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

Friday, July 8, 2016

1981 Cincinnati Reds Team Signed Baseball

34 Signatures total on this team ball: Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey, Ron Oester, Mario Soto, Joe Price, Paul Householder, Eddie Milner, Vic Correll, Ray Knight, Harry Spilman, Junior Kennedy, Joe Nolan, Doug Bair, George Foster, Jay Howell, Frank Pastore, Sheldon Burnside, Mike LaCoss, Charlie Leibrandt, Paul Moskau, Sam Mijias, Dave Tomlin, Dan Driessen, Dave Concepcion, Hector Cruz, Dave Collins, Tom Seaver, Geoff Combe, Bill Bonham, Tom Hume, Bruce Berenyi, Don Werner, Rick Auerbach, Cesar Geronimo

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Today I purchased a small card that's a huge accomplishment in the grand scheme of my collection. This 1986 Sportflics #69 depicts three players: Cal Ripken Jr, Rod Carew, and Pete Rose, trust me, there are three players on this card. This is my 500th unique Pete Rose card in my collection. I was hoping to have the complete run of Rose cards from 1970 to 1993 before the end of the year, but chances of that happening are diminishing with each passing day. I've also decided to start scanning my Pete Rose cards to include front and back card images to include on my blog under my Pete Rose PC page. Hopefully I can start on that in the coming weeks. On another note, tomorrow marks the 5 year anniversary of this blog. Thanks to everyone who takes time out of their busy schedule to read what I have to say as I share my collection with you.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Johnny Cueto Bobblehead

It's never easy seeing your former ace play for another team. It was tough last year seeing Cueto go to Kansas City but at least he was able to get a ring for the few months he was there. When he joined the ranks of the American League it was a little easier to digest. However, now that he's wearing orange and black it's just too much to bear. I guess it could be worse. Better that he's a Giant instead of a Cardinal or Cub. Anyway, just a bit of history on this bobblehead I picked up this past week. There were 25,000 of these given away on August 4, 2012 when the Reds were facing the Pirates. Cincinnati won the game 5-4 with Aroldis Chapman getting the save. I still need to grab a Chapman bobblehead and the prices have come down a bit on his now that he's a Yankee. I'm glad things didn't pan out for Chapman going to the Dodgers. Seeing Cueto and Chapman on the west coast in the National League would have been too much for me to handle psychologically.