Archive for the Collecting Kershaw Category

I really didn’t want this … but I couldn’t pass it up

Posted in Collcting Clemens, Collecting Kershaw with tags , , , on March 4, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Have you ever found yourself staring at a card of your favorite player knowing you disliked the card, but still found yourself debating whether or not you “had” to own it?

This was the case for me a few weeks ago while doing another of my blind searches. I was stunned to see a 2014 Panini National Treaures Flawless diamond for sale for under $40.

My first reaction was to mash that Buy It Now button, especially since the card was encapsulated as a Gem Mint 9.5 by Beckett Grading. But I balked. Why? Because I own a similar raw gem card of Roger Clemens and for the most part I find these cards underwhelming.

This is my opinion. I know some people love the idea of a real gem stone being embedded in their card. But for the most part this doesn’t strike my collecting fancy. I purchased the Clemens gem card about a year or so ago for under $50 and thought it was a deal since the price of the sealed product is astronomical. When the Clemens arrived I looked at it, shrugged and set it aside with other Clemens cards. Was it nice? Sure, in theory. But the card just seemed bland.

Fast forward to the topic of this post: the 2014 Clayton Kershaw Flawless card.

When the card was posted at $40, I felt I needed to get it because the price was cheaper than Clemens and I felt this was a steal of a price. But as I noted, I balked because I really didn’t feel like dropping that price on it. But, I kept the item in my watch list.

The card failed to sell for several weeks, and the seller continued to drop the card’s price … until it got to a point where I felt The need to own it before someone else would. That price, around $25.

My driving force for the purchase was two fold:

1 – The new price: There is some built-in value in the fact that the card is already graded; also, the fact that this came from a product with a ridiculous price point made it feel like a deal.

2 – Symmetry: I own a Clemens gem card, so in a display case I can now show one gem card for each of the guys I collect.

Collecting is really about personal preference so the way I feel about gem cards might not be the same as you feel. But it is telling when a card depicting one of the game’s best players, limited to 20, containing a diamond, coming from a product that costs several hundred dollars –in a gem mint condition no less — can sell for well under the cost of two retail blasters. And given that context, doesn’t this really make us wonder where all that value is in those expensive Panini briefcases?

By the way, I am not letting Beckett get away without me mentioning how ugly and cheap these slabs feel for these gem cards. There is a ton of extra space inside the grading case, and the quality of plastic feels extra cheap. I’m tempted to crack the slab, but that gold label is the only thing stopping me.

Rookie Card parallel featuring rookie jersey serial number … sorta

Posted in Collecting Kershaw with tags , , , , , , on March 1, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

When it comes to Clayton Kershaw, there is one jersey number he will forever be remembered for wearing … and it’s 22.

But truth be told, he not only has worn 22. He has worn 54 for the Dodgers during his rookie season, and he has worn 46 and 75 as documented on various 2006-2008 Topps products.

The other day while checking for newly listed Kershaw cards on eBay I came across a tough rookie-year parallel, a 2008 Stadium Club Blue Photographer’s Proof parallel of Kershaw’s TSC rookie card. The card is serial numbered 75/99 … the 75 is significant because that is the jersey number Kershaw is wearing on his 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter and Topps Update rookie cards, among others.

For what it’s worth, I had only seen one other of this parallel card on eBay in recent history and it is still priced way more than I wanted to pay. But when this one popped up at a lower Buy It Now price and with a Best Offer option, I shot over an offer and within 20 minutes had negotiated a purchase price for about half of what the original BIN was. The card arrived earlier this week.

Regardless of the serial number, I decided the card was going to me mine. But the fact that this card had a serial number with some “importance” makes it a bit sweeter.

Player collectors have different methods for their madness. They sometimes only collect base cards, or chase the hits. And when it comes to serial numbered cards they sometimes can be very specific about THE one they need to own. I’m not entirely biased in that way, but I will often shop for a serial number that is appealing, and will pay a slight premium for cards featuring the serial number matching the player’s jersey number. In the case of this Stadium Club rookie parallel, I admit it’s a bit of a stretch, but it is a nice bonus to own this tougher find with a serial number matching the jersey number Kershaw is wearing on one of his significant rookie cards — it’s just too bad he’s not shown on this specific card wearing that number. Then again, if that were the case, I might have been able to get this card at the price I was able to negotiate.

The Topps Holiday Red Ugly Sweater parallel has arrived

Posted in Collecting Kershaw with tags , , , , on February 25, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Stop me if you’ve heard this before …

Card manufacturer offers themed cards for free through hobby shops related to a holiday or other occasion and people in and around the hobby complain.

They complain about lack of access to cards. (Not their fault)

They complain about uninspired design. (Matter of opinion)

They complain that the company could have used the time spent on the free cards to finish up outstanding redemptions. (Flawed argument)

That’s been the case for years, and was the case again in November/December when Topps released the Holiday 2018 promotion which offered Bowman-designed cards with fun color parallels, including this Red Ugly Sweater parallel featuring a border in the infamous sweater design.

I’m always a fan of free, special cards offered as a giveaway from the manufacturer. I don’t quite understand the pushback companies — Topps in this case — get for doing these things.

The cards were three cards per pack, and parallels were a tough find, especially the low-numbered ones.

I hit the Buy It Now when this version limited to 10 copies hit eBay last week. The card looks even better in person. I still need to track down the others for the Kershaw collection. Have one? Hit me on Twitter @cardboardicons.

3 things I learned today from card backs

Posted in Collecting Kershaw with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Ah, it’s Valentine’s Day.  Love is in the air for some, and for others … well, it’s just another day of baseball cards.  Could be worse, right?

I actually do have dinner plans later this evening, but for now during my lunch break it’s just me and handful of Clayton Kershaw cards, three to be exact. And why these three? Well, the backs of these three cards taught me something fun about my favorite current Major League player.

***

We’ll start with the love portion of this post.  Clayton Kershaw and his wife Ellen are religious and charitable people, which is wonderful as it works for them and they appear to be positive people making a positive impact on the world.  What I didn’t know is that the Kershaws apparently started dating in middle school, which is chronicled on the back of this 2014 Topps 1989 Die-Cut Mini.

The text reads: “Clayton became chums with Ellen Melson in junior high and now, as a married couple, they devote much of their time and resources to helping poor children in Zambia and the US.”

 ***

The second card in this selection is the 2013 Topps Chrome Kershaw which tells us about the southpaw’s taste in music. Either Topps fibbed here, or they went to town with the fact that Kershaw enjoys Taylor Swift’s music, and then used the musical artist’s last name (Swift) as a pun to describe Kershaw’s attributes, and then drew a parallel between Taylor Swift being the youngest album of the year winner, and Kershaw being the youngest lefty to win 20 games.  Also of note here is that the text above the paragraph sid as of 2013 Kershaw was 4,740 strikeouts behind all-time leader Nolan Ryan’s 5,714.  Entering 2019, Kershaw is now 3,439 short of the record.

***

And lastly, a glance at the rear of the 2011 Topps Chrome Clayton Kershaw reveals that he is the great-nephew of Clyde Tombaugh, the Astronomer who discovered Pluto. How’s that for random.  Funny note about Pluto … I grew up like many others with Pluto being identified as a planet.  It was not until sometime in the last few years that my kids advised me that Pluto is now a dwarf planet. Go figure.  

 

 

That moment when you decide to buy the cards instead of waiting to trade for them

Posted in Collecting Kershaw with tags , , , , , , on February 12, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I woke up this morning several hours before the sun rose and did the usual routine of checking eBay for new items. Among the new posts was a three-card lot of 2019 Topps Clayton Kershaw inserts.

There was the 1984 Design, and both 150th insert cards. The three-card lot was offered for sale at $1.29 + $1 PWE shipping, bringing the grand total to $2.29, which is about 75% of the cost for a single lack of cards.

And instead of mashing the Buy It Now option, I waited. And I waited. And then waited some more because I wrestled with “breaking the seal.”

You see, none of these cards are rare. They’ll all be on COMC at some point for like 50 cents each, or someone will offer me them in a trade. So I had a hard time hitting that BIN button immediately because eventually they would be mine. In some ways there is a belief in me that once you start buying cheap cards, it cheapens the act of trading as one starts to wonder if it’s worth the time and effort to find, sort, negotiate and eventually finalize a deal and ship cards. I hate that these are things to think about, but they’re all realities when trading with a partner who is not in front of you.

In this case I eventually hit the Buy It Now because when it came down to it, the low shipping cost for this lot was likely less than it would have cost me to ship out comparable cards in a trade for the same card.

Am I the only one who thinks about these things?

Collecting Kershaw: Today begins a new page, the first of 2019

Posted in Collecting Kershaw with tags , , , , , , on February 10, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Today I woke up and saw that I left my Clayton Kershaw binder on my kitchen table. I opened the binder and the first page was that containing various 2018 Topps Heritage cards. It’s a beautiful page, but it also represented cards from last season.

2019 Topps is by my count 11 days old today, and since the product hit shelves I have been trading for and buying various Kershaw inserts and parallels. I’v e had several maildays over the last week or so, and today I decided to put them all in the binder to effectively begin the new card year in this collection.

The page has seven of the nine pockets full, but by the middle of the week this page will be filled with parallels of this base card, and a second page will have been started.

For the record as of this moment I have the Base, Gold, Rainbow Foil, Black, Independence Day, Father’s Day Blue and Advanced Stats back; I have the “150th” gold stamp and the Meijers Purple versions on the way to fill out this specific page. And a pair of inserts are on the way, and of course I’ll need the parallels of those at some point.

Collecting these parallels has kept me away from buying more of the 2019 Topps packs for the most part. Typically I would have gotten several blasters, tons of loose packs and other type of packs by this point. Instead I’ve kept it fairly light — a hobby box, two blasters and handful of packs. And I’ve managed to trade off some base doubles for Kershaws, so that’s a win.

Have something I may need? Hit me on Twitter @cardboardicons.

First Kershaw 2019 Topps parallel has arrived

Posted in Collecting Kershaw with tags , , , , , , , on February 4, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

One of the first things I did on Wednesday after sorting my 2019 Topps hobby box was check eBay to see how much the new parallels of Kershaw were going for. And just as I suspected, some were selling really cheap, like for the price of three packs, because some folks were looking to strike while the iron was hot and sell whatever they could to get back some of the money they spent.

As you know by now, 2019 Topps pack prices increased to $2.99 retail (or about $3.50 a pack for hobby in some places) as the card company decided to change some of its pack specs: Topps bumped up the number of cards per pack, and decreased the number of packs from 36 packs to just 24. It’ll take some time getting used to, but I don’t hate the change. Although there have been varying opinions from persons who who buy and break in quantity as it has changed the landscape for building complete sets or even master sets.

I digress. The Kershaw base card and parallels of it are the ones that I really had my eye. So I decided to pounce on a half dozen eBay listing featuring the parallels at a price point I was comfortable with.

The first of those purchases arrived over the weekend, and it was the Vintage Stock serial numbered to 99 copies, which I managed to get for under $12 shipped.

I have a few more on the way; I’m sure I’ll post them, especially the Independence Day one that should be here mid week. I really like those Patriot parallels.