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 Baseballcardstore.ca 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 ;-)




  1. Congrats on 500! You're definitely one of the blogs I pay the most attention to. Nice Sportlots haul, too. I should be getting the rest of my order today and I hope I have as much fun as you did here!

  2. Happy milestone (I have a minor milestone coming up on my blog later today)!

    I enjoy Sportslots a lot. I'm not as hung up on shipping costs as a lot of people, but there are some times when the box option makes a lot of sense and other times not.

  3. I join Big Papi in congratulating you on hitting the 500 threshold! I've been a fan ever since I was assigned to be your "Secret Santa" in 2017!

  4. Congrats Chris on #500. Looking forward to the next 500.

  5. 500 is a nice number, congratulations on being able to get to it! I've been looking more and more to Sportlots in recent months. In my opinion it's currently the best place to buy cards. I haven't tried the box option yet, as I've been fortunate enough (I guess) to only be buying from people who offer good shipping rates.

  6. Congratulations on post #500, and thanks for posting the cool cards.

  7. Congrats on the BIG 500! Mastering SportLots is a breeze.

  8. The Toronto Maple Leafs were a baseball team? Wow!

    Sorry, temporarily stunned by that little factoid. In more important news, congratulations on post number 500! That works out to an average of more than 100 per year, which is impressive. Here's to another 500.

  9. Congrats on 500!

    I've ordered off Sportlots a couple times, which has worked out fine, but I always feel a little nervous at so many cards not having pictures.

  10. Congrats on 500! Nice pickups...I especially like the fleer basketball!

  11. Congrats on making it to the 500 club!

    Can you update Worrell's entry in TCDB with your new cards?

  12. Congratulations on #500! Keep up the great blog. As for the SL shipment:

    A. I've never tried out their "box" option, but seeing that box filled with mini packages was kind of cool. I usually save packages for the weekend, because I enjoy opening up multiple packages in one sitting.

    B. Love 80's Fleer basketball sets... especially the 1987-88 design.

    C. Two dozen variations of 2000-01 Be A Player? Now that's a crazy rainbow. I'm guessing a few of them were card show variations. That seemed to be the craze back in the day.

    D. Owning 72.4% of any athlete's cards is pretty impressive. Congratulations on that too.

  13. Cool bunch of cards! I realized just in time before my first sportlots order, that there was an extra charge for shipping the box, so I did direct shipping. Congrats on #500!!

  14. There are enough sellers that offer up a big enough discount for Box shipping on SL that if you use them to ship to the box, the difference in shipping is more than made up with the box option.

    I'm working on my 4th "box" now

  15. Congrats on 500 posts, my friend! I've placed a bunch of Sportlots orders over the past few months - the box option is okay but I've been content to order from individual sellers. I can usually find at least a few with reasonable shipping costs, and it's fun to dig through each individual seller's inventory for a while.

  16. Congratulations on a big milestone!

  17. Congrats on the 500! Sportlots is great, I've had nothing but good experiences with all my orders there.