Tuesday, December 4, 2018

My Favorite Card of 2018 While Waiting 'til Next Year for Some New Ones



This might be an odd choice for me but this is it. I'm not a huge Jake Lamb fan but I do believe he will become a superstar very soon. I love this card for the photo. The angle is rarely, if ever, used. I think if it were used in any other set they would have cropped out the catcher but THANK GOD FOR STADIUM CLUB. You can't see faces and you feel like you are floating a little to look at it but it's unique perspective makes you feel like you are at the game in that moment. Love it.

Thanks to P-Town Tom and his always stellar blog Waiting 'til Next Year for the contest and getting me to post about a card that deserved some recognition. 


PS....If you have an Iphone get the app "Office Lens." The pic above is a bad example because I was lazy and rushed it but this app can take pics of cards that look BETTER than scans! Check it out for yourself! 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

What I Learned From the Hobby in 2018

I will always have the memories. 


I had the best collecting year of my life in 2018 but learned some harsh lessons along the way. Cards used to share time with hunting, fishing, and team sports but took precedent over all of those this year. Going all in with The Trading Card Database absolutely improved my collection tenfold. Between April and November I completed 120+ trades on the site. Some were 1 for 1 pwe trades all the way up to huge boxes and a lamp. I also have picked up some traction on twitter befriending some great people and making some cool trades. Here are some of my thoughts on the lessons I will take away from this year in collecting.





The toilet paper wrapped loose 12 cards in a PWE from this year. 

Don't Assume...

This year I had a lot of jaw dropping packages show up at my door. Some for good reasons and very often bad ones. From toilet paper wrapped PWE's to 26 cards stuffed into one PWE from Hawaii. I will never assume because an ebay listing says First Class Mail that it will be sent with tracking in a bubble mailer. Or assume the limits a person thinks an envelope can take. I have learned to ask questions and demand more from my trade partners. It makes everyone happier in the end.
Also, don't assume a trading card company knows how to package cards correctly or that any of them treat customers decently.
My Panini redemption not only beat to hell by USPS but was packed like a 75% ebay seller. 












A sweet piece from Dennis at Too Many Verlanders Blog



Be a Trader Worth Trading with...

Its the old adage do on to others... Package, communicate, and trade in a way that would impress you. I have made some incredible trade partners on Trading Card Database and Twitter this year. I am very blessed. The only reason I make more offers to them or receive little bonuses is that I show them respect for the trade no matter the package. Not every package or card I send is perfect but I can at least show I care in other ways. You won't always find it reciprocated but you may often find it one-upped and those times make all the extra effort worth it. 


A "bonus" card from one of my repeat trade partners on TCDB.






Topps Can't Get Enough $...

Everyone knows by now, its been said a million times; they are just printing off money. Topps has to know it's reign over card-dom is going to end sometime soon. The monopoly they have over everything and how hard they exploit every one of us with countless products they push out is a travesty. The rate to which they keep making more crap shows they can probably predict a fallout soon and want to cash in now.
I have learned to not chase Topps. I try not to overextend myself buying up everything of a PC player. I have to remind myself the hunt is the fun in this hobby for me, not dropping another card into a box and putting it away. I bought into Topps Living set on a whim the first week it came out. I sold all three cards for around $500 total. Do I wish I had Nick Castellanos still for my PC? Cha. But, the hunt 20 years down the road to find another one I can afford will be a thrill. And...if you ever get offered $500 for something you paid $12 for you take it! Topps would.
You can get cards of children from Panini too. 














Probably my best addition to my collection from a trade this year. 

Your Collection is Yours...Own It!

I often have to sit back, take a deep breath, and appreciate my collection. I think we can get so caught up in comparing ourselves as collectors it can be very damaging. I see guys posting 1/1 cards or break results from crazy high end sets. BE TRUE TO YOURSELF. I am a junk level collector. I own a few good cards but I cannot jump into high end product breaks or buy hobby boxes when they come out. I have to cherry pick and research to find deals I can afford. Someday maybe I'll be busting some Topps Museum but I cringe now when I buy a $20 blaster box. First off, I know I am getting $2.78 worth of cards in it. Secondly, $20 is a pizza and a movie with my family. This is my hobby and lucky for me I get a thrill looking through nickel boxes to find a bent up ass Ozzie Smith common from 1989. I can take 5 hours to spend $7 at a card show. If that ever leaves me I will probably be done collecting.

The Topps Home Run Challenge was one of my favorite parts of collecting this year!










I knocked out one of my harder to find wantlist cards this year. There is no way it holds its value but oh well.  

Cards Are Not Stocks, Just Similar To

Today's card culture seems to be leaning towards the get rich quick group. There are literally people who buy boxes in hopes of hitting an expensive card and throw everything else away. Not me, I play the long game. Millennials don't often play the long game and can't see the Mantle through the Ohtani's. Instant gratification or here comes the Twitter temper tantrum. Lately, I have been flipping prospects and 2017/18 rookie cards for vintage. Its amazing that someone would trade me a stack of 1950s cards for some up and comer who may be a flash in the pan but a lot of collectors today have no vision for the future. They see my lot of Clint Frazier cards and know they have someone who will pay top dollar for them so they cough up grandpa's old cards he handed down to them so they can make $20 today. I will take vintage, tried and true professionals over Clint Frazier's potential any day. Not even five years from now if Frazier is a bust I traded 10 worthless dimebox cards from Junk Era 2.0 for a handful of 1958 Topps that only become rarer and more valuable by the day.
My advice:
1. Save a few for yourself just in case but move rookie and prospect cards for vintage when possible. These rookie cards are too over produced to be anything. Plus, think about how often you find 1990s rookie cards of guys who never became anything in top loaders at shows for 10 cents. Those cards you know were a big deal a decade or two ago and now are long forgotten.
2. Look for hidden treasures. The easy pickin's trade partners giving up vintage for Ohtani and Acuna are blinded by $. Check out the outlier rookies and prospects who aren't as hyped but have just as much potential. Small market teams right now are holding some damn good prospects and rookies who in a normal year and on bigger teams would be a big deal. Swap those Ozzie Albies commons for Brian Anderson variations. Or toss some Aaron Judge RC's out there for anyone giving up Matt Chapman autos. Look at the price on Luke Voit cards out of nowhere after a couple playoff games. If you are "investing," be smart about it.
3. The two things I look for in a prospect is age and strike outs. If both are low; buy him up. The comparison I always go to is Aaron Judge and Nick Castellanos. They were born a month apart but Nick has over double the amount of MLB games played than Judge. That is quite the head start toward lifetime HOF numbers. Just look at career hits: 752 VS 284. These guys are the same age. If they play the same amount of years going forward it would take one hell of a career for Judge to catch Castellanos in many stat categories. Therefore, I would (and do) collect Castellanos over Judge. A handful of great seasons does not make a HOFer. Play the long game.
(Says the guy who still opens packs looking for that high dollar Acuna)

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

From Card Cave to a Cardboard Haven, Trade of the Year

I have made some recent transactions that have transcended my basement from cardboard hoarder's rat nest into something that looks almost like a respectable collector's trophy room.

Trade of the Year

No picture has ever represented a moment in my life so accurately!

The forums on The Trading Card Database are pretty entertaining. Other than the monthly idiot who creates a login and tries selling cards or pitching his website 10 minutes later, you can always find something good to read. I saw a post for an old lamp and from there ended up with a legendary swap. BOBSCARDZ on the site is a very active member posting to the forum often. I was able to work out a deal with him to swap a box of cards for his Upper Deck hockey lamp.



Picture the "FRAGILE" crate being dropped off and opened in A Christmas Story. This lamp is totally from the era I began collecting. I love it. Bob even included 6 hockey cards from 90-91 in a team bag in case I wanted to keep the lamp accurate to the time period. He is an awesome guy and I hope he is as happy with the cards I found for him as I am with this sweet beacon of nostalgia! I am still filling a box for him to hopefully send sometime in January as an extra thank you. 


I have followed @GypsyOak on twitter for a long time and admire the pieces of art depicting baseball's history in a modern way. To be honest I don't know if its one guy or a cooperative team that makes this stuff but with a black Friday deal too good to pass up I made my first order. I ordered the Pat Neshek print and the Ty Cobb print above. Everything pictured is what came to me today. The extras they were sending in this sale are unbelievable. Even cooler in hand than online. The post card print, stickers, cards, its all amazing stuff that I am going to have to display in a shadowbox or something. Someday when my wife is done with her residency and we get into our "forever home" I am going to order one of Gypsy Oak's bigger pieces for my hobby room. 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Secret Santa 2018



I know I just posted recently about trying to post more but here we are. I haven't opened Blogger in weeks again. Busy times for me. I have a ton of stuff to post about but it is just quicker to tweet something short and dumb than to sit down to think up a post and scan pics.
Anyway, Secret Santa is on for 2018. Here is the link:

https://pennysleevethoughts.blogspot.com/2018/11/introducing-secret-santa-30.html?showComment=1541684579413#c2325288127925363670

We are so blessed in this blogging community to have such thoughtful people involved. Jon from A Penny Sleeve for Your Thoughts blog recognized the need and stepped up to run Secret Santa this year. Matt from Bob Walk the Plank ran it last year and I had fun shopping for someone else and met some new trade partners through it.
In the minuscule chance that some card blogger visits my blog that hasn't seen others posting about it, click the link and get in!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

My First Panini Redemption

I hate to be that guy. I bitch enough on this blog about the state of our hobby but I need to vent about my recent Panini package. I bought a redemption card off of ebay and redeemed it. I was less than enthusiastic about the Panini website and even more confused as to why it took two months to fill an order that I knew they had ready to ship. I had seen other versions of the same card /25 posted places. Meaning they had been made, signed, and ready to be redeemed.
I told myself to chill; Panini is probably a busy company. I see posts all the time about people waiting crazy amounts of time for their redemptions. I guess I just assumed those cards hadn't been printed or they couldn't get the athlete to sign them. I figured as a company they understood the business and did the best they could.
Today, though, they lost my benefit of the doubt. I noticed my redemption status changed from open to closed suddenly about 2 weeks ago. I nervously waited for any other information but none was posted. Under the "View Shipping?" button (the question mark should have been a red flag) there was no information other than it had been sent 10/17.
Surely, a company, nay, a thriving business like Panini would upload a tracking number if not email me one soon. Silly, naive little collector me.
Today I received a beaten-to-hell ripped package in the mail. I repeatedly said "please don't be from Panini" in my head as I turned it over to see the sender...It was.


Now, my postal service around here is atrocious. I get rough packages all the time and NEVER receive anything on time. Typically the sender knows how to package well and I rarely have issues. Surely Panini, a freaking card company knows how to ship. They have to, right? This package obviously got stuck and burned for a while in the sorting machine's wheels but the creases and tears are what worried me. Creases = Bends and Tears = Moisture.


THE CARD WAS OKAY. I should get that out of the way now in case anybody wants to bail on this post thinking "the card was fine pansy, quit whining." BUT... There was no cardboard, no paper, no tissue, no team bag, no protection inside at all. Just my card in a penny sleeve and toploader left to dance around inside a cheap bubble mailer. I know guys who automatically give negative feedback on ebay for this or will stop trading with you.
NEXT...There was no tracking! With all the scumbags taking advantage of the good guys in our hobby right now what is to stop anyone from getting their card and saying it never showed. Would Panini send a replacement? THEY PAID $3.50!!!! The same amount it would have cost to send first class with tracking and give us both piece of mind.
The straw that breaks the breaks the camel's back is the piece of scotch tape on the top of the loader. We all preach painters tape or nothing within the better side of the hobby. How can this be acceptable?! What a joke. I have stood by Panini when others leave them for not having logos and even when they have players put on 4 XXXL sized jerseys for 30 seconds just to make swatches like this one for cards.
I have a real bad taste in my mouth after this one. I'm still in shock.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

5 Minutes in Heaven

I am too lazy to track this 5 minute blog post challenge back to it's creator but I will partake in the spoils of having a topic/challenge to post about. I ffffiiiiinnnnnaaaalllllyyyyy have caught up with my white whale. This card has been escaping me since it's release. I saw this one posted for too much money on ebay and snagged it without bothering to even make an offer. It is now mine. Forever.


Pretty boring for most of you I am sure. For me, however, I am thrilled to finally have it. I might even try for the rest of the rookie set.



JaCoby Jones is up for the Heart and Hustle award this year. Vote for him HERE. Fan votes account for 5% of the final tally so its almost like the presidential elections. But, its easier and faster than a 5 minute post. Time is up.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Fantasy Baseball; First Loser! Also, a Shout Out to The Lost Collector


I HATE LOSING. Its ingrained deep within me for whatever reason. It may be an oldest child thing, I don't know. I took second place in fantasy baseball this year and it sucks. I busted my butt making sure I had the best lineup each week but in the final matchup my own Tigers lost it for me. Matt Boyd threw a 2 inning outing and Michael Fulmer is a delicate flower. I guess thats what I get for being a homer and picking up Detroit guys. In my defense; Boyd was good all year but just shit the bed when I needed him most. I lost by ONE category! Matt Boyd is dead to me now. I really enjoyed having this league to work on. I wish it would have been a bit more interactive. I was able to make zero trades even though I offered like 30 throughout the year. There was zero chatter on the league forum. I think more than half of the people signed up ghosted the damn thing after the first month. Typical for fantasy baseball. I hate to say it but I think there is probably a correlation between being able to finish a fantasy baseball season actively and being able to sit and watch a baseball game. Damn millennials and their need for instant gratification and entertainment. Anyway, congratulations to The Bonds Squad whoever you are. It was an amazing championship that came down to the last inning on the last day. A huge thank you and shout out to Jake (I think, I only know the accounts from the league, Twitter @sportcardscollec,  and the blog) from Sports Card Collectors for setting up the league! I am not up on things, it may be a collectively owned blog but always good stuff and peeks at new products.


I had some pretty great trades via Twitter recently. I mistakenly got anxious and worked it all into my collection before taking scans or posting individual contributions. So, sorry to AJ The Lost Collector  or @Lost_Collector. He hooked me up with some sweet Tigers cards. Here are some of the examples that stayed close enough to the surface to grab and snap:

The Trammell was a bonus card AJ threw in. It ended up being my favorite of the whole lot!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Mike Trout Contest Winner and LOTS of Other Stuff


That Title Should Draw Some Interest, Eh? 

I won a contest on Instagram put on by Dre Day Cards account. I am very thankful to win this sweet piece. I do not dabble in much graded stuff for two reasons: 1.) The prices scare me off. Give me a raw RC for $10 over a graded 9.5 for $1200 any day. 2.) Like most collectors now, I started collecting in the 1980's as a kid. Most of my collection that made it to present day looks like I stored them in a rock tumbler. Instead of being mad at my younger self, I denounce grading. Basically because I am poor and once young and naive. So this card is a great addition for me! Please give @dredaycards on instagram a follow plus all the other social media sites.

Under the card is a sick Rawlings glove I found for Nolan at Goodwill for $1. It has Tony Gwynn inside!

Cards on Instagram and Other Venues

Cards on Instagram are plentiful as are the scammers. I have done business on Insta but choose very carefully who I deal with and often make potential partners angry. Anytime I see "I don't send first" or any kind of negative sounding crap on people's profiles I avoid that person all together. I have been ripped off on facebook, ebay, and email via this blog and now protect myself a little more. 99.9% of my trades now are on TCDB  as most of you know by now. Here is an example of a "bonus card" someone sent me in a recent trade:


When cards like this are the "bonus card" you know traders are legit on the site and happy doing business with you. Here is another transaction I received:

I gave up some big time cards (in my world) for these three, but come on; a Ted Williams relic!!!!!!!

Here is an example of an ebay transaction lately:


Sweet car, right? WRONG! The card itself would have been sweet except for the animal bite right in the top of it going through the card. The toploader doesn't have matching teeth marks so when the seller blamed USPS I had to laugh. Ebay downright sucks 50% of the time. I was given $1 off this card for the condition not being MINT as in the description. If only there was a card show every other day so I didn't need technology to scratch the itch.
Ebay is really only good to me for one thing: Breaks. It seems like break websites are expensive and I can find the best deals on ebay. Here are some recent break results:

Up and comer Tiggers

Available for trade
I entered two half case breaks. I do not know if the half cases were from the same origins. I bought Tigers in one and Tigers & Pirates in the other since Pirates went without a bid and I scooped it up for pennies with combined shipping.

Ebay is also good for finding specific cards at buy it now prices when sellers are trustworthy. Finally found a Clearly Authentic Niko I have been waiting for at a reasonable price:


I feel bad for whomever bought this box of Authentic for $40+ and had to sell it to me for $6.


Tigers Wrap Up the Season


I was very blessed this month. I was able to attend two Tiger games. My wife was offered some suite tickets from another doctor at work and we got to watch Christin Stewart blast his first 2 career home runs while stuffing our faces with all you can eat gourmet food.





Nolan, my dad and I were able to attend the last home game too, later that week. My brother and his family had tickets to that game and ended up in the next section from us so it was cool to enjoy the last game all together. Noles and me made the first game and last game together. He made it 2 innings on opening day and the whole game this last time. Maybe next year he'll watch some of it!

Last home game (top), opening day (bottom)

I'm a Baseball Card Creep


I love Panini's Stars and Stripes blasters for the sheer false excitement it gives you pulling 2-3 autos/relics per box. I say false because much like the card above, an auto from a 14 year old boy is not exactly something to get excited about. I feel like a creep collecting children's autos. Nonetheless, I like pulling ink scribbles and this box at least held a Royce Lewis jumbo relic and my first Casey Mize card.


CURRENT CONTEST!

Collector's Crack is the blog with the very best title picture at the top. Yeah, the one with the custom tobacco cards. That's the one. Go HERE for a sweet World Series prediction contest! My prediction is my dream scenario for the series; Astros/Brewers. Would be a fun series to watch. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Time to Tear Down Wrigley: 1 Reason The Yankee Fans Want To Win More Than The Cubs Fans

Its the old "fool me once..." saying that keeps biting the Cubs. Can we all agree Wrigley Field is obviously too small. How many fan interfered plays are acceptable? Also, why does it seem like Cubs fans only interfere in ways that hurt their own team?

Here is my reason the Yankees care more about winning than the Cubs:
This happened...


I am sure we all remember Jeffrey Mayer becoming a hero way back when. After this, the Yankees tore down their beloved, history rich stadium and built a new one. Since then, there have been no interferences as big as Mayer's that I can think of in Yankee games. They saw a possible problem and made a change for the sake of winning. Plus, Yankee fans in fact are willing to give 100% on every ball to help their team whenever possible.





On to the Cubs fans and their selfish ways. How many times does this stuff need to happen before the Cubs get proactive and tear down Wrigley? 



Even the nets won't stop stupid, baseball rule ignorant "fans" from screwing their home team. If the Cubs want any chance to win another World Series they have to build a new stadium. Wrigley should be left standing for the ivy to swallow with a plaque commemorating a stadium and baseball team the fans didn't deserve. There is a Chicago bleacher brawl video going around of fans fighting at a ball game. If this play didn't spark a fight, what the hell did in that game?

By now I hope you are thinking "what an idiot" as you read this stuff. It is all in fun and not actually the way I feel or even realistic. I hope Wrigley stands forever and given the chance I would rather punch a Yankee fan in the stomach over a Cubs one. I just hadn't posted in a while and this was the baseball bouncing around the melon this morning. Thanks for reading if you lasted this long into the post. Go A's!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

2018 Chronicles of Chaos

Last year I was addicted to Panini Chronicles due to the plethora of JaCoby Jones cards in the set. I probably bought into 20 different breaks of different case amounts. I walked away with at least one example of every Jones card in the set. I do hold the most JJ on TCDB currently (my claim to cardboard fame).
This year I haven't bought into any Chronicles breaks because it boasts ONE Detroit Tiger card in the entire set. Topps leads by example shunning Tigers players in sets and apparently Panini is following. Anyway, I randomly bought a retail blaster out of curiosity and a need for trade bait. I was very pleasantly surprised and wonderfully confused by what I pulled. This year's Chronicles is CHAOS. I have not pulled more than 3 base cards in any blaster. There is throwbacks to old sets, variations on top of variations and only the most sought after players are featured. All the cards look great and appeal to my style I guess with the framing and bordering they chose in each insert set. If you can even call them insert sets. If someone would have told me about the layout of this set this year I would have thought I'd hate it. But, I love it. Don't ask me why. I apologize for the crappy scans, I need to clean the scanner. Here are some examples of the rookies I've pulled.

"Phoenix"

A throwback to Score

These "Status" cards look awesome in person.

"Limited"

"Prestige"

The foil on these Studio cards make them pop!

Optic for some reason.

Prizm 

"Select"

"Rookies & Stars"

"Crusade"

"Illusions"

Base. 3 of the 5 Base cards I own. They may be the hardest cards to pull. 

I believe these Revolution cards are retail only. 


Gleyber is /299 Hyper-Prizm or some shit. Hoskins is some kind of Holo-Prizm.

I bought the Anderson on Ebay for $3.50. A steal for a future league MVP!
All the non-Rookie cards I've pulled are available for trade on TCDB; pjdionne12 on there. Hit me up!