Monday, November 29, 2021

My experiences with some junk boxes of doom - box 2

These are mostly the highlights of my second junk box I picked up for $3 each - these UV era cards from 1994 Fleer Ultra may not be worth anything to anyone in 2021, but the star power [featuring guys from the 1980s and 1990s] can't be denied, regardless.
I paid a whole dollar for a copy of the Tim Salmon insert in one of the previous card show trips a few months ago - but go figure I'd find another in this box.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Stragglers from the dollar boxes of doom

I was at a new card show earlier this past month, trying to traverse the circuit of tables, but didn't feel like I had the patience where maybe I get a little self-conscious about what I collected - besides the showcase tables, heavy concentration on more NBA, NFL, soccer and nonsport cards, what I'd consider the baseball first, weekend warrior, swap meet, tables I can really get into were just about non-existent.

Go figure, I was just kind of idle digging through the dollar boxes from the table I've always bought from at the monthly show - maybe the value boxes were relatively thinned out, where I was going to impose a hard limit on what I may pick up.

When it comes to that loose card hunt however, the fun is having no real plan because YMMV with each row of a value box - where it's kind of like going down a rabbit hole hunting for odds and ends.

Maybe I'd settle on 10 cards, then the numbers crept up to a little more and then I found other cards - if I'd put all the cards back and just walked away, then no harm, no foul, but go figure, I was really loitering around and for better or for worse, ended up with 20 keepers.

These cards may not be dollar material, but even if I'd only pay $0.50 or less for each of them - I feel like having them in hand for basically $0.50 more probably justifies cards that end up being mini-collection adds.

1997 Denny's 3-D Holograms Jackie Robinson #29 - awesome action; baserunning; plays at the plate; 'H'
1991 Star Nolan Ryan Promo Red - blank back; awesome action; unique perspectives; interviews
1996 Pinnacle Summit Foil Barry Bonds #107 - inking it up; there is another card I picked up previously featuring an image shot at the same time, but is cropped where it may not be obvious Bonds was signing anything.
2002 Upper Deck National Convention Sammy Sosa #N-2 - inking it up; I thought this was regular Sosa card and didn't think much of it but came around on making it a keeper because he is signing autographs and it's a little odder issue.

I'm not sure about picking up blank back cards I'm unfamiliar with where I worry it's not a 'real' card - but I'll take my chances with the Ryan.
1996/97 Upper Deck UD3 Hardwood Prospects Ray Allen #5 - even though the card maybe only worth what I paid, what I believe is a rookie of a certified all-time great should be a keeper, right?
2019-20 Panini Chronicles Donruss Rated Rookie Nicolo Melli RC #197 - I would have skipped passed this card but my eagle eye spotted LeBron making a cameo along the side, so I had to make this a reluctant keeper.
2021 NBA Panini Hoops Lebron James #146 - an actual card of 'Bron, I'm not sure if I really have any of his cards, so I'll grab it.

2020 Panini Donruss Optic Tom Brady #92
2020 Panini Select Concourse Patrick Mahomes #2

2021 Donruss Diamond Kings Blue Holo Fernando Tatis #27
2021 Donruss Blue Holo Fernando Tatis #71
2021 Donruss Rated Rookie Blue Holo Dylan Carlson #37 - maybe 'Mr. Irrelevant' here where this might have been the last card I grabbed to make my little stash an even $20.
1969 Topps Dick Allen #350 - Allen doesn't register much for me like it would for others perhaps, but I maybe thirsty for the occasional old-school and/or vintage card when I see them for a buck in the wild.
2019 Topps Heritage High Numbers Hot Box Purple Andrew McCutchen #THC-702
2020 Topps Gallery Heritage Freddie Freeman #HT-3
More baseball
2010 Yankees Topps 27 World Championships Mickey Mantle 1951 Topps #YC14
2010 Yankees Topps 27 World Championships Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps #YC15 - the '52 Mantle is such an iconic card, so even if it's to be reprinted in perpetuity [who knows what happens when Fanatics steps in], any Topps branded replications are keepers.
2010 Yankees Topps 27 World Championships Mickey Mantle 1953 Topps #YC16
1986 Donruss Fred McGriff RC #28
1999 Revolution Tripleheader Craig Biggio #24 - it's not that I've intentionally sought them out, but Pacific branded inserts and parallels maybe low-key keepers if and when I find them.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

TTM autograph received: Camilo Pascual

I wonder where my loose TTM successes end up after the fact - it will not be the case where I shutter things completely, but I may take longer times between putting together reequests.

I don't think I can keep up with all the pros who send out stuff on a regular basis and get responses back almost at an every other day rate - even if I was a TTM whale, maybe too much of a good thing ends up being clutter, so I want to feel like I can space out requests sent at my own pace.

From the monthly card show, I ended up with a 350-card dime [nickel] box haul - among the cards I threw into my bricks was a 1994 Topps Archives Series Gold card of the former big league righthander.

Because I'd written to the 87-year old and got a success [with $10 added] back in 2020, I was hoping he still signed - even though I consider most TTM fee requests a 'one and done' affair, maybe it was worth it to make a $10.05 investment to get another success from Pascual.

Friday, November 26, 2021

1993 Donruss Elite Series Fred McGriff

All I knew about the Donruss Elite Series inserts from the early 1990s was they were needle in a haystack finds - where picking up a couple of cases [or more] of a particular Donruss product didn't guarantee an Elite Series insert pull.

I saw this in a showcase at a monthy show I go to and thought it would be a fun pick up for $10 - but then I held off because I was concerned about finding cards at the dollar bins of doom and capping my purchases off this particular table up through a certain amount.

However, there was actually a couple more opportunities to see this particular seller [at a couple of other show dates besides the monthly one I'm familiar with] - so maybe I was counting on 'circling back' to find the card again.

In a show the next Saturday after the monthly one, I made my way back to the seller's tables but didn't see the card displayed - I started to digging through the $10 box and hoped the card might still be among the others and I set aside quickly when I saw it.

This particular set was numbered to 10,000 and maybe these inserts started to loose their relevance as other chase cards printed through the early UV era [just past the junk wax years] - started to look more and more like these cards and notably inserted in a more realistic 'per box' rate.

Monday, November 22, 2021

My experiences with some junk boxes of doom

Things were slow at card show I went to, so I ended up meandering around the card shop's [they host the show at their storefront] bargain tables and was digging through these boxes with these ratty old junk wax era cards - I know better, but I'm one of those guys who would seek out what may have been someone else's trash and actually pay someone to take it off their hands.

I waited until the store owner walked by and asked him how much the boxes were - I think he said they were priced as marked [for everything in the box] and I could go through them as well.

I get jealous of those who can buy bulk collections for $20-$30 and while this isn't one of those deals - I guess it can't be worse than picking up four Fairfield repacks.

There was a partial 1984 San Diego Padres Smokey set [15 of 29 cards] - maybe that is where the Tony Gwynn and the San Diego Chicken I saw in one of the shop's showcases came from, but a card of general manager Jack McKeon was among the cards and I able to send it off and get it signed TTM.
I think I'm the only one crazy enough to sort through and try to make sense of these cards - this box had a good run of 1992 Fleer which may have been a 'meh' set after the fact, but anything would have been an improvement over the previous year's set where the base cards were a little bit nicer and at first felt like a premium release.
To sort the cards out, what I did was try to look for obvious or not so obvious 'mini-collection' hits, maybe binder material for my decade stars collection, cards I can dump as team box material and the rest - even if we are talking about kindling for the fire, I want some generally 'clean' cards, so I set aside most cards with blemishes or had succumbed to the natural circumstances and just tossed them.
This doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things, but I found this old New Orleans Saints sticker - probably something I would have thrown away.
In the back of the card you can put in scores according the schedule - I guess someone did that through a certain date and maybe this card is a reminder that these cards were actually a part of someone else's collection.
I remember buying a complete set of 1992 Score just 5-6 years ago - I don't know why it matters, but a card that seems to have disappeared was a Frank Tanana.

Maybe my 'original' copy will show up somewhere, but I was happy to find another one - why does it matter again why I have it in my head, I lost a 1992 Score Frank Tanana?

I don't know if I really found that deep run of odder cards, but this 1994 Upper Deck SP Eric Karros was one.
It's actually a wrong back card and when I turned it over, the card back was for pitcher Steve Karsay.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Trying to catch up with some vintage hauls

I was idly rummaging in the vintage box at a table at my card show, looking for some keepers and go figure, I had a small run of catchers' cards going - I may have looked over the second-year 1970 Topps Ray Fosse [R.I.P.] card in a previous dig, but made sure to grab it this time around after he had passed away.

When I was still getting big league autographs in-person 10 years ago - I remember Fosse making time for collectors and one time he was telling someone on the field "I've got to [come over] and sign these vintage cards."

I was thinking he made them sound like they were ancient - they maybe old from the 1970s, but not that old.

I like the idea of being able to grab old cards that may not be in the greatest shape and make them keepers - where I've created a little 'grab bag' mix for myself as far as impulsive pick ups for mini-collections and other loose card projects.
The oldest card is a 1954 Bowman Hobie Landrith #220 - maybe the card to be squirreled away somewhere [away from my other tools of ignorance cards since it's a little larger pre-1957 issue], but go figure he is still living and apparently is still signing autographs through the mail for a fee.

I sent the card off to presumably his mailing address and $5 - just to see if my card would come back signed.

The other cards include a second-year, non-catcher card of catcher Ted Simmons, a Topps subset card of Babe Ruth, an all-star subset card of Hall of Famer Ron Santo - I also picked up a card of Walt 'No Neck' Williams, who I remember reading something about in a book of baseball cult favorites, so while I'm not going to nerd out about everything 'old,' I may be aware of random notables.
The most I spent on a single card was $5 on the Ruth - I wanted to salvage this vintage Topps card because Ruth is the iconic player in Major League Baseball, though it also has him signing autographs so it's a nice addition to my 'inking it up' mini-collection.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

A card show and tell conundrum

It is harder for me to do any in-depth recaps because purchases have added up and I can't conjure up these nice and neat stories about how certain cards were chosen over others - maybe what I really want to say is look at my hauls, pore over my finds, but maybe I'm just reading the room wrong or there is no real audience to cater to.

I'm a glutton for punishment however, where I need an outlet where there is a routine to get the word out once in a while - so here goes another bunch of purchases [at what has been the monthly show, though there might be 1 or 2 more dates added in a given month] to literally amuse myself with.

I found what maybe a complete 'stand alone' set of Bryce Harper minor league cards - I assume these are official issues, though a case where the cards were printed to capitalize on his hype as a prospect.

They seem more like customs than anything else - however, enough time has passed where the cards are 'old enough' to have some pre-rookie novelty.

In the pecking order of sporting GOATS over the past 20 years, Jeter might be the token baseball guy - still have to put aside some Jeters, where maybe I'm looking for some mainstream, if dated oddballs [Upper Deck Collectors Club, Upper Deck FanFest, Upper Deck National] just to have something different.
This Willie Mays caught my eye because it just stood out as a little larger, even though I like my cards standard size - it looks like it's a Topps branded card rather than some custom, so my best guess it was from a National VIP package, since I've seen them put out similar, vintage themed card sets as part of their National Convention promotions.
Miscellaneous baseball isn't where it's at at a 'here and now' card show, but I'm digging away to see what odds and ends I can pull - including an old Joe Mauer minor league card from his pro debut season, a 2018 Topps Archives Aaron Judge card I thought was some parallel [it's just a base] because of the cardboard stain design element [on the back] and a real old 1963 Fleer card of Bob Aspromonte.

I remember when I thought Xavier Nady was going to be the next hot prospect just over 20 years ago - I wanted his rookie cards so bad when they first came out and while it wasn't the one I had in mind, grabbed one of the serial #'d rookies that came out his pro debut season where he might have been guaranteed to get a big league call up in 2000.

While Nady was a very good player in spurts - he never did turn into that perennial all-star talent I assumed most guys with a little bit of prospect pedigree turned out to be back in the day.

I grabbed basic rookie cards of Ke'Bryan Hayes and Jo Adell just because maybe there is a desperation to think about future considerations - even if talking about putting away lowest end rookies of a couple of potential future stars.

I didn't think I'd end up with a pair of serial #'d Ryan Freel rookie cards but maybe there is some sentimentality there - where the cards go towards my beyond the glory collection.

It's only a checklist card, but the old school Catfish Hunter / Nolan Ryan card maybe a nice add to Ryan collection in my Angels binder - I may keep an eye out for old-school / vintage stragglers when available where there is a little novelty in something now over 45 years old.

More baseball odds and ends, including an Albert Belle inside printed on simulated wood material and a Chipper Jones insert printed on simulated base material- it has been said somewhere else but those types of cards are always fun to pick up.

I ended up with a couple of Reggie Jackson cards that may fall into the oddball territory - I've seen the card where he is promoting soccer on other blogs, so I had to make it a keeper [the only thing weirder than seeing Reggie promoting the World Cup back in 1993 is realizing that he is a special assistant to the owner of the Houston Astros] along with his 1982 O-Pee-Chee In Action subset card.

I don't know if Giancarlo Stanton is relevant as far as who I may collect but seeing a couple of cards from his minor league days [included a mini] - triggered me to pick them up where enough time has passed to make them a little 'old school' novelties rather than just finding another big league issued card of the 12-year veteran.

I don't think Nick Castellanos is any sort of baseball card superstar, but he has put up some numbers where is considered an actual baseball star - I make make his 2011 Topps Heritage Minor League blue tint card a keeper, even if it's worth only what I paid.

I didn't anticipate finding these prospect cards and while they are strictly base [and not even first year cards], maybe I haven't had much exposure to prospect products in recent years - so if I see cards of notable guys, maybe I should squirrel them away as far as guys who are likely going to be decade stars through the 2020s.
These are kind of my 'junk' GU / auto finds - I didn't really want to spend a dollar on a J.C. Romero card, but want to pick up certified autographs of one-time Angels outright and add them [to the non-Angels card portion] of my Angels all-time autograph collection without worrying about digging up an TTM/IP of the same player that I may or may not actually have.

Cesar Hernandez is nothing special at all, but he is an active big leaguer who I didn't have an autograph of - I think he is wearing a retro uniform, so maybe I can add his Topps Stadium Club autograph to that mini-collection.

The Fred McGriff bat card may have come out during a time where maybe memorabilia cards were still a novelty - maybe not the late 1990s, but in the early 2000s where game used cards were featured highlights in baseball card products rather just another insert type that would lose its collectibility.

I don't think I'll ever be collecting other sports but I'll add a few stragglers to the mix - where it's cards of some other sport GOATS [Michael Jordan, Tom Brady], an interesting, fun card [Jake The Snake Plummer posing with an actual snake] or a card featuring an individual [Colin Kaepernick] that has transcended past just being another pro athlete.

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Maybe the party was somewhere else

My local card show is probably inconsistent when it comes to sellers, just because depending on what else is going on, guys may decide to be at another show - it may be a case where I've 'sold out' showing up at a particular show, but realize there are more empty spaces than anything else.

Maybe I find myself out of touch with modern 'here and now' collecting, so even in a packed house, I might not find a run 2, 3 or 4 tables that hit the spot where I can at least find stuff that appeals to me - obviously the pool of probable dance partners shrinks further when there maybe only 15-20 tables [at most] compared to at least 25-30 tables.

With the situation looking slow off the bat, I started off at a new [to me] seller set up at the back wall - he had a $0.50 [if unmarked] rookie box [sorted by player, in ABC order], a '3 for $5' junk autos box, various 'little' displays [including a couple of stacks of assorted cards in semi rigids] and then player boxes to the other side [maybe it would make more sense if all the boxes he had to dig through were on one side of his setup].

As far as the rookie box, I couldn't systemtically go through them all like a treasure hunt dig and I'm trying to come up with a short list of rookies I might find cards for - I guess I expect a 'mix mix' of cards where who knows who might find, but I'll know it when I see it.

Some of the younger guys navigating through his table weren't buying anything but complimented him on labeling his player boxes in ABC order where there were these dividers with players' names boldly written - to a certain extent, as long as sections are separated by sport, I like cards a bit jumbled up rather than making me force to really think about looking up cards for specific players.

The person at the table didn't seem like he paid much attention to me, which maybe both a good or bad thing - I'm trying to be on a little mission mission while wondering if this person is thinking I'm some kind of goof because of my 'one-track rummage.'

Someone came over and I overheard in passing that it was seller's only second show - the seller was talking about things were slow, maybe even accounting for the other show, but [at least] there was someone like [me] going through his cards.

There was a little uncertainty as I rounded up some cheap rookie stuff, a trio of certified autograph cards and a couple of miscellaneous cards - the person looked at my stash and came up with a total of $10, was a couple of bucks off my actual total.

Tyler O' Neill always had a lot of power potential as a prospect, but after 3 seasons in part time work and playing through the pandemic in 2020 - finally had the opportunity to play on a regular basis and delivered with 34 home runs.
I'm a low-key Brandon Lowe guy because I still remember making it a mission to getting him to sign a couple of cards in the Arizona Fall League back in 2017 - I grabbed a couple of his basic rookies here, but the third is actually a card of Nate [Nathaniel] Lowe, who plays for the Texas Rangers.
The rookie of Kyle Tucker might have started me on the rummage and while his Houston Astros team came up short in the World Series - he has established himself as another homegrown Astros star to build around.

I grabbed a couple of cards of Cincinnati Reds third baseman Jonathan India - who seemed to get better as he got more at-bats under his belt and maybe the 2021 National League Rookie of the Year.

I found a Xander Bogaerts rookie from 2014, which may not be much - but maybe some time has passed since the card was first released and he really has been this star shortstop for the Boston Red Sox.

Even though I have a mini-collection of mascots just because they are 'fun,' I would never buy a mascot card outright - however, the San Diego Chicken is a special breed and this shiny insert [?] has a little bit of pop I haven't seen before.

I don't see them often, but certain non-sport cards like this card of actress Kaley Cuoco from The Big Bang Theory TV show tend to be easier impulse buys in the wild - I thought this was a regular card at first, but looking closer, it actually has a perforated surface where the subject image is designed to be 'popped out.'

Finally I decided to grab a random trio of certified autographs - I do find myself not knowing what to do with pack pulled autographs, because while it's a quick fix as far as just having a signed card of a current big league closer like Alex Colome, my collecting roots was all about trying to get scribbles in-person or through the mail [TTM].
Brad Eldred was an Adam Dunn sized first baseman who played in the big leagues for parts of 4 seasons - while he might have been a 4A slugger otherwise, he got the opportunity to star in Japan through his 30s, so there might be some novelty here.
The nearly clear hologram autograph sticker was placed crooked on this Daniel Nava card, but almost blends in with how the card was designed - this one goes into the non-Angels card portion of my Angels all-time autograph collection.