The Ten Hobby Commandments…but probably not.

I’m one of those brave souls…or maybe just foolish physical manifestations of a current human being?  I went to a card show this past Saturday. 

Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

It was a card show with other collector’s, other humans.  People that have different priorities than me.  People that may think facts and science are negotiable.  In the time of a major pandemic.  In an area where the numbers are not going down.  It was risky.  I grant you that.  Of course I wore my mask and sanitized the hell out of my hands before i left the car and once I got back into the car.  I did my best to not touch every single thing I see, but then again I’m not four years old…that part was easy.  Sports card collectors have not traditionally been the healthiest of crews.  We all know what I’m talking about without saying it…but I’ma say it anyways. 

We’re all some version of the stereotypical cardboard hoarder; the fried food eating, soda drinking, epic hit oversharing, hunched over a box of cards looking to score a big hit kinda person.  That person, we all know them and we own some of those characteristics.  I know I do…the fried food, love it.  Sodas, love ‘em.  Hunched over a box, my neck is sore after every show I go to.  Ironically though,  well, maybe not ironic…maybe it’s just a timing thing with this post.  For the month of January, the bride and I are doing a thirty day cleanse after a much needed year of eating and drinking our feelings.  Drowning our sorrows in whiskey and wine all year while chasing it with some burgers and fries hasn’t done our bodies well.  We’re one full week and I’m feeling significantly better…but enough about me. 

Let’s talk about some commandments in the hobby that I abide by and how some of them relate to card shows and collecting.  I know some folks around here have noted some type of community agreement for card shows and collecting in general, so these are from my perspective.  Oh yeah, I’ve based them on the Notorious BIG’s “Ten Crack Commandments”.  Very possibly inappropriate and most likely have very little to do with the actual hobby in itself, but I’ve always wanted to mix this song into a blog post.  So, I may be going all over the place here and relate absolutely nothing back to the hobby…but you should read because I think it’s fun and I’ve got 1960 Topps cards in between…Let’s go…sorry, as one of my favorite colleagues says…one more thing. The cards and the stories have absolutely nothing to do with each other. You’ve been warned. Ok. NOW. Let’s go.

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Number ONE! Biggie Says: Never let no one know.

My hobby isn’t really a secret, but I do like to stay somewhat anonymous.  I’ve tried to scrub my name from the blog and rarely…if ever posted a photo of myself.  The bride has suggested that this is not a good way to drum up business and attract readers or buyers.  Her thought is that people want to know who they’re dealing with.  My thought is that I don’t want that.  I like anonymity and I like blending in.  I’ve never been one to stand out in a crowd and don’t really feel the need to stand out in the hobby.  Who knows though, maybe she’s correct.  I often find myself googling other blog authors or collectors to see who they are (does that make me a stalker…?)  I’m not on the facebooks, so it’s a challenge to find faces and match them up with their blogs.  So, I fully embrace the notion of letting no one know.  A fun future blogger game would be to match the face with the blog.  That would be a fantastic year end game to play…?

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Number TWO! Biggie Says: Never let ‘em know your next move.

This one relies heavily on secrecy and finding a “honey hole” of sorts…no, scratch that.  That’s a horrible term.  Maybe it’s really just a favorite spot.  I have those.  But I share them.  I know some folks have a Target or Walmart that they hit up during a certain time of day during a specific day to grab those retail commodity boxes…guess those folks play to the never let ‘em know your next move.  I’m not big on that, I think that sucks.  Share and share alike I say.  So maybe this one applies to some, but not me.

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Number THREE! Biggie Says: Never trust nooobody.

So, this one may be ABOUT me and I’m still feeling a little guilt about it.  When I was at the show Saturday I stopped by Bill’s table (Gavin knows this guy).  Bill is an older gentlemen that lives in Salem, about an hour south of Portland.  He buys card lots from people and has about 4 tables of 10cent, 50cent and Dollar cards.  The dollar cards though, if you buy seven of them it only costs you $5!  It’s been that way forever…or at least like 10years forever, that’s how long I’ve been hitting up these shows…I mean, I’ve been going to these shows for over a decade and it’s always been like that…well, at least that’s what I remember.  I went through the $1 cards and separated my stack into sevens and tallied up the total.  I like organization, remember?  As I was counting, i had an overwhelming sense he was peering over me…I believe he was…I KNOW he was.  When I told him my total, he said “you sure…ok…I trust you…”.  Bill can be an odd duck, but that stuck with me.  I wandered around the other tables and dealers for a bit but couldn’t get it out of my head.  My guilty conscience brought me back to his table to clarify if the $1 box was still 7 for 5?  “Nope” was the response and the shame rained down instantly.  I did a quick recount and gave him the difference in cash and explained to him my “why”.  He seemed to be ok with it.  I guess.  I hope.  I should have asked or clarified when I felt odd about his response, but I didn’t.  That’s a whole nother blog post to explain those issues about me.  I did square it away and I feel good about that…but f’real Never trust nobody…including yourself.

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Number FOUR! Biggie Says: Never get high on your own supply.

I think this is a great one as we all do this.  Opening boxes is great, right?  Who doesn’t love opening things.  My kid loves it.  My bride loves it…hell, my dog loves it.  She opens every single stuffed animal we buy her.  Therefore, I too love opening boxes.  I have a stash though.  I love the stash…but mostly open them when I’m bored or in need of a fix.  The people that hold on to boxes can really see a jump in value if they wait the right amount of time.  That’s a hard thing to do, sit on something and just wait for a rainy day or come across some ebay listing that says it’s going for twice what you’ve paid for it.  How does one NOT get high on their own supply at this point.  Apparently 1989-90 Hoops are going for close to $100/box.  That’s ridiculous…but it also proves that if you don’t get high on your own supply, you can make a buck or two plus in the future…you know, to buy more cards.

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Number FIVE! Biggie Says: Never sell no crack where you rest at.

I am a collector first and foremost.  This is an expensive hobby though…like really expensive, especially the last couple of years.  I’ve been listing my cards on ebay now, quite a bit.  I’ve also done well, so much so that I’ve opened a shop on ebay and have been dealing with the crazies all across the country buying my unwanted cards.  Essentially running a small card shop from my home.  I do mostly PWE’s and have been adding my return address just in case something gets lost or ends up bouncing back and forth between Miami and Minneapolis.  I don’t mind fellow bloggers having my addy, but not some coocoo man from Florida type that could receive a card they don’t like and decide to take a road trip to the PNW.  I’m thinking of getting a PO Box to help with this issue so I’m not selling no crack…cards where I rest at forever.

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Number SIX! Biggie Says: That got damn credit? Dead it!

Cards are expensive, remember when I mentioned that in item 5?  Yeah…really expensive.  How many collector’s run up a debt in their collecting process?  Hopefully not many, but I’m certain some do.  Living on credit is tough during these Soylent Green sorts of days and almost necessary for some of us.  But man, that got damn credit?  Dead it.  If I can’t pay cash for a card, I don’t need said card…that’s mostly the impetus for selling so much on ebay.  Ultimately, my goal would be to not spend any of my day job money on cards and just get to a point where I can spend card sales money on cards!

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Number SEVEN! Biggie Says: Keep your family and business completely separated.

I love my family.  They love me…even my 8 year old.  The dog loves me.  At least one of our cats loves me…not sure about the other one.  He’s definitely more of a momma’s boy.  They all have some kind of idea what I do with my hobby, not explicitly, but generally.  My always asks why I collect cards and in return I ask why he always plays video games…it’s because we enjoy it.  Also, we’re both incredibly anxious and these things help our emotions stay in control.  Part of the hobby can be dense…too much for a spouse to deal with…or maybe just not want to deal with.  I let the bride on to some things that we deal with in our hobby, but mostly don’t.  Not because I’m hiding anything (don’t tell her about my stash!!!), but because I don’t believe it will generate a lot of interest for her.  Keeping this part of my life separated from her is ok…she knows how much it means to me…she just has some concerns about the time I spend with the hobby.  Maybe the hobby does its own part in keeping family and business separated…?

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Number EIGHT! Biggie Says: Never keep no weight on you.

So, as I mentioned in item 3, I was at Bill’s table this past Saturday.  Lots of new faces in the crowd.  Sneaker head faces behind their Supreme and Nike facemasks, just straight ballin’ out…sorry, that wasn’t really necessary.  But seriously, the landscape of these card shows and the hobby have changed.  The hobby has been influenced by influencers.  I’m sure I’ve been sucked into some of it as well…I’m a sucker most of the time.  Well, anyways.  While at Bill’s table there was a group of twenty somethings buying graded basketball cards.  Not just some basic cards, LeBron and Kobe rookies.  These youngsters has some loot too.  The tallest one, I’ll call him Chad for the sake of conversation.  Chad pulled out a ziplock back…the kind with the plastic slider, not the integrated slider…he had the baller ziplocks.  That bag was way too aggressively slammed down on the glass display case and in it was a four inch stack of cash…at least.  All twenties, at least from what I could tell.  Chad was not messing around.  He wanted those slabs and got those slabs.  The Chad gang left right after the purchase and went to their cars…I guess to unload the weight.

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Number NINE! Biggie Says: Stay the F*** from police.

Well, maybe the police don’t have anything to do with this one.  Other than possibly the moral collector police or the “back in my day” police.  I totally get the frustration we all have with the hobby at times and the influx of new faces, but things change.  I like to see this change as good for the hobby.  It increases accessibility, awareness, attendance and other words starting with A’s.  It also increases interest.  Our hobby has had, in my mind, a negative perception for those that don’t know.  We’re seen as overgrown children doing children things…collecting WHAT??!!  I had those when I was a kid…why do you still collect cards…now you know why number one was so important to me.  I like to see how others collect and I honestly don’t care if someone objects to my collection process or methods.  This hobby is huge and has many lanes for all of us to participate in…let enjoy and not overly police others that are new to the hobby.  So, not only stay the f*** from police, don’t be one!

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Number TEN! Biggie Says: Consignment, if you ain’t got no clientele, say hell no!

Consignment, yeah…no thanks…well, maybe.  Selling cards is tough, you really need a lot of stock to make some money in doing it.  Collecting cards is also tough, you really need some good collector friends and online searches to find what you want.  Do we really need consignment in our hobby?  Many times I’ve been sent a link on twitter for a great Washington card and pursued it.  Some times the favor was returned when I posted a card…sort of a communal sharing.  Ebay is a bit of a consignment…they take a huge chunk of your change so you can sell your items to a significantly larger audience.  Helpful yes.  Paying for them to such a thing, not so much.  But, honestly would I have sold that card without them and their reach…?  I don’t know…may say hell maybe to consignment.

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Hope you enjoyed the read.

Hope it was slightly entertaining and engaging.

My apologies for the ramblings, but hey…isn’t a blog supposed to be about ramblings? 

Have a great evening and see you next time!

-Cardboard Hogs

And now…the inspiration for today’s post…as well as the inspiration for the song for the post…so metta.

The Last Post…and a farewell to a Villain

This year has finally come to an end.  An unforgiving parallel universe of a year where wrong was right and low was even further lower than we could all imagine.  Maybe it was the end of a bad dream, the kind of nightmare where you’re about to crash into a concrete wall, screeching brakes being hammered to the floor, arms off the wheel to cover your eyes, barreling towards the wall and nanoseconds before impact you wake up.  Sweating.  Shaking.  Breathing heavily.  Saying to yourself, “what the hell just happened!”  The nightmare has ended…for now, but is it really over?  What will ’21 bring for us?  I would love to see an overcorrection from the wrong to the right and some goodness be brought to everyone.  More generosity and kindness.  Less judgement and crassness towards others.  Can we live our lives in a manner that we want to without condescension?  I sure hope so. 

I love this hobby, I love it dearly.  It brings me great joy.  In a world where I have marginal control over things, I can control my collection. 

It’s there when I need it to regroup emotionally…I’m a highly anxious person. 

It’s there when I’ve had a rough day and need to zone out…I worry too much about others opinions.

It’s there when I need a new organizing project and get an idea in the middle of the night…I got some OCD too.

Our hobby is fantastic.  A lot has changed about it this past year. 

I hope it keeps evolving. 

I hope the people that are new are welcomed with open arms.

I hope the new people take some history lessons and learn about our hobby.

I hope we let people collect what and how they want to collect.

For 2021, I will be more involved in helping to make this hobby great.  Reaching out to bloggers, twitter folks, flippers, old-school collectors and the new ones as well.  I plan to buy more from my LCS than eBay, but I also plan to sell more on eBay.  I want to find a happy middle where I can enjoy the hobby without feeling like I am going to strangle myself financially.  Creating a net zero cost of cards is the ultimate goal, not sure how that will get done.  The architecture and build portion of the world is attempting to reduce carbon emissions significantly with the 2030 challenge, but this is nothing like that. 

I just want to have fun with these pieces of cardboard and card stock and shiny whatever the hell they are materials.  I hope you do too!

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With the end of the year usually comes collecting or personal goals.  I’m not going to list anything, I think that’s mostly been covered by the manifesto above.  So, instead, I’d like to take the time to update the annual wallet card and take a look back. 

I started carrying a card in my wallet quite a few years ago.  It was a way to always keep the hobby with me wherever I went.  Every once in a while the card would be exposed to other people and it would start a conversation, or maybe just some ridicule from some colleagues…architects can be a judgmental group, ya know?

At some point along the way, I’ve lost a few cards…but here’s what I’ve got since I started the blog.

2020: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees 1999 Pacific Paramount, card #162

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2019: Dale Murphy, Atlanta Braves 1987 Topps, card #490

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2018: Joe Gibbs, Washington Redskins 1992 Pro Set, card #90

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2017: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees 2014 Gypsy Queen, card #N174-DJ

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2016: Art Monk, Washington Redskins 1985 Topps, card # 185

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2015: Rickey Henderson, New York Yankees 1986 Topps, card #500

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2014: Joe Gibbs, Washington Redskins 1990 Pro Set, card #333

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2013: Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers 1991 Topps Archives, card #1

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AND NOW, FOR TWO-THOUSAND TWENTY ONE!  THE NEW WALLET CARD IS (drumroll…)

2021: Santana Moss, Washington Redskins 2006 Topps, card #245

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I know, I know…I can hear the clapping through the keyboard!

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OK, so when I woke up this morning I was thinking about the best video I could share with you all today.  Something fun and positive and light-hearted to ring the new year in.  I was getting distracted during the day and everything was getting away from me.  When I sat down to start writing I first jumped on twitter to get an update on this mad world we’re living in…and my heart sank when I saw that MF Doom has passed away…shit shit shit shit.  He was one of my favorite MC’s…crazy entertaining and a tremendous wordsmith.  Lots of double entendre’s and just some good ol’ hip hop metaphors.  At this point, I’m not sure what took his life as he was only 49 (4 years older than me).  The one thing that can make me smile is that he actually passed away on Halloween of this year.  That’s gotta be the most MF Doom thing ever.  For the uninitiated, he was wore a ‘gladiator’ mask and was well known for skipping out on shows but still having someone perform for him…the mask helped with that endeavor.  Not sure of the reason for keeping his passing quiet for two months, but that’s none of my business really.  If you have the time, please take a listen to the video below of his collaboration with the producer Madlib for the quintessential MC and producer hip hop album.  It’s a classic. 

MADVILLAIN – MADVILLAINY

Also, check out his earlier work with KMD as Zev Love X and music from his other aliases; King Geedorah, King Ghidra, Viktor Vaughn, Metal Fingers, King Dumile and Metal Face.  He also did some work with 3rd Bass back in the day…enjoy.  Have a Happy New Year, hug your loved one, tell them you love them and stay safe out there.

-Cardboard Hogs!   

Opening Day…a couple of days late

The last few years i’ve taken the…sort of MLB opening day of Monday off.  I already get Sundays off, so it’s not really necessary to take that day off.  It’s Monday’s that i like to not be at work.  Plus, who likes working on Monday’s.  They tend to suck don’t they?  Take ’em off i say.  The only problem though was that i am drowning in a mess of a deadline at work…so that time could have been better spent working than watching baseball…but life goes on.

Normally, i take this time off to be with my kid, but he’s in school until 3pm and i saw that as a time in the day to open up some packs of cards from my local Target.  Why Target and not my LCS…well, Brian was apparently out that day…he must have taken opening day off too.

I’m not typically a pack buyer or box buyer unless i plan on putting the set together, but i do like to pick up a pack or two of new releases.  A couple reasons, it helps me replenish my team card lots as well as adds star cards to my personal collection…which unfortunately ends up living in a white box in my basement.  Let’s take a look at what i picked up.

Just a couple of battery mates from the city by the bay.  MadBum and Posey.  Both of these cards are fantastic examples of how Panini should make cards with none…or at least very minimal photoshopping in order to get a proper non logo’d image.  Plus some cool action photos

Next up is a couple of Longo cards that just so happened to be back to back in the fat pack of Donruss.  Longoria was one of those guys that I had added to my PC a few years ago…but never really followed up on him.  I kinda feel bad for the guy.  He’s a great player on a mediocre team…they’re not bad, but playing in the AL East is tough…plus, not too much fan support in Tampa for their baseball team.

17 DO Andrew McCutchen

Cutch is a player that i’ve waffled on adding as a “guy i collect” but never seem to actually getting it done.  Instead, i think i’ll just add this card to my non official collection of him…again, in the white basement box.

17 DO Gary Sanchez

Ok, this guy.  Mr. Sanchez will most likely be a “guy i collect”.  I’m already building up a little stack of his cards so far…would like to get an autograph of his at some point this year.  I’ve never been overly fond of catchers though…cept for Posada of course!

17 DES Madison Bumgarner 96:249

Last card from the Donruss pack was this shimmery bit of sexiness.  A Madison Bumgarner ‘The Elite Series’ serial numbered card of 96/249.  It was the only hit of the day for me…very nice though.

Next up was a few packs of Gypsy Queen.  GQ is something that i get excited about each year, but never really seem to get that much in to the set.  I saw a few samples on the other blogs and was quite impressed with the cards this year though.  My trip to Target yielded single packs only.  I had high hopes of getting a blaster, but that wasn’t in the cards for me…so i had marginal expectations for the packs i picked up and was definitely not let down…or lifted up?  Pretty cool to get a couple Bronx Baby Bombers though.

Rizzo, because he’s a champion of the world with the Cubbies.  Also, JaCoby Jones…not the receiver from Super Bowl fame, but JaCoby Jones that appears to be doing something that should not be done on a baseball card, but maybe i’m just a perv…

17 GQ Trea Turner

Trea Turner.  I watched the Nets game Monday morning and couldn’t get over how smooth Trea seemed out at short.  He’s quite the talent at such a young age and he rocks the 7 like he owns it.  Can’t wait to see what kind of player he becomes.

17-tod-evan-longoria.jpeg

When i first saw this card, i thought it was some kind of error card.  NO WORDS!  I’m rich!!  Well actually it’s an introduction card from last season of a clean shaven Evan.  Maybe he’s working to get back in my PC box.

17 TOD Adrian Beltre

Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus are buddies and should totally make a buddy cop movie.

17 TOD Elvis Andrus

A former Nat in a Sox Jersey.  Not sure Adam Eaton was worth giving up on Giolito…but Rizzo is a better baseball GM than i am and so maybe i should just trust the process and see what Eaton can do this season.

17-tod-lucas-giolito.jpeg

Now, Topps Opening Day is not something i buy much of if at all.  Just not really in to the cards.  I wish they would do something different with the cards rather than just copy the base design…but, it’s a cool and inexpensive little set each year that i like to get a few packs from.

17 TOD Trea Turner

Last card of note is Turner again.  A nice kitchen mitten action photo.  That’s how i look chasing my kid when he takes the spatula from the kitchen when i’m making fried eggs on sundays.

So that wraps it up for me tonight.  Deadline wraps up next week…not sure i’ma make it but there’s always another deadline…Oh yeah.  One odd story.  At the end of last year, i received an email which i initially though was just some spam email.  Turns out it was legit.  Someone from a book publisher had reached out to me as they came across an image from my blog a few years ago (2013 no less!).  They wanted a copy of an image i did not produce, but scanned and wrote about…as we all do.  The image they wanted was the one shown below.  Adam Dunn’s 2013 Topps Series 2 card #647.

Baseball Meat Market

I was slightly confused because…it’s not an original image of mine, just a scanned one.  I was concerned about sharing the image, but figured it wasn’t in my court…it was their book.  Nevertheless, the book is out and i read through a couple pages and it’s quite a fascinating take on some of the biggest, recent trades and how each team benefited or not from the deals.  Kind of excited to read a little more soon…plus an “image of mine” has been published…not really, but you know what i mean…

Today’s music video is brought to you by Evidence from Dilated Peoples.  It’s a great one!!!

Cabin fever cards

About a month ago, my family took a weekend trip to Mt. Hood, with me, i went too.  We’re lucky enough to have good friends that own a small cabin in the woods and are more than happy and willing to share the tiny abode from time to time.  It’s near Rhododendron, which is close to Zig Zag, which is close to Welches, which is close to Government Camp, which is close to Mt. Hood…it’s on Mt. Hood actually.  The cabin is a small, one bed timber framed cabin with a kitchenette, it’s…umm… cozy…(read small)…but it is nicely nestled in the forest off a small unpaved road.  Normally the roads are covered in snow, but we were able to visit just after a heavy rain storm that washed away most of the snow, leaving some ice.

cabin road

I believe these cabins were once used to house park rangers that would work during the year.  It allowed them to retreat to a nice home after a long day at work rather than travel to and from their own homes each day.  For one person, these cabins are crazy comfortable, for two people, it’s perfect…for two people and a toddler…you need more space.  A LOT MORE SPACE!  But, hey it’s free…and i got some cards to open while i was there too!

That blurry flash is my child doing his best to run around in a small building while my wife makes snacks and i build a manly fire.  So, cards.

One of my goals with the renewed interest in blogging was to open packs or do something card oriented each time i travel.  We were kind of in that weird time of year where the 2016s didn’t interest me anymore and the new 2017’s weren’t out yet…other than the flagship Topps…which i already had a box of.  So i picked up one of those dreaded repack jobs that deliver very little in return.  Spoiler alert, my low expectations were met with a couple of mild surprises.  Let’s take a look.

As the box mentioned, 4 packs and a total of 50 cards and a BONUS!  Before we open everything, let’s do a little inventory.  The 4 packs were of 2015 Topps (2), 2016 Leaf Babe Ruth Collection (1), and 2016 Gypsy Queen (1).  The white box of surprises had a little mini Twins baseball guy which was quickly jacked by the toddler.  There were 53 cards in the white box, so i’m already ahead no matter what happens.  Here are some Topps highlights.

Justin Upton and Clayton Kershaw were the only names of significant note for me.  Hey, notice the vintage table pattern, apparently the table has been in the same location for over 50 years…i imagine it’s been moved a time or two to sweep though.

A couple insert cards.  High leg kicking Carlton and top 40 Free Agent Robbie Cano.  One of these guys is going in to my collection and the other one is going in to the Phillies box i got in my basement.  Let’s take a look at the Gypsy Queen cards!

A couple of real DBacks.

BB GQ McCovey

A power alley McCovey.

BB GQ mini Drury

And a mini Brandon Drury…a Diamondbacks hot pack i guess.  Now lets take a look at the Ruth cards.

Two odd photos of Babe Ruth, kids and bats.

Two odd photos of Babe Ruth swinging things that aren’t baseball bats.

BB LR Ruth 1

One photo of Babe Ruth doing baseball warm ups, his Career Achievements card…but what about that white box?  Mostly junk wax stuff, but kind of fun to look through.  There were three cards of note that made me want to take a photograph of them, and here they are…in order of how much i like them, from least to most.

BB box Jackson Winfield

Some Yankee stuff

BB box Posey

A Posey Bowman.

BB box Jeter

A Jeter Diamond King!  Yay!  This was by far the best card in the bunch, pretty nice card.  I think i may have a copy or two of this one, but it’s still a nice little piece to pull in a cabin in the woods.

the end…

Something that’s hopefully appropriate for this post…family member, Paul Riddle on the drum kit here.

 

Well, hello there…

Yeah, it’s been a while.

I’ve been on a bit of a blog hiatus.

Various reasons really.  Work overload, tired, old, rainy cold days…and really feeling like my hobby was getting in the way of my amazing family.  I was putting cards before my awesome little boy and my amazingly beautiful wife.  It’s all about balance, which i’ve mentioned multiple times here.  I think it’s really important…you know?  The blog is fun and the hobby and collecting are also fun…but family first.  The past few weeks, we’ve been able to see the snow at Mt. Hood and the ocean along the Oregon coast.  It’s pretty amazing living in the Pacific Northwest…and i don’t want my hobby to get in the way of that.

That said, i do love doing this collecting things and writing about cards.  It’s a great way to share my hobby with others…and really, connect with others…just like you!.  With the multiple ways of connecting with other collectors, it’s not hard to find trade partners.  Now, to be honest, i’ve made a few trades in the past that i’ve felt were not equal in return, so i’ve tried to steer clear of making trades with people i’m not too familiar with.  Until one day…Shane from Off the Wall reached out to me regarding a couple Silver Pack cards i pulled…they were Red Sox, so i knew i wouldn’t be too upset to part with them…:) i kid Shane!!!  He was nice enough to post a recap of the trade from his end HERE.  So, after a very long delay…here is my post!

Shane and i went back and forth on twitter to work through some items i was looking for…i’m a difficult trade partner, because i don’t keep up with my checklist that well.  Luckily though, Shane had quite a few cards to help out with my 1960’s set needs.  The biggest chunk of cards was the 1969 set needs.  Here are a few of the really nice lot of cards.

1969 Topps lot

Next up, was a few cards to fill my 1963, 1966 and 1967 set needs.  The way Billy looks at Hal, you would think they hate each other…but they don’t.  There baseball cards…i think the whiskey is kicking in now…

1963 1966 1967 Topps lot

The third lot of vintage Topps card needs is the currently popular 1968 Topps burlap set.  Go get your Heritage needs filled kids!

1968 Topps lot

Shane also helped out with my 2009 and 2010 Heritage needs…he made a huge dent in my lists, check it out.

2009 Topps Heritage Hi numbers2009 Topps Heritage Then & Now2010 Topps Heritage

It was so great to cross off most of these guys from my list…not to mention a bunch of these guys are SPs or small insert sets.  Very cool

In case you don’t know, i collect Redskins.  That’s the bulk of what i collect…of course you know that.  Most of my card money goes to Redskins cards.  Here’s a group of cards that Shane passed along to me in our trade.

Redskins Lot

I love the Joe Lavender cards.  The shades are top notch…plus a Fleer action photo which aren’t the easiest to find!

Last card of the bunch is a card that i have…but love nonetheless.  It’s a lovely Don Mattingly card.  With Shane being a Red Sox fan, i’m sure he wasn’t too upset to part with the card…:)

2014 Topps 50 Years Draft Don Mattingly

Hey, that was a great trade…honestly, might be the best trade i’ve ever made.  I was able to cross of a ton of stuff off my lists which these days is a very great thing.

Hope you guys are doing well and getting excited about the 2017 MLB season.  I have quite a few things to post in the next few days or weeks, so lets go!  Thanks for reading.

A Big ole’ box of Memories

I pre-ordered a jumbo box of 1987 2017.  This is the big 30th anniversary for a set that is seemingly very popular with a lot of people.  Me though, i have a different memory of these vertically wood grained over produced cards.

I started collecting baseball cards in the fall of 1985.

I was 9 and had fallen in love with baseball and baseball cards.

I wanted to learn everything about baseball and own everything i could about baseball.

So, baseball cards met that need at the highest level for a young’n like me.  There weren’t many opportunities to buy cards at that time due to scarcity at my local Stop n’ Go or 7-11, but also my lack of funds…I was 9.  I did what i could back then.  When the 1986 cards rolled out, i was able to complete a set via trades and multiple pack purchases.  The way it was done in the old school days.  I had a little more money and ’86 turned out to be a fun year, a year that i became addicted to these damn cardboard things.

That all changed in the winter of 1987.

The very first packs of cards i bought that year were in the Stop n’ Go down the street from my home.  I was headed out to my very first camping trip for the local Boy Scouts troop…a trip that i wasn’t too excited about (maybe a story for later, but my BSA experience was very forgettable!).  My mom pulled in to the parking lot and gave me some money to get a special snack and a juice…i bought a coke and two packs of cards.  1987 Topps.  The cards had gum in them, so that’s kind ova snack, right?  Fearing that i had betrayed my mom, i kept the cards tucked in my pocket to be opened later that weekend…during a camping trip.  I made it successfully to the bus without anyone finding out about my card purchases and was able to procure a solo seat and open them on the ride to the camp site.  I had 34 brand new cards in my hands…and two horrible pieces of gum.  Little did i know that this was the start of an incredible amount of over-consumption of wood grained cardboard that i would later become overwhelmed with.

For me, this was my first understanding of over production of a product.  I was buying packs everywhere.  I was even able to buy a few boxes at our local Sams Wholesale Club…for about $18 each.  Now, t’ve never been a collector for the investment purposes but i also don’t like to buy junk…well that year i must have spent about $100 on 1987 Topps.  I was completely overwhelmed with them and grew to really dislike them…everything about them.  So when the set gets a re-up, i don’t jump for joy.  I’m old enough now and have some perspective to understand and appreciate the design, so maybe this year won’t be so bad.

I mean, they do actually look kind of nice and as others have mentioned, the wood grain is quite lighter than the original.  The cards stock as i remember it is quite better as well, significantly better actually…as i look at these cards, i can see why they are adored by so many…i have baggage that i need to let go of i guess.

They are nice, very nice.  Well done Topps.  You did a great job with these re-issues.  Tweaked some of the things that were of concern to me…thank you for listening 🙂  Some of you may have already seen the cards that i pulled as i thought it would be nice to pre-share over Twitter last night.  Just in case though, here is my very first 2017 Topps card of the year!

17-to-giancarlo-stanton

Miami Marlins Giancarlo Stanton!  Pretty sweet first card eh?  Don’t think i know what my first card is for the past 30 years, but i would venture to say that none of them are as good as this one.

17-to-bryce-harper

This was my first card pulled for a favorite team, the Nationals or Yankees…Bryce Harper is cool, i mean…he’s probably going to have a good season.  Yeah, this card is fantastic for me not to mention that i got two in the box.  One for my flagship set and one for my Bryce Harper PC.  Collecting goals are being met.

17-to-nathan-eovaldi

This was my first Yankee, Nathan Eovaldi.  It was immediately followed by Aaron Hicks, also a Yankee.  Guess that duo was a nice little mini Yankee hot pack…or not…?

Topps is also continuing with the buyback program, but stamping them differently this year with a  vertically embossed stamp along the right edge of the card that reads “REDISCOVER TOPPS’.  Nothing spectacular, but i have to admit these cards are in great shape.

One of the many inserts that you get are the foil cards which are great looking cards, assuming you can see them.  I passed up a couple of them and had to go through the stack again to make sure i pulled them all out and when i did…four of the five were team cards.  Feel a little gipped here, but i guess it would have only been successful if one of them was a player or team i collect.  The fifth was a Kurt Suzuki.

17-tof-tampa-bay-rays17-tof-san-diego-padres17-tof-houston-astros17-tof-chicago-cubs

Topps is also continuing to do the first pitch cards…and i think they are running out of celebrities or there just aren’t enough celebrities to go around.  Not trying to blast either of these two musical entertainers, but one of them is great and the other one is Mase.  I’ve tried to associate the connection of the First Pitcher to the team they are pitching for.  Mase, per wikipedia was born in Florida, but left with his mom for New York when he was three.  I guess maybe he’s always been a fan of a Florida team?  Ms. Jett is from Pennsylvania, so maybe she grew up watching Harry Caray and Steve Stone on WGN like me?  I kid…Joan Jett was one of my favorite rockers in the early 80’s, mostly due to my mom liking her music with The Runaways.  I like her biggest solo hit, a cover of ‘I Love Rock ‘n Roll”

Speaking of hits, i have three of them…well, two and a half.  I don’t consider redemptions hits until i have them in my hand.  Here they are, in my current favorite order.  When the redemption is in my hands, that will be without a doubt my favorite one…assuming of course it’s a Yankee card.

17-tor-andy-pettitte-auto-patch

My timeline counter is starting on February 3rd, 2017.  Let’s see how long this takes to hit my blog post.  Ball is in your court Topps Corporation.17-tost-clayton-kershaw-3050

Clayton Kershaw Spring Training commemorative patch…it’s like a hard plastic’y metal’y thing’y numbered 38/50.  Not gonna complain at all.

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My favorite hit, currently, is this Addison Russell trip color patch…they snuck that white portion of the patch in there didn’t they?  Numbered 19 of 25 is pretty good too.  Kinda wish it was autographed, but i’m quite happy with this pull.  Russell is a great young player and nice to add to my collection.

d’oh!  I have a couple more cool cards to show off.  Nothing spectacular, but wanted to share.  First one is the Bryce Harper Then and Now…i always remember that moment when i almost pulled that card in a box.  The guy next to me picked the box that had it and i picked the other one…such is my luck…i always get the other one..Harper looks like he’s aged 10 years since the Bowman card, beards man…they make you look old.

17-totn-bryce-harper

The other one is of the young Astros prospect, but aren’t they all?  Teoscar Hernandez…feels like his name should be spelled T’Oscar…but that’s not my lane.  I’m gonna stay out.  This is one of those reverse negative cards that are not printing plates, but every time i see one that’s the first thing that crosses my mind…kinda wished it was yellow.

17-torn-teoscar-hernandez

Well, that’s the haul from my one jumbo box that i purchase for each series.  Hope you enjoyed.  I will be posting the cards from the two silver packs that came with the box another day, so until then.  Enjoy some random music that i was listening to while writing this letter to you.

 

Mile High Hogs

When i travel to a new destination I like to pick up a few packs or a blaster from the local Target or Wal-Mart.  It’s kind of a souvenir.  A souvenir that matters to me and hand a greater level of value than a cheesy shirt (although i love an odd shirt now and again…).  The cards serve as a little reminder of the town I was in, an artifact from a past vacation.  In the past, the trips have been via automobile and the cards were a little easier to handle since i could always see where they were and keep them safe and sound.  The last couple of trips though have been via airplane…the friendly skies!  When traveling, i’m always concerned about the safety and security of the cards and tend to open them up when i get home.  Not this time though, i wanted to join the mile high club!  Well, i wanted my cards to join the mile high club…of sorts.  So i did it on a plane earlier this week!

16-bp-packs

Since we card people don’t like damaged cards, getting these guys on the plane safely was a bit of an emotional journey for me.  Going through security and boarding a plane is difficult enough!  My first concern was the lovely TSA folks that can be a little handsy with people and peoples stuff.  The only thing worse than the disinterested cashier man-handling (woman-handling…? person-handling…?) the cards and dropping them 18″ to the bottom of a plastic bag is definitely getting them through TSA.  They pick up bags and boldly ask “THIS RED ONE YOURS SIR!”, why, yes.  The red bag that i was about to grab is mine…definitely my bag.  The surly looks that follow…them, not me…i’m nice.  Half the battle has been fought, but the war has not been won.  I still need to get these unprotected packs boarded and loaded on a flying tube with an ever increasing shortage of personal stowing space.  Done deal.  Packs located gently on my fold away tray until i am told to hide my fold away tray.  See the photo above (and now below) that was after we reached our cruising altitude…so no foul there although my phone was not in airplane mode.

16-bp-packs-2

Normally when i’m opening a pack of cards i like to have space to lay them out and sort them as i go through the cards.  Kinda particular about those sorts of things, you know.  It’s nice to have a little layout space and a clean surface to boot.  In hindsight this plan would have been better if i had a more sturdy box to put them in afterwards.  Enough with the long winded build up.  Here is what was pulled.

Tyler Glasnow – Pittsburgh Pirates | Alex Bergman – Houston Astros

Dee Gordon – Miami Marlins | Cole Hamels – Texas Rangers

Brian McCann – New York Yankees | Tyler White – Houston Astros

Kenta Maeda – Los Angeles Dodgers | Gleyber Torres – New York Yankees

Javier Guerra – San Diego Padres | Jorge Mateo – New York Yankees

Kolby Allard – Atlanta Braves | Lucius Fox – San Francisco Giants

Not a bad pack, no real jaw droppers.  I do like the three Yankee cards and the Alex Bergman is nice as well as the Maeda card.  They all have a nice little shine to them as well.  My wife, sitting in the miserable middle seat (love ya babe!) was particularly fascinated by the shiny-ness of these cards which the cabin lighting made a little extra sexy!  Here’s pack two!

JP Crawford – Philadelphia Phillies | Austin Meadows – Pittsburgh Pirates

Raul Mondesi Jr. – Kansas City Royals | Byron Buxton – Minnesota Twins

Eddie Rosario – Minnesota Twins | Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds

Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals | Billy McKinney – Chicago Cubs

Tyler O’Neill – Seattle Mariners | Conner Greene – Toronto Blue Jays

Brady Aiken – Cleveland Indians | Francis Martes – Houston Astros

Each of the cards made it home safe and sound, no dings, no dents, no errors.  Twenty Four shiny cards to sit and wait on now…will they become stars or not…!

So there you go.  That was the very first time i’ve ever busted a pack on a plane, in the air above the United States of America.  Hope you enjoyed the show!

***BIG PIMPIN***

Now it’s time to do some contest pimpin’ for Collector’s Crack and his annual NFL playoff contest!

Almost the Easiest Super Bowl Contest on the Web

Since i don’t have to deal with the emotions of having my team in it this year, i’m free to pick a SB matchup that will hopefully be closer to reality…and so should you!  So, hit that link and sign up!  But first, in honor of CB’s contest i thought i’d post a couple of videos in line with all the pimpin’.  First is one of my favorite UGK songs and the other is an interesting documentary on Pimp C that i haven’t quite gotten through yet.  It’s by Mass Appeal, so you can’t really go wrong though.

Topps Series 1…in 2 parts

Once again i’m late to the party, but that’s cool.  I’ve always lagged a little in life but always seem to finish ok.  I like hanging in the background a bit to see what else is out there before i really develop my own opinions or thoughts on something.  Especially baseball cards and extra especially the annual Topps flagship.  As most of the other folks out there have noted, Topps really busted out some nice new graphical elements with this years set.  The colored border with a gradient base and texturing is something that typically appears on higher end sets or short print inserts.  Topps took the opportunity to add a much more visually appealing card this year…and finally got rid of the white border…the freakin’ boring white border is gone…for this year at least.  The backs of the cards are fantastic and i’m in agreement with Night Owl on the left justified alignment of the player description text.  The player stats and personal information both align, but the couple of sentences about the player are centered…so close!  Graphically though, the card backs are wonderful and are the best i’ve seen in a while.

15 T1 Jordan Zimmerman Back

The first card of the year bit that Keith Olbermann is kinda cool.  It’s something that i’m sure a lot of folks do, but they don’t have a sports show on ESPN so maybe it’s not very original, but it’s cool right?  What was the first card of the year for the Cardboard Hogs?

15 T1 Brian Duensing

In the past i’ve opened a pack or two and wrote a post about it, pack or two write post, pack or two write post, but like Topps I wanted to change it up a bit and break outta the box.  So I’m gonna jump around and show some hits and show some base, and yes, I am all about that base.  Another thing that i’m all about is jumping around and ANOTHER thing that i’m about is Derek Jeter and the card that every blogger has posted.  It’s hard to not post this card though, right?  It’s absolutely fantastic.  The child like exuberance.  Arms up in the air.  Having just won another regular season game in a 20 year career and this is how Derek Jeter acts.  It’s a brilliant card and deserves to be at the start of the set…although, doesn’t it seem that the #2 card would have been more appropriate?

15 T1 Derek Jeter

Along with the Jeter card, the first pitch cards have been getting a ton of buzz.  When i saw the list, i really wanted one of two cards.  The Jack White and the Eddie Vedder.  I’ve loved Pearl Jam since Ten.  I was a closet PJ fan since i loved hip hop so much and my friends didn’t get the whole grunge thing…not me though.  Eddie spoke to me.

Everyone remembers Jeremy from the first album, but Black

and Alive were the songs that hit home…like really hit home for me.

So pulling this card was fantastic and made the all the other First Pitch cards less significant.  I didn’t get a Jack White, but got a couple other interesting cards that made me smile…but not like Eddie rocking’ the Ron Santo t-shirt.

15 T1 Eddie Vedder 1st Pitch

So, there has been some debate about which card is the best card of the set.  Some of the action photos this year are fantastic and show a lot of passion and grit like the Mike Trout card…which is beautiful and a terrific action shot with the infield dirt kicking up in Trouty’s face.

15 T1 Mike Trout

But I gotta go with the Michael Taylor fully stretched out to catch a ball that is super intent on getting a glove on.  I love the tight crop on the card while managing to get the ball, glove and both feet in the shot, plus you get a nice perspective of his location on the field with the warning track just a few steps behind him.

15 T1 Michael Taylor

Speaking of the Nat’s.  The team cards are pretty dope again this year.  I loved the team celebration cards, but think the cropping could be a little better on this one right, maybe just a little?  I love to see the hands in the air like they just don’t…I think i care too much about cropping on cards…seems to be a recurring theme with most of my posts.  But man, look at Werth’s hair…so fabulous.

15 T1 Washington Nationals

This next card is fun on so many levels.  The digiflauge.  deGrom’s flowing locks.  D’Arnauds’ blue and orange chest protector amongst the camp and the excitement of winning!

15 T1 New York Mets

More to come tomorrow kids!  Enjoy!

2014 Topps S1 – Packs 7 and 8

Yeah, it’s been a while.  I haven’t posted since the 10th.  I was on such a roll too!  Life.

I’m going to stick with the 2014 Topps Jumbo duo pack breakdown because I like order and crossing things of off lists.  It’s a problem, but it’s my problem.  I pray to whatever you choose to believe in that you have already seen these cards, so that none of them should be eye openers.  My hope though is that i can knock it out of the park with my witty narrative…or not.  You will be the judge of that.

I’m going to go ahead and start with the box autograph ‘hit’.  Not because i’m super excited about it, but because if you are reading this, you probably pulled this auto as well.  From what i’ve seen on the other blogs, this card is a popular pull from this years Topps.  Way to diversify your packs Mr. Topps company.  Andrew Lamb-oh everyone.

14 TO Andrew Lamb Autograph

I did get a couple of Harper’s in one pack.  My first look through the pack and i completely missed the Power Player logo on the lower right of the card.  It’s a Harper parallel and an insert.  Nice.  Here’s hoping the Bryce kid tears it up this season and avoids walls.

14 TO Bryce Harper

Another nice little pull from these two packs was a Casey Janssen black border card.  See!  It has a black border!

14 TO Casey Janssen Black Border

Next up is a Derek Jeter All Rookie Cup team.  It’s not the athletic supporter type of cup, which is probably best for us all considering how many gift baskets this guy has handed out.  He is stellar in his accomplishments on and off the field.  A legend.

14 TO Derek Jeter All Rookie Cup Team

Maddux Mini.  Why is the border yellow?  WHY!

14 TO Greg Maddux 1989 Mini Die Cut

A gimmicky base card from Topps that you have seen on every blog from everyone that has opened a Topps pack this year.  I can’t wait to put this one in a 9 pocket sleeve in a binder and forget all about it.  He’s catching a football.  Maybe I should get out my Nolan Ryan slinging the pigskin card out and put them side by side.

14 TO Mark DeRosa

I pulled two buy back cards and this one is a very Brave Ralph Garr, no relation to Terry Garr I imagine.  Maybe thirds cousins?

14 TO Ralph Garr 1972 Buy Back

Sean Doolittle closing it out with a very red and pubic-y beard and 90’s Oakley glasses and a t-shirt that has words on it.  Great photo selection Topps.  Great selection.

14 TO Sean Doolittle

Two more packs to go with a nice thick card that will make some of you smile, and then it’s back to some good ole vintage Redskins…or maybe a few card show pickups from a future show.

Oh hey, i’ve gotten around to posting a few very random cards on ebay.  Please take a look if you are interested in bidding on them.  The cards that don’t sell will be available for trade, or will end up back on ebay.

2014 Topps S1 – Packs 3 and 4

Ok, here are some of the highlights from packs 3 and 4.  Nothing overly exciting or notable so this is mostly a post about what I got rather than “HOLY CRAP!! LOOK AT WHAT I GOT!”

In the previous post I pulled two Jean Segura Inserts and whattayaknow, in the third pack, I pulled another!  How many The Future is Now cards does this kid have?  Oh yeah, in the fourth pack I got the Future Stars version of Mr. Segura.  Here is a side by side comparison of the base bandit with eye black and without eye black.  Run Jean Run!

14 TO Jean Segura Future is Now

The next couple of pairings come with mixed feelings.

I love Jeet and think this could be the last season we see him in a  major league uniform.  I guess it’s going to depend on how he can recover and produce in the revamped Yankee lineup.  It’s going to be a whole different world without #2 at short…here’s hoping he has a great season and we get to see him pick it for another year or two…or three.  It will make his gift baskets so much more valuable, especially his balls that he gives to the ladies.  His scan partner is A-Rod.  I’m really glad he won’t be on the field this season.  I’ve mentioned many times in the past that I can’t stand the kid and hope he never rocks the pinstripes again.  Such a self-absorbed, neon orange chump.

14 TO Jeter ARod

These guys are the future for the Yankees rivals.  Bogaerts and Machado are going to be great players for so many years…oh…so…many…years.  Those Machado ears though.  Kinda with Xander was a Yankee…that’s my problem with the Yankees organization, they just don’t ever seem to develop major league talent.  They have tons of guys that have the potential, but it never works out for them.  Xander picked up some great experience in the World Series last year…good for him…

14 TO Machado Bogaerts

Up here in Portland as in many other cities throughout our beautiful country.  Beards have taken over. Along with beards, you have facial hair of many types, like curly mustaches.  I’ve never been a fan of facial hair and do my best to keep my face clear of facial hair other than the times I’m too lazy to shave.  One thing I would never do though, is sculpt my facial pubes in the same manner as Mr. New House.  It’s just way too much time sculpting and crafting in front of the mirror.  We have lots of guys with handlebar staches in this great town I live in and they are the only guys I will order an old fashioned from.  They are the ones who know how to make them properly.  Not with all that muddled fruit crap.  Just whiskey, bitters, sugar cube an orange slice and cherry.  Any bartender that muddles the fruit and turns your drink into a pink liquor concoction should not be trusted…and will more than likely not have a handlebar mustache.

14 TO Carlos Villanueva

Here is the hits part of our program.

First up.  Elvis Andrus.  A great glove and a mediocre bat.  So here is a bat card with a picture of him throwing a ball.  Nice photo/object coordination.

14 TO Elvis Andrus Bat Relic

Next.  Matty Alou.  One of the 83 Alou’s (actually, I think it’s just 4) that have played Major League Baseball.  It’s a buyback, which means now that it is stamped nobody will buy it back.  At least Topps went smaller with their foil stamp logo.

14 TO Matty Alou 1963 Buyback