Saturday, April 22, 2017

TTM Success 2: Eric Byrnes

Here is my first return from a former Diamondback. Eric Byrnes spent four seasons with the Dbacks (2006-2009) and was one of my favorite players to watch. He was super quick and played with so much energy - his body almost seemed spastic at times as he chased down fly balls in the outfield or ran the bases.

 What surprised me most about this return is how quickly it came back. I sent it out in the first week of April along with three other requests, and I expected this specific request to take the longest since some TTM forums had posts stating that it takes months to get anything back from Eric Byrnes. He also switches between two addresses throughout the year making it more difficult. I apparently chose the right address at the right time because the cards and the ticket came back to me signed in just under two weeks.

Unfortunately, Eric signed in black pen instead of blue or black sharpie. A few months from now I may send another request to him with a sharpie included in the package. Still, it's awesome to add these to my collection.

As you can see, I chose to send Heritage cards. I love Topps Heritage and think autographs look really sharp on them. Most of the requests I send out will include Heritage cards if possible.

This is the only ticket I've held on to from the many Diamondbacks games I attended while growing up. I kept it stored in a photo protector to go with my autographed 8x10 of Eric. It now looks even better with Eric's auto. He even wrote his jersey number below his signature.

Sent: April 4, 2017
Received: April 17, 2017
Turnaround Time: 13 days

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

1999 Ultimate Victory Steve Finley 1 of 1

After watching this card on eBay for many months, I decided it was time to add it to my collection and call it mine. The seller listed it at a very high $150 Buy It Now (BIN) or best offer, and even though this is one of the coolest parallels of all time from one of my all time favorite sets and one of my all time favorite players, I was not about to fork out that much dough.

When the time came to put in an offer, I had to decide what seemed fair and reasonable without breaking the bank. I came to the conclusion that yes, while it is a BGS 9.5 of a 1/1 from the 90's, there aren't many avid Steve Finley collectors out there such as myself, so the seller will probably accept a price much lower than what they're asking just to get the card out of their inventory.

My first offer was around 70% below asking price and they countered at 30% below. We went back and forth a couple of more times before they finally accepted at around 55% below asking. 

This card highlights my collection in many ways:

- It's my first ever 1 of 1
- It's my first ever BGS slabbed card
- It's now my most expensive card in my collection

While the quality of the card stock is about average, the condition, the design, the foil, the gold border, and the action photo of Finley robbing a HR makes this card a true gem and my new favorite card in my collection.

Nostalgia plug: Around the time this card was released, I was a Little League outfielder in Arizona pretending I was like Steve Finley.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Trader's Log: My Cardboard Habit

Judson from My Cardboard Habit is a fellow Topps Heritage enthusiast, and we recently engaged in a friendly trade to help each other chip away at our want lists. I sent a few meager cards that I had from his list, and he completed the trade a few days later by annihilating my wantlist with a 400 card box stuffed with Heritage and Gypsy Queen.


Here are the before and after stats:

Gypsy Queen N174
Before:3/15 - 20% Complete
After: 12/15 - 80% Complete

2017 Topps Heritage
Before: 105/500 - 21% Complete
After: 337/500 - 67.4% Complete

2016 Topps Heritage
Before: 455/725 - 62.7% Complete
After: 460/725 - 63.4% Complete

2015 Topps Heritage
Before: 511/725 - 70.4% Complete
After: 585/725 - 80.7% Complete

I can finally start to see the finish line on some of these sets thanks to Judson.

Thanks so much for the trade, Judson!

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A One Card COMC Purchase

I purchased one card from COMC on March 31st and it arrived in my mail box April 3rd. There are many reasons why I only purchased this single card. Many of you are probably thinking I should have waited long enough to add a sizable stack to my COMC inventory before requesting a shipment. Had I done so, I would have been out $3.99! 

You see, I had received a small stack of scratch cards after making a purchase during COMC's Black Friday promotion. Two of those scratch offs contained a free shipping code. I already used one back in January and had yet to use the other. I came across the scratch cards the other day and saw that I needed to redeem the final free shipping code before April 1. So I hopped on the website and started looking.

This 1997 Finest Embossed Refractor of Steve Finley was on my watch list and caught my eye. And in person this piece is a real beaut. The scan kinda shows the embossed-ness but doesn't capture the refractage at all. Combine those two and you could just stare at this card for a long minute at least. It's hypnotizing...

I had searched through eBay and some databases to find out if others were up for sale and they were not nor had they been for some time. It turns out the 1997 Finest Embossed Refractor is very scarce (but not numbered) so I knew this may be one of the very few times I would ever come across this card.

The price seemed fair, but I only had $.06 didn't want to add a ton of credit to my COMC account, and the minimum amount one can add at any one time is $10. So I added $10 and threw in a sub $10 offer. The seller countered at a price just a bit over what I had in my account. I countered their counter with everything I had loaded and they rejected the offer altogether.

Now I was in a predicament. I didn't want to add another $10 credit to my account because I only needed a few more cents to meet the counter offer and I really wanted the card (I'm attempting to be a more disciplined collector...we'll see how that goes). So I clicked on the COMC challenge page and wasted about 30 minutes of my life playing the challenge "games" so I could earn enough points to get $1 credit so I could meet the counter offer price and submit a new offer.

So that's what I did. And it worked! I now have this awesome card in my collection.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 3, 2017

TTM Success 1: My First Ever TTM

I've been inspired by fellow bloggers to dip my toes in the Through The Mail (TTM) water. Afraid to fail and lose all motivation to ever try this again, I dug through some boxes and pulled out a card of a player who is known (according to the interwebs) for being a good signer: Mr. Ron Gant.

I didn't bother recording the dates it went and came, but I do remember it arrived back in my mail box the next week - much more quickly than I expected. It seemed strange to get an envelope in the mail addressed to me with my own handwriting, but also very exciting because I knew what was inside.

I had a handful of his cards to chose from, but this Kmart card seemed to be the prime candidate for an auto and it turned out great in my opinion. The thick white border and colorful design up top compliments Gant's autograph.

I now plan to make this a regular part of my hobby experience, and already have a few more sent out to former Dbacks players (fingers crossed).

Thanks to those who share their TTM experiences through their blogs and for motivating me to start!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

New Blog Layout & Adjusted Blog Title

I've been away from card blogging for a while and slowly crept back in earlier this year. Since then I have re-vamped my page to more accurately capture what I enjoy about baseball and the hobby:

I created this collage of my favorite Diamondbacks players, past and present, including some of my favorite cards they are featured on in my collection.

I also slightly changed the name of my blog from "Cards My Mother Didn't Throw Out" to "Cards My Mom Didn't Throw Out." It may seem insignificant, but I personally believe replacing "mother" with "mom" adds a more intimate and relatable touch. I love my mom very much and don't want to give off the impression that she simply bore the title of "mother",  not holding any real relationship with me other than one who ruled in tyranny and laid waste to many baseball cards that were an integral part of my childhood. Yes, she did make me throw some away at one point, but it was done ultimately out of love and to teach me a lesson.

My goal is to continue blogging on a more consistent basis and continue to stay in touch with my fellow bloggers. I have also edited my page to feature fellow bloggers on the right-hand column. If you are not listed and would like to be, please comment below and I will definitely add you.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

First NPN Submission of 2017

I sent out my first stamped #10 envelope to Topps this year with the hopes of being drawn for an insert from 2017 Topps Heritage.

I began participating in No Purchase Necessary (NPN) drawings around the same time I began blogging and I have done fairly well. Even if the card isn't of a star player it's still fun to receive a "free" card from Topps in the mail. For last year's Heritage drawing I got a Prince Fielder SP. For the Heritage High Number drawing I think I got a Rookie Performers insert of Trayce Thompson - not sure though.

 The rules state that only one entry per household is allowed, but I'm wondering if I submitted for both groups that I would be put in for separate drawings and thus have a chance at winning two cards....nah, I won't get greedy.

I purchased one blaster box and one hanger pack of 2017 Heritage so far this year and noticed the NPN addressees are different. The image above is from a blaster box pack and designated "GROUP 1". The hanger pack is designated "GROUP 10". 10 groups? Unless there is some other pack form I'm not aware of, here are all the ways I believe Heritage is packaged:
1. Hobby
2. Walmart Blaster
3. Walmart Hanger Pack
4. Walmart Hanger Box
5. Target Blaster
6. Target Hanger Pack
7. Target Hanger Box

I put the envelope in the mail on 23 March 2017. I'll have a follow-up post when or if I do receive a card from the drawing.

Thanks for reading!