Sunday, July 15, 2018

Congratulations France!

What a fantastic World Cup that was.  I watched almost the entire thing, from the outset of the group stage right through today's thrilling final.  I'm very happy for France and their deserving win, especially since it's my favorite country outside the United States, and one I've visited more than once already.

I've mentioned lately that I've been picking up more soccer cards for my collection than anything else, I guess it's the World Cup impacting my collecting.  One recent pick-up in particular though really had me smiling...

This Kylian Mbappe Green & Orange Wave parallel from the 2018 Prizm World Cup set was potentially the most I've ever spent on a single soccer card at $14.99, but I have a feeling it may prove to be a bargain in the long run.

Mbappe is already tagged as the heir apparent to Ronaldo or Messi, and if you watched much of the tournament that just wrapped up it's easy to see why.  At just 19 years of age he's already been named Young Player of the Year in France's top professional football league for consecutive years, and only minutes ago won a World Cup with the national team!  Not only did Kylian not look out of place among his more experienced peers, he looked like an absolute star.

Mbappe ended the tournament with four goals, including France's last goal in today's final.  In doing so he became the first teenager with multiple goals in a World Cup game, and the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since...

Yup.  Pretty damn cool.

There's obviously a long road ahead of him, and anything can happen over time, but it will certainly be a lot of fun watching this kid's career unfold.  For me, it will be even more fun to witness with this shiny representation of his first historic World Cup firmly entrenched in my soccer collection.

I've actually picked up this card and a couple of other Mbappe cards over the past couple of weeks, hoping to build up a small collection before his prices skyrocket beyond what I'm able to pay.  Just think, he's young enough that we may see him play in another three or even four World Cups for his country!

How about you, did you watch any of this year's World Cup?  Did you pick up any cardboard, or even other collectibles to commemorate it?  If so I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

Congratulations again to France!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

One Card Post - Bullpen Cart!

What:  2018 Topps NOW #174 - Arizona Diamondbacks Bullpen Cart
Where: eBay
How Much?:  $5.00 (free shipping)

Why?:  I'm not all that into Topps NOW cards these days, certainly not like I was during the first season where I felt compelled to grab all of the Red Sox.  This is only my second one this year, but I simply could not pass up the chance to add a card of a bullpen cart to my baseball collection.  Just fantastic!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Dime Box Dozen - Manny & Nomah

Recently I was the recipient of a very generous bubble mailer stuffed with wonderful cardboard, courtesy of my buddy Nick at Dime Boxes.  In fact, it was so generous that the sheer volume of cards (combined with the volume in another package that arrived around the same time) just crushed my ability to stay caught up.

So, instead of trying to deal with all 100+ cards at once and inevitably delaying this even longer, I decided to feature just the first dozen tonight.  I'll get to the rest soon, in fact I scanned the majority of them last night, but for today here are the first twelve...

Coming out strong with a Hawk from Upper Deck's 1994 "Fun Pack" release.  I always liked these, and even more so the Topps Kids set; a nice change of pace that was truly meant to appeal to kid collectors.

This is an odd one, from the Trading Card History insert Topps had in their flagship release about a decade or so ago.  I honestly don't recognize the set that this one's paying tribute to, although it looks pre-war.  No time to look any further into it tonight!

This package contained many firsts for my collection, including my first 2018 Bowman card in the form of this Andrew Benintendi.  I like it, I guess.  It's about what I'd expect from Bowman.  Andrew's currently in the "final man" voting for the 2018 All-Star Game.  I'd love to see him make it, he certainly deserves it with the numbers he's posted this year and you get the feeling that it would mean a tremendous deal to him.

If I were to take on the insane task of ranking all of the baseball card sets released in the 1990s, I guarantee you that 1994 Topps Stadium Club would be inside the top 20 for the entire decade.  I've always adored this set, largely because it was released when I was at the very impressionable age of 11 and I have fond memories of ripping packs of this back then.

In this mailing Nick included not only the base card of Roger Clemens...

...but also the Golden Rainbow parallel!  I'm not exaggerating in the least when I say that these two were among my favorites in the entire package from Nick.  Great stuff.

This "Onyx Extreme" insert is from the 2000 Stadium Club set.  It's not the last Nomar you'll see tonight.  Fine by me.

Here's another one from the turn of the century, a very busy insert from Pacific Aurora.  Nomar is currently tied for 6th place for most cards in my baseball collection (with Nolan Ryan).  Of course, I still have a ton of cards to enter into TCDB before I can say with any certainty who really leads in my collection, but at this stage he's within the top 10 anyway.

Here's another one that was new to me.  This is a mini-sized card from 2003 Topps Opening Day.  I found out it's actually a sticker.  Go figure.

Another Nomar, a nice defensive shot here from Fleer Ultra.

Apparently there were Home and Away versions of these inserts from 2005 Leaf.  Not very hard to discern which one we have here.

Another thing I do not recall having seen before...2007 Topps 1st Edition?  Were these inserts?  Some sort of separate set?  I got back into the hobby in 2007 and I have no memory of these whatsoever.

Another Manny brings us to a dozen cards, so we'll stop here.  I needed every single one of these for my Red Sox collection.  Best of all, I've got a few more posts of equally solid Red Sox material to come from this package.  Thanks Nick!!!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Checking In

If it seems to you like I haven't been posting here as frequently as I once did, that's because it's true.  My career is in the IT industry, and the job has been particularly busy/stressful/challenging lately, leaving me less time for my hobbies than I once enjoyed.  To compound the problem, when I do get some free time, using a screen and keyboard is about the last thing I feel like doing.

Anyway, I'm still around and I'm still collecting.  I apologize to the folks whose generous trade packages I haven't managed to feature yet (Oscar, Douglas, Nick, Gavin, and probably others), I will get to them soon.  In the meantime, just figured I'd check in.  Here are five random singles I've picked up, just to leave you with some cardboard at least...

Love this beautiful Brooklyn Dodgers card from '57 Topps.  I'll never pass up a '50s Brooklyn card for less than a couple bucks, especially in this kind of shape.  Cards like this one are why I love the '57 set so much, it might have the best background scenery of any set from the decade.  There's a reason I got this one so cheap though...

Pen marks!  My best guess at what happened here is that some kid placed the card face down and used the top edge like a ruler to draw a straight line with a pen on something.  Whatever, doesn't bother me all that much, a perfectly fine placeholder card in a set that I have a few dozen cards from now.

Always on the lookout for these '92-93 Ultra buybacks from Fleer Showcase.  I've got a saved eBay search for them that emails me daily, and when this one popped up recently I snagged it right away.  Not only is it nice to land another HOFer for my small collection of these, but this is also my first Nordiques card from the set.  Love those sweaters with the fleur-de-lis shoulder patches!

Obligatory look at one of the best-designed card backs of all-time!

I mentioned in my last post that I've been picking up a few soccer cards of late, as well as watching a ton of World Cup action.  The Pele card that I featured in that post was nice in that I now have the greatest player of all-time in my soccer collection, but I also wanted to add some more cards of the greatest current players in the world.

I got this extremely bright and shiny Ronaldo for around $4 on eBay, which is actually a very solid price given the following that he has.  This one's definitely in contention for shiniest soccer card in my collection.

The floating heads checklist cards from 1967 Topps are some of my favorite checklists ever produced.  While I've never made an effort to actively seek them out, I was helpless when I stumbled across this Jim Kaat, in really good condition and priced at just 67 cents, during a recent COMC sale.  Paying 67 cents for a 1967 Topps card just felt right I guess.

Here's the last card I have for today, a sweet 1967-68 Topps Red Berenson of the Rangers.  I'm interested in any Topps hockey card from 1972 and earlier that I don't already have, however I don't run across them all that often.  I snagged this one on COMC for a mere $1.50.  How could that be?!?!

Well, this is how.  If I ever have a chance to upgrade this on the cheap I will, but in the meantime this one works for me.  Better than an empty binder page pocket.

Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoy your Sunday.

I'm going back to doing things like this...

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

One Card Post - GOAT

What:  2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Stars Red & Blue Wave - #41 - Pele
Where: eBay
How Much?:  $9.99 (plus shipping)

Why?:  I've officially come down with a case of World Cup fever.  I've really been enjoying the tournament this summer, and have in turn been adding some soccer cards to my collection of late.  I'm a huge fan of the Prizm sets that Panini has released for the last two World Cups running, and have wanted a copy of this Pele "World Cup Stars" card from the 2014 release for some time now.  In particular I wanted a "wave prizm" parallel if at all possible, since I'm a total sucker for these colorful, shiny bits of cardboard.

The cheapest copy of this one on COMC is listed at north of $30, way beyond what I was willing to pay for the card.  Instead, I took a stab at a Buy-It-Now auction for $14.99 or best offer recently, and was pumped when the seller accepted my first offer that was a mere 1/3 of the COMC asking price.  A solid card of the greatest soccer player of all-time, and instantly one of my better soccer cards in my admittedly small collection of the sport!

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