Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Day Has Arrived

Monday was a pleasant day for me, I received a number of packages including plenty of Griffey cards and I finally hit 200 unique Griffey cards in my collection. Counting everything I received over the last two days I am at 211 Griffey cards and I still have a package coming from Justcommons so I am well on my way to 250 unique cards.
Card #200 is from 1995 and was inserted in to boxes of Post cereal. The card is a booklet style card that folds with the exterior showing a picture of Griffey on one side and the stats on the other side of the fold. When you open up the booklet you get a shot of Griffey’s sweet swing, in what I imagine was a homerun by the way he is watching the ball sail out. I plan on displaying it opened, the interior panel is definitely display worthy.
I tried figuring out which game this photo was taken from but Post didn’t have a MLB license so all images were airbrushed or blurred out. Doing my best Sherlock Holmes impression it appears to be a game against Cleveland with Tony Pena as catcher, Griffey at the plate and Jay Buhner on deck. I checked out the lineups for the 14 games that the Mariners played Cleveland in 1994 and 1995 and there were no games with Griffey and Buhner batting in order with Pena playing catcher for Cleveland. I am stumped.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Countdown To 200 Griffey Cards

I start off my week of "200 Griffeys" with my best Griffey deal of the year.
 One card that I was hunting down is the 1991 Arena Hologram #2 card. There are actually two versions, the base version and an autographed version. I was just looking to add a base version, which normally sells for a dollar or two, so when I came across one listed with an opening bid of $14.99 I thought the seller was insane setting such a high price on a base card. I checked the auction to see what the seller’s feedback was, 100% with over 1,500 feedback. That is when I noticed there were two pictures in the description and the second picture was the autographed version. I read the description which said that the auction winner would receive both the base card and the autographed card so I ended up bidding. I won the election for $15.49 plus $3.00 shipping, only one other person bid too. This is a card that usually runs $60 or more so I am ecstatic about this pick up.
Base version
Autograph version

This has got to be my best deal ever on eBay and all because the seller used an incomplete title which when matched up with what most people thought was an unbelievable opening price and people got scared away.

So I throw out a question to the readers…

What is your best deal?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Ken Griffey Jr. Countdown

In January, after I set my collecting goals for the year, I went through my collection to organize things. I came to realize that I only had 92 unique Ken Griffey Jr. cards, such a small number for a Griffey collector. I decided that I will work to reach 200 unique Ken Griffey Jr. cards by the end of the year and hopefully exercise some of my Griffey ghosts.
I started off the year by putting a list together of Ken Griffey Jr. cards that I want with the parameters that I will keep the list mainly base cards and base inserts and spend no more than $20 on an individual card. I have since added 97 unique cards to my collection and I have another 22 Griffey cards on the way so I will have reached my 200 card point by next week.
My Wanted list still has another 123 cards (I do have to double check to ensure I am current) so I may be able to hit 250 by the end of the year. Once I have the list updated I will be adding a Trade Bait and Wanted section to my blog so I can hopefully add some cards through trade too. Next week I will post up Card #200 when it arrives.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Recent Pick-Up: 2013 Topps 75th Anniversary Dawn Wells Autograph

I am dealing with writer’s block so I am turning to another recent pick up, a Dawn Wells autograph.
In May I finally got my hands on the Russell Johnson autograph that I had been watching so I turned my attention to adding a Dawn Wells autograph to my collection and I finally picked one up. This one is from the 2013 Topps 75th Anniversary release. I am not really big on this card, the black and white re-print on the card just leaves too much open white space but it was within my price range, $9.24 shipped, so I picked it up to add to my Gilligan’s Island collection.
In 1997 Dart released a Gilligan’s Island set and I am planning on selecting a cool  Dawn Wells and Tina Louis card from the set and send the cards to have them signed. I heard Dawn Wells is pretty good at signing for fans but Tina Louis is not but I am going to take my chances.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Recent Pickups: 2014 Goodwin Champions Lute Olson Relic

What University of Arizona collection is complete without a Lute Olson tie relic card?

I picked this up a couple of days after 2014 Goodwin Champions went live, it cost me $5.74 shipped. Looking at the prices now for a multi-colored swatch like this and I got a deal. There is a patch version (#/50), which I think might be part of a jacket, but they are running closer to $15 shipped so I am holding out for a better price.
He has a couple of licensed autographs with Upper Deck and Leaf but this is Lute Olson’s first relic card so I am really happy that I have been able to add this to my personal collection.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Art Gallery: 2005 Dynamic Forces Army Of Darkness Ash

This month’s Art Gallery display is from the 2005 Dynamic Forces Army of Darkness release. The card was done by the artist Filip Sablik and it is of Ash, the main character of the Evil Dead trilogy, played by cult actor Bruce Campbell.
I love this movie, this was actually the first time I saw Bruce Campbell in a film and I was pulled in to his humor immediately. I have since built a library of Bruce Campbell DVDs including Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, The Army of Darkness, The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., Congo and Jack of All Trades. One of my favorite shows of all times remains The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. which premiered on Fox the same Friday night as another cult classic, The X Files. I am not sure why I remember that but it is still stuck in my brain 21 years later.
The Army of Dakrness release was rather quiet, appearing 13 years after the movie was in theaters. The set contains 72 base cards, 6 glow-in-the dark cards along with some autographs (though Campbell was not included) and sketch cards. I picked up this card for two reasons, a) it was Ash and b) it was around $5 shipped. There are actually some really nice Ash sketch cards available but I try to stick with paying no more than $10 on a sketch card if I can help it.
Filip Sablik is a comic book illustrator and does not often work with sketch cards, as a matter of fact the only sketch cards I can find of his are both from Dynamic Forces with Army of Darkness and 35 Years of Red Sonja.

Monday, July 21, 2014

What Am I Missing Here?

The other day I was reading a story about Andrew Bynum on ESPN describing how he plans on sitting out the 2014-15 season to have a procedure done on his knees. It surprises me how often his name shows up during the past couple of seasons during the trade and free agency periods.
He seems like a hot commodity but he is always hurt. He played 82 games in his second season but has never played more than 65 games in any other season (averaging 52 games a year). He was an All-Star in 2011-12 but in the 2 years since he has been on 4 teams (76ers, Cavs, Bulls and Pacers) playing in only 26 games (24 w/ Cavs & 2 w/ Pacers) and now he is going to sit out another season.
What surprises me even more is the prices that his cards are demanding. Many of his base cards and even his rookies and some relics are very reasonable in price but there are others that have his prices well off. Am I just blind to his value?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Pleasant WNBA Surprise

Today I was looking forward to the Seattle Sounders-Tottenham Hotspur game but during halftime I switched over to the WNBA All-Star game and got sucked in and ended up recording the second half of the Sounders game so I could watch the basketball game.
I rarely watch WNBA games, occasionally catching a Seattle Storm or Phoenix Mercury game from time to time, but this game was just captivating.  It went back and forth before going in to overtime and an East win 125-124. What made this game so interesting was the way that second-year star Skylar Diggins and rookie Shoni Schimmel took over when it came down to crunch time, something LeBron James should watch. Schimmel put on a shooting clinic and won the All-Star MVP Award.
Skylar Diggins has been a star since her Notre Dame years and is quite well known whereas Schimmel, who was the #8 pick in April’s 2014 WNBA Draft, doesn’t even start on her own team.
When it comes to WNBA cards collectors have one option, Rittenhouse. They have the WNBA license and they only release one set a year, which is very limited and sold as a complete set.
Skylar Diggins has plenty of options though, in addition to her 2013 Rittenhouse rookie card Upper Deck has included Diggins on a number of checklists include 2013-14 Fleer Retro, 2013-14 SP Authentic, 2013-14 UD Black and 2014 Goodwin Champions. Her 2013 Rittenhouse rookie will set you back $15 (or more) and her autographs range depending on availability with some in the $8-10 range while others are hitting the $100+ range.

If you are a Showtime Schimmel fan you are out of luck, at least for now, her rookie card will not be available until the 2014 Rittenhouse WNBA set is released in two weeks. This will be the first time she appears on cardboard and with her play at the All-Star game there is a good chance that prices will be in the same range as Diggin’s 2013 rookie card.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Knucklehead Move

Last week I was watching some cards that I need for my 2014 Prizm World Cup set and I ended up bidding on two of the same cards without realizing it and ended up winning both auctions. As absent minded as I am it is a surprise that I have not done this before.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

When Desire Can Not Overcome Cost

The other night after I posted the follow up of the release of the 2014 Goodwin Champions release the Art of the Ages “Starry Nights” painted card came up for auction with a $2999.99 BIN price. This is my favorite painting by far, even standing above my love of Munch’s “The Scream”.
My first thought was that if I had $3000 I would buy this in a second but then I sat back and thought what a waste of money that would be. As much as I love this painting and would be in heaven if I owned this card the money would be better spent (if it was disposable cash) on building my personal collection. What is even more surprising is that this is not even the most expensive Art of the Ages painted card, that would go to Jim Mar’s interpretation of Raphael’s St.George at $20,000 BIN price.

This just continues to support my idea that it is difficult to spend more than a hundred or so on a modern card. Possibly if it were in the $150-200 range I would consider but there is a difference between loving a card and adding it to your collection and loving a card and being realistic.