September 30, 2008


One of my weakest points of baseball knowledge is in regard to the "semi-stars" of the pre-1960's period. I don't know much about them beyond name or some stats in my almanacs...their cards aren't readily available at reasonable prices and many have passed away so including them in modern sets is impossible beyond cut signatures.

One such player is Red Schoendienst who I knew next to nothing until only recently. Two cards in particular brought him into my from the Distinguished Service insert set from the Topps set a few years ago and this year's Heritage:

He has over 2,000 hits and a lifetime average of .289 and after digging a little more into Red's career, he is also the longest serving Cardinals manager [Tony La Russa is now tied with him as manager for 12 years]. His manager card from the 1971 Topps set was added from eBay last week and pushes the set over the 1% complete mark!

Complete Set: 752 cards
Current Total: 8/752 = 1.06% complete

The Continuing Saga: 1971 Topps

Two more cards for the 1971 the rate it's going I'll finish the set in about 100 weeks or just under two years...

Jim Kaat has always been one of my 1987 when the Twins won the World Series some players did a sort of "Victory Lap" around the Midwest and Bert Blyleven, Tim Laudner, and Jim Kaat came to my hometown of Eau Claire, WI. They raffled off some prizes and I won an autographed ball signed by the three players. It turned out to be my first Hall of Fame auto and Jim Kaat became one of my favorite "older" Twins along with Rod Carew and Tony Oliva.

Complete Set: 752 cards
Current Total: 7/752 = .93% complete

Trade with Wax Heaven

Before I started this blog I pulled an Andrew Miller jersey card from Upper Deck Baseball Heroes and so I emailed Mario at Wax Heaven to maybe work out a trade. In return Mario sent me two Royals autos that he had, one of Mitch Maier and one of Ryan, not that Ryan Braun, I'm talking Royals pitching prospect Ryan Braun. It just goes to show you that one person's junk hit can be something treasured by someone else.

Luckily for Mario but unfortunately for me, he has already received the card that I was trading him from Box to make it up to him I included a bunch of bonus cards with one in particular that doesn't follow Gellman's rules for grading...but I hope Mario likes them and I'll leave it to him to write about the specifics of the package.

UPDATE: Wax Heaven got the package and I'm happy to say he seems to like it...

Topps, I Want The Truth!

I love blogs that try to create controversy by finding a problem with something and demanding the people responsible to apologize or explain the problem! Baseball card blogs are just as guilty of this...just search "Fuckudome Rookie Card" and you'll see I'll throw my hat into the ring! Topps I demand the truth!

In 1973 you produced this card:

And in 1974 you produced this card:

Everything seems fine, right?...That is until you turn the cards over and see the horror!

According to Topps, Gaylord Perry was a farmer in 1973 and by 1974 he was the "head" of an insurance company. Which one is it Topps? Farmer or Head of an Insurance company? I will be fake boycotting your product until you address this issue from 35 years ago!

Today in Horseshoe Mustaches

I don't have too many Mother's Cookies cards but I do have couple Mariner's sets from my days in Seattle....

Expired Redemption

It's not quite as memorable/infuriating as pulling a Willie Mays autograph redemption that is expired as Thorzul did earlier this summer but I pulled this a little while ago from old packs of 1994 Topps and I wish I could get these cards but I'm 13 years over the 1/31/95 deadline:

September 27, 2008

UPDATE: Dear Gellman,

UPDATE: Gellman answered my letter and here is his response:

"I would either wait for Leaf Limited or Gridiron Gear. Those are always my two favorite products. You are in luck because Limited is coming back to packs, and the cards should be pretty nice. Otherwise, you may want to wait for SPA in january."

2008 Donruss Leaf Limited has a release date of October 29th and Gridiron Gear is scheduled for October 15th. So to fill the void until mid to late October I tried out a pack of Absolute are the results:

The base cards are all pretty nice looking but if you will notice they all have the same pose.

My pack hit is a "Gridiron Force" of LaRon Landry, who I think is Tom Landry's grandkid...It is numbered 19 of 250 and if anyone is interested in it just shoot me an email [] and we can work something out.

I guess it is okay for the novelty a pack of football but I think I will take Gellman's advice and wait for Gridiron Gear for a major purchase.
Original Post:

Dear Gellman,

As the resident football card blog guru, I have a question for you. I haven't collected football cards serious for quite a while...the last set I took serious was probably 1990 Pro get the picture?

Anyway, I'm looking to start again and I wondered if you could tell me, in your opinion, which '08 product I should start with? What's the best? I'm looking in the $3.00/pack suggested price area...

Thanks for your help,

Matt F.

September 26, 2008

The Best Contest Cards Ever

I received this in some packs of Upper Deck X:

A lot of people probably throw these cards away unless you want to earn that "real jersey card!" But these contest cards from the 1989 Bowman set were just beautiful and maybe you can look back on them and see the birth of the Heritage phenomena.

This One Time, When I Was A Royal...

I think I'll do a recurring post series of stars that were once Royals but left to bigger and better things...let's start with David Cone...winner of nearly 200 games and a Cy Young [with the Royals by the way] he also has four World Series rings that we earned with the Yankees...

Let Me Be The First To Say...

The Chiefs suck it big time...Okay, I'm not the first to say it...but let me be the first to say this...Draft Tim Tebow as Chiefs Quarterback!

Look, if the Chiefs win a game this year [Cincinnati Bengals, I'm looking at your game with the Chiefs on 12/28] it would be a miracle so getting the #1 pick in next year's draft is a near all we need is Tebow to forgo his Senior year of eligibility and we can have the next Steve Young handing off to Larry Johnson next season as we win the AFC West.

This Week in Horseshoe Mustaches

As great as the horseshoe mustache is on this card, the real treat is the revelation that Mr. Stargell like to dance!

September 25, 2008

2009 Will Be The Royals Year!

You may not have noticed but over the past 10 games the best team in baseball is the Kansas City Royals...yeah, you read that right!  Over the last 10 games, the Royals have gone 8-2 and they just came off a 3 game sweep...yeah, you read that right!

Plus the last win came when my boy, Brian Bannister, piched six scoreless innings for his ninth win of the season...all this leads me to predict next year's Royals are going to be this year's Tampa Rays.  You heard it here first!

This card is from his New York Mets days but I think it might be the best looking card of Mr. Bannister I've found so far.  

Lenny Dykstra Is Just A Little Less Popular Than The Office

For some reason, "Lenny Dykstra" is currently one of the most searched people on Google today...his name has reached an "On Fire" status on Goggle Trends which measures the sudden popularity of search terms...Lenny is #7 on the list and the four searched terms immediately ahead of him all have something to do with The Office Season 5 premiere that was on this evening.

This scan is from an eBay auction asking $70.00 for this card [with free shipping mind you] of now we have no takers...

UPDATE:  Wow, Lenny has fallen big time since I first posted this...he is now sitting at #99...

September 24, 2008

The Continuing Saga: 1971 Topps

This week I've been able to add another of the Hall of Famers in the 1971 set to my collection...we have the 2nd best Willie to ever play for the Giants, Willie McCovey:

Again, the card's condition is not going to make the folks at Beckett drool but it's something I'm not too worried about...

If For Some Reason You Read This Before Reading Wax Heaven...

Mario from Wax Heaven has received the Jackie Kennedy card from Upper Deck that he famously pulled last's disappointing that the card isn't everything it could have been...but then again my Dad once won a Ski-doo water craft in a contest, used it once, and sold it...the Ski-doo wasn't quite as awesome as it sounded at first but at least it gives us a funny story to tell...

And as far as hair cards could be A LOT worse.

Condition Shmadition

I really didn't know too much about the 1959 Topps set until this year's Topps Heritage came out...and I've done some digging around since and I can see why the Heritage set is well liked this year as the original set is just great. But what are my chances of owning the really great cards in that set? Not that good...I mean I've run into trouble getting some of the top of the line cards from the 1971 set I'm working on and the '59 set is 12 years older and has just a greater caliber of stars included...

I was attending the last card show I could get to in Seattle before moving to Kansas earlier in the summer and in the clearance rack of one booths I stumbled upon this gem...

I mean this card has been loved...I'm talking some kinky BDSM type love...the cards in the pile were marked as 90% off Beckett value...[let's not get started on a book value debate right now, okay?] so I scooped it up, paid my $7.00, and adopted this abused step-child into my collection. It is one of my favorites and I wish I knew the back story here. I am hoping some kid somewhere taped the card into a notebook just like I would do 40 years later.

Plus, in my book as a Wisconsinite, the Braves will always be from Milwaukee and Warren Spahn will always be better than Sandy Koufax.

September 22, 2008

To All You Upper Deck X Haters...

Isn't it a tad predictable to hate this card set before taking a closer look...

Judge for yourself: here's a look at two packs of Upper Deck X from a mega-retailer that I'm sure has been pack searched four times. First, the much maligned wrapper...

If all you focus on is the wrapper you are missing out on the psychedelic inner foil...don't judge a book by it's cover...Pack #1:

First card and I get my first Kosuke Fukudome Rookie Card. I like the look of this card a lot and the X design compliments the photo nicely.

Here are two base cards: Adam Dunn and Carlos Beltran.

My Xponential insert is to the 3rd power so I am assuming it's a little more rare than those to the 2nd power.

My cut card is the same as my final base card...Save King Trevor Hoffman:

Pack #2:

In this pack I pulled two cut cards, a Torii Hunter with the typical silver border and a Vernon Wells with a gold border. None of my cut cards have the missed cut problems that bothered Dayf so much.

Here are my three regular base cards: an Ian Kennedy Rookie, Mr. No-Hitter Carlos Zambrano and Hideki Matsui.

My Xponential card is a Jimmy Rollins to the 2nd power and it's not quite as nice good as the earlier Vlad insert which was to the 3rd power.

Overall, I am on board with this set. In my opinion it is much better than the Artifacts or Baseball Heroes sets that Upper Deck has put out this year and at $1.97 a pack it's hard to complain about value.

What Is The Greatest Bo Jackson Card?

I give you three options:

1. Donruss '87 Rated Rookie

2. Topps '87 Future Stars
3. Topps '86 Traded

For me there is no contest, the 1987 Topps Future Stars card has always been one of my favorite ever. It was the first set I collected and pulling that card made you feel like you were in on a little secret, that Bo Jackson is going to kick some baseball ass.