Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Hold My Mail, Please

This may be the craziest thing I have ever done. In just two weeks, we're moving. For the past seven years, I've enjoyed a commute of 1-mile to my school. I would even ride my bike to work in the fall before the mornings got too dark to do so. Just three years ago, we bought a house in the same neighborhood we had been renting. Now, so soon after our last home purchase, I'm trading in my 1-mile commute for a 40-mile commute. Why? Well, this is why.

This beautiful house is more than just a house. My father-in-law designed this to be his family's home. As a man who has spent his entire life working construction, he built it himself. My wife remembers helping him lay the wood flooring when she was 10 years old. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, they had to sell the house about 15 years ago. But about a month ago, we found out it was on the market. We decided to make a run at it, but we didn't think there was a good chance we would get it because our house wasn't even up for sale yet. I mean, we weren't even planning on moving. Amazingly, the sellers accepted our offer, contingency and all. The current owners haven't kept anything up, so there are a lot of repairs to do. Basically, we just bought a fixer-upper at the top of our price range that exponentially increases my driving time to work. But it's okay, because you know that house we bought three years ago? It appreciated so much in this crazy housing market that we sold it for a full $100,000 more than we bought it. That will help fund the new roof, replacements for the broken bathroom fixtures and the almost 30-year-old carpet, and a bunch of other things that need to be done.

We're now in full-on packing mode around here, and my cards have already been packed up. I turned off trading on TCDB already. I even sold off my basketball collection and most of my baseball trade boxes to lighten the load a little and help finance moving expenses. If anybody was planning to send me anything, I'd like to request that you hold them for me for a couple of weeks. Not only am I worried that I might not get them, but, as I said, everything is in boxes for the moment.

Since I'm not going to have any mail days until at least the end of the month, I want to display some of my more recent mail days. These came from various TCDB trades, some blogger free stuff giveaways, and Johnny's BFG. Thanks to all who provided these for my collection.

I'll let you know when I can resume the activity of sending and receiving cards--along with the new address--when we get settled. Oh, and did I mention? This house will have a card room for me! Ignore the paint, please. My wife and I have compromised to share it. Half of it will be a sewing room for her, the other half a card a room for me. I've never had more than a closet before.

Monday, July 6, 2020

State of the Set: 2017 Prestige Phenomenal Athletes

I feel that there are too many sets on my wantlist that have been sitting there for years while I slowly chip away at them. This year I noticed that a lot of those sets are well within striking distance this year, so I've tried to swing some trades for set needs while focusing my recent Sportlots purchase on sets as well. We'll see how many sets I can kill before the year is out.

For the past few years, I have written a post that summarizes my set completion quests for the year. I still plan to do that for 2020, but I also decided to give a progress report for sets that I'm actively acquiring cards for along the way. I thought this might be more interesting than writing one giant post that tries to tie all the different cards from a trade or a purchase together.

Let's have a look at an insert set I've been working on for a few years that a pair of trades have helped in the past couple of months.

Cards via TCDB trade with ARMYWP12

Why I'm collecting this set: In 2017, I decided to try building the 2017 Prestige set from jumbo packs alone. Each pack came with a few inserts. I took on the Phenomenal Athletes set for a few reasons. First, I got a good start on it from the jumbo packs. Second, they look pretty good. Third, I liked the checklist. There are some current and retired superstars in the set. And finally, it was an appealing size. An insert set with 42 cards was big enough to be a challenge but still attainable.

How long has it been on my wantlist (roughly)?: About 2 1/2 years now, since I started the Prestige set from its release.

Current state of set completion: 22/42 (53%)

Cards via TCDB trade with blains

Current needs: #2 (Marcus Mariota), #4 (Antonio Brown), #7 (Jalen Ramsey), #11 (Jim Brown), #13 (Gale Sayers), #15 (David Johnson), #18 (JJ Watt), #20 (Adrian Peterson), #21 (Bo Jackson), #22 (Tyrod Taylor), #23 (Vernon Davis), #24 (Jamaal Charles), #28 (Antonio Gates), #29 (Ezekiel Elliott), #30 (Jimmy Graham), #32 (Rob Gronkowski), #34 (Brandin Cooks), #36 (Cam Newton), #37 (Julius Peppers), #38 (Darrius Heyward-Bay)

Prognosis: Buying these cards on the secondary market has turned out to be more of a challenge than I thought. Not that they're hard to find, but I'm a bargain-hunting buyer and they are usually priced around $1 apiece, which is little more than I want to pay for inserts that sometimes came two in a jumbo pack. So it's slow going, picking them up here and there. I doubt I'll finish this one by year's end.

Monday, June 22, 2020

50-Year-Old NFL Legend Cardboard

Last week I was on eBay looking for an affordable box to break, since I'm not really buying any retail right now. I found one (which will be saved for a later post), and in my customary way, searched around for other items the seller had for sale. I came across a "U-Pick" lot of 1970 Topps football and saw there were some pretty good players available and add it to my purchase. With the shipping included, these 10 cards came out to about a dollar apiece.

The highlight of this purchase was knocking off two players from my NFL All-Time Team Project. For this project, I'm collecting one card from each player who was chosen for the NFL's 100th Anniversary All-Time Team this past season. My criteria for these cards is that they must fill one of these criteria: 1) a Hall of Fame rookie, 2) a vintage card (defined as pre-1982 for this purpose), or 3) a serial-number of 500 or lower. I was able to pick up two new cards for this project.

And Gale Sayers is a big one for a dollar. This alone made the purchase worth it to me. It's off-center, but otherwise in great condition. The same can be said for John Mackey. It's even more off-center, but its condition is great.

I also tried to pick out a few other Hall of Famers. Robinson, Wilcox, and Bethea are all enshrined in Canton. My favorite card of these four is Elvin Bethea because this is his rookie. Again, an average of $1 per card got me a Hall of Fame rookie from 1970. I'll take it. Gary Garrison is a name I recognized from recent years' Hall of Fame finalists. I don't know much about him, but I know he was a finalist or semi-finalist for the Hall in the past year or two, so I went ahead and selected my first card of him for my lot.

And, of course, I took whatever Packers he had available from the set, too. This is my first Doug Hart card. Up to this point, the only card I had of Gale Gillingham was an All-Pro card he shared with John Hannah. It's a great card--with a Packer great and a Hall of Fame great on the same card--but it's nice to have one of Gillingham flying solo.

Friday, June 12, 2020

It's Friday and This Stuff is Free!

I may be one of the last bloggers to jump on this bandwagon, but I have way too much stuff from my big football purchase. So all these cards are free for anybody who claims them. This will 99% football, but--surprise!--there were just a few other sports in the lot and all of those cards are going to be up for grabs in this post.

I'll number the pages and you can select cards by giving me a page number and a slot number. Slots will go left to right, top to bottom, so the top row will be 1-3, middle row 4-6, and bottom row 7-9. So the card smack-dab in the middle of the first page would be 1.5. I think you know the drill.

Here we go with some free cards!

Page 1

Let's start with some Hall of Famers

Page 2

More Hall of Famers (or soon-to-be HOF)

Page 3

Rookies of players who had solid careers

Page 4
More rookies. A little more recent, varying degrees of success. (Card #5: Tony Bosi
Page 5
Inserts from a time when the concept was a little more novel
Page 6
More inserts and/or parallels (Card #1: James Jackson)
Page 7
How about some coaches?
Page 8
Players in college uniforms (Card #8: Jeff Burris)

Page 9
A little break from the football. (Card #4: David Wesley Collector's Choice German Edition)
Page 10
Now we're just going to start progressing through the years
Page 11

Page 12

Page 13

Page 14

Page 15
Card #9: Brett Perriman

Page 16

Page 17
Card #1: Fred Lane, Card #3: Kevin Carter, Card #4: Jeff Graham
Page 18

Page 19

 Page 20
Tarvaris Jackson, RIP
Page 21

Page 22
I mentioned before there was a lot of Collector's Edge
 Page 23
And we'll end on some cards that I found interesting. Card #7: Bubby Brister, Card #8: Rodney Peete

So there you have it. Claim what you want and I'll try to get these out in a timely manner. Make sure I have you're mailing address by shooting me an email at tntcardsstg at gmail.

Also, I've put together some team lots for ebay. I have a lot for just about every team, approximately 40 cards apiece. I'm putting them up for $1 per lot, plus shipping. If you're interested in one, let me know that, too. I'll be posting them on ebay some time next week.

One last thing: there's a contest at Chavez Ravining that's got some great prizes and is easy to enter. Go check it out! Have a great weekend, everybody!

Monday, June 8, 2020

Lots of Variety, One Great Purchase

I am having a blast with my recent pick-up. I bought a lot of 2 plastic boxes of football cards from a classified and I've been digging through a couple thousand cards since then. There is so much variety that I'm finding stuff I've never seen or heard of before. There's even some stuff that I've failed to identify still. I would estimate that I found about 500 keeper cards, though I don't have everything cataloged and put away yet, so I can't give a number with certainty. It's clearly going to keep me busy for a while this summer, though.

 Let's examine the variety a little, shall we? These cards stretched into the 1970s and early 1980s. There weren't many all-time greats in the older cards, but you can see there were at least two All-Pros here. I have to admit I'm not familiar with Leon Gray or Herbert Scott, though.

As we move through the 80s, I recognize more names. In all, I would guess that pre-1990 cards make-up only about 5% of the total cards in the boxes. As might be expected, the greatest concentration came from 1990-1995.

As I went through the cards, I gained some insight to the changes in our hobby. For example, here is 1990, divided by brand. Beyond these four, there weren't too many products to choose from in 1990.

But here is 1991. There's a big difference here. In some cases, the same companies from 1990 released new brands, such as Topps introducing Stadium Club or Fleer coming out with Ultra. We also have new companies, like Pacific, Pro Line, Upper Deck, and Wild Card joining the fray. Product choices went wild in the early 90s.

Here's another view. This is the list of "Major Releases" for 1992 and 1993, as shown in the Trading Card Database. To illustrate the great variety in this lot, the purple visited links show the brands that I had to click on to catalog cards for that year. You can see that I received a little something from almost everything these years.

Let's take a closer look at the cards I've decided to add to my collection. Here we have some all-time greats with 5 HOFers and one who deserves consideration (Tyrer).

As always, my All-Decade collections received a boost. Here are the 1980s players. Who knew that Wild Card made a Chrome set in 1993, as seen in Andre Tippett (top center)?

Here we have the 1990s players. I had never before seen Collector's Edge's Super Bowl sets, like Cornelius Bennett above. I learned that they did them for a few years. Only the teams who made the Super Bowl are in the sets. The gold foil on Willie Roaf's 1997 Score card indicates the Hobby Reserve parallel, which I had never come across before.

There was so much representation from the 90s that I couldn't include just one image. I discovered that I was underrating 1994 Playoff. And that Thurman Thomas Warp Speed insert is just slick.

Now we move into the 2000s. Torry Holt is seen in 2000 Collector's Edge T3. I'd never seen this product before. I learned that the hobby edition has a refractor-y foil and sides are embossed, while the retail version is plainer. I picked up some of both the hobby and retail. The guy I bought this from seemed to have a preference for Collector's Edge.

And even some cards from the newly-formed 2010s All-Decade Team! I haven't decided yet if I'm going to do the same type of collection with these players as I have done with All-Decade teams of the past, but I'll hold on to these while I decide. Rookies of Calais Campbell, Eric Weddle, and Eric Berry are a good thing, though. I'll most likely post about this new decade team in the future.

A football purchase wouldn't be complete without some Packers. Here we have some shiny 90's Lambeau Leapers.

These guys were among my favorites when I was a kid. I especially like the Chmura card in the middle. Was he the team's long snapper at one point? I really don't know.

 And, of course, there were cards from my non-collecting years that I didn't have.

Heisman winners in college unis! These are the first Charlie Ward football cards I have, and there are three of them. This was the unexpected collection hit for me. I wasn't expecting Heisman winners from their college days. Earl Campbell is from 2019 Leaf Draft, so you can see that the collection extended to present-day, even if it was just a few cards.

1989 Pro Set supplied some new cards for my centers collection, which includes pictures of centers with their hands on the ball.

As I'm winding up this post, I have a few interesting finds to share.

First, this 1993 Pro Set Power Power Combo insert fits in both my All-Decade team for Art Monk and my Heisman collection for Desmond Howard. Both of those players were standouts for the . . . Falcons? This is an uncorrected error.

Or how about this Heath Shuler? Does anybody at all know what this is? I haven't identified it yet, and I can't find TGIF Cards in the TCDB. The card is acetate and kind of cool. If you have any information about it, please comment below.

And one last oddity. I definitely wasn't expecting any autographs, but there was one. Joseph Patton was a 3rd-round pick for the Redskins in 1994. And Yatil Green is missing his auto! This card says, "Genuine Autograph," in the bottom-left corner. It has a print run of 5,000. But I see no autograph. After doing some research, I learned that the only cards with a print run of 5,000 were signed. It looks like Yatil missed one here.

I've really enjoyed this purchase so far. I posted some trade bait last week; most of it is still available if you are interested in some rookies, inserts, or parallels from this lot. I may do another post or two as I continue to sort, log, and store this awesome cardboard.