Tuesday, January 31, 2023

I got that Tork power

 It’s not often that us collectors pull cards of our favorite team or players nowdays, unless you are a Yankee$ or Padre$ fan. It's even rarer when you kind of go on a good streak of having a run of like 3 or 4 blasters or packs where your favorite team ends up being one of the ones with the most cards. When something like that happens, it's only natural to want to brag post about it, so that's what I'm gonna do.

A few weeks ago, I got a value box of 2022 Topps Chrome. I took a picture of the reciept, the box, and e-mailed everything to Topps in order to get in the drawing for the Silver Pack. A week or so later, I got a package from Topps containing a 2022 Topps Chrome Spencer Torkelson refractor. A nice card of a guy on my favorite team who I hope will turn into a stud. 

A week or so after that, my wife got me a blaster of 2022 Topps Heritage High Number, and I pulled a few Tigers, including another Torkelson card. With the Rays and Tigers being tied as my favorite teams, I was pretty stoked. 

Then this past weekend, while at Target, my wife got me another blaster of Heritage and a hanging pack of 2022 Donruss Optic. I got a couple of Tigers in the Heritage box, including another Torkelson, and the Optic pack contained not only the Torkelson rookie from that set, but a Green parallel of the hobby golden boy of the present, Julio Rodriguez.  
Needless to say, I have been pretty stoked with the past 2-3 times I've opened cards (I also got a few Rays in each!), and I almost don't want to open any 2023 products and jinx my luck. 

While I'm not actively collecting Torkelson, I have acquired a bunch of his cards just being a Tigers fan, and I figured I would get them out and post them for the heck of it. 
His Bowman rookie was from a COMC purchase a while back.  I got the Leaf one from one of the card shops near me. The 2020 Topps is a custom that I made and printed out shortly after the Tigers drafted him. The jersey card is from the same COMC order. The Topps ones are a little confusing. The first one only comes in the complete set. The second base card is from Topps Update, and the last one is of course, the Rookie Debut card. Lastly are the Refractor that Topps sent me, and the 2 Heritage High Numbers (one will be going off to Ben, a Tigers fan I've been working on building a trade stack for). 

I finished putting my Phillies Topps cards into TCDB today. I was really hoping to have a few more teams done by now, but I ended up taking our Christmas tree down finally yesterday afternoon, and today I could've probably done another team (next up is the Pirates), but I think I nodded off once or twice, and had MLB Network on and got distracted a little. Maybe I'll get the Pirates in tomorrow after work. Just have the Pirates, Cardinals, Padre$, Giants, and Nationals to log, and the NL Topps cards will be entered into the site. I still haven't come across the missing 1993 Topps Traded cards, but I think after everything is entered, I will go through the 700 ct boxes I have in a few different areas of my card space and just make sure they didn't slip through the cracks and land amongst any doubles in them. 

We've been planning our vacation this year, and after driving across the US the last few years (and seeing Wrigley Field, Comerica Park, and Minute Maid Park), we decided to maybe do a cruise this year. We still might get to see a game, as we'll either go in March during Spring Training and could see a game in one of the southern cities on the way down, or we would go in the summer and could probably hit up a Marlins game if we picked the right week. If not, we'll still have the Opening Day Rays game (where I might get to see Torkelson) and that should be a great experience. I'd just like to cross another park off of our list, and Miami would do it. 

Lastly, I've been working on customs a little bit, just to kind of have something to post of customs since that has been a driving force of this blog (and will continue to be). I am close to finishing all of the missing Rockies cards from the 1996 Topps set, and once I finish them, I'll probably post them and write a little bit about the 1995 team that played the Braves in the playoffs. 

Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

How do you store you cards with multiple players?

 I'm working on a big project of inputting all of my Topps cards into TCDB so I can get wantlists for each set, as I attempt to get every Topps/Topps Traded base card from 1951 to the present. This has presented some unforseen extra tasks for me to accomplish along the way.

I purchased a number of Topps complete sets from the '90's to help me out with that decade, and I have come across a number of multi-player cards while sorting them. Many of them are duplicates. This isn't a problem, as I can put them with the team of a different player. The trouble is, many times, I don't exactly remember which team I put the original card with. Here’s an example. 

I have at least 1 copy of the 1997 Topps Derrek Lee/Paul Konerko/Ron Wright card. I thought I may have stored the card with the Padres and showcased Derrek Lee on the card. While inputting the Dodgers Topps cards into TCDB, I found the card with the Dodgers, highlighting Konerko. There are many other multi-player cards where I just can't remember which team they are stored with, so that led me to the idea of just pulling out every multi-player cards with more than 1 team represented as I put all of my Topps cards into TCDB, and then seeing which cards I have doubles of, and finally putting each card with the player/team I want it with, and then putting all of my loose cards into my binders. Sounds like a pain, but I think in the end, it will be worth it. 

That led me to wonder how my readers store their multi-player/multi-team cards. I have a few ways I figure it out for my collection. 

For a card like this one, it's just 2 guys who never amounted to anything. They didn't hurt any of my favorite teams, and I have nothing against them. I tend to look at the back, and whichever player did the most in the Majors, they get the card. For this one, Savage wins by 3.1 Innings. 

Next up, it's probably the easiest card to store. Mann never amounted to much, and Hansen set some pinch-hitting records. It goes to Hansen and the Dodgers. 

This one if you really split hairs, you could make a case for Delgado, but for me, it easily goes with Piazza. If I happened to get a double (which I have), I would put it with Delgado, then Fordyce if I had a triple, and finally with Leshnock if I happened to have 4 of this card. If I have 5, into the doubles box to maybe trade.

League Leader cards are somewhat easy. I generally put them with the player who led the league in whatever stat. This one goes to Beltre and the Dodgers, although I would be tempted to put it with the Cardinals and Pujols just because he was such a great player. Many times with if I have a multi-player card with Ken Griffey, Jr., it automatically goes to Griffey.

This card, although you might think it would go to Greinke, it would not. Greinke has always came off as a jerk to me, acting all moody with fans and refusing to autograph a card for Pat Neshek. I would avoid putting it with Grienke at all costs, and it would go to Kershaw (cause he's a great guy), and then Arrieta if I got doubles. I also avoid putting cards in my Yankee$ binder at all costs as well. A number of recent Gerrit Cole league leader cards are stored with the other players on it. Also, guys I just don't care for (Jeter, Yadier Molina, Fernando Tatis, Jr., Manny Machado, Justin Turner, Pete Rose, etc.) usually don't get any of their cards unless it's a last resort. 

How do you do it? Do you just put them with the first guy on the card? Do you put them in a special binder? Do you just throw them out and line your birdcage with them? 

I have also been picking out reprint cards with the original backs on them to use in place of older, more expensive cards. I've found a handfull in my Dodgers binder, and hopefully can get a good pile of them in order to save money on older cards. 

For anyone who wants to make trades, be patient. I will have all of these cards uploaded towards the last half of the year, and then it will be time to get crankin. I have a feeling I will be able to find cards for sets a lot easier once everything is logged into TCDB. That was a big problem for me previously. If someone wanted to see all of my 1995 Score cards, I could go through my 30 team binders and take a few hours, but if I have them all logged into the database, it will take minutes. I'll still have to pull them from the binders, but at least I will know which ones to look in. For anyone wanting to add me on TCDB, here is my profile. I am still learning on the site, but it is getting easier, so thanks to everyone who has helped me and given me advice. 

I'm off to put in the Brewers in TCDB. Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Have we not learned anything, Topps?

 I recently got a blaster of 2022 Topps Heritage High Number cards. Nothing earth shattering, but I did get a Bobby Witt, Jr. rookie and a card I was more excited about since it was a Tiger, the Spencer Torkelson rookie. Among other cards I got from the pack was an Eduardo Escobar card. I figured as a Free-Agent signing, he didn't make it into earlier 2022 sets, kind of like Freddie Freeman, Kris Bryant, or just about all of the 2021 Free Agent class. 
I was filing the card away in my huge 5,000 ct box (actually 2, now) of cards to put in binders in the future, and when I came to the 2022 Topps Heritage section of the Mets, I found another 2022 Topps Heritage Escobar. 
I would've bet my paycheck that it was a dupe, but this was the first I had opened of the product, and I couldn't recall getting one sent to me in a trade recently. I studied the photo, position, and everything on the front, and it was exactly the same. When I flipped over the back, everything was the same except for the card number. Well, the legal mumbo jumbo on the bottom may have been different. I just didn't feel like looking (which would've involved purchasing a telescope). 
I thought the guys at Topps had been getting better about 'Tuckering' in the past few years (only 1 or 2 in 2021, and only Gerardo Parra in 2022 Series 1 & 2), but I guess not. I'm not a Heritage junkie, so I wouldn't have even noticed this had I not pulled both cards, but if some scrub for the Mets got 2 cards, who knows how many times it happened in the set this year. Not only that, but the same photo on the front, same stats, write up, and comic on the back. How lazy!  I was hoping Fanatics would put a stop to that. Judging by the real 2023 Topps sell sheets (and not the ones I tried to pass off as real), they aren't going to be much different than the guys running the company pre-2023 (Rainbow-Gold parallels??!!). 

Topps did something like this before, but all the way back in 2007, 16 years ago. Remember that Gary Sheffield Tigers card you pulled in Series 1 and Series 2?  

Yeah, that one? The one with the same photo on the front for BOTH cards? The one with the same bio and stats on the back? The one with only a different number?  Topps, we have to learn from this. This is going to be a rich persons hobby if you keep treating base cards like that and have some 18-year old just out of his first year of Santa Monica Community College start proofreading the checklist. They probably have the Topps checklist on one side of the screen with Tik-Tok videos open on the other while their phone is open to Instagram. Heck, I actually proofread Topps checklists as one of the main parts of this blog with the creating missing cards, and I still mess up. Not this blatantly, but in just about every checklist, I've missed a guy or had to take a name out that shouldn't have been there. Just put in a little time or have a serious fan do the job. I'd do it for free (or for a few blasters). It's things like this that make me want to get a Twitter account just so I can blast Topps. While I'm not doing anything drastic like that, I urge you if you have a Twitter, are friends(?) with Topps, and feel like doing so to please share this post or just call them out on having basically 2 of the same card in the same brand. 

In other news, I have finished inputting the Marlins and Astros Topps cards into my TCDB account. With all I've talked crap about with Topps, you should find it fonny that I've also set a pretty lofty goal that I may not even finish in my lifetime, but it might be fun. I would love to complete every Topps/Topps Traded set.  Every base and Traded card from 1951-the current year.  'How are you going to acquire the '52 Mantle when you are just a baker?', you might ask. 'How are you going to complete some of these sets when commons from even 30 bucks are running a dollar a pop?'. Well, I never said it was going to be easy. I have a few things that might make this goal get achieved a little easier. First off, I don't really care about the condition a card is in. As long as you can see the picture on the front and most of the back, I'm fine. If I could get a whole 1952 Topps set that had backs like Nick's Andy Pafko, I'd be happy. I'm sure I can find some '70's commons in dime boxes, and maybe even some '60's cards in cruddy condition, and I'll scoop up them all. I also think I am going to let reprints count in my quest. As long as they have the original backs. I think older sets like 1952 Topps, 1953 Topps, and 1954 Topps will get finished quicker if I let the reprints take the place of some of the real cards. It will also save me lots of money on expensive rookies, as many of the key rookies have reprint cards and I have a ton of them as well. 
When I remember my teenage years collecting, I remember wanting some of the older cards but not even knowing what the backs looked like as the internet was just coming out when I was finishing up high school. In 2001, I was 18, and Topps Archives came out. It reprinted many of the key rookies in Topps sets, and I purchased probably 2 boxes worth of packs of the set, and finally got so many of the cards I envied, and finally saw what the back to a '56 Topps card (and so many others) looked like. So for many of these sets, the '01 Archives cards will suffice, and I'll just store them with whatever set they go in. 
As you've probably read in some of the comments of previous posts, I also plan to head over to Ocala with my master list and see what goodies I can dig from John's doubles boxes. With that and probably some trades on TCDB and here, who knows, maybe I'll get close. I am happy to accept any donations, whether stars or commons, 50's or '90's cards. If you don't want to donate to the project, I'd be happy to trade. With 8 out of 30 teams finished, and a few specialized binders left, I estimate I am about 15-20% done with entering Topps cards into TCDB. After that, I'll make paper lists of what I need from each set, and then perhaps put them in a folder or binder to take with me to shows and stuff. I'll probably make pages for each set on my Wantlist, but this will be a ways down the road. I guess for starters, I have a pretty good chunk of the 1986, 1987 (3 cards missing), 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, and 2001 Topps sets done, hardly have anything from 2012-2014 and pre-1986, and I have completed the 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2018-2022 Topps sets. I am doing Traded sets as well, and have the 1985-1992, 1994, 1995, 1999, and 2018-2022 Traded/Update sets completed. I had ordered a complete 1993 Topps set, but I am somehow missing 3-4 cards from it already. I don't know if it got put into a box somewhere or what, but I'm going to re-check some doubles boxes just to make sure. 

I kind of want to be known as the 'Topps guy' for my collection as well as the customs I've done. Rest assured as soon as these cards are entered, lists made, and some new trades started, that I will be back making customs again. Thanks if you decide to help me with my quest to get every Topps base card from 1951- the present. 

Thanks for taking the time to read my latest post.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Making progress

 After deciding to input all of my cards into TCDB a month or so ago, I've found some ways to make the process easier. I've decided to just input my Topps cards from each team in so I can see what I need from each set. It's been a love and hate situation so far, finding that I need just a few cards from sets like 1991 Topps, but other sets like 2012-2014 Topps I am missing a good handfull of cards (or in some cases, a whole entire series) from some of the teams. Other sets, like 1986, 1988, 1989, 1993, and 2001 Topps are missing a few more than I should because I got a number of cards from those sets autographed after having complete sets of them, so I need to re-acquire the missing ones. Inputting all of my Topps cards will help me get a master list of missing cards from each set. I'll then probably list the cards from each set on a piece of paper in numerical order and try to put team names with most of them. Then I'll take the list with me if I am at a card shop and see if I can knock off any commons I can and get some of these sets completed so I can have a nice run of Topps cards. 

If you are wondering, with the stuff I've gotten from eBay in the last few months and what I have in my collection currently, I have:

1985 Topps Traded
1986 Topps (partial)  
1986 Topps Traded
1987 Topps (missing like 4 cards)
1987 Topps Traded
1988 Topps (partial)
1988 Topps Traded
1989 Topps (partial)
1989 Topps Traded
1990 Topps
1990 Topps Traded
1991 Topps (I think I'm probably 50-100 cards short)
1991 Topps Traded
1992 Topps
1992 Topps Traded
1993 Topps (partial)
1993 Topps Traded
1994 Topps (missing Juan Gonzalez All-Star)
1994 Topps Traded
1995 Topps
1995 Topps Traded
1996 Topps (partial)
1997 Topps
1998 Topps (Inaugural Rays version, and I'm counting it as complete)
1999 Topps
1999 Topps Traded
2000 Topps
2001 Topps (partial)

If I can somehow fill in the gaps of those, as well as everything from 2002-2018, I'll have a complete Topps run from 1986-2022. Then it will maybe be time to look at 1983 (my birth year) through 1985, and after that, just looking for cheap and damaged cards for any earlier sets. I'll probably input all my non-Topps cards into TCDB after every Topps card is logged and see what trade interest any of those draw up. After I feel like I've gotten prettymuch every card I can reasonably get, then I'll go through the process of putting all of the loose ones in binders. Maybe by then we'll also have decent credit and a new house with a little more room (and if I'm lucky, a little further away from parents and in-laws) where I can have a few decent bookshelves in my mancave. 

I'm really excited for the Inaugural Rays 1998 Topps set. Should arrive to the house today. I went to about 5 Rays games in 1998, and close to 50 games in my lifetime. I've been through the bad and the good with that team, and I'm just sad that I was living in Alabama in 2008 when they made the World Series and that Covid wouldn't allow me a chance to go to a Rays World Series game in 2020. That '98 set just brings back memories of being a teenager, chasing autographs, and finally having a MLB team close to me and watching the team suck but also seeing some players who could've been decent if not for injuries (Tony Saunders, Quinton McCracken). 
I'm so excited for the Rays 25th anniversary season in 2023. I convinced Karen to splurge and get us some tickets to the Opening Day Rays game this year. Just like 25 years ago, their opponent will be the Detroit Tigers. Don't quite know who to root for, but it's just going to be great to (hopefully) see a number of former Rays players back at the ballpark, and see some 25th anniversary events for Opening Day. I'm going to be sure to bring my 1998 Topps Rays Inaugural Season Rays cards to the game, as well as any noteable former Rays and the current roster in hopes of getting autographs. Our seats are right by the Rays bullpen and near the Rays dugout, so hopefully it will give us a chance to get a few. It will be fun to see how Kyler does with trying to get some autographs now that he is a little older. 

I have 4 teams input into TCDB so far, the Diamondbacks, Braves, Cubs, and Reds. I can get a team put into the site in about half a day, so maybe by April or May with a few days off I can get the NL and AL teams finished. Then, it will be onto my other special notebooks, like favorite players, Rays, Tigers, Highlights, rookie cards, and sunset cards. I can't wait to see the totals and finally see how close I am to completing some of these sets. Just wish I hadn't waiting until after COVID, cause I could've probably got some of the common cards I'll need for .10 cents instead of a dollar. Die, you card-flipping profit hungry brahs!!!!!!

*Update* The set arrived and aside from some cards sticking, I’m happy. Some of the highlights. 

Set number 326 of 5,000 (the cards themselves aren’t serial numbered). 
The stack on the left are NL teams. Center are AL teams. Right are favorite players, Tigers, Rays, highlights, rookies, and sunset cards. Compared to other sets, I did considerably well with the stack on the right. Yep, guess that means I’m a ‘90’s boy. 
Some of my favorite cards are the David Ortiz rookie. This card also contains 3 favorite players of mine (Ortiz, Richie Sexson, and Daryle Ward). I also like the Kerry Wood rookie because this was one of his hot cards in 1998, and I could never pull it. I got 2 Quinton McCrackens to add to my favorite player binder. The Tony Saunders is a double (just need his Inaugural Diamondbacks version of this card), so it will go in the Rays binder. Big Mac was great for the sport in 1998. People blame him for steroids, but it is Selig’s fault for letting them in and not testing. The last card on the page is Darren Daulton’s sunset card. 

Can’t wait for the last 2 sets I ordered to come in (1995 Topps & Topps Traded). After sorting them it will be back to login cards into TCDB. Only 26 more teams (about 3 binders each) and about 10 special binders left!

Thanks for checking out my latest post. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

2023 Collecting Goals

 I don’t believe I set collecting goals for last year, but with some of the blogging community doing so, I figured I might. I’ll set some big ones and small ones and see what happens. 


1. Complete a run of base Topps Detroit Tigers cards from 1980-2023 (including Update/Traded sets)
This one should prove to be difficult just because of 2 Verlanders in the 2005 set. There may be 1 or 2 other big rookies as well, but Verlander might cost more than most of the commons combined. 
2. Get a complete set run of Topps sets (including Update/Traded)  from 1986-2001 or so. 
This one might be difficult because of the 2000 Miguel Cabrera rookie. Carlos Beltran’s 1995 card might be difficult, but at least it’s nearer to my price range. I have the Jeter from 1993, and the Pujols and Ichiro from 2001. I have several complete sets in the run already (1990-1992, 1994, 1997, 1999-2000) , and several partial sets, but finding old commons in my price range might be difficult as well. 
3. Log all of my cards into TCDB
If I can do this, it will help me get a good inventory of what I need for the last goal, and perhaps help me make trades to reach it as well. 

1. Get the 2023 Topps Rays set
Easy, if I get the 2023 Topps complete set

2. Finish the 2023 Topps set
I know, the mock ups make it look scoreboardy and the head coming out of the logo is weird, but I have a run of complete Topps sets from 2019-2022, and it’s going to be so much fun going through my team and highlights binders in 20 years with Kyler (and perhaps his kids) and relive some of the seasons. 

3. Get the complete 1995 and 1998 Topps sets. 
This one should be pretty easy. I had a 1995 Topps one secured from eBay, but it turns out it was a Series 1 set, and I am in the painful process of returning it and getting my money back. I’ll probably try to get a set when the price is right and I have a little extra cash. 

That’s it for collecting goals. As far as other ones, I would love to get my boss promoted/fired/transferred/or just have him step down. I want to attend the Rays opening day game as it will be the teams 25th anniversary. It’s my 40th birthday this year, so hopefully do something memorable then. I’d also love to travel to a new state with my vacation time this year and perhaps see a new ballpark, but we might be leaning more to going on a cruise this year, which will be fun. I just need to have a decent amount of alone time with Karen and I hope to drink a good amount of alcohol as well. I would love for Karens head issues to go away, but that’s not under my control, neither is us having another baby or not. Perhaps we will move forward with adopting. We’ll see. The year is still young and full of possibilities. I hope to mature as a man, be less angry and depressed, be able to play lots of music this year, and grow closer to my family, and if I could do all of that, it will be a good year

I recently ordered the 1997 Topps set (2 separate orders with each series coming from different sellers), the 1999 Topps set, and 1999 Topps Traded set. The 1997 Series 2 and 1999 Topps regular sets have come in yet, and Kyler has helped me sort them into teams. 1997 Series 1 is on the way, and no eta on the 1999 Traded set. I have my eye on a 1998 Topps set. The set looks like it was opened, but from the outside of the box, it appears that it is the Inaugural Rays set. The seller is out of town and says it is his dads stuff, but will confirm with me if it is the Rays set. If it is, I will consider the ‘98 set off of my list. As a Rays fan, I would love to get this set, so hopefully it is, and I can get it before it goes. Then I just need to look for a decent priced ‘95 set. 
I have 2 full days off next Monday and Tuesday. I might just spend them in the garage with my laptop inputting my Topps cards from 1986-2001 or so from all of my binders and see what I am missing. Then, in the next month or so, perhaps drive up to Ocala with my dupes box and some stuff for John and see what I can find in his dupes. Whatever is missing I’ll try to swing trades for and maybe get some of these goals completed. 

I wish everyone a happy new year and hope they can accomplish all of their personal and card goals this year. 

Thanks for checking out my latest post.