Start Of The Year Clean-Up

How about them holidays, huh?  I hope everyone had a good and relaxing season.

You did? Great! Now get back to work!

The time to sit on your ass and enjoy doing nothing is over.

Grab a broom and help me clean up.  No need to wait till spring.  I got all kinds of folders full of ebay wins and other various cards to organize.  In fact, I have so much that there’s no way I can cover it all in one post.  I can’t even cover all seven of my players.

All I can do is start in one corner of the house and work my way towards the other, bit by bit.

Pitching in the park

Most of my ebay searching and wins come in the form of tough to obtain parallels for my cheaper player collections.  I can usually get the rarest stuff (nothing #’d less than 50) for the cost of a pack or two shipped.  Things like this black border version of one of my favorite Ryan Dempster cards.  How can you not love a simple fish-eyed looking game in a literal park?

I still don't have the regular '09 Finest.

Speaking of green things like trees and grass, we have this small personal Kermit-colored victory.  What you see is what I call an ebay anomaly.  It’s a buy it now that I had been watching for some time.  After X months, the seller did something you rarely see anymore.  They lowered the price to a reasonable level.  I saw the drop and immediately clicked that button.  Free market at work, boys and girls.

Gold? Are we sure?

It’s a good thing, they numbered the front of these, because I sure as hell couldn’t tell the difference otherwise.  This is the gold version.  Even in person, the foil looks very similar to the silver regs.  I really, really hate parallels like this.

My first Ryan Ranger card

Want to know how much a Cubs uniform can affect prices?  I bought this on release week for one ebay ($.99 +s/h, remember).  If he were a Cub, I’d have to pay a whopping 2-3 times that much.  I get to find out what Red Sox collectors are like next year.

I still hate this design

Now we get to the portion of the program with the really old stuff.  You can tell by the extra visible pixels.

This old, lo-res scan may look like you’re typical 2008 Topps card, but it’s actually the Cubs team set exclusive version.  The card in the main set shows a profile pic of Marmol mid-delivery.

Ridged for your pleasure

How many sets put the card number on the front for you?  How many have a ticket motif, but fail to look anything like a ticket, despite the bar code?  How do you fix that?  You put a fake perforation die-cut on the top and call it a parallel.  Why didn’t this set take off?

Red, white, & blue. The only not American about the card is the player.

Here’s another older scan and another team set parallel.  Topps really likes taking pictures of players in the 4th of July caps, don’t they?

Don't strain yourself

And for comparison is the standard 2010 card.  I scanned them together to do a side-by-side for the whole team set.  That post isn’t needed anymore, especially since Wrigley Wax must have done it nearly three years ago.  By the way, I think I like this one better, don’t you?

I think we need a few more colors

It’s only a couple years ago, but I forgot where these came from.  I had to look it up on baseballcardpedia to remind me that these Copper parallels were in Wal-Mart value packs, thus making it even more annoying and unnecessary.

I thought you needed to see it again

Back to newer scans (with bad cropping).  This is the red bordered parallel that’s numbered to 299, but much harder to find than it sounds.  That’s because it was in the sealed factory sets which most people either never bought or kept sealed.  It’s hard to find a decent price on the reds.

steeee-riiiike one

You’re sick of 2010 by now, I’m sure.  Let’s fast-forward a year then.  Here’s your standard 2011 issue with awkward pitching delivery included.

steeee-riiiike two

Because no one demanded it, the factory reds are back.  Yup. Not much to say about these other than they exist and are blinding.

baaaalllll fooourr

Hey look, it’s a semi-hit.  And 49 is Marmol’s jersey number!  It looks like I pulled a fast one over the Marmol supercollector, because there’s no way I’m paying even the slightest premium for something like a numerator.

This ain't right

Now we get into “The Lost Years.”  Those unfortunate couple of seasons when Kerry wasn’t pitching for the Cubs.

Another largely overpriced red border

This ugly uniform issue wasn’t resolved until the Update series, when the right colored pinstripes were shown.

Damn shiny Yankee

I never noticed until now that the sparkle is bleeding into the picture a little bit.  Maybe my scanner bounced some reflections back on to the gray.  Enh, not worth researching on a Yankee card.

He did not have a very good '09

My one and only Indians team set card.  I hate these sometimes.  Nothing is different at all except for the card number.  Ugh.  Why?  Why?

X-Indian

Upper Deck X magically lasted 2 years, and I tend to think the die-cuts are a big reason why it got a second chance at all.  These feel less fragile in your hands than the ’08s which were essentially half a card, but they are uglier.

This way to stardom, sir

Oh great, another one of these.  I made the post, uploaded the pictures and I still already forgot the Ticket to Stardom cards existed.  Someone get me the last parallels I need fast so I can be done with it forever.

Stamp of disapproval

Enough of the bad uniforms.  I bought this and the next card in a batch from a well-known seller: TNTNorthNJ.  The dude sells a lot, and some of what I bought didn’t have a picture, but combined shipping won out.  I’d say half of the cards arrived damaged, including this one.  They were in a semi-rigid, no penny sleeve – even a relic card.  I don’t know if they simply don’t care to list inventory with defects clearly labeled or it was damaged in the unfortunate shipping method.  Either way, I guess I’ll eventually be grabbing another copy of this at some point.

First, but not last, Bowman card.

This one arrived in good enough condition.  To end, we start at the beginning.  I figured I should probably own one of his first major issues.  Prior to 1997, there’s some minor league stuff, but this is essentially the start of it all and my newest first card of the Wood binder.

Phew!

No one said that winter cleaning was going to be fun or easy.  I mean, it’s kind of fun.  Some of them are.  Putting them in the binder and highlighting them on my want lists is always fun.  It’s not that hard, either.  Just time consuming.  Okay. No one said winter cleaning was quick.

One room down.

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