Sunday, November 18, 2018

Landing a Japan-Fractor

I first heard about Japan refractors from Zippy Zappy over at Torres Up Cards. I don't quite remember the context, but I remember being surprised to see these existed. (Kenny, I looked for a bit but was unable to find your post. Or maybe it was a Twitter post. I don't know). Maybe it was a Gary Sanchez card?

I wasn't quite sure where these existed (other than Japan, duh) or how frequently they were inserted into packs, but it was cool to know they were out there. Never did I think I'd land one of one of the main guys I collect.

Every couple of days I take a look at my Ty Hensley saved search on eBay. Usually it consists of stuff I already have, plus some ridiculously over-prized Rize brand cards from the same seller. I wish I could just ignore all of those from my saved search. They've been listed for years and never budge.

Anyways, once every blue moon a Hensley pops up I need - a printing plate or a low numbered autograph. Usually, they are over-priced because YANKEES 1ST ROUND PICK!

But like I said, once in a blue moon a card comes by that wows me. This was one of those times.

I was shocked when a 2012 Bowman Sterling Japan-Fractor popped up. I have a ton of the regular Bowman Sterling autographs, as well as the refractor and gold refractor. But this! This I had no idea it even existed. And it was numbered to just 5. With a starting bid of .99.

I immediately bid and placed a $12 bid. After a few days, someone outbid me. I was worried it might be someone who goes hard after these Japan-fractors. I bid it back up with a max bid of $25, thinking I would go a little higher since I'd likely never see this card again. Luckily, it ended at $13 and I was the winner. It showed up Saturday!

According to Cardboard Connection, these were actually the debut set of the Japan-Fractor, and "Japan-Fractor" is actually the name of the parallel. I wasn't sure if that was made up, but it looks to be the actual given name.

At the time, I assume these looked incredibly unique. Don't get me wrong, they still look great, but I also think I've seen this refractor design on a few cards now. Here's an example:
They also mostly look blue online, but they are a lot more silver in person. I've had a hard time seeing the blue I was expecting.

Still, for a player collector, nothing is better when I rare card like this comes out of nowhere and you're able to score it for a few bucks. Next to my SuperFractor, I have to say that this might be next in line as the crown jewel of my Ty Hensley collection.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Winnings from Wes

A couple weeks back, I got a nice package from Wes over at Jaybarkerfan's Junk Willingham Rising Area 40. He's been holding some giveaways as he accumulates a massive amount of packs to bust.

My winnings were one card and a toy:

A cool graded mini of Jordan Matthews. I let me son display this in his room, as he likes football cards and thought the graded case was neat.
Wes also included this Skeletor toy. I certainly remember this guy from He-Man. It's a small figure, but very cool looking. I believe it may have come from a bling bag, but I'm not 100% certain.

Thanks, as always, Wes! Can't wait to watch you bust those packs.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Cards on Cards saves me a lot of time

First off, before getting into the post below, I have seen a few bloggers do this so I'll join the party. I've admittedly been less than stellar over the past year about sending out cards and return packages. My collection is a little unorganized, and instead of diving in, some nights I just ignore it. It feels daunting to go and pull cards for people from the heaping piles of cards I need to find a place for.

So if I owe you cards, or feel you haven't gotten a return package from me, please feel free to shoot me an email or Twitter DM. I try to keep up and make mental notes, but I'm sure I've missed a few. This would never be intentional, so if you're waiting on something or just feel like I should reciprocate a package or two, please drop me a line!


Someone who I always feel like I owe cards to is Kerry from Cards on Cards. He always sends me a ton of Yankees and Knicks, and I can never keep up. I do have a large stack of Blazers and Cardinals set aside for him, but I have to get my act together and send before the holidays.

A few weeks back, I got an unexpected mailer from Kerry. I didn't buy many new cards over the summer, as the releases were happening faster than I could keep up. Plus, my Target never restocked cards.

So out of nowhere, this package showed up with a ton of Yankees needs from 2018 sets I didn't buy. It saved me a ton of time (and $) not having to hunt down many of these cards and sets. Where to begin?

I'll start with a <fire emoji> set: Topps Fire. These cards are cool, but I've never seen them at Target. Happy to have a few!
Next I'll go with Big League. I'm still torn on this set. Overall, I liked it, but would have rather had year 3 of Bunt. The Severino is a numbered parallel to just 100.
I got some Topps Chrome Update last week, but didn't get any regular ol' Chrome. The Judge pink (or purple?) is so cool. And I can't say enough about how much I love the 1983 Chrome Refractors. Holy crap are these nice. Nicest cards of 2018. Don't @ me.
There was a healthy stack of Heritage as well. The Stanton/Judge card is a 2018 favorite of mine.

I love this card, as I have fond memories of collecting the '93 set. I do wish they made actual gold name versions of these (as far as I know they didn't).
Here are a few more cards that stuck out to me. The Dellin diecut is too cool.
There was plenty more, but as you can see, Kerry really helped me check off a ton of 2018 Yanks I didn't have. Thanks, Kerry!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

When the throw-ins are better than the card purchased

My eBay Bucks were going to expire late last week...all $1.50 of them.

I wanted to spend them on a card without spending extra, so I gave myself a fun challenge. Most of the cards I found were pretty standard base cards, like $.99 with free shipping. But then I saw this for $1 plus $.50 shipping, so I snagged it.
Sonny Gray is in the dog house and won't be returning to NY. Brian Cashman has been very open about wanting to trade him. For whatever reason, Gray never figured it out in NY. I am certain he'll be bounce back wherever he ends up. Anyhow, I thought it would be cool to have a relic of him as a Yankee, given that his tenure will end up being just 1.5 seasons with the team.

The seller also threw in two cards around the Gray gray swatch:

I was actually more excited about these, especially the Montgomery!

In all, I think I did pretty well for my massive amount of eBay Bucks.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Join Secret Santa!

For the past few years, Matt from Bob Walk The Plank executed a nearly flawless Secret Santa amongst bloggers and collectors. This year, Jon of A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts has stepped up to the plate big time and offered to host. Click here to sign up!

The Secret Santa game has always treated me well.

In 2016, my pal Coach Tom of Waiting Til Next Year sent me an awesome box of cards, with this Phil Rizzuto leading the way. Tom even had someone else mail it so the origins left me very stumped.

Then in 2017, another All-World Blogger, San Jose Fuji, sent me a true treasure and a card I had wanted forever.
I also really enjoy shopping for the person I'm assigned, and COMC's Black Friday is a great way to pick up some good cards to send along.

Thanks to Jon for organizing!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Walkin' to the mailbox

Prior to this season, I always knew Neil Walker was a very good TTM signer. So when the Yankees signed him at the end of March, I was excited to possibly add his autograph to my collection.

I sent the request to Yankee stadium in early April, and nothing came back. I waited and waited and waited.

Finally, an envelope showed up from Pittsburgh, and inside were my signed Walker cards.
I just saw that he has a Yankees card in 2018 Update, so hopefully I can get that signed down the road. Maybe he'll be back with the Yankees in 2019, but if not, I enjoyed having him on the team, as he was definitely a good dude for the younger players to look up to.

Friday, November 2, 2018

RIP Willie McCovey

I feel bad.

I actually didn't know Willie McCovey was still alive until I heard that he died. I think there are a handful of stars from the past that I probably couldn't tell you whether or not they are still with us. I guess my lack of interest in organizations outside of the one I root for are one of my biggest shortcomings as a fan.

Still, I did know he was a great player and revered by the fanbases that he played for, notably the Giants and Padres. I had no idea he had a short stint as an Oakland A until I saw a few photos on Twitter.

I also didn't know he was the original Big Mac, although it makes sense now that I think about it.

Regardless, I do have a few vintage McCovey cards that I keep in my son's HOF binder. Side note: I don't think I've updated that page in a few year, but I am constantly adding cards to this binder, many of which were sent by generous bloggers.

So with that, here are three that stick out. RIP, Stretch.