Saturday, February 27, 2021

The RC treatment

One benefit to the shortened season last year is that it made for quite a large rookie class in 2021 Topps, something I'm sure Topps was thrilled to see.

While there isn't quite a Luis Robert to chase down as of now, guys like Jo Adell, Alec Bohm, Christian Pache, and Casey Mize lead a strong Series One rookie class. One the Yankees side, we got Deivi Garcia and Albert Abreu.
However, the player I wanted most will have to wait until Series Two, I assume, as Clarke Schmidt was not yet included.

Schmidt is the Yankees #1 or #2 pitching prospect based on which list you follow. He got a taste of the Bigs last year, appearing in three games. And like any top Yankees prospect, we have already received word that he is experiencing some elbow trouble already in camp and has been shut down.


While Schmidt did not receive his flagship RC, he did receive a card with the RC logo on it. He was included as an autograph subject in the 70 Years of Baseball set. I recently won this card on eBay, as it was a bit underpriced compared to comps:
Not the ugliest insert design in 2021 Topps, although hard to imagine a guy with 6.1 innings of Major League Ball to his resume as a subject in a 70 years of baseball set.

Regardless, it's a nice addition to my Schmidt collection. I currently sit #1 on his TCDB collection list with a whopping 29 cards, although I have quite a few more that I have not formally added to the site. That number is probably actually in the 50-60 range, if I had to guess.

Interestingly enough, he did have what is a 2020 card that shows him pitching in an actual game in an empty Major League Stadium:
Kind of crazy that's not his RC, right? But I guess that's not the rule.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Welcome, eBay standard envelope

One of my favorite developments over the last few weeks as been the arrival of the eBay standard envelope. This provides the seller and buyer with the option of what is generally a trackable PWE shipping envelope.

I couldn't be more on board.

As a Tino Martinez collector, I often see his cards listed for $1 or $2, with $3.99 shipping. Unless it's a card I rarely come across, I generally refrain. Once in a while I'll check out other items for combined shipping, but for the most part I HATE paying more for shipping than the card itself.

And as someone who is firmly in the camp of #TeamPWE, I would gladly pay for non-bubble mailer shipping.

I'm not 100% how it works as a seller yet. I know there are three pricing options: $.51, $.71, and $.91. What I'm not sure of yet is if they are enforced, what sort of envelope qualifies for which option, etc. It's still unclear to me.

And I fully expect to see sellers still charging $4 for shipping and using this option. That won't be ok.

Additionally, if I dabble in selling and using this method, I am unsure if I can just drop these envelopes in a normal blue mailbox like I have at my corner, or if I need to make the trek to the post office to have the clerk scan these envelopes like they would a larger package. If the latter, that loses some appeal for me, as a seller.

Regardless, it has helped land me cards like these two for $2 shipped (each). To me, that is much more palatable than $.99 + $3.50.
Welcome, eBay standard envelope. I hope you're here for good.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

I found 2021 Topps (online)

Many of us have been robbed of making that late-night Target or Walmart run when Topps Series One drops, rushing through the parking lot and scurrying to the card aisle in hopes of finding freshly stocked blasters, hanger boxes, and loose packs.

I didn't even attempt it. In fact, my first 2021 Topps cards came via the Trading Card Database, a great place to trade if you like that sort of thing.

However, on Twitter The Bucs Stops Here mentioned that Target had blasters online (and available) for $19.99, so I snagged two, which included free shipping. I beat the bots to them, as they sold out a few minutes later. For the same price as in-store, and much less risk, I was able to open some packs of 2021 Topps. While it might not be the fun experience of physically going to the store and finding cards, I am totally fine with obtaining cards in his fashion.

Although I already had a few in hand, I was excited when these blasters arrived earlier this week.

Here is my first pack-pulled card of 2021.
I don't really have much to say about the design. I'm not going to whine about this looking like Bowman. I like Bowman, so fine by me. Borders make no difference to me either. I think the design itself is perfectly mediocre, like this blog. It will not be my least-liked design of all time, nor will it be among my favorites. If I were ever bored enough to rank the 70 designs, it would probably come in around the mid 40s or low 50s. 

What I do like is that the cards connect! Cool! I don't really use binders, and I don't set collect, but I assume these look pretty fun in a nine pocket page. It's not exactly Fleer Provisions when it comes to connecting, but I still think that's fun.
Carrying on. In a move that surprised everyone, Topps did a lot design reprint cards. The 1952s fell one per pack (I think), which I didn't know until I opened the packs.
While old designs are tired, I do appreciate when they are shiny. And for effect, these also curl like Chrome cards of yesteryear.
Hey everyone, did you know Sy Berger invented the first ever baseball set???
No. Not going here.
Rainbow Foils look nice, per usual.
By far the biggest disappointment for me was these Platinum Players diecut cards. I had high hopes, expecting them to be shiny, perhaps rainbow foilesque. They are the opposite. Flat and dull.
I didn't pull any fancy variations nor did I get a Jo Adell, although I did pull a /99 vintage stock. I won't show it here because it's already in the mail to a blogging buddy. Could it be you?

So there it is. Despite being overall quite meh, it was still nice to keep the tradition alive of opening a few packs. I've spent $40 in worse ways. And if you see anything here you like, let me know. They are already loaded into TCDB, but glad to make a blog swap as well.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Old friends on TCDB

In addition to all the new trading partners I've found on TCDB, nothing beats it when a blogger friend sends a friend request or a trade offer. I have made some swaps with a few bloggers on there, the latest from Paul of Scribbled Ink.

Paul is a TCDB veteran, and even gave me a bunch of tips when I first started (including a few traders to avoid). I saw Paul had a couple cards I had wanted, and we were able to work out a small deal.

The card that caught my eye was Trevor Hauver, the Yankees 2020 3rd rounder. I only have a card or two of his, but Paul had some of the college Prizes for trade, so I focused on this:
And I also requested this. I have no desire to collect this guy, but his girlfriend is Haley Cruse. So yes, I was basic and figured I'd snag a card of this lucky guy.
Paul also threw in a really nice looking Jonathan Loaisga Chrome RC X-Fractor. It's awesome looking.
I appreciated catching up with Paul to make this simple swap!

Friday, February 12, 2021

10 years (and 2 days)

Two days ago, my blog's 10th anniversary came and went without a whimper. That was my fault. I had February 17th engrained in my head, but when I went to double-check yesterday, I realized I had actually missed it by a day. February 10, 2011 was the day.

I didn't have anything grand scheduled even if I did get the day right. To tell you the truth, it makes my slightly uncomfortable to think about doing this for 10 years. It's a bit of a secret part of my life that I don't really let people I know in real life in on. I also don't take it particularly seriously. This could be my last post and I'd be fine. 

With that being said, I don't want to minimize how much I've enjoyed collecting and sharing my collection with others over the last decade. My collection has grown so much and in such cool and unexpected ways. So has the hobby, and I've grown and adapted with it.

I often do still feel "lost," so I think my name still fits. Things come and go that inspire me, and rather frequently. Perhaps it's picking up 1990s NBA rookie cards one month, and then I move on from that and pick up the Yankees latest three draft picks. Thanks for that one, ZZ.
Or it's big bubble mailers to and from bloggers for years, and then eventually two-card PWEs from Trading Card Database.
One consistent is Tino Martinez, and here are the two latest from him, bringing me to 1,058.
Regardless, thank you so much for following along! I don't anticipate a "here's to the next 10," but let's go with "here's to keeping going as long as I am still enjoying it." That feels better.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Floyd Little on the day of the Super Bowl

Just before Christmas, I showed off my Floyd Little rookie card. I'm glad I picked it up when he did, as he passed away after a battle with cancer on January 1. Yes, 2021 had already started by taking a legend.
Despite being a Hall of Famer, Little's name doesn't come up often in conversation. While he played for the Broncos his entire career, many football fans have never heard of him. As a Syracuse fan growing up, and later as a graduate of the university, Floyd Little's name is branded in your head once you step foot on campus, or "the Hill" as it's referred to in Syracuse.

Jim Brown. Ernie David. Floyd Little. All three wore #44, which is a number that sits in Syracuse lore. 

However, the University has totally botched using the number since the late 1990s, really. Thoughout the 70s and 80s, the number was used as a recruiting tool. Be the next great to wear 44 at Syracuse, they said.

And at Syracuse itself, students are expected to love the number. It's not just for sports. The school zip code ends in 44. The campus phone numbers begin with 442 or 443. It's highlighted on the football field and hangs from above the Carrier Dome. It's weaved in and out of lesson plans, on free t-shirts, and in campus promotions.

But then school made the stupid decision to retire the number for football. It's hardly the reason the program has toiled as a bottom feeder since the mid 2000s, but it was one of many head-scratching decisions to honor the hallowed number's past instead of making it part of the present and future.

Regardless, because of this, it's hard to spend time on campus and not know about, and eventually appreciate, Floyd Little. And he was always around. He went to games and worked for the program. He was full of charisma and represented the school well. It's just a shame more people didn't grasp what an incredible player he was:
  • Hall of Fame Inductee: 2010
  • College Football Hall of Fame Inductee: 1983
  • 3-time All-American
  • 5x Pro Bowl
  • 1x All-Pro
  • 1x NFL rushing leader
  • Broncos Ring of Fame
Toward the end of his life, I decided to pick up a bunch of his cards, not because I knew people would price gouge once he did pass, but because I felt like I should have a few pieces of cardboard to honor a great. I know quite little about vintage football designs, so it was fun to come across those.
Most of these were picked up for a buck or two, although the autograph set me back a small amount, but  I wanted that one since he was seen in his Syracuse 44.

RIP Floyd. Enjoy watching this year's game from above.

Friday, February 5, 2021

So many 2020 Tino cards

This card marks my 31st Tino Martinez card released in 2020. That seems like a lot for a guy who was a minor to semi-star for a short time and retired 15 seasons ago.
Although I suppose it's not that many, considering Trading Card Database lists 145 Tino cards for 2020. Granted, many of them are parallels, but still. That's a lot of cards.

The card above is from Topps' on-demand yearly mini set. That's a set and card size I have little to no interest in, except when my favorite player of all time is featured. So of course I'll pick up the Tinos that are out there. 

This is one of the rarer ones, as it's the pink numbered to /25. It's always fun to pick up ones like this before the base card. Extra bonus is that it's PINK for the SAVESECONDBASE contest this October.

The 2020 Tino I'm most excited about that I don't have yet is the blue Chrome Sapphire. They are toiling around at $5-$6 on eBay, but I do hope they come down just a touch before I decide to smash that BIN button.

I guess it's a double-edged sword. If it weren't for Tino in 2020 products, I'm not sure what would excite me about 2020 cards given the current state of, you know, not being able to buy cards anywhere. I do pick up Gleyber and Judge and Cole cards, but those are mostly through TCDB trades and not purchases. I rarely purchase non-Tino cards.

As of now, Tino has a few cards set to be in 2021 Topps flagship, but they are all autographs as far as I can see, which leads me to believe Topps has a few sticker sheets of his autograph left and need to throw them on something. I'd be surprised if they are on-card, but we shall see.

Regardless, 31 new cards to my Tino collection from 2020. That's pretty nuts.

Monday, February 1, 2021

A Little different coloring

A few weeks back, I got a very generous PCE (plain cardboard envelope) from card blogging's nicest guy, Fuji

I had recently done a post on a Floyd Little RC I picked up, and then sadly Little lost his battle to cancer. Fuji's envelop really hit the spot, as he was kind enough to dig out a few Little cards he had and passed them my way.
I love this shot from '74 Topps. He looks like he just completed an exhausting series, and is now enjoying a drink of Gatorade or water from a wax cup. I know the exact feeling of the wax cup hitting your lips like that, and even remember the feeling of biting the edge of the cup. It looks like it was a hot day, and Little was giving his all on the previous series of plays. I'd like to think it ended on a Little TD.

This is a cool card as well, showing off Floyd's rushing title. Even cooler is that number two is Larry Csonka, another Syracuse running back. And while he didn't don the orange, Marc Hubbard did go to Colgate, which isn't too far away. Upstate NY schools repping!
However, the cards that most stuck out to me were these dupes from 1972 Topps:
Hmmm...same card, but look at the coloring. One must've been bought at Meijer and the other at Walmart! Kidding aside, not sure if it's just inconsistent printing, if the card was exposed to sunlight, or something else. But it sure is interesting to see the stark difference in color.

Fuji also sent a really nice stack of tri-folds, a Yogi, and some 2020 A&Gs. 
Lastly, a great stack of wrappers for my card related art projects. I love the Ninja Turtles one! That'll be a fun one to use.
Thanks so much, Fuji!