Wednesday, December 28, 2011

what can a buck fifty-nine get you?

I've been dabbling in football cards as of late. With nothing left to grab in the baseball season, football has caught my attention slightly. All these new products on the local shops shelf, with stories of big pulls of guys I've heard of only in passing. I am a casual football fan, to say the least. I used to follow it a lot more in my youth. I collected baseball cards, then "graduated" to football card collecting in the mid-90's. That was around the time the sport itself grew in popularity. The baseball strike lured people to a more (seemingly) stable sport in football and it's popularity exploded. So did its trading card market. I think there may have been as many football sets released as there were baseball. Which is absolutely bananas because when looking back at the mid to late 90's card sets there were a literal ton of sets released yearly. Thats not even including basketball, hockey and non-sports releases.

Anyway. So football has my attention and I picked up some packs at the local shop. Not much, just a sampler of whats out there. Lots of Panini (more on that in a second). I worked the shop on Monday, all day, as the owner is on vacation and he has three of us watching over the store for him. I have Monday and Saturday. Monday I knew would be dead (it was) because he isn't normally open Mondays but it was the day after Christmas so there was a possibility of people. Well, like the many many baseball card boxes I went through weeks ago, I did the football this time. I missed a lot. It was almost like when I started baseball again in early 2010, I saw so much I hadn't seen before.

I ran into a set that seemed familiar but in a different way.

We know the 2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes right? Well, they did it for football too:

Same concept. A good set too, I'm a fan of the baseball version so this seemed appropriate. While rummaging through those boxes I came across a few of these, this card in particular caught my attention:

One of the greatest (if not THE greatest) heavy metal guitarists ever, Tony Iommi. Founding and only constant member of Black Sabbath, one of my favorite classic rock/hard rock/metal bands.

I was in Target today and I strolled over to the card aisle and found a lone pack these in their $1.59 a pack bin so I grabbed it. The scanned pack above is the pack and Tony came out of it. I was pretty psyched because it was a card I really wanted but then after Tony, was this:

Another Tony! I thought the pack felt thick but I knew that the base cards were a little thicker than basic Topps so I chalked it up to that. Nope. A relic and no slouch either. I'm no Dallas fan but I know Romo and how good he is.

A great find for a buck fifty-nine. A sweet relic and a card for the PC. Awesome.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

merry christmas!

Hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday!

Friday, December 23, 2011

blog bat around

I may be late but I suppose I'll give it a go for the blog bat around.

There wasn't too much I was disappointed in set-wise this year. Everything had its ups and downs, which is par the course for Topps every year. I'll start with what forced a change in my collecting and buying habits.


I bought way too much Bowman this year. Getting caught up in the Bryce Harper lottery really took a toll on my sensibility. I shouldn't have but I did. I bought too much, put together a set and sold it for way too cheap. Never again. Bowman will be sampled from here on out and won't be bought in mass quantity again.


Another set I bought way too much of. I attempted the set but the short prints really got to me. 75 of them is a tough assembly. I think from now on 50 short prints is my cut-off (stuff like Ginter, Gypsy Queen, etc.). Heritage is a solid release every year and I won't say that it isn't, it's just too much for me to want to collect and have to chase down. Another set that I'll be buying limited amounts of.

Now that thats out of the way, lets get on with what I really liked from 2011.


Topps had a very solid design this year and I really liked the look even more than 2010 (which I'm a big fan of). Most of the card being used for the picture, nothing being obstructed by logos (2010) or a huge top and bottom name plate (2007 and 2008). The parallels were fun and at least a little different than last year. The inserts were where Topps kind of faltered this year but there were at least a few that were good.

Diamond Stars:

Case in point. I loved the Diamond Stars insert set. It has 90's written all over it. In an age where inserts are one a pack, as opposed to one a box in the 90's, this looks like something I would have been pulling out of a pack of 94 Fleer. Maybe I'm wrong, I don't know but I think its 90's all the way in terms of design.

Kimball Champions:

Now here we go. Before series 1 hit, I had actually never heard of the Kimball Champions set from 1887. I would love to get an original but haven't found one cheap enough yet. The set from this year spanned all three flagship issues, meaning I had something to collect all year round. I love the look of the set although I don't think they should have doubled up on some players. I'm still collecting the Update set so if you have any let me know!

Allen & Ginter:

I said before Ginter came out that I wouldn't be picking up too much of it but once it dropped I quickly got sucked into Ginter madness. I seem to be in the minority that really likes the design of the base set. The inserts were interesting and the minis are always fun. I did manage to complete the full 350 card set and even went as far to grab that nice binder that Topps offered up through their website. It wasn't the cheapest but the coupon from the Diamond Giveaway helped with that. The set looks great in the binder too.


This was a nice surprise this year. It definitely brought me back to my kid collecting days, when I collected Panini baseball stickers and MASK stickers (remember MASK toys? Mobile Armored Strike Kommand? They were awesome) and putting them into their respective books. Another set I haven't finished but hope to before the 2012 comes out.

That about wraps it up. Again, a good year for Topps as a whole complete with its ups and downs. Mistakes were made this year by me (namely buying too much) but will surely be corrected this year. As for Topps' mistakes well, let's just hope they learned something too.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 collecting goals? did i hit them?

I know the year isn't over yet but its close enough for me to analyze. Way back in January I posted up this. Its a short list of collecting goals that I had for 2011. This post will see how I did. Lets see, shall we?

Goal 1- Finish the T206 page. This didn't happen. In fact, I regressed and ended up with fewer than I started with earlier in the year. It wasn't a waste though. They got used in a group break and I was able to give a couple collectors their first taste of 100 year old cardboard. I did procure the Christy Mathewson though, which is gigantic and one of the cornerstones of my collection, so thats a plus.

Goal 2- 2011 Topps series 1, 2 and 3. This did happen. Almost twice in fact (just need to finish Update). I complete two sets of the flagship. One to put away and one to shuffle through. I usually sort it by team so I can familiarize myself with whos who. Although guys tend to get traded even before series 1 hits but its ok.

Goal 3- 2011 Heritage. Definitely did not happen for me. I did try to complete the set but the short prints got to be too much for me. They really dried up in the trading ring here and I didn't want to have to get them at shows for a couple bucks a card or fight with people on eBay for them. I won't be chasing Heritage ever again. I'll buy it but not build it. Oh, I never got that Hank Aaron auto either. Total sadface.

One out of three. Pretty crappy if you ask me. Although I should have made a few more then maybe I would have hit more targets but what am I going to do?

Oh, I know, how about make some goals for 2012?

2012 goals:

Goal 1- Spend less on cards. I don't know how much exactly I spent but I made a lot of dumb purchases this year card related. I intend to change that this year. I spent way too much on boxes and sets that amounted to nothing. Bowman, Heritage and even though I liked and completed it, Allen & Ginter. In 2010 I spent wayyyyy too much on finishing that Opening Day set and I totally bought one blaster of OD this year and haven't looked back since. See? I can learn from my mistakes.

Goal 2- Complete flagship. I shouldn't even count this as a goal because it seems to be automatic. I did get way too much series one, less series 2 and even less Update but thats how 2010 worked too.

Goal 3- Actually finish that T206 page. Yes. I WILL do it this time around. I am currently at 8 so I only have 7 left. My absolute favorite vintage set will finally get its proper due this coming year. You'll know when it happens.

Goal 4- Finish up the 1973 set and start a new vintage set. I know I just started the 73 but I am really excited about collecting and finishing it up. I put the cards I got from the local in order and got a couple lots from eBay on the way (as of this writing) and hopefully aren't too far away from finishing off this classic issue. As for starting a new set, I've no idea which it'll be but it'll be pre-1982.

Goal 5- Finish the sets on the want lists. Yep, Chrome and Kimballs need to be finished up soon. Hopefully with your help I can put these sets to rest sooner than later.

So those are the goals I have for 2012. Hopefully I can look back about a year from now and say that I hit at least 4 of the 5. I'd like it to be all 5 but you never know what happens.

Monday, December 19, 2011

i'm a criminal

Or at least I feel like it sometimes when it comes to eBay and vintage cards.

The Cardboard Junkie posted a while back about obtaining Hank Aaron cards from his playing days. I had a few but the post definitely inspired me to grab some more. Here is what I came up with:

Ebay is a funny thing when it comes to cards. Some sell for high amounts and the next day the same card will sell for half that. A week later its back to the original price, then drops. So much fluctuation that its almost impossible to gauge a proper price on a card. Its those lows though, that you have to watch for. Case in point, the six fine Hank Aaron cards you see above. Yes, they are far from perfect but dammit, thats how I likes 'em.

Now, what did I pay for these fine pieces of cardboard? Check the price list below:

1974- $3.25
1961- $10.76
1964- $7.99
1967- $4.40
1969- $1.53!
1975- $1.99

I feel like I robbed these guys at these prices. Hank's LOWEST booking card was his final card in 1976 at $25. Obviously thats high book and mint but still. The 1969 gets the ! because it was graded a 2. I was sure to free him from his plastic prison. At a buck fifty-three I didn't care if it was practically torn in half. The lesson here? Go grab yourself some Hanks, every collector needs some vintage Hanks (he said Braves collector, I say every collector).

Sunday, December 18, 2011

goin' for it

I'm a set builder. A terrible one but a builder none the less. As it stands I have every Topps flagship issue from 1982 to 2011. Want to know how many of those I completed myself? Three. A paltry three sets I completed myself. Those being the years 1987 (due to childhood significance), 2010 and 2011 (out of convenience for being recent and buying a ton). Oh sure I've put together a few others, 2010 Chrome and Opening Day, 2011 Allen & Ginter and 2009 Topps T206 (which is my greatest victory yet, some of those short prints were tough finds) but those were merely because again, I overbought and decided to finish it up. Others I've failed at were 1954 Topps and 2011 Heritage. the 1954 just became too costly and I had to sell off most of the bigger cards (Aaron, Banks, Kaline) to get by when it got rough in the summer. The Heritage just became way too annoying with 75 short prints at the end. Like I mentioned way back while it was fresh, I really didn't want to pay $3 a card for a no name player just because he was a short print. That set got sold too, in its incomplete state. Let someone else worry about it. I won't be doing Heritage ever again.

Today though, my local shop had asked me to open up and keep watch until he got there (opened at noon, he was there by 1:30). I decided to rummage through and sort out his two vintage boxes. Being around 6000 total or so, I had my work cut out for me. Thankfully most of it was labeled and kinda sorted. Meaning I'd find chunks of 1977s then some 75s and so on. While going through all these I had a moment of clarity and thought about set collecting and how fun it is. It was then that I decided I was going to try for a new set to collect. Which one you ask? See below:

Thats right. Good old 1973 Topps. What a set. These are the top nine cards I got today along with a few other stars (Carew, Palmer, Carlton, Fingers, Garvey) and around just under 200 commons. I already had the Hank Aaron and in the above picture I got what is my first Clemente card in his playing days, his final card, sadly. Why the home run and strike out leaders? Because they "book" for $40 and $25 respectively. Crazy right? Well as far as the commons go, they are all in various conditions and I won't be too critical in that regard when collecting this set due to the age. 1973 has no significance for me as a year but as a set it has a bunch of it. Its the final year for individual series, it has great action photography even still and it has a ton of Hall of Famer and all time greats. A solid year for Topps. I did toy with the idea of collecting this set a while back but never acted on it. Now is the time while I've become a little jaded with recent releases. Plus I think it'll be a great venture into collecting a set thats awesome and not difficult to find but still does represent a small challenge to complete. If anyone has some extras, let me know and we'll work something out. I'm watching a few lots on eBay that end tonight so I hope to score some more of the commons that way.

I do plan on getting around to my take on the Blog Bat Around, so keep an eye out for that soon. Work isn't as bananas this week so I should have some time to post a little more regularly.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

still here

Over a week with no post. A new record. Maybe.

Not much different is going on here. Still working the grind, although this time its 3am to 3pm this week with just one more day left. Next week seems to be the same. It's really crunch time at work, although it always is around this time of year. Plenty of silly shirts to be had for Christmas this (and every) year. As of right now, I am typing this but as soon as its posted and done, I'll be packing up cards. I got a Rush album on (Hemispheres for those curious), cards sorted out and envelopes to fill. Yes, I've been slacking on getting the break cards out but its tough to get the will/want to drag myself to the post office after a 12 hour shift. I am tomorrow though, no ifs and or buts about it.

Seems that the new American Pie set is the buzz right now. With no real baseball set until February I suppose we have to quench that card appetite somehow. I picked up a few packs from the local shop. Got a Hendrix which is awesome. I also got the founding of Motown Records and the introduction of the Atari 2600 (I really like the music base cards). I also got a relic of Susan Lucci, you know, from All My Children? Yeah, exactly. Anywho, its a neat set and I'm pretty bummed I didn't get the UPC code card but I may dabble in a few more packs but won't go nuts on it. If I need a card fix I'll stick to picking up criminally low priced Hall of Fame vintage cards. Which you'll see quite soon.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

it's not over yet...

True, the break is over but there is still one thing left; the signed Hall of Famer baseball! I said in the initial post for the break that it would be randomed off to one of the participants of the break. It still will but I have a question. Should I random the names and post the winner here, or should I leave it a surprise and send it to the person picked and have them surprised when they get the package? Everyone who took part in the break, let me know if I should reveal the winner or not.

Other than finishing up the break, I do apologize for the lack of posts but this week is absolutely hectic. The wife is prepping for finals next week and things have picked up tremendously at work and I am working 2AM to 1PM shifts all week. Yes, there is apparently a 2 in the morning now. Reason being that we're still with one car. We would have had it back Saturday but ran into a snag at the DMV, so we have to try and get it back this week. So I needed to do more hours but had to drive her to work and pick her up when she is done, which wouldn't allow for more hours to be picked up. So my only option was to go in and leave with my co-worker and he does 2 to 1. Gotta do what I gotta do. So thats whats going on with the lack of posts (and more or less everything else around here, except sleep) but it should only be this and next week. I have been reading but haven't had the focus to do any posts. I do have some ideas so they will get posed eventually. So, uh, thats that.

Monday, December 5, 2011

threads break, final

Yes, just like last round's Gonzalez, there are two Castros. No idea how I managed to obtain two of them but there they are.

1- the dimwit- 3x auto/relic
2- kevin- castro (star)
3- cheap card collecting- castro (avg)
4- wickedortega- gonzalez
5- daddyohoho- drabek
6- stealing home- wallace
7- arpsmith- scherzer

I have everyones info and their extra cards ready. I should have these out hopefully soon. Thanks to everyone who participated and I hope it was fun!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

threads break part 7

1- stealing home- bench
2- wickedortega- team leaders
3- arpsmith- speed power
4- daddyohoho- a's
5- kevin- gonzalez (gold)
6- the dimwit- gonzalez (green)
7- cheap card collecting- reyes

Friday, December 2, 2011

threads break part 6

1- wickedortega- morrison
2- arpsmith- cueto
3- daddyohoho- byrd
4- kevin- sizemore
5- the dimwit- cashner
6- cheap card collecting- mccutchen
7- stealing home- pagan

Thursday, December 1, 2011

threads break part 5

Alright, here we go. The meat of the break. Here we have the beginning of the Triple Threads portion of the break. Single unity relics for this round. Oh and one more thing. We have eight rounds and seven participants. What I planned on doing was randomizing the final round due to everyone getting a chance to pick both first and last. As you've noticed what is happening with the order is that you are being moved down one slot in each round. Therefore, if you picked first the first round, you'll be picking seventh in the seventh round. Seems the most fair to me to randomize the last round, therefore it would be an equal chance for everyone to grab that top slot again, as opposed to a pre-determined order. Thanks for listening, now pick your card!

1- arpsmith- Posey
2- daddyohoho- rodriguez
3- kevin- ramirez
4- the dimwit- bell
5- cheap card collecting- roberts
6- stealing home- hunter
7- wickedortega- tabata