Thursday, November 19, 2020

Attacking the All-Time Teams list

How do you use Trading Card Database? Do you aggressively propose trades to users that have the cards you need? Do you offer up duplicate cards on someone's wantlist and browse for a decent return? Do you sit back and wait for offers, focusing on cataloging your own cards more than trading?

This is pretty much the order I follow. If I've exhausted all of my options for priority projects I'll see who needs all of my surplus 2017-2019 Topps baseball cards and see what I can get for them.

This Willie Stargell 2017 Topps Heritage insert arrived yesterday in a trade I proposed a month ago today. I've tried every which way to acquire the remaining inserts I need for my master set and some users just won't budge. Wayne (aka T206) accepted the trade and marked it as shipped a day later. 

A week after I offered him two Pete Alonso rookie cards and a couple Braves legends from my duplicates box I received a package.. full of Buffalo Bills cards. There had been a mixup and it took a lot of back-and-forth to get the cards to the traders that had requested them. I sent the Bills cards to their rightful owner and eventually received the cards I had been eagerly anticipating for four weeks.

Okay, I was mostly anxious about the Stargell and Derrick Gibson Ravens card. Yoan Moncada's RC isn't really a RC - but then again the Polar Bear RCs weren't really RCs, either. The bottom three guys are relievers for my All-Time Teams project - but by the time they arrived I only needed J. P. Howell. 

Wayne did make it right, by adding extra cards and including a $5 bill to cover my shipping of the Bills cards to the third trader. Four of them are all-time favorite quarterbacks that I'm saving for future football card posts. Here are the other three freebies:

I already have the Red Sox celebration card, the Rick Porcello mini is numbered to 100 (but it's bent) and I have no idea why Wayne included a CC Sabathia card but I'm not going to complain. 6 of the 7 cards he sent were PC teams/players so that's a good ratio - even if three were dupes.  

Also, he basically covered the Nationals/Expos slot I paid for in Nachos Grande's 2020 Heritage break.

The second type of TCDB deal was my second with Sheepboy. I was a little leery of this because I remebered receiving at least one damaged card from him in our first swap. Would it happen again?

This card of Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium was the reason I made the offer. A bunch of cards on my trade list matched Ben's want list so it was just a matter of seeing what else I could get for 15 Tigers and Michigan-adjacent players.

No new set fillers here but I tried upgrading and went 1-for-2. The Stump Mitchell is sharp. Ken Norman is creased. Joe Ingles was kind of an impulse add because the Status brand reminds me of old Skybox sets. Also I didn't have an Ingles card or, should I say, no tenia Ingles.

If I can't find set fillers I need or All-Time Team needs, my next priority is team favorites. Ben had a bunch of 1995-96 SP hockey and I was happy to find a few Whalers. The Chris Sale is my first card from the 2002 portion of Archives. I don't like it. The cardstock feels like a bad fit for anything 21st century.

This got me all caught up on old TCDB trades so I tossed a couple more offers out there. Then when I got home from work today I found an envelope from Julie which contained my Pick Pockets picks:

Ha, did not even notice all three of these greats played for the Dodgers at some point. I'm neutral on Chase Utley but I love the '93-style Platinum Power die-cut. I'm nearing 25% of the 2018 Topps Chrome set. Should I go for it? The Pee Wee Reese Vintage Legends insert will probably go in my All-Time Teams binder as an upgrade.

Another Dodgers-adjacent card and another Ohio-based stadium for my All-Time Teams project.

Finally a trio of recent hockey cards including an SP Limited red parallel of Stanley Cup Champion Steven Stamkos. I'm getting really excited for the All-Time Teams hockey edition. Hope you are, too.

Julie, thanks again for offering up so many great cards!

***Thursday Thought***


Apropos of absolutely nothing: have any of you ever known or met or seen someone who is your complete opposite in every meaningful way, but something about their physical appearance appeals to you. Like, your practical mind shouts at you that said person is just horrible for you but your eyes say...


Just wondering ;-)



Thanks for reading!




Sunday, November 15, 2020

Anyone got these Ginters?

I traded 15 stickers from my 1988 Panini Baseball duplicate pile to TCDB user NetScans for eight baseball cards and two football cards.

Two more for the 2011 Topps Lineage set build. I'm down to 15 needs for this set. My last TCDB trade had set fillers from both Chicago teams, too. How about that.

Two more relievers for my All-Time Teams project. My last TCDB trade had two All-Time needs, too. I'm down to 50 needs for this set - though I need to update the wantlist with Red Sox and Barnstormers. More All-Time Team cards are on the way from COMC, and I just ordered something on Friday that will add some pre-war players to the project. We'll see which box arrives first.

Two New Haven Ravens for my Connecticut Collection. This is from the one year when the St. Louis Cardinals were the parent club. I have a Layfield Cardinals card even though he never pitched above triple-A. Correa's time in AA New Haven was his highest level.

These cards are pairs, too. At first glance the top pair appears obvious - McCarthy and Favre are Packers cards. Reese and Tomlinson are Hall of Famers on teams that moved to L.A. That's it, right?

Sure, that works. But actually the left side duo are baseball cards while the guys on the right are football cards.

That's right - the McCarthy is a baseball card.

He's one of several non-baseball subjects in the 2013 Allen & Ginter set, including Chrissy Teigen, Mike Richter, Lindsey Vonn, Barry Melrose, and McKayla Maroney. 

2013 A & G also includes cards of the Bundys - Dylan and Al. This one is going on my wantlist:

This year's A & G checklist has a lot of names I don't recognize. Maybe that's a sign I'm getting old. I'm familiar with R. L. Stine and Ken Jeong and Ryan Nyquist. And this gentleman, of course:

Send me all your Doc Emrick cards plz. kthx.

There seem to be more comedian/entertainer/reality show personalities in this year's set. Anyone familiar with this lovely lady?

This is Kelsey Cook, who is listed on the back as a comedian and - I kid you not - professional foosball player. Well guys, it looks like I gotta add foosball to my sports card collection. Can anybody help me out?

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, November 12, 2020

Thursday Thoughts

One PWE arrived in today's mail. Two more are on the way, and I should have my order(s) from COMC sometime next week.

I made a trade with TCDB user nwcardsupplies, sending five cards including a Willie Mays insert to the the northwest in exchange for six cards. (That reminds me, I should try to pick up some more card supplies.) These three Bunt singles leave me just three rookies away from a complete 200-card set. I'll probably try to upgrade a few others as a previous trader sent me some scratched singles.

Jose Abreu is a finalist for the AL MVP award [edit: he won], and the White Sox are an exciting young team on the rise. That's why it was so disappointing to see the Pale Hose hire Tony LaRussa when they already had a perfectly good manager in Rick Renteria. Who knows why they're dusting off LaRussa now. He's 76, has a DUI charge hanging over him, and hasn't managed the White Sox since before Abreu was born. 

Trevor Bauer won the NL Cy Young award, which is significant because - as I mentioned in my All-Time Teams series - the Reds have had amazingly bad pitching over the years. Bauer is the first Cy winner in team history, which counts for something even though a) he pitched fewer innings and strikeouts than Rob Dibble did in 1990 (zero Cy Young votes for Dibs that year) and b) is a complete tool expected to sign elsewhere this winter.

The next two cards in the trade with nwcardsupplies closed the book on their respective All-Time team sets.

Clint Hurdle's resume isn't nearly as impressive as LaRussa's, but he is the winningest skipper in Rockies history.

Luke Gregerson earned a spot in the Padres' bullpen on my All-Time Team. He doesn't have a lot of San Diego cards and I was happy to acquire a color-matching gold parallel. However the top right corner is dinged.

The sixth card in the trade was this Cody Kessler 2016 Donruss rookie card. I'm still not close to completing this set, but I'm chipping away one card at a time. One topic I've wanted to explore on this blog is quarterbacks - I'd like to know a better way to compare QBs from the 1970s and '80s to recent passers. Is Phillip Rivers better than Dan Fouts, or does he just throw more because it's a different game? Should Ken Anderson be in the Hall of Fame? Was he better than Boomer Esiason? 

That led me to an idea for a future mini-collection of quarterback cards. It will either be comprised of each franchise's greatest-ever signal-callers or their most prominent starters from 1980-2000. Either way, Cody Kessler won't make the cut. 

My creative streak is still ongoing. I've been writing sports things, including the NHL All-Time Teams posts, and non-sports things. There's a short story idea that's been rattling around in my head for a while, and I recently thought of a beginning and an end. But once I fleshed it out a little more with some decent detail, it got a little longer than I'd planned - and it doesn't appear to be leading to where I thought it would. Now I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it.

Anyway, it seems as though the blogs are kind of stagnant right now so I plan to trim down my blogroll a bit and focus on folks who post fairly frequently. I'm turning off TCDB trading for a while so that I can use that time for commenting here, and I'm going to post things that probably won't get a lot of views or comments. But that's okay.

I had a song idea for my 1993 playlist but it turns out that track was released in 1992. Since I can't post it there (my blog, my rules) here it is. Enjoy:

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, November 8, 2020

What's a Teemu, Anyway?

Now that the election drama is (mostly) over I've been in the mood to write. A lot. And for some reason I've been focused on writing about hockey - which isn't the most popular sport here, I know. 


For those of you who are hockey fans, I've posted a Sunday Long Read about the 1993 goal-scoring race on my sister blog The 1993. Gotta expand that empire ;-)


Friday, November 6, 2020

Election Week Mailbag

Shane sent me a bubble mailer full of Red Sox in return for the PWE I sent him a couple weeks ago. Like Bo, he must have glanced at my TCDB wantlist before I trimmed it because all 25 of these cards were new to me:

This is my second "free range" Red Sox card from 1959 Topps, joining Don Buddin (I have graded copies of Haywood Sullivan and Pete Runnels.) Shane is working on the '59 set and I hope to see the finished product one day.

Some oddball-ish Sox and Donruss base. I was shocked that I didn't have that '88 Donruss Jim Rice already. I know I had a few of them thirty years ago but they were probably tossed in the garbage. The reprint in the top row is Billy Goodman.

I was also surprised that the 2007 Bowman David Ortiz was not in my collection until now. That's because I have the gold parallel. The Dustin Pedroia Topps Town insert is my 196th different Pedey card and 203rd overall. I have 264 different Ortiz cards, tops in my baseball collection. Not sure if you can see the name through all that slime-colored shine, but the emerald green parallel is Ryan Lavarnway.

Some Heritage and Archives here. The Nomar '82 is new to me, though I have the Peach parallel. Before receiving the Stadium Club Cespedes I had just one of his (solo) Sox cards - 2015 Topps.

Two horizontal heroes here. Raffy Devers is probably my favorite Boston star. I feel bad for Rusney Castillo. Yes, he was paid $72.5 million to play baseball, but his prime years were wasted while Boston buried him in triple-A. He's probably the only player that cannot earn a call up to the majors no matter how well he performs. And he couldn't play at all in 2020 because the minor leagues shut down.

Sigh.. I laughed when the Yankees did that to their international free agent signings, but now we're the ones paying players not to play - Pedroia included. And the Sox just re-hired Alex Cora to manage these overpaid stiffs. I can't decide if I should be happy or angry. Am I the Masshole?

At least my Packers beat the Niners last night. Some small amount of revenge for the NFC title game.

Two TCDB trade packages arrived in today's mail, including one from 49ants. I sent three low-end inserts/parallels and a Steven Duggar gold refractor #d/50 to Mike in exchange for set fillers such as these legends for my 1987 Topps football set build.

 Four decent-to-good players for my 1989-90 Fleer basketball set build.

And another 1993 Score Franchise insert. I also added some relievers to my Frankenset.

The other trade package arrived from Canada, courtesy of TCDB user seppola10.

I sent him a Sidney Crosby SP Authentic base card and a handful of '90s dupes for eight hockey cards. The Taylor Hall OPC is a red parallel from the Canadian-only Coast To Coast set. 

Give a Ryan Smyth, get a Ryan Smyth. This is from an Oilers-only set, which I would have jumped on 15 years ago. By the time this was released in 2013 I'd narrowed my focus (and my budget.)

You might see this card again during my All-Time Teams Series - NHL Edition. (The borders are not this red in hand.) I'm working on selecting the rosters and hope to have a few posts pre-written by the end of the month. The first post will be published on the first of January.

We are very close to knowing the results of the 2020 Presidential election, and I am very close to crowning a "Celebrity Crush Champion" for 2020. Unlike the race for the White House, the incumbent is in the lead.

But look who's back, y'all.

If this were posted just a little earlier I'd have tied it into Collecting Cutch's Save Second Base event for sure. Perhaps I will think of some way to help the cause anyhow. It's never too late to donate.

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!


Monday, November 2, 2020

Prop 1

I've had a long day so this will be a short post. My "hunger strike" from posting until COMC decided to ship the order I requested in July was untenable; I won't see those cards until Black Friday at the earliest. Newer purchases have kept me occupied in the meantime, but that will likely halt for a while.

My latest acquisition kinda tapped out the remaining funds for the ol' card hobby. (Notice I didn't say sports card hobby...)

I've had my eye on a wardrobe swatch of my favorite actress, Jennifer Lawrence, for about a year. J-Law is underrepresented in my collection relative to my favorite athletes. The only cards I have are this "Pretty Girls" custom:

..and the bland Hunger Games set. Leaf has produced over three dozen cards with her wardrobe relics - but not her likeness - since 2017. I've kicked the tires on some multi-actor relic cards but what I really wanted was a Prop Century piece. These are mega-swatches and I'm not sure how many were produced but they don't pop up often anymore.

An eBay seller had one listed recently for $35 or best offer. I had about $30 left from my last wave of sales and submitted an offer of $25. The seller declined. I offered $30. Declined again. Turns out, he(she?) did me a huge favor. Because less than one week after being stingy with his plain Prop Century relic this popped up:

This is the Gold Spectrum Holofoil version numbered one of one.I exceeded my budget just a bit to acquire this card. From the photo in the listing I thought it would be a pocket of a shirt or jeans but it feels like a swatch of leggings.

What are the odds that this single would surface three years after its initial release at the exact time I had been in the market for the base relic?

They certainly were, Katniss. They certainly were.

Here's a look at the back.

It's a bummer that Leaf couldn't slap a small photo of Jennifer somewhere on here. The 2020 edition also features pieces of her clothing.

I might pick up one of these someday, since it commemorates her Oscar win. But it's not a great looking card and not really a priority now that I have a 1 of 1 wardrobe relic. 

Anyway, the election is tomorrow and I'm trying not to destroy myself with anxiety. I certainly have my favorite candidate(s) but above all I just hope that all of the votes are counted in an orderly fashion and that the winner of the presidential race is clear and uncontested. But this is 2020, so... 


See you on the other side...

Thanks for reading!


Monday, October 26, 2020

Big Mailday and a Big Announcement

I received five packages in the mail today. One of them was a TCDB trade that was meant for another user (I notified the sender so that we can all get the right cards in the right place.) One of them was damp from the gloomy drizzle of an early winter day, and one was a total surprise. The other two were purchases.

The latest addition to my 1956 Topps set build. This Gus Zernial card isn't as memorable as his 1952 Topps issue, but it's the 180th card in my '56 collection. Four more are on the way from COMC. My first - and largest - order is scheduled to be shipped today. I'll believe it when I see it.

These six Red Sox were a surprise from Bo. I needed an upgrade for the '73 Petro and a third Mo Vaughn Leaf for my Boston binder. Over the weekend I deleted my entire wantlist on TCDB and started over with only set fillers because my team PC binders are full (and I was tired of getting offers of OPE Sox commons for current stars.) I've got just enough room for these guys. Thanks, Bo!

A week or so after placing an order at I checked out Cardbarrel for more set fillers. Some 1993 Leaf singles are on their way to me via trade, so I only bought a small handful.

2003 Finest was a set I decided to build because it was small and shiny. I only need four cards to complete the 100-card base set, so I might try to add the ten autographs for a complete set. None of them are stars which should keep them affordable. The biggest name is Adam LaRoche, and I refuse to pay more than a buck or two for his signature. If I can't get it that cheap then I'll settle for the base set.

Bought a bunch of 2011 Topps Lineage, including some legends. Thanks to GCA I have most of the glossy rookies so I tossed a Jake McGee into my cart. Now I need just three of the 19 cards in the set (there's no card #15 for some reason?)

The stack of 2015 Opening Day in my order brought me to 87% completion of the 200-card set. I've updated my wantlist tab with the 26 remaining singles.

Bunch of Bunt here including the Wil Myers recently featured on Rod's blog and a Josh Reddick that I'd asked for in trade. My trade partner no longer had it so I had to purchase one from Cardbarrel.

Here's something I found interesting: I ordered 85 set fillers across three sets released in the 2010s, and five players were needs in multiple sets (not pictured: Evan Gattis) In fact I needed John Smoltz cards in three of the four sets in which he appeared.

This is the only card in my Cardbarrel order that wasn't a set filler. It's a Franken-set filler. I had such a blast building those All-Time Team rosters and researching each player that I've decided on a sequel.

It would be too cumbersome to start an NFL series, and there's not a lot of NBA interest on the blogs (as evidence by my latest post at the 1993.) The only other sport that makes sense for this format is hockey:

Here's my latest "big piece" purchase. I've always wanted a vintage Bobby Orr card and a confluence of good timing led me to pick up this beauty on eBay during a 5% bucks promotion. The back is off-center and the case is scratched, but nothing serious enough to spoil the joy of crossing this off my collecting "bucket list."

I know there's not a lot of NHL interest on the blogs, either (as evidence by my latest post here.) That's okay. I enjoy doing research and sharing what I've learned. Hopefully you will enjoy it, too.

My plan is to post an All-Time Team every day in January - though my past history of sticking to a posting schedule is mixed at best. I'm still deciding what to do about the 31st team: the Golden Knights "all-time" roster is pretty much their current roster. Will there be a "Best of the Rest" roster like the Barnstormers in baseball (the "Rovers" perhaps?) That's still to be decided. I'm sticking to the 'one player, one team rule' so don't expect to see Ray Bourque on the Avalance or Wayne Gretzky on the Kings. 

Thanks for reading!

p.s. I don't plan to post again until my COMC order arrives - or until January 1, whichever comes first.