March 5, 2015

JOY OF THE COMPLETED SET!: 2008 Topps President Obama Set

Here are some scans of my newest completed set! Oh the joy of the completed set!

Card #1-9
Card #10-18
Card #19-27
Card #28-36
Card #37-45
Card #46-54
Card #55-63
Card #64-72
Card #73-81
Cards #82-90
Stickers #1-9
Stickers #10-18

It Took Nearly Six Years But My 2008 Topps President Obama Set Is Complete!

Back in 2009 Topps put out a small 90 card political set in honor of President Obama's first inauguration. I bought a couple of blasters of it at the time and ended up missing about 15 or so cards and so I slowly picked up a card a two a year when I found them listed on Recently a seller on COMC put up singles of just about every card in the set and so I did one final purchase and picked up the last base cards I needed.

This first one is my favorite card in the set which show people's thoughts and reactions to Obama's election.

#78 Yes They Did!
#54 Bill Lends A Hand
#57 Team Obama All-Stars
#72 I Like It Here!
#5 Dreams From My Father
Along with the 90 sticker base set there are 18 additional sticker cards that were found one-per-pack. There were two types of stickers, the basic sticker and a shiny foil version which was a little more rare. As I was building my set I didn't really care which version of the sticker I had so my set is a hodge podge of some basic and some foil stickers.

Sticker #15 Obama/Biden 2012
Sticker #10 America
Sticker #6 Progress
Sticker #13 Believe
It took me less time to complete this set than my 1971 Topps set but it still feels good nonetheless to be able to take this one off my "sets I'm working on" list. 

March 4, 2015

UPDATE: I Had Never Considered Getting A Penny Sleeve Autographed

Thanks to Reader Laurens it turns out the cards were signed before going into the plastic. Here's an article talking about the promotion and the related text from it:

"The Cubs promotion doesn't stop with the card giveaway. It's accented by 200 autographed cards that are mixed in with the standard cards. The Cubs also plan to have each player appear on their TV and radio broadcasts and sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch. 

The Cubs paid each player about $5,000 to sign the cards and make the appearance, an industry source said. They also secured the rights to the images of retired players, a hurdle for Topps because its licensing agreement applies only to active players."

Thanks Laurens for the clarification!


I own a lot of signed Andy Pafko cards, photos, postcards, and other odds-and-ends but a new eBay auction puts a new twist on adding an autograph to a card .

I've written about this unique card in the Pafko cannon of cardboard before as it's one of the few numbered Pafko cards and were given out during a Cubs game in 2001. They came sealed in plastic with the Gatorade and logos on the front.

One of these cards from the 30,000 that were processed is up on eBay now with an Andy Pafko autograph on the front. But the item description tells us the card is still in its original packaging and so I can only assume that they had Pafko sign the plastic packaging over the card. I had never considered getting the equivalent of a penny sleeve signed before!

Ripping A Pack Of 1988 Donruss Pop-Up

One pop-up card, three puzzle pieces, and five All-Star cards...that seems like a lot for 35 cents! At the time in 1988 I don't remember ever seeing these in stores and I've only opened backs of them more than 20 years later. Let's rip this!

Here's my pop-up, Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog. He's featured here as we managed the National League Champion Cardinals and this pop-up set focuses on All-Star players and managers.

Whitey Herzog Pop-Up

I always feel a little misled when Donruss packages proclaim "three puzzle" pieces but those three pieces come on the same card. In my mind I'm always expecting three of these cards. This year's puzzle was of Warren Spahn...

Puzzle Pieces #46, #47, #48
...and here's what the completed puzzle looks like. This card is from the regular Donruss set and I believe there is also a version of it made with little puzzle pieces as well.

1988 Donruss #588 Waren Spahn Diamond King Puzzle

And here are my All-Stars...Ripken, Greenwell, Canseco, Cone, and Strawberry. If I was to have guessed which player collection that I own would be damaged by new in 2015 I would have never guessed it would be Cal Ripken, JR. This Gregg Zaun hazing story makes me sad and I have no doubt it is true. It frankly just doesn't make me want to continue building a collection of his cards.

#5 Cal Ripken Jr.
#15 Mike Greenwell
#2 Jose Canseco
#44 David Cone
#34 Darryl Strawberry

March 2, 2015

Genius Covers: Secret Wars #10

A few months ago Marvel announced that this summer's big comic event would be a return to one of their legendary stories lines, The Secret Wars. Originally a limited series in 1984, it featured Marvel's greatest heroes forced to battle each other by The Beyonder. This summer's return to the Secret Wars sounds like it will be Marvel's heroes from different universes fighting it out and may actually completely reset the Marvel Universe...we shall see.

If anything, I hope the new Secret Wars give us some covers that are half as good as one of my all-time favorites, Dr. Doom battle worn on Issue #10.

There were some other iconic covers from the original Secret Wars series including the cover of Issue #1 with its superhero group shot and Issue #4 featuring the Hulk saving the lives of nearly everyone on the Issue #1 cover.

February 28, 2015

What's In My Hidden Treasures Autographed Baseball Box?

One of the great things about living around Atlanta is that each month I could attend three strong card shows if I was ambitious. I've been averaging about two a month and at each show I tend to pick up the materials for five or six blog posts per show. This creates the "problem" of having a lot of material backlogged to post someday and here is one such post.

At one of the first shows I attended I took a chance at his Tristar Hidden Treasures that had been opened for $3.00.  Let's see what was inside...

My autograph turned out to be former Milwaukee Brewers prospect Mat Gamel. He was once the Brewers top third base prospect as you can see from my certificate authenticity. 

In 2012 Mat tour his ACL in his knee and missed the entire 2012 season. During Spring Training of 2013 he re-injured the knee and missed 2013 as well. Sadly just a few weeks ago he re-injured his knee for a third time while taking part in advanced Spring Training with the Atlanta Braves. So it looks like his career has been cut short by injury but I've always got a space in my autographed baseball collection for another "Mat" even if it is missing a "t."

February 26, 2015

Andy Pafko's Birthday Megapost

Yesterday was "Handy" Andy Pafko's birthday and he would have been 94. When Pafko passed away in 2013 I wasn't writing on the blog too much and so I never really did a farewell post for my favorite ball player. Instead I'll start doing yearly birthday posts highlighting some of my recent pickups of random Pafko collectibles and cards. 

Let's start with a 1-of-1 sketch card drawn by artist Qwasian. He has a ton of original sketch cards available on eBay and I was able to get this one for a pretty great price. I have a lot of "favorite" Pafko cards and this one if certainly a new addition to that list. 

There's nothing on the reverse side except a semi creepy mirror image of Pafko drawing bleeding through. 


It was only recently that I noticed [probably it was my trading partner Mike D. that let me know] that in the 1994 Topps Archives set there were foil stamped and non-foil stamped versions of the cards. Here's the non-foil version.

1994 Topps Archives 54 #79 [No Foil Stamp]
I have about 15 non-foil versions and only recently picked up the stamped version...which is on the left below. It just goes to show no matter how much you think you know about checklists there's always some surprises waiting for you. I've included the original 1954 version on the right and you can see the blue is slightly different between the two version.

1994 Topps Archives 54 #79 [Foil Stamped]
1954 Topps #79

Here's a signed version of one of the rarer Pafko cards, 1979 Diamond Great. Wrigley Wax has a great post on the Cubs version of the set with some great background on its origins. 

1979 Diamond Greats #79 Andy Pafko [Autographed]

  Another odd pick up was this autographed card that I had never seen before. After getting the card in hand it turned out to be a fan creation...

Unnumbered Photo Card [Autographed]

...and on the reverse side you can see it's just a printed photo that has been trimmed.

One of the odder Pafko pickups were these contest cards given to attendees of the August 25, 2004 game between the Cubs and Brewers. I believe these were for a contest to receive a Cubs jersey.

MBNA Scratchcard Ticket 8/25/2004 #13185

And the reverse side has some great stats including sacrifice hits and total bases.

MBNA Scratchcard Ticket 8/25/2004 #13185 Back

In the eBay lot I also received three more scratched tickets numbered #05892, #06020, and #05336.

These signed envelopes seemed to be created in honor of the 1992 New York City Baseball Card Spectacular. Although it's mainly just a signed envelope with a canceled stamp on it, the Dodgers logo is actually a patch. 

I ended up picking up two copies with different stamp designs. 

Just like the 1994 Topps reprint foil stamping issues I didn't realize existed there was also a non-foil stamped version of the 2013 Topps Archives Pafko with a 1990 Topps design that was given to Cubs season ticket holders a few years ago. I have several copies of the stamped version but this is my first non-stamped one.

2013 Topps Archives #CUBS-55 Andy Pafko [Non-Stamped Version]

This Pafko card comes from a card game APBA Major League Baseball Master Game that was originally published in 1975.


I also made a little progress in collecting all 1,957 copies of the retrofractor from the 2002 Topps Super Teams set. This one was numbered #0658 out of /1957 and it brings my total versions to seven I believe. 

2002 Topps Super Teams #36 Andy Pafko
Retrofractor #0658/1957