Stadium Fantasium

…Where Life's a Pitch

At the Game: Dodgers vs. Rangers

Woo man! I’m so behind here on my blogging, my bad…I’ve been so busy with adjusting to my new work location (same employer, though). I’ve also been putting in some hours at my old work location (but with a new employer). So I’ve been working two jobs lately leaving little time for blogging or the hobby.

But the good new is I was still able to attend the June 12 Dodgers vs. Texas Rangers game at Dodger Stadium and pick up a few packs of the 90’s edition of the Dodger’s 60th Anniversary Collector Cards. These cards feature the 1994 Topps design (a curious choice since 1994 was a strike year for MLB).

So this time I wasn’t able to arrive extra early to watch batting practice near the field (due to working a bit of overtime) but I still got a few shots of the pregame activities including a shot of the cases of giveaway cards and the lineup exchange at home plate.

Cases of 2018 Dodgers 60th Anniversary Collector Cards

Here’s a picture from up high behind the Rangers dugout. That’s former Dodger Adrian Beltre high-fiving a Rangers teammate…

Rangers dugout June 12 2018

…and the Dodgers take the field with some lucky kids who each get a baseball autographed right on the field.

Here’s some first-inning action in which Dodgers rookie pitcher Caleb Ferguson is pitching to Shin-Soo Choo. The Rangers’ starting pitcher this night was none other than Bartolo Colon.

Wow, it’s like having 3 1/2 outfielders…

Thanks to a 7-run fourth inning, the Dodgers went on to win the game 12-5.

Dodgers win

And here are the cards!

2018 Dodgers 60th Anniversary cards 21 thru 27
2018toppsdodgers60thlad-28a

Once again as in the previous three 60th Anniversary sets, the same six Dodgers are featured in the first six cards. The seventh card features ’90’s Dodger legend Mike Piazza. Here’s a look at the original 1994 Topps Mike Piazza card. Again Topps did a very nice job of replicating the front and back of the 1994 Topps flagship design. By adding an action photo to the back of the cards, a la the 1994 design, these card backs look much more dynamic and eye-catching than the previous sets of Anniversary cards.

1994topps01a

Just for kicks, here’s a side-by-side comparison of a couple of 2018 Topps Chris Taylor cards. In case you didn’t know, the card on the right is a Series 2 Topps Salute insert card. These cards make me wonder if other images from the Anniversary cards are used in other Topps products.

 

2018toppsct3cards01a

So we give a sincere Stadium Fantasium tip o’ the cap to the Dodgers, Topps and the sponsors for these stadium giveaway cards. Any ideas on who the Dodgers will feature on the 2000’s edition of these 60th Anniversary cards? I think I already know, so stay tuned…

Blog Bat Around: What I Collect

Inspired by “Blog Bat Around” blog posts by the brilliant minds at Night Owl Cards, The Collective Mind, The Shlabotnik Report, Cardboard History, $30 a Week Habit, Not Another Baseball Card Blog and others.

 

Being a low-budget set collector, I try to keep my collecting wants pretty simple but like most card collectors, the collection can still get pretty huge. Most of my sets are incomplete but I’m pretty sure most of them are at least 80% complete. As I slowly inventory these cards and others, I’ll post wantlists and trade lists on the “Wantlists” and “Trading Block” portion of the blog. Eventually, all of these cards will make it out of their 800-count boxes and into binders. The cards/items featured below are from my collection. Although most of the card images I use feature the Los Angeles Dodgers, I am not a team collector nor a player collector (ain’t got time for that, unfortunately).

 

BASEBALL

Topps Baseball

Various Topps Dodgers Cards

If I had to guess, Topps flagship baseball comprises maybe about 60% of my total collection. I have incomplete Topps flagship baseball sets from 1969 through the present (except for 1971 of which I have none). Besides flagship, the only other Topps baseball cards I have are some 2002 Topps Total (very low priority) and 2018 Topps Heritage (82% complete–very high priority).

 

Along with the usual base cards, I like to collect the error/variation cards, inserts, parallels, autos, relic, pre-production cards and even wrappers (which will also go into binders). I don’t really expect to obtain every single parallel/insert/relic/auto set (unless I get a huge raise in pay) but it would be cool if I could complete a few and maybe even complete a master set. There is one recent trend in insert cards that I am not excited about and that is buyback cards. I have a handful of them and those will go on on the Stadium Fantasium Trading Block in the near future.

 

Fleer/Donruss/Score/Pacific

1981 introduced new baseball cards by companies other than Topps. I was curious about this fresh new product and bought plenty of Fleer and Donruss baseball cards along with Topps. I have incomplete Fleer (or Fleer Tradition) sets from 1981 through 2006 (except 1994). As for Donruss, I still need to finish the 1981 through 1993 sets and the 2004 set. Score did not have as long a run as Fleer or Donruss but I did manage to collect near-complete Score sets from 1988 to 1993, 1995, 1997 and 1998. The only Pacific product I’ve ever collected was the 1980-83 Cramer Legends and Pacific Legends in 1988 and 1989. I even have some 2000 Skybox Dominion baseball cards (a 300-card set released by Fleer that I may yet complete).

As with Topps, I like to collect error/variation cards, inserts, parallels, autos, relic cards and wrappers from Fleer, Donruss, Score and Cramer/Pacific Legends. I also like the stickers and puzzle pieces included in the packs of these cards.

 

Food Issues and Oddball Sets

I’ve always been attracted to the not-so-easy-to-collect cards from cereal boxes, packages of cookies, other foods and even nearby restaurants. These “food issue” oddball sets were plentiful late last century but are almost nonexistent now. I suspect that for most companies it’s just not economically desirable to include baseball cards with their product. Still whenever I walk into a market, I make it a point to visit the cereal aisle to see if I’ll be pleasantly surprised to find a cereal product with a free baseball card packed inside. Generally I try to avoid the factory sets and store sets such as the ones from KMart, Toys ‘R Us and Kaybee. So here are the food issues and a couple of other oddball sets I’d like to complete some day (listed chronologically):

  1. 1970-82 Kellogg’s
  2. 1983 Donruss Action All Stars
  3. 1987 Ralston Purina
  4. 1987 Topps Nestlé Dream Team
  5. 1988 Nestlé
  6. 1989 Topps Cap’n Crunch
  7. 1990-92 Jumbo Sunflower Seeds
  8. 1990-92 Post
  9. 1991-97 Denny’s Holograms/Grand Slam
  10. 1991-93 Jimmy Dean
  11. 1992 Score Proctor & Gamble (I have several original cello-wrapped packs of this 18-card set)
  12. 1993 Hostess
  13. “National Trading Card Day” cards from various years

FOOTBALL

Topps and Other Football Sets

My football collection consists mainly of 1969-74 and 1976-79 Topps (all near-complete, I think). I also have a complete set of 1970 Kellogg’s football (purchased via mail-in offer in 1970) and a few 1971 Kellogg’s also. Rounding out the football card collection is 1989 and 1990 Pro Set. As I get around to inventorying my football sets, I’ll be putting the dupes in their own football section of the Stadium Fantasium Trading Block, along with a few other random football cards from other sets obtained from NPN (No Purchase Necessary) offers or from other collectors over the years.

 

NON-SPORT

The only two non-sport card sets I think I’d like to complete are the 1992 Lime Rock MAD Magazine (Series 1 & 2) and 1992 Pro Set Dinosaurs. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that MAD Magazine and the 1991-94 ABC-TV show Dinosaurs are two guilty pleasures of mine–gotta love them! Most of us enjoy MAD Magazine for its iconic satire of pop culture. Conceived by the late Jim Henson of Muppet’s fame, Dinosaurs was a rather under-rated sitcom/satire featuring the voice talent of Stuart Pankin (from HBO’s classic “Not Necessarily the News”), Jessica Walter, Sally Struthers, and Kevin Clash (Sesame Street’s Elmo). Other periodic Dinosaurs characters were voiced by Sherman Hemsley, Michael McKean, Christopher Meloni (from “Law and Order SVU), Tim Curry, Michael Dorn, Robert Picardo, Dan Castallaneta (aka the voice of Homer Simpson), Jason Alexander, Julie Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, Buddy Hackett, Jeffrey Tambor and Tony Shalhoub. Good times!

 

So there you have it. The scope of my collection may be rather limited compared to other collectors but it’s more than enough for me. This is why I’m proud to say that I’m never bored. Along with following the Dodgers, managing my fantasy baseball teams and writing this blog (oh, and maintaining a relationship with the fiancée), I always have something to occupy my non-working quiet time. Will there ever be a light at the end of the tunnel? Stay tuned…

Mailday: More Goodness from Nachos Grande

A few days after fellow blogger Nachos Grande hosted a 2018 Topps Heritage three-box break, I checked out the wantlist on his blog and saw that he needed some 2018 Topps Series 1 base cards. I was able to come up with nine cards and we worked out a trade. He sent me some needed 2018 Topps Series 1 inserts and a 2018 Topps Heritage base card.

Huge thanks to Chris of Nachos Grande for a much appreciated trade and for an awesome Nachos Grande blog post about our trade! I’m so looking forward to more terrific future trades with Nachos Grande! Stay tuned…

Mailday: First Trade on Trading Cards DB and Vintage Goodness

Trading Card Database Trade

The Trading Card Database (aka TCDB) has been one of my go-to resources for helping me properly identify various cards in my collection. I’ve been using that wonderful site for years and have been so impressed with its growth and usability. So I recently decided to register as a TCDB member and contribute some card images of my cards that weren’t already on the site. I also input my 2018 Topps cards onto their “Collection” feature and created a trade list and wantlist of 2018 Topps cards. In case you didn’t know, what’s also cool about TCDB is that reports are generated of member trade lists and wantlists so that other members can initiate trades. This resulted in a very nice TCDB member named SteelPerogie offering to make a small trade with me. He asked for a couple of ’83 inserts of the Cubs and offered a couple of ’83 inserts that I needed (pictured above). SteelPerogie even included a couple of Topps coupons, which I immediately used to buy more 2018 Topps Heritage cards. Of course I’m especially happy to get the Bellinger card. Now I’m only 77 cards away from completing the 2018 Series 1 (100 cards) portion of the 1983 insert set. I’m not in an urgent rush so I’ll be pretty happy if I can just get to 50% of this insert set before the end of the year. Thanks Steelperogie!

Vintage Goodness

The day I received the ’83 Topps inserts, I also received a 1969 Topps card that I purchased from an eBay seller. The acquisition of this near-mint #375 card of HOFer Harmon Killebrew means I only need five more cards to complete the set, not including the variations and deckle edge inserts. I know NM condition cards of the elusive five will cost an extremely pretty penny but I’m in it for the long haul. The 1969 cards are the first I ever bought as a youngster, so these are pretty special to me. I also input my 1969 Topps cards and deckle edge cards into the Trading Card Database. Perhaps TCDB will also have a hand in helping me complete the ’69s.

Stay tuned…

Group Case Break Loot: 2018 Topps Baseball Series 1

2018, Major League Materials back of #MLB-KB Kris Bryant

Have you ever participated in a group/case break? In case you didn’t know, it’s where a trusted host or case breaker purchases a case (or cases) of a card product and sells a team spot/slot to card collectors. Each spot gets you all of the base/inserts/hits of that particular team. Some case breakers let you pick your team (PYT) while others randomly assign a team. This year I went a little crazy and bought four spots in three different 2018 Topps Series 1 case breaks. Shortly after Series 1 was released, my local card shop, Hall of Fame Baseball Cards, ran a random team break of a case of Series 1 hobby boxes and a random team break of Series 1 jumbo boxes. I also bought a spot in a PYT case break of Series 1 hobby boxes held by Crackin’ Wax. Each case breaker also included cards from the Topps Silver Pack promotion. Here are the teams I ended up with:

HOFBC Hobby Box Break: Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays

HOFBC Jumbo Box Break: Baltimore Orioles

CW: Chicago Cubs (I would have picked the Dodgers but they were already chosen by someone else)

Of course when you participate in these case breaks, you end up with quite a few base card duplicates. Here are the notable cards.

Parallel Cards

Inserts

The Lone Hit

So out of these four case break spots, I got only one hit but its a pretty good one…

Whatever duplicate I got in my jumbo box will be listed in (hopefully soon) in the site’s Trading Block. My ultimate goal is to see how far I can get in building a 2018 Topps master set.

WordPress Notes

As a baseball card/computer geek, I love this pursuit of building a decent baseball card blog. To that end, I am experimenting with displaying card images in galleries such as those above. If you haven’t already, hover your mouse over any card image above. Then click it. To get back to this post, I suggest clicking the ‘Back’ arrow next to your browser’s address bar.

Because of the sheer number of images I wanted to post, it took a lot more time than I wanted to add a second post to the blog. But I do like the result of posting the card images in galleries. The WordPress plug-in used above is called FooGallery. I’m not 100% sure I will continue to use a gallery plug-in to display images in posts. It’s definitely different from the way most hobby bloggers post their images. But I’m wondering if it’s overkill and worth the trouble. However, I am definitely leaning towards using this gallery plug-in to display cards in the Trading Block. This would allow those checking out my trade lists to see a large image of a card they are interested in obtaining. I think this feature would especially be useful to show the condition of vintage cards I want to trade. fwiw, my duplicate vintage cards go back only to around 1966 and I don’t have a whole bunch of ’60’s vintage..

Dodger Notes

Spring training games have begun and I’m happy about that. But it is still disturbing to me that there are plenty of really good free agent players still not signed to a Major League roster. I won’t be surprised if this situation results in some kind of litigation. Anyways its nice to hear my Dodgers back in action on the radio (can’t see ’em on TV since the Dodger network isn’t available on my cable provider in SoCal).

Things to Do List

  • Inventory my sets
  • Create and maintain wantlists
  • Create and continually update trade lists for the Trading Block
  • Add new features to Stadium Fantasium such as some kind of card wish list
  • Increase participation in the card collecting community (tweeting, posting my Stadium Fantasium Facebook page, reading and commenting on other blogs, etc.)
  • Discover other hobby blogs and add them to the ‘Blogs To Root For’ list in the right sidebar.
  • Join some fantasy baseball leagues
  • Keep a list of ideas for new blog content

Stay tuned…

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About Me

bbcardz logo

Long time set collector with a particular passion for Topps flagship baseball cards along with some cards from other sets/sports (almost no Upper Deck, Panini, high-end or hockey to see here).

Copyright © 2018 Stadium Fantasium
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