Thursday, November 26, 2020

A little faith in humanity restored

 First and foremost, happy Thanksgiving to all the ladies and gentlemen out there that are reading this today.

Wanted to recount a recent trade with fellow blogger Marc that could have gone awry, but didn't.  Marc and I completed what I think is our 3rd TCDB trade (TCDB ID: marcbrubaker) and being the generous guy that he is, sent me a boat load of Allen & Ginter cards, 78 of them to be exact.

2019 A&G Want list has shrunk quickly

Marc sent off the tracking ID, I set it up on the USPS site to give me the text updates and that was that.

A few days later, I get the message on my phone, package delivered.  Hoorah!!

Go to the mailbox.  Nope.  Nothing there but ads.  HMMMM

I should have clued in when I didn't get anything in my informed delivery email from USPS, but I didn't think of it then.

I sent a message off to Marc to let him know that package was delivered, but I didn't get it.  This morning I look at my messages (after 3 days of not doing ANYTHING card related) and Marc advised that the package was sent to Street and not Place.  Slight difference, but makes a big one in my neighborhood!

I had to drop off a couple of PWE's at the USPS today, so I decided on the way back home I'd go to my address a block behind me and see if that person still had the package.

As you can see by the scans, he still had it.   The guy had opened it; I would have done the same thing as you can't be too careful as to what people send through the mail sometimes.  

Not one card was missing, the gentleman was friendly and handed me the envelope pretty quickly, and all is well with the world again.

A bit of faith in humanity restored...

Thank you for the trade Marc, the cards are great and really appreciated!!

Have a great holiday all and enjoy the hobby.


Sunday, November 22, 2020

2 out of the next 10

This time of year just wipes me out as I get older.   The pressure at work increases each year and the time I have for my beloved hobby (and blog) just seems to decrease.

For example, today was the only day off I had this past week and I decided to spend a good chunk of the morning putting a couple of vintage sets in binders ('69 T baseball and 84-85 OPC), then get a couple of my nearly completed Allen & Ginter sets into boxes that actually fit the set properly (500 count BCW boxes if you're wondering).

While putting a bunch of cards that have been on my desk away, I realized that I had completed 2 sets from my recent Sportlots order and hadn't written a post about the 2nd one.  

The 2012-13 In The Game Between the Pipes set is one that I bought a box of way back many years ago at the Hockey Expo just outside of Toronto, then promptly let it sit in box of cards for years.  With the new found desire to finish sets, this one wound up in the crosshairs and the final 31 were part of the Sportlots order.  

Nothing but goalies in this set.   Love it.   You get some pre rookie cards such as Garrett Sparks, Zach Fucale, Laurent Brossoit and Tristian Jarry .  Then you hit subsets like Stars of the Game, the Decades subset which I really like, Record Breakers and then International Stars.  ITG didn't have a NHL logo license so choosing photos such as Michel Dion and Corey Crawford had to be tough to change what was on the mask, even slightly to avoid infringing on trademarks.

Good to get this one out of the way quickly.  I have 2 other sets that are less than 10 cards from completion now, so hopefully if I get some time next weekend I can get those finished and move forward.

Enjoy the hobby!


Monday, November 16, 2020

No you don't Jeff

I never hesitate to poke fun at myself.  My forgetfulness comes to mind, I've forgotten so many things over the years only to be reminded of them by my wife, my friends, or even while writing posts.  It'll be similar to the light bulb shining on you in the cartoons.  

But there comes a time when someone pokes fun at themselves during an email exchange that I can't resist using it for a post.   Long time blogger Jeff at the 2x3 heroes blog is the person I'm speaking of in this instance. 

Jeff was one of a couple of people who reached out to me when I wrote about getting started on completing the run of Ginter sets.  His email was something that I shared instantly with my wife and we both had a great laugh.  But let's look at some cards first, shall we?

There was just over 100 cards in the envelope, but the highlight for me was my first look at 2020 A&G in hand.  There was never any at the stores locally, plus I procrastinated about buying myself a box of packs from an online seller, well just because I was being cheap.  

Jeff took care of getting my set started by sending just under 60 cards my way and as you can see by the scan above, he sent some big names to me.

I did a mish-mash scan, 4 GQ Greens as that set starts to really close in on completion.  3 cards from the 2012 A&G sets, just 3 legends of the game is all.  Tyler Johnson Artifacts red for the serial numbered hockey set, and a David Broll autograph card to the Leafs collection.   4 for 4 on this page!!

39 more cards off of the 2019 A&G want list round out the great envelope that Jeff sent my way.  Instead of taking the first 9 baseball players off the pile, I decided to dig into the middle and show a few non-baseball subjects just to change things up.  

Now, onto the email story.

The exchange was so quick, I think that's what made it so funny for me.

Jeff starts by asking if I'm still at my old address in PA.  I replied back "nope, been in Florida for 5 years now" and provided him with the current address.

Here's his response:

WOW!!!  Have I really not sent you anything in 5 years??????  I totally suck.

You know, just from reading his blog all these years, I could easily see him saying that!!

Jeff, thank you very much for the cards they are really appreciated.   No, you don't suck.

Enjoy the hobby!!


Sunday, November 15, 2020

1 out of the Next 10

As I mentioned on Friday, the Sportlots box order I received knocked out a couple of the want lists on the Next 10 list.  I'm starting with the smallest want list, the 1990-91 OPC set, which was just a pair of cards.

Pronounce Ma-cow-un in case you were curious

I remember Jamie Macoun well, one of the stalwarts on the Calgary Flames blueline in '89 when the Flames beat the Canadiens for the Cup, and then was part of a huge trade with the Maple Leafs a couple of years later that saw 10 players change sweaters (5 each way).  It was hoped that some of the Cup experience that came Toronto's way would help the team succeed and hopefully win that long awaited prize, but it never came to pass.  

Jamie would be traded at the end of his 7th season with the Leafs to Detroit, where he helped the Wings win the Cup.  

It pained me, pained me, to have to buy this card.  At least it was only 18 cents.  But I'll be damned if I could find it among all the doubles I have in my Joe Sakic collection.  It is one of the few cards that features Joe wearing an 'A' on his sweater, as he became captain shortly thereafter and remained with the 'C' on his jersey until his retirement almost 2 decades later.  

Getting on the set completion train in 2020 has helped a lot.  11 sets down, another one to post in the next couple of days and a couple of more that have a handful of cards or less to go.  While it's not the same feeling as finishing a vintage set such as '64 Topps baseball, it still feels good to get a set that's been in a box for a long time done.

Moving on!

Enjoy the hobby.


Saturday, November 14, 2020

Cards on top of Cards on top of Cards

I mentioned on the blog a few weeks back that I had started out to collect the '86 Topps football set.  I liked the design and outside of the Jerry Rice RC, there didn't appear to be anything there that would break the bank.

Long time fellow blogger Kerry reached out via email and said he had a bunch of the '86s from a Goodwill purchase he had made and wanted to know if I was interested.   You better believe I was.   After a delayed response on my part saying that I had some A&G inserts that he needed to send his way, we agreed to an exchange.

This page of 9 is just part of the block of 47 cards from the '86 T FB set that I was expecting.  Kerry had something else in mind....

While I was out of town the last week of October, a friend of mine was staying at our house and told me that there was a box that came priority mail for me.  After scratching my head, I asked for a picture of the box so I could figure out who sent it.

It was Kerry.   This was big.

Not only was there 47 Football cards, but there was about 150 A&G cards from various years early on in the set's existence.

26 more cards off of the '08 A&G want list, a set that has come together very quickly.  I'm already down to just 30 cards to complete the set, including the Clayton Kershaw RC.  This isn't even on the Next 10 list, but it may be finished before 1 or 2 that are on there.

The '09 A&G list is quickly becoming one of my favorite sets of the entire run.  I love the colorful backgrounds (green, red and blue mostly) and the box around the players name are features that I really like.  Laziness gets the better of me, as I really didn't feel like scanning all 116 cards from this set (just under 1/3!) to show off.  

2010 A&G is somewhat similar to the '09 as far as the colorful backgrounds, but they took the box off of the subject's name, which for me decreased the appeal just a little.  35 cards came off this want list due to Kerry's generosity.

What I'm really looking forward to is finishing all the A&G sets and comparing the players featured along with the "alternate" subject matter.  When I say alternate, I mean the non baseball players that are featured, along with cards like the Electron in the '09 set that afford an opportunity to learn.

Kerry, great stuff here, thank you very much for the generous package.  It really is appreciated!!

Enjoy the hobby


Friday, November 13, 2020

10 out of 10 -- finally

 318 days into calendar 2020 (seems like more, doesn't it?), I've finally broken through and finished all 10 sets that I set out at the beginning of the year to complete.

The final 8 cards of the 1974 Topps set arrived yesterday in mail from Sportlots.  To give credit where its due after all my USPS adventures this year, my box arrived a day early yesterday.

It's funny as you'd think I'd end up with a bunch of star cards to finish off the set, similar to many other collectors.  I actually started putting together this Sportlots box order back at the end of September, so there were a couple of other cards of a higher profile that arrived in the 6 weeks between the start of the order and now.

The Bob Robertson card is actually an upgrade, as the one I received in a trade on TCDB was quite the disappointment (off center and creased).  

Willie Crawford's card reminds me of the Steve Garvey psychedelic card I showed a few weeks ago, albeit to a lesser extent.  Not quite the haze of Garvey's card, but its a little similar.

Looking at Roy Fosse's card reminds me of how antiquated the catcher's mask and helmet combos of the 70's are now.  I remember the catchers using the turned around batters helmet under the mask back then.  Seeing Fosse with the helmet without the bill reminded me how unique that look was.

I'm very glad that this set is done and I'm going to be posting right away on the Next 10 sets  that I posted back in the middle of September.  The Sportlots order actually finished off 2 of the 10 and nearly knocked off a third, so we're off to a great start on getting more sets complete.

Enjoy the hobby!


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The first of the last

 I finally ordered my Sportlots box over the weekend, and it had all but one of the cards I needed to finish off the '74 Topps set.  Card #126, the 1st series checklist.

A bit of obsessiveness kicked in and I wound up trying to chase down the card, first on ebay where I couldn't find a copy less than $13.  To me, that wasn't going to fly.  So I hit Sportlots.

Struggled with cutting the tops of cards off on the scans today

I found the copy you see on the right for $3, much more acceptable.  It does have a bit of a border on the top, despite the scan you see above.  The seller graded the card as good, likely because of the boxes that were colored in on both sides of the card.  One of these days I will get into a full on discussion about how I feel checklists should be graded, especially those with the boxes checked/colored in.  For me, what you see above really didn't wouldn't have kept me from buying the card as I think that older checklists should be colored or marked.  That's what kids did back then.

I added the '79 Topps FB checklist on the left for 18 cents.  Clean on both sides.  Couldn't leave it there at that price.

I've been chipping away at some older sets lately, and this purchase was no exception.  Again, disregard the poor scanning job you see (it might be time to replace my scanner), as these 4 cards from the 69 Topps set were the first I've purchased in a while.  They all came at a reasonable price as well, just 35 cents apiece leaves me thinking while I write this that I probably could have hunted for some more.  

Not my day for scanning

This is another set that I've begun to try and pare down the want list some more lately.  These 4 combined cost me $6.50, but that includes the high number Art Fowler in the lower right corner, which is in nice shape.  The want list is finally below the 80 card mark with 79 to go, however I'm going to guess that about half of them are going to be quite expensive, so the extended time building this set is going to continue.  (rough count while writing shows about 30 big$ cards)

Later this week I should receive my Sportlots box that I had shipped and hopefully the final 7 cards will be scattered inside the many envelopes inside, which should finish off the '74 Topps set.  If/when that happens, that will be the last of the 10 sets that I wanted to finish at the beginning of 2020.  

Only 352,647 sets to go.   Or so it seems.....

Enjoy the hobby!


Sunday, November 8, 2020

1 card turned into 10

 That's what 20% off and combined shipping will do when you're on eBay.  The main reason I started looking one day a couple of weeks ago on eBay was to try and find one of the 2 cards I needed to finish the '74 Topps set.

I found it.  Then some more.

After the discount, the card cost me $1.01.  Weird since it was originally priced at $1.25 and 1/5 of that is a quarter, yada yada yada.  I needed it, the list went down to 1 card, there you have it.   The fun part came with the other 9 cards I bought, mixing it up over years and sports.

These 77-78 OPC team cards are quite popular and this Sabres card after discount was $1.60.  

Paid $2.60 for these 2 '72 Topps cards.  I've started to peck away here and there when I can at this set.  Hopefully will reach 60% complete by the end of the year.

Another set I've begun to pick off cards from the want list as well.  The Milt Pappas scan was pretty poor, it isn't that cut off on the left hand side.  These were $1.60 each.  I'm down to 83 cards on that want list.  2021 looks like the year to finally knock this out.

A trio of '79 Topps football cards cost 79 cents apiece.  I remember Rolf Benirschke as a youngster, he had ulcerative colitis and a really good video of his experience is on YouTube 

Finally, I wanted to take advantage of the 20% discount on a more significant card.  I found something from '62 Topps that was worth it.

Cepeda/Mays/Robinson home run leaders card!  Nice, and after the discount it only cost me $7.20, which I think is a steal for a card featuring these 3 players.  If I keep finding deals like this over time, maybe I will chase after '62 Topps some day.  

Yes, $1.50 turned into a $20 purchase when it was all said and done, but it's not like it was random stuff, I've kept to only buying stuff on want lists for quite a while now and this purchase fits the bill as well.

Enjoy the hobby!


Saturday, November 7, 2020

The missing 1

Today I get to tell another story of postal woes.  I'm not complaining, it's not all their fault, but a little bit of effort could have saved these cards from my buddy Joe (@cheapcardsales on twitter) having to resend this package.

Just to let you know, these cards you're about to see traveled approximately 3900 miles to get to my mailbox.  Let's have a chuckle while I explain...

I believe that this is the fourth time I've purchased a stack of cards from Joe from his weekly sales, and never an issue.  Prices are good, Joe takes care when it comes to shipping, and you always get prompt shipping and the tracking ID so you can follow the package.

gotta get them serial #'d cards on the cheap!

I believe that these were shipped Columbus Day week, and I was due to receive them on the Friday after.  I checked the email Friday afternoon, and no package.  I looked at the tracking online and it had an alert.  Package due to be sent back because of an incorrect address.

I sent a quick message to Joe for follow up.  Joe replied that he used the same address as in the past.  Turns out the package was missing a 1 (my address starts with 2 1's.)

I know that my mail carrier gets back to the post office late, as our mail usually comes later in the afternoon.   The next day I head over to the post office, worked out well because I had something to ship anyhow.

These multi colored Prizm's are evil

While at the post office, I talk to the manager, provide her with my tracking ID and inquire about the package.  She comes back a couple minutes later and says that the fellow who does the returns is at lunch, but she would let him know what the correct address is (which I provided her, along with my phone #) and they would call me and let me know.

Needless to say, I never did get a phone call, and the package got returned back to New York state that evening.  Took a week to get back to Joe, then he had to reship back to me (including the T.Y. card above as a kind gesture) which I'm positive he paid out of pocket for.

Choo and CP3 add to the serial #'d/99 PC

Had the USPS bothered to take less than 2 minutes to add a single "1" to the package, these cards wouldn't be so tired after travelling 3900 miles.

I'm sure the USPS wonders why people rip them as they do.   It was a simple process.  They just didn't bother following through.  

Joe, thank you for the cards.  Much appreciated!

Enjoy the hobby


Friday, November 6, 2020

TCDB Trade week #3: althib

Finishing off the trade week with another repeat trade partner, J.F. (TCDB ID: althib).  J.F. reminded me why I enjoy trading with my brethren to the north.

I get hockey.   Lots of hockey.

I sent J.F. some early to mid 80's Topps baseball commons + an early 90's Gretzky Score card, and in return I got some PC help, and the start of a couple more OPC sets.

The Keith Tkachuk PC is starting to grow nicely.  Part of the reason is that I took time a few weeks ago to add a bunch of cards to the want list.  These 5 bring the total up to 179, and what's nice is I still have a lot of base card needs for the PC.  Shouldn't be too hard building it up more without breaking the bank.

I don't know what happened for these two releases, but I could title a post for each of them "the dead zone".  Both 2010-11 (Top two rows) and 2016-17 (bottom row) I am virtually starting from scratch on both of the sets.  I must have went on hiatus or what I don't know, but both of these sets were virtually non-existent when I added them to my TCDB OPC want list.  Needless to say, I need hundreds of cards for both of these sets, so if any of you hockey collectors have any doubles lying around, just hit me up.

Thank you for the trade J.F., the cards are really appreciated!  Look forward to the next one...

Enjoy the hobby.


Thursday, November 5, 2020

TCDB Trade Week #3: rl16

Fellow blogger Ray (TCDB ID:rl16) approached one day under the guise that we share a common birthday.  We do, so it really wasn't a guise, but he decided that we had enough on each other's want list that a trade was in order.  

I can honestly say that this trade was more than well worth it on my end.

 Continuing on with yesterday's theme of Allen & Ginter, this trade starts off with a trio more cards from the '19 A&G set, all household names for sure.

2 player collection cards, both of which taught me something.  The Andrew McCutchen is a red bordered card, so I know now that brown is the new red.  The Jim Thome isn't the old Pinnacle, it's a new Pinnacle card.  Even though I'm a year older as of last week, I learned something new.

Ray also included a trio of Serial #'d/99 cards.  He asked if they needed to be stars; no is the quick and easy answer to that.  Just looking to add cards that are serial #'d to 99, and the more names I can add, the better.  These are all new names to the list and the PC is at 78 cards.  

Finally, Ray asked if I'm still collecting T.Y. Hilton.  Even though I really haven't got a whole lot of cards in lately, I said that I'm definitely interested in anything Hilton related (not the hotel).  Boy was I floored when I received this...

Ray said he had received this autograph of T.Y. Hilton before a minor league baseball game last year (assuming it was the Indianapolis Indians), and had it sitting in his room.  He believed it belonged in the hands of a fan, and I can say that I'm very grateful that he sent it my way.  I will have this framed and hanging in my office in the near future.

Thank you Ray for the cards and the autograph, they really are appreciated!!

Enjoy the hobby.


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

TCDB Trade Week #3: Thunderfoot

I get a lot of trades come in from guys on the TCDB website that have what I lacked several years ago:  creativity.  There are a lot of great names on the site and I was fortunate to complete a trade recently with John (TCDB ID: Thunderfoot) that sports a name that could represent a football kicker that has some good distance.

I thought of football immediately when I saw the trade that John proposed; he took a few Larry Fitzgerald doubles off my hands, plus some inserts from recent sets that I'd have no need for and in return he sent me back some player collection pieces for both my wide receivers.

I really haven't focused much on adding to both the Fitzgerald and T.Y. Hilton PC's lately, as I've been more in a set building frame of mind.

This isn't to say that I'd turn down a good offer to get some of my player collection cards in hand though!  I've been very partial to the colorful parallels that I've obtained of Larry Fitzgerald since I started his collection, and even though its hard to tell, the Playoff Absolute green parallel in the lower left corner looks really nice in hand.  

While this post doesn't contain much of Hilton, tomorrow's post features a very nice add to the T.Y. collection from a fellow blogger who also shares my birthdate.

Thank you very much for the cards John, they are appreciated!

Enjoy the hobby, 


Tuesday, November 3, 2020

TCDB Trade Week #3: NachosGrande

 I don't consider myself the voice when it comes to the TCDB website, even though I promote it frequently here on the blog thanks to all the trading I've done since the beginning of 2019.  But every time I see a blogger start on the website and start enjoying it, I take a little bit of pride, hoping that my voice was one of many to encourage them to join.

The most recent blogger that I've seen "join the ranks" is Chris from the Nachos Grande blog.  I've known and traded with Chris since early in my blogging days back in 2011 and our trades have always been beneficial to both sides.

Chris offered me up a few cards for my 2019 A&G want list and I snapped up the offer right after I made sure that I had the cards that were going in his direction.

I've recently decided that my one modern set per year that I'm going to build is going to be the A&G set.  I've come to enjoy it more than all the other sets that Topps releases, including the flagship.  Because of this, I've undertaken the project of putting together each of the A&G sets from 2006 to now, similar to the modern O-Pee-Chee hockey release as far as timeline.  I have 4 of them done so far, I'm close to completing 2017 and 2008/2012 both have a good start so I'm looking forward to having these done sooner rather than later.

Thank you for the trade Chris, looking forward to more on TCDB in the future.

Enjoy the hobby!


Monday, November 2, 2020

TCDB Trade Week #3: fordwaters

 I returned today from a much needed vacation in South Carolina to a mountain of mail.  Not complaining of course, but there's a lot of stuff to go through.  Because of this, I decided to do another trade week on the blog, also because I've been really slacking on the writing for the last month and trade weeks usually get me going for a few days.

One of my favorite TCDB ID's belongs to Ford, a 2nd time trade partner.  His ID is quite simple, it's his name, fordwaters.  It reminds me of someone who should either be on the radio, or writing/performing country music.

Never the less, I managed to add 8 cards to my 1986 Topps football set with this trade.  There's still quite a long way to go, but its still nice to add some cards to the set kind of quickly...

I divided the post of 8 cards into 3 scans.  On the first scan, I remember 2 of the 3 players pictured, Schroeder and Fred Marion.  I couldn't remember Robert Jackson of the Bengals, but he'd been playing for a handful of seasons with the club by the time the '86 set rolled around, so apparently I wasn't paying enough attention to the AFC Central at that time.

Now these 3 Hall of Famers were a welcome addition on the trade front, as I'm usually getting commons to start sets and wind up finishing the sets with purchases of rookies or high end stars.  Let's mark off LT, Payton and Allen shall we?

Bills and Oilers together instantly remind me of the great comeback by the Bills in the playoffs, down 35-3 only to win the game in overtime 41-38.  Moon passed for 4 TD's in the first half, while Andre Reed scored 3 consecutive TD's to turn what was a 35-17 deficit into a 38-35 lead for the Bills.  The rest as they say, is history.

Big thanks for Ford for the cards, he actually was on his way out of town when I sent him the trade offer and still got them out in the mail the next day.   

Enjoy the hobby!