Saturday, March 25, 2017

Barry Larkin Collection 513: 1999 Topps Stars 'N Steel - #16

Barry Larkin
Year:  1999
Brand:  Topps Stars 'N Steel
Card number:  16

Remember back when card companies took lots of risks and did all sorts of weird things?  Well, the late 90s, early 00s are probably the best era for "creativity" even if some of the efforts fell flat.  For my money, the Topps Stars 'N Steel set was a pretty neat idea - basically Topps printed baseball cards on slabs of metal rather than cardboard.  That's right, every card in the set was metal (.25 gauge metal to be more precise).

Along with Larkin's lone base card (the set is only 44 cards large), there are also two parallels:  a gold parallel (which were seeded 1:12 packs) and a Gold Domed Holographic which were twice as rare (seeded 1:24 packs).  Back in the day, this set was sold with three cards per pack (and each pack retailed for $9.99).  I didn't ever see this product near a store near me - this Larkin card was acquired well after the Stars 'N Steel set was released.  That said, if I had lots and lots of money, I wouldn't mind putting this set together (and I'm curious as to what the two parallels look like - I have a feeling you'd have to hold the cards in your hand, as opposed to only looking at images on the web, to get a good feeling for how nice the cards actually are!

One more side note:  I should point out that while this is the only 1999 Topps Stars 'N Steel card that I own, it is NOT the only all-metal Barry Larkin card that I own!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Blog Bat Around: My Hardest Set!

A few days ago, I posted a new Blog Bat Around topic.  I figured it had been quite some time since anyone did so (and I figured that many of us, certainly myself) could use a given "prompt" to help take the struggle out of finding a suitable blog topic!

As a reminder, the Blog Bat Around topic this time is:

What is the hardest set that you have ever collected (or tried to collect)?

For myself, I have to "cheat" just a bit and present two sets...each of which offer their own challenges.

Before I get to my two sets, I need to make a few other comments.  First, I did not include any modern base sets, even sets like Topps Heritage with their stupid short prints didn't crack my list (and that's saying something since I'm still working on Heritage base sets from 2014, 2011, 2009, and 2008.  Furthermore, I've sworn off all future Topps Heritage purchases until I knock out at least a couple of those sets.  I definitely wouldn't knock anyone if they claimed Heritage as the hardest set they tried to put together...those things are tough!

I also didn't include a set like 1999 Pacific Aurora - a difficult set to put together because boxes (of pretty much all Pacific sets) are nearly impossible to find and, somehow, it seems no one bothered to open (or at least keep) most Pacific cards.  Nope, that set's tough but it didn't make my list.

Another set that could be on my list is the 2015 Upper Deck Dinosaurs set.  From what I recall, maybe only one or two other bloggers opened any of the product...and that's pretty much it.  I've busted way more than I should have...and I still haven't gotten the base set done (never mind all of the inserts with the tiered short prints).  Ugh.

No, the dinosaurs are tough but they don't make my list.

So what does make my list?  The first set is probably one that you would guess if you've read my blog over the past few years:

1889 Allen & Ginter:  50 Fishes from American Waters

This is an awesome set produced prior to 1900 - so it is no surprise that it's difficult to put together.  I did make life a bit easier for myself by not really caring about the card condition - but even so, I am still missing six of the 50 cards (which, truth be told, isn't bad for such an old set).

My second set that I consider the toughest to complete (and it's another set that I still haven't finished off) is much newer than the fish set.  It's the 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter Framed Relic set.

The framed relic set from 2010 contains 100 cards - and I've managed to acquire 77 of the 100 relics to date.

Truth be told, I didn't expect this project to be as difficult as it ended up being - but I guess that's a byproduct of the fact that I'm chasing a relic set that is approaching ten years old...and I don't think the 2010 Ginter set was nearly as well loved as some of the earlier editions either (which doesn't help my cause any since that means fewer relics out there for trade/sale).

I have no idea if I'll ever be able to finish either the relic set or the fish set...but I do know I've enjoyed trying!  I've also enjoyed reading all about your most challenging sets to complete - so keep the entries coming (feel free to leave a link to your article on this blog entry so that I can be sure to find it)!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Trade Stack 78: Two Silver Signatures Join 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 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: 3/23/17

I think it's time to up the ante in the current Trade Stack - after all, counting today's additions the stack is sitting at a rather high 19 cards.  Surely someone will jump in soon, right?! 

Remember, you get all of the cards in the Trade Stack in exchange for one (or more) cards off of my want list.

1995 Upper Deck Collector's Choice:
Silver Signature parallels:
31.  Jim Pittsley (Pirates)
222.  Tom Candiotti (Dodgers)

1995 Flair:
118.  Eddie Zambrano (Cubs)
186.  Ravelo Manzanillo (Pirates)

2016 Panini Diamond Kings:
84.  Josh Donaldson - Blue Jays

2010 Topps Chicle:
112.  Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox):

1996 Upper Deck Collector's Choice:
110.  Ron Gant (Reds)

1991 Upper Deck:
94.  Barry Bonds (Checklist)
1991 Score:
868.  Barry Bonds

1995 Upper Deck Collector's Choice:
36.  Trey Beamon (Pirates)
84.  Juan Gonzalez (Rangers)
267.  Paul Sorrento (Indians)
434.  Jose Rijo (Reds)

2000 Fleer Tradition:
381.  John Jaha (Athletics)
397.  Gregg Olson (Diamondbacks)
404.  Pete Harnisch (Reds)

2014 Topps Allen & Ginter:
38.  Don Sutton (Dodgers)
69.  Johnny Cueto (Reds)

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 cards by Dayf
Stack 78:  ?? by ??

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Delivery Time: Baseball Card Breakdown Finds Some Early 2000s Cards for Me!

The past school year (we just ended our Spring Break for this semester) has been one of the most trying years for me ever, from a professional standpoint.  For much of the year, I have felt like I've barely kept my head above the water...and I know because of that my blogging (and especially my trading) has taken a fairly significant hit.

Luckily, with spring break past us I can start to look forward to warmer weather (we still have quite a bit of snow on the ground so that's wishful dreaming right now).  Warmer weather will also mean no more teaching for a few months - and hopefully that will mean I get to spend more time on my hobbies, including baseball cards!

Although I know I haven't had a lot of time to trade, I did manage to carve out some time one day back in January (or maybe it was February, I don't recall) and I went through a bunch of want lists on various people's blogs.  If I had anything that person wanted, I packed it up and shipped it out, no strings attached.

Of course, (most of) the people in the baseball card community are awesome people, so I've now received a few return envelopes as a thank you of sorts - and that's a lot of fun for me since I haven't had a lot of time to trade, especially this month.

Today's envelope is courtesy of Gavin over at Baseball Card Breakdown.  I had a whole bunch of 2011 Topps sparkly parallel cards for Gavin, so I shipped them off a few months ago (you can find Gavin's take on it all here).  In return, Gavin hit my want list - specifically from a few of the "forgotten years" of modern baseball cards!

That's two cards from the 2008 Upper Deck Timelines set and a single 2008 Topps Heritage short print, all three of which I needed for my sets.  I'm (very) slowly nearing the end of both sets at this point - I'm only missing five Heritage cards and nine UD Timeline cards.  I think that's cause for celebration!

Next, one more card from forgotten years - this one being from the year 2000.

I have to admit, this card made me laugh a little when I pulled it out of the envelope because I had just ordered it on Check Out My Cards as part of a larger order that I placed this week (more on that order later in the week).  Still, I did need the card - so I'm happy to have it.  Maybe I'll be able to swap my duplicate one for one of the other five cards that I'm still missing from the Club 3000 set.

Finally, it a wonderful way to close any surprise trade package - Gavin threw in some Larkin cards for me.

Even more impressive, of the four Larkins, three were new to my collection!

Thanks a lot for the cards, Gavin!  And, as always, should anyone else want to trade - check out my want list and make an offer.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Blog Bat Around: A Reminder!

In case you missed it, I posted a Blog Bat Around topic a couple of days ago.  I'm legitimately interested in seeing everyone's collections so I hope you take a moment to chime in!  You can find all the details here.

I also added two new cards to my current Trade Stack (17 cards in total).  I'd love for someone to claim the pile - will that someone be you?