Friday, April 19, 2019


Well the over-sized Virdons to a new folder is done.  (Though I know I am missing some 8x10s somewhere.  I just have to find them...)


I didn't realize just how many over-sized Virdons I had stashed here and there.  The old binder looks much the same as it did before but now I have a whole other binder to go with it. 

Doubles (and triples)
This is the cost of being unorganized.  That is three 58 Jays Publishing, two 1962 Sports Service, and two different Rowe/Brace postcards that are all doubles.  To make it worse I had the 58 Jays and 62 Sports Service on my eBay watch list again.  I saved myself from more purchases at least.

Team Issues are the reason I needed to get organized.  See the subtle differences in the above team issues?  Same picture different issues.  To close to go off of memory when I find one on eBay.

Many times even different pictures look just alike.  Every one of the above look alike but are a tiny bit different. (Sorry for the sideways photos I didn't realize they would post this way.)

1962 JD McCarthy

Sometimes cards are exactly the same, except they aren't.

I bet you thought that back parallels were a new thing invented so sell more useless inserts.  In reality back parallels existed even back in 1962.

1984 Postcards

It isn't the old team issues that have lots of variables. 

The "newer" ones have endless parallels too.  With those missing 8x10s I have this same postcard with English on the back instead of French. 

This is another cost of chasing team issues.  Sometimes you have to buy the whole team, or some kind of lot, to get the one card you want.  At least I know who to send the Cardinals too. 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Updating The Virdon Binder

I store all my Virdons in a single 6" binder.  It is bursting at the seems and has been for more than a year.  I probably have 40-60 or Virdons that need put away but it just doesn't have the room.

Right now they are all in there by issue date (or as close to it as a can figure with team issues) but that tends to be a problem with any over-sized card because they take a different size page.  So I have decided to start a second binder and I'll keep all my regular size Virdons in one binder and anything that is over-sized in another.  For the over-sized binder I am going to sort by team then size.  So all the Cardinal Virdons together 4x6, 5x7, 8x10 and everything else in between then Pirates, Mets, Astros, and finally Expos.  I have to look at the over-sized cards all the time to figure out if I already have one I find and having them in team order will help since I never know what year a team issued coach card might be.

Finally getting them all out of a drawer and into a binder at all will help find them allot easier.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Marking A Checklist Off The Checklist

In January I posted about some Virdon cards I didn't know existed.  I didn't know Topps had mail in team cards from 1975 to 1981.  Well I chipped another one off the list. 

I didn't really want a graded card but except for an uncut sheet it is all I have been able to find.  I almost just bought the sheet but the graded card was cheaper that the uncut sheet.

Now I am down to only needing the 1976 Mail In.  All of the other ones had multiples for me to choose from on eBay but not the 76.  There is none on eBay, COMC, Sportlots, or Beckett Marketplace.  So I patiently wait.  One day it will show up somewhere and when it does...

Monday, April 15, 2019

Scribbles In Ink

My much ignored boxing card collection got an addition recently. 

This looks like a In Person or TTM auto but actually this is a auto insert from 1996 Ringside. 

Ringside did it a little different than most other companies.  Instead of a little blurb on the back about how you received an on card auto... they embossed the cards with a seal.  It is hard to see in the scan but if you look at his boxing gloves (front scan) you can faintly see the embossment.  On the back you can faintly see it on the white box below his ring record.  It says 'Spotlight Signature Gold in the embossment. 

This is my fourth Spotlight Signature card.  I also have Carmon Basilio, Vinny Pazienza, and Willie Pep.  I can't find a list of all of them all anywhere so I don't know how many more might be out there.  The Basilio I actually pulled from a pack.  The rest came via eBay.   

Saturday, April 13, 2019

What The...

No your eyes are not deceiving you, that is Bill Virdon in a Mets uniform. 

1967 Bill Virdon 8x10

After he left the Pirates as a player he spent two years as a player/coach in the Mets minor leagues.  I hardly have any Virdon stuff from those two years but they didn't exactly make much for minor league teams back then. 

Friday, April 12, 2019

It's Triplets!!

Not me, God no!!  That would be a nightmare as far as I'm concerned.  Mine are all spread out and that can be bad enough, three at one time...

When I stared my Virdon collection I put a limitation of no team pictures on myself.  So all those team cards that Topps put out I don't have them in my collection. (except for the ones where he has his own picture and name on the front like 1975, 79, 80, etc...)  However when I found the following I made an exception. 

1952 Triplets Team Photo

This is the earliest Virdon anything that I have.  It is from when he played Single A ball in the yankees farm system for the Binghamton Triplets.  Notice he doesn't have glasses on in the picture which was a Virdon staple on everything I have ever seen. (middle row second from left)

I may have started something becasue I think when I see other team pictures from his minor league days I will now pick them up too.

This is a really odd size team photo at 9.5x11.  It has defiantly seen better days.  But it's a 75 year old piece of paper that you don't want to fold and is too big to really put into something that would protect it. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

New School Treatment To An Old School Player Collection

I don't know how people with a Player Collection of a modern player do it.  All the Autos, jerseys, millions of 1/1 cards, and other low serial numbers how do you even start to decide what to chase.  It is one of the nice things about player collecting a guy that only played/managed through the early 90s; there is only so much for me to chase and I for the most part know what is out there I don't have yet.  It isn't too often I find something that completely surprises me.  Well, I just got something that completely surprised me.

A printing plate from 1962 Topps.   Did you know these were out in the wild, I didn't?   If it had come from Topps Vault that would be understandable but this didn't.  (though it was  really big seller on eBay)  I had thought that all the printing plates went to Venezuela so that they could do the Venezuelan cards.  Maybe the reason the 1962 Venezuelan set didn't include Virdon amongst others is the printing plates never left that states.  I probably way overpaid for this since I'm the only Virdon collector that I know of but I couldn't take the chance it got away and did the BIN the day it got posted.  I mean it's a 57 year old item that shouldn't exist but does.

I now know how it feels to get a printing plate for my Player Collection just like those modern collectors, only different.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Opening Day

A fresh start

A window of hope

The continuation of yesterday

The promise of tomorrow

A new season starts today.  Baseball is here, it's spring.  It's Opening Day.  It's Glorious.  Right now everyone is equal, everyone has promise.  So take some time.  Enjoy life.  We don't know how many Opening Days we have left we only know we have one less than last year.  So go watch baseball.  At a live game, your living room, or the local sports bar, it doesn't matter where, find a friend or family member and relax to the sweet sounds of summer. 

Let's Play Ball

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Checking In

It has been a while since I posted.  (again)  I tried to start a post quite a few times in the last month or so but I get to the part where I have to scan cards and my ambition leaves me.  Oh how I hate using the scanner I currently have.  It's problem is it does zero cropping by itself.  I have to scan, then save, then open with paint, then crop, and then save to jpeg.  Yuck, that is way to convoluted I'd rather just skip it.  But it has been awhile so I bit the bullet and made one scan.  

The reason I collect  Virdon is because he grew up in the same small town that I did.  I'm not the only kid that applies to as my friend Joey also has a bunch of Virdons.  I have known he had this voided Topps check for about 10 years now but until last week I never could get him to price it to me.  Well he finally priced it and it has made it's way from West Plains to Phoenix. 

I think it is cool because it is issued by Topps, the thing is I have no idea why it was issued.  See the date March 7, 1969?  One would think that it would be for the 1969 Topps set but Virdon didn't have a card in the 1969 Topps set.  Not only did he not have a card in 1969 there was no team card where he would have been pictured with everyone else.  He didn't have any Topps cards between 1965 and 1972 so why Topps was giving him a check to use his image is a bit of a mystery.  My only thought is maybe Topps just cut a check to everyone rostered the prior year and in 1968 Virdon had 3 ABs as a Player/Coach. 

Friday, March 1, 2019

Hopelessly Behind

I decided that I was too far behind on newer cards and that I needed to start whittling away at them more.  It is so bad I didn't have anything newer than 2014 on my want list.  So I went onto eBay and bought complete Red Sox team sets (series 1, 2, and Update) for 2015-2018. 

My plan was to scan all the cards for each year and post them here.  However once I got them all in front of me I realized what a monumental task scanning over 100 cards was going to be and scratched that idea.  Four years of bagged team sets is as close as I'm going to get to scanning and posting them.  

Filling my want list with these four complete sets I realized I have no idea how many sets are being put out per year anymore.  Yeah I know base, Heritage, A&G, Bowman, Chrome, Stadium, Bowman Chrome come out every year but I know there are a bunch more.  I clicked over to The Trading Card Database and quickly found out just how far behind I have fallen in my collecting by ignoring new cards for the last few years.  I kept telling myself that later I would just buy them complete but now I it is a giant task.  (and an expensive one to do all at once)  Heck is a pretty big task to just figure out all the sets that came out in the last 4 years not to mention finding complete sets for them all.  I don't know if I should just start at 2015 and work my way through or just pick and choose which ones to chase.  

Monday, February 18, 2019

Cause All The Cool Blogs Do It

Almost every blog reviews their first pack of flagship.  I don't know that I ever have, even back when I posted twice a day but I'm too lazy to go back and look.  Heck I'm doing good to even get something posted at all.  I know I did a Heritage review one time.  Since it is a staple of blogging I thought I would give it a try. 

The problem is my first pack sucked!!!  Yes I got a sparkly JD Martinez card (rainbow foil maybe??) but the rest was soo... bleh.  So I'm just doing a one card review.  The first card I pulled. 

2019 Topps #111 Reynaldo Lopez
And Yuck!!  The smoke is back.  These cards remind me so much of 2016 with their smokey effect that I hate them as soon as I saw them online.  The little bit of square dots on the left that fade into the picture and the white part behind the name that Reynaldo's leg fades into is horrible.  They should be full bleed on the top and down one side and fully bordered on the bottom and right; while that white fade thing should just be white. 

2019 Topps #63 Jake Odorizzi
Wait, that's not the same card you say?  You are correct.  But I said I was reviewing the first card I pulled and I couldn't figure out which was first.  See Lopez was at the top of the stack but when I opened the pack the back of Jake's card was peering out at me.  So I figured Lopez was first because he was on top but I should use Jake for the back since it was the first card I saw.  The back is sooo much better than the front.  Full stats, one little blurb, and even his Twitter info for all the young kids. (who don't buy cards but that is a different discussion)  The one improvement I would make to the back is where it says Series I under the card number I would change it to 2019 Topps Series I.  And do the same thing for all the other card sets that come out during the year so that when I'm sorting cards my old ass eyes don't have to try to make out that little tiny date at the bottom. 

Okay, two improvements.  No matter how many stats are on a card they all have the same 1/8" of nothing at the bottom.  Everything should be scooted down 3/32" of an inch and middle all be made a bit bigger.  There is only 2.5" to use why not use it all.

In all this is the 3rd worst design on the 2010s.  (which means it will probably fall somewhere between 5th and 10th worst of all time. 

My favorites from best to worst for the last 10 years:


Saturday, February 2, 2019

Long Delayed Post - Cards From Saints of the Cheap Seats

So on my Blogger Dashboard I found a button that says Drafts.  I don't have any posts started but it shows 4 posts in there.  The oldest one is from 3/8/2009.  Yes folks this post was almost 10 years in the making. 

Evidently Saints of the Cheap Seats and I traded cards 10 years ago.  It looks like Dan has been away from blogging since 2013.

I had no words saved drafted just a few pictures of cards.  Or parts of cards. 

The answer is shocking!  I moved it to the bottom of the post so you have to read or at least scroll down to see it.

When I lived in Missouri I worked with a guy named Jerry.  His son was Bill Mueller's college roommate.  Jerry and his some were supposed to go to game 5 of the 2004 World Series. 

Johnny here was a big reason that there was no game 5.  His HR on the very first pitch of Game 4 was the Cardinals back breaker. 

I'm pretty sure the no team has had nine double headers in a year for two decades not to mention nine in a row.  Talk about a tax on the bullpen. 

Friday, February 1, 2019

Down The Night Owl's Rabbit Hole

I love/have Wikipedia.  Yeah I know it's shortcomings but it is great for looking something up real quick.  And lets be honest I'm not writing any term papers in the next... I don't know, EVER!  But it's real shortcoming is that is is a back hole just waiting to suck me in.

Who was that Tex actor on Last Ship?

Go to Wikipedia.

Ah, there he is. Wow, he was in Deadwood.   Great Show.

Oh, that character was a real person.  All I have to do is click here and I can find out all about him.

And down the rabbit hole I go.

I love history and its so easy to just keep reading about more and more things.  Old West, Civil War, World War(s) I can get suck reading forever.

January is my busy time.  The worst month of the entire year.  I start each day at work with two quick reads Night Owl and Joe Posnanski.  It kind of paces me and keeps me from running to the day trying to slay dragons that are better left alone.  I have no time for dragons or rabbits in January.  Well in the dead of January I'm reading  this Night Owl post  and right in the middle he posts some 1976 Mail in Light Back Team cards.  Now I had never known these existed but I know that Virdon was featured on the 76 Astros Team card and I also know that I have a 1975 Mail In Light Back Team card.  Once I connected those dots I was down the rabbit hole.

After much research (made way longer because of the fact my Standard Catalog was at home and I was at work) I found out that Topps did the Mail In Team cards every year from 1975 to 1981 and I only had the 1975.  So I was off to eBay.

This is the 1977 Mail in card.  (I didn't buy the 1976 yet because the cheapest one on eBay was graded and $45)  It looks exactly like the regular issue.  Until you turn it over.

If you read my post about how my desk is cluttered with cards.  Well it came in handy because I happened to have a regular 77 in my desk to compare it too.  You can see how much lighter the mail in card is.  It is also a way lighter and thinner paper stock.

Coaches are not featured on the team cards in 1978 so I got to skip to 1979.

Again it looks just like the regular issue until you turn it over.

The scan shows it as lighter but it is really way lighter that the scan.  It is kind of odd holding an old card that is on thin light card stock.  They feel like early Donruss cards to me instead of Topps.

My desk pile failed me in 1980.  Both my regular 1980 and my two 1980 Buybacks are at my house tucked away in the binder where they belong.  Maybe, they could also be in that box of cards that need put in the binder still.

The only 1981 Astros Mail In card I found was uncut. I don't really want to buy it uncut.  I know myself I won't cut it.  So even if my procrastination ends and I binder up all my cards it will never make it to the binder.  I need to just wait until a cut one comes along.

Who am I kidding. I'll probably wait a week, buy the uncut one, and keep looking for one for the binder.  I shouldn't even call myself a collector, I'm an amasser.

Night Owl's rabbit hole wasn't so bad.  All those clients just had to wait an extra day for their W2s.  Besides I don't know if I ever got 3 new to me Virdon cards on the same day before.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

yankee Item

It is not very often I add a yankees item to the collection.  But every now and then a Bill Virdon yankee item comes up that a just have to have.

That is a yankees payroll check from 1975 paid to Bill Virdon.  

I haven't decided what I am going to do with it yet.  For now it is in the display case with my Virdon Spring Training bat.  The handle blocks off most of the check though and leaves the yankees logo sticking out the top; I don't like that.  

I also know someone that has a Virdon check from Topps.  If  I can ever convince the guy to sell it maybe I'll frame them together.