Monday, October 16, 2017

2017 Topps Factory All-Star Bonus Set #1-5

     For the 3rd consecutive year now, Topps has been releasing an All-Star Game factory set containing 5 variations bonus cards.  Before that, Topps released similar type factory sets in 2011 and 2007.  As a long-time factory set collector, I chase all of the factory bonus cards.  Until today, the only All-Star Game factory bonus cards that I've been able to obtain were the 2011 factory inserts.  Today, I've added the 2017 ASG bonus cards to my collection.  These cards will be inserted into my base set as an inseparable part of my 2017 collection.  The only other factory bonus cards currently included in my 2017 Topps set are the rookie variation bonus cards right now. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

2017 NLCS #2: Justin Turner Walk-Off HR

     Tonight, Justin Turner hit the Dodger's first postseason walk-off HR since Kirk Gibson did it on this same day in 1988, giving the Dodger's a 2-0 NLCS lead.

Mourning the Tragic Death of Daniel Webb

Daniel Webb died suddenly after an ATV accident on Saturday, October 14th, 2017.  He pitched for the Chicago White Sox during parts of 4 seasons from 2013-2016, before undergoing Tommy John surgery.  Webb was only 28 years old.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Let's go Nats!!!

    The Washington Nationals forced a game #5 tiebreaker with a 5-0 shutout win against the Chicago Cubs in game #4 of the NLDS today.  

     Strasburg finally stepped up, and claimed the start that he was expected to take.  I was there in 2012 during that silly fiasco where he was shutdown for the postseason, and we missed a perfect opportunity to advance in the postseason.  Also, kudos to Tanner Roark, who was ready to pitch game #4 for the Nats.  

     Trea Turner scored in the Top of the 3rd inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead.

     Michael Taylor hit a Grand Slam in the Top of the 8th Inning to score Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon, and Matt Weiters.  Score is 8-0

     The last full section in the back top-left of the following card is where I often sat between 2010-2014 when I still lived within 30 minutes from the ballpark. 

     Jayson Werth remains an important foundational anchor for the ballclub.  I hope they sign him for a 2-year contract after the season because Werth has already proven that he's ready, willing, and able to play.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Jumpstarting the Appearance of your Vintage Collection Really Fast

     Lately, I've been listing a lot of my old reprint cards for sale from the early-'00s as they've been replaced with originals, including: 2001 Topps Through the Years inserts, 2001 Topps Archives, 2002 Topps Archives, and 2003 Topps Shoebox Collection.   

     When I first got back into collecting cards after returning back from military service in 2001, I wanted to catch up on my collection really fast for really cheap.  In addition to buying factory sets for modern cards and low-grade vintage commons, I purchased lots of reprints to use as place holders for my vintage sets, until they could later be replaced with originals. 

     I think reprints really started coming out around 1996 when the Mantle Commemoratives were released.  After that, we had the '97 Mays, '98 Clemente, '99 Ryan, and '00 Aaron Commemoratives before Topps Archives started releasing reprints in 2001-2002. 

     I never thought I'd actually replace any of the reprints inserted into my vintage sets with originals, but I wanted to include recognizable names among the many unheard of names in my '50s and '60s partials sets of common cards.

Since these are all Topps sanctioned reprints that are nearly identical to the originals, but obviously recognizable as reprints, no one is going to be deceived by the reprints if you ever go to sell your sets. 

  ...just an idea for some 'outside the box' thinking collectors that may have just started collecting vintage, or might just be thinking about starting a vintage collection. 


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Last day of the 2017 Regular Season

     Today, is the last day of the 2017 MLB regular season.  I have to admit that this year, baseball took a back seat to politics for me.  I usually attend about 40 games and watch/listen to at least 162 games.  My Sirius XM radio usually stays stuck on the baseball channels all day, every day.  This year, I only attended 1 game--Verlander's 1st start as an Astros player during doggy day at Mariners park--and I only turned my radio to the baseball channels a few weeks ago.  That's a big deal for me because I've been 24/7 with baseball on the radio since XM first started carrying baseball back in 2005.

     Anyways, I didn't slow down on the baseball card collecting any this year though, and my love for the sport hasn't died down any (albeit a hiccup with Bruce Maxwell's slap in America's face).  I still think that baseball is the sport that most closely represents traditional American values.  I hope it continues to stay that way.

     On the last day of the 2017 MLB regular season, there are 4 teams with a Win Percentage greater than .600.  One of those teams is the Washington Nationals.  This is a team that I watched live for 5 years between 2010-2014, and became quite a fan towards the end of my time there.  I saw Bryce Harper debut as a Major Leaguer, and the Nationals team debut as a playoff contender.  I will never forget Jayson Werth's 13-pitch walk-off Homerun against Lance Lynn for force a Game 5 in the 2012 NLDS, which I was able to attend.  I will also never forget Drew Storen choking like he always did in pressure situations to blow a 6-run lead against the Cardinals.

     The one thing I really liked about the Washington Nationals were the deals that were offered for military veterans.  Free tickets near the front in either Dugout Box or Baseline Box were available for up to 4 family members of veterans on patriotic holidays and other military celebratory events at the park.  They also offered $5 grandstand tickets daily for fans on a budget, which allowed me to attend many games living only 30 minutes from the park.

     So even though I haven't been actively following all of the games this year like as usual, I still know who my favorite will be the World Series championship this year. 

Good luck to the Washington Nationals this October.