Saturday, June 19, 2021

A really dumb Tino card

 As a player collector, sometimes I buy a card I'm not thrilled with, because it's one I don't have and "need." 

I've actually gotten a lot better about trying not to be a completist with Tino, and chasing every single card or parallel of his. If the price is right, of course I'll snag one I don't have. But I've all but stopped spending money on parallels of parallels or low-numbered cards if I'm content with similar ones that might not be as rare. Personal growth!

I didn't really stick to my guns on a recent purchase, although it didn't set me back much. Just a few bucks. And I haven't seen it pop up often, so I'm not really regretting what I paid. But boy is this a dumb card:

It's from 2012 Upper Deck SP Signature Edition. Upper Deck certainly didn't have an MLB license at this point. But oof, this is bad. I actually really dislike the "signature cards" that some TTM autograph seekers use, and this sort of feels like that.

And it's a sticker to boot.

The fact that this was shipped from Canada actually kept the price down. Have you noticed that? People bid a lot less when they see international shipping attached to a card.

So, this is a weird one. It's ugly and boring. But it's an autograph and a new card in my Tino collection. Card #1,102, in fact.

It's just not going to take a very prominent place in my collection.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Five Below to the rescue

I spent the large portion of the spring coaching my son's 9 & 10-year-old little league team.

We had a great season, and were one of the strongest teams in the league. More importantly, these guys truly became a team. It was fun to see them grow, improve, and compete each week. My son forged new friendships, even walking into school with his teammates who he might not have otherwise socialized previously. Man, youth sports are important, especially after being robbed of them for a year.

It's cliche, but from start to finish the boys really did improve. Some kids couldn't touch the ball early on, but as the season went on, became valuable contributors to the team. 

Unfortunately, we made it to the semifinals and lost just this past Thursday. It was a really intense game, actually. Well-played. No errors (which is saying something). Timely hitting. Strong pitching. Intense crowd. Anyone who says that 9 & 10-year-old little league can't be exciting is flat out wrong. Parents came up to us after stating it was the game of the year. Imagine that.

With the season coming to a close, we booked a room in a restaurant to have an end-of-season party later this week. I decided to make goodie bags for the kids, with a few items inside:
I picked up these materials at the discount store Five Below, mostly because I know they have a lot of small toys and candy, notably Big League Chew. The popular shredded gum is a bit of a team joke, as we had to ban it a few games ago because the kids were shoving so much of it in their mouths, it became a distraction. Plus I had to clean up gobs of it all over the dugout. 

You'll also see a pack of 2021 Bowman. That was an unexpected turn. You see, I had wanted to put a pack of cards in each goodie bag. But here's a funny thing about cards: you can't find them. You cannot just drive to a store and get a few packs. In an ideal world, I would have found a pack of Opening Day or Topps, as opposed to Bowman. Kids barely know Mike Trout. How are they going to know Blaze Jordan or Wander Franco?

When I went to purchase the materials for the goodie bags, it was Sunday evening, so the one local card shop around me was not open.  It's not like the pack prices would be affordable, anyhow. So I basically came to terms with not having cards in the bags, and I would just add extra candy or a toy or something.

After I put thirteen packs of Big League Chew in my hand basket, I went over to the sports section to buy my son another whiffle ball launcher toy since his broke. It's a small gadget that pops a ball up so he can hit it into a net. And lo and behold, I couldn't believe my eyes. There was a box with loose packs of Bowman!

They were overpriced, but I wanted the kids to have cards, so I bought the remaining packs - 16 of them. I kept 13 for the goodie bags, and treated myself to three of the remaining packs. I like Bowman, so it was fine. Two of my packs were fairly loaded, so I can only hope the kids find some luck, and maybe it spurns on some sort of collecting interest. Here were my best two cards from the three packs:

Not bad!

I doubt it'll have much affect. Kids don't really like cards. They all talked about Fortnite a lot more than Major League Baseball. They talked about NBA more than MLB too. But for one day, they'll open a pack, see an array of cards of stars and prospects and maybe some shine or ink, and enjoy a big wad of Big League Chew.

That's a pretty cool outcome and a great way to put a cap on the season.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Orange you glad you use TCDB?

The TCDB trades have been rolling in, as many other forms of trading and acquiring new cards dry up. I don't post all of my swaps here, but one of my recents was a fun one.

I rarely add or peruse the basketball section of the site, but from time to time I do add a few cards of Syracuse Orange basketball cards just to keep my want a bit diverse. Luckily, it worked out in my favor for a trade with jrad1973, as I sent him a few Astros for the following cards.

While I absolutely hate baseball mascot cards (looking at you, Opening Day), I thought a card of Otto the Orange was cool to have. Typically Syracuse has four students play Otto each year, and during football they alternate each quarter. One of the best mascots in college sports!
A couple of Syracuse one-and-dones! The Carmelo is cool, especially with Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery in the back. Feels like a big event game!
It wasn't just Syracuse cards! Three Yankees were included in the package, as well. I don't hate Contenders baseball. I have no idea when or they were released. Retail blasters, I guess? But I would have never come across them if not for TCDB.
Pretty cool what resorting to TCDB can net you, especially for unwanted Astros cards!

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Positive feedback, but I'm not happy about it

I don't like it when eBay sellers try to make up money by overcharging on shipping.

It makes me conflicted. The card shows up and the condition is fine. But you charged me $3.49 for first class shipping, and sent it in a PWE. And not even a fancy eBay standard envelope PWE with tracking. This was a regular PWE.

When I point this out to the seller, they usually respond something like this: "u got a vintage crd for less than 5 go fuck off dont buy from me agin"

Sellers tend to do this when they think a card will sell for a bit more. In this case, I bought a 1952 Wheaties Phil Rizzuto. I was the only bidder at $.99. Plus $3.49 shipping. I do not like to pay 3x for shipping, but I figured less than $5 all in for a Rizzuto from 1952 was cool.

But the seller had other plans, and needed to recoup some money and not take a bath in this transaction. So my card came in a PWE between two pieces of cardboard. No top loader, either.
Again, the card arrived ok, but not the point, at least to me it's not. But I also didn't want to be too big of a dick, so I emailed the seller via eBay messages over the weekend and gave him a chance to respond.

He didn't.

But I still didn't want to be a dick, so I left positive feedback. I will say that I did one-star his shipping cost, and in the feedback I mentioned that other buyers should be warned about his shipping. He has over 700 positive feedbacks and no negative or neutral, so I'm not going to be a blemish.

Still, don't be a dick and make up some profit by skimping out on shipping.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Breaking a Bowman Blaster

Well, indeed it has been an awful start to the summer. It literally rained from Friday evening right up through last night. Plus, temperatures were in the high 40s. What a mess! I did use some time to organize my disaster of a card area, including deciding to order a BCW card bin to house my Tino collection. I am saying goodbye to binders.

Yesterday I needed a pick me up, and got it while watching the Indy 500. I got an email ping on my phone that a blaster of 2021 that I had ordered from Target had been delivered. I went outside and quickly rescued the box, which was getting poured on. Luckily, the box held up and the cards were fine.

I know it's fun around these parts to crap on Bowman, but I am not one of these people. I like Bowman more than most. In fact, I would rather open Bowman than:
  • Allen & Ginter
  • Gypsy Queen
  • Heritage
  • Stadium Club
  • Big League
  • Opening Day
  • Donruss
I like the mix of current players, rookies, and prospects, including a draftee's first Bowman card. I like the inserts, which usually are very shiny. I like the chance at a prospect autograph.

Let's start with the RCs. I was glad to get Clarke Schmidt, as well as a few others like Alec Bohm and Jo Adell. Schmidt just started a throwing program in hopes of coming back later this year. He's got a world of talent, but it is starting to feel like he'll never be one who is healthy. I hope I am wrong.
I did land one parallel as well, a blue pApEr of Rockies catching prospect Drew Romo.
On to the Chromes, where the highlight was Blaze Jordan of the Red Sox. Sweet name. Not sweet team. I hope he doesn't torment the Yankees for years. This card alone will pay for at least half the price of the blaster.
I did ok with the inserts, although in pack 2 my day was made when I pulled a Jasson Dominguez Scouts Top 100. I have a couple Dominguez cards already, but this is the first time I pulled one for myself from a pack.
Here's the rest of my inserts. They always pack a lot of shine.
The weather looks better today to salvage some of the weekend, but overall, I'm happy with my blaster, as it helped save a rainy day.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Staying Melo on Memorial Day Weekend

Man, what a shitty Memorial Day Weekend.

The forecast calls for rain all weekend, as well as record low temps here in New Jersey. This is a very 2020 thing to happen...not 2021! It's especially disappointing after last weekend was in the '90s. The town pool opens today, but no one will be there.

I'm especially bummed because I really needed a nice, relaxing long weekend after a tiring few weeks at work. I guess nothing will stop it from being relaxing, but there's not much to do other than sit inside. I'd rather be out on the patio with a drink and enjoying the weather.

Regardless, I can't control the weather. But I can control my mood. And I hope to stay mellow. Or Melo. Just like my newest basketball card.
I totally missed collecting during Carmelo Anthony's prime, as I not only stopped collecting during many of those years, but stopped buying basketball cards. However, I do like to pick up Carmelo cards here and there, and an autographed card by him is high up on my want list.

For now, I'll grab singles here and there. I especially liked the shiny foil look of this one, plus it shows him in a Syracuse uniform.

I hope your weather is better than mine this weekend. But most importantly, I hope you all can relax and stay Melo.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Mantle lives on

A recent development in the trading card industry is that Mickey Mantle (or rather his estate), is once again part of the Topps family.

From the '90s right up through the last few years, Mantle was a staple in Topps products. Whether it was constant dedicated insert sets that no one was asking for, or inclusion into base sets, Mantle was always there. And he was there basically to the point where it wasn't special to get a Mantle card in a pack, which is sort of a weird feeling. He was just another guy in a pack.

But then his estate's Topps deal expired and he became a Panini guy. And while Panini didn't bash us over the head with Mantle, he was included in most sets, such as Diamond Kings and Optic.

In the last few weeks, Topps has brought Mantle back into the family, and he made his return in the Topps Living set. I haven't bought a Living Set card in a few years, and don't pay much attention to it, but I thought this card was really nice looking, so I snagged a pre-order on eBay for a few bucks and it arrived yesterday:
I think it's just a simple, classy looking card.

I'm sure Mantle will once again be shoved down our throats, but for now, it's nice to see him back.