Saturday, January 7, 2017

Updated 2017 Goals - A New Quest

So, on my previous post, I had a number of goals for this year, one of which was to add one more card to my 1963 Fleer autographed set.  With only 7 cards remaining in that quest, two of which are out of my reach (Mays and Clemente), I rated that as the goal I was least likely to achieve. I have started to broaden my searches for that by looking at auction houses, but I still rate it as my most challenging goal.

Then this happened:

On a lark, I submitted a bid on this card at Pristine Auctions. I didn't figure I'd win a autographed card of a Hall of Famer with my low ball bid. Alas, I did.  For a mere $16 (delivered,) this card is mine.  So, I decided to add 1960 and 1961 Fleer to my autographed set quest.  There are 79 cards in 1960 and 154 in 1961.  I'll start researching what is achievable with this project, so stay tuned.

I've already completed 1960 and am 4 cards away from completing 1961 as unautographed sets. But, while I like set building, I like challenges, too. The autographed 1963 Fleer set was a challenge. And hella fun. So, I thought I'd give this a try. There are probably plenty of cards that I can't get, like Babe Ruth, where the player died before these cards were issued.  And probably plenty that may be too expensive, but this is one of those challenges where it is the journey and not the destination. 

Well, that is it.  I need to head out to get stalls ready for the cold weather tonight and feed the horses. I have tickets for tonight's OKC Thunder-Denver Nuggets game.  My employer is a sponsor of the Thunder and I was able to score a couple tickets that are usually reserved for the marketing folks to use to schmooze customers.  Row B in the level closest to the floor.  Normally,  the nose bleed seats (300 level) is what I can afford. I will generally splurge once a year on 200 level seats. So, I am excited beyond belief!  Ta!

What I am listening to:  Away by Rorey Carroll.

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 Hobby Resolutions

Everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn't I?

Of course, being on the wrong side of 50, I have personal resolutions for 2017:

  1. Lose some weight.  In 2016, I slimmed down from over 220 to 188.  With the holidays, I've put about 8 pounds back on.  I'd like to lose that and a few more. Ideally, I'd like to get under 185.
  2. Exercise.  With a full time job, a 40-60 minute commute on each end of the day, and a 17 acre farm to care for, I have little time for aerobic exercise.  But, I'd at least like to start walking more.
  3. Thunder up!  My wife and I bought a 6 game package for the OKC Thunder this year and will probably end up going to 8-10 games, overall  We've talked about getting on the wait list for season tickets next year.  They would be in the nose bleed section, because anything closer to the floor would be out of our price range. It would be hard to make it to 40 games next year, so we may look for another couple to go halfsies with us.
On the hobby side, I have a few goals:

  1. Finish one or both of 1970 and 1972 Topps.  These are the last two sets I need to finish the run of Topps sets from the 1970s.
  2. Finish 1961 Fleer. Only four cards to go, although two are expensive: Ted Williams and Babe Ruth.
  3. Cut the remaining want list on 1956 Topps by a third. I need 75 cards, plus the two checklists, to finish.So, 25 new (to me) cards.
  4. Although I suspect that I'm pretty much at the end of this quest,  I'd like to add one more autographed 1963 Fleer card to that set. Of the 7 cards I still need, only one player is still living and that is Willie Mays. Of the 6 other cards, one is Roberto Clemente.  Those two ain't happening.  So, it will have to be Vic Power, Vada Pinson, Dick Farrell, Ken Boyer, or Gene Oliver.
  5. Maybe have some original content around here.  
  6. Get rid of all the cards I don't want. That is my collection in the picture.  Top two shelves are my sets.  The third shelf down is all my duplicates and unwanted cards.  The bottom shelf is supplies and what not.  I'd like to clean that third shelf out.

So, there it is.  Bring on 2017!

What I am listening to:  The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore by Billy Bragg and Joe Henry

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Fleer Autograph Project - Part 59

Generally speaking, things have been quiet on the hobby front, what with previously lamented major expenditures and the holidays nigh upon us.  So, in order to stay active, but not break the bank, I have started working on 1970 Topps baseball. I've gotten most card numbers under 339 fairly cheaply. I've done this since I am essentially down to the expensive star cards and high numbers for my 1972 set (203 cards left, 163 of which are semi-high and high numbers).

Otherwise, not much new. Except this:

This is the 59th autographed 1963 Fleer card I have, out of 66 in the set.  I nabbed this when I woke up in the middle of the night and did a quick run through of my Ebay saved searches as I was trying to get back to sleep. This had just been posted as a Buy-It-Now or Best Offer. I submitted an offer and, surprisingly, received a counter within 5 minutes. Imagine that, buyer and seller up at 3 AM!  I accepted the offer and now it is mine.  Only 7 left to go to complete this autograph quest:

5 - Willie Mays
23 - Vic Power
34 - Vada Pinson
38 - Dick Farrell
56 - Roberto Clemente
60 - Ken Boyer
62 - Gene Oliver

Anyways, that is about for new stuff around here. I am cleaning up all my extra cards and doubles and may be selling them off.  I may list them here to see if anyone is interested before I go the EBay route.  Stay tuned!

What I am listening to: Dominick the Donkey by Lou Monte

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Fleer Autograph Project - Part 58

So, there is a card show this weekend and I am not going.  With a vacation earlier this month,  I was a little light on funds. Then this happened:

The pothole from hell basically destroyed two of my cars rims.  Replacement rims were around $900 EACH.


This isn't some fancy car like a BMW. It is a Ford Fusion.  So, I ended up getting a full set of aftermarket rims for the same price as one factory rim. Add in two new tires as well, and my pocket is $1400 lighter. No show for me this month.  And probably not the next one in December either.

I did manage to "find" $50 for a couple of pickups:

This is the 58th autographed 1963 Fleer card in my collection (out of 66 cards in the set.) Bob Purkey died in 2008, so I snagged this from Mickey's Cards as soon as I saw it. The condition is a bit rough, but it was only $20 delivered.  I can always upgrade later.

My second pickup was inspired by a recent post at Night Owl Cards. This post.

I had previously busted a box of 1994 Ted Williams, a set I quite like. In fact, I am only three cards short of a complete set, including inserts.  After seeing NOs post, I decided to look at whether or not the 1993 boxes were available and affordable.  The answer to both questions was yes.  So, for $25 delivered, the above box is mine.

I haven't opened it yet.  Next weekend, my wife is off to a horse show in Texas.  I'll probably take that opportunity to grill up a steak, chill some of my favorite beer, and bust the box. Stay tuned.

What I am listening to:  Exodus of Venus by Elizabeth Cook

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Positive Development

As I mentioned in a previous post, I focus my two player collections on trading cards which actual feature an image of the player, with the possible extension into postcards.  That does exclude a fair amount of memorabilia. I've often seen Johnny Antonelli Armour coins (in 6 different colors!) come up for auction, but I just pass them on by. Pins, balls, and gloves are similarly ignored.

However, something came available on EBay recently that I had to bid on, despite it falling outside the defined scope of my player collections.  But first, let me dispense with a recent acquisition for my Paul Blair player collection:

A 1972 Milton Bradley card. I never picked this up earlier because I wasn't sure it existed.  I have had the 1969 Milton Bradley Paul Blair for a while, but never saw anything that was listed as 1972.  It isn't helped by the fact that they are identical from the front.  The back, however, is a different story:

Because I am a crappy scanner, I've got '72 on the left and '69 on the right.  The lousy cropping just adds to my shame.  This is the 112th unique card in my Paul Blair PC.

Now on to the unique item:

I know it looks a lot like a 1978 Topps trading card.  A printing error, perhaps?  Nope.  This is a film positive for the 1978 Topps trading card that was auctioned off recently by the official Topps Vault Ebay account.  I snagged it for $13 delivered.  As I understand it, film positives are used during the creation of the printing plates that are used to print the actual cards.  There are four different color plates (and thus film positives): black, cyan, magenta, and yellow.  Needless to say, I am pretty psyched about getting this little piece of history.

With that, I think I have caught up with my recent hobby activity. With vacation coming up and the holidays fast on it's heals, it may be quiet for a while. There will be OKC shows in October and December. I can't guarantee I won't go, but if I do, it will be with a fairly limited budget.

What I am listening to: Outlaw You by Shooter Jennings

Friday, September 9, 2016

Fleer Autograph Project - Part 57

In my last post on this project, I mentioned that there was three cards out of the 66 card 1963 Fleer set that I didn't reasonably expect I would ever find an affordable autographed version:  Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, and Joe Adcock.  Adcock may seem odd given the other two, but it does make some level of sense.  The 1963 Fleer Adcock was a short print, thus has a Beckett book value of $200. Given that Adcock died in 1999, I didn't expect many such autographed cards to exist and those that did would be way too rich for my wallet.

Imagine my surprise when one popped up on Ebay shortly thereafter. I guess I went a little crazy, but ended up winning with a final bid of $136.

More than I really wanted to spend, but not much more. My limit, set at a more dispassionate time, was $120.  But, being so close, I came in with a higher bid with a couple seconds to go and won.  This will pretty much kill my hobby budget through the fall.  My wife and I are taking a vacation in early October and with the holidays fast approaching, it makes sense to mostly sit on the sidelines until 2017

What I am listening to:  The Funeral by The Turnpike Troubadours.


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Player Collection Additions

While I haven't been super active this year as far as adding to my player collections, I have made a few pickups here and there.  I have added one really cool piece to my Paul Blair collection, I am going to save that for another post sometime in the future.Hopefully soon, but probably not.

Today, I am going to focus on additions to my Johnny Antonelli collection.  By way of review for any newcomers here, I have a player collection of Johnny Antonelli because I grew up in Rochester, NY and (at the time) he owned a chain of Firestone tire stores in town. He was something of a local celebrity.  I suppose that is a odd reason to have a player collection, but there you have it.

Additions to the collection had stopped for quite a while, but have picked up over the last 6 months or so.  so, let's get to it:

This is supposedly a 1950s George Brace postcard, although it may be a 1970s reprint. In a few minutes of googling, I found there is some discussion about how to identify which vintage it is, but I haven't dedicated enough time to actually figure it out. I just liked it and added it to my collection.

My player collections follow a fairly simple rule:  trading cards that feature an image of the player in question.  That's it.  So, all the cut auto cards that come out each year in un-licensed sets don't count.  I am starting to come around to adding post cards to the mix. I have certainly been adding post cards, but haven't fully committed myself yet.  Speaking of which:

1985 TCMA post card of Johnny Antonelli and Hall of Famer Robin Roberts.

These look like the 1947-1966 exhibit cards, two of which feature Antonelli, but they are not. They are actually 1980 reprints and come in three colors: sepia, blue, and red.  I don't have the red one yet. There are several red on EBay, but are priced at around $6 including shipping.  These exhibit reprints, which are the same size as the originals, have a book value of less than a dollar. I'm probably being too cheap about it, but I am having a problem paying $6 for it. Especially given the cost of another recent Ebay purchase. But, I am going to wait to see if I can find the red version for $3 or less.

Earlier this year, I was looking through my player collection binder and realized that I didn't have a 1951 Bowman Antonelli. I am not sure how I managed that, given that I have been working on this collection for 4 years.  I guess I could attribute it to my approaching dotage. In any case, it took a while to find one reasonably priced, but now I have all 4 Bowman Antonellis (1950, '51, '54, and '55).

This is a card that I have been aware of for a while.  It is a 1958 San Francisco Call-Bulletin raffle ticket and Giants schedule. I have only ever seen one of these available and the seller wanted double the high book value. I wasn't going to pay that, so I just continued to keep my eye out.  Luckily, this one came up and I was able to snag it for $11.50 delivered. 

The auction was described as "Old Sport Raffle Ticket, Johnny Antonelli, Pitcher, San Francisco Giant Schedule."  I have to love auctions where the descriptions are poorly written, which allows me to buy the item at a fraction of the price I would have paid if it had been better written. If this auction had mentioned "1958 Call-Bulletin" it would have gone for a lot more.  Sucks for the seller, but I can't concern myself with that.

Coming up soon: another autographed Fleer and a odd, but historic addition to my Paul Blair collection.

What I am listening to:  Nearly Gone by Hank 3