Tuesday, June 29, 2021

After a quick stop in Alaska, The Martian has landed

The USPS does some crazy things sometimes. 

I recently bought a two card lot of Jasson Dominguez 2021 Bowman Futurists inserts. One was the regular, and one was the Mega Box version. I haven't been going crazy on Dominguez cards, but now that there are a few more and the prices are reasonable, I've picked up a couple here and there.
I bought them and didn't think twice, then I got a message for the seller. He had tracked the package, and noticed that they went from Illinois to Anchorage, Alaska. He was positive he addressed them to New Jersey.

I appreciated him reaching out. I knew it wasn't his fault.

Eventually, tracking picked back up again, and the cards made it safely to NJ. Were they actually in Alaska? I assume so, but who knows.

Dominguez, known as The Martian for his out-of-this-world skillset, is the Yankees top prospect, and their current best hope for an exciting young star in the mold of an Acuna, Tatis, or Guerrero. Will he be? Who knows. He's only 18, and obviously didn't have a minor league season last year. A lot can happen between now and then.

He did finally making his US debut yesterday, going 0 for 2 with a walk. He'll be exciting to follow these next few years, and I hope he stays healthy and on the path to NY...with as few detours along the way as possible.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Put a ring on it

Thus far, Tino Martinez has far less cards in 2021 than he did in 2020. That's ok. His modern card numbers have been soaring, so it's nice to take a step back a bit. 

In 2019, he had 69 cards. In 2020, that jumped to an unreasonable 144. Halfway through 2021, he sits at 15 cards, and most of those are autographs. No base cards...yet.

My latest pickup in 2021 is from Topps Series 2, as Tino is part of the World Series Ring relic insert set. I'm a but lukewarm on manu-relics not being something that is a bonus in a blaster, but it's nothing to get worked up over. 
The card looks nice enough, and the relic resembles the actual 2000 World Series ring. Tino had a tough year in 2000 with only 16 homers and a .258 BA. However, all was forgotten, as he had a very good post-season and contributed to the Yankees 3-peat. In the ALDS, he hit .421 in five games. In the ALCS, he hit .320 with a homer in six games. And in the World Series versus the Mets, he hit .364. That's how you make people forget a poor regular season. By performing when it matters most.

There are parallels and autographs for this card, of course. I'm in no hurry to grab them. I'm content with this card for now.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

A really dumb Tino card

 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

Five Below to the rescue

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:

Not bad!

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

Orange you glad you use TCDB?

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!
A couple of Syracuse one-and-dones! The Carmelo is cool, especially with Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery in the back. Feels like a big event game!
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

Positive feedback, but I'm not happy about it

I don't like it when eBay sellers try to make up money by overcharging on shipping.

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.

He didn't.

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.