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.
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.
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 ;-)