Saturday, June 19, 2021
As a player collector, sometimes I buy a card I'm not thrilled with, because it's one I don't have and "need."
I've actually gotten a lot better about trying not to be a completist with Tino, and chasing every single card or parallel of his. If the price is right, of course I'll snag one I don't have. But I've all but stopped spending money on parallels of parallels or low-numbered cards if I'm content with similar ones that might not be as rare. Personal growth!
I didn't really stick to my guns on a recent purchase, although it didn't set me back much. Just a few bucks. And I haven't seen it pop up often, so I'm not really regretting what I paid. But boy is this a dumb card:
It's from 2012 Upper Deck SP Signature Edition. Upper Deck certainly didn't have an MLB license at this point. But oof, this is bad. I actually really dislike the "signature cards" that some TTM autograph seekers use, and this sort of feels like that.
And it's a sticker to boot.
The fact that this was shipped from Canada actually kept the price down. Have you noticed that? People bid a lot less when they see international shipping attached to a card.
So, this is a weird one. It's ugly and boring. But it's an autograph and a new card in my Tino collection. Card #1,102, in fact.
It's just not going to take a very prominent place in my collection.
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
I spent the large portion of the spring coaching my son's 9 & 10-year-old little league team.
We had a great season, and were one of the strongest teams in the league. More importantly, these guys truly became a team. It was fun to see them grow, improve, and compete each week. My son forged new friendships, even walking into school with his teammates who he might not have otherwise socialized previously. Man, youth sports are important, especially after being robbed of them for a year.
It's cliche, but from start to finish the boys really did improve. Some kids couldn't touch the ball early on, but as the season went on, became valuable contributors to the team.
Unfortunately, we made it to the semifinals and lost just this past Thursday. It was a really intense game, actually. Well-played. No errors (which is saying something). Timely hitting. Strong pitching. Intense crowd. Anyone who says that 9 & 10-year-old little league can't be exciting is flat out wrong. Parents came up to us after stating it was the game of the year. Imagine that.
With the season coming to a close, we booked a room in a restaurant to have an end-of-season party later this week. I decided to make goodie bags for the kids, with a few items inside:
I picked up these materials at the discount store Five Below, mostly because I know they have a lot of small toys and candy, notably Big League Chew. The popular shredded gum is a bit of a team joke, as we had to ban it a few games ago because the kids were shoving so much of it in their mouths, it became a distraction. Plus I had to clean up gobs of it all over the dugout.
You'll also see a pack of 2021 Bowman. That was an unexpected turn. You see, I had wanted to put a pack of cards in each goodie bag. But here's a funny thing about cards: you can't find them. You cannot just drive to a store and get a few packs. In an ideal world, I would have found a pack of Opening Day or Topps, as opposed to Bowman. Kids barely know Mike Trout. How are they going to know Blaze Jordan or Wander Franco?
When I went to purchase the materials for the goodie bags, it was Sunday evening, so the one local card shop around me was not open. It's not like the pack prices would be affordable, anyhow. So I basically came to terms with not having cards in the bags, and I would just add extra candy or a toy or something.
After I put thirteen packs of Big League Chew in my hand basket, I went over to the sports section to buy my son another whiffle ball launcher toy since his broke. It's a small gadget that pops a ball up so he can hit it into a net. And lo and behold, I couldn't believe my eyes. There was a box with loose packs of Bowman!
They were overpriced, but I wanted the kids to have cards, so I bought the remaining packs - 16 of them. I kept 13 for the goodie bags, and treated myself to three of the remaining packs. I like Bowman, so it was fine. Two of my packs were fairly loaded, so I can only hope the kids find some luck, and maybe it spurns on some sort of collecting interest. Here were my best two cards from the three packs:
I doubt it'll have much affect. Kids don't really like cards. They all talked about Fortnite a lot more than Major League Baseball. They talked about NBA more than MLB too. But for one day, they'll open a pack, see an array of cards of stars and prospects and maybe some shine or ink, and enjoy a big wad of Big League Chew.
That's a pretty cool outcome and a great way to put a cap on the season.
Saturday, June 12, 2021
The TCDB trades have been rolling in, as many other forms of trading and acquiring new cards dry up. I don't post all of my swaps here, but one of my recents was a fun one.
I rarely add or peruse the basketball section of the site, but from time to time I do add a few cards of Syracuse Orange basketball cards just to keep my want a bit diverse. Luckily, it worked out in my favor for a trade with jrad1973, as I sent him a few Astros for the following cards.
While I absolutely hate baseball mascot cards (looking at you, Opening Day), I thought a card of Otto the Orange was cool to have. Typically Syracuse has four students play Otto each year, and during football they alternate each quarter. One of the best mascots in college sports!
It wasn't just Syracuse cards! Three Yankees were included in the package, as well. I don't hate Contenders baseball. I have no idea when or they were released. Retail blasters, I guess? But I would have never come across them if not for TCDB.
Pretty cool what resorting to TCDB can net you, especially for unwanted Astros cards!
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
It makes me conflicted. The card shows up and the condition is fine. But you charged me $3.49 for first class shipping, and sent it in a PWE. And not even a fancy eBay standard envelope PWE with tracking. This was a regular PWE.
When I point this out to the seller, they usually respond something like this: "u got a vintage crd for less than 5 go fuck off dont buy from me agin"
Sellers tend to do this when they think a card will sell for a bit more. In this case, I bought a 1952 Wheaties Phil Rizzuto. I was the only bidder at $.99. Plus $3.49 shipping. I do not like to pay 3x for shipping, but I figured less than $5 all in for a Rizzuto from 1952 was cool.
But the seller had other plans, and needed to recoup some money and not take a bath in this transaction. So my card came in a PWE between two pieces of cardboard. No top loader, either.
Again, the card arrived ok, but not the point, at least to me it's not. But I also didn't want to be too big of a dick, so I emailed the seller via eBay messages over the weekend and gave him a chance to respond.
But I still didn't want to be a dick, so I left positive feedback. I will say that I did one-star his shipping cost, and in the feedback I mentioned that other buyers should be warned about his shipping. He has over 700 positive feedbacks and no negative or neutral, so I'm not going to be a blemish.
Still, don't be a dick and make up some profit by skimping out on shipping.
Monday, May 31, 2021
Well, indeed it has been an awful start to the summer. It literally rained from Friday evening right up through last night. Plus, temperatures were in the high 40s. What a mess! I did use some time to organize my disaster of a card area, including deciding to order a BCW card bin to house my Tino collection. I am saying goodbye to binders.
Yesterday I needed a pick me up, and got it while watching the Indy 500. I got an email ping on my phone that a blaster of 2021 that I had ordered from Target had been delivered. I went outside and quickly rescued the box, which was getting poured on. Luckily, the box held up and the cards were fine.
I know it's fun around these parts to crap on Bowman, but I am not one of these people. I like Bowman more than most. In fact, I would rather open Bowman than:
- Allen & Ginter
- Gypsy Queen
- Stadium Club
- Big League
- Opening Day
I like the mix of current players, rookies, and prospects, including a draftee's first Bowman card. I like the inserts, which usually are very shiny. I like the chance at a prospect autograph.
Let's start with the RCs. I was glad to get Clarke Schmidt, as well as a few others like Alec Bohm and Jo Adell. Schmidt just started a throwing program in hopes of coming back later this year. He's got a world of talent, but it is starting to feel like he'll never be one who is healthy. I hope I am wrong.
I did land one parallel as well, a blue pApEr of Rockies catching prospect Drew Romo.
On to the Chromes, where the highlight was Blaze Jordan of the Red Sox. Sweet name. Not sweet team. I hope he doesn't torment the Yankees for years. This card alone will pay for at least half the price of the blaster.
I did ok with the inserts, although in pack 2 my day was made when I pulled a Jasson Dominguez Scouts Top 100. I have a couple Dominguez cards already, but this is the first time I pulled one for myself from a pack.
Here's the rest of my inserts. They always pack a lot of shine.
The weather looks better today to salvage some of the weekend, but overall, I'm happy with my blaster, as it helped save a rainy day.
Saturday, May 29, 2021
Man, what a shitty Memorial Day Weekend.
The forecast calls for rain all weekend, as well as record low temps here in New Jersey. This is a very 2020 thing to happen...not 2021! It's especially disappointing after last weekend was in the '90s. The town pool opens today, but no one will be there.
I'm especially bummed because I really needed a nice, relaxing long weekend after a tiring few weeks at work. I guess nothing will stop it from being relaxing, but there's not much to do other than sit inside. I'd rather be out on the patio with a drink and enjoying the weather.
Regardless, I can't control the weather. But I can control my mood. And I hope to stay mellow. Or Melo. Just like my newest basketball card.
I totally missed collecting during Carmelo Anthony's prime, as I not only stopped collecting during many of those years, but stopped buying basketball cards. However, I do like to pick up Carmelo cards here and there, and an autographed card by him is high up on my want list.
For now, I'll grab singles here and there. I especially liked the shiny foil look of this one, plus it shows him in a Syracuse uniform.
I hope your weather is better than mine this weekend. But most importantly, I hope you all can relax and stay Melo.
Friday, May 28, 2021
A recent development in the trading card industry is that Mickey Mantle (or rather his estate), is once again part of the Topps family.
From the '90s right up through the last few years, Mantle was a staple in Topps products. Whether it was constant dedicated insert sets that no one was asking for, or inclusion into base sets, Mantle was always there. And he was there basically to the point where it wasn't special to get a Mantle card in a pack, which is sort of a weird feeling. He was just another guy in a pack.
But then his estate's Topps deal expired and he became a Panini guy. And while Panini didn't bash us over the head with Mantle, he was included in most sets, such as Diamond Kings and Optic.
In the last few weeks, Topps has brought Mantle back into the family, and he made his return in the Topps Living set. I haven't bought a Living Set card in a few years, and don't pay much attention to it, but I thought this card was really nice looking, so I snagged a pre-order on eBay for a few bucks and it arrived yesterday:
I think it's just a simple, classy looking card.
I'm sure Mantle will once again be shoved down our throats, but for now, it's nice to see him back.
Monday, May 24, 2021
Around the time fo the NFL Draft last month, Elliptical Man of View from the Third Floor held a contest. All you had to do was select five players who you thought a particular team would draft. To make it a little tricker, you could not choose one of the projected first three players since they were fairly set in stone.
Being a Bengals fan and keeping an eye on mock drafts, I decided to roll the dice. I only got one out of five players right, but the one was Ja'Marr Chase, their 5th overall pick. I felt like everything was trending toward the Bengals choosing him, and luckily I was right and victory as mine.
The Elliptical Man sent me a PWE full of football cards. Here are a few highlights:
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
I'm ripping off Collecting Cutch's post today, where he won a sweet Andrew McCutchen Panini relic /5 for just a buck.
I too won a cool card for just a buck, and it has the double bonus of being unique Tino #1,100 for me!
Last August, I hit 1,000 Tino cards, so it took me about 9 months to secure 100 more. Not too bad at all.
Anyhow, the card is from 2000 Stadium Club Chrome, and is the Refractor. I wouldn't say this is an overly rare card. It's not numbered to /5 or anything. However, I don't recall seeing it pop up on eBay, so I quickly snagged it for $.99 plus $.99 shipping.
This was actually a pretty sweet Stadium Club design. Fairly minimalist with a lot of room for the photo. Name within a pennant with the team logo just to the right. Very sound design and very baseball-y. I also like how Tino is seen rounding second base after what appears to be a homer.
I was glad to get this card for a buck, and nice to have another round number for my Tino collection.
Sunday, May 16, 2021
I had two Tino Martinez cards come in this past week. They couldn't have been more different, yet they shared one common trait.
The first was was Allan Kaye's Sports Card News and Price Guides. It's uncommon when a Tino from 1992 I hadn't seen pops up, but sure enough, this one did. I was unfamiliar with it, which is definitely surprising since I have a sound grasp on most of Tino's early stuff. But sure enough, I didn't have it, and it was a quick and easy eBay win.
I was surprised to see gold foil borders on this card, as that was still fairly rare for 1992 and generally oddballs were made fairly cheaply. I appreciate the effort, as well as the nice, clean design.
The other was from 2019 Archives Snapshots, a set I have little use for. But when a low-numbered Tino is available, I'll snag it if the price is right. In this instance, the card is hand-numbered 04/10. Weirdly, I also own the gold autograph numbered 04/10.
These two Tino cards put me at 1,099. Just one away from another round number!
Monday, May 10, 2021
One of the nice gestures in the hobby is when someone is at a card shop, card show, or just flipping through their collection and they come across a card that they think you might like.
I recently got a Twitter DM from Dennis over at Too Many Verlanders. He was at a card show, and said he picked this up at a show and wanted to check if I needed it.
Indeed, I did! As I did not have this particular card numbered to 350.
Within a few days, the card arrived safely in a PWE.
I'm still surprised when people do this. It has happened many times over my decade of blogging, but it still strikes me by surprise that someone was at card show, flipping through cards, and snagged one with the intention of sending it to me if I needed it.
Great gesture by Dennis, and an excellent addition to my Tino collection.
Sunday, May 9, 2021
Sometimes, I look at a card and think 'that's just a pretty card right there.'
I don't think I could describe what a pretty card is. It differs for everyone. Some might base a card's beauty on shine. Some might base it on rarity or perceived value. But when you see it, you know it.
A recent eBay purchase of mine was for an Orange Sapphire parallel from 2020 Update Chrome. Regular Sapphire cards can often be described as pretty. The bright blue and cracked ice design that dance off the surface of the card. They are pretty cards.
But the orange? Wooo. The orange is all sorts of pretty:
It has the shine. It has a unique color. It has the texture. It has scarcity, numbered to just 25. And it has my favorite player of all time.
Pretty for many reasons, indeed. And now one of the favorite cards in my Tino Martinez collection.
Friday, May 7, 2021
A few days ago I showed off a Tino Martinez A&G mini that Bru sent in a "fancy little holder."
That card was actually a throw-in within a TCDB trade we made. TCDB is a great place to trade if you're into that sort of thing.
Bru is always down to take Astros off my hand, and thank god. That team really is hated. The Yanks just took two of the three from them, which I appreciate. But losing the last game, one pitched by Gerrit Cole, and letting that little shell of himself turd Altuve beat them with a homer leaves a sour taste despite winning the series.
The two actual cards in the trade were those two unlicensed beauties. The Cole is very cool and colorful, while the Torres has a nice, embossed glove in the background. His glove work has actually been very good the last few weeks at short. Now if he could remember how to hit for power.
Now for a few of the extras. I almost missed that this is an Artist's Proof. I can effectively say I've never opened a pack of Gallery, so I always appreciate when I get some in a trade.
Giancarlo Stanton is the hottest hitter on the planet right now, which means I refuse to check Twitter because I know the Tweet that "he's experiencing soreness" or "he's being sent for an MRI" is coming. It's sad, but you have to know it's coming. I am a big fan of his, I hate the unnecessary expectations, and he seems like a good dude. I'd love for him to stay on the field and have a massive season.
I do appreciate this relic, with a nice pinstripe.
Topps Stickers have been pretty nice lately. I have no desire to have an album and put the stickers inside. But treating them as cards, they are nice looking, albeit flimsy.
Bru also threw in some nice Heritage cards from the last two years.
Good trade. I've already got a stack of Astros building up for you, Bru.
Sunday, May 2, 2021
I made a decision I wasn't going to chase Project 70 cards.
I don't have anything against them. I think many have been more inspiring than their Project 2020 predecessors, in fact. Although I agree there are way too many Yankees and Dodgers. I've liked many of the ones I've seen, especially from the Alien Guy. If he does a Yankee, I'll probably buy one.
And if there ends up being a Tino, I'll be all over it. Although I doubt we'll get one based on the fact that it's been mostly the expected subject matter, with a few exceptions.
One of those exceptions was a few weeks back, when Dock Ellis graced a card designed by Ermsy. I'm not going to re-hash why Ellis was awesome. There's been plenty of pieces written about his unique career.
Instead, I wanted it because I have a connection to Dock Ellis. For several years, I played in a softball game named after him. One of those years, his son even threw out the first pitch, and then hung out with us for a bit.
That was always one of my favorite days, playing in the Dock Ellis game against a rival company. It was no small production, either. Little expense was spared. Uniforms, hot dog cart, announcer, umps, national anthem, and guest of honor. Dock Ellis' son, Dock III, was a great sport, and I think enjoyed that the game was played in his father's honor.
I was glad to see this card hit the project. I have no strong issues with the set. I was just a little tuckered out after completing the run of Jeter Project 2020 cards. It was going to take a special card to get me to dive back in.
It came in the form of Dock Ellis. Play ball!
Thursday, April 29, 2021
With my buying habits, I usually only have a couple dollars of eBay Bucks.
Sometimes I'll play a game and see what I can buy with my $2.31 credit. Other times I'll just apply it to whatever purchase I'm making and save a buck or two.
This past quarter, I had a bit more eBay Bucks than usual, despite the program changing and eBay Bucks becoming rarer. By far the most I've had. I had purchased two Mickey Mantle cards in March, and did so during an additional 5% eBay Bucks promo. So I had some funny money to play with.
Problem is, I don't have a current project or anything on my wantlist that a high priority. I couldn't get a Griffey RC or a Carmelo Anthony autograph. I could have applied the Bucks toward one, I guess. I thought about maybe getting a Tino autograph I didn't have, but I have a lot of Tino autographs and there isn't an apple of my eye.
Instead I turned my attention toward a Derek Jeter card I had been following for quite some time, and snagged this via auction as opposed to BIN:
It's such a great looking card from 2000 Fleer/Skybox E-X, part of their insert set called E-Xceptional. These come in red /1999, green /999, and blue /250. While this is the most common of the bunch, it's still not an easy card to come across.
The card itself is diecut, yet symmetrical. The background effect is a little hard to explain. It gives the card a lot of depth. I was expecting more of a flat foil from scans, but it's quite different in person.
I still don't fully know why this was the card I settled on, but in the end, I'm happy with my decision. I just wish eBay Bucks were still a regular thing, and not a special promotion.
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Currently, my favorite ad campaign on TV is from Progressive. No, it's not Flo. It's actually Dr. Rick.
Dr. Rick is a coach who helps new homeowners from becoming their parents. Each scene is humorous and relatable, from a parent talking loudly on speaker phone in store, to having too many throw pillows or decorative signs, to hovering over the plumber while he works on a nearby sink.
While slightly fabricated, I think we all have moments where we feel ourselves becoming our parents. For me, lately it's walking upstairs only to find every light on in my house...despite no one being in the upstairs, and grumbling as I turn them off. Or threatening to go into the playroom with a black garbage bag if the toys aren't picked up.
I recently had another moment.
A package arrived from Bru, a long time trading friend and blogger. We completed a small TCDB swap (the best place to trade), and he threw in a nice stack of extras. This was the card on top, which was a Tino I needed:
Instead of letting out a "yessssssss" for the Tino card (which was new to my collection), instead I said to myself, "Oh. What a fancy little holder!" That was in response to the penny sleeve that had a built in pouch for a mini card, mitigating the risk of it sliding all around because that's what pesky minis do.
I was more captivated with the actual case than the card. I had never seen one of these. And like a complete geezer I actually said "what a fancy little holder." I didn't call it a penny sleeve. I didn't say anything macho. I called it "fancy." And "little." And "a holder."
I need some Dr. Rick in my life, I think.
I'll get to the rest of the cards Bru sent me another time, but I need to go examine my life for a bit.
Monday, April 26, 2021
I really like when eBay sellers throw extra cards into a package.
Sometimes it's just for extra passing, and included a few base commons. Other times, the seller actually throws something in of the same player or team. Even if I don't need the card, it's always a cool gesture. I once read a Twitter post about someone being mad when they received bonus cards. Weirdos.
The main attraction was an awesome, CD-looking card from 2001 Fleer Ultra of Derek Jeter. This is another one I've wanted for some time. The CD is diecut, and gives a off a metallic, mirror-like finish. It really does look a CD.
But wait...there's more!
While the Greatest Hits of Jeter was the only card I ordered, there was a bonus card thrown in...literally:
Very cool of the seller to add a second Jeter, and I chuckled with the penny sleeve being labeled "Bonus Card." He wanted me to know!
I appreciate it. The seller definitely went above and beyond. And I'll always take another Jeter.
Not a bad pickup at all: a diecut of a great design, and a freebie just for ordering.
Thanks, kind seller!
Friday, April 23, 2021
Over the past year, Gleyber Torres has not been a good baseball player.
After All-Star seasons in his age 21 and 22 season in which he hit 24 and 38 HRs, respectively, he's struggled a bit. He never looked good in last year's fake season, and he's off to a slow start this year. While that can be said for the entire Yankees team, Gleyber really has not been good.
Just twenty three days into the season, I'm not worried. I think he'll find his stride and hit .250 with 25+ HRs. Fine numbers for a shortstop. But why the sudden struggles after the game looked so easy for him just a few years ago?
One theory is that he was moved over to shortstop, and the defensive pressure of the position is weighing on him. I don't know if that's true. It might be. As a rookie, he was inserted into second base and asked to really be a bat-first player. But since Didi Gregorius left, the keys to the left side of the infield were passed to him. A lot of pressure? Yes. And perhaps it's affecting his offense.
I think he'll be fine. He's too talented not to be. Games are a lot more fun for me to watch when he's a threat at the plate. Right now, he's not scary in the box. He did have a 3-hit game last night after his hustle was called into question the previous night, so perhaps he's on his way to finding his stroke.
I write about Gleyber today because I just received two of his Chrome rookie cards from Shane of @shanekatz73 on Twitter. I sent him a single card of Jazz Chisolm, and he reciprocated with two Gleyber RCs. I felt like I came out a bit too far ahead here.
Shane also included a few others, including a nice looking holo from 2020 Donruss.
Thanks for the trade, Shane! And hey Gleyber, get it together.
Sunday, April 18, 2021
Cards are crazy right now.
We all know that. The day trading that's going on is insane. Guy who has been meddling in the Majors gets off to a hot start, and his RCs go high. I've parted with several Tyler Naquin RCs over the past week for $3-5 each, and don't feel like for a second "maybe I should have held because he's going to be a star." Nice story of a 29-year-old who had a good first few weeks of the season. Nothing more.
Beyond low-end stuff like that, cards from the non-core sports are also in a similar state. When Hideki Matsuyama won The Masters, I was sad to see I didn't own an SI for Kids card of him (he doesn't have one), since those have been a go-to source for taking advantage of the topicality of an event.
I've mentioned a few times that I still hold a Sports Illustrated for Kids magazine subscription. A few years back I booked a flight on an airline I didn't often use, and accumulated a few frequent flyer miles. Since then, I've been exchanging these miles for an SI for Kids subscription. I do it strictly for the cards.
I always hand off the magazine to my son in hopes he might flip through. But he never does. Kids don't care about magazines or pro sports.
Regardless, the cards are interesting because they feature a wide-range of subjects, from pro sports to olympic sports to college sports to extreme sports to motor sports. The oldies can be quite valuable, such as the 1997 Tiger Woods. Iconic, even.
One card that spiked in value in my possession was the Naomi Osaka 2018 edition, considered by many to be her rookie card. She's a terrific talent and excellent ambassador to the sport. But when she won the Aussie Open again, I immediately listed the card on eBay for $749.99...and sold it in a matter if hours. $750 for an SI for Kids card of a tennis player. Laugh out loud.
|Image from Google because I sold mine...|
The card has now settled in the $200-$300 range, and will probably spike again after her next Grand Slam title...probably some time this year. Maybe the card will be worth thousands down the road, but I didn't blink twice. It's nothing against her. She's incredible and I'm sure has many more Grand Slam titles in her. She's a role model for many young fans. But a tennis card sitting a box of other perforated SI for Kids cards really didn't mean anything to me.
After eBay got their astronomical cut, I had a bit of funny money to play. Most of my surplus goes into the stock market these days, but I decided I'd treat myself here. I considered buying new golf clubs, but ultimately chose to put a portion of it back into cards. Napkin Doon kept pressuring me not to back out and to buy something card-related. Peer pressure at it's highest form.
Without a want list or a current project I'm working on, I decided I couldn't go wrong with a few Mickey Mantles. So for one SI for Kids card, I bought these two Mickey Mantle cards, and had a nice chunk leftover after the fact:
1958 and 1964. I think many of us would make that swap any day. A card that came in a magazine for free and sat in another pile of cards ended up netting me two vintage Mantles.
There was no real reason I chose the two I did. I liked the look of them. It boiled down to that. These will immediately go into my "honey if I die unexpectedly just focus on this box of cards" box.
All that for a 2018 Sports Illustrated for Kids tennis card.
What a world.