Archive for the Mail Day Category

eBay Bucks purchase arrives; cracked from slab after 16 years

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

Last week I chronicled here what I did with my eBay Bucks: I turned the bonus funds into a card I wanted for nearly two decades, the 1998 Upper Deck SP Authentic Chirography Roger Clemens autograph, limited to a reported 400 copies.

The card arrived Friday and I was anxious to see how bad the edges on this card were — the card was graded a 7.5 by Beckett Grading in October 2002, hammered significantly for edges.

When I opened the box I could see the issue, two finger nail digs near the top left border. I’m not sure how that happened. Maybe someone tried too hard to get it into a Card Saver II, or used their finger names to remove the card from a Top Loader? Either way, the grade was justified. But that, of course, didn’t mean I had to stare at that hideous 7.5 grade every time I wanted to look at the card.

And so I cracked it from it’s case. I broke off the top right corner of the BGS case with a pair of pliers, then slid a butter knife between the two parts of the slab and twisted the knife, to create separation. And then pried the top and bottom apart to free the card. This process is usually neater than what occurred here, but the card came out safe.

I often say Ultra Pro One-Touches are overrated — and I still feel that way, especially if you’re using them to secure cards during transport. I still believe top loader and penny sleeve are still the best for that.

But I do think One Touches serve as a nice case for display — they’re the new school version of my old favorite, the single-screw recessed screw down.

I bought the whole lot for one card…

Posted in Mail Day with tags , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

You know you’re a player collector when you buy an entire lot of a player’s cards solely because you thought you needed just one of them.

Such was the case last week when I was conducting an open-ended search on eBay for Roger Clemens cards. I came upon a lot of 43 Clemens cards that initially looked like the majority of lots that hit eBay — full of standard issues from 1987 to 1998.

But this is why I try to check every single lot of Clemens cards when I do these searches — you never know what may be within the lot that was not mentioned in the title.

In the fourth image attached to this lot was a shiny blue die-cut 2000 Pacific Crown Royale Platinum Blue serial numbered to 75 copies.

The seller knew the card was special; they even show cased it on its own in the fifth and final image of the auction. But it was not listed in the header, so any person who was looking for this specific card would not have seen it. It also was not specifically listed in the description, just described as a die-cut card serial numbered 23/75.

The remainder of the lot wasn’t terrible. As it turned out there were five other cards in the lot that I did not have: 1995 Upper Deck Electric Diamond, 1998 Fleer Decade of Excellence, 1998 Ultra, 1998 Skybox Dugout Access, and 1998 Upper Deck All Star Credentials.

As far as the dupes, there was a 1997 Fleer EX-2000 – another reminder of the 1990s being full of cutting edge stuff.

Not a bad haul for under $6 delivered.

A Belated Congrats from Night Owl

Posted in Mail Day with tags , , , , , on January 10, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Way back in October, when it was determined the Boston Red Sox would face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series, I reached out to Greg, AKA Night Owl (link), and proposed that we should make a small wager.

You see, Greg is a Dodgers fan, and I am a Red Sox fan. I’ve been communicating with Greg for about 10 years through our blogs and Twitter. It seemed like a fun idea at the time. So we agreed to make a small wager, with non-specific cardboard of course.

Then things started to develop in the Series. The Sox took Games One and Two in Boston, and with the Series headed back to the West Coast I turned my attention away from the wager, and focused on the fact that the Sox were heading toward another title, and because of my geographic location, I may actually have a chance to see it live if the series extended to a fifth game.

The Dodgers took Game three in legendary extra innings fashion, and then Boston won Game Four, securing the opportunity of a lifetime for me — I had tickets to Game Five to potentially see my team win a World Series title before my very eyes.

I’ve written about that experience (here) but I couldn’t help but think about Greg while I was there at Dodger Stadium that night. I wished he also had a chance to experience such a view; but I also though about our silly wager — even as Game Five wore on, I thought it would be nice to send him something instead of expecting him to pay me for his end of the wager.

I checked the merchandise stands for something that might make for a nice souvenir to send him, but sadly a lot of what they had was generic World Series stuff and it was overpriced.

But what I did end up doing was send him something that I confirmed he didn’t have — a 2018 Topps Living Set card of Game Five starter, Clayton Kershaw. You see, on Oct. 17, when Kershsaw’s card was released I ordered five of the cards because Kershaw is my favorite player. Those cards arrived within a week and a half of the Sox victory so I packaged one up and sent it on over the Greg, who acknowledged the card in a post that I actually missed at the time.

I wasn’t expecting anything in return — but this week I got a small package from Greg. He was holding up his side of the wager with a handful of Red Sox cards, and 10 Kershaw cards, three of which I did not already have.

Thanks for holding up your end, Greg. The cards are glorious.

The dream Roger Clemens card has arrived

Posted in Mail Day with tags , , , , , on December 21, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

Ask any player collector what they’re dream card is and it’s likely going to be a signed rookie card of some sorts.  Or maybe a 1/1 featuring a sweet patch or button, coupled with an autograph.


For me, with Roger Clemens being my guy, that dream card is a 1991 Topps Desert Shield, signed by the man himself.

Some people may not understand my fascination with this card. I was a big fan of the photography used in the 1991 set and from the outset, I had my eye on the Clemens card because it features him standing at the base of the iconic Green Monster. I’ve owned probably 30 or 40 copies of the standard card, but always wanted the Desert Shield version. For the uninitiated, the Desert Shield version features a gold stamp in the corner. These were cards that were sent (in pack/box form) to the US troops stationed abroad during the Gulf War. The fact that some of these actually made it back to the States is impressive in their own right.

(Side note: Surely some of the boxes never actually made it abroad as sealed wax can be found if your pockets are deep enough. Nonetheless, the mystique surrounding the product remains.)

When I first learned of the cards, I hoped that one day I could own one card — any card at that — from that special set.  My hopes, obviously, were to own the Clemens card but I figured it would cost me a fortune. Remember, this was a quarter of a century ago.

Over time we as a hobby have found new ways to get the cards of which we’d always dreamed. The internet has made the impossible possible as we were no longer limited to just the cards we had in local shops and shows. Even so, I failed to obtain a Desert Shield version of the 1991 card until recently, when I not only located THE card, but one that had been handled and signed by the legend Roger Clemens himself. The autograph is authenticated by JSA, as noted with a sticker affixed to the back with a matching serial number on the COA.

The term “priceless” gets used quit a bit by collectors, but this one truly is in my mind.

Honus Wagner Leads The Pack Of Latest BVG Order

Posted in Mail Day with tags , , , , , , , on April 25, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

Some of you who know me on a personal level know that I’ve been dealing with some  stuff at home, which inevitavlely has affected my time to blog.  That said, thank you for sticking around and reading this regardless of who you are. I’m hoping to write more as time permits.

 photo 68BD5E58-4FC6-4208-8607-6FD87204A013_zps8xrv8xhg.jpgOn Friday I received my latest Beckett Grading order of seven newly slabbed cards and because of the headliner I had to share.

About 6-8 weeks ago I wrote about acquiring a collecting goal, a tobacco-era Honus Wagner. My acquisition of a 1909-11 Colgan’s Chips Wagner was really a highlight of my collecting career.

I began collecting cards in 1987, right about the same time THE 1909-11 T-206 Honus Wagner started to hit mainstream.  Much has been written about said card. And despite the controversy surrounding the grade PSA issued the card — it’s been learned that the card is in fact altered — it is still a significant part of our hobby’s history. The drama has kept the Wagner name synonymous with cardboard icon status.

I digress. Owning a tobacco-era Wagner has always been a goal of mine. And I achieved it in the form of this Colgan’s Chips bubble gum card.
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The card was previously a SGC “Authentic” and once in the hands of Beckett Grading I learned that my Wagner was also altered, not unlike THE Wagner. As it turns out, someone had traced some of the words on the back of my Wagner — which likely were damaged/lost when the card was removed from some sort of album — thus earning the “Authentic/Alrered” slab.  I’m fine with this as the goal all along has been to own an authentic Wagner. 
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There were six other cards in my BGS order, some of which were crossed over from PSA or SGC, and others that were previously raw. I like to have my cards in BGS/BVG holders for continuity.

1948 Bowman Stan Musial rookie, 2.5:
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1922 Nielson’s Chocolate George Sisler, 1.5
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1922 American Caramels Leon “Goose” Goslin, 1
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1957 Topps Jim Bunning rookie, 5:
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1958 Topps Roger Maris rookie, 3:
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1954 Topps Ted Williams, 1.5:
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Who doesn’t like a good story: 1921 American Caramel Wally Pipp

Posted in Mail Day with tags , , , on October 26, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

Everyone knows who Lou Gehrig is. Whether it be for the disease that bears his name, the fact that he was a stud baseball player or simply as the man whom Cal Ripken Jr overtook two decades ago in Ripken’s quest to become baseball’s record holder for most consecutive games played.

Only a true baseball fan knows the name Wally Pipp.  

The legend has it that Pipp, who was a star in his own right, asked for a day off on 1925 due to a headache and Gehrig started in his place and performed good enough to keep Pipp out of the lineup, and Gehrig played 2,130 consecutive games from that point forward. I call this legend because the facts of Gehrig starting instead of Pipp in 1925 are a bit cloudy. The alternative to the “legend” is the fact that Pipp was struggling and the Yankees needed a spark, which Gehrig obviously provided.

Now, about this card.  This is not Pipp’s first card. It is a 1921 American Caramels release, but is one of the early cards to have a picture of Pipp instead of some wacky drawing.  I purchased the card on eBay about two weeks ago and watched it ship from Pennsylvania to California in just a few days.  And then it got stuck, only about 50 miles from my home.

This was the update as of Sunday morning.

  
It bounced around Richmond, Calif., and then San Francisco for a few more days. And then Monday it arrived like this.

  
Yes, the envelope tore open while it was in transit to me and the card was exposed to the world  This is likely the cause for the delay in delivery.

The funny thing is someone probably took a peek at the card and said, “Who the hell is Walter Pipp?” Thankfully, due to the circumstances, the name was not more recognizable.

That being said, there is a lesson to learn here.  If you’re going to use re-purposes bubble mailer — which I AM in favor of — tape ALL edges to ensure a more rigid package.

And in case you’re wondering the case was cracked in the mail. But that’s a moot point as I will likely have is crossed over to a Beckett Grading slab.

You don’t go to the post office at 6 a.m. for just any card 

Posted in Hall of Fame Rookie Cards, Hall of Famers, Mail Day with tags , , , , on October 14, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

Yesterday I posted about my 1933 Goudey Jim Bottomley card that arrived in the mail.  There should have been a second card as part of that mail day, but no one was home to sign for it.

So the postman left a note saying so could pick up the item anytime after 6 a.m. the next day.

I was there 15 minutes early.

Behold, perhaps the best looking low grade t206 you may ever see, the newest addition to my collection, a 1909-11 t206 Tris Speaker.

  
One look at this card and you may wonder why it graded a 1.5. The front is drop-dead gorgeous. Fantastic centering and bright colors. Decent corners for a century-old card.

The back is why it graded so low.  But even with the paperloss, the back isn’t that bad and when this thing is in my showcase, no one will be looking at the back.