Thursday, May 31, 2018

Cardboard OCD Chapter 6b: One Player At A Time

Continuing my series on listing your collection, I'm going to turn to player collecting.

Some collectors concentrate only on one player, or just a few.  They might want to "supercollect" that player and try for basically every issued card of that guy.  I've seen certain forum sites define a "supercollection" as having a certain ratio of high end issues, and a qualifying number of rare cards and/or 1/1's.

There are ways to easily generate a workable list of this kind.  You just have to know a good reference.  I used to pull listings from the Beckett site, but I find that the Trading Card Database is pretty much as thorough and is somewhat easier to collect data from.

Here is my list for Sergei Fedorov.  It's a printed Word Document that I'm pretty sure I pulled from Beckett and then edited and formatted.  I color coded the listings by the team he was on.  Red for Detroit, Purple for the Ducks, Blue for the Blue Jackets, and Dark Red for the Capitals.  Made it two columns and added the circles to check off.  This is way too big a list to put on my site, but if one player is the majority of what you collect, then it would be fine.  More on this later.

Looking at the current Beckett site, I wouldn't recommend trying to cut & paste any player with more than a year or two worth of cards.  There are too many buttons and funky formatting now to get a reasonably workable list.  Plus you have to go page by page and keep adding to the end of the document you're creating.

Use the Database.  It pretty much does it all for you now.  If you go there and search a player, you get the full cardography and most of the easy cards have pictures.  I went with "Big Sexy" Bartolo Colon.

But they also provide a very nice printable list at the click of your mouse.

Just click the printer icon on the player page.  And then click on Part 1.  I haven't seen a list long enough to be broken up into more than one part.  The resulting pages are printable as they are.

The only drawback to this list is that it contains all the 1/1's and printing plates in among the other cards.  I like to separate (or eliminate) these from my lists because of the astronomical odds that I'll ever actually see one of them.  Trims the list down significantly sometimes too.

Bartolo's list is 15 printable pages.  The card listings with pictures are 45.  So either way, it's a bit labor intensive.  In this case, the .pdf file pastes into Word with both columns mushed together into one line.  You'd have to use Word's Replace function to change " 1997" to "<paragraph mark> 1997" and then sort the whole list alphabetically to put them back in order.  The one quirk is that your list will put parallels above the regular card in a set. So you end up with this:

2001 Topps - Employee 245 Bartolo Colon
2001 Topps - Gold 245 Bartolo Colon SN2001
2001 Topps - Home Team Advantage 245 Bartolo Colon
2001 Topps - Limited 245 Bartolo Colon
2001 Topps 245 Bartolo Colon

The base card is last in the list.  Not a huge deal, but it can mess with your OCD.  :)

I won't go into the detailed procedures here, but I am available for coaching if you'd like to try this.

For my players, there are two levels below "supercollecting" that I put most of my PC's.

My vintage players have much more limited catalogs for those cards issued when they were active players.  Mostly base Topps and oddballs.  If they played from 1981 to about 1988, then they have Donruss, Fleer, and some others like SportFlics, etc.  And a lot of my guys appeared in Kelloggs and Hostess issues, and the various Topps inserts in the 70's and 80's.

So those were the default issues that I pursued, along with each oddball set as I discovered them for sale or trade.  There is a lot of regional issued stuff that I wouldn't worry about unless I happened to find it, but that never really showed up on lists.  As I went along, I would add different sets to the rosters, which I still kinda do now, especially since most of the basic stuff has been completed and I haven't added any more players from this timeframe.  As a result, my vintage PC listings are relatively short.

The modern guys - players who started in the late 80's to 2000's - have so much more stuff compared to the older guys, that I had to separate them onto a whole other web page.  I took their full listings (as active players) and pasted them right to the site.  Obscure parallels and other subtle variants make it tough to keep accurate, but I just roll with it.  I color coded these guys so when you're scrolling through the middle of a huge list, you can tell whose it is.  For some reason, the spacing comes out different sometimes.

Remarkably, people ask me if these are HAVE or NEED lists.  I would think it is obvious that a lot of the regular base card listings are missing and there's so much other oddball and parallel stuff on here, but I still get the question.  Sometimes I figure it's people who aren't really reading it that close, especially since I'll occasionally get a base card in trade when there is only a parallel listed.

There are a couple other special cases in my player collections.  One is Tom Cheney.  I added him a year or two ago, which means for some reason I don't integrate him into the rest of my vintage player lists.  He only has a few regular cards.  I've also included his post-career issues as well.  I don't usually do that since it would quadruple the volume in some cases.  I guess since he's so short, I just keep the printed list and that's it.  And a couple of his are oddballs that I wouldn't necessarily recognize on sight, so I like the visual aids.  It also helps to know at a glance which of the easy ones I still lack.

Another late comer to my PCs is young Pirates pitcher Chad Kuhl who made his debut against Clayton Kershaw and won.  I watched the game and was so happy for him that I decided to collect his cards.  His catalog consists of one year of Bowman rainbow (not my favorite, but decent looking cards), a few minor league issues before that, and the last two years of Topps Flagship and Heritage.  So if nothing else than to track all the Bowman parallels and autograph versions after I bought the lot that I did, I printed his list from the database too.  I included the pictures too 'cuz it's still only two-ish pages.  I wouldn't usually go for a guy who has a lot of prospect cards, but since the volume is relatively low, it's not bad.

That's not even all the different players I collect, but the few that I didn't show aren't much different.

What I do want to present is some of the unusual parallel sets and references I've made for special cases.  I'll do that in the next post so this doesn't end up being a novel.  (Who said "too late?")

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Targets For Assimilation - #8 On The List

The second in a series of my top ten wants.  Not necessarily in order because they're mostly just the last card left to complete a set and aren't that special otherwise.

#365 in the 2002 Topps baseball set has multiple personalities.  Or at least it's not really just one card.  It's 73 cards, one for each of Barry Bonds' record setting (insert asterisk here?) home runs.  It's also of course, the last card I need to kill the base set.

I'm really only looking for one.  I have no great need to complete the (sub)set.  Any one will do.

I can't really say that I've ever seen one on a dealer table anywhere though.  COMC has most of them for prices ranging from $18.75 (for #70) down to a buck sixty eight (ironically for #68).  Is that reasonable?  I get that the #70 would be in demand, but do the others usually go for that much?  A much more reasonable rate for these would be 50¢ or so each since there are so many and except for the big number, they're all exactly the same.  And Bonds is just so adored by millions....

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Leading Ladies Of Sports Broadcasting #6

Before joining the MLB network and the NHL channel, this gorgeous lady was at Fox Sports Florida covering the Tampa Bay Rays, Orlando Magic, and Tampa Bay Lightning teams.  She began her career with the ACC Digital Network as a PA and host.

I give you the Goddess Kelly Nash.  Equally stunning blonde or brunette.

The cards...

She hosts Quick Pitch, the baseball highlight show, and the NHL version On The Fly.

I would imagine some people would say she's just a Barbie doll, but she's a really knowledgeable journalist.  And after seeing her host the first skill competition show between the former MLB and NHL players from their respective network staffs, I saw that she was one of the coolest (and sexiest) female sport reporters of all.  Wish that video was on YouTube.

But being 37-24-35 isn't a bad thing either.

Friday, May 25, 2018

This Day In Baseball History: Casey At The Bat - No Not That One

I try not to cop out with these quickie posts more than once in a while, but this one's just too crazy to pass up.


Casey Stengel, traded by the Dodgers in the off-season to the Pirates, calls time, steps out of the batter's box to give the razzing Ebbets Field fans the 'bird'. The Pittsburgh right fielder doffs his hat, allowing a sparrow to fly out, much to the amazement and amusement of the fans.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Mr. Ovechkin Goes To Vegas

The Capitals are going to Vegas to face the Golden Knights in the Cup Final! 

Vegas has been an amazing story all year. Gonna be a shame that they'll fall short of winning it all.  But at least they'll have something to strive for next season!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Hail To Cheap eBay Team Sets

A quick post on a quick pickup I made last week.  I really need to sit down and pound out some more drafts.

While transitioning a couple football sets to binders, I discovered that I had not duplicated the Redskins team for the sets and the team collection.  I managed to find a 1980 Topps team set for a few bucks on eBay.  The same seller had about twenty other team sets too.  I went through my checklist book and found a few more that I had only a few or none from and added those on.

Got five total.  They came double bubble wrapped and bagged.  The 2007s are refractors.  Had never seen the Pacifics before, at least not in football flavor.

I also need all but about six cards from the 1981 Topps team and a complete '82 team as well. 


Friday, May 18, 2018

Today's Post Cancelled Due To Flooding

You may have seen the news reports about the flooding in Frederick, MD and the surrounding counties if you live in the DC / Baltimore / Gettysburg Metro areas.

Luckily, my town just to the north was spared, so I just have been helping Mom squeegee some water from her basement and rec room last evening.  Nothing too severe, just some saturated carpet and a full drain that finally started working again this morning.  Hopefully, the forecast for more rain today and over the weekend doesn't fill it all back up again.

Anyway, LET'S GO CAPS!  They seem to like playing on the road better....

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

This Day In Baseball History

May 16

1965 Future Hall of Famer Jim Palmer, pitching 3.2 innings in relief, wins his first major league game when the Orioles defeat the Yankees at Memorial Stadium, 7-5. The 19 year-old Orioles' rookie right-hander makes the day more memorable when he hits a two-run homer off Jim Bouton in the fourth inning.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Just Call On The Brother, When You Need A Yaz

It's another fine vintage mailday last week when I got a package of 1963 Fleer baseball.

Marvelous Marv has been my go-to guy for vintage for quite a while now.  When I asked him about '63s, he referred me to his brother Jay.  Jay came through with some nice ones.

The bast one was this gorgeous Yaz.  Just off to the left a bit, but almost perfect otherwise.  This will upstage most of the ones I have.

Filling in down the line are these guys.  I had seen them many times, but hadn't found one I liked enough to bring home.

And rounding it out is this nice Gibby for the back end of the set.

Thanks Jay!

Oh and here's where the title came from...

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Dare To Dream

On this day in baseball history, Larry Miggins hit the first of his only two home runs in major league history. 

It came off Preacher Roe in 1952 at Ebbetts Field, where Miggins' Cardinals would eventually fall to the Dodgers 14 - 8. 

Back in the day when Larry was growing up, he and a friend had shared their dreams of major league baseball during an assembly in prep school. 

That friend was also at the game, and had also accomplished his goal.  They had wondered what the odds against both of them making it would be.

The friend's name was Vin Scully.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Vin Scully Said It Best

In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!

Everyone thought the Washington Capitals would struggle to compete in their division this season.  They knocked off their arch nemeses Monday night and advanced the furthest into the playoffs than they've been since about 1998.

That's never gonna get old.  Especially the radio call.

I was shocked to see Pierre McGuire interviewing Caps players on our local NBC Sports Washington channel after they cut away to the other game very quickly once this one ended.  I figured he and the other NBC guys would be too distraught to continue since their favorite team lost.

The players say they're only halfway to the real prize, but this is better than the Redskins beating Dallas to go to the Super Bowl.

I usually say "Watch for lightning!" when something happens like this that's so against the status quo, but in this case, it's literally true.   But the confidence of the Capitals will be so much higher after this series, that Tampa better strap in tight.

I just hope they don't end up facing Vegas in the Final.  That would be a shame to have to spoil those guys' run.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Cardboard OCD Chapter 6: List It and Love It

Yep, the title was inspired by the HGTV real estate show.  We have that channel running on the TV during the day at work.

This edition of Cardboard OCD is all about the many different ways I make lists of cards I want to acquire.  I find different kinds of lists lend themselves to different collections.  Set builds, team collections, player collections, and just rounding out your star cards all generate different types of lists.  I'll start with set builds, and move to the others later.  It may take a couple posts.

Even though I have an eight page website for all my main collections, I still have written and printed lists for all kinds of other stuff.  Nowadays, you can pull up your website on your phone wherever you are.  Back in the day, you had to bring it all with you in some form.  My binder is how I stay prepared to find any card in the universe that I might want.  The website is for sets and player collections that I hit often, and the written lists are visual translations of some of that, plus other stuff that I haven't fully established yet, or niche collections that don't quite fit on a particular site page.  With all that is on my site, there is still a lot left over...

So you start a set.  Are you starting with a large lot or just a handful?  If it's a full size set like flagship, Heritage or the like, you may not have enough to even start listing yet.  So you can start with a number grid and check it off as you go.  All the numbers are already there, so it's just a matter of marking your progress.  I like to give them a little style cue to the set they are for so I can tell at a glance which sheet I'm looking at in my list binder.

When you enlarge the sheets above, you can see that they are for 1962 and '63 Topps baseball.  I marked the '62 list with brown slashes to mimic the woodgrain design and the triangular corner feature.  The '63 list is marked with green circles as a hint to the circular sub-photo on the fronts of that year.  Other grids I make use fonts and colors that relate to the corresponding set.

They all come from Excel spreadsheets that are created by typing the first few numbers, then highlighting and dragging them out to 25.  Then highlighting and dragging that complete row down to 1000 or so.  After saving that basic template, you can erase and resize the numbers to match the cards in whatever set you're listing and put that on another tab in the spreadsheet.  That way you always have the original number grid to start with and some already modified to a closer number.

Those who aren't so computer savvy can request my file.

Now if you're starting with a large lot or some boxes, then you might just need the very basic list of what's left - the written list.  This is the simplest list type of all.  It's sort of the oldest of the "old school" if you will.  I see guys with simple written lists all the time pulling vintage at shows.  Some of them cram set lists on itty bitty notepads that I'm surprised they can read.  I don't go much smaller than the standard steno pad.

I try to use up most of the page space just to be efficient.  A few times I've flipped to the next page and written upside down.  Most of the time I'll type these into my website right away, so the steno pad doen't usually leave the house.  Now and then I'll rip out a page and stick it in the binder.

On smaller sets, or once I get down to a reasonable number, I'll add the names to the numbers on my site.  Mostly just last names unless there are multiple guys with the same one.

Above is a snippet from my site.  The legal pad design is a Google template which makes it nice and simple and readable.  I use the Georgia font because it makes the numbers very distinctive.  Here you see a larger set with just numbers, and some others with names, though in this case it's because the cards use initials instead of card numbers.  You'll also note a couple HAVE lists.  I had to highlight them in purple because the big, bold HAVE wasn't quite enough to keep people from sending me those cards (again).  I also make all my notes for variations and references in italics, and my set titles in bold to enhance the readability.  I'm also picky about spacing.  I can't stand when other collectors run all their set titles together with no blank lines in between and no difference in the set names and card numbers.  It's just flat hard to read.  Sometimes I have to copy their site pages and paste and format them so I can read them better.

Anyway, back to set listings.  So in some cases, I'll print a list with the names and everything.  It starts with copying the list from one of a few different sources, depending on what info I want.  I get them from Beckett, The TCDB, CardPedia, KeyMan, Virtual Collection (for pics of older stuff), etc.  Some original data will make it necessary to paste into Notepad to get rid of all the links, etc. and then into Word or Excel to make the final list.  And then I'll put color and columns in and clean it up nice.

This one is from the Beckett site.  You can tell it's from several years ago when I actually subscribed and got pricing.  I don't remember if the check boxes came with it or I added them after.  But the rest is right from their listings.  Make it two columns and format it to alternate the shading of the lines.  The pricing is sorta handy in this case because this is actually a set of jersey cards.  More on this one later....

My 1950 Bowman set list from the Old Cardboard site.  Not sure why I used their list, but it works.  Since the numbers on '50 Bowman are hard to read, I wanted the names.  Figured this set would take a long time, so instead of putting it on the site, I just made this list.

Now supposing there are variations to a set you're building.  If it's not obvious by the text listing as to the difference between a & b, then I want a visual guide.  I made this for when I start '63 and '64.  Now I can tell quckly when I've got a rare variation or the common correct card.

I just Google images or find them on eBay and paste them into a Word document.  It's easy to resize and position them in Word.  Though sometimes it's tricky to get the captions below the images and keep everything lined up and on one page.

Another visual list I made was for those 2007 Sweet Spot Classic jerseys.  I kept seeing so many of them on eBay auctions, that after a while, they were so familiar that I couldn't tell if I had some of them or just kept seeing them on there for too high a price.

Makes a nice collage since the photos in this set are so nice.  I improvised a couple of them with base images since I couldn't find pics of the jersey cards.

Next time, team and player collections.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Card Room Renovations Part 3: Finish

When we last saw the card room, I had loaded the shelves to a degree, after sliding them across the downstairs floor, and up the staircase, flipped them on their tops, and scooted them into the room where I flipped them again into place.  The only time I supported their full weight was when I shoulder blocked them up the steps.  Again, I advise against solo furniture moving.

But anyway, back to the room.  Here's the shelves once again.  One roll of plastic lining protects the wood from scratches by the binder ring tabs, etc.  I figure I'll put mostly boxes or supplies on the bottom shelves so it's not a big deal that the liner wasn't enough for the bottom shelves.

I've got plenty of empty binder space, so the plan is to start sheeting up sets in boxes to then free up rack and cabinet space.  I also moved some of my dupe boxes into the other room, so there is already space on the wire shelf rack.

Some of these will eventually be leaving

Another detail you might have missed there is that I removed the two red Topps lockers I had among the blue ones and replaced them with two new blue ones my buddy Stuart found for me.  Now I'm good until about 2023 with Redskins card storage unless they allow more than the present number of companies to produce.  I will be sheeting up the two football sets in the Topps lockers and then deciding what to do with them.

The small shelf next to the rack is half empty as well.  That one might go into the next room too.

Meanwhile, the desk is back in place with extra binders underneath and (at least started out) clean and ready to accommodate sorting piles.

And the football cabinet is fully loaded again.  I'll tweak the loading of the small sets later.  Some of that stuff is kinda crammed in there.  But again, I'll be thinning that herd to go into binders too.  I ordered (and received) three more boxes of standard pages from Amazon to prep for all the sheeting coming up.

The couch and the floor are clear at last!  Operations are ready to resume.  Let's trade!

Friday, May 04, 2018

Fuji Holds A Contest And D&A Holds Out On Me

Enter now to win packs of 2018 Topps, a HOF'er autograph, and an amalgamation of nice stuff from your favorite team or collecting specialty!  San Jose Fuji is running a contest for commenters on his blog.  I'd jump in, but I've got Series 1 all taken care of and don't really collect team-centrically.  (Is that a word?)

Done in one shot

 I'll also put up a quick acknowledgement to Dave & Adams, who I ordered some retail hockey that I was surprised to still find at all.  I grabbed four of the $15 blasters of 2016-17 Parkhurst and threw in another box of 2015 Topps Field Access football to hopefully cull down my base needs and get luck on some autographs.

They threw in a freebie six card set of the scoring leaders from an Original Six set of some kind. 

I did OK on the football autographs, pulling Derek Carr, Robert Mathis, and Reuben Randle (plus some rookie dude I wasn't familiar with).  But I only yielded one single base card that I needed, and that was because it was a Redskin that I put the first copy toward the team set.  Not a single other card came off my list for that.  I gotta find some other poor schmucks that tried to build this set.

As for the hockey, I'm about 75% towards a base set, missing a lot, and having three to five of other guys, but it didn't seem like I duplicated a whole box completely.  And the inserts were mixed, with a couple coming out in triplicate, while others were all unique.  Sorry, I didn't scan any of them.

The quirky thing about this order was that I sent it in about a month ago and didn't see anything.  I wrote D&A and they overnighted it.  Must have slipped through the cracks.  But it showed up fine, and I've had so much going on with the renovations (and resulting physical issues), that I can't really get upset about the delay.

I used up all my drafts, so hopefully this weekend I'll pile up some more posts.  Have to finish cleaning up the card room and show that, plus some other acquisitions.  Until then, LET'S GO CAPS!

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Leading Ladies Of Sports Broadcasting #5

This time it's not another lovely lass, but instead some bonus cards of those I've shown before.

I didn't make the "Dark Desire" black parallels until the second issue, so here's the Erin Andrews version.  Works very well with the original black & white image.

I also found a couple combo photos of some of my subjects and made customs from them to sweeten up the set.  Special horizontal template.

Charissa and Erin is an awesome combo, out on the town...

Or in the studio.

And ya gotta love the baseball side too.  Stay tuned for Heidi in a future post.