Friday, January 29, 2010

Mail Day: Check My Cards Out


This post might be a doozy.  I’ve been letting cards pile up in the CheckOutMyCards warehouse for a few months now.  I finally decided that it was time to have them come home and now that they’ve arrived I’m going to show them to all of you.  There’s a nice mix here of random cards, cards for my various player collections and cards to finish off sets.  Finishing off a set is always a good thing.

Leading things off is an Adrian Gonzalez 2001 Bowman RC.  I tossed this card into my cart when the rumor mill had Gonzalez on his way to Boston.  Jed Hoyer ended up getting cold feet and decided that he couldn’t trade his biggest star as his first major act as GM and the trade never happened.  There’s a chance that Gonzalez might still be traded once the trade deadline comes around, but the Red Sox may just stick with what they’ve got and then take their chances with a much better free agent class next year.


While I admire the fact that Topps remained true to the original ‘48 Bowman set by including cards with diagrams of plays on them, it sucks having to track these things down to complete a set.  The play cards are numbered to 1948, but I don’t even think that the fact there can only be 1948 possible complete sets of this will boost the value of the set.  People aren’t really interested in complete sets anymore since rookies, relics and autos are all the rage.  I couldn’t pass this up for a quarter and now I’m one card closer to the set.


It’s been a while since I’ve added any new Dee Brown cards to my collection.  I wasn’t actively collecting towards the end of his career.  This card is from 95-96 Upper Deck SP and it’s a great looking card.  I always looked forward to SP sets when I was collecting in the 90s and have all of the SP sets from the first two years of release in Baseball, Basketball and Football.  I ever tried putting together the hockey set that was a one-per-pack insert in that year’s Upper Deck Hockey.  Some day I may finish the set, but it is tough to justify spending money on any hockey cards at the moment.  Once I get everything out of storage, I’ve got to post all of my hockey stuff on here for trade.


It wouldn’t be a mail day post without some Big Baby cards.  I’ve been picking up a lot of his cards because his rookie and autographs are still very affordable and became even more so while he was injured.  I should pick them up now because once the New Big Three rides off into the sunset (and this might be the last season for both Ray Allen and Garnett), Davis looks to get a lot more playing time and if he can step up, his card prices could jump.

This 2007-08 Elevation RC is numbered 14/99.  I couldn’t let this one get away with a one dollar price tag on it.  I’m not huge on getting every single numbered parallel of a card, but when they’re affordable, I’ll pick them up.


Speaking of numbered parallels.  Here’s a numbered parallel from a set that is itself a parallel.  The Chrome cards inserted into regular Topps packs have a Bowman Chrome feel to it and have proven to be very popular.  This is the refractor here and it is numbered 082/500.  The picture of Davis leveling Brad Miller rules even more when it is presented in shiny chrome format.


This is a set that I’m putting together slowly but surely.  The problem is that most times people are pricing these cards way too high.  I love the whole “Cards That May Have Been” thing that Topps has done with various players.  I was a huge fan of the Topps Basketball Archives set that was produced in the 90s and also have the Bill Russell cards that were inserted in 2007-08 Basketball.

I’m not sure what it says about me as a collector that cards such as this one appeal to me a heck of a lot more than boring jersey swatch after boring jersey swatch.  That was such a cool idea when it started, but card companies have run it into the ground.  It’s cool when you can pick them up cheaply for your collection, but for popular players it quickly starts looking like the same thing over and over again.  I’ve stopped chasing most jersey cards for Piazza and Pierce because I have too many as it is.  Why pay a couple of bucks for another version of the same thing when I can add something a little more original to the collection.


This was something else that Topps did in the 2006-07 Basketball set.  They produced 33 different versions of card number 33, Larry Bird.  I think that I’ve got about half of the set at this point.  CheckOutMyCards has been great for putting this set together since you see an actual scan of the card that you’re getting.  I could never put this set together though Sportlots and on eBay I’d either pay a ton for shipping on individual cards or would have to wait for the perfect lot to show up.  Luckily, these don’t go for as much as the Griffeys from 2009 Upper Deck Baseball.  I’ve got two of those sitting around and while I originally wanted to put that set together, there’s no way I can afford that so I have to figure out whether to hold on to those or toss them up on eBay.


Here’s some more retro basketball goodness.  These 1958-59 variations were included in 2008-09 Topps Basketball packs.  These were the four cards that I still needed after busting open a jumbo box last year.  I’m not a huge fan of this set, but when you’re only 4 cards short and can finish the set for a dollar, you’ve got to do it.  The set does have a nice mix of current players, legends and rookies, but I prefer the set from 2007-08 to this one.


Even though Upper Deck made the bad decision to cancel the Masterpieces brand before a basketball set was produced, they gave a little tease of what it may have looked like it 2009-10 Basketball.  This is one set that I’m definitely chasing because of the beautiful cards and set content.  I’ll have to pick up a few duplicates from this set since there are some great Celtics cards in here.  Check out that sweet Larry Legend.  I’ve also seen great cards of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from this set.

Speaking of 2009-10 Upper Deck Basketball, one of the other inserts sets were these Now Appearing cards.  They look like movie posters and some of them feature great graphic design work.  Garnett looks like he’s about to dunk on Neo and Pierce is set to star in a gritty film about the tough life of a basketball player (yeah right).


This card is yet another insert from 2009-10 Upper Deck Basketball.  As a fan of Sportflics, these 3D Stars cards were right up my alley.  This card switches from an image of Paul Pierce to one of Kevin Garnett.

One of my favorite things to do on CheckOutMyCards is to pick up the inserts from the sets that I like which I wasn’t lucky enough to pull from my box.  The two Now Appearing cards and the 3D Stars card cost me less than a single pack even when you factor in shipping costs.  I don’t need any more of the base cards so this is definitely the way to go.  Between picking up the inserts on COMC and the base cards on Sportlots, it lets me cheaply add a ton of cards to my player collections.


I picked up this 2006-07 Upper Deck Ovation Leading Performers insert card after seeing one of the other cards from this set posted in a blog.  You could always count on Upper Deck for designing some beautiful cards even if they always charged way too much for them.  I got used to waiting for the boxes and singles to drop in price while I opened Topps products in the meantime.  I’m not thrilled with anything that I’ve seen from Panini yet so I might take this time to fill in holes in my basketball collection.  There are plenty of older basketball boxes out there just begging to be opened.  It might be time to open some older Finest and stuff like that where the prices have plummeted due to the expired redemption cards.  As long as it isn’t a product where the autographs were replaced with redemption cards.


Here’s something else that I don’t understand.  Why didn’t Topps end up putting Turkey Red inserts into its basketball packs?  Was the response to this product really that bad?  I was able to pick up a white border (1:4 packs) and black border (1:24 packs) Paul Pierce for $1.50 total.  These cards would probably sell a lot better if they were serial numbered, but this set came out a little before the serial numbering crazy really went overboard.


Here’s a 2009-10 Topps All-Star Relics Quad of Paul Pierce numbered 36/100.  Some of you might remember me already posting this card on the blog, but that card was either sold to me on eBay damaged or got damaged in shipment.  I didn’t pay enough to go through the hassle especially if the seller was going to require I ship the card back so I just went out and got another one.  It’s nice to have the All-Star jersey relics show up in cards designed for that purpose.  I’ve got Paul Pierce jersey cards with random blue swatches in them that make no mention of the All-Star Game.


Gene Conley is the perfect player to make the transition from basketball to baseball.  I had no clue who Conley was until I met him at a baseball card show at my high school in the early 90s, but now I’m a big fan.  Conley is the only player to win a championship in two of the four major sports doing so with the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Braves.  What made me become a fan was that he was incredibly nice to talk to that day and that he played for both the Celtics and Red Sox.  Eat your heart out Bo Jackson.


Those of you who traded with me right before I moved may have gotten some of these cards in your package.  I’m pretty sure that I opened two boxes of these Bookmarkers when they came out thinking they’d end up pretty popular with collectors.  They were licensed so there wasn’t any need to airbrush what for the most part are beautiful pictures which pop off of these larger cards.  If you collect someone who played in 1993 or want the players from your favorite team, drop me a line and we’ll work out a deal.


Having missed the opportunity to get a Junichi Tazawa autograph on a card, I figured that I may as well pick up a card and send it to Spring Training and see if it comes back signed.  I’ve been trying to track down a card of Casey Kelly to do the same, but so far all that I’ve found online are autographed inserts.

One more positive thing about these Obak cards is that they’re perfect for getting autographed.  I’ve never seen the need for super glossy minor league cards for that very reason.  Now that Topps is involved MiLB Tribute can’t be very far off.


I don’t chase Kent Hrbek cards that often anymore.  I end up spending money on more recent players before I search him out, but when I see a card from a parallel that once went for huge bucks then I’ve got to grab it.  When these were new even the minor stars went for big bucks, but I was able to pick this up for a single buck.  While not as flashy as Pinnacle’s Museum Collection, these were just as, if not more, popular.


It figures that when Hrbek is included in a current set that they decide to make him a short print.  I still love the look of the Goodwin Champions set, but the price and how they packed it out still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  Even now that the price has dropped, I’m still hesitant to pull the trigger on a box because I know that it’ll just tick me off.  All of those 20th Anniversary cards and the packs with two minis just spoil the fun.  With my luck I’d also beat the odds and pull one of those etymology redemption cards which will probably never see the light of day.  Why am I picturing Upper Deck freaking out about a bunch of cards with nothing but bug fragments inside of them?  I digress.  This is a beautiful card and if it wasn’t short printed, I’d try to get the other versions of it.


The things that I miss out on the most when away from the hobby are things like this.  I haven’t participated in any of the National Trading Card Day events.  When it first started it was due to not collecting and now it is due to the fact that I don’t know of any participating card shops near me.

So, I had to buy a card that was given away for free, but that’s alright since it only cost a dime.  The shipping cost more than that.

This is the type of thing that the hobby needs.  Free Comic Book day seems to have become really successful, but that might be a side effect of all of the comic book movies that are coming out at the moment.  The average person only thinks of “what is it worth” when it comes to trading cards.


This is the set that never ends, it just goes on and on my friend.  Topps Tek has to be one of the crazier ideas to come from Topps, but there are a lot of people chasing the singles these days.  Unopened boxes can be tough to find and aren’t cheap when you do.

I’ve been chasing these cards because they register high on my oddball radar.  Some of the backgrounds on the cards are great while others are forgettable.  This here is one of the ArchiTEKs insert cards.  You’d get a few of these per box and these things are probably more common than each of the base cards.


Here’s another card that has been seen on this blog previously.  This card was available cheaply so I decided to get one to put into my Piazza collection as well as having one in the set.  That’s something that I’ve always struggled with.  If you have a complete set of something that contains a card of a player that you collect, do you count that card in your collection?  For example, I’ve got a 1992 Bowman Piazza in my set and another in my PC.  It helps that I pulled one out of my box and picked up the other for $3 when the set was new, but I wanted one in each collection.  How do those of you reading this feel?  I usually end up getting the second card if it is affordable.


I felt that a post this long required an Epic ending and here it is.  Oops, make that an EpiX ending.  These cards were the best part of a fun 1998 Pinnacle Zenith box break and I had to grab what was available for Piazza.  These cards look nice in the scan, but they’re spectacular in person.  I have a new appreciation for cards that do something when you move them because my daughter loves them.  She’s a big fan of lenticular and refractor cards.

The EpiX cards were kind of complicated.  Play cards were the most common followed by Game, Season and Moment which were the toughest to pull.  There were three color variations of each one with orange being the most common followed by purple and then emerald which was the toughest.  Is a purple Play tougher to pull than an orange Moment?  I’ve got no clue.  Even though the Moment is listed with a higher book value, I actually paid more for the Play.  Go figure.

That’s the end.  Thanks to those of you who read through all of that.  I think next time I’ll be better off breaking it up into pieces.


TJ said...

Nice pick ups. It's cool to see that I'm not the only Gallinari collector and that Big Baby photo is classic.

G_Moses said...

Nice job. It's always good to build the PC.

And that was a ton of cards for one mailday. That must've been fun.

wickedortega said...

yo homie,

picked up a bunch of mike's for ya plus if you collect boston Celtics cards my shop has a bunch of autos and game used if you want me to grab them let me know there about 8 of them

Field of Cards said...

Ah! Very nice loot.

It must be tough collecting multiple sports. There's so much cool stuff to be had!

Offy said...

TJ - I became a Gallinari collector by default since he's eluding me in all of the insert sets that I'm collecting.

I love that Big Baby card because Brad Miller has become such a terrible flopper/whiner and that card captures it perfectly. Hopefully he doesn't corrupt the youngster on that Bulls team to start playing like that.

G_Moses - It was a fun mailday. When it comes to CheckOutMyCards, it's tough sometimes to put money towards shipping instead of more cards, but if I had waited any longer I would have been working on that post for a week.

Wicked - It depends on who the players are. I can't stand Kendrick Perkins or Tony Allen on the current roster. A lot of Garnett and Ray Allen jersey cards are still from Timberwolves and Sonics jerseys so I've been steering clear of those. I haven't been chasing much other than Pierce and Glen Davis right now, but always welcome cards of guys like Rondo.

Field - It definitely is tough especially since I do non-sports stuff too. I can't stop looking at the new Lost set that just came out. Most times I'll just buy a complete set since that's the cheaper way to go, but this set looks like it is worthwhile to buy a whole box.

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