Wednesday, December 11, 2019

There is only one Pancake King

Last week, Wes aka JBF aka The Pancake King dropped a line on Twitter to 13 of us, telling us we were the Lucky 13 and that he had a little something coming out way.

When Wes says something like that, it's not to be taken lightly.

We've all witnessed his generosity, and while he doesn't currently blog, he's always there like a snake in the weeds...just waiting to strike. And he struck just in time for the holidays.

I've always been very appreciative to be on Wes' good list, and his bombs have always been epic. What I appreciate most though, is the thoughtfulness behind it. He truly goes out of his way to send packages he knows the other person will enjoy.

When my Lucky 13 package arrived, part of me wanted to wait until Christmas to open it. But how could I look at a mailer from Wes for two weeks without peeking? Impossible. Plus, it arrived as I was outside hanging Christmas lights in frigid temps, so I felt in the holiday spirit.

So I opened it.
I love the tamper seal. Such a Wes touch.
The first card was the Pancake King Bowman custom he was including in each package. Mine was #8/13.

And the gift itself was one card, but a big one:
Oh my.

I never figured I'd own something like a Lou Gehrig relic, yet here is this card, now sitting in my collection. Unreal! I've become a bit jaded by all the great cards sent to me over the last 8 years of blogging, but this is one of those ones that stops you in your tracks. I keep going back to look at it.

What an incredible gesture, and a card I'll have forever. Even when I eventually downsize my collection, this one will stay.

Thanks, Wes!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

The birthday boy!

Nooo, it's not my birthday. I don't usually post about that.

Today is birthday of Tino Martinez! He turns 52 today. Yikes. That makes me feel old.

To celebrate, here are a few Tino's I recently snagged:

The first is may look like a fairly basic 2003 Topps, but is in fact one of HTA (Home Team Advantage) versions. This came through in a trade with alh on Trading Card Database.
The next is from the new Topps Tek set, and is an orange parallel numbered to 25. Cool looking card!
Happy birthday, Tino!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Wait, is this the contest prize? Or is this?

I've had this posted draft for ages, but just never got around to publishing.

Back in the late spring, I got two packages from Kerry over at Cards on Cards. I actually figured the first package was my contest prize for his March Madness contest, but then the second package indicated that that was indeed the contest package. So looks like the first was just a nice act of generosity from Kerry!

The first package was a mixture of Yanks and Knicks. The highlight for me was a very shiny, beautiful Elite Series Gleyber.
In the words of ZZ, woof. That's a pretty card.

A few other Yanks were included, which we new to me at the time.
The Knicks cards are always fun to go through, minus the fact that they are...you know...players on the Knicks. I just like seeing basketball cards, which to me, have been a bit better looking than baseball cards on the whole over the last few years.
Look, it's the guy the Knicks traded away so that they'd have the cap space to sign Durant Julius Randle and Kyrie Bobby Portis.

I can't keep track of all the Panini parallels, but I do think these look really nice.
While I'll always be a fan of the old Donruss and Pacific, I'm not the biggest fan of bastardizing them like this in current issues, although the Melo is ok.
These two sets bring me back to my childhood!
And I'll always laugh at the back of 90-91 Skybox where they had a box with the player's first name in it. So odd.
Here's a nice assortment, as well an auto that was neatly tucked inside! Will Hernangomez has a very elaborate signature, eh?
So I would have been totally fine if that was the prize package, as it was generous and a blast to go through. But then this showed up, which was the REAL prize!
This was a bit more Yankee centric!

My favorite card was a Hertitage Clubhouse Collection of Masahiro Tanaka! Pretty sweet card.
Here are some other's that caught my eye. As I've been saying, any Gleybers right now are very welcome!
Kerry, thanks for always sending such excellent packages!

Friday, November 29, 2019

Being supportive of a new hobby

In the last couple of months, my son has picked up collecting Pokemon cards.

It's not just him. It's his entire second grade class. Boys. Girls. All of them walk to school clutching a binder that doesn't include schoolwork, yet includes pages and pages of Pokemon.

I gotta say, props to Pokemon for being able to appeal to kids. This isn't an indictment on sports cards. I think we all know that fewer and fewer kids collect and that this is a "grown ups hobby," despite what the hobby puppeteers say on Twitter about how packed with kids card shows are or when that kid who works for Topps pops up on Twitter. Had to hide Tweets from that account, I won't lie.

My son is more into Pokemon cards than anything I've ever seen him show an interest in. He talks about them 24/7, in the same way I did about cards when I was younger. I get home from work, and he doesn't even greet me. He just says "Dad, you won't believe this trade I made today" and then he goes on to say a bunch of things I don't understand.

It actually reminds me of being younger and showing my dad a stack of Fleer cards, and they'd put in a "Flair preview" and I remember him holding it and going, "wow, this is how cards are now. Aren't they nice?" in response to the imagery and cardstock and design. I appreciated that.
While I selfishly wish it was something I relate to a bit more, I do appreciate his enthusiasm and dedication. I had never seen him stick to a hobby for this long. He spends hours pouring over and organizing his binder. He has a digital collection on the online game (something again, shunned by sports card collectors...GASP digital cards!), and he watches YouTube videos of people opening packs.

It's been a bit challenging for me to not try and put my imprint on his collecting. I've found myself sometimes saying "want a pack of baseball cards too?" when we're at Target and he's having a hard time deciding what sort of Pokemon pack to buy. I've tried giving him trade advice, such as "it's ok to trade three dupes for one card you want in return." As a parent, it'a always natural to try and push your kid into what interests YOU. Would I rather come home and him show me the Aaron Judge card he just traded for? Yes, but that's because it's something I can relate to. But I'm trying to refrain.

Being a parent is often about letting your kid find their own path and interests, and supporting them along the way.

Sometimes my wife and I roll our eyes at how nerdy it all seems, but then I always try and take a step back and remember that I, a grown man, collect baseball cards. So maybe I'm the real nerd. Just because it's sports doesn't make it less nerdy. We're all nerds, and I think we know that.

I'm just happy he's found something he's passionate about, for now. It's going to make Christmas shopping quite a bit easier, that's for sure.

This post is to remind myself to remain supportive. Maybe it'll turn into sports card collecting. Maybe he'll grow out of it next year and his binders will collect dust. Whatever it is, I enjoy seeing his passion for his new hobby, and the fact that it's helping me grow as a parent by not trying to steer him one way or another, and letting him collect the way he wants to.

And regardless of my effort, I don't think I'll ever understand the names of the characters or how to play or what card is what.



Wednesday, November 27, 2019

TCDB was made for #TeamPWE

By now you've heard me sing the praises of The Trading Card Database.

I really like how it's gone for my collecting habits so far. I've kept it very small - 2-3 PWE trades per week, which feels neither overwhelming nor like a time suck. It's just right for me at this time. I have several hundred cards available for trade, mostly from 2019 Update. It's proved to be a solid inventory, as I've gotten some good offers and made a few myself.

Every collector I've come across has been fair and courteous, and shipping, while all PWE, has been great. #TeamPWE is alive and well on TCDB.

And best of all, I find myself sending away cards I don't need for 1-2 I'm happier to have. 6-7 Topps Update base cards of players I don't care about for a Gleyber Torres card? All day long.

Speaking of Torres, I've gotten the most of him on TCDB. I found that not many people have old Tinos I need on there, so in order to make trades, one needs a semi-current want list. Torres, being awesome a guy who is still a bit overshadowed in the hobby, was an easy "add" to my wantlist on the site, and has proved to be a smart addition. My collection of him has greatly grown. While I don't anticipate becoming a full-on Gleyber collector, picking up cards of him at this stage is something I'm interested in.

With that being said, here's my latest batch of trades. I'm up to 12 or 13 completed trades overall.

This was a quick one for one with member sandd0522. I sent him a 2019 Topps 150 stabbed Citi Field, and got this Gleyber insert in return:
The next was from bravefan1, who as you might guess, collects Braves. I also sent him a few of those Berger's Best reprints from a few years back. In return, I got back for Gleybers, which is a perfect trade, really. I especially like the Gallery RC.
The next trader needs to introduction, as it's from Colbey aka Flywheels of Cardboard Collections. I sent Colbey a few cards from his 2019 wants, and got back four Yankees 2019 Topps Holiday cards.
And he also threw in an unexpected Gleyber. Very nice!
A quick 3 for 2 trade was next with Hittinaway. My end of the deal brought me a new Stanton and Sanchez:
I found a trader who lives just about 10 minutes away named alanfromnyc. Kind of cool to be so close! Maybe Alan will eventually be an in-person trader since we live so close. I sent him more quantity than anything else, with 9 inserts from 2019. In return, I got an AWESOME Gleyber refractor (didn't scan well), followed by a 2018 Topps Holiday RC.
Last but not least for this go-round, billwill305 found some 2019 Topps Fire that I put on my wantlist. I also added another Gleyber from 2019 GQ.

This post ended up being a bit of a card/trade dump, but just goes to show how quick and easy these deals can be!

Monday, November 25, 2019

A private signing for me

The other day, I came across a Tino Martinez autograph from Panini called "private signings." I had never seen this particular card, so I figured it was new.

It's actually six years old!

I don't follow Panini sets at all, so I wasn't too sure where this was from. Turns out is was from a 2013 set, and were special packs given out with the purchase of some higher-end Panini boxes.

It's funny how new-to-you cards can pop up after so many years, isn't it? It happens a lot with oddball sets, but I like to think I have a pretty good grasp on on what Tino cards are out there, so it's always a little mystifying when a brand new one (to me) comes out of no where.

While this was limited to just 8 copies, thankfully Topps has flooded the market with Tino autos, and his price has been driven way down. Throw in an unlicensed brand, and there's even less demand. I was able to win this for under $10 shipped, something that wouldn't have been done last year when Tino autographs were fairly rare.

I guess I should say #ThanksTopps? Regardless, add another notch in my Tino Martinez autograph collection.