Sunday, June 16, 2019

Sunday Edition

Sportlots "Box Shipping"

Sportlots has long been my preferred online card retailer.  Given the nature of my collecting habits, to wit, hoarding mass quantities of Wallach's and set building, Sportlots is the best suited for my needs.  "Card Barrel" (formerly known as "Just Commons") is another site I use often for filling out set needs, and I much prefer eBay to COMC for higher dollar needs.  Sportslots however, by no small margin, is my website of choice.

For years, the biggest draw back I've found with Sportslot is shipping cost.  I find try to stick to one or two sellers per order to keep those cost down, and often pass on cards I would otherwise buy.  But recently they've added a feature called "Box Shipping."  It's a process in which sellers ship your order to Sportlots, who then holds your orders until you choose to ship them as a result.  Sort of a COMC on demand type system.  I found it to have mixed results.

The initial shipping, at least with a good number of sellers (and subsequently the ones I stuck with) was much cheaper.  A few even offered free shipping to get the cards to Sportlots.  However, Sportlots shipping wasn't exactly cheap.  I suspect once you hit a price point it'll level off, but I couldn't find any posted rates on their site.  In the future, I may need to just let some cards pile up for awhile before having them shipped my way.  Which is to say, I plan on using the option again, imperfect as it may be, it's still an improvement.

Sportlots sent the cards in a large flat rate box, that was full of envelopes and packages from the individual sellers, which were left intact.  Sportlots doesn't open them or anything to ensure the contents, or make any effort to compress them for more efficient shipping.  I'd prefer they did, but I'm sympathetic to the time and effort that would require on their end.  Here's a look at what was in the box.

I cut my 1974 need list down by nine cards with this group.  I'm down to about two dozen holdouts to complete the set.  There weren't any big names in this group, although there were a couple of interesting ones.  "Clarence" is not how I would choose to address Mr. Gaston were I ever to met him, and Ray Fosse is a somewhat exciting card by my own subjective standards.

Those are 1975 mini's, in case it's not obvious from the photo.  Worth mentioning, I'm working with an old phone and inferior camera, as I broke the screen on my current phone and have been too cheap/lazy to have it fixed, opting instead to just plug the sim card into an older model.  I'm about 150 or so cards short of completing this mini set, but most of the high dollar cards are already in hand, so the end is within sight.

These '76 and '77's round out the vintage portion of the order.  I'm probably 30 cards short of crossing off the '76 set, and maybe 75 cards short of completing '77.  The rookies and HOF'ers are all in hand for the most part, though that subset of "All-Time All-Stars" in the '76 set is pretty thin, and demands prices that feel unnaturally high to me.  The Cobb above, which is one of those, was a nice find for me at a price that didn't make me squirm.

Without fail, whenever I try to knock off more than maybe 5 or 6 cards to finish off a set, I find myself short a card or two.  Such was the case with those 2018's above.  While sleeving them, believing the set now complete, I discovered card #351 to be missing.  Nothings easy.  I've harped on this before, but I felt like the retail collation in packs last year was particularly bad.  I bought enough product to complete the set three times over and was still well short of even one full set.  So far in 2019 I've had better luck.

That "surprise you're short a card" feeling repeated for me with 2017.  I thought the four above would cross the 2017 base set monstrosity off my list (worst Topps set of the last 15 years), but of course, it didn't.  Cards #13 and #596 are still missing. 

Finally a few more stray needs.  My 2008 need list is now down to five cards, or at least, that's what I believe it to be.  When I order those five, I'm sure I'll discover a couple more I'm missing.   I also took the liberty of picking up some Wallach cards from the seller's I was buying the above set needs from.  Here's a look at what I added:

Updated Totals:

1983 Donruss: 134
1984 Fleer: 120
1985 Donruss x2: 121
1986 Donruss x2: 145
1988 Fleer Glossy: 11
1988 Fleer MVP: 20
1988 Kay Bee: 32
1988 Revco: 42
1989 K-Mart: 56
1989 Upper Deck: 194
1994 Pacific: 13

And before I sign off, here's  a look at three recent vintage eBay pickups.  1968 is a set I've been making some strides on, albeit slowly, and I continued my trend of impulse vintage Hockey buys.

There are over a 1,000 home runs documented on the back of those two cards.  Some misguided collector's may wince at the condition of the two cards, but they of course would be wrong.  Any 1968 Topps card that says "Willie Mays" or "Ed Mathews" on the front is just fine the way it is.

One more "Pocket Rocket" Richard card, this one with some strong 1974 baseball vibes.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Marion, IN

These 78 cards were sent by Brock of Marion, Indiana.  There were some large quantities of cards that don't often arrive in bulk like this, so this mailing provided a nice little jolt to some of the numbers.  This group also pushed 1993 Topps over the 200 card mark, which is a bit of a sentimental milestone for me.

When the number of card companies and sets exploded in the early 1990's I was a young kid.  I was given a generous $5 a week allowance for doing various "chores," and could occasionally hustle extra money by filling a wagon full of cans to take in for deposits, or asking for extra odd jobs for a few extra bucks from my father.  When cards cost 50¢ a pack up until around 1990, that money went a long ways.  But when the "High-End" sets started coming out, they felt so out of reach that I didn't even lose that much sleep over not being able to buy packs of them.  But by collecting a Wallach from each set, I didn't feel like I was missing out.  It wasn't until 1993 that it really felt like I was.  That was the first year that came and went where I wasn't able to pick up even the Topps base set Wallach.  Shops in my area had stopped carrying "commons" by then, as set builders seemingly went away with the gum, and I was left in the cold that year.  I didn't pick up a 1993 Topps Wallach until the late 1990's when eBay came along.  So to now have 200+ copies in hand feels a bit surreal.

Thanks for the cards Brock.  I'll find some Bonds to send out your way.

Updated Totals:

1988 Donruss: 775
1988 Donruss All-Star: 48
1990 Fleer: 369
1990 Topps x4: 512
1991 Donruss x2: 268
1991 Fleer x4: 189
1991 Studio x2: 79
1992 Stadium Club x6: 61
1992 Studio x12: 73
1992 Ultra x2: 139
1992 Upper Deck: 279
1993 Donruss: 103
1993 Flair: 38
1993 Leaf x6: 83
1993 Score x2: 27
1993 Score Select x2: 48
1993 Stadium Club: 70
1993 Studio x4: 51
1993 Topps x11: 208
1993 Upper Deck x6: 145
1994 Studio x8: 27

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Victoria, MN

These four cards were sent by Dan of Victoria, Minnesota.  The '83 Donruss is, without question, my favorite Wallach Donruss card.  There are a couple of factors that go into that decision.  For one, I don't think any of the Donruss designs have aged very well, with '83 being one of the lone exceptions.  But even in the 80's and early 90's, '83 was still my favorite.  On an almost annual basis, Donruss had the worst photo selection for Wallach amongst the major companies.  This somewhat bland '83 photo ranks at the top of the list.  Unfortunately, the Wallach photo selection was especially awful for a few of the Donruss designs that I think have held up somewhat well, specifically '87 and '91.  I actually think the 1991 Donruss set is a fantastic set, especially the green series two cards.  But the Wallach photo they used is on the short list for worst Wallach photo ever put on a card.  In any event, I still like the '83. 

You may also notice the color levels on the '88 All-Star are pretty rich.  That's not my camera or the lighting.  It's the card.  Little things like that are what excite me these days, especially when you're dealing with 700+ copies of the same card.

Thanks for sending these Dan, I'll see what I can do as far as the 87's you asked about.

Updated Totals:

1983 Donruss: 133
1988 Topps All-Star: 712
1989 Fleer: 396
1992 Topps: 214

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Sunday Edition

Mail From Montreal

These 25 Wallach cards arrived from Montreal.  It's only the 2nd time I've ever received cards from Montreal, and I won't lie, it's a little more exciting to see an envelope from Montreal than it is most other places (granted it's always exciting to receive cards in the mail).  As one might expect, these cards are flush with some Candian issues and variants.  The four 1988 Leaf Canadian Greats and the uncut 1987 General Mills Booklet are probably the high points, though I'll never look down on O-Pee-Chee cards either.

Unfortunately I couldn't read the name on the customs sticker and there isn't one on the return label.  So I can't credit the sender.  Regardless, thank you to ever took the time to send these to me.

Updated Totals:

1985 O-Pee-Chee: 25
1986 Topps x4: 320
1987 General Mills: 3
1988 Donruss: 774
1988 Leaf: 37
1988 Leaf Canadian Great x4: 35
1988 O-Pee-Chee: 16
1988 Topps: 707
1988 Topps All-Star: 711
1989 Donruss x4: 393
1989 Score: 182
1989 Topps x4: 745
1991 Score The Franchise: 195
1991 Topps: 261

Also included with this Canadian mailing, was a nice group of 2013 Topps Base Set needs, and a lone 2012 to knock off my list.

I'm biased, but for my money, the 2013 A.J. Pierzynski is one of the better looking Topps cards to be printed in the last twenty years.  I'm no fan of horizontal cards, but I'm willing to make the occasional exception when they're as nice as say a 1971 Munson, or this 2013 Pierzynski.

My only other additions this week were three vintage hockey cards.  I know hockey may not be everyone's favorite non-baseball trading card, but I love hockey sets.  For my money the annual O-Pee-Chee Hockey set is the best set produced every year, and a serves as a shameful reminder to Topps as to what they could be doing with their set instead of the slick, lame, Upper Deck knock-off they put out each season.

These three vintage Hockey cards include my first two Henri "Rocket" "Pocket Rocket" Richard cards (thanks for the catch Hockey Kazi), and an Alex Delvecchio.  From left to right, the cards below are a 1970-71 O-Pee-Chee, a 1971-72 Topps, and 1973-74 O-Pee-Chee.  The 1971-72 design is one of my favorite vintage sets, and one I intend complete eventually, though I'll take on the O-Pee-Chee rather than Topps.  Thanks for reading.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Bridgeport, CT

These three cards were sent by Cicogna of Bridgeport, Connecticut.  He sent them back in January, so apologies are in order for the delay.

Thanks for the cards.

Updated Totals:

1986 Topps All-Star: 629
1988 Donruss: 773
1989 Donruss: 390

Friday, May 24, 2019

Lowell, MA

This nice lot of six Wallach cards was sent by "Couto" of Lowell, Massachusetts.  1983-1985 is probably my favorite three year run of Wallach cards.  It's also somewhat unusual for them to show up in my mailbox, so it was a bit surprising to see what fell out of this envelope.

Thanks for the cards.

Updated Totals:

1983 Topps: 263
1984 Topps: 317
1985 Topps x2: 302
1988 Topps All-Star x2: 710

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Keizer, OR

These 104 cards were sent by frequent contributor Bo of Keizer, Oregon.  I can say with a strong degree of certainty that it's the largest amount of Leaf cards I've ever been sent in one mailing.  Also in the mix was a wrong back 1987 Topps.  I'm never sure how to count these, but ultimately I add them to the '87 Total, but store them with other errors, extreme miscuts, and other production defect cards. 

Thanks for the cards Bo.

Updated Totals:

1987 Topps: 922
1990 Leaf x23: 119
1991 Bowman x2: 64
1991 Leaf x38: 159
1991 Topps x15: 260
1992 Fleer x20: 139
1993 Fleer x5: 63


This is a 1983 Clyde Drexler Police Card.  Bo, who sent me these Wallach's is looking for one and asked that I mention it on this blog to see if anybody who out there may have one for trade/sale, or know someone who does.  If you do, please contact me and I'll get you in touch with Bo.  Or maybe leave a comment with a twitter handle or something.  Bo, if you see this, maybe you'll want to leave a twitter handle or something in the comments too.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Oceanside, NY

These three cards were sent by regular contributor "Rosny" of Oceanside, New York.  Thanks for the cards Bo.  Always appreciated.

Updated Totals:

1990 Donruss: 432
1991 Score: 230
1992 Studio: 61

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Bismarck, ND

This card was sent by Zac of Bismarck, North Dakota.  This envelope represents one small addition to my Wallach's, and one giant leap for my Wallach Collection.  Look again at that cancelation on the stamp.  "Bismarck, ND 58504."  This is the first mailing I've ever received from North Dakota.

I have now received envelopes from 43 different States (and four Provinces). The seven States that apparently hate baseball cards are: Alaska, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Rhode Island, Utah, and Wyoming.

Thanks for the card Zac.  You are the all-time leader for cards sent from the State of North Dakota.

Updated Total:

1995 Topps D3: 20

Monday, May 20, 2019

McKinney, TX

22,000 Wallach Cards 
Reached with this Post

This huge assortment of 130 Wallach cards was sent by fellow Tim Wallach Superfan, Nick of McKinney, Texas.  Nick doesn't mess around when he sends his envelopes and has been, by no small margin, the single biggest contributor to blog in terms of total cards sent.  Which makes it somewhat appropriate that this posting of cards pushes my total over the 22,000 cards mark.  I feel like that's a lot.

As always, thank you for the cards Nick.  Here's a run down of the rest of the cards included in the package as well as updated totals:

Those cards on the endcaps are probably the two "rarest" cards included.  The one on the left is a '95 Upper Deck Electric Diamond Gold and the one on the right is a '96 Donruss Press Proof.  Those are only my second copies of both of those cards.

Of note in this group is the '86 Leaf, which is probably hard to distinguish from the standard Donruss in this photo, and the three '88 Fleer box set cards.  The Award Winners has always been one of my favorites due to it's heavy; reliance?, tribute?, influence?, stealing?,  of the '86-87 Fleer Basketball design.

That's a total of nine (9) 1992 Panini Stickers up there.  Previously I owned seven of them.  So Nick more than doubled my total, a feat that doesn't happen all that often and I like to point out when it does.  

Updated Totals:

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sunday Edition

These five 2012 Topps were sent by Adam, from Broomfield, Colorado.  Adam operates the card blog "Infield Fly Rule."  You should check it out.  He sent these cards to me back in April,...of 2018.  My bad.  Thanks for send the cards Adam, four of the five still ended up filling 2012 needs.

In addition to finding this envelope, I've been somewhat active on ebay of late.  Here are a few highlights:

These five weren't necessarily anything high on my want list, the Papale and '70 Williams are actually duplicates for me, but when I see cards I like at what I deem to be the right price, I tend to be somewhat impulsive.

I'm somewhat embarrassed to say admit this, but these two cards above represent my first ever '51 Topps red (or blue) backs.  I can remember early in my collecting days looking at Beckett price guides (it was still in the early days of Beckett too), and this set standing out as the oldest one listed.  Over the years the weight of importance I placed on that faded, and some how through it all I've managed to never own one.  Well, now I own two, and I feel pretty good about it.  At some point I'll likely make an effort to complete these sets.  The cards feel pretty good in hand, nice and sturdy, and I imagine this set would look very nice sleeved in a binder.  It also won't break the bank to piece together a low grade set.  Hopefully the right size pages exists.

Finally, this may be my favorite new acquisition in quite some time.  I owned this card, along with a good number of others from this series decades ago, but they were lost to time.  I know it's a cliche, but my mother literally threw these out when I was in college.  She knew better than to toss the '88 Donruss, but a lone Garbage Pail Kid in a top loader (yes, I kept Nasty Nick in a top loader and he still got tossed), that wasn't anything worth keeping.

I had maybe two dozen 1st series in top loaders in a shoe box that was sent to the curb.  My 2nd and 3rd series were, and remain, in a 3-ring binder.  It was my over abundance of caution that led to the destruction of my first series cards.  This Nasty Nick is in extremely poor shape, as you've probably already determined, but I'm happy to have one in hand again. 

The first three series of GPK's are another set build I hope to take on but it's just not all that high on the priority list, especially given the price.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Long Beach, CA

Brian of "Dre Day Cards" sent this assortment of 25 Wallach cards from Long Beach, California.  Long Beach State is a rival of Cal. State Fullerton's in baseball, so perhaps Brian was just looking to rid himself of these cards of the Titan Legend.

Thanks for the cards Brian.

Updated Totals:

Friday, May 17, 2019

Lake Barrington, IL

This group of four cards is the fifth time that Storms has sent me Wallach's (at least by my math).  This group features three some what "rare" cards.  The '91 Leaf is actually of the "Preview" variety and not the standard base set '91 Leaf.  I'd also be remiss not to point out that yellow O-Pee-Chee rectangle in the corner of the '85.  Finally the '91 Panini "Canadian Top 15" isn't a sticker I see very often and still know next to nothing about.  The standard '91 Panini were tiny rectangular stickers, so these "Top 15" variants obviously weren't coming in the same packages.

Thanks for the cards Storms.

Updated Totals:

1985 O-Pee-Chee: 24
1991 Leaf Preview: 13
1991 Panini Canadian Top 15: 23
1991 Topps: 245

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Raleigh, NC

These four Wallach's were sent by James of Raleigh, North Carolina.  By my count it's the third time James has sent cards.  These were actually taken from James's brother, so thanks go out to him as well.  Maybe the Whalers can beat the Bruins four times in a row, once for each of these cards.  And I apologize if that offends, I really don't have anything against the Hurricanes, but as you might be able to guess given the uniforms on these four cards, relocating sports teams is a bit of sore subject on this blog.

Updated Totals:

1990 Fleer: 362
1990 Topps: 505
1990 Upper Deck: 306
1992 Score: 82

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Arlington Heights, IL

Steve sent these 11 cards way back in May of 2017.  I believe this is the last of the old mailings I misplaced during my move.  I now have a box of recent one's to catch up on in the next few weeks.  Sorry for my mistake Steve, but thank you for the cards.

Updated Totals:

1986 Topps x3: 315
1986 Topps All-Star: 627
1987 Topps x2: 920
1988 Topps All-Star: 706
1990 Topps: 504
1992 Topps: 212
1994 Topps: 118
1997 Collector's Choice: 27

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Brownsburg, IN

Daniel sent these five cards from Brownsburg, IN.  He sent them in April of 2017.  Yes, it's taken me over two years to post these cards.  My bad.  Sorry Daniel, this envelope got lost in the shuffle of a move.

They're still very much appreciated.  Also of interest, at least it is to me, is this is the second time someone from Brownsburg, IN has sent me cards.  Gabe, who publishes "White Sox Card Adventures," also sent me cards from Brownsburg, IN back in 2015.  I don't know if Daniel and Gabe know eachother, but they're literally just a couple of miles apart.  If you two are looking for trading partners you may have one closer than you know.  Let me know and I'll try putting you in touch if you want.

Thanks for the cards Daniel.

Updated Totals:

1989 Topps: 737
1991 Topps x3: 244
1991 Upper Deck: 280

Monday, May 13, 2019

1991 Stadium Club Printing Error

My sorting process for Wallach cards has evolved of the years.  When I pick up a half dozen or so new Wallachs, be it by eBay or the generosity of a stranger by mail, it's not very time efficient to go to the stacks and try to log them into their proper place.  I keep an 1,800 count shoe box for new cards to go into.  When it begins to fill up, that's when I break down and sort the new arrivals into the mix with the other 20,000 plus Wallach's.  It's tedious, but I enjoy it.

Recently while undertaking that task, I was thumbing through a small stack of '91 Stadium Club, counting out 25 at a time to place into team bags, when the card above on the left caught my eye.  It's missing the gold foil stamping.  I'm pretty sure I've seen these pop up on eBay before, but it never interested me enough to pay the asking price for one.  That said, it was pretty cool to find one in the wild like this.

I'm not  a huge "error guy" when it comes to Wallach's, I actually prefer things like wildly off-centered cards or grossly off caliber color printing levels, but I do have a few wrong backs, blank-fronts, blank backs, and things of that nature.  This will find it's way into a binder with those.

Below is the card back, which as you can see is perfectly normal.