Sunday, December 2, 2012

Beyond belief...

I know, I know.  I need to start posting again.

In the meantime, check out this auction...

Beyond belief # 1


Monday, September 24, 2012

This is insane

If you've checked out my want lists, you now that in addtion to the sets, Yankee team sets, and subsets that I collect, I also have player collections.  I'm working on a Guidry, Nettles, O'Neill, and Tino Martinez player collection.

Like most collectors, I have searches on Ebay that send me alerts every day. (Which sucks when I'm at work for 38 hours straight, nothing like coming home to 300+ e-mails).  Well this listing came up a while ago, I didn't bid on it, but I added it to my watch list to see where it would end.

1975 Topps Mini Graig Nettles

Is that insane or what?  I can't decide if this is a collector who is putting together a PSA 10 mini set, or a Nettles Super Collector.  I mean, it's a nice card but $610, crazy.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

What Topps has made me do! Part 1

I think many of us have been lamenting Topps monopoly of the licensed trading card industry.  So I pose a question, how has it affected your collecting?

It's affected mine, by having me go backwards.  I know a fair amount of collectors love vintage.  For me, I like it, reason being, I'm too picky on condition.  So as much as I like vintage, I don't go out of my way to collect much of it.  I'm still working on several Yankee team sets in the 60's and now I've decided to go after these.

Yes, the (apparently) highly sought after Topps Rookie Cup cards.  I plan on going all the way back to the initial issue in 1960.  The cards look at little different in that first year.

As you see, as large portion of the card is devoted to the trophy and other information.  One thing I noticed when I started to checklist this set, is that for as many players that became stars, there are at least two others who were total busts. BTW, this McCovey card has a day to go on ebay and is priced at $132.50, yikes.

Here is another one that will set me back a few cents.

$61.00, with just under 4 hours to go, and lastly

 This one is going to be brutal.  We all know how chippy the 71's can be, and I need two, one for the cup set and one for my Yankee set.

I don't know why I never collected these as they were released.  Probably because I also put together the League Leader, Highlight, All-Star and Post Season subsets, and decided one more set was too much.

In  a future post, I'll discuss this subset a little more.  In the meantime, check my want lists from 1990 to 2012.  I still need a bunch of these.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Garden State Plaza Transformation

On of my previous posts mentioned the shopping malls in Paramus NJ.

CaptKirk42 mentioned that there is a mall near him that was once and open air mall and is now enclosed.

The Garden State Plaza was like that as well.  When my parents first moved to NJ in 1974, The Plaza, as it is affectionately known looked like this.

I'm not sure if it was this section, but there was a baseball card store that had space in this mall.  They originally started out in another mall (Bergen Mall) but out grew their space and relocated here.  I remember standing in line at this mall to get an autograph from Roy White.  That store still exists, it is now known as Buddy's Sport's Corner. It has moved several times and is now located in his 3rd Paramus Mall, Paramus Park.

Here's another exterior shot

You can tell these are pretty old, Bambergers changed their name to Macy's in 1986.  The company was actually owned by Macy's.  My impression is that Bambergers was a more suburban store.  Macy's was a  little more upscale and urbancentric.

Even to this day I remember this,

When Santa went up, you knew Christmas was close by.

Here is what the mall looks like now.

All enclosed and very upscale.

Now the interesting thing is that I hardly ever go to this mall.  It is now probably double or triple the size of the original open air mall.  For me, that's too big.  I can hardly remember where anything is and the parking is  a nightmare.  I stick to Paramus Park, it's smaller and has a more welcoming feel to it.

So, if you're ever in Bergen County, stop in one of these malls and look around.  If you let me know ahead of time, I might meet you there.

Who doesn't love Nachos Grande?

And by Nachos Grande, I mean both the delicious appetizer/meal, and Nachos Grande the blogger.

I just completed another trade with Chris and here is my take.

Now this is something you don't see everyday.  A bumper sticker, and a quite nice one at that.  Unfortunately, it will not fit on my motorcycle.  But I will try and find a place for it.

You see the url for Nacho's blog.  I don't know why, but I always think it says "fan of freds". Who exactly is this Fred guy and why is Nacho a fan of his?  Fred Flintstone, Fred Willard, that dorky kid Fred

from those lame Youtube videos?  I hope its not the last guy, I'd lose all respect for Chris.

In addition to the bumper sticker there were cards, a nice bunch of them.  Here are the highlights.

The blue CC is from 2011 Topps Wal-Mart hanger packs.  The red Teixeira is from the Target version, I really like both of them and I'm trying to obtain the rest of the Yankees.  The O'Neill is the shiny version to add to my O'Neill collection. The Diamond Duos is the last I need for that particular insert set.

Thanks Chris. If you haven't checked out his site, go take a look.  It will be worth your while.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Something I picked up at Sports Authority

Sports Authority sent me an e-mail with a 25% off coupon download for my birthday. Mighty nice of them.

So I went to one of the two stores that are close by.  If you don't know Paramus NJ, it has some of the bigger malls in NJ. The Garden State Plaza (I refuse to use the "Westfield" prefix), Paramus Park, Bergen Town Center, and The Fascist Center.  Whoops, meant The Fashion Center.

The other thing Paramus has is duplicate stores.  Just like you might have 2 Derek Jeter cards laying around.  Paramus has duplicate stores, two Modell's, two Sports Authority, two Toys r Us, two Best Buys, two Old Navy.  I'm sure  there are others, just can't think of any at the moment.  One of the reasons for this is that there are two major highways that intersect in Paramus.  Route 17 runs North/South, and Route 4 runs East/West.  The thinking behind the two stores, (all the ones I list have both a Route 17 and Route 4 store), is that most people travel only one of these two roads through Paramus.  If you don't have a "presence" on each road, you are most likely missing out on sales.  This doesn't hold true for me.  I live in the adjacent town and I can travel either road, depends on what store is closer to  home.

I used my 25% off to buy a blaster of 2012 Topps series 2.  I have only purchased blasters and a few looseys for this series, no hobby at all.  As I am only putting together one set, I'm trying to not buy so much.

But, something else caught my eye.  Just like it did at Toys r Us earlier this year.  Have a look

Once again, the bright yellow starburst in the upper left hand corner caught my eye.  Being the inquisitive type, I had to try a pack.  It didn't hurt that the cashier also took 25% off this pack.  The coupon was only supposed to be good for one purchase and I used it on the blaster first.

So lets see what these Yankee Legends look like...

What the?  A 1998 Jeter and a 1999 Posada.  Posada isn't exactly a legend, and we've seen these card before, or have we?  The cards appear a brighter than their originals. And the backs

Ahh Bach, I mean the backs.  My guess is, that there is one card for each of the 27 World Series Championships.  The 99 Posada is numbered YC25.  So 2000 is 26 and 2009 would be 27.
Fronts are glossy, backs are matte.  Another impossible subset to complete.  I'll keep my eyes out for this
on the bay, etc.  But I won't get my hopes up.  Oh, btw, the copyright on the back is 2010.  Anyone have any info on that, or is it another Topps screw up.

Lastly, look at the packs.

The packs are taped together, the Jeter and Posada were in between the packs.  Never seen that before.

Well, that's all I have for now.

Wow, two posts within a week.  I better go lay down.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me and other thoughts

Look at this, another post in less than a week.  Stop the presses or the keystrokes or whatever.  Turned 48 today, I think that puts me in the "older" demographic when it comes to collecting.  Like my wife said this morning, it's only a number.  Yea, but a pretty big honkin number.  Anyway for my birthday, I got to help her mulch the flower beds. Whoopie!

I apologize in advance if this becomes stream of consciousness writing, I'm just having some difficulty putting some thoughts together.

I've been kind of indifferent lately when it comes to collecting.  For me, there is nothing current out there to collect right now.  I purchased as much series 1 and series 2 2012 Topps flagship as I intend to purchase.  Nothing else is peaking my interest.  Some of it is just out of my league price wise, and some of it has freakin short prints in it.  It's bad enough the flagship has sp's, I don't need or want to try to put together any more sets that have short prints.

So while I was being indifferent, I realized that I really like the way the new Topps Rookie Cup looks on the more recent issues.  In the past I had considered putting this subset together, but there were always several other sets to work on and this kind of fell by the wayside.  It should be noted that I have been putting together other subsets, League Leaders, World Series, Highlights, since I started collecting. (Shame on Topps, this year's Highlight cards just have a sentence on the front of the card stating what the Highlight was, and a checklist on the back.  I want a full write up, like years past).

I needed a checklist to start this project, but couldn't find one.  I'm sure there is one out there, if there isn't, I will post one ASAP.  I started my quest on the Wikipedia page, it needs some work, but I didn't realize that Topps had omitted the cups from 1979-1986.  There are also problems with the Roster list, some of the players listed, don't have the cup on their card, even though they should. Additionally, the list doesn't provide the card number, I hope to help with that.

The interesting thing about this set is looking back at previous winners.  I had to scratch my head at some of these players, I'd never even heard of a few of them.  Which is good because they won't cost more than a common.  The problem is with the NAME players. At least these cards aren't rookie cards, but some second year cards are pretty steep in price.   The 1971 Thurman Munson card books at $120, finding one in NrMt shape will probably be next to impossible, as well as expensive.  There are also second year cards of Willie McCovey, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and I think Tom Seaver.

I actually had a good time looking for these while I was at the ECN.  I'm planning on expanding my searches to shows slightly out of my immediate area.  I keep seeing the same people with the same cards.  Need to expand the search radius.

If you have any of these, please check my wantlists, I've got plenty of stuff to trade.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My most recent haul


Haven't been keeping up with this as much as I would like.  Hope to change that, starting now.

So, like everyone else, I've been busy with vacation, work, kids, and cards/card projects.  But, I did manage to attend the East Coast National on August 19.  That was the last day of the show, and traditionally the day that I attend.  We left for vacation the next day (Wildwood Crest, NJ), and had great weather and a great time.

About the show:

1) Several dealers who I normally see there were AWOL.  Notably, Teddy from TNTcards, and 707 Collectibles.  Maybe due to the fact that "The National" was just a few weeks prior and a few hours down the road in Baltimore.

2) There was a dearth of recent unopened product.  I couldn't find one dealer selling 2011 Topps update boxes in any way shape or form.  This was one product I really need to get my hands on.  I haven't really started this set yet and I would like to.

3) Vintage galore.  There was a ton of vintage present.  Several dealers with binders of 1956 to about 1973 cards in various states of condition.  Also the requisite number of slabbed vintage.

4) Attendance.  Seemed about the same amount of people as I've seen in the past.  But I don't know how many were kicking tires or actually buying.

5) An occurrence.  Only one dealer was selling the 2012 Topps Mini boxes.  I went up to him, asked the price, knowing full well what the on-line price is.  His quote, $65.  Then the big sales pitch.  Darvish,  Strasburg, limited edition, graded, e-bay, money, money, money.  I said, I'd think about it and walked on.  About 2 hours later I was back at that table.  A dad and his sons were contemplating what boxes they should buy.  He asked about the 2012 Topps Minis.  Big sales pitch first, then the price $70 a box. WTF?  I started to quietly talk to the dad and gave him the 411 on the product.  He thanked me, rounded up his kids and off they went, no purchase.  I did buy a couple of packs from him as I felt a little guilty costing him a sale.  I did buy a pack of the 2012 Mini, just to see what they look like in person. Meh.  All those cards are on Listia at the moment.

Now some scans of what I purchased.

Do you see a pattern here?
and these

Mini madness, I think Night Owl would approve.

and these

Absolutely love the Guidry

and lastly

I'll have a follow up post for each of these lots.
Please come back and check them out.  Meanwhile, I'd be curious to hear every one's comments in regards to #5 above.  And remember, this is a family blog.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A trade with "Rhubarb-Runner"

Here are some cards I got in a trade with David aka Rhubarb Runner at  "é rayhahn, rayhahn".

A couple of nice additions to my Nettles, Guidry, and Tino collections.

Been really busy at work and on two card related projects and spending time with the kids on their summer vacation. Funny, it never seems to be a vacation for us adults.  Hope to find time to post more in the upcoming weeks.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Generous Blogosphere

One of my previous posts centered on trading and how the process has change over the years.

From creating an ad in SCD to posting your want lists on-line.  Like the cigarette ad said
you've come a long way baby.

Something that I also noticed that's come a long way is collector generosity. Here's an example.  The Daily Dimwit and I were working on a trade of Gypsy Queens that we both needed.  Well, before we could complete the trade, he acquired the cards I was going to send him.  No big deal, it happens, especially if you are working on trades with a bunch of different people.  Trades start, stop, start again.  We all know how it works.

Anyway, Sam was nice enough to send me a card for my troubles.

And what a lovely card it is.  Again thank you Sam.

This is not the first time this has happened to me, but it is the most recent.  I myself am trying to be more generous, after all, they are only pieces of cardboard.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Who says Topps doesn't listen?

I got an e-mail from Topps this morning (as I'm sure many of you did) about this.

2012 Topps Mini Cards.

Holy Guacamole!  I didn't think I would be buying any more Topps this year (with the exception of Update), may have to rethink that strategy.

But upon further inspection, this product will only be available on-line, and at 661 cards, you need to buy 3 boxes (@ $50 + s&h), and get near perfect collation.  This may become a toss up.  Let someone else take the hit on the boxes and just buy the set and singles I need.

Your thoughts?

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Recent Trade

Here are a few pick-ups from a recent trade with Jim over at The Phillies Room.

I wasn't a big fan of the Turkey Red at first, but they have managed to grow on me.  I only need one more Pure Heat insert to complete that set, which completes my 2010 Upper Deck set.  Card 3 Arod.

I've got a 34 hour shift coming up tomorrow. Hope to have a new post next week.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Topps......Phoning it in (again)

Since Topps now has a monopoly on baseball cards, my collecting choices have really diminished.  I no longer have the opportunity to collect sets from Upper Deck, Fleer, and Donruss (listed in reverse order of their demise).

As it was, I was only collecting Topps flagship brand for the past several years.  I had given thought to collecting Heritage when it first came out, but the short prints killed that idea.  The same for Gypsy Queen, although I am putting together Yankee team sets from that and Opening Day (blue numbered version).  So what else could I collect?

I had been shying away from player collections due to the 1/1's etc.  But I started collections for Ron Guidry and Graig Nettles back in the late 70's (yes, I'm that old).  I kind of let them fall by the wayside, as my other collecting interests were keeping me busy.  But now that I'm down to one set a year, I've decided to re-ignite the player collections and add two additional players, Paul O'Neill and Tino Martinez.  Which leads me to the title of this post.

I've been buying some recent Paul O'Neill game used and autos.  I have an ebay search for his cards.  The other day I noticed something interesting.  Look,

2011 Tier one, now look

2011 Lineage 1975 mini, and once more

2011 Lineage regular issue.

While looking at my search results, I just happened to notice the similarities in these cards.  Upon closer inspection, it is the same picture, cropped differently for each card.  Now, I know some of the older collectors know of Topps chicanery.  But maybe some of the young ones don't.

So for you young'uns, look at this scan

These are the reprints that Topps issued several years ago.  Pretty obvious what's going on here, jumps right out at you. 1965 and 1968, 1966 and 1969.  It's kind of funny, because when I was putting this set together back in 199?, I thought I had 2 sets of the same cards.  Only when I placed the cards in the 9-pocket did I realize what was going on.

Monopoly in the 60's, monopoly now.  Phoning it in, it's easier than being creative.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ebay pick up and a list

Found some time for another post.  Just wanted to show my latest ebay purchase, nothing fancy, but I really like it.

The scan doesn't really do this justice.  The frame is a really nice shade of blue and it also has almost a metallic sparkle to it.  I will try to collect the entire Yankee team set of these.

I only bought one pack of GQ last year. I would have considered putting the set together except for the dreaded SP's.  As soon as I read that the set had SP's, it was out of consideration.  I should really be thanking Topps for saving me so much money over the last several years.

When Heritage was first produced, I considered it, until....  The same with GQ last and this year.  I've also stopped putting sets together for my kids, same reason.

Anyway, I bought a blaster and all the cards listed are for trade, check my lists for wants.  Happy hunting!


MINI: REGULAR - 45  113 231 305 315 346
           GYPSY -  104
            BLACK  - 279
            STRAIGHT CUT - 43 239






REGULAR CARDS - 4  9  19  24  38  46  47  64  81  109
               137 143 172 176 186 187 188 195 197 198
200 206 224 228 229 238 238x2 249 252x2
263x2 265 280x2 286 288(CJ)


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Oh where oh where has my little snob gone...

Oh where, oh where can he be?

I didn't want to start a post with, "I've been a bad blogger."  I've seen too many of them lately.  Even though I have been a bad blogger.  Like most of us, I've been busy.  Mostly reading other people's blogs, but I've also been attending my son's little league games, and working horrendous hours, etc. etc.

Reading other people's blogs often gives me ideas for my own.  Or I will see a post and admonish myself for not writing basically the same post earlier.  This is one of those times.

Dayf over at Cardboard Junkie, recently wrote a post lamenting the fact, well maybe not lamenting, that he finished his 1970 Braves set, twice.  He recently acquired a card that he already had in his collection but didn't realize it.  I'm sure we've all done that from time to time, I know I have done it already, several times.

So, for the past few weeks, I've been updating my want lists.  You never really appreciate your want lists until you have to revise them.  Here is what a typical want list of mine looks like,

This list is for my 2006 Yankee team sets.  It's relatively straight forward.  Brand, card number, name or initials of player.  A black dot in front of the number means I have the card.  A X in front of the card means, even though the checklist stated the card was a Yankee, they are not pictured in a Yankee uniform.  This mostly occurs with game used cards.  One exception is 2006 Upper Deck #295, Miguel Cairo.  He is listed on Upper Deck's checklist as a Yankee, the front of the card says Yankees, but he is pictured in a Mets uniform.

The X in front of a game used card, usually signifies that the swatch on the card does not match the uniform that the player is pictured.  There is a lot of that in 2006 Upper Deck.

I keep these lists in a 3-ring binder for easy reference.  I also have the lists on line here.  Please check them out.  I'd like to complete some of these Yankee sets as well, as my regular set wants.  My regular set wantlists go straight to the website, no paper copies.

I usually compile my checklist information off the web.  Sometimes at the manufacturer's sites other times at
Baseballcardpedia or The Trading Card Database.  Sometimes even Ebay can be a help.  My biggest gripe with checklists from the manufacturer's is that they are often incomplete.  On the bottom, at the middle of the 2006 want list page are several Topps cards, added onto the list after the fact.  These are Wal-mart inserts that I don't think were ever listed on Topps webpage.  This is only one checklist related problem, not listing all the inserts from all the various retail markets.

The other checklist problem is listing what I call phantom cards.  On the 2006 Bazooka list, you will see under the Bazooka Rewind inserts, the name Thompson.  That's Kevin, not Bobby.   From the original checklist, that card of Kevin Thompson was listed.  I have never seen one, and I've had an Ebay daily search for that card for several years.  I don't believe that it exists.  Another 2006 Bazooka collector I spoke with thinks the same.

I know that checklists change or are subject to change.  But if you do change the checklist, up date your website.  No collector wants to see a repeat of the 1933 Goudey Nap Lajoie.  For you younger collectors out there, here is the story.  In 1933, Goudey issued what is considered a landmark set, by today's and probably 1930"s standards.  The 1933 checklist included Lajoie, the problem was that the card was never issued in 1933.  What a great way to get people to buy your product (sarcasm meter at ultra high).  Tell them a particular card will be in the set, then, don't issue it, and don't tell anyone that you didn't issue it.  Here is an article that covers the history of the card and a little about Nap Lajoe, click me.  At least if you mailed Goudey a letter they would send you the card.  I wonder if this could be considered the first redemption card.

Monday, May 7, 2012

What type of collector are you?

This is just a quickie post.  I was updating my bookmarks, and stopped at this page. Sportscardblog. His current post deals with collector personalities.  There is a link to take a personality test. I took the test and the results, although interesting are not surprising.  It is a much better analysis than one of my earlier posts.  I heartily recommend it.  After you've completed it, come back and let me know your personality type.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

All you can eat, anyone?

I've been wanting to do this for the past several years, but I have been unable to convince enough people to join
me.  So I am inviting all my new blogosphere friends to join me.

The Staten Island Yankees have an All you can eat offer.  If you checked the link, you can see this is a sweet deal for $22.  I need nine other people to join me or this won't fly.  I am looking at July 24, 2012 at 7pm.  That's a Tuesday, against the Hudson Valley Renegades.

If you've never been to a minor league game, now is the time.  It's great to watch these young kids play.  Most will never get to "the show", but their attitude and hustle and love of the game is great to watch.

The ballpark is located in Richmond, just two blocks from the Staten Island ferry terminal.

Contact me via e-mail.  I am setting an May 1st deadline to purchase the tickets.  Come on, it will be fun.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

What does your "card space" look like?

Every once in a while, I'll watch a video of a pack break or someone's Happy St. Patrick's Day Video and in the background, you will get to see a little bit of their "card space".  It got me wondering what everyone else's card space looks like and is it as messy as mine.  Although, I'm sure some of you will say it's not that bad.

Here is  an overview of my primary work area, my computer, scanner, etc is here.

It's actually gotten a little worse since I first took this picture.

Here is a closer look.

Those are a 3000 and a 5000 count box.  These have all my inserts, game used, parallels, etc. in them. My hope this year is to get it down to just the 5000 count box.

The area over the computer needs a serious cleaning.  The complete sets need to go to the Rubbermaid storage boxes I keep in the attic.  The stacks of cards need to go with my other cards in the basement.  If a stack is up there, it usually means I'm in the middle of a trade and I am searching that particular set for cards.
It's easier to keep them up here than making treks up and down the stairs to the basement.

This is where I'm sorting cards, at least for the moment.  The computer is now in the white cabinet in the background to give me some more space. The "sorting table" is in the furnace room, nice and warm in there with very little humidity.  I have yet to open those boxes of 2011 Topps Series Two, and Update.

Yikes, what a mess. It's interesting, I know this is a mess, but immortalizing it on the internet makes it seem even messier than I thought.  This is also in the furnace room.  On the right are a host of things.  The vending boxes have 1979-1983ish, Topps, Fleer, and Donruss.  In the boxes on the middle shelf are partial Yankee team sets. Each box is a different brand.  Underneath that shelf are two 5000 counts.  The one on the left has most recent cards from sets that I haven't completed.  The one on the right has mostly starter lots of cards that I need to trade.

The bread and butter.  All those boxes on the top shelf, are sets that I am working on.  I haven't done the math, but I estimate about 30 different sets at this time.  Most are for me, but some are for my two sons.
Beneath the set boxes are 3 5000 counts.  The one on the left has Score (which I don't collect), the middle one has more Score and recent Bazooka.  The one on the right is all Fleer, I believe it starts with 1993 and ends with 2006.  You can't see it in the picture, but there is another shelf below.  That shelf has 6, 5000 count boxes, mixed sets, Upper Deck, Fleer, Topps.

My goal is to get these areas under control and quickly.  As you know from a previous post, I'm a Virgo, and  I can't stand all this clutter.  Besides, it makes it difficult sometimes to find cards that I need for trade and I'm afraid of cards being damaged.

So, what does your card space look like?

I forgot to show this,

This is a better picture of what is the right hand side of the basement card area. Look closely at the top shelf, there is something(s) there you will see in a very near future post. No, it's not the fluorescent light bulbs.

Friday, March 30, 2012

A package from Dayf

Received this nice big envelope

from every one's favorite ponymiester, Dayf.  Now, if you don't know who Dayf is, shame on you.

He is the artistic/creative talent behind Cardboard Junkie, if you are not reading his blog, you should.   I sent him a package, similar in size filled with these,

What do you call these? I call them "blockers" as in they block you from finding a game used.  Dayf uses them for sketching, mostly ponies, but he did sketch a nice Mr. Met for Jacobmrly of Starting Nine.  I have another small stack for him, but I'm waiting for it to grow a little before I ship it out. BTW, it took me 3 tries to get that to scan. I didn't realize that the back cover of the scanner is white. Like looking for a polar bear in a snow storm.

So what was in that package? A boatload of Yankees, which are always appreciated and this masterpiece

and the back

Absolutely awesome, of course that is one of the best scenes in the movie. My personal favorite is where Jake is begging for his life from Carrie Fisher Jake's Excuses.

Thanks again Dayf.  Like I said in my previous post, I love trading.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Trading, past and present

My last post didn't garner very many comments. Zero to be exact, but that's OK. Hopefully, if you read that post, you went back to look at your own site to see if your e-mail address is easy to find.

The reason I made that post is because it effects something near and dear to my heart, trading. I LOVE to trade. In fact, I think it is in my top 3 things I love about this hobby.  I've traded with people all over the country, as well as Great Britain and Hong Kong.

Trading is so easy to do (now). Check some one's web page, check your duplicates, send an e-mail with a proposal and with any luck you'll have a trade in short order.  I've completed some trades in less than 5 minutes.

It wasn't always like this.  One of the reasons I bought my first computer back in 1995 was to contact other collectors and trade my extra cards.  There is a newsgroup "" which I use to peruse looking for people to trade with.  It still exists, but most of the posts are promoting people's ebay auctions.  I didn't see any posts looking to trade.

But other things now take that newsgroups place.  There are several "bulletin board" based trading groups.  I belong to several, and I'm sure some of you also belong to one or more.  If you're not, you are missing out on great trading opportunities.  The first board I joined was Sportscardfun.  I've been a member there since about 2003.  At first, it was a subscription based board, I think it cost $15. for a year's membership.  They have individual forums for all sports and non-sports cards.  They also have a point system where you leave a point for a good trade.  My current point total is 246.  That means I've traded with 246 individual traders.  You can't leave points for second, third, or beyond trades, it's just the way their system works.  In all likelihood, I've probably done 300 trades.  There are several people there that I have traded with numerous times.

Another fine board is The Bench, I've probably been there about 5 or 6 years.  The Bench's forums are broken out more than SCF.  Instead of one forum for baseball, they have 3.  They also have many other forums, definitely worth your time to check them out.  Their point system is more refined than SCF, in that 4 categories are rated on a scale of 1 to 5.

The last trading site I'm active with it Trading Bases.  This is an invitation only group.  You must have someone recommend you for membership.  Now some people might see that as a pain, but it helps keep the

out.  I'm sure most of you know who this is, but if you don't.  It is "Riff Raff", from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Trading Bases is a message board group, the traders there are great, generous people.

My other way of creating a trade is to look at a blogger's want list, if they are posted, and make offers to them. I've traded with several people whose blogs I read, as well as people who read this blog. (Granted, its not that many right now, but it is improving.)

So, that's trading today.  For you young whippersnappers that don't remember the dark days, before the Internet, I will regale you with how trading use to work.  Back in the day, if you wanted to trade, you took our a classified ad.  No, not in your local newspaper, in a hobby publication, no not Beckett.  The publication of choice was Sports Collector's Digest (SCD).  I remember placing ads in the late 70's and early 80"s.  They usually went something like this: "Want to trade for 1982 Topps, Fleer, Donruss, have many extras, please send your want list," then my address.

I would get a letter or two from "Joe Collector" a few days after SCD was published.  He would state that he needed "X" cards.  I would send him a letter back, stating I had some of his cards, and a list of what I needed.  He would send a letter back stating he had "Y" cards for me, but now didn't need some of the cards that I had for him, because he picked them up at a show, or from opening more packs.  At this point, one of two things happened: based on book value I would send my cards for his or the trade would just implode and  disappear.

Now remember, it could take several days for letters to go back and forth across the country.  Trades like this could take up to a month to complete.  Usually, the amount of cards discussed in the original trade slowly diminished due to purchases or other trades with other collectors.  It also cost you a couple of bucks to run the ad and you always took the chance that you would stiffed out of your cards.  I'll take the Internet over a classified ad any day.

So, now you know I love to trade, check out my want and to trade lists and lets trade.  Because right now, I can't afford to buy any cards.

The Snob

Friday, March 16, 2012

A public service announcement


Especially those bloggers who trade or wish to trade.  Please, please, please. Somewhere on your homepage,
have your e-mail address.  It is extremely frustrating to look at someone's page, find a ton of cards for them and me, and then have no way of contacting them.

Yes, I can get in touch with you by replying to a post.  But some pages are only want and trade lists, with no posting ability, and I don't like to post off-topic within a post.

Now, I know some people are concerned with spiders mining their e-mail for nefarious purposes, so trick the spiders. Use "at" instead of @, and "dot" instead  of .

The Snob thanks you

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Why such a Snob?

I've been having difficulties in writing this particular post.  The difficulty is in answering my own question.

I'm not really sure why I am a Snob.  I think part of the reason is because I'm, ahem, frugal, (or insert the synonym of your choice.)  If I'm going to spend my hard earned cash on a baseball card, I want it to be as near to perfect as possible. No scratches, no "soft corners", not off-centered. For game used (this is a huge pet peeve of mine), the carpeting must match the curtains.  This is just one card that annoys me,

Where did that blue swatch come from? There isn't even any blue in the background of Ozzie's picture and the area surrounding the swatch is purple. Seriously Upper Deck, you couldn't find either a picture of Ozzie in a blue uniform, or a red swatch of uniform?  Picture this card with a swatch of red, one word for it, awesome.

Now, this my issue.  For those of you who are not condition sensitive, I tip my cap to you.  But I just can't add a card to my collection that I would not enjoy, and I hate it when I collate a set and find  cards with  dinged corners, that slipped by me.  This condition sensitivity is probably one of the reasons I am having a difficult time completing my 1973 Topps set.  If you know anything about this set, you know that the quality of  the cardboard stock used to produce it, was weak.  This set suffers from a severe case of soft corners, and a moderate case of off-centered printing.  I only need about 10 cards to complete it, and unfortunately, one of those cards is the Schmidt rookie.  Whenever I look for these last 10 cards, it is invariable that I find them with some sort of problem.  The set will be completed someday, I just don't know when.

"Why such a snob?", let's do some research.  My first thought was that as a Snob, I like things neat,orderly and close to perfect.  So I thought, what in my background made me such a neat-nik. Well I was a first born, and I thought that maybe my parents had difficulty with my toilet training, what experience did they have with it, I was their first.  Maybe I'm Anal Retentive?  I did some research, and it appears that the concept of AR is not well respected in the medical community.  Freud's findings on this subject are being questioned and found to be lacking, emphasis is being placed on the lack of plumbing during Freud's time.

Ok then, what about OCD.  There are a few blogs I follow Baseball Obsession-itisMy Sports Obsession that have the word Obsession right in the title.  It must be that.  "An obsession is defined as a thought, impulse, or image that either recurs or persists and causes severe anxiety."  I don't think my snobbery causes anxiety, but there is the recurring theme of avoiding "imperfect" cards, and trying to complete entire sets of cards, shortprints included.  I don't believe that my obsession causes compulsion.  "A compulsion is a ritual/behavior that the individual with OCD engages in repeatedly, either because of their obsessions or according to a rigid set of rules."  The only thing that I think borders on compulsion is my daily ebay searches.

I researched two other items.  One being birth order, what I found doesn't really apply to snobbery, but does in a certain regard to being a collector (future post).  The second, and you may laugh, is astrology.  I was born on September 3 (as was Charlie Sheen, winning!!) making us both Virgo's.  I won't dwell on all the traits I found for Virgo's, but these caught my eye. ... but Virgo's earthy qualities steady this trait and gives an excellent eye for detail. ...can appear to worry unduly about the need to make things as perfect as they can be, ...Virgoan preciseness, refinement, fastidious love of cleanliness, hygiene and good order, conventionality and aristocratic attitude of reserve. They are usually observant, shrewd, critically inclined, judicious, patient...

Well, there you go,  "excellent eye for detail", "make things as perfect as they can be",  "preciseness, and good order".  That's me, the Snob, all over.  

P.S. In addition to having problems answering my own question, I kept typing "Why suck a snob?", some kind of Freudian slip, I guess

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Substitute post

Now batting for The Baseball Card Snob, Manny Mota, Mota, Mota.

Ok, this is a quick substitute post since I don't have time to properly form the original post I wanted to write.

If you read my last offering, you saw that we spent the kids winter break in NYC.  Well it was Brooklyn, Crown Heights to be exact.  We were at the Brooklyn Museum (very nice, but not for children) and inquired about somewhere close by to eat.  The woman behind the counter suggested Tom's Diner.

Now when I heard her say Tom's Diner, I immediately thought of this
Tom's Diner.  I'm sure some of the older collector's also had the same thought.

Well we walked over to the diner, waited a few minutes and were seated. This is a very old "diner", and not what comes to mind when I think of a diner.  This is a standard issue New Jersey diner,

In fact, this is the infamous Tick Tock Diner on Route 3 in Clifton, NJ, as seen in Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. It was also the haunt of the cast of The Uncle Floyd Show, back in the day.  If you enlarge the picture, you might see the Diner's slogan on the clock "Eat Heavy". But I digress.

Well Tom's Diner looks like this on the outside,

Looks more like the candy store I described in the last post.  Anyway, we sit down to eat and something on the wall catches my eye.  There were lots of things on the wall but this stuck out.

The lyrics to the song Tom's Diner.  I think you can make out the writing at the bottom.  But if you can't, it says "I Came, I saw, I wrote,  Suzanne Vega."  Pretty freakin neat.  Had no idea this was the place.

So if you're ever in Crown Heights and want to see a little piece of Pop Music history, stop in at Tom's Diner on Washington Ave and try the Eggcream, I hear it's really good.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Obligatory post. "Who is The Baseball Card Snob?"

Well, we are back from our "vacation" in "The City" (lot of quotation marks already). So here is the post I promised last week.

Who is the Baseball Card Snob?

He's a 47 year old married, father of three from New Joisey.  The northeastern part of the state to be exact.

I've been collecting on and off since 1974, yes 1974. I remember buying my first pack of cards when we were living in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY.  It was right here,

What's that Hearing Aid store doing there?

Wait, where did it go?  Well, that Hearing Aid Store (blue awning) use to be a candy/newspaper store.  I had a different sentence I was going to type here (If you've ever been in New York City outside of Manhattan, there are tons of these stores.) Well, apparently, there are no longer "tons of these stores."  I couldn't find a single one, so I will show you a picture I found on the interweb.

I remember the store in question having a big Te-Amo sign on it. Like this one,

These stores and signs were ubiquitous. It appears that these type of store is disappearing and being replaced by the the standard bodega

Didn't think you were going to get a little NYC consumerism post?  I hope this was informative, now back to our regularly scheduled post.

I must have bought that first pack in April or May of 1974 because we moved to New Jersey in June. I have no recollection of buying any packs until 1977.  That's when I really started collecting.

There was a small candy store in my town (also now gone, no picture available) and I remember buying these

at that store.  Holy Cow, Rick Cerrone, look at that hair, that 70's mustache.  Yeah, Cerrone-jo.  Oh, there is  also some guy by the name of Dale Murphy in the lower left corner, I wonder what became of him.  I have about 5 of these packs in my collection.  (I figured out my scanner, much better scan that my second post

Don't remember buying much 1978, but I bought 6 vending boxes of 1979 Topps (future post fodder).
Fast forward to 1982, graduated high school and left for college (Rutgers).  I think like most collectors, when you go off to school, the collection hibernates.  I did add complete sets of the big 3 in 1983, but I bought the sets, not boxes and collated the sets myself.  After 1983, I stopped.  I guess life got in the way.

I never graduated Rutgers, dropped out in October of my Sophomore year. It wasn't for me at that time.  The following spring, I enrolled in a Paramedic Training class in NYC.  In 10 short months, I was a NYC EMS Paramedic.  Working crazy hours and several extra jobs did not leave a lot of free time and although I still enjoyed baseball, baseball cards themselves, were not on the radar.

So when did baseball cards re-appear on the radar?  If you can believe it, when I got engaged.  I'm sure my wife would not be thrilled to know that she helped re-ignite my collecting habit.  It was late 1992 or early 1993, we were engaged and out stopping at garages sales, looking for "whatever", when I saw this...

Not this specific card, but a 1992 Upper Deck baseball card.  WOW! What were these?The last cards I remember actually handling were 1983 cards.  I'd never seen anything like this before.  Pictures on the front and back, good pictures too, a glossy feel to the card, a hologram to deter counterfeiting, WOW.  I was infected with the collecting bug again.

I started buying packs and boxes and going to shows again.  I haven't stopped since.  I re-started my Yankees team set collection.  Started Topps sets for my oldest son and Upper Deck for my youngest.  My daughter gets proof coin sets, so she doesn't feel left out.  My wife, well, she's an angel for putting up with both me and my collection.  Although, she would like me to "get rid" of some of these cards.  My stock answer, "I'm working on it."  Just like I'm working on this blog.

Ok, so help me get rid of some cards.  My baseball card pages are listed at right, they are mostly up to date. I don't list the base cards, but I have some for all the sets I collect.  So drop my an e-mail and lets get a trade going.

Next post: Why such a snob?