Saturday, December 30, 2023

A random card buy - Maria Sharapova

There are probably worse cards to claim in a running sale on social media - but for a dollar or so, I took a flier on this card, where it is a little different than the baseball cards I may try to pick up.

Sharapova will always be one of those personal eye-candy crushes and with the former tennis star showing on random trading cards, it rekindles some nostalgia I can objectify - even when the last time she was really in the news, was when she failed a drug test, so that is that I guess.

Friday, December 29, 2023

Featured autograph - Michael Stefanic

I picked up this pack pulled autograph card to add to my all-time Angels collection - it ends being a pretty looking parallel that pops.

Stefanic has played in parts of two seasons with the Angels and while he might be a fringe big leaguer at 28 - he can handle the bat with a .326 lifetime average in the minors along with an on-base average of .412.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

A random card buy - Kyren Williams

I saw this 2022 Score Rookies #332 card earlier in the year and squirreled an image of it away - that protective head gear made me do a double take.

It may not be such a big deal, but for a moment I thought it was the goofiest card - I wanted a copy for an oddities collection I have or maybe even for a collection of all-time Top 100 cheap 'zz' keepers project that never quite got off the ground.

I think I saw an expired auction listing from a seller on social media who runs these low end card auctions - I asked about the card since no one bid on it, but I don't think the seller understood or cared I wanted the card outright.

I started claiming 'quarters' off another social media seller just because he teased this card in a sales post - I probably would not have bought the 200 odds and ends if not for the copy of the card.

Go figure it wasn't actually tallied up in the final order and while I wasn't charged - I had to make it a micro mini mission to secure a copy, where it was still on my mind.

I went looking for the card on eBay and while it's probably a dollar card shipped on eBay all day long - I bought it off a listing for about twice as much but the card is now secured in-hand.

FWIW I did not know who the player on the card was and for all I cared, he might have been a practice squad guy - however, it looks like the second year NFL pro has had a breakout season as a running back, rushing for over 1,000 yards.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

More small things at the card show

I was digging through some '6 for $5' boxes from a random seller table and these were my keepers - added another 18 cards from the seller's '5 for $1' box and maybe it was kind of odd thing I couldn't push the total to 20 outright.

Maybe my favorite card is the 1986 Donruss Rookies Jose Canseco #22 - it was a card I remember a childhood friend possessing and seeing regularly [along with an autographed 1989 Upper Deck Dante Bichette rookie] whenever I would visit his house.

I really wanted to take a better picture of this 2000 Topps Finest Moments 3000 Hits Tony Gwynn #FM3, where it's hard to see on the first image - but it's usually hard to take photo ops of shinier, chromium cards, so what you see is what you get.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Thank you Shohei Ohtani and good luck

I did not want to get caught up in the news cycle of Shohei Ohtani signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers on social media - because in my own little way, I tend to want to share my two cents, interjecting my thoughts, where it ends up like trying to cope after he's left my home team.

It was a business decision on his end and strangely, I'm kind of glad he is still in So. Cal, where I wonder if the fandom for Ohtani supersedes the idea he is a Dodger - ideally, maybe it was better to see him in some far away place like Toronto, where he maybe he gets to be out of sight, out of mind.

I could understand where it was just about inevitable and logical - where it was always going to be the Dodgers or bust.

I’m probably not collecting his old team cards for one year where they are now dated, while my existing PC ends up being off cards from his old team - I can see where my interest in collecting Ohtani ends up being muted, until things settle down where softly remains one of those universally popular, easy guys to collect.

I abruptly cut the cord on the company that broadcasted Angel games late in 2022, where just before one of Ohtani's pitching starts, I found out there was no Angel channel to watch games anymore - the current streaming TV package that replaced the old cable TV one has the company that broadcasted Dodgers games locally, even though I barely ever tuned in through 2023.

Going forward, I’ll probably be glued into more Dodgers games due to Ohtani alone - even though the Angels are my team.

1.) Maybe said I would cease to be an Angels fan if and when Ohtani leaves - that probably won’t be the case, but losing this larger than life megastar it’s a whole new deal to process.

The Angels have been a bad organization for the past decade where as a fan, I can be a free agent too - but maybe I need to chill with my one lousy team and hope Ohtani defecting to the Dodgers ends up forcing the Angels to be more creative, where they need to do something radical.

2.) $700 million for a DH in the foreseesable season is ridiculous, but while I've always believed in the talent to come back - it softens the blow where Ohtani is only going to be doing one thing [and not two things at once].

3.) There is no reason to think that Ohtani will not have at least multiple seasons where he is pitching and hitting to his full capabilities - but maybe there is a part of me that wants to believe his first MLB team got his best three seasons ever.

Monday, December 04, 2023

Working on the small things at the card show

In a more quaint card show setting, I actually spied a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 in one particular showcase and did a little window shopping for all sorts of high end prospect cards teasing a top rookie like Corbin Carroll or a top prospect like Jackson Holliday - still I wasn't quite at a big time show in this particular location I was at, where it was teeming with the sellers that had the odds and ends I may indulge in.

These cards were from the value bins of a grandfather and grandson duo I've bought from at other show dates, but have only really seen set up two other times - their 'binned singles' with prices on the back are all jumbled up by sport, so it's kind of a mess to spend time at.

Their lesser [maybe $5 and under] material are sorted by sport, so ideally it's easier to try and go through the monster boxes of toploaded cards row by row - I did as much deep cut picking as I could to flag potential keepers, but wasn't as emotionally invested, where I wanted to spend only so much to get my cheap thrills.

1995 Pinnacle Museum Collection Tim Salmon #391 - who would have thought that out of sheer randomness, I can find a card that just hits the spot, as a cheap but unique parallel of a local team star I've collected for just over 30 years.
1994 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Silver Signature Barry Bonds #610 and 1995 Pinnacle Trevor Hoffman Museum Collection #85 - I profess to collect Bonds, where I think he should be in the Hall of Fame already, but the iffy factor maybe too much where he is not particularly well liked.

While Hoffman is a Hall of Fame closer, he's not a guy whose cards I'd look for, so maybe I can appreciate a parallel - where it's a little different from much of the basic cards that represent Hoffman in my binder / decade stars collection.

1985 Topps Pete Rose #106 - though it was not a vintage card, maybe the first card I actually set aside, because it presumably shows an image from Rose's collision with Ray Fosse [R.I.P.] in the 1970 All-Star game.
The back of the Rose card partially pictures his 1970 Topps Super card - the card I picked up is part of a subset that makes up a puzzle in the Pete Rose set.
Maybe at some point, these shiny inserts were fillers to skip over when looking for bigger hits - but these types of cards end up being ideal binder material, where they don't cost much and at times really pop.
I liked Mike Piazza as one of the biggest superstars of his era, but what does it do to pick up cards of his in 2023 [?] - I almost skipped past this 2006 Topps Hit Parade #HR9, but for the countless cards a notable player may have printed, the ones showing them in unfamiliar uniforms might be the ones worth taking a flyer on.