Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Repack Surprise

I like to keep a few sealed packs on-hand for times when I really want to open something, but don't want to head all the way to the store to buy something.  I've found one of the best ways to do that is to get the 20-pack Fairfield repacks from Target.  I've been gradually working my way through one of those for the last month or so, and was down to two packs left...neither of which particularly excited me:  a 2016 Leaf Babe Ruth pack and one remaining pack of 2015 Topps Series 1.  First I opened the Babe Ruth pack and of Babe Ruth (yawn).  Next was the Topps pack.  There had been about 4 packs of Series 1 altogether in here, and I hadn't received anything to write home about.  I wasn't expecting much from this one either, and it didn't start out promising as I read the card names from the back...

Tony Sipp.

Bryce Berentz.

Tom Koehler.

You can see where this is going...dullsville.
Brandon Belt.
Clayton Kershaw. -- Well, at least he's somebody I know I can trade.  It's the #100 card.

Eric Young.

Mets Team Card.

Etc.  Another boring pack.  However, I flip the cards over to look at the pictures on the front, and am pleasantly surprised.  The Mets team card has an interesting camo-uni photo...and the Clayton Kershaw card looked...different.

It wasn't this card #100 that I was expecting:

It was this card #100:

The "bubble-gum" variation.  I had forgotten this was a thing...but knew I hadn't seen this card before.  It was definitely a nice thing to see out of a Fairfield repack!

So the question to my Dodger-collecting friends is....Does anybody need it?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Can I Collect It?

Yes, I can!

This looks like it might be an advertisement, but it is the same dimensions as a regular baseball card, so I think it can go into the oddball/non-sports binder. I have no idea where this came from, but I found it on the floor of my house.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Dime-Boxing at Valley Sports Cards

The day before Thanksgiving I was going to travel from my house in Ventura County down to my in-laws house in Orange County.  However, it seemed like everyone else in the state had the same idea.  The freeways were PACKED.  I would either have to suck it up and sit in traffic going through LA, or find some way to kill time until the roads were less busy.  Kill time?  How about a card shop!

Valley Sports Cards in Tarzana is technically my "Local" card shop since there aren't any closer, but even on a good day, it's still 30 minutes away, so I don't get there often.  I think it had been about a year and a half since my last trip there.  However, it's right off the 101, so it made a perfect pit stop while I waited out my fellow travelers.
This is not a big shop...and part of their space is used-up by their picture framing business, but one thing that I knew they had in abundance last time I was there was DIME BOXES, and that was my goal when I walked in.   As I entered the shop, the place where the dime boxes had been before was now a basketball cards display.  Not to fear, the dime boxes had been relocated to the back corner.  There were probably twenty of the 3,200-count boxes packed to the gills with baseball, football, basketball, and some assorted sports (hockey, golf, MMA, etc.).  

So was I able to kill time here?  Yep.  Three hours.  The end result of that was 225 dime-box cards, plus a few from the quarter and dollar boxes.  Take a look:

There is my stack of cards that I was keeping for myself....that's not the whole 225, since many of them were to trade away.

As part of my quest to collect guys with great mustaches, I felt I had to go for these Craig Stadler cards.  Ian Woosnam had some neat plaid pants, so I grabbed that one, too.

Here are some vintage Kickers and Punters that were no-brainers for ten cents.
A few other vintage goodies.  There were six Chuck Muncie cards in a row in one of the boxes.  He and I essentially wear the same style of glasses.  So I knew I would need to grab my spectacle-buddy.

Here's three for my "Spoiled Wide Receivers" collection.

And three more for my PC...Kurt Warner and Troy Davis (Iowa State alum).

Two of the 3,200-count boxes were full of old Allen and Ginter commons, going back to 2006-2012.  As you can see from the middle, I grabbed a big stack of them, and am showing some of my favorites here.  I FINALLY got my paws on the Revolving Door card -- which is probably my favorite Ginter card ever.  I had never seen the Groundhog card before, but could not resist a face like that.

Here's a sampling of the Royals that I picked up.  I loved the Gaylord Perry in a KC uniform, and another copy of the Sluggerrr card (even though I had it already).

I mentioned that several of the dime boxes were basketball.  I only collect a FEW basketball players...mostly Kyle Korver and guys who went to Iowa State.  Because of this, I wasn't going to waste my time on the basketball boxes.  However, as I was putting away one of the football boxes, my arm brushed across the top of a row of basketball, and it opened up to this card:
That's a rookie of my favorite Cyclone player from my early youth.  That I didn't have.  In a dime box I didn't want to look through.   :-)  It's just so freakin' cool to me.

Here's several stacks of miscellaneous cards I pulled out for other traders and friends/relatives of mine.  The Carolina Panthers stack is large enough to cast its own shadow. 

After the dimeboxes were done, I looked through the quarter and dollar boxes.  Here were two of my favorite pulls from there.  The George Brett was only a quarter for a Panini Black Friday exclusive from last year.  I'll take that!  The Bo Jackson was a little weird...mostly because I had never seen one, so was asking myself WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THIS CARD?  Apparently "Ames" was a discount/department store in the Northeast, and this card was part of a boxed set that was made exclusively for them.  I didn't know if a dollar was a good price for it, but if I have learned anything from "American Pickers" it's that the time to buy something unusual is when you see it!
Mike and Frank approve of me buying the Bo.
As they were getting ready to close up the store (yes...I was closing them down), I noticed they had boxes behind the counter of various years from the '50s, '60s, and '70s.  I figured this would be a good chance to make a dent in my "vintage Royals" (only going back to that vintage?) needs, and asked for the '69 box.  I was able to quickly pull out 12 that I needed before the clock struck 7:00 PM:

All of those, plus some more quarter-box stuff I didn't show, plus a discount for paying cash means I got everything for $30 even.  I was a happy camper!  And by the time I left, traffic was smooth sailing all the way down to the OC.  :-)

What say you -- have you ever stopped at a card shop to avoid traffic?  What about to avoid your family?  :-)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Subset Wantlists - Ginter and Football

(updated December 4, 2016)
Whereas most of my posts focus on my primary love ("Royals"), I am true to my blog-name and still seek out appropriate "Randoms" that catch my eye.  Below are several subsets that I have been leisurely collecting for awhile now.  If you have anything that can help push me a little closer toward completing any of these, that would be much appreciated.  Thank you.

(all cards listed are ones that I still NEED)

Allen and Ginter

2011 Allen and Ginter - Minds That Made The Future - 1, 3, 7, 8, 9, 15, 16, 18, 19, 25, 28, 29, 32, 33, 35, 37, 40

2012 Allen and Ginter - Historical Turning Points - 2, 8, 10, 15, 19 (completed 12/4/2016)

2013 Allen and Ginter - One Little Corner - CM, ERT, JPT, MS, SUN

2015 Allen and Ginter - Mini First Ladies - 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41


2011 Topps Football - Faces of the Franchise - JM (Jackson/McCoy), RW (Ryan/White)

2011 Topps Football - Game Day - BF, BG, BR, CJ, CN, CW, DB, DBR, DM, EM, FG, JA, JF, JW, MI, MR, MV, PH, PM, PW, RW, SB, TP

Monday, September 19, 2016

I've Been Framed!!

Guys, you've got to help me -- I've been framed!

No, not like that.

And no, not like that, either.

Like THIS.

Robert from $30 a Week Habit offered these to me on Twitter and I jumped at the chance.  They are the blue framed parallels from this year's Gypsy Queen...showing off the majesty of the WORLD CHAMPIONS OF BASEBALL (for now.....).  They arrived at my casa this week and will be inducted into their permanent home.  Thank you so much, Robert!

Friday, August 5, 2016

2016 Topps Olympics - Opening Ceremonies Hit

In celebration of the Opening Ceremonies, I picked up some 2016 Olympics cards from Target.  My son and I each got to pick one pack to open tonight. I didn't pull much of anything, but James pulled a Simone Biles USA flag patch card, limited to 99.  Nice hit--USA!! USA!!  #NextGenerationCollecting

Simone Biles - USA Flag Patch #/99

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Fernando Rodney's Checkup

Hi Fernando,
Dr. Blogger here.  Thanks for coming in for your annual examination.  We're going to be testing your knowledge of body parts today... specifically one particular part.  Let's get started.

Fernando, could you please point to your left shoulder for me?

Great job.  And this time, how about you point to your left shoulder?

Excellent.  Everything seems to be in order here, so I think we're done.  Get yourself dressed and make sure you stop at the desk on the way out to handle your copay.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

So, I Yelled At A Pack-Searcher...

Sorry, no pretty pictures of cards in this post.

Well, I finally ran into one of them.  The much-discussed, possibly-apocryphal diviners of hits....the ever-elusive pack-searcher.

I was in the Westlake Village Target store picking up a prescription, so I hopped over to the card aisle to see if anything caught my eye.  I was looking at repacks when another fellow came along to look.  I graciously stepped to the side so we could both have some space.  He was white, about early-to-mid thirties, about 5'10", with a black beard and stocky build.  His T-Shirt was stylistically reminiscent of those "Tapout" shirts, but I can't recall what it said.

While I was looking, my wife called me on the phone, so I stepped down to the end of the aisle -- away from the cards -- to take the call.  While I was down there on the phone, I noticed that he had proceeded to take all of the Topps Platinum Football hanging "Value Packs" down off the rack.  Those are the ones that look like this:

This seemed unusual to me, but not nefarious.  As you can see, they always pack 3 extra parallels in those types of packs, and often you can see through the wrapper as to what player/team you are getting on 1 or 2 of the cards.  I don't have a problem with that...if Topps puts it in clear cellophane, that's not hurting anyone to look and see if you have one of your favorite team on the top.  He was "holding" each one, then putting them back.  He didn't set any aside to buy.

At this point, my call ends, so I got back over to the card aisle and started looking at repacks again.  At this point, he walks over to the retail box of Panini "Decision 2016" political cards and pulls a giant stack of them out of the box...probably 10-12 packs.  These things are pretty thin, and he proceeds to take one pack, with an end in each hand, and gives it the most-severe bend I have ever seen given to a pack.  He probably gave it about a 45-degree arc bend, then threw it back in the box.  Then I watched him do it again.  On the third pack, I finally speak-up to the pack-searcher, aka "PS":

Me:  "Hey, please don't bend the cards."

PS:  <turning and smiling> "Oh, I'm not."

Me:  "Yes, you are.  I just saw you do it to three packs.  It's obvious you're pack-searching, and that's not cool."

The PS's face got a lot more serious in that instant, and he goes:  "Hey, just mind your own business, OK?"

Me:  "What you're doing is not cool.  Please stop."

--I was hoping he would just throw the cards back and leave to avoid a confrontation, as many others have found when confronting a pack-searcher.  However, this guy was not deterred. --

PS:  "Leave me alone.  Don't worry about what I'm doing.  It doesn't concern you."

Me:  "Yes it does.  When I buy packs that have creases down the sides or the corners all dinged up from pack-searchers, that concerns me."

PS:  "I don't do that."

Me:  "Well, when you're bending cards like that, they're gonna take some damage."

PS:  <Takes a step toward me>  "Just leave me alone, go over there or something."

Me:  "Or what?"

PS:  <mockingly>  "Or what?"

Me:  "This is wrong what you are doing and you need to stop.  Just to get a hot pack to put on Ebay?  Just stop, man."

PS:  "Fuck you."

And with that, he just turned away and ignored me and went back to looking at the wall of cards, never to make eye-contact again.  He stopped searching them, but just stood there.   I could tell it was a standoff where he wasn't going to move and was just waiting for me to leave before he did anything again, and if I told anyone about it, he would look like he was just standing there.  I had to roll anyway, so with that, I left the store.


After the fact, I kept thinking about this incident.
1)  I really wish I hadn't made it so confrontational from the get-go.  I have never had this experience before, so I just sprung into action without any real plan.  It would have been enlightening to actually have a discussion with find out if he was a collector or just a "Ebay Mercenary."

2)  Either I should have tried to calm the situation and get him to talk, or gone full scorched-earth and pulled out my camera phone to take pictures and videos of him to post online.  This never once occurred to me while I was actually talking to him.  Only when I was gone did this enter my mind.

3)  Would Target management have wanted to know about this?  Would they have done anything about it?  My guess is no, but I couldn't say for sure.  I assume this feels like a much bigger violation to me than it would to them.

4)  I really need to come up with better reasons than, "That's not cool, man."  :-)


So, dear blog readers....what do you think about this?  What should I have done differently?  Have you ever run into a retail pack-searcher?  What was your result?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter Baskets

Happy Easter!  We went to church tonight to help reduce the over-crowding usually experienced on Easter-day services.  But that doesn't mean we won't be celebrating in the morning!

One way of celebrating:  My wife prepped Easter baskets for each of my little boys...but I had to add a little something to each of theirs to really make it great. :-)  #CardIndoctrination

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Foolish Decision Pays Off

To get a particular card for your collection quickly,  you really should just find it online and click buy-it-now.

It's never smart to buy packs looking for one particular card.  The vast majority of the time you end up several dollars poorer and holding a stack of cards you don't want.  Plus, there are probably Giants and Cardinals in that stack (ewwww....).

There are still blasters of 2015 Topps Series Two floating around out there in retail-world, and they each contain one of the "First Home Run" medallion manu-relics.  I was at Target with my son, and we were looking for something fun to bust together.  The side panel of the blaster box had the checklist for the medallion cards, and there were THREE Royals on there.   Alex Gordon, Bo Jackson, and Carlos Beltran -- A, B, and C.  Getting a "Gordo" would be ideal, but any of them would be great to pull from the box.

I put the Series Two blaster and a Fairfield Repack -- the six-year-old LOVES Panini Triple Play -- into the cart and we headed home.

The first thing we opened was the Blaster.  The guaranteed hit comes in its own opaque wrapper.  We cracked it open, and found this:
2015 Topps - First Home Run Relic - Alex Gordon
There was lots of screaming and giggling between us.  I won't say who giggled more.

So there you have it -- sometimes a foolish decision turns out to be the right one.  :-)

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Christie Brinkley...

...Irradiating your balls since 1996.
1996 Pinnacle Christie Brinkley Collection #8 - Marquis Grissom

And she looks so happy about doing it to poor Marquis!


Friday, January 29, 2016

It Only Cost Me $1... confirm that Anna Kournikova is indeed a "10."

2003 Netpro Tennis - #10 - Anna Kournikova - Graded

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