Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Oakland A's 25-Year Anniversary Set

We have this longtime store in San Francisco called The Magazine. It's the sort of place you'd likely only find in a large, somewhat literate city - one that sells no books, but only back issues of magazines like The New Yorker, Popular Mechanics, Sports Illustrated and so on. It has a huge collection of paper ephemera - maps, catalogs, convention guidebooks, pamphlets - as well as a gay (and some straight) vintage erotica section near the back. I can't believe it's still alive, but it's the sort of place worth celebrating.

I dropped in last week for the first time since Covid and looked around the vintage sports magazines. In the stacks I was able to procure a 1992 copy of "Athletics Magazine", which looks to be a monthly Oakland A's-funded magazine about the team, as many teams have. This $1 back issue also had tear-out baseball cards in it - nice-looking ones - so naturally, I added it to my stack of cheap paper ephemera. 

The cards immortalize what were then the 16 greatest all-time Oakland A's, starting from the time they moved from Kansas City to Oakland in 1968. Clearly, I only got cards #9-#16 of the 16 cards, and the other eight were in a previous issue. I'll try and find that at The Magazine next time. In the meantime, we have a few good ones here, including current Chicago White Sox manager Tony LaRussa (!). 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Look What The Mail Dragged In

Bit by bit and little by little, collecting goals are being filled, even as the goalposts themselves continue to move. In fact, I've had to talk myself out of continuing to collect certain players - guys whom I really like & whose cards I'd normally love to collect in their entirely - just to keep myself sane and to keep my finances under control. Vladimir Guerrero, for instance.  

I'm not even sure how wholly committed I am to collecting the cards of Shohei Otani, either, but then stuff of his keeps finding its way into my mailbox, like this 2018 Topps Chrome Future Stars card (#FS-1), and well, the Otani collection just gets a little bit better each time. I'm rooting for him to have a landmark season this year and to do something we haven't seen since the days of Babe Ruth - and so far he's off to a great start in that regard.

I've got a trading pal in Missouri name Ken who just continually sends me stuff I both want and need, and I try my best to reciprocate. He's been in this game much longer than I have, and so has an extensive collection of doubles and castoffs from the 1960s - the decade I'm most interested in the baseball cards of. Here are a few 1969 gems that just arrived from him:

Speaking of fellas from the 1960s, here are two after-the-fact Willie McCovey cards I recently grabbed. The KMart card is from a 1982 series, and the Topps Platinum Players card is a 2021 (!). I'll collect McCovey anytime, anywhere. It was he and Jack Clark who were my first baseball heroes, and forever shall they be.

Also from Ken are two 2020 Topps Heritage Chromes from the SF Giants collection....seriously, the only two 2020 Heritage Giants cards I didn't have, outside of some of those ridiculous 1/1s or autograph cards (wait - they're not ridiculous - I'd love 'em if you don't like yours....). Alas, these are purple chromes, but the scanner doesn't recognize them as such.

I also found Jo Adell's first Bowman card (2017) - with him just out of high school, and very much looking it - on eBay a couple of weeks ago:

I also still collect Max Fried - I mean, I just started this collection a few months ago, so am not quite ready to abandon him - and got this 2020 Topps Big League orange parallel recently:

Finally, the 2021 pinch-hitting hero of the Atlanta Braves, and my favorite player of the 21st century, Mr. Pablo Sandoval, on Topps Now card #213 from 2020:

Friday, April 16, 2021

Some Losing-Record Sox From The 1960s

In a blind trade made earlier this year - I'm pretty sure it was with Dave S., but if it was with you, I'm sorry for the brain fog! - I received five cards from a 1978 set made by TCMA called "The 1960s". Every one of my five gentleman had been a member of the Boston Red Sox that decade. They're photo cards, with nothing on the front, and the backs provide height, weight, birth date and some brief biographical information on the guy's career, both with the Red Sox and before/after.

Most of the 1960s were not kind to the Red Sox. They had losing records every year up through 1966, turning things around in a big way in 1967 and making it to the World Series. None of the guys among my five cards were part of that squad, nor the late 60s resurgence of the club.

This guy you see here, Lee Thomas, happens to be wearing his Los Angeles Angels cap, but he came over to Boston midway through the 1964 season and hit .257 with 13 home runs; then .271 / 22 HR / 75 RBI during an otherwise awful 1965 for the Sox. The 1978 TCMA "The 1960s" set contains a total of 293 cards, and these are the first I've seen of them. Here are four more glimpses of some 1960s Red Sox; in order, we have Frank Malzone; Earl Wilson; Felix Mantilla and Bill Monbouquette.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

A Sneaky Gypsy Queen Team-Set Binge

I sort of sidetracked a few of my "collecting goals" the past couple of months in order to create complete SF Giants team sets of Heritage and Allen & Ginter, for every year of those series' existence. Then I took a look through my many Giants singles and was like, holy smokes, I've got a ton of Gypsy Queen as well for this team - how close am I to full team sets here, too?

Turns out not all that close, but I'm getting there. Most years, since Topps Gypsy Queen started in 2011, there are between 9-16 base cards for each team. If the team has some interesting players - or legends, which the Giants certainly do have a few of - then you'll get some of your guys in insert sets like "Dealing Aces", "Glove Stories", "Power Alley" and so on. 

I know that Gypsy Queen has plenty of skeptics, and that's fine. As my collecting mania has pressed on, I've found myself more drawn to a card series' look more than anything else - and it so happens that the look of these happens to meet my robust "design standards", in ways that nearly all junk wax era cards fall short, to say nothing of most Upper Deck, Bowman and core Topps series' lack of design chops.

This eye-of-the-beholder positivity has been reinforced by some of my recent arrivals, which are Giants cards that fill in the gaps of what I already have. It turns out that other than the 2011 Gypsy Queen team set and some stuff still on the way from a SportLots order, I've got everything I need from 2012-2020. (This, of course does not include minis, which I don't care about; ultra-rare autograph and relic cards; and other expensive and tough-to-find ephemera - just the base cards and the more common inserts.)

I thought you might wanna have a look at some of these, just in case you're one of those Gypsy Queen doubting Thomases.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

A Thursday Batch of New Randoms

It's been a fun first week of baseball, and now that I'm fully vaccinated (one-dose J&J, over and out!), I'm fixing to get ready to go to a ballgame....waiting a couple more months, of course. But the end is near. A pandemic that totally ramped up my card accumulation - and gave birth to this blog in March 2020 - is now slowly showing signs of being something we'll eventually have in the rear-view mirror. Kudos and congratulations to the scientists, innovators and even some of the science-believing politicians who got us to this point. 

Now! On to the cards. Here's just a random mess of new randoms that found their way into my hands this past couple weeks. Here to your left you'll find San Francisco Giants center fielder Mauricio Dubon, and his 2020 Topps Inception card. I like it - and everything in this series - an awful lot. Where I live we just don't have Wal-Marts and Targets selling packs of baseball cards too much, and if we do, it's Topps flagship Series 1, and maybe some Heritage sets like Inception are either online-only for me, or something that I might one day be able to find at my local card store (shout-out to Lefty's in Burlingame, CA!). 

Man, I can't wait til they can actually haul out boxes of 1972 Topps and whatnot for me again; due to the pandemic, shopping there is pretty much "what you see on the floor or in the glass counter case in what's for sale"). 

Next up we've got an autographed card from 2020 Onyx Vintage - a Dodgers prospect named Omar Estevez. Pleased to meet you, Omar, and I hope you get traded to the Angels or A's.

I was not going to pass up this card from 2021 Topps Opening Day, no way. The Swinging Friar!

Here's a 2021 insert from that same set of a guy whom we all dig:

Random new Pablo Sandoval 2016 A&G "X" card to add to my player collection:

Giants catching prospect and first-round pick Patrick Bailey from 2020 Leaf Draft. He looks like one of my teenage son's ne'er do well friends.

New one from 2021 Topp Heritage:

...and finally, one of the great moments in San Francisco Giants history, and perhaps in my baseball-lovin' life, the 2014 Travis Ishikawa walk-off home run that sent the Giants to the World Series, immortalized on a 2015 Gypsy Queen insert:

Wait, did you just say you wanted to watch that walk-off? Right now? OK, here you go!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

2007 SP Legendary Cuts Heroes

There are more than enough retro, "legends of the game"-type sets of Hall of Famers and past superstars to go around. A cost-conscious collector can stay busy just focusing on these alone, pulling together any number of sets full of Mays, Musial, Gehrig and so forth.

Some, of course, are better than others. Here at Card Hemorrhage, we have a few favorites. There's the 1991 Swell Baseball Greats set. The 1994 Upper Deck All-Time Legends set. There are the 1989 and 1990 "Pacific Legends" sets. And then there's this one, the one we're celebrating today, the black-bordered 2007 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts set.

Unusually, this set numbers up to 200 cards, but the first 100 are the normal base cards I've scanned here, and the second 200 are horizontally-oriented "Legendary Lineage" cards, each in an edition of only /550. I don't have any of those, and I shan't be seeking them. The first 100 cards are enough for me, and I've cobbled quite a few of them.

You'll see that they don't scan all that well - much of the gold "fleur de lys" detail on them is lost to the scanner, and everything I scanned came out way too dark - so you'll have to take my word for it if you haven't seen them in person: these cards look great. They have a short summary of the player's career on the back, along with his career stats. The guys start in the early 1900s and go up into the 1980s or so.

Here are a few of the superstar fellas in the first 100 cards of the set. 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddle Masses of 2021 Heritage Doubles Yearning To Be Free

Got my first 2021 Topps Heritage cards over the weekend - two team sets I actually had forgotten I'd pre-ordered (!). I have complete San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres team sets, and yeah - they're fantastic, because they're based, as you may have heard, on the 1972 Topps baseball design - Card Hemorrhage's all-time favorite baseball set.

I've been seeing these arrive on other bloggers' timelines, and I've been wondering if I'd like them as much as I do. I do.

So I wasn't going to do this, but now I think I am. I'm going to try and build the full 2021 Heritage set if I can, even if it takes me til 2051. I've got one of those small 8-pack blasters on the way, so that'll give me a few more cards, and likely a few doubles. So if you happen to have doubles from this set, and you're feeling like they're annoying you and you don't want them around - well - Card Hemorrhage is here to trade with you. Just drop me a line at, and we can PWE it together, with me sending you some cards from various eras and sets and you sending me 2021 Topps Heritage to help me jack this set up to its full 500 base cards (and I'm certainly happy to trade for inserts as well). I added what I'm currently missing, which is most of it, here.

Meanwhile, here's a few of the first ones that arrived at the house.