Man, that took some work.

So, this is the award card you get when you’ve completed 8 different Series 1 Yankee team sets in 2017 Bunt. It’s nothing terribly fancy, but it is Bernie, so, of course, I had to.

There was a certain degree of quiet urgency to getting these sets done this weekend, because Series 2 is formally coming out on Monday, and if Topps does what they did with NHL Skate this year, that’ll be it for melding cards to climb through the Series 1 ladder for this year (and for a free player, it is virtually impossible to complete these runs without melding cards at this point, a thing they neglected to tell first-year users of Skate, or I’d have a much better Islanders collection there since I’m blowing off most of the other cards). Now, at present, when you go to the page in the app where you meld a Series 1 card, they’re saying that melding will continue until March 28th of next year (which means the production number for these awards will be about 4 times as big eventually), but Topps has been known to change their mind on the drop of a dime, because they’re sorta making it up as they go along with all this digital stuff, so I wasn’t going to leave it to chance, and it seems like a lot of the other regular and semi-regular users are of the same mind. For now, I don’t care, I got Bernie, and I actually did it without busting up my Gary Sanchez rainbow, to boot (which made it a lot harder).

Where this is a drag is that they’ve managed to make this whole thing feel like a really bad version of level grinding in an MMORPG. Which, when you’ve done this, oh…

…three times in the space of a week now…

…it gets a little old.

(Technically, I’ve done it 5 times, as I got the Pettitte and Posada award cards before I got to the Bernie, but I wasn’t actually after those, so we won’t be featuring them here.)

I guess I have to figure out how many more times I’ll drive myself nuts over it. If we do have another 8 months, it won’t be that hard to get more. There are a bunch of good award cards (Reggie’s next on the Yankee ladder, then Jeter, and I’ll have to decide if I’m gonna use my leftovers to try and get those; after that, there’s a bunch of other award cards you can earn for building the top 5 hardest team sets of each team…there’s Mookie Wilson, Ben Oglivie, Cecil Cooper, Dick Allen, and yes, Night Owl, there’s a Ron Cey award card, only the 3rd time he’s shown up in Bunt to date…), but it’s crazy-making to do it, and it’s also a bad habit for someone with serious obsessive tendencies to get themselves into.

I did get the 3 cards out of 150 that I wanted the most, though, so there is that…

An Impromptu Package From Stubby: Gypsy Queen Greens And MOAR!

…starts with these.

Oh, and this…

 

See, apparently, Stubby is building this set (the green border retail parallel of 2017 Gypsy Queen), and in doing so, he’s ended up with a bunch of doubles, which I now have. The ones pictured above are the ones I’m keeping. (Especially that Koufax.) The rest? Hell, I’m never building this…I haven’t even grabbed any base Gypsy Queen yet (even though it is a nice set this year). So, with Stubby’s blessing, I’m offering ’em up for trade.

Here’s the list of what I have right now:

10 Miguel Cabrera

11 Jordan Zimmermann

16 Trea Turner

17 Dexter Fowler

23 Blake Snell

25 Michael Fulmer

32 Johnny Cueto

41 A.J. Ramos

51 Kevin Kiermaier

52 Jose Bautista

55 Corey Dickerson

57 Jean Segura

58 Jung Ho Kang

68 Alcides Escobar

85 Raimel Tapia

86 Chris Archer

90 Justin Turner

98 Adam Wainwright

99 Brandon Crawford

117 Jonathan Villar

122 Dee Gordon

124 Buster Posey

126 Justin Verlander

149 Matt Holliday

152 Wilson Ramos

159 Matt Kemp

160 Josh Donaldson

163 Renato Nunez

165 J.A. Happ

178 Dallas Keuchel

183 George Springer

190 Miguel Sano

191 Marcel Ozuna

192 Christian Yelich

202 Welington Castillo

207 Jeremy Hellickson

212 Masahiro Tanaka

213 Elvis Andrus

217 Josh Harrison

237 Jon Lester

238 Tyler Naquin

241 Josh Bell

249 Luke Weaver

253 C.J. Cron

254 Danny Salazar

255 Matt Wisler

265 Eugenio Suarez

268 Joe Panik

271 Colby Rasmus

278 Alex Colome

285 Kirby Yates

287 Tony Watson

291 Didi Gregorius

296 Jose Abreu

If you’re interested, give me a buzz. They probably won’t be around forever! If you’ve got some green border doubles you can send me to send to Stubby, those are welcome, too! Here’s his want list:

2017 Gypsy Queen Green Border Retail Parallels:

13-15, 21, 26, 33, 34, 37, 39, 43, 46, 64-66, 69, 74 (Correa), 88, 91 (Swanson), 94, 97 (Cecchini), 105, 119, 121 (deGrom), 125, 127 (Cespedes), 129, 138, 164, , 174, 181 203, 211, 218, 223, 225, 229, 230, 234, 239 (A. Cabrera), 247, 260, 261, 267, 275, 279, 280, 293, 302 (Sandberg), 303 (Jeter), 306 (Griffey Jr.), 311 (Ozzie Smith), 312 (McGuire), 316 (Pudge Rodriguez), 318 (Brett)

Stubby put some other fun stuff in the box, too, so let’s have a look at a few of the highlights…

This card was in a carefully obscured card holder, with no idea as to its identity. A mystery! I loves a mystery.

!

Like hell it has no value! I needed it for my ’72-’73 set that I’ll never finish. (I do like their fries, though.)

Going back to the GQ stuff, here’s a pair of Ichiro inserts. These are keepers, because that Ichiro feller’s on ’em.

Stubby threw a handful of old wax in the box, too. (Yeah, I opened it all.) I came up basically empty on the ’90 Topps Hockey I opened (no Islanders or names I recognized), there are apparently Hall of Famers visible on 3 of the ’81 Fleer Teams In Action Football cards, but I haven’t tried to dissect who they are yet, and while there was a Dwight Evans and a Paul Molitor card in the ’91 OPC Premier pack I opened, I’d have to check to see if I have either and the cards are on a different floor of the house than I am right now. However, in my ’13 Topps Series 2 pack, there was a fun little number.

Needed it for my set! I don’t end up adding to this set enough.

This was the best of the bunch of packs he through in, though…

Someone was just talking about that Fleer collectors’ hat on Twitter the other day. I would really love to see proof that it exists. Anyway, I opened a bunch of ’86 Fleer, whatever I could get my hands on at Cumberland Farms (because it was damn tough to get elsewhere), and I eventually bought a complete set in a lot of other cards, but I never did get one of these from any of the packs I opened, until now…

Coulda used you in ’86, guys!

Thanks for the stuff, Stubby!

Roger

So, I got this in the mail today from The Dimwit.

Now, I realize that some folks have their issues with products what don’t have team logos on ’em.

I also realize that there are some that are skeptical of the provenance of relics of any kind.

Me, I’m still pretty damn happy with this card.

Short of a miracle dropping a Roger Maris autograph in my lap somehow, relics are as close as I’m gonna get with him. There’s one other relic that I’m specifically hunting of his, as part of a set I’m rather quixotically building (2002 Legendary Cuts Legendary Bat), but this was a great one to pick up, too.

Thanks, Sam!

So, Non-Sports Cards…

I spent a little bit of time sorting through my non-sports stuff over the past couple weeks, because I picked up a few cool pieces at opening day of the flea market. Basically, I wanted to get a better idea of how much I had of each set I’ve got some cards of, so I can decide what stuff I’m going to collect moving forward, what stuff I’m going to hang onto because it’s cool, but not build upon, and what stuff I’m a crazy fool for hanging onto. I didn’t come up with concrete answers in most cases, so I’m gonna try to figure it all out here, “out loud”, as I go.

This one, I’m gonna go for it, and I’ve already added it to my want list. I’m 40 cards from the end. I don’t have any stickers. Were there stickers? I don’t see any on Trading Card Database. I actually have some unopened wax of this somewhere, I think.

This one’s been on my want list for a while, and it’s staying there until I finish it. 19 cards and 12 stickers to go. I can probably pick off the whole set relatively cheaply on eBay, but that seems wasteful somehow. We’ll see.

I got a bunch of these in a big lot I got a while back, 1992 Cornerstone Avengers (Steed & Peel, not Wasp, Ant-Man, Hulk, Iron Man and Thor). This is the only card I’m missing from Series 1, card #67, “Mrs. Peel, You’re Needed!”. I have a ton of doubles on these still, too, if I’m not mistaken. I’ve barely watched the show ever, but it’d be nice to finish the set, given that I’m so close.

Next up are Star Wars cards. I’ve got some Empire Strikes Back from a few different series, a small handful of Return Of The Jedi, and a Burger King ESB card, too. I’m pretty sure I’m not collecting them, because the checklists are huge, there’s a big market for them which means they’re getting pricey, and, frankly, I’ve spent enough money on Star Wars stuff for a few lifetimes. I’d probably make an exception for the C-3PO boner card, but really, I don’t think I’m gonna chase any Star Wars sets otherwise. I’ll keep them around, though, because I’ve had almost all of them since I was a kid, because they don’t take up much space, and because it’d be nice to perhaps someday get Mark Hamill to sign for me, I’ll keep this one handy…

I figure he probably has fun with this one.

This would take some serious work to finish, as it’s the only Planet Of The Apes movie card I have, but I’m up for it, if the opportunity arises.

The TV show, I’ve got a more respectable 21/66 on. I think I’ll probably go for it, though I haven’t checklisted it yet.

Only have 10/88 of these, but I may have to. I mean, they’re Hulk cards.

Picked up the reprint set a few years ago, but I’ve got a few originals. I won’t turn more down if they come my way, but, like Mars Attacks, I think I’ll just hang onto what I have and enjoy the reprints if I want to look at the whole set.

Fast-forwarding a few decades, here’s MOAR DIFFERENT BATMAN CARD. Used to have way more of these than I do now. I’m kind of OK with that. The print quality’s really…not so good, even by usual Topps non-sport standards. Pass. I’ll keep what’s my only Jack Nicholson card, though!

I swear, I think I’m the only person on Earth who doesn’t like this movie and never has. Come and get these, I have 21 of them.

Have a bunch of these, too, but I’m not quite ready to either collect ’em further (I don’t even have them checklisted yet, so I’ve no idea which series they are) or unload ’em. They’re kind of in card and sticker limbo. I got a few of them signed by Jay Lynch before he passed, but other than that, they’ve just kinda been hanging around for a couple decades. If anyone can give me a compelling reason to do more with them, I’m all ears!

Who was the genius at Topps who thought “Ya know what them kids love today, is that Rat Patrol!”? Cool, border/caption/logo-less pictures, but I don’t get the line existing. I wasn’t around for Rat Patrol in first run. Maybe kids did love it. I only saw it in the middle of the night on Channel 5 in New York, pre-Fox. This was not a kids’ timeslot, or, really, a kids’ show. These are weird enough to hang onto, unless you’re willing trade me something cool for ’em, but I still have to ask…why?

On the other end of the spectrum, does anyone need a card of Iggy Pop with his crotch on fire? I have extras! Once upon a time, I had cases of The Crow: City Of Angels wax. Diamond had a blowout, and I loaded up, because they were so cheap that it made sense to buy cases of it. (I think they were like $5 a case.) I didn’t crack enough to make a set or find anything “cool”, because ultimately, Iggy or no, this was a terrible movie, but I opened a little bit of it, and this card is probably the best thing that came out of the movie.

Keeping this around so I have one to scratch off right before the bomb hits.

Only have one of these. Got it recently. Wouldn’t mind more!

Strangely, I keep getting these in lots. Up to 9/66. I love the soundtrack, but I’ve still never seen this movie. I should try to get on that. It’ll help me make a decision as to whether or not I wanna build this one.

I’m sure Farrah just loved this card, if she ever saw it.

I’ve got about a dozen cards from various series of this set, which is another kinda big one like the Star Wars sets are. I’ll probably just keep accumulating them until I’m forced to finish ’em.

ELVIS NEEDS BOATS!

ELVIS NEEDS BOATS!

ELVIS ELVIS ELVIS ELVIS ELVIS ELVIS ELVIS NEEDS BOATS!

Hard pass on finishing this one, though. Awful quality, and the people I find who have them for sale are almost always what I’d describe as “typical Elvis fans”, in that they’ve probably voted against my right to exist at least once in the past decade or so.

Ditto here. Man, I miss the days when Kiss were super-heroes, instead of the trainwrecky senior citizens they’ve become.

“Draw me like one of your French girls…”

Was this shot from “Phantom Of The Park”? Been a while. To me, it looks like Gene’s hiding out in a shooting gallery. “Shoot him in the codpiece, and his wings flap!”

Now, Queen, on the other hand, they seem to get cooler by the year. Wish Freddie was around to enjoy it and get credit for it, of course. This picture’s missing Brian, though…

But holy crap, this one isn’t. Man, what a badass.

I may have to track down more of at least the Queen part of the set. The Queen and Kiss cards are from 1979 Donruss Rock Stars, if you’re unfamiliar, which featured Queen, Kiss, The Village People and The Babys (John Waite’s old band). I don’t know that I’m hardcore enough of a John Waite fan to be chasin’ down cards of the dude. I did see a Village People card at the flea market last weekend, but it was in awful shape, alas.

Speaking of badass…it’s The Mod Squad! Some might say “OK, how was Rat Patrol not OK, when The Mod Squad were?”, and to this, I say “Just go with it. They were.” Topps just recycled these card borders for an online-only baseball set that I can’t afford, didn’t they? I’ll be happy to see Peggy Lipton again when Twin Peaks returns in a couple weeks.

And yes, E.T., there’ll be time for a snack.

THE YEAR OF DICKS, PART 1220

Yep, that is indeed Dick Martin, from the Laugh-In set. Stubby sent me this card a few years ago now. Again, weird subject for a card set. Did kids watch and get Laugh-In when it was on the air? Did grown-ups collect non-sports cards? Weird licensing choices…

These were at least educational! (Also: some would argue that I shoulda saved this for The Year Of Dicks.) This is my only card from the Who Am I? Set. Nice painting, really.

Another educational card, albeit one that’s been through hell. Until I got it in a house cleanout lot a few years ago, I’d never seen a Supersisters card, and until I read the Wikipedia entry I just linked to, I’d never known the whole story behind them. They’re an imperfect set, but from what I can tell (I haven’t read the card backs on the entire set), it was a noble attempt, given the times they were made in (and I’m kinda relieved that, since they pointedly left Angela Davis out of the set, they also declined to invite Phyllis Schlafly and Anita Bryant, as well). Plus, I’ll say it: I can’t hate a card set with Buffy Sainte-Marie in it…

I don’t own this one. (Yet.) I found it, along with the rest of the set, at the University Of Iowa Digital Libraries (though I think they got a different printing than I did, as the borders and logo are very different).

ALL HAIL THE GILLMAN

This is from the 1973 You’ll Die Laughing set, which, with black and white photos, is not as cool as the 1959 set, which are fully painted and gorgeous, but it’s still pretty fun. Too big of a set for me to build from 2 cards, though, I reckon.

And, finally…

Nope, none for me, thanks. Anyone want ’em?

Long story short: I end up with some weird shit. Hope you’ve had fun looking through some of it!

 

 

The 30 Day Baseball Card Challenge…In One Day!

I’m a little behind the rest of you, so I’m just gonna knock this out in one go. I did decide that I was going to go entirely with cards that I own, but I may use old scans or other folks’ scans of these, in some cases, just so I don’t have to chase cards all over my house. I will probably eventually chase down my originals to do proper scans of everything, but I wanted to focus on writing and posting, rather than scanning, so hopefully you’ll bear with me in the meantime. Some of these will also look like Greatest Hits Of My Old Site, because it’s well-worn territory, but I feel like these are the cards I wanna highlight, so we’re just gonna go with that.

Everybody ready?

Day  1. A card from the current year with a photo you like

The design’s not much to look at, but it’s a good, solid photo of Jose.

Day 2. A card with more than one player on it

How could I not? We need to look at this one in its awesome beaten-to-crapness every so often.

Day 3. A card from the first set you tried to complete

 

From the first pack I ever opened. I don’t know that I “tried to complete” the set for at least a few years, but I knew I wanted all of ’em.

Day  4. A rookie card of one of your favorite players

Just posted this one recently, but let’s have another look!

Day  5. A certified autograph of one of your favorite players

Twitter’s seen this, but those of you who just read the site have not. Got this about a week ago. Isn’t this a gorgeous card?

Day  6. A card you spent more than $10 to get

I forget what I paid for it. Definitely under 100, not sure if I cleared $50. Went nuts that winter, and got this, the ’56 Jackie and a ’61 Mantle.

Day  7. A card you bought in person and the story behind it

Do stickers count? I’m gonna say they count. So, in ’81, way more interesting to me than the cards that year were the Topps stickers. Man, I loved these things. I had like 3 or 4 albums going at once, and of course, I stuck all the stickers in the albums. Thing was, while there were something like 4 or 5 Mike Norris stickers in the checklist, #6, for the life of me, I could not find. I opened an absolute ton of these things, and it just wasn’t happening. Early the next year, I went to my local card shop, and asked if, by chance, they still had singles of the ’81 stickers, which they didn’t, but they did still have some packs. I bought a handful of them, and sure enough, the first pack I opened, there he was, Mike Norris. This was the first set of any kind I ever managed to complete. Unfortunately, I think that sticker album is lost to the ages (I have a few ’81 albums here, but I think the full one’s gone), but I’ve gone back and bought a complete sticker set since then, and this one hasn’t gone in an album. I may eventually put them all in mini pages. I think I’d like that.

Day  8. A card that reminds you of a family member

So, I don’t talk about her enough on any of the things I write, but my mom was and is still pretty awesome to me. She’s put up with a lot of my crap, and done a lot for me over the years. Still does. I mention this because back in the summer of 1986, when I was first getting serious about the grown-up investment hobby of card collecting, she took me to my first fairly big card show, at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ. Hank Aaron was the guest of honor that day, and sure enough, she dutifully waited in line with me to get the beaten up ’69 Aaron I’d pulled from the nickel box at my local signed by the all-time home run king, for a grand total of $6.00. She also waited around while I ran all over Convention Hall buying cards and reselling them. I had a hot streak buying ’84 Topps cards, and probably pulled and flipped about a dozen Mattingly and Strawberry rookies that day, using them to buy all kinds of stuff; my first big batch of Cramer Baseball Legends came from that, and back then, one would’ve thought me insane to sell those rookies to buy Cramer stuff, but nowadays, I find Strawberry rookies in dime boxes on the regular (Mattinglys, less so, but it’s pretty easily a sub-$5 card if you shop for it), and see Cramer sets getting more and more expensive. She sat through a lot of this sort of thing when I was younger, and will still occasionally get stuck with me at the card counter when we’re out running errands during one of my visits, so, thanks, mom!

Day  9. One of your favorite cards from the 1950s

I’m not gonna claim it’s the best example of the card you’ll ever see, but I still can’t believe I own it.

Day 10. One of your favorite cards from the 1960s

The first playing era Maris I ever got my grubby little hands on. Didn’t matter that it was him as a member of the cards, with him still in a Yankee uniform. Also didn’t matter that he looks like the weight of the world’s on his shoulders. In fact, that’s kinda his thing.

Day 11. One of your favorite cards from the 1970s

Gravitas, late 1970s style.

Day 12. One of your favorite cards from the 1980s

My first Oriole Reggie. Most peoples’ first Oriole Reggie, in fact.

Day 13. One of your favorite cards from the 1990s

Went with the “Artist’s Proof” for this. Either’s good, though.

Day 14. One of your favorite cards from the 2000s

My favorite card from the set that made me fall in love with cards again.

Day 15. One of your favorite cards from the 2010s

This one made a lot of year-end lists. It’s an all-timer, I think.

Day 16. A card of a player whom you appreciate but don’t like

I know you Barves fans aren’t gonna be happy with me for this, but look on the bright side: it means you get all my Chipper cards. I have a LOT of Chipper cards right now, too, so hit me up. To be truthful, I didn’t “appreciate” him as a player, either. He was called The Accursed One around my house. Respect? Sure. Helluva ballplayer, but no, no “appreciating” Chipper Jones.

Day 17. A card from the first set you put together hand collated

Using artistic license for this one, since I said “stickers count” above, which would mean I’d have to use ’81 stickers for this day, but this specifically asked for “a card”, so I’ve gotta use a card here. Why B.J. Surhoff? Maybe it’s the color combo on the card, maybe it’s the fact that, while I’ve never really collected his cards, and he never played for a team I rooted for, I always enjoyed watching him play, but this card puts me in my Zen place, man. You’d think that’d be hard to do with 1987 Topps, given that I had tens of thousands of the things at one point, but nah, it’s doable still.

Day 18. A card of a player who became manager of your favorite team

This is another technical. I don’t have a “favorite team” these days. The Yankees beat that out of me with their bullshit over the years, and no one’s stepped up to become the favorite team since. However, when I last had a favorite team, Joe had risen from the ranks of player to eventually manage it, and he was pretty good at it, too.

Day 19. A favorite card from a country other than the United States

Yep, here’s a Luis Aparicio oddball card given out with gloves by a sporting goods store in Venezuela! We found this in a box of commons at my local one day, and I eventually managed to buy it.

Day 20. Your favorite parallel card based on the parallel, not the player

This card is loud as hell, and I love it. Don’t collect Jeff’s stuff, don’t collect ’14 Topps particularly emphatically, but I knows what I likes, and this is what I likes.

Day 21. A card of a rookie you thought you were “investing” in

Yup. This is the one that got me.

Day 22. A card of a common player that always seemed to elude you

I bought almost as much ’86 as I did ’87.

I did not finish the ’86 set until 1994.

Why?

This fuckin’ guy…

Day 23. A favorite oddball card from the 1950s

This card smells so awesome.

Day 24. A favorite oddball card from the 1960s

I’ve posted this here recently, but as it took me a couple years of constant looking and some overpaying to even get it, hey, let’s get some more use out of it. ’60s Kahn’s cards are damn tough to get. Worth it for Tony Horton, though. May he be enjoying life, wherever he may be today.

Day 25. A favorite oddball card from the 1970s

SSPC? Check. Promo set for SSPC? Also check. Mantle chillin’ on Old-Timer’s Day, probably half lit? Eeeeeeeeeeyup. I should probably be ashamed of myself for not using a Burger King Yankee, but we’ll pretend the Munson I posted above is a Burger King and call it even.

Day 26. A favorite oddball card from the 1980s

For about a week in 1986, these were the hottest cards in the hobby, where I lived. I still love this set. And I had to work Doc in somewhere.

Day 27. A favorite oddball card from 1990 or later

I paid almost as much as I would’ve to go to the National to get this! Nah, I’m just kidding. It wasn’t cheap, though. 424/999. I’m still in the believer camp where Strasburg is concerned.

Day 28. A favorite relic/manufactured relic card

I really need to rescan this someday. After all, we’re talking about Roy Campanella’s pants here.

Day 29. A favorite card from before 1950, whether you own it or not

I own it.

Lordy.

Cookie Lavagetto and Pete Reiser on the same card (this is actually considered Pete’s XRC). I’ve got his RC, too (’48 Bowman). And I’ve got Cookie’s ’39 Play Ball, which is his RC (but not his ’34-’36 Batter Up, which is Cookie’s XRC). I may not have accomplished much in this lifetime, but damn it, I’ve got Pete Reiser’s and Cookie Lavagetto’s rookie cards.

Day 30. Your favorite card in your collection

(Another one I really need to get a rescan of.)

Yup, still my favorite. I mean, not surprising. I still have the New York Daily News sports page from October 2nd, 1961 framed above my desk. (I found it in a card shop 50 years to the day from Maris’ 61st HR, in fact.) Maris is still a pretty big deal in my world, and he’d have a good chance of being my favorite all-time player, had I gotten to see him play in my lifetime. (Gil Hodges and Jackie Robinson are strong contenders there, too, though in Jackie’s case, what he means really kinda transcends baseball and sports.) And yeah, this is still my favorite card, over 30 years from my first having seen it on that Turn Back The Clock card in ’86, and over 6 years since I got it. And, I mean, as you see above, I’ve got some pretty cool cards. I didn’t post it, but I’ve even got that Billy Ripken card from ’89 Fleer with the dirty words on it. I believe this is a better card than that one. There’s just something about it…

Whew! 30 days in one post! I’d like to thank Tony Lehman from Off Hiatus Baseball Cards for coming up with this thing, even if I fudged a rule or two of his. It’s been fun reading everyones’ posts, since Tony created the Challenge.