Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ripping 3 Dollar Store Vintage Jumbo Packs

This weekend I have been really sick, battling shingles and being ran down with my kidney diease so I haven't gotten out to do much card work.  My wife did get me a few items when she ran down to the dollar store, three 30 card jumbo packs.

I am not going to go card for card, because lets be honest who wants to see 90 common or semi common cards.  I will just highlight the best cards of the 90 I got for $3.00.

 First pack I got a bunch of mid to early 80s common cards, and I got a 1992 Oddball Ryne Sandberg card:

That card was issued during that period in the early 90s when there were thousands of cards being produced that were not authorized to be printed by the MLB or MLBPA.  Most price guides don't consider these as collectible, I wouldn't expect to ever pay for a card like this, but to pick one up in a pack like this is a pretty cool find.

 Pack two is the mixed sports pack:  Has a good mix of hockey, baseball, and golf cards.

Last pack has another batch of mid 80s commons, a Greg Maddox and this card:

1978 TCMA Ernie Banks.  Not a huge value card (BV $2), but in a $1.00 "grab" bag, this is a pretty good find!

Thanks for reading...I hope to feel better soon and get back to something good to write about!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Found a Not So Common Mini In A Common Box

Every couple months I go through my common rookie card and common inserts boxes for any player who came out of nowhere to be an everyday player.  I have dozens of common 2011 Allen & Ginter's and normally I never really looked at the backs, but I got to Papelbon and put him to the side because he shouldn't be in my common box.  My son looked at it and said, "dad, why did you write on the back?"  I turned it around and was amazed I didn't see this before, a handwritten numbered Bazooka back.  This Papelbon on COMC is currently priced for $50.  For this vary reason is why I go through my boxes a few times every now and then, you never know what can slip through the cracks or a card you may have missed!

You never know where you will find treasure, it could be in a dime box, or even in one of your own!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

2012 Football Panini Rookie & Stars Blaster Break

Though I am not happy with the NFL referee situation right now, I don't hold that against the players.  I seen a new box on the shelf and it was a must to try it out. 

The box states a relic or auto in every box, and in the recent conversations on how real are the relics, at least the "event" or "nfl rookie premiere" jerseys you know the player at least touched the relic. 

First pack I got a card in the shape of a flag.  I really like these cards, it is something different!

 Stephen Hill (New York Jets) WR R 2 Overall 43 from GA Tech
 2 True Blue Parallels
 2 Big Hits, 2 Stats Leaders
and I'll leave the best for last...Tebow! (yes, I like Tebow)

Overall I think for $20 it was a pretty good break, got one of the top WR picks in the draft jersey, and I got to get a few of the flag cards.  I did also get a Cam Newton stat leader insert, but I hope he doesn't turn into a bust the way he is playing this year.  Then if Sanchez continues to play terrible then you may see Tebow, he can't do any worse!

Proof That Cardboard Is Crack! 2012 Topps Heritage Mars Attacks

Why did I need this?  Was it the yellow packaging that looks simular to the Topps Baseball Heritage. Could it be because it was between a box of 2012 Topps Football and Baseball, or is it I am just obsessed with cardboard!  There this pack was, saying buy me, I'm only $2.09!  I think it was the red alien eyes...

Now I open the pack and look for a reason why I just had to have this one pack...

I was never a fan of Mars Attack or making sets, I think I will have to put these in a binder and make an execption of making a set.  When I am done I will display this binder right next to my 1989 Topps TMNT Set!  (Yes...I have this set!)

Anybody else collect Mars Attacks?  I guess this is kind of like my NFL MLB sticker book addiction, you pay so much to compete a set just to have it not worth half what you paid...oh well!

Hobby Box In A Retail World: Vol 2 - 2009 UD Signature Stars

I had seen this box at a local Wal-Mart a few months ago, and every time I see it I wonder if I should get it or not.  It was a box of 2009 Upper Deck Signatures Baseball Hobby Box (20 packs 4 hits per box) for $70.

Here are the four hits:

 Brian Ragina USA Jersey / Auto 50/899 - Currently a star player at Stanford University
 Jameson Tallon USA Star Prospects Jersey (Pirates top pitching prospect)
Blake Forsythe USA Star Prospects Jersey (Mets catching prospect)
Travis Snider Top Prospects Signature Stars Autograph (Currently A Pirates Player)

Travis Snider was a top tier rookie prospect for several years, but so far in four MLB seasons he has not shown too much potential.  Hopefully next year you can get a good start in spring and carry into the season. What I have read about  Brian Ragina he should be a first to third round draft pick in the next year or two. 

Now for the rest of the inserts and rookie hits:

John Smoltz Signed Sealed Delivered (Cardinals), Albert Pujols Trophy Winners (Cardinals) 
5 USA Star Prospect Cards
3 Top Prospect Cards

Overall I really liked this set, every other pack seemed to have a decent hit, insert, or rookie card.  In all 14 insert and SP cards for 20 packs (70% in the box you would pick up a pack with a hit/insert).   I got four prospect cards, with two autos, so I am hoping one or more pan out!  I know in 2010 these packs were going for around $6 or higher each at hobby level, so in 2010 to buy 20 packs it would be near $120, so to pick up for nearly half that I am pretty happy with it.  The basic set is a pretty good looking set, and for the most part every player is somewhat a star. 

I Am Taking A Knee To The NFL Until REAL Refs Are Back...

This is a little bit away from the normal rants on cards or collecting, but watching another week of embarrassing football I have taken a stance that I am going to take a knee and let the clock run down till the refs come back.  Calling the NFL in the same sentence as the XFL is a little harsh, but the league is doing their best to become the next XFL.  For the past few years I have gone to 3 or 4 NFL games a year but I will not go this year to one game until our crappy (but lovable) REAL refs, replace the refs who I can't even tell there right from their left let alone throw a hat without making a player fall down on it like a banana peel!

Here is my stance on umps and referees:  As a league you MUST treat them right!  These men and or women hold the fate of your league in their calls.  If a league pays its officials bare bones then you risk more of a chance of rouge officials trying to fix games to make some extra money on the side.  Right now we have officials who are fans running our fields.  If fans and players are calling your referees jokes, it isn't too far along your league will get a lasting black eye left on it.  Just ask MLB in the mid 90s and the NHL in the mid 00s what happened to fan support did to a league in a dispute.  Yes the NFL is playing games, but at what point do we begin to say that what we are seeing is what we seen in quality in the 2000 XFL season.   Last year we had defenses all around the league irate over new rules making it harder to defend, this year we have pass interference on almost every single play, both offensive and defensive.  Then we they do finally call one, it never happened!  Or two weeks ago Sam Bradford ran for 12 yards and slid feet first then he took a smash to the back.  An obvious personal foul for 15 yards, but nothing!  We as fans have always had a beef with umps and refs, but do you remember any other time where each game's headline states "Refs blown calls give....."  Each of the four weeks a bad or series of bad calls have controlled the flow of games to a point to causing a team to lose their cool.

If you want to see the commissioner squirm, play next weeks games like the NFL played in the Pro Bowl last year.  Play half speed so the referees can finally catch up to the speed they are used to refereeing.  If a deal isn't done by this week I will have to find better ways in spending my Sunday afternoons.  Maybe watching paint dry would be more exciting right now.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Looking to Trade of 2012 Topps Pins

I recently opened a hobby jumbo pack of 2012 Topps Series 2 and pulled a 1951 Yogi Berra World Series Pin.

I am looking for a trade of the 1951 Yogi Berra Pin for a 1944 Stan Musial World Series Pin, 1968 Bob Gibson World Series Pin, 1982 Ozzie Smith World Series Pin, or 2011 Albert Pujols World Series Pin.  If you have another pin that you think I could like go ahead and shoot me an offer.  I like the Berra pin, but since I'm not a Yankees fan, I would rather see if I could get a Cardinals pin in exchange. 

I have of grown fond of Topps trying to do something different than just the typical relics.  At least with manufactured bats, pins, letters, you know they are already not real.  The first time I heard of "fake" patch cards years ago when Upper Deck did it, I thought how "stupid" the idea was.  Now I like ripping a few blaster boxes to find some patch cards.  How do you all feel about the manufactured items?  Do you think of them as valuable, or just a cool item. 

Thanks William from Foul Bunt for latest trade!

Just wanted to share my latest trade with you all I just completed with William at Foul Bunt.

Here is what I sent William:  

  • 2009 Upper Deck Cal Ripken Printing Plate
  • 2010 Topps Series 2 Nolan Reimold Printing Plate
  • Vintage Baltimore Orioles Bat Boy Jersey #00
  • Random Vintage Orioles Items

Here is what I got in return!

  • Topps Colby Rasmus Bat Barrel (my first)
  • 2007 UD Spectrum Ubaldo Jimenez Auto
  • 2009 UD Letterma Paul Molitar U
  • 2007 Donruss Elite Rebecca Lobo Auto (for my daughter)
  • 2006 UD Tony Gwynn Duel Relic
  • 2006 UD Fergie Jenkins Duel Relic 
  • 50 or so Rockies cards!

I am very happy with the trade, I was able to get my first Ubaldo Autograph, my first Bat Barrel of a Cardinal, two hall of fame relics, and my first WNBA auto!   

Saturday, September 22, 2012

What Type Of Collector Am I Really?

One of the things I have really noticed in the past two months of blogging is the differences we all have in our collections.  One that seems to be the most widely used are the set builders, which I am not.  Though I have my players I collect first and foremost I actually only keep/collect rookie, semi, and star players. 

I have a room where I have three of the four walls full of shelves.  My middle row shelves are in A,B,C order from years 1980-present (no relics/autos) for example from Dusty Ackley to Ryan Zimmerman.  The top rows hold my baseballs, bobble heads, etc.  My bottom rows hold my common rookies and common insert cards.  The rest of the common cards I put in a box and get donated at the end of the year to local children's hospitals.  

Each card that is a semi star or star gets a penny sleeve. (yes, I have over 150,000 cards in penny sleeves).  The whole idea I organize it this way is if I am looking for a certain card I of a player I want to be able to find it in a minute.  The common rookies and common inserts are organized by years if a common insert or rookie needs found fast.   I then have a separate shelf for my vintage cards pre 1979 by year/type/number order.  Next shelf has my relics/autos broken down by sports, type of relics/autos/years.  Last I have a common shelf I don't organize, I just fill a box close it up and near the end of the year my son and I box up again to donate.  The whole purpose of why I choose to do it this way is to be able to find a certain card or player in less than a minute.  Not too many collectors that have 500,000 cards can say that, I'm proud of

My relics/autos

An example of how I open a box of cards:

Some collectors on youtube open packs and just go card to card then just pile them back up.  I do something different, to some people it may look like I'm playing solitaire. 

When I am done opening the box, the common RC/inserts go right into their spots, I put the semi/star cards in sleeves then right into ABC order and so on.  In theory it goes right from box to its place in minutes.  I try to explain this to a non collector and they look at me like I am from another planet. 

The reason I wrote this is to show how hard it is for me to sometimes look at a persons want list who just puts numbers, because I don't organize any of my cards by numbers or types.  But if you have a want list by a player and types of cards you need of that player it is easy for me to go to that player and look!  I hope that helps some of the people who have emailed me and said I need certain number cards of certain sets.  A few years ago I looked like a hoarder, I would not get rid of any cards, at one point I was near 1,000,000 cards.  I had hundreds of thousands of common cards that I would never do anything with, so that when I started getting rid of commons and now I feel I have a much better feel of my collection!  I hope you all enjoyed a little look into how I collect and store my card collection so next time anyone emails me, just tell me a name or name and type of card not just a number.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Yaz Rookies x 2 Years!

What is strange about Yastrzemski's first two cards in 1960 and 1961, they are the same photo.  I know this isn't new to anyone, these cards have been out for decades.  I found these at a local consignment shop and found these two cards, the 1960 was marked $60 and the 1961 was marked $20.  Then there was a sign that said $75 for both, and on top of that, the case had a 50% OFF sign! Just like that, around $37  I was now a proud owner of two Yaz rookies!  Not only are the both rookies, but they are the same exact picture!  You would think Topps back loved to paint on the hats and make them have silly looking logos like the one I made below! haha, sorry Boston fans!

Now my question, why does he have two rookie marked cards for Yaz?  I have seen a real rookie card, then the next year have a Topps All Star Rookie Trophy as seen below with the 1967 and 1968 Topps Tom Seaver. 

I remember more recently Tino Martinez had cards marked Rookie from 1990-1992.  At least now there are actual guidelines on a rookie card, now card makers can't just keep printing cards that state rookie after they have played for three years. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I Have ZERO 1951 Topps Cards...But I Have A Wrapper!

Does anyone else collect vintage items like wrappers too?  I only have one wrapper before 1970, it is a 1951 Topps wrapper I got off ebay for 99 cents.  I started thinking that how many of you all also collect these items?  I have seen different items on ebay now and then of just the display boxes of Topps from the 60s going for $100s. 

(1951 Topps Wrapper)

A few years back I actually started another kind of weird obsession, I would keep one wrapper of every type of pack I opened and pressed it in a scrapbook.  I know that a 2010 Topps Series 2 wrapper is worthless, but placed together in a nice scrapbook actually looks pretty neat!  I guess it is the equivalent of collecting stickers just to put in a book.  Does anyone have something really cool they cherish, like a box, or a wrapper that to most people would just throw away?  Now I need to find some 1951 Topps cards to fill in with this lonely wrapper, if anyone has some doubles in any condition hit me up!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Having an autistic child and sports...

Here are my two oldest children's current soccer pictures...

I am blessed with four great children, my daughter Hannah is only 7 but is taller than most 12 year old boys.  She is going to be my little superstar at softball, basketball, and soccer.  On the flip side if anyone has an autistic child, you know sports are a very difficult situation.  First my son is only 9 and he advanced early so he is in 5th grade (most kids in his class are 11).  He has a very high IQ of 141, and is in the 98 percentile in the state of Missouri and when he grows up he wants to be a Gold Mine Engineer.  He wanted to play sports so bad, so last year he played basketball.  I went out and bought him a basketball net and we practiced daily.  It was only 4th grade, but he just tried so hard, but he would shoot the ball with all his might and it would only go up maybe five feet.  He had problems dribbling and running at the same time, but he always had a great positive attitude.  Game after game I kept encouraging him, his own teammates and coaches were great, but ADULT fans would make fun of him.  One game I heard a dad a few rows behind me say, "who would let that kid play, he sucks", before I could turn around to confront him, a few other parents on our team stood up to confront him.  He grew up always being afraid of social interaction, would not want to be in front of a crowd ever, but now he was playing basketball in front of hundreds of people not scared!  He may have "sucked" to that one father, but to me I was the proudest father in the stands.  He never scored any points, but I seen progression in skills from game 1 to game 20.   Will he be a high school basketball superstar, no, but he will have learned some of those valuable social lessons to help him succeed later in life. 

As collectors and sports fans, we are quick to tell or yell "YOU SUCK!"  Unless you know they are trying to throw a game, we need to remember that these people who we watch are people too, they have their own struggles, their own weaknesses, and their own demons.  We don't need to sit in the stands at high school or college levels and tell them they suck.  These are the years that help mold them into the people we will respect someday.  This fall my son is playing his second sport, soccer and he enjoying being a part of the team. Next year he wants to try basketball again, and even baseball. 

My son helps me with my collection (actually it is a whole family thing), he loves relic and autograph cards, because his first relic he got said on the back of the card "you are closer to the game".  The relics made him feel that he was apart of something! 

Before I leave for the night, I wanted to share something I have been doing with all my kids photos each year in sports.  I cut a piece of their jersey and have them sign the card and I make a 1/1 card of them.  This one is my first one (my worst one), but I figure I would have a whole collection of cards of them when they go to college!  Very cool!  I will do that to their soccer cards once they get done with their jersey's this year.  I even put on the backs of their cards, 100% game used jersey!  What do you think?

Thanks for reading!


My Collectibles Are Missing Something...But What Is It?

Sorry everyone it is a slow week for me with cards, so you have been getting some rants and other stupid things that I find funny and amusing.  Are you ready for yet another?

Have you ever looked at your collectibles and said, my collection is almost perfect, but something is missing...

After flipping through some pages in a sports magazine you come across this page, and a light bulb lights!  I need a model to sit in front of my collectibles, that would be perfect!  You know how awesome it would be to be able to look at my collectibles, and model while you are putting together a new set of Topps! 


I would have loved to be at the photoshoot when the photographer said, "you know what we are missing with all these balls?  A super model".  Because you know because only supermodels love us "card geeks".  Sorry to my wife who may read this, but you never dressed up in a swimsuit and rubbed my "balls" all over your body...Oops, I meant baseballs!  Get your minds out of the gutter!

Hope you got a little laugh!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

To Grade Or Not To Grade...That Is The Question

Grading services have come and gone over the years, I have an old Tuff Stuff magazine that I counted thirteen different grading companies for cards.  In my recent rant on relics and in light of last weeks FBI raid on a supplier of Topps and Upper Deck, even grading worries me.  If I have a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, yes I understand to grade it.  As a collector since 1985 I have never looked at any of my cards and said, I want to spend $10 to slab it.  I have dozens of "slabbed" cards, I feel detached from those cards.  As a collector, I'm weird, if I can't touch it, smell it, or lick it (pun intended) it isn't real to me.

 Somebody actually spent money to grade a 2000 Skybox basecard.  
Book Value without slab 50 cents, with slab, 50 cents.
Someone at BCCG had to be laughing all the way to the bank.

Again, I can see older vintage cards worth a lot of money to be graded, but why would I grade a current card from lets say, Topps?  If you go on their customer support site, if you receive a damaged card then you can send it back for a replacement for current products.  So to be technical about it, to me then a damaged card would be one that isn't rated a 10 right?  Why would anyone spend $10 to grade a current card that is only worth $1 and try to sell it on ebay for $100 as a GEM 10?  In addition there are again so many variables from company to company, lets say today PSA is the top company, you go out and grade all your vintage rookie cards.  Ten years from now you find out that PSA was giving false grades, now your card is inside a sealed plastic block and could be worthless because of the grader.  Like what we are seeing in the fake relic world in game used cards, when there is money to be made people come out of the woodwork to try to tell you they are the best.  I don't own one card that is graded that I want, I even have a PSA graded Pippen Rookie card, but I would rather have the one in my top loader instead.

While there are people who pay top money for graded cards, there will always be people trying to take your money to grade your cards for you.  It is bad enough the card companies get our money, then there are the supply people we buy our boxes and sleeves, then there are the slab guys.  No thanks slab guys, I will use that extra money I don't use slabbing my cards and buy more cards!

Does anyone actually really open packs and sends in the cards right away?  If you did grade it and it gets sent back as an 8.5 would you send it to Topps and demand a replacement for a defective card?  Chew on that for the night! Thanks for reading as always.

Monday, September 17, 2012

PLEASE READ! Generic and Fake Relics...Where's Their Statement?

NY Times Fake Relics Sept 13, 2012 
Beckett Sept 13 Report 

Since the report broke last week, no card companies have yet to comment.  I'm guessing they will not.  I would like to hear their spin and hear how they are going to get it right before I put money on high dollar items.  If I spend $100s for packs for the high end cards, I would rather just by a signed framed game jersey for less till I feel my warm and fuzzy again.

It is time that our sports leagues and our government need to investigate our hobby that we love.  As someone who enjoys collecting and I use my hard earned money I want to know what we are really buying.  If this was a food product we want to know the ingredients of the food.  On each can of food there is ingredients, nutrition labels, lot numbers, etc.  Even on clothes there are numbers to state what is real and inspected by.  Why does Topps, Upper Deck, and Panini get to slide on saying it is a Game Used Relic?  If Topps, Upper Deck, and Panini really cared about us collectors they would put more time and energy in producing better ways to guarantee their products.  Do we hold Larry McWilliams liable since his signature is on each card from Upper Deck for each fake card made under his time there? 

As a collector, I am not going to stop collecting, but it may make me stop buying current cards till card companies shape up.  I plan to send to all card companies and the leagues they represent a letter stating a boycott of any future products.  I am also going to send letters to members in government.

Here is my idea on what I would like to see. I am going to use Major League Baseball as my example on relics and how they need to be changed.  It doesn't have to be anything like this, we as collectors just want to see the card companies have some pride in their own work and PROVE to us collectors these are real cards!

STEP 1: In order to ensure true 100% truth a MLB and MLBPA reps/officials must inspect all items.  This will prevent and item to be bought and shipped directly to a card company.  If an item is bought by Topps from a third party it must be first sent to the MLB/MLBPA rep/official to officially category the item.  If it is found to be fake, it will be destroyed and the seller would be black listed.   MLB/MLBPA can designate or contract a company to handle their memorabilia and will be audited by the MLB/MLBPA to ensure strict guidelines are met.  Any memorabilia found to be rouge or unknown will be destroyed.

STEP 2: Once item is passed it's QC it is assigned an MLB number automatically.  It is photographed and attached to that number.  It is then sealed with QC paperwork and sent to the card company.  

STEP 3: Card company accepts the item and scans item into its possession and placed in a secured location where it has limited access to ensure no contamination.  Like other companies if an item is no longer 100% known where it came from it now becomes trashed.  All items in limited access area are have proper paperwork and numbers at all times.  If audit finds any not numbered then it will be destroyed.

STEP 4:  If that jersey is sent to be cut, whatever pieces are cut are given a number.  Lets say piece number 1 is miscut, it will then be logged as destroyed, then next would be 2 and so on.  Those pieces will then be sealed in a bag labeled with  If that piece ever gets mixed up, it would easily be able to be looked up to figure out where it goes.  If any of the jersey is left, it will be bagged again and labeled again MLB12232 to be cut at a future date again.  This process is great because if the company doesn't use the item and is sold or changes hands as long as the seal isn't broke the MLB sticker still displays the true item that is inside the bag.  If the seal is broken and the item is sold, it should be reported and destroyed.

STEP 5:  If a card company needs 300 pieces of David Wright Jersey's they will be able to look in their database and see the swatches, patches, etc they have available.  They may have 240 of the MLB12232 2009 Black Jersey, and 60 of the MLB23223 2010 White Jersey.  Each card that uses the black jersey will be labeled and the white  The collector would be able to look in the database to see the exact jersey and information of that item.

STEP 6:  Final QC is ensuring the MLB label is on the card, and the label is logged with the card that it is on.  Such as if MLB12232.123 is 34/300 of the 2013 Topps Greatest Game Relic. 

Now you will have a card that looks like this...

No matter the card companies general relic info, you will be able to go to the main quality control site appointed by the MLB and look up the MLB # and see all the information on the relic you have in your hand.

Now that is TRULY bringing you closer to the game!

If card companies are making so many high end products they can afford to be made accountable for their actions.  I again plan on sending my thoughts to some government officials in Washington who are heading this case against Upper Deck, Topps, and Panini on knowing of using fake items. Card companies tell us all the time this type of service of logging would take too long and cost too much, of course they don't want to do it, because we would find out every thing maybe fakes!  I hope our government can step in and mandate a better process to help us collectors out who like to throw money into a hobby we love.  If this means less game used products in our packs, so be it!  At least when we go on ebay or any other site to throw down money we know it is real!  Plus this would cause prices of relics to maybe go back up.

Thank you for reading and I hope we as collectors can put our foot down and tell them we want to be heard!  We want change, we don't want to pay $100 for a maybe real or maybe fake item.  Again, do I really care if a $8 relic card is 100% for sure, I would like to say yes, but I understand that, but if card companies expect me to pay $100 a pack of cards, I expect real.  If I can go to jail for selling knowingly selling fake Nikes, so should they for selling us fake relics!

If you want print and send to your rep or to the card makers!  I also hope you share this article on other blogs, but please reference me as the writer.

Jason Pilarski