February 25, 2015

New PC additions and a CONTEST!

This is my favorite kind of post.  I get to show off my new loot and potentially give stuff away, well that's if you actually want the prize.  If you build sets, you will want the prize.  First, LOOT!!!


2011-12 SP Game Used Extra Significance /25 - Ryan McDonagh and Mats Zuuuuuuuuucarello

2011-12 Panini Titanium Game Worn Gear /25 Ryan McDonagh auto

2010-11 Panini Zenith Ryan McDonagh RC /199 - This card has a sort of funny story.  I saw the card on eBay, saw that it said /199 and assumed it was autographed and I knew mine was /999...  So I made an offer...  He accepted the offer and I got so excited because it was a low offer and thought I was stealing a card.  I go to pay for the card and see that it is not autographed.  Yeah, I'm dumb.  So this card cost more in shipping from Canada than the card cost.  Lesson learned.


CONTEST:  Here is the deal.  I updated my want list for my McDonagh collection...  To win the contest all you have to do is send me 20-25 McDonagh cards that I need.  What do you get?  You will get a flat rate box filled with cards.  You will get a choice of random cards from random sets or you can get bunches of player cards.  Players are random ones that I have separated into 4 row boxes and I just want to get rid of them.

If you are interested awesome!  If you aren't, I totally understand because I would be like the last thing I want is a box of stuff to store here.  Just leave a comment and let me know if you are interested, and we can work out the details privately.  No rush on getting the cards together either.

I am trying to downsize from hundreds of thousands of cards I don't even look at into just the players and teams I collect.  The only two sets I am actually working on are 2009 OPC baseball, and 2014-15 Fleer Ultra Hockey.  (Want list for the Ultra not ready yet.)


EDIT: WANT LIST FIXED!

February 22, 2015

Looking to start a new player collection

I haven’t needed to start a new PC in a while. While I collect New York Yankees cards, I have always been a player collector at heart.

Derek Jeter was my first big player collection. I have more than 2,000 unique cards (still working on completing my want list), and even though he is retired, collecting Jeter cards won’t go away any time soon. Even if his face never appears on another card again (THAT BETTER NOT HAPPEN), I have more than 20 years of cards to chase.

But lately I’ve had the feeling of starting another player PC. I had been collecting Kevin Kouzmanoff, but since he hasn’t been in MLB much over the last several years, he hasn’t had a new card since 2011.

A few players have intrigued me, though, and here are the candidates:



I actually had Betances PC way when he started in the minors and he had Team USA autographs. I traded one of them  years ago for a card  don’t even remember. He is obvious choice because he is the logical next New York Yankees closer.

Plus, he is just a nasty pitcher.

A little side note (#humblebrag): I am definitely getting a couple of autographs that haven’t been released yet because I was an editor on a project at Topps and then did a signing session with Betances. I got to see the card made from almost start to finish, so I need at least one of those.




I always loved his exuberance on the field. He always looks like he is having fun, which made me enjoy watching him play baseball. Then I read about his foundation and how he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when he was 18. I can see why he has just a pure love for the game because it could have been something that never happened for him.




Panik comes from the area I kind of grew up. He was born in Yonkers, NY, which is where I was raised, and grew up in Hopewell Junction, NY, a bit north. His connection to my area sparked by interest in the San Francisco Giants second baseman.




There is no tie that I know of Fernandez to my team or my area. There is no huge fight against cancer. He is just a guy coming back from Tommy John Surgery that I think could be great. I love his look and am just intrigued by the 2013 NL Rookie of the Year.

Minutes before writing this post, I actually put an offer on a card of his on eBay. Fingers crossed that I win.

February 20, 2015

I won't stop collecting Alex Rodiguez cards any time soon



As a teenager, my bedroom walls were filled with posters of New York Yankees players. Jeter. Bernie. Tino. Perfect Games. World Series titles. The high point was about 20. I had a big room.

Yet, there was a poster of someone who did not play for the Yankees and I never thought he would. I just loved the way he played baseball. He was a smooth shortstop. A gifted hitter. The Natural and Prodigy stayed side-by-side on my wall for years.



Alex Rodriguez was a favorite player from pretty much the first time I saw. There was something beautiful about his swing, the way it glided through the strike zone and crushed home runs. But seeing ARod was limited because he was in Seattle and MLB.TV was not a thing yet.

Around 1999, I went to a Yankees game with my siblings. They were playing the Mariners and I got to see him up close. My sister had to drop something off for the Mariners from her company, so we had tickets from her company in the family section. She handed off the package over the wall and, in turn, we got a signed baseball from Alex Rodriguez. He was standing right there, just a few steps away. I didn’t get a chance to talk to him, but I didn’t care. Two of my favorite ballplayers were in the building and I was going to get to see them both.

The internet obviously changed the way we track players and games. I followed ARod’s career even as he joined the Texas Rangers and bashed more and more home runs.

Though, I was naïve. For years, I rooted for ARod to break the home run record, to overcome Bonds’ dirty record. I would always say, ARod would do it, and he would be clean. Clearly, I was wrong.

The day everything came out about ARod, a few people were quick to point how much I rooted for him and his “clean” ways. I was kind of sad, definitely disappointed. But it didn’t go as deep as some would think. A lot of that had to do with the way I rooted for sports then. By then, I had stopped going to 40 games a year sitting in the right field bleachers at Yankee Stadium. My fandom was tempered much in part because I realized the baseball I grew up with was already tainted. Most of the players I cheered or booed had taken some sort PED. Throughout the history of baseball there are stories of players using something to get an edge, long before The Steroid Era.



What made ARod different? Probably the lies. Probably the way he seemed to show no remorse. Probably the huge contract. Probably all of that.

In 1998, when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were chasing Maris’ record, I stood by the phone at work waiting to hear if it would happen because I couldn’t watch it on television. I had a nervous excitement all night and the call came at work to let me know that McGwire indeed broke the record. With all the types of records that happened in baseball before I was born, it felt meaningful to be around for this one.

Those feelings didn’t cease existing because of PEDs. They still happened. I was still a happy teenager. I just view sports with a different lens now.

The same is true with ARod. The years I spent buying his cards and methodically placing them into sleeves for a binder doesn’t change because he made poor decisions – many poor decisions. There are plenty of people who hate him because of the lies and the PEDs, and they are allowed to. But I never like to presume to understand the choices someone makes when I haven’t lived their life.

After the admission of steroids or whatever else he took, after that terrible book about him came out, I still walked into Yankee Stadium wearing an ARod shirt. People didn’t like it, but then again we all make choices we have to live with.

I am still rooting for him. I hope one day he finds peace. But, in the meantime, while he is still playing for the New York Yankees, I will be rooting for him to succeed – and collecting his cards along the way.


February 15, 2015

Sooz's favorite cards from 2015 Topps Series 1 Baseball

No matter the design, photography can make or break a card. That’s why some cards over the years with minimal design elements and full-bleed photography have been favorites.

In 2015 Topps Series 1 Baseball, there are a number of cards that stood out because of the picture. The design is cool this year because of the color-changing borders depending on the team, but I was immediately drawn to the image of a few cards – borders were an afterthought.

Admittedly, I had a hand in selecting some of these images, but certainly not all. Once the cards were released, I found myself gravitating to some of the cards because of the image used.

Here are my favorite images from Series 1 base (in number order):


#1 Derek Jeter

This is an obvious choice, but what’s great about the card is that it captured a moment that no matter when you look at this card, you know exactly what happened. The picture is from Derek Jeter’s last at-bat at Yankee Stadium where he had one magical moment left.


 # 12 James McCann

I’ve always had a thing for catchers. Maybe it was because I was a catcher when I played softball, but usually they are my favorite players on the field. This picture just embodies what I love about the fluid movement of a catcher.




#52 Fernando Rodney

Similar images have been used of Rodney on cards in the past, but I still love his move.

#67 Hunter Pence

That’s just Hunter Pence. There is nothing else to say.



#71 Adrian Beltre

Even though this is a checklist card, I still like it because the image came from that moment. There was Beltre’s reaction after getting his 2,500th hit.


#78 Yordano Ventura

I like his body lines, but what gets me most is this is the moment just he has let the pitch go waiting to see what is going to happen.


#80 Adam Wainwright

Love the intensity.



#102 Gordon Beckham

Two hands!


#141 Cory Spangenberg

The action. The focus. I love everything about this card.



#168 Colorado Rockies

All the team cards have their team celebrating in some way. The Rockies looked so happy here.


 #177 Paul Konerko

The moment that says goodbye to Konerko. Even if you didn’t know anything about his career, this picture speaks to the love the fans had for him and he had for them in return. Also, how cool is it if you are the people in the background of this photo.


#247 Aaron Hill

There is a theme here and it’s called ACTION!


#271 Pittsburgh Pirates

Easiest the coolest card in the set.


#300 Mike Trout

So this is my favorite card in the set. To me, nothing beats this close-up action shot of Trout sliding. The dirt spraying, the intensity on his face is majestic. The fact that the photo coincided with the design of the card was purely coincidental despite some speculating otherwise.



February 14, 2015

eBayer's Anonymous

Hi, my name is Marie and I'm an ebay-aholic... (everyone: Hi Marie!)

I am always trolling eBay for cards I need and when I saw this one I submitted two offers...  One was a low ball offer in an attempt to steal it.  The second was $3 less than the seller's counter offer at which point I decided $3 won't make or break me so it was a deal.

Since it is one of his rookie cards I needed to have this one, plus it is absolutely one of the coolest rookie patch cards I've seen and definitely the coolest one I own now.

2010-11 Panini Dominion Mammoth patch /25

As a collector it's one of those cards you just can't pass on with such a low serial numbering and a product that is already a few years old.  Odds are against you finding another one...  Speaking of finding another one, I am watching a card right now that is a low serial numbered card but the guy is asking a crazy price.  The last one (which I know now that there was one other on eBay) sold for half of what they are asking.  I offered slightly more than half and now we wait.... Or we get impatient and buy it now and get ripped off just to make sure we get it... Or we take a nap since it's snowing and I am so tired from the gym today...  Decisions, decisions...  

As always, let me know if you have any McDonagh cards to trade or just send my way if you are feeling generous...


UPDATE:  The seller of the card I'm stalking bought it on Feb 1 and is now selling it for double... That mother forker!

February 9, 2015

As the cardboard turns...

I have decided to come out of the woodwork after the nudging of Sooz to do so.  I have been meaning to post my latest collection/obsession for quite a while but just haven't gotten around to following through.  I haven't bought any baseball cards in a long time with the exception of a Paul O'Neill autograph because it is cool and it will forever make me laugh.  

I have been working on my McDonagh collection for a while now, buying only autographs and the occasional game used card with and without an autograph.  I don't have much interest in buying base cards on eBay because I know I can trade for those or find them relatively easily later on anywhere.  So lets meet my collection:

2010-11 Panini Luxury Suite Rookie GU/AU /299

2010-11 Panini Luxury Suite Rookie GU/AU /10

2010-11 Panini National Treasures Rookie Autograph /99

2010-11 Panini Phenoms Rookie autograph

2010-11 Panini Zenith Rookie autograph /999

 2010-11 Pinnacle Ice Breakers Rookie autograph /299 (blue ink)


 2010-11 Pinnacle Ice Breakers Rookie autograph /299 (green ink-- no idea how rare this is but I have only seen 2 on eBay including this one)

2010-11 Score Rookies & Traded autograph

2010-11 Panini Dominion Showcase Showdown GU RC /50 (If this was not a rookie card, I would have never bought it.  And... it only cost $5 which is reasonable.)

2010-11 The Cup Rookie patch autograph /249  This card was my holy grail to get my mitts on and i finally pulled the trigger before Christmas because it was listed as an auction and not fixed price so I was able to get it for far less than what it normally is listed for on eBay.

2010-11 The Cup Rookie Draft Boards autograph /25 (on the actual draft board sign)

2011-12 Artifacts Autofacts

2011-12 Black Diamond Gemography

2011-12 Elite - Elite Signings

2011-12 OPC Signatures

2011-12 Panini Contenders NHL Ink dual autograph (some people think this is a $45+ card on eBay- stole this for $7)

2011-12 Panini Titanium Game Worn Gear autograph /100

2011-12 Panini Titanium New Wave autograph

2013-14 Black Diamond Gemography

2013-14 Panini Prime Skates /50 I picked this card up when it was one of the first ones listed and won it for $5 or so.  The reason I bid on this was how often do you see a game used skate card?  There is also one with laces /50 which I will keep an eye out for in the future since it is an odd kind of GU card.

2013-14 Panini Limited Logos GU Patch autograph /50

2014-14 Artifacts dual GU auto /12

2014-15 Artifacts Autofacts

2014-15 Artifacts Treasured Swatches dual GU patch card /36  This one was picked up because it's only /36 so the odds of coming across another one will be slim.

There you have it, folks.  I have base cards and parallels of him but i have no interest in scanning them because they are in a pile of Rangers on my desk.  I'm waiting on two more cards to come in the mail and will post those when they come.  

I love my collection so far.  I have some cool stuff and it brought the fun back to collecting cards for me.  The sad part of collecting hockey cards in the US is that most card shops don't generally sell hockey singles or have hobby boxes for sale because there just isn't enough of a market for it here to keep it in stock.  My card shop can get me whatever boxes I want, but I stick to singles for the most part.  I did go on a tear with 2013-14 Fleer Ultra and only need like 8 cards to complete a set.  I had fun opening hobby boxes of that when it came out.

If anyone has any McDonagh autographs or game used cards they want to trade please let me know.  I opened a ton of Contenders and Select and have some trade bait laying around.  Also willing to trade for inserts and parallels as well.

Perhaps I will blog again someday....