Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Just something I noticed...

I know this card is one of Nick's personal favorites, and I happened to be leafing through my Mike Devereaux collection a short time ago.

I couldn't get a nicely focused photo of the front of the card, but here's a stolen pic :

I turned the card over, and here was the back :

I'm pretty sure the formatting here blows, but let me just say I think all of these pics are from the same play, based of the marks on Mike's left knee.

Man I hope the pics are aligned...!

Nick J

Monday, July 22, 2013

Anaheim Fish

Found me some fish in my collection.

They're both Angels players, so I guess they'd make a great team along with Tim Salmon and Mike Trout.

I present to you, Robert Fish (2008 Bowman Chrome Prospects #142) and Steve Fish (2000 Bowman #289). They're two more Angels players with oceanic names, and I can't recall a more seafood-named franchise in the history of any sport.

Except the Marlins, Rays or Dolphins...

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Heart-Warming Short Story

Well, I think everyone out there can recall what happened last year.

After getting beaned on the first and only pitch he saw in the Majors, (I think it was 2004 or 2005), Adam Greenberg disappeared from the Majors, apparently never to be seen again.

He signed a one-day contract with the Miami Marlins last year and made it back to the Majors for a very heart-warming single at-bat.

He may have struck out on 3 pitches, but it was no disgrace. He K'd against a guy who was dominating the league on his way to a Cy Young Award, (R.A. Dickey), and I'm guessing nobody left the stadium that day with dry eyes.

I had trouble recalling if I owned a card of Greenberg's from his Cubs days, but thanks to 2004 Topps Total, I have one in my collection.

Thank You, Topps Total,

You are still sorely missed in the collecting world.


Juan Two Three Four...

Now I've never been a massive fan of Juan Gonzalez, but I have to respect what he accomplished in the Major Leagues. And I'll Blog about him because that's the pile of cards I'm currently viewing!

I always seemed to get his cards whenever I bought packs during his playing days. Enough of them, in fact, to land me 206 of Juan's cards.

Included in the above (blurry, sorry) photo, is a 2006 Upper Deck Diamond Collection card, which is the only 2006 card I have of Juan's. He didn't even make it into the 1250-card main set that year, which is odd. That card, visibly or not, is actually numbered 106/699, so I must have a 'Gold' or 'Bronze' variation.

The following 2 cards are from my 2 favorite sets this century : Topps Total (2004) and Upper Deck 40 Man (2002). It doesn't look like we'll ever see either of these sets again, so I'll just have to live in the past.

Lastly, the Gold-Bordered card is from the 2001 Topps Traded set, and is also numbered 0052/2001. Juan came back in a big way in 2001 after a disappointing year in Detroit. He hit .289/22/67 in 2000, then mashed .325/35/140 for the Tribe in '01.

The card at the top left is from the 2000 Topps Traded set (#97) and depicts Juan during his previously discussed 'down' year in Detroit.

The second card looks a lot like the original 1989 Upper Deck release, but it's been given the typical late-90's facelift, complete with shiny foil surface and shiny foil stamping. I never noticed until just now, but that card is also numbered 0186/4000. Just so you know, it's from the insert set called '10th Anniversary Team', which perfectly explains the 1989 design.

There's yet another very '90's-looking' card at the bottom left, from 1997 Upper Deck. It's a one-per-box insert, from memory, and is actually pretty impressive to look at when it's in your hand.

I chose to include that 1997 Donruss card because I'm a sucker for throw-back uniforms. Also, it's card #1 in that set.

We arrive at the year 1995, and, man... what a colorful year that was for cards! At least, the top 2 cards here are from 1995.

There's a 'Rising Star' insert from 1995 Ultra, and a 'Ring Leader' insert from 1995 Stadium Club. I always thought Topps tried too hard with their inserts, but I actually like the way this card refracts when you move it.

The card at the bottom left is from 1994 Stadium Club, and I think it was from a 3rd series pack. They're called 'Finest Inserts', a wildly imaginative title for the set.

I love Fleer Pro Visions. And this one, takes the prize of my favorite of all time. So much color. The coolest brand of bat ever, and the yellow brick road with horses near it. Just cool!

I threw in the last card there because it's from 1993 Upper Deck, and it shows Juan being kind to some kids. Good fellow, he is.

Finally, we reach some early Juan cards from 1992 down to 1990.

The first card is from the 1992 Upper Deck Ted Williams Best Hitters insert set. On the back, Williams predicts Gonzalez to be a 'Sure MVP'. Teddy Ballgame wasn't wrong...

The 1991 Ultra card is from the formerly-over-valued Update set. I think, according to Beckett, this card was worth around $20 in the middle of the 1990's. Glad I waited until 2011 before buying the set for around $5.

I love the Mirror-image Rookie Card that Donruss produced in 1990. The cynic in me says it was a deliberate error. The cynic is probably right, too. I'm just glad I found the error version in some random shop on the Big Island of Hawaii about 20 years ago. Despite being a tad faded, it still remains one of my favorite cards of Juan's.

Well, thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed our quick look back at the card career of one the 1990's greatest sluggers, Juan Gonzalez.

Nick J

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Danny Tartabull - A Quick Look...

I've decided to post a brief overview of Danny Tartabull's career in cards.

Or, at least, picture one card for each team he played for.

Danny will always be one of my favorite players of all time, not just because he was a good hitter, but because of his legendary appearance on my favorite show of all time, Seinfeld. (If you need to check it out, Danny appears in the 6th Season Episode, 'The Pledge Drive').

I chose these two cards because the borders matched the uniforms.

I love team-color-coded cards.

LOVE them!

Even though these two cards are team-color-coded by default, I still rate them as two of the best Tartabull cards of all the ones I own. (I just checked, and I have 127 different Tartabull cards).

I waited for years to get a card of Danny with the Athletics. Years.

The moment that my complete set of 1996 Donruss arrived at my door, my 'Bull' collection was complete.

To this day, I still only have three cards of Danny with the A's - this '96 Fleer card, as well as the '96 Donruss #548, and the '96 Score #339.

That '92 Fleer card is from the Update set. That set was (and still is) way over-valued when it comes to a certain price guide magazine. I bought it for what I thought it was worth. From memory, it was about $10.

The final 2 cards in my collection are from Danny's years with the White Sox (1997 Donruss #97) and the Phillies (1998 Pacific #389).

I also own only three cards which showcase Danny's tenure with the Phillies, this Pacific issue, as well as the '97 Fleer #614, and the '97 Score #448.

The fact that he has at least three cards with the Phillies is incredible, considering he only played 3 games for them in 1997, with a grand total of zero hits from 7 at-bats.

Despite that, he had a great career.

And I'm sure if Danny Tartabull were here, he'd say "That's right, Nick".

Multi-Tasking Pitchers

Like most other bloggers out there, I love cards that depict pitchers doing stuff that aint pitching.

Upper Deck seemed to catch Charles Nagy a few times either hitting (1992 & 1993) or running the bases (1998 Collectors Choice).

For the record, Nagy strode to the plate 20 times over his 14-year career, and managed to get 2 hits, for a .105 average. He also somehow managed to score 3 runs.

His career All-Star Game average? 1.000! He led off the 8th inning of the 1992 ASG,  and singled off Doug Jones. Perhaps that hit is depicted on the 1993 Upper Deck card, since A.L. pitchers pretty much never batted in those days.

Denny Neagle.

Now here's a guy who, for a pitcher, was certainly a useful bat at the bottom of the order.

For his career, he batted at a .164 clip over 628 plate appearances, with 5 homers and 44 RBI.

I love that 2002 Upper Deck card - everyone remembers Denny as a fun-loving and goofy kind of guy, and I think he may have been impersonating Larry Walker's (in)famous All-Star Game at-bat from a few years earlier.

I may have a few more cards of Pitchers-doing-stuff-they-don't-often-do elsewhere, but they may have to wait for another day.

That day could well be tomorrow, if I find them this afternoon!

Thanks for reading,

Nick J

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Dave Winfield Cardboard Tribute... (Part 2 of 2)

(Part 1 Here)

G'day again!

 We're on to part 2 of my Dave Winfield tribute, in cardboard form.

I had a great time last night creating the first post, and I imagine this one will be even more enjoyable, as we will be heading into the 70's.




Who doesn't love 1970's Baseball Cards???

They're all to come soon, but for now lets focus on the 1990 cards.

Wow, we nearly have 2 cards from each set represented here - save for Leaf and Bowman. Even though the Blue Donruss card is from a semi-oddball issue, it still serves it's purpose as 'Donruss Update', to me.

That Upper Deck card in the top left is my favorite card in this group. You may not be able to see it here, but the look on Winfield's face is hilarious. Looks like he is picturing Big Stein's face on that baseball...

Next in line are my 1989 and 1988 cards.

For me, the 1988 Score card stands out the most. That dark purple seems to go really well with the Yankee uniforms, for some reason.

Donruss really seemed to love the style of photo it used for the 1989 Winfield card. Hitter... Close-Up... Awaiting pitch... in batting stance...! That pose appeared on a lot of great hitters' Donruss cards from 1986 to 1992.

Speaking of Donruss, I really love the 1988 Baseball's Best set. I think it's referred to by some in the collecting world as 'The Halloween Set', but my main attraction to the set is the glossy fronts (an exception, rather than the rule, in those days), and the full career stats on the backs.

Now we venture into Winfield's 5-year stretch of 100+ RBI seasons.

Unfortunately for myself, and most Dodger fans, these years were Winfield's Yankee years.

But weren't they explosive! Despite all the crap that occurred between Big Stein and Winfield, he still managed to produce runs by the bunch, year in and year out.

Looking at the 1987 Donruss Opening Day card, we see yet another close-up photo of a hitter in his batting stance... etc. A true Donruss staple!

That 1986 Topps design is maligned by many, and adored by few. I'm actually sitting on the fence with this one, but that Black & White design was extremely Yankee-friendly. They have the best looking cards in that set, I believe.

Here is a nice pile of Winfield cards from 1985 down to 1983. My favorite designs in this lot? 1985 Fleer, then 1985 Topps, then 1983 Topps. The two 1985 sets, for me, are two of the best sets from the 80's. Why? Team-Color-Codedness! To quote Barney Stinson, "It's a thing..."

Looks like Donruss stole their 'Superstar Hitter Pose' photograph idea from Fleer somwhere between 1984 and late 1985. I love that 1984 Fleer card. I really miss the old Fleer sets. These days, whenever I buy a complete set, I sort all of the cards into teams. Fleer negated the need to bother with that, by doing it themselves.

We have arrived at the earliest cards of Dave Winfield as a Yankee.

Nothing too spectacular here, although that Diamond King card is one of the first 26 we ever laid eyes on.

I wish Topps would bring back something they only did once - that is, issue the Traded or Update series as a numeric continuation of the main set. In 1981, the main set had 726 cards, and the 132-card Traded set was numbered 727-858. I want my 2013 set to go from 1-990, but hey, I'll settle for what they're doing now. At least they're actually still producing an update set. (1996-1998 Topps, I'm looking at you!)

Finally, we have reached the coolest stack of Dave Winfield cards I own : The Padres cards!

Now, obviously the 1974 card is one I cherish, but my favorite among the 10 cards here is the 1976 Topps card. Why? Team-Color-Codedness, yet again. My favorite 1970's set? I'm going to be really original here and say 1975.

Colors, colors and more colors!

There's not much that needs to be said here, since these cards are simply awesome.

But I will say this : Every single card that I have pictured here in the last 2 days is now living in Australia. I'd guess it's probably the largest Dave Winfield card collection in this country. At least I hope it is!

Thanks for reading,

Nick J

*Edit : Here's Dave's website :

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Dave Winfield Cardboard Tribute... (Part 1 of 2)

(Part 2 Here)

G'day folks,

 I've finally arranged my entire baseball card collection in alphabetical order, and even managed to store them in adequate housing. So now, I have a little bit of time to post about some of my favorite players of all time.

Firstly, I must apologize for the lack of clarity (focus) in some of the photos. The whole scanner situation still hasn't improved. Maybe I'm never supposed to own a fully functioning scanner? I don't know...

Over the next couple of posts, I'll be focusing on the great Dave Winfield. He of the 3110 hits, 465 HR's and 1833 RBI. Considering he also stole 223 bases, and was a highly-ranked pitcher in College, his numbers suggest he was an incredibly gifted athlete. We will count down all of the Winfield cards I own from his playing days, since they're the ones I consider 'actual' Winfield cards. It's still nice to get some reprints, or tribute cards from 1997 - 2013, but to me, they're just not the same.

The top photo contains all of my 'Sunset' (Thanks, Nick!) cards of Winfield, and my favorite one would have to be the Collectors Choice issue, at the middle of the bottom row. FULL career stats, the gold 'Tribute' logo and those great 1995 Blue Indians uniforms are outstanding. Best photo would have to be the Score card on the bottom right. Great follow-through of the great man in his last season. Score will always be one of my favorite brands of all time. Heaps of stats on the back, and most years included a color photo as well. 1988 Score was ahead of it's time!

This is the photo I really should have taken again. In fact, I should have taken it a third time, because this was Take 2. The lack of scanner strikes again!

All of these cards are from 1995, and although some show Winfield in Twins garb, each card lists him as being with the Indians. He was traded to the Indians in late August 1994, but wouldn't appear for them until 1995 because of that damned... well, we all know why! Topps did extremely well in late '94 or early '95 - they managed to track Winfield down at his own house, dressed him up in a Cleveland Uniform, and snapped a few photos of him. That's the unusual story behind his Topps card at the bottom on the right. Who needs airbrushing or Photoshop??? Surely the best card for Winfield in 1995 was the Stadium Club card. I love the fact Topps got him to show bunt. How often would he ever have been asked to do that in an actual game? I'm guessing never!

Change of scenery for this photo. Better lighting. Hope it worked out OK!

1994 was probably the year I bought more packs than any other year. There were just so many different sets out that year, and most of them were available in a large number of shops here in Australia. My favorite design for 1994 would have to be Leaf. I love the team-color-coded, marbleized, curved bar at the bottom of each card. I love the backs even more. More team-color-coded madness! The ticket stub. The team logo itself. PLUS : the holographic team logo in the top right corner. Almost a perfectly designed set in my opinion. One single problem : not enough stats! That Pinnacle card (2nd row, card 3) is my newest addition to the Winfield pile. I got it in a box of Pinnacle that I bought in Hawaii a couple months ago. Paula @ Paula's Sportscards, I tip my cap to you!

Man I love me some 1993 sets. I think everyone's pick of the bunch is the Upper Deck set, and I'd probably have to agree. Some incredible photos in that set, both on the front and the back of the cards. I also loved the Score set, primarily because it is probably the most team-color-oriented set I've ever seen. The backs sum it up perfectly. I should have taken a pic of one...

1992 was an amazing year for the 40-year old Winfield. .290/26/108??? I don't know of any un-roided player who has reached that level of production at that age. Amazing...

You may have noticed that all of the Twins cards are at the top. My O.C.D. causes me to sort all of the 'traded' or 'update' cards above the other cards that picture a player with his previous team. I just can't explain why. If you look closely at the Pinnacle card in the 3rd row, you'll notice a small pic of Dave in a Padres uniform. That's a preview for what will make up a lot of my next post. ;-)

Aaahh... 1992. This is the year that takes up the most space in my collection. Nearly every card you see in this pic is from a complete set. Upper Deck (Gold Hologram), Ultra, Bowman, Leaf, Stadium Club, Pinnacle, Fleer (+Update), Score (+Update), Topps (+Traded), Topps Gold (+Traded Gold) & O Pee Chee. They're all there. They're all complete. I will never be able to lift my 1992 collection. Ever!

Dave played pretty well in 1991, for a guy who turned 40(!) later that year. .262/28/86 is great for a guy that age.

I have to say, there were no absolute stand-out designs that year. Although I do love the Triple Play set. Sadly, I only have about 50 cards from that set, and no Winfield's...

This was a shock to me. I only have 10 Winfield cards from 1991. Yes. Ten.

Pathetic, isn't it? This was the most over-produced over-production-era year of all-time! How can I only have TEN?

It's probably because Dave stayed with the same team from mid-1990 thru the end of 1991.He still hit .267/21/78 between the Yanks and the Angels, so it wasn't such a bad year that he only deserved 10 cards, though! I really love that Stadium Club set. I remember seeing it on the Bay about 3 years ago, for around $30, and I just had to pounce. I'm forever grateful that I did. Now, Studio is the only non-oddball 1991 set that I don't own, and I don't really care for Studio. Nor does anyone else, it seems!

Well, that just about does it for Part 1, I hope you enjoyed reading, but mostly, I hope you saw some cards that you didn't know existed, and now are on your wantlists! That's 100 of the 162 Dave Winfield cards in my PC down, and 62 to go.

Can't wait to unleash some vintage Winfield tomorrow!

Nick J

Edit : Here's Dave's Website :

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

1976 Topps... Do You Feel Old Too?

Hey folks, I'm still in the process of arranging my 10+ year old scanner to be returned home, but in the meantime, I noticed something rather disturbing, particularly if you were around to collect cards in 1976.

Now, most folks in the blogosphere are aware of the 'All-Time All-Stars' subset in 1976 Topps, but there's one thing I noticed on this card :

*Image Borrowed

The stats on the back say that Lou Gehrig played his last games in 1939, which is correct.

That was 37 years before this card was placed into wax packs and sold to the masses.

This year, 2013, marks exactly 37 years since this card was produced. If you were a kid in 1976, and were listening to 'old guys' talking about seeing/hearing Gehrig's famous farewell speech, then I guess you're now the equivalent of one of those 'old guys'. Wow...

Time sure flies...

Nick J

P.S. I apologize for the forthcoming photographs of cards, they're meant to look so much better, as they would on a scanner, but blah blah blah... work gets in the way of life, yet again!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

74-75-76 Topps

Well folks, after about a month of 'customs-related-crap', I am extremely happy to say that the '74-'76 sets have arrived in perfect order.

I have never before seen such a legendary group of cardboard chunks in my life. After perusing Night Owl's 1975 Topps Blog over the last month and a half, I became so engrossed in the '75 set that I really didn't care too much about the '74 or the '76 sets. Just as long as the 1975 Topps Set was Complete and at my door.

And indeed, it was.

Every card in the set is in great condition, save for an occasional off-center cut here and there. But, wow... I now own a complete set of 1975 Topps! It's far out, man!

I'm still in the process of adding the new cards to my alphabetically arranged collection, but it should only take a couple of days, and by then I will be able to display (read : show off) some complete player collections, such as Dave Winfield, Dave Parker, George Brett, Robin Yount, Mike Schmidt, etc.

I may even get my scanner back before I finish my task - that may result in some actual scans of cards, rather than some silly photos.

While I'm here, I also have to explain how unbelievably awesome my Wife is.

Unbeknownst to me, she had been reading this blog. She noticed that I really wanted this card. So, what do you think showed up in the mail today? The very same card I had wanted since I knew it existed. This girl is one in a trillion, and I'm very lucky she's on my side!

For anyone that has been expecting some cards from me, I apologize, but I know your favorite teams, and I've been holding off sending the boxes out, as I knew I had more great cards on the way for you all.

I really can't wait to post some actual scans of the mid-70's cards I just received, hopefully, it will be in the next few days, otherwise, it will have to be photos (Boo!).

Nick J