Archive for baseball cards

Six cards, FOUR different brand/style cases

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , , on March 17, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

A funny thing happened this weekend. I received a package of various 2019 Topps Heritage inserts, a lot that I really bought for one card — a Clayton Kershaw Heritage cloth sticker. The others were basically free considering what the market is for a single Kershaw card.

When I opened the package, I noticed the cards were shipped in a way that made me laugh, smile, and take a trip down memory lane.

All six cards were packaged safely in separate holders. But there were two cards in Card Saver I holders, one in a Card Saver II holder, one in a Card Guard holder (same size as Card Saver II,) and two in Ultra Pro holders that are the same size as the Card Saver I.

I legit laughed out loud, I loved the randomness. What makes it even funner is there are collectors today who never had the pleasure of storing their cards in Card Savers.

As a kid I would hound my mom for a pack of 100 Card Savers every few months. There was always that moment when I removed the tape from the wrapper and held the brand new stack of protectors in my hand, envisioning the cases filled with cards of great value.

I did the same when the Card Saver II’s were released. And then I recall seeing more and more of the Card Guard cases in the early 1990s, the boxes of course doubled as a storage box, just like the Ultra Pro ones do these days.

Of course my friends and I later switched our collections over to include Top Loaders, which initially were NOT designed to hold penny sleeve, which seems asinine when you think about it.

Rhys Hoskins should be the guy whom my son and I collect

Posted in Collecting Hoskins with tags , , , , , , , on March 14, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

How one goes about choosing their favorite player, or at least the ones they decide to collect, is completely arbitrary. Some choose a top draft pick and go to town on that guy for however long it seems sustainable. Others choose a player from their favorite team and remain loyal to them until there is reason not to be.

In some ways I have done both in my collecting career. I chose Roger Clemens as my guy in the late 1980s because he was the face of my favorite team. And I lucked my way into Clayton Kershaw after I fell in love with a YouTube video of his knee-buckling curve ball and then pulled his 2006 Bowman Chrome Draft Refractors Autograph from a blaster at WalMart.

But it looks like there is a new player whom I should be courting in this hobby, and one whom my son and I should be together building a personal collection of — that player is Rhys Hoskins.

I’d been thinking for a while that he and I should be finding a guy whom we should collect together. He likes Steph Curry, but I didn’t own much basketball before my son really expressed an interest. And while I’ve been pounding the drum of how great Mike Trout is … we’re a tad late to that game. (Side note: I did sell his 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Auto BGS 9 about 18 months ago when I really needed money, but that’s topic for another post.)

As it turns out, I think we stumbled upon our player rather organically last year without us really noticing. Here’s the story:

In July 2018, Topps released “Big League.” I loved the product and the hype that came with it after I saw people buying and ripping. One day after it hit retail shelves my kids and I went to Walmart and they have two packs of Big League. I tossed them in the cart and later opened then in the car. To my surprise, the packs were great. I pulled a Jose Altuve auto from the first pack, and the second pack had something shiny in the middle. It was a silver holofoil parallel of Rhys Hoskins, serial numbered 076/100. I showed it to my kids and both smiled to appease me and went back to their video games.

About a month later when 2018 Topps Stadium Club hit shelves I told my kids how much I loved TSC because of the photos. They have come to know me as not only a card collector, but also an amateur photographer, especially as it pertains to sunsets and baseball. So it was rather normal for them to understand my attraction to TSC as it is largely built around great photography. I bought a hobby box of TSC and allowed by kids to partake in the break, knowing that they’d be looking at the photos but also looking forward to the two autographs per box. My daughter ripped her six packs and pulled a Garrett Cooper auto; I opened my six packs and didn’t get any ink; and then my son got about half way through his packs when he nailed a Rhys Hoskins auto.

I thought it was an excellent pull and great addition to my collection. But I also made a mental note that the Hoskins was a card I would not sell or trade because it was a good rookie auto pulled by my son. So even though I paid for the cards and at the time he was not actually collecting, I sort of saw this Hoskins TSC as HIS card.

A few more months pass and I am in a phase in which I am buying into random number group breaks of Panini America Immaculate cases through breaker MojoBreak.com, which is headquartered not too far from where I live. The idea with this style break is you pay a set amount and are given a random number 1-99 (because nothing in Immaculate is numbered to more than 99) and whatever card comes out of the boxes with your assigned serial number is yours. During one session I paid like $15 for a random spot and lucked into the coveted Number One spot. So anything numbered 1/5, 1/10, 1/25, etc. was mine. It also meant that any 1/1 was also mine. Welp, guess whose name popped up again? That’s right, Rhys Hoskins.

Conrad at MojoBreak did his whole “One of One of One” chant and revealed this Immaculate RPA featuring Player-Used (so from a photo shoot) striped jersey with a patch and an on-card auto. I was ecstatic, but also a bit perplexed as this was yet another Hoskins hit rearing its head.

I’ve managed to cull the rest of the 2018 products I had sitting around and as it turns out, I have some 50 Hoskins rookie-year cards, which is a lot considering I don’t buy a bunch of everything.

And then the other day while digging through some old prospect boxes, look what else popped up: a 2014 Bowman Draft Paper Blue Hoskins First Bowman serial numbered 212/399.

If you don’t call that a sign, I don’t know what to make of this. So while I will not chase Hoskins with the fervor that I do Clemens and Kershaw, it’s definitely the guy whom I shall pitch to my son as the player whom we watch and collect together going forward.

I made another Topps purchase … but what I really want are the old school folders

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , , , on March 13, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I woke early this morning to make the kids’ school lunches and it dawned on me that it’s Wednesday. This means three things: It’s early day at school; there is a new episode of my favorite card podcast tonight; and it’s a Topps Living Set day.

Clayton Kershaw got his Topps Living Set card a few months ago, but last week the limited edition 10×14 fine art print went up for sale and while making lunches I remembered today was the last day to make the purchase so I logged in, ordered one, and moved on about my morning.

But the more I thought about it, the more I wished there was something else I wanted. I searched Kershaw’s name and there were various On Demand cards and posters for sale, but it seemed like something was missing. Then the light bulb went on and a clear vision popped into my head.

When I was 9, my family used to shop at KMart. I will never be ashamed of that. One of the items that I recall buying a a kid was a notebook folder designed to look like the 1989 Topps Mark McGwire card. There was Big Mac on the cover in his familiar crouched batting stance as shown on the front of his actual 1989 card, and the back was also a copy of the card, full of stats. I did the same a year later with a Dave Stewart card-inspired folder, his eyes staring right at me every time I opened the folder for math class.

The vision I had was not only those brief seconds of my youth, but how I wished Topps had recreated those folders for the current lineupo of cards and sold them on the Web Site. Full card fronts and backs, just like we had some 30 years ago.

Imagine if those were for sale, even for the cost of $3.99 each. How many of us nostalgic folks would spring for a few of those for ourselves, and maybe even a few for our own kids, or nieces or nephews.

This hobby is all about nostalgia. Do us all a favor, Topps, and bring back the folders. You guys could even sell them as a team set or an all-star team set to make it worth your while. Collectors talk a lot about bringing the youth into our hobby and we know that the business model doesn’t currently play into that for any card company. But the folders would be a fun way to tap into the youth; a way to link the kids with their parents or older siblings.

The Virtual Card Shop is now open …

Posted in Misc. with tags , on March 11, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

A funny thing happened a few weeks ago. I logged into Twitter and I saw post after post after post of people selling their cards via Twitter.

Cool idea, but …

#1: Not everyone is looking to buy cards.

#2: Such activity clogs feeds.

#3: The posts get buried and are often then presented out of order.

Like other collectors, I also have a bunch of extra stuff I wouldn’t mind selling without posting on eBay or sending to COMC and paying the consignment price. So I decided to start selling some of those lower valued cards right here on my blog. with hopes of buying new camera equipment.

And so I introduce you to the Virtual Card Shop.

In the link above I spell out the guidelines for purchasing, and link to the pages where the initial items are posted. There are a few hundred cards available so far, with lots more to come. It’s mostly inserts and parallels so far, mostly in the quarter and 50-cent range, but there will be many many more going forward. I am offering a BUY FOUR GET ONE FREE sale for items in the dime, quarter, 50 cent and $1 areas.

My brain has been trained to stop when I see the word …

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , on March 11, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I was out running errands this morning after taking my kids to school when I decided to stop at Walgreens just in case the retailer got the Topps yellow exclusive packs early.

No such luck.

But I did take a glance at the 75-card repack boxes and I instantly stopped when I saw the word “Elite.”

Ever since I was a 11, the words “Elite Series” have been engrained in my head as being synonymous with the words “rare” and “valuable.”

Now, time has shown us that the original run of Elite Series baseball cards from 1991 through about 1995, and even a bit from 1996 through 1998, can still carry some clout.

But even though much of the newer stuff is technically “rarer,” it definitely does not carry the same weight In the hobby as the older ones.

But even the mere sight of this 2017 Donruss Elite (Rookie) Series Kenny Golladay makes me stop and reflect. I almost bought it … but I reminded myself that I don’t collect football.

But it did make me go look at my Complete Set of 1991-1993 Elite Series baseball inserts including the autographs.

Ooh, a new feature on COMC? Check.

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , on March 8, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Today I was digging through the virtual card bin that is COMC and saw something I don’t recall seeing before … a check mark along the left side of the page noting which cards I already have in my inventory.

That’s a really neat feature that actually was immediately immediately helpful while looking at 2018 Stadium Club Clayton Kershaw cards.

Update: Turns out COMC has been using this for months. I’m just late to the game. Nonetheless, it’s a great feature to help avoid buying dupes while the cards sit in the consignment site’s warehouse.

The one 2000 GOTG auto I wished I kept – Tom Seaver

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , on March 7, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

News came out today about Major League pitching legend Tom Seaver and his family making a decision for him to step out of the public spotlight due to his diagnosis with dementia.

I’ll admit, I was sad when I saw the statement. And I’ll be honest, I was half expecting there to be a bigger announcement about him — because in some ways we’ve trained ourselves to think that way in this age of social media — but I’m glad that was not the case and I do wish Mr. Seaver and his family well going forward.

In my eyes, Seaver has always felt like a bigger legend than Nolan Ryan. Sure, Seaver had long held the record until recently for highest vote percentage by a player elected to the Hall of Fame on their first ballot — so his value was appreciated by voters. But in many ways it seems as though he had been overshadowed by his former teammate because Ryan had seven no-hitters and still holds the record for strikeouts.

Aside from Seaver’s Rookie Card, the secondary market for his relics and autos have paled by comparison to Ryan, and even some others from the same era.

Personally, I’ve always loved Seaver’s signature. And my favorite was his 2000 Greats of the Game, which I owned until last year.

That 2000 set was such an iconic release, and several years ago I managed to finish the entire set — which I chronicled both here and in Beckett Baseball Monthly. In fact I still have all the images listed on this page here. But last year I sold the set, except for one card — the Nolan Ryan, which I decided to keep because I personally pulled that from a pack in 2000. Kind of ironic given how I feel about Seaver, his signature and this specific card.