Thursday, December 13, 2018

Cards from Doug, Greg, Matt, Billy, and Jeremy


We're entering that ol' season of giving, and while in the past I've done mailing-blasts and blog-events leading up to Christmas, it always ends up being an exhausting undertaking, what with all the other stuff going on this time of year. So this year, I'm thinking a nice post-xmas giveaway. It'll likely be a card "draft" giveaway not too unlike Night Owl's recent event, with lots of prize options and multiple winners. I've been a lucky winner in a few recent cardsphere contests (not to mention greedily calling dibs on a bunch of primo slots in Wes's big 12/25 event), so I feel the need to give back. So stay tuned for that and be sure to take a moment later in the month to check in with the blog for a chance to win some cards.


Got a few different incoming mailings to cover in this post, and this first one is from Doug at Sports Cards From the Dollar Store. This card is one of those gimmicky but fun cards from Panini where they take a photo of a guy wearing a Santa hat, then make relic cards from the hat. Nice card to spice up my modest PC of this guy I went to high school with.


I think these are the first 2018 Heritage Minors cards in my collection, maybe. Good selection of future Friars, highlighted by a blue Logan Allen.


Some 1970 Padres.. imported from Canada....


O-Pee-Chee! Always fun.


More nice Padres cards of promising guys who failed to become quality major leaguers or are on their way to such a fate (prove me wrong, Francisco, prove me wrong!). Sean Burroughs bat relic, in case you can't read the tiny text. Keyvius Sampson made the majors with the Reds in '15-16, but looks like he was out of baseball last year. Neat auto. Like most Padres 1st round picks, Donavan Tate washed out of baseball after an unimpressive minor league career. The former two-sport star tried to return to football last year, but doesn't look like that panned out.


Some other PC cards. Good stuff.


And cards of lady wrestlers I collect. I think my Alexa Bliss PC doubled thanks to this mailing!

Very appreciated, Doug! I think this return makes the Felix Millan auto you traded me for pale in comparison, but I'll try to hit you back next time.

- - - ----o

Next up is my prize from Night Owl's recent 10 Year Anniversary giveaway. I was lucky enough to get into the list of eligible players, though the randomizer threw me down near the bottom of the draft board. By the time I was on the clock, most of the cards that caught my eye were gone, though I was able to add a nice Andre Dawson 2011 "legend variation" to the PC.


Greg was kind enough to throw in a bonus card for my recently-begun '72 Topps setbuild. I am at 6.6% complete with this godforsaken set and already know it will be the Baines of my collecting existence for the next several years. I just need to keep telling myself it's a long term project. Just moving along with a random card here and there, such as Jim Brewer here, and eventually down the road, I'll have it in my sights.

Thanks, Greg!

-  - - ---o

Next up is a PWE from Sport Card Collectors.


Lovely pair of cards here. Billy Hamilton was surprisingly let go by the Reds recently and picked up by the Royals. Best of luck to him in KC.


Some Astros and Bellingers.

Thanks, SCC! Hope you like the return PWE I sent.

-  - - ----o

Here's a surprise holiday PWE from Billy at Cardboard History.


A half-dozen basketball dudes I collect. Tim Duncan trio, Dirk, TJ Leaf, and Manute Bol.

Thanks, Billy! I've been working on sending some cards your way soon.

 - - - -----o

Lastly for today is a contest win from Jeremy at Topps cards that never were.


I wasn't expecting this lot of Brian Giles cards.. and though my PC of his is pretty large, pretty sure I needed just about all of these!


The prize in the contest was Jeremy would send you a few customs he made of your choice. I was a little confused if he had already made them or not, and I asked about Chris Jones, a guy from my high school who played in the bigs but never got a real card from his MLB career. Jeremy kindly obliged. Glad to have these whipped up for me!


I also asked about some missing Rod Beck cards that Topps neglected to make, and he came through big there, too! (Beck has a Gold '92 Topps card-- a replacement for a checklist-- but not a standard issue in the set.)


Of course I'm partial to the San Diego era cards, but all are appreciated.

Thanks so much, Jeremy!


Thanks again to everybody who's sent me cards. And thanks for reading.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Twin Vins for the Win

One of my most prized cards-- in contention for the title of "my favorite card" if I were forced to pick-- is my Vin Scully autograph. If you ask me, he's one of the game's all-time greats up there with Babe Ruth and Harold Baines. I recently doubled down and picked up another one.


Now that's a fine looking card! It's from 2016 Topps Five Star Baseball.


Always nice when there's more of a back to a hit than just "Congratulations!" Five star career, right there!


Here are my boys together. Same photo, but it's a nice one.


Both are the 36th card in the print run! How 'bout that. Topps Mint is /99 and Five Star is /50. The last card in the '16 Topps Scully auto trilogy I still need is the Transcendent, which the "base" version is /52. Hmm... I'll have to keep an eye out for number 36/52. lol


Time to play "custom / not a custom"... here's the rest of my Vin Scully PC. Only the two rightmost cards are actual real cards. I really wish Vin would be included in more card sets these days. How has he never been included in Allen & Ginter?! He would fit in wonderfully with products like Topps Archives and Goodwin Champions too. We've got a living legend in our midst, and card companies aren't paying nearly enough attention. Autographs would be great, but hey, if he doesn't feel like spending his twilight years signing his name, that's fine too.. just a base card would be great.

 Long live Vin Scully! Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Into the Stratasphere (2 boxes of 2015 Strata baseball)


I picked up a couple reasonably-priced 2015 Topps Strata boxes on (black friday) sale to roll the dice with pair of high-end boxes. Two cards per box. Say a prayer and here we go.

Box 1:


bad.

Archie Bradley is a decent pitcher, but nobody cares much for his autos. D-backs aren't in D-mand. This is a bad pull.


bad

Jorge Soler, forgotten Cubbie castoff. Another bad pull.


Looked up this number: "Swatch of Jorge Soler game used jersey Washington Nationals VS Chicago Cubs 5/25/15. Original hologram# HZ633002"

Soler went 1-4 in a 2-1 loss to the Nats. So while it's nice to get a couple pinstripes, this wasn't a notable game for him.

This was a bad box. Neither card was a star player nor was either even serial numbered. Bummer.

BOX 2:


ok

Luis Gonzalez had a good career and this card is numbered 123/125. He has plenty of certified autos out there (perhaps too many), so this isn't worth much, but still a decent pull for me. Even if it's another D-backs card, at least he's a World Series hero.

Last card...


GOOD!

Rickey really saved my ass here, salvaging an otherwise crappy pair of boxes. A Christmas Card would have been amazing, but 2/25 is fine too.. no complaints. Mets hit... sort of a rarity, as it seems he's usually pictured on the A's in his post-career cards.

At first I was underwhelmed by the relic piece, thinking it was just the plain white fabric on top. But then I realized the blue line in the middle isn't part of the card design but rather part of the patch! I assume it's from the blue piping (or whatever you call it) from the jersey as seen in the photos. Too bad there's no authentication hologram with this one, but still a very nice card.


Very happy to add another auto to my Rickey Henderson PC (this makes 3 for me [1st, 2nd].. all /25, funny enough, and my 1st since xmas 2015). The other above cards are up for trade if you're interested.

So yeah, boxes like these are definitely a crapshoot. Had I only gotten the first box, I would have been quite disappointed. But I doubled down and landed a nice card in the second box, and so I'm happy with the purchase. I could have easily ended up with 2 duds. Just the luck of the draw. Even with hitting the Rickey, the estimated eBay value of the cards likely wouldn't cover the price I paid for the 2 boxes (which again, were on a pretty good sale). It's obviously financially smarter to just buy cards you want on the secondary market, but there's definitely something to be said for the thrill of the rip.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Definitive Guide to Shipping Sports Cards Safely and Cheaply


Ok, this might be ambitious of me, but I'm setting out to make a definitive guide to mailing cards. I think this post is packed with a lot of good tips that can save you money and keep your trading partners/buyers happy. My goal is for collectors to bookmark this and share the link with prospective new trading partners and maybe even sellers, being like, "Let's follow the guidelines in this link for shipping." Just trying to get everybody on the same page and prevent shipping horror stories. Plus, ever-rising postage costs are a major threat to many in the hobby, so saving a buck here and there definitely helps.

Let's breakdown some tips for mailing cards safely and cheaply.

Step 1 - Deciding on a package -- key here is RE-USE

Using a new bubble mailer might look nice, but they ain't free and let's be honest, when you receive cards in the mail, you don't give a crap what the packaging looks like as look as the cards are in there safe and sound, right?

When you receive a bubble mailer in the mail, carefully cut it open on one side to make it easier to reuse later. Use a permanent black marker to completely black out the addresses and old postage (or peel off, if applicable), and it should be fine. Once re-packed, one or two good pieces of clear packing tape over the opening should sufficiently seal it back up. You should pick your battles here; some packages are easier to reuse than others. Occasionally you'll get one that will be a big hassle to get into reusable shape for whatever reason, and you'll just have to trash it.

Need packaging? Cardboard for Cardboard

Another smart option for packaging when you don't have any mailers handy: cereal boxes! Yes, taking an empty box from cereal or crackers or a frozen dinner or something like that and turning it inside out is a great method for shipping cards. It uses some tape (again, clear packing tape is a must) but is essentially free and works as a sturdy, lightweight package with very little chance of damage to the contents. Plus it's good for the environment to repurpose a box like that rather than buying a new bubble mailer.



Boom: free packaging at your fingertips

Big mailing? Make it a Priority



If you're sending a big box of cards, you might consider going via Priority Mail. You can get free Priority Mail boxes and envelopes from most local post offices and you can even order them for free on usps.com (In my experience, the packaging is free and shipping is free too.. all totally free! They want you to use them! All you need to do is create an account at usps.com and then they will happily deliver free Priority Mail packaging to your door for you to use.) Priority Mail is typically more expensive than First Class, though often you can take advantage of flat-rate boxes and envelopes and actually save money. It's a good idea to learn about the various options on usps.com to get an idea of what packaging methods you can use, but again, I suggest flat-rate Priority Mail envelopes/boxes for large mailings (14 ounces and over). I've got a good example coming up later in this post. The "Calculate a Price" feature on the site also comes in handy. Another obvious advantage to Priority Mail is it typically takes only 2 or 3 days for delivery, about half the time of First Class.


PWE if you please

The Plain White Envelope method for sending cards is a great one for shooting a few cards to a trader buddy. Other than meeting up in person, it's the cheapest way to exchange cards. One Forever stamp will cover up to an ounce (let's say roughly 8 standard cards), and you can often get away with a bit over an ounce, but when in doubt, throw on another stamp to play it safe. Nothing worse than sending cards that end up arriving "postage due" for the recipient.

More PWE tips:

- Try to keep the envelope smooth all around, not lumpy. If it's lumpy, the post office may charge an additional "non machinable" fee, which I think is like 20¢ or something. Also if it's lumpy, there's greater chance it'll get stuck in the sorting machines and potentially damage/lose the cards. I will often crop an envelope down to the size I need so there's not a lot of empty space, sealing the side with a piece of packing tape.

- Be wary of sending memorabilia cards and other thick cards in PWEs. Envelopes will get slightly bent in the mechanical sorting process, and bending relic cards often results in creases around the memorabilia pocket area. You want to be sure your PWE can be bent a little without damaging the contents. Better to mail relics and other thick cards in bubble mailers or boxes to play it safe. And definitely don't send a slabbed/graded card in a PWE, as that's just asking for trouble.

- Keep the thickness of the envelope to 1/4 inch or less, otherwise it will count as parcel rate which is more expensive and will likely arrive "postage due" or get returned to you for "insufficient postage" if you try to get away with using just a stamp or two. Spread out the cards in an envelope, don't stack them all up together. Using a cut 9-pocket page (i.e. cut into a row of 3 pockets) is a common method traders use.

Prepping a typical PWE to send out.
- Again, don't just throw cards willy-nilly into an envelope or package. I like to use heavy paper such as that from a junk mail flyer to repurpose for giving extra protection for the cards in a PWE. Penny sleeves and blue tape can help keep the cards secure and not sliding around. Put the "best" cards in the middle for added protection, and maybe put some unwanted "buffer cards" on the outside of the little stacks. Again, if the envelope you're using is too long to the cards you're mailing, consider cutting it and taping up the end to keep everything tight and a uniform thickness (it will get through the sorting machines better that way).

- It's considerate to confirm with the other party that you're planning to send via PWE before you both send. If the other guy is sending in a package, he might be upset if he receives the cards from you in an envelope. Likewise, if you're selling, it's not cool to charge $3.50 for shipping and then mail in a PWE with a Forever stamp.

- Another courteous move is to include a little note in your mailing. Even just a little post-it saying like, "Sean, Enjoy the cards. -Jon" ..It gives a personal touch, plus can help them keep track of which cards were from whom if they have cards from multiple sources accumulating on their desk.

Recapping packaging options:
- Re-use mailers when possible or repurpose inside-out cardboard boxes (cereal boxes, etc)
- Consider Priority Mail flat-rate boxes/envelopes for large mailings
- PWEs are good for a few, low-value cards
  - keep the envelope smooth, under 1/4" thich, and weighing around an ounce or less

Step 2 - Preparing the card(s) -- key here is to keep them safe, but don't over-do it

The worst sin in the world of shipping cards is tossing a loose card unprotected into an envelope or package. Many of us have been the victim of a clueless seller unfamiliar with the importance of condition on sports cards.

But these days it seems a more common hassle is the other extreme: sellers going overboard with "protecting" the card, with no consideration for how the recipient is supposed to free it. They'll often wrap up a card with layers upon layers of tape and bubble wrap like it's going deep sea diving or something. While it might technically get through the postal system safely that way, it's wasteful for the seller and a pain in the butt for the person who just wants to see their new card. Getting scissors or a knife involved to cut out a card from it's prison can be dangerous, as a slight misstep could possibly damage the card. So remember: One solid piece of tape (preferably blue tape, and with a pull-tab) will usually do the job just fine; Don't go nuts with tape!

Team bags are great for packaging cards. They're little plastic baggies that typically hold up to a dozen cards or so. If you're sending a good card, the best method is (1) put the card in a penny sleeve, (2) put that into a top-loader, (3) then put that into a team bag and seal the bag. That's usually all you'll need to be golden. (Alternately, magnetic one-touch cases are great, but more expensive.) If it's a relic card, slabbed card, or otherwise very valuable card, you might want to include additional padding around it (bubble wrap, cut up pieces of cardboard, putting packing peanuts into the package, etc.) Like with bubble mailers, I have never bought a new pack of team bags in my life, though I always have an ample supply of used ones around that I've gotten from past trades and purchases.

Sending a bunch of cards in a box? It's best to keep them secure within the box, not sliding all around, potentially damaging edges and corners. Fill up any open space with bubble wrap, paper towel pieces, or whatever.

Recapping the preparation of cards:
- Consider the recipient and make it easy for them to free their card. Don't go nuts with tape. And make pull tabs with the tape you use! Preferably use blue painters tape; Scotch tape is harder to get off and will likely ruin the top-loader.
- Be extra careful with memorabilia cards, thick cards, graded cards, and other non-standard cards that are among the most susceptible to damage.
- Keep cards secure and not sliding around within the packaging.


Step 3 - Postage - the key here is don't overpay

Ok, you've got your cards packed up safely and sensibly, now it's time to slap on the postage. The "old school" method is to just go down to the post office when you've got a chance during their business hours, wait in line, and have the person behind the counter sort it out for you and charge you for the postage. The problem with this is not only is it a hassle of an errand added to your day, but you can save money by printing postage at home.

First thing you need here is a kitchen scale. You might already have one in a kitchen drawer (consider asking your significant other if they've got one, if you're not sure). If not, you can buy one online for about ten bucks. Assuming you send out packages on a regular basis, it'll "pay for itself" pretty quickly. I used to borrow my wife's scale all the time to weigh packages. Then one day I rinsed it off and neglected to take the batteries out first.. whoops. Seemed like it died, so my wife bought a new one. But then a few days later, the old scale dried out and was working fine again.. Woo, now I've got my own scale for cards! ha. And you'll also need a printer, of course. (If you've got a printer at work you can use [without getting in trouble], even better; less ink and paper for you to worry about.) And some tape or glue to affix the printing label to the package is needed. If you're an active card collector, chances are you've got a PayPal account, right? Well, that also entitles you to cheaper postage. Here's the PayPal "create postage label" link. It's significantly cheaper than going to the post office and will save you a lot of time, too. And yes, you can do this with trades too; it doesn't have to be tied to any other PayPal transaction (sale). You just sign in, click that link (again), enter the recipient's address, select mailing option (default is Priority, so you may need to change it to First Class), the weight of the package (rounded up to the nearest ounce), print, affix, and then just drop it off into any convenient outgoing mailbox in your area. Chances are your work has an outgoing mail area you can use, or there's probably a sidewalk mailbox on a corner near you. If you live in a good neighborhood, you could probably even leave it by your personal mailbox for your letter-carrier to pick up while delivering mail.

Postage rates frequently change, but as of today, a standard small package of cards (weighing 4 ounces or less) would cost you $3.50 if you stood in line at the post office, but the same package would be only $2.66 if you printed out your own postage at home through Paypal.com. That's a savings of 84 cents per package, and that'll add up quickly if you do a few trades per month. If you did 30 similar trades over the course of a year, that's over $25 you'd save. You're also potentially saving several hours of going to the post office and waiting in line.

Here's a good example of some cards I recently mailed:


This is a mostly-filled 400-count box of cards weighing 1 lb 7.4 oz that I sent off to Matthew Scott. Had I just taped up this box and mailed it as-is, taken it down to the post office and stood in line, postage would cost nearly $13.


But by just putting the box into a flat-rate Priority Mail padded envelope (which was free) and printing off my own postage label through Paypal, postage was only $7.10. That's a savings of over $5 on just this one package!

Stamps.com can also be used for these cheaper postage rates, though I believe they charge for their service, whereas PayPal is free. I use Stamps.com for work (I ship several hundred packages each month), where it comes in handy doing many mailings at once. But for personal use, I find PayPal to be the best way to go. You also get these cheaper rates than retail when you create shipping labels through eBay, but of course that doesn't do much good if you're sending a trade.


In conclusion, here are some Do's and Don'ts to save money on safely mailing cards:

Don't spend money on new bubble mailers.
DO: Reuse old bubble mailers or make your own mailers with an inside-out cereal box and some clear packing tape.

Don't send big lots of cards in regular boxes.
DO: Use Flat-Rate Priority Mail packaging for sending big lots of cards.

Don't stand in line at the post office.
DO: Print postage at home using a kitchen scale and PayPal.com.

Don't send a small number of cheap cards in a box or package.
DO: Send in a plain white envelope when possible to save on postage. Make sure the cards are secure and the envelope isn't lumpy or thicker than 1/4".

Don't tape the hell out of a card and make it a chore for the recipient to get out.
DO: Package cards in a safe and smart way, with team bags and pull tabs.

I have been an active card trader for several years now. Used supplies I utilize include top-loaders, team bags, blue tape, and bubble mailers. The only card supplies I buy new with any regularity are new penny sleeves (because I'm a box guy, not a binder guy, and I like to have new/clean sleeves) and clear packing tape (for taping up boxes and resealing used packages, as well as affixing the printed postage labels). I could easily be paying $100+ extra every year if I bought new packages and went to the post office to mail cards. The guidelines in this post are only suggestions I'm trying to share for the overall good of the hobby. I'm not making any promises (small print: the proprietor of Baseball Card Breakdown assumes no liability if these tips do not work out for you; these are only suggestions of things I've found work for me), though I believe if you follow these tips, you'll be likely to save money and have the cards you send arrive safely.


Essential Links:
PayPal postage label link (for purchasing postage for all non-PWE mailings)
USPS.com (for calculating postage options)
Priority Mail flat-rate packaging (for ordering free boxes/envelopes for large mailings)
Kitchen Scales (for weighing your outgoing mail)
Penny Sleeves (step 1 for protecting cards)
Top Loaders (step 2 for protecting cards)
Team Bags (step 3 for protecting cards)
Magnetic One-Touch cases (an option for protecting valuable cards)
Bubble Mailers (I recommend reusing them, but if you must buy them new, here's a link)
Clear packing tape (for sealing mailers and affixing postage labels)
Blue Painters tape (to keep cards together and to put over toploaders so cards don't slip out)
Fine Point Sharpies (for blacking out old addresses on used packages)
Ultra Fine Point Sharpies (for addressing packages)
Envelopes (for mailing PWEs)
Stamps (for PWEs)


So there you have it: My guide for mailing cards safely and cheaply. I hope you were able to pick up at least a couple tips you can use. Maybe even consider bookmarking this post for future reference. Please comment below if you have additional tips or any questions, etc. and I can update the post if necessary with additions or clarifications.
Thanks and happy trading!

P.S. A couple bonus tips for card collectors that might not be in the scope of this post but are still important to know:
- eBay Bucks. If you buy cards (or anything) on eBay with any regularity, you should really be sure to have eBay Bucks enabled. Basically you earn "store credit" on every purchase. Learn more (and activate) here. You may also consider signing up for "general email promotion offers" (go to My eBay in the upper right, then >Account>Communication Preferences, then check the box for "General email promotions" and click save) which means eBay will spam you with dumb email crap but occasionally there will be offers where you can "activate offer" to get a higher rate of eBay Bucks on purchases over a limited period. All the emails are annoying, but it could definitely be worth your time for big purchases.
- Informed Delivery. The US Postal Service has this relatively new thing where they will email you a heads-up on your mail for the day. It's not perfect (some things you get don't show up in the email, and some things in the email arrive later than they say), but it's still somewhat handy to get an idea of what mail you can expect to arrive. Here's the link.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Late nite pack rip: expired Star Wars food


Zippy Zappy re-gifted me three packs of these Japanese Star Wars Special Edition chocolate wafers (each with a collectable sticker inside) a couple years ago. I opened two and posted about them. Just recently, Kenny revealed that he was appalled that I ate the wafers rather than throw them away, and implored everyone to refrain from sending him treats in the future.

Well that sort of reminded me that I still have one of these left that I've been meaning to rip. It's a little after 9:30 pm on a Friday nite and I've been thinking about having dessert. As long as these don't look too gross at this point, I'm totally going to eat them. I mean, come on, I 'chew'(eat) Topps gum from the 80s as long as it's pink-- My old saying is "If it's brown, put it down. If it's pink, it's ok.. I think."-- so if you send me something edible I will most likely put it in my mouth.


October 2016 wasn't really that long ago. Those dates are just meant to push product anyways, not really related to the food's freshness.


Oh cool, it's an action sticker! An epic lightsaber battle from Episode II, my 2nd favorite/2nd least favorite of the prequels. It's a welcomed addition to my little Star Wars collection.


As for the wafer.. hey, it's not bad.. just fine. In fact I think tha-- *suddenly collapses and dies. RIP defgav*

Courtside seats to kill for



This made the rounds on Twitter this past week, but hey, here's a quick post for those of you not on Twitter. Mark Jackson 1990-91 NBA Hoops #205 features the infamous Menendez Brothers in the crowd. Ever since this has become commonly known, the card is selling very well, like frequently over $10.. even topping $20. It's sold out on COMC. We're talking about a base card of a good but ultimately "non-star" player in a very overproduced set.

As a collector, it's kinda cool to see, even if a bit dark and morbid. I think I had one of these as a kid but long since parted with it. Oh well. (Billy, do you have a dupe for me? LOL)

How cool is it that a dimebox common could suddenly become a desirable card decades later? (I dream of my hoard of 1990 Upper Deck Marquis Grissom rookie cards skyrocketing in value.) Can you think of any other similar examples?

Thursday, December 6, 2018

cards as I receive them

Got a couple more recent trades to recap.


Good ol' gcrl set over some vintage set help, including these '74s. That Billy Williams is a classic "wtf?" card. Apparently Topps felt Billy washed into the background too much in the photo, and bizarrely decided to tint the background yellow in order for Billy to pop more. Either that or a lemonade stand exploded behind him.


Nice looking pair of '78s, too.


A few big names to check off my 1979 Topps build!


Seems like my '84 Donruss chase had stalled there for a while, so it's great to score a few more needs, highlighted by rookie cards of Van Slyke, Carmelo, and Wynne.


Jim rounded out the package with a few young dudes I collect.

Thanks, man! Much appreciated.

-  - - --o

I also got a bonus "thank you" package from Alex T. for a few customs I've been cranking out for him.


Panels of "Repli-Cards" from BBC.. gotta love these early custom-like cards. I was down for the Kevin Maas rookie I needed for the PC, and Alex went ahead and sent the whole panels from the issue. Now I have the conundrum of whether to cut these out or keep them intact. Thoughts? They did a good job picking rookies. These are all familiar names for me from the year I dove into baseball hard, 1990. Only the Brewers pair are "who?" names for me.


Alex also surprised me with a set of Portfolio '92 swimsuit cards. Lots of lovely ladies.. I'm sure I'll be able to find some worthy additions for my "girlie card" minicollection in here. The photos in this set are pretty tame for the most part, but if you keep an eye out, you might catch an occasional risqué card, like Colette there.

Thanks, Alex!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Gone to the dogs

My spare time for card/blog activities has been cut down significantly over the past week due to us dog-sitting an energetic puppy for a work friend.

But one dog I always have time for is the Turrdog. He collects HOF autographs and his ears perked up when I posted the other day that I had a Dennis Eckersley auto available. Didn't take us long to hash out another successful trade.


Here are some big dogs! Awesome pair of Padres rookie cards.. probably San Diego's most desirable cards of the 70s (unless you wanna count that guy sneaking onto Mike Schmidt's rookie card). While I already had copies of Ozzie Smith and Dave Winfield's rookies, it's great to get an extra of each so I can dedicate one to the respective PC and another to the ongoing setbuilds of '74 and '79 Topps.


Jeffery also noticed I recently added all the vintage Kellogg's sets to my "maybe someday" list of collecting projects I'd like to work on.. and gave me a nice lot the beautiful initial offering from 1970. My favorite has got to be the Dick Allen, which I believe I needed for the PC.


Also a nice trio of HOFers from the '74 Kellogg's set.

Yeah, if anybody else has old Kellogg's cards available, I'd be down to take them. At this point, I don't mind cracking or curling.


And lastly, my 1982 Topps set can now be put to bed. I had already completed it, but this was the last card I felt I needed an upgrade to consider it 100% good. (Well, actually there are still a few variations I'd like to eventually add, but are less of a priority: George Foster All-Star card with a signature erroneously on it, Tom Seaver All-Star card with text differences on back, and Pascual Perez with no position listed on front.)

Thanks, Turrdog! Hope the Eck arrived safe and sound.


Circling back now to the canine situation (The card stuff is done, so you don't need to keep reading if you don't care about pups)... the dog we're watching is named Mia and she can be a handful.


While Mia is a sweetheart most of the time, having her for the past week her really helped us appreciate what a chill, good girl our Annie is. It's been a long week for Annie, as Mia's always trying to wrestle with her, and playing with her toys, and stealing her food. Annie doesn't mind a little playing now and then, but not nearly as frequently as Mia tries to rile her up into it.


I would describe Mia as a mix between Scooby Doo and a squirrel.

Her owners did warn us that she once chewed up a big fat Stephen King novel. Of course I was instantly concerned about my card collection, and have been careful to keep the door to that room shut while she was on the prowl. But thankfully she's been good and only chewing on toys and the blankets she brought with her.

But yeah, keeping the peace between dogs and other extra pet-care stuff has been exhausting. Plus she sometimes barks/whines/is-otherwise-noisy in the morning, so I haven't been getting great sleep lately. I don't know how folks with multiple dogs do it, much less parents with kids. Hats off to y'all.


So I've fallen a little behind in my blog reading and writing-- all these Reminiscence Bump posts being batted around are great, but they're generally long and require some quality reading time so I can't knock them out of my reading queue very quickly. And I haven't had a chance to start working on a draft of my own, but probably soon. I had some big plans for the blog that I haven't gotten to (such as my long-delayed Shipping Tips post plus kicking around a card-draft/contest idea).

Mia's owners are picking her up momentarily, as of press time, so things can return to normal shortly. I'm sure Annie will be happy to be the undisputed queen pup of the house again, though they seemed to get along a little better with each passing day. Annie happened to have a dentist appointment scheduled for today (she's had teeth issues in the past). When they were doing a health check when she first arrived, the vet thought they detected a heart murmur, and said they'd do some scans and see if there was a problem. They'd have more info at the end of the day.

This made for a very fucking stressful day for my wife and I! Our last dog was taken away from us much too soon from cancer, and we're really needing a long run with this one.

But I'm happy to report that I've been informed her teeth and heart both looked perfect upon further inspection. I'm typing this up at the end of the work day, but I'll be hugging her extra tight tonight when I get home. The poor girl was probably just a little stressed out from the chaos at home. We might need to reconsider dog-sitting again unless it's an old, mellow pooch.

Anyways.. thanks for reading!