Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Recent card pickups

 It’s been a little longer than normal since I’ve posted, but that’s to be expected when you work in a retail bakery during any major holiday. I get a few slow days before the last one of the year, and have a decent schedule coming up with an off day on Friday and another one on Monday, so just a little bit longer and everything should be back in a routine. 

I’ve had a decent amount of cards come into the collection since my last post, but the photos wouldn’t cooperate, so instead of chronological order, they will go from newest to oldest. 

About 2 weeks ago Tom from The Angels in Order offered some 1989 Fleer World Series sets. I love highlight cards, and also collect Orel Hershiser, who appears in the set a few times, so I asked for one, and he kindly obliged. TCDB says I have the Hershiser’s already, so the entire set will go in the highlights binder, giving me a nice game by game look at the 1988 World Series. Thanks, Tom. 
Next up, is my haul from John of Johnny’s Trading Spot. I apologize for the lack of pictures, I was stoked to get the cards in my boxes. 
As many of you know, we live about an hour and a half from each other, so I’ve been to his place three times now to exchange cards. I had a stack of Braves, mini collection and player collection cards for him, and he let me dig through his trade boxes. Among the many sets he helped me get closer to finishing were 1986 Topps (43 cards), 1996 Topps (11 cards), 2002 Topps (73 cards), and 2006 Topps (228 cards). I also found a number of 2012 Topps cards, but my wantlist for that set is a mess, as that set had a number of errors on the backs of Series 1 cards, so it’s almost impossible to make a wantlist on TCDB that just says you need 1 version of each card number. I’ll probably go through that set again and list out which numbers I have from each team and then individually mark which ones I need on the site. John showed me a good way to make a paper wantlist while I was there. Basically type out the numbers 1-792 in Word or a like program, save it, and erase all haves from the set you are making the list for. He was able to fit multiple sets on a single page, and I think it will help me in my effort to complete every Topps base set. I’ll try to work on making some paper lists on Friday and bring them the next times I’m digging through boxes at shows, etc. I think TCDB is still a good tool and will help me know what I need when the list isn’t with me. Thanks again, John, for letting me dig through your trade boxes and showing me the most efficient way to make a paper wantlist. 
Last Wednesday, we were at Big Lots getting a gift for one of Kylers friends, and lo and behold they had a blaster of 2022 Optic at a reduced price. Overall, I feel like it was a good pick, as I got another De La Cruz rookie (must be Donruss luck) and an autograph. Unfortunately, my luck of pulling DeLand-associates guys ended, and I pulled one of a guy who was accused of a rather disturbing deed. I really hope he didn’t get his hands on that sticker. Aside from that one, I got some nice rookies of Tiger Spencer Torkelson, Pirate O’Neil Cruz, and a few pink parallels. 
Also pulled an insert of Max Scherzer, a guy I collect, another Tiger, this one a parallel of Matt Manning, and one of a hopefully lifetime Ray, Randy Arozarena. 
Last, but not least was a trade with Bill of Death Stare Cards. I remember back when I first was introduced to card blogs, Thorzul, Dimebox Nick, Stale Gum, Night Owl, Fuji, and other bloggers/blogs seemed larger than life. Now 10 or so years since then, I have traded with most of them, and while they still do a way better job than I do, they are all just down-to-earth people like I am who just want to trade cards, and that was what my first experience trading with the legendary Thorzul was like. Nothing big, but just a simple trade of some Brewers cards he can hopefully use for the Ray, Tiger, and 2 PC guys I could. 
A nice first trade and hopefully one of many more to come. Thanks, Bill.

I'm sure you all are asking "But didn't you get any cards for Christmas??". Truth is, Kyler got a number of packs from Series 1, 2, a repack box, and one of those things with a few Sereis 1, 2, Update, a jumbo card, and the Flagship Collection packs. The adults in our family usually don't get eachother gifts, as we spend enough on the kids already, but somehow I usually end up getting a pack or two from someone, whether it be from my mom, one of my sisters, or Karen's mom. That's just how this year ended up, and I got a hanging box of Series 1 from Karen's mom. While I already had the complete 2023 set, I figured I would open it, since places usually don't let you return cards and it still had inserts. It wasn't anything too life shattering, but it was the thought that counted. It was actually a Rat-Birds hot pack with the insers as I got a Anthony Santander rainbow parallel, an '88 redux Eddie Murray, and a Stars of MLB insert of their overrated rookie catcher. Kind of makes the blue parallel of the Nationals team card the highlight of the box. I'm still happy as they were free cards and I got something to open this Christmas. It may not be the last cards I open this year, as we need to grocery shop at least once before the year ends, and I'd like to see what Heritage High Number has to offer. 

I saw that while the 2024 Topps design isn't out yet, oddly, the (retail) sell sheets are. I don't know what that means. Maybe Topps actually reads my blog and knows that I want some info from them as to when the set will come out and what is in it, that I'm not a flipper and won't buy hobby if I don't have to, and that I have been known to make satire sell sheets in the past. At any rate, the set won't be out in January, as a release date just mentions February. There are more holiday-themed parallels with the retail stuff, which I hope doesn't mean flippers will be leaving the shelves bare again. Anyone know how to de-value parallels? The most stupid parallel is one that just takes away the base card design and leaves you with nothing but a 2.5 by 3.5 inch photo. Didn't we kind of do the same thing with the original Stadium Club Master Photos? What do they do for an encore, make a parallel with no design, no photo, just a white piece of plastic, slap a 1/1 on the back with a player name, and call it a day? I get they are trying to cut back on everything, eliminating the foil on everything except for the logo, but cut with the cheap stuff, Topps. You can go cheap with Opening Day, oh what's that, you don't make that anymore? At this rate, I might just have to stop opening packs with Kyler and not take him to games, just so he won't get sucked into the sport and collecting. Contract values are insane, making already expensive ticket prices to skyrocket, and same thing is happening with cards. There are no entry-level sets you can complete without SPs that are readily available for purchase 6 months out of the year at retail outlets. You can't go to a game without spending 20-40 bucks per person for upper deck seats, that much for a hot dog and tapwater, same for parking, plus the 3 hour drive to the nearest ballpark from us. Insane. Kind of why I got out of ttm autograph collecting. All of the free signers I had basically already gotten, nobody who is a current player signs anymore, making my success rates drop, and a number of free signers in the past are now charging 5-10 bucks a pop thanks to a few idiots who cornered the market and convinced these guys to sign for a fee and give them a percentage of the cut. Ruth signed for free. Why can't Lonnie Smith? May all the people getting rich off of baseball have their money die with them. It's just a game and everyone deserves to enjoy going to a game, maybe getting an autograph at a game, and then go to Wal-Mart on the way home and select from 5-10 different $1-$4 packs of cards and pull a card of a player they just saw. That's the only way it's going to carry on to a generation that is into video games. Not by pitch clocks, new rules, bigger bases, or a ghost man in extras. I hope Topps and Manfraud read this one. And if you are, ol' Robby, I WILL be making card of you in a dumb pose once the 2024 Topps design does come out! You can guarantee that!

Perhaps on my last off day of the year (Friday), I'll revisit some 2023 collecting goals and you can make fun of me for not making all of them, and I'll set some for 2024. 

Thanks for checking out my lastest post.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Trade with Poison75

2 days ago I got a package from loyal reader Stuart, aka Poison75 on the blogs and BseballCommish75 on SportsCardForum. We had talked about trading a while back, and while I am still in the process of uploading my entire collection to TCDB, we worked out a smaller sized trade, with me sending a key card for his ‘97 Ultra set build, some ‘97 Collectors Choice team cards, and some ‘95 Bazooka Red Hot inserts. In return, I got some nice Tigers and Rays needs. 

The 1974 Topps Frank White rookie got me a card closer to having the Tigers team set of that year finished. I just need the team card, Willie Horton, and the Reggie Sanders/Bill Madlock rookie card to finish it. The 1976 Topps stack of Tigers also got me closer to completing a team set, as I am now 10 cards short. 
Stuart sent a complete set of the 1988 Dominos Pizza ‘68 Tigers tribute set. Despite being a food issue, the company that made it took the time to fix mistakes, unlike a certain company ran by Fanatics. There were a few cards with misspellings or wrong pictures, and they all have corrected versions, and Stuart sent the errors and corrections, giving me an entire master set!
The set has a dollar off pizza coupon, to boot. Unfortunately, it expired in 1988 and probably is worth less than it was in 1988. A medium pepperoni pizza had to have been closer to 10 bucks back then so a buck off back then was 10%. Now it’s closer to 20 dollars, unless you get something with no taste like Little Caesar’s or Hungry Howies. I’m somewhat of a pizzaholic some I’ll take a good pizza any day with or without a coupon. Between ordering pizza, having a Digorno one after going shopping for a quick bite before bed, and having a totinos pizza 3-4 times a week, I’ve probably had pizza 1/4 to 3/4 of the week. I could seriously eat pizza (a combination of different brands), a ribeye steak medium rare, and red beans with sausage every day for the rest of my life and I would be happy. My pizza of choice would be a thin crust meat lovers with extra cheese. No veggies or pineapple!!
The last 3 cards were a 2008 Topps Chrome Armando Galarraga autograph, a 2023 Topps Update Kaline/Cabrera insert, and a 2022 Archives Spencer Torkelson rookie. 
The Galarraga card intrigued me when I turned it over. I busted enough of Topps/Chrome wax in 2008 to know that the numbers of the cards on the back are white. Armando’s autographed Chrome card looks like it is unnumbered, and I took a closer look, and it looks like there was a circular shaped sticker over the orange circle where the number would go. 
If you look even closer, it appears the sticker has the card number on it, albeit in a pinkish white color. 
Card #227, which matches the checklist. I don’t believe I pulled any autographs from 2008 Topps Chrome, but I believe the entire set had white card numbers. I’m unsure the story behind the sticker number, but maybe he was a late addition to the checklist or the number didn’t get printed somehow and this was the easiest way to fix it. I’ve seen other examples of the card online and they look the same way. Whatever the back story, it’s still a cool card and an autograph of a guy who in everyone’s book had pitched a perfect game. If Manfraud would change the records to show he pitched a perfect game (with the Indian/Guardians, Jason Donald, and Trevor Crowe’s approval), maybe I could forgive his horrible rule changes and letting Ohtani tamper with Tyler Glasnow. I say Donald and Crowe would need approval since Donald got the hit that was incorrectly calls and he would now have that single changed to a groundout, making his career hit total lowered by 1 and his batting average lower as well. Crowe would have hit out that he hit into after the Donald single taken away since he would’ve never came to the plate as Donald would be the 27th and final out. Not too big of an ask to get Crowe to approve it. Galarraga would have the single taken away, gain a perfect game, have his batters faced lowered by 1, and have his WHIP and similar SABRMetric stats lowered by numbers too small to really even measure. Surely he would approve it. I had hoped Selig would use his power to overturn the call the day after, but he didn’t. Too bad they didn’t have replay back then. 
The final part of the trade were 2 Fathead collectibles. They are pretty big, about the size of 2 cards. One is a 2013 version, and the other is from 2014. I’ll put these in big binder sheets when I update them. A nice first of what I hope to be trades. Thanks for the great trade, Stuart!

On the way to work about 2 weeks ago, my tire light came on, and I wasn’t surprised as it was cooler out. I put air in and it was fine. Then Thursday on the way home from work, the light came on again. It didn’t look like any were low, but I’m going to have it looked at either tomorrow afternoon after work or Monday after work. No big deal, as long as it’s just 1 tire I potentially will need to replace, I just hope I don’t end up waiting for a few hours. Maybe I should just go to Wal-Mart and use it as an excuse to by a blaster and open it while I’m waiting. 
Tuesday I’ll head up to John’s and help him clear out some space from his trade boxes and drop off some cards for him. That evening, Karen will be at a work party, so I’m sure I’ll do something card related before bed. After that, a crazy week or so of work before Christmas, and then I’ll be happy for a while with no major holidays until February other than New Years Eve. If I don’t get a post in by Christmas, I hope you and your family have a great Christmas. 
So a question before I sign off.  What is your dream kind of pizza?
Thanks for checking out my latest post. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

First TCDB trade

 Yesterday I got a pwe in the mail from Chris, aka The Collector on the blogs and HockeyDude on TCDB. We had worked out a trade over the past 2 weeks that was my first official on on TCDB. I know there is a way to select the cards you are sending and recieving in a trade on the site that will just allow them to be transferred to the apropriate collections, but I haven't figured that out yet. No biggie as it was just a pwe swap. Let's take a look at what Chris sent. 
Blogger has been giving me issues with viewing photos today, so I'm just going to post this and see if it works and shows the photo. First up is a 2018 Topps Big League Gold Paul DeJong. Next is a 1996 Topps Finest of Brooks Kieschnick, another guy I collect. The last 2 cards of guys I collect are both Andrelton Simmons cards. The first looks like an ordinary 2019 Topps card, but is actually an advanced stat card. The cool thing about this card for me is from the back, which I didn't take a picture of, so you'll have to believe me. It is numbered 15 out of 150, and when I was logging it into the site, I noticed that it was one of the few cards in the set to have pictures. I took a look at the photo of the back on the site, and saw it had the same serial # and was uploaded by none other than Chris himself! Kind of cool to have a card that will always and forever be the picture of the card when you view it on TCDB! The last Simmons card is a 2020 Topps Fire Arms Ablaze insert. I've never been a fan of the Topps Fire set, but some of the paralells and inserts are cool, as this one is. 
The rest of the trade were cards from my favorite teams. The Tigers are represented with a 1997 Donruss Ruben Sierra. I'll always remember him as the guy who the Tigers got for trading Cecil Fielder. I'll never forget waking up for school one morning and my parents telling me Big Daddy was traded and being upset. I wish baseball was just a sport and not a business. 
My Rays binder grew by 4 cards in the trade, as I got a 2019 Bowman Willy Adames, 2 cards of who I hope is a Ray for a long time, Tyler Glasnow. The 2022 Donruss retro '88 card might have finished that Rays set for me (I'll update my Rays at some point in TCDB and find out for sure), and the 2023 Topps Archives card got me a Wander Franco from finishing the Rays set, as the 2023 Archives Manuel Margot was the last card I recieved in the trade. A great first TCDB trade, and hopefully the first of many with Chris. Hope you enjoy your end, and thanks for the trade, Chris!

I finished uploading the non-Topps Pirates to TCDB today, and that leaves me with just 4 NL teams to finish (Cardinals, Padres, Giants, and Expos/Nationals). Probably won't get it done by the end of the year, but there is still a small chance. I just don't think I'll have time with how 2 weeks before a holiday gets at work and how my off days are the rest of the year. Weekdays that I am off are usually prime times to upload cards, and weekends are usually out of play as Karen is off and Kyler isn't in school. I usually get a weekend day and a random day in the week off, but I'll basically have 2 days shot right off the bat as we are headed down to Melbourne Friday to visit in-laws. I'm ok with that, becuase we are doing Christmas then and that means we are staying home on Christmas and while I'll probably be going into work around 2 or 3 AM, I won't have to worry about a long drive home and I can just say 'I'm going to bed' whenever. Christmas falls on a Monday this year, so that day will also be shot, so maybe I'll try to get 1 more team uploaded and hope for finishing the NL in early 2024. 

Speaking of 2024, I'm kind of disturbed with what I have noticed with Fanatics regarding new releases, and was wanting to know what you guys think. I'm sure everyone has noticed that lately, Fanatics will release sell sheets of new products a month to a few weeks before the release of a product. 2023 Topps Update, Update Chrome, and Heritage High Numbers (are you collecting these, Night Owl?) are recent examples. I am fine with that as the company is just finishing its first year of running the show. 
I was hoping that 2024 Topps would have a sell sheet out, as it has come out as early as July or August. I think for me, the issue isn't that the 2024 Topps design and sell sheet isn't out, it is that the 2024 Bowman ones are. It just seems to me like it is a sign that tells me Fanatics is going to cater to the flipper brahs that are into flipping and slabbing rookies. Bowman is catered to rookie card collectors and on a smaller scale, in-person autograph collectors, and it just reeks to me of Fanatics catering to idiots that don't collect and are just in it for the profit. Why put out sell sheets of lower-end products a month before they are on shelves and then just stopping the presses and putting out the 2024 Bowman sell sheet when it doesn't come out until April 2024? Put as much care into 2024 Topps as you do to 2024 Bowman! I might just have to purchase the complete set and not support these idiots anymore if they keep making kid-friendly products with SPs, taking away cheap sets like Opening Day, and leaving team/set/budget collectors on the back burner. While I am highly proud of Fanatics for not Tuckering us this year and producing 2 base Topps cards of the same player in the same uniform, I demand higher standards from them. I want more players in the base set, less inserts, 5 or less parallels, and just a fun 2024 Topps set. At least we know 2024 Bowman will give the flippers what they want. 

Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

2023 Topps Chrome Update and Panini Chronicles

 Yesterday I had the chance to go to Target and got some cards. It might be the last chance I had to bust open some wax before the new year, so I may have got a little more than the normal blaster. Apparently Chronicles came out, so I got 2 hanging packs of that along with a blaster of Update Chrome. They were pretty nice cards, so let’s take a look. 

I got a lot of rookies in Update Chrome. Haven’t really heard of most of them, but that doesn’t mean that one of them won’t break out. Mason Miller is a guy I collect because he is a Type 1 diabetic. I pulled this card before, but it will go in my rookie card binder. 
The Volpe, Walker, and Yoshida were nice pulls. I see that there’s a popular Orioles blogger who is blogging again, so maybe I can get rid of, I mean trade some of these Rat Birds I keep pulling. Most people would be upset pulling a Pink Lavafractor (or whatever it is called) of a Marlin, but I’m happy with the Arraez pull as he was the guy who won the 2022 AL batting title and kept Aaron Judge from winning a Triple Crown. The Pink Murphy is for Johnny’s Trading Spot if it is a need. 
Next up is the Chronicles. When it first came out, I didn’t like all of the designs, but now I think I understand it and I am ok with it. The only problem I have is how the designs look similar from year to year. It’s kind of the same way that I feel about Bud Selig. While I think Interleague play is a mistake, he really didn’t do anything that bad compared to what that idiot Manfraud is doing. The pitch clock ruins the game for me. I’m not used to staring at the plate and being ready for the pitch. When I’m at a game in person, I like checking the out of town scoreboard, trying to locate the mascot, or just looking around the stadium in between pitches. The pitch clock takes this away and just ruins the flow of the game for me. I’m ok with bigger bases and no shifts, but the runner in extra innings takes away from the purity of the game. I’m sure relievers who end up giving up runs because of it feel the same way. Same thing of ones that end up with balks because of pitch clock violations. I might send this card to Selig with an apology for dogging him and see if I can get it signed. I’ve never been a fan of Rose, so that one is up for grabs. 
The DiMaggio one is also up for grabs as I don’t care for him or most Yankee$. Sure he has the hit streak, but he just gets talked about so much. The Ortiz card is pretty cool. I had a Tigers hot pack, as I got a new Sparky, a Harvey Kuenn, and some kind of parallel of Wilmer Flores numbered to 50. After buying so much ‘22 Bowman Platinum and not getting a single De La Cruz, I get 2 hanging packs of ‘23 Chronicles and finally got one, so this one ends on a good note. As always, if you are a team or player collector and see something you like, let me know and I can start a trade pile for you or add to it. 

This week should be a pretty nice week. Boss is on vacation, I’m off Thursday, Friday my 11th wedding anniversary, and we might head out to Disney Springs (where we had our first date), get dinner somewhere and see where the night takes us. I’m off Saturday so I don’t have to worry about being out too late and having to be back at work at 4:30 the next morning. Perks of being a baker, right?  Between now and the anniversary, I’ll probably try to finish logging the Mets into TCDB and finish up some pending trades. 

Thanks for checking out my latest post. 

Friday, December 1, 2023

Trade package from Night Owl

 I had 2 packages waiting for me when I got home from work today. The first one were the last few cards to complete some Traded sets, and the second was a package from the great Night Owl
Greg hooked me up with some Rays and some cards to help with my Topps  project. Let’s take a look. 

The Rays portion started off with some Wander Franco rookies and rookie parallels. I’m still holding out hope that he can play again with the Rays, but at this point, only Wander, those involved, and maybe some of the people close to him or handling the investigation know which way it is leaning. I’ll probably hold on to these while the verdict is still out, and depending on the outcome, either actively persue him again or avoid him altogether. The Blake Snell 2019 Big Leagues help finish the Snell cards from that set. I collect Kluber, so the one I already have will go in the Rays binder, and the other will go in my Kluber collection. The Arozarena insert is nice. I love the design of this years Stars of MLB insert. I thought I had the ‘87 Topps Dodgers leaders card, but when I looked at my wantlist, I was missing it, so this one officially closes the book on that set. The 2016 Topps Update cards are all needs, including some nice rookies like the Urias. Taillon is also a guy I collect. He went to my high school.  Thanks, Greg, for the nice trade package. 
After opening the packages and doing some chores, I started logging the Mets into TCDB. While on the site, I looked at the complete set listing in my collection, and noticed the 2021 Topps Update set was missing. I probably shouldn’t have, but a few of the first sets I completed in before using the site, I just marked as complete. I believe 2019, 2020, and 2021 Topps, and maybe the 2000 Topps set too. I figured the ‘21 Update set was marked, but it wasn’t. I just marked the set as complete, not wanting to dig through boxes and binders to make totally sure, but it may be a good thing that I did, because as I was marking, I finished with card #330, and only had 329 cards. I looked back at the checklist, and there was a missing card number and 2 cards numbered 142. Unfortunately, I only had 1 copy of #142 and was missing the David Hale version of the number. Now I need to pick up a copy, and I’ll probably keep entering cards in 1 by 1 and resist the easy choice of marking a set as complete. Hoping to get the Mets logged in this next week and maybe start on the Phillies. I’ll be off Thursday and don’t have any plans yet, so that is good for the card plans. 
Thanks for checking out my latest post. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Help from a friend

 I had planned on meeting up with John from Johnny’s Trading Spot today at a card shop in Ormond, but was unable to get someone to watch Kyler. It all worked out, as I needed to get together with my buddy Jim. He collects Cardinals and autographs. He was able to get Logan Gilbert’s autograph for me at a Stetson University and had some boxes of doubles for me to look through. I had a stack of cards I had been waiting to give him, so the trip worked out for both of us. 
Those doubles boxes were filled with needs. The best cards for me were just 3 random commons that have been the death of me. The ‘87 Topps Eric Davis and 1990 Topps Bruce Hurst and Keith Hernandez have eluded me for years, and were the 3 cards keeping me from finishing those sets, and now thanks to Jim they are completed. He also helped me complete the 1988 Topps set, and get very close to finishing a few others. I am a LaTroy Hawkins away from finishing the 2004 Topps set, 3 away from finishing the 1989 Topps set, and only 14 away from completing the 1996 Topps set. When I get my Black Friday order in, those 14 ‘96 Topps cards are the only ones keeping me from having a complete Topps run of sets in the ‘90’s. The 2005 Topps set is also a lot closer to being completed now as well. I could’ve spent hours at Jim’s, but that will have to wait for another day. Thanks, Jim, for letting me dig through your doubles and also for getting me the Logan Gilbert autographs. I’ll keep looking for Cardinals you need and always try to get some autographs for you at the next game I attend. 

I was also able to finish logging the Brewers into TCDB. That gives me 10 out of 30 teams. I would consider that I have a little over 25% of my collection logged into the site. Still have 20 teams, plus 4-5 special card binders left to log in. Slowly but surely. Mets are next. 

Thanks for taking the time to read my latest post. 

Saturday, November 25, 2023

2023 Topps Chrome Update Blaster

 After work today we went to Target and I picked out a blaster of Topps Chrome Update. Not my usual product, but I enjoy Chrome refractors and you can hit the jackpot with a big rookie. The blaster was a winner for me, with a few guys I collect, some Rays, and nice rookies and refractors. Let’s have a look. 
The newest player I collect, Type 1 Diabetic Mason Miller was a nice surprise, and so was the newly crowned World Champion Jacob deGrom. My refractors were nice to me as I got a Pink one of Ray Kevin Kelly, and another one, this one a sepia one of Rays rookie Taj Bradley. 
Got a few decent rookies, including an ‘88 of Josh Jung, and a Purple refractor of Rat-Bird rookie Grayson Rodriguez. Might have to start rooting for him but hope the team loses. The other refractors weren’t earth shattering, but at least they weren’t Yankee$ or Padre$. 

Most of these are available if you need them. I feel like Update Chrome is a set that doesn’t get out there very much as other sets are issued at the same time or shortly after. Glad I was able to find this blaster in the wild. 

Wednesday I’m off and I hope to log more Brewers in the TCDB. Eventually it will all get done and hopefully between now and then, there will be more trade posts on this blog. 

Thanks for taking the time to check out my latest post. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Missing Autograph Pickups

 A week or so when I got a bonus from work, I decided to fill some holes in my Brody Koerner collection. I had all of the 2016 Elite Extra Edition unautographed cards besides the Gold Aspirations 1/1, and I figured I would try to add the autographed cards. I picked up a Status Tie Dye autograph #d 4/5 shortly after it came out just because I knew that one would be a toughie should I decide to get all of the autographed ones. That seems like a smart choice, as I was able to find everything except for an Emerald Status autograph numbered to 25. There are 2 1/1s, one of which I believe was pulled as I vaguely remember finding an old eBay listing on that BreakNinja site. I had his cards saved to my eBay searches for a while, but nothing has popped up in a while. I feel like this might be all of the cards I get of Brody, as the only card that isn't a 1/1 is that Emerald autograph. Just 1 unautographed 1/1, 2 autographed 1/1s, and 8 different autographed 1/1 printing plates (4 from Status, and 4 from Aspirations). If anyone has any leads on these cards, please reach out. 
There are all of my Brody Koerner cards. I somehow missed pulling his 2022 Choice Charlotte Knights minor league card, but I have that one too, either in my favorite player binder or in my favorite player/Rays/Tigers monster box. 20 out of 32 cards ain't bad, especially when the rest are basically 1/1s. I'm the #1 Brody Koerner collector on TCDB by 15, and that's kind of cool. Especially when I see I have 210 cards of Miguel Cabrera and I'm ranked #74. I'm not collecting him, and have just acquired his cards from packs over the years, but 210 seems like nothing when the top person has 3,360. I'll be happy having the top spot with a handful of guys I collect, and that's fine.

I'm going to have a killer paycheck in 2 weeks. I'm at 40.93 hours right now and have a decent day on Friday. Not much bread to bake, but lots of cookies, pastries, and pies to make to fill the floor after most of the stuff will go bad and we won't be able to replenish it as we are closed tomorrow. I think I'll be good for at least 8 hours, and really that's the most I want to work as it's been a long week and I just want to make the stuff and get home. I've had long days and haven't really even had the energy to sit down and log cards into TCDB, so perhaps if I get a day on Friday that's not too exhausting, I'll do that. Otherwise, it will probably be on Monday. Whenever it starts, I'll be doing the Brewers, and they are only 2 notebooks, so maybe I can get them done by the end of next week. 

I hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving. 

Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Friday, November 17, 2023

2023 Archives blaster and ‘23 Update set

 Well, I did go to Wal-Mart last night and got to pick up a blaster of Archives. It was a fun break, and felt like I got like 5 cards of 3 or 4 teams and zero of others. 

The Braves, Cubs, Dodgers, and Cardinals were the first of the teams that I kept pulling. The Maddux is an insert which has Smoltz on the back. It is yours if you need it, John. Wish I would’ve pulled some of these before I went to the post office, but oh well. 
The Giants, and Rat-Birds were 2 of the other ones I got tons of. 

The only Tigers or Rays I pulled were Taj Bradley and Miguel Cabrera. No players I collect, but some decent rookie names. The Baby Boomer Josh Jung is sweet, and while I can’t stand the Rat-Birds, the rookies I pulled are good ones. 
2 hot New York rookies close out the blaster. 

I got home from work today and expected to put some Brewers cards into TCDB. Instead, there was a big package in the mailbox, and I was pretty sure it was the 2023 Topps Update set that I had ordered on Tuesday night. Somehow in 2-3 hours, I got the cards into TCDB, separated the rookies, guys I collect, Rays and Tigers, and then Kyler helped me organize them into teams. 

When I got the 2023 Topps set, I noted the number of rookies compared to everything else, and I can say the Update set is worse. Here is the set broken down for you. 
L-R we have rookies, AL, NL, Rays, Tigers, players I collect, 1 card for the highlight binder, and 1 Stephen Strasburg sunset card. Also keep in mind the Rays, Tigers, and PC stacks had a few rookies in them as well. Over half the set was rookies. I know because I put them all in penny sleeves and went through over 1 1/2 packs. I’m not an investor or anything, but I really wish they would put more guys in the set besides rookies. Either put the whole team in the set or take half of the rookies out. If they would’ve had this many rookies in the 2021 or 2022 set, I might have more Brody Koerner cards to chase. 
On the bright side, while I have purchased a number of blasters this year, just logging cards into TCDB has shown me that either the number of inserts and ratio of pulling them is down this year, or I have got less packs this year. One thing Im really proud of is that I only purchased 1 hanging pack of Series 2 and nothing from Update. Cut down on the doubles but missed out on inserts. I can live with that. 
We’ll see how far I get with the TCDB project next week. I’ll be happy with a few hours and then I’ll get back into the swing of things after the holiday. If I don’t post before then, be kind to retail employees and have a nice thanksgiving. 
Thanks for checking out my latest post. 

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Busy card week

 Today I felt like I wouldn't have much time to do anything, but I was able to get alot done. I had hoped to get some labwork done, go to the post office, and perhaps finish putting my Dodgers into TCDB. I was able to do all of that, and I still had a little time left to post this. I also straightened up the area in my card room where all of my envelopes/sleeves/trade cards & materials are. 
I have had a few stacks of cards ready to go out in the mail to different collectors, and I was able to get everything out except for 2 people on different sites that I wasn't able to get an address for in time. It did feel good, however, to get a few packages sent out, as I have been wanting to send some trade packages out for a while, and just didn't have the time, or money, or enough cards to justify sending them. I still have a few people I want to send stuff to, but am just waiting for my stacks to grow a little bigger, which could happen tonights, as we should be going to Wal-Mart and I hope to find a blaster of '23 Archives. 
I finally got my bonus check from work. Currently, I have been full time for 7 years. I get 2 weeks of vacation that I can take, and 2 weeks worth of time that I can either use for vacation or cash out. I have cashed it out every year I have had it, but with my boss, sometimes I wonder if my mental and overall health would be better if i just used the vacation in 2-3 day increments every month or so. This year it didn't happen, and coming up on one of the busiest times of the year, I feel like we have done well so far. Please, if you need to shop for Thanksgiving, get it done early and don't be one of the people that comes in on the last 2 days and drives the volume of production up. Your retail employee friends will thank you. I work tomorrow, Saturday, am off Sunday, and then have the dreaded 3 day stretch before Thanksgiving. Not really looking forward to the holiday either if I am honest. We'll be headed to Lakeland, about 1 and a half hours south on Thursday, and I have to be back in to work at 3 AM on Friday morning. I'd be fine with visiting if we do a morning event, but no, people want their dinner, so I'm going to already  be dead from working the day before, and won't get much sleep on Thursday. Everyone says 'Oh, you can leave whenever you want and sleep in the car', but I can guarantee we'll probably end up staying till 7PM and everyone knows sleep in a car isn't the same quality as sleep in your bed. And they wonder why I have been saying 'bah humbug!' the last few years...
I do have some cards to brighten up the next week. Not really anything earth shattering, but I did order some cards and a set with some of the bonus money which should be getting here between the 20th and early December. 
I ordered the 2023 Topps Update set so I can put the 2023 Topps sets to rest. One of the newest guys I collect, DeLand, FL native Nick Fortes had a jersey card from '22 Triple Threads which I won for a few bucks on eBay. We were lucky enough to see him play in DC this year, and he signed a card and talked with us for a little bit. Hopefully he stays in the Majors for a while and Kyler and I can follow his career. I also picked up some Brody Koerner singles. His uncle is married to my wife's aunt, and I got to hang out with him at a Dave & Busters in Orlando. He pitched 2 games for the Yankees in 2021, and is now retired, married with a 2 month old, and looking to get into coaching. I am already the #1 collector of his on TCDB, as he just has minor league cards and a card in the 2015 Elite Extra Edition set, but I while I have all of his minor league issues and all of the regular EEE cards except for one last 1/1 parallel, I don't have many of the certified autographed cards. There were like 4 or 5 available online, so I went ahead and ordered them all, including one numbered to 10. There are some 1/1s and low numbered ones still to get, but this will get me pretty close to owning just about everything possible. Perhaps the missing ones will pop up, and maybe even some of the printing plates. I
I also got a few traded singles to complete some sets. I figured some of the traded cards from sets are a little hard to find, and being only 8 cards from finishing the '93 Traded set, I could justify spending 15 cents or so for a few cards, especially if they are all shipping from the same place. I'll probably wait to update everything into TCDB until it gets here, but I believe if I have my numbers right, I only need a few random 1996 Topps cards, and 2 easy to find 1990 Topps cards, and that will give  me the entire Topps base card run of the '90's, and that's pretty cool. Maybe I'll go for the '80's next. 
I'll probably post pics of the cards as they come in, and see how far I can get logging the Brewers into TCDB this next week. If you live in Watertown, NY, Mansfield, TX, or Portland, OR, be on the lookout for some mail, and if you feel like I owe you a package, please reach out to me, I may be sitting on a stack of cards that the next trip to a card shop should grow into a stack that is sizeable enough to send. 
Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

2022 Topps Gallery blaster

 Last night we went to Wal-Mart, and they were out of 2022 Bowman Platinum blasters. I would’ve probably got something else anyways, so it wouldn’t have mattered, but I was wondering how long they would leave the product out. I decided on one of ‘22 Topps Gallery, and it did pretty well, although the Rays and Tigers were lacking.  
I’ll just post the fun ones. Pulled a Chipper Jones for my player collection. The Bichette Next Wave is a green parallel which was numbered to like 300. I got some nice names (except for Jeter) with the Printer Proofs. The Trout is a rainbow foil. The rookies were good in my book as I pulled Josiah Gray (who I think might be decent for Washington), Jeremy Pena (Printers Proof parallel), and Spencer Strider being the main ones. 

I can’t remember if ‘22 Gallery was released in late 2022 or early 2023. That brings me to my big question. If a brand can release a set for the previous year 3-6 months after the year ends, will the rookies still command the value? Say something would’ve happened in 2018 and Bowman didn’t get released until mid 2019, would the Acuna or Ohtani cards still command the value as the typical star Bowman rookie?  If a set releases any time after January 1, I feel the companies should have to follow the rules and not make it be a set for the year before. With the ‘21 Big League embarrassment, collectors deserve something better. If companies can’t release products when they are supposed to, MLB or whoever oversees the companies should take away 1 high-end product for that season. It would be 1 less product to make, the companies would take it serious because the high end products are key to the bottom line, flippers would be pissed and perhaps get driven away, and it could realistically give companies an idea of how many brands they really can put out every year without sacrificing quality or release dates. Maybe set release dates in stone beginning with year 1, and have the qc people do a check 1-2 months before the release and they would give the yes or no. If it looks like the date will be pushed back, push it back, and no Triple Threads later in the year. Maybe have them suspend online only or on-demand projects for a month if a physical set release date is pushed back. Missed out on making the  De La Cruz Topps Now rookie because of a release date penalty?  Oh well. You get to make his card next year. If only I ran the hobby…
I only got through logging the 2002 Astros sets into TCDB this week. Just bad luck all around, mainly due to one or more of the family being sick and the holiday tomorrow. Next week should offer a better chance to log cards in, perhaps I’ll finish the Astros and Dodgers. I should also have the 2023 Topps Update set ordered at some point in the next week or so. This week will end pretty well as Saturday Karen and I are going to an escape room and dinner with some friends, and Sunday we have a nice lineup of piano/keyboard driven songs I’ll be playing with the band at church (Lion and the Lamb, Living Hope, Cornerstone, and Glorious Day), and Kyler will be having his (late) birthday party at the bowling alley afterwards. Maybe the 2024 Topps design will get released this week as well. Might as well put that out there so they might do it. 
Thanks for checking out my latest post. 

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Oops, I did it again!

 On Thursday, we went to Wal-Mart, and of course, I checked out the card aisle. There were quite a few products to choose from, with Prizm, Update, and some bargain boxes. I decided to get ‘22 Bowman Platinum one last time. Figured I would try to get that De La Cruz card and maybe hit a parallel. 
Well, I struck out on both fronts. I think it’s time to just cough up the extra 5 bucks and switch to something newer that doesn’t have a discount sticker. How do I know it’s time?  I’ll explain later. I should’ve known better than to buy a product just for the chance to pull 1 base card. I struck out so many times on ‘11 Bowman trying to get a Bryce Harper and never pulled one. I tried so many times to get a ‘22 Topps Chrome Wander Franco, and got nothing. About the only products I got the hot rookie on were the ‘10 Topps Chrome Stephen Strasburg and the ‘22 Heritage Wander Franco. I should’ve known I wouldn’t get the De La Cruz. 
First, some cards. Did well and got 2 Rays. The Brujan is a double. Also got an Ice parallel of Xander Bogaerts, a guy I collect. 
I somehow got my finger in the way of this shot. The Thomas Ice parallel is a nice card. The other 2 are the reason I might need to switch. I’ve pulled the Tyler Black and Blaze Jordan Ice parallels before, and when you start pulling doubles of inserts/parallels, that either means collation sucks or you’re pretty darn close to completing the set. Either way, this might be the last of the ‘22 Bowman Platinum. 

It’s been a weird couple of days. Thursday my throat was a little sore, and figured it was allergies or the start of a normal cold. Friday I went to work and had zero energy, nose was running like crazy so they sent me home. I did a little cleaning and put some clothes in the wash and took a good hour nap. Really wanted to post the cards that evening but I was just so freaking out of energy that I went to bed around 8 and didn’t post anything or check out the blogs. That really isn’t like me. Usually I end up staying up till 10:30 or so and get a little more done around the house before lying down, but I didn’t care last night. I took some Benadryl earlier that afternoon, and it usually knocks me out and dries my nose, but that didn’t do anything, but I had some NyQuil before bed, and that must’ve been the winning combination along with the 2 or 3 extra hours of rest. Saturday I got up at 3:30, went to work, worked the whole day and got everything done, and felt a great deal better. Nose was still running some but not as much as on Friday, and the medicine I took must’ve kept it from going into full on waterfall mode. After getting off work I drove home and then we made the 1 1/2 hour drive to Lakeland to celebrate my stepdads 70th birthday. Saw my mom, youngest sister and her husband, and one of my nieces who is staying with my younger sister. It was a fun night, and Kyler was the star of the night with his nonstop talking and random facts. His birthday is Monday, and he got some nice gifts, including a blaster of 2023 Series 2, and I got a belated gift of a pack of ‘23 Heritage. I got a card of Kenley Jansen (who I collect), and an SP of Alex Verdugo (believe you might have it, Night Owl. It is on your list, but it’s green). Kyler opened only 1 pack of the Series 2, but got a McGwire ‘88, and a Fathers Day manu-patch of O’Neil Cruz. Im off tomorrow and Monday, so we’ll do church tomorrow, hopefully get a nice nap, and Monday I’ll finish entering the Marlins into TCDB, and start on the Astros. Perhaps I’ll be able to check off the whole Marlins team set of ‘22 Bowman Heritage. If I don’t, it might give me an excuse to by more. 
Thanks for checking out my latest post. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

A special set completed

 I have a ton of cards ready to go into binders at the moment. 5-6 monster boxes worth. They are organized by teams, then year, alphabetically by brand, then alphabetically by player. With that many cards, a few are bound to get out of order. Heck, while putting in all of my non-Topps cards into TCDB, I’ve found cards within the wrong year, and probably a few wrongly alphabetized cards per team binder. 

While putting in all my Topps cards to TCDB, I’ve discovered I was 2 cards away from finishing the 1990 Topps set, and 1 each from completing the 1990 Topps Traded, 1988 Topps, 1997 Topps, and 1998 Topps Inaugural Rays set. I purchased the ‘97 Topps, ‘90 Traded, and ‘98 Inaugural Rays set, so I would think they would be all there. Especially the 1990 Topps Traded missing card, as I have a 2nd set because it came in a lot of sets. My doubles are piled into cardboard boxes which are stacked up in my already jam packed garage, so there’s no way I am finding the missing Scott Radinsky Traded card. 
I was hoping that as I get to putting more cards into TCDB, and eventually into binders that I would come across some missing cards from sets I really thought were complete. 
I was off today, and was able to finish entering my non-Topps Reds, and got midway through 2004 with the Rockies. Even better, I found the 1 missing card from my 1998 Topps Inaugural Rays set. 
A nice surprise, as that card would’ve probably cost me a least 2-3 bucks with shipping, and was the most expensive of all of those cards keeping me from completing sets. 
The 1998 Topps set was a fun set to complete just because it was from the height of my days of watching baseball and being in high school. I was homeschooled, so I had a ton of free time which went to organizing baseball cards and watching games. Back then, I didn’t have much money to by packs, so it usually was Collectors Choice or a random Topps pack once or twice a month as far as card purchases. 
I remember my first 1998 Topps pack came from Toys r Us, as we had to go there for something and it must’ve been early 1998. The only way to see what the new designs would look like was from Beckett, and I hadn’t seen them yet, so the cards were new to me straight out of the pack. I loved the design with the team logos repeating themselves behind the name, and the prospect cards were really cool with the baseballs in the background. I was really looking forward to finding cards of the Rays and Diamondbacks, but they wouldn’t be in the set until Series 2. I pulled a Minted in Cooperstown Steve Karsay parallel, and loved the big Hall of Fame stamp on the card. The draft pick cards were another cool sunset with the repeating photos on the sides. 
The sad thing about that year was that they had the Inaugural Rays sets. A special set with the Rays Inaugural Season logo stamped on them. I wasn’t going to be able to afford a regular complete set in 1998, let alone the Rays one. Fast forward 25 years later or so, and the value was still holding steady and I just had a single token Rays Inaugural Season card in my collection. I now had more money to spend on cards, but less time to organize and still little hope of finding a set under a hundred bucks or so. 
Looks like individual team sets are going for 20-30 bucks on eBay right now. Well anyways, I found a set for 46.25 including shipping at the beginning of this year, and I jumped on it. After putting the cards into TCDB, I was somehow short one, but now I can say it is officially complete, with the David Ortiz, Kerry Wood, and Roy Halliday rookies and all. I never thought I would complete that set before I completed the regular 1998 Topps set, but I have. I may still try to finish the regular version, but that’s going to be way on down the line. 
While I don’t know how I missed logging this card in, I have a feeling I know how it got there. Sheffield’s uni just looks white/gray and black, and if you just glance quickly, it looks like he’s in a Rockies uniform. I probably quickly glanced at it and thought it was a Rockies card and threw it in their pile. Now if I’ll find the other missing cards while putting my non-Topps stuff in TCDB remain to be seen, but there’s a chance. Hopefully I’ll have some time tomorrow and I’ll make progress on Colorado. 
Thanks for taking the time to read my latest post. 

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Package from Too many Verlanders

 When I got home from work today, I got a surprise package in the mail from Dennis of Too many Verlanders fame. 

About 2 weeks ago, Dennis posted some stuff he got from FB Marketplace, including some trade bait cards, which are included here. First, before I show off the cards, I have to mention that bloggers are the good guys in the hobby, and out of those, Dennis is probably one of the best. He included not only the 3 cards I asked for from the last post, not only a bunch of Rays (he always sends nice cards of favorite teams to guys who are team collectors), but also went the extra effort to look at my Ultimate Topps Project wantlist and knock some cards off of my lists. 

The '04 MLB Showdown Rey Sanchez is my first card from that set from any team. The '05 Bowman BJ Upton relic would've been a hot card back in 2005, and I think because I'm a Rays fan, I still get excited when I get hits/rookies/autographs of Rays guys who have long been discarded into the commons bin. The '08 Topps Moments & Milestones cards must've come from the aforementioned purchase, as I remember seeing some cards from that set in the post. The '08 Upper Deck First Pitch cards might get me finished with the set, I still need to enter my non-Topps Rays to TCDB. 
The 2 Derrick Gibson E-XL cards and the Edwin Moreno autograph were the requested cards. Why do you collect 2 nobodys like them, you ask? Well, Derrick was a huge guy who hit a ton of HRs in the minors in the '90's, but never panned out like I thought he would. In a game I attended, Moreno pitched a no-hitter through 6 or so innings in the 2002 Florida State League Championship Series, and I got a game-used ball from the game, and got him to sign it. One of the most dominating pitching performances I've seen in person. The 1996 Topps cards got me within 27 cards of completing that set, or re-completing it, I should say. As with a number of these sets, I got many cards from them autographed ttm or at games I attended, and when I decided to sell my autographed cards, I ended up breaking up a number of complete sets that I had purchased. Good news is that I did some preliminary looking on, and a number of cards can be had for a few nickels each, and I think that might be the way to go. 
Checking out the back of the '96 Topps Andy Benes made me realize how good the 1995 Mariners were. Benes got traded to the Mariners late that year, and went 7-2 for the team, but had an ERA close to 6!  That has to be some kind of record, and just shows what you can do with an offense that features a prime Griffey, A-Rod, Edgar Martinez, Tino Martinez, Jay Buhner, and Paul Sorrento. Not that Benes was a bad pitcher, as he led the NL in K's the year before, but the AL must've had his number in '95. 
The 2002 Topps set is a fun one, which could be one of the first ones I try to complete. The main set shouldn't be too difficult as I have most of Series 1 & 2 (missing 265 cards). The Traded set is going to be a tad tricky. I'm 126 cards short, but the first 110 cards are SPs. I think I have all of the key rookies, so I just need to find any of the SP cards in Chrome versions, as they aren't SPs. They might be a tad more expensive than a normal common, though. I still think I might try to complete it, just because it brings back so many memories from the height of my card collecting in college, and I know so many of the players. 
A number of these cards are also guys I collect, so as a bonus, I not only add cards to my player collections, but I knock cards off of sets as well. Such is the case for Chris Johnson and Corey Kluber. The '12 Topps set has been a challenge for me to list needs on TCDB because all of Series 1 has error and corrected versions of every card. I will have to go in there an manually uncheck variations from some of these sets, which is a royal pain. Darn error/variation collectors!
The set that had the most cards was 2015 Topps. I'm 223 cards away from finishing it, which is a pretty low number, since 2015 was when I kind of got back into really collecting after getting married in 2012. Also included were some of the 2015 Update set, which is 134 cards away from being done, but with some of the rookies, it might take a while. I did get a fairly big one crossed off, as Dennis included the Joey Gallo Rookie Debut card. The Kolten Wong card is an SP, which if not for TCDB, I would've never known. 
The last group includes mainly 2016 Topps/Topps Update, with a stray '18 Topps card at the end. '16 Topps is 247 away from getting done, while the '18 set is only 97 from being finished. Not surprising, as I definitely purchased more packs in 2018. Ah, the good old days of collecting before Covid and flipper brah's. 

I have some cards set aside for Dennis (and a few other bloggers) that I will be adding to and sending off in the near future. Thanks for the great package, Dennis. I will hit you back soon.

I'm hoping to go the main card shop around town and browse for cards I need as well as some trade bait. It seems like there are shops popping up all over town. There is Pops, the main one I go to. There is one, I believe called Premiere Sportscards, in Orange City, which is the one I went to a few days ago.  Then there are a few I haven't been to. One within walking distance of my house, which looks like it might mainly be Pokemon crap. Those 3 have been around the longest, each for 5+years. Of the newer ones, there is one about 2 miles away called 'Gem Mint Cards', which I will probably avoid like the plague just because of the name. Finally, there is another 1 or 2 in downtown DeLand. Seriously, ever since the pandemic, they have been popping up like crazy. 

Besides entering all of the cards Dennis got me into TCDB, I have finished the Cubs earlier today. That makes the Diamondbacks, Braves, Cubs, and Tigers all entered completely into TCDB. There may be a few stragglers of the first 3 teams, such as rookies, combo cards, parallels, jerseys, and the like, but basically I know what I need for each of those teams in any set thanks to TCDB. It is fun to see what players have the most cards, and I can't wait to analyze everything once each and every card is entered. I will keep entering cards until then. 

Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

2023 Bowman Platinum and LCS trip

 It’s getting the time of year where things start getting crazy around here. Usually, it’s the crazy volume at work due to the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years holidays. This year, there are just more things we’ve been invited to and a whole new uncharted territory of having a kid that is a year older than last year. This year it seems like we have a ton of Halloween events instead of just the trick or treating that we had last year. We drove to an event about an hour away yesterday in order to meet up with my sister and brother-in-law, we had dinner at Kylers best Benny’s house at a Halloween themed night that Bennys parents threw, and went to another event at a church near their house beforehand. This week I think we might have 1 or 2 events as well. Throw in all these idiot bikers clogging up the roads for Biketoberfest (we’re 45 minutes away from Daytona Beach), Karen’s birthday tomorrow, and Kylers birthday 13 days after that, and I feel exhausted before the real crazy times even get here. 
On the bright side, there have been some chances to get cards during all of the chaos. I can’t even remember when it was, but we went to Wal-Mart at some point in the last week, and I was able to pick up a blaster of 2023 Bowman Platinum. Then a few days later, Karen got her hair done, and since it was so close to my work, Karens mom offered to pick up Kyler from school and watch him so we could grab an early dinner date. After I got off work, I still had some time to kill while Karens appointment was still going on, so I drove to the card shop near my work and killed an hour or so. I finally had my Topps wantlists, and although I didn’t think they would have too many old cards, I was pleasantly surprised. 

Unfortunately, I have cards from both trips combined so you’ll have the ‘23 Bowman Platinums in the same photos from the LCS trip. 
The LCS usually has mainly Pok√©mon crap and overpriced packs, but I am usually able to find parallels and stuff for my player collections, but while digging through boxes and letting the owner know what I was looking for, he dug out a box from the back of older cards. They don’t have many boxes in the store (only like 4 or 5), so I was really surprised he had this one. It contained ‘78 Topps cards, mostly in numerical order with 5-6 of each card, and some basketball and football cards thrown in. I was surprised to find that ‘78 Topps had checklists, so so nabbed the one I found. I found a few ‘80’s Topps cards of HOFers in other boxes, and I was stoked to find a floating heads Cubs team card. The Bowman Platinum have a cool design but many of the photos are tough to make the players face out on because it’s just a dark design on many teams. 
The ‘78 box had a number of team cards and managers which I scooped up as well. My favorite card from the trip was the 2007 Topps Barry Bonds. It is card #661, and is an SP. I opened a ton of that set in ‘07, and I can’t remember it’s exact story, whether it was included in the complete set or an SP added to the checklist late, but I noticed the card like the day before when I typed out my ‘07 Topps checklist for the blog, and then low and behold, I found it at the LCS the next day. 
While not a Yankees fan, I was happy to find the Billy Martin MGR card. I tried to limit my purchases of favorite players, Rays, and Tigers, but did find some fun ones. We met DeLand native Nick Fortes at a game in Washington in June, and I found 3 of his cards, including the ‘22 TSC. 
The Andrelton Simmons ‘16 Donruss parallel is really cool looking. Found some early Bowman Chrome Rays, a few parallels and rookies, and got lucky to pull a Taj Bradley in the ‘23 Bowman Platinum blaster. The ‘94 Triple Play Medalists card was one I couldn’t leave behind. Those cards were hot in ‘94 and I probably have 10 ‘94 Triple Play cards in my entire collection. I was surprised to find the ‘22 Royce Lewis rainbow and ‘22 Topps Chrome Witt in the boxes they were in as most of those cards were quarter and 50 cent ones. The whole stack of cards at the LCS was 30 bucks and I was happy with that, especially with the Bonds SP, a few rookies, parallels, and all of the ‘78’s. Heck, if I go by the TCDB ‘pricing’ thing, the David Freese ‘09 Topps was like 4 bucks (I’d maybe pay 50 cents for it). 
The Bowman Platinum blaster delivered a ton of keepers, probably 3/4 of the blaster for me. Some cards that I would assume are rookies as they all were drafted in 2022, a rookie of the top Rat-Bird hitter, and the 4 ice parallels per blaster. 
I got a bonus along with the 4 regular Ice parallels and pulled a green one of now Mets prospect Drew Gilbert, who was acquired from the ‘Stros in the Justin Verlander trade. I hope this parallel could turn out like the Blue one numbered to 150 that I pulled in a pack of ‘17 Bowman of some Acuna guy. 
The other 2 Nick Fortes cards I already have, but I know Jim (who I mentioned in the last post) needs. He actually texted me that evening after our dinner date and let me know he got my ‘21 Topps Logan Gilbert signed at the Stetson University banquet. Maybe on one of my days off, I’ll head over there and do some trading. 
I’ve been doing a little work on TCDB and have put in a number of my Braves non-Topps cards. I’m on the 1996 cards currently, and I might keep doing that project on off days and put the wantlists for the blog on hold, as I have an official one on TCDB. The site is really a game changer as far as knowing what you have and what you need. Problem is that I just have so much stuff. Dime Box Nick posted the other day that he has 90+binders. While every binder isn’t a 3 or 5 inch one, if I include 1 inch binders, I’m at 98 or so, with plenty of empty ones waiting for me to put cards from my monster boxes in. It might be 1-2 years before everything is put in the site, but it will be worth it. 
I have Monday and Tuesday off work, but Monday will be mostly busy and I plan to head out to Karens work and surprise her with flowers and lunch, and then pick up Kyler from school and have him do a card for her and probably clean the house up at some point as well. Tuesday will probably be the day to do card stuff and if I end up going to a shop, Jim’s house, or anything noteworthy, I might post about it then. 
I just need to find moments in between all of these commitments to relax and have some card time. Or wait til 2024….

Thanks for checking out my latest post.