Thursday, August 17, 2017

JBF BFG prize & my COMC find of the month

Just a note: I'm going to keep pimping the 50/50 Trading Post until the end of August. There are still some great team lots available - Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, Pirates, and all of the mystery lots. The first batch is being shipped out tomorrow, so claim one today!

Also, I'm awarding a special prize to the trader who sends the best return lot - as a nod to the always generous Wes (aka JayBarkerFan) who flagged me down on my other blog and offered to send me something. I had completely forgotten about his Big Fun Game.

Wes sent some Sox:

I saw a lot of oddball-ish stuff in the late 1980's but I dont remember those yellow-bordered Super Star cards. The Jim Rice '77 is a cloth sticker from 2012.

Moo-kie! I dig that pale blue background on the Bowman Platinum card. The "What A Day" inserts are neat; I just reached out to another blogger about the Dustin Pedroia... cant remember who it was though!

These appeared to be extra goodies Wes included with my BFG prize..

..a second year Reggie Jackson card:

That explains why I forgot all about the Big Fun Game - my Pop passed away on 6/17. 

Wes, thank you for your generosity! If I had any Josh Willingham hits for you I'd send 'em your way. Perhaps I'll go hunting for some on COMC....

I'm thinking of starting a new monthly feature on my blog called 'COMC find of the month', or something similar. August isn't over yet, but I think I've already got one...

Last week I racked up a bunch of COMC challenge credit and decided to take a couple days off for my birthday - because sometimes I feel guilty about ignoring the family for three hours so I can make $3. I bought a bunch of 30 cent cards from 2016-17 OPC Platinum (thanks, ePack!) and decided to focus on bigger fish when I resumed COMC "work" this week. But every time I tried to get in, the challenge page was closed. 

I had hoped to save up enough credit to purchase something I very rarely consider - a non-sports, non-GPK card. One seller posted a 75% off sale and had some Castle cards that caught my eye:

I love gingers. And if you've ever seen Castle you probably thought Richard's daughter Alexis was either adorable or annoying. I happen to think that Molly Quinn is a cutie.

These relics were $6.50 and $9.25, respectively. But I was unable to earn enough COMC credit to buy either one - and they both sold sometime on Tuesday. Can't say I was surprised; there's only one other wardrobe relic left on the site. Non-sports stuff goes fast I guess.

So If I was unable to snatch up a piece of Molly Quinn's clothing then what was my big "COMC catch"? 

Late Tuesday night, just as I was about to turn off my computer and go to sleep, I saw a low-numbered parallel pop up on the hockey page.

The seller wanted $1.24 ..and I only had a dollar. Noooo! This was shaping up to be a crappy COMC day. I really did not want to lose out on this card, but COMC challenges were closed and it was late. As a shot-in-the-dark I tried to make a best offer of $1.00. The seller didn't auto accept or auto reject, so I had to wait for their response.

The only way I could make another quarter was to sell one of my cheap cards at a loss and hope this low-numbered parallel wouldn't be gone by the time it sold. I put an Alex Ovechkin insert out there at $0.26 and hoped for the best.

But before my Ovie was practially given away.. the seller accepted my offer! I immediately pulled back the Ovechkin card and pumped my fist at managing to keep both this card...

 Alex Ovechkin 2016-17 Upper Deck Don't Feed The Goalie ($0.28)

..and this card:

Kyle Baun 2015-16 O-Pee-Chee Platinum Retro Red Rainbow #d/15 ($1.00)

That's right, this red rainbow Blackhawk is numbered to just 15, and it only cost a buck! I'd say that makes up for missing out on Molly, wouldn't you?

I've found a lot of great cards for my OPC Platinum Retro Franken-set on COMC, but this might be the best get yet. I never would have expected to add a Red Rainbow parallel; the cheapest one on the site is Steve Mason at $11.50.

Many thanks to that seller, for accepting my Hail Mary offer, and thanks again to Wes for the Reggie and the Red Sox!


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Target story, and a Penguin repack

Earlier today I went to Target to pick up a card for my nephew, and some bubble mailers to ship out the first wave of 50/50 trades. (If you missed that post and you'd like to claim a team/random lot, click here. Plenty of great lots still available!)

Naturally, I decided to stop by the sports card aisle and see what was on the shelves. About a minute after I got there, two boys entered the aisle and started picking through the packs. I grabbed a repack box, squeezed past them, and finished my shopping. When I arrived at the checkout lines I spotted a woman who appeared to be finished - but she wasn't leaving. She was waiting (and shouting) for her boys to finish picking out baseball cards.

While I stood behind her, seeing my younger self in these boys, their mom instructed them to hurry up and pick five "packets" because "this gentleman" is waiting. But this gentleman indicated the repack box on the conveyor belt and told her "It's ok. I collect, too."  

When the boys returned to their very attractive mom, I laughed at what was in one boy's hand. A blaster box ..and some packs "I told you to get five. Did you get five? What is this? Football? I thought you were getting baseball. Okay, fine. But you're getting in line and buying that with your own money. No, don't hand her the money like that. Unfold it first. Lord, give me the strength...."

I hope they got better cards in their "packets" than I did in my repack. 

Target didn't have any $12 or $20 baseball repacks (there were lots of football and hockey though) so I had to settle for the $8 repack - 4 packs plus 50 loose cards:

Not gonna show you what I got in these cause some of the cards might end up in 50/50 trades. Also, there wasn't anything worth showing. Trust me.

Okay, here's a few scans:

Told you there wasn't anything great in these packs. The 50 loose cards were even worse:

Sooo much junk wax. Why do I buy these repacks anyway?

Because they're fun. It would be nice if there wasn't sooo much 1989 Topps and 1988 Donruss in there, but there were a few hidden gems:

The Penguin! I hear he's popular 'round the blogosphere. My father in law told me that when he was buying boxes of 1989 Topps with his youngest son (the one who bought me three cards for my Bday) the last card they needed was Bill Bene. For some reason, thy couldn't find that card anywhere - until they found a few in their LCS and bought 'em all. 

The Canseco is an O-Pee-Chee, and there were two others in the stack. I dont think I've ever seen 1992 OPC baseball before. The gold Glenallen Hill was the only insert in there, and the Barberie makes me wish I had stayed on mission and bought a box of 1993 Upper Deck for my birthday. Those cards are so cool, especially the Marlins and Rockies.

Speaking of birthday purchases, one of the things I bought was a set of 15 giant Garbage Pail Kids cards. I took out five I wanted to keep and I'm giving the other ten to my nephew. He's had a tough time lately, going through a divorce and fighting for custody of his infant daughter. Since we grew up on GPKs I thought that these might cheer him up, and remind him of his childhood:

Maybe that's why repacks are more appealing to me than a hanger pack of Allen & Ginter. Those old junk wax cards take me back to when I was a young lad, grabbing more packs than my mom agreed to, and handing over my scrunched-up bills to buy baseball cards.. or football cards.. or Garbage Pail Kids. Or all three :-)


Sunday, August 13, 2017

50/50 Trading Post

I have surplus duplicates of several different sets, which I had hoped to offload in trades.. but it's a longshot that anyone would need these cards as set fillers.

Then I had a thought... everyone enjoys a good blind trade, right? Well, what if I offered 50 card lots for you guys to claim - most of them divided by team, with a few set/random lots thrown together for funsies. I'll make sure to pack each lot with star base, and some inserts/parallels/rookie cards - perhaps even a relic if possible.

In return, all I ask is that you send me 50 cards. Of anything. You don't have to tell me what you're sending, and you don't have to hit any of my wantlists (though that would certainly be appreciated!) Just send me anything that doesn't fit your collection, and I'll do my best to send you something that does. 50 for 50. Does that sound like fun to anyone?

If you'd like a lot, leave a comment with the lot of your choice, and then drop me a quick e-mail (sutherlandct @ gmail .com) with your address. Here are the available lots:
  1. Arizona Diamondbacks
  2. Atlanta Braves -- Brian (Captain Canuck)
  3. Baltimore Orioles
  4. Boston Red Sox  -- EP (Old Red Sox Cards)
  5. Chicago Cubs
  6. Chicago White Sox
  7. Cincinnati Reds
  8. Cleveland Indians -- TSHenson
  9. Colorado Rockies -- Adam (Infield Fly Rule)
  10. Detroit Tigers
  11. Houston Astros
  12. Kansas City Royals
  13. L.A./Anaheim Angels
  14. Los Angeles Dodgers
  15. Miami/Florida Marlins
  16. Milwaukee Brewers
  17. Minnesota Twins -- Brian (Subjective & Arbitrary)
  18. New York Mets  -- Brett Alan
  19. New York Yankees
  20. Oakland Athletics
  21. Philadelphia Phillies
  22. Pittsburgh Pirates
  23. St. Louis Cardinals
  24. San Diego Padres
  25. San Francisco Giants
  26. Seattle Mariners
  27. Tampa Bay Rays/Devil Rays
  28. Texas Rangers
  29. Toronto Blue Jays --  Mike Matson (Not Another BCB)
  30. 1993 Fleer Ultra Baseball (Series 1)
  31. 1994 Fleer Flair Baseball (Series 2)
  32. 1997 Topps Finest Baseball
  33. 2015 Topps Baseball (Series 1)
  34. 2017 Topps Heritage Baseball
  35. *Baseball mystery lot #1*
  36. *Baseball mystery lot #2*
  37. 1992 Fleer Ultra Football
  38. *Football mystery lot* 
  39. 1989-90 NBA Hoops 
  40. *Basketball mystery lot* 
  41. 2013-14 Score Hockey 
  42. *Hockey mystery lot #1* -- Brad (Coast To Posts)
  43. *Hockey mystery lot #2*

I'll keep this post up until the end of the month, and update as lots are claimed. 


Saturday, August 12, 2017

23 Years Ago...

1994 was a terrible year. Kurt Cobain committed suicide, O.J. Simpson rode his white Ford Bronco into infamy, and the threat of a players' strike cast a dark cloud over an otherwise exciting baseball season.  

I was nearing the end of my summer vacation between 7th and 8th grade, so I probably woke up at about 10am on the morning of August 12. Back then I was such a sports fanatic that my morning ritual involved watching SportsCenter and reading the sports page - often at the same time. 

When I came downstairs that morning my mom handed me breakfast and the newspaper. "Happy birthday." 

"Thanks, Mom." I knew what would be in the sports page before I even opened it. And I assumed it would be on the front page as well. "Is baseball on strike?"


I don't know what happened to me personally, or what gifts I received, but I will never forget my 14th birthday. (And neither will baseball fans in Montreal.)

Even though the 1994 baseball season was incomplete, there were still some great baseball cards released that year. One year after Upper Deck debuted SP and their condition-sensitive Foil rookies, the brand returned in '94 and featured the top rookie card of Seattle Mariners phenom Alex Rodriguez:

The possibility of pulling one of A-Rod's other rookie cards was one reason why I added a box of 1994 Flair Series 2 to my eBay bDay order. 

It's a good thing I managed to pull the Rodriguez rookie, because the collation of this box was turrible. 

Series 2 is a 200-card set. There were 24 packs in the box, and 10 cards per pack. I wasn't expecting to complete the set, but I did think it was possible.  

I'm missing 58 cards. Fifty-eight! I'm not even going to bother with the set now. 

There were obviously a lot of duplicates...and triplicates...and...

Say hello to four Jim Abbotts, four Mariano Duncans, and four Bernard Gilkeys.  


To put that in context, there were three Chicago Cubs in the entire box. And here they are:

At least I've got plenty of base to trade! 

One thing that appealed to me about this box was the inserts, specifically the Hot Gloves. There were three types in '94 Flair, with odds ranging from 1:7 packs to 1:21 packs - though Fleer did not specify which would be the tougher pull.

I pulled three Wave of The Future inserts:

No future stars there, though Jon Lieber did win 20 games once #winsstillmatter

If I remember correctly, William VanLandingham had the longest name in baseball history.. at least until Jarrod Saltalamacchia came along. 

And I pulled three Infield Power inserts:

It makes sense that they'd all be first basemen. Although...Ryne Sandberg? Cal Ripken?

Upon further research, Ryno had his worst season in '94, and retired (temporarily) before the strike. Ripken is in the set, along with two catchers - Mike Piazza and Darren Daulton (RIP, Dutch) and Matt Williams, who was on pace to break Roger Maris' single-season home run record on this day 23 years ago.

Finally, here are my Hot Glove inserts:

That's right... I didn't pull any Hot Gloves.

Just like the 1994 player's strike. (okay, maybe not that bad!)

What do you remember about the day that baseball's worst work stoppage began?


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

eBay for my bDay

As I've mentioned on both my blogs, I was feeling nostalgic as the calendar turned to August. Before I received any birthday money I began shopping for toys and sports cards I had (or wanted to have) as a kid. This led me to find all kinds of neat stuff, some of which I had completely forgotten about (remember Topps Double Headers?) 

In the end, I settled on seven things from Kruk Cards that brought back some childhood collecting memories - and I even found something for my current card project.

1992-93 Fleer Ultra was one of my all-time favorite designs; I remember carrying my Ken Griffey, Jr. and Frank Thomas cards wherever I went (in top loaders, of course) and trading basketball cards with my friends in the school cafeteria (back when Shaq rookies were gold.) It wasn't just the design that appealed to me, it was the feel and smell of those cards. But packs of this stuff were often $3 or more, which was outside my budget as a 12-year-old. 
They're much cheaper now...

1992 Fleer Ultra Football sealed box ($9.74)

1993 Fleer Ultra series 1 Baseball sealed box ($11.24)

I did add a box of 1992-93 Ultra basketball (series 2) to my watch list... but when I put all this stuff in my shopping cart I somehow forgot that one. D'oh!

Maybe that's because I was distracted by this shiny impulse buy:

1994 Flair series 2 Baseball sealed box ($26.24)

I'm almost finished with my 1993 Flair set build (just two cards to go) so I thought I'd get a jump on 1994, which IMO is an even sharper looking set. Plus, series two has the A-Rod rookie card...for what that's worth. (I mainly bought this box for the Hot Glove inserts)

Speaking of set building... Kruk Cards also had some 1956 Topps singles I needed:

#27 Nelson Burbrink PSA NM-MT 8 ($26.24)

#92 Red Wilson ungraded (listed as "NM-MT") ($5.99)

These will be the 99th and 100th additions to my '56 Topps set. (I just bought my 101st card on COMC.)

Back to my childhood for a lot of stickers...and a set of stickers:

1988 Panini Baseball stickers - lot of 293 ($5.40)

Panini sticker albums were a huge part of my childhood; I looked for unopened packs/boxes of these but they're surprisingly expensive. However, an unused sticker album would only set me back about as much as this lot did.

1986 Garbage Pail Kids Giant stickers - set of 15 ($6.60)

I keep telling my nephew that one day we'll crack open a box of original GPKs like we did back in the day..but Kruk Cards was asking about $80 for a sealed wax box of Series these will have to do. I'm going to break up the set and split them with my nephew but I'm keeping Foul Bill for sure.

Total for these seven items (plus shipping) was 

The $17.95 shipping price was tough to swallow (especially for a 1 week turnaround time) and I probably could have spent my money a little more wisely. But I got a lot of random stuff in one place. And, thanks to my scratch-off lottery winners, I was able to squeeze this into the birthday budget:

1989 Starting Lineup Talking Baseball stadium ($37.86)

I couldn't find any SLU figures at the right price, but I was happy to grab this piece of my childhood for a best offer of $30. The seller claims the box was opened but everything inside is sealed. We shall see. 

Now... about those lottery scratch-offs. I mentioned that one of you guessed the exact amount of my winnings - and it just so happened to be the first comment I received:

Looks like you really made out for your birthday. Cash, scratch tickets and trading cards. What more could you ask for. Hopefully, you'll scratch a million dollar winner but, my guess is nowhere near that amount. Let's try $21.00 Best of luck to you.

Winner winner, chicken dinner! Congrats, Marc. Send me an e-mail (sutherlandct @ gmail .com) with a list of what you collect and I'll send you as much as I can fit in a mailer. 

Thanks to everyone who read and commented on my previous post. I'll bust open those old boxes and discuss them this weekend. 


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Birthday Cards (and a contest!)

My birthday isn't until next weekend, but my (wife's) niece is about to turn 22 and so the in-laws use the occasion of her birthday party to hand me some birthday cards. 

 I got three cards for my birthday. You'll see them in a minute.

Earlier in the week I wrote a blog post about what I might buy with my expectant birthday cash (and how I would celebrate if I didn't have to share my "special" day) ...but when I arrived at the party yesterday I completely forgot that anyone would give me anything.

I didn't open my cards right away, and I wasn't sure I'd open them at Bridget's party. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. But then, my brother-in-law handed me a large cardboard box.

And, taped to the bottom of the large box (with rolled scotch tape, not blue painter's tape) ...was the aforementioned three cards.
What's this? Someone put enough thought into my birthday to choose three single sports cards for my PC?

Joe has given me sports card gits in the past - but they've always been blaster boxes. And his father (who recently passed) often gave me blasters for Christmas so I assumed that without his guidance as to what I collect the card gifts would be a thing of the past. Boy, I was wrong!

This might be the first time in my life that anyone has gifted me singles without me first saying
"I picked out the cards I want. Now put some wrapping paper on 'em and put 'em in my stocking, Mom." So I would have been happy if one of the cards fit my PC. 

We're all Devils fans in my fam (they're the reason I became a Devs fan) so there had to be at least one Jersey card..and it's a jersey card. It looked familiar though...

Turns out it was a dupe. But hey, at least I can show off both sides of the quad now!

Joe isn't a baseball fan (Pop was the only one on his side of the fam) but he knows I love my Sawx. He had heard something about Manny Ramirez but wasn't certain if Man-Ram was dead or a PED cheater. That's ok though, I wasn't certain if I had this card or not...

I did have two other Ballpark Collection multi-swatch cards, but not this one. Here's how they look together:


Last but certainly not least...I used to have a bit of an Edmonton Oilers PC. They always seemed to have players I like - Jason Arnott, Ryan Smyth, Tommy Salo, Fernando Pisani, Georges Laraque.. Taylor Hall - so they were my favorite Western Conference team (and still are, I s'pose)

Joe must have remembered that when he picked out this gem:

Yeah, it's unlicensed and the players aren't actually pictured but.. wow. Nail Yakupov! And it's numbered to 55! 

(okay, maybe that McDavid guy is the draw here lol) 

This sure was better than a blaster. Heck, this might have been better than three blasters.  And that's not all I got for my not-quite birthday: there was $125 cash in those three cards (the greeting cards, that is) and $60 worth of lottery scratch-offs cause the fam likes to gamble:

I haven't scratched them off yet, and so I thought it would make a decent contest. Leave a comment with your guess of how much prize money these scratch-offs will yield and if your guess is exactly correct I will send you a bubble mailer full of cards (if there are multiple winners you'll each get prizes.)

If no one guesses the exact dollar amount, a PWE prize will be sent to whomever comes the closest. The conest will run until Wednesday, when I also reveal what I bought with my $125 cash.

Good luck!


Friday, August 4, 2017

The Downside of COMC

Earlier this week I finally sold the last "high-end" card in my COMC inventory - this Nolan Ryan coin & stamp card from a jumbo box of 2015 Topps I bought earlier this year:

I hadn't sold anything in a while, and I had my eye on a Dustin Pedroia autographed card, so I accepted the initial offer of about $24. The Pedroia was $30, but I tried making a $20 offer..which was countered at $25.25. I countered at $23..the seller countered at $24.25. 

I really didn't want to lose out on the Pedey auto over a stinkin' quarter, so I had to accept. But first I had to do some COMC challenges. Once that was out of the way, I had my prize:

Dustin Pedroia 2016 Topps The Mint - Franchise Autographs ($24.25)

Cool trade, eh? And I had some spare change to spend on the site as a bonus. Thanks to COMC's connection to Upper Deck ePack there are truckloads of hockey singles available for 30-50 cents; I figured 75 cents would buy me two decent cards for my PC.

And with O-Pee-Chee Platinum Hockey hitting the site this week, I tried to be patient and grab some nice shiny chrome-type cards. But the prices were too good to pass up; this Alex Ovechkin logo crest insert was $0.35 when I added it to my cart:

..and $0.30 an hour later.

So I wasted a (free) nickel. So what? Well, it got me thinking about some of the other hockey card purchases I've made this year - specifically from product that later ended up on ePack. This Patrik Elias 1000 Point Club jersey was $9.47 when I bought it in April:

There's one on COMC right now for $3.99 :/

This Adam Henrique SP Game Used Frameworks jersey cost me $5.67 two weeks ago:

It would cost me $3.25 today.

I could go on, but you get the point. It's hard to know when to pull the trigger on a deal, and when to wait out the market. I've had my share of successes, of course. Even with constant flow of inventory from ePack to COMC I've managed to find some good deals:

paid $14.25 in May...
now: $45 (last copy on COMC)

paid $3.75 in May...
now $9.84 (on sale)

Time will tell what happens to the price of 2016-17 OPC Platinum cards as they continue to funnel onto COMC, but you can bet I'll be chipping away at Challenges to purchase some singles. And I'll be keeping my eyes out for more deals like this one:

Pekka Rinne 2016-17 OPC Platinum Retro Gold Rainbow #d/149 ($0.49)

...while trying not to stress over the singles I bought before Upper Deck ePack-ed them out:

Pavel Zacha 2016-17 OPC Platinum Marquee Rookies Red Prism #d/199 ($3.85)

Have you had any good(or bad) experiences with ePack? Do you purchase packs straight from the site, or wait until the singles hit COMC? Let me know in comments. 

Have a great weekend everyone!