A Quick Trade With Reader Tim

I’m feeling a little writer’s block here, so I’m going to make this short.  I’ve been making some progress on my sticker albums recently.  I’m not sure what’s spurred this interest, but I’m happy to oblige.  I try to spam my want lists as much as it’s relevant to do so. Maybe it’s having more of an effect as I assumed.

One of the people that reached out for a trade was Reader Tim.  He also claimed a stack from my first wave of this year’s trade bait.  So, after some emails exchanged, things were sent along to each other.  Ugh, that is terrible.  See, I told you I had writer’s block. Let’s just look at pictures.

Future All-star scream

Man, I wish Opening Day would just get turned into something else now.  I keep harping on it, but it’s just not different enough anymore.

Get that guy out of the background

The logo and lack of foil isn’t enough. We need a variation of the design or give us a new design and new pictures altogether.

Las Vegas’ own

The only saving grace are the inserts.  This one isn’t great, but most of them are alright.

That Bryant went into the album

But here’s the meat of the trade package.  A few different years of stickers, because I still haven’t finished an album since 2012!  It was great to go back to those older albums and put those new additions in there.  Thanks, Tim!

By the way, if you too want to ride on the sticker trade train, my Sticker Want List and For Trade List can be found right here.

September 2018 Ebay Wins

Blog activity has been really light lately.  I’m sorry about that.  I’m not sure if I’m going to explain why I’ve been away, but maybe.  It’s worth talking about, but I just don’t know if and when that might actually happen.

So, instead, I’ll just run through my September Ebay wins.  It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these, but in reality that’s party because I’m essentially caught up.  At this point, I’m waiting on delivery of a couple more late October cards, but I’ve at least accomplished staying up to date on something.

This post will be short, and I’ll let you know that the autograph train ended in August.  I had a good run, but nothing doing this month.

Look at that big ass grin

But first, I’m going to wedge in another card that wasn’t an auction win.  I bought a single blaster of Heritage High on a whim.  I got this Montero card out of the deal, but nothing else I collect so I’m just tossing it in here.

Rock on

Now we get into the rarer stuff.  I’m slowly picking up these Big League parallels.  They’re a little tougher to come by than the Bunt ones and I don’t know if it’s because there’s more unopened product, or that the ones I see are priced higher, or people are keeping them and not selling.

Just like in the old days

Whatever the case, I’m still getting a couple of them here and there, so that’s pretty good.

This is the green version if you couldn’t tell

I don’t see a ton of these high end parallels up for auction.  Tribute is about as bland in terms of design as Bowman, but it’s about the hits.  The card stock is think and it has some tactile elements at least.

Red Phoenix #/99

Here’s a card from the Chronicles product.  I’m hoping to buy a box of this at some point, because it seems intriguing.  Really, it’s just going to show how many other baseball products we’re missing out on.

Wonderful shiny blue

I’m pretty surprised it took me 8 years to land this card, but it was worth the wait.  I love the look of these Hope diamond parallels.  Collecting is a marathon, though, and that’s the only running I’m doing.

Only 2 years to get this

So, I didn’t get an autograph, but I did finally manage to knock another Transcendent card off my list.  I still haven’t found a sketch card for Frank Thomas that isn’t a ridiculously overpriced BIN, but maybe some day.  Honestly, overall I’ve been very lucky to not only get a heavy hitter several months in a row, sometimes several, but be able to afford them.  October looks to be auto-less as well, but there will be a couple more big cards.  It just won’t be another Transcendent or a hope diamond.

Card-ography #8 – Carl Edwards Jr.

Today’s subject has had some ups and downs with the Cubs.  There are a lot of stretches where he is dominant and then some longer than expected stretches where he can’t get a dang out.  No matter what, it is safe to say that he’s cemented his role in the major leagues as a reliever only.  I can only assume that as he was coming up as a prospect that there was an assumption he would be a starting pitcher, because he has a TON of autographs and was prominently included in a lot sets relievers normally would not be in.  Even as a rookie, he was a big enough name to be added everywhere, and again I have to assume that people thought he’d get a chance to start.

What that really means for me is that I have dozens of signatures to chase, but the prices are pretty low for non-starter pitchers, so it’s just a matter of time.  Let’s take a look at one of many I’ve already acquired.

Even after having a hand in the case-breaking world, Autographed cards still fascinate me.  Allow me to explain with this series introduction from the early days of the blog.  To see the other parts of the series, click on the “Card-ography” tag at the bottom.

Now that I’m back into collecting, one of the biggest surprises greeting me at the door was that signatures on cardboard (or on stickers placed on cardboard) are now a regular part of the hobby.  In fact, it’s basically expected at this point.  I know there are plenty of people who feel that if their box doesn’t have an auto – or even the RIGHT auto – then it’s a waste of money.  Hell, I’m still not completely jaded by relics, so I can’t understand this theory.
I know that most of the autos aren’t all that valuable, but seeing that blue, red, and sometimes black ink on a card in your hands still holds significance to me.  It still makes for some of the most enjoyable moments in collecting.
That’s why I’m starting a series that will analyze the signatures we see.  It’s common to see people lump them into “good” and “bad” categories, but I want to take it farther than that.  This player took the time to sign your card (although some of them don’t take tons of time).  I’m going to take the time to inspect it.

Refractor version – need 4 more from the 2016 BoChro set

This card is one of seven C.J. Edwards/Carl Edwards Jr. autographs I bought at the 2017 National.  I’m already looking forward to the 2019 show so I can hopefully grab another handful or two.

If you didn’t know his name, what would you think this said?  “= Cl EOJ”

Style points:
There is little to score here in his favor.  This is a crazy big scribble with little form or grace.

Space Usage:
He makes the most of his signing area and stretches those letters.  That’s pretty cool at least.  Top to bottom and left to right, space is all utilized.

I’m going to say yes and no for this part.  It’s not lazy because he seems to be writing just about every letter of a reasonably sized name, including the J at the end.  It is a little lazy because it’s sloppy and the signatures across different cards is not all that consistent.

This example is actually one of the most jagged signatures I have.  Most have cleaner loops or flow.  Maybe this card was near the end of a longer session. The dude did sign a lot of cards and stickers for 2016 sets, after all.

2016 and before, there are a mountain of autographs still to chase.  2017, there is one. 2018, a couple more in Panini products.  I think the worst is over in terms of signature overload. Unless he does get that chance to be a starter and finds success in that role, or if he gets to be a dominant closer, I think my auto collecting journey should be a fun and easy walk on level ground.

Documenting an Angel of a Trade – Part 6 of 6

This is only my second post in October.  Maybe I’ll get into why that is another time.  All I’ll really say is that I’m now even farther behind on everything.  I’ve mentioned it before, but I have a couple newer trades that still have not been showcased, and more new trades have come in the past couple weeks and some others are pending.  Life has been okay from that standpoint.  Depending on what happens otherwise, hopefully I can get myself to start catching up on those trades throughout the next couple months.  I’d really like to get myself to a point where I can be a little proactive with initiating more trades from blog want lists, but I don’t know when that will be.

For now, I can at least be satisfied to finally finish up this trade with Tom over at The Angels, In Order. The first part was put up on May 30th, if you can believe it…. He sent me a ton of John Lackey and Tony Gwynns.  If you want to review the first part, you can do so here.  Second part here.  Third, here.  Fourth, here. Fifth, here.

Let’s take a look at the best of the rest!

That shape bugs me

Starting with one of those sets with a name that I’m sure is full of good intentions but also full of players that don’t actually fit the moniker.

UD = Bland, gray stars

It also really bothers me when a set is something like this “Signature Stars” and yet there are no autographs on this card (or most in the product).

From the non-update set – He’d have a Red Sox card in that

No silly name here. Just a design that a lot of people dislike.  I don’t. It’s not incredible or anything, but I tend to think some of the backlash is also partly a reaction to the exclusive license pairing with a lackluster look.

No logos here, so this card is safe for distribution at least

Honestly, the UD design isn’t terrible.  Maybe I’ve said otherwise in other posts, but that’s my current feeling.

Okay, that finishes up Lackey, but we have a few more Gwynns, so let’s step back a few years.

The others were blue and pink borders (w/different pictures)

In one of the other posts, I showed off two other Kay-Bee issues. If I were smart, I would have lumped them all together. But I’m not, and so here you go!

Never actually won MVP

I love the mini sets/cereal boxes or whatever you call them.  You’d think it would be a good thing to bring back in the holiday season, marketed as a stocking stuffer type item.

The back pocket gloves gives his elbow some flair

This isn’t referencing any specific record – just the name of the set. The back has the normal stats. The front has those rocking shades.

Too computer-y for me

Jump from ’88 to ’93 and I personally felt this look was a big step down from 1992.  The gold parallels felt cheaper too.

Odds are this is was a hit

1994, I can get down with.  Underrated and understated.

Wrong way to do orange

One of the things that drew me into Fleer Ultra was the one insert per pack thing they started.  Almost all of them looked good, and it was cool to have a better chance at getting a star player in the pack.

Wrong way to do a gold medallion

What I kind of didn’t like was that they made parallels of the inserts at, I believe, 1:36 pack odds at least.  They aren’t much different and the foil isn’t gold, and they were too much money to buy at a card show way back then.  Not now!

Scanning the flag is tougher

I like subsets, but they are so far removed from what we now see in baseball sets, that it’s actually confusing when I receive them. Sometimes it can take a little while to figure out that this is part of the regular set and not an insert I can’t find on my list.

The collector’s choice

Oh wow! We’re already at the end, and we close out the trade with StarQuest.  One of my favorite, and occasionally despised, insert sets.  I loved the large set size, but didn’t love the varied rarity. Some of those were really tough. Are still really tough!  The one stars, I can handle, and thanks to Tom, I can handle this one in person.

Thanks a lot again, Tom, for the great trade. Sorry it took so long to sift through it all, but it was a lot of cards.  If and when we get to do it again, I’ll try to be a bit faster.

2018 Cubs – Fifteenth Ten Games

Sshhh!  Don’t spoil the ending!

Young Lackey subbing for Quintana

Win #84 – Quintana – On this day, he went 6.2 innings, giving up only 3 hits, 0 runs, and 2 walks with 7 Ks. Jose didn’t have an amazing year, but he was better than what people gave him credit for.  The ERA  was close to 4, but he has 13 wins on the season.

Confused as to why his cap has no logo

Win #85 – Baez – It wouldn’t be a ten game stretch if Baez didn’t appear.  3-4, a double, a solo homer, 3 RBI, and an intentional walk filled out the scorecard in a key win in a makeup game against Nats with Brewers inching closer.

Hammel for Hamels again

Win #86 – Cole Hamels – Nothing outstanding on offense, so we go to pitching and Hamels’ 6.2 inning, 8 hits, 2 ER (both off of solo homers), 2 walks, 7 Ks, and a pickoff of Hamilton at first.


Win #87 – Lester – Near the end of the year, Jon returned to form.  He went 7 innings, giving up 2 hits, 2 BB, a nice 9 strikeouts, 0 runs in a 1-0 win.

Pitching stretch continues

Win #88 – Hendricks – So close to the complete game.  Kyle had one of his best outings with 8.2 innings, 3 hits (2 in the 9th), 1 ER (solo homer in the 9th), only 1 walk, and 8Ks.

August 2018 Ebay Wins

July was full of big acquisitions.  Possibly too many.  Overcompensating is a word that comes to mind.  August wasn’t quite as big in terms of cards, but it still managed to be pretty dang nice as you’ll see. September, on the other hand, will be much lighter, but we’ll talk about that in a couple weeks.  I don’t want to waste much time, because we have more than 9 to get through once again.

Beam team is looking to similar to last year’s

Starting off a little slow.  You all know by now I don’t bother with the more standard inserts as a single card transaction. Not worth the shipping price.

Got the KB in a CW break, but not the Rizz

Same rule applies here with the Special Forces, but I’m leading to something.

I wish they didn’t parallel the inserts like this

The previous two and this red foil parallel all came from the same lot, but they also brought another friend.

I did not compromise my budget

The….orange?…parallel was the real search driver but not a cost driver as I didn’t pay any sort of premium for the whole lot.

I will eat my own head!

More not so noticeable color differences in inserts on display here.  A green chrome parallel rears it’s dual head into my collection.

Protect ya neck

What a surprise. Another year goes by and another new parallel is added to the mix.  Greens have existed for a few years, but this year they add the green wave. So that’s…fun.

More OF in this picture than 2B, but accurate

Back to basics, in a way, with the vintage stock parallel.  The old logo is lost in the ivy, but the ball sure wasn’t

The series 2 version

In July I accidentally won the Rizzo. This month, I purposefully, but surprisingly won the Contreras.  The market is still unpredictable for him.

Also the S2 one – bat piece if you can’t tell

I like the look of these relics.  No forced theme like in years past. Just a solid design made for the relics specifically.

The P will eventually stand for Phillies

Getting away from the /99 and going into the /50 through another B&W parallel.  I wish I had more of these. I also wish these existed instead of the negative images in flagship.

NL RBI leader still, I think

It’s tougher to get Baez cards for obvious reasons.  I guess the disdain for multi-tiered sets like Gold Label transcend popularity of the players at times.

Always strange when the team name doesn’t match the MLB org in the pipeline, but does match a different one

The autograph train continues with a surprising addition.  It’s also one that I couldn’t definitively find on my want lists (generally formed through Beckett).  I looked at TCDB and that didn’t give me a concrete answer either, so I added a couple lines to my want list.  It’s possible that some of those “Best” cards don’t actually exist though.  This one does, and it’s mine now.

Keep it!

Rip cards are more common these days.  Two per case of Ginter.  That’s making them more affordable.  I decided that I had the ability to get these out of the way now rather than hope to find them years later, like I did with the other Maddux rip cards.  More are sold unripped at the time of release, and that’s great for me!

Also keeping!

I don’t know why some players are numbered lower, but luckily that didn’t affect Frank’s price a whole lot.  This marks my second Big Hurt rip card, which is crazy to think.  I didn’t have any last year, and now I’m piling them up.

Business in the front, auto on the back

The last one for the month is this Gwynn auto that I didn’t want to bother taking out of the screwdown holder it shipped in.  This is an unusual card in that the auto is actually on the back.  The front looks like any other Playoff Portraits card from the base set.  This side you’re seeing has the numbering and the shiny sticker embedded.  I don’t know why they did it that way, but I think that’s partly why it went unsold for a couple weeks, with the price dropping each time.  Lucky me! I’m always happy to add another Gwynn autograph to the collection.  It probably won’t happen next month, but you’ll just have to wait and see.

Trading To Fill In Some Junk Wax Gaps – Part 2

I’m working on getting another round of trade packages out in the mail from my latest week of trade bait posts.  I think I only gained one completely new trade partner in that cycle, but ultimately found more success.  That means with several new mailers incoming, I need to work to catch up on the still outstanding ones.

Of of those is from John, known on the Trading Card Database as herkojerko (here’s his profile, should you be so inclined, and you should).  You can see the first part of our exchange right here.  As I mentioned then, many of them were from the so called junk wax era, which is not a problem at all.  I still need a lot of that stuff.  Often times, it’s so prevalent that people may forget to even check those years, including myself.

Thankfully, John didn’t forget and so I have a few gaps filled.  Today, we’re still mostly looking only at Tony Gwynn to finish up that part of things, but we’ll have a cameo or two mixed in.

Showing some teeth

If I ever become rich, not only will I expand the players I collect to include some other hall of famers, but I think I’d also chase a full Ultra baseball run with inserts and parallels.  Some of the later years stink, but the overall catalog is strong.

Double teeth

I love how similar these pictures are.  If I had the patience to do a flip book of the swing motion, these might be back to back.

Mini Gwynn

I never noticed that 1996 Topps took a page out of 1994 UD’s book with that smaller picture.  UD did it better in many respects.

I know there are a lot of anti-foil folks out there, but I wouldn’t mind a gaudier base set

How about that SP!  Back when these cards were certainly not “junk wax.”  I wish I could have afforded these packs, but looking back, its better that I didn’t since they didn’t hold that monetary luster anymore than other cards from that year.

You don’t want to get pulled over by the ML PD

I swear there’s a card hiding in that scan.  It’s just so metal that you can’t handle it.

Fill those stands

A quick diversion to show a pitcher batting on a nearly literal bubble gum card.  Don’t get much better.

Prove ’em wrong, Tony!

These last three will follow a theme, and that theme is “Who picked the ranking for these playing cards?”  A 6?

I used to love playing cards with these at my friend’s house

Frank doesn’t get much more respect with an 8.  Not the way to treat a future MVP.  Also, a White Sox player should be one of the black suits.

There we go!

Not even an ACE?!?!  C’mon!  I mean, his position is listed as Cy Young Award.  Oh well, can’t please everyone, but I’m certainly pleased with the trade, and we have even more to show in a future post.  Thanks again, John!

2017 NSCC #9 – I’m Still Dumb

A couple years ago, I outlined how terrible my memory is by showing cards I bought at the NSCC that I already owned (or that accidentally bought twice at the show).  Well, it happened again.  This time, it was on a larger scale since I had a bigger budget.

Still no real excuse for a lot of these as I had my checklists ready and out on my phone constantly, and even tried to update them each night when I got back.

There were more that what I’m about to show below, but I’m focusing on cards that haven’t been posted on the blog, like various refractors and a Leaf Limited card #/749.  I’m hoping to get a little more organized for the next round in 2019, but time will tell.


1998 Fleer Tradition Diamond Standouts

I won this rather unmemorable insert in an ebay lot many years back.  It’s been sitting in my binder ever since.

1999 Topps Chrome Fortune 15

You’d think I would remember a colorful piece like this, but I didn’t recall that I found it at the 2015 NSCC.  I’ll try not to go 3 for 3.

2005 Donruss Classics Team Colors

The same was true of this insert, numbered to 800.  I probably didn’t even check. After all, I’ll remember a lower numbered insert, right?

2015 Topps Museum Collection Copper

Another I assumed I didn’t have but got in 2015.  Since it’s a 2015 card, it was an easy (but wrong) guess that I couldn’t possibly have bought a same year parallel.


1996 Donruss Hit List #/10000

This one came from a COMC binge at some point in 2015.

1997 Pinnacle Totally Certified Platinum Red #45 – #/3999

There are two different cards in this set of Gwynn. I have them both, but have this twice over now. The first was from a COMC purchase in 2014.

2002 Upper Deck Prospect Premieres Heroes of Baseball

This one stings.  There are 10 different Gwynns in the set, but this is the only one I have….twice. The first time was at a 2016 card show I haven’t talked about yet.


1998 Leaf Fractal Foundations #157 Frank Thomas CC – #/3999

From 2016 COMC.  This is a confusing set and ’90 Leaf reprints are everywhere. I really should have been more careful.

2015 Bowman Chrome Rookie Recollections

This was from the 2015 NSCC and another case where I didn’t think I would have bought a 2015 card at the 2015 show.

2005 Origins Materials Jersey

This is the original stupid.  I bought this same card twice at the 2017 show.  I didn’t update the legacy collections all that well, but boy my memory sucks enough to not remember something form earlier in the weekend.


2003 SP Authentic #106 Kerry Wood RA – #/2500

Another 2015 NSCC purchase and honestly it’s one I should have caught pretty easy if I would have looked.

2005 Origins Old Judge Materials Jersey

There’s something about those Origins relics, I guess. I bought this one twice at the show as well.


2010 Topps Chrome Target Exclusive Refractors

I bought this twice at the show as well.  It’s not very memorable and probably was pretty cheap both times.

2013 Topps Allen and Ginter Framed Mini Relics

Lastly was this third relic card that I bought twice at the show.  I really need to not take anything for granted next time around and check my lists.  Of course if I buy things twice in the same day (which is possible), then who knows.

2018 Cubs – Fourteenth Ten Games

Yeah, I’m back to this already.  I understand that these aren’t the most compelling posts, but it’s a good way to show off some cards without actually thinking of a coherent theme.  I’m happy I’ve gotten this far into the project and I want to get up to date so I can see it through.

As I write this, there are 7 more games left in the season and it’s still a tight race.  It looks like the Brewers are the only ones that might be an issue for the NL Central side, but the Cardinals still are taking up the other wild card slot.  I don’t want three division teams to make the playoffs.  The only thing we can really do on our end is keep winning games (the last few are against the Cardinals) and try to get that magic number down.  At this point, a playoff spot is still not guaranteed for the Cubs either.

In this grouping, there were six more wins helping the cause.

Regular refractor

Win #78 – Zobrist – He was 2-3 and was responsible for the game-winning RBI single in the 11th. This game was suspended and finished the next morning, so technically it ended on 8/29, in case you care about these things.

Mistakenly had this listed as the non-update version

Win #79 – Tommy La Stella – Here’s a name you don’t see all that much.  He’s not part of my collections, so Fowler takes the place.  Tommy was 1-1 as a pinch hitter and hit a 2-run homer (1st of the year) which gave the Cubs the lead for good in the 6th inning.

Your base version from 2015

Win #80 – Baez – Javy went 3-5, and only managed 1 RBI.  This day was all singles for once. Another run scored on an error resulting from his single in the first, but he didn’t get the RBI on that AB.

Pulled from one of my boxes last year

Win #81 – Rizzo – 2-2, 2 walks, 2 RBIs, including a solo homer in a blowout.  That’s a lot of 2s.

Blue refractors not as pronounced that year

Win #82 – Zobrist – Continuing his second half surge, Ben was 3-4, with a double and 2 RBIs in a 4-run fourth that turned out to be necessary runs for the Cubs.

Purples look much better

Win #83 – Zobrist – Three of the six go to Zo.  The next win saw a 2-4 effort with 2 more RBI including a sac fly, raising his average to .313 and putting him in contention for the batting title.

No Trade Deadline Here

The MLB trading deadline has come and gone.  Rosters have been expanded for a few weeks and we’re in the waning days of the regular season.  But just because the actual teams can’t swap players doesn’t mean that collectors can’t swap cards of those players.  There are no deadlines in hobbies.  Occasionally there are temporary trade moratoriums, and maybe I need to consider that with Kerry/Madding at Cards on Cards.  Out of all the trade partners I’ve had, I am by far the farthest behind in showing off the cards from him.

His envelopes to me are often large, and frequent enough that in order to show off all the cards I’m being sent (which is my ultimate goal), I have to either ignore other trades or posts, or just fall deeper into the hole I’ve dug myself.  All of these cards are from a few transactions ago, and it’s still not the last of that batch.  I better hurry up, because after that round of trade bait I posted, there are some new trades heading my way.

Log lady not pictured

Oh man, this card gives me a Twin Peaks vibe.  I’m sure he’s standing on some white and black zig zag flooring while someone is talking backwards.

I have this now

This first package from madding had a lot of base cards to really help me spark the player collections in the early days.

Dougie Jones

He escaped!  Look out for his evil twin!

the corner of the base bothers me, though

2010 had some good pictures.  I’m excited about this rainbow.

chrome-icizing the base helps

The chrome side won’t be as exciting since the batter is in the shadows, but maybe the refractors will still pop well enough.

Looks like a horse racing track

I think the 206 stuff suffered a little bit because of the terrible photo effects.  At this point, we have enough retro sets that it’s not missed anyway.

Batter not pictured

2011’s Lester parallel hunt may not be as exciting visually, but I’m happy to take the first step with this card.

Strange Topps logo placement.

Of course, good players make things tougher with the league leader cards to contend with.  Good thing the other guys aren’t hugely popular with collectors.

He was framed, I tell ya!

Finally for this round is this framed white Lackey card.  I was surprised to see this Cardinal parallel come my way.  Either it’s an extra or a hate of Lackey or a third thing.  Whatever it was, I’m thankful for it and the other cards he sent to me.

And no, there will be no trade stoppage with madding.  I just need to step up my game a bit, because he’s certainly bringing his.  Can’t let the Cardinals win!