Monday, July 24, 2017

It Wasn't Meant To Be

A couple weeks ago, I posted about a "collection centerpiece" that I was fortunate enough to work out a deal for. My LCS owner was kind enough to let me make payments on it and I was going to do just that.

But, as it seems it frequently does, life laughed at my plan and said, "Nah, man. You aren't gonna do that."

Since making the deal, I've had a $3,000 expense pop up and then someone hit my truck in my apartment parking lot, busting out the tail light and messing up the rear bumper. Needless to say, I don't foresee being able to make payments on the item any time soon, so I am going to have to let it pass.

What was the item?

Well, it's in this video:

Okay, that probably doesn't help. Any guesses?


Okay, it's in this frame:

Okay, I'll stop being a jerk.

The game-used first base innings 1 - 3 from the 2010 ALCS between the Rangers and Yanks was the piece I thought I was going to get. The Rangers lost the game, but this base saw all of the offensive action and the Rangers went on to win the series and advance to the World Series for the first time.

Ahhhhh....I'm getting sad just typing this. It almost makes me sick to my stomach. If 35 of my followers want to pitch in $10 a piece, I can get it! Hahahahaha Welcome to My Cardboard Habit's Inaugural Kickstarter campaign! I'm kidding, of course.

What's the biggest piece you initially thought you were getting for your collection only to have life kick you in the junk and take it away from you?

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

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!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

My First 2017 Topps NOW! Purchase

I like the idea of on-demand sports cards. I find it kind of neat that I can see something happen and then have a card of that event in a couple weeks. What I don't care for is the $9.99 price tag for a single card.

Therefore, when a Toppsn NOW! card drops that I want, I generally go to eBay and purchase one from one of those sellers. This was the case for Joey Gallo's first walk-off home run:

This set me back a whopping five bucks. Anyway, short, one-card post.

I hope everyone is well!

A Quick Question

I know a few guys make their own custom cards. I'm interested in doing the same - to send out to players for autographs. I have zero interest in selling them, as I want them for my collection.

My question is this: for those of you that do make your own cards, do you use Adobe InDesign or some other program? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

A Quick eBay Mailday

Another quick post. I would apologize, but you probably prefer the short and sweet posts. I can't say that I blame you. Earlier, I mentioned how much I really like the 2017 Topps Museum Collection Meaningful Material relics. I managed to snag another:

The relic isn't an awesome patch like the Hamels relic was, but it  isn't a plain white swatch, either. I'm thinking that this probably came from the sleeve of the Rangers' alternate red jerseys. They piping would certainly fit with that.

I have at least one more on the way, so this isn't the last time you will hear about these cards!

I hope everyone is well!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Gavin Is A Talented Man

A while back, I commented on one of Gavin's posts over at Baseball Card Breakdown. He was sharing the contents of a Box of '17 Archives he opened, and I let him know that I was interested in a Rougned Odor parallel he pulled.

Fast forward to last week. I arrived back to my place after taking a last minute, two week journey to Omaha and South Dakota (where my Alma Mater is) to spend time with friends and visit the College World Series. I opened my mailbox and found two thick bubble mailers, the first of which was from Gavin. 

He sent me the card I requested...

These are classified as "peach" parallels, evidently. When companies get to the point that they no longer use common colors, I think we may need to have a conversation about going overboard on the parallel cruise. I would have been happy if that was all that was in the package. But there was more!

Along with several team set needs, Gavin also included some PC wants. For example, he sent this Prism Juan Gone:

Interesting side note: when these cards were released, they came in three-card packs. These were the "base" set cards; however, to protect the "prism" part of the card, inserts from a set call "Gems of the Diamond" were placed on both sides of the "base" card. This led to the insert set being larger than the base set. Weird.

Gavin also included this beautiful Rusty Greer Gold Label. I wish the current Gold Label product was as beautiful as this one. 

This Ivan Rodriguez Upper Deck Legendary Lumber relic also found its way into the package. It's my understanding that this is an actual piece from a game-used bat, but I don't understand their need to place stitching on the "ball." Regardless, it's a Pudge relic that I didn't have before, so I am grateful!

Lastly, Gavin included a couple of customs. The first hit my main PC:

Matt Harrison! How awesome is that?! My first custom for the PC!

The second was one that I had seen before on his blog, and it gave a great smile:

This sketch card was featured on BCB back in March when Gavin recapped a couple of packages from Night Owl and myself. I remember reading the post and then getting a pretty good laugh from the sketch. Now I know how Jerry Koosman feels...but I won't complain. I'm honored to be on a card with the certain first-ballot hall-of-famer. Gavin, I can't thank you enough. This may be my favorite card in my collection.

Thanks for reading, and I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Nice TTM

Quick post today. Over the weekend, I received another TTM from the 1972 Topps cards that I sent out. Maybe you heard of this guy:

In case you don't recognize him, maybe this will help:

It's Bobby Valentine! Of course, the second image is from June 6, 1999, when Valentine was tossed from a game but re-entered the dugout in "disguise." Needless to say, he didn't fool anyone.

I appreciate Mr. Valentine taking the time to sign my card and return it to me. I have a handful of these 1972 Topps, and I'm thinking I may send more out to get signed. 

That's it for today. I hope everyone is well!

A Hall of Fame TTM

I received another TTM the day before I left on my trip to the upper-Midwest. This one left my hands shaking when I opened it. 

I'm certain you saw the inscription and thought to yourself, "That doesn't look like any of the men elected to the Hall of Fame in 2014." You're right...and wrong.

As a kid, I lived out in the country. My closest neighbor was a few miles away. We had three television stations by antennae broadcast, but Texas Rangers baseball wasn't on any of them.

We did receive the games on the radio, though. That's where I would get to hear Eric Nadel call the games as I hoped to hear his signature "That one is history!" call for a home run. It seemed to happen a lot in the mid-to-late 90's and it has made its way back to the mainstream during the last decade.

In 2014, Nadel received the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award, which acknowledges the game's great radio broadcasters. It was his fourth time being name a finalist for the award. This makes him a Hall of Famer, though many people forget about the Frick Award when thinking of the Hall. 

Nadel has essentially provided the baseball soundtrack of my lifetime. While the Rangers have a great (in my opinion) television color commentator in Tom Grieve, Nadel is on a level few ever reach. He doesn't have the national name recognition of Vin Scully, but you wouldn't be disappointed if you ever tuned-in and listened. The man calls a game flawlessly.

He began calling games for the Rangers in 1979 made a few television appearances in his early career. Recently, it has been solidly radio with his partner Matt Hicks. The duo was awarded "Best Broadcast Team" by Fangraphs in 2016.

I've cried twice listening baseball. The second time was when the Rangers lost the World Series to the Cardinals. The first, however, came as I listened to these words driving along Interstate 20:

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Retail Treats Me Right

I have zero interest in Topps Archives. I think it is ridiculous that Topps has two "vintage inspired" products in Heritage and Archives, and for me, Heritage is enough. However, Archives frequently has Fan Favorite autographs of some lesser-known former players, and that I do like. 

When the checklist for 2017 Archives was released, I saw that Lenny Randle was representing the Rangers in this year's Fan Favorites autograph insert. I decided that I would grab some retail, as I did not and do not care to purchase a box for approximately $100 at my LCS.

I went to my local Wally World and grabbed three rack packs and a blaster. Nothing fun in the blaster, but in the second of the rack packs, I pulled this:

What are the odds that I would actually pull the card I was looking for? I'm not sure that has ever happened to me. I love the card, especially the smiley face Randle included over his last name!

So, I was fortunate. Retail treated me right and I have no need - or desire - to buy any more Archives this year. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

'72 TTMs

A couple weeks ago, I realized that for my own sanity, I needed to get away from school and Lubbock. So naturally, I decided to head back to my former stomping grounds of Omaha, Nebraska, and Yankton, South Dakota. I managed to get in some quality time at the College World Series (it was fun, but it isn't the same since it left Rosenblatt) and I also got to visit with a couple of my best friends before I had to cut things short and come back home to tend to a family matter.

Before I left, I dropped a few cards in the mail, hoping that I could get a few of my 1972 Topps cards signed. So far, I have received two of the three I sent.

First up:

Doug Rader. The Red Rooster spent most of his playing years with the Astros before spending his final three seasons with the Padres and Blue Jays. He would go on to manage for seven seasons: three with the Rangers, one with the White Sox, and three with the Angels. I need to snag one of his Rangers manager cards and try sending it to him to sign.

The second card I received back was from Fritz Peterson. Peterson spent the majority of his career with the Yankees. He was traded to the Rangers and made two starts before injuring his shoulder. He was later released by the organization. He doesn't have a Rangers card, so I need to learn Photoshop so I can make one. All of that aside, Peterson is probably most well-known for his agreement with Yankee teammate Mike Kekich to "trade" wives. The two held separate press conferences on March 4, 1973 announcing their intentions to "trade" spouses. The "trade" actually happened, too. Peterson is still married to his wife, though Kekich divorced soon after the arrangement. Oddly enough, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck once considered making a movie about the trade. I don't think it happened, but who knows if it's still on the radar. 

Peterson included a business card in the envelope:

He signed the front, which advertised his book, "When the Yankees were on the Fritz." See what he did there?

The back of the card has instructions on how to get a copy of the book. I will probably order a copy soon, since I am only a few months away from having time to read books I actually want to read!

So, there ya go. The more you know!