Thursday, July 25, 2019

The National

Next week marks the 40th Anniversary of the National Sports Collectors Convention. This year's gathering will be held in the windy city. Needless to say, I won't be making the trek to Chicago to attend the show. I didn't realize that last year's show was in Cleveland until a week before the show and I had already made plans with my wife. It's definitely something to see at least once if you're a sports fan. Last night I was browsing on eBay for Votto rookies I still need for my project when I stumbled across this card that was just listed a few minutes before I started my search. I had never seen one of these listed before and I wasn't entirely sure if it was legit. After a quick google search I found some information listed on about this card. They state that "Topps created a special run of 2008 Topps Chrome for distribution at the 2008 National Sports Collectors Convention. All base cards EXCEPT the 19 Autographed Rookies were printed for this set, and each card has the NSCC logo on the front. Topps distributed the cards in uncut sheet form; however, some collectors chose to cut the sheet into individual cards. While the cards are not serial-numbered, it is believed that only 300 copies of each base card were produced for this promotion." The card was listed as an auction with a Best Offer option. I didn't want to get into a bidding war with someone on this so I submitted what I was willing to pay for the card. About 15 minutes after my submission I received an email that the seller accepted my offer. I'm excited to add this card that I didn't even know existed to my collection.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

I'll Take Votto for 10

Every now and then I run across a steal of a deal when searching eBay. That being said, most of the time those deals have come and gone since someone else swooped in to grab it before I could. Case in point, I found out a few months ago a couple of sellers had listed the 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen autograph of CC Sabathia for $30. That's still one card I need from my set and of course I wasn't able to get it. Last night I was browsing for cards I still need for my 2008 Topps Votto rookie project when I stumbled across this card listed for $9.99 or best offer. I knew if I put an offer in on the card it probably wouldn't be there by the time the seller had to decide whether or not to accept. So for $9.99 I picked up this 2008 Topps Co-Signers Joey Votto/Daric Barton card. While it doesn't have a rookie logo on the card, it definitely has a home in my Reds autograph binder.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

NOW we're talking!

I've been on the fence ever since Topps announced its Topps Now program. While the idea intrigued me that only a certain amount of cards would be produced to meet demand at that time, I didn't like $9.99 price tag for each card. That was a little too rich for me. That being said, I had an epiphany yesterday (or an apostrophy as Mr. Smee states in Hook). Why not limit my foray into Topps Now with just one player for just one year. I decided I would pick up any 2019 Topps Now Nick Senzel cards since Topps has yet to release any rookie cards of the outfielder in the flagship set this year, even though I'm sure that will change when Topps releases their Update and Highlight series this fall. I've become a fan of Senzel since he was called up earlier this year. His numbers have been decent with a .269 BA, 8 HR, and a .799 OPS in 60 games this season. Here are the four cards I have of Mr Senzel

2019 Topps Now #172 Print Run 2217

2019 Topps Now #174 Print Run 1271

2019 Topps Now #183 Print Run 887

2019 Topps Now Moment of the Week 5 Print Run 700

I think my favorite of the bunch is the Moment of the Week card. The 1869 Red Stockings throwback uniforms are fantastic and showing Senzel celebrate after hitting his first major league home run is icing on the cake. Just a fantastic card. I won't be chasing any other Topps Now cards after this year but it's nice to add something new to the collection even if it doesn't necessarily fit every now and then.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

A Prime Deal!

The thought of looking for cards on Amazon has never crossed my mind. My normal go to merchants are eBay, Comc, Sportlots and occasionally Beckett Marketplace. If I need some weird off the wall item for my house I'll head over to Amazon to purchase it and have it in my hands within two days. Or, I'll use their streaming service to catch a movie every now and then on Prime. That being said, I decided to take a few minutes yesterday to browse around Amazon just to see what they had to offer as it relates to cardboard. Those few minutes ended up saving me over $150 I've been watching on eBay. There are two Bowman Sterling Refractors on eBay that are listed at $50 a piece as well as a graded copy of a Topps Opening Day Gold parallel for $100. $200 for three cards is just too rich for my blood. Of course there is an ungraded copy of the Opening Day Gold parallel on COMC for $142.28 but I won't go there. So, how much did I pay for the three cards listed above on Amazon? $30 dollars. I guess I'll have to start keeping an eye out on Amazon for more deals.

Monday, June 17, 2019

The Bane that is Short Prints

I've come to expect that each year I'll have to track down a short print or two in the Topps flagship set. Photo variations, retired stars or hall of famers, you name it and Topps has done it all for the sake of adding cards we collectors must chase if we want to have a "complete" team set. Sure, I could choose to ignore them completely and stick with only collecting the standard checklist, but the ocd portion of my brain would always be stewing over these cards. Of course it wasn't always like that. I still remember the junk wax days fondly knowing that I could put together a Reds team set for less than $5. Now it's not uncommon for me to spend around $20. If there's a super short print involved then all bets are off. That being said, I just noticed this past weekend that Topps released it's series 2 set for this year and I wasn't surprised to find out that there were 3 short prints in the series. I was able to track down the 12 card base set as well as the 3 short prints on eBay for just over $23. I wonder if there will come a day when Topps decides to go back to the way things were and put a stick of gum back in a pack of cards and remove those nefarious short prints from flagship. Who am I kidding, that's just asking too much.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

It ain't over til it's over

It's been a year and a half since I've been able to add another card to the 2013 Topps Votto Rainbow. Patience definitely pays. I was surprised last week to see this black printing plate pop up on eBay. I already have printing plates for Opening Day, Chrome and Topps Mini but I had yet to find a printing plate for the base Topps. On top of that the other three printing plates I had were for different colors: yellow, cyan and magenta. Luckily I was able to come out as the high bidder and I'm now anxiously awaiting for it's arrival in the mail. With this pick up I'm down to just needing five more cards for my rainbow: 2013 Topps Factory Orange numbered to 230, 2013 Topps Wrapper Redemption Silver Slate numbered to 10, 2013 Topps Opening Day Toy's R Us Purple parallel, 2013 Topps Chrome Camo Refractor numbered to 15 and 2013 Topps Chrome Pink Refractor numbered to 5.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Hitting the Halfway Mark

Today I was finally able to cross the halfway point for my Joey Votto Rookie project. I've been looking for this 2008 Topps Chrome Copper Refractor for quite a while and I finally found one on Beckett Marketplace for a price to good to pass up. This is my 45th different Votto rookie card. That just leaves me with 45 more cards to go. Unfortunately, many of the cards I still have to chase are numbered parallels and refractors. The possibility of me completing this project by the end of the year are slim to none. Regardless, it's been a fun little project to say the least. I'm hopeful that by the end of the year I'll cross the 60 card threshold. If you're interested in seeing what cards I've amassed thus far you can check out my progress here.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Lou Gehrig says...

Lou Gehrig says that I got this Tony Piet for a steal. I stumbled across this listing last week on eBay with a starting bid of $.99. Once the auction wrapped up this past Sunday the auction ended with a final price of $.99. There are no creases in the card and with a few fuzzy corners and a little bit of surface wear I would say that for once I came out way ahead on a listing. I love the design of the 1934 Goudeys. With the Gehrig tag line on the bottom to the sharp colors and baseball diamond drawing in the background, this is one of my favorite pre-war card sets ever produced. The Piet is the first Goudey to enter my collection and I hope to add a few more before the end of the year.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Not Everything is Black and White

That being said, everything is black and white when it comes to the 1948 Bowman set. Last week I was able to purchase 4 out of the 5 Reds cards I needed for this set at a decent price. While I'm not a huge fan of the 48 Bowman set, it still holds some significance being the first set distributed after World War II. Almost every single card I've seen of the set is either a portrait or staged photo. Bowman did follow up the 48 set with a 49 set that incorporated color, but that wasn't much of an improvement. My opinion is that if Bowman was going to use a black and white color pallet for their intro into the baseball card arena, try to make the border exciting or something. Just look at the 1922 American Carmel cards. Those cards are black and white but their design is amazing. Just my two cents. I still find it fascinating that Hank Sauer started his major league career playing for the Reds.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Milling Around

Here's the latest T206 to enter my collection. This marks my 12th T206 card and the first to feature the Old Mill advertising. I'm 11 cards shy of completing the Reds team set so I'm officially past the halfway mark on completing this team set. On a side note, I discovered that Dubuc was caught up in the largest scandal in baseball history. During the 1920 investigation into the Black Sox Scandal, evidence was discovered showing that Sleepy Bill Burns had advised Dubuc that the 1919 World Series had been fixed and that Dubuc should, therefore, bet on the Cincinnati Reds. Dubuc was neither a participant nor a conspirator in the scandal, but was pursued for his "guilty knowledge" of the fix. (according to Wikipedia).

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

2019 Topps

I realize that Topps released their 2019 flagship series one cards a few days ago, so I'm a little late to the party. I do like the design of this year's set. Although there aren't any borders, the hockey stick style that's reminiscent of the 1982 design comes close to providing one. I just wish Topps hadn't included the pixel effect on the cards. There are a few Reds base cards that immediately grabbed my attention in this year's series one release. The first being Billy Hamilton with the ivy at Wrigley.

I'm still disappointed that Hamilton is no longer with the Reds. Defensively, he's a beast and has some of the greatest catches I've ever seen a center fielder make. Offensively, he just doesn't have the bat to at least get on base. Maybe he'll be able to pull it together in Kansas City. The second card I admire is Joey Votto stretching before his at bat. For whatever reason, this card reminds me of all the Leaf Pete Rose cards that show Charlie Hustle doing the exact same thing.

Finally, this Votto short print is fantastic. It's something you don't see very often from Topps in a base flagship set. Every time I look at this card I hear the same phrase repeated over and over in my head, "Damn he's smooth."

So, that's my thoughts about 2019 Topps series one. I'm already looking forward to series two as long as there are no super short prints I have to chase.

Friday, January 25, 2019

A Bittersweet Milestone

Today I was finally able to complete (once again) my 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen set. The last card I needed was this Ty Cobb card. I thought I had ordered the card from my latest batch from sportlots, but unfortunately I somehow missed it. This was the last set I had started prior to my Dad passing away in January of 2012. I had finished it towards the tail end of 2011 but for some stupid reason I sold the thing in the summer of 2012. While this set has always been my favorite retro set that Topps released, it's always reminded me of the last year I spent with my Dad. I decided when I started collecting the set again in 2017 that I would do something I hadn't done before...track exactly how much I've spent on acquiring the set. I didn't attempt to complete the autograph and relic sets my first go around but I decided to pursue them this time because I like the look of the cards and all the autographs are on card with the exception of the Ryan Howard that's a stickergraph. In addition to the main set, I've also been collecting the insert sets, the autographs, and the regular size relics. I've completed all the insert sets and I'm currently down to needing 11 autographs and 1 relic card (the Molina). It's really opened my eyes to just how much one set can cost and I will say that while it's been an expensive endeavor, I've enjoyed the chase. It's also made me realize that I need to reign in my spending on sports cards. I hope to eventually complete the set, even though I still need the Aaron and Koufax autographs, but from here on out I'll stick with wrapping up my late 40s to early 50s Bowman Reds team sets as well as my t206 Reds cards I still need. So, for those of you interested in the breakdown here's what I've spent.

Base Set with Short Prints: $136.42
Great Ones Insert Set: $15.18
Future Stars Insert Set: $4.02
Home Run Heroes Insert Set: $7.67
Stick Fingers Insert Set: $3.96
Wall Climbers Insert Set: $1.92
Autographs (so far): $423.26
Relics (so far): $90.66
Shipping (so far): $128.71

For a grand total of $811.80!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Reevaluating My Collection

I'll be honest...I'm to the point of burnout when it comes to my collection. So much so that I've decided to thin out my collection in a big way. I've spent the past week posting A LOT of stuff on eBay. I've sold my 2015 Topps All Star Stitch set as well as my 1990-91 Skybox set with prototypes. I've listed my complete Kahn's Cincinnati Reds team sets as well as my HOF rookie card project and my recently started Joey Votto rookie card project. One project that I started on the beginning of last year that I never got around to blogging about was the 2015 Topps Strata Shadowbox set. I was able to acquire half of the set but decided I'll probably never finish it so I've listed the cards separately. Not sure if I'll stop here or if I'll keep purging. I know that I plan on keeping my Topps Reds cards from 1952-present as well as my 1949-51 Bowman Reds cards and my t206 Reds cards. I just feel like my collection has gotten out of hand and I want to get back to actually enjoying collecting again instead of it feeling like a chore. If anyone's interested here's the link to the stuff I have listed