Friday, May 29, 2020

Patience is key

For the last year or so, I've seen this card in my Ty Hensley saved eBay search.
I set my mark of $7 (plus shipping). I decided I would not pay above that. For months upon months, the listing fluctuated between $9.99, 12.99, and 14.99. Each time I offered $7. Each time the seller tried to get a little more out of me. I balked.

Maybe I was being cheap for a card I wanted. But also if it's listed that long...and only one person is inquiring...maybe it's listed too high.

Finally I wore him down. Maybe? He did accept $7, literally after almost a year my first offer. Maybe I could have gotten it for less. I don't know. But at this point rare autographs and 1/1s are the only Ty Hensley's I don't have, and they don't come up often, so I think it felt it was an ok price since I only buy one every couple of months.
Regardless, I like it. It'll look nice in my collection.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Whatcha Doon these days?

I feel like the only thing Quarantine is missing is a return from Napkin Doon. We can all dream, right? Napkin Doon has not blogged since March 4, 2014. But I can assure you he's still an active collector, building up a very impressive Topps Project 2020 run. You should all encourage him to stop being so selfish and sell his cards and take his family on a cross-country road trip.

The king of the Doon-boggles sent me a really nice package recently. Knowing I am a "card crafter", he's been setting aside boxes from blasters for me to make coasters out of. Admittedly, I need to a do a better job with my coasters using cardboard. They cardboard cracks and looks a little weird. There must be a better way. Here's an example of some I've made in the past:
Doon sent a whole bunch of blasters, showing that he's been actively collecting and even Zion hunting.
Very cool! And not the easiest thing to ship.

He also included a team bag of Yankees, including an awesome Gleyber Torres Finest. I never get Finest in trade packages, so I was pretty pumped!
He added to why Gerrit Cole collection as well. Can this guy finally take the mound, please?
A couple more fun Yanks from products of yesteryear! Flair, Heritage, and Gallery?! That's the good stuff.
Thanks, Doon. Feel free to fire up the blog any day now.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Return of the King

A few weeks back, The Diamond King ran his own unique twist on the Big Fun Game. The BFG is a Napkin Doon creation that has seen a few iterations, but it is still alive in several forms, and for that, he is always with us.

The DK ran a fun one where he gave every player a balance - 100 DK$ - and you essentially bid on the items he posted. Players could also receive bonus DK$ for answering trivia questions or unlocking hidden moments of the game.

I only one won lot - I was a little too stingy with my DK$ - but I came home with a good one.

I feel bad because I sniped a fellow blogger, but it just so happened I was near my phone as the bidding was coming to a close, so I took care of business.

The item I wanted centered not only around basketball RCs, but had a few MJs as well. Fitting that I won it for 45 DK$, a strategic number I used because one of the Jordans was of him wearing #45:
The real apple of my eye was a RC of this guy:
Dirk was a player I really enjoyed watching, and the chance to score a beautiful Flair RC of him was too much to pass up.

This was the second most interesting card to me, for obvious reasons. Any Kobe adds right now are solid.
I had never seen these M3 rookie cards, They are pretty fun. In doing a little research, the ones with LeBron are obviously the most sought after. I liked the ones with Melo and D-Wade, though.
Next, some RCs of guys in a college product. Fun cards. You've got a beardless James Harden, right before his college career was brutally ended by Syracuse. You've got Derrick Rose, who I saw play for Memphis at MSG and I was convinced OJ Mayo was going to be better. Then you've got Pierce and Duncan. Sweet!
The DK also threw in a few non-auction items, including a signed Tino USA RC and a few others. I asked if he had a story behind the Tino, but just said it came from a cheap box at a show once, The signature looks legit to me though.
This was indeed a fun game. Just wish I didn't keep 62 unused DK$!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Tork power

The May/June SI for Kids issue showed up this week. A couple issues back they went to a bi-monthly  release instead of monthly, probably one of the final steps before the publication folds all together as SI continues to get run into the ground by Maven. 

This is the second issue with the new card design. I thought it was a pretty solid issue, overall, especially in terms of cards of prospects and young players.
The highlight is probably Spencer Torkelson of Arizona State. Most MLB mock drafts expect him to go first overall this June to the Tigers, who seem to pick first every year. Them or the Orioles. Good thing they didn't feature Jasson Dominguez so I didn't have to see people on Twitter with shopping cards full of this magazine.

Immediately to his right is Ja Morant. I guess this is a RC, right? He's still in his rookie season and the likely NBA Rookie of the Year, even though Zion came on strong. FYI, I took Zion at +1800 before he came back, and he was down to about +400 or so at the time of the shutdown. He was coming!

But happy to have this Ja Morant card, for sure.

Obi Toppin is a likely top 5 pick whenever the NBA Draft is held. He had a huge year for Dayton, who has one of the most annoying fanbases on the planet.

Christen Press is a cool card too, as anyone on the US Women's National Team is cool in my book. They need more cards of that team. Or maybe they do and I just don't know. But seems like a missed opportunity every couple years. And if they do have cards, I apologize for my ignorance.

Shane Bieber has become an excellent pitcher for Cleveland. The Yankees hired the Indians' pitching guru in hopes of getting the same results for some of their young guys.

Derrick Henry is one of the best running backs in the game, and is responsible for me owning a Jeter autograph. He won me my fantasy league two years ago, and I used the prize money on the Jeter.

Megan Walker of UCONN is now an NY Liberty player, being taken 7th overall by the team in last months draft.

I can't say I know anything about Jamie Ortega or Megan Faraimo, but they are in good company on this page for sure.

I think my subscription ends next month, so I'll definitely have to long as the publication is still going.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Hemorrhage in my mailbox

I think the first time I heard the word "Hemorrhage" was back in 1995, when Billy Madison hit theaters.

There's a part in the movie where Billy is down the in the dumps, and he sings his redemption song. A clown that had previously fallen off of his stilts then perks up and says, "Hey kids, it's me. I bet you thought that I was a dead. But when I fell over I just broke my leg and got a hemorrhage in my head."

Graphic, I know.

These days, the word hemorrhage is now, thankfully, more closely associated with a newer blogger, Jay over at Card Hemorrhage.

Jay recently sent me his second PWE, which was funny because it came while I also had one out in the mail to him. This was a fun one full of random cards of all sorts.

There were some very unexpected hits, like a Brook Lopez jersey and a Cleanthony Early autograph.
Or a low-numbered Reggie Jackson. A close friend of mine when to Boston College, so I may hand this off to him.
I have very few LeBron James cards, so this was a cool surprise.
A couple of rookies. Randy Moss will go into my RC collection of guys from other sports. He's a HOFer, you know. And Chris Jackson...he later became Mahmoud Abdul Rauf. Great old Skybox design!
Billy Martin vintage?! Sign me up.
A few more from the late '80s as well. With the recent boom on 1987 Topps, this Pete Rose might command a pretty penny now. Just kidding.
What a fun and diverse PWE. Thanks, Jay...not only for the cards, but hopefully for the new word association of cards instead of clowns.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Heavy Metal

There's a lot to the resurgence of the Metal Universe set.

Most of it can be attributed to #23 on the Bulls. But even before that, it seemed like some cards from the greatest decade of collecting, the 1990s, were gaining some steam.

It makes sense. Current card releases are uninspired, rehashing the same subject matter over and over. Vintage cards are great, sure, but the yearly odes to the past are tiresome and for this collector, have made me less enthusiastic about old cards. They are forced upon us over and over in large insert sets year in and year out, making it impossible to know what year the reprint set is actually from. It's easier to lean on the past than make something new and special and out there. No Topps brand is willing to take a shot on something crazy.

Something like Metal. Some that makes Topps Fire look tame.

The end all, be all set for Fleer/Skybox Metal Universe franchise is 1997. That's fairly commonly agreed upon across all sports.

It all started with 1996, which was pretty nuts in its own right, but 1997 brought it to another level. From there it started to spiral downward a little bit, fizzling out after the 2000 issue.

But what a five year run it was!

With that, I wanted to rank each Tino Martinez Metal Universe card, as he was fortunately included in each set.

5. 2000 Metal
This was pretty boring. Can't change my mind. Gone were the unique designs, and instead this was just a metallic texture. This is what Topps Metal 2020 would look like, except it would be a reprint of a 1952 Mantle with the metallic texture. Actually, that's not a bad idea. You can have that one for free, Topps.

4. 1999 Metal
I didn't dislike the design. I liked how big and bold the player's last name was. However, all the designs were the same. If it varied a bit more, or brought in more color, there was untapped potential.

And bonus points for Precious Metal Gems if we need to justify the design using parallels!

3. 1998 Metal
Good effort. Fairly fun set by putting players in landmarks in their team's city. Very back-of-1993-Leaf-like. Tino squatting on St Patrick's Cathedral? Pretty cool. Different. The little head shot is interesting too.

2. 1996 Metal
Great card. Vibrant design. Tino on fiyah. I won't lie, if Tino was in a Yankees uniform here, it might be #1. The team name lists him as a Yankee, but he's still shown as a Mariner. Come on, Fleer! You spent all this time on the design. Bust out the air brush.

The Platinum parallels weren't the worst.

1. 1997 Metal
Duh. As a whole, I'm very high on this set. But I think the Tino is pretty medicore compared to some dudes who have terminator hands or are getting picked up by Godzilla. Maybe throw in some dynamite or something? I'm not even sure what's going on here. I think it's lightning? Maybe lightning extending from he bat down through Tino's body?

But still. It beats out 1996 for me because of the uniform and the fact that something wonky is going on here.

Long live the '90s and these amazing, wonderful, ridiculous card designs.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Not neglecting Ty

In my chase for 1,000 unique Tinos, picking up old basketball rookie cards, and trading for Gleyber Torres cards on TCDB, it may seem like I've neglected my Ty Hensley collection.


I still actively search and seek out new Hensley cards I need. There just aren't a ton of them out there, so I do get excited when one pops up.

Recently a 2012 Bowman Sterling magenta plate popped up on eBay. It was a 7-day auction, so I waited anxiously and bid toward the end. Of course, I was the only buyer, but you never know.
The fact that it is autographed makes it even cooler to me.

This is my 123rd Hensley card, and ninth printing plate. If you ever see one out in the wild, let me know!

Monday, May 18, 2020


Oh man. The Last Dance has ended.

What a ride it was. I'm sure film buffs will probably critique the format of the docu-series and how the timeline jumped around. However, I thought it really worked well and actually appreciated the road it took to get to that final sixth title, with Jordan hitting the shot over Russell.

I knew there would be a heavy focus on Pippen, Rodman, and Kukoc. What I wasn't expecting was Steve Kerr to be featured so heavily on his own in Episode 9.

I guess it makes sense. Kerr hit that huge shot in 1997's Game 6 that led to the Bulls first title over the Jazz. Watching those title runs during my childhood, I didn't appreciate the role players as much. Or maybe I did and just have forgotten about then. I definitely knew Kerr was an important part of the squad, but I really didn''t remember much about guys like Scott Burrell.

I can't quite remember when I got these - probably in the 1997-range, but Steve Kerr signed two cards for me TTM waaaay back. They both came out pretty well, I'd say.
Kerr has obviously gone on to have a ton of success as the head coach of the Warriors. I remember he was the front-runner for the Knicks job, and when he took the Warriors job instead, I remember thinking that was a slap in the face. Shows what I know. I guess Kerr knew what he was doing.

The Last Dance was awesome, and best of all, provided something to look forward to for five straight Sundays. Yesterday with golf, NASCAR, and then The Last almost felt like a real sports Sunday!

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Lumberin' Around

Once in a while, a Tino card on eBay pops up that is rarely ever seen. I check a few times a day, so I have a pretty good grasp on what's rare to see in a given search.

Last week, a card I never recall seeing came up. It's not particularly rare, at least I don't think. According to baseballcardpedia, it fell 1:36 in 1998. Yet here I was, staring at a card I don't think I've ever seen on the site.

The price tag was $3.49 + $1.00 shipping. There was even a 'best offer' option. Not wanting to miss out because I wanted to get it for $.50 cheaper, I just hit buy it now. Why risk it?

The card in question? A 1998 Fleer Lumber Company insert.
Crazy that a seemingly run-of-the-mill insert just never came up. There's one on COMC, but as with any "one" card listed on COMC, the price is really high because It'S tHe OnLy OnE LiStEd oN tHe SiTe. On eBay, the cards of the other guys in the set don't go for crazy prices, so they can't be that rare. The Ripken just sold for $3 and $1.50, respectively. Griffey and Gwynn just went for $4. If it was truly a short-printed or hard to find set from '90s, those would go for a lot more.

But I hadn't ever even seen this one.

And it's a great card. Tree rings to represent lumber. Simple idea. The rings are embossed as well, which gives the card a cool texture.

After the arrival of the two cards below, I now sit 26 away from 1K.
And while I've been putting a dent in my chase, I'm really now down to cards that just don't seem to ever pop up.

Should be a fun last 25.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Be careful what you comment on...

... because it might just come true!

A few weeks back, I made an innocent comment on one of Collecting Cutch's post about - shockingly - Andrew McCutchen.

He was showing off a few McCutchen Yankees autographs (yes, there are a few out there). I really enjoyed Cutch's 1.5 months as a Yankee. It was awesome to see him in NY rocking the Pinstripes, although it was hot garbage he couldn't wear 22 because the corpse of Jacoby Ellsbury still had it. Anyhow, I made a simple comment, "I need to pick up a McCutchen Yankees autograph sometime."

That was it. Innocent, right?

And a few days later, a bubble mailer showed up in my mailbox. And this was in it:
Are you kidding me?! It's not like these are a dime a dozen. This was waaaay too generous. To boot, this is the EXACT autograph of McCutchen I would have targeted. Brian assured me this was a dupe for him. But still!

I was ecstatic. 

Of course, with Collecting Cutch, it never just ends there. Look at this! A giclee print of an art card by Edward Vela, signed on the back by the artist! Gorgeous.
I had seen the word "giclee" a few times, but wasn't sure what it meant. 
Hmph, well that makes sense. That is indeed what it is. Also I was pronouncing it "Gick-lee" which is very wrong.

And more and more Cutch cards. I feel like I have a nice mini-collection of him simply from the extras Brian throws into packages.
And look how far into this post I got without even showing a 2020 Topps DJ LeMahieu autograph. Nearly a perfect card. And look, he wore #26 right after Cutch did! I never thought about that.
And this absolutely beauty of a Jesus Montero card. If this were 2012, it would go for a pretty penny. Remember to sell your prospect cards, kids.
This Austin Jackson/Joey Devine card is awesome! Itr's numbered 2/2 (weird!). Austin Jackson has had a really good career. Somehow he's still just 33, although he has played for 7 teams. Still, he's a .273 career hitter, with over 1100 hits. a solid big leaguer. He's made over $31Million as well. Good for him.
And least but not least, a custom from Collecting Cutch himself! I have been assured this is Yoda, not Shrek.
What a very generous gift he sent me.

Now I'm going to go find someone posting about a Trout RC and casually mention it would be nice to have one...