Waiting ’til Next Year

30 06 2013

In mid-June I finished up a trade with Tom from the Waiting ’til Next Year blog.  Tom is, as you can guess from the name, a big Cubs fan.  I can sympathize a bit as my mom grew up in Chicago and I now live 2 blocks from Wrigley.  My sympathy ends there, however; I love that the Cubs have been the team that always seems to get my Reds back on track :)!

Regardless of all that, it looks like the Cubs will be waiting at least one more year.  But that doesn’t mean Tom and I can’t swap players.  There were two key cards at the center of this trade; I saw the following Eric Davis he’d pulled from an Archives pack:

Trade Waiting til Next Year Davis Archives auto

That was the impetus for the trade.  On my end, I had a Ron Santo jersey card from SP Legendary Cuts that I’ve had for a long time.  It’s a good card, but getting that Davis from the 1987 Topps design was well worth it to me!  I also sent Tom a random assortment of Cubbies, and he sent me a few Topps inserts and a Joey Votto Bowman card:

Trade Waiting til Next Year

Thanks for the trade Tom!


Completed insert set – 2012 Allen & Ginter World’s Tallest Buildings

28 06 2013

I finished off a regular size insert set from last year’s Ginter product.  I don’t focus too much on getting these, but I thought I had this finished, realized I still needed one card, and got that card from COMC.

Info about the set:

Set description: “10 cards celebrating the most impressive edifices in the world.”

I’m not sure where they were going with the today comment – the Sovereign of the Seas was from the 17th century, and the most recent ship in this set is from the early 1900’s.

Set composition: 10 cards, 1:10 odds (2012 Allen & Ginter’s)

Hall of Famers: None as it’s not a sports set.

How I put the set together:

  • 3 cards from my hobby box
  • 1 card from a case break
  • 5 cards from trades
  • 1 card from COMC

Thoughts on the set:  The set doesn’t feature the tallest buildings in the world today – but 10 buildings that have, at one point, been the tallest in the world (except for card #10).  I didn’t know that until I finished the set and looked into it a little bit.  This set fits into what Topps does with A&G.

Card that completed my set: WTB9 – Woolworth Building.

I got this card from a recent COMC purchase.  I thought I’d completed the set earlier but realized that I had 2 card number 7’s in my set!  D’oh!

Highest book value: They all book for the same

Best card (my opinion): #WTB1 – Burj Khalifa

Got to go with the tallest one, right?  Especially when it dwarfs the next tallest building in the world!

2012 Ginter Tall Buildings_0001

2012 Ginter Tall Buildings

Like most Ginter sets – this is another one of those different kinds of sets.  Here’s a list of the buildings. I can’t believe how much bigger the tallest one is!

  • WTB1 – Burj Khalifa, 2,722 feet.  2010.
  • WTB2 – Taipei 101. 1,670 feet.  2004.
  • WTB3 – Petronas Towers.  1,483 feet.  1998.
  • WTB4 – Willis Tower.  1,450 feet.  1973.
  • WTB5 – 1 World Trade Center.  1,360 feet.  2013.
  • WTB6 – Empire State Building.  1,250 feet.  1931.
  • WTB7 – Chrysler Building.  1,047 feet.  1930.
  • WTB8 – 40 Wall Street (Bank of Manhattan Building).  927 feet.  1930.
  • WTB9 – Woolworth Building.  792 feet.  1913.
  • WTB10 – Metlife Building.  808 feet.  1963.

Completed set – 2012 Topps Heritage

27 06 2013

I finished my 2012 Heritage set in the Check Out My Cards purchase earlier this month.  This is obviously a “big fish” as far as completed sets go – with 75 SPs and 425 regular cards, it took me about a year and 3 months to wrap this guy up.  Surprisingly, I actually completed this one up about a month quicker than the previous year; I finished 2011 Heritage up in early August 2012.

I haven’t completed the “master set” yet, though I am fairly close on that, too.  I’m 12 cards away from the sticker set and have 1 JFK and 1 New Age Performer left for those insert sets.

Whenever I do finish up the master set, I’ll repost this with the insert information at the bottom.  It’s worth noting that I’m including the Update portion of this set.  It’s sort of sequentially numbered, except Topps screwed up and numbered it from 576 to 675, which skips card #’s 501-575.

Info about my set:

How I put the set (non-SP / then SP) together:

  • 200 (192/8) cards from my 1st hobby box
  • 200 (192/8) cards from my 2nd hobby box
  • 9 base cards from various retail packs
  • 46 (31/15) cards from trades
  • 5 (1/4) cards from Sportlots
  • 9 SP cards from eBay lots
  • 4 SP cards from a card show
  • 27 SP cards from Check Out My Cards
  • 100 card update set purchased directly from Topps

Card that completed my set: #480 – Carlos Gonzalez (1 of 10 SP cards I got from a Check Out My Cards purchase)

2012 Heritage 480 CarGo last card

General Set Info:

Base Set composition: 500 cards (423 individual player cards, 18 managers, 10 League Leaders, 11 Combination cards, 7 World Series Highlights, 12 Team Cards, 19 Rookie Parade)

Base Set & Update composition: 600 cards (515 individual player cards, 8 duplicate players in Update*, 18 managers, 10 League Leaders, 11 Combination cards, 7 World Series Highlights, 12 Team Cards, 19 Rookie Parade)

* – Cody Ross, Ichiro, Juan Pierre, Johnny Damon, Edwin Jackson, Chris Iannetta, Bobby Abreu, Marco Scutaro are all featured on their new team

Earliest active current player from this set: #605 – Jamie Moyer

2012 Heritage 605 oldest Jamie Moyer

When I’ve done this for other sets – I do “last active player”, but for Heritage I do the earliest player.  For last year’s set it was Pudge, but he retired in between 2011 and 2012.  And there’s an even earlier player in this set – much earlier than Pudge, actually.  Jamie Moyer is in the Update set with the Rockies; he made his debut on June 16, 1986.  It would be interesting to know how many players from the set were born after Moyer’s debut!

Jim Thome has the earliest debuts from cards in the regular set (card #296) – he made his debut September 4, 1991.

2012 Heritage 296 oldest Jim Thome

Player with the most cards in the set:  Adron Chambers – 6 cards.

For some unknown reason, Topps put some of the rookie crop on multiple Rookie Parade cards.  Chambers had the most, as he was featured on 5 Rookie Parade cards.  He also has a single player card.

Chambers – #54, 95, 208, 265, 321 (Rookie Parade), #458

2012 Heritage Adron Chambers most cards

Justin Verlander had the most cards if you don’t count Topps strange decision on the rookie thing.  He has 5 cards – 3 league leader cards to honor each statistic from the pitching triple crown he won, a combo card and his base card.

Verlander – #6, 8, 10 (League Leaders), #218 (Tigers Twirlers), #44

2012 Heritage Justin Verlander most cards

First Card and the Hundreds: #1 – NL Batting Leaders, #100 – Paul Konerko, #200 – Curtis Granderson, #300 – Carlos Beltran, #400 – Jay Bruce, #500 – Michael Cuddyer, #600 – Yu Darvish

2012 Heritage #1 and 100s_0001

Highest book value: #650 – Bryce Harper RC (see below)

Of course the Update set would get this since it had fairly limited production of 1,000 sets.  Harper’s card is currently valued at ~$60 by Beckett.  From the base set, David Wright, Eric Hosmer and Ichiro all have SP cards valued at $10.

Most notable card: #650 – Bryce Harper RC

2012 Heritage 650 Bryce Harper

Harper isn’t my favorite guy out there, but it’s hard to pick anything but his card as particularly “notable”.

Best card (my opinion): #279 – Matt Kemp

2012 Heritage Matt Kemp best card

Great picture of the guy who looked like he would have the title best player in baseball when this set came out.  Unfortunately, injuries have kept that from happening, but here’s hoping he turns that around.  This was one I didn’t even have to think about or go through cards – I’ve known this was my favorite card from the set.

Second best card (also my opinion): #44 – Justin Verlander (see above)

Verlander was just off my medal stand in 2011 Heritage, but I’m putting him as the runner-up for 2012.  This nudges out the card for Jose Bautista which I also really like.  I may like the Bautista photo just a little better.  But Verlander was coming off a historic season – winning the pitching triple crown and the AL MVP – when this card was released, so that makes it better for me.

Best subset card:  #331 – “World Series Foes” (Pujols / Hamilton)

2012 Heritage Pujols Hamilton best subset

Kudos to Topps with the foresight here!  These guys now play on the same team, moving places as the back to back “biggest free agent signings” in the past two off-seasons.  Too bad they won’t be “World Series Buddies” this year, though.  This card beats out a combo card of Mo Rivera and Joe Girardi.

Favorite action photo: #248 – Kosuke Fukudome

2012 Heritage Fukudome best action

There aren’t many action cards in the Heritage set, but this is a good one.

Favorite non-action photo: #279 – Kemp (see above)

I couldn’t decide if I would count the Kemp in this category.  It is clearly a pose, so I decided it counts – otherwise I’d have put Verlander here.

My Favorite Reds card: #304 – Brandon Phillips

2012 Heritage Phillips pack

Brandon always has great photos.  This is an easy winner.  I’m using a previous picture where I had shown him next to a pack – hence why that wrapper is shown here.

Other Notable Cards: Here’s that Bautista card as well as 2 other cards I thought were fairly notable – a Cespedes RC and Ichiro as a Yankee (both from the Update portion of the set).

2012 Bautista Cespedes_0001

Check Out My Cards! June 2013 – my first Heritage “Topps Giants”

25 06 2013

At the beginning of June, I went on one of those splurges I do 3-4x a year to supplement my collection.  I’d love to wait around to trade for every single card on my wantlist, but that isn’t feasible.  And, I find some pretty decent deals on these sites and really knock out some holes on those lists.  I’m (hopefully) not going to have one of these splurges any time soon – now that I live in Chicago I plan to save some money up for the National Convention that will be here in the first week of August.

This splurge was typical – it involved a combination of Check Out My Cards and Sportlots – and this post shows of the COMC portion of those purchases.  What started it was that I found a deal on two cards and put them in my “inventory”:

COMC June 13 - Jalen Grant Hill_0001

The recently retired Grant Hill.  But the reason I bought it was that this was a Jalen Rose card I needed.  I recently went over 1,000 different Jalen Rose cards, but this is one from late in his career.  There are two versions – this is the one numbered out of 50 that I didn’t have yet.

The other card was this Eddie Mathews Heritage box topper.  It may be a pipe dream, but I’d love to get all of these at some point.  Hopefully they come down to a more reasonable price!

2013 Heritage Giants Mathews

So from there, I bought a bunch more cards.  This Ginter insert finished a set I thought I’d already finished but hadn’t yet.  Look for the completed post later!

COMC June 13 - A&G Tallest

I also got a few more Lineage 1975 minis.  I’m right around 50 to go to finish the set – but that’s 75% of the way there!

COMC June 13 - Lineage 75 minis

And I bought 10 SPs from 2012 Heritage.  Ah, wasn’t it nice when they didn’t make every SP card a star player?  Cargo is the best player in this group.

COMC June 13 - 2012 Heritage

The rest of the cards I bought are various Topps insert cards.  I found quite a few good deals on the Topps reprints from the late 90’s – about 21 all told, but here’s 9 of them.  I’m collecting the regular and Finest variations (but not the refractors).  A bunch of the Mays cards were $1, and some good deals on the others, too.  The bottom Mantle is pretty interesting – it seems like they made a bigger deal about winning the home run crown (or other statistical title) than they do these days!

COMC June 13 - Topps reprints

Some inserts were from 95-96.

COMC June 13 - 95 96 inserts

And then some were from 1997.

COMC June 13 - 97 inserts

And even some from 1998 – I’ve opened these but haven’t posted about it yet.  That will be coming up soon.

COMC June 13 - 98 inserts

I also got some cards from a few sellers on Sportlots – those will be in a post in the near future!

Trade with Baseball Card Locker

24 06 2013

I finished another trade (I think this is the third? maybe fourth?) with Anthony of Baseball Card Locker.  Anthony and I are both going after Heritage, so we swapped some serious Heritage cards.  Here’s just a few of what he sent me:

Trade Anthony June 13 - Heritage 2013 Inserts

We stepped away from Heritage too for this trade.  I also sent Anthony some Topps “1972” minis from this year’s flagship product, and a couple of Manny Machado parallels I’d pulled.  Anthony sent me some 2013 Topps inserts.  I really like those die-cut cards!

Trade Anthony June 13 - Topps 2013 Inserts

And some 2012 Topps inserts:

Trade Anthony June 13 - Topps 2012 Inserts

Thanks for another great trade Anthony!

My 1997 All-Star selections and Silver Slugger comparison

23 06 2013

My opinion of the best player at each position in each league.  For pitchers, I pick 3 starters and 1 reliever.  I’m now including DH in the American League.  Here’s the 1997 version:

My NL All-Stars: C – Mike Piazza, LAD (.362/40/124)

1B – Jeff Bagwell, HOU (.286/43/135, 146 R)

2B – Craig Biggio, HOU (.309/22/81, 47 SB,  146 R)

3B – Edgardo Alfonso, NYM (.315/10/72)

SS – Jeff Blauser, ATL (.308/17/70)

OF – Larry Walker, COL (.366/49/130, .452 OBP.720 SLG, MVP)

OF – Barry Bonds, SFG (.286/40/101, 145 BB, .446 OBP, 37 SB)

OF – Tony Gwynn, SDP (.372/17/119, 220 H, 49 2B)

SP – Pedro Martinez, MON (17-8/1.90/305, 13 CG, 4 SHO, 241.1 IP, Cy Young)

SP – Greg Maddux, ATL (19-4/2.20/177)

SP – Kevin Brown, FLA (16-8/2.69/205)

RP – Jeff Shaw, CIN (4-2/2.38/74, 42 SV)

Third base was the toughest decision – Scott Rolen as a rookie was very close to Alfonso.  It really is a pick ’em if you go down the list on their stats – I ended up picking Alfonso because he struck out less than half as many times as Rolen.  Curt Schilling, who led the league with 319 strikeouts, was also very notable as the 4th best pitcher, but Brown was clearly better for that last spot.

My AL All-Stars: C – Ivan Rodriguez, TEX (.315/20/77)

1B – Frank Thomas, CHW (.347/35/125, .456 OBP)

2B – Chuck Knoblauch, MIN (.291/9/58, 62 SB)

3B – Matt Williams, CLE (.263/32/105)

SS – Nomar Garciaparra, BOS (.306/30/98, 122 R, 209 H, 11 3B, ROY)

OF – Ken Griffey Jr., SEA (.304/56/147.646 SLG125 R, MVP)

OF – Tim Salmon, CAL (.296/33/129)

OF – Bernie Williams, NYY (.328/21/100)

DH – Edgar Martinez, SEA (.330/28/108, .456 OBP)

SP – Roger Clemens, TOR (21-7/2.05/2929 CG, 3 SHO, 264 IP, Cy Young)

SP – Randy Johnson, SEA (20-4/2.28/291)

SP – Andy Pettitte, NYY (18-7/2.88/166)

RP – Mariano Rivera, NYY (6-4/1.88/68, 43 SV)

Roberto Alomar was again very close at second base, but Knoblauch was a little better.  Paul O’Neill was also right there in the argument for the last outfield spot – bumped out by his teammate Williams.  Dave Justice, in his first year in the American League, could have been in that argument as well.  Shortstop was incredibly deep this year – with A-Rod, Jeter, and Jay Bell all being better than any NL shortstop.  But Nomar was clearly the best.  Tino Martinez was also great at first base, just not quite as good as the Big Hurt.


NL Silver Slugger: C – Piazza, 1B – Bagwell, 2B – Biggio, 3B – Vinny Castilla (.304/40/113), SS – Blauser, OF – Walker, Bonds, Gwynn, P – Smoltz ATL (.228/0/4)

Castilla’s numbers are inflated from Coors Field, and he wasn’t very good defensively – he was the third best 3rd baseman in the NL in 1997.

AL Silver Sluggers: C – Rodriguez, 1B – Tino Martinez NYY (.296/44/141), 2B – Knoblauch, 3B – Williams, SS – Garciaparra, OF – Griffey, Dave Justice CLE (.329/33/101), Juan Gonzalez TEX (.296/42/131),  DH – Martinez

Juan Gonzalez always had great power numbers, but he just didn’t get on base to really be up there with guys like O’Neill, Bernie Williams and Justice.  I do think Justice has a good case over Williams or Salmon – it’s really close.  At first base, Tino was nearly as good as Frank Thomas – but he wasn’t as good.  That’s probably a New York bias factor getting in there.

Saturdays Suds: Baseball & Beer #33 – Hudepohl Classic Porter

22 06 2013

Continuing with my theme, here’s another Cincinnati beer under the Hudepohl brand.  This one was new in the Winter of 2012/2013.


Brewery:  Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Company, Cincinnati, OH

(now a wholly owned subsidiary of Christian Moerlein Brewing Co., and the beer is actually brewed in Wilkes-Barre, PA)

Beer:  Hudepohl Classic Porter

Description:  This porter was a new product this past winter from the Hudepohl brand.  It pours dark brown and has a roasted malt taste with a bit of caramel.  It doesn’t have some of the stronger coffee-like flavor that some porters have – this is definitely a milder take on a porter, with just a slight amount of bitterness.

Medium:  I bought a 6-pack of 12 ounce cans, and you could find it tapped in some Cincinnati restaurants and bars last holiday season.

How it’s related to baseball:  It isn’t this beer – as this is a new entry to the Hudepohl name.  But Hudepohl itself is probably the most recognizable of the many Cincinnati breweries which have recently been consolidated under the Christian Moerlein name.  I think of Hudepohl most commonly as a Bengals beer, as they used to play off the “Who Dey” chant with the name “Hudy”.  But Hudepohl was also a sponsor of the Reds.

Hudepohl traces its beginnings to the late 1800’s when a number of German-style brews popped up in Cincinnati in response to the immigration wave that came from that part of Europe.  Hudepohl survived through prohibition and was the leading brewer in Cincinnati in the times after World War II.  Like many regional breweries, it had significant troubles in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and eventually merged with Cincinnati rival Schoenling Brewing in 1986.  The merged company   switched hands a few times, going from Sam Adams to Crooked River to Frederick Brewing before a local Cincinnati businessman purchased the brand and many other Cincinnati beer brands.  He consolidated them using Moerlein as the flagship brand and company name, and some Cincinnati tradition has returned ever since!

Hudepohl first started advertising with the Reds at Crosley Field around in either the late 1930’s or in 1940.  See the ad in the outfield below, next to Red Top beer, which was another Cincinnati brewer.

Crosley Field Red Top

They got a more prominent spot on the Crosley scoreboard in the 1950’s (I think 1957) as shown here:

Crosley Hudepohl ad 1957

Also, Hudepohl came out with some commemorative Reds cans to celebrate the 1975 World Series champions.  I have a set back at my parents’ house – somewhere up in the attic!

Hudepohl Reds 1975 can

Today you can find Hudepohl throughout Cincinnati, and in early 2012 Moerlein opened a lager house in the Banks project in downtown Cincinnati.  This is an area between Great American Ballpark and Paul Brown Stadium.  They served this beer and quite a few other Cincinnati classics under the Moerlein umbrella.  So you can hit the lager house up before or after a Reds game.  I can’t tell you how cool this is as someone who grew up in Cincinnati.  Even 10 years ago there really wasn’t any option near GABP or near Riverfront Stadium before it.  Some good options came up when I was in college across the Ohio River – but now there are some good options right next door.