Friday, December 8, 2017

I Have a New Favorite Card

. . . and, no, this is not for P-Town Tom's best card of 2017 contest.  I'm still working on that.  This is simply a new addition to my collection that is my absolute favorite among the thousands I own.  This favorite card is not from 2017.  But it did come in a 2017 TCDB trade with rodine.  This was my second trade with rodine this year and it required a little bit of haggling to get it done.  However, when this card was part of the original proposal, I knew I couldn't let the deal die.

First, three cards from a fun insert set: Opening Day's Opening Day.  This is why I like Opening Day--it celebrates one of my favorite days of the year.  In the case of this insert, it's a literal celebration of Opening Day.  It's a small set, but I only pulled one out of packs this year and I've been building the rest through trades.

Next, I received a single card from another insert set that I am building.  Perspectives caught my eye last year and I wanted the set from the beginning.  This is one of the better shots in a set full of great photography.

Rodine also sent me a few Gracies I needed.  I think I love every card here.  Early Upper Deck SP, a great shot of Grace coming down the third base line, an outstanding flip to the pitcher covering first (presumably), and two designs I've always loved in 1997 Fleer and Ultra.  Not to mention a Pinnacle Inside, which I never even heard of back in the day.

Two of my heroes when I was growing up, Emmitt Smith and Brett Favre.  I soured on Smith when the Cowboys went on a run of knocking the Packers out of the playoffs three years in a row, but I'm happy to have these two cards.

As great as these cards are, none of them have become my favorite card.  No, I have saved the best for last.  What, you ask, is my new favorite card in my collection?  What could be so rare as to knock my pack-pulled Kyle Schwarber 1/1 rookie off the top?  What could could be so valuable as to push my LaDainian Tomlinson autographed patch aside?  What could be so . . . oh, nevermind.  You get it.  It's not extremely valuable, old, or rare.  But I coveted it and now I own it.  Here it is:

A 1986 Topps Reggie White rookie!  The all-knowing Beckett only values this card at $15, but this card is iconic to me and one that I have wanted since I was a kid.  And now I have it.  Big thanks to TCBD user rodine for a great trade.  It's definitely one I will remember.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Collect-a-Set (and Some PCs)--A TCDB Trade

In October (yes, I really am that far behind in my posts) I completed a massive trade with TCDB user Collect-a-Set that included 100 cards on both sides.  True to his name, Mr. Collect-a-Set seemed to be looking to build some sets, including 2015 Topps flagship baseball and football.  I, on the other hand, mostly hit my PCs from his tradelist.

First, the Packers.  Looking at the James Jones card, I wondered if this was from one of his good seasons or bad.  Jones seemed to alternate between dropping everything that came his way and scoring touchdowns like it was going out of style.  It would appear that this particular photo was from Week 1 in 2012, when Jones scored the first of his 14 TDs that season.  I'd say this was a good season.  I also love the Randall Cobb.  I'm a sucker for Lambeau Leap cards.

I scored a quintet of rookie cards of All-1990s defenders in this trade.  I have never really agreed with Levon Kirkland's inclusion on this team.  I think his teammate, Greg Lloyd, would have made a better selection.  Perhaps my bias is due to the fact that  cardboard seems to be in short supply, but I think it's more football related than that.  Consider:
  • Lloyd had 707 tackles to Kirkland's 771.
  • Lloyd had 54.5 sacks to Kirkland's 19.5
  • Both finished with 11 interceptions.
  • Lloyd made 5 Pro Bowls and 3 1st Team All-Pro; Kirkland made 2 Pro Bowls and 1 1st-Team All-Pro.
I don't know how Greg Lloyd was snubbed.  It could possibly be that Kirkland was an inside backer and Lloyd was outside, but that argument doesn't make sense, since the all-decade team doesn't seem to differentiate.  Plus, the 2nd-Team All-1990s team has one outside backer and two inside backers (Kirkland and Hardy Nickerson).  It just doesn't make sense to me.

Moving on, here are some more 1990s greats.  These cards scream nineties to me.  Gold foil, the brand new Patriots logo, outlandish Score designs, and Collector's Edge.  I have to admit, though: that Carnell Lake is a sweet card.

I have a feeling that the pictures from these cards came from the same play.  After all, how often does a defensive tackle have the ball in the end zone?  However, I can't find anything that says Millard scored during this game.  Rams cornerback Jerry Gray was named MVP of the Pro Bowl, so I find it hard to believe that Millard scored a touchdown and another defensive player took home the MVP.  Does anybody know where I can find a boxscore for the 1990 Pro Bowl?  Either way, I like the look of these two cards side-by-side in my binder.

All of these player are on the All-1980s team.  This set, however, came from 1993.  It's got quite the 90s feel to it, despite the fact that all of these players had their heyday in the 80s.

On to the baseball.  Jeff Conine may have been crowned "Mr. Marlin," but here he is seen as an Oriole.  These are my only cards of Conine as an Oriole.  I prefer to collect his Marlin cards because that's when he won the All-Star Game MVP award.

Here are some former Rookies of the Year.  None of them did too much to follow up their freshman campaign.

Finally, I received my first two Scott Williamson cards.  He fits in my collection as a ROY, but his career is made up entirely of black hole years in my collection.  Needless to say, his binder page needs some work.

As I said before, 100 cards exchanged hands on both sides during this trade.  This just represents the highlights.  Thanks for reading, and happy collecting.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Incompletionist

I've never really considered myself a completionist.  If I were, my day-to-day life would probably drive me crazy.  I chose teaching as a profession, and in my view, I will see very few completed projects at work because I look at my work as human development and most people don't peak at the age of 14.  At least, I hope not.  As a result, I never see all of my labors come to full fruition.  Sure, there is a project here or there that I can consider complete, but the focus of my work is to simply help add to the building that is an individual's understanding.

Part of a set I'm working on completing.

At the same time, I feel great satisfaction in making and achieving goals.  One of my hobbies is building things and DIY projects around the home.  I do love the feeling that I get when I can step back and say, "Look what I've done!"  The drawback here is that there so much I want to do and do little time and money to make all the home improvements I would like to make.  Sometimes I start them--thinking somehow that will make it so--but I take my time completing them.

A random subset I decided to own: 1993 Upper Deck "Berman's Best" nickname cards.
My card collecting tends to reflect this duality of tolerance for never-ending projects and satisfaction in reaching the finish line.  On one hand, I love to pick up random cards and sometimes I buy packs just for the fun of seeing what's inside, with no real intent to finish the set or no expectations of scoring a big hit.

Mini-Collections and PCs
I have many PCs and mini-collections that will never be "finished."  I'm so all over the place that currently only 2 players in my collection have topped 100 cards.

BYU team collection
I consider myself a team collector, but my Packers and Cubs collections aren't huge.  Sometimes I get bored with team collecting, if I'm being honest.

Some sets I'm working on
 Then there is the part of me that likes to complete sets.  I usually select one or two base sets and an insert set from each sport that I try to complete.  However, my budget just doesn't stretch far enough for me to make really good runs at everything.  The result is a long list of sets that I'm working on that will probably never be completed.

Like my DIY projects, my card collection proves me to be an incompletionist.  Incomplete projects that I'm "working on" seem to be found all over.  I anticipate that my wantlist will keep growing and growing and I'll have sets that are on the list for years and won't get finished, all the while more current sets will garner my attention.

Throughout this post, I've been showing off cards from various collections, PCs, and sets I'm working on.  This 2013 Opening Day set is not complete for me, as I've mostly been trying to complete it through trade.  I love the celebrations and action on this cards.

 These additions brought my Topps Update Whatever Works set closer to completion.  I've been working slowly on this since 2015.

No, I have not been working on 1993 Fleer for 24 years.  It's an old set, but I've only been working on it since finding a box on the cheap about five years ago.  (Here we have 2 BYU players featured--Gouveia and Oates--and a really good photo of what appears to be a Hail Mary.  It does seem like an odd choice for the receiver's card, though, as the play was evidently unsuccessful.)

1988 Topps has been a pet project this year, and here are some notable card for me.  Rogers and Rozier both won the Heisman as collegiates.  Timmy Smith put together arguably the most remarkable Super Bowl performance ever.  The rookie who barely played in the regular season stepped up and set a rushing record against the Broncos on the biggest stage.  Bosworth was one of the biggest rookies in the set, and Bosa has a son who is pretty good player in his own right.  Too Tall Jones was a favorite of mine from the moment I learned about him.  I wish I had gotten to see more of his career, as it was coming to an end by the time I was old enough to know who he was.

Finally, I have some various sets I'm working to complete.  Luckily for the Astros, George Springer didn't get that deer-in-the-headlights look in the World Series.

The impetus for the post was the fact that I had some scans from a few TCDB trades that I wanted to post, but there was so much variety in there that I had no idea how to tie it together.  And then I realized. . .  that sounds like my collection.  So many interests, so spread out, so incomplete.  But I must be enjoying it, because I haven't tried to cut it down yet.   Big thanks to TCDB users hundmatic, mhart55641, rodine, and goskins for the great trades.  I received these and others from these great users and traders.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Keeping Things Updated

I really didn't intend to buy Update this year.  I had already collected the complete Series 1 and 2 and I figured I had spent enough on Flagship.  But there is a part of my collection that needs update.  Rookie of the Year award winners make up a large portion of my collection, and this year's awards will go to two big time players.  Big time, at least, in the sense of the current prices of their cards.  Overall, this year's entire rookie class is pretty big time.  When I saw the number of Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger cards in the Update checklist, I figured that my best bet to collect those cards on the cheap would be to get a few packs of cards. Since my goal was to get as much Update base as possible for as little money as possible, I calculated that fat packs were the way to go.  So after going the entire month of October (and most of September, for that matter) without purchasing new cards, I picked up a few packs of Update, hoping to get as much of the base set as possible, and really hoping that I wouldn't have to buy Judge and Bellinger rookies separately.

Obviously, Update has two major draws: rookies and traded players.  Personally, I believe that Update should only contain players with this designation.  Here I have some of the better rookies for my collection.  Gurriel had himself a pretty good postseason, though he did make a few waves after his home run off Darvish in the World Series.  Brugman may not have a made a name for himself yet in the Majors, but he did play his college ball in Provo at BYU.  The two Yoan Moncada cards came back-to-back in the same pack, and it exemplifies what is wrong with Update.  First of all, Moncada's rookie debut card appears in 2017, though he debuted in 2016.  Second, Moncada was traded since that debut, and as a result, appears with a different team.  So one player has two cards with two different teams in the same.  Not only that, but the rookie debut took place a year earlier.  If I ran the show, Moncada would have one rookie card in this set.  The Rookie Debut could be an insert set or something.  Or, better yet, the rookie card in Update could simply put the date of the debut, if the debut date is so necessary.

I have mixed feelings about the All-Star cards.  On one hand, I love the All-Star Game, so I like having the year's participants chronicled.  On the other hand, I'm not sure I 'd miss them if they were removed from Update.  The Home Run Derby cards, however, can go.  In fact, I think Topps could make a pretty good insert set of the Derby, instead.  It would be a fun topic, a solid checklist, and would remove the bloat from the base set. 

Of course, I'm always happy to get Cubs, and Ian Happ was one of those hot rookies I'm glad to get my hands on.  It just so happens that all the Cubs I pulled belong in this set, too.  A couple of rookies, a newly acquired player, and a card featuring an event from the current season. 

As for the inserts, these are the ones I am keeping.  I'm really not a fan of more rookie reprints, but since I'll probably never obtain the originals, I'll hold on to these.  The Heroes of Autumn is nice looking set, in my opinion.  The grayscale leaves on the border just look classy to me, and there are some classic names in the checklist.

Here are some more inserts that I don't plan on holding onto.  Some of these have already been claimed in trades.  I'm strongly considering keeping the Bregman simply because the play where he nailed Greg Bird at home in the ALCS is etched in my mind.  It's a gold parallel, by the way.  I didn't even realize that at first.

This may only seem odd to me, but I pulled a photo variation of Miggy.  It's numbered as part Series 1 on the back.  What the?  I don't understand, but it's a cool card, nonetheless.

Overall, I like the concept of Update.  A small set at the end of the year to sweep up rookies and roster moves that couldn't be put in Series 1 or 2 is a good thing.  But this year's update set has some major flaws, in my mind.  There are some traded players that are missing.  (I'd point out Chris Taylor, but it seems like I've heard that before.  If I could just remember where. . . )  There are a gazillion cards of star rookies like Judge and Bellinger.  I, for one, can do without having so many cards of one player.  Give him a base rookie and maybe an All-Star card.  That's all we need.  If it were up to me, the set would be around 150 cards, all rookies and roster updates, with maybe an All-Star subset.  The rest can go.  But then, I probably wouldn't stay in business because I wouldn't be able to sell as many packs of cards with such a small set.  So what do I know?

I do know one thing.  I bought several packs, thinking that the price per card in a pack was going to be better than what I could find on the secondary market, especially for Judge and Bellinger.  There are 3 Judges and 5 Bellingers in the base set.  They make up almost 3% of the set between the two of them.  I didn't pull a single one.  It appears that the odds were not in my favor.

An Update on Update

Before I published this post, I ventured out for another fat pack.  I'll throw some scans of my spoils in this post while I'm at it.

A couple more Cubs in this pack. I may be appreciative of an Ian Happ card, and that uniform is beautiful, but the Rookie Debut seems superfluous.  Just put the date on his base card and give him one card!

This is what belongs in Update: players in uniforms that don't look familiar at all. 

These cards also belong in Update.  I love the name Rookie.  I love owning the rookie of Rookie.  I love that he and Magneuris Sierra are the beginnings of an All-Star name team. 

Here are a couple inserts that are up for grabs.  Anybody want them?

But here is the piece d'resistance, the very reason I'm posting this cards today as a postscript to the post.  I just couldn't wait to show off my Ryne Sandberg SP variation and Cody Bellinger insert.  I collect Rookies of the Year, and this is the first card I have of Bellinger.  (Note: I still don't have a base of Bellinger or Judge for the set.)  Great looking cards here.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Black Friday Contest

Hey everybody, I just joined the Black Friday Contest being put on by Penny Sleeve for Your Thoughts.  I'm sure most readers of my blog already know about this, but Jon is offering to use his COMC store credit on behalf of one lucky winner.  Go check it out!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Does It Get Any Crazier?

It's well-documented on this blog that I'm a Cubs fan.  I'm not an impartial observer, so when I say that last year's World Series was one of the best ever, you can take that with a grain of salt.  But last year we saw lead changes, both in games and in the series, and an epic extra innings Game 7.  Of course, the outcome was the best I could ever hope for, so it was extra sweet and exciting.

This year was something else, though.  Sure there were lead changes galore.  The series went the distance again.  But this one felt weird, not necessarily great.  The late game lead changes felt like wild and crazy, one-off occurrences.  Then they happened again.  But the craziest thing happened tonight.  Lance McCullers's stat line was a microcosm of the strangeness of this World Series.  Lance McCullers HIT more batters than he struck out, but still left the game with a 5-run lead, and wasn't awarded the win.  That's insane.

I was pulling a little for the Dodgers, but I'm still okay with a Houston win.  As of the writing of this post, the MVP award has yet to be awarded, but my money is on George Springer.  A few years ago, I thought I would be collecting Springer as a Rookie of the Year, but he didn't make quite the splash I expected.  I still think he's one heck of an exciting player.  I'll show a couple of my favorite Springer cards as I give my congratulations to the Houston Astros and their fans.

Custom mini, big series for George Springer. He certainly took his opportunity to shine.  Enjoy it, Houston!  No city needs something like this more.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Some Fall Housekeeping

I love this time of year.  The weather is beautiful--cool, but still not chilly.  The leaves are turning.  School is starting, which is one of the best parts of the year for a teacher.  Fall is football, crisp days at the stadium.  And it is postseason baseball.  I suppose you could add in the beginning of basketball season, which is only important to me because my boys are into it.  But right now I'm enjoying mid-season form in football and the excitement of the World Series.  In honor of this smorgasbord of sportitude, I have some cards to show off from both football and baseball.

I honestly have no idea where these cards came from.  I've had them in my Google Photos album for months.  I imagine that they came from some Trading Card Database trade, but I can't find any of my past trades that include these cards.  They are a mystery to me.  So if you sent me these cards and are now reading these, step up and take credit so I can give you a proper thank you!

Just for the heck of it, let's switch between the sports here.  I'll start with an addition of Cubbies.  I love the eX insert of Gracie at the top.  It's a beautiful card.  I also love the Pacific legends set and I would love to complete the set, but I know I will probably never chase it.

Two of my favorite brands in the mid-90s were Pinnacle and Collector's Choice.  As a kid, I could always afford Collector's Choice.  I could rarely buy Pinnacle. Here I add some legends from that decade in those two products.

Or how about some double whammies?  These players are both Cubs and ROYs.  Where do they go in my collection?  Well, since my ROY pages of Nomah and Walton are full already, they will find a home in my Cubs binders.

The Cubs have been represented, so now the Packers want in. And what a Reggie White promo card wants, a Reggie White promo card gets.  This is one of my new favorite Reggies.  I never had a clue it existed until I obtained it.  A Lambeau Leap is also always welcome.

Baseball comes back with some additions to my All-Star MVP collection.  I like to collect these players in the uniforms for the teams the played for at the time of their MVP award.  For Crawford and Soriano, this is a more difficult task for me because the decade of 2000-2010 I collected absolutely nothing.

These are my first cards of McAda and Mealey, neither of whom stuck around too long.  In fact, I now own 1/3 of all Ronnie McAda cards ever produced.  But my favorite here is the Bubba Franks rookie.  Here's why:

Bubba Franks just became a guy for me to target on cardboard because he himself "has an extensive baseball card collection."  I love hearing about players who collect.  I wonder if Franks still collects or just has a collection leftover from childhood?  Either way, it was important enough to be included in the back of his rookie card and I appreciate it.

On that note, I'll send you off with some baseball cards that, who knows?, Bubba Franks might just have in his extensive baseball card collection.

Yes, it's a good season to be a sports fan.  I hope you all enjoy Halloween, the rest of fall, and Game 6 tonight!