Friday, April 29, 2022

A card show trip recap - biding my time

I guess I’ll try to get somewhere at a reasonable time for me, even if I never really end up one of the early bird pickers - I usually just can't stake things out to be the first through the doors at a show date, to pounce at some of the 'go-to' tables I'm familiar with.

I was anticipating seeing the dollar boxes of doom table at the monthly show I go to make an appearance at the weekly show, but there are the pros who may have a more familiar relationship with the sellers and basically have a rundown of the boxes - I feel like I’m just some Joe Schmoe, looking to crash the party.

Maybe it’s just weird thing, but what makes these boxes attractive is the relative diversity at times - where the main seller [and not his muse] ends up harvesting thousands of cards from collections, presumably from buying sojourns from at least couple of different states.

I get to the weekly card show and when I finally see the table with the muse on standby, it’s clogged up by all these heads and I don’t know what my expectations are, but this is kind of reality and it sucks to be on the outside looking in - there was no real way to start and worm myself into the mix where I don’t know where these people are in their digs and don’t want to offend anyone by grabbing cards off a box.

Instead of rummaging through the glorious dollar cards with supposedly some easter eggs surprises seeded in, I ended up meandering towards another table as the sharks continued to feast - I hope the neighboring table wasn’t thinking I was giving them the side eye, but I had my eyes past them, dumbfounded by the action happening at the tables I wanted to be at.

The guy whose table I was stuck at seemed pretty nice where he’d move things around to make my browsing experience easier and would say something occasionally - his cheap-o boxes maybe priced at a dollar each, where I can’t freestyle like I do with $.50 or less boxes, even though there might have been cards I would have gone to town with if they were a quarter or less.

I ended up with 23 random cards which I was compelled to pick up because I spent 45 minutes at this guy’s table - the seller flipped through the cards I don’t think he ever would sell and charged me $15, which was tolerable since the per card price didn’t actually end up creeping past the dollar mark or more.

The fugazzi 1994 Topps Alex Rodriguez insert caught my eye - maybe I like to pretend it's the late 1990s and chase ARod's Seattle Mariners cards like he is still the most sought after young superstar in Major League Baseball.
Some mini-collection miscellany including a Steve Young football card picturing him blowing a bubble on the reverse - the 1989 Score subset card commemorating the first night game at Wrigley Field is not a card I'd be looking for at all, but it might the type of 'oddball' card I should be making a keeper.
I grabbed a 1998 Bowman rookie card of Jeremy Giambi because it looks a little 'quaint' and 'old school' now, but also as a reminder of a one-time big leaguer who may have passed way too soon [R.I.P.] - I arranged the card next to one of the Derek Jeter cards I found and everyone knows the story there, though the Jeter also has Jeremy's older brother Jason making a 'lil cameo.

Panini creates and prints too many NBA cards where most products it may appear like junk once it hits the shelves - not knowing any better about collecting other sports, I picked up Larry Bird and a Lebron James where it looks the chrome finish was meant to have a greenish hint, where it looks a little funky than other cards.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

TTM autograph received: Gary Peters

I sent a 1960 Topps card to Peters and he signed my card in about three weeks - only after I'd sent the card did I realize there might not be an ideal place for an autograph with the dark area on the main player image and the design elements i.e. name plate cluttering things up.

When I got the card back, the autograph was signed on the inset photo, which really clinched how trying to get this card signed wasn't such a great idea - I looked at similar cards online to see if there were others signed like mine and go figure, I wouldn't have realized the dominant image on the card features another player [J.C. Martin] and what I had in hand was an uncorrected error.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

A card show trip recap - feat. Tim Raines

Went to a card show and it was sort of a blur with all the foot traffic and commerce going on - I nearly had an anxiety attack because the room was packed and it was getting stuffy, especially spending too much time at one table trying to conjure up the right combination of cheap-o cards making up the bulk my '3 for $1' and '6 for $1' finds.

I stumbled upon one last table with some boxes of various odds and ends [autos / relics / otherwise 'hit' cards] - maybe a couple of other collectors were going through the other [non-baseball] boxes and giving the seller cards they had flagged.

The seller was literally pricing cards out and telling them to come back in an hour [to presumably finish their purchase] - maybe I'd stop at a table, grab the cards I wanted and see about paying for them right there and then.

Though it may be standard operating procedure, I find the concept of stacking cards for later somewhat odd - maybe I need to actually get to know the seller first before having a relationship where I can pull cards to reserve them.

The seller was looking on dealing for a handful of cards from this one guy [$500-$600 range] and I don't even know if I would be interested in anything - I found a Tim Raines certified autograph for $20 sticker and while Raines isn't quite that popular Hall of Fame legend, it maybe a no brainer picking up a HOF auto on a acetate card printed to be a little more unique.

Besides finishing his big deal, the seller was looking briefly at other cards that some flippers were showing him - he also finished up another deal where he was looked up a card on eBay and charged another collector $3 for a random card pulled from one of the boxes.

When I finally showed the Raines to the seller, he might have looked at for a moment and asked $15 for it - I relented to dig out the required cash out of my wallet and pay up, being able to take this card home for less than a blaster.

Monday, April 25, 2022

The Angels, In Order Jim Abbotts

He shuttered his blog a while ago, but Tom, at The Angels, In Order blog made a couple of recent posts to give away cards - I was able to snag some of the unfamiliar Abbott cards, notably the Classic branded issues including the 1989 rookie year card picturing a heralded, but unproven Abbott wearing No. 60 in spring training.

I like the mid 1990s cards [1996 Circa x2 and 1996 Fleer] - even though that time really symbolized the end of Abbott's run as an viable big league pitcher.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Angels Opening Day starters - better late than never

I put together my cards for the 2022 season, which started three weeks ago - it may not mean much in the grand scheme of things, but a loose card project I can complete for at least the current year gives me something to dwell on for a moment, especially with a home team focus.

I think I was actually missing a Mike Trout [center field] and a Matt Duffy [second base] so I didn't fill out my page until recently - it's not like I'm short on Trout cards, though I might have done a 'sweep' to put some loose ones away and then found one squirreled away randomly from a card show pick up last summer.

Since he already has an Angels card, I was hoping Tyler Wade would have been the Opening Day starter at second base - I had to figure out where my stash of Duffy cards was and found them in a baggie that was for some loose Chicago Cubs cards in 2021.

Due to necessity, there are the 'rare' instances where I've used a non-Angels card to fill out a page for a particular year - in this case, it's dupe of a 2016 Donruss San Francisco [Giants] card of Duffy.

Presumably for the more recent, active players, I'll be able to find an Angels card made at some point - where I'll 'upgrade' with the Angels card.

Something I had a little fun with was setting aside a couple of cards for Shohei Ohtani - where he was the Opening Day starter for the Angels as well as the designated hitter.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

A better than a blaster online mix of cards?

I don't really look to stray from my usual places to get cards whether it's in-person or eBay, but I stumbled upon a f/s thread in one of the trading card forums I read through - I did some virtual browsing and when a seller has pictures with his listings as opposed to blocks of text, it's probably easier to attract some impulse purchases.

I'm not as familiar buying off forums, so I didn't want to go too crazy with what I committed to pick up - including $4 s/h, my grand total was was $19.50, which wasn't too bad, though it wasn't like a bulk purchase in-person, where I end up with a lot of cards for what I've spent.

I jumped at a shiny $1 parallel of Ken Griffey Jr. - Junior Griffey may still be at the top of the list as 'the superstar' from the past 30 years, though the emotional attachment that goes with collecting his miscellaneous cards makes me old.
I jumped at a shiny $1 parallel of Derek Jeter - it may sound redundant, but I feel the same with Jeter as I do with Junior Griffey, where maybe I should focus on more of the 'here and now' guys in the MLB, rather than the all-time greats of my formative years who are sort of dated.
I snagged binder cards of Justin Verlander, Walker Buehler for $0.50 each and spent $1 on a Ichiro Sepia parallel - no biggies, but material I can use to make more pages with for the individual players.
I spent $3 for a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. relic and $2 each for an insert and a Sepia parallel - where I still prefer Vladimir Guerrero Sr. as seemingly an all-time card blogger favorite, it may just be time to collect the younger Guerrero with the same enthusiasm as his pops.
I paid $2 for the pair of Sotos and $1 for the buyback card - like Guerrero Jr., Soto is a young, relevant 'here and now' superstar, so I don't know about being able to collect him seriously, but being on the hunt for his loose cards might be a 'directive' on the down low.

The 'buyback card' is a 1973 Topps Pat Corrales #542 - while there was no care at all where the buyback stamp was placed, so the card itself clashes with the modern touch, it was hard to pass up the rather anachronistic 'parallel' of a vintage classic.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Are these the wrong plastic pages to use?

For my decade stars / binder collections, I’ve been gathering just enough cards for individual players to see if I can display them in a page - maybe my decade stars collections is meant to be more of a passive project, but it's fun to churn out new pages to see loose cards come together by player.
During a card show pit stop last weekend, I wanted to buy some random supplies and there was an opened box of BCW plastic sheets for a quarter each - my go-to pages are usually Ultra Pro, but I'd used up my last box of 100 and to bide my time a little bit, maybe I'll try the BCW pages in case I end up liking it more.

To see if I can get something done through the afternoon this past Friday, I wanted to see if I can finally start displaying some loose cards for a number of subjects - my loose Tom Seaver cards were probably next in line to be displayed in pages since he was at the top of my current list of 'legends' with 12 cards.

I started to pull the loose cards out of penny sleeves to fit them into the pages one-by-one - though it feels like the BCW pockets are a little stiffer and tighter where they just barely cover the cards.

I still remember getting a box of Ultra Pro plastic sheets on eBay back in 2016 with a bad batch of pages - where the middle 4,5,6 pockets seemed ‘short’ and didn’t have a lip where there is a little gap ‘up top’ to cover the cards in their entirety.

For the most part however, the Ultra Pro pages give my binder cards a heftier, snugger fit most of the time - I don't know if I can leave these Seaver cards 'as is' in a BCW page without worrying the cards being subject to the conditions.

I might have wasted $5.00 on a 20 count of BCW nine-pocket pages that doesn’t give me peace of mind - the problem maybe obvious for the cards that have colored borders, but they seem to be spilling out of the page and I guess that is the risk I took in trying these BCW pages out.
A common sense solution for some peace of mind was using penny sleeves for each card, to add a little bit of ‘lip’ that might be missing up top - I just had enough 'still in package' penny sleeves to see if I can rejigger the page with an extra layer of protection of each card.
Maybe the cards end up being a little more secure, but after taking some pictures, the top portions of the cards really spill out a little bit - where these sheets look a little sloppy.
Where these BCW designed for sports cards or gaming cards where the dimensions might be a little smaller [?] - I might be able to use these BCW pages for smaller, odd-sized cards but the plan wasn’t to pick up loose sheets and prioritize all those itty-bitty stragglers unless there was a pressing need to put them away somewhere in the first place.
I might keep trying to play around with these BCW pages - but these are no good for me.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

From out of left field loose card pick ups

I was looking to pick up a couple of specific cards [as TTM fuel] on the eBay app and through the late afternoon hours where I was walking at the park - I was looking for a combination of cards to take advantage of the seller's buy 3, get 3 offer.

The seller has a bunch scattered of minor league team set listings that have been otherwise gutted in a pick your card format - I don’t know if there was a card I’d pay a dollar for outright, but there might be the ‘oddball’ player I may need for an esoteric interest or two.

Just a week or so ago, I’d added 12-13 cards to my shopping cart, but eventually removed them - I was going to take screenshots just in case I wanted remember and go back to them, but realized I wasn’t so serious about them anyway.

I may have deliberately wanted to forget the cards that were in my cart - but I wanted to go back to them so I had something to build on already.

It was a challenge to find specific cards buried under set listings - for the most part, I was able to track down the cards [or close to it], but there might be one or two that I’d blanked on.

1996 Best Tucson Toros Minor League Baseball Dave Hajek #10 - someone had him pose with a bat on fire.
2001 Multi-Ad West Michigan Whitecaps Minor League Baseball Brian Saltzgaber #28 - gum card
2006 Inkworks Veronica Mars Season One Busted #3 - is this a Paris Hilton rookie card?
1986 Donruss Highlights Rick Rhoden #20 - I might remember picking up this boxed set for fun at a mall card show 30 years ago because it had rookie-year cards of Jose Canseco, Will Clark and Bo Jackson, though I want to say it was overproduced and really only cost me around $3 at the time.

Back in the day, it wouldn't have registered to me to make the pitcher hitting card of Rhoden a keeper - I don't know what I did with my original copy, but I had to have another.

2002 Multi-Ad Brooklyn Cyclones Minor League Baseball Donovan Mitchell #3 - father of NBA star Donovan Jr.
2001 Multi-Ad Myrtle Beach Pelicans Minor League Baseball Dinger The Homerun Dog #26 - I thought this was from a Yankees’ farm team and I really didn’t know how I could get back to finding this card; just kept looking at the different listings; nice action shot of a dog in his prime, who passed in 2009.
2011 Multi-Ad Peoria Chiefs Minor League Baseball Elliot Soto #24 - this longtime minor leaguer's MLB cup of coffee came with the 2020 Angels.

Friday, April 08, 2022

A better than a blaster card show mix of cards?

I was all hopped up going to the monthly card show, even though it basically it might be a two table show as far as I'm concerned - I usually hit the dollar boxes because I never know what cheap thrills I may find.

I think I've bought as many as 130 cards at one time, though I've tried to scale things down - where I'm more comfortable with picking out 60-80 cards most other times.

When I found the table [in a different part of the venue than before], I was ready to pounce and do my digging, but as it goes - there was another collector / seller planted in the area and maybe I felt like some of the better [cheap-o] cards i.e. old school cards from the 1980s and a little older i.e. late 1970s were poached as I might have seen the cards he was setting aside.

Instead of having the pick of the litter, maybe I felt like I was going through the left overs - I had a nice 'little' haul, even though if I felt like if things had gone my way, I wouldn't have had to struggle rounding up the 20 cards I ended up with.

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Some random vintage cards

I was at one of the local card shows and just to look around, finally stumbled back to the seller I've bought cards from before - I ended up picking these random 1960 Topps cards impulsively and also a 1955 Topps card.
I grabbed a Ray Boone card because I may have only one card [a Topps Archives reprint of his 1954 card] that was autographed through the mail [before he passed away in 2004] - he was the father of former big league catcher [Bob] and his grandsons [Bret and Aaron] who also former big leaguers, so it's fun having a bloodlines collection of the Boone baseball family.

I grabbed a Gary Peters because he was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1963 - his card fills a hole in my award winners collection.

I grabbed a Ed Sadowski card because it has him in his catcher's gear - if nothing else, I'm looking for some sort of reason to make loose cards keepers and an off-grade vintage card for my tools of ignorance collection is just the thing that hits the spot, when I'm not sure what I may find.

I grabbed a Don Mossi because he's a baseball card cult favorite - I realized I may have gotten another off-condition copy of this card and got it signed through the mail [before Mossi passed away in 2019], so I guess I have one autographed copy and a copy that is au naturel.

Maybe my biggest splurge was picking up the Camilo Pascual card, which actually is his rookie - he had a star run for the Washington Senators / Minnesota Twins through his late 20s and was a 7-time All-Star.

Friday, April 01, 2022

A $10 card show mix of cards - is it good enough?

How do I highlight specific finds where they have some staying power when I feel like there are too many cards - the momentary feelings I conjure up rummaging and flagging certain cards dissolves.

When I want some narrative, maybe there really just isn’t nothing to dwell on after the fact - the idea of listing out bulk pick ups and other random miscellany to put them away makes me feel like ‘meh.’

Angels material - don't know where I'm going to put it, but the Shohei Ohtani holiday ornament caught my eye, so I relented to make it a keeper.

In looking for loose cards to make more pages for a former Angel like Jim Abbott - I'm probably looking for more oddballs, even if it's still more of the mainstream, junk wax era stuff picturing him with my 'home team.'

Mini-collection material - I had to make the 1989 Score Wade Boggs a keeper because it's just a great image where he follows the baseball traveling to the catcher's mitt.

I have been part of what's happening in that Ichiro card, so it's reminder of the times I've been out at a ballpark - I tell myself when I have a parallel, I don't necessarily care whether I have the base version of a particular card, but may have to amend that.

Cal Ripken Jr. is still listed as a Top 10 guy in my book, though I'm more apt to passively [rather than actively] collect any cards I may find - a few of the cards I found have a little shine to them, but my favorite is probably the Ripken trio card with brother Billy and father Cal Sr.