Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Topps Tigers

A couple of weeks ago a good friend of mine @grandcards, of the retired blog of the same name, announced he was dismantling his substantial Tigers collection. He offered me first chance at his Silks and I gladly accepted. It's not very often that I acquire eight Silk cards at a time, so I feel the need to show them off.

2009:


Raise your hand if you remembered that Gary Sheffield was a Detroit Tiger. I do not have my hand raised. I'm more of a National League guy, and my attention was certainly focused on the Cubs in 2008 as they managed to make the playoffs for a second year in a row.

I'm going to get a wantlist for 2009 Silk up sometime soon, but it's daunting considering that 2009 consists of 300 cards instead of 200 cards like in 2008. There are so many commons that it makes my head spin and I only have roughly 10% of the set at this point. I guess you have to start somewhere.

2011:



In 2010, in what I assume was an attempt to help collectors catalog a set without numbers, Topps added the series to each Silk card. I'm not a fan of that 2010 set because of the graphics on the borders, but I think the 2011 set looks crisp and the added information is welcome.

Of this bunch I'm most familiar with Victor Martinez and Magglio Ordonez. Once again, it's weird seeing Brad Penny in a Tigers uniform. He's entrench as a Dodger in my mind, but he continues to bounce around from team to team trying to extend his career. After only pitching eight games for the Marlins last year you get the feeling he'll be on a short leash in spring training as he tries to catch on with the suddenly relevant White Sox.

Thanks again to Dan. I'm going to do my best to get up a 2009 Topps Silk wantlist later this week. I'm sure there aren't a lot of them in the blogosphere but the physical act of putting together a wantlist makes the set pursuit real.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Look at Innings Played

There's a quote in Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous that I really enjoy. Philip Seymour Hoffman offers advice to Patrick Fugit:


It's a great commentary on life, but I think it can also be easily applied to collecting.

Greg Layton: The only true currency in this bankrupt world of meaningless inserts is on-card autographs.

For example:


This is an on-card autograph of the hero of the 2014 American League Wildcard Game that I obtained from twitter pal @Eric_Clarkson. His 12th-inning single makes him almost completely responsible for Ned Yost and Dayton Moore's continued employment. Here's a video of that, just in case you still can't believe it's true.

I'm certain Ned will pay him back in 2015 by having him catch an absurd amount of innings for a second straight year. Assuming all games are nine innings long, Perez's 1248 innings means he was the backstop for nearly 86% of the season.

Thanks to Fangraphs I can easily see where Perez's 2014 season ranks. This is a chart showing innings caught over the last 25 years.


If Jason Kendall is reading this he's probably reading it with his iPad Mini while sitting in a bathtub full of ice.

It will be interesting to see if Perez (and Yost) manage multiple appearances on this list or if his career has more of a Darren Daulton curve to it: knee injury, knee injury, back to back 1200 inning seasons, more knee injuries.

Another drastic example of catcher overuse is Todd Hundley's dad, former Cub Randy Hundley. This next graph isn't for the faint of heart. 


It would be disingenuous of me to suggest that 1966-1969 was responsible for Hundley missing most of 1970 and 1971, a sprained knee suffered during a home plate collision is the official cause, but it's not too much of a stretch to think that Hundley might have bounced back from injury a little easier if his knees weren't already exhausted.

And finally, here's a graph of third baseman Ron Santo. 


I'm sure most of you are aware that he kept his struggle with diabetes secret during the majority of his playing career, not revealing it until 1971. Now, take that previous graph and match it up with this one:


Ron Santo, from 1963 to 1969, averaged 160 games of Gold Glove defense and contributed over 6 fWAR to each squad... and those in charge of entry into the Hall of Fame didn't see it fit to let him in to their club until after he finally succumbed to a disease for whose research he raised $65 million dollars for during his life. It's enough to make you want to write a compound sentence. His wife Vicki carries on his legacy to this day, helping to raise money for diabetic alert dogs

That leads me to another on-card autograph in my collection.


The shiny autograph is nice, but I think Ron would have appreciated this card more. It's a horribly miscut castoff from a card game that Topps released in 1968. I rescued it from an uncertain home in the quarter box at the local card shop this week. It's fatally flawed, but it somehow managed to find the one guy in northeast Kansas that will treasure it for the rest of his life.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Golden Cubs

I'm not sure what the blog shelf life for Series 1 posts are, but I'm hoping this one will be alright because I'm showing off gold cards. This is my Cubs team, fresh from @brettandbecca's 75+ case break.


I said in my previous post that I'd like to put together the entire gold set. That's probably not possible on my budget, but I'm definitely going to pick them up when I see them. The gold fingerprint looks cool, and the triangles are really sharp. It's small stuff, I know, but when you've seen plain white/gold borders for so long anything that's different is going to be instantly appealing. I think that the nearly unanimous approval of this set is evidence of how much people want to like flagship. Now if they could just pull back a little bit on the mind-numbing inserts... maybe next year.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

2015 Topps for trade

My local Targets were on the ball so I managed to get ahold of some 2015 Topps Series 1.

Long story short, I love the set. The borders are great, the subsets work well, and not all of the insert sets are completely terrible. With that being said, sanity has prevailed and I've decided to not collect the set.

Everything I've bought is for trade, except the Martin Prado SP I have up on eBay right now and the gold parallels.

As I don't have my wantlists up quite yet, I'm looking to trade for:

2015 Topps gold cards (the #/2015 parallels)
- Putting together the gold set a card or two at a time seems crazy, but maybe I can make it work.
2014 Stadium Club, base, parallels, autographs
- Ever since finding out that the autographs are on-card I've been drawn to this set.
90s parallels
- 1994-98 Pinnacle Museum & Artist Proofs, 1994 Topps, 1994 UD Electric Diamond, 1997-98 Ultra Gold/Platinum Medallions.... etc. If it's 90s and shiny I'm probably interested.
1975 Topps
- See my wantlist.
1974 Topps
- Because I'll need something to work on when 1975 is done.
Topps Silk Collection cards #/50 from 2008 through 2014
- I've been obsessed with these for years now.
Other things?
- Interesting Cubs cards will be considered.

-----




2015 Topps base:

1, 1, 2, 5, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 19, 20 21, 24, 24, 25, 25, 26, 26, 26, 28, 28, 28, 29, 30, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 37, 38, 39 40, 40, 41, 44, 45, 48, 50, 51, 51, 52, 53, 55, 55, 56, 57, 59, 62, 62, 63, 64, 64, 65, 66, 66, 67, 67, 69, 70, 71, 72, 72, 72, 73, 73, 73, 74, 74, 76, 76, 77, 78, 78, 79, 79, 80, 80, 81, 83, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 89, 90, 91, 91, 93, 94, 95, 97, 97, 98, 99, 99, 99, 100, 101, 102, 104, 104, 104, 105, 105, 106, 106, 109, 110, 110, 112, 114, 114, 115, 115, 119, 119, 120, 120, 121, 121, 122, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 127, 130, 131, 131, 133, 134, 135, 135, 135, 136, 138, 138, 139, 139, 140, 141, 141, 142, 143, 144, 144, 144, 145, 146, 146, 147, 147, 148, 149, 150, 150, 152, 153, 154, 154, 155, 156, 157, 159, 160, 162, 162, 163, 163, 164, 165, 166, 168, 168, 169, 170, 170, 170, 171, 171, 172, 173, 175, 175, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 182, 183, 186, 186, 187, 187, 187, 188, 188, 189, 190, 191, 191, 191, 192, 192, 194, 195, 196, 196, 197, 199, 199, 199, 203, 203, 204, 208, 208, 209, 210, 210, 211, 212, 214, 215, 216, 216, 217, 218, 218, 218, 219, 219, 220, 221, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 227, 229, 229, 231, 232, 233, 234, 234, 235, 236, 238, 239, 240, 240, 240, 241, 242, 243, 243, 245, 246, 246, 247, 247, 248, 248, 249, 250, 251, 253, 255, 256, 257, 257, 258, 258, 260, 260, 261, 261, 262, 262, 262, 263, 265, 266, 266, 267, 267, 268, 269, 270, 272, 272, 274, 274, 275, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280, 282, 282, 283, 284, 285, 287, 288, 289, 290, 291, 291, 292, 292, 293, 294, 295, 295, 296, 296, 298, 298, 299, 300, 301, 302, 303, 306, 307, 309, 309, 310, 310, 311, 313, 313, 315, 315, 318, 318, 320, 321, 322, 323, 323, 324, 325, 326, 326, 327, 330, 330, 330, 331, 332, 332, 333, 334, 335, 335, 335, 336, 336, 337, 339, 339, 339, 341, 344, 346, 346, 347, 347, 349, 350, 351

Saturday, January 31, 2015

An Out of the Blue Ernie

In the past week lamented that I didn't own a Ernie Banks card. While going through some cards tonight attempting to get organized I found out that I was mistaken.



That a 1958 Topps All-Star. It appears that someone had this card taped to the wall. Other than that it's in great shape. I love the colors on this specific subset; the blue background is about as flashy as 1950s Topps ever got.

Ernie holds a special place in my heart. Not only was he Mr. Cub, but he always spent the first four years of his career here in Kansas City with the Monarchs.

I'm certainly glad that I had that I picked this up, even if I didn't remember that I had it.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

1974 Topps Need List

One of the goals I made when I rejoined the hobby in 2008 was to put together Topps sets starting in the year of my birth, 1983, and work my way back to 1952. As of January 2015 I've completed 1983 through 1976 and am halfway done with 1975.

Here's the first completed page:


1975 is complete.

I've moved on to 1974. My needs are as follows:

1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 14, 20, 27, 36, 38, 47, 51, 56, 58, 61, 69, 70, 91, 100, 116, 122, 126, 127, 131, 137, 142, 144, 151, 152, 165, 168, 173, 181, 182, 184, 192, 198, 206, 211, 217, 232, 245, 251, 258, 263, 270, 277, 283, 293, 300, 334, 341, 347, 350, 356, 370, 383, 397, 399, 406, 410, 414, 435, 440, 450, 456, 459, 485, 487, 504, 517, 522, 529, 530, 566, 567, 569, 575, 578, 599, 605, 610, 636, 637, 652, 657


Updated 1/6/2016