Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Coming Back With A Vengeance

We all take breaks from our cards from time to time.  Burnout is bound to happen no matter how much you love collecting.  I have never quit cold turkey myself, but did slow down quite a bit during my college days.  That had more to do with lack of time and funds.  I have noticed other traders who go all out for a while, then seem to disappear.  I completed a trade recently with one such collector. 

Stu G is a member of The Bench and Trading Bases.  I have traded with him a handful of times before.  He likes to work large trades and does a majority of the work finding cards each trader needs.  I cannot recall the last time I traded with him or saw a post of his until a couple of weeks ago when he sent an email with a very outdated list of cards I needed.  After a some revision, we struck a deal for a big chunk of Cardinals. 

Both these vintage cards are in great shape.  The 1972 Topps Hague is almost gem mint.  The 1980 Hernandez has a slight curl to it, but no cracking. 

O-PEE-CHEE cards seem to get overlooked on my wantlist.  I have a few sets close to being done like 1986 where I need just 1 more.  I really need to strike up a trade with some Canadian collectors on TCDB to finish of some of these.


Moving on to the 1990s are some various base cards and a 1995 Ultra Gold Medallion.  I was able to complete the 1996 Pinnacle Aficionado set with the Mabry card.

I have a ton of set from the early 2000s that need short print rookie/prospect cards to finish them.  I did finish the 2000 Mystique set with the Ankiel addition.  The Narveson and Gall cards are also sp cards.  The 2003 Total Kline is my favorite of this bunch.  Only 2 more Cardinals needed to finish the 32 card team set. 

Some not so gold Topps gold cards from 2008, 2010, and 2011.  Maybe it is my eyes, but these seem more bronze to me.

2012 was not much better, but I love the postseason highlight cards. 

Topps went more gold in 2016 and 2017, but I missed the borders.  It was a lot easier to spot the cards in packs.  At least the snowflake parallels have a feel to them that you cannot mistake.

The Bowman Ice parallels are a favorite of mine.  So are cards of retired greats like Red and Ozzie. 

2011 Diamond Anniversary cards are simply beautiful.  I wish Topps would bring back this parallel.

Buybacks are something I can do without.  Why take a perfectly good vintage card and slap a stamp on it?  The 1980 Pete V. is in better shape than the regular card I have.

Some Gallery Heritage cards are better than others.  I prefer 2019 Green #ed to 250 over the regular 2018 card.  The 2018 version is to thin to be Yadi.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Cardinals Panini Prizm Break

A lot has been said about the increase in box prices and the difficulty in finding retail packs since the pandemic hit.  I have never been one to open many packs, so I cannot fully say how this has affected me.  About my only experience so far was the lack of 2020 Bowman at my local Walmart.  Packs were hard to find about 2 weeks after release, but over the weekend I checked out the card section and there were about 10 blasters and plenty of rack packs.

I did eventually find a couple of Bowman blasters 2 weeks ago, but I already had quite a few Cardinals from an EBAY box break .  Since that break turned out ok, I decided to try another one.  This time I went with 2020 Panini Prizm.  Thanks to another EBAY $10 off coupon, I won the spot for a little less than $20.

The auction was for 6 hobby boxes.  I have multiples of these 6 base cards.  I still need the Wong and DeJong cards.  They are in Tier 3, which are the toughest to pull.

The Cardinals do not have many inserts in this brand, but I did receive 2 copies of this Carlson card.

What draws me to Prizm is the number of parallels.  I believe there are 18 different ones to chase.  This Goldy is common Blue Prizm.

Although I did not get his base card, I did get a Red Prizm Edman.  Neither of the blue or red are numbered.

This Hudson Blue Mojo is numbered to 175.  The Bowman counterpart looks better, but these are pretty sharp.

The best card was this Matt Carpenter  Tiger Stripe parallel.  This one is not numbered, but they are seeded 1 per case.  I give Panini an A for trying something different with this design.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Time to Play Catch Up

I have had a ton of cards come in lately.  Some trades, an unexpected package, and the results of an EBAY group break.  I count 8 different piles of cards that need to be scanned, written about, and filed away.  My goal is to get all of this done before leaving on vacation on July 11.  The first trade recap is from TCDB member edsekula.  This one is not too overdue as I received his package on Thursday.

The only base cards in the group were these 2 thick 2018 Inception cards.  I do not like these quite as well as other premium brands like Triple Threads or Tribute, but they are still pretty sweet.

My Topps Gold collection has really taken off since I added them to my wantlist earlier this year.  Now I make it a point to added them as soon as the checklist comes out.

I have also been adding other parallels to the wantlist, including ones from brands other than Topps flagship.  TCDB has a nice feature that allows you to search for team cards by clicking on a base set, then seeing all the inserts and parallel cards from that set.  I should have starting using that feature a long time ago.

I have a ton of inserts sets to add to the wantlist, but some cards I know I need from looking just seeing them like the Ozuna Power Zone. 

The sole non Topps cards from the package was this 2017 Donruss The Rookies card.  Other than being a Cardinal, there is not a lot of good I can say about this one.  I do not like the a vertical name bar, the ball is cut in half, and the almost black looking Cardinals cap is just plain wrong.  Did I mention the lack of logos?

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Showdown Trade

I mentioned in a post earlier this month how I may never finish a MLB Showdown team set.  The cards are not that expensive, but you just do not see very many for trade.  Sure I could use COMC or Sportlots to find them, but that take away some of the fun of the hunt.  If I get down to 1 or 2 cards to finish a set, I may go that route.  Thanks to a recent trade with TCDB member Phillyman73,  I do not have nearly as many to track down.

I have made decent progress with the 2000 Unlimited set.  I now have 10 of 15 Cardinals.

I am not doing as well on the 2000 1st Edition set.  These 6 put me a little over half way with 8 out of 15.

The 2001 sets were even bigger with 17 Cardinals in each one.  I need 6 from the Showdown set, but 3 are the more hard to find foil cards.  My 1st Edition set may never get done as the Drew card is only my second one.

These are my first 2004 Showdown cards.  There are a few different set from this year.  The Morris is from the Trading Deadline set, while the other 4 are from the regular set.  Both look the same to me. 

The 2005 sets are almost a mirror image of 2004.  These are my first 2 from the Trading Deadline set.  I have none from the 14 card regular set.  I will have better luck completing a vintage set from the 60s or 70s before this either one of these gets done.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Busy on The Bench

After my son and I busted 2 2020 Bowman Blasters last week, I posted what I had for trade on The Bench trading site.  It just recently had a change of ownership.  The new owner has fixed a few minor glitches, including the trade manager.  The trade manager is an easy way for members to keep track of transactions.  You posted your address, mailing date, and receiving date.  You also provide feedback for your trades.  It is a great tool that was sorely missed.

With the trade manager fixed, I worked out a handful of trades for some of the Bowman cards.  Most were pwe trades that arrived over the weekend.

Member jweech sent a 2020 Topps Choice Altuve #ed to 299 for my son.  The black border goes well with the orange jersey.

Long time trading partner David K. sent a couple of sweet Cardinals.  The Carp is my first yellow parallel from 2020 Topps.

These 2 Altuves were from member Benski3.  I did not have any Bowman that he needed, but he wanted my son to have them. It never amazes me the amount of generosity the trading community has. 

Fellow Cardinals collector STLSHOEMAN sent some 2020 green Gypsy Queen parallels and couple of inserts from 2020 Heritage.  The GQ cards are pretty sharp.

My favorite pwe came from member gestes72.  Along with another green GQ, he sent a couple of short prints from 2020 Heritage.  I may actually finish a Heritage team set this year.  I only need the Paul Goldschmidt sp now. 

Sunday, June 21, 2020

My First Hobby Box in a Long Time

Happy Father's Day to everyone.  I am up early today because my family get to attend church for the first time in 3 months.  Our church opened back up 2 weeks ago with very limited numbers, so everyone is taking a turn.  It has been strange just watching from a live feed, but things are so different right now.  We cannot do what we did in years past.

Speaking of which, this weekend would have been spent in Peoria.  The Chiefs always seem like they are home for Father's Day.  Our routine usually involves make a stop at both my father and father in law's place on Saturday, then heading north to catch a couple of games.  My son and I did get our baseball fix though.  Instead of going clothes shopping with my wife and daughter, we went to Menards for some landscaping supplies.  We also made a pit stop at the card shop. 

Friday was new release day with Topps Finest, Panini Prizm, and Topps Big League all coming out.  I love Finest and the Panini Prizm parallels, but cannot justify paying over $15 for a single pack.  Big League is more our style.  We choose to go the hobby box route with 18 packs for $45.  I found it odd that the card shop was selling the same box on EBAY for $40 with free shipping.  At any rate, it was good to open a full hobby box.  I am not 100% sure, but I believe the last time I did that was in 2002 or 2003. 

This box had 18 packs with 10 cards per pack.  Jasson Dominguez is not in the set, so no need to hoard this brand.  Hits are hard to come by, but that is not why we bought the box.  The design is great and it was just fun to spend an hour opening and sorting.

 The base cards have a nice clean and crisp design.  We received 5 out of the 8 Cardinals.

 The backs are great.  Vibrant colors with stats from the last 5 years and a short write up.

New this year are the 1 per hobby pack orange parallels.  I believe the blue parallels are in retail blaster boxes.

 Star Caricature Reproductions return this year.  We beat the 1:4 odds by getting 5.

There are quite a few new inserts sets this year.  Defensive Wizards are 1:4.  I was hoping to get the Paul DeJong card, but these 4 are pretty good.

Flipping Out is another new insert set seeded 1:4 packs. These were my son's favorite.

Roll Call is also a 1:4 insert set.  That seems to be the norm for Big League.

These were our 2 biggest hits.  The Anderson Rainbow Foil numbered to 100 is 1:38 packs.  The Ballpark Oddities is 1:554.  Not sure why a card of an Orioles outfielder is so hard to pull.

We have not decided if we will complete the 300 card base set.  We received no doubles in the box, but are a little shy of half way with 136 of the base cards.  It should not be a hard set to complete with no short prints or photo variations that I know of.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Another EBAY Auto

I have been surfing EBAY quite a bit lately during the evenings.  Work has been crazy for me for about 3 months now.  9-10 hour days 5 days a week is my new normal.  I have days when I have very little desire to do anything once I get home, so I sit in front of  computer and mess with cards.  One major positive to this is the extra income.  I was never a big EBAY spender, but now I allow myself a few extra bucks a month to shop.  It also helps that EBAY has been running a few promotions.  Last week I used a $10 in app discount to purchase a new Cardinals autograph.

This is my first Eric Davis auto.  He has a ton of them, but not so many in a Cardinals uniform.  That is to be expected when he only played 2 seasons in St. Louis.  The background is a little dark, but it is a nice clean autograph.  First thing I had to do was break it out of the one touch holder.  I prefer my cards in a sleeve and top loader.  After the discount, this card a some sleeves cost me about $10. 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

2 Cardinals From EBAY

There are 3 things I look for when buying an autograph card.  My first priority is looking for a card of a Cardinals player in a Cardinals uniform that I do not already have.  Second, I prefer an on card auto to a sticker.  Third,  I will look for cards of players that have a nice autograph.  For me that means something I can read.  It does not have to be the players complete name, but I would like something more than initials or squiggly lines.  Very few current players meet that requirement.  Paul DeJong is one of them.

DeJong early autographs were not horrible.   I remember winning an auction for 2 of these 2016 Bowman Chrome autos a few years ago for $10 delivered.  Doubt if I ever get that kind of deal again.

About 2 years ago Dejong started to sign his full name.  This 2020 Tribute card that I won last week is simply beautiful. 

I also added my first Paul Goldschmidt memorabilia card from the same seller.  I do not go too crazy over these, just need one of each guy.  Both of the cards were about $14 delivered.  For a premium issue like Tribute, I was happy with the deal.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Busting Bowman

Even though I have all of the Cardinals base cards from 2020 Bowman from a group break, I still have been looking to bust some packs.  It is a blast busting open packs with my son.  It is a competition to see who get the best card.  It reminds me of being a kid and opening my first packs of 1986 Topps.

During baseball practice last week, he hit his first career home run over the fence.  I know it was not a game, but it was a big deal to him.  I figured a trip to  Dairy Queen would be a the top of his list, but instead he wanted to open some cards.  He got lucky twice that evening as we discovered the card section at Walmart was stocked full with 2020 Bowman blasters.  We each picked one out and headed home.

My son scored both of these Cardinals inserts.  I was joking with him that we needed the Talent Pipeline card.  One pack later out it came.

The other inserts from his box included a nice blue refractor numbered to 150.

My box had a couple of nice inserts including a Franco and Lux. 

We did not get a golden ticket Dominguez card, but did score a Witt Jr paper.  I am pretty sure that was in my son's box also.

No huge names from chrome.  It was a little disappointing to get 2 sets of duplicates from our boxes.  The paper was even worse with 18 duplicates.  After pulling an autograph from 4 different blaster boxes last year, my son was excepting more of the same.  I guess he will have to wait until the next round. 

Friday, June 12, 2020

Friday Trade Recap

I am at a lost for a title on this post, so you get a very generic one today.  Yesterday I received a small pwe from TCDB member trading4vintage.

For the second straight post I show a card with another card on it.  I consider these worse than buybacks or reprints, but a Cardinals card is a Cardinals card.

I love teams cards that show multiple players.  From the picture, I am guessing Colby Rasmus just hit a 3 run home run or grand slam.  A small side project of mine is trying to complete all the Topps parallel sets from 2011.  2 less gold cards to track down now. 

Both of these guys were up for election into the  Cardinals Hall of Fame this year, but did not make it.  The fans voted in Tommy Herr and John Tudor.  Herr I am ok with, but Tudor not so much.  He had an outstanding 1985 season, but not much else.  I guess I should have voted more.