Saturday, June 30, 2012

Barney Heritage SSP Prices Have Gone Wild!

Here is an update of the price of the Darwin Barney Heritage SSP No Position Card.  I've been keeping track of all the ebay sales of the card since Heritage was released in March.

From March 17 through May 6, fifteen copies of the card were sold at an average price of $88.95.  But since then, the market has dried up and prices are going wild.  Only three have been listed since May 6 and they were all Buy It Nows.

The first one was listed on May 19 at a BIN of $110.  I thought that was a bit high and that the card would sit there for a while.  I was wrong!  The card sold within three hours of being listed.  After that there was a Barney drought of 35 days before this BIN popped up.

The BIN price was $325.  I thought that while one of these hadn't been seen for a month, this seller was greedy and crazy.  And again I was wrong.  Within two days it was sold.  The seller and the buyer haven't posted feedback for each other, so I can't see who paid a price triple the average.

Three days later another BIN/BO was listed, with a price of $299.00.  As best as I can tell (I've got the ids of all but two of the buyers), the seller wasn't a flipper trying to cash in on the market blip.  

The cards sold the same day, though the seller took a best offer of $200.00, But that's still double the average price.

If either of these buyers wanted to save some cash, they could have gone over to Sportlots.  There's been one of these sitting there for a couple months, at $150.00.  I figured the Sportlots seller was being greedy, but now it looks like he's got a bargain.

The recap:  As of this morning, a total of 18 Barney No Position cards have been sold on ebay, at an average price of $109.40.  Keep in mind, though, that the average price on the last three is almost double that,  $211.67.

EDIT: After I wrote and scheduled this post Friday afternoon, another card was listed.  This one, though, is an auction.  It'll be real interesting to see how high it goes.  Just be careful if you bid on the card.  The seller has only one feedback and the picture being used is lifted from this auction.  Scam?

Friday, June 29, 2012


I am very much a traditionalist when it comes to baseball.  I don't like change!  But I'm also a realist and I can at least accept change....for the most part.

You'll never get me to accept the pajama pants look on the players today.  Instead, they need stirrups!  In my mind...

...this is what a baseball player looks like.  Mickey's 2012 card shows him wearing his pants and stirrups properly.  His pants come down to his calf and are bloused perfectly.  He shows just the right amount of his white sanitary sock.  Not only could he play well, but the Mick knew how to wear a uniform too.

Mickey's card #7 is on the first page in the 2012 Topps binder and as I was looking over the set, his stirrups caught my eye almost immediately.  I decided that I would look through the entire album for any other players in stirrups.  I didn't find many.

Jason Vargas is wearing stirrups, but he needs an asterisk by his name.  He's got on a throwback uniform and the stirrups he's wearing are those fake, sewn in sock type that were worn in the '80s.  I don't consider them real stirrups.

Mark Reynolds is wearing stirrups, but you have to look real carefully to notice.  There is just a hint of his sanitary sock showing.  He needs to pull the stirrup up higher and show more white.

I found two more players in stirrups and they both happen to play for a certain Chicago team!

Reed Johnson always wears stirrups, so that's the good news.  He just needs to pull the stirrup up a little higher and his pant cuffs down....there's too much blue showing and not enough white.  But I probably shouldn't quibble; at least he's wearing stirrups.

My guy Darwin Barney comes the closest to matching the Mick in stirrup style.  He just needs to pull the pant legs down a little bit lower and show a little less of the blue.  Otherwise, very nicely done Mr. Barney.  Unfortunately, Barney doesn't wear the stirrups any more.  Maybe that's why his hitting has tailed off a bit.  Darwin....dress more like Mantle and maybe you'll hit like Mantle!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tier One Darwin Barney

Topps Tier One is one of those fancy products that I usually steer clear of.  It's too expensive for me (over $100 for a single three-card pack!) and the checklist is too short.  I usually like something that has a team set of at least seven or eight players.  Plus, there isn't even a base set of cards; it's all autographs or relics.

But.....since I've added a couple player collections, I thought I'd try to cherry-pick a few autograph cards.  Today, my first success...

....Darwin Barney.  He's on the "On the Rise" checklist...nice to see him included there.  Every Tier One pack has one of the "On the Rise" cards in it, along with a "Crowd Pleaser" autograph and a relic card.  You can see that mine is numbered /235.  It set me back only ten bucks.  

Since every pack has an "On the Rise (OTR)" card in it, I can use the checklist to get an almost exact number of packs of this that were made.

The OTR checklist has 94 different cards (not 94 players since several players have more than one variation).  They are all numbered between 50 copies and 395 copies.  However, three of the cards, Allen Craig, Gordon Beckham and Bryce Harper, don't have numbers listed since they have to be redeemed.  But I added up the number of cards for the 91 other players and got a total of 15,865 cards.  

There are also OTR parallels: White ink /25, Silver ink /10, and Gold ink 1/1.  That adds 36 cards for each of the 94 on the checklist, another 3.384 cards.  Add that to the 15,865 and maybe another 75 for the three redemptions and you get a total of 19,324 cards...and 19,324 packs of Tier One.

If you'd like to check my math, here is the entire On the Rise checklist, with the players and the number of base autograph cards.

OR-AJO Adam Jones
OR-AA Alex Avila 235
OR-AO Alexi Ogando 75
OR-AC Allen Craig Redemption 
OR-AR Anthony Rizzo 235
OR-ARI Anthony Rizzo 235
OR-ACH Aroldis Chapman 75
OR-BR Ben Revere 235
OR-BRE Ben Revere 235
OR-BP Brad Peacock 350
OR-BPE Brad Peacock 350
OR-BBE Brandon Belt 235
OR-BM Brent Morel 235
OR-BA Brett Anderson 235
OR-BAN Brett Anderson 235
OR-BL Brett Lawrie 50
OR-BH Bryce HarperRedemption
OR-CGO Carlos Gonzalez 50
OR-CS Carlos Santana 50
OR-CH Chris Heisey 235
OR-CHE Chris Heisey 235
OR-CSA Chris Sale 75
OR-CKE Clayton Kershaw 50
OR-CR Colby Rasmus 75
OR-CK Craig Kimbrel 50
OR-DBA Daniel Bard 235
OR-DBD Daniel Bard 235
OR-DHU Daniel Hudson 235
OR-DE Danny Espinosa 235
OR-DB Darwin Barney 235
OR-DG Dee Gordon 75
OR-DH Derek Holland 75
OR-DM Devin Mesoraco 75
OR-DME Devin Mesoraco 75
OR-DP Drew Pomeranz 75
OR-DST Drew Stubbs 75
OR-DS Drew Storen 75
OR-DA Dustin Ackley 50
OR-EN Eduardo Nunez 75
OR-ENU Eduardo Nunez 75
OR-EH Eric Hosmer 50
OR-FF Freddie Freeman 50
OR-MST Giancarlo Stanton 50
OR-GG Gio Gonzalez 50
OR-GB Gordon BeckhamRedemption
OR-HN Hector Noesi 315
OR-IN Ivan Nova 75
OR-INO Ivan Nova 75
OR-JDA J.D. Martinez 350
OR-JDM J.D. Martinez 350
OR-JA J.P. Arencibia 75
OR-JAR J.P. Arencibia 75
OR-JP Jarrod Parker 235
OR-JK Jason Kipnis 75
OR-JW Jemile Weeks 235
OR-JWE Jemile Weeks 235
OR-JH Jeremy Hellickson 50
OR-JM Jesus Montero 50
OR-JPA Jimmy Paredes 350
OR-JPR Jimmy Paredes 350
OR-JG Johnny Giavotella 395
OR-JJ Jon Jay 235
OR-JN Jon Niese 235
OR-JWA Jordan Walden 75
OR-JZ Jordan Zimmerman 235
OR-JR Josh Reddick 350
OR-JRE Josh Reddick 350
OR-JTE Julio Teheran 235
OR-KSE Kyle Seager 395
OS-KS Kyle Seager 235
OR-LM Logan Morrison 50
OR-MB Madison Bumgarner  50
OR-MTT Mark Trumbo 50
OR-MTM Mark Trumbo 50
OR-MMO Matt Moore 75
OR-MP Michael Pineda 75
OR-MT Mike Trout 50
OR-MM Mitch Moreland 350
OR-MMR Mitch Moreland 350
OR-NE Nathan Eovaldi 395
OR-NF Neftali Feliz 75
OR-NW Neil Walker 235
OR-PG Paul Goldschmidt 75
OR-RD Randall Delgado 395
OR-RR Ricky Romero 75
OR-SP Salvador Perez 350
OR-SPE Salvador Perez 350
OR-TW Travis Wood 235
OR-TC Trevor Cahill 75
OR-VW Vance Worley 355
OR-VWO Vance Worley 355
OR-WR Wilson Ramos 75
OR-YC Yoenis Cespedes 50
OR-ZB Zach Britton 50

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Topps Picture Vault, 2012

Darwin Barney's card is pretty cool looking....flying through the air and all.  

I haven't done this with too many Topps cards this year, so I thought I try to figure out exactly when Darwin went airborne.

The card gives a couple clues.  First, the ivy looks to be mostly filled in, meaning a late May date.  Second,  Barney is wearing stirrups, something he didn't do very often.  I need to find a late May day game at Wrigley with Barney wearing stirrups.

I plug all that data into the Wrigley Wax Cubs Super Computer and wait for the answer...

...May 29, 2011, as Barney attempts a steal of second base in the eighth inning.  He was out, but the Cubs won the game, edging the Pirates 3-2.

And if you don't believe me, click here for more proof!

OK, so I didn't really need any help at all to get the game other than Getty Images.

Through the Topps Vault on Ebay you can buy original images that Topps used on vintage baseball cards.  I've got the original from Ken Rudolph's 1973 card.


But for modern cards, you don't need the Topps Vault.  Instead, head over to Getty Images

It seems as if Topps is not using its own photographers any more.


And if I had any doubt as to whether Paul Maholm's card was photoshopped or real,

that doubt is gone!

Ian Stewart...

and Chris Volstad, too...

The Topps photo doctors did a nice job on the Volstad card.  I thought it was real since the pinstripes looked so good.  Now I know why....they just had to change the color of the stripes instead of having to create them.

If you have any doubts about most cards, head over to Getty, do a search for the player (and use the advanced search to narrow down the dates to the 2011 baseball season) and you may find the original.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tile Tuesday: Score

Today's tile will be one of the more colorful ones, as we get a look at the eleven year run of Score.  It gives you a nice look at the Score rainbow they used from 1988 -1992.  After that, the cards look like your run-of-the-mill 90s junk wax era cards.


1988 - 1998
Click on the Score logo if you'd like to see the cards up close in my Photobucket.

Any requests for next Tuesday?

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Penguin #11

A few weeks back I had a post that discussed how certain numbers bring to mind certain players.  Night Owl mentioned that #10 for him would always be Ron Cey.  Then there was some friendly banter about Cey being #11 (his Cubs number).  Night Owl then responded with a fact that I wasn't aware of.  When Cey signs Dodger items, he includes a "10" inside his R, but on items for other teams, he just signs his name.

Well, was the Penguin ashamed of his time as a Cub?  Does he respect Don Kessinger and Ivan DeJesus (previous Cubs #11s) so much that he won't add "11" to his Cubs cards?

I picked up this card for a $1.29.  And just like Night Owl said, there is no uniform number in the signature.....yet.  Time to fire up the Photoshop...

....and let the Penguin give his time with the Cubs equal billing.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

2012 Pro Debut Cubs

Topps released Pro Debut on June 11 and I haven't seen much at all about the set.  This is the third year for Pro Debut and I don't think it's caught on at all.  My understanding is that as part of Topps' exclusive agreement with MLB and the Players Association, they have to put out a couple sets with minor leaguers.  My guess is that if Topps wasn't contractually obligated, they would have ditched this after years one.

The checklist is made up of 220 minor leaguers, most you've never heard of.  For these guys, its got to be a thrill to be on a Topps card.  Most collectors, however, yawn at it.  Of the 220 players, only six are Cubs farmhands.  That's down from 16 in 2010 and 12 last year.

I've got the six in order by team classification, starting with the Short-A Boise Hawks, which had four of the six

Shortstop Javier Baez 

Second baseman Zeke DeVoss

First baseman Paul Hoilman (who was also included in the Bowman set)

Catcher Rafael Lopez

One player comes from the High A Daytona Cubs

Matthew Szczur...I can hardly wait for the day when Szczur and Samardzija are in the same lineup.

Szczur also had an All Star card.

For the final card we skip up to the AA Tennessee Smokies

Pitcher Trey McNutt, who was also in the 2010 Pro Debut set.  That leads to the question, how can a player have two Pro Debuts?  

And there you have it, your 2016 Chicago Cubs.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Creepy Jeff Baker Card

Jeff Baker's card is kinda creepy looking, what with the bearded, floppy hat guy looking over his shoulder.  That was the first thought that came to me when I saw the card.

Once A Cub had a different thought.  His comment was "Nice breakdown, although I'll admit I was hoping for a Jeff Baker photoshop card showing the Wrigley Wax marquee and maybe a Paul cameo in place of the bearded guy."

What a brilliant, and even creepier idea!  

Here you go!  When I first made the card I completely removed Mr. Beard. But that left too much of my creepy face.  So I redid the card with the beard intact, leaving you with Mr. Wrigley Wax Beard... 

...and an even creepier card!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Series Two Vs. Factory Team Set

Now that series two is out, we can see what changes Topps made from the earlier released factory team set.

Of the sixteen Cubs in series two, ten were also a part of the factory team set.  I'll start with the cards that remained the same...the factory card is on the left, series two on the right

Technically, this one was changed; the factory team set card is cropped a little tighter that the series two card.

Too bad that Topps didn't give this one a second try on with the photoshopping. 

That's it for the no-change cards; only three of them.  In past years there have been more identical cards.  I guess its nice that Topps is changing things up between the sets.

Here are the seven players that had their factory team set card changed in series two.  Again, the earlier card from the factory team set is on the left (or on top) and the series two card in on the right.

Darwin Barney goes from a standard play at second to superman flying through the air.

Two swing shots of Bryan LaHair.

A home and a road shot of Carlos Marmol

Two different road poses for Alfonso Soriano

Wood gets a bit intense in the series two card.

A couple different photoshop jobs for Paul Maholm

A pretty bad and half-way decent photoshop effort for Ian Stewart.