Winker to Spare? Anyone?

Hi there friends. I hate for this to be my sole reason for posting at this point, but here's my situation. I'm taking my daughter - I hope - to see a couple of Reds players next Thursday when they send some team reps out on the road in the Ohio/Indiana area to meet fans.

If anyone has a spare Jesse Winker card (or possibly a spare Alex Blandino card - although likely we'll only see Winker), please let me know. Just base cards - chrome not necessary due to being poor for autos.

I'd like to either pay for the card(s) by PayPal if possible or maybe we can work out a trade if you'd rather. Thanks everyone.

I haven't blogged in a long time but I'm still collecting. I'm almost exclusively a vintage guy but my daughter has really gotten into collecting the past six months or so - spurred by being able to meet many of the local A ball players - and getting some autos on specific game days. She's in early grade school but has gone to several card shows with me in recent months and we pick up some new stuff from time to time to open together. Been a lot of fun.


Just Met a Former Big Leaguer

Hey there!

I'm almost embarrassed to pop in here every two months or so, which seems to be the norm for the past year-plus, after I once fed this blog so regularly. I've never even updated you all on whether I went ahead and met Denny McLain a few months back at a local card show.

I did indeed and he signed a couple of things for me - including a ball on which he added umpteen inscriptions just for the heck of it. Despite having one of the more horrifically entertaining Wikipedia pages of all past professional players, Mr. McLain was a friendly, chatty man that day. I promise to post a photo of what he signed in a post soon.

Tonight I'm writing because I got to chat with another old timer. This one not as old as Denny Mac but in my estimation he is definitely an MLB near-great.

Who was it?
No, clearly it was not this man. But the player did appear in this set. By the way, how cool was Vada Pinson?

The former player I met appeared in MLB games in parts of the '60s and '90s - along with the two decades in between. He was not a pitcher. Those are my hints for now. Leave one guess in the comments and if nobody guesses correctly, I'll add a comment with another hint.

I don't have any great prize. I just thought this would be fun. That said, I will do my best to send you some cards of a team you collect or possibly from a set you're collecting (but those options are likely limited to 1982, 1984, 1985 Topps, 2011 Topps Chrome, 2014 Heritage and other 2011-ish sets). For the past two years, some random new pack purchases and 2014 Heritage notwithstanding, I'm strictly a vintage guy.

Still, I'll work to put a little something together.

By the way, I did bring some cards of this player along with me tonight as I had several from my youth collection on hand. I ended up handing four of them (three from 1976 Topps; one from 1979 Topps) to a family behind me (in the line of 12 total people) as the kids didn't have anything to get signed but toy sunglasses! They and the mom were so happy. Made my day.

The cards I kept are likely going to me, my daughter, my nephew and (in a few years) my young grand-nephew.

I should add that the former player was cordial enough and he was happy to sign all of my cards. He signed one ball as well and I had someone snap a pic of me and him on my iPhone. I'll share that evidence in an upcoming post.

I'm so mysterious tonight. It's somewhat annoying, I know.


The Search for a Vintage Denny('s): Part II

Vintage Denny('s)
Denny McLain is coming to town in 10 days and here I am without a nice card.

While I'm normally not an autograph guy, he'll be at the small card show that I normally attend and so I practically have no choice but to fork over the relatively-small-for-the-game's-last-30-game-winner fee of $15. It should be interesting. By all accounts (from the fellas at the last show) it's going to be a mob. We'll see.

I'd love a nice condition (no creases, rounded corners, etc.) '65 or '69 - or, heck, maybe even a great '68. I'll do everything possible to make it worth your while. If I don't hear from anyone soon, I'll go the eBay route by tomorrow. I have one McLain but it's not in too good of shape.

For possible trade, I have a decent, growing collection of nice vintage star cards. I'm starting to catalogue them now. It sure would have been nice if I had completed that project so you could take a look and claim something ahead of time.
Not Denny McLain.
The protocol for this signing is unclear. I think I need to present something for him to sign and then return to the back of the line if I want something else. If that's the case, and because I have a family obligation, I'll surely only have time to get one card signed. If it's something different, I'll try to get more than one signed. I'd say my limit due to cost would be two.

The catch to this post is I really need the McLain in mail right away.  Thanks for reading.


Denny's Grand Slammer

Well, here I am again.

While I've neglected this blog for far too long, I've been fully engaged for many months now in building my vintage (1975 and earlier) Reds and Cubs - along with select vintage stars and other vintage cards I come across that I love. I'm much more at peace with my hobby direction since I zeroed in on the cards I truly love. That said, I do still pluck a few new Reds, Tigers and Cubs while at the shows.

I'm planning to share much more about where I'm going with the hobby (and actually include scans!) very soon. Hopefully I'll be able to ramp up trading too.

But for now (and I'm burying the lede here) I'm writing to see if anyone happens to have any Denny McLain (Tigers only) cards from his playing days. Anyone?

For one, I don't have any McLains. Secondly, he'll be attending a local card show in two weeks. While it's possible I'll be out of town when he's in town, I'd like to have a card handy just in case.

I'm looking for a sharp card or two. No creases or soft corners and so forth.

I'm not an auto-seeker normally other than the year I attended The National, when I picked up a few, but with him set to be five miles away, and the price low, I figured I might go for it if I can.

The literature states one auto per person - which means I probably cannot thank you by buying an auto for you too. I will, however, work to send you nice cards from your want lists and/or will work with you to understand what you're interested in.

The catch is I really need the McLain(s) right away.


Trade with Brad's Blog

I have a confession. Several months ago, before life got crazy again, I had a couple of trades in the works. I believe I fulfilled my ends of all of them but I have a nagging feeling that somehow one got past me.

If anyone reading this is quietly fuming over the ne'er-do-well Potch leaving cards on the table (figuratively) then please, by all means, leave a nasty comment here. I do not want to be that guy!

Trading is the best part of my return to this hobby. I've been working on wrapping up some sets and trading has helped very much. I haven't even written much about my refined collection goals focusing on Reds, Cubs and select Tigers vintage - so thus far my progress with those goals has come via card shows exclusively.

There are other goals, of course, and then there are goals I didn't even know I had. I recently completed a trade with Brad of the fine blog, Brad's Blog. I gathered up a couple of relics in his wheelhouse, and a couple of autos I won some 18 months ago in a Wicked Ortega contest and sent them his way - along with assorted other cards and a grouping of Frank Thomas cards that he didn't have for his super Big Hurt collection.

In return, I received these two awesome autos:

I have no idea how this happened.
I neither had an Aroldis Chapman card auto nor a George Foster card auto, even though I by chance ran into Mr. Foster a year or so ago.

I also got this card that I didn't know existed. I'm not sure what that swatch is from. Hopefully not boxer shorts.

Bobby Knight's legend has dimmed considerably in Indiana and the circles in which I run, but he's still Bobby Knight and I'm an Indiana University graduate. I ran into Knight once while visiting Assembly Hall on a random day back in the early '90s.

Brad threw in some nice recent Reds I needed, including this lovely Gypsy Queen frame of the legendary catcher and popinjay Johnny Bench.
Incidentally, anyone out there who has a GQ frame of anyone, any year, should feel free to let me know.

And, of course, that goes for autographs of Reds. I will labor to make a nice trade with you.

Thanks again for the trade, Brad.


Me, Mini-Me and the Reds

Usually the hum of living - work, playing with our daughter, relaxing, yard work, streaming Netflix late at night, putting food on the table - keeps me happy and pushing forward to the next day.

Other times, the reality of how fast life is going hits me hard. I might still feel like the fresh-faced 9-year-old taking in a game at Riverfront Stadium in the summer of '78; then I get a notice that some old classmates are meeting in my hometown for a 27-year class reunion. Yeah, 27. Odd, huh?

Wasn't it just a few months ago when I watched the Big Red Machine take on the Dodgers in a twi-night doubleheader - with Bench, Morgan, Rose, the Daveys (Concepcion and Lopes), Garvey, Penguin and others holding court?

Not according to the face in my mirror. Not mine, I have a life-size present-day Cesar Geronimo photo taped on the wall opposite my mirror.
Thankfully, my daughter, six years old next week, helps keep me feeling young (when she's not making me feel much older than my 44 years, 11 months with the piggy back rides, "bucking bronco" game and ongoing shoulder carrying requests).

She likes to tease me about my baseball cards but she's taken an interest in my collection and baseball in general. Because of this, last September for one of our Daddy-Daughter weekends we left my wife behind and headed to Cincinnati for my daughter's first game - a battle with the old rival Los Angeles Dodgers.

My wife scheduled it weeks in advance and I thought maybe, just maybe, it would be a playoff clincher. Well, the Reds clinched the night before, thus many starters were rested for the game we saw. But Votto played and we saw Homer Bailey's (startbeforehis) no-hitter!!! (What, not as interesting? Well, I like to think that my daughter brought him some good luck.)

We sat several rows behind home plate - splurging on a section that has a private bathroom area and where waiters come and take your order. I wanted her to have a great view of the action too.

The Reds lost but it didn't diminish the experience and the fun she had. She really enjoyed actually watching the game (almost as much as the popcorn and cotton candy). Speaking of which, I was up for Dad of the year feeding my daughter cotton candy at about midnight. In my defense, the game had been scheduled for 1 p.m. until ESPN two weeks before chose it as their Sunday night Game of the Week.

More recently, on Father's Day last month, my daughter and I stole away for another Daddy-Daughter adventure. More hotel pool time and another Reds game - a win against the Brewers this time. More popcorn and cotton candy too, naturally.

We walked away with a giveaway Reds gym bag (for me) and a Rosie Reds doll for mini-me. It joins the Brandon Phillips doll she desperately wanted (and, of course, received) at the game last fall.

Ah, she's delightfully quirky.

The reality I know is that while I think she enjoys the game and ambiance, she's quite possibly already indulging me a bit as I share my passion. She sees what makes me smile and wants to talk to me about it and be a part of it. That's a pretty great feeling for a Dad.

One day, I hope she holds dear the memories (many still to come) at the ballpark with dear ol' Dad.


Tradeable Vagueness

Excuse the title. I'm working on perfecting the awkward headline.

I've been getting my trade groove on this week and enjoying getting back in the swing.

So, this is a blatant fishing expedition to see if anyone has a want list for 2012 Heritage (including a couple of SPs), 2013 Heritage (including an SP or three) and 2013 Archives. I have quite a bit - especially of the first and the last - for trade.

I'm desperately prowling for Heritage 2011 SPs.

I really need to hold my SPs back for SPs, as I'm sure you can understand why.

If you have needs from the sets mentioned above, please direct me to your want lists. I'm basically seeking Reds, Tigers and Cubs from those three sets but I still need to work up my own want lists.

This is all so very scattershot, so my apologies. Just hoping to get a trade dialogue started.

Meanwhile, because I dislike posting sans art, here's an auto I pulled from 2011 Heritage. RED SOX LEGEND Ted Wil....er, Ted Wills.

I'm looking to trade this for a Heritage 2011 auto from a team I collect.

Search Me *shrugs*