Thursday, March 26, 2020

COMC Blaster - Quarantine Edition

The whole COVID-19 situation certainly has put a bit of a damper on collecting.  With no live sports to watch, and many folks paranoid enough about getting the illness to avoid trips to a big box store unless absolutely necessary, it's certainly a challenging time for some collectors.

Thankfully, I've spent the past few years acquiring more awesome cardboard than I've had time to possibly write about.  Now that I've got more time, and no new cardboard really coming in at all, it's the perfect opportunity to take advantage of this backlog I've built up and let some fantastic cardboard get featured here at long last.

As a first step down that road, let's raid my card chest and put together a 'COMC Blaster' post.  If you've visited this blog with any frequency over the years you're already aware, but in case you haven't the rules of the game are simple; take a look at a great batch of random cards acquired on COMC that, combined, cost less than the $19.99 that a blaster retails for nowadays.

And we're off!

First up, a basketball card?!?!  I still don't collect basketball by any means, but I find a couple of the early '70s sets fascinating.  On top of that I'm an admitted sucker for "tall boy" sized cards.  Seems an especially appropriate way to feature 6'7" John Trapp here!  I don't know the first thing about the guy, but I know I love the card (my 4th from this set), and could not resist adding it to my collection for a mere 75 cents.

Fantastic cartoon on the back as well.  If I had infinite time (check, for now!) and money (damn!) this is a set I'd consider putting together for sure.  As it stands I'm happy with my four singles.

Not so much these days, but there was a period a few years ago when I was somewhat obsessed with these Bubbles Refractors from 2014 Bowman Chrome.  I've got over two dozen of them now, not bad for a parallel that's serial-numbered to /99 copies each.  There are 220 in the set though, and I don't waste any of my credit on cards like this one anymore.  Oh well, was only 50 cents at least.

I somewhat collect soccer cards.  I don't have terribly many, and I don't want terribly many either, but I do like to pluck cards of players that I enjoyed watching as a fan of the Premier League for nearly a decade now.  Two guys I recall fondly here, on a card that's shiny as hell and super colorful, for 78 cents.  Sold.

This one was purchased strictly for an upcoming 'Stat Kings' post on the 1994 baseball season.  It's not a card I'd otherwise have in my collection, and I may well purge it after I get that post completed.  45 cents.

Sort of a somber one up next, as Yordano Ventura passed away due to injuries sustained in a car accident in the Dominican Republic at just 25 years of age.  In the three seasons prior to his untimely death, he'd become a key component of the Royals' pitching staff and looked to have a promising career ahead.  At some point I could see myself purging or trading this one away, but I'm a sucker for 'Wave' refractors of any type, and the price was right at just 50 cents.

This one actually came from my most recent COMC order, and possibly my last for some time, right before the pandemic hit.  The "short prints" from last year's Allen & Ginter set are insanely cheap on the site, so I've grabbed up any Red Sox I've come across.  How cheap?  Well, this Dustin Pedroia was available for 35 cents.

I'm one of the many collectors who really enjoyed the holiday release from Topps last year.  I didn't scoop any up off retail shelves myself since I'm trying to thin down my collection, but I have plucked a couple of Red Sox off of COMC.  Paid 70 cents for this Bogaerts.  Could have acquired it cheaper had I waited, but these lose a little of their luster once the weather turns warmer.

I'm really excited to watch Rafael Devers grow as a player, if and when the 2020 MLB season gets underway.  He's really the only Red Sox player not named Bogaerts who I search out cards of by name.  I love Topps Chrome Sepia Refractors, and there's not a chance I was leaving this behind at 67 cents for another collector to scoop up.

Alright, now we're entering a run of slightly more expensive cards, with eight of the next ten cards costing more than a dollar (though none of them more than two dollars).

This right here is probably my favorite card of the entire post.  '90s Topps Finest Refractors are my jam, and wow do the Whalers in particular look amazing in the '94-95 hockey release.  At $1.38, this is the first of two relatively rare Whalers additions in today's blaster.

I'm a sucker for a good colored-border parallel.  On top of that I think 2015 Topps is a better flagship baseball release for them than any set that has come since.  For $1.50, I thought this black Wade Miley (#'d /64) was a nice, relatively rare addition to my ever-growing Red Sox collection.

On the hockey side of the house, one of my absolute favorite releases since I returned to collecting is the 2014-15 O-Pee-Chee Platinum set.  Not so much the base cards, but the wonderfully colorful parallels.  I'd like to casually assemble a franken-set of one parallel type of each card on the checklist at some point.  This David Krejci is a "White Ice", serial-numbered to /199.  Mine for $1.49!

Just a cheap Bogaerts card here, nothing more.  These Silver parallels from 2015 Bowman are numbered to /499, so not exactly all that rare.  Not exactly all that expensive either though as a result, hauled this one in for 65 cents.  I'm officially up to 190 different cards of Xander now, though in reality I have many more that I've yet to catalog and add to my collection on The Trading Card Database.

Upper Deck Exclusives are a cool parallel from their flagship hockey release, some extra shine and decently rare with 100 copies of each in circulation.  I don't typically see many of these available for under a dollar on COMC period, so I was shocked to happen upon this Chris Pronger (a HOF defenseman and former Hartford Whaler) for the very reasonable asking price of $1.27!

The 2008 Topps Chrome release had these Copper Refractor cards available as pulls.  You'd think there would be plenty of these around and available given that 599 copies were made of each, but I can never find any Red Sox I need for less than a dollar it seems.  Varitek here set me back $1.65, but it's a pretty gorgeous card in hand so I stand by my purchase here.

Here's the other Whalers card for today, and it's also the most expensive card in the post at $1.93.  These Artist's Proof parallels from 1994-95 Pinnacle were tough pulls.  Don't hold me to it, but I believe they fell at a rate of 1-per-hobby-box, or rarer.  This is just the third one in my collection, and my first Hartford Whaler.  I was drawn to this one in particular because Verbeek is a very under-rated player, and because the photograph is top notch. 

Nobody is practicing social distancing here, that's for sure!

I'm particularly proud of this pick-up.  I already had Greg Maddux's '87 Donruss and '87 Topps Traded rookie cards in my collection, and here I was able to complete the trifecta with this '87 Fleer Update.  Just $1.10 to acquire an iconic rookie card of one of the absolute best pitchers in my lifetime?  Yes, please!  Besides, all that blue in the '87 Fleer design works great for Cubs cards.

Here's one I purchased years ago but only finally pulled out of my card chest for posting and cataloging now.  Would I buy this one today for the 90 cents I paid for it back then?  Honestly, probably not.  It was just some cheap prospecting I suppose.  In any event I suppose I could have done worse, as the cheapest copy on COMC at the time of this post is now more than $2.25.

For these next two cards we're going obscure.  This one was originally from the 1969 Topps football set, but if you look in the lower left corner there you'll see this is a stamped buyback from Topps' 2015 flagship football release.  Yes, while I primarily focus on the Topps baseball buybacks, my love for buybacks doesn't end there.  This one was too interesting to me to pass up for $1.30.

I knew nothing about him when I grabbed the card, but it turns out Ed Meador was no slouch on the field.  He was a 6x Pro Bowl selection, including multiple First and Second Team All-Pro nominations.  In fact, he's a member of the NFL's 1960s All-Decade Team.  An interesting cheap addition to my small football card collection.  With that we've covered the four major North American sports, and soccer in this blaster!

Speaking of which, how about we follow that American football card up with a European football card?  This well-loved gem is my very first single from the 1958-59 A & BC Gum soccer card set!  I'd really never seen these before when I stumbled across this one, and for 90 cents I couldn't click the Purchase Now button fast enough. 

Bobby Robson here was pretty successful as a player, appearing in 20 games for England's national team, and even more so as a manager, where he led England to the semi-finals in the 1990 World Cup.

Last card for today is this absolutely stunning Babe Ruth, courtesy of 2011 Topps Marquee.  This set was an absolute goldmine for really unique and interesting photos of the game's greats.  I've plucked a few of them off of COMC over the years, and I'm really happy with this one at 99 cents.  I'd love to see this set/concept make a comeback for just one more release at some point.

That brings today's total to $19.76.  Can't find a card on COMC for just 24 cents or less, so I know there's nothing else in my backlog that I could squeeze in here.  We'll call that a blaster at an even 20 cards.  Once again, I'll take that haul over anything on the shelves at Target or Wal-Mart any day!

Thanks as always for stopping by, and stay inside if you can!


Fuji said...

Lots of stuff to comment on... but it's 9:03pm and I'm starting to get tired... so I'll keep it short.

#1: That 94/95 Finest refactor is awesome!

#2: I purchased a collection from a friend last September that had hundreds of Yordano Ventura rookie cards. Gotta imagine that shattered some collector's prospecting dream out there.

#3: Man that photo used on the Fleer Update Maddux reminds me of the one used on his Topps Traded rookie card.

Shlabotnik Report said...

This is one of those times when I say "meh" to the baseball and hockey (because parallels) and "Wow" to the basketball and soccer. I tried to get into basketball as a kid, but it never took... but I've been wanting to get more basketball cards just because some of them are just damn nice to look at.

I also have one of those A&BC cards to show off, but maybe I'll leave that one until later in my series. :-D

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