January 31, 2010

The Continuing Saga: 1971 Topps

#511 Chris Short

Chris Short had some pretty great seasons, including a 20-10 record in 1966, but for card collectors it is this 1971 card that he is most remembered. Although it is a technically a Chris Short card it is often seen as an important "extra" card for collectors of the All-Time Hit King. That's Pete Rose there standing off third base waiting to see what happens next.

Sticker Security

This 2003 Matt Williams autograph from Playoff Pieces of History of can teach Upper Deck and Topps a lot about how sticker autograph and relics cards should be done.

First, let's take the back of the card and we've got a nice little photo of the actual relic used. There's no confusion if this was a pair of pants or sock or jock strap. If only Topps had done this with the Topps Tribute set they wouldn't have the problems they have now. Sure it takes more time to design the cards but with a high end product isn't more time on design the name of the game?

The second part to this is the security features on the card. Now I realize that there aren't a lot of people out there counterfeiting Matt Williams cards but it doesn't really matter because this card has a security stamp on that card and the autograph sticker showing that the two go together. You can't really see the stamp on the original scan but doing in a negative scan you can see the outline on the left bottom corner of the sticker.

Given the recent listing of blank signature stickers on eBay this is an added security measure that should become standard practice for Topps & Upper Deck.

January 30, 2010

The Continuing Saga: 1971 Topps

When I'm doing one of these 1971 Topps write ups for players that I'm not familiar with the topic of the post usually falls into one of two categories.

1. They have some interesting stat or fact about their career or held some kind of unique record for a few minutes.

2. If they don't have that interesting bit of trivia then I have to highlight something of note about the photo, the autograph, or what's going on behind them on the card.

For this card:

#99 Mark Belanger

I'm overflowing with the the first category...so much so I'm a little ashamed that I don't remember every hearing Mark Belanger's name before. First thing first, his nickname, The Blade, has got to be easily a Top 10 all-time list somewhere of cool nicknames.

Before the rise of Cal Ripken, Jr. he held the Orioles records for games played, assists, and double plays by a short stop. He was an 8-time Gold Glove winner but was atrocious at the bat. In 1970 he was the Triple Crown winner in reverse by finishing last in batting average [.218], home runs [1], and runs batted in [36] through 145 games.

Completed Page = Joy

Collective Troll's trade package has brought me the joy of the completed page....I love these pages with just the greats of the game...and Steve Sax.

Show and Tell #37: The Collective Troll

When I lived in Seattle there was a famous Troll that lived underneath the Freemont Bridge...he wasn't known for his generous card packages like The Collective Troll but I bet he had a longer beard.

I received this great package from CT earlier this week and by far my favorite part of it was the collection of 1971 Topps:

Group 1

1971 Topps #566 Tim Cullen
1971 Topps #31 Eddie Kasko
1971 Topps #531 Mike Torrez
1971 Topps #43 Pat Kelly
1971 Topps #419 Ron Hansen
1971 Topps #557 Tom Satriano
1971 Topps #601 Ken Tatum
1971 Topps #638 Stan Williams
1971 Topps #429 Chuck Hinton

Group 2

1971 Topps #571 Ted Sizemore
1971 Topps #578 Rod Hunt
1971 Topps #587 Sonny Jackson
1971 Topps #547 Pat Dobson
1971 Topps #569 Ivan Murrell
1971 Topps #568 Sal Campisi
1971 Topps #542 Bob Miller
1971 Topps #584 Indians Team

I will highlight each of these eventually individually through my "The Continuing Saga: 1971 Topps" series.

Another four cards off my 1987 Topps needs list. I'm going to be having a little contest to try to complete that set later today so stop back and check that out.

1987 Topps #93 Jim Leyland
1987 Topps #602 Gary Carter All-Star
1987 Topps #158 Tim Teufel
1987 Topps #103 Rick Aguilera

A Jordan Zimmerman I don't have. I don't think I've opened one pack of Updates & Highlights from 2009.

2009 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH201 Jordan Zimmerman

1994 Topps Finest #214 Matt Williams

This hits two areas...Matt Williams cards and 1994 Topps Finest. Why do I collect Matt Williams? For no other reason than my name is Matt and Matt Williams is the best
to ever play baseball.

Two Rays Xponential inserts from a Rays collector...I feel bad unless these are doubles...

2008 Upper Deck X #X2-BU B.J. Upton 2nd Power
2008 Upper Deck X #X-BU B.J. Upton 1st Power

Thanks Troll and there a little thank you headed your way.

Could a Logo-less Set Be Successful?

The wait for the 2010 Upper Deck base set [or even preview images] got me thinking about the question "can a logo-less set be successful?" The recent history of logo-less sets would give the answer No. Donruss tried in 2008 to come back with a mainstream baseball set in Donruss Threads with the logos mostly airbrushed out. The release led to a lawsuit by the MLB and all of Donruss' baseball products have been scrubbed from their list of products that were released in 2008.

The Donruss Threads set took photos and tried to manipulate them into a copyright acceptable version of the card [well, at least they tried]. I contend that the trick to a successful logo-less set is to find normal photo graphs that just happen to not have the baseball logos appear. This is easier than you may think. I've gone through some of my boxes of common cards and found great examples of cards that are missing MLB logos but look totally normal. The trick is just finding the right photo:


2006 Bowman Heritage #BHP84 Matt Long

The mitt is always a good way to block that troublesome logo.

2008 Upper Deck #152 Tom Glavine

Or when in doubt use another player.

Swinging And Blocking

With the exception of American League pitchers everyone gets a chance at bat eventually. Just wait for that perfect moment, grab that shot, and you've got a great looking card with no logos.

2008 Upper Deck #17 Brad Ausmus

2008 Upper Deck #347 J.R. Towles

Just airbrush that shoulder logo...

2007 Topps Turkey Red #97 Don Kelly

2007 Bowman #10 Dan Uggla

1997 Upper Deck SP #17 Darin Erstad

2008 Topps Moments & Milestones #122 Jeff Kent 063/150

Shot From The Back

All those pesky logos are only on the front of the jerseys so...get some nice shots of our favorite players rear ends and you've got nothing to worry about.

2008 Topps Co-Signers #42 Todd Helton

2007 Topps #485 Tadahito Iguchi

2008 Topps Moments & Milestones #85 Jim Thome 001/150

2008 Upper Deck #388 Garret Anderson

And don't forget to use soft focus to get rid of those logos in the background.


If you are running low on card ideas don't forget catchers. Their catching gear blocks all the problem areas so no airbrushing is needed.

2006 Bowman Heritage #73 Johnny Estrada

2008 Topps #54 Victor Martinez

2007 Bowman Chrome #BDPP49 Jonathan Lucroy

2007 Topp Sweet Spot #80 Paul Lo Duca 254/850

Just follow these handy steps and you'll have some great looking cards and no troublesome lawsuits.

January 28, 2010

Show and Tell #36: A Parcel From Baseball Dad

Baseball Dad has brought me even closer to completing the Hoaxes and National Heroes sets.

NH4 -- Rigas Feraios, Greece

NH36 -- Joan of Arc, France

HHB18 -- The Piltdown Man

HHB15 -- The Bathtub Hoax

Thanks Jack!

January 27, 2010

The Continuing Saga: 1971 Topps

#98 Joe Decker

This card is all about the signature and those parentheses. I don't remember every having seen a signature with one before. You might think George's middle name is Joseph or maybe just Joe is his middle name. He was born George Henry Decker Jr. in Storm Lake, Iowa. So what's with the "Joe?"

It's Logos!

I can't help but feel like the card blogs and collectors are like the Beggin' Strips dog today...

LOGOS! Where are the logos? Are there logos? I smell logos? LOGOS! LOGOS! There have got to be logos. Only one thing looks like logos and that's logos. Logos. Logos. Logos. THERE! That pack, what's it say? I CAN'T READ! Please, please give me what's in the pack! Glossy, shiny, possibly illegal logos! Oh boy! Rip rip rip rip rip! IT'S LOGOS!

January 26, 2010

Show and Tell #35: Thoughts and Sox Goodness

Let me begin this Show and Tell from Adam of Thoughts and Sox with my favorite resent trade treasure...this Robin Yount pin:

I only have one other pin like this and will probably some day make a go at a complete set.

Adam also took a big chunk out of my 2008 Upper Deck X Xponential insert needs list. Here they are divided by their power:

3rd Power

2008 Upper Deck X Xponential #X3-MC Miguel Cabrera
2008 Upper Deck X Xponential #X3-TH Torii Hunter

2nd Power

2008 Upper Deck X Xponential #X2-EB Erik Bedard
2008 Upper Deck X Xponential #X2-IS Ichiro

1st Power

2008 Upper Deck X Xponential #X-HU Torii Hunter
2008 Upper Deck X Xponential #X-EB Erik Bedard
2008 Upper Deck X Xponential #X-JK Josh Hamilton
2008 Upper Deck X Xponential #X-DW Dontrelle Willis
2008 Upper Deck X Xponential #X-GR Khalil Greene

2009 Topps Heritage #BF4 The Big Mitt

I wrote about this card roughly a year ago about how I felt it is one of the greatest cards of all-time. I never pulled the card from my Heritage blasters but now I've finally gotten it. Thanks Adam!

Adam also sent a long a bunch of political cards which I always love. I had never seen that Ronald Reagan card from Goodwin Champions and so that one is my favorite out of the bunch.

Political Cards

2008 Topps Heritage #NF3 Fidel Castro
2009 Obak #84 Francis Scott Key
2009 Obak #75 Henry Chadwick
2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces #47 John F. Kennedy
2007 Topps #DS26 Distinguished Service Winston Churchill
2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions #CC-6 Citizens of the Century Ronald Reagan
2008 Topps #FC-18 First Couples Rutherford B. Hayes & Lucy Hayes
2008 Topps #C08-JM Campaign 2008 John McCain

Thanks again Adam!

The Underwear She's Always Wanted

Hurry guys! Time is running out for you to buy her the underwear she's always wanted for Valentine's day.


I was on a Jamie Moyer kick after receiving Dinged Corners airlift of their Moyer doubles so I picked up a few card I didn't have from my favorite source.

I haven't seen any word yet as to what role Jamie will play on the Phillies next season. He is still rehabbing his groin injury from last season that kept him off the World Series roster and I hope he can be more than a middle reliever in 2010. With the retirement of Randy Johnson, Moyer is currently the winningest active pitcher in the majors with 258.

2008 Upper Deck Documentary #2010 Jamie Moyer Game 70

2006 Topps Turkey Red #408 Jamie Moyer Red Border

2005 Donruss Elite #127 Jamie Moyer

2009 Topps Allen & Ginter #68 Jamie Moyer Mini

2006 Topps Turkey Red #408 Jamie Moyer White Border

2001 Bowman Heritage #253 Jamie Moyer

Topps vs. Fatheads

Topps announced a new venture today with LTL Prints that attempts to bring them into competition with Fatheads in the giant sport prints hanging on your wall industry. You now can order old Topps wax pack wrappers, Wacky Packs, and Garbage Pail Kids and these babies can be up to seven feet tall.

Some are pretty cool, like this 1959 Topps Hockey wax wrapper:

Some are not so cool. What kind of psychopath prints off a seven foot Max Axe? These people need to be reported to the police immediately.