Thursday, February 25, 2016

Young Turks and Others

I haven't been to a card show yet this calendar year. My local fire hall was supposed to have its local show in late January, but stupid Winter Storm Jonas wiped that out. Thus, I'm kind of jonesing (Jonas-ing?) for a good card show.

The last show I went to was in December, and it was probably the best show I've been to in a long time. Mostly that was due to one seller who had an insane amount of great cardboard spread among nearly a dozen dime boxes.  I had the chance to maybe to go through three or four before time and money escaped me.

Anyhow, this weekend presents my next opportunity to attend a show at the ol' hall.  And that got me thinking about the last show and some of the neat cards I picked up.  I scanned a bunch of them for Zistle but didn't bother to post them here.


Can you beat not one, but TWO cards of Turk Wendell from his minor league days?!  Perhaps one of the most colorful players the game has ever known, Turk was also an instrumental member of back-to-back Mets playoff teams in 1999 and 2000.  I'll always have a soft spot for his cards.

Since we're talking about minor league cards...

For some strange reason, I've always had this attraction to J.T. Snow cards.  I think it's because he was once such a highly-touted prospect.  Specifically, he was a highly-touted prospect in my early days of collecting as a kid, thus his cards represented the unattainable and/or the ultimate reward.  And, hey, he turned out to be a pretty good ballplayer, too, so why not collect him?

Were you aware that A-Rod once played for the Appleton Foxes in Mariners farm chain?  Were you aware a team called the Appleton Foxes even existed?  I'll check off 'No' for both of those.  This was a pretty great find.

There were a pretty good amount of 2002 Donruss Originals mixed into contents of this seller's monster boxes. Of course, I'm a sucker for throwback products such as this.  The Molitor card you see above was from an insert set called "What If 1978."  In other words, if Donruss existed back then and they produced their "The Rookies" boxes set, here's what Paul's card would look like.  Count me as a fan!

A 2004 Cracker Jack sticker of future HOFer Miguel Cabrera.  For just one little dime, it's hard to say no to a second-year insert of a guy like Cabrera.

In 2006, I believe Topps produced inserts especially for packs sold at Walmart featuring the game's top players on past Topps designs (I know, what a unique undertaking!).  At least that's how I understand it.  So, this is Ichiro's card from that line of inserts.  It caught my fancy mostly because it features the Japanese star on the 2001 Topps design--the very same one that first introduced us to him!

Boy did I detest those Yankees teams of this era, but it's hard to argue with their dominance.  It was unquestionably tough living in the NY-metro area as a Mets fan while the Yankee were wrapping up pennants or World Series titles seemingly every year.  Nonetheless, I had to have this card when I saw it.  Something about hating your enemies to the point of admiration.

Finally, the best for last...

Boy oh boy, have I wanted this card for the longest time.  I believe I first became aware of it a few years ago on Nick's Dime Boxes blog.  And I've been hunting for it ever since.  The ol' pulse started to race when I came across a big run of 2002 UD Vintage cards in one of the boxes I was digging through at the show.  I flipped through the cards at an alarming rate hoping to finally catch a glimpse of this one and, as luck would have it, I did!

Oh the things that excite us as collectors.

Here's to hoping this Sunday's show can stand shoulder to shoulder with the last one...


Monday, February 22, 2016

Zistle the 25th

My 25th Zistle trade largely centered around 2014 Topps Heritage, one of the most aesthetically pleasing Heritage sets of them all.  Slowly but surely, I'm closing in on completion of the base portion of this set.  Thanks to this exchange--which I orchestrated with member ZinnBeck--I'm now just one measly card shy of rounding up all 425 non-short prints from the '14 set.

The above Johan was actually a 'Mets collection' need.  But, each of the following patched a hole in my 2014 Heritage checklist:





Should anyone be curious, the one freakin' card that I'm missing is #353, Rickie Weeks.  Then I'll be down to just ripping my hair out (and shredding my bank roll) over the SPs.

In addition to the '14 Heritage needs, I also netted another couple of cards for the ol' Mets collection.

Panini did a bang-up job with their 2015 Diamond Kings, in my estimation.  Can you imagine how crazy good these would be with team logos and true team colors, etc.??  Even without 'em, these are still pretty great!

So that's it for No. 25 in the Zistle trade ledger.  A rather smallish trade, but one built on the foundation of necessity.  And, that ain't a bad thing.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Hockey, Hockey, HOCKEY! (with a dash of football)

Now that football is history, I can focus fully on the winter sports.  That includes, uh, HOCKEY!!!!!

My team is the New York Rangers.  Along with the Mets, the Rangers were my first love in the world of sports. When I first became aware of the Rangers at the tender age of nine, the roster contained players who had names such as Kelly, Jan and Rudy.  There was a Vanbiesbrouk and a Per Djoos, too.  Plus some helmet-less old guy named, well, Guy.  Oh, and their head coach was a French-Canadien gentleman named Michel.

Needless to say, I was both intrigued by and enamored with the Rangers.  And it's a love affair that persists today.

So it is with much pride that I present this uninterrupted parade of Rangers cards that came my way recently from the good North.  Douglas at Buckstore Cards always has his out for me and countless other collectors around the blogs.  It is most appreciated.

These next few are actually Panini stickers...

A non-Rangers hockey card, but that's okay since it's another towards my Gabriel collection...

I had no idea that Panini picked up the torch for Crown Royale.  I'm both happy and impressed!

Don't get it twisted.  I'm not going full-throttle hockey collecting anytime soon.  However, the obsessive compulsive collector within is becoming more and more attracted to the idea of becoming a dedicated Rangers collector.  So many cards, so many brands, so many years that have gone by unnoticed by yours truly.  It would be a fun journey.

Maybe I'm not there yet, but it might not be too far off.  Especially if guys like Douglas and Shane keep feeding the addiction!

Oh, and a morsel or two of football to finish things off...

Ah!  My first card of Tyrod Taylor!  This guy gave Bills fans a lot to cheer about on game days in 2015, and I can't wait til next season when he'll have a full training camp as the undisputed No. 1 starter.

Love me some Sammy!  He followed up an impressive rookie year with an even better and more electric sophomore campaign.  The sky is the limit!

Please don't even get me started with LeSean McCoy and his off-season drama.  As Bills fans, we can't ever have anything nice for too long.

Still...this is a hell of a mini pennant insert from Panini Contenders.

Once again, thanks for keeping me in mind, Douglas!  And for helping grow my hockey card addiction!


Friday, February 12, 2016

At the Break

It's been a while since I've featured a basketball card in the lead-off spot, so here it is.  My Celtics are at the NBA's All-Star break with a record of 32-23.  That's good enough for third-best in the Eastern Conference!  Not too shabby for a team that wasn't expected to do much this season.  Heck, they even have an All-Star representative this year in PG Isaiah Thomas, who was selected as a reserve.

Ray Allen made a few All-Star teams during his time, including a few with the C's.  The card you see above is from 2007-08 Stadium Club.  Pretty weird that they green-screened a crowd in back of him.  Still, it's a pretty great card of the future HOFer.

This card came as part of a PWE from my good buddy Shane at Shoebox Legends.  Yes, the envelope was mostly Mets, but I have to prominently showcase a Celtics card from a New Englander.  It's a must!

Now, onto the baseball...

Mr. Niese will call PNC Park 'home' this season, as the Mets swapped him to the Buccos for Neil Walker.

Mr. Wheeler should be back in the New York rotation right around the Midsummer's Classic.

This is the chrome version of Mr. Escobar's Topps rookie card.  I guess Ricky Ledee turned out to be the best big leaguer of the three featured on this card.

A Diamond King of Mr. Isringhausen from 1996 Donruss.  I think I might like edition of Diamond Kings better than all the rest.

A card of Mr. Boston from Stadium Club's inaugural offering.  One of a few '91 TSC Mets cards that I still lack.  I think I'm down to two or three on the 'want list.'

A chrome card of Mr. Piazza from 2003.

Maybe--no, scratch that--DEFINITELY the pick of the litter is this Pacific insert of my main man Lance Johnson!! I had to look it up, but this is part of an insert set called "Gate Attractions" from 1997 Prisms.  Never have I ever seen one of these before.  Really, really like this one!

Okay, now a few non-Mets...

Another chrome selection of the newly-minted HOF catcher.  I think I like '97 Chrome a lot.  Mostly, Chrome is a turn-off because of the way the cards buckle and curl.  But I would overlook it for this set.

A most excellent insert of the great Vlad Guerrero from 2001 Fleer Game Time.  Not sure what's up with the unusual shape of the card, but I dig it nonetheless.

And we finish with another non-baseball card.  I'm totally okay with this.  I've been getting hockey cards--namely Rangers--pretty regularly from both Shane and Douglas (Buckstore Cards) and I love it!  Since I have next-to-nothing on the hockey front, it's fun to discover all the brands and sets from decades of collecting that never was.

Thanks for another brilliantly eclectic assortment of my favorite teams, Shane!