Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sorry Johnny, The Doors Seem To All Be Closed

Oh Johnny Football, will we ever see you don a professional football uniform ever again?

In July Manziel said he is taking things seriously and wants to get back in to the NFL. He said he has cut out is partying and was working out with the intent of playing in the 2017-18 NFL season. He re-hired his former agent Erik Burkardt and Manziel said that multiple NFL teams were seriously talking to him about coming back to the league.

As expected, no NFL team has talked to him and if they did, they are not admitting it. The only team that has talked to him is the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats who had him in their facility last week for a work-out.

It didn’t go well with the statement “Too many red flags” being tossed around the news outlets. According to sources within Hamilton’s front office, Manziel had trouble passing the physical and medical tests, he was not in playing shape and the team didn’t feel his off-field regiment was consistent with someone who wants to play professional football.

Money Manziel has already spread the news that if he doesn’t make it back in to professional football he wants to coach college football. I don’t think he has the demeanor to be a consistent and capable coach and I find it hard to believe that any reputable college would bring him on because he is a huge liability and the media circus that will follow him will be disruptive. Sure, I can see Texas A&M bringing him on as a consultant and pay him $100k to show up at alumni events to sign autographs or a D-III team bring him on to be a QB coach but I think even his coaching aspirations are a bit far fetched.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Monday Question Day- Traders?

Today is question day:

Do you consider yourself to be a trader (trade with other collectors)?

I usually do a couple of trades a year but I know that there are people who trade regularly and when I see these posts I think “Damn, I need to do more trades”. I think my issue is that I am rather shy in real life so I find it hard to reach out to people.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Vintage Card Of The Month: 1933 Kyriazi Cigaretters Manfred von Richthofen

This month’s VCoM is another German Richthofen card, this one is from a pack of Kyriazi cigarettes in 1933 and like many of my Richthofen cards this one is an illustration of the Baron. But the uniqueness of the card is that this image is not a common pose that you see and I have only seen used (in complete form) on the cover of the German version of his biography Der rote Kampfflieger while the English version of his biography The Red Fighter Pilot uses a more common photo of him wearing a coat and hat and facing in the different direction.

The card is standard tobacco era stock and is the height of the cards of the period but a little bit wider. The colors are beautiful and the card is in wonderful condition but there are two issues that were caused by someone, one intentional and one unintentional.  The card has been trimmed along the left and right borders, there should be a gold border on each side and they are extremely condition sensitive so someone along the way cut off the borders. The second problem was caused by the seller in his attempt to securely pack the card for shipping from Germany. The card was folded inside an index card and surrounded by cardboard that was taped together and it appears that during shipping the cardboard squeezed down around the left edge and pinched the card which caused some of the paper to rip off in the upper left edge.

I did suck it up and not complain or return the card because this card is very rare and I figured this will be a place holder until I can find something in better condition. It would have been easily avoided had the seller put the card in a rigid top loader but was happened can't be undone.

I did a translation of what is on the back and the top paragraph describes the set as having 240 German leaders from 1640 through 1918. The bottom paragraph seems to say something about the card being for a scrapbook and allowing the cigarette dealers permission to use the card.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Jon Jones Finds Himself In A Familiar Predicament

The UFC just confirmed that Jon Jones sample submitted the day before his fight against Daniel Cormier tested positive for the steroid Turinabol and he may be looking at a ban of four years since he has had prior positive tests that led to a yearlong ban.

Obviously everything will be verified before UFC makes a statement but if the test is correct and he was using steroids he will definitely be stripped of the Light-Heavyweight title that he just won from Cormier less than a month ago and will receive a multi-year ban.

Jon Jones is considered, pound for pound, to be one of the nest fighters ever and was looking forward to the possibility of a super fight versus Brock Lesnar but at this point everything that he has worked for has been tarnished.

Even with just the announcement you can expect the prices of his cards to dip and if he does get suspended you can assume that his career is over and prices for his cards will drop dramatically. I don’t own this 2010 Leaf MMA autograph card, but it has been one of my favorites of his autographs and if it drops down to a couple of bucks I would pick one up.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Beast Jr. Has Been Updated

When I ended up restoring my computer at the end of July I had made the mistake of not saving certain files on my external hard drive before starting the restore and I lost a number of files with most of them being connected to my blog as well as some art projects.

Over the past two weeks I have sat down and went through my PC collections to get everything back up to date. My Bader and Buhner collections were completed quickly being only 127 and 135 unique cards, respectively. I still need to update my Largent collection but I decided to turn to the Beast Jr first and focus on my Griffey cards because I am not hunting down any Largent cards right now so that list can wait.

It ended up taking me almost a week to go through my Griffey collection to update my Beast Jr. spreadsheet and my want list but I finally got it all completed. I have posted my Griffey want’s list, which has grown by 24 cards since I last updated my want’s list here on the blog last January.

A quick update on my health; I have met three of my five new doctors so I have been very busy over the last few months. I meet my pain specialist tomorrow, meeting new doctors always causes a bit of anxiety for me because I had a bad experience with a doctor when my health first began to decline and now I never know what to expect. Over the next couple of weeks, I have to get an MRI and EEG test along with another blood test. Not long ago I had an x-ray to see how my spinal degeneration is progressing and luckily it has only gotten slightly worse. As odd as it is, even though my spine is slowly breaking down I have grown almost a ¼ of an inch in the last year.

And for those here to see cards, here is my newest Griffey which I pulled from a pack of 2017 Stadium Club recently.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Monday Question Day- Do You Grade?

Today is question day:

Have you ever submitted a card(s) to be graded?

Which grading company do you prefer when it comes to graded cards in your collection?

I have never submitted a card to be graded, even if I had the money I have a tough time paying the excessive cost of submitting a card but I do have graded cards in my collection. When it comes to grading company, I prefer PSA or SGC for vintage cards and BGS for modern cards.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Art Gallery- 2005 Rittenhouse Archives The Munsters

This month’s Art Gallery display is a triple shot of the Munsters; Herman, Lily and Grandpa. The artists are Cris Bolson who did Herman, Dan Schaefer did Lily and Emir Ribeiro did Grandpa.

I believe these cards came from a 2005 Rittenhouse Archives The Munsters release but I can only find sketch cards and promo cards for the set so I do not know exactly how these cards were made available.

I was more a Addams Family kid but I did enjoy The Munsters so these kind of sketch cards have a sentimental aspect to them. I have been seeing Munsters sketch cards appear over the years but much of the cards are Herman, Lily and Grandpa with only a couple of Eddie and Marilyn sketch cards appearing from time to time.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Time For A Griffey Update

I reached another milestone in my Ken Griffey Jr. collection, I hit 1,300 unique cards when I picked up this 2001 Upper Deck Vintage base card a couple of weeks ago. With each one of my eBay sale I have left a bit in my Paypal account which I have used to hunt down very cheap base cards for my Griffey collection so I have been adding a couple of cards here and there.

In January 2014 is when I began to focus on my Griffey collection after adding my collection to Zistle and realized I was calling myself a Griffey collection but I only had 92 unique cards in my collection. Here is how the growth of my Griffey collection has gone since January of 2014:

January 2014 I was at 92 unique cards

January 2015 I was at 291 unique cards

January 2016 I was at 552 unique cards

January 2017 I was at 1,255 unique cards

This year has been slow going and about half of the 45 cards that I have picked up this year have come from trades with many of the rest being under $1 purchases but that is ok. Not every pickup can be a major find, I am glad to have a .35 cent card as much as a $200 card, it is all part of collecting one of the best players of our generation.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Welcome Care Package

I just received a care package from Jon from A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts, which I very much so appreciate. He was wondering how I was doing and sent some cards and a DVD too.

The DVD is from the 2007 Season Ticket Holder package and includes highlights from the team’s 30-year history. It was narrated by Dave Niehaus, the voice of the Mariners from 1977 until his death in 2010, and just hearing his voice brought back some wonderful memories of watching baseball over the years. A lot of happy memories.
New additions to my Steve Kerr collection, Sonics collection and Mariners’ collections. There were more cards sent but I only scanned about half of the cards.
I have been working on my Edgar mini-pc and now I have my first Edgar relic card.

The Mariners just retried Edgar Martinez's number and in conjunction with the ceremony they did an Edgar Martinez bobble head SGA and his bat has a light on it that works. I am not a bobble head collector and have picked up only a couple of Griffey SGAs but I do plan on picking up one of the Edgar Lights Out bobble heads when they drop down to realistic prices.

The last two cards are a Buhner and Edgar 1999 Upper Deck Black Diamond Triple Diamond #/1500. I had the Buhner card on my wants list so that is a number card off the list. I haven’t built an Edgar want list yet, I am making some changes in my collection so I do plan to create one eventually.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Some Treasures Should Remain Buried

As if you needed another reason to stay FAR away from antique stores when looking for card deals here was my experience. When my daughter and I hit up some of the antique stores a few weeks back I kept an eye out for cards. Usually the cards are priced exceedingly high but I have heard of the occasional surprise deal so I look when I am already in the store.

I didn’t find much, there were only two booths in about 6 stores that we stop at where I found cards and one didn’t have prices but when I find a dirty Ziploc bag filled with mid-1980s baseball cards I know I am going to need a Bill Gates type bank account to afford it so I passed that booth quickly. 

The second booth was a collectibles booth with action figures, priced to 1990s prices, comic books, which I didn’t look through, and Hot Wheels tagged at $4 apiece for the same cars I can find in any toy aisle today. I didn’t have much hope by the time I got around to the two glass cases where the cards were kept.

I think this photo represents the prices of the contents of the cases quite well. I was surprised to see a GMA card graded anything by Gem Mint 10. I could put a card in my kid’s bike spokes and let him ride around for two weeks and send it to GMA and still get a 10 grade.

There actually was a recent sale of a GMA 8.5, two weeks ago Probstein sold one for $3.83 plus shipping.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday Question Day- SPs?

Today is question day:

For set collectors; do you consider a set complete without SPs or parallels?

In my mind, short prints have made set building extremely difficult and I have noticed that some set collectors will actually state that the set is complete without SPs. This is part of the reason that I no longer build sets because it seems like some sets are just quagmires sucking people in and never getting finished.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

A Lucky Pull

Yesterday I stopped by a different Walmart than the one I normally shop at to pick up something to drink and while I was at the register I looked over and saw a blaster of 2017 Topps Chrome which I know was just released and people are going crazy over it so I gave in to the dark side and picked up the blaster. 

When I pulled this card I was floored, I know it isn’t the best pull when you consider all of the possible refractors to pull but it is Aaron Judge and it is a 1 in 38 packs in retail blasters so I am super excited. I pulled a regular Judge RC two packs later and that one will remain in my collection but this reverse negative refractor is already on eBay.

Friday, August 11, 2017

COMC Keeping Us On Our Toes

 Last night I was doing COMC Challenges and empty penny sleeves kept showing up. This is the first time I saw a sleeve, I have seen receipts before but this one was new to me. The first 3 or 4 challenges I did had 6-8 sleeves in each challenge too, that was odd.

Usually I forget about the challenges but last night I put on my headphones, listened to music and just answered away. I ended up doing enough challenges to add $5 to my COMC so I am pretty stoked.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Learning A Thing About eBay's GSP Costs

One of my auctions was ending Monday and there was a bid and he emailed me and asked about the shipping. I charge $3 for shipping, which includes the card being packed in a penny sleeve, in a rigid top loader, in a team bag inside a padded mailer with tracking information and delivery confirmation.

So, when the guy told me that after he bid the shipping jumped up to $16 and he was angry with me for trying to rip him off and to cancel his bid. I assured him my shipping is $3 and that the jump in shipping cost must have been an error because I was seeing my regular shipping cost when I checked the auction. He settled down and said to not cancel his bid because he still wanted the card and it helped that I told him that if for any reason the shipping was showing up for anything over $3 I would cancel the order and just work out a trade instead.

The auction ends and I go to send the invoice and I get a message that this is an eBay Global Shipping Program (GSP) order and that the invoice is sent by eBay and I have no access to adjusting the shipping cost. I didn’t realize he was international, I probably should have checked, but in my auctions, I clearly say I do not ship internationally so this is something he should have brought up when asking about the shipping.

I emailed him and pointed out that since this was a GSP purchase I had no ability to adjust the shipping cost because it is automatically set by eBay but I still offered to cancel the order and work with him to get the card to him. Essentially offering him the card for free or for a trade but he decided he didn’t want the card anymore after the frustration. Luckily, he didn’t leave negative feedback, I had no control over the cost eBay charges so that would have been unwarranted. I have changed all my auctions to now say any international sales will be through GSP and that the shipping costs are determined by eBay, not me.

It was only a .99 cent card so this didn't turn in to a huge issue and the GSP program is nice but since it isn’t spelled out that the shipping cost will be different than what is listed by the seller it leads to situations like this. A lesson learned.  

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Will He Escape The Milk Can?

This isn’t a major coup but it is straight from my Top 10 list, the card is the Escape Artist from the 2013 Viceroy Carnival release. As a kid I was fascinated with Harry Houdini and when I saw this card the kid in me had to have it. The Viceroy Carnival base/insert cards just do not show up very often so it was a nice treat when someone put up quite a few Viceroy cards and this was one of them.

This is my fourth card from the Metal Card insert set from the release and was actually the card that got me interested in the Carnival set. It is odd that the front scanned darker than it really is in hand and the back scanned much better than it looks in hand. The backs are really hard to read but the metal cards are all limited to 25 but they are not individually serial numbered.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday Question Day- Celebs?

Today is question day:

Do you have a favorite celebrity sports card?

I hope to someday pick up a 2008 TRISTAR PROjection Billy Crystal card, I really want the autographed version but for that I will be waiting a long time. My favorite is my 1977 DAV Kurt Russell card, it isn’t an official card but the man who made these cards (Dave Stewart) is a disabled Vietnam vet and he has been making cards like this for decades so I will call it an unofficial official set.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Closing Out Pull Tab Week

It is Pull Tab Awareness week
Do be a Billy Blue and use blue painter’s tape and don’t forget to add the tab

Don’t be a Timmy Boxer and use box tape
I got this card yesterday and it was box taped inside the rigid top loader, the sender did at least put the card in to a small team bag so it wouldn’t get caught up on the box tape but the team bag ended up getting stuck on the tape so I had to cut the card out of the team bag because I couldn't remove it from the box tape. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Sellers Selling Fake Autographs Using A Trusted Service

Seeing things like this makes me sad. When Steve Irwin passed away in 2006 he had only one official autograph and that was in the 2002 Dart the Crocodile Hunter release. I had opened a box in 2002 and was fortunate enough to pull relics of both Steve and Terri but their autographs alluded me and now if you find one of his 2002 Dart autographs they are usually in the $1000 range and higher so I have scratched owning one of those off my list but from time to time I still like to look.

This signature is currently up for a BIN of $599.99 and is a perfect example of how authentication services are allowing unscrupulous people to take advantage of specific services by giving an appearance of being real. I am not putting the blame on any specific person, I am not claiming the seller is complicit in any attempt to scam or cheat. This may have been graded long before this item was even in the seller's hands. 
This is not Steve Irwin’s autograph, I have been watching his signatures since at least 2002 and I can 100% guarantee that this is not the Crocodile Hunter’s signature. I don’t know if there is another person named Steve Irwin who is signing pieces of paper and I am just assuming this is supposed to be he Steve Irwin we all know and love. No matter what the case is, at some point someone used PSA/DNA to grade the autograph only, not to authenticate it, and now someone is selling it using the actual term “authentic”.

Most people looking for Steve Irwin’s autograph will know it is not real, there will be people who also look at the flip and see that is says “Auto Grade Only” but someone along the line is going to jump at the price, they are going to see the PSA/DNA flip and the seller using the word authenticated and think it was just him writing out his name instead of signing and buy a fake.

For comparisons, here are authentic Steve Irwin autographs including one where he did print his name so you can see the difference.

A PSA/DNA with an actual authentication tag. The Irwin’s were quite big on sending signed post cards or photos to people who made donations to the Australian Zoo as a thank you so I am confident this is real.

A JSA authenticated 8x10, the inscription was written by Terri but still they both signed the photo.
A 2002 Dart Crocodile Hunter autograph card, this one is real no question
Here is a clip where he signed his name and then printed his first name. Now I cannot state with certainty that this is his autograph but it does appear to be correct in appearance.  

I know this isn't like a situation where someone is just cranking out Carrie Fisher autographs and selling them for a couple hundred a piece but it does bother me that someone worked the system to confuse and take advantage of another person. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Wallet Card #5- Palace Saloon

This afternoon I took my daughter downtown to Whisky Row, an old part of Prescott with the original buildings from when Prescott was the Arizona capital in the late 1860s-1870s. It is a tourist location now with museums, shops and restaurants but it is fun to explore the area because of the history and if you were going to ask, yes many of the buildings are considered haunted.

We started with lunch at the Palace Saloon, which was opened in 1877 and is the oldest restaurant in the state. Virgil Earp lived in the area at the time and would visit the Palace Saloon before moving to Tombstone with his brothers Wyatt and Morgan. Doc Holliday would play poker in the Palace Saloon too before moving to Tombstone with the Earp brothers.

The saloon has changed hands over the years and was modernized but about a decade ago the owners restored the saloon to how it looked after it was rebuilt following a fire in 1900. When the fire was ripping through the area residents went in to the Palace Saloon and physically carried the actual bar out of the restaurant and across the street to the capital building to save it from being destroyed and when the buildings were being rebuilt the bar was moved back inside so the actual bar you stand at to order a beer is the same bar Earp and Holliday stood at to order a beer in 1877. I didn’t take a picture of the bar because it was full of people and kind of loses its historical luster when a bunch of old guys wearing fanny packs and crocs are sitting there talking about where they are from and how long they have been snowbirds.

Here is a picture of the bar, I didn’t take this photo it is from their site. I cannot imagine how many people would have been required to move this gigantic piece of solid wood across the street while there is a fire in the area but I do know they should have gotten free beer for the rest of their life.
I took some pictures around the restaurant, a bit kitschy but it wasn’t overdone. The first picture is of two of the brothel rooms, they have a prostitute mannequin at the top of the stairs. It was a little odd explaining to my 13-year old daughter that prostitution was legal and that those were two of the rooms used.
The next picture is a memorial for the Yarnell 19, they were 19 Prescott Firefighters that perished during the Yarnell Hill fire on June 28, 2013. During the recent Goodwin fire there was a lot of anxiety among the emergency crews because on June 28th the Goodwin fire was spreading quickly and being the fourth anniversary of the passing of the Yarnell 19 was on everyone’s mind. 
The third picture is the front window of the saloon, they don’t have much of a fan fare type promotion. There is a Palace Saloon sign above with this in their window. Quite easy to miss if you didn’t know it was there. Behind where Griffey is hanging out there are steps going down to the original jail, it was underneath the saloon. This section is caged off and locked so you can only access it from the kitchen inside the saloon, they now use the area as storage but the jail cells are still located down there.
I talked with our server for a while, I love paranormal and the Ghost Adventures did a show here last year so it was cool to hear about some of the stories and he told us about some of the experiences some of the employees have dealt with over the years.

If the story is not enough to get you to come take a look if you are in the area then maybe this will, here is my bison burger. The bison is from a Northern Arizona farm, the buns are baked in town and the fries are made fresh in the restaurant so everything is local. 
Over the next three hours we hit antique shops and eventually frozen yogurt, but Griffey didn't feel like having his picture taken with those places.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Trade Completed IV

I read through 10-15 blogs a day and I will admit I rarely look at people’s want lists unless something is specifically mentioned. I was reading one of my regular blogs and there was a post about a trade with Steve from Collating Cards and how he is a Mariners/Seattle collector so I finally looked at his Most Elusive list and the #2 card that Steve wanted, a 1991 Mariners Country Hearth Scott Bankhead, I had sitting in a set box.

The 1991 Country Hearth SGA set is not a common set and usually it is the two Griffey Jr. (#15 & #28) cards that show up so the Bankhead is really a difficult card to find. Last year I came across a set for around $15 shipped, a bargain when you consider the Griffey Jr, Buhner and Edgar cards that I wanted from the set sell individually in the $5-8 range, so I jumped on it. I pulled out the cards I wanted and the remaining cards went in to my Mariners box so seeing that I could help a fellow collector I was happy to send the card to someone who would appreciate it.

In return Steve sent three Griffey insert cards from 2017 Topps Series 2 release that I needed. The three cards are All-Star Game MVP (#ASM-12), Home Run Derby Champ (#HRD-9) and the one that brings back an amazing memory, Memorable Moments (#MM-28)

Thank you so much Steve, I am glad we were able to work out this trade.