Friday 30 December 2011

1986 Topps #530 Goose Gossage

I brought my old baseball collection back from the closet in my parents house to my house over the holidays and have been busy revisiting my youth through cardboard. This card jumped out at me as one of my favorite cards of all time that I had completely forgot even existed. Gossage was at the end of his career when I started collecting, but his awesomeness was easy to recognize. The aviator shades with the handlebar make this one of the most bad ass cards of all time. The only improvement would be if he was credited as Goose instead of Rich. A 9 nine time All-Star who saved over 300 games when that was still an impressive milestone and a 2008 Hall of Fame inductee

Thursday 29 December 2011

1971 Topps Variations: Jim Northrup #265

Another in the series of 1971 Topps variations, card number 265 Jim Northrup. This card has at least two variations and maybe three. There is the version to the right with a small black dot to the right of his hands, then it seems like someone wanted to remove the spot from the printing plate and it resulted in a large smudge (after the jump). There are versions of the smear that are a dark black and versions with a lighter grey smudge, but I would think these are more of a printing error rather than a true variation. The Blob/No Blob variations are noted on most graded versions of this card. All three versions can be found after the jump.

Jim Northrup spent 12 season in the Majors from 1964-1975, playing in 1,392 games, 1,279 of those with the Tigers. Hit for a .267 career average with 153 home runs and 610 RBI. His best seasons came in 1968 and 1969, driving in a career high 90 runs in 1968 finishing 13th in MVP voting.

Thursday 22 December 2011

RLC Custom Card Project: Octavio Dotel

Looking to make one last post before leaving for the Holidays, and inspired by Night Owl's Dotel post, here is a quick custom of Octavio with the Rockies. Once Dotel suits up for the Tigers in 2012 he will hold the record for most different teams in one career. Dotel only pitched in 5 1/3 innings over 8 games with the Rockies, was not featured on a card with the team, and this is the only photo I have ever seen of him in a Rox uniform. Dotel has had a very interesting career, he became the first National Leaguer to start at least 15 games and save at least 15 games in one season in 2000. He shared a no-hitter with 5 other pitchers in 2003. He was traded to the Rockies from the Dodgers while the Rockies were in L.A. playing a series against the Dodgers. From starter to closer to reliever to basically a ROOGY to World Series Champion, and at 38 he still has chance to add to that.

Note: edited of 3/25/2022 to be including in the RLC Project

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Custom Card: 1985 Topps Football Sal Fasano

Taking the style from another black bordered beauty of a set, 1985 Topps Football, here is a custom of Sal Fasano, cult hero and backup catcher. Fasano spent a brief 25 games stint with the Rockies in 2001, then signed on for spring training of 2009 with Colorado, and then spent all of 2009 with AAA Colorado Springs. Sal spent most of his career jumping from team to team and splitting time between the majors and the minors, he gained a cult following largely because of his Hall of Fame worthy fu manchu. Here is my small tribute to Sal Fasano, the man, the myth, the mustache.

Monday 19 December 2011

Preview: 2012 Topps Archives

Topps announced another retro product to go with the 1963 themed Heritage set. Imagine my excitement seeing they are using the 1971 design as part of the set. The Pujols card to the right looks pretty awesome, other than the team name is not as stretched out as the 1971 originals. So far it looks to be a 200 card base set using 1954, 1971, 1980 and 1984 set designs. Pretty cool other than the the 1954 cards which we have already seen in the 2003 Heritage set. Also included is the return of the Fan Favorites autographs, which is cool as long as us Rockies fans get someone better than Charlie Hayes as an auto. Looks to be an interesting set and it will be interesting to see what all is included when it's released. My biggest wish would be a Drew Pomeranz 1971 style rookie card, we will see...

Beckett News Link for more info

Friday 16 December 2011

Mailday: 2011 Bowman Draft Rockies team set

Base Card
Just got the Rockies team set in the post today in both regular and chrome. I really like the looks of the regular set, nice and simple and I really like the black borders on the Prospects subset this year. I could do without the Chrome versions though, seriously Topps, how many versions of every card do we need? The one thing that really stuck out for me was the inclusion of an Alan Johnson card. The Prospects inserts are all draft picks and main set has rookie cards of Alex White, Rex Brothers, Juan Nicasio and Charlie Blackmon, all four of look to be big parts of the Rockies future with two promising starters, a potential closer and an player who looks to be a solid 4th outfielder at worst. Johnson is a good story, and undrafted player in 2005, made his MLB debut in 2011 as an emergency starter in a game the Rockies won, but he was removed from the 40 man roster shortly after and was granted free agency in November of this year. I would have rather have seen either Jordan Pacheco, Drew Pomeranz or Wilin Rosario in this set, but we will have to wait until the 2012 products roll out for their "official" rookie cards. So Johnson gets an "official" rookie card for his one start to go along with his 2008 Bowman pre-rookie, as well as the numerous parallel colors and refractors.

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Custom Card: 1992 Pinnacle Matt Herges

There is just something about black borders that I just love, 1992 Pinnacle is right up there with my favorite set designs of all time, and as an added bonus the same design was used for the football and hockey sets of the same year, but I think the baseball set looks the best as really focuses on the player without much background shown. Matt Herges played in 567 MLB games over 11 seasons but being a middle reliever only has a handful of cards, none of which are with the Rockies. This custom fills a spot in my 2007 N.L. Champions team set, replacing a 2002 Bowman of Herges with the Dodgers. Herges was huge for the Rox in 2007 going 5-1 with a 2.96 ERA over 35 games, then pitching 11 1/3 innings in the playoffs without giving up run and picking up the win the clinching NLCS game four over the Diamondbacks.

Card back after the jump

Monday 12 December 2011

1971 Topps Variations: Ron Cook #583

Eyes Up (above)
Eyes Down (below)
One of the weirder variations I have seen, the eyes up/down variation. I am assuming the earlier versions have Ron looking up and to his left, then the later versions have his eyes airbrushed to be looking at the camera, but I don;t actually know which came first. It's actually a fairly well done airbrush job, nothing as brilliantly terrible as Dick Williams magic hat, but a little creepy when looking at both versions. Both versions are readily available with neither carries a premium over the other.

This is Ron Cook's rookie card, with his only other card being in the 1972 set. His first season the the majors (1970) had mild success, going 4-4 with a 3.72 ERA over 41 games, including 7 games started. However his second and final season would not be as successful, going 0-4 with a 4.91 ERA over five games, this time starting four.

Wednesday 7 December 2011

CotD: 1969 Topps Larry Haney #209

WTF?? A left handed catcher, you don't see that everyday, or at all. The real WTF here is that Topps reversed the photo, Haney actual throws right just like almost every other catcher. What makes this even more obvious is that Topps used the exact same photo for Haney's 1968 card, only the 68 is not reversed. I have no idea why they would reverse the photo instead of just moving the circle with the name and position to the other side of the card. Other than that this is a pretty cool card, I like how he's geared up instead of the classic crouch with just a glove card pose, and it's a Seattle Pilots card, how cool is that (even though he's pictured as an Oriole). The nice shot of the old-school catchers gear and the weird photo mirror makes this a pretty cool card for catcher collectors (if they even exist other than me).

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Mailday: 2011 Topps Marquee Ubaldo Jimenez #MCA-UJ

I was pretty excited to see this come in the mail. After bidding and losing on a couple of these, I just threw a bid up not expecting to even come close and "won" this auction. Scans do not do these Museum Collection cards justice, they are gorgeous in real life. I usually stay away from high end products but this one is worth the cash in my eyes. I still refuse to pay over $100 for a box of 6 or 7 seven high end cards, but if I can find reasonable singles on ebay or comc then i will consider it. I was looking forward to see the Carlos Gonzalez one, but it's a redemption (another reason to stay away from high end stuff) so I jumped on the Ubaldo. It's to bad he's no longer with the team, but getting an auto of the best pitcher in Rockies history is pretty cool, and the nice return we got from the Indians makes it a little better to take.

Monday 5 December 2011

CotD: 1971 Ron Santo #220

Former Cubs third baseman Ron Santo was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Golden Era Committee, making him the newest member of baseball's most illustrious club. The news is somewhat bittersweet as Santo passed away almost exactly one year ago, and makes the Hall on his 19th attempt. A 9 time All-Star finished his career with 342 home runs, 1,331 RBI, a .277 lifetime batting average and five Gold Gloves during a 15 year playing career. Random fact: Ron Santo's induction brings the total amount of Hall of Famers in the 1971 Topps set to 45.

Wednesday 30 November 2011

CotD: 2011 Topps #560 Chris Iannetta

The Rockies traded Chris Iannetta to the Angels tonight for 21 year old pitcher Tyler Chatwood. As someone who always followed catchers more closely than other players, Iannetta was one of my favorite Rockies. I followed him through the minors until he and Troy Tulowitzki made their debuts in late 2006 and it looked like they would form a solid base to build around for years to come, but the consistency was never there for Iannetta and he lost playing time over the years to Yorvit Torrealba, then Miguel Olivo before playing in a career high 112 games in 2011. I will always remember traveling to Denver in July of 2010 and seeing Chris hit a walk-off home run in the first baseball game I had went to since 1997 and the same night I got bought his jersey before the game started.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

1971 Topps Variations: Buddy Bradford #552

Smudged Above
Another entry into the 1971 Variation collection, card number 552, Buddy Bradford. This one comes in two versions, one with a black smudge just above his left shoulder, and one without. This is another small difference that is not noted on graded versions of the cards and could be argued that it is more of a print error than a variation, depending on how the smudge got there. Both versions are fairly common and neither seems to have a price premium. The one O-Pee-Chee card I have seen does not have the smudge.

Friday 25 November 2011

CotD: 2006 Heritage Sean Taylor #80

Sunday will mark four years since Sean Taylor's death. Taylor was my favorite player, someone who gave hope to an organization that has had little hope since Dan Snyder took over. He had everything, size speed and natural instincts for the ball, and there is no reason not to think had he stayed healthy, that Taylor would have been a Hall of Fame player, and one the greatest to play the safety position. I remember following him from the Hall of Fame game in 2004 in which he intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown in his pro debut. As a Redskins fan it was exciting to his progression from a rookie having to earn his playing time under Joe Gibbs to a potential star earning his first Pro-Bowl invite in 2006. The 2007 season is when this really started to come together for Taylor and he was playing at an Defensive MVP level. Then tragedy struck and he was shot in his home during a home invasion and died in hospital the next day. I think one of the reasons we love sports is that it is an escape from real life, but this is one of those times when real life reminds you its always there. I still remember the 10 man defense to open the Buffalo game, leaving Taylor's safety spot empty to begin the game. Unfortunately the Redskins are on the road Sunday, but I hope whoever is covering the game with make some mention to remember #21.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Custom Card: 1987 Topps Joe Beimel

There is something I love about the 1987 Topps design, one of the first sets I collected, although in Canada we got the O-Pee-Chee version, I still love those tacky wood borders. The hardest thing about making customs of this year is the weird font Topps used for the player name, and the fact that no real Colorado Rockies cards exist before 1993, I think I got fairly close here after a some trial and error. This Joe Beimel fills a hole in my 2009 Rockies playoff roster team set, as I could not stand looking at the placeholder of him with the Dodgers. I printed it off on photo paper and it looks good in a binder, but the final product was a little flimsy. Back of card after the jump.

Monday 21 November 2011

1971 Topps Variations: Boots Day #42

"No Stadium Light (above)"
Continuing with the 1971 Topps variation series, card #42 featuring Boots Day. Two versions exist, one with a light tower behind his right ear, and a later version with the tower airbrushed out, but still slightly visible. The graded cards I have seen mention "No Stadium Light" on the variation with no mention on the version with the light. The "No Light" version is the harder to find version and seems to have a price premium over the card with the light. All the OPC versions I have seen have the light tower, but the sample size is fairly small on this.

Friday 18 November 2011

1971 Topps Variations: Jack Hiatt #371

With Dot
Another entry in the 1971 variation collection, card number 371 Jack Hiatt. Two versions of this card exist, one with a white dot after "catcher", and one without. The white dot version seems to be much more common, but there seems to be no price premium and both are treated as a common card, with no designation on the graded versions I have seen. Pretty standard card for the early 70's era, with the classic windbreaker-under-jersey look. The photo appears to be from his Giants days with his logo poorly airbrushed out, or blobbed over, even though he split 1970 between the Expos and Cubs. The picture on the back does have Jack in his Astros hat though.

Thursday 17 November 2011

1971 Toppps Variations: Carl Morton #515

No Black Line
After finishing my 1971 Topps set, I set out to track down the variations that existed. Here is the first in a series of 1971 Topps variations. One of the easier ones to spot is the Carl Morton card. One version has a black line angling up and to the right from the logo on his cap, and the other has no line. Both versions seem to be fairly common, and it this time both can be found for purchase on several online sites for the price of a common card. There is no mention of this variation on the few copies of this card I have seen graded, probably because both versions seem to be very common. The copies that I have seen of the O-Pee-Chee version of the card all have the black line, but that is a very small sample size at this point.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Card of the Day, 1971 Thurman Munson

Here it is in all it glory. The 1971 Topps #5 Thurman Munson. Not his rookie card, but his first solo card and what a beauty. This is probably my favorite card of all time, 1971 is my favorite set of all time, frustrating to collect (inspiring the name of this blog) but also rewarding when you find a well centered, sharp cornered diamond in the rough. Open up binder with a 1971 set and first page, right in the center is this card, impossible not to notice. Also as a huge fan of action shots featuring catchers all geared up, this card is brilliant. And who doesn't love the Topps All-Star rookie cup trophy in the corner. The weird thing about loving this card is that I usually hate horizontal cards, but with the awesome photography this one works. The card was reprinted in 2010 as part of the "Cards Your Mom Threw Out" insert set, giving collectors a cheaper option to add this classic card to their collection. Random fact: The Oakland A's player sliding head first has been found to be Chuck Dobson, a pitcher. Just think, if the AL had the DH in 1970, this work of cardboard art would have never happened. Another reason to dislike the DH in baseball.


Another Baseball Card blog to get lost among the masses, if someone reads this, fine, if not, at the worst it will help me to keep some stuff organized, so here it goes.