Monday, September 29, 2014

A second eBay win

And, to be fair, it's not much different than my last win. A couple of weeks ago, I paid -- probably too much -- for a Carlos Gomez 5x7 card that Topps had/gave away at the Fan Fest at the All-Star Game at Target Field in Minneapolis this summer.

I think the cards were made only for the guys who were voted in as starters and/or started in the game. At that point in the season, Milwaukee looked like more than a .500 team -- which is what they are, it seems -- so three of their players made the starting lineup: Gomez, Aramis Ramirez, and Jonathan Lucroy.

I collect Gomez and Lucroy as PCs, so of course I had to go after a Lucroy. I paid about $4 less overall for Lucroy than I did for the Gomez, so that made me happy.

Here it is in all its glory:

When I wrote about the Gomez version, I asked you whether you had bought anything directly from Topps of this nature.  Well, I broke down and bought a couple of items...and they should get here in the next couple of days.  I'll be sure to share when I get them.

Thanks for reading!

A Contest from the Cynical Buddha

The Buddha and I both share a love of the Brewers. He's way ahead of me in terms of being a Robin Yount collector, but we share that too.

One thing we don't share is this contest.

Go over to Collector's Crack and make your pick for the "almost easiest World Series Contest on the Web 4" to see if you can guess who's winning the World Series, who's losing the World Series, in how many games, and how many homers will be hit.

Click here for details!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The First Package from the Elephant in the Room

Wes a/k/a Jaybarkerfan is well known in the blogosphere for sending out both massive boxes of stuff and high quality relics and autographs to other collectors. For the first time in my 7 months online and back collecting, I got a comment from Wes saying that it was "time our paths crossed." 

I'm glad they have.

JBF sent me a plastic card holder with a number of awesome cards:

Bill Hall Goudey jersey relic from 2008. I'm still torn about whether to try to collect Bill Hall or not. His numbers and his career give every indication of possibly being...ahem, wind-aided...but he was a good player for many years in Milwaukee.  

See, and this is why I keep thinking about it. A serial numbered 50/200 relic. I'll probably just look for a current player. 

Look, kids -- it's Shaun of the Dead!

Big Brad Nelson. The Brewers let him go after 2009, when he went 0-for-21 in the major leagues. With that total and the fact that he has not played in the major leagues since that time, Nelson qualifies as the player on the Opening Day rosters from 2009 who has yet to get a hit. The Brewers released him, and since then, Nelson has bounced from Seattle to Texas to the Cubs to the Twins who, in July of this year, released the 31-year-old from Triple-A.

Mike Cameron could go get 'em in centerfield. By the end of his career, though, that was all he could do. I feel assured that the bat from which this relic was harvest must have flown through the strike zone without making contact on numerous occasions.

A Serial numbered card from Pacific Omega in 2000.  Perez played 24 games for Milwaukee in 2000 and hit .173/.290/.212. The Brewers traded him to the Padres after that performance, and he hit .198/.320/.210 there. That's impressively bad, even though he did get on base at a decent clip.

Rigdon came to Milwaukee in the Richie Sexson trade. He started a total of 27 games for the Brewers with a 5.19 ERA (5.67 FIP) and generally had problems walking way too many guys.

Pretty sweet mustache with that old-school "M" logo on Mr. Fosse there. I have to admit that I still like that hat.  

The 1970s were such a simpler time. Often more colorful, but simpler.

JBF also hit a couple of my PCs with a relic, an autograph, and a serial numbered card:

That's Absolutely Ben Sheets Ink there. I haven't gotten to Ben Sheets in my cataloguing quite yet -- I'm just at Dan Plesac, meaning that I'm still on guys who debuted in the 1980s -- but I know that I did not have either the autograph or the Swatch.

I have catalogued the Ryan Braun cards, so I know very well that I needed that card. 

Wes, thank you very much for the cards. Or, as he put it in his note to me:

I agree completely! 

Thanks again.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Breaking Donruss

Probably about a week and a half ago, I got an envelope in the mail from Gavin at Baseball Card Breakdown.  It was an interesting envelope. I mean, I sort of wish that he had sent the envelope earlier so I could have taken advantage of this great deal!

It's not like I was anywhere near Louisville to go to the Louisville Slugger Museum, but seeing the art of Warner Bros. Cartoons at the Museum might have spurred me on to find a reason to head that way.

The envelope Gavin sent included nothing but Donruss 2014 cards. In honor of that, I got out my plagiaristic artistic skills and made a banner just for this post:

It's "Breaking Donruss", live here on Off Hiatus.

Gavin knows I'm a team collector -- though he couldn't have known that everyone in the blogosphere who opened Donruss was sending them to me -- so he sent me two Ryan Brauns:

The card isn't a bad-looking one for being an unlicensed card. I am starting to wonder if MLB and its constituent teams threatened Panini with litigation if Panini were to be so bold as to use the proper jersey/pant color combinations. I've complained in the past about how the Hometown Heroes set from last year put uniforms on the Brewers that did not look anything remotely like anything Milwaukee has ever worn.

Now these colors, at least, appear to be one of the alternate combinations that the Brewers wore this year.  But, why are all the cards in those colors?

Okay, enough analysis of uniforms.  Here are the other four cards that Gavin sent:

Davis has proven the eyes of the scouts wrong so far in his career -- those scouts who said that he wouldn't hit enough to be a major leaguer. In fairness, he's awful at getting on base and/or taking a walk. His OBP is .299. Ugh.

Then again, that's pretty much the story of the Brewers offense this year. The only guys who play regularly who have an OBP over .340 are Diamond King Carlos Gomez (.355), catcher Jonathan Lucroy (.369), and Rickie Weeks (.351). 

One final "word of defense" though -- the league OBP this year is just .312, and the team OBP is .310. So, it's a pretty close to league average team in that regard.  

Finally, I've talked a lot here about whether the Brewers will pick up the option for Yovani Gallardo for next year. Well, according to Jon Heyman, that's a done deal -- and to most observers, it's not a surprise. I guess it's been so long since I pondered such thing that Milwaukee spending any money seems to surprise me.

Many thanks, Gavin, for these great cards. I needed a couple of them, and anytime I can add more to my Brewers I appreciate it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Chrome Box Break with Chavez Ravining

As a Brewers fan -- and after all of my complaining about how Topps ignores Milwaukee -- I should definitely know better than to sign up for any box breaks of any kind. I really should. It's not like suddenly a pack full of Brewers refractors numbered to 10 are going to show up in one Brewers hot box of some kind.

And then, even if that did happen, I probably would end up with the Yankees in that box break.

Alex at Chavez Ravining announced a break of four boxes of Topps Chrome earlier this summer. I decided to join in the break in hopes of getting a complete Brewers team set out of the stack and to get a hit or two -- you know, something fun. As part of Alex's break, I also got the Phillies.

So, of course, the two X-Fractors and one on-card auto that I got were from the Phillies.  
Indeed, it was an Ethan Martin hot box, with a Chase Utley X-Fractor thrown in. Are there any Phillies Phans who would like to send me Brewers for these?

The Brewers that Alex pulled were not terribly inspiring. Now, I didn't help myself with my impatience in buying some Chrome at my last card show, but it turned out to be a good idea. In fact, the only real insert of any kind for the Brewers was this one:

I know it's been 25 years since that design hit cards, and Topps has been fixated on bringing back the days when everyone could buy a pack of Topps -- I mean, literally, they printed enough packs for every man, woman, and child on the planet to have their own.

Anyway, enough old jokes.  Alex felt bad for my lack of quality in the box break, so he was kind enough to throw in some other Brewers as well.

Mini Insert!


Mini Black Border!
Alex definitely made the break worth it for me with these add-ins. I mean, I still got the entire Brewers team set from Topps Chrome -- I just didn't get anything else. 

Alex, thanks for running the box break and for kicking in a bit extra over and above the cards from the break. I definitely appreciate those cards. I do need to send you some cards soon!

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A reminder from ARP Smith

Back in July, I made a big mistake on my e-mail system. I deleted a bunch of e-mail and forgot to check whether I had completed all the trades/packages that I'd meant to complete in them.

And then I forgot about doing it. That, ladies and gentlemen, was the big mistake.

I was reminded of this recently when I received a package in the mail from California from ARP Smith of ARPSMith's Sportscard Obsession. I had told Adam that I'd send him a card from 1983 of the Famous Chicken (at that point, Ted Giannoulas was no longer simply confining his antics to San Diego) that I had sent to Donruss to have autographed. Back then, we trusted that Donruss would gather the cards in Memphis, the Chicken would stop in an autograph them, and then we would get the card back.

At any rate, as a bit of a prod and reminder, this package had my e-mail in it...that I'd deleted...saying I'd send the card to him.


Thankfully, he's been good-natured about my act of omission. The card is packaged up and will be on its way to California shortly.  And, in the meantime, I received some great new-to-me Brewers cards -- and a few that weren't new but are still really cool.

There are a few obvious highlights -- the Donruss "Press Proof" of Jimmy Nelson, the high-school yearbook pose perfected by Bill Wegman (all he is missing is a huge class ring with a red stone on his left hand) and, of course, that huge and thick Ryan Braun Rookie Cup Manu-Relic. Those rookie cup Manu-Relics are just plain cool.

Thank you very much for the trade, Adam! It is appreciated and this time I won't forget to send you the card I promised (and some others too)!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Gettin' Busy...

Relax. I'm talking about my work behind the scenes here at Off Hiatus Central. Over the past week or so, I've been working diligently at getting my player collections updated to have those cards catalogued. It's mostly for my own benefit, of course, but it also serves as a bit of a "want list by subtraction", so to speak.

Anyway, starting last Thursday, I've gotten the following player lists updated:

Eddie Mathews

This collection, along with my other Braves guys, tends either to be a bit off the radar for traders or, alternatively, there's no way on God's Green Earth that anyone is going to send me a 1959 Topps Eddie Mathews in some PWE trade.  In any event, I don't have any cards from his playing days yet, but I've collected 20 of his cards so far.

Warren Spahn

As with Mathews, my Spahn collection is bereft of cards from his playing days. I cheated a little here and counted the puzzle piece cards from 1989 Donruss as individual cards.  Even cheating like that gives me only 48 Warren Spahn cards.

Joe Adcock

Sadly, I have so few Joe Adcock cards that I had to use a postcard I've put into my Mathews collection for him. The upside is that I have both his 1957 and his 1960 Topps cards. The downside is that I have only 1 other cards of his for a grand total of 3. Four, if you count this card.

Lew Burdette

Again, my Lew Burdette collection is in its very early stages -- just five cards -- but certainly the pride and joy of the Burdette collection is my copy of this 1954 Johnston's Cookies card that my mom must have had as a child.

And then, there are the Brewers...

Jim Slaton

With my autographs and police card variations, I have 33 Jim Slaton cards.

Charlie Moore

The genteel catcher from Birmingham, Alabama, appears on 50 different items in my binder, including all the autographs and team magazines.

Gorman Thomas

I love Daniel Okrent's line from his book Nine Innings introducing Gorman enough that I'll probably use it again when I write up his 1982 Topps card on that blog. The line is:

"If Molitor was the dreamboat that every 17-year-old girl in greater Milwaukee pined for, then James Gorman Thomas was the hero that every 47-year-old brewery worker idolized."

I've got 31 cards from the blue-collar Milwaukee hero who himself is another Southerner -- from Charleston, South Carolina.

Don Money

Money never inspired blue-collar paeans like Gorman did, nor did he send teenage girls into hysterics usually reserved for rock bands. But, he was the first true star that the Brewers had after they got him in a trade from Philadelphia after the 1972 season.

I have 26 of his cards.

Jerry Augustine

You can tell from this card -- one of 20 in my collection of Augustines -- that he was just happy to be there.

Jim Gantner

Jim Gantner has appeared in the third-most games all-time in a Brewers uniform. The top three are Gantner, Molitor, and Yount from 3 to 1.  His many years as a Brewer have helped me accumulate 87 of his cards, including this lovely Miller High Life stadium giveaway card from 1990.

Cecil Cooper

Cecil Cooper spent 11 years in Milwaukee. It's shocking today to me to see him in a Boston Red Sox uniform, to be honest. I have 83 Cecil Cooper cards and items, all told.

Bob McClure

Bob McClure is the first person I can consciously remember who wore a soul patch unironically. In fact, he may still be the only one to do that.

I think there is at least one or two more photos on the 27 total cards of McClure that I have that show the soul patch.

Moose Haas

Moose never seemed to fit into Milwaukee in the same way that Gorman Thomas was a complete natural for the Midwest.  Nonetheless, I have 36 different Haas cards as a Brewers.

Mike Caldwell
Mike Caldwell is pictured as a St. Louis Cardinal on his 1977 Topps card. He only pitched for them in spring training in 1977 after being traded there from San Francisco. He was traded near the end of spring training that year to the Reds, who promptly forwarded him to his correct address in Milwaukee when the Reds picked up Tom Seaver.

I've picked up 30 of Caldwell's cards.

Ryan Braun

I know pretty much everyone hates Ryan Braun. That works for me, because it's allowed me to grow my Braun collection to 170 cards and items so far.

Rickie Weeks

Rickie never reached the high expectations that many had for him. He's still a long-time Brewer and all, so I'm happy for the 80 Rickie Weeks cards I have.

This organization is nearly complete in terms of the player collections. Then, it's on to the overall team collection for me.

Click the links and check out the lists of cards I have. If you see something you have that I don't and that you'd like to get rid of, let me know!

Thanks for reading.