Sunday, February 18, 2018

Post #93 - Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

Okay, this post is way overdue. And I mean waaaaaaay overdue.

Back around the holidays, the TCDB thread that inspired me to start my Season of Giving was full of generous members in their own right. First up was herkojerko, offering 10 cards off of the first few members wantlists. I recapped that one here. As the thread went on, several other members offered up gifts and surprises to those who claimed them.

One such member was Billy Kingsley of Cardboard History He offered up a box of NASCAR/racing cards for anyone who wanted it (maybe basketball was an option too, I don't remember). Seeing as I had already claimed a gift from the original thread, I messaged Billy privately and told him that if no one took him up on the offer, I was interested.

You see, racing has a long past in my family. My dad and his brothers grew up racing dirtbikes, quarter midgets, and go-carts in Arizona. Growing up, he dug a dirt track out for me in our backyard and with my homemade, welded-together go-cart that ran on a lawn mower engine, I spent hours upon hours trundling in circles. Had it not been for my abilities at baseball, I most likely would have spent most of my life wandering around the Midwest racing.

Mind you, I don't know how good I was; I never did race competitively. But after catching the tail end of a few races last season, I realized that I was sorely missing that competitiveness in my life. So, I vowed to myself that it was time to get back into watching some NASCAR, and I might as well start collecting it too.

Of course, I saved this post for today, as it marks the 60th running of the Daytona 500. While I have a wedding to attend at 5:00 Arizona time, I'm hoping to catch the beginning of the race. I haven't watched a NASCAR race in quite some time, and to be honest, I don't even have a driver. Jeff Gordon was a favorite of mine growing up, but with his retirement, I'm not sure...Kevin Harvick occasionally drives a car sponsored by Busch beer, and I do like Busch...but Chase Elliott is a youngster and races in car #9, my lucky number. I also have a soft spot for the #3 in Austin Dillon and the #43 of Darrell Wallace Jr., mainly because he's a rookie.

Okay! Enough rambling on! You're here to see some cards, so let's dive into the box that Billy sent. It was packed full with six team bags of racing cards. I'm not going to show them all, but rather some of my highlights. I'm still working on getting them into the TCDB as well, but once I do, I'll start looking into acquiring some more!

We start with a trio of Davey Allison, who tragically lost his life in July of 1993. While I never got to see him race, I've heard stories upon stories. Billy included a lot of these early/mid 90s Action Packed cards, something I hadn't had much of at all.

Four Greg Biffle cards, including a couple 2004 Press Pass Premium cards, a set I loved when I was a kid. I've always had a soft spot for Biffle, ever since I saw his #50 Grainger truck at a Grainger store in South Bend.

A card of each of the Busch brothers. Never a huge fan of either one of them, but I did see Kurt win at Bristol in person back in 2004, when he was in the midst of his dominating streak at that track.

A trio of #3. Can't go wrong with cards of The Intimidator.

Here's a nice 2015 Press Pass card of the aforementioned Chase Elliott.

This is a very haphazardly scanned tile of 8 of the 12 Jeff Gordon cards Billy sent. I pulled out my favorites for this; these are all new to me, especially the Target exclusive in the middle (white border, vertical card).

While I was never a huge Jimmie Johnson fan, these two cards are very sharp, just like the Kasey Kahne. The Kenseth card is not only shiny, but another Premium set (2000) that I remember from my childhood.

I would be remiss if I didn't include the Danica Patrick cards from the package, as I find her quite attractive. Also the Power Players is die-cut and the Prizm is extra shiny, so that's cool too.

Not the greatest scan in the world, but no NASCAR post is complete without a shot of Richard Petty.

Ryan Newman is what I would consider a "local" driver, hailing from South Bend, Indiana. Jamie McMurray won his first racing driving the #40 Coors Light car for Sterling Marlin at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina in October of 2002. I was there, hence the detailed recollection.

These final two cards that I'll show off are special for a certain reason: I vividly remember having both of these cards in my small NASCAR collection growing up. No idea who Eric Norris was, but he won a series championship somewhere along the line. Steve Park drove that #1 Pennzoil car for what felt like years. I think I liked that card so much because the #1 car was one of the few that I could never find a 1:64 diecast for.

The sampling here really doesn't do Billy's box justice. There were plenty more cards in there, ranging from early 1990s up to some of the newer releases, drivers ranging from Junior Johnson all the way through Mark Martin and Bobby Labonte and up to Aric Almirola and Martin Truex Jr.

I'm still sorting these, and still need to buy a binder and some pages to properly store my racing collection, but it's about time for a public thank you to Billy for getting me such a wonderful start! Now I can't wait to go buy some 2018 Donruss racing and add to it!

As always, thanks for reading!


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Post #92 - Night Owl Flies By

Thursday morning, a package arrived in my mailbox. The return address? None other than blogging legend Night Owl! I've been a longtime fan of his blog, even before I started my own, and had been hoping to trade with him for quite some time. So when he mentioned on a post a few weeks back that he had plenty of Shawn Green dupes and wondered if anyone collected best believe that I (virtually) shot my hand in the air!

I was able to throw together a small package of Dodger cards that hopefully helped his collection; if not, I've already got another mailer started. When the return package hit my mailbox, I was excited to see the contents.

Side note: the stack started with a note that said "I'm sure I've got more" so that's pretty exciting. I'll take them all!

Speaking of taking them all, of the 17 cards in the package, two were duplicates for me. In all fairness to everyone involved, they were very recent additions. And to be honest, I don't mind duplicates. I don't know what project I'll use them for yet, but I'm going to figure something out. Maybe a giant collage or something.

Anyway, I digress. These were the two dupes (excuse the poor scanning):

My goodness that Bowman Chrome is a beauty.

Alright, now let's get into the new additions that Night Owl sent over.

First up are two pre-Dodger cards:

The 1995 Select is another 90s card from another 90s set that makes the list seem endless. The card on the left, however, is the 1991 Classic Draft. That leaves me just needing the no-number promo and the French version to complete the Shawn Green 1991 run! But seriously, I was tickled pink to see this card on top.

Moving on up to this millennium, this was the lone representative from the year 2000 in the package, and it's a card that I've had my eye on for a long time. I had a handful of these Fleer Mystique cards growing up, and it's a set I've always wanted to build (kind of). While it didn't scan great, it's stunning in hand to me.

N.O hit five cards from 2001 off the wantlist, including Bowman and Donruss flagship cards. I like the "20th Anniversary" notation on both the Donruss and the Fleer Platinum cards. Also, note that the bottom row, second card is from the original Topps Gallery run.

Also making an appearance are five 2002 cards. The Fleer E-X card is sweet, and I like the Curtain Call subset from Fleer Tradition Update. The blue-bordered Fleer Maximum card is interesting. In this post, I wondered if all the cards were red, or if they were team colored. I seem to have my answer.

We wrap things up with a 2003 Fleer Ultra (ugh...those graphics are a no from me, dawg) and a 2005 Fleer Tradition (I kinda like that one).

All in all, 15 new Shawn Green cards make the numbers look like this:

Shawn Green Card Count: 132/4135 (3.2%)

2018 Goal: 132/200 (68 to go)

Night Owl, thanks so much for your generosity. As I said, I'm already working on another mailer for you (although it will take some time) so hopefully we can do this again! Also, if you're reading this blog but not familiar with Night Owl Cards...well, maybe I'm doing something right, but you need to get in tune with one of the best bloggers we have out there.

As always, thanks for reading.


Friday, February 16, 2018

Post #91 - Vroom Vroom Again!

Going to rattle of a quick, one card post today because I've got some other ones to draft up for this weekend, when I'll be gone. Doing my best to stay in chronological order of packages received (with the exception of one that I'm backtracking to soon), this single card arrived Wednesday (I think).

Remember a few days ago when I talked about the Reds cards that vrooomed from TCDB sent my way? He used a very creative bit of protection inside the team bag: wrapped around the cards were two of those old 1988 Donruss puzzle pieces.

Funnily enough, the 1988 Donruss puzzle of Stan "The Man" Musial was a little project that I've been working on.

Some quick background: my girlfriend, who is from California, and myself, from Michigan, met at college our sophomore year. That summer, we sent each other "care packages" across the country, containing little trinkets and things from home. Each of her packages contained some rack packs of 1988 Donruss baseball that her dad had stored away. Of course, I opened them. As she started to learn more about the hobby, and as I explained more, the puzzle became something that we could both enjoy together. Each new rack pack she sent my way, she would eagerly wait to see when it arrived then call me that evening to see if we got any new pieces.

Once the dust settled...we were one card short: pieces 13-15. I've been looking for it for almost three years now (albeit not terribly hard). When Dan's package arrived and I realized what puzzle pieces they were, I got a renewed sense of hope. But if you read that initial post, you know that they weren't quite the ones I needed.

I jokingly made mention of this to him. Then Wednesday, low and behold...

Hello beautiful! The final puzzle pieces for Stan the Man!

Dan, thanks so much for digging this out and sending it my way. I'm looking forward to putting the entire puzzle together on some cardboard and framing it; but I'll be sure to share it with everyone here first.

As always, thanks for reading!


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Post #90 - Autograph Appreciation: Nate Baker

This segment has not been occuring as often as I would like. I have plenty of content for it, but when I do have the effort to write (which is more often than not, admittedly) I have trade packages that I need to catch up on.

If you'll remember (or if you're a first time reader of this segment, here's a crash course) I try and do detailed breakdowns of autographed cards in my collection. To begin, I was going alphabetically, but that's stopping.

Part of re-doing my collection on the TCDB is the ability to make lists for my autographed cards, broken down by sport. I have a list for my baseball autographs, football autographs, etc.

The only two lists that I have completed with notes, images, and everything all neatly packed away are soccer and racing. So, with only five of each, I'm going to continue Autograph Appreciation (I want to call it AA, but...) with soccer players first. I will likely not be adding any more to that anytime soon, so I'm starting here.

Today's subject:

This 2008 Choice Harrisburg City Islanders card of Nate Baker. Nate Baker is not a household soccer name, and neither are the Harrisburg City Islanders. Point is, this write up will be fairly short, as there isn't much to say about Baker. He was born in Bowie, Maryland in 1985. He would attend American University in nearby Washington D.C., where he started 62 of 77 career games in four years. A two year captain, Baker was a leading force for American in 2004, taking them to the Patriot League championship and the second round of the NCAA tournament.

In 2007, Baker signed professionally with the aforementioned Harrisburg City Islanders. On May 5, he would make his professional debut as a sub in a victory against the Charlotte Eagles. His total appearances for Harrisburg City numbered over 50, before leaving the team in 2009 to join the Real Maryland Monarchs. Baker appeared in 19 games for Real Maryland in 2010 and 2011, scoring 0 goals (he had racked up 3 in his three years for the Islanders).

Most notably with Harrisburg City, he helped lead the team to wins over MLS powers DC United (2007) and the New England Revolution (2009) during the US Open Cup.

In 2011, Nate Baker stepped away from professional soccer and took an assistant coach job in his home state of Maryland with the United States Naval Academy Midshipmen. He would help lead the Midshipmen to some of their best seasons in school history; 7-7-3 in 2012, 16-4-2 in 2013 (finishing in the NCAA Top 25 and winning the Patriot League regular season and tournament titles) and 11-4-5 in 2014.

In March of 2017, Jason Mims, head coach at the University of Nebraska Omaha, named Baker his assistant coach, a position he still holds today. Omaha would win the Summit League conference championship in 2017 with a thrilling 9-8 PK shootout against Denver, but would fall in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Just for some who may be confused, the Harrisburg City Islanders are now known as Penn FC, and are members of the United Soccer League (USL), one step below the MLS. It was noted above, but while known as the Harrisburg City Islanders, the team developed a reputation as "giant killers" in the U.S. Open Cup, defeating MLS powers such as DC United, the New York Red Bulls (twice) and the New England Revolution (twice). Overall, the program boasts a 12-5-3 record in the tournament.

Regarding the card pictured at the beginning of this post, I went through a phase in high school of garnering fan packs from teams. Harrisburg City was generous enough to send one to me, and I know for a fact that it contained the above card, as well as another one that will be shown off soon enough. After receiving the cards, I immediately sat down, wrote a letter, and sent them off. This was a 1/1 success, received c/o the Harrisburg City Islanders, sometime in 2009.

That actually ended up being wordier than I thought, but hopefully you enjoyed learning a little bit more about a fairly obscure soccer player. As always, thanks for reading.


Friday, February 9, 2018

Post #89 - Happy New Year!

Well, sort of.

Like many, I was anxious to get my hands on 2018 Topps Series 1 cards when they released. But my first purchase had to wait until Wednesday night at a Target. The Wal-Mart here in town is like many other Wal-Marts in that they are slow to get new material if they ever get it at all (never have seen Heritage or Archives there).

But Wednesday, since the girlfriend and I both had the day off (well, she had a half-day) we drove to St. Louis with the intention of 1) touring the Anheuser-Busch brewery (free tour with a free beer - well worth it) and using a $50 Target gift card we had been given for Christmas. St. Louis was the closest Target so everything seemed nice and tidy.

She picked up some clothes for a wedding coming up while I amused myself in the card aisle. Honestly, if there was any 2017 Fire left I may have grabbed that (still don't have any), but they were gone. So I settled for two packs of 2018 flagship. Let's see the contents, shall we?

Pack 1


Daniel Norris is my first 2018 card. Looks like he's pitching in Toronto there, but I could be wrong.

Very happy to pull a Reds player in my first pack of the year, and it's a young pitcher I hope to see at Great American Ballpark on a regular basis!

Two Reds in one pack! That means I won't pull another Cincinnati card until 2019 flagship comes out. I like the shot looking into the White Sox dugout. Others have mentioned it, but I much prefer shots like this from a team card.


Meh. According to TCDB, this appears to be the base "Superstar Sensations" and not one of the gazillion parallels.

Speaking of parallels...

Meh again. Hard to tell from the scan, but this is the "Rainbow" parallel and I'm guessing (since it's not numbered) the easiest parallel to pull. *Checks back of pack.* Yup. 1:10 for this one. Gold is 1:15, in case you were wondering.

And since I had to scan both sides to add this image to the TCDB, here's a look at the back if you haven't seen it yet:

Pack 2


Another Tiger to start it off. I think I pull a Zimmerman every year from my first couple flagship packs.

Aaron Judge! I'm rich! See ya, suckers! I'm gonna put this on eBay and go retire in the Bahamas!!

Disclaimer: None of you are suckers, and I'm not going to the Bahamas.

I actually really, really like all three of these horizontal cards. Someone else in the bloggersphere noted that Grandal image is awesome, and the picture on the Murphy card is cool too. Another dugout shot for a team card, I'll take it. 


Hey-o! I rich now? No, but seriously, back to back packs of Superstar Sensations inserts, and this one of Bellinger. Not bad, but even better with this...

Yup, Bellinger Home Run Challenge insert. I don't know how to play this. I have no interest in playing this. So these two cards are going to go on eBay here in a few days when I throw some other stuff up, and it should allow me to recover the cost of these packs, which is good.

If someone really really wants anything listed here (with the exception of the two Reds cards, but including the Bellingers) let me know and I can set it aside for you. Otherwise the Cabrera will likely find eBay with the Bellingers (although I may do a little extra research on this Home Run Challenge thing just to be sure I don't want to do it...)

EDIT: Yeah, I don't want it. Here's the breakdown of prizes for that Home Run Challenge. If I was a Dodger fan, probably. If it was a Reds player or Buster Posey, most likely. But I think I'd rather pass on another parallel of this guy.

As always, thanks for reading


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Post #88 - Vroom Vroom

Last time I went back to my parent's house in Michigan, I grabbed a few clear tubs full of miscellaneous stuff; pocket schedules, oversized player cards, some team photos, you get the idea. My plan is to inventory it all and then offer it up first to bloggers/members of the TCDB and then maybe take what's left to eBay.

I haven't started that yet. But I will. Really. One of these days.

However, I was able to unload some stuff to Dan, aka vrooomed at the TCDB. Dan is a member many are familiar with, as he is very knowledgeable, calm, and polite. Those three qualities go a long way, and he practices them daily.

As I was scanning a couple cards for the 1998 Topps "Minted in Cooperstown" parallel a bit back, I noticed that Dan had the Mike Lieberthal on his wantlist. I was able to throw in some Clearwater Threshers/Phillies and Philadelphia Phillies pocket schedules, and send it off to him.

Awesome; that knocked out a (small) piece of that clear tub.

Dan responded in kind, something that I didn't ask for but he was generous enough to provide anyway. The crazy thing? Even without a wantlist, he was able to find 23 Reds cards that are new to my collection. Let's take a look at what was hidden inside his bubble mailer, shall we?

Let's kick it off with a 2014 Topps Archives of Eric Davis. Archives is a set that is seriously under-represented in my collection, a fact that I hope to change soon.

Following that up would be this trio of 1991 Fleer Update cards, yet another set that I didn't have any representation of, for any team. These three constitute the entire team set.

Another couple of Fleer Update cards, from 1986 (Jones) and 1988 (Dibble). At first, I thought the Dibble might get me going on the 1988 Fleer team set (outside of the set that I'm building, that is) but it's the Update version, which is just as good!

A trio of nifty Dave Parker's here, including a 1985 Topps Traded, 1986 Topps Quaker Oats, and a 1987 Topps Glossy Mail-In.

A couple of 1986 Tom Browning cards. I really like that Kaybee card.

Another pair of 1986 cards, a Traded of Kurt Stillwell and another Kaybee, this time of John Franco (man, I really really like those Kaybee cards...)

Another Franco card, this time in the form of a 1987 Fleer Limited Edition. Bill Gullickson makes an appearance in another 87 Fleer insert, Record Setters.

Another pair of Eric Davis cards rounds out the 1980s portion of the package, including a 1987 Leaf and a 1986 Donruss Highlights insert.

I said the end of the 1980s, so that means...

Yup, vintage! Starting off with this 1979 prospects card from Topps.

That's followed up by a pair of 1977 Topps (how 1970s is a name like Rawly?).

How about a couple of 1976 Topps cards, one celebrating the 1975 World Series win (yeah, I feel like a lot of people today forget that Fisk waved that one fair in Game 6, but the Reds took Game 7...).

And to top off the Reds portion of the package, check out this (slightly off-center) 1972 Topps of Jack Billingham. The centering doesn't bother me the slightest, as this is now the oldest card in my collection (that I know of, unless I'm forgetting something).

I say the end of the Reds portion, because Dan also included these two cards as bookends in the team bag:

For those unsure, those are very poorly scanned 1988 Stan Musial puzzle pieces 1-3 (top) and 7-9 (bottom). Alas, I'm only missing 13-15, so these don't help me, but what a creative way to keep a package secure!

Dan, I'm not sure if you read these blogs on the side of TCDB, but thank you so much for not only your generosity in sending this package, but for all of the work that you do for the online community and for all the help that you have sent my way. I know my questions are simple and tedious at times, but your experience and friendship are very valued!

As always, thanks for reading.


Friday, February 2, 2018

Post #87 - Inch By Inch

A quick one card post today. I'll be honest, I didn't have the effort to go run into the other room to scan one sticker for a blog post, so I'm borrowing this image from the TradingCardDB website.

Remember a few weeks ago when I said I was waiting on one more card from SportLots to arrive? Well, it never did, and while I'm sure the seller shipped it and it was just lost in the mail, I needed to move ahead and get my credit for the card. I did so, and used that to re-order the same card from another seller. It arrived in my mailbox today.

Behold the glory that is the 1986 Topps Stickers #48/198. I, of course, only needed the #198 part of Mojsiejenko, but I won't be cutting this puppy apart. Rather, Mojo card number 23 will slide into it's proper spot in the binder (once I finish re-organizing the binders, that is).

Ralf Mojsiejenko Card Count: 23/27 (85.2%)

You may have noticed that I've upped the total Mojsiejenko card count to 27, rather than 26. That is because I am now counting the 1990 Topps Blank Back card as one that I need, so it's on the wantlist. That means that the total collection will be 27 cards when done, so I better start preparing for that!

You can check out my updated Mojsiejenko wantlist here. If anyone has a 1987 Topps Stickers with Randall Cunningham laying around, let me know, otherwise I can pick that one up on SportLots as well. The other three, however...those should prove to be more difficult.

Regardless, today marks one more inch closer to the end of this journey! As always, thanks for reading!