Monday, May 31, 2021

Overdue TCDB Roundup, (Part 2)

I still have more TCDB trades that I haven't posted yet, so how about another round? This time around, we've got some football.

We'll start with some older cards that don't really have a place in my collection, but I was trying to fill up a trade and all of these players were pretty good and I wanted to add them.

We'll keep it in the 80s with this trio of All-Decade performers for my collection. I think it's pretty cool that the Rams team card has both Jack and Jim Youngblood, but the reason it goes in my collection is Nolan Cromwell.

Two more 80s cards brings me another Nolan Cromwell. The Washington card is needed for Dave Butz, #65. Butz was an All-1980s DT, but he only has 36 cards linked to his ID on TCDB. So even though he's fairly anonymous on this card, I'll take it for my attempt to fill a page of each All-Decade player.

We'll keep the All-Decade train rolling from the 80s (Minnefield) to the 90s (Wisniewski) to the 00s (Mawae and Ogden) to the 10s (Wagner).

 And one more for the 2000s All-Decade Team, La'Roi Glover. I don't remember him with the Rams.

Yes, I traded for some Packers. As always, I'm happy to add some Jordy Nelson base cards that I didn't have before.

All of these cards go into my collection of one card for every base set that has been released. I didn't have any representation of these sets in that binder. Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that Emmitt Smith and Jay Barker doubled up on 1997 Pacific Philadelphia from two different trades. Whoops. At least Barker can go in the Through the Years binder, while Emmitt will feel at home with the rest of my Emmitt Smith cards.


Finally, a trade that is just a hodgepodge of different cards I wanted: White, Griffin, and Howard for the Heisman; Winslow, Easley, and Atwater for the All-Decades; Joe Greene just because he's Joe Greene. And another missing Jordy.

The credit goes to the same group of traders who were mentioned in my last post. I have one more TCDB roundup to post before I'm caught up.

Friday, May 28, 2021

The Last Last Day of School?

Today I sit in my empty, summer cleaning-ready classroom, the students having just left the building on the last day of school. At our school, we have a faculty luncheon to close out the year, but there are two hours between when the students leave and when the luncheon begins. There are a few end-of-the-year loose ends to tie up, such as cleaning the classroom or getting check-out sheets signed. But I don't have those things to do. Taking advantage of free labor, I give each class a cleaning chore before the last day. So by the time school lets out for the summer, I'm all set. With that little time-to-myself-at-work period, I like to open some packs or boxes of cards that I have set aside for the occasion.

This year feels different, though. First, I wasn't able to procure any unopened cards. Obviously, Walmart and Target weren't options for me. I went to the friendly LCS, but I couldn't justify spending the money for new products, and I wasn't about to drop $40-$60 for a blaster box. But I did find these two grab boxes for $6 apiece. I picked up one football and one baseball and I figured that I would most likely run across something that I needed. And about a penny or penny-and-a-half per card, it seemed worth the investment. We'll check out the contents in a minute.

The second reason that it feels different this year is that not only do I have the counters cleared off and the tables shoved against one wall, but I have also removed all of my personal effects from the room. This was my last year as a classroom teacher. Next year, I'm moving into an administrative role at my school. So I'm not sure if I will continue to use the last day of the school year to open some new cards before I go home. I won't have my own, private classroom for the task. Plus, this day won't mark the beginning of summer break anymore. At least not in the way it has in the past. Things will still definitely slow down enormously compared to the school year. But next Tuesday, I'll be back at it for a few weeks before I get any extended time away. So I'm looking around this empty room, walls bare and cabinets empty, books boxed up and bookcases gone, and it's certainly not the typical last day of school.

But what you're really here for are the cards. So here are some of the highlights of my end-of-school year. Having bought this top of grab box from this shop before, I expected the football to outshine the baseball. Typically, the football boxes lean toward modern Score, while the baseball has more 1990 Donruss and 1991 Upper Deck than you can shake a stick at. I figured the value of this purchase would come if I could just get a few cards I want to keep and a good stack that people might actually be interested in trading for, even if I ended up with piles of overproduced cardboard that nobody wants to take off my hands. 

(Get ready for a lot of pictures!)

Well, baseball didn't disappoint. Not only was it not filled with junk wax, but it even had some non-base cards. These are actually all pretty good players, too. I don't collect any of these guys specifically, so they're probably going to be available for trade if anybody wants them.

So to my surprise, 1991 Upper Deck wasn't the most dominant set in the box. In fact, it didn't even show its face. Here are some of the most plentiful sets I pulled out of the baseball box.

Lots of 2019 Heritage, which I like, but didn't buy much of. Here are a few Heritage keepers from the box, highlighted (for me, at least) by the Pat Neshek callback card.

There was also a lot of 2020 Panini Chronicles in the box. I bought a few boxes of 2017 Chronicles, the first year Panini produced it, and I was severely underwhelmed. Since then, Panini has changed the format of the set, incorporating designs from the past and crossovers with their football lines, and I like the change. I would buy Panini Chronicles if I ever saw it in the stores--which I never have. This is a sampling of the variety of sets represented in 2020 Chronicles. I think they look really good. Why does Panini seem to struggle so much with creating an attractive Donruss or Prizm set for baseball when they clearly have the capability to come up with something good like this?

A very pleasant surprise was the inclusion of Stadium Club in the box. Let's just behold the marvel of Stadium Club in this representative sample. What greats cards and great shots. Mike Soroka insert available for trade, if anybody's interested. I'm starting to notice that the box is kind of Braves-heavy now. Freddie Freeman in particular has a few nice cards in this box.

I'd be remiss if I failed to show off the additions to my Cubs collection. Once again, Stadium Club steals the show.

And here are a few other definite keepers for me. I love all four of these cards for various reasons.

So no early 90s Upper Deck or Donruss. In fact, these are the oldest cards of the entire box: 2014 Bowman Chrome. Definitely not what I expected. Also, you can totally see my ID badge in the reflection of this picture.

As for football, I expected some 2019 Score, based on my past experiences. Anyone who has ever collected football cards can immediately tell me what the majority of this box was.

Yep, 1989 Pro Set. This one seemed to have had all the star power removed from the set, too, so there isn't much to show off. The best card in 1989 Pro Set was probably Howie Long.

You probably recognized a lot of older Topps, too. It was one 1985 and a big stack of 1988, which didn't interest me because I've already completed that set.

There were a few interesting cards, though. Such as these Mosaic parallels.

Or a few other inserts and parallels. Of course, I love the Aaron Jones. Darius Leonard is a sweet card of a good player, too. There were a few Red Press Proof from this year's Donruss, but I only showed Quentin Nelson because he was by far the biggest name. Jimmy G and Damien Williams are available for trade.

And this was the rest of the keeper pile. Not a lot that interested me from the football box. I'm pleased with the haul, though, and I'm considering stopping by for another box on my way home. 

I haven't put it all on TCDB yet, but there may be some desirable cards on my tradelist in the near future. If you need 2019 Heritage, let me know because that was the biggest stack. Or if you want 1989 Pro Set or 1988 Topps football commons for a set build, I might have something for you.  
Concerning the new position, I have no idea what it will do to my posting frequency. Not that I'm all that frequent anyway, but I will just have to see what a new job will do to my schedule. I have some new series planned and some old ones to finish off that I hope I'll still be able to get to.

Note: I did decide to pick up another box on the way. I picked out a baseball box and found this inside:

Lots of red and candy striped borders. This box is almost entirely 1990 Donruss, 1988 Fleer, and 1990 Fleer, three of my least favorite overproduced sets. D'oh!

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Overdue TCDB Roundup (Part 1)

I don't think I've posted a single TCDB trade on this blog this year. I haven't been inactive, but I haven't been tearing through my tradelists, either. I've probably done three or four trades per month in 2021. Instead of posting them trade by trade, I'll lump some cards together in a theme for a few posts.

My second biggest focus for my baseball collection (behind completing some long overdue sets) has been building my All-Star Collection. I've been trying to fill a box with at least one card of any player who ever received All-Star honors. A related project has been to complete a Frankenset of only players who were All-Stars. This group of cards will fit one of those two projects.

Same for these cards.

And these.

And these. And after seeing all of these images of former All-Stars, are there any that surprise you? Or that you forgot about? There are some pretty great cards here, but it's hard to beat the 1982 Reggie Smith as my favorite.

And yes, there are All-Stars here, but these cards are going to my Rookie of the Year collection. I don't know that I've ever done a vintage for vintage swap before, but 1960 Jack Sanford came in exchange for a 1970 Emerson Boozer. I may not have the strongest vintage collection, but I take that small milestone as a sign that it's slowly growing.

This final group is a hodge-podge of different collection hits. Juan Marichal for my All-Star MVPs collection; Kyle Seager and Dean Palmer for the All-Star projects; Joe Black and Tommy Agee for the Rookie of the Year binders; a multi-player Cubs card; and Jeremy Guthrie, former BYU Cougar.

The pictures may be all mixed up, but recent traders who get credit for these new acquisitions are the following TCDB users:


Thanks to all for the trades! Future roundups will show the rest of the TCDB trade returns.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Swinging Some Extra Spending Money

I've seen posts before where people show off gems in their collection they didn't know they had. It seems that somebody even once discovered a 2011 Topps Update Trout (or two, maybe?) in a box they had long forgotten about. I've never had such an experience. First, I don't have a high enough volume and quality of cards to have something tucked away and forgotten about. Second, I keep track of what I have pretty well and I look at my cards often enough that I usually remember them. The best I'd ever found was a 2001 Upper Deck Pat Tillman rookie. This one escaped my notice because A) it just came from a one-off pack I had bought after I graduated from high school and I wasn't collecting, and B) I had never heard of Pat Tillman at the time. I stored it in a box with a bunch of other cards and went on to my grown-up life, never thinking about it again. Years later, I thought it was a cool find when I reacquired my cards from my parents' house and learned it was selling for $20 or more. I never sold it, though.

That changed recently. I sold off the vast majority of my basketball collection, but a small 600-count box escaped my notice and remained with me. In that box, I found this:

I have no recollection of where this came from. I wasn't collecting anything in 2007, let alone LeBron James. I'm thinking it must have come from a lot that I purchased. As such, I highly doubt I paid more than fifty cents for this bad boy. Combine that with the fact that this is a lowly base card, it never would have registered more than, "Cool. A LeBron," in my mind. But I came across it and checked out what the current craze has done to the price of this card. I was shocked by what I saw. Immediately, I placed it on eBay with a $.99 starting point.

One week and 20-some-odd bids later, it sold for $120. It's a base card! Not graded, not serial-numbered, not plated in gold or anything. The sale inspired me to place another LeBron I had up for sale because I didn't necessarily need it either.

I do remember getting this one, pulling it from a pack of 2012-13 Prestige from one of the few boxes of basketball that I've purchased in my adult life. This one didn't sell for nearly as much as the Chrome LeBron, but I was glad to get a little extra spending money from a couple of cards that I barely remembered having and certainly didn't need.

Unlike when I have sold cards in the past, I didn't turn that money into more cards. I had other plans. You see, when we sold our house last summer, the kids' playhouse/swingset stayed in the backyard. The new house didn't have one, so I proposed to my wife that we should get a playset. I planned to put the money from the sale of these cards toward it. To my surprise, she was against the idea. Her reasoning was that our boys are at an age where they wouldn't use it much anymore and it was too expensive to justify buying it just for our youngest daughter to use for a few years before she grew out of it too. Plus, she argued, it would become infested with wasps. I countered that she is always begging to go play on a playground and there is only one park in town. We ended up deciding to get a swingset without all the bells and whistles--one that would be big enough for the older kids to enjoy, too.

But when my wife shot down the playset idea on the grounds that the boys were too big, I had a light bulb moment. I asked if she would object to a batting cage. And so, the money from my LeBron sales helped fund this:

And now everybody in the house is able to get some swings! My boys are getting some reps outside of their regular little league practices, I've been out working on my golf swing, and even my five-year-old daughter wants me to pitch to her. (Though, to be fair, she wants me to push her on the swings even more.) 

So have you found any new gems hiding in your collection lately? Though this is really the first time it's happened to me, I always love hearing stories about what new discoveries others make. Let me know in the comments if you've had any recent pleasant surprises in your collection.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

All the 2021 Cubs I Needed

A couple weeks ago, Daniel from It's Like Having My Own Card Shop questioned his status as a team collector. He claimed to no longer be a team collector because he is no longer buying random D-Backs singles. P-Town Tom recently made a similar determination, requesting that collectors no longer send him blind trades of modern cards because he's changing the way he collects. And now, I've recently found myself straying from collecting my professional sports teams. Do I still enjoy adding Cubs and Packers to my collection? Of course! But when I go pick out singles to buy, I'm not at all looking for Cubs and Packers. I'm trying to fill set holes or make progress on one of my [too] many collecting projects. My wantlist on my blog says Cubs and Packers because I like people to include them in trades. But on TCDB--when I have to select specific cards to add to my wantlist--I'm more likely to add cards that aren't either of those two teams. Am I ready to say I don't collect Cubs and Packers anymore? No. But my current collecting goals don't include accumulating more cards of uniforms that I already have by the thousands in my collection. I'm totally content seeking out other cards and letting fellow bloggers remember to send Cubs and Packers my way in trade.

Kerry at Cards on Cards is one of those bloggers who knows that I like to receive Cubs cards. So when I recently placed second in his March Radness (side note: Why did you choke, Gonzaga? One more win and I had it!), he sent me a prize package that was full of Cubs, Cubs, and nothing but Cubs.

These are my first 2021 Flagship cards. As mentioned in my Opening Day post, I am in the minority who likes this year's design. Now seeing the cards with a foil "70 Years" stamp instead of the Opening Day logo, I like them even more. I recognize that the celebration of 70 Years seems unnecessary, but I like what the stamp adds to cards. Kerry provided me with almost a full team set of series one. Only David Bote, Jose Quintana, and Jon Lester remain unaccounted for.

More 2021 that I didn't have. The only 2021 cards I had before this package arrived were Opening Day, so Kerry may have just taken care of me for the year. Typically, I don't care for Donruss, but these cards don't look too bad. I like the selection of players, too--some Cubs legends and my first Brailyn Marquez card.

We're going to keep rolling with 2021, but 1972 style. These players sum up the Cubs this season: only Happ and Mills remain with the club.

Kerry threw in some pretty nice cards of lame-duck former MVP Kris Bryant. Donruss Stat Line and Spectra are both serial-numbered. That also represents my first baseball Spectra card. There's also a nickname variation Donruss and a card that I was shocked to discover I didn't have already: Stars and Stripes Fireworks.

A couple more non-base cards. Both of these players still play for the team, so that's a plus.

And some more inserts/parallels. At first glance, my heart nearly stopped because I couldn't believe that Kerry would gift me that auto-patch KB. It took less than a second to realize it wasn't real, but another Topps self-tribute. I'm sure more than one collector had a similar reaction to cards from this set when they were breaking packs open.

More than anything else he sent, Kerry provided me with stickers. These 2015 stickers include a Javy Baez rookie--if you can consider a sticker a rookie card. It bears the RC logo, but I'm not convinced.

A couple years ago, Topps started making their stickers full card-sized. They came up with some pretty attractive designs, too. But here is why I often struggle with stickers. I think these are the card backs. There is another player on the front, using a different design and this side has the number. It just confuses me to have two different designs and players on opposite sides.

Javy, Rizzo, Schwarber, and Bryant are the front base design, I believe. I'm not sure what the Baez stance, Baez All-Star, or Rizzo are, but as I said, I like the look of all of these. They could be a good Topps Bunt design, in my opinion.

Most of the Cubs-themed prize package from Kerry was new to me. And considering that I don't expect to be opening any 2021 products or adding too many specific Cubs to my TCDB wantlist, or picking up random Cubs cards on the secondary market, I probably needed all of Kerry's offerings to add any of these newer things to my collection. I appreciate that he was generous enough to send them to me.