Friday, February 28, 2014

Completely Red: 1993 Upper Deck

The first major design change for Upper Deck, but still top notch photography. Pretty nice base design, with the facsimile signature and the 'Upper Deck' nameplate seemingly hovering in the field behind the player. Plus a bevy of subsets (Star Rookies, Top Prospects, Peter Gammons' Inside the Numbers, Multi-Player Team Cards, Art Checklists) make this a killer junk era set.

The Reds have 29 cards in the monster 840 card checklist. Bill Doran turning two, Hal Morris snagging a foul ball from the stands, Joe Oliver's catching close-up, and Juan Samuel's painful slide are all very nice. Also, we have the 1,000th 'Red October' pun to be featured on a 90's card. Look out for a Bip sighting.


Cards - 29

RC's - 2 (Tim Pugh, Chad Mottola)

All Stars - 11 (Dan Wilson, Bip Roberts, Chris Sabo, Tom Browning, Reggie Sanders x2, Juan Samuel, Jeff Reardon, Kevin Mitchell, Roberto Kelly, Rob Dibble, John Smiley)

Hall of Famers - 1 (Barry Larkin)

Reds Hall of Famers - 4 (Jose Rijo, Tom Browning, Barry Larkin, Chris Sabo)

Star Rookies That Aren't Rookie Cards - 3 (Willie Greene, Dan Wilson, Tim Costo)

Hal Morris in the Tron Universe at Sunset - Check


4 Willie Greene
6 Dan Wilson
11 Tim Costo
26 Tim Pugh
107 Bill Doran
112 Bip Roberts
121 Hal Morris
147 Chris Sabo
216 Chris Hammond
226 Jose Rijo
234 Joe Oliver
245 Barry Larkin
270 Tom Browning
329 Scott Bankhead
354 Reggie Sanders
368 Tim Belcher
400 Dave Martinez
443 Chad Mottola
469 Reggie Sanders IN
473 Red October
527 Juan Samuel
541 Jeff Reardon
622 Randy Milligan
642 Jeff Branson
646 Kevin Mitchell
655 Roberto Kelly
675 Rob Dibble
694 John Smiley
833 Hal Morris Team Checklist

Go Reds. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Trade Box

If you're reading card blogs and somehow don't know about Nick at Dime Boxes -- The Low-End Baseball Card Collector's Journey, then your internet skillz are very poor. Go to his site. 

He claimed some of my Take My Cards cards, and was good enough to send some goodness in return. Shall we?

1976 SSPC Ted Kluszewski, Alex Grammas, Fred Norman, Bill Plummer. I already had Norman and Plummer, but the coach cards of Klu and Grammas are excellent additions.

These are my first cards from the Hometown Heroes release: Tom Browning base and Brandon Phillips Defining Moments. Pretty nice. As much as I love Bench, Morgan, and Perez, it's nice to see other classic Reds getting some modern love.

This. I did not know what this even was. Flip it over... 1995. Alrighty. Pre-Chrome chrome. Phil Rizzuto's National Pastime? Ok I still don't know what this is. BUT. I like it. Super old-school baseball is always interesting. After 10 seconds of Google-fu, I see these were release by Comic Images and these were referred to as MagnaChrome. Sweet.

Bowman Drew Bowman Blue. That just rolls off the tongue, don't it? And it's serialed out of 500. Excellent.


Had the Votto '72 and the Davis Topps UK. Needed the Frazier Ginter and the Bench Topps Kimball. This Frazier regular back joins my Frazier A&G back.

Somebody shops at Wal-Mart. Approved.

1986 Topps Tiffany Ron Oester, John Stuper. Awesome. I have 90% of the Tiffany Reds from 1987-1989 and about about a dozen from 1990. But these are my first from '86. It's still odd to feel the gloss on junk era Topps. It makes my brain confused.

Bowman Golds Sean Buckley, Mike Leake. And by Bowman Gold, I mean Bowman Yellowish Brown.

Three oddities I didn't have. TriStar Kyle Lotzkar, Pinnacle Performers Bret Tomko, Topps Update Chasing History Joey Votto. Lotzkar is entering his 8th year in the Reds Minor Leagues, which began at age 17. He's struggled lately, but he's still relatively young.

I had all of these already, but oddballs need posted. Ames All Stars Eric Davis, Starline Long John Silver's Eric Davis, Drake's George Foster. Nice.

And the rest of the pile of welcome Reds doubles. It was a solid package.

Thanks Nick. Keep the dime-boxing alive, brother.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

1909-11 T206 Tom Downey (Batting) Polar Bear Back

I hadn't bought a tobacco card in ages. So, having acquired some monies in my Paypal account, I quenched my nicotine-induced desires and made a nice purchase. The shipping was wicked fast; purchased on Friday the 21st, in my hands on Monday the 24th. Most excellent.

1909-11 T206 Tom Downey (Batting). As good of condition as I can expect out of one of these, given the amount I'm willing to pay. Despite the major creases all over, the color is fantastic, and the portrait lines are crisp. So I'm very happy to add this one to the display shelf. But my favorite part of the card is the back...

Polar Bear! All 6 of my other T206 cards have either the Piedmont or the Sweet Caporal back, which are the two most common. This, the only non-cigarette back, is the 10th most common. Not bad.

A little about Tom Downey: Played in 6 professional seasons between 1909 and 1915 (DNP in 1913). He began with the Reds, then played a year each for the Phillies and Cubs, then spent his final two years with the Buffalo Buffeds in the Federal League. Career National League batting average of .257 with a high of .292.

And for posterity, I do have the fielding version of Downey from the set, too, in excellent condition.

Go Reds.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Completely Red: 1986 Fleer Mini

Yesterday's Completely Red post got me in a junk mini mood. So here's some more. 1986 Fleer Mini. A simple 120-card set, it was issued via a complete set box. Each team got 3 to 6 cards. The design was the same as the base set of that year, with the exception being that the border seems to be proportionally thicker in the minis. Probably not on purpose, just a result of the quick-to-market ideals of the 80's, I imagine. They did use different photos for these, though. At least that aspect of cards wasn't skimped in the junk era.  These are slightly smaller than the Topps minis, which leads to maximum shiftage in the page. I think I might pick up some of the soon-to-be-produced mini pages from UltraPro at some point.

The Reds portion of the set included 100% All Stars, which is sweet. Also, any Pete Rose oddball I enjoy. Petey still pulls value. And the Buddy Bell framed with the cloud looks pretty nice.


Cards - 5

RC's - 0

All Stars - 5 (Buddy Bell, Tom Browning, Dave Parker, Pete Rose, Mario Soto)

Reds Hall of Famers - 2 (Mario Soto, Tom Browning)

Wiggle Room - Check


37 Buddy Bell
38 Tom Browning
39 Dave Parker
40 Pete Rose
41 Mario Soto 

Go Reds.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Completely Red: 1989 Topps Mini Leaders

Take your modern minis and shove em. Take your vintage minis and shove em. We're talking junk era minis, baby. This 77 card set got its own release in wax packs in '89. By the looks of it, if you were in the top 5 in almost anything, you got a card. For instance, Eric Davis lead the league in game-winning RBIs and Chris Sabo was 3rd in doubles and tied for 4th in stolen bases. My Reds got the largest partition by far, with 8 cards (ahead of the Cardinals, Mets, Red Sox, and Twins with a paltry 5 each).

I like the faded border (as opposed to the crisp borders on the main set) though the thickness of the border shrinks an already small photo (but boy, it's just RIPE for 20 different color parallels, ain't it?). Mayhaps Topps should have used this design for the full-size and the full-size design for the minis. Credit to using fresh photos for the set. It would have been quite easy to just shrink the flagship photos.


Cards - 8

RC's - 1 (Chris Sabo)

All Stars - 6 (Tom Browning, Chris Sabo, Barry Larkin, Danny Jackson, John Franco, Eric Davis)

Hall of Famers - 1 (Barry Larkin)

Reds Hall of Famers - 5 (Eric Davis, Jose Rijo, Tom Browning, Barry Larkin, Chris Sabo)

Bouncing Around the Page Sleeves - All of em


6 Tom Browning
7 Kal Daniels
8 Eric Davis
9 John Franco
10 Danny Jackson
11 Barry Larkin
12 Jose Rijo
13 Chris Sabo

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Reds in Order

Some goodies were sent to me by Tom over at Angels in Order via my 'Take My Cards' plea. Do go check his blog out, then scurry back over here to scope the loot.

We'll start all shiny with two Topps parallels from 2011. Chris Heisey Silver Sparkle and Brandon Phillips Update Target Red Border. As easily hate-able as the barrage of Topps parallels have been, the silver sparkle is awful purdy and I'll rarely complain about more red being thrown onto a card. More importantly, I didn't have either of these. New Reds are good Reds.

I showed off my 2014 Topps Reds recently, so I didn't feel the need to scan the new ones sent me. Ah, but in my haste I nearly missed the Power Players Jay Bruce. I saw the back, which is the contest rules instead of stats, and it jarred me. Curiously, Topps made these parallels for 199 of the 330 card set. Odd. Also, none of these have that elusive single-sparkle that Topps has brought back. Shucks.

Three from 200X Fleer Splendid Splinters. Typical Fleer set of the time, and a Turkey Red Edinson Volquez I curiously had neglected to catalog in my Needs files. Had it not been for Tom, I never would have known I was missing it. O, the joys of collecting.

Here's some stuff. Stuff is good.

2008 Upper Deck Documentary. Jay Bruce RC (photo 2) and Edinson Volquez. I now have, I think, 41 of the 162 base cards and 2 of the 162 Gold parallels. And without hardly trying. Maybe someday I'll have the entire base set and the 18 (!) binder pages needed to house it. Mmmm, no I won't.

Thanks, AiO. Go Reds.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Tuckus Week, Day 7: Hand Check

I think I've posted all I can to honor the tuckus. So I leave you, dear readers, with the greatest owner of all time embracing the last Reds skipper to give Cincinnati a title. Watch those hands, there, Lou. That's a multi-million dollar tuckus. Go Reds.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Tuckus Week, Day 6: Vintage Oddballs

This entire week will be devoted to an underrated aspect of the card world: Card backs. Rumps. Posteriors. Booties. Arses. Badonkadonks. Fannies. Cabooses. The tuckus. Ok I'm done. Baby got back, and so does Red Cardboard.
Day 6 will focus on some vintage oddballs and rarities. These cards aren't unobtainably rare by any means, but we don't see a lot of them on the blogs, and certainly see the backs even less. Let's ride.

1964 Topps Giants Jim Maloney, Frank Robinson. These are pretty sweet. Huge color photo on the front distracts from the newspaper article-style display on the back. Bonus points for the phrase 'four-bagger', which needs to make a comeback.

1977 Pepsi Glove Disc Ken Griffey. Still in its original housing, this disc is hanging on by a thread. I need to stop moving it around. 1) Check out that sweet, sweet t-shirt. 2) Where else would Rico Carty get mentioned alongside Pete Rose and Joe Morgan? 3) "To my buddy, Red Cardboard. Best wishes, Pete Rose" just sounds so great.
Two more 70's discs. An Isaly's  Ken Griffey and a vastly superior Chilly Willee Dave Concecpion. I would love to find a stack of these somewhere. Every stack I've ever seen at a show was curiously deplete of Reds.

1951 Topps Red Backs Grady Hatton. The first Topps set, technically. This is the red back that is referenced (as opposed to the ultra rare blue back set). Just thought it needed shown.

1962 Reds Kahn's Gordy Coleman. These are oversized at 3.5" x 4" or so. Why am I showing this otherwise dull, type-set back? Check out the fourth line below his name. Ancestry stats! Never seen that before. I wonder how that would factor into fantasy baseball computations? Also, sorry ladies. Gordy is married, as mentioned right after his sturdy German-Irish heritage.

A bunch of Kellogg's goodies from various years. We see they landed on a format and stuck to it for a decade, but just couldn't help but shuffle the top plate. Player photo, Tony the Tiger, Raisin Bran Sun. Pick a lane, Kellogg.

The last one for today is only text, but I find it oddly fascinating. 1948 Leaf Kent Peterson. 1) Referred to as a promising pitcher after going 2-15. 2) An excellent error card, his ERA was 4.60, not .460. Going 2-15 with a .460 ERA would be fantastic. 3) Apparently mowing down a bunch of army men in sandlot games in the European Theater garners mention on your baseball card. Sure.

Closing up Tuckus Week tomorrow. Go Reds.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tuckus Week, Day 5: 90's Cavalcade

This entire week will be devoted to an underrated aspect of the card world: Card backs. Rumps. Posteriors. Booties. Arses. Badonkadonks. Fannies. Cabooses. The tuckus. Ok I'm done. Baby got back, and so does Red Cardboard.
Today we'll check out some 1990's piles from Donruss, Fleer, Score, and Bowman. Remember them? Yeah, me neither.
1993 Donruss Spirit of the Game. These were cool inserts, back in the day. The fronts were excellent action shots, as were the backs. Plus, we get those GIANT YELLOW LETTERS. Why, Donruss? Just, why? That Bip Roberts up top would be so great without it.

1998 Donruss Deion Sanders. Just a cool photo.

1993 Donruss Reggie Sanders, Bip Roberts, Bill Doran, Joe Oliver, Dave Martinez. All five are excellent photos relegated to the rear. I've mentioned before my love of '93 Donruss, mostly due to opening a ton of it as a kid. These backs justify my love.

1994 Donruss Rob Dibble. One year of stats. Full bleed. Cool pic. Not bad.

1996 Flair deserves a full page scan. THREE photos of the player on the BACK. Whoa nellie. Topps would never 'waste' three pics like this. I miss you, 90's.

199 and 1994 Ultra get full page scans, too. The 93's are particularly good looking with those bright colors. And look at '94 rockin' the photo trio. Fantastic.

1993 Select Hal Morris, Reggie Sanders. Solid backs. Exceptional photos.

1992 Pinnacle Rookies Reggie Sanders. I find this shot of Reggie taking off really nice in combination with the design. A shame this back was only for a 30 card insert set.

1999 Bowman. The 'Now and Then' is a great find on this set. I was pleasantly surprised to discover these during my scanning marathon. The only acceptable reusing of photography I've encountered, by the way.

Tuckus Week rolls on. Go Reds.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tuckus Week, Day 4: Wacky Tobacky

This entire week will be devoted to an underrated aspect of the card world: Card backs. Rumps. Posteriors. Booties. Arses. Badonkadonks. Fannies. Cabooses. The tuckus. Ok I'm done. Baby got back, and so does Red Cardboard.
Day 4 is devoted to soft drugs. While tobacco has been an economic positive and a healthful negative, we can all agree that the nicotiana plant was instrumental for the success of baseball cards via crafty manufacturers. We all love the rare tobacco cards of the day (I assume), but the back have been mostly ignored, as they were usually advertisements and not the juicy player tidbits and stats we've come to expect.

We'll also check out the modern minis, who's back variations were inspired by (copied) the century past.
1909-11 T206 Mike Mowrey, Sweet Caporal Back. This is the second most common back for the set. Sweet Caporal dates back to 1878, then later merged with American Tobacco Company, producers of this set.

1909-11 T206 Hans Lobert, Piedmont Back. This is the most common back. Piedmont was the highest selling cigarette at the time, justifying the high volume of this back.

Some 2000's Topps 206 Minis. Polar Bear was a brand of loose tobacco, the only such brand on the 206 backs. Tolstoi is one of the rarer backs. Much congrats if you have an original card with that back.

Upper Deck had to join the nicotine party as well, with their Goodwin minis. Broad Leaf was even rarer to find than Tolstoi. Goodwin & Co. was a cigarette manufacturer that predated the Civil War. They were responsible for the Old Judge and Gypsy Queen brands as well. Speaking of Gypsy Queen...

These were inspired by cigarette pack art from Goodwin & Co. The original backs of Gypsy Queen cards were just a boring ink stamp of the company.

Allen & Ginter was founded in 1865 and began producing cards in 1888. These modern mini backs were inspired again by pack art. The original backs were typically checklists of the series.

Here is an example of the T205 set, printed in 1911. This is the back of Dick Egan, but you can actually tell now, thanks to some info and stats. The Sweet Caporal ad was relegated to the bottom quarter of the card. Most excellent. This was back when batting average and fielding percentage were paramount. These sadly get overshadowed by their predecessor, which is a shame.

We'll close with a 40 year jump. This is a 1953 Red Man Tobacco Ted Kluszewski. Red Man has been producing chewing tobacco since 1904 and started making these huge 3.5 x 4 inch cards in 1952. They decided all 14 square inches were to be devoted to their cap promotion. Too bad, though I do want one of these caps.

More tuckus tomorrow. Go Reds.