Sunday, July 22, 2018

COMC Blaster - Rainy Sunday Edition

After a week away from the blog, this dreary and rainy Sunday morning seemed like the perfect time to get back at it with a COMC "blaster".  Let's see what $20 or so in credit brought home to my collection this time around!

1955 Topps Jim Pendleton - $.45

Do I really need to explain this one?  A card I need from 1955 Topps for less than 50 cents in halfway decent condition is going into my cart every time.

2013 Topps Update Gold Jake Peavy (#'d /2013) - $.57

I'm not particularly excited by this one to be brutally honest with you.  I bought it way back in 2014 though, and the Sox were coming off a World Series championship at the time.  Nice fuzzy Green Monster backdrop in any event.

2015 Bowman Purple Henry Owens (#'d /250) - $.75

I picked this one up before Topps produced about 10,000 different Henry Owens cards over a short span a year or two back.  Henry pretty much flamed out, although it looks like he signed a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks last month.  At this stage however a return to MLB looks unlikely at best.  I can't believe I paid 75 cents for this card, ouch.

1992-93 Upper Deck World Juniors SP - $.52

Always wanted one of these short-printed special insert cards as a kid, but never managed to pull one.  Since I completed the 1992-93 Upper Deck set a while back I decided it was high time to knock off the couple of SP inserts as well, especially since you can pick them up for pocket change these days.

2014 Bowman Chrome Bubbles Refractor Yoenis Cespedes - $.85

I've shown these absolutely stunning Bubbles Refractors from 2014 Bowman Chrome a few times now.  They're some of my favorite shiny cards in existence, and Cespedes here is actually the 20th one to enter my collection.

2017 Topps Opening Day Mascots Wally the Green Monster - $.82

I feel sort of compelled to pick up the Wally the Green Monster insert from Topps Opening Day each season.  I think I've got most if not all of them at this point.  What can I say?  It's something a little different from the smattering of Red Sox player cards at least.

2016 Donruss Dominators Gold Luis Suarez - $.81

I've been a fan of Luis Suarez (not the ear-biting, of course) since his time with Liverpool in the Premier League a few years ago.  He had a pair of goals for Uruguay in the 2018 World Cup.  I thought this was an interesting, and extremely shiny, addition to my small but ever-growing soccer collection.

2008 Upper Deck Football Heroes Tom Morello - $.45

I was definitely into Rage Against the Machine as a teenager, though I don't listen all that much these days (unless maybe I'm running).  I was lucky enough to see them play live in 1999 as a 17-year-old, and it was one of the most insane concert experiences I've ever witnessed.  Couldn't pass up an opportunity to add Tom Morello to my collection for less than two quarters.

1994-95 Pinnacle Rink Collection Dino Ciccarelli - $.52

1994 Pinnacle Rink Collection cards are among my favorite hockey parallels ever produced.  If I had unlimited time and unlimited funds I'd probably consider trying to complete the entire set, but as it stands now I just cherry-pick stars here and there.  Wasn't going to leave HOFer Dino Ciccarelli behind for someone else to scoop up at 52 cents.

2016-17 Upper Deck AHL Mascots Samboni - $.40

I had no idea that Upper Deck included mascots in their 2016-17 AHL set.  In fact, despite working only a couple blocks over from where the Providence Bruins play their home games, I wasn't even aware the team had a mascot.  A fun addition to my hockey collection for just 40 cents.

2015 Upper Deck Dinosaurs Lenticular 3D Barosaurus - $1.00

These 3D dinosaur cards have appeared frequently in my "COMC Blaster" posts over the past year or two.  Barosaurus here, which is known to have been upwards of 85 feet in length, is my 12th card from this fantastic insert set.  That leaves 30 more to go, but some of them were severely short-printed so I'm not sure whether I'll ever finish the set.

2016-17 O-Pee-Chee Platinum Ice Blue Traxx Connor McDavid - $5.00

This one takes the prize, by a long shot, for most expensive card in today's post.  It's rare for me to shell out $5 or more for a modern hockey card, but my love for shiny cards won out here and McDavid is arguably the most exciting player in today's game.  Not quite the same allure as his Young Guns RC, which to date might be the most valuable card I've ever pulled myself from a pack, but a solid card nonetheless.

1957 Topps Andre Rodgers - $1.95

I wouldn't say I'm making an attempt at completing the 1957 Topps baseball set; there are at least two other '50s sets I'm already working on.  With that being said, this one is high up there in terms of my favorites from the decade, so I do grab a card or two on the cheap from time to time.  I think I've got about 50 or so in hand at this point, including a few HOFers.

2013 Panini Golden Age Playing Cards Carl Yastrzemski - $.64

Count me among the collectors that absolutely love what Panini did with their Golden Age sets, particularly the inserts.  I'm a long way from completing a full deck of the playing card inserts from 2013, but that didn't stop me from grabbing this Yaz.  Love it.

2014 Topps Bobby Abreu (Image Variation) - $1.70

I'm a total sucker for the image variation cards, at least when they're not short-printed to the point where they go for more than a couple bucks.  I was drawn to this one because 2014 was the final season for Abreu, and I thought this was a fine tribute to the first ballot member of the Hall of Very Good.

2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary Legends Bert Blyleven - $.75

I know of at least a few other collectors that are always on the lookout for the Diamond Anniversary Legends parallels from 2011 Topps.  It's getting more and more difficult in my experience to find these for less than a buck, so I was pleased to land Bert here for 75 cents. 

2011 Topps Cognac Diamond Anniversary Legends Jackie Robinson - $1.05

I'm equally fascinated by the Cognac versions, and was stunned to find this Jackie Robinson sitting out there for just a shade over a dollar.  Hindsight seems to confirm that it was a wise pick-up as well, as the cheapest copy on the site today is listed at north of $6.  On a related note, to this day I've yet to show my absolute greatest card of #42 here on the blog.  I have to fix that soon.

2013-14 Score Update Tim Thomas - $.70

I've been working away slowly at the large 2013-14 Score set for a good five years now.  A recent couple of packages from my buddy Douglas (thank you posts coming soon!), has me within striking distance.  Why would I pay 70 cents for this Tim Thomas?  Well, it's from the more difficult to find update portion of the set that I believe was released later, in boxes of Rookie Anthology.  Besides, that 2011 Stanley Cup season was one of the most dominant performances I've ever witnessed from a goaltender!

1977-78 Topps White Back Dave Cowens - $.59

Look, I'm not a basketball guy at all, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who's a fan of sports cards in general and doesn't think this is a beauty.  Aside from the fact that Cowens was a Rookie of the Year, MVP, All-Star, won multiple championships, has his number retired and is a member of the Basketball HOF, the imagery here is just awesome.  I really enjoy the candid shot, most notably those striped socks.

The backs are incredibly well done also, if you ask me.  I really love the layout, and it seems appropriate to have a reference to Christmas trees on a card with this much green!

That brings the running total for today's cards to $19.52.  I could probably scrounge around for another 50-cents-or-less card to top things off, but we'll call it here for now.  As I say every single time I do this, without fail, I doubt a blaster from Target would have brought me anywhere near this many keeper cards for my personal collection.

Thanks as always for stopping by, and happy Sunday!

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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