Organizing at 2005

After numerous years of threatening to get organized, this year it is truly happening.  It’s a slow go, but I’m getting there.  How do I get there you ask…well, let me give you an example!

The 2005 Washington Redskins…and google docs.  That’s right two things that have nothing to do with each other have come together for today’s post.  A post about a team that was anxiety inducing to watch and a blast to look back through the cards from that year. 

Now, when I mention google docs…there are layers to this.  I like, well…I require and love organization.  I can’t stand it when things are not in the place I expect them to be.  I also love and require a ‘complete’ version of something.  If is buy #3 and #7 of something, it’s only a matter of time before I’m searching for numbers 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6.  I could go on too depending on when it all ends, but I think you get the idea.  I’m a completionist…not sure that’s a word, but neither was ‘blog’ 15 years ago.  I like to have a COMPLETE list of things.  That’s an incredible challenge when dealing with sports cards, especially modern sports cards… 

Parallels

Rainbows

Inserts

Variations

Serial Numbers

SP’s

SSP’s

1 of 1’s

The list goes on and on and on and I want my list to contain each and every single one of these cards.  Now, I know I won’t get everyone.  That’s insanity and I don’t have that kind of cash.  That’s not the point.  The point is the chase.  The pursuit of the low hanging Topps flagship vs. the extra hard to find Upper Deck something or another for a specific year with a specific color variation and the SN on the back…or front.  (Do we have opinions on where those should be?  Front or Back?  I’m a back of the card guy FWIW).  So, in order to get a complete list, or at least that I can feel is 97% complete I take the inventory of cards from the Beckett database and Trading Card Database and combine them into one google sheet…here’s the Washington Redskins version (name change will happen at some point soon…).  Insane I know.  The list covers every card, some objects and a few magazines from what I could find from 1935 – Today.  That’s upwards of 70,000 cards….seems like there would be more, but 70k is what I like to call – A SHIT TON – of cards.  The frightening part is that I’m sure I’m missing a few.  I’ve already found a few cards I have that are not in the google doc.  It’s only maddening if I know about the missing misses…a bit of Schrödinger’s plates going on…ok, maybe not.  So, yeah…the list…it’s insane.  I’ve tracked everything up to 2005 and have combined the lists up to 2012.  Some more work ahead of me, but that’s part of the hobby I enjoy.

Here’s the list…if you dare!

So, the cards from 2005.  The team from 2004.  The pain.

Here’s a sampling of what I’ve checked off the list, an image of a few of my favorite cards or players from the ’04 season and ’05 designs.

First off, the Quarterbacks.  When you have two QB’s that’s ok, because a great backup is hard to come by…but when you have three…that’s too many.  It’s like an exponential thing.  Two is ok, Three is what the hell are you even doing!

Next player is LaVar Arrington.  For a few years he was hands down my favorite player.  Never really reached superstardom at Linebacker, but he was a solid player.  Then a few injuries piled up and he was quickly overlooked and shuttled off for other players that didn’t really match his caliber.  Seeing him in New York as a Giant was a heartbreaker for me…

Chris Cooley was great.  He had a tremendous sense of humor and once even showed off his prick while (I’ll let you google that and have it in your search history) snapping a pick of the playbook…not sure what was more egregious…NFL playbooks are sacred.

Santana MOSS!  Absolutely loved this guy in Washington…so much so, that I’ve been collecting his Jets cards as well.  He was so incredible and passionate, how could you not want a guy like that on your team.  He was traded for Laveranues Coles…who, ironically was traded to Washington from the Jets originally.  The second trade worked out better for my team.

The next guy, Carlos Rogers was…well…I really thought he would be special.  A high draft pick in ’05 that just didn’t pan out as a big time player in DC.  He moved on to the 49ers and had a bit of a rebirth, then on to the Raiders where he ended his career.

Ok.  Here are a couple Miami guys…I could have grouped Moss in here as well, but these two were special.  I love Portis.  One of my top 5 Washington guys of all time…Love everything he brought to the team, including Sean Taylor.  Not saying that Portis was the reason Taylor came to the team, but he did push hard.  To be honest, I don’t think it would have been wise for Joe Gibbs to pass on such a talented player…still miss ST21.

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The last group of guys are Redskins greats, guys that had a huge impact on the organization.  All three are in the Redskins ring of Fame.  Bobby Mitchell and Charley Taylor are both in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

oh yeah, found this one too…Alex Smith Rookie Card…along with one of the numerous Browns QB draft picks Charlie Frye…and future Browns QB Jason Campbell. Let’s play six degrees of separation with these guys some day.

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Since 2020 is almost done. YAY. I thought i’d share the most 2020 video from one of my favorite groups in the world. RTJ – Run The Jewels. Love these guys!

Sittin’ on Chrome

Retail is crazy man, insane really.  I remember not that long ago when we would all laugh and joke about spending (read wasting) a Jackson on a blaster from Topps or Panini at your local Target or Wal-Mart.  We would go as far as saying, I spent $20 bucks on cards from COMC or Sportlots or eBay and got a whole bunch of fill in the blanks that I needed for my PC!!!  Yeah, I was one of those guys…but something happened. 

What was it? 

Greed? 

FOMO? 

COVID-19? 

Social Media? 

No. It was Gary Fuckin’ Vee!!! 

Well, not really.  It was a bit of all of those things…(side note, I have nothing against Gary Vee or what he has brought to the hobby, any interest in the hobby in my mind is a good thing) every one of those, plus more than what I mentioned.  I’m sure of it. 

Crazy times ya’ll.

So with retail evolving into sneaker heads land and lines waiting for new releases or limited editions of whatever’s new, my thirst for retail has grown.  Grown more out of the FOMO category more than anything else, but also just enjoying a good cheap rip once in a while.  I like to open cards.  I would venture to say we all do, or at least the vast majority of us…I need to do a better job of not speaking for others…I never depended on anything from Target to build a collection around, just something that was inexpensive that I could open on a Tuesday night…fill some need for instant gratification…and go on with my life.  A few years ago I began hording boxes.  I’d buy a box or two but not open them, you know?  Just buy them.  

Saving them for a rainy day. 

Saving them for a day that didn’t go as I had planned.

Saving them for a long week of work.

Saving them for something to write about on a blog I abandoned.

Saving them for something cool to break. 

I could pick up blasters of cards that I’m not super interested in, but like to have just to get an idea of what they look like…I like design and I like sports, so sports cards fill both of those buckets for me…but also the rip factor. 

That has obviously come to a screeching halt during the past six plus months, but I have still managed to accumulate a few tasty samples from Target and Wal-Mart as well as from my LCS’s Hoody’s and The Sports Room. 

The first two locales for an acquisition are great because the’re based on MSRP…no ‘flippity flip flipper-life’ markups.  There’s no LCS overhead cost markup or anything else that would make the box more than they should be.  Trust me (you know this too), retail boxes should not be going for these nutso upticked prices.

…HAVE YOU SEEN WHAT PRIZM FOOTBALL IS GOING FOR ON EBAY, HOLY SMOKES!!!!…

The hobby shops are a bit of a different story, there’s a markup.  The great folks over at Hoody’s though, didn’t do too much for this box of Topps Chrome 2020 I picked up a couple months ago.  $35 for a $20 box.  Nothing too egregious I guess…? 

The packs are lovely aren’t they, Mr. Pete Alonso and some honeycomb corners for the exciting Sepia Refractor Pack. Let’s see if this was worth the $35!

Here are the results of the box and the ‘bonus sepia pack’

*****

PACK ONE

Joey Gallo and Bobby Bradley

AJ Puk ’85 Insert and Luis Urias

*****

PACK TWO

JD Martinez and Austin Nola

Robel Garcia Prism Refractor and Ian Desmond

*****

PACK THREE

Archie Bradley and George Springer

Jean Segura Refractor and Trevor Story

*****

PACK FOUR

Paul Goldschmidt and Lucas Giolito

Austin Riley ’85 Insert and Jose Altuve

*****

PACK FIVE

Freddie Freeman and Nicky Lopez

Dansby Swanson Refractor and Charlie Blackmon

*****

PACK SIX

Matt Olson and Rafael Devers

Mike Yastrzemski Future Stars and Michael Fulmer

*****

PACK SEVEN

Randy Arozarena and Kevin Newman

Babe Ruth Decade of Dominance Die-Cut and Sam Hilliard

*****

PACK EIGHT…THE SEPIA PACK!

Fernando Tatis Jr. Refractor

Aaron Civale Refractor

Orlando Arcia Refractor

Luis Arraez Refractor

*****

All this writing reminds me of one of my favorite all-time MC’s, MASTA ACE! Here’s Sittin’ on Chrome…the namesake for today’s post. Enjoy the jeep thumping mid-90’s bass heavy joint.

A DC Die Cut Delivery Day

I came home to a few PWE’s with my name on them and a rigid piece of something in them.  It’s card delivery day! YAY!  I’m sure those cards were just waiting to get delivered to my mailbox after the holiday yesterday.  Ironically all three cards were die cut cards of young DC sports stars…and here they are!

13 PS Jordan Reed Die Cut

The Jordan Reed card is probably my favorite as it appears to have the least amount of surface area and was a little tricky to get the 2.5″x3.5″ box around the card when I scanned it.  It’s a pretty simple card.  No flash, no serial number, but the perimeter of the card is quite nice.

13 TC Stephen Strasburg Die Cut

The Stephen Strasburg card is also pretty cool.  This one is a little more flashy since it’s from the Topps Chrome collection.  This one seems like it should have a stand in the back so you can display it somewhere nice.

13 BP Bryce Harper Cutting Edge Stars Die Cut

The man-child Bryce Harper with the mountain main beard was the last card I received.  Only minor die cut action going on here, but Bowman Platinum is always a nice card.  Plus with Topps pledging to bring me closer to the game from the past, present and future, I feel good about these three going in to my player collections.  I should add these to the page, eh?

Chromeo Rainbow

Here are the last notable scans from last weeks show.  These Chrome gems were picked up from my first table stop, Tom.  Tom always has some great new Redskin stuff for me…makes my collecting easier plus I can save some time by not sorting through a ton of cards I won’t ever purchase.

Tom has been my mainline for Jawan Jamison short print and serial numbered cards…and he continued with this beauty.

13 TC Jawan Jamison Refractor Black Border 96:299

Next up is the start of a beautiful chromey Amerson Rainbow.

13 TC David Amerson

Amerson Refractor!

13 TC David Amerson Refractor

Amerson X-Fractor!

13 TC David Amerson Refractor X

That’s all for now…here is some Chromeo to ride out to…

Strasburg with few words

I am way too tired to write about some fancy cool cards that I picked up at a card show last weekend from the dollar bin.  So, i am just going to show them to you and like fine art you can interpret them for yourselves.  Remember kids, fine art.  So lets get some intellectual insight to the gems below.

11 TC Stephen Strasburg

I like that this one is chrome and shiny.  The problem with shiny cards is the fingerprints and other sticky stuff prior to sleeving and top loading them.  I get these cards from a guys that’s always at the shows.  He comes up from Salem and is a really nice guy, but his cards always seem a little dirty…and sticky…and sometimes…hairy….ehhhhh…

13 TO Stephen Strasburg WME

Check out that reconstructed elbow on this one.  It would be interesting if any kid that pitched 3+ years of college baseball got the ol’ Tommy John surgery prior to starting their professional career.  I wonder how many major league seasons could be saved if this happened?  Probably a bad idea…just spitballing.

13 TO Stephen Strasburg Champions of the Game Mini

I really like this mini.  Very cool card with Stras looming over Stras.  I would be very happy if he did indeed become a Champion Base Ball Pitcher this year when the Nats win the World Series.

12 GQ Stephen Strasburg Mini

Strasburg in Red!  Love the old school socks and short knickers for this GQ Mini.  Both of these minis were simply dropped in the top loader.  Why do people do this?  If anything the minis NEED a penny sleeve to keep them from bouncing around.

Black Friday Reeds

Going back to Black Friday.  As I mentioned earlier, I jumped all over the COMC.com Black Friday sale and picked up some very nice Jordan Reed cards.  These are the kind of cards that you want to put in nice card holders and present on some prominent shelf in your sports card room.  I don’t have a sports card room, so they will be shown here on the blog.

Here are the player worn patch/player worn relic/player worn memorabilia cards in landscape format.  The first one is from Topps Inception.  I love these cards with the very cool over processed images and intense photography.  Plus it’s number 1 of 93.  What’s up with the random number 93?

13 TI Jordan Reed Player Worn Patch 1:93

Next up is Bowman Sterling with Mr. Reed staring very intensely into the cameraman’s lens.

13 BS Jordan Reed Relic 671:1214

And here is a quad patch numbered to 75.

13 TP Jordan Reed Quad Patch 68:75

Here is the autograph portion of the post.  The Bowman card along with the three above are super thick cards that barely fit into a penny sleeve.  It’s kind of a shame that a card this thick and nice is a sticker auto.

13 BS Jordan Reed Autograph

The next card is from this years Prizm set.  I love Prizm.

13 PP Jordan Reed Auto

For the last two cards, you will notice they are crazy die cut cards with reflective shiny-ness all over them.  I love the die cut cards, but they can be a pain to put back in the penny sleeves.

13 TF Jordan Reed  Finest Atomic Rookies Die Cut

This one was more difficult to put back in the sleeves.  Not putting the toothpaste back in the tube difficult, but difficult no less.  I happened to scan these along with the thicker cards, so pardon the shadows…although they create a nice depth to the card and the angles.  So nice!

13 TC Jordan Reed Die Cut

If you are in your late 30’s like me and love some good ole Hip Hop, then you should listen to this as I am doing right now.  This takes me back…life moves way too quick.

PS – I’ve updated my 1970’s Redskins checklist…check it out if you think you have something to help me complete my team sets.

Breaking Box

Some of you kids, if not most of you have heard of Collector Revolution.  It’s supposed to be a revolution for collector’s in that it’s not ebay…or feebay as some like to call it.  For those that don’t know, it’s a place where collector’s can sell their goods to other collectors online.  Not a new concept, but a pretty cool place to find some good cards at a good rate from people you can sorta trust.  I still prefer COMC as my #1 online shopping for singles, but collectors revolution is something i may be looking into in the coming year.

One thing they have that really intrigued me was their online box breaks.  The intriguing part for me was that they are fairly inexpensive for good product…the drawback is that the breaks are all random, at least the ones i’ve seen.  If you are into big hits, which i tend to not be, than this is something you may be interested in.  For me, I like a little more focused collection process.  I don’t have a ton of money to spend on the hobby so any dollar I have to spend on product is stuff for completing sets or chasing players i like from teams i like.  That said, i wanted to give the breaks a few chances.

I was a little weary about the breaks at first, so went with a lower end football break of 2013 Leaf Certified and Platinum Football as well as a break of 2013 Topps Triple Threads.  I picked up two spots on the football break and one for the baseball break for a total of $30.  As i expected, I got teams I wasn’t excited about – San Diego Chargers and Indianapolis Colts.  I was hoping for a Luck auto…but the best card i received was this Dan Fouts serial numbered card.

13 LC Dan Fouts Immortals 68:999

The baseball break was a little better.  I got the Tigers and received these two very nice cards.  An Al Kaline serial numbered card…

13 TT Al Kaline 55:125

…and a Prince Fielder Largest Card memorabilia card.  Nothing too exciting, but nice cards no less.

13 TT Prince Fielder Largest Card 16:36

Me being a glutton for punishment, i went in on a 4-box break for 2013 Topps Chrome…and pulled the Jacksonville Jaguars…i know…

13 TC Denard Robinson 86 Refractor

Not wanting to go out on a bad note, i thought i would buy a spot for the Topps Five Star for $14.50.  I figured, i would never buy this product ever and may end up getting lucky.  I was essentially buying 7 mega millions lottery tickets…and I lost.  I pulled the Astros and ended up not getting anything in the box.  When you go hitless in the box break, you name is added to a special bonus box break…which has yet to happen…i’m hoping it happens soon though!

All in all, I like the idea of the box and case breaks but not the random teams.  I’d rather pay a little premium to get the Redskins or Yankees or Nationals.  I guess at the end of the day it’s no different than buying a pack or box of cards in that you have no idea what you will get.  You could end up with a short print auto relic or you could end up with a 7th round offensive linemen…it’s always a gamble.  One that I will probably avoid in the future as it doesn’t fit my collecting tendencies.

PS – If you are interested in any of the cards above, let me know as they are up for trade!

PPS – as a side note and something completely unrelated…my favorite album of the year Run the Jewels from El-P and Killer Mike was noted as Okayplayer.com top album of 2013.  There are a few other albums on their I need to dig deeper into before I can agree with the ranking (Earl, Tyler and Chip).