Friday, March 31, 2017

A Price Way Too High To Be Believed

Recently a rare Ryan Bader card showed up for auction, not super rare but it is #/25. The card is a 2009 Topps UFC Round 2 red autograph and this specific card is #14/25. This is only the second copy of this card that I have seen since I started collecting Ryan Bader six years ago (the last card sold in 2012) so it is not something that shows up every day.

While I knew that I would not be bidding on the card because doctor bills come first, I still watched the card. Recent low serial numbered Bader autographs have sold in the $25 range, which is what I expected of this card too. Like I said, this is a rarer card and it is from his first year in the UFC so I figured if there was a bidding war it could possibly end a little higher, but no higher than $35-38 range.

Before I went to bed it was at $47, which completely surprised me, and when I checked when I woke up I was floored to see it end at $255. That is seriously insane and I thought maybe shill bidding was involved but it does not appear to have happened. This was just a straight up bidding war that nobody wanted to walk away from until it was over. Someone paid $200+ over what this card is worth.

I have five Bader #1/1 cards and ten #/30 or less and the most I have paid was $26 plus shipping so I cannot understand what would drive a person to spend this much money on a card. This kind of price is what you would expect from top tier fighters like GSP, Rousey or McGregor not what you would expect to see from a mid-level Light Heavyweight fighter who has never gotten close enough to sniff a championship belt.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Does His Smile Look Right?

I do not own these cards, but how would you feel about opening a box of Leaf Trinity Baseball and pulling a Nolan Jones or Yu-Cheng Chang jumbo patch autograph card but Chief Wahoo’s face is upside down?

Monday, March 27, 2017

Browncoats Unite!

I received a care package from JediJeff of 2x3 Heroes, a package made up of 2015 Upper Deck Firefly The Verse cards which is greatly appreciated.

Joss Whedon’s Firefly was cancelled after just one season but like Judd Apatow’s Freaks & Geeks one season is plenty to make the show a cult classic. To put it in perspective, Firefly ended in 2003 but there was enough interest for Whedon to release the movie Serenity, which closes out the Firefly series, in 2005. To add to it, there is still enough interest in the show that Upper Deck released this set 12 years after the show left television and even now the show is still one of Netflix’s most streamed television shows.

When the set was released I had major interest but I wasn’t in a position to buy boxes so I focused on the autographs and sketch cards but even those were outside of my spending budget so I put the idea of building a set on the back burner but now with JediJeff’s package I am more than halfway to completing the set so I have a renewed interest and have created a want list of the cards I need to finish it.

The set is 171 base cards plus autographs, manufactured patches and sketch cards. A pretty standard non-sport set, so excluding the parallels the base set will be pretty easy to put together and eventually I would like to add some sketch cards. The one autograph that I really want is the Jewel Staite, she is such a cutie, but her official autographs can come close to $100, some actually top $200, so that will be a No for now.

The first 126 cards are broken down in to 9-card episode subsets with each subset designed by a different artist. The first 9 cards are based on the episode Serenity and the artwork is by Matthew Clark. Cards #10-18 are based on the episode The Train Job and the artwork is by Spencer Brinkerhoff III and so on. It is a very cool idea because you get such diversity on the styles so each 9 card subset doesn’t look like the other 9 card subsets.

The next group of cards is characters, ships, magazine covers, Tales of Serenity and then more ships. It truly is a wonderful set for any Firefly fan. If you are interested in the show and haven’t seen it the show is still available on Netflix but only until April 1st so time is short. Each episode is about 43 minutes long with the Serenity movie (presented as a two-part episode) is 86 minutes long so the entire show can be finished within a week but don’t wait.
Again, thank you Jeff, I appreciate you taking the time to share the set with a fellow fan.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Century Later For The Stanley Cup

It was 100 years ago, on March 26, 1917, that the Seattle Metropolitans won the Stanley Cup over the Montreal Canadiens in sold out Seattle Arena in front of 3,500 fans becoming the first American hockey team to win the championship.

Prior to the first game Canadiens coach George Kennedy said I do not expect my men to have their feet tonight. Seattle may win tonight, but after that, I shall be greatly surprised if my men do not make a clean sweep of it.” In turns out he was correct but had the teams backwards, the Canadiens won the first game but Seattle then swept the next 3 games to win the Stanley Cup Finals 3-1.

The Metropolitans made it to the Stanly Cup Finals three times in 1916-17, 1918-19 and 1919-20, winning in 1916-17 and tying in 1918-19 with the Montreal Canadians. The Stanley Cup in 1918-19 was suspended with Seattle and Montreal tied 2-2-1 due to the Spanish Flu outbreak.

That 1916-17 team included three future Hockey Hall of Famers; Frank Foyston, Hap Holmes and Jack Walker in addition to Jim Riley (the only athlete to play in the NHL and MLB) and believe it or not there are a couple of cards depicting Seattle players though they came out many years later. In 1983, and then again in 1987, Cartophilium released a set of Hall of Fame cards and these sets included both Foyston and Walker in Seattle jersey. There are cards dating back to the tobacco era that include players who at one time had played in Seattle but none of them depict the player in the Metropolitans jersey.

Friday, March 24, 2017

TTM Requests Out But Not Forgotten

I have had some luck with TTM requests and I usually have custom cards in the works in case I decide to send out some requests. Last fall I sent out two packages but since I have moved and my ex-girlfriend sold her house and moved two weeks ago, I put in a change of address and she put in a change of address so I still have hope that if the cards were signed that the return packages will make it to me or her but it has been over 6 months so I am feeling a bit deflated.

I created cards for Kurt Russell and Sam J Jones. Kurt Russell is one of those easy to love actors who has made such a variety of movies that everyone can enjoy something that he has done. What a lot of people do not know is that Russell actually played minor league baseball in the California Angels organization. He made it to AA but he had started acting as a kid and ended up turning to Hollywood and gave up baseball, though he did return to play for his father's Portland Mavericks minor league team. He has no official cards but Dave Stewart (a disabled Vietnam vet) created a set with proceeds going to the Disabled American Veterans fund that depicts Kurt in his El Paso Sun Kings uniform, a card I do have in my collection. After watching the Battered Bastards of Baseball documentary about Kurt and his father I decided to make a card for Kurt with the Mavericks.

I used the 1977 Topps baseball design, which was Kurt's final year playing baseball. It was difficult finding any images of Kurt with the Mavericks and what I did find was in sepia tone so I ended up colorizing the image. The entire image was the color of the people in the background, so everything else was touched up by me. The problem with colorizing a sepia image is that colors don't come out natural. Using a black and white image would have been easier but I liked this shot so I worked with what I have. I used Mark Fidrych's back as the template and used Russell's actual stats and created the cartoon based on Kurt Russell's portrayal of a jungle boy on Gilligan's Island. I used matte photo paper when I printed the front and cardboard stock when printing the back. I sent five copies of the card asking that Kurt sign two and return them using the SASE and keep the other 3 for his friends/family.

Sam J Jones played Flash Gordon in the 1980 film and without going in to it I have a sentimental connection to the movie and I do have a small Flash Gordon collection. In the movie Flash is the NY Jets QB and gets abducted by Zarkov and ends up on Mongo where he leads a rebellion against the dictator Ming the Merciless. Jones does not appear in the movie wearing the Jets uniform but as part of the advertising blitz this image was released. There have been a couple of people that have used this image to create cards but I wanted to create my own for a TTM request.

I used the 1980 Topps football design and with the help of a reader, thank you Greg, I was able to get a detailed scan of the back of the actual NY Jets QB Richard Todd. I changed up the personal bio information using Sam J Jones info but I kept Todd's stats. Like Russell cards I used matte photo paper for the front and cardboard stock for the back and again I sent 5 cards asking two to be signed and returned and to keep the other 3 for friends/family.

If they do eventually make their way back to me I plan on keeping one signed copy of each and doing a contest for the other autographed copy of each card. I currently have two cards designed for one of my favorite actors as well as a series I am designing for a movie trilogy that I will be sending out soon.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Another Cavalcade Of Griffey Cards II

When I saw the 2016 Leaf Greatest Moments set I was hooked and I cannot even tell you why, it is a rather basic design and there are no logos or even city names. There are only 12 athletes in the limited set with each card having 9 different parallels in addition to the Silver Prismatic base cards.

In June I posted the first four Griffey cards that I had picked up. At the time I had the base Silver Prismatic #/106 (But not numbered), Blue Prismatic #/25, Purple Prismatic #/15 and Pink Prismatic #/10. To complete the rainbow, I still needed the Black Prismatic #/7, Green Prismatic #/5, Red Prismatic #/3 and the Gold, Super Prismatic and Printing Plates #1/1 cards. I am another step to completing this rainbow with the pickup of the Black Prismatic card.

I know that the odds are against me with the three different #1/1 cards (Gold, Super and Printing Plates) but I will try my hardest to pick up the Green Prismatic and Red Prismatic when I am ready to start picking up cards again.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Another Cavalcade of Griffey Cards I

Closing out 2016 I made two posts about my favorite card pickups and my favorite Griffey card pickups. It was difficult to cut down to just a Top 10 Griffey cards, especially when you consider that I added 703 unique cards so I decided to cover the best of the rest of 2016. None of these were expensive, I think I only paid over $20 for one of these cards ($22 plus shipping) so they are not “S1CK!…M0JO HITS!!!!” by any means but they are notable, at least to me.

Like many collectors I love the odd card, the odder it is the better it is and if it glows or is acetate you have my full and undivided attention.

1991 Topps and 1991 Bowman glow backs
These are cards that Topps used a UV type of ink on the back that glows under a black light. They are difficult to tell apart, without a black light, from the regular back with the only difference I have noticed being that the Topps 40 Years of Baseball logo being a bit bolder.

1998 Pinnacle Epix Emerald Play and Game parallels
This set was kind of wonky and would have fit perfectly in today’s releases. The set was released in many different Pinnacle products. They were inserts in 1998 Score, 1998 Score/Traded, 1998 Pinnacle, 1998 Pinnacle Plus and 1998 Zenith and they were announced to be included in the 1998 Pinnacle Certified but were not.

Each of those sets had certain sets of the Epix cards and they were broken down in to Play, Game, Season and Moment with All-Star Epix as a sort of insert. They were further broken down in to 70% Orange, 20 % Purple and 10% Emerald parallels. The most common card being the Orange Play card and the rarest being the Emerald Moment card, which Pinnacle announced that they are not numbered but there are only 30 copies of each Emerald Moments cards.

I picked up these two Emerald cards within a week of each other. I am still on the hunt for the Emerald Season and Emerald Moments Griffey cards but those are a now a very low priority.

1998 Premier 300th Homerun 3D 5x7 card

2000 Upper Deck SP Top Prospects Minor League used game bat

2005 Topps Hot Button Baseball
I have never played the game but it is an acetate card with Ken Griffey Jr

2005 Topps Pack War
Another TCG that I don’t play but with my blog named Pack War what kind of collector would I be if I didn’t have a Griffey card from a set named Pack Wars?

2009 Disabled American Veterans SGA

2009 Topps Attax
Back to the TCG type cards but any time I can find a White Sox card of Griffey I am happy to pick it up.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ryan Bader To Bellator MMA

Yesterday Ryan Bader announced that he has signed with Bellator MMA after not being able to come to a deal with the UFC. Bader is 15-5 and has gone 7-1 over his last 8 fights but he was not being considered for a title fight so he went elsewhere.

His contract with Bellator is for 6 fights over two years and it is expected that his first fight may well be at Bellator’s next PPV in June for a title shot against Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Phil Davis.

As a fan this means I will get to watch him fight more often because Bellator does not normally do PPV, this one in June is only their second pay per view fight. As a collector this means he will no longer have any cards with 2017 Topps UFC Fire possibly being his last official cards unless he is included in 2017 Topps UFC Chrome which comes out later this year.

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Sports Card Outing That Ended Without Sports Cards

Last week my son was on Spring Break and it has been warming up so the local flea market opened for the first time this past Friday so my son and I went to look around. After seeing some of the nice finds by other bloggers I had some hope to find anything reasonable.

We started at the open-air flea market but because it was the first time opening this year there were only a handful of vendors and none were selling cards. What added to the miserable offerings was that it was windy and the market has dirt roads so the dust was everywhere and we felt gritty afterwards. After that we hit a thrift store, nothing card-wise, and then an indoor flea market, a couple of way over priced “vintage” cards.

There is only one sports card shop listed in town so we hit that next, I had some hope that I would finally have an LCS. We got there and calling it a card shop was being overly ambitious. It was an antique store with a corner allocated to cards. There was a 4-ft glass cabinet with some older cards, a couple of shelves with junk wax era boxes and a couple of recent flagship Topps factory sets and finish with some team themed boxes behind the counter. A huge disappointment.

I will probably go to the flea market from time to time because you never know what you will find but there are no other options in town besides Walmart and Target and I don’t feel like wasting money on blasters.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Growing up in an Irish family has always been fun, outside of the corn beef and cabbage, and I still remember my grandfather's brogue as he told me about his youth and some day I hope to take a trip to Ireland to meet my extended family. Today the world is Irish and in honor of the Irish Republic and St. Patrick's Day here is a selection of cards designed with the Irish in mind.

One of the first thoughts about Ireland is of Leprechauns. I do not own the 2014 Goodwin 3D Monsters Leprechaun card on the left, not yet anyway, and the 2015 A&G is in my COMC account.

In 2015 and 2016 Panini included St. Patrick's Day relic cards in National Treasures. The cards contain relics that were worn by the player's during St Patrick's Day spring training games. There are no Mariners in the set so I have not paid any attention to the cards, even though they do look cool I do not own any of the cards.

This will probably surprise a lot of people but there are actually three Irish born wrestlers in WWE and they are all stars. Sheamus, Becky Lynch and Fergal Devitt (who wrestles as Finn Balor) have all held a major WWE Championship at one point during the past year. These cards are from Topps WWE Slam app, I haven't logged on to any of the Topps or Panini apps in months. I lose interest pretty quick.

Robbie Keane is one of the greatest footballers to have come out of the Emerald Isles. He began his professional career in 1997 and has been on the Irish National Team since 1998. This card is from Panini's 2016 Prizm UEFA Euro release.

This card, which is the only card I actually have in hand, is a prop card from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The fabric is from the Irish flag seen during the Quidditch World Cup scenes.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Art Gallery: 2015 ACEO Daredevil And Batman

This month’s Art Gallery displays comes from William Kunkle a freelance illustrator who has sketch cards in sets from 5Finity and Island Dreams. I picked up two art sketch cards from him for $2 shipped. He really is a talented artist too; he has a great career ahead. These cards would be considered ACEO cards because they are not tied to an official release.

I picked up two cards with the first being Daredevil from Netflix’s exclusive show Daredevil. I will admit that I have not watched the show yet but it is on my list, I am just trying to catch up on some other shows and so Daredevil is on hold for now but I just love this card so I just had to get it. I wrote this post in 2015 after I bought the cards and I still have not got to watching Daredevil, I don't watch a lot of television.

The second card is Batman and no matter what Batman is always bad ass. This was the first card that got me interested in Kunkle’s work which brought me to the Daredevil card.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Oh Manny

Manny Ramirez is back fans, this time in Japan with the Kochi Island Fighting Dogs, an independent league team, and as expected he is just Manny being Manny. I am not certain of his complete contract but the details that have been released:

His #99 jersey contains just his first name
He has use of a Mercedes Benz and chauffeur
Practices are optional
He gets his own hotel suite during road games
Unlimited sushi  

Who knows how long he will play this out, his last official at-bat was in 2011 and the last time he played any organized baseball was when he was a player-coach for the Iowa Cubs in 2014 but with perks like this I wouldn't complainl.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Wallet Card #2

Kind of an odd Wallet Card but it comes with a story. This morning the alarm on my truck went off so my son came in to my room and grabbed my keys to go turn it off. When he got outside there was dove sitting on the ground stunned. The neighbor across the street was out in his front yard and when he saw my son he came over to tell him what he witnessed.

A hawk was hunting the dove and chased it right in to the side of my door. When the alarm went off the hawk flew away. The dove did eventually settle down and took off so it appeared that it was not hurt.

Griffey was interested in the impression that the dove left on the door. There were actually feathers stuck to the door that I removed right before I took the picture.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Expired Redemptions For The Win

I came across a couple of redemptions that are pretty cool. Panini is quite lenient when it comes to expired redemption cards, I wonder if Obak will redeem these coupons? They are just a bit outside of the 1915 expiration date.

They actually would make a nice addition to anyone who is working on a 1910 T212 baseball set, a couple of unused redemption coupons would just complete the collection. I am not sure if the pricing is appropriate with the smaller coupon with a $25 BIN and the larger one with a $28 BIN. I guess if you were working on a set from 1910 spending $25-30 wouldn’t be too far out of their league.