Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Completed Angels Team Set - 1988 California Angels Fire Safety

Issued as a team set on 3 separate stadium giveaways during August and September.
I always called these the Smokey Bear cards.
This set is one of my favorites of these issued between 1984 and 1991.  For a few years after that the team issued Police sets. I like the design because it is similar to the 1988 Score set, which is my favorite Score set.
It's also a standard baseball card size, whereas most of the other sets are oversized.

The back of each cards contains a player bio and a hilarious Smokey Bear cartoon, NOT!
Good thing this card was issued way before the ban on home plate collisions.
Look how scared the little flame boy is.
(personally I think he gets his little lick in under the tag)

Interesting that though the player cards are numbered, the checklist isn't.
And the player order doesn't follow the numbers on the cards.  Seems to be no rhyme or reason for this checklist.
Alphabetical by first name?  Nope.
Last name?  Nope.
Position?  Nope.  Jersey number? Nope.
This would be the numerical order of the names listed on the checklist, left column down, then right:
7, 15, 12, 20, 4, 23, 3, 22, 14, 11, 8, 21, 9, 17, 6, 2, 10, 24, 19, 5, 18, 13, 1, 16.
Any ideas?

Favorite Card.
What better job in life than to hit infield day after day.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Completed Master Set - 1984 Topps

Page 1 representing the complete 792-card 1984 Topps Baseball set.

I started this set back in 1984 when I bought two or three wax boxes from a small family wholesale business I worked for.  I didn't open up the boxes until years later, probably in the mid 90's.
Even at opening up two or three boxes I was still a ways off from a set, lot's of dupes, but not close to a set.

Here's a nice page showing some of the cards I've gotten autographed. 
I have around 250 of the cards signed.
I used the checklist cards to get umpire autographs on.

Somewhere along the way I dumped all the game cards I pulled from all those wax packs, saving only one of each (I think this represents all the types there were).
I can kick myself now for dumping the rest of those sweet cards.
If you read me regularly you know that I collect game/sweepstakes/scratch-off/mail-in cards.
Especially the old Topps ones.

Here's the 1984 wrapper, a little miscut but I'm good with that.  
I'm not that much of a purist.
I have the three versions, each with a different advertisement.

Here's that Encased Variation Blank Back I mentioned in my last post.
I wanted to have at least one of these for the Master set.
Glad I was able to pick up an Angels player.

I found this digging through boxes at my LCS.
Nice miscut.

I also have the Glossy All-Star set that were inserted one per rackpack.
This is page 1 of the 22-card set featuring the 1983 National and American League All-Stars.

In the binder is also the 132-card traded set.
We all know how the backs differ from the regular cards.

And the box they came in.

And my vote for the worst airbrushing in the traded set...

Ron Reed #98T.
Ron went from the Phillies to the White Sox and got a complete hosing off to show for it.
He looks like a cartoon.

All I'm lacking is a wax box, but I can do without.
That wraps up 1984 Topps.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Picked Up A Few Items Of Note

Won an ebay auction for this rather common 1984 Topps Bob Boone card.
Or is it....

Now look at this rather common 1984 Topps Bob Boone as compared to my other rather common signed 1984 Topps Bob Boone.
Takes a keen eye (and a SCBC) to spot the difference.
See it there in the headshots?
That's right, the one I just picked up is the Encased Variation, sometimes called a "Test" or a "Proof".
Encased meaning Bob's whole head is inside the black outline box, where as the regular card has the top of his head sticking out of the box.

The backs of the Encased Variations are blank backed as well.
There are 66 different player cards in the "Proofs" set according to the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards.
The Angels have 5 players issued in the Proof set, but that might be a tough team set to complete.
I'm glad to have a  least one.

1996 Bowmans Best Preview Refractor BPP 6
Won this on Listia.  Listia had it labeled as a Bowmans Best and not as a Preview.
Had trouble figuring out the difference between the regular Bowmans Best and Bowmans Best Preview, they all kinda look the same.  Appears the Preview series though were inserted 1:12 in Bowman packs (refractors 1:24) whereas Bowmans Best came in their own packs.
The BPP numbering kinda gives it away too.  

Scored a rack pack of 2014 Topps Series 1 Walmart with the Mike Trout Walmart Gatorade Variation.
It says the card is in there right on the front of the pack, so it's no shock to pull one.
Actually I've been scoring a lot of these since I keep finding them at different Walmarts surprisingly.
A couple weeks ago they were going for @ $75 bucks on ebay, I think they're down to @ $20 now.
You'd think all those racks packs would have gotten snatched up pretty fast.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Tim Salmon Longshot TTM

About 1,043 days ago I read an article about Tim Salmons neighbor, in his then home of either Newport Beach or Balboa, California, I can't remember exactly.  The article mentioned this man's name.  He was talking about the famous but very humble celebrity neighbor of his and how sometimes he got Tim's mail by mistake.  Well, being a sneaky TTMer from time to time I saw an opportunity to send a Salmon card in the mail but addressed to his neighbor.  Anything to stand out.  
Like I said, 1,043 days later I got that card back.

 I did custom cards for a while, I think this was one of the last I sent out, it just got to be too time consuming creating them.
Anyhow, this was postmarked from Tim's new home in the Phoenix area.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

You Guys Are Not Going To Believe This

You remember a couple weeks ago when I received in the mail, only the right half of a business sized envelope with only 2 of the 3 toploaders that were originally sent inside.  You can re-read about it here.  Well, last week, the sender reached out and said that he had eventually received the missing half of the envelope, it had been returned to him since it still had his return address affixed to it.  Crazy!

He said "Sending this to you for kicks."

Kicks indeed.  Here it is:
That's a mess of an envelope.

When USPS returned it to him, guess what was still inside?

Yep, the missing 3rd top loader with the Jered Weaver relic.  And MAN that's a nice card!  It's numbered 23/25.  Super-glad it finally came.

Like I said, crazy.

Oh, he stuck this note to it too:


Think about it now:  a business sized envelope ripped in half by some machine somewhere, 1 toploader in one half, 2 top loaders in the other, not a scratch on any of them.  One half with the senders address went back to him, the other half with just barely enough of my address came to me. What are the chances?

The sender, in his generosity, took it upon himself to throw in a couple more Angels cards including this one:

 1984 Topps Milton Bradley which completes my team set.
Much thanks.

Again, crazy.  But that's what makes trading so fun.  You never know what you might get.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Completed Angels Team Set - 1977 Pepsi-Cola Baseball Stars Glove Discs

Another Mike Schechter Associates disc series like the previous set I blogged about the 1977 Burger Chef discs.
These Pepsi promotionals were designed to be inserted into cartons of the soda, primarily in the Ohio region.
The perforated discs were a bit bigger than the Burger Chef discs, these being 3-3/8 in diameter.  That means that if you punched the discs out they wouldn't fit in standard 8-pocket sleeves.
I can see the discs being punched out, flung at your buddy in your bedroom during Disc Wars, then the empty glove being used as a door hanger.

Only two Angels are found in the 72-card set: Nolan Ryan above and Bobby Grich below.

The Ryan picture used is different than the one used on the Burger Chef disc but
Grich gets the same photo that was previously used, in his airbrushed Orioles uniform.
The front of the cards also include a player checklist, though the cards themselves are unnumbered.

The back of the card contains a coupon for ordering a player tee shirt.
You can get greetings from either Pete Rose, Rico Carty, Joe Morgan, or....
Rick Manning?
Okay, one of these things is NOT like the others.
I wonder how many Manning shirts sold.

The fully gloved disc cards are large as can be seen by the standard 1977 Topps card I compared it to.
My two fit nicely in an 8x10 pocket with one card being upside down.

Here's a blowup of the checklist if anyone is thinking of collecting these.
Since it was an Ohio regional promotion there are plenty of 1976-1977 Indians and Reds in the set.

One interesting note is that two players names are spelled incorrectly 6. Larvel (Larvell) Blanks and 57. Pat Zachary (Zachry).
You can find alot of these Pepsi discs relatively cheap on ebay.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Completed Angels Team Set - 1977 Burger Chef Fun Meal Discs

In 1977, popular disc producer Michael Schechter Associates,  produced a 216-piece disc set for the Burger Chef restaurant chain.  They came in 9-disc team sets on a cardboard fun meal tray.
The disks were unnumbered and were only licensed by the Players Association so they had to have logos airbrushed out.  That means everyone got either a solid black or white hat.

This Nolan Ryan would be my favorite from the Angels team set.
This Ryan card is the most valuable in the whole 216-piece set, making the complete Angels tray the most valuable of the team sets.  Gotta go find me the complete Angels tray now.

The backs of the disks featured different Burger Chef characters.
And some pretty goofy ones at that.  I'm unfamiliar with Burger Chef so I have no idea if these guys were from a TV cartoon or strictly characters for the fast food chain.

Since the others are all just too weird for me (maybe that's my age talking) I'd have to give Jeff the nod as my favorite character of the group (kinda looks like my brother Jeff as well).  Works out great too that Jeff is on the back of Joe Rudi's card.  Growing up a buddy and I wanted to be Joe Rudi so we'd often practice his diving catches out on the front lawn.  Lots of fun.

Here's an example from my collection of a tray that these discs came on.  This Red Sox tray is folded up, but the tray would unfold to create a little baseball diamond game with a stadium backdrop.  There are 9 cards to a team set, so the other 4 cards are on the other side of the box.  The cards are perforated so that they could be punched out.  Oh and look, 4 more goofy characters that served as game pieces.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

I'm Just Not That Into You Anymore

The main portion of my player collection is comprised of Nolan Ryan, Wally Joyner, Jim Abbott, Tim Salmon, Mike Napoli, and Mike Trout. Mark Trumbo was the most recent player added to my player collection, being added shortly after Trout.    

Here's a typical sheet in my player collection binder.  These are all excess cards after that spot gets filled in the Angels team set binders.  I'll keep one extra card in the player binder then any extra after that go into a plastic player box for trade.

Since Trumbo was traded to the Diamondbacks in December of last year however, my interest in him has tapered off.  I tried to resist this happening as I genuinely do like the guy even though he's not most personable or fan friendly ball player.  I think I was drawn to his size (he's a big dude), and to his potential as a power hitter (the guys a monster). At one point I actually thought that he would turn out to have more of an impact than Mike Trout.  I was wrong there, not by much, but still wrong.

In the past I have continued collecting certain Angels after they've left and gone to other teams.  For these special players I don't have any problem getting cards of them in other uniforms.  He're some representative examples:

Nolan Ryan stays in the player collection, even though I need to collect him on Mets, Astros and Rangers cards.  Some of my least favorite Ryan cards picture him in a Rangers uniform.  This is probably because so many of them were mass produced in the junk wax era.  Still, I'm committed to getting at least one of each.

Joyner went on to play for the Royals, Padres, and Braves, so those teams cards are in the collection.  I haven't picked him up on any Braves cards yet.  I think there are only a few versions out there.

The Abbott collection includes cards from the Yankees, and White Sox.  Abbott also played for the Brewers which I am also lacking cards for.

Mike Napoli is my most recent non-Angels card part of the collection.  Nap is still a pick up for me even on Rangers and Red Sox cards.  And he'll probably stay strong in the collection for any future teams he plays for.

So you see it matters not the team that favorite player goes to.
It's all about the feeling.
And I'm just not feeling it for Mark Trumbo anymore.
I still want the guy to do well, I just don't think he's player collection caliber any longer.
So the Trumbo part of the binder will be dismantled and the cards put back into the Angels dupes box.

Am I too quick to pull the plug on Trumbo?
 But if I change my mind it shouldn't be too difficult in this day and age to pick up his non-Angels cards.
I saw one the other day in a rack pack of the new Topps series, and I just thumbed right on by.
Sorry Bro.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Jim Corsi, Carlos Garcia TTMs

1989 Score Rising Stars for the aurographed set, and 1989 Topps.
Jim returned these in 54 days from his home in Bellingham, MA.

1998 Pacific #9 for the All-Time Angels Collection, and a 1994 Collectors Choice #105.
Garcia played in 19 games for the Angels in 1998.
Garcia signed these in 103 days from the Altoona Curve, where he is a coach.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My Last 1953 Archives TTM

The last few 1953 Topps Archives I sent out went to the few surviving players that charge $5 an autograph. I don't have the big bucks to spend on autographs, but I had enough to send to a handful of old timers from this set, once I received a bulk of the cards I needed for the set from Howard Bagby.  
Gene Conley was the last card I sent out.

Conley played in the bigs from 1953-1963 for the Braves (Boston and Milwaukee), Phillies and Red Sox.
He signed this card for me in 11 days from his home in Foxboro, MA.
For 5 bucks.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Watch The DVD, Get An Autograph

Early last year I was going through a difficult time. My wife, in an effort to bring me a little cheer, bought me a $2 used DVD she found at the local video rental.
It was a documentary on the knuckleball, appropriately titled, "Knuckleball!".    The film featured recent knuckleballers Tim Wakefield and RA Dickey, and highlighted famous knuckleballers like Jim Bouton, Wilbur Wood, Phil Neikro, and Charlie Hough.

Long story short, I loved the movie, and it did bring me some cheer.  So much so that I thought I'd send the DVD cover TTM to get it autographed by Wilbur Wood.

Long shot, but it's just a DVD cover and 4 stamps.

Wood signed this DVD cover in 299 days from his home in Medford, MA.
How sweet is that?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Quality Over Quantity - Damn Straight

Sticky note from Play at the Plate stated "Quality over quantity this time."
Simply stated.
I'm here to show you that quality now, found in the quantity of just 3 cards.

2013 Topps Update Silk Collection 43/50
This is my second silk in two weeks, the only two silks I own.
Strange little concept but pretty cool little cards.
You can put your finger in the little window and feel the silk.
Mmmm, silky.

2008 Topps Moments and Milestones.
Hard to see but this is numbered 15/25.
Is Moments and Milestones one of those crazy numbered sets where the cards pretty much all look alike except for the numbering? 
I have a few of these, and in my mind they all look the same. I really don't know much about them.
Time to do my research.

Along those lines, this card looked just like any other mini, or like the other 2009 Jered Weaver mini I have.
I kept comparing the back to the one I have looking over and over again at the hand-numbering thinking,
"Anyone could have written that on there" to pass it off as a special card. 

No number here...

Hand numbered here.

Seriously, it took about 3 minutes of confusion to realize there was no card number and this is indeed a hand-numbered 36/50.  Confirmed it on sportscardradio.
Shows you how into Ginter's I've been, I don't buy much.

That's three numbered cards under 50.
So yes, quality definitely over quantity.