Thursday, September 30, 2021

Some of Your 1963 San Francisco Giants

I made a little trip to Lefty's Sports Cards over this past weekend - my "LCS", if you will. They actually advertise on TV now (!) - sponsorships during San Francisco Giants telecasts. That's really a sign of the times, isn't it? When I first started going there a couple years back, I assumed that if they weren't actively losing money, they were barely making it. Then the pandemic happened. Then people (like me) upped their card-collecting obsessions. Now we've got leverage buyouts and IPOs and card bros and Lefty's Sports Cards advertising on TV. They even just upgraded their AOL-era website.

I still can't believe they won't let me rifle through their boxes of, say, 1972 Topps, and I'm beginning to think that maybe it's not just a pandemic thing. Maybe letting people handle the merch is detrimental to, say, selling those same cards online. Maybe I should ask them if that's the case. It's not as fun to go in as it used to be, though, when I'd just head in and say, "Show me your 1965 Topps!" or whatever, and a box would come out thirty seconds later. 

One thing that is fun about going there still are the books of San Francisco Giants cards they'll still let you look at. I ticked off a bunch of 1963 needs on Saturday - 7 to be exact. No heavy hitters like Mays, McCovey nor Marichal, but in time, my friends, in time. This was the team that were the reigning National League Champions, having just lost a 7-game World Series heartbreaker to the New York Yankees in October 1962, I thought you might wanna have a look at some of them.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

"No Junk Wax"? Not Anymore

I had been stoic and resolute in my decision to forsake any & all "junk wax" from the 1980s and 1990s in my collecting - outside of cards I actually liked and the team I collect, of course. This policy has been tested at times, particularly because these cards are so easy and affordable to find, and because there are actually some designs from that are truly legendary - or at least that ring dim bells of nostalgia in my brain. 

I think it was 1982 Topps that was the final set I collected as a teenager; after that I was off collecting punk and new wave 45s, and left baseball cards in the dust until resurrecting the hobby in middle age. As one does! Yet now that I've had some time to marinate on it - and because I really like to look of these sets - I've started setting aside any 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1984 Topps baseball cards that come my way. I'm even going so far as to occasionally buy small lots of them online, although with these sets having 700+ and even 800+ cards in them, my want list is, uh, still rather extensive.

This past week I went into my "trade box" - the box where I keep anything and everything I might want to trade to folks out there, and pulled back a small handful of cards, most of them from the junk wax era. It's almost like getting 10 new cards in the mail. Look at 'em! They're beautiful! How about a Mike Mussina rookie card, hunh?

It's 1981 Topps that I love the most of the junk wax era sets. You might not even lump this set in with the various Score and Upper Deck monstrosities of the 80s and 90s. Here are a couple of trade box rescues:

And there's no reason whatsoever to not collect this 1987 Topps card:

Here's the rest of what I pulled back - like I said, not all of it from the 80s and 90s. I just thought it might look better in my collection than in a trade box, you know?

(this last card is a "1986 Season Highlights" Sportflics card that shows photos of Don Sutton, Mike Schmidt and someone named Jim Deshaies - the latter of whom struck out his first 8 batters in a game, which is pretty cool.)

Monday, September 27, 2021

The Accidental Buster Posey Collection

I've kept it no secret that I am a partisan fan of the San Francisco Giants baseball club. Collect the club's cards, and start trading with folks who know of your partisan affiliation, and pretty soon you're going to have a nice heaping helping of Buster Posey cards, whether you like it or not. 

I, of course, very much appreciate what Buster Posey has meant for the club, from 2010 until this very day. He's a legend, a team hall of famer and quite possibly a Baseball Hall of Famer as well. He's been the rock and anchor of these team for 11 years, even in those weird years of 2018-2020 where he really "just wasn't very good anymore" or took the pandemic year off. Here he is in 2021, totally on fire and a team catalyst to boot. Giants pitchers love him; opposing baserunners (usually) don't; and the dude is 34 and about to end a phenomenal season hitting over .300, in a year when hardly anyone's hitting over .300.

He just doesn't really do it for me in a baseball card sense. No, I like collecting the Giants who were total crowd-pleasers, or goofballs, or were the heroes of my youth. My main Giants players collections are Pablo Sandoval, Tim Lincecum, Hunter Pence, Willie McCovey, Jack Clark - and, for some reason, Greg Minton. Guys like Posey, Crawford and Belt just don't rate that way. I love 'em, but not in the baseball card sense.

Yet of course I have a large Buster Posey collection anyway. I'm happy about that. I've starting putting aside any of his cards that I get in trades into a special "Buster Posey" section in a box, as one does. The only time I've ever bought a Posey card is when it's been part of a team set I'm collecting, such as every Topps Heritage Giants set from 2010 through this year. Otherwise, everything - including the ones in this post (save for 1) are from trades.

Here are my ten favorite Buster Posey cards sitting in that special section. The one you see above is a shiny 2019 Panini Optic card, #MVP-13. The one below is my favorite, and the only one I paid for. It's from 2013 Topps Archives and a 15-card insert set called "Gallery of Heroes", Each card is translucent and replicates the look of stained glass. Seriously, it's one of my favorite cards anywhere.

Here's a 2020 Donruss I really like as well. Just got this during the week from Kerry of Cards on Cards blog.

This is also a newish holographic gem insert from Topps 2020:

And here are the other six cards that round out the Accidental Buster Posey Collection Top Ten:

Friday, September 24, 2021

It's 1969 OK

1969, baby. I turned two that year. Two of my all-time favorite albums - "The Stooges" and "The Velvet Underground" (Third Album) came out. Richard Nixon became president. And Topps issued a pretty killer set of baseball cards.

I've now accumulated enough of the 1969 set that I think it's fair to say that I'll try to tackle the whole thing in time. I just received another batch of commons from my #1 source, and they're fantastic to look at. Loads of clean-cut young men playing ball and getting fired up for the season. Last night I saw a video highlight of none other than Willie Mays hitting his 600th home run during this season. I've read two entire books about the Miracle Mets and the amazin' 1969 season. Four new teams joined the league that year: Montreal Expos, Kansas City Royals, Seattle Pilots and the San Diego Padres. 

I've scanned about 10 of the 35 or so new 1969 cards I've received for you here. Oh - and question for you - anyone know why all of the teams have their nicknames on the cards (i.e. "Orioles", "Giants" etc.) - but the Astros' say "Houston"?

Thursday, September 23, 2021

This Week's Random Smattering

New cards have been arriving from parts beyond. Places you've heard of, like eBay and CardBarrel. Trading friends. Good Americans (sometimes even Canadians). I'd like to go hit up a card show but the one this weekend, ten minutes from my house, was cancelled. OK then! Here we go with the mail!

How about Wander Franco? This kid came up to the Rays and got on base 39 games in a row before getting hurt a couple of weeks ago. You're about to see him in the playoffs. This is from the 2021 Topps Pro Debut series - card # PD-1. Top prospect in all of baseball? I think so. 

I'm coming to terms with the Tampa Bay Rays. Small-market team, prone to innovation, out-thinking just about everyone else; ahead of the Yankees and Red Sox. Hard not to love them, even with the bullpenning and all the guys hitting .238 and yet still winning 2/3rds of their games. 

Got a few other 2021 Pro Debut fellas as well. All Giants. Remember their names!

Speaking of Giants, I went to see the Low-A San Jose Giants a couple weeks ago. The star of the team is a kid names Luis Matos. I have his 2020 Topps Heritage Minors card as well, but the only other one I could find online that I could afford is this one. Of course it's a Panini:

Here are some other new things that I grabbed in my CardBarrel order. All players I collect - new stuff; Topps Chromes and inserts:

It wouldn't be a normal week without a great envelope or envelopes from Ken in Missouri, the king of the traders. He sent me these 3 players I collect as well, plus a great bonus 1962 Post Cereal card for San Francisco Giants Jose Pagan (not to be confused with Angel).