Saturday, May 30, 2020

Summer Plans

The rising prices of certain baseball and basketball cards has been on my mind a lot lately.


There is a stack of 35 graded cards sitting on my desk. One of them (not pictured) is selling for over $1,000. The entire stack could fetch over $3,000 if I sell them all. Right now I'm debating which ones to sell - and what to buy if I do sell them. My 1956 Topps set build isn't even 50% complete - and I still need eleven Hall of Famers.

It would be fun to acquire a Dream Card this summer, and the values of some of these cards on my desk will never be higher - meaning some singles on my "bucket list" that seemed out of reach might finally be attainable.

I've shipped out all of my trade packages and care packages in order to clear the runway for my 100,000th card. Those of you who have over 100,000 sports cards or don't pay attention to such milestones might be wondering why this is so important to me. To be honest, it's been such a difficult year that I kind of just feel like celebrating something and since I'm close enough to acquiring said card I decided to make it special. 

After the three major "waves" of cards that arrived earlier this month I decided to send out some small trade offers on TCDB before closing up shop for the summer. Most of them were accepted but I'm still waiting on a reply from one user. Three users rejected my offers - one was for personal reasons while another declined my trade offer because he only does small PWE trades and I was asking for (checks notes)... nine cards. 

As of Friday morning my card count stood at 98,824. This does not count the 121 cards held up at COMC for who knows how long - though I have added each one to my In-Transit list. However it does count all 660 cards in the 2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary Factory Set - which should be counted as one factory set but there doesn't appear to be an option to do so. I'm planning a hand-count of my entire collection sometime in June, along with some major eBay transactions, so that I have an exact number before I approach 100k.

However there's no doubt that 99k is close at hand. And Friday's mailday helped me inch ever closer to that number:

This Brett Favre Rewind to 1997 jersey had been sitting at the top of my COMC watch list for a while. I decided to trim down a lot of that list and bought this one on eBay instead. It was cheaper, it arrived in hand much faster, and 10% of the profit went to Wounded Warrior Project. This is my 813th Favre card. Not particularly close to 1,000 - but not too far off, either.

Red Sox cards acquired in various trades. The David Ortiz has some corner wear on the back.

Some Packers I didn't have including a Brian Noble Pro Set en Espanol and a Robert Brooks Stadium Club high# RC. I found this surprisingly easy to acquire given the price of a (non-RC) Brett Favre from this set. Some cool vintage-design cards fill out the scan. The D.B. Cooper card was a must-have as soon as I saw it; that's one of my favorite modern news stories.

Set fillers. I've finished 2018 Topps Big League and I've got about 2/3 of the Players Weekend variations so I'm adding them to the binder. Still chipping away at the 2017 Topps Heritage "master" set - in quotes because I'm definitely not chasing all of the inserts. I traded for nine singles from 1988-89 Topps and tossed the other six in my growing TCDB Trade Trash pile. Another reason why I've turned off trading there - you'd be amazed at how many damaged modern cards traders will send out.

I have no idea what to do with the discard pile. If anyone wants about 15-20 well-loved singles, no questions asked, I'll be happy to send a PWE to the first two readers who ask for them. Otherwise I might just throw them out because I would not send these in trades. 

One more set filler.. look who's finally here!

Thanks to CrazieJoe for helping me complete the 2003-04 Topps Pristine base set! There were some extra cards included, which increased my card count to 98,870 cards. At some point I might scan up all the Prisitne singles to celebrate the completion of this 16-year project. I wouldn't expect anyone to be interested in a scan-heavy post of a hundred hockey cards .. but I'm always surprised at which types of posts get comments (or don't.)

Obviously Free Card Friday posts will bring in traffic, but I'm surprised that Frankenset Sunday posts are popular as well. My last post, on the other hand..

The Athlete/Entertainer comparison game had just four players, but the combined guesses of Shane, Brian, Fuji, and Josh correctly identified five of the six subjects:

Comparison #1
  • Once-in-a generation talent
  • Has earned several individual accolades
  • Carried a franchise in their early twenties
  • Has yet to celebrate their 30th birthday
Mike Trout and Jennifer Lawrence

Comparison #2
  • Tall, versatile import
  • Entered the scene at the end of the 1990s
  • Won a major individual award
  • Model of consistency for over two decades
  • Internationally known and still underrated
Dirk Nowitzki and Charlize Theron

Comparison #3
  • Long, lanky superstar in their prime
  • Ascended to stardom around 2007
  • Initially image-conscious and sensitive to haters
  • Occasionally eclipsed by an even bigger star
Kevin Durant and Taylor Swift

I'm not sure if I'll publish a Frankenset Sunday post tomorrow, but my next team was going to be the Chicago Cubs. (bet'cha that will get a bunch'a comments!) I'm tempted to super-size that post with some thoughts on Sammy Sosa and the Cubs items in my collection in advance of Long Gone Summer so perhaps I'll sub in a last-minute replacement team...

Thanks for reading!



  1. I am in a years-long process of determining how many cards are in my collection. Don't know if I'll get to 100,000 but I think it's going to be close.

    I didn't know that D.B. Cooper card existed. I'll have to get one. The Heritage News Flashbacks are going to be major collecting goals of mine, now that it's reached the '70s.

    1. I'll have to see what other topics are in the Flashbacks set. And next year's Heritage set will be fun.

  2. That Favre is awesome! Every part of my brain tells me to start unloading all of the graded cards I picked up over the past decade... as well as dumping my Jordans and Kobes while I'm at it... since I can't imagine most of them ever being worth than they are right now. But it's not my thing. I know it's not the wisest decision, but sometimes I've gotta follow my heart.

    1. Nothing wrong with holding on to the cards in your collection!

  3. Never, ever throw out a card. In case it's not obvious send them to me.

    I didn't understand your game in the last post. I successfully figured out the reference to Dirk but had no idea who or what we supposed to be comparing him to.

    I am really looking forward to finding out the actual exact number in my collection. I have a number I think it is, but my gut feeling is that I didn't count oversized or undersized cards in the 1990s. Which means that my number is too low by at least 200 cards from the 1996-97 Collector's Choice set alone. Once I finish scanning everything I'll know, probably won't be this decade.

    1. I just sent you something but I'll set the damaged cards aside for you and fire off another PWE soon.

      Kinda surprised you dont have an actual count of your collection, but then again you have a lot more cards than I do.

  4. Yeah. I totally missed that guessing game post.

    I'm with you on D.B. Cooper. But my vote goes to the Favre swatch.

  5. Replies
    1. I hope it's worth the wait. Thanks again for helping me inch closer to 100k :)

  6. 813 cards of one guy - wow! I didn't guess in the other post because I know nothing about modern entertainers. Heck for Charlize Theron I know the name but without looking her up I couldn't tell you what she looked like. (If it was people from the '60's and '70s . . . ). And the only thing I know about Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant is that they are basketball players. I think Nowitzki is a Spur? Durant, Celtics?

    1. I think the Lost Collector has more Tino Martinez cards than I have of Favre, and I know Collecting Cutch has over 813 Andrew McCutchen cards. But you've given me an idea. Perhaps I'll do an informal poll of player collectors and their single-player card count.

  7. I wouldn't ever try to influence someone's decision as to whether or not they should sell something, but I would like to bring up two things that came to mind after reading this post. a) If you are gonna sell, don't wait, I see things starting to go down quick, and it's probably not going to be getting any better, and b) If you do sell and come away with a big ol' chunk of cash, you might want to think about saving it for a little bit, especially given how things have been the last couple of months -- having something in the bank to fall back on may be boring, but this is one of those times where it's better to be safe than sorry.

    1. This is good advice, and I'm taking it to heart. I'm hoping things will simmer down soon, but the sale prices for some of the cards in my stack have already cooled. I might wait two weeks and see where things stand.

  8. There's no wrong answer to the question of selling or not, but my personal opinion is sell! I've been doing a lot of purging lately and using the proceeds to do exactly what you outlined, picking up cards I could only dream of before. I bet if you sold even half that stack of graded cards you'd be able to land some real whoppers. Just this weekend I showed off a beautiful '55 Topps Jackie Robinson that I acquired via eBay flip actually.

    What I do is look at recently completed auctions to see what I might reasonably expect to make if I sold a card or group of cards. Then I think about what I'd use those funds for. If the things I'd use the funds for excite me more and/or are a better fit for my collection than what I'm giving up, I sell and go for a flip.

    P.S. Don't forget to factor in the 10% fee eBay takes from sports card sales.

    P.P.S. If you do decide to sell and flip anything, I'd be super excited to see a post with your results!

    1. Your flips have been incredible! It's one reason why I've considered cashing in some of my higher-end cards that are (were) hot sellers. If I go ahead with flipping them for PC needs or other dream cards I'll be sure to discuss my experience here.