Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A big eBay bozo

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have a seen a few Tweets from me about a bizarre shipping case that occurred on a recent eBay purchase.

I purchased the following card for $6.75 + $3.82 shipping:
For $3.82 shipping, I think we'd all expect a bubble mailer. I am someone who has ZERO issue with PWEs, especially if the auction has free or $1 shipping. It's expected.

By my $3.82 shipping charge got me a PWE.

Now, the card arrived just fine and in a top loader, but honestly, I felt robbed of $2. The seller didn't get what he wanted in the auction, so he made two extra bucks by undercutting the shipping.

Feeling a bit chapped, I reached out. Here is the full eBay message exchange:




I apologize if that was a little tough to follow, so here is the breakdown:

1. I ask about the shipping, feeling like it should have been a bubble mailer.
2. Seller says he didn't look at the shipping, asks if card was damaged.
3. I say "no", but the cost still seems too high given what I paid.
4. Seller justifies his actions by saying I got a good deal on the card.
5. Since it didn't get to me damaged, he didn't think he needed to offer a refund. He finally gave a partial refund.
6. I said thank you and that his logic is bizarre.
7. He says he was drinking during Game 6 of the World Series.

Freakin' weird.

All in all, card arrived ok, I got a partial refund, and I got some good laughs and a bunch of Twitter followers out of it. I still think the seller was wrong and probably does this a bunch, knowing most buyers won't ever reach out about it.

eBay really is the land of bozos.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

The free table

At the local church thrift store I tend to frequent, there is a "free table" before one walks in.

Usually it's a bunch of crap. After all, if it's not good enough to make the floor at this low-end thrift store, it must be pretty bad. But I always take a quick peek when I walk in, hoping to find cards.

And today I did.

It's certainly not an all-time find, and I need this like I need another hole in the head, but I couldn't just leave this there:
Remember these? I have no idea why these card plaques existed. But I'd say they were a very early '90s thing, and the ultimate grandma gift. I had a bunch of them. I think I still have a Tino one somewhere in my collection.

I really don't have much of a use for this, but again, it was on the free table, asking for a Yankees collector to rescue it. So it'll sit in my card area for now. Maybe I'll find somewhere to display it. Maybe I'll swap out the 1990 Leaf for a '84 Topps Mattingly and display it a little more proudly.

I struck out inside the store. No binders or boxes of cards. I find them about twice a year.

But a card plaque on the "free table"? That's a first.

Friday, October 25, 2019

The TCDB trades have come rolling in

First off, I use the free CamScanner app on my phone - I have for years. I just noticed they started watermarking my images. I guess they want me to actually pay for the service. I'm not endorsing them and I'm too lazy too re-scan the cards, so just a heads up that I am aware of the weird watermarks on the cards in this post.

Since I started on The Trading Card Database (TCDB) about two weeks ago, I completed four quick trades with another in transit. It was very gratifying in that fact that all four were done using PWE, and all four consisted of cards from 2019 sets (for the most party) that were just sitting in a pile in my card area. I was able to move them for cards I wanted, which is a beautiful thing.

While it usually takes a while to make a blogger-to-blogger swap, usually accumulating a stack of a certain team before sending, these transactions were all very quick and easy.

The first was with Trevor from Bump and Run Card Blog. He goes by tntcardsstg. He had the honor of not only making me my first trade offer, but walking me through the system on how to accept, update status, etc. It was a solid trade too! I sent Trevor 11 cards to help with his 2019 Topps Big League set, and here's what I got in return:
Very nice! Perfect trade of 11 cards I don't need, for a Gleyber RC, Judge insert, and a few 2019 cards.

The next trade was from rl16, who admittedly has a blog I wasn't following (but am now!) - All Cardinals All The Time. He offered me a Tino card in which I didn't have, an oddball at that from the St Louis Police! In return, he asked for NOTHING. Literally. He said "welcome to the site." What an awesome gesture!
The third trade was with herkojerko, who seems to be a very popular member. I sent him a 2019 Topps Big League But Bryce Harper and 2019 Fire JT Realmuto, and in return got some nice Yanks. Again, some nice Gleyber cards for spare change:
Lastly, the fourth trade came from another popular trader with great reviews, karsal. I sent 8 2019 Topps Archives cards and one Heritage SP, and got back a host of Yankees, include a Deivi Garcia, one of the Yankees top prospects!
Four great trades that I was happy to make! It seems to me that 2019 cards go much better than anything from the last few years, so that's a good note moving forward. I still have no idea how to use the match tool, as I want to get better about trading for Tinos I need and not just loading up on current Yankees. But for now, I'm happy with the start!

If you are on TCDB, feel free to reach out. My user name is 'thelostcollector'.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

A spring training TTM success rolls in

Although spring training TTM success rates have been putrid over the last few years, every once in awhile one finds their way back following the season.

This happened this past week, as I unexpectedly found this waiting for me in my mailbox:
Cool! I enjoyed Neil Walker's year as a Yankee in 2018. He proved to be a very solid, versatile player. However, he was one and done in the Pinstripes, and played 2019 as a Marlin. That probably was not fun for him.

Walker has had a good reputation as a TTM signer, and I really appreciate having a signed card of him in a Yankees uniform.

Monday, October 14, 2019

You can find me on TCDB

I did it! I finally logged my Tino Martinez and Ty Hensley collections into The Trading Card Database (aka TCDB). I've been wanting to do it for some time, and I'm glad I got around to it. If you're on there, my username is 'thelostcollector'.

I've yet to make my first trade. I've actually only gotten one offer so far, and it was to buy a Giancarlo Stanton card. Happy to trade, not here to buy. I hope that doesn't happen a lot.

I only have 190 cards listed for trade, so I assume that's why things have been slow on that front, despite listing some newer Heritage High Number and Fire. But that's really my hope - to turn a few cards I don't need into some Tino or Hensleys I do need. I'll add some more in the coming days.

My want list is a bit messy on there as well. I added all Tino and Hensley cards I don't have, as well as all Gleyber Torres and a few cards of other guys, like Stanton. I don't want ALL Gleyber cards, but just figured he'd be a good guy to have listed to make trading easier.

As for my rankings for my two main guys, I became #1 for both Tino and Hensley. The number of unique cards don't quite match up to my blog totals, as the card either wasn't listed, human error on my part by missing it, or it was a custom or something that I count as uniques but wouldn't be on the site.

Anyhow, hopefully this helps my goal of 1,000 Tinos!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Utz Happening Again

It's here again. A rematch of the 2017 ALCS, where the Astros beat a young Yankees squad in 7 games. Both teams are a little older and more mature now. I have to give the edge to Astros because of the starting rotation, and an offense that is on par with the Yankees.

However, it's certainly not a given, as we've seen throughout these Playoffs. Anything can happen, and I hope the Yanks are up to the task.
One very bright spot in the quick sweep of the Twins was the amazing play of Gleyber Torres on both sides of the ball. He was a monster at the plate, with a HR and two doubles in Game 3. Plus he made a terrific defensive play at 2nd to help the Yanks avoid danger.

He's just 22, and he's a complete star. The Yankees are very luck to have him.
On the other side of the ball, Luis Severino is looking for some redemption from a season lost to injury. He threw 4 shut out innings in Game 3, and while he wasn't great, he found a way to dance out of trouble a few times. That kind of step in the maturation process is important, especially in the Playoffs.

Both of these Utz cards came from the man, Mark Hoyle, over the summer. Thanks, Mark!

Go Yankees!

Monday, October 7, 2019

The Rize from independent ball to the big leagues

The 'mad online' culture found its way into my nerves this past weekend, as many found it DISGUSTING that Yankees fans were chanting "Uber" at Twins pitcher Randy Dobnak. Many felt it was unfair to heckle a guy trying to make ends meet as an Uber driver. Sure, I get that. But chanting something at an opposing team in a PLAYOFF game really isn't anything new. Any other fanbase would have done the same.

Usually I can shrug my shoulders at this type of stuff, but I really felt like this one was a reach.

Part of the reason fans chanted "Uber" was because of how forced the narrative was all week. I had never heard of this pitcher prior to the ALDS (and I'm sure I wasn't alone), and really the fact that he was an Uber driver trumped his story of how effective he had been for the Twins late in the season. You bet if he shut the Yankees down, it would have been "Uber driver slams door on the Yankees" versus "Twins hero Randy Dobnak shuts down Yankees." Some of it is just Yankee hating which I tend to not care about, but really, it was ribbing that happens in all Playoff atmospheres. And I've heard much, much worse. You probably have to.

What wasn't lost on me was hearing that Dobnak was once pitching for the Utica Unicorns before finding his was into the Twins organization. The Unicorns hold a special place in my heart, as that's the current organization where Ty Hensley pitches! It gives me hope. If Dobnak can be discovered there, perhaps a former first rounder can find another shot with an affiliated club as well.

My two newest Hensley cards come from the Leaf brand, "Rize", which I'm not even sure it's a real brand, honestly. There only seems to be one seller on eBay who consistently has these cards, and they are all marked at ridiculous prices. Anyhow, two decently prized printing plates hit the market, and I scooped them up, because that's what I do when new Hensley cards I can afford pop up.
It's a little bit of a player collecting nightmare - snagging cards of a brand I don't care for nor respect. But alas, joke's on me since I bought them.

Its getting harder and harder to find new Hensley cards, which made my trigger finger extra itchy. Overall, I'm glad to have them, but these certainly aren't amongst my cherished 1/1s.

Saturday, October 5, 2019


One of the newer releases that Tino Martinez found himself into this year was Topps Archives Snapshots. I believe these are small base sets, with one autograph per pack. As part of the hundreds of cards he's signed for Topps this year, Tino was an also autograph subject.

Mike Sommer of Wax Pack Hero was busting 12 boxes of these of these on Twitter recently, and I told him to let me know if he pulled a Tino autograph. Sure enough, in one of the first packs, out popped this:
Mike gave me a good deal on it and it purchased it directly from him.

I like the design of these cards a lot. Simple, but classic looking. Really nice.

A few days later, I won this blue parallel of the base card on eBay, numbered to 50.

I'm actually still waiting to buy the regular base card, but for now, having two of the rarer cards in the set is a great start.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

eBay buying from a blogger

A few weeks ago, Bru of Remember The Astrodome and now of a self-titled blog, reached out that he had a few Yankees-related eBay auctions ending shortly. They were very fairly priced with cards from sets I don't come across, so I placed a few bids. I'm glad I did!

My first win was for an autograph of Yankees 2018 1st Rounder Anthony Seigler. He's lost a bit of his prospect shine after a pretty rough season in A ball. His offensive game wasn't up to par this year, and then his season ended due to a fractured patella, which sounds pretty awful. He's still young and has plenty of time to turn it around. In the end, I was thrilled to score this autograph for just a few bucks.
The next lot of cards I bid on were from the re-birth of Leather & Lumber. Any new Judge and Gleyber cards are pretty awesome. Overall I like the look of the set.
I also got sniped at the end of an auction for this Aaron Judge Slugfest card from the same set. However, Bru said he had an extra and threw it in, which was super cool of him.
About a week later, another auction was ending, this time for five cards from Bowman Platinum. Again, Judge, Torres, Stanton, and the forgotten Miguel Andujar were included. There was also a RC of Chance Adams, who has at least 356 different rookie cards and 289 different autographs.
It's always nice to buy from someone you trust. Thanks, Bru!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Rolling past 900!

Over the past few weeks, I've mentioned that my Tino Martinez collection was closing in on 900 unique cards. I know it pales in comparison to collectors have have thousands of Jeters or Trouts or Griffeys, but keep in mind Tino was never really mainstream. He got close in 1998 after his 44 HR season in 1997, but ultimately there were guys like Jeter and Bernie and Clemens to represent the Yankees in various insert sets over the next few years.

I do think it's a decent achievement. I'll never be able to unload them if I had to; not the way a Jeter or Trout collector could. But that's not why I do this. I do it because he was my favorite player as a kid, and I started that collection now and nearly 25 years later, I'm still pursuing it. And that's pretty cool.

As I closed in on 900, a reader named Bruce was kind enough to reach out and say that he had three of them for me. It turns out, he provided number 900 on the nose, as well as 901 and 902. I'm glad it was from sets of my childhood versus one of the 2019 issues.
It's still always funny to me when I realize I don't have a card from a fairly common set, such as 2001 Chrome. Just shows how easy it is to overlook certain cards.

So there it is. Next stop, 1,000. Who knows when. But I'm really happy about this number, and thanks to everyone who has helped me get there!