Monday, January 29, 2018

Have You Ever Gone Shopping For One Card And End Up With $80 Worth?

Yeah, it's called online card shopping every time to some of us.

Well I don't know about every time, but that's what happened this time.  In an effort to kill my 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee hockey set, and eliminate another one of my top 10 needs, I decided to go on SportLots and see who had it.

So I looked it up and found that only two sellers had my Laraque Update card.  One was a guy I think I've bought from before or maybe just had seen his name next to a lot of singles that I was perusing at one time or another.

Anyway, so standard procedure (because SportLots sellers all charge separate shipping) is to put a card from a seller into my cart, and then go into the cart to use the search feature that just shows inventory from that particular seller.  Then I basically search for all my significant wants from whatever sports they carry.  In this case, it was hockey of course. 

Here's what I ended up with....

Got the OPC, and one die-cut NHL Shield from 2011-12 Score.  (I have to look at my lists to tell you what sets the newer ones are from.)

Also picked up some 2003-04 Calder, leaving four...Some rookies from my favorite year of Pacific sets - 2002-03 Quest For The Cup....and a slew of 2006-07 Upper Deck Young Guns rookies for less than a dollar each.  I remember one of the first Nationals I went to, we were giddy to find Young Guns for a buck a shot.  These wouldn't have been very old then, so I guess the depreciation is normal.  Good thing, 'cuz I still need a crap ton of them to kill a few Upper Deck flagship sets in the mid aughts.

Next up, more cheap rookies from 2008-09 Ultra...Finally the Zetterberg from 2009-10 Victory, plus an Update single and some more rookies.  There's a series of late numbers in these that I can't find on the TCDatabase.  I imagine they were redemptions in another (couple?) Upper Deck sets at the time.
Anyway, also in this shot, the final Leaf Certified singles from 2010-11.  Finally killed one!  Or at least the base set.  I probably just skipped the rookies and whatever else.  I do that a lot in hockey.  Finally, some inserts from the same Victory set.  These are really nice and clean designs.  There are freakin' 50 of those GameBreakers.  I still need eight more.  Same deal with the Stars Of The Game.  Need ten more.

Bouncing around in years again.  Two inserts from '11-12 Pinnacle mixed with 2002-03 Vanguard inserts.  You have to read the fine print to see the actual insert's title.  These are In Focus (2), and Prime Prospects (4).  Nice and shiny though.

The vertical (portrait) oriented ones at the top are from 2002-03 Pacific Heads Up.  I didn't actually start with any of them, but since they were only like 25 - 50¢ each, I went for it.  Always like the goalie inserts especially.  The InCrease Security are from my favorite hockey set which I'll show in a second.  These too are inserts I hadn't started before but now have all but three.  Another all-goalie insert set.

And finally, the cream of the crop, and the other reason I went so nuts from this seller.  He had all of these from 2002-03 Pacific Private Stock Reserve.  Now I'm only short 15 cards from the first 100.  The next 50 in the set are actually jersey cards, which I'm down to the last half dozen tough expensive ones.  After that, a slew of rookies follows that I've largely ignored.
These are the most elegant design of any sport that I've seen.  I don't remember how I got my first lot of these.  Don't think it was a wax box.  I know there are color parallels and I think even a retail version (which I hope I haven't mixed into my set).  Threw in the blue parallel Kolzig for my Caps collection.

So thanks to SportLots and seller cttcdork.  Weird name, but great selection.  Though he doesn't apparently do the loot thing on there. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Surprise Mailday from Mike B

Got an "out of the blue" package from a member of my trading group Mike B on the 24th.  Gotta love surprise cards!

He killed several singles from my 2002 Heritage set, including brand new Hall Of Famer Jim Thome.

And some nice hits to my 1977 football set with unmarked checklists and three rookie cards including Danny White, who I of course hated as a Washington fan.

Said he was going through the roster of our group and just sending things out.  That's just awesome.  Thanks Mike!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Today In Baseball History

Cubs business manager Jim Gallagher, chairman of the nine-man rules committee, announces the two leagues will implement an existing rule during spring training that requires a hurler to throw the ball when the bases are empty within 20 seconds after taking a pitching position. The edict, which results with the umpire calling a ball when the tosses are tardy, will not be in effect during the season.

The year was 1955.  Funny how those things come back around.

Monday, January 22, 2018

My Other Collection Is Inactive

I mentioned in a recent post that I collected comics as well as cards.  That's collectED.  Past tense.  Had a request to show my collection here.

OK, let me excavate it....

That's better.  The brownish ones are the long boxes.  The bright one is one of two short ones.  So I basically have eight long boxes worth.  Or about 2000 comics. -ish.

I did take an inventory recently when one of the guys on my Tuesday night pool team gave me an old Overstreet price guide (seen here on top of the pile).  I'm not going to dig out any of the boxes right at this moment, but will do so for future posts.  Luckily, I have some random books stacked on top for some odd reason.  They are a decent representation of some of the stuff I like in comics, and will give you an idea of the timeframe my collection occupies.

View the spreadsheet here.  (Hope you guys can see it) Update: changed link to shareable.

My favorite character by far is Marvel's Deathlok.  Nope, not Punisher, or any of the X-Men (I have exactly one X-Men book), or anyone on top of the popularity list.  I found the first few of his newest series while I was in Michigan.  These are the first comics I've bought in years.  I've got pretty much everything he's been in since the original Tales To Astonish #25 back in the 70's.  He'll probably get his own post at some point.  Go figure, the Borg guy likes cyborg comics, right?

I am a fan of Batman.  Got into him a bit later in my collecting.  Have the original Dark Knights (first printings too, I'm pretty sure), and several of his titles during that time.  I think these may be duplicates or something.


Back to the Marvel side, (they are the majority), Iron Man has a big presence.  Started just a few issues before this one.  Have through the famous alcohol issue and beyond.  The 35¢ price is the most common among my collection as a whole.  You can see that this one hasn't appreciated for a whole lot of money.  When I did the inventory, most of my stuff rated at about three dollars an issue.  Makes it easy to fill in the gaps at least.

Have both series of these catalogs of characters, as well as the DC equivalent.  This is all before they revamped both universes in the mid 90's sometime.  I think they have done it more than once.  Makes it weird when I see newer stuff, especially movies like Guardians of the Galaxy.  I don't know who those guys were, but they aren't the Guardians I know.  More on that later.

Got into a few independent titles as well.  Liked this one especially, and not just for this gal (although it helped.  Have that poster somewhere too.)  This one's set in the 40's during the War.  Actually have a single issue from 1946 or so that I'll pull off the shelf later.

Got into a few of the "higher-end" lines that were a bit more than one brightly garbed character socking another.  Dreadstar was one of the first higher-end comics that I remember.  This particular series is reprints of the originals and is done under the Epic Comics moniker.

And finally, bringing us back to the space theme that we're used to around here, the comic version of the animated series that totally blew my mind back in the day.  Star Blazers was just so epic and dramatic when I saw it the first time.  I was enthralled.  I have the softcover graphic novels of the first series and would still pick up the others if I ever find them.  I think this book is a story made "after" the tv series.

So that's a quick sampler of what I have in those boxes.  Later, I'll delve into stuff like Swamp Thing, Hulk, the complete run of ROM, Spaceknight, the Flash, Devil Dinosaur, Fantastic Four, Marvel 2-in-1, Team-Up and other Spidey titles, and much much more.  But for now, back to the cards!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Cyborg Photoshop 101

   Nobody identified the new banner background as the other subtle change I made.  I guess it's pretty subtle unless you have the two to compare. 

Wanna see how it's done?  I've had requests to show how I cobble custom cards together.  Here is a little different spin.

Start with Googling Borg type graphics.  I found these.

Then cobble some pieces in with some familair card images.  A lot of cutting and pasting, flipping and mirroring, and shrinking and stretching....

Then mute it so the site title can go on top.  Basically lowering the contrast.

Then I found the coolest robotic lettering that I had to pull by each letter and size to match.

micro version of the whole thing
Make my banner...

And paste it over.  Add the tag line in Impact font in the same color as the title letters about 24 point, and voila!

And then figure out a better tag line and use that instead.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tweaks for 2018

Made a couple subtle changes to the blog design, just to change it up a bit for the new year.  May do a couple more later.

Replaced the Sentry dude in the Nats helmet with a Borg trader.  Unfortunately, the image doesn't show full size when you click on him.  Here's what it looks like up close.  I 'shopped this up when I first installed the Borg theme last year.

And he's a stickler about condition....
The other change isn't so obvious.  See if you can tell what it is.

Monday, January 15, 2018

New Sets Posted

Blogging has taken a back seat to trade logging and pulling cards for a few days.  So I might as well show what I was working on.

Finally pulled my starter set out of the monster box of 1986 Fleer baseball that I got from Stuart.  Just need a bunch of the star cards.  Anyone need some?  This one will go quick, if not just from my trading group and a few of you out there.  Still have to sort that hockey set that is in with it.

Also started a cool football set, 2008 Topps Mayo.  I'm one card away from the 2009 set, but the 2008s are even nicer with the black color.  Not missing many.

Even with three days off, still not much progress clearing the sorting desk.  Football playoffs and my annual trip to my old job to pay off the fantasy football winners killed a lot of time.  Had to watch the playoffs on my small tv in the bedroom.  My big 65" DLP Mitsubishi blew another bulb.  At least it's under $100 this time.  The other two or three I've put in it cost me twice that.  Just have to wait a week for the shipment.  Almost went out to look at a new 4k set, but I don't think it will fit on the sofa table the present one occupies. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Targets For Assimilation - #1

On my wantlist home page, (and at the upper left on this blog site), I list my top "most wanted fugitives".  These are the set killers, the last elusive insert or short print that will clear a major space on my want list.  A lot of other bloggers have them too.  Nebulous Nine, Desperate Double Dozen, Arbitrary 8, etc.  I figured why not write a post about what some of them are or why they're such a priority.

Number one on my list (and the most likely to stay there the longest) is 2011 Topps Prime 9 - Week 7 redemption card.  This is the actual "#7" card, not the Mickey Mantle that you got when you turned it in. 

Topps did these types of redemptions in the flagship set for a couple years.  They may still do them, but I don't have a close brick and mortar shop around any more.  My buddy Stuart in Michigan has a few.  We were able to obtain the redemption sets and keep the number cards as well.  Somehow, though I missed #7.  Once or twice I've seen these used as padding or thrown into dime boxes, but haven't ever seen them in bunches.  Most of the time, I think they got turned in to Topps or discarded by the dealers.  Which makes the odds of actually coming up with one in 2018 a real long shot.

But if you have one lying around, I'll trade you something for it!

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Happy Birthday To Me +3

Happy Birthday to me and three other much more interesting ladies, none of which are sharing the same milestone with me (51).

Proud mama Kate Middleton is due again in April.  Those royal troops sure are busy, but who can blame them?

Nina Dobrev was just swimming with the sharks to shoot a PSA against the brutal fin trade.  She cut her hair, but still looks great.

Last year's newcomer Nicola Peltz is making more "news" from dating The Beiber than making movies lately.

Other notable celebs born the same day as me: 
Super Bowl I & II winner Bart Starr is 84.
Singer Joan Baez is 77. 
Guitarist Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin is 74. 
Singer Buster Poindexter is 68. 
Singer Crystal Gayle is 67. 
Actor J.K. Simmons (TV's Farmer's Insurance ads) is 63.  
Actress Joely Richardson is 53.  
Basketballer Muggsy Bogues is 53.
Singer Steve Harwell of Smash Mouth is 51. 
Singer Dave Matthews of The Dave Matthews Band is 51. 
Dave and I were born on exactly the same day
Actress Joey Lauren Adams ("Chasing Amy," ''Big Daddy") is 50. 
Singer A.J. McLean of the Backstreet Boys is 40. 
NFL WR Chad Johnson is 40.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Favorite Card Of 2017

I saw a few people do this post, and initially thought I would have to search through the Topps flagship and BUNT sets, which are the only ones I did this year and maybe I would remember something that caught my eye.  Nothing stood out to me when I first considered which card I would choose.

...Then I realized it's actually an easy decision.

I got this from Night Owl in June.  It's the trifecta - 1) Bryce Harper, the superstar from my local team, 2) Dusty Baker, a player PC of mine, and 3) it's a short print variation of a very cool moment.  What more could I ask for?

Friday, January 05, 2018

Crack The Super Bowl Contest!

Collector's Crack is running his famous Super Bowl Contest.  Only open until 4PM January 6th!  Jump in NOW!

2018 Collecting Goals

Everyone associates New Year's Resolutions with just the first day of January, but since my birthday is the 9th, I figure I have the first ten days or so to review things and set targets for the coming year.

Resolution the First - Keep a steady blogging pace.  I racked up 146 posts this calendar year, my first "official" one as a regular card blogger.  I slacked off in July (vacation) and December (new dog).  Otherwise, I managed to put up over a dozen posts a month.  Generally I tried to hit Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  This year I hope to continue that pace and increase the quality....

Resolution the Second - Be more positive and creative in my posts.  Trade posts are always good, but I feel like my commentaries and reviews have been largely negative and complaining about the same things.  I want to strive to be more like Night Owl, Fuji, and Dime Box Nick and many others and show more of what I enjoy about cards and not what's wrong with them.  More posts about customs (and how I do them), and quirky things about my collecting (that don't get their thunder stolen by the better bloggers) will appear here regularly if I can get my mind on it.

Resolution the Third - Clean up and put all this stuff away!  

My card room is chock full of binders, set starters, show loot, trade loot, and storage supplies - some of which are still where they landed in August after the National and Michigan trip.  Not to mention all the stuff I took to sell at the show that won't go back into my cabinet since it was put into bigger boxes.

I gotta get my sorting desk back and clear off the little couch so the dog will like to stay nearby when I work on cards.

At some point I'll have to consider rearranging the room to make more binder shelf space.

C'mon Dad, there's no place for me in there....

Resolution the Fourth - Complete the 1960, 1970, and 1972 Topps Sets.  This one should be a cinch with my buddy Marvelous Marv in Michigan hooking me up with 1960's.  I'm down to the last nine big guns to kill off.  Might take a little while just to spread out the costs.
The other two have been hanging on for the whole year.  They should have been gone at the National, but I just couldn't kill them.  Figured it would be easier since I'm not looking for gradeable mint at all.  Down to ten minor star high numbers for '70 and Pete Rose IA, Fritz Peterson (both), and Piniella 72's plus thirty high numbers including only Morgan & Fregosi traded, Carew, and Mazeroski as big names. Then I'm ready to crush '64 and to start '63 and '62.

Resolution the Fifth - Ramp up the trading with my original group and keep up the blogger trades.  I've really enjoyed becoming a member of the "in crowd" of traders among bloggers, but in doing so have sacrificed keeping up with my main trading group on Yahoo.  I get the collected emails with everyone's requests and trade posts, but got to the point where I was just dumping them in dozens because I never took the time to read them all as they came in.  It's a generous group, so I feel like I'm slacking and missing out on "thinning the hoard" around here.

Resolution the Sixth - Knock out a lot of old want lists.  Even with all I have, there are still pounds of stuff still listed on my site that have been there forever.  Since I really didn't buy a lot of 2017 product and don't anticipate getting much more in 2018, I should ride that trend and pare down what I've missed in years past.  I should make a concerted effort to thin out the want lists and not just keep adding to them month after month.  (And help others do the same).

That should be plenty to think about this year.  I'm not sure at this point whether I'll make it to Cleveland for the National.  I liked it the first time a few years ago, and would love to meet a few of the other bloggers and traders I deal with.  I'm also on the verge of just stopping the collection of certain sports and narrowing my focus a bit.  (Mostly because my house won't hold it all for much longer.)  At least it seems like the dog doesn't like to chew cardboard....

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Science Experiment (Gone Horribly Wrong)

It's become sort of a tradition each year around the time of the National Convention that my friend Stuart and I break a couple boxes of some junk wax set.  Since I skipped pretty much the whole era the first time around, I don't have a lot of sets from the late 80's to early 90's.  So I pick out one that I kinda like and we find boxes for less than ten or fifteen dollars each and see if we can make sets.  We've done 1987 and 1990 Topps, 1992 Fleer and 1993 O-Pee-Chee.

As you know, some of these type packs came with gum.  When they were new, the gum isn't horrible, but is not made to be a confectionary premium either.  If you were a kid back then, did you like the gum?

If you open packs from 1987 in 2015, the gum actually looks the same.  Some candy etc. lasts forever, right?  But if you try to chew it, it disintegrates immediately.  Yep, I tried.  So does the stuff really break down on its own?

Stuart took the experimental concept to a whole other level.  He collected two boxes worth of gum into a jar and filled it with water, wondering if it would dissolve immediately or separate into sugar and chemical compounds.  He let it sit for a long time.

Well, let's just say it wasn't pretty.  After year one...

And just a couple months ago...

Eeeeww.  At least I think he keeps the jar sealed.  I keep telling him he needs to dump it out before it becomes sentient and kills him in the middle of the night.

Monday, January 01, 2018

2017 Collective Awards

Welcome to the second annual Collective Awards! It's the end of the year awards show where the categories are all made up by me on the fly, and the winners are who or what I choose, which is probably in the minority of popular opinion. At some point, maybe I'll come up with an actual statue design. In the tradition of the Oscars, we'll call them the Borgs for now. I'll bring back a few categories from last year, and make up a few different ones too.

Our first award goes for the Best Base Design, just like last year.  And the trophy goes to... Topps BUNT!

     I didn't mind base Topps, I've always kinda liked the concept of TV type graphics in a card design, but it wasn't my favorite.  Last year's winner Allen & Ginter wasn't bad, but it reminded me of oval-framed portraits of Victorian queens or something.  I still can't tell what year a given Bowman or Donruss card is for the last several years because they all look the same.  GQ was interesting, but hard to read.  BUNT was a nice colorful graphical design that even worked as monochrome parallels. 

Good job, Topps.  Now here's another one for you that you won't like as much.  You win (on TWO counts) for Biggest Disaster In The Basic Execution Of An Insert Set.

     Both First Pitch and MLB Network insert sets were issued with numbering out of order, missing, or just plain botched.  Previously described here.  Come on, guys, this is basic stuff.  This cannot become a regular thing.  Not to mention forgetting a hyphen on a third insert set.

One more along that line.  The Topps Trifecta is complete with their victory in the Oversaturation Of A Classic Design.

     I get that the 1987 Topps design is sorta iconic, especially among somewhat younger collectors.  An insert set of about 50 total cards would have been sufficient.  We got a 200 card set, which could have been a standalone product, two color parallels, autographs, a three wood rookie variation set, an oversize version, plus a shiny prismic version (100 more) which also came in SIX color parallels, and the real things in buyback form. 

Next up, The Coolest Product I Didn't Actually Buy.  And the winner is... Donruss Diamond Kings.

     Another nice graphical set, which bordered on artsy.  I always like sets with retired players, but just couldn't quite pull the trigger on this one.  Panini has made some decent sets even though they're handicapped by the inability to show team logos or colors.  Thought about just putting together a base set from dealers, but didn't do that either.  Maybe next year....

I could actually fill out the rest of the show with products that I didn't buy.  Looking back at the product list for 2017 on TCDB, I don't even recognize about a third of the products listed. But I'll just put this one out there.  This one could have been a winner for several years.  For High End Product I Wish I Could Afford, it's Topps Dynasty.

     I don't ever buy high end products, but if I did, I'd get Dynasty.  I would love nothing better than to pull a Bryce Harper autographed patch, or a Hank Aaron auto or someone like that.  My luck, I'd get Michael Fulmer or Yasmany Tomas.  (No offense to those guys or their fans).  I always picture Dynasty cards as being the size of the early 80's Donruss Action All-Stars (3½" x 5") or so and am thrown off when I see them in real life, which is rare.

But back to some actual accomplishments in 2017.  Barry Melrose presents the award for Token Hockey Coverage to 2017-18 O-Pee-Chee Hockey.

     I finally did purchase some hockey this year.  Except for some Tim Horton's I got in the secondary market, and a set of MVP that my friend Stuart sent me from 2014-15, I haven't touched hockey since 2011.  I liked (didn't love) the OPC design this year well enough to take a shot at it.  There are actually black parallels that would have been even better as the base set design.  The Retro parallels are the big selling point of OPC, but they're probably tough to finish.  Just posted my wants on my list page.  We'll see if I can muster some trades from somewhere, since there aren't many hockey traders in my circles.

And that's our show for 2017.  Kinda short, I know, but since I really only bought Topps flagship, BUNT, and some hockey, I really don't have much else to say about the cards that came out this year.  We still have sport-exclusive contracts, so there are still logoless and hatless players shown on what would otherwise be decent designs.  And almost every other set is about shiny short-printed rookies, so I'm just not interested.  See you next year!