Sunday, February 12, 2012

It's been a long time coming...

Well...it's been quite a while since I've made a post on here. And for those of you still following my blog, I appreciate you not dumping me.

A lot of things have happened since my last post this past July. The Cardinals had an amazing run in the play-offs and one hell of a World Series! Then, while I was still riding high on the euphoria of the World Series win, Tony LaRussa announces his retirement. I wasn't happy about it, but you can't blame the guy for going out on top. But just when I was getting over the loss of LaRussa, Pujols goes and signs with the Angels. Total disappointment...but what are you gonna do?

So...let's get down to the business at hand. This is, after all, a baseball card blog.

I was recently invited to join an All-Time Greatest fantasy baseball league, and decided to accept since I've never done a league like that before. The draft has forced me to research ball players in order to come up with a respectable roster. That recent research has got my baseball card collecting juices flowing again, and in turn, driven me back to my blog. (See how that chain of events unfolded? Cool, huh?)

So, yesterday I was looking through my cards, trying to find some duplicates for a trade I'm working on, and I found several sets (or more accurately insert sets and parallels) that I made me want to get the whole set.

I tend to go through these "phases" in my collecting preferences. Right now, I'm all about the minis...you know those tobacco-sized little cards that you see in a lot of sets. Allen & Ginter, Gypsy Queen, and Obak all have mini parallels of their base sets, but Kimball Champions is a stand-alone set, meaning they're not a parallel or variation card. They're based on the n184 Kimball Champions 50-card set produced in 1887 that only had 4 baseball players in it. The rest of the original set was made up of everything from a checkers champion to Annie Oakley. The 2011 Kimball Champions set that Topps produced was inserted into the 2011 Topps Series 1, 2, and Updates sets. Overall there are 150 minis spread out over the three sets of the Topps flagship release. (I started to put a link to the checklist here, but you can use Google just as easily as I can.)


I'm thinking these minis are going to look good in my album. Let me know what you think about the Kimball Champions set or minis in general.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Draft Pick That Wasn't

Cardboard Connection Radio had a segment last week on this card, and I thought it was a story worth sharing with those of you who didn't listen to the show.

In the 1974 NHL draft, the Buffalo Sabres' general manager was upset with the draft process and decided to make a fake pick in the 11th round. Punch Imlach, the Sabres GM at the time, picked up a Buffalo phone book, found a Japanese name, and announced that the Sabres were drafting Taro Tsujimoto, the center from the Tokyo Katanas (also a fictitious team...Sabres-Katanas...get it?). To this day, the fans at Buffalo still chant "We want Taro!" at the games.

That's a great story that stands on its own, but 36 years later Panini decides to make Tsujimoto's first rookie card. No, I'm not kidding. The 2010-11 Score Rookies & Traded set includes a short print of the legend himself. Panini even cleared the card with the NHL and the PA.



 2010-11 Score Rookies & Traded #659 Taro Tsujimoto

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Baseball Cards Are Keeping Me Busy

Apparently I've reach the point where I've got too many things on my plate. Writing for The Cardboard Connection, posting on my favorite forum, Sports Card Radio Fan Forum, and following the Cardinals with Pujols on the DL and all the bull-pen drama going on, has pushed posting on my blog almost completely off my plate. But today I'm enjoying a rare day off from work and trying to make the most of it.

I'm going to try and catch everyone up on what's been going on in my little corner of the world of baseball card collecting. Since my last post, I've contributed a couple more stories on The Cardboard Connection. You already know about the piece on the Frank Corridon card (1910 T205 Frank Corridon Leads History Lesson). But since then I've also written Baseball’s Changed But the Stats on the Back Haven’t, which is a story about how I believe Topps or any other company that may get a license to produce baseball cards, should get a little innovative and add some new stats to the backs of baseball cards. 

I've also written a piece about my feelings on base cards. Getting Back to Base-ics With Your Collection was a fun article for me to write because I think some of the newer cards with their fancy graphics and shiny surfaces are approaching ridiculous. I'm not opposed to any types of sports cards. But in a world where refractors, memorabilia cards, and sticker autos are kings, I just wanted to highlight that base cards are still relevant. 


I've also got a new article that I have just submitted for editing prior to the writing of this blog post. It's a piece on a book I just finished reading entitled Mint Condition - How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession by Dave Jamieson. I'll be sure to post a link to it as soon as it hits the website.


Well, besides writing for the website, I've also added a few more "ubber-vintage" cards to my collection. (In my world "uber-vintage" is any card that's over 100 years old.) If you scroll down to my previous post, you'll see my 1911 T205 Frank Corridon card. That card got me wondering about the rest of the Cardinals in the T205 set. So I did a little research and found that there were a total of 10 different Cardinals in the set, two of them are Hall of Famers (Roger Bresnahan and Miller Huggins), and there are two Cardinals who have variation cards. Roger Bresnahan has one card with his mouth closed and one with it open, while Robert Harmon has one card with both of his ears visible and one where you can only see one of his ears. You really have to be a collector to appreciate the variation cards. I think most people would just shrug their shoulders at the slight differences in the cards, but to a collector those are little nuggets of gold! Anyway, I was able to get my hands on a few of these historical pieces. Here's the scans of the cards I recently scored...

1911 T205 Arnold Hauser
1911 T205 Edward Konetchy
1911 T205 Edward Phelps
1911 T205 Louis Evans
1911 T205 Rehel Oakes
No Hall of Famers or variation cards. Those are still a little out of my price range at the moment, but maybe Santa might find it in his heart to put a little special something in my Cardinals Christmas stocking next year. (My wife reads this blog, so just humor me.) 

Just a little trivia note that I would like to add...and this 100% baseball related, but more of a personal nature. I recently have been doing a little research into my family history, and I found out that my grandfather was born in 1911. (In fact, if he were alive today, he would be celebrating his 100th birthday tomorrow.) Since I I'm collecting the 1969 Topps set because it was produced the same year I was born, I wanted to at least get all the Cardinals from the year my grandfather was born. 

I'm going to have to do a little more research into the sets produced in 1945 to find a baseball card set that was made the same ear that my father was born. But that's a topic for another blog post.


Thanks for reading. See you next time!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

It's Official!!!

I'm so excited I don't know what to say. I just know I want to tell everyone that The Cardboard Connection just published my first article!!!

1910 T205 Frank Corridon Leads History Lesson

The thing that makes me so excited is that the link to my article is on their main page! I'm so excited, you'd think I just landed my first book deal.

I have to go call my mother and let her know that her son it going to win a Pulitzer Prize one day. She'll be happy.

Monday, May 30, 2011

My New Job

A few weeks ago, The Cardboard Connection was advertising for some writing positions. I took a look at the application and thought to myself, "How cool would it be to get paid for writing about baseball cards?" I told the wife about it, and I was pleasantly surprised when she encouraged me to go for it. So I took a chance, filled out the app, and submitted a writing sample (it was actually a post from my blog). They say you can't win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket, so I gave it a shot.

I never though in a million years that I would land a paying gig writing about the hobby. I have no formal journalism training and no experience writing (other than my blog). Speaking of my blog, it wasn't too long ago that I made a post about how I felt that I wasn't contributing to the hobby.

That's about to change. 

About a week went by after I submitted my application online. Then one day, out of the blue, I'm checking my Blackberry and I see an email from Mike Smeth, owner of The Cardboard Connection. He was offering me position on their staff! Can you believe it? I half-way expected the Candid Camera crew to come around the corner. I was on cloud-nine! It's still surreal to me.

The whole experience has been very humbling. There are probably hundreds of bloggers out there that have been around the hobby a lot longer than I have. Several of you guys write blogs that I consider to be quality material. The thing I find most humbling is that the people who read my blog and have blogs themselves are the same people that have taught me a lot of what I know about the hobby of collecting sports cards. I owe you my gratitude.



I'll be sure to post a link and Tweet about my first article when it gets posted.