Saturday, August 26, 2017

Steve Finley Collection Gallery

Hey all,

I hope you're having a great weekend.

I've been working on organizing and updating my collection on the Trading Card Database as well as here on my blog. This weekend, I'm focused on archiving my Steve Finley collection. I've added a few unique Finley cards to my collection over the past few months. Below is a preview of just a few of those cards. If you want to see the rest, go to my Steve Finley Collection Gallery to see them all!

2017 Panini Immaculate - This product just came out, and when I saw Steve Finley was on the autograph checklist, I scoured ebay to see what I could find. This was the very first to pop up with a reasonable Buy It Now or Best Offer listing, so I made and offer and the seller accepted. 

The patch is awesome on this card and Panini actually did a decent job this year with the card stock. In years past the corners and edges were in just terrible shape. Also, Finley signed on-card and the blue on the card is foil. I'm a big fan of this year's immaculate.

1995 Upper Deck Special Edition Gold - This card popped up on my eBay a while back. I didn't think much of it until I did some research and realized it's a pretty rare card. According to Baseballcardpedia, cards from this set were inserted 1:35 packs. To verify its rarity I perused the baseball card websites and sure enough it's a hard one to come by. I ended up winning it for less than $5 shipped. 

2004 Donruss World Series - I missed an the opportunity when the seller put this up for auction starting at $0.99 and I didn't bother putting in a bid. A week later they had it up for $3.99 plus shipping. I cross-referenced other sites and listings and realized all other listings for this card were 4-5x the price and multiple people had their eyes on it. I gave in and hit the purchase button. It's a pretty cool card with all three swatches bearing different colors.

2004 Topps Clubhouse Collection Triple Relic - This was probably the most exciting card of Finley I've gotten in months because (1) I never knew this card ever existed before, (2) It's limited to 100 copies, (3) It also includes a relic of one of my other favorite players, Luis Gonzalez, and (4) I nabbed it for the lowest bid. It's hard to tell from the scan, but the back of the card is a foil material which makes it even cooler.

That's all I've got for now. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Trip to the Ballpark: July 2017 - Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Durham, NC

Last month I took a short trip to see the Bulls play in Durham, NC. The last professional baseball game I went to was over a year ago, so I was really excited to see the Bulls play. I had been planning to go for quite some time, so you could image how I felt when I drove into the Raleigh/Durham area and it started raining.

 I was pretty bummed.

But I wasn't going to let some rain prevent me from going, and it didn't prevent the Bulls from taking on the Toledo MudHens after a short delay. I only snapped a couple of shots from my seats due to the constant drizzle, but believe me when I say this is one of the most impressive Minor League stadiums I've been to. The location is also pretty neat, as it's tucked in just so and surrounded by beautiful downtown structures.

The game lasted a few innings before the rain started again. The teams played through the rain for another inning before it really picked up and forced them into another delay. I didn't bring any rain gear with me and some of the folks I was with who go to baseball games for the "social aspect of it" and not because they actually like baseball, didn't want to tough it out in the rain. So we left after inning 4.

But before we left I went to the souvenir shop to see what they had to offer. 

I picked up a pack of the 2016 Durham Bulls team set (the 2017 set wasn't available yet) and a stadium ball. My go-to souvenir if the park has it is a baseball with a panorama shot of the stadium. Not all stadiums do that, so I was really happy to see that the Bulls had one. 

All in all, it was a really good time and I can't wait to go to another game (a full game, without any rain). 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Pull of a Lifetime - NBCD 2017

Last Saturday was National Baseball Card Day, and unfortunately I don't live near a card shop anymore. My best friend from college knows this and was kind enough to save a pack for me after visiting his LCS in Iowa. The pack came in the mail Friday and I opened it as soon as I got home from work.

In the hopes of finding a Paul Goldschmidt in the pack I thumbed through it quickly. Alas, no Godly in sight, but in the center lay a card no one ever imagines getting in a free promotional pack of cards...

 2017 Topps NBCD Auto #'ed 17/20!!

I was in disbelief. Frankly, I still can't believe I have this card in my possession. 

A part of me felt bummed for my friend that he wasn't the one to pull this card. He's had a tough go of it this year with work and relationships, and I would've loved to see him be the one to pull this (not that baseball cards can or ever will fix people's problems). Knowing that this card doesn't really fit into either of our collections, I decided to put it up for sale on eBay. With the money I get from it, I'll be able to send a thank you gift back to my friend - A 2017 Allen & Ginter Hobby box. He's been wanting to rip into a box of cards but has held off all year because of his job situation. He has no idea I'm doing this, which makes the experience of it that much more fun! 

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Lost Collector Contest Winnings

Last month, AJ from The Lost Collector held a contest for a grab bag from his LCS, and I was the lucky winner!

First up is some serious junk wax in pretty bad shape. Out of all the cards I only recognize Alex Cole.

Next are some prospect cards from a company I have never heard of before.

 And the last of the cards out of the grab back come from some more recent products. I even got a couple of Dbacks including a really nice looking Luis Gonzalez from SP Prospects.

In addition to the LCS grab bag, AJ sent me a stack of Diamondbacks, a majority of which I did not yet have in my collection.

I needed the Mark Grace card for my flagship team set build I'm working on. The Triple Play cards always give me a good chuckle. 

2017 Donruss and 2017 Bunt are both great products this year in my opinion. I really enjoy how well the card design color coordinates with the team uniforms.

2017 Archives was a pleasant surprise this year. I haven't bought any for myself yet and I had not planned on doing so because the card stock felt so flimsy and cheap in years past, but this year Topps did a good job by making the cards out of a nicer and thicker matte-type stock. I especially like the Jake Lamb card.

Here is my first taste of 2017 Topps as well. I think the design is slightly better than last year. Topps used quite a few horizontal shots for the Dbacks, which is pretty cool. One thing that really disappointed me this year about Topps flagship was the photo selection for Paul Goldschmidt. For a superstar, they could have definitely picked a better photo of him. I don't know about what other people think about it, but a zoomed in photo of Goldy rounding 3rd base doesn't really speak to everything he does on the field. He's a 5-tool player - why don't they pick a photo of him stealing a base or making a diving play in the field? I have yet to see a card of him doing either of those things.

And finally, AJ added this beautiful Scott Hairston autograph to the package. I love everything about this card - The gold and purple borders, the "old school" pinstriped uniform with the turquoise and purple "A" on Scott's chest, Scotty looking into the clear sky on a brisk spring morning in Phoenix, and to top it off, a very nice autograph placed in just the right spot on the card.

Thanks again for holding the contest and thanks so much for the extra cards, Aj!

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Trader's Log: The Angels, In Order

Tom and I completed a trade last month. I was browsing through his want lists and realized I had a stack of Tim Salmon cards I picked up in nickel boxes from a card show last year. I thought about starting a PC of him since he lived down the road from me in AZ, but decided I had too many other collecting aspirations and cards to chase. You can see his post of our trade here or on my "Trader's Log" tab at the top of the page.

In return, Tom sent some 2015 Heritage cards to get me one step closer to completing the set!

He also unknowingly helped me out with my 2016 Topps team set.

Here's a nice stack of fan favorites and 5 of the 2001 World Champions: Bell, Gonzo, The Big Unit, Womack, and Matt Williams. The Fleer Tradition Jay Bell also happened to be an addition to a team set I'm working on!

What's a trade package without a couple of Goldy's!

And finally, a really nice Topps Total card of the Ice Man, Matt Mantei. There was always some mystique about Mantei even though his career wasn't anything to write home about. (This article colorfully describes the love we had for Matt) The card stock and picture of the Ice Man is what really attracts me to this card.

After spending some time looking at and admiring this card, I decided it would go into my TTM pile. However, according to some quick interwebs searching he doesn't seem to sign TTM. If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know. Thanks!

Thanks again for the trade, Tom!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Trader's Log: Nachos Grande

Chris from Nachos Grande and I completed a trade a few weeks back that consisted mostly of cards from our want-lists. 

He included a nifty bumper sticker that now sits on one of my card shelves.

2001 Stadium Club Diamond Pearls

2009 Topps Heritage

2012 Topps Allen & Ginter

2004 UD Vintage
2013 Allen & Ginter Boxloaders

Thanks for trading, Chris!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

TTM Success 3: Damian Miller

Damian Miller played with the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1998 to 2002 and finished his career in his home state with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2007. He was a World Series champion in 2001. He signed both cards I sent to him along with the 3x5 card I placed in the envelope to help protect the cards. 

Damian signed in black sharpie - his signature looks really nice. Even though he's not in a D-backs uniform, I like the 2006 Topps Heritage card the most. His pose along with the backwards ball cap and the 1957 Topps design make it an awesome piece for my collection. 

Sent: April 4, 2017
Received: May 2, 2017
Turnaround Time: 28 days

Thanks for reading!