sutcliffe was always a mullet type of guy and this card shows off that hair.  He actually had some shorter hair at some point with the Cardinals.  I also like the sunglasses.  I know those were probably really cool in 1994.   I am not a glasses type of person, never worn them, and I don't do sunglasses either.  This pair actually remind me of Kenny Powers.  I guess you throw in the mullet......


makes me want to check to see if Rick Sutcliffe has ever taught P.E. class in North Carolina.  I like the Stadium Club cards, always nice photography.  I like the picture on the card, but I always thought the label maker bottom is little bit odd.  Wasn't there a Simpsons episode out around this time where Bart gets a label maker from his aunts for this birthday?  


and there you have it.  This was during Season 3, which aired in 1992.  Someone at Topps watched this episode and then designed this Stadium Club set.  


Next card.  



This is the short haired version of Rick Sutcliffe.  Not clearly as cool as the mullet.  This is much more along the lines of Rick Sutcliffe the guy who works on Sunday Night Baseball.  Throw a shirt, tie, and sport coat on him....



This card is from the 1994 Score Traded/Rookie set.  Everyone remembers these cards for the ARod rookie.  Always kind of liked the red borders with the Cardinals cards, but it stinks that the team did not have many cards in the set.  I think the best Cardinals card is either this Sutcliffe or John Mabry.  Slightly depressing.  

That was really it for his 1994 cards with the Cardinals.  He also had a few with the Orioles, but overall Sutcliffe just did not have many cards that year.  You can only imagine, given the season he had in 1994, that the selection of 1995 was even more sparse.  Sutcliffe had two different cards the year after he retired.  

First up.  



A Collector's Choice card.  Upper Deck always had nice photography on their cards.  Nice shot of Sutcliffe signing autographs.  Not sure what else is going on here.  

Next.  



Another Score card.  Nice enough picture and a decent card to go out with.  

One thing that is slightly disappointing about Sutcliffe's 1995 card selection is the fact that he does not have a Topps card.  I know that in 1994 Topps gave him a card with the Orioles......


which is understandable since he played the 1993 season with them.  Given the longevity of Sutcliffe's career, the fact that he won several major awards, it would have been nice if Topps had given him some sort of send off for the end of his career.  For what it is worth, they did end up giving Sutcliffe a few cards in the mid 2000s, which are pretty nice.  



and they thankfully avoid his time with the Cardinals.  The retirement years Sutcliffe cards only had a two year run, since there has not been a single card made of the former pitcher.  

2018 Durham Bulls Team Set Part 2

Part 1 of the Durham Bulls team set for 2018 can be found here.  Here's the second half of the set....


Feels like there were a whole bunch of former Mariners players on this year's squad.  Andrew Moore was one of them.  He spent some time up with the Mariners last year, but was not very good with them.  He did pitch really well with Tacoma though and they are in a really hard part of the Pacific Coast League for pitchers.  Pitched decently with the Bulls this year.  I think there is some hope with him.  


Russell is a North Carolina native and a graduate of the light blue ACC school.  Seems like 

Russell is a North Carolina native and a graduate of the light blue ACC school.  Seems like a solid defender, but I am not sure he is ever going to hit in professional baseball.  The Rays have a ton of versatile infielder types too.  Maybe somewhere else.  



Schultz went to High Point University which is not far from Durham.  He misses a lot of bats, but he has been in the Minors for a long time, a few in Durham.  Not sure why a guy with as many strikeouts as Schultz keeps ending up in the Minors.  The Rays used him as a relief pitcher this year, started last season, still misses a lot of bats.  


Forrest Snow is another former Mariner.  He's 29 and in Triple A.  Solid starter this year in Triple A, but I am not sure what sort of future he has in the Majors. 


Velazquez spent a chunk of the year in Durham.  Seems like a solid player, in that mix of really versatile infielders that the Rays have on their 40 man roster.  Velazquez ended up in the Majors for awhile the Rays.  Definitely a future in the Majors.  


Snyder has been around for awhile.  Good older player to have around.  He has been in the Majors a few times and has been a very good player in Triple A.  Seems like a good guy.  


Justin Williams ended the season with the Cardinals Triple A team after being traded away for Tommy Pham.  He actually won a Triple A National Championship ring after the Memphis Redbirds defeated the Bulls.  It was the third time the two teams have played in the Triple A National Championship Game.  The Bulls had won the last two.  


Did I mention there were a lot of former Mariners players on the Bulls this year?  Meet Ryan Weber.  



Hunter wood became one of the "Openers" for the Rays.  Good pitcher.  Does not make all of those prospect lists, but seems to have a Major League arm and a good idea of what he is trying to do.  I very much enjoy watching him pitch.  He has a few other cards out there, might pick up a few of them this offseason.  


Kean is Kolten's brother.  Similar player, but the Rays have a ton of middle infielders and Kean is not better than most of them.  I think he's trade bait.  Definitely a Major League player, just not in Tampa.  


Rick Knapp has been around a long time as a coach.  Read the biography on the back of the card.  Sandberg has been the Bulls' manager for a few years now, really grown as a manager.  He's only 40, so he should get a shot at coaching or managing at that level at some point.  



Dement is a career Minor League guy.  Played for awhile, has coached for awhile.  There are tons of coaches like this, invaluable to the organization for the sake of consistency.  


Ben Johnson was actually a Cardinals draft pick, even has some Bowman autographs in a Cardinals uniform, as well as a long time Padres farm hand.  I am not sure how long he has been coaching, but he seemed to do a good job this year.  

Last card.  Best card?  




Everyone loves the Bull.