Saturday, February 17, 2018

TMNT Episode 1: Prospecting And Established Players

Deep in the sewers of NYC, lived the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Most have forgotten about them living there. Some remember and shrug it off. Others still recognize them as heroes that saved their city from the foot-clan.

What have the turtles been doing all of these years in hiding.....

Sorting sports cards.

Does it truly ever end?

Nobody knew of the turtles and their collecting sports cards except for Casey Jones who would bring the turtles packs to open and card supplies to store their items.

Once in awhile the turtles run into a card-related problem that could use some help solving before it got messy.

Today Donatello and Leonardo were looking at baseball rookies when an argument broke out.

Leo: Man, so glad I collect established players rookie cards. You just never know when a prospects values can drop.

Donnie: Well, I like the upside of having prospects. They could the next future superstars and drive the hobby market! Here, I will trade you this Moncada for your Larkin just to give you a shot of money down the road. Moncada could be the next big thing while Larkin is still stuck where he is.

Leo: NO WAY! Larkin is a Hall Of Famer! Moncada could be done in a year! You even said could be. Could is not definite.
Donnie: Prospecting is awesome! Take my Moncada, you will thank me later. If my calculations are correct, he is due for a big breakout year for the White Sox this year!
Leo: The White Sox hahaha. Larkin will do more than Moncada will ever think of doing. He is here to stay! He will always hold his value and place in my collection. Those prospects are mostly flops!
Donnie: How dare you!

*insert weapon drawn noise*
Usually not the one to talk common sense, Michelangelo decides to step into the conversation to stop the two from the argument.
Mikey: Guys, guys. Slow down. Each their own. Collect what you like dude. If Leo doesn't want to collect prospects, then he doesn't have to. If he likes collecting established players, let him. If you like collecting prospects go ahead Donnie. Both are worth what they are worth in your eyes guys.

First both stopped in shock from the conventional wisdom stowed upon them by Mikey who was usually known for eating the bubble gum out of 80's baseball packs. So the both of them agreed to stick with what they like and not try to force the other to agree with them and shook on it.
 
So for now, Donnie and Leo continued on with the way they have always collected their baseball rookies. And all was happy in the turtles lair til the next cardtrovercy....

So what do you guys do when it comes to baseball rookies? You take the risk and ride with a prospect? Do you focus on already established players and Hall Of Famers? And when you trade, how often do you RISK trading a prospect with a high upside for someone who has already retired but is a Hall Of Famer? Let me know in comments.
I promise I won't let the turtles see your answers. I wouldn't want to stir them up again.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Neglected Hobby

I have two hobbies, one is obvious by the title of this blog. The other, is playing Madden NFL. It's the ONLY video game I buy and play on a yearly basis. I am one of those Madden nuts who must have it on release day.

Ever since I have gotten Madden NFL 18, I find my card hobby has taken a backseat some which is why some of my projects I have been working on have taken extra time. It is also why a lot of my posts from Aug-Dec were short and sweet and a bit behind.

This is the first time in my Madden history I can't seem to win a Super Bowl. I have played Madden since the beginning but became a die harder in Madden 96. I only play Franchise mode and never have gone online to play. I like to play it this way and don't ever plan to change.

I played three and a half seasons with the NY Giants. I made multiple trades, free agent pickups, my usual moves on making a team young and cheap. However, I went 20-36 in those years with the Giants missing the playoffs each year. I then gave the Jets a run after the Giants canned me and started out 0-6 before deciding I needed to restart my franchise mode over.

I carefully made a quick look at things and decided to go with the Browns. Yes, the Browns. They were already young, had cap space and pieces I could work with. For some reason or another, I was winning with them finishing 11-5-1 in my first season and winning the Division and claiming a playoff spot.



I even won two playoff games before falling to New England in the AFC title game. (in case you are wondering that is a Patrick Malhommes led offense)


While I was making my run, stacks and stacks of cards were growing deep on my desk from trades and pickups. Despite that, I couldn't stop playing to go take care of what I needed to take care of. I think part of my problem was how the 2017 NFL season went. Giants were embarrassing, the Super Bowl came down to two teams I didn't like and ended with a team that I hoped would never win. I used Madden as a distraction to control the 2017 NFL season and smooth things out in my mind. It has worked....some.

I just currently finished up my second season with the Browns going 14-2 and won the division, got a bye, beat the Jags in the Divisional playoff game all leading up to another match up with the Patriots who are also 14-2. I did beat them in the regular season pretty badly but I don't feel good about this game which I should have played by the time this is up and posted.

If I can somehow, someway pull out a big win over them and lead my team to a Super Bowl win, then, maybe, I can finally focus on Mt.Cardsmore and get that taken care of. In the meantime, it's all focus on the Lombardi trophy.

So I am sorry cards, you have taken a backseat for now. But, don't worry, I don't plan on neglecting you much longer. I have faith that the Browns can beat the Patriots and win the Super Bowl. 
I do hope you read everything above.

How many of you have a second hobby that sometimes overrides your card collecting? Let me know!!

(UPDATE:The Browns beat the Patriots in the closing seconds. Then played a two overtime thriller against the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl and were victorious 26-20. Now onto year three which has started out 7-4 record and some card sorting!)

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Stalked By Penny Sleeves

For anyone who has ever used this stuff ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓



Whether you're a teacher, parent, or a former child that has, you know this stuff gets everywhere. All it takes is one simple art project or mistaken spill of glitter and you will find it for weeks, and weeks and weeks.


I find in the hobby, penny sleeves are the same way. Once you open a package or take cards out of them, for some reason or another you will end up finding them everywhere in your house.

I found some on my counter next to the coffee maker.



In my drawer with the towels.


On the kitchen table


Between furniture and cushions
 

And even in my underwear drawer. Sorry, not posting a picture of that.

I can't figure out why they spread everywhere. I not only find them everywhere, I seem to step onto them everywhere as well. They can get a bit slippery on a flat carpet so I am always on the lookout especially near my card man cave area. 

Am I alone in finding these everywhere? I doubt it. But, I would love to hear if I am or not. Let me know if you find penny sleeves everywhere.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Card I Love This Valentines Day

Love is in the air today.

And if you are dating or married, you hopefully remembered what today is. It's Valentines Day. The day your spouse or loved one is probably expecting something from you that shows them how much you love them. Whether that be a date to a fancy restaurant (my wife and I don't do that anymore as prices are jacked and the menus are cut short), chocolates, a huge bear that doesn't fit in your car or simply some flowers and a card like I do.

Not the actual flowers I am getting her, just our "table decoration" used for example. Believe me, don't buy a woman fake flowers.
The one thing I have learned in over fifteen years of marriage, it's not always the biggest flashiest things that bring the most joy. Something very simple works as well. Take my advice if you haven't already figured that out.

Simple is the word I would also use with my latest big trade I did with @90sNicheFBCards as we both simply just sent each other things we really liked and made probably the easiest agreement in a trade I have ever done. No back and forth on prices, values and cards, it was a simple, "yup looks good."

I won't get to all of our trade goodies today, but there was lots to show that I am saving for another day. Today I am simply taking one card out of it that I wanted to show off on Valentine's Day that I immediately fell in love with at first sight.

Picture a Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan kinda scene in You've Got Mail when I pulled out this card of my box....
 
"I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly."
 
A 2017 Panini Phoenix Nike Swatch 1/1 Evan Engram autograph card. 
 
My first ever Nike swatch. It's not just because it is a rare gadgety card on why I love it, the design is really sharp, the swatch is cool and the layout is well done. It was quite the Valentine's Day card. Well, if it was red it would fit the theme more but Giants blue works better for me.

So now I want to challenge the rest of you in the blogging community. I want to see which card you LOVE this Valentines Day and why on your blogs. As for the rest of the non blogger readers, just tell me in comments yours.

I wish you all a day full of love and happiness. And chocolate, yes, who doesn't love some chocolate?

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Guess The Autograph #1

Sometimes on Sport Card Collectors I like to mix things up a bit, throw in a new segment here and there and see how things go.

These segments can either be very lengthy or can be very short and sweet to the point. Even though this year I promised I would stick to all long posts, I dreamed up a new segment that I thought would be fun to post on here.

I have attempted this before on one of my other blogs and many liked it. The version on here however will be a tad different than that one.

Guess the autograph is as easy as it goes. I will throw up an autograph "swatch" and you guys have to simply guess whose autograph it is. There are no prizes involved, it's just for fun to test your autograph knowledge and give you bragging rights.

The autographs will spread across multiple sports and non sports so it should be fun to see the challenge it presents and see how many of you can correctly guess it. If you really want to take it a step further, try guessing the brand of card as well.

I will reveal the "answer card" and the autograph in the next post of this series.

So here is today's kickoff autograph to this series,
 

Can you guess it?

Let me know in comments!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Nuttin' But The Hits:1998-1999 Fleer Brilliants Basketball

The late 90's. Is there truly any better time in the hobby?

The variety, the brands, the innovations, the value.

It's all in there.

For me there is also a bonus, the memories. This was and always will be my best time in the hobby. Nothing will ever change that.

So when I pulled off my last trade with Project Pedro blog I got the opportunity to take a trip back down memory lane with some packs/box breaks from my past. I loved every aspect of our trade, but these breaks were truly what hit me the hardest and what I enjoyed the most. With every pack I busted a smile can be seen for miles across my face and the next chance to open the next pack brought me joy like no other.

There will be multiple breaks coming up on here with mostly football, but today's I decided to kick it off with some NBA. My only NBA break from the trade.

When Shane told me he found some discounted packs at his LCS of 1998-1999 Fleer Brilliants basketball, I told him to jump on it all and I would work out a trade for them. He happily obliged. Like I said, this guy is pretty awesome and I am very fortunate to know him.

Overall he managed to score sixteen packs overall and a box normally has 24 so was almost a full box break. There are five cards per pack.  My biggest hope was to find some top rookies from the break but even more important is finding some gold. Those gold parallels have really held their value over the years.
Let's get to ripping these packs!

There are 25 Rookies to find in the product that fall 1:2 packs. I miss days rookies were randomly inserted like that. Drives up value. Key Rookies to find are Dirk Nowitzki, Mike Bibby, Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, Jason Willams, Paul Pierce, Rashard Lewis, Peja Stojakovic!

Here are the ones I found in the break. Biggy and Antawn were nice finds. Lue is now a coach so that's a little weird.


But this was the highlight of the group. I was really hoping to find a Dirk. But, can't complain about some Vinsanity! Dude was a highlight reel in his prime.


I didn't find any gold in my break, but found plenty of blue parallels. These fall Veteran 1:3 packs, and Rookies 1:6 packs. Shaq was the best find of the group. Some of the rookie parallels have some good value when you pull the top ones.


I also ended up finding an insert in Shining Stars that fell 1:20 packs. It has a Finest type protectant over the top. Mine was a tad peeled back.
 

Overall, I was pretty happy with the break. Pulled some good rookies, lots of parallels and an insert. Can't ask for much more in sixteen packs. I remember busting a few packs of this when it came out and I didn't do as well as this. Of course my grandmothers neighbor who collected NBA pulled some nice cards from these back in the day but more on that for another time.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Why Did You Buy That?

Do you ever wonder what eBay sellers think when you buy cards they most likely never expected to sell?

I picture them lighting up a cigar and sitting back with a drink and laughing to themselves. "Can't believe someone actually bought that card. Who collects that? hahaha"

Other times I picture them ringing a Wall Street bell. "WE DID IT!!!!"

Than other times, "Why would you pay that when you could have owned a Mike Trout rookie card for that price." *insert evil laugh*

I expect them to do a lot of those celebrations when I purchase off eBay. So many cards I bet they have had listed for years and years with no interest and suddenly I arrive.

Like this latest Rodney Hampton mail day which is the first part of my eBay gift card usage I told you guys about awhile back.

Well I do. I collect for fun and that's my reasoning for buying what I buy.

The fun thing about collecting a guy nobody else does is the fact you can get some steals as well.

Like this $1 shipped refractor from Bowman's Best.

Or this extremely rare Members Only Parallel of the Nightmares insert that I snagged for $3.
 

How about this for .50? Very shiny too.


Then I found a guy who has a bunch of oddballs and rare type Hamptons that I made an offer on and explained that I was probably the only Hampton collector on the planet. He happily obliged to my offers. So you know he must have had these for awhile and just wanted them gone.

Rare miscut 1995 Finest refractor,


A factory set only limited Members Only parallel of this Stadium Club Bowman's Best insert.


You can barely tell its a parallel til you look really closely on the right of Rodney.


The same seller also had this Bowman's Best Mirror Image I needed to complete my trifecta from that year. Once again, offer accepted.




I look forward to getting my next eBay gift card to use and to surprise a few more sellers with my purchases. 

How about you guys? Do you buy any cards that would surprise a seller? Let me know what that is and what their reactions may be. Also let me know if you sell cards on eBay what your reaction is when you sell a card that you thought would never leave.