Instead of a Box of 2015 Topps Series 1

So, let me say, I like 2015 Topps Series 1. In fact, I like it a lot. While the usual annoying things are all over the set (variations, parallels, worthless relics, bad auto selection, etc, etc, etc), I still think this is the finest base set Topps has put out since I returned to the hobby.

In fact, I liked the set so much, I sat here for over an hour last week with a Jumbo Hobby Box in a cart at Blowout trying to convince myself to pull the trigger. Instead, I bought a base set from a breaker and the stacks of cards you see below. I got all these for substantially less than the box would have been.

Like a lot of old time set collectors, I bitch a lot about the direction Topps has taken the base set and Heritage and I still have my qualms. I’m told the hobby has passed me by. I guess it has. I know that I will never have the same connection with a set I buy whole as one I put together by opening packs or, like my vintage team sets, acquire as a card here and there. So be it. I’ll miss opening packs. I’ll miss trading with the friends I made online when trying to build a new set. When I get to sort my new vintage cards though, I’ll get over it and I’ll get over it quickly.

Another Team Set Down

Christmas of 2013, I was fortunate enough to get a complete 1955 Bowman team set from my in-laws. Yesterday in the mail, courtesy of an eBay seller I’ve never done business with, I was able to get a complete 1954 Bowman Braves team set for 24 dollars. These are vintage cards the way I love vintage cards. Creased? Yes. Corners rounded? You bet. Needless to say, I love these cards.

We argue and argue about the merits of modern cards. We debate every detsil of every set and that’s OK. But vintage? Vintage NEVER disappoints.

Still in Mourning

A sincere question: how many of you have a favorite player that plays for a team that is not your favorite? I’m not talking about a player you LIKE, I’m talking about your number one guy.

Looking for Mickey Mantle …

A recent card gifted to me by my Father in Law.
A recent card gifted to me by my Father in Law.

Two years ago, my Father in Law didn’t collect baseball cards, but he did have a Mickey Mantle card. He was a childhood fan of Mantle, so one year for Christmas, I purchased him a nice looking 1964 Topps Giant card of Mantle. He does a lot of antiquing and on occasion, I’ll ride around with him and pick up a few cards. Plus, he’s been known to get me some pretty awesome stuff. (For example, last year for Christmas, he got me a 1955 Bowman Braves team set.) He’s a good guy.

So, one day, he decided he was going to start collecting Mickey Mantle cards. Fast forward two years and he has amassed an impressive collection. He doesn’t have a 52 Topps Mantle, or a 51 or 52 Bowman Mantle, but he has all the other cards released during Mantle’s career. He’s gotten a large number of the odd cards as well, like the Post cards and Bazooka for example.

Additionally, he’s been grabbing a number of the recent Mantle cards as well. He’s a meticulous person and slightly OCD which might explain why he actually completed the ridiculous Home Run History insert set from Topps. And the Mickey Mantle Story set.

Well, while he saves up and looks for bargains on a 52 Bowman, he wanted something else to collect of Mantle, and he’s chosen yet another ridiculous set to chase. He wants to get every Mickey Mantle Moments & Milestones card. Yes, he’s insane.

He told me he’s not interested in putting together a want list yet, but he’s willing to purchase lots of them. So, have any of you got any you want to sell? Let me know and I’ll put you in touch with him.

(The card pictured above is one he recently upgraded. It’s a big deal to me because he bequeathed this one to me. It’s mine! It’s mine! It’s all mine.)


I wasn’t supposed to be home today. I was supposed to be in Cooperstown. I had rooms booked for myself, my Dad and my brother. We had plans to drive up. We had plans to enjoy the pre-induction festivities. We had plans to watch as Bobby Cox, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Then, work happenned. Our entire consulting practice was ordered to Chicago for a few days this week and I’ve been put on-call at a client for the weekend. Were these things actually important? No. The meeting in Chicago was a pointless “get to know us” affair that only served to re-inforce that my personal goals do not align with those of the multi-national corporation that employs me. That’s fine of course. I’m a professional malcontent, but I work hard at my job, even if I don’t love it.

As for being on-call, if something were to go wrong with the application that I support this weekend, it would have no impact on the client’s business operations. None. We have a two hour SLA for an application that is essentially unimportant. Not only could any problem wait until Monday, it could probably wait until the following Monday. Logic and sense have no place in I.T.

So, I’m sitting at home waiting to watch on television. That’s OK too. When I asked on Twitter if anyone had any recommendations about visiting Cooperstown for the induction, Scott Crawford gave me a lot of great information. He also told me the best way to see the ceremony is on TV. So be it.

I wish I were there, but it’s still a great day to be a Braves fan. A great one indeed.


Barring something that resembles a miracle, Kris Medlen will be undergoing his second Tommy John surgery in the near future. That’s the same Kris Medlen that has won three of the last eight National League pitcher of the month awards. The same Kris Medlen who is always smiling on the mound, having the time of his life. The same Kris Medlen that has become a favorite of seemingly every fan of the Atlanta Braves. He is, undeniably, one of the game’s good guys.

At Talking Chop, they’ve posted a serious of comments he made to Atlanta area radio station 680 The Fan. You hear so often about how athlete’s today are just in it for the money, mostly from people jealous about how much money a successful athlete makes. Listen to the emotion is Medlen’s voice and tell me he isn’t the real deal.

You will be hearing a lot of cold-hearted analysis from a lot of people about how Kris Medlen has pitched his last game in a Braves uniform. You will hear them saying that it simply won’t make sense for the Braves to bring him back. I get where they are coming from. I’ll even acknowledge that they may be right. I just don’t care. Kris Medlen is the kind of guy you want your team to take a chance on. I want Kris Medlen back in a Braves uniform.

My (Sincere?) Apologies

Aparently, when collectors like me insult a set, we also insult everyone who likes it. I guess we are trying to rob their enjoyment of the hobby or something.

So, I’d like to offer an apology.

I apologize if any comments about a baseball card set or company, from me or others, robbed you of some of your self worth.

I do not apologize for anything I’ve said about stale products from lazy-ass card companies with near monopolies and our slowly dying hobby.

Three Years Later

Almost three years after I sent in the redemption, it’s been filled. Considering the number of jersey relics from both guys that have been made over the years, it is absurd that it took three years to send me this card.

I still have one three year old redemption waiting. I see no reason to rant about the redemptions, because everyone else has covered it well. I’m done buying new products unopened so redemptions won’t be a problem for me any longer.

Still, it amuses me when people blame the players for slow redemptions. Bullshit. If a card manufacturer puts a redemption into a product, it is THEIR job to deliver. Period.

Help!!!! I Need This Card!

2005 Topps Total (along with 2005 Bowman Heritage) is the set that got me back into the hobby. Of course, Topps would cancel Total the very next year. Bastards. None the less, I’m but a single card away from completing the set. I need card #349, which is Scott Spiezio.

Unfortunately, I still haven’t updated my trade bait page, but I have thousands of cards to comb through. If you’ve got this card, I guarantee I’ll be able to find something you need to send your way.