Friday, March 22, 2013

Gold in them thar hills

I've had a desire to collect "some" parallel sets for decades.  It takes a concerted effort to finish off a set with cards that were distributed one per pack at best.  In comparison, it's easy to finish a set of regular cards with, what should be, a statistically equal distribution of cards. The early 90's brought this type of insert in full force.  Topps Gold in 1992, 1993 and 1994 with a somewhat limited version in 1995 with the Cyberstats inserts.  Leaf Black Gold in 1992.  1994 Upper Deck Electric Diamond.  These are my people, these are my sets.

The early sets got more of my attention, most likely due to the novelty of the idea.  At the time, they seemed to come in packs even less than stated.  You open a box of cards and end up with a few hundred regular cards but only a handful of these precious parallel cards.  They held a good value at the time but as with any product, once the new years edition of cards was on the shelf, those became yesterday's news.  And at that time, new product was coming at a fast and furious pace as the market was getting flooded with cards from everyone under the sun.

But still, these are part of my first tier list of wants.  Not everyone looks for or collects these.  There are those that may have a few hidden here and there, so finishing these off is that much harder.  I've purchased collections of thousands of cards to find these stuck somewhere in a box between the regular issue cards.  But really, it takes more than a handful to make a dent in the completion of these sets.  The market just isn't there anymore for overproduced early 90's cards, even if it's the slightly less quantity version you seek.

There were attempts at duplicating these sort of insert sets.  Ultra Gold Medallion, Stadium Club First Day issues, and even Allen & Ginter minis, etc.  But as these came to be, the novelty had worn out its welcome to me.  Do I like these newer parallel cards, yes.  Am I looking to complete any of them as a full set, no.  At least not anytime soon unless I can find hundreds in one transaction.  But I am looking to complete the first few sets.  You can never forget your first, can you?  Even if it's a first few.  They all hold a special place in my collection.  Easily found, already known to be in exact order waiting for the next one or twenty to join the rest.  Already with a list that is dying to be consolidated and to ultimately become extinct.

Yes, the roids were going strong these years, so I guess it's only fitting that they get little attention today.  Pumped up regular edition cards with a little PED splashed across the front.  And as the Bonds of the world get to be on top with HR numbers as these do with value in comparison to the regular set, what do people want more than finish the regular set.  We still like the Maris' of the world.  A little rough around the edges.  But solid and timeless.

The marvel was once shining upon these stars of the collecting world.  You can't turn away from the glitter even if you want to.  Yes Big Mac, you did hit the HR to pass Roger, but once the next batch of andro hit the shelf you were relegated to the back end of the box.  I ask, one per pack...could it be done?  Can you complete that 700+ set at that pace?

So I take my message to the people.  Who out there can help me with my pursuit or obsessive compulsive behavior, if you must?  Anyone?  Bueller...Bueller...

To see my want lists for these or other sets....

Monday, March 18, 2013

Trades Pre-Blog

I have been following a few blogs over the years and made a couple of trades a year or so ago.  Recently I started to look more into making some trades with other bloggers.  I have a fair amount of cards and a fair amount of needs for my collection.  I don't collect any players or teams specifically.  I'm more of a set builder.  To look through a set from card #1 to the end can be time well spent.  As I started looking at the blog-o-sphere, I was overwhelmed with the number of people that have this passion (or obsession to some people) for writing about and sharing their thoughts on the hobby.

I reached out to a couple of people and have been surprised by the response I was given.  I expected hesitancy to this newcomer without a face or name to be known from day one.  Yes, I can share a flawless Ebay rating but that doesn't mean much.  Some writers are very specific in their wants, some not so much.  In each, I find a little something different.  It's easy to open an 800 count box that is in order and pull out a few cards that another needs.  For others, I try to dig into my boxes that have no order, no special tie to the set building collector that I am.  Whether it be early 90's Pacific cards, which for the record in my mind really are some of the nicest cards that pushed the envelope with the "bling" factor of regular cards or finding the oddball Denny's card of a player or team that is of interest to the other trader.  These are the rare finds that hopefully heighten the delight of the package when it's received.  I take it upon myself to really look to make a good trade for both parties. 

When I was recently asked about a blog of my own.....I thought there is no way I can do that.  Time constraints, family commitments, etc would not allow that.  But I reorganized my free time a bit to squeeze this in.  Why not.  It's part of the fun of this hobby.  Finishing a set without spending a fortune on unopened product and helping another with the same, in whatever fashion that takes.  So here I am, a couple of weeks into my blogging career and it's time to recognize the few traders that welcomed my email approach to making a trade.

First Victoriano (aka the Waxcaptain) at  I start here as we've made two trades so far and I would say we have more to go.  What started as a nice single auto card for a single relic card on the first trade became a many for many trade.  The throw this in and I'll throw that in kind of trade.  And the second trade was just as good.  My want lists have been dwindling with every package received.  As I find more in my travels through box after box, I'm already finding more to send to the Waxcaptain.  My thanks goes out to this fine blogger and trader.

My second trade involved Mark at  This trade started as I noticed Mark was looking for 1997 Stadium Club cards to fill his set.  Not the most traded set but I have a fair amount of this set for trade.  I pulled what I had of his want list, found a few more Heritage cards extra for him as well and we were off to the races.  Heritage came back to me from many years and this was a trade that made us both happy collectors.  Thanks Mark for digging deep to find some of those cards to send my way.

Next up was a trader that had the most extensive want list and trade list I've ever seen.  Curtis at collects Rockies and a few other items.  I found myself finding all sorts of cards that was on his list.  After a couple of emails we pared down the list so that we were both getting what we really wanted out of the trade and another one was in the books.  Thanks Curtis for helping out.

The last trade I made pre-blog was with Charlie at  This was the largest trade to date as we sent each other 200+ cards.  I tried to finish his 90's Topps sets and Charlie sent back a multitude of cards from 1982 through 2012.  This is a trade that takes hours to search for the other person but the reward is great when you can sign off on that many cards in one setting.  Thanks Charlie.  I look forward to seeing a few 100% completed sets appearing on your site soon.

And as we speak I have a trade in the works with Dr Hoffman at  We haven't yet put the finishing touches on this trade that has some cards from the early 50's going in both directions.  I'll update that one at a later date.

I probably could have expressed my thanks even better, but I'm not here to write a novel.  Just share some thoughts on the great traders I've encountered to date.  Check them all out and you will be happy with any contact you may have with these traders.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Is it or isn't it???

I shared my finest hits pulled from a pack.  I have had many boxes come and go without anything as well.  But I have one that seems to cover both ends of the spectrum.  The hit without the hit.  You open the pack, maybe catch a glimpse of the side of the cards and see the thickness of a card stand out.  You pan through the cards in anticipation, enjoying them as they pass knowing you're getting closer to that card.  As an aside, I find myself enjoying the older players more than the current players as today's players have so many cards of relic status.  This one was one of those "Oooo, I like that."  Spending the last couple of decades in the Detroit area before moving last summer, this one had some local flavor that appealed to me.  I'm not a Detroit fan in any way, but this player, whom I remember watching back in the day, was a quirky kind of guy.  Plus he had a couple of years off the chart.  And see this pitcher in the designated hitter era before interleague play, with a bat in his hand, made the card even more of a novelty.  Mark "The Bird" Fidrych is a nice jersey card to add to my collection.  I turn the card over and see the jersey was from a celebrity game from the 2005 All-Star weekend festivities.  Well, not ideal, but still an card that held my interest.  And it's a numbered card to 300.  Not five but not one of thousands.  I put the card in a penny sleeve and hard plastic, which are always nearby when opening packs.  I move on to the rest of the box of 2005 Topps Updates & Highlights.  As I do with my relic and auto type cards, this one gets put into a box with its kind for future viewing enjoyment.  I take one last look at the jersey portion of the card before I place it with the rest and......what the????

Am I missing something???  Yes, I think so.  The jersey card sealed in a new pack with new plastic over the box without the jersey.  Well, how do I go about doing anything about this?  The box was purchased a couple of years after the cards were new, so Topps isn't likely to do much for me.  So here it sits, in a box of relic and autographs, being the standout with neither.  What should have been, could have been, is now the "you gotta see this" conversation of oddball cards.  I guess it could have been worse.  I could have had a pack with a common card that was one of five others in my doubles box.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Biggest Pulls

Now that I've finished the listing of what I have accumulated in my collection, I want to turn my attention to sharing as well as listing.  My intent was not just a blog only for trading.  Part of this hobby is the anticipation of an unopened box.  The enjoyment of the cards and hoping something nice pops up in the pack in your hands.  I've done some buying over the years and I've had my share of disappointments when opening a box.  But there is such a rush when you are thumbing through the cards in your hands when you come across a card that is just too amazing.  The explosion of autographs and relic cards have put this opportunity into high gear for everyone.  I've had a fair number of those occasions over the years, but there are two that take the top spot for me.  The occasions were twelve years apart.  My first occasion came in a Kmart way back in 1999 as I bought a retail box of Upper Deck Ionix.  At the time, I didn't realize how much impact this one lucky find had on my collecting, but I do now.  This one card put me on a mission to collect some high end cards through cards shows, Ebay and other avenues of purchasing.  I have most of this set but this one is the only one pulled from a pack of cards for me.

The 500 HR club Frank Robinson game-used bat card, autographed #1 of 20.  Excited was such an understatement and I still had to go back to work for the remainder of the day.  This was the dawn of such cards in the market and I will never forget that feeling.

My other "most awesome" pull came from a Target combo retail box from 2011.  The $14.99 special that included some regular Topps series one packs as well as some packs from the Heritage set reminiscent of the 1962 set.  I have a passion for the Heritage cards and only wish I made some purchases from the first few years more than I did.  I couldn't wait to open the packs as I drove off.  The newest edition of Topps and Heritage in one glorious box.  Little did I know when I pulled out of that parking lot, I'd be looking at one of the all time greats.

Sandy "freakin" Koufax.  An absolute beauty of an autograph.  This is not the only auto card I have of this man, but still pulling this from a pack of cards created such a rush that I'm amazed I didn't just drive into another car as I was mesmerized by what I was looking at.

I could go on, but I'd enjoy reading comments on what others have pulled out of packs that have put their collection and excitement in high gear. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Round 4...the finale

The weekend is slowly coming to an end and the list of cards I have is as well.  The 80's and prior lead to a much smaller list, for sure.  I've chosen to focus on only baseball cards but my hockey collection is fairly large as well, so if you have any hockey needs from the late 60's through the early 2000's, I may have some cards to help out on that front.  I'll end up selling all of my hockey cards at some point, but why not put it out there to help fellow collectors fill some sets.  But back to the list of baseball cards.

1989 Topps
1989 Bowman
1989 Donruss
1989 Fleer
1989 Score
1989 Upper Deck

1988 Topps
1988 Donruss
1988 Fleer
1988 Score

1987 Topps
1987 Donruss
1987 Fleer

1986 Topps
1986 Donruss
1986 Fleer

1985 Topps
1985 Donruss
1985 Fleer

1984 Topps
1984 Donruss
1984 Fleer

1983 Topps
1983 Donruss
1983 Fleer

1982 Topps
1982 Donruss
1982 Fleer

1981 Topps
1981 Donruss
1981 Fleer

1951 - 1980 Topps

1949 - 1952 Bowman

In addition, I have many, many, many odd ball items of unique issues.

1979-84 TCMA
1990 Swell Great
1990 Pacific Legends
As an aside, my better condition cards for trade start in 1974 with some also in 1960, 1968, 1969, 1970.  I have doubles in other years, but their condition would be less than optimal and only filler.  I'd more than happy to scan images if there is a concern for any traded cards.

I do have many relic and autographed cards too.  I'll slowly upload some of my favorites as I make future posts. 

So thanks for allowing me the space to fill this blog with the 50,000 foot level of my collection.  I'll work on the details as I make my way through my collection.  If you're interested in trading, send a message.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Round 3...the 90's

The week has passed, work travel included and time for an update.  We travel back and become preoccupied with 19, 19, 1990 something.  A little take on the Bowling For Soup fans in the house.  I know a decade off but still the last century seems as if it just ended.  It appears I have much more to list than I thought I had.

1999 Topps
1999 Topps Gold Label
1999 Bowman
1999 Black Diamond
1999 Fleer
1999 Stadium Club
1999 SP Authentic
1999 Ultra
1999 Upper Deck
1999 Upper Deck Ionix
1999 Upper Deck MVP
1999 Upper Deck Ovation

1998 Topps
1998 Topps Gallery
1998 Topps Gold Label
1998 Bowman
1998 Bowman Chrome
1998 Bowman Best
1998 Collectors Choice
1998 Donruss
1998 Donruss Preferred
1998 EX2001
1998 Fleer
1998 Leaf
1998 Pinnacle
1998 Pinnacle Inside
1998 Score
1998 SPx
1998 Stadium Club
1988 Studio
1998 Upper Deck

1997 Topps
1997 Topps Finest
1997 Topps Gallery
1997 Bowman
1997 Bowman Best
1997 Collectors Choice
1997 Donruss
1997 Donruss Preferred
1997 Fleer
1997 Fleer Circa
1997 Leaf
1997 Metal Universe
1997 Pinnacle
1997 Score
1997 SP
1997 Stadium Club
1997 Studio
1997 Ultra
1997 Upper Deck

1996 Topps
1996 Topps Finest
1996 Topps Laser
1996 Bowman
1996 Bowman Best
1996 Collectors Choice
1996 Donruss
1996 Emotion XL
1996 Flair
1996 Fleer
1996 Fleer Circa
1996 Leaf
1996 Leaf Limited
1996 Leaf Preferred
1996 Pinnacle
1996 Pinnacle Aficionado
1996 Pinnacle Summit
1996 Score
1996 Select
1996 Select Certified
1996 SP
1996 Stadium Club
1996 Studio
1996 Ultra
1996 Upper Deck
1996 Zenith

1995 Topps
1995 Topps 3D
1995 Topps Embossed
1995 Topps Finest
1995 Bowman
1995 Collectors Choice
1995 Collectors Choice SE
1995 Donruss
1995 Emotion
1995 Fleer
1995 Flair
1995 Leaf
1995 Leaf Limited
1995 Pinnacle
1995 Score
1995 Score Gold
1995 Select
1995 Select Certified
1995 SP
1995 SP Championship
1995 Stadium Club
1995 Studio
1995 Summit
1995 Ultra
1995 Upper Deck
1995 Upper Deck Electric Diamond
1995 Zenith

1994 Topps
1994 Topps Gold
1994 Topps Finest
1994 Bowman
1994 Bowman Best
1994 Collectors Choice
1994 Collectors Choice Silver Signature
1994 Donruss
1994 Fleer
1994 Flair
1994 Leaf
1994 Leaf Limited
1994 Pinnacle
1994 Score
1994 Select
1994 SP
1994 Stadium Club
1994 Studio
1994 Ultra
1994 Upper Deck
1994 Upper Deck Electric Diamond

1993 Topps
1993 Topps Gold
1993 Bowman
1993 Donruss
1993 Fleer
1993 Flair
1993 Leaf
1993 Pinnacle
1993 Score
1993 Select
1993 SP
1993 Stadium Club
1993 Studio
1993 Ultra
1993 Upper Deck

1992 Topps
1992 Topps Gold + Winners
1992 Bowman
1992 Donruss
1992 Fleer
1992 Leaf
1992 Leaf Black
1992 Pinnacle
1992 Score
1992 Stadium Club
1992 Studio
1992 Ultra
1992 Upper Deck

1991 Topps
1991 Bowman
1991 Donruss
1991 Fleer
1991 Leaf
1991 Score
1991 Stadium Club
1991 Studio
1991 Ultra
1991 Upper Deck

1990 Topps
1990 Bowman
1990 Donruss
1990 Fleer
1990 Leaf
1990 Score
1990 Upper Deck

Monday, March 4, 2013

Round 2 continues

I see this is going to be a long and laborious process even just to list the sets I have, let alone the want lists for them.  Putting the hundreds of thousands of cards in order, then into a system will be a years long event that will never end as long as I continue to buy cards.  But I suppose you need to start somewhere.  So here is post two of my blogging career.  To review, my first post, to test the water, was from 2012 back to 2008.  This second post will take us back to 2000.  There were years in this group (mostly the early ones) that passed that I was less than fully active in the hobby and only had the opportunity to do some minor purchasing.  Life has a way of doing that to you.  Anyway, onward we go.....

2007 Topps
2007 Topps Heritage
2007 Topps Chrome
2007 Topps Turkey Red
2007 Allen & Ginter
2007 Bowman
2007 Bowman Heritage
2007 Fleer
2007 Upper Deck
2007 Upper Deck Artifacts
2007 Upper Deck Masterpiece

2006 Topps
2006 Topps Heritage
2006 Topps Chrome
2006 Topps Turkey Red
2006 Topps Co-Signers
2006 Allen & Ginter
2006 Bowman
2006 Bowman Heritage
2006 Bowman Chrome
2006 Fleer
2006 Fleer Ultra
2006 Fleer Tradition
2006 Upper Deck
2006 Upper Deck Sweet Spot
2006 Upper Deck Ovation

2005 Topps
2005 Topps Heritage
2005 Topps Cracker Jack
2005 Bowman
2005 Bowman Heritage
2005 Donruss
2005 Donruss Diamond Kings
2005 Donruss Leather & Lumber
2005 Fleer Patchworks
2005 Upper Deck
2005 Upper Deck Artifacts
2005 Upper Deck Reflections
2005 Upper Deck Past Time Pennants

2004 Topps
2004 Topps Heritage
2004 Topps Cracker Jack
2004 Bowman
2004 Bowman Heritage
2004 Donruss
2004 Donruss Diamond Kings
2004 Flair
2004 Fleer Tradition
2004 Fleer Skybox LE
2004 Fleer Sweet Sigs
2004 Leaf Certified
2004 Playoff Honors
2004 Playoff Prestige
2004 SPx
2004 SP Authentic
2004 Upper Deck
2004 Upper Deck Artifacts
2004 Upper Deck Etchings
2004 Upper Deck Reflections
2004 Upper Deck Sweet Spot
2004 Upper Deck Vintage
2004 Yankees Classics

2003 Topps
2003 Topps Heritage
2003 Topps Gallery
2003 Bowman
2003 Bowman Chrome
2003 Bowman Heritage
2003 Donruss
2003 Donruss Diamond Kings
2003 Donruss Champions
2003 Donruss Rookies
2003 Flair
2003 Fleer Tradition
2003 Fleer Avant
2003 Fleer Boxscore
2003 Fleer Genuine
2003 Upper Deck
2003 Upper Deck 40 Man
2003 Upper Deck Finite
2003 Upper Deck First Pitch
2003 Upper Deck GameFace
2003 Upper Deck PlayBall

2002 Topps
2002 Topps Heritage
2002 Topps Chrome
2002 Topps Gallery
2002 Bowman
2002 Bowman Chrome
2002 Donruss
2002 Donruss Elite
2002 Donruss Fan Club
2002 Donruss Originals
2002 Donruss Rookies
2002 Fleer
2002 Fleer Tradition
2002 Fleer Authentic
2002 Fleer EX
2002 Fleer Focus JE
2002 Fleer Platinum
2002 Leaf
2002 Upper Deck
2002 Upper Deck Ovation
2002 Upper Deck Victory
2002 Upper Deck Vintage

2001 Topps
2001 Topps Heritage
2001 Bowman Heritage
2001 Donruss Class of 2001
2001 Upper Deck
2001 Upper Deck Legends of NY
2001 Upper Deck MVP
2001 Upper Deck Ovation
2001 Upper Deck Reserve
2001 Upper Deck Vintage

2000 Topps
2000 Bowman
2000 Upper Deck
2000 Upper Deck MVP
2000 Upper Deck Ovation
2000 Upper Deck Gold Reserve
2000 Yankees Legends

Back to the 90's......if it only were that easy.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Here we go.....round 1

This could be the start of a very interesting ride.  So bear with me as I figure this out to make it work.  I've dabbled in the reading side of the blog-o-sphere for a few months and have considered this step the more I get involved with my hobby.  Some may call it an obsession, but to me it's about relaxation, fun and, of course, the thrill of the big hit.  The enjoyment of collecting cards has been with me since cards were purchased for me starting in 1971.  I spent 1971 through 1980 collecting and re-started in 1982.  I collected baseball and hockey but stopped the hockey collecting in the early 2000's.  I will slowly begin to post a list of what I currently have, my wants and maybe I can make a few more trades with some great collectors.

I'll start going backwards with 2012 as the 2013 collecting season has just begun and the amount of cards purchased is limited.  I am looking to complete all sets including inserts if possible.  I have the same to trade.

2012 Topps
2012 Topps Heritage
2012 Topps Chrome
2012 Topps Gypsy Queen
2012 Topps Allen & Ginter
2012 Bowman
2012 Bowman Chrome
2012 Bowman Platinum

2011 Topps
2011 Topps Heritage
2011 Topps Chrome
2011 Topps Gypsy Queen
2011 Topps Allen & Ginter
2011 Bowman
2011 Bowman Chrome
2011 Bowman Platinum

2010 Topps
2010 Topps Heritage
2010 Topps Chrome
2010 Topps National Chicle
2010 Topps Allen & Ginter
2010 Bowman
2010 Bowman Chrome
2010 Bowman Platinum
2010 Upper Deck

2009 Topps
2009 Topps Heritage
2009 Topps T206
2009 Topps Allen & Ginter
2009 Bowman
2009 American Heritage
2009 SP
2009 Spectrum
2009 Artifacts
2009 Upper Deck

2008 Topps
2008 Topps Heritage
2008 Topps Chrome
2008 Topps Allen & Ginter
2008 Stadium Club
2008 Bowman
2008 Bowman Chrome
2008 SP
2008 Upper Deck X
2008 Goudey
2008 Upper Deck

I suppose this is a good first step.  I will continue on my next post......