Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hall or Nothing

There are two things baseball related that I would really like to do one of these days. The first is to go to Wrigley Field. I have seen plenty of photos and can see it on TV, but I would love the chance to see it in person. I went to a Texas Rangers game a couple years back. It was great. The whole family went and we had a great time. (well, except for my wallet. It stills gives me dirty looks.) One of the things that struck me when I went was the size of the place. On TV it looks huge. Once we were in our seats, it didn't seem that big. It was kind of funny. I want to see if I have the same feeling at Wrigley.

The other place I would like to visit is the Baseball Hall of Fame. The history there has to be amazing. I have to imagine that just walking into the place has to be inspiring. I don't know how big it is, but I would bet that I could spend days there just really enjoying and taking it all in. Since I don't know when, if ever, I will get to go I picked up these postcards of the plaques for two of my favorite players. Ryne Sandberg will always be my favorite but Andre Dawson comes a close second. I understand why he went in as an Expo but it would have been great to see another Cubbie hat on a plaque.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Boxes of Hawky Goodness

I enjoy the thrill of going through packages of cards not knowing what might be in there. It reminds me of the grab bags that I used to purchase at the card shops when I was younger. Would it be a bag of awesomeness or a bag of junk? All of my Hawk cards are from when he played for the Cubs. Since I have a lot of holes to fill, I decided to bid on a couple of lots.

The first lot I won had 200 cards. It is almost guaranteed that there will be duplicates. This lot was no exception:
  • 8 1985 Topps #420
  • 14 1986 Topps #760
  • 18 1987 Topps #345
  • 20 1984 Topps #200
  • 20 1984 Topps #392
I did need each of these cards but I couldn't stop laughing. 80 of the 200 so far. Most of the rest of the cards a duplicate or two. Since I stopped collecting around 93-94, I have not seen the vast majority of cards since then unless I have one of Ryne Sandberg. Here are some of my highlights from this lot:
I had not seen any cards of Dawson in a Marlins uniform. I like the looks of all three of these, especially the Upper Deck SP. I really like the use of the colors. I don't think they look as good when scanned, but in person they are really cool.
I am a sucker for Odd-balls and art cards. I like this card. Dawson always seem to be smiling which is one of the things I always liked about him. I feel like I hit the jackpot with this lot. I ended with 67 cards that I did not have and they cost me less than 8 cents each.

The second lot I won was 50 cards. I hit the motherlode with this one. I needed 47 of them and at least half were inserts.
I like these Topps Lineage cards. They have a clean look to them and large amount of photo space.
A Duracell batteries card. The Upper Deck card with a Final Tribute stamp looks great. I like to see these tribute cards of great players. I only wish it could have been as a Cub. The Collector's Choice with Silver Signature is a great addition.
Another art card. Upper Deck really did it well with the checklist cards back then. I like but don't like the Donruss Champions card. I have the same card of Ryno. I wish they would have put something on the right side if it isn't a relic card. It just looks like they forgot something. Another great lot that filled in a lot of holes.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Wacky Stuff

While waiting for my wife and daughter, I decided to walk into a new store called Five Below. Everything in the store is five dollars or less. It has the usual junk that most of these stores have. I happened to come across and endcap that had some cards. It was all non-sport and mostly card games. I did happen to find a couple of packs of something that I am amazed they are still making:
I haven't seen Garbage Pail Kids since I was in middle school. We loved these back then. My friends and I had pages and pages filled with these things and we even went and saw the crappy movie. We would buy these guys with our lunch money. Who needed to eat? I knew I needed to buy a couple of packs and see what they are like now.
They are just not as funny as they used to be. Really they were all pretty stupid. I guess if I was 12 again I would probably love them. I will throw these in my binder of shtuff and hopefully one of these days I will come across my old Garbage Pail Kids.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

That Time I Got A Great "Deal"

Back before we had this crazy thing called the internet that has given us the likes of Sportslots, COMC, and Ebay, we had tons of mail order advertisements in our magazines and comic books. Sea Monkeys, X-ray glasses, joy buzzers. All kinds of junk. My favorite were the toy soldiers. I sent in my two bucks for 100 soldiers. I was going to have the biggest army on the block. The army men that we all had looked like this:

Look at that glorious 3-dimensional army man. He's probably calling in for some artillery support. Charlie Tango we're getting hammered out here. Send in the big guns. 6-8 weeks later (this is how we learned to patient back then) I received my craptastic cardboard footlocker full of soldiers. Instead of the glorious example you see above, I received something resembling soldiers. You could only look at them from the side. If you looked at them from the front or the back they were as thin as the base. I may have had the biggest army on the block, but they looked like they been run over by the tanks. After this and killing plenty of sea monkeys, I didn't order anything for a long time.

Fast forward a few years and now I am looking at the ads in Tuff Stuff. I see an ad from someone selling 25 card lots of your favorite player for only a few dollars. This was awesome! What a way to build up my Ryno collection. I sent the guy a money order for two lots and waited patiently for them to arrive. A few weeks later I received my package.

I could hardly wait. A box full of Sandbergs just waiting to be added. I tore that box open. Inside were two plastic cases. Each case had 25 cards. These two card were on the top of each case and I didn't have either one of them:

And inside each case was 24 more of exactly the same card. I was so disappointed. Now maybe I misread the ad. Maybe I was just plain dumb. I got exactly what I paid for. Two lots of 25 cards each. I couldn't really be mad. It just wasn't what I was expecting. I was able to trade a few with some people. I tried to trade them in at some card shops, but they didn't really want any Broder cards. To this day, I still have about 15 of each. If anyone wants a couple of Ryno cards for their collection, let me know. I would be happy to send a couple your way.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Raise Your Cans and Eat Some Cereal

Today I received some packages from my last adventure through Sportslots. I picked up quite a few inserts to add to my Cubs teams sets. Looking at some of the cards I picked up reminded me of how great it was being a kid in the eighties. (OK, late seventies too.) We had star wars. We had GI Joe. We had the Transformers and Go-Bots. We also had awesome stuff that came in our cereal boxes. I would spend a lot of time looking at the cereal boxes to decide which one I was going to eat that week. I didn't care what it tasted like, I only cared what the surprise inside was.

I ended up with a lot of little junky "surprises." One thing that was never junk were the 3-D cards from Kelloggs's. Looking at these was like a full hand slap to the face of nostalgia. These were better than the scratch-n-sniff stickers we got with our scholastic book orders. You have a strawberry-scented sticker? I have a Bill Buckner in amazing 3-D. Alas, as with most of my stuff from back then they are long gone. I am happy to be able to put these cards in the collection.

It seems like everything had baseball card promotions back then. I picked up these two Cubs cards from the 1981 Squirt set. I never had these cards back then. Nobody in my  family liked squirt except for me. There was no way they were going to buy any. We didn't buy soda then like we do now. We grew up on iced tea and Kool-aid. If we had bottles (yes, bottles) of soda in the house, it was a treat. Since these are cards I never would have had at the time, these are another great addition to the Cubs colllection.

So raise your cans, eat some cereal, and remember when companies were more than happy to market to kids, pester our parents, and get us to eat their junk. All for a baseball card.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Unknown Surprises

I have a lot of Ryne Sandberg cards. Well, I thought I did until I started putting together a new checklist. Since I am primarily focusing on filling the holes in my collection up through 1995, I had a pretty good idea of what was out there. I came across two items on Ebay that I had never seen before. Both of them are Barry Colla postcards. I have the 8-card postcard set and the Colla collection 12-card set and the all-star cards they put out. But these two I had never seen. I can't describe how excited I am picking these up.

The first, which can be seen above, is from 1992. It is bigger than the other postcards I have and has the red, white, and blue border. I thought the border was actually done by the seller for the picture until I had the card in my hands.
The second is pretty much the same size as the cards in the postcard set. It is from 1994 and also has the border and writing on it. Again, I thought the seller had done that for the picture in the auction. It looks pretty good. There are only two more Barry Colla cards that I am aware of that I am missing. Both of them are promos from 1992. I have never seen them, but they are listed at Beckett. The hunt continues...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Terrible Start

Where does the time go? It is already February 1st. It seems the older I get, the faster time goes by. I am off to a terrible start with the blog. Only nine posts since I started. I have so many ideas and things to say, I just have a hard time getting them organized and focused in my mind. I am confident that once I get this worked out and get a flow, it will get easier.

I have had the opportunity to start organizing my cards. I have started picking up some binders when we go to the store. The Avery binders I am using have the d-ring. I really like these much better than the typical o-ring binders I typically see. The pages stay flat and I don't have to watch them as I open and close the binders.
The white binders are the new ones. I am going to make some inserts that I can slide in them so I can tell which is which. I will slowly start replacing most of the others with these. Some of them are old and starting to fall apart and I would like my collection to look as good as the fine gentleman at Wrigley Wax who has been my inspiration to get back into collecting.

A while back, I had bought a box of Ultra-Pro sheets at a card shop. They are fantastic and much nicer than the ones I had purchased so many years ago. I ran out pretty quickly. There is not a shop in my town and with all of the construction we have around here it takes a good 45 minutes to an hour to get to the shop. Being the impatient guy I am sometimes, I decided to pick some up at Target. They were the Ultra-Pro sheets as well so I thought they would be the same. I was wrong. I did not realize that there are different types of sheets from the same company. These are very thin. I am afraid that if I have to move cards very often these would tear. I doubt I will be buying them again. I will just have to be patient and make the drive or order from Amazon.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Poster Goodness

Back in the 90's when I had a lot of empty wallspace, I always kept an eye out for awesome posters. I would buy all of the Cubs posters I could find. It was a little more difficult back then. There was no internet, no amazon, no plethora of web stores to buy what you wanted. Living in New Mexico and Colorado, there was not a lot Cubs merchandise available. Many times I would have to special order the posters from a store. I had a good variety of posters. Most of them had Ryno on them of course.

Eventually I moved out on my own, but some things were left at my parents since I did not have a lot space. My oldest sister took over my room and got rid most of my stuff. A lot of it I did not care about. Much to my horror, my posters were no more. I think I might have actually cried a little at the time. They were something that I looked at every day. My favorite team on the walls of my room. I doubt I will ever try to pick them up again unless I find a really good deal. I did manage to pick up these two poster promos on Ebay. Not quite as good as the real thing, but they are cool to have in my collection.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Snow Goose Addition

I ordered a large lot of cards from COMC when they had a sale over the holidays. I was able to fill in quite a few holes in my Mecklenburg and Sutcliffe collections. One of the "cards" I picked up was this 1992 Newsport of the Snow Goose. I was surprised that it is more like a mini poster. Much larger than I expected. It is a great addition. I hope to be able to pick up the one of Ryne Sandberg. I don't see them very often on Ebay.

I also picked up the British Petroleum card of the Meck. I had actually ordered the two variations, but received the same cards. It's not worth getting replaced for what I paid. I'll throw the extra in with my other Broncos and get the other one when I order again.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Finally Gave In

I can't speak for other Cubs fans, but I was really disappointed when the Cubs passed over Ryno to be the Manager of the Cubs. How great would it be to see him managing the team he had played so many years for. He did fantastic as a Minor League manager.

I don't think it was a conscious decision, but for some reason I kept passing on picking up his 2014 Topps Heritage card. I don't have anything against the Phillies. I have plenty of cards from when he played for that very short time as a player. But I guess it wasn't real. I always saw him as a Cub. Maybe I just couldn't see myself having a current card of Sandberg in a different uniform.

I finally gave in. I picked up this card and I love it. It's a great looking card and it reminds me that his career is still going strong. I want him to do well as a manager (as long as they aren't playing the Cubs).

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Wallet Card

I just found out about the Wallet Card over at Baseball Card Breakdown. Great idea! Keep a card in your wallet and take a picture of it throughout the year. Of course, I have to grab a Ryno card.

I love the diamond kings cards so this was an easy one to pick. This was one of the greatest parts of opening Donruss packs back then. There were always lots of surprises. Sometimes you got excited and sometimes you just looked at the card and said "why?" I was extremely excited when Sandberg was the Cubs choice in 1991.

This was also the first year Donruss did the Elite Series. I don't even want to admit how many boxes I bought and opened just hoping and praying for the Signature Series card. I guess it wasn't meant to be. But now I have plenty of the Diamond Kings card and it will have the pleasure of me sitting on it for a year.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

First New Card

My friendly neighborhood mailman brought my first new card of the year:

A 1985 KAS Potato Chips Disc. This is a great addition to the Sandberg collection. I was finally able to find one at a decent price on Ebay. This puts me down to only 8 more items to finish off 1985. Unfortunately, the items that are left tend to be priced out of my budget or I have never seen. But I am very patient and hopefully a good deal will pop up.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

I am really excited for 2015. Football playoffs will start this weekend. I really hope the Broncos don't blow it like they did last year. I always have hope that the Cubs will have a great season. I also plan to expand my collection. I did pretty well this last year but I really want to try to fill some of the holes this year. Here is my list of goals for 2015:

#1: Focus on filling holes in my Ryne Sandberg collection. I am going to focus on 1980-1995.

#2: I have three other player collections right now: Andre Dawson, Rick Sutcliffe, and Karl Mecklenburg(Denver Broncos). Since I focused almost solely on Ryno this last year I only added a couple of cards to each of these collections. I want to really flesh them out this year.

#3: Complete my Chicago Cubs team sets for 1980-1989.

#4: Organize my collection. Almost all of my cards are in boxes. I want to get some binders and pages to put my player collections and team sets in. It will be much easier to see what I have and I like the way it looks.

#5: Create spreadsheets of my collection.

#6: Post to the blog at least three times a week.

I wish all of you the best for the new year and happy collecting!