Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Card Hemorrhage Set Completion Report

2020's been the big year of card collecting for me, my previous dribs & drabs of collecting supercharged by a global pandemic; a temporary job loss (and thus free time for collecting); and a steady stream of Paypal income from selling off a bunch of records. I'll admit that I'd never completed a set before this year, though I'd never actually bought a set in full, either. In 2020, I've done it both the easy way and the hard way - with my biggest and newest collecting goals a long way off.

What you see pictured here is a team set - which counts, far as I'm concerned. It's the 2005 Topps Emerald Nuts San Francisco Giants 30-card set, something I didn't know existed until Fuji sent me my first few cards and I was dazzled by 'em. Look at these. Oh, I know it's hard to truly look at them since I got lazy and took a camera phone photo on a rug, instead of scanning them individually for you - but trust me, they're nice. This particular team corresponds to one of my peak years for "watching the Giants on TV", as we had a toddler and there was a lot of nightly Giants baseball going on while we cared for him. My poor wife. 

Here are the full card sets I've completed this year - and admittedly, it was by buying them outright:

Here are the full team sets I've completed by buying them one by one, or two by two, or by getting them in trades etc:
  • 1969 Topps Seattle Pilots
  • 1971 Topps San Francisco Giants
  • 1972 Topps San Francisco Giants
  • 1975 Topps San Francisco Giants
  • 1981 Topps San Francisco Giants
  • 1981 Fleer San Francisco Giants
  • 2002 Topps Chrome Anaheim Angels
  • 2005 Topps Emerald Nuts San Francisco Giants
  • 2010 Topps Heritage San Francisco Giants
  • 2011 Topps Heritage San Francisco Giants
  • 2012 Topps Heritage San Francisco Giants
  • 2014 Topps Heritage San Francisco Giants
  • 2019 Topps Heritage San Francisco Giants
  • plus every single Oakland Seals/California Golden Seals Topps hockey card, from their debut in 1967 through their demise in 1975-76. Just nailed my last two cards a couple of weeks ago.
I've also completed a few small Giants Allen & Ginter and Gypsy Queen "sets" - a few other 3-8 card team sets snatched from other series, too - but that's really not quite the same thing as cobbling together 20+ cards. I also bought the 1983 Renata Galasso '69 Seattle Pilots card set in one fell swoop, and I'm glad I did. I have several Phoenix Giants minor league sets from the 1970s and a 1985 Mother's Cookies SF Giants team set that I also purchased this way (and man, they were cheap; if you had told me that they could be had for $5-$8 two years ago, I'd have scoffed and instead paid you $35-40). 

It's the thrill of the hunt, the sense of completion - all the things that make an oddball collector an oddball collector. Wear it with pride. Now - in addition to team stuff I'm trying to complete like the 1970 Topps Seattle Pilots and quite a few other SF Giants sets, my laser focus is now turned to 4 sets I'd absolutely love to complete someday:
  • 1965 Topps baseball
  • 1971 Topps baseball
  • 1972 Topps baseball
  • 1976 SSPC baseball
Of these, SSPC seems very attainable, followed by 1972 Topps. It can - and it shall - be done, but it ain't happening this year. The other two goals are barely off the ground; 1965 Topps are amazing, but I have exactly three of them right now. So yeah. That's a bit of a reach. But I know some of you folks have done this and other amazing things with your collection. Maybe tell us all about it in the comments if you wouldn't mind?

Monday, September 21, 2020

2020 Allen & Ginter Is Here, Folks

Love 'em or hate 'em, this year's Allen & Ginter cards are here, and I bought one of them there "blaster boxes" or whatever you call them. I was at one of my local card shops, and the masked fella behind the counter was telling another masked customer that they'd been selling like hotcakes, but he wasn't all that into them. Join the crowd, I guess. 

It's a funny series, the A&Gs. This year it's sprinkled with minis, as usual; has a bunch of long-tail celebrities included, most of whom have nothing to do with baseball; and there's even some inserts of rocks and large world cities like Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. That stuff goes right into the trade box - but good thing 2020 Allen & Ginter has baseball players as well, right? 

I was able to pull a few good ones. Just one Giant - Orlando Cepeda - but I just CardBarrel'ed the rest not ten minutes ago. I got this Bryce Harper insert - "Longball Lore" - that I have to admit looks pretty ace; there are several other tales of power-hitting youngsters as well in the series, but this is the only one I got in my seven packs. I did get quite a few of those rocks, though. Seriously, it's called "Digging Deep" and if you're looking for the Tanzanite or the Jade or the Pink Opal, Card Barrell has them all for 50 cents each here

Here are a few of the superior baseball players I was able to grab out of those 7 packs. 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Picked Up a Few of My Guys at the LCS

Yesterday I did something for the first time since the pandemic started: set foot inside my local card shop, Lefty's Sports Cards in Burlingame, CA. (By local I mean the closest to San Francisco, where I live; we don't have a card shop in my city of 900,000 people). I also took a trip down to Peninsula Sports Cards, a few miles south in Belmont. 

Alas, we're not quite back in a world of unbridled card shopping, which I perfectly and 100% understand and am supportive of. Neither store allowed for browsing boxes, so my goal of jacking up my 1972 Topps collection fell by the wayside yesterday. One store had a 15-minute limit for customers, and another only allowed 4 in the store at any given time. Again: I support this 100%. I'm delighted they're open, and I'll continue to support both of them, even in this reduced form. 

There were still cards to check off the Card Hemorrhage checklists. At Lefty's I picked up some new gems for my player collections, including the 2001 Upper Deck Decades Jack Clark you see here. This guy was such a hero of mine that I wrote a school paper in 6th grade about how he was my most-admired human being on the planet. I don't remember the grade, but I'm sure you can see why grabbing any card with him in a Giants uniform is a priority. 

I also loaded up on a few Tim Lincecum card I didn't have yet:

Pablo Sandoval remains "the player with a ton of cards whom I'm nonetheless fixated on acquiring every last one of them". I got a little bit closer to the goal yesterday with these pickups (among others):

Also added a new one to the Joey Bart book, this 2019 Panini with Bart playing for Georgia Tech (!).

More from my LCS outings next time.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Free Card Friday

Hey! I've only done this once before, and it kinda went alright! So folks - here we go again. I've got 18 cards laid out here. Any one or more of them could be yours. That's right - they're free. There's a two-step process: Alls you have to do is leave a comment saying "I want this one" or "I want that one", and let me which one or ones you want, of course. If you're the first one to drop in that comment, why then it's yours! However, I also need you to send me an email to thejayhinman@gmail.com and tell me the card(s) you requested and give me your mailing address so I can send it to you. Also, let me know if you like trading, because I'm itching to execute a few more PWEs this month. The mailbox has been dry as a bone for weeks! Here you go.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Giants Prospects A-Go-Go

I suppose I've gotten really into prospect cards, as I'm sure I've said before. I think it's because I like so many of the Bowman designs, and I really like the Onyx cards, and hey - it's just sorta fun to get in on the ground floor of some fellas who may end up leading your team to glory in a few years. 

There are a few dudes in the Giants' farm system besides Joey Bart - now establishing himself in the majors - to talk about. Among the team's top prospects is an outfielder named Heliot Ramos. I got to see him play as a San Jose Giants a couple of years ago - or was that last year? I guess it was last year. Covid time is strange, isn't it. Anyway, this guy's supposedly next in line, which means he's next in line for me to start digging up some of his cards before he turns into "Gavin Lux" or "Wander Franco" or something. (Gavin Lux is currently hitting .156 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, by the way). Here are a few of Mr. Ramos:

I really have to laugh at some of my scans sometimes, folks. I have a not-all-that-great printer/scanner and sometimes my well-positioned and cropped card scans look - well - like a big miscut or misprint.  I promise you, if the cards is ever truly messed up, I'll tell you. Usually it's just me being lazy.

Anyway! Another prospect the Giants are hot on is Marco Luciano. He's a shortstop, and he's coming to take Brandon Crawford's job. Here's what he looks like:

That's all I've got on Luciano so far. In fact, you're seeing my total card collection for these three guys. Finally we have Hunter Bishop, a lefty slugging stud who's got some "tremendous upside", as they say. We'll just see, won't we??

Turns Out I Bought One of These Things

I figured you guys were all doing it, why not me? Plus Ichiro Suzuki is one of my guys. 2020 has been my biggest year of card accumulation since my youth (pandemic-driven, I'd imagine), and the big thing this year has been the Topps 2020 project, so...?

Ordered it for $19.99 from Topps something like two months ago, and it just arrived in the mail this week. It's Ichiro card #169. Artwork by Blake Jamieson. I think it looks real, real nice. So of course after all the get-rich-quick stories that were proliferating about these cards, I had to go and look up on eBay what this card was going for on the secondary market, and.......well. Turns out it's lost value already. It can easily be picked up for ten bucks. I guess that trend is over with, isn't it?

Anyway, it comes housed in its own special plastic box, itself housed in a paper sleeve holder-thing. The card itself is nice & thick, like it holds a collectable coin or a piece of uniform or something. I probably won't be buying any more of these Topps 2020s but I reckon I picked one of the better ones, looks-wise. You guys grab any of these recently?

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Just Started a Nate Colbert Collection

I'm not 100% sure why I started a Nate Colbert personal collection, but I have. I think it has something to do with my connection to him as one of the San Diego Padres' only historical "stars" while I was growing up - though his best years with the club pre-date me being old enough to pay attention. Randy Jones won a Cy Young award; but before Tony Gwynn, it felt pretty barren in San Diego - hence my fascination with Colbert back then, a guy who clubbed 38 homers in 1970 and another 38 in 1972. Or maybe it was him hitting 5 home runs in a doubleheader - see card below.

And no, he wasn't a star per se - he made 3 All-Star teams, and he got some MVP votes in 1972 - but in 1974 he really started to fall off a cliff, hitting .207 that year and then below the Mendoza line in 1975 and 1976. After 5 hitless at-bats as a DH for Oakland in '76, he was out of baseball. Yeah, that's the kind of guy who looms large in my mind but in few others, and hence the perfect guy for me to collect. I just picked up a bunch of his cards this week. This is what they look like.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Those 2002 Angels, The Team I Like In Spite Of How Badly They Hurt Me

We've talked in this space before about the 2002 Anaheim Angels, a team that stomped mercilessly upon my heart and kept me from enjoying a San Francisco Giants World Series victory for the first time in my life. Nevertheless, they truly earned everything that had coming to them, and are one of those semi-legendary, moment-in-time teams that I'll always revere. They had quality up and down the lineup without any big marketable superstars; they have superstars now, a few of them, and they just can't seem to win for losing (!).

I wanted to try and collect a team set for these guys, and chose the 2002 Topps Chrome - even though it doesn't have David Eckstein nor Francisco Rodriguez, probably my favorite guys on the team. Ouch. K-Rod wasn't quite a thing yet, not until that postseason, and I'm honestly not sure why Eckstein didn't make it, seeing as he'd finished 4th in AL Rookie of the Year voting the year before. Weird. Anyway, it wasn't too hard to use a couple of online stores to cobble together this set. Here are a few of the heavy hitters from the team that year.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Adventures in Repacking

The first time I bought one of these Walgreens baseball card repacks, I was phenomenally let down - betrayed! - by the fact that the majority of the cards were from the junk-wax 80s and 90s. I didn't get anything I wanted or needed, and when I did get some modern stuff, it was basically half of the 2019 Topps Series 1 Detroit Tigers team. I swore I wouldn't buy them again; but I didn't really grasp how they worked.

Everyone's hero Nick at Dime Boxes posted about his Walgreens repack purchases here, and it turned out if you're lucky, you can get some pretty interesting things in these boxes. He got a couple of autographs and some minor league cards. I wanted some of those. Happening upon them again this afternoon when I went to pick up some shaving cream and printer cartridges, I realized these 100-card packs are only $5.99 each - and honestly, that's not really rolling the dice too badly. So I bought two of them, and you know what? I feel better about repacks now!

I didn't get any true weirdo minor league cards - that would have been the best - but I did get an autographed 1996 Best Eric Ludwick card, when he was a prospect in the Mets organization...! With only 1:4 boxes having "hits", I was delighted to have a hit of my own.

This next 2019 Heritage card won't matter much to anyone but Angels fans and me, but I'm a big Matt Shoemaker guy because in the summer of 2016 I went to my first and only game at Angels Stadium, and Shoemaker twirled a phenomenal complete game, which the Angels won. He looked like Koufax out there, and I was like, "The Angels finally have a pitcher". Um...

One of my favorite San Francisco Giants of recent vintage was also in there, and it's a Topps 2014 card I didn't have:

Also a few first-class relievers for my relievers project, including a large-headed 1992 Lee Smith from Score:

And then a bit of junk wax over here, but a keeper nonetheless. The Hack Man!

And this guy, too:

Can't say these'll be regular purchases, but I won't deny the low-key thrills that came from ripping them open. Most of the cards were garbage, but these few semi-gems made the $5.99 price worth it for me this time around.