Friday, July 26, 2019

Friday Flagship Bonanza

Just a random smattering of Topps flagship baseball cards to share on this sunny Friday...

While I don't buy a lot of new, unopened product, I do get the urge to rip packs from time to time just like most collectors.  My answer is to sometimes pick up cheap, older wax, which I use to maintain a small stash of unopened product for when the urge to rip hits me.

Last year I picked up a box of 1993 Topps Series 2 cello packs.  I remember using what little funds I had as a kid to buy a pack or two of this stuff after Little League baseball games at the concession stand, so I figured this would be a fun walk down memory lane.

Series 1 boxes are actually more expensive than you'd think, I assume because of the allure of pulling a Gold parallel of the Derek Jeter RC.  Series 2 is more in my price range (the entire cello box cost less than $20), and still provides some fun and great cards, like this Griffey All-Star or the great Bo Jackson portrait that led off the post.

I never really got around to opening any of these the first year or so that I had them in my possession, but in my recent fit of purging cardboard and shrinking my collection I've started cracking a pack or two open from time to time and only keeping a couple of cards from each pack that really speak to me.

I'll gladly accept any and all new Julio Franco cards for my small "ageless wonder" collection of guys that hung on well into their 40s.

From just the handful of packs I've opened so far I've already landed a couple of new Red Sox cards for my team collection, including this Tony Sheffield Draft Pick card.

Here's one I recall fondly from back in 1993, pretty awesome to pull it fresh from a pack again more than 25 years later.

I've had a buyback version of Mike Piazza's Topps RC for a while now, nice to supplement it with the everyday version.

Recent Cooperstown inductee Mike Mussina!

A classic shot on speedster Rickey Henderson's card...

...and rounding out the cards I decided to hang onto from the first couple of cello packs, another new Red Sox card in Jack Clark.  I'm sure I'll be posting some of the other highlights from the box if and when I get around to opening the remaining packs.

Now, let's look at some other new-to-my-collection Topps flagship cardboard...

One last '52 that I grabbed from the batch at the small antiques store near my house that was available at $6 per card.  This is the highest number card that I grabbed out of those boxes, at #307 on the checklist.

When I was in Baltimore with my wife for a weekend a few weeks back, they had baseball cards for sale in the pro shop at Camden Yards.  If I'm going to grab any kind of souvenir, sports cards are pretty high on the list, so I grabbed a single hanger pack each of Series 1 and Series 2 of the 2019 Topps set.

The Series 1 pack didn't yield a whole lot of note, though I will hang onto this Shohei Ohtani All-Star Rookie Cup...

...and this Mitch Moreland, a new card for my ever-expanding Red Sox collection.

The Series 2 pack was quite a bit more successful, as it landed me not one...

...not two...

...but three new cards for my Sox collection.  I found a select few other cards that I'll be hanging onto as well inside the wrapper... this Willians Astudillo RC.  Like many baseball fans, I've gotten a kick out of watching this guy play.  This is my first card of his, and while I don't plan to chase any others I will gladly hang onto this one.

I enjoy the stadium shots used on the team cards in the flagship set this year, and this is easily one of the more beautiful examples among that subset if you ask me.  Photographic perfection!

On the other end of the spectrum, this has to be the worst photo from the group, right?  The only reason I'm hanging onto this card is because my wife and I have been to this stadium, though it was in March the year that we went to San Diego, and as such we weren't able to catch any live baseball.  Still, kind of cool to get a card of a distant stadium that I've been to, pulled from a pack acquired at a different distant stadium!

The Series 2 pack also yielded this Ted Williams Greatest Moments insert.  Sort of a tenuous Red Sox card at best, but it does say the team name along the bottom, so it counts!

Closing it out for today, a '57 Dale Long in "well-loved" condition.  I didn't pick this one out specifically, instead it was included as a bonus card packed along with a recent eBay win.  Regardless of condition, I'm certainly not going to complain about eBay sellers including freebies from the '50s in their packages.

That's all I've got time for today, thanks as always for stopping by!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Selling Cards, Buying Cards

I've become inspired recently to really start trimming down my collection.  I'm trying to narrow the number of things I collect down to a more reasonable, focused list, and in doing so reduce the overall size of my collection.  Selling off some cards that don't really fit that narrower focus on eBay is something I've wanted to try for some time now, and in the month of July I finally got around to it.

eBay gives you 50 listings a month without charging you the 35 cent listing fee, though they do take a 10% fee on the sale price for sports cards.  Yes, I wish the commission fee were a bit lower but to me, it's worth the trade-off given the wide exposure that you get for your items via the site.

So far I've listed 30 auctions in the month of July, and to my surprise 17 of them have already sold!

The first card I sold was my graded 1972 Topps Nolan Ryan.  Nolan was one of my absolute favorite players growing up, even though I only became a baseball fan at the end of his career.  When I got back into the hobby in 2007 and had a lot of expendable income (full time job, unmarried, living in small apartment), I picked up a lot of his Topps flagship cards in graded form.

I felt this one was expendable because Hackenbush sent me a second copy a few years back.  It always kinda bothered me that this one has an older PSA label anyway, and I knew I could probably get triple digits for it in sale.  It ended up selling within minutes of me listing it, for $125!

Next up, another graded HOFer, Ernie Banks' 1961 Topps card.  Around the same time that I was buying those graded Nolan Ryans, I also built up a nice little Ernie Banks collection.  I never completed the full Topps run of Ernie's playing-day cards though, most notably missing his expensive '54 RC.  Since I don't think completing that run is high on my list, or really anything I'll ever realistically get to, I decided to part with some of my least favorite Banks cards.

This one was at the top of the list, just kind of a boring card with a cap-less photo.  At this stage, I would much rather have the $55 that this card netted me.

I love the 2005 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes autographs, but I'm really only collecting the 100 Emerald ones (#'d /99 each).  I'd grabbed this rarer Ozzie Smith blue (/20) a while back just because it was a great deal, but it's always kind of been an outlier in that collection.  Ozzie's got a decent following even today, and this got snatched up for $35 in short order.

Along those same lines, I had two outlier Red autos from the set as well (/49), both featuring the great Bob Feller.

These went in a package deal to the same guy who bought the Ozzie, $40 for the pair.  He got a great deal on these, but they didn't fit my collection and Feller signed a ton of cardboard over the years, so I was happy with the transaction.

Last sale I'll highlight today, a 1972 Topps NL RBI Leaders card.  I mentioned when I posted this one last month that I'd consider selling it, and that thought was kind of the catalyst that propelled me into finally getting off my butt and selling some of these cards in the weeks that followed.  I got an even $30 for this one, which isn't bad given that it set me back less than $10 when I acquired it back in the day.

eBay had a promotion going for new sellers like myself where they did not take any commission fees for your first five sales, so I was able to keep every penny of the $285 I drummed up here.  I'll be saving a lot of that money for the future, which feels pretty good.  While most of what I listed initially is gone, here's a link to my items in case anything still available strikes your fancy, or you want to check back again as I continue to list items from my collection throughout the summer.

That covers the Selling Cards portion of the post, now onto the Buying Cards portion.  Even though I have cut way back on my cardboard spending the past couple of months, I haven't ceased picking up new cards completely.  Here's a pair that have arrived in my mailbox in just the past week:

Still only 22 years old, Rafael Devers is having an absolute beast of a season so far here in 2019.  He got off to a bit of a slow start, especially with respect to power numbers, but has since rebounded and been one of the hottest hitters in baseball going back many weeks now.  As of the publishing of this past, Devers is leading the American League in total bases with 225, four ahead of the great Mike Trout even.

I've been snatching up some cheaper Devers cards as the summer has rolled along, figuring that if he continues to produce at the level he has with all those years ahead of him his cards may not be all that affordable for Red Sox fans a couple/few years from now.  I couldn't resist this ultra-shiny "Purple Mojo" parallel from the Crusade portion of Panini's 2018 Chronicles set.  What a fantastic looking rookie of one of the game's exciting young stars.

It's a bit tough to make out, but these are serial-numbered to /99.  I was able to secure this one for just $5.34, tax and shipping included.  Xander Bogaerts remains my favorite active player (and is having a hell of a year himself!), but it's been fun adding some Devers cards into the mix in 2019, and I hope he continues to swing a hot bat through the remainder of the summer here!

If you've stopped by the blog with any regularity over the years, you probably know about my minor obsession with 1990 Topps.  I know most collectors feel that it is one of Topps' worst efforts over the years, but the very first pack of baseball cards I ever opened were from this set, and it was the first Topps baseball set I ever collected as well.  The nostalgia value is pretty high for me based on that.

I've already got a complete '90 Topps set, and am also working on a '90 Topps buyback set, but I still look for other unique opportunities to add to my '90 Topps collection.  Tony Pena's autographed card here, from the 2017 Topps Archives Signatures Post-Season release, was a perfect addition to this small collection for a winning bid of just $9.05.

Even better, I had eBay bucks available to apply to this, making it effectively a free pick-up.  Gotta love that!

So, that's all for today.  Just checking in and sharing a little bit of what's been going on in my small corner of the collecting world.

Have you sold anything from your collection recently, through eBay or otherwise?  If so, did you do anything cool with the proceeds?  Your anecdotes and experiences with selling cardboard are welcome in the comments below!

Friday, July 19, 2019

Buyback Franken-set: Updating a Couple of Pages

It's Friday, it's hot as hell out, and it's Buyback Franken-set time!  Today's batch is a bunch of random pulls from my backlog, sourced from all over the place really.  Let's do it!

1964 Topps #164 - Bud Daley

Bud Daley was an All-Star pitcher with the Kansas City Athletics before being dealt to the Yankees in the summer of '61.  The trade worked out well for Bud, as he'd win World Series' with New York in both 1961 and 1962.  I picked this buyback up from an eBay seller way back in January because it cost just a buck and didn't add any shipping costs to a purchase I already had going.  A fantastic example from the '64 Topps set for sure.  This looks exactly how a vintage baseball card should in my humble opinion.

Mickey Lolich's '79 release is in slot 164 of the binder.  Hmm...neither one of these is a bad card, tough choice.

I'm going to oust Lolich in favor of Daley, based largely on aesthetics.  The '64 Topps set is just far superior to their '79 effort if you ask me.

1988 Topps #363 - Willie Fraser

Willie Fraser carved out an 8-year MLB career, mostly with the Angels.  This is a nice enough card I guess, if a little bland.  I do like that Willie overlaps the Angels team name, and the photo is cropped pretty well.  As for the subject though, Fraser finished 1988 with a sub-.500 record and an ERA on the wrong side of 5.00.

Had this '93 John Smiley in pocket #363 already...

...and I don't see any particular reason to oust him for Willie Fraser.

2006 Topps #158 - Mike Timlin

Here's a cool one, at least for a Red Sox fan like myself.  If memory serves I actually hand-selected this one for a quarter from a huge lot of buyback single auctions that were all ending around the same time on eBay.  Timlin was a solid relief guy for the mid-2000s Red Sox and ate up a ton of innings.  I'd love to be able to welcome this buyback to the franken-set binder.

1966 Topps Jim Brewer has something to say about that though, blocking Timlin's path.  This one has some things going for it as far as '60s cards go.  For one thing, the subject is actually wearing a cap.  We've got some interesting background trees here as well.

In the end though, that wasn't enough to beat out Mike Timlin.  My Red Sox bias may have played a part here, but it's my franken-set, my decisions!

1991 Topps Traded #2T - Roberto Alomar

I think I grabbed this one from the same seller as the Timlin, also for a quarter.  Alomar was the man in the early '90s, and it's cool to have the card that signifies his trade to the Jays in buyback format.  Just one problem though, this is from the 1991 Topps Traded set.

As such, it's not eligible for the franken-set.  Nevertheless, a very solid addition to the box of rejected buybacks.

1970 Topps #36 - Danny Breeden/Bernie Carbo

Here's one from COMC, records show that I shelled out a whole $1.25 for this card.  Not really sure why to be quite honest, probably because Carbo had some memorable moments with Boston later in the decade and I thought it would be cool to have his rookie in buyback form.  A low number here at 36, how's it looking as far as the binder goes?

Well, it wasn't a vacant slot, as Joe Lovitto's '75 release has been resident there for some time now.  Kind of a tough choice here...

...but I'm going with the Carbo rookie.  I just don't really have any connection to, or recollection of, Joe Lovitto, simple as that.

The fourth page of the binder is a complete one, and it was altered based on the outcome of that last battle.  Here's the way it looked prior, with Lovitto in place...

...and the updated look, with Carbo (and Breeden!).  1973 Topps is dominating here, with a full third of the page.

1967 Topps #439 - Byron Browne

Byron Browne earned the Topps All-Star Rookie Cup treatment in the '67 Topps set, after he collected over 100 hits in his rookie season of 1966.  He also hit just .243 that year though, and struck out a league-leading 143 times.  Still, a nice photograph, and I think it's impossible to like vintage baseball cards and not appreciate that gigantic trophy logo.  This one makes a strong case for inclusion!

Standing in Browne's way is yet another '75 buyback.  There's no Rookie Cup logo to be found here, but I enjoy the "nerdy" look of Ed Brinkman, and there sure is a whole lot going on in that tilted background.  For reasons I find hard to properly articulate, I like this card quite a bit.

Down goes Browne!

1967 Topps #184 - George Thomas

Sticking with '67 Topps for a moment, here's Red Sox outfielder George Thomas.  I'm particularly fond of any '67 Red Sox card since it's one of the more infamous seasons in team history.  True, Thomas had less than 100 plate appearances for Boston in '67, but he was on the roster (and in the team set!) anyway.

This '65 John Boozer buyback is already in slot 184.  What a bold, colorful example of why 1965 Topps is one of the finest sets of its decade.

Even as a Red Sox fan, I couldn't lift Boozer in favor of Thomas.  Maybe this off-sets the earlier Mike Timlin decision a bit?

1989 Topps #193 - Sparky Anderson

Final card for this evening, a nice buyback of baseball lifer Sparky Anderson.  The Tigers may have gone 59-103 in 1989, but this is a cool card regardless.  A worthy opponent for the existing #193 buyback in the franken-set, which is...

...a Chris Ray?  Despite a 6-year MLB career, I couldn't tell you the first thing about this guy.  Sorry Orioles fans.

Sparky Anderson wins in a route!

This number is part of a complete page.  You can see Chris Ray halfway up on the left there.

Looks a little better with Sparky in there if you ask me.

That's a wrap for tonight.  Not a single new number for the set among the 8 challengers, but we had some good battles and a few cards fought their way in to strengthen the binder overall.  Still hanging at 82% complete here, and creeping ever closer to 1,400 total buybacks.

Thanks for stopping by!

Franken-set Progress: 651/792 (82%)
1990 Topps Buyback Set: 118/792 (14%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 598
Total Buybacks in Collection: 1,367
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...