Thursday, January 14, 2021

The need to feel even

For many of us, we receive packages with a note that reads something like, "No need to send anything back. Just wanted to get rid of these."

Except it never seems to work that way.

Like so many others, I always feel like I have a debt to others who send me cards. No matter if the person said we're good and they need nothing in return, there is that unofficial score in my brain that says I'm behind and need to make things right.

I know I'm not alone feeling like this. 

Earlier this week, I received a bubble mailer from Coach Tom at Waiting Til Next Year. A few weeks ago, I sent Tom a few Cubs items I received from the Cubs Race to Wrigley Virtual 5K I ran. I think I sent a small bag and the Cubs shirt that came in the race package.

I told Tom I didn't need anything in return. I wasn't lying! I truthfully had no use for the Cubs gear, and even if he didn't use them himself, I knew he could find a good home for the items. I wanted and expected nothing. I kept the race medal and that's all I needed.

In his note, Tom acknowledged that I said that, but also said "you must know that's not how I operate."

So Tom sent me a few cards, I'm sure to make himself feel better. It wasn't necessary, but the cards were great.

First off, a Robinson Cano signed card! A Cano autograph has been on my 'most wanted' for ages. I just never got around to getting one. It's sad that Cano is now a repeat PED offender. I assume the market for his cards had tanked pretty hard as a result. Yet I never did have that autograph, until now. Very cool!
I had vaguely seen the Onyx Vintage set that was out, but hadn't;t acquired any. And Tom also delivered my first autograph of Yankees prospect Esteven Florial! Very cool! Florial made his debut last year and collected a hit. Hopefully there are plenty more of those to come.
Although we were even to begin with, I really do appreciate these cards.

Now the only question is...do I need to send Tom something back?

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Pay attention and stick to singles, stupid

For the most part, I don't pay much attention to a lot of the custom sets Topps sells exclusively online. These are mostly the Throwback Thursday or other curated sets, whether from athletes, artists, or influencers.

However, my interest was piqued when I saw that Derek Jeter was curating a 52-card set. I got the email, flipped through the checklist, and saw that there were two Tino Martinez cards. For a $19.99 price tag, I was in.

Or so I thought. I clearly just did not read the product description carefully. I thought my $19.99 purchase was giving me a 52-card boxed set.

It wasn't.

It was getting me one 10-card pack of the Topps x Derek Jeter set. ONE PACK!

By the time the realization was made, it was too late. I had clicked purchase. I should have known from the get-go. Outside of maybe a blaster or a hanger, when can you ever get anything like a full set from Topps for $20? I don't know, I just thought I was getting a small set from them. It was honestly a case of just believing what I wanted without clearly reading the description. A stupid mistake, and I was entirely at fault.

I'm not blaming Topps. I'm blaming me. Another sucker.

So I waited, but I wasn't very excited for it to arrive. My silver lining was that maybe I would get an autograph, which fell 1:12 packs. Not too outlandish. That would ease the sting. Or maybe I'd get a low numbered parallel or something. Maybe fate would give me a Tino 1/1 or something. There are cardboard gods, right?

Maybe this mistake would turn into a happy accident! 

It's didn't.

My pack arrived last week, and this was the fruit of my $20.

First, the box is nice. Props for that. I wish the cards looked like that, actually.
Here's how the pack was wrapped. It looked like a mini pop tart.
And here are ALL ten of my cards at two bucks a pop.
Yeah. 

The first card was a David Ortiz, so I was pretty doomed off the bat. No fancy parallel. No autograph. No Tino.

It's not entirely all bad. The two Jeters are cool. Mattingly is cool. Backwards hat Bernie is cool. Sweet Ichiro too. Even the Tim Raines is pretty cool warming up for a game.

But man, for $20? I could have bought something much better. As many around these parts say, stick to singles and buying exactly what you want.

I know better.

I've already picked up the Tino cards for about $2 a piece, and one has already come:
I should have done that from the start. Read carefully, everyone.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

47 Months Later...

I haven't been sending out TTM requests anymore, but once in a while self-addressed stamped envelopes with my writing on them end up in my mailbox.

Yesterday was such a day. Not knowing who might have returned a signed card, I opened it and these three cards popped out:
Wily Mo Pena! (Or Willi Mo Pena according to the Bowman card above). Good lord. I couldn't remember sending this this one so to my handy record-keeping spreadsheet I went. I sent it to Cleveland Indians spring training on February 22, 2017! That was 47 months ago! Or 1,417 days ago. That's crazy.

Thanks goodness I haven't moved addresses since 2016.

It just goes to show that you truly can never write-off a TTM request. It also goes to show how important it is to keep records. My current spreadsheet only dates back to 2015. I lost a few hundred records to a work computer malfunction back in 2015. Dumb. That's why I use google sheets now, and always have access to it.

Thanks to Mr. Wily Mo Pena for returning these cards signed.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

First card of the year of a first year player

Yesterday, the first card I got in 2021 showed up on my doorstep.

I've always enjoyed prospect cards, but have yet to add a card of 2020 Yankees first rounder Austin Wells. Realizing Bowman Draft had come out, I did a quick search on eBay for Wells' card in the set. As expected, the Yankees tax was on him, as even the base cards were a little more than I wanted to pay.

Then I saw it!

For the same price as most of the base cards, someone had listed a gold parallel numbered to 50. I quickly added it to my card and felt like I had scored.

This was on Jan 1, so the seller shipped it very quickly, and yesterday it arrived. I was glad with my purchase, even if the graders out there will immediately see that the centering is off. Maybe that's why it was cheap! Numbered 48/50, it's a solid 1st year card.
But there was an unadvertised bonus!

The seller also threw in the lowly base card, the same card which felt a little overpriced at a few bucks. Even though it was a mere throw-in, I was thrilled!
Not bad for my first two cards of the year. Now let's hope there's a minor league season and Wells can show why he was a first round pick.