What kind of collector do I want to be when I grow up?

November 20, 2008 at 6:07 pm | Posted in My opinions | 1 Comment

     I’ve been mulling this over for a few days now.  A few months actually, and I still don’t have an answer to that question.  At all different times I’m a Player Collector, First Worlder, Second Worlder, Prospector, and Gambler.  Honestly, I still don’t know what brought me back to collecting in the first place.  Gellman’s idea however, has caused me to think a little harder about all of this, and to try and put it together into a series of cogent thoughts.

     First and foremost, I’m a player collector.  Whether you’ve checked out my blog before or are just looking at it for the first time, I think that’s pretty evident.  If I live to be 150 years old, I don’t think I will ever enjoy baseball more, or enjoy watching any player more than I did in 1987 watching Dawson play for my beloved Cubs.  They were horrible that season, last place in fact, but witnessing Andre at bat or in the field was something to behold.  And I guess that is what still has me collecting today. 

I have almost every base card ever produced, and over 100 game used and autographed cards, and I still haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of all of the Dawson cards that are out there somewhere.    I don’t think my collection will ever stop.  I doubt it ever could.  It’s a virtually impossible task for me to find, or even be aware of every card that has ever or will ever be made.  I think that’s one of the best things about being a PC.  There is always that next rush, that next eBay listing or card show, which may hold something you haven’t yet found.

      I’m kind of on the fence when it comes to the First World / Second World classification.  I think financial restraints are causing me to straddle the border on this one, because if I had the disposable income, I think I would only bust high-end product like Exquisite and Ultimate.  But I don’t, so I don’t.  Obviously my player collection is largely Second World.  My favorite Dawson cards are all patches and certified autographs, and those are the ones on display in my home.  My First World instincts have kicked in again this year though.  Financial reasons aside, I think aesthetics had something to do with why I started opening boxes of mid-level product again.  I am currently trying to complete the base sets for 2008 Topps Finest, and Allen & Ginter, for no other reason than the fact that I like the look of the cards, and the design of the set.  I don’t even collect football cards, yet I can appreciate the beauty of a card like this.

So, until my monetary situation improves, I think I’ll be stuck somwhere between worlds.

 

     At times, I guess I could also be considered a prospector, because I still open packs and boxes just for the thrill of opening them.  I also look at is as gambling in a way, because like evryone else, I’m plunking down my hard earned money and hoping for that “SICK!!” “MOJO!!” hit of a lifetime that I can sell on eBay and become a millionaire.  The closest I’ve come so far is a Bowman Gold Refractor that I sold for $250.

And that’s probably as close as I’ll ever get.  Most of the time, I don’t even cover the cost of the box.  Yet somehow that doesn’t stop me from going in to my local hobby shop every couple weeks and buying more packs.  It’s the thrill of the chase I guess, and more than likely, that’s what keeps Topps and Upper Deck in business. 

     We’re coming up on the one year anniversary of my return to collecting, and I think I’ve learned a few things.  I know now that not every product that comes out is great and worth buying.  Hell, most of them are mediocre at best.  I’m starting to put together a pretty good idea of what I’m going to buy and not buy next year.  As far as my First World tendencies are concerned, we’ll have to wait and see if there is anything worth my time and money next year.  That’s what’s so great about this hobby.  There’s always something else to look forward to.

     My hopes for the future of this hobby of ours are many and varied.  I understand that there is a need and a proper place for the cheap, lower-end sets.  Some people only care about collecting base cards, and can’t afford more than $40 or $50 for a hobby box, and that’s just fine.  But, do there have to be so many, and do so many of them have to be so shitty?  I also understand the need for stickers and redemptions, as they have their place as well.  However, the big 3 need to realize that if they expect me to pay $250-$300 for 1 box of 5 cards, they need to find a way to get the athlete to sign the damn card.  I would never buy a box of Topps Sterling for exactly this reason.  What I think I would really like to see is at least 1 set a year that contains all veteran and retired players with on-card autographs and patches.  No Joe Koshanskys and Daric Bartons, no cheap white swatches, no stickers, and no unfulfilled redemptions.  I’d pay whatever they wanted for that.

     With the way the blogging world has grown recently, and continues to grow, I have high hopes that they may listen to our moaning and groaning and finally figure it all out.  I’ll be the first one in line for a box when they do.

Believe it or not, I’m still here

August 23, 2008 at 2:58 pm | Posted in My Collection | 6 Comments

     Man, do I have a lot of catching up to do.  First off, I’d like to apologize to anyone who checks the blog regularly(there are a couple of you, right?).  As I think I’ve mentioned before, I’m in the middle of planning my wedding, and its grueling.  Planning and paying for a wedding yourself is a logistical and financial nightmare, so cards have had to take a back seat for a while.

     So, no wax for a while, but I have gotten a couple of really nice packages from readers and fellow bloggers.  The first one being an incredible package from reader Eric, which included 104 Cubs cards!!  Here are some of the highlights, including a great Derrek Lee Jersey card, and the only Kosuke Fukudome SP worth owning in my opinion.

So thanks again to Eric for reading, and for sending the cards.  He got a box full of Yankees cards for his effort.

     My second package marks the first time that anyone has sent me Andre Dawson cards since I started this blog.  Dave from Fielder’s Choice busted an entire case of 2008 Goudey, and sent me not only the base Sport Royalty Dawson.

……but also one of his case hits, in the form of this

a Taupe Back Mini SP numbered 8/8.  How friggin cool is that!, and how awesome is Dave.  Be sure to check out his blog.  It’s always a great read.

     Wedding or not, I have kept up the player collection a little bit, and have added a couple of great new Dawson cards from the Bay.

This is my second Lumberjacks Patch Auto #’d to 25.

And my very first Dawson Sweet Spot Autograph!  These are amazing cards, and I think when this year was made, they were still using actual baseball leather.  Not sure, but I love this card anyway!

     I’ll try to post a little more regularly, but i may be MIA for a little while.  Definitely no more wax until after D-Day, otherwise known as my wedding on October 4th.  Wish me luck!

I told you I liked these

July 18, 2008 at 1:36 pm | Posted in My Collection | Leave a comment

     Hey kids.  Not a lot in the hobby world that’s exciting me all that much lately.  Except for my Player Collection of course.  I just made a few eBay acquisitions, and the first one just rolled in.

     I love these Check Cuts autographs.  This is my second one #’d 41/50, and I’m going to continue to try and get my hot little hands on every one I come across.

     More updates to follow as the Dawson’s keep rollin in.

Another mailday from Heaven

July 10, 2008 at 2:23 pm | Posted in My Collection | 1 Comment

     Wax Heaven that is.  A couple of weeks ago, Mario busted a box of 2008 SPX which just happened to include this.

A very nice Kevin Hart rookie auto.  Mario was even kind enough to give me a shout out in the video break.  I believe it wen’t something like “Charlie, holla”.  So, I “holla’d”, and here it is.  Thanks to Mario for once again increasing my Cubs collection, and maintaining the best baseball card blog on the web.

Josh Vitters Gold Refractor Auto + eBay = Player Collector Heaven

July 8, 2008 at 2:10 pm | Posted in My Collection | 8 Comments

     Hello all.  Once again my life has gotten in the way of keeping up with my posts.  I try to post at least once a week, but lately I have been working 60+ hrs a week.  So to make it up to you all, this post is going to be extra looooong.  However, I’ll also try to keep it as visual as possible.

     Anyway, on to this week’s post.  The subject of Bowman Chrome Autographs has been discussed and debated to death ever since the debut of the 2001 Albert Pujols auto rookie, and it’s meteoric rise in price.  Within a couple weeks of the release date you can witness the carnage on eBay as people bid and bid and BID on whatever Chrome autos are the hottest this year. 

     So, despite being a die-hard Cubs fan all my life, when I pulled this card out of a pack……

……I sold it immediately, and chronicled my bold stroke in this post.  I have absolutely no idea what Josh Vitters is going to become, but I already know who and what Andre Dawson is, and I know that he will always be my favorite player.

     So with that in mind, here is what I was able to turn my Vitters card into…..

A 2007 Sweet Spot Gold Signature Rich Hill

A 2008 Topps Chrome Black Printing Plate

Yes, I know these first 2 are not Dawson cards, but I still love Rich Hill even though he’s been exiled to Arizona rookie ball.  That actually allowed me to pick these up on the cheap.  I absolutely love the design & concept of the Sweet Spot cards, and even though I know nobody gives a rat’s ass about printing plates, I haven’t been back in the hobby long enough to be tired of them yet.

 

Another in the ridiculous number of parallels in the Fabric of the Game set that I am trying futily to complete.

My second copy of the Lumber Cuts autograph

Limited Lumberjacks auto #’d to 25

Limited Lumberjacks Patch Auto #’d to 25

September 1987 Beckett – when it was still a magazine

Absolute Heroes completely sick patch #’d to 25

Absolute Team Six

1993 Topps Finest – Still looking for an affordable refractor

Donruss Classics #’d to 49

My first Leather Cuts auto

Legendary Cuts #’d to 75

Donruss Signature Series

My second Absolute Heroes Patch #’d to 95

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certified Cuts Check auto #’d to 50

My second and third copies of the Tools of the Trade Dual #’d to 250

The most bad-ass hat that I have ever owned!!  And I’m getting it auto’d later this month

And last but certainly not least, not 1…….

…..but 2 out the 18 made 2007 Triple Threads Patch, Bat, Autograph!!

And…..finally we come to the end.  Lest you think that I’m just bragging and showing off, the whole point is that Bowman Chrome Autographs are not the end all be all of the card collecting world.  I could really care less if the Vitters card ends up becoming more valuable.  Selling that card when I did allowed me to get all of these items which have taken my Dawson collection to another level entirely.

     So, I put it to you, my very few readers, once again.  Having seen all of the evidence, did I do the right thing by selling the Josh Vitters card when I did??

My first cut auto

June 27, 2008 at 3:59 pm | Posted in My Collection | 4 Comments

     Hello all.  Just a quick post with a new addition to my collection.  It’s my first cut autograph.  It seems a little strange to have a cut auto of someone who is still alive but…

…..it is an absolutely beautiful card.  It’s from 2004 Leaf Cerified Cuts, the Check Cuts subset.  It’s numbered 33/50.  The card got to me in flawless condition, and I hope to find more of them at some point, as I think this is a great idea for an auto/gu set.  May I just say once again, I miss DLP making baseball products!!

My “White Whale” is in the boat !!

June 25, 2008 at 4:52 pm | Posted in My Collection | 4 Comments

     Hello all.  I know it’s been forever since I’ve posted.  I’ve had a lot of “life” going on lately, and haven’t been able to pay as much attention as I’d like to my hobbies.  I do have a huge post coming up that has to do with what I’ve been able to get in return for selling this.  I’ve also done a couple of posts for Gellman over at SportsCardsUncensored.  If you’d like, you can check out those posts here, and here.

     The point of this post however, is to showcase this……

 

I finally found, and was not sniped on, a 2007 Triple Threads patch, bat, auto.  This one is # 5/18, and is without a doubt, the current crown jewel of my collection

However, as with everything else, I am now addicted.  I already found another one with an even nicer patch.  But that will detailed in my upcoming post..  Keep an eye out!!

Chicago Sportsfest – 2008

June 9, 2008 at 1:58 pm | Posted in Box Breaks, My Collection, My opinions | 1 Comment

     Hello all.  I was busy all weekend and haven’t had a chance to write until now.  I spent all of last week getting excited about going to Chicago Sportsfest in Schaumburg.  It’s a quick 20 minute drive from my house, and I haven’t been to a real big-time card show since April.  I hate to say that I was less than impressed.

     I left work at 5 on Friday psyched to add some new cards to my Dawson collection and hang out with my fellow collectors.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t much of either to be found.  I got to the show around 5:30, and even though there were only 2 1/2 hours left in the show that night, I was still asked to pay the full $12 admission price.  I was fine with that untill I got inside, and could see from the door that over half of the advertised 650+ tables were empty.  I approached one of the show organizers about this, and was offered several reasons in explanation, most of which I actually believed.  First, I was told that the Bears had suddenly decided to hold their fan expo the same weekend, so many vendors went there instead.  Secondly, a lot of the out of town vendors decided not to make the trip because of ridiculous gas prices, especially in the Chicago area where we are rapidly approaching $4.50 a gallon.  And thirdly, the most believable reason.  The National Sports Collectors Convention is being held in Chicago this year, and it’s only 6 weeks away, so most people are waiting for the much bigger and more highly anticipated show.

     Before I get labeled as being completely negative, I am glad I went.  I found an amazing card for my collection, and some incredibly cheap wax.  I only found 3 Andre Dawson cards at the entire show, and this was the only one not completely over-priced.

     This is my first of what I hope are many.  This is from the 2005 Leaf Century Collection, and there are several parallels of each player.  It has an actual 34 cent Wrigley Field stamp embedded in the card, along with a jersey swatch, and an on-card autograph.  It is serial #’d 6/34.  This is only the second on-card auto in my collection.  They seem to be really hard to find for Dawson.  Anyway, I love this card, and this whole chase set, and as usual, I really hope DLP gets back into baseball!!

     I also picked up some amazingly cheap wax, and struck out as usual.  One of these days I’ll learn to stop buying wax, but I couldn’t pass up these prices!  My first box was my 2nd tin ever of 2007 Sweet Spot Signatures.  I couldn’t not buy a tin for $55, but as with the first tin, my pulls were less than stellar.

     I still love Sweet Spot.  They are gorgeous cards, and I’m sure I will open more, especially if I find them at this price.  I just haven’t had the best luck so far.

     I also picked up a box of 2005 Diamond KIngs.  I love the design of this set, but I had never opened a box before.  I found a box at the show for $47, and figured now was the time to open my first box.  However, my usual luck continued.

     My first hit was a Laynce NIx auto #’d to 100.  This actually is a decent hit I suppose since your aren’t guaranteed an auto in the box.  There are a ton of different autos that I have seen from this set, but the only guarantee on the box is 2 game used OR auto cards.  So I guess I came out ahead in the game.  It’s just that there isn’t much hobby love for Laynce.  He’s not in Texas anymore, and he’s only played 29 games in the last 2 1/2 seasons for Milwaukee.  But, he does have a very neat, unique auto, and he could be on the verge of a career resurgence as he hit 24 HRs in less than 400 at bats in AAA.  So, who knows.

     My second hit was a much better player, but still not much hobby love.

     It’s a Tony Gwynn Heritage Collection bat #’d to 100.  I really like the card, but aside from the fact that bat cards just don’t seem to be all that collectible, Gwynn himself doesn’t seem to get much love from collectors, despite racking up 3,141 career hits and a lifetime .338 batting average.  He was a 15 time All-Star, a 5 time Gold Glove winner in right field, and a 7 time Silver Slugger.  He also played all 20 seasons of his major league career in San Diego, and oh, by the way is a member of the Hall of Fame!!  Yet, you can buy a sealed 2007 Topps Sterling Tony Gwynn box for about $120 on eBay, with the mystery pack!  That’s a $250 wax box selling for $120 because it’s Tony Gwynn.

     Anyway, like I said, I’m glad I went just for the Dawson auto/stamp.  And I had a lot of fun opening some wax, especially at the prices paid.  As usual, any of my non-Cubs cards are available for trade, including the one’s in this post.  Just leave me a message in the about me section, or send me an e-mail.

 

The newest Chicago Cub phenom

June 5, 2008 at 4:33 pm | Posted in My opinions | 2 Comments

    With their first pick in the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft, the Chicago Cubs have selected….Andrew Cashner.  A 6’5″ right-handed pitcher from Texas Christian University.  I have no idea who he is, but his draft info is pretty impressive, as you can see in this snippet from MiLB.com

“A move to a short-relief role has suited Cashner extremely well. As TCU’s closer, he’s been virtually unhittable, though he has struggled with his command. He’s had a big spike in velocity, up to the upper 90s to go along with a very good slider. College closers have become intriguing Draft picks over the past few years and Cashner has positioned himself to be one of the first taken.”

The most amazing thing to me is the fact that I cannot find 1 single baseball card adorned by Mr. Cashner.  Hell, I had to search just find this picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     If you’d like to see Andrew in action, take a look.

 

2008 Topps Series 2 – Update

May 31, 2008 at 10:39 am | Posted in My opinions | 2 Comments

     Just a quick aside to the post below.  I actually contacted one of the human bags of excriment that is trying to sell the Fukudome/Japan card for $900 to just simply ask him wtf??  His response: “I got an offer of $300, but I’d sooner eat it for that.”. 

     Wow.  So apparently this is what card collecting has come to in 2008.  It’s a little bit funny.  As I look around at all the other blogs that I read on a daily basis, I have yet to see 1 single review or box break for Topps 2.  The boxes have been out for 3 days now.  Doesn’t that seem a bit odd to you??  I might be headed back to opening more 2007 wax for a while.

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