Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sports Card Tour 2018 - Cleveland

Welcome to the second half of Ohio the tour bus pulls into Cleveland.

Cleveland has three pro sports teams - the Indians, the Browns, and the Cavaliers.

The Indians were one run away from winning the World Series in 1997 and 2016. The Browns are one of only four NFL franchises never to have played in a Super Bowl.

In 2016 the Cavaliers defeated Golden State in the NBA Finals, bringing the first championship to "Believeland" since Jim Brown carried the Browns to the 1964 NFL title.

The Cavs and Warriors have faced off in each of the last three Finals, and both teams are powerful but vulnerable this season.

Billy Kingsley's cousin Kevin Love has recently gone public about his battle with anxiety. Head coach Tyronn Lue just took a leave of absence from the team, and the whole city is on edge over the pending free agency of the biggest star in the game, Akron's own LeBron James.

This is something you might not see again on the Sports Card Tour: my best card representing a city (with more than one team) is a basketball card. I bought this on eBay after LeBron won his second championship in Miami; it was the only Cavs card of King James in my collection - until Billy hooked me up with some of these:

The Franchise insert was actually pulled from a basketball repack I bought at Target, at the beginning of my basketball card collecting renaissance. I think I got the Topps '58 insert on COMC. 

During the 2015 NBA Finals, Matthew Dellavedova cards were red-hot on COMC (and other places, I'm assuming?) I loved the way Delly played 'D' so I waited for his cards to cool off a bit and then plucked a few off the site. The Hot Signatures auto was $2.65. 

I had a Cleveland Browns autographed card in my collection - but it was recently sent to Angus in exchange for the Brett Favre Prilosec set and a sparkly Dustin Pedroia. This Cameron Erving card should be arriving in Canada soon.

It's actually sort of amazing that I had a Browns card that a Browns super collector didn't have. I really don't have any other Browns cards worth mentioning.

The QB class of '99 rears its ugly head again. Tim Couch couldn't even crack the Packers roster as a backup to Brett Favre. If I ever collect another football card set it will be 1986 Topps; that set is highly underrated IMO.

I actually had a bit of a Bernie Kosar collection for a while..only base cards though.

When I was a kid I had a Kosar Starting Lineup figure; I must have taken it into the bath tub or something because part of the paint chipped off and before long I had a "Kosap" figure. 

I'll be honest...this is probably my best Browns card:

This guy owes us money. I've added him to my Debtor Hall of Shame.

My Indians cards are much more interesting.

This Al Rosen was the first '56 Topps card I upgraded. Bob Lemon isn't the only Hall of Fame pitcher named Bob in my Tribe...

This Feller auto/relic was part of my first official COMC order. It's a stickergraph and a pants swatch, and this set had a lot of low numbered relic variations - which might explain why this was only $40.27 (that and Feller lived to be 92 so he signed a lot of cards.)

More modern Fellers. "Bullet Bob" is a perfect subject for Archives. Grady Sizemore was another player I used to collect. Still have a bunch of his base cards in my binders.

Some more vintage COMC finds. I had no problem paying $3.65 for the Bobby Avila. At $2.85 I was on the fence about Brodowksi but eventually pulled the trigger. I'm glad I did; the print spots nearly scared me away but they're minuscule in-hand.

Remnants of my prospect pool. Frazier and Sheffield were traded to the Yankees in the Andrew Miller deal. Boooo!

Jim Thome is part of this year's super-sized class of Hall Of Fame inductees. Yesterday it was announced that his plaque will not have the Chief Wahoo logo, per Thome's request. If I were still doing "Final Thoughts" essays I'd address the logo controversy. Maybe. It's a goofy ass logo in need of an update but I can't say I'm offended by it. I'm a proud progressive but I'm not a Native American; let them decide what the new logo should look like.

Indians card I'd like to own: I want a Terry Francona manager card, but I need the Francisco Lindor SP for my 2017 Topps Heritage set build (photo variation preferred.)

Browns card I'd like to own: A Joe Thomas card. I stopped collecting football cards before his HOF-worthy career began, but I really should pick up a card or two of the trail-blazing Brown.

Cavaliers card I'd like to own:This swirly, whirly Kyrie Irving rookie:

Favorite Indians player: Does Edwin Encarnacion's imaginary parrot Edwing count?

Favorite Browns player: Don't have one. Let's see who they draft with their #1 overall pick.

Favorite Cavaliers player: Love or LeBron

Next tour stop: Dallas

p.s. The winner of the Cincinnati contest is...Collecting Cutch. Tony Perez is the Reds legend missing from my collection. Congrats, Brian! I'll try to find something to send your way soon. 

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Sports Card Tour 2018 - Cincinnati

O-hi..there! The Collector's Sports Card Tour 2018 has arrived in the Buckeye state. Today's stop is the queen city of Cincinnati.

Cincinnati has two pro sports teams: the Reds and the Bengals. The Reds have won five World Series titles, the last coming in 1990.

The Bengals' last playoff win was also that season; they are 0-7 in the postseason under current head coach Marvin Lewis. Boomer Esiason was Cincy's signal caller in Super Bowl XXIII, when the Bengals were three minutes away from the title.

My father-in-law and I used to listen to Boomer and Carton in the mornings; I never liked Craig Carton (even before he got busted for running a ticket scam) but I liked Boomer enough to grab a few of his cards on COMC, including this Panini Playbook relic:

Limited Edition is actually correct in this case, these are #d to 49. I think I paid $3.25, though I can't recall if that was a sale price or not.

One of the last football boxes I got as a gift was a mini-box of 2003 Finest my mom bought me for Christmas. Somehow I pulled a Carson Palmer autographed RC..but I sold it shortly after, because the Beckett value was $150 at the time. That wasn't the only time I got lucky pulling a Palmer..

My LCS ran a "player of the day" promo and I won a free pack of cards when the pack I purchased yielded the SP Authentic Palmer at the top right. 

I don't have any Andy Dalton cards (except for one in my 2016 Panini Contenders set) but I do have Akili Smith insert!

Guys (and gal) I don't even want to tell you how much cash I sunk into that QB class of 1999. I spent well over $200 on Topps Chrome boxes alone. And I was 19 at the time.

Now that I have more wisdom (and less cash to blow) I focus on vintage.

At the height of the hysteria over Communism, the Reds changed their name to 'Redlegs.'

By 1959, they were back to being Reds. I didn't like the '59 set for the longest time, but it's grown on me over the past few years.

Like most of my vintage cards, the oldest Hall of Famer in my collection came courtesy of COMC. "Sunny" Jim Bottomley played 1st base for the Cardinals from 1922-32, but joined the Reds in '33 when this card was released:

When this card popped up I think it had a 'poor to fair' condition note - but I could not see any paper loss, pin holes, or other obvious flaws. For about $19 I took a gamble, and I'm glad I did. The 'Good 2' grade is due to creases that only show through on the back.

This is probably going to bother some bloggers, but I have very few cards from the 1970s. I started collecting in the '80s, and when I hunt for vintage gems I often focus on cards from the 1950s and select sets from the '60s. As a result, '70s sets often fall through the cracks.

Contest time! The first person to correctly identify which Reds legend is missing from my card collection wins a PWE prize (Hint: it's not Barry Larkin.)

Ken Griffey, Jr. sacrificed a lot to play for his dad's former team. It's a shame that Cincy didn't have enough talent around him to chase a championship. The 2003 Finest card on the right is a refractor. I had a Griffey Reds relic but it was immediately sent to Corky (Pack War) as payment for a custom card set he made.

I'm not sure if Canadian slugger Joey Votto is a drinker, but his surname reminds me of this scene from The Simpsons. The Bowman's Best orange refractor was an impulse buy on COMC. Just like the Boomer relic, the Votto set me back $3.25. 

Adam Sanders, author of the blog Cardboard Clubhouse recently wrote a post about the demise of Cincinnati Gardens, home to the NBA's Royals from 1957 to 1972. Both my Oscar Robertson cards picture him with Milwaukee, not Cincinnati, so I'm adding this card to my want list:

I wanted to mention pro hockey in Cincinnati, but I seem to have misplaced my Robbie Ftorek O-Pee-Chee card from the WHA's Cincinnati Stingers (and it doesn't picture him in the right uniform anyhow.) 

This Mark Messier custom card was borrowed from a Maple Leafs-centric blog; the author (I can't find his name anywhere) has a ton of great customs available for sale.

There is an NHL team in Ohio, but it's not in the 'nati. The NHL's Blue Jackets are up the road in Columbus - closer to Cincy than Cleveland. Since they're probably not interesting enough for their own post I'll squeeze them in here. 

The Blue Jackets have yet to win a playoff series in their 18 year-history, but they're currently leading the Devils and Panthers in the wild-card race. Two-time Vezina trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky is having yet another stellar season between the pipes.

Former #1 overall pick Rick Nash is still the franchise leader in almost every offensive category. I have a lot of trouble with Nash's base cards - he's no longer a star but I can't demote him to the commons binders until I make more room. (Once this tour ends I'll have a lot of reorganizing to do.)

The two Jackets autos in my collection have ties to my favorite teams: John Moore is now a Devils defenseman, and Geoff Sanderson was one of my favorite Whalers as a kid.

The rest of my Blue Jackets hits, including a Ron Tugnutt Titanium parallel #d/31. Connecticut native Cam Atkinson played against my nephew in high school.

Reds card I'd like to own: A Bowman Chrome Autographed RC of New Jersey native (and Little League hero) Todd Frazier

Bengals card I'd like to own: A Devon Still card, or maybe an Anthony Munoz RC

Blue Jackets card I'd like to own: A Cam Atkinson SP Authentic Autographed Future Watch RC

Favorite Reds player: Joey Votto

Favorite Bengals player: A. J. Green

Favorite Blue Jackets player: Bobrovsky, Atkinson, and Zach Werenski

Next tour stop: Cleveland

In my previous SCT post I used St. Patrick's Day as an excuse to post a pic of a flame-haired actress, and today I'll do the same because  I dunno.

Here's Katherine McNamara, the lovely young star of the Freeform YA series Shadowhunters (season 3 starts tonight, y'all).

I promise this won't be part of every tour stop...unless there is a legitimate excuse ;-)

Thanks for reading!


Monday, March 19, 2018

Who Am I Missing?

Quick post today..this is a complete list of the sports card blogs I follow:

$30 A Week Habit

2 x 3 Heroes

A Cracked Bat: Baseball Cards and a Hot Dog

A Pack To Be Named Later

A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts

Adventures In 1952 Topps

All Cardinals All The Time

All Trade Bait, All The Time...

ARPSmith's Sportscard Obsession

Baseball Card Breakdown

Bob Walk the Plank

Can't Have Too Many Cards

Card Boarded

Cardboard Clubhouse

Cardboard Greats

Cardboard History

Cards My Mom Didn’t Throw Out

Collecting Cutch

Collector's Crack

Dawg Day Cards

Diamond Jesters

Dime Boxes

Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary

I Feel Like A Collector Again

Infield Fly Rule

It's like Having My Own Card Shop

My Cardboard Habit

My Hockey Card Obsession

Nachos Grande

Night Owl Cards

Not Another Baseball Card Blog

Nothing If Not Random

Off Hiatus Baseball Cards

Old Red Sox Cards

Once a Cub

Pack War

Plain Gray Swatch

Puck Junk

Red Cardboard

Royal Card Review

Scribbled Ink

Shoebox Legends

Sportscards From The Dollar Store

Starting Nine

Summer of '74

The Angels, In Order

The Card Papoy

The Chronicles of Fuji

The Collective Mind

The Five Tool Collector

The Hopeful Chase

The Lost Collector

The Raz Card Blog

The Shlabotnik Report

The Topps Archives

Too Many Verlanders

Waiting 'til Next Year

Wax Stain Rookie

Wrigley Roster Jenga

Is your blog on this list? If not, let me know and I'll add you.

Is there a sports card blog I should be following? If so, recommend one (or more) to me in comments.

What's that rule about having at least one card in every blog post? Well, it just so happens I got two envelopes in the mail on Saturday: the aforementioned Tim Anderson auto from Mike (Not Another Baseball Card Blog) 

..and an oddball set of Brett Favre cards form Angus (Dawg Day Cards) 

I had forgotten all about this trade.. but Angus didn't. Thanks for sending these my way! I'll have your card shipped by the time you read this.

I've organized my card collection and sorted through my blogroll, but I have to do a better job of checking my pending trades. I've been putting a star next to any e-mail with a pending/incomplete trade. Right now I have three:
Tim (no return), Jeff (giveaway; need his address to send a return) and The Angels In Order (no trade yet, I just have to remind myself to pull out things that will fit his collection)

Mike, Angus..thanks for the trades! To all of you who follow this blog, thank you for reading and commenting. I truly appreciate it, and I hope to me more diligent about commenting (and trading) from here on out. 

p.s. I didn't get the job.