Archive for the Mail Day Category

Collecting Clemens: A collector package from South Korea

Posted in Collcting Clemens, Mail Day on May 23, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

A few weeks ago, a person who recently came into my network of collectors put out on Twitter that he was looking for a Roger Clemens collector, so I raised my hand.

This collector is currently living and working in South Korea and said he had a bunch of Clemens stickers from the 1990s that he was looking to unload. The cost? Nothing. I offered to send something in exchange but he insisted, so I thanked him and sent him a mailing address.

That package arrived this week and from the moment the package was opened, it hit me right in the feels. The first item I saw in this package was the back of a 1988 Fleer Sticker, a set that is near and dear to my heart. In 1988, I only knew of ONE place that had these stickers, a 7-Eleven near my grandfather’s house and we only visited him once in a blue moon. So at best I may have opened three or four packs in my youth,

Sure, I’ve since acquired that Clemens sticker but every time I lay eyes on the black and white color back of these stickers I am transported to 1988 and a vision of seeing a box of these smashed — literally– under some toys near the register.

The 1988 Fleer sticker was just one item in this package that evoked feelings of nostalgia. Damn near everything in here reminded me of my early collecting days, when I often found myself debating whether or not to buy cards or stickers, after all, I treated them the same — they all got shoved into boxes or in those stiff, poor quality binder pages that used to crack and flake every time I flipped through my three-ring, O-Ring binder.

Here’s everything that was inside the package. And before I forget to say it, thank you, Dan, aka Korean Cardboard. (Edit: And thanks to Andrew for the assist, sorry I forgot to name you earlier.)

We’ll start with a 1987 Fleer Sticker. I never saw these during my youth, except when they were being sold at card shows.

The 1988 Panini sticker set is also one that hits home with me. These stickers and the album were given away when we signed up for Little League during that year. I would also buy packages of these whenever my mom took us grocery shopping. The Clemens is a classic to me for obvious reasons.

By 1991, I had pretty much moved away from the Panini sticker albums. But I still found myself buying packages of them from time to time just to vary the items that were coming into my collection. These stickers are pretty boring if you ask me — they’s skinnier and the design is bland. But, the did have stats right on the sicker, and not just printed in the album.

Know what’s funny? I never even saw Panini stickers in 1994 or 1996 in stores, yet here they are now in my hands. I have to say, I kind of dig the green borders and the larger stickers from 1994; the 1996 feels very 1996 — small and lazy.

I bought a TON of 1988 and 1989 Topps sticker back packs, these are the ones that felt like the UK Mini cards but had stickers affixed to the back. This package contained a bunch of these, as well as some O-Pee Chee versions. I’m happy to see these beauties again.

As for Topps stickers, I didn’t get down with those as much as the Panini ones, so these are a nice addition to the collection. Here are a some 1987s, including a dual-sticker and a foil All-Star.

All in all, this was a fun package to receive from over seas. Thanks again, Dan.

Poor packaging, fingernail marks and a Kershaw Gold Rookie Card highlight mailday

Posted in Collecting Kershaw, Mail Day with tags , , , , , on May 10, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I received two packages yesterday, both of which contained Clayton a Kershaw cards.

The first package I shared on a twitter as the packaging alone is almost post worthy. I acquired a 2019 Topps Opening Day Dirt relic card that the seller decided to ship only in a team bag taped to a piece of cardboard, all inside a padded envelope. No Top Loader. I wouldn’t bother bringing up the packaging if the seller had used a piece of cardboard on both side of the card, however that was not the case. This seller merely left one side — the top side — exposed to the bubble wrap and whatever case into contact with it. Folks, don’t do this.

The card is Ok, I suppose. Although I now wonder if it was done on purpose as a cover-up, or to build in an excuse for the dog marks on the surface of the card — you can see there are fingernail marks, a true sign this card was pulled by a not-so-careful packsearcher.

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The second package brought home a card I wasn’t sure I’d ever acquired. An inexperienced seller put up for auction a base 2008 Topps Update Kershaw Rookie Card along with a 2008 Topps Update Gold Border Kershaw Rookie serial numbered /2008. I managed to acquire the lot for the price of three blasters, which is a pretty decent deal considering the base Rookie often sells $40-$60 when Kershaw is healthy. True, the Gold has some issues on one corner — which is likely why some folks balked — but the two-Card lot made sense for me.

COMC Mailday: Kershaws and Clemens galore

Posted in Collcting Clemens, Collecting Kershaw, Mail Day with tags , , , , , , , on May 9, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I love being a player collector on COMC. Every day I’ll check the site and pick off cards I want and leave them in my account until I reach 100. At that point I’ll request shipment because when you ask for 100 cards to be delivered, COMC gives you a $5 bonus on the first day of the next month.

So the bonus effectively give me free shipping. And if you’ve ever dealt with COMC as a buyer, you know how Top-notch their packaging and fulfillment is.

Anyway, as usual, I filled by account with mostly Roger Clemens and Clayton Kershaw cards. And while most of it is ho-hum stuff I needed for my player collections, there are some neat pieces that I’ll show off here.

We’ll start with some Clemens stuff, move into some Kershaws, and then round out the post with some non-PC items.

I’m pretty sure I’ve written this somewhere, but when I was a kid I used to love my single 1985 Topps Roger Clemens Rookie Card so much that I actually put it into a Card Saver I and TAPED the holder to the inside pocket of my school binder. That way I could look at it at will, and I always knew where it was at. Fast forward some 30 years and I still fawn over the Clemens Topps Rookie And usually buy them when I find them cheap. This month I grabbed two from COMC when I found them near $2 each. Several others have since popped up but I’ve not bought another. Worth noting that when I place these two on top of each other, it’s clear that one of them was trimmed by some asshat who was hoping to turn it into a monster.

It sucks to see this, but I’m not upset… just part of this cards history, a reminder that people once cared enough about a Clemens to do such a thing.

Hey, Remember when Upper Deck produces upper tier baseball cards? Here are three reminders: A 1998 Amazing Greats DIE-CUT (/250), a 1997 SP SPX Force quad player hologram (/500), and a 2007 Exquisite Rookie Signature’s. Gorgeous stuff.

Here’s a few serial numbered cards, including a 2018 Topps Triple Threads parallel 21/99. Jersey number serial numbers are awesome.

I love the image on the 1991 Topps Roger Clemens Card; I really wish they turned that into a poster or even one of those folders. Anyway? Here are two Gypsy Queen minis from a few years ago, serial numbered /50 and /199. I showed these to my son the other day and he smiled and said he knew where else this picture was used. That made ME smile.

I still buy relic cards if they’re cheap enough or make me feel a certain way. All three of these checked one or both of those boxes.

And I’ll round out the Clemens highlights — like I said I have others that I won’t show here for the sake of tome — with a 1995 Collector’s Choice Gold Signature parallel and a 2004 Topps Chrome Refractor. I don’t have enough Clemens refractors.

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We’ll kick off the Kershaw portion with a BGS 9 Mint 2006 Bowman Heritage Prospects Card. I love BGS and grabbed this for almost as much as it costs to slab a single card these days. That’s a win.

Speaking of early cards, here are two inexpensive early editions I didn’t already own: 2006 Just and 2008 Tri-Star Projections.

Remember what I saw about Clemens relics above? The same applies for Kershaw. I added 7 new relics to my collection, including these three Panini “National” Silver (I think) Pack patch cards, which I scored collectively for about the price of a blaster. I now own 3 of the 15 produced.

The other relics included a Topps Tribute jumbo size relic, a full size Ginter relic and another 2018 Topps Heritage relic. Also, a 2016 Panini National Treasures dual jumbo relic booklet featuring two plain game-worn swatches. It’s almost blasphemous these large swatches are so bland in a product so expensive, but hey …. I’ll take a booklet of MY guy /15 for under $15.

From real used relics to manufactured relics. Here is a Topps MVP medallion Card, which is a type of card that usually doesn’t move the needle for me because it’s big (as in thick) and relatively unimpressive, except this one was cheap and it bears Kershaw’s serial number on the back.

Lets go from big to little … as in minis. The Diamond Kings is /25, and of course that red border Ginter is /40. Love this stuff even if they are a pain to store sometimes.

Speaking of parallels. Sometimes it’s a pain to chase these things for your player collections. But when they’re all together they sure are cool to look at. Here are a few various parallels.

And serial numbered parallels are also fun. I knocked out a few /10, /25, /50, /100 and so on …

Also picked up a pair of photo variations from recent years. Here are 2013 Topps and 2019 Topps.

And let’s round out this Kershaw section with a pair of high-end Topps cards, 2010 Topps Sterling /250 and 2012 Topps Museum Collection /199.

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And lastly here are six cards that either I needed for a set, were so cheap I couldn’t pass or otherwise spoke to me.

That 2018 Topps On Demand Mike Trout reminded me of a dream I have which is to take a photo that winds up on a real baseball card; and that Todd Helton Playoff Absolute has a laundry tag in it. Couldn’t pass for under $10. The Arrieta Topps Update Rookie BGS 9.5 was a steal for under $2. That’s not a typo.

Trade of base dupes leads to PC items, and bonuses

Posted in Mail Day with tags , , , , , , on February 16, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I enjoy when I buy product to build a set and then take my duplicates and find a trading partner who needs a good chunk of them for a set they’re building on their own. What makes that process even more gratifying is when the partner has cards I need for my PC.

Such was the case recently when Scott (@saadams81) showed me a list of the 2019 Topps cards he needed. I was able to locate 66 cards he needed for his set. Scott had two Kershaw insets from 2019 Topps that I needed, and I inquired whether he had any of the guys I collect. He managed to have a few more Kershaw and Roger Clemens cards I needed for my PC.

My packaged arrived to him first, and his was delayed coming to me due to bad weather. But when the package arrived I was thrilled to find the cards we agreed upon, as well as two bonuses …

Scott was very generous in sending these two Stadium Club autos of Jharel Cotton and Matt Olson. Whats great is baseball season is around the corner and both guys are with Oakland still, and we’ll be seeing plenty of them as the season gets under way. Both cards will go into my son’s baseball binder.

Thanks again, Scott. I’m sure we’ll continue trading in the future.

Mailday brings Kershaw XFractors, inserts; Stash of Soto rookies

Posted in Mail Day with tags , , , , , , on February 13, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

It’s been a nutty week at work with the amount of stuff that needs to be done. But at the end of the day, it’s always nice to return home and find a mailbox stuffed with items to add to my collection.

Today’s mailday comes from a Twitter follower named Jake (@Jake1725) who was offering cards for sale last week including a lot of five Juan Soto rookies for $10. I snatched them up as soon as I saw them available.  I then inquired if Jake had any Clayton Kershaws for sale, and he most certainly did.

As it turned out, Jake had 19 Kershaws that I needed, and so the package quickly grew from just five Soto cards to more than 20 as a whole.

The Soto cards are nice additions to my Soto stash. They included a Topps Living Set card, two Topps Update Chromes and two Topps Update rookies.

The Kershaws were also a welcome addition as they included various parallels – namely a run of Topps Chrome Xfractors from 2010 through 2014, and 2013 Topps Heritage Retail Black border – and a bunch of inserts that filled some gaps in the binder pages.

I’ve been wrestling a bit with my feelings on Twitter sales – my timeline seems to flooded with them recently — but when you find a purchase that makes sense and the cards arrives safely, it certainly instantly changes the mood in a positive way.

 

A non-update update to the USPS Fraudulent Delivery Saga

Posted in Mail Day with tags , , , , , on January 25, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Earlier this month I wrote pieces (first and second) about my local Post Office screwing around with delivery confirmation, and even went as far as to mark a “Signature Required” package as delivered even though the item was sitting at the post office for several days before an actual attempt at physical delivery was made.

Ut was the latest in an on-going poor delivery model that my local USPS branch has been employing. I went to the post office on January 18 at 9:15 a,m., and was told by woman working a the window that the managers were not on duty until 11:30 a.m. that day.

Frustrated, I left my name and phone number and a brief synopsis so that ANY MANAGER could call me back. I’ve been awaiting a return call ever since.

I sort of let the issue sit. I probably should have gone to the post office this week to try to settle the issue in person, but I had other things I wanted to do, and other errands that needed to get accomplished. Also, I had already gotten my package thanks to my brother-in-law who was nice enough to go sign for it at the post office in the middle of last week.

I digress. This week I received a notification that a new Roger Clemens card was “delivered.” I grabbed my mail earlier int he day on Thursday, Jan. 24, so I sorta knew what the deal was when the Delivery notification came through after 3 p.m. I figured the USPS was still scanning packages a day earlier and that it would arrive today, Friday, Jan. 25.

Well, guess what didn’t show up today? That’s right, the card that supposedly was delivered.

So I called the local Postal Office and the phone rang dozens of times with no answer. Fed up I decided to call the 800 national numbered and had to navigate my way through a phone tree until I finally got an option to speak to a live person. Sadly, the automated message advised that there was a 35 to 52 minute wait, and then advised that the operators only have the same information that is available online.

Knowing this was wasted effort, I hung up the phone and decided to call the local branch again. This time the number doesn’t even ring — it’s just goes to a busy signal.

Looks like I’ll just have to wait this most recent episode out and then try to make contact again in person next week when I have time off of work.

Stay tuned.

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.