Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Desk cleaning

I am on vacation this week. In fact, I don't have to return to work until Sept 6th. I spent 6 vacation days to get 11 days off. It's been nice to sleep later. I can't get too used to that, though. I have a honey do list I need to get to, though how well my wallet wants to help with some of the list is another question.

What's the exchange rate of Chiclets?

This extra time off work does give me the ability to clean off the stacks and stacks of cards around my office. One of the stacks and stacks came from Kerry at Cards on Cards. I honestly cannot state how long I have had these two bags of cards. Better late than never, but still - step up your game, Jeff. I need to be better. Kerry sent over a fine range of White Sox, so let's gander at a small sample.

Nice range of Thomas cards. That Select Big Stick insert on the left looks SO much nicer in person. Really, If you can find one of the others from the checklist, get it. If Topps decides to bring back Gallery, we can expect it to not look as nice as that one of the Big Hurt.

In the category of "huh" come these three cards. They are, left to right Henry "Zeke" Bonura, Mike Robertson and Moe Berg. And yes, I know who ex-spy Moe Berg is, but I never knew he was a White Sox. Robertson's career? 39 games.

The Sale is super duper shiny, which means it scanned like crap. I wanted to show that Molina because I haven't thought about how far back MLB has done the pandering for causes. And before you start assaulting me, I think cancer and a hundred other things are bad. My point is don't just use pink sweat bands and bats, or blue ribbons or any of the other stuff MLB (and the other big sports) do. So much in the leagues make MAJOR money - just make substantial donations. Giving a bit of proceeds from the sale of a pink ball cap is disingenuous that you are helping.

Recent Heritage releases. Quintana is now helping the enemy. Rodon is coming along well. And Purke really likes those goofy glasses.

1987 OPC. Yummy. I love Turkey Red. Almost finished the 2010 insert set, and I think I need to collect other years it existed as well.

Lastly are three Topps stickers from 1981 & 82. I kept these stickers away from the Sale card so he wouldn't cut them up. Kerry, sorry it took me so long to post these, but by no means is related to how thankful I am to receive them. Now if I can only mail back the stack I have for you. Then again, the longer I wait, the bigger the stack gets.

I'll just keep piling cards on cards.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Back in the house

Unlike another couple blogs, my buyback frankenset is incredibly stalled. I don't search ebay much for the stamped cards. I don't buy a lot of packs that would contain buybacks. I don't hit enough card shows to find them for sale in boxes. But is all cases, I think that buybacks are far overpriced. Then again, I tend too be a cheap skate.

All skate, reverse.
Fortunately, the owner of one of the other blogs I mentioned is going gang busters on his frankenset build. I refer to Shane over at Shoebox Legends. Shane is picking up buybacks from COMC and Ebay, with the Ebay purchases usually being lots. And since Shane's current set is more than twice the size of mine (464 cards), there are cards within the lots that create dupes. And Shane is generous to share many of his duplicates with me. Let's have a gander at a recent PWE I received and see who made the cut into my set.

First, we start with the keepers, as these are all card numbers I currently do not have in the set.

Some day, I'll build a 1973 set. I love getting any '73 cards I can, so '73 buybacks are great additions.

Nice view of old Yankee stadium on the Barrios card.

Manning and Manwaring. Those are great caps Cleveland had in the late 70's. So there are seven cards that made the set. But Shane sent 9, so in homage to Shane's posts, let's see what happens to the other 2 cards.

A nice 1973 card of Jim McAndrew. Definite spring training posed shot, but it is a '73 card. And I mentioned before my love of 1973 Topps. This is card #436, so let's see what I currently have in that spot.

A 1979 Cards of Hector Cruz. Dig that Astroturf, and the Sansabelt polyester pull overs of the Giants. This is a no-brainer.

Out you go, Hector. The other dupe I received was card #181.

1978 Topps buyback of Astros Ken Forsch. This looks like a card that would be a shop job, but Ken had been an Astro for many years by the time '78 Topps came along. What card currently is #181 in my set?

1977 A's Ken McMullen. Neither are amazing sets, and neither are great images either. I am a big fan of Houston bringing back the orange caps to their uniforms. McMullen is also posing at spring training. So who wins the battle of the Kens?

I appreciate the card, Shane, but I need to keep that McMullen in the set. Too nice of a background. With the 7 new cards, my frankenset currently sits at 151 cards. Slowly, but surely, I am getting there.

Monday, August 21, 2017

A New York state of cards

So ff you follow me on Twitter (FOOLS!), I posted that I was in New York catching a Mets game on Friday night. My wife and I made a quick run east to help out a friend and she said I should get tickets so I can start marking ball parks of the list of places I want to visit.

Midwest Garrison salute.
While in New York, with it's super fun traffic, I found a card shop right next to a bookstore. Perfect to not bore the hell out of my wife. Alex's MVP Cards. Tiny shop, though with NY costs, he probably pays 10 grand a month rent or something insane like that. I didn't have much time, so I just dug through a few boxes he had and bought some packs of A&G. Here's some cards that changed time zones.

All the cards I picked were either 50 cents or a buck. I am pretty sure I have none of these Paulies. Well, pretty sure on two of them. Let's check my Zistle list and see how accurate that guess is...

...and I only needed the one in the middle. Hey - team set builders, am I right?

Three for the binders. There is no way Biggio didn't get wrecked on that slide.

I still need a few more Opening Day cards of Southpaw Mascot. And I thought the Eaton was a refractor Chrome, but it's a foil card. Didn't matter - I need both for the PC. Now I have to find a Chrome refractor.

The shop had a Judge rip card from this year's Allen and Ginter for $500. I passed on that and just went with packs. The highlights?

YUP!!!! Two of the packs had buybacks. And sure, I am building a frankenset, but these do not belong in A&G. Only put A&G buybacks in A&G packs! Eaton is a nice high number mini for the PC. And some of you may be thinking "Sure, the insert set is nice and all, but that Surrender card is a highlight?" Here's why: I have pulled 4 cards prior to this one from the Revolutionary Battles insert set, and all four of them are the same damn card! #1 - Battle of Lexington. So if you need one, I'm hoarding them.

Hold up a minute. I have an idea......


Nailed it.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Hey. Yo. How you doin'?

So, I am sure youse has heard about the latest and greatest way to promote youse bizness?

So like, all the rage right now? Baseball cards. Am I right?

'Member collecting dem as a kid and putting dem in your spokes and all?

Well, now a days, them's a money maker. All dese companies are makin' dem, and youse can easily get in on da action. Little sponsor money and BOOM!!! Youse be rollin' in dat money.

Nah, nah. You don't need dose big names like Topps or Upper Decker or dem others. Nah. They just cost you too much of your money. And youse wants to keep as much of your money, right? Who doesn't?

Plus, workin' with them teams you sees on the TV will cost you big time bucks, my friend. You wants to work with your local team right up da road. They wants the sponsor. You want the advertising. Win-Win, am I right?

So I knows this guy with a smaller company who can knock you out a sweet baseball card with your company name all over it. We'll even get a couple of dem ball players from the team to pose in your shop. I can call them up right now and get 'em here is 5 minutes. I gots a camera and all. We pose them in front of your displays here, give dem a couple things to hold and BOOM - youse be rollin' in dat money.

Great! You will no regret this, my friend. Let me give a call to my pals.

Ok, dis here is Mike. And dat's Mark. Here guys, stand over here and hold up dese bats. Get a little closer and smile. PERFECT.

Yeah, my camera flash isn't workin', but youse got plenty of light and when you see dis card - BOOM! Youse be rollin' in dat money.

Awesome! Am I right or am I right? BOOM! Rollin' in dat money!

(FYI - video is a little NSFW)

Monday, August 14, 2017

A Star Wars specific repack

Has anyone seen these boxes at the big box stores? I think they may be Walmart exclusive, as I have yet to find one sitting on the shelf at Target. But I saw this one a couple weeks back and thought "Hey, I need to buy me one of those!"

So I did.

It's a little cheaper (at Walmart anyway) than you usual repack, selling for just a few cents under $15. From the markup on the side, each box has 4 collectable disc packs, 4 packs of regular cards and one rack pack.

And a closer look at the front entices you to buy with the promise of ultra rare autograph cards, which the fine print tells you falls one to every 20 boxes. There were just 3 sitting on the shelf of this Walmart, so the odds are not in my favor. I scanned some of what was within, so join me in recapping the box.

As I mentioned, four of the packs are collectable discs.

They are a game you can play which to boil it down into simple terms: dominoes. Six sided discs that you place against each other to "defeat" your opponent. There is also something in regard to the color around the photo, but I am not digging in to find that out. I doubt I'll ever play it, but for a SW nerds, they are fun collectables, like the Topps coins or something.

Base discs are gray. You can see the hash marks on 4 of the sides. Like I said, a game like dominoes. Characters span from AHN to TFA, with ships also available. And what would be a Topps release without parallels?

Ahsoka and the shuttle are foils, falling at a rate of 1:2, Lak Sivrak at the left is a pattern foil, 1:3 ratio.

Black discs are at the same 1:3 pack ration. That BB-8 in the middle is hard to see, but the best "pull" of the four packs. He is actually Jabba slime green and those fall 1 out of every 9 packs.

The Stormtrooper (mislabled - that is a sandtrooper) and Klatuu are black foil, 1:3 packs and the Yavin IV soldier at his post is a black pattern foil, falling 1 out of 6 packs.

Clear disks drop in one out of  every 3 packs. Dig that Bespin disc. Notice just one side has any hash marks. From the rules, that is a free space and you will notice the top and bottom of all the discs have that free area.

Ok, on to the packs. First off, the Journey to The Force Awakens packs. Two of those. I am still building this, so with luck a few of these cards will help.

Bit of a look at them. Love the original blue borders, and those blueprint cards are amazing! The two other packs were Clone Wars: Rise of The Bounty Hunters.

The top right is a lensticular motion card that scanned like hell, but you get the idea. Barriss is a foil and the other one - it looks cool. Not a set I will try to complete, so make a shout if you want these.

My fat pack was Galactic Files, another set I would like to build. The set is based on the original and prequel trilogies only. Love that foil black and white card of the Hoth base. I don't think I have any other from that monochromed insert set.

Well, that's what the box gives out. Like I said, every 20th box will drop you an autograph. I wonder if that is really the ratio or just some type they put on the box to sel......

Holy shit. I hit one!!!!! It's very, VERY odd to see Wedge's face, but not have Wedge's name. Wedge was played by Denis Lawson (Ewan McGregor's uncle btw), but according to IMDB, David Ankrum supplied Wedge's voice for both ANH and Rogue One. If you watch any videos of Denis on the 'net, he does have a very noticeable Scottish brogue, which I am sure explains his voice replacement. But I am not upset in the least. Any SW auto makes me happy.

And now you have seen the box. I will probably buy another, cuz why the heck not. It was a fun rip.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Repack Wars: it's been a while

It has been a while since my last repack wars post. Almost 2 years!!! REALLY????

Man..... I suck at this blogging thing. (shut up GCRL, P-Town Tom, Dime Box Nick, Night Owl, Fuji...er.....everyone).

I have been buying repacks, but long breaking them down before thinking "hey - post fodder". And as repacks go, this is not too shabby. Let's us peer closer into a 10 pack repack from Target. $12. You get to see the front packs, and I selected one showing a fat pack of 2016 A&G and a pack of Panini Contenders. It was more the fact that I could see a pack of 2015 Topps Update when I shuffled the box side to side that I grabbed it, hoping for one of the throwback inserts from that pack. Let's go through the packs from oldest to newest.

First up - 1988 Topps Big Baseball. This pack was loaded with some big names - Jim Abbot, Dave Winfield, Doc Gooden and Mike Scioscia. But I like the fact that Rex here is obviously on some high school field waiting on a grounder. Let's hope Mrs. Wilson over the left field fence brought over Kool-Aid and popsicles to cool down the boys.

Next is a pack of 1992 Stadium Club series 3. I had no idea that set was 900 cards strong. Wow. Again, a couple decent names in the pack with the Kid Gary Carter and a White Sox Bo Jackson. But love this card of Vince Horsman. Be honest - you are all reading his name as "horse-man". Plus, dig the Jagr mullet he is sporting.

Big leap from 1992 to 2013 Panini Pinnacle. Baes of Jeets and Harper, but how are you going to not give the top position to a Museum-ish card of recent 3k hit club member Beltre?

My pack of 2015 Topps Update had no throwback variations. It was a total snooze. Here's a gold card of Byron Buxton. Zzzzz...

Boom. The pack of 2015 Panini Contenders gives up a hit of Jalen Miller. He is toiling in A ball and barring a miracle change in his play, will probably never get a cup of coffee at the big league level.

All 2016 flagship cards just hurt to look at. This is from series 2, and I almost went with either the Bunt code card or that card they put in to set off the door sensors, cuz this pack was dreadful. I went with this Tejeda for one reason: how bad it looks. Or, if you are missing Topps Gallery, how amazing it looks. The over the top enhancements done to the image makes it look like a painting, or just over exposed. Topps - knock it off. License an image from AP or Getty, frame it and click "Print". Moving on...

Another pack from 2016. This is Update, and technically the first of the ten I opened. I cannot say I know all the set layouts to everything released, but the moment I saw this card, I knew there was something special about it. And I was right. Image variation SP of Almora. Don't think this will pay for a mortgage, though. Ebay shows a few sold. One was listed with a BIN of $99.99, but the seller accepted an offer. One week later, another copy sold in an auction format for less than 6 quarters. I do hope that BIN buyer made a REALLY low offer that was accepted.

A second pack of 2016 Update. I passed on giving the best in the pack to a card of Chris Sale. Not from any animosity, but simply to show that Topps can make really nice cards. It just sucks when the card design completely ruins the image selected. While the wide space is nice. I think they could have gone horizontal with this, showing a full body of Coghlan and would still have enough greenery to give this card a high score with me.

2016 Bowman. And if you are scoring at home, this is hit #3 from the box (I count the SP as a hit). Brady has made it to AAA, though got demoted back to AA. Still, he is promising. While the Jalen will head to a blogger out west. this card is destined to leave the US.

Final pack is the 2016 Allen and Ginter. I need three base cards, but non fell out. I am not 100% sure if I need this card, but I select it because of the weird look of the image. What's with Donny Baseball's hat logo? I'm not the only one that thinks it's quite off center, am I? I thought he had the cap on crooked, but if you look at the top of the cap, you can see a notch that looks lie the dip in the cap seam. The interlocking NY is nowhere neat centered on that notch. Even if you just eyeball the edges of the ca bill, that logo is too far to the left.

I obsess over card images. Hope A&G never releases cards of Antony and Cleopatra. Wait - they did release Cleopatra. TWICE!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Cards NOT from the National

I love seeing the posts of scores from this year's National Card Show. This marked another year I was not able to attend. Oh, I had plans, but nothing worked out. I took off the Thursday and Friday of the weekend a-way back in January. I didn't think I would do 4 days of the National, but hey - use the time or lose the time, right? Well, come April or so, hitting the National was not going to happen. Lack of money pretty much put the nail in that coffin.

Come June, though, there was life from the grave and I had an outside chance to attend. As the weeks passed, it got a little stronger, so I started feeling better. July hits and there was a minor setback, but attending the National was still possible. A week before the actual convention, Thursday, Friday and Saturday were not days I could attend, but Sunday was a real possibility. While my finances were a big goose egg, Uber driving on those three days would secure me funds for Sunday.

And then Thursday came, and while it started as a good night on the road, other unseen issues caused the entire convention to be a permanent skip Friday morning. No way even Sunday was an option, because all my work was needed for other financial considerations. Oh well - that's how it goes.

In a nice bit of irony, when I started driving Sunday afternoon, my first pickup was about 2 miles from my house, and I dropped the riders off at the O'Hare departure terminal. For a frame a reference, O'Hare is a driver, 3 wood and a decent 4 iron from the Stephens Convention Center, if you hit that sucker juuuuuuuuuuust right.

It's in the hole!
Not sure if next year's National will be an option, but I am hoping for the year after, as it appears Rosemont gets the show every odd year. I should be able to sock away money in preparation for the 2019 show, so I got that going for me.

Gunga gunga-lagunga.
The mailbox has been kind to me, even if I haven't been kind on the outgoing side. I promise - I have stacks of cards with names upon them, as well as a couple Canadian packages that are FAR TOO OLD, but they will all leave my abode soon. But let's look at some scores from my mailbox National.

A while back, John from Johnny's Trading Spot had a little fun game of picking and stealing. I was able to steal that Ken Hubbs for my '64 build, and John dropped a couple bonus cards in the PWE. Both needed for the respective binders. Thanks John.

Peter over at Baseball Every Night ripped a box of series 2 and offered team sets up for $3. Hey - I'll get in on that. Peter pulled all but on card of the Sox from series 2 (missing Zach Putnam). Plus, Topps went insane with the Sunday alts, which means I need dang near a 2nd set for the throwback binder. But all in all, well worth it. Thanks Peter.

Dime Box Nick did he semi regular dump on me of cards that probably cost him less that $2. You won't hear my complaining, as my semi regular return package costs about the same. Nick dropped a few miscuts, like that fine Mike Paul, an odd Mike Cameron (maybe from a team issue), and a '17 Rangers card that confused me at first, until a closer look at the caps made me realize this is a throwback.

Bunting well represented. Love that Boudreau, and the Patek is a Kellogg's that has been on my want list for a couple years. Nice to delete and put a new card in the same position.

One for the broken bat binder. Cards for there are literally found by chance, so I like when Nick finds them by chance. Couple Moncada's for the Sox box. Please don't be a bust, Yoan. Appreciate the cards, Nick.

Last up was a random mailer from Brian from....well, Brian doesn't blog (YET! hint hint). For those that know, or maybe don't, I rarely buy anything that is prospect heavy. I just don't. So when people send me minor league releases or pre-MLB cards, that makes me smile. I never think to try and pick them up, so I eagerly accept any and all. Kopech may get a call up this year, but should be ready to be in the rotation in 2018. Holmberg works the pen for the Sox in 2017. Jason had 28 games in the bigs in 2016. Got picked up off waivers by the Rays, released a week later, and then signed by the Rays 6 weeks after being released. Baseball.....

Michael Ynoa, aka the 2016 White Sox version of 2017 Cub Rob Zastryzny, made a welcome appearance, as did that ever so slight, and completely sweet, Wong miscut. You can see the bleed of white in the upper right. Brian, thanks, and just blog already.

So that recaps my stay at home 2017 National. Maybe not the plan eight months ago, but I'm alright.