Friday, April 14, 2023

Johnny Strikes Up the Band

I've been on a Warren Zevon kick recently. Not sure why. Maybe it's me going back and rediscovering old favorites I've forgotten? Not going to complain though! As I was listening to one of his albums on Spotify, the song "Johnny Strikes up the Band" came on. That song made me remember I had some cards I'd gotten in the mail from the near daily giveaways from Johnny's Trading Spot that I'd yet to show off.

TJ Friedl is the top card even though it's hard for you to see the name. The other two are Nick Lodolo cards. Both are members of the Reds youth movement this year. While the season is still young, the Reds are playing much better than they did at this point last year and are a really fun team to watch.

A few more random Reds cards. The Graham Ashcraft card is some sort of parallel from Series 1 this year. I have no idea what type of parallel though.

Oooh! Shiny cards and black border cards! Apologies for the glare on these. I'm not familiar with the Guardians prospects. I probably should look them up.

My first taste of 2023 Big League. It's alright I guess. Whenever Card Barrel does a sale, I'll probably nab some singles.

More shiny cards including another Nick Lodolo. Really dig the Jesse Winker card too.

And I saved the best for last! A really cool 1984 Reds pocket schedule! 

Thanks for the cool stuff John!


Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Four Cards From 1952 Topps

I was digging around in my "cool cards" box the other day and found these, most of which I'd forgotten I had. The 1952 set is something I like to dabble in, even though I know I'll never be able to afford the major cards from the set on my budget. However, if I can find commons cheap enough, then I'll definitely grab some. Some of these I've show on my old blog but for a quick blog post on a lazy Tuesday, I figured they'd be fun to revisit.

Cass Michaels played 12 seasons in the majors from 1943-1954. In 1952 though, he was well traveled. He started with the Washington Senators, was then traded to the St Louis Browns in mid-May. The Browns placed him on waivers in August and he was scooped up by the Philadelphia A's. I think it's pretty cool that he played for three different defunct teams in one season. I can't tell what stadium is in the background here. I don't think it was Griffith Stadium because they didn't have bleachers in right field. Also, the people in the far left of the background look like their in a boat for whatever reason.

Ken Raffensberger was probably the top pitcher on a 6th place 1952 Reds squad that won 69 games and went through three managers during the course of the season. Pitching in 38 games during the 1952 season, he went 17-13 with a 2.81 ERA and led the league with 6 shutouts. All of that was good enough to finish in the top 25 of MVP voting. Over a 15-year career (1939-1941, 1943-1954) with the Reds, Cubs, Phillies and Cardinals, he had one all-star appearance (1944) and finished in the top 20 of MVP voting (1949, 1951). As far as this card goes, the background seems like the Polo Grounds but I can't be totally sure.

This was the first ever 1952 Topps card I bought. I remember seeing it for like 3 or 4 bucks in a bargain bin at a local card shop. I figured I'd at least get it so I could at least say that I had a 1952 Topps in my collection. Anyway, Friend wasn't even in the majors in 1952 but bounced around with several teams like the Browns in addition to the Red Sox, Tigers, Indians and Cubs. 

Dale Mitchell was an all-star in 1952 for a really, really good Indians team that finished in 2nd place with a 93-61-1 record, a mere two games behind the Yankees. He was also an All-Star in 1949. He finished in MVP voting four times (1947, 1949, 1951 and 1952) and played the majority of his career in Cleveland, with the exception of 19 games as a member of the Dodgers at the end of the 1956 season. Of the 1952s I have, this is probably my favorite because Cleveland Stadium is the background and it just has a feel of being bright and fun.

Hope you enjoyed this quick post and these cards. I've got another one of these type posts lined up with 1955 Bowman coming soon. 


Thursday, March 30, 2023

Single Card Post: 1953 Topps #187 Jim Fridley

Happy Opening Day everyone! I hope that whatever team(s) you're a fan of do good today and have a fun season!

Let's take a look at Jim Fridley and this 1953 Topps card.

I pulled it out of the top loader it resides in to take these pictures and it felt like it was going to disintegrate in my hands as this card has definitely seen better days. The corners are pretty much non-existent and there's a bunch of creases and what not all over it. However, to me that doesn't mean "poor condition" or anything, that means it was well loved. 

Here Fridley is pictured as a member of the Cleveland Indians against a blue sky. You can see the scoreboard behind him as well. Not sure that's just a generic scoreboard the artist drew in or if it's based on the scoreboard of the Indians home park. I believe they were fully moved out of old League Park by this time so it can't be that scoreboard. Technically this is his "sunset card" as well as he only had this and a card in the 1952 set issued by Topps. Most of the rest of his cards are oddball issues from 1954.

Fridley's career consisted of parts of 14 seasons in the minor leagues at various levels. He spent 7 seasons in AAA ball with Houston, Denver, Richmond (VA) and Indianapolis. He also played with Nashville, where he won the 1958 Southern League batting title, San Antonio and Dallas at the Double-A level and low level affiliates Dayton and Spartanburg. 

It's kind of hard to read the career summary with the autograph on top of it but it covers most of his time in the minors. He only played parts of three seasons in the majors. Debuting with Cleveland in 1952, he appeared in 62 games with a .251 avg, 4 HR and 31 RBI. He was the first rookie in major league history to have a 6-for-6 game. Just before the 1953 season, he was selected off waivers by the Browns but never appeared in a game for them. When the Browns moved to Baltimore following that season, Fridley was in the organization and made it into 85 games for the newly christened Orioles with a .246/.311/.371 slash line.

In December 1954, Fridley was part of a package of PTBNLs that Baltimore sent to the Yankees to complete a massive trade prior to Thanksgiving. He never appeared for the Yankees. He bounced around from organization to organization, never appearing in a major league game between 1955-1957 before finishing up his major league career in a 5-game stint with the Reds in 1958.

Enjoy Opening Day everyone!

Sunday, March 26, 2023

A PWE That Hits the Spot

Apparently, I entered a contest I didn't know about. I was just casually reading and commenting on some blogs the other day, one of which just happened to be Johnny's Trading Spot. The next day I'm doing the same thing and lo and behold, I won a contest of some sort. I had to dig through my old contacts to find Johnny's email address but I sent him my address so I could claim my winnings. On a windy and rainy Saturday, a PWE showed up in the mail.

I couldn't tell you the last time I got cards in the mail but it's been over a year at least. That's one of the parts of blogging and writing about cards I missed, getting little packages or PWEs in the the mai here and there. Gave me a reason to actually care about the mail coming, instead of it just being junk mail and the occasional bill.

Anyway, enough rambling, here's a quick peek at what John sent over.

The Topps Gallery stuff is new to me. I heard about it coming out but that was during my hiatus and I was barely thinking about cards at the time. I really like the pictures on both of these cards, the Votto especially. 

Two Hall of Famers here in Joe Morgan and Early Wynn and a really shiny card of the Guardians top pitcher, Shane Bieber.

And some really cool horizontals to finish off this PWE for some good additions to my Reds and Indians/Guardians collections.

Thanks to Johnny for sending these cards over and for running the contest.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

2023 Topps: New Cards for a New Season

A week from today is Opening Day, so I figured that it would be a good time to write about some cards I opened the other day (see what I did there?)

I'm sure by now 2023 Topps has made the rounds on the blogs. There's not much I can possibly add to it except that ... I like it! Now this wasn't my first go-round with 2023 Topps. I'd bought a blaster box right when it came out to at least give it a shot before I decided to give blogging another go here.

Between the last time I was blogging and now, my scanner croaked so everything you see here is stuff I've taken pictures of on my phone (so therefore, pardon the glare). I'm still trying to figure out my setup. Anyway, these are the base cards. They look better in person, believe me.

The only variations are the photo variations which are labeled on the back as "SSP" apparently. These are not them but I'm a sucker for cool uniforms.

Neat horizontals.

The team cards this year are pretty cool!

Your 2023 Opening Day starter for the Reds, Hunter Greene. 

Nice to see the rookie cups again!

With this being a blaster, it's got one of these "Stars of MLB" cards in every pack. I really like these. Nice and shiny.

Definitely appreciate the 1988 retro cards. That Barry Larkin card has to be my favorite of the whole box really.

Cleveland Indians Guardians team card blue parallel. Still getting used to calling them the Guardians.

And the promised patch card. Not sure who Nolan Gorman is though but apparently he's a rookie on the Cardinals.

So that's a blaster of 2023 Topps. I don't see myself buying any more of these (mainly because they're $25 a box now). I got my enjoyment out of it and now I've got a good handle on it. Any other cards I want from Series 1, I'll nab off of Card Barrel or someplace online. 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 20, 2023

Welcome Back .. I Guess?

Much like the baseball season does in the spring. I've come back again. I hate to say it's a permanent comeback but I think for now, I'll say it is.

Hi, hello and welcome to the Trading Card Adventure!

If you don't know me, my name is Adam and I wrote the blog Cardboard Clubhouse from 2015 up until 2019. I took a break towards the end of 2019 for various reasons ... writing burnout, work, family reasons, etc. Then the pandemic hit which meant I was working 60 hour weeks from home as an HR call center rep and was tied to a phone sun up to sun down (and sometimes past sundown). Now though, I'm in a much more reasonable job that's a lot less demanding and I'm not working crazy hours. I thought about just restarting with my old Cardboard Clubhouse blog but I really wanted to start fresh with a clean slate. I'll keep those archives online though.

The pandemic also scared off my appetite for baseball. The constant bickering behind the scenes of how the 2020 season would play out and then baseball with no crowds in a 60-game sprint of a season wasn't all that fun, at least to me. Then 2021 was a bit better, at least there were crowds for the games and I was starting to get back into baseball. 

I came back on my old blog, wrote a few posts, then got busy and lost interest again. Then the lockout killed the 2021-22 offseason and when it was finally resolved, I was just so annoyed and aggravated that I watched little to no baseball at all. Didn't help that the Reds went into heavy rebuilding mode, were downright awful and lost 100 games for the second time in club history either. I started to get interested again though during the playoffs when Cleveland was making a pretty decent run.

Anyway, this offseason I've rediscovered my love for baseball again. Not sure how or why. Maybe it just one of those things that just ebbs and flows as interests change. I know my team is going to be bad but I feel a sense of optimism despite that. And with my interest in baseball coming back, I bought some cards. 

The cost of cards, like everything else, went up too. A blaster box that once was $19.99 is now $24.99. That kind of turned me off of stuff but I figured the price won't go down so I might as well. The first blaster I bought was 2022 Archives. It was decent enough and fun to open. Then a few weeks later I saw a 2023 Topps was out. I bought that and, you know what, I really liked it. I liked it enough to buy another box (which I plan on writing about here soon). 

It also got me curious about my cards that I haven't touched or looked at in a really long time. I pulled out a binder, blew the dust off the top and flipped through it. I'm pretty sure I smiled looking through all those cards. I pulled out another one and did the same thing. Memories flooded back. Along with the memories, I also realized my cards were in complete disarray. 90s cards were mixed in with newer cards. The 80s were mixed in with the 60s. Red Sox and Yankees were all jumbled together. 

Complete chaos I tell you!

So, I've said all that to tell you this, that I'm back to writing about cards again. Yes, this will be primarily about baseball cards but there's other stuff too I'll write about ... sports cards like football, hockey and wrestling, some comics and action figures too. Basically anything I can find to write about but above all this will mostly be about cards. Writing is my passion and I hope that I can share some of it with you, the readers.

Starting this blog, I have two goals. First my main overall goal is to have fun while going through my collection. I won't be doing a bunch of box breaks or showing off high-end expensive stuff or anything like that. I'm a collector on a budget so this will be more of an appreciation of cards in my current collection, cards I might already be familiar with or cards I've yet to (re)discover. My second goal is to reconnect with those in the card community I've lost contact with, be it through commenting on others posts, talking cards in general or other means. 

This blog is and probably will be a constant work in progress and posts will probably be slow to start with but I’ll be around, writing and posting when I can and commenting on others blogs in between posts here. I hope you'll join me on this adventure while it lasts and let's have some fun together.