Friday, June 30, 2017


Gavin at Baseball Card Breakdown recently did a cool Aaron Judge sketch card, and it inspired me to do one as well!

So I grabbed some paper and sat down and quickly sketched this out during a Yankees game.
Ehhh, not my best work. But in fairness to me, I haven't drawn in a few years. I miss doing art, so maybe this will get my butt into gear to start sketching and painting again. I actually have a painting project I want to do for someone else, so once I get back from vacation, hopefully I can find the motivation to actually do it.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Series 2 Yanks!

Peter over at Baseball Every Night was generous enough to hold a Topps Series team break. I was lucky enough to snag the Yankees. I haven't bought any Series 2 yet, so this was a great chance to snag most of the Yankee base cards.

And that I did! I received 14 cards total, and the only base card that wasn't present was CC Sabathia. Not bad at all!
I was most pumped to get Michael Pineda for my PC, my 158th different card of #BIGMIKE.

Here are a few other base cards. I like the horizontal Bird. as well as the Didi. Cool pose.
I was fortunate enough to grab 4 inserts as well! The Reggie throws me off a bit with a glossy front and a cardboard back. I don't think I enjoy inconsistency inconsistent finishes like that. Maybe I'm weird though.
I joked with Peter to pull a Judge or Jeter auto. He felt very badly he didn't!
Peter, thanks so much! It was awesome of you to hold this break.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

TTM Success: Billy Wagner

Former All-Star closer Billy Wagner signed two cards for me c/o his home.
I've always love the Topps card of him dressed in fire gear. My fondest memory of Wagner was actaully in 2003. I was at an Astros game with my family, and Wagner had already cemented himself as a great closer. I remember him entering a game against the Cardinals, and the fans were going nuts as his pitch speed approached 100mph. When he hit 100, there was chaos in the stadium.
I wish he pitched for the Yankees at some point, but that's ok. I actually thought he retired more recently than after the 2010 season. it's hard to believe he hasn't pitched in over 6 years.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Cards are my internal GPS

One of the coolest things about collecting cards is that many of us remember exactly where we were when we pulled a certain card. Similar to the way that a song can bring us back to a certain time in life, so too can cards.

I can’t remember certain things about my personal life. I forget birthday. I have no clue what I had for dinner yesterday. But I can remember where I was when I pulled a card 25 years ago.

That’s sort of messed up.
Take this Michael Jordan, for instance. I pulled this 1993-94 Fleer Michael Jordan Sharpshooters from a Series 2 Fleer pack in the spring of 1994. My mom had dropped me off earlier in the day (it was a Saturday) at the local card shot while she ran some errands. I bought a few packs, and opened them in the card on the way home. I remember the exact location of where I was on Schubert Street, down to the intersection, where this card fell out of the pack.

I remember then examining the pack to see the odds of pulling one of these inserts.

That was 23 years ago.

A second MJ card comes with a story. Although I’m still not as clear on this one, I do remember bits and pieces.

I was traveling to Ohio with my dad and my uncle, and we stopped at a gas station. I went in to pee, and also saw a few packs of ’93-’94 Fleer Ultra basketball. I remember taking out my black Velcro wallet to pay, and that I didn’t have enough money to cover the pack. Luckily my dad was right near me and covered me.

But what I remember most was a stranger standing nearby, and him saying, “That’s sad. These cost so much now that youngsters can’t afford to buy them.” That comment has really stuck with me over the years, and might be a reason why I’ll always gravitate towards low-end packs.
Luckily, that jumbo pack of Ultra had this cool Jordan Inside Outside insert.

It's crazy the things you remember sometimes, isn't it?

Monday, June 26, 2017

A tin of Jordans

How many people had this baseball card tin growing up? I seem to remember getting it in the early ‘90s, and that it came with a few random packs of cards in it. It’s remained in my collection for over 25 years, and I frequently changed the contents growing up.

In high school, I think I put all of my Michael Jordan cards in there, and that’s still what resides in the tin today. I have all of my Jordans stashed in there, as a few are in top loaders, and the more common are in a few teams bags, which is stupid because it’s been thrown around over the years, so the lesser Jordan cards basically all have dinged corners.

Here are a few of my favorite MJ’s from within the tin.
This is the greatest basketball card I own. I received a box of 1995-96 Fleer Ultra for Christmas in ’95. It was a great set, and these Gold Medallions fell one per pack. They were awesome, with the full gold background. The 1996 baseball set had these as well. This was right after Jordan came back to the NBA as well, and to me, is just an iconic card from and iconic time for basketball cards. I’m so glad this card fell out of that box.
There was also this cool Double Trouble insert from the same set. What I liked about the inserts is that they could also include the Gold Medallion emblem, which increased the rarity and “book value.” I think I remember Beckett using a 3-5x multiplier for the Gold Medallion versions.
The ‘90s had some wacky inserts, as we all know. Number Crunchers from Hoops were pretty cool!
Fleer Metal was – and is – badass. This was from the Nuts & Bolts subset.
I’ve professed my love for Upper Deck Collector’s Choice You Crash The Game many times, and luckily still have the ’95-’96 redemption sets in both silver and gold. I always loved the shot of Jordan shooting the jumper in the Bulls’ black uniforms.
Collector’s Choice silver and gold sigs were fun too!
This was the first Jordan I actually pulled straight from a pack! It was from my Christmas stocking.
And of course, I have some MJ baseball cards. The ’91 Upper Deck SP is a classic. I lusted after this card in my cousin’s binder for years, and finally when he moved houses, he gave me this card, along with a binder with the complete 1989 Topps set.
I also have this cool oversized card of MJ from when he returned. I think it came from one of those repacks – an assortment of packs and a commemorative card.
Lastly, in seventh grade, I smelled pretty damn good, let me tell you. Why? Because I rocked Michael Jordan cologne. This is the official pin that came with my purchase.

So while it may say “Baseball Card Tin”, this is really a tin full of the greatest basketball player ever.

Sunday, June 25, 2017


What a weird post title, but couldn't resist the urge to make it something completely incoherent. But some of you will get it!

I was fortunate enough to participate in Oscar's version of the Big Fun Game over at All Trade Bait All The Time.

I came away with a lot of football cards. The Mike Williams auto is cool since he's a Syracuse guy, although his off-the-field issues derailed his career - both collegiate and professional.
I'll likely use this Peyton Manning for a TTM request, as he signs for a small fee and I didn't have a card of him.
Here are the rest of the football cards, including an autograph of Pro Bowler Lavonte David. The HOF players will end up in my son's HOF binder.
I was also lucky enough to win two prizes during the contest. I didn't have this sweet vintage Yankee:
And then a bunch of packs of Babe Ruth cards. My 5-year-old loves The Babe from the movie Everyone's Hero, and often asks me for Babe Ruth cards. This helps replenish my stock to reward him!
Oscar, very generous of you to run the game. Thank you!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

TTM Success: Steve Kemp

Former Yankee Steve Kemp signed two Drake oddball cards for me in just 8 days c/o his home.
Kemp spent 1934 and 1984 with the Yankees. He's best known as an All-Star OFer with the Tigers. After his two-year stint in NY, he was traded to the Pirates for Dale Berra, Alfonso Pulido, and Jay Buhner. I actually had no idea Buhner was a Pirate. I thought he was drafted by the Yankees. Go figure.
These were the only cards I had of Kemp, but definitely are two cool ones to have signed.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Diving into vacation

For the next week and a half, I’ll be on vacation. We’re headed on our yearly trip to Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.

I anticipate still finding time to read blogs on my phone, but otherwise, hope to be pretty out of touch…especially with real work. As for this here blog, I’ll be on autopilot for a few days with a couple of scheduled posts (including this one), although not nearly as many as I had hoped to write.

I’m also excited to visit All Sports Cards in Laconia, NH. It’s about a 10-15 minute drive from where we stay, and I always enjoy sneaking out for a little bit toward the end of the week when I need a break from my family. I first visited the shop in 2013, and again last year. I tried to go in 2015, but I showed up before the it was open and didn't have time to stick around and wait. Oops. Feel free to check out my visit to the shop in 2013 HERE. I guess I didn't write about last year's visit.

See you in July!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Two special rookies, one card

Man, the year of the rookie!
These two guys are really creating quite a commotion in the baseball world. They are not only ROY of the candidates, but legitimate MVP candidates.

And guess what? It's a good thing. A great thing! It's not secret baseball is failing to attract young fans and viewers. That may be a surprise to many of us, but it's important to remember how few people read our blogs (no offense) and are part of our Twitter circles. We might think we're surrounded by baseball nuts, but it's not reflective of the actual population of sports fans.

A recent SBJ feature showed the average age of an MLB viewer to be 57. That's a number that's too high if baseball is going to continue to prosper. And young players like Bellinger and Judge have a great opportunity to capture the attention of fans of all ages.

Hopefully they both take part in the HR Derby and put on a show in the actual All-Star Game.

While many eyes, mine included, will be watching the NBA Draft tonight, you can't help but wonder what Judge will do each AB. I'll be flipping over whenever he is due up.

Stealing eyeballs from other sporting events is good thing. Let's hope these great stories continue all season long.

And I sure am glad to have this Topps NOW card featuring the two of them.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Officially losing it

I have seriously lost it.

Last week, I picked up the only Topps NOW Aaron Judge I was missing from this season. I felt guilty about not having it. So I bought it on eBay.
And then you know what happened? I accidentally bought it again.
One day later.

Seriously, is my memory so shitty that I can’t remember a card purchase from the day before? I literally bought one on June 11 and another on June 12, and had zero recollection until I was looking at my “Purchases” tab on eBay and saw the two cards back-to-back. It’s not like I’m a huge buyer either. I buy maybe a card or two per week. I don’t have hundreds of transactions to follow.

I literally bought the same card on consecutive days because my memory is horrible.

Am I officially losing it? Maybe you shouldn’t answer that. But if you see two card packages arrive from me on back-to-back days, you’ll know why.

Just don’t tell me what I did.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A new Otto-graph

Similar to the Matt Sauer card I showed yesterday, I also snagged an autograph of Yankees 5th Rounder Glenn Otto, a RHP out of Rice University.

Otto has already signed with the Yankees for a straight up slot bonus. I'd fully expect him to head to Staten Island, although sometimes minor league assignments can be a little unexpected. Although he pitched at a major program, he only made two starts, and the Yankees are planning to groom him as a starter. For this reason, maybe he'll actually head to Pulaski or the GCL.

Either way, I'm happy to already add his autograph to my collection!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Sweet and Sauer

Every year for the MLB Draft, one of my favorite traditions is trying to quickly scoop up a card of the Yankees top picks. It's fun to beat the clock before sellers add "Yankees" to the title and jack up the price.

In the second round, 54th overall, the Yankees took Matt Sauer, a HS right-handed pitcher from California.

Sauer was ranked 28th overall by, but the Yankees were able to snag him mid-way through the second. From what I've read, he intends to sign and turn pro. The Yanks took Clarke Schmidt in Round 1, a pitcher who just had TJ Surgery, and the thought is that they'll sign him underslot and use the savings to sign Sauer for an above-slot bonus to help sweeten the pot.
I quickly snagged this 2016 Leaf Perfect Game National Showcase jersey/autograph of Sauer. It's a neat card with a cool patch, although "patch" is a loose term since it's more of a t-shirt material with screen-printed letters. I'd assume that this is from the jersey he's wearing on the card's photo.

It's pretty easy to tell that this is part of the "E" and "R" in his last name, which is another reason I liked this particular card.

I'm looking forward to Matt signing and starting his career with the Yankees.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Derek Jeter Topps Now

On May 14, the Yankees officially held Derek Jeter Night at Yankee Stadium.

He was honored with his jersey being retired, as well as a plaque in Monument Park. I was half expecting the Yankees to give him an ACTUAL monument versus the standard plaque, as one could argue that his career certainly is deserving of one. Perhaps the Yankees will wait to do that once he is formally enshrined in Cooperstown in a few years.

It was a cool night, and great to see Jeter back at Yankee Stadium.  True to his word, he hasn’t been around much.

Topps captured the night with two Topps Now cards. I was tempted to only get the one with Jeter next to his retired number, but an eBay a seller has both listed for $10.99, or $1 more then it would cost to buy one card directly from the site. I figured I’d regret it if I didn’t, so I pulled the trigger on both.
I haven’t gotten any Archives yet, so these are my first Jeter cards of 2017.