Saturday, 24 July 2010

1989 SF Giants signed baseball - Real or fake?

Much like the Sheffield mystery card that I posted about a while back, I'm unsure of the origin of this ball.

This was a gift from a friend of my father back in 1998. He also gave me a Giants road jersey, a cap and a bunch of baseball cards. Very nice guy.
Apologies for the blurry shots but its the best my camera could manage. The ball is stamped on one side with Giants champions 1989 and on the other side its stamped California fresh eggs. Some of the Sig's are smudged, it was like that when I got it. You can make out most of the big names from the Giants at that time such as Matt Williams, manager Roger Craig and not pictured, Will Clark. The Clark auto has a big smudge in it and what looks like a finger print which to me suggests that the ball is genuine because the printed auto balls that you can get from stadiums don't smudge (as far as I'm aware).
So is there anybody from the Bay area out there that knows anything about this ball? Was there some sort of fan fest that was sponsored by the egg company where the whole team signed?
I have done all the usual internet searches but have come up with nothing. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Ebay problems

Picked up a card on the 1st of July, an Allen and Ginter Lind auto. I knew the card probably wouldn't be shipped straight away because it was just before the 4th July weekend and I accepted this. So anyway a week went by and nothing arrived, this is normal though because sometimes cards can take up to two weeks or so to arrive. On the 10th of July the card was marked as shipped, a full 9 days after payment. OK people lead busy lives and this may have been the first opportunity to get the card in the mail, so that's fair enough. Its now the 23rd of July and still no card. I didnt pay a great deal for the card, actually I paid more than I should have since I jumped on the card when Ginter had only just been released a few days before. There are Lind autos from Ginter on the bay now for about half of what I paid for it, I'm so impatient when it comes to cards!
Anyway I'm not sure where to go from here. I'm going to wait until tomorrow as that will be exactly two weeks since it was marked as shipped but then what? Should I contact the buyer and explain whats up? I don't want the seller to think that I'm ripping him off. There are many threads on FCB and Blowout about overseas buyers claiming they have never received the cards they bought. Or should I just go ahead and start a dispute and do a chargeback? Or I could just let it go and chalk it up as a loss. Don't think that's a good idea though.
In the time since I bought this card I have received three or four other packages so I know there's no issues with the mail. Do you think I've been ripped off? The seller has 99.9% feedback and about 4000 separate feedbacks left so I think he can be trusted.
What would you do?
Now on to something completely different!
I have read on various forums that sometimes when people buy cards online they stink of cigarette smoke. I smoke (and I like it so don't tell me its bad, I know it is!) I don't smoke when I'm handling cards or near my cards. Do any of you fine folks out there get cards that smell of smoke? and is the smell really that bad? I don't want to send out 'smelly' cards to anyone. Let me know your feelings on this.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Favorite cards part 6

After seeing the Hairylemons blog earlier I thought I'd show off another one of my Exquisite cards.

I picked this up on a COMC binge a while back and was the most expensive Lind card that I picked up at $20. Is it wrong to be thankful Lind is having a bad year so I can pick his cards up cheap?

Its numbered 10/35 and features 2 other guys ruining a perfectly good Lind card. Only joking. I really wanted this card because I didn't own any multiple auto cards at the time, in fact I think this is still the only one that I do own. When I saw it pop up on COMC I had to have it. It was actually listed moments before I was going to complete checkout. I just thought that I'd have one more quick scan at the Lind cards on offer before I finish and there it was! I quickly loaded a little bit more credit onto my account and snapped it up.

Also featured on the card are two other players. From the top we have Kansas City Royals player Billy Butler. I don't have anything bad to say about this guy. Hes having a great year when you compare him to Lind. 27 doubles, 111 hits and a respectable 314 average.

The second guy is Brandon Wood of the Anaheim Angels. Wood is struggling this year with a 168 average. I believe hes currently back in the minors but at least hes still trying and is still signed with a major team.

The clear sticker used on the Exquisite cards really work in my opinion and I think this is something Topps should do if they cant have the players sign on card. The only problem I have with exquisite cards is their thickness. I DO love the thickness of the cards but hate the fact that I cant find any toploaders that fit them! I have a few toploaders that I can place my exquisites in but I'm screwed if I pick up another one and it doesn't have a toploader because I don't have any more to spare. If your selling a card like this then the least you can do is send it in the appropriate protection. I don't mind getting base cards that have been placed in sleeves and then sandwiched in between two thick pieces of cardboard but when I receive a card like this and its sent in the same fashion it really pisses me off!

Perhaps someone out there can educate me on the size of toploaders to pick up for exquisite or slightly thicker cards. When I do a search for them online they don't indicate what cards they fit. They have a point system to describe the different sizes available and I have no idea what the hell they are talking about! So if you know whats what and can tell me what size the different points fit then please drop me a line.

Thinking about a new collection. Welsh Major leaguers

Jimmy Austin, Ted Lewis and Peter Morris all played baseball. They also have another thing in common. These three players all came from Wales and are the only Welsh men to play in the major leagues. I'll highlight all three of these guys in future posts and I'll start with Jimmy Austin.
All the information I have gotten for these players have come from Wikipedia so don't hold it against me if there are any discrepancies!

Jimmy Austin (1879 - 1965) was born in Swansea and went to the States in 1887. He eventually started to play baseball around the mid 1890's and made his professional MLB debut in 1909 for the New York Highlanders, now the Yankees. He was 28, which by today's standards would probably be to old to begin a major league career. He spent only one year in New York before being traded to the St Louis Browns, now the Orioles. He spent the rest of his career there playing until 1921 and also making a brief appearance in 1929. He also coached and briefly managed the Browns during this time. You can find his stats here.

There is a very famous picture of Jimmy Austin and Ty Cobb.

That's Jimmy avoiding the spikes of Ty Cobb.

Now back to the title of this post. I thought it would be cool to have a card of each Welsh player that played in the Majors. I have tracked down a few of Jimmy's cards on the bay and some of the prices are just within my budget. Actually they stretch my budget but I might get lucky.

Ideally this is the card I'm aiming for.

I'm not looking for one in this condition as it sells for over a $1000 but cards in a more 'played with' condition are around $60. He does have other cards out there including some more modern ones from the Conlon collection. He is also featured on pins and chips, which I'm not familiar with so I don't really want to go down that road.

This is something I'm going to give serious consideration and it will probably take a long time to track down the card in a relatively good condition with a price to match. There are a few other obstacles in my way in obtaining this card. The card is fairly rare in raw form, most cards from the early 1900's have been slabbed. Also the ones that I have found for sale on Ebay come from sellers that use my favorite term in an auction 'Will not ship internationally'. Sarcasm does not translate well written down but trust me that was sarcasm. Its a shame that a lot of people wont ship overseas but I understand why. There are extra costs to sellers, it will take more time to send the card due to waiting in line at the post office and having to fill out customs declarations and also some buyers from overseas are less than honest and will claim they never received the item which means the seller loses the card and has to refund the cash. Buyers who do that make it harder for honest buyers, like me, to buy rarer cards. Lets not forget the possible extra shipping charges and Her Majesty will probably want a cut too, I love import taxes! That was more sarcasm.

This is going to be a challenge and I may have to settle for the 1992 Conlon card rather than one of the vintage cards. We shall wait and see.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Not card releated, just a fun music video.

As the title says this is not card releated. This is just a fun video I thought I would share set in my hometown. If you liked Jay Z's Empire state of mind then you'll probably like this...or not!
This is the first time I've posted a video on here and I'm not sure I did it right. If the video doesnt work and you want to watch it then click here.

Altogether now -Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch! Try saying that 3 times fast! Enjoy.

Not cool Topps, not cool.

Thanks to this, I doubt I will ever complete my Heritage master set. Unless they hit the secondary market cheap, but who I'm I kidding its freaking Strasburg!
For those who can't be bothered to hit the Link, Topps are giving away Heritage rookie cards of the next big thing numbered out of 999. All you need to do is visit the National and bust 10 packs at the Topps booth. Limit one per person.

Trade with Redsox101 from Sportscardradio

My first trade post! And also my first trade completed on Sportscardradio.

A big thank you to Redsox101 for helping me out with some of my collecting goals. Redsox sent me a few minis from A&G 2010. I only had 5 minis to start with so all minis are welcome here.

First up we have two cards from the national animals subset. We have the national animal of Grenada, I cant really figure out why the ostrich is their national animal and the back of the card does not specify. I'll probably look into this later on when I get bored.

Secondly we have the national animal of Italy, which is the Italian Wolf. I probably wouldn't have guessed that the wolf was Italy's national animal, although thinking about it I cant actually think of another animal that would fit the bill. This card is interesting because apparently the Italian Wolf was not properly identified as a sub-species until 1999. That surprised me because in this day and age you wouldn't think that there would be much more to learn about a common animal such as the wolf. I'm very happy to know this now as I like pointless bits of information (my head is full of pointless crap!) and since I enjoy hitting the quiz nights at the local pub I hope the question comes up. This bit of information may win me a few drinks!

Next we have Barry Zito from the Giants. This is my first 2010 Giant from A&G. If you look closely (and you'll have to since my scanner is out of action and I'm stuck with my camera) at the picture it appears that Zito has a pen in his hand and looks happy. I don't know if Zito is a good signer or not but he sure looks pleased to be doing it.

The last mini was this beauty! Apparently this an ultra SP, but I'm not 100% sure of that. This is from the 'worlds biggest' subset and features the worlds biggest river, the Nile. This is another interesting card. According to the back the Nile is bigger than the Amazon by a hair, how long is a hair? At 4,184 miles long. Wikipedia says 4,132 miles, it also says that the Amazon is actually longer! Which is correct? Topps or Wikipedia? It also says on the card that the river wasn't fully navigated until 2004. I thought it would have been navigated much earlier than that! I'll take their word for it though.

The last two cards are for my Lind collection. The first was the Lind base card from 2010 Topps. I didn't have that card so it was very welcome. This was the second card.

An Adam Lind auto! Sweet! Redsox actually offered me this card a while back and I told him I had it. It turns out I didn't, I just got the card mixed up with another. This will go in with the growing collection of Lind cards The card is a 2007 SP and is a RC. I have a lot of auto RC's of Lind and not that many from other years. Still like the other cards mentioned he is more than welcome.

I was also sent a bunch of 2010 Heritage cards, all Red Sox players. I hope to send this down to John of Pursuit of 80's(ness), as soon as he lets me know which players he needs to complete his set.

So once again thanks alot Redsox101 and I hope you enjoy the cards I sent you.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Favorite cards part 5

Back to my favorite cards for this post! What we have this time is a 2010 National Chicle artist proof.

This has been signed by the artist of the card, Brett Farr, and is numbered 5/10.
I remember when this product first came out and there were a few disgruntled collectors out there who were not happy pulling an autograph that was not actually signed by the player. I on the other hand think its a great idea. I can understand why someone may get upset when they pull their favorite player or HOFer and see that is signed only to find on closer inspection that its signed by some guy they more than likely never heard of. That can be a major let down.
I picked this card up from some guy on SCF who was selling it, I forget what I paid but it wasn't much.
There were a few issues with this product when it came out. We all remember the Chipper Ruth card don't we? And I believe there were a few other cards that actually looked nothing like the player it was said to depict or the card looked like it was drawn by a 5 year old. The Lind card actually looks Lind and the artist has done a great job. I have to honest, I had never heard of Brett Farr before I got this card but after a quick look on his website I was impressed at his talent. This doesn't mean I'm going to rush out and pick up more art by Mr Farr because I would probably not appreciate it as much as I should. The one saving grace for collectors was the fact that the cards were all low numbered and so could be sold on fairly easily and for more than the average GU card.
There are a few reasons that I like this card. Firstly it looks great! The picture is nice and well detailed. The background fits in with the picture, the artist kept it simple and didn't attempt to fill it up with pointless things. Secondly there are only ten of them out there! I like having low numbered cards but don't have that many, well not as many as I would like. I don't have any 1/1's yet apart from my Ebay 1/1's! ( Here and here).
I have a few trades and Ebay purchases inbound over the next few days so you can look forward to a non Lind post then... maybe.

Hairylemons new blog - check it out!

Hi folks, the Hairylemon, who I have mentioned in one or two posts in the past has started his own blog. You can view it here.
Check it out and welcome him to the blogosphere!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Favorite cards part 4

No Lind this time! Here we have another Bobby Thomson card. It is a little newer than the last Thomson that I featured and is very shiny! I like shiny and I like this card.

I picked up this card in a trade with the Hairylemon from SCF. He held onto this card for me while I ran around making trades in order to prise it from his grasp! I cant remember exactly what I traded for it, I want to say it was a Carl Erskine auto but I honestly cant remember. I suppose I could load up SCF and check but that would be to easy.

This card is from Topps Tribute and was released in 2002. This is my only relic card of Thomson but I hope to add a jersey card and an auto to the collection as soon as I can, although this collection is on the back burner at the moment so I'm not going to actively seek out either the jersey or auto until I finish off a few other projects. That's not to say I wont trade for either an auto or a jersey card if one was offered, I'd even consider buying if the price was right.

Tribute was re-released last year and it looked good. But there were some issues with the cards and the questionable relics that were included. Where did they come from? People who opened these packs were met with a disclaimer on the back of the card 'The relics contained in this card are not from any specific game, event, or season' ( It actually says this on most, if not all relic cards now). It soon came to light that many of the so called bat relics were in fact stadium relics, pieces of seats from the stadium. This upset quite a few people who thought they were getting a genuine piece of history and not a piece of wood that had endured years of abuse from the sweaty cracks of overweight baseball fans. The card I have from 2002 says 'Authentic game used bat'. Now I haven't looked into to it very much and for all I know Topps pulled the same trick back then that they did last year. I can only go with what is written on the back of the card. No where in the small print on the back of the card does it mention where the bat came from. I suppose with a player like Thomson there are plenty of GU bats available and to be honest the guy is still kicking so what would stop Topps putting a bat in his hand now and throwing a ball at him and calling that game used? Like so many relics available in this hobby we have to use a little faith and a lot of trust in where they actually came from.

With that said and done this is still one of the prize cards of my collection and I'm proud to own it.

Tribute is being released again this year, quite soon I think. I guess that it will still be an expensive product ( last year was around $200 a pack) so I will not be picking any up. I'll just wait for the big spenders to bust a bunch of cases and then pick up their 'big mojo hits' on Ebay for a fraction of the price of a single pack.

Just a reminder from a previous post - The Sheffield card mystery has still not been solved but I have had some interesting answers. There will be a prize for whoever can tell me where it could have come from. If a definitive answer is not found I will give the prize to whichever answer seems to be the most likely. I don't know what the prize is yet but it will be an auto or a relic card, maybe even both.

remind me...

So you get a stack of new cards, some you need and some you don't. You put out some feelers for possible trades and you get a few bites. Then you get a few more bites and then a few more. Before you know it you have multiple trade talks going on with quite a few people. You have cards scattered around sorted into different piles. Team piles, set piles and player piles. It looks organised to start with but soon it gets confusing. You start to ask yourself:
Who wanted the heritage dupes? Why do I have a stack of Mariners cards? Didn't I mail this card already?
Your trade piles turn into miniature leaning towers of Pisa and before you know it everything is mixed together and your going through emails and various trade posts trying to decipher what you said you would trade and who you would trade it with.
This happens to me a lot and my memory is not great at the best of times. If I have agreed on a trade with you or you have asked me about a trade and I have not gotten back to you then please remind me.
The best way to remind me is....

A swift kick up the arse!
But since that will hurt sending me an email will work just as well or just leave a comment on my trade pages.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Favorite cards part 3

Here's another one of my favorite cards and again it features Adam Lind.

The card in question is a 2007 Exquisite endorsements. The card is serial numbered 50/50 and was the first high end card I ever bought. This was also one of the first cards I picked up from COMC. It cost $9 and I picked it up along with a number of other Adam Lind cards from the site, which was a big mistake, more about that in a later post.
Cards that are either the first or last of the print one tend to be the most sought after and as I said in an earlier post this would be considered another Ebay 1/1. I don't see it as a 1/1 because its not! Its 1 card out of 50 cards.
I was impressed with the card the second I got it. Its a very thick card, about the same thickness of about 4 or 5 cards and luckily it came in the right size toploader. You would not believe how difficult it is to find some of the bigger toploaders over here in the UK! The card features an auto of Lind on a clear sticker and looks outstanding! I was never a fan of Upper Deck when I first got into to collecting in the 90's and it was something I carried over until earlier this year until I picked up a few Masterpieces and a few more exquisite cards. I didn't think I would miss UD when they lost their license but I do. Don't get me wrong, Topps are doing a great job and have released some nice cards this year but with no 'official' competition things will go down hill.
This is not my favorite card in my collection, that will be coming up in about 10 posts or so. That's right you have to sit through more posts of Adam Lind! HA!
I have been asked on more than one occasion why I collect Adam Lind, since I'm a Giants fan and Lind is a Jay. Well the answer is all down to fantasy baseball. I got back into the game last year, right at the beginning of the season and thought I'd have a go at fantasy. Since I hadn't followed the game since 2000/01 I had no idea who most of the players were! Gone were the familiar names of Bonds, McGwire, Clemens and Sosa. In were new names Lincecum, Pujols and Longoria. I quickly learned who these guys were and added a few of them to my team. I filled my team up blind, just picked guys who I thought sounded good and how much they were worth. I needed one more player and choose Lind because he was cheap. He ended up scoring the most points for my team, behind Lincecum. I didn't win anything, infact I think I came around 600th out of 2000 other teams but still I thought that was pretty good for my first go.
So basically I collect Lind because he did well for my fantasy team. Unfortunately he is having a terrible year so far but it is picking up for him. He wont end the season with the numbers he produced last year but you never know...

Next up will either be Lind or another Thomson.

Mystery card.

This is a 1989 Topps Gary Sheffield rookie card and its a mystery to me.
As you can see from the picture, the card has been signed and hand numbered out of 1989 but the mystery is where did it come from? I don't mean where did I get it from because I remember when I got the card but at the time didn't notice that it was signed. I probably just saw it was a 1989 Topps and since I already had the full set didn't give it a second look. The card was pulled out of a pack I picked up at Walmart back in 98 or 99. It came in a pack of about 100 or so cards from mixed brands and years, I think it was about $2 and it the time I was going for quantity rather than quality. Back last year when I got back into collecting I came across this card sat in my common box and was about to throw it away because I thought someone had written over it. But then I thought why would it be hand numbered? and the auto looks pretty good to me too, a bit faded but still looks good.
The question I want answering is what product could this have come from? As I have said I picked this up in the late 90's around the time when autos were not commonly inserted into packs. I have done all the usual Internet searches for information but have come up with nothing. I did post the same question months back at SCF and got some good responses but nothing concrete. The general consensus was that it was either a fake ( probably, but until I know for sure I will consider it genuine), a buyback and inserted into a Topps product ( No evidence to support this as there would be information in Beckett) or possibly it came from a shopping channel ( This is probably the most realistic of the answers I was given, but still there would/should be information on this).
What do you guys think? Have any of you come across a similar card? If this is genuine then there are another 1988 of these cards out there. Any information on this card would be greatly appreciated and if anyone comes up with a definite answer they shall be rewarded.

Favorite cards part two

My second post on my favorite cards features a fellow Brit. Born in Glasgow before moving to the states at a young age this player hit one of the most famous home runs in baseball history.

Every baseball fan knows the story of the "shot heard 'round the world" which occurred in 1951 between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. Thomson hit a walk off home run off of Dodger pitcher Ralph Branca at the polo grounds which allowed the Giants to win the pennant. The Giants went to the world series only to lose in six games to the Yankees.
The card above is a 1953 Red Man tobacco card. Issued in pouches of tobacco, I think the last time a card was issued in a smoking product. The card was part of a promotion in which you had to remove the tab at the bottom of the card and send them in to receive a baseball cap, which a lot of people did and so making it a little harder to find the card in a complete form with the tab intact. As you can in the picture above, my card has the tab intact.
Considering the age of the card it is still in great condition. The corners are a little rounded and there are a few wrinkles on the card but overall the card is awesome!
This card was brought to my attention by another UK collector who trades on the sports card forum under the name 'Hairylemon'. He was aware that I was trying to put together a Bobby Thomson collection and thought that this little gem would fit in nicely, he was right. I picked this up from Ebay for about $12 shipped to the UK. I think this was a fair price and I was very happy to get it.
The card was much bigger than I expected it to be, I thought it might have been around the size of a typical early 50's card and was surprised to see that it was even bigger! Due to its size its a little bit hard to display and so unfortunately it stays in a box out of sight, living with a few other cards from the 50's that I have.
It should also be noted that Bobby Thomson was inducted into the Scottish sports hall of fame and had a baseball field named after him in Glasgow.

Up next is another Adam Lind card.

Favorite cards part one

Over the next few post I'm going to showcase and talk about some of my favorite cards. First off we have a 2007 Topps Triple Threads Adam Lind RC numbered 1 of 75.

I picked this card up from Ebay about two months ago. I remember that there was a bit of a bidding war but I managed to snipe it at the last minute. I cant remember the final price but I think I may have paid more than I should have because it is seriel numbered number one, which as you all know makes this an Ebay 1 of 1!
I do remember that the shipping for this card was cheap, probably around $5 which is the average price I have to pay for most of the cards I get from EBay. I have been ripped off a number of times with shipping charges, That deserves an entire post all by its self.
I dont own many high end cards and I would NEVER buy a pack or box of Triple threads because in my opinion its not worth the money. Dont get me wrong, you can pull some sweet cards from this product but only if your buying it by the case.
The card features Linds auto ( on a sticker!) and also three pieces of bat. Its a real sweet card and one of my favorites of my Lind collection. Over the next few posts I'll be featuring Lind. Just to let you know I'm NOT a Blue Jays fan, just a Lind fan.