Monday, July 31, 2017

Quick Tour Of My Card Room

I borrowed my wife's camera to take some pictures of my backyard for a post on my "personal" blog (feel free to follow me) and so I thought I'd take a few pics of my upstairs room before I gave it back.

My bookshelf of figurines (and a few books), with Robin Yount as a centerpiece. The first shelf features a Jerry Rice bobblehead that I found on someone's trash table while walking home one day - and some Starting Lineup figures that probably aren't worth more than they cost 20+ years ago (except maybe the Neil Lomax.) Ignore the old Smashing Pumpkins posters in the background; I had nowhere else to put them or the rest of the music/movie posters from my teen years.

Shelf #2 has a Duke Snider autographed baseball (pack war prize) next to a Duke Snider SLU (my aunt bought it from me in a yard sale and my mom gave it back to me when she passed). The ball behind it is a foul ball from an independent minor league game when Rickey Henderson played for Newark. The ball on the far right, next to the DVD set, was signed by Don Mattingly (probably; I bought it when I was a kid and didn't get a COA.) The bottom shelf holds my books (I'm a huge John Green fan) and my VHS boxed set of Ken Burns' Baseball - and a Mariners sticker I just pulled out of a vending machine.

From my computer desk, facing out. That's not my bed; it's an ottoman that wouldn't fit in my living room. I threw an old Packers blanket over it and use it as a couch. My daughters might be able to sleep on it. The Devils pillow was a Christmas gift; it obviously doesn't match but I don't mind.


A closer look at the IKEA bookshelf, which just barely fits all of my card albums. It's a tight squeeze in some of those squares. These albums hold everything from commons (sorted chronologically by team and alphabetically by city) to team collections (Red Sox, Packers, Devils, and Whalers) to a player collection or two (my 600+ Brett Favre cards and my wife's Brendan Shanahan cards.) The rest are some of my favorite sets like 2017 Topps Heritage baseball and others that I want to look at rather than stuff 'em in a monster box.

Like this.

This is the closet where I keep all of my bulk sets, relics/autos, and graded cards. That black box is full of vintage goodies; its the first thing I'd grab if my house were on fire.


And finally, a wider view of the room - with a partial pile of my McFarlane collection and some replica Stanley Cup trophies stacked on top of my CD shelf. (the rest of my McFaralane figures are in boxes; I dont have room to display them all.) The white boxes on top of my IKEA bookshelf hold all of my inserts/parallels/rookie cards; there's one box of nothing but New Jersey Devils and one box that holds my 1956 Topps baseball set build.

The card table at the bottom left is my "work bench"; any time I'm selling or trading something I'll put the package together on that table. 

Hope you enjoyed the tour!


Friday, July 28, 2017

Taking a Nap

My wife was headed to Target yesterday while I was at work, and so I asked her to pick me up a blaster box of 2017 Topps Archives baseball. She reported (as many on the baseball card blogosphere have) that there was slim pickins at the sports card aisle (that's aisle, not isle) and so I was unable to scratch my pack ripping itch. Which is just as well, since I have contracted poison ivy and have plenty of other itches to scratch. Or not scratch.

There was a card on my COMC watch list that I was saving up challenge credit for, and I thought that since I'd been unable to secure a blaster box of new product I could go ahead and purchase that card...and another...and another. 

Instead of acquiring 60 cards or so - five of which would be inserts/parallels, none of which would be Aaron Judge - I ended up with two cards that fit my collection...and something that caught my eye while browsing new sales.

I have never owned a tobacco card. I know I can't afford anything in decent shape, and I'm kind of picky about condition. But I make an exception when the card is this cheap:

1911 T205 Sweet Caporal Nap Rucker Factory 25 black back ($6.25)

This little gem is now the oldest card in my collection by far (at least it will be when I have my COMC haul shipped to me on Black Friday.) For the price of one pack of Stadium Club I acquired a 106-year old card of a pitcher who was not only a major league starter but an above average ace - Rucker led the National league in WAR in 1911 and 1912 (ahead of such legends as Honus Wagner and Christy Mathewson) and received Hall Of Fame votes in a number of early elections.

So how was I able to grab this card so cheap? Well, the front isn't so bad..but the back... a mess. Definitely some paper loss there. The card number (if there is one) and name are unreadable, other than the "ER". Still, I'm excited to add it to my collection - along with the card I had planned to purchase before spotting the Nap:

1956 Topps Del Ennis #220 ($5.05)

I've been craving some vintage, especially a new '56 to add to my set build. This Ennis looks sharp, though the centering is not the best. Here's the back:

This brings my total up to 98 cards out of 340, or about 29% of the set.

The last card in my "COMC Blaster" is a much more modern one:

 2012 Topps Tribute Dustin Pedroia Superstar Swatch ($8.65)

I'm always on the hunt for low-numbered Pedroia relics and this was on my watch list for a while. When the seller lowered his price I swooped in and grabbed it. The case is pretty scratched up, I might jailbreak it when it arrives.

This trio cost a total of $19.95. I sacrificed the instant gratification that buying a blaster brings, but chances are I would not have pulled anything comparable in value out of one anyway.