Friday, April 20, 2018

I Experienced Rhino Meadows and Lived to Tell About It

I have been active, as always, trading on TCDB.  Some these small PWE trades don't end up on this blog.  I don't know how many of you would be interested in seeing two cards added to my 1992 Fleer set build or how many TCDB traders are necessarily looking at my blog for recognition of their trades, as I know many bloggers do.  Some trades, however, just beg to be shown off.  This trade, with TCDB user rhinomeadows, begs to be shown off.

First of all, we have some help.  I don't have my wantlists posted for 2012 Topps football or 1993 Hostess, but I do have them on my TCDB wantlist, so I've been gradually putting them together.  I used to have a whole bunch of the Hostess cards, but I didn't really consider them "real cards" when I was a kid, so I got rid of most of them.  Now I recognize them as a nice-looking set with plenty of memories, so I'm going back for them.  This Triple Play Traditions card finished of the small insert set for me.

I won't turn down new Packers.  Especially if one of those is a sweet oddball of Super Bowl I hero Max McGee.  This card is a 1981 TCMA and is one of my favorite Packer cards now.

I used to think of the 1989 Score set as scarce.  I suppose it is, in comparison with the other sets of that year.  But I'm acquiring so many of them through trades that I've almost got all of the guys I collect, even though I never owned any of this set until a couple of years ago and have never actually bought any of it.  These three defenders all had a spot on the 80s All-Decade Team.

With this Pro Set Derrick Thomas rookie, I now have all of his rookies.  He is the first player from that great Hall of Fame draft class that I have the Topps, Pro Set, and Score rookies.  No, I don't even have all three of former Packer great Tony Mandarich, who was drafted before Thomas, not to mention Barry Sanders, Deion Sanders, or even Steve Atwater.

More all-decade players, this time focusing on the "big uglies."

First of all, let me say, "How did I never even know that Stadium Club Chrome was a thing?"  This was the first I had ever heard of it.  With these two cards juxtaposed, let's take a moment to observe just how horribly drab early Bowman was.  There is absolutely no character to the card on the left, especially when you look at what a card could look like.

This set was brand new to me, too.  It's 1997 Upper Deck Legends.  It's a great-looking set.  I especially love the photography on the Lynn Dickey card.  The smaller front photo of Dickey with Bart Starr is added coolness to the snowstorm of the main picture.

Finally, rhinomeadows had some 1999 Upper Deck of various guys in my collection.  It's a very Upper Deck looking design, but that's not necessarily bad.  I liked Upper Deck.  This set does have some issues on the back, however.

Apparently, the "Brwons" have "definately" found their starting QB.  Spelling aside, there is also a missing comma and at least one instance of awkward syntax here.  Most of the cards I received in this trade had some kind of typographical error on the back.  It pays to read the backs of your cards--especially if you're the one producing them.

This was a great trade that brought me a variety of cards for my collection.  I don't know how many TCDB people are reading this, but thanks rhinomeadows, if you are!

Thursday, April 19, 2018


The last post coming from my Black Friday order will feature my refractors.  I decided to build a refractor Frankenset, which also happens to be my one true Frankenset, in the sense that the card numbers actually go in order.  I have a couple of collecting projects that I consider Frankensets, but refractors are the only to be numbered 1-300.  I have a long way to go, despite the fact that it is a mixed sport set and I'm including Panini Prizms and some other cards that I have judged that fit the rainbow-y, refractor-y bill.

Basically, I did my shopping by going to COMC when the Black Friday sale was happening and finding the best looking cards and best players I could for under 40 cents.  No, I wasn't picking up any superstars, but I did manage to get a variety of sets and some names that I will probably remember years down the road.

I don't like the way these scanned.  At least they're not dark, like the base would be, but I would like to be able to see the rainbow a little bit.

I also tried to find different colored refractors, too.  Here we have pink, light blue, red-white-and-blue, sepia, and purple.  Not a bad bit of rainbow for the set.

I may be only about halfway to 300 refractors for the set, but these 18 brought me a little closer.  I don't know how long it will take me, but I'm excited for what this binder will look like when I finish.  I have most of my Frankenset needs on my wantlist page, but I haven't quite finished putting them in.  This will remind me to go ahead and finish that.

Now that my 2017 Black Friday is done, I'll be able to move on to 2018 findings.  Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


I recently began showing off my Black Friday (yes, the Black Friday from last year) COMC order.  I started with an eclectic mix of baseball players that mostly filled insert and short print set needs.  I tend to shy away from common base cards on COMC because paying 50 cents for common 2012 Topps card can be a little painful.  But the same price for an insert seeded just two per box is doable.  Today, I want to post my football card haul from COMC's Black Friday shipment.

Some base cards are worth it, though.  I used COMC to finish off these two sets.  The three 1988 Topps cards were stars that I had not seen available through trades or in my LCS's monster box of 1988 singles.  The 2008 Topps rookies were mostly rookies, but there were a couple of subsets that I hadn't found in a few years of set building.

2013 Topps Strata is also done.  I have completed the entire set, plus both versions of each rookie.  Rookie cards in this set had different photos for hobby and retail packs.  I had to pick up the Michael Vick when I noticed that I didn't actually have the base card for the set; I had slipped a Black Onyx parallel into the binder without noticing.

More rookie card photo variation fun.  I decided to collect all of 2015 Prestige plus the SP rookie photo variations.  I don't know why.  It's something I've never done before and don't plan on doing again.  For my own purposes, I don't feel the need to have all the SPs in a set for it to be complete.  That may make some completionists bonkers, but I know what I want for my collection.  COMC has provided most of the rookie SPs for really good prices, but I don't know that I'll ever pull the trigger for Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, and Todd Gurley.  I guess it's just a half-hearted effort to get the full set included SPs.

It's been slow going with some of these 2016 Panini rookies.  This feels like a set that I should have finished already, but I either haven't found the price I want to pay for the rookies, or I get distracted spending my money elsewhere.

Now for some insert set needs.  I'm down to seven cards needed for my 2013 Panini Prizm Brilliance set. Apparently, I already had the Russell Wilson, so that card is an extra and available if anyone is in love with it.

Another shiny set that I'm trying to build is 2016 Absolute Unsung Heroes.  I love the concept.  I love the look.  And I love the checklist.  This is a fun set to me.

The last insert purchase is a pair of needs from 2016 Panini insert sets.  If I weren't building these sets, I would still have taken both of these cards for my All-1980s collection.

Speaking of all decade teams, here are some fun cards that I picked up to fill out my binders.  Kellen Winslow is my first look at Panini Unparalleled.  It's really shiny and kind of interesting.  I haven't decided if I love it or hate it yet.  I picked up the 89 Score Derrick Thomas rookie after trying to trade for it on TCDB.  When I realized how cheaply I could snag it on COMC compared to the book value we were using in the trade, I pulled it from the trade and replaced it with some other cards I wanted.  The Terrell Davis you see here is a cool Sample Card from 1998 Playoff Contenders.  I didn't know that when I bought it; I only noticed it when I scanned it.

Here are three cards I got because of the players' college days.  This is the first card I have to represent Danny Wuerffel in my Heisman Trophy binder.  Luke Staley and Ziggy Ansah both are BYU guys, with opposite career trajectories.  Staley was the big man on campus during his time at BYU, winning the Doak Walker award and setting all kinds of records.  Then he was drafted in the seventh round and never played an NFL down.  Ansah, on the other hand, came out of nowhere and only started his senior year.  Then he went on to be a Top-5 pick and All-Pro in the NFL.  It's funny how things work out.

From BYU to SUU here.  My Brad Sorensen collection is growing a bit at a time.  Miles Killebrew became the second T-Bird drafted in 2016, and he is represented here with a SAGE stickergraph.

Finally, some Packers that I couldn't pass up.  A Brett Favre oddball and some vintage.  This is my first card of Hall of Famer Henry Jordan.  John Hadl's best days were before Green Bay, but he was a solid quarterback.  I love the hair here.  I don't think I've seen too many cards of players with full-on male pattern baldness featured on the card.  At $1.50, Henry Jordan was the splurge of this group.  The rest were all 75 cents or less.  I'm happy to find them.

I have one more section of COMC Black Friday to show, and then I can focus on cards I actually acquired this calendar year!

Thursday, April 5, 2018


The countdown to Black Friday shopping starts now!  We only have eight months until the biggest shopping day of the year.  It's time to start scouting stores, training for the sprints and fights.  It's finally within our sight! 

Okay, maybe we're not counting down until next Black Friday.  But it does seem  a bit late to be recapping my Black Friday purchases from 2017.  So I'm four months behind.  Does that bother me?  Not really.  I suppose I have posts piling up, but not at such a great rate as to overwhelm me.  Since the new baseball season has begun and this purchase was closer to the end of last season's World Series than Opening Day this year, it's probably high time to take a look at the baseball cards I picked up from COMC and shipped with their annual Black Friday free shipping.

I used this purchase to knock out some insert set needs.  These two cards completed their respective sets from 2015 and 2016 Topps.

I was also able to complete this set from 2015 Topps.  I love the concept of a set based on various ballplayer superstitions.  It was a fun set to complete.

 In 2016, I bought a box of Topps Bunt and decided to build the Program set.  I liked the idea and the look of it.  The only problem was that I only pulled about 3 of the 30 cards from my box.  I still haven't made a ton of progress since then.  I thought about building the Program set from last year's Bunt, too.  Until I saw it.  It just didn't feel as authentic as this Program design.

This is one of my favorite sets ever.  The individual cards go for a higher price than any set I've ever put together, but I could look at this set and read these quotes all day.

I have almost completed the 2013 Panini Triple Play set.  These fun When I Was a Kid cards are the final ten cards of the base set, and they are much better than the regular base.  But they only fell about 2 per box.  I still have a few more to go, but I'm inching closer.

Here are a couple of late 90s Fleer Ultra set needs.  The Pizzazz cards are SPs of the base set, while the Notables are an insert set.  They're both very shiny.

It wasn't all set-building.  Here are a couple of other cards that I picked up from a seller to get him to accept my offer.  The Halladay is a red back variation.  I always liked Halladay, but he played mostly in the time when I didn't collect.  When he passed away, I realized that he didn't have nearly enough representation in my collection. That's why I went after this card when I saw it.

Finally, here are some more (mostly) shiny cards for my ASG MVP and ROY collections.  The sparkly Myers Bowman card is my favorite here.

Player-wise, this was quite an eclectic purchase.  Only a few players were on more than one card.  A-Rod, of all people, was the most common player.  He was on three cards from three different set builds.  Andrew McCutchen and Robinson Cano were the only other players to be featured twice.  Of course, baseball was only a portion of my COMC order.  I have some other posts to come.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Card Madness 2018, Pt. 9: The Championship

I've been running my own card tournament to coincide with March Madness.  I've been calling it Card Madness and it is really just a way for me to play with my cards.  I  created a bracket and I'm pitting baseball teams against each other in a battle to the death by showcasing cards from my collection, which have been randomly selected.  The bracket is here, so you can view progress.  Cards were chosen at random and each team will have a different representative every round.  This is baseball after all.  You can't pass the ball to Michael in Crunch Time; you have to go with the next man up in the order.
Now we've reached the championship game.  I'm sure you're all dying to know how this year's tournament will end.  Who is our cardboard champion for 2018?  Let's find out.

Final Round: Houston Astros vs. Atlanta Braves

2015 Topps #437 Jake Marisnick vs. 1994 Post #6 David Justice

2015 Topps makes one last appearance.  The design is still good, but I've discovered through this tournament that how much I like set varies from card to card.  1994 Post is a great design for a cereal oddball.  It looks like it legitimately could have been produced by one of the major card companies, and I have always like the green on the border.  Both players have their eye on the ball in the photo, though in different scenarios.  Normally, I don't go for cards with the logos airbrushed out, but kudos to Post for selecting a photo in which it's hardly noticeable.  The gray Braves uniform is distinctive enough to be easily recognizable without the team name anyway, but I don't get the feeling that too much is missing from the picture to begin with.  I really like the look of the card.  David Justice was a three-time All-Star and two-time World Champ.  Jake Marisnick is also a World Champ, I guess, having appeared in one game for the Astros last season.  This was a pretty lopsided championship matchup in the end; David Justice runs away with his third World Championship.

Winner: Braves

There you have it!  The Atlanta Braves are the 2018 Bump and Run Card Madness Champions!

Let's review the championship lineup the Braves used to get here.

That's pretty solid team of Hall of Fame and Hall of Very Good players.  Congratulations to the Braves.  Unfortunately for you Braves fans, this might be the extent of the team's championship aspirations this year.

Let me know what you thought of the Card Madness series.  I'll be honest--it's probably something I would do with or without readers.  I am interested in hearing your thoughts, however.  I hope you enjoyed it.  I sure had fun finding out what the cards held for each MLB team this season.