Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Deadline Day

It's trade deadline day in baseball, and I thought I'd make it my own personal Deadline Day as well. I've got a dozen TCDB trades in the works (plus a blogger swap) and at midnight tonight I'm going to turn trading off for the month of August. I'm also going to take a break from buying cards and possibly blogging about cards, so that I can focus on a home remodeling project that has to be done by the end of summer. 

Before I get to the cards, I have to say I'm enjoying MLB's unified trade deadline. August waiver deals weren't anything to complain about, but it's a lot more exciting to know that if you don't get a deal done today then that's it. And the Yankees didn't get a deal done! Neither did the Red Sox, but I wasn't expecting one because their payroll is maxed out. 

Trevor Bauer's last start for Cleveland was a memorable one

How about Houston trading for Zack Greinke? Man, that Astros rotation is filthy! The Indians got great value for Trevor Bauer, adding a couple of powerful outfielders in Franmil Reyes and Yasiel Puig (side note, what the heck are the Padres doing?) Nicholas Castellanos going to the Cubs is interesting, especially here on the blogosphere where the Tigers and Cubs are well-represented. But my favorite trade this week has to be the Nikita Gusev deal.

I know, this isn't exactly a deadline trade since the NHL is in its off-season, but it has been a hell of a summer for the Devils. Drafting Jack Hughes #1 overall, trading for P.K. Subban (bonus: Lindsey Vonn at the Rock!) and signing Wayne Simmonds was already enough to generate some serious buzz. Now we've got the Goose* - a top-six forward who dominated in the KHL and only cost Jersey a couple of draft picks to pry away from Vegas. Can't wait to see this guy in action alongside Taylor Hall, Nico Hischier, Hughes, Subban, and Kyle Palmieri. Forget baseball, let's drop the puck already!

 *I know Rich Gossage is the real Goose.  

My own wheeling and dealing has brought in bunches of new cards. The first of three trade packages I received this week comes from TCDB user nwcardsupplies. I was offered eight inserts from my wantlist in exchange for a dozen 2019 Donruss cards from the surplus box. I quickly accepted that deal, because '90s inserts are awesome.

A pair of Diamond Kings inserts from 1992 Donruss, a pair of Score Franchise inserts from 1993, and a pair of Flashbacks from 2014 Topps Heritage. The Smoltz Strikeout Kings card is from 1993 Ultra, and it really makes me want to buy a box or two; I love the look of the 'planet baseball' inserts. And I'm a fan of any card that celebrates Gonzo's Walk-Off World Series-winning single.

My second trade comes from TCDB user iggywrestler2. Will approached me about a trade for some Indians cards and I added a little football to it; including a Kareem Hunt Prizm rookie. In return I got four new Brett Favre cards (actually five, but the 1999 Fleer single he added as a bonus had rough corners)

The four baseball cards were part of Will's original offer. Matt Chapman is the highlight here, and I had to get a Rookie Davis rookie card, haha.

The third and final trade I received was a bit of a tough one. TCDB user Hafengr rejected an offer I'd made in February because the BVs were way off (wth do I know? I don't read Beckett unless Night Owl is writing for them) But he was incredibly cool about it and I made a mental note to try again. After a fair amount of haggling we got a deal done - I sent 77 surplus singles from 2018 Topps (and a 1991 Score Randy Johnson) to Greg for 72 cards. Most of them were for my 1992-93 Fleer Ultra basketball set. I won't scan them all, but here are the highlights:

I completely forgot that all '92-93 Ultra cards curve (until Billy's comment reminded me) but I guess it's not a major issue since I'll probably put them in 9-pocket pages anyway. That's what I did with my Ultra hockey set - which is why I forgot all about the curving.

I have over 150 cards from the 1956 Topps set, yet this Keith Foulke is just my third single from 2005 Topps Heritage. I really should add a lot more of these to my collection.

Here's the highlight of this trade - seventies singles. I wanted the Bert Campaneris as soon as I saw it on the Nine Pockets blog. It's got a tiny crease, and the '78 Sal Bando has round corners.The rest of them are in acceptable-to-excellent shape.

The best of the bunch is this Toby Harrah card. Overall I'm happy with this deal, I got to help a fellow trader fill a flagship set and I got some seventies and set fillers of my own.

If I'm going to hold myself to this deadline day thing I should probably get going. I've only got three more hours to finalize more TCDB trades, make the rounds on Blogger, and check out the summer sale on COMC. I really don't need much there, and I might even pass up a sale promotion for the first time ever. Though there is one card that I'm tempted to pick up...

 Thanks for reading!



Friday, July 26, 2019

Trading from a surplus

Earlier this month I purchased a flat rate box of baseball cards on eBay for just over a penny a card.

I got a bunch of set fillers for 2018 Topps and a starter set of 2017 and 2019 Topps. This appeared to be a surplus box of base commons from a dealer or high-volume ripper; only a handful of players depicted could be considered stars. There didn't appear to be any hits either. Aside from some Big League gold parallels I managed to find one decent card the seller missed:

When I sorted through the 3,000 cards in the box (discarding a couple dozen that were damaged and/or dirty) I didn't notice anything special about this Andrelton Simmons card.

Then I counted out the dupes, and found that I had a sabermetric Advanced Stat parallel.

Once I took what I wanted from the box I had over 2,500 surplus singles. I've spent the past week adding them to my TCDB trade list and making some deals. If I had the time I'd make a spreadsheet of every card I received in the flat rate box, so that I can track what I traded every card for. (I don't expect to offload all of the cards, but you never know.)

That seems unnecessary anyhow; my transaction page keeps a record of everything I send/receive, and my trades will inevitably include cards that didn't come from this box.

The first trade featuring cards from the surplus pile arrived yesterday. I traded 18 cards from 2017 Topps and 2018 Topps (plus three overproduction-era singles) to TCDB user Joe0786 for these 18 cards:

A six-pack for my 2018 Topps set build, including a Miguel Andujar RC. There were no RCs in the box I bought, and all of the cards I traded were base veterans.

To balance things out I asked for a bunch of older football cards, including a pair of Pro Set. The Bennie Blades is creased; I've added it to the discard pile.  

Picked a few Packers needs. I'm surprised I didn't have the Bennett and Freeman Ultra cards.


These were the last two cards I picked, Ahman Green and Adrian Peterson. 

A second trade arrived yesterday, a PWE swap with TCDB user mrdonnee. This did not include any surplus baseball singles, but all eight of the cards I traded were dupes. 

In return for five star quarterbacks from my Panini Classics blaster break, an Aaron Rodgers Prizm insert, and a pair of 2015-16 Donruss basketball stars, I received these 12 cards:

A pair of Kemba Walker cards for my Connecticut collection. The Teal Explosion parallel has a corner ding, but the Optic cards are sharp.

Some '90s basketball including John Stockton and Vin Baker. The Robert Horry has a corner ding. It's been a common theme lately. What the heck is the post office doing with these packages?

Finally a pair of 1992-93 Ultra set fillers and a Derek Carr that doesn't fit my collection but I grabbed it because it looks cool. Just an FYI, the tabs at the top of this blog have been updated, including the list of things I collect. All of my set builds can be found on the "The Collector Collects..." page.

Also, if you need any 2017, 2018, or 2019 Topps base cards please let me know. I've got hundreds of each and I'd be happy to help my blogger buddies finish these sets.

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!


Sunday, July 21, 2019

Silversun day

I almost forgot the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony was today. Luckily I was able to catch Lee Smith's speech and Mariano Rivera's speech (closers go last. perfect.) The reason I was not thinking of sports today was that I went to a concert last night. 

About a month ago I learned that Silversun Pickups were coming to New Jersey. I mentioned this to my wife and didn't give it a second thought. She does not like Silversun; Brian Aubert's voice is too high for her. (This is a common complaint among non-fans, they can't tell if he's singing or bassist Nikki Monninger)

Then, two weeks ago I was having a discussion with her (my wife, not Nikki) about the August card show. I'd been hemming and hawwing about going and it was giving my wife whiplash. She needed to know once and for all if I wanted to go - because she had a surprise planned for our anniversary weekend. She was going to get me tickets to see SSPU. I decided to scrap the card show (technically I can still go, but logistically and financially it is a long shot.)

So last night we had dinner at a Japanese restaurant nearby and headed out to Sayreville, NJ (hometown of Jon Bon Jovi) on what was probably the hottest day of the year. We sat in the car with the a.c. running because the doors didn't open until 7pm. No point in queuing when it's 98F outside. I had the idea of ordering tickets at Will Call rather than the stupid digital tickets which 1) gave me a souvenir of the show, and 2) got us in ahead of almost everyone since the Will Call line was a lot shorter. 

The Starland Ballroom is a small place, with bars set up in all four corners and a decent size general admission floor. There was a pull-up screen right in front of us that kept running ads like a damn movie theater. Most of them were for upcoming shows including the one we were all attending. The most popular ad was for IHOP. One guy (who was definitely drinking) shouted Wooo! IHOP! and a couple others laughed and clapped. Then, when the IHOP ad came around again, more and more people caught on until dozens of people were cheering loudly for pancakes. You kinda had to be there. 

The opening act was a duo called I Don't Know How But They Found Me. This was the first song they played:


Appropriately-titled track aside, there were quite a few young fans who were definitely there to see them. I wasn't sure what to make of them at first (is this...hipsters?) but they were energetic and entertaining for sure. I'll have to give them another listen. 

We were fairly close to the stage, only about five or six people were in front of us. My wife had earplugs but my hearing doesn't bother me in concerts. It's usually my back or knees because I am out of shape and standing in place for long periods of time isn't easy. Once the floor started vibrating from all the amps and whatnot my left leg went numb. 

After the opening band finished their set and we were back to watching ads for IHOP and Da Baby (ya gotta see Da Baby!) the vibrating numbness went away. My knees stopped working by the end of the night, but during the Silversun set I felt fine.

I was really psyched to be less than 30 feet away from one of my favorite bands. Fall Out Boy and Muse are stadium acts; I'm still not sure how well-known Silversun Pickups are. Wifey was nice enough to take some pictures and video for me since she's the one with the smart phone. Lots of other people had their phones up too, which was annoying. I wish I could say it's just a girl thing, but at one point I saw three guys all pointing their phones in Nikki's direction. 

Since you're probably not familiar with their songs I'll spare you the full rundown of their setlist. They played a few tracks from their latest album Widow's Weeds - though not two of my favorites, "Songbirds" and "We are Chameleons". I can't complain though. They played pretty much everything else I would have wanted to hear, including:

"Neon Wound", which was the first song of their set (also the first track of the new album)

"Panic Switch" and "Lazy Eye", arguably their biggest hits.

"Growing Old Is Getting Old" which I told myself they'd never play. It's hard to recreate the serenity of the intro in a live setting(way too much reverb) but I'm still thrilled that they played one of my absolute faves.

"Common Reactor" and "Well Thought Out Twinkles", two of my favorites from their 2006 album Carnavas. I was especially stoked for "Common Reactor"

"Circadian Rhythm" a duet I wasn't expecting to hear before the show. Then Brian mentioned the steamy weather outside and said something about making it steamy inside. Then they played something else - "Freakazoid" maybe? Total fake out. 


In the past week I had listened to all of their albums so that I'd be ready for anything and everything. Somehow they got a knee-buckling curveball by me -- they played a track from their debut EP Pikul. I do have Pikul, but I've only listened to it a couple times.

I wonder how many of the 2,000 or so in attendance recognized "Kissing Families"? If the over/under is 50 I'll take the under. 

Before the show started I bought a t-shirt for slightly less than the cost of the ticket. I'm wearing it to work tomorrow. Because I can :)  The merch table also had every SSPU album for sale. And I do mean album - you could buy them on vinyl or cassette! It was like the '80s all over again. 

Even though I have all of their albums I seriously considered it - there was an alternate version of one, with acoustic tracks and remixes or something. I could have spent a lot more money there but I didn't want to carry shit for the whole show. I was lucky that the t-shirt fit in the pocket of my cargo shorts. 

Anyway, the night was incredible. The band absolutely killed it. Brian had tons of energy; it's hard to take your eyes off him. But then you remember Nikki over there, quietly playing her bass, always smiling. And Chris Guanlao on the drums, banging away like an animal. I couldn't see much of him until the encore but he was awesome. And Joe Lester, the Seth Rogen doppelganger behind the keyboard. I felt like he was largely ignored through the night, like don't forget Joe over there. Someone take a picture of Joe.


Heck, we didn't even get a good picture of Nikki. My wife is 5' 4" and everyone in front of her was taller. This is what it's like to see a concert in 2019.

When Silversun concluded their encore Brian tossed a couple picks into the crowd. Nikki waved and blew a kiss or two. Chris tossed his sticks in either direction. I've never been so close to catching a drum stick..and I wasn't that close to either one.

Immediately after the show I had to remind myself how to walk. My back was fine, my ears weren't ringing, but my legs did not work. The concrete steps felt squishy, like mud. My wife and I were parched so we stopped at Dunkin Donuts for cold drinks. It was after 11pm and still 90F outside. 

Today I spent the whole morning in bed, resting my aching knees. Could have slept all day but I wanted to finish sorting a big box of baseball cards I bought on eBay two weeks ago. Also I have trades to complete and feedback to leave. So don't worry, sports card content will be returning to The Collector soon :)

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Pete, Peter, Pedey

Here are some more of my favorite things...

This is Pete Wentz, Fall Out Boy bassist and songwriter. I knew his name before I knew anyone else in the band (including lead singer Patrick Stump) and I found that odd at the time. But he does have considerable crossover appeal. 

This is Pete Davidson, comedian and cast member of Saturday Night Live.

My guy has had quite a year- he got dumped by Ariana Grande, got into a beef with a U.S Congressman (and disabled veteran), may have attempted suicide, dated Kate Beckinsale, and then split from her. And all of that happened before the end of April!

This is Pete Buttigeig, mayor of South Bend, Indiana and 2020 presidential candidate. I'm still not sure that he's ready to be commander-in-chief, but he made a point in the first Democratic debate that really resonated with me. 

This is Pete Rose. If you don't know him you probably shouldn't be reading baseball card blogs!

Btw, have any of you heard the joke about Pete and Repete? It was in one of my childhood books.

This is Pete Peeters, former Bruins, Capitals, and Flyers goalie and winner of the Vezina trophy in 1983. I don't have an opinion on him, but his name is the perfect segue from Petes to Peters.

This is Peter Griffin. He's. A. Fam-ly Guy. One of the few shows I still watch at its original air time. 

This is Peeta Mellark, a main character in The Hunger Games. I'm assuming he's named Peeta because his family owned a bakery? 

This is one of my favorite memes:

I once dated a girl who was a few years older than me and was really into new wave, goth, and industrial stuff. She made a mix tape for me and this track was one of my faves:

Peter Murphy was the lead singer of Bauhaus before going solo. I never got into them.

These are the latest additions to my Peter Worrell collection. I've reached the point where the mainstream singles I need have dried up, and the only new cards i can find are oddballs and unlisted "1 of 1" gimmicks. Some of them aren't even standard-sized cards.

This Avalanche team-issued postcard (and the Panthers team-issued card above) were purchased with about $7 worth of eBay bucks, so I only spent about $4 "cash" to add three new items to my Peter PC.

And finally, we have the Laser Show, Dustin Pedroia.

Dustin is also called Petey, which I've been spelling Pedey (and the haters spell PEDey - though I've never heard any legit reason to insinuate that) Recently I came across a blog/collecting site called Sports Card Info. They were hosting a giveaway for a Pedroia patch card.

I hate to be the guy that only comments for free stuff but I would have felt more guilty if I didn't try to win this card for my Pedroia PC. Sports Card Info allowed one entry per day for a week and I tried to appease the collecting gods by posting legit comments like "Thanks for the contest! I would love to win this card." while everyone else simply said "Tuesday entry" "Wednesday", et cetera.

The collecting gods smiled upon me. I found out while visiting my mom in Connecticut that I was the winner!

A huge thank you to Andrew and everyone at Sports Card Info for sending me this fantastic card! Give them a follow if you haven't already.

Who is your favorite Pete/Peter/Petey?


Friday, July 12, 2019

Pre-Lockout NHL Players

Panthers goalie and future Hall of Famer Roberto Luongo announced his retirement last month. Penguins center Matt Cullen announced his retirement earlier this week. Brooks Orpik also retired this summer, leaving just 21 active players who suited up before the NHL lockout of 2004-05. I thought it would be fun to list those players and briefly describe their status fifteen years after the league's "lost season".

Here's the full list, starting with players who made their debut in the 2003-04 season and going back to the 1997-98 rookie class. (Age in parentheses as of July 31.)

Patrice Bergeron(34) Bruins stalwart had perhaps his best season in 2018-19, scoring 79 points in 65 regular-season games and 17 points in the playoffs. Signed thru 2022. 

Dustin Brown(34) Career King looked finished three years ago but has turned it around in the past two seasons, scoring 20+ goals for the first time since '11-12. Signed thru 2022.

Brent Burns(34) Sharks superstar finished second in Norris trophy voting in 2018-19 after leading all NHL defensemen in points with a career-best 83. Signed thru 2025(!)

Trevor Daley(35) Red Wings defenseman played in his 1,000th NHL game in '18-19. Won back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Penguins in 2016 and 2017. Signed thru 2020.

Marc-Andre Fleury(34) Golden Knights great has played in five Stanley Cup Finals (four with Pittsburgh). Started more games in ’18-19 than he had in the prior three years. Signed thru 2022.

Dan Hamhuis(36) Stay-at-home defenseman had his worst season in ’18-19. Started his career in Nashville and might end it there, too. Signed thru 2020. 

Ryan Kesler(34) Ducks forward played in his 1,000th NHL game at the end of 2018-19. Only managed 8 points in 60 total games. Signed through 2022.

Niklas Kronwall(38) Career Red Wing is unsigned and undecided about his NHL future. Still a solid performer on the blueline, averaging just under 20 minutes/game in '18-19.

Chris Kunitz(39) Unsigned winger played with the Blackhawks in 2018-19, scoring 10 points in 56 games. This might be the end for the four-time Stanley Cup champion's career.

Jason Pominville(36) Longtime Sabres winger played in one game before the 2004-05 lockout. Returned to Buffalo in 2017 after four-plus seasons in Minnesota. Unsigned at the moment.

Eric Staal(34) Former Hurricanes star resurrected his career after signing with the Wild in 2016. Scored 42 goals in '17-18 but only 22 in '18-19. Signed thru 2021. 

Craig Anderson(38) Veteran netminder has spent the past eight-plus seasons in Ottawa. Had his worst year as a starter in '18-19 behind a subpar Senators squad. Signed thru 2020.

Jay Bouwmeester(35) Third overall pick in 2002 missed the playoffs in each of his first nine NHL seasons. Now has his name on the Stanley Cup as a member of the Blues. Signed thru 2020.

Ron Hainsey(38) Played in 81 games (including the 1,000th of his career) for the Maple Leafs in '18-19. Led the Leafs with a +30 rating. Signed a one-year contract with the Senators for 2019-20.

Ryan Miller(39) Longtime Sabres star has more wins (378) than any American-born goalie in NHL history. Now serving as John Gibson's backup in Anaheim. Signed thru 2020.

Jason Spezza(36) Second overall pick in 2002 was a point-a-game player with the Senators. Managed just 27 points for the Stars in 2018-19. Signed a league-minimum deal to play for the Maple Leafs in '19-20.

Ilya Kovalchuk(36) Returned to the NHL in 2018 after playing five years in Russia. Wasn't nearly as productive with the Kings as he was in Atlanta and New Jersey. Signed thru 2021.

Justin Williams(37) Mr. Game Seven served as Carolina's captain in '18-19, finishing third on the Canes with 53 points. His biggest contribution might have been the Storm Surge celebrations.

Williams is unsigned for 2019-20 and undecided about continuing his career.

Zdeno Chara(42) Bruins captain scored just 14 points in 2018-19, his lowest total since 2000-01. Still a strong presence on the blueline. I thought he might retire had the B's won the Cup this past spring. Signed thru 2020. 

Patrick Marleau(39) Fifth all-time in career games played. Played in all 82 games for Toronto in '18-19. Traded to the Hurricanes in a cost-cutting move, then bought out by Carolina. Unsigned at the moment.

Joe Thornton(40) First overall pick in 1997. Still a productive point producer. Scored his 400th career goal last season and tallied 51 total points. Unsigned at the moment. 

I can understand that some of these players want to take their time deciding where (or if) they want to play this season, but I'm a little surprised that Marleau is still a free agent. I'm also surprised that Anaheim chose to buy out Corey Perry instead of Ryan Kesler. 

I'll be in Connecticut visiting my mom this weekend (no card show scheduled, unfortunately) but I'll try to catch up on all of your blogs Sunday night. 

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!