Friday, July 3, 2015

To The Grave

Last week Zippy Zappy from Torren Up Cards posed a question to himself about which cards he would consider taking to the grave. What is funny is that earlier that day my son asked me if there were any of my cards that I would never sell so mentally I started going through my collection to consider which cards have more of a meaning to me and which ones I could do without if I chose to sell them.

I plan on being cremated but in this instance I will pose the same question:

Which cards would I bring to the grave?

I have quite a few vintage cards dating back to the late 1800s and they would make a nice collection in the afterlife.

Fast forward to pre-war confectionary cards like my 1933 National Chicle Sky Birds Richthofen. The beautiful illustrations could keep me company while the worms crawl in.
I could skip the whole cardboard collection and go with my 8x10 autographed Gale Sayers photo, we already share a birthday maybe we can share some laughs while the worms crawl out?

The photo is creased after being in my collection nearly 30 years (and numerous moves), but still a wonderful addition to my football collection.
Maybe something from my Griffey collection? Kerr, Largent or Jay Buhner? No… the worms will just play pinochle on my snout.


In the end I believe I would take just one card with me. The 1933 Goudey Lou Gehrig #92, often considered his rookie card, was my first white whale and the first (and only) white whale that I actually own. Lou Gehrig was one of the good guys, he was a pure player and a great teammate. He actually signed with the Yankees out of college so he could give his signing bonus to his parents because they were in a serious financial bind and he wanted to pay for their home. Now that is a good boy.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Family Guy Fun Time

This post started as 3 different posts that I decided to join together to make a single Family Guy autograph post to keep things organized.

Some fun additions to my Family Guy autograph collection, Alex Borstein as Trisha Takanawa. I have been a fan of Alex Borstein since her days on MADTv, I still crack up at her “He look like a man” skits. I hope to eventually pick up her Lois version autograph card.
I also picked up a Mike Henry IP autograph, he does the voice for Cleveland Brown. I have to admit, I prefer him on Family Guy over The Cleveland Show. There was nothing wrong with The Cleveland Show but his character was natural in Family Guy and spin-offs rarely work, even for Seth McFarland.
A recent Family Guy autograph is Debra Wilson from the 2011 Leaf Family Guy release. Wilson has done a number of “additional voices” over the years from the show including “Nurse” from the episode “And the Wiener is” which is depicted on this card. She also did voices for one of the most underappreciated animated shows of the early 2000s The Oblongs, but I picked up this card for her work on MADtv. She was hilarious on the show during its 14 year run… well 10 good years and 4 years of people wishing it was funny again.
I love deals, who doesn’t? So when I came across a dealer selling a couple of the 2011 Leaf Family Guy autographs for insane prices I jumped on a couple fast like my chair was on fire. He was a new seller and his shipping is a little high ($4.00 each) but he had a nice selection of official autographs and was willing to combine shipping on multiple purchases.

In the end I spent $17.00 plus $4.25 shipping on a 2011 Leaf LeVar Burton autograph ($12) and 2011 Leaf Alfonso Ribeiro autograph ($5). You cannot find the LeVar Burton version for under $20 and the Ribeiro for under $12 so to pay $21.25 for both cards including shipping I was well ahead of the game. The LeVar Burton autograph is on-card while the Ribeiro is on a sticker though both are quite beautiful signatures.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Player Collection Question

How do you go about deciding if you want to build another player collection?

I  focus on Griffey and Ryan Bader but I have mini pcs built on Steve Largent, Steve Kerr, Jay Buhner and current Mariners Dustin Ackley and Mike Zunino but sometimes I wonder if I want to begin a new player collection or if I should just focus on the collections I currently have.

Currently I am working on the Griffey collection, now at 430 unique cards, I want to hit 500 cards before the end of the year so any other athletes card I collect are just random pieces here or there when I come across a good price. I am torn but I have a feeling that if I work on adding any other players I will lose focus on my Griffey collection and that is my sports card pride and joy.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The A-Rod Reverse Negative Card Sold

Back in May I posted up my 2011 Topps Heritage Alex Rodriguez Reverse Negative SSP #490 on eBay for a slightly insane $150 BIN/OBO price. I received a low ball offer of $30 but no other interest outside of a group of watchers so when the 30-day listing ended I dropped it to $125 BIN/OBO and last week I dropped it to $115 and figured that if I had no interest when the second 30-day listing ended I would put it back in to my binder and consider re-listing if/when A-Rod hits his 700th HR some time next season.

I have to admit I was somewhat surprised that someone bought it for the $115 BIN price last night. Not that I didn’t think that the card was worth it, I just didn’t think I was really going to have much luck especially after I only got one offer in the 50 days it has been listed and that was someone wasting my time.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Let’s face it 2015 is the year of the dinosaur. Jurassic World is raking in the big bucks on the silver screen, Upper Deck is releasing 2015 Upper Deck Dinosaurs within weeks, Topps is reprising their Dinosaur Attacks line in the upcoming Mars Attacks: Occupation release and now Monsterwax just funded their Dinosaur Galaxy release through Kickstarter. I love indie card companies, they end up creating sets that collectors want.

Like Upper Deck’s release Monsterwax is focusing on beautiful illustrations and sketch cards. They have even brought in amazing dinosaur paleartists like Luis Rey and Todd Marshall, among others, to work on the base set, and artists like Jason Brower, Daniel Gorman, Tom Keaton and Christopher West to work on the sketch cards.
Here is some of the art work that will make its way on to the base cards. This is a collection from artists Ricardo Garijo Jr, Todd Marshall and Luis Rey.

And it wouldn't be a beautifully rendered artistic set about dinosaurs without sketch cards

Upper Deck's upcoming dinosaur release, which I will be covering in the next couple of weeks, does have more to it but I think that Monsterwax has done a decent job with their set that I do plan on hunting down some of the sketch cards.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Heat Is Nobodies Friend

Today I am taking a moment for a PSA about living in Arizona.

Everyone knows that summer months in the Valley get hot, we have been hitting in the 108-112 degrees lately and it isn't even the hottest part of the summer. I have lived in Arizona more than half my life so I can deal with the heat, though these hot days do make me wish I was back in Seattle. But every so often you do something where you don’t think and the heat burns you literally.

Today I got a flat tire and while I was changing it I laid the tire wrench down on the ground and when I picked it up I got a nasty surprise. It was 110 degrees today and a solid black metal tire wrench sucks up heat quite quickly. Here is what a tire wrench burn looks on my left hand.

Not satisfied with one burn when I was sliding the jack under my Tahoe I set my right hand on the ground. This is what a burn on my fingers and right hand look like. Four fingers and the upper part of my palm were all burned, the dark red spots are blisters making this one a second degree burn (four blisters on three fingers). This from setting my hand on the pavement for a matter of seconds. The heat dried my skin so quickly it wasn’t funny, though really none of this was funny... at least not yet until the burns heal.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Sheik Has Arrived

Going back to a post I did on June 1st where I had shown some of my recent wrestling I had stated that I am on the hunt for an Iron Sheik autograph but it had to be the right one with his full wrestling name, well I finally picked one up.

Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, also known as The Iron Sheik, has appeared in a number of Topps and Leaf releases in the past 5 years and he does have official autographs in these sets but the problem I had is he usually signed just “Sheik” and I wanted his entire moniker. Fortunately he signs often for his fans and this is when “IRON” will usually be added so while I like his Leaf Originals autograph cards I went searching elsewhere.
I was in a bit of a quandary, I wanted to find a card I liked, signed with “IRON Sheik” in a way that I liked. This has been at long search, well over a year, for the right card for my collection. I finally found the perfect card, a 1985 Topps WWF Iron Sheik #2 signed in silver ink pen and when the dealer dropped the price to $14.99 plus $3.00 shipping I hit the BIN and finally I could smile.
The card was authenticated by PSA and encased and I was wavering on whether to remove it or leave it encased but the Post Office made the decision for me when the card came in and the case had a crack across the face which was not in the original picture. There was a documentary about Vaziri last year called "The Sheik" where he talks about how following the Iran hostage crisis people used to threaten to kill him all the time even when he was out and about, maybe my mail carrier is just holding on to her anger from the 1980s and took it out on the case.

Here he is, the Iron Sheik himself free from his plastic casing.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Pricing Option

Recently I received an email from a collector regarding his card pricing web site. After spending time on the site and talking with him through email I decided that I wanted to do a write up to show support for him.

Tom is from across the pond and began his web site Price Guide Cards last year to deliver up-to-date accurate pricing for football (soccer) cards but is now looking to expand his site to offer pricing for American sports cards for baseball, basketball and football.  He has built his own script using his background in Econometrics and Statistics to update pricing based on online sales, from my experience it seems to be similar to how Zistle determines their pricing but is updated more often.

The site is still rather new, roughly 9 months, so there are some growing pains and US sports cards are only now slowly being added so it will take time to build up a solid database but I have done a number of random searches and the prices are rather spot-on even including two of my recent high-end 2014 Prizm World Cup card sales. In addition to individual card prices the site includes a section for breaking down a box break where you can figure out the average “Return of Investment” based on a specific product and the price you paid. Again, this feature is still in the building phase so is limited to more recent and popular football (soccer) releases but it will expand over time.

I have not been paid in any way, this is an honest review of a pricing web site that I feel can help the hobby. Plus any person that can develop a web site that collects current data and can give an accurate price range for cards has a huge step up over a certain sports card magazine entity that has a strangle hold using illusionary prices.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Art Gallery: 2012 Island Dreams Pirate Buddies

This month’s Art Gallery display comes from 2012 Island Dreams. The artist is George Leon, a comic strip artist out of Washington State. This is my second Island Dreams sketch card and it is a beautiful combination of colored pencil and Copic marker.

What caught my attention is the hilarious pirates, who are obviously three sheets to the wind with their “XXX” hooch. What is funny is that if you think about it, the smaller pirate looks like he is holding a prescription bottle. Since I was a kid there have been levels of “coolness” with the first level being pirates and ninjas. Second level is cowboy, police officer, fireman and army man. Any time I can add one of these characters to my sketch card collection I jump on the opportunity.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Strange Addiction

 Hello, my name is Corky and I am an addict

Ok, now that that is out of the way I will admit that I have taken the first step in to the world of 2014 Topps High Tek Baseball when I purchased a pair of Ken Griffey Jr. (#HT-KG1) base wave cards. I knew buying this card would lead me down the path to “Pattern” Hell and this is the reason I didn’t get involved in the original Tek release and why I don’t get caught up in chasing the rainbow every time a company adds 10 parallels of each card in to their sets.

I went all in for the enticing sales pitch, even falling for the “Get 2 cards for the price of 1” way that dealers sucker you in with that first taste. I am now sitting on a couple cards wanting every diffractor and variation that Topps can get in to packs and sneak past law enforcement on to the shelves of their street peddlers. 

You would think that at the prices that people are selling them at that Topps somehow figured how to infuse heroin in to the acetate that the cards are made from.