Thursday, November 30, 2017

Big G @ BCB Is Good 2 Me

Got a trade package yesterday from Gavin at Baseball Card Breakdown in response to a couple small shipments I made earlier.

Started with a couple Retired Sig player collection guys.  Always cool to get a Tiant I don't have.

Then he hit me with quality over quantity.

A purple Prizm Jordan Reed....

And two gamers from back in 2008 when we had high hopes (and low results).  Plus an encased Laverneus Coles Pristine.

He wrote the note on the back of this 1/1 Draft sample 1964 custom...thingy.

Thanks Gavin!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Teammates With Kevin Bacon

Yet another Blog Bataround, but with some teammate references instead of movies.  I used the Oracle of Baseball page on to connect the players, until I got to one that was on the Oracle of Kevin Bacon page. 

  Luis Tiant played with Carl Yastrzemski for the 1976 Boston Red Sox

Carl Yastrzemski played with Wade Boggs for the 1983 Boston Red Sox

Wade Boggs played with Derek Jeter for the 1996 New York Yankees

Derek Jeter was in
Anger Management (2003)

with Jack Nicholson

who was in A Few Good Men (1992)

with Kevin Bacon

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Cardboard OCD Chapter 3: Sorting sets

The biggest volume of my collection is complete sets, or those I'm striving to complete.  The typical pattern is to get a starter lot of some size, then add singles via retail or trade, and then buy or trade for the last few.  If the initial chunk is retail packs or hobby boxes, there's some significant sorting involved.

After you bust all the packs, or remove the mail packaging from your starter lot box, you then have to decide how you're going to sort the set, by teams, number, or another order.  And you have to pick whether it will go in a binder and sheets or in a white box.

For the first several sets I built, I would generally sort them into teams.  I liked the continuity of the team colors (when the designs differentiated the teams) and liked to see all the players together.  As time goes on, I find I'm more inclined to put sets in numerical order since it's easier to track what I'm missing.  Otherwise, you have to do some very disciplined documentation on paper to keep from forgetting that cup-of-coffee guy from the Padres, or the special combo card.  The sets of the 70's had team checklist cards that made team sorting easier and trackable, but then you had to figure out the extra stuff on your own, by either reproducing the numeric checklist cards, or (Heaven forbid!) actually marking them off.

One company made it easier to incorporate both methods - Fleer.  They produced their sets already in order by team.  All of the cards for one team were consecutively numbered.  I still refer to this as "Fleer numbering".

To begin, you have to have a sorting area.  Whether it be a desk, bed, or open space on the floor.  I am lucky enough to have a full size desk designated for sorting and putting away cards.  I keep an old towel on the surface of the desk.  This is not primarily to protect the surface, but to make it easier to pick up cards from the otherwise slick wood finish.  You don't want to put nicks or scratches in cards by clawing them off the table by their edges or scuff the faces by sliding them off the edge all the time.

So where do you start?  You've opened the packs or the starter box, and have a big stack of mixed up cards.  What's your favorite method for getting them into order?

I've seen other collectors sift through and pull out each card in order, one by one.  I prefer a more layered method.

I took some pictures while I was sorting my 2017 Topps Update boxes.  There are only 300 cards in the base set, so this is a good choice to break down the techniques with.

I open all the packs and separate the base cards from the inserts and other stuff.  Then set the inserts etc. aside.

So I will start by sorting them into piles of "100's".  1 through 99 (the "tens"), then the 100's, and 200's.  It takes some decent table space to sift out more than three large piles if you've got a bigger set to do.  Sometimes I will recognize runs of duplicates as I open packs.  I find it's less of a pain to just throw 'em all in together and sort out the dupes then go by intuition and leave out the ones I think I've seen already.  Inevitably, there are one or two singles that get swept in with a run like that and end up on the want list until you sort back through the dupes pile.

Here's a brief video of me at this stage with 2017-18 OPC hockey.  Was just trying to see if I could get a good rhythm going and sort really fast.  Never quite get it cranked up in this one though.  Are you slower or faster than this?

So after all the "100's" piles are done, set them aside and then start on the next level.  Take the 1-99 pile and sort into single digits, 10s, 20s, 30s, etc.  I lay them out as one row at the edge of the desk.

Constructive OCD Tip - I put the "50's" pile a little higher than the rest of the row in order to break it up and give me a visual marker.

This way, I can locate half the stacks merely by their location relative to the whole row.  Of course, the "1's" stack is the first one, the "50's" stack is raised in the middle, and the "90's" stack is the last one.  But further than that, the "40's" is the last one before the raised stack, and the "60's" is the one right after.  It takes a lot more to explain it than to use it while you're sorting.  Instead of counting out "Ones, tens, twenties, thirties, forties,..." for a card numbering x4x, you just think, "one before the raised stack." and plop it down.  The gist of it is that you're never thinking about more than a couple stacks at a time when determining where a given card goes.  It's all about efficiency and speed.  I actually like sorting.  It's fun.  But some people don't enjoy it like that, so the quicker they can get through it, the quicker they can enjoy the other facets of the hobby.  Like hunting for more!

Further, I find the rest of the stacks by thinking of where they are as well.  "20's" are in the middle of the "1's" thru "40's" run, "70's" are the second past the raised "50's" and so forth. 

So I go through and sort out the whole big stack that I made before.

Next, pick up each stack and put them in order.  If you can't hold them all at once, then move the piles aside (stacking them on each other at 90° rotations), and then you can lay them out like you did with the last step.

I put 'em all in order, even the dupes.

Then, when you run into dupes, if you have an older set, you may have to choose which one is cut better, or came out undinged, etc.

Write down the ones that are missing and then start your set pile in one spot and your dupes in another.  Be careful not to cross the stacks and put a clump of dupes in the middle of your set.

You can either start at card #1 and work down or start at the end and work backwards.  The difference is whether the set pile is face down or face up. 

Dupes and set pile (from OPC hockey)

Keep going for each 100's pile until you've gone all the way through.  Then you can post your want list and put the cards in whatever storage medium you select.  Those stages are for the next OCD posts....Happy sorting!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

This Day In Baseball History

Fishing for a quick post while at work minding the phones (and schools are closed), I found a couple cool things that happened on November 22.

In 2004, at a lunch time celebration at Union Station, which includes a protest, the recently relocated Washington National League franchise announces its new name, logo, and colors. Using the official original name of the district's team which used the nickname the Senators from 1901-56, the club clad in red, white, blue, and gold will be known as the Nationals.

Also in 1954, the Pirates purchased a contract from the Dodgers AAA farm club in Montreal.  Dude had a decent career, but it was tragically cut short.  You've probably heard of him.

Here's how we're used to seeing him...

Monday, November 20, 2017

Three Degrees Of Kevin Bacon - John J. McGraw

Let's see how far back we can go with one of these.  The first pic is my actual card.

 John J. McGraw

was in

Detective Swift (1914) with

Frank McGlynn Sr.

who was in

Sergeant York (1941) 


June Lockhart

who was in

The Big Picture (1989)


Kevin Bacon

Friday, November 17, 2017

2017 O-Pee-Chee Hockey 2 Box Break

My favorite hockey set was 2007-08 O-Pee-Chee.  I've been waiting for a new design to come close to that one.  There haven't been many.  Thus, I really haven't built a set of anything hockey in a good while.  I pulled the trigger on 2017-18 OPC when I got my boxes of baseball Update.

These aren't bad.  Got about 33% dupes from both boxes.  Picture above is the sorting after opening.  Dupes on the left below, my set on the right.  Ended up with about 40% of the set or less.

The Retros are my favorite part.  The playing card inserts are kinda neat too. Nice to get a foily Backstrom for my Caps PC.  PK is available for a Capital version.  (Update: There are only two Ovie's - I don't know who the other kid is)  These are my Retros and card deck so far.  Will show the dupes in a jiffy.

Can do without the minis, but they make good trade bait.  Sorry, Auston and McKinnon are gone already.  The rest are up for grabs.

Here's a better look at the black shiny ones.

And the regular size black parallel shiny ones.  They are serial numbered.  Also trade bait.  These are a better base design than the base itself.  The little variation of the black bands looks much less cluttered.  Of course, collecting a set of these is just about frikkin' impossible and way too expensive since these are numbered out of only 100.

Here are my regular base shiny.  Available.

And the Retro dupes...except for McKinnon, who is bound for another collection already.

And finally, a good look at PK.  These are the only hits in this set.  No autos or gamers.  Just manu-patches.  They're nice, but it would be great to get something real out of a big set like this.

Who's down wit OPC?  (Is that too outdated a reference yet?)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

2017 Topps Update - Box #2 Still Meh

Finally cracked my second box of 2017 Update.  Was hoping for the big hit I sometimes get from boxes that I buy from this particular vendor, but unfortunately, no dice.  I think my hit is tradeable though.  Got some decent inserts and short print variations, but the rest was stunningly mediocre.

The Rookie Cups (this year's excuse to reprint iconic star cards) are a step up from the gold back advertising from last year.  The Zimmer and Benintendi Salutes are up for grabs.  I might be persuaded to release Chipper and maybe Clayton too.  I like the look of the Untouch Ables (it's not one word) and may try for the legend shortprints.  The '87s and MLB are staying with me.  Bo is for my PC.

Moncada black looks really cool with the ChiSox uni, but he's on the waiver wire too.
Any of the buybacks are trade bait too.

Which one of you Jays fans wants it?  Would love to get an Oriole or National for it.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Blog Bat Around : Six Or Seven Degrees Of Kevin Bacon

Took the weekend off, so I wasn't able to buffer this with something more card related in between.  But who says there's such a thing as too much Kate Upton?  I should have a couple more of these with more baseball players.

Collecting Cutch started this one about linking favorite baseball players to Kevin Bacon.  Usually, the links are only a couple segments long, but I managed to extend this chain in order to include some lovely ladies.  

Justin Verlander

just married
Kate Upton
; ;
who was in
The Disaster Artist (2017)
Kristen Bell

who was in
Movie 43 (2013)
Kate Winslet

who was in
Movie 43 (2013)
Julie Ann Emery

who was in
Nothing But the Truth (2008)
Kate Beckinsale


who was in
Pearl Harbor (2001)
Cuba Gooding Jr.

who was in
A Few Good Men (1992)
Kevin Bacon

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Well Fellas, There Goes Another One....

Just like this past summer, another sex symbol is officially off the market.

World Series Champion Astros pitcher Justin Verlander just became the luckiest guy in the world this past Saturday when he married supermodel Kate Upton in Italy.

He's having quite a good year.

Or Life, really.

I mean, waking up to this every day?

Way to go Justin!