Monday, April 24, 2023

The First Mile

At some point I promise I'll get back to posting things like the Heritage pairs ('59T/'08Her), trade maildays, and other aspects of my collecting.  But for now, I'm immersed in data entry.  

Tonight, I finished my first full monster box.  I started with a three row with everything from '97 Pinnacle Zenith through '98, '99, and 2000 that you've seen before.  

This five-row box holds the end of Upper Deck 2000 thru 2003 Stadium Club (which is between SP Authentic and SP Legendary Cuts because it fits in the end of the row.)

So here's everything I've entered so far in baseball.

Well, it's probably closer to two full monster boxes, but the rest of it is chunks of sets from several different places, some special stuff, and some football.  Also including a handful of singles I added on to some trades, and a group of oversized cards that have to be stored separately.  And I did enter my box of 2015 Score / 2018 Illusions football.

As you can see, there aren't many big chunks of sets in this box.  Only maybe 2002 UD Vintage (4th row) and 2003 SP Authentic at the very end.  This one probably took around 20 hours total to enter.  That was spread over about six days last week up to tonight.  I took Thursday thru Saturday off.  It sped up Sunday, because I installed the Brave browser and now use it for database work.  I had never heard of it before, but it is based on Chrome and blocks all ads and trackers.  And it's free.  Such a relief to get rid of the pesky ad banner that pops up from the bottom of the TCDB page every time it refreshes or moves to a different page!

The view via Firefox (my default) with the ad you can't deflect...

The same page in Brave - no ads anywhere!

I'm also stopping every now and then to scan a card I'm entering that doesn't have an image in the database site.  It's a very quick process unless it's a shiny card, then that takes some editing.  According to my Recently Added history, I've put up right about 200 images (fronts & backs count separately) since I started scanning things in earnest, beginning in late March.

Just a sampling of the more wacky stuff I have available.  

Only six or seven more five-rows to go in baseball, and nine football after that!  And then I'll go back and do everything before 1997!  

I really will try to post about other things in the meantime.  I just won't want to sit in front of this screen much more though.....

Thursday, April 20, 2023

You've Got Mail ~ Just Barely...

Since I began my quest to enter all my trade bait into the Trading Card Database site in February, there have been 18 trades generated along the way.  Eleven of them have been completed just in April alone so far.  As many of you know, PWE (Plain White Envelope) trades are very popular on that site.

Everything has been going swimmingly, except for a couple deliveries that showed up a bit traumatized.  Nothing was lost or stolen, but the envelopes barely survived.  Addresses are obscured for internet security.

This one came in rather shredded, but the sender packaged everything in an inner cardboard sleeve, so no harm done.  I've had PWE's arrive in Post Office bags when they're this beat up, but this one hobbled in on it's own.  I imagine it must have happened in the delivery truck.

This next one was also dual packaged.  The inner sleeve was undamaged, but was exposed to the elements on the way somehow.  The end of the outer envelope was neatly sliced off.

I can't even guess how that happened.  Random inspection?  I know I've been getting a lot of envelopes lately, but is that suspicious?

This last one isn't a damage case, but was interesting to me because of the packaging overkill.  I'll never criticize someone for packing cards to withstand any disaster, but I felt bad that this guy spent so much to ship six cards.

There is an outer clasp envelope sealed with tape at both ends, an inner bubble mailer packet, and inside that, the one team bag of cards.

Again, I'm not saying this is a bad job.  Just this...

It was from the west coast, so it cost over five dollars!  I mean, it's not Canadian prices, but dang!

I've linked these before - These are the semi-rigid photo envelopes I get from Amazon - 400 at a time (17¢ each).  Or 75 for $17 (still less than a quarter each).  They have a strip across the adhesive so you don't have to lick them and they fit two card savers side by side.  I get up to about 8 or 10 cards in one packing them this way.  By that point, it's usually over the weight limit and I'm already using the additional ounce/non-machinable stamps as it is.  You can see them in action in this post.  

What's your preferred method of making someone's mailday?

Saturday, April 08, 2023

Back To Back Show Weekends - Part 2: Chantilly, VA

I was a little under the weather Saturday, since I had been fighting a cold/cough for the last couple days, but I was determined to make it to the big show.  After all, they only come around three times a year.

It was also a lousy rainy day, but the drive wasn't bad and it was warm, so the trip was no problem.  I slept as long as I needed to and then headed out.  Got to the show about 11AM.

I usually start in the far end of the show, but decided to stop first at my favorite current set/insert guy.  Knocked off my Banner Seasons and Special Days, and all but one of my Gems and shortprints (still need #308 Herzog).  He had singles from a lot of the new sets, including Stadium Club and football Legacy, and I found the Tulo in a box of assorted things.

Found Keith at another dealer with vintage of all the sports.  I have to go back and verify my PC Hostess and Kellogg's lists.  I'm not confident that they're up to date.  Hopefully I don't have this one already.

Same guy had these Fleer World Series sticker backs.  Not sure which scan I'd consider the front or back in this case, but both are the same two cards.

Also found a major bargain in this '58 Cleveland team card.  Expected to pay about $20 for the '50s dynasty squad, but this was only three bucks.  There are a couple soft, layered corners, but it presents well enough.  A football bargain among mostly baseball.  This theme will continue...

Sticking with the '58s for a moment, got these two HOF'ers and a coaching legend at another table.

...Who also had this nice Larsen for only $6.  Again, mixing sports from the same dealer is leading to good things.

Another guy had these pristine '57s for $3 each.  BAL was $5 and looks a lot less crooked when not up against the others.

An older couple usually has a couple tables with showcases of cards laid flat.  And there's sets and other assorted stuff around the perimeter of their setup.  Whitey Ford was only $35 instead of the projected $50 I found, and isn't quite as off center as the overcropped scan shows.  If you look close at the other two, you'll see subtle writing - which appears to be actual autographs.  These were only $15 total.  The '67 Palmer WS does have a crease along the length, so I probably should have picked another of his from about eight or so they had.  But it's a bit more unique, so I'm good with it.

Two more '57s from Uncle Dick's (now under new management, but same great selection).  Nieman might look familiar.  Yeah, I always do that with something when I buy this much in the same short time period.  Luckily he was only a buck.  Logan is a cool card and was $3.

Finished my '74 Topps football set with these two, and got one '68, even though I looked through a lot of them at this show.  I guess the ones I need are the tough ones to find.

This somewhat bow-cut but clean Post cereal was the last item from Uncle Dick's this trip.  I just like these, and you can't beat big star cards for single digits.

Almost left these early '60s Salada coins off this post, since I stashed 'em in my list binder pocket so I wouldn't lose them.  Added bonus is the Topps coin of Elston that I got in Ephrata...

Got this odd pair from a dealer I'd never met before, but he was very helpful in finding several current year inserts for my trading buddy Stuart.  (Since I quit doing Topps flagship baseball, I don't know what a lot of the new inserts even look like, or which set they go with).  Knocked off my last Gem and grabbed this KD Donruss football card while we were looking for the other stuff.

And now, the finale. 

The seller I call the "football guy" because he has a huge box of football singles all tagged and sorted and stored in so many different holders, toploaders, etc.  The box is very recognizeable and I've bought from him several times.  His prices vary, but I've found some great deals.  

These Fleer Team Actions were a buck or two each, which is more than I like to pay for them, but with what else I got, it was worth it.  Needed two of the '85 WAS cards - one for set and one for team collection.  Still need a bunch of the green '84s, but passed some up.

He did have several of the earliest FTA set - from 1976 - which are actually stickers.  They were $4 plus a shot, but I had to at least get the Washington one.  I've never seen these in person until now.

Picked up two more 1984 USFL cards to get closer to that set.  Will have to find the big guns (Kelly, Young and White) eventually.  These were also a few bucks each, which is again a little more than I like, but wait 'til you see how this turned out....

I got the bargain of the year.

Maybe the last FEW years.

The Football guy had a showcase with vintage baseball as well.  I noticed they had prices written in marker on the corner of the card savers, so when they were stacked up, the prices markings ran together.  

I said let me see the '57s, just to check for bargains maybe on the minor stars or something.  I saw this one on top of one stack, but figured it was 600-1000 at best, like the others I saw last week.


This thing was marked "115".

I said "Is this right?"  He said yes, and something else that I didn't quite catch, but I said "Well, shoot, I gotta do that!"  There really aren't that many major flaws.

NEVER thought I'd be getting Teddy Ballgame - the first standard sized card ever issued - for basically 10% of the typical price until way after pandemic prices faded out.

What's the best bargain you've ever found on a white whale?

Wednesday, April 05, 2023

And If The Show Wasn't Enough...

On the way home from the Ephrata, PA show last Saturday, I found I had just enough time to get back to Jason's Cards along Route 30.  Got there with about 15 minutes left in their business hours, but the owner and his employee were putting things away and let me dig for a little while longer.  

Snagged these two '78 Topps stars for my second set build.  He was having a sale, so these were even cheaper than the few dollar sticker price.  His $10 cards were $8, etc. 

The employee said they had just put these out.  They were all $3 each.  I started my set with a couple batches of $1 each commons, but that was pre-pandemic.  I'm now OK with the $3 price on '50s cards.  At least as long as they're in good condition like these.  Maybe a corner or a little surface crease here or there, but overall zero defects.  

A nice little boost to my set build before the big Chantilly show.  Stay tuned for that post, coming next.  I snagged a couple of the big fish for incredible prices.