Sunday, November 30, 2008

1983 Topps Foldouts

Just a quick post today, as I realized I hadn't posted any Rickey-related items in awhile. I've been working on quite a few Oakland A's trades recently, and haven't had time to put any Rickey posts together.

In 1983 Topps issue a set of five "foldout" sets, which featured career leaders in five major statistical categories.

Although Rickey had only been in the league a couple of years, his 319 stolen bases were already enough to get him included in the set. The above "card" measures approximately 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" and was cutout from one of the accordion style foldouts.

Here's a complete and unopened booklet of all 17 stolen base leaders, number 5 of 5 in the set. I'm not sure why they decided upon 17 (probably something to do with the way it was folded), but they used it consistently across all 5 subsets.

Career Wins leaders and Career Home Run Leaders were included as Sets 1 and 2 respectively.

The last two sets were Career Batting Average (set #3) and Career Saves (set #4).

Topps seemed to put out a lot more interesting sets in the past than they do today. Yes, there are more different sets of cards, but they definitely don't release as wide a variety of items as they used to.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Quick Trade With Nachos Grande

While perusing other blogs a few weeks ago I ran across a post from Chris from Nachos Grande, whose attempting to complete a ton of 2008 sets by hand. He was very close to completing the Allen & Ginter set, and I had one of the World's Deadliest Shark minis that he needed. A few e-mails later, and the trade was complete.

I sent Chris the above mentioned Bull Shark card, as well as a few Heritage Black Backs, a Heritage Target T205 mini, and a Hit Parade insert from Goudey. In return, I got a handful of cards for my A's collection, as well as a small set that I've almost completed as well.

With the Mark Ellis 2008 Allen & Ginter in hand, I now only need Frank Thomas (#68) to complete the A's base set. The Barton knocks of one more card in my Heritage set, and I believe the only remaining rookie. I really love the design of the Baseball Heroes card, reminiscent of the Upper Deck of my youth. Even though some of the colored parallels are pretty bright, I still find them interesting, and would welcome any A's that others would like to part with.

My favorite part of the trade was the two Goudey cards of retired A's greats. Rollie and his mustache never get old, and the young Catfish in his vintage A's uniform is a really sweet card. The Catfish is actually a red back mini, the only As Goudey mini currently in my collection.

The finally part of the trade actually didn't involve Rickey Henderson, or the Oakland A's, which is pretty rare for me. I pulled a few of these Heritage Baseball Thrill cards in blasters this year, and really liked the design. Since it was a pretty small and non-short printed set, I thought it might be fun to collect them all. With these four, I now only have three remaining (cards #367, 370, and 373).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A's Card Trade with Eric Slette

I want to start by apologizing for not updating the blog in the past two weeks. I had some personal issues arise, and now that things are starting to get a little back to normal, I can return to more regularly scheduled posting.

I got an e-mail not too long ago from a reader offering an A's for Yankees card trade. Being an A's fan, and not too fond of the Yankees myself, I jumped at the chance to purge my collection of the Yankees that have been accumulating. Eric doesn't have his own blog, but he's made a name for himself by trading among fellow bloggers, and has pretty much cornered the market on any Yankees cards that may surface.

I sent Eric a small box of Yankees, and about a week later, received a similarly sized box full of A's, all of which were welcome, and many of which I still needed.

I have opened two blasters of Allen & Ginter this year, as well as a handful of individual packs, and aside from two minis, I didn't pull any of the A's base cards in the set. Eric sent over five of the seven base cards I needed, as well as two minis. The only base card that I still need is #68 Frank Thomas. The sweet Jimmie Foxx mini might be my favorite card of the entire trade.

Eric must open anything he can get his hands on, as I didn't have any cards from the above 2008 sets. The Chavez and Thomas are actually the only A's in the Upper Deck X set, and the Harden is one of only three A's in the Masterpieces release. He also included a bright green Upper Deck Heroes parallel of Daric Barton numbered out of 499.

The above cards are from the 2008 Upper Deck First Edition and First Edition Update sets. For some reason, the "First Edition" text was excluded from the Update release. It's sets like this that I don't really understand, considering the design is exactly the same as the Upper Deck base set. But, at least the photos are different.

Along with the wide variety of base cards and parallels, Eric also included this Joe Blanton game-used from the base Upper Deck set. These cards were based on the first game-used parallels that Upper Deck ever released. I still would like it if the jersey swatch used (a gray one) actually matched the jersey in the picture. You wouldn't think that it would be that difficult.

Along with the large stack of 2008 cards, he also sent a good variety of earlier releases, with these being some of my favorites. With the way that the A's team has been changing so drastically lately, I'm amazed that guys like Chavez and Crosby are still around. A majority of the other players on even the 2008 releases are no longer on the team.

We'll end this post with an "error" that I noticed when sorting out the cards. This final picture compares two versions of the Huston Street A's checklist card from 2008 Upper Deck Series 2. While sorting through the stack of 2008 Upper Deck, I noticed that the Street card on the top was missing the gray coloring behind the card number, the only card that was like that. I already had a version of the Street card, and when comparing the two, you can definitely see the difference. Has anyone else noticed any other variations like these in the Upper Deck set?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Rickey's In the Mail: Oddballs, Inserts and Parallels

These first two cards are unlicensed cards now known generally as "Broder" cards since the mysterious Rob Broder created quite a few different sets. The top card (Classic Baseball Superstars Series II #20) does not have a year, but I'm guessing it's from 1988-1989. The text and rounded corners look very similar to other Broder cards that I have. The bottom card (1988 Play Ball America) looks like a lot of the other unlicensed cards from the front, but the back is very unique. At some point in time I'll post pictures of all of these that I have. It's difficult to compile a want list of these cards since a complete listing of the different sets doesn't really exist anywhere.

1987 Stuart Panels #23 - The above Canadian issued card is one that I've been chasing for awhile, and actually came on a three card panel along with Don Mattingly and Dave Winfield. Eventually I'll track down a complete panel, but this will have to do for now. I'm now down to only four more cards left on my want list from the 1987 issues.

1989 Topps Batting Leaders #15 - This is a card that has been eluding me for awhile, and I was finally able to pick it up on eBay a few weeks ago. These cards were only found on the front of rack packs at Kmart. I'm now down to only 2 missing cards from 1989 (one is a base Topps Big, that I have no idea why I don't have already), and the other is a Topps Doubleheaders test issue, which will be a little harder (i.e. pricier) to track down.

1995 Upper Deck Special Edition Gold #245 - I've been looking for the gold parallel of this card for awhile, and finally received it from Perry over at RickeyHendersonCards. He had a doubles of the card, saw that I still needed it, and graciously sent it my way. When I first started this blog I definitely didn't foresee something like that happening! I'm now only missing 4 Rickey cards from 1995 (Blue Jays U.S. Playing Cards 3S and 11H, Classic 10 Phone Cards #42, and Pacific Prisms #102). I'm not sure why I don't have the Prisms card yet, but the other three have proved fairly elusive.

1996 Panini Stickers #222 - Another great addition, this sticker completes my base Panini collection. The only Panini stickers that I still need are from a non-Canadian release in 1991 (Panini French #171 and Panini French #196).

I also have an uncut sheet of the stickers that I'd acquired a few years ago, but wasn't able to find the individual sticker itself until now. It's actually a pretty impressive sheet, with 4 out of the 6 players being potential Hall of Famers.

1996 Red Foley #16 - This sticker, like most of the Red Foley releases, doesn't contain any sort of identifying information (set name, year, number), which would have made it difficult to identify if not for the collector I traded with. I now have all of the Red Foley stickers identified by Beckett (unless there are more sets out there, which based on Beckett's prior record, is something I can't discount)

The next post is a collection of more recent inserts and parallels. The first is a 2004 Playoff Prestige Changing Stripes Foil #1. I had the base version, and now have added the foil parallel as well. Next we have a 2005 Donruss Champions Impressions Red Sox #313, followed by a 2004 Leaf Exhibits 1947-66 Made in USA Signature #39 (At least, I think that's what it is as there are WAY to many variations of this card, but it is serial numbered to 66 copies). Finally, we have the base version of the 2003 Donruss Champions Grand Champions #24 insert, which features him in an A's jersey, which I always prefer.

This next lot contains two "base" cards as well as two great inserts. The first is a 2000 Paramount Update #84, a card that I never even remember seeing until I was offered it in a trade. It's followed by a 2001 Pacific Decade's Best #A1, an insert without any parallel versions, a rarity when it comes to Pacific releases. Next we have a 2002 Donruss Best of Fan Club FC #274 (it's the base card in the "Best of" set, but is basically just a parallel to the same card in the Fan Club set, while also being serial numbered to 2,025). Last, but certainly not least, is the card that is probably my favorite of all those in the post. It's a 2002 Diamond Kings T204 #RC4, that looks much better in person than it does in the scan. It really is a sweet "little" card.

2006 Topps Sterling #44 and #46 - I'm really impressed by these Sterling cards (definitely the thickest base cards I've ever seen), and now only need 4 more to complete the entire 10 card base set. Not a bad way to end a post, with two really nice base cards, one featuring Rickey in a retro A's jersey.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Oakland A's Cards and Non-Rickey Posts

As you may have noticed, I've written some posts lately that aren't exactly Rickey Henderson related. Although this blog's focus is obviously on Rickey, I'm a big Oakland A's fan as well, so will throw in some A's and collecting posts now and then.

Since starting this blog, and getting back into the hobby, I've completed a few trades with fellow online bloggers, sending them a stack of cards of their team for a stack of cards of mine. Since most of them have also recently returned to the hobby, they don't have any Rickey cards to spare, but they do all seem to have plenty of A's that they don't mind parting with.

I've finally found the time to put together a want/have list of all 2008 Oakland A's cards. For now, I'm going to focus only on cards from 2004 to the present, putting together the earlier want lists when I get a chance. The lists will mainly contain only the base cards and inserts from the sets, only listing the game-used, parallels etc. that I've already acquired. I'm still interested in any and all variations, but there are just too many too list.

I've also finally compiled a list of all of the 2008 cards that I have for trade, with a majority of them coming from Allen & Ginter, Goudey, and Heritage. I have a ton of cards from earlier years as well, but there's just too many to list.

If anyone is interested in an A's for "Insert Your Team Here" trade, whether blind or for specific cards, please don't hesitate to send me an e-mail. I know we'll be able to work something out, so that we're both happy in the end!