Monday, April 30, 2018

Another New Year's goal is complete, and boy am I a glutton for punishment

I'm closing in on 7 full years of blogging, and most of that has been spent accumulating Blue Jays.  Lots of them.  It's kind of slowed down in recent months, but for the longest time I was getting the cards in, noting them in a spreadsheet, and putting them in boxes.

No order whatsoever.   What a mistake.

As the spreadsheet grew and grew, and the collection passed the 6000 card mark, I started realizing a few things.

  • I couldn't find any particular card quickly.  With multiple boxes of cards (one of them a 5 row monster), hunting became a chore
  • I started finding duplicate entries on the spreadsheet.  Quite a few of them as a matter of fact.
  • I needed a better way of doing things.  I've known this since the beginning of 2017, but hadn't taken action.
So over the past few weeks, I've taken every spare moment I could find and tackled this project.  I sorted cards first by decade, then by year, then by manufacturer, and finally by set.  I entered them all into the Trading Card Database and now I have just under 6200 cards sorted.

Now, I can find things.   Now, I can file new stuff that comes into the collection a lot quicker.  It feels damn good.

It actually got to the point a few weeks ago where I just wanted to light a match and set fire to the whole thing.  As you can see, that didn't happen. 

It's nice to have this done.  Plain and simple.  Now I can devote my free time to writing instead of sorting. 

Now if I can only think of something to write about....

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Inbound and Down #39: Torren' Up Cards

A few weeks ago Kenny from the Torren' Up Cards blog sent me a tweet, asking if I still had a JT Miller card to finish off his New York Rangers team set from this year's Upper Deck release.

I told him that indeed I did, and had a couple of other cards to send his way, the nicest being a Henrik Lundqvist stick/jersey combo that was just waiting to get into the hands of a Ranger collector.  With Kenny still being rather new to collecting hockey, I thought that card would get him well on his way.

Kenny mentioned he was worried about what he was going to send back.  He's actually been quite generous to me in the past, so I tweeted him that all I wanted was a couple of Ichiro cards.

Bingo!!  I would have been happy if that was all that was in the envelope for the reasons I mentioned above.  

Nope.  There's more...

A lot of Blue Jays youth here, including Bo Bichette whom Jays fans are drooling over (along with Vlad Guerrero Jr.).  Maybe in another year or 2 the Jays will have the best young hitting tandem to come along at the same time in who knows how long!!

I still need a lot of Blue Jays cardboard, especially in OPC form, so this '92 copy of Greg Myers hits the spot.   Frederik Andersen has been the toast of Toronto since Saturday, pretty much standing on his head while the Leafs won games 5&6 against the Bruins.  I cannot wait until game 7 tomorrow night, it should be a barn burner.

With all those in there, Kenny was still not done.  Now the autograph card he sent me isn't a player that I routinely collect, but the card itself really impressed me.

You know what, I don't want to take it out of the toploader.  I don't want to break the seal.  This is a really sweet Edgar Martinez autograph!

I also thought of three letters when I saw this.  N  F  S

They don't mean not for sale (although that is true), for me they mean Nice F@#$ing Signature!!

With all the lousy efforts you see on cards by athletes these days, this Edgar Martinez autograph is the opposite.  It is a great effort by a classy player.  I don't usually make a fuss over autos, but this card might change my opinion...

Thank you for the cards Kenny, they are appreciated!!!

thanks for reading, Robert

Monday, April 23, 2018

Inbound and Down #38: Cardboard Clubhouse

About a month ago I posted on the blog that I had an extra 83-84 Wayne Gretzky card for anyone who cared to take it off my hands.   Adam from the Cardboard Clubhouse blog swooped right in and claimed it for himself, and the start of our first trade (I believe) began.  Adam also was looking for some Joe Sakic's (of which I have a few) so I sent along a nice piles of dupes I had wanted to part with for some time.

Adam responded to my envelope in kind.   Very kind indeed.  First off some Toronto needs in both baseball...

LOVE the black A&G cards

and hockey were taken care of.

The first card I saw in the envelope was the Ken Linseman card from '91 Score.  I had to look it up, and sure enough, '91 Score is the only card that features him in a Leaf uniform so I was quite pleased to see that.  It's the bilingual version, there is one other version that is also just in English which I'll have to see if I can pick up.

The bulk of the trade package came in the form of 1984 Topps.   About 50 of them altogether.

Getting these 50 means that I'm just over 1/3 done with the '84 set.  For me, that means relocating the want list over to the "well under way" tab and getting an actual want list up (instead of a haves list).  I like both the '83 and '84 Topps sets which feature the 2nd photo on the bottom of the card.  I would have to say that I definitely prefer the '83 set that has the circular inset, rather than the boxes you see on the '84. 

Adam, I appreciate the trade and the cards you sent, thank you!!  Look forward to doing another trade in the future.

Thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, April 21, 2018

I couldn't go to the card show, so it sort of came to me

Last weekend was the big monthly show, but I didn't have the time to get out there due to some issues around the house that needed attention.  So I did the next best thing and put more $$ in the COMC account, and hit the ebay trail to knock off some want list numbers.

The first auction I grabbed on a buy it now was for these 4 '69 Topps San Francisco Giants cards.  Cost me just about $4 shipped, and the cards are in really good shape for being almost a half century old.  The more cards that I pick up from this set, the more I can't wait to have it put together. 

The shipper was also very fast, packed the cards well and included a nice note (he addressed me as Mr. Mitchell, you don't see that often these days) and just did everything very professionally.  His ID is mft15639 in case you're curious...

The other three cards I purchased were from an old favorite ebay seller of mine, the Battersbox.  My quest for the '59 Topps set has been bolstered by their inventory many a time.

I decided last weekend to start picking at the mid range star cards, of which I have many to add.  These three cost me $17 shipped, but the names you should all recognize.

Many a poor pun has probably crossed your monitor when someone acquires a Herb Score card relatively cheap, so I'll spare you.  Needless to say I'm happy to have this in the collection now for just under $6.

Again, another hall of famer from this classic set comes my way.  With most of my posts, I end up looking up the stats of one of the players on baseball reference dot com.  I decided to hit Nellie's stats, and I was surprised to see that he won the MVP in the 1959 season, hitting just 2 HR's!!  Nellie also won the Gold Glove at 2nd base in '59, and appeared in the World Series against the Dodgers, hitting .375 in the series.  The Dodgers won the series in 6 games...

I also decided to look up Hoyt's stats as well, and was surprised to see that he tied a career high with 15 wins in the '59 season.   He also led the AL in ERA that year with a paltry 2.19 mark; it was one of only 2 seasons in which Hoyt pitched enough innings to qualify for the ERA title.  The other season?  1952, in which he also won 15 games and led the NL in ERA with 2.43.  Hoyt also finished 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting in '52, behind a fellow by the name of Joe Black, whose career would only last 5 more years.

I have a whole bunch of '59s in my COMC cart right now, and I can't wait to see that want list drop below 100 cards (it's at 159 right now).  I'm starting to get the same feeling I had while building the '64 set; the anticipation of finding the bigger names at cheap prices. 

The way it's looking right now, 2019 will be the year that I finish the '59 set which will be 60 years after it's release.   I'm already looking forward to it...

Thanks for reading, Robert

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

100 Days in--I'm sure that the turkey is frozen by now

I kind of feel like I've been in a collecting cocoon for the first 100 days of the calendar year.  Maybe being in a snail's shell would be a more appropriate description.  Staying away from new product has kept me in kind of an isolation; at least that how it feels to me...

I've been to the big box stores a few times in the past few weeks, and have pretty much resisted any kind of temptation to buy 2018 product.

It appears as if I've been the only one who has done so if you look at my twitter feed.  I'm seeing all kinds of tweets and posts about Series 1, Gypsy Queen, Heritage and Opening Day.  Lots of great pulls and a lot of joy over this year's releases.  That's why my twitter feed is heavily populated with card collectors; I love seeing what people pick up or pull from packs.

I see that Pat Neshek sold a Shohei Otani autograph on ebay.  LOL, the rich get richer.

But then I sit and think about this merriment, and I'm glad for everyone.  And I'm also glad for myself, for a couple of reasons.

  1. I'm at day 100 of not buying any new product.  I expected to have the shakes by Valentine's day, but focusing on my want lists and picking up cards off of ebay, COMC and Sportlots has made staying away from new product that much easier.
  2. I'm actually working on getting my Jays collection in order.  This project which has been on my plate for over a year now is finally getting the attention it deserves.
Over 3500 cards have been added to my Jays collection on the TCDB, and the craziest decade is to be added next.  I did not realize how many cards I have from the 1990's!  I've spent a couple of days going through this pile that took up two rows of a 5 row monster box, and found a bunch of cards that I'd totally forgotten about.

Totally forgot about the '91 Upper Deck Silver Slugger cards.  Love the design of '91 UD, and the Silver bat just adds to the enjoyment.  Would have loved to see Kelly Gruber stay healthy and have a longer career with the Jays...

Collector's choice at 99 cents a pack.  Check.  Art card of one of the best players to wear a Blue Jays uniform.  Check.  Silver signature parallel (personal weakness).  Check.  Hard for me not to like a card such as this '94 Collector's Choice checklist card.

I could look at cards featuring catchers that wear hockey goalie style masks all day and never get bored.  This is a '97 Upper Deck card, and I didn't realize that catchers had been sporting this style of mask for 2 decades now.  My how time flies.

I've seen a lot of cards of guys who only spent a season or two (or even less) in Jays colors.  Jose Canseco for one.  Benito Santiago.  Omar Vizquel.  Raul Mondesi.  Lance Parrish.  I think some of my apprehension for sorting all these cards was having to look at all of them.

Now I realize that that was the blessing...

Los Azulejos de Toronto.  Because of this card, I now know how to say Toronto Blue Jays in Spanish.   Good thing, because where I live I'm bound to run into a Spanish speaker just as easily as an English one.   Oh, and seeing the old school Jays logo is pretty cool too.

Yes, I've made it to 100 days, and the proverbial cold turkey that I've gone is frozen.

At least for a while longer...

Thanks for reading, Robert