Saturday, November 30, 2013

Still Hungover from Turkey

Relax, I'm alive. Despite a serious turkey hangover that still hasn't subsided, I'm still kickin'. For once I didn't let Black Friday sucker me in with outstanding deals on crap I don't need and nobody I know would want for Christmas, so I spent the day recuperating and chopping prices on my COMC inventory. I managed by far my biggest sales day yet with COMC yesterday thanks to the Black Friday special they're running. Not only have I undercut everybody, I'm running it at 40% because I'm tired at looking at most of the stuff in my inventory. I was hoping other sellers would feel the same way, but the majority are selling at like 10% off.

Check out my deals!

I've tried hard to avoid buying, but some deals have been too good to be true. Here are the steals I nabbed yesterday.
I'm not a Cardinals fan, but I grew up hearing stories of the great Cardinal teams of the '60s. 
The SP that has eluded me all season.
Despite his reputation, I've always liked Jason Giambi. I couldn't pass up his autograph for $4.
I wish these gold parallels had a different color swatch, but since Gordo is on it I had to grab it.
As sad as it is, you can get an autograph of the most accomplished Royal of the last 20 years for just a dollar.
I don't want to like Big Game James. If he didn't exist, I'd still have Wil Myers to fill my dreams. Nonetheless, he's to likable not to like. 
I've got a few hundred cards set to be added to COMC by the end of the day, so check again later for some new stuff at stupid low prices. I apologize for the longish absence, but with the season winding down and the holidays approaching I let myself slip a bit. If you've sent me a package recently and haven't heard back, then yes, I have received it and I sure as hell have enjoyed it. Look for a post or two recapping a few great trade hauls from the last couple weeks soon.

I'm still taking entries for the Typhoon Haiyan Charity Break! Again, it's a matter of when, not if, this break will happen. I've had just a few hard signups, but there are a good amount of you who have said you may want in but cash is tight. Believe me, I understand. Unfortunately the cleanup and recovery in the Philippines won't happen overnight, so when we're able to make it happen, our donation will still do a world of good. Steel City Collectibles has already said they'll throw in a few goodies for door prizes.

My goal is to make sure no one leaves without a "prize" of some sort, whether it be a hit from the break, a door prize or something from my own collection. If the break doesn't fill completely then I'll just auction off the cards from the unsold teams with the proceeds going directly to Childfund International. If you're holding out to see if I lower prices, then you might be disappointed. If this break was just for my enjoyment then I'd wheel and deal all day, but I think the price set right now is more than fair. Of course I'm willing to work with anyone who wants to grab their team but can't pay right away. There's a strong chance I'll add a box or two to the current list when I come across a good deal. As of now, I am hoping this break takes place around New Year's, but sooner if it fills up. Hopefully by then we'll be jonesing for some box breaks and have the extra finances to buy in!

Friday, November 15, 2013

2013 Heritage Minors & Breakin' for a Cause

Admit it. You're only reading this because of the hip lingo I used in the title, right? "Breakin' for a Cause"...

A few weeks back I bought a box of 2013 Topps Heritage Minors from Steel City Collectibles for under $40, a deal I couldn't pass up. For whatever reason Heritage Minors doesn't seem to get the love of Pro Debut or any of the Bowman sets, but it certainly impressed me. Here's the highlights.

My first pack wielded the second plate I've ever pulled, featuring Jimmy Nelson, a prospect who is expected to start next season in the Brewer's rotation after some solid starts this season.

Brentz is a 24 year old fringe prospect for the Red Sox. Heritage Minors isn't necessarily just about elite prospects, which adds a cool quirkiness.

These cute little minis are designed after the Bazooka cards from long before my time.

Unfortunately the Venezuelan backs are much less rare in HM than in Heritage

Black borders #'d to 96

This black auto is #'d to 50. My first thought was "Please don't tell me he's Sean O'Sullivan's brother". Yup, according to the back he is. S.O.S. was a disaster in his brief time with the Royals, hopefully his brother fares better.
I about crapped myself when I pulled this. After all the luck I'd already had, I pulled a dual auto #'d to 15! Salazar broke into the Indians rotation this season and has a good upside. So does Dillon Howard. The problem is that Howard enjoys him some banned substances that got him banned for 50 games this season. Hopefully he can bounce back next year and earn his big-time prospect status.

If you missed it yesterday, check out the upcoming charity break I'm hosting for the relief efforts in the Philippines. It's a 10 box mixer for just $38 per slot. The break WILL happen (despite the slow signup) so register now while your team is still available! Even if your team is one of the few gone, grab a random team for just $35. The break will be packed with door prizes, and I can all but guarantee that no one will go home without something special. 

It's so important that we fill this fast! The victims in the Philippines need our help NOW. The quicker this fills, the quicker the break can happen and the faster we can provide relief. Did I mention that if this break fills up, we'll raise nearly $500? How is that for a good deed during the holiday season? Please grab your team now! Even if you aren't able to sign up, please please please share it with as many collectors as you can via your own blog, message boards, Twitter and word of mouth. We can do something special and have a great time, so why not?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan Charity Group Break - ENTER NOW!

If you're like me, you've spent a good amount of time with a heavy heart this past week thinking about the millions of people affected by Typhoon Haiyan. We want to help, but what good can our individual donations do? Well, not that much. But I got to thinking, what if the card collecting community teamed up? I bet we could do a lot of good together! So I reached out to the fine folks at Steel City Collectibles and they were just as excited. Together, we're hosting the Typhoon Haiyan Relief SUPER-MIXER Baseball Group Break!

Here's how it works. For $38, you can pick any of the available teams here to claim for the break. If you don't see a team you want or just can't decide, you can purchase a random team for just $35! The teams will be randomized on the day of the break.

We'll be breaking TEN boxes of baseball products from 2009 to today. Check out the list below!

2013 Topps Series 1 Hobby - 1 Hit
2013 Topps Series 2 Hobby - 1 Hit
2013 Topps Archives - 2 Hits
2013 Topps Mini - 1 Hit
2013 Panini Triple Play
2011 Panini Contenders - 6 Hits
2011 Topps Lineage - 3 Hits
2010 Topps National Chicle - 3 Hits
2010 Topps T-206 - 2 Hits
2009 Upper Deck X - 1 Hit

That's a total of at least TWENTY (20) hits! Not to mention inserts, parallels, etc.. 

So now you're wondering how buying into this awesome break will help with the relief effort? It's simple. Steel City Collectibles has put together such a great deal, that with your help filling up the entire break, we'll raise nearly $500 for children in the Philippines through ChildFund International. How incredible is that? ChildFund International has been on the ground in the Philippines helping children received basic necessities, but they're in critical mode right now and don't have everything they need to ensure the safety of all of the children who have no home or family to return to after this devastating storm. 

By raising this money we will be responsible for clothing and feeding dozens of children, effectively saving their lives. When was the last time you could take responsibility for that? Talk about some good karma... 

All you have to do to sign up is click the button below and select either the "Pick A Team" or "Random Team" option in the drop-down menu prior to checkout. If you select the "Pick A Team" option, make sure to include a note saying which team or teams you're claiming. Please also include your name and address if you aren't prompted to do so already. 

The kicker is that we have GOT to fill this bad boy up and fast. I'm aiming to do the break on Thanksgiving weekend. It will be live on a video streaming site TBD. That means we have two weeks to spread the word and make this happen! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE share this post on your own blog or with others you know who might be interested. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and I'll get back to you ASAP. Thank you everyone!

Select One

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Trip Through the Archives with Sammy Esposito

The 1950's were a simpler time. Gas was cheap, work was abundant and the babies were boomin'. During this time a popular little candy company named Topps started putting picture cards of baseball players in with their stale slabs of gum. Of course they couldn't just put any old player on their cards, they had to compensate them. But how so? A trip into Topps Ebay store tells us.

Over the last few years Topps has begun to sell their well curated history off for pennies on the dollar via Ebay. Among my favorite items are the file cards used to track each individual player's card for the season and the compensation they received. Often the players weren't paid with cash, but with simple gifts that any young man in the day would need. It was a pretty fair trade. Joe Baseball would get himself a shiny new toaster for the misses and to top it off he'd have his picture on a bubblegum card. 

I recently acquired the file card held by Topps for Sammy Esposito, a utility player and war hero from the Chicago White Sox. The card documents Esposito's card and compensation for each season. 

Samuel Esposito 1957 Topps RC #301

Created in exchange for a Longines Mens Wrist Watch
See if the boys in the clubhouse respect me now!

Sam Esposito 1958 Topps #425 and 1959 Topps #438 was created in exchange for...

Westinghouse Air Conditioner (not necessarily this one)
Sorry I made you sweat it out all year honey, but that sure was some wrist watch!

Sammy Esposito 1960 Topps #31 was created in exchange for...

Webcor Tape Recorder
Now look sweetheart, I can't play ball forever. I just know the execs in Nashville will be begging to sign me up if they can only hear my demo!

Sammy Esposito 1961 Topps #323 was created in exchange for...

19" RCA Portable Television
Okay sweetie, I know you really wanted that oven... but look at it this way, now I won't have to lug around that mammoth console TV set on the road with me anymore!

Sammy finally got it right in 1962 and 1963 when Topps created these in exchange for...

Two and a half of these.
Fine doll, buy yourself something nice. I'm gonna sit by the phone and wait for Nashville to call.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Early Offseason Acquisitions

Now that the season is over, the ridiculous amount of releases has died down and my wallet is dry, it's become a lot easier to avoid my pack ripping addiction. My desire to handle cards has only grown though. Here are a few of my most recent pickups, the vast majority coming from COMC. I spend way too much time looking at the recent additions listed on COMC but it leads me to finding some great deals now and then from sellers looking to move cards fast. My rule of thumb is never to pay more than 1/3rd of BV (unless I really need the card) and I often pay far less than that. I justify it because if I were to cash out with COMC, they'd rob me of 20% of my sales anyways. Enough of that, here's some cards.

This beaut was pulled by me earlier this week out of a rack pack of 2007 Fleer Ultra. It's the gold parallel #'d to 999. Thing is, these packs all have clear cello backs and where the gold parallels can be seen. How in the hell did no one grab this pack in 2007? The card would have paid multiple times what the pack itself cost. Their loss, my win.

This beast is one Dontari Poe, the anchor of the top-ranked Chiefs defense. A lot of folks questioned him being picked so high in the 2012 draft, but those folks aren't questioning anymore. Remember the name. The Turkey Red card here is #'d to 169 and I paid less than $2 for it.

Purple parallel #'d to 199. Jumped on it because the price was stupid low.

Likely the #4 or #5 starter next season for the Royals. I'm excited to see him get a full season in.

Pedro Martinez = Amazing pitcher and awful analyst

This is one card I overpaid for and regretted, but scouts say he's the next big thing. #'d to 99.

Already my 4th autograph of Ventura. For some reason I love his signature. He should be in the Royals rotation next season, and he's sure to make headlines with his 102-103 MPH fastball.

After a Twitter exchange with Royals legend Willie Wilson, I realized I didn't have his autograph. I picked one up immediately.

A few of the '91 Topps Desert Storm Royals cards popped up for about $.50 a piece, so I guess I'm chasing that now.

This instantly became my favorite relic card. The jersey piece matches the uni that Saberhagen is wearing, which is a must for a good relic card. On top of that, the tiny square is floating in between two acetate "walls" on the card so you can see it on the front and back. Very cool idea that I'd love to see more often.

A super cheap autograph of a decent young Royals prospect.

Any time you can get an autograph of a hall of famer for less than $10, you'd be an idiot not to. I admire Sutton as a person, so this was a no-brainer.

This is a 2012 TTT card. Topps sure got lazy with their 2013 TTT design.

This is my first 1952 Bowman card and I couldn't resist it when it popped up. I love the extreme detail in the painting of Cass Michaels, but even more the stadium in the background with a couple lone fans. Michaels was an All-Star in '49 and '50, but had his career ended far too early. In 1954 while playing for the White Sox, he was hit in the head by a pitch from Marion Fricano of the Philadelphia A's. Cass was in critical condition and given his last rites in the hospital, but somehow managed to survive. His vision was impaired and it ended his career.

This last card came to me from Cardboard Habit as part of a trade that I need to complete. I plan to send out quite a few PWE's this week, so keep your eyes open!

Friday, November 1, 2013