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.


August 8, 2017

Target, Temptation and Twitter

Last week when I returned from the National I hit up Target on Monday and Tuesday to see if anything new was out early, or anything was out period since 2017 baseball has been scarce on the retail level.  Monday and Tuesday there was a cart full of boxes, about half of what is pictured, in the aisle unopened.  I attempted to open some and an employee said neither I nor they can open the boxes.  Bull.  Everytime in the past I have asked someone to open them they have done so with no problem.  This lady coincidentally was there everyday all week, and the pile of boxes grew and grew.  She still would not help.


I decided to take my gripe to Twitter and tag Target and AskTarget in my tweets with the pictures and see what happened on Friday since they moved the cart but refused to display or open when asked.  It made me mad for several reasons, the obvious being that I wanted Chrome.  The other is that in terms of customer service, if you are standing around, not busy and only scowling at customers you can help and open a couple of boxes.  Her reason for not wanting to was "the person who opens them has to know how many of each are on the shelves.  Bull.  Never seen a packing slip in the boxes nor have I seen a vendor ever check them as they shelve them.

AskTarget messaged me and asked for location and description of events because they were going to contact the store.  This conversation took place probably around noon on Friday.  I went back to Target around 230-3pm Friday and every box was gone and all merchandise displayed.  



I got all the Chrome they had and half the Optic blasters because I like it for some reason.  I never buy Panini stuff because it's not licensed and the no logo cards are pretty boring but for some reason Optic became my friend.
I'm not entirely sure that my Twitter conversation got the cards shelved or if it was just the day the vendor was going there anyway but I hit the blaster jackpot.  I still have 2 Chrome to open and the 2 Optic.  I like to spread the fun out.

Here are the highlights from the first two blasters in case you missed it on Twitter.  Notice the Future Stars cards...  Those are the same ones from the 2 hobby boxes I opened so now I have 4 of each...  Good thing I didn't want to try and complete that set.



Anyone pick up any retail Chrome and pull something to trade me?!  Pujols, Cano, Judge, Sanchez?