Thursday, July 30, 2020

Double stacked

The other day, the King of Kindness, Wes, decided to send out a giant stack of PWEs. I was lucky enough to be the recipient of not one, but two of these!

The first came in about two weeks ago, and it was from a set I've long admired, 2002 Upper Deck Yankees Dynasty Game-Used:
What a cool card. The Tino and Paul O'Neill combo is one of my favorites. This issue features coach Willie Randolph alongside Chuck Knoblauch. It's a set I might think about chasing sometime, outside of the fact that guys like DiMaggio and Mantle are included. Oof. The card itself is really attractive, and the jersey pieces inside the interlocking NY is a nice touch.

I would have been happy there, but then ANOTHER PWE arrived earlier this week.
Look at that! A Topps Gallery RC autograph of Clint Frazier.

Frazier needs to play. He's an impact bat. I like Brett Gardner. He's been a good Yankee for over a decade. But it's hard to watch him up there while Frazier is wasting away at an alternate site (cue Gardner hitting two HRs tonight).

Wes, thanks for thinking of me!

Monday, July 27, 2020

TCDB brings the heat

Some of the most exciting times for me on Trading Card Database are when I am able to add some new cards in my "for trade" inventory. 

This is usually a ritual I have if I'm able to get my paws on some current product. Thats when the trade offers fly in. Mostly on current card releases and people trying to finish off sets.

The other day I was able to bust two blasters of 2020 Topps Series 2 via an Amazon Prime purchase. I know that may sound outrageous for some of you, but it's actually quote convenient and simple. I don't have to go to the Target cesspool just to find the shelves completely wiped. And for around the same cost, the boxes show up on my doorstep. I'd rather spend $23 in a blaster that showed up at my door than $21+ and going to Target.

I don't want to not open some new stuff because it's not available to me. I just had to change my purchasing habits. So far, it's worked for me for Bowman, Big League, and Series 2. Easy peasy.

Anyhow, for those of you having trouble making trades on TCDB, that's the best advice I can give. Add some new stuff if you've got it. And add some cards to your wantlist. When I only had Tino on my wantlist, I got few to no offers. When I added Gleyber and a few Yanks from current sets, I had a lot more luck.

Back to Series 2. It was nice to open a few packs, although I have to say the checklist is one of the worst I've ever seen. Just putrid. I know there is Luis Robert and the Cutch SP, but it's a very uninspiring checklist. I wasn't even that excited for my first Gerrit Cole since there was an easy-to-acquire SP in Series 1. Made it less exciting for Series, that's for sure.

Each blaster comes with Manu-coin relic thingies. I pulled a Fernando Tatis /199 and a Eloy Jimenez. Two solid pulls.
I put them both on the site to see if they attracted any offers. If not, no biggie. I'd sit on them and put them away for a box at a later date.

One offer came in for Eloy, and it was this:
Now we're cookin'.

I actually did wrestle with it. I do think Eloy is going to be a major star. But that's sort of the point of pulling cards like this. Not to sit on it and hope it goes from and $8 card to a $15 card on the open market. The point, for me, is to trade it for something I'd rather have.

And at this moment in time, I'd rather have a Jasson Dominguez card.

So I pulled the trigger and accepted. I like that most TCDB are done via PWE, but the Eloy was too thick. So off it went in a bubble mailer. The seller was kind of enough to also send the Jasson in a bubble mailer as well.

Honestly, I'll be thrilled one day if Dominguez is half the player Eloy Jiminez is. Maybe he'll be better. Maybe he won't. But this was a good trade for me. And just like a good baseball trade, each side gave up something of value.

I wasn't expecting to get a recent Dominguez on TCDB, but you never know unless you put yourself out there. I';m happy with how it ended.


Sunday, July 26, 2020

I know I'm jinxing it

I'm expecting a really big year from Giancarlo Stanton.

I know, I know. It's only been two games. Even though his two home runs have traveled nearly a combined 1,000 feet, I know I shouldn't get this excited about about how he looks early on.

It's why I picked up this card a week before the season started. Because it just seems like Stanton is primed to have a huge year.
He's been unfairly treated in NY. In 2018, coming off his 59 homer season, he hit 38 while carrying the offense for much of the summer while playing last less than 100%. Yet, somehow it wasn't enough.

Last year, he was limited to just 18 games, which is always the elephant in the room with Stanton. Not if he'll get hurt, but when.

And that sucks. By all accounts he's a likable guy and a great teammate. He doesn't want to get hurt and not be out there. The worst thing that he's ever done was sign a giant contract, then veto a trade to a place he didn't want to go. It didn't help that he joined the Yankees after Aaron Judge's 52-homer season, as some Yankee fans felt like it was with Stanton or Judge and they had to side with the homegrown star. Which is silly. There's enough love to go around for both.

It reminds me of this friend I have who refuses to watch A Christmas Story because he's all about Christmas Vacation. I keep telling him it's not one or the other. It's ok to like them both. But he can't seem to get past that it's a competition and he needs to pick a side, and it's making him miss out.

Back to the card. There aren't a ton of Stanton autographs in Yankees uniforms yet, so I opted for a lowly Marlins one. I liked that it was on-card. There were a lot of stickers that were a bit more affordable, although my best offer brought this card down significantly. Plus, I funded this mostly with eBay bucks.

So while I am enjoying the quick start by Stanton, I do keep expecting to read that he strained his calf rounding the bases or something. Because that's how it goes with Stanton.

But if he can stay healthy, his name will be up there in the MVP talk after this 60-game sprint.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Calling it. My card of the year.

It's early and there are approximately 300 2020 issues yet to be released. But I'm calling it early. My card of the year is this:
This is a 2020 Topps Finest The Man insert card of Gleyber Torres. It's not a rare card, except for the fact that it comes from Finest and I still don't understand where people find Finest. So in that sense, it's rare to me. All 2020 cards are rare.

From the 1998 design, with vibrant background colors and an ESPN2-like "The Man" graphic, to Gleyber's too cool for school pose after likely hitting a homer (something he did 38 times last year), this card really does it for me on so many levels.

If swagger had a card, this would be it.

It's not perfect. It's a reprint. Gleyber is covering up some of the graphic. And the Finest logo is oddly placed directly over his foot, although that is where the logo originally fell.

It's a little silly of me to pick a reprint production for my card of the year. We've seen this design before, 22 years ago. And we're all sick of seeing Topps reboot designs. But I'd rather see a design like this come back to life than another Topps base issue where we're celebrating...some arbitrary anniversary, as Dan Good touched on in his recent card chat piece.

Maybe a card will come along and knock this one off its perch for me. I'll keep an open mind. But for now, it's going to be hard to beat this card.

Plus, if I had to describe Gleyber, "The Man" would certainly do it.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Ford drives in

One of the very few spring training TTM requests I sent this year found its way back to me last week.

I only sent six or seven requests, as spring training TTMs are no longer a source for a high success rate. That's a trend that's really been happening the last ten years or so. I've limited it to trying to send the latest Topps flagship issues for my project, and then one or two others. No sense in wasting stamps.

One of the players I did send to was Mike Ford, a rookie last year who finally made it to the Bronx after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He was both the hitter and pitcher of the year for the 2013 Ivy League season while at Princeton, which is certainly a pretty cool feat.

Ford slowly but surely made his way through the minors. Never a shiny prospect, his rise was steady with a combo of power and OBP.

Finally, he made his debut last season, and was very good, hitting 12 homers at the big league level with a .350 OBP. He had an OPS+ of 137.
He was kind enough to sign my card just as the Yankees were heading to Summer Camp. I like it because it's his Update RC. He is also a part of 2020 Series 2, so I may need to send a request his way again as I try and knock of 2020 for my Topps Yankees Project.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Clearly Traveling

This summer, we've already had one trip canceled due to the COVOD-19 pandemic. As you may or may not recall from previous blog posts, we making a yearly trip to a lake in New Hampshire. I always visit a card shop while there, and have chronicled that before. My most recent revisit was here, although I must've gone to the shop last year too and not blogged about it.

Anyways, it's usually the last week of June, and we didn't go this summer, for obvious reasons.

We do hope to go to the Jersey Shore in a few weeks, though work is so busy for me right now (which I'm thankful for) that I may simply go and work from there, maybe ducking down to the beach for an hour or two here. That will also depend on the bozos there and their ability to social distance. Based on the usual Jersey Shore crowd, I'm not optimistic.

Regardless, most travel for the summer has been called off. I'm definitely staying away from airports.

One thing I've never seen at airports are baseball cards. However, I just received a trade offer for a 2019 Topps Clear Travel Gleyber Torres. I had no idea what this was, but the other person had asked for a 202 Heritage SP of future Yankee Fransisco Lindor. I thought it was a fair swap for an oddball of Gleyber.
The card itself looks no different than 2019 Topps. No added logo. Just a different number on the back - CP-18. I wish they had the Utz treatment with a logo, but it's still a neat card to add. I'm not quite cure what the "P" stands for. Maybe "Clear Packs"?
According to Cardboard Connection, these cards were distributed at MLB parks and nearby airports. They also came with a coupon for the Clear travel service, which is like a pre-check, skip the line type of service. I have never seen one outside of an airport, but apparently some parks have a "Clear" line that serves in a similar manner. Five card packs were given out for using the service.

If I didn't know this card was a Clear Travel version, I would have skipped right over it. Check your card backs, people!

It's clear to me that this is only travel reward I'm going to get this year.

Friday, July 10, 2020

A thoughtful gesture

Yesterday, I got three unexpected PWEs, which was really cool and unexpected. Work has been crushing me lately, so it was nice to crack them open after a long day.

Sounds kind of like a beer.

One of the PWEs came from Colbey at Cardboard Collections. I have a huge stash of Affordable Group Break cards taking up space at Colbey's house. I really need to get them shipped. I knew this PWE was that, so I was curious.

I've been an advocate for Colbey's breaks. They are usually...erm, affordable...but he does a great job of running them and providing a great variety of products at a low cost. Anytime I can introduce someone to them, I try to. I even got Napkin Doon into one!

Colbey appreciates that, and sent me this sweet Phil Rizzuto as a thank you. It's #d 495/500.
One of the reasons I support Colbey's breaks, outside of the sweet cards, is that I find him to just genuinely be a good guy and bright spot in the hobby. I've always found him to be extremely kind and helpful. I've even asked him questions about video game systems for my kids.
I stay away from breaks and breakers. It's just not for me. But I don't lump Colbey's breaks into the "breaker culture." He does it for fun, and it shows. Plus it's always fun to see what kind of variety of products he'll be offering, and see his excitement when he pulls something good for one of the break participants. He's had a hot hand lately too!

Thanks, Colbey!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July! Hoping you can all find ways to enjoy the holiday while remaining safe and healthy.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Fuji makes it 3 to go

I recently got back to back PWEs from Fuji. Most were chock full of Tino's. I feel a bit bad, as one 1 of the Tino's was new to my collection:
For whatever reason, I never snagged this 1995 Donruss Top of the Order. I wonder if I had it at some point of my life, as I remember my grandmother purchasing these for me at some point. I recall they came in a small, deck-sized box given it was a playing card game.

Admittedly I never learned the game. I feel like that's a common them with baseball card games, between Top of the Order, the back of 1996 Bazooka cards, those old Classic trivia cards, MLB Showdown, Topps Attax, etc. Baseball card games just don't seem to gain traction. Maybe...just maybe...the cards are enough on their own.

While I wish more of the cards were brand new to my collection, I wasn't disappointed. There exact opposite. Fuji came across a bunch of Tino's and it made him think of me. That's a really cool thing.

Plus, sometimes I get so focused on the next Tino that I don't enjoy the ones that have been around for years.

I made sure to take a moment and really re-read and observe the Tino's. Not just to double check if I had it, but to take a look at the breadth of card designs, stats, and write-ups on the backs. Many are from a time where I, personally, feel the hobby was more fun and attainable. It was a nice trip down memory lane.
Fuji, thanks for the PWE and contributing to my chase for 1K unique Tino cards. It's greatly appreciated that you, and so many others, think of me when they come across Tino cards.