Friday, August 31, 2012

Blaster Max Mega SALE Find! 2008 UD Spectrum

For all you collectors who have been following me know I like to find the best deals out there, share what I found and that with some effort you can get great deals too!  I was able to find at a small retail store 4 boxes of 2008 Upper Deck Spectrum Blaster Boxes (each box had one memorabilia cards).  These boxes at full price together were $80 and I was able to find it for $24! (70% OFF!)  Many of the Upper Deck blaster boxes for many years had a guaranteed memorabilia card!  It is quite a find for $5.99!  Here is the four memorabilia cards in the boxes.

  • Hanley Ramirez 
  • Kevin Youklis
  • Nick Swisher
  • Justin Mornau
If anyone else finds any great deals out there, let us know!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

WOW! I feel so lucky...

This is now my second week of blogging, I really didn't know what direction or what kind of response I would get by doing this.  I am currently also writing a book about how it is to live with PTSD with family.  I struggled after leaving the army in 2008 after three deployments and outside my family I really was starting to begin to hide away from people and my friends.  Collecting did keep me busy, and now I am really starting to get back to feeling better!  Though nothing will make my illnesses from Iraq disappear, I have found by writing what I know, trading, and helping others in a quest to better their collection is causing me to have a great confidence in myself again.  Even just one week into my blog, my wife's serious accident, many of you left me comments and emails.  You are all people who never met me, or have I met you, but I realize that we are in a community.  Most of us are true collectors around here are blogging our "big" retail hits while some go on Youtube showing off a $1,000 box breaks.

I have some great ideas I am working on in the coming weeks, I want to make it a point to go to blogs want lists and going through my cards and trying to get as much out to help you in your own quests.  I am going to try to get a better trading page for what I have, but as I get my inventory bigger and better you should be able to search for a specific player, card, brand, and number to see if I have a card you are looking for.  Like I said before, I DO NOT sell my cards, because sometimes I think we in our hobby get blinded by money and greed.  If you are reading my blog regularly, most likely you are just like me, you are on a budget.  I would rather trade you a card that you would want for a card that I would want then take any money away from your family.  That is just the way I feel.

If you trade with me, please be honest!  I have 300,000 cards so always expect a extra or two as just a surprise.  (because we all love surprises!)  I just ask to return the surprise factor back to me!

Many asked what I collect, I don't collect sets, so I have thousands and thousands of cards that many of you are looking for, and again I will do my best in always looking out for you all, my new collecting group from all around the country (and even Canada!).

Thanks again from the bottom of my heart!


2 Value Boxes - 2010 Topps: $17

I love nothing more than finding a great deal!  I spent about $17 on two boxes (saved about $13 off original)  Like most all Topps Blaster boxes you are going to get a manufactured patch cards.  There is definitly worth the value for these boxes!  The patch card just made this buy that much better!  Now you must understand that the Topps Game Cards are no longer valid so I don't count them as an insert anymore.  Once Topps games in a series expire is when you will begin to see this boxes go on sale. 

2010 Topps Update Baseball Blaster Box (sale $11.99)

PATCH: Mike Piazza MCP134 1998 All Star Game

I love Piazza, but it was the Colorado Rockies Coors Field All Star Patch!  My favorite team being Colorado just put the icing on the cake on this box.  Collectors have a mixed feel about these patch cards, no they aren't game used, but I really like how Topps in different series and years makes different patches.  One year, All Star, one series it could be throw back logos, another hat patches, it is just not the same old patch used over and over.  I would think it would be pretty cool if Topps did something like 1 of 4 boxes gets a gold numbered patch card.

As the rest of the 2010 Topps Update Baseball I was pretty happy with it, here is the break down:

Box Break Down
12 Rookie Cards
2 Turkey Red Cards
3 Vintage Legend Collection Cards
10 Topps Town Cards
2 All Star Cards
2 Legendary Lineage Cards
2 Tales of the Game Cards
4 Cards Your Mother Threw Out (1 Original Back)
1 Peak Performance Card
1 Topps Gold
1 Patch Card

121 Cards total in the blaster box: 26 Inserts (22% non base set cards)

As a Cardinal fan, I got one card that I wish I would have never been made...why Jim? Why the Reds (and Cubs?)

2010 Topps Football Jumbo Retail Box: (sale $5.99)

I rarely get these for full price, I usually wait to get them on clearance like today.  One good thing about these boxes you usually get 75 cards, and usually about 12 of them are insert cards.  Looking at the odds on the box I don't think these boxes have relic or autograph hits (if someone has, please comment). Below are some of the highlights of this break.

Box Break Down
9 Rookie Cards
1 Bowman Rookie Card
2 Peak Performers Cards
2 Legendary Lineage Cards
2 Vintage Bowman Cards
1 Topps Blue /349 Card
1 Vintage Topps Original Back Card

75 Cards total in box: 9 Inserts (12% inserts in box)


The jumbo boxes like the football above are good if you want to yield a higher amount of base cards and a lower amount of inserts.  Most jumbos do try to advertise by adding a special card.  For example if you buy two jumbo boxes you would get 30 more base cards, but would lack a patch card.  If I had a choice to buy 2 Jumbo Boxes vs. 1 Blaster Box, I would lean Blaster.  

As always, thanks for means a lot!

Finally Found Triple Play Baseball 2012!

It is almost one month and I have finally found these cards!  There was only 7 packs left, and at 99 cents it really isn't too bad.  Considering the very first card I pulled was a Yu Darvish, I was excited.  Being the bottom of the box I didn't figure I would find one of those generic relic cards I reviewed in an earlier blog but after having them in my hand I really liked them even more.  Now with that said, the cards are really cool, but I would not go on ebay and put hard money on one card.  Here is some of what I pulled (just some highlights).

Here is what I think about doing with a few of these, how cool would it be to get some autographs on these cards!  I haven't really sent out any this year, but I may wait till the start of spring training to send out a few and see if any get sent back autographed.  Just think how the Matt Holliday card would look with a nice black sharpie signature!

No hits, unless you think of a generic relic a hit (though I think it is a GREAT idea for young collectors), but there is a fun factor, and there are several subsets, stickers, puzzle, and kid cards.

 Card Radio Triple Play Checklist

IF ANYONE NEEDS let me know: (I currently have doubles)

26 Clayton Kershaw Sticker (shown above)
1 Flaming Baseball Sticker (shown above)

If anyone has any of these to trade for the cards above:

Triple Play Base Cards

25 Carlos Gonzalez
26 Todd Helton
27 Troy Tulowitzki

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Joe Average Guide To Collecting - Part 1

If you are a new collector or have been collecting for years and just not happy with what you have or done with your collection.  I have some tips and tricks to give you a great feeling about your hobby.  Mind you what works for me may not work for you.  This is just what I have done on a budget.

First you need to look at your surroundings, and what I mean is your financial situation.  Each person is different, some could be single, married no kids, or like me have four kids.  I will try my best to combine all situations as I try to explain it.  These steps separate a pack a month collector to a collector who can get what they want when they want it.  

  1. Sit down and figure out your expenses.   This sounds stupid, but married or not you need to make sure bills and obligations are made first.  Cash Flow Form
  2. Look at what you have left, since I am married my wife and I create a monthly allowance allotment.
  3. Both my wife and I signed up for a pre-paid Visa card.  Each month we place our monthly allowances onto our cards or set up direct allotments to go to the card.  (You MUST research pre-paid cards! Some have hidden fees!)  By not using the primary checking account you never really have to worry about that problem of going over your balance or keeping receipts.  
  4. For example, we are going to use $25 a week, or $100 per month. Make sure you both come to an agreement on what you both can spend on your hobbies.  If times get tough, and expenses suddenly change, redo the cash flow form to get a different allowence.  We all know life isn't perfect, so these figures can always be flexible.
  5. What is great about this plan is if you don't buy any cards for a few weeks, or even a few months your balance increases.  Or if you go to Target one week and pay $21 for a blaster box and nothing else, you have a carry over of $4 to the next week, now you have $29.  It doesn't sound like a lot, but over time, it will add up.  You figure some weeks you may spend more than $25, some weeks you spend less than $25, and some weeks you may not buy anything and go positive $25 more dollars.
Okay, now that we got a way to be able to use money without worrying about the checking or savings accounts, we will work on getting the most value for your dollar!

Values For Your Buck
  1.  I love getting retail blaster boxes, and here is the reason why.  A typical hobby box at a card shop you may spend $60 on one type of card set and get one to five hits (autos/relics).  For $60 in blaster boxes, for $60 you can mix or match.  You can get a box of Topps Series 1, Bowman Platnium, Score Football, and a bunch of random packs.  In most Topps blasters you get a Manufactured Patch Card, and you may get another auto or relic.  Now you have a good amount of maybe four or five products.  I am in no way knocking hobby packs/boxes but lets be real, the mid to upper level boxes go for $100 plus.  
  2. I look around online for the best deals for cards that I really want.  There are several great places to find the cards you are looking for, ebay,, and  
  3. Don't buy on impulse!  Just because Beckett or ESPN says that a player is going to be the next Babe Ruth, don't spend hundreds, or even thousands of dollars for a card!  Do you remember Strasburg's first Bowman auto going for $16,000, and now you can get his auto for around $200.  For $16,000 just think of all the cards you can buy with that, or heck, a new car and have money left!
  4. I usually buy rookies who are in the mid to late rounds in the draft.  Most of the time you can pick up a mid level current draft autograph for $1 or $2 on ebay.  After collecting since 1985, the first rounder draft pick cards always priced at the ceiling the first time they are listed in Beckett or selling on Ebay.  As time goes on, those first round cards begin to decrease in value, do to injuries, or maybe they are just not that good.  Beckett very rarely will book a mid to late round draft rookie worth anything but common, thus card shops tend to want to get rid of those fast.  
  5. If a mid or late round player hits the majors and becomes a star you will quickly see that rookie card you may have paid $1 for shoot up to $50.  I would much rather gamble on 20 of those rookies than buying one current Beckett cover boy card.
  6. End of the sporting seasons, products will tend to be reduced.  Usually you will begin to see 40% off stickers on many older series or year old products.  This is where I jump, I don't mind collecting behind a previous years products at a cheaper cost because it fills my gaps and it gives me doubles for trades!

I have lived in many different cities all over the country and I have experienced this first hand in some of the card shops, owners having packs already searched for certain customers.  I seen this happen first hand a few years ago, I went into a store and asked for a few 2008 Topps packs, the man grabbed them out of the box and gave them to me.  I opened them in the store, no hits, just the average Topps cards.  While I am opening them, another guy came in and the two enthusiastically gave a handshake.  The man came in and said you got those packs for me ready?  The owner rang him up and they went over the other side of the store to see what hits they got.  REALLY?  Did I just witness a shop owner who packed searched his cards for the hits to sell to this guy?  I should have noticed when he was ringing him up, the Topps packs I bought were $2.49, the same packs he rang up for $5.  Must be his hot pack charge!  I don't trust any packs unless it came from a freshly opened box, or I trust the owner.  (yes I do have one card shop I love and trust!).

Displaying and being proud!

  1. Now you have your cards at home, now what do you do with them?  I hope you didn't say "shoebox".  I buy 5,000 count boxes and I take pride in keeping my cards organized.  Most card shops or Wal-Marts have 100 ct penny sleves for $1, or you can go on ebay and get 1,000 in some cases for about $8.  It is all about shopping around.  I usually try to have a couple extra 100 ct sleeves and one extra box at home in case of overflow or you need them.  
  2. I put my cards in player ABC order using the 5,000 count boxes.  I only do this for cards from 1981 to present cards.  I use index cards to place their names on the top between players.  I use different color index cards for different sports.  White=Baseball, Green=Football, Yellow=Hockey, Orange=Basketball.  It just makes it just a little more easier.  
  3. I place any player who is a semi star, star, or hot rookie in penny sleeves and place them in ABC order. 
  4. I have a separate 5,000 count box just for common rookie cards.  I search each month just in case one of those players becomes a hit, then they will be given a penny sleeve and moved to the semi star/star boxes.   In this rookie box I use index cards to separate years.  I will usually no longer search for new star rookies in the 2001 year, but I would frequently search in 2010-2012.
  5. I have a separate box for relics and autos.  I group them by sport, auto, patches, jersey, or bat.  This is for finding the card much quicker and having not to search a 5,000 count box for a random auto. 
  6. My vintage cards I use a separate 5,000 card box separated by year and brand. 
 picture of one of my auto/relic boxes
Cards shown on this wall are just A-M. It is just so much easier when some is looking for a certain player to find it in just seconds.  I am spoiled, my wife gave me her office and I got to move the cards out of the dark basement!

  1. Find common interests with others.  I am new to the blogging world, but you can tell who the trusted people are by their blogs verses meeting some untraceable random person online for a trade.  
  2. Look around your friend base, you may have someone who secretly also enjoys cards for trading.
  3. Trading makes the hobby fun, always keep your traders happy, don't screw them your name will get around the card world!
  4. If you have a trading partner, don't be afraid to give them a little something else as a thank you.  If they like a certain team, throw in a few extras of that team or player.  Generosity goes a LONG way in the collecting world!
  1. Craigslist!  85% of the junk baseball card posts there are just that...JUNK!  If someone discloses that he/she has 10,000 80s cards and only wants $40, that would be a decent buy to fill in player gaps you may have.  If you see a post for 10,000 VINTAGE BASEBALL CARDS $$$$ for $2,000 and it says collected 20 years ago and doesn't know anything about them anymore...STAY AWAY!
  2. Flea Markets are hit and miss.  The hits are people who bring their junk there for a weekend and want to sell it all.  Those people you can wheel and deal because they may need the money quick.  They fill up a truck and they don't want anything to come back home with them.  Saturday their prices maybe higher, but come later on Sunday whatever is left is priced to move!.  Second you have the weekend warriors who's job is during the week pick auctions to make money at the flea markets.  These people know what are collectibles and will mark their cards near book level.  These people tend to have a van that is full from top to bottom, like they just cleaned out a storage locker.  Third, some flea markets have inside booths that are there year round.  They may have locked cases, these people tend to have higher priced, maybe vintage cards, but normally the owners aren't there so there is no negotiations on prices.  Usually they items are priced near book levels.  Last one, and maybe the best is the weekend card shop guy.  He is a wheeler and dealer.  They may have dozens of dime or quarter boxes, and may offer more discounts for buying more.  Their tables or sheds are usually stacked with boxes and cards everywhere.  It sometimes looks like a baseball card bomb may have went off in there!
  3.  Remember that hobby shops have overhead, they need to pay rent, electricity, taxes, and new inventory.  Expect that their cards will be more than what you can find on Ebay.  
  4. Card Shows are few and far between anymore where I live.  The last one I seen was in 1998, but just like a flea market, you can tell the booths of the people who are looking to move product fast.
  5. Don't be selfish!  Involve your wife, kids, family, friends, or even your new online friends.  If you have a new friend online who is a set builder and he needs some cards that you have no need for, send them!  Your new friend will be happy to return the favor if you are ever in need of a card or player! You would be amazed by generously giving someone something they are needing the generosity that they will usually give back.  For those of us not in it for the money, but for the love of collecting, there is no greater satisfaction than helping others with their collections too! 
  6. Don't be a hoarder!  Do you really need 40 1989 Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie Cards?  Do you really need 50 Albert Pujols 2001 Upper Deck Cards?  Don't be afraid to trade! I used to hoard cards in the 1990s, but really what did I need with 5 sets of 2004 Topps?  Now I have trade binders and boxes, and I also have a 5,000 card box for cards I get through the year that I donate around Christmas to hospitals and children's homes.  Trust me, once you get used to getting the fear you get with anxiety that you can't let go of your cards, you will begin to enjoy your hobby that much more!
Final Thoughts

This is just a very quick idea of what you can do to get a good collection started and one you can be proud of.  I hope you enjoyed reading and I do hope you gained some knowledge into something you may have not known before!  If you have anything else you would like to share to anyone else, please comment!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Back To The Future - Vol 2 : Sports Audio Cassettes

I have thousands of old sports books/magazines and I love looking at what was in and out back in those years.  So here is another one of those times where I asked myself "why would we buy this"?  Inside a 1991 Baseball Digest is a full page add for an audio cassette of sporting events for a LOW cost of $13!  I guess in 1991 they mass produced and crammed sports cards everywhere they could, why not audio tapes too!  I am sure glad that a collector in 1991 could order these audio cassettes 24 hours/7 days a week!  (just like being able to order on the internet today!).  Could you see some one sitting in bed at 3 AM, can't sleep, he open's a current Baseball Digest and see this ad and you JUST have to order the 1989 Nolan Ryan 5,000 strike out game.  Then he gets it a few weeks later, pops the cassette in his car and ROCKS out to some old men talking about what they ate for dinner while watching a baseball game.  It is amazing how fast everything has evolved in the past few decades to where we couldn't imagine living like that, yet we did!  But I'm sure glad we have Youtube and now! 

Does anyone have any of these collectable tapes, and if you do, are they anything special?

2012 Triple Play Baseball - Collector/Ebay WTF?!

Last week I wrote a blog about how I liked the idea of Triple Play and the collectible prospects for children like my son.  In two weeks in every retail store I have been to every box is empty.  Then I go online to place like Ebay and see this....
I said for this product to succeed with children they need to get it to the children.  So why when I go to Ebay and search 2012 Triple Play I find hundreds of hits like this one for a used glove (NOT A GAME WORN or ANYTHING) starting out at $9.99?  Really? WTF?  I did a little research, I know a manager at a Target in St. Louis and called him to see if they were going to get anymore?  He said the morning it went on the shelves three older men came in a bought all the cards and shoved the empty box behind the blaster boxes.  Again, I have no problems with people making money but really for $9.99 I would rather buy a few autographs or a REAL game used item.  I also seen a seller on Ebay selling 5 packs for $11.99 (before shipping), mind you they are 99 cents at the store. 

I would understand as a collector you wanting to buy a box for your own collection or your kids, but here we have an example of a kids product being held hostage by people trying to make money for buying up all an item making it hard to find.  Look at my last weeks review on price decline of 1999 Upper Deck for an example of a decline.  As I read about many people who buy case after case, they aren't true collectors, they are looking at flipping an item and making money.  Give those glove and jersey cards a year, I bet they will be 99 cents buy it now on Ebay.  I am sorry if anyone who reads this may be offended, but it is just a pet peeve that happens year after year once a product hits the shelf.  (i.e. 2012 Skip Shoemaker Squirrel Card)  I know for the past decade this has always been the trend, a product hits the shelf, people go on Ebay and people can't wait to spend their hard earned money.  I think I have done a pretty good job with being able to find the cheaper items such as items on sale or discount.  Being that my name Joe Average Collector, I preach the WAIT and see approach.  I don't pre-order items, I will wait to buy Series 1 boxes when Series 2 comes out because sometimes pack prices and online prices decrease. I am working on a blog about getting the most out of your dollar, I hope to have it done by the weekend!

Thanks for reading!

Goodwill Find! - Vol. 1 : 1991 Pro Set PGA Box Set

1991 Pro Set PGA Gold Box Set

I don't normally collect golf cards, but yesterday while my wife was sleeping recovering from her accident in the hospital I went to grab a quick bite to eat.  It was Chinese food so I had to wait and next door is a Goodwill so I popped in for a few minutes.  What I found was something I couldn't pass up.

In the toy isle I seen this box marked for $2 and it was still unopened!  In this set there 285 cards to include several golf legends such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nichols, and the ever collectible Gibbey Gibler!  (yes that is his real name)  Since there weren't very many golf products around then, most of the players listed in this set are considered "Rookie Cards".  Only in golf can someone who is 55 years old and named Orville have a rookie card.

What appeals to me about this box set is that I have actually heard of about 25% of these guys unlike the Pro Set Euro Soccer set also released that year.  Unlike other sports like football, hockey, and baseball, golf had yet really been a subject of a true card set.  Inside the box as an added insert is a PGA Golf Sticker Card, and a bonus Deane Beman Commissioner Card. Now I need to make fun of two cards, just because this is golf.

How many of us watch golf on CBS and ever see a golfer playing smoking a cigar?  Can you imagine any other sport where a pro can play while smoking a cigar?  If you love golf, it is a pretty cool set to have, but if it was anything over $2 I would have passed.  As I usually do after each review I like to make make my own funny card that has something to do with the review and the set.  This set reminds me of the Adam Sandler movie "Happy Gilmore", enjoy!

Does anyone else collect golf cards or have anything related? 

My wife

My wife was in a serious car accident last night after work.  Once things calm down will be back.  Hopefully tonight.  Thanks - Jason

Update: thanks everyone for the well wishes.  I hope to have my wife opening packs real soon.  Right now she has a broken arm wrist and hip.  She is an RN so she will be out of work for awhile.  So maybe I can get her to help give some wife input to collecting! Thanks again to my new card collecting friends from all over!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

2012 Topps Tribute Pack Break - Disappointment

As I stated in my description, I can no longer work due to injuries in Iraq, but my wife gives me an allowance (just like my kids).  Some times to get a higher end product I have to save for awhile.  I went to a hobby store and had to really bite my toungue when I told the man behind the counter I wanted one of those $50 packs.  I opened at the store, and I wanted to throw my cards right back at the man!  The two cards that were anything great was this David Wright Relic /99 and Tim Lincecum /75.  Both those cards I could buy on Check Out My Cards for less than $20 and that is the reason I don't buy high end items.  I could either buy a couple blaster boxes every few weeks, or one 5 card pack a month.

Yes, there are some very good high end cards, but when you are collector that has to pinch pennies to buy the high end product and get a single relic card, you kind of feel sick.  Oh well, I'm sure I'll try another $50 pack in 2013 and say the same damn thing over again about, why the heck did I buy this!  This should be my one and only break of Tribute for me this year.  Hope you enjoyed reading about my disappointment! ;)


In an effort to make friends and followers, why not have monthly a contest?  All you have to do is become a member of my blog or just put one comment anywhere in my blog during that current month, each month I am going to give a random item out!  Some months it could be an autograph, a pack of cards, or a card.  I will put a link on the top of my page with current contests. 

1990-91 Pro Set NHL Pack - 15 cards

This month I'm going to start out with the "junk wax" theme!  Any comments or members joined between my first day my blog started to Sept. 30, 2012 will randomly become a winner.  I will notify you by email or message that you won and post it on the contest tab.  If for some reason you decline I will pick another.  This is free, so don't complain if the pack is junk, or the card is only worth $3...etc...I pay for the stamp and you get it for free!

Does Any One Remember "Baseball Talk"? (1989)

1989 Topps Baseball Talk

In 1989 sports cards were everywhere, each major retail chain had their own cards printed by a major manufactor.  For example, Topps printed for Kay Bee Toys, Fleer printed for most drug stores such as Wal-Greens.  So why not make a baseball card that also could double as a record?  In 1989 the Topps Baseball Talk player and a four cards retailed at $24.99.  Each pack was labeled on front what stars were enclosed to keep from getting doubles and retailed for $4.99 per pack.  The major retailers who marked this item was Target and the one time toy giant Kay Bee Toys. 

The collection I have is the full set my parents purchased for me for Christmas in 1989.  The player stopped working after a year, but in 1991 my parents bought me another at Kay Bee Toys for 75% off retail price.  This player still even works today!  The player had several problems, most average players stopped working after just a few months, causing most to be returned to the stores and sales dropped to almost zero.  Topps before the scrapped Baseball Talk reported to have designed NFL and NBA player cards.  Players that work today are few and far between.  I was able to collect the whole set when I was young when they went on sale at Kay Bee Toys for 50 cents per pack.  I even still today have two extra unopened.  It makes a really cool piece of history for kids who view my collection and I can tell them a story about these cards and in the time we live in having an MP3 player that holds 50GB of music, in 1989 one card could only hold less than one minute of information.

(I had to add this card, I love the title to this card...Red Sox "MUFF" Championship!)

Anyone else still have these cards and player that works?

Junk Wax - Treasure or Trash? Unopened 1988 Donruss Tom Glavine Jumbo Pack

Awhile back I was at a yard sale, not really anything special there, but I just so happened to pass a box marked 5 cents each, mostly full of old McDonald's junk toys when I spot a familiar face, Tom Glavine, so of course I had to spend a nickle.  I thought to myself, should I open it?  Then I thought to myself, I already have maybe 25 of these Glavine 1988 Donruss Rookie Cards, so why not keep the pack unopened showing a clear shot of Glavine on the front.  Still the card is only worth about a dollar (the price that is also on the pack) but I figured the nestalgia factor of having a junk wax pack showing a sure hall-of-fame rookie card is worth keeping closed!

Does anyone else hold onto a junk wax era pack like this that happens to have a rookie card showing on front?  Do you keep the pack unopened, or would you open it? 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

MasterCARD Theater - Vol 1 : B.J. Armstrong / Alex White

This 1995-96 Fleer Flair B.J. Armstrong #131 has always amazed me, B.J. is in a Bulls uniform, then he was the first player selected for the expansion Tornoto Raptors, then traded to Golden State Warriors.  So on one card you have three different teams mentioned.  So, it made me wonder, do I know of any other cards similar to cards like this.  It almost looks like someone at Fleer was confused at what team B.J. really played for and to ensure he didn't get fired he put all stated all three.  There is a Raptors logo, but he never played a game for the Raptors, he was just traded right after being drafted. 

Next problem is an issue that Topps has had way too much in the recent years, in an effort to always be the first card to put a recent traded player in a Photoshopped uniform and new colors, every year there seems to be issues.  Since I follow the Rockies, this one was a no brainer, 2011 Topps Update Alex White.

When I first seen this card this is what I wanted to think really happened that day at Topps when the Alex White trade went down just before final production...

Topps Editor phones Photoshop Artist about 15 minutes before he leaves for the day on a Friday, just happens to also be his sons birthday: "Hey we go to print in the morning at 6 am, card #US142 got traded to the Rockies we need this done ASAP"

Photoshop Artist slams phone down: "I hate these update sets, deadline this, deadline that...I will show him to wait till the end of the day on a Friday and my son's birthday to change a card!"

After three hours working on trying to make a red jersey into a purple and black jersey, the artist calls it quits for the night and decides he will try to come back at 4 am to finish the back before the 6 am deadline.

A storm rolls through overnight causing the power to go out at the Artists house, he wakes up at 8 am.

Topps Editor calls Artist at noon: "YOU ARE FIRED!"

That is why we have an unfinished 2011 Topps US142 Alex White Card Rockies on front, Indians on back! Hope you enjoyed MasterCARD Theater!!  

Back to the Future Edition 2 - 1997 "Why Allowance Was Invented"

Sorry, this is a terrible picture I took due to poor lighting, but how about a laugh.  How many people remember how much they got for allowance when they were a kid?  Now I look at my son weekly allowance of around $4 a week, maybe less if he gets lazy.  Even in 1997 most kids couldn't afford the $3.99 per pack prices.  Instead of of saying "Why Allowance Was Invented" it should state "Why Jobs Are Needed" because you can't buy cards with allowance, you can only afford cards if you have a job!

Mail Day! - Vol 1

Any cards I get through the mail, I will post in my Mail day Blog.  I will also post why I got those cards, sometimes it is just because I need to fill a player or set, sometimes I get them for a reason, just like the three cards below.  

Today I got a few things in the mail that I ordered last week.  This group of players have a National League West Coast connection.  Colorado Rockies top Rockie's pitchers (I know, the Rockie's pitching sucks this year!), and one of the Giants top prospects from last year.
  • 2011 Topps Debut Brandon Belt MM-BB
  • 2008 Razor Signature Series Tyler Chatwood 164 #1013/1499
  • 2009 Upper Deck USA Jersey Drew Pomeranz GJU-36
Brandon Belt - By the Giants losing Melky Cabrera may cause a greater need to have a more consistent Brandon Belt.  They need Belt to produce better than his .265 average states.  Though he has played only at first base in 2012, he has played 34 games in the outfield and could play both 1B and OF if needed down the stretch this year.  Belt has superstar potential but playing at such a large park he needs to learn to hit the big gaps and not the long balls.

Tyler Chatwood - He is a former 2nd round pick of the Angels.  He pitches in Colorado, enough said, but he has a bright future.  His cards are common and dirt cheap right now.  Chatwood has had several strong recent outings for Colorado and could develop into a career #3 or #4 starter on some good ball clubs. He spent most of the first half in AAA learning to pitch in the altitude, he has only surrendered 5 HRs so far in 35+ Innings, which is a huge improvement over the rest of the current pitching staff. 

Drew Pomeranz - A former first round pick of the Indians, his cards are now common.  He is still a very young pitcher who was thrown into Major League action a year or two before he was ready.  Not only was he not ready, he pitched for Colorado.  He will continue to mature, and if he stays healthy in a few years we could see him going from a losing pitcher to a winning pitcher. He is currently 1-7, but he has dropped his ERA from near 6.00 to under 5.00, which isn't great but shows improvements.  His major problems right now are control issues, he averages 4.5 walks per 9 innings and at Coors Field, the more free passes mean much more runs.  He is now on a 75 pitch limit per game, which isn't helping him win games (1-7 record) in his stats, but it is lowering his ERA drastically and if he continues we may see a complete turn around next year.

Remember the Pilots! (1969)

The Seattle Pilots were maybe one if not the worst professional franchises ever ran since the turn of the century when both American and National Leagues took it current forms.  In 1967, during the Major League Winter meetings Seattle was awarded an American League Franchise to begin in 1969.  It was promised that the franchise would have a new state of the art dome built in three years after the begin of play.  Like most expansion teams of the 1960s they began play in an old minor league ballpark with added seating.  Teams such as the Houston .45s, Montreal Expos, and Seattle Pilots all had to build basic metal bleacher seating to quickly get their ballparks ready for Major League Play.  The Pilots new home was built in 1938 for the Pacific Coast League's Seattle Rainiers (now the Tacoma Rainiers).
When 1969 rolled around, the Pilots were already at a disadvantage.  Sick 's Stadium had the highest ticket prices and highest concessions than any other major league team.  Fan disconnect began to happen almost as fast as the first game played.  There was no television deals, all games were mostly broadcast on radio.  There was little to no promotion of the team, with the exception of word of mouth.  In addition to having a losing record, during July the Pilots record was 9-20 and August was even worse at 6-22.  The Pilots ended their first and only season in Seattle with a record of 64-98.  Though most expansion teams usually finish with losing records it was the fact that team lost much more money than they could handle.  When it was all said and done, the final attendance totals for the Pilots were 677,944 (8,370 avg per game).  The team struggled not only in the stands but also struggled keeping any money left to cover player contracts and bills.  By the end of the season the cash strapped team had no other option then to maybe move.  Several attempts were made to keep baseball in Washington, but a car salesman (and current MLB Commissioner) Bud Selig started talks in getting the Pilots to Milwaukee. 

As of 1970 spring training began, the players showed up and they were still officially known as the Seattle Pilots.  After a few weeks of spring training players weren't getting paid, and finally on April 1, 1970 the Seattle Pilots were bankrupt.  This gave six days for the former Pilots players and equipment to get from Utah, site of spring training, to Milwaukee.  Because of all the travel from Utah and only six days till opening day, the now Brewers played in their old Pilots jersey's with the Pilots logo ripped off.  Thus the Brewers kept an almost identical color scheme as the old Pilots.

I hope you enjoyed a quick look down memory lane of Seattle's first MLB team! Enjoy my card set below from the 1983 Renata Galasso Seattle Pilots. There are no star players, but I love these cards!

2012 Topps Allen & Ginter's 2 Retail Pack Break

Today my wife picked up two packs of 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter's at a local gas station.  (Yes, some gas stations still sell cards!)  My wife spent a total of $6.97 and she pulled:

Pack ONE highlights: Richard Petty Relic AGR-RPE

Pack TWO highlights: Bryce Harper RC Mini #12, Josh Hamilton "What's In a Name" # WIN51, Fall of Rome "Historical Turning Points" #HTP3

Got a Bryce Harper Mini RC and a Richard Petty Relic, not too bad for a little less than $7!  I have always loved Allen & Ginter for having such a variety of sports, historical events, and just random stuff!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Wax Trash Era Must Have - Vol 1 Ken Griffey Jr. 1989 Score Traded #100

For years the Ken Griffey Jr. card to have has always been the 1989 Upper Deck #1 Rookie Card.  Still right now on ebay that card still sells for between $25-50 ungraded, and near $100 graded high.  But there are several alternatives to getting a cheaper Griffey Rookie Card.  My personnel favorite is the 1989 Score Traded #100.  You can find these on ebay for about $3-7 ungraded, and only $15 graded high.  Some don't like the colors used on the traded set, but I kind of like the green, pink, and purple boarders.
Griffey Jr. is sure first round hall of famer, and right now is the right time to pick up some of his key rookie cards before he gets his hall of fame bump in value.  Here I am 33, been collecting since 1985 and still have not bought a 1989 Upper Deck #1 Griffey Rookie.  I do though have everyone of his other 1989 releases and rookie cards and picked them all up well under what I could have bought just that one card.  Griffey was the hype in early 90s what Bryce Harper has been in 2011/12.  But sorry Bryce, you aren't no Junior!

2012 Score Football - My Take

2012 Score Score Football Review

Retail Blaster Box SRP: $9.99
Pack SRP: $0.99

Again as a father of 4 children who all collect cards with me, they love the 99 cent packs.  Panini is known to have a few good kid friendly, yet extremely collectible products.  Just like their recent release of Triple Play (in which I have yet to find a pack anywhere) I have bought a box of 2012 Score.  Just like every of the past year, there is at least one rookie per pack, and one glossy card.   Usually 1:3 packs I have averaged every box from the past few years, you will get a rookie glossy card, so that makes that pack have 2 rookie cards.  There is also the usual few insert sets to through just enough verity to keep from getting bored (see my 2012 Leaf Draft Review).  The past few years I have been able to pull a few good signature cards, such as a Jason Paul-Piere Rookie Signature. 

My first pack I pulled a Luck Rookie, though in the card I wonder if he is going to run into that yellow pole!  The design is the basic type design they have been using for years, but this years backs are stats and logo...that is it!  Lots of empty space.  As a Joe Average Collector it is a must to buy at least one or two boxes of Score Football at only $9.99, but I'm sure my son would love to open three or four!  (He will have to clean his room for a year for those boxes!)

Overall, it is what it is, a low end, cheap card for young collectors.  We older collectors always bitch about there are not enough of these low end cards, but I read blogs that say these are the worst cards ever.  Trust me when my son walks into Target with his $4 a week in allowance, he isn't buying a $3.99 pack with 4 cards inside, he is buying 4 99 cent packs.  I still find myself buying older Score products because I figure if I can pick up a box at $5 I can get closer to completing sets, or maybe a random retail autograph hit.

MY SON'S REVIEW: "I love my Tebow Jets card and Stephen Jackson's!"

Card Values - Vol 2 : 1999 Upper Deck Game Used 12 Year Decline

Card values are always on most collectors minds, but only very few cards actually gain value.  Most of the types of cards that gain value are players that come out of nowhere.  For example a typical rookie card from a 13th round draft pick is usually a common card, and common autographs.  But what happens when that 13th round player is Albert Pujols?  That common autograph goes from $8 to where it is today $500+.  On the flip side you have the first pick of a draft, lets use Bryce Harper.  His 2011 Bowman Chrome Autograph was $400 and now is currently $300.  It has already decreased and he even made the All-Star game in his first year.

Above I am reviewing a very popular set of cards from 1999 Upper Deck, the Game Used Jersey set.  It seemed someone at Beckett was getting paid off by Upper Deck.  Would anyone of us buy a plain Nolan Ryan Jersey for $500?  Or was Beckett trying to create a huge craze?  I don't blame card manufactures for the decline of collecting during the early 2000s, I think Beckett set prices too high causing many of the typical and low end collectors to start to feel left out.  If you look at the 1999 UD Game Jersey's values in 2012 it is more typical of what you would see in a typical one piece relic card.  When all those collectors who actually paid what Beckett stated in their magazines, and when Ebay became big around 2003 those collectors were shocked!  How can my card I just bought two years ago for $200 only sell for $12?  It was about this time (2003) many collectors left the hobby in disgust, they put in tons of money and made nothing.

Now came the new bread of collectors, the E-Bay, auctions, online traders and websites like Check Out My Cards.  We are able to shop around for the right card from the comfort of our house.  Card shops now have to get creative to compete with online stores, and I am a HUGE fan of dime and quarter boxes.  A few shops in the area I have been to have their packs out in the open for anyone to search, so it leaves me not wanting to buy picked over hobby packs so I usually buy boxes online.

If you are new to collecting or looking at starting collecting you need to not worry about the book prices.  The only real time I reference a book price is by doing a trade.  For example I will trade a $50 card book price for another $50 card.  I like to collect rookies, any, because you never know when that one late rounder becomes gold.  I just wanted to show how much this set and cards have dropped over a 12 year period, and if you ever find someone who stopped collecting in 2000 and have these cards don't be surprised if he tries to sell you one of those cards for a couple hundred...just try not to laugh at him!

My Rule for young collectors: "Collect smart, not by impulse. Don't think about current values, they almost always go down.  Don't be pressured to buy with out doing research! And last but not least...HAVE FUN, your hobby is yours to do whatever you want to it, enjoy it!

Things My Wife Buys Me! - Vol 1 : Celebrity Americana

Today I got a surprise in the mail, it was a package that my wife had purchased for me.  She is really good at picking out things I like, and I even got her knowing how to use my inventory to ensure she don't buy doubles.  Now it is time to open the package and what do I see?  It was a lot of Movie Star cards.  The only kind of movie cards I have in my collection are like the 1989 Topps TMNT Cartoon Cards.  Plus I am not someone that has ever really wanted to buy these type of cards...but I think I have just changed my mind!
  • 2008 Donruss Americana Celebrity Cuts Dual Dress Priscilla Barnes #100 50/50
  • 2009 Topps Heritage Heroes Relic Col. Gordon R. Roberts
  • 2008 Donruss Americana Sports Legends Jersey Cat Osterman #129 339/500
  • 2009 Upper Deck Icons Football Movie Icons Lettermen Bruce Jenner "Y" 2/22
  • 2008 Donruss Americana Sports Legends Museum Collection Steve Cauthen Relic MC-32 20/25
  • 2008 Donruss Americana Sports Legends Autograph Mike Powell 28 330/502
  • 2009 Topps Heritage American Heroism World War I Leggings AH-WWI5
  • 2008 Donruss Americana Celebrity Cuts Mickey Rooney #61 46/499
  • 2008 Donruss Americana Celebrity Cuts Dom DeLuise #19 231/499
  • 2008 Donruss Americana Celebrity Cuts Kathryn Grayson #42 471/499
  • 2008 Donruss Americana Celebrity Cuts Century Ultimate Warrior #90 13/25
  • 2008 Donruss Americana II PROOF Silver Regis Philbin #123 79/250
  • 2008 Donruss Americana II PROOF Blue Marisol Nichols #138 23/25
  • 2008 Donruss Americana II PROOF Gold Rhonda Fleming #171 12/100
  • 2009 Donruss Americana PROOF Blue John Buccigross #37 4/10
  • 2008 Donruss Americana II PROOF Silver Goldie Hawn #107 118/250
  • 2008 Donruss Americana II PROOF Silver Kurt Russell #106 168/250
  • 2008 Donruss Americana II PROOF Gold Richard Anderson #131 83/100
 I am very pleased at my first celebrity cards that I have added to my collection, I have always wondered if I would ever like these type of cards.  These cards though will still have to take a back seat to baseball and football cards, but if I see them cheap, I will pick some up!

Does anyone else out there collect Americana or Celebrity cards?