Aw, Man! I Want A Fairfield Repack, Too!!!

I’ve been seeing a bunch of posts lately for repacks, and it lit a fire within me.

MUST…
HAVE…
REPACK!!!!

I had to go to Target anyway, so I went through the repacks they had on hand… Unfortunately, the ones they had made no promises of vintage, just 5 rookie cards. Whoop-dee-doop-dee-doo.

Didn’t matter, I needed a fix. Into the cart it went, and into my blog it goes…

The particular repack I bought was one I picked out because of this Jason Bay card I didn’t recognize… and it turned out to be a 2007 Topps Wal-Mart insert. Despite his less-than-stellar time with the Mets, I like Jason Bay and hope he turns it around with the Mariners.
2007 Topps Wal-Mart Jason Bay

Just like most Fairfield repacks, I got some 1980’s Topps glossies… Usually my favorite part. Unfortunately, this time around the only one I needed was this Clemens…
1987 Topps Glossy All Star Roger Clemens
…and naturally, I ended up with two of these. Sigh.

I like the late-1980’s parking lot in the background.  I believe that’s a big ol’ Cadillac just over Clemens’ shoulder.  It’s too bad it’s not a pink Cadillac, crushed velvet seats, ridin’ in the back, oozin’ down the street, wavin’ to the girls, feelin’ outta sight, spendin’ all my money on a Saturday night, honey I just wonder what it feels like in the back of your pink Cadillac… pink Cadillac…

Huh?  Whuh?  Oh, sorry, drifted away for a minute…

Woo-hoo! I got Bipped! I think that’s almost becoming a point of honor…
1992 Upper Deck Bip Roberts

Huh. I didn’t know Star did a Keith Hernandez set… I’ve got a couple of other player-specific Star sets, but I don’t recall running across Keith before.
1987 Star Keith Hernandez Post Season Stats
The problem with doing these player-specific sets in the colors of the player’s current team is that you get bad combos like a Cardinals uniform framed with Mets orange. This would’ve been a nicer card with different colors… but it’s Star, it’s only going to get but so nice… I’ll just distract myself by admiring Keith’s stirrups.

I got a number of 2010 cards, including this Aaron Laffey. Laffey was on the Mets earlier this month, and I didn’t have a single card of his. Last week the Mets put him on waivers and he was claimed by the Blue Jays… and NOW I have a card of Aaron Laffey. Ain’t that just…
2010 Topps Aaron Laffey
In case you hadn’t noticed, the Blue Jays will put a waiver claim on ANYBODY. Don’t believe me? Keep an eye on the transactions column… seems like half the guys who go through waivers get claimed by the Jays, even if the Jays then turn around and DFA the guy.

No, I don’t understand it.

…and for what it’s worth, the Jays did turn around and DFA Aaron Laffey.

Among the promised rookies I got were a 2005 Bazooka Melky Cabrera (which seems to actually have some value), a couple of uninteresting 2010 rookies and this 2007 TriStar David Price, which is at least shiny even if it is kinda ugly.
2007 TriStar Prospects Plus David Price

Not one of the better repacks I’ve gotten, but still $4 worth of entertainment.

…And for the record, 36 cards went straight from the repack into the recycling bin… Just doing my part to keep America safe from Junk Wax.

1979 Hostess Rick Manning

1979 Hostess Rick ManningRick Manning is probably better known for the 20-plus years he’s spent as a color commentator on Indians broadcasts, but he was also a pretty durn good outfielder.

The Indians selected Manning out of high school with the second-overall pick in the 1972 June draft, just after the Padres took Dave Roberts.  Other notable names in the first round were Scott McGregor (Yankees), Roy Howell (Rangers), Dick Ruthven (Twins) and Chet Lemon (A’s).

Rick Manning played 13 years with the Indians and Brewers, and was known for his speed and his defense.  He won the A.L. Gold Glove in 1976.

Don’t Panic

Did you ever lose something and no matter how hard you look, you can’t for the life of you figure out where it got to?  Everybody’s had that happen at some time, right?

…But let me ask you this:  Have you ever lost an entire set of 600+ cards?

How about five sets?

It all started this past weekend… I decided to do more purging from my collection, and at the top of my hit list was my accumulation of Bowman cards and much of the 1990 Donruss set.  Bowman took up a good part of my “card time” this weekend because the cards were stored all over the place and I didn’t want to purge all of them, just the Wes Swackhamers and other such players who have no significance to me and don’t look like they ever will… no offense intended, Wes.

1990 Donruss Darren DaultonWhen I was done with the Bowman I figured 90D wouldn’t take much time to go through, so I made a quick search for it, couldn’t find it, and decided to leave it for later.

So after work on Monday I started going through the various boxes in my man cave as well as the stack of 5000 count boxes in another part of the house, and couldn’t find 1990 Donruss.

By this point, I’m starting to get preoccupied with it.  If 90D isn’t in my boxes, then where the ***** is it?  And if I’m missing 1990 Donruss, what else might I be missing?  I started looking anyplace I could think of where entire boxes of cards could be hiding.  In the guest room closet, under the couch in the living room,  inside a disused entertainment center, buried under debris on my man cave table…

The more I searched and failed, the more it bugged crap out of me… and what bugged me wasn’t so much that I couldn’t find 1990 Donruss; after all, I was looking for it so I can get rid of it.  What bothered me was that it was a sizable amount of cards that I couldn’t lay hands on and I had no idea of where they went to.  I think part of me also was thinking that if I found 90D, I’d find some of the other long lost items in my collection.

After taking a quick inventory, I figured out two things:  First, that all 13 of my 3000 – 5000 count boxes are accounted for;  second, I also didn’t know where 1987 and 1989 Topps, 1989 Score and 1987 Fleer were.  It was a relief to know that if they’re truly lost and if I wanted to replace them all, it would cost me, what?  $50?

But it still kept eating at me, even though dinner.  My wife said something to me, but I was so preoccupied that all I heard were Charlie Brown muted trumpet noises.  Wah wah wah waaaahhhhh.  All the while, I’m mentally exploring the house, trying to think of places I hadn’t looked yet.

I remembered I had boxes of doubles in the attic, or at least I thought they were doubles.  I opened one large moving box and inside I found a few smaller boxes and found a note to myself:  “I think that these are all doubles”.

Hmmm.

So I brought the box downstairs and started pulling stuff out.

NASCAR doubles.  *sigh*… I thought I’d gotten rid of all my racing cards.

Topps Hockey stickers.  A couple of hundred hockey stickers.  I have hockey stickers?  When did I buy hockey stickers?

Donruss Action All-Star doubles… Yep, gotta recycle those bad boys!   …Once I confirm that they are actually doubles.

1990 Donruss Jesse Orosco And then I found the elusive 90D.  Praise the Lord and pass the recycling bin!

…but there’s still no sign of the Topps and Fleer sets.  Damn.  The saga continues…

So I’ve got to ask… Has anyone else ever lost multiple large sets of cards?  Let me know, and make me feel better about my cardboard equivalent of an EPA “Superfund” site.

No Bourn? No Problem.

2012-13 Hot Stove #13 - Michael BournAll-Star outfielder Michael Bourn was pursued by the Mets and other teams before signing a multi-year contract with the Indians. I don’t have a problem with the Mets missing on Bourn, but it took several attempts at writing why I’m OK with it without coming across as extremely pessimistic or bitter – I am a Mets fan, after all.

I agree that the Mets were wise to pursue Bourn if his price fell enough, but at $48 million over four years, I don’t think it fell enough, even if they successfully argued to keep their 1st round draft pick. Bourn may have made this team more palatable, but he wasn’t going to single-handedly make this team a contender and possibly not even competitive.  Also, at 30 years old the man is pretty much at his peak… which means that when the Mets do get competitive, he’ll be on the decline or be gone (although I hope that the Mets get competitive before Bourn’s contract is done).

At this stage in the rebuilding process, the Mets should instead be spending on organizational depth, their bullpen and their farm system. Yes, the outfield is a significant concern, but I’d rather see them pick up a couple of slightly-above-average outfielders from among the many guys who will become available as we get closer to opening day. With any luck, one of these March pickups will have a good first half and get traded at the deadline for a prospect or two.

Hopefully in a year or two the Mets will be in a position where it makes sense to pick up big names… but they’re not there yet.

OK, now that I’ve gotten that off  my chest, I have to confess that I thought the “photoshopping” of this custom would be easy… both teams have the same colors, so it’s just slapping an Indians logo over the Braves logo and BAM! Done.  Turned out to be a lot more tweaking and adjusting of Chief Wahoo than I expected, and I’m not 100% happy with it… But I wonder if I’m my own worst critic sometimes.

No Rhyme Or Reason: Three Arbitrary And Unrelated Cards

1968 Topps Fred WhitfieldI’ve had this card since I was a kid. In a collection full of 1970’s cards, it was one of the few 1960’s cards I had.

At the time, I thought of Fred Whitfield as “really old”, but it wasn’t until I grew up and looked back on it that I realized that it wasn’t so much about his age as much as how he seemed like he was from another era. The ballplayers I was familiar with were very hairy guys… Long hair, big afros, sideburns, moustache, or some combination of the above. This stern-looking guy with the close-cropped hair and the zippered vest…well, he was not of this Earth.

—————————————————————–

This Miguel Tejada card has personal significance, but not in a good way.  For sets like Heritage where I bust plenty of wax but don’t try to complete it, I had several criteria I used to make up wantlists after I was done ripping wax.  This Tejada was a short print that was on my want list because even though he’s pictured with the A’s, he’d played for the Orioles.  Tejada’s a relatively big name and a former Oriole, but I don’t like him and don’t think much of him, and that resulted in a huge case of buyer’s remorse as soon as I pulled this sucker out of the box from COMC.  True, I only spent a couple of bucks of COMC credit for it, but it bugs me a little that I could’ve gotten something more enjoyable, even a handful of commons.  It was this card that caused me to change my wantlist criteria for Heritage to “Mets, Orioles and players I like”.

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Back in the spring I bought a complete set of 1988 Big Baseball (shelled out all of $5 for it and probably paid too much). I pulled out the cards I wanted, and put the rest in a box headed out the door for parts unknown. This is one of the cards I kept, solely because I like it.

Cory Snyder trying to turn two, Kevin Seitzer trying to stop him, cavernous Cleveland Municipal Stadium as the backdrop, undoubtedly filled with hundreds of screaming fans…

On The Threshold Of Complete

Two of my goals for 2012 are to complete two sets I’d started collecting back in the 1970’s: 1973 Topps baseball and 1975 Topps football.

My latest attempt to complete these sets came when COMC had their Black Friday promotion. In both cases I made progress, but didn’t QUITE get to my goal… at this point, it looks like these goals will carry over to 2013.

For 1975 Football, I needed two cards. I found the first card I needed at a price and condition I could get behind:
1975 Topps Football Cliff Branch

When I decided to complete the set a couple of years ago, this rookie card was one of the costliest needs on my list (the Dan Fouts rookie was at the top). It took a while to find one within my (low) budget, and I’m very happy to be able to cross this one off the list.

However, when I went looking for the other card I need, the only one available was from someone whose asking price was book. I thought about buying it just to complete the set…

…But there’s just one thing, you see…
I
nevah
evah
buy nothin’
at book price.

Since I wanted to be like a shark and keep moving through the COMC waters – and to be honest, it’s taken me 37 years to get this far and I can wait another couple of months – I passed that card by without making an offer. Let that be a lesson to you, Mr. Book Value Guy.

Just like with 1975 Football, I went into Black Friday needing just a couple of cards for 1973 baseball. One of the three is the Schmidt rookie, and I’m trying to find a well-loved copy that I can get in the general $20 area. I didn’t expect to find a card like that on COMC, and I didn’t.

The third-most-wanted 1973 card is a checklist, and even though I’m not particular about condition or whether it’s been used as a checklist, this card has eluded me. COMC was no exception, but I’m not going to sweat it too much, since I’m sure I’ll find a copy of that before I find “The Perfectly Imperfect Schmidt”.

Ah, but the third card I needed is one I got in my COMC shipment… The Dwight Evans/Al Bumbry/Charlie Spikes rookie card, which I got in decent condition for $5.
1973 Topps Bumbry Evans Spikes

I have to say, it might be more fun when the final cards come one at a time… I’m enjoying the anticipation and the sense of the hunt.

I did complete some 1970’s Steelers team sets, but given that I’m already running late for work, those will have to wait for another day.

Without A Cup, Part 7: Another Outfielder

In 1974, Topps didn’t use a cup… That is to say, they didn’t use the golden “All-Star Rookie” cups on the cards which feature members of Topps 1973 All-Star Rookie team. Since Topps didn’t honor those players, I will. Today we’ll be looking at one of the outfielders on that team.

Johnny Grubb batted .311 with 8 homers and 37 RBI in 1973, got a Rookie Of The Year vote and was also named to the Baseball Digest team. He’d play for the Padres, Rangers, Tigers and Indians from 1972 to 1987, and was an All-Star in 1974. He was 7-for-12 as a pinch-hitter in 1973.

Grubb hit 36 doubles in 1975, which was a Padres team record at the time.  Tony Gwynn holds the current record after hitting 49 doubles in 1997.

This is the less-common variation of Grubb’s rookie card (the common version being the Padres version, of course). Another variation (of sorts) involving Johnny Grubb was when O-Pee-Chee airbrushed him into a Cleveland Indians uniform in 1977… Here’s the Topps version of that card…

1977 Topps #286 - Johnny Grubb - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

1977 Topps #286 – Johnny Grubb – Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

…and here’s the O-Pee-Chee version which reflects his late 1976 trade to the Indians (along with Fred Kendall and Hector Torres) for George Hendrick.

1977 O-Pee-Chee #165 - Johnny Grubb - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

1977 O-Pee-Chee #165 – Johnny Grubb – Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

Next time, on an all-new “Without A Cup”:  SCANDAL!!!

1979 Hostess Duane Kuiper; Weigh-in #34

I’ve always though that this cap logo is one of the better ones – or maybe ‘interesting’ is a more apt description – that the Indians have had.

It’s also a logo that the Indians stopped wearing after 1977, so this photo was at least 2 years old when the card was issued.

Duane Kuiper had a 12 year career with the Indians and Giants, but at this stage he’s better known as a baseball announcer;  he’s in his 28th year (all but one with the Giants) and has won seven local Emmy awards.

In 2004, the fans in Cleveland voted him as one of the greatest 100 players in Indians history.

He’s also famous for hitting just one home run in 3,379 career at bats. Interestingly enough (to some, anyway), the homer was hit off of Steve Stone, who has also had a long career in broadcasting.

I found one source that said the homer was hit on 7/27/77, but it was actually hit on 8/29/77.  Remember to always verify your research, boys and girls.

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Weigh-In numbers for this week:

Cards coming into the house:  34

Cards leaving the house:  0

Cards entering the collection: 34

Cards leaving the collection: 0

Cards moving from inbound to outbound without entering the collection: 0

To date:

Net change in the collection: -110

Net change to the # of cards in the house: -9,471

Total # of cards which have left the house: 12,369

Random Acts Of Cardness #6

Busy weekend, no time for proper posts, so I’ll just take 20 seconds looking at this card and make random comments.

Who thought it would be good for the Indians to wear uniforms which look like Reds knockoffs?

Photo taken in the original Yankee Stadium in 1972 (the only year for this uniform style).

Schaefer Beer ad in the outfield (“Schaefer is the one beer to have when you’re having more than one!”)

1976 Hostess Fritz Peterson; Weigh-in #25

Fritz Peterson was a better pitcher than I’d realized;  in his best season of 1970 he was 20-11 with a 2.90 ERA.  He really shined in stats which weren’t tracked in 1970 (publicly, anyway):  He had a 1.102 WHIP, 1.4 walks per 9 innings, and a 3.18 K/BB ration, all best in the AL that year.  In fact,  he was generally stingy with the walks, leading the AL in BB/9 from 1968 to 1972.  Fritz appeared in the 1970 All-Star game, facing one batter and allowing a hit.

Fritz played with the Yankees from 1966 until he was traded to Cleveland early in the 1974 season;  according to baseball-reference.com, this is one of the longest Yankees careers without appearing in the postseason.

Interestingly enough, the best all-time ERA at Yankee Stadium belongs not to Whitey Ford or Lefty Gomez or Red Ruffing… It’s Fritz Peterson’s 2.52.

Peterson played a couple of years for the Indians before being traded to the Rangers during the 1977 season.  He appeared in only 4 games with Texas, and never pitched in the majors again.  I found one reference to a shoulder injury, but couldn’t corroborate that.

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Weigh-In numbers for this week:

Cards coming into the house: 33 (2012 Bowman “Three pack”)

Cards leaving the house: 0

Cards entering the collection: 35

Cards leaving the collection: 0

Cards moving from inbound to outbound without entering the collection: 22

To date:

Net change in the collection: -502

Net change to the # of cards in the house: -2683