The Collective Mind

Continually adding your intellectual and philosophical distinctiveness about cardboard to our own.
Designation: GCA     Coordinates: Maryland, USA

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Musical Interlude #5 - Reach out for that dream ... card.

Taking a slight step back from the metal intensity I introduced the last time.  (There's plenty more of it on the way.)

This particular song was not one of his hits, but it stuck with me for a long time.  It's about dreaming of love, but always falling short of catching it.

And somehow somethin' always seems to escape me...
And I find myself holdin' on to nothin' more than a dream...

This was, of course, high school, and the prime years of my geekdom.  A self-proclaimed social pariah, my friends were all younger than me, so I hung out with them in my neighborhood playing sports - and collecting cards - even into the years when my peers from school were starting to party and date.  I would catch a proverbial glimpse of "fitting in" with the cool kids, or get a smile from a nice girl, but never really knew what to do about it.  I found an outlet for the frustration with louder and more intense metal music.

Billy Squier can be considered the main precursor to my hard rock and metal tastes.  A "gateway" artist if you will.  His was the second concert I ever saw.  September 12, 1984 at Merriweather Post Pavilion near Washington, DC.  Still have the ticket stub:

Still have most of my metal show stubs too.  Maybe in a future post I'll scan 'em and show 'em.

Well, my fellow geeks of the cardboard variety, we have dreams and frustrations within our hobby too.  That collecting goal ...that "white whale" ...that completed set ...master set ...rainbow ...or just that one elusive oddball or superstar card.  Sometimes it's scarcity, sometimes it's expense, sometimes it's just sheer volume that makes us yearn for the day that we'll hold one particular piece of pasteboard with somebody's picture on it. But until then, we go on through life waiting and watching....

So every day I'm out on the streets tryin' to make some sense of it...
You know sometimes it feels so close that I can almost reach out...
But it always slips away...

I keep tellin' myself..."I can't stop tryin'...not ever"...

Back when I first started collecting in 1978-ish, it was a major accomplishment to finish a whole entire set of cards from one product.  I finished 1979 Topps football, and then 1980 baseball in the first couple years.

I remember that last card I needed to finish my first set.  Shafer Suggs from the Jets. I allegedly made a really bad trade for it.  I can neither confirm or deny.  But I guess you could say ol' Suggs was my first "white whale".

Now, it's routine to finish several sets a year.  And start new ones constantly.  Not to mention dozens of player collections, two team collections, and other things.

Before I took the usual hiatus in the early 90's, current products were the only thing I dealt with.  Vintage was nice, but not yet accessible, and there wasn't the multiple decades in between yet with all the different eras. Now, I have cards from just about each decade in the 20th century and beyond.

I thought I may never have the real cards from the turn of the century from my New York Giants picture, so I got some reprints for my project binder.  (This is something for a future post by itself).

But now I'm actually on the way to having them all.

So now my current "white whale" is a little more ambitious.

If it's the final thing I do I'm waitin' for you...

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Heritage Selections and Companion Assimilations

Where have I seen that acronym before?  HSCA....

Brian from Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary sent an awesome trade package in response to my Junk Wax Gems last week.

Started off with a few 2016 inserts in the seemingly never ending quest to finish Topps master sets from the last few years.  I think by the time the National comes around, I may actually kill most of my wants from Topps flagship (except of course, this year), as far back as 2012.  I still need a few nagging inserts from all the way back then.  Anyway, a Gwynn and a coupla Itchy's (short for Ichiro)

The bulk of the package was Heritage.  Somehow with all the bulk trading I've been doing in the last couple years, I've begun almost all the Heritage sets.  I was confined to just my favorites before ('59 in 2008, '60 in 2009, '64 in 2013, '58 in 2007 and '65 in 2014 from the same case-break leftovers box purchase).  Now, I've got 2003, 2005, and theoretically the 2016 High Numbers set to finish (to go with the base set I'm allegedly getting from a friend) added to all that.
Brian contributed to the 2007s with what is usually one of the last ones I still lack, plus a hit to a pseudo-Heritage set, 2006 Topps 1952 Edition.
I always hear Jeter being announced by Bob Sheppard in my head - "Daa-Rack Jeetah!"

The rest of the contents were from 2003.  The '54 design is really great for seeing the current guys. Simple and colorful without being too flashy.

Call me psychic, but I think Brian has his dupes sorted by teams.  This is how they were stacked, but the set isn't "Fleer numbered".  

Much appreciated Brian!

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Cardboard Assimilations - Feb 25

The Collective juggernaut kept on rolling again today.  They had a mall show in my home town.  This one rotates among malls throughout the area roughly along Interstate 81 between Hagerstown, MD and Harrisburg, PA every other week.  Just like last week's monthly show, (and from some of the same dealers), I dropped some more cash on cards.  I really gotta slow down.

Here's my haul from this time.  (Picture is lousy).

Knocked off some 1972s, a few player collection Hostess, a Ryan/Seaver insert from 2005, an A-Rod SP from Piece Of History, my 2003 base set and a Ryan insert, a couple Priest Holmes, Bo Jacksons, a few oddball football, some 2016 Topps baseball inserts, and some miscellaneous Redskins.

Here's a better look at the '72s.  The dealer had just bought a binder with some early '70s in it and I picked out the better part of the '72s.  I got several of the 550+ numbers from the first dealer I went to for $4 each (or less).  This guy had the Cey RC (Night Owl just went "whoop-whoop!") which is nicer than most of my set, The Reggie was in his regular stock - not bad for ten bucks.  The Bonds is creased through his head, but it won't show in a binder ($1).  Wilhelm has some bad corners, but is fine otherwise.  Looks like he and Cey were low book at $10 each.  Blair was like eight because he is almost pristine.  Alston is way o/c but for a buck I'll put him in for now.

You see also the Fisk (2.50) and two Sparky Lyle Hostess (50¢ each) and the second copies of a few 1980s to upgrade my checklists and replace my PC guys.

The last guy I bought from had boxes marked 8/$5, 10 15 for $5 and a table marked 4/$10.  He discounted from that as well.  The two Priest Holmes, and Bo Jackson, plus the other football were from the 15/$5 bos, which I pulled a total of 17 cards from.  The Donruss football rookies (top fan) completes my rookies, and the Rated Rookies (gray) knocked them basically in half.  I passed on the Dak & Zeke for now.  Still bought two of the Rated Rookies in duplicate.  Anyone need Ricardo Louis or Austin Hooper?

Best way to spend a Saturday when it's storming outside that I can think of.  At least that you can discuss on a family show....

I plan on posting some trade bait soon.  Stuff that I have that I know someone out there is looking for, but doesn't show up on a dealer table or online shop very often.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Musical Interlude #4 - Back For More

Our next selection at WTCM radio is more along the lines of my current and enduring musical tastes. I've been a fan of hard rock and heavy metal since about 1983 when KISS took off their makeup.  I got that album (Lick It Up) and was amazed that music could sound that intense.  From there I branched out into most of the better "hair" bands.

This song is Back For More by RATT.  They, along with several of the most popular metal acts, are still performing to this day. At least, some incarnation of the original lineups are out there doing shows.  RATT is one of many bands whose members split into different incarnations operating under the band name.  Most recently, the estranged drummer, Bobby Blotzer, was running a band under the RATT name until a court decision awarded the "official" designation to the remaining members.  (All of them except the guitarist who tragically passed away in 2002).  They will now be able to perform under the name to the exclusion of all others.

Was going to put the original MTV video up here, but it's just too silly.  Though distant relative Milton Berle makes a cameo appearance at the end, his encore appearance to Round And Round.

So how do I relate this one to cards?  Simple.  The 2017s are out.  So many collectors are back for more set building!

I was thinking about just collecting the team sets for my local Orioles and Nationals and trying for all the parallels.  But I also want some of the insert sets, including the First Pitches, Five Tools, probably the retail Awards, MLB Network people, and maybe the 1987s and the Bowmans.   So it would be weird to have all that and just two teams of the base cards and a few parallels.

I was going to post about trading bulk lots of other stuff for my 2017 set, but I ended up going on another Target run and bought more hanger boxes, so I'm far enough into the base set that there's no turning back.  Hopefully, I can jump into the trading fray in my usual groups before they're all finished with their sets. 

If any of you are also still on the lean side of a complete set, comment below and we can set up a trade.  I have a few dupe inserts and, because of the often cited collation problems, have a stack of base to trade that is 2/3 as high as my set.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Card Show assimilations - Feb 20

I was searching Saturday, and finally found the schedule for the monthly show over in Maugansville (near Hagerstown).  It's always on a Sunday, and it turned out that it was happening that next day.  So I made the 20+ minute drive and was there about an hour into the show.  There are usually about 15-20 vendors each time.

Here is my haul from about three hours work:

I spent the first hour or so at my favorite current set insert guy picking out all the Classics and Donruss football that you see on the left side.  He had just got big boxes of current football sets and inserts, so I went to town.  Crushed my remaining Classics Legends, including the Rod Woodson on top of the stack, which at one point I thought might be a short print since I had found the rest of what I needed, but had to wade through a row and a half before finally coming across ol' Rod.  Also pulled a few second copies of Bo Jackson for my PC.  Went through all the inserts and pared my lists down to the point that I could put names on them (and make the sifting easier next time)  Still ended up buying two duplicates in the pile.  (Lesson learned - always go through your pulls before paying).  Also killed most of my regular Donruss base set as you see in the twisted stack at top left.

Since the stock was basically untouched except that they were neatly sorted and labeled by the original buyer, I was able to pull the Redskins from most of the other products, which is nice.  Current Redskins are the hardest to manage since I only keep a Word document of what I have, and it isn't available on my phone.  I knew I was starting from almost nothing, so there were only a few dupes that came from these.  The most annoying were those Unparalleled that were dupes in a set that apparently has five or six flavors of the same few cards.  You can see the blue corner of the one I did need peeking out the bottom of the picture.

Since I knew I would see that dealer at the next major Chantilly show, I figured it was time to move on so I didn't spend the whole show at his table.  I stashed that big bag out in the car and then came back in to a dealer that gave me a good deal on some vintage football on my last trip.  Found out he actually lives in the same town I do.  Didn't actually get any vintage from him this time, but he had just bought a meticulously labeled collection of Michael Jordan.  MJ is one of those casual player collections that I've been working on if I happen to see them, and I found some good ones.  Most of them were marked as booking for $10 and selling for ?? (marked out).  When I picked out eight good ones, he asked ME what I thought the price should be.  I studied a while and then gave him a number, which he countered with a LOWER number, so I was happy.

So then I figured I should work on my '70 and '72 Topps sets that I had targeted for completion at the last National, but fell short.  There was a vendor that had a couple tables full of top-loadered discounted vintage up front.  I sat down and pulled up my list for the two baseball sets.  Found a few high numbers in both and even though I limited myself to ones that were $4 or less since my sets aren't high grade, I felt I had made progress.  Then I looked over and saw there was also a full range of football sets.  I switched over to my football list page and dove in.  I knew that late 70's and 80's stars were probably available cheap at the major shows, but figured these were marked low enough that I wouldn't be regretful.  OJ and Marino for 2.50?  Most others for a buck each?  Why not?!  SOLD!

By then it was about 1PM, and some of the vendors had started to pack up.  I had scoped out all the other vendors, and was done for the day.  (I got a few "guilty pleasure" cards in between the first stops that I'll show in another post).  I left satisfied and looking forward to next month's visit.  This show has been going on for years, but I have always struggled to get there until now.  I can finally make it a regular thing. 

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