Tuesday, June 28, 2022

TTM autographs received: Sonny Jackson

The former big leaguer from the 1960s through early 1970s signed my cards in a year and 20 days - I counted this one gone as an MIA request, so it was nice to get one of my SASEs back in the mail box and see what I'd sent signed, along with one of the penny sleeves I used for one of the cards I sent.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Cheap-o box card show etiquette?

I found myself digging through $2 boxes where I plugged along going through most of the baseball portion concentrated in one monster box - alongside another guy busy going through a single row of $2 cards in a separate monster box.

I'd pulled out some probable keepers to build on from what I assumed was the main $2 boxes - after the other guy basically finished up, plucking about six cards and making his purchase, I figure I'd pounce on what he was looking through. 

I thought I had the box to myself, however an older guy started going to the row and I thought he was just some casual - I wanted to stay out of his way, where I'd let him have first look through the cards where he started digging through, and then maybe I'd take my turn to go through the stacks of cards he was finished with.

Maybe he gets bored soon enough and moves on, but he was already asking the seller how much would it take to buy the entire row - he started to pore over the cards, maybe seeing what he really wanted and/or counting them out.

He asked if I was done and I kind of gestured 'yes' even though I would have liked the opportunity to go through the rest of the cards without being out scooped - knowing he wanted the row of cards for himself and just about to buy just all of it, was I the one who starts lacking manners if I insist on going through the rest of the cards? 

Whatever I had in-hand before this other guy tried to make an offer was fair game - but I wouldn't want someone else trying to cherry pick cards off a row I'm trying to buy as one lot.  

I still had loose cards I'd flagged from this last row but put back a couple that I wasn't really considering - with the cards I'd set aside in my original rummage, I think I ended up with 16 cards and was basically charged half off, which was good enough.  

Saturday, June 25, 2022

TTM autograph received: J.C. Martin

I sent the 1960 Topps Gary Peters uncorrected error to the player [Martin] pictured on the main image and my card was signed and returned in about three weeks - I don't know if I really like how the card turned out, but it becomes one of those novelties in my collection where a 63-year old card ends up being dual signed because of a mistake.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Better than a blaster [?] - random finds

I was charged $15 for this grouping of assorted cardboard at a card show - maybe I'm not exactly sure what I'm looking at here, maybe just odds and ends to be funneled away or to be left sitting loose in my collection somewhere. Maybe the $0.50 boxes were a mix bag of assorted cards but there might be some cheap thrills - I wasn't as emotionally invested in the rummage because it was off an unfamilar trio [?] of sellers who were doing business at the other end of the tables where I was doing my digging at.

At times I like it where I'm left alone to do my thing - but it feels kind of weird where I feel a little isolated and just to check out, I have to make an effort to flag one of the people while they might be preoccupied with other important things.

Dollar box finds except for the Wander Franco - I figure I'd splurge and pay $3 for a 2019 Topps Minor League Heritage Franco, though I see it as falling in that prospect, pre-rookie, non-MLB netherworld where it's not going to be particularly valued.

Maybe in 5-10 years, if Franco ever lives up to the hype bestowed upon him, maybe my lousy card trickles up to a $10 card - though Franco wasn't setting the league in fire and got hurt, he figures to be an all-star talent through his prime.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

TTM autographs received: Manny Mota

The former big league outfielder and one of the all-time great pinch hitting greats signed my cards in about a week or so - I like how the coaches' cards came out, which came from a couple of team sets.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Better than a blaster - does this count?

I found this card in the $20 pile off a card show table and figure it's a vintage Mickey Mantle card, right [?] - even if it's an odder card where it's harder to make out Mantle's image.
There is really nothing much to the card - but it's old and it's a keeper where vintage cards tend to be more intermittent teases in my collections, rather than something I feign to collect in any sort of way.

Thursday, June 09, 2022

Some low level value box style digging

At card shows, I like the idea of cobbling cards together that make sense to me - my take home stash may not be worth much all together [charged $10 in this instance], but depending on what I find, I can exercise a certain nuance in picking out my keepers off a particular table.

Angels material - 3 for $1  - the Angels are my team to collect them through rain, sleet or snow, but I can't help but feel there is a janky quality that lingers from the top of the organization down to the product on the field. 

2021 Topps Chrome Shohei Ohtani #159 - he really hasn't had that all-world season with the bat and on the mound, has had some uneven performances in recent starts.
2021 Topps Finest Shohei Ohtani #54
2021 Topps Finest Mike Trout #57 - was in an 0-for-26 hole, may have busted out off that until his groin gave out.
2021 Topps Finest Finest Legacies Mike Trout, Vladimir Guerrero #FL-MT
2021 Topps Gallery Shohei Ohtani #96 

$1 each
2016 Topps Chrome Mike Trout #1 
2021 Topps Archives Snapshots Jo Adell #19 - he's had to step in where it seems like he's as bad as some Angels fans want him to be, where the 23-year old's abilities just doesn't translate into skills that make him a legitimate big leaguer.

$1 each
1960 Fleer Baseball Greats Zack Wheat #12 
1960 Fleer Baseball Greats Dazzy Vance #51 
1961 Fleer Baseball Greats Chuck Klein #51
1962 Post Cereal Richie Ashburn #186

$0.50 each
1961 Topps Don Mossi #14

I was able to scrounge up some vintage cards and while they came from the depths of some cheap-o boxes and not showcase material - maybe having some 60 year old pieces of cardboard in hand should be some sort of accomplishment. 

$2 each 
2021 Bowman's Best Refractor Marco Luciano #20 [x2] - whoever knows with some of these top prospects, but looks like this shortstop prospect is having a good year in Single-A. 
2021 Bowman's Best Refractor Andrew Vaughn #21 - he had an unspectacular rookie season in 2021, but has shown better production with the bat so far. 

Sunday, June 05, 2022

Better than a blaster [?] - some value box digging

I've kind of focused on attending on the once or twice a month card shows rather than the two times a week one - there might be a bigger two-day card show event coming up where I need to save up, but I couldn't help but pay a visit to see what was up at my local card show / shop for at least a couple of hours.

At the storefront's tables, I dug up 200 quarter cards I was charged $20 for, then meandered around, to re-discover a familiar seller - usually I'd spend a good portion of my time just digging through this person's $0.50 boxes of doom, but didn't see him after I'd done damage already with bulk material.

However, I still had the time to rummage around for a little bit and the following keepers caught my eye - when it came time to show my cards to the seller, the total came out to $15.

1992 Bowman Pedro Martinez #82 [$5] - not a rookie card but one of the better cards of a prospect era Pedro.
2001 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts Game Jersey Joe Nuxhall #J-JN [$3] - he's not a Hall of Famer, but he was the youngest ever [15] to play in the big leagues, so that's a little bit of trivia associated with the player.
2022 Topps Series 1 Major League Material Pete Alonso #MLM-PA [$2] - relic cards aren't valued much as a card type, but they might be fun enough keepers for a couple of dollars, especially when it's a hot player featured.
1980 TCMA 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers World Champions Don Drysdale #1980-028 [$1] - I tend to over look oddballs like this one but I flipped it over and it looks like there is actually an MLB logo, so I'll take the odder cards if they are licensed.
1994 Donruss Studio Heritage Collection Don Mattingly #4 [$1] - it's a side mission to make keepers out cards from certain inserts like this one.
2021 Topps Opening Day Mascot Relic Card Mr. Met Mets #MR-MM [$1] - the sentiment may not mean much in reality, but maybe I'm more open to seeking out baseball cards featuring oddball subjects like mascots.
1995 Donruss Dominators Left Field Albert Belle / Barry Bonds / Moises Alou #7 of 9 [$1] - found with ‘Remove Protective Peel’ removed.
Angels material - the team has fallen so far back in just a month, it's hard to see where they go and bounce back from here.

2021 Topps Holiday Walmart Shohei Ohtani #HW80 [$1]
2021 Topps Holiday Walmart Jo Adell RC #HW135 [$1]

Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Reviewing a trading card app - YMMV

Through my Instagram feed [or in my Instgram Explore feed], I might have seen snippet where a trading card influencer was promoting this app called Center Stage - maybe the clip ran for about 10 seconds, but I was curious enough to download the app.

I was at a show about a month ago where I might have seen a woman using this app to look up cards that had piqued her interest - I think she was telling the seller about the app, though I didn't know anything about it then.

I think this trading card app is supposed to help identify cards where it will link to eBay listings where with recent sales information - to be fair, this app might be a work in progress where it might not give the user the latest, most accurate listings.

Another function that maybe of use is being able to 'scan' a random card in his hand and the app has the ability to show what the card is - trying things out, the app was able to identify at least a couple of cards off the bat, though there were instances where you have to frame the card the right way or else the app will give you listings for different cards all together.

Where this app may help me the most is dealing with looking up all sorts of cards off my assorted pick ups - as part of what I call my inventory recap 'process,' I want to list out all the cards I found, so I have an idea where I got specific cards and may have something to look back on as far any number of 'hauls.'

Off a card show trip, I end up with at least 50-100 bulk cards and as well as 35-40 assorted singles at one time - I really don't want to look cards up manually where I have to think about the year, the brand, et al so I can list them out from the first to the very last card.

I don't know if this app speeds up that process, but I can 'scan' a number of cards one-by-one and find many of them - as someone who has crept towards the older collector territory, I don't know if I can look up some card numbers in tiny print and other card identifiers that maybe obscured off the cards themselves.

I still have to make sure that the card I've scanned matches the results, but the app gives me a more interactive process - as opposed to having to look up miscellaneous cards through a Web search, a COMC search or an ebay search outright.

When I get results, I can work with something where I can copy [instead of typing out] the brand, the year, the player and the card number - so that may make generating a list easier than having to type things out, even if I have to play around with how I want the card listings formatted.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Featured autograph - Tim Salmon

I grabbed this card because it has an old-school 1975 Topps design and it's a certified autograph of 'home team' great - I'm generally content with my PC of miscellaneous Salmon cards, but I might see a newer looking card when browsing on ebay.

Because I don't pay attention to baseball card products year-to-year, where I scan checklists to see which team related guys I can look for - I might see a card like this as the newest, coolest 'must have' card, even if there have been other pack pulled Salmon autograph cards over the past 10 years that may as well be out of sight, out of mind.

Playing around with a reverse negative effect - it might be cool to have an actual double sided card that gives you this view.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

I love going through cards unconditionally II

This really isn't from a card show, but at times it feels like my card show stacks I'm building off a table start to look like this - at times, maybe I do need some help trying to whittle things down and having some 'table management' to tidy things up perhaps.  

1.) Is it normal where a seller takes the bulk cards I’m setting aside to count them out [?] - maybe it helps save a little bit of time where I’m not spazzing out, especially when my piles are prone to become a mess. 

2.) However I still need to be in control, where from my end - I’m not just piling on where I don’t have an idea of my total numbers down to the very last card. 

3.) Maybe setting aside cards is a seller trick, especially for cards no one may want but me - I don’t mind because rummaging through bulk cards that is still the seller’s property until money is exchanged. 

4.) To be be honest, it probably doesn’t get to be where I’m forced to pick up cards, but I worry it’s bad look to walk away from a table - especially when the seller is doing a little work to count up the cards I've stacked up. 

5.) There are cards I just end up putting back - where despite flagging cards left and right impulsively, I might not really want everything. 

There maybe dupes I occasionally need to weed out and maybe I’m still kind of picky about condition - where I don’t want 'junky' cards in 'junkier' condition with nicked corners, surface damage, paper loss and other blemishes. 

6.) Maybe it ruins the vibes when someone else is pawing through the cards I’ve set aside - contrary to the cards still belonging to the seller, I mentally start taking ownership where I don’t want others touching the cards I’m taking with me.

Friday, May 27, 2022

I love going through cards unconditionally

For a moment, maybe I’m not really feeling the card show 'grind,' where as a consumer, I'm throwing money into random things that make me feel like a mark - the current climate of things makes me feel a little self-conscious about making someone else cash money while I end up with cardboard I don't know what to do with at times.

Nonetheless, this post is more about another card show recap where I need my fix - I get joy out of rummaging for cards, especially at the so called value boxes level.

At the twice a month card shows I've attended, the seller (s) with the main dollar boxes of doom I linger around the most have been on a hiatus - I've sort of made those tables larger than life, but perhaps I need to figure how to change things up with different characters.

I think I found myself rummaging through a new table with different $5, $10, $20 value boxes with kind of the loose cards I might be interested in - go figure I might have bought off this seller before, but I don't think I've actually seen him set up since last summer.

After trying to look through the other boxes on one side of the table, I saw his dollar box and started digging around - I worry about blowing my wad at one table, especially towards the beginning of my time at a card show, but I also tell myself, this table could be 'it' where this was where I was going to get the most bang for the buck.

I'm someone who is going to pore over every single card [I've set aside] to see what ends up a keeper or what gets left in a box - maybe I think I've messed up choosing certain cards over others.

Maybe I start feeling like a goof, putting back and pulling more cards to choose from - where I actually indulge in seeing all these cards to pick from, even if it leaves me a little confused and indecisive.

I can't get too excited where the sum of my hauls may not always have that zing once I sort everything out - but usually feel good about the 'mix mix' quality of the cards I've ended up with for the day.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Night Owl 5,000-post repack giveaway results

I was able to jump in on Greg's post giving away cards and found a large bubble mailer in my mail box this past week - I tend to refer to him as the card blogging 'sage,' but what hasn't been said about him?

If nothing else over the years, since he has been published in Beckett publications - he has evolved into an expert, an authority figure posting about baseball cards, the Dodgers, Ron Cey, 1975 Topps, old school, vintage, oddballs and the various life issues that may occasionally take priority over cardboard.

I might not always be interested in the things he has posted about, but if he has a new post up - it's probably worth taking a moment to check it out.

I couldn't wait to just to tear into the my package and find 9 team set bags stuffed with assorted cards - N.O. also threw in a 1992 Donruss pack [15 cards] that counted as part of the 253 total cards I ended up with.
A good number of cards was Angels material, which is no surprise since obviously that is the team I collect - I like the minor league Garret Anderson, the 2002 Topps 206 Anderson, the oddball Rod Carew and the old school Don Baylor cards.
There was the occasional star power - I'm not sure if Matt Olson is on that same level as the other guys, but he has been a bonafied slugger through his big league career.
Some odds and ends to go through like parallels, oddballs, old school and vintage - the Topps Fire Victor Robles is a rookie-year shiny, though his potential has dimmed over the years.
The 1980 TCMA Baseball Immortals cards aren't something that would normally pique my interest and I'm not a card back 'enthusiast' either - but I like how the backs look compared to a regular Topps card from that era, where there is a bit of color and the stock feels textured and creamy.
To be completely random, these were thrown into my stash - I remember sitting through a KISS concert about 6 years ago, maybe the only concert I've ever attended and in the middle, the crowd was basically made to recite the pledge of allegiance.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

2022 Bowman blaster recap #2

There are interesting names to go through among the prospect portion of the cards, though it makes me wonder if some of the parents naming these young guys are running out of ideas - though maybe it's just unfamiliarity over the players like Rikelvin De Castro, Fran Alduey, Jhonkensy Noel, Lenyn Sosa, Mahki Backstrom, Jheremy Vargas or Arol Vera.

Someday they might be household names in the big leagues - with some likely being 'never has beens' where their pro careers might stall out after reaching a certain level.

Pack one
#83 Yordan Alvarez 
#84 Jarren Duran RC 
#62 Kyle Muller RC 
#41 Spencer Strider RC 
#68 Shohei Ohtani 
#26 J.D. Martinez 
#VV-9 Austin Hendrick - Virtuosic Vibrations insert 
#BP-25 Rikelvin De Castro  
#BP-7 Marco Luciano 
#BP-20 Jordan Walker 
#BCP-39 Fran Alduey - Chrome FY 
#BCP-13 Zac Veen - Chrome 

Pack two
#98 Kris Bryant 
#80 Josh Donaldson 
#30 Jarred Kelenic 
#95 Gerrit Cole 
#74 Jose Barrero 
#28 Freddie Freeman 
#BTP-48 Shea Langeliers - Bowman Top 100 insert   
#BP-130 Christian Roa - FY 
#BP-37 Brennen Davis 
#BP-2 Jhonkensy Noel - FY 
#BCP-23 Elijah Tatis - Chrome FY
#BCP-97 Martin Gimenez - Chrome FY

Pack three
#47 Francisco Lindor 
#8 Joey Gallo 
#35 Jose Altuve 
#75 Charlie Blackmon 
#29 Bobby Dalbec 
#53 Adolis Garcia 
#65 Otto Lopez RC 
#BP-129 Jose Ramos - FY 
#BP-49 Luke Waddell - FY 
#BP-36 Brady Allen - FY 
#BCP-32 Euribiel Angeles - Chrome FY  
#BCP-58 Blaze Jordan - Chrome 

Pack four
#10 Juan Soto
#6 Marcus Semien 
#36 Seth Beer 
#81 Brandon Marsh RC 
#17 Jake Burger RC 
#97 Jesse Winker 
#HIFI-20 Llover Peguero - HIFI Futures insert 
#BP-59 Justice Thompson - FY 
#BP-107 Bryan Bello - FY 
#BP-86 Misael Urbina 
#BCP-76 Lenyn Sosa - Chrome FY 
#BCP-2 Jhonkensy Noel - Chrome FY 

Pack five
#44 Reid Detmers RC
#51 O'Neil Cruz RC 
#70 Ronald Acuña Jr.  
#61 Giancarlo Stanton 
#45 Nolan Arenado 
#57 Cody Bellinger 
#BTP-91 Alexander Canario - Bowman Top 100 insert  
#BP-121 Mahki Backstrom - FY 
#BP-39 Fran Alduey - FY  
#BP-50 Elly De La Cruz - FY 
#BCP-144 Jheremy Vargas - Chrome FY 
#BCP-139 Austin Martin - Chrome 

Pack six
#99 Javier Baez 
#55 Nick Madrigal 
#77 Matt Chapman 
#14 Dylan Carlson 
#69 Paul Goldschmidt 
#31 Alec Bohm 
#ROYF-8 Matt Manning - Rookie of the Year Favorites insert
#BP-114 Jay Allen 
#BP-35 Heliot Ramos 
#BP-55 Luis Matos 
#BCP-101 Arol Vera - Chrome 
#BCP-130 Christian Roa - Chrome FY

Saturday, May 21, 2022

2022 Bowman blaster recap #1

Bowman has been typically out of sight, out of mind for the most part - but there is a bit of FOMO where if I don't jump on trying a blaster or two when I can, I might not be able to get the opportunity see them sold through a retail outlet.
I saw these on the Target Web site and wanted to try a couple even though I didn't realize they were $30 now - it seems like I've been in the dark with Bowman releases especially with the box prices being jacked up across the board.

Gone are the days where I can buy loose hobby packs for $4 each and maybe loose jumbo packs for $12 each - I don't know if it's ever been a serious thing, but prospecting has passed me by where I don't care about guys still in the minor leagues.

With a premium placed on the first year autos [and related parallels] found in Bowman products, Topps makes it where they get cards signed by largely unproven players for $5 each in quantity - then seed them one per $300 box for regular hobby and maybe a couple per $600 jumbo boxes.  

Maybe retail blasters are slightly more sane alternative but it seems like there are too many players [including MLB veterans], too many parallels and filler inserts - where as much as I think I can pull something of value, it's all too saturated where random blasters are an all-or-nothing deal.

Pack one

#41 Spencer Strider RC
#68 Shohei Ohtani
#26 J.D. Martinez
#47 Francisco Lindor
#8 Joey Gallo
#35 Jose Altuve
#VV-2 Spencer Torkleson
- Virtuosic Vibrations insert
#BP-128 Felix Valerio - FY
#BP-103 Diego Cartaya
#BP-143 Heriberto Hernandez
#BCP-104 Orelvis Martinez - Chrome
#BCP-34 Llover Peguero - Chrome

Pack two
#17 Jake Burger RC
#97 Jesse Winker
#99 Javier Baez
#55 Nick Madrigal
#77 Matt Chapman
#14 Dylan Carlson
#BTP-54 Luis Matos
- Bowman Top 100 insert
#BP-22 George Valera - FY - dinged corner
#BP-18 Alvin Guzman - FY - dinged corner
#BP-116 Jeter Downs - dinged corner
#BCP-112 Joshua Baez - Chrome FY
#BCP-51 Robert Dominguez - Chrome FY

Pack three
#75 Charlie Blackmon
#29 Bobby Dalbec

#65 Otto Lopez RC
#44 Reid Detmers RC
#51 O'Neil Cruz RC
#70 Ronald Acuna Jr.
#94 Christian Yelich - Blue Pattern parallel serial #'d 099/125
#BP-17 Oswaldo Cabrera - FY
#BP-32 Euribiel Angeles - FY
#BP-127 Victor Lizarraga - Neon Green parallel serial #'d 355/399
#BCP-90 Yhoswar Garcia - Chrome FY
#BCP-94 Pedro Pineda - Chrome

Pack four
#69 Paul Goldschmidt
#31 Alec Bohm
#20 Ryan Mountcastle
#2 Aaron Judge
#21 Aaron Ashby RC
#11 Luke Williams RC
#HIFI-16 Blaze Jordan
- HI-FI Futures insert
#BP-96 Ian Lewis - FY
#BP-26 Anthony Rodriguez - FY
#BP-68 Niko Kavadas - FY
#BCP-14 Roberto Campos - Chrome FY
#BCP-11 Dauri Lorenzo - Chrome FY

Pack five
#61 Giancarlo Stanton
#45 Nolan Arenado
#57 Cody Bellinger
#1 Joey Votto
#43 Bo Bichette
#B3D-2 Henry Davis
- Bowman in 3D insert
#BTP-71 Noelvi Marte - Bowman Top 100 insert
#BP-146 Bobby Witt Jr.
#BP-102 Pete Crow Armstrong
#BP-38 Alexander Ramirez

#BCP-70 Andry Lara - Chrome FY
#BCP-145 Shalin Polanco - Chrome

Pack six
#100 Ryan Vilade RC
#72 Luis Gil RC
#78 Edward Cabrera RC
#37 Jose Abreu
#25 Mookie Betts
#5 Ha-Seong Kim
#ROYF-6 Jake Burger
- Rookie of the Year Favorites insert
#BP-93 Braylin Minier - FY
#BP-80 Junior Sanquintin - FY
#BP-63 Noelvi Marte
#BCP-82 Aeverson Arteaga - Chrome FY
#BCP-83 Roismar Quintana - Chrome FY

There are interesting names to go through among the prospect portion of the cards, though it makes me wonder if some of the parents naming these young guys are running out of ideas - though maybe it's just unfamiliarity over the players like Orelvis Martinez, Llover Peguero, Euribiel Angeles, Yhoswar Garcia, Dauri Lorenzo, Andry Lara, Shalin Polanco, Noelvi Marte, Roismar Quintana, or Aeverson Arteaga.

Someday they might be household names in the big leagues - with some likely being 'never has beens' where their pro careers might stall out after reaching a certain level.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

2021 Topps Big League blaster recap

Buying a gift card for my niece at my local Target, I found a relatively stocked card section - though it was mostly 2021 Topps Big League blasters [there might have been fat packs as well] and maybe some 2022 Topps Series 1 blasters.

I ended up picking up a '21 Topps Big League blaster and maybe there was three boxes with Mike Trout as the box panel card, so that wasn't too hard to find - I was thinking about picking up a couple of boxes to save an intact Trout box panel and cut up the other, though Topps Big League has never been that serious for me.

Maybe I like the idea of a Topps flagship alternative though I feel products like Topps Big League and Topps Opening Days are simply lesser versions of regular Topps - where it might be a trap to have any sort of emotional investments in these cards.

Reading through a forum thread, I knew this product was held back for the longest time - so for all I knew, it was never going to come out.

When I busted through the packs, I was expecting to find images that made this product more like Topps Stadium Club lite - however, the images were from the 2020 pandemic season and were real tight shots that kind of got to be the repetitive.

The best images came from the Highlights subset with more opportunities to see cards with more emotion and action - the Brett Phillips is a classic.

The cards themselves aren't too bad and kind of remind me of the various Topps Bazooka releases from the mid 1990s and the mid 2000s - where you have a colorful design elements that ideally should attract more beginning collectors than collecting veterans.

Pack one
#175 Dylan Bundy
#154 Tony Gonsolin
#124 Tyler Glasnow
#187 J.T. Realmuto
#182 Ke’Bryan Hayes
#117 John Means
#213 Eric Hosmer
#286 Highlights - Los Angeles Dodgers World Series Champions
#250 Big-League Best N.L. ERA Leaders feat. Bauer, Darvish, Lamet
- Blue parallel
#SO-10 Luis Robert - Souvenirs insert
#289 Highlights Shane Bieber - Orange parallel

Pack two
#63 Mike Soroka
#172 Keston Hiura
#214 Nelson Cruz
#242 Mike Yastrzemski
#75 Justin Verlander
#15 Victor Robles
#70 Carlos Santana
#82 Marco Gonzalez
#WT-11 Mike Yastrzemski
- Wanted insert
#29 Lucas Giolito - Orange parallel

Pack three
#160 Ian Anderson
#72 Josh Hader
#3 Teoscar Hernandez
#64 Rhys Hoskins
#4 Kwang-Hyun Kim
#104 Christian Yelich
#296 Brett Phillips
#100 Francisco Lindor
#33 Adam Wainwright
- Blue parallel
#ATG-SS Sixto Sanchez - Art of the Game insert
#13 Isaac Paredes - Orange parallel

Pack four
#162 Brailyn Marquez RC
#48 Andres Gimenez
#131 Nico Hoerner 
#139 Andy Young RC
#110 Carlos Correa
#1 Mike Trout
#141 Khris Davis
#263 Big-League Best AL Wins Leaders feat. Bieber, Cole and Gonzalez
#DW-11 Luis Robert
- Defensive Wizards insert
#229 Shane McClanahan - Orange parallel

Pack five
#161 Luis Robert
#22 Gary Sanchez
#250 Big-League Best N.L. ERA Leaders feat. Bauer, Darvish, Lamet
#149 Franmil Reyes
#128 Paul Goldschmidt
#54 Trent Grisham
#89 Joey Votto
#88 Clarke Schmidt
#182 Ke’Bryan Hayes
- Blue parallel
#SO-3 Shohei Ohtani - Souvenirs insert
#93 D.J. Lemahieu - Orange parallel

Pack six
#34 Trevor Bauer
#27 Ramon Laureano
#262 Big League Best N.L. Wins Leaders feat. Darvish, Davies and Fried
#76 Anderson Tejada RC
#43 Mitch White RC
#282 Award Winners Randy Arozarena
#255 Big-League Best N.L. HR Leaders feat. Ozuna, Tatis Jr. and Machado
#19 Nick Madrigal RC
#WT-15 Juan Soto - Wanted insert
#24 Fernando Tatis Jr. - Orange parallel

Pack seven
#151 Tarrik Skubal RC
#55 Manny Machado
#276 Liam Hendriks
#42 Jose Berrios
#256 Big-League Best NL War Leaders feat. Betts, Freeman and Machado
#281 Award Winners Corey Seager
- Willie Mays World Series MVP Award Winner
#80 Deivi Garcia
#252 Big-League Best N.L. Strikeout Leaders feat. deGrom, Bauer and Nola 
#22 Gary Sanchez - Blue parallel
#ATG-TA Tim Anderson - Art of the Game insert
#127 Kyle Seager - Orange parallel

Pack eight
#173 Yordan Alvarez
#102 Wil Myers
#285 Award Winners Freddie Freeman
- Players Choice Player of the Year Award Winner
#280 Award Winners Marcell Ozuna - Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award Winner
#98 Jeff McNeil
#157 Max Fried
#146 Yu Darvish
#49 Michael Conforto
#DW-12 Byron Buxton - Defensive Wizards insert
#251 Big League Best A.L. ERA Leaders feat. Bieber, Keuchel and Bassitt - Orange parallel

Pack nine
#113 Brady Singer
#35 Evan White RC
#294 Highlights Mike Brosseau
- HR to Win the ALDS
#242 Mike Yastrzemski
#182 Ke’Bryan Hayes RC
#170 Yadier Molina
#46 Austin Hayes
#114 Shohei Ohtani
#30 Dustin May - Blue parallel
#SO-8 Kris Bryant - Souvenir insert
#277 Award Winners Devin Williams - Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award Winner

Pack 10
#126 Joc Pederson 
#51 Paul De Jong
#129 Tyler Stephenson RC
#7 Kyle Schwarber
#133 Austin Meadows
#143 Keibert Ruiz RC
#92 Walker Buehler
#194 Blake Snell
#WT-7 Aaron Judge
- Wanted insert
#219 Zach Plesac - Orange parallel

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

TTM autographs received: Mark Grudzielanek

The former big league infielder signed my cards in about a month back in April - I don't really think Grudzielanek was a player I paid attention to regularly, where he was more rank-and-file than a star outright, but his seemingly unique last name kept him relatively familiar.

Grudzielanek could hit for average and collected over 2040 base hits in his big league career - looking at his Baseball Reference page, maybe his numbers come off as more modest [.289 batting / .332 on-base / .393 slugging / 90 OPS+].

However, it might be a fun thing for me to break things down and see where Grudzielanek had a run of good, serviceable big league seasons - especially when he seemed more like a grinder from day one, rather than a guy who came into big leagues with any sort of pedigree as a top prospect.

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.