Tuesday, April 30, 2024


I try to use the top loaders, penny sleeves and some of the modified 9-pocket sheets that I get from trade shipments.  Mostly for shipping other cards out, since they generally aren't clean enough for display or long term storage.  It's better than throwing it all out.  There's enough plastic out there as it is.

The same goes for painter's tape.  If you're doing it right, you're using painter's tape to secure your card shipments.  If you're using scotch tape, deduct three bonus points from your collector score.

I keep mine on the front of the file cabinet next to my computer desk.  That way it's handy to grab some when I'm packing packages.  I've seen other bloggers do the same thing. 

Mine is getting full.  Thanks TCDB traders!

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Blog Bat-Around: Best Pack Pulled "Hits"

I'm not a big autos & relics guy, but I have some.  I'm also not a big pack ripper, especially after 2020, since I only buy a couple products and only one of them consistently.

Having said that, here is my stab at Diamond Jesters' Best Pack Pulled Hits.  He limited his original list to five, but what fun is that?

When ranking these cards, I considered rarity and player star power.  Autographs trump jersey swatches, and unless it's another piece of something from the playing field, no other "relics" really count.  I'm combining football and baseball.

OK let's quit wafflin' and get crackin' with the list...  (Twelve bonus points if you know where that expression comes from.  Hint ~ YouTube.)

A few Honorable Mentions first.  I've got plain jersey swatches from Dan Marino, Barry Sanders, Bob Griese, and a few others that didn't make the (scan) cut. 


H1 - Aaron Judge 2023 and Yaz 2022 A&G mini relics

I also have similar ones from Vlad Guerrero Jr. and a couple other decent names.  That's always better than pulling some no-name rookie from an inferior team, though.  Between these two, I like the Yaz better because Vintage players > Modern guys.


H2 - 2014 Topps Valor Tajh Boyd Heart patch

I know what you're thinking - "How can you put a 1/1 in the Honorable Mentions???"  If Boyd had turned out to be the next Warren Moon, than this would be huge.  Unfortunately, he didn't, so it's not that fantastic.  It's still the only 1/1 I've ever pulled.  Still working on the rainbow for this one.  I mean, why not?  I have the tough one.

H3 - 2013 Topps Archives '65 Tall Boy Robert Griffin III autograph

This signed oversize card was a miraculous pull from a box of Archives that was purchased by friends on my pool team.  They had no idea about cards, but managed to pull me a box with the exact autograph that I was looking for.  (Just noticed there's also an Alfred Morris in the checklist too.  That just went on my wantlist.)

OK, on with the really good stuff:

#10 - 2023 Allen & Ginter Carlton Fisk mini bat

I know the Honorable Mentions were basically the same thing (even down to same team, HOF'er, bat swatch.)  But this guy is one of my PC's.  That's more points in my book.

#9 - 2012 Piece Of History Nolan Ryan ERA Leaders jersey

Biggest name I could have pulled from a set about Vintage guys, especially pitchers.  One point off for plain white swatch.  


#8 - 2015 Gridiron Kings Jameis Winston Rookie Studio Signature

Kicking off the autographs, I felt lucky to get this one at the time because he was the #1 overall pick.  I also got a jersey of Teddy Bridewater out of the same box.  I rooted for both guys to have great careers.  They did OK, but this card won't buy a Maserati.

#7 - 2017 Topps Manny Machado patch (/25)

When Manny was tearing it up for the Orioles, I unwrapped this patch card from Topps flagship.  Nice to get a fancy patch - even better if it's the hometown favorite guy.

#6 - 2006 UD Artifacts Satchel Paige Awesome Artifacts (/45)

I somehow obtained several boxes of this product and pulled a couple dozen relics and a few autos as well (more later).  But this jumbo swatch of a vintage legend was mind-blowing.

#5 - 2016 Panini Classics Ronnie Lott autograph (1/15)

I actually didn't remember pulling this one when I was searching through my hits.  (Also got a Jalen Ramsey auto from this product).  But figured it makes the cut being #1 out of only 15 and a HOF'er.  I know a TCDB trader who collects him heavily.  I'll have to see if he has this one.

#4 - 2006 UD Artifacts Reggie Jackson Auto-Facts (/200)

Yes, it's a HOF'er out of 200, not 15, but it's Reggie.  Told you there was going to be more from this set.  (I should go back and see who else I got - might be a big name that wasn't so big in '06).


#3 - 2008 Topps Heritage Bill Mazeroski red ink autograph.

I thought these red ink versions were much rarer than their non-crimson counterparts.  Could have sworn I read that the autographs were all the same and only the last few were red ink.  Not the case now that I look at the database listings.  Regulars are not numbered, and reds are  /59.  Oh well, still a great pull, and probably one of my oldest.  I opened some of the others years after those products were brand new.  This one I got in 2008.

#2 - 2011 Topps Legends Stamp Of Approval Joe Flacco auto/relic (1/10)

2011 Topps Gridiron Legends is one of my favorite products.  I don't remember how many boxes I opened, but this was an incredible pull.  A stamp relic - which is a bit weird - but it's the signed version and #1 of ten.  And local dude Joe Flacco.  (It's just fun to say "Jooooe Flakko!")

#1 - 2021 Allen & Ginter Manny Machado metal mini (/3)

Had to hold it to keep the reflections at bay.  These metal minis were inside rip cards - mine was Kyle Lewis.  They're not marked as such, but are stated to be print runs of only three.  too bad he wasn't still in Baltimore at the time.  Machado gets the #1 spot since he's both super rare and was physically birthed from another card.


I still prefer to buy my "hits" in the secondary market (and that's rare).  I buy boxes to collect the set.  Any nice hits are just a bonus.  I'm probably forgetting a couple more that would bump some of these, but it's not a bad list.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Three Shows In A Month - Part 3: Gettysburg, PA

This one will be rather brief. 

I heard about this show a mere two days before it took place.  My buddy Stuart said I needed to go, but I was hesitant since I had been spending a lot at the previous shows and other purchases recently.  (He would still go if he was dead broke and there was only one junk wax table among a hundred Pokèmon dealers).  But I actually had the time free and it was only a ten minute drive, so I gave in and went.

It was a smaller show in one of the ballrooms at the Eisenhower Hotel in Gettysburg.  It's situated right along the main road into the Battlefield.  There was a Coin show and a Civil War show also happening elsewhere in the venue.  Both of those had better signage directing attendees to them than the Card show - I parked at the far end of the building and ended up walking the length of the place to find it.

My first thought about small shows like this is that there will be almost nothing but slabs and new shiny stuff.  This one wasn't too bad in that way, but it was true that vintage was rare and the typical dealer was a young guy or guys with $1, $5 and higher boxes of singles that weren't sorted by sport, much less team.  There were also about a half dozen gaming (Pokèmon etc.) dealers.   

I did find some offerings that were sorted by sport and team, which makes it easier for me since I'm only looking for two teams in new football stuff.  

Sorry for the pale images, top loaders reflect really bad in my house.  The first couple of these are from 2013 and 2017.  The rest are from the last three years.

The other team is of course, the Vikings, for local kid Jordan Addison.  Really added some good ones this time.  I don't think Donruss was out when I first added him to my TCDB wantlist, so several of these weren't even on it.

And rounding out my selections, the Duke J is a pro uniform flavor of a Prestige rookie for my set. The Marshall is a unique addition to that player collection.  The Hernandez is the last base card of my PC guys in the latest Chrome Platinum Anniversary - now to round out the six billion parallels.  And the Ovie was a throw in to make ten $2 cards for $17 from one dealer.

It only took me from about 10AM or so until 1PM to gather all these.  I walked the whole thing twice.  I suppose I'd go back to this show again since it couldn't be much closer to my house.  Maybe there will be different dealers in the future.  (One guy had some decent vintage and whole dedicated boxes of Bo Jackson and Michael Jordan among others, but all the cards were several dollars apiece, so I passed.)

Anyway.  Now I've got a full table again the the card room to clear off and put all this stuff away from these shows.  Hope you enjoyed my hauls.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Three Shows In A Month - Part 2: Chantilly, VA

Two weeks after the Ephrata show, I attended the first of three yearly exhibits at the Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia.  This is the biggest show in my local-ish area.  It's about an hour's drive, and almost always worth it.

After dropping off my second submission to the guys at the COMC table (which was mostly from that storage hoard that I showed earlier), I dove in to shopping.

Here's the overall look at all my stacks - sorted by sport, sets, PCs, etc.  The two stacks on the left end will appear in other more famous blogs than mine.  

The first thing I attacked was my 2023 Stadium Club set.  Brought it down to one card, mostly from my favorite modern dealer.  Just couldn't get that last guy.  Just need the Ripken Triumvirates to complete the first trifecta of those as well.

This is the dude I'm missing if you have one to spare.

Scored some parallels and other player collection goodies from the past year as well.  Bo has the distinction of having all the Chrome parallels in SClub, while my other guys only have the non-shiny colors. 

Narrowed my 2023 Ginter short prints down to two (#373 Brett and another #384 Bo) with these five.  Amazing how tough it is to pull Ohtani from a pack.

Cut my needs of these Only In... minis in half with these.  Down to five (BAL, DET, ANA, SF & StL.)

Struck down a couple others from the '23 and '22 sets as well.  The mini inserts are always the most clever (and toughest to complete) of all the inserts - in Ginter and flagship.

Always adding to my Washington collection of course.  Some collectors concentrate on just one team and that's enough for them to look for.  For me, it's just one facet out of about six or eight that I chase all the time.  I'm out of control...

The never ending avalanche of shiny parallels.  I should have arranged these in a more horizontal array.  

Here's a closer look at a couple.  Blue Reactive Mosaic and Prestige Hyper flavors.

One vintage Washington insert that most people probably get for the Gale Sayers.  

Found a bunch of Addisons this time.  Believe it or not, I think the blue Select is the base, and the silver is a parallel.  At least I know there is a blue retail version.  Who knows what the hobby base flavor looks like without an image on the Database.

Some of these I got at the very last table that I bought from.  It was right by the front door and right next to YouTuber Chris Sewall, who I turned to and briefly discussed his latest video on grading data that blew my mind with the mention of two players whose Gem 10 slabs have dropped to about $10 in value (about 7 minutes in the linked video).  I never imagined a graded card would go below the cost of grading.  There may be hope for me to actually intentionally buy a slab in the future!

Here's what you really want to see, though.  Vintage!  One more off my 1950 Bowman set quest.  Though I'll probably be years waiting for Jackie Robinson et al to drop to a reasonable level.

I also started a micro player collection with these two.  As a player on the 1933 Goudey, and an umpire on the 1955 Bowman, Charlie Berry is a rather unique story.  Saw it on a YouTube video and always wanted a reason to get a '33 Goudey.

Finally knocked off two of the variation checklists from 1962 Topps...

The left one is the "no comma" version that lists #192 as Check List 3 (even though there's a dirt speck where the comma was on the other version).

The 6th series card variation is the general size and arrangement of the type.  The way you can distinguish them is the alignment of the E in Checklist.  In this one, it is lined up with the T in Topps.  On the other one, it is rather centered between the T and O.

Also coming down to the end of my 1957 Topps set quest.  The Senators and Kubek rookie are new, but the Fox is what I hope to be an upgrade.  His cards are expensive and hard to find in good shape.

Mauch, the reknowned manager later in his career, is a rookie as well.  Wilson, I don't know.

One of the two major finds was this Gene Baker error variation.  It was a lot scarcer (and expensive) than I thought.  But the guy that runs Uncle Dick's now gave me a great deal on it.

The "R" in BAKER is obscured on the back.  

The other big catch was this one from a dealer I know well and is from my area.  

It's not the greatest specimen, but the price was right.

So unless I mess it up, this will be my 750th total post on the blog.  Not all of them have been about cards, but I'd have to recalculate what that number is.  Thanks to the 50+ followers and many blog traders for your readership and support.  Resistance, after all, is futile anyway....

Next time, a quick trip for some more shiny....

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Three Shows In A Month - Part 1: Ephrata, PA

Well, it's been another long pause between posts, and now I have a backlog of show loot and a Bat-Around to catch up on.  

The first of the three shows was on March 23.  It's the once-a-year affair in Ephrata, which sits between Lancaster and Reading.  It's a good show for vintage, as a lot of the dealers are old school and only do this show.

One of my favorite dealers there always has bindered starter lots of vintage sets in more than just baseball.  These were two of the best offerings this time.  I did NOT bring either one of these home, however.  

I did whittle down my '57 set quest by several from a couple dealers.  Ol' Granny was the most notable of this bunch, especially being in a Phillies-rich environment. 

Also snagged this Carey RC and the lone '62, both from the scarce series' in each set.

Got three more of the Golden Press cards that I started from a TCDB trade.  I thought these were interesting, but really fell into actually collecting them when they were offered from a collector who had many extras built from a few different starter sets.  These are officially from 1961, despite the labels on a couple of them here.

These two look like vintage, but are actually 2011 Heritage and 1994 Baseball: The American Epic. (The Ken Burns film tribute by Upper Deck).  Always nice to find a Jeets from my want lists.

Found this buyback of one of my more obscure player collections - hopefully cheap, since the back is way off center.

And rounding out the vintage, this Post Jell-o card of Ron Fairly.  (The Post cards' stat line divider extends far beyond the numbers and past the blue stars.  The Jell-o's line stops close to them.)

One quick hockey hit - this '81-'82 Topps Gretzky put my wants down to just some West region cards.

The ubiquitous Washington selections that I always seem to find.  This time with some mojo mixed in with the varying degrees of shiny and parallel.  That Garçon medallion thinger wasn't expensive even though it is numbered to 25.  Some of these are older than I usually get.  Typically I'll only see the last couple years', but I was confident these were all needs.

I managed to find only one of local kid Addison.  Did better with his at the other two shows.  This one is really for my co-worker who coached him in middle school.

The penultimate football acquisitions were some inserts from the last several years.  Two in die-cut form.

And finally, I got a huge starter lot of 2020 Topps XFL from a dealer who had them in a dime box.  I told him I'd love to make a set out of them, but it would take a long time to sort it out.  He said I could have the whole batch for five dollars.  SOLD!  Ended up making close to two sets out of them.  I love the spring leagues.

So that's my haul from the first show.  Stay tuned for two more....