Well almost a week without a post has to be some kind of bad record for me. I've never gone that long without posting but there has been literally nothing going on over here. Work has been slow still and we anticipate the month of April being this way the whole way through. No packs or single have been bought. No eBay. Nothin'. Well, nothing but a few trades. That's the best kind of mail, trade mail! I have made a few trades with some peeps helping me finish up the Heritage set. A package of them came today from Steve over at The Card Chop. We did a 'stack for stack' kind of deal and it worked out well for the both of us. I haven't gotten to sending out the cards yet but they'll go out on Saturday. A few more deals are in the works and if you have any Heritage I need, let me know. I'll trade for 'em. The list is fully current as to what I need. I also received something really cool in the mail the other day but I'm saving it for a future post so I have something to write about.
I'll start this post with the above picture. A couple of cards that I had won on eBay and received today. Cheap too, hence why I got them.
The unfortunate part of the post is that work has become incredibly slow. So slow that I'm not sure what is going to happen over the course of the next few months. It is forcing me to tighten the belt a bit on spending (which may be for the better seeing as how I probably spend too much already), just in case. We knew we weren't immune to this economic downturn but it has never been like this. So in short; the collecting will have to be on hold until I figure out what is going on. I already stopped buying packs/boxes/singles/etc. and will continue to do so for the time being. The couple of cards you see above were the final eBay purchase for a while too. I may even have to sell some of the stuff I have acquired just as a precaution. I will still make trades, read blogs and post when I have stuff to write but my apologies if my posts become sparse. Who knows maybe it's nothing but I don't want to be caught in a situation that I'm not able to get out of.
With that said, I do have one final giveaway box. I have a large flat rate USPS box that I will fill with cards. It already has some in there (1989 and 1994 Topps, 1988 Donruss), and I will add as much other years and brands as I can fit into it. Who ever wants it can have it. It is merely a downsizing of the stuff I really have no use for. As per my usual giveaways, send a comment saying you want it, then an email with your address.
First things first: I have posted my 2011 Heritage want list on the right side bar there. I do need a gross amount of short prints but I think it'll be achievable.
Secondly; just in case you haven't noticed yet, there is a way to tell if you have short prints hidden in your base cards. Topps, as of late 2009, started to put a small code on the back of each card, see here: This is the back of two 2011 Heritage cards with the codes enlarged for easier reading. Yes, the print is incredibly small but it gives you the key to finding cards that aren't part of the base set. Check those codes above; the base card is on top (#9911101) and a black bordered Target parallel is on the bottom (#9911112). The chrome cards (even if green, refractors, black or Target black) are numbered with the same code. Basically any card that has the 'C' before the number (in the shown card's case, C65 Ty Wiggington) has this same code. The code #9911101 is used for each base card in the set, including the high number short prints (426-500) but will tell you if you have one of the variants like the green tints in the 110-196 card spots. The only different codes that are used in the base set are the Ruth specials (cards 135-144) and will vary from codes #9911101 through #9911104. Anything higher in the final digit will be a variation. I noticed this difference when I pulled a Target red Ruth variant that had the code #9911109. I had two of the base card so this one stuck out.
I first noticed the codes and their differences once I pulled the Carlos Gonzalez sparkle variant from 2011 series 1. The base cards from series 1 have the code #3621101, #3621102 and #3621103. The sparkle used code #3621126 and the short print legends use #3621125, although those are easy to pick out with the dirty ball on the front plus well, they're legends. Hard to mistake. This made it tremendously easier to find out if I had any sparkle variants hidden in my base cards.
Small print and it is kind of confusing, I know. If anyone has any questions on Topps and their codes, definitely feel free to email me. I'll answer any questions I know how to.
..is on hold for the moment. I have run out of packs for the time being and probably won't have any new ones to open up here for a few weeks. I'm in the process of cleaning up some of my stuff around here and have put buying new packs on hold until April. I will still trade (I have a few in the makings right now) and actually have some stuff to give away, so stay tuned. Actually, lets give away something right now.
I have a box of football cards (ranging from around 2007 to now) and basketball cards (random years). Want 'em? You got 'em. both sports in one box, one reader gets the box. Comment now if you want it, then send me an email with your address and I'll get them out later this week.
I'll be giving some more cards away within the next few days or so. I also plan to have my 2011 Heritage wantlist up within that same few days (maybe even today if I'm not lazy about it).
Topps can be pretty quick about things on occasion. Case in point; I mailed out my Series 1 wrappers on Saturday, and received my four redemption packs today. According to Baseballcardpedia, you need to send the jumbo and regular packs separate. Not true. I stuffed all the wrappers into one envelope (10 jumbo, and three bundles of 36 regular hobby packs) and they accepted them. Here is what I got: These were the best of the bunch. I got 20 cards total, with there being 60 in the set. I am going to hold on to these, they are really really nice and the scan doesn't even come close to doing them justice. As you can see, I managed to get one of the 34 autographed 1952 players, Ned Garver. He is numbered 27/60 and admittedly, I know nothing about him. I do have this though: His 1954 Topps card.
A quick trip to Wikipedia lets me know that his rookie season was 1948 with the St. Louis Browns. He also played for the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Athletics and was part of the first Los Angeles Angels team in 1961, his final year of play. Is he a Hall of Famer? No, but a fine player and a good addition to my collection.
I picked up some more '54s for the set on the cheap, from the 'Bay: Two Yanks and a Phillie. Total cost including shipping: under $10.
I also picked up a hobby box of Heritage at the local shop today. Nothing out of the ordinary, except that I was missing my 'Real One' auto or my relic but it did have this instead: I have never, ever seen one of these in person. Part of the "Happy 60th" continuity spread across all Topps products this year, there are five different players per set, each numbered to 60. In Heritage, these run at an odds of 1:7,500, hobby. This is certainly the rarest card I've ever pulled odds-wise. Totally makes up for the missing auto or relic worth about $3.00. Or maybe this is my hit... Eh, either way I am extremely pleased with the outcome. This also marks my second Ernie auto. I will be piecing together the set, 1-500 and the four insert sets (both flashback sets, then and now, and new age performers) so if you have some dupes, look for my want list on the right soon.
Is it this? Or these guys? Well, how about the story of how this card found its way into my collection: As I posted the other day when I revealed the back of this card, the shop I got this from has a Facebook page. He had posted that he got this, along with a few other vintage cards, from a guy who stopped by the shop. I almost disregarded the other cards (amongst them a 1956 Hank Aaron, a Mantle and a couple league leader cards with big names on them from the early 60s) and immediately asked him where these had come from. He told me and I asked him in a message how much he was asking for the Mathewson. He said he was going to put $500 on it but he would take $400. The card books high at $1200. I felt this was a more than fair price but I could not spend that much on one single card, no matter the age or player. I couldn't not own it either though. Hmm...what to do...what to do... Well thinking nothing short of robbing him for it, I decided to take the legal way and do the only thing I knew how to... Trade for it! Yes, coming up with that much in trade value (plus cards that he can actually sell) would be a daunting task. I don't really have much on that front. No big old cards worth hundreds or auto/relics numbered to 3 of say, Babe Ruth. So what do I do? Then I remembered the 'in the works' 1954 Topps set. Good old Topps, you've finally done right by me. I had to come up big and make it worth his while but at the same time, not destroy my set in progress. This is what I ended up pulling out: Yep, Ted Williams card 250, Whitey Ford and Billy Martin. All went bye-bye. Like I mentioned, Christy books at $1200. The above three cards book at $1300 (Ted at $1000, Ford at $200 and Billy at $100), which are high book even though these aren't. Those plus the couple of Red Sox and Yankees relics I added in and the Christy was mine (plus that Jays printing plate I showed the other day too). The logic being that while T-206 cards are incredibly awesome and instantly add luster to any sales showcase, the market for them is somewhat limited. They are old and expensive and many collectors either don't care for anything older than this year or they just don't have the cash to plunk down on a card like that. Yankees and Red Sox cards however, sell like mad up here and having those three vintage cards in his case should prove to be a good deal for him. He is a great guy and I've made deals with him before but never for anything this big (the last trade we did involved a 300 or so count box of Sox/Yankees in which I traded for a 1970 Hank Aaron he had priced at $20). They sell, so he wants 'em. I usually save some of the good ones for you Sox and Yankee fans on here, so no need to think I'm cleaned out.
So back to my story. This is where the 'replacements' part comes in. I obviously couldn't have holes in my set that I really really want to finish, so I simply replaced them. For as cheap as possible. The cards that you see scanned above are the replacement cards. The Martin and Williams came today and Ford came on Tuesday. I paid $100 for Ted (which was graded until about an hour ago), $30 for Ford and $15 for Billy. Meaning I essentially paid $145 for the Mathewson, when on eBay they never go lower than $300. These three cards are also in about the same (or in the case of Ted, better centered) condition as the three I traded out. I think overall this turned out good for him but way better for me.
Yes, unbelievably, 2011 Heritage is available here in town. I picked up a blaster last night and one today on my way home from work. The local Wallymart had them. CRAZY. They never have stuff the day after release. I always have to wait about a week until the retail stores here get it. The 1962 design is a classic for sure and I feel it works with the modern players of today. I don't know why but something about that photo looking like its being peeled up looks great to me. As if to reveal the information about the player that lies underneath. Here are some of my favorites, picture-wise: The Hamilton and Markakis sporting the classic 'hold a bat for a picture' poses. Aaron Hill with the bat on the shoulder pose and the Walker with the giant rookie cup (trophy?). Morrow is a short-print and is using the 'I'll just stand here for a photo' pose. The floating heads on the batting leaders are great too. Very 60's Topps.
Oh, and there are these: Soooooooooooooooo glad to see these return! I loves me some full team photo cards. I know Heritage usually has them but I always kinda forget until it hits me in the face jumping out of a pack.
I did manage to find this guy too: Ahh, Vernon. With your airbrushed Angels cap. I really hate to say it but this 'Vernon to the Angels' thing has really made me lose interest in seeking out his stuff. So much so that I recently put all my Wells cards into the big Jays box (they had their own box before) and have kinda all but stopped looking for cards on eBay of his too. I know that when you collect a player you should follow him to which ever team he plays for but for now I think he is on hold. Griffey is still holding strong though and I'm always looking for his stuff.
Enough about those two though, we're here to talk Heritage!
Heritage is usually the one set few collectors complain about. With good reason too. The Heritage line usually captures the spirit of the original set it is based on. The card count may be different but chances are if the original had it, the Heritage version will too. Case in point; the 1962 issue has a ten card subset for Babe Ruth, which is also included in this year. The 1962 issue also featured one series that had a green tint to the cards, that are replicated here too (but hopefully not the whole 500 card set). There are also number variations (see below) that Topps did in '62 that they mimic here also. I assume, like the original, it will be cards 1-109 for the smaller number and the rest of the set with the larger. Overall, I think Topps did a bang-up job this year, paying close attention to the details of the 1962 issue and replicating them here very well. Will I collect the set? I may but that remains to be seen within the coming weeks and months.
Are there any new collectors out there? I know there are a few. It seems many of us have the same story; we collected as kids, grew out of the hobby and came back within the past few years. I know my story is similar, as I collected from about 1987 to around 1995. On and off, nothing serious just a kid getting packs and cards, trading with friends, etc. I got back into it almost a year ago and haven't looked back. I really enjoy the hobby and interacting with other traders, going to shows, finishing sets, picking up new and interesting cards and just plain rippin' packs! As for some of you readers and bloggers, your stories sound the same, collect, quit, reboot the collection. Or maybe you still have some of your old cards and that's awesome. I certainly don't, mine actually WERE thrown out by my mother but I also didn't take care of them nor did I stop her. Look at the years I collected though, I'm sure I had very little of value in there. In the 9 or so months I've been at this blogging thing, I have noticed many blogs come and go (well, not go like gone, just not as active as they once were but that is life) and the growth is fantastic. I really like coming up on a new blog and seeing what their perspective on the hobby is. Again, they used to collect and usually they are curious as to what the card world is up to, they do a little Googling and come across a blog or 200 and join the fray. It's great. So this is what the point of all this is, if you are a new collector and want a little jump start on your collection, I want to help. Want some Topps from the past 20 or so years to see what they looked like? Or Upper Deck for that matter? Maybe you just want a bunch of random cards from random brands to see what else there is out there and maybe it'll spark an interest in something you never knew existed. If you would like some cards to jump up your collection, shoot me a comment and an email and I'll put together a box and ship it on over. Easy as it can be. I just really have too much here and if I can help a new collector in his journey, it would be a big help to both of us.
Random Pack Monday time. I was out of packs for this week so I had to pick something kinda lame: Yeah yeah yeah, 2011 Opening Day. The set that is supposed to be easy and fun but ends up being neither. Lets see what comes of this... Oh, well, I guess it isn't all bad, Pujols, an AWESOME looking Mauer, the seemingly-on-fire-rookie-that-no-one-is-talking-about, Chris Sale and a newly Brewered Shaun Marcum. AND A TOPPSTOWN AAARRRGGGGHHHHH....well, at least they seem to come in every four packs. I did only end up with 3 from my blaster. Seriously, this is how it should be for the base set. No one wants a Toppstown per pack. What a waste of a card. Like I stated the other day, I am not chasing this set by any means. Topps can kiss it with this set after what 2010 OD did to me.
Well that about wraps up today's post. I see that Heritage has made its way to the 'Bay. I don't think I'll be chasing the set like I mentioned in my 2011 collecting goals but I'll get into that another day. Until then!
Oh wait...you're still here? Oh right. The T206 I posted about yesterday. Well, have a look for yourself: Christy makes number twelve, but easily the most impressive 206 I own, let alone maybe the most impressive card I own period. It ain't perfect but its awesome.
Another trip to the local shop but this time I had an agenda. The owner has a Facebook page where he gives a shout out to all the big hits that are pulled at the shop (he scans them, posts them and talks about who pulled it, with permission of course). He bought a few vintage cards yesterday and promptly posted them up for all to see. One definitely caught my eye and I knew I had to have it. The card is at the end of this post but only the back. I will reveal the front tomorrow. BUT. Before we get to that, lets see what was in the Icons box I picked up (told you I was crazy for this set). Another seven hit box. The Wang auto is numbered 1/2. Crowe auto is 489/600, and Martis is numbered 020/600 (I have this one already, numbered 019/600). The Boggs jersey is cool and the Hall is ok. The Yogi letter is sweet too but the Daniel Negreanu is just rubbish. This is the second "celebrity lettermen" I've stumbled across and is the only real problem to this set. Just rubbish. The Jays plate obviously didn't come from this, it came from 2010 Topps series 2. It was pulled by a customer of his, she had no use for it, so he traded for it and it came to me.
Now the big reveal. v v v v v v v v v v This makes number 12 for me on the T-206 front. Remember one of my collecting goals was to finish that 15 card page in my binder. This gets me one step closer to that goal. This card is also a big addition to my collection. You'll get to find out tomorrow after the Random Pack Monday post. Until then...
So 2011 Topps Opening Day is live in my area. Funny that the sell sheet states that it will be available March 19th. Then they changed it to the 7th. The Target in my area here is usually slow at getting cards and yesterday was the first time I had seen some OD's there. So I picked up a blaster. Ten bucks, ten (plus one!) packs. Here are some highlights: Now, also weirdly enough, the sell sheet states that there will be hobby exclusive inserts. Those inserts being the Presidential First Pitches. I had no idea Target was now a hobby shop. Maybe they just changed their minds. Also we see a Under the Lights Heyward and A-Rod 3D dealie. The Reyes is the blue bordered parallel. Wait though, lets check that out closer shall we: What. The. Eff. They can use the gold stamping on a product like Opening Day but for the base 2010 and 2011 (and 2010 Opening Day for that matter), we get that cheap crummy black printed serial numbers? That screams crappy to me. Nothing like cheapening your base product there. Especially when the fronts have ZERO foil at all. This is the cheap set, not your flagship set Topps! Besides those above cards, I did get two Jays (Romero and Wells), three mascots, another blue border card (Austin Jackson, which is in the rookie cup personal collection), two 'Spot the Errors' and a buncha base cards. I am not chasing this set this year. This set is supposed to be 'fun and easy to build' and 'intended for kids' but I had nothing but grief trying to assemble the 2010 set. I bought WAY too much and ended up with one set. One set I had to finish by buying the remaining 5 or so cards off eBay. Total crap collation on this product and I'm sure 2011 is the same exact way. This may actually be the only time I do buy Opening Day this year, this one lonely blaster...
Like the madman I am, I picked up two boxes of 2009 Upper Deck Icons last night. I think I plan to try and finish this set. The 1-100 base set, the 101-130 serial numbered rookies and the 131-160 auto rookies. So if you have anything from this set, please let me know as I will trade heavy for stuff I don't have. Now. Onto the boxes. I will show the second box I got first because the first box I opened was that good, it made me buy a (not as exciting) second box.
Box #2: Now, there isn't anything wrong with it. The Bo baby blue relic and the auto'd Ian Kinsler (03/10) make this box. The Ford letter doesn't hurt either. I already have the Jepsen auto so it is on it's way to an Angel collector.
Box #1: This was the good one. The best part? The Kemp auto and the Newcombe auto (#'d 1/4) came in the same pack. Yes, THE SAME PACK. Icons is notorious for its multiple hit packs. The same things happened when I got the box with the Molitor in it, one pack had two hits. The Kaline letter is awesome too. Admittedly, I'm not a Dodger fan so I really didn't know about Newcombe. After reading up on him, I instantly fell in love with this card. First ever Cy Young recipient (in 1956, which back then was given to only one player from the entire league). MVP in '56, and NL Rookie of the Year in 1949. Part of the legendary 1955 Dodger team. His career ended in 1960 due to his alcoholism. Once clean in 1967, he aided other people get clean (such as another Dodger great, Maury Wills), and has done so since. A great ball player and an even greater human being in general with all his help to those who need it.
Let's hear it for the new guys! Show them some love by stopping on over and reading what they have to say. If I missed anyone, let me know and I'll add you post haste.
I still have an overabundance of 2010 Topps. I sent some out to some of you and am willing to send out more if some of you need them. Series 1, 2 and Update are available. Just send me an email with your want list and I'll see what I have and send them on over.
I also still need a fellow Blue Jays fan that needs some cards as well. I have a lot of duplicates that I can send to any Jays collector in need. Really, just ask.
That is about it for now. Really, take my cards! Oh and one last thing. I do have a pile of cards up for grabs to anyone who wants them. The pile includes anything not made by Donruss, Fleer, Upper Deck or Topps (stuff like Classic, O-Pee-Chee, Tristar, etc.), and some of my duplicates that are not Blue Jays. Although I can include them if you do want them. First taker who is brave enough gets the stack.
It's another installment of Random Pack Monday. For today's opening pleasure we have... 1998 Topps series 1. Lets see whats inside: This set is alright in the design side of things. Nice almost full card picture but other than that nothing too special. The highlight here is the Clemente reprint (odds 1:18) which there are 19 of. This is reprinting his 1969 card, and is going right into the personal collection.
Now for the trifectica. I didn't even realize it until last night while driving home from dinner. Troy Tulowitzki. The rookie, auto and relic. The auto coming from yesterday's 2009 Icons box completed it. I do have a different relic for him, a bat card from 2010 Topps series 2 but I like the jersey with the stripe better. As far as accidental trifecticas go, I could not complain, especially since I don't collect him or the Rockies but I'm actually glad I do have it. He is definitely one of the top shortstops in the game right now and his career is on the right track as long as he stays healthy.
2009 Upper Deck Icons is the box today. I've actually busted maybe three of these now, including this one. Its a great set with some good pulls. Here are what the base cards look like: Nice looking set. 100 card short set and they have 30 rookies that are serial numbered and tougher to pull (numbered 101-130). Then those 30 rookies have an autographed parallel (numbered 131-160). Each box will net you three hits (usually two jerseys and an auto) and two of the numbered manu-letters, called 'lettermen'. These can range from young players to immortal letter men for retired players to celebrity lettermen. Here are my five 'guaranteed' hits: Nothing too fancy really, both the Wang and Kershaw are numbered to 30 each. The Jepsen auto (which is my second auto of him by the way) is numbered 007/600. Well, that box would have been kind of a letdown if it weren't for my two extra hits: A Tulo auto and a Paul Molitor immortal lettermen auto numbered 2/4. For some reason Paul's letters spell out 'ignitor'. Maybe a Twins fan could clear that up for me? Anyway I presume there are 4 of each letter made and auto'd, making the full print run 28 cards total. That's how the lettermen are numbered. They only made four 't' cards but the full run according to Beckett is 28 cards (7 numbers in 'ignitor' times 4 of each card). Weird, yes. The Tulo is numbered 120/199. This box is probably the second best box I've ever busted (the first being the 2009 T206 when I pulled the Ruth bat relic), and maybe I'll even do another. I just can't get enough of this set.
I hit up the old card show today. It seemed like it was a little busier than usual this morning and I saw a few new dealers there too. Here is what I came out with:
The vintage: From right to left; 1934 Batter-Up, 1940 Playball, 1950 Bowman.
I grabbed these because I had none from any of these series. I have the surrounding Bowmans (1949, 1951-54) and Playballs (1939, 1941) but I had no Batter-Ups yet. The prices on these were very good for the condition.
The autos: I grabbed all these from a guys box labeled '$5.00 each'. I definitely couldn't pass up the Strawberrys at that price. The two Wells and Pavano were no-brainers for me.
The relics: Ok, so one of the Wells is an auto/relic, that came from the previously mentioned '$5.00 each' box and the Snider is a manu-patch auto. The Yount was impossible to pass up at 5 bucks too (different seller) and the second Wells seems to be maybe off of the nameplate.
Total spent: $60 for everything. Really can't complain too much there seeing as how I got some good vintage and autos and relics I actually wanted.
Ah, so it seems the final piece of the puzzle has come in the mail today and completed another trifectica: I've had this plain old boring Griffey relic for some time now (pulled it from a pack to boot!) and I've had this particular rookie card of his for a little while too. The autograph, however is the recent addition and something I've wanted for a while. This one popped up and I grabbed it. It "books" at $120 and I got it for half. That's almost as cheap as Griffey Jr. autos come. Numbered 019/195, it comes from the 2002 Ultimate Collection. It seems I've gone quite Griffey crazy as of late, with yesterday's acquisition and my recent purchases of his six rookie cards, all graded. I know I know, grading is silly but if I were to have any cards graded, it would be his six rookies (Topps Traded, Score Traded, Donruss, Bowman, Fleer and of course, Upper Deck). They will probably remain the only cards I keep in their icy tombs of cardboard doom. I do have a non-graded copy of each card too though. I know, grading...sigh. Well, I got them at a good price though so its really no big deal. Eventually I plan on replacing that relic there with something much nicer and maybe numbered. Hopefully soon. I've felt really blah about collecting Vernon Wells as of late and really don't go too far out of my way anymore. Griffey though seems to be the new collecting craze for me and he is a player that surely has some great value to his name. Of course, surely a first ballot Hall of Fame entrant too.
Play at the Plate is holding a contest also, where you can win a sealed hanger pack of 2011 Topps. The Wal-Mart kind! Check out his blog for details and be sure to read it often as his posts lead you to multiple entries.
Picked this up today at ye olde local card shoppe: The kid. One of the most iconic baseball cards ever printed sitting next to an autographed ball. I've had my eye on it for some time and made the plunge today. Tax return came in and after playing around with all the numbers on what had to go where, I had a little left for this new gem.
Derek from Tomahawk Chopping is holding a contest, so check it (and his blog if you don't) out now. A really great prize for the winner and its easier than filling out a 1040EZ! (just kidding, his contest is really easy though, follow, comment, pimp, done.)
Also, if I have any fellow Blue Jays fans as readers, I have many Jays duplicates available. If you would like some (or all of them), let me know and I'll get them out to you.