Monday, August 30, 2021

A 2021 Allen & Ginter Dispatch

One of my favorite sets just came out, and now because of the whole Topps/Fanatics/MLB kerfuffle, I'm not sure if it's the last or the second-to-last time I'll ever see a new Allen & Ginter set - at least one created by Topps. This year's is about 10% nicer-looking than most of 'em, and maybe that means I'll need to collect the whole thing in time, as I've been doing for 2014 A&G.

I went over to CardBarrel the day they got in a bunch of these and grabbed all of my guys (and two gals). I won't bore you with the 2021 A&G San Francisco Giants team set, but I got that as well - and then the rest of my time and money was spent on adding to player collections + a few other gems that I thought that maybe I might need.

No big surprises on the cards themselves nor in the set: there are baseball players, goofball celebrities, inserts about birds and deep sea life; relics & autos & minis and all that. The backs look the same as they have for years, and the fronts, as I said, just a little bit cooler than they did last year. Here are some adds to my player collections:

OK, now check these out: there's a parallel "silver portrait" set as well, 350 cards in all. I picked up a few of those, too:

One card I was really happy to see in the set was for Rose Lavelle, the US Women's soccer national team star who's by far by favorite player on the team. If you've never seen her play, she's a powerhouse talent in the midfield who can assist and score at will; an amazing ball-handler and just totally fun to watch. She's young and will be around a while. Shame that the rest of the women's soccer world has finally caught up to the US' talent level, but hey, it's great for the game.

All right, I said I wouldn't share anything from the Giants set, but since I've already shown you Joey Bart, how about coach Alyssa Nakken and a Yaz relic?

Finally, a couple of inserts for the guys I collect. Nice set. Shame if something happens to it, right?

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Very, Very Early Pablo

Made two big dents in my Pablo Sandoval player collection needs this past week, and I'm pretty happy about it. Sandoval's is my chief player collection, and it's the one that's furthest along. I'm mostly working on tough-to-find minor league cards, variations/parallels and relics at this point, with a few base needs that I need to track down from weird non-Topps brands (I think there are some Leaf or Panini things I don't have of the man's just yet).

Anyway, the card you see here is a 2008 Grandstand San Jose Giants card for catcher Pablo Sandoval. He'd just come off a 2007 year for San Jose in which he'd hit .287, with 11 HR and 52 RBI; later during 2008, he'd make his San Francisco debut, hit .345, and never look back.

When he came up that year, I didn't even know who he was. He hadn't been one of the hyped prospects, so when he started raking and playing the game with such joie de'vivre, he joined the other new guy Tim Lincecum as my two favorite players in baseball.

Now here's another new Sandoval card in my collection from TriStar Authentics. It's from 2007, after Pablo had played a year in Augusta, GA in 2006 and had just joined San Jose. He's listed as a first baseman. Have I ever seen him play that position? I don't recall. I certainly remember his pitching performances, though.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

In Case You Were Wondering About 2021 Gypsy Queen

This year for Gypsy Queen, I got in, I got my guys, and I got out. Actually, that's not true - I don't have any 2021 cards for the players I collect, so I need to get on that. But here's what the series looks like when you collect a particular team, as I do.

Shun Yamaguchi and Luis Basabe - I don't even know who these "Giants" are. I guess it's kind of fun for Topps to take a flyer on a few unknown guys and give them a chance to get into a set, along with players we've actually heard of and that, you know, play in the major leagues.

Not much to say beyond that. It's a series that I like better than some other series - say, flagship - and man, I don't know what's going to happen to Gypsy Queen (and Ginter, and so on) after next year and all baseball cards start being made by someone other than Topps. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Ten Ways To Look at Hunter Pence

I first heard the name "Hunter Pence" during one of his earliest games as a call-up as a player on the Houston Astros. Jon Miller was calling a game vs. the Giants on the radio, and he wasn't quite sure how to pronounce this new guy's last name - "Pence", as in sixpence, or "Pen-say". The at-bat was going on for too long, so Miller kept the joke of "not knowing how to pronounce the name" on for too long as well. It was some excruciating radio, a bit out of character for Jon Miller, who's normally fantastic.

We didn't know what this guy would become, which, for a time, was one of the top hitters in baseball. Eventually, he'd become a World Series Champ as well; a San Francisco icon (who scootered on city streets to games and connected with fans in a way that 99% of players don't); and now, a post-playing career podcaster on The Athletic. 

He was certainly one of my favorite players during his era, but he wasn't a first-choice pick for me to build a player collection of. Yet I seem to have stumbled into a Pence player collection anyway, and now I'm all-in. I probably have less than 30 cards of the guy's, but here are ten of them that give you a good sense of the man/myth/legend.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The Great Full-Team, Multi-Card Giveaway

I have some cards I would like to send to those of you who happen to collect one of six teams: the Orioles, Yankees, Mets, Mariners, Brewers or Indians. I did this a few weeks ago with my excess San Francisco Giants cards, and a couple of you stepped up to take these batches of cards off my hands. Thank you!

Now as mentioned before, I stole this idea from Kerry over at Cards on Cards. It was a good idea. You send me 1 or more cards from my want list - it can even be something from 2021 Heritage, I'm cool with that! - and in return you'll get a batch of 25 or more cards from one of the aforementioned 6 teams (you'll tell me which one you want, of course, so I can set it aside for you).

It'll work this way:

1. You'll let me know that you want 25-30 of your team's cards by emailing me. 

2. I'll set them aside for you.

3. You'll send me something - anything - from my want list.

4. When it arrives, I shall send your cards, posthaste.

You can get a sense of what sorts of cards are in there from the Orioles cards pictured above. Definitely some junk wax, along with 2010s Topps and random other stuff. Those teams again:

  • Baltimore Orioles
  • Cleveland Indians
  • Milwaukee Brewers
  • New York Mets
  • New York Yankees
  • Seattle Mariners
Let me know if you want to do this!

Monday, August 23, 2021

10 Random New Arrivals for August

I took a multi-week break from writing during the month of August, and I hope you didn't delete Card Hemorrhage from your RSS reader as a result. Cards - well, cards just kept comin' in. As they must. Trades and one-off orders kept happening, and I've enriched the collection with a few more cards that I'm excited to have around.

I'm especially happy with this 1963 Fleer Orlando Cepeda card that I ordered off of eBay. I have never owned anything from this set before, and while I bid on the Willie Mays card from the same set, I lost that one about 5 seconds after I placed my bid. It's a great and very simple design, and I'll try to find some commons in this 67-card set where I can.

From a CardBarrel order, I was able to get some 2021 Topps Finest cards of the various players I collect. Here are three of them, so you know what to look for this year:

You may have heard that Kris Bryant is now a San Francisco Giant. This news was been well-received by Giants fans like me, so much so that I decided to add his 2021 Gypsy Queen "Tarot of the Diamond" card in that same order, even though it's with a Cubs uniform....

From Ken, who sends me all sorts of great stuff in our trades, I received these 4 cards, in addition to a whole mess of others. The McCovey card is from 2017, is numbered 293/299, and comes from a set I wasn't familiar with called "Topps Fire". How about that? The 2011 Beltran card is a real beauty from his 1/3rd of a year on the Giants. Also love the Duggar and Arozarena rookie cards.

Finally, I'm starting to really get a Paul Goldschmidt collection going good, thanks to trades. Thank you to any and all who've helped! His card-ography is pretty daunting but I've made a nice little dent the past couple of months. Here's a refractor from 2018 Topps Chrome.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

47 Cards To Go in 2014 Allen & Ginter

I'm not gonna lie to you - the very first time I paid closer attention to the 2014 Allen & Ginter set, aside from already having collected all of the San Francisco Giants in the 350-card set, was when another blogger - I think it was Fuji - posted a scan of this Felicia Day card. I didn't know who Felicia Day was - I still don't - but reckoned I needed to take a closer look.

It then sort of dawned on me just how much I love the goofiness of the Allen & Ginter sets, and that maybe I need to collect one of them in its entirety. The offbeat celebrities; the gems & minerals; the "buildings of the world"; the dogs and the artistic renderings of both current and past baseball players - I mean, I know they're doing just what the Allen & Ginter Tobacco Company did back in the 1880s, and I guess that's what makes it such a delightfully weird set to collect every year in the 21st century. 

They're not expensive to pull together, either - although there are short prints in the high number slots that seem to cost in the $2-3 range most of the time, rather than 20 cents or so for everything else. I decided to collect that 2014 set, all 350 cards, and see if I could do it. I'm now 303 cards in, with 47 to go as of August 21st, 2021. 

I like that the celebs that they throw in here aren't exactly household names, and likely appeal to dorks like you and me. Felicia Day, sure, whoever she is, but how about Matt Besser, improv comedian legend with the Upright Citizens Brigade? I've seen that guy perform at least 4 times as part of the yearly San Francisco Sketchfest comedy festival, and he's a hoot. He'd be about the last person I'd expect to find on a Topps-sponsored set of mostly baseball cards. Vince Gilligan, who created Breaking Bad, is in this set as well. AND - there are baseball folks present as well. Here are 9 examples from the 2014 set for your viewing pleasure.