Friday, October 16, 2020

Vroom Vroom - A different kind of relic

I've mentioned a few times that I'm a bit bored with baseball cards currently. I'd say it's the result of 2020, with cards not readily available to open. And even if I do stumble upon some, the sets are pretty lackluster.

Some of it has to do with also coming down from the emotional collecting high of 1,000 Tino cards. I'm not chasing down his cards with the same vigor after hitting that milestone.

Maybe I'll change my blog to "The Bored Collector."


So in searching for some fulfillment, I've seen a few blogs show some racing cards. No, I do not plan on collecting racing cards, although I did buy the Lewis Hamilton Topps Now card. But I don't plan on collecting nor buying any packs.

However, I did see a few relics shown off, and they are pretty damn cool! Race-used tires! Firesuits! Gloves! SHEET METAL!

That's cool. That's more fun than a plan gray swatch.

So off to eBay I went to sample a few of these.

The first I bought was a race-used tire card. This was a cheapy. Daniel Hemric. He's made most of his starts in the XFinity and Truck series, although does have a few Cup starts to his name. He actually was the 2019 Cup Series Rookie of the Year, although it was more by default than anything else. This tire relic is pretty cool though, featuring three pieces of tire, and one with some fibers!
The next card I snagged was a quad-relic of Cup mainstay Ryan Blaney. Now we're talking. This is a fun one. It contains two pieces of sheet metal, one piece of fire suit, and one piece of...I don't know. It's rubbery, but not tire rubber. At least I don't think it's tire rubber. It could be. I'd say it's either shoe or glove? That's my biggest complain with these NASCAR cards: that the cards don't say what the relics are. Similar to baseball relic cards, it's all very vague.
The last card is a dual sheet metal card of Clint Bowyer. I actually thought the relic piece on the left would be rubber, but it's not. It's metal. I'm thinking it's from the front of Bowyer's car, from the "grill" area or from the fake headlights. Looks like grill. Not sure!
I doubt I'll pick up more of these. I basically paid money just to look at them. But they sure are cool and more fun than "jersey that is not from any particular season, game, or event."

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Waffle House does not have Pancakes

In 2017, I was on a short trip with my son, and he wanted pancakes for breakfast.

Right near our hotel was a Waffle House, so we went there. I figure they'd have pancakes. Guess what?

I was wrong.

I know, I know. That was stupid move by me. It's called WAFFLE House. I know that was an idiotic move by me. But I figured they must have pancakes too. After all, you can get waffles at IHOP. That was my rationale. It's a breakfast joint. Sure they specialize in waffles, but I fully expected regular old pancakes to be buried on the menu somewhere.

They weren't. Lesson learned.

He ended up eating a waffle with a heaping side of bacon. But I still felt dumb. I'm sure I could have found a diner or a Denny's or something. But I took my kid to get pancakes at a place known for waffles. I hope he grows up to be smarter than me.

I don't know why, but when my latest mail day from Wes aka the Pancake King came, I immediately thought of that story and laughed to myself.
Wes offered a mega trade-athon on Twitter where he offered up amazing card after amazing card. He truly did. I claimed five cards - the max - and they were quite a mixture. I still owe Wes a return package, which I'll get mailed out soon, buddy. I promise.

To me, two PINK cards were the crown jewel of my claim:
Look at those rookie studs! The Chase Young Leaf Draft autograph was claimed early on before anyone was paying attention, I think. It's numbered just 7/7 for the 2nd overall pick behind Joe Burrow in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The pink Zion is cool too, and definitely my best Zion RC. I know he's not the hottest card in town anymore, although I think he'll have a decent year 2 because I don't think anyone will be hot enough in the NBA's next rookie class, and that includes LaMelo Ball.

The next card I claimed was a Bernie Williams bat card from Panini. Nice relic of a great Yankee.
The last cards I claimed came after the fact, as I checked out what was left, and landed on these two:
A relic of The Mailman is a cool item to add to the collection. Bol Bol got hot for a while after a scrimmage(!) in Orlando, but I didn't get this card to iNvEsT. My buddy is an Oregon fan so I snagged this for him.

Wes, thanks buddy. The event was amazing, and another reminder of why you're one of the most generous out there.

Monday, October 12, 2020

TTM Success: Vince Carter

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I've decided not to send out TTM requests. 

I was already souring on this part of the hobby well before the world shut down, but once everything started picking up in mid-March, I made the conscious decision not to send unsolicited mail to current or (especially) retired athletes.

Prior to this, I was sending fewer and fewer requests for a several reasons. One, I value my time, and sending letters to people I don't know currently doesn't appeal to me as a way to spend my time. I haven't always felt this way, and maybe I won't forever. Two, it's getting harder and hard to find players that sign. Rebel Random Ramblings (thanks for the tip, Fuji) has a great post on the greed that has entered the TTM hobby, with guys often sending far more than one or two cards. Why anyone needs to send nine cards to a player is beyond me. I guess to sell them.

I'm not stepping away completely. I still plan to continue my Topps Yankees Project, which is still missing 2020! I'll have to try again next spring sometime.

Prior to the pandemic - well, prior to quarantine really starting - I sent a request to future NBA Hall of Fame Vince Carter. Fearing it was his last season (indeed it was), I hoped to secure an autograph of his. I sent this on March 2nd, and last week, this arrived:
Awesome! I've always been a huge fan of Carter, from his days at UNC to his ascension to the NBA's most exciting player, to helping the Nets get to the Finals, to embracing his role as a wise old veteran the past few years. He's been a hell of a player, and I'm happy to add this autograph to my collection.

I wish Mr. Vince Carter nothing but the best in the next chapter of his career.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Free Card Friday - Pink Cards!

Collecting Cutch is once again run his Save Second Base event for Breast Cancer Awareness, featuring pink Andrew McCutchen cards and bouncy gifs all month long. He holds contests throughout, and even donates $1 per blog comment he receives.

I wanted to add to the event with a small Free Card Friday featuring only pink cards. I'm sure I have more, but this is what I could dig up easily.

Please claim one or more cards, and email me your address if I don't have it. These will be shipped in a PWE.

1994 Fleer Ultra Ryan Klesko All-Rookie Team #5 of 10
1992 Score All-Star Game P&G Wade Boggs #4 of 18
1995 Upper Deck Collector's Choice You Make The Play Greg Maddux #22
1992 Marvel X-Men Teams Toy Biz variation #71 (corners a bit rough)
And be sure to support Collecting Cutch's month long event for Breast Cancer Awareness.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Free Break Spoils

Kerry over at Cards on Cards was kind enough run a free Bowman Mega Box group break. Such a generous thing to do, and I happily snagged the Yanks. I only landed one card in the break, but it was one of 2019 Yankees first rounder Anthony Volpe.
Look at the shine own that thing. I give Topps a lot of flack for the their uninspired card offerings and designs, but Refractors and X-Fractors and Mojo-fractors and anything else "-fractor" do hold up. The card is gorgeous.

I hate that Volpe lost a year of development. So many minor leaguers just starting their pro careers were robbed of important seasons. I'm sure he took part in many workouts, but it's a bummer when a young kid like this misses a whole year (or more!).

Kerry also busted some some Upper Deck Victory, and I came away with a Tino and a Bernie.
Thanks, Kerry!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

3D x 3

In his latest Save Second Base contest, Collecting Cutch has asked us to show off some 3D cards.

There are a bunch if ways to go with this. Donruss Pop Up cards, Denny's Holograms, Topps Embossed, and more. 3D cards have been a part of collecting baseball cards for years.

It's also been a part of all facets of life. I remember getting cereal boxes that came with 3D glasses, or even a receiving a set of glasses to watch TGIF for a night of special 3D episodes as a kid. I remember watching Tim Taylor on Home Improvement shove a 2x4 into my living room that night.

About 10 years ago, it looked as if 3D TVs were the next big thing. The technology was actually very cool. But people didn't want to watch TVs with special glasses. I haven't heard much about 3D TVs in five or six years.

Recently, I bought a big box of cards of a social media marketplace. The contents looked good from the pictures, and I've had some really good luck with them in the past. This one ended up being pretty good too, as I've already made my money back while keeping the stuff I wanted, including a few Jasson Dominguez cards and a Vlad Jr. autograph.

However, there were a few cards in there that I'd say qualify as 3D cards.
The first that stuck out to me was this Tony Gwynn from Pinnacle's 1995 UC3. At first I thought this was an Upper Deck product, so I was surprised to see both Pinnacle AND Sportflix on the back. It actually says "Sportflix, a Pinnacle Brand." It looks like Pinnacle tried to make a higher end Sportflix? The card itself is nice and clean, and the 3D effect is fairly well done. There is no movement like a traditional Sportflix, but there's plenty of depth.
The next is a basketball issue, from 1996-97 Upper Deck SPx. This is the type of card I'd never find in the wild as a kid, but one I'd see in Beckett and want it. Not only is it diecut, but also hologram!? Be still, my heart. All that's missing is some clearcut acetate! The hologram itself is a bit more on the 3D side with a picture-in-picture effect with a headshot in the foreground and an action shot in the background.
My last entry is a bit of a stretch, as it's more of a 3D texture than card effect. There was a stack of these  bordered 2012 Gypsy Queens. Not really 3D, but the framed is raised and the card is set back within the frame. That counts, I think.

Be sure to check out Collecting Cutch all of October and support his annual Save Second Base event.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Finishing Lineage by cheating 9 years later

Back in 2011, eleven days before my son was born, I said I was going to collect the 2011 Topps Lineage set as his "birth year" set. My rationale was simple. It was an attractive 200-card set, featuring Hall of Famers, retired players, current (at the time) stars, and a few rookies. It would serve as an education for him, of sorts. Here's how the game looked the year you were born.

Turns out I probably should have collected 2011 Topps Update for him.

It also turns out that I don't set collect, so I probably got about 90% of the way there and never saw it through.

Recently, I had the opportunity to fix that.

Nachos Grande ran a big, bracket style Ultimate Allen & Ginter mini set bracket. Somehow, I ended up with the winning bracket. I really finished second but the winner didn't identify themselves. In full disclosure, I felt a little guilty about winning. I don't like A&G and I sure as heck don't like A&G minis. So I 1. didn't expect to win and 2. felt a bit hesitant to claim my prize as the bracket winner.

However, I didn't just fill out the bracket to be a prize hound. Chris put a lot of work into it, and I appreciate that. He's also been sharing his love for A&G, and specifically A&G minis, since I started blogging. He even has a signed custom mini of himself! I wanted to participate because Chris is a great dude, has always been generous to me, and filling out a bracket is a small thing to support someone I consider to be a hobby friend.

Back to Lineage. So as mentioned, I was crowned champion of picking the winners. I wish I had a method to my madness, but this is definitely like Janice in accounting winning March Madness by blinding picking schools to win. Chris listed some very generous prizes, but one immediately stood out:

A complete set of 2011 Topps Lineage.

Fate! So I jumped at that, and now can say I (cheated) and collected the set for my son. Maybe I'll binder it up for him and stuff it away. But happy to have that one officially done, even if it's nine years later!

Chris, thanks for the prizes and congrats on successfully running the bracket!