Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Joy of Junk Wax - 1992 Pinnacle

Running a baseball card blog can be a lot of work. I'm always trying to think of posts I can do that doesn't revolve around scanning a new card or talking about a trade (not that there is anything wrong with those!). Lately I've seen a few people going back and trying to build by hand older sets. Everyone has their own reasons for the sets they decide to tackle. This got me thinking about some older sets that I was first introduced to when I was younger and just getting in to cards.

I started collecting in 1990, the beginning of the junk wax era. I don't have most of the cards from back then (minus cards in my Braves collection and various PCs), but I've grown to respect some of these sets more as an adult. I recently decided to go back to the early 90's and pick a few sets that I really liked to try and build the set. Thankfully many of these boxes can be had for under $20 and in some cases are still sealed. I first thought of Upper Deck...and that will happen soon, but up first is 1992 Pinnacle.

This was Score's first entry into the "premium" baseball card market. Competing with the likes of Fleer Ultra and Upper Deck. I grabbed a sealed box of both series 1 and 2 for $10 on eBay. I kinda wanted the jumbo packs for the 1:1 inserts, but how can you pass up a cool (sealed) box of cards for $5? If you follow my Facebook page then you would have seen I broke open the series 1 box while down at Myrtle Beach for the Memorial Day holiday.

I always loved the sleek, clean look of this set. Yeah the black corner area on the card takes away from the background of the photo, but it's done so nicely. Even 25 years later this design, in my opinion, holds up well.

I'm not a numbers person so I don't care if a baseball card back has complete stats or not. There are enough other sets each year that will feature all the players stats so if I really want to see a certain stat from a certain year I can find it elsewhere. I like the little write ups on the cards. This John Smoltz card is a perfect example of what I'm referring to. 1991 didn't start off too kindly for John. He had a horrible 2-11 record going into the All-Star break, Had Braves manager at the time, Bobby Cox, not been so stubborn, John would have been pulled from the starting rotation for the second half of the season. However Bobby stuck with his guy and was rewarded. As the card mentions, John went 12-2 with a 2,63 ERA after the All-Star break. He would pitch against one of his idols, Jack Morris, in game 7 of the World Series. Even though the Braves fell short of winning it all that year, it remains a remarkable turn around story for John and the Braves.

Insert cards were just starting to be randomly inserted into packs in 1991, however subsets just kept getting more inovative during this time. 1992 Pinnacle had a few, such as Shades and Sidelines. Shades is just a goofy subset featuring a close of up the player wearing stylish sunglasses with a reflection of himself in the lenses. Sidelines featured the players off the field with the spotlight on other hobbies they had. In this case Robin Yount liked to dirt bike. Perhaps this is where Madison Bumgarner got his inspiration from?!

One of my favorite subsets from this set was The Idols. It features a small color image of a then current player, super imposed over a larger sepia colored image of a player they look up to. Here we have the Kid, Ken Griffey, Jr. and his idol, Rickey Henderson. Simple concept and design, but works on all levels.

I mentioned that insert cards were just coming into popularity during this time. I ended up pulling one of the Team Pinnacle cards from the box. These were randomly inserted with odds of 1:240 packs. I don't recall ever seeing a card from the set before I pulled this one. It's a nice double sided card with great artwork. I scanned eBay and COMC cards over the weekend to see if the other 11 cards in the set were cheap or expensive as this set could make a nice bookend to the base set.

In the end I ended up only missing 13 cards from the first series. Oddly enough most of them were in the 90s. One fellow blogger has already chimed in that he had several that I'm missing so I'm already off to a great start. I still have the series 2 box to open next. Once I'm done with that I'll look at making and posting a want list of the commons I'm missing and any inserts I may decide to chase.

The best part of this was sharing the time with my daughters, especially my oldest. She enjoyed opening the packs and I got to explain to her who some of the players were and how I was collating the cards to get them in order. She helped with the collation part which was I was glad as their was a lot of cards and dupes in that box!

If anyone is interested in any players or teams from this set let me know. If anyone else by chance is building the set too let me know as I have plenty of cards you can have.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

2017 Panini Donruss Diamond Kings Mike Foltynewicz

So far I've resisted buying any 2017 Diamond Kings packs or blasters, even though the Cardboard Conundrum didn't make it easy for me posting all of this sweet cards from his box. Instead I've just stuck to buying select singles, since as my latest purchase...a 99 cent purchase too!

Serially numbered 32/99, this is a beautiful card...even if it is a sticker auto. There is just something about the water color look of the card that I find captivating. Guess I should get off my duff and buy a Braves team set...perhaps that will continue to help me stay away from trying to put together yet another set! The timing of finding this card is pretty good too as Folty has really turned it around in his last few starts. His teammates are finally giving him some much needed run support which seems to calm him down on the mound. This season hasn't gone the way I expected, but at least the 3-5 starters have figured things out. Hopefully Folty can keep up the success and make us keep saying Gattis who?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Vintage Hank - 1968 Topps

Recently while browsing a Facebook trading card group I came across a seller that was trying to move some cards from the 60's. While my interest in vintage cards has picked up quite a bit in the last year or so, I still don't own many cards from that era. Most of this is just due to costs and having so many other interests, however I've dreamed of owning some vintage Hank Aaron cardboard.

Turns out his asking price for this 1968 Topps RBI Leaders card featuring Hank Aaron seemed to be reasonably priced (at least to me). It didn't take me long before I found myself sending the seller a private message to see if the card had been claimed yet. Thankfully it hadn't been so I completed the PayPal transaction a few minutes later. This began the waiting game and after about a weeks time, the card finally arrived in the mail earlier today.

The card is in better shape than I thought it would be. I don't really do the card grading thing so if it's not perfect, I'm fine with that. For me this represents the first piece of vintage Braves cardboard I own of a player that I at least know! (...and the other two guys that share the cardboard with Hank ain't too bad themselves)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

2017 Panini Donruss Want List

I'm trying to play catch up this evening while I'm watching the Braves/Blue Jays game...oh no, Freddie Freeman was hit on the left hand and had to leave the game!

Like I was saying, I finally got my 2017 Donruss cards in order so I could tell what I was missing. I wasn't originally intending on building the set, but after buying a few retail rack packs I really liked what I was seeing. If it weren't for the short printed Diamond Kings and Rated Rookies, I'd just about be done with the base set. There are a few photo variations that would be nice to have, but if I don't get all of those I'll be OK. I did manage to pull a few of them already.

I'm hoping to find a trading partner to help me fill in the holes so if you can help, let me know please. You can find my updated Want List here. I'll work on getting my 2017 Donruss doubles added to my trade list as soon as I can.

Monday, May 15, 2017

2017 Topps Team Set: Atlanta Braves

One of the good things about living in Braves country is that it isn't hard to find the annual Topps team set the company puts out. For $5 it's the easiest way for me to pick up new cards of my team. I just wish they featured different photos. They generally share the images from the flagship set and from the Opening Day set. At least these are some of the first cards I personally have of new players such as Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey and Kurt Suzuki. I particularly love the photo of Jace Peterson flying over a Cubs player. I wonder if he just turned a double play?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday Verse: Mother's Day Edition

Even though the baseball season is still young and the NBA and NHL Playoffs are going on, let's not forget that we need to take a moment to thank the moms in our lives. I know for one that my mom(s) have done a lot for me and I wouldn't be the person I am today without their love, patience and guidance. Being married, my wife is the glue that holds my family together. Make sure you tell those women how much you appreciate and love them today. As a result of the day, the verse for today is from the book of Proverbs. I encourage you to read the rest as this is just a snippet I thought was appropriate for today.

Proverbs 31:10, 27-28

New International Version

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character ] A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:

Saturday, May 13, 2017

2017 Topps Now Opening Day: Freddie Freeman #OD-228

The Topps Now program was a hit for the trading card company in it's inuagural year. Like with any good company, Topps was looking to continue riding the success they had in 2016 with another year of product that captured events all throughout the new 2017 baseball season.

This time around they decided to kick things off early with a preview set if you will, Opening Day. I didn't pay much attention to this, but I did see that Freddie Freeman received a card in the set so I searched the 'net for it. I finally found a reasonably priced card and placed my order...then the wait began. I'm still not sure what caused the long delay, but the card finally arrived in today's mail.

From what I can tell, this card wasn't created after any events of a Spring Training game. It just appears to be a "regular" card that just happens to sport the new 2017 Topps Now design. You really can't tell from the scan, but the back of the card has a rainbow sheen to it. It looks really nice in hand.

I'm ready for another year of Topps Now. I bought just about every Braves card from last season (still working on scanning those to share) and I've got a decent jump on this year. One of the things I like that Topps has done yet again w/ this program is that you can sign up for your favorite team, pay for a certain amount of cards (at a discount) and just sit back and wait for players from your team to do something on the field to earn a 2017 Topps Now card. It makes it a lot easier if you lead a hectic life (like I do) and can't constantly check the Topps website everyday to see what cards are being offered. Topps also made some major changes to the way the cards are packaged, but I'll save that for my first real 2017 Topps Now post. Stay tuned!

Monday, May 8, 2017

2016 Topps Now: Dansby Swanson #367 (1,450 print run)

Dansby Swanson, the highly coveted shortstop (and 1st pick of the 2015 MLB Draft) was traded from the Arizona Diamondbacks to his hometown team of the Atlanta Braves prior to the start of the 2016 season. On August 17th he finally got his chance to show the majors what he is capable of, and boy did he! His first career hit was to right field for a sold single in the bottom of the fourth inning. He ended up going 2-4 at the plate in his big league debut.

Braves fans were happy to see the kid in the majors and everyone had high hopes for him. While he struggled at the plate from time to time, he always showed his poise and skill with the glove while in the field. He would later go on to dazzle everyone as the season progressed.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sunday Verse

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

New International Version

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Free Cards - Round 3

Now that I'm getting to sorting through these monster boxes that have been stacked in the corner of my office for some time, I'm coming across cards that I no longer wish to hold onto. I've tried selling low value cards in my eBay store and frankly it just isn't worth my time to list these, so I've decided to just give them away!

I'll cover the postage for 1-3 cards. For larger lots or sets if you wouldn't mind throwing a couple of dollars my way to help cover postage I'd appreciate it.

I really just want to put these into the hands of others that will enjoy them, otherwise they may end up keeping me warm this winter! To claim a card or a lot, just leave a comment letting me know what you want. Then simply send me an email (flywheels at yahoo.com) with your name, address and what you wanted and I'll reply w/ my info. 

To keep this fair, I'm going to limit this to two (2) cards or lots per person per week. I have a good bit I plan on letting go so if you don't see anything that interests you this round, stay tuned as there will be more to come. I've even got some hand collated sets that will be up for grabs.


1997 Circa Todd Hollandsworth Fast Track #2
(the "grass" is felt)

2011 Topps Mark Texeira Kimball Champions #KC-147
Topps Chrome Purple Refractor #140 (063/499)

2011 Topps Chrome Orange Refractor lot
(Cameron Maybin, Chad Billingsley, J.R. Arencibia RC)

97-98 Topps Chrome Tracy McGrady Destiny #D6
07-08 Topps Treasury Vince Carter Gold Refractor #9 (13/50)