Tuesday, August 30, 2016

First envelope for the new house

One of the biggest supporters, and author of one of my favorite blogs, AJ of the Lost Collector blog, sent me a message on twitter asking for my new address.  Gracious as always, he had a few cards for the Jays collection to break in the new place.

The PWE arrived yesterday with some cards that I probably never would have seen otherwise if it wasn't for AJ's generosity.

If the Jays make it back to the postseason this year, it will largely be because of the offensive contributions of Encarnacion and Donaldson (MVP again?).  Bautista has been hurt a lot this season, and frankly I won't be all that upset to see him walk after this season if he holds on to the contract demands that he spoke of earlier in the season.

Not to be overlooked, but Martin and Tulowitzki have been significant contributors as well, especially Tulo's defense at short which has been tremendous. 

The Topps Bunt cards aren't that bad to be honest.  It's a set that I probably would not have invested in, but I like the photos, and the logo in the background doesn't dominate the card.

Topps Chrome is another set that I don't see myself buying any packs of this year, so these two Tulowitzki cards are most certainly welcome here in my house.   

Until last week, I hadn't purchased a card at all since the middle of July, largely focused on the impending move, the move itself, and the time I've spent making the new house inhabitable.  My reward for all the work was putting a few bucks into my COMC account and picking up a few cards, some of which will knock down the long neglected '64 Topps want list!

AJ also included a note expressing concern that he was adding to a collection that I'm trying to reduce.  Rest assured, the Blue Jays collection isn't something that I'm looking to pare down!!

AJ, thank you for the cards, they are appreciated!  Thanks for breaking in the new house.

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, August 29, 2016

Hiding in plain sight

Numbers don't lie.  A very old saying, one that I constantly add the caveat "but they can and are manipulated to tell the truth that a person wants to tell."

This post is not a rant, a whine, or even a cry for help.  It's merely an observation based on numbers.

I posted my first card for the SNIH set yesterday, and readership dropped, by half.  Again, not a whine or a bitch, just the truth.  What does that tell me?  That folks don't care for hockey as much as they care for baseball. 

I noticed it in the past as well when I wrote posts about Joe Sakic, any Maple Leafs cards that I may have picked up, or any other hockey subject that may have piqued my interest. 

What to do, what to do.  I want people to see the hockey cards that I pick up for this latest project, as well as anything else that may come across my desk.  So, I've decided to hide the SNI hockey cards in plain sight.  Build them into posts.  Likely towards the end, so people can skip over them (because who reads right to the end anyways?) when they read a post.

Man, that still sounds bitter, doesn't it??  Believe me, it's not meant to be.  I know that the bloggers out there who enjoy hockey will still be interested and keep an eye out for these cards.  I've also got one supporter out there sending me a few to help with the cause (thank you Doug!). 

Meanwhile, here's the 12th page of the original SNI set, cards 100 through 108.

Card #100:  Todd Helton, 2010 Topps Finest #100/599.  Picked up at the 2012 NSCC.  Colorado card #3.
Card #101:  Sean Burnett, 2011 Topps Gold #101/2011.  Courtesy of the Stats on the Back blog.  Washington card #3.
Card #102.  Domonic Brown, 2012 Topps Opening Day #102/2012.  Courtesy of Brian from the Play at the Plate blog.  Philadelphia card #4.

Card #103:  Eric Chavez, 2006 Topps Chrome refractor #103/549.  Purchased at a PA card show.  Oakland card #5.
Card #104:  Carlos Tosca, 2004 Topps gold #104/2004.  Courtesy of Jim at the GCRL blog.  Toronto card #3
Card #105:  Johnny Mize, 2009 Topps Triple Threads #105/525.  Picked up at the 2014 NSCC in Cleveland.  St. Louis card #8

Card #106:  Josh Gibson, 2006 Topps Co-Signers #106/150.  Courtesy of Kevin from the Diamond King blog.  Pittsburgh card #1.
Card #107:  Nathan Adcock, 2010 Bowman Chrome #107/500.  Courtesy of Eric from the Manupatches and Chrome Scratches blog (retired).  Pittsburgh card #2.
Card #108:  Alex Rios, 2011 Bowman chrome blue #108/500.  I have no idea where this card came from.  Chicago White Sox card #3

I got a little creative adding Josh Gibson as a Pittsburgh player, seeing as he played for the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords in the pre-integrated baseball era.  Carlos Tosca's card is the first manager to be in the set, I think that there may be a couple of more manager cards in the set. 

Fitting in with the serial numbered theme of this post, here is the 2nd card for the SNIH set, going all the way back to the 1999-00 Be A Player release.  I was fortunate enough to pull this card from a pack back in the day, and my luck pulling cards that were serial #'d this low was minimal at best.

Maybe Oleg should have kept the helmet on.  Kvasha had an OK NHL career, playing in 493 games scoring 81 goals.  He would head back home after the 2005/06 season and play 7 more seasons in Russia before exiting at age 34.  Oleg was part of the big trade with the Islanders that brought Roberto Luongo to south Florida back in June of 2000.

We'll see how this goes...

thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, August 28, 2016

SNIH #20 Mikkel Boedker 2014-15 MVP

  • I had pretty good luck pulling gold signature cards from the '14-'15 MVP packs that I bought.  I managed to pull 3 of them, 2 of which will be part of the SNIH set.  
  • Interesting that Boedker adds his jersey number 89 to his signature.  We'll see if the folks in San Jose see and hear a lot of #89 this year.  
  • Pretty good photo on the front of the card, although you can't see his face, King Henrik Lundqvist is easily identifiable behind Mikkel.
1199 cards to go, 39 more for the Coyotes.

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Serial Numbered Insanity--Hockey style.

OK, just in case you haven't heard, I've decided to go ahead with the hockey version of the Serial Numbered Insanity project.   I'm a glutton for punishment.  I have put a page at the top of the blog, but just in case you don't want to be bothered looking it over, here's what it says...

A little different from the baseball version this time, largely because I learned a couple of things as I went along.  I can't wait to see how this set progresses...

Here are the "rules":

  1. This set is going to be a little smaller, 1200 cards.  40 cards by 30 teams.
  2. I'm sure that this is going to last longer than a year, so when the new Las Vegas team comes in, they won't be a part of the set.   
  3. Each team will be represented at least once in the first 100 cards of the set. 
  4. No jerseys/autographs in this set, similar to the baseball version.  Inserts are fine.
  5. No restriction on card companies this time.  This is different from the baseball version, which I restricted to Topps/Bowman products.   In the Game, Upper Deck, Topps, Panini are all an option.
I've kind of loosened it up a bit, allowing more companies to be a part of the set for a couple of reasons.

Variety:  It kind of got a bit boring towards the end of the baseball version, because we was seeing the same sets over and over again.  With multiple card companies involved, we should see more types of serial numbered cards, hopefully making it a little more fun for everyone.

Difficulty:  Unlike baseball that has Topps pumping out their gold parallel with 2000+ serial numbers each year, hockey doesn't have that so much.   There are a few hockey sets that go over 1000, but not a lot.  We'll see how hard it is to get cards 1000-1200.

The blogosphere:  I'm sure that out of the "big 4", hockey is probably last on the majority of collectors lists as far as collecting goes.  Yes, I know that there are some notable exceptions to this (Doug of Sportscards from the Dollar Store instantly comes to mind), but there are a lot of collectors out there that probably couldn't tell me what a puck is as well.  It's not a bad thing, it just limits the amount of people that may want to contribute.  I had 67 different bloggers/readers send me cards for the baseball version, I'm sure that I won't come close to that on the hockey side.  Again, not a bad thing!!

Maybe pumping out these posts might sway a person or 2 to pick up a hockey card here and there, possibly add a player or set to their collection that they may not have been interested in in the past. 

'97 Leaf Limited insert of Mats Sundin.  It's in play this time around.  It's one of 28 cards I already have towards the set.   Just 1172 to go. 

Let the games begin.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Friday, August 26, 2016

I've added a couple of things

I mentioned the other day that I was going to touch every card I had in monster boxes and determine if it would stay or go.  I didn't even mention office supply boxes, in which I found a cobra!

Yep, Dave Parker was hiding among paper clips and thumb tacks, in a top loader and ready to be removed and added to the other 18 cards I have from the '82 set.  I figured if I can find a card there, the other 700+ shouldn't be that hard to find.  So I added a want list for the '82 set today.

Meanwhile, I finally got around to scanning another page from the SNI set for a post; this page actually has 2 cards each from 2 of the more generous bloggers to this grandiose cause.  Enjoy!

Card #91:  Carlos Beltran, 2009 Topps Tribute #91/99.  Courtesy of Max from the Starting Nine blog.  New York Mets card #2
Card #92:  Joe Saunders, 2009 Topps Unique #92/1199.  Courtesy of Jason Williams (blog unknown, sorry Jason).  Los Angeles Angels card #4
Card #93:  Barry Zito, 2007 Topps Moments and Milestones #93/150.  Purchased at the 2012 National.  Oakland card #4

Card #94:  Scott Rolen, 2011 Gypsy Queen Brown framed #94/999.  Purchased at a card show in PA.  Cincinnati card #4
Card #95:  Mike Gonzalez, 2008 Topps Heritage refractor #95/599.  Courtesy of Kyle from the JABO blog (retired).  Atlanta card #8
Card #96:  Craig Biggio, 2007 Bowman Blue #96/500.  Courtesy of Max from the Starting Nine blog.  Houston card #5

Card #97:  James Baldwin, 2003 Topps Chrome refractor #97/699.  Courtesy of Brian from the Play at the Plate blog.  Kansas City card #2
Card #98:  Fausto Carmona, 2010 Topps gold #98/2010.  Courtesy of Michael from the Nomo's Sushi Platter blog.  Cleveland card #4
Card #99:  J.D. Martinez, 2011 Topps gold #99/2011.  Courtesy of Brian from the Play at the Plate blog.  Houston card #6

Still no Pirates, something that is "kind of" solved in page 12, you'll see when I post it in the next couple of days.

By the way, I decided to start the hockey version of SNI.  The tab is up at the top, try not to hurt yourself when you roll your eyes.  All the "rules" are there for your perusal, and don't be afraid to ask any questions.  My objective is to post cards as they come in, 1 at a time, just to keep the blog rolling along. 

This 5-6 post a month roll I've been on has got to stop.  One way or another.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Touch 'em all

No word of a lie, my goal now that I'm in my final home is to touch every card that I own and determine if it fits in with my collection.  There's going to be a lot of cards that will have to go (probably to a worthy store for donation), I'm also putting together my first box to send to COMC to sell (there are a ton of inserts/parallels that I own that aren't needed), and a third pile that has started are sets that I would like to build/complete.

So far, I've found 4 sets that I'd really like to build and have in my collection.  They may or may not make sense from where you sit, but I'd like to have these in some binders and put away to look at in the future. 

Also, there's no real hurry now to complete anything new that I add to the want list, because I probably will not be putting a lot of money into my collection for the foreseeable future.   Funny how a new house changes your priorities, huh?

But for now, enjoy my babbling about these 4 sets and let me know if you think I'm crazy for wanting to add them to my collection.

1982 Topps

Although the Night Owl ranked this 37th in his countdown of top 50 Topps sets of all time, I like this set better than some of the ones he ranked ahead of it.  While the Jim Clancy you see here is a prime example of the blurry photos that the Owl talks about, the hockey stick design is a lot better than many of the others in the 80's and 90's. 

So far I've only located 18 cards from the 792 card set in my travels, I'm sure that I'll find some more once I've touched all my cards.  Plus, the only card in the set that's going to set me back any kind of $$ is the Ripken RC, so this set shouldn't do a lot of damage to my wallet.

1990 Leaf

I've false started on this set a couple of times, wanting to put it together but then finding other sets or projects that I wanted more.  In the early 90's, I'm of the opinion that this set was the only real competition for the next set that I'm going to talk about.  I remember the hefty price of packs when this came out ($3 was unheard of and scared off a lot of collectors); by the time series 2 came out, the buzz had subsided somewhat since UD packs were still a $1 and the quality was pretty much the same.

I have just 16 of the 528 cards in this set so far, another number that I believe will increase by the time I get my hands on everything.  The rookies are going to be fun to hunt down, as there are some good names in the '90 set, such as Frank Thomas, Larry Walker, Sammy Sosa and John Olerud.  Still, I'm sure that there enough of these commons lying around in peoples commons boxes that I should have no trouble finishing this off.

1989 Upper Deck

I got back into collecting a year after this set came out, and I should have put it together then, instead of waiting several years then being scared off by the high prices that the Griffey Jr. RC commanded. 

Live and learn.

I have 34 of these cards right now, again not a big portion of the set, but I'm hoping to be closer to 100 once I've had a look at everything in my stash.  The crazy reverse negatives aren't going to be a concern of mine, as I'll just try and obtain the corrected versions (if there any). 

1992-93 Bowman hockey

The reason I put this 4th out of the 4 sets I want to build is strictly because of the foil cards in the set.  Pricey enough that I'll be talking my time going after them, this set will probably be the last of these 4 that I'll chase.  It's the smallest of the 4 sets on this post (only 400 cards), but when all the major stars have foil cards which are still quite popular with collectors (and sellers), chasing the set piece by piece may get expensive. 

I still have about a dozen monster boxes to go through, so touching 'em all is going to take some time, but the trips that I'll have down memory lane will be worth it.

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, August 20, 2016

I don't think a week will be enough

Looking at the task I have ahead of me, getting my collection "somewhat" straightened out is going to require a lot of hours.  This next week I am on vacation, and part of that time is going to be spent trying to get cards in order. 

7 days to get this mess in order?  Fat chance.  But hey, if I can get some of it out of the way (the spare bed right now is covered in binders for starters) then I'll consider the week a success.

I found one binder so old it had Pittsburgh Steeler cards in it.   I haven't actively pursued football cards in years....

Anyhow, I'll keep posting the SNI cards on here for the foreseeable future until I get some semblance of order in my chaotic card world.  At least I can find the SNI binders!

Page 10, coming at ya...

Card #82:  Matt Garza, 2009 Topps Finest #82/399.  Courtesy of Simon from the 7 Hours from Tampa Bay blog.  Tampa Bay card #3
Card #83:  Carl Crawford, 2010 Topps T206 chrome #83/999.  Purchased at a card show in western PA.  Tampa Bay card #4
Card #84:  Chance Cisco, 2013 Bowman blue #84/500.  Courtesy of Alex from the Chavez Ravining blog.  Baltimore card #5

Card #85:  Austin Kearns, 2004 Topps gold #85/2004.  Courtesy of Jim from the GCRL blog (retired).  Cincinnati card #3
Card #86:  Brett Kay, 2002 Topps Chrome #86/100.  Purchased at a card show in western PA.  New York Mets card #1
Card #87:  Stephen Strasburg, 2011 Bowman blue #87/500.  Courtesy of Dennis from the Too Many Verlanders blog.  Washington card #2

Card #88:  Adam Stern, 2003 Topps gold #88/2003.  Courtesy of the Sandlot cards blog.  Atlanta card #7
Card #89:  Rashun Dixon, 2010 Bowman orange #89/250.  Courtesy of the I collect ball cards blog.
Oakland card #3
Card #90:  Russell Martin, 2011 Topps Chrome atomic refractor #90/225.  I actually do remember pulling this card out of a 25 cent box at a card show!  New York Yankees card #2

The Mets are finally on the board, leaving just the Pirates as the only team without a card shown in the first 10 pages.  The Pirates actually end up being the only team without a card in the first 100 cards of the set.

Still a long way to go and a lot of posts to ensure that the SNI set is up to date and accurate, because my record keeping got a little shoddy (insert your own SH word here if you like..) and also because I need some posting material until I get back into the game.

thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Sometimes finding cards isn't such a good thing.

Yes, more of the moving into the new house chronicles.  I've been making an effort to start digging through boxes and plastic card holders to figure out just exactly what I have in my possession.  If you read this post last month, you may recall that I started toying with the idea of starting a hockey version of the SNI.

So what did I find in the last couple of nights?

2000-01 BAP Memorabilia Ruby Parallel of Richard Zednik of the Washington Capitals.   This is what's on the back.

Serial #'d 33/200.   I found 3 others from the same set, with serial #'s 49,61 and 178.  What worried me was that with such a limited print run, and many more serial #'d issues with similar low print runs, that a 1500 card SNI hockey set might be tough. 

Then, this evening I find these two cards. 

On the back?

There's a couple of larger serial #'s.  I don't think that there are too many hockey sets with serial #'d print runs as big as 98-99 Black Diamond.  SPx Finite is the only other one that comes to mind (it would take care of the higher numbers).  Other hockey sets such as SP Authentic and Artifacts would help to fill in holes as well. 

With the baseball SNI set very close to completion, I seem to be trying to talk myself into starting the hockey version.  It certainly would take as long, if not longer than the baseball set did, because there are fewer hockey collectors in the blogosphere, so it would be much more of an individual effort.

However, with just 6 of the potential 1500 serial #'s in hand, this idea may still be just a pipe dream.  But with my intention of going through every card that I have over the next few weeks to see exactly what I have in hand, I may find more cards like this that I don't remember having.  

That thought scares me.   Stay tuned.

thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, August 14, 2016

So far, so good, so much stuff

My moving situation was rather unique in that I made it to Florida last August, while my wife and my stuff didn't join me until the beginning of December.  I took a week off in October to go up north and help with packing, but for the most part, my better half did a lot of the packing.

I can only imagine what we'd be going through now if we brought everything we had in the house.  Thankfully we were able to sell/give quite a lot of stuff away, and the burden we are facing now is a lot more manageable.  The one thing however that didn't get pared down was my card collection.  Most of that thankfully is in boxes that were easy enough to move.  However, the binders were plentiful, and sadly, not labelled very well.

That makes things a little tougher when you're getting settled.  I was finally able to dig up the first binder of the SNI set the other day, which means I'm can get back to posting and making sure that I've not made any mistakes with this craziness.

With all that being said, here's page #9 of the SNI set, which is a bit overdue.

Card #73:  Heath Bell, 2011 Topps Chrome Atomic Refractor #73/225.  Courtesy of Ted from the Crinkly Wrappers blog (retired).  San Diego card #5
Card #74:  Miguel Cabrera, 2006 Topps Moments and Milestones #74/150.  Courtesy of Mark from the Stats on the Back blog.  Florida card #3
Card #75:  Nick Green, 2005 Topps Chrome Refractor #75/225.  Courtesy of Dennis form the Too Many Verlanders blog.  Atlanta card #6

Card #76:  Adrian Beltre, 2011 Topps Heritage Chrome #76/1962.  Purchased at an unknown card show.  Boston card #3
Card #77:  Jon Lester, 2011 Topps Marquee blue parallel #77/299.  Courtesy of the Night Owl.  Boston card #4
Card #78:  Cole Figueroa, 2011 Bowman Chrome #78/799.  Courtesy of Jeroen from the Dutch Card Guy blog.  Tampa Bay card #2

Card #79:  Miguel Cabrera 2009 Topps Ticket to stardom #79/99.  Courtesy of Max from the Starting Nine blog.  Detroit card #1
Card #80:  Justin Verlander 2007 Topps Moments and Milestones #80/150.  Picked up at the 2012 National.  Detroit card #2
Card #81:  Chris Carpenter, 2009 Topps Triple Threads #81/1350.  Picked up at the 2012 National.  St. Louis card #7

Dopey me, the last post I did for page 8 I mentioned that 2 of the 3 teams that didn't have cards yet would be taken care of on this page.   WRONG!!  Just Detroit hit the board on this post, so I'm down to the Pirates and the Mets that haven't broken the ice. 

Now, all I have to do is find the time to start writing posts again. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Moving sucks

For 5 days, computers and blogging was an absolute afterthought.  Between Friday of last week and Tuesday of this week, my only thoughts were gathering up my stuff, loading it onto a truck, carting it to a new home, and getting it off the truck.

Now all I have to do is sort out where it all goes. 

Speaking of sorting, that may be the project I have for the foreseeable future as far as my collection goes.  With the new house comes increased financial responsibilities, which may turn the $30 a week budget into the $30 a month budget.  I may end up turning to selling some of my excess on COMC or Sportlots in order to finance my card purchases.

For now, let's get back into the swing of posting, shall we?  My favorite blogger and trading partner, the Night Owl, sent me an envelope of great stuff to sort of break in the new home (well not really, I'm just making it so).

First off, a couple of requested cards.  The Jose Fernandez brings me down to just two of the Starting Points cards from last years A&G that are needed.  The McCutchen goes into the PC to build that up a little more...

5 more cards to knock off the eternal Blue Jays want list.  I get a kick out of Carlos Delgado cards featuring him as a catcher.

Some new stuff that wasn't on any want list, but was still new to me and needed.  Love the Tony Fernandez and Edwin Encarnacion cards.  Someone help me out, is the Josh Donaldson card from this year's Heritage?  I have no idea.

I was never a big fan of the Classic sets, but these two cards were needed, and will have to be cataloged when I start going through all the Blue Jays cards I own again.  I've fallen so far behind with my spreadsheet I've decided I'm going to take the time and redo the whole damn thing.   That'll keep me busy!

A couple of cards that were previously on want lists, but have long since been removed.  The Kyle Phillips may be one of the best Blue Jays cards that I own, and I am sure that I've received so many from the blogosphere that I could probably fill a 9 pocket page.  I'll get back to you on that...

As usual, our envelopes contain some kind of vintage cards towards sets, and this envelope was no different.  The Luis Aparicio was a welcome sight, and the crease in the upper left doesn't make a damn bit of difference to me, I was extremely happy to see this inside!

A well loved '59 Topps LA Dodgers team photo was the piece de resistance of the envelope.  No, I didn't hold a gun to N.O.'s head or threaten him with incriminating photos, he voluntarily sent this my way.  ( I hope he has a copy for himself...wait a minute, I'm sure he does)

Another fantastic envelope, thank you very much Greg!!

thanks for reading, Robert