Archive for Clayton Kershaw

Flagship, Heritage are done — time to ease off the gas pedal

Posted in Collecting Kershaw, Commentary with tags , , , , on March 6, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I’ve been trying to take a different approach to my hobby lately. In years past I’d spend days on end ripping and collecting whatever was in front of me. But over the last six to eight months I’ve turned much of my collecting attention to my player collections.

The beginning of the new card year usually brings all those crazy ripping feelings back. The desire to constantly buy and rip everything in sight. I ripped a fairly minimal amount of Topps Flagship and managed to build the base set, and over the last week I’ve opened a few blasters of Topps Heritage and have managed through a few trades to pretty much wrap up the base set of that , sans about 70 SPs for which I have ZERO desire to pay top dollar — wake me when they get to about $1 each as I am in no rush to complete the sets.

And with my son entering the hobby I’ve turned a bit to a little basketball — as you may have seen in recent video breaks I posted on YouTube and wrote briefly about here. I will do my best to not venture into the higher-end market.

But when it comes to baseball, I don’t see a whole lot that will grab my interest until Stadium Club hits in a few months. And this is a good thing for me and my bank account.

That’s not to say I won’t sample other products between then and now, but it means I likely won’t be buying hobby boxes or blasters of every product. I won’t be building the Donruss set, but I’ll be chasing the Kershaw parallels on the secondary market, where I can get exactly what I want and hopefully for less than I would spend if I were buying packs.

Speaking of the secondary market, my first wave of Kershaw Topps Heritage cards started to arrive this week from various purchases on eBay. Arriving this week were the French version, the mini version serial numbered /100, the black border NLCS Kershaw card (limited to 50 copies) and the almighty Heritage Chrome Black Refractor /70, which has always been one of my favorite parallels each season.

And lastly, speaking of parallels, I lost out on an auction today that really made me shake my head. Earlier today an auction ended for the “Silver Metal” version of the 2018 Topps Heritage Kershaw card and it went for way more than I expected. To be fair, it was the first of its kind on eBay so folks chasing the master set of Heritage were likely in on this one. But I decided I was out of the hunt with about three minutes left in the auction after my max bid was eclipsed. Why? Because I was not thrilled with the price of the card in relation to the quality.

Late last week I managed to pull the Chris Sale version of the “Metal” card and I’ll be honest — the card is disgusting. It’s not metal. Hell, it’s not even Chrome. It’s foilboard technology for most of the card with the player being covered only in gloss. It’s a let down considering they fall 1 in every 800-plus packs and they feel like a bastardized version of the retail exclusive “chrome” foilboard from recent releases. And because I have the Sale, I knew I didn’t feel comfortable paying more for the “Metal” than I did for the aforementioned Black Refractor. Others may not feel the same way when it comes to player collections, but sometimes I consider quality of the product in addition to rarity when figuring out what I am comfortable paying.

Rookie Card parallel featuring rookie jersey serial number … sorta

Posted in Collecting Kershaw with tags , , , , , , on March 1, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

When it comes to Clayton Kershaw, there is one jersey number he will forever be remembered for wearing … and it’s 22.

But truth be told, he not only has worn 22. He has worn 54 for the Dodgers during his rookie season, and he has worn 46 and 75 as documented on various 2006-2008 Topps products.

The other day while checking for newly listed Kershaw cards on eBay I came across a tough rookie-year parallel, a 2008 Stadium Club Blue Photographer’s Proof parallel of Kershaw’s TSC rookie card. The card is serial numbered 75/99 … the 75 is significant because that is the jersey number Kershaw is wearing on his 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter and Topps Update rookie cards, among others.

For what it’s worth, I had only seen one other of this parallel card on eBay in recent history and it is still priced way more than I wanted to pay. But when this one popped up at a lower Buy It Now price and with a Best Offer option, I shot over an offer and within 20 minutes had negotiated a purchase price for about half of what the original BIN was. The card arrived earlier this week.

Regardless of the serial number, I decided the card was going to me mine. But the fact that this card had a serial number with some “importance” makes it a bit sweeter.

Player collectors have different methods for their madness. They sometimes only collect base cards, or chase the hits. And when it comes to serial numbered cards they sometimes can be very specific about THE one they need to own. I’m not entirely biased in that way, but I will often shop for a serial number that is appealing, and will pay a slight premium for cards featuring the serial number matching the player’s jersey number. In the case of this Stadium Club rookie parallel, I admit it’s a bit of a stretch, but it is a nice bonus to own this tougher find with a serial number matching the jersey number Kershaw is wearing on one of his significant rookie cards — it’s just too bad he’s not shown on this specific card wearing that number. Then again, if that were the case, I might have been able to get this card at the price I was able to negotiate.

I must do my best to resist the Heritage Hunt …

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , on February 27, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Today is going to be a tough day. And so will tomorrow. And the day after that.

Why?

Because Topps Heritage Baseball hits shelves today and it’s all everyone is going to be taking about … and it’s going to be on my mind constantly.

I love Heritage, but by no means am I a master set builder. And I am not a hit chaser. Hell, a this point I’m just looking for Clayton Kershaw stuff from this product and maybe anything else that might be of interest for my son. And eventually we’ll get working on the set.

That said, I know my personality. I know that whenever a new big release hits I know I’m going to find myself on the hunt in retail stores looking for that first glimpse, that first taste of one of my favorite sets of the year.

It’d be a dumb statement to say I won’t buy any, or even give into a bit of the chase for the new product, but it’s important that on days like this that I remind myself that this product WILL be around for a while.

Whether I get the cards today, in a week or in a month, much of what I seek will be available.

On a side note, if anyone is dumping base cards, I’m interested. I’d love to start this set without dropping a boatload of cash on boxes.

The Topps Holiday Red Ugly Sweater parallel has arrived

Posted in Collecting Kershaw with tags , , , , on February 25, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Stop me if you’ve heard this before …

Card manufacturer offers themed cards for free through hobby shops related to a holiday or other occasion and people in and around the hobby complain.

They complain about lack of access to cards. (Not their fault)

They complain about uninspired design. (Matter of opinion)

They complain that the company could have used the time spent on the free cards to finish up outstanding redemptions. (Flawed argument)

That’s been the case for years, and was the case again in November/December when Topps released the Holiday 2018 promotion which offered Bowman-designed cards with fun color parallels, including this Red Ugly Sweater parallel featuring a border in the infamous sweater design.

I’m always a fan of free, special cards offered as a giveaway from the manufacturer. I don’t quite understand the pushback companies — Topps in this case — get for doing these things.

The cards were three cards per pack, and parallels were a tough find, especially the low-numbered ones.

I hit the Buy It Now when this version limited to 10 copies hit eBay last week. The card looks even better in person. I still need to track down the others for the Kershaw collection. Have one? Hit me on Twitter @cardboardicons.

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?