Saturday, August 30, 2014

YDF, 8.30.14

1991 Bowman #158

I can't say for sure why I continue to have a 'thing' for Kevin Maas cards.  Not to get all psychological on you, but I guess they represent the cards I could never get my hands on when I was a pre-teen.  For one summer, Maas was the man, and every 10 year old with a baseball mitt and a pulse knew that.  This--his second-year Bowman card--is another pickup.  It's maybe my favorite Maas card since it has a Mickey Tettleton cameo and all.


Friday, August 29, 2014

YDF, 8.29.14

1966 Topps #80

This is Dick Allen's second-year card.  Take a look at those arms and it's no longer a wonder that this man swatted 351 home runs over the course of a 15-year major league career.  Man, those arms.  And that was before Muscle Milk and the steroids and insane weight training regiments.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

YDF, 8.28.14

1981 Fleer #545

You learn something new every day.  I had no idea or recollection that the Cardinals uniform tops once featured numbers on the right sleeve.  Seems more like a football uniform type of thing.  Anyhow, I picked up this Keith card as part of a order earlier this summer.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Who would in their right mind get so excited for a 1991 Classic baseball card of former Met-for-an-instant Chris Jelic?  After all, the guy appeared in four total major league games--all with the Mets--logging one hit in 11 ABs. [Ed. Note: His lone big league hit was a home run in his MLB debut, October 3, 1990 in Pittsburgh, helping Frank Viola to his 20th win of the season.]

But, in this case, I allowed myself to get excited since Jelic was a player missing from my All-Time Mets Project checklist.  I knew he had a couple cards floating around, including this one as well as a card from the 1991 Topps '90 Debut boxed set.

Both had eluded me til this one found its way into a robust package of Mets that I recently received from Tom (The Angels, in Order), who contacted me about a Mets-for-Angels swap.  I'm always down for that!

Tom put together an impressive array of Mets, including many from those lovable odd-ball sets.

Like early '90s Classic, in all their crazy colorful glory...

And the many Fleer boxed sets released in the late '80s.  I love those things!

And, of course, the various Topps retail releases...

There was also a pretty nice assortment of Bobby Jones cards.  Bobby pitched eight years for the Mets, racking up 74 wins plus a complete-game, one-hit shutout of the favored Giants in the 2000 postseason which sent the Mets to the NLCS.  One of more memorable moments in Mets history, for sure.

And, since the guy played during the era of baseball card mass production, he's got a ton of cards out there. Many of which I still have to track down!  This sampling from Tom is a nice way to continue that quest...

And now for some of my individual favorites from the batch:

Mooookie!  Lack of licensing aside, this Panini Hometown Heroes insert of Mookie Wilson kicks ass and asks questions later.

It's Gary Carter and it's framed.  From 2013 Gypsy Queen.  Totally cool!

Keeping with the GQ theme, a pair of minis from the past couple years of the product.

The "Fired Up" inserts from this year's Opening Day release are pretty cool, I guess.  At least it's a new (as in, non-recycled) image of David.  And I can appreciate that, for sure.

But, my favorite of the lot was this card:

I had toyed with the idea of grabbing Zack Wheeler's red hot foil parallel off eBay for a few months now, but never pulled the trigger.  I think the regular card is pretty sharp looking, and this one takes it to the next level.  A great card of the Mets young ace.

Tom, thanks again for bestowing all these great Mets cards upon me.  I hope we can swap again in the future!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

YDF, 8.26.14

2002 Upper Deck #678

This card, specifically the lady wearing the Gilligan hat in the background, triggers a memory from 2001.  I was a senior in college and my buddies and I went to the Vet to see a Mets/Phillies Labor Day matinee.  Shinjo played LF for the Mets that day.  In the left-field stands, where we sat, we were joined by a sizable throng of Japanese fans--mostly women--in their 20s or 30s.  They basically screamed and waved to Shinjo the entire game.  Some of them had handmade signs and banners that undoubtedly pledged undying love and devotion to the man.  By the way, it was a great game, which the Mets won 10-7 thanks to a five-run top of the ninth.  Shinjo had two hits and an RBI on the afternoon.


Monday, August 25, 2014

YDF, 8.25.14

2012 Topps Update Wal-Mart #US154

I remember a few people around the blogging community weren't thrilled that Stanton made the 2012 Update series, considering his inclusion was based solely on the first-name switcheroo from 'Mike' to 'Giancarlo'.  Rather than dwell on that, I'd rather focus on the caliber of the photo.  Sure, Topps has really inundated us with celebratory photos the past four or five years, but this one stands out to me more than most.  It's a great card, and it looks ever better as a blue parallel, I think.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hot Stuff

I was the beneficiary of a recent cardboard purge over at Hot Corner Cards.  Not only did I receive a handsome sum of New York Mets, but a goodly number of horizontal beauties for my frankenset project.

This dapper-looking Keith Hernandez card was one of the many Mets highlights.  And there were many highlights.  A whole box full of 'em, in fact.

Here's a snapshot of some of the other noteworthy additions to my burgeoning Mets collection...

A new Mr. Met card for my collection is always a great occasion!

Woo Hoo!  A pair of '88 Topps box bottom cards!  I always look for these things on eBay, etc.

The Fonzie Topps Stars card in the top right and the Hundley Gallery on the bottom left are among my favorites of the lot.

One of my favorite Mets cards of 2014 is Travis d'Arnaud's Topps base card.  I'm happy to get as many of the variations of it that I can!

Still working my way towards a full page of Mets minis from A&G and Gypsy Queen.  This TdA rookie is a great addition to that pursuit.

This is from a 1983 Yogi Berra odball set.  I'd say this quintet qualifies for a pretty good baseball staff!

And now for a look at some of the horizontal highlights, or the elite eight, if you will.  Each of these has been granted a spot in the Horizontal Heroes frankenset...

1994 Pinnalce #22

If it sticks, this would be the second Derek Bell Padres-era card that would be in the set, joining his '94 Fleer (#655).

2012 Allen & Ginter #26

Gotta have Hunter Pence, right?  Even though I heard he doesn't like horizontal cards.

2012 Opening Day #91

One of the coolest photographs from the 2012 collection season.  Obviously pre-beard for Werth.

2014 Topps #156

Why is Morales out of focus??  Very strange.

2007 Upper Deck #197

Nothing flashy here, but just a good-looking photo of the ageless Ibanez tracking down a fly ball.

2007 Upper Deck #237

A catcher-in-gear-squatting photo that I couldn't say no to.

1992 Upper Deck #255

One of the most iconic Upper Deck cards from the early years of UD.  The Chicken makes the frankenset!

1993 Topps #628

A great on-deck shot of the former Jays third baseman.  I've also got Gruber's 1992 Topps card (#288) earmarked for the frankenset.  Both cards are outstanding.

Pat, I'm happy to have been the recipient of the cardboard bounty.  Thank you!


Friday, August 22, 2014

YDF, 8.22.14

1965 Topps #321

I was feeling a bit nostalgic, so I decided to go vintage with today's card.  This is the earliest Staub card I own.  I think I paid either a quarter or a half-a-buck for it at my LCS earlier this year.  His stand-alone rookie is from the '64 set and features the coveted Topps All-Star Rookie cup.  I'd like to get my hands on that card one of these days.  In the meantime, this one'll do.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Four Topps, #622

Back into the fancy-free world of Four Topps we go!  Same rules as always: selects a number from 1 to 792 and we take a peek at the corresponding cards from the four favorite card sets of my youth (1987-1990 Topps).  So easy, a caveman (or a Yankees fan) could do it!

Today, we've been given card No. 622.  Be forewarned, this edition in particular is not for the faint of heart.  If you are a brave soul and don't mind some truly boring and (perhaps) downright bad junk wax, read on, dear reader!  If not, turn away while you still can.

Still with me?  Okay then, here we go...


If you have this card, you can tell your friends that you have Glenn Braggs' rookie card.  By the looks of it, not even Braggs is impressed by such a fact.  Both Donruss and Fleer also featured Braggs in their '87 base sets, while Sportflics beat everyone to the punch by putting the California native in it's 50-card 1986 Rookies set.  Hey, Stat Man:  First career home run came off Texas' Charlie Hough, August 2, 1986.


This is Daniels' second Topps card; his rookie appeared in the previous year's flagship set.  Judging from the darkened background, I'm gonna suppose that Kal is hanging out in the dugout.  Otherwise, maybe this photo was snapped during a solar eclipse?  Hey, Stat Man:  Tied Dave Parker for second on the '87 Reds with 26 home runs.


If you can get beyond Javier's creepy facial expression (a big IF, I concede), you get treated to a pretty neat view of the Tiger Stadium outfield grandstand.  Stangely, this is Javier's second Topps card, but his first since 1987's flagship.  It seems he didn't have an '88 Topps card.  As a matter of fact, only Score featured Javier in its main baseball set in 1988.  Hey, Stat Man:  Led the league in stolen base percentage in '88, swiping 20 bags in 21 attempts (95.2%).


Before his infamous game-winning slide beat the Pirates in Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS, Sid Bream was himself a Bucco.  He had a few pretty good years in Pittsburgh in the late '80s, but 1989 wasn't one of 'em.  In fact, Bream only appeared in 19 games for the '89 Pirates.  Nonetheless, I guess he was established enough to still get a Topps card in 1990.  Hey, Stat Man:  Managed just eight base hits in 36 ABs in 1989.


And the Winner Is:  Woof!  I guess the ultimate winner is YOU if you bothered to read today's post.  Not the easiest foursome of cards to digest.  But, it comes with the territory, right?  Anyhow, the winner of card No. 622 supremacy is scary Stan Javier.  When in doubt, the default tie-breaker is always '89 Topps!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

YDF, 8.20.14

1991 Topps Debut '90 #153

As I'm sure you know, The Big Hurt's true Topps rookie card appeared in the 1990 base set.  Whether you love or hate the #1 Draft Pick subset cards, that one was a pretty iconic collectible during that time (and it probably still is...I think so, anyways).  As for the card pictured in today's post, it's from the '90 Debut boxed set.  Not as exciting as Thomas' XRC or even his '91 base card, but still a pretty cool piece from the Hall of Famer's cardboard timeline.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Best of... This Decade (so far)

I'm a person who likes to compare and contrast, especially when it comes to baseball cards.  And most especially when it comes to the year-to-year Topps base card designs.  I think we all like to do this to some degree.  It satiates our need as a species to place things in a rank and order.  Or maybe that's just me?

Anyhow, I've been meaning to blab about which of the Topps designs from this current decade is the king of the hill.  I did it last year when 2013 Topps debuted and it seemed like a lot of folks leaned towards 2011.  At the time of that post, I think I was in favor of 2010 or 2012.

But, how about now that we've thrown 2014 Topps into the mix?  At first glance, I was both intrigued and let down by the design.  It seemed the blogging community came to a consensus in regards to the look of the cards: very Bowman-esque.  Whether that is a flattering commentary depends largely on how much you fancy Bowman cards these days.  I'm pretty ambivalent towards them.  Or maybe indifferent is the more appropriate word?  Well, however you want to say, they aren't a 'must' for me.  Thus, the root of my disappointment with the newest design.

However, like the new album from your favorite band that may require a few spins before becoming an essential listen, I think the '14 Topps card has grown on me.  Maybe not to the heights of an epic, but certainly not a throw-away effort as I had initially feared.  The vertical team name on the right edge doesn't even bother me anymore.

What's more, I definitely like '14 more than last year.  And maybe even more than '11.  I still think 2010 is pretty great and I'm an army of one when it comes to '12 insomuch that I like it quite a bit, also.

So, how about you?  Which of the five Topps designs from this current decade stands out as the best of the bunch?

Okay, here's my ranking of the decade's Topps releases:

5 -- 2013
4 -- 2011
3 -- 2014
2 -- 2012
1 -- 2010

So, which is the best?  Feel free to take a second to cast a vote in the poll in the upper right column of the home page.  And, if you really want to share an in-depth analysis in the comments section below, that would be tremendous, as well!  I'm always interested to know what you think!