A place where Colorado Rockies baseball card collectors (all 3 of us) can waste some time reading about our favorite sport. The Rockies and their cards will be the primary focus, but I like to go off on tangents as well so anything and everything baseball related may be covered here.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Quarry Unlimited - #20 Chicago White Sox Part 1

Sometimes in life all you need is to take a few days off to completely reinvigorate yourself.  I needed to get away from the computer for a couple of days.  I feel much better and let's back to the Quarry Unlimited set posthaste.

Which brings us to the #20 team on the countdown, the Chicago White Sox.  I have often felt that being in Chicago has always kept the White Sox down.  Much like Mets, Jets, Clippers, and Islanders, they will most likely always be the #2 team in their city.  That is not to say that these teams don't have hardcore fans, because they do.  I'm just saying that if they were in a smaller city by themselves, then they would probably have more. 

When I was growing up, the Chicago White Sox were about a close as possible to becoming the Tampa Bay White Sox before some last minute wrangling kept them in town.  Just think about how much would have changed if that had happened.  The White Sox would have been placed in the AL East instead of the Central which, with a Frank Thomas in his prime, could have prevented the Yankees from winning a title or two in the 90s.  It would have also altered the placement of the Tampa Bay Rays (and possibly even the Florida Marlins) perhaps making them a Washington team before the Expos could move there.  If so, would we talking about Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg playing for San Juan or Oklahoma City right now?  Would the Expos have been folded altogether?  The Butterfly Effect in the case of the White Sox is certainly fun to think about, because who knows what would have come if the franchise had made the arguably better decision of leaving Chicago back in 1988.


Total # of White Sox in 2014 - 44

# of new White Sox in 2014 - 20

Best score in 2014 - April 20 at Rangers 16-2

Worst score in 2014 - August 5 vs. Rangers 16-0

Border color that worked best with this team - Purple

Border color that worked least with this team - Red

Position on last year's list - #18 = DOWN 2

Let's take a look at the first half of the 2014 Chicago White Sox with the manager's card leading the way.




I'll be back tomorrow with Part 2.  As usual, your thoughts are always welcome and encouraged.

Thanx for reading.

Friday, December 26, 2014

2014 Mountains to Climb - A Review

I have once again fallen off schedule for the 2014 Quarry Unlimited set.  I have decided to take the week off to refresh my mind and perhaps refresh my readers as well.  I realize that looking at almost 1500 cards can get a bit tiresome and repetitive, so maybe a week off will make the final 11 teams look that much better.  Plus in case you miss any, you can use the link below to catch up with any team you may have missed or may want to look at again.  I also tagged each team with the full team name so a simple search will bring up your favorite team as well.

In the meantime, I figured since I had a week to kill on the blog and 2014 was closing out it might be a fine time to check out how I did with my Mountains to Climb in 2014.  This was fourth year of doing goals on the blog.  Wow I can't believe I have been doing this stuff for that long.  Sorry for the aside, but time really does fly, doesn't it?  Anyway as a quick recap of the success of my goals.  

2011 was a very successful year in which I started my now completed One of Every Rockie goal.  I got my final missing Rockie, a 2003 Fleer Tradition Update Matt Miller SP this August. 

2012 was a middling year that featured me attempting to collect every single Rockies Topps and Topps Traded team set.  That goal was completed in 2013 after I finally tracked down a 2002 Topps Traded Todd Zeile.  Or more accurately Night Owl tracked it down and set it to me.  Thanks Greg.

2013 was a bit better than 2012 and featured me trying to complete every single Pacific brand Rockies team set.  I got close, but fell short.  I am happy to announce that this goal was also completed this year around May.  I don't remember the exact card that finished this one off, but I think it was a 1998 Revolution Ellis Burks that I picked up on Sportlots. 

Without looking at the actual data, I think I did very good in 2014, but let's check out the numbers and see how I really did.


1. Get to a total of 10,000 unique Rockies cards AND 1,000 unique Todd Helton cards. - COMPLETE

This was a carryover goal from 2013 that fell a bit short.  I started the year with a total of 8,254 Rockies and 694 Heltons.  I am happy to say that both parts of this goal were completed.  I got Rockie #10,000 back in June, but I didn't get Todd Helton #1,000 until earlier this month.  In fact, I hadn't even mentioned it yet on blog.  I finished the year with exactly 11,089 Rockies and 1,013 Todd Heltons.  I call that a 100% victory.

Score - 10/10

2. Complete every "A Topps By Any Other Name" base Rockies team set.

The main brand that I worked in 2014 was what I labeled "A Topps By Any Other Name" which consisted of Bazooka, Bowman, Finest, and Stadium Club, brand made by Topps but not called Topps.  I started the year needing 26 out of 60 team sets of which I completed 23 of them.  2014 added 3 new team sets that I also completed.  So I ended the year with 60 out of 63 team sets needing just 5 cards for completion.

Score - 9/10

3. Pass the following team set thresholds for the following years.  1994 = 60%, 1999 = 20%, 2004 = 10%, 2009 = 25%. - COMPLETE

I have strived to make my Rockies checklists as accurate as possible.  They are not 100% correct yet and might never be, but they are pretty close right now.  I have calculated the number of team sets available for each year and will be working on the 5 and 0 anniversary years in particular each year.  I started 2014 with the following completion percentages: 1994 = 47.8%, 1999 = 10.4%, 2004 = 4.0%, 2009 = 16.4%.  I am once again happy to announce that I completed another one.  I finished the year with these final percentages: 1994 = 62.8%, 1999 = 22.1%, 2004 = 10.7%, 2009 = 26.2%

Score - 10/10

4. Accumulate both 200 Rockies relics (50 different players) and 100 Rockies certified autographs (50 different players).  

This is one of those interesting goals with 4 different parts.  There is the total number of relics and autos coupled with the number of different players for both relics and autos.  I did complete 2 of the 4 and I gained on the other two but just fell a bit short.  I started the year with 27 different, 138 total relics and 34 different, 63 total autos.  I finished with 36 different, 181 total relics and 72 different, 109 total autos.  All in all, I am pretty happy with my results.

Score - 7/10

5. Acquire 50% of the Rockies parallels from the following sets: 1998 Pacific Paramount, 2000 Pacific Paramount, 2006 Upper Deck Special FX, 2008 Upper Deck Heroes, 2009 Topps Chrome.
This was my parallelorama goal and if I didn't fully realize how hard it was to track down short-printed cards from a decade ago before...I do now.  Trying to find these cards at anywhere close to a decent price was difficult.  People are still trying to ask $10 for a low-numbered Derrick Gibson or Josh Fogg.  With that in mind, I still made a nice dent in these sets and I did get over 50% with 4 of the 5.  Here are the final numbers.

1998 Pacific/Paramount - 22/40 = 55.0% complete
2000 Pacific/Paramount - 33/63 = 52.4% complete
2006 Upper Deck/ Special FX - 42/136 = 30.9% complete
2008 Upper Deck/Heroes - 31/60 = 51.7% complete
2009 Topps/Chrome - 22/35 = 62.9% complete
Total - 150/334 = 44.9% complete

I was a little short, but if you exclude the blue parallels from Special FX of which I acquired 0, I got over 50% total.  I am very happy that I got 8 different parallels complete including 3 from the 2000 Paramount set.

Score - 9/10

6. Get to 50% completion of my Rockies manager collection.

This one I didn't work on as hard as the others, but I did work on it a little.  One thing that really hurt was an order from Just Commons that contained around 40 Don Baylor cards that was lost in the mail.  I was reimbursed the money, but the cards were gone and most were out of stock on the site.  That disappointment kind of let the air out for me on this goal.  I started the year with 143 out of a possible 682.  I needed 182 for a completed goal, but I only added 21.  In short, I didn't do very well with this one.  But the good news is that the total number of cards will not increase until the next manager takes over, so I still have plenty of time.

Score - 2/10


7. Complete Rookie Cup collection from 1972-2014 fully.  Complete 5 Rookie Cup sets from 1960-1971.

My Rookie Cup Collection is my largest non-Rockie baseball collection.  I didn't add a whole lot in quantity to this collection in 2014, but I did add a few quality cards.  I finally picked up a 1976 Jim Rice, a 1978 Eddie Murray, and a 1982 Cal Ripken along with several smaller names from the 60s.  I fell a bit short of the overall goal though.  I am still missing two cards from the 1972-2014 run.  One is the 1979 Ozzie Smith and the other is the 1972 high number Willie Montanez.  I couldn't find either one for less than my $10 target, but hopefully I can knock them out next year.  I didn't get any pre-1971 sets finished, nor did I expect to, but I did make progress on almost all of them.  In a couple of cases the progress was significant.  

Score - 5/10

8. Complete the following 5 insert sets: 2005 Topps Rookie Cup Reprints, 2008 Topps 50th Anniversary Rookie All Star Team, 2008 Topps Historical Campaign Matchups, 2008 Topps Update First Couples, 2012 Topps 1987 Minis.

Ah insert sets.  The scourge of both set collectors and team collectors and possibly even player collectors.  That being said there have been some that I liked and these 5 were among the best in my opinion.  This was another one of those mixed goals and another one of those instances of overpriced older cards.  I finished off the two political inserts relatively easy and the Rookie All Star Team was almost as easy.  The problems came with the other two large insert sets.  The 2005 reprints are crazy overpriced on the bigger names, so I fell short by six cards.  Still not bad for a 150 card set.  The 87 minis were hard simply because of the Mike Trout and Bryce Harper rookies from the Update portion of that set.  Along with my inexplicable inability to track down a Justin Morneau, I fell just 3 short of a full 150 card set.

Score - 8/10

9. Get to within 20 cards of my complete 2011 Topps Opening Day master set.

A lot of people are really quick to "poo-poo" the Opening Day set as superfluous at best and completely useless at worst.  However, I have always appreciated the set.  Of course it could be better, but what couldn't.  The best thing about the set is that it eliminated the unnecessary foil.  The 2011 set started about the same time as my blog and I have been working on a master set.  I have the base set complete every insert set (including the autograph set) complete.  All I am still working on is the blue parallel set.  At the beginning of the year I needed 56 cards for a complete parallel set and 36 for a complete goal.  I finished just a hair shy.  I added 32 to my collection which left me 4 shy of the 200 threshold and 24 shy of a complete master set.  

Score - 9/10

10. Start a "One of" collection and get to 50% complete with 5 different teams.

This is one of those strange goals.  I actually did start it and worked on it a little bit, but I only mentioned it once and never fully explained what the goal is.  I will do that this weekend, because it will be necessary for next year's goals.  I did figure out which 5 teams I am working on: Orioles, Royals, Mariners, Braves, and Brewers.  I got nowhere near 50%, probably not even near 10%, but I do have a handle on how this is going to work...FINALLY...and that is worth at least a few points.

Score - 3/10

Final Score - 72/100
That's a passing grade at any school.

Final thoughts
I got two fully complete goals and several others in various states of completion.  I lay out these Mountains to Climb as a challenging guide for the collecting year.  If I don't make them challenging enough, I'll spend way too much money AND still not make as much progress on my collections.  The one thing I do not expect is to ever fully complete all 10 of my goals.  I actually don't want to because then I will be kicking myself for making it too easy.  This was definitely not too easy and proved to be a lot of fun to work on.  The 72 was my second highest score ever and it could have been even higher without a lost order.  I am very proud of myself for this year and I hope 2015 will be even more successful.  Hopefully we will all be here this time next year to see.

Thanx for reading.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 Quarry Unlimited - #19 Philadelphia Phillies Part 2





My Top 5 Phillies Cards
1. Reid Brignac (purple)
2. Grady Sizemore (blue)
3. Cameron Rupp (blue)
4. Jimmy Rollins (green)
5. Maikel Franco (rookie prospects)

The Brignac is the combination of great background and perfect timing.  It's definitely in my top 10 for the set.  The Sizemore is one of those that gets better and better the more you see it.  When I made that card, I thought it was okay but not really spectacular...kind of a filler card.  But now seeing it again, at the beginning of a diving catch with the ball in frame, it really is kind of spectacular.  The Cameron Rupp is a nice action shot.  I don't remember too many catcher shots from that particular angle, especially with the bat still in the shot.  I have to admit that I am a sucker for the congratulatory images like that on the Rollins card.  That is the celebration of his becoming the all-time hit leader in Phillies history.  I'm sure there are many Phillies fans that have that poster behind Rollins on their wall right now.  For #5 I had a lot of good choices, but I went with the underground angle of Phillies top prospect Maikel Franco.  The angle plus the background coloration and signage really gives this almost a "Natural" type feel.

Coming tomorrow - #20 Chicago White Sox

Thanx for reading.