Monday, November 25, 2019

Updating The Software

The blog header here has been the same for a couple years now, and since a few of the major blogs have had theme changes, I figured it was time for at least a tweak.

Originally, I thought I would keep up the Borg / Trek theme in more than just the look of the blog, but that soon fell to the wayside.  Was thinking I would analyze cards and products in the deadpan style of the Collective, but it would have become cumbersome and cheesy after a while, so I let it go.  The main concentration of "trekkiness" is in the banner.  It started out like this:

The background and colors were already established.  Then I found the cool cyborg font...

Here's a better look at the first background.  Tried to represent the major parts of my collecting.  Set building ('72s), Priest Holmes player collection, vintage sets, etc.  Then threw in some star cards and game used just to appeal to a wider audience, so to speak.

Went with that for about a year, and then changed the cards and computer controls... 

New background looked like this:

It was really just a rearrangement of half of the same items in a somewhat less random layout.  Turned out a bit less busy, but still keeps that "only a Borg could use it" look.

And then today did it all over again.  Was tweaking the color saturation and contrast between the titles and the background, and the cyborg font came out with a lot more depth...

But I could only get it to be this pale green or whiz yellow, so I went back to the plain white you see at the top of the page.   I played around with saturation and luminance and got a couple other color combos that I may show later.

Here's the new background:

See if you can find some of the more subtle things.  There's the retro Topps logo (in place of an original skull), three representations of sets I've finished in the last year (listed as "Assimilation Complete"), and one of my custom Leading Ladies images.  There's the AAF card analysis on the left - computer is trying to compare it to NFL heroes.  And the hotness detection up top,

Major pieces of the techy stuff came from this image I found.  Converted some parts to green to match the other stuff and the background colors already on the blog.  (Not that it matches well, though).

I'm still wondering if I should mellow the white post body text a shade or two.  Looking at Night Owl's new theme, it's very easy to read the posts. (Just not easy to read the preceding posts from the top one).

What say you?

Should I keep this white text?  Or mute it down a little?  Or a lot?

How about the banner?  Stay with the bright titles or try it with some color?

Saturday, November 23, 2019

NOW = Nationals Overall Winners

In what is my first venture into an actual purchase of Topps NOW! product, I got in on the Washington Nationals World Series set.  It showed up today.

They offered four different tiers of the set -

10 base cards* for $25,
the full 20 base cards for $50,
20 base cards and one autograph for $80,
and 20 base cards and all (six?) autographs for $...  Well, that one's not there any more.

Now that I look at them again, the 10 base cards are almost all different photos than the 20-card set.  That's annoying, unless they put out the ad before they finalized the cards.

The autographs consist of:

I thought I saw Strasburg on that list earlier, but maybe I'm wrong.

Would love to get Scherzer or Soto for their star power.  I liked Robles all season, and would definitely take Kendrick for what he did in the postseason.  And it's probably Fuji's influence, but Suzuki is hard not to root for either.  So that only means one thing - I'll probably get Corbin.

In the mailer, there is a little yellow card that basically says you only got the base set right now, the auto will come in a later shipment.  This was also in the listing on their website, so they were up front about it.

The set came in a cardboard sleeve and a two-piece deck box.

I laid all the base cards out on my kitchen table for this picture, and of course discovered that it's impossible to take photos of glossy items anywhere in my dang house and not get reflections or shadows.

These are extra glossy, and are made of nice decent stock - as they should be for 40¢ each.  The backs have a cool feature...

Topps logo holograms across the entire surface, a nice deluxe touch.  The back of the first card discusses the Nats facing the Astros and their four road victories.  An appropriate caption for the celebration picture on the front.

Unfortunately, they put that one on all twenty cards in the set.  You don't get individual blurbs for each player.  There is more specialized information on their regular flagship base cards than on these.  Points off for this shortcoming.

But there are some nice features on the fronts...

Cool championship logo in the top corner and a simple name, year and team line with the curly W below.

Good shot of Kendrick celebrating.  Could be his home run off the foul pole, but we can't be sure.

And I have no idea what "Baby Shark" Parra is doing to Rendon in this shot.  It's fitting that he's doing something goofy since he brought the most energy and lightheartedness to the dugout through the season and the Series.

Just have to wait a few months until the autograph shows up.  Keeping my fingers crossed!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

First Volley Fired

Jeremy from Topps Cards That Never Were is the kind of team collector I like.  He's got comprehensive lists of his wants for (in this case, two teams) broken down by product.  And he isn't that far along on them, so there are a lot of base and inserts he can still use.  And the best part is that one of his teams is the Tampa Bay Rays, which don't have a huge following outside their local area.  I saw his wants pages and messaged him that I could do some damage.  He said he's been thinking of starting a trade with me as well, and sent the first batch already.

A couple '92 Gold Winners.  Interesting how they handled the stamping on the prospects card.

Three set hits to 2003 Topps and Upper Deck, and Cal from '94 Score Gold Rush.

Two 2011 Heritage singles, including Max Scherzer, now the ace of the 2019 World Champion Washington Nationals!  Whew, that's nice to be able to say...

Then for my player collections, this cool Bowman Julio Franco featuring his signature stance.

Three Mike Mussinas including a custom from Jeremy.  That Rock & Fire is a Hobby Reserve parallel, which is good, because I probably have three extras of the plain version.  Jeremy also made note of the gold hologram version of this Upper Deck.  Another good call, because I probably wouldn't have caught it right away.

More PC guys and more copious parallels.  Pinnacle Away Stats and foil versions.  And that E-X is just elegant.

Yet another rare version - the black Leaf - among these Livans.  Those Pinnacle Mints have about six coin and semi-coin versions too.  Lots of shiny here.

The capper is back to Mussina in this oversize Zenith Impulse jumbo.  Glad it survived the trip through the mail!

Thanks a lot Jeremy!  I am still building on about a six inch stack for the return flight - some serious Rays!

Friday, November 15, 2019

A Glaring Omission

After all my systematic counting procedures and thorough documentation counting my whole collection, I missed a few.

Since these are stored in a separate and undisclosed location from the bulk of my stuff, they slipped my mind until yesterday.  Twenty-nine of my best cards are kept in screw-downs away from the others.

I added them to my spreadsheet, so the official totals are now this:

Makes it a nice round grand total.  That will be my official number. 

Here are the last additions:

 A lot of these are from the one collection that I bought a long time ago.  It was mostly Dodgers and big name star rookies.  The '55 Ted was my first high dollar card.  Killer was the final piece of the '55 Senators team I did.  The rest are from that collection except Yogi.   I got him real cheap before I started the '50 Bowman set.

 More Dodgers.  Got the Koufax and Campy myself. 

These I've bought over the years at Chantilly or the National, except Maris who was with the collection.  The Gibson's not the greatest, but the price was right.

Nolan was in the collection.  Schmidt I bought myself, and the Maz is actually from 2008 Heritage.  Pulled him from a box I opened.  Best pull I've done, I think.

Sorry, none of these are available for trade.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Card Census: The Final Tally

Back in May, I began a sometimes arduous, sometimes gratifying task of counting my entire collection.  Not worried about absolute accuracy, though I am usually a perfectionist about things like this, I just wanted a rough number of the total cards I have officially in my collection.

Started out in stages.  I was worried about the bulk team collection, but it turned out to not be very tedious after all.  Ran into some other issues that slowed me down for a bit, but I pushed on.  The first report was in:
Total GU & Autos by sport  Baseball 11  Football 586  Hockey 156  Other 5

Total regular cards by sport:

Baseball 59190
Football 32742
Hockey 18117
Other 3742

Grand Total (so far): 114549

The first few posts were called Cardboard Census, but since the bots attack those posts, and I basically forgot about the title after it moved off the page in Blogger, I only updated the counts a couple more times.

Then I went on the six-state tour including the National, and piled up a bunch of stuff I couldn't put away until I was done counting, since what I bought would have added to what was already counted.  Then I also bought the 15 monster box hoard and sifted through that for a couple weeks.  Stay tuned for more about that later, but have your want lists ready!

Finally, this past weekend, I dove in again and finished counting the last part of the largest volume cabinet, the second binder shelf, and both desks that are covered in piles of incoming cards.

So to update the images from the last time:

The baseball cabinet bulk set storage and my player collection binders in the middle went relatively quickly.  I found a couple different techniques to get the numbers, which may appear in another Cardboard OCD post.

The football set binders went really fast, since they were mostly complete base sets.  The top shelf was done in like ten or fifteen minutes.  The Redskin binders took most of that time.  The third shelf is hockey (1889).  The other two binders there are Charlie's Angels, that counts with the non-sports stuff below, and the dead football leagues binder which contributed to the football number from the shelf above.

There were a small number of additions to this group on the sorting desk in the card room.  Not enough to warrant a re-take of the photo, though.  The stuff in the white box is from my latest Chantilly haul and was comprised of all three sports.

The desk in the other room held about twice as much incoming loot.  Sorted by sport, era, and set / team / player collections.  I can't wait to consolidate all this stuff.  That's basically the next phase of work I have to do.

It's all tracked and classified in my handy dandy spreadsheet.  I lumped all the game used, autos (certified and IP), manurelics,  and printing plates into a "hit" count.  Largely because they're not such a priority with me.

So here are my final (update: they are after the next post) numbers.  I'm not intending to keep a running count from here, but I may add in some more starter sets from the hoard, etc. just to keep it honest.  But like I said in the opening, I just wanted to know around what numbers I have.

+29 of my best cards - see next post

226,950 total cards as of Nov. 15 2019

I figured I'd approach 250,000 once I really got started.  Was almost going to be disappointed if I didn't pass 225K.  Not sure why.  The object isn't really to have the most, it's just to get stuff I like.  And I like a LOT of stuff.  This is what you get when you have no real life otherwise.

Now the question is, do I want to know how many cards I have in my house altogether?  Because none of this stuff was part of my totals...

The hoard - minus a few hundred

My bulk extras

Unsorted Redskins and set dupes
Spare sets and starters

Nah, I think I can live without knowing that number.  Now the quest begins for clean desk space again!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Interesting Mail From Mr. H

I met and swapped cards with Jim, aka Mr. Haverkamp at this year's National.  He hit me again today with a few cool things in the mail.

I got an email from him just after I posted my Ron Fairly collection.  He said he had an addition.  This is apparently the Jello version of the 1963 Post cereal card.  Sweet!

Here's a comparison.  Not sure I'd know the difference without seeing them side by side.  The separation between the name and the number and team lines gives it away.  Interesting how the finishing on the same photo is so completely different between them.

Next up, the Laughlin/Fleer version of the World Series cartoons #36 Charlie Keller.  This is an upgrade to mine, especially on the back, where my previous one is way off center.

And finally, there's this credit-cardy thing that neither of us can readily identify, but seems familiar to me.  I've seen these before somewhere.  Nifty addition to my team collection if it isn't there already.  I surmised that is has to be 1973 or later since it mentions the Super Bowl VII appearance.

You can always expect quality items from Mr. Haverkamp.  Thanks Jim, and send me some more want lists!

Friday, November 08, 2019

Washington Trophy Checklist 2019

Washington DC has been on a championship run lately...



Not quite the NBA, but pretty close...

And most recently, MLB:


So there's only one more to get...

Well Dan, ...