Tuesday, May 17, 2022

TTM autograph received: Goose Gossage

The longtime MLB relief ace from the 1970s through the 1990s signed my card in about a week - whether it's on baseball or anything else, Gossage's views seem disagreeable most of the time where there might be a rant that comes out every couple of years or so the [New York] media might pick up on.

Even after all these years however, I have to give him credit - where he has always been an accomodating signer either responding TTM or in-person where he has dutifully signed autographs and taken pictures.

On the mound, Gossage had a distinguished career, where in his prime, he was a multiple innings fireman out of the bullpen - compared to the modern one-inning closers, who get maligned at times for dictating their usage rather than being on call as needed.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

2022 Topps Heritage hanger box recaps

During a Target stop I didn't plan to make, I saw a couple of couple of 2022 Topps Heritage hanger boxes - maybe the only baseball unopened left along with scattered 2022 Topps Big League blasters and other non-baseball miscellany.

Sometimes it is relatively stocked, but most times my card section ends up being wiped out - I still believe unopened retail baseball won't be the No. 1 trading card type to hoard and flip from big box stores, but it doesn't mean I can count on coming back to blasters or loose packs of something, where hoarders take it all.

Who really knows if it is a recipe for success as far as actually getting new cards in-hand or simply an impulsive, on a whim directive to keep me buying retail in-person - but the past three years have taught me to grab anything remotely interesting when available, even when it seems like the stock maybe down to that last hanger or blasters on the shelves.

I was inspired to do some Wander Franco hunting here - where I might end up pulling a base or even a parallel.

Box one
#295 Luis Robert
#20 Triston McKenzie
#91 Alex Dickerson
#247 David Fletcher
#57 Jake Cronenworth
#22 Anthony Alford 
#355 Kolten Wong
#246 Tyler O'Neill
#210 World Series Game 6 Freddie Freeman
#392 Max Kranick RC
#42 Adam Wainwright
#46 Willson Contreras
#64 2021 Stolen Base Leaders Trea Turner / Whit Merrifield
#90 Vidal Brujan RC - the wrong card to pull of a young Tampa Bay Rays infielder
#174 Lorenzo Cain
#150 Shohei Ohtani
#142 Logan Gilbert 
#214 Tony Santillan RC
#133 Dallas Keuchel
#250 Jacob deGrom
#62 2021 Runs Batted in Leaders Adam Duval / Salvador Perez
#181 Gavin Sheets RC
#35 Dustin May
#166 Gerrit Cole
#159 Lane Thomas
#21 of 25 Freddie Freeman - Candy Lid insert
#NAP-4 Shohei Ohtani - New Age Performers insert
#191 Carlos Santana
#95 Brandon Crawford
#356 Ian Anderson
#302 Freddy Galvis
#348 Patrick Corbin
#339 Joey Gallo
#400 Yu chang
#243 Harrison Bader
Box two
#217 Ronnie Dawson RC
#17 Justin Upton
#242 Jose Ramirez
#121 Nick Pivetta
#304 Myles Straw
#312 Chris Taylor
#378 Ozzie Albies
#323 Jon Lester
#400 Yu Chang
#243 Harrison Bader
#195 Eric Haase
#11 Mike Yastrzemski
#278 Harold Ramirez
#152 Yusei Kikuchi
#288 Wil Myers
#399 Jose Berrios
#128 Kyle Tucker
#265 Matt Duffy
#373 Luis Gil RC
#109 Carson Kelly
#55 Randy Arozarena
#41 Yoshi Tsutsugo
#249 Connor Wong RC
#310 Tyler Glasnow
#402 Matt Carpenter - SP; facing backwards
#ROA-OC Orlando Cepeda - Real One Autograph
#NF-3 London Bridge Opens - News Flashbacks insert
#328 Seth Brown 
#84 Jose Abreu
#51 Cal Quantrill
#29 Raimel Tapia
#237 Luis Arraez
#286 Marcus Semien
#360 Cole Irvin
#370 Joe Ryan RC

It's just all so random I pull a certified autograph of Cepeda - he was literally all over my mind prior to this break, since I just got a TTM response from him, maybe I was looking up his cards online and even saw another copy of the very card I pulled, hours before making the Target run.

Maybe I'll try to conjure up thoughts about a Shohei Ohtani or Mike Trout pack pulled autograph - then see if something happens the next time I cave into bust random products where it's possible to pull their autographs.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Some discombobulated card show digging

What I've noticed is that I don't have an idea what is going to catch my eye at one table - where there is a certain lack of focus when it comes going through rows and rows of cards.

This doesn't mean there isn't satisfaction in my keepers - but perhaps I wonder if my purchases mean anything after the fact or any of number of cards jumbled together end of being misfit toys in my collection?

I kind of feel like I'm in my own little world when it comes to standing at a table and seeing what cards may have enough eye appeal - so I feel like there is plan and I'm just seeing what may compel me to flag cards I entertain taking home.

If nothing else, I like a more old school vibe, so I try to salvage loose cards that may not be the latest and greatest - but binder material that may add some diversity to the types of cards I may have in plastic pages.

Harold Baines gets unfairly panned as an undeserving Hall of Famer, but I wanted his 1981 Topps rookie card as a centerpiece to the loose cards I plan to display in a binder - it maybe a case where I actually still have to give him his proper due and make page for him.

I found a 1992 Donruss The Rookies Phenoms Tim Salmon insert card I'm sort of familiar with, but never really had in-hand - go figure it's been at least 30 years, but it's still fun finding the occasional prospect / rookie era cards for the Angels franchise Hall of Famer.

A rookie year parallel of Roy Halladay and another minor league card of Orel Hershiser are keepers as a little more different than the typical cards I'd end up with - while neither might be top tier guys in my book, they are decade stars, so I do collect them to a certain extent.

I'm indifferent to slabbed cards because it's $$$ impractical to send in cards myself, but generally prefer graded singles compared to raw cards when available - I already had a graded 1986 Donruss Jose Canseco rookie card in my collection, so I was only picking up a 1992 Fleer Update Jeff Kent rookie card, along with the loose cards.

I presented my cards to the seller without the Canseco and after getting a half off discount [for at least the loose cards] and $5 off the sticker price on the graded Kent rookie - I figured why not add the Canseco as well, where it was a totally junk wax era thing to covet that card at one point.

Even if the era is ancient history, there maybe something about coming back from a card show - knowing I brought back the rookie card of one of the brightest, controversial superstars of the times.

I don't know if a Jeff Kent rookie is particular unique, but I may have seen an ungraded copy in a random box and passed over it during a card show trip last year - it sort of became a scratch the itch card and I wanted to pick up one just because it's from a seemingly mythical junk wax era release.

Even if it's not really the case after the fact, I associate the Fleer Update set as being harder to find - a set I never got to see ever, though I was able to pick up a copy of the key rookie [Mike Piazza] years ago after Piazza retired but before the Hall of Fame called.

Kent has a Hall of Fame case but he wasn't the friendliest guy and is probably seen as strictly an accumulator who hit all these home runs as a second baseman - rather than be seen as generally this all-around talent who was a star from day one.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

TTM autographs received: Orlando Cepeda

The Hall of Famer signed my cards in about 3 weeks and wrote back a little note on my letter, responding briefly to what I'd written - I was worried about sending the thicker 2018 Topps Tribute, but it came back signed fairly nice and wasn't wrecked during transit.

Go figure Cepeda also signed the penny sleeve the card was placed in - when they were alive and signed TTM 20 years ago, I think the same thing happened with Tommy Heinrich and Hoyt Wilhelm.

Sunday, May 08, 2022

Some bulk value box results

Maybe I feel like a degenerate but I've found myself going to card shows gravitating towards cheap cards - maybe I've always been this low end hoarder or scavenger for loose cardboard for various interests, though I get self-conscious where I feel more of a 'have not,' when I don't even bother looking through seller's main showcase material.

For what I try and hunt for, I'm still paying 'retail' where I'm not finding all these cards in quantities for a dime or a nickel - but anything under a dollar is in my wheelhouse as far as a reasonable price to pay as far as a collector at a card show, looking for some cheap thrills.

At a card show date, I found a table with a quaint, no frills set-up, though the seller looked like he was closing on selling a bigger, graded card lot to another collector or seller - I was mindlessly plugging through a $0.50 monster box at the table, going through the cards, where I feel it helps pass the time rather than feeling out of place with the bigger wheeling and dealing going on.

I was in my own little world and didn’t even realize the seller offered me a chair, which I appreciate - though I think what happens is I'm kind of marking my space and feel like I can hover over a box of cards and see which row or which brick of cards my hands gravitate to next, rather than being in a passive position where maybe it's just a little harder to see if certain peeks at cards pique my interest.

"If you're going to go through all my cards,’ he said. "You should have grabbed yourself a chair to sit on."

At some point, the seller actually offered the entire 3,000 count box and I might have considered it for a moment, but after guestimating the number of cards in the box, the seller came up with a $400 price, but the box wasn't entirely filled and I don't buy cards that way - with the bulk slab deal the seller made when I was at the table, I feel like he'd rather sell off his inventory in-hand in bigger lots, rather than through smaller purchases.

Binder material featuring newer cards of old-school players - from the 1940s through the 1990s.
Binder material featuring cards of guys whose prime years seemed not so long ago - yet players who made their debuts in the 2000s, who aren't playing anymore or are the elder statesmen of the big league clubs.
Binder material featuring cards of 'here and now' guys - including players who made their debuts early in the 2010s, who may still be top performers as veterans or some of the younger guys making their debuts in the latter portion of the decade, just hitting their prime years.
Binder material featuring cards of more of the uproven guys, who made their debuts through the 2020s - players who are still carving out their credentials as the decade moves further along.
Angels material - when it's not necessarily a priority to always look for my 'home team' cards, it's kind of a reward to find the occasional Angels keepers.
Some miscellaneous - cards I might have to think about fitting somewhere.
Basketball - these are the types of basic cards that have little value to a modern NBA collector, but I don't know any better; I like the LaMelo Ball card where he is going up against his brother Lonzo.
Football - these are the types of basic cards that have little value to a modern NFL collector, but I don't know any better where all I saw was all these neat cards I can salvage, including nine shiny cards [some dupes] of Peyton Manning.
Wrestling - another Brock Lesnar find for whatever reason and at least a pair of women wrestlers.

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

A card show trip recap - a dollar boxes of doom addendum

I forgot to share this in the last post, but it's basically the cards of players who made their debuts in the 2000s - these should end up in my decade stars binders if I can ever get things straightened out where there is the space to add these cards in or possibly be part of new pages [if I can round up more cards].

I might have put the Robinson Cano card back because in some respects his playing career with the New York Mets represent a death crawl ending in his release from the team - I'll give him some love for his distinguished career, aside from the two PED suspensions and the occasionally whining by fans about him dogging it on the field.

Adam Jones and Hunter Pence are part of my decade stars collection so I guess I do collect them by default - though maybe both players end up on being more on that obscured, semistar tier especially when they aren't playing anymore.

Jones played in Japan in 2021, which maybe the same as not playing anywhere besides but the big leagues - he maybe one of those guys who I wanted to collect on the side and his draft pick card from 2003 maybe a nice add to whatever cards I have displayed of his.

Pence is one of those fan favorite personality guys who may have a second career as a color commentator - I left that numbered insert once before and decided to just grab it, rather than have second thoughts over not making a dollar card a keeper.

Sunday, May 01, 2022

A card show trip recap - dollar boxes of doom

I finally had to see if I can make it back to the tables where a couple of the big time regulars were still plugging along doing some damage - I’m still trying to get things started as far as my rummage goes and I will never know what I could have picked up without getting first crack at the boxes.

I got a peek at the personal notebook / wantlist one older collector had - his 'notes' were written up like hieroglyphics and I had to roll my eyes for a moment at the indescribable level of detail.

I guess as random as things get, other collectors might be more particular - where cards I might think about aren’t necessarily something that would register to them. 

It was probably too late, but I wanted to be deliberate and still wanted to look at every card- I don’t think I ended up with the fresher ‘easter egg’ material but was still able to flag some cards that piqued my interest.

It may not mean anything, but maybe I can count on other collectors having different interests - I can’t help where there might be some obvious gets but there might be a tendency to gravitate towards your sports first where football and basketball cards may ‘dominate’ someone else’s stack while I'm primarily a baseball guy.  

I was able to build up a couple of bricks of cards that was whittled down to 60 for the time I spent - I have to remind myself to enjoy these moments, where it's all fun and games here rather than some chore to come up with all assorted cards.
I am obligated to show the Angels material I picked up where I do have that one MLB team to follow - I may have had a copy of the 1987 Fleer Chuck Finley rookie card over 30 years ago, but who knows where some random card ends up finding its way out of my collection.

It's not such a 'big deal' card where even for a dollar or less, I'd rather end up with it, than pick it up outright - I relented because it maybe a scratch the itch card for my loose collection of Finley cards, but this copy may actually be the glossy version, which makes it a little nicer.

Grabbed some cheap Ken Griffey Jr. cards where despite the idea he's an old dude now and by that extension, the collectors who were following him are now old too - it's still fun to have a bit of nostalgia over his cardboard where he was 'The Kid' in his prime years.
I remember lugging around the 1990 Fleer as one of the most common Junior cards in my collection as a beginning collector over 30 years ago - what makes this particular copy 'special' is that it's the Canadian version, which I know little about except of the notation on the back where it says 'PTD. IN CANADA.'
Some Don Mattingly action - reading through this Baseball Think Factory thread, maybe post #82 stands out, "I think there's a pretty decent segment of baseball fans who, even if they aren't Yankees fans, really just gravitate to the idea of Mattingly's perceived greatness in the 1980s."
Some Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn action - if nothing else, cards that have a bit of shine to them.
Took a picture of the cards twice to show the reverse image of Gwynn on the 2000 Topps Finest Features subset card that looks sort of like an insert - dual sided cards are both neat and annoying at the same time.
Some other 1980s legends for my decade / binder stars - despite Biggio and Smoltz starring more through the 1990s, they made their MLB debuts at some point in the 1980s and I classify their cards as belonging to the decade where they first reached the big leagues.

I left the Boggs insert in a previous dollar boxes of doom raid but decided to just grab it to scratch the itch - it is a dual sided card like the Ripken Jr., featuring Scott Rolen on the reverse.

Binder material for 1990s guys - the Jeter maybe an ugly card that was basically only licensed through the player, but I guess it's still a pre-rookie prospect card of an all-time great.
Minor league cards of junk wax era guys - there maybe something about seeing relatively familiar players and/or managers [in the case of Joe Girardi] who played and/or starred in the big leagues pictured as minor leaguers.

Junk wax era MLB cards of Ellis Burks, Mike Greenwell, Girardi or Greg Vaughn might be filed away in my A-Z commons archives - but seeing their junk wax era minor league cards may take my mind to different places.

Mini-collection material - though he might be a pariah in the NFL, the refractor card of Antonio Brown was too nice to leave behind.

Though it might literally be worth what I paid - I also like the David Robinson card with a Michael Jordan cameo.

Other sports - I question myself after picking up a couple of cards pro wrestling meathead Brock Lesnar.

I know better where most low end Jordans from the 1990s aren't the ones really sought after like his real harder to find inserts / parallels from the same era - but I'll throw in the occasional base card with a nice action shot.

It might be another parallel card, but I made the Tony Romo a keeper just because past a successful career as an NFL quarterback - he has carved out as a second career as basically the best TV analyst in pro football.

I wouldn't normally pay attention to women's soccer cards, but I may have a few of them dumped into the boxes and when I came across it, I relented to add a card of Dennis Rodman's daughter Trinity - there might be some novelty factor as a bloodlines tie there.

Odds and ends - these maybe a more realistic snapshot of the types of cards sitting in the dollar boxes of doom at every show date.

At times, I'm content to be pickier, but maybe this time I bit on some of the hits that others probably pass over most of the time - Kenta Maeda parallel, Eric Chavez bat card, first year Bowman Chrome auto of a rank-and-file big leaguer, Kevin Gross autograph [a one-time Angel who was utterly forgettable in his only year with the team] and a David Dahl autograph.

When he was coming through the minor leagues, I had Dahl tabbed as a future hitting star for the Colorado Rockies - I wouldn't have thought I could land a certified autograph for one, lousy dollar.

Old school odds and ends - I wanted to put the Catfish Hunter back in the box, because it's not the most attractive looking card, but there is a shine to it and it is numbered [to 1974] on the back.

Maybe making a pair of George Bretts keepers are par for the course - I like the old-school, pre junk wax era mid 1980s cards like from 1985 Fleer.

I find Robin Yount and by extension, his cards boring for a baseball legend - but his 1979 Topps is a keeper just because it's a nice looking card of a guy who was already a veteran of 6 MLB seasons when this card was printed.

I want to say I already did a 'book report' on Yount once - he was really at his best in the 1980s where he really had a prime of 5 great offensive years as a shortstop and then another 5 great offenisve years as a center fielder, before his hitting numbers started to really wind down when I might have first really been aware of him in the early 1990s.

I've ended up with a number of Mike Scott junk wax era cards from the Houston Astros - he was basically a guy who took a while to develop in the big leagues, may have been at the top of his game for a five years stretch then was otherwise done through his 30s.

Maybe with his rookie card in hand, I quietly sneak him into my binder stars collection to flesh out my 1980s books just a little bit - even if I end up featuring more of a 'fan favorite' type than true star with some lasting power.