Archive for sports

31 of my favorite Clayton Kershaw cards for his 31st birthday

Posted in Collecting Kershaw with tags , , , , , on March 19, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw turns 31 today. Here are 31 of my favorite cards from my collection to celebrate his birthday.

eTopps Kershaw Rookie Card is a thing of beauty

Posted in Collcting Clemens, Collecting Kershaw, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , on March 19, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Way back before Topps started The Living Set, the 150 Years of Baseball set, or any of the other on-demand sets that have been for sale on the company’s site, the company had a thing called eTopps — essentially the precursor to on demand cards.

I’ll admit I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination when it comes to this, due in large part that I really didn’t like the business model for eTopps so I didn’t spend a lot of time learning or dealing with it.

The basic idea was the cards were available for sale on the site for a set price, and were available until sold out or for a limited time. And to my understanding you could keep the cards on the site and trade them like stocks, or you could choose to have them delivered later.

That was way too complicated for me when the company started eTopps in 2001 and by 2008, the year of Kershaw’s rookie cards, I still hadn’t grown to love the idea of paying for single cards directly from the company.

The eTopps model continued for several more years but looks to have stopped just a few years ago, but some of the business model has morphed into what we now know as the on demand market.

The reason this comes to mind today is a recent addition to my collection — the 2008 eTopps Clayton Kershaw Rookie Card, serial numbered to 999 copies and encased in a plastic holder with a holographic sticker to ensure the card has not been removed. The card arrived over the weekend and once in hand it’s easy to see why anyone could have fallen in love with these cards. The question now is whether I leave it in this holder, remove it and put it in something else — due in part to the fact that it looks like the card is upside down based on my preference — or send it to BGS so it can be displayed with my other Kershaw rookies.

As for eTopps cards, This is the third eTopps card that I own, one of which is a Roger Clemens Card designed to look like 1984 Topps — That Card was one of the New were autographed during a special signing session at Topps.

Taking the day off …

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , on March 10, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

One of my favorite things in life is to capture the events of my children using a camera.

I went to college and became a wordsmith of sorts, a newspaper reporter who used words to paint the picture. Now 10 years after a career change completely out of journalism I find myself using a camera to tell stories of my son’s Little League Team — for fun of course.

Saturday was Opening Day, our third in this league — the same place I played as a kid, the same place former MLB players Carney Lansford honed his craft as a youth.

And so I shall spend much of the next day or so looking at photos and preparing the first images for the families of the team.

For now, enjoy this image I took in the dugout.

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 Art of the Deal: Coupons for Cards

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , on March 5, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Last month when 2019 Topps Series One was released, some of the the blaster boxes offered exclusively through Target offered a stack of coupons as prominently advertised on the exterior packaging.

The coupons were for various items set to be released through the season. There were coupons for more Series One, coupons for Heritage and for Bowman, Opening Day and Gypsy Queen.

The coupons offered a dollar off here and there, which is a welcome sight in a collectibles market that rarely sees sale prices or deals offered through big box retailers.

And the coupons are a great value if you need the products being offered, or if you were going to buy them anyway.

But they can create a situation where you end up buying more product that you really need or want — which is how coupons work in the first place.

Here’s where I screwed up: I had the coupons sitting in my car last week when I ran into Heritage at retail. I bought the Heritage I desired and forgot I even had the coupons. And then I discovered the coupons again this week and there was this feeling in me that I needed to use the coupons or it felt like a missed opportunity.

The logic, of course, is somewhat flawed because I no longer “needed” Heritage or Series One packs since I am close to completing both sets.

I tweeted a picture of the coupons yesterday to merely point out that I was having the urge to go hunt down more Heritage, but as some relies suggested, you’re not really saving money if you wind up spending more than you planned to in the first place.

This is not to say I won’t use the coupons, or buy more packs, but it’s important for me to state the reality sometimes and get it in print (or on the web) to help me curb some behaviors.

A new quirk for 2019 Topps Heritage?

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

The Topps Heritage line is a fun set to collect or view from afar each year. For the most part, Topps stays true to the original design and quirks, often mimicking the errors of the past to maintain that sense of nostalgia that’ve come to embrace over the years

Of course in recent memory they’ve also added a slew of variations to make for extreme chase cards in some cases. But today I think I found a new tradition, one that doesn’t appear to be a throwback to the 1970 set.

While sorting a bit of the Heritage that I picked up this week I noticed something that doesn’t appear to be an homage to the original set. Grab your stacks of Heritage and thumb through them and pull out your base cards of the Washington Nationals and Colorado Rockies. Remember, I’m talking base cards, not the multi-player rookie cards of subsets.

Now turn them over and look at the bio box.

Do you see it?

Right below the player’s biographical information is the team name: Washington Nationals or Colorado Rockies. Now go look at the other card backs. You’ll notice that cards of the other teams don’t have the team name on back.

I asked a hobby friend of mine what the deal was with this and he seemed to not know about it, suggesting that maybe it was a wink to something from 1970. I figured that may have been the case too, so I looked and I did not see the team name on the back of the 1970 cards.

I also noticed something else … a handful of the Nationals cards in the 2019 set (cards 1-400 not the SPs 401-500) corresponded by number with cards of the Washington Senators and Minnesota Twins from the 1970 set, which is a fun hat tip since there is some lineage between the Senators-Twins-Nationals franchises and locations.

Have you noticed any other fun quirks to the 2019 Heritage set? Leave a comment below.

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.