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Topps

The long dark tea time of the soul has passed. The move back to Canada has been complete, although if you asked me a few months ago I would have said I’d be living in Toronto again and not in a small town just over an hour away. Oh well. The money I save on mortgage costs can be used toward my collection 🙂

So lets just have a quick review of where we are.

1) The decision made to focus collection on OPC brand (through it’s multiple incarnations) has led to a major purge in non OPC cards. (By purge I mean moving from the actively collecting section past the not actively collecting but adding to and into the blerg section.

2) The New years resolutions, written before the move while still in The Dominican Republic have proved to be a bit too easy so far.

  • Get my cards out of storage (should always start with an easy one) – DONE. They look nice in their binders on the shelf again.
  • Update my checklists to get my lists up to date – Almost done- I’ve made the complete list of possible cards (see next post) but havent checked them off again
  • complete 1 pre-2000 OPC hockey set – DONE It’s a big one for me and will get a separate post
  • get a minimum of 1 card from each OPC base set pre 2000 – In progress, but with the updated list created, might be a lot harder.
  • get to 40% on The White Whale (I am at 1364 cards. So just a smidgen over 33% completed.) If you can help please check out https://supportingtheminnow.wordpress.com/the-white-whale/ – No movement as yet (but I know there are some in my unprocessed in box of cards)
  • Attend the Spring/Fall Card Expos in Toronto and the National in Chicago  – Ready to roll in a few weeks for the Spring show in Toronto

Just happy to be back in the hobby and able to collect again.

So now the question is, where to focus from now on..

T

So..umm..this is me asking politely for help. And a favour. You know those Topps commons doubles that you have sitting around that you don’t know what to do with? You know, the junk wax era ones that you have no one to trade them to? Well I could kinda use them. I mean if you don’t need them or want them.

Just the commons though, just the ones you don’t want. Keep the stars, the 1/1’s, the auto’s the parallels and refractors. I’ll do my best to dig up something to trade back. It might have to be an IOU until I get something you want/need (unless of course you want Canadian versions of cards like Leaf and OPC cuz I gots lots of them!)

Here’s the issue. I want to be able to trade with you guys. I want to be able buy garage sale boxes of old baseball cards and trade them and post about them. But there is a problem. They don’t really exist in Canada. Or at least I have not run across them yet (and I have tried). I want to have the same joy of complaining about the junk wax and commons as you all do.

I see vintage singles at shows and stores, but i can’t justify getting them yet with so many other sets missing.

So I am asking nicely, if you have Topps Commons you can’t give away or trade, let me know. Maybe I can find something to trade with you….

To see what I’m facing…

2012 Missing All
2011 Missing 605 of 660
2010 Missing 632 of 660
2009 Missing All
2008 Missing All
2007 Missing All
2006 Missing All
2005 Missing All
2004 Missing All
2003 Missing All
2002 Missing All
2001 Missing All
2000 Missing All
1999 Missing All
1998 Missing All
1997 Missing All
1996 Missing All
1995 Missing All
1994 Traded Missing All
1994 Missing 747 of 792
1993 Traded Missing All
1993 Complete
1992 Traded Missing All
1992 Missing 459 of 792
1991 Traded Missing 131 of 132
1991 Complete
1990 Traded Missing 106 of 132
1990 Missing 475 of 792
1989 Traded Missing All
1989 Missing 565 of 792
1988 Traded Missing 123 of 132
1988 Missing 616 of 792
1987 Traded Missing 131 of 132
1987 Missing 649 of 792
1986 Traded Missing 128 of 132
1986 Missing 728 of 792

1985 and older (Pretty much everything)

Can you help a brother out? Pretty Please? With Sugar and Sprinkles?

My best friend and I took a roadtrip to the Baseball Hall Of Fame. I don’t remember much about what happened that night (we stopped in Syracuse for the night on the way back to Toronto and sampled many of the fine (and some not so fine) local brews)

The BBHOF was fantastic though. Seeing as it was off season it was very quiet. I would expect the place and town to be rammed full on a nice summer day or during inudction weekend. Outside the hall pretty much every store on the main street is some type of memorabilia shop. Not surprisingly, there wasn’t much Hockey stuff.

The HOF is well set up, has a ton of excellent exhibits and kept too 40-somethings entertained for 4 hours. Of course for me one the best parts was the Card display.

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As a novice baseball collector it was great to see the history of the cards spread out. I spent a ton of time, just looking at each year so I could get a feel for the progression of design, style and stars.

Now I know many people are out there who want to go or dream of going so I don’t want to post too many pictures or give away details other than to say definitely worth it if you get a chance to go.

Yes, it has been a few weeks since my last post. That’s because I was away for work and didn’t really have anything new to share.  I was quite happy to come home a see a box on my table that was the right shape and size to be cards. And it was.

I’m not sure about you but even on a cold November day getting mail like this makes me smile.

And what was inside this lovely box?

The smiling faces of the San Francisco Giants Management team.

I’ve never really understood the penchant for baseball staff to wear uniforms. I’m sure it would look silly with them in suits in the dugout, but I’m not convince it wouldn’t e better than this. I suspect there must have been a time when it was perhaps common to have a player/manager and then they would need to be ready to go in. But I can’t picture Charlie Fox stepping up to the plate at that point in his career.

There was in total a couple hundred cards. Including this checklist.I like checklists. I know that might be an unpopular position to take, but they serve their purpose. Unmarked checklists are great for my set building, but its kinda fun to find marked ones. Sometimes I like to see what someone else was missing or had. I once had a checklist that only needed 2 cards on it. I could feel the pain of that person who was so close to completing the set. When I went to check my set I needed those 2 cards as well (still do). It was from the 77-78 OPC Hockey set. I’ve never bothered to look up images of those cards as I want the first time I see them to be when I finally get them.

 

More checklists/team cards.

 

 

 

 

l’m not sure how I would have felt getting these at 10 years old. Cool with the autographs? Or wasted space? I like team cards, and as mentioned I like checklists, but usually with team pictures like this.

Team photo on the front, team checklist on the back. Simple. Should be in every set of sports cards every year.

 

 

We recently opened a branch office in the Dominican Republic. You think they like baseball in the USA? You should see it down there. They love it with a passion that I’ve never seen in the USA.

It turns out that Billy, the new office manager, is a pretty cool guy so naturally we chat about a bunch of stuff. Invariably the conversation turned around to baseball and baseball cards.

Billy mentioned he used to collect when he was younger and that he might still have some kicking around.

To get him back into collecting I set him a box of newer-ish cards. New to him, old to me.

He sent back a small box that had, some 92 Topps (and about 25 older cards)

You could tell these were loved as a kid as they had dented corners, creases, nicks and tears. It was clear that Billy had actually carried these around as a kid, traded them and played topsies, knock downs or other such games with them as kids (I’ll have to ask him what they are called).
In other words they were cards with the story to them, which I prefer to hermetically sealed cards that have never seen the light of day.

Cards like these are great for me as I am not to worried about condition.

Buried in among them were the following 4 cards.

Rose, Bench, Ryan and Yaz. Not a bad set of 4 players. Again the condition on these is about a 5 of 10 but I personally need all 4 so to me they are priceless.

He mentioned he likes the Red Sox and might just start collecting them again, so I am putting together a big box of just Red Sox for him to thank him for this trade.

Lessons learned?

1) You never know who is going to have baseball cards to trade so talk to everyone about it and maybe they will be nice like Billy.

2) You can rekindle the spark of  interest in a former collector to get back into the hobby.

 

Buying cards on Kijiji or from yard sales can be really hit or miss. The most recent box I picked up was real shit. It had an actual lump of what looked like cat (or this being Ontario maybe raccoon?) feces stuck to the outside of the box.
This would have scared off less intrepid collectors, but not me. Besides it was on the outside of the box.

This box had been stored in a musty basement and gave off the aroma of  wet cardboard so my hopes were not high, but luckily the damaged cards were mostly junk wax baseball. I ended up throwing out several hundred cards, but was left with some interesting stuff.

Initial view of the box. Who can resist a binder labelled “good cards”? And ohh ahh is that a Proset hockey I see (sarcasm).

Diving down the next level was a jumbled mess.

 

 

 

I do like unopened packs. Even if they are just 91-92 OPC Hockey. This was one of the last sets to include gum. I could smell it throughout the box (or that could have been cat pee). Either way, not likely going to eat it.

 

The binders held some unusual stuff. Like 96-Wien Hockey which were new to me. There are a bunch of these.
Vietnam Highlights: I mean who doesn’t need a set of cards that includes one for “Agent Orange”

Now lest you think it was all crap. The box did include enough Topps Baseball and OPC hockey to make me want to buy it. I only offer what I would pay for the cards I want. This included.

OPC 1970 Kansas City Royals

a 1970 -71 OPC Gene Ubriaco

 

Whats cool about these cards are they are now my oldest OPC hockey card and my oldest any set baseball card.

Still digging through this box with some other unique finds that I will post about later but I have to stop and wash my hands as I am really thinking that smell is cat pee.

 

 

 

Just got back from 2 weeks vacation and was happy to see a bubble wrap envelope in my mail pile. It was from Josh at RoyalsAndrandoms.blogspot.com and it contained what he mentioned would be a “tour of the 70’s” in baseball form.

Being a newer baseball collector everything he sent me was great and needed but what really made me smile was this.

A 1971 Astros Jack Hiatt.

I’ve seen this design on some of the recent inserts, but this now sets a record for the oldest single Baseball card I have. I know this might not be very impressive to a lot of people, but to me it is.

Thanks Josh.