Friday, October 30, 2015

The Big Three auto trifecta

Today's the last day at work for many of the people I work with. The company's gone from around 120 people in the Portland location a few months ago to just about 20 left after today. I'll be a part of the skeleton crew sticking around, but I'm not sure for how long.. could be a week or two, could be a month or two. My goal would be to stretch into 2016 because that would look better on a résumé, getting that "extra year" on there, but I'll be surprised if they keep me around that long.

Most of the workforce here is older Asian ladies, so it's not like we've got a ton in common outside of work, though I've still become "work friends" with several people here I'll miss.

So on that theme of working together with people for a while, let's showcase autos I've acquired of Atlanta's Big Three. These guys made the Braves a perennial pennant winner for several years. As a kid in the early 90s, the Braves were probably my 2nd favorite team, in large part due to the availability of watching their games on TBS. Dave Justice might have been my first "hyped up rookie" experience, and I remember being overjoyed the day I pulled his minor league card from a pack of 1990 CMC. I've still got an old Braves hat I've had for over 20 years that I still wear on a regular basis. I'm amazed it's held up so long.

Anyways, yeah, the Braves are cool (were?) and I'm happy to bolster my collection with autographs of these 3 Hall of Famers. Let's take a closer look at the cards...

Here's the recent pickup that completed the trifecta for me. I love the Rockwellian portrait of Tom Glavine on this. The on-card signature is fine, though a little small. It's #'d /49.

I picked up this John Smoltz auto a month or so back. These Sweet Spot "on ball hide" autographs are notorious for fading, but I think that's mostly when Sharpies are used; ballpoint pen seems to last ok. It's always refreshing to get an auto that's not in blue or black ink, so I'm digging the red.

And of course Greg Maddux. I've had this card for a year or two and have shown it off on the blog a couple times before, but it's a nice one, so here it is again.

Since my company is moving, a ton of stuff in the building is available for sale. It's kinda like the workplace has become a giant yard sale, with the Buyer for the company being inundated today with requests to sell stuff. I actually bought the coffee table from the lobby for $5. My old coffee table is kinda beat up and we'll likely say goodbye to it. I mention it because it's the tile thing in the background of these pictures. Emotional, right!? Haha. Oh, and of course there's the fact that my company is moving to the outskirts of the Atlanta area (Norcross, GA).. so this post is all tied together.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Finishing up the card show recap with vintage

The Royals and Mets combined for 8 runs in Game 2 (mostly thanks to the Royals), which makes Stealing Home the lucky winner in the "second chance" contest. Congrats, man! So you had been talking about wanting a custom card commemorating the Curse of the Billy Goat.. is that still the request you're going with? Let me know and I'll get cracking on it, and then send it along with a Dodgers lot for you.

Now let's close out recapping my pickups from last weekend's card show by taking a look at the old-timers I grabbed.

Here's a nice selection of HOFers. I typically don't collect Joe Morgan, but couldn't resist that '69. Lou Brock just chillin'. Nice poses from Carew and Sutton. That 1974 Topps card is Willie Mays' final card from his playing days, but being a World Series Highlight card, doesn't quite count as a true "sunset" card in my book (no complete career stats on back). Still cool. And I was happy to pick up that Kellogg's Stargell. It's in great condition with no cracks. It was in a top-loader, but I prefer letting my 3D Kellogg's bend freely, so I took it out. I don't believe there's been a definitive study that says whether it's best to let these cards curl or keep them flat, but I think stifling the bend is what cracks them.

A few needs for my 1964 Topps setbuild.

And a few needs for my 1965 setbuild. Santo, Richardson, Tommy John, Norm Cash, a Bobby Tolan rookie.. good names here, though some of the cards are slightly sullied by a kid's initials in pen on the back. Still good enough for me at the sub-dollar price per.

Normally I would have deleted this out-of-focus photo, but it made me laugh thinking this would be the type of thing Dimebox Nick would see if he got really drunk.

No, you're not seeing double! Two Luis Tiant rookie cards! Each in pretty decent condition, and for that price, I grabbed them both. I can use one in the setbuild and the other in my PC.

Switching gears to modern cards of old guys...

I'm sort of thinking about starting a PC of Babe Ruth allowing only Non-Yankee cards. Unless we're talking about true vintage, his Yankee cards are so boring at this point. But him on the Sox, Braves, Dodgers? Orioles? Then you've got something interesting!

This blue card (2011 Topps CMG Reprints #CMGR1) is a reprint of his "pre-rookie" from before he played in the big leagues. I had never heard of it, but according to the back, there are only like 11 known specimens, originally appearing in a Baltimore newspaper. Wow. Funny how the Honus Wagner card gets all the attention yet this is relatively obscure.

Christy Mathewson is one of those top-tier legends that you don't hear much about anymore. (Translation: Topps doesn't bother including him in sets these days.) This HOF Placards card isn't much to look at, but the 23/99 serial numbering suckered me into throwing it onto my stack.

Topps really hit us over the head with Mickey Mantle for several years, but it's now been 2 or 3 years since they put out a new card of his. Maybe it's time for Topps to suck it up and renew their contract with his estate? Panini hasn't been putting out any Mantle cards either. We need new Mickey cards, damn it!! Ok, maybe I'm being sardonic here, but I do enjoy a well crafted Mickey Mantle baseball card.

That's it for this show. Thanks for checking out the cards with me.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Contest winner! + some more card show recapping

In the bottom of the 14th of Game 1, with a tie score, bases loaded and no outs, most of the baseball world was watching Royals vs. Mets, but to me it was Matthew Scott vs. Red Cardboard. With the running total of 22 hits in the game, the contest was Matt's to lose. A hit would give it to Red Cardboard, but a walk, sac fly, error, passed ball, wild pitch, HBP, etc. would seal it for Matt. Eric Hosmer came through with a sacrifice fly that sunk not only the Mets, but also Red Cardboard's chance at winning the contest.

While I'm a big fan of Red Cardboard and his blog, I was happy to see Matt of Bob Walk the Plank win since I was a winner of his most recent contest a couple months ago (post). So now we've essentially done a trade via contest winnings! I thought that was cool on a karmic level. And ironic that in my post that gave the contest lineup, the first card I showed off had a Pirates logo and I mentioned I had a cache of cards ready to send to Matt. If I had then simply randomized for a winner and Matt was #1, it would have looked very suspicious of funny business. But luckily I had no power over how many hits the Royals and Mets combined for, so I'm in the clear. That's a big reason I add that extra bit of randomization to my contests; Just want to make it very obvious it was truly random and nothing sneaky if, say, the winner is a guy I had a bunch of cards set aside for burning a hole in my "set aside for traders" box. Or like one of my early contests that Night Owl won. Because of course I would like it if Night Owl won, because if he wins your contest, you get a nice plug on the most popular card blog around when he eventually posts about his winnings.

But anyways, congratulations to Matt! So you say you want a Bob Walk custom? Sounds good.. any specific requests (photo, design), let me know. Obviously I assume you want him in a Pittsburg uniform, but let me know if you have anything else in mind, or just want me to surprise you with something. In either case, I'll whip it up for you and send it along with a bunch more Pirates soon. It won't be quite "jaybarkerfan war" magnitude, but it'll pack a good punch!

Now here are more pickups to show off from last weekend's card show.

The dealer I buy most of my cards from always has plenty of Jeter in his bins, and I normally thumb right through them. But I'm a sucker for a serial numbered card, whether /99 or /9799, as with these specimens here.

It's tempting to try flipping them to make a little profit, but they'll likely stay put in my tiny Jeter PC.

Hey, here's a guy both Matt and I collect, Brian Giles. Giles, of course, spent much of his career in Pittsburgh, so he's well-represented in Matt's collection. I collect him because he's from El Cajon and went to the same high school as me. If you missed my big Brian Giles story from a few months back, it's worth a read.
As for these cards, here we've got a nice quad bat relic also featuring Preston Wilson, Shawn Green, and Todd Helton... nice group of players.. I probably would have picked up this card even if it didn't have Giles on it. I already had that auto, I believe from a trade with Mark Hoyle, but for less than a buck, I couldn't resist picking up another one. Maybe someday I'll find another (non-team specific) Brian Giles collector and unload my dupes on them. Seeing as this is an Indians/Kinston card, I don't think Matt would have any interest.

I was happy to come across this Tom Glavine relic. I just recently picked up a Glavine auto (haven't showed it off on the blog yet), so now with this jersey swatch, my PC is off to a good start. --or more like restart, as Glavine is a guy I kinda collected, then kinda stopped, then recently started again.

Lastly for today, this 2013 Miguel Cabrera photo variation SP was a good pickup for me. Looking at eBay, seems to be about a $10 card, so for under a buck, nice addition to my Miggy PC.

Ok, now I know I promised a "second chance" contest for anyone who pimped the contest, so let's bust that out.

There were 7 valiant souls who shouted about the contest to the vast expanse of the internet:
Jason T. Carter
Mark Aubrey
Stealing Home
the bowl cut kid
Tony L.

Here they are in random order. Let's say the winning number is the total number of runs scored in Game 2 of the 2015 World Series.

Again, the winning number is the combined runs in Game 2.
Anything over 7, we'll cycle back through the list. So 8 = Stealing Home, 9 = Tony L., etc.

Best of luck to you guys!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Card Show Recap: Ridic Relics Edition (+ Contest lineup)

More nifty pickups from the recent card show.

This gets the award for card most quickly thrown onto my stack. A McCutchen hit #'d /99 for less than a buck? Yes please! One of these recently sold on eBay for $12.50.
The manufactured "hat logo" looks pretty sharp. Sure, it'd be way cooler if it were from a game-worn hat, but still. Part of me would love to send this to Matthew Scott, but think I'll gotta keep it in my modest little McCutchen McCollection. I've got plenty of other Pirate cards stockpiled for Matt anyways.

Here's another card I was very excited to pick up. It's my first batting glove relic. For the price, I would have bought this card regardless of the player, so it was a nice bonus that it's a guy I like from my hometown team. Xavier Nady never quite delivered on his potential, but managed to grind out a long career, debuting in 2000 and retiring after the 2014 season (in which he double-dipped with the Padres). Looks like he spent 2015 as hitting coach for the Lake Elsinore Storm, Single A affiliate of the Padres. Nady only got one MLB plate appearance in 2000, so I'm skeptical this piece of batting glove was from that solitary at-bat (he hit a single, btw), but was more likely from batting practice. It's a nice card, #'d 42/200, though given the nature of the relic, the defensive pose doesn't really fit. That's the biggest smile I ever recall seeing from the normally stoic Xavier.

This is my second relic featuring a piece of a base. Like the other one I showed off last time, this one isn't game-used either. My quest for a game-used base relic remains ongoing! This one is a generic relic from Triple Play, where Panini apparently just bought some baseball gear at Dick's Sporting Goods or someplace like that and cut them up to put into cards. Kind of silly, but I guess it's a neat idea for adding hits to a cheap product aimed at kids.

Finally, here's a boring bat chip, but in the interest of completeness and my goal to reach 100 "things" in cards, I need a bat relic in my Ridic Relics minicollection, so let's count this one. Again, for less than a buck, I was happy to add a hit of a HOFer.

Now onto the 600th Post contest stuff. The entry period is now over.. thanks to everyone who entered!

Here's the field of entrants: (* - pimp bonus; eligible for "second chance" drawing)
Adam [Cardboard Clubhouse]
Adam Kaningher
Al Kawamoto
Captain Canuck
Greg Zakwin
Jason T. Carter*
Josh D.
Kevin P.
Mark Aubrey*
Mark Hoyle
Matthew Scott
Nachos Grande
Nachos Grande (Trade Bait post bonus entry)
night owl
night owl (Sandlot post bonus entry)
Nolan Tucker
Play at the Plate
P-town Tom
Red Cardboard
Reds Card Collector
Sport Card Collectors/Fuji
Stealing Home*
the bowl cut kid*
The Dutch Card Guy
The Junior Junkie
The Lost Collector
Tim B.
Tony L.*

Now let's randomize once to assign numbers. Let's say the winning number is the total number of hits in Game 1 of the 2015 World Series.

So if the Mets and Royals have a slugfest resulting in 39 combined hits in Game 1, Tim B. would be the winner, while up at Play at the Plate's end of the spectrum, they're hoping for a pitchers duel.

Good luck to everybody!

And remember the guys with an asterisk after their name will get another shot after this. Should be an exciting week here at Baseball Card Breakdown HQ. I don't get TBS or FoxSports in my TV package, so I haven't watched any postseason baseball yet this year. But I'll definitely catch most of the Series. I actually have a fancy dinner out scheduled for my brother-in-law's birthday Tuesday, so I'll probably end up missing most of Game 1.. Bummer.

I think I've mentioned that the place where I work is closing operations in Portland and moving to Georgia? This Friday is the last day for most of the staff here, so it'll likely be an emotional week with lots of goodbyes. I will likely hang on in some capacity for another month or so, but then I'll be back among the unemployed.

And if all that isn't exciting enough, we've only got one roll of toilet paper left in the house that needs to last until Saturday night. Should be thrilling to see if we make it! Haha.
See what I mean? Quite a week!

Thanks for reading, and good luck again to everybody who entered the contest.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Card Show Recap: a bunch of neat cards

Here are more cards I bought at the recent card show. I'm not good at math, but they were each less than a buck.

Hyun-Jin Ryu is a pretty good #3 pitcher for the Dodgers, though he was hurt this year and therefore pretty much the reason they didn't advance in the postseason, though Mattingly took the fall. This RC is #'d /250.
Maikel Franco is the Phillies best hope for getting out of the cellar next year. I love Bowman "wave refractors" and this is the blue such parallel.

These Fleer EX inserts look really cool in hand. Bowman totally ripped these off for their "cracked ice" parallels. Both #'d /1999.

Normally good-looking guy Piazza suffering from Ugly Swinging Face.

I'm a bit confused by this, but it's 2 Stephen Strasburg cards with the same design and identical backs, but obviously different photos.

See? Same backs. Maybe one of them is worth more than the other? Infinity dollars, perhaps? Who knows. Both nice additions to my PC of the fellow Aztec Alum.

Speaking of rookie cards of standout NL pitchers, here's Kershaw and Bumgardner. I was trying to get an idea of the "book value" for that Bumgardner "throwback logo variation RC" and couldn't find it on eBay or COMC so I'm left to assume that its value is also infinity dollars.

I might have to admit that, gun to my head, my favorite AL team is the Red Sox. Xander is cool. And Margot (/500) is a top prospect. The Nomar "AvantCard" has a neat textured thing going on in the middle.

Jose Abreu was pretty hot with collectors this time last year. He cooled off in 2015, but still had a solid season. Happy to add a couple decent cards of his.

Sort of starting to get a little Ichiro PC off the ground. These two #'d cards are nice additions.

Fellow San Diego boy Adam Jones is another active guy I'm dipping my toe in collecting. And Justin Upton had a decent year for the Padres. He's not likely to re-sign with them, and so I probably won't collect him much.. still this RC #'d /2007 seemed like a good buy.

Hyped kids, Bryant and Griffey together again. A Junior #'d /150 is always hard to pass up, even if it is that 2008 Moments & Milestones set did everything in its power to destroy any point in serial numbering cards.

I collect Miggy plus could use this toward my 2011 Topps parallels frankenset. And the Cespedes parallel seemed like a good buy. It'll be exciting to see if he does anything cool in the Series.

Mike Trout is this player's name.

Mah boi Paul Goldschmidt.

A couple for the Giancarlo PC.

Closing out this post with some Padres contingent, including a Kooz auto and a painted reimagining of Gwynn's Topps RC. I like finding different versions of this card. I hope to someday find a refractor reprint of it, but such a card doesn't seem to exist, if you can believe that. Maybe someday.

Thanks for reading. I've still got probably a couple more posts covering my card show haul due, so expect those early this week.

And yes, don't forget to enter my big 600th Post Contest! This is the last time I'm going to bug you about it. Let's set the deadline to enter as Monday, 10/26 at 5pm Eastern Time.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Card show recap: Trade Bait!!!

This month's card show crept up on me. It wasn't till this past Thursday that I checked the calendar and saw it was coming up that weekend (today). And it's funny because last month's card show seemed like it took forever to come around.

The show was pretty bustling, perhaps somewhat due to Beckett Grading being there. I had briefly considered scouring my collection for cards I might want to get graded, but decided against it. I spent my whole 2 hours or so there at my normal dealer's discount bins. Spent a decent chunk of change ($69 dollars, Zippy), but came home with a nice haul of cards.

I'm going to have to break the cards up into at least a couple posts, but today's post will all be cards I'm not planning on hanging onto. You know what that means.. trade bait! These cards are all specifically to lure you readers into trading with me (or failing that, flipping on Listia or something).

So if you see anything in this post that catches your eye, take a look at my wantlist and drop me an email.

Kicking off with some autos. That Chris Cook auto is numbered 2/5, easily the lowest numbered card I picked up today. No idea who Chris Cook is, but the price was right. Nick Johnson had a few good years for the Nats.

The Jermaine Dye auto is a bit faded, but again, it was a good deal and the guy hit 325 home runs in his career. Gabe Kapler helped the Red Sox win the WS a few years back and is currently being talked about as a manager possibility this offseason.

Some relics. That's Pudge up in the corner. The Berkman relic is on a seam or something and features a nice stripe. The rookie bottom right isn't a card I was super interested in, but the magnetic one-touch case was my main reason for picking it up (I'm keeping the case; not for trade!)


David Freeze #'d 7/61. Trammel #'d 17/250. Don't know anything about the Team USA guys, but took a chance.

Hey Yankees fans! I owe Bo some cards, so these are reserved for Bo if he wants any. Posada #'d 193/499. Mattingly #'d 114/250.

Who wants these glorious Eddie Mathews cards? Tony L? John Miller? Wes? Somebody speak up. The one on the left is #'d 7/500.

Bat chips.

Lost Collector, picked you out a Rizzuto #'d /75. Do you need that Tino minor league.. it's the team set.

More "reserved" cards.. Nomar for Mark (/309). Yount for Tony L. if he needs it (#'d /599). Rosario /500. Barry Larkin for Chris if he needs it, #'d 204/500. Verlander #'d 28/199 for Dennis if he wants it.

Last card of the post. This pretty Travis Ishikawa is numbered /25.

CONTEST UPDATE: Hurry up and comment on my big 600th Post contest if you haven't yet. Ok, last call for the "pimp bonus" so swallow your foolish pride and retweet or better yet, mention my contest on your blog by the end of the weekend. Everybody who pimps will be eligible for a "second chance" bonus, meaning even if you don't win the main contest, you'll still have a shot at the prize. Remember, you must also mention in the comments of the contest post that you did in fact promote it for it to count.

Contest bonus entry opportunity: In the comments below, be the first to correctly guess the serial number of the above Ishikawa. It's a number between 0 and 26. Limit one guess per hour.
UPDATE: Nachos Grande correctly guessed 4.