Thursday, March 2, 2017

Finally Finished: 2015-16 Upper Deck Hockey



What happened to me this evening wasn't quite as good as finding a $20 bill in a jacket that you haven't worn in a few months, but I'd like to think of it as the hobby equivalent of good fortune.  

Around the first part of December, I was down to 12-15 cards to finish off the 2015-16 Upper Deck Series 1 and 2 hockey base sets, and an eBay seller had a great deal on the singles I needed. Fast forward to a few days later, the cards were in my possession and my sets were finished (or so I thought). 

As I was putting the newly acquired set finishers in their respective boxes, I started noticing quite a few gaps in the card numbering. I took the cards out, sorted through them, and jotted down about 25-30 numbers that I did not have after all, and started kicking myself for not doing a better job of keeping track of my set completion earlier on. 

Tonight I was rummaging around a couple of 100-count boxes, unsure of what exactly was in them. The last cards in the back were from 2015-16 Upper Deck Hockey, and I wondered what they were doing in this box, as my huge double and triple lot was in another box. 

Sure enough, what I found were the cards I was missing after I received what I thought were the final singles from eBay. I picked up a couple of blasters from Wal-Mart around Christmas time, and set what I needed aside in a 100-count box to be put away another day. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess...

Although finding that $20 bill would come in handy right about now, I'm glad I was able to cross two more sets off the list.

I've got a lot of 2015-16 Series 1 and 2 for trade, so if anyone out there still needs to finish sets, hit me up and I'll gladly trade. I don't have any 2016-17 Upper Deck Series 2 as of yet, so that is something I'd be interested in.  

Thursday, February 16, 2017

2017 Topps--The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly



Most, if not all, of you who are interested in 2017 Topps Series One have busted packs, blasters, boxes, and cases well in advance of this post, so I won't bore you with the details of Topps' flagship, but I'll just chime in with what I like to call The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good
Card design/layout: When I first saw the 2017 design on the sell sheets last fall, I wasn't impressed. The uneven cross-section of player position and player name looked like a misuse of space, and the angled player name and team name was a different approach from recent issues. However, once I opened my first pack, my opinion of the cross-section changed, especially seeing how much the team logo popped out from the rest of the card.

Photography: The players take center stage on the front of the card. The cropping highlights the player, putting less emphasis on what's going on the background of the photo. I've always been a fan of full-bleed card fronts, so while 2017 Topps isn't completely border-free, the lack of a top and side border allows the picture to stand out.

Card backs: This is a toss-up for me, with the good and the bad nearly canceling each other out (more on that later). What's nice about the card backs is the different range of colors as well as easy to read numbers, which make sorting easier.

The Bad
Card backs: While on the subject of card backs, it's only fair to point out the bad as well. For a stats junkie like myself, the fact that only the last five seasons' worth of numbers are on the back. I like to see how a player's career has progressed through the years at the big league level, or how a player has dominated at different minor league stops before being promoted to the next level. The player social media handles I can do without, as well as the additional team logo.

Inserts: I'll let this meme explain my position:

Off the top of my head, I remember 1987 Topps, Topps Salute (Jackie Robinson Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Throwback Uniforms, Rookies, Legends), Bowman Then and Now, First Pitch, 5 Tool, Original Card Stock, Rainbow Foil, and Gold among my pulls, and that doesn't count the relic and autographed versions as well. I'd gladly take less inserts for more base cards, leading to my next point.

The Ugly
Collation: After taking a two-year hiatus from the flagship, I come back in 2017 to see nothing has changed in regards to pack configuration/collation. At a card shop last weekend, I bought the first two jumbo packs out of a newly opened box, and got the same exact cards in each pack, save for the inserts. Bought two 36-card packs at Target and received half of the same base cards in the first pack as I did in the second. Then at Wal-Mart, I picked up two of the hanger boxes, only to have the same luck as I did with the jumbo packs from the card shop. I'd say the ratio of my set to dupes is 1.5:1. Not impressed, and I'm done buying Series One. I'm extremely tempted with pre-ordering a hand-collated Series Two set just to save money on excess duplicates and triplicates.

In Conclusion
When it comes down to it, I've always been and always will be a set collector at heart. It'll bug me not finishing Series One since I have so much money tied up in it already. My want list is posted, and I'm more than happy to help those looking to finish their set. Email me your needs and I'll see what I have.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thinning the Herd

I've come to the conclusion (with or without some help from my wife) that I've got too many cards and not enough space to keep them.

My collection has narrowed in scope, but unfortunately, the cards that don't fit into that focus are still here.

I know the fate of my retirement fund is not dependent on what's in those boxes, but I'm hoping that there's something that someone, somewhere can use and provide a good home.

There's a random mix of years, mainly mid-2000s to now, containing baseball with some assorted basketball and football as well.

What I'd like to do is trade team card-for-card with someone in the same predicament as me, wanting to get rid of excess inventory for cards that really matter to them.

I collect Braves and Yankees in baseball, Redskins in football, and anything hockey, especially goalies and mid '80s O-Pee-Chee cards.

It's been a while since I've been active in the trade scene, but I'm highly motivated and have a lot to move. Drop me a line and let's get trading!


Long Time No Post

I've been in a funk lately when it comes to my collection, buying not a single card, let alone paging through a binder of player collections.

The biggest reason is a lack of time--from my kids' school and extra-curricular activities, work responsibilities, and projects around the house--I could not squeeze an extra minute to open and look through a pack.

However, the urge to get back into the "card game" came back, but not how I would have thought.

A regular at my LCS who was a trading partner at first and later a close friend passed away from cancer a couple of weeks ago. He had been battling the disease off and on since being diagnosed 17 years ago, and when the cancer would go into remission, it'd come back as if it never left. 

One of the crown jewels in his collection and perhaps his proudest accomplishment was his run of complete Topps baseball sets, starting with the 1962 edition. When I first ran into him, I was beginning my 1963 set, and he helped me out with a bunch of commons for almost next to nothing.
He was always encouraging me to be on the lookout for deals on common lots and occasionally take the plunge and spring for a minor star or star to keep the chase interesting.

About February or March, he found out the cancer was back again, but with a vengeance, and he would be lucky to have six months to live.

He tried to make a few visits to the shop, but by May, he was pretty much confined to his home and under hospice care. 

His passing has made me reflect on what a great hobby collecting is, and the friendships and relationships with other collectors are not to be taken for granted.

I'm going to get that '63 set finished, hopefully sooner than later, and know that he'll feel just as much pride and accomplishment as I will when I cross the last number off my want list.

 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rain delay

I'm going to make the most of a rain day today and try to get caught up on my collection. Updating trade/want lists, sorting some piles of cards, and catching up on blogs will be the order of the day.

To start things off, here are the cards I need to complete my 2013 Topps Series 1 set:

12, 27, 77, 109, 121, 182, 209, 220, 232, 286

Here are the cards I have for trade:

2, 3, 3, 6, 8, 11, 11, 11, 14, 19, 20, 23, 25, 28, 28, 33, 33, 35, 36, 36, 37, 40, 41, 41, 45, 47, 49, 50, 53, 55, 55, 56, 58, 59, 60, 60, 61, 61, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 66, 68, 69, 69, 70, 70, 75, 78, 80, 81, 83, 84, 85, 86, 90, 99, 100, 102, 104, 107, 110, 111, 111, 111, 112, 113, 113, 113, 114, 114, 115, 115, 115, 119, 119, 123, 123, 125, 126, 126, 127, 127, 129, 129, 130, 131, 140, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 152, 155, 155, 157, 157, 162, 164, 165, 165, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 175, 177, 184, 187, 187, 188, 188, 190, 190, 191, 193, 195, 198, 200, 201, 203, 205, 207, 211, 212, 214, 223, 224, 226, 227, 227, 228, 230, 235, 235, 237, 239, 241, 243, 244, 244, 245, 246, 249, 249, 250, 250, 251, 252, 252, 254, 257, 259, 259, 259, 260, 260, 261, 261, 262, 262, 264, 266, 269, 272, 272, 276, 277, 278, 279, 283, 283, 284, 285, 287, 288, 289, 290, 295, 295, 296, 298, 299, 302, 304, 305, 305, 306, 307, 307, 314, 314, 314, 316, 316, 316, 318, 319, 319, 319, 324, 324, 325, 326, 326, 327, 330, 330.

I forgot to post a pic of the last 1963 I got at the LCS the other day....



As always, I'm looking for anything on my want list. Feel free to send me a trade offer and let's make a deal!

Until next time,

Ryan

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Trip to the LCS

It's not a good sign when you walk into your LCS and the owner acts like he just saw a ghost. That happened today.

I have been out of the loop for nearly 3 months now. Between work, family responsibilities, and my rekindled love affair with the NHL (a story for another time), my card habit has been put on the back burner.

Today the stars aligned and I had more than 20 minutes of consecutive free time for the first time in what seemed like forever. Naturally I made a beeline to my LCS.

2013 Bowman has released, and unlike most collectors, I do look forward to it. I'm not a prospector, because I don't have the time/money/patience (insert random excuse here) to bust a few cases and put together player lots away for a few years. The base set, prospects set, and chrome prospect set is good enough for me. I'm thinking this year might be the year I just buy or trade for a complete set rather than piece it together.

I've dabbled in 2013 Heritage, and that's where I'm going to leave it. I'm not a fan of the 1964 design, and the thought of trying to hunt down all those SP cards to build the set is discouraging. I'll look for Braves, Yankees, and Twins singles (hint, hint) to add to my collection.

I still haven't finished Flagship series 1...lame, I know...but as I said, I've had no time for anything, buying or trading. Series 2 will be here any day and I'll have another set to chase.

Now that I've complained for the entirety of my post, it's time to focus on the positive. My trip to the LCS did pay off, as I was able to knock a few off of my 1963 Topps list:




I also picked up this card while going through a stack of random 70s stuff the owner had. I thought it was too nice to pass up.

When it comes to baseball, I consider myself a Braves fan, Yankees enthusiast, and Twins sympathizer. I guess you could accuse me of "baseball bigamy."

I think I might add one more team to the list. Something about these Pirates cards of the 60s and 70s grabs my attention and makes me want to add more of them to my collection. This "Pops" card is a nice start.

Until next time,

Ryan

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

2013 Topps Want List/Trade List

Here are the cards I need to complete my 2013 Topps Series 1 set:

12, 27, 77, 109, 121, 182, 209, 220, 232, 286

Here are the cards I have for trade:

2,3, 3, 11, 11, 14, 19, 23, 28, 28, 33, 36, 41, 45, 47, 50, 53, 55, 59, 60, 61, 61, 64, 65, 66, 66, 69, 69, 70, 81, 83, 84, 100, 102, 104, 110, 111, 111, 112, 113, 113, 115, 115, 119, 119, 123, 125, 126, 127, 127, 140, 142, 144, 145, 146, 147, 152, 155, 155, 157, 165, 168, 175, 177, 184, 187, 191, 193, 195, 198, 200, 207, 211, 224, 226, 227, 228, 230, 235,237, 239, 241, 243, 244, 249, 249, 250, 252, 254, 259, 259, 266, 269, 272, 272, 276, 277, 278, 279, 283, 284, 285, 289, 290, 295, 295, 304, 305, 306, 307, 307, 314, 316, 316, 318, 319, 324, 324, 325, 327, 330.

Until next time,

Ryan