Friday, October 29, 2021

A New Trip Through the All-Star Cards Catalog

Every few months I receive a listing-packed catalog from All-Star Cards of Overland Park, KS. It's something I requested online last year and that I wrote about once before here. Every time I get one, it's a glimpse into a parallel world of card collecting - one that's pretty far away from me and my card-blogging brethren and I-don't-really-care-about-condition set and player collectors. I find it a little fascinating and a little off-putting at the same time.

If you're into paying top dollar for graded cards - and if the difference between a PSA 7 and a PSA 7.5 is super-meaningful to you, then you'll want to take a good look at this catalog. It's fun in that way. Me, I couldn't care less. The only time I get really excited about anything in here - I mean, aside from looking at images of cards I'd love to have - is when some ridiculous card that I probably have sitting in a trade box (a 1980 Tony Perez on the Expos!) is selling for something so absurd it just defies logic (in this case, a PSA 10 of that card will cost you $199.95, as opposed to the 35 cents it'll take to buy an ungraded version here).

Do people really do this? They do, don't they? I don't know anyone who does, but they seem to be making the rounds at the few card shows I've gone to, and they definitely love to bro down about baseball card values and this week's most collectable prospect on Twitter. 

The week this past summer that Shohei Otani started the All-Star Game and was the hottest thing in baseball, I went to a card show in Sacramento, and there were cases upon cases of his cards on display, many for $2,500, $1,500 and so on. Someone must be buying these, and I'm willing to bet they're also buying Bitcoin, GameStop and Truth Social stock.

It's all really gross, if you ask me. Yet All-Star Cards aren't gross. They're just a business who are amalgamating many valuable cards that they are hoping to sell for what the market will bear. It's as American as apple pie and Truth Social. Their catalog gives me a sense of what people are interested in this month, just as prices in a grocery aisle are pretty good clues to what's being valued in food consumption at any given time. 

Request a catalog if you want to. Operators are standing by.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Some 2021 Topps Fire Inserts To Check Out

I picked up three inserts from the relatively recent 2021 Topps Fire baseball release, and they arrived in yesterday's mail. All dudes I collect. What will become of this series - and all series we've come to enjoy - when "Fanatics" takes over? I suspect this is a question that is being asked in many quarters.

The two "Rookie Ignition" cards are for guys - Joey Bart and Jo Adell - who didn't exactly ignite last year, unless you count their activity in AAA. 2022 will be very telling years for these young men's careers, and whether or not they truly ignite. It also may have something to say about the ultimate value of the many cards of theirs I've collected over the past two years - not that my collecting has anything to do with value and resale and all of that, right??

I also grabbed a Tim Lincecum "Smoke and Mirrors" insert from the same Topps Fire set that you can take a look at below.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Goldschmidt Variations

After a few months of focusing on pulling together a Paul Goldschmidt player collection, I've already gotten to the point where I have more cards from Goldy than any other player not named Pablo Sandoval or Tim Lincecum. This is likely due to an age in which a given player, especially a star, is going to have 30+ different cards come out with his likeness in any given year. 

What I like about that is the sheer amount of randomness you'll see in various designs for a given player, and the potential surprises therein. Note that for Goldschmidt cards, there are very few surprises - he's almost always shown batting, in a cut-out, looking like a Sultan of Swat who's just parked one over the wall, probably just hit off a pitch from Lincecum, as he was so fond of doing early in his career.

I still have hundreds of Goldschmidt cards to go before I'd ever get anywhere near a "complete" player collection, but here are 10 very colorful ones from his Diamondbacks days that I thought you'd probably want to check out.

Monday, October 25, 2021

The Offer Still Stands: Multi-Card, Full-Team Giveaway

I still have some cards I would like to send to those of you who happen to collect a team, or who might like some cards of that team. I've posted about this a few times and a few of you have taken me up on it - and those that have typically get anywhere from 50-75 cards in exchange for whatever they send me, which can be as low as 1 or 2...!

Here is how it works. You send me 1 or more cards from my want list - it can even be something I need from 2021 Heritage, I'm cool with that! - and in return you'll get a batch of 25 or more cards from your chosen team below (you'll tell me which one you want, of course, so I can set it aside for you). There are still quite a few quality teams remaining that I haven't cleaned out yet.

It'll work this way:

1. You'll let me know that you want 25-30 of your team's cards by emailing me. That part's a must, because I'll need your mailing address and commitment you want to do this.

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. Depending on the response, you might get a lot more than 25-30.

You can get a sense of what sorts of cards are in there from the cards pictured above. Definitely some junk wax, along with 2010s Topps, Upper Deck and lots of other stuff. The teams I have to choose from are:

  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Baltimore Orioles
  • California / Anaheim Angels
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • Cleveland Indians
  • Colorado Rockies
  • Florida / Miami Marlins
  • Houston Astros
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Milwaukee Brewers
  • New York Mets
  • Philadelphia Phillies
  • San Francisco Giants
  • San Diego Padres
  • Texas Rangers

Sunday, October 24, 2021

New Arrivals From the Great White North

There's this guy I buy random packs from every now and again who's based up in Ontario. He'll put together 25-card packs, a mix of vintage and junk wax, and always with an autograph card inside. The autograph is usually from a no-name or a washout prospect, but hey. The price is right on these, and he always surprises me with great 50s, 60s and 70s card that I want and need - and because he's Canadian, there are often O-Pee-Chee gems from the 70s and 80s in there too. I don't really collect those, but they make for great trade bait!

It's been helpful ticking off a few needs for my 1965, 1971, 1972 and 1973 set builds for sure. 

I recently gathered up a batch of these and scanned a few from the pile, somewhat at random. You like looking at baseball cards, right?

Thursday, October 21, 2021

The 4 Greatest Years in Baseball Card History?

Reasonable collectors and non-collectors and scholars and non-scholars may disagree, but Card Hemorrhage would like to posit that the years 1969-1972 were the 4 greatest consecutive years of baseball card design in baseball card history. That's 1969 Topps, 1970 Topps, 1971 Topps and 1972 Topps if you're keeping score. Every one of these sets is a total gem to look at, with the art deco 1972 set likely being the greatest of all time.

They happen to be among the sets I'm chasing, though I'm actually a little more interested in 1965 Topps than, say, 1969 and 1970. All in good time, I suppose. I recently received two different trades in the mail - one from David in Michigan and another from Ken in Missouri, and both gentleman provided me with cards from these four magic years. Let's take a look at them, shall we?

First, this 1972 Topps Cubs team card really just might be one of the Top 20 cards of all time. It's so daffy and bizarre and so unlike the other cards in the set. I'm mesmerized by its brilliance. Thank you, David!

These two guys sent me a bunch of 1969-1972 card wants, but I only scanned up ten representative examples for this particular post. Representing 1969, here's Mr. Felipe Alou:

A couple of 1970 Topps baseball ringers were part of the new arrivals, both dudes who were excellent at their craft if not superstars:

And actually, the rest of this post will be given over to my favorites of the 1971 Topps cards that Ken and David provided me with. What do you think - was there a better four-year run in card design that these four years? And come on - who out there knew that Diego Segui had the best American League ERA in 1970?

Monday, October 18, 2021

Random Acts of Scanning

Hey everyone, sorry for the delay there. Been a big 11 days since we last blogged over here; since then I've traveled to New York City, Tucson and back home again twice. Meanwhile, new cards arrived in the mail, and I thought I'd scan a few of them up here as I return back to blogging about cards. You know what I mean?

Like how about this guy, currently getting ready to dispatch the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS? This is an early card in the early Topps Throwback Thursday online series, something I secured off of eBay last week just because I dig Ozzie Albies and thought I might like to have this card. It's apparently based on a 1977-78 Topps Footballers design, by which I believe they mean soccer football. 

Another thing I've been working on for a while now is the complete San Francisco Giants Topps team sets from 1962 through 1981. The struggle has been the 60s, of course. A card that had remained out of my reach (and price range) was the 1969 Bobby Bonds rookie card - so what I did was buy this kinda off-centered one. I mean, it is what it is. I know many of you collectors like to upgrade when you're collecting a set, and I suppose I might do the same with this Bonds card at some point.

One set I've completed already - base cards, at least, is 2020 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues. I love this set, as it's based on 1971 Topps, including the "Play Baseball Scratch-Off" inserts. I'm now trying to pick those up, and secured these two recently:

Also saw this 1980 Kellogg's Ross Grimsley card on the Dime Boxes blog a couple of weeks ago and that was it - I leapt into SportLots and bought one immediately:

My Wilbur Wood collection also got two cards stronger! "Baseball's Greatest Pitchers"? Sure, why not?

Here's another one I needed to build up the San Francisco Giants team sets - this one a Gaylord Perry rookie season appearance for 1963 Topps:

...and another pitching legend here as part of 1972 Topps:

And finally, two superstars of their day on some Canadian cards. See you next time.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

The Young Hunter Pence

A couple of months ago we took a look at the beginnings of my Hunter Pence player collection. I've subsequently improved it a little, primarily by focusing on bringing in some of his earliest cards from his Houston Astros days.

He came up in 2007 and just started hitting, pretty much, and while he wasn't quite a superstar, I knew that when they traded him to Philadelphia in 2011 that they'd made a pretty big mistake. As fate would have it, he'd end up on my favorite team a couple of years later, and become a San Franciscan and a San Francisco legend, one whom you could actually see riding his scooter in full uniform to games he was about to play.

I really dig these early cards of his from the 2006-2011 timeframe, when he was one of the best things going for the Astros. Also love the way this 2007 Bowman Heritage card scans...really wish it was this blue. It's a fantastic card nonetheless.

Here's a card of his I already had, albeit now in a different version, and numbered on the back (hey hey!):

And a minor league card from 2006, showing the man on the Corpus Christi Hooks!

Here are the rest of today's "Young Hunter Pence" cards for your perusal.