Thursday, October 22, 2020

Another White Whale

 It's amazing the things Player Collectors consider a white whale.  If you would have told me as a kid that I would covet the stiffener that someone received from the laundromat I would have thought you were crazy.  Heck, I bet if you told the owners of said laundromat that their stiffeners would be highly sought after they would have thought you were crazy.  But here we are in 2020 where craziness abounds. 

That is a 1964 KDKA Pittsburgh Pirates Portrait of Bill Virdon.  (90% of it anyway.  It is bigger than my scanner's bed)  These were advertisements for the Pirates Broadcasting partners but they were actually issued by Sweet Clean Laundry as stiffeners for men's shirts.  Nowhere on the card does it mention the laundromat only KDKA, hence the name.  My Standard says that these cards are 8"x11-7/8".  Mine is a little bit off.  Mine is right at 12" up and down but across it is 8" along the bottom but closer to 8-1/8" at the top.

I have known that this existed for close to 25 years but had never seen one.  I have only seen a few of the KDKAs on ebay before but never the Virdon.  As soon as I saw it I scooped it up.  What I am going to do with it now is a different story.  It is just the wrong size.  8x11 fits in a binder, 8x12 fits nowhere.  It got shipped to me in a 12x15 top loader which is where it is going to stay for now. Maybe I'll frame it I don't know yet.  That might work if I got it autographed.  

So what's the next white whale?  I don't know.  A few of the Virdon's I do not have are unobtainable.  I know were a few 1/1s are but the guy is a Pirates Collector and isn't going to get rid of them. Most of the rest of my Virdon "wants" are team issues that I can't identify.  Heck I may already own them but can't find a resource that tells me the 75 Astros Team Issued Postcard looks like ____.   

I know that a 1961 Harmony Milk Virdon exists even though the SCBC says that it doesn't.  Something that doesn't exist but does, that may be my next white whale.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Joy of a Completed Team Set Year's Worth of Team Sets

I have ignored new cards for quite a few years now. I don't mean just not buying them; I mean I paid zero attention. I don't think I could identify even Topps base cards between 2016 and 2019. All those other sets, no way. Heck except for the usual suspects like Bowman, Heritage, and A&G I don't even know what other cards were produced in those years. For the last 5 years or so I have focused my collection totally on Virdons and Vintage.  Nothing else even made it on my radar.  Since I started ignoring new stuff my Virdon and Vintage Red Sox have took off.

After ignoring new cards for years I now know all the 2019 Red Sox cards because I have them. All of them. At least all of them that I want to say I collect. How did I get them all? Well I did something I said I would never do. I bought them all in complete team sets. I have bought a few team sets over the years but never all of them. I know, sacrilege right? 

Here's the list of what I got:

Topps Series 1, 2, & U/H
Allen & Ginter
Big League
Chrome & Chrome Update
Gold Label
Gypsy Queen
Heritage Minors
Museum Collection
Opening Day

Bowman is out in the cold, I didn't understand all the Bowman sets when I was paying attention every year and I'm not going to go back and retroactively try to figure out 2019.  Maybe I'll go back and add regular Bowman and Bowman Chrome but probably not.

For Topps, A&G, and Heritage I bought Master Team Sets.  Which translates to: includes all the base cards, SPs, and "regular" inserts.  You know the cheap inserts that are treated like regular base cards.

All of it cost me about $120.  I know I couldn't have hand completed them all for $120 and I would have been chasing them for years.  The cheapest I got was Big League.  It was an 18 card set and it ran me a whopping 2.10 AFTER shipping.

Heritage with all it's inserts and SPs cost me the most at $34.  I know from previous years collecting Heritage it would cost me almost as much to build.  Considering I haven't completed a Heritage Team set since it's inception it is safe to say this one would have hung around waiting to be completed for years and years. 

Stadium Club is hands down my favorite team set of the year.  It is a good mix of new and old and the old are not images that I have seen over and over again.

There was a 2 way tie for my favorite: Mookie and Fisk.  That Fisk is a photo I haven't seen before.

My least favorite card was the Boggs signing autographs.  I give it props for being a new image but I don't like cards of players signing autographs.  Yes I realize I am the only card blogger in history that doesn't like my cards to have players signing cards on them. 

I know that most bloggers, if not all, won't even consider collecting like this.  I get it.  I thought the same way too.  But I have to admit this was great!  How many team set builders know what it is like to wrap up a whole year worth of team sets?  I now do and it's wonderful.  Heck I will probably start working backwards and fill in other years I missed out on.   

But really the best part of knocking them out all at once is that I focused on vintage stuff for the whole year.  I completed a truly epic team set this year.  One of those bucket list team sets.  I'll probably post it after I free some cards from their prisons.  (If you read this Hoyle don't spoil it.  I think your the only person that knew I was chasing it.)

Monday, December 16, 2019

Red Sox Circus

A while back one of the guys that I consider one of the Original Card Bloggers, Indians Baseball Cards, Always, had a sign up for people to grab unmailed teams the PAD Circus cards.  I quickly grabbed up the Red Sox.  I figured I would get a small box of cards but to my surprise what showed up was a 800 count box of cards. 

It was great going through all these cards.  They brought back many memories of David's Circus breaks.  It was always fun reading through each pack break watching to see if one of "my guys" happened to show up and then trying to draft any Red Sox that I could.

It has been a long time since I did a post about cards from another blogger.  I think have conquered some of my scanner problems so I chose a top 10 from Tribecards.  

Ok, so the scanning isn't perfect yet.  But man is it allot faster. I don't see many unlicensed cards.  So while many people hate them I find them fascinating.  Besides it isn't every day I get a card of one of the God Dust Twins that I do not already have. 

This is a fun card.  It reminds me of one of these comic cards from the early 90s crossed with Wacky Packs.  

The one that got away.  Everyone knows that the Red Sox traded away Bagwell in perhaps one of the most lopsided trades EVER.  They got one month of service from a reliever named Larry Anderson for the Future Hall of Famer.  I had a minor league Bagewell before this but this card was new to me.  

I am not really a Game Used collector but I do try to get one of each Red Sox player.  I didn't have a Mooke GU until this showed up.  There were a few other GU in the package but since Mookie hass my favorite current Sox player since Ortiz retired he gets the scan treatment.  

Some might not consider this a card but it is card sized and made by Upper Deck so it is a card to me.  For years Nomar was the Red Sox' best player and his cards were some of the most sought after cards in the hobby.  All the cool insert sets had Nomar cards in them.  Nomar has been out of the league since 2009 but people still hoard his insert cards.  It is always nice to get one.

I have a few 1969 Topps Super cards.  This Ortiz made to look like them is nothing like the originals.  Not only is it not super sized it is made from just regular card stock.

Another unlicensed card.  This one probably wouldn't even look unlicensed if I didn't know it.  Papi just happens to be in the perfect pose for no logos to show up.  Not only did I scan it crooked but the scanner doesn't do it justice at all.  

I Love Williams cards.   This black and white photo looks great on card.  

Another Williams card.  This time from early Upper Deck and it's one of the earliest "insert cards".  

OK, so I cheated.  This is more than 10 cards but come on round vintage cards from a set I didn't even know existed, how cold I not pick them.  To be fair I only scanned a couple of the ones David sent.  Two guys from the NESN booth.  Remy used to be my favorite TV announcer but not anymore.  Eck has taken over as my favorite announcer in the last couple years.  

Thanks for all the great cards David!!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Parts of Sorting Sucks!

For once I read a Night Owl post and resisted writing a book in his comments and instead made my own post. (but it took a couple days)  Usually when I leave a comment on a blog it is a way to long comment that nobody sees but the blog owner.  So maybe I'll make this a habit and post all my comments here.

So, yeah sorting is usually great. A fun thing where you get to look at and touch your cards and it is somehow even therapeutic as all the numbers start to line up and you fill blanks.  However part of the sort can suck.

I have a friend in MO that I used to get cards from all the time.  If you got Bipped (if anybody even remembers Bipping) by me all those cards came from my buddy Joey. I live in AZ now and that all the time has now become a couple times a year he sends me a text that says "PayPal me $25".  Soon I'll get a I'm always eager for that package but it comes with some suck too.  Kind of like a disclaimer, you will enjoy this package but there is some headache involved. 

Look at this package I got from Joey.  I know the lighting sucks cause I'm no photographer but what you see is five team bags.  Four of those team bags have some kind of Bowman card on top and all of them have some kind of Bowman inside.  Bowman is that headache.  I don't speak Bowman.  Bowman and I don't get along at all.  I'm not a rookie guy so I never bought the stuff to get to know it.  All I know is when I have to sort them by year, the only way to tell them apart is that little tiny TM date (that is probably correct but every now and then is off by a year because Topps shovels new cards at us before a calendar flip).  After you deal with the date then you have to decide if a card is a Bowman Chrome card or if it was a regular Bowman Chrome Insert card.  Now usually a letters and numbers mixed together mean insert but evidently Bowman is different.  There are Regular Bowman Prospect Inserts and then there is a whole other Bowmen Set called Bowman Prospects that uses letter number combos just like the insert set, not to mention they use the same pictures half the time.  They tried to tell us that RC Logo was going to make things simple, HAHA!!!   

Sorting is fun, except for Bowman.  Bowman makes sorting Suck!!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Now That Is Customer Service!!!!

I know my postman by first name.  In this day and age I don't think this is a common thing anymore.  It feels like something that old timers would talk about; "back in my day your postman knew you by name."  Well my postman's name is Tom and he comes by the office every day to drop of the mail and say hi.  We have a mailbox outside but he brings it inside every day instead of putting it in the outside box.  It started because of my ball card packages.  They were too big to fit in the tiny box the post office supplies so he would bring them in.  Pretty soon he started bringing in the mail every day even when I didn't get a package.  Every day he'd say hi we would offer him a drink of water.  Maybe he was just doing to get out of the Arizona heat to for a few seconds of air conditioning but even so it felt above and beyond. 

Well Tom had a health problem and had to take a few weeks off of work. No Tom meant a having a smorgasbord of postpeople dropping off my mail.  Wouldn't you know it while Tom was off I bought something off of eBay that never showed up.  The tracking showed it as delivered but I never got it.  When I saw the post person come the next day I showed them the tracking and she just shrugged and said to take it to the main post office in the area and they would look into it.  I was going to but I never actually got around to it.  Around a week went by and Tom was back from his leave.  He came in the office and greeted us all and exchanged pleasantries.  We all said how nice it was that he was back and well again.  In the process of telling him how much better he was than all of the guys/gals that they sent in his place I told him about my missing package.

The NEXT DAY he brought my missing package to me.  It seems we are not the only place he actually stops and drops the mail at.  He delivers all business mail in person so at each stop he asked if they anyone had received a package that wasn't theirs while he was out.  In less than 24 hours he found my package that was missing for a week.  All because he goes above and beyond delivering the mail.  Thanks Tom!!

Above is the contents of the missing package.  It is a Pirates Team Issue from when Bill Virdon was Jim Leyland's Bench Coach in 1986.  This is actually the only copy of this I have ever seen anywhere.  Not only have I never seen it listed on eBay before I have never even seen the image before.  

Monday, August 26, 2019

A Mystery Card

The other day I showed that I bought something that I told myself I wouldn't when I posted that 1953 KC Blues Team picture.  Well I did it again.  I bought something I  have been avoiding.  An unlicensed 8x10.  I have always limited myself to Team Issues and licensed 8x10s.  (Like PhotoFile)  However when I saw this one I decided I needed it.

I've studied the photo in his hand and I can't figure out what card he is signing.  It looks like on the card he is standing and it has a white sky as a background at the top.  There is no Virdon card that I know of like it.  The closest I can find to it are 62 Kahns, 64 Kahns, 80 TCMA, or 81 Fleer. (64 and 65 Topps also both have a white sky, but they look to far off.)

His 81 Fleer checks off with the sky above him but it really looks like he is standing in photo above.

1964 Kahns checks off the standing and the sky in the background but the sky here looks blue not white like in the photo.  Plus Kahns is oversized.  

1980 TCMA has the right sky view and I can see how if held far far away he might look standing but that gold border...

1962 Kahns is the closest I can come up with.  It has the cloudy sky and he is standing  but the cards are oversized and it doesn't look oversized in the photo. 

So what is he about to sign?  Is it possible there is a regular sized card I don't know about?  The photo is from 83 or 84 so surly it isn't something homemade.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

I Got The Blues

I hope nobody clicked this out of concern.  I am in no way talking about an emotional state.  I am talking about my latest Virdon pickup. 

This is a team 8x10 from when Virdon played in the yankees farm system.  He's in the top row, 3rd from the left glassesless. (if that is a word)  It would be during the 1953 season that Manager Harry Craft would see Bill reading with glasses on and told him to start playing with them also.  His batting Average jumped .100 points from 1953 to 1954.  I guess it helps to see the ball better.

I had always told myself I wan't going to chase stuff of his that was the whole team but these old minor league cards team issues are to great to pass up.  I bet you can recognize a few other names on this roster because many of them went on to big league careers.