Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A Three Pack, Progress, and a Wantlist

Before I begin, I'd like to dedicate this blog post to my grandmothers, Leonor Anama (nee Filoteo) and Gloria Y. Nichols. Both were born in February, Leonor on February 24, and Gloria on February 25.

My daughter and I traveled to the local big box store to do a quick shopping run. While she went through the clearance aisle, I sauntered over to the card section, thinking about what to buy. I thought of buying a couple of packs, but for what purpose?

By now, I have a full set of the eponymous first series, and buying random packs wasn't as motivating. Same goes for blasters. Was the thrill already gone? I mean, yes it is now Heritage season, but I don't collect the brand. And short of the Pat Neshek tribute card to Lowell Palmer, I probably won't be starting on that set anytime soon.

But then, I saw...this:

And suddenly, I found what I wanted to buy for the evening.

A three-pack of Series 1 with a bonus green parallel card. This one, with Sandy Koufax, came home with us along with the other things my daughter was looking for.

I am also in the process of putting the cards and sets I have into a binder. It's a 3-inch binder, but I'm starting to think it's not going to fit everything. I get the sinking feeling that a 6-inch binder isn't going to fit this set when all is said and done. I have almost all the cards. I'm missing one card from the Superstars retail set because the seller didn't realize it and gave me an extra card of a player already in the set, but he's aware of it and when he gets back from vacation he will be sending me the missing card. I also have the 50-card Iconic Reprints set coming soon (I have something to say about this too, but I'm going to need the set to arrive first).

In the meantime, until prices of the 150-card 150 Years of Baseball set go down to reasonable prices on the Bay (and this is before part 2 shows up in the next series), I have decided that I am going to build this set from scratch. Whether it be by buying lots or cards online or by trading. By now, I have enough base and insert cards, from a number of years, that I can trade to get my hands on the 67 cards I need to complete this set. Now, the big show coming to the convention down the street, the same one that is going to host the National in July/August, will take place in March. I just want to go to that show and take in the atmosphere. I would prefer to complete this set before then.

So, to the people who still manage to come to this humble, little blog. I need help. I am willing to trade for the 67 cards listed below. I've been known in the past to trade for everything I can find in a large want list just for one card. Base, insert, even autos or relics. It doesn't matter. If it's on your want list, and I have what you need (within reason...I still collect too you know), I will send all of it for whatever you can spare.

Here is the list of cards I need:

Greatest Moments
150-1 Babe Ruth Boston Red Sox
150-2 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
150-3 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees
150-4 Roger Maris New York Yankees
150-5 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
150-8 Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers
150-10 Nolan Ryan Texas Rangers
150-11 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
150-13 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
150-16 Nolan Ryan Houston Astros
150-18 Ichiro Seattle Mariners
150-19 Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Pirates
150-22 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
150-25 Ozzie Smith St. Louis Cardinals
150-26 Derek Jeter New York Yankees
150-27 The Topps Company Brooklyn
150-34 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox
150-35 Hank Aaron Atlanta Braves
150-37 Bill Mazeroski Pittsburgh Pirates
150-42 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox
150-47 Sandy Koufax Los Angeles Dodgers
150-48 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox

Greatest Players
150-51 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
150-55 Robin Yount Milwaukee Brewers
150-56 Tom Glavine Atlanta Braves
150-61 Roger Maris New York Yankees
150-65 Adrian Beltre Texas Rangers
150-68 Bryce Harper Washington Nationals
150-73 Derek Jeter New York Yankees
150-78 Albert Pujols Los Angeles Angels
150-79 Wade Boggs Boston Red Sox
150-80 David Ortiz Boston Red Sox
150-82 Tom Seaver New York Mets
150-86 Pedro Martinez Boston Red Sox
150-87 Juan Marichal San Francisco Giants
150-88 Nolan Ryan Houston Astros
150-91 Bob Feller Cleveland Indians
150-98 Jim Palmer Baltimore Orioles
150-99 Harmon Killebrew Minnesota Twins

Greatest Seasons
150-104 Ichiro Seattle Mariners
150-106 Rickey Henderson New York Yankees
150-107 Frank Thomas Chicago White Sox
150-110 Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals
150-112 Pedro Martinez Boston Red Sox
150-116 Carl Yastrzemski Boston Red Sox
150-121 Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers
150-123 Sandy Koufax Los Angeles Dodgers
150-125 Randy Johnson Arizona Diamondbacks
150-127 Ernie Banks Chicago Cubs
150-132 Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels
150-134 Nolan Ryan California Angels
150-137 Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels
150-140 Nolan Ryan Texas Rangers
150-141 Mike Piazza Los Angeles Dodgers
150-142 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
150-143 Willie McCovey San Francisco Giants
150-146 Babe Ruth New York Yankees
150-149 Babe Ruth New York Yankees

Email me at bdj610@hotmail.com, send me a DM on Twitter @bdj610, or leave a comment on the blog and let me know if you have any of the cards I need along with a want list of cards that you are looking for, and I will see what I can find for you.

I'll even put the bonus Koufax card on the trading block.

For now, I am just happy to have some packs to open.


JayBee Anama

Monday, February 18, 2019

Responding to Comments...Two Days Later

I should probably make more of an effort to post often. The comments I received were great and (ego...enough already...)

After reading the comments on my last post, I think it would be best to respond to them. Here goes.

SumoMenkoMan: While it's not necessarily overkill in terms of the number of insert sets (12), having a couple of insert sets that consist of more than 100 cards (150 Years of Professional Baseball, 1984 Topps 35th, Superstars) is a bit absurd. Okay, it wouldn't be the first time that there are 100-card insert sets within a series. But in the past, a set that would consist of 150 cards would be split among three series (1, 2, Update). The 150 Years set is this year's version of Topps Salute. Why put all 150 cards in one series??! The set itself consists of three distinct subjects (moments, players, seasons). I wouldn't have minded the set split this way. Topps has done it so many times. Why not with this set??!

bbcardz: Agreed. It's kind of misleading. Yes, there are more cards in a pack, but less packs in a box??! And you're still getting fewer cards in a box? It used to be that if you bought a jumbo box, you had a great shot at completing a set (or at worst, be short a card or two). Now? With the number of insert cards??!

Jeremya1um: We already emailed. Yes, I have the card:

It is yours. You already sent me your address, and I will let you know when it gets shipped (as soon as I can get to the post office...hopefully tomorrow...if not by Wednesday).

Fuji: I wouldn't spend $1500 on a master set, especially when it doesn't have ALL THE SETS!!! But hey, I don't judge either. You spend what you want. But I do agree, I miss those days too. Inserts are supposed to be that bonus "wow" card that comes in a pack. Sadly, with the focus on relics and autos, these have become as ignored as the base cards.

Base Card Hero: We'll see if box prices drop. Heritage is coming soon, and people tend to go nuts when THAT product comes out. I'm keeping tabs on the two sets I still need on the Bay. One looks promising, the other might just become the set I will have to build card by card...unless of course prices drop like I hope they do.

Bulldog: If you've never done a master set, there is nothing wrong with it. I think if you're a set collector, you need to at least try for one. If you have the patience, and there are lots of sources for you to do it (shows, shops, trading, etc) in your world, pick a year and go for it. Right now, I'd recommend something from 2012-2015. By now, demand should be down for cards from those years, and cards and sets should be selling at decent (lower) prices than the year they were created.

Phil: I know, right??! The last two years have been brutal. Yes, again, I know this isn't the first time that Topps didn't put the full stats on the back of the card. But still, it was shocking not to have all that information on the back.

Swing And A Pop Up: Thanks. If I pull it off, I'll make sure to post.

Have a good night.


JayBee Anama

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Two Weeks Later...

The official Opening Day of Baseball Card Season was Wednesday, January 30, 2019.

I would have been out there with the rest of the collecting world. Celebrating. Opening packs. Watching videos of box breaks. Reading Twitter feeds (you can follow me @bdj610) to see the first cards they opened from a pack. Catching the Bay to see what master sets were initially going for.

But I live in the Chicago area. And...the temperatures here reached -27 below Fahrenheit at one point. I wasn't going to go out. Heck, if the Chicago Public Schools decided to close for the day, you know it's trouble. In fact, it was so cold, and I'm sure you saw video of this, but they set the train tracks on fire.

Courtesy of WGN-TV. 

The reason behind this is, according to news.com.au, "Snow and ice can clog the points used to keep the train rolling, so the gas-fuelled flames — which technically run alongside the tracks — keep the switch points warm so they don’t get clogged. It’s actually not uncommon for Metra to resort to the practice when the mercury drops below zero."

Okay, back to the point.

On Friday, February 2, after making the trek to work and logging in some hours at the office, I made my way to a card shop, Target, and Walmart (in that order) and bought a few packs from each location (okay, the Walmart didn't have them yet, but I had to check). So now, I was in the game. After dinner, I opened my first pack.

And what a way to begin 2019!!! My first card of 2019 is CARD #1 of the eponymous set, Ronald Acuña, Jr!!!

The 2018 National League Rookie of the Year, and winner of the Card #1 vote, is my first card for 2019. What else showed up in this 14-card pack?

  • #9 Ben Zobrist, 2B/OF, Cubs
  • #111 Reynaldo Lopez, P, White Sox
  • #237 Seth Lugo, P, Mets
  • #263 Always Sonny, Checklist 109-144
  • #317 Kevin Gausman, P, Braves
  • #65 Derek Dietrich Gold, OF/1B, Marlins
  • #294 Dynamic Duo, Checklist #73-108
  • #158 Byron Buxton, OF, Twins
  • #44 Jay Bruce, OF, Mets
  • #45 Nick Pivetta, P, Phillies
  • #207 Richard Bleier, P, Orioles
  • #234 Austin Hedges, C, Padres
  • #153, Hunter Strickland, P, Giants
Initial thoughts on this pack:

My second Cubs card is World Series hero Ben Zobrist. This makes this pack a winner. Third is a pitcher from that other team from Chicago, so that works out very well.

I am so happy that Topps listened to their customers as the card backs (very nice by the way) include COMPLETE YEAR STATISTICS!!! After two years of partial stats (nothing wrong with that...it's not as if it was a precedent and all...but still), we get complete MLB (and MiLB if it applies) statistics again. And for those who still wanted them, the Twitter and Instagram accounts for players who have them (Jay Bruce apparently has neither, so he gets a #TOPPSBASEBALL on his social media profile line).

Within the last two weeks, I have purchased five regular, two jumbo packs, & one hanger box, from Target, three regular packs from WalMart, and twelve Hobby packs. I have a lot of good insert cards (which I am willing to trade), a couple of Home Run Challenge cards, and one SP (Mookie Betts).

I also decided to take a different approach when it comes to acquiring a master set this year.

There are 12 insert sets with cards scattered in packs of 2019 Topps Series 1. Adding the 350 base set, there are 940 cards that comprise what I will consider a full master set.

On eBay, prices for auctions of master sets consisting of just the base plus seven Hobby insert sets (1984 Topps 35th Anniversary, Greatness Returns, Evolution, Revolution, Topps Now Top 10, Iconic Reprints, 150 Years) ranged from $499.99 to $1099.99 Buy It Now. The scary thing is that people were actually paying those prices. I get that regular Hobby and Jumbo boxes have less packs even if the number of cards per pack are up (you still get less cards overall). I get that the odds for insert cards are ridiculous. I also get that case breakers are having a hard time making full master sets. But this is overkill.

Now, if you have the money and bought a 770 card set for over $1000, more power to you. Cheers. 

But you're still missing five retail-exclusive master sets!!!

There was one auction that I saw that had 10 insert sets included (the seven Hobby sets plus the 2 Spring Training sets and the 100-card Superstars) for $1499, and SOMEBODY BOUGHT THAT!!! 

That's well and good, but that auction doesn't have the Ronald Acuña and Gleyber Torres Highlight sets. Yes, the Walmart (Acuña) and Target (Torres) exclusives. 

Of course, I'm going after all 12 sets, and as of this writing, I now have the 350-card set, plus the following complete insert sets:
  • 1984 35th Anniversary set
  • Greatness Returns
  • Evolution
  • Revolution
  • Topps Now Top 10
  • Gleyber Torres Highlights
  • Cactus League Legends
  • Grapefruit League Greats
Plus I am waiting on these two sets:
  • Superstars of Baseball
  • Ronald Acuña Highlights
With shipping, I have spent a grand total of $622.11. I am pretty sure if I wait it out a bit, I can acquire all 12 for under $900. The 150-card 150 Years of Professional Baseball set has been going anywhere from $350-500 BIN (with auctions currently at over $150.00) and the 50-card Iconic Reprints set goes for $125-$220. I might have to wait a bit for demand to die down because many collectors will be focusing their energies and money on Heritage. 

The prices on the Iconic Reprint set and for individual cards are, honestly, ridiculous. I mean, a number of these cards have been reprinted to death, and the last time Topps highlighted reprint cards of Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, et.al, was in 2011. Regardless, I think I will play the patience route. Maybe wait until the Spring Collectibles show at the convention center down the street to build the sets.

In the meantime, there are two sets that are on my collecting radar. The 2019 Gypsy Queen, and, as tentative checklists were posted this past week, the 32 Topps Team Sets. 

This is already getting to be a very interesting, if not expensive, year Hobby-wise.

But I am always up for the challenge.


JayBee Anama

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


The votes are in...

  • Mariano Rivera 425 (100%);
  • Roy Halladay 363 (85.4%);
  • Edgar Martinez 363 (85.4%);
  • Mike Mussina 326 (76.7%);
  • Curt Schilling 259 (60.9%);
  • Roger Clemens 253 (59.5%);
  • Barry Bonds 251 (59.1%);
  • Larry Walker 232 (54.6%);
  • Omar Vizquel 182 (42.8%);
  • Fred McGriff 169 (39.8%);
  • Manny Ramírez 97 (22.8%);
  • Jeff Kent 77 (18.1%);
  • Billy Wagner 71 (16.7%);
  • Todd Helton 70 (16.5%);
  • Scott Rolen 73 (17.2%);
  • Gary Sheffield 58 (13.6%);
  • Andy Pettitte 42 (9.9%);
  • Sammy Sosa 36 (8.5%);
  • Andruw Jones 32 (7.5%);
  • Michael Young 9 (2.1%);
  • Lance Berkman 5 (1.2%);
  • Miguel Tejada 5 (1.2%);
  • Roy Oswalt 4 (0.9%);
  • Plácido Polanco 2 (0.5%);
  • Rick Ankiel 0;
  • Jason Bay 0;
  • Freddy García 0;
  • Jon Garland 0;
  • Travis Hafner 0;
  • Ted Lilly 0;
  • Derek Lowe 0;
  • Darren Oliver 0;
  • Juan Pierre 0;
  • Vernon Wells 0;
  • Kevin Youkilis 0;

Congratulations to Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez, and Mike Mussina for being elected into the Hall of Fame. On this year's ballot, a player needed to receive 319 votes to reach or exceed the 75% needed for induction. Rivera becomes the first player ever inducted with a 100% of the voters selecting him...a perfect 425.

The players whose names are italicized will appear on next year's ballot, having surpassed the five percent rule to stay on (22 votes). Larry Walker will be on his tenth and final ballot going into 2020. Fred McGriff's first go-through with the Veteran's Committee will be in 2023, when the Today's Era Committee re-convenes (this is the committee that elected both Lee Smith and Harold Baines for induction back in December).

History dictates that the player with the most votes but not elected into the HOF will eventually be voted in, whether it be on the BBWAA ballot or one of the Veteran's Committees. If this trend continues, Curt Schilling will eventually be going to Cooperstown.


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

One (or More) of These Players Could Be Voted into Baseball's Hall of Fame

When the announcement is made at 05:00 PM CST on Tuesday, January 22, 2019, to let the world know who has been inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame, I will be at home, again, getting ready to transition from one job to the next. But I'll still have the MLB Network on to watch the results live.

With any luck, more than one person on this list of 35 players will be rewarded with the ultimate honor...enshrinement into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. For the final time, here is the list of players (with years on ballot and % of ballots in the 2017 election) being considered:

Until the announcement is made (and I WILL be home when this happens), only the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the accounting firm that tabulated the votes knows who will join Lee Smith and Harold Baines in Cooperstown on Sunday, July 21, 2019.

Good luck to everyone.


ayBee Anama

Monday, January 21, 2019

New Year Pack Break: 2018 Topps Fire

I had this pack with me the last couple of days, but never got around to opening it. But it's Monday, a bit late in the afternoon, and I forgot to pack a lunch. Braving the elements and the single-digit temperatures, I decided to make a run to the border and splurge on Taco Bell.

I love Taco Bell. It's one of my favorite fast-food restaurants. Yes, I know there are taquerias closer to where I work, but I'm not going to walk in the cold for it, especially when time is limited. If it was a warm, sunny day (like last week), sure. But I heard the Naked Chicken Chalupa was back for a limited time, so along with a couple of Taco Supremes, and with regrets coming for sure later, I ordered one of those too.

So before I question my life choices, this is an appropriate time for another pack break. This time, it's Topps' exclusive product that can only be found at Target, 2018 Topps Fire.

The design is ridiculously busy, with the player in front of a background that looks like it is exploding behind him in red, white, and blue hues (points for patriotism, I guess). While I've seen a lot of images online, this is now a good time to see these cards up close. So what did I get in my pack of Fire???

Whoops...wrong pack.

Let's find out:

  • #37 Rickey Henderson, Athletics
  • #48 Byron Buxton, Twins
  • #86 J. D. Davis, Astros
  • #114 Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
  • #32 Ryan McMahon, Rockies
  • #C-12 Billy Hamilton Cannons, Blue Chip Parallel, Reds
  • #19 Orlando Arcia Orange Parallel 294/299, Brewers
  • #HS-1 Shohei Ohtani Hot Starts, Blue Chip Parallel, Angels
  • #21 Jake Lamb Blue Parallel, Diamondbacks
  • #10 Ryne Sandberg, Cubs
  • #84 Mike Piazza, Mets
  • #188 Johnny Bench, Reds


The pack looks to have been split evenly into three categories: HOF's (Henderson, Sandberg, Piazza, Bench), current players (Buxton, Davis, Bellinger, McMahon), and inserts/parallels. At least I have a Cubs card in the pack, and it's of my favorite player EVER! So that's a win. And again, Shohei makes another appearance in a pack break.

Full of food (food was good, probably could have gone without the chalupa, although that wasn't too bad) and an open pack of cards, I probably should head back to work.


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Getting the Sports Card Blogroll Up to 2019 Standards...and Is Blogging Still a Thing??!

A Twitter discussion happened a few days ago regarding the status of blogging, specifically blogging about the Hobby.

Is it still viable? Is it still popular? Are people still doing this?


Somehow, thanks to Mario, the man who writes Wax Heav...I mean The Baseball Card Blog (I hope you got Ben's blessing to use this name Mario), I wound up getting involved in the conversation:

Night Owl wrote about this last week (he's has taken the mantle as the most prolific and popular blogger, with tons of readers and commenters). You want to read his take? Here you go!

Nachos Grande, another long-time card blog, followed Night Owl's lead and did his own research, which you can read here.

(But before you read what they have to say, finish mine first...or go read their stuff and come back...PLEASE!!!)

So I did a bit of research. I always made it a habit of keeping tabs of the number of blogs I added and removed over the years. When I created the Sports Card Blogroll on July 7, 2008, I started with 112 blogs. Many of these sites I found through the blogrolls of dayf the Cardboard Junkie and Mario (again...thanks to his Sports Card Blog Directory).

I promised I would figure out when the most blogs were ever on the Sports Card Blogroll. That would have been in July of 2012, when there was a whopping 387 blogs listed before I did my monthly maintenance.

I haven't made any updates to the big Blogroll in a while, and I have to tell you, I'm really sad.

Presently, there are 215 sites listed on the active roll. The following sites will be removed from the Blogroll tonight:

That's 29 blogs that being removed (hold on...I will explain shortly). That brings the number of active blogs down to 186. That's more than 200 blogs down from six years ago (not the number of blogs that have ever been placed on the SCBR...you're looking at over 500 blogs that made it's way onto the active roster at one point in time).

The Infinite Baseball Card Set blog was created by artist Gary Joseph Cieradkowski. The site combined his passions for baseball history and art (he did create a card set...beautiful cards...don't own any, but I do remember reading reviews). He has a new site now, Studio Gary C, which combines all of his artwork, and I am going to add his baseball card section, which continues his Infinite Baseball Card Set project, and will move his old site to the Retired, but Relevant section of the Blogroll. (I better be getting that book Gary...or if not, I'll have to find it somewhere).

The Sports Card Blogroll Hall of Fame adds one new member to its ranks: Orioles Card "O" The Day. For over 10 years, Kevin, the writer of the Orioles baseball card blog, highlighted a card from his vast Orioles card collection, giving the reader a glimpse of the player, and his contributions to Orioles lore. From 2008-2014, he would post more than 300 times per year, the first four years posting EVERY DAY!!! While there is no reason why he stopped (we can all speculate...it's the ORIOLES after all) maybe he'll get back to it. I hope he's okay. But his last post was in May, 2018, and the site has reached more than six months of inactivity. As one of the pioneers in the Hobby Blogging Community, and one of the first team-centric Hobby bloggers, his Orioles Card "O" The Day will now be enshrined into the SCBR HOF.

Yes, I will have to say that the popularity of blogging has been on the downside. But, as I stated in my contributions to the twitter discussion:

There are those who are still contributing on a daily basis: Night Owl Cards (who I will have to check his blogroll for sites that I don't have), Wrigley Wax, who writes about the cards in his Cubs collection, The Chronicles of Fuji, The Shlabotnik Report, and 182 others (including this humble, little blog). We're still around, and we're still posting about the Hobby. We may not be (okay, most of us might not be) making any money off blogging, but as I tweeted, we're really writing for ourselves. If people happen to read what we're saying, then it's a bonus.

It (blogging) has become a Hobby in of itself. We all had our reasons to get into this. Some got into it to trade with others. Others wanted to share their opinions on the state of the Hobby (good or otherwise). Some wanted to stir the pot and the notoriety (good or otherwise) got them the exposure they wanted. Others just wanted to show off their collections and what the cards mean to the writer.

As with many trends, blogging has hit its plateau. During the height of popularity, I had hoped that the SCBR would one day reach 500 blogs on the list at one time. It never made it there, but the Blogroll still stands as a way for people who want to read different viewpoints about the Hobby of Sports Card Collecting.

On a final note, I do want to thank Sports Card News for bringing up the topic. And for indirectly giving me a nudge to get my site up-to-date.

As always, if you or someone you know has a blog that is about the great Hobby of Sports Card Collecting, and you want it added to the Sports Card Blogroll, please send me an email at bdj610@hotmail.com, send me a tweet (you can find me @bdj610), or leave a comment on the blog.

You know, I meant to change the design of the site just to make it a bit more modern. I guess I better get to work.


JayBee Anama