Thursday, December 31, 2020

Christmas Bonus

My last day of work before Christmas was December 22.  The construction business always slows down this time of year because of weather, so we took an extra long break.  This finishes up my 20th year at my current job.  We have been very fortunate to have had  a good year despite everything 2020 brought.  Every year we get a Christmas bonus.  The size depends on how the year went.  I knew it was a good one, but was not expecting a bonus almost 3 times as much as the one I received in 2019.  After the short trip home and sharing the great news with my wife, I decided to hop on EBAY and treat myself.  As luck would have it there was a 5% EBAY bucks promo running that made things even better.  

I ended up winning 2 auctions from one seller and also purchased my most expensive card ever with a buy it now option.  Both packages arrived yesterday.

This seller had quite a few auctions for 2020 Bowman Chrome autographs.  He had another Cardinal prospect I needed, but I lost out on the auction.  I was still happy to get these 2 for a little less than $10 delivered.  Neither is a big name, but I am always on the look out for new players to added to my Cardinals autograph collection.  Which leads to the next card

Along with Albert Pujols, Mark McGwire is an auto that I have been wanting to add for a long time.  This 2020 Topps Chrome Black was about $75 after the rebate.  That is by far the most I have ever spent on a card.  I considered adding a nice vintage card of Stan Musial, but I am not into graded cards and hate not buying vintage in person.  This card looks great in person.  My scanner makes it look much darker that what it really is.  Maybe next year I will add a Pujols.  

Hope everyone has a safe New Year's Eve.  I will be spending most of the day painting at my sister in law's house.  Not a typical party, but 2020 has been far from it.  Glad to see it end later tonight.


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Another OZ-Some Trade

Last month I highlighted a trade with TCDB member timriess that brought 4 new Ozzie Smith cards to my collection.  As I noted in that post, he is a fellow Cardinals fan.  Since we completed our first trade, he has been busy uploading his wantlist for various Cardinals sets.  We were able to work out another traded that sent a huge stack of my duplicates his way in exchange for even more Ozzie cards this time around.

I was really excited to get quite a few oddball cards in this trade, including quite a few I have never seen before.  From top to bottom we have a 1989 Cereal Superstars, a 1986 Scott Cunningham type Broder card, a 1989 OPC sticker, and a 1985 All Star program insert.

These oddball Ozzie are a 1992 Allen Kaye's Sports Card Magazine cutout, a 1991 Panini Canadian Top 15, and a 1992 Pinnacle Church's Chicken Hometown Stars.  Hard to pick out a favorite out of all 7 of these, but I really like the 1986 Scott Cunningham card.  

1994 Panini is not quite as hard to find as the other cards, but it did complete my team set.

It is rare for me to show the back of cards, but I figured everyone knows what a 1989 and 1986 Topps card looks like.  These 2 are the Tiffany versions with the brighter backs.

Stadium Club was also represtent with a 1994 Golden Rainbow parallel, 1993 Stadium Club Murpry, and a 1995 Virtual Reality.  

More cool cards from the 1990s are shown here.  These are all from 1996.  The Circa Access folds out to three times the size of a normal card.  I did not want to damage it trying to scan it, so you only get to see the front.  The Metal Universe Platinum parallel completed my team set.

The last of the Ozzie cards are 2 from the 2002 Upper Deck Prospect Premiers Heroes of Baseball set and a great looking 2011 Topps Lineage Diamond Anniversary Platinum card.  After receiving all of these, I know have 662 different Ozzie Smith cards in my collection.  That is a lot, but I was guessing it would be more.  Topps puts him in almost ever set that features retired players.  Guess I still have a ton to track down.

I also received these 3 non Ozzie cards.  The 1999 McGwire is from the 16 card Home Run Heroes set.  Topps, Fleer, Pacific, and Upper Deck all produces cards for this set. I already have a copy of the 1998 Flair Row 2 Lankford in my player collection, so this one goes in the team set.  Finishing things up is a great looking 1998 Topps Chrome Refractor of Brian Jordan.  

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Thanks Once Again to Kerry B

There are so many great traders among us collectors.  Take your pick from members of private trading groups, TCDB, or fellow bloggers.  At the top of my list is Kerry B .  Not only does he get points for being a fellow Cardinals fan, but he sends great packages out of nowhere.  I have lost track of how many I have received this year.  He added to the total earlier this week with a great pwe.

I have been getting a lot of Topps Gold parallel cards in lately, but I cannot overlook the Rainbow Foil parallels.  They are a little easier to find and look nice, but don't scan the greatest.  Carlos is from the 2018 set.  

If you read his blog, you know Kerry gets into quite a few group breaks for some harder to find sets like 2020 Allen & Ginter X.  These are my first cards from the set.

I have traded for a few of the 2020 Topps 206 cards, but I do not have to worry about tracking anymore down until the next wave is released.  Kerry completed my team set.  There is a Gorman variation, but I do not actively chase after those.  

Finishing up the pwe is my first 2020 Topps Gold Label card and a nice 2020 Bowman Chrome.  2 more sets that I have not a much luck getting cards from.

Thanks again goes out to Kerry.  The rest of today is going to be spent with my inlaws, followed by church service later tonight.  Tomorrow will be spent with my wife and children.  Doubt we will even change out of our pajamas.  Hope everyone has a safe and healthy Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

I Was Lucky and Unlucky

Most of us have experienced some delays in our mail service the last month or two.  I have been very fortunate to receive all of my trades pretty much on time.  What I have noticed in my packages though is cheap trend.  I am perfectly fine with a pwe as long as the shipper protects the card with a sleeve, some type of loader, and some cardboard.  What I don't like is another trader trying to overstuff the envelope with little to no protection for the cards.  

I had a pwe arrive last week from a TCDB member who I have traded with a number of times before.  All have been pwe trades that were perfect.  No issues with packaging, although most of these involved 10 or less cards that were of low value.  This latest one was different.  I received 8 cards stuffed into 3 different top loaders/card savers with no tape on the top.  Lets see how they came out.

Neither of these look bad from the scan, but the Pagnozzi has a huge dent by his chin.  It is a shame a beautiful card like that was ruined.  I am going to assume the card was damaged in transit.  I would hope someone would not send a damaged card without telling me first.  The Drew has a slight corner ding from coming out the top of the card saver.

These 3 inserts were fine other than the fact I had to cut them out of the regular sized top loader.  Not sure how you can cram all 3 into one without damage.

These 2 team cards were also in an untaped card saver.  The Carp has a soft corner, but the Bader was ok.

This card is where I got lucky.  How often do you receive a nice autograph in a pwe that is half out of the top loader, but arrives without a scratch?  When I saw the back of the card hanging out I was really pissed.  Take some time and at least use a piece of tape to make sure the card stays in the loader.  Even cheap scotch tape would be better than nothing.  

Overall things could have been a lot worse.  I received 1 card with major damage and 2 others with minor damage.  At least the Reyes autograph was ok.  Needless to say this trader is on my blocked list now.  It is a shame because he is a fellow Cardinals fan who I have exchanged cards with before.  At least there are plenty of good traders like Kerry who still needs my extra Cardinals.


Friday, December 18, 2020

Trade Full of Pairs

 Some of my trades have a theme.  Some are done intentionally, others just happen by chance.  My latest TCDB trade with member cardnut23 was by chance.  I received 8 new Cardinals for my collection that arrived in 2 pwe's.  The trader forgot one of the cards in his first mailing, but was nice enough to send it by itself a few days later.  

All sorts of pairs in this scan.  A pair of Wachas, a pair of Hollidays, a pair of golds, and a pair of rainbow foils.  All are from 2015 Topps Update.

My second pair of gold parallels feature a 2015 Grichuk and a 2017 Gyorko.  I was never a fan of the 2017 design.  I like the use of the logo, but not the slanted name plant.  

The last 2 cards are a pair of cool inserts.  Most people know the 2019 Freese card highlights the 2011 World Series Game 6 walk off home run even if you are not a Cardinals fan.  The Piscotty card is from 2016 Topps Bunt.  I honestly had never heard of this insert before the trade.  At first I thought it was just a digital card.  Glad I was wrong.  

Thursday, December 17, 2020

2 Stadium Club Chrome Blasters

While finishing a little Christmas shopping last Saturday morning at the local Walmart, I was lucky enough to find some blasters of 2020 Stadium Club Chrome.  It looked like the display box held 12 total.  I was surprised to find 6 still there.  I picked up 2 for my son and I to open.  There are not many cards in the box with 4 packs of 5 cards and a special pack with 4 Xfractors.  Here is what we received.

These were our best base cards.  Our 2 boxes were loaded with Padres for some reason.  I believe we received 5 of them.  That is pretty strange odds considering the 400 card checklist.  

My son pulled our only Cardinal and Altuve card.  Not sure which he was more happy to get.  It is nice Topps used a different photo for players like Molina who had a Chrome parallel in regular Stadium Club.  

Refractors are seeded 1:2 packs.  We beat the odds slightly by getting 5.

Emperors of the Zone odds are 1:14 packs.  We did well getting 2 of them.

Autographs are 1:19 packs.  My son pulled this one from our second box.  Not the biggest name, but I will not ever complain about pulling an auto out of a blaster.

We did not do too bad with our Xfractors.  These look awesome in hand.  It was fun to open our first packs in a few months.  Did we get $40 value out of them?  Most likely not, but it was a good time.  We might try to get into a team break to find the other 13 Cardinals cards.  Drop me a message if you see anything you like.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Some Color, Some Macs, Some Refracs from TCDB

My incoming trades are slowing down some, but everything is still arriving.  With not much going on in the evenings, I should be doing a trade or two a day.  Instead it has been 2 or 3 a week.  That just makes things more sweeter when a trade does arrive like Monday when a package from TCDB member abide was waiting in mailbox.  He included a nice variety of Cardinals for various team sets.

Bowman Foil cards do not scan well.  These 2 are from the 1996 set.  I will have to add more of these parallel sets to my wantlist.

These 1997 Pacific Prisms Gems of the Diamond could pass for Topps Gold cards.  There are 8 Cardinals in the set.  Other than Ozzie Smith, there are no big names.  No Lankford, Gant, Jordan or McGee.  Instead Pacific use Mejia, Fossas, Barber, and Bell.  

Abide is also a McGwire collector, so we were able to exchange some duplicates.  I now have 10 of the 15 cards from the 1999 Ovation Remarkable Moments set.  There are 7 McGwire cards in the 1998 Upper Deck Prime Nine set, but only 2 are Cardinals cards.  I now have both of them.

I did finish the 2005 Topps Update Chrome set with these 2 cards.  On to the refractor set next.

I still think 2012 Topps Gold cards look more like bronze borders.  They just look too dull to be gold.  There is no mistaken the Blue Border from Walmart.  I am glad Topps has gotten away from given every retailer a different colored parallel.  One is hard enough to track down, let alone 3 or 4.

I love refractors, even the less exciting ones like regular and sepia.  Topps does a good job of using photos of players in retro uniforms like on the Holliday card that shows the pullover 1980s style uniform.  Reyes looks a lot different now than he did on the 2018 card.  He has lost a ton of weight and now wears #29.  I still hold out hope he will be a starter next year, but will be thrilled if he stays healthy and contributes in any way.  He debuted in 2016, but only has appeared in 32 career games due to injuries and Covid.  


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Cardinals 3 Card EBAY Lot

I took a break from hunting for Cardinals Clearly Authentic autos on EBAY to search for some Cardinals lots last week.  I was not looking for anything in particular, just wanted to find a good deal.  I happened to find a 3 card lot that had a very poor title.  No mention of the players in it.  It amazes me how some sellers will not do a simple quick search of similar items to make sure they get the most out of their cards.

I still like jersey/bat cards even though most were never used in a game.  These 2 are both from 2020 Ginter.

The main card for me was this 2020 Gold Label Kim autograph.  These cards are very heavy and look awesome in person.  Completed auctions for this card are going north of $25.  I paid just shy of $15 for all 3 cards.  That is a win in my book.


Monday, December 14, 2020


Happy Monday everyone.  Hope you had a pleasant weekend.  I did not do anything too exciting.  The wife and I managed to start wrapping some presents for our kids.  Other than that, it was pretty quiet.  That left plenty of time for me to sort a few cards and open a nice pwe from TCDB member irish77.

You can never go wrong with a Stan Musial card, even if it is a mini.  It pains me to say it, but I plan to add all the A&G minis to my want list in the next few weeks.  Not sure if I will add all the back variations, but I may get bored and do them too.  

It is amazing I still need some base cards from the early 2000s.  All of these 3 are from 2003 Fleer sets.  The Tino finished my Platinum team set, while I still need a JD Drew card from Double Header.

I had to double check my son's Altuve list to make sure he did not have the 2020 Topps card.  Not sure how I never traded for that one yet, but now it and the 2020 Update card are safely in his binder.  


Friday, December 11, 2020

A PWE Full of Stickers

I am pretty sure my first exposure to baseball stickers was the 1988 Red Foley book.  My mom won a contest from the local radio station for a group of books, and this was in it.  I remember spending an entire day putting all the stickers in the correct spot.  I am pretty sure I still have it somewhere in my collection.  Sometime in the near future I will have to dig it out and write a more in depth post about it.  In the meantime, you can enjoy the stickers I received in a pwe from TCDB member distirbed1 last week.

Topps cranked out a ton of stickers in the 1980s.  A lot of them featured dual players.  Who would not love the 1985 Neil Allen rocking the warm up jacket with the baby blue uniform.  The other 3 are from the 1990 set.  That one has a ton of variations to it.  The sticker fronts are the same, but the player on the back is different.  

The red border on these 1989 Panini stickers go really well with the Cardinals uniform.  There are 18 Cardinals in this team set including stadium, logo, and script card.  About the only thing missing is the manager.

Unlike previous years, the 1994 Panini set is almost standard sized.  The green border is not bad, but I still prefer the red like on the 1987 Fleer McGee card.  It was the only non sticker in the trade.  Kind of a weird color schem with red and purple borders to go along with blue and white text.  Leave out the purple and it would be pretty sharp.  


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

2 EBAY Autos

 My EBAY kick continues today with 2 more autos that I purchased last week.  Both arrived at my doorstep yesterday.  

This is the last 2020 Archives Cardinals auto I needed.  I bought the Todd Worrell and Tom Pagnozzi cards earlier this year.  I was hoping to find Felix for around $5 since he was not a bigger name, but ended up paying close to $7.  Still not a bad deal.

I think I am developing an addiction to Topps Clearly Authentic.  Tommy makes my third one in the last few weeks.  The 1985 design just adds to the eye appeal.  This one was a little less than a blaster.  

Thursday, December 3, 2020

4 Big Macs

I have never eaten a Big Mac in my life.  Lettuce, pickels, and mayo are a few things I cannot stand.  I can stand cards of Big Mac, aka Mark McGwire.  TCDB member travis_january is a McGwire collector who had a few duplicates he sent my way in exchange for some of the same.

I opened quite a few packs of 1998 Ultra, but cannot remember seeing any Notables inserts.  Now I have one.  The 1998 Leaf is a short print that leaves me one card short of the team set.  Of course it is also a short print.  

The 1999 SPx card did not scan well at all.  It looks like a bird did its business on the right side, but I assure you the card is clean.  The 1999 Pacific base card completed my team set.  Travis sent a message after he mailed my end saying the SPx card had a slight ding in the upper left corner.  If you look closely you might see it, but even in hand it is hard to notice.  He included a 5th card because of the ding.

Not very often do I receive a 1962 card in excellent condition as a throw in.  This card is in great shape for being almost 60 years old.  I have a handful of other 1962 Cardinals, but this one is by far in the best condition.  

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Clearly This is a Great Auto

 A few weeks ago I won an EBAY auction for my first Topps Clearly Authentic auto .  I was very impressed with how great the card looked once it was broken out of the one touch holder.  So impressed that Cardinals Clearly Authentic autos have become one of my daily searches.  Last week I found a nice deal on another 2020 card.

This is my 4th Flaherty auto, and maybe my favorite.  I love the 1985 design.  This card set me back less than the price of a blaster of Topps Update.  I say Update because that is the only brand I can find at my local Wal-Mart.  All other blasters I see are marked up to crazy prices online.