Monday, September 28, 2015

"Where To Go From Here" -OR- "Stuck In A Rut (Again)"

Nothing feels worse than apathy. And that, my friends, is pretty much exactly how I feel right now.

When it comes to cardboard, I've been snatching it up (for the second time) since about 2012. It started with me grabbing anything and everything I could get my hands on. So much had changed since the early 1990's (when I stopped collecting) that I just couldn't wrap my head around it.

Then things started to slow. I lost interest. I had jumped in the deep end, flew too close to the sun - pick your phrase - in short, I just took on too much too fast. I had to step away for a bit to let the urge and desire to collect to wash over me again. And like a rising tide, it did.

Since then, I have refocused on a few things. I stopped trying to build every set that was released. Instead, I focused on flagship, Ginter and Heritage. I also decided to put more effort into my player collections. My Matt Harrison PC is still a thing of beauty (in my eyes), but we'll see how I feel when his first card in a Phillies uni is released. Besides that, most of the remaining cards are either pricey, MIA, or a combination of the two.

But other than that one, I haven't focused a lot on player collections. I started a Mitch Moreland PC, and though I haven't uploaded any scans, I do have quite a few cards. My interest in the Nick Martinez PC has waned. I don't think I have purchased a card for his PC in two or three months. Rusty Greer...neglected. Oh yeah, I also have a Martin Perez PC. Forgot about that one. In my list and in my collecting habits.

So here's the conundrum I'm facing. Current products are getting so expensive that set building is out of the question. And let's face it - nothing really jumps out and says "Collect Me!" anyway. Modern player collecting is fun, but again, the parallels and prices can get prohibitive. After all, I do have OCD, so missing cards (especially those damn 1/1's) drives me crazy. But I do want something that will allow me to collect for years to come, and something that has some meat to it, so to speak. Lastly, I want something that will facilitate more trades with other bloggers and readers. I haven't been doing much of that lately (and that is my fault).

With that being said, one of the people I most admire is the Junior Junkie. His dedication to collecting The Kid is amazing. I would be lying if I didn't say that I have looked at his list on more than one occasion as inspiration to keep going.

If I'm going to start talking about collections I admire, then I have to give some credit to "Mouschi," the most insane Jose Conseco collector around. Not only is he a supercollector, he also goes above and beyond in creating his own Conseco cards. His quest for everything Conseco landed him at Conseco's home for a private signing!!! That led to him sharing the cover of Beckett with Conseco and Joey Gallo. 

And those aren't only two. Daniel, proprietor of it's like having my own cardshop, has an amazing D-Backs bobblehead collection. William (the good man that inspired me to start blogging) has an AWESOME collection of Hall of Fame autographed baseballs. Fuji has awesome flea market finds. And I wish I could be half the writer that Night Owl is. 

I got off on a tangent, but what I was trying to say is simple. All of these gentlemen have amazing focus in their collecting and/or blogging efforts. I want more of that. Instead of having a bunch of player collections with a couple hundred cards each, I want something massive. Currently, Rusty Greer would be the largest (in terms of total cards), with slightly more than 800 total cards. My next thought is Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez. A quick Beckett search comes back with more than 8,000 cards. Ummmm....maybe that's too big. 

Anyway, at this point I am rambling. What do you think? Does anyone have any advice for me? I could definitely use it right about now.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Another Beauty For The Matt Harrison PC

Additions to the Matt Harrison PC are starting to come in at a much slower rate. I've acquired most of the base cards, so it seems that the only cards remaining are the expensive ones. However, I'm able to snag one of those at a decent price. Such is the case with my newest addition.

This is the 2008 Bowman Chrome Orange Refractor auto. I've seen it pop up on eBay here and there, but it always seemed to be listed around $100 (or more). However, this one was listed auction style starting at 99 cents.

I put in my max bid and waited...and waited...five-day auctions seem to take forever.

No matter. At the end of the auction, I was the winner. Best part - I only paid $12 and change. And shipping was free! 

So here she is, in all her orang-y glory!

Hope everyone is well! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

My Foray Into 2015 Bowman Chrome

Today, I decided to give in and buy some 2015 Bowman Chrome. After thinking about it, I decided to that I should get a jumbo box and a hobby box.

And I did just that. I started with the jumbo box.

In terms of refractors, I had some decent luck with color. The best was the gold Brett Lawrie, if only for the low numbering.

Strangely, this was the first auto I pulled. It hails from 2014 Bowman Chrome. My guess is that Williams didn't sign his cards in time to get them into the product and redemption cards weren't available.

The next auto was this purple refractor of Senzatela. Never heard of him, but it seems his cards are selling well. Sweet deal.

Isael Soto...never heard of him either.

Pedro Severino. A name I have heard....I thought. Pretty sure I'm thinking of Louis Severino.

This gold refractor auto of Sergio Alcantara was by far and away my best hit of the box.

With that, I decided to move on to the hobby box. And it was a bit of a dud.....

The Strasburg was the best of the base refractors, and the Santana blue refractor was the only colored refractor in the box.

The autos weren't much better (if they were better at all....)....

Juan Meza....

and Miguel Castro. A Blue Jays hotbox, and I've never heard of either of them.

As I opened the next pack, my exact words were:

"This is the worst f*cking box of cards I've ever HOLY SH*T!!!!"

Naturally, as I'm bad-mouthing the box, I pull the best Bowman card I've ever pulled. This Mallex Smith (helluva name, kid) red refractor auto.... numbered 5 of 5. eBay one of one, y'all!!!!

I really wish I was a Braves collector! I've listed the card on eBay to help me recoup the costs of my boxes. A part of me hopes it doesn't sell so that I have an excuse to keep it in my collection! Either way, how cool is that?!?! Any Braves fan tell me if he's any good?

So that's it for my boxes. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Stumblin' Down Memory Lane - My Take

Fuji had a post this morning in which he walked us down memory lane. He shared a couple memories of him and a friend visiting Hawaii and Mexico. If you haven't checked it out, do yourself a favor and click the link and go read it. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Take your time.

Finished? Okay then.

I wanted to take you down my memory lane. Back to my very first trip to a professional baseball game.

I'll admit upfront that while I remember it as if it were yesterday, I can't remember if it was 1992 or 1993. So, forgive me for that.

Either way, my dad was in town visiting (long story short, my parents divorced when I was 7). I watched every game on tv with my grandfather. My dad knew this and decided to take me to a game. 

Prior to leaving town, we went to Walmart and purchased a baseball and a Texas Rangers pen in hopes that I would be able to get an autograph or two.

The entire trip o Arlington, I remember asking "How much further?" At some point, I got the inevitable response, "If you ask again, we're going home."

After what seemed like a three-hour car ride, we finally arrived at Arlington Stadium, the first home of the Texas Rangers. Here's a look from inside the old park:

Image from
You can't see them in this photo, but all of the outfield seats were aluminum benches. Aluminum plus Texas summer heat equals a very painful evening.

Anyway, we made our way in and immediately went to the first base dugout where the Rangers were signing autographs. Player after player came up and passed me by. Adults were in front of me and none of the players could see me. For whatever reason, my dad couldn't get them out of my way.

I started getting upset, and if I remember correctly, I almost started crying. Finally, another player walked up and began signing for fans. After about 30 seconds, I heard in a very thick Texas drawl, "Y'all step aside and let the kids up here." 

And with that, the seas parted, I stepped forward and Nolan Ryan said to me, "Hey kid, how ya doin?" I was too shocked to say anything other than "Thank You" when he handed my ball back to me, shining with his signature in the sweet spot.

I don't remember anything else about that game. I don't remember who the Rangers played or if they even won the game. All I did the entire time was look at the ball in disbelief. 

We left that day and my passion for collecting autographs was born. The best part is that I still have that ball:

Sure, it's faded (I didn't know the importance of pen selection back then), but it's still my favorite ball in my collection. This isn't just an autographed ball. This ball is every memory I have from the ballpark as a kid. Sure, it wasn't at every game I went to, but it was at the first game I went to.

So that's my trip down memory lane. What's yours? I hope you take a moment to post and share!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

New Additions to the 2010 T206 Auto Project

I haven't posted much lately. I have a lot of things going on - school starting, new class that I'm teaching, new research I'm trying to get in order - and my free time has been very little. However, I have managed to snag a few cards here and there.

I made a small dent in my 2010 Topps T206 American Caramel auto needs. Check them out below.

Dallas Braden (Texas Tech alum! Wreck 'Em!)
Franklin Morales
Joey Devine
Joel Hanrahan
I really love these cards. Most have been fairly inexpensive so far, but that has to change at some point. The set includes names like Madison Bumgarner and David Ortiz, so I know that I am going to have to fork over some cash if I want to complete the set.

What do you think? Love 'em or hate 'em? (You won't hurt my feelings if you don't like them, trust me)

Hope everyone is well!