Thursday, June 20, 2019

Post #143 - Hoodwinked or Pleased?

The sporadic posts (can they even be considered sporadic at this point?) continue, as we re-visit an eBay purchase from a few months back.

I think at this point all readers are familiar with my Shawn Green collection. As I continue to try and grow it, I find myself searching for new and unique collectibles on top of my card search. I have several items on my Amazon wishlist that fit the "collectible-but-not-a-trading-card" category.

One of my saved eBay searches is "Shawn Green Printing Plate". I never want to miss an opportunity to bid on one if it were to come up, and until recently one never had.

Then I got the notification.

I'll spare the dramatics and just come right out and say that there was a 2001 Pacific Back Printing Plate available. I let it sit for a period of time, while I did some research, and quite frankly I don't think it's legitimate.

Here, take a look:

Very thin metal. The scan is slightly crooked, the "plate" is not. And there's just too much color for me to comfortably call this legitimate. Throw in the fact that everything I've read online indicates that Pacific never issued 2001 Printing Plates in packs, and I'm quite sure this isn't real.

That being said, I bought it using a bit of reserve cash and a nice coupon, so the price out of pocket is what I would consider fair for a very unique Shawn Green item for my collection. This "plate" will find a niche in the appropriate binder along with other Shawn Green mis-cuts and oddball items.

The seller also threw in two bonus cards as well, something I suspect was done because they knew this plate wasn't legitimate.

These are both from the 2004 Upper Deck National Trading Card Day multi-sport set. The Griffey is a beautiful add to my Reds collection, but the Sosa would be available if anyone wanted to claim it. Otherwise, I'll file it away until I finally get organized and really open up trading - by the end of 2019, if I'm lucky!

Ultimately, authentic plate or not, I'm pleased with the outcome of this purchase, and it's always nice to add a unique piece to my personal collection. If you've stuck around this long, thanks for reading - with a little luck, I'll get caught up on the two packages from Remember the Astrodome I still need to blog about soon...

Until next time, take care!


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Post #142 - BYOB

No, not Bring Your Own Beer - although if you're kicking back on this Thirsty Thursday (or whenever you read this) and taking in a few adult beverages, I tip my cap to you. You probably earned it!

The BYOB here refers to "Build Your Own Blaster", a concept I've seen on the blogs once or twice and something I did (albeit inadvertently at first) last week. As I did last year, I ran a NCAA March Madness tournament challenge on the Trading Card Database, with the winner getting $15 to COMC on me, and second place $10 to COMC, also on me. At the same time, I cashed in myself and racked up 12 cards (11 I needed) for my own collection - shipped for less than the $20 blaster of 2019 Topps Series 1 would have cost me at Wal-Mart.

I still have a package from Remember the Astrodome I need to show off here, but I'm taking quick advantage of the fact that I'm putting away these cards to blog about them at the same time. So without further ado, let's get to it!

Most scans tonight are once again courtesy of the Trading Card Database. I'll show off what makes up the bulk of my order in a moment, but at the end I did a quick filtered search for early Buster Posey cards.

This 2009 TriStar Obak turned up at a reasonable price, so into the cart it went. I'm always happy to add early Buster Posey's to the Hoard, and this one is no exception. The price tag? $1.55

Running total: $1.55

This one also was a late addition for an affordable price:

From 2001 SP Game Used Edition, this "Authentic Fabric" insert set me back a whopping $1.71. I like the stitching being part of this jersey piece as well - it adds a little character to a card and swatch that would otherwise be pretty blah.

Running total: $3.26

The remainder of the order is made up of my COMC specialty: go to Matt Mantei, filter by lowest price first, and pick off as many cards that I need as possible for under $1.00.

Not one that I needed...dammit Jason, this is why we have lists! I wasn't thinking and added this one to my cart when it's one that I already had. Luckily it was a mere $0.99. I'm sure I can find a good home for it with my dad though.

Running total: $4.25

Pretty thrilled to add this 1994-95 Fleer Excel minor league Mantei to the collection. Appleton was in the Midwest League - I don't know for sure, but I think they may have become the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

Minus the fact that they used the same picture on the back, I like the reverse enough to show it too. On the cheaper end of the spectrum, this was a $0.69 deal.

Running total: $4.94

This 1999 Topps Chrome Traded and Rookies now joins it's non-Chrome counterpart in the Mantei collection - and only cost me $0.60. This scan I borrowed looks a little cut off at the top, but no worries - mine is in pretty good shape.

Running total: $5.54

Another parallel for which I already had the base card for, this 2000 Upper Deck MVP Silver Script cost $0.78. I'm diggin' the patch on his left sleeve.

Running total: $6.32

Excuse the poor picture on this one. I took it oddly in hopes that you can see it's not an extra copy of the 2001 Topps base card, but rather the Employee Edition parallel, as denoted by the embossed stamp on the front. This was one of those cards that I wasn't sure of the scarcity of, so finding it for exactly $0.85 is a win in my book.

I always liked the Upper Deck Victory sets, and while this one reminds me more of a Collector's Choice set than Victory, it's another one to cross off the list, for a total of $0.85 as well.

Running total: $8.02

This one is probably my favorite of the package.

Numbered to just 499 copies, this Gold Refractor from 2003 Topps Chrome is a suh-weet edition for just $1.24. And the one I acquired is number 50 of 499. I'm not usually a sucker for particular serial numbers, but I do like a nice round one like 50 when I find it!

Running total: $9.26

To wrap things up, here's the final three, all parallels from various 2004 sets:

2004 Topps Gold, numbered 1657/2004 (and now I only need the Black /52 to complete the Topps rainbow for 2004). $0.89.

2004 Topps Chrome Refractor, which is a poor picture but the intent was to show off the rainbow-style refractor the way it looks in hand. $0.70.

2004 Upper Deck Vintage Black and White joins the base card - and now I have the two card rainbow from that set. $0.95.

Running total: $11.80

I should add that all of the above prices include an extra $0.25 for a toploader. Throw in $6.99 shipping and a little tax, and you have a grand total of $19.92. I gotta say, I'm pretty pleased with all of that for under a Hamilton.

And now I have 41/151 Matt Mantei cards, good for 27.2% and the number one ranking on the Trading Card Database! Actually I already had the #1 ranking, but the lead has strengthened!

Think you can help add to my Mantei collection? Check out my wantlist here and let's talk! I appreciate it if you've read all my rambling tonight. Hopefully this weekend I can get another post or two up and work on some packages that I really need to get out to other collectors (Night Owl, Marc, Billy Kingsley, and probably a few more).

However, it's a very real possibility that I don't post - and if not, have a Happy Easter, and thanks for reading!


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Post #141 - Mama We Made It

Don't worry, I'm still around. Yes, it's been a shade over a month since I posted last. I've been taking on more responsibility at work, leading to some longer hours, and in turn that's allowed the to-do list outside of the office rear it's ugly, ever-growing head. Baseball cards and blogging have just had to take a back seat. I think we've all been there. That said, you can expect sporadic posts from me over the next several months I would imagine, as the baseball season kicks in to high gear and the workload continues to at least stay steady.

However, I would be remiss if I didn't use a mildly free evening to display one of the packages I've neglected for far too long. Night Owl Cards is a staple of the blogging community - someone else would have to confirm, but he might be the current longest-running blog out there. Ever since I started this blog I hoped to somehow get on one of those first-name, surprise-package basis with him. That, to me, would mean I was no longer the new guy, and had arrived.

Shortly before Super Bowl Sunday, that dream was realized when a fat bubble mailer from New York was found shoved in my mailbox.

Oh crap.

26 cards from my long-neglected 2017 Topps Opening Day set build.

Lightning-Butt Ellsbury will never get old.

It's my intention to build the base set, including variations, plus all of the basic insert sets (no relics, signatures or printing plates though).

Of course I intend to do the same with the entire Opening Day run, dating back to 1998. My 2017 set took a huge leap forward with these cards from NO. I think it's time I wrap up the 1994 Fun Pack set and focus my energies on some of these OD sets.

I just picked out a few of my favorite cards from this package to show here, like that James Shields (love those Sox uniforms) and a quiet tribute to Ichiro (one helluva hitter).

That makes up 2/3rds of the package. I will be showing the other 13 cards individually here - sorry about it. If you aren't interested in Shawn Green, you may want to skip to the end.

I can definitely have too many 1990 Donruss Rick Aguilera cards. But I can never have too many Shawn Green cards, especially young ones. Because of that fact, this duplicate is welcomed with open arms.

A pair of 2000s and a 2001 that make very nice additions. Love the 2000 E-X set.

Here's a pair of 2002s. The scans aren't great (borrowed from the TCDB) but enough to get the gist. The T206 is actually an insert from that set; I don't know much about it but I'm intrigued.

Hello holofoil beauty! That's an All-Star insert from 2003 Topps.

Three 2004 cards that I've never seen before - not just for Green, but any of those sets. I really like the Etchings from Upper Deck and the skyline in the Studio cards.

To wrap things up, here's a couple pictures of two cards that didn't have scans on the TCDB - one I would add if I had a scanner, and one that wouldn't meet site guidelines:

How about a mini from that 2002 T206 set? This is the "A" version of the Piedmont back - I guess the "B" version doesn't have the bat.

Finally, we have this spectacularly mis-cut 2002 Fleer Ultra card. Yeah, that sliver off to the left isn't this card. I don't go out of my way to seek out mis-cut cards or the like, but I will gladly take them in a situation like this. In fact, whenever I get around to paging my Shawn Green cards, any mis-cuts and anomalies will likely get their own section.

Night Owl, I thank you so much for this generous package. I apologize for how long it took me to publish a public thank you. I'm (slowly) working on piecing together a return for you, a bit at a time. Hopefully I can get it out your way soon.

If you're still reading, thank you. If you're still following my blog, thank you. If you're understanding of my absences, thank you. I truly appreciate it. Hopefully it won't be long before I'll be pounding out more words for everyone. Have a great evening!


Saturday, February 23, 2019

Post #140 - Giveaways for Anniversaries

Usually, when a celebration is held for a milestone like an anniversary, gifts are given to those who are celebrating. Birthdays, anniversaries, graduation, whatever the case may be. However, it seems to be the opposite in the collecting hobby.

The most recent such example came my way through a post on the Trading Card Database. Vrooomed, or Dan as many of us know him by, is celebrating 40 years in the hobby in 2019. As such, he decided to hold a little giveaway for 40 participants. I do take a little credit here, because during the 12 Days of Giving this year, Dan and I had a few conversations and he mentioned utilizing the randomization idea in his own giveaway!

To make a long story short, the 40 names were randomized, and the first name got their pick of one of 40 prizes. In addition, Dan threw in an additional 39 cards to make a package of 40 for everyone!

I ended up 17th. And while all the prizes were really good, there was really only one that fit my collection. Luckily, it was still available:

No, I'm not the newest Titus Davis supercollector. But I've detailed before (or at least I think I have) that if I don't have someone's autograph, I want it on a card. I didn't have a Davis AU - but now I do!

Disclaimer here: part of the reason it's taken me so long to post, and why I'm only showing this one card, is because my dumb self wasn't thinking, and put the 39 Reds cards Dan sent my way right into my box to be sorted out, where they got mixed in and are no longer able to be individually picked out. Ugh!

Regardless, the signature on this sticker looks like something a young child would do first learning how to write in cursive. And that's not necessarily a knock on Davis; after all, he was all of 22 years old (maybe even 21) signing his name here. But the young guys always crack me up.

Another Central Michigan alumni (like one of my PC guys Dan LeFevour and my older sister), his brother is Corey Davis from Western Michigan University (and probably more well known). Davis has yet to play in an NFL game, but hey, I'm happy to add his signature to my collection.

Dan, thanks for your generosity in hosting this giveaway. You've always been a stand up member of our hobby, and I hope that I can send some Phillies your way soon; it's the least that I can do!

Thanks for reading this on a Saturday afternoon (or whenever you do...). I've got two more packages I still need to recap, so hopefully I can get on myself and get those up soon. As always, thanks for reading!


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Post #139 - Area 40 Results

I think by now many of us are aware that Wes over at Area 40 held a massive, free group break over Christmas, and mailed out all of the winnings to those who claimed spots. It's been said countless times how cool this was, as Wes truly went out with a bang.

Perhaps the coolest thing, however, was the fact that Wes left this open to pretty much anybody. I was already on the receiving end of his generosity once, and seeing as my awareness of Wes came pretty late into his run, it didn't seem right to jump in and grab a bunch of spots, even though I believe the limit was five.

That being said, I did see an opportunity to snag my Reds, and I was able to do so. I gotta say, the results are pretty incredible.

Based on everything that I've seen, Wes sent out a grouping of Sports Illustrated for Kids cards in each mailer. This one in particular holds a solid spot in my collection, but the rest will also be filed away for the time being, as I haven't seen SI for Kids cards in years. This particular Hamilton seems to come from 2015.

As far as the hits that my slot in the break yielded, well, they're pretty sweet.

I tried cropping on my iPhone camera as I'm still without a scanner, so no, this card isn't horribly miscut, just horribly mis-cropped. I've been a pretty big fan of 2004 Topps Clubhouse Collection since I landed a couple in one of Colbey's group breaks a while back, and this Dunn is no exception. The swatch looks like it's from one of the pinstriped vests Adam is wearing (hard to tell, but you can see some white starting again above the red stripe if held at the right angle).

This Tony Perez is really an awesome get, mainly because I scored the black version numbered to 25 in Colbey's break - now I have the base version to go with it!

Rounding out my haul from the Clubhouse Collection grouping is this Dave Parker bat relic. No matter how many times I look at these cards, I can't get over how stunning they are in hand, and this one of The Cobra is no different.

I landed one more Reds hit from the group, and as is my tradition with autographed cards, it won't be joining the Reds collection, but rather the Green Binder:

Amir Garrett is one of the more exciting young arms on the Cincinnati staff, and he's also one of my favorite players on the roster, mainly due to his off-the-field fan interactions and good nature. I'm beyond pumped to slide this one into a spot in my autograph collection where it belongs!

Wes, I thank you for allowing me to be a part of your generosity, even if I did join the party a little late. You're a one-of-a-kind guy, and I certainly hope this isn't our final interaction, even if you're laying low on the collecting front these days.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for a few more backlogged posts over the next week or so. Happy Sunday!


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Post #138 - Another TCDB Trade

I actually feel like a very poor member of the blogging community. I just haven't had the time or effort to read many posts lately, let alone throw up some of mine. But I'm at the point where I owe lots of public recognition, and there's no use dwelling on the past, so let's jump right back into another trade from the Trading Card Database, which is where once again I got these images from.

I reached out to user jimetal7212 with an offer, sending him 15 off of his wantlist in exchange for seven cards for my personal collection. I'm always happy to send out more than I receive, especially if I can help the other person with their collections. Jim's PWE arrived Monday afternoon, and I'm thrilled with the results.

Leading things off (get it? Lineup card) is this "Scratch Off" insert for my 1994 Upper Deck Fun Pack set build. This is the first of these that I've added in my quest, but I used to have a ton. 10 year old me liked scratching them off and playing as many games as possible, however, so very few (if any) exist inside these walls anymore.

If you happen to have any of the other ones I need, or anything else from that set on my wantlist, let me know!

Another card from 1994 was also included in the swap.

This 1994 Score Rookies & Traded Gold Rush parallel is a nice pickup for me. Why? I'm now at almost half of Green's 1994 cards (17/35). It's not that big of an accomplishment, but it feels good knowing that I could theoretically cross off an entire year of more than just a couple cards by the end of the year if I really tried.

The back is identical to the base back, minus the Gold Foil designation in the lower right of the picture.

I also only snagged one Buster Posey from Jim's tradelist:

A very pretty 2015 Stadium Club. Insert typical (and well-deserved) rave about Stadium Club photography here.

Minus only one year of stats on the back, I actually liked the backs of the 2015 set as well. I think it's the lines winding from one corner to another that triggers it for me.

My Reds collection got a boost from these two 2018 Topps Update pitchers. Harvey was really fun for the half of a season the Reds had him, and I'm glad he was able to have a solid-ish season in Cincinnati. Romano is one of the most exciting parts of the rotation over the next few years in my eyes, and I'm hoping he can reach all of his immense potential.

Finally, I added a couple more Joey Votto's to my budding PC:

Two pretty basic base cards here - I didn't land either one of these two in the pack of each that I opened in 2018.

I also didn't get this one:

I was super excited to grab this Player's Weekend Nickname variation of Votto from the Big League set. Okay, variation might not be the right word, but it's supposedly Short Printed. For those wondering, "Tokki 2" is Korean for "rabbit" and stems from Votto's friendship with Shin-Soo Choo, who spent a couple of years in Cincinnati's outfield. Choo's jersey read "Tokki 1" - pretty cool connection there, in my opinion.

Jim, thanks for a great, smooth trade. I'm thrilled to file these cards away and mark them off of their respective wantlists. If you're on TCDB, take a look at jimetal7212's lists and see if you can't help him out!

As always, thanks for reading, and have a great rest of your day!