Thursday, September 3, 2015

Joe Carter rainbows ... 90s style

With the way card manufacturers go about producing parallels these days, it seems you need to commit to double-digits of any given card to even be in the ballpark of having a chance to "complete the rainbow". Twenty years ago, though, that wasn't the case.

In fact, I'm not even sure I can name a set prior to 1992 that had parallels. I'm sure there must have been one, but I don't know what it is. What I do remember is 1992 and 1993 Topps having the various flavours of gold parallels. But it was the 1994 Collector's Choice parallels that have always been my favourite. I continue to debate with myself about whether or not I should just bite the bullet and attempt to complete the entire 94 CC set in base, silver and gold (knowing that the gold would be a very long term project).

Until then, I'm quite happy just pursuing the Toronto Blue Jays -- though I must admit that as that winds down, and even as I shift my focus to Joe Carter cards, I am quietly considering picking another team to "complete". But I digress...

Today I thought it might be fun just to look at a couple of "simple" rainbows that I've put together within my Joe Carter collection. The first pic shows a scan of the base, silver and gold parallel from the 1994 Collector's Choice release. I still need to grab a Carter for my "team set" (no double dipping!), but am thrilled to at least have one so far.

By the time 1995 rolled around, I had basically stopped buying baseball cards. I'm sure I bought some, but to be honest, I don't remember. And I definitely didn't still have any. The three Carters shown below are from the 1995 Collector's Choice set, which continued to issue 3 "versions" of each card, but much less subtly. I actually much prefer the gold border on the 1994 set. If the light isn't right, it can actually be difficult to see the gold in the signature of the 1995 version. When the silver and gold are side-by-side it's pretty easy.

Anyway, that's really all. I don't expect this pace to continue, but I've had time to scan cards the last couple days and figured I should spin some of those scans into blog posts.

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Let's look at some autographed relics

When I was a kid, having an autographed card in your collection was a big deal. A BIG deal. Not everyone had one, a couple guys might have 1 or 2, but nobody had 5 or 10. Just didn't happen.

Then there was limited print stuff. Remember how crazy 1991 Upper Deck's "Find the Nolan" contest was? I couldn't tell you how many packs we ripped into as kids just hoping that somebody in our group would find it. Nobody did. And remember Donruss Elite? Even with print runs upto like 10,000 they were still impossible to find. Series signature stuff to 5,000? Forget it.

And NOBODY talked about game used anything. Nobody had ever caught a ball, let alone owning a bat, jersey, glove, etc.

Fast forward a few decades, and it's not unreasonable to have multiple autographed cards, from print runs far more limited than "Find the Nolan" with bits and pieces of game used material "built-in". The hobby has changed some, hasn't it?

Clearly a lot has changed. In the game, the hobby, the world. I won't turn this into a "remember when..." post, though. As much as I preferred the days when I got out of bed and didn't already have mysteriously aching knees, I don't mind what the hobby has evolved to.

At the start of this year, I owned 1 Joe Carter "relic". It also happened to be autographed. I have posted about this card before. In the past few months I have added 40-something Joe Carter relics/autos to my collection. It's become a rather active area of collecting for me. I still appreciate and collect common cards, of course, but I like to sprinkle in a relic pickup when the price is right. Especially the autographed type.

Anyway, there you have 'em. 5 autographed relic cards of Joe Carter. 4 of them are also numbered.

Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Well it's no Buck Weaver, but ...

Today kicks off two weeks of vacation for me. A little odd to start on a Tuesday, I admit, but a holiday is a holiday. And regardless of what day of the week it is, how better way to start a vacation than to arrive home and find a COMC package waiting on my front porch? This was a particularly eventful parcel, too, as it contained 3 more 1994 Collector's Choice gold parallels, another 1977 O-Pee-Chee Blue Jay and over 2 dozen Joe Carter cards, bringing my Zistle total to 540.

With any luck, I'll showcase some of the other stuff in a subsequent post in the next couple days, but today I want to focus on one card: A 2011 Tristar OBAK T4 Cabinet. For those that aren't aware, the OBAK name comes a tobacco brand that issued baseball cards of the PCL and NWL from 1909-11. In many respects, the set is similar to the T206 set of the same years, featuring different advertising backs, similar lithography and a pretty large checklist. That series, designated T212, features cards of Ten Million, Buck Weaver and Chick Gandil, among others.

Also offered by OBAK, was a series of cabinet cards that could be redeemed in exchange for cigarette pack coupons. This series, as you may have guessed, has been designated T4. Many of the cards that are part of that set have yet to be confirmed as even still existing. Quite a few of the players in this checklist are unknown to the mainstream (even among prewar collectors), but the set remains very popular due to it's rarity. In 2011, a Buck Weaver from the set sold at auction for nearly 20K.

To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the Tristar OBAK series. But I really like these cabinets. When this popped up on COMC a couple weeks ago, I jumped on it without even blinking. I actually don't even know what I paid for it (yes, I could check), I just saw the Carter OBAK and grabbed it. It wasn't even until I got the card in hand yesterday that I realized the player on the other side is Bobby Thomson and not Bill Mazeroski. Talk about attention to detail on my part ;)

Anyway, here they are. Like the original OBAK, these cards measure about 3.5" x 5.5", have that kinda burlap-y brown colour and an oval frame featuring a player picture. The crossed backs logo shown on the bottom left of the front of the card is similar to what is found on the originals. The picture of Thomson on the back is Tristar putting their own spin on the design, as the originals have blank backs. Yeah, it works. Like I said, not a big fan of the Tristar OBAK stuff, but I do like these cabinets. I have no idea how I'm going to store this with the rest of my Carters, though, so with only 15 in the set maybe I should just collect them all for a binder of their own ;)

Thanks for reading.