Thursday, September 8, 2016

And Campbell Makes 10!

This card has been on my 10 Most Wanted list for over a year and I finally found one in a decent price range to purchase. It's also fitting that this is the 10th T206 card of my collection. This is one of my favorite cards because of the background. It's so much nicer than the stark yellow that's used on many of the cards in this set. I also like that it's an "action shot" of Billy Campbell instead of just a portrait shot. Even though the card isn't in excellent condition, with tobacco cards I don't mind the rounded corners or stains because it adds character to a card that's more than 100 years old.

This is my first Sweet Caporal card to enter my collection as the other T206 cards I have are all Piedmonts. I would like to eventually add as many different variety backs (Polar Bear, Old Mill, Sovereign, Hindu, etc) but I know that certain backs carry a premium due to their rarity so while it's not a priority it would be a nice bonus to my T206 team set.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Circle Is Now Complete!

Today I was able to purchase the last six cards I needed for the 2014 Topps Chrome Star Wars Perspectives set. I received a pack of 2015 Topps Chrome Star Wars Perspectives cards this past Christmas and I just had to put together that set as well as it's 2014 counterpart. I'm glad I was able to complete both sets before the end of the year and I've decided that these will be the only non-sports card sets added to my collection.

I've always had a love for Star Wars in my heart since I was a kid and although Empire Strikes Back scared me as a child (especially when Han used Luke's lightsaber to cut open the Taun Taun's stomach or when Vader cut off Luke's hand in Cloud City) it's still my favorite movie in the franchise. Speaking of Star Wars, the Reds have been releasing Star Wars themed bobbleheads the past couple of years and I've been debating whether or not I should pick one up for my collection. There are three to choose from: Yoda, R2-D2, and Mr. Redlegs flying an X-Wing. If I do decide to pick one up I think I'll go the affordable route and purchase the Mr. Redlegs X-Wing because Yoda and R2 are selling for upwards of $70 each.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Catching a Game

I haven't had much to report lately with new purchases to my collection. I've been focusing on set building lately (particularly the 2008 eTopps set that I mentioned in the previous post and the 2003 Fleer Authentix set that I'm working on now). Hopefully before the end of the year I can grab a few cards off my most wanted list and complete the 1950 and 1951 Bowman Reds team sets I started a while back. We'll see.

This past Sunday I took my daughter to see an Akron Rubberducks game and although it was hot, it was nice to just sit back and enjoy a game that I could care less who would win. Ultimately, Akron would go on to defeat the Richmond Flying Squirrels (cool name by the way) 8-2. While I was at the stadium I ran into Charles, a regular reader of my blog who I've sent cards to in the past. He currently runs the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Reds Hall of Fame. This past May they were able to organize a meet and greet with Reds Hall of Famer Tom Browning. Unfortunately, due to prior commitments I was not able to attend. However, he informed me that they're in the process of lining up a visit with a member of the Big Red Machine. It wouldn't be one of the big four (Bench, Morgan, Perez, or Rose) but that still leaves Griffey, Concepcion, Foster and Geronimo. If you're interested in learning more about this organization you can follow them on facebook at

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Built in Secrecy

I'm just curious as to how many of us bloggers out there are worried about competing with our fellow collectors when it comes to acquiring cards. Case in point, I've always been fascinated with the concept of eTopps. The ability to purchase cards online, a limited print run, sealed and stored offsite with the ability to ship the cards to your house. It was a radical idea at the time that lasted for a decade before it became an afterthought to many collectors. I never collected any of the cards through the eTopps website. By the time I had learned about the cards the program had essentially ceased. Sure, you could still purchase cards from fellow collectors on eBay to have them transferred to your online eTopps portfolio but Topps had driven the cost of shipping those cards to astronomical rates that many collectors, I feel, just cut their losses and abandoned their account with many of these cards never to see the light of day.

Eventually I began to think how great it would be to try and actually build a physical set of eTopps cards. Instead of buying digital cards online and having them transfer to an eTopps account (to avoid shipping fees), I decided to start scouring eBay, COMC, Beckett, Sportlots, and Amazon to see if I could build a set from cards collectors already had in hand. My only stipulation was that the cards still needed to be sealed in their plastic case that Topps had sent them. I decided to settle on the 2008 eTopps set because I like the giant team logos in the background and the number of great rookie cards in the set. Joey Votto, Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Carlos Gonzalez, Chris Davis, Johnny Cueto, Evan Longoria, Jay Bruce, Daniel Murphy, and Clay Buccholz to name a few. In addition you have a nice collection of hall of famers (or soon to be hall of famers) with Ken Griffey Jr., Greg Maddux, Chipper Jones, Ivan Rodriguez, and Derek Jeter. The lowest print run in this set for a particular card is 499 (Carlos Gonzalez, Brandon Jones, CC Sabathia, Ivan Rodriguez, and Daniel Murphy). So theoretically there could only be a total of 499 sets ever assembled based on the print run, but because of the fact that there are team and player collectors that number shrinks drastically. Follow that up with the fact that due to the high cost of shipping eTopps cards, many of those 2008 cards will probably never hit the market. That got me thinking, realistically what could be the total number of sets ever assembled? My guess would be less than 25, but I could be wrong. I'm sure Patrick over at Radicards would be better able to run the numbers and give a more precise analytical answer.

When I first started chasing these cards down in January of this year I noticed that there were instances of only 1 card of a player being sold. I already knew that there were some cards in the set that were not even listed. I decided that if I could acquire at least 59 of the 69 cards that were produced, that would only leave me with 10 cards (or 14%) of the set to chase which seemed like a realist chance to succeed. Yesterday the last 5 of the 69 cards in this set showed up in my mailbox. You can see all of the cards by checking out my 2008 eTopps page under the pages section on the top right column of my blog.

Anyone else out there working on a secret project?

Friday, July 29, 2016

Showing off the Roses

I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to start showcasing the cards in my Pete Rose PC. I've finally gotten around to scanning the front and back of each card. As you can imagine, I'm nowhere near finished but I'm almost to the halfway point. I've been able to scan some of the larger sets and I'm working my way through a lot of the various oddball cards I have. Feel free to check out the page. You can access the link in the right nav or you can click here.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

2000 Cincinnati Reds Autographed Team Baseball

18 signatures total on this baseball: Jack McKeon, Aaron Boone, Dante Bichette, Sean Casey, Barry Larkin, Pokey Reese, Michael Tucker, Dmitri Young, Eddie Taubensee, Jason LaRue, Danny Graves, Pete Harnisch, Denny Neagle, Steve Parris, Dennys Reyes, Gabe White, Scott Sullivan, and Scott Williamson.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Digital into Reality

This past week I purchased another eTopps card for my collection. For the past few months I was keeping an eye on a 2005 eTopps Griffey card that was listed on eBay. While I have a few eTopps Reds cards in my collection, I was on the fence as to whether or not I should pull the trigger and purchase this card. The card arrived yesterday and I'm glad that I decided to pick it up. This card is fantastic! While there's no serial numbering on the back of the card, the seller did include the eTopps "certificate of authenticity" that stated it was a genuine eTopps card and the production run