Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mystery Envelope

Got a PWE in the mail the other day with some contributions to my recent Allen & Ginter sets.

Not sure who it's from, since it's not addressed, but I have my suspicions.  Is that you?

It actually came marked "Postage Due" since there was no extra ounce / non-machinable 21¢ stamp included.  Luckily, there was no envelope left to collect the cash in, so like most of the time the postman didn't sweat it.

Three Giants stars for my 2013 set.  Thanks to the "stealth sender"! :)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Maybe I Should Just Stick To Trading

Well, that was discouraging. 

Got everything prepared, hauled it all out to the car, carted it into the show, piled it all on the table, and put my signs up.  And then after about four and a half hours,....

...I carried it all back home.  Every single card.  Didn't sell anything.  Not one.

I thought I had some decent stuff, too.  The Ginter and Gypsy Queen I showed earlier, a couple other years of Heritage, recent Topps with inserts, and some newer football.  I knew there might not be so much of a market for my miscellaneous older baseball and football, but maybe a couple Redskins collectors or something.  Nada.

I put out the few gamers and autographs I had among the boxes, and loose in the front, along with the Bowman Chad Kuhls.  Those were really the only things most people even picked up.  Had a couple nibbles on the other stuff, but no takers.

Guess I just don't collect the popular stuff - Shiny Bowman Rookie mojo.  Kinda knew that going in.  But didn't expect Zero.  Figured there had to be a couple set builders or team collectors coming in at some point.

I could downsize my stock and try again next month, but I'm not optimistic that it would go any better.  Some of the other veteran vendors say it slows down when football season starts (since the shows are on Sundays).  So I don't know.  I might feel better about it later.  We'll see.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Going Behind The Table Tomorrow

Have been spending my usual posting time prepping for selling at my first show tomorrow. 

I think I'm bringing too much for one table, as my car trunk is chock full and there are a few more boxes in the back seat.  A lot of people's collections wouldn't fill their cars, and this is just my extra stuff!  Hopefully I can sell some off - I need the space!  Not going to cash out the whole table, though.  Still a lot of trading potential.

I've got my inventory, extra top loaders, team bags and empty boxes for packaging, and plenty of change.  I think that's everything.  Even made some signs for the back of a few boxes pimping this blog.

If you're in the Hagerstown area tomorrow, stop by and look for my table at the Ruritan Club in Maugansville!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Pre-Nat Show Loot

I've neglected posting my haul from the mid-year Chantilly show.  This show was just a couple weeks before Chicago happened.  You may be sick of me showing my purchases of mass quantities after the National and Michigan Tour 2.0. Just confirms that I have no life otherwise, especially this year. :)

My usual show attire includes dark blue cargo pants with big pockets so I can carry around all this and still look for more.


Still doesn't look like a whole lot until you sort it and spread it out.

Unfortunately, I don't have closer pictures or scans of the '50 Bowman, '63 Fleer, or some of the other good stuff.  Since it's been so long since I got these (mid-July), and that's the stuff that's most fun to put away, they're already integrated into their sets.  I could do a "state of the set" post if you want to see what I have so far on those....

I did upgrade a few team checklists, and remembered that Minnie was in bad shape too.  Turns out I had already swapped my set checklists, so these are available.  Didn't find the second one (132-295), but if you need any of the others, let me know.

More '74 upgrades and some additions to my '70 set.  Some great markdowns from a dealer named Dave Estright.  Didn't have as much success the second time around at his 90% boxes at the Nat.  But if you haven't been through them the first time, it's worth checking out.

Always love the space program, and this was a great find from Mulk's Sports Cards from just west of here.  This is a combination of the 1969 and 1970 Man In The Moon sets.  It was half off at $25, just missing three cards.  I've since found a couple of them and upgraded a few more.

And finally, a few from the "guilty pleasure" section, namely wrestling Divas.  There are several base cards of the gorgeous love Paige, and a bonus autograph of scarlet-coiffed hottie Eva Marie.

I promise I'm going to try to put together more posts on the philosophical or whimsical side rather than "look what else I got!" for a while, I swear....

Monday, September 11, 2017

Mr. Bob And Friends

The latest shipment from my man Marv arrived Saturday, and it did not disappoint.  Knocking my 1960 Topps needs down to fourteen cards were these beauties.

Mr. "Bob" Clemente heads the list.  This thing is only about 2° from being absolutely perfect.  His buddy Maris is just a little off vertically, but is pristine clean otherwise.

Ferrarese is the odd man out of this group, but bright and sharp nonetheless.  Great cartoon on the back of his:

Hep me, Hep me, I been hyp-mo-tized!

The rest are all high number All-Stars.  Skowron's back says he was out most of the previous year, but is back and clouting clutch hits for the Bronx Bombers.  McCovey is basking in his rookie year glory, looking forward to a Hall of Fame career.  Mathews  never has a bad card, and Kaline is just wondering what he has to do to win the batting title.  The cartoons on the back of the All-Stars are epic.  They cover half the card back, it's awesome.

Marvelous Marv VB., you are once again the MVP!!

Friday, September 08, 2017

IP By Proxy TTM Auto

That sounds like an automated network protocol setup.  Above my pay grade, I'm sure.

It's actually a quick description on how I got this:

I took my '79 Topps Ron LeFlore to the National hoping to trade something to somebody to get it signed for me.  I wasn't going to be at the show myself on Sunday, so I needed a little help.  Don from SCF had a table in the far corner of the floor and had a few suggestions.

My original arrangement failed when I forgot to leave my extra auto tickets with Don where they could be retrieved later.  But lucky for me, another SCF member, Rick, who goes by Turd Ferguson, took care of it for me.

I always like to get my in-person autos personalized, so when they go into my player collections, it's evident that I actually met the player.  This is the first case where my name was used, but I wasn't actually there.  Still looks great - a nice signature on a classic looking card.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Thoughts-On-Ginter Lead To Hits-On-Lists

Kerry from Cards On Cards started a conversation about Allen & Ginter in a recent post.  I commented with something like "Don't stop now, I just got a big pile of trade bait that you saw in this post.

Got the first wave of Kerry's contributions the other day.

 First up, the always welcome hit to a previous year's straggler inserts.  With a rare photo no less.

Heritage short print of a very serious looking Armando...

Heritage insert of two great pitchers, and a short print of J. Lo's current boyfriend.

 More Heritage.  Coaches and a guy I like even less.  I notice he's not wearing batting gloves.  They must have only had a couple hours to shoot.  He would have had to refasten them between shutter clicks I'm sure.

Moving to football.  Some rare variations from Pro Set.  ESPN 30 For 30 subject Dupree is just a PC, but the others feature text in various stages of obscurement (is that a word?) , missing player association logos, or slightly different color wording (not shown because they were filed away early after much squinting and independent scanning.)  Any Pro Set variation collectors will know what I'm talking about.

And finally, some random Redskins for the team files.  Very eclectic mix.  Thanks Kerry!

Friday, September 01, 2017

Last Stop ... And Best Bargain Of The Trip!

For the last shopping day in Michigan, the destination was All Star Sports in Grand Rapids.  This was my third or fourth trip to the shop in the western part of the state.

It's one of the most organized shops that I've been to in Michigan or elsewhere.  They have singles from several years in the 2000s and throughout the 80's and 90's, plus a lot of current product, and some vintage.  They also carry boxes of current product, and they do a lot with pro team jerseys and custom ones too.

Here's my haul from All Star.

Completed my 2001 Update set except for a few regular player cards and a couple of the Who Would Have Thought inserts.  Also hit some red back 2007s, some current inserts, football set singles, Redskins, and killed a Parkhurst hockey set.  These all came from the set singles, quarter and dime boxes.  Buyback player collection guys were a buck, and a few Heritage short prints for $2.50 each.  Got the Victory rookies fairly cheap, but messed up with the 90-91s and got Topps instead of O-Pee-Chees.  Picked up a few RG3's for about half off sticker price, since he's been so successful.

The bargain of the visit, and probably of the whole trip, was what I call the Gypsy-Ginter box.  There were a few big boxes and binders at the front of the store that were on special sale.  Most were marked "Whole box" or "Whole book" with a regular price of 10 or 25 dollars.  A sheet hanging nearby denoted a sale that drastically reduced these rates.  Don't remember what the 10 buck ones went down to, but the $25 ones were $8.88!  Check out the one I picked up!

All this for just under nine bucks!

For the picture, I sorted them all by year and laid an example card on each run.  The 2014 and 2016 Gypsys, and the 2015 Heritage are just those stacks.  Everything else is the whole row underneath.  For example, the 2013 Gypsy Queens (the grey/green ones in the first row) start under the card laying flat and go to the back of the box. the 2011's are the most populous, at least they will be after I take a starter set out of the 2013 Ginters that presently take up the whole last row.

This box is going to be major trade bait as some of the batches aren't enough to start a set, or are of sets I already made.  I've got 2011, 2012, and 2014 Gypsy already, as well as 2014 Ginter.  The short stacks of GQ and Ginter are likely all for trade.  I'll let you know about the Lineage.  There are some duplicate inserts in a lot of these sets, as well as some short prints.  Send me your lists and let's trade!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Contributions To My Obsession

Good things are often worth the wait.

I love it when I get a trade package - especially when it's unexpected or unprovoked - and it contains certain cards that I've been especially looking for or have had to refuse because of demand or overpricing.

Got one of those from Adam at ArpSmith's Sportscard Obsession.

He led off conservatively with some '87s and a Five Tool insert.  Every little bit helps!  Especially with the high-hype names like these...

Then came in with some Heritage short prints.  Can't be overappreciated any time...

Hit me with some Bunt Blues - two of the most evasive names in the business, Trout and Da Hawpa!

But the peak was these 2014 Stadium Clubs.  The Ruth puts my base set down to two.  Another Harper, a die-cut Springer Future Stars, and three Beam Teams!  I can't really find base singles of this set, much less inserts.  This is farther down the road on this set than I've gotten in months.

Thanks again, Adam!

Monday, August 28, 2017

And Of Course, The Dupes (100th regular post)

As with any show I go to, I inevitably buy cards that I already have, or buy the same card twice.  I've shown this many times, and this year's National, plus the Michigan Shop Tour v. 2.0 was no different.  Didn't have quite as many as I sometimes do, but there were a few.

1972 #587
This is what happens when you find cheap high numbers in a couple different places on the same day and you can't update your want list in time.  I suppose I could have sat down and edited it on my phone, but I find that much harder than using a mouse.  I'm old school when it comes to technology.

Here's one for my Matusz PC that was actually found by my friend Stuart, and was a welcome upgrade for the one I had, not for condition, but for the fact that it was serial number 001.  That made #132/199 available as shown here.

This one I kinda intentionally did myself too.  Got the Jones RC on the left from our guy Rick in Mason, but then found one for a dime in with a bunch at the big show.  Ol' Bert's even got that look like, "Duh dude, how can you pass that up?"  The one on the left is in my set.

Speaking of bargains, I mentioned before about the dealer at the National with the 25¢ shortprint Ginters.  (Same guy with the USFL set by the way).  I'm not sure if I bought these before that, or that these were in a package when I got home.  Anyway, my duplication is your gain.  Who's building 2010 Ginter?  And if you're working on pretty much any Ginter or Gypsy Queen set, stay tuned to The Collective Mind!

More set singles that overlapped:

Got that whole SportFlics set at once.  There was just a bonus Stieb in it.  Garner is the version that corrects the reverse negative photo.  Bonus Bunts and Heritage high numbers.  I've got tons of extra regular Bunt.

Looked at Elston and said, "That one doesn't look like the ones I have."  Well, it was.  Got Rickey twice with several of these '90s holograms.  And picked up extra sets of these Heritage checklists just in case I didn't get them with my starter sets.  Which I did.

Back to football,

Oversize Deion insert that I should put on the list site, Fleer Team Actions that I grabbed without checking from a quarter box, and those pesky blue parallels from the more modern Field Access.

And finally,

Wondered how I could get such a nice checklist AGAIN, but there it is.  Bolduc may have been an upgrade, and Duguay was replaced by the autographed copy.  I took about 18 of them to the show for other people, but didn't get any takers.

All of these are up for trade.  Thanks for tuning in.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Freebies From the Young Dudes

So I'm walking down the aisle at the National, looking for the next desirable table, and these three young guys are coming the other way.  The middle one says "Hey dude, you want some cards?" and hands me a stack.  Another says, "Have some more!" and adds to the pile. Their tone seemed a bit mocking, but hey, I got free cards.  I'm like "What, you guys don't like base cards or something?"  And they're gone.  Not sure if they had just opened some packs for a redemption, were high end mojo hunters (= base card snobs), or they worked at one of the booths, or what, but I'm not knocking it.

Stolen from another website.  I should have taken way more pics!

Anyone want some 2017 Classics football?

I'm still working on the 2016 version of this set and it's endless inserts.  I'm not as big a fan of this year's design compared to that one.  So basically my good fortune is also yours.

You can send me numbers, or pick the names from these scans.  Here are the inserts and yellow parallels....

The rest of the inserts and all the rookies.  (Have to show those first, right?)

Now the current players.  I'm so good at pulling Big Ben from packs....

And finally, my favorite part, the retired players.

Hit me up with your needs and check my wantlists.  Let's trade these!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Checking Out In The Express Lane

One of the other great bargains I got was late in the show when I came across a gentleman that had a couple rows of vintage stars marked "90% off".  I think I was actively chasing what seemed to be the popular target - 1967 high numbers (that's right, Night Owl) for my friend's set.  So I dove into the discount box and came up with this:

Now that's not a bad Nolan Ryan for $20, I would say...

Normally I wouldn't go for a card with so many little creases and such, but my 1970 and '72 Topps sets' average condition is stunningly mediocre.  In fact, the high numbers are going to be the nicest parts of those two sets when it's all said and done.  So the ol' fireballer fits right in, even though he'll probably go in my star binder instead of the '70 set.

Had to really hunt for discount vintage at the show, but I did find a couple good deals like this.

Monday, August 21, 2017

1960 Topps By Request

Got a few different comments about the 1960 Topps Willie Mays and company that I felt compelled to feature in another post.  Your wish is my command....

Except for Skowron, I picked these up from a dealer that I had finished my '59 set with at a previous National.  I'm horrible at saving business cards or receipts with the right cards, so I can't name them offhand.  Like Uncle Dick's, they have will often have more than one specimen of a card in the binder at different prices to fit your condition needs and budget.  You can see the prices on these were excellent.  Ol' Willie is slightly crooked and has a print streak, but not much else is wrong with it.  The rest are decent names for the time for only a couple bucks more than commons.

Rounding out the '60s, some upgrades, high numbers and a couple of the All-Stars.

Down to 21 cards for the set.  Big names and All-Stars for the most part.  Gotta get a hold of my man Marv to see what he's got left....

Sunday, August 20, 2017

USFL (addendum)

I do actually have a few of the first USFL set, just because they were cheap and maybe I'll find another bulk lot somewhere and build the set by hand.

Figured I should show what they look like too, for those that haven't seen them...

Great looking fronts with big helmet graphic and large team font.  The team names are always red.  Love the red, white and blue frame with the league logo.  Was wondering about the "Premier" spelling, but apparently the "no e" version is the adjective, and the other is the noun or the verb.  Here endeth the grammar lesson.

The backs are shockingly purple, but it isn't bad.  Nice and readable, especially compared to the last few Topps sets.  Part of why I haven't built a flagship football set since 2012 is that I can't see the print on the damn things.  Clever title for the trivia facts at the bottom. Evans wasn't horrible for the other Chicago gridiron team either.

One of these days, I'll have them all!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The USFL (1983 - 1985)

From the USFL SIte (graphics are mine):

A Brief History of the USFL

The United States Football League was a professional major league which played its games from 1983-1985 during the spring and summer months. Founded by David Dixon, a New Orleans art and antique dealer, the USFL announced its formation on May 11, 1982, at the 21 Club in New York City. Judge Peter Spivak, part owner of the Detroit team, served as president of the league, an interim position until the league named a commissioner. The league announced that it would be made up of 12 teams in major markets across the country. Franchises would play in New York (the Meadowlands, NJ), Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Tampa, Oakland, Denver, Washington, Philadelphia, Birmingham and San Diego (eventually switched to Phoenix). Not long after the press conference, the league named Chet Simmons, a broadcasting executive with fledgling ESPN, as the league's first commissioner.

The USFL made its debut in 1983 with a dozen teams and national television contracts with both ABC and ESPN. Much of the early news about the league centered on running back Herschel Walker, the Heisman Trophy winner who left Georgia a year early to sign with the New Jersey Generals. Despite Walker's presence the Generals proved to be also-rans and watched the resurgent Michigan Panthers nip the Philadelphia Stars in the 1983 championship game. 

Expansion, new owners and new players highlighted the USFL's second season in 1984. Joining the league were the Houston Gamblers, Memphis Showboats, Pittsburgh Maulers, San Antonio Gunslingers, Oklahoma Outlaws and the Jacksonville Bulls. The Breakers moved from Boston to New Orleans, and half the original owners sold their teams. Mike Rozier, college football's top player, was just one of many quality players to sign with the league in just its second season. The league also inked Jim Kelly, Reggie White, Steve Young and a host of college football's best along with former NFL starters. In addition, it picked up real estate tycoon Donald Trump as the new owner of the New Jersey Generals. Not even the addition of six more teams and another Heisman winner, though, could stop the Stars in 1984. Philadelphia blew through its league schedule before handling the Arizona Wranglers in the title game. Following the season, the embattled Simmons was replaced by Harry Usher who had been instrumental in the success of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Although league attendance remained solid, rising player costs forced many teams deeper into the red.

Prior to the 1985 campaign, the USFL announced its intention to switch to a fall schedule beginning in 1986 and to file an antitrust lawsuit against the National Football League. The change of playing season had severe ramifications for several franchises, many of which faced direct NFL competition in their cities. Fresh off their championship season, the Stars left their growing fan base in Philadelphia for the recently-vacated Baltimore. The Michigan Panthers threw in the towel and merged with the Oakland Invaders. The Pittsburgh Maulers called it quits after just one season. The Breakers were forced out of their new-found home in New Orleans and made Portland, Oregon their third home in as many years. All four moves were a direct consequence of the league's intentions to play in the fall. The Chicago Blitz also suspended operations, the Oklahoma Outlaws and Arizona Wranglers merged to form the Arizona Outlaws and the Washington Federals headed South to become the Orlando Renegades.

On the field in 1985, the relocated Stars overcame a slow start and won their second title. Doug Flutie became the third consecutive Heisman winner to sign with the league, and league play improved again due in large part to the preseason consolidations. Several franchises did not fare very well, though. The San Antonio Gunslingers, Los Angeles Express and Houston Gamblers struggled to make it through the year. Negative headlines and near financial ruin plagued the league even as it was showcasing its best football.

In July of 1986, about a month before the league was to begin its first fall season, the USFL won its suit against the NFL, but was awarded just $1 (trebled to $3 under antitrust law) in damages. With losses of more than $200 million, the league folded before beginning its first fall campaign.

There are only two card sets for the USFL.  1984 and 1985.  They come in the same size boxes as Topps Traded from the same era.  Both 132-card sets command high prices due to "pre-rookie" cards of Reggie White, Jim Kelly, Steve Young, Herschel Walker, Doug Flutie etc.  The lowest I've seen the '84 set lately is $200.

I got lucky at the National when I saw the '85 set on top of a dealers pile of small sets for $75.  I snagged it up quick.  He had separated the key cards (second year issues of the same players) so they were easily showable. 

Not quite as snazzy a design as the premiere set, but great to have just the same.  Design is pretty simple, but it works.  Here's a closer look at the star cards.  Too bad Topps wasn't fully licensed to show helmet logos on these either....

The backs are kinda cool too.  Though it bugs me a little that the name balloon isn't perfectly centered in the goal post.  Nice 80's fonts.

I still remember seeing a dealer that had a couple of this set, (and maybe the first one too - can't remember) broken out into singles for 10¢ each.  I only got a couple singles when I could have had most of the set.  I still kick myself for not jumping on those.  It was before the sets really took off in price.  Ah well, just wasn't meant to be....

Check out the ESPN 30 for 30 about the USFL as well - Small Potatoes.  A different perspective on Donald Trump. (Or not so different if you hate him as President). 

And here's a fun look at what might have been....

For more info on the league check these links too:

Now I just have to find the cards for this team!