Monday, August 12, 2019

National Baseball Card Day Left Me With Some Decisions to Make

On Saturday, I took my oldest son to the card shop for some free cards.  We each got a pack of Topps National Baseball Card Day promos.  The two cellophane packs had Miguel Cabrera and Christian Yelich on top.  I offered them to my son and let him choose.  As I expected, he chose Miggy.  As a Cubs fan, I'm not a big Yelich guy, but I don't think I could have hand-selected a better pack than the one I got.

El Mago and King Fish are probably the two I cards I would have wanted most in the set.  Pete Alonso had a good chance of winning Rookie of the Year and becoming a PC player.  The reigning (and potential repeat) NL MVP and the Best Lefty Ever? are a strong supporting cast.

The LCS we visited was having a warehouse sale with a ton of (mostly) junk they were trying to get rid of.  There was even a bin of free stuff.  I thought about picking up some old Becketts for a buck apiece, but decided that I could find better ways to spend a very limited budget.  I did find some random oddballs in a bin marked "2/$5" that I thought would be worth the money.  They all left we with decisions to make about my collection, though.

First up is this Post Cereal set.  The envelope contains the entire oddball set.

They're postcard-sized cards.  One side is full-bleed action shot (no logos, of course).  The checklist is pretty great, as you might expect from a set that used only 16 of the top players of the year.  A sextet of Hall of Famers is shown here.

The other side looks more like a traditional card front and back.  There is a fold in the middle to make these cards into a little booklet.  So that leads me to the first decision: How should I store these?  I see three options.
  1. I keep them in the envelope they came in.
  2. I put them in a photo album to act as a binder.
  3. I fold them in normal-sized cards and put them in my oddballs binder.
What are you thoughts?  What would you do?  I want to have them in my binder, but I'm hesitant to fold them.

The second item that I picked up was a trio of hologram cards in a hard display case.  These are all guys I collect, including David Robinson, though I don't actively collect basketball.  So I figured to get these three cards for $2.50 was probably a reasonable purchase.  These are 1991 Arena Holograms and each card has a print run of 250,000.  That's all I know.  Does anybody know anything else, like where they came from?  I have a decision to make about these cards.  They have all been removed from their encasement, but now I have to decide whether I want to complete the set.  With these 3 cards, I'm 60% there--only Joe Montana and Frank Thomas remain.  Should I finish it and keep it with my sets, or should I just let these join my player collections individually?

My last pickups were these two Score portfolio-type binders.  I glanced inside and saw that both contained 1998 Pinnacle Mint cards and coins.  I picked up both of them, thinking that I collected enough late-90s players to make the purchase worthwhile.

When I got the binders home and examined the contents more closely, I discovered a few things.  First, for each player included, there was a base card with the coin and a bronze parallel.  I also learned that this was nearly a complete set of cards, coins, and bronze parallels.  There are only 30 players in the entire set, and I have 22.  Now it's decision time.  Do I go ahead and complete the set(s), or do I keep what I want and use the rest as trade bait?  Normally, I would complete this set without hesitation, but the cost of the coins is a stumbling block for me.  I looked on COMC and found that each coin is $1-$8.  That's a steep price to complete a set that I just stumbled upon and never intended to chase.  And, of course, the missing cards are the big names: Bonds, Griffey, Jeter, Ripken, etc.  On the other hand, what a cool set and what an opportunity to have so much of this complete already!  What would you do?

So I didn't spend my money on Topps to get the extra Bryce Harper NBCD card, but I found some really interesting odds and ends.  But I'm left with some decisions to make about my new finds.
  1. How should I store the Post postcards?  Fold them?  Keep them in the box?
  2. Should I pick up the last two cards in the holograms set, or should I keep the 3 I have in my player collections?
  3. Should I finish the Pinnacle Mint sets (coins, base, and bronze parallels) or break the partial set apart and use some for trade bait?
I really want to hear what you would do.  Leave me some advice in the comments!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Phillies Won, So I Won

Over at the Trading Card Database, there is a member who goes by the name of herkojerko.  Old herko is a Phillies fan, so he gets all excited whenever the Phils win, as fans tend to do.  This summer, he stepped his excitement up a notch and tried to get all of us card collectors involved, too.  He is holding a season-long contest in which the first ten people to comment on his thread whenever the Phillies win a series get to choose 20 cards from his trade list for free.


So when the Phils won a series, so I took advantage and commented on the thread.  Here are my spoils from the Philadelphia series triumph.

I got some set help.  There are some pretty big names here that I still needed for not-so-expensive sets.  The Thurman Thomas hologram was the final card needed to complete the 1991 Upper Deck Game Breakers set.

A couple of needs for my All-Decade and ASG MVP collection.

But, mostly, I was concerned with building my BYU collection.  Here we have three of former Cougar pitcher and World Series champion Jeremy Guthrie, and three football greats in Vai Sikahema, John Walsh, and Chad Lewis.

Ty Detmer cards are great.  Not only is he one of my most beloved sports heroes from my childhood, but because the pinnacle of his NFL career came from 1996-2000, when card companies were producing all kinds of shiny and unique designs.

For those of you who are counting, that is only 19 cards.  The 20th card was meant to be another Cougar, tight end Chris Smith, but herkojerko mistakenly sent the wrong card.  I wasn't about to complain to him, though, seeing that it was only through his generosity that I got these cards anyway.

The Phillies have won series since this time, but I unsubscribed from the thread.  I could have won multiple times, I suppose, but I don't want to be greedy.  I'll take advantage of free cards, sure.  But I don't want to overdo it.  A one-time shot is good enough for me.  So, thank you, herkojerko.  And good luck Phillies! *Anytime they're not playing the Cubs.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Wolverine to Wolverine

I've been using my summer break to do some organizing around the house.  I built some shelving in my garage and finally threw out some useless junk.  I used my newfound space in the garage to move some things out of my shed (which is ridiculously small) and I can move around both spaces for the first time since we moved in almost three years ago.  The organization has extended to my card closet, of course.  As part of this organizing movement, I cleared out some space in my trader box.  In my trader box, I set aside cards that come my way that I think other bloggers might like.  This month, I sent out a few stacks of cards unannounced to a few different bloggers.

One of them, Dennis at Too Many Marios Verlanders, was quick to send back few things my way.


Dennis is a Cal Jr. collector, so it makes sense that he had some extras to send my way.  Surprisingly, all of these cards were needs.  I thought for sure I had the Fleer Tradition checklist and the Donruss in my Cal collection, but it turns out that I didn't.

Joining Ripken, Jr. in my ASG MVP binder is Griffey, Jr.  Dennis is still batting 1.000, as I needed all three of these, too.

He also hit my ROY binder.  I had the two Correas already, but Myers and Hellickson were new to me.

The biggest item in the package, though, was a Starting Lineup figure of former All-Star MVP Jeff Conine.  I don't collect SLU, but I do collect the cards that accompany them.

That's not to say the I couldn't put the figure to good use, though.  I still have a few of them from my childhood days, and they sit on display in my classroom.

Conine was able to join his Kenner brethren Barry Sanders, Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, and Whitey Ford in a middle school classroom.  The guy you see on the far right is a new item, too.  It came from a stadium giveaway a couple of weeks ago for the local rookie ball team, the Orem Owlz.

Interestingly, I sent a package to Ann Arbor full of Michigan Wolverines, and ended up getting something in return that I could put in my classroom.  Our school's mascot?  Why, it's the Wolverines, of course.  From one Wolverine to another, thank you for the package, Dennis.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

7-Up and Cupcakes: An Oddball Post

During our city's annual celebration week, I took my kids over to the park and we caught a reptile show.  Afterward, I wandered around and looked at the vendors.  Lo and behold, I caught sight of a vendor who I've known from the local card shows.  I picked through his dime box and found about ten cards, but I was more interested in a bunch of sets on shelving unit.  Some of them were marked buy one get one, some were just discounted.  I ended up getting one of those sets.  I didn't know much about what I was seeing, besides that I needed to have it.

It was a 1985 7-Up Chicago Cubs set.   There are 28 cards in the set, so I'm thinking the entire 25-man roster, manager Jim Frey, and a coach card.  I'm not sure who the 26th player was; I'm thinking there were a couple of players floating back and forth from the minors and were both included in the set.  I love the completeness of this checklist, though.  Guys that were by no means superstars, or even starters, got cards here.

That's not to say that the superstars were lacking, though.  We have a staff ace and three Hall of Famers, including newly inducted Lee Smith, here.  The Ryno card was on the top of the shrink-wrapped set, so the corner is bent.  It is the only such corner in the entire set.  I keep imagining a bullpen of Eck and Smith, though.  I was too young to get baseball when they played together with Cubs, but how about a couple of the greatest closers in the same pen?

There were some other good players on the team, too, even if guys like Bowa, Lopes, and Cey were past their prime.

I even like the photography.  If I had heard about a 7-Up oddball from the mid-80s, I would have pictured a lot of bat on the shoulder, posed shots, but the photography is top-notch.  I still have no idea where this set came from.  Does anybody know?  It's a pretty great oddball set.

Let's not stop the oddness here.  I just recently got back on the trading horse at TCDB after turning off trade proposals in January to fix my scattered, inaccurate tradelists.  One of the trades I've completed this month came from nwcardsupplies, and he provided me with some oddball set help.

I don't know how many Hostess Baseballs I ate as a 10 year-old to get these cards, but I recently decided to go back and finish the set.  Nwcardsupplies got me within 8 to 75% completion with this trade.

Two transactions, 36 oddball cards, 2 junk food produced sets in one post.  I have to wonder how much sugar fueled this post.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

One Thing Led to Another, and I Made an Ebay Purchase

Have you ever tried to trace your thought process, how your brain wandered from one thought to a completely different thought?  Perhaps I'm alone in my quirky head, but I sometimes find it bizarre to see how one thought led to another, which led to another, which led me to pause and think, How did I get here?  And then I committed an ebay purchase that when it arrived, I thought, How did I get this?  All the cards came from the same seller, but there were six separate lots I bought, with a bit of a range between the contents.  Yet somehow, I jumped from one lot to another and ended up with a big purchase from one person.

Where this started was one of my periodic searches for players whose names might have been misspelled, which could eliminate some competition for auctions.  This time, I searched for "Aaron Rogers" and came across these cards.

I needed all of these.  They're all inserts, which is cool, and there are even some parallels of inserts, like the green Score Franchise above.  I'm not a huge fan of shared cards, but the Team Leaders with two of my favorite players to collect--Jordy Nelson and Eddie Lacy--is really nice to me. 

These cards were for sale by auction, but they also had a best offer option.  So, just to throw something against the wall and try to get a good value per card, I  made an offer for a little under the starting bid.  When he accepted it, I did what everybody else does: I started looking for other items from the seller to combine shipping and justify the postage.

I decided to stay on the Green Bay track.  First, I found a single Jim Taylor.  It's from 2018 Classics, but it's shiny and chromey.  I had no idea what it was.  It turns out that it's called "Optichrome Premium" and I found it cheaper on ebay than I would have found it on COMC, which is usually my barometer.  I count that as a win.  Then I found my current favorite player, the guy who once made my son dance with him for an autograph, former BYU Cougar Jamaal Williams.  It's a nice Red & Yellow Prizm from Optic.  It was actually part of a lot of four Red & Yellow Prizms.  The other three
are sitting in trade stacks that I will send someday.  Like the "Rogers" lot, I made an offer on both of these just below starting bid, and received an acceptance almost immediately.

Having exhausted the seller's offerings of football cards, I switched my search to baseball. 

The first thing I wanted was a lot of Corey Seager for my Rookie of the Year collection.  I needed seven of these eight cards, with only the Award Winners in the bottom right already in my collection.  A couple of these cards I had no idea what I was seeing.  In the top right, in the 1994 Topps design, is a Wal-Mart Exclusive rookie SP from 2016 Update.  The cracked ice effect in the bottom left is from 2018 Donruss.  It's the All-Stars set, but a "Crystal" parallel.  Here's what I don't understand: the All-Star inserts are serial-numbered, but this parallel is not.  I have no idea if the print run is higher or lower for the Crystals.  It's a nice-looking card, even if it is Panini.

From ROY, I made jump to All-Star MVPs.  I found these four A&G SPs, and 3 of the 4 fit nicely in my collection.  The odd man out here is Justin Turner, who is possibly my current least favorite player. (I've seen him deal too much damage to the Cubs for me to enjoy watching him play.)  It's available for trade, if anyone wants/needs it.

The final lot was another set I had no idea what it was, but it looked kind of cool.  This is 2015 Donruss Preferred.  I bought the lot for these five players.  This was the only purchase that the seller did not accept my offer.  He countered with the price of the starting bid, and I thought it was fair.  Already he had given me all the other lots at less than starting bid.  This one he obviously just felt the value was enough to at least get what he was asking.

 These players also came in the lot, but I they're all trade bait.  If you want any of these, let me know.

So here I am, starting with a misspelled name search of Aaron Rodgers.  One thing led another, I got combined shipping and kept looking for another fit for my collection.  Moving step by step, I ended up at shiny, logoless Donruss inserts of guys like Rymer Liriano and Yasmany Tomas.  Like tracing my thought process, I can see how this eclectic ebay purchase came about.

The seller also threw in a couple of bonus relics.  The first is Jason Bay, my first relic of this ROY and a great fit for my collection.  The other is Joe Williams, a former Utah Ute (booooooooo!), but a card that could bring me a trade at a card show, since he is local. Both are nice random bonuses for me. 

If you're interested, the seller was eghigh01, and he was very pleasant to work with.  It was a bigger ebay purchase than I usually make, but I felt like I got good cards for a good price.  If any of the trade bait interests you, let me know and we can work on a trade.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

I Finished Last in March Radness--Will I Survive to Tell About It?

Since I was appointed our school's testing coordinator last year, March has been an insanely busy month for me at work.  So when Cards on Cards opened up his March Radness NCAA basketball tournament this year, I wanted to enter without spending a lot of time choosing teams.  I ended up sitting down with my 10 year-old and 8 year-old and having them take turns choosing teams in the bracket.  When I ended up with Old Dominion in the championship, I knew I had a winner. . . or not.  It turns out that I did win, because Kerry puts together a package for last place.

He made some vague threats about the loser getting a really bad package.  I was curious.  I imagined a box of Norfin Trolls or *gasp* a priority mail box packed to the gills with junk wax dupes, like 50 copies of 1989 Fleer Steve Jeltz or something.  Kerry mentioned in one post he might send me a box of spiders.  I didn't think he was serious, but the thought creeped me out.  But I braced myself for the worst.

And this is the worst Kerry could do.  At first glance, it's a healthy stack of cards, and I could certainly imagine worse than Anthony Rizzo.  But is this top card merely hiding something a little more nefarious?

Three 2016 Cubs from the Topps National League Stars set?!  Why that's, that's--pretty cool, actually.  I didn't have any of these, although I think I have about a full page of that Jake Arrieta design, between Flagship, Chrome, Opening Day, parallels, etc.

This may be the extent of all the 2019 Donruss I get this year.  A red holofoil of Albert Almora and his currently hot bat and a really nice DK El Mago are two of my favorite cards of this package.

A couple more of 2019's offerings.  This is my first look at Opening Day's Rally Time inserts.  I like the concept, and that is definitely a fun card of David Bote, but why does it look just like a base card?  Could they really not come with anything to make a unique design? 

I didn't buy any Chrome at all last year, so these were all needs.  I really liked last year's design, and I do like it all chromed up, but I don't have much of it.  Once again, Javy is my favorite here.  I think I would like the Contreras more if it were a photo from the front angle.

More Javy.  This is the first Panini Chronicles card I've ever gotten, but I did get some blasters really cheap from Dave and Adam's last week that I'm going to bust.  I'm not in love with the product, but I figured for $6 a box, I would try a couple.

Who doesn't like early Bowman's Best?  Or the Cubs jerseys that look like they say "Cuba?"  I sure like them, and I'm glad to receive them.

And there's the junk wax I was expecting.  Walton, Sandberg, and Gracie are always welcome in my collection.  But Stadium Club has me in suspense--was Dwight safe or out?

Yes, there were some dupes for me, as I expected from Kerry's evil plan.

Some Team USA cards, including two players who made it to the Show in Austin Jackson and Kevin Gausman, and a relic of Cody Wheeler, who never did.

And now we're just getting some random stuff here.  I don't recall a "History of Topps" insert set.  I'm not a fan of either the card or the concept.

What's this?  Tyronn Lue?  Well, this is A&G, so I guess it's still a baseball card.  Kinda.

Now we're really getting random.  I never got into Star Trek.  My sci-fi fix comes from Doctor Who.  Like the good Doctor, the NBA sticker comes from overseas, from a European Upper Deck release.  That's kind of cool.

Also included were two unopened packs.  I have no interest in either of these two sets, so I gave them to my boys.  They were the ones who earned me this package, anyway.

I can see what Kerry was trying to do here.  As a Cardinals fan, the scariest thing he could think of was Cubs cards!  These were probably hiding in his closet, haunting him when the lights are off in the dead of the night.  He thought this package would keep me away from his contests forever.  But he failed!  I get the last laugh here, because, unbeknownst to him, I actually love Cubs cards.  I win!

But wait, what on Earth is this?

*Runs away screaming*

Friday, May 10, 2019

A Few Random Sportlots Auctions

In a recent post, I checked out a Sportlots box for the first time and came away a pretty good sized "sportlot" of cards for my collection.  Around the same time, I decided to take a peek at a couple of auctions.  I don't usually look at the auctions on Sportlots, but this time around I found a few that caught my eye.  The titles were simple--things like "34 Stars Inserts Favre"--but they were on Day 3 with no bids, so I decided to check them out.  I saw a few cards I wanted in the photos and figured if I could win multiple auctions for cheap and get the combined shipping, it was worth a shot.  In the end, I won a trio of auctions for $.25 apiece, and with shipping, I had them for about $7 total.  I didn't know every card that would be in the lots, so I was taking a bit of a chance.  As it turns out, it was a pretty good chance to be taking.

This cool insert set came from 2008 Topps and Chrome.  It honors NFL players who also served active military duty.  With all three lots combined, I picked up two copies of this set, minus one card.  I've since remedied that incomplete set through COMC.  After my Black Friday shipping this year, I'll have my Roger Staubach in hand and a completed set in my binder.

The lots were all given titles that included, "inserts," "stars," and at least one player's name.  Most of the cards were stars, inserts, or rookies, which made me happy.  I was a bit scared that I'd get one or two inserts or stars, and the rest would be 1990 Pro Set or something.  Stars from the 90s were well-represented, mostly in shiny.

 The Nineties provided some interesting insert sets.  I remember how cool I thought the acetone Collector's Edge cards were when I was a kid, but Bobby Hebert is the first I've owned.  I also loved the Ultra Stars and anything Fleer Metal at the time, both modeled by Marshall Faulk here.

I don't know anybody who misses Classic, but I won't complain about parallels/inserts of a few Hall of Famers that I received.

Early 2000s inserts were a cool find. Since I bought no cards during this period, there are still many sets I've never seen before.  Not only were the cards themselves pretty cool, there are some pretty good names here.  Most of these guys aren't NFL legends, but they were higher-tier players in their time.

More late 90s/early 2000s inserts.  Marshall Faulk made quite a few appearances in the package.

There were some nice rookies in there.  The Playoff rookies on the bottom row aren't the greatest (or even good) players, but those are some cool transparent cards.

The inserts kept coming into the early 2010s.  These were the most recent cards in the package.  I like the inclusion of two underrated running backs in Lenny Moore and Lydell Mitchell, as well as Packer great Billy Howton.

 Some NFL legends came in 2008 shiny Chrome . . .

and some real 1980s cardboard.

There were two special occasion promos, from 2004 National Trading Card Day and the 1991 National Sports Collectible Convention.  Oh look, there's Marshall Faulk again.

Finally, there were a few additions to my BYU collection.  Playoff was a quality card company in the 90s, and I have liked Panini's reincarnation thus far this decade.

I took a chance on some lots, and though I couldn't fit it all in my collection, I did get some pretty good cards for about six cents a pop.  I really don't feel there was any filler junk in any of the lots.  So, if you're browsing around auctions on Sportlots, and you see a lot from AAAVINTA, I can vouch that it will be filled with some pretty good cards.