Another Sports Card Info Contest Win

There's a contest nearly every week at Sports Card Info, and sometimes two, so I'm there entering almost every single day. I've won a few of them over the years, and another recent contest went my way, so now I've got this nice red swatch from Yu Darvish

2015 Topps - Career High Relics #CHR-YD Yu Darvish
Topps made this a bit confusing by having Career High Relics in both series 1 and 2, with some of the same players, but the series 1 cards are inexplicably numbered CRH-xx instead of CHR-xx. But, I sorted it out, and I've got the series 2 K/9 Career High, as opposed to the Series 1 "Strikeouts in a Season" Career High.

Thanks to Sports Card Info for all the contests through the year, and my new relic.


eBay Wins #185

I'm getting ever-closer to the present day with my eBay penny cards. I'm up to 2008 Topps now, with 2 cards. It's now been so long since I resorted my cards that I have no idea if I got these at the same time or not.
2008 Topps
#51 Erik Bedard
#143 Willie Harris
I've got 286 unique cards out of the 660 or so from 2008 Topps, which I mostly got in discounted old packs. I wasn't collecting in 2008, so this set is in the gap I'm still sort of filling in. These two cards both added to my set.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3320
Total Spent$51.70
Per Card1.557 cents
Change-0.001 cents


July Card Show Purchases III

[Part I II]

I really had no intention of stretching out a single set purchase to 3 posts, but then the Cardinals go and trade for a new player for me to collect, Steve Cishek. He's in 2015 Gypsy Queen, too, and they technically acquired him before my part II post...posted, though not before I scanned the cards and wrote it.

2015 Topps Gypsy Queen #283 Steve Cishek

Welcome aboard, Steve. I like that you pitch side-armed like me, but other than that fact, I have much to learn before I can pass my judgement on this move.


July Card Show Purchases II

Here's the other half of the Cardinals and other players I collect.

2015 Topps Gypsy Queen
#9 Bo Jackson
#25 Matt Carpenter
#27 John Lackey
#37 Mark McGwire
#44 Steve Carlton
#47 Ozzie Smith
That's a strong bottom row, with two Hall-of-Famers, and one that would have been, probably if he just handled the post-career PR a little better. Bo Jackson is one of the few players who never played for the Cardinals that I nevertheless collect, just because his story was so fascinating. I think the two-sport aspect gets me a little, too, because I considered adding Deion Sanders to my collections as well.

2015 Topps Gypsy Queen
#48 Shelby Miller
#49 Albert Pujols
#59 Adam Wainwright
#72 Carlos Martinez
#84 John Smoltz
#99 Roger Maris
This half netted me 6 uniformed Cardinals and 5 other Cardinals, for a total of 13 uniformed and 8 other. I wanted to say "former", but both Smoltz and Maris are pictured with teams they played on before St. Louis. I wasn't expecting a full 8% of the base set to fall into my personal collection, but here we are. Certainly that's somewhat due to the Cardinals recent success, and at the expense of other teams, so I will enjoy and appreciate this while the winning lasts. 


July Card Show Purchases

In addition to my autographs, I did make one purchase at the card show; a full set of 2015 Gypsy Queen, without the SPs.  I have so many sets I haven't quite completed, that this one felt like a good idea when I saw it. I might still buy a few packs for a smattering of insert, and put the extra base cards in my trade list.

I decided to pull out all the Cardinals and players I collect to show, and as it turns out there were 24 of them, so I split them into two posts so I can tag them all. I tried a few different ways to sort them into two equal groups of 12, and couldn't quite get there, so I just sorted them numerically. Here's the second half first.

2015 Topps Gypsy Queen
#141 Nomar Garciaparra
#184 Michael Wacha
#197 Matt Adams
#228 Jhonny Peralta
#238 Carlos Beltran
#263 Mark Buehrle
I went with the second half of the cards first because today is Nomar's Birthday. He's 42 today, and I'm glad to see him showing up in current products. In addition to the 4 Cardinals, there's also my hometown compatriot Mark Buehrle.

2015 Topps Gypsy Queen
#265 Jason Heyward
#271 Lance Lynn
#273 Allen Craig
#274 Dan Haren
#284 Trevor Rosenthal
#299 Kolten Wong
Some local sportswriters have talked about the possibility of Dan Haren making his way back to the team by the trade deadline, although I don't know how likely that really is. All told from this half I got 7 uniformed and 3 former Cardinals.


eBay Wins #184

Today I've got another bundle of penny cards, but thankfully they're unique cards, unlike the 9-of-a-kind from post #183. Today I've got some 2008 Upper Deck First Edition Update.

2008 Upper Deck First Edition Update
#344 Grady Sizemore
#371 Gil Meche
#401 Francisco Liriano
#450 Jim Edmonds
#451 Jake Peavy
Jim Edmonds was a member of the Padres for less than 2 months of the season before being released, hence this is actually a Cubs card despite the photo.

2008 Upper Deck First Edition Update
#350 Garrett Atkins
#442 Zach Duke
#492 Scott Rolen
The Cardinals traded Scott Rolen for Troy Glaus, so now I have the other half of this trade, which I first mentioned when I got the Glaus card in this post. That'd be an interesting collection: the cards of players traded for each other, especially if they both showed up in that year's Update/Traded sets.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3318
Total Spent$51.68
Per Card1.558 cents
Change-0.001 cents


July Card Show Autographs

The stars aligned and I had copious free time on the day of a local monthly-ish card show, and there were 4 former Cardinals signing, so I had to go. I prefer my autographs on baseballs instead of cards, so here are the additions to my collection.

Mike LaValliere
Wally Moon
Dal Maxvill
As I said, there were supposed to be 4 Cardinals there. Bill Virdon was apparently not feeling well, so he didn't show up, but is supposed to be there in August. I still bought the "All 4 Cardinals" autograph ticket, so I'll have to go back. So, I've given myself a nice commitment device to make it to the next show.


eBay Wins #183

Sometimes I bid on lots of cards at once on eBay. I'll bid a penny on pretty much any card, and more on cards I specifically want. I figure at the very least penny cards give me something to trade. I didn't really realize that I bid on at least 9 different auctions for this same card from the same seller, until the envelope arrived with all 9 of these in one stack.

2006 Bowman Draft - Draft Picks #DP58 Kristopher Medlen (x9)
I could have just scanned one, but then you wouldn't get the whole self-Bipping experience I gave myself. On the plus side, I gamed my stats and I've had 2 posts in a row where my average eBay card cost dropped by .001 cent.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3310
Total Spent$51.60
Per Card1.559 cents
Change-0.001 cents


Pull Tab Awareness Week

It's Pull Tab Awareness Week! That's when defgav at Baseball Card Breakdown bribes us with a contest to spread the word about a better way to send cards in toploaders. You can go read his post, or follow along as I package up a single card someone recently requested on Zistle.

First, I get the card, a penny sleeve, and a toploader. In this case we have a 1997 Studio #96 Joe Carter, and a very old toploader

The card goes in the sleeve. You know the drill. I can get away with 2 in a regular toploader, or 4-6 in a thick toploader, but any more than that and I start worrying about dinged corners.

I always put the card into the toploader upside down. That makes it so if the whole thing starts to slide apart, the card is still not exposed to any tape. I haven't seen anyone else do this, but I haven't found any reason this is a bad idea yet, so please let me know if you know of one.

Next, the classic pull tab, over the opening of the toploader. Again, the only part inside the toploader exposed to the adhesive is the bottom of the sleeve.

I don't like putting a toploader directly into an envelope, so I usually grab a sheet of 8.5x11 paper and fold it like so, into a little packet that keeps the toploader from ripping the envelope, and keeps the contents hidden a bit more.

The packet goes into the envelope, but you probably knew that. Now I just need a stamp, normally. But this one's going to Canada, so I'll be swinging by the post office to get the proper amount on it.


2012 Heritage Blaster #6

This box was suspiciously low on SPs, inserts, and even Cardinals. I expect Cardinals to be a bit random, but inserts generally fall about 1 per pack. Only 5 showed up. I was hopeful that meant I was missing a color-swap variation among the base cards, but they all appeared to check out as the regular variety.

2012 Topps Heritage
#190 Matt Holliday
#278 Jhonny Peralta
#390 Jason Heyward
Blue Parallel #164 Austin Jackson
Checklist #C4
Chrome Parallel #HP54 Felix Hernandez #0605/1963
News Flashbacks #NF=A Alcatraz
Stick-Ons #9 Jacoby Ellsbury
I tried out a different scanner for these, and it appears to have cropped the edges and resulted in a generally grainier photo. I won't be using that one anymore if I can help it.

On to the progress! (With a few of the total insert set sizes fixed)

Base: 274/425
Base SPs: 12/75
Baseball Flashbacks: 3/10
Blue Parallel: 4/30
Checklists: 3/5
Chrome Parallels: 5/100
Clubhouse Collection Relics: 1/71
New Age Performers: 2/15
News Flashbacks 5/10
Stick-ons: 6/46
Then and Now: 1/10


eBay Wins #182

Today I've got cards from another set new to my collection; 2005 Upper Deck ESPN.

2005 ESPN
#1 Garret Anderson
#32 Carl Pavano
Other than branding synergies and other such buzzwords, I'm not sure why ESPN has their name on cards. These definitely have the busy feeling of a SportsCenter screen, though. So, job well done, Upper Deck?

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3301
Total Spent$51.51
Per Card1.56 cents
Change-0.001 cents


2012 Heritage Blaster #5

Let's open up another Blaster and see all the Cardinals, Inserts, and my completion status.

2012 Heritage
#8 AL Pitching Leaders
#54 2012 Rookie Stars
#95 2012 Rookie Stars
#129 Chris Perez
#144 World Series Game 3
#172 Yadier Molina
#206 Lance Lynn
#250 Jon Jay
#313 Jaime Garcia
It's too bad Adron Chambers is with the Cubs now, because that decreases the chances of him signing autographs at some random St. Louis area location. I have so many Rookie Stars cards I could have him sign. I got a few more former Cardinals with Dan Haren, Chris Perez, and Albert Pujols, but 4 that are still with the team, too.

2012 Heritage
#321 2012 Rookie Stars
#472 Alfonso Soriano
#476 Prince Fielder
Blue Parallel #76 Jon Lester
Blue Parallel #130 David Freese
Checklist #C5
Chrome Parallel #HP14 Paul Konerko
News Flashbacks #NF-PS Penn Station
More Adron! I had forgotten the Blue Parallel is not a full set, but only 30 cards, so I can't get blue versions of all the Cardinals base cards, but in addition to Freese, there is a Jon Jay, Albert Pujols, and Yadier Molina available. Unfortunately the two SPs are both duplicates, leaving me at only 12/75 complete.

2012 Heritage
Clubhouse Collection Relics #CCR-YG Yovani Gallardo
Stick-ons #31 Curtis Granderson
This box had a relic in it, that nice gray Yovani Gallardo swatch. I'm not a big relic chaser, but I've always thought Heritage has made pretty good ones. I do prefer a bat to a jersey for some reason, though.

So how is my quest going?

Base: 243/425
Base SPs: 12/75
Baseball Flashbacks: 3/10
Blue Parallel: 3/30
Checklists: 3/5
Chrome Parallels: 4/100
Clubhouse Collection Relics: 1/71
New Age Performers: 2/16
News Flashbacks 4/15
Stick-ons: 5/46
Then and Now: 1/10


eBay Wins #181

Today's eBay penny card is a shiny 2005 Topps Chrome, which is ipso facto better than win #180, a 2005 base card, right?
2005 Topps Chrome #253 Garret Anderson
Garret Anderson played so long for the Angels that my memories of him playing for the Braves feel like some kind of weird fever dream. So, I'll enjoy this card of "the before times".

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3299
Total Spent$51.49
Per Card1.561 cents
Change0 cents


2012 Heritage Blaster #4, Almost 3 Years Later.

I bought several of these boxes from Dave and Adam's quite awhile ago, sometime after 2013 came out I'm sure. Since the last one I posted was #3 in late 2012, I guess this is #4. I'm not very good at maintaining a FIFO method of opening and posting my cards, so these were just the next most interesting ones in my box of unopened stuff. The others ones will probably be next.

2012 Topps Heritage
#22 Edwin Jackson
#172 Yadier Molina
#206 Lance Lynn
#244 Jason Motte
#265 2012 Rookie Stars
#281 Jason Marquis
#306 Star Receivers
#321 2012 Rookie Stars
#357 Allen Craig
I'm not sure why Adron Chambers showed up on multiplo different Rookie Stars cards, but I got two of them. He's on a third version I got in that third blaster. Both cards featuring Yadier Molina came in a pack together, which is nothing more than a statistical oddity, but it was with a Cardinal, so I noticed.

#390 Jason Heyward
#429 Jonny Venters
#434 Shane Victorino
Baseball Flashbacks #BF-AK Al Kaline
Blue Parallel #84 Doug Fister
New Age Performers #NAP-RC Robinson Cano
News Flashbacks #NF-UA University of Alabama
Checklist #C2
Stick-Ons #27 Ryan Howard
I got so many Cardinals they spilled into the Inserts scan, since we picked up Jason Heyward this year. That blue Doug Fister is my second copy, and those are the only two blues I have. Again, statistical anomalies are weird when they happen to you. Something about the more common insert sets in Heritage make me want to complete them all, and I'm not sure what it is. Let's see my current status:

Base: 212/425
Base SPs: 12/75
Baseball Flashbacks: 3/10
Blue Parallel: 1/30
Checklists: 3/5
Chrome Parallels: 3/100
New Age Performers: 2/16
News Flashbacks 3/15
Stick-ons: 4/46
Then and Now: 1/10


eBay Wins #180

Another day, another penny card.

2005 Topps #249 Luis Matos
I have surprisingly few 2005 Topps cards in my collection. This is only the third. At this rate I'll complete the set about the time the Y10k problem kicks in.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3298
Total Spent$51.48
Per Card1.561 cents
Change0 cents


1994 Fleer Ultra from the Pack Stash

Today I'm digging back into the pack stash. I've depleted it quite a bit, which is good. I don't want to have too much unopened wax (or foil as the case may be) sitting around hiding my big hits. Of course, there's little risk to that with a pack from 1994. Let's see the cards.

1994 Fleer Ultra
#323 Chad Curtis
#342 Robin Ventura
#351 Manny Ramirez
#366 Wally Joyner
#378 Kevin Seitzer
#392 Pedro Munoz
Manny's the biggest star of that bunch, and I particularly enjoy playing-career-era cards of managers, so Robin Ventura's a good one too. Wally Joyner may get there too one day.

1994 Fleer Ultra
#408 Rickey Henderson
#411 Ruben Sierra
#499 Craig Biggio
#538 Quilvio Veras
#561 Rick White
#567 Tom Pagnozzi
This scan's got two Hall of Famers and two Cardinals, including Rick White, who played for St. Louis at the end of 2002. There's also lifetime Cardinal Tom Pagnozzi, who the reason Todd Zeile could be shifted to third base.

1994 Fleer Ultra
#307 Mike Mussina
#316 Otis Nixon
#404 Bob Wickman
#492 Chris Hammond
Hitting Machines #9 Mike Piazza
I would assume Mike Piazza will make the Hall of Fame, and Mike Mussina has a decent chance, too. That's a pretty good number out of a single pack, except for maybe tiny sets that have nothing but stars. That Hitting Machines card definitely lets you know this is a mid-90s set, if all the gold foil on the base cards didn't make it clear enough.