Saturdays Suds: Baseball & Beer #79 Paw Paw Mr. Sunday

30 06 2018

It’s been a long time since I did one of these posts, which is funny because I’d attribute my abandonment of this blog to beer becoming my hobby (and just having kids in general).  But when I see a brew that could fit – well, I’ll buy it, wait a little while to drink it.  And then wait even longer to post about it!

Brewery:  Paw Paw Brewing in Paw Paw, MI

(yes there is a place called Paw Paw Michigan)

Beer:  Mr. Sunday

Description:  “Hopped up amber ale.  Named after Paw hometown hero: Charlie Maxwell.”

It pours an amber color – as you’d expect, though sometimes amber beers are more red than anything – and is more malt than they seem to say.

Medium:  I had it from a 12 oz bottle, but I’m sure you can get it on draft at the brewery or elsewhere locally.

How it’s related to baseball:  Charlie Maxwell is the namesake of the brew.  He was a local to the town of this brewery – he grew up in Paw Paw, Michigan, which is a little west of Kalamazoo.  Charlie eventually made it to the big leagues with the Red Sox, but – you’ve got to love a true homecoming story – made his way home and had his best years in Detroit from 1955-1962.  He made the All-Star team twice (’56 and ’57) and got MVP votes 3 times while with the Tigers.  Maxwell was primarily a Left Fielder and finished his career with 148 homers and 432 RBI in 14 seasons (basically 5 full seasons, 5 half seasons and 4 cups of coffee).

I love stuff life this where a local place pays tribute to a guy who isn’t gonna be in the hall of fame, but for sure is a local legend.  For my hometown that would be Jeff Russell, the former reliever known best for his years with the Rangers.  The beer wasn’t my favorite style, but it was well made and if I ever found myself 20 miles of Kalamazoo I’d be sure to stop by and order a pint.

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2003 Topps parallels – Carlos Delgado – finally finished!!!!

24 06 2018

This is the product of finding one of those white whales!  I posted back in 2016 about the 2003 Topps parallels I was going after – and I’d never even seen his 2003 Chrome Silver Refractor.  The silver refractors were supposedly only in series 2.  This involved some pretty decent research (if I do say so) – I checked COMC’s history, looked through Worthpoint.  Far from exhaustive, but I’d never even seen the Delgado card.

It popped up on eBay recently, and I put about a $30 bid in on it (don’t tell the seller – it sold for $2.50 when I was the only bidder !) 🙂  And now I’m done with this year’s parallel collection…

2003 Topps

Card I selected:  #421 – Carlos Delgado

Delgado isn’t a Hall of Famer.  This isn’t the best card from this set.  But the blue goes well with his team (the Blue Jays).  And Delgado was an underrated player.  Most importantly, I was able to snag a card of Delgado from the Kanebo set, which is easily the hardest of the parallels to find.

There is one card of his I’ve never seen – the silver refractor which was only available in retail series 2 chrome packs.

# of cards (including the Topps card):  13

The parallel sets in 2003 include:

  • Gold
  • Black
  • Home Team Advantage
  • Kanebo
  • Opening Day
  • Opening Day Get a Hit Scratch-off
  • Chrome
  • Chrome Refractors
  • Chrome Silver Refractors
  • Chrome Gold Refractors
  • Chrome Black Refractors
  • Chrome Uncirculated X-fractors

Scans:

2003 Topps #421

2003 Topps Delgado

2003 Topps Delgado back

2003 Topps Gold #421

2003 Topps Gold Delgado

2003 Topps Gold Delgado back

Topps Gold was back for the third straight year (5th overall).  This parallel had a shiny gold foil border and was numbered to 2,003 on the back in gold foil stamping.  The front also has “52 years of collecting” written across the top.

2003 Topps Black #421

2003 Topps Black Delgado

2003 Topps Black Delgado back

Topps started Topps Black as a much rarer parallel insert set in 2003.  The border is black.  Topps Black was numbered to 52, with a gold foil stamp on the back, to honor 52 years of collecting since the 1952 set.  It has the same “52 years of collecting” at the top of the front.

2003 Topps Home Team Advantage #421

2003 Topps HTA Delgado

2003 Topps Delgado back

Topps Limited was gone, but Topps still created a Home Team Advantage (HTA) factory set with a foil-stamped “Home Team Advantage” logo on the front.

2003 Topps Kanebo #8

2003 Topps Kanebo Delgado

2003 Topps Kanebo Delgado back

Topps issued Japanese versions alongside a company called Kanebo for the 2nd year.  These seem to be harder to come by than the 2002 versions.  There are 55 cards, The backs are written in Japanese, and the card numbers are different.  The front differs from the regular Topps card in that it doesn’t have foil stamping and there’s no Topps logo.  The borders on the front and back are a different shade of blue – very close to the Opening Day cards.

2003 Topps Opening Day #15

2003 Topps Opening Day Delgado

2003 Topps Opening Day Delgado back

Opening Day was back for the 6th time in 2003.  Tge 165 card set was retail only, and features the same photos from the base Topps set.  The border is a little bit lighter shade of blue, and the team logo on the front is replaced with the Topps Opening Day logo.  The back is the same as the Topps set except for the different number and slightly different copyright info.

2003 Topps Opening Day Scratch-Off #NNO

2003 Topps Opening Day Scratch-off Delgado

2003 Topps Opening Day Scratch-off Delgado back

These stickers had a play-and-win game on the back.  It’s a partial parallel of the Opening Day set (72 cards).

2003 Topps Chrome #259

2003 Topps Chrome Delgado

2003 Topps Chrome Delgado back

Topps Chrome was back for the 8th year.  It was 440 cards, so not the same size as the regular set.  The front of the card reproduces the base set using Topps chromium technology and the logo is the Topps Chrome logo.  The back of the card is the same as the regular set except for the Topps Chrome logo and slightly different copyright wording.

2003 Topps Chrome Refractor #259

2003 Topps Chrome Refractor Delgado

2003 Topps Chrome Refractor Delgado back

Inserted every 5 packs of Topps Chrome were refractors with their colorful, reflective shine.  The word refractor is written by the number on the back – otherwise the back is the same as the regular Chrome card.  In 2003 Topps started numbering these – they were stamped in gold foil out of 699.

2003 Topps Chrome Silver Refractor #259

Series 2 retail packs had special silver refractors.  So it wasn’t a full parallel of Topps Chrome, which is a bit weird.  I was on the lookout for this card, had never seen it before, and now finally have it!

2003 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor #259

2003 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor Delgado

2003 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor Delgado back

Topps Gold Refractors had the gold border and the refractor effect.  These were numbered out of 449.  The word gold refractor is noted on the back by the card number.

2003 Topps Chrome Black Refractor #259

2003 Topps Chrome Black Refractor Delgado

2003 Topps Chrome Black Refractor Delgado back

Black Refractors were back, this time numbered out of 199.  The black refractor wording is noted on the back by the card number.

2003 Topps Chrome Uncirculated Xfractor #259

2003 Topps Chrome Uncirculated Xfractor Delgado

2003 Topps Chrome Uncirculated Xfractor Delgado back

These cards came one per box as a box topper.  They have the refractor / diffraction effect but with a checkered finish that’s called “X-fractors”.  They come in a hard case and are thus “uncirculated”.  Xfractor is written at the bottom by the card number.

The “Rainbow”:

2003 Topps Delgado rainbow

Any sets I didn’t get:  A few worth mentioning.  First, the Kanebo set comes with copper parallel.  Considering how hard it is to get the base card, getting the copper just isn’t realistic.  Though if I ever see it, I’ll try for it.  Also, Topps did create super-rare trademark variations where the Topps logo was the old logo from the 1970’s.  Delgado has a variation card, but it’s too rare for me to chase and I’m going with “variation isn’t a parallel” here.

Other cards I would have liked to do:  Griffey’s card is great in this set, and he has all of the above parallels.  But I did Griffey in 1999.  I thought about John Smoltz – he’s in a throwback Braves uniform on his card – but he didn’t have a Kanebo card.





Completed insert set – 2003 Topps Ryan Record Breakers

3 06 2018

I finished another set recently and this is a white whale kind of set!  Over 3 years, I’ve slowly put together the set through eBay and COMC, and last month I got the last card of 7.

Info about the set:

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Set description:  Topps had a giant Record Breaker insert set in 2003, but it did a second off-shoot to commemorate Nolan Ryan’s 7 no-hitters.  There’s a card for each no-hitter, with a colorful background just like the regular set.

Set composition:  7 cards, I have no clue on the odds

Hall of Famers:  1 guy, 7 times

How I put the set together:

  • 5 cards from eBay
  • 2 cards from COMC

Thoughts on the set:  The regular set is way too large, but this set is pretty cool.  I wish it wasn’t so rare, though.

Card that completed my set:  #NR2 – Nolan Ryan (July 15, 1973)

I got this one on eBay last month.  I had 4 of the 7 cards going into 2018, then found 2 cards in January on eBay and the last card in April.

Best card (my opinion):  This is one of those sets that I just don’t think you can pick.  I don’t have a favorite Nolan Ryan no-hitter.  In fact, it would be easier for me to pick a least favorite card.  Ryan’s 7th no-hitter came on the day Rickey Henderson (my favorite non-Red player as a kid) broke Lou Brock’s stolen base record.  So it kind of overshadowed what was, in my opinion, a bigger moment.  I’ve always been a big fan or Nolan Ryan, though, so I got over it.

My Favorite Reds card:  There are none.  It sure would have been nice to have the Ryan Express on the Big Red Machine!

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Here’s a scan of the set.

Any other tidbits:  This Ryan Record Breaker set is a bit of a mystery to me – any info would be appreciated!  Beckett and Baseballcardpedia say that the Ryan No-Hitter Record Breaker cards come 1:2 per series 2 HTA Jumbo.  My series 2 box that I did was a s2 HTA Jumbo box, and I can tell you that’s not the case.  Regular Record Breaker cards come 1:2, but the Ryan cards do not.  In a box of 12 packs, I did not pull a single Ryan card.  Given the fact it will cost you over 10 bucks if you ever find one, they are much more rare than that.





Completed insert set – 1998 Topps HallBound

20 05 2018

I finished up a set recently through a COMC purchase.  I’ve been looking for this damn Paul Molitor card forever; I actually bought the chrome version on accident about 2 years ago!  Parallel confusion is no fun!

Info about the set:

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Set description:  These are die-cut glossy and shiny cards with a Cooperstown background with players that Topps determined were clearly bound for enshrinement there.  This was in the heart of the steroids era, before people really had much of an inkling of what was going on – so I bet this would have been pretty predictive if not for that.

Set composition:  15 cards, 1:36 odds (1998 Topps series 1 hobby)

Hall of Famers:  11.  Molitor, Gwynn, Boggs, Eckersley, Ripken, Maddux, Rickey, Griffey, Thomas, Piazza, Johnson

Basically, they were right on 11 guys, and 3 of the others are clear steroid holdouts.

How I put the set together:

  • 1 card from series 1 hobby box
  • 11 cards from COMC
  • 2 cards from Beckett’s marketplace
  • 1 card from Sportlots

Thoughts on the set:  Really cool set, something that Topps should do every 5-7 years or so!  It’s particularly interesting given the era.  Love the design.

Card that completed my set:  #HB1 – Paul Molitor

As mentioned, I accidentally bought the Chrome version of this card a while ago.  And just hadn’t seen the regular version.  But I finally got it finished up!

Best card (my opinion):  #HB8 – Rickey Henderson

For reasons I’ll get to below.

My Favorite Reds card:  There are none, though Barry Larkin would have obviously given them an increase in percentage correct here…

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Here’s a scan of the set – front and back.

Any other tidbits:  The Rickey Henderson card is the only Topps card depicting him in an Angels uniform and (counting the parallels), the only card of his from 1998.  He wasn’t in the base set for some odd reason – probably a numbers crunch and something of a pure oversight by Topps employees – but made the insert set.





2002 Topps parallels – Vlad Guerrero (and Chone Figgins) – a big step, but still some hunting left

14 05 2018

Yes it’s been a long time since I posted – but I got the following card on COMC after a long time waiting!

This doesn’t finish my rainbow, but the rest of the cards are very easy finds compared to a #/50 card from a guy who’s about to  go to the Hall of Fame!  So below is the updated post.

2002 Topps

Card I selected:  #100 – Vladimir Guerrero

I went back and forth a bit on who to pick here – basically determined by the Kanebo Silver card I could find.  I found a Sammy Sosa quite a while ago and bought it.  But I don’t love Sosa’s card and he’s far from my favorite player, too.  I bought the Kanebo packs mentioned in my last post, and pulled one silver card – of Vlad the Impaler.  I love this card, and Vlad has always been a cool player.  I’d much rather have him in this parallel set!

I have one more card to go to finish off the 2002 parallels.  Chrome introduced the rarer Black Refractors in 2002, and I just haven’t found one yet.  Not surprising that I have had trouble tracking down a card numbered to 50 from 14 years ago…

# of cards (including the Topps card):  11

The parallel sets in 2002 include:

  • Gold
  • Home Team Advantage
  • Limited
  • Kanebo
  • Kanebo Silver
  • Opening Day
  • Chrome
  • Chrome Gold Refractors
  • Chrome Black Refractors
  • Chrome Refractors (Traded only)

Scans:

2002 Topps #100

2002 Topps Vlad Guerrero

2002 Topps Vlad Guerrero back

2002 Topps Gold #100

2002 Topps Gold Vlad Guerrero

2002 Topps Gold Vlad Guerrero back

Topps Gold was back for its second straight year with a shiny foil border.  Numbering Topps Gold to the current year – #/2002 – is a trend Topps has kept to this day.  In 2002 it was only a partial parallel, though of most of the set.  There were 58 cards that didn’t have gold parallels – basically any of the full bleed subsets and the Barry Bonds 73 HR card.  The gold border was a little weirder in 2002 – as the base cards themselves had a gold/orange border.

2002 Topps Home Team Advantage #100

2002 Topps HTA Vlad Guerrero

2002 Topps Vlad Guerrero back

Cards from hobby factory sets got a stamp to special “Home Team Advantage” logo to designate them.

2002 Topps Limited #100

2002 Topps Limited Vlad Guerrero

2002 Topps Vlad Guerrero back

Limited Edition factory sets were back, coming in a wood box and a stated production run of 1,950 (though the cards themselves weren’t numbered).  These cards are stamped with the words “Limited Edition” in the bottom right.

2002 Topps Kanebo #6

2002 Topps Kanebo Silver #6

2002 Kanebo Topps Vlad Guerrero

2002 Kanebo Topps Vlad Guerrero back

2002 Kanebo silver Vlad Guerrero

2002 Kanebo Topps Silver Vlad Guerrero back

Now I’m getting to some hard to find cards.  This Japanese parallel of the 2002 Topps set was actually issued in 2003.  The regular Kanebo cards are pretty tough to find themselves, but at any given point they pop up on eBay.  Topps issued the cards in Japan in conjunction with Kanebo, a Japanese manufacturer of gum and plenty of other products.  There are 55 cards in the set.  The front of the card is basically the same, just without the gold foil on the name and the Topps logo.  The backs are completely in Japanese, have different numbering since they’re a partial parallel, and have a Kanebo logo in the bottom right hand corner.

There’s actually a black parallel that’s even harder to find and I’m just not including it here.  I’d love to add the Vlad to my parallel collection, but I’ve only seen 1 or 2 ever for sale and it would be pure luck if the particular player showed up.

2002 Topps Opening Day #29

COMING SOMEDAY TO A BLOG NEAR YOU

Opening Day was back for the 5th time.  Again, it’s a 165 card set that could only be found in retail outlets.  The border is brown instead of the orange/gold of the flagship set, and there is a foil Opening Day logo at the bottom.  The photos are the same as the base Topps set.  Naturally, the back has a different number.

2002 Topps Chrome #100

2002 Topps Chrome Vlad Guerrero

2002 Topps Chrome Vlad Guerrero back

Topps Chrome was here for its 7th year as a nearly, but not quite, full parallel.  Released in 2 series just like Topps, Chrome reproduced the first 695 cards of the regular Topps set using the chromium technology.  The other differences on the front are the Topps Chrome logo and the fact that the border is silver.  The back of the card is the same as the regular set except for the Topps Chrome logo and slightly different copyright wording.  The numbering is the same.  It’s kind of weird that the back is gold but the front is silver.

2002 Topps Chrome Gold Refractors #100

2002 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor Vlad Guerrero

2002 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor Vlad Guerrero back

Refractors were back, and they weren’t retrofractors this time.  But the regular season version of 2002 Topps Chrome didn’t have regular refractors – only gold refractors.  That makes an interesting twist to my collection here.  The back points out that it’s a refractor.

2002 Topps Chrome Black Refractors #100

Black Refractors made their first appearance in 2002.  They were very rare, which is why I haven’t been able to snag one yet.

2002 Topps Chrome Traded Refractors #T196

Vlad doesn’t have a card in the 2002 Topps Traded set, so I’m just using the card of Chone Figgins that I pulled.  They would be teammates soon after these cards came out.

The “Rainbow”:

COMING SOMEDAY TO A BLOG NEAR YOU

Any sets I didn’t get:  I didn’t include the black Kanebo cards above.  I’ve never seen that card for anyone but Magglio Ordoñez and So Taguchi, so while I think the card of Guerrero probably does exist, it’s unlikely I’ll ever find it.

Other cards I would have liked to do:  As I mentioned, I originally was going to go with Sosa because I found a silver Kanebo card of his.  Other than that, Vlad seems like one of the best cards in the set.  There are 55 guys in the Kanebo set, and most – but not all – are in Opening Day – so the population here is probably around 45 guys you could get all of the flagship Topps cards.  Raul Mondesi, Johnny Damon and Cliff Floyd are the 3 players who have all of the cards above – including a Topps Traded card.





Opening 2018 with a trade post

2 01 2018

OK, so I don’t really blog any more.  The biggest factor is having two young mobile kids.  That, and different interests.  But I hope to pick it back up at least partially in 2018.  Maybe blog once a week or so.  We’ll see!  The 2-year old is down and (hopefully) sleeping, so that’s promising.  Anyways, an easy way to start back up is with a trade post.  For a couple of trades, actually.

First up, Brian from Highly Subjective reached out to me in the Fall and we both agreed to send some cards from the “junk wax era”.  Specifically 1994-1995 which was the second era of my childhood collecting phase.  He posted a bunch of them here.  I remember it took me some time to filter through a ton of doubles from back in the day, but it was fun – companies used to have so much better photos on the cards!

Brian sent over some cards from my wantlist.  Here’s the two that I didn’t file away yet.

But he also sent over two really cool Reds cards, the John Franco is especially neat.  To me, he’ll always be the Reds closer.  And I mean that in two ways.  First, he’s our guy not the Mets closer.  Second, he’s the first guy I think of when you say “Reds closer”, not Danny Graves or Aroldis Chapman.  Even the Nasty Boys come in second because they were more of a committee.  A quick check on Baseball-Reference shows that he’s third behind Graves and Francisco Cordero.  And he did have quite a bit more saves with the Mets.  So maybe my logic is flawed, but the 8-year old me isn’t convinced.

I also sent some cards to Greg from Night Owl Cards, who I think is the only card blog that started before mine and has continually posted the entire life of my blog.

I sent the cards to Greg because I had been going through some older cards and knew I’d have some for him.  I wasn’t expecting anything back, but Greg did sent me some cards.  First, he sent me quite a few mascot cards.  I think I have posted somewhere on my blog that I like and/or sort of collect mascot cards.  This is true, but it’s actually a become a pursuit of my 5-year old, who is a growing baseball enthusiast.  And, with the nudge of his dad, a growing baseball card enthusiast.  We’ve bought boxes of 2017 and 2016 Topps Opening Day recently, and the mascot cards are easily his favorite.

He also sent me some legit cards from my wantlist.  Which means I have some checking to do!

That’s for another night though.  Alas, the 2-year old is complaining that his blanket isn’t covering him.





Five years later – a trade (ARPSmith)

24 10 2017

I obviously haven’t posted much on this blog.  It’s been 2 months, but at least the last post was something that brought about a trade.  Adam from ARPSmith’s Sportscard Obsession saw my last post and realized I’d completed a set that he hadn’t seen.  This is kind of crazy, because he has about the most detailed checklist of Giants cards I’ve ever seen.  Luckily, I ended up buying the whole set of the 2000 MVP Redemption set.  There are 2 Giants – Shawn Estes

Adam reached out right away, and sent me the cards below, but it took me nearly two months to send him his cards.  In part because I just don’t have the baseball card interest, but also because I wanted to find some other Giants cards.  I dug through the depths of my collection and found some cards like Upper Deck Collector’s Choice Silver Signatures, and a few others from that era.

Adam sent me a bunch of base Topps cards I needed.  A couple each from 2001 and 2002.

And about 35 or so from 2003.

I last traded with Adam in 2012, so it’s pretty cool to rekindle the trade fire.  I’m not sure when I’ll post again after this – hopefully less than two months from now!