Friday, June 16, 2017

The Collecting Doldrums

After my year started out hot, I've hit a wall - I feel like nothing has hit the shelves that interests me. Part of that is also the absolutely crazy prices that boxes are selling for these days because of names like Judge, Bellinger, and Benintendi. A box of Bowman going for $150-4200? C'mon man.

I'm also a logo snob. This has prevented me from purchasing anything Panini in years past. But when one's desire to rip packs gets strong enough, one will consider logoless cardboard.

I did just that and bought three boxes of 2017 Diamondkings. My LCS owner gave me a really good deal on the boxes so I couldn't pass them up. I'll share the "big" hits now, but don't plan on much commentary.

This Ted Lyons dual relic was the first hit I pulled. Numbered 7 of 10, it offers a solid patch on the right and some kind of weird fabric on the left. I couldn't figure out what it was until I read the back:

So I went searching to see if I could find an image of I assumed to be a warm-up jacket, thinking I would have very little luck. But, thanks to Goldin Auctions, I was in luck. I found this jacket that once belonged to Lyons:

It seems that the swatch in the left window of the card came from the wrist of the jacket. Very cool!

The next "big" hit was this Trey Mancini auto relic, numbered to 49. The swatch in the bottom is pretty awesome, but the auto is a sticker. I gather than most, if not all, autos in this product are stickers.

The other auto I puled (worth noting) is this Yasmany Tomas Bat Kings auto relic, numbered 2 of 5. Low-numbered auto, that's pretty awesome. The relic could have been larger, though. I guess I shouldn't complain, though.

There wasn't much else worth mentioning. I pulled a couple Cubs relics that went to P-Town Tom. He made a few kind words directed towards me and I appreciate it. I forgot one card in the package I sent, Tom, so I will show it to you here:

A Rizzo Artist's Proof parallel numbered to 25. Nothing special, but I know it will find a good home with you. I'm on my way to Omaha for some CWS action and then on to South Dakota for some time with college friends, but I will drop it in the mail when I return home.

I hope everyone is well!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Post Before The Month Ends

First, a request: if I owe you cards, please send me an email or leave a comment. I have unintentionally lost my sheet that I use to keep up with trades and I don't want to leave anyone hanging. Please forgive me.

Second, this post has little (if anything) to do with baseball cards. If you have no interest in a post about my personal life, you may want to close this page now. You won't hurt my feelings one bit.

Still here? Thank you. It means a lot to me that you care about what I have to say beyond little pieces of cardboard!

I haven't posted a new update on this blog in almost a month. I studied all semester for my qualifying exams. I took the exams in early April. I had my oral defense in late April. I then had to watch, critique, and grade final projects for the class I taught. By the second week of May, I was mentally shot. I literally felt as if I were on the verge of a mental collapse. I needed a break, so I went "off grid," deciding that my cell phone, email, and social media could wait.

In the States, May is Mental Health Awareness month. I didn't know that until about two months ago, when I began doing some research with a faculty member here at Tech. For me, mental health and mental health awareness are very important. I (probably against my better judgment) have decided that I want to share my story in hopes that it can help someone. So bear with me.

In my youth, I never really experienced what I would consider a "mental health issue." Though I was (and am) an only child, I never felt alone. I played just about every sport I could. Furthermore, I never got into trouble, as my parents did a terrific job in instilling discipline in me. Sometimes this meant a paddle or belt, sometimes it even meant digging cactus (a form of manual labor punishment meant to rid our farm of the plant, but in reality, only making it spread quicker). This was also true of my academics - I was expected to earn all "A" grades, and with the exception of one class, I did. Everything seemed great, but I never experienced failure, which meant that I never learned how to use it in a positive manner.

My freshman year of college, a perfect storm of bad luck descended upon me. I found my "first true love," and was promptly dumped, leaving me with heartbreak for the first time. Two days later, my grandfather (who has always been a father figure to me) had a massive heart attack and spent the better part of a month in the hospital, seemingly always teetering between life and death. The stress of these events lead me to not study properly (or enough, for that matter) and I received my first "C" in microeconomics. When I saw my grade in early December, I mentally broke - I locked myself in my room and didn't come out for about two weeks. I rarely ate and slept even less than I ate. During those two weeks, I lost close to 25 pounds. Finally, my roommate got in touch with my mom to let her know he was afraid for me.

My mom came to visit and convinced me to get out and get a breath of fresh air. I left my room and convinced her that I was okay. I put on a happy face and told everyone I was fine. In reality, I was still battling all kinds of emotions.

This was the beginning for me. It opened me up to what has been a lifetime of of battling depression. This is usually brought on by a failure of some sort. I've gotten much better - I generally cope with failure pretty successfully now, but every once in a while, I have a relapse and it takes me some time to move forward.

This happened earlier this month. Though not a typical failure - I passed my comps - my feedback was pretty brutal (but fair). I had a hard time coping with it. This is why I disappeared, this is why I went silent. I needed to get myself centered again.

What I have left out of this story is the instrumental role my family has played in helping me cope with my depression. I also have a professional that I speak with when times get really tough. All of this help is vital for me to stay healthy.

I don't share this to gather your condolences. I share this with you in hopes that it will inspire you to seek help, should you need it. I often feel alone in my fight, but this couldn't be further from the truth. I am never alone in my fight, and neither are you. All you need to do is ask for help, and you will certainly find it.

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Only FIVE More!!!!!

We only need five more spots to be filled for the group break to happen! Take a look here and leave a comment picking your team if you are interested!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Maybe a Group Break???

Nate of Big 44 Sports Cards sent me an email last week inquiring about the Glasnow I pulled in one of my 2017 GQ Boxes. He also asked if I had done any group breaks recently, and that made me want to do one. It has been a really long time since I did, so now seems as good a time as any. I put some feelers out on Twitter, but it seems that I should do the same here. So here's what I'm thinking:

The two are identical except for the Bowman, with Option 1 breaking a single-auto hobby box and Option 2 breaking a three-auto jumbo box. The price shown includes shipping, and all cards will ship.

Is anyone interested? I've listed a few people who have agreed to participate below, so if your team is unclaimed and you want to join, leave a note in the comments and say which option you prefer.

PS - My posting has been especially sparse lately. I have been taking my qualifying exams (my oral defense is Wednesday and it will hopefully be over!) and moving to a new apartment, so I've been a bit preoccupied. I hope to get back to a somewhat-consistent posting schedule soon!

1. DBacks
2. Braves - Chris Mays
3. O's
4. Red Sox
5.Cubs - Judson
6. White Sox
7. Reds
8. Indians
9. Rockies - C. Seidle
10. Tigers
11. Astros - Bru
12. Royals -  Laurie D.
13. Angels
14. Dodgers
15. Marlins
16. Brewers
17. Twins
18. Mets
19. Yankees - The Lost Collector
20. A's
21. Phillies - John C.
22. Pirates - Nate Bell
23. Padres
24. Giants
25. Mariners
26. Cardinals - Brady
27. Rays
28. Rangers - Judson
29. Blue Jays
30. Nats - Capt. Kirk

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Change of Address

A quick post today. During the past few weeks, I have been finishing papers to submit for conference, studying for my qualifying exams, taking my qualifying exams, moving to a new apartment, and studying for the oral defense of my qualifying exams.

So...I've had quite a bit on my plate.

I managed to send out a few PWEs and packages a couple weeks ago and again last week. I did so with no expectation of anything in return. However, should anyone feel inclined to send something my way, shoot me an email (judsonmeeks AT gmail DOT com) and I will be happy to send you my new address. 

I hope to get a new post of substance up soon!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Gypsy Queen Box #2

Following up on my post from yesterday, I have a second box of Gypsy Queen to share. I did pretty well in Heritage earlier this year, but this box may have topped it. 

For the past three weeks, I have been toiling away at finishing a couple research papers. The big academic conference in my field, AEJMC, has an April 1 deadline for paper submissions, so I was trying to get my papers in. I finished around 3 p.m. and decided to stop by my LCS to grab a box to "reward" myself for, essentially, doing my job.

I was beat, so I took my box back to my apartment to open rather than opening it in the shop. I got home and sat down at my desk to dig in.

Right of the top, I pulled a purple GlassWorks boxtopper of Nomar Mazara! These are numbered to 125 and they are absolutely stunning. Good start! More after the jump!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A Questioned Answered

Last month, I wondered aloud why Aroldis Chapman was featured as a Yankee on his 2017 Heritage base card, but as a Cub on his Chrome and mini parallels. 

Well, fear not: the blogosphere's most loved Sooz came to the rescue and gave a reason. 

According to her,
"It's the timing of when the cards are due to the printer. The chrome and parallels have to be there much sooner than the base cards. There is essentially a late form that goes out for the base to get free agent signings and offseason trades. So Topps tries to capture it when they can."
Sooz is definitely an authority on the subject, so this answer is good as gold for me.

Thank you, ma'am, for your insight!