Friday, November 30, 2018

Time For Some New PCs

After so long, I can no longer ignore the number of times I see certain players' cards in the dime bins but pass on them because I don't "collect" that player.


I always add in the word "yet" as I way to convince myself that I could be collecting this player someday. It seems to buy up time when, in reality, I have so many things to do with the cards that starting new PCs doesn't quite enter my mind. 

And during the few times it does, I'm always telling myself I'm too busy to sort through boxes for an hour to find these cards.

However, after a while, you can only pass up on these players so many times before, finally, it's time t take action. I've had these 5 players in mind for months now to begin new player collections for, and while I can't say I'll get through all the sorting right away, this is at least a start, a big step in the right direction.

I plan on looking through boxes this weekend to find cards to get these player collections off the ground. Then, it'll be up to me to pay attention to these guys while I'm at the show. I might accidentally pass up on these guys' cards a couple times. With that being said, I expect myself to recognize their cards after a show or 2.

Of all the new player collections, Corey Kluber's been on my mind for the longest as to when I'll start collecting him. It helps that his team, the Cleveland Indians, have made the playoffs for 3 years in a row, combined with the fact that I pull a fair number of cards of Corey Kluber cards from packs. 

There are talks of Kluber being traded this offseason, but it's hard not to picture him as a Cleveland Indian. For now, I'll get together what I can for Kluber cards, and if he happens to get traded, I'll continue collecting him on his new team.

I'm usually good at forming player collections for old-time players and modern-day starts, but there have always been a couple players from the 80s and 90s that have escaped my mind. I'm not as familiar with those decades as I am with, say the 60s-70s and 2000s-2010s. If they played for the Red Sox and Cubs, chances are I collect the player. If not, those odds become increasingly slim.

Robin Yount is a 2-time MVP award winner and a member of the 3,000 hit club 3,142 hits to his name. He played for the Brewers for his entire career, a team I've never followed too closely, likely the reason I haven't collected his cards 'till now. But with uniforms like these, it should be fun to piece together his new player collection.

Pretty much everytime I thought about collecting Corey Kluber, Max Scherzer also came to mind. For all the same reasons as the Indians ace, I've been pondering forming a Scherzer PC for years now, especially since I constantly find myself pulling cards of the 3-time Cy Young award winner from packs, like this Retro Original from 2017 Topps Archives.

Scherzer has been a top 3 pitcher in baseball for years now with the Nationals and Tigers and isn't showing any signs of slowing down or moving onto a new city. Presumably a future Hall of Famer, I couldn't be happier to start collecting him.

Before, when I talked about not being super familiar with guys from the 80s and 90s, I had always been focusing on 2 big names that I'd love to know more about and collect someday; Robin Yount and Tony Gwynn. 

The late great Padres outfielder was one of the greatest all-around players in Baseball history. A true 5-tool talent, Gwynn was a 15-time All-Star with 5 Gold Gloves, 7 Silver Sluggers, and he captured 8 batting titles on route to an illustrious 20-year career. 

To put things into perspective, his single-season batting average was in his first season where he hit .289. That's right, .289 was the worst he ever hit. It's no wonder that, with a career .338 average, they named the NL batting title after him.

Even though he's been a member of the Boston Red Sox since 2016, Price wasn't a guy I had strongly considered collecting for much time, mainly due to his lackluster 2016 season and his 2017 campaign which was plagued by injuries. Even after a stellar 2nd half in 2018, I wasn't impressed, at least, not for what he was being paid.

Then came the 2018 postseason, and David Price became a World Series hero. After getting his first ever playoff win, he added 2 more in the World Series, including starting game 2 and the series-clinching game #5. He turned in historic performances and made me believe in his abilities as a pitcher once again.

If that's not worthy of at least a player collection, I don't know what is.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Frankenset Page #30

As of yesterday, it's been a month since the Red Sox won the World Series. That means it's been a full 30 days since any of us have seen a live game of baseball.

No wonder it seems so cold and bleak outside. We haven't had baseball games on TV to cheer us up in a whole month, and with 4 more to go, it's safe to say that we're officially deep into the offseason.

However, there hasn't been a ton of signings or trades made so far. Apart from James Paxton being traded to the Yankees and Steve Pearce resigning in Boston, we've yet to see any major moves. In a way, this emulates a lot of what we saw in last years' offseason with free agents and teams holding off for a while until it was late February/early March and players had yet to be signed.

Obviously, everyone's watching Harper and Machado in order to see where they end up, but there's still a talented core of pitchers rumored in free agent signings and trade talks that will, hopefully, add some excitement to the offseason. 

I'll be looking forward to that because when you're without baseball for 5 months, you'll take any chance you can get to find something exciting.

I still have plenty of baseball-related things to keep me entertained throughout the offseason that isn't a live game. For example, today's blog post, the 30th page of my frankenset which come to think of it is loaded with Rockies and Twins cards as they take up 5 of the 9 slots. 

We're beginning to approach the halfway mark of the set as page #30 begins at card #262 and ends with #270. Let's get started.

#262 2016 Topps Ervin Santana
I'm not sure of the exact history of these uniforms, but I know the Cardinals and Brewers are examples of other teams that have this retro-style alternate home uniform that the players wear fairly regularly. It's intriguing considering that these aren't the typical home uniforms for these teams, but it's also not like the shy away from wearing them semi-often.

#263 2016 Topps Gypsy Queen Max Kepler
See what I mean? I guess having multiple Twins cards is helpful since Max Kepler's 2016 Topps Gypsy Queen card can help to prove my point. Both cards show Twins home jerseys and are from 2016, but Kepler's is obviously different from Santana's due to the uniform being pure white rather than off-white, a different font is used for Twins, and Santana's uniform, unlike Kepler's, has pinstripes.

#264 1992 Leaf Gold Darrin Fletcher
Anytime I see a Montreal Expos card, I begin to miss the franchise more and more, simply because there was never a team quite like the Expos. It appears, however, that the talks of there being an expansion team in Montreal are picking up some steam, so perhaps it won't be long until there's another baseball team in Canada. 

#265 2017 Topps Charlie Blackmon
Though I'm not too familiar with either of them since they play in the NL West, I pay enough attention to be able to draw comparisons between Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon and Dodgers 3rd baseman Justin Turner. They both have beards, had breakout seasons later in their careers, hit for contact, have power, and well-respected and talented guys.

#266 2008 Upper Deck Goudey Matt Holiday
I'm not sure what these cards are supposed to be modeled after, but especially with the Rockies uniform, this black and white card looks dope. If I'm not mistaken, Matt Holliday is another big name Rockies free agent, though he certainly isn't the player he used to be. At the age of 38 and coming off a disappointing couple of seasons, I wouldn't be surprised if he retired.

#267 2011 Topps Sam Fuld
Before 2015 Topps, 2011 was the last year of Topps that I genuinely liked. It features enough fantastic photography that it could almost pass as a Stadium Club set, especially when you consider the minimal set design apart from the photo. After that, Topps got lazy with the set for a couple years before making huge strides in 2015.

#268 2001 Upper Deck Vintage Jeff Cirillo
I still wonder to this day how Upper Deck was capable of getting away with this design for the 2001 Upper Deck Vintage set given that it nearly perfectly matches the 1971 Topps product. Years later, they did the same thing as another Vintage set had an extremely strong resemblance when compared to the 1965 Topps product.

#269 2009 Upper Deck Goudey Ichiro
If anyone knows whether or not these crazy cards with little cartoons in the background existed in the original Goudey sets, please do let me know. Not only were these cards my favorite part of the Upper Deck Goudey set for 3 years, but this would be a major incentive for me to track down my very first original 1930's Goudey card.

#270 1999 Skybox Metal Universe Cliff Politte
I don't think I had ever seen many cards from the 1909 Skybox Metal Universe set up until adding this one to the frankenset. Even though the card is titled Building Blocks, implying that it's not in the actual base set design, it makes sense as to why I'd never seen this type of card before. Still, for a late 90's baseball card, it's pretty nice.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

All the Way From Canada

Even though I consider myself a die-hard Red Sox fan, I feel like I need to start stepping up my game a little bit when it comes to collecting cards from my favorite team separate from player collections.

To be clear, I'm very pleased with the Red Sox PCs I have now, consisting of a wide variety of players from Carlton Fisk to Andrew Benintendi. I'll never stop adding on to my player collections, meaning my Red Sox PCs won't be a worry for me. I'm talking about my overall Red Sox card collection, cards of players I don't collect.

Right now, I have about 5 binders of non-player collection Red Sox cards, from 1954-2018. Some sets are grouped together because I have a lot of cards from them while others are put into a miscellaneous Red Sox card binder. I'd like to be able to continuously add to these binders, but I'd like to figure out a better way to organize them first.

As for how I'd add to this part of my collection, I took a step in that direction today thanks to Curtis of Condition Sensitive who sent me a package of Red Sox cards all the way from Canada. 

The player collection Red Sox cards he sent me will be added to their respective collections. However, as for cards like the 1977 TCMA Jackie Jensen, those will join the rest of my Red Sox cards in binders.

Player collection cards like these 4 above, 2 of which are from 2018 Topps Update, a set I haven't invested too much into thus far. The Ortiz insert is a new one I haven't seen before that will aid in the process of getting his player collection to 200 cards The Pedroia is one of a select few inserts from 2014 Topps Upper Class that I still need for PCs. The Fred Lynn is a holofoil 2013 Topps Chasing History parallel, and finally, the Kimbrel is a blue parallel  Legends in the Making card from Update.

In some cases, player collection cards that I receive in trades are already in my collection, but not this time around. In fact, every PC card Curtis sent me is one I don't have in any of my player collections yet.

That includes this oddball 1988 Starting Lineup Wade Boggs card, a product I've never seen before in my life, but a card that'll fit right into the Boggs player collection nevertheless. Coming off a 1967 season in which he hit .363, it's no wonder that the Hall of Fame 3rd baseman was a subject of choice in many different sets, including this unfamiliar one.

From one of my first player collections to my newest, there were plenty of different cards to go around, ranging from different players, brands, sets, and decades. David Ortiz was one of the first players I ever collected, and his player collection, as I mentioned before, is closing in on 200 cards.

On the other hand, David Price's PC is in the process of being created now after his sensational performance in the World Series. I expect it to consist of around 20 cards when created, almost all of them from his days in Tampa Bay and Boston.

Typically, I would know about an insert set paying tribute to a Red Sox legend sooner than a year and a half after the product was released, but I guess that's part of what made discovering the 2017 Panini Diamond Kings Ted Williams Collection set so enjoyable. Not only is it hard to notice that the cards are unlicensed, but the 2nd one, showing Williams presumably in his fishing gear, is one of the most bizarre and awesome cards I've seen in a while.

Don't worry, my lack of interest in Topps Update won't stop me from finding some Red Sox players included in the checklist. Thanks to Curtis, playoff participant Ian Kinsler and rookie reliever Marcus Walden's cards from Update will make their way into my Red Sox binders, no matter what way I decide is the best to organize them.

I certainly do feel fortunate having received my 3rd David Ortiz card from the trade, bringing his player collection all the way up to 194 cards. If Ortiz cards have a good turnout in the next dime box, or I specifically track 6 of them down from a dealer, the next card show I attend could finally bring his PC over the 200-card mark.

On top of sending 2 Chrome refractors my way, I also received 2 different gold parallels from Curtis including a gold Craig Kimbrel that I saw on his blog, causing me to initiate the trade. Both will go to their respective player collections as I continue to add to the Kimbrel Collection as well as build up Lester's PC with Red Sox and Cubs cards from the last decade or so.

Ultimately, there was 1 card, in particular, I wanted when I negotiated this trade. I saw it on the blog after Curtis opened up a blaster of 2018 Topps Update and due to the way this post has gone so far, you can bet it was a Red Sox player.

I'm not usually a huge fan of manufactured relic cards, but there was something about this Andrew Benintendi Jackie Robinson Day "patch" that drew me in more so than these cards typically do. For starters, the dark purple shades in the background and on the patch are an interesting touch, not to mention the patch itself looks better than manufactured relics typically do.

Benintendi is coming off a sensational season in which he improved in nearly every stat category. He's improved to an All-Star caliber player, and this card is an above average manufactured retail-exclusive relic, the best card in what was a trade filled to the brink with Red Sox cards, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, November 26, 2018

3D Cards Reimagined

One of the many different projects and tasks I completed over the weekend was a complete reorganization of the 3D card binder, a collection of cards that have been around almost since I began collecting.

Even with stacks from the Mansfield show waiting to be organized, I took it upon myself to completely reorganize the 3D card album which had become more of a mess than I would've liked. 

With cards from different sets spread out throughout the sheets, nothing in numerical order, and the sheets themselves being incredibly dusty, a lot had to be done in order to give these cards the organization and neatness they deserve, and I'm proud to say that after spending Sunday afternoon working on it, I accomplished that task.

Due to the purchases of 3D card lots at past sports card shows, I've accumulated respectable totals from a select few sets, hence why they can now be found on the want list. Besides those few sets, I've also put together a selection of about 7 different 3D sets in the miscellaneous part of the binder. 

Because I'm only missing a handful of cards from each 3D set, it shouldn't be all that difficult to piece together the rest of the cards given each checklist is no more than around 75 cards with some as low as 60. First up, I have the oldest of all the sets, 1980 Kellogg's, a set that I am just 8 cards away from completing.

One of quite a few Kellogg's sets without traditionally-sized cards, 1980 Kellogg's includes the common blue borders made exciting by the bright colors of many 80s jerseys. In a way, it's not too dissimilar from the 1972 Kellogg's set, a card from which is shown at the top of this post, though the 1980 cards are a bit smaller with yellow banners instead of red. 

Next, quite possibly the greatest 3D card set ever produced, the 1981 Kellogg's set, so vastly different from the 1980 Kellogg's set above. From the extreme difference in color and size, you wouldn't have a clue these sets were 1 year apart if the logo were to be removed.

Like the 1980 cards, 1981 Kellogg's is another set in which I stacked up on at past card shows when I first got into collecting. With a little larger checklist as opposed to the 1980 counterpart, I'm missing just 10 cards from '81 Kellogg's. If we're talking priorities, this will likely be the first 3D set I complete.

Taking a page out of the book of previous sets, the 1983 Kellogg's product features mini cards, this time with an image that extends throughout most of the card, blocked only by a very 80s design of white lines to form rectangles.

The '83 set is quite unlike any of the previous years of Kellogg's 3D cards. For starters, the image takes up most of the card, something that had rarely, if at all, been done before. Additionally, there isn't as much color as previous sets, and what color is there doesn't pop as much as it once did. 

With that being said, the players of the time help to make this set more interesting than it originally was, not to mention I'm only 6 cards away from completing it.

Though the 3D cards I have as well as the options for them in the collecting world is dominated by Kellogg's, there is one set I intend to finish in the future that wasn't made by the cereal company. Instead, I have the 1986 Sportflics Decade Greats set, a 3D card product filled with stars from all decades leading up to the '80s.

With players like Babe Ruth to Jim Palmer featured in the product, the set is chock-full of superstar players. Better yet, each 3D card is created to show 2 or even 3 images, depending on whether the card pays tribute to 1, 2, or 3 different MLB stars. 

However, this set may take a bit longer than the others since, as of now, I have roughly half of the 75 cards in my collection.

The next set is a quick 10-card product, also made by Kellogg's, from 1992, much newer of a set than the previously listed products. Though it's quite a small checklist, I have all the intentions of completing it and am missing just 1 card, #5.

So, if anyone out there has a spare Tom Seaver from this set that they'd be able to send my way, it would be much appreciated.

The final set is one that I don't know as much about as the others, but it's one that I bought completed, so I'm pretty pleased about that. As you can see, we've flashed forward quite a bit to the 2010s with what I believe to be an insert set, Topps 2020.

Though the name "2010 Topps 2020" can be perceived as confusing, it was certainly nice to see 3D cards brought back for modern players, even if such a thing hasn't been done since, to my knowledge, and the Red Sox were left out completely of the product.

As I said before, there's still some space in the binder for miscellaneous 3D cards. That is cards that I don't have large totals of and which will remain in the binder, but grouped together rather than spread apart. 

For example, as much as I'd love to complete the 1972 Topps Kellogg's 3D card set, I have just 10 cards from the product and would have to track down dozens of major names. Same goes for '76 Kellogg's as well, so I figured it'd be best to focus on realistic sets for now and maybe worry about the others someday in the future.

Even though there are a lot of other sets to worry about on the want list, products that have been there for a while, the 3D card sets, especially Kellogg's, are missing so few cards that I figured "why not include them on the list?" 

Not only does this help me appreciate 3D cards more so than I ever have before, but it brings back the joy in collecting them that I felt so long ago.

After all, along with Hostess, Kellogg's cards have to be some of the most fun oddballs to collect in all of the baseball cards out there.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

A Pleasant Surprise; Card Show Recap #15 Part #3

Before the Black Friday show, I hadn't been to the Mansfield sports card show in a number of months for a number of reasons. Non-Sunday shows not being possible, wanting to save money for The National, and it not being a weekly show all contributed to the fact that I wasn't able to attend for quite some time.

This time, the main question was not if I could attend, but if I wanted to take part in the COMC Black Friday sale instead. Ultimately, I chose the baseball card show and could not be more happy with my decision. 

Not only did I come back with a nice variety of cards, but I also received a pleasant surprise from someone I met in-person for the first time while at the show.

I've been trying to attend the Mansfield show the same day as fellow Red Sox fan and loyal reader Mark Hoyle for months now, but as I said before, it hasn't worked out. If I remember correctly, we were at a show or 2 the same day earlier this year but hadn't realized that until the show had been over for a couple of days.

Mark seems to be a regular at the Mansfield sports card show, and his Twitter page is chock-full of awesome Red Sox cards and memorabilia finds from previous trips. Once I had been at the show for about 15 minutes, we met each other at the front and chatted for a little while. 

Before we parted ways, he generously handed over a package of 1976 and 1979 Topps cards from the want list, much to my surprise and appreciation. To make things even more special, he told me that a majority of the cards included in the box were pulled by him out of packs back when he was a kid. Don't worry, Mark, I promise I'll take care of them.

After completing 1972 and 1975 Topps having been completed over the last 6 months or so, I reminded myself it was time to turn my attention towards these 2 sets with more emphasis on 1976 due to it being the older of the 2 70's sets that I'm currently building. That time hasn't quite come yet, but I also haven't spotted much or any '76 or '79 Topps at the shows I've been attending.

One of the most underrated Topps sets I can name, 1976 Topps takes a page out of '75 Topps' book by featuring bold color combinations just like 1975 Topps did. What helps to separate 1976 Topps from the latter is less emphasis on the colors and more on the images and equally colorful jerseys.

There are only so many colors and combinations out there, meaning sometimes in a Topps set, a couple of teams need to share a certain shade or duo of different colors. Despite all of this, 1976 Topps does an excellent job at making certain that the set doesn't get redundant.

In addition to having a perfect-sized checklist of 660 cards, teams with the same color combo, at least in this instance, have the colors flipped in order to create a wider range or unique cards across the set. 

I'm no vintage set guru, so I can't say for certain if something like this has been done before, but even if it has, it shows why '76 Topps is one of my favorite sets in a decade full of some of the best sets ever made.

Because 1976 Topps is a set from the middle of the 1970s, it means there are plenty of cards with colorful uniforms, action images, and intriguing backgrounds. Out of the 30 or so cards from the set that Mark generously gave me, these 4 were my personal favorites due to how well they represent the decade that the set is from. 

In particular, Nyls Nyman (awesome name) and his red White Sox jersey show the short-lived red-striped uniforms that, combined with light green, gives the card a slight Christmas feel.

Moving on, Mark was kind enough to send me off with another 30 cards or so from 1979 Topps, the 2nd 70s set I'm piecing together and yet another example of an underrated product. With the perfect placement of the retro Topps logo on the baseball, '79 Topps also includes color combinations and bright banners that vaguely resemble '76 Topps in some way or another.

Like the lot of 1976 Topps cards, I instantly picked out some favorites amongst the 1979 cards with Gene Tenace on the Padres taking top prize as my favorite of the entire group. Even though 1979 was the last year of the 70s and times in baseball were changing, the colorful uniforms that became so popular throughout this decade would be able to live on for a little while after.

Team cards are featured in both sets, but only 1979 Topps includes prospect cards, a concept that would be expanded upon throughout the 1980s, becoming rookie stars and/or future star cards including the same number of players, 3. Of the 6 total players between the Mariners and A's prospect cards, Bud Anderson and Dwayne Murphy are the sole names that I can recognize.

Thanks to Mark and the Mansfield sports card show, I was able to have an incredible Black Friday without spending hours in line at Target. Instead, I ventured through dime boxes and was the recipient of a wonderful box of cards that will go towards my completing of these 2 70s sets.

Thanks again for the cards, Mark. I truly appreciate it.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Dollar Cards & Oddballs; Card Show Recap #15 Part #2

If the Tribe-unal combo card above, possibly one of the greatest combo cards I've ever seen before in my life including cards from the '60s, was any sign as to how the rest of yesterday's baseball card show was going to go, then I was beyond excited to continue navigating my way through the vendor tables.

I was accompanied by my Dad to the Mansfield show yesterday, though I can't say we spend all that much time together while we're there. As soon as we arrive, we tend to go our separate ways, allowing each other to pursue what we like.

At the very end, we regroup and take one last look around together before heading out, double-checking to see if there's any last thing we want.

So, while I was searching through the dime boxes for player collection cards, my Dad was finding cards of his own that he liked, mainly $1 cards with a few oddballs and dime cards thrown in. This post is some of what he was able to track down.

I've started to become the main player collector out of the 2 of us while my Dad is more of a set builder or vintage kind of collector, more so than I am, at least. With that being said, he knows a good deal of the old-time players that we collect and even a couple of the modern ones as is shown here by the group of 2017 Allen & Ginter What A Day inserts that he picked up for 10 cents a pop.

One of the main reasons why I was ecstatic for the revival of Topps Gallery last year was that it would entail stupendous art like this being featured across an entire 150-card set. The 2017 Topps Gypsy Queen Hand Drawn Art inserts offer vibrant artwork unmatched by nearly any set produced nowadays. 

One of the strong points of the 2017 set, I was surprised to see them left out of the 2018 Gypsy Queen product.

Collectively, my Dad and I are both pretty into oddball cards, especially when we can find them for player collections. Whether they're as well-known by collectors as Hostess and Kellogg's or more obsolete oddballs like Jiffy Pop from the late 1980s, there's always been room in my collection for unique cards such as these, even if I don't have a player collection (yet) for Robin Yount.

Before the revival of the company in 1981 and continuous releases through the year 2005, Fleer produced a couple years of intriguing cartoon cards commemorating the various World Series' beginning with the very first one in 1903. A couple of these sets were produced in the late '60s and early 70s, resulting in what you see above; 2 different cards with cartoons commemorating the 1951 Fall Classic.

It's relatively difficult to classify an oddball and differentiate it from, say, a card or set that you're unfamiliar with. Usually, an oddball type of set is a product not released by a major card producer with a lot of the oddballs being released by food companies either in cereal boxes or, in the case of Hostess, on Twinkie boxes.

That's why, although still unfamiliar to me, I would not classify the Babe Ruth card above as an oddball. While I'm still not sure what set it's from or what year, the card was made by Upper Deck meaning it's nothing that would stump baseball card collectors left and right.

The unknown card of Babe Ruth commemorating the historic 1936 Hall of Fame Class is not the only card in the bunch of The Bambino. A duo of bright yellow cards with the word "Superstar" was also picked up for a buck each by my Dad when he was looking around yesterday's show. 

Unlike the 1st card of Ruth, I'd count this one as an oddball since it's easy to see how collector's, including myself, would have no luck identifying exactly what the card is.

Babe Ruth's Gold Tier player certainly benefited more so than almost every other PC at the show yesterday with another oddball commemorative set helping to prove why. Among the guys in the checklist of this seemingly art-based set from the 80s is Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Jimmie Foxx, suggesting it could pertain only to Hall of Famers or 20s and 30s legends.

From Babe Ruth to the guy that's been compared to Babe Ruth for quite a few years now, Mike Trout's 3D card from a past Opening Day set was one of my pickups separate from all the dime cards shown in yesterday's post. 

After spending a good deal of my day searching through the dime bins, I began to look more for cards of selected players for a bit more money, and one of the guys I decided on was Trout, a player collection closing in on reaching 50-cards or the Silver Tier status.

Along with Mike Trout, Hank Aaron, one of my top 2 favorite players of all-time, is another guy that I'm always willing to track down cards of separate from the dime boxes. Located in the $1-$3 per card bin that I searched through was a 2015 Topps Gallery of Greats card, something that I believe to be a higher-end insert set though I'm not very well acquainted with it.

While it's easy to spend a dime or a quarter on a card of a player, spending a couple bucks on a non-numbered card isn't for everyone, and certainly not something I can do for each and every player I collect. Thus, it's necessary to narrow it down to a short list of players that you're willing to spend the money for, and one of those guys, for me, is Hank Aaron.

Willie Mays is another player I'm willing to spend a bit more on even though his player collection isn't at the totals that fellow 50s and 60s stars Ernie Banks and Hank Aaron are at. For whatever reason, I'm almost always incapable of finding Willie Mays cards in the dime boxes, as if it's impossible or something for his cards to be there. 

I recognize the 2nd card, 2013 Topps Cut to the Chase, though the first card of "The Kid" is from some type of set that I've never seen before in my life.

What I've been getting at is I'm only willing to spend more than a couple dollars on a card that sticks out to me or is something I've been wanting for a while. This could mean a lot of things; cards of my favorite players, numbered cards, 3D or oddballs, and last but surely not least, rookie cards.

Giancarlo or "Mike" Stanton as he was known back in 2010 and '11 is now a member of the arch-rival New York Yankees, meaning I can't necessarily be cheering the guy on or rooting for him at every turn. However, I have no issues with collecting cards from his days with the Marlins, especially if it's a new Stanton rookie to add to his PC.