Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Gavin Sheets PC

Gavin Sheets became the 4th man named Gavin to play Major League Baseball last night, following in the footsteps of misters Floyd, Cecchini, and Lux.

Congrats, Mr. Sheets!

The 25-year old went 2-4 with 2 RBI in the White Sox 7-6 win over the Twins. 

Pretty cool.

Here's my Gavin Sheets PC as it stood on the day of his debut.

A few decent Bowman cards.

Most of my Topps cards of him are autographed, lol. The Heritage is a glossy parallel.

A pair of numbered Panini cards and a minor league issue.

Nice selection of Leaf cards here!

And a slabbed auto. Sharp looking card.

Just pulled the trigger on the Topps Now card for his debut.. which is designated as a "Call Up" not a "RC". Probably too late to get him into Update, but I'd expect him to get the rookie card treatment next year. I'm more or less content with the PC as it stands (I don't plan to chase his rookies or whatever), but I'm always happy to receive more cards of his in trade. Let's hope he has an outstanding career ahead of him!

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Halfway to Christmas

Hey, it's my half-birthday today. That means we're just 6 months away from Christmas Eve.

Here are a few recent 12/25 additions to my collection.

I remember Jeff Bagwell rookie cards being a big deal back in late 1991 and early '92 when I was a young collector. I pulled his 1991 Leaf Gold Leaf Rookies insert and it was among my most treasured cards. A while later I got a minor league All-Star set featuring him back in his Red Sox prospect days, and I thought that card was as cool as hell. Bags just kept on hitting and ended up in the Hall. He hasn't been a top tier PC guy for me since I returned to the hobby, but I have put together a respectable sampling of his cards. Figured I should finally pick up an autograph of his, and if I was gonna do that, might as well find one numbered 12/25. Despite the card featuring kind of a blurry photo, I like this one with the metallic ink on black.

While I own a crap-ton of Christmas Cards, I'm sure I'm not even close to owning 0.1% of them because there're just so many. But Christmas Cards of guys who went to my high school? Now there I might have a shot at collecting 1% of them.. hell, maybe even 2%! (The Giles Brothers are responsible for the majority of them, no doubt.)

I'd been keeping an eye out for the blue border 12/25 Shane Spencer Fan Favorites auto since 2020 Topps Archives came out last year, and it just popped up earlier this month. Now all I need is the gold foil 1/1, wherever that may be.

This one is unnumbered. I had wanted to score a Whit Merrifield auto for a while, and they were plentiful in 2020 Topps Chrome Black, a set that I was curious enough about to go after a card or two from, so I ended up with this one. It's nice enough, but everybody said the parallels blow the base out of the water, so I figured I'd target a Christmas Card of another guy I collect but didn't yet own an auto of. Queue Joey Gallo...

This orange parallel looks pretty cool with the shiny triangles in the background. Funny how Joey seems to be eyeing the serial number, visions of sugarplums dancing in his head. He's a guy I've had a passive PC of for a few years now and wanted to kick up the collection by adding an autograph to it. Done and done.

That's it for today. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Baseball Card Breakdown's 8th Anniversary

Made it to 8 years as a blogger. Nice. New banner for the occasion. Had been going with a text-only header for a few months, but now I've made a new header pic in the same vein as one from a few years back, spelling out the blog name with letter patch cards.

Not sure how long I'll stick with it, but I'll fly it up there for at least a while.

In today's post, I'm going to toast to 8 years of blogging by giving shout-outs to a few of my favorite blogs over that span, linking each of them up to a letter in the new header.

B is for Backstop 
[Will Venable]

Looks like Marcus has since taken all the way to the backstop offline, but back in the first few years of my blog, it was so cool to read an active card blog that focused on my hometown Padres. While I've rooted for the team basically all my life, I had sorta turned my back on them for a while there, and Marcus' blog helped reignite my fandom, getting me familiar with the current roster (such as guys like Will Venable) as well as names from the past I hadn't thought about in a long time. He inspired me to add guys like Eric Owens and Khalil Greene to my PC list, and indirectly provided the catalyst for my "Marquis Mania" project where I hoarded a crazy amount of Marquis Grissom 1990 Upper Deck rookie cards.

A is for A grand serving of nachos 
[Mike Leake]

Mike Leake makes me think of the Reds, and the Reds make me think of Nachos Grande. He's been consistently cranking out posts forever. Usually not too long, but often just a bite-sized look at a particular Barry Larkin card or a few cards from a TCDB trade. Chris seems like a really chill guy. I enjoyed getting in on some of his group breaks back in the day. He's really upped his game with them lately, though I've since sworn off group breaks (no fault of Chris') so I just watch from afar now. I love that he's also a big LEGO guy.

S is for San Jose 
[Yonder Alonso]

During his career, Yonder Alonso played for both the A's and the Padres, so let's link him up to Fuji. The Chronicles of Fuji has been a beacon of positivity for the Cardsphere for over a decade now (not even taking into account his tireless commenting on countless blogs, which I know we all appreciate). Mark gave us a scare earlier this year with talk of taking an extended break, but thankfully he seems to have found a balance where he can still crank out a few posts each month.

E is for Everybody Loves Shane 
[Shane Peterson]

The best known Shane on the cardsphere has got to be the good dude behind the Shoebox Legends blog. In recent months, the blog has been gathering cobwebs, with Shane focusing more on his YouTube channel. That's pretty cool, though I hope the blog doesn't fade away. Always neat following along with his collecting adventures, be it his buyback frankenset, various setbuilds, big Red Sox collection, or whatever else he feels like writing about. 

B is for Brew Crew 
[Bill Hall]

I'll go with Summer of '74 for this one. Matt Prigge's Brewers-centric cardblog looks like it has tapped out with just 151 posts to its credit, but it was a good one. 

A is for A-rod 
[Gaby Sanchez]

Gaby Sanchez makes me think of Gary Sanchez, who makes me think of Yankees catchers, who makes me think of Luis Torrens supercollector Zippy Zappy of Torren' Up Cards. Longtime hobby-bud of mine. Love reading his unfiltered takes on baseball, cards, and whatever else he wants to talk about. Hard to find anyone whose TTM game is as on point as his.

L is for long ago 
[Tim Melville]

Hmm, let's see. Tim Melville was drafted by the Royals, and that calls to mind View From the Skybox. Dormant since March 2015 (sadly just missing out on documenting KC's championship season), this blog had a lot of fresh, creative perspective during its 3-year run. I still hold a little grudge regarding a PWE of Gypsy Queen minis I sent the guy that never got reciprocated, but nonetheless have a soft spot in my heart for the glory days of VFTSB.

L is for lawyered 
[Jarett Dillard]

Wikipedia tells me Jarett went on to become a successful lawyer after his days on the gridiron. That calls to mind Tony L. of Off-Hiatus Baseball Cards. He burst onto the cardblog scene in 2014 with a lot of great posts, and a lot of great trades for those with Brewers cards to send. Over the years, Tony's gotten busy (lawyer stuff and whatnot) and his cache of available cards (mostly from his childhood collection) dried up, so he doesn't post or trade much anymore, effectively going back On-Hiatus, but let's hope he resumes blogging at some point.

C is for Cutch
[Daniel McCutchen]

Here's an easy card to link to a blog. Different Cutch of course, but Collecting Cutch gives readers a fascinating look into the life of a supercollector. Brian is a great guy and is always thinking up new and interesting framework for his posts, so it's not just "hey, look at this new 1/1 Andrew McCutchen I got". Plus he posts more pictures of pretty ladies than any other cardblog (especially during his annual Save Second Base fundraiser every October), so that's just another reason to keep his blog on your reading list.

A is for Area 40
[Josh Willingham]

Another no-brainer for linking a blog to the card. Wes Moore has changed course in his collecting focus several times over the years, often changing blog names and usernames along the way. But he's always been a very generous fella and it's a thrill when he gets you in his crosshairs and drops a bunch of cards on you. Who can forget his "war" with Matthew Scott years back where the two went back and forth trying to outdo each other with amazing trade packages? That was a fun stuff.

R is for roundball
[Spencer Haywood]

Seeing this is the only basketball card within the header, gotta go with the blog I think of first when it comes to the hardwood: Cardboard History. Billy is known for his comprehensiveness, thoroughly scanning and cataloging his massive collection. Sucks that he has to deal with difficult health issues, but glad he's still able to go on adventures from time to time and take his readers along for the ride with dozens of photographs.

D is for don't ever stop 
[Gavin Floyd]

Guess I'll go with Johnny's Trading Spot for this one, as I've traded with John Miller countless times, and there's been at least one Gavin Floyd card in nearly every batch of cards he's ever sent my way. I think John's got a few years on me, but I kinda think of him as a blogging brother of mine, both starting our blogs in the summer of 2013 and both still at it.

We're entering the "BREAKDOWN" part of the header now, and seeing as it's the afternoon of the 15th as I draft this and I want to hurry up and get this post published soon, the rest of these might be cranked out at "lightning round" speed.

B - Andre Brown

Brown, you say? Bleedin' Brown and Gold is (was?) a good blog. (...though, yes, I'm a homer for Padres blogs.) See also Duff's newer blog Comatoad on Cards.

R - Kevin Kouzmanoff

Right back to another great Padres blog: Padrographs. I'm lucky enough to live nearby to Rod, and my card collection is richer for it. Just got another box of cards from him (and a comic book with glow in the dark cover!) last weekend which I'll post about sometime soon.

E - Zack Segovia

E is for everybody else with a blog I've followed over the years that I wasn't able to link to a certain card this time, including by not limited to A Cracked Bat$30 a week habit2x3 Heroes30-year old CardboardA Cardboard ProblemA Penny Sleeve for your ThoughtsARPSmith's Sportscard ObsessionBaseball Cards Come to Life!Battlin' BucsBob Walk the PlankBubba's Bangin' Batch of Baseball BitsCard HemorrhageCardboard HogsCardboard JunkieCardpocalypsecards as i see themCards from the QuarryCards That Never WereChavez RaviningCincinnati Reds Baseball Card CollectorCoot Veal and the VealtonesDawg Day CardsDiamond Jestersgarvey cey russell lopesHeartbreaking Cards of Staggering GeniusHighly Subjective and Completely ArbitraryHoarding CardboardHobby Cards EuropeHot Corner CardsHoyt Wilhelm Online MuseumI need new hobbies.It's like having my own Card ShopMark's EphemeraMets Baseball Cards Like They Ought To Be!n j w vNine PocketsNothing If Not RandomPack WarPlaschke Thy Sweater Is ArgylePunkRockPaintRandom Toy ReviewsRed CardboardRekindling the Cardboard FlameRoyal Card ReviewSchmidt Happened!Sportscards From The Dollar StoreStarting NineThe 1993The Angels In Orderthe best bubbleThe Bucs Stop HereThe Card PapoyThe CollectorThe Diamond KingThe Five Tool CollectorThe Great Sports Name Hall of FameThe Junior JunkieThe Lost CollectorThe Shlabotnik ReportThe Topps ArchivesTim WallachTopps cards that never wereWax HeavenWHEN TOPPS HAD (BASE)BALLS!Wish They Still Came With BubblegumWrigley Roster JengaScribbled Ink, and of course Matt's Wonderful Blog Of Hobbies (formerly known as Sport Card Collectors).

A - Greg Halman

At first thought, I was tempted to go with another Greg here.. but it would seem wrong to have Night Owl represented by a non-Doger. So how about another blogger named Greg (aka GCA) from The Collective Mind.

K - Andy LaRoche

K, now here's a Dodgers card. What can I say about Night Owl? Papa Bear of the Cardsphere. He's a professional writer who consistently carves out the time to write interesting, thoughtful blog posts on the regular. Our little online community of collectors is undoubtedly better off for having him as a pillar of cardsphere these many years.

D - Adrián González

D is for Dimeboxes. Nick's blog is required reading, nearly going on a decade now.

O - John Skelton

Ok, I know it's a totally different team called the Cardinals, but gotta shout-out St. Louis Cardinals collector and fellow Portland resident, Kerry at Cards on Cards.

W - Kyle Skipworth

Waiting 'til Next Year like to fly the W.

N - Kyle Lobstein

Not another guy named Kyle? Too many Kyles! Lobstein lobbed the majority of his MLB pitches for Detroit, so that links him up well to my buddy Dennis at Too Many Verlanders.

And that'll wrap it up! Man, that was hard and I had to cop-out with a ton of great blogs under the "E" catch-all, but hopefully nobody feels slighted. Only so many letters, ya know? Sorry if I left anyone out. You all are awesome. Hurray for blogging about sportscards! It's been a fun 8 years being a part of it; Here's to many more!

Friday, June 11, 2021

Kinda like a card show?

Portland's monthly card show is this weekend. And it looks like they've expanded it to both Saturday and Sunday now, not just Saturday like it's been in the past. Oh wow, they even redid their website all "professional" with cookies now and everything, upgrading from the old GeoCities-grade webpage.

Gotta admit I have zero interest in making it to this month's show, or next month's, or the show after that. (Well, maybe not zero, but like a 1 or maybe 2 on a scale of 10.)

More people - yuck
(Specifically more "douchey bro" vibe people looking for sick mojo to flip - yuck!)
Higher prices - yuck

I've been hitting the "collection organization" / "card room optimization" hard the past few weeks and hate to say it, but I think it's beneficial to not have that stream of new cards coming in every month. I'd always come home with a tall stack of cards that needed to be sorted which would always slow down my overarching push to get my collection under control. And cutting that out for the past year and a half has helped with my progress. Hopefully a year from now, I'll have my card room just how I like it, and the inevitable MLB work stoppage/strike will help pop the trading card bubble, and then maybe I'll feel like returning to the card show.

But for now I'm doing just fine with collection-focused online purchases and the occasional cardsphere PWE. Hey, let's take a look at some such cards now!

I thought this was a cool looking Bryce Harper that was in a recent PWE Trade Bait post from the Quarry. Looks like a perfect circle chemtrail from his mighty swing. Neat! (Yeah, I don't know how he swung behind himself, but it's all part of the magic.) Numbered to 299 on the back, plus it promotes education, so that's cool too. I was able to dig up a Todd Helton parallel hiflew needed in return.

A few posts ago I talked about how I really dig the 2002 Donruss Originals "What If?" cards but lamented they were a little too scarce for me to commit to going after the full run of them. But then even before that draft was published, I had started searching online card stores for them, and it's pretty much been my main collecting focus since. It'll still take me a while to hunt down all 75, but I'm working my way there. Love the fan-friendly photo on this Ozzie card that pretends Donruss was putting out a set of The Rookies in late 1978.

As far as cards that Donruss really did put out back in the day, I've also been trying to finally grab the last few cards missing from my '84 Donruss setbuild. Had to pony up a few bucks on Sportlots for some big names here, with Nolan Ryan being the most of the lot. Down to just a pair of Rated Rookies (Greg Gagne & Sid Fernandez) and Ripken left.

Next is a friendly mailing of cards from Fuji. These are some upgrades to my 1982 Topps set that I had accidentally damaged. In sad irony, three of these (top) ended up bent in transit or perhaps I just wasn't carefully enough opening up the envelope. Ha, I might just be cursed when it comes to '82 Topps! At least the headliner here, Fisk, made it safely.

(Dumb gif I made years ago.)

Cool to see these foldies in the envelope from Fuji too. The Madlock is a card I recently bought on COMC but they damaged it in shipping. Nice to have a mint one now. Actually, more irony, the day after getting this envelope, I decided to sort through my oversized cards and was surprised to see I already owned it. For pete's sake! So now I have 3 of them. Darned oversized cards being too big to store with the rest of the PC. But the Minnie Minoso and Jerry Coleman were new to me and very appreciated.

Thanks, Fuji! I'll hope to return the favor before long.

I also hit Sportlots for some help on my 2004 Chrome black refractor setbuild. The biggest name I bought during this spree was Mike Mussina, but it's been a few weeks and it hasn't shown up yet. Crap, is Sportlots good about refunds for missing cards? I hate to make a stink about it, and I don't doubt it was lost in the mail rather than the seller trying to rip me off, but it was a few bucks I'd prefer not be wasted.

I also stuck a fork in 1990 Donruss with the final two cards I needed for the Grand Slammers inserts. Think I'm calling it good now with the base set, the MVP inserts, and these. I guess I'd still like to complement the set with that year's Baseball's Best and The Rookies sets someday, but that's not a priority.

Also wanted to add Vlad's Heritage sunset card to the PC.

Here's another "1978" card, this time with Topps playing make believe instead of Donruss. I'd like to think they got the idea for these from the "if they were full-bleed" posts I sometimes do. But probably just a coincidence. But yeah, cool looking Trout card I got for a few bucks on eBay.

Last for today is a trade with Bo, who kindly went through his available cards to get my Mike Sharperson collection into respectable shape.

Also the 1 card from 1979 Topps that I really, really needed upgraded. It looks like some kid practiced drumming on it, so this nice, minty one is very appreciated to help feel like my complete set is a decent one.

Thanks, Bo, for this and the "Sharpeople"! :)

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

COMC ya later

Time for me to finish documenting my last (ever? for a good while, at least) COMC shipment. Here's some other cards I got.

One of the greatest sunset cards of all time. Soak it all in!

Minnie mini. Cute, right?

As a lover of shiny cards, I had to check for any cheap eTopps cards of interesting players, scoring this pair of hurlers.

A couple more refractors and a relic card of a stadium wall. My plan when I bought the Warning Track card was to use the piece of Three Rivers Stadium to make a custom featuring someone besides J.D. Drew. Maybe I'll get to that someday.

GITD! My glow-in-the-dark minicollection got a nice boost from this order. I was able to complete the set of 10 glowing Garbage Pail Kids cards from 2013. Better yet, Junior was the final card I needed to finish off The Franchise glow-in-the-dark parallels from 1997 Score.

Maybe I'll take a closer look at these sets next time I do another post focusing on glow-in-the-dark cards.

To finish with the hits, here are 3 miscellaneous autographs.

The Fred Valentine was an impulse buy way back on Valentine's Day of 2020. Red Real One autographs from Heritage are always neat.. even if the player wasn't all that notable.

The Todd Van Poppel auto was bought as a gift for 1991 me.

Jerry Layne is the first autograph added to my budding group of "thumbs up" cards.

That's a wrap! Thanks for reading.