Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Special Delivery: a Trade Post from the Delivery Room

Labor can be a long and drawn-out process - at least that's what it is today. So I'm taking advantage, pragmatist that I am, of all this spare time to bang out a trade post.

But first, check out this expensive-looking piece of equipment:

Anyhoo, let's look at some sweet hits I received from Kevin, the Card Papoy

Kevin's trade packages are always rooted in quality over quantity; and as much as international shipping costs these days, who can blame him? Still, even knowing this, I was bowled over by this awesome dual relic of my second-favorite catcher Javy Lopez. I wasn't following the game so much when he was in Baltimore, but I love that bright orange swatch.

Here's another one of my favorite 90's Braves, Marquis Grissom, who's had a ton of autograph issues in the past couple of years. I suppose he's a good mid-level auto hit for brands to throw into the mix. They can't all be Ripkens and Griffeys. Lucky for this particular card, it found its way to a big Grissom fan.

Kevin remains my #1 source for my hit-only King Felix PC. Plus the swatch is green, instantly making this card one of my favorite relics of his.

Excellent trio of cards, Kev! It was worth the two tries it took to get this envelope to me!

The famously generous Wes, aka Jaybarkerfan, aka President of the #Supertraders, breaks all kinds of product across just about every sport; so I literally never know what he's going to send. For example, here are a bunch of cool new Saints cards.

Not to mention a brand new T.J. for the T.J. collection, and in the form of a jersey relic, no less. Check out the colors on this one.

If I was going to have a football PC, Drew Brees would probably be my first choice. Here's a cool, logo-bearing modern Donruss card from Panini.

I've also been thinking about starting a PC from Mr. Griffey here. I'm only kidding of course. In reality I have a serious problem the depth of which I hide from my friends and loved ones. And look: oddballs!

Not one, but TWO Javy relics from early-2000's Upper Deck. I am loving this outer space design.

Finally, Mr. Holt is a rookie currently with the Reds. He's a power hitter with a solid average in the minors. I would research a little more but a machine just started beeping here in the delivery room. Better see what's up. Next time you hear from me, it will likely be between feedings. Thanks for the awesome card stack, Wes!  Hope you like your imminent #Supertrader package!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Fifty-one Zip Codes and a New Post Office Record

I’m going to become a Dad this week, so I figured I'd better get some trade packages sent before I'm elbow-deep in poop. So this past Saturday I sent packages of cards to ALL 26 other #Supertraders as well as 25 other bloggers/readers.

To be honest, when I swooped in at the last minute and took the unclaimed Mariners, I wasn't sure I'd be able to keep up with you guys on the #Supertraders front. With putting together the nursery, going to a bunch of new parent classes, helping out at the baby shower(s), and weekly OBGYN appointments, I wasn’t so sure I’d have the time to make that happen.

But I did!

Behold the trade box, my newest sorting tool. When used in concert with the Tradelist and a few plastic dividers, I’ve been able to keep everything I’ve been setting aside over the past year in a reasonable order. What you see here took a solid three nights of work and another two to get everything packaged.

I’ve also added dividers for my non-Supertrader pals and anyone else I owe cards to. You will not be forgotten, other bloggers - everybody gets some.

As for what I’ve sent out to my Supertrader buddies, it is anything and everything I have no intention of keeping but which I deem desireable. That trade box is loaded with autos, relics, parallels both common and rare, and a ton of inserts from the 90’s going all the way up to 2016 Topps. There’s even a bonafide 1/1. Really, I keep next to nothing of what I get from boxes, packs, blasters, and LCS mystery boxes. 

I’m contemplating busting a few 90’s boxes, too, specifically for the Supertraders, but I will be exercising right of first refusal on set needs and PC guys. For example, if I pull a Will Clark that I don’t already have, I’m keeping that sucker. But otherwise I’m sending out pretty much anything I pull.

Also, I’m coining a new cardsphere term right now: “burst trader.” That’s me - I trade in bursts, sending out upwards of fifty packages at one time as opposed to a handful each month. I did it last year, and this year was no different.

Leaving for the P.O.

I sent out one massive volley of trade packages on Saturday. In addition to the Supertraders, pretty much everyone I owe cards to should expect something: a PWE, a yellow bubble mailer, or possibly a big ol’ box. Without further ado, here are the fifty zip codes who should expect a lil’ Junkielove this coming week:


If you feel like I forgot you, shoot me an e-mail and I’ll make up for it (I’ll be on two weeks paternity leave and my wife and I have planned built-in breaks for each of us, so I will have time, um, I think).

Now for the record part - last year's burst trade P.O. trip gave us a receipt 86.5" in length and a grand total of $179.14. This year's receipt came in a little shorter at 66":

This year vs. last year

Part of the reason is that the layout is different on each receipt with the longer one taking up more space for each package:

This year is just a little more compact.

In addition to that, prices have gone up a noticeable amount, so the grand total was over $25 higher. It's that pesky international shipping that does it. And why is Canada is more costly to ship to than France? WHY? There's an ocean between us for goodness sake! Anyway, here's the total:

You guys are worth it...<3<3<3

As for everything else going forward, it’ll be hit or miss. Features like the Great Griffey Frankenset and Design Timelines will also continue, but I cannot guarantee any regularity. I already have the Frankenset figured out to 360 cards deep and growing, but the time it takes to put the pages together and do the pricing will be at a premium. I will try. Oh, and I'm still behind on trade posts, but that's kind of always the case.

I may actually end up reading and commenting more on other blogs as I’m up at all hours doing feedings and trying to get the little bugger to sleep. This remains to be seen.

And as for the procurement of new Griffeys, it has been slowing over the past few weeks and will probably only get slower. College is but 18 short years and tens of thousands of dollars away. My boy needs his learnin’.

So that’s it for now. Look out for those packages, and I’ll try and keep things as normal as possible around here. 

Oh, and any tips you Dads have on how to juggle a baby boy and the hobby would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading, and I hope everyone like their cards!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Saints From The Stack: a Trade Post

Corey Stackhouse is arguably the most famous of all card bloggers, and for good reason. His Tim Wallach collection is stupid phat, and it's gotten him mentions on every kind of media from television to newspapers, magazines, websites, um, radio probably, Spanish soap operas, fishing shows, and those little TV screens that play commercials at gas pumps. The guy is everywhere.

I send Corey a few Wallach cards about twice a year (I've got some coming your way soon, actually), and he always reciprocates. Here's the latest from Corey:

Lowell "Shades" Palmer was baseball's first legally-blind pitcher. He holds the record for walks, fielding errors, and players hit by pitches. He's also the first player to have been signed by a Major League team on a drunken dare.

Not really, but those sunglasses. Geez.

Ah, Saints cards. I must admit that looking through Saints cards from the past few years is bittersweet. Football is not a game where players hang around on the same team for very long. There are exceptions, but there's no denying there's a lot of (far too much, even) moving around.

Sharper was a hero here in NOLA until he got in trouble for that thing he did. I honestly can't tell whether I like this card or not. The Drew Brees cards, on the other hand, I love, especially that one with the recently-released Marques Colston who will be sorely missed. And Ingram is still going strong.

Here are two of my favorite Saints WR's of all time. Devery was an LSU Tiger and caught a pass known as "The Bluegrass Miracle" as well as many other clutch passes in the pros. And Lance Moore was always a personal favorite of mine beginning way back in his first pre-season game. You could tell right away the guy was going to be something special. It was hard to watch him leave.

Expect some Wallachs comin' at you soon, Corey, including one that is crazy rare (though I'm fairly certain you already own it). Thanks again!

Monday, March 7, 2016

2015 Stadium Club: Picture Perfect

Making a post about the Griffeys of 2015 Stadium Club is kind of like writing a book about the British rock invasion and limiting your subject matter to The Hollies. There is a LOT going on in this set that doesn’t involve Griffey cards: inserts new and old like Triumvirate and True Colors as well as a decent autograph checklist and some interesting Co-signer pairings. In fact, the only non-base card or parallel thereof Junior got in this set is a #/5 autographed buyback.

The stars of the show, though, are the base cards. Topps has kept true to Stadium Club’s original theme of stellar photography which has remained unchanged since 1991. As time has passed they have also included more and more retired players in the checklist which has given us a look as some rarely-seen photos of inactive players going back decades.

It’s been a while since I showed a bunch of non-Griffey base cards, hasn’t it? These are just that good.

The cards themselves are thick, glossy, and very sensitive to damage. Topps made the nameplate a little more legible by washing out the color slightly at the bottom of each card much like 1995 Upper Deck shaded card bottoms for the same reason. The nameplate itself has a minimalist, high-end look that keeps with this brand’s tradition of non-interference with the photography. It’s funny how excited collectors get to see new card designs every year while with Stadium Club I get excited to see how they facilitated subtle non-design. In 2015, they nailed it.

2015 Stadium Club #260

As for the Griffey, this is simply one of his greatest base cards ever, and it is no less a Junior card than a Senior one. That photo is priceless. More does not need to be said.

The back, also keeping with the Stadium Club design tradition, uses a baseball field as the dominant theme. The nameplate design carries over nicely with a superimposed portrait, blurb, and career stat line. You can’t ask for much more from a card back.

2015 Stadium Club #260 Gold

This is the only parallel of the Griffey I own: the Gold Foil version. I want this thing in every color, but so does everyone else. Prices on parallels remain pretty high, particularly for the orange and first day issue versions, the latter of which I’ve never even seen an example.

Here are the Griffeys I still need from 2015 Stadium Club:

#260 Black Foil /201
#260 Foilboard #/25
#260 Orange Foil /17
#260 Members Only /7
1992 Stadium Club Autographed Buyback #/5

I could come to terms with not getting one of those buybacks, but I would love to have a binder page full of parallels for that base card. It’s an instant classic.

Also I am building the complete 300-card set, and at the time of this post I need only sixteen cards to finish it off. Here they are:

15, 53, 69, 77, 115, 141, 148, 162, 175, 184, 190, 212, 233, 243, 265, 278

If you want to help but it’s been a while since this post went up, go ahead and check my current set-building wantists here for an updated version of this list.

I eagerly await 2016 Stadium Club. If the last two years have been any indication, it should be quite a doozy.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Night of the Squirrel: a Wallet Card Post

We found a baby squirrel on the back patio today.

My wife had found his brother the night before dead in the driveway, so we assumed this was the other's brother and their parents were no longer around. The little guy was squeaking his lungs out from under a patio chair. 

We couldn't just leave him there, so I picked him up and carefully placed in him the garden at the base of the only tree close enough to our house that might have squirrels in it. 

A few hours later he was back, squeaking just as loudly as before. I went outside to find him attempting to climb up inside a gutter drain, a feat at which he failed and slid right back down again. And again, I went and placed him at the base of the suspected squirrel family tree.

A little while later, I found him on my neighbor's windowsill. It was getting chilly and windy, and he was clearly getting desperate, so I went ahead and brought him inside. 

We ended up hanging out for a few hours. He mostly sat curled up in my hands sleeping. At some point I got onto Facebook and started pleading for help, hoping somebody would take him in. I named him Fuzzynuts.

I wore gloves most of the time because he had sharp little claws, but he was gentle enough that I didn't need them the whole time.

I did, however, eventually have to put him down so I could concentrate on finding him a home. I found a wool cap and set him inside and put that into a girl scout cookie box. He went right to sleep. Within a few minutes a buddy of mine got his friend to agree to come and get him.

So long, Fuzzynuts!

#Supertraders Trade Post: Brian of HSCA

I've been getting a lot of #Supertraders packages over the past few weeks, each loaded with an array of Mariners from every decade. I've been loving all the new Randy Johnsons, Edgars, Tinos, Buhners, Dan Wilsons, A-Rods, etc., but I must admit, that the ones with Griffeys in them get me the most excited. Cue this package from Brian of Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary:

This is not just any Griffey, but one I didn't have. And in above-average condition, no less. Most of these cards were cut/torn out by tiny, awkward child hands, but somehow this one was removed from its page with zero damage and four sharp corners. This kid must have had a touch of the OCD to get it so perfect. Thanks, little guy!

A buddy of mine used to ride around with his girlfriend and spray shaving cream all over any Hummers they happened to come across back when they were still socially acceptable. Looks like Big, Bad Buhner would have gotten the Barbasol treatment. I forgive him, though. That A-Rod is one of those Berger's Best cards from 2016 Topps, an insert I was on the fence about trying to build. I settled on the First Pitch and Perspectives inserts instead, but I still really like the reprints of Berger's Best and end up keeping a lot of them.

Lots more Griffeys, including a cameo and a sweet Ripken from '95 Stadium Club, one of my favorite iterations of one of the best brands out there. And you can't really tell from the scan, but that Nelly Cruz is one of those foil parallels. They catch a lot of flack, but I like 'em alright. Fingers crossed for pulling the Aaron Nola version someday.

Thank, Brian, for the great cards! I have some lovely Twins coming at you real soon.