Saturday, December 3, 2016

A tale of two tradies

A couple nice trade packages came in this week. One from a first-time trading partner, and one from an old trader-bud of mine.

First was a trade with a guy on Twitter, @Jmack. It took us a while, but we eventually hammered out a deal.

Here are a couple shiny, /75 autos of A.J. Reed. The kid can mash in the minors, but fizzled in an extended opportunity in Houston last season. I'm hoping he can figure out major league pitching in 2017, because these are pretty sweet cards to highlight my li'l PC of the guy.

This trio of young Padres outfielders will be counted on heavily for San Diego to put up a respectable record next year. Great additions for my Padres collection.

Big thanks for the trade, Jmack!

-  - - --o

Next up is Sports Card Collectors. He's a good dude.

A couple pretty cards here doing their thing, with a cracked ice (or whatever) Mookie Betts and a rainbow foil (or whatever) Trevor Story.

A pair of Conforto additions for my PC. Last season he got off to a hot start, then cooled way down, got sent to AAA and hit .422 before getting called back up. Hoping he can put it all together in 2017.

These are the types of cards that are in SCC's wheelhouse.. funky 90s inserts. I think there are holograms in there somewhere, but they don't show up very well. Cool cards, regardless.

Very nice trio of Kershaws! The Studio picture is a bit odd (is he gonna do a baseball "mic drop"? Is he a baseball zombie? what?), but I'll take it.

And 3 sweet Chris Sale cards. Curious to see if he's gotta get dealt this winter.

And here's another guy not likely to be with the same team next year. That's kind of a bummer for the fans. But with me being a player collector, it's not a big deal to me and I'll keep on collecting him regardless wherever he ends up. Anyways, a couple nice PC additions here.

Love these Josh Donaldsons from Heritage.

Sport Lad snuck in a Yankee even though I explicitly state I only collect non-Yankee Bambinos. To the trash with this one! j/k

SSC is a big Junior collector, so he must've had a dupe of that Bunt. I'll take it!

And some more cool cards, too!

SCC gave me a heads up that a few dupes were included, as I pulled these 3 cards from a blaster last week just after his trade package was sealed up. But no harm done here, as I'm sure I can find takers to rehome them.

So yeah, very nice bunch of cards there! I'll round up a return package ASAP.

Well, thanks for reading. My big Black Friday COMC order is arriving today, so I'll have a bunch of stuff to post about this coming week!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Arsenio Hall auto + my just discovered Ghostbusters connection

I've been a big Ghostbusters fan since I was a kid. It might even be my most-watched film ever. Back in the day, my friends and I would pop in an old taped-off-TV copy everytime I had a sleepover. It was like a tradition. We loved it. I was a fan of the sequel, as well, and wore out the soundtrack cassettes to both films. I was also a loyal watcher of the cartoon and owned many of the toys.

As I got older, my fandom subsided a bit. Gotta admit I never bothered to pick up the DVD. And I realized Ghostbusters 2 wasn't very good upon rewatching as an adult. My wife and I caught the reboot a couple months ago after it made its way into the cheap theaters. I thought it was pretty decent, but nothing incredible. But yeah, I'd still rank the original film on the shortlist of my all-time favorites. We rented it last month (the reboot gave us a hankering for the original) and it's still great. I've never been great at quoting movie lines, but that's one I can nearly recite in its entirety as I watch.

Anyhoo, then the other week, I watched a doc on Netflix called Ghostheads about hardcore fans of the franchise. That was kinda cool. While it's not the same thing, there are some parallels with that fan community and us on the cardsphere... A bunch of people coming together to dork out over something we all love, but each with our own way of going about it.

So while I'm watching the doc, I took a look on eBay for any decent prices on autos from the Ghostbusters card set that came out a few months back. (I had been wanting to pick up a box if I could find a good Black Friday sale price, but came up empty.) The big names in the auto checklist aren't cheap. What you can find in the sub-blaster price range is mostly Walter Peck and actors from other ancillary roles.

But then I saw an auction for an Arsenio Hall autograph with a $9.99 opening bid and a few days left.. I didn't have high hopes of my chances bringing it home at a comfortable price, but a few days later when it ended, mine was the lone bid! I thought that was a pretty good deal, and checking the completed auctions confirms that for me, as it's easily the lowest priced sale listed for that card.

And this is like a double hit for me, as I definitely watched a ton of Real Ghostbusters when I was a kid, and not long after that, I remember Arsenio's late night show was the hottest tv show among us at my middle school for a while, and I'd often stay up late to try catching a bit of it. I don't think I even knew he was the voice of the animated Winston back then. But yep, he was (for the first 3 seasons, anyway), and now I've got this nostalgic double-whammy hit for my card collection.

As a little bonus story to tie into this post... I had been thinking about mixing Portlandia into our Netflix rotation after some time away from it, and yesterday we started rewatching it from the first episode. Not long into the episode, there's that sketch where a couple are dining out and they asks the waitress a bunch of questions about the background of the chicken on the menu. I thought the waitress looked super familiar, and some quick googling confirmed for me that, yes, I worked with that lady!

No fooling! At my last job, she was in the Sales department and I was in Quality Assurance. Dana started after me, but we worked together for around a year and a half. It wasn't that big of a company, and while we didn't really work directly together much, we had a few brief typical co-worker interactions.

I know it's not the meatiest part ever, but she's definitely got chops as a real actress. They must've liked her on the show, because she's appeared in seven episodes, including a couple from this year that I haven't seen yet. So I'll be looking forward to spotting her as I slowly make my way through the series. Checking her imdb credits, she's also had a recurring role on Grimm, another show shot here in Portland (haven't seen it but my father-in-law loves it and likes to tell a story about how he was the guy who gave the idea to the show's creator in a chance meeting.. I'm sure greatly embellished in typical "dad" fashion). [CORRECTION: He only claims to have suggested a certain character that appeared in one episode {mouse?}, not the entire show. I suppose that's more plausible.]

Anyways, that really tripped me out. If you live in Portland, watching Portlandia will often have you saying "hey, I've been there!" or "hey, I think I know that guy in the background!" but to realize you worked down the hall from someone who had a substantial role, that takes the phenomenon to another level.

And to tie it back into this post: I worked with Dana, Dana worked with Fred Armisen, who obviously had quite the run on Saturday Night Live, as did Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. Fred and Bill did at least one skit together a while back. So that means I'm only a couple degrees of separation from working on Ghostbusters. Sweet!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Bangin' Batch of Bits brought by Bubba (Batman, broadcaster, black borders)

Worked out a sweet trade recently with Ginter aficionado Matt from Bubba's Bangin' Batch of Baseball Bits.

I thought Val Kilmer was a pretty cool autograph subject included in 2015 A&G and I thought it'd be cool to land a copy someday.. and, hey, now I did! I always seem to enjoy his work. Probably my favorite thing he's done is his first: Top Secret!, the silly movie from 1984. And gotta love Top GunTombstone, and The Doors. He's been in some good stuff more recently too, like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and MacGruber. So yeah, very cool addition to my collection of misc. autographs. Kind of a neat-looking signature, too.

And here's another one! I don't watch much football these days, but I think Jim Nantz is one of the better national broadcasters working today. So when I saw this card among Matt's tradebait, I was down to work it into our deal. (I had originally naively tried to get Matt to give up his Ginter autos of Felicia Day and the late Stuart Scott, but he was understandably resistant to parting with them. In my defense, I thought maybe he had doubles... he does bust a ton of Ginter, after all!) But yeah, neat card. Looks like Jim balked a little on signing the "J" in his name, but doesn't bother me much. The "CBS" inscription is a nice touch.

Matt also threw in a great lot of 2016 Ginter X for me, I believe the first cards in my collection of this "evil twin" of A&G.

Nice cards. A bunch of appreciated PC additions for me here.

Even some randomness to round out the package.

Great stuff, Matt! Big thanks for the trade. Hope to deal with you again soon (We've got a couple interesting little projects in the works.)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A box now and many more boxes to look forward to

I was active on Black Friday on the card front. In addition to linking my folks and in-laws some high-end boxes for xmas/bday gift ideas for me (excited about these! Heck, the month of anticipation is the best part), I grabbed a few deals for myself.

Here's what I ended up with:

2012 Topps Baseball Factory Set - Fenway Dirt Relic Edition
2013 Panini Beach Boys Box
2008 Bowman Chrome Baseball Hobby Box
2015 Panini Stars and Stripes Baseball Hobby Box
2008 Upper Deck SP Authentic Baseball Hobby Box
2012 Benchwarmer Vault Trading Cards Box
2011 Topps Baseball Value Box
2011 Benchwarmer Bubble Gum Trading Cards Retail Box
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box

Yeah, I went heavy on the 2014 Prizm Draft, but it was a great deal (it was the quickest baseball product to sell out during Dave & Adam's black friday sale). A few bucks less than a blaster each, you get 3 on-card autos with a chance to pull the likes of Kyle Schwarber and Trea Turner (with a tiny chance of Kris Bryant ink, too). Plus there are still a few Gavin LaValley parallels I need. Grabbed enough boxes to qualify for free shipping. Unfortunately, Dave & Adam's hasn't had much else to get too excited over this holiday weekend. I seem to remember last year's sale was more impressive.

The other stuff was from Blowout Cards. Again, I grabbed just enough stuff to qualify for free shipping (which is currently set at twice as much as Dave & Adam's). Nice mix of baseball products, plus a Beach Boys box and I caved to pretty girls and bought my first-ever couple boxes of Benchwarmers. On the topic of non-sports, I was sad to see that boxes of Cryptozoic Ghostbusters are apparently sold out.. was hoping to score one of those if the price was right.

Rather than just have a box-bustin' orgy over the next week or two, I've decided to ration the boxes out over the next year. It'll be a test of my self-control, but I think it'll be nice to have things to look forward to. And I want to cut down on busting boxes (well, paying a lot of money to do so, that is), so grabbing a bunch when they're cheap and spreading them out seemed like a good idea to hopefully keep my ripping urges satisfied. There are really only a couple upcoming 2017 products I plan to buy a box or two of (Archives and Star Wars 40), so hopefully my Black Friday haul carries me through the year with minimal additional blaster and hobby box purchases.

Here's the tentative schedule I've drafted up:

DEC 2016
2011 Topps Baseball Value Box (this was the worst deal; let's get it over with)

JAN 2017
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box

FEB 2017
2012 Benchwarmer Vault Trading Cards Box (just in time for valentines)

MAR 2017
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box

APR 2017
2012 Topps Baseball Factory Set - Fenway Dirt Relic Edition (ring in the new season with dirt)

MAY 2017
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box

JUN 2017
2013 Panini Beach Boys Box (summertime is the right time for Beach Boys)
2011 Benchwarmer Bubble Gum Trading Cards Retail Box (some girls to join the Boys)

JUL 2017
2015 Panini Stars and Stripes Baseball Hobby Box (good way to celebrate the 4th)

AUG 2017
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box

SEP 2017
2008 Bowman Chrome Baseball Hobby Box

OCT 2017
2008 Upper Deck SP Authentic Baseball Hobby Box

NOV 2017
2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Baseball Hobby Box

So that's the plan.. but we'll see if I follow through with it or not. Hopefully the fact that I've posted it here will make me feel too guilty to give in and rip anything sooner. I'm also gonna label them and store them out of the way to help avoid temptation.

Some good stuff to look forward to. But for now, hey, I just got a blaster of 2016 Donruss Optic for a few bucks less than SRP off eBay. I won it on Thanksgiving Day, and the seller was just a few zipcodes over, so it arrived very quickly. There are a couple blasters of this on the shelf at my local grocery store that I've been tempted to grab, but I had some patience and saved a little money by shopping online.

Let's see what I got...

Pack 1 is heavy on Rated Rookies. I collect Jankowski and Donaldson, so this is a fine pack. The Lopez is a refractor, though you can't tell in the photo.

Pretty sure I already have that Sale DK (wait, actually no, I had the refractor, not the base). Strasburg is a PC guy. The Sonny Gray is a refractor.

A pink Strasburg (I call them Bubblegum Refractors, personally) and a Harper DK I needed. Nice.
David Wright is a refractor.

Bubblegum Dee Gordon. I might need that refractor Cutch DK, but it looks familiar.

Oh hey, there's a bubblegum version of the Cutch, as well.. cool. Also a Machado DK that I might've needed and a Donaldson insert that doesn't look too bad.

Final pack is a Tyler White hot pack, though I'm more happy about the Junior insert and the Trout base.

So that was an ok box for me. No hits or even any numbered cards, but picked up several PC additions. The rest are available for trade, so just give me a shout if you're interested in anything.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Blackest of all Fridays

It's Black Friday.

COMC orders of 20+ cards ship free this holiday weekend, not to mention tons of cards on sale. I've been loading up my inventory for a couple months now. Proud of my patience! This is shaping up to be my biggest order from them ever. Can finally ship that shit and complete my 1971 Topps set plus lots of other various stuff I've snagged.

I'm also checking out Dave & Adam's deals to maybe put a couple high-end boxes on my xmas list (I already snagged a few [more] real cheap 2014 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft hobby boxes). Blowout Cards and Steel City Collectibles also seem to be good retailers for buying boxes. Anything else of note I forgot, feel free to mention in the comments.

Anyways, good luck out there!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgavin 2016

Happy Thanksgiving, all! We've been alternating between MST3K (for me) and Gilmore Girls (for my wife).. we typically have common ground between our all-time favorite TV shows, but these are a couple notable exceptions. Then it's off to the in-laws for the big dinner.

I thought I'd use this as an excuse to hit some Gavin cards I didn't cover in my recent 2016 Season Review for guys named Gavin.

First, let's update my Gavin Escobar PC.

2013 Bowman Football sure did have a ridiculous number of parallels. I don't think this is even anywhere close to the full rainbow. The lowest #'d card here is /99.

The Cowboys have been surprisingly good this year. Dak Prescott stepped up and has done a great job filling in for an injured Tony Romo.

That concludes everything I know about the 2016 Dallas Cowboys.

I haven't heard anything about Gavin Escobar's performance this year.

Googling him just now, I found that a) he's been growing out his beard. b) his father died just a few days ago and as such he's questionable for the Thanksgiving Day game vs. Washington. Very sorry for your loss, Mr. Escobar.

Here are his stats:
Best of luck, Gavin!

And here's a new Gavin added to my Greatest Gavins minicollection recently. Gavin Dickey played in the Mariners' chain for a few years, never making it above AA before calling it quits after the 2011 season. Oh well, he's welcome in my collection! Certainly one of the silliest names of all the Gavins I've got cards of. *hu hu... Dickey.. hu*

That's gonna do it for today. Again, hope you're all having/had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Retired Refractor Review: 2004 Luis Tiant

I hardly ever have the foresight to plan out a post for a special day in the future, such as featuring a player on his birthday. But I had been thinking of doing another Retired Refractor Review post today, and this morning I saw a tweet from Mark Hoyle that it was Luis Tiant's birthday, so that helped me decide on a card for today's post and I snapped a few pics before heading out to work.

Tiant is often noted as one of the greatest players not to be in the HOF. Hall of Stats agrees, calculating a very strong score of 130, good for ranking him as the 34th best pitcher of all-time (..well, of those eligible). And he doesn't just have the numbers, as El Tiante was also a colorful character adding spice to the game during his 19 years in the big leagues. Gotta love the guy.

My Tiant PC isn't very big, so I went ahead and took pictures of the few other cards of him I got.

Some cards from the 60s including his rookie card from 1965.

Some cards from the early/mid 70s. I've also got his 73 Topps card in that complete set, not pictured.

Finally a Burger King oddball and a modern Upper Deck card #'d 3/100. And yes, I did print out little paper tabs to help me keep track of which cards are Burger King variations, since they often look the same as regular 1979 Topps only with a different card number on the back. This one actually is a photo variation, though, with flagship showing him still with the Red Sox.

So there you go, a decent little PC highlighted by a shiny /25 autograph. If anyone has any other Tiant cards to part with, I'd love to add to my collection.

Thanks for visiting and have a great Thanksgiving, everybody!