Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Red Hot Hockey

It's been a rough year for my favorite NFL team. The Green Bay Packers keep pushing out the rotting corpse of Throw Rogan, aka Aaron Rodgers, instead of giving Jordan Love a chance to show what he can do. I'm pretty sure the Pack could go 4-8 with Love, practice squad sensation Kurt Benkert, or the recently retired Ryan Fitzpatrick behind center - but I'm no NFL GM. 

The only three Packer cards I brought home this Black Friday

Lucky for me, the '22-23 NHL season is overflowing with hot streaks and milestones, with more on the way.

The Seattle Kraken are in second place, just four points behind the league's second-newest team in Vegas. Seattle is riding a franchise-high six-game winning streak. Mark Giordano was traded to Toronto last year, but Jordan Eberle is still here and scoring at a point-a-game pace. I'm always on the lookout for Kraken cards, like these two cheapies from my recent COMC order. Ron Francis + nautical theme + blue-green color scheme = my favorite western squad. They're basically the Whalers, right?

You know that annoying thing some football people do, where they refer to the Giants and Jets by their proper home of New Jersey - but only when they suck. And now that both teams are in playoff position those same football talkers claim they've earned the "New York" name? Yeah, it's bull crap. If the team plays in New York, they're New York. If the team plays in New Jersey, they're New Jersey.

And right now, the NHL's best team is the New Jersey Devils. Try taking credit for this, NYC (No You Can't) The Devils have the same amount of points and wins as the Boston Bruins (ooh, I bet NY is just seething)  but the Bruins have one less loss, so technically they're on top. Both teams have had incredible winning streaks this season, and neither squad shows any signs of slowing down.

 I picked up a few Devils cards recently:


These were COMC purchases. I grabbed the clear-cut single in the center for $2.25, sold it for $5.70, and then bought it again for $4.00. So technically I paid 55 cents for it?

I paid slightly more for this bad boy:

Most of my Young Guns rookies were sold to fund the 1956 Topps set build, but I had to have a high-grade RC of Jack Hughes, the Devils' top scorer and franchise player. This was one of three high-end cards I picked up after selling a chunk of my Brett Favre collection. Perhaps I'll detail that eBay 'trade' in my next post.

Some more hockey pickups here, including a quartet of Alex Ovechkin cards. The Great Eight just broke Wayne Gretzky's career goals record... well, one of them, anyway.

This Tim Horton's single just arrived in a trade with TCDB user Galtview. I got a bunch of Blue Jays and Whalers in the trade, too although one card was missing.

Back to the COMC box. I had to jump on this Exquisite Ovechkin card celebrating his 700th career goal...

...which he tallied against the Devils, way back when they were lousy.

Here's a few more hockey cards I ordered on COMC over the past few weeks:

I've got more of these incoming. I'm halfway done with the Uncommon Rookies portion of the 2003-04 Pristine set.

Pretty Prizm Parallels are pretty much the only way I'll purposely purchase Rangers and Jets cards.

Cheap ePack Whalers.

Not-so cheap Whaler (this one was $2.25)

Cheap ePack tallboys for my 6-pocket pages.


And finally, 6 more Paiges 😍😊

Thanks for reading!


Friday, November 25, 2022

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

I've been sick all week, stayed home alone for Thanksgiving, I can't go to the mall or have a Christmas-scented candle in my home, but I've still got some holiday cheer because ... the gift box is here.

Here's a sneak peek at what's inside:



You'll see more from this year's Black Friday haul in the next couple weeks. Some of you might even see a card or two in your mailbox 😉



Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!


Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Timing is Everything

It's been a frustrating week for me, hobby-wise. After 530 successfully completed transactions on TCDB I encountered my first loss as a Canadian user appears to have ghosted several trade partners, myself included. It wasn't a particularly valuable trade; I sent 19 common-ish hockey cards out and was set to receive 19 cards back. 15 of those were Whalers cards, including two Ron Francis singles. The one non-hockey card would have completed my 1990-91 Skybox basketball set. So that's a bummer.

I had some auctions up on eBay that ended last night. This was designed to fund my Black Friday shopping on COMC, which I had to severely limit when my biggest item (a box of 22 McFarlane hockey figures) didn't get one single bid. Not only was I looking forward to the cash, I was also eager to clear some closet space. Strike two.

As a result, my COMC watch list currently has about $100 worth of cards waiting for me. I do have a shipment on the way (because there are Xmas gifts that need to be sent out somewhat urgently) but it is tough to wait and hope that the items I've been eyeing for a month or more are still there next week. One such card costs 74 cents more than I have, and so I picked up my phone on a random point during the work day and scrolled through the 'recently added' items to see if I could catch something flippable. 

All I need is 74 cents. This shouldn't be hard.

And then I saw it. One of the top cards newly added was this Leon Draisaitl autograph:

The seller was asking $5.25, which would have left me with $10 to spend. I couldn't click 'add to cart' fast enough.

No, seriously. I couldn't. Because this was what I saw when I clicked:

Aaahhhhh f**k f**k f**k!!!

Leon, for those of you who are not hockey fans, is arguably one of the top three (definitely top five) players in the NHL. His autographs should not be selling for $5 and change. Right now, the cheapest auto of Draisiatl available on COMC is on sale for $67.72. All I wanted was 74 cents and I could have made close to 74 dollars flipping that card -- if only I were five seconds faster. Strike three.

Needless to say, I was annoyed. But! When I got home from work a box was waiting for me. A box from Billy. Not long ago, Billy celebrated his 10-year anniversary on TCDB with a contest. I was at work when I saw the post, but I decided to comment quickly for two reasons. The contest included trivia, and if I had waited until after my work day to comment I probably could have had a few more correct answers by perusing his blog. However a dozen other users could have come up with those answers in the mean time. An 'open book' test is one thing; copying off another kid's paper is quite another.

I wanted to answer as quickly as possible to show Billy that I've actually been paying attention to his blog. That... didn't go well. My attention was diverted with work crap and I only got two correct answers. Luckily for me, only one other person took a real shot at it. They won first prize.

I came in second, and was very happy to do so. For the second prize, Billy let me choose 15 cards from his TCDB tradelist. I had to be a jerk and pick some oversized singles to fill my 2- and 6- pocket pages:

This Thrashers franchise card from 2004-05 In The Game pairs nicely with my Hartford Whalers box topper.

Another half-page of oversized singles including two thirds of "Run TMC" and a Jazzy Donyell Marshall High Topps card. Fellow UConn alums Scott Burrell and Ray Allen join him here, with Kerry Kittles in the middle.

More basketball, including a couple set fillers and some of my all-time favorite players in Olajuwon, Miller, and Lillard. Before the season started I read that LeBron James had invited Dame to his mansion, ostensibly to recruit him to play for the Lakers. The pitch was along the lines of "Do you want to stay in Portland, or do you want to win a championship?"

Uh... Bron? Have you seen the standings? Maybe Dame should be recruiting you to play for the Blazers! Do you want to stay in L.A., or do you want to win? 🤣

A couple of Canadian-based hockey stars rounded out my 15 selections. But wait, you say. I count 17 cards here. As if asking for oversized singles that would require more postage and a Connor McDavid insert wasn't enough... Billy tossed in the two Devils singles as a nice little surprise.

Receiving this box of goodies was a much needed pick-me-up after some tough hobby luck. And if I hadn't scrolled through TCDB during office hours I might have missed the contest entirely, as several users had lamented missing the contest. The post got more comments after Billy announced the winners!


Billy, thank you very much for the contest and these great cards. I'm adding you to my Christmas card list and I hope to send a return package your way in early December :)

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, November 13, 2022

The LCS Diaries - First Trip

A popular card shop, Attack of the Baseball Cards, recently relocated to my town/neighborhood/block. The "soft open" was Friday, 11/11. I get out of work at 4:30 p.m. on Fridays - which is when the shop closed. Couldn't make it yesterday, as I had to go to a birthday party. Today was my first visit.

It had been more than a decade since I'd shopped in a baseball card store. The closest one to me moved a half hour farther away, in a smaller store, and closed shortly after. 

I was very excited and anxious about when this shop would open, when I would be able to get there, and how I would adhere to a reasonable budget after so much time away. Would I feel like the proverbial kid in a candy store? Well... kinda.

As I approached the shop, a car pulled up and parked in front. A mom and her young son entered in front of me. Two or three other customers were already inside. I turned and noticed the kid walked right past everyone and tossed his coat behind the counter. Apparently he works there.

The store is smaller than it looks in pictures. I was following the move on social media and didn't realize how much of the empty space would be swallowed up by showcases and shelves. 

Lots of great singles were displayed in the three showcases. Mostly higher-end vintage in the first two. The third had current baseball singles and relics, with a heavy emphasis on Yankees and Mets. One customer inquired about the 1993 SP Derek Jeter RC. Steve the shop owner asked for $600. I have no idea if that's a fair price or not, I haven't looked in a Beckett for years and my BGS 9 copy of the DJ RC cost me just over $500.  

The rows of white boxes you see behind the glass are full of vintage baseball and football singles, from the late 1950s to early 1980s. I would love to spend an afternoon sorting through all of them but I'm not working on any vintage sets at the moment (except 1956 Topps of course). The Giants game had just kicked off and the store was crowded. Now that I know what's there I'll bring a wantlist on my next trip - hopefully on a quiet weekday.

If you're working on any vintage sets, let me know and I'll try to find a few singles for you in the future.

I was hoping to see more supplies, but there wasn't much room. I will need 9-pocket pages soon, but now I can ask my wife to get them for Christmas :) maybe some small storage boxes, too. 

A pile of 2022-23 Upper Deck hockey hobby boxes rested on the counter by the cash register. I wasn't even aware it was released; all my card buying nowadays is done on Sportlots and COMC. 

Btw, does anyone know what's up with COMC's Black Friday sale this year? I haven't seen an announcement and it's less than two weeks out.

This maiden voyage was sort of a scout mission, to see what the shop had in stock and plan accordingly. I was disappointed in the lack of a dollar box. Sifting through random hits would be a great way to find gifts for my team collector friends who aren't Yankees or Giants fans. This means I have to hope that COMC can ship my Xmas 'cards' in time to forward them before 12/24.

I didn't buy any singles this time, but I grabbed a few packs staying under budget to save for Black Friday:

Hobby packs! It's been sooo long since I've bought these. From about 2008 to 2016 I had every Upper Deck hockey set, complete with all the Young Guns. It got too hard to keep up with them. I don't even know which rookies are in '22-23 series 1 - aside from Seattle Kraken star Matty Beniers.

I also asked for two packs of 2022 Topps baseball series 2. This will likely be the last Topps set I put together since 2023 doesn't interest me, and who knows what Fanatics is going to come up with after that. Series 1 is complete, and I've got about 1/3 of series two. The shopkeep grabbed Update initially, which I'm sure he's selling a lot more of lately. But I'm not messing with Update.. yet.

These five packs totaled just over $32 after tax. I also got a free gift with purchase:

Oooh two top loaders! I've been needing some clean cases. And the cards are cool too, I guess. Anyone need a Joey Gallo RC?

All right let's rip open these hobby packs, shall we?

Pack 1 highlights:

Pack 2:

Yeah, that wasn't the best way to spend $10-12. Ugh. At least I got ...12 needs for the set build. 😒

Perhaps I'll have some puck luck, eh?

Pack 1:

These are sharp, one of the best UD flagship designs in a while. Makar is a stud and the Gibson is a nice card, but ePack has devalued Canvas commons to about 28 cents each.

Pack 2:

A Devil and a former Devil (Johnsson was waived/demoted before the season; Vanecek is NJ's current starter in net.) Defense Mechanism inserts are new, I think. Kylington is pronounced Shil-ling-ton, which will never make sense to me. 

One pack to go. Come on Young Guns....

Whammy. 😡

I am not going to miss this when I finally retire from the hobby. Here's what I could have purchased with that $32 and change:

Welp, I'm never going there again. 


(That's a lie, of course I am. I'm just going to avoid packs next time.)

Someone wake up COMC HQ so I don't spend another dime before their Black Friday sales. 

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Retro Pack Break

I had some extra 6-pocket pages that needed filling so I perused the interweb for some cheap singles. Sets like GameDay, ExtraBases, and PowerPlay would fit the oversized pockets, and I could probably waste an hour or so selecting 12 singles at 20-50 cents + shipping. Or I could just buy a sealed pack:

An eBay seller had packs of 1994-95 Jam Session basketball for $2, along with some other packs from the '80s and '90s. I chose a pack of 1987 Donruss baseball (for $4) and a pack of 1994 Topps football ($2) to accompany the tall cards of tall men.

Let's see if these three packs were worth the $10:

Solid first half here. Two Hall of Famers, a Muresan, and a New Jersey Net.

The second half wasn't as interesting, though an LJ and a Thunder Dan insert aren't too bad.


I nearly picked a pack of 1994 Leaf baseball instead of the football cards. At the last minute I passed on those, in the event that I decide to eventually buy a box of 1994 Leaf (or two, since the set comes in two series)

 In hindsight, I should have stuck with the Leaf pack:

Yikes. Too many defensive players and Rams, not enough star power. Heck, no major names here at all! That's not to say there weren't any stars in the pack...

There's a bunch of 'em on this Willie McGinest RC 🙄

Finally I decided to splurge on a pack of 1987 Donruss baseball, which I don't think I opened as a kid. If I did it wouldn't have been more than a pack or two; I only remember collecting Topps that year.

The above cards worked out to 6 for $1. These 35 year-old singles equaled a quarter a piece. 

If there's a Maddux, Bonds, or Bo rookie card in here I'd consider that a win. Fingers crossed.


First half...

Boom! Right in the middle of the pack! Might as well show off the second half.

Back-to-back Cubs and then another Hall of Fame pitcher. Not much else here, but the Maddux makes up for it.

My LCS is set to open its doors on Friday. Hopefully if I have another pack break here it will be something more current :)

Thanks for reading!


Monday, November 7, 2022

The Missing Link

Which year is missing from my baseball card collection? Here are your guesses:

1951, 1953, 1953, 1953, 1957, 1958, 1958, 1963, 1965, 1965, 1966, 1966, 1968, 1983, 1994, 2002

One of those is the correct answer..i had a video reveal but it refused to upload straight so I scrapped it.

Congrats to Nachos Grande and Brett Alan! Please let me know if you would prefer a sport other than baseball. Your card will arrive in the mail by the end of November (unless I have to pick one out from COMC.)

Thank you all for reading and participating!