Friday, May 19, 2017

600 Roses!

I reached a huge milestone today in my Pete Rose PC. Today I purchased my 600th unique Pete Rose card. The card that helped me reach this milestone is the 2016 Panini National Convention VIP Cracked Ice parallel numbered to 25. I've been neglecting my Rose PC in addition to my Reds team sets as I try to complete the 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen set, but hopefully in the next month or two I can start to focus once more on these two areas of my collection. Onward and upward to 700!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Regrets

Thinking back through all your years of collecting, has there ever been a moment when you've regretted something you've done? For me, my biggest regret was selling my 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen set. I know a lot of people don't show love for this set but this was a huge set for me in 2011. I love the fact that a retro set Topps created had a nice mix of old and new players. The standard baseball statistics that are the hallmark of traditional baseball cards were nowhere to be found on these cards. You had to read the small narrative on the back to glean any pertinent information from the player pictured on the front. Speaking of pictures, this wasn't your run of the mill standard photography but rather filtered photographs to make the images appear old. Lets not forget about the different insert sets and autographs that grace this product. The Great Ones, Future Stars, Home Run Heroes, Sticky Fingers and Wall Crawlers are all fantastic subsets and complement the base set nicely.

 While all of the things I've mentioned about 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen are about the design of the card, it's the memories and experiences I had in 2011 when I was putting this set together. 2012 was a rough year for me. I the course of eleven months I lost my Dad, an Uncle, an Aunt and my best friend. To say that 2012 was a terrible year would be an understatement. 2011 was the last year I spent with those I lost the following year and while I can't say I did anything spectacular with them that year, it's the simple things I remember. Whether it was going to the Indians game with my buddy Jeff when the Tigers were in town (Jeff was a huge Detroit fan since he was originally from that area), or spending the last Christmas with my Dad and talk about life in general. Thinking back, 2011 was a great year for me because it was the year I was able to say goodbye to to them.

It's funny how holding a little piece of cardboard can open a floodgate of memories that you once thought lost as time has passed by. But everytime I hold a 2011 Gypsy Queen card a memory from 2011 will come racing back into my conscience. So, what's that point of this post? Well, I decided to once again chase the 2011 Toppy Gypsy Queen set. This will probably be the last set that I put together as a collector (unless Topps were to release something so revolutionary that I couldn't resist...but I highly doubt it unless more companies enter the arena with an MLB license). One thing's for sure, I'm sure I'll be making new memories as I build a set that helps remind me of past memories that I'll always cherish.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

I saw the sign!

And it opened up my eyes!  Here's the latest purchase for the man cave. This Louisville Slugger tin sign is fantastic on so many levels. It's the same color as my baseball team, it looks old, and it's a representation of the true American pastime (I still don't acknowledge football as holding that title). With this addition, there are only a few more items left to purchase and I'll be ready to show off the room. Just bear with me as I wrap it up and have it ready to show in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

My latest, and possibly last, eTopps card

I finally found the 2005 eTopps Piazza card that had eluded me the past couple of months. While I would have preferred to see Piazza in his catcher's gear (similar to Pudge), I can't complain and I'm content with the fact that Topps released an eTopps card of Piazza in 2005. This marks my 12th 2005 eTopps card and though I'm content with what players I have in my collection, I'm still mulling over the idea of picking up David Ortiz, Miguel Cabrerra, and Adiran Beltre since I think those three will eventually make their way into Cooperstown.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Eric Davis Bobblehead

I picked up my 40th and FINAL bobblehead today, Eric Davis. This is my first Dr. Pepper bobblehead and it's fantastic. There were only 10,000 of these nodders given out on July 20, 2002 when the Reds faced the Mets. Cincinnati lost that game by a score of 8-7. I'm glad that I've finally added this bobblehead to my collection at a price I could stomach. Most of those listed on eBay were $70 or more but I was able to buy this for just a little more than half of that. now I just have to wait for this to show up in my mailbox.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Hot Off the Press....Well, Sorta!

For the past few weeks I've been keeping an eye on a couple of cards that appeared on eBay under one of my followed searches. On Saturday I decided to finally purchase both card - a 2013 Topps Opening Day Magenta Joey Votto printing plate and a 2013 Topps Mini Yellow Joey Votto printing plate. I'm excited to finally be adding not one, but two new "cards" to my 2013 Topps Joey Votto rainbow project. It has been well over a year since I purchased a card for this project and I was wondering if the well had run dry with trying to find cards I still need. There are now 33 different cards that comprise this rainbow. I still have hope of trying to track down three more cards to put me at 36. I would eventually like to purchase 4 ultra pro 9 card screw down cases and display the cards on the wall of my man cave (similar to an Andy Warhol work of art). 



Monday, March 13, 2017

A Smattering of eTopps

I've mentioned before on this blog my love for eTopps cards. There's just something about the design that I've always found appealing. While I've completed the 2008 eTopps baseball set, I had toyed around with the idea of chasing the 2005 eTopps baseball set but with 112 cards to chase I decided against it. I did, however, decide to seek out the Hall of Famers (or soon to be members of Cooperstown) from the 2005 set. Yesterday I was able to add four more to my collection.





With the addition of Guerrero, Johnson, Martinez and Pujols I now have a total of 11 cards from this set (the others being Griffey, Ichiro, Jeter, Bagwell, Clemens, Chipper, and Pudge). There is one more card I would like to pickup from this set and it's my goal to have it in hand before the end of the year. That card is Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Change of Scenery

For the past month I haven't purchased much in the realm of baseball cards. I have picked up a few Pete Rose cards here and there that I needed for my Rose PC, but nothing worth blogging about. I've also made some strides in getting my man cave set up. Hopefully that will be something that's finished in time for Opening Day. So, what have I been up to lately? I decided to get into learning guitar. I've been playing around with a Squier the past few years, but recently a buddy of mine at church was looking to sell his Fender VG Stratocaster. To say that I've been having a blast playing it would be an understatement.



It's a black Mexican Strat with a maple fret board. The biggest thing that made me ultimately buy the guitar was the emulating options this guitar can do. I've posted a video below if you're interested. There were a couple of things I wanted to change on the guitar. I recently added some locking tuners and swapped the strings out to 9s so that it would be easier for me to play. I'll probably also replace the neck plate with a Fender logo plate just because I don't like the blank plate. I'd also like to swap the gig bag out for a nice tweed case, but that's not high on the priority list. I'll probably keep the rest of the guitar the way it is because I think it sounds great and the pickups are fantastic. I would eventually like to purchase an American Strat sunburst but that won't be until I've gotten decent enough playing to justify the cost. I am kicking around the idea of possibly modifying my Squier strat (adding locking tuners, new pickups, new bridge and block, adding an lsr nut) but I'm not sure I want to sink a lot of money into it. Anyway, I hope to put some finishing touches on the man cave and have photos for you before April 1st.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017 Topps

I'll be blunt, I'm not a fan of this year's Topps base design. When I saw the design six months ago I wasn't impressed. Now that the cards are out, my opinion has changed whatsoever. There's just too much wasted space on the cards because the design takes up about a third of the real estate, not to mention how overpowering it is. I've come to expect the photos to be the primary focus but that doesn't appear to be the case with this year's issue. Maybe it's me, but I miss borders on Topps flagship set. Full bleed photos should be reserved for sets like Stadium Club. Perhaps I'm just old fashioned when I say that I prefer a simpler design to a set that's been around since the 1950s.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hats Off to Me for Hitting 575!

I've written over the past few months how much I enjoy Panini's Playoff Prime Cuts brand. It's one of the few non-licensed products out there that I like to collect. Most of their designs remind me of the American Carmel cards of the 1920s. The American Carmel cards are fantastic and just scream out the extravagance and luxury that defined that decade. Flappers, Lindbergh and Gatsby...great times! I would like to eventually own an American Caramel depicting a Reds player (preferably Edd Roush) but they're so expensive that I don't look for one to be entering my collection anytime soon. Regardless, this 2012 Playoff Prime Cuts Hats Off Pete Rose card appeared on eBay a few days ago for less than $10 and I knew I had to add this to my Rose PC. Numbered 46/99, I'm assuming this is a piece of a hat from the Hit King. If that is in fact the case then it must be part of inside sweat band of the hat since the Reds didn't wear white hats when Rose was on the team, with the exception of the early 1960s when he was just starting out with the club. While I'm not a fan of the pic Panini used with the logo less hat, I can overlook that small detail. I also would have liked them to use 1869 instead of 1882 as the date of the club's establishment. Oh well, beggars can't be choosers.

Friday, January 13, 2017

1974 Reds Team Signed Baseball

I decided to save the best for last when it comes to the autograph baseballs in my collection. Although the 1985 autographed baseball holds a special place in my heart because of Pete Rose passing Ty Cobb's mark of 4,191 hits on September 11, 1985, this baseball features many prominent members of Cincinnati's Big Red Machine. While the 74 Reds didn't make it to the Fall Classic, the fact that this ball is autographed during the Big Red Machine era puts it as the pinnacle of my autographed baseball collection. There are a total of 23 autographs on this baseball and the signatures I can discern are: Sparky Anderson, George Scherger, Johnny Bench, Fred Norman, Cesar Geronimo, Bill Plummer, Darrel Chaney, Phil Gagliano, Alex Grammas, Don Gullett, Denis Menke, Joe Morgan, Ross Grimsley, Ted Kluszewski, Pedro Borbon, Pete Rose, Andy Kosco, Tony Perez







Thursday, January 12, 2017

Time for another Rose!

Here's the latest addition to my Pete Rose PC, and it's a beauty! Out of all the non-licensed cards that are currently being produced, Playoff Prime Cuts is probably my most favorite. Last year I had the intentions of purchasing this card on COMC. While the price was a little bit high, I decided to wait to see if the seller would put the card on sale. That didn't happen and the card eventually sold before I had the opportunity to grab it. Luckily a listing popped up on eBay a few days ago for this card. I made an offer and for just a bit more than the price of a blaster I was able to add this card to my collection. Numbered 16/25, this is the 574th unique Pete Rose card to enter my collection. I'm just curious, are there any instances where you were going to purchase a card, it sold, but then you were able to acquire it for a better price shortly afterwards?

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Few More eTopps for the Collection

I spent a good portion of last year piecing together the 2008 eTopps set. (You can check it out here). As 2017 begins I've started acquiring a few additional 2005 eTopps cards to add to my collection. While I'm not chasing all 112 cards that make up the set, there are a dozen cards that I would like to acquire. Here's what I recently picked up:

Baggy

Rocket

Jeter

Chipper

Pudge

Ichiro

These six along with my 2005 eTopps Griffey leave just five more to go.