Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Santas Gifting Cardboard

Santa never leaves cards under my tree. Seriously, nobody in my family has given the gift of cardboard to me since probably my 13th birthday. But I had a couple of different Santas send me packages this year.

First of all was TCDB user gooeraser. He was my TCDB Secret Santa. He was so secret that even after opening the package, I just learned today when vroomed posted his big reveal on the TCDB forum. Gooeraser sent exactly one thing, but it was a substantial one thing.

An Ichiro-centric boxed set. 25 cards from Upper Card in Tribute to 51. I'd never heard of this set from 2001--his first set in America's Major Leagues--but I'm always happy to add a few cards of a likeable legend, who happens to fit both my Rookie of the Year and All-Star Game MVP.

At the top of the box was a 3x5 card commemorating his AL ROY award. So I guess that makes this technically a 26-card set, huh?

Under the 3x5 card is a box divided into two stacks.

These are a few of my favorite images on the front.

The final five cards pay tribute to some Ichiro's MLB debut milestones, including his first hit, a 23-game hitting streak, and breaking the Mariners' single-season hit record.

This is something I never would have thought of finding for myself, so I appreciate the surprise addition of Ichiro from gooeraser!

My other Santa was not-so-secret. I signed up for the Not-So-Secret-Santa put on by Chris, the proprietor of the grandest Nachos you've ever seen. He played Santa for anyone who signed up on his blog and asked for some goodies from his wantlist in return. I had found a Barry Larkin he didn't have months ago and it was sitting on my desk, waiting for me to get around to sending it off to him. This was just the kickstart I needed.

Chris sent some fun new additions for my Cubs binders. This includes my first card of former Top 100 prospect Ryan Harvey, who topped out at AA and never reached the Show.

He rounded out the package with a few ASG MVP, ROY, and All-Time All-Star collection hits. I have to say, I really like Topps Lineage. The design should have been a Flagship design.

Thanks to both of my Santas for delivering some great cardboard. And thanks to Chris and Dan (vroomed) for taking the time to put together this Christmastime fun!

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Gold at the End of the Rainbow

Three years ago, I announced the completion of my Brad Sorensen refractor rainbow. I was still two cards shy of actual completion, but since I had never once seen the gold refractor (/50) or 1/1 superfractor for sale, I didn't have much hope of ever finishing it off.

This is a short, simple post to announce: there is indeed "gold" at the end of this rainbow. Last month, I found a long-sought-after gold refractor on COMC and I pounced. Now I can call it done. I have zero expectation that I will ever find the superfractor, though I do wonder where it is.

In order, base, refractor, x-fractor, prism refractor, red, pink, orange, GOLD, camo, blue wave, blue, purple, sepia, black. DONE.

And here is how it looks in pages (and then onto the flagship base on parallels).

And this will probably be the only rainbow I ever chase.

Friday, December 16, 2022

2022 Trading Slash Line: 90/34/2/1246/37

We may not have reached the end of the year quite yet, but I think I have just about wrapped up the trading of 2022. Stat-wise, I've had probably my most solid year of trading--at least in a few years. Let me explain my numbers.

90=Number of trades made, either through TCDB or blogs.
34=Number of states involved in my trading
2=Canadian provinces traded with this year
1246=Number of cards brought in through trading
37=Net cards gained through trades

I'm pretty happy looking at those numbers, but there are two I feel are weaker. First, the net cards brought in. At the beginning of the year, I made a goal to have a negative net trade number. I had two reasons for this. One reason is that I wanted to clear space and I thought a negative trade net would help. The second is that I hoped that I could entice TCDBers to respond more quickly if I had extra cards going to them in my proposals. That was going well until summer hit and I got this wild notion to complete three junk wax sets through cracking boxes and trading. Suddenly my wantlist was filled with 1989 Score, 1990 Topps, and 1991 Fleer baseball. Trade proposals came rolling in with numbers decidedly in my favor because people were all too happy to offload their extras of these sets. 

The other number that I would like to see improve is the number of states involved. This year, I traded with 34 states and 2 Canadian provinces. This map is a nice visual representation of my trading partner locations this year. I'm happy with 90 trades (probably my most ever), but I think it would be pretty cool to get all 50 states in a year.

Now we're going to get heavy into the scans. I had a flurry of trades around Thanksgiving--15 completed trades in less than a month--and I need to get caught up. So allow me to share some of those 1246 cards I added to my collection from trading this year.

First, we have bigger trade with TigerFan22:

He sent some nice BYU cards. I like Bart Oates snapping the ball to Steve Young, just like he did in college!
A few more BYU, this time all Ty Detmer. I really love looking at late-90s variety.
He helped with a smattering of set needs. Jerry Rice is from 1993 Upper Deck. I'm not collecting that whole set, but this card finishes off the Berman's Best subset.

A Rookie of the Year Chris Sabo rookie, some All-Decade performers, and a lone Jordy Nelson addition finish off my trade with TigerFan22.

@CowboysFan1@ sent me all BYU players. Two of these players are having pretty good seasons in their roles. One is not having a great season. Jamaal leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 14. Taysom has five himself. Not only that, but  last Monday night, Taysom Hill just became the only player in the Super Bowl Era with at least nine touchdowns passing, rushing, and receiving. Not too bad.


 Capper14 sent another all-BYU trade return.

We'll keep the BYU run going with some of my cards from JBsSetCollection. Here we have some great cards, regardless of the player. A center with his hand on the ball is a mini-collection of mine. A nice Red Pulsar prizm and a rookie auto are great. Consider that all three of these guys are former Cougars, and these are great cards.

More from JBsSetCollection. I particularly like the Davante Adams Turkey Red rookie and the impressionist rendition of Jordy's Lambeau Leap.

Texas A&M fan amalum sent me a couple more BYU players in Jamaal Williams and Kurt Gouveia. Also Heisman winner Jameis Winston in a college uniform, a 1989 Score need, and a short-term stop uniform of ROY Vince Coleman round out this small PWE trade.

This is just a string of very small trades from CH34, deadhead11, jbostic, MichiganFan9, musclebeech, ravensray52, and thesouthpaw. I just want to give a huge shout-out to jbostic, who sent along three 1970s TCMA cards as extras! I'll also point out that I've been low-key building 2014 Topps Valor and a couple of those cards show up in these trades. It's a set that I've really liked since it came out, but I haven't ever put much effort into chasing it. However, it seems like lots of trade proposals lately have included needs for Valor. I typically replace those cards in the offer with more priority wants, but a few have still managed to sneak through. I doubt I care enough to ever finish the set, though.

Steelers fan Bob Warnell sent a couple of legends from the 1980s (the team card is sliding into my Lester Hayes page), a pair of needs from last year's awful Wild Card that I'm collecting for some reason, a handful of last year's Donruss (represented only by Stefon Diggs and A.J. Brown) and a trio of nice-looking Zach Wilson cards.

Myrke helped me with a random assortment of baseball wants.

I used to do an annual post highlighting my Brad Sorensen pickups for the year. It's getting harder and harder to find any new ones, though. This auto from TCDB user briznuts is one of only two this year. The other Sorensen will get its own post in the near future.


Trader Maximus sent along a fun bunch of cards. Shiny Detmer, cartoony football-clad basketballer Charlie Ward, police issue John Anderson, and Rey Sanchez signing his 1993 Topps card on his 1994 Topps card all stand out to me. For a player who was good enough to make the 1980s All-Decade team, John Anderson certainly lacks representation on cardboard. I don't think there are even enough standard-sized to fill my Anderson page in the 1980s binder.

Finally, frequent trading partner jlcre2003 and I pulled off good-sized trade.

He helped knock off some set needs.

Some various baseball collection wants.

A few football wants, too.

And of course, a few from all of my favorite teams.

It has been a fun year of trading. A lot of the fun came from the ease of finding trade partners who had the cards I needed for three decidedly overproduced, common sets. I thoroughly enjoyed going from box breaking to trading to complete for three different large sets in a matter of months. Of course, that's not a process I'm going to complete. I don't have the space or desire to go build multiple sets from those years. 

But it wasn't just junk wax set building. You can see from the scans above that a great variety of cards came my way in trades. Thanks to anyone reading who helped me produce a solid trade season stat line!

Thursday, December 1, 2022

A Trade Between Packmen

This hasn't been the best football season I've experienced as a fan. Both of my teams--on the college and pro level--started the year with high expectations and have fallen a bit flat in reaching them. 

My BYU Cougars were coming off back-to-back 10-win seasons and returned 20/22 starters from last year's team that rolled undefeated through the PAC-12 they faced, en route to a 6-1 overall record against P5 opponents. 
The scan did these cards no favor. The two Wild Cards are a silver and gold parallel. If you look closely at the Collector's Edge Millennium Collection parallel, you can just barely make out a faint outline of a photo.
When this year began, they opened hot, beating future conference rival (and defending Big XII champ) Baylor for a Top 10 win. Sitting at 2-0 and ranked #12 after two weeks, the future was bright for a team leaving independence to join a P5 conference next year. A loss at Oregon turned out not to be such a bad loss. But then came October. Oh man, October. The Cougs went 0-4 in the month and looked really bad doing it. They salvaged at least a bowl appearance with an undefeated November, including a solid win over Boise St. and another P5 win over not-so-great Stanford. So BYU finishes the season at 7-5. This was definitely not the expectation for an experienced team with an NFL prospect QB and an offensive line that is graded #1 by Pro Football Focus this season. So what went wrong? Well, the defense, for one. Contrasted with the #22 offense (per PFF), the defense sits at #113.

But the biggest difference between last year and this year could very well be the loss of current Atlanta Falcons running back, Tyler Allgeier. He was so good last year for BYU. I've started gathering a few cards of Allgeier, but many 2022 football products have only been recently released, or are still waiting. I did manage to snag my first auto off eBay, however.

So that's the disappointing season of the BYU Cougars. At least they managed to finish above .500. 

My Packers, though. Ouch. Last year, the Pack finished 13-4 and earned the #1 seed in the NFC. A heartbreaking playoff loss to San Francisco cut the season short prematurely, but expectations were high starting this year. In fact, about half of all expert prognostications I saw put Green Bay in the Super Bowl this year. But then they just kept losing. Sitting at 4-8 now, the playoffs look like a distant dream. It has been a long time since I've been so disappointed by the Pack's performance.
At least the cards are still great. Everything in this post (minus the eBay Allgeier purchase) came from a trade on TCDB with fellow cheesehead dmbramer. Donn hooked me up with a page of new Jordys and a bunch of cards from Shopko's Packer-centric set in 1997. I especially love my first cards of offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and defensive coordinator Sherm Lewis (previous scan).

Some of the cards were for other sections of my collection. Four of these guys are all-decade picks, plus a college uni Heisman. Even though it has been a disappointing season for this fan, trades like this one with another surely disappointed Packer fan have been good.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Rookie of the Year on Baseball Card Day

This is a somewhat timely post. Sure, National Baseball Card Day (or, "International Trading Card Day") was all the way back in August. I picked up my free pack of cards way back then and never posted anything about it. But it's still timely today because one of my pulls was a guy who was recently honored with an MLB "Major Award."

A Major Award: the soft glow of electric hardball in the window

That major award was American League Rookie of the Year. The player is Julio Rodriguez.

This is my only J-Rod so far. I'm using it in this post to welcome him and NL ROY Michael Harris to my Rookie of the Year collection. I don't have any cardboard of Harris, yet. I'll be interested to see how their careers go from here. Documenting the career trajectory of these players is my reason for this little collection. For example, what will become of Cody Bellinger and Aaron Judge, who both won the Rookie of the Year award in 2017, subsequently took home MVP awards, and are now currently free agents? Their careers seem to be going in opposite directions of late. I'm rooting for them, as I am for Rodriguez and Harris.

As for International Card Day, here was an interesting incident. I picked up the thin, clear cellophane pack and saw the Topps promo card had a weird scalloped edge on it. I thought it was kind of odd, but didn't think too hard about it. Then I opened up the pack and saw this.

Notice the top of each card. It appears that the machine that crimped and sealed the packages caught the entire stack of cards in this pack. (Which also includes former ROYs Carlos Correa and Mike Trout). 

This photo courtesy of TCDB

The owner of the LCS also saw this and provided me with another pack, which contained the Julio Rodriguez card. I didn't scan the rest of it, though. The highlight of that pack was my first card of Corey Seager as a Ranger, adding that piece to my collection as I continue to document the career path of yet another former Rookie of the Year.

I may be a few months late in celebrating our little hobby's holiday but as the major holidays approach, I'm right on time recognizing the latest player to be added to my PC. Now I just need to get on track with my Rookie of the Year spotlight posts.