Tuesday, January 31, 2017

1982 Topps Set

Taking a break tonight from my normal subject. This might be because of my cold, or just because Topps is set (pun!) to release Series 1 of their 2017 base imminently. Speaking of colds: does anyone take those little blissful green zeppelin shaped NyQuil pills? I've been taking them at night and don't come out from under the dopey grogginess until mid-afternoon. Even have had some weird dreams, like one where JFK and I were bicycling up telephone poles. When I told my wife she said, "Oh, that might be why you were breathing really heavy at one point in the night." It was hard work.

I have a growing personal collection of Darryl Strawberry cards and a small, very glacier like one as far as growth is concerned, for John Kruk. This must mirror his speed on the base paths.... But I also like sets. In the last year, I received a number of sets as gifts for Christmas and a birthday. All Topps: 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, and 1989, and Topps Traded for those years as well. Actually some of those I may have bought myself; or in the case of 1987 Topps I made two sets from the purchase of a few boxes. But I loved getting them, reading the cards, and rehousing them in new boxes, looking at all of the cards, etc: remembering the player and card designs of my youth. But also being kind of astounded at how many names and faces I no longer recognized but which whom I must have once been familiar.

I recently got from eBay a complete 1982 set: Ripken rookie and all. The set claimed to be "complete" and, to my happiness, it really was. Most of the other sets listed above also claimed to be complete but were missing minor, random commons. No biggie. But for sets with big rookies in them, like 1982, there's always a bit of wonder. For example last July my estimable twin brother got me a 1983 Topps Traded set for our birthday. But it was missing the Strawberry card. This was an oversight as the missing card was listed as missing in the auction but that detail was missed. Those Strawberry's can be had for a song compared to Ripken.

In reviewing the set and counting the cards I was occasionally stopped in my tracks by interesting cards, random observations, and the like. This is a post about some of those card.

Foolish would it be not to start with the said Ripken card. The value of this card is greater than what I paid for the set, which is always funny. You'd like that would be the base price to begin with!

I was particularly pleased that when I opened the box the Ripken card was on top, just as it is in this photograph, doubly protected with a penny sleeve and a hard plastic case. The guy I bought it from included a complete checklist which was really useful in verifying that the set was complete.

Here are some classic 1982 baseball players. A shout out to to Righetti who was among the toughest pitchers in the Majors at this time, as well as to Yount, Candelaria, and Cey.

More goodies: Tim "Hall of Fame" Raines, the other Mike Tyson, Jeff "later Jeffrey" Leonard, and Tommy John. In looking at John's card, the gravity and importance of that "On Disabled List" struck me more poignantly than ever before because of the epidemic "Tommy John" surgery has become in the last decade.

There's a close-up for you. This is a great set to have. It's bowed from age but I'm going to try to straighten out the cards by completely filling in the rest of the space in this box and "pressing" them. Does anyone know of any home-remedies for this kind of thing?

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Pinnacle Pinnacle, I wanna get Pinnacle...

Anybody else down with a nasty cold? Well, I am but that's no excuse for what is to follow. With apologies to Olivia Newton-John.

Bo of the blog Baseball Cards Come to Life!
Wrote me with a trading offer
A double of a card that he doesn't want.
Well he knows what I need!
I took him up rather instantly
And then the wait began.
There's nothing left to talk about...
Unless it's Darryl Strawberry.

Let's get Pinnacle, Pinnacle.
I want to get Pinnacle.
Let's get into Pinnacle.
Let me have your baseball cards, your baseball cards.
Let me have your baseball cards.

I've been patient, I've been good,
Waiting for the mail to arrive.
On Tuesday it was given me
In a p double-u e!
I open up the envelope and hold it:
In the hard plastic case
Was a New York Yankee card of
Darryl Strawberry!

Let's get Pinnacle, Pinnacle
I want to get Pinnacle
Let's get into Pinnacle
Let me have your baseball cards, your baseball cards
Let me have your baseball cards

Let's get Pinnacle, Pinnacle
I want to get Pinnacle
Let's get into Pinnacle
Let me have your baseball cards, your baseball cards
Let me have your baseball cards

Let's get Pinnacle, Pinnacle
I want to get Pinnacle
Let's get into Pinnacle
Let me have your baseball cards, your baseball cards
Let me have your baseball cards

Let's get Strawberry, Strawberry
I want to get Strawberry
Let's get into Strawberry
Let me have your Darryl cards
Let me have your Darryl cards

Sing along if you want to!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Darryl Strawberry - 2016 Panini Pantheon - The Great Entertainers

Meant to post this at the weekend but was up to my eyeballs in editing a forthcoming book. I'm sorry for the inconvenience this must have caused all 1.75 of my readers!

Well, this card is something special. It continues to relic/fetish desire to own pieces of Darryl Strawberry's major league career. It is much better than the previous bat relic card I highlight on this blog because there are three bat chips AND an authentic Darryl Strawberry autograph.

An on the card autograph would have been better than this on sticker job which looks quite cheap. I don't think growing up I ever had anything with is autograph. And it's certainly changed and shortened up from the 1980s to today. If you Google image search you can see the developing conciseness of his signature from then to now which is kind of cool.

I'm like sooooooo glad there are no logo on Strawberry's image. That totally would have ruined the card.

I have a signed Dwight Gooden baseball from the mid-to-late 1980s, and my brother and I also had a Pete Rose signed ball. And I think a Red Schoendienst baseball, too. My brother was a BIG Don Mattingly fan (hey, we all have faults) and I'm confident at one point he had a signed Mattingly something: ball, color photograph, etc.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Darryl Strawberry - 2016 Panini Prime Cuts Biography

Relic cards. They are kind of something in which a person could become obsessed with. I know I was intrigued by them. And then pulling a Ken Griffey Jr. relic from the Tribute to the Kid inserts in 2016 Series 2 kind of proved that it was a neat thing. Naturally I went in search of some Darryl Strawberry's. I got two uniform relic cards (2005 and 2012) earlier in the summer or fall, and so the natural desire after this was a bat relic. This was one of two that I won on ebay recently from this year's Panini Prime Cuts Biography set. This is serial numbered 24 out of 49; as opposed to another set of relics in this same series that SN'd to 99. This has the logo in blue font while the 99 series is gold. I don't yet know what the difference is but will look into it. Maybe.

I like this set as it highlight Strawberry's monster 1988 year. But the lack of the Mets logo or his number is bothersome though I understand it's a licensing thing. I still hope, though, that this bat chip is from an actual Darryl Strawberry game-used bat like it claims to be.

In addition to this card, I'd like to highlight the twelve beers that I've recently purchased and will be working my way through over the next few weeks.They are all IPA's, which I find to be among the tastier of beers.

The beers in bottles are Boulevard's The Calling IPA, Coronado Brewing's Idiot IPA, Entitled Beer Company's IPA, Brewmaster Jack's Ambrewsia IPA, Brewmaster Jack's Good Sense Double IPA, and Anderson Valley Hop Ottin' IPA.

The beers in the cans are Mighty Squirrel IPA, Berkshire Brewing Company's Lost Sailor IPA, 21st Amendment Brewery's Brew Free or Die IPA, Revolution Brewing's Anti-Hero IPA, Evil Twin Brewing's Modern IPA, and Banded Horn Brewing's Veridian IPA. Last weekend I had Evil Twin Brewing's Modern IPA which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Thanks for stopping by!

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!