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!

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!