Thursday, April 27, 2017

Some cards for a big eBay milestone

Woo! Yesterday I just hit a cool 1000 for my eBay user feedback. I'm proud to say that's 100% positive, with nary a single negative or even neutral review sullying my good name. Sure, the majority of my transactions have been as buyer, but I've done a bit of selling on there over the years, too. And while I can't say 100% of my interactions have been perfect, even the ones that "went bad" were at least civil enough to where I escaped unscathed. Pretty impressive considering how many assholes are out there who seem to enjoy stirring up shit.

And I don't know if it's related or just a coincidence, but today I got an email from eBay telling me I'm now a Top Rated Seller thanks to my past performance, and that entitles me to 20% off final value seller fees, which is very welcomed because that's definitely where they get ya.

Anyways, the listing that has the distinction of giving me positive nod #1000 is the Curt Smith TFF Psych auto I already showed off a couple weeks ago (seller was a little slow in leaving feedback, but whatever), so instead I'll use this post to show off a few other recent eBay pickups that I haven't gotten around to working into posts yet.

The great Warren Spahn! He was a great signer throughout his life, though his signature understandably got a bit sloppier near the end. Still better than most athletes these days! This is my 2nd auto of his, the first being a 2003 Topps Retired card. I nearly scored a 3rd Spahn auto recently, a signed penny sleeve that the Summer of '74 blog put up as trade bait, but seems somebody else beat me out for it.

Here's the back. It's a nice pickup for my ARMS (Archives Reserve Master Set), which is my looooong-term goal of acquiring every Archives Reserve card ever put out. Oh man, if Topps ever revives this product line, I'm screwed. No way I would include a reboot in this ARMS project. I'm sure they'd have a bunch of parallels and 1/1 stuff if they brought it back today. A beautiful thing about the original Archives Reserve (2001-2002) is there are no parallels and no printing plates, so a master set isn't an impossible dream. It's definitely costly tracking down all the big name autos and relics, but not impossible. Oh, and I'm not including any buybacks in this project either (I suspect some base cards were signed, slabbed, and included in recent Archives Signature Edition products.. but screw 'em, I'm considering that a different product).

From one legend to another, here's a Khalil Greene auto. Ok, I'm being cheeky calling him a legend, but if you were a Padres fan in the mid '00s, his story has likely achieved legendary status for you. He was a hot prospect and in 2004, was runner-up for NL ROY. He then had a few solid years, but never quite performed at the elite level he (and fans) hoped for. He struggled emotionally under the pressure and was eventually shipped to St. Louis to finish his MLB career with a forgettable final season there. I think this is my first card of him as a Cardinal, and is his last widely-available autograph card. I had a saved search for it, waiting for a cheap one to come along. It seemed like a hole in my ample Khalil PC, so landing it helps round it out and make it feel more complete even though I'm sure there are several hundred more cards of his out there I'll never have.

Maybe you remember a couple weeks ago when I posted about a Manon Rheaume auto I picked up. A reader gave me a heads-up to check out Erin Whitten. Turns out she was another exceptional woman goalie who played professionally with various men's teams in the mid 90s. Pretty cool. I took a look if she had any autos available and grabbed this one cheap. The signature is pretty faded, but like I said, it was cheap, so worked for me.

The back says it's autographed, so that's good, because it's not so easy to tell from the front. lol

I never followed basketball too closely, but I thought Dikembe Mutombo was a fun player. In fact, I say his name a lot, just because it's fun to say, especially in a deep, bombastic accent. Go ahead, say it. d'KEY-m'BAY Moo-TUMBO!!!
I was looking to score an autograph of his, and this Christmas Card ended up being what I went with after my best offer was accepted. But I kinda regret this purchase a little bit, to be honest. I just don't really like foilboard cards or sticker autographs. Even the 12/25 serial number can't quite save this card. Still though, a fun one to throw into my yuletide minicollection.

Speaking of cards I only care about because of the serial number, he's a Trevor Bauer auto. Well, at least this one was cheap. Plus it's #'d 12/24. If a Christmas Card is a unicorn, then a Christmas Eve Card is a unipegasus (unicorn with wings.. extra fantastical!).. much harder to find than 12/25 cards, especially if you want a player selection better than washed out former fringe prospects-- mostly football and basketball, at that. At least Bauer is still in the majors, stinking it up with the Indians. The basic design of the card is nice, but the stickergraph sucks, and man, that's gotta be one of the worst photos ever on a modern Topps card. The poor guy is fumbling with his glove, looking like he's in the middle of being shelled. (which is likely)

Anyways, yeah, those are some various cards I picked up on eBay on my way to a perfect 1000 feedback rating. I'll be surprised if I make it to 2000 before running into a jackass to ding me, but here's hoping!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Trea Turner PC

Pretty funny that Wil Myers hits for the cycle then a few weeks later, the kid the Padres gave up to get him does the same (in the same order, also at Coors Field). I didn't want to collect Trea Turner at first, bitter at the shortsighted move of dumping the best homegrown prospect San Diego has had in a long time. But I kept coming into his cards, partially thanks to traders dumping their Padres cards on me, plus he's becoming one of the best young stars in the game, so I eventually gave in and added him to the ever-growing list of guys I collect.

I'd been waiting for an excuse to show off a couple nice cards of his I've picked up, so let's take a look at my modest Trea Turner collection as it stood on 4/25/17 when he became the third National to ever hit for the cycle.

I've got a couple cards from his days as an amateur, both hits. The jersey swatch card is from 2012 (thanks again, Zippy) while the bat chip is from 2013 (thanks again, Doug).

This partial rainbow of 2014 Bowman came to me courtesy of Zippy Zappy, I believe. Would love to add a 1st Bowman Chrome auto someday (preferably a refractor), but they're pretty expensive these days.

The 2014 Leaf Trinity auto is my latest Trea pickup. Love the "Go Padres" inscription, and I'd like to take this as proof that his heart will always lie with the Padres, and everyday he's crestfallen that he's forced to play for the Nats instead. LOL

Moving on to 2015, here's another college card and a Topps Pro Debut. Notice that the Pro Debut card appears to feature a non-photoshopped version (or at least a differently photoshopped version) of the picture used on the above Prizm "Draft Class" insert.

2016 is when he really started getting a lot of cards put out, as he was runner-up for the NL ROY award to Carlos Correa. My favorite of these Panini cards has to be the Rated Rookie refractor, #'d /299 on the back.

And some Topps cards from 2016.

And finally, my best Trea Turner card, a spiffy 2016 Five Star auto. Look, even Topps would like to believe Trea's still on the Padres, marking this card with a "P" under his name. (ok, maybe it's just an error mistakenly listing him as a pitcher, but I like my explanation better.)

There you have it. Please trade me any Trea Turner cards not pictured here.
Thanks for checking out the post. See you next time.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Setbuilding chugging along thanks to COMC

In my latest COMC order, I picked up needs for all 3 vintage sets I'm currently working on, plus the 2 modern parallel sets I'm trying to complete. I'd just search by lowest price, then check against my lists to see what I needed.

I wanted to add some color to my 2011 Topps parallel frankenset, grabbing a cheap blue refractor (#/99) and black refractor (#/100), neither of which were previously represented parallels in there. Also picked up a couple #/499 purple refractors. I was a little surprised to find Kevin Youkilis and Jose Bautista slumming it with the lowest-priced examples available, but was happy to grab them.
With this project, I'm at 494/1284, good for 38.47% complete.

And here are a couple cheap needs for the other parallel set I'm working on.
With 2004 Topps Chrome black refractors, I'm now at 130/487, good for 26.69% complete.

Picked up 5 cards for my young 1957 Topps setbuild. Everybody knows Wally Moon, in large part because of his fabulous unibrow, but he had a nice career too. Virgil Trucks was also pretty good, pitching a pair of no-hitters in his career. At $1.15, it was the most expensive card in this post. Only that and the Pete Whisenant were over a buck.
This lot helped me crack double-digits complete with the set, currently at 10.79% complete, with 45 of 417 cards down.

1964 Topps is kind of a back-burner project for me these days, with '65 and '57 interesting me more. But still looking to add cards when I can find good prices on them. Now at 40.92% complete, with 241 of 589 cards.

And finally, here's a decent lot of 1965 Topps. Not many well-known names here, just checking off a few of the commons I needed. Still might be on track to reach my soft goal of finishing the set by the end of the year, currently at 471/600, good for 78.5% complete, though I'm going to eventually have to start ponying up for some of the big names I'm missing.

Thanks for reading, and as always, please get in touch if you've got any cards I'm missing and would like to work out a trade.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

wrapping up my weekend with a fair hooker and dick cummings on my bed

Crazy weekend, right?!
Nah, actually it was a pretty chill. Just hung out, did a little cleaning.. went through a recent package from COMC.

Call me immature, but I thought this photo of a Fair Hooker and Dick Cummings on my bed was pretty funny. I had to run out and pick up a Fair Hooker right away after seeing him on the Cardboard Hogs blog, I think it was. And then I came across Dick Cummings on Wrigley Roster Jenga. My collection would seem incomplete without it, so I splurged. (LOL, sorry guys.. first a weed post and now weiner jokes.. my blog may have gotten a little lowbrow lately.. I'll have to class it up more soon.)

I've already completed the rainbow for Brian Humphries' 2012 Bowman Chrome card, only missing some printing plates, so why did I add another red wave refractor to the PC?...

Christmas Card, that's why! Upgrade!
Not sure if/where Brian is playing this year yet. He doesn't seem to be on the roster for the independent Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks with whom he had a nice 2016 season.

Dexter Fowler helped the Cubs win it all last year, then cashed in for a big payday to sign with the Cardinals. I don't really collect him, but was impressed by him speaking out against the travel ban in the face of St. Louis fans bitching at him to shut up and stick to sports.

And it's a Christmas Card, too!

I love wave refractors. I already had a few various wave colors.. red, blue, black, orange.. but wanted to land an elusive green wave of somebody. Luke Jackson was the best name available for the price I was looking to pay.

Here's a weird 2016 Panini Father's Day relic card of Manuel Margot. It's a "player worn" gimmick, likely worn during that photoshoot and that's it, not game-used, but it was pretty cheap for a memorabilia card of a top rookie, #'d 16/25. And the whole atomic refractor look is kinda cool.

A Cecchini Brothers diecut.

It's the #'d 25/25 xfractor. I already had the 50/50 parallel (shimmer refractor), so it was neat to get the "last of the print run" of a couple different parallels of the same card.

A couple cheap autos. I don't really need anymore Gavin Escobar autographs, but at just a buck-fiddy, I couldn't pass it up. Plus he's pictured in a (whitewashed) SDSU Aztecs uniform. After a lackluster 2016 season with the Cowboys, Escobar signed as a free-agent with the Kansas City Chiefs for 2017.

David Denson was never quite a top prospect, but is known for being the first openly gay active player in affiliated baseball. After batting .212 last year in A-ball, he decided to hang them up and pursue a career as a personal trainer instead. Bummer he couldn't break through to the bigs, but all the best to him. Happy to pick up this refractor auto for my Pride PC minicollection. Cool signature, too.

We finish up with a couple refractors. Hunter Renfroe has been doing ok in San Diego so far. As I was ready to place my order, I still had 31¢ in my account over the needed $3.99 for shipping. Instead of saving it for next time, I searched for cheap cards to clean me out, and settled on this 2010 Bowman Chrome Mark Buehrle refractor. I remember seeing his name trending on Twitter a few weeks ago and thought, "Finally, a team wisely signed him. Still got plenty in the tank." But no, turns out he's still retired. He was in the news because the White Sox announced they're gonna retire his number.

That's it for today. I also picked up some set needs, but we'll save those for another post. Thanks for swinging by. I gotta go wash my sheets!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

this trade roundup keeps it poppin'

Let's run through the incoming cardboard I've received over the past couple weeks through the kind folks on the cardsphere.

Spiegel83 of the dormant blog Nomo's Sushi Platter spoke up for an available Nomo #'d insert I posted about after my last card show. I sent him the card and a few others I thought he might dig in a Dodgers-centric PWE, and he returned fire with a big package full of a bunch of guys I collect.

Great lot of Pops. I think that last card there my first ever Day-glo parallel, a retail-only gimmick from 2013 Archives that didn't really catch on. Pardon the pun, but it definitely pops in-hand.

Some spiffy Frank Robinson cards here.

Adam Jones looking good.

The Orioles keep coming with a terrific Manny Machado lot.

Nice additions to my Tom Seaver PC.

Solid bunch of Stan Musial.

Ten welcomed Molitor cards.

And here's the "miscellaneous" grouping to close the package. You know, just these 5 cards alone would have been a fine return for what I sent him. Very generous.. Thanks a lot for the trade, man!

- - - - --o

So I got that above package over a week ago, then it was quiet for several days until a flurry of unexpected PWEs graced my mailbox late this past week.

This one here is from GCA at The Collective Mind.

Shiny trio of Michael Sam cards. Pretty!

This one is a trip. I received this card on 4/20, just hours after posting my Bake McBride PC. GCA posted a comment on that post saying he might have a 1981 Topps Coke card for me. And I'm not sure what time-traveling magic he's got, but yep, here it is.

Thanks, man! I'll try to hit you back with something soon.

- - - - --o

Next is a PWE from John Miller at Johnny's Trading Spot. He's relentless!

Three cards of Josh Donaldson, including a card that says Memorial Day on it. Topps, if you want to do an insert set for Memorial Day, howbout photos of guys with their hat over their heart during the anthem? That'd be cool. But this is just another generic insert.

And a Hoyt and a couple Gavin Floyd cards. I'm at the point where I seem to have most of the readily available modern Hoyt cards and flagship Floyds, though I think I needed 2 of the 3.. so, not bad.

Thanks, John. I have not made any progress on your customs since the last PWE you sent me, it saddens me to admit, but they are on my to-do list and I'll do ya right when I get around to sending you cards.

- - - ---o

Finally, a one-card surprise from Judson at My Cardboard Habit. He recently busted a couple boxes of Gypsy Queen and landed a card he rightfully thought would go well in my collection.

My first 2017 Gavin! And my first in-person look at 2017 Gypsy Queen. I've been tempted to pick up a blaster of the stuff, but have resisted, as I'm trying to cut down on retail card purchases this year, relying on my Black Friday haul from last year to get the occasional ripping fix.

Back to this card, it's a /250 parallel of Gavin Cecchini. He's currently in AAA, but with Jose Reyes' struggling, he might get called up to fill an infield spot for the Mets soon.

Sweet card! Big thanks, Judson! I'll send you back something soon.

Thanks again to these guys who sent me cards, and thanks you the rest of you for reading.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Baseball Card Breakdown Gets Baked

Bake McBride is a guy I wasn't really familiar with until getting back into the hobby a few years ago. He was ROY with the Cardinals in 1974, a big part of the Phillies' championship team of 1980, and finished up his major league action in 1983 with a stint in Cleveland after a string of injuries derailed his career at 34.

In addition to the fun name, he seems like a cool somewhat-forgotten player from the era, and I wanted to try putting together a little PC for the guy. He's a semi-star with a decent amount of cards out there and some oddballs, but not enough to really scare you away from trying to catch them all. Despite being a "guy I collect" on my wantlist for a year or two now, it's very rare that anybody ever sends me anything from him. So I turned to Just Commons in my recent order to score myself an assortment of his cards.

I actually got most of these cards a month ago, but saved this post for 4/20 because of the whole "bake"/"marijuana" thing. LOL. Just thought I'd get cute posting it today. For the record, I stick to booze. Weed doesn't agree with me. The handful of times I've tried the stuff, either I feel nothing or I end up puking for a couple hours. Once I found myself imprisoned in a Vietnamese POW camp. Another time I came face to face with the kernel of all evil in the world. It sucked! Another time I shriveled up on my back like a dead cockroach.. and that was after I came down! But if you're lighting up today, cheers. Or "420 blaze it" as the kids say. Be smart and stay safe.

Anyways, here are the Bake McBride cards I own as of 4/20/17:

Last card show I attended, I was really hoping to find a McBride RC, and while I came across plenty other '74 multi-player rookies, no dice on Bake. Had to turn to the cheapest specimen available on eBay for this card which suffers from a skinned corner and rightward inclination. Maybe the fact he shares the card with fellow "Hall of Very Good" player Brian Downing adds to the desirability/scarcity of it. The '79 was one of the few cards already in my collection, perhaps by way of a trade, though I can't remember.
Rich Bladt? More like Rich BLUNT, am I right?!

Here's a double dose of 1982 Topps, with the flagship and Traded. I think the facsimile auto is the same.

And I've got the '83 and '84 Topps and their Canadian counterparts.

Looks like I've got the complete run of flagship Fleer. Not quite Oscar Gamble levels, but Bake rocked a very respectable afro at the time.

There's as close as you'll find for complete career stats for Bake McBride on the back of a baseball card. Good ol' Fleer giving kids complete MLB stats and usually minor league numbers as well. Bake spent 1984 with the Rangers' AAA team before hanging them up.. Put up decent numbers in Oklahoma City for his swan song (.296 in 32 games), not sure why they kept him on the farm. He probably deserved better than that.
Look at that career average.. So tantalizing close to being a lifetime .300 hitter, finishing at .299. Not quite as bad as Al Kaline's 399 home runs, but still frustrating from an OCD perspective.

His 1976 ("1975") SSPC card might be the most baked Bake card out there. Like... whoa, dude. A cool oddball, nonetheless. And I've only got one Donruss card of his, though I'm only missing one other: 1981. He strangely wasn't included in the 1983 or 1984 Donruss sets.
Donruss D.A.R.E.D. to say NO to Bake.

And we finish with the pride of my little Bake PC, a Topps Archives certified auto. He's got one of the best signatures around. Imaging trying to fit that on a little sticker! Long live on-card autographs.

That's the end of the post. What a long, strange trip it's been. If you got the hook-up for any Bake McBride cards I'm missing, don't bogart them.. get in touch and we can hash out a trade. Be a kind bud, leaf through your cards, including high numbers. Make sure you weed out any dupes before you add them to the pot.

Ha. Thanks for reading, everybody. Catch you later!