Monday, February 20, 2017

Sometimes It's The Little Things

Let's clean out the photo bin!

Two weeks ago I was downtown with some friends bottling up the adult beverage, which we crafted during my buddy's 40th surprise birthday party back in December. In total, he walked away with just over five cases of brew and seemed pretty pleased with the whole experience.

I had to bow out early that night, because 7:20a.m. Calculus classes don't teach themselves. But before I left the guys sang me a (severely) belated Happy Birthday and handed me a mini keg!

Rhodell's is a brewery in downtown P-town, and a pretty nice one at that. From what I've been told I can have the mini keg refilled for fifteen bucks. Not a bad deal, especially at the slow rate at which I consume beer. 

Moving right along...

This past Friday I walked into one of the big box hardware stores and was greeted at the end of the entryway by a pallet of 5-gallon buckets. I had one of those "Whoa!  I must have it!" moments and six dollars lighter I was a very happy Cubs fan.
5-gallon buckets are a strange commodity in my house. I either have way too many, because there isn't a project going on, or I'm short because of the needs of the project. I use them for all kinds of household chores: gutter cleaning, transporting volunteers from our worm farm in the basement to the garden, and especially for chipmunk relocation.  

This one is too nice to have worm castings coat the inside of it!
What you see is the left side of my card closet in the man room and Holiday is setting on the shelf next to a red paper box full of card shipping supplies. The shipping supplies used to rest on the floor until I had water in the basement a few months back and now they can go in the new bucket and back on the floor. What a fantastic use for the bucket and I recoup more space for cards!

Now, if only I can convince my cat that this shelf is not hers.

Thanks again for stopping by and reading!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Topps Now Ultimate Card Giveaway

I bought a jumbo pack of 2017 Topps Series 1 about two weeks ago from my LCS and found an '87 autograph inside. That was a nice surprise! I flipped the auto on Ebay for a little more than a blaster and I've been living dangerously with a positive balance in my PayPal account ever since.

In my jumbo pack I also received one of the Topps Now Ultimate Card Giveaway scratch off promotional cards.
 I scratched the card, went to the website, typed in the code and was greeted with this message:
 Yeah, I kind of expected that would happen. I didn't know much about the promotion, but I thought this might be a cheap way of getting a Dan Vogelbach card or another cool Cub card during the season.

My Paypal account still had all that cash in it from earlier so I pulled the trigger on an Ebay auction.
So, for $12.25 shipped I picked up a 24-card lot of the scratch off cards and went crazy with a penny.

With my third card in I was greeted with this message:
My hopes were high that one out of every four or five cards would be a winner. No such luck. With the one code from the jumbo pack, plus the other two dozen from the auction, I found two winners out of 25 cards, which is an 8% chance of winning. That's not horrible I suppose, but I have no idea if I beat the odds or if I had some bad luck.
2017 Topps Now Design
 The downside is I thought a winning scratch-off card would net me a Topps Now card anytime during the season. For instance, I was hoping the Vogelmonster would hit three bombs in one game and then I could redeem on of my two winning scratch-offs and pounce on a card to commemorate the event. That would have made my year, with respect to the hobby.

Here's what I won instead:

After you enter a winning code Topps then sends you an e-mail. Those e-mails have revealed that I'm the proud owner of cards #23 and #80. I suppose I have an outside chance of one of those cards being a Chicago Cub, but more than likely it'll give me two cards to try and flip into something that fits my collection.

In summary, that one jumbo pack has treated me fairly well:
  • I found three Cubs cards within to add to my collection
  • I sent out five PWEs to team collectors, a couple of which have made the blogs
  • I flipped the auto, half of which I turned into two 2017 Topps Now cards 
  • There's still eleven bucks sitting in my PayPal account to buy that Topps Now Vogelbach card during the season that will inevitably be released. Score!

It'll be fun to see what happens and it certainly gives me a little something to look forward to.
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Wheeling & Dealing

Peter, the self-proclaimed Darryl Strawberryaholic from Baseball Every Night, posted his 2017 Topps Series 1 cards for trade about a week ago.

I've purchased my one jumbo pack and am now looking to build the Cubs team set through the blogs. Peter was gracious enough to send the following cards my way with the promise of a Strawberry return package.
Stropy just signed his contract for 2017 and now the bullpen is back together again. Pedro and Hector will look real good pitching in the 7th and 8th innings before handing the ball to Wade Davis in the 9th.
 What an absolutely great card! This one will go in the World Series binder I've been piecing together, but I need at least two more for other collections.

I like the league leaders cards, but I think underneath "National League" Topps should have added the stat this card represents. There's plenty of room in the foggy bottom right corner. For the record, Lester was second in the NL with 19 wins and Bryant was third in homers with 39.
What the . . . ?  Yep, it's a foil parallel of player for the Baltimore baseball club. I was lucky enough to have this one included in my trade with Peter so that I could flip it for more Cubs cards with another blogger. Wheeling and dealing!

Thanks for the great Cubs mojo, Peter!  I'll send out your Strawberry cards as soon as that last package from Sportlots arrives.

And as always, thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 6, 2017

New Home Uniform for 2017

Baseball tryouts at the high school I teach and coach start three weeks from today. We've been busy conducting open gyms for the last month or so and I think the players are anxious for spring. The head coach and I have been working on fundraisers and purchasing the equipment we need to get through the season. Our new jerseys came in last week, which created a little buzz among the players.

Last year we add a "throwback" style away jersey, which is pictured below. The jersey tops are in mold of the White Sox jerseys from 1982.
The players really got excited about the new personalized jerseys last year. Our school colors are maroon and gold, but I think the black looks pretty sharp.

This year we added a new home uniform to the mix. These kind of remind of the Astros' tops from the late 70s and early 80s, but maybe there's a better likeness out there?

The head coach wanted to go with a white top, but I talked him into going with the gold. Maybe white would have been a better choice.  What do you think?

It's a great time of year... spring training is right around the corner, I'm prepping for fantasy baseball drafts, there's new cardboard to talk about, and my baseball coaching season is right around the corner.

I just had to share a little bit of the excitement.  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Moving in the Wrong Direction

Much like Wrigley Wax, I enjoy following particular high end cards on Ebay hoping they will someday reach the price point at which I can finally pull the trigger and not experience buyer's remorse. I had been following a Dan Vogelbach superfractor, which started out at $250 and made it's way down to $100 before mysteriously vanishing from Ebay. I promised myself I would strike if it ever made it down to $75 and I'm still thinking about contacting the seller and trying to workout a deal.

The only other Vogelbach superfractor has been on Ebay for over 6 months and the price has barely moved in that time.

I like to keep little notes on the prices as they change to make myself a more educated buyer, which you can in the picture above.

The auction expired earlier his week and I was hoping to see another drop in price. Maybe down to $349? Instead I came away quite bewildered. Check it out:

Huh. A card hasn't sold in half a year so let's go ahead and raise the price higher than I've seen it. Obviously, there's something else going on with the seller that I'm not aware of, and I'm not one to judge (usually), but his doesn't make any sense. The price is moving in the wrong direction!  <grumble-grumble>

Any superfractor I acquire would be the very first in my collection, but I don't want my first to be of just any player. It must be of The VOGELMONSTER! I'm now more tempted than ever to go back to the other seller and see if they still have their Vogelbach superfractor and find out what price it would take to pry it lose from them. I don't like to haggle, but this may be a time where I have to put on my big boy pants and do what has to be done.

To make myself feel a little better I did pick up another Vogelbach card to add to my collection.

This one is the 122nd different card in the player collection, it's an "artist's proof" numbered to 49, and I picked it up for eight bucks shipped. Not the best price, but it is a buck cheaper than what it's selling for on COMC and I didn't have to wait until the free shipping promotion on Black Friday.

Finding unique Vogelbach cards is becoming more and more challenging, but I think that's part of the fun.

Hey, do me favor. If you're sitting on a Vogelbach superfractor, or know someone who is, would you give me a shout?  😉

Thanks for reading!