Friday, July 23, 2010

A Very Burbank Birthday

Now that my latest birthday is behind me, it's time to revel in the spoils. My lovely wife gave me a Beckett gift certificate, and I also received some other funds which were partially used towards expanding the Rickey collection.

Most player collectors probably have a love/hate relationships with Burbank Sportscards, and I do as well. If you're looking for that hard-to-find 90's insert or parallel, there's a good chance that they have it. You'll also probably pay an arm and a leg in the process, so it all comes down to how much you want it. But, with a little digging, you can surprisingly find a few "deals" hidden among the $499 autographed relics.

1994 Stadium Club First Day Issue #654 (print run 2,000) -- I'm not sure why I haven't been able to track this one down already, as with 2,000 of them out there, it shouldn't have been too hard to find. But, 1994 Stadium Club finally complete, for a total of 9 cards including Golden Rainbow, Members Only, and First Day Issue parallels.

1996 Leaf Signature Platinum Press Proofs #142 (print run 150) -- I've never seen this card for sale on eBay, so even though the price was a bit high, I have a feeling it would have been much more had it actually been put up for auction. This now completes the 1996 Leaf Signature set, with a base card along with the gold and platinum press proofs.

1998 Circa Thunder Rave #87 #/150 -- It was nice to finally be able to track this one down, but the elusive Super Rave #/25 is still out there somewhere!

1998 Pacific Platinum Blue #9 (print run 67) $10.65 -- I now have all 3 of the 1998 Pacific Parallels which included the Silver and Red Threatt (yes, it's spelled with two "t"'s) versions.

1999 Upper Deck Encore FX Gold #58 #/125 $19.05 -- This is another card that I don't remember ever seeing for sale on eBay. It's also nice that 1999 Upper Deck Encore only had two cards, the base card, and this parallel.

2003 Donruss Elite Throwback Threads #25 #/250 $9.90 -- There are 3 "base" Throwback Threads in the 2003, all #/250, but this is the first one that I've picked up so far.

2003 Topps Chrome Refractors #186 #/699 -- I recently purchased the Gold Refractor #/449 as well, but am still looking for the Black Refractor #/199 and the Uncirculated X-Fractor #/50.

2003 Topps Tribute Contemporary Memorable Materials Relics #RH $15.45 -- Although not serial numbered, these 2003 Topps Tribute relics don't surface very often, as they are pretty nice looking cards. Plus, most of them feature Rickey in vintage A's gear, which is always a plus!

I had a lot of fun on my Beckett shopping spree, and the early holes in the collection are slowly dwindling. The thrill of the hunt in tracking cards down one-by-one is fun, but every once in a while, adding a stack of cards all at once can be just as fun!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

September 1982 A's News Special Edition

A few weeks ago Oakland A's Collectibles posted a special edition of the A's Magazine with a great drawing of Rickey Henderson on the cover. I asked John, who runs the blog, for some more details about the magazine, and he said that the whole issue was dedicated to Rickey! He was nice enough to send over scans of the entire magazine, which I can read, but once uploaded to Photobucket, they don't open up large enough. (If anyone can provide any technical assistance, it would be greatly appreciated). You can at least enjoy the pictures in this great vintage piece of Rickey memorabilia.

Thanks again John!

Monday, July 19, 2010

2010 All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game

During All-Star weekend in Anaheim, Rickey Henderson participated in the celebrity softball game, which was played on the Sunday before the game (although it was shown on TV tape-delayed after the Home Run Derby on Monday). Here's a clip of Rickey's lead-off homer (one of two homers that he hit) and the ensuing classic-Rickey home run trot.

Although I was not able to attend the game, a fellow Rickey fan was (thanks David!), and he talked one of the photographs on hand into e-mailing him some extra shots of Rickey. The photos below are courtesy of photographer Jon Gaede.

From what I saw of the game (the Home Run Derby ran over, and I forgot to extend my DVR timer), Rickey always looked like he was having a lot of fun!

Interesting group picture, MC Hammer (who also homered), actor Michael Clarke Duncan, and Rickey.

While attending the weekend festivities, Rickey was also signing autographs at the All-Star Fanfest. This ticket was recently sold on eBay, and surprisingly, also comes with an MLB authenticated hologram.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

2009 Upper Deck 1989 20th Anniversary Buybacks

When I saw that Upper Deck was inserting buybacks of their inaugural 1989 set into packs of 2009 cards, I was intrigued, but didn't have high hopes of actually obtaining the Rickey. Buyback cards are notoriously expensive, especially among players with a large collector following such as Rickey. Since it had now been almost a year since they were first released, and I'd still never seen one, I was beginning to think the Rickey didn't even exist. That is...until last week!

Here's the Rickey buyback, which I finally got in the mail yesterday. Since this is the only one that I've ever seen, I'm not sure how many actually exist, but it has to be a fairly limited print run. I e-mailed Upper Deck to ask, but is usually the case, I've yet to receive a response. I know that the buybacks were inserted approximately 1 per box in 2009 Upper Deck Series 2 and 2009 Upper Deck SPX, and they were probably included in other releases as well.

In the lower left hand corner is the buyback stamp which states "20th Anniversary Buyback" in typical Upper Deck hologram form. I like the fact that they actually modified the cards to indicate that they were buybacks, which allows you to actually differentiate them from the initial release. Receiving a regular 1989 Upper Deck card (unless it's the Griffey rookie), would just not be that exciting.

The back of the card is typical 1989 Upper Deck, but it was pretty exciting when they were first released. I still remember how crazy I thought it was that they were charging over $1.00 a pack, if you could even find them in stores. As nice as the photos (on the front and back of the cards) were, I usually couldn't pass up buying a couple of packs of Topps for the same price.

If any player/team collectors know any more details about this release, I'd definitely appreciate the feedback. Has anyone seen more than one copy of the same card? I don't think that it's a #1/1, but would be interested in finding out how many there actually are.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Game-Used Additions in Recent Months: Part II

As a follow-up to my Rickey Henderson memorabilia post from last week, here are the rest of my recently acquired game-used cards, this time featuring those that are vertically oriented. As I did previously, I've kept the comments to a minimum, and let the cards speak for themselves.

I'm not quite sure why, but the horizontal cards were much more impressive than the vertical cards, but that's probably a coincidence. Dispute some fairly plain jersey swatches on a couple of these cards, they are all fairly well designed, and are nice pick-ups for the collection.

As always, if there's any questions on any of these cards, don't hesitate to post a comment, or send me an e-mail. I'm always willing to "talk Rickey!"