Thursday, November 29, 2012

1996 Danbury Mint 24 kt Gold Baseball Cards

Were you collecting in 1996? Do you remember these babies?

 24 carat gold baseball cards! I remember seeing ads for this set of 50 cards in Beckett magazine but I never bought any. I got this and 4 more from a friend of my daughter who collected cards in the mid-1990's. He talked his Dad into buying the first installment of this subscription set. He can't remember what they cost but they cancelled after the first shipment. The set included a nice album with gold leaf printing and his name printed in gold (I removed his name).

The album pages held 4 cards, each slot with a players name and facsimile signature.
I know next to nothing about these. There was no information available in Danbury's website. There are a number of individual cards being sold on eBay from $3 to $30 depending on the player. There are a number of complete sets, with albums, being sold, ranging from $90 to $250. Based on one offering there seems to have been a second 50-card set produced.

The cards are normal sized cards which are encased in plastic. They look to be embossed but it's hard to tell as the plastic casing is pretty stiff. They are very light so I suspect they are gold foil on a paper backing.
There was only one Phillie in the set, Richie Ashburn. I put a bid in on the Ashburn on eBay.
 I think the cards are attractive but I'm probably not going to attempt to complete the set.
The guy who gave these to me is now a Star Wars collector. I'm more of a Star Trek nerd myself, but we get along. He also works at NASA and gave us a rockin' private tour last summer through the mission control center at the Johnson Space Center near here. He actually works on Mission Control for the ISS. How cool is that?

Thanks for the cards Eliseo!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fairfield Extreme Value repack

You've probably seen these:

It cost $11.98 before tax. The one I bought actually had 13 packs in it and since 2 of those were 36-card rack-packs, there were quite a few cards inside, 163, to be exact. That works out to about 7 cents/card. Was it worth it? In my opinion, yes. Your results may differ.

When I buy something like this I order the cards into 4 categories:

Category D: Cards I already have and don't want another one of. 40 cards (25%) fell into that category. These go right into the 2013 Summer Clearance Trade bin. So already I'm off to a good start, 75% of the cards are something I didn't toss immediately.

Category C: Cards I don't have but don't really want. These I scan and then toss into the trade bin. There were 90 of these (56%). So really 80% of the cards I'm not going to keep. But these at least got added to my scan collection and I've got a chance to turn the 80% into something I want through trades next summer.

Category B: Cards I don't have but plan to keep. These could be Phillies or Astros or Players I Collect. There could be a few duplicates. 18% (30) fell in this category.

Category A: Cards I don't have but I need for my reference collection. The Holy Grail of cards, in other words. There were 3 of these.

So here's some of the Category A-C cards and what packs they came out of.

1988 Fleer 15-card wax pack. In 1988, they really were wax-packs.  Not too much exciting here except for this.

There's not really anything that exciting about a 1988 Damon Berryhill/Jeff Montgomery card except it's a reference card I needed. There aren't many of these Major League Prospect cards in the set and the only one I had featured a Phillie. I try not to use Phillies cards for reference cards if I can help it. So this card really filled a hole for me.

1989 Fleer two 15-card wax packs. 30, not really exciting cards. But there were a few gems I didn't have.
 All three are Players I Collect. I actually don't have many cards from this set so many of them got added to my scan collection. Watch for them next summer.

2006 Topps 18-card rack-pack. In 2006, Topps was enclosing 3 'vintage' cards in these rack packs. 'Vintage', in this case, meaning, old Topps cards that no one wants. I got 2 1986 and 1 1989 card. As I said nobody wants these. I did pull this insert from the pack, which is a keeper.

2008 Topps 36-card repack. Not my favorite Topps set. Only one real keeper.

There were two inserts, both keepers.
2008 was a Presidential election year and Topps and Upper Deck included a lot of politician cards. There wasn't much (if any) of that this year.

2010 Upper Deck 36-card rack pack. No matter how you slice it, this was not a good set. The color was awful and the poses awkward (to avoid showing team logos without resorting to Photoshop). You may remember that Major League Baseball sued Upper Deck after Series 1 came out forcing UD to cancel Series 2. The basis of the suit? Upper Deck was using MLB logos without a license. Were they? You decide.
I got one of the reference cards from this pack.
I had two of these, one featuring a Phillie, the other an Astro. This card, once again, shows how lazy UD was in the final years. I think this is a nice card but note that Votto hit this home run in Cincinnati. How likely is it he was wearing an away uniform? The perfect card would have a photo of Votto actually hitting the home run described on the card. Does such a photo exist? Are you kidding me? Of course such a photo exists. Second best, Votto hitting a home run (or anything) at home. There were actually two cards from this insert set in the pack. The other one features Magglio Ordonez of the Tigers hitting a home run in Kansas City in a home uniform.

2011 Topps Chrome 4-card pack. I don't buy much Topps Chrome. I got lucky and pulled a refractor rookie card from the pack, although it's of someone I don't know.

2011 Topps Opening Day 7-card pack. I have most of this set but did get one Player I Collect that I didn't have.

2012 Topps Opening Day two 7-card packs. These cards are still on the shelf at the Target where I bought this box so I was surprised to see these. The only card I needed was this Blue variation. I don't know about you but I like these blue-bordered cards.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Random Cards From My Collection #32

I have 35,952 baseball cards scanned from my collection. Here's 10 of them.

Card #34,029
1989 Donruss #477 Craig Reynolds
This is a card I got during the Great 2012 Summer Clearance Trade. 1989 Donruss is another set which I will soon complete even though I'm not actively working on it. Donruss must have made millions of these sets as these always appear in repacks.

Card #1482
2000 Topps Opening Day #32 David Justice
A Player I Collect from one of my favorite years of Topps Opening Day.

Card #7333
1987 Fleer World Series Glossy
Another Player I Collect. I imagine that this card is relatively hard to get but I don't know how I got it. The World Series cards were only available in factory sets and the Glossy parallel was only available in the Fleer Glossy Factory Set which had a limited production run.

Card #20903
1994 Collector's Choice #114
Incaviglia in some sort of Phillies retro uniform.

Card #27492
1993 Upper Deck #569 Todd Zeile
Another Player I Collect, the much traveled Todd Zeile.

Card #9310
1988 Fleer Update #107 Phil Bradley
Ah, 1988 Fleer. Did anyone like this design?

Card #30618
2011 Bowman Chrome Refractor #31 Shin-Soo Choo

Card #13482
1988 Score #107 Fred McGriff
It's a Player I Collect so I gotta have it, but God this is an ugly card.

Card #3266
1988 Fleer Superstar #1 Steve Bedrosian
Another card from 1988 but this one isn't too bad. One of the many mini-sets that Fleer put out in the late 1980s.

Card #7446
1997 Fleer #176 Mariano Rivera
This was an attractive set. It featured full-bleed printing and gold foil, certainly a stable of cards since the mid-1990s, but this set was printed in thin white card stock with no gloss.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Song of the Week - To Build A Home by The Cinematic Orchestra

This is another podcast but this time from Minnesota Public Radio. And from 2007. The song is from their 2007 CD "Ma Fleur". Since this is the only song by them I know, I can't say much about their overall style. They have a bit of an Arcade Fire thing going. Based on their Wikipedia entry, this may not be representative of their overall sound. But whatever, I really like this piece.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday Christmas Tree Trimming

At Capewood Manor, we stay home on Black Friday and put up the Christmas tree.  My daughter has a device for her digital camera which allows her to automatically take a series of timed photos and software that stitches the photos together into a time-lapse movie.  Here we are putting up the tree yesterday.  I hope this helps you get into the Christmas season, as frantic as it can be.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Where Are They Now? - Brien Taylor

The hottest rookie card in 1992 was this.

Taylor was the Yankees #1 draft pick in 1991. He signed a $1.55 million contract with the Yankees right out of high school. He also signed an exclusive contract with Topps so this would be his only rookie card.  He would never pitch in the major leagues. I had never really understood what had happened to him until I saw a news story about him last week.

He was doing well in the Yankees farm system until he got into a fist fight in 1993 that caused severe damage to his left shoulder. He was never the same after surgery. Although he hung on in the minors until 2000, he never pitched higher than AA.

He's had a troubled life since leaving baseball, culminating with selling a large amount of cocaine to an undercover agent in March 2012. He was sentenced to 38 months in prison in August 2012.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Random Cards from My Collection #31

I have 35,757 of my 84,372 baseball cards scanned. Here's a random sample.

Card #23,543 
 1998 Fleer Tradition #240 Derek Bell
Derek Bell gettin' a hold of one. He hit 22 home runs in 1998 with a .314 average.

Card #14376
2007 Topps Opening Day #173 Roy Oswalt
The 2007 Topps base set was black. I always like the white Opening Day set better.

Card #24686
2008 Upper Deck Heroes of Baseball Black #40 Aramis Ramirez

Card #4998
2005 Leather and Lumber #13 Barry Zito
 An abstract set produced by Donruss in 2005.

Card #24877
2010 Bowman Draft Gold #91 Mitch Moreland
Why does this this guy, who was drafted in 2007, appear in the 2010 Draft Pick set?

Card #1419
1999 Topps Opening Day #115 Tim Salmon
 An early Opening Day card from back when Topps but a big silver foil shield on them.

Card #6020
2005 Topps Traded Gold #129 Albert Pujols
  Albert may have forced game 6, but the Astros won and went to the World Series. It's been all downhill for the Astros since.

Card #24154
2004 Ultra #194 Roy Oswalt
 I don't usually get so many Astros in these random selections. Roy was a 20-game winner in 2004.

Card #4945
2005 Topps Opening Day #10 Sammy Sosa
 Ah, Sammy, we used to love ya.