August Card Show Pickups

It’s not very often that we get card shows in my area, let alone two within a week of one another- but that is exactly what happened the first two weekends of August.

The first show was my re-entry into the card show circuit (as a seller, anyway). It had been probably 16 or 17 years since I had set up at a show, so I was pretty excited leading up to that day. In fact, I had spent a lot of my evenings in June and July purchasing, organizing and pricing cardboard. So how did it go? To put it bluntly, sh****.

In hind sight, I should have looked a little closer at the calendar. The first show took place as one popular rodeo had just ended and another was about to begin. There was also the county fair that just finished and the state fair on the horizon. Let’s see… school about to begin…last minute vacations….you get the picture.

Foot traffic was horrible (and that’s an understatement!)- worst I had ever seen at a show-and the only thing that allowed me to recoup my table fee ($35) was giving someone a great deal on 3 autos (for a total of $25). I had forgot that Boise is a football market, and for someone who had very little football cards… yikes.

But some good came from all that free time I had: I was able to talk shop with a couple of guys I’ve bought from over the years and was also able to trade with them this particular day.

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One of the men had bought a 2016 Topps 2 Hobby Box while there and pulled this Matt Kemp Scouting Report card. Nothing special- but he was needing some singles for the set he was putting together and I was able to fill them for him. This will go with the master set I’m building.

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The Griffey card… I had one at one time but sold it at a show back in 1993. I was preparing to purchase my first house and as a young, single man who didn’t make a whole lot of money I was needing to liquidate some of my cards in order to come up with cash for a down payment. Junior’s iconic Rookie Card was part of a rookie lot that I sold to one buyer. Back then it was in the, what- $150 range? I got this for a little cash and some trade bait.

 

The next weekend (which happened to be National Baseball Card Day) I attended another show. This was a more unique setting, though. There’s a card shop which is actually a co-op and they hosted a show inside their building. One dealer (one of the shop owners) had an 80% table and I was able to pickup the following cards for some of my sets.

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The Brett second-year card is badly miscut but it works well as a filler for my set. And the price was certainly right.

 

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As always, thanks for reading!

Fifteens and Sixteens on Facebook

Although I’ve been a member of a couple of Facebook Collector groups for a year or so, I had never took part in any trades- until recently. I was a little hesitant at first because I did not follow it much (I actually hid them from my feed due to all the people trying to sell- it was dominating my timeline) and really had no idea of who was trustworthy. But I began watching the feeds a couple of months ago and ended up making a couple of purchases and then a couple of sales. The logical next step was to trade and, sure enough, that soon followed.

 

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One recent trade netted me quite a few inserts to go towards the sets I’m building. I was especially thrilled to get the Tony Hawk- not because I’m a fan, but it seems to be one of the tougher First Pitch’s to find. I feel like I’m the first person to actively look for a Bud Selig card. And now I finally have one. (Can you tell I’m excited?)

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I enjoyed the MLB debut sets from the early 90s but I’m fine with an insert set recognizing the debuts of current stars. I prefer the Bronze but will settle for Silver. It was also nice to get a couple cards from my favorite inserts of the past two years: Record Setters (Altuve) and….

 

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…Archetypes.

 

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I’m not crazy about The Babe Ruth Story cards- I prefer The Sultan of Swat- but decided to collect it, nevertheless.

 

Thanks for reading.

Flat-Out Fun

Among the more interesting releases of the late-90’s, Topps Action Flats featured a card along with a plastic figure that resembled one of the most beloved toys among young boys of the twentieth century. Like the wildly popular Green Army Men, the Flats had very little depth to them and featured the player on a plastic base (allowing them to stand). The figures were hand-painted and were produced in both “home” and “away” uniforms- with the “away” uniforms being more scarce. A total of twelve players were included in the checklist.

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The Action Flats cards resembled that year’s Topps design (the 1999 set) and featured a gold-foil Action Flats stamp towards the bottom right corner. The photo used on the front was different from each player’s regular Topps issue, while the backs were the same- with the exception of the Action Flats logo and a different card number.

1999 Topps Action Flats Checklist

  1. Chipper Jones
  2. Greg Maddux
  3. Mark McGwire
  4. Sammy Sosa
  5. Kerry Wood
  6. Barry Bonds
  7. Alex Rodriguez
  8. Ken Griffey, Jr
  9. Cal Ripken, Jr
  10. Juan Gonzalez
  11. Nomar Garciaparra
  12. Derek Jeter

Distribution

  • Retail-only
  • Hanging, plastic-windowed box-featuring one figure/player card
  • SRP $2.99

 

Collection: Yes, the four pictured above (I think I have a Chipper somewhere, too).

If you have any available for trade, let me know and maybe we can work out a trade.

 

 

 

Silver Linings

In my previous post I explained how I took part in my very first National Baseball Card Day this past weekend but missed out on the spoils of the celebration. As disappointing as it was, not all was gloomy. The opportunity allowed me to, once again, experience the kindness of strangers in our collecting community.

It was early Saturday evening and I was checking the Facebook feed for a collecting group that I’m a member of. One member posted a photo of the cards he received during his trip to the LCS, prompting a number of comments from fellow collectors. One guy, who I’m presuming owns a shop (or works at one), said they had some singles that customers had left behind at the shop- and if anyone needed some to let him know. I explained to him what had happened to me & that I’d be interested. He replied and asked if there were any players or teams that I collect. I listed a few players I’d be interested in, if he had them, and was surprised by the list of names he was going to send my way. I was even more thrilled when he was still willing to send me the cards, even though I could only come up with three for him.

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The cards remind me of an early to mid-90s Upper Deck product, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I don’t collect Upper Deck products (save a few singles), but can certainly appreciate them. Anyway, as one who enjoys oddball stuff, I’ve decided to finish the set and a quick visit to eBay led to a purchase that should help me in completing it.

Hopefully there will be another NBCD in 2017. Unfortunately, my choices in shops is pretty limited.

2016 National Baseball Card Day

I received notice on Facebook a couple of days ago that someone had commented on a link to my latest post. He asked if he was doing something wrong- that he was only seeing a couple of paragraphs (one of which was incomplete). Disappointment- no, anger- settled in quickly as I realized that all the work I put in to my National Baseball Card Day post was for naught. It had been lost due to a stupid move on my part. You see, I began the draft on my Mac but finished and published it on my iPad. Later that afternoon, I got back on my Mac and tried to back out of the tab that was open. Problem was, it was the tab which I had been working on my original draft. Once prompted to save changes before leaving, I clicked ‘no’ and thus lost my work. So let’s try this again, in a more abbreviated version…

I had never participated in a National Baseball Card Day before, so I was excited to do so this year. My nearest LCS is around 23 miles away, give or take, and I don’t get over there very often, but decided I would make the trip so that I could add some of the NBCD cards to my Topps collection.

The shop was included on Topps’ list of participating stores and the owner had advertised on Facebook as having packs for the first 100 customers as well as the Kris Bryant card, free with at least a $10 purchase of Topps packs. Determined to be one of the early birds, I left the house early enough to get there when he opened at 10 am.

I walked into an empty shop a couple of  minutes after 10, so I figured it wouldn’t be a problem getting some of those much desired cards. I picked out some supplies and then picked six packs of 2016 Topps 2 to qualify for the Bryant card, despite having finished my set (save some of the insert sets). There’s been a little small talk to this point, but no mentioning of NBCD on the shop owners part. At this point two other customers walk in and nothing is said to them, either- so I decide to pay and be on my way. But before walking out I take one more look at a table in the middle of the room, just to see if there is any mention of the promotion. There isn’t, and I walk out vowing to never step foot in the shop again.

My point is this: the hobby doesn’t need hobby shops. You may not agree or even like this statement, but it’s true. In this digital age we now live in, there are plenty of alternatives for buying singles and boxes- not to mention retail stores that carry packs. And as far as a place to hang out and discuss the hobby with others or trade? Yep, I can do that online as well. And what this shop owner fails to realize is this: that he needs us more than we need him. And he failed to connect with this collector.

Spokesman

The year is 2004 and your company is looking for a spokesman for the upcoming baseball season. The opportunity to sign the player whom many consider to be The One that would shatter many cherished baseball records presents itself- do you bring him on board as a company spokesman? Absolutely.

There was a time when Alex Rodriguez was a hobby darling. This, of course, was early in his career- before the steroids and the scandals, and before his vanity became renowned. But if you go back to the summer of 1994, you will see there wasn’t a player more hyped (rightfully so) and in demand than A Rod.  Remember the craze surrounding his 1994 SP rookie card? It far exceeded any of his other cards that summer. But one card manufacturer missed out on the golden boy- not only that summer, but for the next three card releases, as well.

Word is that when Alex was a member of team USA in 1992, he refused to sign a deal with Topps to be included in their 1992 Traded set. Whether it was his own doing, or under the advise of an agent (Scott Boras), who knows; whatever the case may be, Rodriguez would not appear on a Topps card until 1998. To right this wrong, the card manufacturer decided to do a special 4-card insert set featuring the superstar with designs from ‘the missing years.’

2005 Topps Spokesman Set

  1. ARI-1 / 1994 Topps
  2. ARI-2 / 1995 Topps
  3. ARI-3 / 1996 Topps
  4. ARI-4 / 1997 Topps

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In signing his deal with Topps, Rodriguez became the first-ever spokesman for the New York City-based company. The deal also gave Topps the exclusive hobby rights for the use of A Rod’s image on packaging and advertising, as well as autographed cards and game-used memorabilia.

“We found someone in Alex who embodies the values we have at Topps, which are hard work, dedication and integrity – and that’s on and off the field,” said Peter Sawkins, Group Marketing Director for Topps.

The year 2004 seems like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it?

Set Complete? No- missing cards 1 and 4

 

 

A New Era

While recent Major League Baseball All-Star games have been an opportunity for fans to say goodbye to future Hall of Famers such as Chipper Jones, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and (this year) David Ortiz, last month’s mid-summer classic left me feeling good about the future of the game. The reason? All the young talent on Petco Field that night.

Each league featured either a reigning MVP or former MVP who are under the age of 25. Those two (Bryce Harper and Mike Trout) were appearing in their forth and fifth All-Star games, respectively. But they weren’t the only young talent on display. In all, there were 34 first-time All-Stars and an amazing 27 players who are 26 years-old or younger.

This talent on the diamond is good for both the game and the hobby and has me excited about a new era of baseball cards.

lids packs 

 

After years of little in the way of odd-ball and food-issue cards, we’re beginning to see Topps try to bring in new collectors through promotions such as the Marketside Pizza promotion at Walmart and through their partnership with New Era Caps. This latest venture resulted in a nine – card offering at over 800 participating LIDS, Locker Room by LIDS and LIDS Clubhouse stores.

2016 Topps/New Era Checklist:

  1. Bryce Harper
  2. Jacob deGrom
  3. Andrew McCutchen
  4. Joc Pederson
  5. Buster Posey
  6. Kyle Schwarber
  7. Marcus Stroman
  8. Dellin Betances
  9. Josh Donaldson

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Beginning June 3rd, and while supplies last, a four-card pack of the Topps/New Era product will be available with each New Era cap purchase.

In addition to these limited-edition cards, Topps and New Era will also be including player-worn relic cards featuring swatches of MLB Authentic Collection 59Fifty caps and autographed versions as well. The regular swatch cards, randomly inserted into packs, will be numbered to 99 each, while the signed copies will be limited to 1/1. The six players with signed copies are: Harper, Posey, deGrom, Pederson, Schwarber and Stroman.

Set Completed: Yes