Saturday, April 24, 2021

Spring Cleaning

Mrs. Collector and I have been doing something we should have done during quarantine last year - cleaning out our old junk. We've spent the last few Saturdays bagging up clothes to donate and throwing out random items that can't be reused. I've also been selling a lot of stuff on eBay since they're about to cut PayPal out of the process and require sellers to provide bank account info to eBay. Um, no thanks.

This is all just a way of explaining that I've got a lot of cards to show off but not a whole lot of time to discuss them. Sometimes I just like to scan and post them here so I can get them sorted in my boxes. 

Steven from sent me an email offer to join a free break of 2021 Topps baseball. Unlike breaks that I have to pay into, the Red Sox were available and I happily claimed them.

About a dozen packs into his video I was starting to wonder if he'd pull any Red Sox. Sure enough they were clustered in the last third of the megabox. I ended up with five base cards and two inserts.

The Rafael Devers 1986 insert was part of an 8-for-8 trade with TCDB user Baseballdave.

I hadn't planned on placing another order at the online dime box but I couldn't let these Sox travel alone, so I added 80 cards to my cart and they arrived at the same time - but in different packages:

My All-Time Teams collection is nearly complete. I'll have another update soon. The Cardinal pictured here is Joe Medwick, who was apparently hated by nearly everyone according to Bo's blog.

My hockey boxes are full but I can't help pick out a few singles in every order. A 2021 Whalers card? Yes please. Ovechkin for a dime? O-hell yeah. The Ray Bourque is part of a Playoff oddball set my wife started. I'm trying to finish it for her but it's a bear. Also, the Devils are ass this year. Seems to be the new normal. :/

New basketball cards are nearly impossible to find for a dime but '90s favorites are still plentiful. Here's a pair of Mark Price cards, including a 1993-94 Ultra insert that proves he was a 1st team All-NBA selection (over John Stockton?!) in 1993. Robert Horry is here to remind you that he has more rings than Michael Jordan #HorryGoat

Most of the singles I need for nearly-completed sets have dried up so I've turned to set builds that are 20-30% complete, such as the 1999-00 Hoops Decade set. Here are 6 of the 11 cards I purchased. Note the Shawn Bradley in particular.

I noticed a post on the TCDB forums from user sfurukawa looking for a few 4- and 6- pocket pages. I just happened to have extras and I asked him to make me an offer. He initially offered me 20 singles from Hoops Decade, but I countered by subtracting four of them and adding two football cards.

Unfortunately I'd forgotten to check my order and ended up with an extra Bradley. Also the John Starks Shin sent me is a Hoopla parallel (no it's not scratched, that's my scanner.) Regardless I've got 25 new singles for this 180-card set, boosting my total to 65.

Here are the two football cards I requested. I also picked up three more 1987 Topps needs in a different TCDB trade and purchased a dozen 2019 Score football cards from Steven & Nancy.

I really like this updated version of the first Score football set. Panini gets a lot of flack, most of it deserved, but they got this right.

Guess I'd better get back to the piles of clothes and toys. Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!


Sunday, April 18, 2021

A to Z Music Challenge

My sports cards have been organized enough that all I need to do is put away new purchases, and so last night I moved on to my CD collection.

As you can see, my CDs are all stored in a drawer. This drawer, which has one busted wheel, slides underneath my bed and gets quite dusty. After removing all the CDs to clean and organize them I noticed that I have a favorite band or artist for nearly every letter in the alphabet. 

Once upon a time I participated in a blogging challenge that took place in April. We'd all pick an overarching theme and a daily topic that matched each letter. It was fun. Unfortunately the people who ran it showed their whole ass and I didn't want to be associated with them anymore. Still like the concept though.

So here's an idea if you have some time or you're out of blog topics: make a list of your favorite musicians from A to Z or do a Sporcle-style speed round and just type out the first ones that come to mind as quickly as you can.  Here's my list of favorite musical acts by the letter:

All Time Low

This video gives me all the feels. I used the song in a story I wrote. Never finished that thing. Maybe someday.


A surprisingly tough letter for me. Sixteen Stone is the only CD in my collection from a 'B' band. Is there a "Best of Bush" greatest hits CD? [edit: There is .. but its frigging expensive!]

The Cure

One of my all-time faves. I hadn't listened to them in years and then earlier this week I popped in Disintegration because it was raining (again.) Love it. A more current 'C' band I'm listening to is Chvrches. Thanks for pointing me in their direction, Shane!

Depeche Mode

Good news: Dave Gahan, Martin Gore & co. were finally elected to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!
Bad news: They were elected last year, and the ceremony was virtual due to Covid.


Evanescence? Erasure? Echo and the Bunnymen? I'm drawing a blank here.

Fall Out Boy

One of my top three favorite bands of the last dozen years.

Green Day

Also receiving votes: Garbage

Jimi Hendrix

I haven't listened to Hendrix in years, but H is not a strong letter for me.

I Don't Know How But They Found Me

I saw them open for Silversun Pickups in 2019. They're good enough to knock Incubus off the list.

Joy Division

The cover art for Unknown Pleasures might be even more popular than the band itself.


They're a Swedish band and one of my all time favorites, even though about 80% of their recordings were in Swedish. The Killers are another fave, and I listened to a ton of Keane in college.

Linkin Park

I actually don't have any of their CDs. I've been planning to get at least one, likely a Greatest Hits compilation.


My wife's favorite band, and one of my top five. If you haven't heard them yet, hear them live first. While I'm on 'M' bands, I should mention that the restoration company I work for did an inspection at the home of My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero. I was very excited about this. Naturally I was the only one in the office who'd heard of him.

New Order

I mentioned them on The 1993. Obligatory Nirvana mention here, as they're the reason I got into alternative music.

Oasis/The Offspring

Call it a tie between two '90s acts I liked a fair amount. Nowadays I listen to a little more Oasis.


When I first heard "Fire" it reminded me of another female-fronted band, Paramore. I love Riot more than any single Pvris album, but Hayley Williams & co. lost me a couple albums ago. Use Me isn't my cup of tea in general but Lynn Gunn hasn't lost me yet. (Also, their cover of "Chandelier" lays waste to the original.)


I challenge you to find a better artist for the letter 'Q'. Really feeling this track lately.


I mentioned them on The 1993 as well.


Smashing Pumpkins are my all-time favorite band. Silversun Pickups are my current favorite band. I listen to a lot of Silversun and very little Pumpkins these days. Love 'em both though.

Thirty Seconds To Mars

Number bands are left out of this exercise (sorry, 311) but since Jared Leto & co. spell out the word Thirty I'll tuck them in to 'T'. [bands that start with the word The obviously do not count here.]


See Queen. I was just remarking to the Mrs. that I haven't listened to enough U2 lately. I'll fix that.

Van Halen

I wasn't the biggest Van Halen fan in the world but I do like their hits (and Balance brings back junior high memories) Here's a question for those of you who are fans: David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar?

The White Stripes/Weezer

Another tie between two different but equally good alternative bands. I like more Weezer songs but I like White Stripes songs more, if that makes sense. Also I should mention that I'm kinda digging The Weeknd lately.


Ah, the dreaded X. I know XTC is a band that exists but I can't name any of their songs. And I can't count Lil' Nas X.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Another tough letter. This is really the only YYY song I like though I haven't dug too deep into their catalog. Yet.


ZZ Top would be the obvious choice, or Frank Zappa. But I can't say I like them. Rob Zombie? His band had a song or two I liked okay, but those are listed under White Zombie. Rather than trying to come up with a 'Z' artist I like enough, how about Zooey Deschanel singing the national anthem at the 2012 World Series.

That's my list. What's yours? 

Thanks for reading & listening!


Friday, April 16, 2021

Cheap Set Fillers

This has been a strange year for me. I've been doing a lot of re-evaluating, in my life and in my card collection. I'm continuing to sell higher-value cards on eBay while chipping away at lower-end set builds.

This Rhys Hoskins Players Weekend Variation cost $1.86 on eBay. It's about twice as much as I'd hoped to pay, but none of the online retailers I frequent had this card and I gave up on trying to trade for it. ~$2 is a small price to pay to complete the master set of 2018 Topps Big League (except for the ten "error" SSPs.)

Sirius Sportscards has some very nice vintage singles at affordable prices. These two NM singles complete the Dodgers and Padres All-Time Teams, respectively. With free shipping the total was just $6 + tax, or roughly the amount of eBay bucks I earned in the 1st quarter of 2021.

I picked up a half dozen football set fillers on Sportlots, using direct shipping. This lot cost just $2.93 after applying my store credit and a tiny amount of loot.

In total these nine cards cost just over $5 out of pocket - or just over $11 total. Some other purchases have arrived, and more are on the way. I'm not sure if I'll discuss them all. I've been in a wistful mood lately and the hobby hasn't inspired me to write nearly as much as it used to. My mind is ..somewhere else. 

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

1st Sportlots order/500th Post

It's finally here! My first Sportlots order - and my 500th post!

I'm glad I have something special to show off for the occasion.

Sportlots was the 'final frontier' of online card sites for my collection. I'd ordered from COMC, Cardbarrel, the Beckett marketplace, and of course multiple times. I was determined to make progress on my All-Time Teams project and after exhausting all other options (including TCDB trades) I decided to give Sportlots a try.

This was my first time using the site and I did carefully check to see which sellers offered free (or nearly free) shipping to the "box" and which ones were cheap enough to request shipping directly to me. As a result I got three cards within a week of placing my order. Here are two of them; the third one - along with 18 other cards from this order - will be featured on The 1993.

This 1971 Topps Danny Murtaugh card was listed as EX and cost $2 shipped. I'm quite pleased with it; there aren't any creases, the centering is fine, and the light border wear doesn't bother me considering the set. John Clarkson is a short print from 2013 Goodwin Champions, and considering how few modern cards he has I'm happy to add him to my All-Time Teams binder for $1.28 shipped.

After these two and my 1993 card arrived it was a long wait for the rest of the haul - and an unexpected expense. I didn't realize I'd have to pay for shipping from the sellers to the box and pay again for Sportlots to ship the box to me. It makes sense I suppose, but next time I'm just going to find sellers with decent prices for direct shipping.

At any rate, more than a dozen little packages were included in this box. It was fun to tear into each one - except one seller went overboard on taping their cardboard, which made opening the envelope more trouble than it was worth. He(she?) may have even wrecked the card inside, or caused me to wreck it. We'll get to that one.

These were all 18 cents each plus shipping, which equals... hell, I don't know. The Shaq Lawson Donruss was part of a second order that I placed because three cards I initially ordered were out of stock. Lawson and the three "replacement" cards cost about 47 cents out of pocket after the store credit.

I missed out on this Arky Vaughan playing card along with two 1993 inserts and instead I acquired..

..some Fleer basketball singles. Ellis, Woodson, and Wilkins were shipped with Shaq (Chuck Person was part of a separate order.) I have a trade incoming for the 1989-90 Fleer Magic Johnson and if it's clean I'll be two John Williams cards away from completing the set.

Ain't it funny how late-1980s Fleer baseball cards are considered "junk wax" and late-1980s Fleer basketball cards are considered rare jewels by comparison. These two were the cheapest 1987-88 Fleer singles of above-average players I could find on the site. I'm not collecting this set but I like picking up '80s cards I haven't seen a hundred times, especially basketball (and O-Pee-Chee hockey of course.)

That reminds me I should show off the hockey singles I bought on Sportlots, which were my most expensive purchases:

I've probably got about two dozen variations of this 2000-01 Be A Player Peter Worrell card. These three are all new to my collection; the Chicago Sun Times parallel cost $2.50 (before shipping) while the other two ($3 each) are prototypes and not listed on Trading Card Database. That figures :/

It's always fun to find new Worrell cards - even if they look the same as old ones. The stamped parallel is my 152nd different Worrell and 300th total, according to TCDB. That's 72.4% of all Peter Worrell cards ever made though obviously not all of his cards have been counted on TCDB.

Here's a batch of set fillers including the 2003 Finest base cards I mentioned in an earlier post. I'm still chipping away at 2017 Topps Heritage insert sets, and the recent release of 2021 Topps Heritage brought back memories of my 5-box break - one of the most fun days I've ever had ripping open packs. Nachos Grande just had a box break of '21 Heritage and I laughed out loud at the "hit" he pulled. Wish I could have been in the chat as it was live.

Btw, I update my set building wantlist every time I add new cards, and I will continue to do so even if I take a break from writing proper posts. My All-Time Teams wantlist is frequently updated as well.

I thought that this Sportlots order would get me to within ten cards of completing the project. However, I'm not as close as I thought I'd be, for two reasons. When I started building the 2013 and 2014 Topps baseball sets I had to take some cards out of the All-Time Teams binder and put them in the set build. As a result, I now need a(nother) card of Glen Perkins, Jhoulys Chacin, and Jeurys Familia. I think I need another Tyler Clippard, too.

That said, I'm thrilled with the selection of singles I found at Sportlots for my All-Time Teams collection. It's always a gamble to buy vintage singles sight unseen (even with condition notes) but I didn't want to wait six months for a COMC order so I grabbed these:

They're not without their flaws: the centering on Stu Miller is poor (and worse on the back), Reggie Smith isn't much better - but it's a Red Sox card and a high number. McBean is diamond cut, and McDaniel's bottom right corner is fuzzy. All but Miller were listed as EX; the seller listed Stu as NM. None of them cost more than $1.50 before shipping.

The 1960s singles are actually in better shape the the pair of Larry Dierker cards I purchased. These were the two singles that were wedged into a Card Saver, sandwiched in cardboard and taped to death. The '75 Dierker is kind of a mess but I was happy with the '70 - until I noticed the thumbnail crease on the right side. Did I do that? Guess I'll have to add Dierker to the 'needs upgrade' list.

Here's another pair of cards, in much better condition. I'm having trouble deciding which Willie Keeler to choose for the Barnstormers binder page: this TCMA single or the Cooperstown Crystal parallel:

Crystal is pretty but how about this Greatest Hitters card? "Wee Willie" is pictured with a Toronto team, long before the Blue Jays existed. I consulted baseball-reference and learned that Keeler played the last pro season of his Hall of Fame career with the International League's Toronto Maple Leafs in 1911. Go Leafs Go! The Panini parallel was the last card that made it to the box, delaying my order for a couple of days.

Staying in the deadball era, I picked up a Roger Bresnahan Turkey Red reprint for my frankenset and decided to add Larry Doyle and Jake Stahl, too. Stahl isn't an all-time Red Sox but he is a Red Sox, and I'll never be able to afford an original. I might try to build this Galasso set one day.

The highlight of this order for me were the two tobacco cards - reprints of course. I thought it would take years to track down a Jimmy Ryan card, and Sam Leever is another tough one. You're next, Noodles.

Here's a closer look at these. If it weren't for the text at the bottom of the photo you'd have no idea that "James" Ryan played baseball. The card backs are very different as well.

There wasn't much effort made to replicate the Ryan. But beggars can't be choosers. He's in the binder!

Here's the rest of my order, including a Bryce Harper that was selected for my 2018 Topps Chrome set build, not necessarily the All-Time teams collection. Overall, I was pleased with my Sportlots experience. The selection is fantastic. Prices were fair, though direct shipping may be the way to go in the future. I waited a while for my cards, but it's still better than COMC.

I'll show off the rest of my Sportlots order in the next day or two.

Thanks for reading my 500th post, and thank you to all of my readers. It's been a fun five years - my first blog entry as The Collector was in August of 2016, and I knew that I'd be talking to myself for a while. Before long I found a few other bloggers who share a love of collecting and writing, and it fueled me to keep this blog going whenever I ran out of ideas or thought about leaving the blog behind.

Special shout-outs to Matt (my first follower), Greg, Dennis, Fuji, Night Owl, Bo, Billy, Matt K., Shane, Jon, and many many more who supported this blog throughout the years. I was considering an Easter Egg hunt as a giveaway but I think I'll just send "surprise" PWEs instead. They will be 500-themed ;-)



Thursday, April 1, 2021

Is this a Joke?

Last night I was browsing eBay for a gift for my mom when I decided to search for old Starting Lineup figures.

I browse a lot more than I buy since I don't really have the space for more Starting Lineups, but I stumbled on one auction that I couldn't pass up -- this 1988-89 Starting Lineup Football Lot of 4:

The listing is not technically correct; the Joe Montana figure is from the 1990 set. Still, this is a great value at about $9 a piece after tax. I could potentially flip the Elway figure and pay for the whole lot. 

There's just one problem - I can't pay for the lot. Oh, I have the money to pay for it. But I'm not able to pay for it. This is what happens when I try to check out:

Would you like to add a protection plan?
3-year protection plan from SquareTrade - $3.99
  • Coverage for product breakdowns and malfunctions
  • 100% Parts and labor, no deductibles
  • 24/7 customer support
  • 5-day service guarantee
  • Cancel or transfer anytime (full refund in first 30 days)

Protection plan? What the hell is this? No. Go to checkout.

One or more sellers can't accept payments right now. Contact the sellers for help.

You can also:
  • Go to My eBay

What the hell? Have any of you seen this before? eBay is really starting to annoy me.

The auction ends this evening and there are 48 watchers. I'm guessing at least one other user has tried to purchase this lot only to be blocked by this weird warning. 

Anyway... Happy Opening Day! :)

The Red Sox are rained out :(

Thanks for reading!