Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Card shows rising

 I had thought that the card shows in this area had reached their peak, but I seem to have been wrong.  By "peak", I am referring to their frequency and the number of dealers, not the quality.  A year ago, we had one monthly show in Portland, which technically had 2 days, Saturday and Sunday, but really Sunday was just a whimper, with lots of the dealers not showing up.  These probably had 40-50 dealers.

Then the dealer numbers started swelling.  We now likely have 75 or so for each show.  And from what I hear, Sunday is almost as packed as Saturday (I always go on Saturday).

And if that wasn't enough, just this past weekend, they slotted another show in-between the regular March and April shows.  So only 2 weeks between shows!  I still feel like the drop off isn't far away, where we will start retracting some as a hobby.  But what do I know, almost all of my predictions are wrong.

Anyway, here are some of the cards I picked up last show.  First up was a dime box filled with nothing but Ken Griffey Jr!!  The vast majority of the Griffeys in the box were mass produced, junk sets and the like.  But there were some diamonds in the rough!  I walked away with 36 cards, the coolest of which are here:

Jackpot!!  And yes, that is an actual Griffey RC down there, even if it is a little beat up, for a dime, I was pretty happy.

Next up are some funky lookers.  I couldn't figure out what these were for a while, I had never heard of the Topps Chrome Sonic set before.  These were in a 3 for a dollar box, which worked for me.  The Bogaerts is numbered /99.

The Rizzo will probably come up in some freebies soon, but the others I am keeping.

Now this one I just bought for the craziness factor.  Same 3/$1 box.
Don't really know who Oscar Colas is, but I like having at least one card from over the top sets like this. 

This 2nd year Ichiro was in a dime box.  I didn't even notice the tiny "Limited Edition" text in the lower right until I got it home.  I wasn't collecting then, so don't know if that is special or not, but I will certainly take it for a dime.

And last up, I actually spent some money!!  If you look at my card show purchases regularly, you know that I am usually a strict "cheap box" guy.  But since I sent my copy of this next card off to a fellow blogger a few years back, I have always itched to get me another copy.  But the price was always too high.

Anyway, in a stack of cards for a bargain price, I got this:

Since it was in a stack, I can't really say how much it cost, but based on the total price of the stack, I would estimate that this cost me $10.  Great deal!!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 17, 2023

Variations and other card show finds

 The current methods used by card companies to drive collector interest are wide and varied.  Refractors, serial numbers and parallels are the most common, but there is a real niche for the variation crowd.

Today's variations have their roots in the variations of the past, which originally, were mostly printing issues.  They seem to have happened when card companies switched factories or equipment mid-stream, or were due to other quality control issues.  One example is the 1962 Topps tint variations.

They are subtle-ish, but obvious when they are side by side like this.  Seems to me that this was just printing issues, but they are considered variations.

Today's variations have gotten a lot more involved (and purposeful), mostly by using completely different photos with the same card number. Or another common variation, the nickname variation, where instead of the players name on the card, you get their nickname. The current semi-standard for photo variations seems to be the regular base card, then a SP variation, and often a SSP (Super Short Print) variation too.  Lot's of times these photo variations are of the same player, but it is common to have a legends variation, where the base card is a current player and the SP is a retired legend.

All this makes me super happy I am not a set collector that cares about all the variations!!  

I have mixed feelings about variations.  A few I really like, and others make me wonder why the hobby has gone down the tubes.  And there isn't a lot of rhyme or reason to which variations I like and which I hate.

Anyway, enough with the preamble, I am actually posting about some pickups from a recent card show.  Of course variations feature prominently in the cards I will be showing.  Some I will be keeping, and others are up for trade if anyone is interested. And some are just available to claim for free. I apologize that I didn't scan them separately, but I will try to note anything that is available for trade.

Here are some cards!

These were all dimes or quarters, even the rookie year Ichiro.  That one surprised me.  Some good color/sparkle in here with the Arraez, Franco and Scherzer.  I absolutely love the Aaron with Mays, my two favorite players of all time.  Some really cool oddball-ish vintage with the Hubbs, Herzog and Cochrane.  The Herzog is from the 1975 Fleer Cloth Patches - Laughlin Pioneers of Baseball set.  My first time even hearing about that set.  The Cochrane is from  Shakey's, a Seattle area restaurant and is a 1976 issue. The Ruth/Gehrig is not a variation, but it looks like it could have been.  What the heck, the Ruth/Gehrig is up for grabs, along with some actual variations later in the post.

I also found some basketball cards, from sets I have a hard time finding in my price range.

Not superstars, but good cards, especially when I find them cheap.  Takes me back to my childhood.

And I finally found some of those Laughlin stickers from the early 70s that I keep seeing on other peoples blogs!  Happy to add a few of these.

OK, finally the first of the variations!  This one is from 2022 Topps Update.  Remember how I said I like some variations and hate others?
Well this one is a love for me!!  I'm keeping this one.

Here are a couple of other sweet cards I picked up for what I thought were pretty good deals.  Certainly not quarter box though!
However, once I got them home, I realized that the Cabrera is a dupe.  So it is on the trading block.  And the Henderson, while kind of awesome, I am just not sure about.  It may be semi-rare (I don't see ANY on COMC), and hopefully someone will want to start up a trade for it?

Here is another pic of it, as you can see it is more orange than the scan shows.  After a little research, I believe this called a Tiger Stripes Prizm.

And let's finish off with more variations!
Mantle - 2018 Optic Nickname Variation
Altuve - 2018 Optic Nickname Variation
Colon - 2021 Donruss Holo Orange Nickname Variation
Tatis - 2022 Donruss Nickname Variation
Tatis - 2020 Donruss Nickname Variation (Panini couldn't decide which nickname was best, I guess)
Judges - One of these is a photo variation, I couldn't be bothered to figure out which one...
All of these are up for grabs

Ruth - 2021 Topps Legends Variation
Gwynn - 2020 Topps Legends Variation
Clemens - 2022 Topps Update Legends Variation
All of these are up for grabs too

OK, now for clarity here are all the cards that are available, either for trade of to claim for free:

Up for free!  Just claim in the comments.  I'd rather you claimed several, but if you only want one, that's fine too
2010 Topps Ruth/Gehrig
Mantle - 2018 Optic Nickname Variation
Altuve - 2018 Optic Nickname Variation
Colon - 2021 Donruss Holo Orange Nickname Variation
Tatis - 2022 Donruss Nickname Variation
Tatis - 2020 Donruss Nickname Variation
Judges - 2018 Donruss version 1
Judges - 2018 Donruss version 2
Ruth - 2021 Topps Legends Variation
Gwynn - 2020 Topps Legends Variation
Clemens - 2022 Topps Update Legends Variation

Up for trade - comment or shoot me an email
2001 Bowman Miguel Cabrera
2022 Panini Prizm Rickey Henderson Tiger Stripes Prizm

Monday, March 13, 2023

Cards come to my home

 Time to show off and thank a bunch of you for cards that have arrived at my home in the last months that I have not been posting.  As you all know, getting cards in the mail is usually a highlight of a day or even week.  Well here were my highlights!  I apologize if I don't get all the details about these packages quite right, I am getting old.

Dime Boxes - Nick put up a bunch of cards for people to claim as part of his 10 year celebration.  I grabbed a bunch of fun!

Some rookies highlight the top row (My first Seikya!).  ANY Willie Mays from the playing days is something I want, so this badly creased 72 is right at home here.  I've started really liking picking up decent looking Quisenbery's.  The rest are awesome too, but that's all I am saying.  Thanks Nick!!

Croc sent me a prize package for winning a contest on his site.  I don't remember what I did to win, but the prize was a big batch of pure random awesomeness.  The next 4 scans show a small part of what he sent.
There were a lot more of these old Action Packed.  I never really like them when I see one in a box, but when I had this big batch in hand, they appealed to me more.  Some really great old players that I grew up reading about.
Basketball and football fun was included too.  And that bottom row is O-Pee-Chee!  I love vintage OPC.
More OPC, and some always welcome 60s vintage!!  And something I always appreciate, a custom blogger card! I always, always keep these, they are great.  And croc's certainly has personality!
And we will finish off Croc's part of the post with some pure random.  Great, great stuff!  My favorites are the Ripken, Canseco and believe it or not, the Albert Belle!  Thanks Crocodile!

On to a mailing from Gavin at Baseball Card Breakdown that is long overdue.  And featuring customs that many of you have already seen, the sun treated 91 Fleer!

Yep, I got Griffey, and I love it.  Here it is with the holiday themed overlay:
Gavin sent a very nice custom blogger card too that is definitely a keeper for me.  Thanks Gavin!

And not to be left out, Johnny has sent me several PWEs over the last couple of months.

Johnny is taking my blog name to heart.  As many of you know, he puts some thought into as many of his mailings as he can.  And while I am not much of a collector of the newer Diamond Kings, these were appreciated, and the 2004's are actually needs.  Thanks Johnny!

If I missed anyone, I apologize.  Now that I am back to posting, I hope to get these up more regularly.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Broken tools

It's tough when the tools you use every day break.  Here are a couple of my favorite 'broken tools' cards:

Bo brought this broken tool on himself.

Duane probably didn't break this bat like Bo did, as he has slightly fewer muscles.

But the tool I am talking about wasn't a baseball bat, it was my blogging tool.  All my regular readers may have noticed my absence lately.  Well it wasn't because I didn't want to blog, it was because my computer broke.  And broke bad!  And yes, I know you can blog from your phone, but I am really getting old, and it just wasn't worth it to me.

Obviously I have finally fixed the old adding machine though!!  In my younger years, I built computers all the time, for myself and others.  But once my son got into computers, I retired and he has been the computer tech for friends and family for the past 10 years or so.  Unfortunately, he recently took a job on the other coast, and for some reason, refused to fly back to fix mine for me.  I replaced the motherboard, CPU, RAM and Video Card.  Hard on my eyes and fingers.  I procrastinated a lot!

I've also been out of town a lot lately going to my daughters college track meets.  We are pretty proud of her for getting a full athletic scholarship at a D1 school.  Especially since she has the handicap of sharing half of my genes.  Pretty impressive!

All that procrastination and travel added up to me not posting in forever, and I've also not been reading/commenting on other blogs as much as I would like.  Hopefully all that gets back to normal now.  A few posts I hope to write in the near future include

1. Catching up on incoming cards from several of you
2. Card show! recap
3. The current blog around - alphabet challenge
4. Probably a few of my small giveaways
And hopefully more!