Monday, June 29, 2015

Bo makes me long for the years 1995-1999 and card displays

Bo from Baseball Cards Come to Life! recently messaged me with a great idea - he'd send me his leftover basketball stuff, which he had no use for, for me to send to COMC.  In return, I'd send him stuff for his collection.  Sounded like a great deal to me - I make some COMC credit, he gets some wanted cards for unwanted cards.

I didn't realize what a nostalgia trip late 90's basketball cards would be for me though.  I mean...damn.

It all started with this kid:
I was a little younger than this kid when this card came out (actually just 7), and not quite in my collecting stage yet.  1995 Topps is what really drew me in, and once it bit me I was addicted, especially for those late 90's years that many collectors despise so much.  But man, I loved it.  And while I didn't have a neatly framed player collection like the kid above with David Robinson, I did have one of these from a big box store (mine was 5 by 5 though):
I remember that deciding what 25 cards in my collection would go into that thing was always such a challenge.  Which players did I show?  Which sports would I pick?  Do I really want that nice rookie card (usually just a first year card) to go into one of these snap cases or would I rather put it in a top loader (no penny sleeve, just naked into the top loader - I was not good to my cards even though I thought I was)?  And once I picked a setup, it'd change a few days later when I decided it needed to be all Atlanta Braves, or it needed some positional pattern, or whatever else fancied me that week.

I thought I'd dig through some of my personal keepers from Bo's cards to see what would've made the wall display (at least for a bit).  So without further adieu, here we go.

We start with some Fleer Metal universe.  Great set - I loved it then (even though I had maybe two cards) and love it now for its pure insanity:
But would it make the wall display?  Yes and no.  Back then, when I had like two cards, it would, because you can't collect a set with two cards.  Likely those two cards would've been the middle Austin Croshere with one missing photoshopped leg and the top left first year Derek Fisher card (I was obsessed with first year cards - I didn't realize they weren't true rookie cards).

But if I had the makings of a set, like I do here, it wouldn't make the wall display.  Set cards went in 800 count boxes and binders.  Boxes were reserved for "vintage" cards (aka 1993 and before).  Binders for 1994 and later.  It's all 1994 Topps Baseball's fault...that was my dividing line for older cards versus newer cards (and I know 1993 Topps has a nicer stock to it than 1992 Topps...but young me still didn't count it until 1994 got kinda glossy).  So these universe cards would've been bindered alongside 1995 Topps.

Moving on - some weird college cards of stars and then some real oddball cards including an Apex card and some Scoreboard entries:
Who doesn't love oddballs?  The top three cards here immediately stood out to me from Bo's package, because they're so damn odd.  I think the Flames one would've made the wall display, at least for a bit, just because it's a fairly epic card.  Corliss Williamson also had a shot, given the oddball nature and my love of the Kings in NBA Hangtime.

As for the pros as prospects cards, these cards just look amazing, and there is a 100% chance that Shaq would've made the wall, as well as probably Zo and Ray Allen.  The other Shaq would've definitely been traded for some Braves cards as well to my littlest brother.

I had to grab some late 90's Celtics cards from Bo's package - they always hold a near and dear spot to my heart:
The Celtics weren't good during my childhood, but Dino Radja, WAL-TAH McCarty, Kenny Anderson, and Tony Delk sure made themselves watchable at times.  Dino's middle card definitely would've been in the wall display, as well as Tony Delk's first year card (if it wasn't in a top loader).  Pops Mensah-Bonsu was never 90's Celtic (he was a kid like me) but he's one of two athletes to ever retweet me so he's the man.  That's all.

Had Tyronn Lue been around in the 90's, he would not have made the wall:
With very few exceptions (read: Ken Griffey Jr.), players I collected went into binders.  So Lue would've been there.  On a side note, every time Bo finds a Lue, he asks me if I want it since I used to collect him.  As a result, I kinda feel like I should collect him again.

We shall see...I already have another collection on the way, for the meantime I'll hold onto these Lues just in case...

As I mentioned above, oddballs almost always made the wall at least for a bit.  So these 3 cards would have a great chance:
The Kukoc first year card was definitely destined for my Bulls loving brother.  But Frank Brickowski?  Oh HELL YEAH he'd make the wall.  I loved weird names then like I love them now...and you can't beat Brickowski.

Oddballs had to be appropriately sized though - so these oversized cards would've gone to my brother instead:
These are like 1.5 times the size of a regular card.  Fairly epic - but no good for a wall display!

That said, and to finish - some big cards can get smaller - and I'd make those fit, like this Shaq:
This was a pack insert, and is the height of three cards when folded out entirely.  I'd just keep the top fold (where Shaq's head is) and throw this in the middle of the wall display.  Because who didn't love Shaq?

Bo sent me some PC needs as well, and inspired me to start a new PC, but those cards will be shown off another day.  Thanks as always Bo!

Friday, June 26, 2015

gcrl blog bat around: Cards that I used to own

So gcrl proposed we all write about cards we used to own, whether we miss them or otherwise.  I decided to post about a few, some I don't really miss and others I do.

Starting with the one I miss the least, we've got the 1973 Topps Mike Schmidt RC I used to own:
This card was a huge piece of my collecting history - it was my first "steal" (at 75 cents when I was a kid) and, with two Ken Griffey Jr. cards, was the longest tenured card in my collection for a long time.

I don't miss it because of the collecting history it continued to make for me.  I traded it for my first set of customs, which came out awesome.  And then one of those customs became my best TTM ever...which is doubly awesome.  So as great as this Schmidt card was in my collection for 15-ish has done even better stuff for my collection since.  If only all cards we moved brought on as much awesomeness.

One card I miss some, but not that much, is my Byron Leftwich Jaguars patch:
I sold it a few years ago at a flea market for like $10.  It was a profit, and at the time the money was nice, but I sometimes wish I had this back.

Two other cards I sold that day, however, I miss more.  These two:
I love Ray Allen, and that was a real nice patch card /75.  I made a profit on it (again think I sold for $10), but I've never seen a patch that nice close to the same price range since then.  So I miss that card (I think I was okay with selling it since he was on the Heat at the time).

As for the Expos that card hurt then and it hurts now too.  I rationalized it in that I was getting $20 and that I didn't really collect any of the 3 guys on the card, but a Pedro patch that nice combined with a Randy Johnson that nice combined with a Javy Vazquez number patch, all on the same card, AND it's an Expos card (yay dead franchises) - that wasn't worth giving up.  This is probably the #1 card I wish I still had, and proof that you always need to be sure it's worth the money when you're selling to make some quick funds.

If the Expos card and Ray Allen card have any competition for most missed card, I'd say the MJD patch card #'d 32/50 would be it:
Back when I dabbled in Jaguars patches, this was a huge get.  It's got a cool college piece, it's got an amazing NFL piece (and an okay one), it's #'d to his jersey number, and it's MJD, a pretty cool guy.  I only gave it up because the biggest MJD collector on Blowout was willing to trade me a nice Seneca Wallace plus a bunch of other hits for it.  And while I did get some cool stuff in the deal, none of the cards were as cool as this piece, and if I had a time machine I'd go back, turn down the deal, and just wait out the Seneca card on Ebay.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Another Big COMC Buy part 4 - The Other Stuff

So...I don't really love how all my card posts are variations on "Look at these cards I just got!  Aren't they neat?"  I like the blogs that somehow weave a story into the cards, and want to try to do that in the future (whether or not I stick to that...let's say 50/50).  

That said, this post will just be a "Look at these cards" post.  So look at them!

First two are nice Massaquoi cards, one with stiching /50, and one with two colors /25
I really like how high end-ish his cards have started out for me.

Next is Jose Lopez.  It's a Chrome Refractor, and when it shines it really goes well with those Mariner colors:

I also grabbed a Sam Deduno card that isn't his Bowman card yet again.  It's his Topps Black card from last year's set, and is /63:
Definitely striking out Mike Trout in this picture.  Obviously...Deduno can do no wrong.

 This one guy on COMC had a ton of the old Pacific Crown Royale Limited Series /25 cards for sale.  I grabbed one of his J.R. Redmonds...he had two.  This one is 21/25, which is Redmond's jersey number!
Redmond was the man.  I mean when people talk Super Bowl winning Patriots, they all think Tom Brady, or Adam Vinatieri, or defense, or whatever.  Few think of Redmond, but without his receptions out of the backfield in 2001, especially on the final drive, the Pats don't win their first Super Bowl.  That's a large part of why I collect Redmond.  It's a shame he wasn't able to extend his career too long after his New England days, as his two years in Oakland looked decent (5 yards per carry on 30 carries) but he was still released.  He was then set to take on punt and kick return duties in Ariona, but a shoulder injury put him on IR and ended his career.  For shame.

Speaking of returners, this is the last awesome card I got from COMC this time around.  It's a big 'un...2004 Exclusives /50 of Rod Smart:
Lower numbered stuff of Smart doesn't come up a lot, let alone cheap stuff.  So this was a must psyched the seller put it on COMC rather than Ebay or whatever.  I also dig Tebucky Jones' attempted tackle here...I'm thinking Rod Smart definitely broke through for a big gain.  Good stuff.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Another Big COMC Buy Part 3 - The stuff that doesn't really fit my collection

So I'd say my COMC purchases of late typically come out to 55% collection stuff and 40% stuff for other people.  That leaves 5% for random goodies that catch my eye.  Here's what fell under that umbrella on my most recent purchase.

First up is a gold Rick Asadoorian /100.  He's similar to John Clifford in that he was a Central Massachusetts guy, although Asadoorian was born in Worcester: 
Looking at Asadoorian's Baseball Reference is pretty interesting.  He went from a first round Red Sox pick (in 1999) who earned a then Sox record $1.7 bonus to a journeyman in just two short years.  He was traded as part of a package for Dustin Hermanson, then traded straight up for Esteban Yan, and later converted to pitching in the Reds system.  He then finished his career hitting and pitching for the Worcester Tornadoes before hanging up the spikes for good.

This Dana Barros was an impulse buy, and pricey one for me (like $4.50!):
My Dad loves the Celtics, so we watched them a ton growing up even when they weren't good.  Like Asadoorian he's a Massachusetts boy, and from 1995 to 2000 he did all he could to make the Celtics watchable, including hitting a 3 pointer in a then record 89 consecutive games (since broken by Kyle Korver).

This card was like 40 cents...can't pass that up for a Red Sox great:
Okay, so Lowe wasn't that great - but he meant a lot to that first title team.  He's also the guy who was traded with Jason Varitek, by the Mariners, to the Sox, for Heathcliff Slocumb.  I feel like that trade needs to never be forgotten.

My PC could always use a few more scrub "hits" - so why not a Bruce Gradkowski dual jersey auto /50?
The Toledo Ohio product was a 6th round pick by the Bucs in 2006, and he ended up starting 11 games for those 2006 Bucs with 3 game winning drives in the process.  That said, he didn't set the world on fire, so after another year in Tampa as a backup, he has since been in Cleveland, Oakland, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh.  He's had 9 starts in that time, but none have come since 2010.

These last two cards both have to do with MLB Power Pros, so I'll showcase them together:
Francisco Rosario auto /100
Jorge Sosa /299

When you play MLB Power Pros, there is a teeny tiny free agency pool when you start.  I want to say there are maybe 8 guys tops - but two of the pitchers are Rosario and Sosa.  Rosario is fairly cheap, Sosa costs a little more because he has starter stamina.  Both quickly make their way onto my team whenever I play Power Pros, as they're both pretty awesome.  Rosario has a nasty little sinker with good motion, while Sosa has a blazing fastball that leads to a lot of strikeouts.

As always, video game success leads to me liking certain guys, and in this case it was enough for me to grab cheap cards of each guy.  I wonder if I'm stop collecting if I stopped playing video games?  Guess the world may never know!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Another Big COMC Buy Part 2 - The WR QB, the Backup QB, and the Out of the League QB

Man, I sure can pick 'em.  I mean I knew that Jarrett Payton was out of the league, and that Seneca Wallace was out of a job, and that Thaddeus Lewis is a backup.  But I at least had B.J. Daniels backing up Russell Wilson in Seattle.

Well, until now.  He switched positions, to WR.  So now he's like 5th or 6th on the depth chart while R.J. Archer gets to hold the clipboard for Russell Wilson.  Oh I'm sure Daniels will still be an emergency QB, and might even do some scout team stuff in practice...but this definitely lowers the chances of future B.J. Daniels cards in the world.  So I'll have to really appreciate the ones that were already made, like these two Crown Royale parallels:
Awesome colors on those, especially the /25 Gold.  I wish Daniels the best of luck at WR, as the Hawks definitely need all the help they can get (playoffs notwithstanding) so he's got as good a shot as any as emerging with playing time at the season's beginning.

I mentioned Thad Lewis and Jarrett Payton too, so obviously I grabbed a few cards of theirs.  Thad I actually only got one, his base Hit auto.  I used to own like five of these back in the day, for flipping purposes on COMC.  I grabbed one back for the collection and I think it looks great:
His auto is definitely third place of the QBs on this list - but I still love its loopiness!

Last but not least, the Jarrett Paytons.  Starting with another buyback, /25:
So obviously I'm an idiot, but I traded for this a few years ago at my LCS.  I liked Brown's style, saw it was /25, and figured it was worth picking up.  There were none on COMC, so I sent it in and charged like $4.50.  Someone bought it (probably at half off) and it has been on COMC at some random price since then.

Well whoever ended up with this card in the latest game of Jarrett Brown Hot Potato had it priced really low - like less than a dollar.  Considering I sold it for like $2.50 (factoring in the processing fee) I still made money on the card even with repurchasing it.  But I could have just, ya know, kept it. Anyways, I'm glad it made its way back to Cincy.

This /999 Elite card looks similar to the Longevity parallel above, but it's just the Elite base:
Donruss Elite is one of the best sets of all time.  No debate there, it just is.  Awesome set, especially when you get into all the die cuts and golds and stuff.

Last card of the post is the best (IMHO).  It's a nifty little Plates and Patches auto /25:
Yeah it's a sticker, but Brown's autograph, as usual, is I don't mind.  Great addition to the collection!

And so ends another COMC post - there's still some other awesome cards to come, so stay tuned!