Monday, March 27, 2023

I opened an Etsy shop for my quirky cards

I haven't really sold cards (or anything really) for the past few years but after getting laid off last month, I've decided to start up a side hustle selling my fun/weird cards on Etsy.

Debut drop of (15) 1991 Fleer mods available now. Use promo code GRANDOPENING by the end of March for 15% off.

I'm trying to figure out the market for these things, so if a price seem high, keep an eye on it because I plan to run good sales on the cards that don't sell after a while. (I got cute with some "uniform-number pricing" among this first batch.) And all purchases include free US shipping plus a surprise bonus custom, so there's that!

Please consider yourself invited to help out your ol' pal Gav and spread the word. Do you have a buddy who is a bigtime player-collector of anyone who appears in 1991 Fleer (or 1991 Fleer Update)? Hey, they might jump at scoring themselves a lightened border of that player from me! Send 'em over my way, why not! :)

In addition to the '91 Fleer mods, I've got lots of cardart/etc ideas to work on and offer in the shop soon.. ranging from "ok, that's a weird idea" to "HOTDAMN,NOWTHAT'SCOOL!" (if I'm able to pull it off, which is always a big if) and everywhere in between. (NOTE: Customs that I print out are still trade-only.. mostly because I don't want to worry about potential legal entanglements. Mods and "cardart" are much less sticky in that regard seeing as those involved in creating the cards have already been paid when the cards were originally brought to market.) Apparently you can sell regular cards on Etsy too, not just the "crafty" ones, so maybe someday I'll start selling normal cards on there too, though I think "feeBay" is still the best option for selling sports cards. I mean, I for one have never searched for baseball cards on Etsy, but I see a lot of creative card/sports folks on Twitter who use Etsy as their online shop for their art cards or coasters made from junkwax wrappers or whatever.

Anyway, thanks as always for reading my cardblog. I promise I won't pimp the shop too much (--always leaves a bad taste in my mouth when a blog gets a little to heavy on the self-promotion or trying to make a buck, and I know I'm not alone on that--), but expect a link in the sidebar and for me to probably mention when I get a new drop of cards added to the shop, which I'm currently shooting to do once a month. When(/if?!) I get another "real job working for the man", my Etsy may likely dry up as I just don't have enough hours in my day for too much stuff thanks in part to owning a high-energy dog.


That link again...

Again, use promo code (or this link->) GRANDOPENING for 15% off until end of March 2023.

Thanks for your support!

Friday, March 24, 2023

Cards from Rickey collectors

I received a couple maildays this week that both came from big Rickey Henderson collectors, funny enough, and that's good enough motivation to whip up a post.

I got this shiny relic card from supercollector @rickey939, A.K.A. the Man-cave of Steal Twitter account that shows off sweet Rickeys on the daily. He was one of the few to reach out to me regarding the 1991 Fleer lightened border mods that made the rounds back around Rickey's birthday. I agreed to give him a heads up once I had another Rickey mod available, and when I did, it was a quick turnaround.

He also threw in a few later-career cards which are appreciated to help pump up the PC, as late 90s to early 00s is often underrepresented in my PCs.

Thanks, Kent! Pleasure dealing with you.

-   -  - -o

My first Rickey '91F mod from back in December was for friend-to-all-cardbloggers, Fuji. He was nice enough to return the favor and include me in a recent round of mailings to some of his trader buds.

Just what I hope to see whenever opening up a blind batch of cards: vintage needs! Some Cubs-heavy help with my 1976 Topps setbuild plus a sole '75.

Garry Templeton (one of my oldest PCs) and Dave Stieb (one of my newest PCs) are presented in cutting-edge 3-D, while the Brian Giles relic has a bit of mystery staining to spice up the white swatch.

Thanks, Fuji! Great stuff.

-   - - --o

Kind of a short post so far, so maybe some random photos and checking in.

I think this is my first attempt at a jigsaw puzzle since childhood. It's tiny, probably tinier than ideal (phone charger cord for scale). It was fun for a while, working on the tower and the boats.. even the rippling water. But now that I'm down to only sky and trees, it's gotten harder and not much fun so I'll likely give up here. So there's a photograph for posterity before I crumble it back into the box and get rid of it.

We had a dead tree in the backyard that I took out but it turned out it had a little sapling next to it, and I've been kinda trying to look after it these past few months in the hopes it grows into a respectable tree. Glad to see it apparently survived the winter ok-- through the most snow Portland has gotten since I've lived here-- and has some buds popping up.

My attempts at getting a good photo failed, but a couple weeks ago while walking the dog, there were a pair of bald eagles soaring overhead for a few minutes. That was cool. Crazy that I live in a big city like Portland yet I get wild rabbits in my backyard (which are a bit of a nuisance because Ruby seems to think bunny poops are nature's dog treats) and probably not coincidentally, occasional birds of prey in the neighborhood.

In one of my more popular tweets in a while, I pointed out the big shirtless guy lurking in the lower left of the Dwight Evans cards Topps put out in 1988. Just wanted to mention it here so you non-Twitter folks can have it haunt your nightmares as well. lol

A big DIY project I've been spending time on lately is fixing up my attic. The height isn't tall enough to make it into a full-on 2nd story, but still plenty of wasted space that I could take advantage of. The plan is for it to become a little "reading nook" area with some bookshelves and a beanbag chair, as well as a "Cardroom Annex" where I can move stuff to free up space in my cardroom. It's not climate controlled up there, meaning it'll get very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter, so cards from the UV gloss era (prone to bricking) as well as vintage or anything valuable shouldn't be stored there. But my boxed complete sets from the 80s and early 90s should do fine up there (right?). And in the slim chance something bad happens to the cards, oh well, for the most part they're not worth much and I'll still be glad to have the extra space freed up in the cardroom. I bought some big plastic tubs from IKEA to put the cards in to help against moisture and other attic threats (don't want no spider eggs in there, or critters gnawing on the cardboard!). If anyone has experience with storing cards in their attic (or tips for converting an unfinished attic into usable space), feel free to let me know.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Baseball Cards Come from Bo!

He was already probably the cardsphere's most prolific trader these days, but after Bo added his dupes to TCDB, it became even easier for him to identify cards his trade partners could use. He was thinking about putting together a good-sized package for me-- in contrast to our typical PWE swaps-- and emailed lists for guys high atop my priority PCs. I was able to add a few hundred needs thanks to it.

I've gotten more into collecting Harmon Killebrew over the years, with my mindset going from "sure, I'll take his cards" to "yes, give me his cards!" Just a good dude. While I don't stray from standard cardboard too often, I spoke up when Bo said he had some extra bottle caps available from a big lot he acquired.

Here's a closer look "in hand". Not in perfect shape, but still pretty cool. They are different on the reverse, with one being Coke and the other Tab.

I put 'em in a thick top-loader for storing in my PC boxes.

More HOFers here, including a fat stack of George Brett cards I needed. The Hank Aaron record breaker is in rough shape, but hey, a playing-days Hank Aaron that I don't have will always be welcomed in this house. I need it for my '76 Topps setbuild, too, meaning it's still a keeper even if/when I upgrade.

Thanks to this trade, I'll need to update my wantlist because the PCs of guys like Brett, Thome, and Larry Walker have all been pushed well over the 100-card threshold and I suppose I'm still hanging on to my "Hundred Card Club" method of player collecting where I try to convince myself that I'm "done" collecting a player after I get a representative sample of >100 cards, and then I can focus my hobby energy elsewhere, though it can be hard fighting the mindset of "gotta get 'em all!"

This above selection of guys includes some of who I consider my top tier PC priorities, so it's a little embarrassing to realize I'm missing basic "junk" cards like Rod Beck's 1992 Donruss.. not talking about some dumb "missing a period on the back" variation, but just any copy. And Vince Coleman was one of my early biggest PCs circa 1990-91, and so cards like his '90 Topps Record Breaker are a very familiar card to me despite needing it. But I jettisoned that PC during my long hiatus from the hobby, and he was one guy that I was slow to return to collecting as an adult, probably due to the unbecoming stuff near the end of his career. But still gotta be impressed by his freewheelin' Cardinals prime.

Snuck in some active players too, specifically small stacks of Judge and Votto, plus early cards I was missing from current Padre standouts Musgrove, Snell, and Cronenworth. 

I helped Bo thin out some of his many '88 Topps dupes by requesting any popular All-Stars he had available. The plan for these is to make some more "yellow background removed" mods similar to the Gwynn I showed off at the start of the year. So that'll be fun once some of those eventually complete the long process.

Closing out the post with what I was probably most stoked about, the infamous "Hunter S. Thompson" Bruce Bochy minor league card! Had been wanting to add that to the PC for a while, his 2nd earliest card. I've reached the melancholy point where I'm now older than every player in MLB, but at least there are still lifers like Boch and Dusty who have been suiting up since before I was born.

Big thanks, Bo! I'm working on a return that will hopefully hold a candle to this great bunch of cards you kindly rounded up for me.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

February's incoming cards

I've got a big ol' lot of cards in transit from Bo at Baseball Cards Come to Life which will likely take some effort to sort and post about, so let's clear the backlog of cards from the cardsphere that've made their way through the winter weather to my mail slot this past month.

My trade bait page facilitated another easy swap with a friend of the blog. This time it was mr haverkamp who took a shot at the Mike Schmidt auto I had available, hooking me up with some great vintage needs in return.

Home Run King, Hank Aaron! Very happy to knock this big one off the '72 wantlist.

Plenty of familiar faces on these league leader cards.

Along with these other glorious additions, I've scratched my way up to 83% complete with 1972 Topps.

Also some good stuff for my 1970 Topps setbuild. Still barely over halfway through there, but slowly chipping away. It's not his pricey high-number base card, but that NL playoff highlight card features Nolan Ryan.. so that's neat.

I thought I had completed a basic set of 1974 Topps late last year, but as often happens, when I actually went through it, seems gremlins had run off with a few of the cards, including a consecutive run of postseason cards that I must've inadvertently missorted elsewhere. Plus there was a missing base card, #539 Lloyd Allen, which is now atop my reasonable desperate double dozen sidebar wantlist. But yeah, glad to re-acquire this above pair, including the final card from Willie Mays' playing career.

Thanks for the trade, Jim!

-    -   -  - o

A lucky comment left at Johnny's Trading Spot won me a PWE of Padres.

Some recent Topps Holiday cards. I appreciate John giving me a heads up that the Soto is a variation ("Santa belt"), as I probably would've missed it otherwise.

Vintage HOFers to balance out the PWE.

Thanks, John!

-   -  - - --o

Last up today is a surprise PWE from the illustrious Night Owl celebrating the return of baseball being played.

Another fun Holiday variation here, with Manny Machado's Santa cap being hard to miss. Fingers crossed he remains productive throughout that huge contract the team gave him.

Speaking of current happenings in the game, he's not included in this group, but a Dodger and a young player named Gavin makes me think of Gavin Lux. Poor guy just wrecked his knee in spring training and will miss all of 2023. Ouch! :( Such a bummer. Wishing the best to Mr. Lux on his recovery and Mr. Owl on a solid Dodgers season, though of course I'm rooting for San Diego, hoping the Padres can at least win it once in my lifetime. That's all I ask.. just once, damn it!

Everyone knows that Night Owl loves '75 Topps, so receiving any of those from him feels kinda special. The impressive trio above takes me to 86.82% complete-- or round that up to 87%-- with 87 cards left to track down, funny enough. (Everyone knows that Night Owl hates '87 Topps.)

Big thanks, Greg!

That'll do it for this post. Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Refracting the Past: 1951 Topps Monte Irvin

I've really gotten into Topps All-Time Fan Favorites refractors over the past year or so and am starting up a new recurring blog series called Refracting the Past to take a closer look at them. 

I think of ATFF as like a "sister set" to Topps Retired. Both saw releases in just 3 years (2003, 2004, and 2005) and don't contain active players. ATFF bridges the gap between the Topps Archives sets that began as mostly reprints, and the modern Topps Archives going strong today that features active players as well. While modern Archives throws players into designs willy-nilly, All-Time Fan Favorites cards tend to use a design for each subject that corresponds with a significant year for that player. So it's kinda like Topps taking a do-over on their old cards. Sometimes the new versions are improvements, other times a step back. The gold foil stamp on all ATFF base cards has always felt a bit like an eyesore to me, perhaps keeping me from paying too much attention to the product line in the past. But then I picked up a couple refractor parallels-- and man, oh man-- I love 'em! I dig shiny cards but care less and less about today's players and today's cards, so shiny cards of greats from the 50s-90s made twenty years ago are right up my alley.

My plan for Refracting the Past is to cover each year of the pre-Chrome Topps era. While I don't think I'll necessarily always go chronologically, this first post in the series starts at the beginning. And it's Monte Irvin's birthday today, so that's good motivation to get this post out of draft purgatory.

2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites refractors #100 Monte Irvin

Here's Topps going back in time to 1951, making their best guess at what a '51 Topps game card might look like had refractor printing technology been feasible for bubblegum cards back then, and with the foresight of standardized dimensions.

And hey, I happen to own a real 1951 Topps Monte Irvin card, already shown off on this blog a couple times over the years, so that makes it easy to do a side-by-side comparison:

The smaller size and rounded corners of the original are the most jarring difference. The photos are both black and white headshots with Monte flashing a big smile, though he's looking away in the redo and seems to be a little more excited than he was the first time around. Both game card values are 2/Double and the drawing of the batter and bio blurb are more or less unchanged. While the cards were numbered on the front originally, the refractor wipes away that line from the lower right of the photo area diamond.

My main complaint with the modern version is the non-refracting border that several ATFF refractors suffer from. I still like it a lot, but the card would look better without the unnecessary white border.

The dimensions are closer to matching on the flipside thanks to the small print taking up some extra space on the refractor. Other than being darker than needed, the design here is pretty faithful, with the little equipment drawings looking pretty much identical on both cards. One thing noticeably off is just the "Official" text on the baseballs being faded and tiny. The card number (100) sneaks in at the upper left and the serial number is centered near the bottom. All-Time Fan Favorites cards seem to have their share of uncorrected errors in the back text, as we'll see with this series, but it's not an issue with 1951's standard "deck of cards" back.

Revisiting the 1951 design makes sense here, as Monte Irvin enjoyed his best post-integration season that year, finishing third in NL MVP voting behind Roy Campanella and Stan Musial while helping the Giants win the pennant. They fell to the Yankees in the World Series, but it was no fault of Monte's, as he hit .458 and tied the World Series record with his 11 hits. He later got a ring with the Giants in '54.

Refractor Report Card


The blocky white borders are my only real complaint here. The photo makes sense in the context of this design, possibly a slight upgrade on the original. The design was decently recreated given the size difference, with no glaring mistakes. Monte Irvin is a worthy subject in the set, evidenced by his spot in Cooperstown.

I'm thankful there are no refractor autos in ATFF or else I'd be tempted to spend a lot of money collecting them. But no, the auto parallels are rainbow foilboard, a poor man's refractor, lol, so I have no problem passing those up. Plus I think those are serial-numbered to only 15 so they can get very expensive. But these non-auto refractors I'm collecting are all /299, making them somewhat scarce but not too financially painful other than maybe the most popular guys. In 2005, they added gold border refractor parallels-- perhaps explaining why non-refracting borders were worked into the design that year; easier to make a parallel of the parallel-- with the gold refractors being numbered out of 25.

Back to Monte, he also has cards in the other two years of Topps All-Time Fan Favorites, sporting a '52 design in 2003 and a '53 design in 2004 before circling back to '51 in 2005. It's worth noting that it's the only 1951 design card in all three All-Time Fan Favorite sets. 

I'll likely also incorporate Archives Reserve cards (refractor reprints) into this series, though that product ignored 1951 Topps completely, instead defaulting to 1952 for first Topps card "rookie reprints" even if the guy was also in '51 Topps.

Ok, that's it for this time. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Super Sunday surprise pack rip

In what I'm pretty sure is a first for me, I received football cards in the mail on Super Bowl Sunday. That's worth a quick post!

FedEx sent a driver to drop this 2022 Panini Mosaic football redemption replacement sparkle pack on my porch a few hours before kickoff. I don't do much rippin' these days, so it was a nice surprise to get a pack in the mail, even if I don't follow football much anymore.

2017 Panini Vertex Capstones Latavius Murray is what the redemption was originally for. Won this in a contest haul from Sport Card Collectors back in 2018. Dragged my feet a bit redeeming it (I'm not familiar with Latavius and I guess I was hoping to trade it away before it expired rather than deal with the hassle). Pretty sure the card was "live" already when I first got the redemption, as there were a few on eBay going for around $10. But Panini didn't bother sending me one. Eventually I remembered to update my address to the new house and went ahead and requested a replacement. Finally got something today, 2/12/23. Of course I'm just playing with house money, as I got the redemption as part of a lucky contest win, so it's all gravy.

Let's see what 3 cards I pulled from my redemption pack..

Red sparkle is the base, with the blue parallels being a little tougher. I don't think either Dameon Pierce or Luke Kuechly are big names, but the 3rd card was a household name.

The GOAT himself, Tom Brady. I know we're all sick of Tom Brady after he recently announced his retirement, but you gotta respect his accomplishments. Happy to add a snazzy card of his to my modest football card collection. I took a curious look on eBay to get an idea of what this was selling for, and all I could find was one new listing at $150 or best offer. Yeah, ok! Even if that asking price is a reach, I'd take the Brady any day over the common auto I was due. Thanks again to Matt from the (recently retired?) Sport Card Collectors blog for the contest win that keeps on giving.

Hope you all enjoy your day. Fingers crossed it's a great game, though I plan to be out shopping to take advantage of the thinned crowds.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

And that's the end of THAT chapter

Man, January was a turbulent month for me that culminated in getting laid off, which sounds bad but was actually the answer to my prayers and I honestly feel better now than I have in a long time. Looking forward to a fresh start.

Time to catch up on cards I've received from bloggers last month-- a mix of trades and remnants from holiday activity-- and tip my cap to these friendly folks.

Tom from the revived Angels In Order blog sent me over a nice lot of '92 Leaf black gold for my parallel setbuild. Much appreciated, sir!

-  - -o

I'm glad The Lost Collector is still on the scene despite shuttering his blog. He kindly sent me over some Gavins as a thank-you for the '91 Fleer mod of Tino Martinez I surprised him with over the holidays.

- - --o

Excuse the uncropped pic..

A similar surprise thank-you PWE came from gcrl who knocked HOFer Tony Oliva off my '72 Topps wantlist. Very nice.. thanks!

Of course I don't need/expect anything in return for my holiday surprise mailings, but it's always cool to get cards. 

-  - --o

Speaking of '72s...

My new trade bait page hasn't generated a ton of transactions yet, but Jon was tempted by a couple Retired autos and was able to dig up some '72 Topps needs from atop my wantlist.

Jon kicked up the package by throwing in a bunch of Kellogg's needs too. Awesome! Thanks, man!

-   -  - -o

I was fortunate enough to be included in a round of holiday mailings from Dennis, delayed till the new year due to supply chain issues, but still much appreciated. Here we've got a Bruce Bochy card that was sorely missing from my PC-- best of luck to him helming the Rangers this coming season. It'd be nice if he could get his career winning-percentage out of the red. Also a very shiny holiday-themed football card featuring a pair of players I collect in Ricky Williams and Marshall Faulk.

Also got an impressive quartet of Gavins. The orange Cecchini is the top card here, as we can see on the back...

Christmas Card!! These days I don't chase after Gavin cards or 12/25 cards with the same gusto I did back in this blog's earlier days-- there are just too goddamn many of them nowadays!-- but a combination 12/25 Gavin card will always be treated like royalty in my collection.

Big thanks, Dennis!

-  -  - -o

Ok, this last one for today has a story with it. I've mentioned it before, but in one of my earliest online card deals, I worked out a combined Listia transaction with a guy for minor league cards of Ricky Williams and Fred McGriff. The seller was totally cool and made it a pleasant experience for this noob. He had a memorable username, SpastikMooss, and turns out the guy is also a cardblogger and we've gone on to trade once or twice since.

Cut to a decade later, he's listing some trade bait on his blog, and included is the partial 1985 Syracuse Chiefs team set from whence the Fred McGriff card originated. I figured it'd be cool to re-complete the team set, so I reached out regarding a trade and he was amenable.

The joy of a completed team set! Some other neat cards here, including random PC-guy of mine Mike Sharperson (I previously only had a signed copy of this card, my only auto of his).

Thanks, SpastikMooss! Very cool to reconnect and recomplete.

That'll wrap up this post. Thanks for stopping by.