Monday, January 29, 2018

Post #86 - A Gift for a Gift

TCDB user mzentko is one of the most generous members on the site. Mark was the winner of a couple of cards during the "Season of Giving" and although it was supposed to be an opportunity for me to give away cards, Mark wanted to send something back my way. A small PWE arrived the other day, and let's take a look at the contents:

First up is a new Posey. Counting the haul from the show Saturday, that's 23 new Posey cards in less than a week.

A quartet of Shawn Green cards rounded out the package, and they were all needs. The A&G in the lower left is a need, although I wasn't sure at first.

Mark, thank you for this package. It was completely unnecessary but still very much appreciated. If you're on the TCDB, hit up mzentko and help him with his Cardinals or Redskins collection!

As always, thanks for reading.


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Post #85 - Card Show Recap

WARNING: Long post.

I went to a card show yesterday.

I haven't been able to say that since, well, whenever this ticket is from:

Doing some research shows me that Chicago hosted it in 2002, 2005, and 2008 (yes, among other years, but it's one of those three). Pretty sure it was 2005, as that would put me at age 10. So there ya have it. I went to my first card show in 13 years yesterday.

And I was disappointed.

Let's go back a bit. In a thread on the TCDB, Cory F. (username ShoTime) mentioned that there was a show in Quincy, Illinois, at the Quincy Mall this weekend. Lou Brock would be there signing autographs from 1:00-3:00, but only for the first 225 fans with a ticket. How do you get a ticket? Well, you don't pay any money, but you better be one of the first 225 in line when the mall opens at 10:00 and they start giving out tickets.

I found out about the show Thursday night and since I had nothing going on, I figured that I would drive up Saturday. I sat down, dug through the three or four boxes that I have in Missouri with me, and found one Lou Brock card:

Seems like a good start. At this point, my plan was as follows:

5:30 AM wake up (I'm an early riser anyway)

6:30 AM arrive at the mall and scope out the line.

One of two things happen from here: either the line is already ridiculous and I go home and go back to bed, or it's not bad and I bite the bullet and wait for three and a half hours to get a ticket.

I'm a Reds fan. Lou Brock autographs are $15.00 on COMC. And it sounds like the line was crazy. I chose to sleep in and didn't worry about Brock, so that plan was destroyed Friday night.

I arrived at the show at 2:00. I walked in with $20 cash in my pocket and left the rest of my wallet in the car. The first table I looked at had several high end cases with big name football and baseball autographs; "hits" if you will. Then I saw the plastic bin at the other end of the table full of toploaders. That is what I came for. I walked over to it, and was met with a sight that was disappointing to say the least.

Cards were scattered in it haphazardly. No sense of organization, no sense of order. Just tossed in like someone decided that these 200 toploaded cards were coming with them in case someone might throw some money their way. Yeah, I didn't spend long there.

I moved on to the next table and found a few cardboard boxes of memorabilia and autographed cards in toploaders. These were organized in neat rows and easy to read. Prices were on the back, according to the guy running the booth. I flipped through memorabilia card after autograph card, hoping to see one of my PC guys. And I did.

Shawn Green jersey card that I didn't have.


Nope. Remember that eBay bargain bin card I grabbed for $1.99 last week? I'm not paying $10.00 for a non-serial numbered memorabilia card from 2003. Just not going to happen. I didn't stay at that table long after that either.

The next table had a lot of 2017 Topps Chrome, Donruss Optic, Topps Tek, and stuff like that boxed up. Great for set fillers, not so much for this guy. Nothing jumped out and bit me, so I gave the boxes a cursory look and moved on.

Two more tables to go before I get into the Brock signing area that's packed with people. Translation: two more tables to go before I call it quits. I should add a note here that I went into this show with no expectations. I didn't take a wantlist; I didn't bring much cash; I didn't set my heart on spending money. I was looking forward to digging through some boxes, maybe finding a couple of cheap PC adds (I'm missing so many base, flagship cards from my PCs) and just enjoying the atmosphere, so if I found nothing I wouldn't be brokenhearted.

But I did find something. And I think I did okay, to be honest.

That second to last table had a dime box. Yeah. 10 cents per card. Sorted by team, although with only a few teams there. So what did I do? Flipped right to the divider that said "Giants/Posey/Bumgarner". And I found the following beauties:

I only scanned the horizontal card alone because it was horizontal. Nothing else special. Anyway, if you're counting, that's 19 new Posey cards from the dimebox. Awesome. No doubt. I'll take them. Let's ride.

After the gentleman running the booth came over and took them, he saw who they were and pointed me to a binder over on another of his tables, entitled "Young Stars". Cards in there were a buck a piece, so I bit and took a look.

Some shine, some serial numbers, and some three dollars later these were all packaged up in a team bag and in my hand for a total of $5. I'll take it. For reference, the Press Proof is numbered 121/199, and the Green Chrome is 73/99.

At this point, I was in a pretty good mood and with only one table left, I was excited to see if I could find any other personal treasures. I got to the final table and boom. Vintage. Tons of it. Looked like every set from 1960-1975 in binders. Goudey cards in glass cases. And what immediately attracted my eye: a stack of 1955 Topps All-American football cards.

The dealer came over, and I inquired about them. He pulled them out, then pulled out another box from underneath. I told him I've always wanted a Four Horsemen card, and maybe an Army player. He found one of each. Knowing that the Four Horsemen card was out of my budget anyway, I figured I would ask him what price he was looking at for the two.


For this, and this. $650. The look of disgust and horror upon my face must have been apparent, because the dealer immediately took an approach of "what-did-you-expect" and put his cards away as I backed up into a wall.

Seriously. This was upsetting. And I left after that, Posey cards in hand. Happy about 22 new Posey cards for $5, yes. But outside of that? I did not enjoy the show at all, to be honest. And I think there were two reasons:

1) Way too much overpriced vintage and overpriced "hits". I talked with ShoTime about this as well, and he agreed that things were way overpriced. In my opinion, there is so much of this case breaking going on with Joe Schmoe trying to hit that Aaron Judge 1/1 or Cody Bellinger relic, that a lesser hit must be sold for more in order to try and recoup all the money they sank into it.

2) Maybe because it's a small, local show, but I felt (and heard) that there was a lot of dealers with the approach of "I'm smarter than you" and customers thinking they were striking a bargain because they knew more. Basically a nasty game of who is better/smarter. Case in point, vintage guy.

It just wasn't as fun of an atmosphere as I had hoped for. I like collecting communities who open some packs or boxes, keep what they want, and trade the rest away to others who appreciate it more. And there's nothing wrong with selling; but there is something wrong with pricing things to a ridiculous amount just hoping to make some quick cash.

With that, I've reached the end of my long, rambling rant post. So now, dear readers, I turn to you. Have you been to a show recently? What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my opinions or think I'm way off base? Share below (and you won't offend me, don't worry). As always, thanks for reading and have a restful Sunday!


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Post #84 - I Love Nachos

No, seriously. You guys (and gals) ever go to a little bar to have some drinks with friends, and someone gets hungry, and before you know it, a heaping plate of nachos is headed your way? Piled high with ground beef, melted cheese, black olives, pico de gallo, and all the other toppings...minus jalapenos. But I digress. The point of this is that I got to enjoy a whole box of Nachos this season...sort of.

Chris over at Nachos Grande did his own Season of Giving this year, although much more elaborate and generous than mine. Chris took a team, stuffed a priority mail box full of cards from that said team, and sent it to you. All you had to do was request a team! I missed the first go-round, but when he did a second call and I saw the Reds were still available, you can bet that I put in my nacho order ASAP! (Okay, now I've taken the nacho thing to a weird level. I'll stop that).

I'm starting this at 11:30 AM CST, on 1/19/18. Let's see how long it takes me to get through this box. Seriously. That's how full it was. However, I'll also be logging this into the TCDB as well, so that will add some time. I'm not going to scan every card. Instead, I'll hit some highlights as we go along. Trust me, there's plenty.


Chris sent along most of the 1981 Fleer team set, as well as a good chunk of 1984 and 1985 Topps towards those team set builds. But here are some of my favorite little oddballs from the 1980s:

My first TCMA card, and it's of Billy Martin, one of the most interesting figures in baseball in my opinion. Excited about this one!

Shame on me for missing that this one was O-Pee-Chee the first time I went through it. And it's Dave Concepcion to boot; score!

1985 Eric Davis Topps rookie! Along with a few friends from that set, this card moved me to just two away from completing the 85T team set.

This 1987 Topps Boardwalks and Baseball card is suh-weeet. First of it's kind to enter my collection as well.

This really cool Eric Davis pop-up/stand-up card was in there as well, but I can't find any information on the Database about it. Hopefully I can turn up some info, because I'd like to know more about the card! It's a 1988 Donruss All-Star Pop Up. Amazing what you can overlook!


The 1990's in this box showed much less of a representation than one might think, but the amazing thing is that I think they were all needs. Below are a couple highlights from the 1990s:

I love food oddballs. I really love cereal cards. And I really, really love Barry Larkin cereal oddballs, even if they're unlicensed.

This Fleer - Sports Illustrated "Covers" insert of Neon Deion is pretty cool. Definitely got a unique feeling in hand, and I really like the concept of it.

1999 Pacific Revolution is a set that was previously un-represented in my collection, Reds or otherwise. No longer, thanks to Mike Cameron here. I like shiny in the 1990s. It screams "wacky 90s!" Now it's just an excuse for another Aaron Judge parallel. But I digress.

Not shown in the 90's section is the complete base team set from 1999 UD Choice...all three cards. Yay, completed team set! Boo, now for the inserts and parallels...


My favorite thing about the 2000s and this box? Young Joey Votto cards! For those wondering, I'm a PC guy first. That means any Votto cards that I don't already have are going into the Votto collection first. Duplicates can go into the Reds collection.

Also not shown here, Chris is working on the 2000 Fleer Tradition set, which is good for me, as he dumped most of the team set on me. I'm only five cards short, I believe.

This 2002 Fleer Maximum Larkin jumped out at me right away. I don't know if the entire set was done in red borders, or if each team had their own colored border, but this works for Cincinnati!

Always liked the 2005 Upper Deck Classics set, but never saw much of it, so I'm happy to add one to my collection now.

I remember this Ring of Honor insert from football sets, but wasn't aware there was a baseball one until now. This is from 2009, and Bench is the only Reds player in the insert set.

Alright, show of hands. Who out there knew that Christy Mathewson actually played for the Reds? To be honest, I had forgotten. But he actually made his last MLB start (and got his last win) as a player-manager for the Reds in 1916.


I'm only showing off one card from this decade, but it's a doozy. My "hit" in the box was this 2015 A&G relic of Brandon Phillips. My first Reds relic (of course, I haven't been chasing them long) and it's a damn fine piece of cardboard if I do say so myself.

Before we wrap this up, let's see the cards that were in the box that are going to make their way into my PC binder (i.e., Joey Votto and Reds team cards)

Three new team cards for the binder slide in quite nicely, as it's been a while since I could add to that page. Meanwhile, my Votto collection...

...picks up eight (count 'em, eight!) new cards. Awesome to add some more there, and I'll have to get an updated count up soon!

With that, I've reached the end of my rambling...28 hours later. It took me long enough to get this up, but Chris, I can't thank you enough for your generosity and sending this box. Not only did you just send me one, but you sent 29 or so more to other team collectors. Just another reason the people in this hobby are the best. Give Nachos Grande a follow; you won't regret it!

Finally, with just 11 days left in the month, I'm making one of my last calls for JD Pierce and William Carter to get ahold of me with their contact info. Their blogger profiles yield nothing, and if I don't hear from them by February, the cards that they won are going back into the FS/T box until someone else takes them.

Sorry for the long, rambling post, but I hope you enjoyed seeing the goodies Chris packed in the box. As always, thanks for reading.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Post #83 - Bargain Bins on eBay

Getting a quick post up. Normally, I wouldn't do this, as I still have two boxes from Nachos Grande and Billy Kingsley to recap, but I was having scanner issues lately and figured a one-card post was probably best tonight.

I received a card in the mail today. Lately, I've been trying to back off eBay a little bit, as I don't allow myself to transfer money into my PayPal. Instead, my PayPal (and in turn my online spending) is controlled by what I sell. I've got a few auctions up on eBay now and I hope to line my virtual wallet with a little spending cash in a few days. But I couldn't pass this one up.

This is one of those cards that when I first started collecting, I had no idea existed. Heck, I still didn't even know until I saw it pop up on eBay. Sure, shiny caught my eye. But so did the $0.99 BIN.

Woof. She's pretty. The catch for me though was the shipping. Yeah, there's a lot of $0.99 cent cards out there, but it kills to make a $0.99 cent deal a $3.99 deal.

I get it. I ship too. Shipping isn't cheap when done in a bubble mailer. In all honesty, I would just as soon get a properly packaged card in a PWE to save the money on shipping. But that's neither here nor there, because the shipping on this under-a-dollar card was...$1.00.

Shiny? Check.

Shawn Green that I didn't have? Check

Jersey card? Check

$1.99 total purchase price? Hell yes.

It's a little silly to get so worked up over one simple card, I know. Here's the back:

Excuse my quick, sloppy scanning job. It's not even serial numbered! But a card that I never thought I'd own is now mine, and I'm pretty happy about that. It also helps that in a card shop on a good day, I'd plop down $3-$5 for this puppy, so I feel that I committed highway robbery here.

Of course, this doesn't come without a story. I received this bubble mailer in the dreaded clear plastic bag of the USPS "we-screwed-this-up-and-didn't-mean-to-here's-our-apology" department. The bubble mailer was ripped open with a large black mark on it, almost like a tire tread. Okay, I get it. It happens. The toploader itself was ruined due to the same type of mark. Luckily the card inside was fine, and I certainly don't blame the seller.

But that's twice in two days the USPS has delivered something like this to me. For more on the other issue, either ask Cooler Brian or I can tell you later, but I've rambled enough tonight.

Shawn Green Card Count: 113/4,126 (2.7%)

Thanks for reading, and have a great rest of your evening!


Monday, January 15, 2018

Post #82 - Gavin Breaks It Down

Okay, I'm pretty sure that title has been used before, so forgive me, whoever already used it. But that's not the point of this post. The point, dear readers, is to show off the envelope that arrived for me from Portland on Saturday. I had gone home to my parents for the weekend, and arrived just about the same time.

A little while back I fired off a small bubble mailer with some PC cards for Gavin at Baseball Card Breakdown, and he was so kind as to hit me back with a few Shawn Green cards for my PC. Let's take a look at the contents, shall we?

Woof! Gavin outdid himself here. A couple dupes but that's alright. I don't hardly have any extra cards left from my Shawn Green PC, so now I can take one or two and try a TTM request if I can find an address. Note that the left-most horizontal cards look the same, but the bottom one is actually the Electric Diamond parallel. 

Perhaps the coolest card in the bunch, however, was a different player that I collect:

This Derek Jeter custom was drummed up by Gavin and generously included in my package. I assume it's a custom, due to the 2017 BCB tagline on the back. What a piece of art! Thanks for the unique card Gavin; this definitely holds down a spot in my Jeter collection and is just awesome!

If you aren't reading his blog, I highly recommend that you do. He just posted some awesome trade bait from his latest card show and his collection, so get over there and check it out! He also just started a new Twitter feed focusing on the San Diego Padres, so give him a follow @PadresBreakdown.

A quick PSA: if anyone knows how to get ahold of William Carter or JD Pierce, I still need their contact info for my Season of Giving (yeah, yeah, I'm waaaaay behind, but almost there). I'm finishing that up this week, and setting a deadline of February 1 for them to reach out. Otherwise the two cards will be going back into the tradebox and probably wind up in next year's Season of Giving!

Stay warm, safe, and careful out there, and as always, thanks for reading!


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Post #81 - First SportsLots Order

Okay, my sabbatical from blogging is over. I took a long break after the Season of Giving (although I'm still getting envelopes out; almost done) except for one post, but with this SportsLots order, Nachos Grande's own Season of Giving package showing up, Gavin's return package arriving today, and a box from Billy Kingsley that I still owe, it's time to get back into it!

I hit a snag coming back from vacation, as our landlord called to tell us that a pipe had burst below our duplex and our apartment flooded. Luckily I only lost one card (a Mantei), but we did need to get new carpet. That being said, things were very jumbled around for a few days, and I was certainly scatterbrained.

So let's get started. Before I left for vacation around Christmas, I placed a small SportsLot order for six cards. Three Jeff Peterek cards that would finish off that PC, and three Ralf Mojsiejenko cards that would inch me to the "almost-done" range. Let's see what was in the two envelopes waiting for me, shall we?

I've actually only received five of the cards as of now, but have filed an issue with the other seller to hopefully resolve a situation. Also, excuse the quality of photographs here. I didn't get the scanner up and running until last night, but already had the photos taken.

Here are the two Mojsiejenko cards that I received so far. The top one is a 1988 Topps Sticker featuring Mike Lansford, and the bottom one is the 1989 Panini Sticker. I'm still hoping to get the 1986 Topps Sticker that I ordered.

This means that I'm only missing the 1989 Panini UK Sticker, 1990 Pro Set FACT Cincinnati, and the 1987 Topps Stickers (as well as the 1986 that I ordered).

Ralf Mojsiejenko Card Count: 19/23 (84.6%)

The other half of the order was supposed to finish the Peterek collection.  As you can guess by my tone, it didn't. I'll show why.

1990 ProCards AAA #648. Easy pickup here. Needed it, got it.

1990 ProCards #623. Another easy one. Needed it, got it, plus the extra Chuck McGrath card. Not sure if this was included accidentally or as a bonus, but I'm trying to track down McGrath to get this signed for the hell of it. Last I know he was a football coach at Dartmouth but doesn't appear to be there any longer.

Finally, picked up this card. There are two cards that have this same front; the 1990 CMC #26 with a yellow back, and the 1990 CMC Denver Zephyrs #1 with a green back. I need the green back. At this point, I'm sure you can guess what I got.

Yup; another yellow back. This makes about 73 in my collection. Okay, not that many. But I really don't need any more. I've got a question to another seller on SportLots asking if they have the green back, so hopefully I can sort this out.

Jeff Peterek Card Count: 15/16 (93.8%)

So close to finishing it! Hopefully by the end of the month.

So that's how my first SportsLot order finished up. Hopefully the other card I'm missing shows up, but otherwise I'll call it good for now.

Stay warm and safe out there, and as always, thanks for reading!