Thursday, November 16, 2017

How to Cut (or Not Cut) your Wax Box Bottoms

     I would not feel like my 1986-1991 Topps baseball card sets were complete if they did not include the 8-16 card Wax Box Bottom sets.

     Today, I received 6 uncut panels of 1989 Topps Wax Box Bottoms in the mail (not shown).  Although they were uncut, one of the panels had been trimmed around the border just a little to closely.

     Although I like to purchase my Wax Box Bottom cards uncut, I am guilty of cutting every single one of them into individual cards.  I actually wouldn't mind purchasing cut cards if I trusted the cutting ability of the people I was buying the cards from. 

     My main point is that I think a thin strip of border should be left around all four sides in you're going to cut them.  That way they'll be no question whether too much of the card has been cut off already.  If you cut the entire border off, people are not going to be able to tell how good your cutting skills are through an online picture, and will probably shy away from purchasing your Wax Box Cards. 

     Finding Wax Box Bottoms in top condition can be difficult, since this is the surface of a wax box that gets the most abused.  Out of a single panel, you might get 1 or 2 good cards.  The rest will probably be creased or scuffed.  In many cases, they'll have a wavy cut from someone that had no business holding a pair of scissors.

     At first, it may seem instinctive to cut off the entire border around the card.  Once have, you'll probably start questioning yourself if you did it right.  Then you'll keep cutting, and cutting, and cutting until you know you've messed up the card.  The only way to really tell if the card hasn't been cut up too badly is to leave a little bit of the black border around the edges.

     The 1987 Topps Wax Bottom cards shown above have all been cut in the manner I described with a little piece of the black border remaining.  The 1988 Topps Wax Bottom cards have also been cut in the manner I described, but the black border only exists between the 4 cards of this set with a white border around the exterior of the 4 four cards.  That leaves 2 black borders, and 2 white borders around each of the '88s.

      Of all the Wax Box Bottoms sets, the 1987 set is the only one that doesn't measure the 2-1/2" x 3-1/2" size.  It is also the only set that doesn't contain 16 cards.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

A few more Topps Gallery of Champions metal cards

     It's been a while since I talked Gallery of Champions cards.  These Aluminum, Bronze, Pewter, and Silver metal cards were released between 1983-1991, and were included in cases of Topps Traded, Topps Tiffany, and Topps Gallery of Champions. 

     The first metal card pictured is from the 1984 Topps Gallery of Immortals/Champions Bronze set of 12.  The 1984 set was actually the first set of 12 metal cards ever released in either Bronze or Silver parallel editions (no aluminum until 1986).  No sets were released in 1983.

      A different set known as the Gallery of Champions Bronze Premiums, was released one Bronze metal card every year beginning in 1983 and lasting until 1991 for a total of 9 cards in that set.  The Bronze premiums were not parallels like the Aluminum, Bronze, and Silver sets.  The Bronze Premiums featured a different current player in 1983-1985, and then a legendary player reprint in 1986-1991. 

     Aside from the Aluminum, Bronze, and Silver 12-card Base sets from 1984-1991, and the one card a year Bronze Premiums for a total of 9-cards from 1983-1991.  There was also one more GC set released (not pictured). 

     The Gallery of Champions Pewter Bonuses was an 8-card set released one every year from 1984-1991 similar to the Bronze Premium set.  The difference between the Pewter Bonuses and the Bronze Premiums (beside material) is that the Pewter Bonuses were parallel cards to the base set and the Bronze Premiums were not.

     What I have shown here are 6 different metal cards from the 1988 GC Aluminum set. 

     The 1988 Aluminum set was probably the most massed-produced set of the entire series, and represents a good starting point for someone looking to get into metal cards. 

     Before 1988, the GC Aluminum sets were not sold with their own display cases ('86-'87).  The 1988 GC Aluminum set is the first Aluminum set to come with its own case; a practice that continued through 1991.

     Being the most affordable set, I purchased 4 extra '88GC Aluminum sets just for the extra display cases that I used to hold the '83-'91 Bronze Premiums, '84-'91 Pewter Bonuses, '86 Aluminums, and '87 Aluminums.

     I haven't quite completed the entire series of Gallery of Champions yet because I'm still missing the Pewter Bonuses from 1984 and 1990.  I don't collect the Silver sets due to price.  I'm still on the  fence with the Bronze Base sets from 1986-1991 since I was able to complete those in the Aluminum version.  I had no choice but to get the Bronze versions for 1984-1985.   

     I thought that I'd just summarize up the Gallery of Champions series for anyone that may be interested in them, but still on the fence about collecting them.  It can be a little confusing for "complete-ists" since some of the releases are parallels, while others are considered premiums or bonuses.

     Existing price guides are completely out of sync with the market value for these metal cards, so I'll post something on my "Grading and Pricing" page that I've developed based on my experience buying and selling these.  It'll remain a work in progress. 

1967 Topps San Francisco Giants Team Set

     Here another complete team set from my 1967 Topps binder.  I've already shown the Dodgers and Senators teams, and have recently completed the Braves team.

     The '67T Giants team contained 4 Hall of Famers: Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Gaylord Perry, and Juan Marichal.

      The Giants actually finished 2nd in the National League behind the '67 World Series champion Cardinals.

Since the 1st NLCS wasn't played until 1969, the Giants 2nd place finish meant the end of their season.

     The batting leaders were Jesus Alou with a .292 AVG, Jim Ray Hart with 99 RBI, and Willie McCovey with 99 HR.

     The pitching leaders were Mike McCormick with 22 Wins, Frank Linzy with a 1.51 ERA in 95.2 innings pitched, Gaylord Perry with a 2.61 ERA in 293 innings pitched, and Gaylord Perry with 230 Strikeouts.

     The primary starting pitchers were Gaylord Perry (37 GS), Mike McCormick (35 GS), Juan Marichal (26 GS), and Ray Sadecki (24 GS).  Frank Linzy was the primary closer (44 GF).

   The primary position players were Tom Haller C, Willie McCovey 1B, Tito Fuentes 2B, Jim Ray Hart/Jim Davenport 3B, Hal Lanier SS, Jesus Alou/Jim Ray Hart LF, Willie Mays CF, and Ollie Brown RF.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Congratulations to the 55-year old Houston Astros team

     After 56 full seasons of play (but not quite 56 years old yet), the Houston Astros have finally won the World Series by beating the Los Angeles "Hollywood" Dodgers in 7 games.

     Here is the complete 1962 Topps Houston Colt .45s/Astros team set in order by player age--beginning with Manager Harry Craft, and ending with rookie player Dave Giusti.

      The original team played as the Houston Colt .45s in 1962, finishing 8th out of 10 teams in the National League (better than the Cubs and Mets).

     The Colt .45s played at Colt Stadium for 3 seasons before moving to the Astrodome and changing their name to the Astros in 1965.

     The 1962 team batting leader was Roman Mejias with a .286 Batting Average, 76 RBI, and 24 HR's.

     For team pitching, Bob Bruce (.526 pct) & Turk Farrell (.333 pct) led with 10 Wins each.

     The team ERA leaders were Don McMahon with 1.53 in 76.2 innings, Jim Umbricht with 2.01 in 67 innings, and Turk Farrell with 3.02 in 241.2 innings pitched.

     The oldest players on the team were Jim Pendleton at 38, Bob Cerv at 37, and Billy Goodman & Bobby Shantz at 36.

     The youngest players on the team were Ernie Fazio & Ron Davis at 20, Dave Giusti & George Williams at 22, and Merritt Ranew & Bob Aspromonte at 24.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Pages from my Binders: 1993 Topps Yankees Rookies

     While searching through my 1016-card Topps baseball card set from 1993 (825 base + 132 traded + 48 black gold + 9 pre-production + 2 miscellaneous), I came across an interesting page from my binder that I wanted to share.  My collecting habits are not by the straight and narrow--by any means.  I integrate like cards such as base and traded sets, etc.  I also integrate 'cards that never were' as seen below with the '93T Derek Jeter variation card from the 2006 Topps Rookies of the Week insert set.  I've also included a 1993 Bowman Mariano Rivera card since I couldn't understand why didn't didn't already have one having been signed with the Yankees 2 years earlier, and being 6 years older than Derek Jeter.  The set is organized by team performance and then player age.   

Friday, October 20, 2017

Roadblock to Completing my 1968 Topps Set

     The only thing keeping me from claiming victory on the 1968 Topps baseball card set is a single rookie of a well-known player named Nolan Ryan.

     Although I stopped focusing on completing my sets in reverse chronological order where between the 1970-1972 sets due to cost inefficiencies, I still try to emphasize working backwards as much as I can when the price is right.

     Although I'm only 46 cards away from the '67T set and only 33 cards away from the '66T set, it's hard to feel like I'm really working on those sets since I'm still missing 1 card to complete the '68T set.

     What I do have is a 2003 Topps Shoebox Collection #40 Nolan Ryan RC reprint, which I'm using as a placeholder for now. 

          I also have a 2006 Topps Rookie of the Week #5 Nolan Ryan "card that never was" variation integrated with my set.  That's just something I like to do.  I've integrated Rookie of the Week, Fan Favorites, National Convention, Lost Cards, and other "cards that never were" variations into my vintage sets.  I actually have a 2007 National Convention "cards that never was" for a 1967 Topps Nolan Ryan XRC integrated into my '67T set. 

     I really hope to get a real Nolan Ryan RC soon.