Thursday, October 30, 2014

Congrats, Giants


I'm not going to pretend like I was rooting for the Giants, but you gotta tip your cap to them. They got it done. As a Padres fan, I'll try to enjoy their victory through the connections of manager Bruce Bochy, pitcher Jake Peavy, and third base coach Tim Flannery, all of whom bleed brown and gold despite who's currently signing their paychecks. Congratulations, fellas!


Even though the bad guys won, it was a pretty exciting World Series. Great effort by the Royals, but David couldn't slay Goliath this time.


In an alternate reality somewhere, Salvador Perez hit a 2-out 2-run homer in the bottom of the ninth and the country erupted in celebration, Perez becoming baseball history right there with Joe Carter.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

2004 Retired update and a fun new microcollection

In baseball news: Man, that was tragic about Oscar Taveras. Exciting young ballplayer gone too soon. Very sad.

World Series: Cool that it's gone 7 games. I may have to head out to a sportsbar this evening to watch the game since I ain't got cable. Either that or just listen to the audio like they did back in olden times.

It's been a while since I've checked in with my 2004 Topps Retired Signature Edition set. I have a main collecting goal of acquiring each of the 76 autos in the set, with an ultimate goal of having refractors (#'d /25) of all 76.

I haven't checked off any new cards from my needslist lately, though I have upgraded 3 from base autos to refractor autos. Let's look at several pictures of them now, soaking in all the goodness.






Man, the refractors are so much more prettier than the base autos that I think I'm only going to focus on the refractors now (unless there's a great deal on a base auto). Here, we've got a Hall of Famer with mad hits, Rod Carew, the Mad Hungarian Al Hrabosky, and fan favorite Buddy Bell. (If only I had gotten the Bill "Mad Dog" Madlock refractor instead of Buddy Bell, I'd have a mad trifecta! Alas, I'm still on the hunt for a Madlock refractor. There's been one on eBay for a while, but I don't want that one.)

The Hrabosky fits into a microcollection (smaller than a minicollection) I kinda started recently of autographed autograph cards (that is, autographed cards that feature a photo of the player signing autographs. Doesn't that blow your mind?!)

So far, I think the only other card I have in this microcollection is Steve Garvey's glorious 2004 Fan Favorites auto.


I'd like to add 1 to 3 new cards to this microcollection by this time next year. Any suggestions?

As for the base autos of those three 2004 Retired cards that I no longer need, feel free to make me a trade offer for any of them. Otherwise, they'll likely end up on eBay or in the prize pool for next year's contest season here on the blog.

Go baseball!

Monday, October 27, 2014

I bought a dimebox: the Basketball highlights

I went to the card show over the weekend and bought an entire dimebox for $22, as I mentioned last time. This post is covering the basketball cards that were included.

While I don't dislike basketball, I don't follow it much, and it's a rare day that I watch a game or read an article (It was cool when the Trail Blazers advanced on a buzzer-beater last year, though.) There are a few guys I remember from back when I used to watch Pardon The Interruption on ESPN a few years back when I still had cable. And of course I know the big-name greats of yesteryear. I don't have much of a basketball card collection, but I don't mind adding to it from time to time. I was able to pull out a bunch of cards to keep from the dimebox, with plenty leftover to move via trades or Listia.

I bought more than my share of the baseball counterpart to these 12-13 Prizm cards, so this is definitely a familiar design to me. In contrast, nice to see these photos with untouched uniforms. Like with the baseball set, there are a lot of retired greats thrown in among the current players. I think the b&w Wilt might be my favorite.. which I just now notice actually seems to be from the 13-14 Prizm set. Close enough.

Here are some of the active guys.

Here are some more cards. The 2 "Bonus Shots" at the bottom are each #'d /249.

Here are some more cards. Ray Allen RC. The retro Dirk on the bottom is pretty cool, complete with reprint-style retro back.




Here's the rest of the Prizm (non-keepers). It made up about half of the basketball cards. Some dupes. These are available for trade, so just let me know if you're interested in any.

Here's the rest of the rest. Trade-box and/or Listia bound.

Finally, a couple Jordan oddballs, part of a 12 card set, if that title card is to be believed. I wonder if it counts as one of the 12?

And so those are the basketball cards that cost me about a penny each. Unless mentioned otherwise, the pictured cards will likely find a place in my collection, though I could be talked into trading away most of these without much convincing, so just let me know if anything caught your eye.

Now we're down to the meat of the dimebox: football and baseball. I still have a lot of sorting to do there, so it might take me a few days for the next post on the subject.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Attn: baseball card related companies: Hire me!

My dream job is to work in baseball cards in some capacity. With my current employment assignment ending in the next couple weeks, I just thought I would make it known to the intranetwebs that I'm available to hire.

I'll be quick to mention that I was sort of courted for a job at Upper Deck a few months ago that I turned down. My now-wife is still a year-plus away from finishing grad school at Portland State, and I didn't think it'd be good timing to move away. She told me after the fact that I should have pursued it and she would have gone along with me and gone thru the hassle of transferring to a new college (she's a keeper!).

My baseball card resumé is that I run this little blog and I really love baseball cards (well, all sports, but chiefly baseball). This blog was voted "best new blog of 2013" by a small sample size of independent blog readers. My strength may be my creativity and photoshopping baseball cards.

COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL: A bright idea of mine is to bring animated gifs to the digital card world (i.e., Topps Bunt). Personally I don't get paying money for a jpg that looks like a baseball card. Boring. But what might be cool would be to have "action" parallels that are animated gifs. Show a "preview" still image and make it so you have to pay to see it in action. Take advantage of what real cards can't do. That'd be worth 50 cents!


Also glittering parallels and other neat looking borders and whatnot.

(imagine a photo of an athlete in the middle of that. Awesome!)
Keep in mind this idea of monetizing animated gifs of baseball cards is a registered copyrighted idea, so any baseball card companies who like the idea, you must hire me to be able to use it.

Let's look at the major baseball card companies of today.

Topps: I don't think I could move to New York, unfortunately. I'm a West Coast guy. If they'd be down for hiring me "telecommute" style, that'd be ideal. I could whip up any photoshop-jobs they need.. select photos (I'm an excellent voice of the people with his finger on the pulse of your core market).. make my copyrighted "Topps Bunt Action" parallels. Whatever! Come on, Topps! I'll work for minimum wage. Please contact me.

Panini: Texas? I don't know. I could probably do Austin if it was a great situation. Panini is based by Dallas, though. Yeah, that might be tough. But again, telecommute works! Come on Terry Hackler and Co., better snatch me up before Topps signs me! I could be the visionary you need to take your company to the next level.

Upper Deck: Carlsbad, CA (just a bit outside San Diego). That's a good location. I'm a So. Cal boy, so "going home" for my dream job would be perfect. There were some things about California that I was glad to escape (drought, high taxes/economic turmoil), but for the right situation, I'd be ok with going back. Upper Deck is in a "do or die" period right now, with Topps and Panini stomping them down. They need me to be their secret weapon to make them relevant again.

Who else is there? Press Pass? Where are they located? North Carolina.. hmm, maybe.
Anybody else?

Peripheral companies? COMC. They're in Washington state.. not too far from my home in Portland. I could probably swing that.

Beckett? Dallas, TX again. Sheee.., what's up with Dallas and cards?

PSA? Newport Beach, CA. That's a bit close to the clusterfudge that is LA, but I could consider it.

Ultra Pro? Commerce, CA? Oh man, that is right in the heart of the traffic nightmare that is Los Angeles Metro. No thanks. But again, if you're open to a telecommuting position, please contact me.

So that's what pops into mind so far. Again, any baseball card company hiring manager out there reading this, I'm your man. I will guide your brand into glory and financial success. I'll work cheap and I'll work great. Please hurry and get in touch before your competitors gobble me up. I'm only 0.1% joking here. Seriously, do it.

Thank you.


I bought an entire dimebox

Good card show haul this month. As I mentioned last time, I brought back a ton of cards for not that much cash. I started out digging through a dealer's 50 cent box and came up with $7 worth of cards. The neighboring dealer noticed me thoroughly leafing through the cheap cards, and set out a fresh dimebox tub just as I was making my way down to his spot. I dug in and soon started up a modest stack. He told me he'd sell the whole thing for $25, at which I gave an interested murmur and said I'd think about it. After a few more minutes of digging, I decided to go for it. I countered with $20 and we settled on $22.


While not a gold mine acquisition on the level of recent scores by Bo and VFTSB, I'm still pretty happy about it.

I'd estimate it at about 2,000 cards. It's roughly about 35% baseball, 45% football, 10% basketball, and 10% other (racing, hockey, and various miscellany). Yeah, I'd rather it was mostly baseball, but oh well. I figure I can easily find $22 worth of cards from it that I want, and stock up on trade bait and Listia fodder with the rest. Heck, you gotta figure the handy plastic tub itself is worth a couple bucks, so it was essentially a penny box for me. Can't beat that.

I'm going to start with the "other" since it's the easiest for me to sort and I'm still working on the baseball, football, and basketball.

I found a few hockey guys I've heard of, so I'll add those to my tiny hockey collection.


Here's the rest of the hockey. Trade bait, anyone?


There were a fair amount of racing cards. I don't follow racing at all, but (if you're a regular reader, you're probably sick of me mentioning this by now) I collect Jimmie Johnson because I went to high school with him (he was a senior when I was a freshman). So at least I've got one horse car in that race, making the racing cards not a complete bust. I was able to add a handful of new JJs to my modest PC, more than doubling it in quantity:


I might also keep this Danica Patrick card... because... it insists that I do.


I must obey.

Here are the rest of the racing cards. More trade bait. Anybody interested in anything? Raz?


Here's some other stuff I also don't want. Do you? Presidents, UFC, golf, Elvis, etc:


So now we've scratched the surface of the dimebox. Stay tuned as we venture into the 3 bigger sports.

50 cents a pop (card show recap)

My big purchase at yesterday's card show was an entire dimebox for $22-- so more like a pennybox. I'm having fun digging through that and trying to get it somewhat organized. I'll cover its contents in a separate upcoming post or few.

As for now, I'll show off my other purchases. Nothing as awe-inspiring as the Clemente I brought home last time. But plenty of ok cards, each of which set me back 50 cents per card.

Serial numbered Kershaw /2014.
I want to collect that whole 1993 Topps Black Gold insert set.
Sweet Reggie.
Cool looking Gary Sanchez diecut.
Pretty sure I already had that Cashner xfractor.
Think I needed the other Cashner, though.

Screwed-down Eddie Murray. (Sorry about these photos. I wanted to scan these, but my printer/scanner hasn't been cooperating lately.)

I don't know who Zach Day is, but I love 2004 Topps Chrome black refractors, a carryover from my love of 2004 Topps Retired Signature Edition black refractor autos. It'd be cool to try for a parallel set. (Anybody got any to trade?)

Relics. All trade bait. Anybody want any of 'em?

Autos of undistinguished names. Again, trade bait. A couple Red Sox (with eerily similar names) set aside for Mark Hoyle if he needs 'em.

Old-timers section. Jerry Coleman #'d 25/99. Vintage Mantle! Expo Rose! Mini Gaylord. Yaz 1968 game card. McCovey deckle (pen mark on the back).

Frank Thomas. Griffey is wearing a Pepsi uniform; He must really love Pepsi! Andrew McCutchen minor league card. Xander.

Semi-iconic rookies. Alomar is a #'d reprint, as the gold border may imply.

2001 Archives Clemente. The question is do I put it with the set I'm building, or my Clemente PC?

Gwynn hologram. Not my best animated gif, but still kinda neat.

That's it. No incredible deals or anything, but not too bad. Oh, and I also got two 100-count bags of penny sleeves, 50 cents per bag. Can't beat that deal. Oh, and one card is not pictured because it's a Christmas Card so I'll save it for another day (I'm sort of toying with the idea of doing a watered-down Twelve Days of Christmas Cards this year). And I got a random golf card as kind of a joke which has already been mailed out in a trade package. Among cards I passed up but now regret doing so include minor league issues from Smoltz, Sheffield, and Pedro. I could have spent at least another half hour digging before my back/neck/feet forced me to wrap it up, but I got called home on family business.

This haul was sorely lacking in vintage. I really had high hopes of checking some 73 Topps off my list, but that didn't happen. I think the guy who used to have the nice selection of 73s may have finally gotten out of the game, like he often threatened he was planning on doing, since I haven't seen him at these last couple shows. Bummer. There's another guy with vintage commons, but his selection and prices aren't as good.

Again, the highlight of my haul was the dimebox I brought home, so stay tuned for that. And hey, thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Christmas in Holland

It's the 25th of the month, that means it's time for me to show off a Christmas Card from my collection.

Some photos of Derek Holland skeeve me out, with his tiny mustache n' all. But he seems like a cool, funny guy. And a pretty good pitcher when healthy. So he won me over and I went ahead and pulled the trigger on this 2014 Tribute Green Auto for a few bucks.




Pretty cool.

As for Christmas in Holland (--See, I feel bad. What if people find this page from Google and were legitimately looking to learn about Holland's Christmas traditions?), bigger than 12/25 in the Netherlands is December 5th, which is St. Nicholas Eve. Dutch kids leave their shoes/clogs out that night in the hopes St. Nicholas will leave them presents. (More info)

Wow, this is coincidentally close to my heart because I actually did this as a kid, even though I'm zero percent Dutch. But I've got a cool mom who encouraged the custom in our house. It was always a kickass prelude to the holidays when I could put my shoes outside the doorway to my room before bed on 12/5 and wake up to some candy and maybe GI Joe action figure or a small toy like that. Often I would get a cassette of cool Christmas music (e.g., holiday albums from the Chipmunks, Beach Boys, California Raisins), which is perfect timing for such a gift, when you think about it! You don't want to wait until the 25th for a new Christmas album to listen to.

Some years we forgot, though. It's easy to overlook 12/5 as a holiday. All you parents of young kids out there, I encourage you to celebrate St. Nicholas Eve with your lil' tykes. I for one have very fond memories of the holiday. It was almost cooler than Christmas because it was an under-the-radar holiday that not many (if any) other kids in my neighborhood got to celebrate.

Anyways, in addition to marking the 2-months-till-Christmas point, today is also the local card show for me. Yay! Been looking forward to this. Hope to bring home some cool cards to show off soon.

Oh, and as for the other Holland in baseball right now, Greg, his Royals bounced back from a Game 1 loss with a couple wins and look to keep rolling in Game 4 tonight. Good luck, guys!