Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Remnants of the most random dollar bins

At the card show I go to, there is a father and son duo that buys collections and has boxes of cheap-o material - at one of the other shows, I saw them at, a person who might not have known any better asked the father if there were "any good cards" in the boxes.

The father basically said something like [they've gone through the boxes] where there probably won't be anything of value - maybe these finds symbolize that, but I still like rummaging through where it's not just the most random cards from the most recent years or drivel from the junk wax era.

Old school / vintage cards - maybe there is a little thirst to make keepers out old cardboard, even if they end up being stragglers rather something that end up being notable finds to build on in my collections.
Fan favorites types - there are former players I don't get really nostalgic about 24/7, but may get a second look through my eyes, where maybe I relent to pick up a random card of theirs.

I remember Eric Chavez as a rising star third baseman, before injuries wrecked havoc to his prime years - he kind of had a late career revival, but more of a semi-regular who was good in spurts.

I tried to collect Ryan Klesko when he was one of the top prospects in the Atlanta Braves system in the early 1990s - which was at least 30 years ago and counting.

Finding a shiny and numbered card of a Hall of Famer is kind of a reward - even though Edgar Martinez was considered more as a baseball card minor star than someone who was a superstar outright.
Cheap-o rookies of fan favorite types - for the most part these types of cards are baseball card 'has beens,' but cards to make keepers of when I stumble upon them.

Andrew McCutchen has bounced around the past four or five years after his peak seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates - the batting numbers are not as dynamic, but is still hanging onto a MLB playing career.

Yu Darvish fits in with the other Japanese imports - who've established notable big league careers and have had runs of good years, as opposed to some their other peers, who may have been more disappointments than outright successes.

I don't really collect other sports, but picking up this random NBA card might be a no brainer as a casual sports fan - I think I've seen signed versions of this card and it's fun to see two iconic players featured on one card.
I think these two cards ended up in my keeper stash by accident - I don't know how they couldn't have gotten in there, but did a double take when I was combing over my finds afterwards.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Dealing with my bulk binder material pickups

Through the past year, I've done some damage picking up bulk cards at random card show dates and while it's fun just to rummage - my hauls end up staying in unsorted bricks like this where I haven't funneled the cards into their decade stars boxes and/or towards loose card projects as intended.

Maybe I feel self conscious about hoarding all these loose cards and it might be a case where NOW I'm trying to do something familiar in vain to hold me over - before going through a gap where I won't be able to play with my cards for at least a month.

What I'm doing is trying to update my decade stars boxes so I feel like I'm able to clean things up - even though it's going to be harder to account for everything in one shot and time has just about run out for now.

For my decade stars material, the cards start off in loose boxes, where I know I have some semi-temporary spot to dump cards off - the cards should be displayed in pages as their final destination, rather than sitting in random boxes, but I haven't gone out of my way to pick up a box of 9-pocket sheets.

It might be more work worrying about where loose cards are going, but I've also made a separate semi-temporary spot to store players' cards of at least seven or more - where I have enough to make at least a page [even if I don't have nine cards to make one page outright, I can play around with cards I've stored back to back from previous pages made and fill some loose pockets].

I have a cheat sheet leaderboards where I list the player and the total if they end up being part of the 'seven or more' club - maybe focusing on the players featured on the cheat sheet leaderboards adds an extra element to tallying up loose binder material for my decade stars collection

In the 'ready to be paged' stashes I've made, I'm trying to see where cards for certain players are as I try to update my cheat sheet leaderboards - before seeing if can make the new adds to the bricks, while moving random players' cards around according to the new totals.

I feel like there is more of a sense of accomplishment to be able to be more engaged in funneling cards according to players listed my cheat sheet leaderboards - where I have to pay attention to new additions so I can see how many cards I have for different players.

Maybe something peculiar is the push to add more cards for the guys I already have numbers for - maybe I should be taking a more passive approach where I know I already have enough cards to make one, two or three pages where maybe I should back off, but I just end up picking up more loose cards that I can count as certain players I like more than others.

The numbers in my cheat sheet leaderboards may the only reflect the popular players in my memory banks, so your mileage may vary - it maybe interesting to see if my small sample size totals jibe with who were the 'hot' players of a decade and/or an era, notably from the past 35 years or so.

Numbers game

It feels like the loose binder material that do not quite make up at least seven or more cards in my primary boxes doesn’t resonate with the same importance - until I have seven or more cards and can add a player to my cheat sheet leaderboards, the binder material I have for different players might be deemed as stragglers.

It might be a case where I'm kind of starting over, where I've created a page for a particular player and used up cards from my decade boxes - yet I might not bother adding one or two more new pick ups and/or finds to a page.

Maybe I can just forget overlook guys not on my cheat sheet leaderboards for a little bit and there is no real rush to add to them - though I get some cheap thrills when I see a micro-mini collection of players’ cards adding up into the seven or more category.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

TTM autograph received: Rich Reese

The former big league first baseman from the 1960s through the early 1970s signed my card in about a month - I originally got the card from Night Owl's 250-card giveaway and looked Reese up to see if he was still living and possibly signing.

I want to say something about occasionally having an old-school and/or vintage card and seeing if can still send it off TTM - maybe it takes me different places in my mind, where at least I get an idea of former MLB players who would have never registered in my memory banks.

Friday, August 26, 2022

More SLASHED finds at the dollar bins of doom

I usually go to the card show that is held twice in a month to see the seller I've annointed as having the dollar bins of doom - in my very last visit, I was expecting the cards to being back to a dollar each, but the cards were still marked down to $0.50 with good reason.

Instead of a 'fleet' of 5-7 monster boxes, there might be have been one three row box of $0.50 cards - cards I expect to stay away from once the seller reloads and mixes things up with fresher dollar box material.

Maybe it was like pulling teeth to come up with cards to set aside as keeper material - I felt like I could walk away buying only so many random odds and ends this time around.

I don't know if old school football cards really do something for me - but I like the old-school colors and how the cards look where they are a little different from their baseball counterparts.
A young, vibrant Sammy Sosa as a young pro, still looking to reach the big leagues - he is a different 'what could have been' story, a long since retired MLB great, turned into irrelevant pariah whom no one ever talks about except to occasionally mock his skin condition.
A pair of parallels that featuring a baserunning action and also a tools of ignorance, catcher card - maybe I make these mini-collection cards keepers out of principle, but I've been worried about my collecting topics subsets being a bloat that has overwhelmed me.
Maybe I picked up this rookie card of Peja Stojaković, because I kind of remember him part of some very good Sacramento Kings teams back in the early 2000s - led by Chris Webber and Mike Bibby, squads that ultimately couldn't get past the Shaq [see above] / Kobe led Los Angeles Lakers.
Even though I left it once before, I made sure to make a keeper out of a Hideki Matsui rookie card - maybe there is still a reverence for the certain Japanese players who have made a big league impact, the top guys that have stood out, even as their MLB time has only represented a portion of their pro baseball careers.

I left this 'XRC' before and I don't know why I made it a keeper this time around - maybe Franco tends to be overlooked where the role of the closer has sometimes been painted to be overvalued.

Franco had a fantastic MLB career and maybe if he had some sort of gimmick on the mound, threw 95 MPH or was associated with a run of World Series championship teams - he'd probably be in the Hall of Fame.

A basic, not autographed rookie card has been devalued as bulk fodder - but I just stumbled upon this one and made it a keeper, where Lux may look to be reaching his offensive potential.

It would probably be more ideal if he can stick at one position - but maybe his ability to play in the infield and the outfield may make him more valuable for a perennial World Series contender or perhaps a perennial World Series contender looking to make a player like Lux a potential centerpiece to a trade.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

TTM autographs received: Bill Mazeroski

The Hall of Fame second baseman signed my cards in about three weeks for his current per card fee - while I don't like the idea of finding more random cards out of the bulk quarter boxes [in this case] to send out in a repeat TTM request, I couldn't resist.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Miscellaneous Topps photo variations

I was probably leaving the card show when I went back and stumbled upon a random table with a $2 box - I started finding these Topps photo variation cards and while they might be worth only what I paid for them, where they've become fairly common, they are still a little different to the naked eye.
I had second thoughts about making this card a keeper, where there might be some junk being teased here, but it's too goofy to pass over - apparently the one-time Pirate is dressed up as Frozone from The Incredibles as part of his rookie initiation ritual back in 2019.
The Lou Gehrig image is a nice 'hats-off' shot - of a presumably contemplative moment for the baseball icon in the dugout.

I like the Roger Clemens variation where he might be the star pupil at spring training camp - as other pitchers are huddled around him.

The image on the Randy Johnson variation looks like it was taken at the same time as his 1992 Pinnacle Sidelines subset - I almost thought it was the same image.

The Jacob deGrom and Glavine are nice images of pitchers doing some hitting and baserunning - I think I missed making a keeper out of a copy of the deGrom card last year and was glad to find another.

The images Giancarlo Stanton, Dustin Pedroia and Rickey Henderson may not be as unique as the others - but they still end up as binder material for my decade stars collection.

This isn't a photo variation but a rookie year factory set variation of New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso - maybe this a type of card that looks good enough as a cheap pick up, but a 'raw card' that might not be good enough to be graded by a third party.

If the card was gradeable and gets a PSA 10 - it might be a $35-$40 card.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Five for $5 from a bitter beer face seller

Off a card show trip, I don't know what I was thinking but I had to go back to a random table I stopped earlier and look for a 2020 Donruss Retro 2000 Football Tom Brady #R2K-TB - I’d also seen the card in the $0.50 boxes from the previous post, but maybe that copy had a soft corner I couldn’t live with.

One of the guys out of the seller duo at the table seemed like he was a little off where he seemed like a miserable, glum person - where maybe he didn't want to get out of bed or someone ran over his dog.

I think the guy at the table was the same guy that told me this at show date in late June - maybe it was a nothing remark, but maybe in my head I'm thinking this guy's tone was a little passive aggressive for no reason.

"[Chief], there are lots of good cards in there," the guy sitting at the table said. "You just gotta dig, the cards are not going to pop out in front of your face."

I eventually found the said Brady and spent $4 more to pick up some other dollar cards - including a 2022 Panini Father's Day Bryce Harper #28, the only baseball card I was able to fish out of a two-row shoebox.

2020 Panini Select Concourse Brady #1

2021 Panini Mosaic Tom Brady #135

2020-21 Panini Select Concourse Luka Doncic #15

As far as the Panini Donruss Brady, I remember the 2000 Donruss design [and a 1999 Donruss design] used as ‘never has been throwback’ inserts in 2001 Donruss baseball - where it was the first Donruss product that came out after Donruss Leaf Playoff went bankrupt in 1998.

Maybe after time things start to look old school and I was more nostalgic about the design - I might have thought it was only created to see what cards from a 2000 Donruss [and 1999 Donruss] baseball set would look like, but they were were actually used in the Donruss football sets for those years, which DLP had the licenses to make.

Looking things up, Brady does have a harder to pull, short printed [serial #'d] rookie from the 2000 Donruss football set - if there was one 'stud' quarterback from Michigan I was thinking about 25 years ago, it was definitely Drew Henson.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

A rummage through the $0.50 wasteland of doom

I ended up casually digging through three or four monster boxes I may normally pass over at a show I go to - they belong to a seller who is the one of the promoters and the boxes show up more often than not.

It's not like the seller is an old school guy where he buys collections that leads to odds and ends that I may get into - the bulk is the least important of what he has for sale at the table, probably leftover cards from different unopened box / case breaks, notably from other sports.

Any baseball only exists in scattered pockets in the rows of basic, basic parallel and insert cards - so the dearth of baseball may be the biggest thing that turns me away more often than not.

I couldn’t decide on whether to make keepers out of at least 20-25 baseball cards I found, so go figure I threw in some football to the mix - to put together a grouping of 30 'mix mix' cards for exactly $15.

Even though he was out for most of the year, maybe I was inclined to make loose Tatis Jr. cards keepers as cheap-o binder material - since he was a young superstar and certainly he'd come back at some point.

I didn't think he'd be suspended 80-games for PEDs and be out until 2023, where his big league legacy has been torpedoed - it's kind of depressing seeing Tatis Jr. mess up and endure the extra scrutiny where his faults have been magnified by people who might have never liked his antics anyway.

While he might always be seens as a tainted player - maybe he just needs the next 12-13 years to focus on just playing baseball, rather than trying to be marketed as the face of the entire sport.

Some basic inserts from flagship Topps that often feels redundant where they all jumble together from year-to-year - maybe the Welcome to the Show inserts try to show players at the very start of their careers, so I guess that could be a novelty.

For the 1987 themed cards, maybe I can go hunt down and pair them up with the originals [for at least McGwire and Ripken Jr.] - they are not bad looking, though I feel like the paper inserts get stale a couple of weeks into the flagship release.

Some shiny odds and ends - Rainbow foils and die-cut inserts.
A pair of 2022 Topps Home Run Challenge cards - I had fun with this promotion in 2021, though I haven't found many loose code cards in the wild this year.

Among the four I entered, counting these two - I have selected all losing dates.

Some cheap-o binder material for my decade stars collection featuring players who made their debuts at the tail end of the 2010s - focusing on Juan Soto specifically, maybe it hasn't sunk in that Soto is now in San Diego, so I made a pair of his Washington Nationals cards keepers anyway.

I don't know if it really works out, but while I pick up loose cards of guys knowing they might move onto other teams - I lose interest in their old team cards, the moment they end up being traded or signing with other teams.

In a game I play while rummaging around, I might wait a year before considering making old team cards of players [involved in current year transactions] potential keepers again - maybe the older cards are easier to put back and maybe end up less appealing [unless it's a rookie issue or something more notable than a base card].

Some NFL cards I ended up grabbing featuring Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen and T.J. Watt - if it were all just fun and games, I'd be amazed at all the different varieties of cards I can pick up to start a football collection for less than a dollar.

I think it would be fun to curate a collection of odds and ends, though I can kind of see where certain cards [regardless of who is pictured on them] end up being only worth so much - because they end up being bottom of the barrel types as fillers to bigger cards in once unopened product.

Monday, August 15, 2022

TTM autograph received: Todd Greene

The former big league catcher signed my cards in about a month - Greene might be another scratched off my 'mythical' TTM back log where there is a never ending list of guys who have signed in the mail for others.

I'm probably not as dedicated in systematically sending out unsigned cards to see if I can get ink on them - to feel like I'm still doing something to get some cheap thrills back in the mail box, I am up for sending to random subjects here and there.

I don't know remember if Greene was ever hyped up as a top prospect, but as a catcher, he put up big slugging numbers in the Angels' minor league system through the mid 1990s - he showed some power potential as a stocky righthanded hitter, but was never really able to establish himself longterm with the Angels and ended up being backup catcher for five other teams in an 11-year big league career.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Card show pickups - Vladimir Guerrero

Digging through the quarter boxes at my local card show, I may have come across at least a half a brick of cards featuring the all-time fan favorite - as part of my rummage, I've tried to cherry pick most of the more interesting early career Montreal Expos era cards from the late 1990s.
These scattered cards are likely binder material for my Guerrero themed pages in my decade stars collection - I essently have these pages with Guerrero cards from the Expos and other teams [late in his MLB career] as well as pages with Guerrero cards specifically in my Angels binders.
I have set aside at least five Guerrero cards as more mini-collection material where they add some star power - Guerrero running the bases, Guerrero signing autographs [on the reverse image], Guerrero with his hat off, Guerrero with his hat off standing for the National Anthem and a 'game face' Guerrero taping up his bat [on the reverse image].

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Card show pickups - the iffy guys

Digging through the quarter boxes at my local card show, maybe my brain is going in different directions as I try to go through assorted cards and find my share of keepers - I think I want to build on star power as well as flagging cards of players I like as well as collectors' favorites in general.

It happens occasionally where interests in players overlap, but I try not to be compelled to grab a little run of cards featuring players I might be only be lukewarm on - but other collectors have marked on their foreheads as personal favorites.

At times, I keep a mental notes on the players who may be a little more controversial and unsavory - I try to establish a demarcation points between the players whose cards I don't want to ever see myself making keepers out of and other players who might still be 'anti-fan favorites' in general, but who I might still collect for whatever reason.

Found separately in my rummages, it makes for a nice photo op to find a card for both Barry and Bobby Bonds - Barry Bonds maybe at the top of the 'iffy' guys list where his alleged PED usage made him Superman as a hitter.

Has his share of serious collectors, but his all-time villain status makes me a little self-conscious about 'carrying the water' for him on a casual scale, so to speak - still it's one of those things where I'll make keepers out of his random cheap-o cards if I don't have them.

I've never seen the Bobby Bonds card before and picked it up as an oddball - the elder Bonds' [R.I.P.] playing career and legacy doesn't quite register to me like his son does, but the one-time Angel had a significant MLB career.

Some of the current 'iffy' guys are Jose Altuve and Manny Machado - the interesting basic cheap-o inserts / parallels may be keepers as far as Altuve goes because past the Houston Astros' cheating scandal and the buzzer scandal, Altuve continues to put up batting numbers.

I can almost move on and just focus his consistency [though now as a 20-25 home run slugger as opposed to a high average guy collecting 200 hits or more year-to-year] - it might be fun to dwell on a guy that is still baseball good after all that he and his teammates put themselves through.

Machado has always put up numbers but had a reputation of being a less than stellar citizen - I don't think I've particularly thought he was a bad guy, but his San Diego Padres' cards don't do anything for me where for the most part, I've tended to ignore them.

More of the old school 1980s-1990s guys here - for the most part, it's more about the cards than the player where I find something that stands out.

I never liked Jason Giambi past his time with the Oakland Athletics - but an A's era numbered insert isn't too bad of a nostalgic pick up decades later.

I can care less about Alex Rodriguez today - but both loved and hated him when he was playing.

Albert Belle - he's a guy no one liked in MLB, but it might be a mission for me to collect random cards of his I might find where he put up the numbers.

Juan Gonzalez - I'm lukewarm on him, where he has been obscured by MLB history, but he put up monster numbers and it's fun thinking back to him being relevant.

Manny Ramirez - the shine wins out where I'm inclined to make keepers out of anything that pops.

Jeff Bagwell - I think he was similar to many of the guys he played with during The Steroid Era, especially when he was as big as a house compared to earlier points of his career.
However he is in the Hall of Fame after all, so any suspicion or uncertainty has been swept under the rug forever - where he ends up being 'iffy' is wondering whether I should make keepers of a run of cards I might find.

I collect him on the basis he is a decade stars guy for me so I'd like to add more randomness to my Bagwell pages - but do I need one, two or three more cards regardless?

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Card show pickups - tools of ignorance

Digging through the quarter boxes at my local card show, maybe I've tried not to necessarily look for mini-collection cards because I have to keep track of every addition, list them out and tally them up as achievements / goals - maybe there are too many cards and my 'inventory taking' system has gotten 'faulty.'

For a period of about 15 years through late 2021, I've listed things on Google Sheets, but I basically have the urge just to start over as far as having a beat on what I have and noting when I've added cards to a themed collection - I want to make it all about the cards again [like these catcher cards I picked up for about $0.20 each] as opposed to the busy work I do around the cards.

I'll get back to productivity things where I'm compelled to keep track of things and nerd out objectifying loose cardboard - to feel like I have ownership of a particular card project, it is crucial for me to have a record keeping process.

In the meantime, I want to believe 'less is more' when it comes to anything mini-collection related - it's easier to load up on cheap-o binder material for my decade stars because I don't intend to keep track every card for those collections.

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

TTM autograph received: Ron Guidry

The former big league lefty signed my card in about three weeks or so this past summer - I mailed out a request to him in March 2021 but presumably it got lost where I might have used the wrong address, he was helping out with the New York Yankees in spring training and never got to seeing my request, etc.

Maybe Guidry's career totals past his peak years are a little short, but he was probably the ace of the New York Yankees pitching staff from the late 1970s through the mid 1980s - I'm kind of surprised he has basically received little consideration for the Hall of Fame.

Monday, August 08, 2022

Picking up some Star Company player sets

I was hoping to see the card show seller that had a monster box row of bagged Star Company players sets among his inventory of dollar boxes - I tried to cherry pick some of the better names last time, but I wanted to grab the Tom Gordon set because I looked up the checklist / gallery on Trading Card Database and there is one lousy card that shows him swinging a bat.

I went ahead and tried to pick up at least one bagged set of other players who might have relevant in the hobby for a hot moment, then faded into oblivion - the Kevin Maas and Jerome Walton sets look to have a card of them signing autographs, so that made picking up their sets worth it.

I'll try to funnel the other cards from the sets into my team boxes - though maybe I'm tempted to do something 'crazy' and make pages for some of these players as part of an ironic collection [Walton, Todd Van Poppel, Maas] of hobby busts.

Several weeks ago, I found what looked to be sealed Star Co. players sets from the junk wax era - I am vaguely aware these were produced to capitalize on the hot players during the day, though they were licensed by Major League Baseball at the time, so that made them a little more appealing for someone who wanted something a little different.

I picked out the more notable names [for some star power] and without looking up each of the sets - hoped for some mini-collection material that might otherwise be obscured.

1989 Kevin Mitchell / Will Clark Black
1989 Gary Sheffield Purple
1990 Jose Canseco Yellow
1990 Will Clark Orange
1990 Cecil Fielder Orange
1990 David Justice Blue
1990 David Justice / Kevin Maas Red
1990 Nolan Ryan Blue

I opened the Sheffield to see if there were any unique cards and I don't think there was any out of the 11 card set - checking on eBay and maybe COMC for set images, none of these sets actually have cards that tease personality shots, where the pictures mainly focused on the player or what the player was doing on the field.

Maybe it wasn't really 'Star' quality to use 'fun images,' though it seemed there maybe scattered cards through the mid 1980s - showing players signing autographs or a more unique action shot perhaps.

If nothing else, I'll seed these as decade stars material for my player collections - where these cards represent some oddball flavor.

Thursday, August 04, 2022

2022 Topps Gold Brandon Marsh pick up

I picked this 2022 Topps Gold parallel up for about $10 after paying $40 another copy of the card [bundled with a couple of base cards] earlier in the year - maybe with the last purchase, I thought I was buying low where I thought Marsh had some upside for the Angels.

Go figure he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies and my pair of rookie-year centerpiece cards for Marsh probably gets lost in the shuffle within my regional collections - along with scattered cards of players who never quite delivered on their promise as one-time Angels prospects.

Entering 2022, I was wondering if Marsh's potential was more of 'good every day' player rather than an all-star type, since he's 24 already with the elite prospects breaking into the big leagues at 20, 21 or 22 years old - while Marsh's bat has cratered, maybe he could be a Jim Edmonds type where he taps into his ability to hit for average and power, though probably not to the extent where Edmonds evolved into a 25-30 home run slugger.

Marsh seemed was a pretty good defender in the outfield, always paying attention, hustling and seemingly making all the right plays where teammate Jo Adell can be a disaster on a game-by-game basis - there are Angels fans who would have preferred to give up on Adell, but in sort of a surprise, Marsh was the player sent off.

Monday, August 01, 2022

I picked up a fugazi Shohei Ohtani card

Off a random table towards the end of a card show run weeks ago, I saw what I thought to be a 2013 BBM Shohei Ohtani of some sort displayed on a seller's table and the price seemed to be right [$25] - how cool would I be, if I picked up a Japanese era Ohtani for about the price of a blaster?

Maybe I can pick up this card as a big splash out of a relatively lower-end purchase - without trying to trip over myself, I had to take the chance and couldn't wait to pull out some money to pick up this card.

Of course after getting the lousy card in-hand, I wanted to look it up to figure out what card it exactly is - it's a dual image card of Ohtani with nothing else to indicate anything else.

I found a link to an eBay listing selling the card as part of a lot basically saying they are fake with a warning - not buy the card for investment purposes.

I think if it was priced any higher, I would have ignored it as just another card that ended up not being real after all - but the card was put there on a tee, where I fell for the bait.