Saturday, February 28, 2015

I WAS excited to get my first 2015 card.

Really, I was.  Topps 2015 flagship product hit the shelves about three weeks ago, and as much as I actually like the design I just didn't "need" to go out and pick some up. 

Sometimes I "need" to go to the big red box store to pick up a tube of toothpaste, even though we already have a half dozen in reserve tucked away in the closet.  And somehow those trips always result in me stopping by the card aisle.  You guys know what I'm talking about. Right?

Recently I decided that my life is too busy and a few things had to go.  With that decision I decided to give up on Listia. Getting credits isn't tough, as I could just post an unwanted relic or autograph and then have plenty of credits to spend on Cubs cards.  But that wasn't the problem in my eyes: the whole process is time consuming and I have plenty of great traders sending me Cubs cardboard already.  I guess the relics of Dioner Navarro and autos of Tom Gorzelanny will find their way into my trade box.  Lucky you!

So, I burned the last little chunk of Listia credits on my first card from 2015:

I read the seller's post and actually considered how to have the card shipped, but then common sense kicked in.
Heck I live and die by the PWE so I chose that option.  Besides, I'm not paying $2.99 for an insert that I can pick up at my LCS for less than a buck.

It arrived safely in a PWE and protected by a card saver.  Cool.  . . .  I don't know if you can tell from the above picture, but the card saver was taped shut with high quality packing tape.  Crap.
After picking with my fingernails to create something to grab onto I slowly peeled off the tape while taking care to not bend the card inside the holder.  It took a couple of minutes, but Andre was finally free!

Behold!  My first card of 2015!   I know those of you who already have a completed hand-collated set of Series 1 and three copies of this card are uber-jealous.

I decided to leave some positive feedback and offer a little advice to the seller while I was at it:
I meant what I said.  The Dawson card was shipped quickly and it was shipped safely.  Safety was NOT the issue. That card was not coming out of that card saver!  But, I've been on a bit of a blue tape kick as of late and thought the seller's future customers might appreciate me offering a suggestion, especially if the seller heeded my advice.

The seller's customers might have appreciated my advice, but he/she did not.
 Hey, dude, listen up! The rigidness and protection of the card saver and PWE was fine. That was not the issue.  It's the fact that I almost folded my card in two trying to remove the packing tape sans pull tab. 

Normally I would have blocked out the seller's handle before posting these screenshots, but I figure those of you who use Listia should know.  The seller ships quickly, seems trust worthy enough, and even responds to comments in a mostly non-snarky way.  If you win an auction from this seller expect to unwillingly participate in a wrestling match once the card(s) arrive. You know, unless you pony up and pay for the bubble mailer.

I could contact the seller again and try to re-explain the issue.  I've even thought about sending an e-mail to the seller with a link to this blog post, but I've decided once again that I'm wasting too much time.  I should be enjoying a good book, rubbing my cat's belly, or something else that makes me smile.   

Like I said at the beginning... I'm done with Listia, but I was hoping to go out on a positive note.  This transaction just left me frustrated and disgusted.  Seriously?  Packing tape?  Sheesh...

Friday, February 27, 2015

Ryno and The Wheel

I had dinner with my parents and grandfather tonight.  There's nothing like eating pizza in the living room and chatting while casually watching the Wheel of Fortune.

The first puzzle tonight was something the blogosphere just might have a chance to solve.  At least my parents and Ryno, my wallet card, thought you all might have a shot.
Thanks go out to:
1) My mom for suggesting the wallet card photo
2) My dad taking the picture
3) My grandfather for allow us to "pause" the show for the photo opportunity

Isn't family great?

Happy Friday, folks.  It's been a long week and well deserved!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I Like Notes in My Trade Packages

Doesn't the addition of a nice note on top of some sweet cards really just get you all warm and fuzzy inside.  Tim, the head of Household of the Toddfather, added this little personal touch on a recent package he sent my way:

Yes, Tim!  I needed/wanted all of those cards!  (Really, was there ever any doubt?)  Oh yes, and things are much better as of late.  Thanks for asking!
 I think the bunting Hairston may end up in a package for a fella who collects that niche.  Meanwhile, I'm hoping Olt mashes this spring and can prove to be a useful role player this season.  I like the orange border, for what it's worth!
Kid K and a couple of ARam cards.  I wasn't really following the hobby back in 2010.  How did these Hawaiian-esque mini-framed relics go over?  Seems odd for A&G if you as me.

This is one thick card!
I like the concept of the card, but I'm not quite sure about the execution of the card as a whole. Why does it need to be the thickness of about 5 standard cards.  It's not like it has a jersey or bat piece in it... just a couple of photos from what I can tell.  Oh Upper Deck, how you confuse me.

Tim, thank you for the surprise package!  Happy Spring!  (It's almost here, right?)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bring On The Baseball (Cards)

Spring Training is officially underway today in Mesa for the Chicago Cubs.  Joe Maddon is expected to address the team today and I can't wait to hear some more quotes from Chicago's new media darling/manager.

I'm also eager to follow the young and talented Cubs: Soler, Bryant, Russell, and Scharber to name a few!

But, on to baseball cards...  I finally got my butt in gear and I'm sending out 11 eleven packages and 1 PWE today.  I've owed a good many of you something in return for your generosity and I'm hoping I have kept diligent enough records.

10707,  26505,  30350,  37760,  55419,  60451,
77007,  83605,  85338,  91360,  97213,  99501

If you're expecting cards and your digits aren't above, please drop me a line.  I take pride in keeping up my end of the deal, no matter how tardy I might be.  If you live in Hazel Green... sorry, still working on yours!  :)
Snapshot of my trade table before the packages hit the PO.
 Thank you to all who helped me complete sets and fill holes in my collection the last couple of months. I sincerely appreciate it!

Now, let's play ball!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

JBF Sent Me A Riddle

Maybe you can help me out?  If I've learned anything during my blogging tenure it's these two things:
1) The blogosphere is full of generous people, like Wes from Jaybarkerfan's Junk
2) There are some really knowledgeable people out there.

What is this card?
At first glance, it looks like a really sharp 1956 Topps card of Mr. Cub.  Yet, it has a laminated like feel to the front.

Let me answer you first question: No, it is NOT from the 2010 Cards Your Mother Threw Out set.  As you can see from the above picture the Ernie Banks card is actually bigger than a standard card and it has a blank cardboard back. 

Is there another reproduction set out there that I'm not aware of?  Over-sized, glossy-ish front, blank back?  Bueller?  Bueller?  Let's hear your best guesses in the comments section!

Let's see some cards I know more about!  This is yet another package from Wes and they are always good for some interesting stuff!
 I thought Wes was collecting autographs this year?  He must know that this one make me smile!  Thanks, buddy!

 A couple of new-to-me cards of Sweet Swingin' Billy Williams.  I love the old Cub logo on the sleeve.  So retro, so perfect.

Don't rub it!  (Unless you're going to rub dirt in it.)
This is my second copy of this card and I could just stare at for hours on end...  but there's more cards to be posted!

For the record that's a Hostess Ryno on the right.  Mmmmm... Hostess...
 I really was fascinated by the '84 Donruss set when I was younger. It came with a higher price than Topps and it always carried a bit of an allure to it.  Now I have the Fergie with a 4-armed centerfielder in the background.  Nice! 

 I thought both of these Ryno cards were new to my collection, but as it turns out only the '94 Denny's card is new. And this picture is reason #1 as to why I need a scanner.
 My wedding band almost looks like it has one of those silly Topps gimmick sparkles on it. 

And lastly, proof that Wes likes to give a good Bipping.

Seven Slammin' Sammy Sosa cards!

Thanks for another wonderful package, Wes!  I'm still collecting cards for a package to send your way...  you have built up a bunch of good karma in my collection and I'm trying to make the return package worth your while!

Monday, February 23, 2015

A message to My Blogosphere Friends from My Cat

Gus and I often disagree on many things, such as...
1). How early I need to get out of bed on a Saturday morning to serve him breakfast
2). His preferred choice of lounging about...  like the bathmat in front of the shower door, which makes exiting the shower much more difficult than it needs to be
3). Which is better, cake or pie?

But we can agree on this...
 I saw the above message on Play at the Plate's blog a little while ago.  Brian speaks the truth and I thought I would relay the message to my followers.  Blue tape, people.  Invest in blue tape.

Heed this advice when you prepare trade packages.  Gus is watching.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Quad City Card Show Finds

I took a ninety minute trek to the west his morning to hit the card show in the Quad Cities. Peoria only hosts one show a year and I needed to get my fix.  Besides, nothing really beats walking around an old American Legion Hall on a Sunday morning, especially one with a bingo score board on one wall and a full service bar on the other.  The dealers were joking about springing for a bloody mary or mimosa; never you mind that the bar was closed.  Now that pitchers and catchers have reported I'm in a better mood, and I think most everyone who follows baseball is as well.  It showed this morning.

I did my normal loop around the room to get a feel for where the deals were and then I dove in. My first purchase, for a shiny quarter, was the '84 Dale Murphy shown below, one of the last six cards I need. I'm working on a trade which will land me the last five cards for my 1984 Topps set.  Woo-Hoo! Three cheers for the blogosphere!

I found a dealer who had a big plastic box full of team sets & the like and it was all priced at a dollar each.  I snagged a couple interesting ones that I thought others might like as well as the 1990 Fleer League Standouts insert set (6 cards) and the 1992 Upper Deck Scouting Report insert set (24 cards).  I chose the six below because they represent the best players and/or the best pictures.  Denny Neagle has quite a mop under his hat!

 Don't get me wrong, I'm a Cubs fan. BUT, I have much respect for Bob Gibson.  In 1968 he was an All-Star and he won the gold glove, Cy Young and MVP awards.  His ERA was 1.12.  (Folks, that's not a typo... 1.12!)  A couple bucks for a 1969 Deckle Edge Gibby?  Yes, please!

 My summer plans are starting to fill up and I guess I might have a chance to meet George Brett at Kauffman Stadium.  So, I had to pick up a card that would good with an in-person autograph on it.  We'll see what happens come June.



Those three words don't do much by themselves, but when you string them together... oh man!  I found the Eddie Mathews card for a few bucks in a discounted vintage bin.  Mmmmm...  cheap vintage.  Obviously, Eddie wasn't my only vintage purchase, but the rest are already earmarked for trade packages.

Speaking of vintage...
 The 1958 Luis Aparicio on the right is NOT a mini, but is vintage.  That's one really big Alex Gordon card from 2014 on the left. In due time both of these cards will be sent out into the blogosphere to run free.

The last dealer I visited consistently had a crowd around his three tables.  It's not that he had much of anything different than the rest, but he was laughing, smiling, joking, and apparently cutting people deals.  I closed my QC show experience with his table, and I was happy that I did.   
I rung up a bill of just over twenty bucks at his table and he let me have my pile for $15.  Man, I love feeling like I came away with a good deal.  I wound up purchasing one of his baseball grab bags for four bucks.  The bags were guaranteed to have an auto of relic card, plus twenty-plus other "star" cards.  The hook was that you could roll the dice.  You guys have seen the game before.  Six dice and awesome cards on numbers 6 and 36 and just plain silliness in the low twenties.  He said if I liked the card that matched my roll I could keep the card OR take the grab bag instead.  One or the other. 

Gambling and baseball cards with a Let's Make a Deal twist?  Oh, the options! How could I not play? 

Well, I rolled an 11, which actually is pretty low total for six dice, but the card was a Matt Forte game used jersey.  I'm a Bears fan, but I haven't purchased any football cards in over twenty years, so I took my grab bag with MJ and Harry Caray on the front. 

Let's take a look at the cards from the grab bag, which will be going into the trade bin! (There were twenty-six cards total, four are not pictured.)
 I like the McCutchen USA card from Panini Prism and the design from the most recent edition of Topps Finest.  The Gary Carter card was from the Card Your Mother Through Out insert set... sadly, not real vintage.
 I didn't buy and 2014 Topps Chrome, but I got a couple packs worth of the stuff in the bag.  Cano, Pedroia, Sale, and Jose Fernandez?  I could have done worse.
 More Chrome-y goodness and a couple of inserts from 2012 Flagship.  And now for the hit:
 A Joel Hanrahan sticker auto.  Huh.  Hanrahan.  Beard.  Horizontal. Sticker auto?  Okay. For four bucks I think I did okay.  If nothing else I think the blogosphere will appreciate the cards.  And it was fun!

I'm off to sort the cards from today's show and prep some trade packages.  Thanks for stopping by today!

Friday, February 20, 2015

One More to Remember (The Astrodome)

Another package found it's way into mailbox recently from Marc, from Remember the Astrodome. Yesterday I talked about how backlogged I've been on return packages and now I can add one more to my list!

I'm just about finished with my 1984 set thanks to a few generous bloggers (Off Hiatus Baseball Cards, Nolan's Dugout, and One Man's Junk Wax).  Marc took it upon himself to help as well. 
 I'm down to 6 cards!  Woo-Hoo!

Also in the package was a Starlin Castro from last year's Topps' flagship product.  I sure hope Starlin can build off of last year's season.  Go Cubs, Go!

Lastly, and I talked about these before, there was a Card-Supial included!

 I now have two in my collection.  Nice!
 The previous one featured a large Larry Walker (Rockies) and a small Kerry Wood.  I tried to track down the Larry Walker, but I couldn't find it in my trade box. Maybe I set it free into the wild of the blogosphere? If you have a Larry Walker with a pouch and need a Ben Petrick to fill it, please let me know!

Marc, thanks for thinking of me and surprising me with such a nice package.  I'll be sure to get something out in the mail to you before too long!