Saturday, July 21, 2018

Some card show goodies

I don't normally start off a post with a scan, but I figured now that I have my new scanner in hand, I'd put the first scan I created right off the top to see what it looks like.

Not bad.

My friends were in town last weekend and asked me if I have a plan in place when I go to the show.  I told them that I used to do that, but usually wound up disappointed.  What I do now is I go and hit a table, hunker down there and see what I can find.

This time around, I found a table that had several boxes labelled "Vintage 4/$1".   Sounded good to me, until about 15 minutes into my dig the dealer came up to the group of us digging in the boxes and changed it to "5/$1".

Well OK THEN!!

So as you can see from the scans, I came home with a little bit of everything.  $17 spent and each card hit one of my want lists.  68, 69, 70 Topps.  89 Upper Deck.  1976 Topps hit big, 1977 Topps also had 13 cards come off the want list ( I put them away before scanning them though). 

I even found some clean check lists for 20 cents apiece. 

A good days work, even without a plan.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, July 16, 2018

Inbound and Down #44: The Five Tool Collector

I've mentioned a couple of times over the past week about the group of cards that CommishBob from the Five Tool Collector blog had sent my way.  He took better care of the 100 plus cards he sent my way than the Sportlots dealer who I mentioned a few days ago. 

The original group of cards that Bob had mentioned were some '62 Topps cards he had extra just sitting around.

Perfect cards for my '62 set, as I'm not looking to put together anything close to a mint set.  Anywhere around the VG mark for these is good enough for me. 

Love the Don Cardwell card up in the top left, as it appears he's either asleep or not wanting to have his picture taken.

The 2nd scan as you can see cut off the left hand side of the Simmons & Edwards cards.  No matter, as I already mentioned they fit well with the rest of the cards I already have for this set.   Bob sent 2 dozen of these beauties my way; not bad for having put aside this set build for the foreseeable future.

The biggest part of the lot Bob sent my way was the 80+ 1979 Topps cards.   Looking through them just brought back the memories of opening these packs when I was 11 years old. 

I love seeing the old style uniforms.  The rainbow colored Astros in the first scan.  The powder blue road Blue Jays, the brown and yellow Padres, the pinstriped home Phillies uniform. 

It would have been interesting to see what would have become of Mark Fidrych's career had he stayed healthy.  His early seasons as everyone knows showed great promise.

I remembered Ron LeFlore as one of the fastest players from my youth.  I decided to look up his stats and was surprised that his career lasted only 9 seasons.  The '79 season saw him finish 2nd in stolen bases with 79.  This was the meat in between the '78 and '80 seasons that saw him win 2 SB titles, one in the AL and one in the NL with the Expos. 

This lot of over 80 cards knocked just over 10% of the entire set off the want list.   That's enough to make anyone smile....

Thank you for the great package Bob, the cards are really appreciated!!

Thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Five and 5: Part 2

I came across an interesting poll just after the July 4th holiday on Twitter, and have been mulling a response for about a week now.

The tweet was from Ivan who runs the @WatchTheBreaks twitter account.  His poll asked the following question.

Has #TheHobby gotten better or worse in the past FIVE years?

The results were interesting.  317 people voted, and Worse got 51% of the vote while Better received 49%.  With the amount of bitching I see on twitter about cards and monopolies and all kinds of things, I thought the vote would have been more on the line of a 75-25 split.

I guess it depends on how you look at the question.  Do you look at it from the hobby as a whole perspective, or look at it from an individual perspective.

I tend to be more of a positive person, so I looked at it from the positive aspect.  The hobby is better for me now than it was 5 years ago.

Collecting modern cards has evolved to a point where I haven't bothered to put together any sets from 2018.  The only cards that I've bought from this year were for Blue Jays team sets or any of my player collections.

Panini didn't need to airbrush the Jays logo, pine tar took care of that chore

With fewer distractions, I have been focusing on putting together vintage sets more, which works out better because I can put more of my card budget towards vintage. 

Forget me for a minute, there's still a lot of positive things going on in the hobby.  People are chasing rookie cards now like they did 20 years ago.  Mike Trout RCs and Mookie Betts RCs are a couple of the hottest cards in the hobby now.   Don't forget Otani as well.   I see all kinds of people asking for LeBron James RCs, Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews in hockey, Saquon Barkley in football.  Since I started writing almost 7 years ago I don't remember a time during that period where RCs were as hot as they are now.

I also see a lot more generosity out there as well.  People donating cards to charities (Commons 4 Kids is one example).   People seem to be trading even more now for trading sake, not just matching dollar values to complete a deal.

I see people selling cards all over the place, twitter, ebay, sportlots, COMC and on message boards as well.  I'm sure that there are other avenues as well for a collector to buy a card.  For as much as people lament that the brick and mortar card shops are going the way of the dinosaur, there are plenty of avenues for collectors to get their hands on cards now. 

I'm sure that there have been plenty of podcasts and discussions so far during 2018 about how monopolies are ruining the hobby as a whole.  Do I think monopolies are good for collectors?  Absolutely not.  Are we as collectors going to be able to change that anytime soon?  Probably not.

But for me, there's only one thing I can do to protest what the monopolies are doing to the hobby.

Spend my money elsewhere.  

Lately, I've done that quite a bit.   I'm sure I'll keep on doing it for the foreseeable future.

I just choose to look at it from the positive side instead of the negative.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Five and 5: Part 1

I still have a lot of cards to show off from CommishBob's great box that he sent me, but I have two posts that I want to write first that have something in common.   The number 5.

Today's post is going to piggyback off of Gavin's post about narrowing down his collection to just 5 aspects.  My answers are below.

1.  Set building

This is the core of my being.   Always has been.  I currently have a want list for twenty-eight sets on this blog.   Yes, it's insane but it is who I am.   The best part of having all these want lists on the blog?  I've reared back on my pack busting/current card spending.   Tremendously.

A lot of you might be laughing just like Jim Kern at the crazy amount of sets I've got going.  But it is my DNA.  I don't know what I'm going to do when I've completed the sets I'm building.

Oh yeah, I've still got #2 through 5....

2.  Toronto based sports teams.

This is another no brainer.  Blue Jays and Maple Leafs.  Closing in on 8000 combined between the two teams.   I've finally got them all organized (well almost, but I am close) 

Two of the biggest Toronto sports heroes during my lifetime, shown on two cards that run the gamut from common as they get (Clark, 1990-91 Pro Set) to premium product (Bautista, 2017 Gold Label).

Right now the ratio of Jays to Leafs cards is 6:1 Jays.  I'd love to even that out a bit as time goes on.

3.  My player collections

I currently have 10 of these types of collections.   I don't believe I'm going to add any more for quite a while.

The Sakic and Thome collections are over 700 & 500 respectively.  I have 3 or 4 others in the 100-200 card range.  A few others are below 100 cards.

What's great about these is there's no time frame or goal associated with adding cards.  I was at the monthly card show today and saw a Brett Lawrie card that I didn't have in my collection.  Hadn't bought any cards of him for quite a long time.   That's the beauty of PC's. 

Finding a card of one of your cardboard idols alongside an all time great, for pennies?  That will never get old for me....

4.  Serial numbered parallels

Ha, betcha that most of you were waiting for me to say that one, right?!

This obsession is a little crazy.  So crazy I built a frankenset around a shit ton of serial numbered cards.

Add gold, purple, red, green, turquoise, (add your own exotic color here), and the card gets better.  Add in that the card is one of my player PC's or a Toronto based card, and it becomes drool worthy.

Sad, yes.   But it's in my card collecting DNA.

5.  Blogging

This blog is just under two weeks from it's 7th anniversary.

I've written 1682 posts before this one.

I generally don't devote that much time and energy into anything unless it interests me.

I've gone periods of time not writing, or hardly writing.   But going forward I just can't see myself collecting without writing about it.

I guess that I just have to keep going with the writing because I love it.   I enjoy expressing the triumphs and the tragedies that surround my card collecting hobby.  I enjoy interacting with everyone that also writes about this hobby. 

I may not agree with what you say, and I'm sure that there's a lot of people out there that disagree with me regularly.  But that is what makes writing about this hobby fun. 

So you're going to see me around for a while longer.  As long as I have these 5 aspects of the hobby, I'll keep going.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Thursday, July 12, 2018

A bit of a bitch fest

I received an order from Sportlots earlier this week, actually it came the same day that I received the cards from CommishBob.

I was kind of excited about this 94 card order and was looking forward to receiving them.  I pulled from my mailbox a box of cards from Bob (just over 100 in total), shipped very well.   And I also received this...

This is an 8.5 x 11 white envelope.  No padding.   It would be something that you would receive documents in from say, a legal firm.  Not me.  I received 94 cards, without benefit of a top loader or any kind of protection.

I paid $6 premium shipping for this.   I get that people sell cards to make money, believe me I've been there myself.

I wouldn't do this to anyone.  Never.

AMAZINGLY, these cards arrived unscathed.

About 30 cards apiece for each of the 78, 84 and 85 sets were knocked off the want list.   Needless to say I have to find another seller though when I decide to knock another 100 or so cards off the list.

The moral of the story?  If you're going to charge someone $6 to ship them an order, at least try to spend more than half of it on the actual shipping charges. 

It's just good form.

Thanks for letting me bitch.   Robert