Archive for the Misc. Category

2019 Topps is like 10 days old … now what do we buy?

Posted in Box / Pack Break, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , on February 9, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Funny thing happens every year. The new Topps flagship hits stores and we buy like crazy.

Then the newness wears off and some of us are left wondering what else we’re going to buy.

My son and I just went to Target to get some groceries and I grabbed three 2019 Topps Series One packs and put them in the cart.

Then something happened. I started thinking that I was going to spend about $9 on three Topps packs when I only need like two cards for the set, and I’ve been buying Kershaw parallels on eBay. In short: I didn’t NEED these packs.

As we returned to registers to pay for our items, I told my son we’d put one pack back and then he and I could each open a pack and then make a trade. However, when my son learned a pack was for him and not for me, he asked for a pack of Prizm basketball instead. I wasn’t too keen on spending $2.99 on four Prizm cards from a loose box that likely had been searched in some fashion.

So we talked and I wound up putting my Topps pack back, talked him out of the Prizm — we opened a fair amount during the holidays — and grabbed a Panini Contenders blaster instead. He remembered these cards were designed to look like a ticket and we hadn’t opened any this year.

I let him open the blaster and keep everything. He didn’t do too bad; he even pulled two Steph Curry cards, which is perfect timing because I’m taking him to his first Warriors game tomorrow against the Miami Heat.

In Memoriam: Frank Robinson (Aug. 31, 1935 – Feb. 7, 2019)

Posted in In Memoriam, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , on February 7, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

1957 Topps Rookie Card.

They have NBA Prizm where?!

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , on February 7, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

As a kid, it was not uncommon to run down to the corner store, whether it be an independent liquor store or a 7-Eleven and find sports cards for sale.

Hell, it was at 7-Eleven stores that I had two of my best pulls, a 2002 Topps Heritage Willie Mays auto relic, and a 2001 Upper Deck Hall of Famers Walter Johnson cut Autograph — the latter of which I sold and helped get me through a year of college.

But times have changed, and cards at these stores have pretty much disappeared.

So imagine my reaction when I picked up my kids Wednesday night from their moms house and stopped at 7-Eleven to buy some milk and saw this …

That is a TON of retail Prizm and Hoops … and at the same price you’d find it at Target, which is only a mile down the road.

I had the urge to clear the shelf … but I resisted. My son and I opened a fair amount of both Prizm and Hoops, and are working on the sets.

And so I walked away, but that sight is likely one I’ll never see again. I am curious though if this particular store will be selling cards going forward, or if this franchise decides to sell these since Warriors players Stephen Curry and Kevin Durrant are in the wrappers — I do live in the GSW market.

For what it’s worth, I have not seen cards at any other 7-Elevens recently.

Generous Friend strikes again – 1989 World Series Press Pin

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , on February 3, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I have this one friend who is a hardcore game-used uniform collector. From time to time he brings me pieces to photo match for him, or to simply let me get hands-on with. Recently he brought me a lot he purchased that included a Buster Posey used equipment bag. In the lot were a pair of used batting gloves, a signed 2012 World Series ball (not used), a used Posey beanie cap, and two lapel pins, one of which I identified as a Press Pin from the infamous 1989 Bay Bridge World Series. The pins were gifted to members of the press in the press box. They are highly collectible, although the older ones certainly carry much more value.

I pointed this fact out to my friend and he said, “Cool. Now you have a Giants World Series Press Pin. It means more to you since you used to be Press.”

I asked three times if he was serious and he answered in the affirmative each time. He also gifted me the other pin, which I believe is also a press pin from the 1984 MLB All-Star Game played at Candlestick Park, then-home of the San Francisco Giants.

Both pins are made by Balfour, which has made both pins and championship rings for MLB and other sports entities. Thanks, Al, the gifts are always appreciated and totally not necessary.

2019 Topps release and the World Series relics

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Today sparks the beginning of the new card collecting year as 2019 Topps is released in most hobby shops and online. And like every year for the last 10-plus years the set will feature an insert set honoring the World Series champions complete with relics and autographs

There should be some excitement for Boston Red Sox fans as once again they have championship cards to collect. But in some ways, the relics in the new Topps release feel second-rate based on what was offered months ago directly from Topps.

The reason I say this is because while the 2019 cards themselves commemorate the champions, the relics within the cards are not from the World Series. Hell, they even say as such on the front of the card.

Now, this is NOT breaking news. Over the last decade, Topps has refrained from identifying the year in which the items was used, and sometimes even don’t identify the fabric embedded in the card. And my point of this post is not to complain, or to poke fun at Topps. Rather, this post is to highlight the greatness of the Topps Now program.

Because if you as a Red Sox collector wanted a legitimate piece of the World Series, there were pieces available directly from Topps a day after the Red Sox claimed the title at Dodger Stadium. Topps made available a team celebration card that featured a small chunk of a base from Game 5. It was limited, but it does in fact feature a piece of baseball history.

The 2019 Topps World Series champions cards do indeed look nice, and I’ll reiterate that this post is not to disparage them. Heck, if I can get a few of them at a decent price at some point I will probably pounce on them. But for me, the smarter money was spent in October after the title when I secured my piece of the game. And to my surprise, the card arrived in relatively quick fashion.

My specific card is the Purple version, serial numbered 10/25. It features a white base swatch bearing hologram number JC698628  the authentication certificate via MLB then refers to the original hologram for the entire base
JC334202 which indicates the base used in this relic card was second base used during innings 5 through 7 of Game Five of the 2018 World Series, which means the base was actually stepped on by League MVP Mookie Betts and JD Martinez, who both homered in that game, in innings 6 and 7, respectively.

Of course, this relic from Topps Now is a bit more special to me than most. I managed to attend Game Five and see my favorite team of more than three decades hoist the World Series Championship Trophy before my very eyes.

2019 Topps Kershaw could be a problem based on mock up

Posted in Collecting Kershaw, Misc. with tags , , , , , on January 28, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Yesterday I wrote about how I’m going to be put to the test this week with the release of 2019 Topps and how it’ll likely break my month-long streak of not buying/opening packs.

That of course led me to look really for the first time at some of the mockups that were released of certain players – I had resisted for the most part as I did not want to trigger my desires for new cards.

Given that Clayton Kershaw is really the only active player I truly collect, I went and looked at the early released version of his card. And something immediately struck me: Is Kershaw’s zipper down in this image?

I hope that Topps picked up on this and figured out a way to either fix it in Photoshop or choose another image.

I was discussing this with a friend yesterday and it was determined that the image used in the mock up comes from his Opening Day 2018 start against the San Francisco Giants.

I like Kershaw, but I really don’t want to be distracted with his first 2019 card featuring him with a wardrobe malfunction.

Month of pack cleansing about to face test with 2019 Topps

Posted in Commentary, Misc. with tags , , , , , , on January 27, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

A lot of people joke they are addicted to sports cards. It’s usually said in a light-hearted manner to really describe their insatiable thirst for cards – their desire to acquire; the urge to constantly move items around to see new things in their collection.

And then there are those who truly have an addiction. Those who can’t go a day without buying something – a pack, a blaster, a spot in a break.

I’m probably somewhere in the middle of the two types described above, although I recognize I do have an addictive personality. And that is why I like to use the month of January as a respite from packs.

It’s a bit easier for me than others as I pretty much collect only baseball.  And for the most part there haven’t been any baseball releases since mid-December. And truthfully, I am not the target audience of those late-year releases – I stopped prospecting years ago, and I really don’t purchase the higher end stuff until the single hit the secondary market.

But right about this time every year – in late January – the hobby discussion begins to turn toward the release of the new Topps flagship set. The 2019 Topps cards are scheduled to be released this upcoming week, but we have already started to see some leak out.

The anticipation for these cards has caused some – including me – to check their retailers to see if the cards had hit retail shelves in their area early. It has happened before.

What’s interesting is that we all know that these cards are not rare. Hell, if you look hard enough you can still find some Series 1 from 2018 sitting at some retailers.  But it’s this urge for the newest items that some – including me – can’t resist at times. We want to be the first to have it in hand. The first to say we found it. We want that attention, that satisfaction that in 2019 – or whatever year – you were the first or among the first folks – to own cards from that year.

More than ever I find myself fighting myself on this notion. As documented here, there have been many changes in my life over the last few years and this has no doubt had an impact on the way I collect for economic reasons – single-income households are tough to maintain. And because I have been in this game for three-plus decades, it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks – or in other word, fight those urges to go out and buy a bunch of the new stuff, when really just a few packs – or no packs at all – will suffice. I mean, when it really comes down to it, I really only collect Roger Clemens and Clayton Kershaw. That’s not to say that other cards can’t have a place in my collection, but it should serve as a reminder that I do no need to clear out a retailer of a product simply because it’s new – and I’d guess I am not the only person in such a position.

The age of social media has made this tough as we are constantly exposed to the new stuff, and are usually hit with images of the good pulls because it is our nature in present times to share everything almost immediately.  And when we see those pulls, we think we could do the same by purchasing a pack, a box, a spot in a break, etc.

When 2019 Topps hits shelves this week and the images start flowing for real on my Twitter feed, I know exactly how I’m going to feel. I’m going to be excited. I’m going to be filled with the thrill of endless possibilities. But it’s important that I temper those urges to buy more than I “need.” What I should do is stay the hell away from retail shelves – those are my weakness — and just buy one hobby box to open it with my son so that we can build a set and experience the newness together.