Thursday, August 22, 2019

Who knew that free cards were Nextdoor?

Image result for nextdoor
I don't know how many of you have signed up for Nextdoor, but I did a while ago after hearing that it was a decent resource for neighborhood news, buying and selling, and the like.  While it does sometimes bring its share of (easily ignored drama), I like checking it once in a while, especially the "for sale and free" section.

After missing out on such a deal last year, about a month ago I quickly responded to a listing for "free sports cards" at an address in the neighborhood across the street from mine, roughly a five minute walk away.  As luck would have it, I was fast enough to claim this offer, so I headed over for the traditional porch pickup.

Here's a look at what I grabbed:
Hmmm, a paper shopping bag full of boxes, interesting!  It ended up being a big bunch of (mostly) basketball sets, almost all of which were complete.  I had a lot of fun going through each, verifying there were indeed complete, and eyeballing the designs.  While I'm not a big collector of the sport, a few of these might be keepers for me.

Here's a quick rundown, including representative fronts and backs, for what I landed here (with a pretty obvious theme):

1990-91 Fleer:  complete set

1991-92 Fleer (including Update):  complete set + second complete Update set

1991-92 Skybox II:  complete set

1993 Classic Basketball Draft:  missing one card

1993 Classic Four Sport:  missing 23 cards

1993-94 Hoops (I and II):  complete set + second series II set

1993-94 Jam Session:  complete set

1993-94 Skybox II:  complete set

1993-94 Ultra II:  complete set

1994-95 Fleer II:  complete set

1994-95 Hoops II:  two complete sets

1995-96 Hoops I:  two complete sets

I want to make a few quick points:

1. The lady I got these from was super nice, a collector (of many things besides cards) herself who was clearing things out as she prepared to move.

2. I felt much safer meeting up with someone through something like Nextdoor, which is local to your area, meaning it's probably less sketchy than Facebook (not to mention Craigslist).

3. There's a fun mix of designs here!  The Jam Session cards are the coolest to me as they were part of Fleer's oddly sized design across multiple sports around then--I'm sure many of you baseball guys recall "Extra Bases".

4.  All of the duplicate sets, 91-92 Fleer Update, 93-94 Hoops II, 94-95 Hoops II, and 95-96 Hoops I, are all available for trade.  I may make some of the others available as well, but haven't decided yet.  Make me an offer!

5.  All of the scans you see above were done with my new ScanSnap ix500 automatic document feed scanner that I grabbed for a nice deal through Facebook Marketplace.  I may do a future post on it for those who'd be interested.  It was super easy to scan the fronts and backs of all 12 cards you see above, and I recently scanned almost 1600 family photos in probably under three hours to give you an idea of its utility.

6.  Yes, I'm already working on finishing up those two sets, hopefully with the help of the usually reliable Sportlots, so stay tuned.

For those of you who haven't found a fun social media deal like this, keep your eyes peeled as they do pop up from time to time!

Monday, August 19, 2019

2019 trade package #24: Sport Card Collectors

Sport Card Collectors
The latest trade envelope to hit my mailbox this month came courtesy of Matt at Sport Card Collectors Parts of My Past Sport Card Collectors.  Regardless of the name of his blog, he sent another fun PWE that included one card I'd asked for and five others I was happy to get:
If Matt ever sends me a PWE without some Griffeys in it I'll know it's a sign that he's being held prisoner in his basement by an impostor, so I'll call the police immediately.  Gotta keep that Junior pipeline rolling!  This time they include:
  • 1999 Ultra checklist:  this came out more than a decade before the Obama "not bad" meme Image result for obama not bad
  • 2007 UD Elements:  not a brand I see very often at all, at least not the base set anyway (the Clear Cut Elements and Elemental Autographs are more familiar)
  • 2008 UD First Edition StarQuest:  this insert set never really shook its low-endedness from its humble origins in Collector's Choice, but there's no way you can go wrong when you got a photo of a classic swing like that!
  • 2008 Upper Deck Documentary (#1873):  UD's silliest product by far.  "Veteran slugger launches 16th home run in loss" announces the front, but as usual, the player on top doesn't correspond to the game described on the back.  In this case Adam Dunn was the Red that homered.  Not a bad design at all, just a poorly-executed idea
  • 2008 SPx Ken Griffey Jr. American Hero (#KG70) (#565/725):  this is just my third from the 100-card set that combines shininess, numbering, and Kenny's sweet swing, straight out of the baseball card pyramid of awesomeness
Besides the Juniors there was this:
Back in late July Matt busted open a hobby factory set of 2019 Topps, and that box included a pack of five Sparkle Foil parallels.  He was lucky enough to find this Rich Hill (#025/162) in that pack, and I immediately claimed it.  These different factory set parallels tend to pop up every year so I was happy to be able to knock this one off my list as just my second Hill from the product after the base card.  It's also Hill #299 that's in-hand, scanned, and posted, so it's almost-milestone time!

Matt, thanks again for another fun PWE.  I'm looking forward to your write-up of the latest goodies I sent your way!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

8/3/19 card show report: August Rush

I enjoyed yet another fine Saturday at the monthly card show in Taylor a couple weeks ago, putting about an hour and a half (probably my average) into my favorite seller's boxes.  A nice mix from the usual denominations ($0.10 on up to $2) saw me spend a paltry but effective $25 on PC and trade bait stuff.  I think the biggest beneficiary of the latter this time was Matt of Parts of My Past, for whom I found a bunch of help for one of his set quests in the dime and quarter boxes.  A few others can look forward to some fun cardboard in the future too!

And now on to my haul:
Mr. Tiger leads things off with one of his two base offerings from UD's terrific 2004 Timeless Teams.  As you can see, this one highlights the '68 World Series winners, while the other covers the excellent '72 team that fell to the eventual champion A's in the ALCS.  Maybe I should just get the whole set eventually since I like it so much!

Everything else on the baseball side fell into the Griffey/Gwynn/Maddux/Ripken grouping, which was just fine by me.  Most of what you see are cards from one of my favorite iterations of Topps Gallery--the 2000 version--while Junior and Mad Dog also got separate base cameos--'97 Score and 2000 Invincible.  Scanning these reminded me to add any base Topps Gallery stuff of all four mentioned players that I was missing to my TCDB wantlist, though I'm happy to report I don't have much left.
Cal was the big winner this time with 12-14 new cards.  We'll get to that disparity in a minute, but first we'll look at the vertical cards.  I think pretty much all of these came from the dime boxes so I wasn't terribly picky, just looking for new stuff.  It was fun to come up with the '85 Fleer pair, which includes a nice father/son card.  Most of the rest is a mixture of subsets and semi-oddball stuff, like Topps Kids, a Fleer Atlantic convention issue, and UD's Fun Pack.  There was no way I was leaving without that '98 Flair Showcase (Row 2) card, though.  Man, did those kick all kinds of ass.
As usual a lot of what I picked up mentioned the streak in some way, like the OPC version of Cal's '92 Topps base starring an iconic photo with Gehrig's Yankee Stadium monument, or a beautifully simple '96 base with the legend enjoying his curtain call.  Then there's one more pair of vertical issues that couldn't be anything other than examples of the plethora of unlicensed stuff from the era.  I couldn't find either in Beckett's OPG or on TCDB, and didn't turn up much in Google searches either, so I'm showing them off here but not officially counting them towards Ripken's collection until I can correctly ID them.

In case you're curious, here's the backs of both:

The day was less productive in terms of my Michigan collections, though sometimes that relative scarcity makes finding anything even more enjoyable.  I actually caught myself quietly saying "Woooow" as I pulled these inserts out of the dime/quarter/$0.50 boxes.

The first two represent PC QB Brian Griese, who's nearing the 200-card mark.  I was definitely not expecting to find something like the first card you see, a 1999 SkyBox Molten Metal Gridiron Gods Silver die-cut metallic card, which is a rarer version of an already cool insert.  Metal cards like these were a fun part of what was unquestionably the best era for collecting in my opinion.  That's joined by a Green parallel of his 2000 Score Complete Players offering.  Not the right color for a Michigan guy, but not bad.

Blog favorite PC guy (and also QB) Chad Henne gets us back on-brand with a Blue Refractor parallel of his 2008 Finest Moments card (#239/299) which, as a reminder, celebrates his performance in the 2008 Capital One Bowl victory over Florida.  I now have four versions of this card (Refractor, Autograph, yellow plate) and almost 300 cards of Chad.
Last up today is the pickup that might have surprised me the most:  an uncirculated 2008 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor (#197/199) of some guy named Manningham.  I believe as little as $0.50 was enough to make this mine, but I definitely would have paid more if necessary because I enjoy the occasional sealed card, plus Gold Refractors just look awesome.  So, yeah, I was just a bit excited.

With college football returning to Ann Arbor and the rest of the country I'll have to see how September's show fits in with my schedule, but one way or another I hope to be showing off pickups from there next month.  Until then I have at least one trade package ready to go, plus a nice mix of other stuff, including some very rare eBay pickups.

Friday, August 9, 2019

TCDB trade #1: TripleCrown24

Image result for trading card database
Recently I made my first trade since joining up on TCDB.  Technically it's my second since I picked out some cards from Paul on the site and we went through some of the process to create a formal trade, including both of us getting feedback.  But for the purposes of this series (I'm hoping there's plenty more to come!) I'm considering this one #1.

My trade partner was TripleCrown24, a guy who collects Tigers and Lions, and he initiated the deal by offering a wantlist card of one of my supercollection PC guys, asking for one of the Miguel Cabrera items on my trade list.  I then used the site's counter-proposal feature to add a bunch more Cabreras I had available for him, and a few more things on his trade list I was interested in.  I came out a bit ahead so I told him he could add more from my trade list but he was happy as-is.  Wanting to make a good impression, though, I tossed in around 25 Chris Sabo doubles I noticed he needed.

Heading back my way were 10 cards I'm happy to show off this evening:
We'll start with a quartet of '81 Topps Tigers, which I picked out since I don't own the set.  The 1980 squad featured a number of contributors to the '84 champs, but you wouldn't have known it at the time.  Brookens was in his first full season (second overall) and put up a career high 2.5 bWAR as the primary 3B.  Fidrych sadly was unable to return to effectiveness after his injury and would be out of the majors after this season.  Parrish, one of my favorite Tigers catchers not named Freehan, socked 20+ homers for the first of seven occasions in his second full season (fourth overall) and capped off the year with All-Star and Silver Slugger nods.  And Petry went 10-9 (for the first of consecutive years) in his second big league campaign, the beginning of a season-season run of double-digit wins.

I tossed in a Stadium Club base of Palmer because he grew on me while with Detroit, probably because of his big bat in the 90s.
And then there's the baseball PC stuff.  The Abbott is a Golden Rainbow parallel from the same '94 Stadium Club set as Palmer's above.  I chose the Gwynn Stadium Club base from this year sight unseen because I knew it would be great, and it is!  Looks like Mr. Padre at the '99 All-Star Game at Fenway.  Speaking if this year's Topps products, supercollection guy Clayton Richard appears on flagship's 150th Anniversary parallel, the card that started this deal.  It's my 125th that I've tracked down toward his checklist and only the second from 2019.  Last up is a 2014 GQ Mini of former blog namesake Curtis Granderson, who's still a blast to watch no matter the uniform.
I also noticed one football card that piqued my interest:  this 2017 Elite Draft Picks Passing the Torch insert starring Michigan greats Charles Woodson and Tom Brady.  Gimme college unis any day, and especially cards of two of the greatest Wolverines ever to go on to NFL glory.  The player choice here is somewhat unorthodox since the insert typically pairs a legend with an up-and-coming guy, hence the "passing the torch" theme.  Regardless, they both earned NCAA rings in '97 and then won it all in the pros, so I'm happy to see them here together.

This is exactly the kind of trade I was looking forward to making on TCDB and I look forward to having more to show off, especially as I get my trade bait added.  Until then, consider this a thumbs up for trading with TripleCrown24.  And don't forget to hit my TCDB profile to see what wants and trade items I've gotten to!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

2019 trade package #23: The Collector

I've traded with a number of collector-bloggers named Chris.  I've traded with a number of folks with some form of the word "collect" in their blog's name.  But only one of those is Chris of The Collector, lover of Devils and Red Sox and sender of my latest trade package:  a PWE that arrived at the end of July.

Chris stuffed this envelope--seriously, it included 18 cards!--with some very recent Tigers, many of whom are currently on the roster.  Let's take a look:
With the trade deadline having come and gone since this envelope hit my mailbox, the guy on the top corners, Nick Castellanos, has departed for greener (and smaller) pastures with the Cubs, and I'll definitely wish him well.  Nick shares that Donruss card leading things off with Miguel Cabrera, who's been anything but a masher since 2016.  Jeimer, a former Cubs prospect, has at least shown a little promise, though he'll have to show lots more to stick in the bigs.  Cespedes (2015 Donruss) was a Motown Masher until being flipped for Fulmer (also pictured), who could have turned into a major franchise cornerstone if GM Al Avila wasn't completely clueless.  Niko's at least turned into a very shrewd pickup as a utility guy who can actually hit.  His 1.9 fWAR (as of this post) towers over the rest of the offense, and I hope he sticks around.
Greiner (nice throwback to 80s Donruss!) doesn't seem like the future behind the plate like McCann, below him, could have been, but at least Jake Rogers (who came over in the Verlander deal) could make things interesting.  The Dixon Tigers fans are interested in right now is IF Brandon, not the offensively challenged Machado, who of course is doing quite well at AAA for the Cubs.  Mahtook's at least doing the same at Toledo for Detroit, though his MLB track record is iffy.  Stewart is another guy not performing well this year but it's not for lack of talent, and a real MLB hitting coach (and fielding coach, for that matter) could do wonders for him.  Zimmermann is a cause and symptom of a squad that seems dead set on losing a record number of games, but at least he'll finally be gone in...2021?!  Paws has at least been a constant during good times and bad, and is a solid mascot that actually represents the team's nickname, so we've got that going for us!

The Tigers may suck this year, and maybe even for a while longer--Al Avila got a contract extension?!--but there's still some bright spots if you know where to look, and that includes many of the keepers Chris was nice enough to send me here out of the blue.  Many thanks, Collector dude, and I look forward to hitting you back soon with a little return that's so clean you might just call it...pristine!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

7/6/19 card show report: cardmas in July

We're just a few days away from August, which means we're just a few more days than that away from August's monthly card show, so why don't I just go ahead and show off July's show haul before I get behind again?

This month's show coincided with the Tigers game Paul invited me to where we did another fun in-person trade.  I managed to get a good almost two hours in before heading to Motown, and a good thing too since it started pouring on the way.

I dropped $45 this time, with about $37 going towards trade bait and PC pickups ranging from $0.10 to $2, and then my guy gave me a nice deal on a pair of nicer cards to put me right at that $45 number.

So here's your look at what came home with me this time:
The lone trade bait item I grabbed that wasn't intended for anyone in particular is this Tyler Ervin 2016 Panini Gala auto.  I don't remember if it was a buck or two but it looked cool enough that I figured someone reading this might claim it, and if not it'll eventually head to TCDB.  Ask and it could be yours!
I don't think any group of players has ever been nicknamed the "Killer 'G's" but these guys would be excellent candidates if that was a thing.  Gibby represents the first of two Panini Hometown Heroes appearances thanks to this Curtain Calls insert (guess what homer it celebrates).  Then there's a six-pack of today's big winner, Junior Griffey, with five of those going toward the Tribute to the Kid set I'm slowly building completely from this show.  TCDB says I have 11 of the 30, so I'm getting there!  A '97 Fleer Goudey Stars insert was a nice addition to that group.  Last up here is the first of three straight Topps (High) Tek cards, with this one starring Mr. Padre.
The other two star Greg Maddux, and they look nice enough, but as always they remind me of what a pain in the ass it is to look them up since nobody calls the different patterns the same thing.  Moving on, Cal had a pretty nice day with a '95 SP base, '96 Upper Deck insert I want to call "Game Face" instead of the apparent "Gameface" Beckett went with, and another fun Hometown Heroes insert called "Homegrown Heroes", which Ripken definitely qualifies for.  I was a bit surprised to turn up a new Sisler for myself, a 2019 Diamond Kings insert called 1919 Diamond Kings.  Again, a very apt choice here!  Last up for baseball today is a Holo parallel of one of JV's two cards in 2017 Donruss Optic (which I thought was a Prizm since that's what it says on the back, but whatever).
The basketball group today comprises this pair:  a RC of the recently traded Mo Wagner (whose little brother will be heading to Ann Arbor as well!) and a sweet die-cut insert of Chris Webber from Panini's 2012-13 Marquee.  I'm pretty sure the Wager was a dime and C-Webb at most set me back a quarter, so I had no qualms including them in my pile this time.
Baseball was the dominant sport but I did quite well with football, especially in the hits department. (More on that in a minute.)  The group you see here includes new base cards of Brady and Manningham (numbered, to boot!), an insert of Amara Darboh to pair with the autographed version, and a trio of Chris Wormley parallels.  I was also productive enough to knock another of first-round DE Taco Charlton's RCs off the list!
And now we get to the grand finale:  the football hits!  The jerseys of Shoelace and Rawls came up in the dollar box so the price was certainly right.  By the way, I now count 99 cards in Denard's PC, so it's almost milestone time again.  Also, my Rawls collection doubles with a relic to go with my other hit of him:  a plate.

Meanwhile, the Darboh and Funchess pieces above are the two that got me up to $45, and the $7-$8ish they set me back were well worth it as far as I'm concerned.  Amara's card is an autograph from the terrific Leaf Metal Draft set and is a blue parallel numbered 4/50.  That's already hit #20 of the wideout, so now it's actual milestone time!  Yes, the airbrushing is annoying but I still appreciate a nice collegiate auto.

Joining him is TE-turned-WR and Panther-turned-Colt Devin Funchess.  I'm pretty sure I would have picked up this jersey/auto from 2015 Panini Spectra anyway, but I thought it was extra cool that the signature's ink matched the card's Neon Blue color scheme.  Oh yeah, and while we're talking about milestones, Mr. Bunches of Funchess has finally hit the double-digit mark in hits, so hooray again!

I'm not National-bound next weekend so I expect to be back in Taylor once again, and as always I'll have a good rundown of my pickups at some point after that.  To those of you headed to Chicago, enjoy!