Saturday, December 31, 2016

My 2016 New Year's Resolutions: A Look Back

Back in January 2016, I posted my New Year's Resolutions...and now that the year 2016 is over (or at least it will be in a few hours), it's time to take a look back to see how successful (or not-so-successful) I was in regards to completing my goals.
A Vault Metal addition to my Barry Larkin Collection in 2016!

1.  Barry Larkin Collection:  I wanted to be sure to get my Barry Larkin Collection up to at least 500 posts by the end of 2016.  Unfortunately, I'm going to fall just a bit shy of that (494 Larkin cards have been written about to date).  I can blame the slight shortcoming on my hectic fall teaching load this semester...I simply didn't have time to blog (in fact, there were multiple days where I didn't have a single post go live...something that hadn't happened for years before this year).  I may not have hit my goal exactly but I think that I was close enough to give myself a pass this year (I'll give myself a B on this goal).

2.  The Great Reorganization:  Another task that I knew would be a long time coming.  I didn't really set any specific goals for this other than to continue to make progress.  If I'm being honest, I really didn't do much at all in the way of reorganizing until about last week...but in that short amount of time I have made some decent progress (though I am nowhere near done).  I guess I'll give myself a pass here as well, but more like the C- variety of passing grade (as opposed to an A).

3.  The Want List:  I posted a big list of sets that I wanted to complete during the 2016 year.  Here's how I did:
COMPLETED in 2016:
2015 Topps Allen & Ginter:  A World Beneath Our Feet:  BUG- 14
2015 Topps Allen & Ginter:  First Ladies:  FIRST- 1, 16, 20
2015 Topps Allen & Ginter:  Hoist the Black Flag:  HBF- 1
2015 Topps Allen & Ginter:  Magnates, Barons, and Tycoons:  MBT- 1, 5
2015 Topps Allen & Ginter:  Mythological Menaces:  MM- 7
2015 Topps:  Robbed insert:  R- 9, 15
2014 Topps Allen & Ginter:  Outlaws, Bandits, & All-Around Ne'er Do Wells:  OBA-01 Robin Hood
2014 Topps Stadium Club:  113
2013 Topps Allen & Ginter:  Famous Finds:  FF-CG
2013 Topps Allen & Ginter:  Inquiring Minds:  JPS
2013 Topps Allen & Ginter:  First Americans:  CM
2013 Topps Archives:  Tall Boys:  FL, FM, MS
2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces:  108, 115
2007 Topps Heritage:  Then & Now:  TN7
2007 Topps Heritage:  Baseball Flashbacks:  FB2
2006 Fleer Greats of the Game:  Dodgers Greats: SS

NOT YET DONE:
2015 Topps Archives:  Will Ferrell Insert:  7  (Got 1 of 2 that I needed)
2013 Topps Chrome:  1, 10, 16, 32, 119, 220  (Got 2 of 8 that I needed)
2013 Topps Archives:  237, 240 (Got 0 of 2 that I needed)
2013 Topps Archives:  All-Star:  CR, GB, GC (Got 0 of 3 that I needed)
2012 Topps Allen & Ginter:  N43:  11, 14 (Got 0 of 2 that I needed)
2012 Topps Archives:  Classic Combos:  KK, LM, SF  (Got 0 of 3 that I needed)
2012 Topps Archives:  In Action:  CR, I, JE, JH, KG  (Got 0 of 5 that I needed)
2012 Topps Archives:  Archive Reprints:  164 (Roberto Clemente)  (Got 0 of 1 that I needed)
2011 Topps Lineage:  1975 mini parallel:  33, 103 (Got 0 of 2 that I needed)
2011 Topps Heritage:  460 (Got 0 of 1 that I needed)
2009 Topps Allen & Ginter:  Inventions of the Future:  5  (Got 0 of 1 that I needed)
2009 Topps Allen & Ginter:  Extinct Creatures:  1  (Got 0 of 1 that I needed)
2009 Topps Allen & Ginter:  Creatures of Legend, Myth, & Terror:  5, 7, 14, 15  (Got 0 of 4 that I needed)
2009 Topps Allen & Ginter:  Cabinet boxloader:  6, 10  (Got 0 of 2 that I needed)
2006 Fleer Greats of the Game:  Decade Greats:  BJ, CR  (Got 0 of 2 that I needed)
2006 Fleer Greats of the Game:  Tigers Greats:  KG  (Got 0 of 1 that I needed)
2006 Fleer Greats of the Game:  Yankee Greats:  WB  (Got 0 of 1 that I needed)
2001 Topps Gold Label:  19, 41, 61, 62, 93, 97, 106, 108, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115  (Got 0 of 13 that I needed)
1995 Upper Deck Collector's Choice:  186, 188, 189, 190, 192, 194, 196, 197, 198, 200, 494, 500   (Got 0 of 12 that I needed)

Overall, I have to give myself a solid A on this one!  I completed 16 sets (out of the 35 total sets that I picked out for the goal).  I also made a bit of progress on some of the sets that I didn't totally complete - in fact, of the 19 sets that I didn't finish, I got at least one card closer on two of them.  Thus, I either completed or inched closer to completing 18 out of the 35 sets that I decided to target in 2016.  That's no small feat - and it's an awesome accomplishment for someone who is a set collector such as myself!

4  Frankensets:  I have an idea to make a pair of Frankensets...and I've been setting aside possible cards for inclusion in both Frankensets for well over a year now.  Unfortunately, I haven't gotten any closer to actually starting said sets...and so I must give myself an F on this goal.

5.  Woodworking:  This summer, I built myself a shelf for many of my LEGO collectible minifigures.  I also built myself a brand new workbench and work area in my garage for all my woodworking projects.  Finally, we redid my entire basement (aka the "man cave") which I will add into the woodworking category even if it's not a perfect fit.  Thus, I have to say I rocked this goal this year!  This one's an easy A for a grade.

6.  Teaching:  At the time I wrote my 2016 Resolutions, I wasn't sure if I was going to teach Calculus III in the fall (a course that I did, indeed, end up teaching).  I also managed to get through my two new preps last spring...and I have started to work on my new prep for this spring already.  Therefore, since I survived (and since all the classes went well in my opinion), this goal also gets an A grade.

Overall, I had six New Year's Resolutions in 2016 of which I gave grades of B, C-, A, F, A, and A.  The only "F" grade was for my Frankenset idea...but truth be told, that was the least important goal on the list so I don't really mind.  I do know that I must do a better job on my collection reorganization in 2017...and I better put that down as a goal for next year so that I can hold myself accountable!

I thank all of you for reading, commenting, and trading during the 2016 year.  I hope that 2017 is better for everyone - and I wish you all a very healthy and happy New Year's Eve celebration (and New Year).  I do plan to post some resolutions/goals for 2017 in the upcoming days...and I can only hope that I'm as successful next year as was this year.

Now it's your turn to tell me how you did - either via a comment below or feel free to leave a link if you wrote up a similar post on your blog this year!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Barry Larkin Collection 494: 1999 Kahn's - #11

Barry Larkin
Year:  1999
Brand:  Kahn's
Card number:  11

Kahn's has produced team sets of baseball cards for the Reds for a number of years (usually given out during a stadium promotional day).  Unfortunately, as someone who lives 10+ hours away from Cincinnati, I have never actually made it to a baseball card giveaway game.  Luckily for me then, I have a number of great traders who often hook me up with assorted Barry Larkin cards...which is almost assuredly how I ended up with this particular card!

As for the card itself, this one isn't bad (for a promotional item).  My biggest complaint about the card is the terrible font choice - otherwise it's pretty solid (especially the back with complete statistics including minor leagues)!  The other interesting thing of note about this card is that it doesn't actually mention the Kahn's brand name anywhere.  I'd say that was a big oversight by the company...hard to promote yourself if you don't put your name out there in the very least!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Great Reorganization: Step 22: A Look at 1988

As part of my baseball card collection overhaul, I am going through pretty much each and every card I own in an effort to simplify (and totally organize) my collection.  At the moment, I'm still in the midst of doing a year-by-year review of my cards.  From there, it will be a task of finding binders (and creating want lists) for sets that I wish to keep and finding homes for the cards that I no longer wish to collect.

For today, I'm taking a look at year that I must admit I'm not looking forward to:  1988.  I have a fairly large stack of '88 cards...and I have a funny feeling that there aren't a lot of people out there clamoring to collect 1988 cards anymore.

No matter, once this stack is done I'll be one year closer to completing my entire collection reorganization (I'm not going chronologically however this will mark the halfway point of the 1980s for my collection overhaul (and by far the largest remaining unsorted stack of cards from the 80s).  With no further delay, let's delve into some unloved "junk wax," shall we?

By my count, I have at least one card from 25 different 1988 sets.  That seems overly excessive...and you can bet that I will not be attempting to collect all 25 sets (nor will I scan all 25 sets)!  Instead, I'll take a look at some of the sets that have a legitimate chance for my to collect them beginning with Score.

The 1988 Score set is colorful, with wonderful card backs (and contrary to public belief, Score did color backs...with a secondary photograph...before Upper Deck was even around).  In fact, the true strength of the 1988 Score set is the back of the card...a great bio, lots of statistics, there's so much to love.

Unfortunately, while I do own a stack of 150 or so of the cards, I'm not really close enough to having the entire 660 card set to consider collecting it (nor do I feel like buying any 1988 Score...or trading for them).  So, long story short:  I will not be collecting 1988 Score.

Next, 1988 Topps.

Quite frankly, I don't really care for the 1988 Topps set at all.  It's probably one of my Top 10 worst Topps' base designs of all time.  However, I actually already own the full Topps set from 1988...and I think I'll continue to hold onto that set, at least for now.  Therefore, grudgingly, I'll collect this one.

Moving on to Fleer, or as I think of it, the barbershop pole set.

Until the late 90s, I never seemed to think very highly of Fleer - which is too bad because the 1988 edition isn't awful.  To be sure, it isn't great either but I do think the quality of Fleer's 1988 set is better than Topps'.  All that said, I own too few 1988 Fleer cards to even remotely consider going after this set...and frankly, even if I owned another 300 cards from the set I still don't think I'd try to complete the set.  The cards from this set are destined to become trade package packing material!

Finally, we get to the last big* stack of 1988 cards that I own.

*pun intended.

1988 Topps Big.

These cards are indeed big - in fact, they are jussstttt a bit bigger than a regular card which makes them super annoying to store (and to sort when they are all mixed up in a pile).  If for no other reason than how annoying they are, I'll be sure to not bother collecting this set as well!

And that does it for 1988.  The only other set that I had a bunch of that I didn't really consider at all was 1988 Donruss.  I collected the 1991 Donruss set (which is similar in design to the '88 version) and that's enough drab blue for me.

Now it's your turn to tell me how you go about organizing your collection.  How do you decide what to keep and what to not bother collecting?  And finally, I would love it if someone would tell me what to do with all of my duplicate Reds' cards (of which I have a LOT)!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Christmas Addition to my Baseball Card Collection

This year for Christmas, I ended up with three new board/card games, a new video game, and a TON of new LEGO sets (in addition to some other smaller items and clothes).  I don't have any complaints about my holiday haul, that's for sure.  I also didn't really ask for much in the way of baseball cards this year - truth be told, most of the 2016 offerings didn't interest me all that much.  Thus, you can imagine my surprise when I did get a single baseball card from my brother.

That's one of those pesky 2008 Upper Deck StarQuest inserts - this one of the "rare" variety.  To this day, I don't really have any idea what compelled me to try and collect all four versions of the StarQuest insert set (common, uncommon, rare, and super rare).  I do know that I'm now one card closer to that goofy goal!

I hope everyone out there had a safe and wonderful holiday - I've enjoyed reading about some of your holiday hauls.  It's hard to believe that we are only a couple of days away from saying goodbye to 2016 forever...and with it, welcoming 2017 (and soon, 2017 baseball cards)!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Barry Larkin Collection 493: 1999 Bowman - #23

Barry Larkin
Year:  1999
Brand:  Bowman
Card number:  23

I have never been a big fan of the Bowman line of cards - and this particular card is extra ugly (even by Bowman standards).  I hate the front design with the burning fury of 1000 suns...whether it is the minuscule team logo, the vertical "signature" or the gaudy top and bottom of the card, there's nothing good to be said for card front.

The back of the card isn't nearly as bad (though the Now & Then is a bit trite).  I don't mind the rest of the back...but it isn't anywhere near good enough to save the atrocity that is the card front design.  This is one of those cards where I'm happy to have the Larkin for my collection but I couldn't get rid of the rest of my 1999 Bowman quick enough!

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Great Reorganization: Step 21: I'm Back at It!

I haven't had a chance to really do much in terms of working on my Great Reorganization project since early September.  However, since I still have another couple of weeks off from work (though I should be lesson planning for yet another new course that I'm teaching in the spring), I do hope to make some more progress on my card reorganizing.

In an effort to ensure that I at least make a little progress over winter break, I'm taking a look at my stack of 1987 cards today and deciding what to do with them all.  As usual, my thought process goes something like this for each set:
A.  Do I want to complete it?  If yes, create a want list, find a binder, and page the cards that I currently own.
B.  If not, do I want to keep any of the specific cards for my various player collections?
C.  If not, do I want to keep any of the specific cards for my two frankensets that I hope to actually put together in my lifetime?
D.  If not, is there anything interesting for a Trade Stack addition?  Are there other bloggers out there who are trying to collect any of my unwanted cards?
E.  If all else fails, divide the cards up by team and put them in the "extras" box that I use to round out trade packages for people.

And with that, I am expecting a LOT of option E with 1987 cards...but let's find out together.

Let's begin with 1987 Donruss/Leaf.

I've lumped all my 1987 Donruss cards into one pile...because really that's how I think of them (the two above Eric Davis cards are actually from two different sets despite looking virtually identical).  In the era before parallels, card companies basically released two nearly identical sets instead.  You can probably sense my disdain for this year's edition of Donruss...and you'd be right.  This is an easy choice to not collect.


Next up, 1987 Fleer.

The '87 Fleer set was never a favorite of mine...and as a Reds' fan, those bright blue borders look even worse for cards of my team (the borders do work fairly well for a team like the Mets however).  Luckily, I actually own very little from the '87 Fleer set...and I have no plans to ever buy any more.  Another easy decision to not collect.

And the last of the "big three" from 1987:  1987 Topps:

Love it or hate it, the '87 Topps design truly is iconic.  I'm definitely not embarrassed to admit that I've already collected this set...and I'm going to be keeping it for the foreseeable future.  Thus, this set gets the honor of being the only set from 1987 that I will be keeping in my collection.

Oh, and if you were wondering - I do own a smattering of "oddball" cards from 1987, but most of those will make their way into my Frankenset...and if they don't, they'll show up in a Trade Stack or a trade package near you soon!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas.  While I don't have any baseball card / Christmas tie-ins this year, I do invite you to check out my LEGO blog where I have discussed this year's LEGO City Advent Calendar...that's pretty Christmas-y!


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Delivery Time! September Cards from My Cardboard Habit!

And here we are:  It's Christmas Eve 2016 and I am about to write about cards that I received back in September from Judson over at My Cardboard Habit.  I sent Judson a bunch of 2016 Allen & Ginter (plus a couple of custom minis from my buddy Ryan)...but that certainly all pales in comparison to what Judson sent my way!

First up, a smattering of 2015 Topps Stadium Club.

I've been (slowly) plucking away at my 2015 TSC want list for over a year now.  I am pretty sure I even opened up a full hobby box of the stuff back in 2015...and yet here I am, over a year later and I'm still missing a bunch!  I can, however, thank Judson for inching me a bit closer to set completion...in fact, thanks to this batch of cards I am now only missing ?? more cards from the set.  There's still hope yet that I'll eventually complete the sucker.

Want to help?  Here's what I still need.
2015 Topps Stadium Club Wants:Base:  13, 15, 50, 61, 65, 152, 165, 171, 172, 173, 193, 216, 217, 238, 248, 252, 258, 260, 263, 264, 265, 284, 298, 300

I must say, out of all the Stadium Club cards that Judson sent my way, the best photo was the Puig sunset card...but my favorite card was actually of Jose Altuve - my favorite non-Reds player currently in the big leagues I think.

Next, a couple of regular sized Allen & Ginter cards from this year's set.

The Votto relic is quite nice looking (even if it is a dreaded white swatch of cloth).  The Numbers Game insert set is one that I have finally finished thanks to Judson (and other traders).  Unfortunately, I can't say the same thing about most of the mini inserts from this year's edition of Allen & Ginter.  Once again though, Judson did send some help my way in the form of five more minis for my set.

I think my favorite is the Passenger Train...both because I have always liked trains and because I'm pretty much sick and tired of all things politics right now.

Last, but certainly not least, Judson hooked me up with a pair of Allen & Ginter box toppers.  From this year's set, he sent me Troy Tulowitzki.

Tulo was the final box topper that I needed from 2016 - an amazing feat for me seeing as how I have box toppers lingering on my want list from many different year's worth of Ginter.  Speaking of previous years, the other box topper that Judson sent my way was from last year's set...

That's Angkor Wat - part of the Pride of the People set.  I love this set, though you'd hardly know that seeing as how I'm still missing four more of the cards from the set!

Many thanks Judson for the goodies...sorry it took me nearly three months to get them posted to the blog.  As for anyone else, I'm always willing to trade (and I'll eventually post about the trade as well)...  Just check out my want list and then hit up my email to make an offer.

Merry Christmas Eve to all of you!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Barry Larkin Collection 492: 1998 Upper Deck Special F/X - #40

Barry Larkin
Year:  1998
Brand:  Upper Deck Special F/X
Card number:  40

The 1998 Upper Deck Special F/X set is a partial parallel of Upper Deck's base set.  The biggest thing you'll notice about this set is the thickness of the cards (they are about twice as thick as Upper Deck's regular base cards from 1998).  You'll also probably notice an obscene amount of etched foil on the front of the card.  I guess this was to make the cards seem more "high end" but to me they seem sort of tacky.  I don't think this design aged well at all...though I am still happy to have the Larkin card in my collection!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

FOR TRADE: 1997 Fleer Sports Illustrated

Below is a list of all my 1997 Fleer Sports Illustrated cards that I have available for trade.  You can find my full want list here.  Shoot me an email (or leave a comment on this post) to make an offer!

1997 Fleer Sports Illustated:  FOR TRADE

Base:  5, 6, 7, 8, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 29, 30, 35, 39, 40, 50, 51, 57, 58, 67, 68, 69, 74, 79, 80, 90, 93, 94, 95, 101, 104, 105, 108, 110, 128, 129, 137, 138, 140, 146, 147, 148, 150, 152, 156, 158, 159, 161, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178

Cooperstown Collection Covers (insert):
8 of 12 CC.  Brooks Robinson

Extra Edition (serially numbered parallel):
43.  Rusty Greer (#454/500)
159.  Randy Johnson (#186/500)
177.  Cal Ripken, Jr. (#273/500)

Box Topper:
Alex Rodriguez

Great Shots (mini poster insert):
Greg Maddux
John Smoltz
Roberto Alomar
Cal Ripken, Jr.
Mo Vaughn
Albert Belle
Frank Thomas
Ryne Sandberg
Deion Sanders
Mark McGwire
Darren Daulton
Andy Ashby
Barry Bonds
Jay Buhner
Randy Johnson
Alex Rodriguez
Juan Gonzalez

Paper Set Checklists:
Checklist
Checklist
Checklist
Checklist
Checklist
Checklist

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Trade Stack 78: A Framed Black Bordered Football Card Joins the Stack

Here is how this works:
Every so often (i.e. whenever I feel like it), I will add a card to a "Trade Stack".  Whenever the stack becomes appealing enough to someone, that person needs to comment on the post saying they'd like to claim the stack AND tell me which card they are sending off of my want list.  That's all you have to do - trade me ONE card (or more, of course) card from my want list for the entire stack of cards that I'm offering.  Each time, it will be first come, first serve...so act quickly (unless of course you are a gambler and hope to wait it out until there are 10+ cards in the stack that you want in exchange for a single 2004 UD Vintage card that I am looking for)!

The Trade Stack:
Last update: 12/21/16

Christmas is right around the corner which I am guessing will mean there won't be a lot of people reading baseball card blogs this week.  That being the case, this could be your lucky day because I'm starting a new Trade Stack (and you could very well be the first one to read this post)!

Today's addition to the stack is a little bit different from my normal offering in that it is a football card and not a baseball card.  Not just any football card though - no, it's one of those gorgeous Upper Deck framed Masterpieces card (of Marvin Harrison no less).  I am pretty sure I won this card in a contest years ago - but since I have decided that I will not, under any circumstances, collect football cards, it's time for this nice card to find a new, more loving home!

As always, you get this card plus all the others in the Trade Stack in exchange for at least one card off of my want list.

2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Football:
Framed Black Border:
62.  Marvin Harrison - Colts


If you want the stack, remember - all you need to do is offer up any one card from my want list.  


Want the card(s) in the stack?  Act fast - tell me which card you will send me off my want list in the comments below!  You must leave a comment on the trade stack post in order to claim the card - no more claims via email!  If no one claims this card within a reasonable amount of time (a few hours up to a few days, depending) - I'll add another card to the stack and the process will start again!


Previously Claimed Trade Stacks:
Stack 01:  2 cards by dayf
Stack 02:  8 cards by Justin
Stack 03:  17 cards by Cam
Stack 04:  4 cards by Cam
Stack 05:  9 cards by Daily Dimwit
Stack 06:  4 cards by The Lost Collector
Stack 07:  1 card by Baseball Dad
Stack 08:  1 card by M. Spiegel
Stack 09:  6 cards by bwsmith25
Stack 10:  6 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 11:  1 card by Patrick
Stack 12:  5 cards by Matt B.
Stack 13:  4 cards by Steve G.
Stack 14:  3 cards by ShaneK
Stack 15:  7 cards by Ryan G
Stack 16:  1 card by longlivethewho
Stack 17:  4 cards by hiflew
Stack 18:  4 cards by Potch
Stack 19:  2 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 20:  5 cards by by Play at the Plate
Stack 21:  5 cards by BA Benny
Stack 22:  1 card by IkesCards
Stack 23:  8 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 24:  1 card by BA Benny
Stack 25:  2 cards by Jeff P.
Stack 26:  10 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 27:  1 card by BA Benny
Stack 28:  7 cards by ThingsAreFunnerHere
Stack 29:  3 cards by TheBrooklynMet
Stack 30:  4 cards by Adam C.
Stack 31:  10 cards by Play at the Plate
Stack 32:  8 cards by Josh D.
Stack 33:  6 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 34:  1 card by Potch
Stack 35:  9 cards by Cool Breeze
Stack 36:  11 cards by Kev 
Stack 37:  6 cards by Tunguska
Stack 38:  12 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 39:  8 cards by Spiegel83
Stack 40:  1 card by Kyle4KC
Stack 41:  4 cards by dayf
Stack 42:  1 card by AdamE
Stack 43:  1 card by madding
Stack 44:  10 cards by Commishbob
Stack 45:  1 (almost complete) puzzle by Baseball Dad
Stack 46:  8 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 47:  5 cards by The Junior Junkie
Stack 48:  4 cards by dayf
Stack 49:  9 cards by Swing and a Pop-Up
Stack 50:  9 cards by Commishbob
Stack 51:  3 cards by Need More Cardboard
Stack 52:  1 card by Play at the Plate
Stack 53:  12 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 54:  4 cards by The Junior Junkie
Stack 55:  9 cards by Spiegel83
Stack 56:  2 cards cards by Joe Frecker
Stack 57:  4 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 58:  2 cards by Chunter
Stack 59:  9 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 60:  8 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 61:  13 cards by Mark Hoyle
Stack 62:  9 cards by Nick
Stack 63:  9 cards by buckstorecards 
Stack 64:  7 cards by Mark Hoyle
Stack 65:  2 cards by Play at the Plate
Stack 66:  10 cards by Roger
Stack 67:  14 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 68:  5 cards cards by Jeff Jones
Stack 69:  17 cards by Steve D.
Stack 70:  2 cards by Jeff Jones
Stack 71:  8 cards by defgav
Stack 72:  24 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 73:  1 card by NIght Owl
Stack 74:  3 cards by David
Stack 75:  4 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 76:  14 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 77:  15 by Dayf
Stack 78:  ?? by ??

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Barry Larkin Collection 491: 1998 Upper Deck - #43 - 10th Anniversary Preview Edition Insert

Barry Larkin
Year:  1998
Brand:  Upper Deck
Insert set:  10th Anniversary Preview
Card number:  43

For my money, baseball cards in the late 90s are often super confusing.  Take, for instance, this seemingly simple card.  It's from 1998 Upper Deck and it clearly states on the front of the card that it is a "10th Anniversary Preview."  Seems simple enough - sort of an advertisement for what the 1999 Upper Deck set will look like (and fitting enough for a special anniversary such as the tenth anniversary).

You'd think it was that simple.  But you'd be wrong.

First, the card was supposed to be some sort of preview for a special set...but Upper Deck cancelled that set before it was ever released.  And second, this card is a sort of parallel of the actual insert set.  In fact, according to baseballcardpedia (a great resource for me when writing about obscure Larkin cards), this card was...well, let me just quote baseballcardpedia instead:
Randomly inserted in Series One packs, this 60-card set features a design similar to the inaugural 1989 Upper Deck series. The backs carry a photo of a previous Upper Deck card of that player. A 10th Anniversary Ballot was inserted into every fourth Series One pack which allowed the collector to vote for the players they wanted to see in a proposed 1999 Upper Deck tenth anniversary set. The set was canceled, and instead became an insert in 1999 Upper Deck Series One. 
Upper Deck also released a "Preview Edition" factory set to selected retail outlets. The Preview Edition contained a complete set of all 60 10th Anniversary cards, as well as 200 randomly selected 1997 Collector's Choice base cards and sold for $19.99. The difference between the two sets are the words "PREVIEW EDITION" printed on the side of each card.
That's right.  There's nothing simple about what should have been a simple little card.  And that's why the late 90s were so confusing...and probably a big reason why so many companies went out of business and how we eventually ended up with a single company monopoly for sports cards.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Barry Larkin Collection 490: 1998 Score Rookie/Traded - #RT5

Barry Larkin
Year:  1998
Brand:  Score Rookie/Traded
Card number:  RT5

The 1998 Score Rookie/Traded set isn't what you probably think it is...  That is to say, it's NOT a set full of rookies and/or traded players.  In fact, there are very few such players in the set.  Instead, it is a set that is mostly filled with veteran players (who weren't traded) such as Barry Larkin.

For set collectors, the 1998 Score Rookie/Traded set is super annoying because despite being only a 270 card set - the first 50 cards are all short printed (seeded 1 per pack).  That includes the Barry Larkin card shown above.  Like pretty much all things that Pinnacle released on its last few dying breaths back in 1998, there are a number of pointless parallels of this card as well (none of which I currently own).  In fact, there are supposedly even multiple copies of "one-of-ones" out there for this set - something that baseballcardpedia surmises happened from people "backdooring" cards out of Pinnacle's headquarters after the company went under.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Box Review: 2015 Upper Deck Dinosaurs - Collectible Lunch Box

Back in early 2016, I reviewed a 2015 Upper Deck Dinosaurs hobby box (which I scored an A- which is a good score by my standards).  Since that time, I've been diligently working to complete my set - but unfortunately trading partners for this set are extremely hard to come by.  As such, when the opportunity arose to grab one of the "lunch box" boxes for a relatively cheap price, I took the plunge without knowing exactly what to expect (of course, the goal was to inch closer to completing my set).

According to the cardboard "wrapper" that is around the lunch box, each box collectible tin contains:

  • 1 Dinosaur figure
  • 1 3-D dinosaur puzzle
  • 1 poster
  • 2 8-card packs of trading cards

You also get instructed to "look for dinosaur stickers" which are randomly inserted into the packs of cards.  There isn't anything else promised in the box.

A look at the back of the wrapper and you can see the checklist for the dinosaur figurines and the dinosaur puzzles.

As a huge dino fan myself, it was easy for me to pick out the figurines and puzzles that I hoped to get.  If you are wondering, I would have been happy with pretty much any figurine (except maybe the brontosaurus and parasaurolophus, those two are kind of boring).  As for the puzzles, I was definitely hoping for the stegosaurus (with the t-rex and triceratops next on my list).

The fine print at the bottom of the tin wrapper says that "randomly inserted into these specially marked packs are the following:  high series SPs and high ereis super SPs (combine to fall 1:2), canvas minis (1:1), 3-D dinosaurs (1:2), Stickers (1:1), mini posters (1 per collectible box), dinosaur figure (1 per collectible box), dinosaur skeleton puzzle (1 per collectible box).

Why do I keep going over what is in the box?  Well, because this is what I was greeted with when I finally opened up my box:

That's right - everything that was promised...and then an extra (large) dinosaur figure.

The extra large dinosaur figure came in its own plastic bag - and I don't really have any idea what sort of dinosaur it is supposed to be.

Can you tell?  It's sort of a cross between some sort of ankylosaurus and maybe a stegosaurus (without any tail "fins").  The smaller figure arrived "loose," that is, without any plastic wrapping.  The style of the smaller figure more closely matches that which the box advertises...but again, I don't actually know what dinosaur the smaller figure is supposed to be.

It certainly doesn't match any of the dinosaurs on the checklist from the box of the pack wrapper!  If I had to guess, I would say that this is one of the color variations for Stegosaurus, even though there are no spikes on his tail (aka his thagomizer thanks to the Far Side comic).

Before I get to the contents of the two card packs (the real reason I bought the collectible box in the first place), there are still two other included "goodies."  First, the wooden 3-D puzzle.

This one is of the "dragon lizard" which I guess means a brontosaurus-esque creature.  I haven't actually assembled the puzzle yet...but I can assure you that it will be WAY EASIER to complete than this one that I did two years ago...

And the last thing before the two packs of cards - the poster!

The poster was surprisingly large - I wasn't expecting such a gigantic display (but I suppose it is fitting for the King of the dinosaurs)!  My T-Rex poster is suitably awesome - and I may just have to find a spot in my man cave to put it up on the wall.  That's how much I like the poster.  I should also try to find a full checklist of the available posters - there might be one or two others that are worth tracking down (though I can't complain at all about my poster, very cool indeed).

That only leaves us with the final two packs of the box - and really the reason that I bought this lunch box in the first place (although truth be told, I was certainly curious about all the dinosaur "extras" promised in the lunch tins).

Each pack only contains 8 cards - one of which is guaranteed to be sticker (which isn't necessarily a bad thing since I still need a bunch of the sticker cards)!

Pack 1:

44.  Pterodactyl
46.  Dimorphodon
72.  Hyperodapedon
77.  Torosaurus
92.  Sinraptor
110.  Ichthyosaurus
Canvas mini:  118.  Tylosaurus

Sticker:  20.  Kronosaurus

The first pack was almost a complete waste for me - it was saved by the sticker (I needed ol' Kronosaurus for my set).  It should be noted that the Ichthyosaurus is a short printed base card (as is the canvas mini of Tylosaurus) so I did alright in the regard (even if I currently have no plans to collect the minis).

Pack 2:

10.  Triceratops
14.  Brachiosaurus
42.  Camptosaurus
52.  Lambeosaurus
67.  Guanlong
Canvas mini:  112.  Shonisaurus
3D Dinosaur:  39.  Sarcosuchus

Sticker:  19.  Quetzalcoatlus

Once again, I didn't get a single base card that I needed - but I did need the 3D dinosaur which was nice.  Even more impressive, the 3D card was part of the Marine subset - the second hardest subset to pull!

Overall, I give the 2015 Upper Deck Dinosaurs (collectible lunch tin) box the following rating:
Set design:  A-
Collation:  A
Opening thrill:  A
Overall:  A-

Overall, I only managed to acquire two more cards for my set - one sticker and one 3D Dino.  I can't help but to be a bit disappointed by that...especially since I still need a lot of regular old base cards (along with a slew of inserts).  In addition, while the collectible tin was undoubtedly a lot of fun to open up, at the end of the day you only get a pair of 8 card packs which is disappointing (especially for the retail price of the lunch tin).  I think if Upper Deck had bumped the number of packs up to 4 (and kept everything else the same), this would be an A+ box.  Even so, I can't complain too much - and getting a second "bonus" dinosaur figure was a nice surprise (even better if I were 5 years old - two dinosaur figures instead of one)!

I'm still working on this set - so if you happen to have any available for trade let me know.  I also have quite a few duplicates (find my trade bait list for the set here).


Friday, December 16, 2016

Barry Larkin Collection 489: 1998 Leaf - #168 - Bronze Y-Axis Die-Cut Parallel

Barry Larkin
Year:  1998
Brand:  Leaf
Parallel:  Bronze Y-Axis
Card number:  168

The 1998 Leaf had a confusing system of parallels.  For this particular Larkin card, you could get the "original" base card, the bronze parallel (1800 total copies produced), or the bronze y-axis die-cut parallel (200 copies made, including this one).  In addition, there is a Fractal Diamond Axis parallel that is serially numbered out of 50.

As of the time of this post, I own two different versions of the Larkin card from the set - the regular base card and this Y-Axis die-cut parallel.  That means I only need to track down the much-less-rare non-die-cut Y-Axis parallel and the much rarer Fractal Diamond Axis parallel.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

An Awesome Surprise Birthday Present from Joe F.!

My birthday was almost a month ago - and during the month of November I was so busy with work that I barely had time for anything else (never mind trying to actually post on my blog).  As such, now that school has all but wrapped up (I have one more final to give this morning and then I'm done with the fall semester...minus grading of course) it is time for me to go back and check out a birthday gift that I received back in November from blog reader (and Reds' fan extraordinaire), Joe.

Joe sent me an awesome Barry Larkin bobblehead - something that I definitely appreciate since I can't usually get to many (if any) Reds' games in a given year.  In fact, other than this past summer when I did the three game road trip with my dad, I hadn't been to Cincinnati in over a decade!

This particular Larkin bobblehead is part of a three figure series, but if you ask me the only one that is a "must own" is the Larkin!  I love the 90s pinstripes - and that pinstripe hat is perfect (I still own a bunch of those hats).

The bobblehead was an awesome birthday surprise - and while I may not have been able to post about it until about a month later, I assure you that the fact that someone thought of me during that crazy November really did mean the world.  It's amazing how it can be a little gesture such as this from an (otherwise) complete stranger and it can make your day (or, in my case, made my month)!

Many, many thanks Joe!  The Larkin bobblehead is now proudly displayed on the top shelf of one of my baseball card shelves along with some of my other baseball "relics."  That reminds me that I should really do another "man cave" photo post sometime soon...quite a bit has changed since the last time I updated everyone on my man cave.  Maybe now that my winter break is almost here I can find some time to take a bunch of photos and then upload them to the blog.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Barry Larkin Collection 488: 1998 Pinnacle Plus - #12 - Lasting Memories Insert

Barry Larkin
Year:  1998
Brand:  Pinnacle Plus
Insert set:  Lasting Memories
Card number:  12

The 1998 Pinnacle Plus set was the final set released by Pinnacle...they went out of business only weeks after releasing the Pinnacle Plus set.  In some ways, that's a shame because this is a kind of neat insert card.  Sure, it does have useless die-cutting on the one edge, but otherwise it's not too bad (though it does also make it seem like Barry Larkin died...especially on the backside of the card with his image barely visible in the clouds).  Alright, on second thought this is just a weird, borderline creepy card and it's just as well that Pinnacle isn't making such cards anymore.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Secret Santa Update!

I am pleased to report that the final item that I bought for my Secret Santa recipient has arrived...and that person's envelope is all packed up.  I can also report that I have received my Secret Santa gift already from Adam over at Cardboard Clubhouse.

Adam sent me a trio of 2016 Allen & Ginter packs - and you know how I love Ginter!

Here's hoping I get something I need out of them!

Pack 1:
Each pack has six cards - and as I learned right away, these are retail packs (which is a good thing in this case because it meant that I landed another Mascots in the Wild that I needed)!  That's right, I managed to get a new card for my set in the very first pack.

That's the Horse - the mascot of the Texas Rangers.  I'm super pumped to get a single new card for my set - so at this point I'd consider Adam's Secret Santa gift a success...and I haven't even ripped open the other two packs yet.

I should also mention that the first pack also had a mini insert - but unfortunately it was one that I already owned:  Metromover.


Pack 2:
The second pack had another mini insert (which is impressive in and of itself since the mini inserts are fairly tough to find this year).  This time it was a US Mayors mini of Edwin M. Lee.  I still needed a bunch of Mayors minis, but this wasn't one of them.

The second pack also had a Kyle Schwarber rookie card in it - that's not a bad base card to get!

Pack 3:
The third and final pack had another Mascot in it (Tiger) which I owned...

...and another US Mayors mini (Libby Schaaf) which I also owned.

Honestly, given how little 2016 Ginter I still need (or, more accurately, given how I basically only need hard-to-find stuff out of 2016 Ginter now), getting a single new card for my collection in three packs is impressive!  I'm also happy to land a bit more trade bait - hopefully I can flip some of the other minis and inserts for cards that I need for my own set.

Many thanks Adam for the fun gift - you really can't ever go wrong with unopened Ginter!  As for everyone else, here's a list of what I'm still looking for out of 2016 Allen & Ginter (and here's a list to my 2016 Allen & Ginter trade bait).

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Trade Stack 77: 1997 Fleer Sports Illustrated Joins the Stack!

Here is how this works:
Every so often (i.e. whenever I feel like it), I will add a card to a "Trade Stack".  Whenever the stack becomes appealing enough to someone, that person needs to comment on the post saying they'd like to claim the stack AND tell me which card they are sending off of my want list.  That's all you have to do - trade me ONE card (or more, of course) card from my want list for the entire stack of cards that I'm offering.  Each time, it will be first come, first serve...so act quickly (unless of course you are a gambler and hope to wait it out until there are 10+ cards in the stack that you want in exchange for a single 2004 UD Vintage card that I am looking for)!

The Trade Stack:
Last update: 12/11/16

I'm in the process of sorting through my (finally) completed box of 1997 Fleer Sports Illustrated.  I can tell already that I won't walk away with the full set...but I will have some duplicates for trade.  One such duplicate has been added to this Trade Stack - and with that card the Stack now sits at a rather hefty 15 cards!  As always, you get this card plus all the others in the Trade Stack in exchange for at least one card off of my want list.

1997 Fleer Sports Illustrated:
173:  Greg Maddux


2001 Topps Gold Label:
Class I
39.  Ivan Rodriguez - Rangers


1989 Topps Stickers:
21.  Robin Yount - Brewers
22.  Bob Boone - Angels
36.  Andres Galarraga - Expos


2011 Topps Town:
TT-11.  Chris Young - Diamondbacks
TT-13.  Chase Utley - Phillies
TT-46.  Joey Votto - Reds


2013 Topps Heritage:
132.  Rickie Weeks - Brewers
214.  Jan Segura - Brewers
267.  Marco Estrada - Brewers
283.  Wily Peralta - Brewers


2001 Fleer Tradition:
262.  Glenallen Hill - Cubs
339.  David Justice - Indians


2014 Topps Stadium Club:
Die-Cut Legends:
LDC-7. Cal Ripken, Jr. - Orioles



If you want the stack, remember - all you need to do is offer up any one card from my want list.  


Want the card(s) in the stack?  Act fast - tell me which card you will send me off my want list in the comments below!  You must leave a comment on the trade stack post in order to claim the card - no more claims via email!  If no one claims this card within a reasonable amount of time (a few hours up to a few days, depending) - I'll add another card to the stack and the process will start again!


Previously Claimed Trade Stacks:
Stack 01:  2 cards by dayf
Stack 02:  8 cards by Justin
Stack 03:  17 cards by Cam
Stack 04:  4 cards by Cam
Stack 05:  9 cards by Daily Dimwit
Stack 06:  4 cards by The Lost Collector
Stack 07:  1 card by Baseball Dad
Stack 08:  1 card by M. Spiegel
Stack 09:  6 cards by bwsmith25
Stack 10:  6 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 11:  1 card by Patrick
Stack 12:  5 cards by Matt B.
Stack 13:  4 cards by Steve G.
Stack 14:  3 cards by ShaneK
Stack 15:  7 cards by Ryan G
Stack 16:  1 card by longlivethewho
Stack 17:  4 cards by hiflew
Stack 18:  4 cards by Potch
Stack 19:  2 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 20:  5 cards by by Play at the Plate
Stack 21:  5 cards by BA Benny
Stack 22:  1 card by IkesCards
Stack 23:  8 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 24:  1 card by BA Benny
Stack 25:  2 cards by Jeff P.
Stack 26:  10 cards by Axemanohio
Stack 27:  1 card by BA Benny
Stack 28:  7 cards by ThingsAreFunnerHere
Stack 29:  3 cards by TheBrooklynMet
Stack 30:  4 cards by Adam C.
Stack 31:  10 cards by Play at the Plate
Stack 32:  8 cards by Josh D.
Stack 33:  6 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 34:  1 card by Potch
Stack 35:  9 cards by Cool Breeze
Stack 36:  11 cards by Kev 
Stack 37:  6 cards by Tunguska
Stack 38:  12 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 39:  8 cards by Spiegel83
Stack 40:  1 card by Kyle4KC
Stack 41:  4 cards by dayf
Stack 42:  1 card by AdamE
Stack 43:  1 card by madding
Stack 44:  10 cards by Commishbob
Stack 45:  1 (almost complete) puzzle by Baseball Dad
Stack 46:  8 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 47:  5 cards by The Junior Junkie
Stack 48:  4 cards by dayf
Stack 49:  9 cards by Swing and a Pop-Up
Stack 50:  9 cards by Commishbob
Stack 51:  3 cards by Need More Cardboard
Stack 52:  1 card by Play at the Plate
Stack 53:  12 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 54:  4 cards by The Junior Junkie
Stack 55:  9 cards by Spiegel83
Stack 56:  2 cards cards by Joe Frecker
Stack 57:  4 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 58:  2 cards by Chunter
Stack 59:  9 cards by Baseball Dad
Stack 60:  8 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 61:  13 cards by Mark Hoyle
Stack 62:  9 cards by Nick
Stack 63:  9 cards by buckstorecards 
Stack 64:  7 cards by Mark Hoyle
Stack 65:  2 cards by Play at the Plate
Stack 66:  10 cards by Roger
Stack 67:  14 cards by buckstorecards
Stack 68:  5 cards cards by Jeff Jones
Stack 69:  17 cards by Steve D.
Stack 70:  2 cards by Jeff Jones
Stack 71:  8 cards by defgav
Stack 72:  24 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 73:  1 card by NIght Owl
Stack 74:  3 cards by David
Stack 75:  4 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 76:  14 cards by Trevor P.
Stack 77:  ?? by ??