Monday, December 26, 2011
So, I'm trying to determine exactly what it is that I want to get signed. I'm leaning towards an 8x10 that will then go up in my mini-wall of fame. I think I've posted pictures of how I'm going to set up that well. So far, there's just my Jorge Garcia signed picture up there along with his McFarlane Lost figure. I plan on doing the same with my Paul Pierce and Dwight Evans autos along with figures. (I'll have to use a Starting Lineup for Evans until I can find a customized McFarlane.) Piazza would be the fourth and will complete the wall nicely. Picking out a specific picture is even tougher than deciding which type of item to get signed. There are a good amount of pictures available on Amazon for $4. I also have some pictures already framed that I might pop out to get signed and then put back in the frame.
Other than that, I'm going to go into an eBay listing spree and make full use of my 50 free listings for December and January to raise some extra cash for the show. Anyone else going to be there? I'm going mainly for the autograph, but I'd love to meet up any other card bloggers who may make their way to the show on Saturday.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
To say that this post has been a long time coming is an understatement. It concerns one of the few bright spots that occurred during the final month of last season for the Red Sox.
Every year, I try to purchase some Red Sox tickets for a game on or close to my birthday. This season was no different and it led to me purchasing tickets to see the Red Sox play the Toronto Blue Jays a couple of days after my birthday. My wife was still recovering from her spinal fusion surgery, so she wouldn’t be joining us at the game. I picked my daughter up and we made our way into historic Fenway Park.
Normally, I’m the type of fan who gets to the park right when the gates open and stays until the last pitch is thrown, but I knew that wouldn’t be the case for this particular game with my daughter in tow. We got to the park about 30 minutes before the game began, grabbed food and settled into our seats. This game would be Tim Wakefield’s eighth attempt at his 200th win and early on it looked like it would go the same way that the previous seven attempts had. The Red Sox gave Wakefield two leads that he quickly gave away by serving up long balls.
At the end of the fourth inning (and back-to-back homers by Ellsbury and Pedroia), we made our way out to Yawkey Way. For the past few years, the Sox have started blocking off the road during games making it only accessible for ticket holders. There are food vendors, musicians and other performers to be found out there before the game begins and during games it’s a nice place to go if you want to get away from the crowd. Yawkey Way is also where the Red Sox were setting up Wally’s World, some fun things for younger kids to do if they get a little bored during the game. I’d rather have my daughter miss a couple of innings and see the ballpark as a fun place than get bored and dread a trip to Fenway.
This trip would leave us a little disappointed though. It seems like the team stopped setting up Wally’s World once the school year started back up figuring that there would be fewer kids at night games. They still had the fast pitch set up and it was free for kids, so I watched my daughter do that a few times. I think he top speed was 24 mph which seemed pretty good for a 5 year old with horrible mechanics.
Other than sharing my love of baseball with my daughter, I’ve also been introducing her to some of my other hobbies. The hobby that she’s taken the greatest interest in is collecting pressed pennies. They have one machine in Fenway and I hadn’t pressed any pennies there since they updated the designs. I had a bunch of change left over from our penny pressing adventure two days earlier so we each got to press a complete set of four for our collections.
The scan isn’t all that great, but the four pennies are: 2007 World Series Champions, I Believe in Magic, Red Sox Nation and Go Wally! The Green Monster.
While we were pressing our pennies, we kept track of the game on a nearby monitor. Hi-5s were exchanged when Pedroia hit his second dinger of the game, this time a three-run shot. We got a celebratory ice cream in a helmet and returned to our seats to eat it. We rose to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and that was just about all that my daughter had left in the tank. When the 7th inning ended, it was already 9:30 pm and it takes about an hour to get home from Fenway. We made our way home and ended up missing the seven-run 8th inning, but it was fine with me. Beating the crowds on the subway ensured that we got seats which was important because my daughter fell asleep halfway home.
Ten years ago, I never would have thought that missing two innings of a game, including one where seven runs were scored, would be a perfect day at Fenway, but when you factor in the time I spent with my daughter it was just that. We’ll stick with minor league games for the majority of baseball games that she goes to, but I want to make sure that she experiences Fenway Park as she grows up. Sure, her favorite thing about the park right now is that Wally lives there, but it gets her into the park and someday she might want to go for the baseball itself.
Quick little addendum to this story: Thanks to a co-worker, I was able to go to the game the next day as well. It was a day game and I was already leaving work early for a doctor appointment. I got to see the pre-game festivities for Wakefield. I also had the opportunity to see history made for the second day in a row, but Daniel Bard blew that. If he hadn’t blown the lead and Papelbon had gotten the save, I would have seen him become the first player to get 30+ saves in their first six seasons. He did achieve that milestone, but not on that afternoon. Bard’s September meltdown was one of the biggest reasons that the Sox fared as poorly as they did to finish the season. It was probably that month that led to the Sox dealing for a new closer to replace Papelbon rather than handing the job to Bard. Whether he’s still the set-up guy or moves into the starting rotation remains to be seen.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
I apologize to those waiting for a trade package or an email from me. I have Friday off for a wedding so I plan on getting everything ready to go out then. I've got the weekend off as well so by Monday everything should absolutely be shipped and replied to.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
A while back, I posted some of the Stadium Club Triumvirate Basketball cards that I had picked up cheaply at a card show. It was my first time seeing the cards which led me to tracking down any of these cards from local teams or players that I collect. The first place that I looked was CheckOutMyCards where I was able to locate a few. I just took delivery the other day after some cards sold so now I have these to share with you.
First up is one-time Patriot Curtis Martin. Martin is the fourth highest rusher in the history of the NFL. The Patriots found something special when they took a chance on Martin who had slipped in the draft to the third round due to injuries in college. Martin would only play in New England for three seasons before leaving for the Jets along with The Tuna.
It’s always fun to play the “What if?” game in sports. What if Martin had stayed with the Patriots? With a running game, does Drew Bledsoe still get hurt? Does Tom Brady end up starring for a team other than the Patriots? Say that Bledsoe still gets hurt, how dominant would a Patriots team have been that featured the surgically precise Brady along with Martin carrying the ball? If the Patriots don’t overwork a 31-year-old Martin in 2004, like the Jets did, do injuries still limit Martin to 12 games the following season? (That season being his last.)
These Triumvirate cards are incredibly cool. Although this is a Stadium Club card, this is printed using Chrome technology. The die cutting on this card is amazing. Not only do you have the puzzle piece edge, you’ve got the word Triumvirate in the top left corner, holes in the top and bottom right as well as ovals around the player’s name. The scan of this card just doesn’t do it justice at all.
Whenever I discover a cool looking set, I check to see if it contains a Mike Piazza card. If it does, I’m going to want to acquire it for my collection. This was no exception. While I will probably never end up attempting to complete this Triumvirate, I’m really glad the I was able to pick up this Piazza for my collection.
This card has so many cool things going for it. First off, there’s the glove stitching along the right edge of the card complete with die cut holes. What you might not be able to tell is that the stitching is all little die cut holes. That little detail makes this card incredibly cool.
While I have no plans to complete the Dodger Triumvirate, I want to collect all of the trios of local players that were produced. There are Triumverates out there of Celtics, Patriots and Red Sox. Once you put all three cards together, you’ve got yourself a cool image:
These Triumvirate cards from 1999 come in two flavors. The Nomar is Luminous while the Pedro and Mo are Luminescent (Refractor). The die cuts on these cards make it look like the Red Sox are playing inside of a baseball themed crib or prison cell. I’m not a big fan of Nomar or Vaughn, but I love Pedro. This is a nice addition to the Red Sox collection.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
One of the fun things about organizing your collection is finding stuff that you completely forgot that you had. Do I really have 3 sets of 1994 Upper Deck Fun Packs? (Boy did I love busting that stuff. So much fun.) I’m going to feature some of the smaller, oddball sets that I’ve uncovered as they go from the box they were in to their new home in my man cave.
Back before the Internet really took off around 1995 or so, everything done in the collecting world was done through snail mail. Once you factored in the amount of time that it took to process most of these offers, it really did feel like your cards were being delivered via snail.
I had a lot more free time back in those days so I loved taking advantage of these offers. Fleer had a ton of these offers and many of them were for the last cards to complete the Career Highlights set that you were pulling out of the packs. This set was a little different in that it was its own standalone set. I can’t remember for sure, but I’m thinking that you had to send in around $10 and some empty wrappers in order to acquire this set. I forget if this was advertised on the wrappers themselves or in magazine ads. The cards are very nice looking and feature some of the biggest stars of the time.
When it came to special offers such as this one, I almost always sent away for multiple sets. For this set, I’m glad that I had two sets shipped my way. At the time, I was a Juan Gonzalez collector and so one of these went into that collection. I also have a binder full of almost every 1993 Rockies card produced and the David Nied went into that collection.
This set was limited to 150,000 copies which seems like a lot now, but for 1993 that was a limited edition. Along with these 9 cards, there was also a Barry Bonds (never to be pictured in this blog) and a header card congratulating you on adding this set to your collection. You can see the serial numbering on the back of the Greg Maddux card. You get a matched set of serial numbers which is nice. On the back of the cards, they give each player a nickname of sorts. The Big Hurt is now “The Comiskey Cannon” while J.T. Show is “Snowballer.” (Clerks had not yet been released at this time or there’s no way they would have gone with that.)
There aren’t any recent completed auctions for this set on eBay, but a few of the singles have sold for a dollar or two. Smart dealers could make a quick profit on these back in the 90s. Most people wouldn’t send away for these sets and with the serial numbering you could average around $3 a card and do pretty well. Remember, this is the era when unnumbered Griffey, Thomas and Bonds inserts would sell for $10 or $20 all of the time. I know that we’d sell a ton of the Career Highlights cards both in the shop and at card shows
Thursday, November 17, 2011
For the most part, Topps has gotten rave reviews for this year's Diamond Giveaway. The die cut cards have been a huge hit, the factory set is a nice little bonus and for a lucky few there are diamonds and replica rings to be had. The only problem is that lately the spin has gotten out of control for Topps in regards to the Diamond Giveaway promotion.
The problems started when Topps decided a month after the release of Topps Update Series 3 Traded, Prospects, All-Stars and Debuts that they were going to add new 1/1 diamond encrusted cards of the big rookies in the Update series. When it was what Topps intended or not, it reeked of an attempt to perk up sales of an underperforming product. Most people who were going to buy large quantities of this product had done so already. It would have been one thing if Topps had let people know that the cards wouldn't be available right away, but they dropped the ball in the execution of this.
For months now, the Diamond Giveaway site has been very unreliable. Just check out my code entry videos for proof. See how many times the site would error out on me and take forever for anything to be processed. After that, there would be days where I would log in and I couldn't accept any trades. Other days, no trades could be offered. Many times, the site would error out just when you were accessing the card database trying to figure out a trade.
It got to the point where the complaints quickly outnumbered the praise when it came to the Diamond Giveaway and you never want that to be the case for a promotion such as this one. If people aren't enjoying the promotion, there's no reason for them to make that impulse purchase at Target of a couple of packs that come with a guaranteed Diamond Giveaway Code. It got to the point where you couldn't miss the complaints on Twitter, blogs or even on Topps' own Facebook page (before many of them "mysteriously" disappeared).
It would seem that Topps finally decided that they needed to take control of the spin. The Diamond Giveaway site has been down for almost 3 days now and hopefully when the site goes live again it will be running smoothly again. There's no way to smooth over any hurt feelings about the late addition of the new diamond cards, but at least they can get people using the site again. I'm also hoping that Topps extends the end of the promotion to reflect the months when the site wasn't useable or was down completely.
In the end, the promotion should be looked upon as a success and hopefully Topps will learn from the bumps along the road this year to improve the experience if they do anything similar in years to come. It's just unfortunate that all of these problems occurred this far into the promotion.
Monday, November 7, 2011
http://www.childbirths101.com/sports-syzygy-a-bunch-of-babies/ from ChildBirth 101 For A Pregnant Mother Expecting a Baby.
ChildBirth 101 - Come to find out about babies, stay for the Glen Davis articles.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Here’s something that shows that Topps Customer Support isn’t as bad as the person with the faded Jeter autograph is trying to make them out to be. Before I busted my case of Topps Chrome, I purchased two boxes for myself from my local card shop and the two boxes were almost exact duplicates of each other. Yes, it sucked, but I did get everything that I paid for. I let Topps know about it mostly venting and to let them know that it’s something less than ideal for collectors. Well, without my even asking, Topps sent me some free product because of this. It wasn’t anything like a full box of cards, but it was more than they sent out for the Jeter autograph. See, this problem was something that was their fault while the faded Jeter auto was not their fault at all. Hell, once time all I did was send them back someone else’s cards that they sent me in error and I was sent around $30 in packs for my time/shipping cost. So, until they do me wrong, I’ll defend Topps’ customer support when they’re wrongly attacked.
So, these are the prices that I came up with for the 2011 Topps Chrome team sets. The average set has around 7 cards and that’s where I set my baseline of $2 a set. Sets that fell well short of that mark dropped down to a dollar. The Yankees have 15 cards in the set while the Pirates and Diamondbacks only have 3 a piece. Big stars and rookies pushed some of the team sets up into the next price bracket.
People who claimed teams in the first post have first dibs, but please confirm here even if you did already post in that first post. I just want to make sure that you’re still interested at the prices that I’ve listed here. Also, feel free to make new claims here. Want an Eric Hosmer rookie for $2? Grab the Royals. Want a ton of rookies? Grab the Braves.
I will be keeping the Red Sox for myself. Everything else is up for grabs if not claimed in the previous post.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Sorry about the lack of posting over the past couple of days. I got the opportunity the other night to work the merch table for my favorite performer and that led to me crashing after work on Friday night. My body just doesn’t like these late nights like it used to.
I’m working on collating and pricing the Topps Chrome team sets. I’ll post the list here and contact everyone that expressed interest. I’ll also include other things that I have available from that team. I’m also willing to hold these items for you since it’s kind of silly to pay shipping just for a team set. It might be a great time to work out a trade along with the break cards. If you’ve got any extra Piazzas, Big Papis or even Red Sox in general, let me know and maybe we can work something out.
Opened a great bunch of non-sports boxes that I’ll be posting here over the next couple of weeks. I did get a damaged sketch card so I’ll be contacting Rittenhouse to see what their policy is regarding the cards. If they can give me something by the same artist then I’d be satisfied, but if they can’t then I’m not sure that I’d take the chance on what they’d send back.
Opened a box of 2011 WWE from today’s card show. It wasn’t as good as the box that I opened of last year’s set, but that box would be tough to beat.
I think my favorite purchase from today’s show just might have been the three pennants that I picked up for $8 total. They’re not high quality, but they will look great in my collectibles room. I got a 2004 Red Sox World Series Champions, 2007 Red Sox World Series Champions and a 2008 Celtics World Champions.
So, that’s a little update for now. Back to the Chrome team sets.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Since I just sent some packages out to people, I can hold on to this until I have something more to send to you if you're interested. I don't want you to make the USPS rich.
So, let me know if you're interested and if enough people are, I'll start figuring out individual prices.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
These videos are barely watchable. The camera angle isn’t as good as I thought it would be. I should have worn a hat and clipped the cam to my bill. If you want to hear a bunch of ridiculous comments as I struggle through entering these codes, please watch.
Hosmer and Cobb highlight the diamond parallels from this box.
Lots of stars here perfect for team and player collections.
I was a little disappointed in the collation of the insert cards. I would have liked to have gotten closer to sets. Now I see why busting multiple cases is the way to go. I won’t be doing that though.
Next year: Topps Terrific Trios, it’s a game changer!
Now to track down the Kimballs that I need for series 1 and 2. Still hope to bust a jumbo box of each.
A nice batch of young stars here, but they’re ToppsTown so no one cares.
Julio Teheran hot box! The nameplate has been claimed, but the autograph is still up for grabs. The Lester is going into my collection, but I may have to send it in to Topps for replacement first. It’s got two soft corners. Any Yankees or Noesi fans out there? I’ve got a ton of Noesi stuff available from this and Chrome. The Cobb is nice and I always liked the silk cards. I’ve got a few of the Murad silks in my collection.
This might have been the best box for Cognac Liquorfractors. I got three SP Legends with the Yaz being my favorite. The Jeter and Castro aren’t half bad either.
To make up for the great Cognacs, the Diamond parallels were extra boring this box. They’re still beautiful cards though.
This box had a trio of nice gold youngsters in Hosmer, Ackley and Castro.
The foil on these cards is impossible to read in these scans, but it’s not as bad when the cards are in front of you.
Aaron and Bautista?
I’m 5 away from completing this set, if anyone out there has some extras, let me know. I’ll get my want list together.
Topps does Panini foil board.
The Vogelsong is nice, but the dent in the bottom of the card isn’t. Nothing spectacular in this box.
Got caught up in the game last night and never got back onto the computer. I also seem to have injured myself in my sleep so typing is a bit of a chore. I’ll suck it up though and press on.
Allen Craig! The only player hotter than him right now is David Freese. I have to get that card up on eBay immediately!
It’s always tough seeing Carlton Fisk wearing the wrong Sox. See Cubs fans, competent management makes all of the difference. There was a time when the Red Sox had bumbling fools running the show as well. Things will get better.
So, Sandy Koufax’s mother’s last name was Braun before she got remarried. Let’s throw them on a card together!
A little less East Coast representation in this box.
Does anyone do ToppsTown any more? I checked it out when it was new, but haven’t been on the site in years.
This is where paranoid me thinks that the hit I got shorted should have been a jumbo patch, dual relic or one of the bigger hits available. Honestly, if something goes wrong, it’s not going to go wrong with the basic ASG jersey swatches. I’m sure that’s what Topps is going to send me as a replacement though.
The Hope Diamond Ortiz will make a nice addition to my collection. I want to do a post showing how many different cards I have which use that same picture. Between Topps flagship and Chrome, it’s got to be in double digits. The case breaks have helped that, but I’ve picked up a few on eBay as well. There has got to be something wrong with me.
The Bard will also probably end up staying in my collection as well. It’s going to be interesting to see how the Red Sox handle things with Papelbon and Bard. Papelbon was lights out until the end of the season when the whole team fell apart. Bard started slow, was amazing in the middle of the season and them stunk up the joint at the end of the season. I don’t have a Bard auto yet, so it’ll make a nice addition to the collection.
Someone had posted about being interested in the Phillies, but I haven’t been able to contact them. So, the Hamels will be available if I can’t get in touch with them or if they aren’t interested in it.
Friday, October 28, 2011
I used my credit from the game used cards that I sent in as well as some overtime pay to place an order with Blowout Cards. That Topps Update case gave me an itch for a change of pace. So, this order is all non-sports cards. I’ve got some fun stuff coming. I’ll be busting boxes of Marvel Heroes & Villians and Dangerous Divas hoping to pull a Katie Cook sketch card or something cool like a sketch card puzzle. I’ve also got a box of Heroes Archives coming. Sure, the show got progressively worse with each season, but the first season was a hell of a ride. This box contains 6 autographs and one relic card. For $5 a hit, I’m game and maybe I’ll be lucky and get an autograph of one of the major stars. I had pretty good luck in both of the Lost boxes that I opened from Rittenhouse. Rounding out the order were extremely cheap boxes of Hellboy and Shrek the Third which both contain sketch cards. I also picked up a box of Scooby Doo to open with my daughter and a Simpsons sticker set.
The best part of all of this is that I already got the shipping notification from Blowout and so this stuff will be traveling over the weekend. Hopefully that means a Monday delivery instead of a Wednesday delivery. Stay tuned non-sports card lovers and get ready to skip a couple of posts those who aren’t fans.
Another Belt parallel. This product is a dollar at a time product. If you’re lucky, you can sell a lot of cards for a dollar and use combined shipping to entice multiple purchases from buyers. Since I don’t have an eBay Store, this type of product really isn’t for me. You’ve got to bust multiple cases of this stuff like Brent and Becca do in order to get some master sets and really make out well. I think I would go crazy with all of those base cards.
The landscape diamond parallels come in bunches.
Topps should have either made this a 60 card set total (20 in each series) or had each series contain 60 cards.
What exactly do Adrian Gonzalez and Jose Batista have in common other than playing in the AL East together?
Mine, all mine except for the 15 duplicates.
Are these even worth posting?
This was a pretty decent box. The Belt autograph and the Hosmer black parallel are worth a lot more than the two relic hits. Unfortunately, the Hosmer card is pretty dinged up and has to be sent back to Topps. You all know where the Kemp is going.
Second half of the case later. I’ll be replying to those who have already claimed cards tonight as well.
I apologize, but these box breaks are going to be big on pictures and low on wordage.
This box contained two Cognac legends. From what I’ve seen on eBay, these do carry a little bit of a premium. I may have to wait until next month to list a lot of these cards since I’ll want to wait until I’ve got a new batch of 50 free listings to use. Every little bit of money saved on this case is going to help.
Two Big Papi’s in one box? Yes, please. I’m hoping that the Red Sox decide to bring him back. It would be too weird seeing him in another uniform.
Did I mention David Ortiz? If I were just buying one box for myself, I would never get this kind of box that puts three cards into my personal collection. Any cards here that you want in your collection? Drop me an email or leave a comment. If you do leave a comment, make sure that I have a way of contacting you.
I noticed that a lot of the cards in this installment of the Topps 60 insert set have players in jerseys that you don’t normally see them in.
The relic version of the Hosmer/Belt card is one of the cooler pulls available from this product. They look a lot like Panini relic cards since Topps just shoved the windows into the regular cards.
I really don’t get this whole East Coast Bias thing that people keep writing about. There’s 3 Yankees, 2 Red Sox, an Oriole, a Philly and a Ray…oh.
Is there anything to be said about ToppsTown?
I think I may have to start a Jimmie Foxx SP collection. I’ve got two now, but hopefully this one will be sold on eBay. The Rubby De La Rosa will be on its way to Night Owl and the Beltre will be off to Play at the Plate. The other three are up for grabs if you want them.
So, after a delay of a day and lame excuses from UPS, the case finally arrived and I got to break it. This was a beast of a break. It’s just a ton of cards and it’s going to be a lot of work to make back the money from this case. I think I’ll need to stick to things like Chrome and Finest in the future.
There’s no way that I was going to scan all of the Cognac Liquorfractors from each box. Here’s a random sampling of 9 for your viewing pleasure. If there are any particular players that you’re interested in, you can see if I pulled him in the video or drop me an email and I’ll let you know.
Three series in and these cards still look great. The pictures really pop off of the sparkly background. It’s easy to see why they’ve been so popular even though there’s no serial numbering of any sort.
I think the gold parallels have finally run their course. Serial numbering this high doesn’t mean a thing and at this point these cards have just become pack filler. People are chasing the unnumbered Diamond parallels more than these.
These aren’t terrible looking cards, but they haven’t grabbed my attention either. It’s a given these days that Topps is going to load up the flagship set with a ton of insert sets. It’s true of all of the sports. The mix of legends, veterans and prospects makes this set an interesting one.
Another thing that you’re going to see in Topps flagship sets are insert cards with two players on them. The pairings don’t always make sense and it’s strange when Topps seems to pair up players based on religion, but that’s Topps for ya.
This is the only insert set that I’m going to complete and keep in my collection. I love what Topps did with these cards. The complete set has a great checklist as well.
The ToppsTown cards are actually kind of tough to come by in this set. You get either a Duos or ToppsTown card in each pack. The Duos set is 30 cards and the ToppsTown set is 50 cards so this is a tough set to complete. You don’t even get enough cards in a case to do it.
Here’s the hits from the box. I think I still have Sale autos form the Chrome break. If so, maybe they’ll sell together in a lot. The Belt Black Parallel numbered to 60 is a nice pull. Serial numbered Yankees are always nice since there’s always interest and the Molitor is just a great looking card.