Monday, July 24, 2017

An Owed Apology

I was scrolling through my Twitter feed last night when I came across this tweet from Sooz, everyone's favorite Topps employee:
Naturally, I had to read the replies and try to determine what was going on. Of course, a handful of d*ckheads had to throw their comments on Twitter and different forums.

"What a waste. Who cares about company employees?

"If it isn't a baseball card, why is it even part of the set?"

Those are just a couple of the "nicer" comments, if you can call them that. I became pretty upset that people were reacting this way. First, if all you care about are baseball cards, then Ginter is not the set for you. The reason it is so popular with many collectors is precisely because it has non-baseball cards in it. Second, how awful does it sound when people say they don't care about Topps employees? To me, it sounds extremely self-centered and narcissistic, and that's coming from a self-identified conservative! (wink wink, we can all get a little chuckle, right?)

The more I thought about this, the more I realized that I am part of the problem. I love baseball cards, which means that I love Topps (since I can't stand cards without logos). Yet I have rarely been one to point to something and thank Topps or the employees. 

More frequently, I am criticizing something about the company. The same player photo being used too many times. Inconsistent formatting. Long wait times on redemptions.

Never have I thanked Topps for having multiple products out that have a wide variety of prices, allowing everyone, regardless of income, the opportunity to collect something.

Never have I thanked Sooz for this year's Stadium Club photos, especially ones like this:

I don't care what anyone says, this might be the single greatest baseball card ever (and I don' say that just because I'm a Rangers fan).

I've never thanked Topps for providing hobby boxes as prizes for Gint-A-Cuffs or for providing boxes for review to other bloggers that I read regularly (self promo: Topps, if you read this, I would be happy to review your baseball products! haha). The company does give back to the collector community and I don't think they ever really get the credit they deserve.

Is it okay to critique and criticize the company? Absolutely. However, if that's all you want to do - without ever offering praise when it is deserved - then keep your thoughts to yourself. You are offering nothing that makes the hobby or collecting community better. 

I'll take my own advice here, too. For my part, I apologize to Topps for being a critic too frequently. To Sooz, I apologize that there are those out there that would take this opportunity to ruin something that the rest of us would (figuratively) kill for. Thank you for your hard work and for trying to interact with our community on a regular basis.

Now, if we could just get you to follow in your husband's footsteps and be a Rangers fan instead of a Yankees fan......

Friday, July 21, 2017

An eBay Mailday

A few weeks ago, I posted about my luck in purchasing some 2017 Archives retail. I was fortunate enough to pull the one auto I wanted of Lenny Randle.

Naturally, I decided I wanted to try to get all of the parallels of this card. First up, the sky blue parallel numbered to 75:

You'll notice that this auto has a smiley face, as well! P-Town Tom wondered in my first post if all of his signatures have the smiley face - it appears that the overwhelming majority do. I searched and found that all listed autos except for one had it. I tried to grab the one without, but it sold for more than I wanted to pay. 

Stoked to have this in my hands! Now I just have the light pink (salmon) and red parallels to go!

I hope everyone is well!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Trade with Sports Cards and Memories

A week ago, I saw a post on Sports Cards and Memories that featured Chris breaking a box of Tier One. One of the cards in the box was a Ranger. I left a comment and asked Chris if he would be interested in moving it. Later that evening, Chris emailed me and we quickly worked out a deal!

Without further adieu, here's the card:

This relic auto numbered to 75 of Nomar Mazara! The Big Chill's signature has really gone down hill, but I think that is fairly common with players that sign for Topps, since they are required to sign a million different cards. Either way, I am stoked to have this card in my collection!

Chris also mentioned that he had a couple Pudge cards that I might be interested in, so I obliged and took them off his hands! Along with a few set needs, these were in the package as well:

This is the '59 Bazooka insert from 2017 Topps Archives! I have another copy of this card coming my way in the future from The Lost Collector, but I will never complain about a beautiful Pudge in my collection!

The second Pudge that Chris sent also came from the 2017 Archives set:

This is the blue parallel, numbered to 75! It's the first blue parallel from the set in my collection. 

Thanks a ton Chris! Think of me whenever you pull any Rangers in the future!

PS - I posted earlier today about my want of some 2017 Allen & Ginter inserts. Please take a look and let me know if you pull any of these and want to trade them!

2017 Allen & Ginter Wants

Hey everyone! I'm not sure if Gint-A-Cuffs is happening this year, and even if it is, I'm not certain that I will participate. The cost of boxes is skyrocketing because of this year's rookie class, and I'm pretty poor as it is.

That being said, there are some cards that I definitely want. If you purchase any Ginter and pull any of these cards, please let me know if you are interested in trading them!

Texas Rangers Minis (Any Parallel)
39 Yu Darvish
60 Nolan Ryan
91 Nomar Mazara
109 Cole Hamels
126 Adrian Beltre
202 Jurickson Profar
229 Rougned Odor
287 Elvis Andrus
329 Jonathan Lucroy

Constellations Mini Insert
C-1 Orion
C-2 Ursa Major
C-3 Ursa Minor
C-4 Scorpius
C-5 Cygnus
C-6 Leo
C-7 Perseus
C-8 Hercules
C-9 Aquarius
C-10 Libra

Required Reading Mini Insert
RR-1 Walden
RR-2 On the Origin of Species
RR-3 Jane Eyre
RR-4 A Tale of Two Cities
RR-5 War and Peace
RR-6 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
RR-7 Heart of Darkness
RR-8 Moby Dick
RR-9 Wuthering Heights
RR-10 The Canterbury Tales
RR-11 The Illiad
RR-12 The Prince
RR-13 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
RR-14 The Count of Monte Cristo
RR-15 Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde

Revolutionary Battles Insert
RB1 Battle of Lexington
RB2 Battle of Bunker Hill
RB3 Battle of Quebec
RB4 Battle of Long Island
RB5 Battle of Trenton
RB6 Battle of Princeton
RB7 Surrender of General Burgoyne
RB8 Battle of Cowpens
RB9 Battle of Guilford Court House
RB10 Battle of the Chesapeake

Sport and Fishing Lures Insert
SFL-1 Northern Pike
SFL-2 Walleye
SFL-3 Bluegill
SFL-4 Bass
SFL-5 Salmon
SFL-6 Largemouth Bass
SFL-7 Trout
SFL-8 Rainbow Trout
SFL-9 Tarpon
SFL-10 Redfish
SFL-11 Spotted Sea Trout
SFL-12 Grouper
SFL-13 Sailfish
SFL-14 Giant Trevally
SFL-15 Bluefin Tuna
SFL-16 Yellowfin Tuna
SFL-17 Dorado (Mahi Mahi)
SFL-18 Wahoo
SFL-19 Barracuda
SFL-20 Smallmouth Bass

World's Dudes Mini Insert
WD-1 Surgeon Dude
WD-2 Conductor Dude
WD-3 Pilot Dude
WD-4 Polo Dude
WD-5 Traffic Cop Dude
WD-6 Hunting Guide Dude
WD-7 Deep Sea Dude
WD-8 Scholar Dude
WD-9 Japanese Sumo Dude
WD-10 Algerian Lawyer Dude
WD-11 Tennis Dude
WD-12 New York Ferreter Dude
WD-13 Tunisian Editor Dude
WD-14 Packer Dude
WD-15 Barber Dude
WD-16 Chef Dude
WD-17 Newsboy Dude
WD-18 Egyptian Sultan Dude
WD-19 German Snow Patrol Dude
WD-20 English Chimney Sweep Dude
WD-21 Chilean Sailor Dude
WD-22 University Track Dude
WD-23 Lumberjack Dude
WD-24 Violin Dude
WD-25 American Football Dude
WD-26 Farmhand Dude
WD-27 Steel Worker Dude
WD-28 Irish Golfer Dude
WD-29 Boxing Dude
WD-30 Machinist Dude
WD-31 German Cyclist Dude
WD-32 Concession Dude
WD-33 Zookeeper Dude
WD-34 Ornithology Dude
WD-35 Camping Dude
WD-36 Circus Clown Dude
WD-37 Artist Dude
WD-38 Polish Prince Dude
WD-39 Scottish Dude
WD-40 Park Avenue Dude
WD-41 Russian Peddler Dude
WD-42 Scout Dude
WD-43 Fisherman Dude
WD-44 Gardener Dude
WD-45 Secretary to the Sultan Dude

World's Fair Insert
WF-1 Life Savers Parachute Jump - New York World's Fair
WF-2 X-Ray Machine - Pan-American Exposition
WF-3 The Atomium - Expo '58
WF-4 The Great Wharf - World's Columbian Exposition
WF-5 Westinghouse Tower - New York World's Fair
WF-6 Eiffel Tower - Exposition Universelle
WF-7 Diesel Engine - Exposition Universelle
WF-8 Facsimile Machine - The Great Exhibition
WF-9 Sunsphere - 1982 World's Fair
WF-10 Conical Pendulum Clock - Exposition Universelle
WF-11 Space Needle - Century 21 Exposition
WF-12 Unisphere - 1964/1965 World's Fair
WF-13 Solar Generator - Exposition Universelle
WF-14 Monorail - Centennial Exposition
WF-15 Ferris Wheel - World's Columbian Exposition
WF-16 Biosphere - Expo 67
WF-17 Statue of Liberty - Exposition Universelle
WF-18 Statue of the Republic - World's Columbian Exposition
WF-19 Habitat 67 - Expo 67
WF-20 Telephone - Centennial Exposition

Friday, July 14, 2017

Judge-Mania Pays Off

Last week, I visited my LCS to see what was new. Because of the rookie rage this year (JUDGE, Benintendi, Bellinger, etc.), most products have become too expensive for me to afford. That wasn't a problem this time, because the only baseball product available was 2017 Tier One. 

So, I'm not going to fork over $150 for two three cards. It just ain't gonna happen. However, the owner had something else that I wanted, and trust me - this piece will be a centerpiece item. I didn't have the cash for it at the moment, but he agreed to hold it for me and let me pay it out. I'll let you in on what it is in a later post. (Oh, the suspense!)

Anyway, I went home and started looking for semi-valuable cards that I had in my collection that I wouldn't mind letting go. I never thought about it, but I checked to see what I had of Aaron Judge in my collection. Turns out, I had a silver ice and a blue parallel of Judge from 2014 Bowman (oh, if they would have only been a year older!) and a Clubhouse Collection relic from 2016 Heritage Minors. Then I started looking at what I had from this year's cards and I found rookie cards from Diamond Kings, Heritage, Gypsy Queen, and Series 1. IN all, I found ten cards. Instead of trying to sell each one individually, I decided to put them all into one lot:

I list the group at $100 or best offer. I am thinking I will be happy with $60. I wait for a few days and nothing happens. No bites.

Then, something magical occurred. While I am at the theater watching the new Spider-Man movie (which was great, by the way), Mr. Judge decides to do this:

Thank you Mr. Judge!

I walk out of the theater around 12:30 and check my phone and viola, I have an offer much higher than I expected! So I hit 'Accept' and smiled all the way home. The item I want is that much closer to being mine!

How, I feel the need to say that I am clearly not in the hobby to make money. I do it strictly for the enjoyment. That being said, I am on a grad student budget, which means that I don't have the luxury of having a ton of cash set aside for my hobby. Therefore, I have to sell cards that aren't central to my collection to get cards and items that are. So if it bothers you that I sold those cards, then I'm sorry. But it's how I grow my own collection.

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a great day!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Some Inserts That I Actually Like

Usually, I'm not a fan of inserts. I often feel they are a gimmick, inserted into packs for no reason other than to make building a set more difficult. The common flagship set now has somewhere near 10 to 15 inserts each year. Isn't that a bit overboard?

However, there are inserts that occasionally catch my eye. I'm a big fan of the Fortune Teller inserts from 2017 Gypsy Queen, and I loved the Skippers insert from last year's Allen & Ginter. 

I don't know how, but I missed the 1969 Topps Super inserts from 2016 Topps Archives. When I saw the Cole Hamels card in that set, I knew that I had to snag it. 

There is just something about the simplicity that I love. It reminds me of oddball sets, in that it is simply a photo and a facsimile signature. Plain and pure.

The back is also bare bones. Nothing fancy, no Twitter handles or silly "facts" ("Cole likes video games!" Who cares???). Just a simple box with the player's name, team, and position. This is the base (or "blue back") version.

I also managed to snag the red back version, numbered to 50.

Sometimes, an insert speaks to me. Especially when it is this simplistic.

I hope you are having a great day!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Another Meaningful Materials Post

I mentioned that I had another Meaningful Materials relic from 2017 Museum Collection on the way. After yet another USPS SNAFU, I finally received it:

Jurickson Profar is featured this time, with a sweet patch. I don't know whether to call this a three-color patch with gray swatch - OR - a four-color patch. It's definitely a patch on gray jersey material...but I'm not an expert and I've seen Twitter battles over less. So call what you want, and I will call it awesome. 

Profar, on the other hand, is not awesome. He may be the most infuriating player the Rangers have had in a while. He was called up for the first time in 2013, where he was widely labeled as the "number one prospect in all of baseball." Two things: I really hate prospect rankings, as I think it puts undue pressure on the kid; and second, this just goes to show how useless prospect rankings really are. Profar has never delivered in the big leagues in a manner even remotely close to what was expected of him. He was looking good this spring until the WBC game where he was picked off first after seemingly forgetting that he was playing baseball. Then he does well. He was called up last week to fill in for Elvis Andrus (who was on paternity leave) and has played pretty well. I don't know what to think anymore. 

Anyway, keep an eye out for future posts about these Meaningful Material relics, as I am sure this won't be the last time I get one! I hope everyone is well!