Monday, February 20, 2017

My First Official Giveaway: 2017 Topps Heritage Baseball 5 Box Break!

To celebrate the upcoming release of 2017 Topps Heritage Baseball, The (Pedestrian) Collector is having a giveaway!

2017 Topps Heritage is due for release March 1st. I have pre-ordered five boxes from Blowout Cards (by converting COMC cash), and I expect to have hundreds of duplicate base and insert cards. There will likely be lots of parallels and variations within the five boxes, but we'll get to those in a minute.

I want to help out all of you team and/or player collectors, so I will be giving away up to 20 cards from 2017 Topps Heritage to each blogger who participates.

How do you participate? It's quite simple.

This is my tenth consecutive day posting an entry on this blog. All you have to do is comment on any of my other February posts and you'll "earn" ten cards.

Follow my other blog The Pedestrian Writer and you'll receive an additional five cards.
Comment on one of my posts there, and you'll earn five cards

Then comment on this post with your team request. (You can also request certain players and card numbers, as long as they don't overlap with other requests.)

Once you've commented, send me an e-mail (sutherlandct @ gmail) with your address. When the boxes arrive, I will send you all of my duplicate base cards for the team you requested, plus some inserts if possible. (I might even throw in some extras from past years' sets.)

That's it. Comment, follow, e-mail...get free cards. Easy enough, right?

As for the parallels, variations, relics, etc... I will scan and discuss all of those cards once I open the boxes. Many of them will be available for trade, and I can always hold off on sending your freebies if you are interested in trading for some of the hits.

*Please note: short prints will not be available for trade unless I somehow get duplicates. My main goal is to build the entire 500-card set, SP's included.

This post will remain at the top of my blog until 2017 Topps Heritage arrives at my door, at which point the giveaway will be closed. If you have any questions please leave me a comment and I'll answer ASAP. 

 Get your Heritage here!


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Political Cards For President's Day

This is the second of two "cross-promotion" posts I'm doing across both of my blogs.

Tomorrow is President's Day here in the US, and I thought I'd discuss it today so that I can spend the day off reading and commenting on your blogs. (Plus I've got bigger plans for tomorrow's post.) 

I usually refrain from political commentary on my sports card blog (#safespaces) and I only refer to my political leanings on my personal blog indirectly, as a source of stress in my family life. Andso I wont go into (much) detail about my opinions, though I will say that it has been a pleasant surprise to find that many in the sports card blogging community have either hinted at their opposition to the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave - or at least not gone out of their way to show their support for him and/or insult those of us on the blue side.

The same cannot be said for a much smaller group of music-loving bloggers who formed a bloghop that started off as a match-up of classic cover songs and somewhere around Election Day morphed into a bi-weekly Klan meeting. But I digress.

I'm going to share two politically-themed trading cards, and then I'll split this into two different endings, like those old Choose Your Own Adventure books.

For a more opinionated ending, head over to my other blog The Pedestrian Writer.

For a card-centric ending, keep it here. (Or you can read both!)

2008 Upper Deck Goudey #237

I got this card in a grab bag at a Pack War game. (I think I had a Calvin Coolidge from this set, too.) This man needs no introduction. He's arguably the greatest president since and possibly including George Washington. 

2008 Topps Campaign 2008 #C08-HC

Obviously Hillary Clinton is not our president (but many of us wish she were.) I pulled this out of a pack of 2008 Topps which I found in Target at least a year after its release. They were heavily discounted and included some sharp-looking cards from previous Topps baseball sets (I got a 1977 Rick Rhoden and a 1978 Don Stanhouse) in addition to this Clinton card.

It's kind of interesting to look back on this insert set, which included President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden, as well as Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Ron Paul.. but also Sarah Palin, Rudy Guiliani, and John Edwards. (Glad I didn't get stuck with one of them!)

When I started writing this post I thought that these were the only Political cards in my collection - until I remembered this:

(not my pic)

I bought this set at a K-mart in the summer of 2004, and I will never forget it as long as I live. That's because I considered buying a Red Sox-edition 2004 Topps Factory set and passed on it cause I was still mad at the Sox for blowing the Grady Little game. And so I bought a history set instead. D'oh!

Anywho.. The History of the United States factory set is not numbered 1-300 like the sports card sets we're used to. These cards are numbered by/divided into twelve subsets

The War Between The States (15 cards)
Into The 20th Century (15 cards)
The Revolution (15 cards)
Birth Of A Nation (15 cards)
The Presidents (50 cards)
Inventors and Inventions (50 cards)
The States and Capitals (50 cards)

Reconstruction & Reform (10 cards)
Early Americans (10 cards)
Colonial Days (10 cards)
Into the West (10 cards)
Explorers (50 cards)

Since this is President's Day weekend, let's look at some of the cards from that subset.

George Washington
Abraham Lincoln
Ulysses S. Grant
Calvin Coolidge
Grover Cleveland had two cards
Franklin D. Roosevelt
John F. Kennedy
Your parents' Presidents*
Your Presidents*

(*unless you're Canadian)

Do you have any political or Presidential trading cards?


Saturday, February 18, 2017

A Victorious Order From Just Commons

A couple weeks ago I saw a post from Jordan (Mint Condition) about a stack of cards he bought from Just Commons. I was impressed at the wide variety of base cards and decided to place an order with Just Commons that night. As I teased in yesterday's post.. those cards were waiting for me when I got home from work. And here they are:

I was hoping to finish off my 1993 Flair set, but the site only had seven that I needed (I bought more, but Kin Kinsley helped me out - and he shipped a lot faster.) 

Just Commons only sells baseball cards, so I ended up boosting my Red Sox binders and prioritized my two favorite Sox stars. 

Dustin Pedroia, including my first two base cards from 2017 Topps:

 David Ortiz, including a heavily curled 2007 Topps Chrome:

 More Ortiz (Moar-tiz?) plus a couple Mo Vaughn cards (Mo-tiz?)

Assorted Red Sox, including one of my favorites in the lot - this 2012 Topps Pedey with the American flag covering the Green Monster.

 Some older Sox - and one archives Nomar I couldn't fit in anywhere else.

Some junk wax-era goodies, including a pair of color-matching Orioles from '88 Donruss Baseball's Best (the front and backs of these are infinitely better than the boring blue base set), an '88 Topps Traded Kirk Gibson I've wanted forever, and a '93 Fleer Ultra Tim Salmon I bought after Kin sent me a 1993 Flair Salmon and I had a flashback to my tween years.

And a few for my star player boxes - including my first base card of Manny Machado (he's only been in the league for five years...shame on me.) My next Just Commons order will be heavy on cards like these.

 But my favorite card in the lot was this First Pitch insert from 2017 Topps:

Ever since I saw this on AJ's blog The Lost Collector I knew I wanted it. It's not every day that one of my favorite females finds her way onto cardboard. (If I want to see any other famous women I like on a trading card, I have to go to Gavin for some "pretty girl" customs.)

If you're interested in why I like Victoria, I wrote a little more about her on my other blog

Even though I whiffed with the '56 Topps Walker Cooper I'd say my first Just Commons order was...

Enjoy your Saturday, everyone!


Friday, February 17, 2017

COMC Mailday Part 3: 1956 Topps lot

The 28 cards I discussed in previous posts weren't enough to fork over $4 for COMC to deliver to my door. It was only after I purchased ten singles from the 1956 Topps set that I requested shipping - so that I might submit them to PSA by the end of February.

 Here are the newest additions to my 1956 Topps Baseball Project, along with a couple other vintage cards I added to the order:

 The front of this McCall looks great. The back...not so much:

I also picked up two more vintage cards, in case I couldn't meet PSA's 25-card minimum. This is one of a handful of '59's I've accumulated, but I've got no plans to start the set. 

 George Susce 1959 Topps #511 ($2.50)

The centering isn't great, and the top left corner is dinged (it actually looks worse in the scan) but other than that it's a beauty. I think this is a high-number, too. 

 Joe Torre 1971 Topps #370 ($1.04)

I'm not exactly a fan of Torre or the '71 set (too much black, and too susceptible to chipping/paper loss) but I like cards that say "cards" and this was Torre's MVP season. 

Many of these are good candidates for my next/last PSA submission - but I still have ten days to decide whether to get them graded or keep them as is. Right now my '56 set is about half and half, and I wont be renewing my subscription after it expires in April. I'll keep you posted.

As I started writing this blog post, my first order from Just Commons arrived. I'll discuss these cards in more detail tomorrow, but I wanted to include one card here.

The dozen cards in this post were all purchased on COMC. None of them cost more than $4.13 each (Groat, Pierce, and Ron Jackson) When I filled my cart with commons on Just Commons, I was amazed at the selection of 10- and 15-cent singles available. I had intended to fill some team and set wantlists, but after two hours of shopping I still hadn't reached the minimum $15 for free shipping. Andso I checked their selection of 1956 Topps cards and took a chance on a $6 Walker Cooper card that was listed as an "EX". 

Does this look like an EX?

I should have just paid the damn shipping charge. Lesson learned.

Hope you all have a great weekend!


Thursday, February 16, 2017

COMC Mailday Part 2: I Like Big Base (And I Cannot Lie)

In my last post, I showed off some of the cards from my latest COMC order. Tomorrow I'll discuss the additions to my 1956 Topps baseball set (I now have one card from every team that existed at the time.)

Before I get to that I'll wrap up my 'random finds' with this very thick football card:

Kurt Warner 2009 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection base #d/80 ($2.58)

Kurt Warner was part of the recently announced Hall of Fame Class of 2017, along with LaDanian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor, Terrell Davis, Morten Andersen, Kenny Easley, and Jerry Jones. I didn't discuss the inductees at the time, or ahead of time like I did with baseball. That's because I really don't know what to make of the selection process. Tomlinson was a no-brainer, and I figured Taylor would get in eventually. I'm glad Andersen got the call (kickers are players, too!) but Davis and Easley surprised me because they each had such short careers, brilliant though they were.

As for Warner, I think the only reason I wasn't certain about him was that he got such a late start to his career. Both Warner and Warren Moon didn't become starting NFL QBs until their age 28 seasons. But Moon was still an above average passer into his 40's, Warner really only had six good years - three with the Rams and three with the Cardinals. He also played in three Super Bowls and was the MVP of the league and the Big Game in what was essentially his rookie year.

Warner was a great passer, a great rags to riches story, and a devout Christian (not that I am or am not, mind you.) My wife was a Los Angeles Rams fan back in the Jim Everett era, and she became a 'born-again' Rams fan during the Warner/Faulk/"Greatest Show on Turf" years. 

I always liked him.. and I really like this card. The gold ribbons on the sides are sort of like curtains on a stage, and the image really pops. Two things that seem kind of odd to me are the placement of the Upper Deck logo (ahem) and the serial numbering. Is it 8 out of 60?

Or is it 9 out of 80? (it's this one)

In any case, this Exquisite Kurt Warner card is the latest addition to my '"big base" PC.

(You knew it was coming.)

I'm always on the lookout for bargain-priced base cards from high-end sets like Exquisite, The Cup, Immaculate, Five Star, etc. I've seen a few from 2013 Topps Five Star for under a dollar, and I almost bought a Matt Forte for $0.55. But the thing about these thick cards is, the cost of protecting them can be prohibitive.

One-touch holders like these are available for $2 at my local comic book shop (they don't really sell cards but they have a good selection of storage supplies and the woman who runs the place is very nice.) A pack of ten 130pt top loaders costs over $5.

Which is why I have to be very selective when considering which big base to buy.

This is the only other football card I have in this PC. I may be a Packers fan, but I have a lot of respect for Adrian Peterson as a running back (As a father? Not so much.) No offense to Forte, but I'd rather save my pennies and buy these at $1.42 all day.

 I also have these two beautiful basketball cards from Panini Immaculate Collection:

Larry Legend is from 2014-15 Immaculate and cost $2.88. Dirk was $1.65, and the card claims to be from 2015-16 Panini Immaculate Collection even though his full '15-16 season stats are listed. Not sure how that's possible (Billy, can you help me out with this?)

I showed this one off a while ago, it's the only super thick baseball base card I have - and at $9.25 it's the most I've paid for a card in this collection.

That might not be entirely accurate. I don't remember how much I paid for these Devils base cards from The Cup, since I purchased them before joining COMC.

I got the Elias gold in a "pack" of The Cup (yes I bought a pack of The Cup in '05-06. Paid over $400 for it when I was a college student. But that's another story for another day.)

Two more Cup base cards - this Trevor Linden is from 2011-12 The Cup, and the Ovechkin is from the prior year.

They're a bit blurry because COMC shipped them sealed like this, and I didn't want to break 'em open just to scan.

Finally we have my Exquisite Collection.. collection. These were all acquired through COMC (though none of them were in this shipment)

There are 30 base cards in the "Black Diamond" series, one for every NHL team. So this here is one fifth of the set, and so far I've spent less than $10:

Gaudreau was $2.65
Schneider was $2.20
Stamkos was $2.05
Tarasenko was $1.44

Pavelski was $0.95

and the Blake Wheeler was...$0.45!

I wasn't planning to hoard these at the time, and I had no interest in this card of the Winnipeg Jets captain at first. The condition notes stated that there were "surface impressions" and a corner ding. That was enough to scare me off at a dollar. At 75 cents I still didn't bite. But when it was priced lower than junk wax I had to take a chance.

I still think it was 45 cents well spent.

Do you have any super thick base cards in your collection?


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

COMC Mailday Part 1: Bargain Hunting

My latest COMC order arrived yesterday. (Happy Valentine's Day to me!) The box contained a few cards I had held back from my port sale, a few cheapies for various PC's, and the dozen vintage cards that I bought for my PSA submission. There were 38 cards in the order, and the total spent on them (over the the past three months or so) was $74.87. That's just under $2 a card, on average.

Here are the cards I pulled back before selling my port:

Albert Pujols 2016 Topps Strata Clearly Authentic Relic ($6.45)

Is it possible that we baseball fans are under appreciating how great Albert has been? Yes, he's clearly on the back nine of his career. His averages are down, and he can't play first base anymore, but his peak was just bonkers. He's closing in on 600 career home runs, has a chance at collecting his 3,000th hit this year, and will likely earn his 2,000th RBI next year. This is the most expensive card in the lot, and my fourth Pujols memorabilia card.

 Seth Jones 2015-16 Upper Deck Ice Signature Swatches ($4.00)

You may have seen this card before on my blog. I held it in my inventory for a while, unsure if I should sell it or keep it. Once Jones made the Metropolitan All-Star squad I decided to keep it. Now with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Seth is the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones.

Victor Hedman 2015-16 Ultimate Collection Jumbo Materials #d/40 ($3.25)

E-Pack strikes again! Even cards from high-end products like Ultimate Collection have been devalued by Upper Deck's virtual storefront. I picked up three of these Jumbo jerseys since Thanksgiving - a Patrick Kane which only cost me $2.25 (I would have kept it if it wasn't a white swatch) and an Adam Henrique which came home in my last COMC order.

Some assorted football I got cause I liked it...LaDanian Tomlinson was one of my favorite players of the 2000's. I don't have any great cards of him, but he's a guy I will pluck out of a dollar box (this 2003 Topps Chrome black refractor cost $1.45) I know nothing about Anthony Barr but the 2014 Topps Fire cards are so colorful and creative, and it only cost $1.25.

I'm still bitter about the sack Matt Ryan took in the third quarter of SB51; these cards will serve as a painful reminder of how badly Atlanta blew it. That said, these two cards of Matty Ice didn't cost much - the
2015 Topps Chrome Pink Refractor (I prefer to call it a "Cherry Coke" refractor) only cost $0.50. The 2011 Panini Prime Proof cost $1.05 - and it is thick. I tried to flip it after the Falcons beat my Green Bay Packers, but no one wanted it so I took it home. 

I also bought another thick football card, which I'll share in tomorrow's post (I'm going to try for a seven-day posting streak. This is day four.) 

Speaking of Packers (and playoff chokers) here's a pair of Aaron Rodgers cards I half-heartedly tried to flip on COMC (I thought I had sold the 2014 Topps Strata Die-Cut but I guess not (that was a similar-looking 2015 Finest QB Cuts). Both the Strata and the 2013 SP Authentic 1996 design were $1.05 each. I also picked up a couple of Corey Seagers from 2014 Bowman Platinum Chrome for $0.85 each. I kept one and re-sold the other for a small profit. The Koufax Die-Cut was only $1.45.

My collection of 2015-16 O-Pee-Chee retros gets a boost with the magenta Doan ($0.58) and Platinum rainbow Kessel ($0.45.) I had that one in my inventory for months and couldn't move it, but after I bought a box of Platinum I decided to keep the Kessel.. and now I'm entertaining the thought of building the Platinum Retro set. (talk me out of it! I have enough unfinished projects already!)

I added some more Devils to my PC (mostly Marty, and one $0.93 Adam Henrique relic.)

Sox in my box!

When I had started saving for my $250 Blowout Cards coupon I had a hard time convincing myself not to spend any of the COMC cash I was accumulating. I finally gave in when the Pedroia Triple Threads jersey appeared. It's #d to 27 and only cost $2.95. I threw in the Purple Refractor for $0.65 as well. Couldn't resist. 

The Moncada was a more recent purchase, right before I sold my port. I know Chris Sale is a stud, but man... we could have had the top two prospects in all of baseball. I'm still hoping Yoan will blossom into a franchise player - even if he's wearing the wrong Sox. This 2016 Topps Heritage Minor League card set me back $2.69.

Meanwhile on the north side of Chicago, the World Champion Cubs look to defend their historic title. I've been hoarding 2014 Bowman Kris Bryant cards since their release, and I made a best offer to snag the four cards below for a total of $4.14 ($0.92 for each Bryant, $1.15 for each Schwarber.)

I now have four of the Bowman Chrome Schwarbers - and nothing else from 2014 Bowman products (no paper, no parallels). I now have this many Bryants from 2014 Bowman:

I really should try to get another Chrome or parallel. Anyone want to help me upgrade? ;)