Monday, November 30, 2020

The boobs continue to be saved

Every October, perhaps the greatest thing to hit card blogs is Collecting Cutch's Save Second Base event for breast cancer awareness. Not only does he post voluptuous gifs, but also shows off some sweet pink cards. In addition to that, he give to others plenty of chances to win pink cards of their own.

I was the lucky winner of one of the contests, and my prize was the very cool Bob Gibson pink Project 2020 by artist Ermsy. What a cool card, and one of the tamest that Ersmy has done. I have several Project 2020s, but a Gibson was not one of these and will look great alongside the rest. There are a lot of strong feelings about these artist-issued cards. Mostly negative. As someone who paints a bit and likes art, I think they are cool. Sure, some are better than others (subjective) and some I don't prefer (also subjective). But what I find most interesting is that the people who dislike and dismiss these want to make sure you know about it, as opposed to the people who are fine with them and quietly collect. I have the full run of Jeters, yet this is my first time mentioning these cards.
Cutch also threw in a few more pink cards. Can't go wrong with either of these.
Brian, thanks again for all of your efforts for breast cancer awareness!

Thursday, November 26, 2020


Just a quick post here today to wish you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

It's an odd year for me. I generally travel to family for Thanksgiving, but this year we're staying put, as I assume most are. I come from a big family, so that's never easy. But at the same time, I have my own little family, and we'll be together and that's what counts.

I'm thankful for my family and that I get to spend today with them (and every day for the past eight months).

I'm thankful that I have a good job. While my work is far from essential, my company has actually prospered at this time. While many are cutting back, we have grown. I've hired three people during the pandemic, and two of them had previously lost jobs as a result of Covid-19 causing organizational restructuring path their previous employer. It makes me feel good that I've been able to help them get back on track.

I'm thankful for this hobby. Even when I'm down on it or bored, it has provided me great joy for the most part.

I'm thankful for this blog. I'm not one of the more well-read bloggers and my posts are usually very basic and not thought-provoking. It's not why I do it. I do it because it helps keep me interested in collecting. Having an outlet to show off new cards or talk about them is more than I have at home or with any nearby friends or family. That's all I need from the blog, and it's all I plan to give. 

Thanks for reading, and again, stay safe and healthy. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Have a little faith

Last week, I won an eBay auction for a 2020 Topps Baseball Stars Platinum autograph of Tino Martinez. The card is a 1/1.
I was the only bidder, so I won it for the minimum bid (which still wasn't cheap). However, once I went to check out, I noticed something concerning:

The seller had only one feedback, and it was as a buyer. My heart sunk a little.

I've been on card-twitter long enough to see how this usually goes. People are constantly posting awful questions from eBay buyers, refund requests, or instances where they just don't get a card. Naturally, I thought I'd have to join these ranks.

I didn't realize it was a one-feedback seller. I bid on the card without looking to see if it was a reputable ebayer. I can't say I am always diligent about that.

So I prepared myself for the worst. I prepared myself for the card to no show, to have to open a claim, and even if I got my money back it wouldn't be for weeks. But then something happened.

The seller reached out.

He sent me a nice note thanking me for my purchase, and that this was his first sale. He was excited! He even sent me a picture of the outgoing package, addressed to me. Even then, I thought, "is this just part of the scheme?"

But four days later, the card showed up, packed perfectly. I kind of felt bad for my lack of faith. I'm glad I never publicly questioned or reached our with snark asking if he was actually going to ship it. But the guy wanted to make his first sale, and he did. Maybe he's looking for some money for the holidays. Maybe his family needs it. Maybe he just wants to start selling cards.

I'm glad this transaction went smoothly, and I'm glad I didn't put him on blast. A low feedback number isn't always a bad thing. Everyone needs to start from somewhere. I made sure to give him 5 stars and a positive feedback score, and I wish this seller the best.

You have to start somewhere, and he's on his way. I wish I had more faith, but it was a nice reminder that not everyone out this is a scam waiting to happen.

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Derby, 23 years later

Topps Update is a complete mess. We all know this. Instead of just making a smaller set or forgoing it all together, Topps made what might be their worst set in years.

But in effort to still put out a large Update base set, Topps went back to the well to show old All-Star Games and Home Run Derbies.

While this was a peculiar choice, it gave me a Tino Martinez card to track down, along with a zillion parallels. As the victor of the 1997 Derby at Jacobs Field, Tino was honored with a card depicting his win. It was one of the biggest highlights for me watching baseball growing up, so I wasn't too upset to see him included here, despite the set being lackluster. I honestly put his victory on par for me personally with the four World Series titles, Gooden no-hitter, and Cone and Wells perfect games. Is the feat the same? No. But does it hold the same type of place in my heart? 

You bet.

I picked up the base card on Trading Card Database rather easily. I didn't even have to upload my entire collection. I just found a few people who were offering the card, and found some cards on their wantlist that I had on my trade list. That's all it takes.

The parallels haven't been so easy, so I had to turn to trusty eBay for the Yellow Walgreen's version.
I really like when I'm able to find the Topps hangers at Walgreen's. I found a lot of Update there last year. This year, I found two hangers of Series 2. But I try not to go to Walgreen's these days unless it's necessary. Each time I've had to go grab milk or vitamins, I check. And it's been months since I've seen cards there. It's probably for the best.

I'm would have been disappointed anyways given this turd of a set. Last year I pulled a yellow Vlad Jr RC. This year, the only yellow I really would have wanted is the one above. And it cost me less than half of what a hanger would have.

While it sucks to not be able to find cards to open, at least I'm saving by just buying the singles I want...something I should do anyways.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

No Wonder he reached out

A while back, I got an email from friend of the blog Dan. He did a cool Ty Hensley interview he showed me over at Bronx Pinstripe blog, and also mentioned Tino was his favorite '90s Yankee.

We decided to do a quick cardboard swap, and I was most excited when I saw this card.
What a cool card! It's from the 1990 Wonder Bread Superstars series. I haven't seen this card. Most of my oddball Mattingly cards are from Post, so this was a nice surprise. It's a simple, elegant design that reeks of a bread-issue! I would have pegged this around 1988 or so. What a great addition to the collection!
I've decided one of my next collecting quests will be to collect 1,000 unique Jeters. I need to take inventory. I believe I'll be in the 600 range once I officially count. I can say that I definitely didn't have this 1996 Stadium Club.

Here's a sampling of the rest of what Dan sent me.
Dan, I'm glad we connected. Thanks for the cards!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

I predicted the future

On August 8, 2020, I predicted the future.

I know you're impressed. But I knew that on August 9, Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves would hit a home run. I was so sure, that I entered a code into Topps HR Challenge. You know, those insert cards that come every few packs. I finally won!

This may be more of a blind squirrel finds a nut situation, but I'd rather believe that I am a clairvoyant. 

The fruits of my knowledge resulted in this fancy card. Shockingly, Topps doesn't charge for shipping when you correctly predict the future:
Ok, ok. So it looks like 172 people also predicted the future in August. Whatever. The card design is ok. Maybe a touch busy. It looks a bit like the 2020 Topps Utz product. 

The back of the card congratulates me on being a psychic.
Pretty cool that I can predict the future for Topps Home Run Challenge. I definitely won't show you all the times where I incorrectly predicted the future, that's for sure.

Monday, November 16, 2020

A B-Met lands me a lot more

Growing up with a Double-A team in my backyard was pretty cool.

I want to a handful of games each year. Looking back, I should have gone to more. But I certainly went to my fair share from the time the Binghamton Mets opened their doors in 1992, until I graduated high school ten years later. 

Plus, I got to play my high school baseball games in the stadium, and often snagged something left behind by the big clubs, such as lineup cards like this one:

I saw some amazing players come through the system, and the fact that the team won the title in their first year of existence was very cool. For Christmas that year, my grandma bought me and my cousins (who were all from out of town) commemorative t-shirts. I remember that well.

So when Jay of Card Hemorrhage posted a few cards he pulled in a re-pack, and one was a Binghamton Met autograph with the old "B" logo on the hat and original team logo in the lower right, I asked if it was available because it stirred up memories of the team I grew up with.
Jay was kind enough to send this along, plus a bunch of other great stuff.

My favorite of the others were these bad boys from esteemed grader Snaggle Tooth Grading. Fuji has shown these off a few times. Definitely a cool keepsake. Not to be overlooked b the hilarity, the cards are gorgeous refractors from 2001 Archives Reserve. As tired as I get of reprinting designs, they do look cool as refractors.
Jay also sent me some really cool John Antonelli collectibles as well:
There was also a handful of basketball cards, and I was psyched to get this Devin Booker rookie card!
Here is a random sampling of some others.
Jay, this was awesome stuff. Thank you!

Friday, November 13, 2020

An old Habit returns to my mailbox

It had been awhile, but I completed a small blogger to blogger trade with Judson of My Cardboard Habit. Judson and I go pretty far back swapping cards. We made out first swap back in 2014, according to my blog posts. This was the first card he sent me back then, if my blog records are to be trusted:
My how times have changed!

Judson does more Tweeting than blogging these days, and recently had the stroke of luck of pulling some Yankee relics out of 2020 A&G. He thought it was misfortune. I disagreed. So we struck up a deal and these came my way:
James Paxton and the 'stache look hilarious!

Judson also threw in a few relics from A&G past. Tex = cool. Ellsbury = fool.
Always good to make a small swap here and there, Judson. If you want to find this cat on Twitter, he's @cardboardhabit.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Pacific even had a strong checklist game

I've mentioned a bunch how much I love the Pacific brand of cards. More so the late '90s Pacific versus the early '90s stuff, bit it's all good stuff in my book.

Growing up, I sort of looked at them as a second-tier brand. Most probably did as well. Most still do. For me, that started to change with some of their incredible looking insert sets later in the decade.

One that was really hard for me to chase down for some reason was the 1998 Pacific Invincible Checklist. This was an insert card that featured five(!) players, with Tino front and center. He's joined on the front by Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams, although Tino is the focal point after coming off his 1997 AL MVP runner up campaign.
The back has shots of staff ace Andy Pettitte, as well as Mariano Rivera. I'm surprised Paul O'Neill or Hideki Irabu didn't make it on this card, but there's only so much space.
What's cool about this checklist is that it's a full team checklist, from base cards to insert cards. They pack a lot of punch onto one card between five players and the full team checklist. It's a pretty great idea, if you ask me. I've never been one to like checklists, so something like this appeals to me more than a standard card listing names with check boxes. 

I'm not sure why this card was hard to pick up. I think I actually have it somewhere but didn't have it marked as a "have", so I snagged it (again) when it popped up for a low price.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

X marks the spot

I was actually fairly slow to pick up the newest Allen & Ginter Tino Martinez cards. I haven't even taken inventory of any that I don't have, given the back variations and whatnot.

However, slowly but surely, a few have made it's way to me. Just last week, friend of the blog Mr. Scott reach out asking if I needed the Tino from Allen & Ginter X. Given I don't have any idea where one might find Allen & Ginter X, my answer was a quick "Yes!" In lightning fast speed, these two cards arrived:
That's the Ginter X base and mini. The base would look great signed in silver ink.

Then, via TCDB, I was able to bring in the standard base card from A&G:
Lastly, through a small eBay pickup, I got the silver foil version, which I thought was a nice add to A&G this year. They shine looks pretty good on these cards, likely because of the pastel backgrounds.
I'm still in need of other A&Gs, notably the mini and its variations. If you come across any, you know where to find me!

Friday, November 6, 2020

A few TCDB trades

I haven't had much going on lately on the the TCDB. It's mostly my fault, as I have't added anything new for trade. Without buying new cards, there's not much trade bait to add, so no one gets pinged or notified when I add new cards for trade that match their wantlists.

I did strike up two trades last week to try and get something going.

The first was with Ed from BOCards. I sent Ed a few Orioles from 2020 Topps and 2020 Big League, and got these to cards in return. This is my 1,029th Tino.
I never see Topps Heritage Minors in the wild, so I was able to snag six of them from 2020 for a few cards from CardsInTheBasement. He's working on Heritage sets, so I helped him with a few 2020 needs.
I have a big stack of cards to add to the site, so hopefully I can get a few more trades like this going. If you're on the site, feel free to add me. My username is thelostcollector.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

I miss the Election Day bake sale the most

I don't have much to say about today's election. I stay out of politics, in general. They don't interest me. I did vote though. Our tiny town in the NYC suburbs had a ballot drop box at the police station, which is also next to town hall.

I did my duty. Although when you put a ballot in the drop box, you don't get a sticker. How am I supposed to tell people on Instagram that I voted?

My state is a pretty unwavering blue state, so it's hard to vote and think it actually matters. I know it's the wrong attitude, but I didn't feel like I was making a vote that would actually mean anything. I do realize that's the wrong line of thinking, and if everyone thought like that, then that'd be a real problem.

What I miss most about in-person voting at the old people polls and confusing voting machines is the bake sale. I usually vote at the buttcrack of dawn before work, and was always rewarded with a nice piece of coffee cake for $.50 to benefit the elementary school.

I definitely missed the bake sale this year.

As it relates to cards, I don't have any political cards outside of GWB throwing out the first pitch in the 2001 World Series. Non-sports cards don't appeal to me, but I did decide to pick up this piece of history honoring a truly awful occasion: the first 2020 Presidential Debate.
Man, was that a mess that was. But this whole year has been. So I decided to buy a piece of cardboard to remember it. Not that I'll need a card to remember 2020. Nooope. The visions of my kids learning from Chromebooks or me working at my dining room table since March will never be forgotten. Or taking my car 20 minutes away to be serviced, only to get there and realize I didn't bring a mask and had to beg the woman at Dunkin Donuts to give me one. Tiny problems in the grand scheme of things, sure. 

It's been a weird year. But my family is healthy and we're making this all work, just like everyone else. So I bought a card. 

If you head to the polls today, stay safe. And if your's has a bake sale, know that I'm jealous.