Mission Complete: 1999 Pacific Crown Royale Baseball

Posted in Mission Complete (Completed Sets) with tags , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

About two years ago, I visited a card shop about 45 minutes away and picked up a slew of Pacific branded boxes. Among them was a 1999 Pacific Crown Royale box.

I’ve always loved Crown Royale and was feeling really nostalgic about it so I figured why not. At the time my son and I opened the packs and then they got tucked into a box and in the closet.

Fast forward to late last year and After my son verbally expressed he was starting to enjoy the hobby, it set off a bunch of nostalgia bells and we went to another local shop. Among the boxes for sale was another 1999 Pacific Crown Royale.

I bought it, figuring we could build the set with the cards bought two years prior.

So we ripped the box — lots of fun and talk about quality — and we ended up being four cards short.

Well, the four remaining cards arrived this week via purchases from SportLots and COMC. I’m happy to say the base set and insert sets are done.

So, I now present you with the entire base 1999 Pacific Crown Royale set with the two standard insert sets.

Why I’m sometimes scared to tell people what I collect

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , on January 18, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I was listening to/watching About The Cards (link) the other night and one of the topics that came up is one that really hit home with me.

The guys were telling stories about how sometimes they are seemingly pressured into making deals with people for items solely because the other person — who initiated the deal — invested time to separate, sort and sometimes transport or ship cards for a potential deal, even if the perimeters of the deal had not been set.

Surely we’ve all experienced such things. You tell someone you collect a certain player or set, and suddenly they’ve amassed a lot of several dozens or hundreds of cards after a few days and they expect the world in return, sometimes cash or cards of top players. And if you tell them you that you already have those cards or for whatever reason don’t want the cards there are some hurt feelings and sometimes some pressure solely because they’re making you feel guilty.

This is why I am sometimes scared to tell people I collect certain players. I mean it’s no secret now that I collect Roger Clemens and Clayton Kershaw, I do have that posted on some of my feeds. But for a time I kept that information out of the spotlight because I didn’t want to deal with these situations where people are offering me 400 Clemens cards, all from 1988-1991 and expecting that I will trade them all of my Mike Trouts, Bryce Harpers, rookies of hot players, etc. Even now that my PC guys are posted, I try not to engage in discussions where it’s an open-ended trade unless I’m feeling OK with the deal (i.e., me trading a few commons to a set collector for my PC guys). Sometimes I’ll do such deals to help someone else out.

So I have the following five general tips I offer and use myself when trading:

  1. If you’re setting cards aside to make a trade, understand that any time and effort you invest is solely on you. Do not put pressure on the trading partner to compensate you for the time and effort. If you pulled 500 cards and all I need is 50, don’t expect me to take all 500 solely because you spent two weeks putting them together — unless that was part of the agreement.
  2. If sending bulk lot(s) in exchange for someone else’s bulk lot(s), expect that the incoming lot(s) will be valued at less than what you’re sending. This will temper your expectations and possible feelings of being “ripped off.”
  3. Don’t trade high-end items with someone you don’t know or have a history with. Pretty obvious.
  4. Come to an agreement on shipping method. Plain white envelope (PWE) works for some people and in some cases. But know that using such low quality shipping can result in damaged cards. Some collectors want no part of receiving cards in PWEs, so if you’re doing anything less than a bubble mailer, that should be worked out before hand.
  5. If you initiate contact with someone who collects a certain player or team and you want to send them stuff under the guise of “just send me something later,” either 1) expect nothing in return, 2) expect that the return may not be of equal “value.” If those aren’t things you accept, then don’t send anything unless a proper structured deal is in place.

TBT: My debut with Beckett and beyond …

Posted in Throwback Thursday with tags , , , , , , , on January 17, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

This morning I was flipping through my Facebook memories and found a picture published this day in 2012 that made me stop and think. The image was a copy of the Beckett Sports Card Monthly “Game Used Issue” published that year. The magazine has Tim Tebow on the cover, and on page 34 is a photo of a guy you might also know – me.

You see, this issue of Beckett Spots Card Monthly was my debut as a contributor to the magazine. Then-editor Chris Olds had reached out to me to write a first-person account about my discovery of an Earl Weaver Baltimore Orioles game-used jersey in a San Francisco Bay Area thrift store. The piece went with the theme of the month, and as it turned out, it really started a three-year relationship with the publication.

After the article was published, I was asked to write one or two others on other topics, and then ultimately was invited to be a member of the Beckett Media team at that year’s National Sports Collectors Convention held that year in Baltimore. Among the autograph signers was none other than Earl Weaver. I planned to purchase an autograph ticket and photo opportunity with Mr. Weaver to briefly re-unit him with his jersey from 1977, and have him sign it. I was tasked to document the piece for Beckett, an article that can be found here. it should be noted Mr. Weaver died some four months later.

After what seemed like a fun run as a contributor for the publication, I was given the opportunity to write a monthly column for Beckett Baseball Monthly, a publication that I and so many others grew up reading. I then penned my column for the magazine for about two years, and was able to assist with three special-edition magazines also published by Beckett Media.

My run as a columnist for Beckett ended in 2015 when there was shakeup among staff, and honestly it came at a good time for me as it turned out circumstances at home were also changing.

These memories are ones I’ll always remember, and I am forever grateful to those persons who made it possible.

 

I promise to pay …

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , on January 16, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Folks, when you make an offer on a Buy It Now item on eBay, there is kind of an unwritten agreement that you’re going to pay for that item in a fair amount of time … Still coming up with excuses three weeks later is not the right way to do it.

About two weeks ago I wrote (Link) about the non-paying buyer issue that has been hitting me in recent months. Toward the end of that piece I documented the sale of a pair of cards for $200 just before the new year, but a week later I had not received payment.

Well, here we are almost three weeks after the sale and … all I’ve got is a promise that the buyer will pay.

Here’s the skinny:

I sent three reminders to the buyer and on that third one, the buyer advised that he was waiting for others to pay for items that were purchased from him so that he could pay for my items. He promised to pay me soon.

So I waited three more days … and send another reminder, which went unanswered.

I then sent a fifth reminder on Jan 15, almost 20 days after the purchase agreement was made, and the buyer responds, advising that he promises to pay me at some point in the next few weeks.

No, We’re done. A case has been opened.

This practice is unacceptable. If you do not have the ability to buy an item, DO NOT BUY THE ITEM. No seller should reasonably wait more than a few days unless some other agreement has been made BEFORE THE OFFER WAS ACCEPTED. And if some circumstance arises where you cannot pay, then YOU should be contacting the seller and not wait to be hounded about the issue.

San Francisco TRISTAR 2019 show appears to be postponed

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , on January 15, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

For more than two decades, collectors in the San Francisco Bay Area have had the opportunity to head to the Cow Palace in San Francisco for the annual TRISTAR Productions show, a three-day show typically held in April which is chock full of card and memorabilia dealers, and a slew of athletes signing autographs.

But over the weekend I caught wind from Tim Shepler (@bigshep79), a fellow collector in California and current co-host of podcast “About The Cards” (watch/listen on iTunes and YouTube, it’s good times), that dealers at a Sacramento card show over the weekend were saying the TRISTAR show may not be happening this year.

And so I asked TRISTAR via Twitter DM.  The response confirmed that there will not be a TRISTAR show here in April.

“The San Francisco Bay Area, one of the country’s premier collectible markets, has been an annual stop on the TRISTAR show circuit for the past 22 years and is a market where we have produced tremendous collector shows,” The Direct Message stated. “In recent years, TRISTAR’s annual Bay Area show has occurred in the month of April. TRISTAR will not be producing a show in the Bay Area market in April 2019.”

The response continued, “While we do not have definitive dates set for our next Bay Area TRISTAR show, we continue to believe that this is a tremendous sports card / memorabilia market and look forward to returning to the San Francisco Bay Area.”

This is a bummer for me personally.  This show is the one regional show I really got geared up for, routinely taking the Friday off work so I can be at the show when the doors opened to the public on the first day.  And this year, I was hoping to take my 8-year-old son who just started collecting.

While TRISTAR did not provide a reason for the changed in plan, it also did not explicitly rule out a return to the area during a different time of the year.

In 2012 this show was the source of many great scores for me personally, including a pair of Mike Trout Bowman Chrome Rookie refractors for 50 cents each. Those are documented here in Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.

Proof USPS lied about “Delivered” COMC package

Posted in Mail Day with tags , , , , on January 15, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Oh, USPS, ya’ll got some explaining to do …

Yesterday I wrote about the package that was mailed from COMC (Link) in Washington to my address in the San Francisco Bay Area. The item, which requires a signature, was marked as “Delivered” by the USPS at 4:26 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, despite the fact that the item was never signed for or delivered at all.

I expected it to show up Saturday, Jan. 12, given my local USPS poor habit of fraudulently marking these as delivered a day earlier. No such thing arrived.

Lo and Behold what did I get in my mailbox Monday, Jan. 14? Not the package, but one of those glorious pink notices advising “Sorry We Missed You…,” effectively summoning me to the Post Office to sign for my item.

Call me stupid, but why would someone have to go sign for package that was already “Delivered?” Oh, that’s right … because it wasn’t.

This is PROOF that my local post office is continuing this scam where upon employees scan the items as “delivered” a day early to improperly inflate the success rate of it’s timed delivery service.

The Good News is that the COMC package is not lost, and has not been stolen. In fact, it’s exactly where I suspected it was the whole time — the damn Post Office.

The Bad News is now I have to figure out how to make time to get to the post office to retrieve the package — a sometimes daunting task given my work schedule that essentially keeps me from my hometown from sunrise to sunset.

I’ve also now got to find time to get in contact with the local Post Master to demand this branch stop this practice. It really undermines the integrity of the entire process; causes lots of stress on the consumer, and ultimately puts many of us who buy, sell and trade via the Internet at risk.






COMC package marked “Delivered” by USPS … only it wasn’t.

Posted in Mail Day with tags , , , , , , , on January 14, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

We all have our share of mail nightmare stories. My most recent tale, however, is the latest in an on-going issue that leads me to wonder if the USPS may be committing fraud.

The Washington-based card consignment website COMC.com recently shipped my latest purchases to me via USPS Priority Mail, and in customary fashion, COMC used the “Signature Required” option to ensure safe delivery. I’ve been a user of the site for almost a decade now and really have had no issues with purchasing and delivery.

My most-recent package was shipped on January 9 and was set for delivery on January 11. Because of the package required a signature I was constantly paying attention to the mail that day. I checked it frequently; a relative was home the entire day, and half way through the day I checked the shipping history and saw that the expected delivery date was changed to Saturday, January 12. Fine, I could live with that.

But when I checked the delivery history later that night, the status showed as “Delivered” at 4:26 p.m., which obviously didn’t actually occur.  Sadly, I knew what the deal was.  Back in November I had a similar situation involving some game-used baseballs. The package was marked and scanned as delivered late in the afternoon/early evening but the package did not actually arrive at my doorstep until the next day.  I spoke to my letter carrier, who has been working the route for several years, and he told me that it is customary for packages to be scanned at the office a day early, but not actually arrive at its destination until the next business day.  The letter carrier told me it’s not something he personally does, or even agrees with, but that’s the practice by the local post office. He said if the package is showing as being “Delivered” late in the afternoon or early evening, then it’ll in all likelihood show up the next day.

In that matter, my package did not require a signature. It was merely a Delivery Confirmation, and since the package was hand delivered to me the next day I didn’t raise a stink other than to mention it on Twitter.

But in this most recent matter, the package DOES require a signature, and it appears the post office went ahead and marked the item as delivered.  And so Saturday, Jan 12, rolls around and I check the mail again. A relative was home all day. And guess what? No package was delivered … and none of those pink “Signature Required” notes were left in the mailbox either.

And if you’re wondering if the package was stolen off the doorstep, the answer is no. We have the “Ring” doorbell system and it was not activated by any person seeking a signature for a package, or anyone taking packages.

It’s now Monday and I am livid that for the last 48 hours I’ve been stressing out about a package that may or may not be delivered today. I even checked the site again today and the status has not changed.  And when I requested via e-mail the proof of delivery, the scanned box for the “signature” is blank.

 

Whether or not this package arrives today, this will result in me contacting the local Post Master, and even calling the national complaint line in hopes of ending this practice of scanning packages early.

Pardon me in my thinking, but isn’t the USPS committing fraud by scanning these packages as delivered when in fact they are sitting in some office and not at the recipient’s address? Does this not call into question the validity of the entire confirmation and tracking process? I mean, they do charge extra for these services and they are set to not only gain monetarily from these special services, but are also skewing their success rate by using this practice.

Don’t get me wrong, not all USPS transactions fall under this umbrella. But this specific act of scanning packages as “Delivered,” a day early, needs to stop. Surely I am not the only one to experience this.  Please leave a comment if you have experienced the same or similar.