28 January 2017

2002 Mizuno All Star Super Dream Cup Premium Cards

     I happened across this set of playing cards scouring Yahoo! Auctions Japan for Tuffy Rhodes cards, and managed to snag it for the minimum bid of ¥2000 (~$18USD).   From what I can gather, this set was a promotional give away with the purchase of Mizuno golf clubs in Japan sometime in 2002.  Presumably all of the players represented are well known Mizuno customers from a variety of sports.  Each athlete has two cards, with the Diamonds and Clubs featuring the same people, and the Hearts and Spades featuring the same people.  As it is a deck of playing cards, all of the backs are the same, as seen below beside the Joker.

The checklist is as follows:

AS Akiko Fukushima
KS Rivaldo
QS Ayako Okamoto
JS Taichi Teshima
10S Kimiyasu Kudo
9S Takenori Hiraishi
8S Hiroaki Morishima
7S Shinjiro Hiyama
6S Shuzo Matsuoka
5S Tuffy Rhodes
4S Tsuyoshi Yoneyama
3S Koji Akiyama
2S Satoru Komiyama

AH Akiko Fukushima
KH Rivaldo
QH Ayako Okamoto
JH Taichi Teshima
10H Kimiyasu Kudo
9H Takenori Hiraishi
8H Hiroaki Morishima
7H Shinjiro Hiyama
6H Shuzo Matsuoka
5H Tuffy Rhodes
4H Tsuyoshi Yoneyama
3H Koji Akiyama
2H Satoru Komiyama

AC Ichiro Suzuki
KC Hideki Matsui
QC Nobuhito Sato
JC Koji Murofushi
10C Yoshinobu Takahashi
9C Kasumi Fujii
8C Toshihisa Nishi
7C Atsushi Yanagisawa
6C Shingo Takatsu
5C Katsunori Kuwabara
4C Hideharu Miyahira
3C Toru Suzuki
2C Mikino Kubo

AD Ichiro Suzuki
KD Hideki Matsui
QD Nobuhito Sato
JD Koji Murofushi
10D Yoshinobu Takahashi
9D Kasumi Fujii
8D Toshihisa Nishi
7D Atsushi Yanagisawa
6D Shingo Takatsu
5D Katsunori Kuwabara
4D Hideharu Miyahira
3D Toru Suzuki
2D Mikino Kubo

JOKER Mizuno Logo
JOKER Mizuno Logo

The complete checklist with images is here: 2002 Mizuno All Star Super Dream Cup Premium Cards

20 January 2017

1992 - 1995 Sportsprint New York Yankees postcard set (update)

UPDATE - 20 January 2017

A Bernie Williams postcard has surfaced featuring Bernie at the bat, wearing a jersey featuring the "7" on the sleeve, memorializing Mickey Mantle who had died in August 1995.   That means the "1993" list is probably a mix of postcards from 1993, 1994 and 1995 (or even 1996 given how the #7 was only used late in the season).  Thanks to eagle-eyed Kid4hof03 on FreedomCardboard who pointed this out.

UPDATE - 31 December 2015

    Thanks to Michael over at New York Yankees baseball cards, we now have solid information for splitting these postcards into individual 1992 & 1993 sets.  The list below has been updated accordingly.

UPDATE - 25 June 2015

     I'm now thinking this is actually two or three separate sets, or the set was issued continuously over two or three years.  This morning on eBay I caught an auction with previously unseen cards of Danny Tartabull in a portrait shot, another Kevin Maas with a different photo and a Roberto Kelly.  Kelly wasn't even on my radar for some reason, even though he was an All-Star for the Yankees in 1992, so I don't know why I was surprised.  Checking the same seller's completed auctions turned up another lot that included Buck Showalter, Mark Conner and new-to-me cards of Clete Boyer and Yankee Stadium.

UPDATE - 15 January 2013

I saw the Maas postcard on eBay, so the set is now up to 26.  I'm going to start posting images of each postcard as I find them so collectors might have a slightly better chance of recognizing them.  I suspect the black & white cards are copies of the originals, but until I find color versions, these are all I have to work with.
UPDATE - 09 December 2011

     A couple more of these showed up on eBay recently, but they are no help in narrowing the set down to a single year as all six individuals were with the team from 1992-93.

UPDATE - 04 December 2012

A much larger assortment of these has hit eBay, bring the checklist up to 25.  I finally have verification of most of the starters of the team.


     The postcard arrived today, all the way from Los Angeles. It was interesting to see that as soon as I got my shipping notice, the seller immediately had a second one posted for sale. Considering he said he was given these as a gift, and he only had the Meulens, Showalter and Howe, he probably has a stack of them from an in-person signing from way back when. I have to revise my date estimate to either 1992 or 1993 as those were the only years Meulens and Howe were on the team together with Showalter at the helm. By 1994, Meulens would be playing in Japan and out of the Yankees system altogether.

Here are the front and back together:


     No joy on Googling SPORTSPRINT/ATLANTA aside from more references to that 1994 Greenville Braves set. Ditto for the photographers and what was presumably the outfit that provided the photos.

17 December 2016

1981 Baseball Cards Magazine Index [in-progress]

Baseball Cards, Spring 1981, Issue #1, Volume 1, No. 1

Cover: Honus Wagner, 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, 1974 Topps Dave Winfield
"Errors Discovered in '81 Fleer"by Larry Fritsch, p14. Detailing the errors/corrections in the 1981 Fleer set.
"In'the Beginning..." by Vivian Barning, p18.  Collecting strategies to fit a budget.
"Is PVC Destroying Your Cards?" by Bob Lemke, pp28-30, 79.  A detailed explanation about the dangers of storing cards in PVC pages.
"Players in Plastic" by Bob Parker, pp32, 64.  Hartland Statues from the 1940s-1960s.
"An Investor's View of Baseball Cards" by Tony Galovich, pp37-40, 80-83.  An in-depth look at the finer points of various factors to account for when viewing baseball cards as investments.
"Collecting Your Favorite Team" by Doug Watson, pp42-48, 84-85.  St. Louis Cardinals collectibles.
"Before the Surgeon General's Report" by Lew Lipset, pp52-57, 78.  19th Century tobacco cards.
"The Cards That Go 'Clink' " by Jim Nicewander, pp58-63.  Baseball coins by Armour, Salada, Topps, Old London and Citgo.

Baseball Cards, Autumn 1981, Issue #2, Volume 1, No. 2
Cover: 1953 Topps Andy Pafko, tobacco cards

06 December 2016

Clyde's Stale News II

     For the first time ever, Panini is FINALLY issuing a baseball sticker set for a country other than the US or Venezuela.  Panini will be producing a sticker set and album for Liga de Beisbol Dominicano (LIDOM) this season.

18 November 2016

More Team Photos (with Bernie!)

     In a major score, a seller on eBay recently posted a ton of old team photos, and luckily for me, those included four previously unknown (to me) that included one Bernardo Brito!  The 1981 and 1983 photos are all folded three ways which leads me to believe they were mailed out on request, rather than handed out out at the ball park, the 1983 photo even having a Batavia business card attached.
     Bernie played the better part of four seasons in Batavia, New York, with the Trojans, who were the low A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians at the time. In this first picture, we have Bernie in his first professional season, standing on the left end of the back row.  Bernie didn't have a very structured introduction to baseball in the Dominican Republic, so 1981 would have been a major adjustment for him, speaking little to no English and really only knowing how to crush a baseball against teenage pitching.  That he is even in this photo at all is something of a surprise as he only played 12 games for Batavia in 1981.

     Despite his unimpressive initial showing, Bernardo returned to Batavia for the 1982 season, this time appearing in 41 of the team's 75 games that season.  He improved a bit, showed some of that pop he was signed for with four home runs, and actually stole a base, which is impressive as he only stole 24 in his entire minor league career.  Here, Bernie is in the third row, four down from the man in the suit.  I had to adjust the exposure on the scan as a black & white photo of all of those dark jerseys didn't make for a very good photo.  In any case, looks like Mr. Brito blinked at exactly the wrong time.

     1983 saw Bernardo Brito returning for his third season in Batavia.  This time around, he appeared in 60 games, and had improved enough that he was promoted to High A Waterloo for part of the season.  He didn't stick, though, his batting average dropping 40 points with the change of scenery and he was back in Batavia for the 1984 season.  Another case of the photographer apparently not using a fill light.  Had to adjust the levels again just to make out Bernardo's face.  This time he's on the back row, third from the right.

     The sellers that listed these apparently did not have a 1984 photo of either Waterloo or Batavia, but I did land this 1985 Waterloo Indians photo.  In 1984, Brito finally started to put the pieces together in his hitting game and finished with 19 home runs and a .300 batting average.  That was enough to earn him a promotion (again) to Waterloo for the '85 season.  This time around he did not disappoint and racked up  29 home runs, to lead the Midwest League.  Accordingly, Bernie would not spend another season in A ball and would be play the 1986 season with the Indians AA affiliate Waterbury Indians.

    After five years in A ball, Bernie finally made the jump to AA, in 1986, to play with the Waterbury Indians, and it took a bit of adjustment.  I've heard it said that the jump from A to AA is almost the same difference in level of competition as the jump from AA to the majors.  His average and power numbers dropped a bit, but not an an alarming amount.  He would recover all of that when the team moved to Williamsport in 1987.

    Skipping ahead to 1987, Bernardo made what at first glance appears to be a lateral move, but in fact was just him repeating a grade.  After the 1986 season, Cleveland moved their AA Eastern League affiliate from Waterbury to re-establish baseball in Williamsport, Pennsylvania (which had been without baseball since the Williamsport Tomahawks closed up shop in 1976) with the creation of the Williamsport Bills.  Bernie put up another good year at AA, batting .277 and clobbering 24 home runs, tops in the Eastern League.  1987 would be the final year for Brito in the Indians organization as he would be released the following spring, to be signed as a free agent by the Twins the following week.

24 September 2016

Clyde's Stale Cards on Kronozio.com

    As I haven't sold much on eCrater this year, I've decided to move a bunch of that inventory over to a relatively new site from Canada, Kronozio.com.  You may have started seeing their ads popping up on sites like SportsCardForum.com or TradingCardDB.com. They are based in Montreal, and are all native French speakers, so if some of the English on the site seems a bit wonky, it is because of automatic translations.  They have begun entering into partnerships with various hobby sites around the world, so the site language should clear up fairly soon.

     Another reason I'm doing this is that for new listings, Kronozio's Kronocard software makes adding new cards to their site so much faster than manually inputting a card at a time to eCrater.  Kronozio's software also offers an eBay connector for cross-listing cards to eBay.

    When I first started listing cards on Kronozio, I actually sold a few right away, which surprised me, but then didn't sell much after that for awhile.  Mostly that is due to my lack of promotion of my listings, and the limited nature of the listings themselves.  Now with the eBay connector, I'm trying to take advantage of my monthly free eBay listings.  Posting cards for sale on eBay is just as easy as posting to my Kronozio store.  Once all the card details have been entered, it's just a drop down option as to whether I want to list it as an auction (with or without a Buy It Now) or a fixed price listing.   Click here to see how the listings look on eBay.

     Within a couple of hours of posting a certain MLB Showdown card of Ichiro, it had already sold.  Yesterday I listed all of the cards from some Bandai Owners League boxes I'd recently bought and overnight the Dae Ho Lee card sold on eBay.  I know, those two are likely special cases, and none of the other 30+ eBay listings have received a bid yet, but I'm happy to have so quickly unloaded two cards.

     They make a big deal about how quickly you can scan and post cards for sale using their software.  While they may overstate it a bit for people who don't have an automatic feed scanner, I can attest that they easily have the fastest system I have seen.  Not having to scan and handle all of the images separately from the listing process is a huge time saver.  They also have a service for identifying your cards for you, where you just scan them and post them to your account, and for a small service fee, they will handle all of the card identification for you.  I guess that would be most useful if you had thousands upon thousands of cards to post.  Doing batches of 50 or so at a time, I don't see the need, and considering how eclectic my listings tend to be, I'll just handle the card ID myself.

    The scanning is very accurate with regard to finding the edges of the cards, and adds some buffer to make the edges easier to see.  Anytime the scan is a bit crooked, it is very easy to adjust using little bull's-eyes to show Kronocard where the card's corners are.  Here is are some sample scans:

     The process is very simple.  You place the cards face down on the scanner, and Kronocard makes a single sweep and picks out the cards.  Flip the cards over and it makes another sweep and it catches the backs.  The software also does a great job of matching the fronts and backs based on where the cards sit on the scanner platen.  So basically always make sure when you flip the cards over that you leave them in the same place.  Depending on the coloring of the cards I'm scanning, I will use a different backdrop or leave the scanner lid open so there is more contrast for the software to work with.  Picking out white bordered cards against a white scanner lid background isn't easy for any image recognition software, and though Kronocard does a great job of it, why make the software work harder than necessary?

     There are options as to what kind of scanner you are using, how you want to orient the cards on the scanner, how large the scanner area is, how you want to organize the scans for each session, as well as a way organize your cards by box, row and section, if you so choose.  I really need to do that as my organizational skills are atrocious.  The software scans everything at 300dpi, which is not configurable.  If you are scanning lots of cards from a single set, you can even establish those details before you start scanning, and that information will be automatically tied to the cards you scan in that session, reducing identification time.  Once you have your scans, you move on to the individual card identification process (setting card numbers, player names, team names, etc.), which ends with listing the cards in your Kronozio store.

     Here is a video from their YouTube channel about the scanning and listing process:

    They have also recently added an option to let you use your own scans if you already have a library of images, and don't want to re-scan everything.  Kronocard Photo Import.  To be perfectly honest, even if you chose not to list cards on the site, Kronocard is a fantastic bulk scanning tool.  All of the images are stored locally in your C:\ProgramData\kronozio\Metacard\Images folder.  The file naming scheme automatically pairs up fronts/backs, so if you sort the folder by name, everything lines up nicely, though all the images have names like 0b9a3411-473c-4340-bbca-cdcd5eca972ar.jpg.

     When you get right down to it, I would say they fall somewhere between Sportlots.com and COMC.com.  Like Sportlots, you still have to handle all the shipping and inventory management, but you get the visual benefits of COMC's interface with all the card details and front and back scans for every card.  If I ever generate enough sales to actually provide some numbers, I'll do another post comparing the fee structures between the three sites.  Kronozio takes a flat 10% of your sales, simple as that.  Listing is free.  Any eBay listing fees are between you and eBay.  Kronozio imposes no extra fees on eBay sales.

     For now, I'd definitely say go check them about and give the site a try.  If you happened to try them last year, but didn't really get the hang of it, give them another look as they have made some substantial improvements to their Kronocard software since they launched.  They offer a lot more options than what I have covered here.  Check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and on their Kronozio Blog.