Thursday, November 21, 2013

Welcome to Motown, Ian Kinsler

Ian Kinsler is the newest Tiger from the trading of Prince Fielder to Texas. I like this trade overall.  It gives Detroit more flexibility on and off the field
And here is my Ian Kinsler rookie card. I was lucky enough to pull it out of a pack in 2005 while hoping to get other rookies that year. A loaded rookie class of Kinsler, Justin Verlander, Prince Fielder, Ryan Zimmerman, Troy Tulowitzki, Jered Weaver, Jacoby Ellsbury, Andrew McCutchen, Matt Kemp, Jay Bruce and others.
2005 Bowman

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Latest Dime Box pickups including an absolute steal

I went to the local card shop earlier this week and pick up some nice cards from the dime boxes. Plus one absolute steal. First some normal ones I am proud of:
rookie year card that chronicles of his amazing feats:
1986 Donruss Highlights
 Rookie card of the Tigers new hitting coach:
1986 Topps Traded

Big Unit's final year card with his complete stats on back:
2010 Topps
couple rookie cards. one of a current player and one of a former player
2010 Topps
1998 Fleer Tradition

I have always been a big fan of Mike Lowell, probably because he was good player and a cancer survivor.  Or maybe just because he was Boston's no nonsense alternative to the Yankees circus that is ARod.

And for my steal of the century. I picked this up for a dime. For me, he is the second best all around  catcher in MLB right now. My Buster Posey rookie card:
2010 Topps Allen & Ginter

Friday, November 15, 2013

If I Ran Topps.....

I am going to take a break from the regular scheduled program and discuss something that has been on my mind.  I think Topps does a great job with their base Topps set, but I would do a few things differently.  I am going to preface this by stating that along with a baseball card collector, I consider myself a bit of a historian also.  So my ideas lean towards the historical side of the game.

One thing that really annoys me with the hobby is pointless insert sets.  Some oddly shaped or high glossy/crazy designed set that the collector suppose to chase.  For example, the 2013 Topps Cut to the Chase set or the tons of 1990s inserts in various sets.  The only redeeming value of these sets is that it gives an excuse to put a superstar in a chase set.  I want inserts to be more collectible and historical/information based.  Let me explain...

Do you realize that for the 2012 baseball season, we witnessed a perfect game(Felix Hernandez), a 4 home run game(Josh Hamilton) and a Triple Crown winner(Miguel Cabrera).   Not sure if this all occurred before in one season.  Regardless, Topps did nothing to celebrate this.  Each has been done around a dozen times before.  How about a chase set for each feat that includes all the players who previously accomplished it.  I know the average collector will not be excited for inserts of Len Barker(perfect game) or Bob Horner(4 hr game), but then again, if a person want a collection of all the players who hit four home runs in a game, this would be cool way to get it.  Plus, for example, Indian fans would probably like another Len Barker or a Rocky Colavito card in their collection.
Want more star power?  How about a chase set features each of the All Star game starters designed after the glossy all stars sets of the 1980s.  It is an appealing way to get another card of Mike Trout or Miguel Cabrera.  Or how about a gold bordered parallel of the base card of each Gold Glove winner and silver for the Silver Sluggers.  Either could be a separate insert set or even a shortprint version of the regular issue.  The last two chase sets would be great if you would go for a master set.  One can go back and easily see who did well that season and  won awards.   Speaking of which, how about jersey or auto inserts of the award winners and/or record breakers?

The movie "42" was released in theaters with much fanfare and praise.  Yet Topps, nor any other company, did nothing to commemorate this.  How about a set that feature Jackie and his 1947 Brooklyn Dodger teammmates?  or a set that showcases other Negro League players who debuted in MLB soon after Robinson.  It would allow a new generation of baseball fans and collectors learn about some players of the past.
One final thing I would do differently is for the update set.  I enjoy getting the new rookies and players who changed teams during the season as a part of the update series, but the all star subset can be overabundant and bit annoying. I would make them more collectible.  Instead of a bio on the back, I would include the player's career All Star game stats including that year's results.

I know I am probably a minority with my ideas.  But for me at least, I think each Topps set would be more collectible and uniquely different each year instead of a having an eyesore of chase set that features the same dozen or so superstars each year.  What are your thoughts? Intersesting to see if other collectors side with me.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Trade with a fellow blogger

I recently pulled off my first ever trade with fellow baseball card collecting blogger. Shane over at Off The Wall . I shipped him some Red Sox and Allen and Ginter minis and got some Tigers in return.

Here is a couple cards that I received back. A rookie card of one time Tiger hitting coach, Toby Harrah. Not sure if he will return under new manager, Brad Ausmus.  I think he should get some consideration.  And this has been one of the worst baseball cards ever in term pictures.  Did they do a super closeup in order to hide the Washington Senators jersey(they moved to Texas during this offseason)?

1972 Topps
And the 1997 Fleer card of Alan Trammell.  This is his last year of cards as an active player. I am collecting some star players last year cards. Another blogger calls them sunset cards.  My criteria for these cards is that the back must show all their entire career stats on the back from the rookie year to their last game.  Some players do not have any because their final cards were made during the final year playing not the year after or the card itself doesn't show all their stats.  Here is the Trammell "sunset" card.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Some new Ebay purchases

Here is some cards I recently won on Ebay auctions:

Chico Carrasquel 1951 Bowman rookie.  The first ever Hispanic to make a start in the All Star game. Plus first in a long line of great Venezuelan shortstops in MLB history(could be an upcoming post).

my first rookie of Tigers second ace, Max Scherzer.  The favorite to win the AL Cy Young this year.

and Clayton Kershaw UD Timeline rookie and of course the NL favorite for the award.  I wanted this card of Kershaw because the back of the Timeline cards shows the picture of Dodger Stadium.  For me part of the enjoyment of collecting, is seeing some of baseball history on cards.  Currently, Dodger stadium is the second oldest NL park and many great moments have occurred there.
And I would love to attend a game there one day. Eat a Dodger dog, maybe run into current announcers Vin Scully or Fernando Valenzuela, owner Magic Johnson or season ticket holder Alyssa Milano.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

latest pulls from packs

Sorry for not blogging of late. I am have been busy purchasing packs instead of writing lately. So, I am going to share some highlights of the cards I pulled from packs recently. Here is the some of the  rookie cards:

One of the top young superstars of the game. Not sure what I think of the Panini Hometown Heroes set. I bought 2 packs, not sure if I will purchase more.

Gold parallel rookie of one of the top rookies in National League

Topps Chrome rookie of one the St Louis Cardinals young guns and post season hero

Topps Update rookie of a young Cleveland Indian pitcher who has a bright future.

Topps Archives rookie of one time Tiger prospect. Will be interesting to see who will have the better MLB career among Tiger OF prospects. The one they traded away(Garcia) or the one that they kept (Nick Castellanos)

and an OPC rookie card from a repack package from Target. He is probably my favorite player currently on the Texas Rangers

There you go, some nice crop of young players in the game. I promise I will blog more. I have some posts in the hopper.  Made a trade with a fellow blogger, some Ebay purchases and one from

Friday, September 27, 2013

New Tiger Acquisitions. A couple starters and a HOFer

Here is a few Detroit Tigers that I have acquired over the last week.  First, rookie cards of couple Tiger starting pitchers
2009 Topps Tribute
2005 Upper Deck Update

And I pulled out of a pack of 2013 Panini Cooperstown. Hall of Famer Harry Heilmann. This the matrix parallel numbered to 325. It is a pretty slick set. I like the line scores of games played by the hall of famers.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Happy Birthday Big Daddy!

Today Cecil Fielder turns 50.  For this celebration, I will show you my most prized Cecil Fielder card.
1986 Topps

His Topps rookie card is my favorite Fielder card not because it is his rookie card, but because of a more sentimental reason.  A good memory coming from a bad situation.
It was my freshman year in college as I was watching "The Simpsons" Halloween special in my dormroom, the phone rings.  It was my mother calling me saying that our house was broken into.  The thieves took just about everything valuable in the house according to my mom.  She also said that none of my baseball cards were stolen.
On my next trip home for a weekend-probably for some home cooking and/or laundry use, I accessed the damage.  I told my mom that some of my baseball cards were indeed stolen.  She asked if anything was of value.   I told her of some boxes and nothing major was gone. Only specific item I mentioned was my Cecil Fielder rookie card.  This, I should add, all occurred the fall after his first season in Detroit-his 51 home run season.

Fast forward almost a year later, I go home once again for the weekend. It was also soon after my mom and stepdad returned from a trip from Florida. One of the first things my mom did when I got home was hand me the Cecil Fielder rookie card.  Somehow, somewhere in Florida she bought it. I never asked for it nor hinted to her to do so.
Out of pure coincidence, that day of getting my Fielder rookie back, it was also Cecil Fielder's birthday.  And during that night's ballgame, Fielder hit a home run also.
Now, when I look at my Fielder Topps rookie card. I think of my mom, the phone call, Fielder's homer and how a fond memory can happen from a bad incident.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A vintage traded set and a mini box

Latest purchases from the local card shop or more like a baseball card thrift buys. A 1991 Topps Traded set for a whopping $3. Included in the set are rookie cards of future MVPs Jason Giambi, Ivan Rodriguez and Jeff Bagwell. Not bad really.  I had the Giambi already, so if anyone wants it, let me know.
But another rookie card in the set is of somebody else that I was a big fan of:
Yep, Charles Johnson, the former Florida Marlins catcher.  I always liked him and thought he would develop into a better hitter. But defensively, he was quite good.  4x Gold Glover, caught 3 no-hitters and once went through an entire season without committing an error.
My other $3 purchase was a box of 1986 Topps Mini. It's a nice little vintage set. Not worth much but is nice to look at:
Here is Ryne Sandberg:

Don Mattingly:

and my favorite photo from the set. Jack Morris:

 After I busted the packs, I was hoping for two complete sets, but I failed. Oh well. Got a whole bunch of extras. Any of you other collectors interested in any?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Finally! Pittsburgh

I haven't posted much in last couple days because I have not bought any new packs or made any trades. Plus, I am waiting on an Ebay purchase to hit the mailbox.  So, I am coming up with a theme to showcase some of my baseball cards.
Since the Pirates officially clinched a winning season for the first time in twenty years this past week, it gives me excuse to show you some of my Pirate cards.
Well, the star of the current team and NL MVP candidate is Andrew McCutchen. Here is the mahogany parallel to his Bowman Heritage rookie card:

The last time Pittsburgh had a winning team, Tim Wakefield was part of the rotation. Yes, to the younger audience, he was a Pirate. After failing to make the big leagues as an infielder, he became a successful knuckleball pitcher. For me, he is my all time favorite knuckler as I consider him the consummate teammate and professional and all around good guy. Here is his 1992 Fleer Update rookie:

And a trio of Pirate Hall of Famers:

Willie Stargell(1975 Topps Mini). Pops was the leader and star of the 1979 World Series team.

Roberto Clemente(1972 Topps). The superstar and great humanitarian was the MVP of the 1971 World Series

Bill Mazeroski (1962 Topps). Author one of the most famous home runs in baseball history and hero of the 1960 World Series championship.

There is some of my Pirates in my collections. Hopefully, I will be adding a Ralph Kiner card to it. Plus rookie cards of Dave Parker and Manny Sanguillen.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My Oldest Card

Collectors usually look for the most limited rookie or autograph cards of the most popular players.  I do cherish and love to have these cards, but I do not seek them out for my collection. I like finding a little diamonds in the rough. For example, rookie year cards that are not as popular but maybe a little harder to find than the usual rookie card.
I also like getting a rookie card of some forgetten players of the past.  They were stars from their era, but for whatever reason, most fans have no knowledge of them. One such player is Tommy Bridges
1933 Goudey #199

I recently picked up his 1933 Goudey rookie card.  It is not in the best of conditions and thus was not very costly.  Bridges was the ace of the Tigers pitching staff in the 1930s & 40s.  He won 20 games in a season three times, led AL in strikeouts twice and was among the league leaders in strikeouts and ERA on several occasions.  He also made six All-Star teams and along with Hank Greenberg, is the only Tiger to be on four World Series teams. 
If he was pitching today, he would be a household name and his rookie card would be wanted more.  But, he is forgotten mostly and I am proud to have this card as a part of my collection.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Having It My Way at Burger King

Ever since I started collecting cards, I have always had a disliking for multiple player cards.   Especially if I was trying to collect a specific team or player.  This includes the multiple player rookie cards also.  For example, the 1978 Topps Alan Trammell RC is also Paul Molitor's and U.L. Washington and Mickey Klutts are also featured.
I also had the dilemma of how to catalog the card. As a Trammell RC? or Molitor? or use two entries for one card?  I was/is a fan of both players, but I know Molitor is the one that is more popular nationally even though I am a bigger Trammell fan.  Beyond that, I have a Mickey Klutts card with no desire to have one.  The 1978 Topps set also includes RCs of Lou Whitaker, Jack Morris and Lance Parrish on multiple player cards.
Burger King ran a promotion with a several teams including the Tigers in 1978 and released a team set.  This allowed me to have a nice alternative to Trammell/Molitor RC dilemma.  The Burger King Tigers set uses the same design and pictures(when possible) as the 1978 Topps.  It also includes an Alan Trammell card as his own for his RC year. It also does the same for Whitaker and Morris.  No Parrish though. Oh darn!


The Tigers set also features Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, 1968 World Series champ Mickey Stanley, Gold Glove winner Aurelio Rodriguez and other All Stars Rusty Staub and Ron LeFlore.  For any Tiger collector, it is a nice little card set to own, which I do.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Local Card Shop Buys

Went to the local card shop today and picked up these little gems among others in the quarter boxes:
1990 fleer
1989 topps traded
1987 Fleer

 Yeah, nice inexpensive rookie cards of former big league stars from the junk wax era. I also picked up the following two in other boxes rather cheap:
2013 topps archives autograph
2013 topps  gold 
And these star cards also:
1982 Topps
1979 Topps
Also picked up Dave Stewart and Mark Langston Donruss rookie cards. All of this(plus a couple MSU guys for my other collection) for less than $6 including tax. Not bad for the day

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Baseball Card Collection

Before going any further, I will tell you some background on my collection and what I focus on now.
I grew up in the 80s watching baseball and collecting cards. Back then, cards were plentiful and rather inexpensive.  So I tried to accumulate as many different as I could.
Obviously, those days are long gone. So now, I go for more quality over quantity.  What gets me to buy packs now is what rookie cards are included in the set. If it All-timers based set, maybe hope to get an autograph or jersey card.
I may go for a set here and there and am a Tigers fan, so some Tiger cards are collectible for me. I am a bit of a baseball historian. Because of this, my collection tends go towards to players who made a mark in the game, not necessarily the all time greats. 
I am hoping to get at least one decent card of every Hall of Famer(excluding umpires, executives and managers). I also always have a fondness of the old Negro Leagues. Hence, me trying for the 2001 Fleer Stitches In Time insert set.  I would like to get some cards of Negro Leaguers who played in the Majors in the 50s such as a Sam Jethroe or Luke Easter.
Occasionally, I will go after a players last card if it shows his entire career stats on back. For example, 1980 Topps Mickey Lolich has his entire stats from his career that ended in 1979.  I am also starting to do some through the mail autograph attempts.
As you can see, my baseball card collection is kind of random. It mostly comes down to that I am too much of a baseball fan to collect just one team or player. And I don't have the budget to do a lot of set building. So I cherry pick here and there.  You can see my partial wantlist to the right. Here is an example of card not listed there but is something I would like from the junk wax era: 1988 Topps Bill Madlock.  Why this card?  Because A) shows entire career stats on back B) he is a 4-time batting champ and C) him becoming a Tiger was a big reason they won the 1987 division.
I know my brain works in a weird way at times. I will put some of my cards from my collection on here and tradebaits also. Maybe you will understand better. Heck, maybe me too.

Monday, September 2, 2013

King of my Collection

For my initial post, I will do a little bragging.  My biggest card from my personal baseball card collection.  I bought the 2000 Topps Traded set on Ebay years ago, around 2006-07.  I wanted to get a Miguel Cabrera rookie card along with Michael Young and others. Hoping to get the autograph insert of a big leaguer and not some career minor leaguer.
Low and Behold, I got lucky. Real lucky:

Needless to say, It is my best pull ever.  I got it before his trade to Detroit and no idea he will become a Triple Crown winner. I always thought he could win a MVP in Detroit. Now is he considered one of the best hitters ever and a joy to watch on a daily basis.
So, what is your biggest pull?