Sunday, April 30, 2017

Trades, contest winnings, and in-person gifts

Time for the weekly (or so) roundup of cards that have come into my collection by way of the cardsphere. It really is cool to step back and appreciate how my collection has grown by the generosity of this community. We're coming up on 4 years since I started this blog, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Lots of great folks!

Here's a great example of what I'm talking about... Matt at the Summer of '74 blog recently ran a contest giving away some stuff. The randomizer named Tony L. the winner, but he generously declined, having recently gotten a large card lot from Matt, and suggested I get the prize instead, being 2nd place on the randomized list. Nice!

Before you get too excited: This is an unauthorized reprint of a 1956 Roberto Clemente. Looks very authentic, though in hand, the card stock gives it away, firm and glossy like a modern card. (I should clarify that Matt made it clear this wasn't a real card back when he kicked off the contest.)

I've ranted about cards like these before.. How Topps gets on my ass over fun "cards that never were" customs, yet there are a ton of eBay sellers pumping out counterfeits and getting away with it by listing them as "reprints that aren't marked as reprint." (And of course that doesn't prevent another seller from forgetting to mention the reprint part, and trying to find a sucker.) At least this one has a little black line under the fielding stats that also helps give it away.. not sure if that was intentional on the creator's part.

Sorry if I'm sounding like a douche being critical of this part of a prize I won for free. It's just a sensitive area for me. I do think it's a neat item and will definitely give it a place in my Clemente PC (clearly marked as a fake on the top-loader, just so there's no confusion when my collection eventually changes hands).

But hey, here's a REAL vintage card! Awesome Ernie Banks 1958 Topps All-Star.

And three Pro Set cards. I ripped a few packs of these back in the day, and believe I still have that Emmitt Smith card. The Art Shell cards are new to me, however. And it's an error.. Notice how the last letter in "Hall of Fame" gets cut off? A corrected variation with smaller font is easier to find.

The prize package wraps up with a paperback price guide from 1982.

Pretty neat to flip through. Had to look up a '52 Mantle. Still a lot of money, but much cheaper than today, that's for sure.

Great stuff! Big thanks to Matt for the prize package! (and Tony L. for the assist!)

I've been having good luck with winning contests lately, and plan to balance things out with a big contest or two of my own coming up before too long.

- - - --o

Speaking of contests, Sport Card Collectors has switched up his usual randomized contests format into a season-long contest where you earn points by picking the winning teams in a few games that week. Unfortunately, I've been sucking pretty bad. But while I might not be likely to win any prizes there, at least SCC is still kinda enough to hook me up with a PWE once in a while. Here's the latest from him...

Awesome Michael Conforto parallel.. and it's a Christmas Card! I saw that SCC had landed this card in a big lot recently and was hoping he would be gracious enough to send it my way eventually. Conforto seems to be a pretty streaky hitter, but has been on fire of late.

Non-card related aside:

Drafting up this post was interrupted when we discovered an unknown dog in our backyard. Pretty crazy. She was trembling and very scared, with no collar on, but she seemed sweet (no barking or growling) and eventually I was able to get close enough to snap this photo and get a collar on her. We were able to get her into our dog's kennel while we tried to find her owners by putting out social media alerts about a found dog. After over a couple hours of no response, we figured we'd take her to a nearby vet to have them scan her for a microchip that could hopefully help identify her owner's contact info. Unfortunately, she freaked out when we tried to get her in the car and pulled out of the collar and ran off. We looked for her, but she was gone. I feel terrible about it. I guess all we can do now is hope she makes her way home safely, be it on her own or with the help of somebody else. She looks kind of like my dog Annie, making it even more close to home for us. Just breaks my heart we weren't able to help her. I really wish we could go back in time and get a "do-over" on the situation, this time being more careful about transporting her so she wouldn't get loose. That's gonna haunt me a long time. My wife is doing her best to make it all seem less depressing, talking about how the dog is really gentle and apparently smart enough to try to avoid running into traffic, so the chances are good someone else will catch her, and hopefully have better luck getting her home. So yeah, let's hope things work out. But man, such a bummer.

Anyways.. back to baseball cards..

Here are a couple Padres from SCC. I hope Michael Gettys pans out, because I have a ton of his cards. And that's a cool Brian Giles back parallel.

And a trio of 1982 Kmart. A few weeks ago I went ahead and broke up the complete set I had of these (won on Listia a few years back), so I don't need them, but appreciate the thought. Really the only one I need at this point is Dick Allen with a clean back (mine has a gum stain on the back).

Thanks a lot, SCC! I'll get a return PWE out in the mail to you very soon.

- - ---o

Next up is the card Ken from Cardboard Hogs gave me when he ran into me at the card show the other day, as I mentioned last post.

That's a pretty nice looking relic! Nice addition to my Gavin Escobar PC.

I had to apologize to Ken for not having any cards to give him back in exchange. I wasn't expecting to run into him, but have a couple Redskins set aside for him. I'll get him back one of these shows!

- - - ---o

I'm still sorting through it, but here's a tease of the lot I got from Rod at the card show..

A bunch of cool stuff in there so far. Even a nice reusable bag! Stay tuned for a post covering this lot later this week probably.

Thanks a lot for reading.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

April may be the cruelest month, but the April card show was very kind to me

Oh man! Today was one of those days that card collectors dream about. First off, it was the monthly card show day. Scored a bunch of good cards there. Plus I ran into Padrographs Rod who hooked me up with a big bag of probably a couple thousand cards. Then I met Ken from Cardboard Hogs for the first time and he gave me a sweet Gavin Escobar relic. Always cool to meet a fellow cardblogger in person. Then I came home to find a contest win from Summer of 74 (by way of Tony L.) plus one of my coolest TTM returns ever (well, not technically a TTM, but rather an in-person autograph done by proxy).

Wow, I'm not even sure where to start as far as posting about the new cards. Well, the lot from Rod will take several days, if not weeks, to sort through, so that'll have to wait.

I made 2 purchases at the card show: 57 cards for $41 from my regular dealer Bill's 7/$5 bins, and then 60 cards from a nickelbox for $2.

Let's go ahead and start with a post on the 57 cards for $41. For added entertainment, I got to listen to Bill talk about his marital drama with another older gentleman while I thumbed through his cards. I'll spare you the details, but it was pretty juicy. I hope he and the mrs. are able to work things out.

Best foot forward here with a couple impressive autographs. I was surprised to find this Wade Davis Chrome RC refractor /499 in there for under a buck. I'll hang onto it then sell it for a big profit when he saves Game 7 this November. And the Vlad auto isn't certified, but sure looks legit to me.. nice addition to that PC.

Permission to approach the bench? Aaron Judge has been carrying the Yanks on his ample shoulders so far this season. Had to get onboard the bandwagon and grab a couple of his cards. Sustained!

Corey Seager's still hot, right?

I love those Leaf Signature cards and will pretty much always pick up any I don't think I have if the price is right. And the Beltre 1st Bowman has some chipping up top, but it's the International parallel, so I thought it was worth it. (Checking it online right now, none available on COMC and the cheapest on eBay is $18.49.. so yes, was definitely worth it.)

Crazy 90s diecuts! Big Hurt and Crime Dog.. solid players, oddly shaped cards.

My love for wave refractors is well documented on this blog. Pretty cards!

Johnny Bench and Roberto Clemente black Gypsy Queen minis, each #'d /199. Couldn't throw these on to my stack fast enough! Well, the Clemente for sure.. the Bench I debated about for a few seconds.

Here's the vintage-y portion of this haul. Darryl Strawberry will be prominently featured on this blog soon (foreshadowing!). The Yaz decle is a bit beat up, but could be worse. And the '74 Seaver is a cool card.

A trio of /199 gold parallels from 2013 Archives.

Early '00s Donruss serial numbered cards. Thome /2500, Bonds /1381, Arod /623.

Some Bowman parallels and such. Manuel Margot is a guy I really like collecting, so was excited to find that green refractor #'d 12/99.

More cards. Another early Wil Myers "catcher prospect with the Royals" card for the PC. Don't know who Ryan Boldt is, but took a flyer on this card #'d 17/25. I can't say no to Stephen Strasburg cards where he's pictured in his SDSU uniform. Go Aztecs!

A couple Topps Tribute blue parallels, #'d /199. Paul Molitor and Tony Perez.. nice cards.

Some Triple Threads numbered parallels.

I came into a rich deposit of relic cards, and just grabbed them all, which will close out this post. I collect Billy Hamilton and Cutch, though the Hanley is available if any of my Sox trader buddies wants it.

Some Team USA relics. Not familiar with these guys besides Cavan Biggio. I think Craig meant to name his son "Gavin" but coughed and accidentally named him Cavan instead, sadly. These are available for trade, I suppose.

Last card of the post. Surprised to find this sweet-ass triple relic #'d 36/36 for under a buck! I don't collect Carlos Martinez, but it'll make for solid leverage next time I'm working out a deal with a Cardinals fan.

That's it for today. Thanks for stopping by! Plenty more fun cards to show off this coming week.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Some cards for a big eBay milestone

Woo! Yesterday I just hit a cool 1000 for my eBay user feedback. I'm proud to say that's 100% positive, with nary a single negative or even neutral review sullying my good name. Sure, the majority of my transactions have been as buyer, but I've done a bit of selling on there over the years, too. And while I can't say 100% of my interactions have been perfect, even the ones that "went bad" were at least civil enough to where I escaped unscathed. Pretty impressive considering how many assholes are out there who seem to enjoy stirring up shit.

And I don't know if it's related or just a coincidence, but today I got an email from eBay telling me I'm now a Top Rated Seller thanks to my past performance, and that entitles me to 20% off final value seller fees, which is very welcomed because that's definitely where they get ya.

Anyways, the listing that has the distinction of giving me positive nod #1000 is the Curt Smith TFF Psych auto I already showed off a couple weeks ago (seller was a little slow in leaving feedback, but whatever), so instead I'll use this post to show off a few other recent eBay pickups that I haven't gotten around to working into posts yet.

The great Warren Spahn! He was a great signer throughout his life, though his signature understandably got a bit sloppier near the end. Still better than most athletes these days! This is my 2nd auto of his, the first being a 2003 Topps Retired card. I nearly scored a 3rd Spahn auto recently, a signed penny sleeve that the Summer of '74 blog put up as trade bait, but seems somebody else beat me out for it.

Here's the back. It's a nice pickup for my ARMS (Archives Reserve Master Set), which is my looooong-term goal of acquiring every Archives Reserve card ever put out. Oh man, if Topps ever revives this product line, I'm screwed. No way I would include a reboot in this ARMS project. I'm sure they'd have a bunch of parallels and 1/1 stuff if they brought it back today. A beautiful thing about the original Archives Reserve (2001-2002) is there are no parallels and no printing plates, so a master set isn't an impossible dream. It's definitely costly tracking down all the big name autos and relics, but not impossible. Oh, and I'm not including any buybacks in this project either (I suspect some base cards were signed, slabbed, and included in recent Archives Signature Edition products.. but screw 'em, I'm considering that a different product).

From one legend to another, here's a Khalil Greene auto. Ok, I'm being cheeky calling him a legend, but if you were a Padres fan in the mid '00s, his story has likely achieved legendary status for you. He was a hot prospect and in 2004, was runner-up for NL ROY. He then had a few solid years, but never quite performed at the elite level he (and fans) hoped for. He struggled emotionally under the pressure and was eventually shipped to St. Louis to finish his MLB career with a forgettable final season there. I think this is my first card of him as a Cardinal, and is his last widely-available autograph card. I had a saved search for it, waiting for a cheap one to come along. It seemed like a hole in my ample Khalil PC, so landing it helps round it out and make it feel more complete even though I'm sure there are several hundred more cards of his out there I'll never have.

Maybe you remember a couple weeks ago when I posted about a Manon Rheaume auto I picked up. A reader gave me a heads-up to check out Erin Whitten. Turns out she was another exceptional woman goalie who played professionally with various men's teams in the mid 90s. Pretty cool. I took a look if she had any autos available and grabbed this one cheap. The signature is pretty faded, but like I said, it was cheap, so worked for me.

The back says it's autographed, so that's good, because it's not so easy to tell from the front. lol

I never followed basketball too closely, but I thought Dikembe Mutombo was a fun player. In fact, I say his name a lot, just because it's fun to say, especially in a deep, bombastic accent. Go ahead, say it. d'KEY-m'BAY Moo-TUMBO!!!
I was looking to score an autograph of his, and this Christmas Card ended up being what I went with after my best offer was accepted. But I kinda regret this purchase a little bit, to be honest. I just don't really like foilboard cards or sticker autographs. Even the 12/25 serial number can't quite save this card. Still though, a fun one to throw into my yuletide minicollection.

Speaking of cards I only care about because of the serial number, he's a Trevor Bauer auto. Well, at least this one was cheap. Plus it's #'d 12/24. If a Christmas Card is a unicorn, then a Christmas Eve Card is a unipegasus (unicorn with wings.. extra fantastical!).. much harder to find than 12/25 cards, especially if you want a player selection better than washed out former fringe prospects-- mostly football and basketball, at that. At least Bauer is still in the majors, stinking it up with the Indians. The basic design of the card is nice, but the stickergraph sucks, and man, that's gotta be one of the worst photos ever on a modern Topps card. The poor guy is fumbling with his glove, looking like he's in the middle of being shelled. (which is likely)

Anyways, yeah, those are some various cards I picked up on eBay on my way to a perfect 1000 feedback rating. I'll be surprised if I make it to 2000 before running into a jackass to ding me, but here's hoping!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Trea Turner PC

Pretty funny that Wil Myers hits for the cycle then a few weeks later, the kid the Padres gave up to get him does the same (in the same order, also at Coors Field). I didn't want to collect Trea Turner at first, bitter at the shortsighted move of dumping the best homegrown prospect San Diego has had in a long time. But I kept coming into his cards, partially thanks to traders dumping their Padres cards on me, plus he's becoming one of the best young stars in the game, so I eventually gave in and added him to the ever-growing list of guys I collect.

I'd been waiting for an excuse to show off a couple nice cards of his I've picked up, so let's take a look at my modest Trea Turner collection as it stood on 4/25/17 when he became the third National to ever hit for the cycle.

I've got a couple cards from his days as an amateur, both hits. The jersey swatch card is from 2012 (thanks again, Zippy) while the bat chip is from 2013 (thanks again, Doug).

This partial rainbow of 2014 Bowman came to me courtesy of Zippy Zappy, I believe. Would love to add a 1st Bowman Chrome auto someday (preferably a refractor), but they're pretty expensive these days.

The 2014 Leaf Trinity auto is my latest Trea pickup. Love the "Go Padres" inscription, and I'd like to take this as proof that his heart will always lie with the Padres, and everyday he's crestfallen that he's forced to play for the Nats instead. LOL

Moving on to 2015, here's another college card and a Topps Pro Debut. Notice that the Pro Debut card appears to feature a non-photoshopped version (or at least a differently photoshopped version) of the picture used on the above Prizm "Draft Class" insert.

2016 is when he really started getting a lot of cards put out, as he was runner-up for the NL ROY award to Carlos Correa. My favorite of these Panini cards has to be the Rated Rookie refractor, #'d /299 on the back.

And some Topps cards from 2016.

And finally, my best Trea Turner card, a spiffy 2016 Five Star auto. Look, even Topps would like to believe Trea's still on the Padres, marking this card with a "P" under his name. (ok, maybe it's just an error mistakenly listing him as a pitcher, but I like my explanation better.)

There you have it. Please trade me any Trea Turner cards not pictured here.
Thanks for checking out the post. See you next time.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Setbuilding chugging along thanks to COMC

In my latest COMC order, I picked up needs for all 3 vintage sets I'm currently working on, plus the 2 modern parallel sets I'm trying to complete. I'd just search by lowest price, then check against my lists to see what I needed.

I wanted to add some color to my 2011 Topps parallel frankenset, grabbing a cheap blue refractor (#/99) and black refractor (#/100), neither of which were previously represented parallels in there. Also picked up a couple #/499 purple refractors. I was a little surprised to find Kevin Youkilis and Jose Bautista slumming it with the lowest-priced examples available, but was happy to grab them.
With this project, I'm at 494/1284, good for 38.47% complete.

And here are a couple cheap needs for the other parallel set I'm working on.
With 2004 Topps Chrome black refractors, I'm now at 130/487, good for 26.69% complete.

Picked up 5 cards for my young 1957 Topps setbuild. Everybody knows Wally Moon, in large part because of his fabulous unibrow, but he had a nice career too. Virgil Trucks was also pretty good, pitching a pair of no-hitters in his career. At $1.15, it was the most expensive card in this post. Only that and the Pete Whisenant were over a buck.
This lot helped me crack double-digits complete with the set, currently at 10.79% complete, with 45 of 417 cards down.

1964 Topps is kind of a back-burner project for me these days, with '65 and '57 interesting me more. But still looking to add cards when I can find good prices on them. Now at 40.92% complete, with 241 of 589 cards.

And finally, here's a decent lot of 1965 Topps. Not many well-known names here, just checking off a few of the commons I needed. Still might be on track to reach my soft goal of finishing the set by the end of the year, currently at 471/600, good for 78.5% complete, though I'm going to eventually have to start ponying up for some of the big names I'm missing.

Thanks for reading, and as always, please get in touch if you've got any cards I'm missing and would like to work out a trade.