Monday, October 29, 2018

Nevermind, that wasn't all of the Topps Nows

In my last post, I mentioned that was it for Topps Now cards that were incoming.

What I didn't account for was one find its way to me in a surprise package, but that's exactly what happened after I made that last post. This came courtesy of Collecting Cutch, who said he snagged an extra one of these and thought I'd like it since Gleyber Torres was on it. He was right!
The front of the card, which I forgot to scan, recognizes an MLB record 81 walk-off HRs in 2018. Given this card was dated August 29th, I'd have to believe the record extended itself well beyond 81. It also served as a bit of foreshadowing, as McCutchen, pictured next to Torres, would be his teammate three days later.

Very cool and a great addition to my Torres collection, which is predominantly Topps Now cards.

However, I can't quite say it was my favorite card of the package, considering this was in there:
Ooooh la la. I've been after this card from 2010 Donruss Elite for a while! Any time I get to add a new Tino autograph feels like a very special moment in my collection, mostly because there just aren't many out there.
There was a second Tino I needed as well, from 1998 Stadium Club One of a Kind, #'d to just 150. I say "just 150" because that's a fairly low-numbered card for Tino. When serially-numbered cards became the range in the late '90s, many were numbered to a few thousand. So in 1998, 150 would have been very rare!

I've always felt like this was such a cool photo to have on a card as well, with Tino diving into 1B mitt-first for the out.
And of course, you can't end a package from Collecting Cutch without a few Andrew McCutchens! I would love for him to be back with the Yankees in 2019, but I don't see how it would happen. McCutchen should, and will, get a multiyear deal somewhere. I just hope it's someplace where he can compete for a championship. He's an all-around great dude and deserves it.

Brian from Collecting Cutch is a great dude as well, and I appreciate the excellent package!

Friday, October 26, 2018

The Last of the Nows

With the two Topps NOW cards recently arriving, that's likely the last of them for this season. I say "likely" because perhaps there will be one for any interesting post-season awards, like if Miguel Andujar somehow beats out Ohtani for AL ROY.

Regardless, it's two good ones, so let's see what I got.
Luuuuuuke. The first is of Yankees out-of-nowhere sensation Luke Voit. I was glad to see him get a Yankees card, although this one is a team card, so technically not of him. I also thought his Topps NOW would be his RC, but it turns out he had a card in 2017 Update with the Cardinals. Rats!

It's a great shot of him being enthusiastic after one of his many homers this past September.
The back of the card lists out all 12 players who hit 10 or more homers for the Yankees in 2018, a new MLB record.
The next Topps NOW is the first official card of Justus Sheffield as a Big Leaguer, chronicling his ML Debut. I guess it's not technically a RC because he hasn't been featured in a base set yet. What a dumb rule. This is a card of him on an MLB mound in a regular season MLB game. It should be a rookie card, especially if he's not going to make it in any 2018 products.

Regardless, it was another fun year of buying Topps Now cards. I didn't buy as many as I did in 2016 and 2017, but still came away with some good ones.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Perk Me Up, Before You Buy Buy

A few weeks ago, I saw the eBay was running a promotion called PERKMEUP. Basically, it was $5 off a purchase of $5.01 or more. Essentially, it was free money.

I feel like eBay had to have made a mistake and meant to offer it only to a select group, yet it worked for me and for many others. It was a fun night on Twitter when it first hit, as everyone was sharing their pickups. I was glad so many were able to take advantage.

As for me, I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to buy, but settled on this card for $5.01. So literally, this card cost me one penny, and not a cent more:
Pretty cool issue of the Topps Live Set, and I like that Topps went with an old school Mattingly photo from early in his career.

I'm still pretty undecided on the Living Set, but definitely feel like it's worth it to add Yankees when they are included.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Gary Vee came to my yard sale

If you collect cards and are active on Twitter, it's likely that over the summer you came across Gary Vaynerchuk, otherwise known as Gary Vee. He's a very influential figure on social media. Despite being incredibly financially well off due to his successful business ventures, including CEO of Vayner Media, he seems to reach and relate to most people about hustling. And by "hustling" I don't mean anything illegal, just that there are opportunities out there to make money by selling old items around the house or finding deals on Facebook or Craigslist and flipping the items for a profit.

I've done this myself a few times, like how over the summer I bought a $40 card lot on Craigslist and broke it up into smaller lots that I ended up selling for over $250. He's constantly retweeting his legion of followers who do similar things, scoring old video games or action figures or mugs or toys and then turning them around for a quick profit. It can be cool to watch, and it's easy to see why he has so many followers.

He also grew up selling cards to make some extra cash, as he said it taught him a lot about how to harness his entrepreneurial spirit. That's where many of us came across him for the first time, when he started getting back into cards over the summer. He drew the ire of many collectors during this ordeal as well, as he went all Don West and was selling lots of junk wax for $50 a piece that were getting snatched up by his fans. I don't think he meant harm by it and it was done in excitement, but it did leave a sour taste for many. Personally, it didn't bother me, but I did find it fascinating.

That brings me to Saturday.

My wife and I were participating in our town-wide yard sale. For a $25 donation, you could bypass a city permit (didn't even know you needed one for a yard sale) and be part of the day. It wasn't at a central location, rather house by house. But you could list 4-5 items you had and be part of the official map of addresses. Having many kids clothes, toys, and various items from our younger days we no longer needed, we thought it was a good way to unload some of it and make a few bucks.

My contribution to the sale, other than a few clothing items, were some baseball cards. I created $.50 grab bags consisting of 25-30 cards, made sure at least three or four star cards were in them, and randomly inserted game-used and autographed cards. I had a few other team bags and boxed card sets for sale too. I figured they'd go like hot cakes. They didn't. More on that later.
Anyways, back to Gary Vee. He started a new series called Trash Talk (click here to view episode 2) were it chronicles him hitting up yard sales and flipping some of the items. These seem to be popular so far.

The sale started at 9am officially, although we had several veteran garage salers show up at 8am when we were setting up. We sold a few items quickly, but many were looking for items like old video games and action figures, which we didn't have. We had a steady rush until around 10am, when it started to slow down.

Then at about 10:30, a silver Range Rover rolled up, and out guessed it...Gary Vee himself. It was unmistakable. He had two guys with him, one with a small video camera.

As soon as he walked up my driveway I greeted him and said "Yo, Gary Vee!" He shook my hand and we did a bro-type hug. You know the one.

However, by me noticing him off the bat, it definitely changed his demeanor a bit. I don't mean that in a bad way, but I think he knew that by knowing who he was, I would know the type of stuff he's looking for, and that there was a high likelihood that he wasn't going to find any treasures to easily flip, knowing I likely would have already been cognizant of that. All my stuff is trash, Gary Vee!

He did comment "Wow, baseball card grab bags!" but spent zero minutes looking at my cards, which was curious given his love for cards. I wanted to say something like "buy one and sell it to your Twitter followers" but I didn't. He was nice to me though, asking how the day was going and how the sale was. One of his guys was looking at the grab bags (I had a sample one out people could sort through) and Gary told him to take a shot on one, but the guy said he had no money. I found that kind of weird. Who goes to garage sales with Gary Vee and doesn't carry a couple bucks?

He did quickly look through some toy cars we had out, but there were no old Hot Wheels. Just my son's cars he can do without. Otherwise, you could tell Gary was in a hurry to move to the next sale. But not before we got this:

#WalletCard Selfie!

It was a a pretty epic moment and I love that he showed up. If nothing else, it shows how serious he is about capturing this type of content for his personal brand. I know for a fact a few hours prior he landed at JFK, so I'm guessing he got in from his travels and immediately went garage saling. The guy won't be outworked for his content, that's for sure.

I did give him and his two guys a grab bag each, hoping it might show up on Twitter or Instagram, for fun, but I didn't see anything. Rats.

As for the sale itself, overall we did pretty well. My cards bombed. I sold ZERO grab bags and only a handful of assorted team bags. I made a few bags of just Mets and Yankees for $1 each, and sold four Mets. Go figure.

I was a little surprised. I almost expected someone to offer me like $20 for the whole box, but nothing. I would have been better off throwing the cards into a big box or bag and putting a price on them. I just thought it might be fun for some kids. But you know what? No kids came.

The men who did come and browse were looking for old video games, old action figures, old jewelry, and Pokemon cards. Very little interest in baseball cards. Again, surprising.

Regardless, it was a successful sale in terms of getting rid of old stuff, and the Gary Vee story totally made the day worth it.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Strut my stuff, my stuff is so...SHINY

Easily, my favorite song in Disney's Moana is Shiny, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and performed by Jermaine Clement. It's got some very humorous lyrics and is super catchy. It's definitely an underrated part of the movie.

Plus, that's one hilarious looking crab.

I can't help but hear the song in my head every time a new shiny card arrives. I literally sing "shiny" to myself in the crab voice. It's weird, but I do.

So when I received these cards from whatever Panini set this is (Chronicles I think?), I couldn't help but have this song on repeat in my head.

I saw a few bloggers post cards from this set, and it's extremely confusing to me. I think they are all base cards from various past designs? I'm honestly not sure how it works, but I think some of the cards look really nice, plus with some nods to some past Pacific names, makes for appealing trade targets for me. Luckily, Paul of Scribbled Ink was down to trade a few to me.

The two SHINIEST cards were from the Revolution portion of the set and have a very nice glow to them.
These were more of a Chrome versus a shiny, but I still needed 'em. I think I'm at the point now where Panini should retired Crusades since they'll never match 1998.
Back to SHINY! I mentioned in a Twitter post, but I think the Chrome 1983 anniversaries are the nice cards this year. They look awesome.

More shiny from Ma-shine-iro Shine-aka. See what I did there?
And maybe not shiny, but I'll take any card of this guy I can get.
Thanks for the great cards, Paul!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A 5 minute TTM success

I haven't been paying close enough attention to know where this 5 minute blog posting thing came from, but as someone who spends about 5 minutes on the majority of his posts, it's not much of a challenge.

Here's a TTM success from former big leaguer Jay Bell. He's now an up-and-coming manager in the minors, as he spent this year guiding AA Trenton. Many seem to think he'll be a Big League manager some day. I've never seen him manage, but there's enough chirping to realize he's legit.

He signed three cards for me. I made sure one of the cards was NOT a Diamondbacks card since he was on that 2001 team.

I sent these in May and got them back last week. Thanks, Mr. Bell!

Friday, October 12, 2018


I'm still disappointed the Yankees season is over, although admittedly I don't take it as hard as I used to. I'm not sure if it's my maturation process as a fan, or perhaps the fact that I'm now older than everyone on the team except CC Sabathia and JA Happ. Plus, the company I worked for in my early to mid 20s was littered with Red Sox fans. Now I really don't have anyone to give me a hard time other than maybe a quick comment here or there.

It was an interesting season, to say the least. The emergence of a few rookies. The disappointment of a few regulars. Injuries, trades, call-ups.

The Yankees won 100 games, although it always felt like they were underachieving with the ridiculous 108-win season the Red Sox put together. That wasn't quite fair. I'd take 100 wins every year, as more often than not that's a division title.

One thing the Yankees did was hit homers, hitting a Major League record 267 of 'em. That was pretty cool, even if it ended up meaning nothing in the long run. Homers are fun. They did it despite down seasons from two of the biggest power threats - Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird - and also while losing Aaron Judge to a broken wrist for an extended period of time.

It was fitting that the record was broken on a homer by Gleyber Torres. It's a meaningless stat, but that same record-setting blast also gave the Yankees 20+ homers from each position in the batting order. It was the 20th home run from the 9-hole, something really only an AL team could achieve. Still, pretty cool and it shows the Yankees had a lot of balance up and down the lineup all season.

I picked up the Topps NOW card to commemorate the feat. It was the first one I bought directly from Topps this year, as cards were $7.99 the final weekend of the season. Still more than I normally pay, but I wanted to stay on Topps mailing list to get their Christmas or pre-season cards they tend to send for free. Ulterior motives!
I also liked the card because of the Andrew McCutchen cameo on the back.
A lot has to go right to hit that many homers, but I'd expect the Yankees to make another run at the mark next season as well.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Cards for a cause

A few weeks ago, I was glued to the TV as Hurricane Florence made way towards the Carolinas. With many family and friends in the area, I was particularly interested and certainly hoped that it wouldn't be as bad as anticipated. I know for some it wasn't, but others along the coast certainly got hit hard and are still recovering.

A few days later, friend of the blog and Twitter follower @CaniacCollector reached out and mentioned he was selling some lots on eBay, with all proceeds going to nearby hurricane relief effort. Of course I was interested in helping. Not only did I need some of the cards, but it was a worthy cause and something I respected him for doing.

The cards that caught my eye most were these two, as I hasn't picked up and A&G or Archives:
Nice! I still don't have many Stanton Yankees yet, and RCs of Frazier are fun.
I also liked this card a lot. This dude had quite a game last night. It was sad to see so many people give up on him this year. Yes, he struggled and dealt with injuries, but he has an explosive bat at a premium position. He showed last night how he can change the game with one swing of the bat.

Here was the rest of the lot:

Thanks to @CaniacCollector for the cards, and for his help with the relief efforts.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Elite status

I really had a slow summer in terms of adding new Tino Martinez cards. Honestly, they just don't pop up often. When they do, I feel like sometimes I overpay a little bit.

I wouldn't say I overpaid for my newest addition, although it was a little more than I like to spend on newer issues. But I don't think I've seen it on eBay prior to this, so it was worth it. The is the Status version parallel from 1998 Donruss Elite and is numbered to just 100.
It's a very good looking card, especially for a checklist. I have both of the Aspirations parallels #'d to 750, so this is quite a bit rarer. The edges are very sharp, and the gold foil looks nice. It's a similar to foil to the current Topps foil parallels.

This is Tino #853. The slow climb to 1,000 continues!