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.