Monday, August 29, 2016

Ain't nobody trades better

Andy from Ain't Nobody Got Time For Cardboard and I just swapped like a couple weeks ago, then he strikes back with another heck of a package.

Schnell! Schnell! er, I mean Snell, Snell. LOL Awesome lot of 2016 Chrome.

My first face-to-face encounter with Topps Bunt! I agree with most collectors saying it's a solid low-end product. I wish they would have called it something less confusing, though.

I missed out on National Baseball Card Day 2016, but thanks to Andy I've got a couple favorite adopted sons of Chicago to represent the holiday in my collection.

Wrap your eyes around these Optic cards. Hey, that Matt Kemp DK just made an appearance on the blog yesterday. Nice to have another one since yesterday's is ticketed to Twitch in trade. The bubblegumfractor parallel looks pretty nice here in the light.
Hey speaking of Jose Abreu, the other day a serviceman emailed me offering to sell me an incredible Abreu PC. I had to decline, since #1 Abreu is more of a passive PC for me (nice to get in trades, but I don't hunt down / pay for cards of him often), plus I've been spending too much on cards this month. And I don't tend to go for unsolicited sales emails from strangers, as that can be dangerous. But if any of you guys are looking for a sweet lot of Abreu autos and whatnot, let me know and I'll put you in touch with the guy.

Machado and friends. Nice!

These are cool, though I've never been a big Wacky Packages guy. They were cool back in the 70s. Then there was a reboot that was too gross. Then the recent reboot was too tame.

If you're coming up with a list of all-time Padres first basemen, you gotta have Wil Myers and Fred McGriff on the shortlist.

More stars of the brown & gold, with emphasis on the gold. Nice encased Peavy for my PC.. Always get a kick out of slabbed cards that aren't worth the fee to have them graded. Gotta wonder what people were thinking when they submitted them.

And a couple diamond anniversaries for my 2011 Topps parallel frankenset.

Great stuff, Andy! I've got a nice return stack brewing for you that I'll get in the mail sometime this week.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

finally a box of Donruss Optic in my sights

I've had mixed results during my weekend alone. On the plus side, I was able to fix the water pressure in the bathroom sink thanks to a helpful YouTube video. However my attempt to fix the springs to help our windows open and close easier was a disaster, resulting is shouting and smashing. Good thing my wife and dog don't leave me alone too often, as I seem to liable to lose my temper when there's no one around to judge me for being a hotheaded asshole.

But mainly I've just been hanging out and watching baseball.

I also hit the grocery store for some essentials this morning, and lo and behold I finally found a blaster of 2016 Donruss Optic there.

A couple inserts to start off with. These probably won't stay in my collection long. I just mailed off some Giants to ARPSmith, but the Cueto will likely be in the next mailing to him. As for the Schwarber, Cubs are in demand in my tradebox, so always nice to pull decent cards of them.

Here are a couple base refractors. I'm starting to get a nice little Carlos Correa PC going.

These bubblegumfractors as I call them seem to be one per pack. The Machado is a keeper for me, with the rest up for trade.

Some Diamond Kings. The Cargo is a refractor. These are reserved for Twitch if he needs them, seeing as he called dibs a while back. I should hang onto the Kemp but I don't really want to.

Some Rated Rookies, with Jorge Lopez being a refractor.

Base cards of guys I collect.

And the rest. These are up for trade.

This was definitely one of the more underwhelming boxes of the stuff I've seen. No hits or even a single gosh darn serial numbered card. A bit of a disappointment, but I guess they can't all be winners. I probably won't pick up any more of this-- at least not at full retail price, that's for sure.

But yeah, a few cards for my collection and a decent amount of trade bait. Let me know if any of the available cards caught your eye and you'd like to trade. Thanks!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Lonely weekend / Gary Sanchez

The wife and dog are out camping for a dragonboat race in east Oregon for a few days, so I'll be all by my lonesome this entire weekend. (I'm not big on camping. Add a 6 hour drive to that and it's definitely a pass from me.)

On the to-do list..

  • some cleaning and little projects around the house
  • get a few card packages together and in the mail (remember Saturday 8/27 is the last day before 1st Class packages under 3 oz. go up!)
  • I've pretty much taken 2016 off when it comes to my other hobby of music-making, but I'm probably going to rock out and try recording some stuff with the house all to myself. 
  • Any plumbers reading this? The water pressure in my bathroom sink is a weak trickle these days and I want to mess around and see if I can do anything to help fix that.
  • I've got a couple custom projects on the docket to work on for Rod and Mr. Hoyle.
  • Back up data
  • Crank up some Radiohead and Tom Waits (my wife doesn't like them)
  • Watch District 9 (my wife isn't really into those kinds of movies. Hell, I'm not into those kinds of movies!)
  • Stretch out and enjoy the bed all to myself

I have several card projects in the pipeline to post about, but most of them are being held up by a big COMC order which is taking a while to process. Once that shows up, though... a bunch of posts will be put into motion!

For now, let's dig up something old from the collection to blog about. Hey, the hottest name in the game right now has got to be Gary Sanchez. I'm no Yankee fan, though I've managed to find a few of his cards hanging around the house.

2014 Bowman Chrome mini black refractor.

Chu-ching.. 4/15! Got this in a big 2014 Bowman parallel lot bought from the cardsphere's own Judson Meeks back then, starting to pay dividends now. Speaking of Judson, P-town Tom seems to be running away with the card room contest. Come on, guys.. throw my pigsty a pity vote and make it interesting! Maybe Judson will get around to sending me something if I'm runner-up. For what it's worth, my card room post has gotten some pretty heavy traffic (556 views.. that's pretty damn good for one of my posts).. probably mostly bots, but who knows.. that kind of stuff is interesting to some people.

And a couple other Sanchezes: a regular 2014 mini refractor and some bubbly diecut thing.

Is it just me or does he look like a young Arod?

Hopefully he stays hot forever and shakes any Kevin Maas comparisons and these 3 cards will make for a nice nest egg for me. I should probably sell now while the hype is hot, but that's not my way.

Thanks for swinging by! Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Card room post

A quick post of my card room to try to get into Judson's card room contest.
It's currently a mess. Sometimes it's less messy.

Here's the computer I do all my photoshoppin' and custom-card-makin' on.

Here's my card sorting table.

That tall shelf on the right is a brand new pickup.. put out for free on the sidewalk by neighbors a couple houses down. On the left are mostly my cards-for-trade boxes.

Ug, it really is usually a bit tidier than this, I swear. Here we see some in-process customs. The green table thing by the window is where I'll often photograph cards to blog about. (BTW, that's the same old green silk shirt that the "blog-used button relic cards" I made last year are from.)

Speaking of which...

ARPSmith just sent me this shiny trio. Awesome pair of Mookies: fishfractor and bubblegumfractor! Also really like the Travis Jankowski red refractor #/d 19/99. Thanks, ARP! I'll get some return cards in the mail to you ASAP!

Thanks for reading.

UPDATE: Judson has all the contest entrants up now, so you can go check them out and vote for your favorite.

Monday, August 22, 2016

a blaster of 2016 Topps Chrome (+ a public service announcement for traders)

As mentioned in my latest card show recap, among my haul this past weekend was a blaster of 2016 Topps Chrome.
Let's check out what it had in store for me.

Shiny inserts! Some good ones here, with only one dud. Henry Owens has really been shoved down collectors throats this year by Topps, but not even Boston fans like the guy. Here's a random sampling of tweets..

Ha! Oh well, the Harper and Ichiro Perspectives are cool, as is the faux stained-glass Correa.

I was a little bummed not to score any fancy/numbered parallels, but got a few refractors. The Yelich is a "Prism refractor" which Topps should have said fuck-it and called it a Paninifractor just to be dicks. Personally I call it a "new xfractor" (since they do these now instead of xfractors) or maybe a reptile-fractor since it looks scaly like a snake or lizard. Fishfractor! Whatever, it looks cool dancing in the light. I was happy to get the Joey Gallo, though the chances of him becoming a top-tier major leaguer are starting to feel fleeting at this point. The other 2 are available for trade.

As for base cards, here are a couple good pulls.

More keepers for my collection.

The pack of bonus sepia refractors sadly didn't really have anything for me. I guess I'll hang onto the Snell. Everytime I see his name I think "schnell! schnell!" in a German accept and it makes me smile. I guess it means "quickly" and it's a pop culture reference or something. But yeah, the rest of these are available.

And here's the rest, all available for trade. Ol' Henry Owens stinks up the joint yet again. Don't even get me started on my intense rage at Topps for bestowing the "Future Stars" label on a 29-year-old who's been in the league since 2009. I hope someone was fired over that pathetic gaff given a strong talking to by their department manager. A Future Star is a promising young player with no more than a year or two of service time in the majors. Simple as that. There is no further discussion here. How has Topps been screwing that up so bad these past couple years? Carlos Correa and Addison Russell? Yes. Carlos Carrasco? No.

So there you go! A few keepers for my collection and some trade fodder. Not the best use of $15, but better than $19.99, and still a fun break. Just let me know if you want to trade for any available cards.

And speaking of trading, now's a good week to ship out cards because the cost is going up soon. On 8/28/16, postage rates go up on First-Class Mail Parcels weighing 1-3 ounces, which is a typical bubble mailer with a nice bundle of cards. (I don't know, maybe like 25 or less cards?)

Current rate: $2.45
New rate: $2.62

Boo inflation. So yeah, just a heads up to all you traders out there about the upcoming postage hike on a parcel type that's commonly used for sending cards. If you've been meaning to swap cards with anyone, you might save yourself a few cents by getting them in the mail by the end of the week. Rates for other parcel weights are unchanged at this time, as far as I know.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

2011 Topps Parallel Frankenset is finally a Go!

It was way back in November 2014 when I first opined, "I'd love to put together a parallel frankenset someday of 2011 Topps that's a combination of the diamond and cognac and/or xfractors and/or whatever other parallels that set had."

Well, it took nearly two years, but I've finally taken this flight of fancy into an official collecting goal and created a checklist spreadsheet.

This monster of a 2011 Topps frankenset will consist of Series 1, Series 2, Update (including the Legend Variations from those 3 sets), plus Chrome, making for a whopping 1284 cards. Yikes. While ideally this would be a shiny frankenset, using only sparkly / refractory parallels, I'm making it a bit easier on myself (and trader buddies) by opening it up to all parallels.. so stuff like the gold #/2011 parallels and black background Walmart parallels are welcomed. It might even be fun to add a printing plate or two into the mix. Anything besides base cards.

Thanks to traders and dimebox pickups, I've amassed a pretty big stack of qualifying cards to get started with. Looks like I'm at 13.24% of the way to my goal, with 170 of 1284 cards. So yep, still a long way to go. But no rush. This is definitely a passive, long-term collecting goal. I'd love to get sent needs in trades, but I'm not going to spend much time/money hunting them down. At least not until I get to spitting distance of completion.

It goes without saying, but if you've got any 2011 Topps parallels available and want to trade, check out my list and get in touch.. thanks!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

* * *** **** Card Show! * * *** **** Card Show!

The Portland summer had been mild this year, but with 3 consecutive days ~100° I had to give in and lug the window AC up from the basement storage. Ugh! I braved the heat to trek out to the card show this morning. Despite the heat, it was actually a pretty big, packed show.

I've got kind of a big weekend going on, so I'll try to keep this post brief and the photos might not be very good, so sorry about that.

This first purchase was 14 cards for $10.

Here's some trade bait. Twitch, want that Bowman Cub or Starlin purple refractor? ARPS, want that Giants failed prospect auto? Any Sox fan want the 63 Fleer or the Jim Rice #'d /35.

Jaybarkerfan still collects AZ Cardinals, right? If so, that Jake Plummer is for him. I seem to recall there are a couple Neon Deion collectors on the cardsphere.. who's gonna call dibs on this one? Brady Quinn was mainly grabbed for the uncirculated case with this sticker up. The card inside is available.

Here are some cards for me. It didn't photo well, but that Pujols StarQuest is the shiny "Super Rare" parallel.

Big names from 1975. If I already have that MVP card in my Clemente PC, then to the Frank Robinson PC it will go.

Now we're into a quarterbox purchase, 12 cards for $3. More trade bait above. I always pick up interesting Sox that might go to Mr. Hoyle or maybe Shane or another Boston fan.

These ones are for me.

Those above 2 purchases were from "my usual guy" Bill, but then I walked around some more.

Next was an old guy selling vintage. I wish I had gotten around to updating my printed out needs lists for the vintage sets I'm working on (64, 65, 71), but alas (and I don't have a smartphone, so I couldn't just hop on the net to check). Maybe for next show. Anyways, I got 10 cards out of the 50¢ box.

Don't worry: the color splotches here are on the pennysleeves, not the cards. I'm slowly starting to ramp up my 1957 Topps setbuild but I'm still in the early stages, so I knew I didn't have these guys. It's gonna be a "condition insensitive" setbuild, so I was totally fine with the shape of these well-loved, off-center cards.

I took a shot with 3 cards from 1964 that I thought I might need. (Gavin goes and checks his list) Yes! I needed all 3! Up to 28% complete there. Also grabbed a JR Richard RC and a Pepitone (which I already have, so it's available if anyone's interested).

I wanted to grab something to rip. I had an eye out for 2016 Donruss Optic, but couldn't find any, so I settled on a blaster of 2016 Topps Chrome for $15. I'll bust this in an upcoming post.

Next was a nice nicklebox dig! The guy let me have 27 cards for a buck. Here we see some Fan Favorites and more. Numbered Brewer for Tony L.

More cards. Action Packed Graig.

Snagged a bunch of 2008 Topps Chrome refractors, some for me, some to throw into trade packages. At less than 4¢ a card, hard to go wrong. I think the brown ones are /599.

Plus a few more cards either already set aside for traders or not interesting enough to blog about.

I feel good about this haul. Picked up a bunch of decent cards and didn't spend much cash. Hopefully the 2016 Chrome blaster has something good for me.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you'd like to trade for any of the available cards.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Served up my first piece of Trout

Been a slow couple weeks for trades, but maybe I'll pick up some enticing tradebait at the card show this weekend. The one trade package I've received recently was a good one, though. Andy over at the new blog Ain't Nobody Got Time For Cardboard! won a prize in a contest of mine a while back, but this was our first time trading. He was mainly interested in having some custom cards created for his li'l tyke who's just begun his amateur baseball career. Here's what I scored in return..

A pair of Trout hits! I've got a decent little Mike Trout PC going (highlighted by an auto), but this is my first relic of baseball's best player. The card on the right claims to be a commemorative pin, though I'm not sure that description would hold up in court. It's cool, though. Calls back to the 2010 All-Star Futures Game, though the card is actually from 2016 Topps Series 2.

For a change of pace, here's a Mike Trout card without anything embedded in it. Also nice cards of Roberto Clemente, Jose Abreu, and Andrew McCutchen.

And we close out with this colorful trio. The Strasburg purple is #'d 161/250. The Chris Sale DK is my first 2016 Donruss Optic card, which if you're not familiar is a new Panini offering which is basically Donruss Chrome. The breaks I've seen on the cardsphere have been intriguing and I'm tempted to bust some of that.

Great stuff! Big thanks, Andy. Hope you're equally happy with the cards I sent.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Big name Braves knocked off my 1965 set needs

Here are a couple recent key pickups for my Strive For 65 (copyright infringement), coincidentally Milwaukee Braves teammates.

This Hank Aaron is just how I like my A-lister vintage: soft corners to bring the price down a bit and maybe slightly off-center, but otherwise a terrific looking card. Always great to add an old Hammerin' Hank to the collection, set need or not.

Young Phil Niekro amusingly seems to be giving the side-eye to smiling Clay Carroll. While Knucksie is the star of the show here, Carroll was no slouch himself, a two-time All-Star and member of the World Champion 1975 Reds.

I was happy to score this HOF RC for single digits. Here too, the corners and centering aren't perfect, but otherwise it's in amazing shape, with a back so clean and bright I had to put it in a stack of other 65s just to be reasonably confident it wasn't counterfeit (It checks out).

So yep, a couple big ones checked off my 65 Topps wantlist.
Thanks for reading and stay cool out there.