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!

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!