January 27, 2017

On the 9th Day of Trade Posts We Get Oddballs!

I'm slowly but surely finishing up this trade post catch up project. Today I'm highlighting a Package from fellow Supertrader Kerry from Cards on Cards. As always, he sent a great bunch of cardboard! This time it was highlighted by a number of awesome oddball issues.

I love the OPC sticker card of Donnie Baseball! I've had the Topps version of this since 1988 when it was released. The Chipz of a few former Durham Bulls and the Rays mascot have been as big a hit with my daughters as they have been with me!

Next up, some more great oddballs. I was thrilled that this was not strictly a Supertraders package since it included more than a handful of Yankees in addition to some Rays. I couldn't believe I had never seen that Ruth before I opened this package. The remaining guys here were all players that I really enjoyed watching in my younger days.

I got a new 'Prime Time'!!! I really enjoy cards of Deion from his brief time in NY, but seeing them always makes me wonder 'what if'? I know he wasn't the best baseball player, but I was always a huge fan of his and really disliked seeing him play in Atlanta and Cincy. The rest of this scan is a great mix. The oddballs come to an end with the AS Randolph, but the package rounds out with a few more beloved former Bulls(including the recently departed Mikie Mahtook), a Refsnyder refractor and an awesome Tino from his USA Baseball days. All around, this was a really enjoyable stack of cards! Thanks Kerry, a return will be headed your way soon. Thanks for reading.

January 22, 2017

The 8th Day of Trade Posts - For the (Zak)Win!

Though it is now last the holiday season, I've still got to spread the trade package cheer across another four posts after this. Today, I'm sharing the contents of a great envelope that found its way to my door from Greg of Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle. Let's check it out, shall we?

This scan shows off the high points of the football portion of the trade. I loved watching Julius Peppers play football(and basketball) while he was at Carolina. This was in my pre-NC State undergrad days so I have an excuse... I dig the Collegiate Russell Wilson too, even if it is a reminder that he decided to leave the Wolfpack. Probably my favorite card of this bunch is the SI Kids Karl Mecklenburg though. 'The Albino Rhino' played primarily during the time when you could count on one hand the number of cards a particular player would appear on in any given year. So, seeing this oddball tucked in the middle of one of the stacks Greg sent was quite a welcome sight.

The football highlights were good on their own, but the baseball portion stood head and shoulders above. Along the top row, were new-to-me cards featuring 3/4 of the Core Four. I particularly dig the Jeter insert from Opening Day. A second year Godzilla from the National Baseball Card Day promotion in 2004 and a shiny Opening Day A-Rod added to an already awesome bunch of cardboard. However, that final card from the Ted Williams Company, was the icing on the cake! I just mentioned in my Josh Gibson card post how happy it makes me to add a new card to the Negro League part of my collection. That holds true whether it's one of the more well known players or otherwise. Newton Allen may not be remembered as well as Gibson, Paige, or Cool Papa Bell but I am just as thrilled to own this card. The goodies didn't stop there either. One more great card remains.

For a pretty lengthy bit of time, Michael Taylor was a name that appeared on my list of non-Yankees that I collect. As last season progressed, I began to second guess why he was on that list. I don't really have any particular tie to him. That being said, this may be the last Taylor that I add to the collection. I really like the die-cut aspect of this card though, I'm not a huge fan of the random, curvy design they used. I appreciate all the great cardboard, Greg. Thanks for reading.

January 20, 2017

The Collective Returns of 'On This Day' and 'Single Card Post'

That's right, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you! Today I have dusted off two of my long-dormant series to pay tribute to one of my favorite ball players, Josh Gibson. The Negro Leagues portion of my collection often falls to the back burner in favor of whatever is new or whoever is in new releases. This is something I definitely need to work on because I tend to forget how happy I am whenever I add a new card depicting anyone from this part of baseball history. That being said, let's get into the dual theme for today's post.

On this day in 1947, the aforementioned Home Run King of the Negro Leagues passed away at the young age of 35. He left behind a 17 year career filled with many achievements of mythical proportions fueled by a combination of his incredible skills and the 'word of mouth' documentation of the era. Like many, I am enamored of the various legends surrounding his playing days.

Shortly before the holiday season began, I found this Gibson that I had never seen before on eBay. I was fortunate to win the auction and give it a new home. I easily determined that the card was distributed at the 2006 All-Star FanFest in Pittsburgh, but it took some additional digging to uncover that it wasn't a part of the main FanFest set. Instead, it was part of a separate 6-card set that Topps gave out as a bonus to correspond with the purchase of a special 'Pirates Edition' Factory Set. Here is the back:

As you can see, it is even #/1000. Yes, I realize that isn't exactly considered 'limited' in this day and age. This is the most exciting addition to my Negro League PC in some time. However, I do have one issue with it...the picture shows him playing for the Homestead Grays but card only lists him as a member of the Pittsburgh Crawfords. It's a knit picky observation, I admit. Overall, it doesn't change my appreciation for this awesome piece of cardboard. Thanks for reading!

January 15, 2017

UFC Fight Night - The Prodigy Returns

I really dig the base card since it shows him exactly as I always want to remember him: arms raised in celebration and a title belt around his waist! The Bloodlines insert is pretty awesome since it highlights his Hawaiian heritage with the state flag in the background and the 'Hawaii/USA' designation under the Topps logo. The main reason I went after the lot was the following card though.

At the time, it was my only UFC relic and I was thrilled that it was a 2-color swatch. I was even more thrilled that the three cards set me back less than five bucks shipped. Tonight, I get to be thrilled to watch his comeback fight. It's been a few years since he has set foot in the Octagon, and while I am happy to see him fight again, I can't shake the feeling that I'm going to see him get beaten down...badly.

Here is the only 'card' I own of his opponent.

This is an extremely limited digital insert of the guy who may systematically destroy one of my favorite fighters of all time. Rodriguez is young, dynamic, and currently ranked #10 in the Lightweight division. Here is how they match-up:

Yes, I'm pretty frustrated that the UFC site doesn't even have most of Penn's info filled in to this comparison, but the 'significant strikes' section paints a fairly grim picture for The Prodigy. I sure hope he can find a way to pull out a 'W'. Thanks for reading.

January 14, 2017

My 2016 Recap/Looking to Head to the Top of the Class in 2017

Here we are almost a full two weeks into a new year and I'm just getting around to revisiting my 2016 goals and setting some for the 2017 collecting/blogging year. Better late than never, I suppose. To start things off, I had hoped to complete both the vintage Topps Game and Deckle edge sets. Well, I succeeded in half of that goal as I was able to finish off the Topps Game set relatively early in the year. There are still a few I'd probably like to upgrade at some point, but it's complete nonetheless. I fell a bit short on the Deckle edge set, but in all fairness, I really didn't put forth much effort towards that end. Most recently, I picked up this:

I found this shortly before Christmas at a relatively new LCS that was hosting a 'trade night'. It set me back a whole $2. Sadly, I'm still at six cards to go to complete the set with Clemente, Gibson, Robinson, and McLain being among them.

My next goal was to increase my post total. Well, I fell significantly short of that thanks to the lengthy post-less time periods that filled the last few months of the year. In the end, I ended the year 30 posts short of my 2015 total. The second part of the increased productivity goal was an aim to write some 'creative' posts. I can't really judge that for myself. I was hoping maybe some of you could help me on that. The idea was to not have to rely on trade, pack or box busting, and eBay/Listia win related posts alone. Perhaps, I'll know better than to set a goal that I can't evaluate on my own for this coming year.

My last goal of 2016 was to control my impulse spending...I can say that I definitely failed terribly in this one. Here is some recent proof:

I found this box at said LCS for a reasonable price and decided that I would pick it up. Why, you ask? I'm not exactly sure. Other than being a UFC fan and the fact that it was there for the taking at a 
decent price, there was no true reason. I guess it fulfilled my desire to break a premium product without spending premium dollars.

Base card #1. Not a bad way to start the box considering he was considered the best pound for pound fighter in the world a few years back. I never really liked 'The Spider' while he was beating anyone set in front of him and I was actually quite happy when he lost to Chris Weidman(twice), but I can't argue with his greatness.

Base card #2. Perhaps the current best pound for pound fighter in the world. McGregor is currently a dual weight class champion. I kinda like his showmanship, but I was also thrilled when he was upset by Nate Diaz a few months back.

Here was my promised 'jumbo' relic. I don't have much to say here besides at least the swatch was two colors.

Auto #1. Teixeira was formerly a big deal. He had some pretty lofty expectations to live up to upon entering the UFC and he hasn't really delivered on any of that potential as yet.

Auto #2 puts the finishing touches on a solid, if unremarkable box break. Mighty Mouse here certainly has the ability to manufacture a win even if he doesn't get many spectacular finishes.

It was a fun break. However, what I'm left with are some high quality cards that I'll eventually be looking to sell or trade in hopes of either picking up BJ Penn/Robbie Lawler cards or making as much of the box price back as possible. I'd actually love to build he base set, but it might be quite difficult with just two per box.

So, where does this leave me for the 2017 collecting year? I'll set some modest goals:

1. Complete the vintage Deckle edge set. I've only got six to go and even though there are some of the biggest stars in the set still left, I know this is easily achievable if I actually put forth the effort.

2. Reorganize the blog layout. With this, I intend to create two separate 'most wanted' lists, one that highlights cardboard that is more likely out of reach for whatever reason(cost, availability, etc.) and the other that focuses on the more easily attainable(but still elusive). Yes, I realize this is not a new concept and I am ripping off several other bloggers out there, but I have come to realize over my 2+ years of contributing to this community that I have only been able to cross off three cards from the current version of my 'most wanted' list(one of those I snagged from eBay). My hope is to facilitate greater success in adding the cardboard from these lists to my collection. Additionally, I will be overhauling my 'who I collect' page. Some of the names will be changing and some other sports/entertainers may be making an appearance. I'll be sure to make a brief announcement once their change is complete and I hope you'll all check out some of my new collecting interests.

3. My third and final goal for the year is to send more trade packages and run more giveaways/contests. Ultimately, I'd like to add a tracker/counter to keep up with the number of trade packages that make their way to my PO. Over the past few years, I have added a good bit of cardboard that simply doesn't fit anywhere into my enjoyment of our hobby. Therefore, that cardboard is better off taking a trip to another home where it will be appreciated more than it is here. I don't think I can possibly move all of the cards that I want to through trade packages alone, so I plan to channel those creative impulses I tried to let loose last year into some (hopefully) interesting contests/giveaways. Details on the first of these will follow shortly(after I can finalize the two Anniversary contest winning packages - should make a serious dent in these with the first card show of the year coming up this weekend).

There you have it. I'm sorry for the lengthy post, but I wanted to get the recap/goals post out of the way before finishing off the 12 days of trade posts and getting into some other content. I've got a few box breaks, repacks, eBay/Listia wins to share soon and I hope to have a huge haul from the show. Oh yeah, I'm several months behind on talking about the grand opening of that new LCS I mentioned. I was quite excited about the first visit haul and the subsequent finds(and wins). Yes, wins...more on that some other time. Here's to big things in 2017! Thanks for reading.

January 6, 2017

Rink-ing in the New Year + Blogaversary Contest Results

Yes, I know that title is a really bad play on words. Sorry for that. Happy New Year a few days late! I celebrated on New Year's Eve when I received my last piece of cardboard for 2016. It was a big, expensive win from the Land of Listia. In recent months, I hadn't spent much time searching there, but I continued to see emails reminding me of how many credits I had and one day after Christmas I decided to take a look and see if I could go on a 'shopping spree' to remedy the fact that I wasn't gifted any cardboard(except for my Secret Santa package). After a few minutes of looking, I happened to find this awesome hockey relic.

The 'Canes are my 'local' hockey team and I have enjoyed taking my girls to a game or two. Ron Francis was the heart of the Hurricanes teams that went to the Stanley Cup finals in 2002 and brought the 'Caniacs out of the woodwork in NC. Sadly, he had left the team by the time they were able to bring the cup to the Triangle. He also happens to be the team's current GM. Finding this in my mailbox was a great way to end my collecting year.

Now, on to the long overdue results from my blogaversary contest. This year, there were 17 total entrants which is down by one from last year's contest. I was pretty happy with that considering my multiple, long posting droughts in the later part of the year. With that in mind, I've decided to have two winners again. However, this time around, one winner will be the person on top after the nine randoms and the other winner will be the person who is at the bottom. Thank you to everyone who entered the contest, your support and kind words mean a lot. Good luck to all. Without further delay, here is the final round from the randomizer:

Congrats to Angus and night owl! I will start working on putting together your customized prize packages right away. Thanks for reading.