August 18, 2019

The East Coast National has something for every type of collector


It's always funny to me the August White Plains card shows is dubbed the East Coast National. The word national kind of throws it off when it's just on the East Coast.

I always enjoy this show though -- along with the January one -- because it's one of the biggest ones on the calendar in the NY area. But it's difficult to get into it especially if you just came back from the actual National.

The difference for me was that I worked the National Sports Collections Convention and didn't have as much time as I would have liked to walk around. Thankfully, Marie did some scouting and found some tables with Derek Jeter cards for sale. I hopped over when I got a break.

Since coming back from the NSCC, I have a renewed sense of updating my Jeter Collection. I really don't know what I have anymore. When people ask how many I have, I say over 3,000 different because it's true, but I have no clue of the exact number.

I don't know what I need anymore and I certainly don't even know what I have.

So before heading out to the East Coast "National," I did my best in logging the cards I have. This way, to limit the amount of double I would buy.

While I have only gotten through roughly half -- I've sorted about 1,500 cards, so far -- I'm still no where near where I need to be. But it was still so helpful in having that list. Because one thing I also realized while logging the cards I have is that I'm missing so many inexpensive cards because I assumed I had them.

I managed to get 30 Jeter cards while at the White Plains Show. I know that at least one is double though because I couldn't find it in my shet while I was looking. The moment I got home -- boom! -- there it was.

Isn't that always the case.

As always, the show is filled with vintage cards. Beckett, PSA and SGC were all there. As well as auction houses looking for items.

It's a good show to go to every six months or so because the dealers don't rotate much. Generally, it's the same people every time and with a White Plains shows every 2-3 months, you're looking at the same cards over and over.

And it's not cheap to get in. The biggest sticking point is the convention parking lot is $15 (there are other places to park nearby), and $10 just to get inside. I know the convention center and the promoter need to make money, the promoter should be getting the biggest chunk out of the autograph tickets.

You're already down $25 before you've bought anything!

I don't have time to search for street parking because I have a 3-year-old in tow. We started bringing him to card shows in hopes he will enjoy cards too.

He does like Pokemon though. So he was catching Pokemon with his new ball while Mommy was looking through a box of Jeter cards. It's a good thing he's cute because the dealers were having fun with him and didn't mind the ball rolling into their area too much.

By the way, how awesome is this packaging? (It wasn't dented when we bought it)


All in all, it's a solid show. I wish the amenities were a bit cheaper and there were slightly more modern cards. But it's a good mix with a little something for everyone.

Even the Jeter collector.


August 6, 2018

The 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention

Welcome old friends.  I thought i would honor the poll I ran on Twitter asking how you guys wanted to see my haul revealed.  The people have spoken.

I had a ridiculous run of fun things happen at the National aside from buying cards and getting cards from fellow collectors and bloggers.  I will start with that since it's about doing cool things with the hobby aside from spending a paycheck.

Sometimes you meet the right people out at a bar on a Thursday night and end up getting snuck into the autograph pavilion to meet one of your all-time favorites.

Other times you pay $70 to meet your idol who turns out to be all you could have hoped for in a short conversation of which I told him he was always my favorite player as a kid even though all my friends gave me hell for liking a Red Sox guy.  Also told him that was one of my favorite trades as a kid and still is to this day.

I saw a new stadium, Progressive Field and love that so much.  We sat in row two behind the dugout, so close to Albert and the Angels.  Best seats I have had to a baseball game in years.  Twas awesome.




Crossed many things off the Bucket List, including on non-hobby related item, The Christmas Story House and museum.  Well worth $11.  Thanks to Suzy for coming along and being my photographer.




Now my time at the National was spent walking around, chatting with old friends, meeting some new ones and of course searching for things to add to my 401K, I mean PC.  Not pictured are 164 Wade Boggs cards I picked up from a dude selling them at 100 for $10, same dude also had Jeter cards 15 for $10 of which I bought 30 including 6 of the same card. We will go in no particular order, I am not going through and labeling everything because we all know what is what.





The next four are all Jumbo cards.













In terms of city, Cleveland is not my favorite host.  IX Center is in the middle of no where, only food choices while at the show are in the convention center, and the food is TERRIBLE.  You can either Uber to other places or take shuttle back to hotel unless you rent a car.  I'm excited to go back to Chicago next year.  Gibsons, pizza, and ability to leave the convention center and walk to hotel, shopping and food/bars.

Overall, this is one of my favorite trips and how could it not be?

Any cool stories from your trip this year?  Let us know.  Any cool cards?  Also interested.

February 3, 2018

Heading to Toys R Us for purple parallels


Once upon a time I had to make excuses to go to Toys R Us. These days, I'm hit up the combo Toys R Us/Babies R Us more often than I would like to admit. But having a baby is ever so convienant for "needing" a TRU run.

In this case, there was something we actually needed. So we took the long way around the store to pass the trading card kiosk. 2018 Topps Baseball Series 1 packs were in stock. Each of $3.49 blister packs comes with one pack and two exclusive Purple parallel cards - yep, that means the only place to get a Purple parallel is at Toys R Us (when not using an intermediary like EBay).

I generally like these parallels. Part of the appeal of the Purple parallels is knowing that you can't get them in any other type of packs. They are specific to the Toys R Us blister packs.



I picked up three (though only two are shown). The six purple cards were:

- Wil Myers
- Scott Feldman
- CC Sabathia
- Matt Barnes
- Texas Rangers team card (now in my hsband's possession)
- Houston Astros combo card

The Purple parallels do carry a small premium on the secondary market. Although there is no numbering on the cards, they tend to be a little tougher to get for some collectors since they are only found at TRU, which not everyone has access to.

Currently, the lower-end players are selling for $5-$6 while more popular players and rookies are closer to $20.

An Amed Rosario rookie sold for $28.

The asking price for Rhys Hoskins right now is pretty steep.

These prices will likely come down a bit as more of them enter the market, but these parallels always seem to do well in holding value.

December 9, 2017

Box break: 2017 Topps Gallery Baseball



I have cards from so many different products over the last 25 or so years because that’s how far back my Derek Jeter collection goes.



When Topps released Gallery in Walmart this year, after Gallery had a lengthy absence, I went back through my collection to see what previous Topps Gallery cards I owned. I had a few and not all of them actually drawn it seems. Some look as though they may have had an artistic effect on them.

2017 Topps Gallery Baseball

This’s year version of Topps Gallery is all drawn, and it includes two different Jeter cards.

His base card is one the short prints (cards 151-200 in the base cards are short prints). And it’s one of the better sketches I’ve seen of Jeter. Sometimes, he hasn’t been drawn very well.

 He also has a Masterpieces insert, which was an amazing piece of artwork.

While I bought a collector’s box and two loose fat packs of Topps Gallery, I still had to get my Jeter cards on eBay. I love the way these cards turned out. I have the base of both (the SP only has a base version), but I’m still on the hunt for the parallels for the Masterpieces cards.

My collector’s box of Topps Gallery gave me a good assortment of cards and parallels. Here’s a look at some of the cards that I pulled from 2017 Topps Gallery Baseball.

Base Cards of select rookies


Base parallels (blue is my favorite)



Canvas Parallels (Fat-Pack Only)


Inserts - Masterpiece and Hall of Fame



Insert - Heritage (my favorite insert)



Autographs (2 per collector box)






November 28, 2017

#CardChat: A discussion on trading card variations

Every week, I hold a Twitter chat on Mondays at 7 p.m. ET.

We have a new topic on trading cards. This week, we discussed variations on cards. It was a broad topic so it could mean photo variations, printing variations, even color parallels. Here's a look at some of the highlights from this week's #CardChat.

November 26, 2017

1994 Collector's Choice gives me a headache; How many Derek Jeter variations are there?


Trading cards from the 1990s are filled with variations - different color schemes or different foil patterns. So many cards are filled with nuanced differences that we are still discussing them to this day and even wondering if they  exist.

1994 Collector's Choice is a tough one for player collectors. There are at least three distinct cards in the Future Foundation subset with a base card, and Silver Signature and Gold Signature parallels. Within those three cards there are some different variations -- but not all are made equal.

This comes up because Derek Jeter has a card in the Future Foundations subset. His 1994 Collector's Choice No. 644 is a much talked about card within the world of Jeter collectors. It's because this card is listed with so different variations in places like Beckett and PSA, but no one has seen all that variations. After doing extensive research, speaking to prolific Jeter collectors, I've come to several conclusions.

1. There is only one base card variation. Derek Jeter's 1994 Collector's Choice base card only has a white letter back card (pictured above).

2. There are two Silver Signature variations - a white letter and a silver letter (while not a great picture, the bottom pic below is the white letter variation).




3. There is only one Gold Signature variation.


Where did the rumors come from?

Supposedly, 10 cards in the 1994 Collector's Choice set were affected by a printing variation.

The most well known and most abundant of these cards is No. 647 of Alex Rodriguez. There are two variations of this base card. The difference is in the first letter of the text on the backs of the cards. One is in white and one is in silver.

Baseballcardpedia states: " ... other cards (such as Johnny Damon) were also verified to have this white letter variation - thus it's generally believed that the entire Future Foundations subset was produced with white (and standard grey) letter variations."

The words there state "generally believed" but there are several players in the Future Foundations subset where no silver letter variation has popped up including Jeter, Jose Silva and Terrell Wade. Only the white letter version of these cards have been spotted in over 20 years.

This doesn't mean that these cards don't exist (although I don't think they do) but considering the amount of information that is passed through collectors and various websites, if these cards existed, they would have been popped up by now.

Of course, that won't stop me looking at every card back of 1994 Collectors' Choice that I come across.