Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Getting Back in the Game... Again

I can not believe that almost 2 years has gone by since my last post. I actually started writing a few posts last year, but I didn't get very far.  I actually did collect cards in 2014, although not as much as I had in 2012 or 2013.  When I first got back into collecting a few years, I bought a lot of everything and I didn't end up enjoying it too much. I ended up with a lot of cards that I really didn't want or need.
In 2014, a lot of things changed, I was married and bought a house, so I couldn't dedicate as many of my resources towards baseball cards. After collecting again and buying a lot of different things, I was able to narrow down the stuff I liked and things I wasn't that into. Last year, I didn't buy any flagship Topps Series 1 or 2, but did grab a box of Opening Day and Topps Update. I missed out on Archives, but I did very well with my 2 boxes of Heritage.
So that brings us to 2015.  I am hoping to get back into posting on this blog and making trades with other collectors. I follow a lot of collectors on twitter so that helps me stay current to what they have going on and has made me want to get back into posting more regularly. I have been working on some posts that I hope to have finished during the next week and  updated my Want Lists, so check them out and let's make a deal.
Thanks for reading.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Slow Going

I haven't posted much, but that is also because I haven't had a lot going on in the baseball card department. I was not a big fan of Gypsy Queen in 2012 and have stayed away completely in 2013. There are a few cards that really interest me and I do like a few of the inserts, but I will probably pick those up at a later time. I also decided that I would not buy a Bowman Jumbo box this year. I am interested in the prospects, but at this time those are a lower priority.
I have picked up a few blasters of Heritage, hoping to get the one with the print run that I'm missing, but alas, I get a few cards that I need and a big pile of duplicates.
I did finally put up my need list for 2013 Heritage and hope to get some trades working, so that I can knock off a good chunk of the set. If you can help a fellow collector out, tweet, comment or email me and we can set up a trade.
Thanks for reading and hopefully I won't go so long between posts.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Heritage Hoopla

I know that I am way behind on my Heritage post, but the last few weeks have afforded me very little time for writing.  But I have been thinking a lot about this post, so I guess that's something, right?
Before I get into Heritage 2013, let me back track to a post that I wrote in August of 2012 about Heritage '12. I wrote about how much I liked the design and cardstock of Heritage and how I was actually happy about getting manager cards. I also spoke about how I wasn't going to try and collect the set because the 75 SP cards really felt like a daunting challenge to overcome. However, the more I went through my collection, saw the cards in binders, the more I really ended up liking the set. I think it might be that I really like the 1963 design and I even thought about going vintage and collecting the original '63 Topps set (an idea that I am still kicking around), but whatever it is, Heritage had me hooked.
As the previews of the 2013 Topps products began coming out and since I had already gotten a sense of what products I liked and didn't like, I knew that I would be able to focus on just a few items instead of buying every release. I am also getting married in August, so I also needed to cut my baseball card budget. With my newly developed affection for Heritage, I decided early on that I was all in on the 2013 version of Heritage, which recreated the 1964 Topps design.
As March approached, I was very excited for the release. When March 6th rolled around, I grabbed 2 Hobby boxes from my LCS and was set to begin ripping packs and building my set.  My first box produced 2 box topper packs, one for a 3 card box loader featuring Glen Perkins, Jonathan Papelbon, and Patrick Corbin.
The second pack was an Oversized Box loader, which ended up being a Justin Verlander relic numbered 13/25. It is a very nice card and is something that would look good displayed. I'm not sure what I want to do with it yet, but it was a nice surprise.

Comparison of size of an Oversisized box loader and base card

After my beginner's luck, I started ripping packs and was still very happy with the design and look of the cards. The 1964 design looked great, the photography was also good. Although, I do think I still liked the '12 Heritage a bit better in that regard. The cardstock, as many bloggers and collectors have mentioned, is not great. I had hoped for a thicker card as that is what is cool about vintage cards. But if you want vintage quality, I think the only place to really get it is in vintage cards. So while I am a little disappointed, I'm not up in arms about it.
The thing that has been the most disappointing is the number of duplicates in the 2 boxes that I opened. Both boxes were from the same case, but I still expect more variation than what I got. Some packs in the same box were almost exactly similar which was even more frustrating.  Between the 2 boxes, about 1/3 of the cards that I pulled were duplicates. That is extremely frustrating. Even more frustrating is that I got the same exact New Age Performers in both boxes and a few other duplicate inserts. I also pulled duplicates for 3 different SP's. I knew that completing the set would be a challenge, but all the extra cards I pulled are making it even more difficult. The bright side to this is I have lots of cards to trade in order to complete my set, so once my lists are up, I hope to be able to cut down on the cards I need.

Lots of duplicate insert cards. That will make set building even harder.

The 2 stacks on the left are my sorted cards for the set, the pile on the right is my duplicates.
Almost 1/3 of the cards that I got out of the 2 boxes were duplicates.
I did have a few nice pulls from the boxes including SP variation cards of Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen. My second box produced a 1964 card of Barry Latman, which was kinda disappointing after the ones I received in the first box. The 2 relic cards that I got were nothing really exciting with Colby Rasmus and Johnny Cueto,  except for that fact that the Cueto is hand numbered /99.

So all in all I am still happy with my decision to focus on Heritage for 2013, although I do see that it is going to take some work to complete, but hopefully those of you who read the blog (thank you by the way) will be able to help and we can get some trades going.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Putting a Dent in 2012 and 2013: Check Out My Cards and ebay

With the new 2013 products hitting the shelves, I took to COMC.com and ebay to try and complete some of my outstanding 2012 set lists.  On ebay, I was able to score 30 of the 2012 Topps Update '87 minis that I needed. I found a great seller, who had one of those "Complete Your Set" listings. I am now down to 6 cards still outstanding from the Update set.

A sampling of my lot of 2012 Topps Update '87 minis from ebay.

I then headed to COMC.com and began trying to knock out some of my 2012 Archives needs. I was able to get the last 4 base cards that I needed and picked up some of the cheaper SP cards. I also found the last 2 Series 1 '87 Minis that I needed.

For under $30, I was able to take care of some of my 2012 needs. While I would have preferred making trades to obtain some of these cards, I don't think I did too badly. Towards the end of last baseball season, I decided that while I do love ripping packs, it would be a better use of resources to not buy retail blasters trying to chase after some of the cards that I needed to round out sets. I have a ton of duplicate base cards because I did not abide by that theory in the beginning of the season. This year, I am following through with my late season approach. I bought my HTA Jumbo box of Series 1 and haven't bought another pack since. Instead, I was able to find a lot of the 2013 Series 1 '72 Minis that I needed on ebay. 10 cards for $4.00 and I was able to knock 8 more cards from my want list. The 2 duplicates were Matt Holliday and Mike Trout, which I won't complain about. My 2013 Want and For Trade lists are now up and I would appreciate any help with them. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spring Fever

Spring Training games have begun and I have redeemed my 1 Spring Fever Card at my LCS, East Coast Connection in Lyndhurst, NJ.  I really like the cards, especially the palm trees and I was happy about pulling a Yankee in Mr. Robinson Cano. Even though I do like the design,  I am willing to part with the other 4 cards. I would like the Mattingly or a HOF if someone wanted to swap Spring Fever cards. Otherwise, I can part with them for some of the 2013 '72 minis that I still need.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Topps 2013 - My Hits

As I mentioned in my two previous posts, I have really enjoyed the 2013 product put out by Topps. While, I didn't have the greatest hits in my HTA Hobby Box, I am still impressed by their quality.

As you can see, I had a Dodger box, with the Dee Gordon Chasing the Dream auto and the Sandy Koufax MVP Award card.  My final hit was the Doc Gooden Chasing History patch.
The Chasing the Dream card has very nice placement of the signature and the design of the Chasing History set makes the patch fit in very nicely.
The MVP Award winner set is easily my favorite looking insert set.  I really like the design and the thickness of the cards. I have already started pursuing some of the other cards and have purchased the Braun and A-Rod cards on ebay. I am still looking for a few more of them especially the Dennis Eckersley, Don Mattingly, and George Brett. If I had the financial means, I would pursue the set, but I think that might not be realistic. The Cy Young Award winner and Silver Slugger Award winner cards are also very sharp and I wouldn't mind getting my hands on a few of those too.
If anyone is interested, all three of these cards are for trade and if anyone has a MVP, Cy Young, or Silver Slugger card that they would be willing to part with, let me know and we can work something out.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Topps 2013: The Inserts

After the great job that Topps did with its base set, I was also very excited to see what this year's inserts would bring. 2013 is all about "the chase" according to Topps and as I opened my jumbo HTA from my LCS, I did see some insert sets that I would chase, but a few whom I don't feel the pursuit is worth my effort.

Chasing the Dream
The idea behind is good. The checklist is full of young stars, but the design is too digital and takes up too much of the card. The back of the card tells a very brief quip from the player about how he made his dream happen. The Jose Altuve card will go into my player collection and I will hang on to the Stanton and Harper that I pulled and I will look to acquire the Josh Reddick and Jarrod Parker, but the others are up for trade for anyone looking to complete their set.

Chasing the Dream? Not me. All these are available.

Chasing History
I am usually a big fan of cards that feature players chasing milestones in their careers. I usually do my best to get cards featuring 500 HR's, 3,000 hits, 300 wins. This set features some of those milestones, but also ones such as 400 XBH, Team HR mark, and NLDS No Hitter. These are impressive marks to chase, but they but I don't think I need a card to commemorate these marks or in some cases the attempt to achieve these milestones. I actually like the horizontal cards better than the vertical because I think they allow for a better photo. I am chasing the Mattingly and Jeter and am holding on to the A-Rod and the Gehrig cards because they are Yankees, but the others are up for trade.

Chasing History inserts are up for trade.

Cut to the Chase
I will admit these cards are very cool looking. The cut of the cards is unique and I love the design on the bottom with the name of the set and the player's name. The backs provide info on how the player reached a milestone or what a player needs to do to achieve one in the future. Despite the coolness factor, I am passing on this insert set as well. I may try to pick up the Jeter, Sandberg, Braun or Molitior cards, if I can, but they are not a priority. I did pull a Ted Williams, which I may hang onto because it is such a nice card, but if I can get something good in return, I will probably deal it. The other two that I pulled, Matt Cain and Pedroia can be had in a trade.

The Greats
The look of these cards is very nice. I really like the thicker card stock and the simple design is classy, especially for the legends and superstars that make up the checklist. The photos are simple, but really capture the players well.  I was lucky to pull Mariano Rivera and Reggie (in his A's uniform) and will probably try and get the A-Rod, Jeter and Yogi. If I can pull a few more from packs or find a few available here and there, I may go for the set, but it is not a priority or a probability right now.

Calling Card
Another insert card with a very classy deign that has a A&G feel to it. The Calling Card insert set photos have a painting look to them or one of those fancy Instagram filters on them, but whatever it is I really like it.
I also like that it tells us about some of the habits, rituals, or other things that a player is known for. I think this set would look good in a binder, so I am going to "chase" it. I pulled five of them from my box, so I am a third of the way there, if you have any and are looking to complete one of the other sets, let's make a deal.

1972 Minis
They are mini. They feature a cool design from 1972. Need I say more? I pulled 10 from my box and bought a lot of 18 of them on ebay for a good price (4 are duplicates, however), so that puts me almost half way there with them. I will be looking to trade for these also.

There are a few more inserts, but I will cover them in my "hits" post. Thanks for reading.