Saturday, April 10, 2021

Good times for this Padre fan (trades n' stuff)

Big night for my Padres the other night! I would have been ecstatic if San Diego got a no-hitter from some random call-up I never heard of, but what makes it even sweeter is that Joe Musgrove is from my hometown and I've been collecting the guy's cards for a few years already. Congrats, Joe! Making El Cajon proud.

Such a great story of a local kid rising who grew up rooting for them to achieve that elusive Padres no-hitter. Seems like a real good dude, too. Gotta bump him up into the "high priority" tier of my player wantlist.

Now to catch up on some good stuff that's come my way from trader buds over the past couple weeks.

Friend of the blog Alex T. has been incredibly generous with hooking me up with cool oddities for my collection for a few years now. I'm falling behind because I also got a great Dick Allen set from him not long ago I haven't posted about yet, but more recently was this Rod Beck postcard and a pack/set of Michael Bolton softball cards.

"The Trucker" comes from a series of Marvelous Moustaches postcards by Left Field Cards, created by French-born artist Amelie Mancini. I remember checking these out a couple years ago after hearing about them somewhere on the cardsphere. I debated purchasing a set, but ultimately didn't pull the trigger and I think they sold out shortly thereafter. So it was an awesome surprise to pull Rod Beck out of the package.

Alex reached out to Amélie about availability for an order, was able to snag this one for my Shooter PC, and he even thought to ask if Amélie would be so kind as to sign them, which she graciously did down on the back.

I had to frame it up, at least for a while, and currently have it hanging in the living room. My wife says to her it's a picture of Kenny Powers, and she's not far off.

Here are what the softball cards look like. We got to talking about these cards after Michael Bolton was featured on my 1991 MusiCards blog, and Alex happened to have an extra of this set to spare. Especially love the Yount.

Big thanks, Alex! Great stuff.

- - ---o

I did a quick PWE swap with Robert at $30 a week habit. My 2011 Topps parallel frankenset has really slowed down in recent years, but I haven't nixed the project yet. I'm nearing 700 different cards for it, but still just a little over halfway done. So yeah, these Jays needs from Robert are appreciated.

- - ---o

Night Owl struck with an expertly curated package of cards. I collect more Dodgers than I should, being a Padres fan, but yep, I'm very happy to receive Greg's dupes of Walker Buehler or Gavin Lux.

Also a pair of blue Fire Matt Chapman cards and some set needs.

And some vintage set needs! Love to see it!! Feels like this part of my collection is kinda paused waiting for the current sportscard bubble to pop and get those prices back down a notch or two.

But the real star was this well-loved 1957 Elston Howard. Solid name to check off my long-running '57 Topps setbuild. Nice!

Thanks a lot, Greg! Much appreciated! I'll return the favor pretty soon.

Thanks for reading. Go get that cardboard! :)

Sunday, April 4, 2021

I got my own card!

Indie card publisher RRParks put out 3 series of Mystery Science Theater 3000 card sets via Kickstarter in recent years, then a "Series Four" earlier this year. The window for his licensing agreement had expired by that point, so the last series isn't technically a MST3K release, though it focuses on the old short films riffed on the show-- typically cheesy semi-educational shorts that are in the public domain so you don't have to worry about licensing.

The real allure of the 4th series for me was the special Fan Subset, where all us collectors of MST cards could get their own card created and included in the set by emailing in a picture and some text for the back. So that pushed me over the top to back the Kickstarter, and then what made it really cool is an "autograph exchange" was organized.. which I'll get to in a second.

Here's my card. You might've gotten a sneak peek on Fuji's non-comeback post. I was originally leaning towards using the photo of me and Annie at the Goonies house sign, but feared the Goonies logo could make for a legal sticking point, as we were advised to steer clear of copyrighted crap.. but I probably could have gotten away with it. Oh well. I overthunk which photo to choose for a few days, and ultimately ended up with this selfie from a Portland Pickles game a few years back. Just a generic pic of me where I don't look too ugly, if maybe a little smug. I'm wearing a shirt with the old-school Topps logo, but you only see a bit of it. (My first "Topps card"?? lol)

I'm card #37 in the set. The moon background makes it kinda tricky to read the text, but overall the backs are solid. Included with everything was a "glossy back / matte front" error card where the back text is easier to read. Funny how that works. I suppose being glossy keeps it sharp, whereas a matte finish might blur slightly.

See, here's the glossy back on the left plus a couple other printing errors Richard was cool enough to throw in.

The fan subset contains 115 cards. Of those, 85 signed up to do the autograph exchange, including myself. So that means I had to sign 85 of my own cards like a bigshot. lol.

It took me about 2 weeks to sign them all, but that's because I doodled on each one, and occasionally made little alterations to mix things up. Some have rounded corners. Some have a red ink auto, some black. The sketch is MST3K's Tom Servo, and I tried to come up with something different for him to be saying on each card. This was back in February when I was "going through some shit" and this process of writing on the cards was sort of therapeutic. I tried to keep it light, though there may be some dark ones like Servo saying rude things to me, lol. Oh, and one card I'm "in drag", adding makeup to my photo... and one card I've been beat up, adding bloody scratches and a black eye. But other than those two, I don't think I messed with the photo much. But as I went along, I started incorporating the white parts from the Topps logo in my shirt to become part of the sketch (turning the white parts into Servo's shoulders). It kinda worked sometimes. And on some cards I noted the preferred pronunciation of my last name. Sometimes I traced my name because it made it look kinda cool. Stuff like that. I kept the stack of cards by my work(from home)station, and when I needed a break / procrastination activity, I'd write on a card or two.

After I signed and doodled on all 85 fronts, I turned the stack over and then tackled the backs, doing a quick sketch of Crow in the available space. Yeah, it was a time-consuming choice, but it was fun and I bet a couple of the recipients probably got a kick out of the extra effort. Sometimes Crow is making a MST reference, or just a random quip that popped to mind. I also shared a link to my main hub because it's quicker to write than "" but the blog is linked on there, so who knows, maybe I'll pick up a new reader or two. Hey, IT COULD HAPPEN! :P

I believe all 115 fan subset subjects received something like 125 copies of their own card (in addition to the full 115-card fan subset). So after the 85 for the autograph exchange, I've got about 30 cards of mine left. So if you're one of my usual trade partners, don't be surprised to maybe find one thrown in among a future package of cards from me. If you actively want one-- like you've got a "blogger cards" minicollection or you're just a huge Baseball Card Breakdown fanboy-- feel free to let me know and I'll set one aside for you.

So anyways, yeah, very cool to have a real card of myself out there! I've made myself a custom or two over the years, but nothing as legit as this.

I should show off some of the other fan cards while I'm at it.

I wasn't the only one who did a little extra when signing the cards. Neat! The metallic ink looks good. I don't currently have any of those pens or I would have used one probably.

Several of the cards have multiple autographs.. love it! I had a couple dual autos in my collection before this.. but a 4x signed card is new for me!

Some cute pets made it into the set.

Some got artistic with their pictures.

A lot of MST3K-themed photos, no surprise.

So that should give you a good overview of this fun Fan Subset. Got back one of my own from the autograph exchange. Rock on, indeed.

There's 72 signed fan cards here, with the remainder apparently being the non-US fans who are having their cards dealt with separately due to the slowness of international mail. Hopefully everything goes according to plan there and the import autographs are soon added to the gang here.

I still need to post about all the other MST cards I've gotten in the past several months-- the rest of Series Four's highlights, plus a very large amount of Series Three from early last year, and the MST-adjacent set for Manos: The Hands of Fate. Lots of great sketchcards and autographs among the cards there I need to get around to posting about one day.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

glowing cards bubble explosion imminent

We all know the sportscard market has gone nuts over the past year. A lot of old-school collectors are feeling squeezed out as demand and prices creep up on trading cards across the board.

But luckily for me, I appear to still be the only person on the entire planet who collects glow-in-the-dark cards, so at least that area of my collection has been flourishing just fine throughout everything. In fact, I've recently completed a couple of rare glowing sets that I considered white whales ("glowing whales"?) of mine for the past few years. And I was the lone bidder on both auctions! Hey, fine with me! I wouldn't be at all surprised if glow-in-the-dark cards skyrocket in popularity soon as the masses realize how frickin' amazing they are. But for now, I'll continue quietly working on my g.i.t.d. collection in the shadows. 

I had a search saved for these glowing Garfield cards-- a 3-card insert set-- for a couple years. I earlier picked up one off eBay and one off COMC (still waiting on my shipment with an estimated ship date of a month and a half ago), with just the "Sporting Garfield" card vexing me with the only copy I could find for sale being overpriced on COMC. But then an eBay seller listed an auction for 2 full sets (6 cards total) at a reasonable starting bid (less than the one card I needed on COMC), and like I said, I ended up being the lone bidder. Now I've got them all, multiple times. I basically collect "Tim Wallach style" when it comes to glow in the dark cards, so dupes are keepers too (--at least unless a compelling reason to trade them comes along-- You know, assuming Earth ever welcomes a second collector of glowing cards).

Lounging Garfield (upper right) was the first one I got, and was disappointed by the underwhelming glow performance-- I think the background dots are supposed to glow, but they are too small to really have a visual effect in the dark. So I didn't have high hopes for the other 2 cards, but I'm pleasantly surprised that they look a lot better, with help from backgrounds that glow a bit.

Boom! To glow-in-the-dark supercollectors like myself, these dinosaur cards from Farley's fruit snacks are the Cadillac of glowing cards (well, they are a bit longer than a standard card). These are the '52 Topps high numbers of the glowing card world, or maybe 2011 Update Mike Trout would be more apt, lol. I previously had 3 of the 4 cards in the set, only missing the Brontosaurus. Then a listing for the above lot popped up on eBay. Not only did I complete my set, but also got a second complete set, plus a couple extra Brontosauruses! And thanks to this lot, I discovered a variation with the Brontosaurus cards: 3 of the 4 here feature a yellow mark on tail (and a tiny cloud under the "y's" of the logo), yet the one on the right does not. Sure, just a printing flaw, but obviously not a random one-shot deal since I've got 3 of them. Kinda cool.

Love the skeletal glowing on these!

After landing this trio in separate wins, I officially deleted my saved search for 2018 Ginter glowing mini parallels. I want to like the things, but they don't glow very well and they're typically expensive (seeded just one per case). This Puig might end up being the final nail in my PC of his. He was fun for a while, but in recent years, well... still hasn't latched on with a team (since 2019), plus after some new "me too" allegations against him, and he's found himself off my wantlist. Adrian Beltre is still untouchable, though.. happy with that pickup. His former teammate Nomar Mazara is a semi-PC guy of mine-- setting his cards aside for the past few years-- but I think I'm cutting bait with him, as he just hasn't put it together to become more than a replacement-level player, and I'm not really attached enough to keep on collecting him. But this glowing mini is a keeper, of course.

The glowing looks something like this. Yawn. (oh wait, this photo is upside-down, but you get the idea.)

I mean, I'll still happily take them in trade, but I think I'm done buying these things.

Ok, this is now perhaps the top piece in my entire glow-in-the-dark card collection! Indie card guru RRParks will be mentioned a lot in upcoming posts. (One of his recent sets included a "fan subset" and I got my own card in it! Really should post about that one of these days.) Anyway, Richard Parks was doing a clear-out sale type of thing and I scored a complete set of the glow-in-the-dark cards from MST3K Series 2, plus an uncut sheet of them (above), and also a proof set of them without the glowing stuff on the cards. Super cool convergence of two of my favorite things: Mystery Science Theater 3000 and glow-in-the-dark cards.

I also got both a regular (cut) set and an uncut sheet of the glow-in-the-dark Three Stooges cards from a few years back. I had previously only been able to track down one of them. My favorite of these is Moetropolis.. (I'm fascinated by the old Metropolis silent film.)

I wasn't even previously aware of these other RRParks glow-in-the-dark cards that Richard was kind enough to dig up from his archives for my order.

And I also got these 3 as an uncut panel, too. I'm not really familiar with the subjects, but nonetheless thrilled to add more glow-in-the-dark cards to my collection. 

I got a couple 20-card frames like this from my wife back at Christmas '19 and if you've been wondering what I was ultimately going to do with them, well one of them has been used for my MST3K autos and the other one for a glow-in-the-dark card display. I think I've got a nice variety here.

Looks good in the dark, right?! These aren't set in stone-- heck, I swapped one out right before taking the photo-- but I'm liking this group. The frame is hanging on the wall in my glow-in-the-dark museum (a.k.a. basement bathroom).

For more of this kind of stuff, check out the main Glow-In-The-Dark Cards page, which I try to keep reasonably updated though I still need to add the new things from this post.

Thanks for reading and keep on glowin'!

Friday, March 26, 2021

Shining cards

Earlier in the week I snuck out a little challenge for readers to identify a certain baseball card visible in the film The Shining. Congrats to Fuji for deftly solving the mystery! We'll recap that in a minute, but first some cards... three shiny refractor autos from 2003 Topps Retired.

Juan Marichal! Very happy to score this recently. I love these things, and this one is particularly pleasing to look at.

It was less than a year ago that I landed the '05 Retired Marichal refractor auto, and he didn't get an auto in the '04 set, so that means it's a Retired wrap on the Dominican Dandy for me.

Same with Moose Skowron here-- I already owned his '05 Retired refractor, and he didn't get an auto in '04, so this sweet '03 refractor takes his name off my Retired needs.

Five-time World Series champ.

Last one for today is George Foster taking a big cut at the plate. This is also the last Retired card I needed of his-- I've already got his '04 refractor and he doesn't have an auto in the '05 set.

The base version of this card is one of the more-plentiful autos in the set, but the refractor pops up much less frequently. This one had been loitering on eBay for a while a little overpriced, but I finally pulled the trigger during the same celebratory shopping spree as the similar Tom Seaver I showed off a few posts back.

Dig this photo of a redder look at the shining George Foster.

Now about The Shining...

Ok, here's the hidden card.. can you spot it?




Fuji was the first to correctly identify the card in question as 1978 Kellogg's 3-D Super Stars #10 George Foster.

In his own words: 

Haven't watched The Shining in awhile. I put it on right before class and between periods (on HBO Max) and saw the Frosted Flakes box in the pantry. It was hard to see from my laptop, so I played in on my television and knew it was a Kellogg's card. From there... I went over to COMC and looked at anything similar and the 78K Foster was the only card that resembled the card on the cereal box. I had a lot of fun solving that mystery.

Good work, Fuji!

For his effort, he's getting a Warren Spahn auto as his selected prize from what other product than of course 2003 Topps Retired, LOL, tying the post together nicely.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend, everybody.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

a couple ACTUAL blogger trades

It's starting to feel like if you want to trade cards online anymore, you'd better carve out a few months to enter your collection into TCDB, because that's where the action is. Not counting occasional friendly blind packages/PWEs from buddies, working out "this for that" trades with fellow bloggers has pretty much died, at least for me. I had been getting discouraged by failed attempts to swap cardboard in recent weeks. One fellow blogger I reached out to said he'd get back to me but never did. And another guy just ignored me completely.. which left me a bit RAZzled because I thought we were buds.

But then in my darkest hour, a couple blogger trades came together in quick succession that helped brighten my outlook on the matter.

This first one is a biggie! The Diamond King found himself with a scare variation of a card he intended to buy thanks to a ditzy seller, and I was able to put together a strong trade offer for him. In fact, it might have been too good, because he was reluctant to agree to the deal because he thought I was giving up too much. That's refreshing! But I was able to assure him that most of what I was offering were dupes for me so I wouldn't really miss them. He offered to throw in a few more cards on his end and a deal was struck.

Bellinger RC! And this isn't just his rookie card.. and not just any old SP variation.. but the SSP variation! The "Pointing; Gray Jersey" Super Short Print, to be specific. It's a tough card to find.

My fan loyalty lies with the San Diego Padres, but as a baseball fan, I can still appreciate an exciting player like Cody Bellinger, stumbling into a few nice cards of the guy.. and this makes for an awesome jewel in my little CB PC. I hope he bounces back for a terrific season (as long as the Dodgers finish behind San Diego).

This would have been plenty in itself, but a few great bonus cards were along for ride...

A couple early Javier Baez cards plus a shiny Lux. Nice.

A pair of Ginter hits! Love 'em.

And a couple '64 Topps needs for my slow-going setbuild (begun Sep 2015, currently 75.7% complete).  Very appreciated! Ken Boyer was NL MVP that year and helped the Cardinals slay the Yankees that October. As for the rookie stars, Mike Shannon had a decent 9-year career with St. Louis, while Harry Fanok didn't have much success in the majors, but his nickname was "The Flame Thrower" and he has a very long SABR bio he co-wrote that I have no doubt is worth the read if one were to have the time.

That wraps up this big trade. I'll leave it to Kevin show off his side of the deal if he wants, but I think it was a strong offering including a vintage graded all-time great, early cards of some current hot names, and a hard-to-find insert featuring his top PC guy. I rarely sell cards, so I often wind up with solid cards haunting my tradeables until the right deal comes along. So this was a win-win for me. Cleared out some big dupes and landed an impressive return.

Thanks again for the trade, Kevin!

-   -   - - --o

The other mailing to feature today is a PWE from hiflew over at the revived Cards from the Quarry blog. He's been offering up a bunch of good stuff in trade bait posts recently and I found 6 cards of PC guys of mine that caught my eye. According to my email archives, we had a prior trade way back in Feb 2014, so this second trade was way overdue! Honestly, I don't recall trading with a Rockies collector since then, so it wasn't too hard to find a few cards from his wantlist to offer him in exchange.

These are all serial-numbered, ranging from /35 (Tony Perez) to /1998 (Sterling Hitchcock). I think the horizontal refractors might be my favorite of the lot, though I also have a thing for 2015 Bowman parallels such as that blue Gyorko.

Good stuff. Thanks again, man! Hopefully there's not such a long gap between our next trade.