Archive for Clayton Kershaw

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.  



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.


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.

2019 Topps Hobby Box and more purchased; the results.

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , on January 31, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Welp, the streak is over. My month-long hiatus from buying or opening packs is done, and let me say that it has been a tough month.

I’ve checked the card aisle at Target looking for something, but have staved off the real urge to buy anything.

I’ve checked Dollar Tree for some cheap thrills … I’ve even grabbed a few of the Hoops packs they have there and headed to the check stand before thinking better of the situation.

I even had two unopened 1990 Fleer baseball packs sitting in my trunk that I had forgotten about until a brief discussion with CardJunk from (Twitter). I grabbed those with the idea of opening them before remembering that their value to me as an unopened pack is greater than another stack of cards.

But as most of you know, Jan 30, 2019, was the release date for Topps Baseball Series One, and it effectively marked the beginning of a new card year. Earlier this week I wrote about the anticipation, and wrote some words of encouragement (mainly for myself) to help guide me in the right direction.

I was absolutely going to open some of the new product — there was no contention about that. But the point I wanted to make to myself was that it’d be best if I purchased a hobby box from my Local Card Shop and made it an event; that’s to say open the box with my son.

And so we did. I got the heads up from my LCS that the cards arrived at noon — an hour after the store opened — and then we went as a family to the shop after the kids got off of school. My daughter and nephew — whom I bought cards for Christmas but has yet to open them (WTF!) — decided they were too cool for the shop and stayed in the car while my son and I went inside.

We met with Tom at South Bay Sports Cards who gave us the quick rundown on the change in box/pack configuration, which then made me think I needed to buy just more than a single hobby box to be close to a complete Topps Series One set.

After 10 minutes, my son and I walked out with a Hobby Box (and the one 1984 Chrome pack), a single Jumbo pack, and five loose packs from the box on the counter. The idea was that with any luck we’d have fun ripping these, and then be somewhere around 20 cards short of a set when factoring inserts, duplicates, etc. 


I grabbed one of the loose packs and opened it in the car. The first card on the back of the pack was Mike Zunino of Seattle Mariners. When I flipped the stack over, the first card facing up was Atlanta Braves pitcher Kolby Allard. I chuckled when I realized cards in my first pack were stacked A-Z.

On a side, note, what do YOU consider to be the first card in the pack? The one you see on the back when you open the pack, or the first card that is facing upward? It’s a fun discussion that carried on Twitter, and was even continued on the About The Cards podcast.

As for my son, he managed to mix up some of his cards before I could get a chance to see who was on the back and front of his pack. But he assures me that Clayton Richard was the first card front he laid eyes on. Good enough for me.


I’ll give you the quick version:

-Jumbo pack: This contained my first Clayton Kershaw card of 2019, and as noted earlier this week — he does in fact have his zipper down. The pack also contained one of the thickest cards in recent memory: a 150th Medallion card of Reggie Jackson.

-Five loose packs: I opened two of these and let my son open three. My son proceeded to pull three serial numbered parallels, which was insane considering the odds. The Gold is easily attainable at 1:5 packs (serial numbered /2019); but he also pulled a Black seeded at 1:122 packs ( /67) and Advanced Stat back inserted at a rate of 1:75 packs (/150) made those packs amazing. Hell, any ONE of those inserted into a hobby box would have made it a win in some people’s eyes. Oh, and he pulled a Home Run Challenge Freddie Freeman (1:24 packs or 1/box). I pulled 1984 Designs of Vladimir Guerrero and David Ortiz, as well as a Topps Now Review featuring Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, and Shoei Ohtaini.

-Hobby exclusive Chrome pack: The four guys we got were Ramon Laureano, Manny Machado, Noah Syndergaard and Kyle Schwarber. Laureano made me smile because aside from a 2017 Topps Heritage Minors and a Topps Now card from 2018, I do not think the Athletics outfielder has any other cards. This one was special to me because my kids and I saw Laureano hit his first major league homer.

Hobby Box: This was above average IMO: Relic (1 per box) was Miguel Cabrera Home Run Challenge (1 per box) was Rhys Hoskins, Short Print (1:15 packs) was Justin Turner; Golds (5 – 1:5 packs) were: Kevin Gausman, Andrew Heaney, Jon Gray, Brandon Lowe, and Clayton Richard; Rainbow Foil (2 – 1:10 packs) were Adam Jones and Trea Turner; 150th Anniversary Stamp ( 5 – 1:6 packs) Oakland A’s Team Card, Houston Astros Team Card, Alex Gordon, Sean Reid-Foley, and Josh Harrison; 1984 Design inserts (6 – 1:4 packs) were Eddie Rosario, Mark McGwire, Trey Mancini, Whit Merrifield, Bo Jackson and Jeff McNeil; Iconic Cards Reprint (1 – 1:21 packs) Roberto Clemente; Iconic Cards Reprint 150th Anniversary stamp (1 – 1:144 packs serial numbered /150) Jackie Robinson; Evolution Of (1- 1:42 packs) Memorial Stadium/Camden Yards; Revolution of the Game (1- 1:104 packs) Joe Torre; Greatness Returns (1-1:42 packs) Ty Cobb/Bryce Harper; 150 Years of Professional Baseball (4 1:7 packs) Mike Piazza, Albert Pujols, Juan Marichal and Harmon Killebrew; and Topps Now Review (2 – 1:18 packs) Shohei Ohtani and Ronald Acuna. Jr.

We need 22 cards for the set … and any Clayton Kershaws you’ve got

I sorted all of the base cards from the packs and paged them up and determined that as of this initial writing we needed 19 cards to complete the 350-card Series One set. See the photo below and let me know if you have any of these. We have about 40 duplicates available.

Also, at this point I need all Kershaw inserts and parallels; and probably will take any base Kershaws you have.

Got something I neeed? Hit me on TWITTER (link), or via email at cardboardicons AT

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.