July 31, 2013

I'll Be Around The National On Thursday

Before this week I hadn't met any readers of my blog or other card bloggers in person but all that changed yesterday at [appropriately enough] a baseball game.  I'll post a little more on the details of that meeting later on as it is a great story itself.  I had also made plans later this week to meet up with another reader and so this seems to be my "Matt F. meets the internet" tour.

Today I headed down to Chicago and I'll be all around, over, and in The National searching for Andy Pafko rarities for most of the day on Thursday.  So if you haven't watched any of my YouTube videos recently I look like this with a little less horseshoe mustache and a little more circle beard and don't be afraid to say hello.

I'll have a bunch of updates on my day at The National later this week so be sure to check back.  

July 29, 2013

Show and Tell #121: My First Trade Of 2013

I traded very few times when I was abroad this year and last although I did squeeze a few trades in when I was home for Christmas 2012.  My return to blogging a few weeks ago inspired Reader mrhaverkamp to check my needs lists and found he could help in a couple of areas.  He took two high-numbered short prints from my 1971 Topps needs list.  These came at the perfect time because I'm headed to The National on Thursday with hopes of completely finishing that set for good.  [Fingers crossed for a rough, cheap Willie Mays!]
1971 Topps #664 Rookie Stars Pitchers
1971 Topps #717 Tommie Aaron

Another card that I'm sure I'll bring home many copies of from The National is my all-time favorite card, 1972 Topps #19 Billy Cowan.  mrhaverkamp sent me three copies and after the National I think I will try to bring together all the copies I have into one big photo opportunity.  Thanks again mrhaverkamp for the trade!

1972 Topps #19 Billy Cowan

July 28, 2013

It's Been A Busy Week Over At A Pack To Be Named Later

Posts on A Pack To Be Named Later vary week to week but we typically average a post or two a week from our many, many, many contributors but this past week has seen an explosion of new content.  I thought I would highlight all the posts that went up this week in case you missed a post or two.

It is a nice mix of new and old as well as a mix of baseball, football, bowling [yes, bowling!], and non-sport.  Take a look!

2012 Leaf The Living Legend Pete Rose

2013 Press Pass Rookie Football

2004 Fleer Legacy

1982 Fleer Baseball

2013 Topps Archives Football

1991 Space Ventures Space Shots Series 2

2004 Upper Deck Retail

2012 Fleer Retro Football

1990 Kingpins

2013 Press Pass Parks and Recreation

July 27, 2013

A Pack To Be Named Later: 2012 Leaf The Living Legend Pete Rose

Today we are opening a pack of a product I had never seen in person before finding one in the clearance bin at Target.  I'm speaking of 2012 Leaf The Living Legend Pete Rose.  Take a look.

July 26, 2013

Tales From The LCS: My First Graded Kirby Puckett

Today's LCS Tales take place in Roseville, MN at 3 Stars Sportscards.  What it lacks in organization it gains in always having some interesting Twins stuff for sale.   This time around I found a graded Kirby Puckett second year Fleer card for $3.00  It is a graded a 7.5 with...

...three out of the four areas getting an 8 rating.  The edges received a 6.5 and you can really see why at the top of the card on the back side.  Looking up the card on the Beckett site I find it was graded back in 2001.  Plus, a grading of 7.5 is not very bad at all for this card.  There have been a total of 16 graded copies of this card and none have been found to be gem mint and none have even graded above a 9.0.

I also picked up a Tommy John card which has a pretty sloppy autograph.  This seems to be very appropriate for a pitcher known for his elbow surgeries.

And lastly, I can never turn down a Topps Commemorative Patch card.  This one honors Ralph Kiner and the 1949 All-Star Game held at Ebbets Fied in Brooklyn.  

July 25, 2013

Damn It Jerry!

I'm going to be slowly working my way collecting most of the Parks and Recreation autographs and my first one was an easy one.  I picked up this autograph of Jim O'Heir who plays the lovable and hapless Jerry Gergich for only a few dollars on eBay.  It is easily my favorite card I've picked up this year and certainly in contention for my Card of the Year.

2013 Press Pass Parks and Recreation #JO Jim O'Heir Autograph

In case you can't appreciate exactly what "Damn It Jerry" means here is a great montage of the horrors that the rest of the staff of the Parks and Recreation Department put him through.  

July 24, 2013

Anything Worth Mentioning?: Six Packs of 2012 Topps

In this series, I cut through the crap and only show you the cards worth mentioning.

I'm really pushing the definition of "worth mentioning" here as my six packs yielded just the standard cards and inserts.  As is often the case with the Updates and Highlights series, these are the first cards for two players in my PC with their new teams.  We have Ichiro who was traded to the Yankees roughly a year ago and...

2012 Topps Update #US272A Ichiro 

...Francisco Liriano who was traded by my beloved Twins to the White Sox.  Liriano then signed with the Pirates during the off season and has been pitching very well for them.  He is currently 9-4 for them with a 2.44 ERA.

2012 Topps Update #US1A
The addition of new Ichiro cards into my PC has effectively stopped since joining the Yankees.  Being traded to the Yankees by the Mariners I can ignore but when he re-signs with them the PC is not going to get any larger with cards featuring Ichiro in pinstripes.  This sort of thing has happened to my collections before and it hurts when it happens.

July 23, 2013

Update on the Target Topps Sale, This Time With Photos

After my post yesterday on Target's sale on 2013 Topps Series I, Opening Day, and MLB Stickers no one else [through comments on Twitter] was able to find the same sale at their local Targets.  While I was out and about today I went to a different Target and was able to find the same sale.  This time around I snapped some photos.

And the here are the discounted stickers:

These sales look to be going through August 3rd around here. Maybe Minnesota is just a wonderland of discounted cards currently.  

July 22, 2013

Attention Topps Collectors: Get Your Butt To Target

I can only personally speak about the Target stores around the Twin Cities area but Target currently has 2013 Topps Series I, 2013 Opening Day, and 2013 Stickers at 50% off.  So we are talking 99 cents, 49 cents, and 75 cents per pack.  

That Awkward Moment You Learn A Card You Have Been Searching For Doesn't Actually Exist

You begin with:

And move onto:

And when you realize it is a card off your needs list and you are that much closer to finishing your collection:

Since 2011, I've had two mini cards of Brian Bannister on my "Short Term Collecting Goals."  Which reminds me, I think I need to seriously examine what I consider a "short term goal" versus a "long term goal."  Anyway, they were from 2009 Topps 206 and where the American Caramel and Carolina Brights back.  I had the other four Bannister mini variation in the set and I wanted to complete this "master set."

Every once in a while I would search on eBay for them but I would never find anything...which wasn't too surprising since the Carolina Bright version was a 1-of-1.  But I got an e-mail this weekend from reader mrhaverkamp letting me know that the American Caramel version was included in the 2010 Topps 206 set and wasn't made in 2009.  I had screwed up the year when I was searching for all the possible variations that were out there.  Thanks again mrhaverkamp for making my needs list a little shorter!  

July 21, 2013

Pack Searching Transparent Packages

While walking around Target the other day I was surprised to find a rack of repackaged baseball and football cards back in the sporting goods department rather than at the front of the store with the rest of the packs.  I always take a look to see if there is a Bryce Harper rookie waiting for me on the opposite side of these packages and as I was looking I noticed the little sticker towards the bottom left. 

"Look for Memorabilia Cards" the sticker commands.  Your wish is my command!

I imagine someone decided it would be a good idea to place those stickers without actually having seen the transparent packaging that would confine the cards.  So "Look for Memorabilia Cards"?  I surely will.



And I even went a head and checked the other ten or so repackages and guess what?  No memorabilia cards to be found, surprise, surprise.

July 20, 2013

Inherited Cards

During the Christmas holiday I inherited the small card collection from my brother-in-law.  This sort of phenomena I like to call the "Gravity of Card Collectors."  This happens when through conversation or "being outed" as a card collector by a third party, someone else discovers you know a thing or two about cards and they want you to adopt their abandoned collection.  And like a meteor that is traveling through space and then suddenly grabbed by Earth's gravity the two objects card collections become one.

Have you, Dear Reader, had this happen to you?

My inherited cards included a box of loose cards as well as this binder full of odds and ends.  Here's a look inside:  

July 19, 2013

Keith Olbermann Is Returning To ESPN

I am very excited to hear that Keith Olbermann will be returning to ESPN, not as a reporter on SportsCenter, but as a host of a late night talk show.  If this new venture is successful we might get to see him grace an Allen and Ginter card as some previous ESPN hosts have.  It surprising that a guy with such a notable history of buying baseball cards as well as an official commentator on baseball through his Baseball Nerd blog for MLB only has one easily obtainable card. One which I have the dress shirt relic version of.   

2009 Topps American Heritage Celebrity Relics #KO
To be fair, he also has a super short printed autograph that can be tracked down in packs of 2003 Bowman Heritage or can be bought for about $80 on eBay currently.  

July 18, 2013

Anything Worth Mentioning?: Discounted 2011 Allen and Ginter Packs

In this series, I cut through the crap and only show you the cards worth mentioning.

What better deal is there to than to find packs of Allen and Ginter in the discount/clearance racks...well maybe some discount Topps Chrome...but still, there's not much that is better to the baseball card collector.  I found five packs of 2011 Topps Allen and Ginter in the clearance box at Shopko while home in Wisconsin and although it is without question the worst Allen and Ginter set design I would buy packs of it for $1.50 all day long.  

But the question was, did I get anything worth mentioning?

Well, I'll always mention the minis in Allen and Ginter packs.  They are practically the reason I love the set so much.  In this group I got a "black border" of Jack LaLanne as well as a Ginter-back version of the rookie card of the late Mariners prospect Greg Halman.  

Plus, the Zack Greinke turns out to be a short-printed mini.  

Staying on the subject of short-prints I also pulled three regular base short-prints from my five packs.  So that is four short-prints pulled out of five packs...not too bad if I was actually trying to build this set.    

#314 Nick Markakis
#303 Jaime Garcia
#328 Chris Johnson
My last two interesting cards are inserts that are fairly hard to pull.  The "Sketches" fall 1:6 packs and the "Minds" set falls at one in every eight packs.  Overall, the Isaac Newton was my favorite card from the packs.
#BHS-17 Baseball Highlight Sketches Texas Rangers
#MMF15 Minds That Made The Future Isaac Newton

Ripping A Pack Of 2013 Press Pass Parks and Recreation Retail

While living abroad for the better part of nine months I often thought about what product/pack I would pick up first when I was back home.  And when I finally made that fateful trip to Target to see what was available I found this pack staring back at me.

So I made a little video that I will also post over at my other web page, A Pack To Be Named Later.  I hope you enjoy it.

July 17, 2013

I'm Going To The National 2013

I will be at the National Sports Collectors Convention [a.k.a. The National] on its first full day, Thursday, August 1st, and you can expect many posts and videos about my experience.  Besides the rows and rows of dime boxes, great deals, and oddball items you might never see again, this year's show will highlight some of the highest graded versions of the most important baseball cards ever made.  Arizona Diamondbacks' owner Ken Kendrick will have a portion of his vast collection on display which includes the best possible version of one of the most famous baseball cards ever, the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle.  

I've never really wanted a '52 Mantle for myself but that card is a beauty.  

My Pledge To You, Dear Reader

I'm back from my trip abroad to Eastern Europe and my close to a year without new cardboard is officially over.  It's been fun exploring my collection again these past few days and finally getting the chance to go through purchases I made last summer that I never really absorbed into my collection.

I'm also excited to start writing about cards more frequently after taking much of 2013 off.  I've only written 24 posts this year and that's just not right.  So are you looking for a baseball card blog with regular updates, a lot of pack ripping, contests, videos, and quite a few opinions?

My pledge to you is at least one update a day for 2013 but you are likely to get a whole lot more than that.  My number of visitors is slowly climbing to 500,000 and when that happens the contest flood gates are really going to happen.  Be sure to check back often as we get closer to that milestone and if I haven't said it before, thanks for sticking around and reading my blog through the years and through the many breaks and hiatuses I've taken as life has gotten in the way of card collecting.  

July 3, 2013

Discovering Sherlock Holmes Tobacco Cards

While visiting the Sherlock Holmes Museum at the current location of 221B Baker Street in London they had on display at poster which featured cigarette cards of some of the most famous Sherlock Holmes characters.  While being a huge Holmes fan, I had never seen these particular cards before.

I was only familiar with a few Sherlock-related cards including this one from 2010 Allen and Ginter and an Arthur Conan Doyle Card from Mayo.

2010 Topps Allen and Ginter #110 Sherlock Holmes
But these cigarette minis are by far the best Sherlock-related cards I've ever seen.  How could I not have known about them before?  They include some famous characters like the Man With The Twisted Lip and the Hound of the Baskervilles...it would have been neat if he glowed green in the moon light like in the 80's Jeremy Brett TV series.  They of course also have the Sherlock and all the main characters including Professor Moriarty.

With a little research on this set I found that it was put out in 1923 and could be found in packs of Turf Cigarettes.  As a brand Turf Cigarettes was a part of the larger Carreras Tobacco Company which was based out of London and operated from the early 1800's through the 1950's.

Here is a scan I found of the reverse of one of the cards and you can see the Turf logo.  It turns out that there are 25 cards in total in the set.

I also found a scan of all the cards in the set that is a better quality that my photo.  After being out of the card game for nearly a year it is nice to be able to add a card set to my list of cards to begin searching for.

July 1, 2013