Friday, May 31, 2013

1990/1991 Fleer Quad Stickers

As you can see, Fleer didn't exactly stay up all night modifying their sticker insert designs from 1990 to 1991. Solid blue changed to a green-fading-to-yellow. Except we do see one huge difference. In 1990, these were merely 'Baseball Stickers'. By 1991, however, these innocent little logos graduated to ACTION SERIES stickers! Oh golly gosh look at all that ACTION!!! Back up, just BACK UP! When I decide to peel these off and place them on my Officially Licensed Fleer Mini-Album I'll be the actionyest kid on the block. Go Reds.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

TTM Goodness - Hal Smith

Hal Smith played 10 years in the majors, his final one with the Cincinnati Reds. Smith is most famous for his 8th inning 3-run homer in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series that set up Bill Mazeroski's famous walk-off shot. Smith caught 32 of his 879 career games in his retirement year with Cincy in 1964. Signed is a 1964 Topps #233. Sweet.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

1964 Topps #260 - Frank Robinson

1964 was one of Topps' best years, I think. The design was simple, the photos weren't terribly interesting, but somehow it just resonates with me. I think I'm biased, though, because I have a fond memory of my grandpa trading a set of used tires to someone at a flea market for a dinged up '64 Mickey Mantle and giving it to me for Christmas. That was pretty dang epic.

Here we have a Gem Mint All Star from that year of Triple Crown winning, 2-time MVP, Rookie of the Year, Gold Glove Winning, 12-time All Star, World Series MVP, Hall of Famer Frank Robinson. Is that a monster crease down the center or a thunderous bolt of lightning bursting through the card? The gods could not handle such hitting skill emanating from a mere mortal and it broke the barrier between man and the heavens. Or maybe it's just a big ol' crease. Now, why is there a '5' drawn on his sleeve? This is a mystery best left to philosophizing scholars. Great card.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

2011 Topps Marquee Gametime Mementos Quad Relics - Brandon Phillips

Probably my favorite relic card in my collection. Topps Marquee put out some good lookin' cards. The framing on the jersey swatches is excellent. The fading is excellent. And how can you not love the best second baseman in the game? Sweet card.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

TTM Goodness - Charley Rabe

Charley Rabe pitched in the bigs for two years, both with Cincinnati. He took the mound for 27 innings in 11 games and notched 16 strikeouts. I love cards like this, of players with a brief appearance on the big stage. They made it to the top, and are immortalized on one of Topps' classic sets. This is the only major card released of Charley Rabe. Signed is a 1958 Topps #376. Sweet.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Keepin' That Ticker Tickin' - Part 3 of 3

Friggin' great game yesterday. Votto, Phillips, and Hanigan homered. Came back from a 3-0 deficit to snag a 7-4 win. Great weather. Nice fireworks show afterward. Gotta love it. And gotta love GABP...

Alright, let's wrap up the new babies in my binder crib...

1991 Fleer World Series #1. Bringing back memories of waving brooms around my living room as a kid. What a sweet series, sweeping the HEAVILY favored A's. There's Eric Davis tearing up the Oakland pitching staff. I need the rest of this set. Only got three of the 8. Next up...

Bunch of parallels. The Deion Gold Rush closes out that set. It's very rewarding to complete a parallel set. The David Gil is one of those thick-stock Bowman "Gold" cards. I've never seen one that isn't chipped like crazy around the edges. And I'm always happy to snag a Bowman International. Next...

A few veterans on modern cards. The Newcombe is lookin' pretty good, except for the gold stamped logo interfering with the photo. And of course we're all familiar with the career of Dick Hoblitzell. Right? Totally. Now my favorite card of the new additions...

What the shiitake is this? A card supply company trying to make a splash in the early 90's. Morris looks ready to take the court in the Southern Ohio Junior Varsity Tennis Invitational for Richtown Country Day Prep Academy. What's that? The blurb on the back mentions that Hal loves tennis? This is ACTUALLY a tennis card? Ugh. This has no appeal. But fortunately, according to the back, it's a limited edition of ONLY 100,000, which, in 1991, is uranium-level rare.

Well then.

I still have dozens more newbies, but mostly set-filler stuff. A lot of stuff like this...

Good adds, but no need poring over them all. 'Til tomorrow, GO REDS.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Keepin' That Ticker Tickin' - Part 2 of 3

I'm headed to the Nati soon to see my Reds put a hurtin' on the stupid Cubs, so today's portion of KTTT will be brief and un-thought-out (as opposed to rambling and un-thought-out).

We're gonna play Find the Error. I enjoy error cards (actual errors, not the fake ones everyone is throwing into their sets). They have some charm. I acquired two in my latest trade, one from my Top 15 Want List. First, Jose Rijo, 1989 Score...

Answer below. Second, Eric Davis, 1987 Donruss Diamond Kings...

This one's easier than the Rijo.

Alright, I'm out. GO REDLEGS!!!

Jose Rijo - Jersey Number on the back, below his name (24 vs 27).
Eric Davis - Ribbon that contains "Donruss Diamond Kings" (colored vs uncolored)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Keepin' That Ticker Tickin' - Part 1 of 3

Completed a very nice trade recently. Nabbed 67 cards I did not have and gave up some non-reds I was given for free by my friendly neighborhood card shop owner, via Topps. This chunk put a nice hurtin' on that scoreboard. I'm approaching 11,000, which is excellent. And with my Redlegs getting a sweep on the road at New York, I'm feeling very sports-happy.

I'm gonna break this into three installments, with no themes in mind. For Part 1, I can think of no better way to start than...

A pile of new Griffeys. 2001 Upper Deck Vintage Matinee Idols, 2005 Fleer Premium, 2004 Upper Deck Power Up (hideous), 2004 Topps Cracker Jack, 2003 Upper Deck Standing O, 2003 Upper Deck Honor Roll, 2002 Topps Total. Good pile. Good pile. Next...

More Griffeys. Boom. 2001 Topps Season Highlights (which seems like a parallel with the gloss, but isn't), 2002 Donruss Fan Club, 2001 Pacific, 2001 Bowman, 2000 Fleer Tradition Update, 2000 Fleer Tadition Update Season Highlights. Excellent. This fills a few holes in the binders where the Griffey was the only missing card of the team set. Very satisfying sliding in that last card. Closure, man. Closure. Moving on...

Nice group of Adam Dunn. I've rarely mentioned Adam Dunn in this blog, which is negligent on my part. I'm a big fan, mainly because I played baseball the same way he does. Either crank it out of the park or strikeout swinging. I just COULD NOT watch a ball go by. Didn't feel right. Of course, Dunn is a pro, and I was some kid bangin' around southern Ohio leagues, so I have a better excuse for blindly swinging at everything like I'm axing down a tree. There are a ton of Dunn cards around, and they can be had for pennies, which is great for Red Cardboard. Here we have 2003 Topps Gallery (sweet), 2005 Fleer Platinum, 2005 Flair, 2004 Leaf Second Edition, 2004 Fleer InScribed, 2002 Topps Gold Label (sweet). And I picked up a few more...

2004 Finest (from one of Finest's goofy years), 2004 Donruss Team Heroes, 2002 Upper Deck Ovation, 2004 Fleer Sweet Sigs Ballpark Heroes. I really like the Ballpark Heroes card design, but Dunn being off center and not in the frame is killing me.

Alrighty, that's a good start. Griffey and Dunn are two proud members of the Red Cardboard Century Club and perhaps are future candidates for the yet-to-exist Millennium Club. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Go Reds.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

2002 Fleer Ultra #30 - Ken Griffey Jr.


This blog doesn't have enough Griffey. Here's a little bit of remedy. An excellent photo, framed well, some pilot wings beneath the soaring Junior, and a sneaky tractor. Well done. Fleer Ultra has always been superb. Well, from 1992, anyway. Go Reds.

Monday, May 20, 2013

1954 Topps #7 - Ted Kluszewski

More Gem Mint goodness today. The 1954 Topps set always bothered me for no other reason than they decided to border only 3 of the 4 sides. I'm sure there is an artsy reason for that, but I don't comprehend it. Though, a lot of credit for the action photos that found their way into the set, particularly this one. My card here I'm sure looked really great at one point, but it was loved too much for too long and now it's a washed up old sot in desperate need of some sleep. Nah. It's a Kluszewski. It's proudly propped up on the display shelf. Go Reds.

TTM Goodness - Chris Hammond

Chris Hammond spent 14 years in the majors, 4 of which were with Cincy, where he won 15 games. Signed is a 1991 Bowman #680. Sweet.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Exactly two people have reached base 6 times in one game this year in the entirety of Major League Baseball. Shin-Soo Choo, on April 20th, against the Marlins, and Joey Votto, last night, against the Phillies. Amazing. GO. REDS.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

1953 Bowman Color #138 - Bubba Church

These color shots from 1953 prove that card companies of the '50s were indeed capable of producing cards with great color photos and didn't have to resort to reproductions of paintings. To show this off, Bowman didn't even include a name or team logo on the front; just a nice photo. However, it was off-the-charts expensive, and the already low production heavily decreased around card 113 and again around card 129. Then, after card 160, Bowman gave up on the color entirely and finished the set in black and white, a punk move. I am lucky enough to have acquired a high number Bowman color of Emory "Bubba" Church. For one dollar. Not sure the dude was aware of the set's rarity. Nor was I, at the time. Just saw a Red from a set of which I had no cards, so I snagged it. Most. Excellent.

TTM Goodness - Hank Foiles

Henry "Hank" Foiles enjoyed an 11-year, 7-team career at catcher. His rookie year of 1953 was spent with Cincy, as were 1962 and 1963. Foiles garnered and All Star nod in 1957. Signed is a 1991 Topps Archives #252. Sweet.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Looking for Team Go-To Guys

Greeting Red Cardboarders. I'm looking for a go-to guy for each team whenever I acquire non-Reds (which is admittedly rare). If you want to be my guy for a team, comment below, or shoot me an email at mattmccurryATgmailDOTcom.

And since I refuse to post without showing a card, here's Jose Rijo looking like Whoopi Goldberg...

Arizona Diamondbacks - OPEN
Atlanta Braves - OPEN
Baltimore Orioles - OPEN
Boston Red Sox - Metallattorney
Chicago Cubs - OPEN
Chicago White Sox - OPEN
Cincinnati Reds - OPEN (lots of Reds doubles, looking for multiple)
Cleveland Indians - OPEN
Colorado Rockies - OPEN
Detroit Tigers - OPEN
Florida Marlins - OPEN
Houston Astros - OPEN
Kansas City Royals - OPEN
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of California of The United States of America - OPEN
Los Angeles Dodgers - Stealing Home
Milwaukee Brewers - OPEN
Minnesota Twins - OPEN
Montreal Expos - OPEN
New York Mets - OPEN
New York Yankees - OPEN
Oakland Athletics - OPEN
Philadelphia Phillies - OPEN
Pittsburgh Pirates - OPEN
San Diego Padres - OPEN
San Francisco Giants - OPEN
Seattle Mariners (sans Griffey) - OPEN
St. Louis Cardinals - OPEN
Tampa Bay Rays - OPEN
Texas Rangers - OPEN
Toronto Blue Jays - OPEN
Washington Nationals - OPEN
Ken Griffey Jr. - The Junior Junkie

Thursday, May 16, 2013

1965 Topps #581 - Tony Perez RC

Topps chose to put three rookies on this card, up from the two per card in '64 and down from the four per card in '63. They could have made a vertical design, giving each player a third of the space. They chose instead to give half the space to one Atanasio Pérez Rigal. Let's see if they chose wisely...

Career Stats:

Kevin Collins - 388 AB - 81 H - 6 HR - .209 BA - 0x All Star
Dave Ricketts - 213 AB - 53 H - 1 HR - .249 BA - 0x All Star
Tony Perez - 9,778 AB - 2732 H - 379 HR - .279 BA - 7x All Star

Good job, Topps. Good job.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Junior Junkie's Party-in-a-Box

Recently received a package from The Junior Junkie. I highly recommend checking out his blog. In fact, do it now. Then come back. Then repeat. Every day.

So what type of goodness does the Junkster dish out? Let's bust into the package...

The only thing missing was a band of trumpeters and dancing girls. It took me a little bit too long to realize that The Junkie is from Louisiana and was sharing a bit of Mardi Gras with a boring Midwesterner. I just thought he liked to party. Amidst the celebration were 4 staxxx of Cincinnati Reds goodness.

Now it's getting tougher and tougher to find Reds cards that I don't have, but it's more and more exciting to find some. And J. Junk managed to grace me with 21 cards NOT in my collection, and a big ol' pile of cards of which I can't have too many. Let's start with the new additions...

Three 2010 Upper Deck bases I didn't have. Pulled from a thick stack of 2010 UDs. Three Ultra bases I somehow didn't have. A slick Jose Rijo Pacific. A Classic Danny Jackson (highly underrated pitcher). And a Fun Pack Roberto Kelly. Good start.

Votto Topps OD Insert. Reggie Sanders EX with a Gypsy Queen-like raised border. Volquez UD Insert. Eric Davis 1990 Topps Sticker Back. All excellent.

A '95 Topps Ron Gant that somehow was off my radar. Didn't even realize I needed it. Same with the Pinnacle and Select Gants. Same with the Freddie Benavides '93 Donruss. All were mislabeled in Beckett with the wrong team. JJ was here to save the day and now I need to double check some lists. The Gant YMTP cards are from a nice set. And the Deion is from a set I hadn't heard of - 'National Packtime'. Nice. My favorite card of the bunch...

2009 UD 20th Anniversary Josh Hamilton. I know Hamilton has been under-performing lately, but I loved him on the Reds, I love his story, and I love the precious few Hamilton cards I have. Sweet. What other goodies we got?...

Bunch of Vottos. Fan. Tas. Tic. MORE!????

Oh tons more. Here's some highlights, giving the scope of the package. Moving o... You know what? Too much. I'm tapping out. No more scanning. Here's a pic of my scanner being buried under the rest...

Mercy. Thanks Junkie. May the Cardboard Gods bless you with Griffey goodness as numerous as your albums can withstand.

Oh, and Go Reds.

TTM Goodness - John Smiley

Some new TTM excellence. John Smiley had a 12 year big-league career, including 5 years and 48 victories with the Reds. Smiley was a 2-time All Star, one of those while in Cincinnati. Signed is a 1997 Collector's Choice #52. Sweet.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

2013 Bowman Mailday

Nabbed the Reds team set from Bowman's latest release a few days ago. While painfully similar to last year's, I like these better, for no discernable reason. Let's take a gander...
First nine, numerically. Votto card is lookin pretty cool. And my Choos keep piling up, which is just fine by me (I've said it before, pay this man A-Rod money). Now that I study these, I'm not entirely sure what the red flaps on the sides are supposed to be. POV looking out a catcher's mask, maybe? Moving on...

The rest of the set. Cingrani rookie. Sweet. Frazier and Bruce look kinda goofy. Parallels, you ask?...

Delivered. Snagged 8 of the 13 Golds. Solid. Lastly...

Some Chrome prospecting. I know nothing about Tanner Rahier or Jeff Gelalich other than I now own one card of each and they're currently toiling away with the Single A Dayton Dragons. Also picked up the Blue Sapphire Retro Rookie Insert (or whatever garish title it has) of Joey Votto. A nice reprint of his first Bowman card from 2002, coated in bluish refractoritude. Only a dozen or so cards in this set. Nice to see a Red in there.

Good stuff. Go Redlegs.

Monday, May 13, 2013

1934 Batter-Up #34 - Si Johnson

Two straight days of Gem Mint Vintage All Stars! Here is the vastly unheralded Si Johnson from the 1934 Batter-Up pop-up set. It's un-popped, but that may be its only redeemable quality. Still, anything from the 1930s that's moderately presentable, I'm a fan of. The fading definitely gives it a ghostly mystique that I'm very happy with. Looks like he's emerging from the cornfield in Field of Dreams. Cool card.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

1959 Topps #435 - Frank Robinson

An excellent member of The Gem Mint Vintage All Stars. Frank Robinson is an all time great. Triple Crown, MVP in both leagues, 500 home run club, first African American manager in the majors, and a hundred other accolades. And the '59 Topps set is really special, giving you a through-the-camera look of the players on the field. This card is so nice when in good condition, that I would never consider obtaining one. But the version I have is much better. Look at the way the rounded corners compliment the circular picture. See how the top creases give the illusion that Frank's name is bashing through your lens. Marvel at the faded borders telling you that we're about to play a rough, dirty, game of MEN, and you're about to get lit up by one Frank Robinson. A superb example of the Red Cardboard Gem Mint Vintage All Stars.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

New Pickups

 Nabbed a few new things. Time to lazily show them off. It is the weekend, after all. First...

Some new Larkins. Sweet. A couple chromies up top. A Silver Sig, too. I'm enjoying hunting down the Collector's Choice signature parallels. I had so many of these as a kid, since the packs were so cheap. Brings back good memories. Topps Gallery is an underrated, forgotten brand. I rarely find very many. What's next?...

Bam. More new Larkins. The Topps 60 Larkin is the last Red I needed from that set. The relief on the Pinnacle Aficionado is very peculiar. It reminds me of glitter and glue sticks from kindergarten. And the USA Team throwback is most excellent.

A handful of 1990 Donruss Best, including the Larkin. I think I'm missing two from the set. I've said it before; it's so strange seeing the 90 Donruss, of which I had a million, in bright blue. I like it better though. I love both Tom Browning's and Rob Dibble's wind-up photos. Last card...

Upper Deck Heroes of Baseball Game Used Bat. Nice grab for a buck fifty. Any mem card from the Big Red Machine is a welcome addition. The photo is pretty dull though, further emphasized by the unnecessary black and white. But I'll always nab a Perez.

Good stuff. Go Reds.