February 29, 2016

If Only It Was Like Upper Deck

I'll admit it, this is a filler post. However, the more thought I've out into this topic, the more I wish it would actually happen. I know many of you don't care much for the digital trading card apps out there, but I've been a regular user of Topps Huddle, Bunt, and Kick and more recently, Upper Deck's ePack. I can honestly say that I have never spent a cent on these digital cards, but I have enjoyed 'opening' the digital packs using the credits I get for free for checking in every day. I've pulled some pretty cool 'cards' from each app, but my new favorites were recent pulls from Huddle. Shortly after the Denver Broncos' victory parade, there was a digital insert set featuring photos from the parade. I was fortunate enough to pull these:

There he is, the man who has been an integral part of each of the Broncos Super Bowl wins(in one way or another)!

This is a really cool 'card' that captures the energy of the scene that day. Cards like this are right up my alley! Having pulled these two cards, I've really started to wish that Topps would alter the way they handle the digital cards they issue. It would be incredibly cool if they would offer the chance to have physical cards shipped to you if you choose. I know the semantics if this would be difficult to work out, but I would love to have these two cards in a tangible collectible form. Oh well, for now that's a pipe dream. Perhaps Topps is listening. Maybe offering this option will be a reality in the future. Until then, I'll have to bask in the glow of my iPad screen while I enjoy looking at these reminders of my favorite team's championship season. Thanks for reading.

February 28, 2016

A Feverish Spring Promo from Topps

I was really chomping at the bit to participate in the Spring Fever promo this season. Just when I thought I was going to miss out on the fun, I was able to wrangle a single pack from one of the fairly local card shops that were participating. The base checklist is solid, but the real draw for me is the possibility of pulling two of the autos, both players that don't show up in the base checklist. Greg Bird and Richie Shaffer are two of my favorite young players and I was hoping to pull one of them from this non-descript pack. 

It contained five cards plus a Wacky Packages sticker. Let's rip the plain silver mylar and see what's inside.

Three cards into the pack and I'm not thrilled. If only I was a Giants fan, I'd be pretty happy...

Things began to look up a bit with the Piscotty. He's a pretty decent young player with a lot of upside. It doesn't hurt that I was fortunate enough to meet him at the Triple A All-Star festivities in Durham a few seasons back.

Last card, no auto but at least I ended the pack with the NL MVP. I like this season's design quite a bit better than the last few. I refuse to scan the sticker, sorry. There is one more thing to share though...

Since I didn't pull this auto, I had to go out and bring one home from eBay. One down, one to go. Unfortunately, tracking down the Greg Bird is going to be a bit tougher, it's limited to only 50 copies and he's a Yankee, so demand is high. Won't stop me from trying though! Thanks for reading. 

February 26, 2016

An Exceedingly Rare In-Person Trade

Unlike some, my online collecting presence doesn't extend very far outside of our beloved card blogging community. To be exact, I am a member of a single Facebook group that is comprised of folks mostly local to my general geographic location. Since joining said group, I have traded with a few of the members, but not as many as I'd like. That's probably a function of many of us having similar collecting preferences(or my trade reserves being depleted by the great trades I've made with many of you). Recently, I saw a card that caught my eye and I decided to take a run at it. After a few weeks and countless messages back and forth with one of the other guys in the group, we were able to agree on a deal.

There were quite a few 2016 Topps inserts thrown in. My Pressed into Service set was completed, First Pitch was narrowed down to two more needs, and Perspectives was brought down to three remaining. As happy as I was with that, there was some additional set needs assistance addressed in this trade.

This Chrome Update leaves me just six shy of completing the 50 card set. It's been a slow process, but I'll get there.

I needed this Lorenzo Cain also. I love this retail-only insert set specifically because it contains photos like this that show a side of MLB All-Stars that we don't often get to see.

I was also able to snag this auto of youngster, Archie Bradley. I'm not sure if this is going to stay in my collection or if this is just a temporary stop for it, but it's a pretty nice card for a sticker-graph. He's got some pretty good upside! That leaves me with the card that started it all.

I had seen a bunch of these Strata cards floating around and I'm intrigued by the hologram tracking system utilized in them. Souza is on the short list of favorite non-Yankee players in the league right now and the fact that there is a nice stripe in this relic made it all the more worthwhile to go after. In the grand scheme of things, I'm sure that I gave up too much to get these. I'm not talking book value, but strictly potential upside on the cards themselves, but I figured I would rather have these cards in my collection instead of sitting on the ones I gave up hoping that their value might go up some day. The older I get, the more I realize that this is what makes collecting fun for me, not the prospecting or investing aspect. Thanks for reading!

February 25, 2016

Final Card Show Recap - All the Rest

Sorry for stretching the recap posts of my first card show of 2016 for almost two weeks. Unfortunately, I don't have the option of hitting up a show every weekend or even once a month so I've got to make it last on he rare occasions I am able to make it to one. One of the regular vendors I visit puts together his own home-made repacks. I've written about them multiple times before and as anyone who has read the content here should know, I am a sucker for these kind of things, he doesn't grow 'hits' into these repacks, but at roughly 59 cards per pack and a price tag of 3 for a dollar, you absolutely can't go wrong. This show was a rarity for me, as I only picked up 6 packs because he was running pretty low by the time I got to his table. He had mostly basketball with a few football and baseball packs mixed in. Apparently, I am not the only one of his regulars that loves those repacks.

I already posted the highlights of the football pack. Here are some of the highlights from the baseball counterparts.

I had to grab the pack that had the Bernie 'Electric Diamond' parallel as a face card. I remember busting a lot of 1994 Upper Deck when I was younger. Unlike many, I really liked the design of that set. I already had the Tino WS Highlight but I wasn't going to let the opportunity to show off a great moment in Yankees history slip by.

I always love getting new to me Conlon Collection singles and once or twice I have been lucky enough to pull a piece of vintage cardboard from one of these. It's never been a star, but it's still nice to find a '68 Topps in the randomness that usually falls out of these team bags.

It's was awesome to see a Bo Jackson that I hadn't seen before, but my favorite card of this group was definitely the 1989 World Series game 3 highlight. Back in those days I was quite the Oakland A's fan.

Wrapping up the repacks are two more of the 2013 Topps blue sparkle parallels. I found my first one of these in one of these repacks sometime late last year and I was thrilled to add two more at this show. At some point, I should really work on picking up some of the Yankees. Like so many of these kind of parallels, the scans don't do them justice. They're so much nicer in hand. I threw the Garza in here because I used to like him pretty well when he was still with Tampa and I really like the throwback jersey. Next up, the goods from the lone bunch of dime boxes I was able to find.

From one throwback to another. I hadn't seen that A-Rod before, but him rocking the Washington jersey and that Oakland throwback make for one heck of a dime spent! I grabbed another copy of the Ichiro United We Stand card because it was a condition upgrade from the one I had.

I'll take some 1994 Bowman's Best at a dime a pop as well, especially the Wagner RC and the rookie year Jorge!

I love El Duque and I couldn't leave this one behind, even is it plays tricks on the eyes. It's certainly one of the more odd inserts I've seen.

Things got a really odd after that...oddball that is! I'm pretty sure that I had the figure that went with that Canseco card many moons ago.

Probably my favorite card unearthed in the dime boxes was this rookie year Bo Jackson SportFlics! From there, I dug in some quarter boxes.

I was really happy to rescue those few Godzilla RCs and the Rated rookie of the new Yankees second baseman.

Moving up the ladder towards more expensive items, these were a buck a piece. I'd have gladly paid three dollars for the Mattingly Museum Collection so it was awesome to take all three of these home for  $3!

Here is the card that I bundled into the 1951 Topps Rizzuto purchase from the first recap post. All told it ended up costing just shy of $2. Not bad for my first Kemp RC. Lastly, is my second most expensive purchase of the day:

This one broke the bank at a whopping $2.50 since I grabbed one other card with it from a 2 for $5 box. The other card will be finding its way to a mailbox(perhaps near you) in the near future! I hope Cobb can make a successful return from surgery this season. Maybe I'll even get the good fortune to see a rehab start or two here in Durham! Thanks for hanging in through all four installments of the show recap. The next local show is a few months away so I promise this won't be a regular occurance.

February 24, 2016

Double Dose of #supertraders


This arrived not long ago, and so it began. I received my first two packages from members of the Super Traders group on he same day, so I decided to write them up in the same post. The first was a size able bubble mailer from the founder himself, Wes from Jaybarkerfan's Junk. It was chock full o' Rays.

Parallels abounded. These weren't even all of them, not by a long shot. Yunel knows it Wes, you're the man! I think my favorite of this bunch is the mound conference on the Alex Cobb.

Minis were in there too! I got to watch Desmond Jennings in Durham, and I'm quite disappointed thathis MLB career has been pretty lackluster. With all of the outfield talent they have in the system, he may be out if he can't figure out a way to hit the ball a little bit.

There was some shiny in there too. His only scratches the surface(more to come in a moment). Nice to have a Wade Davis chrome and the Kazmir is #/10! Hard to believe that he began with the Rays, he has molded quite a respectable career since his departure from FL.

These are mostly shiny and all numbered to /400 or less. My favorite is definitely the Alex Sanchez. I remember watching him play in Durham too and I loved the 1998 Bowman's Best design. This happens to be my first refractor from that set, and here are only 400 of them. Back then, it was a big deal to be limited to that low a number!

That concludes a really solid package from Wes to lead things off. The second package to arrive that same day came from Brian of HSCA. He is quite the prolific trader and I received one of his kickoff PWEs.

I love adding new cards of Boggs from his days in Tampa. It is an underrepresented period in my collection. Hey, there's a base 1998 Bowman's Best! The Price is the purple refractor. I sometimes wish he was still pitching in Tampa, especially now that he'll be toeing the rubber in Boston this season.

While I was a fixture at the ballpark in the years surrounding Longoria's MLB debut, I was not collecting at the time. Therefore, I've been late to the party in acquiring his RCs. This UD Masterpieces is new to me and has  immediately become the favorite RC of his in my possession. I love the canvas look and feel! Brian loaded some other Rays in there, but he also sent this:

I snagged my first 2015 Certified cards(Shane Ray RCs) at the recent card show I visited, but having this Elway fall out of the PWE was a great surprise! So there is my first Super Traders experience. If all of the packages are this strong, I'll be glad that I've been planning to step up my game on my outgoing packages. Thanks Wes and Brian, I've got some cardboard almost ready to be packed up and shipped out in your directions. Hope you enjoy it as much as I dug what you sent my way! Thanks for reading.

February 22, 2016

Oddballs and Hockey and Broncos...Oh My!!!

Tonight I want to share two last PWEs before looking at some of the loot from fellow Super Traders which has begun to pour in over the past few days. Both of these PWEs came from Tony Burbs. One of them contained a bunch of 1993 Hostess singles I needed to help complete that set.

Here are six of my favorites. There were actually a whopping eleven needs wiped out in one shot! Of course, you've got to know I was thrilled that the Mattingly can finally be crossed off my list. Tony assured me he was happy to be rid of these. The need to pack a second envelope began on National Hockey Day. Tony had grabbed some free packs and I took a liking to a few, so I inquired about their availability. Sure enough, they arrived with a few NFL buddies to keep hem company on the journey.

I'm happy to have the Canes and Devils represented by my first ever cards from any National hockey Day. I've read a few times on different blogs that some folks wrestle with whether or not contest cards like that Elway are real cards or not. In fact, if I gave my answer to that a few years back, I would have said no. Again, I'm glad that guy isn't running this collection anymore! I absolutely consider that a new addition to my Elway collection and I'm digging the photo of him in the Super Bowl XXXIII jersey! Across the bottom is a mixture of some of my favorite Broncos defenders of days gone by. Smith and Atwater were two of the anchors from the early days of my Denver fandom and I always liked John Mobley. They also provided a good dose of nostalgia since they're all pictured in the old Broncos jerseys with the old logo helmets. Such great cardboard!

Thanks Tony! I'm starting to put together some stuff to send back your way soon.

February 21, 2016

Purple Topps of the 2016 Variety

Topps is running their hobby shop Spring Fever promo again this season and I had every intention of making it out to my most local shop that was participating. However, the period to make purchases and receive the redemption cards for the packs ended today. A number of factors contributed to my inability to get to the shop in time. So, once it became obvious that I wasn't going to be able to participate in that promo, I decided to seek out some Toys R Us exclusive purple parallels to help dull the pain and fill the void. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the packaging was the same as series one of last year: one pack and three purple parallels for $2.99. I grabbed a few and got to ripping. Since the base cards have been scanned excessively at this point, I'm just going to share the best of the exclusives.

Woohoo, pulled a Refsnyder. Now I only need the Severino and Bird to round out the Yankee RCs. I was pretty happy to get a copy of the Mookie Betts too. Man, Tim from a few years back wouldn't have been able to appreciate any BoSox cards...I'm glad that guy is gone!

That Sal Perez World Series card is one of my favorite base cards in series one. I like how it seems the purple works with the Royals for some reason. Maybe that's just me. It's a great addition to my season highlights/World Series collection. Only grabbed a few packs and I was lucky enough to pull two Yankees. I've got a few others, but they weren't very scan worthy and I wanted this to be a relatively short post. I can say with certainty that I'll be picking up at least a few more of these packs before I call it quits on series one. I'll be sure to share if I pull anything good. Thanks for reading.

February 19, 2016

Card Show Recap pt. 3 - The Non-Baseball Stuff

When I was preparing to go to the show last week, I set some unofficial goals and rules for myself. The goals were to stay focused(no frivolous spending) and finish the 1968 Game set. The big rule I attempted to put in place was to avoid buying Broncos. I figured a week removed from winning the 'Big Game' that prices would be unreasonably high. Well, how did I do? I did complete the 1968 Game set, but as you're about to see, I wasn't very focused and I couldn't resist a few Broncos purchases.

At least his trio came from one of the home made repacks that this one vendor always has. I only snagged this one football filled repack, but I'll show off contents from the other 5 baseball ones in another post. I already had the Ware, but the Elway and the DT were new to me.

Now for some Super shiny Broncos! It's hard to see in the scan, but the Certified Shane Ray is some sort of parallel limited to #/499. I was able to walk away with the base version as well which is #/999. I grabbed them both for less than a buck a piece. Same goes for the green refractor of Mr. MVP, Von Miller. A mere fifty cents allowed me to bring that beauty home. The Tek Shane Ray base auto was a different story. The vendor that was selling it had a $10 price tag on it. I had no intention of paying that so I left it in the stack I found it in. I spent a lot of time flipping through this guy's boxes and chatting with him. Turns out, we are members of the same Facebook collector's group that is based in the Triangle here in NC. I pulled a few other cards out and he have me his best price so I ended up throwing the Ray auto into the mix and the number he gave me was fair enough for me to walk away with it and the next two cards.

This is the part of the program where my staying focused went out the window. For the first time, I was able to go through a box of some singles from the relatively recent Panini Soccer product. He had a bunch of great hits and singles from the set, but most would have busted my budget in one stop so I just admired them from afar. I really liked this Robben/Van Persie insert. It's a great card of the Dutch 'Dynamic Duo'. I was happy to have this one in the package deal, but the next single is the one that made it worthwhile for me.

This awesome Tim Howard red Prizm looks much better in hand than in this scan. In addition, it is the National Team SP.

Apparently, the National Team SPs are designated by the little soccer ball in he upper left corner on the back. Oh, by the way, did I mention this was numbered 16/199? When all the conversation was finished and the deal was made, I ended up taking all three of those home for the $10 price tag that was on the Ray by itself. It may not have been the best deal I made all day, but I felt better about it once I learned that the vendor and I belonged to that same local collecting group. It was great to meet another one in person.

I'd like to say that I was able to reign the focus back in after this lapse, but it was not so.


I ended up pulling this A&G surfer girl relic out of a $2 box. It complements the relic of the other surfer from last year's Ginter that I had already traded for a few months back. It's even technically a two color swatch. My last unfocused purchase was the first hockey single I've picked up in over a decade.

I happened to slow down near a table that was covered in singles in top loaders. Before I could pick the pace back up, the vendor was launching into his spiel about all of the cards on the table being $1 even though most of them were worth at least $15-20. I planned to move on as soon as he stopped talking directly to me because I get really annoyed at vendors that overemphasize how good their deals  are. I'm much more interested in buying from folks that let the deals speak for themselves but are available for whatever questions you might have. Before he could finish his push, I caught a glimpse of this Scott Stevens relic out of the corner of my eye. It was in a giant screwdown case(for no good reason), but I couldn't pass up that sweet Devils swatch for just a buck.

So, I went 1/3 in adhering to my goals/rules for the show, but at least going off the intended oath didn't break my budget. It also let me bring these awesome cards home. Hey, batting .333 is pretty darn good anyway, right? Thanks for reading.

February 18, 2016

A PWE That Nearly Made Me Breakdown

Here we are, finally at the end of the line for The Great Trade Post Catch Up and boy was this PWE incredible! It came by way of Gavin over at Baseball Card Breakdown. It just so happens that he just published his 700th post and is hosting a pretty sweet contest. I encourage everyone to go here to check it out. Even if you don't want to enter the contest, you need to see the incredible custom cards that he created. Anyway, back to the contents of this most recent PWE, it had a little bit of everything:

More new Bernie cards! That's not entirely true...I did just receive a copy of that HoloGrFX AuSOME card from Jeff a short while back and I've had a copy of that 1989 Columbus Clippers issue for just shy of two decades. However, I love the design on that minor league card(always have). It reminds me of 'Take Me Out To the Ballgame' with its Cracker Jack themed border. The others are absolutely new though.

Former Bulls were in the stack too. Kiermaier is probably my favorite non-Yankee player right now and this is my second Chipper that shows him in his Durham uni.

There were set needs to be found as well. The Shoemaker leaves me only needing a Rusney Castillo to finish the Studio inserts from 2015. If anyone has one they're willing to part with, please let me know. The Ruth lets me put that retail exclusive set to bed. The fun didn't stop there though. Not by a long shot.

Next I found some vintage oddball in the form of this 1961 Golden Press of 'Double X' Jimmie Foxx. This is only my second Golden Press card to date. I really like them and I'll have to work on adding a few more before the year is over. That would have been an incredible PWE, but the final card is the one that really made me almost breakdown.

When I saw this, all I could think was WOW! I don't have very many Japanese cards in my collection and I am absolutely floored to have this one. I've placed a few half-hearted bids on a few different BBM Tanaka cards and haven't won any of them. Maybe some day I'll make a push to add one of his Japanese RCs to this gem, but for now, I'm happy to have a card that shows him in his Eagles uniform. Thanks for another great trade package Gavin!