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Sunday, February 24, 2019

A Little Trip to the Monthly Card Show

Hey everyone, last weekend we had our monthly card show at the Radisson here in Colorado Springs. It's a pretty small show, with one or two big vendors. One of them has one of the nicest vintage collections I've seen and he's a great and friendly guy. The other big vendor tends to have the "big" modern cards like the Ruth I picked up a couple months ago. Anyways, nothing too big this time around. I found a vendor with a dime box or two and I spent $1.00 on this:
A 2000 Bagwell from Fleer eX, a nice green parallel of Hunter Pence from Platinum. Springer and Altuve inserts. A nice Arian Foster insert and JJ Watt base that I didn't have. A Roberto Osuna mini from Bowman chrome as well as a blue parallel Brad Peacock from his A's days. I couldn't pass on the 93 Warren Moon acetate. Finally, a dual rookie of a couple of Mets who ended up in Astros unis: Joe Smith and Carlos Gomez! Also, screw Carlos Gomez.

Next up, I found a table with $1.00 cards that were 7 for $5.
A trio of Carlos Correa cards I didn't have (or can't find!). A nice 1968 Topps HR leaders with Aaron, the Toy Cannon, Santo and McCovey. What a great card for less than a buck! Snagged a nice Verlander rookie from Fleer Tradition, and a Dallas Keuchel rookie (sans beard) from Bowman Chrome. Finally, a /150 1st Bowman Chrome of the newest Astros OF, Michael Brantley. I'd have been perfectly happy leaving the show with all those cards for just $6 but I made it to a table with these beauts and I couldn't resist:
National Card Day 2017 Yuli rookie auto /175 for $10, absolutely. Jeff Bagwell from Legacies of Baseball (woefully underrated set IMO) for $20? Sign me up? Throw in the Hakeem/Drexler /25 patches for $15, don't mind if I do. Overall, a highly successful trip to the card show for yours truly.

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Boooooooring...

I know, this blog is boring. It's kind of stuck in a rut right now. Here's the deal: at the end of December, I was basically laid off. There weren't any more construction projects for the two companies I had previously worked for so they couldn't just keep me on overhead in these trying financial times (sarcasm font in full effect). Oil and Gas just isn't what it used to be. Anywho, I've moved back to Colorado and been on the look for work. We have some savings and it's been a bit of a welcome respite after 8+ years on the road moving from one construction site to the next. So, while it's been great to be home and relaxed, the downside is that my "card budget" went from "pretty decent" to "NOTHING" pretty fast.

So, while I don't really have anything to share as far as new cards and purchases, certainly there must be something else to chat about right? What about you? What are some go-to topics when you hit when you're in a buying freeze? What do you do to get the writing juices going again?

I really should be spending this time organizing the collection - you should see my desk right now, it's a nightmare. Speaking of nightmares, we have filled in our time by playing a lot of board games. We recently picked up Mansions of Madness, part of the Arkham Horror series of games that loosely follow the H.P. Lovecraft stories. Ok, I'm rambling, y'all have a good one.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Redeemed - A Panini Story

I'm not trying to dog on Panini today, I'm really not. They have their flaws, to a lesser extent than Topps does, but both companies continue to fail at one thing pretty consistently: redemption fulfillment.

I get it, you want to put together a great product, but you can't always guarantee that the cards will be signed and returned timely. Thus, you use those horrid stickers. Then you make a product where you guarantee on-card autos. Short of sending a rep with the cards to the player's house and sitting with him while he signs all 10,000 of them, then fly back - again I get it, there's not much you can do. Wait... I thought that's what you SHOULD be doing.

Anywho... I redeemed this one a while back and sat patiently by the mail box. Finally, months later, it has arrived...
First of all, sorry for the horrible picture - but due to the Optic "chrome" nature of this one, it was near impossible to get a good angle on it, anyone got tips on how to take a pic of these type of cards without the glare and reflection problems? Anywho, let's get to what Panini did RIGHT here... Great looking on card auto and used a photo where the lack of logo doesn't kill the card. Well done Panini.

Also, I'm digging the Panini CS stickers holding the card in, I'm converting all my storage of hits from binders to top loaders anyways so now I don't even have to remove this beaut from the holder!

Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

A Fond Farewell and Final Package from Area 40/Wes

For years, we have been delighted to get packages in the mail from the one and only Wes at Area 40 aka Jay Barker Fan's Junk. I had the pleasure as well to meet Wes on a couple of occasions when he made it down to BigHit Sports Cards in Spanish Fort, AL. Wes is genuinely one of the greatest guys in the hobby. I don't know where or how he finds the stuff that he literally gives away, the man rarely if ever asks for anything in return, and finds more numbered parallels than I can ever imagine anyone finding.

Anyways, in the last month, Wes went out with one last big bang. Literally, he bought boxes and such for a year and then gave it all away. I was late to claiming and missed out on one of my teams, but put in a request for a couple odd balls and my Astros. Additionally, it seems that Wes set aside some extras for me along the way, as he typically does. Here we go folks, it's a fun ride through this package:
First, a trio of TTM style autographs. The highlight to me here is the Jim Wynn, but getting a Rafael Landestoy auto is pretty freakin' awesome. Jason Jennings, man, why did we ever sign that dude? lol
A couple of interesting Jaelen Strong relics, low numbered and one auto'ed. Jaelen had multiple chances to succeed in Houston and just couldn't take a hold of the slot or 3rd receiver role before he was released. 
Picture didn't come out really great with the glare, but that's a /25 Lance McCullers auto! WOW! Some sweet parallels from American Heroes & Legends, a numbered Watson rookie, and then the Nolan Ryan gem at the end. Love it all. Also, happy birthday Nolan! 
Now, here we go with the odd ball. Haha. Gilbert Godfried relic from American Pie, I can hear him screaming. A Devery Henderson relic from the Saints. Then there are a couple hits from American Horror Story - which the wife loves watching. Auto/relic of Chloe Sevigny and the back of the card shows the piece of clothing that the swatch was taken from, pretty cool if you ask me. Then the Naomi Grossman autograph as the Asylum character Pepper. Two great autos for sure.
It gets odd-er. We have TENNIS autos! First up, I recognized the name immediately, as John Isner was the winner of the longest tennis match ever at Wimbledon. Then there are a couple of Russian ladies: Anna Chakvetadze and Vera Zvonareva, neither of whom I've ever heard of. Then there's Molly Sims' fabric relic from PopCardz - Molly has an... interesting... IMDB page. Finally, there is Lana Kinnear, who bared her assets on this card - and autographed it too! Oh Benchwarmers, you are a special, special set of cards...

There was a healthy stack of about 100 #'ed parallels, many of which were /99 or less. I could take pictures all night, but I do need to wrap this up...

Finally, it wouldn't be this grand of a package without a Bip-ing. Folks, enjoy some Wilbur Howard:
Yep, that's 11 Wilbur Howard cards, together at once and at last. Never to be separated again. haha.

Well Wes, I could go on and on about how great of a trader/collector/blogger you are, but all of that really doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things - here's what does mean something to me: You're a great friend and person. Thank you for everything through the years, and I hope our paths cross again some day. I have the Kobayashi card that will head your way - as well as anything else I can find for you. Take care bud, and enjoy your retirement from blogging.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Hall of Fame Thoughts

Well, the HOF was announced today... and I'm very ok with it. Nothing too shocking or to get too excited about. Mariano getting in via unanimous vote is a little shocking. I really feel like if anyone was going to get in that way, it would have been Ken Griffey Jr. But no shock a Yankee gets the unanimous vote. I guess some guys who refused to place a vote for any 1st ballot either changed their mind or submitted a no-name ballot.

As for Mike Mussina, he's the only one I'd have any real heart burn about - but I can't be anywhere as mad about him as I'll ALWAYS be about HAROLD FREAKIN' BAINES. Sorry Harold, you are not a HOF'er. The modern day committee made a huge mistake there, but that's what happens when you get some of your cronies on the committee.

Edgar, I really feel he was undervalued throughout his career and I'm glad a true and great DH made it in before David Ortiz gets there.

As for my Astros, Oswalt and Berkman didn't fare too well - I think Berkman has a shot some day if we can get a few Astros cronies on the modern day committee. ;)

Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

About that trade bait...

Well, I USED to have a lot of trade bait... here's a fun story about going to a card show with three shoeboxes of trade bait in hand. Sometimes, you find someone who wants a huge chunk of it. Today, that's exactly what happened. I'll admit that this dealer probably came out a just a bit ahead of me in terms of overall value, however I now have a couple of cards I absolutely love and I'm not having to carry around three boxes of trade bait to ever trade night and card show I go to. Most of the cards I traded away were under $2 in value, a smattering of cards worth $10-20 and only one card that would fetch in the $75-100 range. So what did I get? Behold:
Biggio, Bagwell and Altuve triple relic auto /36! This was the much "lower" end card of the two I received and I absolutely freakin' love it. Three of my favorite Astros of all time, all on one card and great signatures.

The other card? Well, it's pretty freakin' awesome too:
6-relic Babe Ruth /25 from Topps Sterling 2010. Wow, this thing is amazing and it's now right center stage in my PC, on the shelf with my other HOF'er autographs/relics. I've always wanted to add a nice higher end Babe Ruth, but other than getting lightning in a bottle I didn't have a lot of hope of that ever happening by opening packs. I traded away dozens of cards I've pulled over the years, but in the end I have a card I reallllllly wanted.

So, I am down to one box of trade bait, and it's rather limited tbh, but here's to growing it back up again! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Blogger Trade - Chris from Nachos Grande

So Chris from Nachos Grande and I have had a stack of cards building for months and months. Finally, we got in touch last week and got the trade completed! I got my cards today:
The crux of the deal was that beautiful blue border Alex Bregman from 2017 Archives. It's numbered /75 and the action shot is great. Awesome card. I picked up the Steinberg because I remember him being an agent for several Oilers back in the day, and his cross over into the movies with his appearance in Jerry Maguire. Plus, pretty cool looking relic. Chris also threw in some random Astros, including that Randy Johnson which I can honestly say I've never seen before! Thanks Chris!

PS - TSHenson - you commented on my blog yesterday, but I have no means of getting in touch with you, please leave me a comment with your e-mail address!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Facebook Trade

After one of the trade nights last weekend, I posted a few of the football hits that I got to that shops' Facebook page. I had managed to pull a decent Josh Allen autograph and I quickly got some trade offers. Since I don't collect much football, I usually try and move it pretty quickly! Here's what I managed to pick up in return for the Allen:
The Yuli is a nice parallel out of /50! And while I'm usually not a huge fan of the fake Topps patch things, I'll take whatever Verlander cards I can find depicting him in an Astros uni! Next, a jumbo Keke Coutee swatch /499. Keke had an uneven year as he couldn't ever quite get that hamstring healthy. Hopefully his sophomore season turns out better as a Texan. Always happy to pick up a Deshaun Watson jersey card, this one /99. Let me tell ya, I LOVE Spectra, I think it's Panini's best product in terms of design and execution. Finally, a couple of Justin Reid autographs. This dude had a monster first year, still can't believe we got him in the 3rd round of the draft. The autos are /49 (XR) and /149 (Illusions).

I have found FB a little less reliable as far as trading goes, rather hit or miss, and a lot of the folks I run into on there still think they can make a living off busting packs, but that is part of the hobby I guess.

I've had several people ask me the same question lately: Do you collect just "hits"? My answer: absolutely not. I'm currently working on a spreadsheet to capture all my numbered parallels and inserts. It's a work in progress. But by all means, if you want to trade base, I'm down for that as well. I have a big backlog of products (a lot of Ginter from the past couple years) as well as just random boxes/packs I've opened along the way. 2018 Chronicles is really about the only set I'm building right now, but I'm always game for getting a nice stack of Astros!

Hope you all are having a wonderful week!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Trade Night Pick Ups

Readers, just a heads up, somehow I'm not getting any e-mails when you guys comment. I'm trying to be good about going and looking to see if there are new comments, but by all means if you want to swing a deal - e-mail me directly - samuelpair@yahoo.com.

Alright, there was a local card shop called John's that had trade night Saturday night - here's what I ended up with at the end of the night.
There was actually ZERO trading going on, just like 6 guys with huge cases of high end football showing each other their $400-500 Baker Mayfield autos. Meh.

Once again, see anything you like, let me know!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Random Trade Bait

Here's some of the stuff I've picked up lately that could be yours!
I just kind of went through the trade bait box and made some selections.

Also, wanted to show off this great auto I picked up last weekend in trade at a card show in Arvada, CO.
A freakin' sweet Altuve auto #'ed 2/9. Now, I'll temper my excitement by saying that I don't really care too much for the "Archives Signature Series" brand. But to get this low numbered a card of my guy, I'm pretty stoked.

Have a great Saturday everyone!