Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cooperstown Cardboard: My Baseball Hall Of Famer base card collection

As promised here's a look at all of the base cards of Hall Of Fame Baseball players in my star player box. I already used The Script/will.i.am track "Hall Of Fame" in a previous post, so here's some classic Bowie instead:

Or how about some Fall Out Boy? If you follow my personal blog you know I'm a huge FOB fan.

Now let's get to the cards.... I sorted through every baseball card and divided them into three piles: Hall Of Famers, Retired Greats, and Current Stars. I scanned a few of my favorites, starting with the very first card in the box - this 1980 Topps Phil Niekro:

Some assorted early 80's stars, including second year cards of Ripken and Gwynn.

I found these next two cards on COMC, they're from a 1983 Homeplate set called "The Al Kaline Story"

Some cards from 1986, the first year I started collecting. I don't remember where I got the Leaf Molitor - grab bag, maybe?

Rod Carew's 'sunset' card. I must have had a dozen of these as a kid.

I've contemplated starting the 1990 Leaf set; I already have graded RC's of Frank Thomas, Sammy Sosa, and Larry Walker - but only a few base cards besides the Ripken and Brett. One day, perhaps.

My brother-in-law asked me to sell his 1991 Conlon Collection set on eBay. Instead I gave him $10 and sold the singles on COMC - but I kept a couple for myself.

I'll spare you the early 90's junk wax you've probably seen in your sleep - and skip ahead to this electric Eddie Murray card:

 I have a Ted Williams card!!! ... of Walter Johnson (or: I have a Walter Johnson card!!!)

Why yes, I have a few Ken Griffey Jr. cards. Not as many as Corky at Pack War... but a few.

 I wish Topps would scrap those High Tek cards and revisit the HD set.

Here's a black and white Babe from Black Diamond:

 And a purple and white Randy Johnson from SP Authentic:

 This is one of my favorites in the stack. Ya gotta love that view of Camden Yards.

 A few HOFers from 2002 Topps Pristine, one of my favorite sets ever:

And a few of my Fleer Greats. I don't love the fact that George Kell gets star treatment in the box while my Roger Maris card sits among the commons... but rules are rules.

There's no disputing The Mick's place in my star box:

 Or Stan The Man:

Or Mr. Cub:

 This Honus Wagner kind of looks like a parallel, but it's a base card... I think.

We'll end this scan-fest with some of my newest additions: 2016 Topps Archives and Bunt:

Here's a complete list of every HOF player in the box, and how many cards I have of that player. I might use this as a checklist at some point, if I ever fully commit to collecting one card of all 217 Major League players in the Hall. (please note: this list does not include inserts, parallels, rookie cards, memorabilia, autographs, graded singles, Red Sox cards, or Robin Yount - another PC collection. I really need to expand my wantlist/current projects page.)

Hank Aaron (5)
Roberto Alomar (9)
Luis Aparicio (1)
Luke Appling (1)
Ernie Banks (3)
Johnny Bench (3)

Craig Biggio (9)
Bert Blyleven (1)

Wade Boggs (6)
George Brett (32)
Lou Brock (1)

Jim Bunning (1)
Rod Carew (2)
Steve Carlton (4)

Gary Carter (4)
Roberto Clemente (1)

Andre Dawson (8)
Dennis Eckersley (8)
ob Feller (3)
Rollie Fingers (1)
Carlton Fisk (7)
Whitey Ford (1)

Lou Gehrig (2)
Bob Gibson (2)
Tom Glavine (9)
Rich Gossage (2)
Ken Griffey, Jr. (42)

Tony Gwynn (15)
Rickey Henderson (6)
Rogers Hornsby (1)
Carl Hubbell (1)
Reggie Jackson (1)
Randy Johnson (21)
Walter Johnson (1)
Al Kaline (4)

George Kell (2)
Harmon Killebrew (1)

Barry Larkin (6)
Tony Lazzeri (1)
Greg Maddux (8)
Mickey Mantle (3)

Juan Marichal (1)
Pedro Martinez (22)  

Eddie Mathews (1)
Willie Mays (4)
Bill Mazeroski (1)
Willie McCovey (2)

Paul Molitor (8)
Eddie Murray (11)
Stan Musial (4)
Phil Niekro (1)
Jim Palmer (3)
Gaylord Perry (1)
Mike Piazza (14)
Kirby Puckett (9)
Cal Ripken, Jr. (26)
Brooks Robinson (5)
Frank Robinson (2)
Jackie Robinson (4)
Babe Ruth (4)
Nolan Ryan (9)
Ryne Sandberg (6)
Ron Santo (1)
Mike Schmidt (10)
Red Schoendienst (1)
Tom Seaver (1)
Al Simmons (1)
Ozzie Smith (7)
John Smoltz (9)
Duke Snider (2)
Warren Spahn (1)
Bruce Sutter (2)
Frank Thomas (16)
Honus Wagner (2)
Dave Winfield (7)
Robin Yount (71 - PC player)

And I just realized something while doing this - I don't have any Hall of Fame managers in the star box. I have HOF head coaches in my football box though.

If you've read this far, I'd be happy to hear your thoughts:  Should I include managers in the box, or keep the "star player" box players only?

In my next post I'll look at the retired stars who are not in the Hall of Fame. Then maybe we'll decide the fate of my Roger Maris card.

What Hall of Fame players do you collect? And how do you store and/or separate your base cards?


Monday, November 28, 2016

Counting Stars (and a surprise mailday)

I had an idea for a series of posts that combine two of my favorite things: cataloging my cards, and discussing star players. But before I start, I have some mailday deliveries to discuss.

A.J. (of the blog The Lost Collector) sent me a dozen Red Sox in exchange for the half dozen Yankees I sent him:

Some nice Nomars and a few SP Prospects I've never seen before.

A Carl Pavano auto, an SI for Kids Ortiz, and a very cool Fisk, plus some 2016 Topps Updates. 

Very cool stuff. Thanks for the trade A.J.!

I also received another package today, a box from Billy Kingsley. I guess this means I'm his Secret Santa. Billy, if you're reading this... should I open the box, or wait until Christmas? 

Thanks in advance. I'm sure I'll be thrilled with my 'present'!

Now.. let's start counting stars.

Don't worry, the music selections will improve

My base card collection is sorted thusly: all PC teams go in shiny, clean binders. This includes Red Sox, Devils, Whalers, Packers, my 700+ card Brett Favre collection, and my wife's 250+ card Brendan Shanahan collection. (Some of my complete/near complete sets are also in binders.) 

All of my commons from 1970-now are in binders as well -- alphabetical by city (Anaheim, Arizona, Atlanta...) then chronological within each team. I try to leave a space or two per team for the inevitable junk wax repacks my in-laws will buy me for Christmas.

All of my base cards of Hall Of Fame players automatically go in my "star player" storage box.

yes, even Larry Murphy

But what about retired stars who are not Hall Of Famers (like Jeremy Roenick, for example). What do I do with them?

I have been sorting this way for about a dozen years, so if a player was a star/superstar during his career then I keep him in the star box regardless of HOF status. Many such players are simply ineligible for various reasons, or they are still on the HOF ballot.

There's some gray area there, which I will get to in my 'active player' post - as in, how do I determine who is a star player? I might need your help with that, if you'd like to share your thoughts.

I'm going to go through the box tonight - starting with baseball - listing each player and counting how many base cards I have of that player (super thick commons from sets like Triple Threads, Exquisite, and The Cup are not included. They take up too much space.)

In my next post I'll have a complete tally of all my Baseball Hall Of Famer base cards. It has been a backburner goal of mine to own one card of each HOF inductee (not counting executives or Negro Leaguers - unless there are affordable cards easily available.)

After that I'll make a similar list for retired players who are not in the Hall, and then the fun will really start when I attempt to tackle active players. I'm already having an internal debate about which current players are worthy of the box, and which players should be demoted to the binders - but I want to hear your thoughts! 

Hope to see you back here tomorrow. This should be fun.