Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Rare High-End Purchase

I don't usually buy much from the higher-end sets.  I don't have an LCS nearby so I am resigned to buying retail.  I also typically don't buy many singles from the set unless something really jumps out at me.  That something is typically due to a unique player option or combination.  I always check out the upcoming checklists to determine if something appeals to me.  Earlier this year, I looked at the Topps Museum checklist and found one card that really grabbed my attention.  I determined if I could find it, I would go for it.  Here it is:
This card represents my first game-used pieces of four current Red Sox.  Two of whom are expected to be stars.  We have a terrific-looking three colored piece of rising star Mookie Betts.  A red piece of role player Allen Craig.  A white piece of Cuban free agent Rusney Castillo.  And a white piece of valuable bench player Daniel Nava.  What a great-looking card.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Gypsy Queen Hanger Box

I bought one of the hanger boxes of Gypsy Queen today at Wal Mart.  Not much in the way of Red Sox cards, but I did get this one:
Nice retail-only parallel of Mike Napoli here.  I actually kind of like this action shot too.  Unfortunately that was it for Red Sox and there was not really anything super exciting elsewhere in the box.  Oh well.  Can't win them all.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hey, Some More Varitek Cards

I have actually been picking up a few Varitek cards here and there lately and today, they all came in.
Most of these are cards that I had no idea that I still needed.  Others are cards that I simply did not know existed.  You see Varitek has not been a major focus since about 2009.  It was at that time that I moved in with my girlfriend (later my wife), and money was not as plentiful as it had been when I was single.  It was nice to add a bunch of cards to my Varitek collection today.  And yes there is a David Ortiz jersey there too, but Varitek was definitely the focus.

The two relic cards came from a frequent trade partner on one of the forums that also collects Varitek.
1.  2009 Upper Deck UD Game Jersey.  You can't really tell but there is only one relic piece there.  I know it threw me.

2.  2009 Sweet Spot Sweet Swatch Dual Memorabilia.  Here is the dual Tek/Ortiz card.  I love the camouflage chest protector.

The remaining cards came from COMC.  An Alomar card I needed popped up so I decided to make my shipping worthwhile and pick up a few cheap Variteks.
3.  2010 Topps Copper.  These cards were only available as part of a factory set bought from Wal Mart.  Five of these parallels would be inserted into each set.

4.  2009 Upper Deck Icons Icons.  I had the memorabilia card but had no idea there were non-game-used versions.

5.  2013 Panini Hometown Heroes State.  You can't even tell there is no MLB license on this card.  That's awesome.  I really wish Panini had released more than one Hometown Heroes set.

6.  2009 Upper Deck Icons Icons Green.  This is another one that I had no idea existed.

So, six new cards brings me to 883 Jason Varitek cards.  Second only to Sandy Alomar Jr.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

It Made It (From Baseball Dad)

Awhile ago I made a trade with the Indians collector Baseball Dad.  After a mixup with addresses I received my card:
This is my first relic card of Xander Bogaerts.  He has been playing fairly well so far this year until today when he had to go for an MRI on his knee.  Nevertheless, I am very pleased with this card.  Hopefully there will be many more Bogaerts relics to the collection.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

More Donruss Pack Breaks

Here is the Studio insert of The Panda:
I pulled this one out of another hanger pack of Donruss.  The Studio inserts just don't have the same feel of the Studio base cards from way back when, I think.  Still a nice-looking insert though.  I have done fairly well out of packs of 2015 Donruss.  Unfortunately, I was supposed to be getting this card in a single card trade, making that trade kind of worthless.  Oh well, plenty of other Red Sox collectors out there.  Maybe someone will get the Panda.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

I'm Starting to Really Like 2015 Donruss

I recently worked out a trade for these:
Despite the lack of logos and the fact that the same picture was used for both cards, these are just terrific-looking inserts.  The Preferred card looks like Donruss Preferred from the mid 1990's.  This is a parallel too and numbered to just 199.  I am very much looking forward to having Rusney Castillo in the same lineup as Mookie Betts.

If anyone out there reading this has cards of Rusney Castillo and/or Mookie Betts, please contact me to work out a trade.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Donruss Pack Breaks

I bought a couple of hanger packs of Donruss yesterday.  My local Wal Mart finally got them in and I have been going through pack withdrawal.  So, decent showing here: four Red Sox, though all are base cards.
I am particularly happy about the Panda card.  This is only my second, of what I hope to be many, card of Sandoval.  Oddly, one of the advantages of not being able to show team logos is that you don't have to airbrush photos to make it look like the player's new team.  Sandoval is clearly in a Giants uniform here with the logo removed.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Couple of PWEs from Mark Hoyle

The always generous Mark Hoyle sent me a couple of PWE's with some Red Sox oddballs in them.  Some pretty decent harder to find stuff all the way around.

The first PWE had the complete 1981 Coca Cola team set in it.  Unfortunately this was a set I previously owned.  Not a problem though, I always appreciate cards.

The second PWE had what I assume to be the complete team set of Broder cards from 1987.  It is tough to tell the year because there are no dates or copyrights on any of the cards.  Just a photo and a name.
So here we have Marty Barrett, Steve Curry, Jody Reed, Bob Stanley, Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, Jim Rice, Ellis Burks, Al Nipper, and Don Baylor.

The only way I was able to figure out the year on this set was due to one of the duplicates, Dave Henderson.  These pictures were clearly taken during Spring Training in most cases and Henderson only spent one Spring Training with Boston, 1987.  It is interesting to note that Curry, Reed, Burks, and some of the other duplicate players had yet to make their Major League debuts at the time.

Thanks Mark!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Red Sox Tek? Sure

As some of you know, one of my major collecting focuses right now is to compile the entire 1998 Topps Tek run for my single player collection, Sandy Alomar, Jr.  I had always kind of wanted to do that for a Red Sox player but never really got around to it.  I thought that it would be an interesting focus when I started that collection back up again.  Well I still want to add Red Sox as well.  So when I saw a Mo Vaughn Tek Diffractor for sale on Beckett for a couple of bucks, I jumped on it.  Well here it is:
Now, the first thing I noticed is that this is definitely not a Diffractor.  So that was annoying.  However, I did not have a single Mo Vaughn Tek card.  So, whatever.  As a Red Sox fan growing up in the early to mid 1990's, Mo Vaughn was my favorite player.  I was even more devastated when Mo Vaughn left Boston than I was when Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, and Mike Greenwell left.  This is because Vaughn made his Major League debut in 1991, the year I started collecting.  I watched Vaughn make his way from hyped prospect to solid regular to team leader to superstar.  Then, he was gone.  Sure Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez had both arrived, but it stung to lose Vaughn.  One of the things I have been doing a lot lately is picking up inserts and interesting cards of Vaughn.  This just adds to that.  Who knows, maybe after I get my Sandy Alomar complete run, I will turn to Mo Vaughn.  But then, do I really want that kind of aggravation?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

I Have Joined the T206 Club

I saw this on Ebay for $10.00.  Yes, $10.00.
Yes, it is in terrible shape.  Yes, it is Tubby Spencer, who played all of 28 games with the Red Sox.  But I always wanted a T206 and I could not pass up an opportunity to add one for less than my lunch cost me today.  The fact that it was a catcher is that much better for me.  Now my two oldest cards are both catchers with Spencer joining my 1940 Play Ball Moe Berg card.

Here is the back:
So now I finally have my first T206.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Greatest Triple Relic Ever

Probably not, but this thing is amazing.  Here it is:
We have three Red Sox players from the early 1940's here.  Jimmie Foxx is obviously a Hall of Famer, better known for his time with the Philadelphia Athletics, though he does wear a Red Sox cap on his Hall of Fame plaque.  He did have a monster season in 1938 for Boston.  This is my second Red Sox relic for Foxx.  Ted Williams is the greatest hitter who ever lived and the greatest Red Sox player of all time.  This is my fifth Red Sox relic for Williams.  Dom DiMaggio lived in the shadow of his more famous brother Joe but was a very good player himself.  He has a Hall of Fame case that is mostly clouded by his service time in WWII.  This is my second Red Sox relic for DiMaggio.

Any one of these players would be exciting enough on their own.  Having all three on one card is amazing.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Finally, a Decent Forum Trade

I have noticed that the forums are getting harder and harder to get anything done.  People are getting more and more particular about what they are looking for.  I just generally grab whatever Red Sox I need and don't really care about what I am giving up.  But some people are not as easy-going as I am.  This one was though and I picked up some very interesting cards:
Here we have a couple of nice Mookie Betts cards, easily one of my favorite players coming into this season, and it has been announced that he will be the team's starting center fielder and leadoff hitter.  The Dwight Evans is kind of a nice parallel.  The Ortiz is one of the Heritage retail-only chrome refractor cards.  Finally, the Cy Young is my favorite.  This is from the 2005 Topps Tribute set, a T205 card.  The Babe Ruth from the same set is in my Top 10 Most Wanted.  Some nice cards all around.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Package from The Junior Junkie

I was the beneficiary of one of The Junior Junkie's acts of kindness.  He gave me a Tek pattern I needed for my Sandy Alomar Jr. collection and then he hit a bunch of Red Sox I did not have as well.  A terrific package all around.
1.  2015 Topps Foil Dustin Pedroia.  Hopefully Pedroia is healthy this season.  A healthy Pedroia is a terrific player.

2.  2015 Topps Foil Anthony Ranaudo.  Ranaudo has been traded to Texas for Robbie Ross.

3.  2015 Topps Career Best Anthony Ranaudo Autograph.  What a terrible-looking signature for Ranaudo.  You can barely tell what this says at all.

4.  1985 Topps Rubdown Bill Buckner.  Kind of a weird item here.  It also features appearances from Mike Schmidt, Ryne Sandberg, and Tim Raines.  Buckner was once a big star.  Strange.

5.  2008 Upper Deck Goudey Green Clay Buchholz.  Buchholz has been named Boston's opening day starter.  Hopefully he is good this year.  He is on my fantasy team.

6.  2012 Topps Chrome Purple Refractor Josh Beckett.  Hard to believe Josh Beckett is retired.  Damn injuries.  I will always remember his terrific 2007 season.

7.  2005 Bowman's Best Blue Matt Van Der Bosch.  Van Der Bosch never made it.  He didn't even get to wear a uniform on this card. 

Thanks for the terrific package!