Monday, June 29, 2015

Let's Talk Mobile

So, I have been thinking a lot lately about how to take my collection with me. I'm not talking literally picking it up and moving it around with me. Rather, how can I keep tabs on what I do and don't have when the time arises?

For instance, I am going to be taking a trip soon (place is TBD). Let's say I'm in some city and find a shop, walk in and the person running the store has a ton of boxes of base for a dime a piece. I know that I need some of these, but I don't have my physical paper needs lists and trying to pull up my blog is a pain in the butt. What am I to do?

I've tried nearly every app out there to help me out because this has actually happened to me (more than I would like to admit). None of them seem to be worth a damn. They all have one or two things that are really awesome, but everything else is a disaster.

Have you found an app that satisfies you and your collecting needs?

If not, what are you looking for in an app? Clearly, the ability to create lists is a major priority. Would you rather input the lists yourself or have a global checklist function? If an app offered the global checklist version, would you be willing to pay a small feel (like 50 cents) to download it, or would it have to be completely free for you to use it?

What else would you want? Pictures of the cards? Lists of cards owned by other users looking to trade them?

Would you be fine with a standalone app or an app that was supported by a web-based site that allows you to upload information (pics, lists,etc.) and then link to your app account?

I ask this because I might try to build an app like this, if for nothing else, for myself to use. I feel like the apps that are out there already have yet to ask the collecting community what they want in an app. So help me out - give me some feedback and let's see where it goes.

I appreciate your help!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Venture Back in Time for 1993 Stadium Club

So, after grabbing two backs of '15 Stadium at my LCS (which, Sooz made me aware that perhaps I was over-paying), I decided to grab a few boxes of junk wax. I decided this for two reasons: first, I need some more trade bait, and second, I got three boxes for about $5.

Here's what I snagged (along with a ball cube for a new autograph I got that I haven't posted yet):

'93 Stadium Club, '90 - '91 Fleer and the '86 Topps Traded set. I decided to open the Stadium Club first when I got home to continue my Stadium Club-themed posts. 

Let's take a look.

Once again, great photography. The Azocar card makes me laugh every time I see it. Also a really cool card of Scioscia. Even though I hate him (for his current's nothing personal, I promise).

Also got the membership card....

And I won a master photo!!! I am tempted to fill it out and send it in to Topps....I have doubts that they would honor it, though! hehe

Lastly, I pulled at least one copy of the ten Member's Choice cards in the set. These two are probably my favorite.

Opening that box was a lot of fun. I'm pretty excited to tear into the Fleer in the coming days.

If you saw anything you like, or if you are working on the set and need some cards, let me know! I have everything listed in my trade bait page and I am happy to help you!

Good day, friends!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Trying Stadium Club for the First Time

Fresh off my luck with Series 2, I decided to grab a couple packs of 2015 Stadium Club to see if my luck would continue. I've never bought Stadium Club, so it was nice to try something new.

At $6 a pack, I decided to only try two. I know for a fact that I'm not the first person saying this, but the photography is great.

These are my three favorite cards from my two packs. While I probably would enjoy a card with literally any other president on it, the Banks is still an awesome moment in history. Bravo Topps.

However, the best was yet to come. The first card of the second pack yielded this guy:

Not a bad pull! I'm a big fan of true, on-card autos (as opposed to stickers). Also, these cards have a TTM feel to it. Unlike other Topps Certified Auto cards that have half the card faded out for a signature, these don't. Just minimal fading. I love it.

So, buying two packs and having that good of luck was too much for me. I went back and bought two more packs (scout's honor - I only bought four packs total). I snagged a couple inserts in my second set of packs.

This Hosmer Triumvirate card is beautiful, even if it doesn't come out that way.

I also pulled this Giancarlo Stanton contact sheet insert. I didn't think much of it until I was preparing to write this post, then I noticed that it is the gold parallel numbered 6 of 50! My scanner sucks, but the serial numbering is down in the left-hand corner.

So those were pretty sweet packs. 

Oh yeah, I pulled the other auto from that box in the second pack!

Matt Shoemaker! Okay, maybe not a superstar, but still pretty awesome luck.

While I really like these cards and I had a good time opening them, I don't think I am going to attempt to put the set together. Boxes are well over $100. And with #GINTACUFFS coming up soon, I need to save my cash for Allen & Ginter!

Everything here is for trade! Take a look at my needs lists and player collections and make me an offer and we'll make it happen!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

2015 Topps Series 2 Shows Me Love Again

Today, I stopped by the LCS because I had nothing else to do. I was just chatting with the owner and a couple other people in the shop, so I decided to grab a few regular hobby packs of Series 2. I had the itch.

Four packs, nothing. 

Then, the fifth pack gave me this.....

That a John Smoltz Baseball Royalty two-color patch! Better yet, it's number 2 of 25!!!

Here's a scanned view of the front...

And the back...

I can't really complain about S2, even with the miscuts and overinking I experienced last week

This card is a beauty. I thought about keeping it, but seeing that my card budget has been coming from cards that I've been selling (short on cash because of the travel back and forth to see my dad)< i Decided to list it on eBay. It's listed for $75 or Best Offer, but I would move it cheaper for a blog reader if anyone is interested!

Hope everyone is well!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Topps Gets It Right....Then Fails Miserably

With the street date of Topps Series 2 finally arriving, I bought my obligatory jumbo box. It was pretty sweet. 

Right off the bat, I noticed a photo variation:

Not a bad player, either! Carlos Gonzalez looking all suave in his shades...

Next, I noticed a pack that was thicker than all others. What was inside?

The framed parallel of Hector Rondon. This guy is numbered to 20. It gave me a slight heart attack when I saw the Cubs logo...dreams of the fat stack of cash I could make if it was a Bryant! But it wasn't meant to be.

Next, I pulled this Braun relic. This is getting silly. I pulled a Braun relic in Series 1, which I happily sent to Tony. I suppose I will do the same with this one.

The auto was next....

An Archie Bradley auto! Not a bad pull, but nothing that fits in my collection.

But the box had one more massive surprise in store for me...

The Ted Williams birth year stamp and penny! I know there are 50 copies each for the penny, nickel and dime, along with even fewer of the quarter, but I was shocked that I pulled something like this.

Such an awesome card.

Buuuuuuuut Topps then decided to suck again. I pulled more than twenty horizontally cut cards that looked very similar to this:

Do you see it?

They are horribly mis-cut. How the hell does this happen?

I decided to give them a pass for the time being, and I bought a hobby box. What did it have in store, you ask?


In the first pack, I got a buyback of a player I've actually heard of.

I pulled another photo variation, this time of Albert Pujols. Not a bad pull.

Then I pulled a Scherzer relic. Hooray for plain white swatches!!!

The parallel offered up in this box was a Drew Storen snow camo card. Okay, that isn't terrible.

But, once again, Topps shat the bed.

Over inking on about 20 cards. These three show just how bad it was.

I don't know if you can see it in this scan, but another 20 cards looked like they had been thrown on the floor and walked on for a couple weeks.

I understand that Topps has an exclusive license with MLB. It's my decision not to collect cards that don't have a logo. So that's on me. But it just seems like Topps doesn't give two shits about quality control (and thus, their customers) this year. This is ridiculous!

Eff you, Topps. Eff you with a thorny stick.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Another 2010 American Caramel Auto

This post is short but sweet. I'm trying to clean out my scan folder, and I'm doing it by topic. Sadly, this is the only AC auto that I've added over the past few months.

Let's check it out:

Melky Cabrera. To be honest, I completely forgot that he played for the Braves in the past.

Regardless, I remember now. Interesting signature, right?

So there it is, short and sweet...just like I said.

Hope everyone is well!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Another Top 5 Most Wanted Finds Its Way To Me

I went almost six months without adding a single card to my collection from my Top 5 Most Wanted List.

Now I've added two cards in less than a month.

First, it was the Jon Daniels auto from 2012 Topps. Now it is something...smaller...

Maybe you can't tell, but this is a hand-numbered mini from 2013 Topps. Don't believe me?

Here it is next to a normal-sized card. I told you it was a mini.

Sadly, I don't have much to say about this card. Not because I don't love it, but because I don't feel the greatest and I want to go to bed. 

Hopefully, you like it just as much as I do.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Well, I Bought Something New...

I've been a poor college student again for about six months now. Not a fan. it sucks. 

But something amazing happened: my funding got a boost for the summer class I am teaching.

Naturally, I had to celebrate. And how better to do that than to buy cardboard, right? So I went browsing. And though I got a bit more money, I vowed not to spend more than $50.

Originally, the plan was to buy a Trout rookie from 2011 Update. That didn't happen; they are all above my $50 spending limit. However, i did find another auction that wasn't receiving a ton of attention. I waited until the final moments, but in my max bid, and snagged this for $45:

Jose Abreau's 2014 Bowman Prospect 1st Bowman auto. I wasn't paying attention and almost picked up his rookie auto from Bowman Chrome (this is from the first 2014 Bowman iteration). That would have sucked. But I caught myself and was able to get this one.

I've been on a slab kick here lately. So easy to organize. I got a couple back earlier this week that I submitted through my new LCS, but I'l show those later. Anyway, this one is only a PSA 9...I really wish they would do the half-point system that Beckett uses, but such is life. 

So there it is, my newest purchase. I'm still not really sure how I feel about it, but that's pretty normal for me after I buy something.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

And The Winner Is.....

P-town Tom! 

Yes, I actually do randomize things 13 times (my lucky number). Thanks for everyone that joined in. Keep reading, I may randomize more cards as I get deeper into my organization effort!

Tom, check your e-mail - I sent you a note to verify your address!

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Contest? Sure, Why Not?

Inspired by Mr. PATP himself, I decided to do some cardboard Spring cleaning. Unlike Brian, I have very little patience. When I got to a 3200-count box full of 2014 Bowman, Bowman Chrome and Bowman Draft, I knew there had to be a better way.

My better way?


An interior view of the box. What kind of box?


A medium-size flat-rate mailer box from the trusty USPS! Okay, so maybe "trusty" is a bit of a stretch. But it is a big ass box full of cards.

This box full of an assortment of 2014 Bowman cards can be yours! All you gotta do is comment below! Wanna be a cool guy? Share the contest on your blog! But I'm going to be honest...I'm only doing one entry per person. It's just simpler to look and see who commented below the post. 

One more disclaimer: while there is a ton of cards in this box, I can't guarantee that any one player is definitely  in there. I know there are a few Abreus, at least one Bryant and a ton of others. I honestly didn't look to see what all there was.

But hey, I can (probably) assure you that there are at least 2,000 cards in here. They can all be yours. Comment below, I will randomize all the entrants Wednesday afternoon.

Do it!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

I Know Someone Loves Minis...I Just Can't Remember Who It Is

I'm trying to organize my tradeables. I have a good number of minis, and we all know how hard these damn things are to store. I want them gone.

I know someone out there LOVES minis, I just can't remember who.

So, the first to claim them gets them. I'll pay the shipping (unless you are international from the US, then I'll split the shipping with you).

The race is on!!!!!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

FINALLY Getting A Card Off The 'Most Wanted" List

Today is June 6, 2015. The year is almost half-way over. My collecting habits have slowed this year due to a restricted budget and some family concerns. Speaking of which, I apologize if I came across as whining in my last post - I certainly didn't intend to. I just needed to vent.

But enough with that. The year is almost half gone, and I have yet to acquire a single card from my Most Wanted list.

Until now, that is.

Feast your eyes on this!!!

This is the GM auto of Rangers GM Jon Daniels. This card was featured in the 2012 Topps flagship set. This set holds a special place in my heart, as it was the first set I worked on when I was getting back into collecting that year. I bought a box and I pulled a GM auto, but it was from the San Diego GM (Byrnes, wasn't it?).

I've been trying to grab this card for a while, but every time I found it, it sold for more than I was willing to pay. This time, however, I was able to grab it for under $7.

Funny story - I began collecting after Series 2 dropped in 2012. I've always assumed that I had the entire set that year (S1, S2 US). Last week, I realized that I do not have the Series 1 portion of the set. So, if you have any of those......let me know. 

Anyway, thanks again for reading, and thanks for letting me vent a few days ago.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Post I Hope Everyone Will Read

If you have been following my blog, you know that in January of this year, I started working on my PhD. I left my job to move back to Lubbock (What was I thinking?!?!) and began studying, teaching and conducting research. 

Around that time, my posting decreased dramatically. I expected to slow my posting because I knew that school would require a lot of me, in terms of both time and money.

But that isn't the only reason I stopped writing as much.

The night I moved to Lubbock, my father called to say that he was taking himself to the emergency room because he had tremendous, unbearable pains in his legs (he was taking himself because my mother decided to ride along with me to Lubbock). 

The doctors could never determine why his legs were in such pain, but they did find three tumors on his spine. These were evidently unrelated to the leg pain, but they didn't know much else. They sent him to see a specialist, who couldn't determine what caused the tumors. That specialist sent him to another specialist, who knew nothing.

After seeing numerous specialists, my dad was finally able to schedule an appointment at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. After a week of testing, the doctors were finally able to diagnose the tumors as a symptom of POEMS Syndrome, a very rare form of cancer that affects multiple different body functions.

There is no cure for the disease, but with treatment, it can be held in check. My father opted for a plan that called for a rigorous drug therapy regimen followed by a peripheral blood stem cell transplant. 

From the day of his first pain to the diagnosis, more than four months had elapsed. The doctors decided to get him going on the treatment immediately. He began the drug therapy regimen by taking an oral chemotherapy pill, a strong steroid and a host of other pills designed to boost his immune system. This lasted for about a month.

Two weeks ago, I had just returned to Lubbock when my mother called to let me know she was taking my father to the hospital because his foot was black. The next morning, she called to say that the doctors found a blood clot that was causing the discoloration and they felt like they could remove it via surgery, so they were taking him back at that moment.

Then I got a text at 3 am the next morning saying that I should come home.

I assure you, it was the worst moment of my life.

Through the night, his condition had deteriorated. Though they were able to remove the largest blood clot, smaller clots had made their way into veins in the toes and heel. They couldn't get these because of the microscopic size.

I got back home and met my parents at the hospital, just as they were bringing my dad from a second surgery. They told us that all they could do was give him a blood thinner and monitor the clot. If there was no change, they would need to take his leg from the knee down.

Sadly, there was no change.

The doctors amputated my father's leg Monday morning.

When he came out of surgery, my father was as upbeat as I have ever seen him. It was a life-changing event that made him understand what was important in his life. It also made him thankful for everyone that visited and prayed for him. 

I write this today not for sympathy, but rather to say "Thank You" to everyone who has a blog. I know that I haven't been posting much, but I read your blogs every day. They offer me time to forget about the stress from my father's condition. They allow me to clear my head and think about something that brings me true, unadulterated happiness. I don't know that I could have made it through all of this without all of you. I know some of you may feel that statement is a bit much or cliche, but I truly mean every word of it.

So thank you. And never forget to tell your loved ones that you love them.