Friday, December 2, 2016

Back to Baseball trading and the Commemorative Patch discussion

I've touched on this issue before.  August of 2015 to be exact.  I enjoy collecting commemorative manufactured patches, historical stitches and retired number inserts from Topps flagship blaster boxes between 2009 and 2012.  I see few here and there, but usually not many.  Sure, I could go on any number of auction/sale sites and purchase, but what fun is that? Trading is what I enjoy doing when I get the chance.

Anyway, these gems were inserted at the rate of one per blaster box.  No more, no less.  Actually the bigger issue I had to navigate around was in lieu of collecting these cards, I gave up any chance I had at pulling an autographed or relic card.  I don't recall any of the blaster packs from those years having any odds of pulling real auto or relic cards.  I may be wrong though.  That age thing plays a role.  So for $20, one patch and a bunch of cards and inserts for set building.  I truly enjoy the set building more than the big pull.  I've had some big pulls in my life and don't spend money in bunches to find the next one.  If it comes, it comes.  If not, life goes on and my collection still grows.

I am selective on what I'm looking to add to my collection in this area.  Topps flagship 2009 through 2012 Series Two only.  An odd stopping point, I know.  But, being unique in what we all collect is what makes for good collecting and a good trade.  You take what I don't want and vice versa.  I am , if I'm lucky, 30% complete in completing these sets.  And at 150 cards per year (yes, only 100 for 2012), that still leaves a good number of cards left to acquire.

In the past, I would see a card and usually know if I needed it or not.  Not so much anymore.  Too many cards and again, age has taken its toll on this old collector.  So what to do???  Of course, put down in writing a list of cards needed just for this group and add a new tab to the blog.  Genius!!!  I get so much activity on the main want list yet I'm not feeling the same love for the new tab want list.  I'm not really sure how many people collected or want to trade these cards.  Yes, the availability of a want list is much greater when you're looking at any and all years from 1951 through 2016, but one can hope.

Back to this subject.......I was on the receiving end of a trade that gave me a large number of blaster inserts post 2012 Series Two that I am hoping will result in a trade with one of the few readers I have to check off a few on my list.  I also have some duplicates of the 2009-2012 time frame as well for those that also try to collect these same sets of cards.



Upon first review, anything of interest from the first batch of pictures?  How about these?




There has got to be something the piques your interest.  As an FYI, the Mantle card has a light half circle crease on the right side background behind the upper right portion of the star.  Beyond that, the cards are in very nice shape and hopefully yours are as well.

So where do we go from here?  It's up to you.  Let me know if we can swing a trade.  I'm around and open to trading both on these cards and others from my main want list:  See tabs above^^^^^^^^^^^

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Yankee Stadium Legacy

Ok so my hockey card post has been lingering for far too long.  Time to get back to baseball.  Although there remains a few hockey cards left to be had, the list has been pared down tremendously thanks to a few select traders both from the US and Canada.  Canada more so, in the Calgary area to be specific.....thanks Tobias.  Now that November is upon us, Baseball reigns...say what????  I know...the year ended with the spirit of the goat being vanquished.  As a Chicago dweller, you'd think this would be a joyful time.  But alas, as you can probably see from a few previous semi-annual posts and this post's title, the Cubs are not my team.  I'm happy for the city, the team and especially those that suffered for up to 108 years.  Just as I felt ok with the Red Sox moving past the spirits of the sale of Ruth in 2004.  To be clear, I was good with one, not three.  So 2007 and 2013 be damned.  Anyway, I'm happy that my team, with it's small number of only 27 rings, was able to sell the assets that were doing little for today, to get a farm system that is now top 5 in the league.  Tomorrow brings a new dawn.

So, this post turns toward the improbable.  A mere 6600+ card set.  The set of every game played at "Old" Yankee Stadium.  I'm 10% of the way to completing this set.  Yes, you read that right, 10%.  It's something that has lingered for years, but never garnered much attention.  There is always too much other stuff that needs to be completed first.  And if Topps could stop releasing more product, I'd have a chance but you know how that goes.  I would love to work on this set at some point and do a tiny increments through trading, but reality is, this may be the one set that eludes completion for me.  Dare I say that!!  I have tried to get closer to the outer bands of the set. 

Game #9 in 1923:


 And game 6737 in mid September 2008:


So if you can get me closer to the first and last game, that would be a welcomed addition.  Or if you can fill the 6,000 or so gaps in between, I'd be a happy collector. For clarification, I did attend the last game at Old Yankee Stadium.  It was a magical moment as a Yankee fan.  Remind me to share the drawing that my wife made with the tickets from that game.  It's an amazing piece of art if I do say so myself.  Now if I could only find the card that matched that game.......that too would be a great addition.  I do have a few doubles from the set that are available for trade.



In addition, a few standouts made the doubles pile.  "....the luckiest man on the face of the earth."


And the one and only, "Mr November"






They both sit in a pile of ready to be sent off to another land of milk and honey.  Wanting to be replaced with those that make 10% become 11% and then 15%.  Oh what a day should the set venture out of one 800 count box into a second.  I'm not picky on what you have, only that you have some for trade.  Whether it be for the same in return or something different, let me know.  Trading is always something that gives me hope.  One can never find too many traders.  If this is of interest reach out.  Until 2017 (As I suspect)....I bid you farewell.



Saturday, June 4, 2016

Trading Baseball has taken a backseat for now and I NEED your help with Hockey!!!!


I have taken a small LOA in card collecting and trading for the past few months as I've been waist deep in trying to organize my hockey collection.  I don't collect hockey any more and haven't in 15 years.  However, they need to be something other than a huge stack of boxes in the corner gathering dust.  Anyway, the process has been a long and arduous task but it is now complete.  Complete in that I need your help, yes you.

There are many gaps in the sets I have and I'm recruiting some hockey collectors to help me complete each of these sets.  Yes, a lot are early 90's that can be found on every street corner in Canada but that doesn't mean they have to go without their friends that make up the team from 1-396.  Yes, these may also be sitting in a corner in your house waiting to be traded away and I'm the one who wants them.  And by doing so, I'm giving premium trade value in return.


If you look to the far right tab on my blog, you will see the list of cards needed.  Read through it, open up boxes that haven't seen the light of day in years, enjoy hockey cards again while watching the Finals.  How better to spend a few hours by picking out a quantity of cards someone actually needs from those sets and getting good trade in return.  Let's send each other 800 count boxes filled with hockey lore.  The USPS will appreciate the business and each of us will watch from the window waiting for the mail man (or woman) to drive up and drop off a box of hockey goodness.

What do you say?  Are you in?  Are you up to the challenge?  C'mon man, let's do this and make our mailboxes happy to be filled again.  Ok, I know.  A little over the top.  But hey, I really want to hype this.  Hello?????  McFly?????

So, hit me up if you think you can help.  Send me your want lists for anything I have listed.  I can only hope somebody has want lists from the late 80's to late 90's.  To those of you willing to take this leap, I say........


The puck is in the offensive zone and you have the power play.  Are you gonna shoot?

Friday, January 8, 2016

Christmas v2015 - More love in cardboard fashion

My wife loves me.  Or maybe she loves that I'm not frivolously spending money at Draft Kings laying $150 to win $2.  Either way, I'll take it.  For the record, I'd bet my heart and not my brain when it comes to fantasy football or any other sport for that matter.  Last year, she surprised the living bejesus out of me by buying me a couple of 1951 Topps Blue Back cards for Christmas.  Numbers 8 and 18.  If you look down a few posts, you'll get a glimpse of them.  You won't have to scroll for long as I'm not a frequent flyer when it comes to posting on my blog.  Anywho, I was floored.  Who wouldn't be, right?  If you were the fly on the wall in any conversation between she and I about my obsession of baseball cards, not to count the ever aging hockey card collection that hasn't been touched in 15 years, you'd never think she would actively participate in adding to the madness.

She did and now another year has passed and I'm curious what she worked on this year.  I'm not one to lay down 20 items on a list.  If I want it, I buy it.  So I look to Christmas as whatever I get, is good.  Shirts, Ties, Socks, whatever.  But I also drop hints on a few items that wouldn't be bad to get.  For three years, it's been the Topps Update/Chrome Update Retail only box.  This year I rec'd four boxes and have a few cards still needed to complete that set.  Hint, hint.....one tab over from the home page is my extensive and constantly growing list of wants.  By all means, peruse and drop me a message if you want to trade.  I'm always open to trading.  My list is far from complete and as time goes by, it will grow.  95% of everything on the list has doubles for trade so don't be shy.

Back to the gift giving.  The wife and I are usually last, as I suspect is the case in most houses after the kids have ripped through everything.  I get her some items that she wanted and some that she had no idea she wanted.  I believe I did good again this year.  She can attest to that though.  I start opening my gifts.  Most of the boxes are shoebox size.  Nothing that screams baseball cards but again, that's ok.  I rip open the wrapping to find another box inside, and then another and another.  I get down to my first gift and it's a 1976 Cincinnati Reds Team unmarked checklist.  That was the last card I needed for that set.  Happy for that.  Complete now fills that slot.  Next box, same thing.  Open box, another box, repeat.  I do this about 5 more times and low and behold, the last five cards needed to close out my 1979 set.  I'm liking the trend.

Next box is a little larger and a lot heavier.  Only one box inside another to find a 2015 Complete Topps set.  I've gone back and forth on complete sets over the years.  I like them but they stay sealed. No reason to open it if I'm collecting through pack ripping, right fellas?  Once I shared that tidbit of news, she was almost disappointed that she got me the set.  Oh well, scratch that off for next year.  Still some really good stuff so far.  So we move on to the next few boxes that come to me.  For reference, she is also opening gifts and it's not just about me tearing into these one right after another.  So my turn again and same event.  One box inside another inside another. Next card that pops out, a 1951 Topps Blue Back.


For what it's worth, I love this set.  I was fortunate enough to find a lot of these for sale and made out by selling the doubles and basically having 40+ cards in my collection for next to nothing.  I doubt that will happen again but I sure would enjoy it if it did next time with some red backs.  A man can dream.

Next box, same occurrence, double the result.  Sorry for the lopsided image but you get the gist. Sheer beauty of 65 year old cardboard.


I'm the kid in the candy store with these cards.  But I still have some boxes left for me.  Can this get any better. Uhhh yep.  I'll take that one all day, every day.  PSA graded and in very nice condition.

 
 
And not to drag this out, the final card.  Even better.  Ex-Mt at 65.  I can only hope I'm graded at VG-EX by that time in my life.
 
 
 
Ok, so to start the day, I only needed six cards to complete this set and she found five of them.  Her goal was to check the box on this 52 card 1951 set but alas, # 51 was not to be found after months of searching.  My dear, you have outdone yourself again and I thank you.  I better start working on some other lists before summer time so you have a few months to close out some other vintage sets on 12/25/16. ;)
 
So to close out...yo Eddie, where you at????  Mr Waitkus, please come to aisle 1 as you have 51 other friends waiting to spend eternity with you.  Where are you Mr Waitkus?  I don't have all day.  Eddie? Eddie?  EDDIE!!!!!!!!!
 



Saturday, August 22, 2015

Manu-Say What?

Yes, I'm doubling up in the same month for the first time in over two years.  Maybe if all goes well, I'll hit three in August......yeah I probably shouldn't make any promises.  This post was actually the one I had intended to write a few weeks ago, but somehow that post got hijacked as I could never tie my way from how I started collecting into this topic.  Although I enjoy collecting sets, it has been difficult to complete many along the way.  Something new comes out and I kind of drift off until I think about that set from 6 months ago that I never made a Series 2 purchase.  I do finally make my way back which is why my want lists from recent years are usually not put up until long after the set has been available to the public.  Again, I feel myself drifting, so I'll bring it back to the intending discussion point for today.

The late 2000's is when I started to really delve into the true collection process again.  There were a few years prior that online purchases were to complete one subset or another and less about getting a box to open.  I have since mended those evil ways so that the online purchases made nowadays are mostly boxes to fill gaps of those days gone past.  Maybe once every six months, I'll see something that catches my eye, one that was still needed to complete that subset or in one case, a purchase was made to be able to send along with other cards in a trade with one of my fine readers.  Sometimes what I have to offer needs to be upgraded a bit here and there.  Believe me I've got plenty to trade but not everyone is looking for the standard issue and I enjoy helping fellow collectors out when I can.

Once I started looking to complete sets again, the big box store offered boxes that didn't break the bank and allowed me to get a wide variety of cards for a mere $20 here and there.  And if they discounted those boxes, I could really do some damage on collection gaps if I was lucky enough to find them. 2009 Topps brought a new twist to my collecting.  The blaster box included a manufactured card that really caught my attention.  Although those packs don't really offer the ability to get any big hits, knowing that one of the manu-cards was always included made it a nice box to pick up.


They were new and interesting.  The problem was in order to complete the set, you'd need to purchase way too many boxes at the one per box ratio.  But still, I kept on purchasing these boxes to get  the manu-card.  The patches were cool, old-school style pieces that allowed a collector to grab a glimpse of the 80 year old All-Star game patch from the Polo Grounds.  You don't see that very often.  Then 2010 Topps hit the street and there were more Manu cards to collect.  Again, some really nice looking cards from long ago years be it World Series or just generic patches from the last year at Yankee Stadium.  As Topps has a way of doing something that in hindsight isn't probably the best thing they could have done, the Update series manu-cards were sloppy.  They were crooked, had excess glue and the gray backing made little attempt to stay firmly placed on the actual card itself so it appears to be floating.


2011 rolls around and although the 2010 Update set left me wanting better, I still looked to see what Topps was going to do different.  I won't get into the online card trading program that was now in full swing.  That's a subject for a different day.  So back into the manu-cards I dove.  Not the same type of patch, these were more team specific and less game oriented.  Not a bad product in my mind and the quality was better than previously mentioned.  I still liked the concept and looked to collect these.


Then in 2012, Topps started to include some very interesting pieces as manu-cards.  I really enjoyed the two different types that Topps was producing. Both very player specific which was different from any previous manu-card produced.  Yes, there were players on the cards but the patch itself was more driven to a team or past event.  I'm sure Topps could have chosen any number of players to place on a random Yankees or Reds patch from a mid 1970's World Series card.

 
 
The name stitched cards, to me, are the nicest.  A big piece of cloth (and yes I know these are not in any way meant to be game worn products) was a nice way to make it appear to be tied to the player.  I'm sure some look at these cards as being wasted cardboard just as I look at any Panini product, but that is what makes my collection different from anyone else's. Some cards are meant to hold a special place and some are meant to be given away if they find their way into my collection.
 
In 2013 and through today, I didn't even look to see what Topps was going to put out in these blaster boxes.  I felt complete with what I had seen and I tried to purchase some hobby boxes to switch it up a bit.  I think I have one of these cards from 2014 but that was only because someone was kind enough to purchase a box for me for either my birthday or Christmas.  Maybe you have some of these and look to trade for others.  I do have a few extra.  Or maybe they fill your collection and it doesn't fit in.  Either way, if you're so inclined to trade any, let me know.  I have a special place in my collection for these cards and would welcome trying to find a way to complete the 600 or so total manu-cards from those years.  Thanks again for checking in and hopefully you'll be reading my blog again soon as I make the attempt to be here more often than I have been.  Happy collecting my friends.

Friday, August 7, 2015

What brought me here? Do I have a story?

I have been a Topps collector for many years, decades in fact.  Collecting in the 70's was based on how many packs the parents would bring home on their occasional trip to a local store.  That got me through and I'm thankful that I still have every one of those cards even if they were abused, or loved depending on your viewpoint. Dependency at its finest.  I dropped off the radar all together in 1980 until I went back to it in 1982.  Not much of a span but to collect 1980 and 1981 Topps cards wasn't always easy at that time.  Collecting in the 80's through the mid 90's seemed to be too easy as you could find cards every store you walked into.  It was fun as a teenager moving into adulthood.  Prices were within reason and you could complete a set if you worked on it.  You weren't really thinking of how much money you were throwing away to get those last 7 cards needed to complete that 1986 Topps set.

Once more and more companies joined the fray and the insert craze began, the completionist (if there is such a word?) that I am started to unravel.  How could one possibly keep up?  Topps begat Fleer and Donruss who begat Score who begat Upper Deck and Bowman who begat Leaf who begat Stadium Club, Ultra and Studio......the Genesis of the downward spiral that was the 90's of card collecting.  Early on I thought I could manage them all.  Who was I fooling?  College had ended and kids started entering my life.  Who has time for all of that?

So again the collection had it's time (very little in reality) on the side.  Over time I found a way to dedicate time to collecting without putting too much strain on the rest of life.  "Back in the day", there seemed to be a card show every weekend and to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon wasn't obtrusive.  The quotes in that last sentence speak of my experience.  I refuse to use the term age there as it is difficult to accept the number of years in which I have existed.  It just can't be reality can it?  I managed to grow the collection one card show at a time.

The millennium hit and so did the $20 box of cards at your local big box store.  For $20, you get your fix and live to tell about it.  Sometimes that hit was a dud and sometimes life altering packs make there way into your hands.  I was fortunate (or maybe not depending on who's viewpoint your looking at) enough to get a big hit in a box of 1999 Upper Deck Ionix.




After that, the completionist in me set in again.  Ebay became my biggest friend in collecting.  There was no way I could complete the POH 500 HR Set by opening packs.  I had to purchase each one until the set was complete.  I don't believe it is complete today as I may be missing a couple...Man Ram and the Big Hurt come to mind, but at the time prior to the "alternative substance" group became part of this once elite subset, they were all mine.  Complete and accounted for.  But then...3000 Hit Club, Yankees Signature single, double and triple signature cards, Master Collection........Ahhh!!!!  More Ebay, more buying.  Upped Deck was killing the bank account.

After that settled down, it was time to go back to collecting sets.  I didn't abandon it altogether it just wasn't the focal point for a few years.  So there are some lean years in my collection that I wish I would have given more attention to at the time, circa 2000-2003.

I may have stated this before, maybe not, but I now try to focus on the Topps product line and not even all of it.  I love the Topps Heritage line but pay no attention to the Archives line.  Go figure, right?  I have zero interest and I mean zero even in the relic/autos of the Panini brand of unlicensed cards.  It just doesn't do anything for me.  I don't over indulge in packs and or boxes that exceed the $100 threshold.  I am interested in collecting cards, not necessarily in getting the big hit by spending $50 on a pack of cards that will have 3 cards numbered less than 50 in hopes that I get that 1 of 1 that will hit Ebay to pay for the last 35 purchases that have yielded nothing more than a Hall of Fame autograph card numbered to 49.  There may be only 49 of that card, but there are 49 different auto cards numbered to 49 for that same player in the same year.  How do you put 9 cards of those three packs into an 800 count box to fit the organizational structure that is - my collection.  Not going to happen.

So I am now not an Ebay daily, hourly, minute by minute watcher.  I'll wander over once in a blue moon to see what's grabbing my attention on those saved searches that haven't changed in five to ten years.  I'll make a purchase from the new LCS in my town every now and again too.  The camaraderie and friendships gained doing this blog and trading to fill my, and others, want lists far outweigh the hours spent staring at the monitor watching the seconds tick by on that "I need it now" auction purchase.  So thanks to those that read my blog and especially those that continue to help a brotha out with filling the gaps of the ever growing want list on this blog.  That want list is still lacking in many lists but if you get a chance to view it and think we could swing a trade, let me know.  I'm always open to helping you out too.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Picked up by the wife

For the record, I am not a frequent flyer when it comes to posting due to the amount of travel I do for the j-o-b and other personal reasons.  But you know, I have stated before that I am a lucky man as my wife, for the most part, tolerates my habit.  She definitely sees the insanity in the collection I've accumulated over a number of decades.  But she has also participated in the addition to the insanity by making some purchases for me both with my knowledge and without.  About a month ago, I was out of town and she decided to take the little ones to a flea market in the Chicago area, which is where we call home these days.  She asked me if I wanted her to look for anything for me and of course baseball cards was the first thing out of my mouth.  She knows that as a given but it still is stated every time she asks. 

So anyway, I'm a hundred plus miles from home when I get a call from her.  She said she is in such a rural area that she's been trying to contact me for 15-20 minutes to no avail and the vendors are shutting down for the day.  She knows my wants start with vintage as I have plenty of post 1970 cards to go around and duplicates/triplicates/etc are not part of the plan when buying cards.  She proceeds to tell me about a binder she saw and she wasn't sure if the cards were real or reprints.  So she told me a little about what she saw (all White Sox with a smattering of Cubs) and they sounded legit so I asked her to buy them for me.  Hey, for the price of a mere blaster and hanger box filled with todays million dollar .200 hitters, I figured I'd go out on a limb and take a chance.  So I'm in my car maybe an hour later and she starts sending me pictures of what were in this binder.  Now mind you, I'm driving and looking at what she sends in almost disbelief.  The pictures below are a brief summary of what was found in the binder.


I'm loving this.  I have a few cards from the 1953 set (of course Rivera is a duplicate but who's complaining), more from 1954-1956 and adding these bad boys to the box made me a happy man.  They may not be the best conditioned cards, but in my mind, have been well loved and will fit well into my collection.  This is basically page one of 60+ pages filled with cards from 1953 through the 1990's.  On to the next page....


Who doesn't love a random Norm Cash rookie card among these other 1959 beauties.  I have few 1959 cards but have grown fond of the design.  I hope to see more of the late 1950's cards filling out boxes in my collection in the future.  Moving on, my largest vintage collection is of the 1960 set.  I have been fortunate enough to find these in quantities that put me at a greater than 50% completion rate.  I remember back in the 80's when I was a much younger lad and there was a dealer that would send you five 1960 cards for a mere 50 cents including postage.  I wish I had sent him triple what I did but I'm sure he knew my name well enough as I couldn't put two quarters into an envelope fast enough to see those hit my mailbox regularly.  That lasted for all of a summer way back when. So to find a few of that set also gave me joy....


So basically, I'm finding Topps cards (and a few other companies in later years) from almost every year starting in 1953.  Not every year but enough to know that I was happy she saw them, thought of me and decided to drop a mere $30 on a binder filled with Chicago White Sox and Cubs cards.  Roughly 600 in total.  1953 through 1994.  Mainly Topps, a few Upper Deck and Donruss but the majority are by far the flagship brand.  Yes, there were some lovely 1986-1989 Topps overproduced cards to fill the massive amounts already in my possession but a small price to pay when adding the cards shown here.  Below are a few other highlights but I could have scanned and posted so many more from the 1970's as well.


Needless to say, if she's out at another flea market, I can only hope she stumbles across another find like this.  I repeat, I am a lucky man to have a wife that tolerates me and my love of the cardboard in baseball fashion.