eBay Wins

I'm not one to chase rare inserts and spend inordinate amounts of money on them.  So cards numbered to 50 with a relic and autographed are not in my typical eBay search.  I go for the cheap stuff that will be interesting or somehow special to me.

I found one seller who listed a ton of cards at 1 cent with free shipping.  I thought, "how could I lose?".  I noticed a Todd Stottlemyre and bid my penny, then started at the top with the intent to bid on most of them.  Apparently eBay has a mode to allow you to restrict how many items people buy from you in a 10 day period, and his limit was 1.  The only logic supporting that is that I believe feedback only counts once per user, so maybe he's trying to buy a good feedback rating.  No matter, I waited 7 days and won my auction, and shortly after, this showed up:

Another auction I won was for 4 random packs of baseball cards.  The winning bid was $0.92.  Now I assumed a fair amount of junk would be involved, but for under a buck I thought I'd take a shot.  It turned out ok, though it may wind up costing me more in supplies.  The haul:

1989 Topps Big 2nd Series
1989 Topps Big 3rd Series
1992 Topps Kids
1994 Topps Series I

Not a terribly impressing lot, and now I need some big pages or sleeves.  Here are the cards.

These are 2.75" by 3.75".  Are there any cheap options for storing these?  I usually use sleeves but I could be convinced to go with pages.

19 year old gum? Yeah, I'll probably still chew it.  Also, there's a steroid joke in here somewhere.

By 1994 Topps was inserting 1 topps gold card in each pack, and in this random pack it was none other than:
Todd Stottlemyre

I already have a 1994 factory set, so all but the Gold Stottlemyre are for trade.  Conversely, I didn't have ANY Topps Big and I had a single Topps Kids (Tony Gwynn), so those are all for trade as well.


2011 Topps Opening Day

I've purchased 10 24pks of Opening Day, and received 1 card as a bonus in a contest win, for a total of 241 cards.  I counted my stack, and that's actually exactly what I have.  Often the packs vary a little bit, or I pick up some random cards here and there, so I'm surprised.  The set is 220 cards, and I'm hoping to make some trades and complete the base.  I'd be amazed if I could do it from just the 241, but that would be awesome.  Of course I'll also trade other things for them.  See my Want List and Trade List.

Not only are these inserts I'm not particularly collecting, they're also duplicates!

Topps Opening Day Needs
Base Set


Topps Opening Day To Trade
Base Set 2,5,11,16,19,21,22,26,31,33,39,41,50,56,59,60,67,83,88,90,95,98,102,106,114,116,118,129,130,131,135,143,177,188,198,213,219,220
Superstar Celebrations
Presidential First Pitches
Stadium Lights
Opening Day Stars
Blue Parallels
Spot The Error


A Trade with Too Many Grandersons

I never know the right proper noun to use when referring to another blogger.  Do I use the blog name (as in the title of this post), the user name, or the name signed to the post?

Dennis at Too Many Grandersons sent me a pile - and I do mean pile - of 2008 cards.  There were 135 in total.
5 of the biggest stars and/or Cardinals from the beginning of the stack
He also gave me 5 2010 Topps Update cards to replace the misprints I have.  I'm still looking for US-40 to make a mostly complete set.
Ooooh, Updatey.
I really didn't come up with enough to satisfy my end of the trade, but he graciously sent along all he had of 2008 for me anyway.  Once I come into some cool Tigers, I definitely owe him one.  I've updated my wantlists for both sets, so take a look and make me an offer.

Thanks, Dennis!


Another RBI Collecting Contest

It seems like every time I make a contest post, another one crops up shortly after, meaning if I'd just waited I could combine them.  Today's contest is at RBI collecting, which, as you may recall, was where I won 2 packs of Gypsy Queen in the previous contest.  This contest works the same as the last one, where you must guess the players Ryan got autographs from in a recent homestand, with a bonus for guessing the day this time.  The prizes are 2 packs of Heritage, and some cards of your favorite team.  Go enter, and good luck to all!


Big Fun Game at Napkin Doon's

There's another Big Fun Game at The Adventures of Napkin Doon. Go follow his blog to help him get to 50, and post to enter.  Link it from your blog for another entry.  10 random entrants will get to participate it a White Elephant game with whatever it is he's managed to buy with his Brycemas money.  Last time, during the Gypsy Queen Big Fun Game, I won 2 inserts:

Good luck to everyone!

No More Rack Packs

I went to Target last night for beans and gummi bears (don't judge me).  Of course the sports card aisle is near the entrance, so I thought I'd go by and see what was there.  Actually, I knew full well what would be there, I just wanted to see what I could justify buying to myself.  Anyway, there was a man there searching the Topps Series 1 and 2 rack packs. He'd grab all 15 or so off the hanger, then, one at a time, push all the cards toward the top of the pack, and slowly slide them down and peek at them though the too-thin plastic.  I assume he was just looking for a card of extra thickness for a relic.  Though, I guess anything non-white would indicate an insert of some sort.  He's probably got the edges of the backs for each insert set memorized.

He was making me uncomfortable, and also kind of in my way, so I trekked back to the food aisles.  I stopped and pondered at the reach extender in the As-Seen-On-TV section, as my wife's parents have a few very high light bulbs I'm probably going to wind up changing one of these days.  But I digress.  All through the store and on the drive home, I was thinking about the ethics of what he was doing on a grand scale, as well as how it could personally affect me.

First, the easy and selfish part: How does this affect me?  Well, I probably won't be buying rack packs anymore.  They'll always feel like they've been searched for the "Good Stuff".  Even though my main goal is completing the base set when I buy these packs, I still think I'm entitled to my fair shot at a 1:1000 autograph or relic or extra shiny Chrome Refractor Die-Cut or whatever.  But I thought about it, and I've really already moved to buying boxes.  For 2011 I did pick up some Rack Packs of series 1, but once I saw the 72ct boxes, I stuck to those, and they seem relatively unsearchable with the shrink wrap on them.  I've bought Heritage blasters as well, which again are shrink-wrapped.  I have been buying Opening Day in 24-card packs since that's the cheapest per-card price vs. the 7 cards for 99 cents, but hopefully that lower-end set won't attract too many scoundrels.

Now the bigger question: Is it ethical?  Like I said before, I usually just want to complete the base set.  But, it's a cool surprise to get a relic, and that can often be parlayed into something else even better in a trade to a fan of that player.  I'll admit when I've gotten close to finishing a set, I've taken a checklist with me and peeked at the back base card of the rack packs to find one I needed.  But I think that's a little different, in that anyone who's even partially paying attention can see who's on the front and back of the pack.  And even if I take the pack with the Darren Ford base card on the back, there's a fair chance there's another pack on that same hanger with the same card somewhere in the middle.  At that point I feel like I'm beating "The System" which would have me buy more packs to get all the cards.  I feel like this guy was beating the rest of us, taking the few packs with Relics or whatever he was searching for.

Thus is written Tenet of Wilson #1: Pack Searching, for anything but non-SP base cards, is forbidden.


Another Contest Win!

I owe a big thanks to Trey at Rants, Reviews, and Fandom for his Shamless Plug Contest!!!.  I won 3rd prize, a card from a Dollar General pack.  Ok, it wasn't just any card, it was an Alexander Edler relic.  Which means on some level I was this close to having a Stanley Cup winner.

I borrowed your scan, Trey.
Trey also sent along 2 cool bonus cards.  Some might consider ToppsTown cards a throwaway insert, but somehow they turn collectible to me with the birds on the bat.  Let's hope 2012 treats Waino well, although I've heard he wants to be postseason-eligible this year.

And another 2011 Topps Series II insert, Mr. Lou Brock.

Funny story, he actually lives near me.  My Dad went to his house when he worked for the census in 2000 and thought he recognized the guy, but couldn't place the face.  He told Lou he just had the short form for him and asked if he'd be willing to answer a few questions.  Lou asked "How short is your short form?"  and my Dad showed him the paper.  He agreed, and my Dad asked his name, still not sure where he knew him from. He said simply "Louis Brock".  I still see him driving around town in a very...obvious...vehicle.  It's actually kind of cool but I suppose I shouldn't out him online.

Back to my main point: Thanks, Trey!


A long-overdue thanks

RBI Collecting held a contest that ended June 3 (original post), and I won!  He got 3 Oakland A's autographs when they were in town, and we had to guess the signers.  I had a tongue-in-cheek "strategy", but it actually panned out.  I figured relievers get bored pre-game, so I chose 6 of them for my 2 entries.  I even mentioned in my entry that I should have considered the rotation and which starters would have also been free those days.  As it turns out the answer was 2 relievers and 1 starter, so I won.  The prize was my choice of 2 Gypsy Queen or 2 Heritage packs, and I chose Gypsy Queen.  Let's see what I got:

Pack 1:

Ike Davis (SP)
Mark Buehrle
James Shields
Lars Anderson
David Ortiz
Barry Larkin Mini Parallel

Not bad, but not as cool as Pack 2:

Lance Berkman
Reggie Jackson
Jimmie Foxx
Rogers Hornsby Home Run Heroes
Orlando Hudson Sticky Fingers
Yadier Molina Mini
And the Yadi is a Red-back mini

And, just for fun and because I'm a cards fan, he threw in these two:

I don't know what Red Schoendienst's reputation is nationwide, but he's a legend in St. Louis.  He's managed the Cards a few times, was a bench coach for years, and still stars in the best spring training commercial I've seen.

He even lent Matt Holliday some pants!  That's kind of weird!  I'm trying to complete the Opening Day set as well, so Carpenter was a nice bonus.

Thanks again for the great contest!


Back to entering contests

Happy 4th to you all!.  Celebrate with 2 more contests for some cool stuff:

Rants, Reviews, and Fandom is having a contest for some football, baseball, and hockey relics and autographs.  Follow and comment for one entry, and plug it on your blog for a second.

Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle is also holding a contest.  His will be run in a draft format.  2 winners will be drawn to get the #1 and #2 pick.  #1 gets first pick of 2 Vintage cards, then the draft snakes to #2 getting first pick of 2 Tobacco-era cards, then #1 chooses one of 2 "scrub autos" (Greg's words, not mine).

Finally, I've said it before and I'll say it again, "Snake the Draft" is my favorite euphemism for almost anything.

2008 Topps

I've been delaying posting because I bought a scanner at a garage sale, hoping to get some better images on my blog.  It was only $5 so I took a chance on it.  As far as I can tell it doesn't work, so you get camera shots for now.

I saw a few fellow bloggers post that Target's "Hot Packs" boxes had some 2009 and 2010 Heritage packs for $1.59, and I immediately became interested in finding some of these discounted cards.  I had to check out the 3 stores near my work and home (hooray for urban sprawl!).  I didn't find any Heritage, but I did find a total of 6 packs of 2008 Topps.

I ripped the packs and threw away the wrappers before I had a chance to take a proper blog picture, but I don't think this was the original way 2008 was packaged.  The packs were red and clear plastic, in 2 sections.  One section has 22 cards, and the other has a rather wide piece of pink bubblegum.  Due to the clear plastic, I could clearly see who was on the front and back of the 22 card stacks.  Not that it mattered, since I bought every pack I could.  There were no inserts, but that's OK, since I'm focused on the base set for now.

Mmm, 3 to 4 year old gum.  And yes, I've chewed 2 pieces, and my wife even had one, and we're still alive.

I also noticed the packs didn't even say "2008" anywhere on them, and I'm pretty sure I've seen similar packs for 2011 at a local grocery store.  After counting up the cards I have, I have a feeling they were split by series (though I didn't pay attention when I opened them), as I have exactly 44 numbered below 330 and 88 above.

So, now I have 132 2008 Topps cards.  There were 14 doubles, so that leaves 542/660 on my want list, and 14 on my trade list.