Sunday, November 19, 2023

Updates (not 2023 Topps)

Before I take my older daughter to see The Hunger Games prequel, I thought I'd update everyone on some collecting and personal news heading into Black Friday (and Thanksgiving I guess... meh)

It's a busy time here at Collector HQ. I've signed up for the Secret Santa exchange on TCDB - where I've already got five trades and a purchase en route - plus a purchase from Sportlots, a couple sales on eBay, and I bought three slots in Nachos Grande's 2023 Topps Archives box break. (Of course I did - did you see what's in this year's set?)

Notice I didn't say COMC there. I was not planning to partake in their Black Friday sale at all this year. However they're offering a discount on PSA grading so I will have to consider it. Depends on how those eBay sales go, I suppose.

It should be noted that a significant portion of the purchases I've already made are with fellow collectors in mind. 'Tis the season, you know. Once I've rounded up the whole haul I'll be sending out holiday cards - with cards.

I seem to have hit a wall at TCDB. With ten stamps burning a hole in my pocket I thought I'd send out a few offers and wrap up trading for 2023. It appears that everyone is already on holiday as I haven't heard back from any of them. I might just send all my traders to Dennis. Got to give him something for the big box of cards he sent me recently.

Which leads me to... my current collecting focus. I've made a lot of progress with completing sets this year and so I've added a few more projects. But this will be the last of my set building because, as you can see, my card shelf is at max capacity.

I've updated my set building wantlist tab, which you can view here and at the top of my blog. There's still a good amount of room in those team binders and I've made loads of room in my closet for team PC 'hits' (inserts/ parallels/relics/autos) as well as player collections. I'll be focusing on those in the new year as well.

My updated player PC list is here and also at the top of my blog. 

I might have to add Craig Breslow to that list. The New Haven native and former Red Sox reliever is now the General Manager of the Sawx. I'm excited to see what my neighbor can do with this mediocre roster (bring Ohtani to Bah-stin!!!) but I gotta admit, I would have preferred Kim Ng.

If you haven't voted in Nachos Grande's End of the Year awards I urge you to do so. We all know who's going to win Blog of the Year but it will be interesting to see who gets the other awards. I was tempted to make my case early this year, but then I changed jobs and got distracted by fiction writing.

Lately I've been playing lots of Stardew Valley with my younger daughter and, as a nod to that, my 2023 blogging Grange Display would consist of the 100 Greatest Non-Hall of Famers, All-Time Teams 2.0 (which reminds me - I need to update that blog tab) Sarah's Surf Shop, the 1956 Topps scan dump (tab coming soon) and The Franchise. My Young Guns hockey series is ineligible; it was posted in 2022.

On a personal note, her soccer team was in the Union County recreational league championship game yesterday. Last weekend they had a 6:30 p.m. playoff game in freezing cold weather and our girls won on penalties. The weather was much better yesterday - sunny and warmer (with a chilly wind) for an 11 a.m. start. The game was at Union Catholic's high school field - where world champion track star Sydney McLauglin trained.

My daughter played the entire first half at her usual back line spot on defense and made some good plays, clearing the ball out of danger and connecting on a couple passes to the midfielder. Unfortunately this team (particularly its very loud coach) cracked the code of our entire offensive strategy. You see, all of our team's goals are scored by the striker, #3. She's a mile ahead of every other player on the team.

But this opponent played tough team defense. #3 was a bit sluggish, possibly frustrated by the Jacques Lemaire-like tactics smothering her time and space. She didn't get going until late in the second half,  when she finally had a flurry rush at the goal and it was stopped.. then the goalie bobbled it and reached back for it just before it crossed the goal line. No goal.

Then the referee blew the whistle. Game over.

Good thing our girls goal five minutes before that :)


I didn't see who scored the only goal, it might have been #3. But it was a total team effort (for once). You can see the girls holding the trophy in the direction of the bleachers, where all the parents stayed. Except for my rebellious family. My wife got some pictures of the team and our daughter trackside. I took this faraway photo so that you can see the team and the trophy without any privacy issues. (though I'm sure there are dozens of parents' pics on Facebook.)

Shortly after each player got to pose for individual pics with the trophy some douche ordered me and the Mrs. to vacate the playing surface and go back to the bleachers. Dude, the game is over, I'm picking up my kid and.. wait... is it because Syndey ran here? You don't want us pleebs to touch the hallowed ground on which the great McLaughlin once ran? Catholic schools are so strict. I should know.

So... that's why I've been up to lately. I might post some quick trade recaps or something as new cards come in, and if I do they will be shorter posts. Chris Kringle has a list to check 😉

Do you have any sports card-related purchases planned - for yourself or others - this holiday season?

Thanks for reading!



  1. Nice update. No purchase plans for me, I already bought some Update and that was quite enough as it is. I do have some model kits coming in the mail, looking forward to that.

  2. Congrats on your daughter's win!

    I find on TCDB that if I send someone a message before sending an offer (to avoid the work of pulling a lot of cards if they are not interested), it is almost always ignored. I haven't had offers ignored though. Seems people respond to offers but not messages.

  3. I'm in Nachos' Santa exchange, that's plenty for me, I'm freaking out already about getting things sent in time. Also, no taking on any more 2023 set projects, Heritage was all I could handle.

    My daughter showed zero interest in sports play during her younger days, which eliminated the possible conflict of her playing and my usual sportswriter practice of rooting for all the local teams to lose in the postseason so we're not buried in work.

  4. Congratulations to your daughter and her teammates for winning the soccer championship! I've never played Stardew Valley... but a few of my friends at work do. They'll talk about it at lunch every now and then. By the way, your card shelf looks awesome. I like how the binders fit perfectly into those cubes and the set boxes are all uniform (the OCD in me appreciates things like that).

    As for your question... I'd love to find a complete 2023 Archives set on eBay and a Masanori Murakami autograph from the Fan Favorites set. I went to a card show on Saturday and was hoping to find a dealer with one of those Archives lunch boxes, but nobody had any.

  5. Thanks to some recent sales, I've been buying quite a bit lately (probably too much). And even though I was a bit annoyed by the lack of free shipping this year, I've still been taking advantage of some of the sales on COMC; mostly just low hanging fruit for a few of the sets that I'm working on.

  6. Great organization and drive. I hope to get there someday. No purchases here. With the holidays I'll probably pick up some cards from retail but that is about it.

  7. Your card shelf look way too organized! Someday I'll have my collection looking like that. And congrats to your daughter. Mine played soccer for years, but we're past that now. As much as I liked watching her play the time and travel commitment did wear on me.

  8. Nice looking shelf, but I'd personally would get annoyed with having to flip binders around for space. Congrats on your kid's championship!