Monday, January 16, 2017

Card Show Haul

Update: 17 January 2017: The Donruss cards have been claimed; as well as the Bowman Mattingly and McGriff. Thanks!

Hit the local card show today in Mansfield, Mass. as I had the day off of work. I woke up early and took a nice easy run in a state park before hitting the show...and I wasn't even the smelliest person there! I meant to run longer but it was 16 F and really just kind of too much...

Actually walked out mostly emptied handed but felt like trying to pull in you good readers with a promising blog post title. I enjoyed the show, saw a lot of fantastic cards... It probably is the case that the same dealers show up each show with very similar main stock. Is that a valid impression? I looked through a few thousand cards and saw just 1 Darryl Strawberry -- 1985 Fleer. Which I had already.

I did see, out in the hallway as I was leaving, a couple of relic or auto cards but of my favorite fruity player, but at $10 or $20 a pop, wasn't really feeling it. If there was something particularly attractive I'd've gone ahead and made a purchase but I wasn't wowed or otherwise truly tempted.

But I did walk out with two free packs.

The first is 1990 Bowman. The #SizeMatters second year of their rebirth.Compete with a stick petrified-fossilized bubble gum. In fact, when I dropped it on the dining room table to take a picture and it broke, I was rather surprised the table didn't break instead.

Not truly awful cards, here, actually. The landscape Don Mattingly in mid-throw is really beautiful. Scored early cards for Robin Ventura and Tino Martinez; a relaxed looking Barry Larkin, and a lovely Fred McGriff. The gum stain on Omar Vizquel is gross. And sudddenly I regret swallowing all those sticks of gum that I did when I was a kid. Were you told, too, that it took your stomach like seven years to digest gum? It was such a serious health question that even the BBC covered it.

The second pack was 1991 Donruss which is colorful and spazzy featuring a kaleidoscope of colors.

This is practically an ex-Mets pack featuring back-to-back-to back cards of Wally Backman, Rich Aguilera, and Roger McDowell and then later Jesse Orosco. The Stargell puzzle piece wasn't very sexy; but that Ken Griffey Jr. all-star card sure is nice. Fernando "Four Eyes" Venenzuela and Dennis Martinez were also nifty. Rated Rookie Derek Bell is in here too. Not bad for random old school cards.

If anyone sees a card in here that they want please do give me a shout out in the comments or via the email listed at the top of the side bar. Also, in the next couple of weeks I'll be starting a new series of "junk wax" cards that are largely up for grabs. These were in a binder that I found in my closet at my parents house. So, maybe something to look forward to? Word up, yo.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Darryl Strawberry: 1998 Bowman International

This post has been sitting in draft limbo for a very, very long time...

Went to my local card shop in late November to buy a box to mail a bunch of cards out to Bo over at Baseball Cards Come to Life! Bo was kind enough to take nearly 200 cards off me! Mostly Topps 2016 base cards, but also some of the cards from the many posts that I did on the shoebox theme. Thanks again Bo! In buying the box, I got to talking to the guy working there and we went through some of his team boxes looking for Darryl Strawberry. Nothing in the Mets, Yankees, or Dodgers boxes. In the process, he pulled some other boxes from somewhere else and found this goody below.

I had already two copies of the 1998 Bowman base card, but this one with the map of Los Angeles as the background was foreign to me. So I snatched it for .50¢! This the the "Bowman International" parallel and Strawberry is superimposed over the San Andreas Fault.

On this card I really like the signature, though it looks very different to other Strawberry signatures I've seen. Probably this was done carefully with legibility in mind over the speedy signature you might find at an in-person experienced. It's also totally a left-handers signature, too. On the back of the card you see a very happy, smiling Darryl which I think is wonderful. Given the troubles he had experienced and fought through and may still have been going through, this is a good look in this posed photograph. And Bowman's breakdown of performance versus teams is still among my favorites. 1997 wasn't a terrifically prolific year for DS as he was marred by injuries, appearing in just 11 games (five games to start the year and then six games in August). 1997 was the only year in his career where he did not hit a home run, but with so few games under his belt that year it isn't too surprising.

Adding to the win that this card was, images were not previously uploaded to Trading Card DB so I was able to plop them in. Yeah!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Darryl Strawberry, Post Man

This is Baseball Every Night's 100th Post. In honor, I'll just highlight one card.

Just a one card post. I'll do it for... posterity because I'm a blog poster... I was impatient waiting for the... postman to deliver it; almost went... postal. But then all of a sudden it was in my... postbox! I guess that makes this a ... postcard. Har har har. Well, I was going to publish this on the blog earlier but it got...postponed because I was too busy trying to be clever in a... postmodern way. Actually, it was the baseball postseason that did it as I was sidetracked watching all the good games and celebrating the end of David Ortiz's career, though the Red Sox are so obnoxious they'll cart the old boy out too frequently next year for unnecessary, inane "celebrations"... Whoa, digression. Clearly I need to talk to someone about this -- this isn't posturing, either. And then something else happened, and then something else and suddenly it's winter and 2017...

Anyone clued into what this is all about? Anyone still here? Hello?



Post! This is Darryl Strawberry's 1991 Post Baseball Card #7. Got it on ebay for a penny. He shoots, he scores. Oh, mixing my sports metaphors here.

Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. - stands for postscript.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

1985 Drake's Big Hitters Darryl Strawberry

Wrote this in October then got distracted with the Great Shoebox project...

To complement a recent COMC order, which I blogged about here, I bid on and won this 1985 Drake's Big Hitters Darryl Strawberry baseball card. It looks like he's playing at home against the San Francisco Giants, judging by the cap of the player/coach in the dugout, and it also looks like he make have connected for a long ball based on the follow-through of his swing and possibly from reading his eyes? But, this isn't right, likely.

According to the Baseball Almanac, the Mets played the San Francisco Giants at Shea Stadium six times in 1984. Strawberry down right stunk in those six games:

5/22 - 0-4
5/23 - Rained out
5/24 - 0-3
8/24 - 0-3, 1 Run (Game one)
8/24 - 0-3 (Game two)
8/25 - 0-2, 1 RBI
8/26 - 0-5, 1 Run

That's a combined 0 for 20 with 1 RBI and 2 runs scored. Yee-ouch.

But, he got a nice looking card out of his oh-for.

For comparison sake, I looked at the games Strawberry played at Candlestick Park in 1984.

5/15 - 3-5, Double, 3 Runs, 2 RBI
5/16 - 1-3, Double
8/17 - 0-5
8/18 - 2-5, Double, 2 RBI
8/19 - 1-4, Double, 1 run (Game One)
8/19 - 0-3 (Game Two)

That's 7-25. Perfectly respectable and much better than 0-20. A player playing both games of a double header seems like a nostalgic reverie. I'm sure guys do it today but it seems like a it's a by-gone era.

It's one thing to re-collect and admire the regular release cards such as those from Donruss, Fleer and Topps for Darryl Strawberry from his first years in the majors. But, it's something altogether cool to see cards that I was ignorant of when I first got interested in baseball cards back in the early 1980s. I was a Hostess guy myself, preferring Hostess Cupcakes and Twinkies over Ring Dings, Yodels and Zoinks. Even preferred Little Debbie's (those Zebra Cakes...I can't stomach the though these days of eating that kind of stuff but as a kid the sky was the limit).  But now, dammit, I kind of want a Zebra Cake!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Secret Santa Spoils

Bob Walk the Plank's Matt did an awesome Secret Santa and I was the recipient of some truly, truly, truly awesome Darryl Strawberry and John Kruk cards from Mark of The Chronicles of Fuji. I've read and admired many of the posts of Mark's blog since I got back into the baseball card hobby in 2016, but never had the pleasure of completing a trade or anything. It's truly nice to have made your acquaintance.

Mark sent me 4 Strawberry cards and 10 Kruk-y cards. All are quite awesome and very welcome additions.

First up is a look at the John Kruk cards. Baseball cards spanning twenty-five years from 1988 to 2013.

1988 Topps Wax Box, Card #G

The lone representation of Kruk in a Padres uniform. The Wax Box is a good, cool card. So young looking and clean. A case of beauty and the beast, for sure. I go back and forth between considering the exemplary card for Kruk being Padres player and being a Phillies. Which uniform to you most associate him in? He played only 3 1/5's seasons with San Diego and appeared to be more productive in his five full seasons over six years with Philadelphia.

The rest of the cards are from his playing days with the Phillies with one bonus Panini disc card which is like a throwback to 7/11 coins and Sportflics. Like they had a baby or something. In addition to the Panini, the Hostess and Sports Illustrated for Kids cards are awesome oddballs, and the Score Gold Stars was nice, too. Hell, they are all really nice.

1993 Hostess, Card #4
1993 Sports Illustrated for Kids, Card #196

1994 Donruss Diamond Kings, Card #DK-9
1994 Score Gold Stars, Card #7
1994 Stadium Club Dugout Dirt, Card #3
1994 Ultra Phillies Finest, Card #10
1994 Ultra Phillies Finest, Card #17

The Dugout Dirt card/cartoon is most unflattering. The Phillies Finest cards are part of a 24 card set featuring Kruk on 12 and catcher Darren Daulton on the other half. Will definitely be looking to secure the other 10 Kruk cards in the near future. The front of this card, too, kind of hints at the nauseating busyness that Fleer was heading towards when they did their nasty 1995 set.

1995 Stadium Club Virtual Reality, Card #171
2013 Panini Hometown Heroes Sport Discs, Card #51

"Virtual Reality"! I guess that was Topps Stadium Club's attempt to appear hip and with it on the cusp of the boom of the internet age. On the card back, Kruk is clearly airing out his armpits (or performing the Bangles' "Walk Like an Egyptian" which was the number one song 30 years ago this week in 1987; am I alone in strongly disliking "Notorius" by the otherwise awesome Duran Duran?); and his triple-head reminds me of Cerberus.

And now (now...ow...) the moment (moment...oment...) you've all (all...all...) been waiting for (for...for...)... Darryl Strawberry!  The echo thing doesn't really work, does it?

Mark went above and beyond here with the Strawberry cards that he sent to me. There were two relic cards of a bat and a jersey (which is also serial numbered). I am enamored of this kind of thing so having two new pieces of memorabilia is a wonderful thing.

2003 Fleer Fall Classics Legendary Collection Memorabilia, Card #LC/DS2 (Bat relic)
2005 Donruss Classics Stars of Summer Material, Card #BOS-5 (SN81/250, Jersey relic)
2013 Panini Hometown Heroes, Card #155
2013 Topps Manufactured Rookie Card Patch, Card #RCP-17

The Manufactured Rookie Card patch is also quite attractive. In the first place because it represents Straw's rookie base set card and second because while I'm sure it was "easy" for Topps to make these, it also seems, contradictory, a difficult thing to have done. Taking it out of the plastic enclosures, I made sure to have clean hands before touching it and holding it up to the light to see the wove fibers of the materials. It looks like of like a denim-esque weave.

Trillions of thanks to Mark for the cards and also to Matt for organizing the Secret Santa. Based on all the other Secret Santa posts I've read, it seems like all givers and recipients did very well. This baseball card trading community, which is bigger than I realize & have time for, is filled with really cool people. I'm grateful to be a part of it in my own small way.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year, Baseball Card Style

A lot of baseball card bloggers are saying Happy New Year. I am too: Happy New Year. I guess the only difference is is that I really mean it. 2016 saw me kind of re-enter baseball card collecting after what, 25 year off or so. I don't really know where my Darryl Strawberry card collection was to begin with, but now I'm somewhere north of 400 unique cards, which seems unreal. Trading Card Database has that I have 583 cards, so somewhere my counting is off even though I'm fairly certain things are matched-up. I have a lot of dupes. I decided fairly late in the year to start collecting John Kruk, too. I think in terms of percentage increase this card collection grew more rapidly going from one or two cards, to more than 40.

I have a bunch of posts in the works, but wanted to write this today to wish you all a Happy New Year, Happy Collecting, and to thank you all for being so welcoming in my re-entry endeavors to the hobby. You are all a great bunch of people and I'm really really happy to have "met" so many through your blogs and trades.

Looking back at all the cards I got leaves me feeling rather happy. I think my best purchase was the card I most wanted as a kid: the 1983 Topps Traded Darryl Strawberry 108T.

It's a graded card which is neat. Though I didn't card much about it being a 7: I just wanted the darn thing. I do need/want an ungraded one for a 1983 Topps Traded set I got as a gift that was missing it.

I received far too many cards in trades and then most recently as a Secret Santa gift (blog post forthcoming). I'd single one or two out as being my "favorites" but wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings or appear ungrateful. I can safely say though that I live in constant fear of 1995 Fleer. 1995 Donruss and Fleer Ultra were fine (-ish). Probably some of the others are fine, too. But the other cards for that year that I've seen are all rather frightening. The Base Fleer and Topps Stadium Club Ring Leaders take the cake and I'm astounded that there haven't been set-induced epileptic fits and lawsuits.

In addition to baseball cards, I started trying more and more and more beers. Typically IPA's as I find they offer the most robust flavors. They tend to be "citrus-y" which is weird for me because citrus isn't my normal go-to fruit. These are, or were, the current batch in my 'fridge.

At the moment, I'm just finished up the Baxter Stowaway which I wasn't looking forward to but actually found to be quite nice. I like a stronger beer; one that leaves me a little foggy-headed and as though I'm floating just a few feet above the ground.

In March 2016, I spent a few days in Florida and attended three Spring Training games (one in Port St. Lucie and two games in Jupiter). This was my first Spring Training excursion and I'm really happy to say I'm going back for two games and a long weekend to see games at the new Nationals park in West Palm Beach and also to see a game in Jupiter.  I also had collated a 2016 Topps Base Set -- if you have any needs from the base set, or inserts, please let me know. I don't think I'll be doing this again: if I want the set I'll buy it when the whole thing is released.

Another highlight took place in September when I went to a card show and got to meet and get Doc Gooden's autograph. It was a momentous day, in a good and bad way, as that was where I was when I found out that Jose Fernandez had died. I'm planning to hit another show on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. If another active player dies that day I will attend no other shows ever again. You know that feeling when you grab stack after stack of cards and go through them... how your thumb starts to hurt? It's a good feeling.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 30, 2016

COMC Black Friday Buy

I took advantage of the free shipping option that COMC put out for Black Friday and got these cards. You needed to buy at least twenty cards to quality and I stopped myself at twenty-three Darryl Strawberry baseball cards for my collection. I love free shipping! And I'm sure tons of other collectors and gift givers were also taking advantage of the deal.

As you'll see below, if you make it down to the bottom, I concentrated on 1990 and before cards. First up, 1986.

1986 Fleer Star Stickers, Card #116
1986 O-Pee-Chee Album Stickers, Card #95
1986 Topps Stickers, Card #95
1986 Topps - Glossy Send-Ins, Card #11

My 1986 Strawberry's are slowly building towards completion which is thrilling. Especially as these were cards I would have had something like access to when I was a lad. Though some of these seem hard to get so I'll certainly be happy to get what I can. I remember collecting those stickers and pasting them into books. Do you? Would love to know if anyone has these empty or filled in and if scans are available. I just Googled this: man did it bring back some pre-pubescent memories.

Now we come to 1987.

1987 Burger King All-Pro Complete Panel, Card #19-20 (with Fernando Valenzuela)
1987 Donruss Highlights, Card #42
1987 Donruss Highlights, Card #49
1987 Donruss Opening Day Box Set, Card #128
1987 Fleer World Series, Card #11 (with Ray Knight)
1987 Kraft Home Plate Heroes Food Issue, Card #26
1987 MSA Jiffy Pop Collector's Edition Discs Food Issue, Card #17
1987 Our Own Tea Discs With Tabs, Card #1
1987 Topps Coins, Card #46
1987 Topps Stickers Hardback Test Issue, Card #159

The 1987 cards in my collection, as well, are coming together. My favorites of these are the Donruss cards for some reason. Particularly that Opening Day card. Dig that maroon border. The Fleer World Series card with Ray Knight is also awesome.

Are you ready to move on to 1988?

1988 Donruss Baseball's Best Box Set, Card #182
1988 Fleer Headliners, Card #4
1988 Fleer Kay Bee Toys Team Leaders Box Sets, Card #40
1988 Grenada Major League Baseball in Stamps U.S. Series 1, Card #NNO
1988 Kahn's New York Mets, Card #27
1988 MSA Fantastic Sam's Baseball Superstars Disc, Card #17
1988 Our Own Tea Discs With Tabs, Card #DAST
1988 Tea Super Stars Discs, Card #17 (This might be the same as the above)

1988: Strawberry's monster year. Home slice finished second in the MVP and lead the league in Home Runs, Slugging, OPS, and OPS+. I don't remember much about Kirk Gibson's year aside from his World Series heroics, but looking at their stats side-by-side, I feel like Straw was hosed. How cool, though, is the Grenada stamp?  It's all about awesome. I was a fan then, and am a massive fan now, of the Fleer Headliners cards. They are really neat and I feel the design holds up really well now, nearly 30 years later.

1989: the red-headed step child left out....But, there was one card from 1990!

1990 Collect-A-Books, Card #20

This little 1990 booklet is quite cool, too. I didn't realize it was an actual booklet when I bought it but I'm sure glad I did.

I kind of went a little disc crazy with this order, even going so far as ordering two of the same 1988 Our Own Tea discs. But, here's my conundrum and I'd appreciate your opinion on this. One of the Our Own Tea's is unopened, and the same situation exists for the 1987 Our Own. To bastardize my good Danish homeboy, Hamlet:

To open, or not to open, that is the question:
Whether 'tis Wiser to let be be
And not open the bloody Tea discs,
Or to take Tweezers against it,
And by careful prying open them:...

Please read the original. I did a little nudge to the 1988 and saw Dwight Gooden represented but I have no idea the extent of the insides. I'd really appreciate your thoughts!

Thanks for stopping by!