Friday, January 31, 2014

What shall I do?

The last couple evenings I've been going through older sections of my collection and pulling cards that I deem to be more valuable to keep in my "good cards" 5k count box. In doing so I've realized that I have a lot of cards that hold little to no sentimental value to me and are worth nothing. This includes a lot of junk wax era sets and others that just aren't important to me. I would like to get rid of these cards to free up valuable storage space for new stuff as well as cards I've acquired in the last year. I have whole boxes that I opened that still have all the cards inside as well as fully collated stacks sitting around waiting to be put in something.

So, what do you guys think is the best way to unload these cards? Particularly if you've done something similar yourself. Is it possible to give these away? I know I can't sell them. Or should I just throw them away?

PS: We're mostly talking about late 80s-early 90s stuff from all brands.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Breakdown of a Mystery Trade, Pt. 2

This is part 2 of my report on my trade with Gavin from Baseball Card Breakdown.

Part 1 can be found here.

Gavin also sent me some nice vintage cards. Some of you might not consider a few of these to be vintage. But I give that title to anything that is older than me. My collection is almost completely barren pre-1987ish so these all made nice additions.

1970 Topps

1971 Topps

1974 Topps Traded

Nice photo edit there Topps. Actually that's a better edit than some from 2013. Kendrys Morales comes to mind.

1978 Topps

1980 Topps

1981 Fleer

1983 Topps 1952 reprint

At first when I saw this card I thought "HOLY S*** 1952 TOPPS!!!!" Upon further inspection of the back I realized that it was the reprint series from 1983. Still a nice card to have!

1984 Donruss

1984 Fleer

I will show the last part of the trade soon!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Breakdown of a Mystery Trade, Pt. 1

A few weeks ago Gavin from Baseball Card Breakdown emailed me about a Gavin Ceccini Bowman Platinum Gold Refractor parallel #/50 that I pulled that he was interested in for his Gavin's Collection. Since I didn't have anything I was specifically looking for I suggested we do a mystery trade. He could send me anything that he thought was interesting and in exchange I pulled a nice stack of of #'d, die cut and other cards of some of his PC players.

I'm going to make three posts on what he sent me. The first will be on modern cards.

Mini Tall Boy from '13 Archives


More to come soon...

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Opening Day

I can't wait for it! I'm sure you can't either. But that's not what I'm here to talk about. I'm curious what you guys think about Topps' Opening Day baseball release that they put out in late-ish March every year. I've never once bought any of this product before since it is basically just a preview of Series 2 without foil on the cards and with a lot less hits. Sometimes no actual player hits at all. I know in recent years they've had "hits" like mascot autographs or General Manager autographs (why?). Honestly these don't interest me in the slightest bit. Now obviously the price point for Opening Day is a big draw as a retail pack is normally 99 cents as opposed to $2 for a pack of S1, 2 and Update. As I said I've never bought any Opening Day before since I buy lots of the rest of the flagship series. But do you guys think it's worth buying packs of this stuff?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Dime Box Doozies

I love cards like this where you can see the split second reactions of the people sitting in the stands. 

A lady throwing her purse up.

A guy halfheartedly trying to catch the ball while refusing to drop his beer.

And the lady on the left...what in the world is she holding? Is that a dog? A stuffed bear? Who knows.

A moment captured in history.

Nice catch, Bogusevic.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Christmas boxes- part 5-final; and probably the best card I pulled on Christmas

The last box I opened was a complete mystery as to what it would bring.

A retail box of 2000 Upper Deck Black Diamond Rookie Edition.

Not knowing anything about this set along with it's non-flagship set status is what drew me to this set. It turned out to be quite a fun break. Here is what the base cards look like.

Like normal the scan doesn't do it justice. These are gorgeous cards with bright red foiling. The base set checklist had 90 veterans and then a group of rookies. The rookie cards are all short printed so as a result I ended up with a near full set of the veterans plus a decent sized stack of duplicates. I may include some of these in future trade packages.

Bobby Abreu gold parallel 0202/1000

Tomokazu Ohka Rookie Gems SP 0342/1000

Tomas de La Rosa Rookie Treasures Gold 033/500

Side note; it was fun to bust a box with Expos cards again! Haven't seen those in awhile.

Now here are some samples of the insert sets.

Brand new Hall of Famer!

Some of these inserts remind me of the old Metal Universe sets. Those were a favorite of mine when I was a kid.

Now the odds given on the box meant that I had about a 1 in 2 chance of pulling a relic from the box. 

I was a pretty happy camper at this point having pulled two jersey relics when I wasn't guaranteed any. Then near the bottom of the box I pulled this beauty...

I hate the Yankees. But I have tons of respect for Jeter. He's spent his whole career playing the game the way it's meant to be played.

The card isn't numbered but the box states that there were 1,000 made. I haven't been able to find any others of these. Probably one of my top three pulls in 2013.

Well that's it folks! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Christmas boxes- part 4

Back when I ordered all of these boxes I was all about Gypsy Queen. Since I was just returning to the hobby this year I was really loving this set since it was so different than the flagship and chrome sets I collected previously. So when I ordered the boxes I included a retail box of '13 GQ. Fast forward to Christmas and after opening lots of other sets that were new to me, like Allen & Ginter, I wasn't quite as wowed by GQ. However this was still a fun box to break and I got some nice cards from it.



Of course it had to be Uggla...


Definitely the best card in the box.

I didn't realize until I opened the box that there was a guaranteed hit. It didn't say anything on the outside but it did on the inside lip. I didn't know that retail boxes ever had guaranteed hits. This isn't a great one but still a hit nonetheless.

I'll most likely get some Gypsy Queen this year again. Probably start with some retail packs or a blaster. This time I might pick up a hobby box once the price drops some.

More to come!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Christmas boxes- part 3

The next two boxes I busted were a 2012 Topps series 1 hobby box and a series 2 jumbo rack pack box. Dave and Adam's apparently has a huge inventory of the rack pack boxes and has been trying to give them away every time they have a sale. I also see them in their daily deals about every other week. Since I had not collected the '12 flagship series this was an excellent way to get the full set plus a bunch of inserts for really cheap.

Since I'm sure you guys all blogged these sets to death in 2012 I won't bother with showing you anything except one card from each box.

Here is the promised hit from the S1 hobby box.


That is not Dodger blue. At least not to my eyes. If you look at the picture of DeJesus it is obvious that the swatch is a considerably lighter hue than his hat. What do you think? I think it looks more like the blue from those alternate jerseys the Rays wear sometimes. A quick COMC search shows that the Ivan DeJesus cards identical to this one also have a swatch of this color. So what is it that we have here?

Now the rack pack box promised zero hits but I landed a really nice one in the next to last pack in the box.


Unfortunately it arrived with the upper left corner slightly bent as you can see in the scan. That would ruin the resale value but since I don't sell my cards it doesn't really matter since it isn't catastrophic damage. Definitely a great pull at 1:2,630 packs.

More to come!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christmas boxes- part 2

The first larger box I opened was a 2004 Upper Deck S1 hobby box. These can be had for cheap and I never collected that set so it had to be part of my Christmas order.

The box promised two relics.

I think I remember hearing this guy's name once or twice back in the mid 2000's. Or at least saw it when scanning box scores in the paper. Still, I like this one cause it's always nice to get a jersey relic that isn't boring old white or grey. 

Mike Hampton...probably the worst signing by the Braves since I've been a fan. He was decent for them in 03 and 04 but once he got hurt in 05 he became a very well paid long-term disabled list occupant. But nonetheless it's a Braves relic of a player I didn't have. Except that the back of the card states that the swatch is from a jersey he "supposedly" wore in a Mets game. The only season he played for the Mets was 2000. That annoys me greatly. I know normally relic cards don't give that much disclosure but I can't believe that UD would take a jersey that was four years old that a guy wore two teams ago and put it in a card featuring him wearing the jersey of his current team, and then actually admit on the back that it was probably just from the shreds of a jersey they had sitting in the back of the warehouse that they wanted to get rid of. Stuff like this is why I'm not really sure I mind that Upper Deck doesn't have a baseball license anymore.

Anyways...back to the box. There were some interesting insert sets.

I'd forgotten about how incredibly unhittable Gagne was back then. So good that he won the Cy Young as a closer. He was probably juicing like everybody else but I'm sure for Dodger fans it was fun to watch him pitch.

They could make a set of this with only Yogi Berra and it would be awesome.

The box also contained a mini-box that contained a 50 card update to a set called Play Ball. It appears that the set was prospect focused. Nearly all of the players featured are guys I've never heard of. But there were a handful that did stick in the majors.

Overall this was a fun box break. Nothing outstandingly special but it was cheap. 

More boxes to come soon!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Super Bowl contest at Collector's Crack

Hey guys! Head on over to Collector's Crack and enter his super duper easiest ever Super Bowl contest!!! Go HERE to sign up!!

Christmas boxes- part 1

I ordered the majority of my Christmas present back in July, I think, when Dave and Adam's was doing one of their regular sales. It was tough to avoid busting everything as soon as it arrived much less over the subsequent months before Christmas. But I made it! With this post I will start with the three blasters that I opened.

2012 Topps Update
With a flagship blaster you can of course not have high expectations since they don't insert hits. But the manu-relic was rather nice.

I'm still not a huge fan of manu-relics, I don't think anyone is, but this is one of the better ones I've gotten.

I also managed to pull a variation short print.

2012 Topps Heritage
After I pulled three hits from two blasters of '12 Heritage recently I probably would have had a heart attack if I had pulled another one. So it was no surprise that I did not pull another hit. 2012 is still my favorite iteration of Heritage.


I'll say it again: I wish Topps would release a full Heritage Chrome set. I would totally buy it.

2013 Bowman Platinum
I mentioned in my 2013 review post that this was one of my favorite sets of the year. And I'm glad I grabbed one last blaster to open on Christmas. No big pulls in this one but I did get this nice Justin Verlander die-cut. 

More boxes to come soon!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Returning to the hobby: 2013 A Year in Review

So in early 2013 I decided to get back in collecting baseball cards. This was sparked by me going through my collection during a spell of boredom and coming across the 2009 Topps Delmon Young 1/1 Platinum Parallel that I pulled from a retail pack my mom put in my stocking for Christmas 09. By far the rarest pull I've ever made.

I was interested in what it's trade value might be worth so I did some googling for potential trade partner Twins fans and ran across Topher's blog Crackin Wax. He was not interested but referred me to the Rhubarb Runner over at 'e rayhahn, rayhahn. RR and I struck up a deal and he also suggested that I start my own blog to show off my collection and find other trading partners. And so here we are!

I have quite enjoyed getting back into collecting and discovering how much the hobby has changed since I walked away in the early 2000's. I had never once pulled a relic card from a pack before this year. In fact I had never even seen one in person until I received the trade package from Rhubarb Runner. I know that sounds silly to all of you seasoned collectors, but it's true!! I did pull two auto cards from Best Minors back in the late 90's, both of the same player believe it or not, but that was my only experience with autos. So to say the least 2013 was a whirlwind for me with baseball card collecting. I picked up lots of loose packs, rack packs and some blasters from Wal-mart as well as some hobby boxes here and there as my budget allowed. I also got into buying singles on ebay for the first time. For the relatively small amount of money I had available to spend on cards I think I did pretty well overall. One thing I did discover is that my absolute favorite part of the hobby is ripping packs with no idea what would be inside. Especially with hobby boxes just waiting to find that pack/s that contained the hit/s. So much fun!!

These are my three favorite sets from 2013

Number 3: Bowman Platinum

I've seen that some people did not like this set because of the base set design or the auto checklist. Whatever. I loved it. I beat the odds big time with three big pulls from the handful of rack packs and a couple of blasters that I picked up.

Number 2: Allen & Ginter

Having been largely out of the hobby for over ten years I wasn't very aware of this set. But after seeing all the love it was getting on the blogs I had to have a taste for myself. I picked up some retail packs and a blaster before grabbing a hobby box at a card show. I didn't land any huge hits but it was quite a fun box to break with all the cool, quirky inserts.

And my number 1 favorite set from 2013: Topps Triple Threads

I didn't buy any boxes of TTT. Quite a bit out of my price range. But I sat in awe watching Topher's group break and knew right then and there that I had to get my hands on some of the TTT awesomeness. So I hit up ebay looking for some cheap deals from case breakers that were selling off the booty that wasn't the case hit they were looking for. I placed a lot of bids on great looking cards, particularly the plethora of Braves hits that were available. The bidding tended to go out of my price range on most everything but I did manage to land these two sweet cards.

It would be a dream come true to be able to bust my very own box, or dare I say, a case...of Triple Threads.

And lastly, my biggest pull of the year. 

This card didn't come from a 2013 product but 2007. Just a few weeks ago after I finished my family Christmas shopping I still had some money left over. So I dropped by the LCS and waded through all of the ridiculously overpriced 2013 products and $35 boxes of 1991 Donruss. (No that's not a typo, you read it right.) I was lucky enough to find some mini boxes of 2007 Upper Deck Elements priced at $40. Not knowing anything about this set I felt like $40 for a supposedly higher end product was pretty reasonable. Even if it was overpriced I think it turned into a good buy. This gem was inside the box I picked.

I don't know the actual rarity of this pull since UD doesn't publish print runs. But I suspect it was a pretty rare pull. And with it being a dual auto of two future hall of famers, numbered 15/15 no less, I feel like it would probably fetch a decent price. Who knows. But I don't plan to sell it so I guess it doesn't really matter. 

Well I hope you enjoyed reading. I hope you guys had a great year of collecting like I did and I wish you all the best for 2014!

Happy Collecting!